Posting Under the Influence

Right now, you may be asking yourself why Addie would want to post under the influence, and your consternation is understandable, so I’ll tell you why. Because I love you all like a fat kid loves cake, and you’re been good boys and girls all year long, and you deserve a treat.

Here are my rules of PUI:

  • I get to say whatever I want about anything, which probably goes without saying since I usually do that anyway.
  • Once this post is published, I will never, ever go back and edit it, no matter how much a typo or nonsensical phrase is bothering me. This one is a big deal, trust me.
  • I get to use all the salty language I like, so if that sort of thing chaps your hide, you should probably go ahead and sneak on out of here.

Now that we've got that straight, I'm going to cover a few items in the order in which they occur to me. I realize that writing conventions dictate that I should tell you what I'm going to tell you, then tell you, and then tell you what I told you, but this isn't a five-paragraph essay, I didn't make an outline, and I don't think any of you are developmentally delayed in any way. This is totally extemporaneous, so work with me, will ya?

Let's start by talking about Christmas Newsletters. You know what I'm talking about, because when you get one, you ask God what you did wrong to deserve to find the literary equivalent of Taco Bell diarrhea in your mailbox. If you yourself distribute a Christmas newsletter, I'm going to ask you to please reconsider this blatant affront to your so-called loved ones. These letters suck, and they probably love you too much to tell you to your face.

I get one every year from my MIL (yes, she lives just across town, and yes, I'm aware of her every move much as NORAD is aware of the movement of every single aircraft traversing the airspace of the good ol' USA at any given moment). Here's the coverage we received this year:

Garrett and Adrienne still live in Atlanta, and Garrett's trophy shop is doing well. Jared graduates high school this year, and Tyler is two years behind him.

The rest of the letter goes something like this: I went to Michigan to see tulips, I went to a conference in New Orleans, I sprained my ankle, I pooped once and saw corn I didn't remember eating, etc. (Ok, ok, that last one wasn't really in the letter!)

Here's my idea for an entertaining (albeit not altogether true) Christmas newsletter:

Well, another year has gone by and I've still failed to achieve my full potential. I've been thinking that perhaps I have some sort of parasite that is preventing me from reaching my goal of world domination. My psychiatrist and I are seriously considering increasing the dosage on my medication (the anti-depressant, not the anti-anxiety), but the last time we did that my ass expanded to about twice it's normal size. The upside is that although I was fat, I wasn't too bummed out about it.

The kids are well and happy, although their academic achievement leads me to believe that neither of them will be setting the world ablaze with amazing scientific discoveries. As for the dogs, we've recently discovered that Bruno and Hoover love bleu cheese, imported beer, and licking each other's ding-dongs. We thought we were getting greyhounds, but I think we may have actually adopted Gay Hounds. In any case, they're just great, and I love the way they howl when I sing It's Raining Men.

See what I mean? Nobody is interested in this sort of stupid, boring minutia. I call to the stand Stephen of Plus Est En Vous, who has informed me via comment that my last post was so boring that he sustained a mild concussion upon being lulled to sleep and subsequently striking his head on his keyboard. I would launch into a grueling examination of the witness, but I have to agree with his contention. Nevermind, Stephen, you're dismissed on the grounds that I can't poke any holes in your premise.

On another note, I have to warn you all against following the procedure I described in the post entitled Dog Language Barrier. I just performed this act with Bruno, who responded this time by jumping on my back and humping me. Seriously. I removed myself from this menage a dog, and he approached me as I sat on the couch and grabbed my leg and proceeded to go to town, whereupon I called him a pervert and squirted him with water. The language barrier is hereby broken, and apparently rubbing your head on your dog's side means, "Go ahead and hump me, big boy!". Who knew?

Let's move on, shall we? I'd also like to talk about my favorite new store at Perimeter Mall, Martin & Osa. Lord, how I love this store! G and I are both totally smitten by this offshoot of American Eagle Outfitters, whose target demographic is grown ups with jobs. As Bob Barker & Drew Carey would say, The Price is Right and the clothes, as I would say, don't make me look like a garden variety idiot. If you have this store locally, please go spend some money so they don't go out of business.

Speaking of G, he and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary on Monday, so I'll just take this moment to say that I love this guy more than cashmere, diamonds, and a perfectly cooked steak. Suffice it to say that without the rays of sunshine that literally shoot out of his ass, my life would be dreary indeed.

Two more items:
  • I suspect that the employees at JoAnn fabrics are part of some undead army of terrible customer service zombies.
  • In 2009, I intend to find out who keeps putting those community newspapers on my driveway, and I'm going to cuss them out.

Well, that's about it for now. If you made it all the way through this post, go ahead and award yourself 500 bonus points, and have a drink on me.

The Day After

Well, it’s the day after Christmas, and I’m reasonably sure that I’m the only person in the universe (or the corporate world, which is one of the planets I live on) who’s working today. As proof, I submit the fact that I’ve received three emails in my work inbox: One from Dell, offering special deals on laptops, another from Expedia, offering special deals on travel, and the last was a forwarded joke from a relative. Oh yeah, my company is hopping today.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the previous post, I’m working on knocking out some of my end-of-year objectives, one of which is writing a user manual for a proprietary software system. Forgive me if this doesn’t bring the juices of my passions to a boil. I’m barely managing a simmer over here. Very Barely.

See what this does for you:

To add an evaluation to the profile, navigate to the Evaluations section by either scrolling down, or select “Change View” from the right navigation bar. Once you click “Add Evaluation”, the form will launch, allowing you to document the activity completely and in compliance with best practices.

Oh yeah, this one is a real page-turner. Honestly, I’m thinking of navigating over to Gilly’s, scrolling on over to the pool table, and clicking some billiards with a pool cue.

Holiday Updates

I'd be remiss if I didn't start this post by wishing you all slightly belated Happy AlcoHol-idays. Yesterday was my one and only day off work, and I've been struggling to finish all my work objectives for the year, hence the belatedness.

That said, yesterday was fantastic. Here at Casa d'Addie, we've eaten, drank, and made merry until we could take no more. I hope your celebrations have been as much fun as ours.

Let me direct your attention to the picture here, which is one of Garrett's gifts to me. I know it's hard to see exactly what this is, but these are four canvases with the same portrait of our departed buddy, Cosmo, rendered in the pop art Andy Warhol style. I intend to hang them in a square, most likely in my bedroom or office, and I couldn't have been more touched by his thoughtful, labor-intensive gift.

Please take a moment to envision me in a red floor length evening gown singing that Salt N Pepa featuring En Vogue classic, What a Man. That's for you, G!

In other news, this was Bruno & Hoover's first Christmas with us, and I think they'll be looking forward to next year. Santa didn't forget to fill their stockings, and he left them each load of toys (Kong Wubba, long Kong tennis ball retriever, and stuffies) and they got a candy-cane shaped rawhide. For dinner they had a whole turkey neck, an apple, and a bite of roast beef, all of which was well-received.

The human boys seemed to enjoy themselves as well, and Santa was pretty good to them, too. Tyler got an Airsoft gun and 20,000 of the little pellets that are the ammo, and Jared enjoyed playing his electric guitar with his new special effects pedal thingie.

Aside from the lovely merchandise, perhaps the highlight of the day was playing Rock Band with the in-laws (which was preceded by loads of liquid refreshment, by the way). There's just something indescribably amazing about watching my MIL sing Hungry Like The Wolf while my FIL played guitar. You truly had to be there, and I wish you had been.

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations, Alex, and thanks for playing!
Feel free to redeem your bonus points at any participating retailer.

Of course you're ALL winners, but Alex was the first to guess what I call the dog snuggling procedure I described in the previous post.

Dog Language Barrier

I don’t mean to brag, but let me tell you, I know how to drive dogs wild with insatiable canine affection. Before someone calls the Don’t Molest Your Hound League (aka the DoMoYoHo League), I just mean that the dogs really like this particular thing I do, which I’ll gladly describe so your hounds can also benefit from this technique:

  • Get on all fours perpendicular to the hound, who has to be standing up for this to work.
  • Approach the dog, and place the top of your head on the dog’s side so that your head is touching the hound’s ribs.
  • Now push your head a bit against the dog until he starts leaning on you (you may want to wear one of those whiplash collars or other suitable medical brace if your dog is especially strong), then move your head in a random pattern all over the dog’s side.

Bruno, in particular, LOVES this procedure. He moans, bends into a semicircle, puts his forepaws on my back, his nose drips, he rubs his face on my neck, and generally makes every imaginable gesture of ecstacy. Eventually he just collapses onto the floor and will stare at me for upwards of an hour after we play this game. When I do this with Hoover, Bruno tries to get into the middle of it and will sometimes growl or pout because he’s not the one getting what he considers to be the hottest action in town.

Ok, hound people, I know you’re going to try it, and I hope your dogs like it as much as mine do. I'm also really enjoying picturing it in my mind, to tell the truth.

Here’s my disclaimer: It does occur to me that there may be some special meaning to this in “dog language”. Hopefully I’m not performing some gesture of submission that means, “Bruno, you are my King. Your every whim will be met cheerfully and on the timetable you specify. You’re welcome to sleep on my bed, eat my dinner, and wear my favorite party dress.”


ONE MORE THING! - I have a terribly dirty-sounding name for this activity, and I'm offering 1000 bonus points to the first person who posts a comment with a correct guess of the naughty, naughty nomenclature!

The Name Game

Ok, Ladies & Gents, you may have noticed that I've changed my banner from "Addie-Tude" to "Confessions of a Trophy Wife". Honestly, I think that title has it all: irony, humor, and that perfect tongue-in-cheekiness. Thanks to Jen for the suggestion!

Over the weekend, I'll toy with changing my address too. Of course the URL switch may turn out to be too much of a stretch of my technical skills, so there's a distinct possibility I'll still be right here Monday.

Either way, please stay tuned!

Confessions of a Trophy Wife

Oh, that is a good title, isn't it? I fear the rest of the post will be less provocative, but please do forge ahead with the reading. After all, how boring could it possibly be?


Anyway, I'm not a trophy wife because I'm a six foot Brazilian bikini model; I'm a trophy wife because my husband operates the family business, which is a trophy store. I like being married, so my duties with the business are limited to the province of the facetiously entitled V.P. of HR. What this means is that I'm involved whenever there is an employee issue, or in the event of hiring or firing, and I attend the annual Holiday luncheon.

Now that you better understand my role, here are my confessions.

#1. I dread that holiday luncheon all year. Social skills are not a huge part of the trophy manufacture process, and this is always a two hour showcase of that very fact. Since we had the luncheon today, that's approximately 364 days I have to enjoy before the next one. Yay!

#2. Sorry job applicants...I laugh at your resumes. I have some special resume and cover letter tips that I'll share here.
  • If you have a rose in the header AND footer of your resume, you'd better be applying for a job at a nail salon.
  • If your cover letter bears the phrase, "I focus on customer delight", you need to know that it's not that kind of job. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Escort Services".
  • If your introductory paragraph on either of these documents includes the phrase, "Strong attention to derail", please understand that using spell check doesn't catch every error, and it doesn't qualify as fastidiousness.

#3. The real shocker: I have fake trophies. I have two of them, to be exact, but I suppose I could have as many as I want. One of them is a beautiful acrylic emblazoned with the following:

State of Georgia
Mud Wrestling Champion
Undefeated 2001-2006

I used to have that one on my desk when I worked in the office, and people always thought it was true, and I'd explain that being shorter was a big advantage because of my low center of gravity, and I'd otherwise b.s. endlessly until I made myself laugh.

The most prestigious award I have was actually built by the boys for Mother's Day. It's a wooden three-post trophy with the figure of a lady holding a bouquet of roses atop a large, glistening cup ornament.

The inscription reads:

World's Best Mom

I love being a trophy wife.

Seeing Is Believing


Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes

Yesterday G & I spent the evening with the MIL and FIL in Grant Park (near Oakland Cemetery). We started with dinner at Six Feet Under, a restaurant I recommend highly. The entree I ordered was called The Big Tuna, and it was a rare Ahi tuna steak crusted with sesame seeds atop a bed of steamed spinach, all of which was drizzled with a wasabi dressing. It was, in a word, delightful. My suggestion: order The Big Tuna!

After dinner we headed over to take the Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes (for info, you can click the title of this post). In general, the homes on the tour are lovingly restored Craftsman and Victorian jewels, and it's fun to see how tastefully and respectfully the owners have brought back their original beauty and luster.

One notable exception on the current tour is the house pictured here. This house, located on Park Street, is 108 years old and has served as a single family home, a church, and a boarding house, and is now owned by a couple who have been renovating it (in a manner of speaking).

I should preface my review of this place by saying that I'm a purist when it comes to historic preservation. I'd rather see one of the grande dames of the mid-Victorian era fall to graceful ruin than see her disrespected.

That said, this house made me very, very sad. The craftsmanship was horrible, the space planning nonsensical, the loving touch of restoration replaced by tasteless devotion to low-end finishes and furnishings. The sense of history is utterly gone from this place, except for the staircase, which is absolutely spectacular, and a hint at the potential of this structure.

Shame on the AJC for this article. Shame on the homeowners for undertaking a renovation that should have been a restoration. Shame on the Grant Park tour committee for putting this sad monument on the tour.

Muzzles Are A Girl's Best Friend

Feel free to sing along: A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but muzzles are a girl's best friend.

I'm serious. Consider the following scenario.

I've just returned from an errand to replace my tires, during which I was gone for about two hours. While I'm away from home I always muzzle the boys, just in case. In case of what, I have no idea, but it just seems like a good idea. As soon as I walked in the door, I let the boys outside for some R & R (Romping & Relieving).

As I'm watching them, I notice that Hoover has assumed his predatory position: standing stock still, staring at something like he's been deep in the bush in 'Nam, tail straight up, totally unresponsive. My first thought is that he's spotted a squirrel or something, then I realize that's not the case at all.

He's staring at Bruno. Poor, innocent Bruno is on the other side of the yard, happily returning the contents of his water bowl to Mother Earth, totally unaware that he is being stalked. As Bruno starts to move, Hoover pounces forward a few yards and freezes again, stirring the leaves as bit in the process. Bruno hears the noise, recognizes the predator/prey dynamic, and apparently decides that he will have none of this game.

Every hair on Bruno's back stood on end as he charged forward before Hoover could even react. Flying across the yard, he took about 6 full strides before throwing his shoulder into Hoover and knocking him into the leaves with a rustling thud.

Mind you, all of this happened within seconds, so by the time I got between them there was enough gnashing of teeth and throaty growls to let me know that without the muzzles, this would have been an emergency vet stitch-a-thon.

Is it any wonder I'm signing that song?

Calling All Plumbers

Excuse me, do you know what a thermocoupler is? How about a gas control valve? Do you own a variety of wrenches, vice-grips, and maybe even a toolbelt? If you answered yes to these questions, can you come over to my house...right now?

As I mentioned in the earlier complain-a-thon that barely passed as a post, my water heater is busted, broken, and/or beat down in some way. G, in his admirable, self-sufficient way, has decided to attempt to fix it. All by himself. Earlier I thought I smelled gas; turns out it was just testosterone. No need to call the fire department after all (although I do love firemen!).

In the last three hours, he's removed the old thermocoupler, and installed a new one. Throughout the process, he instructed me as a surgeon to a scrub nurse in some old movie, "Flashlight! Q-tips! Mirror!" I was just waiting for him to ask for a 10 blade and forceps when he announced that the thermocoupler was not defective after all.

"It must be the damn gas control valve...damn! Lowe's closes in 30 minutes, you coming with me?". I didn't really want to go, but the question was rhetorical, so off we went.

Once we got to Lowe's, he walked at such a pace that I jogged behind him, and still spent the majority of the trip staring at his back and wondering how he could walk so fast. "It must be that eight inch difference in the old inseam", I thought, making myself giggle with unspoken dirty jokes related to measurements and inseams. Feel free to make up a few of your own before reading, isn't it?

Upon returning home, G walked through the door and said to Bruno, "Bruno, old buddy, I sure wish you could plumb." To which I quipped, "He sure wishes you could, too." It was not well received by the first audience, so I hope you'll all get more out of it than G did.

In any case, I'll summarize by saying that I've heard more explitives, seen more of G's crack, and fetched more odd household items in the last few hours than you could imagine. After all this, the gas control valve didn't work either, something about the thermal coupling switch, so I guess now we should call the manufacturer on Monday, explain the myriad ways in which we've voided the warranty, and hope they'll still help us.

Well, Viriginia, is there really a Santa Claus? I guess we'll find out Monday.

Updates on Nothing in Particular

It’s been a slow here on Addie-Tude, I know. Who wants to hear my excuses?

No takers, huh? Good!

In any case, it’s been a busy weekend and a hectic beginning of the week, and I haven’t had too much interesting news to report, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I hereby present my Updates on Nothing in Particular.

The Cell Phone Upgrade: I finally made the determination that it was time to ditch my old pink RAZR cell phone, which I’ve had for several years, so we took a little trip over to the store and picked up a new model, and this time I’m rocking a smaller purple Motorola model. I can’t text message for sh*t on this phone, but I guess it’s a small detail, just don’t send me any text messages, because I can’t figure out how to work what I’m informed is “T9”. T9 really, really blows.

The Greyhound Gala: G and I attended this shindig on Saturday night, and it was a great dinner at Blackstone Steakhouse. We had a great time, and I had a fantastic beef tenderloin and key lime pie, and G had entrée envy after tasting my steak and noting that his prime rib was fattier. Isn’t the definition of prime rib a “plate full of fat”? I throw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it.

Work Stuff: I have a million things to finish before the end of the year, not the least of which is my self-assessment for my performance review. I’d rather gargle broken glass. Things in general have been tense around my virtual water cooler, to the extent that one of my colleagues emailed me to ask if the company offers anger management classes. That about sums it up, folks. Tomorrow I’ll be making a rare appearance at the office for the annual Holiday Potluck and Secret Santa exchange, so let the forced merriment commence!

Holiday Shopping: We made some excellent progress on this front over the weekend, and even went a little nuts buying gifts for the dogs. Somehow a stop at Petsmart for treats spiraled into free-for-all of toy and stocking stuffer purchases that cost way more than it should have. All I can say is that we’re officially crazy dog people, and we should have a couple of happy ho-ho-hounds on our hands on Christmas day.

Assorted Things That Are Harshing My Mellow: Mass hysteria about the economy. Auto Company Bailouts. Cold weather. Skinny jeans. Otto Von Crapp. Sophomore Science Project. Junk mail.

Random Things I’m Liking: Christmas trees. Cheap gas. Firefly Sweet Tea Infused Vodka. Raindrops on roses. Whiskers on kittens. Doorbells and sleigh bells and warm woolen mittens. Just kidding on those last few…I just wanted to get that song stuck in your head.

Did it work?

O' Christmas Tree!

Behold, if you will, my tinsel Christmas tree, a monument to the sparkly, tacky, mid-century holiday aestethic! I love all things retro when they're done with taste, and some things retro even when they're not (case in point). Don't worry; I have a real tree upstairs for the purists around here.

Anyway, I don't know what it is about mid-century architecture and design that intrigues me so much, but maybe it's just that it brings back a simpler time. A time when a gal could drive a car with fins, have cocktail from a glass that looks like a hollowed-out totem pole, and make a meatloaf while wearing stiletto heels, all while her husband puttered away building a bomb shelter wearing a cardigan and smoking a pipe.

I know, if I get bitch-slapped by a feminist, I totally deserve it. Forgive me, I was heavily into Mad Men last season.

In any case, I love this tree. This year I'm having a bit of trouble maintaining the ornament distribution on the lower branches, though, as you can see by all the baubles lying on the floor. Every time Bruno or Hoover walks by and wags his tail, at least one snowflake or disco ball goes flying. Since this tree is stationed near the main entry of my house, this happens a lot.

I like to think of these ornaments on the floor as a side-effect of hound happiness. Framed that way, it doesn't bother me much, especially after a few of those totem-pole cocktails.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Air Quality Issues

I’m not sure if you all know just how lucky you are. After all, it’s been over 10 days since I’ve posted a word about what comes out of my hounds’ butts. Well, all good things must come to an end, my friends.

Maybe it’s all the excitement we’ve had around here lately, but these guys have been gassy. I’m inclined to say it’s related to an upset in their routines, because the last time anything this foul assaulted my nostrils was when we first brought Bruno home. Sure, I’ve been feeding them yogurt, but they just keep on letting it rip.

Since I work from home, there’s really no respite from the wicked stank. Hoover’s tush is repeating like a Howitzer, and Bruno’s booty is blowing like Old Faithful. I feel like I’m trapped in a phone booth with the star of “4th Meal Me”, the follow-up documentary to “Supersize Me”, in which someone eats only Taco Bell for a month. Smells like day 29, I’d say.

Seriously, a hot dumpster would smell refreshing in comparison, and I think there’s a hole in the ozone layer forming directly above my house. I’m not sure if this headache is garden-variety or methane poisoning, and I’ve reached the point where my fight or flight response is activated every time I hear that subtle little “pfffftt”. If someone in Atlanta did canine colonics, we’d be the first in line.

Since the yogurt isn’t working, I’m giving this 48 hours and we’re going to the vet. If that doesn’t work, I’m moving out of this stink box. Anybody have a couch to spare?

Vacation Update

We covered a lot of ground during my time off, and I think I can safely say that we did all we could in the short time we had available. I’ll try to summarize here, but I'll leave some of the juicy details for Mom's blog:

Monday: Mom arrived in the evening, and we took the train up to my house, and then hit the Vintage Pizzeria for calzones. After dinner we watched Dancing With the Stars, and went to bed. Overall, a quiet night by necessity. Mom had flown with Prince Valium and didn’t have much wind left in her sails, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday: Mom & I went to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market (the nice one!) to buy shrimp and sausage to create a low country boil for dinner, since Kevin was scheduled to arrive and had never had one. Kevin finally made it in after sitting on the tarmac for an eternity waiting for a gate into Hartsfield. Isn't traveling a blast? After dinner, we played Rock Band until we could take it no more.

Wednesday: We started our day at 11 in the morning at Wine Styles tasting wines for our Thanksgiving dinner, and settled on a couple of nice bottles. Then we headed over to Psycho Tat2 to get Mom's 70th birthday present, which was a dragonfly tattoo. There was a bit of a wait for the tat, so we swung by Mellow Mushroom for a BBQ chicken pizza, which was probably the best pizza I've ever had, and we dropped by the trophy shop before heading back for the tattoo appointment. Once Mom was inked like a rock star, we went to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market for some Korean dumplings for dinner. After dinner, Mom opened her birthday gifts and we played Texas Hold 'Em and drank Jack Daniels. It was a big day!

Thursday: We cooked, we ate, we played Mexican Train Dominoes.

Friday: G and the guys went and got our Christmas tree, which we then spent several hours erecting and decorating. I'm pretty sure we drank after that, but the details are fuzzy now.

Saturday: We hit the High Museum to see the terracotta soldiers of the Qin dynasty and the selected treasures of the Louvre, both of which were very cool exhibits. Once we were sufficiently cultured, we rolled over to The Vortex for ginormous hamburgers, and Mom flirted with our tall, dark and handsome waiter, showing off her tattoo and saying she just might want to take him home to Arkansas. It's amazing what a Corona Light can do!

Sunday: Kevin started our day off with a feast of homemade biscuits and gravy, home fries, and eggs. I'm pleased to say there's at least one cook in the family, and it was fabulous. After breakfast, Mom, Kevin, and I went up to Jeju, and I'll leave it to Mom to describe that on her blog, since I've pretty thoroughly covered the subject in previous posts. After Jeju, Kevin, G, and I hit the pool hall for some billiards, since Mom was too tired to go. During the billiard play, G took an embarrassing photo of me and accidentally texted it to my HR rep at work instead of the friend for whom it was actually intended. Nice work, G! Keep it up and maybe I can come work with you at the shop...wouldn't that be fun?

Monday: Mom was heading back to Hillbilly Heaven, so we packed her up and took her down to the airport. Later that night, we had dinner and martinis at One Midtown Kitchen. If you're local and love food, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday: Kevin's flight took off early in the afternoon, so we had breakfast, ran to the mall, and then I dropped him off at the train station to go to the airport. I went home and vegged out for the rest of the day, at least until Bruno started blowing oats in the living room. Yay!

Fit to Be Tried

Ladies, have your boobs started to take a roll? Do your previously-perky sweater puppets mock you by staring downward in a sullen gaze? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, or you suspect your hooters resemble two tube socks tied together and flung around your neck with a couple of bucks worth of change in the toes, you probably need a bra fitting.

Here’s a shocking statistic for you: fully 85% of us gals are wearing the wrong sized bra. That’s a lot of sagging, bagging, and wagging, wouldn’t you say? Bearing this in mind, I had a bra fitting recently, which I’ll describe now without further ado.

Atlanta’s own Phipps Plaza is the home of Intimacy, a veritable wonderland of sensible foundation garments. In addition to a huge inventory, this place is staffed by loads of matronly ladies with bifocals, discerning eyes, and tape measures. As you enter, you may notice that there’s not a droop in sight as the customers leave the store, in stark contrast to their state as they enter the store. You sign in with a hostess, and she adds your name to the list. When your turn is up, one of the bespectacled matrons calls your name and takes you into one of several fitting rooms, which she enters with you.

My fit specialist, Donna, was the first to speak upon closing the curtain. “Let’s get that top off and see what we’re working with here.” I haven’t dated in a long time, but isn’t it customary to buy a gal dinner first? No matter; I do as I’m instructed, and a visual weighing and measuring process begins.

“What size bra are you wearing now?”, she asks briskly.

“36C”, I reply, judging from her face that this is the wrong answer.

“Um-hmmm. Wait here please.”, as if she needed to tell me to wait there, since my other choice was to streak out of the place topless.

Before I even had time to contemplate the idea, Donna was back with a very business-like nude brassiere. With one hand she unsnapped the bra I was wearing and somehow removed it from my person without time for an objection. Now brandishing the serious-looking nude bra, she swung it in front of me with the following instructions:

“Arms straight out” (whereupon Donna stuck my arms through the straps), “Now bend over like you’re touching your toes” (at which point she uh, arranged my goods into the garment), “Now stand back up straight” (and she fastened the hooks).

Bear in mind that the whole process took about 30 seconds, and I had every expectation that she couldn’t possibly have guessed the correct size without a tape measure. Donna, I’m sorry I ever doubted you, girl. Can you ever forgive me?

Upon standing up, I realized that it fit perfectly. I looked thinner. Taller. Just like those gals leaving the store. It was amazing.

“I’ll take it.”, I said, still shocked at how quickly it had all happened.

“I knew you would”, she said, clearly satisfied. “I’ll get you a few more to try and then we’ll check out. By the way, you’re a 32F.” F as in, I can't Freakin' believe what I'm hearing, or how Flipping Fantastic my Fun bags look!

Ladies, you’ve got to give this a try. The holidays are coming…have you thought about what you’ll give your boobies?

Marketing Genius

Winter does take its toll on our hands, doesn't it?

I was discussing this with my brother this week, and he suggested his favorite hand cream, the unfortunately-named Hand Relief.

Congratulations to the marketing department at Aveda for devising a product name that makes dry skin care sound dirty.


From the Top

Now that I'm working my way back into the swing of things after my visit with Mom & Kevin, it's time to start blogging about the experiences of the last nine days, and I'll start from the top...literally.

As you may know, I made the terribly ill-advised decision to "temporarily" dye my hair black to lend authenticity to my Halloween costume. After the gothic hue failed to wash out after the prescribed number of shampoos, it became clear that I'd have to either start listening to 9 Inch Nails (again) and shopping at Hot Topic, or I'd have to engage the help of professionals. I chose the latter, and rolled to the hairdresser last Monday morning.

After explaining my hair color indiscretion, I was informed that I had two choices: they could either bleach my entire head and then apply a corrective color (whereupon my hair might fall out), or they could try to apply some highlights (which would be unlikely to cause all-over baldness). After considering the excellent choices presented, I went with the highlights, which I've never had before, chiefly because I don't care for striped hair.

In any case, Sheila agreed that highlights were the way to go, and returned shortly bearing an ominously large bowl of a substance resembling the scouring powder slurry we used in the Army to clean grout. Although my head was swimming with fear and the smell of the Clorox paste, I noted that she also carried a box of foil strips and a brush suitable for basting a ham. After unpacking her implements and cheerfully warning me again that the highlighted strips might "fall out", she set to work applying the paste to tiny sections of hair and covering those sections with foil until I looked like the aforementioned ham.

Once my entire head was hammed out, I was left to sit. For almost an hour. As it turns out, this was ample time to notice that all the hairdressers in this salon were frosted and tipped to within an inch of their lives. It was also time enough to notice that this salon also lacked the requisite rocker-chick stylist, and was completely devoid of gay men. What kind of place was this? Was this even a real hair salon? These questions frightened me badly, but it was really too late to run screaming into the parking lot.

After 2 1/2 hours of foiling, defoiling, washing, re-coloring the bleached streaks, moussing, blowing dry and about half a can of hairspray, I emerged looking like a striped version of Marlo Thomas from That Girl, complete with a flip that swooped, defiant of gravity, from my head approximately six inches. Since my hair no longer looked like it had been styled with boot-black, and none of it had fallen out, I was thrilled, no matter how silly my new 'do.

Behold the power of lowered expectations!

The Tupperware Caper

I know I have an innocent face, but my MIL has apparently seen right through my otherwise-convincing facade, and has divined that I am a Tupperware-stealer. Even I didn't realize that this numbers amongst my other considerable flaws.

Allow me to direct your attention to the picture for a moment. What you see is apparently a very precious artifact suitable for display in the Smithsonian's Food Storage section. Perhaps you'll see it yourself in person some day. Note the rare Harvest Gold bowl topped with the Dusty Rose "burping" lid. Indeed, it is a remarkable specimen, and yes, I had it in my kitchen.

You're probably wondering how I came to obtain this amazing objet d'art, so I'll explain. On the Sunday following my FIL's big surprise party, we all rolled on down south of town to Maison d'Inlaws for a barbecue. So abundant were the side dishes that I was asked if I'd like to take some home for the kids to eat, and I was pleased to pack up some of the grub. I took some cole slaw in an old Cool Whip container, a cold spaghetti salad in an old sherbet tub, and some baked beans in the much-admired non-disposable Tupperware bowl.

Fast-forward to Thursday. G went to have lunch with his Mom and Grandma (who's visiting from Denver). During the lunch, he was admonished thusly by the MIL:

"Make sure Adrienne gives me my Tupperware back."

Take note, bloggers. I am not to be trusted with food-storage containers. I was so miffed when I heard this that if we hadn't been scheduled to spend Friday evening with Grandma (a perfect opportunity to return the heirloom), I would have FedExed it to her.

On Friday, what do you think was the 1st thing my MIL asked G?

"Did Adrienne bring my Tupperware back?" In case you're wondering, I was standing right there.

As butt-clenchingly irritating as the whole thing has been, at least it makes her Christmas present buying a cinch. You guessed it: Tupperware!

Happy Thanksgiving to You All

Before I start freaking out over the food preparation so integral to the day's gratitude acknowledgment banquet, I'm permitting myself a quick post to thank you all for the fun, education, and entertainment we've shared these last months.

I really mean it. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


PS - I'll have lots of things to share when things slow down a bit around my house. I got my hair color corrected (well, sort of), had a bra fitting, went in 1/2 for a tattoo for Mom's 70th birthday (pictures will be posted!), and more.

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Radical

I’ll admit this up-front: I’m not really a little bit country, but I can't resist a moderately well-crafted Donnie & Marie reference. I am, however, a little bit radical, as I’ll explain in painful detail below. Quick, get the Motrin!

I thought up the idea for this post on Saturday as I was on my way to Whole Foods to buy my Tea Tree Oil and Cinnamon toothpaste, which is fluoride free…on purpose. I know several people who think I’m off my rocker for not wanting to max out on this chemical, which we’ve all been brought up to believe is so good for our teeth. Besides, the government is supposed to take care of us, right? Or is that right?

Since being diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease a few years back, I’ve started to really question what’s in my food and the products I use daily. The reason those things are connected is because managing this condition is easy, but it requires careful control of sodium. If you’re even a little alert, you can easily find millions of ways that seemingly normal foods are smacked full of the stuff. For example, chicken that is packaged with the encouraging fine-print “Enhanced With Broth!” is really chicken that someone has shot full of salt water to up the weight and thus, the price, and inadvertly, the sodium. Tricky, tricky!

As I’ve worked to manage this condition, I’ve also begun to question other “normal” “enhancements” that are made to the things we consume, and fluoride is one of those things. I won’t go into all the details here, but I do submit a few things for your consideration:

The studies linking fluoride consumption to dental health that are the basis for municipal water fluoridation were conducted in the 1940’s, and although longitudinal studies haven’t borne out the efficacy of this addition, fluoridation has persisted.

Why? It’s clear, if you ask me.

Fluoride is an industrial by-product. The companies that produce this by-product would have to dispose of it in compliance with EPA regulations if they were not able to sell it (yes, SELL it) to municipalities to dump into the water. Those companies have deep pockets, deep pockets lead to lobbyists, lobbyists lead to questionable policies that may or may not be good for you.

While these are valid arguments, what bothers me most is the brainwashing and compulsory nature of the whole thing. In essence, fluoridation is medication without consent. If I drink the same amount of water was G does, then the concentrations in my body will be higher than the concentration in his body by dint of size alone. What if I want to drink water that only has water in it?

There is no other situation I can think of, apart from the military, where Americans who are in complete possession of all their faculties can be made to take a medication or ingest a chemical. The fact that no one questions it is even scarier. It would be outrageous if the government decided that statin drugs are good for heart health, so our water supply will henceforth be loaded up with Lipitor, wouldn't it?

So now you know; I’m a little bit radical and have some kooky thoughts rolling around in my head. Besides, that Tea Tree Oil & Cinnamon toothpaste tastes amazing and has the consistency of tub caulk, which is surprisingly agreeable. Being radical doesn’t have to be unpleasant, after all.

Retarded Grandparents

Someone sent this email to me, and I thought it was too cute not to share.

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young students how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.

They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but all they do is jump up and down in it with hats on.

At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night --- early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck instead of birds.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

The Dog Doo Detective

Warning: This is a hard-hitting post about dog poo. If you do not want to read about dog poo, I don't blame you, and I won't know if you just sneak out of here.

Go ahead...I'm not looking! For those of you who stayed...

I have a variety of uneviable jobs around the house, including:
  • Grocery Getter - Responsible for the eats of all humans and hounds.
  • Toilet Paper Replacer - Who else is going to do it?
  • Uni-Brow Separator - Because only Frida can pull off that look.
  • Ear Hair Trimmer - 'Nuff said.
  • Toenail Dremmeler - If only I could train the dogs to do this themselves!
  • and yes, Dog Doo Detective.

Believe it or not, I assumed this duty/doody by choice, because I think the quality and quantity of a dog's, uh, output says a lot about the state of the dog. It also tells me how I need to adjust his diet. Before I go explain, let's all pause a moment to reflect on how happy we are that there's no picture to accompany this post. You're welcome, my friends.

  • Constipation - It's time to whip out the plain canned pumpkin. No dog-inclusive family should be without this in the cupboard, if you ask me.
  • Too Small - More veggie mix to add some bulk.
  • Too Hard - Add more fatty meats.
  • Too Loose - (I actually haven't run across this yet). Assuming worms weren't the cause, which I'd want to rule out, I'd probably do more necks and let the lean meaty bones do their work.
  • The Big D - Cooked chicken and rice is the ticket for this, and I need to pick up a few cans to keep next to my emergency pumpkin, because you never know when this one might hit!
  • Last but certainly not least - Ribbon-Poo - The name says it all, and if you see this variety, it's time to check those glands or roll to the vet. Greyhounds aren't prone to anal gland problems, but better safe than sorry.

If you've read all of this, congratulations. You just might be a Dog Doo Detective, yourself.

Pez Dispenser Time Machine

What a kooky title...I'm seriously proud of myself!

As you probably know, I'll be having company for Turkey Day, beginning on Monday. Even though that's the case, I'd hate to leave the ol' blog dry heaving until my return, so I'm implementing the Pez Dispenser Time Machine concept. Starting...NOW!

What this means is that every post you'll be reading over the next week or so will be written in advance and dispensed automatically using the publishing options feature. I actually prefer to think of this as a virtual time machine powered by the magical energy of unicorns and fairy-dusted pink electrons, but you're free to envision it in a more practical way, of course.

However you choose to imagine it, please stay tuned for such topics as:

The Dog Doo Detective
That Darn Dickens!
The Tupperware Caper...and more!

Of course I'll try to sneak in some real-time posts, too, just to keep things in context, but either way, you won't be lacking in your Vitamin A.

Pushing My Buttons

After almost 18 years of marriage, G does know how to push my buttons, and sometimes he even does so without knowing it. A good example of this took place on our way home from the SEGC meeting on Wednesday night.

As I've blogged previously, I hate when people point out that I am glue-stick white from my scalp to the tips of my toes. Be that as it may, we had the following conversation in the car.

Him: "You look super-freakin' white tonight. Extra white."

Me, not hiding my irritation well: "What are you talking about?"

Him: "You know, you look like an extra from that vampire movie, you know the one, Talking to The Vampire."

Me: "I think you mean Interview With a Vampire."

Him: "Yeah, that's it...maybe it's the hair."

How am I insulted? Let me count the ways!

1. I know I'm white. In case you're wondering, I'll still be pale tomorrow. And basically every tomorrow forever.

2. I'd like to think that if I had been cast for such a movie, I'd at least get a speaking part and not be an extra.

3. I know the black hair is a disaster...does he have to keep reminding me?

4. Last but not least: Talking to the Vampire? Really? Maybe G knows something I don't know, like maybe that was Anne Rice's working title for the book, or not...because that title STINKS!

Since I'm grievously insulted by the whole thing, I'll also take this opportunity to debunk another one of G's illusions: it's not flan & gypsum, it's flotsam & jetsam.

Addicted to Wordles

Yes, I know I've "wordled" before, but I just can't help doing it again. Since the wordle is based on how many times certain words are used in your blog, it's an ever-changing kaleidoscope of linguistic frequency algorithms. Just's just fun, ok?

If you want to create your own, the title of this post links to the site that does all the work for you. By the way, the name of the font shown above is "Loved by the King". Well, G, I guess that would be you!

Six More Things

Ah, memories…remember the last meme we had? Since the Six Things People Don’t Know About Me was so much fun, I’m reviving the concept with Six Things I’d Change If Money Were No Object.

In case you’re not familiar with the meme concept, here’s a definition: a blog meme is a question or topic that’s started by one person, who then “tags” other bloggers to answer the same question or address the same topic. The people tagged by the first person then tags others. It’s a form of viral fun that would never have been possible if Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet. Thanks, Al!

Without further ado, here are my Six Things I’d Change If Money Were No Object.

1. I’d quit my job, and I’d do it with style. Since I have all the cash I need in this scenario, I’d invest in a flamboyant pink rhinestone pantsuit such as might be worn by the love child of Liberace and Dolly Parton, and I’d top it off with a red beehive wig with a white cowgirl hat perched atop. Even though I hate to fly, I’d get a first-class ticket and limo service to the corporate office, and I’d sashay up to the executive suite, belt out a rousing rendition of Take This Job and Shove It, tender my resignation letter out of my décolleté, shout “Kiss My Grits” a la Flo from Mel’s Diner, and I’d mosey on out the door. I hate to think what I might do if I didn't like my job.

2. I'd convince G to sell the business. Without our pesky money-garnering activities, we could pal around together endlessly. We'd spend our time helping with greyhound rescue, taking classes like cooking and welding and whatever suited us, and we'd shop and travel and have loads of laughs.

3. The cars would be next to go. First, I'd get rid of Otto VonCrapp (my car), and I'd replace him with a 1964 Ford Falcon Futura convertible. I'd get G a '65 Mustang Fastback coupe with pony interiors, or a Shelby Cobra. We'd also get some kind of tricked out hybrid SUV for road trips and dog hauling, but I haven't given that nearly the daydream time I've devoted to the muscle cars, so the details are sketchy.

4. Home renovations! Once we had a ton of free time and sweet wheels, I'd have all the things done to my house we've discussed since we bought the place, which includes landscaping, replacing the driveway, having the exterior stairs redone, rewiring the electrical system, new plumbing, and a new workshop for G's hobby of making furniture.

5. From the vanity file, I'd have a little work done. Suffice it to say that I'd no longer have more chins than a Chinese phonebook. Oh, what a happy day that would be!

6. Finally, I'd take the boys on trips to far-flung exotic locales. We'd try to speak the language, eat the local cuisine, and see the sights. I'd document it all in as funny a way possible in my book A Broad's Adventures Abroad, which I have yet to pitch to an agent, but I've got plenty of time for that.

Thanks for it's your turn! I hereby tag Mom, Alex, Jen, Stephen, Maria, and Zan.

Another Special Day

The past week has been a birthday fandango around here, and today is no exception as I wish my boy Bruno a Happy 5th Birthday. Bruno, formerly known as Butterfly Flight, was the most successful racer in his litter of six, and ran 137 races, winning 15 and placing 2nd in 26. Butterfly Flight was a standout as a racer, and I’m proud of his professional accomplishments.

As successful as he was at the track, Bruno really hit his stride as a friend and companion for our family. We chose him specifically because he was so gentle with our elderly dog Cosmo, and he even allowed the old gent to walk right under him when we first met in January. He was a perfect companion for Cosmo during his last days, and a great comfort when the Cos left us, following us from room to room, always ready to offer a lean or lay his head on our laps.

Wonderfully laid-back and calm, he’s a great Ambassadog at Meet & Greets, and his striking good looks never fail to attract some attention. On the other hand, he’s very protective of his home and family, and is part of that rare fraternity of the guard-dog greyhound. I won’t soon forget the day I let him into the back yard not knowing Mark the exterminator was out there; I heard the most alarming barking and growling and found that Bruno had Mark cornered and cowering against the house. As laid-back as he is, Bruno is no pushover, something I can’t help respecting.

Of course Bruno has my love as well as my respect, and it’s really his gentle heart and sweetness that I love most. As my introduction to this wonderful breed, I’d never hesitate to add another retired racer to my family, and it’s because of Bruno that we adopted Hoover to complete our family.

Happy Birthday, Mr. B., you’ll always be a champion to us!

My Co-Workers

One of the distinct perks of the virtual office is the ability to choose your own office mates, rather than having that decision made by some uncaring, remote hiring authority. My colleagues don't gossip by the water cooler, stink the place up by microwaving garlic-laden frozen entrees, or steal my pens. I submit this picture as proof of their impeccable professional behavior in the office.

The guest bed is behind my computer desk in my office, and this is how Bruno & Hoover pass the time while I'm working. Note that a collar is all that's required to be in compliance with my business casual dress code. For the dogs, that is.

Weekend Update

This has been a helluva weekend and a bit of a long one, hence the lack of postings. Heneater be damned, I’m back!

I’m starting with Thursday, which probably included the funniest moment of the week. Because we’re having company over the next few weeks, we decided to engage a house cleaning service to cut down on the preparations. It was awkward, to say the least, since I’ve never had this sort of service and I was working from my home office downstairs while the cleaners were working on the upstairs. During the process, I could hear the ladies chatting through the vents, which was fine, except that at one point I heard one of them say, “Ewwww gross!”. I often think that myself while cleaning, but I have to wonder what, exactly, they had found that was so disgusting. It was mortifying and funny at the same time.

Friday I took the day off because Garrett’s sister Kris and her kids were set to arrive mid-afternoon, and I wanted to run some errands and buy some groceries. As I was making my appointed rounds, I gave myself a terrible headache singing Total Eclipse of the Heart in the car. As if I’ve ever lived in a powder keg, much less gave off sparks. Ridiculous!

Saturday’s party for the FIL went off without a hitch, and he was completely surprised. We had family from as far as Denver, Dallas, and Mobile who came in for the shindig, but still we managed to catch him unawares. The surprise was almost spoiled in the morning, though, as G’s other two sisters were shopping at CVS when my FIL actually entered the store to make a purchase of his own, causing the sisters to have to crouch in the back of the store until he left. Close call, indeed.

On the subject of the other two sisters, they each brought their men with them on the trip. Kendra’s fiancé seems to be a nice, down-to-earth sort of fellow, so I’m glad for the two of them. Kayla, who is 25, is dating a man who appears to be in his late 40’s, and who is also clearly, obviously, and apparently gay. Although I’m not the only one who made this observation, I take full responsibility for it, and I’m prepared to stand by it until such time as we catch him in the arms of another man or hear him singing the soundtrack of Rent. I’m just sayin’.

On another note, Mom celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday, prompting an in-depth discussion on the difference between the terms: old vs. antique, used vs. vintage. I much prefer antique and vintage, don’t you? Happy Birthday, Mom!

All in all, a successful weekend. As I mentioned last week, the fence is moving right along, with the two sides essentially complete. Complete enough that the dogs can’t escape, which is paramount. Hooray, G!

This week promises yet more fun an excitement as we prepare for Mom and Kevin to make the scene at our casa. In the meantime, have a groovy week!

Unflattering Word Verification

All I wanted to do is post an innocent comment on a blog, and I was unfairly confronted with what I consider to be a mildly insulting word verification.

"heneater" that all you've got? Is this supposed to hurt my feelings?

Here's the deal, Blogger: if I get a word verification that says "hamface" or "meatbutt", I'm out of here. Fair warning!

Ikea & Ding Dongs

Last night's agenda included lots of errands, starting with a trip to Ikea. While G loves Ikea, I have a love/hate relationship with this Swedish-flat-pack-megastore. I'll start with the bad news:

The Hate:

  • The whole experience is a hassle, from the parking lot to the maze-like layout, to the checkouts.

  • It's virtually impossible to go there without buying something that wasn't on the list, and I always spend more than I'd planned.
The Love:
  • I can buy cheap glasses and plates, so that I don't freak out when one gets broken or chipped.

  • Candles - ridiculously cheap.

  • An unrivaled selection of organizational buckets.

  • A pretty decent cafeteria that offers a delicious mozzarella, red pepper, and basil focaccia sandwich.
Last night, as I was enjoying the aforementioned focaccia sandwich at the Ikeateria, Jared piped up and said, "Well, I found out today that I can put a whole Ding Dong in my mouth.".

After the moment of silence that normally follows such an ambiguous declaration, I asked, "You can put what in your mouth?".

"A Ding Dong...Mom, it's a little chocolate cake! Geez!"

Like it's my fault I didn't know what he meant. You should have seen the Argyle sweater he was wearing.

Find the Hound

Can you find the hound?

Still don't see him?

Brindle is good camoflage, isn't it?

Springtime Fresh Improvisation

As we all know, I work from my home office and I love it.

What’s not so great is that the bathroom outside my office is the main can used by the kids, and they are responsible for cleaning and stocking it. Needless to say, sometimes it just doesn’t happen, and I’m waiting for the Skankville Texaco to call and tell me they want their bathroom back.

That’s not the worst of it.

So I go to use the bathroom and I’m chagrined to find that there’s no toilet paper (I noticed this too late, of course). Great…now what?

Oh, I know, Kleenex! Um, there’s no box in here, either. What is this, a 3rd world country? This just keeps getting better and better.

Ok, let’s look in the trash can. Candy wrappers…nope! Soda can…no wonder I’ve seen ants down here. Tissue that someone’s already blown his nose on…last resort, we’ll set it aside.

And then, like a beacon of hope, I spied my savior in the bottom of the trash can – a used dryer sheet. This is no way to start a day, I’m telling ya.

Weekend Update

As we’re edging ever closer to the upcoming family get-togethers, the to-do lists are growing accordingly. While I’ve failed miserably at finding a wagon wheel that was apparently critical for the décor, I’ve made some progress in my concept for the tablescapes. You read that right; I said tablescapes, which is solid proof that I’m really a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Add to that evidence the George Michael CD’s, and it’s an iron-clad case. Guilty as charged.

Be that as it may, I’m not sure how that squares with an important epiphany I had on Saturday while G was watching some old Dirty Harry movie: Clint Eastwood was HOT in his prime. Seriously hot, people. If Young Clint showed up on my doorstep tomorrow, I can’t promise that I wouldn’t hook up with him while G sat on the bed crying. Hey, it was Billy Joel who said that honesty is such a lonely word!

Otto VonCrapp (my new name for my car) seems to be doing pretty well at the moment thanks to the mad man-skills of G and T, who have replaced my rear brakes. I’m not sure what else they did to Otto, but he’s really running well. Knock wood, throw salt over your shoulder, and clutch the pearls, please.

On the topic of man-skills, the erection of the fence is going very well, thanks to hours in the yard, power tools, lots of colorful language, and enough wood and concrete to encase a pod of killer whales. At least one side, if not two, will be complete in time for the next weekend update. It would have been done today, but we had plans this afternoon.

That’s right…today G & I rolled to the adoption kennel in Acworth to help bathe a new batch of hounds who’ve just retired from racing. It’s a beautiful group of hounds, and we had a ‘crack squad’ of bathers today, rolling through those baths in no time. Seriously, as sweet and patient as these guys and gals were, I doubt they’ll last long at the kennel.

I have one happy tid-bit to wrap up the weekend update. You’ll be pleased to know that Cal, the manorexic child discussed in the post below, actually ate something at my house on Saturday night. One grilled chicken tender wrapped in an X-Treme Fiber tortilla, to be exact. I wish he’d have eaten more chicken, but glad he showed restraint on those tortillas. More than one of those and your colon is guaranteed to spew like Vesuvius. I’ll leave you with that happy thought.

Have a great week!

Situation-Specific Manorexia Nervosa

Jared and Tyler have some really great friends, so we're very lucky in this regard. The way I see it, we're also lucky that hardly a weekend goes by that doesn't include one of more of these great guys sleeping in the basement and making themselves at home. They play video games, watch movies, and eat ridiculous amounts of food.

The one notable exception is Jared's pal Cal. Cal never eats anything.

Not because he doesn't eat in general, because I'm sure he does. He's a tall fellow with enormous feet and a Varsity football letter. I should say he never eats anything at my house, because he normally noshes on rice cakes and turkey breast and drinks soy milk, none of which normally make it to my grocery list. Given enough notice of his arrival, I could stock up on these items, but the visits are usually pretty spontaneous. Since he eats in general but not at my house, I have coined the name of a new disorder...Situation-Specific Manorexia Nervosa. I added the "Nervosa" for myself, because it makes me so damn nervous.

Yes, folks, that's what I do with that expensive partial doctorate in Clinical Psychology...I make up fake disorders to describe teenage behavior. As if all teenage behavior isn't at least a little bit strange.

A Human Confession

There have been a lot of canine apologies, partial acceptances, and confessions swirling around the blog ring this week. I thought I might mix it up a bit with a human confession, so here goes...

I am obsessed with my ClustrMap. Totally.

It's like unwrapping a Christmas present every day when I look to see where my visitors live, and it's a steady source of curiosity. For example, I don't know anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, but I have a big dot there. Is it the same person who's visited several times, or several people who've visited once? Come on, Mystery Dot, reveal yourself!

I also really enjoy speculating about the far-flung, international dots. I can't help but wonder what someone in South Korea, Bulgaria, or Rio de Janiero would think about the strange things I post here. Note to Self: Try not to cause an international incident.

How about you...have you checked your ClustrMap today?

Let The Drama Begin

I promised you all some drama and irritation around the occasion of my father-in-law’s surprise 60th birthday party, which is scheduled for Saturday the 15th, and I like to think I’m a woman of my word.

G, the kids and I are on the “Ambiance Committee” of this soiree, which will be taking place in a big meeting room at the in-laws’ church. The theme is old-timey cowboys and cowgirls a la Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, which should be fun.

Of course G takes his responsibility to the ambiance very seriously, as he does with all his endeavors. In keeping with the gravity of his position, Wednesday he went down to the church to meet his Mom to survey the room and plan all the knick-knackery that will fill the space with country and western je ne sais quoi.

During this meeting, she cautioned him that he’s not allowed to affix anything to the walls or otherwise cause any damage. The first time she warned him about it was sufficient. The second time it was patronizing. The third time he had a minor stroke. When she sent him an email containing the same admonition, he responded as shown below:

Mother - You can assure everyone that I have no intention of affixing, attaching, leaning anything against or otherwise touching the walls. I can also put the boys on an armed watch and establish a barbed wire perimeter to insure no party participants touch the walls.

Care to wager about how many more wall-related warnings he’ll receive?

Vote For First Pet

As you may be aware, President-Elect Obama has promised his daughters a dog. Please click the link in the title to vote Greyhound for First Pet. I love the idea of greyhounds getting this kind of recognition. If you've seen the Barney Cam Holiday videos, you can probably imagine how much faster a greyhound could give us a tour! Or we might only see one room if the First Hound felt like staying on the sofa.

Either way, let's all cast our ballots one more time this week. Democracy marches on!

Bite Me

I’m sure we’ve all seen or experienced that old practical joke wherein someone puts a “Kick Me” sign on someone else’s back. It’s a real gem, isn’t it?

I don’t know what it is about Hoover, but it’s almost as if he’s wearing a sign that says, “Bite Me” that only dogs can read. It must be something subtle in his body language that I’m not picking up on, because I’ve seen him nipped at by dogs in a variety of situations.

Even Bruno bit him on Monday during a hot pursuit after a squirrel in the yard. They were outside eating their dinner, so they weren’t muzzled, and my best guess is that Hoover must have bumped into Bruno while they pursued the squirrel, and that’s when it got ugly. I really couldn’t tell what happened as I shot across the yard toward the two of them, but the end result was two small bites: one on Hoover’s face, the other on his behind (the indignity!). To Bruno’s credit, he did stop immediately and cowered when I charged across the lawn yelling, “Bruno! Done!”. He was in trouble, and he knew it, but that was a small consolation to Hoover, I’m afraid.

Poor Hoover is just the sweetest, goofiest dog you could imagine, so it does bother me when he’s on the receiving end of nips and bites. He’s like that kid in elementary school who would eat paste or pick his nose; he’s just seems like such an easy target, I guess.

The Kind Stranger

Many thanks to the One Minute Writer for suggesting the subject of this post. The prompt for today is "Write about something nice a stranger did for you".

Last year G & I celebrated our 17th anniversary in Denver as we were visiting relatives for Christmas, and he gave me a very unusual and lovely silver bracelet. The next day, which was a Saturday, we went to a brewery tour in the distant mountains, and I couldn't resist wearing the bracelet. We had a great time on the tour, but I realized that the bracelet was missing when we returned to Aunt Heather's and Uncle Clay's house. We searched high and low in the car and the house, and we retraced my steps, to no avail. I must have lost the bracelet on the brewery tour, but there was no time to find out; our flight was departing on Sunday.

On Monday I called the brewery and they said that a woman had left her phone number and stated that she'd found a beautiful silver bracelet. I called the number, and spoke to this woman (who had also been on vacation from Chicago) and told her the story of why the bracelet was so meaningful to me. We laughed, I cried, and we exchanged information. I received the bracelet in the mail soon thereafter, carefully wrapped in tissue with a note that said, "Happy Anniversary - Again!".

A Little Suggestion

Please excuse this interruption of our regularly-scheduled frivolity. Once total mind-control has been achieved, you will be returned to your regular lives. Although you will feel compelled to do exactly as I command, you will be totally unaware of the suggestion imparted in this post.

Imagine yourself for a moment in a happy, warm, and comfortable place such as a book store or public library. You notice that you are very relaxed, and a bit sleepy in this environment. All around you, you notice people are reading Fair Tax: The Truth by Neal Boortz, and they are smiling contentedly as they begin to understand the simple principles. As you read this, you will notice that you're becoming more sleepy by the moment. Your eyelids are becoming heavier and heavier, and as you drift off into a twilight state, your singleminded intention is to learn all you can about the Fair Tax. You must educate yourself about the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax is your friend. Take a few moments to revel in your new sense of closeness with the Fair Tax.

Now you will begin returning to the present time and place. As your consciousness reawakens to your physical environment, you may feel compelled to read and explore some new ideas. This is a healthy response and such inpulses should be heeded as soon as possible.

You're welcome.

Weekend Update

Well, the weekend is drawing to a close with a few news items and updates:

The Cell Phone Sabbath was a partial success, with only one instance of voicemail checking. Not bad for a hardcore addict, if you ask me. Maybe next Sunday will be more successful.

In other news, my Mom started her very own blog this weekend. Hillbilly Heaven is now the worldwide web’s home for her musings on scrapbooking, animals, and who knows what else. Welcome to the blogosphere, Mommarino!

Back here at my house, G got the car up and running. He replaced the battery (again!), said the magic chant 52 times while walking backwards in a circle carrying a candle, and he sacrificed a goat. Ok, not all of that is true, but I had you going, didn’t I?

G and the boys worked on the post holes for the new fence today and they dug lots of drainage trenches using a preposterous-looking gas-powered auger. Viva testosterone!

We found out on Saturday that our neighbors on one side are oddly attached to the 4 foot chain-link fence separating our yards, and they object to the erection of the lovely wooden privacy fence my menfolk will be installing soon. This requires a wholesale scrapping of our original plan, and will force us to lose about 2 feet of real estate to allow them to keep that hideous relic. Strange indeed.

In an incredible feat, we remembered to reset all of our clocks, avoiding our usual “spring forward, fall back” confusion. Now if I can figure out how to set the clock on the new microwave, I’ll be kickin’ like kung fu.

Finally, I got to use the word “erection” in a post. All in all, a good weekend.

Cell Phone Sabbath

Maybe I'm the only person who feels this way, but I suspect I'm not. My cell phone drives me crazy.

Not because I don't want to talk to my friends and family, because that's not the case. It's just that the damn thing rings incessantly. Sure, it's convenient to be able to call home from the grocery store and find out whether or not we're out of sour cream, but is it really necessary to be so in touch all the time?

I suspect this is just some kind of masochistic digital-age addiction, and I intend to find out. I've turned my phone off as of sundown yesterday, and I'm leaving it off until 8:00am Monday. For crying out loud, I'm a corporate trainer, not a brain surgeon who needs to be on call. I can be out of touch for36 hours or so.

At least I think I can.

Hot Sweaty Meatball

G wears those contact lenses that are meant to be left in for a month, and they're great. Once he has them in, he can totally forget them, which is both the best and the worst feature.

Since he started wearing these contacts, he has not once remembered to remove them on time. About every two months, he wakes up one morning with debilitating pain and at least one eye that's bulging, throbbing, and feels like a "hot sweaty meatball". When this happens, he has to remove the lenses and "go commando" with no vision correction for a day or so, which in and of itself is a huge safety issue.

He won't get Lasik, he won't wear glasses, and he won't change these contacts on time. I'm not his Mother, and I don't want to be. At the same time, I don't want him to lose an eye over his carelessness. To nag, or not to nag, that is the question.

Keeping It Real

Now that my kids are older, Halloween is a different experience. When the kids were younger, we were all wrapped up in carving pumpkins, creating costumes, and trick-or-treating. Everyone was involved, and it was a big deal. This year, G was out making deliveries until about 9pm, Jared went to the football game, and Tyler took off to trick-or-treat with his friends, which left me and the dogs to greet the ghouls and goblins. It was kind of a drag, but I stationed myself by the door with some vodka, a peanut butter sandwich, my laptop, and my candy bucket.

Suddenly, there's a knock at the door, and it was the Bosslady and her good pal Vanessa. Noticing that I was not only alone, but also watching HGTV and reading blog comments, the Bosslady (who can be relied on for keeping it real) said, "Addie, you're like a drag-queen shut-in with your HGTV and your blog on Halloween!"

I wonder what she would have thought if she'd seen me washing down my peanut butter sandwich with vodka tonics?

Happy Halloween!

A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her.

She asks him why he is staring. He replies: "I have a question to ask, but I don't want to offend you."

She answers, "My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me."

She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that, under two conditions: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and Catholic!"

"OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."

The nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"My dear child," said the nun, "Why are you crying?"

"Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess; I'm married and I'm Jewish."

The nun says, "That's OK. My name is Keith and I'm going to a Halloween party."

A Slow News Week

It's been another slow news week for the blog, so I'm sharing this picture that never fails to make me laugh. If you sing that old Anita Ward disco song Ring My Bell, it makes it even better.

In other news, G did get the trash heap of a car rolling again. The clock keeps resetting to 12:00 like a Satan-possessed BetaMax VCR, but hey, I can take the kids to school - whoopee!!

On another note, Hoover has gained a little weight now after the addition of a couple of extra chicken backs and peanut butter. Now that I think of it, that bite of G probably helped, too. Bruno, on the other hand, is still a perfect gentleman - the Abbott to Hoover's Costello, if you will. Wow...cutting edge comedy reference! What am I, ninety?

Anyway, the next couple of weeks promise to be much more interesting, so don't give up hope yet. Seriously, G's family is getting together for his Dad's surprise birthday party on the 15th, which promises comedy gold. Not to mention the drama that's sure to ensue as contentious factions of the clan from across the country join in forced merriment to wish my dear FIL a very happy 60th. Over Thanksgiving my brother Kevin and my Mom are coming to visit, so you can anticipate at least a little PUI (posting under the influence) as we party our way through that week.

One last note: I don't know where this picture came from (no, it's not my doorbell!), or I'd gladly give credit here. If you happen to know, please give me a shout.

CORRECTION/EDIT/RETRACTION: The car is dead again. It WAS running for almost 20 hours, and that might just be a record!

The Naughty Hat

Ladies and Gentlemen, I know it will be hard to believe that the angel pictured here earned the dubious honor of wearing the naughty hat last night. The infraction: bad manners (gasp!).

G came home from work yesterday after stopping at the Pet Supermarket, and he was bearing a bag loaded with pig ears, organic chicken jerky enhanced with glucosamine & chondrointin, a stuffie, and a squeaky ball. Needless to say, he was very excited to share some of his loot with his lucky hounds. As excited as he was, G was not expecting Hoover to jump up and nip his hand, which is exactly what happened. Clearly, this was not cool.

So Hoover (Mr. Excitement) didn't get a treat. He didn't get to play with a toy. He spent about an hour in isolation, and then he was made to wear the newly-created Naughty Hat. As you can see here, this part of the punishment didn't affect him much, but we did have a few laughs over it.

A Lovely Centerpiece

In more recent reminiscences, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few things about the big Halloween party we're been preparing for these many weeks. After loads of preparation and planning, the Haunting of Admiral Drive took place on Saturday.

The house was decorated inside and out with all manner of spookery. Cobwebs, fake body parts, white sheets a la haunted house on all the furniture, the whole deal. The oft-mentioned coffin was filled with beer, ice, a skeleton, and was lit from within, black streamers covered the entire ceiling, and homemade wallpaper complete with "REDRUM" scrawled in red paint covered the walls. In a word, spooktacular.

My contribution to the ambiance was a table centerpiece, which was originally meant to be a roasted pig's head. Alas, it was not to be. Upon visiting the Buford Highway Farmer's Market (the world epicenter of creepy meats), I consulted with one of the butchers who confirmed that they were "out of pig heads". Instead, I purchased the following assortment: 1 pink and black beef tongue, 2 pounds of chicken feet, and 3 bull testicles. I thought it was very funny that the testicles were all packaged in odd numbers, but maybe that's just me.

Upon arriving home with my bounty, the dogs went nuts over the smell of what was in the bag. After making my way through the gauntlet of hounds, I took my goodies upstairs and covered the chicken feet with hoisin sauce while deciding that the best way to cook all these items was in a 375 degree oven for an hour and 20 minutes. Mind you, NONE of this was meant to be eaten. It was only for show, and it looked perfectly grosstastic when it was done and artfully displayed on a glass cake pedestal atop wilted bok choy. I fully expected the whole display would be intact at the end of the party.

As I always do, though, I left before the party ended. The next day, I returned to the scene to help clean up a bit, and found out that the tongue was gone. Today, the host emailed me to confirm that someone ate it in a moment of drunken gluttony. I'm glad I wasn't able to get that pig's head, after all.

High School Memories

I know some people remember high school fondly. If this describes you, you probably had the most fashionable clothes, you didn't ride the bus senior year, and you probably weren't an Academic Decathlete and delegate to the Model United Nations.

Not that everything about high school stunk. I still remember the day Ms. Carlos returned a short story I wrote and looked me in the eye and said, "You, Miss Hall, are a writer." I gained my love of public speaking in high school, too, thanks to Mr. Shone and Ms. Gill. In other areas I wasn't so successful, most notably sports, which is not surprising, really, since I graduated at five foot nothing, and had the motor skills of a newborn calf and the upper body strength of a three year old girl.

In any case, I had some great friends, one of whom was Martin Gaxiola. I just heard from him a couple of days back, and I'm amazed by what he's done since we graduated Thunderbird High School in 1989. I'm so impressed, in fact, that I've added his website to my link-o-rama. This is some serious flamenco, folks.