30 April 2012

Warning: Lock your car doors, here I come.

Egad, it's happened yet again.  I've done something so embarassing I'm still blushing two days later.  I'm hoping that writing it down will help me get it out of my mind so I can stop cringing.

I spent a majority of Saturday turning over a new garden.  I finished around 3:30, and happy with myself for actually completing a gardening project before September comes, I felt the need to celebrate with a glass of wine.  But I wanted white, and there was not a drop to be found in the house.  So, in a filthy Fenway Park t-shirt and cutoffs c. 1988, along with dirt all over my hands, face, and legs I hauled my tired butt into Jay's car and headed over to the packy (my car is getting almost un-drivable--if there's another car available, I'm all over it).  Seriously, I have no shame.  I looked about as bad as it gets, but happy hour was calling my name.

Once at the package store and my mission completed with wine in hand, I headed to back to the car.  When I got in, I noticed on the passenger seat a slip of paper with some woman's name and address on it along with a printout for some type of dinner benefit.  I hadn't noticed it before, and I began to wonder who had the nerve to open the door of another person's car and put something in it?  Then I noticed a wallet in the middle console.  I picked it up and then the red warning lights started flashing in my head.  Oh, crap, I was in the wrong freaking car!  In a blind panic, I threw the wallet down,  grabbed my own wallet and my bag o'wine (so I thought) and beat it out of there, ran to my car and got in, talking out loud to myself the whole time, saying something like, "omigodomigodomigodomigod!"  Then I looked over at the seat next to me in my car and realized I had grabbed the other person's bag of groceries along with my stuff.  All I could think was, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  Then, just as I was heading back to the mystery car to return the stolen bag of groceries, the owner of that car came out of the store and  headed to her car, the same time as me.

 At this point, all I could do was shrug and think, "Waddaya gonna do?"  In my best attempt at trying to be as carefree as I could about the situation, I told the woman that she was going to think I was a complete lunatic (and let's remember how spiffy I was looking), but that I had accidentally gotten in her car, and then in a panic to leave had grabbed her grocery bag.  It was my lucky day.  She was laughing as I apologized profusely and then skulked away, tail between my legs and my face a perfect shade of crimson under the layer of dirt.

If I had taken my dented red Subaru, this never would have happened because no other car looks like that puppy. Black cars are just too damned confusing!

What Jay's car looks like.
What my car looks like.  No questioning the difference!

OK, I've put it out there and hopefully I'll stop groaning every time I think about what an idiot I can be.  Until the next time.

28 April 2012

Urgent-ish Warts and Lice Update!

I think the Warts & Lice sign may have gone missing.  I was at the pharmacy and it was not there.  I was so shocked I took a picture (for a change).  It's not very good because I had to hide behind a display out of the line of vision of the pharmacist.  I didn't want him to think I was crazy or anything, taking pictures of him and Band-Aids.

Here's the quandry:  I'm not entirely sure I was in the correct location of this certain line of stores.  There are two separate stores equidistant from my house and my middle-age-addled brain could not remember where I took the original photo.  So, this could just be the wrong store.  BUT, if that's the case, then my question inquiring about all the stores having Warts & Lice signage is answered with a resounding no.  Still, I'm hoping somebody scoffed it because they thought it was as great as I do.  Not that I condone stealing or the like.

27 April 2012

Coming Clean

Today was floor-washing day in our house.  After a week or two (or three or four, who's counting?) of dirty cleats, track shoes, and hiking boots and eight muddy paws traveling through the house, it was beyond necessary.  I was thinking I might be able to grow radishes and carrots on the kitchen floor if I installed a couple of fluorescent light bulbs. 
Which leads me to my question of the day:  Why is the filthy water that's left in the bucket after a big cleaning job so fascinating to stare at and make the "iiiiiihh" noise?  I'll admit it.  I love to check out the water after I wash our floors because it is so freaking disgusting.  Am I the only one who can become thoroughly engrossed with something as nasty as this?  I'm really hoping not
Once again, I blame my crazy neat-freak mother for this bizarre fixation.  Growing up with three sisters, I'm sure they can all attest to the following:  After washing her kitchen floors our mother would stand with one hand on her hip, which would be jutting off to the side while she rested her other hand on the kitchen counter.  Then she would exclaim accusingly while we stood there, "Look at how dirty this water is!"  As if it was all our fault.  Never mind that our father was always outside in his garden, puttering about and tracking dirt in.  Or that we always had cats, dogs, and various other vermin that we had rescued (from the clutches of said cats) milling around.  And so we got to check out the grossness.  And so that is what I now do as a grown woman.

Sorry, but I have to do this:
"Just LOOK at it!"

And now, upon looking at the above illustration of filth,  you can feel happy in the fact that your house does not produce this, or if it does, you're certainly not the only one!  Happy Friday!

26 April 2012

CSI: K-9 Unit

The latest victim of Pippet, well-known and yet elusive serial killer of soft & fluffies.  Investigators are estimating that the pheasant's life lasted a mere 3 hours total, cause of death:  aggravated and manic chewing.

There are no known witnesses available for questioning.

24 April 2012

Holy Tiny Tubes of Toothpaste, Batman!

Yesterday afternoon I skirted disaster by discovering that I had left the gas running unlit on my stove, eventually smelling the funky fumes that had accumulated in the kitchen for about 20 minutes.  That could have led to some bad s**t going down.

That flipped a switch in my brain, telling me I best get a little more in touch with my inner Keeper of the House.  In my convoluted pattern of thought, I figured I should do a little karmic work and pay back the gas gods for not blowing up our house.  How better to do this than to do something nice for someone else?  I chose Jay, my husband and usual target/victim.  I went to work on cleaning out the front pockets of the suitcase he uses for work travel.

Amazing what curiosities you can find when performing these kinds of tasks.  Amid the half-used packages of cold medicine, abundant boarding passes from what looked like the early 90's, and little cocktail swords (who knew those would be allowed through airport security?), was this gem:
Finding this led me to either of two conclusions:
  • Jay has a doll house hobby that I am completely unaware of
  • a toothpaste manufacturer in Japan is going way overboard in trying to impress the TSA with their tiny packaging  
Or maybe I just live such a sheltered life that I don't know that this is standard travel size for tubes of toothpaste.  I was too tired to bother to ask him by the time he got home from work, so the answer remains a mystery.

And this is the fascinating adventure leaving the gas on can bring you, as well, if you so desire.

23 April 2012

Cold and Rainy Monday Mornings are Pure Evil

I woke up cranky.  And here's why:

Week after week, here in our little northeast corner of the US, we have been graced with the most amazing weather.  Ever.  More like late June than early to mid April.  And then yesterday happened, and all of that went away far too quickly for any one's liking.  Unless you're my husband, who still is holding out for more snow so he can get one last weekend of skiing in.  Dummy.  Anyway, you go to bed Saturday night thinking summery thoughts, and wake up Sunday morning ready to pull out every last bit of wool and Polartec you own because your teeth can't stop chattering from the cold.  How the hell does that happen?
I was in our local pharmacy this morning and walked by the bottles of Hawaiian Tropic Deep Tanning Oil on display.  They were smugly ridiculing me.  I could hear their nasty, little screechy voices taunting, "Base tan?  Dream on!  Say goodbye to what you've got, cuz it'll be all gone by next weekend, loser!  Pale and pasty FOREVER!"
I ran away and found myself in front of a sign that always makes me laugh.  I keep a picture of it on file just for this kind of occasion:

I wonder if every town has a sign made for this section in their local pharmacy, or is it just ours?  Makes me ponder about where I live.  Maybe we have lots of witches and ogres living in the more secluded sections.

So, even though it is cold, dank, rainy, and gross outside and summer is back out of reach for the moment,  there are still bits of oddness out there that can make us smile.  If you woke up cranky this morning like me, here's hoping you find your very own warts and lice to make you smile.

17 April 2012

Haphazard Observations

Things I have realized in the past week:

  • Bob's Red Mill Meusli is the best food on the planet.  I can pretend I'm eating healthy while actually just picking out all the bits of dates and raisins before going back to the good-for-you seeds & grains.
  • You can easily gouge the surface of your eye with the softest of eyeliners.  Usually the result of rushing to apply while at the same time finishing hair, squawking at the kids to let the dogs out, and cleaning up the bathroom.  
  • Blackberries remind me of the abdomens of black carpenter ants.  And now that I've put it down in writing, that will surely forever be the case.  No way I'm going to stop eating them though.  The berries, not the ants.
Am I right?

  • Applying different samples of new hues of paint to a wall will increase the time it takes to get that room painted a million-fold.  I'm beginning to wonder if I can start a new decorating trend of color-blocked walls and just ditch painting my bedroom.
  • The elastics from my son's braces have the capacity to reproduce all over my floors, tables and countertops like rabbits.
  • If you water houseplants regularly, they'll actually thrive.  I have three (!) plants that have stayed alive in my house since last November.  I think this may be a record.  I'm trying for a full year of keeping them green and healthy rather than brown and, well, dead.  That may be a stretch.
  • Is there really a need for "jumbo" sized eggs?
  • The combination of a hot shower, pajamas still warm from the dryer, and fresh flannel sheets on the bed on a chilly night are better than any sleeping pill on the market.

13 April 2012

If You Say This Has Never Happened to You, Either You're Lying or You're the Real June Cleaver

I hate it when this happens.  And it happens a lot to me.  Like today:

Scenario:  You're vacuuming the house, said act not having been done for over a week.  Black dog fur, once single strands drifting about, has now morphed into giant fur ball tumbleweeds, flying away angrily from the exhaust air of the vacuum cleaner, accumulating in nooks and corners, hoping to hide from its inevitable fate.

Eventually, every last bit of dog fur, rawhide remnants, potato chip crumbs (from son's bedroom), and some scary unidentifiable bits (including what may have been a bloated tick) are suctioned away into oblivion.  You have one room left.  That room would be the dining room, which is where your old-woman-dog loves to sleep in the afternoon sun.  And because of this, the dining room is extra gnarly with big, nasty clumps of dog fur clinging to every surface and every foot of the chairs and table legs.

And then it happens:  The vacuum begins making its sickly wheezing sound that can only mean one thing.  The vacuum bag is full.  This wouldn't be a problem if you had bought one of those fancy Dyson vacuums, but you didn't, so no need to dwell on what-ifs.  You go to where you keep the extra vacuum bags.  And you find...an empty package.  Damn, another moment to dwell on what-ifs.

End scene:  You, up to your shoulders in a large black trash bag, grumbling very un-ladylike phrases, pulling out enough s**t from the full vacuum bag you just wrestled from the belly of the machine, so that you can finish this task that is beginning to take as long as Odysseus took to get back to Ithaca.  Hopefully you don't come across the scary bits or that ambiguous tick-thing.

Next time write down vacuum bags on the errands list of things to pick up, dummy.

11 April 2012

But the Bag Says "Heart Healthy"!

So this just happened in about thirty seconds while I was hanging out writing a new post:

Enough sodium just consumed to equal a deer salt lick.
It looks harmless enough, but I think that'll do it for me in the "fats, nuts & oils" part of my daily food pyramid.  Throw sodium in there, too.  I've got the guilt thing going because I'm trying to eat healthier and also work on better eating habits.  Like not eating at places like in front of the computer.  The sad thing is, I really had no need for these, but threw a bag in my basket while I was by the registers at the grocery store.  I'm a marketer's wet dream.  Crap. 
And now I don't even remember eating them, because my brain was floating "out there," lost in thought.  Double crap. 

09 April 2012

Sorry, Wally!

If you're a close friend or family member you probably know of my unabashed admiration for Wally De Backer a.k.a. Gotye, the Aussie musician who is currently taking the U.S. by storm.  My husband Jay and our kids have been bombarded with practically a constant stream of his music (thanks to yours truly), and have been pretty patient with this latest bender of mine.  Haven't heard of him yet?  Get out from under your rock and watch this, the video that started it all:
It's a bit embarrassing for a woman my age to admit to being so fascinated with something as adolescent as this, but hey--we all have our faults.  And it's not like I'm all, "I want to have Gotye's babies!"  No, I'm definitely too old for that, plus that falls into the "Been There, Done That" category (just the babies part...with Jay...not Mr. De Backer).   I think my admiration is wholly directed at Wally's stance as an artist.  He produces only what makes him comfortable.  What clicks.  I can identify with that when I'm painting or drawing.  When things are right, they just flow.  Everything fits perfectly, and it makes you feel good, deep down inside.   Doesn't matter what everyone else is saying.

I think I've made my perspective pretty clear about the whole subject of Wally De Backer, no?  And you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I found out that there was going to be a Gotye show here in Boston at the end of March.  I got to go to the show and brought along a very doubtful Jay.  Jay, whose musical taste is hugely varied, but will always truly be the Deadhead I met twenty-two years ago, and who was totally blown away by the whole Gotye show.  That in itself is cool.  The show was freaking amazing. 

THEN, today I came across an interview from a Boston radio station that was done when Wally and crew were here in town.   The interviewers were two local radio personalities.  They're OK, I guess.  Sometimes I listen to them when my daughter chooses what radio station to listen to in the car in the morning.  BUT, their interview chops were horrible!  Oy, it was an embarrassment for them to represent Boston radio.  Their questions were daft, and they basically said that Americans were inane people who thrived on reality TV and fast food. It was so bad, that at one point their interviewee stated, "Listen to the music, leave me alone."  Wow.  Watching the clips from this interview made me feel the same embarrassment as when my kids were younger and misbehaved in the grocery store or at a play date.  Pretty much mortified.

So, what is the whole point of this rant from me this morning?  One thing, just one statement to Wally De Backer.  And that is:  We're not all idiots here in Boston.  Honest.  Nor are all Americans infatuated with reality TV and other inane things.  A good portion of us have functioning brains, are able to carry on intellectual conversations, and are fully aware of the goings-on in the world outside this country.    And hopefully you won't bypass our fine city on your next North American tour due to fear of imbecility!

And for those of you who have read through this entire blog, thank you for putting up with me to the end.  And if you're not familiar with more of his music, give Gotye a listen here:  http://soundcloud.com/gotye/sets/gotye-making-mirrors/  Good stuff.

05 April 2012

Pippet, the High Maintenance Dog

Meet Pippet.  She is our obsessive and sometimes maniacal dog.  We love her like crazy and she gives that love back.  Sometimes with a lick on the face, sometimes with a hug of our legs with her forelegs (quite the trick for a dog, if you ask me), sometimes by playing kill with the closest available human arm.  Her favorite way to say hello is to worm her way through peoples' legs from behind them.  Sometimes I can't give warning in time.  The looks on some faces when feeling a dog noodling her way past their knees is some good entertainment.  Pippet has made it her purpose in her carefree canine life to make our 14-year-old dog, Scout, as miserable as all get out.  She's really good at her job.
Scout still getting used to Pippet last year.

Pippet's latest form of torture (so she thinks) for Scout is to display all of her (Pippet's) toys in front of Scout while the old woman-dog is sleeping.  Pippet then nudges, does a dance, barks--you name it--until Scout wakes up.  Scout does not give a crap about the treasure trove before her and grudgingly gets up and walks away, ticked off that she was just woken up and now needs to find a new place to sleep.  You can see the dejection on Young Grasshopper's face.  If Scout's grunts were translated into English, I'm pretty sure they'd amount to, "Screw you, jerkface."

Pippet's also been at odds with animalia outside the house, namely Leo, a ginger cat who has just arrived here in (I think) the last year, but now basically owns the neighborhood; and Charlie-the-Jiggy-Eyed-Dog, who happens to share the same address with Leo, and roams the neighborhood just as much.  Oh, and that's not his real name.  It's just Charlie, but he has Marty Feldman eyes, so I added the "jiggy" part and it is now my official name for him.
Leo purposely lounges in our driveway, in our gardens, on our lawn.  You name it, if the sun is there and he's within eyesight of Pippet, that's his spot.  Pippet has wrecked two window screens by pushing hers paws through them to get to Leo (said holes are now used by mosquitoes and hornets as portals to the inside of our house in the warm weather).  She has also nearly taken down the glass storm door on our front door.  Thank you, Leo, for keeping Pippet so wonderfully distracted.

Charlie-the-Jiggy-Eyed-Dog gets to Pippet in a much more discreet way.  Though he looks very much like he's a shepherd mix, he must have some beagle in his lineage somewhere because his howl is undeniable.  Whenever Pippet heads out in the evening for her final daily "evacuation process," Charlie hears her and lets out a tooth-loosening, ear-bleeding howl over the fence to let her know that he knows what she's doing.  Charlie is an outside dog.  I don't think he is ever let in, thus he always knows when Pippet is out there.  His howling stops the whole process.  Which leads to an entire ceremony of Pippet running back and forth through the yard no less than twenty times, barking like the badass she thinks she is.  This is followed by another ten rounds through the entire yard, sniffing the ground.  A bit more barking, a bit more sniffing, and then maybe she's ready to continue what she's there for.  Maybe.  Somtimes the whole process goes through two or three more loops before we can call it a night.  And all the while I can be heard saying, "Pippet....go POOP!" every 10 seconds.  I'm sure my neighbors love this.  Though some of them (owners of a certain visually impeded 4-legger) are the root of the whole damned problem.

And finally, the most recent obsession is Hobbes, who moved to the basement of his own accord once Pippet moved in.  He is so old and so decrepit that I don't dare post a current picture of him.  I don't want to scare anyone out there.  Here is a picture of him from better days:
Pippet now holds vigil by the basement door, listening for any movement down there.  I'm wondering if she senses something that we don't, like in some spooky dog-telepathy way.  Let's face it, being 19 means Hobbes' days are definitely numbered.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

So, that's a bit of life with Pippet. She is very rarely at rest, often pacing with a worried, busy-body expression on her face.   It's like living with a black-furred Gladys Kravitz.  Who likes to sniff in places she shouldn't.

04 April 2012

Ooooh, ooooh, Subaru!

So the picture I recently posted of the battered fender of my car has led me to thinking about said car.  It is a well-loved, well-used 2003 Subaru Outback.  All stereotyping about Subarus aside, I love this car, as scratched, dinged, and now mangled as it may be.  It is not an aesthetically pleasing car.  Really on the rather homely side.  Kind of like a grown-up Pacer.  I have no idea why I chose red for the color when we were buying it--I'm more of a black or dark gray kind of person when it comes to cars.  I must have been feeling uninhibited that day.  The interior has seen better days, surviving nine years of my kids basically growing up in it.  Add to that coffee stains everywhere, including the ceiling, due to my inexplicable refusal to use travel mugs.
In all her glory.  Observe the glint of sun on the passenger front window.  Pretty.

A little part of our history attached.

Marks from our old sailboat dinghy being dragged across the roof.  Totally Jay's fault on that one.

Coffee stains.  On the ceiling. 

My life from the console.  I'm surprised neither of my kids have scammed that cash.

But it is one of the safest-feeling cars I've ever driven--excellent in snow and ice.  And I actually embrace its less-than-desirability.  It's kind of my way of thumbing my nose at the auto industry and the people who fall prey to them, as they hold the notion that the car you drive speaks worlds about the person you are.  So not the case.  After all, once you leave the confines of your car, you being you is what matters.  I feel like I'm sounding all preachy-like today.  But seriously, do people look at me while I'm driving and say, "Oh, look at that poor woman driving that god-awful car.  How does she survive?"  Hopefully they do not, but if they do, that's OK.  It's kind of like adopting the homeliest dog or cat at the shelter.  Beauty isn't everything!  There are benefits to owning such a heap, as well.  Nobody wants to steal it or even break into it.  Taxes and insurance are next to nothing.  And, to quote Jane's Addiction, "It's mine.  All mine."  Well, and Jay's, too, but he pretty much refuses to drive it.

03 April 2012

A Word of Warning

For those of you who, like me, do not have a shred of common sense at times, be warned.  These two items do not mix well together.  Trust me.  Definitely a candidate for Imperfection of the Day.

Make smart choices, folks.

The Judger of Driving

A few years ago my husband, Jay, and I took the Myers-Briggs test together to see what our personalities were truly like.  We were total opposites in the four categories of the test.  But that's OK, opposites attract, right?  And the outcome of our testing is not really relevant to this post except for the fact that I am categorized as a JUDGER (don't hold this against me--I'll just judge you as a holder-againster  ha....ha).  I'm seriously not happy about this classification.  I don't want to judge people.  That's not nice.  I blame my mother.
And so now, after a lot of deep reflection, I have realized that I can subcategorize myself as a JUDGER OF DRIVING.   The worst of the worst.
I find myself pissing and moaning to a fault over drivers who:
  • follow too closely                                                              
  • don't pull all the way over into the "go straight" lane when there is also a "turn" lane at a traffic light, making it impossible for turning drivers to get through their lane
  • drive straight across parking lots, flying though empty spaces and completely unaware that they are cutting across oncoming traffic (that one really burns my ass)
  • don't use their turn signals (Jay) 
I'm sure I could easily add to the above list.  And don't, if you can help it, be a man when I am PMS-ing.  They tend to be my target of Major Driving Judgement at that given time.  I remember one particular man who was waiting behind me at a traffic light to make a left-hand turn.  He couldn't wait any longer and decided to fly out in front of me, make his left turn and cut me off.  I followed him into the parking lot, and as he was getting out of his very manly Ford F-150 (that's judging, isn't it), I pulled up beside him, rolled down my window and screeched in my best banshee-like voice, "ASSHOLE!"  I really don't think it made any impact on him. He just kind of stood there, staring at me, dumbfounded.  Made me feel a hell of a lot better, though.  At least for the moment.

So, looking back on what I've just written, I realize that I need to try to fix this.  All this animosity is not good for the inner me.  Or for the people around me--in my car and other cars.  And pedestrians.  Plus my kids hear me.  Is my son, who gets his driving permit this summer going to act like me?  Crap, that wouldn't be good.  I think I need a driving mantra:  "I'm OK driving; you're OK driving."  Or something like that.
Oh, one last thing.  Don't f**k with school bus drivers.  They're bad-ass.  This is what happens when you play bumper cars with one of them on a narrow and busy street, such as...oh, say, Huntington Ave. in Boston:

                        Guess I got some judging my way that day.  The bus had nary a scratch.

02 April 2012

Hobieland Nightmare

Here is my Super-Big Beef going on right now.  My husband's Stack O' Hobies.  I would burn them but I think burning fiberglass has to be horrible for the environment, if it does in fact burn at all.  The topper is the blue tarpaulin lazily hanging over the neighbors' fence as backdrop.  New to you, but not to me:  I despise tarps...especially those bright blue ones that show how totally out of place they are in natural settings.  This is our little corner of Clampett-Meets-Sanford & Son heaven.


Hey there one and all, allow me to introduce myself.  I am a 40-ish mom and wife living in the suburbs of Boston.  I am rediscovering the artist I used to be before I started a family, but that's a slow process.  My son and daughter have crashed into their teen years.  My husband travels a great deal for his work.  Many days I am left to have discussions with Hobbes, a senile 19-year-old cat; Pippet, a Type A retriever mix with some definite OCD issues; and/or Scout, a 14-year-old incontinent lab mix with a wart the size of Texas on her eyelid.  All reasons which have led me to start a blog.  I know, it's kind of late to be jumping on the Blogging Bandwagon, but hey--I am admittedly slow on the uptake at times and I might as well write my thoughts down rather than let them dissolve into the ether!

I am a far cry from being perfect at anything, thus my title of The Imperfectionist.  Sorry if you were led to this blog in the hopes of discussing the book, "The Imperfectionists" by Tom Rachman (which, by the way, is a great book--give it a read).  There is no correlation here to the book, I just have lots of imperfection in my life.  And actually, I think every person on this planet deals with everyday imperfections.  The trick is to find the beauty and laughter in them.  Sometimes that's a tough thing to do.  But it's my mission to do exactly that:  smile at life's blips, glitches and shortcomings.

Please say hello and introduce yourself, if you'd like.  Imperfections of the Day are always welcome! 

Imperfection of the Day:  Dead vermin inside one of our living room walls giving off one hell of an odor.  Bright side is that it can only last so long.  I think.