28 June 2012

This Just In! Shirtless Running Guy Captured on Phone Camera, Magnifying Glass Needed

OK!  So...the good news is I got pics of Shirtless Running Man!  Bad news is that Shirtless Running Man is FAST!  So by the time I focused and snapped, he was kind of far away.  Have no fear.  My quest is not over.  This is just the beginning.  I WILL get a better, closer shot of him.  I know he runs past the pharmacy that gives out scabies shots (Hand Sanitizer...It's Not Just for Flu Season Anymore! June 4, 2012).  Maybe I'll just park there for a while and bring along my camera with the good zoom lens.

Incidentally, two older gentlemen sitting at the table next to us at the coffee shop saw me taking my pictures and both said, "Who is that guy?!  He's always running!"  Dude's a celebrity!

And without further ado, here are the first ever pictures of the elusive Shirtless Running Man:
There he is, at 5 o'clock from the traffic light.

Right next to the box truck.

Aaaaand...now about 7 o'clock from the same light.
And the pursuit continues.  

26 June 2012

In Pursuit of Shirtless Running Guy

I'm on a mission.  A very covert mission.  It is to obtain a photo of the enigmatic Shirtless Running Guy.  This is not your everyday guy out for a run, perhaps running with his shirt in his hand because he got too hot.  No, this is a much more advanced species.  Of his own design.

I started noticing him a few years back.  He runs the same route through our town every morning, rain or shine.  And if it's not the dead of winter, he's without a shirt.  And wearing very tiny shorts.  I noticed on an unusually hot morning last week that we can actually gauge the expected heat index by how early he is out in the morning and quite possibly also by the length of his shorts.  On that particular morning he was out extra-early and had on considerably shorter, lighter-weight, and flapping-open-to-show-your-junk running apparel.  And it ended up being a nasty, humid scorcher of a day.

When I mention him in conversation, I always get the same reaction:  "Yes!" people exclaim with a certain recognition in their eyes.  "I know exactly who you're talking about!"  So I am obviously not the only one who notices this guy.  But seriously, how can you miss him? 

OK...so I've described the running gear, or lack thereof.  But let's go a little further and delve into what adds to his certain je ne sais quoi:  
  • Dude always makes eye contact with you as you drive by him.  I mean always.  I mean in a really obvious way, like "I'm making eye contact with you because I know you're looking at me because I am so hotI AM SHIRTLESS RUNNING GUY!"
  • Dude is at least in his mid 50's to early 60's.  Now I'm not saying in any way is that old.  But to be showing off the way he does would be like me finding the shortest baby doll dress in a place like Forever 21 and wearing it to go grocery shopping.  Some things just don't float.
  • Dude is tan.  I mean New Jersey Tanning Mom tan.  Tan-in-a-Can tan.  That's-Not-Natural tan.  Maybe I'm just jealous.
In the winter months the outfit changes up a bit.  He does wear a shirt during the cold weather.  And electric blue Lycra running tights that let us know everything about him.   And these gloves that are huge and white and make his hands look like Hamburger Helper hands.  The tan remains, as does the constant eye contact.  Can't take those babies away from him.  Ever.

So now I'm getting friends from out of state who have not had the pleasure of seeing this guy up close and personal, asking me for pictures.  That's tough.  But I'm up for the challenge.  This is going to be even more difficult than trying to get a picture of the cat-walking couple that live down the street from me (See my post from June 13, 2012 if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about).  At least they don't make eye contact when I drive by.  Anyway, Running Guy always runs by the place where my friend and I meet for coffee on Thursday mornings.  Maybe I can nab a shot of him then, though our fellow caffeine addicts will probably think I'm some kind of perv or stalker or something.  The price you pay for some things.  All for Shirtless Running Guy.  To be continued.

18 June 2012

Of Buckets and Sauce, Poopies and Sweet Peas: A Language All Our Own

Today, I was mentioning to a good friend how I like to call Pippet all kinds of weird names (I found out that I'm not alone in this--she is just as guilty!).  Some of my more popular ones are "Smoochie-Moochie", "Skunky-Monkey", "Scooby-Dooby", and the most recent one, once "Shmoopie-Poopie" but now whittled down to just plain ol' "Poopie".  Jay especially hates this last one and makes fun of me whenever he hears me say it.  And now the term "Poopie" seems to have expanded to both of our dogs.  Last night, as I was heading upstairs to read, I asked Jay to let both of the "Poopies" out before he went to bed.  With what I can only describe as a frowning smirk (is there such a thing?) and uncontrollable eye-rolling he told me he would if I restated the question without using the awful-pet-name-from-hell. 

Why this name is so annoying when all of the other crazy names we use in this house are not, I cannot understand.  And our household obviously has some issues with proper nomenclature.  Our son's name is Alex.  We call him everything but:  "Albert", "Alvin", "Al", and even sometimes "Dennis", a name his friends insist on calling him (there's some long story that goes along with it that I still don't understand) and has even filtered down to his teachers and coaches.  Odd.   And our poor daughter has somehow become the target of food names from me:  Cookie, Sweet Pea, Sweet Potato.  At least some of them are healthy foods and not things like "Muffin Top" or "Twinkie."

Then there is Jay and his very own dictionary.  It consists of just a few words that he uses for everything.  It's kind of like how the Hawaiian language uses only certain letters.  Jay's vocabulary is likewise streamlined.   A "bucket" can mean anything from the water glass he is drinking from, to the gas can he uses for the lawn mower fuel, to the mailbox.  "Sauce" can mean salad dressing, water in his "bucket", or ceiling paint.  Living with him for 21 years has given me ample time to decode what he says with almost an ESP-like ability.  Once you get used to it, it's kind of like playing Wheel of Fortune.  Lots of rational figuring out and some guessing thrown in for good measure.
Hey--who drank all the sauce that was in this bucket?!
Writing this all out makes "Poopie" seem not so bad.  You know it's going to be one of those hard habits to break, just like the early 80's version of Chicago so cheesily sang about.  I just told Pippet to "be a nice Poopie."  If it bothers Jay too much he can always pour himself a bucket of strong "sauce" and tune me out, if not only for a little while! 

13 June 2012

When One's Creativity Is Another's Resource. Doh!

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

This idiom comes to mind after reading a friend's statement about his dislike of copycats.  I feel the same way he does.  And I totally disagree with the whole flattery thing.

Jay and I have an ongoing debate about this.  He thinks I should be flattered when my ideas are copied.  I so think otherwise.  And from what I've read in the past few weeks, there are a lot of people out there who think the same thing.  I've been reading a lot of posts on Twitter from bloggers whose ideas are being plagiarized.  I'm pretty sure I don't have to worry about that, but it stinks for the people it's happening to.

And I do know what it's like to have a wonderfully original idea--something totally individual--whether it is a style of handwriting/calligraphy I've come up with, a painting or drawing, or a funky decorating idea I've thrown together on my own, something that I'm really proud of for it being mine and only mine, and then seeing it again elsewhere.  What a downer!  It's only those specific ideas that get ripped off from me that get my dander up.  There's nothing worse than your own creativity being used like the reference section at the local library! 

And that's that.  The rant is officially over. 

Now, on an aside.  Speaking of being original and cats and such, there's this family a few houses down the street from us.  They have this giant  Maine Coon cat.  And whenever I drive by their house, they are out walking it on a leash!  Very funny to watch, especially if the cat is relieving him/herself and one of the owners is just standing there staring at the happenings.  Took me a few times of rubbernecking before I realized it was actually a cat and not a dog or a wombat or something.  I'm trying to figure out a way to surreptitiously get a picture of these goings-on without getting in trouble and being chased down by Monster-cat and its owner.  But if I do, I'll be sure to post any photos here first!
In the meantime, please enjoy this rendering:

12 June 2012

Those Incredible Talking Gardens and the Mean and Nasty Messages They're Sending Me

My gardens are sad.  At night, when all is quiet and the windows are open, I can practically hear them griping about the awful woman who lives just beyond the walls they surround.  "We'd be so beautiful if only she'd get off her lazy ass and perk us up a bit," they complain, sending spiteful vibes through the layers of shingles, framing, and drywall.  So it has come to this.  Guilt has led me to delusions of sulky, despondent flora.  That's not good.

I had such wonderful intentions back in May.  Once Memorial Day weekend arrived, I would spend a good portion of those three days in the gardens, cleaning and beautifying.  I'm not sure what I actually did instead.  I'm pretty sure some wine and our friends Ellen and Jason played a key factor in the change of plans, though.  It's that whole "...best laid plans of mice and men..." thing.  The point is, the gardens remained ignored the entire weekend and still remain as such. 

Now the problem is not just that they need "sprucing."  They need a total overhaul.  I have weeds growing out there that look like they should be living alongside a nuclear power plant.  And when things get so overgrown, who the heck knows what kinds of beasties are living among the leaves?  Jay has already found a snake living in our shed.  And it is still living there, apparently.  I just plan on making a lot of  noise whenever I need to go in there.  Which hasn't happened yet, as my gardens can easily attest that no garden tools have been removed from said shed. 

So, the daunting workload facing me and fear of creepies and crawlies aside, I am publicly pledging to have my gardens cleaned up one week from today.  I'm tired of listening to them bitch.  And to humiliate myself further, I am posting pictures of what these gardens look like right now, this very moment:
There's actually a holly bush somewhere in there.
Sage that has become so overgrown that it has flowered and gone to seed. 
What the WHAT?  Have no idea what this is.
Gooseneck Loosestrife.  My bane.
Not sure what this is, but it's in every single garden of mine.  In my crazy mind it has promise to grow pretty flowers, but I think it's just goldenrod or something like it.
Weeds gone to seed to spread their love elsewhere.
This sucker is shoulder-height.
Another one I have no clue about.  Almost looks like a vegetable.  Be careful of your side dishes at dinner, Jay.

So, now that I have totally exposed what an embarrassment these gardens are, I give you your mission:  Who will ask me on Tuesday, June 19th, to post pictures of my beautiful, cleaned-up gardens?  Go ahead.  I dare you.  You may get new pics, you may get a bunch of convoluted excuses.  That's the beauty of surprise!


05 June 2012

Don't We All Have Our Hermit Days?

Without getting too political, I just want to say that I believe that every individual has the right to believe what they want, from religion to politics to what toothpaste is best.  It's all part of being human, right? 

And that is why I respect the beliefs of the folks from a certain religious organization that come to my door once a month to chat me up a bit.  I don't say, "I'm not interested," and slam the door in their faces--they are people with feelings, after all.  But I don't bring them to believe that I am going to join them any time soon, either.  Jay thinks I'm giving them false hope.  I don't know.  But I do know that I can count on a visit from them monthly.  Like clockwork.

Yesterday was visit day.  I was tired from being kept up the night before by Jay shouting at the TV while he was watching the Celtics game.  And I was looking about as crappy as I was feeling.  The most interaction I wanted was with the electronic voice in the do-it-yourself checkout lane at the grocery store.  So, when I saw my guests' car pull into our driveway as I was finishing yesterday's blog post, I tiptoed over to the door, made sure it was locked and then just stood there, barely breathing.  I was paranoid that the woman (who happens to be a very kind and lovely person) was getting a vibe that I was only mere feet away from her with only inches of wall separating us.  So I got down on my hands and knees and crawled into the kitchen and sat on the floor in the corner against the cabinets.  I'm not sure why I felt the need to crawl--there was no way anybody could see me from our door or our driveway.  It did give me a sense of adventure, though.  Kind of like I was Julia Roberts in that movie, "Sleeping with the Enemy," but with a total lack of violence, mean people, and OCD.
My covert hiding spot.  Remind me to clean under the stove the next time I wash the floors.

The doorbell eventually rang followed by a knock, and Pippet went through her usual spazzy barking, grunting, whining, groaning, and jumping.  Then she got really confused because I wasn't getting up from my comfy spot on the floor and going to answer the door.  So she stood there staring at me with her head tilted, totally mute.  I was afraid the woman would figure out somebody was in the house because the dog was suddenly quiet, so I prodded Pippet to "go get 'em." She did some more barking and eventually my visitors left, providing me with some literature tucked behind the doorknob.  And I was free to continue being my unsocial self.

And here's the clincher:  The last two summers have brought about an increase in door-to-door sales in my neighborhood.  From new internet/cable/phone service sales people to college students selling magazines and textbooks, I can depend on at least a few visits over the next two months.  I feel bad saying "no" to these people, but I really have no interest in what they're selling.  Between sales people and my monthly house call from the holy world, I think I might be spending lots of time in my little corner.  I could even make it more appealing:

Luxe hiding.
So, if you are planning a visit over the summer, call me first.  I'll make sure to answer the door.

04 June 2012

Hand Sanitizer...It's Not Just for Flu Season Anymore!

So first there were the warts and lice.  And I have just this morning noticed a new crop of signs which have popped up at another pharmacy. 
Who knew that shingles shots were such a hot commodity?  I'm waiting for a scabies panic next.  And that's why I'm going to buy a few gallons of Purell.