The House of Flying Monkeys

… but they seemed so normal…

Archive for the ‘The Duchy on Derbyshire’

The Ubiquitous “Thankful” Post

So, everybody and their arthritic Uncle (or Aunt, since most bloggers are women) has been doing these incredibly pithy or pious and occasionally serious “Daily Thankful” posts on their facebook pages and blogs this month… you know, to remind us daily how much more pious and serious their lives are than ours? Yeah, that’s my take-away. But then again, I hate the dreaded Christmas letter too. Remember, it’s because I think you’re doing it to show off… sort of like using an airbrushed picture for your facebook profile pic.

Give it up, mkay? We all know your life isn’t that perfect… really.

Anyway, because I live pretty honestly, my thoughts on this trend for most people who’ve been doing it have been something along the lines of… cough, cough, bullshit, cough, cough Yeah. I’m cynical like that. But, just because I call bullshiz on you, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. In fact the list of things I’m grateful for daily would fairly stagger the mind.

Like not having the opportunity to get out of the car and beat the snot out of that guy who cut me off three times on I-4.

Or that Starbucks never seems to run out of Mochas.

Or the happy fact that I didn’t have to have that conversation that happened on a friend’s facebook page with that teabaggin’ jackwagon in person. Yeah, he better be thankful for that one too… logic and reason will always defeat teh stupid. Always. And besides, I’d really hate to make his stupidy stupid head blow up. And it would… like the man says: “the truth shall set you free, but first it’ll piss you off!”

So those are just three of the millions of things for which I thank God every day.

And, BTW, you should too. Just sayin.

But although all those things are extremely important, right now there’s two things that might seem sort of odd that are at the very top of my personal “thankful” list:

1) Dirty Dishes


2) Dirty Laundry

I know, SRSLY?? WTH?? Who in their right mind is thankful for stuff like that? Right? And the answer is… Me. And you too, after you read my reasons for that gratitude.

You see, if you look closely at the world around you today, you’ll discover people who are sometimes right next door, living in a world very different from ours. A world where both of those items aren’t always around. And that’s when have to take a moment to remember what both of those items represent – clothes on our backs and food on our tables. Today, folks, not everybody has that luxury, and to me that’s sad. But figuring that out also means that I’ve changed my perspective, and from this new perspective I’m very thankful for the odd things.

Things like having a big old crazy family that can drive me completely insane faster than anything in the world. Or three dogs that are constantly farting and making our house smell like something died, right under there. And then there’s my husband who continually reminds me why marriage is considered an institution. Or, those aforementioned dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and that ever-growing laundry pile lurking in the closet, because we’re blessed with both.

All of those things are signs of the Angels amongst us, but they’re Angels with dirty faces and scraped knees, or blessings in disguise. Because, remember, everything is perspective. Even blessings.

So perspective? This year you might want to get some. And then you need to remember what’s really important. Like those dishes in the sink, and the bounty of riches they represent in your life. Not work, riches. Proof indeed that you are blessed, if only you had eyes that could see that in the right light.

Perspective? I have it. Blessings? By the sink and hamper-full. And this Thanksgiving I wish you the same blessing – may your sink & your hamper be full to overflowing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Life in the (not-so) Fast Lane…

Yep… that’s us.  Well, one of us anyway, the other one might indeed be a hostage…

Who’s to say, right?

And, by the way, I know Don Pardo isn’t dead, but either he’s retired to Florida and moved in with us or he’s channeling himself through Bob.  Because, seriously, all he’s done for the last two days is mutter “a brand new car” as he meanders around my house.

Of course, he’s not doing it with Don’s amazing elan, but still… every time he says it I feel like I should be spinning a wheel or picking between a brightly decorated box on a table or the curtain that Carol is standing in front of.


And with all that, I’m pleased (?) to announce that yes, Facebook and the Twitters have been telling the truth,  we do indeed have a new car.

Oohh, ahhhh…

Yeah, anything that big needs sound effects… don’cha think?

Well, okay, maybe not, because we’re not driving a Lambo or anything quite so “exotic”. Instead I’d say that this car purchase has put us solidly into the category of “damned near old” because we bought the perennial favorite of the 60+ crowd- a 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid. And before you say it again, I know it’s “practical and reliable”, and I also know well that we’ve taken a huge step toward saving the planet with our “greenie” sensibility.

Yeah yeah yeah.

I’m well aware of all those stellar qualities. But, I think we can all agree that it’s not, how shall I put it? Exciting? Fun? Moving faster than either of us after an extra dose of Metamucil?  Yeah, it’s none of those.

And about the last one? No, I’m not that far gone yet… but Bob is.

And I’m also pretty sure that this car is going to sic the AARP Recruitment Team all over us… that is if it doesn’t come with an automatic membership included.  Hey AARP!  Pro tip right there.  Send me a check later.

But, yeah, despite my grumbling, it was time to make the change, what with the XTerra having 194,000 miles on it and me commuting 120 miles every day in an SUV that gets 22 mpg.  So, finally I got serious about researching, then found “The Old White Mare” at Toyota of Lakeland on Friday, and on Saturday we bought it.

Exactly that fast. Wow.

And on a sidenote, can I just tell you guys that buying something like a car simply terrifies me? I have no problem dropping $200 at Coach or $4 at Starbucks for my precious Mochas but get me into a car dealership and I start having panic attacks.


And I know that panic is directly related to my knowing that- despite my extensive research and pretty decent negotiation skills- I’m going to get screwed… and I’m not getting dinner or flowers, forget about jewelry!

And you in the back there can quit laughing, because you were too.  Yeah, you were, trust me, they always win. It’s like Vegas… if they’re doing so badly then how do they afford to build new casinos?


But, to be sure, it’s that total dread of the entire process that explains why I did most of the research online via and other sites, got pricing and made an appointment to drive the car Saturday AM via email, and we then showed up at the dealership IN THE CAR WE WEREN’T GOING TO TRADE IN. Yeah, we drove the other car. Because I really didn’t intend to do this deal. Instead, I intended to put it off for another 3 or 4 months, just like I’ve been doing since we first started discussing it in July.

I had a plan. Ignoring things is a plan, right? Right.

But anyway, despite my best subconscious efforts to sabotage this deal, we did it. Mainly because they gave us exactly what I wanted in trade for Bob’s car, and they came down on the price of the new car by $4400, and they threw in the free floormats.

I think we did pretty well.

But in spite of that negotiation success I can’t get past the mental picture of the car I really wanted from their lot- a 2010 Mini Cooper S with a 6 speed manual transmission oh, and the standard option of more fun per square inch than three barrels of monkeys! When I looked at it I could visualize Mabel riding shotgun, with a nifty pair of Doggles and maybe a jaunty hat. Somehow, though, neither of us could visualize Bob sitting in there with us.  So, because it didn’t work for Bob, it’s still there on the lot and we’ve got “The Old White Mare”.

In white, with the beige interior, because that’s what old people in Florida buy, because it’s practical.


And just to add to my aggravation, while we sedately motor down the road to TED socks and Tri-focals, according to the dealership Bob’s old XTerra might finally be having the time of it’s life somewhere down in the jungles of south America or the middle east.  Possibly it’s going to become a member of the Cartels, maybe running drugs or guns, or something exciting like that, until of course it either hits a landmine and gets blown to smithereens or dies in a shootout with the other bad guys.

Wow! What a way to go!  Maybe Bob should have made a package trade – me & the XTerra for the Camry and a spot at the best Assisted Living Center in Lakeland?

And that in a nutshell is the problem with living with me. Inside the mild-mannered Soccer Mom disguise lurks the heart of a forever-young and reckless revolutionary… who isn’t really moving all too gracefully into her old age.

Um, no.

So, while Bob won the battle this time with his “practical and reliable” bull-shizzle, you can bet that next time I’m not giving up gracefully. I want cute, fun, and fast. And I really don’t care about the order.  After all, isn’t a life well-lived the most important thing? Quality, not quantity.

Even if you can’t tell that from the outside, that’s me – Supergirl – thwarted for now, but plotting her next big move.

But for now, since I’ve always been the “Lemons to Lemonade” type, if you’ll excuse me for a bit I think I’ve got some customizing to do.  I’m thinking some tasteful flames on the sides, maybe a few pinstripes, finished up with a neon undercar kit and a nice set of two-tone Spinners.

Happy motoring!

First World Problems…

Also known as the post where you all collectively delete me from your Feedreader… if indeed anybody other than Troglodytes like me (and Bob) still use arcane things like Feedreaders.

  • Honey Badger Jr. – our youngest dog – won’t move her head off my keyboard so I can blog.  Her muzzle is resting on the backspace key and she keeps deleting my text.
  • I’ve got to go through the entire house and turn off all the ceiling fans because the A/C repair was a late night jury rigging to get it working until the part can be found.  Now the A/C fan runs continually.  Double fans = double electricity.
  • Locating the perfect School Supplies this year is being very difficult.  Looking for the perfect Black & White color combo… three stores later? The imperfect version has been obtained.  Still looking, so if you see them, let me know.  The perfect school supplies are key to optimum classroom performance.  Trust me, I know these things.
  • I am failing miserably at regaining any control over the whole fitness thing.  I’ve not gained any weight, but this heat is completely demotivating me to even attempt the running.  Hopefully I can sort out the balance thing in the coming weeks.  I need motivation.  Size 10 to 12 clothes, it appears, is not that motivation.  And besides, running is not comfortable when you have oversized bewbs.  Make a note, another area in which I can be considered an expert.
  • Our visit from in-laws was a roaring success, for them, but for me – I’m still mixed.  However, I have to state that I am beyond flattered that my Mother-in-Law stayed at my home instead of in a hotel.  Family lore goes that she never stayed at Bob’s house during his first marriage, instead always staying in a hotels, and usually they were ones that were located miles away from Bob and his family.  So for her to stay in my home, that’s a really nice thing.  I guess I’ll never completely understand my in-laws, but I am finally accepting that I’m not supposed to.  I’m just supposed to accept them as-is.  Just like I wish they’d do for us.
  • The prices on my books for next term is causing me much stress.  Not too many cheap alternatives that I’ve located thus far.  But I’ve got a huge stack of “Sell Back” stuff, so I may have enough credit to cover the tab. Note to Publishers – not all of us have the Pell Grant.  You might want to keep that in mind when you price this stuff.

There, that’s what’s rattling in my head for today.  Oh, there’s lots more.  I can’t even begin to articulate how angry I will be if a default prevention deal contains no new tax revenues.  But, kids, that’s another post for another day.


It’s a Magical Frickin’ Day!

But, isn’t it always?

Er, right…moving along…

But anyway, today was important.  And not because it was the day of my first Big Science Test (in scary capital letters, with lots of underlining to match the dark circles under my eyes because I was up late last night studying).

Oh. Hell. No.

Today was magical, with a sparkly capital M, because this was the day I renewed my Disney Annual Pass.

And truly it should be circled in red along with the aforementioned sparkles on my calendar what with the importance those passes have around here.    Because there’s a lot of things I spend money on every year (harumph, hmph, Starbucks) but my Disney Pass might just be the best thing I own.

The. Best. Thing. I. Own.

Yeah, that good.

I know, seriously, it’s just a theme park, right?

Um, wrong.

So wrong.

But anyway, after forty eleven minutes spent with Tech Support (time she’ll never get back either, sorry nice lady who had the misfortune of taking my call) once again I’m legal, for another 12 months of magical sugary goodness. Oh, and Unicorn Poop, and everything else I love about that damned place… and you know there’s so very much.

Like reliving a tiny bit of my childhood when I rode Dumbo with my younger Sister in 2007, while Wishes exploded over our (much older) heads, and I remembered back to being 8 and 4 and doing the same thing, together.  PS we still want to stay up at the top, because if you aren’t the lead Elephant then the view never changes. Must be where Kaylea gets it, eh?  And, of course, this year’s big moment when I saw my husband actually smile after he conquered his fear of Roller Coasters on Space Mountain, with his Daughter, who he had never ridden a coaster with in her entire 19 years of life.  And, of course, there’s walking by the Rose Garden at the Yacht Club or French Island on the World Showcase at EPCOT and remembering our completely magical wedding there four years ago (Geez oh pete, four years, really? Damn!)  Yep, every time I hear “Zip A Dee Doo Dah” I remember coming back down the aisle, hand-in-hand, with the man I love.  And, of course, there’s the tipsy meanders around the Showcase during Food & Wine Festival.  As well as the magic of the parks dressed up for Christmas, and standing on Main Street or on New York Street in the lightly falling “snow” and listening to Christmas Carols.

I could go on and on.  Because some of my nicest, most treasured memories are wrapped up in that “100 acre wood”.  Trips as a child, as a teen, as an adult.  And I simply cannot wait to take my first Grandchild, show them the magic, make them a believer in magic, in “wishing upon a star”, just like me!  And I guess that’s what surprises me when I hear that someone has never been to Disney.  How the heck does that happen?  Seriously?  For me that would be like never ever getting to go back home.  Because just as much as my family is a part of my “home” so too is Disney.  I’ve been going since Grand Opening Day in 1971.  Yes, when I was 7, and this year I’ll be 47 and most of the time this “being a grown up” business is way overrated.  But whenever that “adult” crap gets me down I simply go get in the car and drive over to visit “the mouse” and suddenly I’m 7, sitting impatiently on the backseat of Mom & Dad’s car, twitching with excitement about the day I know we’re going to have.

I know, it’s silly, but that’s how I always feel.  Even 40 years later.  And that’s a feeling I hope I never lose.

And you might think it’s nothing but commercial claptrap and hooey, and you certainly are allowed to feel that way, but I don’t.  I still think it’s magic.  And I believe if you took the time to go with me, and saw it through my eyes, saw the memories I see everywhere I look there, you’d understand.

Maybe just maybe you’d see the magic too.

I hope so.

But even if you don’t see what I see there, I hope for your sake there’s somewhere in your world that is like Disney is for me.


Life needs magic in order to be lived.  We need to remember our inner child.  Don’t ever forget how to smile and laugh.

Just like you did 40 years ago.

See?  It’s magic!

Wow, time flies!

Where were we anyway?  Oh yeah, since it’s been like forever since I wrote anything on here, there’s so much you guys (yeah, I’m talking to you Mr. Spammer in Russia, since you appear to be the only one still reading this thing) don’t know about us these days.

Well, actually, most of you know pretty much everything, since you do read my twitter mumblings and my Facebook urps.  Or maybe you don’t.  I’m not sure anymore, since I just figured out that both my Brother and my Niece are no longer following me on Facebook.

Yeah, nice way to be observant, eh?

And what does it say about you that you’ve been unfollowed by family members…

Is it them?  Or me?  Or should this even matter?


This, I think, is now my first world problem.  And, of course, this isn’t something that caused any angst at all ten years ago. I blame you Mark Zuckerberg for creating problems that didn’t exist before and adding them to my giant list of kvetchings! Because, back in the day, you just had a big screaming fight at Christmas that may or may not have involved Ranch Dressing and Celery Sticks or Carrots (who can remember all the petty details?) and then you didn’t speak for three years but you did tell everybody in the extended family what an unspeakable “jacka55” the offending party was at every.single. family get-together you attended during the family togetherness hiatus. 

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. 

No, not at all.

But anyway… apparently I’ve said or done something to offend… oh well. Shit happens.  Especially in families.  Moving on.

Anyway, the short current affairs update from here?  Well, because I’m helpful like this, here’s the bullet points, in no differentiated order, which you can read or not, but since you’re here, maybe you should consider it? But anyway:

  • Bob has a new job as an Academic Advisor with a for-profit university in Tampa and he absolutely loves it!  Apparently counseling barely literate and rather out-of-the-norm college students to stay in school and “keep their eyes on the prize” is his niche, who knew?  Anyway, I’m happy for him, happy for our bank account, and really happy for our TVs because he spent his “funemployment” boring the crap our of them with the director’s cuts of every old, excruciating movie we own.  On a sidenote, my upcoming yardsale will have an extensive video department.  Not that this is related to the above-mentioned issue.  No, not at all. 😉
  • Two weeks after Bob started his new gig I became temporarily “funemployed” from my temp job.  And, of course, because I’m me, this situation that has caused me more sleepless nights than you could ever imagine.  Yes, that’s so totally me because normal people would be thrilled to get a 3 mo. paid vacation from work but I’ve spent mine worrying about the whole “I’m on unemployment and that makes me worthless” issue.  Seriously.  I know, again, first world problem.  But I’m like that.
  • I finished my first semester back in college in December, with two A’s no less, which caused an interesting conversation with my DD (a successful Sophomore at UTC) when she opined that “older students (not that I’m calling you old, but you are older, and hey, this whole conversation is so totally turning into an uncomfortable minefield and will you please quit staring at me with those laser beam eyes) seem to do a whole lot better than younger ones in college.”  Um, well, yeah sweetie, we do.  It’s that whole “life experience” thing I think.  We “older” students treat school like work – which it is – and at work if you fail it may mean living in your car and eating at soup kitchens.  So, yeah, life experience?  It’s a kickass teacher. 
  • On the whole school subject, I also started second semester yesterday, with my butt in a classroom seat for two of my five classes no less.  And when the smartass Professor teaching my Math Topics class was covering refresher lessons on “Sets” he referred us back to High School Algebra.  LOL funny guy, high school Algebra for me was back the 80’s.  You know, back when Cocaine and Pot were both still friendly, happy drugs that wouldn’t ever hurt you, when we actually thought big hair looked “bitchin'”, and when we actually thought all those bright colors in Miami Vice made for the most excellent weddings we could imagine!  Oh, and that was also back when I still had those several million brain cells I think I killed with Tequila Shots and dancing to bad music at Sweetwater’s, JR’s, and Michael’s.  So, hey, I’m pretty sure I took Algebra back then, but I couldn’t testify as to whether I learned anything.  At his reference, you’ll all be happy to know that I spoke up and told him it had been a while for some of us so maybe he could illuminate the point a little better for the handicapped old people.  Yep, still got those Dale Carnegie skills… mad skillz in fact.  This should be very interesting.  As for my second class, Earth Science, well, what exactly can you say about studying sticks and rocks?  The dogs may need to tutor me since they carry in the equivalent of an entire ecosystem every time I leave the Sliding Door open.  One thing I did note about the Professor is that apparently living behind the Iron Curtain for lo those many years leaves some scars.  The whole “do not record my lectures, you cannot legally record anybody without their permission” speech was amusing but more than a little annoying to those of us who invested a damned fortune in one of those shiny Pulse pens (see diatribe on being old and missing brain cells for explanation).  So, apparently she wants me to use that handy new invention, the Pencil, and actually take real notes.  We shall see.
  • And last but not least, (I know, seriously, I really need to write more often, now you see why I don’t do a Christmas Holiday Letter… just. too. much.) we have a new dog – Heidi – that we’re still trying to fit into our household.  She’s another French Bulldog (of seriously questionable lineage, but we’re letting her hold onto the myth), she embodies everything you ever feared about “free” dogs (there’s a reason, trust me on that), she suffers from “poorly socialization” (Bob says Hitler and Stalin dealt with the same condition so she’s in good company), and has been a general terror for the other two dogs.  But other than that, everything is going great! Cough, cough, get off that couch, cough. Well, except for the whole “going into heat 3 days after we got her” thing, and the whole “I’m gonna’ whup yer damned ass” fighting thing she started, oh and the whole “will they or won’t they neuter this damned dog already” thing.  But now, I’m happy to report, we’re all students in Dog Obedience Classes (the two dogs who were here first are not so much about the “happy” with this becz they very nearly had us trained to their commands and then their plan went to hell with the arrival of cue ominous music Farah), and new dog is finally neutered and starting to settle down a bit (but not until after a Pro-Life Kennel worker at our local humane society gave me lots of unwanted details about how they go about aborting baby dogs because we weren’t sure whether she might already be wearing a “puppies on board” teeshirt or whether she just had a naturally puffy Volvo Vulva).  Just like that, viola, our Dog Feng Shui is almost balanced.  Almost.  Three lessons to go.  Thus far we’ve got an almost consistent sit, a sort of willing down, and we still can’t walk all three at the same time.  But, they are off the couch, as long as we’re in the room, and they don’t fight as much, and the last time they ran off they all came back.  Yay. I think.

So, in short, life is pretty normal around here.  Or something that might vaguely resemble normal.  Or as normal as it gets around here anyway.  And in other news, the Earth is still round. 

Wow. You know, when I type it all up like that, all of it just looks so mundane.  So average.  Maybe somebody should give us the Nobel Prize for Boring… but then again, we’d probably put them to sleep while they read our qualifications and no voting would get done. 

You know I might be on to… ZZZZZZZZZZZ

Why didn’t we do this sooner?

So, yesterday, a Saturday, was the first of those (Saturdays) that I had been home for in over a month.  Yeah, really, September was a traveling month kiddies.  Lots of mileage logged.  Too much.

But anyway, we were home this Saturday and boy did we make it worth it.  We moved furniture, cleaned out a closet, and generally made ourselves seriously useful… all for the betterment of our nest.

Have I mentioned that I love our house?  Really love it?  Yeah, I do.  but I wasn’t loving some move-in decisions we made last December.  Like the one that involved us having to leash-walk all three dogs (yes, 3, keep up m’kay? She’s been here a while now) every time we have company.  Oh, and the one that involved us having to put both dog kennels in the Dining Room.  That one really sucked.

And, yes, both kennels are now in use, it’s only a trial separation we hope, but that’s a whole ‘nother tale.

Anyway, we’d been discussing some redesign ideas, involving cramming our guests into a space only slightly larger than a Japanese motel where the beds are in those drawer things, but we had hesitated because, well, because we’re Southern?  Hospitality?  Because we’re idiots?  Yeah, probably the latter.  But the former started the latter.  But then, when I was lecturing an older co-worker about not supporting a huge home just for thrice-yearly overnight visitors, I realized I had done something very similiar in my own “glass” house, and here I was, lobbing rocks.

So, after some consideration, and the decision to dump some belongings via our December Yard Sale (mark it on your calendar – bargains galore, 4 families, lots o’ treasures!) we finally pulled the trigger on moving the guest room into the small closet/bedroom and gave ourselves the luxury of the space in the former Guest Suite for our home office and the dog room.

What took us so long?

It’s perfect!  My treadmill faces two windows, Bob and I share a window right between our desks, there’s room for all our stuff, and the Dog Kennels are right beside the Patio Door.  And, lest any potential guests get nervous, there was still enough room in the former office for a Queen size Bed, the Armoire, and a nighttable.  Plus, you have HD TV!  That’s better than the Motel 666… no burning goats or anything here! But, of course, now I feel the need to issue a little note to future overnight Guests at Casa de Weiner.

Dear Guests:

No, you do not have the largest room in our house.  Sorry.  You don’t even have the second largest room in the house either, and again, sorry.  Yes, we realize that people might think it’s terribly selfish, but, hey, we’re okay with that.  We live here, in all our noisy, uproarious mayhem, and we need the space.  Come visit any time you like… but know that you’re visiting our home.

Thanks and know that we love you!

Bob & Missy – Lulu, Mabel, & Heidi

Modrun world?

Yep, that it is… around here anyway.  "Why?" You ask?  Well because yesterday we got us a brand spanky new Dishwasher!!!


Because, you know, we’ve been here for 2 months and we haven’t had one in all that time.

Well, other than me. 

And Bob.

But I don’t think he qualifies for the title of Dishwasher with all the honors and accolades that go with that august title.  Yeah, because I caught him just rinsing the dishes in hot water.  Not actually washing them.  So I don’t think that qualifies as "washing".  I believe you have to actually put the sponge on the dish in order to be considered washing.

Everybody, all together now…


There is a little of the shine gone from the moment because I had to threaten the Rental Agency in order to get my new household helper. 

I told them, and I quote…

I don’t care if you bring in a small child to do nothing but stand on a step stool and wash dishes all day long, I need something in this house that washes dishes that doesn’t look like me!

Yeah, I’m a barrel of Monkeys to deal with.  Just ask Bob. 

But, don’t demand, don’t get.  And thus, the brand spanky new dishwasher.


Today Dishwashers, tomorrow a new dog door?

A girl can dream.

Hey! That’s my navel! I can see it!

And I’m looking at it right now because I’m feeling the need for some introspection. Because I got an email two days ago that has really made me see some new realities about me and my life today.  Today I guess I finally started recognizing and accepting the fact that my life has changed.

I am getting older.

Getting. Older.

And I don’t know about you but those are some really scary words for me to type or write. Or even say or think.

And, truly, the glimmering dawn of this realization is causing me untold angst like I haven’t had in a very long time.  And the cause of all this drama? Oh, a little thing. Well, okay, maybe not so little, but then again probably it is. Because that email was from a Recruiter. For a very large company. That is currently hiring my dream job. That rolls up every position I’ve ever had and allows me to use all that experience in one job. In a field that is probably as safe as anything out there.  And the skills I would be able to grab from this would kick me completely up to the next level, and probably solve any financial issues we will ever have. And it’s in a perfect location for us – low crime, great education system, cultured, urbane, liberal. Wait, let me retype that last one – LIBERAL. And the company? It’s truly stellar. Great work environment, amazing corporate culture, creative and nurturing environment, and highly supportive management. It’s like a Google or Microsoft on first blush. It’s the level of company that is really hard to find anymore.

But there’s one problem.

Isn’t there always? Yeah, always.

Never can anything that good be perfect, never. Because the problem is in the category of “dealkiller”. Because the perfect company, with the perfect job, is in a great location for some people. But not for me.  Nope.  Because that perfect job, with the awesome company? Is in Madison, WI.

Jeebus help me, Madison, WI.  Ugh.

Yeah, that place would probably be classified as the sock capitol of the world. And it is also in the running for one of the cold weather capitols too.

Can you say BRRRRRRRRRR?

But there was a day when the only concern would have been the weather, and that would have only been a blip on my radar. It wouldn’t have even slowed me down. I wouldn’t have had any angst, over anything. Back in that day, this would have been a done deal. In fact, I would have probably sent them my resume yesterday and started packing my boxes today. But that day isn’t this day. That day is long gone. That day was fifteen years ago. Not today.

And that’s why I’m so angsty over this, because there’s a part of me that really wants to be fifteen years younger. Not fifteen years older like I am today. Because then I could move on this opportunity quickly, without any concern for anything.

Anything other than the whole sock issue, that is.

But I can’t. Move on this, that is. For a few reasons, all of which are because of the fact that today I am older. And growing older means you get baggage that you didn’t have when you were younger. Things like two parents and two step-parents who are all growing older too. And none of them will ever be accused of having what I would call spectacular health. And trust me when I tell you that it’s already a concern that none of them live closer than 7 hours away. So, 18 hours? That’s not even something I can consider. So, that means that this email? And this dream job? They’ll be staying in the dream category. Because all the negatives rolled together make this a no.

Well, all that, and the fact that I like our life here. There’s that too. Because I really do. Like our life here that is. It’s very good actually. We are at peace. And I can see us growing old here. And that’s something I’ve never envisioned anywhere. Because I wasn’t going to do that. Grow old. But I am. Slowly but surely, whether I like it or not. And at this stage in my life, with possibly more of it behind me than there is left to go, I have to remember the important things. The things that count. The people that count.

Which means… (drumroll please) … I’m getting older.

So as much as I’d like to say "yes, yes, pick me pick me!!!"… I’m saying no. Because I don’t live to work. I work to live. I am more than my job or any career success (which bytheway is fleeting at best).  I am my life – with all those people in it, and I wouldn’t trade anything for that life.

Not even that Treehouse Conference Room or the gourmet Cafeteria.

Yeah, really. I know. WTF?

Love & Marriage – Part the 1 millionth

Yet another conversation yesterday as we sorted, categorized, and alphabetized the DVDs: 


Him: How are you filing this stack?  

Her: Oh, those are all classics, they go together.  

Him: I understand 12 Angry Men & Gone with the Wind but Apocalypse Now? Really?  How do you figure?  

Her: It’s easy, they’re all old.    

Him: Okay, so old equals Classic.  Well then, I’m old, am I a classic?  

Her: No, you’re mostly just weird, with a little Ass Hat thrown in for fun.  I’d definitely file you under Indies.


And yes, in my house all the DVDs are categorized and alphabetized. I know, amazing.  It’s probably one of my more endearing OCD traits.  And he doesn’t share it.  So you can imagine the fun we have with this one…


(which is the sound my head makes when it explodes after I find The Dark Knight misfiled – again – under either B for "Batman" or D for "Don’t care where it goes" or H for "I’m in a hurry and I’m just stuffing this in wherever, she’ll never notice".)

That’s 2 hours and 4 fingernails I won’t get back

Welcome to Saturday!  In the coldest place on Earth – relatively speaking anyway.  And in honor of that cold, we’re staying home and unpacking.  And cleaning as we sort and unpack.  And pitching out a bunch of crap.  A bunch. 

Yeah, really.

I know, you’re shocked.  We’ve been the poster children for hoarders for so long, why change now?  Why?  Well, because it was time.  Because I’m tired of carrying around a bunch of dead weight.  On my butt and in my boxes. 

There’s a trend here.

Anyway, today’s victim was the bathroom.  And boy is it organized and cleaned out now!  Yay us!

But when I started the cleaning all I could say was…


Because whoever Sista Woman was who lived here before?  She had her some long wildebeest hair.  And she had a 2 can a day Aquanet habit to go with that furry mess.

No kidding.

I had to seriously spray down all the tile with scrubbing bubbles, let it soak, sponge it off, then spray the Earth-friendly treehugger spray I would prefer to use all the time.  And then I sponged that off and paper toweled the whole mess. 

And that was after I soaked the Plantation blind in Clorox in the bathtub for an hour. 

Yeah.  A whole hour.

And lets’ don’t even get into me having to use my Scum Buster to scrub the tile around and behind the toilet.  Disgusting doesn’t even begin to describe that.  I think I threw up a little when I had to touch the hairs. 

All. The. Hairs.

But it’s clean now.  Next!