Friday, August 31, 2007

New brown towels

I've discovered that new choocoate brown towels leave new chocolate brown lint everywhere.

Including on me.

Even after washing them twice.

I'm just saying.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Education Reform

I've had it. And it's time that we all took a stand against the atrocity known as our education system.

I'm not concerned about how our children are educated. They learn stuff eventually. What they can't learn, they probably don't really need to know anyway. It's fine.

No, what I am concerned about is the TRAFFIC.

School starts and suddenly I can't get to work on time. One day I have a peaceful 20-minute drive to work. A time to prepare myself for the day. A time to think, find peace . . . and also to sing in the car.

Then out of nowhere, there are cars everywhere. I can't think. I can't even sing. I'm sitting at a light for 10 minutes, stuck staring at some idiots World Peace bumper stickers from 1991 until I am pretty sure I was never in favor of World Peace, where yesterday I sailed right through the same intersection without a problem.

Now, I am not exactly sure why this phenomenon happens. But it is most disturbing. It's like when school starts, people in cars multiply on the same roads that I've been using everyday without hassle. It's like people are sitting at home for three months, then all of a sudden on the first day of school they decide they need to drive around in morning rush hour traffic . . . . just for kicks.

They don't have kids. They just decide it's time to drive around and get in my way.

So, I ask you. Where are our priorities? WE, the working folks of America (and the world), are the people who keep the world running. WE are the ones who have places to be, things to do, jobs to do, money to make, and children to feed and clean so that they can even go to school in the first place. When you hinder how I do what I do, my quality of life suffers. And consequently, when my quality of life suffers, the quality of life of everyone around me suffers, too.

I blame our education system for anytime that I yell at someone while I'm at work from now until next May.

What I propose is this: Children should only be in school when I am not at work.

The summer months are fantastic. No school = No traffic. I have no problems getting to work when the children are not learning. Therefore, I am much happier and much more productive at work when I don't have to spend extra time in the morning being angry at cars. And children.

So, chlldren should only be in school for three months at a time. Three months on, three months off. Likewise, grown-ups should only work for three months at a time. Three months on, three months off. Of course, the months at work are the same three months that the children are not in school. And vice-versa.

Next, children should go to school starting after 5:00pm. When I go home from work, the kids can be in school. That way I am not competing for the road with crazy parents trying to get their children to school. Kids stay up late anyway, and from what I hear, it is a beating to get children to go to bed at a decent hour. So, if they're up and running around, why not make that time into productive time?

Put them in school so they can work our their energy and maybe learn something. Then when they get home at one or two o'clock in the morning, they'll be too pooped to terrorize you at home. They'll go right to sleep, then sleep most of the day while you are at work.

It's also a money saver for the schools. It is cooler at night. You won't have to run the a/c as much if the kids are in school at night.

I really think this plan will work if we can rise up, infiltrate our local school systems with this plan, and keep after it until we begin to see change in our communities.

It's time that we took a stand. It's time that we take the roads back. It's time that the children are not in charge of my days.

I don't even have kids. So right now, I am blaming your children for the past four days of ridiculous traffic, being late to work, and being angry when I get there.

I know you don't want me mad at your kids. But only you can fix this.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dear Auggie and Tessa,


Crazy Auntie T-Dawg

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another commercial that doesn't make sense

You know the commercial with the cartoon giraffe Mom and the Airwick air-freshener? Does anyone else find it weird that her two children are warthogs?

Um, how does that even happen? Seriously.

Are we supposed to believe that this girl giraffe did it with a dude warthog, and now she's got warthog babies? And that's the reason why her house is stinky?

This teaches children that giraffes and warthogs can . . . um . . . well, there are birds and bees and . . . . well, you know.

Warthog babies.

I'm sorry, but if this is truly the situation, Mom Giraffe's biggest problem isn't really the stink of the house.

It's that she has illegitimate warthog babies. Why are we not focusing on that, people??

Ain't no Airwick that can fix that situation.


A new frog

I have a new frog. He has taken up residence near my water spigot.

I know he is a new frog because he has all four of his legs . . . unlike the frog I unintentionally weed-whacked a couple of years ago.

He was down to three legs. And he didn't like me very much.

I plan not to weed-whack this new frog. I am trying to make friends with him. And to go over the rules with him. The rules are very important.

Rule #1: If you take a vacation over to the air-conditioner, tell me before I get out the weed-whacker. If I know where you are, I have a better chance of not whacking you.

That's pretty much the only rule.

Part of me wants to name him. You know, to help our friendship. But part of me doesn't want that connection with him. I'm not sure I can handle losing another frog friend.

Perhaps I will just call him Legs.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Salad

Circa Seinfeld, 1990s.

One of my favorie things to do is go to the grocery store, raid the vegetable department, then I go home and make a giant salad that I will then proceed to eat for the next day or so. It's kind of a race to eat all of the salad before it goes bad. So I will tend to eat nothing but salad until either I win, or the salad wins.

I call this event, Big Salad.

I am pretty particular about my salads. I do not like any of those crazy veggies that have unidentified origins, that get tangled up on the way down, or that I can't pronounce. You will not catch me with any bokchoy in my salad.

I stick to the basics: lettuce (and not the kind that looks like something you pulled off of a tree, or found in the yard), tomatoes, carrots, green bell pepper, cucumber, mushrooms. And of course, cheese.

Everything is better with cheese.

Since I have started my Big Salad ritual, I've discovered that I am just too busy (or possibly too lazy) to be bothered with chopping things. This is sometimes a problem when it comes to salad, since the very essence of the salad is in the bite-sized pieces of a variety of vegetables.

So, I buy as many veggies as I can that do not require any work from me. I have perfected this down to only needing to slice the cucumber and the bell pepper. Cherub tomatoes are genius. I even buy a bag of carrots that is already sliced into carrot chips.

It is also important to have the right ratio of veggies to other veggies in each Big Salad. It's a delicate balance of both color and flavor. Too much green is not a good salad. That's where the carrots and tomatoes come in. If I buy a large cucumber, there will be more cucumber than other veggies, and that's not good, either. It best to go with a smaller cucumber.

Then comes the salad dressing predicament. I don't usually have a variety of salad dressing on hand because they will tend to go bad before I can finish them. I am, after all, just one person. I prefer my refrigerator space to be used for more important things, like more cheese.

So, when I choose my salad dressing for a particular Big Salad event, it has to be something I am sure I will want to eat for the better part of the next two days.

Now, I recently tried one of those Salad Spritzers. And I'm here to tell you that this is just about the dumbest idea for salad dressing EVER. It's great if, say..., you want salad dressing on this one particular piece of lettuce right here. But if you want dressing, say.... on the WHOLE salad, your squirting finger will likely not last long enough to spray enough dressing to cover an entire Big Salad.

All of that is to say, I do enjoy a good salad. And a bad salad has been known to send me into a depression spiral. So be careful before you offer me a substandard salad. It could be weeks before I come out of the aftermath of a bad salad.

However, I also enjoy a big slab of meat just as often as I enjoy a Big Salad. Burgers, steak, jerky, sausage, ham sandwich, sometimes chicken.

In fact, sometimes after a Big Salad event, I chase it with a Big Meat event. A day or two of nothing but meat, then more meat. This almost always involves Whataburger.

It's all about the salad to meat ratio.

It's a delicate balance. But one I like to think I've perfected.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

I may have reached my movie threshold

Starz was free on my tv this weekend, y'all. And it turns out that there are like, 10 Starz channels.

And you should all know by now that I really, really enjoy free stuff.

So, I've had my tv on ALL of the Starz channels pretty much nonstop all weekend. You know, so that I don't miss any of the free-ness. And the movies I couldn't catch while the tv was on, I recorded to my DVR.

It's possible that I've caught some or all of at least 97 movies this weekend.

And 97 might be the number of movies that pushes me over my limit of reasonable amounts of consumable media for a 48-hour stretch of time.

I don't really have any idea what I've watched. They all kind of run together into one big, long movie.

Right now I'm watching Buffy get eaten by The Grudge 2. That creepy little boy is far less scary than he was the first time, but I guess he's still angry about something. Now I just want him to put some clothes on and stop making that ridiculous noise.

Enough, already.

In other news, who knew that Marky Mark played for the Philadelphia Eagles? He's so multi-talented.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dear Netflix,

I love you.


Why can't I watch "Watch Now" movies on my Mac?

I pay the same fee every month as the people with PCs. Yet, I can't benefit from the "Watch Now" feature as they do.

I feel this is discriminiation. I mean, the Mac is a far superior machine to the PC. Yet, we are not treated as equals in your world.

What if I am in a movie emergency, and I need to watch Cocoon: The Return RIGHT NOW?

You can't help me.

This makes me feel sad, and alone. And betrayed. And then alone again.

I try to watch as many movies as possible, all the time. But because I can't get to the Watch Nows, there are movies left on the table that I've already paid for, but that I can't see at a moment's notice.

Forget the fact that the Watch Now selection is terrible. If I wake up in the middle of the night and I need to watch Bring it On Again, there is nothing I can do about it.

Please see what you can do about this matter right away.

Your biggest fan,

Tyrant Thoughts\\\

- It makes me physically angry when people drive the wrong way down the aisle in the parking lot at the grocery store. People, it is clearly marked which way to drive. You are literally driving on top of the bright yellow arrow that points the opposite direction of the way you are driving. Why can't you just do it right?

- Pizza, followed by thrift stores with a good friend, followed by Starbucks, followed by a nap = a good Saturday. The nap is still to come. I'm all hopped up on Starbucks right now.

- It makes me physically angry when the birds eat all of my figs. I've watched the figs almost daily for over a month. And now they are gone. I hope they were poisonous figs this year. Or at least laced with laxatives. Although excessive amounts of figgy bird poo might be bad. I probably won't drive the Jeep anywhere for a few days, just in case.

- Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. now stars in a Hanes commercial. This makes me not want to win an Oscar anymore. In fact, I think I'll stop trying.

- It's only a matter of time before I get a speeding ticket. I've lost the ability not to speed when I drive. But that might come in handy if a cop catches me speeding.

- I think Coke tastes better coming out of those tiny 8 oz bottles than it does coming out of the 12 oz bottles. I don't know why. But don't argue about it with me. I still haven't had my nap, yet.

- How do tiny little cicadas make so much noise? I can barely hear my Tyrant thoughts over all of the cicada screaming in my backyard.

- Apparently scientists have recently discovered that a T-Rex could have outrun David Beckham, had the two of them ever had an opportunity to, say.... have a foot race. But didn't we already know that back when Jurassic Park came out? Or was it really a question in anyone's mind that needed to be scientifically researched by professional scientists? Why can't they spend more time curing cancer, or something.

- I'd like to be the first to go on record to say that ancient horse-drawn chariots could not outrun a race car, if they ever had the opportunity to, say.... have a foot race. Please don't spend time researching that one.

- I don't know why bugs that are near death have to crawl out from where they hide to die in the middle of my floor. They come out, twitch around for awhile, then make a big scene about being dead for all to see. I could really do without all the bug drama.

And.... scene.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Militant Dragonflies

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it. I don't know squat about dragonflies.

But one thing I think I know is that they usually hover around water. Right? So then, what is up with what happened in my front yard this afternoon?

I was in my front yard--a reportedly pond-free, lake-free, river-free, ocean-free piece of land--when I'm suddenly confronted by a swarm of dragonflies.

And they were BIG, y'all.

There were about four of them, flying all around me. I was just minding my own business, trying to mow my yard. But they kept coming right at me.

Soon, they brought friends. The swarm grew to about 20, all of them taking turns dive-bombing my face.

I kid you not. And I did not like it.

I do not know where they came from. I do not know what they wanted from me. I do not know why they would not let me mow in peace.

My weekly yard mow is a calming time of peace and reflection for me. But this week, I quickly became angry and flustered because I was under attack the whole time.

I do not like large winged creatures flying at my face. And there is no good way to swat away a dragonfly attack.

Believe me, I tried. And I'm sure I looked fantastic in my front yard doing my Anti-Dragonfly Swatting Dance.

There are now TWO things that annoy me on mowing day:

1. The 100 yards of orange extension cord that I use for my weed whacker.
I don't know how I do it every single week, but I am tangled in that thing about 10 seconds after I uncoil it, no matter what I do. But I can usually work past this first annoyance and still find peace in the straight lines and the neat edges of a clean yard.

2. Militant Dragonflies.

I do not like Millitant Dragonflies.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I smell strongly of eucalyptus.

Periodically at work, we are rewarded with free chair massages. I guess they figure that since we sit hunched over our computers all day, toiling our posture away, the least they can do is keep us relaxed while our ability to sit ergonomically fades away.

This massage guy goes all out with the weird, "relaxy" music, the funky chair, and of course, the scented oils. Usually by the end of the day, the whole office smells of lavender.

I came out of the room yesterday smelling of lavender like everyone else. Then, I scored another one today. A coworker was out today and she missed her appointed time. So, I made the sacrifice of 20 minutes of my time in my busy day so that the open time slot did not got to waste.

I know. Taking one for the team and all. I do what I can to help.

In theory, this was a great thing. Two free massages in two days = awesome. But today, I guess the guy thought I needed a little something special. He went NUTS with the eucalyptus oil.

Usually it's just the lavender. But today he broke out the Extra Strength Eucalyptus Oil, smearing several layers of it all over my arms.

It didn't really bother me until I came out of the room, but from that point on, I was essentially a eucalytus bomb. Everywhere I went, I stunk up the place.

Sitting at my desk, I started getting a headache from smelling myself.

I eventually started sneezing. I think I became allergic to myself.

I didn't want to move. Every time I reached for a pen or for my golden hole punch, I got a fresh wave of overwhelming eucalyptus.

People could smell me coming before they could hear my footsteps. I won't lie, they ran. Screaming. Just a little.

People refused to sit in a closed room with me. It's hard to have meetings when you're the only one in the room and everyone else is standing outside the door, peering in.

I was shunned. People would just yell things at me from across the room so they wouldn't have to come near me.

They would throw papers at me that I needed to review, some of them tied to large rocks. Those hurt.

I came back from the bathroom and found words scrawled on a yellow post-it note on my desk. It's possible I left the note for myself, but with the eucaplytus-induced haze I was in (it has possibly eaten a hole in my brain), I'm pretty sure it said "You Stink, Stinky!". I can't really be sure.

Someone rudely yelled at me to go home and take a shower.

I guess I can't blame them. I couldn't even escape myself on the way home, closed up in the Jeep. I'm afraid when I get back in the Jeep tomorrow it will still smell of the remnants of Extra Strength Eucalyptus.

I did take a shower immediately after walking in the door. But I'm not sure that helped. My shower gel is citrus and ginger root. I think I just made it all worse by adding the citrus and ginger root on top of the eucalyptus.

I also stood outside for about five minutes, hoping the smell would drift away. A bird fell out of the sky, but I don't think that was related to how I smell. I think it was just tired.

I can only hope it fades by tomorrow. Maybe a few more showers will do it.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Amish school zones are unecessary

I don't know of any Amish school zones anywhere near where I live. But today (while I was hard at work) I decided that the Amish don't need school zones.

Here's why.

School zones are designed to slow traffic for the safety of children making their way to school. But those horse buggies probably top out at about 4 to 5 miles an hour. So, do the Amish need to slow down to say, 2 or 3 miles an hour to keep the kids safe on the way to school? Plus school is probably across the street from home.

I think that if the kids can't outrun a buggy going 3 miles an hour, they probably should be out working the fields, anyway.

I also think that the Amish should be exempt from regular school zones. The zones around here are 20 mph. So that means that the buggies would have to actually speed up to go that fast. This could actually cause injury to the Amish, and the horses. And probably some children who are frightened by fast-moving, stampeding horse buggies.

So I say, no school zones for the Amish.

Glad we settled that.


Monday, August 20, 2007

No one called me indignant today.

It was nice.

Also, no one yelled at me in a fake polite tone today.

No one belittled me or talked to me like I'm a 2-yr-old today.

No one started at the beginning of time or talked in convaluted circles to explain at great length why I am wrong yet again.

No one accused me of substandard work, or of being okay with substandard work today.

No one called me into the conference room to lecture me behind closed doors about something I could never quite figure out.

No one pulled a chair up to my desk and fake-apologized to me with a secret passive-aggressive agenda to blame more stuff on me . . . in front of other people.

I did not receive four e-mails criticizing a word choice in one of my e-mails today.

I did not receive criticism today that was just for the sake of criticizing . . . me.

Today, I asked questions. And I got answers . . . today.

Today, there was peace in my workspace.

It is nice to work in an environment where truth comes to light, where the peons can find support amongst the non-peons, and . . . where I can make up a ridiculous excuse for Cupcake's cupcakes . . . and I get them.

Lemon goo.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Anything before noon on Saturday is too much, too early.

I was wide awake this morning at 7:30am. And I was pretty stinkin' mad about it.

A major Stressor (capital S because it was a capital S) was taken care of this week, so things will slowly begin to get better in my wonderful world of stress and anxiety. But for quite some time now, I've been, well, stressed about it. It's kept me up nights. At this point, I'm in that place where I'm so tired and so drained that I'm pretty much too tired to sleep and I can't relax. It will take awhile for me to readjust.

I had high hopes today to sleep at least until 9:30. But . . . not so much.


Then, the bug guy came at 10:00. This was on the schedule for today. But, by 10:00 I was already ready for a nap. And I'm not so much ready for people before, like, noon on most days. Much less on a Saturday.

After the bug guy left, I got myself in gear to go stock up on tax-free pants. On a normal Saturday, my rule is that if I have to go to a mall, I have to go before noon. After the noon witching hour, malls are ridiculously full of people. And since I hate malls and all of the people in malls, I want to run into as few people in a mall as possible if I am forced to go there.

But before I could get out the door, the doorbell rang. It was 10:45 in the morning. And I wasn't expecting anyone.

Jehovah's Witnesses

I open the door and there are two ladies who start talking to me about faith of some sort, and I see that she is holding a copy of The Watchtower in her hand.

Even after I mention that I'm a Christian, she keeps going. It didn't faze her AT ALL. Plus, now that I've gone ahead and confessed that I'm a Christian, I have to stand there and be polite and wait for her to finish. Because I assume this is what Jesus would do.

They finally finished and left me with The Watchtower (which is somewhere over there on the floor right now . . . right at the top of my To Read pile). But Jehovah's Witnesses? Here's a tip for your recruitment method. It's never a good idea to ring doorbells of strangers before AT LEAST noon. Even if I was interested, I would turn you down just because you came to my door before noon.

Had I been able to abide by my plan to sleep later than 7:30 this morning, if I had been asleep when you rang my bell, I probably would have left that whole "I'm a Christian" thing out of my yellling at you to get away from door this early in the morning on a Saturday.

Anyway, I finally get to the mall (which . . . yep. I still hate it). And I head to Gap, where I can replenish my pants inventory with brand new, tax-free pants . . . only to find that, um, someone STOLE the Gap right out of the mall!

Um, that Gap has been there at least since I was in highschool, maybe longer. And who in their right minds doesn't have a Gap where I can get to it on Tax-Free Weekend?

Seriously, they are losing serious pants money from me, y'all.

Anyway, turns out that the mall has other stores with pants. So I still managed to find some pants. Although I'm not sure of a world where I don't have new Gap pants. This is all very new and frightening.

It's quite possible that this lack of Gap pants might actually add to my stress and anxiety where I am hoping that stuff will go away with the recent removal of the Stressor (capital S).

I need a nap. Actually I needed a nap by like, 11:30 this morning.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

I feel like I need to address a few things

Perhaps my blog has been misleading to some of you in some way. So let me clear up a few things that might help you if you are searching for something that somehow led you here but when you got here you did not find what you want.

1. Pizza Hut Pizza Mia
Dear People of Phoenix and Georgia-
I do not actually have any information on the Pizza Mia, nor can I get one for you. However, I sense that the Pizza Mia has recently come to your area, due to the influx of Pizza Mia search hits to my blog.

Yes, I did blog about it. But that's all I've got.

I can tell you that the Pizza Mia is decent for a Pizza Hut pizza and you should get one if you order from Pizza Hut.

Otherwise, there is nothing more for you here.

2. Censored or Uncensored Porn
I do not have it now.
I have never had it before.
I will never have it.

I have no idea how that search brought you here, but there is nothing more for you here.

Now get off of my blog.

3. Brook Pemberton from The Bachelorette Season 1
Yes, I have met him.
Yes, he bandaged my friend's toe when I took her to the ER.
No, he's not really all that exciting.

But if you need more Bachelors, I have a nice piece about when I met Aaron from The Bachelor. It's a much better story. It's over there on the right somewhere.

That's all I've got.

There's nothing more for you here.

However, if you have come here because you are a fan of delicious flavor . . . please. Stay. Look around. You are welcome here.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yes, I am on Myspace

I was reminded of that today when I apparently got a new message from that random Tom guy who is everyone's Myspace friend.

He's apparently stalking me now.

There's nothing on my Myspace page, so if you look for it, you will be disappointed. I am anti-Myspace in every sense of the word "anti".

But don't worry, I still have the lifelong dream of creating the world's worst and most gawdy Myspace page.

I just have to figure how to get actual glitter onto the page that falls off every time you click on something.

Not computer-generated glitter.

REAL glitter.

And possibly some sort of fragrance. Maybe new car smell.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Public Service Announcement to All People of the World

The Tyrant watches the news everyday, and she also enjoys keeping the world safe. In light of recent headlines, The Tyrant would like to help spread the word to her international audience with the following Public Service Announcement:


"All toys in the world (except for extra-large Nerf footballs) are recalled IMMEDIATELY.

If you have purchased, played with, looked at, glanced toward, touched, sniffed, brushed up against, licked, or come within a 25 foot radius of ANY toy in the past 10 years, you must return this toy to the manufacturer RIGHT NOW.

If you have recently given a toy of any kind to any children at any time since they were born (including Hilary Duff or Harry Potter action figures), please immediately collect all of their toys, right in front of them (including whatever they are holding and playing with RIGHT NOW), and call in a HazMat team to descend upon your house in their bright yellow uniforms, fumigate your house and torch your child's toys where they can watch.

The goal here is to scare the living daylights out of your already upset children, and leave them utterly toyless, and alone.

ALL TOYS (except extra-large Nerf footballs) may or may not be contaminated with lead paint, anthrax, pollen, and/or various types of pulverized cereals, included Froot Loops and Captain Crunch, and MAY be hazardous to your health and to the health of all human persons under the height of 12 inches tall.

(NOTE: All domestic cats are NOT at risk and should be encouraged to play with any and all toys that fall into the categories above.)

For your safety and for the safety of everyone else in the world, please IMMEDIATELY cease and desist all handling, ogling, and coexistence with all toys purchased between the dates of January 4, 1997 and August 14, 2007 (with the exception of pink My Little Ponies with serial numbers 19756473-2095748993884949878366285). All other colors of My Little Ponies should be blown to pieces immediately.

If you have concerns that you might be ill as a result of ALL toys in the universe, please call 911 right now and tell them you have Toy Poisoning. They might hang up on you the first time, but just continue to call back until they finally relent and come get you."


Thank you for listening.

Safety First.


THIS JUST IN: All extra-large Nerf footballs have now been recalled. They contain dangerous levels of asbestos and toxic lint.

Also, the pink My Little Ponies with serial numbers 19756473-2095748993884949878366285 are actually made of strawberries. It is okay for your children to eat these ponies.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All the pretty horses

So, I got a new debit card a couple of weeks ago. Actually, it's my very first debit card.

Shut up.

I went to the bank one day to deposit a MASSIVE check (you know, because I tend to come into massive checks a lot and all), and the teller started telling me about a new kind of checking account. It sounded fabulous, I haven't changed my checking in probably . . . 10-ish years. And it comes with a new debit card.

I thought, what the heck! Sign me up!

But before we finished the process (which basically consisted of me saying "yes"), I remembered that I didn't actually have an old debit card. After college, I walked into the first local bank I saw and signed up for all of my banking needs. Luckily, it's been a good experience. They take good care of me, it's small, it's free. It's all I really need in a bank.

Plus, they give me free Cokes when I take the time to get out of the car and come inside for stuff, rather then going through the drive through. Um, totally worth a free Coke, y'all.

At the time that I opened the account, however, they didn't offer debit cards. Which was no big deal. That was back in the days when people wrote checks and carried cash. Who needed a debit card? Just give me one of those new-fangled ATM cards and I'll be on my way.

Anyway, when the teller offered me a new debit card to replace my old one, I mentioned that I didn't have an old debit card. I just had my original ATM card.

I pulled the card out of the wallet to show her the sad state of my card. It's literally the one and only ATM card I've ever had - the original card from the day of yore when I opened my account at this bank. The teller looked at me as though I had just shown her the world's first ATM card ever, from a prehistoric era of banking millions of years ago.

It's probably safe to say this woman didn't work for this bank 10-ish years ago, and it was highly likely that she had never seen a card like mine before. I'm not gonna lie. She stared at the card, and then at me.

This card had a bank logo on it from about three or four logos ago. It had been through the wash in my back pants pocket probably no less than 10 times over the years. It had melted and unmelted to other cards in various wallets that I've left in a hot car time after time. And the laminate was peeling from the edges so badly that in order to use the card, I had to work on mashing down the edges for a good five minutes before even thinking about approaching an ATM machine.

All this to say, I needed no convincing. Hand over the new debit card!

But, the teller (for some odd reason) seemed to think that I still needed to be convinced to relinquish my old, battered card to be replaced by a shiny new card. Her selling point was this:

"Well, you'll love these new cards! They are so pretty! They are so nicely done with a beautiful picture of some horses running through the countryside. . . . "

Huh? Since when are Debit cards art?

I could care less what the card looks like. I don't care if it's pretty, or if it's the ugliest card that has ever existed out of all of the cards in the world that have ever existed . . . ever. As long as it works, give it to me.

But this teller was so excited to tell me about the pretty new card that I just smiled and nodded and acted like I might be so impressed by the beauty of my new card that I might not even use it. I might just frame it and hang it on my wall so that people can come over and admire my new debit card . . . with all the pretty horses on it.

And then I'll go back to writing checks and carrying cash.

The card just might be too pretty.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

I have the world's tannest rabbit.

Yesterday, I noticed that I have a brand new tiny rabbit in the yard.

Well, either it's a new baby rabbit, or the big one shrunk. It has rained a lot. Maybe rabbits shrink when they get wet.

Anyway, he caught my eye yesterday because he kept hanging out by my shed in the backyard. He seemed fine. But then later in the day, he wasn't moving much. He was all sprawled out in the shade and the dirt in front of the shed.

I got worried. It was really hot outside and I feared roasted rabbit.

I went out to check on him. I thought maybe he was dead and I would have to figure out what to do with a tiny dead rabbit. I only have experience with large dead squirrels . . . in the house. Not so much with tiny dead rabbits outside of the house.

I walked slowly towards him and he saw me. He jumped up and scurried underneath the shed.

He was fine.

I saw him again today, doing the same exact thing. Sprawled out with his white belly to the sun.

I figured out that he's . . . tanning.

I have a tiny metrosexual rabbit in my yard.


Adventures in home owning

I tried to plan my weekend so that today would be my day of rest. Per Jesus.

But, my house had other plans. It's pretty much a brand new house now.

The dryer broke. Got a new one. We've already covered that.

I cleaned out my refrigerator and freezer yesterday. It might be the oldest fridge in the world. The ice maker doesn't work anymore. I hoped the cleaning would magically revive the ice maker. But, it didn't. At least now the whole thing sparkles.

I replaced my shower heads. My made-to-retire home came equipped with your standard-issue old-folks-ready hospital-type therapeutic shower, um, wands? They are off-white and they don't match anything. And over the course of the past few years, they leak and whatnot. They're not pretty.

In fact, I'd call them grody.

Had I known, however, how easy it is to replace shower heads, I would have done this the second day I lived here. The new ones are amazing. And they don't leak.

I am a master plumber.

My crepe myrtles have the scale, y'all.

I sprayed them with some stuff a couple of weeks ago. It didn't work. So I went back to the store for more stuff.

I found a helper at the store. "My crepe myrtles have . . . the scale." It was all very dramatic. I felt ashamed.

It's kinda like they have leprosy and they are outkasts from the other crepes, and I have failed them as they're keeper.

Store Helper hooked me up with more anti-scale stuff, so I sprayed the trees again yesterday.

I still love them. The trees. Not the scales.

Garage Door
This one was unexpected.

So, I get back from Target today and my garage door decided not to open, or close, or be nice at all. It had been acting a little weird lately, but today it decided to just kinda freak out completely.

As a homeowner, I like to take it upon myself to fix everything myself. So, I grabbed some tools and gloves and dug into the finer points of Automatic Garage Door 101.

I have no idea how a garage door opener works or how to fix one.

I looked, I messed around, I applied my tools, I got really dirty and sweaty.

Nothing was better.

I did determine the problem, but by the time I figured it out and started hardcore "fixing" it, I apparently angered it and made it worse.

Turns out, when those wheels come out of the track, they are really hard to get back in there. And my garage door weighs about 108,000 pounds.

So, I was forced to admit defeat and call my handyman (aka: my dad). I woke him from a nap with my tale of woe.

He came over to rescue me and we reassessed the door situation. I had successfully pinpointed the problems, but he brought the know-how to rig it enough to where it works again, and I don't have to replace anything for now.

However, if you don't see me for an extended period of time, I am likely trapped in the house because my garage door is mad at me again and holding me hostage.

At least I have new shower heads and a clean fridge. If I'm trapped in here for months, I'll have good showers and cold water.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Before and After

It's amazing how far dryers have come in the last 22 years.


Circa 1985



Circa 2007


And it comes with a signal buzz . . . almost identical to Old Faithful.

All is well.


I wonder . . .

I wonder what the mailman thinks when I'm inside dancing around to Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation, loud enough to where it can be heard outside of the house.


I think the Cheetos Cheetah and the Mini Focusizer are working together.

Has anyone seen the Cheetos commercial where the Cheetos Cheetah is at some sort of (what appears to be) rave with a bunch of pre-teens? They are all jumping up and down to loud music, like, 50 kids in there. Then the Cheetah eats a spicy Cheeto and the floor melts below him. He falls through the floor to another pre-teen rave, this time to the tune of heavy metal music.

It's obviously some sort of apartment complex housed by mobs of pre-teens who do nothing but dance around to loud music with a cartoon cheetah.

Where are the parents?

Where are the wholesome snacks?

Where are the police to enforce noise violations?

Clearly, what has happened is that the Miniature Focusizer has infiltrated home after home, stealing young children away by taking the place of the parents in these homes. The Miniature Focusizer befriends the munchkins, gradually gaining their trust day by day while riding in their backpacks and whispering anti-parent propaganda in their ears all day.

Then, the Miniature Focusizer lures the children away to this mysterious apartment complex where the children are brainwashed by loud music and rhythmic dancing . . . and Cheetos.

Clearly, the only way to avoid a mass epidemic of dancing, orange-fingered youth (after all, the chidren are our future), is to IMMEDIATELY bring ALL Cheetos to my front door, step away from the offending Cheetos, and leave them for me to dispose of in whatever way I see fit.

And, NEVER listen to talking cereal. But we've already covered that.


Friday, August 10, 2007

The Angst

I am feeling considerable angst today. And I feel like you would like to hear about three reasons for the angst.


You all should know what this face means by now. Let's just say, I am glad for the weekend.

And I did a lot of therapeutic yardwork tonight.

2. Figs
About a month ago, I thought it was about to be fig time. The plan this year is to harvest the fig crop from my giant fig tree, then my mom and I would make another batch of world-famous Tyrant Family Fig Preserves. It's an age-old tradtion from my mom's mom, to my mom, to me.

Also, my uncle has eaten the figs and he has spent a lot of time in China and Germany, therefore the claim of world-famous is perfectly legal and legit.

My mom and I also planned to enter a jar of this year's fig preserves in the State Fair. Last year, there seemed to be only one entry that swept the Fig category. Which makes sense, if only one person entered figs. So, we figure we've got a pretty good shot at a ribbon, and possibly the coveted blue ribbon.

We play to win.

We made fig preserves the second year that I was in my house that came with a giant fig tree. Somewhere around 50 jars of figs. That's a lot.

The next year, all the droughtedness did not yield a good fig crop. So, one year without figs.

This year, we are back on the fig bandwagon. So when I saw that the figs were getting close to pickin' time, I sent out the alert to my mom to get ready for figs. After you pick them, you have to preserve them pretty much by the next day or they're just not any good.

We are serious about quality figs in our preserves.

Well, the first few figs got ripe, but it wasn't very many. Not worth my time to get dirty in the tree. So, I let the birds have them. They were gone pretty quick, anyway. I figure if I extend the first fig branch, if you will, to the birds and give them first dibs on the figs, the rest of the figs are mine, fair and square.

Then it rained for 108 days. The figs need sun to ripen. So, I watched the figs. And the rain. And I waited. Every day I checked on the figs. But . . . no more ripe figs, yet.

Now I've got a tree full of smallish to medium-sized green figs and I am obsessed with watching them every single day. I'm afraid that if I take my eye off of them for one day, I'll miss the window of opportunity to pick them for our State Fair Fig Plan '07.

I take my fig farming job very seriously.

It happens fast. One day they are green, then they start turning yellow, then in a day or so they are brown and ready to pick . . . and the birds know it. They are quick, like the figs.

It is possible that I could check on the figs one day, see that they are close to being ready, go to work the next day, then get home to like, three ripe figs and a whole lot of fig shrapnel from where the birds had a fig feast.

Figs are stressful.

I have to be ready to jump into action at a moment's notice. My mom has to be ready to fire up the stove and giant pots of water to start cooking figs.

Basically, the figs are in charge. Indefinitely. And I'm stressed out.

3. A scary movie
I've had a scary movie sitting on my coffee table for over a week, and I am too scared to watch it.

The house rule is no scary movie watching at home, alone, in the dark, at night. Because watching a scary movie at home, alone, in the dark, at night is an open invitation for whatever I am watching in the movie . . . to eat me later when I least expect it.

If I watch a scary movie at night, at home, alone, in the dark, there's a good chance I'll spend my first few hours in bed that night . . . listening. With angst. I suddenly develop amazing hearing after a bout with a scary movie. I can suddenly hear everycreak, moan, rattle, knock, whisper, potential footsteps . . . that might be going on in the house. In the dark. At night.

But, I still like scary movies. And they are better in the dark. You know, for ambience. You don't really get the full scary movie affect if you watch a scary movie in broad daylight.

So, I have angst because I really want to watch this movie, but I'm home, alone, and it's dark. Outside. And I am scared of this whole situation.

I had to wait until I was finished moving the waterhose around the yard before I could even consider the possiblity of watching the movie. If I started the movie, then had to go outside in the dark to shut off the hose, I would quite possibly simply blow up from the angst that would be involved in that predicament.

There's nothing stopping me from watching it now.

Except for . . . The Angst.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Worst Dog Walker . . . EVER

So, there's this guy in my neighborhood who walks his dog regularly. I see him a few mornings a week on my way to work.

He's the worst dog walker ever.

He never puts his dog on a leash. But the dog never runs off.

No, this dog is the slowest dog in the world. I don't think it would ever occur to this dog that he could escape. Or . . . maybe he IS escaping, he's just so slow that it takes him . . . years.

And he doesn't walk straight. No, he V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y wanders from one side of the street to the other, in front of the Worst Dog Walker Ever.

The guy just let's the dog do this. He stands in front of cars if a car is coming . . . to allow his dog to safely wander across the street, or down the middle of the street, or wherever he feels like going. There's no plan. There's no route. The dog just wanders, and the guy follows.

And he's not an old guy. He's young. Perhaps my age-ish. (Shut up)

Maybe his dog is a million years old, too old to walk fast, and the guy figures "Hey, my dog is a million years old. The fact that he can still walk is a medical miracle. Therefore, he has earned the right to wander wherever he pleases, slowly poo wherever he wants to poo, and to take as long as he damn well pleases to get nowhere in particular while stopping traffic and annoying the neighbors. After all, he has wandered the earth for a million years. During his last few decades, he deserves to rule the world one slow step at a time."

I just really don't know.

This week, there is a new twist. I pulled around the corner earlier this week and I saw a Honda CRV sitting cockeyed in the middle of the street so that I couldn't get by. At first, I thought maybe something was wrong . . . and I was concerned.

But THEN I was quickly annoyed. The CRV V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y turned and pulled across to the other side, landing (again) cockeyed on the opposite curb. I just had to sit there and wait for him to V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y get out of the way.

As I finally was able to pass him, I saw why he was doing what he was doing. That V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W DOG was wandering down the middle of the street, from side to side, V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y. And the guy in the car was . . . The Worst Dog Walker Ever.

But this time, the guy wasn't walking along behind him. He was DRIVING . . . along . . . behind . . . the dog.

Um . . . WHAT???

It's not like he is corraling the dog, or herding it, perhaps. Or even trying to control the dog's path in the least bit. No . . . this guy was herding ME and trying to control MY path so that the dog could safely, I don't know . . . hog the middle of the road.

Yep. A dog walking down the middle of the street. Guy in a CAR behind him, blocking traffic and watching his dog . . . walk down the middle of the street.

I'm sorry . . . but does this make even the least bit of sense?

First, how does anyone have time to V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y wander down the street watching a dog everyday? I mean, is this his dog? Because that's a terrible way to, well, own a dog.

Or, is this his job? Is he really employed as a dog walker, and does this dog's owner know that he is the WORST DOG WALKER EVER, and that he lets their dog wander down the middle of the street without a leash?

And second, it's just the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

I don't want to have to plan a new route to work just because this dog has taken over most of the direct routes out of my neighborhood.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I . . . need . . . hazelnut . . .

I am a fan of hazelnut in my coffee.

We've been out of hazelnut creamer at work for about a week. It's been a rough week.

I start every morning when I get to work with my cup of coffee. Depending on the quality and time spent with my coffee, this will dictate the kind of day that I have for the rest of the day.

Bad coffee = bad day. It's a fairly simple equation.

This week, being forced to drink my coffee with plain, substandard creamer, I realized that I need hazelnut in my coffee. The regular creamer at work just isn't doing it for me.

I can't possibly have a good day without my hazelnut.

A couple of days ago, I decided I couldn't take it anymore. I put on my best whiney face and my best whiney demeanor, and I pleaded for more hazelnut creamer.

I probably didn't need to do that. I probably could have just asked. But since I had already had a bad cup of coffee that morning, the best I could do was whine about it. Intensely whine about it.

Today I got the word that the hazelnut is back. I can have it in my coffee tomorrow.

The lesson we can learn from this is that whining works.

And, if you take away my hazelnut, I will certainly whine.


Monday, August 06, 2007

We had a good run, you and me

Some time over the weekend, while I was visiting my ailing grandma in the hospital, my dryer lost the will to live.

R.I.P Dryer: 1985-2007

I don't know if my dryer heard that my grandma was not doing well and it just saw no more reason to live. It has been in the family for 22 years, so maybe it felt a certain kinship to my grandma.

Or, if after 22 years of drying the Tyrant Family clothing, it just had no more hot air to give.

Whatever happened, I got home from Oklahoma last night and I needed to crank out three loads of laundry before bed. But when I got to the drying part, the dryer just wouldn't dry. At all.

It made noises like it was drying. And it threw the clothes around . . . as though it was drying. But after about an hour when my clothes were still wet, I determined that it was, in fact, NOT drying.

So, I had to haul all of my wet laundry over to my parents' house and mooch off of their dryer so that I wouldn't have to go to work naked today.

I was so tired. I did not want to leave the house. But, I ran out of places to hang my clothes in the house to air dry. So, the clothes and I took a short trip to the only other free dryer that I knew was available on a Sunday night.

I'll miss my dryer. It has dried my clothes for the better part of it's 22 years in the family. In middle school, I first learned how to do laundry using this dryer.

In highschool, I complained about having to do many loads of laundry using this dryer.

In college, I brought my clothes home from school with me to use this dryer. For free.

And then about five or six years ago, my parents bequeathed the dryer (along with its accompanying washer) to me when they got a new, fancy set to replace the old set.

They were new to me. And I loved them.

A friend of mine picked them up in his truck, then hauled them up three flights of stairs to my apartment at the time. They took a bit of a beating, but they were otherwise fine, never missing a beat in drying my clothes.

Then, when I moved into my house, my dad hauled the washer and dryer back down the three flights of stairs from the old apartment, then into my laundry room where they live today.

I'll miss the buzz. The dryer has a buzz that buzzes out lloud when a load of laundry is finished drying. It's a terrible sound. But it's a sound that has brought comfort for many, many years.

I went to Sears tonight to buy a new dryer. I wonder what sound it will make, and if I will be okay with it. And if I'm not okay with it, I wonder if I will still be able to embrace the new dryer for the next 22 years.

I don't so much like change.

The Old Faithful dryer was a Maytag. It lasted 22 years and through several moves. So, I wanted to buy the exact same thing, only new, to last another 22 years.

I don't need any of those fancy new-fangled dryers that, like, dry, fold, and hang up your clothes for you, while it makes dinner and waters the yard. I just want a basic, long-lasting, affordable dryer that does ONE thing:


This was my first major appliance purchase. The house came with a refrigerator, and I already had the bequeathed washer and dryer. So until yesterday, I had no need to buy any major appliances. And . . . I wasn't really excited to buy a new dryer today. But, I made my peace with it before I went to Sears.

Since the last one was free for me, I can definitely say that I've gotten my money's worth out of it. So, in order for the universe and my life-shui to balance out, I reasoned with myself that it is only fair and just to have to buy the next one. Even if unexpectedly.

In fact, I already researched the dryer I wanted and I knew where to find it and how much to pay for it. And I think this disappointed the sales lady when I got there.

I walked in and said, "I want that." And I pointed to the Maytag that was on sale.

This seemed to throw her off of her appliance-selling pitch. She asked if I wanted a washer, too. Or if I wanted to look at some other dryers.

I said, "No. I want that."

For her big finale, she showed me where the lint trap was. She pulled it out and everything.

Then she asked if I would need a cord. Um, dryers don't come with electric cords? She said, "No. You have to buy that separate. Dryers don't come with cords anymore."

"Um, yes. I'll need a cord then."

I guess that has changed in the past 22 years in the wide world of dryers. Apparently they used to come with the cord.

I was in and out in 15 minutes, complete with free delivery and free removal and disposal of the old, dead dryer.

And a cord.

Anyone wants to come have a clothes drying party, the new dryer arrives on Saturday.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

I wish hospitals were actually like Scrubs

My dad and I drove four hours north this morning to see my Grandma. She had a heart attack this week and she's in the ICU.

This is definitely NOT what she looks like today.

She's in a brand spanking new (one can only assume state-of-the-art) hospital. We could tell this because when we walked in, the deli/gift shop was not open and actually it's still under construction. The ER entrance was lost somewhere behind scaffolding.

AND, they seem to still be building the ROOM NEXT DOOR to my grandma's room. On the ICU floor, no less, where there should be peace and quiet . . . and not so much banging and drilling. The room had a sign on it: "Under Contstruction".

New is nice, yes. I've been in plenty of old, stinky, germ-infested hospitals. It's nice to be in a clean one, without that grody hospital smell.

But . . . incomplete? That raises some concerns for me regarding the care of my loved ones in emergency situations.

Are we sure we have plenty of bandaids, hypodermic needles, crash carts, oxygen tanks . . . you know . . . VITAL, working hospital essentials???

And yes, it was comforting to see that the Instruction/Quick Start Guide that was still attached to one of the monitors in her room. I hope someone read that before they put my grandma in there.

And . . . the bathroom door in my grandma's room sticks when you close it. I almost got trapped in there . . . twice.

There also seemed to be some confusion among the orderlies in the hall about the dinner tray pick-up process. I'm sorry, but if they can't manage the picking up of the trays after dinner, can they handle such things as making sure my grandma gets her meds on time?

I kinda just wanted to grab her chart, make an Excel spreadsheet (on my Macbook, of course) and help them plan out the proper care of my grandma.

Not that they aren't doing a good job. I'm sure everything is fine. As long as the people working there aren't brand new. Like, this is their first gig out of medical school . . .

We asked the nurse if she could give my grandma something for pain. Some orderlies came in to help my grandma shift around in her bed a bit since she can't do it herself, but they actually just managed to rough her up a bit. So then she was in a lot of pain.

Maybe it was the orderlies' first day on the job or something, and they hadn't gotten to the part of learning to be gentle with elderly ICU patients . . .

The nurse said she'd check on the pain meds, and then she was gone for half an hour. By the time she got back, I was in pain, too. And I was considering stealing the pain meds from the patient across the hall, because from what I could overhear as I paced in front of my grandma's door, they had already given the lady across the hall one dose of pain meds and it didn't work and they were about to try a second pain med chaser. Why should she get two when my grandma still needed one?

Maybe the pharmacy or drug closet is still under construction, much like the room next door. Maybe the nurse had to go down to CVS for a pain pill for my grandma, then come all the way back.

Where is Dr. Cox when you need him? And a hug from J.D. would do nicely.

This is all a bit unsettling.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

I got a jury summons today . . .

. . . except it's not addressed to me.

It was in my mailbox, with my correct address. But, it has someone else's name on it.

So . . . what does that mean?

Do I go? It's not for me, but it's at my house.

Am I required to assume a new identity and report to jury duty? Is the government telling me they'd rather that I be this other person and they want me to be on a jury? I don't really know all of the rules, but I assume that if you get a summons, you have to go, right? Even if it isn't technically yours . . .

But technically, it is illegal to open someone else's mail. So if I am truly supposed to assume this new identity, I will have to do it before I open the envelope, so that I can find out when to show up for jury duty.

I'm not really sure how to do that.

But what if this is a trap? What if the government is watching me to see if I will open this piece of mail, to then arrest me and haul me off to Illegal Mail Opening Jail? Worse, what if the envelope itself is rigged, and it sets off some sort of alarm which triggers a SWAT team to descend upon my house from air and from sea?

They'd have to come a long way from the sea, I guess. But the rest of it could happen.

But then, what if I don't open the envelope, and I don't show up for jury duty. Will they track me down by my address and come arrest me to send me to Jury Duty Absentee Jail?

OR, what if this other person gets in trouble because neither one of us show up? Or if I show up instead of him (or her)?

Why is this guy's (or girl's) name on my jury duty summons at my address, anyway? That's kinda rude.

Jury duty stresses me out. Good thing I've never actually had to go before.

I don't think I'll go this time, either. It's not really for me.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

9:18 pm

It might be one of those nights when I go to bed at 9:18 pm.

I'm worn out, y'all.

Or maybe I'm old?






Ok, now I'm just saying dwarves.

Time for bed.