Monthly Archives: August 2007

More Breaking News

Ingenious Rose has bestowed upon me The Inspirational Blogger Award (see it over there on my sidebar?).  According to the Writer’s Reviews, it’s an award that is given to those who, among other things, “inspire through their words and actions.”  I’m not sure about my words, but if Ingenious Rose was thinking of my actions, like my running, as inspirational, then she and you should know that while it’s true I ran 12 miles last Sunday, and another 9 miles just yesterday, I very nearly did nothing at all on all the days in between.  I did take a 15 mile bike ride one evening, I think it was Wednesday, but it was only on a stationary bike.  So when I was finished I was still in my basement, having actually gone nowhere at all.

That’s convenient, because I like to be home. One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, wrote about me writers in Bird by Bird “… you can get so much attention without having to actually show up somewhere.”  She said that “…writers, who tend to be shy, get to stay home and still be public.”  She goes on to explain that  “There are many obvious advantages to this.  You don’t have to dress up, for instance, and you can’t hear them boo you right away.” 

Of course, here in cyberspace you can hear them boo you right away, or very nearly right away.  But that’s sort of the trade off, isn’t it?  Be “published” immediately on a webpage, or stack all your writings up in your word processor and print them out and shop them around and around until someone thinks they’re worth binding and selling for you.

I’d like to do that, be published, have my books appear on the New York Time’s Best Seller List, or um, in Oprah’s Book Club, but I’m struggling with laziness and impatience at the same time.  And that, like the stationary bike, leaves me here, in my basement.  Someday in the future I might get a laptop for home, and then while I imagine I’ll still be too lazy to do all that’s required to publish a real book, at least I’ll be able to go somewhere.  Like upstairs.  Or outside.  I just hope I won’t have to dress up for it.

And I hope you won’t mind that I’m still in my basement and haven’t properly dressed to hand out the following awards:

The Creative Blogger Award to Mitra for her funny cartoons that always make me laugh.

The Courageous Blogger Award to Gunfighter at The View From Here for his position as a tactical firearms instructor and for teaching me that a knight’s suit of armor is not a good choice of a hiding place and probably won’t for protect me if someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting in a museum.

The Thoughtful Blogger Award to Jen at A Snowball’s Chance In… Even though she’s already been awarded one of these, she deserves another!  And another!  So maybe she can paste the second award below the first, or put a little “x2!” or add some hatch marks on her sidebar.   I’m also awarding her The Creative Blogger Award because not only does she post pictures at her site, she recently added her voice to her profile and since she’s in radio far way, those of us wondering what she sounds like don’t have to drive all the way down south just to find out. 

The Inspirational Blogger Award goes to Absolutely Bananas. She beat me to the punch on posting about dying fish, but she has inspired me to get myself a better body through Photoshop.  It sounds a lot easier than what I’ve been doing, running and all that…

Finally, I’m not sure if she’ll accept this or not, but The Creative Blogger Award to abarclay12 at The Leaky Brain.  I’m thinking of suing her to recoup the cost of the pain medicine I need because I seem to have cracked all of my ribs from falling off my chair laughing so hard while reading her site.  Check her out.



Filed under blogging awards, writing

Breaking News

This just in… Luke Skywalker, of Star Wars fame, was injured in a Y-Wing crash yesterday.  R2D2 immediately responded by turning himself into a medical droid and attempting to shock Luke Skywalker back to health.  The “shocking procedure” is quite shocking in nature as it entailed R2D2 straddling Luke’s face as Luke lay prone on the bed.  As promising as this procedure looked, it failed to revive Luke and so he was transported to the hospital, where a bed was constructed for him out of Kleenex.  Luke was left there to recover. 

The crash is still under investigation but it appears that it was not caused by Darth Vader’s use of the Force.  An anonymous witness to the crash stated that Luke “couldn’t steer because too much wind blew back his hand” and Darth Vader was observed trying to stop the oncoming crash by taking the Y-Wing to the battle station.  Because he was unsuccessful, a crash recovery team will be tasked with transporting the Y-Wing back to the battle station for repair.

Darth Vader, in what appears to be a change of heart spent the afternoon at the injured Luke’s side, taking care of him.  Princess Leia, Luke’s sister and one of the seven faces of Belle, was surprised at the news of her father’s actions.  “But I thought he was a bad guy!” she said.

A different unnamed witness came forth and reported that after the crash a “strange character” had been spotted in the vicinity.  The character at first appeared to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  That information could not be verified because the witness admitted that the strange character’s face could not be seen. However, it has been confirmed that the character was wearing all of Belle’s clothing at once.  The character reportedly floated in the air and said “Hello!” to the real Belle who happened to be passing by on her way to the refrigerator to grab a can of Diet Coke.  The real Belle commented that “You look very warm in all of those clothes with that coat on” and the figure responded, “There’s nobody here, I’m just a bunch of scary dresses!”  The real Belle screamed in terror and ran away.

The distraught Belle was later reached by telephone where an accusing voice cried “Where did you put the Storm Trooper’s bodies?  They were in your bed!”  Not wanting to be caught in any kind of infidelity, Belle at first tried the Iran Contra defense where she stated that she couldn’t “recall” a situation where Storm Troopers had shared her bed.  Later though, when it was, in fact, revealed that the Storm Troopers had been found under Belle’s nightgown, she resorted to using the Shaggy defense and claimed “It wasn’t me!”

Further confusing the investigation is a somewhat recovered Luke Skywalker who is now claiming that he was not the one flying the Y-Wing at the time of its crash.  He has denied his involvement and claimed “The ‘LEGO guy’ was flying the ship.”  Additionally, he claims that he is “Luke from a different movie.”

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming where I admit that I was playing with the LEGOs I spoke of here.  But only for a little while.  It turns out that when a company prints on the box that a toy is for children ages 8 and up, you really ought to heed their warning.  Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to assemble the toy yourself because your five year old is unable to do so.

Then shortly afterward, your son will drop the Y-Wing you so lovingly spent four hours assembling for him, and one million of the 17 trillion pieces will shear off upon impact and scatter all over your kitchen.  Some will land in the dog’s water bowl, some will slip under the refrigerator, and some more will slide under the door to the basement and fall down the steps where you won’t find them again until you step on them with your bare foot.  This will leave a LEGO impression on your foot that stays for a full 36 hours.

At that point you will be forced to consider whether or not you repaired the Y-Wing adequately after its initial crash.  Perhaps if you had actually moved the refrigerator to get at the “unrecoverable” pieces, the craft might have been more stable.  Perhaps a more stable aircraft would have spared Luke Skywalker from such severe injuries.

You can choose to debate this.  You can write both NASA and the NTSB to get their ruling on the incident.  Or, you could resort to your original premise that the “witness” to the crash is simply crazy.  Especially since he is claiming HE is the REAL Luke Skywalker, and it was “the LEGO guy” that crashed the plane.  Also, because he is five, and makes “scary dresses” talk.


Filed under Beauty and the Beast, breaking news, humor, insanity, LEGOs, Luke Skywalker, Star Wars, toys, Y-Wing


I was tagged by Ingenious Rose to tell you eight random things about myself.  At first I was going to politely decline because it didn’t seem like the kind of thing I do here (whatever that is), but then I remembered I had once started an essay about things you don’t know about me, only it morphed into my confession about my lip balm addiction and so I decided what the heck, who can I embarrass but myself?  And so I pulled out my list of random facts about me, cut it all into little strips of paper, placed them all into wire bingo ball cage from my old bingo game, and gave it crank.

I pulled out eight slips of paper and then realized we had a slight problem.  They weren’t numbered one through eight at all.  They had numbers like 54 and 27 and 17 and 3.  So after giving it some thought, I decided to simply renumber them, rather like the Pennsylvania road exits. Because I recently visited Philadelphia, and noticed as we were driving there, that each exit had a number and then another old number, like so:  Exit 7 (old Exit 12).  So now each random thing about me has two numbers.  One old and one new.  I’ll put the new number 1st and the old number in parentheses and hope you don’t get lost trying to follow along.

1 (17)  I have beautiful white teeth.  I’d like to tell you it’s because of how my mother used to make my brother and I brush our teeth with Ajax powder right before we went to visit the dentist when we were young, but I don’t think that’s it.  Even though the dentist remarked to my mother how nice and clean our teeth were, I think he suspected the truth.  Certainly the hygienist wrote something about all the grit she was flossing out of our teeth before he looked into our mouths?  And he must have seen the scour lines, don’t you think?  At any rate, I’ve never had a cavity, not one.  And now that I’m adult, I bleach my teeth the proper way, with bleaching solution I buy from my dentist.  It’s not gritty at all.

2 (54)  I was in my mid-twenties before I realized that Mr. Rogers was the voice of all the characters who inhabited the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.  I have to say I count it as one of the biggest shocks and disappointments of my life.

3 (3)  My cell phone plays Flight of the Valkyrie when my husband calls me.  I programmed it that way because that is the Star Wars theme song, only my husband claims it’s not.  Even if he is right, which I suspect he is, don’t tell me.  I like to be the one who’s right.

4 (27)  I have stolen two things in my life.  One was a bookmark from a classmate when I was in the 3rd grade and in Catholic School, and the other was a rubber grape from a fake fruit display in a grocery store.  In my defense, I needed the bookmark because it was very cool, a painting of a dog on velum of some sort, and I needed the grape because I’d lost the rubber ball on my squirt ring and the grape was the perfect size to replace it.  I suspect I might be sent to Hell for these offenses.

5 (32)  When I was a Junior in high school I traveled to Europe where I spent two weeks seeing the sites of Italy and Greece.  And by sites I also mean sights and the cute boys there.  And I kissed one!  Outside, on an Italian street!  And my friends photographed this!  And when I came home, I went to pick up my photos with my boyfriend.  Only the girl who worked at the photo store had been on the trip with me and wanted to see my photos.  So we looked at them, my traveling companion, my boyfriend and I, and then we came upon the kissing photo…

6 (71) I have these tenuous connections to famous people: I attended middle school with Patrick Swayze’s cousin (or so she claimed); I once worked with Courtney Thorne-Smith’s sister-in-law; and I swiped a Coke can that Paul Newman was drinking out of at a car race in West Virginia, took it to school, and made a Coke can lamp out of it in shop class.

7 (11) As a child, I misunderstood the words to the Hail Mary prayer and forever wondered WHY they would put a curse word at the very start of a prayer.  I was in my late teens before I saw a written text of the prayer and everything made a lot more sense.  And if you’re not getting this one, the curse word is the place I’m going to in number 4 (27) above.

8 (69) I cannot whistle.  And that’s a crying shame because I have really big boobs.  I would whistle at myself in the mirror all the time if only I could.


Filed under meme

Please Check Your Calendars

Please check your calendar.  Somebody, no… EVERYBODY, please check your calendars.

Can you confirm to me that today’s date is, in fact, August 8, 2007?

And that means it is still summer, right?  At least, technically? 

I mean, I seem to recall that the official start of summer falls somewhere around June 21st on what’s known as the summer solstice.  And then fall doesn’t officially start until September 23rd or so, the date of the autumnal equinox.  And all the days in between… summer.  Summer, summer, summer.  At least, that’s the way it is here in the Northern Hemisphere. 

More so than the dates on the calendar, I have this other evidence to present in the hopes of proving it is still summer…

It’s 100 degrees outside.  It feels, when you walk out the door, like that Jaws ride at Universal Studios in Florida where you’re in the boat and there’s a big fiery explosion and the searing heat is more than a touch alarming and you check to see if your skin might be blistering before your eyes.  In the end, it’s really not, it’s just hotHOT LIKE FIRE.

Also, there’s baseball.  As far as I know, the major leagues are still in action. Then again, baseball season is so damn long that it might not be an actual indicator of anything anymore.  Still, I’m claiming it.  Baseball equals summer.

School hasn’t started yet either.  It’s still, for better or worse, summer vacation.  At least for a few more weeks.  And I know this counts because there’s that song with the lyrics, “School’s out for the summer!”  I think Alice Cooper sang it.  And I think, if it’s in a song, then it must be true.

So to recap the evidence:

a. the calendar says it’s August and August equals summer
b. It’s hot out, and HOT LIKE FIRE usually only happens in the summer (well, unless there’s an actual fire)
c. Baseball equals summer
d. Alice Cooper said so

So, if all evidence points to the fact that it’s still summer, then WHY, pray tell, is my local grocery store already pushing HALLOWEEN CANDY?

Why did I get this fall catalog in the mail today?

And most worrisome of all, why today when I bought some LEGOs for my son from Target, did the cashier put them in this large CHRISTMAS bag?

O Holy Night!

Give me some time to buy school supplies first, won’t you?

I don’t know.  Maybe the cashier thought I was buying the LEGOs as a Christmas gift since I was shopping alone and when she asked, I told her that I didn’t need a gift slip for them.  That must mean I’m keeping them, right?  But I’m a grown woman, and grown women don’t usually play with Star Wars LEGO sets, ergo, Christmas gift!

When she handed over my bags, all of my other purchases, like disposable razors and shampoo and Burt’s Beeswax (incredible deal on a 3-pack!) and gauze for wrapping up my husband’s mangled foot, were in regular Target bags.  You know, the white ones with the red Target symbol on them?  She handed over the LEGOs and said “And here is your toy.”  And she kind of winked and nodded at the bag which was not see through.  So I think she was suggesting that the LEGOs should be a Christmas gift and that I shouldn’t hand them over to Snags to play with the moment I walk through my front door.  Perhaps she thinks that giving children toys for no reason, in the middle of summer no less, is akin to spoiling them.

But I like to think I’m fostering his creativity because he got a mini-set of LEGOs and has been spending hours upon hours making things with them and entertaining himself for hours more.  And I was thinking that more LEGOs would allow him to make more things and be more creative and entertain himself for even MORE hours.  And more is better, right?  When you are talking about five year olds playing quietly with LEGOs for hours, more is better.  Just… trust me on this.

But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  I’m used to seeing Christmas stuff go up early.  It takes a lot of time to set up 20 trees with ornaments and lights and tinsel.  I start the day after Thanksgiving at my house, and I only put up one tree, some stockings, and a wreath.  So stores, with all their twinkling lights and snow globes and dancing Santa’s have to start early.

And then there’s the whole thing where they start selling bathing suits in January.  Now that totally pisses me off because if I wait the 6 months it will take me to lose enough weight to look good so people won’t vomit when they see me in a bathing suit, it would be June before I could buy one.  Only by then there won’t be any bathing suits left except for those on clearance, and those are all in a size 2 and I couldn’t pull one of those up past my ankles even with a weight loss.

But really, I don’t recall seeing Halloween Candy out THIS early before.  I’m especially perturbed at this because it means I have two additional months where I can stock up for trick-or-treaters only to say “Oh, what the hell, just one piece” and then before you know it, I’ve not only opened the bag, I’ve eaten the entire contents, all 240 pieces.  And then I have to go buy MORE.  This is bad enough when I do it through the entire month of October, because after that, I’ve still got Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies I can’t keep myself away from.  So come January and bathing suit sales, I’m in trouble.  Only now I’ve got August and September stretching before me with Halloween candy on the shelves, and with those two extra months, I can do some serious damage.  I might have to tape 20 large Target Christmas bags together just to make myself a bathing suit come January.


Filed under Bathing Suits, Calendars, Candy, Christmas, Halloween, humor, LEGOs, life, Weight Loss

It’s an Evil World in Here

Snags watches a lot of Scooby Doo.  He’s particularly fond of the movie Scooby Doo in Where’s My Mummy featuring Cleopatra’s Tomb, an army of the dead, and a curse.  Cleopatra’s Tomb, in case you didn’t know, is located in “Ancient Egypt”.  Snags has decided he wants to go there one day.   To Ancient Egypt, that is.

There’s also a necklace featured in the movie; it serves as a key to unlock both the tomb and a curse.

Now I hadn’t given that movie much thought lately, but perhaps I should have paid closer attention. You see, Snags had mentioned something to me about necklaces and jewels, and building a tomb, and unleashing an army of the dead to guard the tomb.  Those broader aspects I remember, but the specific details, not so much.  Because what you have to understand is that Snags, like most 5 year olds (at least I think that other kids his age are like this), can talk and talk and talk and talk until your ears start to bleed.  So sometimes, I’m not proud to admit it, but, uh, I think I’ve more or less confessed to this before… sometimes I’ll nod and agree and hope he tires of the conversation before I’m bled dry.  At any rate, whenever this tomb and army of the dead issue came up, I figured he was probably just going on about the movie again.

Snags also likes to write.  If he’s not talking about a Scooby Doo movie then he’s asking how to spell something so he can write a letter about it.  Or, if he’s thinking really grandly, a book.  Sometimes he asks you to spell just a word or two, and you can breathe a sigh of relief that your work is done.  Other times he’s got whole sentences, whole catalogs, whole encyclopedias worth of things he wants you to spell out for him.  This gets tiring rather quickly, so in those instances, I demand that he tell me the thing he wants to say in its entirety so I can write or type it all out for him at once.  And then he can copy it.  Occasionally I have fallen over from the sheer exhaustion of this never-ending spelling bee and he’s been left to ask his father to finish spelling things for him.

And here I should mention that I find it disturbing that when Snags asks his father how to spell a word, his father spells it for him.  But when I ask him how to spell a word, he tells me to look it up in the dictionary.  And this has been a thorn in my side for oh, the past 14 years.  Because, I think it’s perfectly clear that if you don’t already know how to spell a word, then it’s a bit hard to find it in the dictionary.  By way of example, I have been needing to write the word cupboard a couple of times lately, but the problem was, I didn’t know how to spell it.  I typed it as cuppard, and cubbard, and every strange variation thereof, but I was so far off that my computer spellchecker was no help at all, and the dictionary wasn’t either. 

Do you want to know how I finally figured out the proper spelling?  I read the story Friends Are Sweet to my son and there it was in a sentence:

“Belle turned toward the cupboards and said, ‘Who wants to help make cupcakes for Mrs. Potts?”

And I thought, Oh!  So that’s how you spell it.  Cup board.  Okay then.  And now you see, I’ve used the word here, although this wasn’t the place I’d originally intended to use it.  But no matter. Now at least I can spell it.  So where was I?  Oh yes… 

Snags also likes to draw pictures of the things he sees.  Such as Scooby Doo.  Or the monsters from Scooby Doo.  Or the Mystery Gang from Scooby Doo.  Or… Scooby Doo.  Well, you get the picture.   He has pads and scads and reams of drawing tablets for this, but goes through them faster than you can say “Goodbye Forests!”  He tears unfinished drawings from the tablets while crying, “I need more paper!  I messed up this picture!” And he leaves mounds of half drawn pictures lying in his wake as he sneaks down to the basement to snatch a few more sheets of paper from the printer next to the computer.

And so it was that I was listening to Snags go on and on about Scooby Doo while I was cleaning up piles upon piles of drawings and writings that were strewn across the kitchen table.  We’d taken to pushing the pile back each night so that we had room to eat dinner, but it had gotten so big that I finally had to dive in and start pitching the creative works that weren’t quite masterpieces.  Which I must admit, was most of them.

So imagine my surprise as I was sorting through these papers and came across a page that said, simply “CURSE NECKLACES”.  And underneath that were several pages of drawings of necklaces in red and green crayon.

I was slightly taken aback, because surely I hadn’t spelled “Curse Necklaces” out for him, and yet, there is was.  I showed the papers to my husband who knew immediately what they were, only he said he couldn’t remember the exact curses that each curse necklace represented!

When I asked Snags about them he said, “Oh!  Those were curse necklaces I was making.  But don’t worry, they aren’t real because we aren’t going to build a tomb anymore.”
And that’s when I realized that the last conversation about tombs and armies of the dead might have been about more than just the movie.  And so I said to Snags, (you know, just to be sure) “I think, if we aren’t going to build a tomb, then we won’t need the army of the dead hanging around here either, right?”  To which he confirmed the army of the dead would not be necessary after all.  And I’m pretty certain that the neighbors will be relieved over that.


Filed under humor, Scooby Doo

Karma Strikes Back

My husband ran over his foot with the lawn mower.

Yes, you read that right.  My husband ran over his foot with the lawn mower.  I cut the back of our yard on Thursday night, and my husband went out about 7:00 on Friday night to cut the front and the sides. He was out there about 5 or 10 minutes when I heard the mower stop and I thought to go out there and tell him something I’d been meaning to talk to him about, but before I could, he was lurching toward our sliding glass door.  He didn’t look well so I opened the door and he said “My Foot!” and pointed down at his foot where the front of his shoe was missing.  In the tangle of sock threads and blood I couldn’t tell about his toes, if they were still there or not, but by then I’d sort of closed my eyes anyway.

I asked if he wanted me to call an ambulance but he said he wanted me to drive him to the hospital. I parked the car in a handicapped spot, because hey, that was indeed the case, even if we didn’t have the sticker, and I ran and found a wheelchair and brought it back for him. 

Now you might think that when you walk in to a hospital and scream “LAWN MOWER RAN OVER FOOT” that it would spring people into action, but that’s apparently only the case on television.

The emergency room did full triage which really, I think, could have waited considering there weren’t many people there and certainly none besides my husband that looked like they’d run over themselves with a lawn mower.  Someone bandaged my husband’s foot which I think was only so they wouldn’t get blood on the floor, and then someone else asked if he’d lost any toes and when we said we didn’t know she un-bandaged it to take a look.  Then she wrapped it up again.  I kept my back turned the entire time.  After that we had the requisite stay in the E.R. waiting room where my husband was in obvious pain and I tried to call his family on my cell phone.

Word to the wise: put every phone number of everyone you’ve ever known into your cell phone.  I had my sister-in-law’s home number which she wasn’t answering.  I had my husband’s parent’s home number which is presently not working because stupid VOIP phone company went out of business and left all of their customers without phone service.  Until they get it restored by a real phone company, perhaps one that’s been in business since, oh, I don’t know, Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone, they can only be reached on their cell phones.  Only I didn’t have their cell phone numbers.  Nor did I have phone numbers for brother number 1 or brother number 2.  And my husband, who was preoccupied with his pain, couldn’t seem to remember any of these missing numbers.

After 50,000 tries, my sister-in-law’s answering machine finally picked up and I left a message saying “You’re brother is in the E.R. He RAN OVER HIS FOOT WITH THE LAWN MOWER.  Call me back!”  She called back 20 minutes later and said, I kid you not, “Awww!  How is he?  Is he in pain? Awww!  Poor thing!” before hanging up.  At which point I stared at the phone in my hand and thought WTF?  WTF?  WTF?!

Because it seems to me a more appropriate response would have been “OMG! OMG! OMG!  What hospital?  Will he ever walk again?  I’m on my way!”  But apparently, “Awww!.  Poor thing!” is the correct response when it’s your own brother who’s possibly lost an appendage. 

Eventually the hospital workers called our turn and put my husband up in a little curtained area and a Physician’s Assistant came by and said he’d order an X ray to see if any bones were cut off and then he’d clean and suture him up, if you know, there was anything left to suture.

Then he went to the next curtain over to help the man who had some dread skin infection and start him on three different types of antibiotics.  While listening to all this I wanted to scream “Holy Hell! Treat us first!  Don’t get that nasty bacteria on your hands and transfer it to us!  The mower nearly took my husband’s toe, don’t let some flesh eating bacteria finish the work!” 

Because hospitals, it turns out, are a perfect place to feed my neurosis.  My teeny tiny itty bitty germ phobia went into major overdrive and I tried to stand in the middle of the room holding my breath in case any of Bacteria Man’s germs should float over and down into my lungs.  And I tried not to touch anything, but damn it gets tiring standing for four hours straight.

The x-ray, according to the PA showed the bones were okay, but he said he might have to cut what was left of my husband’s toenail away.  They gave my husband a Loratab and some Novocain shots in his toe and set to work.  The PA cut away half of the toenail and then sat there contemplating that he might remove the rest of it to because “the last thing you want as it grows in is to get an ingrown toenail” and because also, the more work he did, the more he could bill us.  So he took the entire toenail off.  If you think you’ve seen that in a movie somewhere, I think you’re right, only I believe it was finger nails and the victim wasn’t given any Novocain.  All I can say is that it’s bloody work and horrid to watch.  I asked the PA how far into medical school do you start having to do things like that, because I was wondering how much money one might have invested before they realize they just can’t stomach the work.  He said that was okay, you don’t quit, you just change specialties.

While this was happening my son and I played tic-tac-toe and hangman where my son had to guess the letters to the words “lawn mower” and the PA thought that was hilariously funny for some reason I still can’t understand.

Now, when he was finished removing my husband’s toe nail, he set about sewing up the end of his toe.  Some of the stitches will dissolve on their own and some of them will have to be removed at a later date.

After that he started trimming the toenail he had removed and then he shoved it back onto my husband’s toe!  Now personally, I believe that’s very much like getting your hair cut too short and then scotch taping strands of it back together because you’ve changed your mind about the whole thing.  But the PA said it was so the nail bed would remain open and hopefully a new toenail would grow back.  Without any nail there, the nail bed might close up and quit. Or so he said. I thought about this a lot and came to the conclusion that I think he’s wrong and I think he made a mistake.  Runners lose toenails all the time, and I’m a runner and I should know, and I’ve never heard of us shoving the lost toenail back into place, but then I thought, well…. I’m not a doctor so what do I know?  But then I realized the guy was only a PA and that means HE WASN’T A DOCTOR EITHER!  Holy shit!

The nurse who bandaged my husband’s foot before we left asked ”How big was the tractor? and my husband said “It wasn’t a tractor, it was a lawn mower.”  So she asked how far it fell and he said, “What?  It didn’t fall on me; I was cutting the grass and ran over my foot!”  And only then did she look properly horrified about the whole damned thing.

Which now in hindsight makes me wonder if the PA thought a lawn mower had fallen on his foot and perhaps the whole toe nail would die anyway, sort of how when you hit your thumb with a hammer, and perhaps that’s why he removed it.  Or maybe he just always wanted to be able to say he once removed a toe nail and now he can.

I don’t know how it goes where you live but from this incident I’ve determined that here, Karma doesn’t put up with much shit.  A friend of ours is a “safety officer” for his job and for some reason, we find this exceptionally funny.  He was once hit by a car as he was crossing the street to his job and so it came somewhat as a surprise when he was actually promoted to the position of “Safety Officer” while still on crutches and in a neck brace.  Part of his job apparently entails sending out daily emails to the company’s staff with little pithy sayings like “Look both ways before you cross the street or you might not live to look at all”  or “Wear eye protection so you’ll continue to have eyes” and one of my personal favorites that I asked him to forward to me because I just couldn’t believe he’d actually sent such a message was, “Anger is only one letter away from Danger”.

Nearly everyone I know has been making fun of my friend and his daily notices. Earlier in the week I had been about to cross the street with him and another friend, and I was going to cross against the light because it’s the city and everyone does it, and because there weren’t any cars coming.  I stepped off the curb and my other friend did too, but our pal the safety officer, did not.  My friend then stepped back onto the curb and said “If the safety officer isn’t crossing then neither am I!” So then I stayed back too because, I don’t know, maybe he was allowed, like Bobby Brady, to hand out violation notices of some sort and I didn’t want to get in trouble. 

My friend the safety officer stood there and simply said “It hurts.” And I thought he was commenting on our teasing, like maybe we’d hurt his feelings but then he pointed at the approaching car and said, “If you get hit by a car, it hurts.”   Which, of course, he knows all about. 

The next day, he sent out this notice: “If you think these daily notes are a pain….try a leg fracture or a head injury.”  My husband and I had a really good laugh over that one and then BAM!  LAWN MOWER OVER FOOT!  So it seems Karma had had quite enough.  Either that or our friend the safety officer has a extraordinary hearing and a voodoo doll.

Four hours after our arrival, my husband was discharged from the hospital.  As we were leaving, there was a man in a wheelchair with his foot wrapped in the same manner my husband’s had been wrapped, and he too had blood seeping through the bandages in the place where his big toe should be.  I said to him, “Oh my God!  Were you using our lawn mower too?” because although I’d pulled the mower back behind our fence (because for some reason, I didn’t want anyone to steal the cursed thing), I hadn’t actually locked the gate and here was a guy who looked suspiciously like he’d had the exact same accident.  He swore he hadn’t been messing with our mower.  Rather, he claimed to have dropped some sort of cabinet upon his foot.  So I figured that explains how the nurses had gotten confused about whether my husband had mowed his own foot off or merely dropped something on it.

This morning, while my husband sat in bed with his foot bandaged and elevated, I went out to finish cutting the rest of the lawn.  I was going to say I went out to finish what he started but then I though that might be tempting fate again so I decided against that.  I’m not sure why I even bothered with the lawn because with this dry spell, it’s hard to tell which of the grass is growing and which is merely pretending to grow.

Also, it was hard not to stare at the scene of the accident, the place where he backed into the fence and his body stopped, but the mower did not.  I found myself looking about for bits of chewed up shoe and slivers of toe, but that was like looking for a needle in a haystack, and it was nearly one-hundred degrees out, so I gave up and set about cutting the grass. 

It’s kind of hard to believe the mower got my husband’s foot like that because I have to say it does a rather shitty job on the lawn.  You have to go at certain blades of grass and clover 6 ways to Sunday to mow them down, yet it ripped up his sneaker like it was a necktie in a paper shredder.  All I can figure is our mower has a hankering for old pairs of New Balances and that’s why I wore my big fat hiking boots today.

The moral of the story is thus:  Don’t mock safety officers and wear steel toed boots when you cut the grass.


Filed under accident, hospital, karma, lawn mower, life, safety

The Office

I recently had the opportunity to attend a 3-day seminar.  I’d been told by someone whose opinion I value, and who attended the seminar before me, that it was a pretty good one and well worth my time.  It was, he said, rather enjoyable.

Only now I think my friend must have been hit in the back of the head by a baseball bat and gotten all the sense knocked completely out of him.  Because the seminar was awful.  It was a nightmare in that “OMG this is so dull I think I’m going to die!” nightmare kind of way.  And most unfortunately, the whole thing was not a dream.  Unless it’s possible to have dreams that continue for 3 days straight?

I know it sounds cliché but still, I would have had more fun watching paint dry for the rest of eternity than sit through this seminar for three days.  Nonetheless, I was in it for the duration.

The seminar leader had lots of anecdotes to share and he insisted we go round the room and introduce ourselves.

One woman was named Loretta only he thought she had said “Lorrette” and he said “I have a sister named Lorette.  I wasn’t sure if you said Lorretta with an “A” or “Lorrette” with an “E” but I’ve never met any one else with the name Lorrette so I thought “Wow!  This is the first time I’ve met another Lorette!”  Only he was wrong because the woman said, “Well, it’s Loret-TA, with an A, so…”

When he got to me I expected him to say “Oh, one of my aunt’s is named Belle only she spells it B-E-L-L.  You have an extra E on the end I guess, but WOW! I’ve never met another person named Belle…” And I was all ready to say to him “Okay, YOU are a total and complete ding dong.”  Only I didn’t get a chance to because he didn’t have much to add after I’d introduced myself.  And he didn’t have anything to say about my name.

The seminar mostly entailed the speaker droning on and on and occasionally directing us to a particular page in our seminar binder.  Then once we’d found the correct page he’d read it out loud to us, only in a Cliff’s Note’s version, skipping most of what was written and emphasizing anything that happened to be printed in the binder in BOLD.  Because clearly, those of us who signed up for this seminar can’t read.  Or rather, we can’t read between the lines where it said “This will bore you off your ass to the point that you’ll contemplate pinching your nipples in the 3-ring binder just to wake yourself up.” 

At some point I happened to look up and noticed that the speaker was looking at me and nodding fast with raised eyebrows in a “Yes? Yes?” kind of way as if he were confirming something.  Because I was only half paying attention I stared back at him and started to worry.  Had I inadvertently agreed to something?  Had I offered to meet him back at the hotel bar after we wrapped up for the day?  I didn’t think I had, so why was he looking at me like that?  Had I drifted off, fallen asleep?  Had I been caught SNORING?

But then I noticed he was doing the same thing to all the other attendees.  In fact, he raised his eyebrows and nodded his head swiftly up and down after each thing he said, as if to emphasize a point.  The more I watched, the more I realized that thing he did was a tic more or less and that actually this guy had an uncanny resemblance to Steve Carell from the T.V. show The Office.  He was quite tan too.  Like maybe Steve Carell had been hanging out at the tanning salon with George Hamilton.

Once I figured out he looked like Steve Carell I spent the better part of the first afternoon just under the surface of mirth, trying but sometimes failing, not to laugh out loud as I imagined him veering off topic and spouting something inane and politically incorrect.  Perhaps, I thought, he’d tell us how all the women in the class ought to pinch their nipples in their 3 ring-binders to liven the place up.  Only he didn’t.

The second day I imaged we could put on a live version of an episode of The Office and I twisted in my seat and began to search around the room for suitable folks to play the roles of various characters on the show.  I decided I would play the part of Pam or maybe I’d let the lady with the long hair do that and I’d be the person who holds the video camera that everyone talks into on the show.  That way I wouldn’t have to touch up my makeup or memorize any lines.

After that I imagined we were being addressed by Evan Almighty.  Only I couldn’t take that line of thinking very far because I haven’t actually seen the movie.  My musings were limited to the bit scenes I’d caught in the movie’s trailer.

On the third day I racked my brain for other Steve Carell movies but could only come up with The 40 –Year- Old Virgin.  That didn’t work for me because that guy, well I kind of rooted for him in that movie.  He was geeky, sure, but he was endearing.  This guy standing in front of us was just boring.  I couldn’t empathize.

Finally, I resorted to the only tactic I had left.  I clamped the 3-ring binder down hard on my left nipple.  I pretended it was an accident and I left the room in search of a band-aid and some pain killers.  I couldn’t find any band aids but I did find the coffee cart and got myself a hunk of chocolate.  I ate that slowly and by the time I returned to the seminar room, Steve Carell was wrapping it up and everyone got to go home.

Now that I’m done telling you my story I’m going to call my friend who suggested the seminar in the first place and see how his head is feeling.  I’m thinking that to have recommended that seminar he had to have been injured pretty badly.  I wonder if his head hurts as much as my left nipple does?


Filed under humor, office, seminar, Steve Carell

My New White Skirt

I bought this new skirt.  It’s white, it’s bright, it’s summery.  It falls just above my knees.  The perfect length, I think, for a summer skirt.  It’s not too long and not too short.  Too long and I’d look like a grandmother.  Too short, I’d look like a hooker.  I can even do cartwheels in it if I want.  If I could.  Well, you know, if I could do a cartwheel without ending up on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance being hauled off to the ER for breaking my spine.  Because I’m not that limber.  I’m gymnastically challenged.  And almost 40.  So I don’t do cartwheels.  But if I did, nobody would see my underwear because technically, my white skirt is a skort; it has shorts sewn in underneath, but it looks like a skirt on the outside.  So I don’t need to wear a slip and I don’t have sit with my knees pressed together (nothing to see there folks, shorts in the way, sorry). It also lays well, has a flat front, and so far, I haven’t stained it. Best of all, it looks good on me!

There’s just one… tiny little… totally irritating problem.  What’s the problem, you ask?  This skort has a side zipper.  And 3 buttons, on the side, over the zipper.  Two of the buttons are the hidden kind, hidden under the waistband on the inside of the skort.  Under the best of circumstances hidden buttons like these can be a little… tricky.  Move them to the side of the skirt and they may as well be a combination lock of some sort.  The third button is your run-of-the-mill “button on the outside” kind of button.  Still, it’s on the side of the skort as well.

The side zipper is a great design feature in that it doesn’t interfere with the lines of the skirt.  But it’s awful when you have to use the bathroom.  It’s even worse when you (and by you I mean me) have to go really, really, really badly.  Like when you’ve sat at your desk working and pretending you don’t have to pee so you can finish this one thing and then that one thing and just one more phone call and that other little thing…  Only THEN it’s suddenly an EMERGENCY not unlike those commercials where they sing… “gotta go gotta go gotta go right now…”

I mean, really! Have you ever tried to unzip a side zipper when you are doubled over with your legs crossed trying not to wet yourself as you hop up and down?  It’s much easier to undo entrapments like side zippers and hidden buttons when you are standing still, standing calmly, and standing erect.  That is to say, when you are not doubled over in an attempt to kink your urinary hose so it won’t spill the contents of your bladder all over the floor.

If this was a skirt, I’d be able to yank the whole thing up with one hand, shove down my undies with my other hand, and just… pee.  Ah, the relief, you know?

But nooooo.  Since there are shorts here, the only way out is down, and the only way down is to undo the multitude of buttons and then the zipper on the side.  But I’m short and maybe a few pounds too wide, and not so limber (can’t do cartwheels, remember?). I’ve found that turning to the side to unzip and unbutton this pretty little skort really seems to require the skills of a circus performer, or a magician. A contortionist, perhaps. 

I’m kicking myself now for not getting in on the yoga craze.  It might have helped.  I could start now, I suppose, but I imagine by the time I got limber enough to twist my upper torso sideways and undo this skort in a jiffy, Fall would be upon us, or maybe even Winter, and well, I can’t wear a white skort then, can I?  That would be a clear and utter violation of the fashion rules and I certainly don’t want to be fined. 

So imagine, there I was, having waited so long to use the facilities that I was desperate.  I bolted down the hall, praying not to run into anybody looking to stop me with a question.  Yet at the same time, praying I would run into someone I could accost and demand they undo the buttons and the zipper for me. I wouldn’t have asked them to pull the skort down, mind you, just unhook all the fastenings.  Similar to how you might have someone help you unzip the back of a dress, you know?  But I was at work, and that wouldn’t have been appropriate. 
Still as I half walked, half ran down the hallway I envisioned the whole scene in my mind:  barking to someone “Help!  Unzip me now!  FAST. Come on, come on… Hurry up, Franklin! If you don’t make it snappy I’m going to pee right here, right now, and the puddle will be so large it will seep onto your shoes!”  Only there was nobody there.  The hallway was deserted. 

Too bad for me, the bathroom stalls weren’t.  There are three of them and like some cosmic joke they were all taken!  So I stood there, cross legged, hopping ever so slightly, bent nearly in half hoping and praying and muttering to myself as I unfastened and unzipped and very nearly removed the entire skort “hold it… hold it… I told you that you should have gone an hour ago…”  And then, at the last second, a stall opened and I dashed inside and vowed to never again buy something with a side zipper and hidden buttons.  Or, given the clothing designs these days, if that’s not possible, I’ll look for a skort with depends sewn in, rather than shorts.  Too bad that still won’t enable me to do a cartwheel. 


Filed under bathroom, buttons, gymnastics, humor, life, skirt, skort, summer clothing, white skirt, zippers