Showing posts from April, 2010

We all need somebody to lean on

What's disturbing me today besides the obvious, R's last day of work, which I won't even comment on because I'll get weepy, is this:  The men in my work group believe in child abuse as an appropriate parenting strategy.  I know.

 (Okay, a tiny comment about R. without getting too weepy, is that I've worked with her now for 10 years, and we've gone through 2 divorces (mine, hers), spent thousands of hours driving around King County together, dealt with hundreds of freaky people, and in general, I've probably spent more time with her than anyone on the planet in the past decade, and I will miss her like a hand.  May the road rise up to meet you, R.)

I'm in my stupid cube, minding my own business, and can't help but overhear one guy talk about how he was smacking his 4 year old who had colored on the bedroom wall with a crayon.  I tried to ignore it, but it was pretty disturbing, especially when B., who has no kids that we know of, piped in, "yea…

Sing ho for the life of a pig*

It turns out that I’m very grateful for the expired canned ham, because it has provided a little bit of material, which is hard to come by.  Not just material, but stuff I can actually write about here.  For example, this dispute is still going on, but the people involved are actually kind of scary.  I met each of them again yesterday --- him because he complained that she was digging out the stream, directing more water to her side, and her because, well, I’m not sure why, but I do know that they’re going to court today, and generally creating conflict and acrimony where there should be brownies and neighborhood barbecues.  As an example, one party asked yesterday, “Is there a law that says I can’t put 10 signs in the stream buffer?  They need to face the stream because I want people going by in the water to see them.  Where is it in code that I can’t have the signs?”  (By the way, this is not the Mississippi River; it doesn’t get any water traffic.  Ever.  These signs are only seen …

Ham in a can*

Last night, shortly after I arrived home from an excellent weekend with other people’s teenagers, my own came home. Soon I noticed a canned ham on the counter.

“Hey, R., what’s with the canned ham?”

“Dad sent it. And by the way, this isn't a zit on my nose. It's a second, smaller nose.”

"I was wondering when your second nose would start coming in. Why did Dad send the ham?”

“Because his girlfriend brought it from Oregon where she’s cleaning out the house of a dead person. And of course, she and Dad are both vegetarians.”

Okay, let’s back up just a second and say that I hope I don’t seem like the kind of person who wants to eat canned ham (ever), but I must say I was intrigued to be the recipient of a canned ham donated by my ex-husband’s girlfriends’ dead customer. The ham, alas, expired in 1991, which may explain why it wasn’t donated to a food bank. Should I just get the cats? Truth, please.  Because this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened

Wrong side of the fence

They built a locked fence around the access to our beach, which, if this were a book, would have been foreshadowed here. I don’t know if it’s good or bad that I didn’t realize it was foreshadowing at the time.

As a bit of background, I live near a small lake that’s completely developed with homes. My property doesn’t abut the lake, but the community, and I use that term loosely, owns two lots that all of the non-lake front owners use to access the water. One is developed into a beach, and the other is mosty forested, and used for fishing.

I ‘d like to just object to the fence here on my little blog, to my faithful readers. It’s wrong to limit access to water on so many levels, and I don’t want any part of it, and I’m embarrassed to be part of such a bitter, territorial, fear-driven community.

The behavior that is being stopped with the fence? Teenagers coming up here on hot days in the summer and swimming. Yup. And the occasional parent with toddlers, playing in the sand and…


Oh my, Courtness (I think that accidental spelling means Cortney combined with Countess combined with Goddess), I'm so discombobulated.

I have too much on my plate, so much that I think my stress-induced psoriasis is causing my hair to fall out in clumps. Have any good tips on wigs or fun hats? (No, I don't have an Adam's apple that needs cloaking with a scarf, just bare, scabby patches on my scalp!) And how does the Courtness deal with time management any way?

Next, my city-fied (NYC city-fied no less) daughter actually suggested we take a mushroom growing workshop together. You know, where you drill holes in logs, fill them with mushroom spores (uh, the edible, NON-psychotropic kind) and keep the log damp, in a shady place until you have lovely little shitakes, oysters or what-have-you, yes, mushrooming all about? In all my spare time. High heels, theater, modeling (the daughter, not me, for those three) and mushrooms. And at age 22 she actually wants to do something wit…

Hey now

A couple people have asked for more detail on this post.  First, the song.  I know, you've all heard it many times, but go listen to it in case it's been a while.  Here you go.  It really will make your day a little better.

Some of you were confused about what presentation I could possibly be making that starts out with The Scream.  That's an excellent question, and I'm not even sure where to begin, but to make a really long story as short as possible, the presentation is about a little expose research I did on how our effective our agency is.  I got a grant, and evaluated what we do for a couple years, and summed it up in a report that no one has read, and a powerpoint that I've given a half dozen times, but not to the people in my office.  Yes, got that?  I go out into the community and show people where we fall down, but the people in charge have not viewed it.  I keep saying, "um, you might want to see this..."  So, anyway, The Scream is a semi-good s…

Love thy neighbor

Last night, I was sitting in my kitchen by myself, when I heard a voice call, “R?”, but they didn’t say the letter, they said the whole name of my son, but the voice was kind of disembodied and a little bit creepy because it was from outside, and not just outside, but the north side, which, well, no one goes there because of the weird neighbor and the lack of sun (except for me when I’m working on what I call My Project, but the children call my Freaky Little Obsession, which is the weed project that I am ultra-devoted to.)

So I’m home alone, trying to figure out if there’s a friend of R’s lurking around in the yard, or a ghost, or something else, and it’s dark out, and sort of late for that kind of thing.  I’m not really the door locking kind, which I know you’re not supposed to post on the internet, but just to be clear, I’m not revealing whether I actually lock the doors or not, just that it’s not my natural way.  My natural way also doesn’t include working in a cubicle, but I do i…

It's like describing a card trick

Aries (3/21 – 4/19):  Do you sometimes feel like you're sort of out of it, tied down with responsibilities, and then suddenly, you realize, wait, I'm totally in the thick of what's happening, because there I was at the Grand Opening, for godssakes, of the new Goodwill?  Yep.  You've definitely got it going on.  This week, look forward to going on a trip across the water with your friend.  (And all those other people.)

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Does it sound far-fetched that we're planning a manned trip to Mars?  It sometimes seems hard to sort out fact from fiction these days.   Your week will be awesome, as it should be.  Do the dishes already, make your mama proud.  (I think that I could be arrested for having Aaron Carter on my iPod, by the way.  Isn't there a certain age past which it's just creepy?)

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Sometimes random strangers come to the door and tell you stuff, like, "hey, you should really rake the moss out of your lawn,"…

Jockomo feena nay*

Yesterday when I got in the car I couldn't select, from all of the things that were on my mind, which thing to think about, so instead, I started listening to the various versions of Iko Iko on my iPod, trying to decide which I like best.  It’s still a toss up between the Dixie Cups and Cyndi Lauper (!), with Dr. John a close second.

I decided to stop at a Starbucks in a place I don't usually like to stop, because I was suddenly aware of how completely unfocused I was, and thought I should be at the top of my game (if there is such a thing anymore) for a presentation to the New Boss, which would be my first real encounter with him. All of the bosses between he and I also asked to attend, either because they were nervous that I'd screw up, or (long shot) because they thought my presentation would be interesting.  At any rate, it seemed like a good idea to be clear headed, if possible, and it seemed like I should allow maximum time for the caffeine to take affect. 

The Sta…


Remember those pants?  They're back.  Yep, she disappeared for about a month, and then, with no comment, re-appeared, hung those cat-pee-smelling leather pants up proudly on her cubicle wall,  re-decorated the walls with her papa's war medals, and resumed whatever work it is that she does.

I dare you to try this at your job.  The whole thing: smelly outfit, disappear for a month, reappear...


I finally purchased chemicals for my weed problem, which is rather a big deal, not unlike losing one’s virginity.  First, I went to the nursery and found this organic clove oil- vinegar compound, which technically is not a nasty chemical, but still, who wants clove oil and vinegar in your eyes?  And if you’re some little microbe in the soil, it has to be horrible to get doused in that stuff. 

I felt kind of awkward because it was in with the super nasty stuff like “moss-be-gone” (By the way, who would want the moss to be gone?  I never understood that.  People want something low and green to cover their yard, but if something low and green comes in on its own, it must be killed?), and the guy who worked in the store was helping a man who acted like he thought all plants were bad and wanted to kill everything in his yard, and the guy working there didn’t look like he liked that plant-hater guy at all. 

Anyway, I was strangely worried that it would seem like these were my people, and …

It's never too late

Aries (3/21 – 4/19): You know that situation where a soon to be divorced neighbor calls and asks if he can move in, and you're kind of speechless, and say, um, um, instead of saying what you're really thinking, which is, wow, that's crazy! Instead, you say, oh, it sounds really hard, and he's all, yeah, it would be easier, though, if I could fall into the arms of another woman, and instead of saying, wtf, you say, 'have you tried heavy drinking? and he says, yeah, I'm all over it.  And for a second, you think you're  a rocket scientist? Yeah, I know. Anyway, don't try the heavy drinking yourself. Do yoga.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Have we confirmed that you subscribe to Radio Lab podcasts?  Because if not, you should.  You would know the full story of the guy who infected himself with hookworms to cure his allergies, the chimp who thought he was human, and the origins of morality.  By the way, not that anyone asked me, but there's nothing wrong with a …

The fun never stops

I’ve been asleep for much of the time since I returned home from the dog party Saturday, which might not be related to the party, but you decide.

As soon as we arrived, me tagging along with a friend and her three children, ages 5, 5, and 3, and her large black lab, 9, the dog immediately ran over to a potted plant and urinated, which I thought was good because maybe it meant less of that happening in the pool, but the woman who worked there looked surprisingly horrified, and ran over with some little pellets to Do Something about it.

The dog spent the rest of the party trying to mount the other dogs, who were diving in and out of the water, retrieving tennis balls and other saliva-soaked chew toys that were lobbed over the top of the childrens’ heads and floated all around the pool. There were definitely more canine guests than children, and all of them were quite large: german shephards, labs, etc.

Most of the adults stood on the sidelines drinking beer (I know! Let’s add alcoh…

Zombie College

From the archives, due to a sick day....  sorry f you've read this before


Last night, I began my intensive summer learning program on zombies. R has concluded that I need remedial assistance in this area, and revised my Netflix queue accordingly. No more foreign films, no documentaries, no indie classics; instead, “Quarantine”, Night of the Living Dead, “Diary of the Dead”, “Land of the Dead”, etc. For the next six weeks, every Sunday night we’ll watch one zombie movie.

It’s not like just watching a movie, though; it’s more like a class. Six minutes in, R. stops the movie: “Mom, what have you learned so far?”

“Um… Umm…”

“Focus. Think about it. We’re six minutes in. What do you know?”

“Um, that the zombies are scary?”

“Right, that’s a good start”, he says, like an indulgent teacher, “but more to the point, zombie movies start right off with something happening. Why look, you’re still awake, and people have already died! That’s one thing. What else did we …