Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In The Kitchen

We've had our fill here of 'holiday food' and I wanted something easy, hearty, and filling yesterday. So I got out the trusty crockpot and threw this together:

1 lb dried navy/great northern beans
8 medium-sized new potatos, cubed, with skins still on
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 lb of cubed ham from Christmas hambone (still enough left on that sucker for a pot of pinto beans in the near future).
5 cups water & 2 cups chicken broth
Salt, pepper, & creole seasoning to taste (I used a good handful of Morton's coarse sea salt and abt 5 shakes from the Tony Chachere creole seasoning canister)

Combine in crockpot & set on low for 7-8 hours. I stirred it at about four hours in, then turned it off at about the 7.5 hour mark and let it sit for about 30-40 minutes before spooning it up. It had a terrific taste & the broth had some substance to it.

The great thing about doing dried beans in the crockpot like this is it eliminates the need for any kind of soaking/blanching. I've also found the beans don't cook to mush, but keep their shape* when done in the crockpot.

*I described it to the SO as the beans 'maintaining their integrity' & he replied his conscience preferred beans with integrity. Ha ha.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Resolution

Get past Brickbreaker Level 16 on my crackberry.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Worst Christmas Songs Ever

1: Hands-down, gotta be Christmas Shoes. Surely I'm not the only person who has thrown up on the steering wheel upon encountering this on the radio.
1a: Whatever that steaming pile of alleged music is that is Neil Diamond's latest. He incorporates lines from Christmas songs and from his own songs to hot mess.

2: Jing a Ling Jing a Ling as rendered by the Andrews Sisters. XM Holiday Traditions insists on playing this one at least twice a day. I'm entirely certain it's driven more than one person to commit hari kari, it's that bad.

Prep Work

Chicken salad is chilling in the fridge, along with a Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel & a Latour Chardonnay. Sausage & grits casserole are on the menu for supper. The dishes are washed and White Christmas is on the tube.

Keeping it quiet and close to home this Christmas. We'll head down to Charleston for a hockey game and an overnight stay Sunday just to keep cabin fever from setting in.

Happy Chrismukkakwanzfestivus to all, and to all a good night.

Monday, December 21, 2009

At The Movies

Saw Pulp Fiction for the first time Friday night. Had a couple of wtf? moments, but mostly was able to follow it. When Tarantino gets out of his own way, he can make a damn good movie.

And continuing the theme of hit men, we also watched In Bruges yesterday. I'll let Roger tell you about it. Might have to get the dvd on that one. I think it's one of those movies you have to watch several times to catch all the things going on in it. Plus, Ralph Fiennes and Colin Ferrell.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Schaden Has Had A Particularly Delicious Plate of Freude Recently

  1. Aw, poor Tebow/Jeebus boy, feeling a little...forsaken, are we?
  2. Tiger Woods is not only a pissy little diva, but quite the man-ho as well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rainy Sunday Comin' Down

It's grey and intermittently rainy here today. We've discovered an XM Christmas music channel on the satellite line-up, and that along with a lovely Syrah, is making the day palatable.

There's a pork loin in the fridge for later, and at some point I need to go salt the turkey and shove it in a 2-gallon plastic bag to prep for the big day.

There's a part of me just itchin' to lay the snark down on the Sarah Palin Magical Mystery Bus Tour Across the Real 'Murika to Sell Books/Herself, but chick just makes me tired. Besides, the inimitable Mudflats is doing a better job than I could have anyway.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shorter Republican Reaction to House Vote on Health Care Reform:

You did it anyway even though we toooold you over and over that we didn't liiiike it. Waaaah.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

It's sunny and forecast for an 80 degree high today. Welcome to Halloween in the South. Tomorrow? High of 60. Gotta love it.

I'm feeling a little peaked today, trying to fight off a cold. No fever or other swinish symptoms, so there's that to be thankful for.

It's college gameday-I'm in my Gamecocks shirt & Le Boyfriend is wearing that tacky Tennessee orange. Somebody might be sleeping on the sofa tonight, depending on how the game turns out. I'll make sure he has a pillow and a blanket : >.

I feel a nap coming on. Y'all have a good day. Hope everybody's team wins. Well, except for Florida* and Alabama. I hate those guys.

*But don't take that to mean I'm rooting for Georgia. Can't bring myself to do that either.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's That Time Again

I head to the beach on Tuesday for my annual state conference. I'm really looking forward to seeing my colleagues and getting away from the office for a week. Frankly, I need a break from the non-stop grant writing that has kicked in with the stimulus funding. I've struggled with this most recent application far more than is called for, and I can only surmise it's due to a mild case of burnout.

Another upside is that I'll be busy with workshops and networking, and won't be quite as 'connected' as I am on a daily basis. I think I'm experiencing some Internet burnout as well. Not nearly as bad as it got right before the election, more like a low-grade fever that leaves you with enough energy for light housework, but makes you feel like crap while you're doing it.

It's a clear day here in Tinytown, and it's noticeable cooler than the last few days. Maybe we'll get an actual fall in these parts, instead of going straight from summer to winter like we did last year.

On tap at the beach is lunch in Murrell's Inlet on the way in, a stop in Pawley's to visit the nature photography shop of a high school classmate, a surfeit of seafood and maybe a visit to 2001. Wonder if they still have the fish swimming in the dance floor?

Everybody have a good week. I'll slurp a raw oyster & have some boiled shrimp for you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

People Who Need a Pfunch in the Pface*

  • Max Fucking Baucus, who looked so damn smug and self-satisfied at the end of the committee meeting yesterday where he sold citizens who are not corporations down the river.
  • William Saletan, who Does.Not.Get.It. And by it, I mean anything.
  • Those folks who peed themselves in their rush to declare the Nobel Peace Prize 'worthless' in the wake of Obama's award. Likely the same people who delighted in calling the Presidency an 'entry-level position' upon his election.
  • The dickheads driving like fucking dickheads on the Interstate in the torrential rain this morning.

*I'm always up for a random Golden Girls reference.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Week

to put one off of humanity permanently, or maybe just the Internet and/or the news:

  • Big-name celebs, men and women, signing petitions in support of Roman Polanski.
  • Whoopi Goldberg displaying monumental fucking ignorance by saying it "wasn't rape rape". I guess because Polanski ANALLY RAPED the 13-YEAR OLD CHILD HE'D DRUGGED. Uh, WTF?
  • Americans so intent on bashing Obama they are exultant the US lost out on a bid to host the Olympics. Cognitive Dissonance much there, you America Firsters?

Going to take a break from the Intertubes and finish the John Lennon Bio I've been reading, watch a little college football, finish watching the last two episodes of 'National Parks' I saved to the DVR, and generally hope to flush all this shit out of my head. As the Chez Quis Maitre D` said so eloquently, "I weep for humanity."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Under the Category

of Damn, I wish I'd thought of that:


Two immediate favorites: David Gregory and Rick Warren.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ken Burns' 'National Parks'

Is majestic, thrilling, and awe-inspiring.

And I think I'm more than a little in love with Shelton Johnson.


Things have been a little hairy here at Casa de ZOMG Not Another Grant Deadline!?! In fact, the most recent deadline left me, I'm convinced, with PTSD-I continued to fret, stress, and even dream about the damn thing for days after submitting it. I think I've finally recovered, just in time to begin Stimulus funding reporting. Woo hoo.

Anyhoo, the weather has taken a definite turn towards fall in these parts, with markedly cooler mornings and afternoons that don't leave you feeling as if you're going to melt in your clothes. We left the windows open last night to sleep, and I got up at some point and closed them because I was cold. And considering I'm still having 'my own private summer' (TM Oprah), it had to be pretty chilly.

Spent yesterday with 40 high school Juniors & Seniors visiting one of our finer institutions of higher learning. They were a good group, except for three guys who would.not.stop.texting., whilst intermittently ogling the college girls. I found myself hoping one of them would trip and do a half-gainer faceplant.

Off to start my day. Y'all be good.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reason 9,678 Why I Love the Myrtle

24-hour Jiffy Marts that sell condoms...individually. Out of little glass jars. Because I reckon you never know when you're gonna need one.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Project 2996

was started by Dale Challener Roe as a way to remember the victims of September 11th, 2001. I partcipated several years ago, and was glad to get an email from Dale asking me to again participate this year. I was asked to memorialize Robert J. Baierwalter.

I couldn't find much about Robert, a few online guestbooks, one of which contained the comment: "He was cool."

The following is what was printed about Robert in the New York Times Special Section 'Portraits', in which the Times presented brief snapshots of each victim of the day:

Robert J. Baierwalter:A Man Who Took His Time
Published: Sunday June 16th, 2002

Robert J. Baierwalter thought outside of the box. In high school, he and some friends hoisted a drum set, piece by piece, up to his bedroom so his mother would not know (at least not for a few hours). Decades later, as an account underwriter for FM Global, he liked creating insurance deals his co-workers thought impossible. And when other fathers sped to work early, he stayed home until 8:45 a.m., when Veronica, 14; Richard, 11; and Raymond, 6, left for school.
"He watched their grades like a hawk," said his wife, Laura. "It's a very difficult job, I'm finding out now. He used to ask Veronica every three days, `What's your math average?' and he was always on the phone with the teachers."
She and his friends remember how Mr. Baierwalter, 44, was always late. "Now that I look back, I see he never rushed for anything," said Debbie Falls, a neighbor. "He enjoyed life. He took his time. He didn't have much time here."
Mr. Baierwalter, who lived in Albertson, N.Y., worked in Norwalk, Conn., but was at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 for a meeting at 8:30 a.m. "It was probably the first time in his life he was on time," Ms. Falls said.

It's my honor to remember Robert today. Peace be to his family, to his widow.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

College Football Saturday!!

It's all good already, what with the Cocks winning Thursday.

Go Charleston Southern Buccaneers*.

*Please for to stop with the laughing. Thank you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


  • It took all of four posts on a thread titled 'RIP Ted Kennedy' on my widow support board before the judgmental assholes (all of whom self-identify as 'Christian') began with the vitriol and hatred, including the reason(s) why he is in hell. The irony, teh stings.
  • I began reading Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein about two weeks ago. I quit reading with about 130 pages to go, not because it isn't gripping and well-written, but because there's only so much even a committed curmudgeon as myself can take.
  • Our esteemed dickhead, tone-deaf, fucking clueless governor, Mark Sanford, stood in front of a group of journalists yesterday, many of whom I surmise live and pay taxes in South Carolina, and said, "I don't work for you." 1. More of that stinging irony here, and 2. Yes, yes you do work for them. And for us. You do your work in the most spectacularly uninspired, lousy, Peter Principle-proving way, but you do work for them and us.
  • On a lighter note, there is a cold front predicted for our little steamy corner of the South tomorrow night, with nighttime temps in the high 60's and daytime highs in the 80's. Loverly.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Marie Osmond:

Please shut up about Nutrisystem. You have to be the most annoying spokesperson ever. Even moreso than Rachel Ray or Progressive's Flo. And that's saying something. They make me want to get all stabby with them. You make me want to get stabby with myself.

And eat a sandwich. And leave some makeup for the rest of us.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why There Should be a Test for Common Sense

before using Facebook. Pay particular attention to #4. And read the comments. Oh how I lurve the Internet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reading List

I just finished Pat Conroy's Beach Music, and like all of his novels, it's sweeping and lush, with language that soars.

It's also about three different novels going in about three different directions, with set piece scenes that do not build from character, which is usually Conroy's great strength, and therefore ring hollow.

The book is set primarily in the fictional town of Waterford, South Carolina, masquerading as Beaufort, SC. Beaufort is a lovely town that has only just recently succumbed to prettifying its downtown* into an area indistinguishable from other manufactured downtowns with their yuppified shops and nicey-nice restaurants, instead of the delightful shabby chic the town has sported for the last dozen years or so. In fact, I was dismayed on a recent visit to discover that one of the best downtown, waterfront dive bars ever has been displaced by a bar you'd be safe taking Queen Elizabeth to.

I can understand why Conroy calls it Waterford--it's in essence his home county and I guess he felt the need to provide cover for it. On the other hand, he renames the nearby Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot Pollock Island for no discernible reason. At worst, it's annoying, and again rings false. Those from South Carolina know exactly where he's talking about anyway so he's not really hiding anything, and those who don't know should be given the information, if only for assisting them in physically orienting themselves to the geography Conroy describes.

The other annoyance is the lack of editing and copyediting throughout the book. They're two different things. Editing would have trimmed this 800-page behometh into less of a ramble through Conroy's id and more into an actual narrative. As for copyediting, a good one would have relieved the book of all the annoying little errors/writer tics that are inevitable in manuscripts. Left to its own devices, the major reveals have almost no emotional punch, and at least one is telegraphed so sloppily going in it creates a barrier between the reader and the characters.

I have to admit I skipped about twenty pages in two different parts of the book, I guess because I'd had a surfeit of flowery, repetitive language. I was still able to get the gist of things.

It's a good beach read, but with some discipline, it could have been a great book.

*For a glimpse of pre-yuppified downtown Beaufort, rent The Big Chill--the scene where Kevin Kline and Bill Hurt are jogging in the early morning is along Beaufort's main street. There are other great Beaufort scenes in the movie as well, including the drive from the Church to the burial at the beginning of the movie. It's a gorgeous town, and I dare anyone not to visit and fall instantly in love.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Health, Wellness, and Diet

Over the past two days, the network morning shows have had features on these topics. They have them every weekend. And they're insidious.

On the CBS show yesterday, the 'Health' feature focused on a young woman who'd had liposuction to alleviate her...cankles. That's right, if you have cankles, that's a serious health issue and there are MD's out there who are willing to help you with it. The young lady in question was rather svelte, to my eye, and while she didn't have well-defined ankles, she had discernible legs, calves, ankles, and feet. She talked about how self-conscious she'd been over the years wearing dresses and shorts, and gushed about how the surgery, performed just a few weeks earlier, had already made a difference.

They showed 'before and after' photos of her legs/ankles from the back and honestly? I couldn't tell a difference. In fact, I thought the before photos showed more definition. But the, patient was happy, so I guess that's all that matters.

On this morning's Today show, the fellow who wrote 'Eat This, Not That' was featured, and the first words out of his mouth were: "If you follow what I'm about to tell you, you'll lose 20 lbs in the next six weeks." My first thought was, 'wow, a rapid loss like that is really not recommended these days, is it?'

His 'advice' for losing said 20 lbs? When you go to Red Lobster, instead of having one kind of cocktail that rings in at 800+ calories, have this other cocktail that comes in at 200 or so calories. And when you go to California Pizza Kitchen, don't have the yada yada asian chicken salad, have the cheese pizza. And when you go to Cold Stone Creamery, don't have the tall shake something. And when you go to...well, I can't tell you the last piece of advice, because I tuned him out. Because I haven't been to Red Lobster in about five years or so, and wouldn't dream of having a cocktail there when I do go. And there are no California Pizza Kitchens in SC, so no choice to make there. And I maybe go to Cold Stone Creamery once every three months or so.

And also because I was screaming in my head (because it makes Le Boyfriend nervous when I scream/talk back to the television), 'What kind of advice is this? It's presented as if people eat out at these places every day, and have one of these cocktails/shakes/salads/whatever every day as part of their regular diet.

Story #1 is insidious in the way that so much of women's appearance is being 'medicalized' these days. When a story is presented as a 'Health' topic, and a Dr appears to discuss the medical/health issues involved, it's not a leap to realize there are a lot of women out there who will think "ZOMG, I have cankles. I have something else wrong with me. My cankles can't be seen in public because they're not perfect."

Story #2 is insidious in the way it posits that everyone makes bad choices all the time and teh fat is BADBADBAD and you should NEVER HAVE A TREAT because it will make you fat and teh fat is BADBADBAD. Plus the writer is an authoritarian dick (disclaimer re: the last statement: my personal opinion).

ETA: I'm equally annoyed with the professional smilers who host these programs. Not once did the anchorwoman handling the cankles story yesterday ask how this was a 'health and/or medical issue; and not once did the anchorwoman today ask the obvious: 'how many people are we actually talking about here who eat like this every day that making these specific changes would precipitate the 20 lb weight loss?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Came Here

a few days ago with all sorts of pithy, hi-larious things to say about Sanford, Mark and Palin, Sarah, but as I tried to log in, I realized I was as blank as could be on my password. So I had to go through all the rigamarole to reset it. And because I'm like the crow and easily distracted by shiny things, the internets lured me with its siren call of links and blogs and online pictures of kitties with funny captions written on them.

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, our two favorite Governors/punchlines. Last Monday, a great show was made of promulgating Mark Sanford's schedule for the week. This week? Ain't seen bumpkus about it.

And then there's Sarah. Who says, in her inimitable way, "Only dead fish go with the flow." I...uh...whaaa?

Let's recap: Four colleges, scant months of City Council before running for Mayor; quits Mayor to run for Governor; jumps right into national politics at barely a year or so into being Governor; quits the Governor job halfway through first term.

Somebody else has issues with distraction, methinks. Or she could just be...oh look, a kitty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Recap

of the CBS Evening News, for those who missed it:


Commercial stuff


Commercial Stuff

Oh and the dow did something and the President went somewhere and talked to some guy, and uh, there was some weather stuff, and some guy was sworn in to do something in DC.


Tomorrow: We're fairly sure Michael Jackson will still be dead, but we think we can milk this shit for at least another day or two.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dear Governor Mark Sanford:

For the love of God, please shut up. Because there isn't enough brain bleach in the state for all of us.


Randomsoutherner, who was righteously pissed at you last Thursday, sorta felt sorry for you by the weekend, and now lives in dread fear that she will see your complete breakdown live on tv any minute.

Seriously dude, think of your children. That is, if it's at all possible for you to think of anyone other than yourself, you raging, sophomoric narcissist.

Don't Mind Me

Just having my morning hot flash over here.

Is middle age over with yet? No? Damn.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I've Been Watching

a 'Charlie's Angels' marathon on WGN, in memorium to Farrah.

Some thoughts spring to mind:
  1. Farrah was really unbelievably beautiful.
  2. Hugh O'Brien was seriously hot.
  3. They dressed Kate Jackson atrociously.
  4. Chloroform sure was mighty easy to come by in those days.
  5. 70's tv was badly written.

And would people please take a break with the dying? I mean, Billy Mays and now Gale Storm? Makes one kind of scared to open the Internets.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford

Batshit crazy or Crazy like a fox?


ETA: In light of today's developments, obviously just a sad excuse for a human being. My heart goes out to his children, who will not be able to fully escape this.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Frozen Margaritas

on a hot summer day, and a good guy to share them with.

Life is good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dear Sarah Palin:

David Letterman does not owe me an apology; please do not presume to speak for me.


P.S.: ur an idiot

Saturday, June 6, 2009

No There There

or here either, apparently.

Maybe some there will crop up here once I have some downtime.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Something You Don't See Every Day

Our across-the-street neighbors are out of town, and I'm tending to their kitty for a few days. So I was locking their door this morning on my way out & heard the clip-clop of hooves along with some whinnying and thought to myself, 'Self, do I hear a horse?'.

But I saw no horse, chalked it up to limited sleep and incipient southern lady heat fried brain craziness and tromped back across the street to my house. A little bit later, I was on the sofa and Le Boyfriend was in the kitchen as we were making out a grocery list and what do I see but...a horse, come down the street, stop at the intersection, look both ways, and take a left. Which apparently didn't suit him, because in just a moment or two he headed back our way.

The neighbors called 911 (and wouldn't you like to hear the recording of that call) and pretty soon , here comes one of our local officers in his patrol car. Which, was he planning on hitting the siren and telling the horsie to 'Pull over buster, right now!'?

Updates will be posted as they come in. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

10 Days

of school left, including four days of state testing.

28 work days left till I'm off for the month.

I just might make it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Haven't Been

around here much lately. Don't have too much to say, unless you're dying to know about testing, or Title I projects, or severe budget crunches. So let me know if that's the case.

If not, I think I'll be back once things die down a bit at work. Y'all be good.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sort of a Blur

This weekend has been one. We spent most of Friday evening dragging out all the stuff we'd put aside over the last few months waiting on the annual Methodist Church Town Yard Sale and putting sale stickers on things. In between, we had a nice Pinot Noir and some ribeyes Le Boyfriend grilled for my birthday dinner.

We loaded up the cars yesterday morning and headed for the yard sale site by 6:30 a.m. By ten, we'd sold down pretty good-to the point where I said it wouldn't hurt my feelings to carry off what was left to the Goodwill. Made about a 100 bucks, and I've got my eye on a 9-foot umbrella for the back yard with my share of the proceeds.

After a quick cleanup back at the ranch, we hit the road to N.C. to see two lovely people who were each widowed the same year I was and who connected at one of our get-togethers in Greenville get married. It was sweet, fun, and relaxed, just like the happy couple.

We headed home this morning & stopped in Columbia so Le Boyfriend could treat me to a birthday lunch at The Blue Marlin. If you're ever in the Vista in Columbia, I highly recommend it (get the shrimp and grits and a plate of collards for the table-you won't be sorry).

It's a clear, sunny Sunday afternoon & the Braves are battling it out with the Astros. I'm piled up on my sofa and don't plan to move too far from this spot until bedtime.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Aw, We'll Miss You


How I loved Maude, and how I really loved Golden Girls. I watch it every day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lazy Sunday

The Braves are winning in the seventh, ribeyes are soaking in the marinade, and the first batch of potato salad of the season is in the fridge.

Life is good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Don't Wanna

I think that's my battle cry for today.

What I'd like to do is spend the day on my sofa in my robe. What I need to do is get around here and do some laundry, clean the bathroom, and run a couple of errands.

I don't wanna.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The War on Stuff, Chapter 1007

I think I'm winning. It helps to have a helper (Le Boyfriend) who is as committed to decluttering the place as I am. And it helps that he's pretty ruthless about it.

The back room (sort of an added-on den) is quickly becoming less a catchall for everything and more like a decent, usable room. My flat screen is back there now, hooked up to the satellite, along with my comfy, corduroy club chair and a good reading lamp. There are still boxes back there, most destined for the town yard sale the first of May. What doesn't sell is going straight to the ever-welcoming arms of the Salvation Army.

Soon there will be room to consider pretty furniture for storage of out-of-season bedding and the like, such as a nice wardrobe (what your granny would've called a chiffarobe), and maybe another set of bookshelves.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Nothing to

see here for now.

Be back in a week or so.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Magical Thinking

Def: Wherein one returns home after being gone for three nights hoping that work left undone when one left will be completed in one's absence.

Use in a sentence: Damn I was hoping all this s*** would be carried off by elves while I was gone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Joys of Middle Age

I went to see my Dr. Friday because I've been incredibly frazzled for the last two weeks, said frazzling including random sharp chest pains, funny pain across my shoulders, and tingling in my left hand.

She seemed to agree that it was mostly stress-related, considering everything going on with both work and the impending changes here at Casa de Craphole, with some nerve compression going on to cause the tingling, just for shits & giggles on the part of my body, I suppose.

Anyhoo, she took an EKG in the office, which came up abnormal but not acute (and thanks for teh internets diagnosis, poops). Apparently this happens a lot. But she scheduled a follow-up with the cardiologist this coming Friday, just to be sure.

Kinda sucks though when the 25 year-old that lives in your head gets hit with the reality of an almost 50 year-old body.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's an old sales motto: Always Be Closing.

I've reconfigured it for my motto, for the next couple of weeks at least, to be: Always Be Cleaning.

Le Boyfriend was here over the weekend for his last visit before becoming an official resident of Tinytown and of my humble abode in two weeks. He helped me clean a good bit & the task of preparing this place to add him into the mix appears much less daunting.

Yesterday evening, I cleaned out the closet in the spare bedroom/office. The original intent for this closet was to use it for my winter 'good clothes' that I wanted to leave on hangers. It apparently morphed from that over the years. Ahem.

So there's a goodly amount of stuff to 86, along with a full box and a pile of stuff on hangers to go to the ever faithful Salvation Army.

Another battle in the war on stuff waged and won.

Now, who can tell me what to do about the 25 boxes of books in this house? Anyone? Bueller?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reason 2578 Why I Love This Town

I was wrapping up this morning's yard sale, still left with a couple of the bigger pieces I'd hoped would find new, happy homes.

The biggest onus was a wing chair, a decent piece of furniture that for various reasons had become something of an albatross.

So of course at the end of the sale, there it was, in all its albatrossian glory in my front yard. I'd had a couple of gals express interest and leave their name and phone numbers, but I had a sneaking suspicion their response on the phone would be 'Let me see', and/or 'Well, are you willing to cut the price?'*.

I was in the process of shoving the damn thing back in the front door, when a neighbor** drove by in his truck and asked if I needed help. I said the first think that popped into my head, which was, "Yeah, I need to get this chair to the Salvation Army (which is 18 miles away, btw)."

To which he said, "Okay, take my truck. I'll drive your car back to my house & when you get back, we'll swap out." And I did.

*Read: I think you're desperate & you'll be willing to allow me to steal it out from under you.

**Said neighbor has to be one of the most truly 'Christian' persons I've ever come across. He is totally awesome.

Yard Sale

I was afraid I was going to experience an Epic Fail. However, some of the bigger things are already gone, I have two folks interested in a wing chair that's been in my way for two years, and if what's out there now doesn't sell, it'll make for another nice donation to the Salvation Army.

Now what to do about the gazillion boxes of books my hubby spent hours packing and repacking.

I will say the war on stuff appears a lot more manageble at this point than it did even a month ago.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I haz a little less of it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not! a Snow Day

in Tinytown.

However, Le Boyfriend's yard looks like a winter wonderland. Of course, he's five hours away, so it doesn't do me much good.

In a few weeks though, the 300-mile distance between us will be bridged, as he has a viable offer on his house, and he's packing up for the move to my little corner of the world.

Shift on the new path of my life, indeed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

San Antonio

The Alamo, featuring random tourist guy. It's really small inside, almost claustro-phobic. I don't have any photos from inside, they're not allowed.
I had a good trip. The conference had some helpful sessions, San Antonio was kind enough to supply lovely, balmy weather for most of the time we were there. I did enjoy the Riverwalk, although I got tired real quick of the 5.00 beers and overpriced watery margharitas (exept at Casa Rio, which I heartily recommend. And have the flan). I was happy to make it back to Casa de Craphole last night.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


to San Antonio, for what will likely be the last national conference for a while, what with budget cuts & such. I'm thankful for this opportunity & it is timely, as they're supposed to be able to give us updates on stimulus funds coming our way.

On the other hand, I feel way behind at work, but not so much that I'd forego this trip. I'll be taking ye olde laptop with me, along with some work. I find I can get a lot done early in the morning before the meetings crank up.

And in the evening? Looking forward to the charms of the Riverwalk.

Looks like the new path of my life is about to take another turn. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Opiate for the Masses, Indeed

The CBS Morning Show opened this morning with the resident generic news chick breathlessly 'reporting' there was Breaking News.

Which consisted of telling us that some rapper had been arrested for assault Saturday night, and that it's alleged the victim was his girlfriend, another performer, and both had pulled out of the Grammys* Sunday night with almost no notice.

This? This is CBS' definition of 'Breaking News'? Sheesh.

*Said Grammys broadcast the previous evening on...CBS.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beautiful Day

It's gorgeous here, warm and sunny. The windows are open, bringing in a fresh breeze. Yesterday I cooked the best burger ever, started it on the stovetop in my cast iron skillet, then popped the skillet in the oven to let it finish off. Had a nice, crispy sear on the outside & juicy on the inside.

Today there's a slab of ribs I'm fixing to put on the grill and I have some Yukon Gold potaotos that I'm going to blanch then home fry in some bacon drippings. Mmmm, bacon.

Progress has been made on the stuff front, work remains, but the only way to approach it is like eating the elephant. One bite at a time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Things Left Unfinished in a Life

The war on stuff in this house has been on in bits and spurts over the past three years. I've recently gotten a lot more serious about it, because 1) I just need to and 2) it's looking more and more as if Le Boyfriend will be joining me here at Casa de Craphole.

This morning's task was to go through the kitchen cabinets and my hutch, pack up the extraneous and make the Salvation Army several boxes of my trash is your treasure richer.

I did pretty good, ruthlessly packing up about fifty or sixty coffee cups I've 'collected' over the years, along with random candy and ice cream dishes, incomplete sets of glasses and one or two things that made me go 'wha?' as well as 'where in the hell did that come from?'

Then I got to the cabinets over by the stove, and pulled out two boxes that really didn't look familiar to me. The first one had random bar glasses, pewter mugs and the like that had been my late husbands. The second one also had things of his, a set of cut glass shot glasses, a few more of those pewter mugs (?) and this set of four sherry glasses, etched with his and his ex-wife's initials.

Those broke me. I had to stop, go sit on the sofa and let the tears come. I remembered him showing them to me as he was putting them in that cabinet when we moved in here in 2000, asking me if they were something we'd use, remember him apologetically noting that I maybe wouldn't want to use something that had the exe's initials on it. I know I told him that kind of stuff didn't matter to me, that if it would give him pleasure to continue to use them, we would.

So fast forward eight years, and there they were, still tucked away in the box on the bottom shelf of the bottom cabinet. He'd been divorced over ten years when we met, was clocking at least seventeen years beyond that relationship when we moved in here. We lived here another six years together, and the glasses never made an appearance.

It's one thing for me to process my stuff, and what became our stuff over the course of our relationship. Processing our stuff is difficult, but it's manageable. And it's necessary for me to take the next step into my next life.

But it's cosmically unfair that there were things he didn't get to finish.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Keep Moving

Nothin' to see here.

Maybe later this weekend. Or not so much.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

He's Been Gone Three Years


I miss you every day. You were the best friend I ever had.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Possibly the Greatest Spam email Ever Received:

First off, was the subject line, which read: Last and Final Notice. Nothing like redundancy to grab one's eye.

Then there was this:

I will like to start with reminding you that your unclaimed inheritance is still lurking around, up till now I am amazed at the way you have ignored all the notice I have sent out to you. This message will be the last notice that I will be sending out to you.Upon the receipt of this mail I will want you to reconfirm to me your details and also tell me the reason why you have kept quiet all the while; I do believe you should have a logical answer to that. I also will like for you to know that I have some new developments on ground which I believe will be good news to you.I will advice that you do not abandon this message and respond as a matter of urgency so that we can get done with your claim.

Best regards
Michael Graham Associate Solicitor.
Tel: +447031997793
Tel: +447024053610

I have to admit to feeling a little bad about causing the rather peeved tone Michael has taken in this email. And I can't help but think I should have a logical answer to why I have kept quiet all the while. Guilt through spamming--how brilliant.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cold, Damp, and Raw

here today, which is the weather I think we were supposed to get yesterday. Which is cool, because I spent the day hunkered down in my office, digging through the inbox. I think I made some progress, but I wouldn't swear to it.

Reckon I'll go heat up some vegetable soup and try to warm up the bones.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm an

Obama gal, if you were having some difficulty figuring that out.

Having said that:

Ohmigod Media, take a breath. The minute to minute play-by-play is a bit much. I joked to someone at work today that I fully expected to hear a report that 'President Obama awoke at 5:18 a.m. this morning and hit the snooze button for seven minutes' any day now.

So I couldn't help but laugh when Le Boyfriend said one of the news shows this morning 'reported' that the lights were on in the residence before dawn this morning.

Surreal much?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Joseph Lowery Rocks!

And that Obama guy sounds like he's got some sense, too.

Snow Day!

And it's actually snowing! Downside-we'll have to make this day up, probably on President's Day.

However, guilt-free taking in of the Inauguration!!

And how cool is Bravo for showing The West Wing all day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Believe

It has warmed up from a chilly 'colder'n a well digger's ass' to a balmy 'colder'n a witch's tit in a brass breastplate' here.

Off to set some furniture on fire for warmth.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My School District

was hit with an almost one million dollar budget cut today.

Beats all hell out of me how we'll deal with it.

Our buildings are crumbling, we're being constantly pushed to upgrade technologies with limited infrastructure to support them, and, oh yeah, we do need to attempt to beat back the frontiers of ignorance.

ETA: Our illustriuous Governor sees the current situation as an 'opportunity to curb government spending and growth'. Because he's an idiot.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Congress Actually Does Something!

In an unusual Sunday session today, the Senate passed a Wilderness Protection Act that has been languishing for at least a year.

From the AP:

The measure — actually a collection of about 160 bills — would confer the government's highest level of protection on land ranging from California's Sierra Nevada mountain range to Oregon's Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. Land in Idaho's Owyhee canyons, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan and Zion National Park in Utah also would be designated as wilderness.
Besides new wilderness designations, the bill would designate the childhood home of former President Bill Clinton in Hope, Ark., as a national historic site and expand protections for dozens of national parks, rivers and water resources.
Reid said about half the bills in the lands package were sponsored by Republicans. Most had been considered for more than a year.
"I am happy that after months of delay we will finally be moving forward," Reid said.

This is the part that especially cracks me up:

The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., denounced what he called Democratic bullying tactics.
"I am disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to allow senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill," Coburn told fellow senators.

"When the American people asked Congress to set a new tone, I don't believe refusing to listen to the concerns of others was what they had in mind," Coburn said. "The American people expect us hold open, civil and thorough debates on costly legislation, not ram through 1,300-page bills when few are watching."
Coburn and several other Republicans complained that the bill was loaded with pet projects and prevented development of oil and gas on federal lands, which they said would deepen the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Translation: Democratic bullying tactics-means Democrats have a majority and they're not afraid to use it.

Translation: Asked Congress to set a new tone-means we want you to actually do something.

Translation: Complained that the bill yada yada yada-means that it's loaded with someone else's pet projects and we didn't get what we want.

I'll call you a waaahmbulance.*

*A term that is fast becoming almost as annoying as 'in the tank'.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Here We Go

The 'Sarah Palin Whine-a-Thon' begins, wherein she blames sexism, class warfare, and that mean ole, center of the universe Katie Couric for her Epic Fail.

She's interviewed by John Zeigler, whose premise is that the librul Main Stream Media was in the tank* for Barack Obama. She comes across as poorly here as she did in almost every other one-on-one media encounter during the campaign. And now she's blaming this round of 'poor performance/creative editing' on Zeigler, who is ostensibly making a documentary to prove her premise.

I remember the first season of 'The Apprentice' with Omarosa-who came across as a bigoted, insulting snob who believed the universe revolved around her. After the program, when she wasn't America's darling, she blamed bad editing. One of the other contestants (eventual winner Bill Rancic, I believe**) astutely said the editors couldn't create film of her that didn't exist.

*Can we retire 'In the tank'...forever? Please??

**I'm suitably intellectually embarrassed that I remember this-with no help from the Internet-just pulled this info out of my head.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I haven't made any in a long time, but here's one I'm putting on the table for all and sundry:

I resolve to go cold turkey in regards to the political/news-ish sites and blogs I became re-addicted to over the course of the election. They serve no purpose except to get me worked up about crap that has almost no bearing on my day-to-day life.

In fact, I'm tempted to go cold turkey on the news such as it is-I mean, John Travolta's son passing away is a tragedy, but I don't think it should be the fourth lead story on the freakin' Sunday Today show.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Fair warning: This book will take over your life. Yes, Perlstein writes about events 40+ years ago, but I swear, you could have changed the candidate's names in the book to McCain & Obama & not noticed much of a difference.

I started it in August/September, put it down and picked it up again in November and finally! finished it just after Christmas. Le Boyfriend kept asking me what was taking so long, because he's seen me hoover up most books in a day or two.

This is one of those books you can't read straight through for many different reasons, the main one being it is soo fucking depressing to read how these opportunistic bastards went about their little games. Also it's about 750 pages long, not including the notes & the index.

While Perlstein leans Left, he doesn't lack perspective and points out when the Dems are venal, inept, and tone-deaf, usually all at once.

There are shades of the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections in this book. One could easily compare McGovern to John Kerry, and in fact, that's why I had to put it down during the height of the election season because it was as if the 1968 election was replaying itself word for word and it was messing with my head.

Of the many things I've taken away from this book, a few really stand out. Such as,there really is nothing new under the sun--when you read the quotes about fighting them over there to keep them off our shores & have to remind yourself that they're talking about those Godless Communists in Vietnam & not Al Qeada. Another is that David Broder is at the very least an idiot and quite possibly mentally handicapped.


In a sense.

I'm back in Tinytown, from an extended visit with Le Boyfriend. He lives about five hours from me-and it's not an easy five hours. I think I've said here before that when we first began talking and I realized just where in Georgia he lived, I told him "Can't get there from here."

I got home mid-afternoon yesterday, after a stop in Augusta for lunch, unloaded the car & piled up here on the sofa to sort through the mail and other detritus that piled up over ten days. I finally made myself go to bed sometime around eleven last night, way past my usual bedtime. I think I just didn't like the idea of heading off to bed alone, after almost two weeks of sleeping with a loving, warm body next to me.

Today, this house is quiet, and not so much in a good way. It was so nice to have that company, that...companion in the house. As with my dear, late husband, we didn't need to be in the same room, on top of each other (literally or not so much) in order to be with each other.

He'll be here in two weeks, when I have a long weekend off from work. I'm looking forward to the different kind of quiet in the house.