Friday, December 31, 2010

A Very Interesting Man

Yard trimmers oughta do the trick!
     My Uncle Glen is arguably the most interesting man I know.  He is a Professor of Finance, an Engineer, a golfer, a wine and cigar connoisseur. Now all that might make one think that Uncle Glen is snooty or boring, but he is far from it.  The first thing he said to me when I walked in at Christmas was, "How's your car? Do you need your uncle to look at anything? Change the oil?"  He is handy, that Uncle Glen (see the photo exhibit of the not-so-deep fried turkey Thanksgiving 2008.)  At my dad's 60th Birthday, I think he had three flashlights on his person.  Why?  He told me he had a new flashlight fetish. 
       On Christmas Day, I brought a scratch off lottery ticket for each person attending dinner and provided the pennies for revealing our winnings.  I made everyone agree that would we split any winnings.  We scratched our way to $13. I spent $8 to get them, so we won a whopping $5 (this was reinvested into MegaMillions and Hoosier Lotto tickets that I have yet to check if we won last night.)  The pennies were intended to be part of my gift, but apparently no one wanted them. I discovered the pile of pennies as we put on our coats and started the parade of good-bye hugs and kisses.  "Excuse me but does no one want these copper gifts?"  Uncle Glen said, "Here give them to me, I will wash them."  And that's exactly what he did.  He had some sort of handy dandy cleaner and brush right there at the sink and started to soak and scrub.  Then he dropped one down the sink and said, "Does anyone have a flashlight?"

***MOOSE UPDATE*** Good Boy! This is his most favoritest time of the year because he likes to harvest ice in the yard...for real. (I wrote this before the warm rains came and washed it all away.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bad Blogger, Bad!

I know I have been inconsistently posting the last couple of weeks. My commitment to this blog remains.  I have three hundred and seventy-four excuses.  I have been ill (truish.) I am working two jobs and am exhausted (very true.) The holidays are stressful (not really true.) Moose ate my posts (he ate lots of other stuff, but this is not true.) I broke a fingernail (true...grrr.) I am mentally and emotionally zapped from work (true.) 

I wrote something tonight but then I stopped before posting.  Am I supposed to ask permission to talk about people in my life on here? My mom already told me "to leave her out of the blog," but I have not heeded her warning.  I guess it is the polite thing to do and since I have no intentions of slander to anyone, I guess it wouldn't hurt.  Stay tuned.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Favorite Holiday far

This is the cutest damn cheese ball I've ever seen
This is Lori.
This is Sis, Lori's dog.
I attended an early holiday gathering on the 11th with some of the loveliest ladies I know.

 So many exciting things occurred on the night Erin and I BEDAZZLED our REAL Christmas tree - the angel appearance, the dog photo shoot, and Erin's ornaments and my tree topper melding together to make a stunning tree despite the flipping tinsel. 

 The photo above displays a radio antenna.   These are used often to dial in radio waves to an exact station.  I had not used one of these in quite some time and spent 15 minutes tonight trying to stop Led Zeppelin from running interference on Bing Crosby.  Once I conquered that challenge, it was onto rocking around the Christmas tree and wrapping the gifts that I bought today while shopping with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jenn.

Wrapping is not my forte.  Compare Erin's sharp, pointed corners to my, well, not so sharp.

Now, decorating the packages is where I spend a little more time as to distract the recipient from my wreckless wrapping.  The next comparison I like to call "Mullet Wrapping" - all business in the front and a party in the back.
horrible corners...ahhh...pretty bow!
um, eeh, ah, geez, hoping you wouldn't notice.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my 30 "followers" and who knows how many "readers."  Blogging about my Random Thoughts amidst the Hoosier Corn Stalks, and you actually reading, has been the best gift.  Thank you for being here!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa Paws

As mentioned last week, Erin and I subjected the dogs to a long photo shoot (like 5 minutes, which is very long for two independent pups.)  As you can see in the right corner of the first shot, Erin's hand full of treats made this all possible.  
"Who's alpha now?" Lilli

That's the pose...hold it...stay!

Humans Galore

If I had to guess, which I do, I checked out at least 150 guests on Saturday at Tarjay and another 100 on Sunday.  That is an awful lot of human interaction in one weekend.  That's not including all the people I mingled with at a holiday party Saturday night and the chit chat with my co-workers.  The diversity of the shoppers at our store impresses me - older folks, college students, all ethnicities and races,varied income levels, jumbled family status.  I almost feel like I took a trip around the world...almost..mostly due to the accents of two Spaniards who  graced my lane.  I recognized their accents and got to practice a little español

"Yo estudie en please don't speak to me in Spanish because I will panic.  Llevo diez años sin hablar español." That is my rehearsed line to let people know that I once studied abroad but I have not practiced the language and can't really have this conversation your country.

All in all, the holiday Tarjay gig hasn't been too bad despite the literal pains in the neck...back, feet, shoulders, hands. Experiencing 250ish humans in one weekend makes up for all of that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Angels we have heard on high

Erin and I decorated the Christmas tree the other night and are quite proud of our bedazzled evergreen.  It wasn't all joy and bliss to start.  Erin's insistence on adding tinsel to the tree irked me a bit.  That stuff gets all over the place and we'll be finding it for weeks after the tree comes down.  I conceded because in all honesty the tree trimmings aren't a hot issue for me and she seemed pretty attached to the tinsel idea.  Erin kept telling stories about how her mother, Joan, directed every single ornament hanging on her last Christmas before she passed away.  I was cracking up at her impersonations of her mom and truly felt blessed to hear the stories while we decorated on our tree with her old ornaments and new ones.  

We delighted in our completed task by taking an excessive amount of photographs (just wait till you see the ones of Moose and Lilli posing.) One of the first shots I got with my cell phone had Joan in it...I swear...if you think you know something about lighting/exposure and want to ruin this miracle for me...GO AWAY!  I believe the swoopy, white thing on the left of this picture is Joan's angel wing...and I am sticking to it!  She oversaw our tree trimming and nothing anyone says can change that!


Went to a new vet closer to the house yesterday (we still love Dr. Bundy the most.)  They loved him and kept saying how handsome he was. He weighed 84.3 lbs.  GOOD BOY!

I got nothing

My head is empty, so enjoy this weird, cute, creepy, video.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working Woes

Boy, oh boy, am I tired!  My part-time gig at Tarjzey is putting a beating on me.  I was griping and moaning how tired I was last night while I worked till midnight.  Then a co-worker told me she is working 40 hours this week as part-time job on top of her day job as a bus monitor for Indianapolis Public Schools...shut me up!   So, I tried to come up with a list of positive things and lessons as a result of the aching feet, sore back, sagging eyes...

  1. It is temporary...hopefully.
  2. I opened 3 credit cards for guests yesterday and therefore, received wonderful swag...a mini FM radio, a messenger bag, and a chocolate covered peanut butter Rice Krispy treat...big things, folks. Big!
  3. I get to bring smiles to people dropping their last dimes on Christmas gifts. I can tell the difference between the people that are enjoying their shopping because they have the money to spend.  Then there are the people counting out pennies with horror on their face. I wonder why they put that pressure on themselves to provide one day of gifts for possible months of struggle to pay the rest of the bills.  This, my friends, is precisely why the Universe has put me in that check out lane - I have lots of growing up to do in the world of money...I get to watch and learn.
  4. Extended holiday store hours took effect this week...but no one really knows that.  The store was empty with a half hour to go.  I got to unman my lane and re-shelf all the unwanted or returned goodies to their rightful homes. Now, I have intimate knowledge of where the wrapping paper, sausage/cheese gift sets, stockings, and REESE PEANUT BUTTER CUP gifts (Yes, these treats of the gods come in a tube the shape of a candy cane.  Nothing will bring me more joy than sharing this delight this holiday season) are.  This is useful for when I need to make a quick purchase during my 15-minute break.
  5. Making a mental shopping list as guest check out tops my list of positives. "Oh...that would be perfect for Dad." "Well, now that's adorable." "That's a good deal!" I am sure my guests don't enjoy my comments on their purchases as much as I do.  I do keep my mouth shut when the prophylactics ride down the conveyor belt and quickly drop them in a bag. 
  6. Moose got to go to a half day of day care today because I have a little extra cash from scanning and bagging...that's the ticket!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Check It Out

It is amazing how quickly I can waste my lunch hour bouncing around YouTube.  With the chatter around the office about favorite songs, old tunes just keep popping up and then leading to another song that I have to listen to...right then and there.  This week I even created a playlist for a camping trip next July.

One sweet gem of a song I had to listen to this week was John Mellencamp's Check It Out.  Sometimes you just need a little Mellencamp.  He gave my commencement speech at Indiana University Bloomington in May 2000.  I was screaming "JOHNNY" from the front row with my fellow Journalism School grads as he walked on stage to accept his Honorary Doctorate from the School of Music.  He started his speech by saying that he hates to be called "Johnny" and ended his speech telling us that we shouldn't rush into jobs and careers, that we should take our time to explore the world and find out what it is we really wanted to be.  My fellow liberal arts students thought this was brilliant while the Kelley School of Business grads looked at him like he was off his rocker.  Oh ,Johnny...I mean John, you rock!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do You Fufu?

My roommate, Erin, still sleeps with her childhood blankie.  This "blanket" is named Fufu as in "little Bunny Fufu hopping through the forest..."  The fact that she still sleeps with this textile doesn't strike me as odd or strange. It is the mere size of Fufu that truly amazes me (see photo below.)  I am baffled at how she has managed to guard the tiny remains of this bunny blanket for 33 years, through numerous moves, etc.  

Moose bares the brunt of several accusations of digesting Fufu during near panic attacks at an assumed disappearance.  Then Fufu is found tucked under a pillow or at the bottom of the sheets.  I lose sweaters, scarves, books, and other substantial objects.  I just can't wrap my head around how this tiny blankie has survived.  Quite an amazing feat, Erin!  Long live Fufu!

I had a serious attachment to a blankie until I was 8 years old, and a teddy bear until I was 22 years old, but those are stories for another day.

Good thing Erin has a fresh manicure to include in this perspective shot

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Dad That Will Live in Infamy

No. I didn't misquote FDR's request to go to war against the Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbor 69 years ago.  Da' bomb Daddy was born was 60 years ago!  We celebrated tonight over deliciously buttered filet mignon at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse...also da' bomb.

Some things that make my dad, Brian, infamously bomb diggity:
1.  His iPod holds more tunes than mine and I like 90% of what he has loaded on there.
2.  He has very dark hair with very few grays that many people think he "stains."  My father does like to look nice and grooms well.  However, he is not vain enough to color his hair.
3.  Daddio has a great, Croatian complexion...tans well.  This point and the one above are hopeful indicators of my aging genes.
4.  He coached my softball teams growing up and dedicated many hours that he would have rather been playing golf.
5.  My dad kicks ass on the golf course.  This past summer he improved his index by two points.  I just wrote that like I actually know what I am talking about, but I don't.  Other people have said that he is really a good golfer...and he likes it, so that's nice.
6.  Pops has worked for the same company for 30-some years. Loyal dedication!
7.  He is the third oldest of seven kids...he didn't really have anything to do with this but I enjoy having a large extended family, so this qualifies for bomb diggitiness.
8.  He loves my mom.
9.  He loves my sister and me and has offered us unwavering support no matter our hits or misses in life's experiments.
10.  Dad's first concert was The Beatles.

Happy Birthday, Dad!  You are da' bomb diggity!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Words and Stuff

My dear friend Sarah (who just asked me to be in her wedding by the way <smiley>), recently started back up her blog, A Room of One's Ow(e)n.  Of course, I love the fact that she says I inspired her to get writing again - along with the fact that she was just bored one night when her fiancée was teaching at the prison - but I also love her knack for writing with action verbs. In Mr. Shoup's Yearbook class he often challenged us to rewrite sentences with a more active voice than passive (he also taught us to check, recheck and check again the spelling of someone's name.  As you can see in my first post, I spelled this very man's name incorrectly.)  I feel (passive) as though I write passively too much.  Sarah is full of active action...and I want (passive) to, too! I should mention that Sarah is an English teacher. Her career life is dedicated to words and stuff, but that doesn't mean I can't seek to improve.  

I dusted (action) off a box full of old journals and books about creative writing and pulled out this little gem, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (Published in 1986. Surely not too much evolution in writing has occurred (damn passive voice) since then.)  I found this book at a massive book sale when I lived in Seattle, and it claims to "free the writer within."  Game on...let's give it a whirl!
Getting a little antsy because my walking commitment wanes with the dropping temperatures outside.  Still a very GOOD BOY!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I like my parents

Mom had a small gathering last night to celebrate Dad's 60th birthday that is on December 7th. I have to say, I think I have just as much if not more fun hanging with my parents, sister, aunts and uncles, and my parents' friends as with my own friends.  I laughed so hard listening to my Aunt Rah tell the story of how she and my Uncle Regis had one date their sophomore year before actually getting together two years later.   Aunt Rah described the car ride with their friends "Jim and Char", but our old neighbor, Veronica (a lovely lady from Northern Ireland) thought she said they spent the night in the "gym and shower."  You'd probably have to know these people and/or have been there to get the kicks I got out of the story.  I hear so many people struggle with their families of origin.  I am blessed to truly enjoy being in the company of mine.  
Happy 60th Birthday, Daddio!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Favorite...for today

Today, my boss sent out his annual request for each of our favorite song.  He compiles everyone's input and gives us a holiday CD.  Some people select a Christmas tune, but the majority truly pick a song that reflects their personality and music taste.  Then the bossman adds some random tunes that circulate the office.  For example, last year Little River Band's "Cool Change" came on the radio and several of us chimed in to sing along as if we'd been singing it our whole lives.  Not a song you hear every day or even every year, but we all picked it right up.  That song made the holiday CD...obviously.

I righteously submitted Grateful Dead's "Dire Wolf" last year with much disapproval.  I just don't understand how anyone can't love the Grateful Dead.  Their disapproval doesn't deter me from rocking it out from my iPod dock anytime that I want, but I am going to select something different this year from my current favorite band, Gomez. They've been a favorite (really, can you have just one favorite band or song?) for about 5 years now and are in the studio making a new album now.  Their Chicago show this year rocked my world and I can't wait to hear what's next.  Enjoy my favorite...

Check out a newer video like "Airstream Driver" to see how they have evolved from their dweebiness. 

Sweet boy with stinky gas...greenies???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dental Schmental

GREENIES claim to be good for my dog's dental health. For you non-dogfolk, Greenies are hard green treats in the shape of a toothbrush. How can these treats benefit Moose's K-9s when he chomps them down into two bites?  An iota of plaque may fall from one solitary tooth but no major cleaning takes place. Perhaps dogs of more petite stature than Moose savor these "healthy" treats long enough to ward off tarter.  I felt duped when I handed him one (after he sat like a GOOD BOY) last night.  I am such a sucker for marketing ploys. 

I once heard that any business targeted towards baby boomers or pets has a better chance of success today than most other new businesses.  I can't give you a source or stats and percentages or charts or data...I just heard it.  I believe it, too.  You all know by now that I am crazy in love with Moose.  If I had the means, I would shower this dude with new goodies everyday. I am such an emotional's dangerous!
Okay, so I bought the generic "Freshies" in the shape of a bone...same diff.