Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You mean you haven't even TRIED to crash?

I went to a cub scout pack meeting tonight (Thanks to my responsibilities in Primary I have been immersed in the world of 8-10 year old boys. They are a charming pack of lunatics in neckerchiefs and I love them.) A pilot was the guest speaker and here is a sampling of the questions the boys asked:

"Have you ever had an emergency landing?"
"If your engine overheats will your plane explode?"
"If you go too fast will your plane explode?"
"Have you ever had really bad turbulence or been struck by lightening?"
"Has your landing gear ever failed?"
"Have you ever crashed?"

The poor guy had to answer no to all of these question. They were mildly impressed when he said that the plane would start breaking apart if it went too fast but he lost points when they all realized he hadn't actually attempted it. What's the point of doing something with so much potential for grave bodily harm if you're not really going to go for it?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Do they have hayrides in The Iraq?

1.) Did you think I was joking about the hayrides at my grandpa's 89th birthday party?

Because I wasn't.

Oh how we laughed and laughed. Even when we passed by a bunch of cows and my uncle said, "Those will be dinner in about 90 days."
2.) Is anyone else watching Amazing Race? And if so, weren't you so relieved when the cowboys were safe? And also, if you're not watching it, why not? Do you know what you're missing? That Miss Teen USA contestant who gave the glorious answer as to why some Americans can't find America on the map. She said one of the reasons why she wanted to be on the show is to prove to people that she's not as dumb as she sounded in that answer. I am happy to report she is failing brilliantly at this.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nun chucking detective

One of the glorious things about being a well-known book lover is that occasionally people send me books. Just for the fun of it.

(Dear People of the World: I also love peanut M&Ms and Slurpee machines! Hugs and Kisses, Rachel)

Is there anything better than finding an unexpected package on your doorstep addressed to you and inside are books? There isn't!

So you can imagine my joy when I barely heard a knock on the door (Day 6 of the Great Ear Clog of '010. DAY SIX!!!!!!!!!! I'm officially dying.) and I opened it to find a package addressed to me and inside were two books from my dear and wonderful and lovely and beautiful friend Amanda.

So I called her up to thank her and, as our conversations normally go, we ended up masterminding elaborate schemes. This time it is the scheme of me becoming a nun-chucking detective. Brilliant, right? Because I already have the nun chucks and I am pretty well practiced at spying on my neighbor who lives behind my apartment complex. When I sit at my desk I have a direct view down into his yard and he comes out almost every day to trim the hedges behind his house. I've started wondering that maybe he's wrapped up in some sort of espionage because who needs to trim the hedges every single day?

Admit it, you're just a little bit sad that the Cold War has ended. Spy work was so much more glamorous when it was against the Russians.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


To further prove that I am, in fact, 80 I will continue chronically my medical ailments and tell you that now both ears are clogged. Rendering me useless in the hearing department. Everything sounds like it's underwater. This has caused a few problems because I can't tell how loud I'm talking. In my head it sounds like I'm speaking through a megaphone but apparently I'm whispering because at both the bank and the drug store I was asked several times to repeat myself. My eyes have stopped oozing but they're a little swollen still. I have some pretty impressive bags under my eye. Basically, what I'm say is, I am checking myself into the Home for the Sad and Tragic until all of this clears up.

Let's change the subject.

My grandpa is turning 89 next week and we're having a big party, complete with a hayride and pin the tail on the donkey. We're also having a joke-off. Grandpa is the master at telling corny jokes. He loves going through the Readers Digest and joke books and finding the best ones that he'll use for months afterwards. And he giggles like a little kid after he tells you the punchline. It makes it worth hearing a joke for the 10th time. We're having a joke-off where we all have to share a corny joke and Grandpa will judge which is the best one. So, if you have one, please share so I have a good arsenal.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This Cold Can Not Be Contained.

My head cold is trying to break free. It seems that my head can no longer contain it because it is trying to come out of my left ear and right eye. Last night my ear clogged up and I woke up at around 4am to it throbbing and ringing. So I took some drugs and went on line to see if there was anything else I could immediately do to 1.) relieve the pain and 2.) unclog it. This was an astronomically bad idea. Because do you know what people love to do on those websites that ask for medical advice? They love to tell their horror stories. "My ear was clogged for 3 months!" "I had ringing in my ear for a week and then I lost my hearing completely!" "I had to have surgery and do you know what the doctor found? Two pairs of socks and the entire touring company of Cats!" Because that's what it feels like in there. Also, the clog has distorted all sound. So today in church all the music sounded slightly off key and when people spoke I would hear them in my good ear then hear a muffled and screechy version of them a millisecond later in my clogged ear.

And then there is my eye. I noticed it was a little red before church but when I got into Primary Teresa said, "You have something in the corner of you eye." So I went to brush it out and when I pulled my finger away there was the LARGEST EYE BOOGER I HAVE EVER SEEN. Teresa is a world class gal for not flinching, as I did when I saw it. It's been oozing all afternoon. And I'm officially grossed out by it.

I mentioned earlier that I thought either my immune system has been compromised or aliens life forms have taken over my body. My money is on the aliens. Feel free to share your own personal clogged ear/oozy eye horror stories.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Which Book?

Ugh. I have a cold. And last week I had the stomach flu. And three weeks before that I had consumption. Clearly my immune system is on the fritz. Or it has been compromised by alien life forces. Either way, I am tired - TIRED - of being sick.

Did you know that I wasn't sick once last year? Well, sick enough to take time off of work. I didn't miss a single day of work due to illness. I think it's safe to say that Chiquita is some sort of magical healing talisman. As if I needed any more reason to miss her.

So I've been cooped up for a few days and it's absolutely gorgeous around here and I thought that maybe some sunshine might be beneficial to my health so I strolled around Victoria Gardens for an hour. It sounds pretty, huh. Like a proper British garden. But it's actually an outdoor mall. But as far as malls go it is a lovely one. When I was done strolling I headed into Borders and, as the Book Buying Moratorium is back on, I jotted down book titles to find at the library.

This got me thinking that I haven't asked for book recommendations in a while. I would much rather try out a book that is tested by someone I trust then to go into one cold. So, why don't you tell me the best book you read last year. Don't be shy. I'm counting on you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Boilermakers Take it All

It is well documented how little I like basketball. Watching tall men shoot baskets in between long successions of fouls is a soul-sucking activity for me. But I like sports in general and I dislike college ball slightly less than I dislike the NBA and I can get into championships of just about any sport (minus the NBA - seriously, I find it so unlikeable) because I like to see people win. So on Sunday night, for the first time in my life, I filled out one of those March Madness bracket thingies. I was down at my parents house for Sunday dinner and the topic came up and suddenly there I was trying to choose between Wofford and Wisconsin. I don't even know where Wofford is. In fact, I've never even heard of Wofford.

So while my family was discussing team stats and players and stuff I chose my teams based purely on which one has the better name. So Wofford, obviously, makes it to the second round. It actually makes it all the way to the Final Four. Along with Lehigh, Gonzaga and Purdue. I have Purdue winning the whole thing because, along with have a funny name, it has the single greatest mascot of all time: the Boilermakers. You cannot deny that kind of power.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not a Tennis Anecdote

I have learned that unless they are really into it people don't care all too much about the awesome time you had at the tennis tournament. I'm guessing you're in that boat. So I will just tell you a funny story from it.

The tournament is out in the desert, so even though it was a glorious 80 degrees it still feels like you're baking in an Easy Bake Oven because the sun is so much brighter and sunnier out there. So everyone dresses in summer clothes (Fact: an alarming amount of women come to this tournament dressed in tennis attire, like they're ready to play if called upon.) But then around 4 pm the sun starts to head toward the mountains and the wind starts to pick up. A lot. Oh, does the wind pick up. And then in about 30 minutes time the temperature plummets and you're freezing.

We were watching Nadal play when this happened (And I know that you don't care the slightest about this but he is awesome. Amen.) and we were sitting up in the top of the stadium being buffeted by the winds and there were these two fellas sitting a few rows ahead. Mid-twenty hipster types. They kept adding layers of clothes - long sleeve shirts and hoodies and thick socks. And then suddenly one of the guys REMOVED HIS SHORTS - so he's just standing there in his pantaloons - and pulled on a pair of skinny jeans. But before he could zip up he took about a minute to stuff his boxers into his pants. There was a lot of hopping and shimming about. They were very loosey-goosey drawers and very skinny jeans - which seemed a bit of a contradiction but which made for a pretty good show. Well worth the price of admission.

This example has caused me to think. There were MANY shirtless men at this tournament. And almost all of them really should have kept those shirts on. When the guy took his shorts off it was more funny than shocking because it seemed like all day long there were men removing their clothes. But what would have happened if a woman had taken her shorts off and stood there in her underwear before putting on a pair of pants. She would have first been flashed up on the big screen and gotten a load of cat calls and then second would have been escorted off the premises. Why is it that we expect modesty of women (which I agree with, by the way) but not of men? And is this an enormous double-standard or just one of many examples that boys are weird and do unacceptable things in public (i.e. peeing on the side of the freeway) simply because they can?

And suddenly I got all feministy and serious. I blame daylight savings.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Found: Sunglasses

Found: One pair of sunglasses, owner unknown. I dug them out of my enormous bag a few weeks ago. I don't know how long they have been in there. The purse is vast. The Lost City of Atlantis could be hiding in there and I am clearly doing mankind a disservice by not cleaning the thing out more often. They are dark brown with a faint leopard print (cha, cha, cha), and as I don't own animal prints of any kind (I'm more of a sparkles girl) I'm pretty sure they're not mine. So, what I'm asking is, are they yours?

I should confess that this is not the first time objects that don't belong to me have been found in one of my bags. I once pulled out a mystery pair of thin silver hoop earrings. I wasn't exactly surprised because silver hoop earrings seem to sprout in my bags (at one time I had 3 pair in one purse) so I just chalked it up to magic and added them to my collection.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It had better be magical

Does anyone else read GOOP? Gwyneth Paltrow's attempt to tell the world that she's a working mom so she's just like us, only ludicrously rich and blond and leggy and she's married to a rock star and has Steven Spielberg and Deepak Chopra on speed dial so they can tell us which bowel cleanse they prefer after they've indulged in too much baklava over the holidays? Yep, totally just like me.

And yet, it is definitely my guilty pleasure. Mostly because it is good for a laugh. And she sometimes puts lovely things up there. And I like looking at lovely things. So I'll follow the links and admire the lovely things and then I'll check the price and pass out. $500 for macrame place mats? Let's get real. I'm certainly not faulting her for being ridiculous. She's essentially a blogger and what is a blog but a place to tell people, "Hey, here's what I think." And maybe she thinks that $500 for place mats is a total steal.

But today she has gone from lovely to vulgar. She had her stylist friend chat about what's hot this spring, and along with the astonishing revelation that dresses are big she put up a cardigan that cost $1060.00. A cardigan. A little knitted sweater. A cardigan that costs the same as a months rent. A cardigan. Maybe you didn't catch that. A cardigan!

Now, she also put up a cheaper alternative for $50. But she was modeling the $1060.00 one like it was perfectly reasonable to own a sweater that would put food on my table for, oh, 10 months.

So I have compiled a list of Things I Would Expect of a Sweater That Cost $1060.00:

1.) It had better be magical. Like make me invisible when I want to avoid someone or at least make me a size 4.

2.) The buttons would look like pearls but would really be self-replenishing peanut M&Ms.

3.) Hugh Jackman would come with it and his job for as long as I had the sweater (which is forever because certainly that kind of money should buy immortality) would be to slip it over my chilled shoulders or hold it when I didn't need it. He would also need to sing show tunes to me from time to time.

4.) It would clean my bathroom.

I was going to ask you if you had all the money in the world, would you buy a cardigan that cost $1060. But I'm not going to because I think we both know that I would be totally judgy about your answer if you said yes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've got a date with Tyra tonight

1.) America's Next Top Model starts tonight. I'm giddy with excitement. I predict that Tyra will have finally ditched those funny accents she uses and come up with her own language that the would-be contestants will have to decipher if they want to make the final 13.

2.) I've been sewing today and listening to Lyle Lovett's "Step Inside this House" and Bruce Springsteen's "The Seeger Sessions", which I like to call Bruce's Barn Raisin' Hootenanny. Both albums make me want to pack my belongings in a knapsack - hobo style - and roam the country side.

3.) After several days of the stomach flu (yep, I got it) I am feeling a little less barfy. Rejoice! And even a little hungry. No surprise as I have been subsisting on saltines and ginger ale for 3 days. I'm praying for a full recovering by Friday because on Saturday Camille, Allie and I are making the annual trek out to Indian Wells for the tennis tournament. As of now I can barely make a trek to my mailbox so let's all think positive okay.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Late Night Carpentry

Nearly every night in between the hours of 10 and 11 someone in my neighborhood is hammering something. Sometimes it goes on for the full hour. And sometimes, like tonight, it's just a couple of hits.

I have a few guesses as to what is being built:

A pirate ship
A trebuchet
A tree house
A giant hamster wheel
An outdoor amphitheater to stage an elaborate production of Fiddler on the Roof
Barrels for mass quantity pickling purposes

What's your guess?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Vegas is Sparkly

Hi pals, I'm back. I missed you. Let's go out for hot chocolate or something.

1.) Nearly every person who had to transport me over the last week came down with the stomach flu. First Rach, then Stacy, and now Sam. I would like to give a pre-apology to Katie and Heather who picked me up from the airport last night. I feel as fresh as a daisy so I seem to be just a carrier instead of a victim. But then, I have to be nigh unto death in order to throw up. If it makes them feel any better I once prayed for death on the floor of a bathroom after throwing up for 6 straight hours during a previous trip to Utah.
2.) I heard this announcement over the loud speaker last night at the Long Beach airport: "Will the following parties please report to terminal 2: Bob Wilson, Meredith Smith, Rick-Rick." And also, I love flying into Long Beach because you get to walk off the plane and onto the tarmac, like your the president, or the Beatles. I always wave when I come out of the plane door.
3.) There will be no Cute Nephew stories here because I really don't want to become that person. But I will say that my nephews are cute. Probably cuter than yours but I don't want to hurt your feelings.
4.) I will also not bore you with a travelogue of what I did in Vegas because it mostly consists of talking and eating and talking and laughing and talking some more and playing games in our hotel room while talking and laughing and talking and then I straightened Laura's hair and then we talked and laughed.
5.) We chose to meet in Las Vegas because it was the most easily accessible spot for all of us to meet up - and really, I would travel to the ends of the earth to be with those girls - but I hate Vegas. You can't convince me that it is a worth-while place. I neither drink, nor gamble, nor flash my bosoms to the world. It is completely lost on me.
6.) Well, almost completely. Because the Liberace Museum is priceless. Priceless, I say! You MUST go there. There are disco ball cars and lots and lots of feathered and rhinestoned capes. And tour guides with really bad wigs - I'm talking doll hair kind of wigs - who will tell you that the reason why Liberace started wearing all those big beautiful costumes was because he had a gig at the Hollywood Bowl and he wanted the couples necking in the top rows to be able to see him. Oh, it was heaven. It hardly seems possible that my dreams of seeing Wayne Newton in concert and visiting the Liberace Museum have come true within 8 months of each other. Would someone like to sponsor my trip to
Graceland to complete the trifecta?