Monday, January 28, 2013


Does anyone else find that you don't hear your phone ring even when it's in your pocket, but you can hear your voicemail alert from halfway across town?

This is me, or is it just me?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dirty, Mean & Vicious

Whoever thought of the organizational system for the Department of Motor Vehicles was a sick, sick person.
It seems like a good idea to have all the required vehicular services in one place and it would appear to be convenient to allow people to renew licenses and vehicles online but it really is just the first steps in their scheme to drive us all insane.
After going to the website and filling out the forms, paying the fees and printing my receipt I waited.
And waited.
And then the registration on my car expired while I was waiting and now I tremble in fear every time a police officer drives by.
Today I finally had enough time to call the "help" number and it seemed quaint that they offered me a callback option. That is, if I left my number in the phone tree queue, the DMV would call me back in less than an hour. It sounded good so I followed the simple instructions and waited.
Sure enough, less than an hour later I was called back but it wasn't a person it was the phone tree and it wouldn't accept my entry, even though it was the number the message told me to press and then I was told I had exceeded my number of attempts (I pressed it only 3 times) and they hung up on me.
So I called the original number back and while I was trying to get an actual person - they didn't have an option for "I really need my stickers now please" - the callback number called me again and I gave it a second try and AGAIN it wouldn't recognize ANY of the numbers I pressed and AGAIN it hung up on me.
So I called AGAIN and this time opted for a real person where I would have to sit on hold for an hour and wait for them.
Which I did.
When a real person answered I told him my dilemma, he said it wasn't a problem, he would transfer me to the department that could re-issue my stickers. I heard the hold music for a few bars and then I was back in the phone tree again, looking for a real person AGAIN and I had to wait ANOTHER hour and then when I did get a person - much more helpful than the last - she said they can't transfer to other departments and all I need to do is go to AAA and they will get me my stickers.

This is me and bureaucracy blows...a lot.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have another resolution this year - I hope to not throw out so much food.
Our fridge is not a fancy Sub-Zero that is only one jar deep, so we lose leftovers sometimes and when I find them again, they aren't quite as edible as they once were.
What this means is that I have to learn to make less for a meal
There will be more meals of leftovers. I was proud of the one we ate the other night:
The quality of the photo isn't so good - but we emptied six Tupperware containers for that meal which made me happy.
Chicken sandwiches, mixed vegetables, sweet potato fries and coleslaw.
I think we might have to worry about our cholesterol, but the fridge will be clean.

This is me and it felt good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Life Beyond #9

Usually I offer pictures of some extreme lifestyle choice or home decorating piece that is off the charts.
This week.
Just as a comparison.
I bring you a picture of a life beyond.
In the opposite direction:
This is the fence on the back alley of one of the houses on our block:
It's hard to know who because often the fronts don't match the alley sides of the properties and no one we know really looks like a razor-wire type.

This is me; I live and work a world apart, separated by 10 miles.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trees Galore

I love the Jungle in January.
It has been kind of cold here recently, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the rest of that mess were dark, busy days and really stressed.
But January has an absence of activities, the days are getting visibly lighter, for longer and the sun comes out just in time for the kids to go back to college and make the parents from out of town jealous.
And there seem to be more holidays with fewer expectations. Which allows for stuff to actually get done.
Witness Tarzan and our yard. He has been on fire with the yard work this month and we have made some serious changes. Our poor unproducing apricot tree in the front yard finally had to go:
 I didn't even get to say goodbye:
We installed an avocado tree in it's place:
We also took out the really tall, unknown type of tree in the backyard - that provided shade but nothing else - and happened to be infested with termites:
Instead we planted a lime tree:
And then today, while the president was watching parades and kissing people on national television, Tarzan and I finally trimmed the orange tree in the front yard. The thing was way out of control and, because they could, people were reaching the branches and stealing oranges. So we trimmed it back:
It means fewer oranges next year but hopefully the branches won't drag on the ground and if we thin it better, we'll get nicer sized fruit.
Provided we cut it right.

This is me and we're doing yard work.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

True Story

It's after my shower, I've dried off and am getting dressed.
There are no other distractions, I'm not in a hurry, nothing to get to right away.
I have done this literally thousands of times.
Pulling on my T-shirt, I miss the edge and smack myself full in the face, cutting the inside of my lip on my tooth.

This is me and who punches their own face before breakfast?

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Life Beyond #8

I had a great post in mind on my way home today. It was brief, witty and really made a point.
But somewhere in the hour it took me to get home...
I forgot it.
So you are left with these enviable kitchen photos instead. From one end of the kitchen:
The other:
And around the corner:
Do you know how many burners are on that stove?
And they're interchangeable with the griddle, deep fat fryer or grill parts, so one could be making pancakes, have room for both kinds of eggs and the bacon AND still have space left over for the kettle to boil water for hot chocolate, because it is really, really cold right now. (I know, only relatively, but we don't have heat or insulation, so we're feeling it.)
I don't envy much that I see at these houses. But a really great stove like that makes me drool a tiny bit.

This is me and it wouldn't fit in my living room, let alone the kitchen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My New Philosophy

She is a constant inspiration for things I want to do better.
She has 2-3/4 kids, lives in a land that has winter, and manages more blogs and blog names than I can keep track of, but I call her Rocketgirl.
And she gave me a light bulb moment today on one of her other blogs when she posted this: Move Slowly And Don't Stop
Such a brilliant concept. Rome wasn't built in a day and I won't manage everything on my list at once, but as long as I keep going and working, I am making progress.

This is me and my new life mantra.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Connection Made

I am sure I learned this at some point in my education but I didn't put it all together until this evening on my way home from work. I was listening to the radio - NPR as usual now - and someone was talking about Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery, the Civil War, normal stuff and the guest mentioned that there were two ways to go with slavery. If it was to survive in America, slavery had to expand. Otherwise it would die out and as a Republican, Lincoln did not want any more slaves in the union. So he signed the paper to free them all. It amused me to think of how mixed up the political landscape is; back in the day it was the Democrats who wanted to expand slavery and make more money.
What's that song, "the times, they are a changing?"

This is me and the irony made me smile.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Les Miserables

It was with great trepidation that I went with ATL and Tarzan to see Les Miserables last night.
Not that I didn't want to see it. I did. I have seen the stage show many times, I have all the concerts and I really like it.
No, I was scared to see the film because Russell Crowe was going to play one of the leads as - my favorite character - Javert. I had no idea if he could sing - all of the other lead actors I have heard sing before - and it would be disastrous for me if Javert could not sing, or worse, sang poorly and ruined it.
I apologize to Russell Crowe.
He should not give up his lucrative career and start doing show tunes, but he did well. Far better than I conceived he could. (I was pretty sure I could tell if the take they used was an early one or a late one because his voice was better for the former and less musical for the latter.) He wasn't showy but he held it up adequately.
The heartbreak for me was Hugh Jackman. He looked the part, he acted the part but he didn't sing the part. There were too many flat and/or low notes - I know they rewrote A LOT of things - but even with that he wasn't selling it. There were times he almost broke loose but he never made it consistently and "Bring Him Home" was so sad. I winced and hoped he would stop singing soon. 
However, having Colm Wilkinson in the show was so cool.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonhem Carter were exactly what I envision every time I hear "Master of the House."
Amanda Seyfried did an adequate job as Cosette, which is a 2-dimensional character anyway. A little on the light side, but she's the soprano so it's forgiven.
Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit and the rest of the barricade cast were fantastic. Loved them all. "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" was one of the best sung numbers in the whole thing.
Samantha Barks as Eponine was excellent. Pity it's such a small part but she did it really well. She was Tarzan's favorite.
I have only one thing to say about Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Bravo.
The scenery was amazing; having a complete picture for the songs I know so well was just perfect.

This is me and I applauded the end credits until ATL had to tell me to stop because people were looking.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

On The Fly

I received an unexpected call this evening on the way home from work; from Fleighund's wife, BGE, with an invite for dinner.
We have been trying to get together since before Thanksgiving but schedules being what they are and holidays being what they are we never made it.
Spur of the moment seemed to work for us.
We went and ate and laughed and discussed how many towels a couple needs to be happy and watched a video of Tarzan's parents driving around a crazy ice resort in the country they are visiting.

This is me and we have nice friends.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Ring In The New

It's a little bit scary to find out one is a prophetess of sorts. This is my post from the end of 2011 and it's eerily accurate in some ways.
Not so much in the handling-of-my-own-stuff ways, more in the the people didn't change - why-would-I-expect-them-to? - ways and here we are in the same place a whole year later.
I have learned a few things in 2012 and I am serious about making resolutions this time around. Mostly because I came as close as I ever have to keeping a resolution this year. I vowed to drink more water and get as close as I could to the recommended 64 oz. a day.
I did really well up until the fall and then it got cold, I got extra busy, my "sippy" cup got lost and it all fell apart.
This year, I resolve to delegate more and let other people sink or swim on their own. No volunteering myself to help them out, no hovering. If they need help, they can ask or they can recruit their own "slave labor." I am done with doing it all. If they want to do something, I am going to let them be in charge of doing it.
I also resolve to judge people less and just let it go. (This is purely a selfish resolution because it keeps my stress level down.)
I also resolve to blog regularly. Not more posts, but a more regimented method. This two months of nothing, three months of everyday was hard but I appreciate the discipline. I will be better.
Tarzan and I resolve to visit the temple more often. We need the peace, support and blessings that comes from going on a regular basis.
It's a new year and hopefully a better one than we just ended.
Peace, prosperity and health for everyone!

This is me and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

From Whence You Cometh