Tuesday, October 28, 2014

More Stuff Overheard Around Here Lately

We laugh a lot at our house, and sometimes I will jot down what made me laugh.  Plus, it gives me something to share when I have no news, (other than I finished knitting one sweater and started another one.  Yay, me).  Because I'm a giver, you guys.  YOU'RE WELCOME.

Here are a few (more) things overheard at my house recently:

1.  My brother-in-law describing a gold dredge, after an unsuccessful weekend spent turning over rocks in an icy creek in the mountains: "It's not a dredge.  It's called The Trough of Disappointment."

2.  My college daughter's roommate, describing the in-house food at the university: "This soup...it tastes like my nightmares."

3.  Our youngest, when describing some really loud coyotes one night that woke us both up because they sounded odd.  "I heard them, but I was dreaming and thought they were special-needs coyotes."

4.  Youngest to oldest, while watching a close-up shot of Russell Crowe in a movie:  "AYY YO GONNA RECYCLE THOSE BAGS UNDER YA EYES?"  (no offense, Russell).

5.  Annnnddd...a text from my youngest to my oldest when they were upstairs one night:

Awww.  Now give each other a hug.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Niña, The Pinta, and The WHY ARE THERE NO BANKS OPEN?!?

Aside from all the total epic FAIL-ness of Christopher Columbus' reputation from the vantage point of like 522 years of hindsight...I really hated him a little bit more again today.
Maybe they were just looking for a BANK that was open.

This morning my alarm went off the usual 25 minutes before I need to drive our youngest to school.  Then I remembered that I also needed to get to the bank this morning. Not the drive-through...like, the kind of banking where you actually NEED TO WALK INSIDE THE BUILDING, preferably not in your jams, but the sign on the door only says you can't wear hoodies or possibly masks, so I'm probably OK.

anyhoo--

I hit the snooze only once, because I'm responsible like that, and got dressed in Actual Clothes That Match.  I even brushed my hair and put on makeup, even though I totally did not have time to shower, so my hair was barely passable.  I never do any of this at 7:50 a.m. when I'm driving, because it's a quick drive to the school and back, and I figure I'm good if I have shoes on, right?  I do pass people on my way home from the school sometimes, and I think...maybe I'm slipping a little. These people got dressed for the day like 2 HOURS ago.  I used to actually care about this stuff.

Today I knew I'd be a little early for the bank, so I went through the car wash, and got gas, then texted a friend I haven't seen in way too long, who I may see for lunch later (for which I will shower and possibly even shave my legs--I promise), to kill time.  I barely registered that the bank parking lot was...empty.   I KNOW.

At 9:04 a.m., I grabbed my banking stuff and walked to the bank door.  Yanked on it.  Nothing.

What the-- ??

I did the thing where you cup your hands on the glass and peer inside.  The place was dark.  My first thought was, Oh, great.  They've been robbed.  Followed by...seriously? No one showed UP on time?? 

There wasn't a sign on the door, so I drove through the drive-up window.  Like there's going to be some lady waiting there to help me, in the dark.  And THAT'S when I saw the sign that said:

"We will be closed Monday, Oct. 13th for COLUMBUS DAY"

Nice.

I have a smart phone that can tell me when I've eaten too much, but it can't remember to tell me not to get dressed on the ONE DAY OF THE WEEK when there's no one at the bank.

I'm celebrating by staying in my jams, for the rest of the day.


Friday, October 10, 2014

How to Ruin a Charming B&B

I have admitted to having had what amounts to a "bad experience" with a bed and breakfast inn, but there used to be a super funky, cozy, whimsical B&B that we loved on the pacific coast.  (Notice I say "used to").  It had theme rooms, and nothing was too quirky or offbeat for this place.  We loved it. We used to go when we were first married, then about twice a year with our kids when they were little, and it was magic.
This. 

Or this.    See? Magic.
If I had to give it a decor style, it would have been Whimsical Shabby Beach Bohemian.

We had a chance to visit it again after a 10-year gap of not going because.. LIFE. Unfortunately, I booked it over the phone, without going online or seeing any photos (after 10 years).  I missed my cue when I asked for our favorite room (and described its old theme), and the gentleman on the phone said cheerfully, "Oh, it's all been redone!  You probably won't even recognize it."

Hello.  UNDERstatement.

Long (long) story short:  They ruined it.

It bothered me so much that I actually wrote about a 2,000-word essay, recreating every corner of the place from memory, so we'd have a written record of what it once was.  Then I figured, that's too much information for a blog post.  Instead I composed a short list of How to Ruin a B&B.  I hope it's short.  It might be short.  OK, it's probably not going to be short.  But it won't might not be 2,000 words, you guys.     You're welcome.

Here goes:

1.  Empty every single room of every single thing but the carpet.  Have a yard sale and/or bonfire to get rid of every bit of furniture, artwork, whimsical linens, pillows, and potted plants.  Used stuffed animals for firestarters.  Scatter the ashes over the beach.

2.  Paint every surface of the building a comforting, boring, hotel-approved taupe-y beige color.  Add ivory trim for interest.  We wouldn't want any of the rooms to seem...different from each other.  Theme rooms are so 80's.

3.  Replace various daybeds and/or brass/iron/carved beam beds with all exactly matching dark hardwood sleigh beds. Any tables should be no-nonsense squares in the same wood finish.

4.  Replace all comfy overstuffed printed-fabric chairs, couches, and wicker seats with floral cushions with Pottery Barn dark leather club chairs.  Not too many, though.  Hotels are for sleeping, not reading books by a window surrounded with plants and happy assorted pillows.

5.  Replace all whimsical mismatched bathrobes with -- nothing.  You want a robe? Bring your own.

6.  Replace armoirs full of extra blankets, pillows, games and books with -- nothing.  Hallways are for elevators.  If you didn't bring a book, then go sit in the corner.  Of your room.  In that leather chair without a foot rest.

7.  Replace all whimsical printed curtains with white miniblinds.  Prints are out.


8.  Replace beachy watercolors and random sun/moon/stars plaques and quirky yard-sale art with exactly matching black contemporary frames, two per room.  Each should hold a white-matted monochrome photo of a single shell or starfish.  Nothing else.  You're here to sleep, not daydream.

9.  Replace magical shelf of random cups (especially that cup shaped like a panda) with solid white mugs.  Turn self-serve coffee bar full of assorted teas and cocoas into a drink station for staff only.  We will bring you your hot cocoa, but don't think we're going to be all, "Did you want a refill?"

10.  Replace old B&B breakfast menu with a full-service restaurant, with friendly but very slow service.  Serve one-egg omelettes and forget to refill waters.  All mix-and-match whimsical table linens and plates should now be solid white only. Take old beach-themed napkin rings to Goodwill.

11.  Play strictly Sinatra-era cocktail lounge music for background.  No one at the beach wants to hear music from any decade since then.

12.  Replace all previous mismatched colorful towels and bedding with strictly tan.  White sheets, tan...everything else.  All that random-color stuff went out with Cyndi Lauper.  Beaches are colorless; hotels should be, too.  Add one navy blue throw pillow, just for fun.  It is the OCEAN.

13.  Remove any old statuary, hammocks or mosaic-covered tiny seaside fireplaces from patio area and replace with matching teak breakfast tables, as many as possible.  We're a restaurant, not an ocean-front patio for sipping coffee at bistro tables with mismatched chairs.

14.  Chuck various potted plants and replace with -- nothing.  If you want plants, go for a walk.

15.  After making sure all traces of charm have been wiped completely away, leave old 'theme' name plates on the rooms' doors, because we wouldn't want people to think things have changed.

*face palm*     *shakes head*

P.S.  The beach was, in fact, lovely, and the stay was nice.  I was just a bit put off by the "progress" from a 70s/80s whimsy-themed B&B to...just another hotel.

The view is the only thing that hasn't changed.


Do you have a place you remember that is so magical and familiar that it's like part of the fabric of your past?  Have you ever revisited a place like that, only to find it completely destroyed by an "update"?


photos courtesy of Google, as usual

Friday, October 3, 2014

Soul-searching Via Facebook Quizzes

source:  quizony.com

If you read my sleep-deprived post from yesterday, you can probably guess that I spent the first half of my day, um, not at my best--mentally speaking.  Activity level:  unshowered/barefoot/nightgown.

Since it was all I could to sit upright in front of my computer, and my budget hadn't changed significantly since I woke up, I found myself randomly clicking on those quizzes everyone passes around on Facebook.  You know, just to see what the folks at wherever dot com really know about me.  Here's what I found:

1.  I am 19% white trash, with great family values.  Hey, I am country now!  (random What About Bob reference)

2.  My inner 80s movie star is Meryl Streep.  Because I can wear many hats and adjust to all situations with style and grace.     Cool.  That accounts for that other 81%.

3.  My worst trait is:  Laziness.   Well....duh.  See 'activity level' above.

4.  My hippie name is Silent Echo, because I "have a quiet wisdom that people respect and admire".  Ummm.  Getting a little off course here.  I'm rarely quiet.  Or wise.

5.  My aura is gold, because I am "enlightened, calm, and transcendent and I lead a charmed life."   BAHAHAHA 

6.  My gift is 'compassion', because I've always felt an innate need to care for others.   Right.  Like right now, I feel I should write shorter posts, for you.

7.  I have an UNcheckered and hence really straight-laced and conservative past.  Bingo.  Although I'm still on the run after taking that candy in 3rd grade.  Assumed name:  Silent Echo.

8.  I should be "Getting Entrepreneurial" right now.   No.  I tried that.  It didn't work out so well. But I am knitting a sweater, which could hypothetically be worth a lot of money. If I were to sell it.  Next?

9.  My magic powers are: intuition and communication with animals, because I always can sense what's going to happen, and I understand animals better than humans.  Well, animals are simpler, but I pretty much never "know what's going to happen".  Hence the insomnia.

10.  I am "48% likely" to do something I will regret this weekend.  Check.  I already regret doing those stupid quizzes.  There's 20 minutes I won't get back, right there.

- - - - - -

I did manage to sleep for about 3 hours yesterday, straight through a lovely sunny fall day, which is a shame because there aren't many of those left.

On the plus side, I *do* feel a little better today, and it's comforting to know my white trash-ness is only as much as Dolly Parton's.

Have a great weekend, y'all.






Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thanks, Insomnia. I Owe You a Punch in the Face

I don't even have anything to say except WHAT THE HECK.  And, insomnia is nothing new.

(and of course I don't mean that.  I'm sure I have A LOT to say)
Me.  Last night.    (ok, that's *not* me)

I've always been a "night owl".  Even as a kid, I couldn't sleep until like 1 a.m. or later.  The whole house would be asleep, and there I'd be, in the dark, staring at nothing, going over the day in my head.  What they said, what I said, what about tomorrow?  Who cares?  It's 2 a.m., kid.

So, I slept a lot on the bus on the way to school.  And in class.  And on the way home.

When I graduated high school, it got a little better.  Over the last several years (and, yes, it's been a long time since high school), it's gradually gotten worse again.

These days, this is usually my new sleep pattern:
6:30 p.m.:  Yawning and could totally take a nap (which I don't, because hello--dinner).

7-9 p.m.:  Dinner and dishes, hang out with Shane, start a movie, work on knitting.

9:00 p.m.:  Second wind.  Totally not tired.  It's only 9?  The night's still young! Time to knit and read some more.  Yay me!  I love evenings!

Everyone's asleep! No chores! Time to chill!

11:00 p.m.:  Still reading or knitting, possibly a bit sleepy. I really better get to bed.  I have to be up at 7, and I've started trying to go to the gym to swim after dropping our youngest at school. If you're not a morning person, you can probably imagine how *awesome* it is to get  in a chilly swimming pool in a bathing suit at 8:30 a.m.   Total willpower test.

aiieeeeeeeeeeeee  

Seriously?  Could we warm it UP a little?
Nevermind.  I'm good.
moving on.  What was I talking about?  Oh, right.  Insomnia.

On most nights, I can usually go to bed and fall right to sleep.  For about an hour.  Then I wake back UP...and my brain thinks it's possibly morning, until I look at the clock.  What the --?  I slept for 40 minutes!??  No.  Nononononononono.  I do not want to be awake now.  Don't think about it.  Just go back to sleep...shhhhh...there, there...

On some rare nights, I can keep my eyes closed and actually get back to sleep.

However.  If my brain has been awake for more than, say, a minute, I hear this:  "You know what we haven't thought about for...about an hour?  Bills.  And your health.  You're not getting any younger.  You could be sick already with whatever is going to kill you.  Or Shane.  He could be sick right now.  And you don't have insurance, right?  Yeah, that would be bad, wouldn't it?  Also...you have a lot of bills, and they're ALL late.  That's bad, too.  Oh, I see you're awake now.  Maybe you should go check your bank account and see if it's still overdrawn.  Because at 2:48 a.m., there's NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT MUAAHAHAHAHAAREYOUAWAKENOWHOWABOUTNOW?

3:35 a.m.:  You still awake?  Also...you have a child in college.  I hope she's safe.  Just a thought.  Go back to sleep.  shhh  close your eyes


lalalalala...I didn't hear that

3:50 a.m.:  Is that the heater coming on? You have a fireplace, but you're running gas heat?  Nice.  That's going to be expensive.  Is the fire going too?  Did you stoke it before bed?  Are you too hot yet?  Too cold?  You should check the thermostat, or the fire.  If the door's closed, you'll be too cold.

I'm really hungry, too.  You can't sleep when you're hungry.  Hey, how's that diet coming?  You should go get on the scale, but you know what...I don't think the swimming's helping, since you've GAINED WEIGHT since you started swimming.  That really sucks. And you never even use the exercise bike that's right upstairs.  What is your problem??  You could go work out right now, but you're not that dedicated, are you?

I'm starting to think of this voice as possibly the actual devil.  The one you meet at the crossroads of 3 a.m. and nothing'swrongwithmyhealthormyfamily.

4:18 a.m.: Don't look at the clock.  Do NOT.  Don't.  Oh, look, it's getting light out.  I think I hear the rooster.  What the actual heck?  Why is he crowing when it's still dark?
You awake yet? Because I can do this ALL DAY.
4: 20 am.:  Why even bother trying to sleep? You should probably just get up.  Or, you could sleep for like 2.5 hours, if you go to sleep right.this.minute, and then wake up feeling like someone threw you under a bus.  That's a fun option.  So, go to sleep...now....      NOW.   You asleep yet?  Wow.  Look at Shane.  He's been asleep since 8:40.  That's like...(do the math) 8 hours.  He's gotten 8 HOURS MORE sleep than you tonight.  No wonder you're no fun during the day.  Are you crying?

Just forget the sleep thing and get up and go work on a new budget.  Who knows, maybe your finances have improved since the close of yesterday's banking day. Or maybe you won the lottery overnight, and you don't know it yet.  Of course, the banks are probably already open, back east, so...yeah.  Things could be better!  Or worse.  But you won't know unless you get up, right?

Yep, still $0.

Sometimes, if I catch this cycle soon enough (like at 1 a.m.), I'll just take a Tylenol PM or a shot of vodka (or both, don't judge), and somehow that seems to break the cycle, and I'll stay asleep.  If I take two, though, I'm pretty much unconscious at 7:25 and can only mumble in my pillow to Shane, "take her to school pleze" but it comes out sounding like, "mmmfffhooolplz". He knows what it means though, and because he is my angel of mercy, he drives her to school, lets the cats out, and leaves me to sleep, bless him.

That was my day, the last two days.  How was yours?  Any suggestions?  I'm open to pretty much anything today; my eye is twitching, and I slept about 3.5 hours, from 4-7:30.

















Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chopsticks and "Laughings Fits" with my Brother

I love that my brother and I share an odd sense of humor, (and possibly a brain)...even though we've lived opposite ends of the country for most of our lives.

I was thinking of him today, because our mom's birthday was this week, and he's taking her to dinner tonight at a restaurant where we had one of our silliest laughing fits, a long time ago.  It's a Polynesian restaurant in south Florida, where it's dinner and a show:  fire-eaters, dancers, loud drums, drinks in mugs that look like totem poles, the whole thing.  There's even a big tropical garden to walk around in after dinner.

But, for some reason, you can order chopsticks to eat with, when you eat there.  Which he did, last time we went.
Possibly exactly these

Maybe it was the drinks in the totem pole thing, but we got to looking at the Chinese lettering on his chopsticks while watching the island dancers and fire eaters stomping around.  It started with him wondering, "Do you ever wonder what this writing actually says?"

Suddenly, we both had lots of ideas for loose translations.  Here are a few I remember:

Use other end.

Good luck finishing dinner.

You ordered rice, didn't you?

Do not use around eye area.

We know you can't read this.

Hope you didn't order soup.

Haven't you ever heard of a spoon?

We don't even use these in China any more.  These are so 1800's.

We only make these to send to American restaurants.  Because FORKS.

****

It kind of spiraled into this uncontrollable fit of giggling that we couldn't stop, and my mom had to pretend like she wasn't with us, or even related to us...which made it even funnier.  You know the kind.  Like when you spill Skittles on the hard-wood floor in the middle of a church service...but somehow it's the funniest thing that ever happened, and you can't stop trying not to giggle?  (well, maybe not that funny, but still).          not that that's ever happened to me...

It also morphed into a conversation about his various tattoos, most of which are cool-looking groups of Asian script.  He swears that the one down the back of his calf is the word for "courage", but I like to tell him, come onit probably just says "broom" or something.  Because, who would know?  And if they did, who's going to say anything?  Like, sir, excuse me, but why do you have the word 'frying pan' on your leg? And do you know it says "kick me" on your shoulder?

I always warn him that, maybe the tattoo guy has no idea, or those were just the prettiest script letters that day, and he was like, oooh, I want to do that one!  Next guy that comes in...I'm doing that.  I don't care if it means "shovel"--it looks AWEsome.

His next tattoo is going to be a totem pole, though, so maybe there's some weird connection there that I'm not getting.

Ahh, good times.  I miss him.    *sniff*




Ever find yourself in those situations where you're laughing at something at an inappropriate time, when you know you shouldn't, and it just gets worse?  



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whoa, My 100th Post!

Sorry I've been gone for, like, EVER.  But, oh my gosh, you guys, I had to be away a lot, because SUMMER.

And company, and camping, and gardening, and books, and French lessons (bonjour! see?), and knitting socks and hats and sweaters, and reading at the beach, and sending our oldest off to college, and school shopping, and varsity volleyball games (which I also love), and SO MUCH REGULAR STUFF.

Also, there were a few incidents of chasing loose rampaging pigs around our property.  For real.  I only wish I'd thought to take pictures, because you can NOT make that stuff up, but I was so mad and out of breath from chasing them, that my phone was really the last thing I had on my mind at the time.  It was more focused on OMG KEEP THEM OUT OF THE ROAD!  No! Ahhhh! Stoppp!  They're on the road.  They are going. down. the. road.     I'm done.   

I also kept putting off writing this post, because I totally thought my 100th post should be, you know...meaningful, so I kept waiting for anything to come along that was worth writing down, or really profound.  And nothing did.  And it still hasn't.  So...  hey.      *waves*

Normally, I get blog post ideas, or I find myself in situations that just *have* to be written down, and I'm like this:
But, lately...nothing

Sorry. 

 I did discover how much I LOVE having a kid in college.  I love that she's happy there, I love the sports, I love the town, the campus, and the fact that she and her roommate hit it off, right off the bat.  I'm wearing a university shirt right now, but I AM trying not to be one of those psycho college moms, all living vicariously through their kids.  I also love the school travel cup she got me...but that's the extent of it.  Oh...and the magnet on the car.  But that's it, seriously.  Although I do love logo hats... (hint, hint)

Other than all that, seriously, nothing worth writing about has happened, or maybe it's just the fact that I've been too busy, you know, living the stuff, to write about any of it.  It's all good, though.

I wish my 100th post was more insightful or something, like me all getting in touch with my inner self or whatever, but it's not, and I'm not.  All I learned this summer is that, the older I get, the lazier I get.  I suddenly commiserate with people who hire their yard work done, because, why ELSE is there a hammock out there??  duh

Oh, I DID start swimming a mile a day again, and it's much quieter at our gym right now, and I don't have to share a lane quite as oftenso I'm loving that.  I'm pretty annoyed that I don't look any different yet. I haven't lost 20 pounds or anything, but you know, it's only been a week, so I'm willing to give it a little more time.

I'm sure as the weather changes, I'll be around more.  I may even think of something meaningful to write about, besides complaining about the weather (or lack of it) here, or whining about wanting more summer, or how maybe we should just become snowbirds in France (that's a joke--we're not, repeat not, moving).  There are also always more fun photos and memories of my hippie childhood to browse through, so stay tuned.  

Also, if you're on my regular list of reading...I'm not dead, and I'm not ignoring anyone.  I've just been offline for so long this summer that I actually forgot my Google password.  

I know, right? 

So, now everyone can rest easy.  I'm still here.  Hope your summer's wrapped up well, and you're enjoying all the fall-ish stuff.  Except "pumpkin" coffee.  Heathens.