Saturday, April 30, 2005

This little piggy...

Jen and I couldn't decide what to do last night. Go out? Sing karaoke? Dance like we just don't care? Sit at home and drink wine and watch bad movies? Stalk the spaceman outside Jen's house?

We decided to do this:

 Posted by Hello

No! Not take pictures of our pretty feet for all the foot fetishists out there! But get manicures and pedicures at the local nail salon where we would enjoy the nail technicials (male and female) drooling over J.Lo videos. Ha! They were awesome and we love our pretty feet. Don't you?

Now I'm off to dig in the yard and ruin all their hard work.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Have you seen this man?

Dear readers, I'm sure you'll be as shocked as I am when you hear that there have been suspicious activities going on at Jenni's house! I fear for her safety.

Surveillance tapes give us a preliminary picture of the suspicious man:

 Posted by Hello

If you see this man, please call the authorities immediately!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

oh yes, I am feeling pretty smart right about now

Not only did I figure out how to post a picture, but I also figured out how to put links on the template!

Aha, I am mad with power AND mad cow!!! AH HA HA HA HA HA!!!

Hmmm... Now what?

Today it took me forever to get to work and it was all Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson's fault. Which reminds me of a story about Woody Harrelson that is entirely true and that I'm not allowed to tell. Anyway, they were filming their movie "Erin Brockovich" --er, I mean "Class Action."

I have disappeared for a while because I have been crazy busy with work, life, house, etc. I hope that no one went into a major depression because they missed my posts.

Friday night I went out for the first time since the smoking ban and it was nice! Everyone runs outside to smoke which makes me think it's a lot easier for underage kiddies to get into bars now. I hope people are planning to quit before winter because damn it's going to be cold out there!

Saturday night we went to see our favorite 80s cover band, Brat Pack Radio, in Robbinsdale and were assaulted by a pack of insane headbanging lesbians. And no I am not making that up.

(Guess who learned to link text??!?!?)

Did you hear about THIS? Exploding toads? It's like "Magnolia" except slightly better because there's no Tom Cruise!! And also slightly worse because the toads are exploding instead of raining from the sky. To me, it's kind of like that game Would You Rather,. Tom Cruise or exploding toads? It's a tough call. I choose exploding toads and I really do love toads.

What else, what else??? Will someone please give my boyfriend a job in Minnesota?

Friday, April 22, 2005

It Is What It Is

Have you ever had a day where at the end of it you believe you may actually have discovered the meaning of life? You know, the kind of day where you are at the epicenter of it all and everything seems to be happening around you but you can’t quite grasp control of any of it. Sure, you can give advice and try to deal with it all in your own little unique way, but in the end, it’s all still out of your realm of being.
I had that kind of day today, and all I have to say is it involves my parents and a disagreement over a new piece of furniture, which I now refer to as “Divorce by Armchair.”
This is what happens when you have two people that have been married for almost 50 years, that are retired and see each other practically every single second of every single day. Especially when one of them is on a drug that he has been on for about 30 years and that makes you a little ‘feisty” and the problem with that drug is he’s taking double his dose because it makes him feel better. I’m not talking illegal drug, I’m talking prescribed cortisone because he no longer has a pituitary gland because of a brain tumor kind of drug. The issue here is that he doesn’t realize the fact that the extra cortisone puts him on an emotional rollercoaster that leaves him threatening the people at Coca Cola one minute (don’t ask), and laughing along with his new neighbors the next. It’s enough to make a person crazy, and unfortunately is out of my control. Which brings me to my new motto; “It Is What It Is.”
While driving today and talking on the phone to multiple members of my family to try and remedy “Divorce by Armchair” I realized that there are things in life that I am not able to control and no matter how I hate to admit that, I guess I just have to accept it and realize “It is what it is.” There was a point somewhere between the phone call to my sister and the phone call to my mother (who had camped out in the Perkins parking lot after removing herself from the situation) where I just wanted to break down and cry out of frustration. But before that first tear came running down my cheek a light popped in my head and I all of a sudden thought, you know what? “It is what it is.” Immediately my tear dried and it was suddenly like after 29 years of “crying over spilled milk” I have finally come to the conclusion that I was not meant to tackle every single problem and that not everything can be fixed by myself and myself alone, some things you just have to accept as they are. Sure, I’d love to have my dad back to “normal”, back to the way he used to be when I was growing up, but that’s just not going to happen and I can’t dwell on it because that day has passed and it just is what it is.
I have since decided to share the responsibility with my siblings to mend the problem at hand and make things better, not try to necessarily change them, or to hope for some sort of miracle, but to just make things better, because in the end, that’s what families and friends are for, support, love and to help each other through the “it’s” of the “is’s.”
So if I ever write a book about my life I plan on titling it “It is what it is.” Or maybe I could go retro-Popeye “I am what I am.” Or maybe just “I am” or “It is,” or “Holy Shit.” Either way I am sure I’ll have enough to make it interesting.

So Much for Man's Best Friend!

Dog rejected as cash drawing winner

Gas station refuses to give winnings to 'Mr. Jengels'
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:32 p.m. ET April 18, 2005
A gasoline station owner is trying to smooth some ruffled fur over the winner of a cash drawing.
'The name on the winning entry, "Mr. Jengels," turned out to be that of a dog owned by Kevin Strybos, who said he used the name of his miniature dachsund-pinscher cross to avoid telemarketers.
Gas station owner Mike Paz said the dog couldn't cash a check and refused to give the $410 to Strybos, who had claimed the winnings.
On Friday, Paz said he would give the money to the local animal shelter run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and offered to hang a portrait of Mr. Jengels on a wall with other cash winners.
Strybos said he appreciated the donation but added, "I don't know if it really changes too much the way I feel about the whole situation."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The 5am Conversation from Hell

The following conversation occurred at 5 am this morning while trying to get back to sleep after letting Lola out to pee.

J (Josh): You know what business we should get into?
M (Me): Hm? (half-asleep)
J: Toothbrushes
M: (silence)…Hm?
J: You know how much toothbrushes are these days…like 5 dollars.
M: So. They are kind of important, aren’t they?
J: Well remember when years ago when they were 75 cents…and it can’t be because of inflation.
M: So you’re saying toothbrushes somehow miraculously avoid inflation.
J: I bought the last 75 cent toothbrush yesterday from Snyder’s, it was 75 cents.
M: Great.
J: Why do toothbrushes have to be ergonomic? My new toothbrush is a “Tek”, I think.

At this point he actually gets out of bed, goes downstairs to the bathroom to check and see the brand of his toothbrush.

J: (As he is getting back into bed). Yup, it’s a Tek.
M: Great. Why don’t you go to sleep.
J: You know cedar shingles aren’t that expensive. I priced them out yesterday at Home Depot. We could just replace our shingles on the dormer and side of the house with new shingles and it would probably be less work than refinishing them.
M: That’s nice. Why don’t you go downstairs and watch some TV.
J: No. I want to lay here and talk to you.

Eventually I was able to get back to sleep and believe I did so during his discussion involving a tool belt and a power sander. Ahhhhh, the moments of matrimonial bliss.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hardy har har....

A little Minnesoooota humor...

Lena's car breaks down on the Highway 8 just outside of Lindstrom one day. So she eases it over onto the shoulder of the road.She carefully steps out of the car and opens the trunk. Out of the trunk jump two men; Lars and Sven in trench coats who stand at the rear of the vehicle where they are facing oncoming traffic and begin opening their coats, exposing their nude bodies to approaching drivers.Not surprisingly, this causes one of the worst pileups in history of the highway.It's not very long before a police car shows up.The cop, clearly enraged, runs toward Lena's vehicle yelling, "What the hell is going on here?""Ya, vell my car broke down," says Lena, calmly."Okay, so what are these perverts doing here by the road?" asks the cop. And Lena replied, "Vell, officer....... dose are my emergency flashers!"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Posted by Hello

Dredlocks, Patchouli, and the American Dream

Dreadlocks, Patchouli, and the American Dream

While waiting in line the other day to pay for my overpriced gas and my overpriced drinking water, I managed to stumble upon a blatantly obvious stereotype. In front of me there stood an individual with a head full of dreadlocks carrying with her a scent reminiscent of musty basement, marijuana, and body odor. I took a step back and while breathing through my mouth to avoid the offending odor I thought, “Why do people choose to look, and more importantly smell like that?” And then I began to think of where you generally see those types of people which brought back memories of idealistic college students lurking around in dark and seedy tie dye stores that sell bongs, black lights, and the like. And then I said to myself, “Well, they’re just trying to be different.” But then I realized that although they may want to be different, they are all surprisingly the same.
I am sure you know the type of person I am describing. Long hair, matted into dreads and pulled back with a rubber band, no makeup, baggy clothes, more than likely a long Indian print skirt with some sort of tank top that has seen better days. If not the skirt, then a pair of baggy pants and a dark zip-up sweatshirt with frayed sleeves, and the t-shirt underneath that is completely optional. A couple piercings here and there, a pair of Birkenstocks that are worn every single day (and have been for the past 5 years) and voila! Instant hippie. To add further validation to my previous statement about how they are all alike I was able to catch her getting into a late 70’s VW Vanagon adorned with multiple bumper stickers one of which read, “We are not free if others are oppressed.” Who drives a 1970’s Vanagon that is not a raging hippie!? Besides of course my friend Amanda who had to drive one to high school in the early 90’s and to this day is still completely mortified of the experience. Anyway, I thought a little more about it and decided that this is just a rather obvious example of a group of people who want to be different, but are all the same.

And then there are those who want to look like everyone just to fit in, like every conservative business executive who has ever lived, or anyone who feels the need to belong to some sort of prestigious organization. The thought of being different is enough to ensue thoughts of being frowned upon, fired, or even worse, black balled from the very group they are trying to assimilate themselves to. Ironically, this is the type of behavior that the previous group is so adamantly trying to avoid. These types of people include any individual who works for a company with more than one last name in its title, has an office in some sort of “glass” office building and drives a large flashy sedan or some sort of SUV (the bigger the better), and also holds (or aspires to hold) a short title like V.P. or President, because I don’t know if you have noticed or not, but the shorter the title the higher the pay scale. For example: CEO = “major paycheck” Administrative Assistant to the Administrator of the CEO = “crappy paycheck.” I digress. Anyway, up until about six months to a year ago I thought of major politicians and, well, lets just say “Ex-governors” to also fit into this category. That is until I saw a picture of our beloved ex governor Jesse Ventura looking like he should crawl into his own Vanagon and drive to some remote location to smoke weed and play the guitar all while preaching world peace in some sort of odd beatnik manner. Has anyone seen him lately? Who puts braids in their beard…really!? So thanks to Jesse the fine line between hippie and politician has now been made a little more fuzzy in my eyes.
So I guess the point that I am trying to get across (if there actually is a point) in this rather long, drawn out blog, is that because we’re in America we can dress the way we want, have our own beliefs and reach our own goals. Whether it is to support world peace, belong to the most prestigious country club, or to just stand up for what we believe in, everyone is allowed to be his or her own individual. The best part about it all is that the more I think about it, with everything that is going on in the world and all the oppression that people face, I think that’s pretty “far out.”

Movin On Up...

If anyone is wondering, because I am sure everyone is on the edge of their seat to find out how the rest of the move went after the moving van debacle, Ken and Joan (my mom and dad) were moved in and settled without a hitch. Except the 14g’s they had to spend on a new septic system for their old lake home and that my aunt Glenda was hit with a golf ball while standing in the backyard of their new home. So besides that, everything else went fine. As a matter of fact, in order to fit into his new surroundings at the course Ken bought a sweet 1989 Mercedes Benz 560 coupe complete with convertible top and vintage charm. With only 32 thousand miles it’s quite a find, and although my efforts to trade straight up with my VW Cabrio failed you can bet I will be driving it as much as I can.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Look At What's To Come...

I just received a phone call from my sister giving me a "progress report" on the move of my mother and father of which I am about to participate in about three hours. Apparantly my father and brother thought it would be a good idea to drive the rather large moving truck across the lawn down by the lake in order to make the items in the basement more accessible. Upon doing this they apparantly came across a rather large "road block" when the truck sank into the yard up to its axle. Shit. (As a small sidebar, we are not Polish, are in no way related to "Ole and Lena," and are generally quite strategic and intellectual)
I decided to save the sarcasm and not ask whether or not the six inches of rain they recently had was a factor in this incident, and when she asked if I would like a call to hear the progress of getting the large moving truck out of the lawn I said, "Just let me be surprised when I get there."
I have a feeling this is going to be a long weekend....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Pal Willie

Today my Dad called me to tell me that he is going to take my dog Willie to be put down tomorrow. I hate that. As you can probably imagine the call didn’t go very well and actually ended with my solemn vow to from now on to refer to him as “The Killer.” Although I know that it is his time, and that he has had a good long life (just shy of 16 years by 6 days) it makes me want to throw myself on the floor and sob uncontrollably (insert visual here…not pretty).
You see, I picked Kaiser Wilhelm, (aka “Willie” and the best Miniature Schnauzer in the world) out when I was thirteen years old and he has been a part of my life for quite some time. Now, for those of you who believe that animals are not part of the family you are seriously wrong. I have eight nieces and nephews and Willie is older than all but three of them and has therefore been given the honorary title of “Uncle Willie.” He has been with me through Junior High, High School, College (of which he visited for a week while my parents were on vacation and was awarded an honorary degree by my father in the field of “Human Studies”), and although he wasn’t at my wedding, he was still alive to spend the weekend at the “Pet Hotel.” He has kept the kids occupied at family functions and also kept the yard “dog free” while protecting “his people.”
Since Willie was never neutered, he earned the nickname “Wizzie” as he felt the need to urinate on everything in site in order to “mark his territory.” And there are many a picture where “Wizzie” is seen in the background whizzing on something, which always makes us laugh. Its kind of like finding Waldo. Willie made friends with everyone in the neighborhood and was usually seen wandering from house to house getting his daily treats from all of his friends. He was the captain of the “Schultz Party Barge” on Nest Lake, and copilot of the Cadillac Deville or the Chevy truck. Last year we thought the end of Willie was near when he almost suffered what was to be referred to as ‘Death by Pizza Crust”, but he snuck under the radar and was able to last another year through his special diet of Senior dog food TLC.
The memories are many and I am glad that I have each and every one of them, and although Willie will be just 6 days short of his “112th birthday” I can only imagine that he has had a life every dog dreams of.

P.S. For you parents out there who want to break the news of the death (or near death) of an animal to your children who have since left the home take my advice. Don’t say you’re going to take them to be put down, and don’t break it to them all at once. Lie. Lie like the Santa Claus red suit wearing, present leaving, reindeer flying, Easter bunny hopping, tooth-fairy money giving parent that you really are! Which reminds me of a joke, that is most probably innapropriate at the current time since nothing is funny right now, but here goes.

So Ed goes on vacation and leaves his cat with his brother Bob to watch for the two weeks while he is gone. The first night of his vacation Ed calls to check on his cat and unfortunately, Bob informs him that his cat died which, of course, threw Ed into hysteria and which he immediately jumped down Bob’s throat and asked him how he could break it to him that way. He instructed Bob that if he is ever in a similar situation like this, he needs to break the news to the party more slowly. Like the first day when he received the call he should have told him that the cat has escaped out the window and is on the roof. Then the second day he should say that the cat is no longer on the roof, but the cat is now in the tree. On the third day he should inform that the cat has jumped down to a lower branch, or onto another tree that is not quite as tall, and on the fourth day he should mention that the fire department has been called, and the fifth day is when he should say that the cat has unfortunately fallen out of the tree and has died. At least then, the news would have taken a while to sink in and would be easier to understand. So the conversation ended and Ed resumed his vacation.Two days before he was to come home he received a call to his hotel room and much to his surprise it was from Bob. “Hey Bob, what’s up?” aksed Ed. At which Bob replied “I was just calling to tell you that mom’s on the roof.”

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's All Up In The Air

To commemorate my sincere and absolute hatred of flying I have decided to write this while sitting in my seat (5F) of the flight I am currently on while traveling for my day and a half excursion to Chicago.

First of all, I must make it extremely clear that I hate flying. Not only because every time I book a flight or think of taking one I want to throw up, but mainly because I just don’t like sitting in a pressurized cabin with a bunch of people most of whom are more than likely ill with something that I now have a greater chance of catching…WHY DO THEY DO THAT??? WHY MUST THEY ALWAYS CUT THE POWER AND MAKE IT SEEM THAT WE’RE JUST GOING TO DROP RIGHT OUT OF THE SKY…MAKES ME CRAZY!
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, illness. So I am now stuck here for the hour and a half flight and I completely forgot to take my extra vitamin C this morning…WHY ARE WE TURNING? WHERE COULD WE BE GOING THIS FAR UP IN THE SKY? I THOUGHT THIS WAS A STRAIGHT SHOT. I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE GROUND AND WE’RE TURNING…I really should reconsider getting an aisle seat next time, this window thing really freaks me out.
So anyway, I don’t even know where this hatred came from. I think it stems partially from Sept.11, more so from the 15 hour flight I took 2 mos after where I ended up sitting on the tarmac for at least two hours in Tokyo while they fixed the number two starter before take off. Number two starter? I know it’s not the first, but it also isn’t the fifth or sixth. Sounds important. Not to mention that we were in Tokoyo and I was on an American flight...do our planes come with Japanese instruction manuals? This was my train of thought.
WHAT IS THAT DING FOR? I should remember to ask my father in law “Captain Jim” next time I see him what that ding is all about. And don’t get me started on the seat cushions that double as “flotation devices.” What are the chances that we actually land on water? WHAT? I can’t understand “Carlos” the lead flight attendant whose accent is strangely reminiscent of “Mango” from “Saturday Night Live.” Something about descending? I didn’t hear anything about turning off any electronic devices so I am going to resume.
It also doesn’t help that the lady across the aisle from me is tugging on her rosary beads like taffy and… THEY DID IT AGIAN! You know what, I think they do that just to screw with us. “Hey Captain, lets cut the engines again so we can watch that broad back in 5F have another stroke.” Sweet.
Why is it that when the Captian comes over the intercom I always manage to… …TURBULENCE…LOTS OF TURBULENCE, HATE TURBULENCE…DING DING….TURBULENCE. CHRIST!

So it was then that I decided to turn off my computer, put it away, cross my fingers and wait for the plane to land, which thankfully, ended up landing without a hitch. I have since come to realize that I was better off on that plane than in the car with my analyst who picked me up at the airport swerving in and out of the Chicago traffic.

Later that day we went to the Bulls game which was more than suitable enough for everyone born with ADHD and entertaining in itself. I also managed to get myself of the mega tron only after purposely placing myself in some elses' mega tron moment.

My flight home was a little more dramatic, but thanks to my hour and a half visit to the airport bar and the three glasses of merlot that I consumed I was comfortably numb enough to continue on with my travels. I witnessed other travelers much like myself including a young lady who ordered a Becks and a shot of tequila to help her on her way to Detroit. I suggested she drink more than that to make Detroit look remotely appealing.

I boarded the plane and was actually quite calm, up until the announcement from the Captain which went something like this; “Ladies and Gentelmen, as you can tell, our departure time has come and gone, and we’re not going to leave the gate until they finish replacing the breaks.” BREAKS? I looked at the guy who sat a seat over from me who looked at me and we proceeded to break out into laughter. We waited another half hour and we were on our way down the runway. We both agreed that it would be a good idea for the pilots of the aircraft to at least test the breaks, not only to reassure everyone on the plane that they were in working order, but also just to test them to make sure they worked. No such luck. We took off and began our treck back to Minneapolis. As we were taking off I infomed my new found friend that it should be against federal aviation policy that I have a window seat which evoked some laughter and made us more at ease. While we were ascending the three glasses of merlot began to take effect and I had to pee…really really bad. Spencer and I decided that it was “O.K” to test the waters and head to the bathroom. After a few looks from the flight attendants and a stern warning, I finally relieved myself and returned to my seat where another glass of wine was ordered and the conversation began. Spencer was a graduate of Notre Dame and a current software engineer. We spoke of his job and it’s risks, which included his recent rendezvous with Bear Stearns. I was more than fascinated to hear of his college experience at an Ivy League school, more so to take my mind of falling thirty two thousand feet out of the sky, but also to pass the time. Not only that, but this was his first visit to Minneapolis. I told him of the places to go and the places to avoid. He asked about the Mall Of America, of which I eloquently described as a big friggin mall with a roller coaster and a giant aquarium, nothing more, nothing less. Needless to say after a few bouts of turbulence we landed and I was once again (thankfully) safely on the ground.

It was after this experience that I decided that flying is severely overrated. I have also come to the conclusion that if anyone were to try to overtake any aircraft and crash it into a large skyscraper (or skyscrapers) that the people on said aircraft would do anything in their power to stop the action. Not only because 75% of us were “comfortably numb” and fearless thanks to the airport bar, but also because we are acutely more aware of our surroundings. I have also come to realize that flying without breaks is not a big deal if you have someone next to you to talk to and that shares the same sense of humor as you. So Spencer, wherever you are, thanks man…you saved a few more hairs from turning grey.