23 August, 2011

5.9 baby! I felt the earth move under my feet

Today there was an earthquake! A real live trembler, that shook the walls, made the cubes sway back and forth, and made the ceiling tiles jump up and down. It is the sounds that were most amazing to me. All over the office you could hear the tiles clicking up and down and the walls of the cubes clattering.

Afterwards, everyone in the office popped out of their cubes and offices to marvel at the first earthquake most of us had ever experienced. I felt giddy and excited, it was so out of the ordinary! Then we all talked for a while and then drifted back to work. No one panicked, no one left the building, and no one even mentioned leaving for home.

I had a 4pm appointment over in Towson, and was shocked to find that the traffic on the feeder roads and on the beltway was bumper to bumper. There was a fender bender RIGHT in front of me, you needed to pay complete attention to your driving, and everyone was yakking on their cell phones in flagrant defiance of Maryland law!

Anyway, I was surprised to hear that many places sent people home. While it was a significant earthquake at 5.9 on the Richter scale, for the area - there just wasn't a lot of damage. I hear that down in DC some buildings took damage, but I don't know of any here in Baltimore. I think people just LIKE to have an excuse to be all dramatic..."I must drive home and make sure the plantation survived the earthquake," said Miss Scarlet.

So, my first earthquake! I never expected that when I got up this morning. It just goes to show that you never know when something unexpected is around the corner.

21 August, 2011

Summer Sunday

Yesterday we had a nice grilled meal with Mom and Dad, followed up by a quiet evening puttering around. Today we went to church and had lunch after with our friends.

I asked Mom if she'd help me de-clutter around the house a little. So this afternoon we went through my dresser drawers, matching socks, throwing away things that were stained or torn, and repairing a pair of pants that needed a zipper fix.

Then we attacked the very difficult Great Room and I went through my desk, filing, throwing away, and organizing. Then we sorted out yards and yards of fabric. I made three stacks: keep, sell/donate, and throw away. Sell/donate and throw away were MUCH larger than keep. I feel virtuously light! Thomas also took a bunch of books to Ukazoo for me, and returned with $4.00. The money doesn't matter, but getting rid of the books was wonderful.

Mom asked (perceptively) if I was so anxious to get rid of things because I was anxious about the upcoming four week visit of my in-laws. I am sure that it has something to do with it.

If you've been here, you know what the house is like...a bit cluttered, a bit fuzzy, a bit down at the heels. Let's face it, I have three dogs and my house is a bit smudgy with nose marks at the level of a Cocker Spaniel. Most of the time I love our little house, except when the Uber-Hausfrau comes to visit. Then it looks shabby, dirty, and sad. Why? Why do I let her opinion matter to me so much. And frankly, it's not even her opinion, it's what I imagine her opinion is going to be. I am messed up!

19 August, 2011

The Good News and the Bad

I got a nice surprise today. Dad called today and he and my Mom are flying up for the weekend. They are on their way to Niagara to meet their friends next week, so they are stopping over with me for a few days. The parentals have never flown up here, so this is a first.

I took Jake to the vet tonight. He's not been well lately, losing weight, getting very tottery. I didn't know whether he was just getting old, or maybe he had cancer, or whatever. I did some online research and found a description of a disease that older dogs get, when their pancreas doesn't work properly anymore.The symptoms sounded like what is going on with Jake. I wanted to discuss it with the vet and see what she thought.

What she though is that it is entirely possible, given his symptoms. Rather than doing the expensive blood test, she sent me home with $60 worth of pancreatic enzyme tablets to give Jake with each meal. If he does have this pancreatic disease, he's been slowly starving, because his body hasn't been able to properly digest his food and absorb it.

So, think some good thoughts for my little dog. He's my sweet Fat Baby (his nickname from long ago, when he WAS a Fat Baby). I sure hope this treatment works and gets his Fat back!

17 August, 2011

Scoot down and RELAX

I visited my lady doctor today. I think that means I am finished with yearly appointments...for another year. Yay.

My lady doctor is also a lady, this cartoon pretty much expresses how I feel.

14 August, 2011

Long Dark Teatime

Sunday evening has rolled around, again. And just like every week I suffer from existential dread. It's really not existential, I dread going back to work in the morning. But I like paying the bills and being able to buy quilting fabric and books, so might as well soldier through the Long Dark Teatime of the Soul and focus on more cheerful things.

Have you ever read anything by Christopher Moore? Lamb? The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove? Bite Me? Thomas is working his way through Moore's works as books on cd. I have read several. Listening to Moore's Fool with Thomas as he recuperated reminded me that I had the book, so I've been reading bits of that all weekend, and it's fabulous. Much like the movie I saw with my parents last weekend, the language is salty, but it works in this case, since I am not reading (or listening to it) with my folks. As funny as Fool is, and it is laugh out loud hilarious, I still think I like Lamb better, which is the story of Jesus as told by his childhood friend, a rascal called Biff. Remember how the Bible has the story of Jesus up to about 12 as scares his parents by remaining at the temple, and then he sort of disappears until he's about 30? Biff fills us in on what happened during those years.I won't be ruining it if I tell you he traveled and met some very interesting characters...including those three Wise men who brought him birthday gifts.

Since Thomas is recovering from the removal of his last Wisdom, we had a quiet weekend. Reading, taking naps, watching movies, sleeping, eating, and occasionally taking the dogs out on slow walks in the humidity. We had thunderstorms yesterday and plain rain today. I've worked on my Italian Tiles quilt. It's slow going but I have made noticeable progress. I've been re-reading Sheri S. Tepper's latest book, The Waters Rising, again. I can always go back to any of her books (except Beauty, which is too sad) when I need a comfort read.

We are going to watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland now!

11 August, 2011

I didn't want to see the movie in the first place

Last Friday, when I arrived in SC, by the time we got back to the ancestral home, I was exhausted. I got up at 3:50 that morning to make my flight, and then waited a long, long, l-o-n-g time at LaGuardia while they fixed the plane and then changed the plane and dug up a new crew for the new plane. Tired doesn't even begin to cover it.

And then my parents insisted we go to the movies. And I mean insisted. I clearly stated that I was tired and didn't want to see a movie. I had double reasons not to want to go see the movie they chose. Firstly, I was tired (see 1st paragraph) and secondly, I knew that Change-Up was not a movie I would feel comfortable seeing with my parents. But nothing would satisfy them other than me hauling myself into the car and going to the movies with them. My father told me, "This is what we do on Friday."

It was just as bad as I thought it would be. Things that I would have found amusing with other companions were just horrifying when I was sitting beside my parents. The language was filthy, if they said "fucking" once, they said it a hundred times. One character told another, "Come sit on my face while I say the alphabet."

Read no farther if you don't want to read spoilers. Change-Up features the always appealing Jason Bateman and hunka-hunka-burning-hotness Ryan Reynolds. It's your basic Freaky Friday, waking up in your best friend's body and having to live his life flick.

It features:

Ryan Reynolds' humping, doggie style, a truly terrifying aged actress while the director of the light porn (lorn) movie screams at him to "stick your thumb up her ass". The porn star had boobs bigger than a couple of soccer balls attached to her chest and the worst face lift ever.

Poop shooting out of baby butts and splashing Jason Bateman across across the face, in the mouth, etc. - and that scene happens a couple of times.

A scene where the boring dad in the hot stoner's body masturbates while watching porn.

A menacing pregnant woman who drops by to have sex with Reynolds, apparently on her way to the hospital to deliver.

Two separate scenes of people sitting on the toilet, simulating having a bowel movement, complete with disgusting sound effects.

It was truly awful. When the movie was over, I didn't want to look my parents in the face I was so embarrassed. We all just hopped back in the car and drove home chatting about everything in the world EXCEPT the movie. The rest of the weekend, we pretended that unfortunate 2 hours never happened.

I am never going to the movies with them again, unless I pick the film.

08 August, 2011

Home is the hunter, home from the hills

Just back home from a lightning quick trip to Clemson and back. I got to SC on Friday afternoon, Sam's funeral was on Saturday. I spend Sunday on the longest Sunday afternoon drive ever, my Dad drove us all over the Tri-County area. We went down roads I'd never traveled in all my years living there.

The minister who did the sermon at the funeral did a wonderful job. He preached on the text where Jesus speaks in parables about the Kingdom of God. The parable of the Mustard Seed, the parable of the Yeast, the parables of the man who finds the treasure in the field, and the parable of the Merchant who searches for the pearl of great price. The church was full of people wearing orange to honor the life of a true Clemson fan.

And of course, those are all the things you say about a funeral: it was beautiful, the turnout was huge, everyone spoke of how they loved Sam and missed him, the music and the sermon were "fitting" - but none of that changes the fact that we were all stunned by the death of a very young man. Sam was one of those super vital people who made friends wherever he went, and the fact that he is gone is hard for me to wrap my mind around. I am grieving for his sister and brother, and especially his Mom and Dad.

Based on the two flights I took to and from SC, I am developing a list of 5 Rules for Air Travel that no one ever tells you, but ought to.

1. Please, please, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S GOOD AND HOLY, and for basic consideration for your fellow travelers: shower before you leave on your trip, apply deodorant, and wear clean clothes. Those plane seats are small, we are all wedged against each other, breathing the same air for the duration of the flight. If you aren't fresh and clean, your fellow passengers know it, and hate you for it.

2. If you are traveling with small people, bring something for them to do. Stock up on coloring books, new crayons, miniature puzzles, books for them to read, or get some movies loaded onto your tiny notebook computer. Airport waiting areas are sterile and boring. Most of the adults are reading, playing games on their  computers, or talking on their smart phones. We really don't want to listen to your children whine and cry from boredom. Ditto for the flight. Entertain those kiddies. It may be a drag, but if you can't hack it, leave the children at home.

3. If your flight is delayed, cancelled, or arrives so late that you don't make your connection, don't be hateful to the ticketing agent. It is not his/her fault. He/she is trying to help you and the other eleventy people in line behind you, and all your yelling and bitching isn't doing one thing to get you closer to your final destination. Take a deep breath. Remember that you aren't the only one in this situation. Behave with dignity.

4. People, when they say one handbag and one carry on, that's what they mean. When you struggle onto the airplane with your mammoth totebag or backpack, a carry on bag, your raincoat, and your hardcover copy of The Brothers Karamazov, your fellow passengers do not love you as you fill the overhead bins with all your crap, leaving no room for the rest of our stuff. Get it in one handbag/backpack and one carry on, or leave it home.

5. The rules for getting through TSA security haven't changed in years. Why does it come as a surprise to you when you need to remove coats, sweaters, shoes, etc. and put your laptop in the tray? Here's what smart people do: wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on, have our ID ready to show with their boarding pass, and be prepared to run our things through the machine. We are polite and cooperative when asked to move over to the side for further screening. We don't hold the line up and grouse about taking our shoes off.  Us smart people are looking daggers at those of you who are slowing up the line. The collective ill will directed against you probably does terrible things to your chi or your karma or whatever.