Question for the audience

Well, yet again I find myself finally returning this summer’s reading for punishment — (Train your Mind, Change Your Brain — apparently I did neither) after renewing it the maximum # of times (originally checked out 6/2).

So yeah, I’ve had it checked out for about 3 1/2 months, haven’t finished it, and it’s overdue, as were at least 2 previous selections for reading for punishment: The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot and The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.

Someone with a larger ego might be embarrassed not completing them, but nope – not me. A bit disappointed, but not embarrassed. I tried, right? And it’s not like I totally slacked off in the reading department: I did manage to catch up on several months’ worth of O, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian, More, and read several thriller-type and just-plain-funny books…

What did you read this summer? (If it was something like Proust please don’t comment.)


What overused simile do you use when a pancake really is “flatter than a pancake” (should be)?

“Flatter than the earth was once thought to have been”?

That’s not exactly an overused simile and it  really doesn’t “flow” either…

I’ve always thought of myself as a geek, but according to this test I am not nearly as geeky as I thought.

Unfortunately I might be more like a dork, as depicted so aptly (but not really articulated as such) in the “0-10 points” photo. God I’m afraid to even look at the other scores.

Suddenly I don’t know who I am…

What’s your score?

OMG, I just realized that Christmas is in a week. I have nothing. Not even a list.

Given my current sitcheation I am brainstorming (with myself) for inexpensive gifts ideas.

So far:

-clothespin ornaments

-dough ornaments decorated with the ink of Sharpie pens (or interior glossy latex white paint and/or black BBQ pit paint)

-homemade bacon fat and birdseed covered pine cone (for birds, although it might be a fiber-filled breakfast for people too)

-my collection of hotel room shampoo bottles

-“Let’s make pasta” basket with 1/2 box of spaghetti noodles, can of diced tomatoes, spices in baggies (or in cleaned-out hotel room shampoo bottles), Parmesan cheese

-Cat food seasoned with Penzey’s Sandwich Seasoning (makes anything taste good!)

-OOH! I have homemade pesto in the freezer from my surplus basil crop this year! Yay! That’s almost like a real gift. Wonder if it would fit in those hotel room shampoo bottles

-Litter box sculptures painted with Kilz – they’d be abstract, of course, given the nature of what is in a litter box.

-And for my new brother-in-law, who said he’d eat just about anything but squirrel: a newly-killed, fresh-frozen m/vole from the back porch

Alrighty, that’s all I can come up with right now.

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Please. I beg you. My family and friends beg you.

…Without the aid of pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs or alcohol I went to bed at 9:30 Fri. night and slept until 11:30 Saturday morning, with just a little time “in the conscious world” to feed, medicate, and let my dog and neighbor dog out. I was tie-tie.

…My fiber intake has decreased over last couple of weeks. Since I’ve previously discussed my increases (example here) I thought you should know the current state of affairs. Don’t worry, it hasn’t caused any – uh – problems yet and I promise I’m not going to provide daily poop updates.

…I’m breaking a big rule that you don’t talk about looking for a job, but “marie/y hungry” is not a pretty picture, and I’m getting a little frantic. You may know that I work (thru a contracting co.) at the Everywhere Company, which recently “combined with” the Many Other Places Company to become the Holy Crap It’s a Huge Mega Company.

Long story short, they’re in cost-cutting mode, and my job is one of the costs they’re cutting (performance, results, team builder, “plays well with others,” customer satisfaction all aside). I saw the writing on the wall this summer (here) and have been looking since July. Have gotten some great interviews and 2nd interviews but no offer yet.

I have a new so-far-so-good pimp staffing firm now (another drama I’ll skip), and want to stay with them as long as I’m in <The City I Don’t Hate But Don’t Love>. I’m loyal to a fault (and I mean literally to a fault, as this loyalty has bitten me several times) but I have 5 weeks before I go on unemployment for the 1st time in my 30 year working life.

I don’t want to hurt anyone, burn any bridges, hack anyone off or be rude, butcha know I gotta eat. I really want my new staffing co. to come through for me, but I’d be stupid to put my whole stomach in one party’s hands. (Can you tell I’m talking myself into this as much as explaining it to you?) Again: “marie/y hungry” is not pretty. Plus it’s such a great time of year to be looking for a job…

So: if you point me in the direction that leads me to a new job in the same field and it pays close to or more than what I earn now, besides knowing you’ll get big time karma points, the prize I can offer for this contest (Omar: this IS a contest. Let me know and I’ll send you my LinkedIn URL) is that whoever helps me get some more interviews will be eliminated from the “I will house Marie/y and her 3 animals if necessary” list.

Need I say that that is worth more than any superficial prize? Yes? Well okay if you live nearby or I’m coming to visit you I’ll take you to dinner at a nice restaurant too, okay?

…product I wish I’d thought of: the Stayball. It’s a ball (obvously) that you can (among other things) use as a chair. Get it? It STAYBALLizes you. It’s a bonus that the sand in it prevents it from rolling around when you’re not sitting on it. No more tripping over the “it’s coming after me” ball after I step away from it.


…”living the dream”: Here are photos from May (selecting just “the right” already-gnawed on bone)


and the other day when I decided to finally throw them out but then decided they’d make a good picture:


In the intervening time I’ve thrown away countless (really – countless) other bones and given a big bag of the long ones to my sister to stuff (for her dog) but I’ve also switched to the small bones (trying to save $$) and my dog has now lost 3 lbs!

People might think I’m weird but I prefer to think of myself as “different,” someone who “thinks outside the box” and isn’t constrained (too much) by societal norms. Okay, re-reading this I’ll just admit what the neighbors and my friends/fam already know: I am weird albeit in a fun, lovable way.

…Compliment of the week: My physical therapist said I have excellent body mechanics. That means I bend well and properly (although obviously not well enough or I wouldn’t be seeing her).

…Today’s Words of Wisdom: Don’t buy a bag of baked BBQ Baked Lays without just admitting right off that you will eat the whole thing in one sitting. You’re just kidding yourself otherwise.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that someone says to you: “You’re so sarcastic.”

How would you reply? These are the first retorts I thought of:

  • “Really? You know, I don’t think anyone’s ever mentioned that.”
  • “No kidding…”
  • “Ya think so??”
  • “I know, but it happens only when I’m around idiots.”
  • “Really? What makes you say that?”
  • “What was your first clue?”
  • “And your point is….?”
  • “Thank you.”

I mean seriously, how can you possibly respond to that?! No matter what you say it’ll come off as sarcastic, which is what they’ve just told you you were anyway. So if you answer you basically just confirm what they’ve told you…

If you have a non-sarcastic response (can’t possibly be interpreted as sarcastic) to that question I would love to hear it.

Best answer wins the contest, and the coveted “NADA” prize.*

Deadline for retorts is Tues., 8/26, my dad’s 70th birthday. You are not eligible if you have to look up the meaning of “retort.”

And you can’t kiss up and say one of mine is what you’d say. Well, I might be willing to relax that rule, but only if you can guarantee the recipient won’t take it in a sarcastic manner. And good luck with that.



*”No Award Don’t Ask”

**Idea stolen with pride from Omar, who probably stole it from someone else too

Background: Every year for the past 15 years there’ve been 2 areas on my back porch where flies congregate.

I kill ’em all off, they’re back later in the day. Sometimes a few venture inside <another anecdote>, and since there have been more coming inside lately, I decided to see if I could find a natural remedy to get rid of them at the source.

More background: Yes, I have checked for stagnant water, dead animals, dog/cat poop, garbage, etc. I even patched the screens.

The previous owners obviously knew about this since they left a fly swatter on the porch. At the time I couldn’t imagine why, in the modern age of screens, people would need a fly swatter.

HA! That question was answered about 5 minutes after I moved in. One of the many little problems they didn’t mention. I think they got a bit of karmic payback in that they are now divorced.

Anyway, I found a site on the nerdnet, Had I looked at the home page, a couple of things might have clued me in, like the subtitle, “A People’s Guide to Better Living.”

There’s something about “A People’s Guide…” that just grates at me. I’m not really sure, but it seems like “A Person’s Guide” or “Your Guide” or “People’s Guide” might be okay, but “A People’s Guide”??? Oh wait – I get it. Maybe they mean it in kind of a retro-Soviet and/or hippy thing (“Power to the Peoples”?). OK, never mind.

Anyhoo, some of the recent articles on “How to get rid of…”

  • Flea beetles
  • Carpet beetles
  • Japanese beetles
  • a Ghost

Under flies, the natural remedies that were submitted and confirmed by literally dozens of “peoples” were:

  • Filling ziploc bags halfway with water and “hanging them up.” Needless to say, I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.
  • Hang up cds.

Both of these are allegedly effective because flies don’t see well and/or think these are wasp nests, depending on which folksy reason you want to believe.

I decided to try the least – messy -though – definitely – most- tacky option, the cds. I had such high hopes for this remedy. This is not your grandmother’s remedy. This is the 21st century remedy to an age-old problem. It has to work, right?

I put up 3 cds in strategic locations with fishing line (’cause that’ll help the cds look less obvious, right?), but, well, you be the judge.

If nothing else this photo illustrates how difficult it is to photograph flies. It’s hard to focus and not have them move when you’re standing on a flimsy chair wavering around and cursing a lot. There were easily a dozen flies laughing at me from their cool new hangout each cd (not to mention the neighbors).

Every fly I killed earlier has been replicated at least 3 times over. You’re seeing only a handful of the ones that weren’t off taunting me from another screen.

At least they stay in the same 2 corners year after year, but I would like to get rid of them.

Sooo…god help me the baggy/water solution is gonna be next, when I’m in a really good mood. And feel like getting really wet.

But here’s kind of a cool bug I photo’d. successfully. All I know is that it lets you get really close but it does fly. And it was really lost if it was on my porch.

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