Flipper, Flipper, Fasting Than Lightning…

You’d think that these would be easy to find. Just your garden variety, el cheapo swim fins. Nothing special, nothing best suited for deep sea diving or aqua-rescue. The same blue rubber fins we used to get when we were kids.

That seems to be the problem—everything out there is either for kids, or so expensive it’s just not worth it. I just wanted a cheap pair of fins to use at the Y pool. That and a snorkel, so I can do laps and still breathe. I figured I’d wander over to WalMart today and pick up a pair. Easy.

I went to WalMart, Target, Dick’s and a couple other places before finally winding up at Kmart. I think I bought a pair of kids’ fins, but what the hell, they fit.

So tomorrow I’m going to go to the Y, jump in the pool, and let everyone laugh at me while I zip up and down the lane with my spiffy new fins and bright, sparkly snorkel. I don’t care if they laugh. They’re just jealous.

And afterwards, the first store I walk into will have this huge display of swim fins for grown ups, and they’ll be on sale for 50% off. I just know it.


Take A Picture, It’ll Last Longer


Now, think about it. If the shower curtain is closed and water is running, it’s a pretty safe bet that someone is actually using the shower. Don’t throw the curtain back and then stare with your mouth hanging open. If you’re not sure, tap the curtain with your finger and just ask “Is anyone using this?” One way or the other, I’ll answer you. I’ll either say it’s occupied, or I’ll scream because you scared the crap out of me.

Old age is not an excuse. I presume that in your vast life experience you’ve learned the rudimentary tricks to determining if a toilet stall or shower stall is in use. I would hope, anyway. If you can’t hear water because age or something else has taken your hearing, look for other clues. Like, my towel sitting right there on the little stool in front of the shower stall. The soap bubbles streaming out into the drain in the middle of the shower room floor.

Remember, too: it’s the YMCA, not Big Bob’s Peep Show.
Though, if you’re so inclined, I’ll take cash for a quick look.
Just warn me before you throw the curtain open!


Catch O'The Day

Spouse Thingy's Big Catch.
That's a fish in his hand.

He was floating a fly off the dock of the lake here on base, and this baby striped bass went for it. No worries, though, the hook came out easy and he was returned to the water where he can grow to be a Big striped Bass, and wind up on someone else's hook another day.


Wheeeeee Doggy

Our poor dog, Hank, has been in varying degrees of pain for the last 6 years or so. He has hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, as well as arthritis and a number of other medical problems. When he was first diagnoses with the hip dysplasia he was placed on Rimadyl, a canine pain reliever, and it did wonders. It got him up off the floor, where he mostly curled up in a ball, refusing to move, and moving again.

It also destroyed his liver.

He took the Rimadyl for a couple of years, until his liver was so bad he couldn’t take anything for pain other than a Maalox-coated aspirin. That’s kind of like giving someone aspirin for the pain after major surgery. It doesn’t really help.

So today we took him to a new vet here. We kept putting it off because we were both honestly afraid that we’d get him there, the vet would look at him and say “Sorry, he’s in too much pain… the kinder thing would be to euthanize him.” Procrastinating was selfish, we know that. But after a barf fest last night, we knew we had to take him.

Go ahead, slap me around a few times, I deserve it. While we were waiting, afraid he was seeing his last days, a new doggy pain reliever hit the market, one that his liver will clear. Deramaxx is sort of like a canine Celebrex… it should give him significant relief. I doubt it’ll turn him into a puppy again, but at least he should be able to peel himself off the floor without it being a Major Effort, and maybe he won’t spend so much time licking sore elbow joints.

I thought it was worth mentioning, in case anyone else out there has a dog in a similar situation…


Hair’s The Thing…

Spouse Thingy is on leave this week, so we’re doing the togetherness thing. You know, sit around the house, then go to the gym together, then bowling together. Maybe fishing if the weather warms up, a movie or two. And I want to go to the Newport Aquarium just outside of Cincinnati sometime this week.

Today, after we hit the Y for some swimming (ok, I walked in the water) for an hour, we went for haircuts. To different places. Whilst I got mine cut at Supercuts, he sat and read his book. While he got his cut at the BX barber shop, I sat in the food court and scribbled notes for the chapter I’m working on.

[As an aside: if you cut hair professionally, please give your customer the cut they ask for, not the one you want them to have. I’ve had 3 haircuts since we got here and have not yet had one I wanted.]


So in all this together, we go for haircuts. And in all this togetherness, we discover something neither of us really wants to know.

We’re both getting very, very gray.

I looked down, and my little plastic cape (or whatever they call it, the thing they make you wear while they cut your hair) was covered with snippets of brown and gray. Waaaay too much gray.

After Spouse Thingy came out of the barber shop, I realized that, while his bald spot is much, much smaller thanks to the Proscar, his hair is about half and half now.

This was not supposed to happen.
We were supposed to stay 25 forever.

It’s the Boy’s fault, it has to be.
It certainly can’t be from anything I ever did…!


Hold The Butter

I look like a lobster… all nice and fire-y red, like I’d been shoved into a pot of boiling water. We went fishing again today (I caught 4!) and I totally forgot to use sunscreen. So did Spouse Thingy—together we look incredibly embarrassed. In a day or two when it starts to peel, we’ll look incredibly diseased.

If images from any of my site you might happen to be looking through don’t show up, it’s because my web space seems to have taken a vacation. I can get to it via the web host, but my main page isn’t coming up and I can’t access the files via FTP. So I apologize if it’s all imageless and ugly. Hopefully by tomorrow it’ll be back up.

Someone pass the lotion. I be hurtin’!


And The Grey Matter Goes =BOOM=

My head is ready to explode.

I got my business license last October, in anticipation of launching Inkblot Books. I have 3 books ready to send to the printer, but it came to my attention just this week that I need a Vendor’s license of some sort, and possibly a Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.

I’ve perused the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, and I’m more confused than ever. There are dozen different Vendors’ Licenses, and while I’ve narrowed it down to 2, I’m still not sure which one is me. And then there’s the Sales Tax Exemption Certificate, which the printer seems to think I should have, but I have no idea what to say on the application to assure that I get it.

Until I figure it out, I’m stuck and can’t send these files to the printer.

Surely there has to be a reason why they don’t write these thing in plain English. Why they don’t spell everything out in simple terms for those of us about to curl up into a tight ball on the floor and start crying. And there has to be a reason why I can’t figure out what probably really is something very simple…



Oh My, Part 2

I am a bad, bad person.

Yesterday two little girls came to the door, selling candy bars. I didn’t ask for what; they were tiny things hauling a huge box of candy around, so my sympathy gene kicked into overdrive and I said that of course I would buy one. They were only a buck, and I can toss it into the box of cookies I’m sending the Boy.

All I had on me were quarters. I fished four out of my pocket and started to pay one of the girls, when she looked up and said, “Mommy said we shouldn’t take too many quarters.”

Now, I don’t know why, and I didn’t ask, but quarters were all I had. So I asked her if she had a dollar for change; she handed me a dollar bill and I gave her the quarters, then handed the dollar back in exchange for the candy bar.

Yep, I am a bad, bad person and I’m going to hell…


Here Fishy, Fishy

The base here has three lakes; we’ve only been to the one, Bass Lake, because the other two are closed on a regular basis. I personally don’t have a problem with that—they’re closed because they’re situated near the firing range, and there’s been a whole bunch of Live-Fire Exercises lately. Keeping people away is probably a good thing.

Yesterday the Spouse Thingy and I went out to Bass Lake around noon to do a little fishing without having to worry about getting our heads blown off. When we got there the place was deserted, other than several ducks who seemed to be having a major argument over something—at the very least there was one really pissed off female letting her mate have it verbally. It was the feathered equivalent of some raging, PMS burdened, homicidal human female ripping into the Other Half for gawking and drooling over someone else. She was gunning for this poor guy with both barrels, chasing him from one side of the lake to the other, and eventually managed to get five or six others involved in the ducky little bitchfest.

I admit. I was amused.

About ten minutes after we got there two other guys showed up; they spent maybe twenty minutes on the dock and walked away with 3 or 4 nice looking bass—and neither of us had so much as a nibble. Spouse Thingy jammed his pole into a spot on the dock and wandered up towards the service building—he was just far enough away that me shouting to him would have done no good, when he pole started bouncing. He had one hell of a hit, but I couldn’t get to it fast enough. The bait was stripped. I popped a couple more salmon eggs on it and cast it back out, pretty much in the same spot where he’d had it.

I don’t think he believed me, when I told him he’d had a good bite… not until that pole was bouncing again 2 minutes later and he reeled in a nice looking rainbow trout. I switched bait and ten or fifteen minutes later had an even bigger trout. And an hour later another one.

Heh. I out-fished the Spouse Thingy. He caught first, but I caught biggest and most. Do you think he’ll admit that to his buddies? I didn’t think so…

It was really nice out there—more so because I haven’t been able to handle fishing the last few years. My back hasn’t been able to handle casting over and over (I prefer lure fishing) so I just didn’t go. The entire time we were in CA the last time I didn’t even bother getting a license because I knew I’d get out there and wind up having to quit within ten minutes. That wouldn’t exactly be fair to Spouse Thingy. I still can’t stand there and cast over and over, but I can sit there in lawn chair and do it. It’s a stinky thing, but it feels pretty damned liberating.

I still won’t eat the fish, though.
I don’t think I’ll ever be thatpain free.


It's official, I am an Internet Addict.

Our ISP puked out for about 24 hours, and then had intermittent drop outs of the signal, leaving me sitting here at my desk trying to connect with websites that weren't there, mumbling to myself, trying not to cry or punch my fist through the screen on my laptop.

This is never allowed to happen again.

It didn't help that a good portion of my software--stuff crucial to launching the publishing business--decided to puke out at the same time. I found myself irrationally pissed off about that...

It's the hormones. Being back on the pill is putting hormones back into my body I haven't had to deal with for 15 months, and I don't like it! I don't think the Spouse Thingy, the dog, or the PsychoKitty likes it, either. :\


Leaning On The Fence

No, I haven’t jumped over it, but I’m sitting here leaning on it, watching very carefully what’s happening on the other side.

I sat glued to the TV this morning, watching—as I’m sure millions of other people were—the toppling of yet another statue of Saddam. I got a peculiar sense of satisfaction when it was finally down and people were dragging the head of Hussein through the streets (I also had that moment of horror when the marine put the US Flag over Saddam’s head before it came down, and was not surprised to hear that even people at the Pentagon audibly gasped.) I wondered how long the elation of the people would last, and if tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, they would take a second look at the troops there and decide that they’re not welcome after all.

Since the war started, I’ve watched off and on—trying to limit the overwhelming exposure that would surely just make me apathetic—but I’ve had a deep seeded need to know what’s going on and how well our troops are doing.

I didn’t think we should be there, no. But we are there, and as long as we are there, I’d like to see it end as swiftly as possible, with as few casualties as possible, and yes, I want our guys to win. I look at the paper every morning hoping to see confirmation that Hussein is dead.

If that makes me a bad person, or a hypocrite, so be it. I just want this over, and since our troops are there, I want them to do what they were sent to do. I want them to spring to victory.

After all, the sooner this is over, the sooner they can come home.


I’m Watching Yooooo

Here’s a bummer of a thought: some people are only as honest as the audience watching them. When presented an opportunity for doing something wrong, if they think no one is watching, they’ll do it. When they realize someone is, they turn around and run, embarrassed.

I was sitting in the BX food court this afternoon, waiting while Spouse Thingy ran into the BX to pick up a case for my contacts (yes, he is a very good Spouse Thingy, but I think I’ve established that numerous times.) Just outside both the BX and the food court, in the foyer, there’s this older couple that sells roasted almonds. I’m guessing they’re both in their late 70s, and the woman is in a wheelchair.

Just before Spouse Thingy got up to go into the BX, the gentleman put up a sign that said “Back in 15 Minutes” and pushed his wife in towards the restrooms; he left his bags of almonds on the table—I presume he had no choice, probably no time to put everything away.

The table I was sitting at was right next to the window, so I watched, waiting for them to come back because, frankly, those nuts smelled really good and I wanted some. As I watched, people went by the table, many of them stopping to pick single nuts out of the free sample tray. A few took three or four in spite of the sign that asked people to take just one. But they did limit themselves to the ones on the sample tray.

And then a young man, I’m thinking he was around 21, stopped and looked carefully at the bags, set his hand on one and picked it up, looked around, started to stick it under his jacket, and then saw me staring at him.

Oh yeah, I stared. One of those “I dare you, you little punk,” stares, though truthfully there was nothing I could have done. No heroics here, he was far enough away he would have been gone before I could have gotten up, opened the door, and made it to the foyer.

But he saw me.
And he put the bag down and walked out.

From his age and build, I assume he was an active duty military member. This kid, if not for realizing someone was watching him, was willing to risk a potential career over a freaking bag of nuts! If he wasn’t the military member, but a dependent of one, he was willing to risk his entire family’s BX and commissary privileges over some roasted, sugar coated almonds.

One can only think he needed a bag of nuts because he just doesn’t have any of his own.


Oh My

I am a dirty, dirty, old lady.

We swim at the Beaver Creek YMCA; well, Spouse Thingy swims, I walk in the water (sometimes running… yes, be impressed) for about an hour. They have an awesome pool—hell, the entire facility is very nice, nice enough that we drive there instead of the closer Fairborn Y—and if we time it right, we don’t even have to share a lane.

If we don’t time it right, the swim team is there practicing. They make me feel old, managing three or four laps for every one of mine.

We got there early today, figuring we could get done before they started practice. Some of them show up early, but if there are people using the lanes, they stand around and wait, or walk around and stretch, eyeing the lanes like vultures.

While walking my lane today, I looked up… there were these very nice man-type legs at the end of the lane, so of course I kept looking. Hard quads, a killer six pack, verrah, verrah nice pecs.

Then I got to his face.

My God, Mr. Universe was about sixteen years old.
He was there for swim team practice. Holy crap, I’m old enough to be his mother.
I will never, ever again ogle anyone at the Y.

Well, not and admit it, anyway.


Happy Birthday, Boy

Twenty years ago today I was lying in a hospital bed, wondering why no one bothered to tell me that after giving birth I would feel like someone had slammed a truck into my crotch. Yes, sure, I should have jumped to the logical conclusions: you squeeze out a 9 pound, 4 ounce bowling ball, you’re going to be a little sore. (After twenty years, he’s forgiven for the fact that I couldn’t walk upright for the first 5 days of his life.)

April 2, 1983, at 2:47 in the morning, a doctor placed a wet, wrinkled, squealing little poop machine across my chest, and I was in love. He blinked his eyes open as if completely surprised, and then stared as if he knew who I was. His eyes were big, beautiful, and liquid gray, and I remember looking into them and thinking that he had me in a way no one else ever would, or ever could.

Spouse Thingy and I both stared at him, overwhelmed by this little creature that we’d brought into the world, both in awe of the force of that brand new personality.

I don’t think either of us could imagine that someday he’d turn 20 years old, he’d be on his own, with a life we had no control over. I don’t think either of us realized that we were going to be raising a person; he was just a baby, brand new and still all sticky and pink. We hadn’t quite wrapped our heads around the idea that we were Real Parents, much less that some day he’d be an adult.

Yesterday was the last day he’d ever be a teenager. He lost his last best excuse for the little stupidities of life.

I’m not sure what his plans for the day are, but I hope he celebrates with friends and has a kick ass time.

Happy birthday, kiddo!