I Shouldn’t Let My Mind Wander; It’s Too Little to Be Out On Its Own…

Really…I am not firing on all cylinders these days.

After having dinner with friends last night, we went to the grocery store for milk and I kept thinking there was something else I needed to get, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I remembered we were out of trash bags. I remembered I was out of diet soda, but there was something else and I couldn’t quite recall what it was.

So we bought the few things I could remember needing, and left.

At 8:06 this morning, as the cat meowed softly, I remembered.

Cat food. Specifically, wet cat food. Stinky Goodness. The food without which Max’s little world tilts off its axis and is in danger of ending.

I was actually apologizing to the little furball as I walked from the bedroom to the kitchen, thinking I could just give him some tuna, and get the canned food later today.

No tuna.

While I was hunting around the kitchen for something to feed him, Max was winding through my legs, meowing pitifully, and when I went back to the bedroom—to get dressed, because it was obvious I was going to the store—he looked at me like I’d slapped him across the face. The rules are get up, feed the cat, then go to the restroom and get dressed. I was clearly violating the rules by not feeding him before doing anything else.

He was in the kitchen calling to me when I left, and waiting by the front door when I came back ten minutes later, a bag of canned food in hand. He cut loose with a string of what I can only assume were obscenities as I opened a can and scooped out half of its completely disgusting contents onto a plate, and an hour later he’s still giving me the cold shoulder.

I am going to be punished for the rest of the day.
By a cat.
Simply because I do not always have a fully functioning brain.

I think that’s supposed to bother me, but truthfully, it means I can probably watch TV without getting fur up my nose, and I can sit here at my desk and type without feline “help.” And I did find him an entirely new favor (to him) of Fancy Feast. If nothing else, my punishment will be smelling the remnants of that the rest of the day.


Inkblot Books’ newest title is at the printer and will be available sometime in the next 2 weeks…but why am I telling you this?


Not just because of the story (which is mondo interesting, and the first in a proposed series of seven books) but because of the cover.

Pretty, eh?

It’s a photo of an original oil painting done by none other than The Spouse Thingy.
Betcha didn’t know he has talents beyond passing gas.

He can take a mean photograph, too. Yet he hasn’t picked up a brush or canvas, or seriously taken pictures in years.

He should.
’Cause it’s a pretty, pretty picture, and there may be 6 more books that will need covers…


Party real hard,
And don't be a bore,
It's April 27th
And he's turned 44...


Desperately needing an Orange Berry Blitz Smoothie (yes, desperately) I hopped into my car, put the top down, and head for Jamba Juice. This is an evil place to which the Boy introduced me a month or so ago; the smoothie of choice for me tastes a lot like a berry daiquiri, but without the booze.

Eh, you can’t have everything, especially so early in the day.

This particular Jamba Juice is very popular; I’ve never been I there when there hasn’t been a line. It generally moves quickly and I really wanted one, so I placed my order and then stood in the We-Already-Paid-And-Are-Waiting line, right next to a couple and their little boy.

Little Boy: I wanna go home.
Mom: In a little bit. Let Mommy and Daddy get this, and then we’ll take you next door for ice cream.
Little Boy: I don’t feel good.
Mom: Sweetie, you say that every time we go somewhere.
Little Boy: My tummy hurts. I wanna go home.
Dad (feels kid’s forehead): He’s not warm.
Mom (not sounding snotty or anything, just matter of fact): He’s tired. He does this every time I take him somewhere. (to the kid): It’ll be just a couple of minutes. Then we’ll get your ice cream.
Little Kid: I don’t want ice cream.
Mom and Dad look at each other.
Little Kid (holding tummy): Mommy…

And thusly did I discover that the kid had obviously had Cheerios for breakfast, and possibly orange juice too.

Little Kid (as people are scrambling for a bucket and mop): I told you I didn’t feel good.

Not that I let that stop me from enjoying my smoothie or anything…


Today’s Lesson Learned:

Upon listening to a Creedence Clearwater Revival CD, I realized, after some 30 odd years, that the lyrics are There’s a bad moon on the rise and not There’s a bathroom on the right.

Be very grateful. The night before last, in a fit of insomnia, I almost got out of bed to blog about (read: whine profusely) not being able to sleep and complain about the dagger that’s still firmly lodged in my lower back. It was 3:30 in the freaking morning, and I stayed curled up in bed, formulating the INCREDIBLE, WONDERFUL blog entry I was about to make.

I was asleep within 10 minutes. Granted, the cat woke me up an hour later by carrying on a loud conversation with himself in the living room, but I spared the world my late night/early morning musings.

I’m not sparing the world my whining about back pain. I’ve lived with chronic pain for the last 8 years, but that was a walk in the park compared to this. I keep telling myself I got used to the ongoing pain of FMS, I’ll probably get used to this. Probably. Hopefully.

Sooner or later I’ll stumble onto to Something That Helps.

Something free, preferably.
Or something chocolate.
Or free chocolate.

That always helps, even when it doesn’t…


It's a Vicodin kinda night.
Wanna join me?
Too bad, I'm not sharing...
Sure I will, I'm not a meaniehead...
::hobbles off, cursing the person with the Thumper voodoo doll who stuck a pin in its back:::


It’s not very often you can keep someone in your life for over 30 years. It’s also not very often that you can meet someone, torment the crap out of them, and then still have them as a friend for over 30 years. I met a guy in 7th grade, when we were just 12 years old; he joined our class halfway through the school year and we tormented the poor kid (and he helped answer the question “How many people can you get into a VW Bug?” With him stuck in the bottom of the pile of sweaty hormonal teens, the answer was 22.)

And with him, when a cop comes upon the scene and asks what’s going on, the squeaky, finally-let-up answer is, “We’re testing Mitchum Deodorant. It works!”

Murf (he who never updates his blog) was a skinny, short thing in 7th grade. He was imminently pick-on-able and to this day still thinks I was such a nice person for including him in things my friends and I did. Lock him in the girls’ bathroom? Sure! Tell him the dodge balls we have for gym are too small and will sting too much if people get hit with them, and get him to wander around asking for bigger balls? No problem.

He’s now around 6’4”-6’5” and not so skinny. He grew up to be a really nice guy, teaches martial arts, is incredibly happily married with 3 kids. And now he’s 44 years old.

Yep. Murf, you’re always gonna be older than the Spouse Thingy and I.

Happy Birthday!


Today was exciting. Today I had to go to the post office and buy stamps. Yes, that was the highlight of my day. The purchase of self-sticking stamps…and I only needed one. But bills must be paid and the post office is pretty picky about delivering mail with and without stamps.

So I went, and after I purchased the spiffy self sticking stamps from the automatic postage machine, I went back out to my car and started it up, then decided I wanted to listen to a new CD.

As I picked through my CDs, two guys walked by just as my doors automatically locked. They do that. Thirty seconds after the car starts, the doors lock. They weren’t past my bumper when one said, “Dude! Did you see that? She locked the doors and we aren’t even black!”

Excuse me?

Guys, here’s the truth. Yes, women often lock the car doors when men are around. But I was in aconvertible for Pete’s sake. Locking the doors wouldn’t do a whole lot of good. Someone bent on harming me could just reach in. I’d probably bite them, but still.

And here’s another truth: we don’t lock the doors because men are black (or Hispanic, or Asian, or anything else.) We lock them because they’re men.

Blame it on others who have abused being a member of your gender. We don’t always feels safe around strange men. But the reality of it is that you could be lily white, dressed in a business suit, and have teeth more sparkling than a diamond, and a good percentage of women would lock their car doors if you looked like you might approach.

It’s not personal.
It’s not a racial thing.
It’s a gender thing.


We own a gun.

No, we’re not members of the NRA and I don’t support their political positions. I have no problem with waiting periods for gun purchases, and I can’t fathom a single reason why anyone would need to own a fully automatic firearm. You don’t need an Uzi to take down Bambi, and it’s probably not the best personal protection device.

But I do like shooting. I hate hunting, but I like shooting.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about shooting at paper targets. My preferred paper target is the outline of a human torso, and I’ve decided that all my paper torso targets are male. I never name them (that would be kind of sick, I think) but yes, I assign gender.

I don’t think it amuses the Spouse Thingy that I generally try to shoot out the groin first.

Something I am definitely not in favor of: shooting feral cats. Yes, they’re a nuisance. Yes, they poop and pee in your yard and whelp kittens in places you’d rather they not, but come on. Shoot them?

Wisconsin has proposed a law allowing for the hunting of feral cats. Their governor claims to not support the law because he doesn’t want to be the state known as the state that kills kitties, but still…that someone would even propose such a law bugs me. The idea is that any roaming cat without a collar is fair game.

So, if I lived in WI and Max got out, is no one spotted his collar, he’s fair game?

What about long haired cats with collars that aren’t easily spotted? Shoot them and then say “oops!”?

What about those feral cats who have a shot at domesticity?

Notice how no one is proposing we shoot dogs? Hey, they tend to run free, too. Nope, we call animal control and have them rounded up. They just want to hunt the kitties.

I like shooting.
We have a gun.
But I can’t ever, not ever, support firing it at a cat.

I don’t understand that mindset, and to be honest, I never want to.


One of the things about driving a convertible is that, when the top is down, you’re subjected to lots of traffic noise. That’s not a complaint; it just is. And because of the traffic noise, if you want to listen to the radio or a CD, you have to turn up the volume to hear it.

But then, you get into a parking lot and it’s very, very loud.
Other people can hear it.

I wasn’t quite thinking about the that the other day when I had to run to the grocery store for milk and bread (and probably M&Ms or something else I likely should not have.) I was just thinking what an awesomely beautiful day it was and that there’s nothing like riding around with the top down on a day like this (yes, I really do think dorky things like that.)

As I was pulling into a parking slot I noticed an old man, )about 80 years old I think) walking toward the store; it was when he turned I realized my music was very loud, and it was blaring the lyrics I hope this song finds you well, I hope that you’re doing fucking swell…

I scrambled to turn it down, gritting my teeth, just knowing I was about to get blasted by a senior citizen for the filth I was subjecting the world to. And it would have been fair; it was too loud for the parking lot and not something I’d want small kids to hear.

He pointed at me and shouted, “Bowling For Soup!” then turned back around and went into the store.

I am in awe. Who’da thunk an old an would know who Bowling For Soup are, much less know the lyrics to a non-radio song well enough to pick them out of the air?

And I am so very grateful I wasn't beat about the head and shoulders with a cane for my lack of consideration...


In the dream I was having, my head was slowly being crushed by a giant hand, the palm of it over my nose, thumb pressing into my throat. I struggled to breathe and was thinking, What the hell? I was just having a good time!

I startled awake, and found it was still hard to breathe.

Then I pushed the damn cat off my face…

I don’t think he’s intentionally trying to kill me, but the little furball has a very odd compulsion to sleep in places that are detrimental to my continued existence.

And somehow it’s my fault that his nightly nap was interrupted.


And Thus Spaketh The Boice In My Head: Get Thee To A Big Box Store, Where You Will Enjoy Low Low Prices On Cat Food And Batteries

Yes. Sometimes I listen to the voices in my head. I gave Max the last can of wet food this morning and knew my very existence depended on replenishing his stock of Stinky Goodness, plus the battery in my wireless mouse puked out on me last night, so I had go to shopping somewhere. And even though Tar-zhet Booteek is closer, I went to WalMart.

Fancy Feast is only 41 cents a can there. It’s 70 cents at the grocery store. While I indulge my cat’s picky tastes, I’m not entirely stupid. I go where it’s cheaper, and then I buy more crap to make up the difference.

I grabbed six cans of premium, no gravy, no aspic, nothing weird that will make the cat vomit on me wet food and was heading for the batteries when I heard a loud, booming voice: “Thumper!”

Now granted, my first thought wasn’t “Yes, God?” but looking back, it could have been one of those moments, because it was one of Those Voices. Loud. Authoritative. Military DI-Type Voice.

I spun in several different directions, trying to figure out who was not only calling out to me, but specifically, who around here knows me as Thumper???

And then I spotted the tall man in the USAF blues walking towards me, smiling, and his wife trailing a step or two behind—along with a little girl who was pointing and giggling, as if thinking, “Daddy is an idiot! That lady doesn’t look like Bambi’s best friend!” Now, I don’t know these people very well, having only met him twice and her once, but I was happy to see them, and instantly had this “Oh please tell me you’re stationed here now” hope bubble up inside.

Sadly, that is not to be; Mitch and his wife Lisa were once stationed out here, but within a week of arriving he got orders for a one year remote assignment so she went back home, and I never really go the chance to know them. We met through a mutual friend and had lunch a couple of times at the BX Food Court; by the time Mitch returned and Lisa moved back, the Spouse Thingy and I were in Ohio. Tomorrow they’re leaving for Japan, and it was just dumb luck that I ran out of cat food on the day they decided to make one last trip to WalMart to stock up on things to keep their little girl occupied during the trip.

Their little girl is 18 months old and has one of those sparkly smiles you can’t help but grin when you see it. She’s at that age where she speaks in one or two words spurts, she points a lot, and giggles almost maniacally. If the Spouse Thingy had been there, he probably would have offered to babysit her for the next 3 years while they’re off enjoying Japan.

We chatted in line as we paid for our things, and then decided to sit in the attached McDonalds to have a burger and a drink, and to talk for a little bit longer. Sitting with their daughter reminded me of trips to McD’s when the Boy was young: like my son, she favored the chicken nuggets, and like him, she ate the coating off and discarded the meat. She likes her milk chocolate and her French fries jammed up her nose (well….the Boy never did that, I don’t think…) She also made me seriously miss—again—the kids from the neighborhood in Ohio.

Yep, the Boy needs to graduate, get a really good paying gig, find the Right One, get married, and have a kid (in that order, please) so I can have a grandchild to spoil.

We sat there and chatted for about an hour, talking about not much in general (in between bouts of pulling fries out of their daughter’s nose, which was probably funnier to me than it was to them) and just enjoyed the moment. It was nice, because even though these aren’t people with whom I am very close (but hey, I did give them my email address!) it was comfortable, and I don’t feel that way very often. I’m a little bummed that our paths crossed now, when they’re getting ready to leave, but chances are they’ll cross again.

In the meantime, I still have the voices in my head, which will surely tell me where to go again on another day. Hopefully next time there will be chocolate involved.


Yer a Phking Phurry Hypocrite

Why, yes, yes I am. And I thank those who took the time to email me to point out. And to be fair, no one was mean about it. Just abrasive in their honesty, and anonymous to boot. But I don’t mind, because it does bring forth an important point: I have stated many times that I hate whining, yet here I am in a very public venue, doing just that. I hate pettiness, but here I am, being quite petty, bringing it to my blog where the only point of view offered is mine.* That is whiny and petty and hypocritical, and I’m very aware of that.

Human nature. Sue me.

Well no, don’t…I don’t exactly have the resources to pose a legal defense right now. But the point is that I’m not unaware of the absurdity of what I do and say. I either write it down and get it out, or I grab the cat, force him to cuddle up with me, and I tell him what’s bothering me. The cat is psychotic and bites, so…

You people seem very tolerant. And you don’t bite or sit on my head in retaliation.

And as to why I should even care what a few—very few—people think… Again, human nature. I think we all want to be liked on some level, and when we think we have friends, it hurts when they turn their backs on us. It’s easier to shrug off some people, usually when you don’t have much invested in them to begin with. But when you do have something invested, you trust them enough to open up and let them see parts of you others never see, of course it’s going to matter.

And here’s the thing: it matters because the behaviors that piss me off are behaviors I hate in myself. And it matters, to, because the people reflecting that back at me have no clue that they’re also reacting to something within themselves. I don’t think they’re trying to see the bigger picture.

The things we despise in others are the things we dislike to most in ourselves.
But it really is that simple.

It’s also simple in that those behaviors can make us not trust our own judgments…but that’s a whole other rant/post/uneven musing.

So, sure, I can sit here and whine and complain, even though I really hate chronic whining and complaining. I can be petty and hypocritical. I don’t like that about myself, but it is what it is.

If I ever become better than that, yea for me. That will mean I’ve reached a place with which I can be satisfied. But then that wouldn’t exactly be human nature, and I’d probably die or something, like get all smug about it, which would totally ruin my moment of self enlightenment.

*Comments could have been disable, but I chose not to...those involved are free to jump in and state their side, defend themselves, tell me what a freaking idiot I am… they know this blog exists and I know they read it, or at least they used to. And it would be nice if the person who holds me responsible for someone else 'leaving' would justify their anger…



First Gold’s Gym gave us 2 free weeks to try them out.
Then the YMCA gave us 2 free weeks to try them out.
Now the 2 weeks are up. And the winner is…

…neither. Of the two, the YMCA has the better pool(s). Clean, warm enough, lanes available… but in the end, I decided to wait. It doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the idea of swimming and working out in the water, just not where I have to pay extra for it.

At least not until school lets out. The apartment complex has a pool, and they recently replaced the heating element (which explains why the neighborhood kids were getting nipples while swimming…), so it’s at a nice, tolerable temperature. And until school lets out, I can swim there during the day without fighting kids for space. Free beats out $65/month. Free is good. And once summer rolls around, if I can’t get lap space in the pool, I can join the Y then.

But I have to keep up on it. Right now there’s a giant dagger shoved roughly between my L4 and L5 vertebrae, and someone made a Thumper voodoo doll and is sticking nasty things in my right hip. Yesterday the Spouse Thingy and I went to the mall; I made it roughly halfway around the bottom level before it started to bother me.

That’s not even a quarter mile. Probably not even an eighth of a mile.

I have a nasty feeling that this is going to make Fibromyalgia look like a cake walk. Except I’d only make it partway around and would have to drop out of the cake walk before the music stopped, and then I’m miss out on the cake. And right now, cake sounds mighty good…

I ramble…

In any case, I’m still going to swim (thogh I don’t think I can swim here nekkid, either. Sounds like an argument for owning one’s own home with a privacy fence around the back yard, and a nice 20 meter lap pool…) And I think I’m going to allow myself (heh, yep, allow) to go shopping for those funky styrofoam barbells used for in-water weight training. And while I’m out shopping, I’m sure a taco or pizza will be calling my name.

But I’ll burn off those calories in the pool.
I will.



I’ve had the chance this week to see a few online-type people up close and personal in ways I had never expected and honestly wish I hadn’t. It was junior high all over again, with tempers flaring up over stupid little things, name calling, foot stomping, and echoes of “Go away, we don’t want to play with you anymore!” vibrating through the cyber walls of the Internet, and petulant ignoring on a grand scale.

I’m almost always surprised by juvenile behavior in adults; I shouldn’t be, since it seems like the older I get the more childish people tend to act. But when I see it in people I tend to think of as friends…yeah, that blows me away. It makes me question my ability to judge others. It makes me wonder why I bother to trust certain people. Sometimes the immaturity placed on display is amusing; sometimes it’s painful. Once in a while, it’s both.

Last year, right about this time, even, I was fired from being friends with a group of people (April 26, ‘04) because I am—and this is a heinous crime—too quiet. I was more amused than anything then, I think, and grateful that I found out who these people were before getting too ingrained with them.

This year, the horror of my behavior is that I asked to not be told, or be subjected to, any Pope jokes when the Pontiff died. I’m not Catholic, but I find that kind of humor pretty much on the gross side of disgusting. The request was mistaken as “Hey, don’t even talk about the Pope.” The foot stomping and screaming began: how dare I tell anyone what to talk about? Who the hell do I think I am? Even after the initial problem was cleared up, the whole thing disintegrated further, with one member of the group slamming the virtual door behind her because I had the nerve to express opinions (and remind them of things they’d said before on the subject of the Pope) when I’m not even Catholic.

Sorry, folks, I have opinions on lots of things. I have opinions on our President, and I’m not a Republican. I have opinions on cars, and I’m not a mechanic. I have opinions on booze…you get the idea.

However, if I express an opinion on President Bush, I doubt Dick Cheney is going to have a temper tantrum and leave the country, and I doubt Donald Rumsfeld is going to pout and stop talking to me because his bestest friend has stomped off.

After a few days of chewing on it, wondering why any of this even mattered to me, it hit me: it’s not the fact that a small group of people got so bent out of shape because I first asked for no Pope jokes and then reminded them of all the Pope bashing they had already done. It’s the fact that I’m being held responsible for someone else’s behavior. It bothers me because the person who seems to be doing the most pouting and deliberate ignoring is someone I placed a certain amount of trust in.

Hey, if someone is going to stomp off the cyber playground because they don’t listen, they over-react, and because of that get their feelings hurt, I’m probably not going to stop them. But when I haven’t been given even the remote opportunity to apologize for hurting their feelings, and am held to blame because they ran away…It takes a whole lot of tongue biting to not fire back some fairly childish salvos.

Kiddies, when you blame a person for how someone else reacts, it says more about you than it does about the person you’re trying to punish through your deliberate and painfully obvious actions. While the person you’re ignoring might feel hurt, really, you just look petty.

So yeah…while last year’s being fired left me sitting here scratching my head thinking, “what the fu--?” this time around I’m a bit stung by it. It took me a couple of days to realize I’m more disappointed than anything else, and that there’s at least one friendship there I will miss.

And my guard is up.
Because of junior high crapoloa, my guard is now up.


No, there's nothing wrong on your end; something seems to be amiss with my domain host, and none of the images I have hosted there are showing up. I'll give 'em a day before I get nuts about it..


My Day So Far

It’s a wonderful day, really. I had a PT appointment; they were going to teach me back exercises to strengthen my lower back, even though the PT guy said the other day there’s really nothing PT can do for me. It’s a going through the motions kind of thing.

But hey! I’m willing! I grabbed my gym bag so that I could go straight to the YMCA afterwards.

I left early enough, just in case parking was a problem. I did not count on the massive accident that would be blocking the way, and how difficult it would be to turn around and go another direction. So when it was 3 minutes before I was supposed to be there (Well, 12 minutes late, actually, since they want people there 15 minutes early) I called and canceled, and they were very understanding.

So I figure, “Let’s go swimming!”

One problem. I had my gym bag, but my swim suit was not in it. And they don’t let you swim nekkid at the Y.

So it’s not even noon, I’m home, and I’m thinking I should just stay here. Obviously I’m not meant to be out in public today.


While I sat in the waiting room at the PT clinic yesterday (‘cause I got there like half an hour early and everyone was still out to lunch…) I talked to an older woman who also arrived early. She was an old pro at the PT Clinic (“Every time they fix something, I break something else!”) and was kind enough to let me know exactly what to expect from the initial appointment (and she was right on the money.)

As we talked, the subject wandered, and as it sometimes does, it wandered towards the weather.

Her: It is so nice outside! I can’t believe how wonderful it is today!
Me: Yep, when it’s this nice out, I like to put the top down on my car and just drive around.
Her: Do you have a convertible?

I did not laugh.
She was, after all, very nice and helpful.
But still…


I plopped myself down this morning and decided to work for a while before heading out for my Very First Physical Therapy appointment. I was on a roll; I typed and typed and typed, saved, typed and typed and typed, saved, typed and typed…well, you get the idea.

I saved as I worked.

Then, as it sometimes does, my computer decided to reboot itself. When it does this, it tends to boot itself back to where ever it was when I turned it on in the morning.

It ate all my work.
About 90 minutes of nonstop writing.

I was brave, I did not cry. I did not scream. I did not take it outside and run it over, even though I really wanted to. I did not dig through the closet for the Spouse Thingy’s gun. After all, a .22 can’t do all that much damage. All I did was (literally) flip it the bird, put it to sleep, and walked away.

It hates me.

In other news, I survived my first PT appointment, and someone learned that when you tell da Wabbit to push with her feet as hard as she can against your hands, that buttocks will meet the wall…and they will not be hers.


At The Pizza Place:

Cashier: Your name?
Me: Karen
Cashier: Erin?
Me: Karen
Cashier: Carol?
Me: Karen
Cashier: Darren?
Me: Thumper


The Boy is 22 years old today.
Yep. Twenty Two.

He’s taking great delight in reminding me over and over that this year he is exactly half my age. Or that I’m twice as old. Either way…

Just so you know, when they grow up, they get mean. ;)

Happy Birthday, Kiddo :)


Evil Invades CA

The Evilness that lived to the immediate right of us in Ohio hath wrought her evil ways upon our new domicile in California.

She sent this chicken.
It plays the Evil Chicken Dance Song.

My head shall go =boom= in 5…4…3…2…