Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday



Happy Hallowe’en!

Of course, Trick or Treating has been postponed until Saturday around here because of Hurricane Sandy. That just means that I have more time to eat all the candy.

And that highlights my yearly Hallowe’en quandry. Do I buy candy that I don’t particularly like so that I am not tempted to eat it before the doorbell rings? Or, do I buy the stuff that I really like just in case we don’t have that many kids come to our door and we are forced to consume the surplus.

Can you guess which one I chose????

I think I will have another Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Debbie’s March on Atlanta

HHBL and I took a few days last week and went to Atlanta to visit Pilot Man and The Chef. A great time was had by all.

Oh we ate. We ate yummy things. Yummy, yummy things.

Isn’t it interesting…or just sad…that I rate trips by what we consumed?

Moving on.


Deep Fried Okra. Little nuggets of ambrosia. I didn’t take a picture of that because I was too busy eating them.

Dr. Pepper. It doesn’t taste the same in the North. Trust me it doesn’t.

GRITS!!! Growing up I always thought I didn’t like grits. I was firmly convinced. I was wrong.

Hamburgers, onion rings, Cheese Enchiladas, salsa, chips, ice cream.

I am full just thinking about it!

There might have been some Margaritas and some wine thrown into the mix but I am not telling.

Besides spending time ingesting vast amounts of fried and deep fried food we spent some time going to the Atlanta Aquarium. Oh my word is that the most fabulous place. Have you ever been there? You need to go. You really, really do. I will give you the whole scoop on Thursday I think. For now here are a few pictures.

Aquarium 1Aquarium 7Aquarium 11Aquarium 12
Aren’t you intrigued? No? Tough!

And then AFTER the aquarium we walked across the plaza to the Coca Cola Museum.

Did you even KNOW that there is a Coca Cola museum? Well there is one. A big one.

Emilio had sampled WAY TOO MUCH Coca Cola that day. Way. To. Much.

So after you get past Emilio and this rather silly business about the vault where they keep (supposedly) the formula for Coca Cola (sorry, I just have to say it with a Southern accent in my mind) then there are some very interesting exhibits with all sorts of Coca Cola memorabilia and history. Pretty cool.

And then….at the end….after you have seen everything else….


Coca Cola Drinkers Nirvana

There is the tasting room. That’s right boys and girls….grab a cup and choose from 65 different Coca Cola products to taste and enjoy over and over and over again. Unsupervised except for the stretching power of your abdomen. It wasn’t like there was some person dispensing the tastings for you. No, no my friends. You can stand there and fill your belly with Fanta from Latin America or Diet Coke from North America or any other product from all over the world. There were many that I had never heard of and many of them tasted pretty good.

But not all of them……..

I was doing just fine, taking a sip here and a sip there. Filling my belly with carbonation that would come back to haunt me later. I had made my way through Latin America (Inca Cola!) and Africa and was honing in on Europe when I got to Italy and a particular drink with the innocuous name of “Beverly”. Dispense a little, sip a little….


Spit it back out into the cup and dump the rest of the contents down the drain. I have had cough medicine that tasted better than that swill. I had to have an extra helping of Coca Cola to get rid of the taste.

We took the obligatory tourist photo.


Look we are going to so regret all the Coca Cola that we have consumed! We are smiling at the moment…..But beware.

And then we went back to the condo to have some wine….to settle our stomachs and the carbonation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trust in Meeeeeeeeee. Just in Meeeeeeeee.

HHBL and I just got back from spending a few days in Atlanta with Pilot Man and The Chef.

I will tell you all about the stuff that we did and the things that we ate….

DEEP FRIED OKRA!!!! (can you tell I love that stuff).

GRITS!!! (be still my beating heart).

PM and TC have a great little condo in the Mid Town area. We got to sleep up in the loft which worked out great. I got the futon, HHBL got the blow up mattress on the camp bed. All was fine……

Except for one little teeny tiny disturbing thing. Disturbing at night and only disturbing to me.

Brooklyn 4

Brooklyn the Boa

Meey Brooklyn the Rosy Boa. Brooklyn belongs to my nephew. He cannot keep her in his apartment at the moment so she resides in Atlanta….

In her nice big tank…..

In the loft……

Three feet from where my head was resting on my pillow at night.

Can I express to you how un-nerving it is to wake up in the night and to hear her quietly moving around in her tank. We would turn her lamp off at night so we could sleep but that seemed to make her more active. The first night I wake up to this gentle tapping noise.


What is that noise. That gentle tapping noise. I roll over, get comfy again, and happen to glance up at the tank shrouded in darkness and mystery.

Can I tell you, just as an aside, that it is never good and always creepy to have a snake tank shrouded in darkness and mystery.

Now back to the story.

I roll over, I look up, and there is Brooklyn or at least the upper portion of Brooklyn, swaying like a Cobra, looking at me and then gently tapping against the top of the tank as if she is trying to figure out how to get out.

I felt like that scene in Jurassic Park where the game warden explains that the very clever and very hungry Velociraptors are testing the fences to find weaknesses.


And after realizing what the sounds were I just laid there and tried to go back to sleep. I tried and I tried and I tried. But all I could think of was that scene from Jungle Book.

So I put in earplugs, rolled over and fell asleep to the mantra…

Don’t look a the snake. Don’t look at the snake. Don’t look at the snake.

Thank goodness for earplugs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Putin' My Feet Up

Hey all three readers who wander over here. I forgot to tell you yesterday that I am taking a mini blogging break for the rest of the week to hang with Pilot Man and The Chef. We are going to drink wine, eat crackers, chat.

And I am going to recharge my blogging brain batteries.

I will see you all back here next Monday, ready and rarin' to go. Full of interesting topics to thrill and amaze?...or not.

And now I must go and walk off the ten pounds of Fried Okra that I ingested at lunch.

Oh be still my beating heart. Well it will be still permanently if I don't go and take a strenuous walk. But it was so, so worth it. I was transported back to my college days and Sunday brunch at Luby's cafe in Waco, Texas. Deep fried fish. Deep fried okra. Deep fried Dr. Pepper.

Just kidding about the Dr. Pepper.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Set This Schedule!

I always thought, wrongly I might add, that when my children finally went off to school and eventually left the house for good that I would have all the time in the world to just do what ever I wanted all day every day.

A leisurely life after years filled with babies and toddlers and all the mayhem that goes with it.

And sometimes there was A LOT of mayhem.

Watch TV all day? I bet I can!

Clean only occasionally? Why not since there won’t be any children around to mess stuff up.

Read for hours and hours and hours? Sounds reasonable to me.

Boy was I wrong in this line of thinking.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.


Alpha how could you have been so wrong in your thinking?

All day yesterday in Pittsburg for work. And as Dots and I were talking so intensely on the way home that we missed our exit…and then got stuck in Joe Biden traffic…….and had to drive WAY out of our way before we got going back in the right direction…….and then I had to get home and feed the dog and do some stuff and then back in the car and go to knitting…..

And now today I am trying to get a weeks worth of other stuff loaded into about eight hours so that I don’t have to think about any of it for the rest of the week and can just focus on family fun activities. Grocery shopping, laundry, photo editing, cleaning, other work issues, projects that must be finished ASAP, baking bread because we ran out…….. DOG HAIR!

Really what ever possessed me to think that bon bons, tea and life on the couch was anywhere in my future.

And if someone could come and blow the leaves off the grass AGAIN and out of all the beds that would be a great big help to me. Even though HHBL and I spent HOURS on Sunday blowing all the dadgum leaves that had the temerity to fall on the grass in the first place! So what if we live in the woods. Does that mean that the leaves have to fall on the grass and not in the woods where they belong and….



Alpha is cranky. I would stay well away from Chez Knit for a while if I were you. I am going into my house now where it is safe and warm.

Safe. Very safe.

I need some coffee.

Or a nice big glass of Chardonnay.

Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 187)


Who stole my week? I want to know who took it and left me one step closer to Winter. That person is in big trouble!

You know the drill. After you are all full and warm and sleepy with the blather here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my fast increasing bahookie (Halloween candy? What Halloween candy? I don’t see any Halloween candy!), over to Conversion Diary.

I reject your blather and substitute my own!

When doing a baby photo shoot it is always wise to remember several things…

- even if the mom says she sleeps ALL afternoon…..she will not want to sleep when you are there.
- Poop happens. As does pee. (sorry, I said poop)

But even if those problems arise you can still spend time getting your “baby fix”.

And you can take a picture or ten

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By the way. You never know what the lighting situation is going to be when you do photo shoots at someone’s home. You just have to be flexible.

This was shot using only natural light coming from a small bank of windows. And I was actually crouching on the bay window sill when I took it.


This is sunrise over Sunny Lake on September 28th.


This is sunrise over Sunny Lake yesterday morning.

It is definitely dark in the mornings now when Sandy, Lea and I set off around the lake. Hence we are now carrying our flashlights.

And it will now be dark in the mornings for a long time.


HHBL blew all the leaves off of the lawn on Saturday and then mowed the grass.

After yesterday’s blowing winds and rain….you would never even know that he did.


Most of the grass is currently covered with obnoxious Maple leaves. And they are damp as well.

Deep and damp Maple leaves are like surly teenagers. No matter how you treat them they always blow back on you and continue to make a mess.

I can guess what HHBL and I will be doing tomorrow if we can get some dry weather today. We will be blowing leaves.

My hands hurt already.

We returned the DVR to Time Warner (Yuck, blech, PATOOIE!) this week to officially divorce ourselves from their cable service. We are done with them.

But they seem to be slow in disconnecting from us it would seem. I can still get the cable channels in the bedroom. I haven’t tried in the basement because it doesn’t matter all that much to me really.

But it was nice to be able to monitor the Tigers/Yankees game yesterday to make sure that the Tigers won and denied the Yankees the ability to have any chance of going to the World Series.

Good job Tigers.

Now if TM would just forget us long enough for me to watch some World Series games that would be nice. But I am not expecting that to happen. They will figure it out eventually.

And besides, I am just not upstairs all that much to make it worthwhile to watch on the bedroom TV anyways. I am just thoroughly making use of my Netflix Streaming. I can get SurvivorMan any time I want! And Mythbusters!

My Instant Queue is growing at an alarming rate. But for some reason HHBL isn’t impressed with my selections. He isn’t all that into documentaries on the most famous sushi master in Japan.

I cannot imagine why?

I am currently obsessed with listening to audiobooks.

I am currently obsessed with listening through a certain series.

The “In Death” series (Eve Dallas and her studly husband Roarke) by J. D. Robb.

I had avoided this series for a long time. Friends raved about it but it just didn’t sound like something that appealed to me. A homicide cop and her business mogul husband solving crimes in 2060AD NYC? And there were like 30 books in the series? How can you sustain momentum through that many books.

I was wrong. And I am actually totally and completely hooked on listening through the series. I would think that by the time 2013 makes an appearance I will have listened through all the books. So far I have listened to…..

Naked in Death, Glory In Death, Immortal (I am not going to write out “In Death” for each of these), Rapture, Ceremony, Vengeance, Conspiracy, Loyalty, Witness, Judgment, Betrayal, Seduction, Reunion, Purity, Portrait, Imitation, Divided, Innocent, Creation.

That’s a lot of murder and mayhem. And make no mistake there is murder and mayhem in these. And there is language. And there is sex….but I definitely skip over that part thanks to the skip forward button. You can always tell when that part is going to arrive. And there is also a whole lot of humor from the supporting cast of characters.

And I just downloaded “Strangers” and “Salvation”.

Thank goodness for the ability to download these right from the library onto my computer and then to the ipod. I love being able to do that.

These wouldn’t appeal to everyone and I really didn’t think they would appeal to me. But I cannot rest until I have made it through the entire series.

But what am I going to do when I am done????

I am patting myself on the back even though you cannot see it.

Pat. Pat. Pat. Pat.

I have already figured out what the gift ornament will be for “The Exchange” this year. To be so early in the thinking/development/making stage is unusual for me.

There have been years (last year cough, cough) when I have been working on them and finishing them up the day before the big party.

But not this year.

I feel all warm and happy and fuzzy inside.

But that might just be the Kit Kat bar I just consumed.

I am firmly convinced that YouTube has everything on it that I need. Yesterday I found that I could watch my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon from my formative years. I laughed until I cried.

And then I found that I could watch old episodes of Johnny Quest.

Oh be still my beating heart….Race Bannon!!!

I am not going to get anything done today.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just In The Nick Of Time

I am not sure why but when Fall arrives all the time that was available all Summer for working at the garden just sort of evaporates. No more morning hours available for digging in the dirt. No more afternoon hours for weeding and chatting and planning.


Does it pack up and go to Arizona for the winter? Does anyone know?

But today LaurenLeap and I thought that perhaps we might be able to score a few hours in the plots to get things cleared out some more. There was rain forecast. It was VERY windy. It was pretty cloudy. But we had hopes.

The garden is looking pretty raggedy by this time.


We have had a good frost so the beans are over and done. So sad, just their spindly little stalks. The sunflowers are dead, dead, dead. The beets were on their way out so we harvested those.

Amazingly the broccoli chugs on, sending up small side shoots. But it’s time is short as well.


Such sad, sad beans. But we have a boat load of beans in the freezer so it is OK.

We had been working industriously for an hour or so, pulling up plants, adding things to the compost pile, carting things up to the dumpster. Working up a nice bit of sweat in the very stiff and increasingly chilly breeze.

And then I looked up.

I looked at the sky.

Oh that cannot be good.


Oh dear. I looked at LaurenLeap. LaurenLeap looked at me.

LaurenLeap: How long do you think we have? Five minutes maybe?

Me: No, I think that is a very optimistic thought. I am guessing about three minutes.


We could already see and smell the rain coming. Even feel a few drops here and there.

It is absolutely amazing how fast 50 something women can move when confronted with the possibility of a good drenching.

We grabbed our equipment and hightailed it up to our cars, struggling to get the gate closed and locked in the every increasing rain and wind.

And closed the car doors just as the deluge was upon us. Now that is a very nice feeling indeed. So we had to sit in our cars, right next to each other and talk on our cells phones to congratulate ourselves on how fast we had moved.

Technology, you gotta love it.


This is what the drive looked like all the way home.

Oh yes, just in the nick of time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

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I had the privilege of photographing this lovely little lady yesterday. Joy and the smell of new baby. A great way to spend a few hours.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In Which We Step Into The Great Unknown

Today is the day that the cable stops working. No more Discovery Channel. No more Military Channel. No more Bravo!


OK, I have to admit. It isn’t like Time Warner (Yuck, spit, patooee!) came and “took” the cable away. They don’t really want us to go on our merry, and cable free, way. They would like us to stay with them forever.…..

And continue to pay them an exorbitant amount of money for channels that we do not use. Lots and lots and lots of channels that we do not use. Multiples of channels in both regular and HD. I am not sure even how many channels that we had but I know that we watched a very limited number of them. Only the HD channels if I have to be honest. But TW didn’t seem to want to let us pay for only those channels. No, they wanted us to pay for LOADS of channels that we didn’t use.

Nickelodeon. Nope don’t need it.

The Game Show Channel. Really? Really?

Liquidation Channel. I just don’t know what to say about that one.

Soap Channel. Well now that The Guiding Light is gone who cares? Oh, that would be me. I do not care. I don’t think I have watched a soap opera in 20 years.

I could go on but I won’t. We are taking our viewing choices by the balls horns and saying NO MORE! We will not be shaken down by the cable company just for the privilege of unlimited viewing channels. We have Netflix thankyouverymuch. And shelves full of DVDs. And the internet as well. For the small amount of time we spend watching TV this shouldn’t be all that difficult.

And yet, despite knowing that this is definitely the right choice brain wise and financially and every which way…..I am nervous and for some unknown reason upset about it.

No, upset really isn’t a good way to put it because I am not upset per se. I am just nervous. Change makes me nervous and quivery. You know how it is when something that has been there with you for years and years and years isn’t available anymore. You know you don’t really need it and can get along just fine without it but……..

I grew up in the age where there wasn’t any cable. We had ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, WGN and some others that I cannot remember. I lived. I thrived. I read a lot of books. I went outside and occasionally got dirty. I tried to iron my polyester Barbie doll dresses on hot….not a good idea. I didn’t even know what cable TV was until I was in my early teens when I came across it at the house of some friends…..BarbN that would be YOUR house by the way. What was this thing that had multiple, multiple channels. The angels sang and I was hooked. Cable TV and I have walked hand in hand for many years. Happily, if expensively, spending time together. But no more!

I will admit that there will be some channels that I will miss. Discovery. TLC. The History Channel. Bravo! It is going to be a tad more difficult to watch Alaska: The Last Frontier or Yukon Men or any show that starts with The Real Housewives of…… But I can make adjustments. I am strong. I will persevere!

Today we declare our Independence Day!

That sounds like a line from a movie….

Hmmmmmm. Never mind.

I think I will go watch a movie on Netflix Streaming. Do you know that you can watch The Hunt For Red October on streaming. I have worn my DVD out so I can now watch it this way as often as I want. Wherever I want.


Friday, October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 186)


Another week gone. Up and vanished like a fart in the wind. Sorry, for some reason I felt the need to quote a movie line from The Shawshank Redemption. Back on track now.

Remember what you must do. After you have parsed and filed the blather here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Joe Biden’s smarmy and condescending smile, over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else has been up to.

It was the best of blather. It was the worst of blather.

Max the Magnificent report because I know you are wondering.

The fleas seem to have been conquered. I have been doing daily “Dangly bits” checks and haven’t seen any indication of the Fleapocalypse. And it is an indication of how uncomfortable Max has been that the day after his little trip to Dr. Jeremy he slept for most of the day, as if he just hadn’t been feeling well.

And when he went to bed on Tuesday night he looked at his crate, noticed that he had a new and non-flea infested piece of carpet in his house and went right in to go to bed.

I am such a bad doggy momma.

A lesson for all of you. Make sure, if you have a photo re-shoot scheduled because the client wants something a bit different, and you have to reschedule said re-shoot because of unforseen circumstances, and you send an email to the client to say that you will come the next day, and you get no response to two emails and a phone message…..they might not have gotten your communication.

And when you then show up at the house and the home owner says, “I expected you yesterday”.

It was that kind of day.

And yet she very graciously let me in to do some photos….but I still have to re-shoot the re-shoot on Monday as the client (who is not the homeowner by the way) wants a shot from a slightly different angle. And I want to give her what she wants.

I have been looking at and thinking about personal photo projects lately.

There have been little ones here and there over the past few years but nothing that was labeled a “personal photo project”. But I am more aware now, as I work as a photographer, that I need something like a personal project to keep the creative juices flowing as it were. Something that has nothing to do with the photo work that I am paid to do. I love my paying work, don’t get me wrong. And I am doing a baby shoot next week. My first. And I am nervous and all get out.

But those aren’t personal projects. They are work projects. I am shooting not my ideas but what the client wants (hence the re-shoot or a re-shoot that I am doing on Monday).

I might have found one. Maybe. I am thinking about it. And I will tell you about it later I am sure.


I mentioned that we were in NYC last weekend to see Cartoon Girl. And while there we were able to spend Saturday afternoon/evening with HHBL’s sister and her family. I can always count on The Viking (sis-in-law’s hubby) to make something unusual for us to eat.

This time……



It was actually quite good. I don’t think I even knew that you could eat cuttlefish. But now I do.

LaurenLeap and I have not been out to work in the garden for a bunch of days. And we had a good frost this week so I am sure just about everything is now ready to be pulled up. The lettuce will definitely be gone. We do need to get out there to finish the garden clean up but it just hasn’t happened yet. This time of year my gardening mojo packs up and moves to Florida for the winter, not to be seen or heard from again until about March.

But there are beets to harvest still. And Brussels sprouts.

Lots of beets.


Twitter, oh Twitter. I really do love Twitter. I watched part of the debate last night. Yes I know that violates the NPAEPM rule but I just couldn’t help myself. But after a while Joe Biden’s utter rudeness, condescending attitude and creepy smile, along with his glaringly white teeth, gave me a headache so I went to bed and monitored via Twitter. That was a much better plan.

And then there was the Twitter follower who showed up this morning. This is his little intro to himself that shows up under his Twitter name.

Reciprocation: I FOLLOW BACK EVERYONE within 24 hours. Simple :D Follow me; I'll follow you. Unfollow me; get unfollowed. :)

After checking his Twitter feed, which I do for everyone who follows me (I don’t just blindly hit follow for everyone), it looks like that is all he tweets about, who follows him back.

He won’t be hanging around my Twitter feed for long I am guessing as there is no way I am following him back. Sorry dude.

OK, I am not REALLY sorry. I don’t have that much desire to gather vast numbers of Tweeple. I follow who I want to follow and hope they follow me back sometimes.

Windstream has finally deigned to show up this morning to see if they can get our internet going so that we can give Time Warner the boot.

My personal feeling is that after the Windstream fellow showed up on Monday rather than Thursday when they were scheduled they didn’t show up at the scheduled time just to be a pain in the patookis. HHBL checked and we were clearly on the schedule for last Thursday.


But soon we will be up and running and TW will be a thing of the past for us.

And so I had better get this thing posted before the internet goes out temporarily.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Toddling Town–Part One

I had a re-shoot this morning for a client. And on Monday I have to go back and re-shoot the re-shoot. Sometimes those things happen.

Let’s talk about something else shall we? If I talk about today I am going to want to sink into a pit of craziness and I am already a bit off on a good day. Sort of like that gallon of milk that you sniff but you just aren’t sure…….

Oh, yes. NYC.

We spent the weekend in the Big Apple visiting Cartoon Girl and spending a bit of time with the in-laws. I think my legs have finally recovered from all the walking that we did.

I think I will tell you about the first part of the trip. And save the second day for next week. We have to keep up the excitement around here. And besides, there are too many pictures to do this all in one sitting.


It was Zero Dark Thirty when we left. By this picture we had already been on the road for a while.

MMMMMMMMM, donut. Chocolate cake and frosted. My favorite.

We made it into Queens, checked into the hotel, dropped the bags and then got on the subway to go into the city to go to the 9/11 Memorial and then to see Cartoon Girl, her office and have dinner in the city. Did you know that you need tickets to get into the memorial? I found that out a day before but it wasn’t any problem getting the tickets.


Look! NYC’s finest on Segway tricycles. I am sorry but it took all that I had in me not to burst out in laughter and roll around in the middle of the street. All I could think about was that movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”. And then we had to go through more security than at some major airports.


Susan Sauer was several years ahead of me in high school. She was an employee of Marsh and McLennan and was in Manhattan for a meeting at the WTC on that particular day. It seemed very strange to see her name there on that wall.

After tour the memorial it was off to see Cartoon Girl’s office and then to eat at one of her favorite restaurant’s…..Kenka.


I am not sure what to tell you about Kenka except that, well, it was an unusual experience to be sure. In a slightly, hmmmmm, sketchy area. And it wasn’t just incense that I smelled wafting out of some of the store fronts. We waited an hour to get in. If you know me at all you know that I don’t wait all that well….and to wait an hour was, trying. The place is really small with uncomfortable chairs and tables. And yet people were lingering long so that tells you something. And it was filled with Japanese people so that also tells you something. While we were waiting and waiting and waiting I took pictures with the iphone.

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See the way it works at Kenka is you walk up and find the piece of lined paper that is on the clip board and you put your name on it, at the end of the list, and you add how many people are in your party. And then you wait. And if they only have a table for two and the only group that has just two are five groups after you on the list……the couple gets seated ahead of you. That was something that surely raised my blood pressure a bit. But I calmed myself.

FINALLY, after watching others be seated who had arrived after us, AND watching a group be seated who had missed hearing their names called but wandered back and were seated anyways (Grrrrrr) we were led to a table.

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Thank goodness we had been warned about the “artwork” on the walls. Japanese porn. Fabulous! I am no longer hungry. We can go home now.

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Actually once we got to the table I wasn’t going anywhere. I was going to sit there and sit there and watch all the other people waiting for a table. LET THEM WAIT!

I was really, really hungry so that might have accounted for my crabby attitude. Or I might just be channeling my inner New Yorker.


Oh be still my beating heart. Yaki Udon. That is udon noodles with pork and squid and kim chee and loads of ginger. It was deeeeeeeelicious. Paired with a Japanese beer it was a perfect Friday meal.

And to top the dinner off the waitress brings little cups of sugar to your table so that when you finally exit the restaurant, after sitting and talking for hours and watching all the other people wait (Bitter? Me? I don’t know what you are talking about), you make yourself some…..


Cotton candy! I am going to tell you that I am not all that fond of cotton candy. And this stuff didn’t help any. It tasted like rainbow bubble gum of some sort. Two bites and then into a most conveniently situated trash can. Yuck.

We staggered down the street and then up another street and then over a bit, full of Yaki this and Yaki that, and rode the subway back to Queens and our waiting beds…..

To be continued……

When I remember to do the second post……

Next week I am sure……

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Semi-Wordless Wednesday


I could sit in Central Park all day long and take photographs and be very, very happy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Sentence I Never Thought I Would Use

I just finished a lovely hour vacuuming my dog’s genitals in an effort to combat the fleas he apparently has.

That is a sentence that I never thought I would write.

I. Vacuumed. My. Dog’s. Genitals….extensively.

Perhaps I should back track a bit. Max the Magnificent hasn’t been acting himself lately. There is the whole “I have decided not to sleep in my crate” issue. And then there is the “I cannot bear to be further than 10 feet from you Alpha” thing going on. And finally there is the constant scratching and licking and head shaking. Plus the patch of fur on his side that is thinning drastically. And the very occasion puking in the yard.

So this morning we took a trip to see Dr. Jeremy. It was about time for us to give him another installment on his house payment and hopefully he could shed some light on this whole issue. I was POSITIVE that it couldn’t be fleas. I had checked his fur for fleas. I had given him his flea medication. It had to be something more drastic.

We rush to the vet for the 8a appointment. I hate rushing but it was a fact of life today since I forgot, until I looked at the clock and realized that it was 7:44a, that we had somewhere to go. Get the dog in the car. Grab the coffee mug. No time for breakfast. Get to the vet and spend concentrated time sniffing the grass and the columns and the sidewalk (the dog did that not me). Sit and wait for a bit.  Zip in to the exam room finally and tell the vet tech, who looked to be about 12 years old, what was going on.

Temperature normal? Check!

Heart and lungs sound OK? Check!

Ears OK? Ummmm, a bit of discharge but nothing major. Check sort of!

Take a peek down at the missing family jewels and assorted dangly bits?

And everything comes to a screeching halt as I hear the dreaded words.

Oh yeah, he has fleas.

Fleas? No you must be mistaken cuz I checked for fleas. I surely would have seen fleas wouldn’t I? He couldn’t POSSIBLY have fleas. Other people’s dogs get fleas but Max doesn’t. I haven’t seen fleas anywhere else in the house.


Of course I didn’t think to check THERE for fleas. Fleas like nice warm, moist places evidently. If I had then I would have seen that yes, there is NO doubt he has fleas.

Well shoot.

I did feel a tad bit better when the vet assured me that this has been a terrible year as far as fleas are concerned. We had very hot and dry weather and a mild winter before that. Prime flea season.

The Fleapocalypse as it were.

And evidently they have been seeing animals with flea infestations despite correct use of Frontline. That made me feel slightly better. So Max got an oral pill which Dr. J. assured me would start killing the fleas immediately. And also a different flea and tick prevention medication that he has to use once a month until January when SURELY the fleas will all have died or gone to Florida.

So home we go where, when I pull into the garage I realize that I have left my favorite coffee mug back at the vet. Well double shoot. Back to the vet to pick up the mug then to do an errand at Walmart (Pepcid for the dog’s stomach) and then home. Home to:

1. Vacuum everything that I can think of and every place where the dog hangs around and lays down. Thankfully that is mostly on the first floor which is hardwood.

2. Dispose of the piece of carpet that we keep on the bottom of Max’s crate.

3. spend some time grooming Max with the Furminator. Usually when I do this I either furminate him on the deck and throw all the hair over the side. Or I furminate him in the laundry room and vacuum the hair up as I go. And there is always a lot of hair.

And then I had a brilliant idea.

Why not also vacuum up the fleas directly? I know that Dr. J. said that the pill he gave Max will start to kill the fleas right away and the monthly medicine will also do that and keep the rest at bay. But I can help a bit by also removing them directly.

Can I tell you that it isn’t a walk in the park to get a 68 pound dog who doesn’t like the vacuum cleaner on a good day to lie down willingly and stay there while you use the Vacuflo hose on his privates. It can be done but Max spent the entire time just looking at me like this….


Oh Alpha how could you subject me to this. Why oh why?

And that is how I came to spend time today vacuuming my dog’s genitals.

And if I were a bettin’ man I would think that we will do this again tomorrow.

Good times.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Give A Girl An iPhone

You give me an iPhone and this is what happens when Cartoon Girl and I have too much time on our hands.