Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tinder is the night

I've been married to the same man for over 25 years.  So I was out of the dating scene WAAAYYYY before the era of online dating and Tinder and stuff.  And thank God for that.

I do have some single friends that have perused the interwebs in search of true love.  They occasionally share some of their better finds with the rest of us.  Below are some of the more bizarre submissions.  My apologies if any of these are relations of yall's.

First up, Cedric.

Cedric, dude slow down.  Breathe.  And punctuate.  Because I am unsure of the context of the phrase "to touch" without some sort of grammatical guidance here.

Kevin, Dating tip: try not to use the word "horrors" when you're trying to attract the ladies.

Greg, most women do not appreciate a man who's cleavaging more than they are.  I'm not saying that it isn't great that you're in good shape...just maybe you don't wear a pink-striped blouse with a plunging neckline.

Doesn't this guy look like a great big barrel of happy?  Nothing says "Good times" like a beer and a cigarette...in his..... um, unfinished basement??? Where he's taken his other victims? I mean, dates?

Maybe this is an attempt to show that he's not afraid of commitment?

Yes, just ignore the shake n' bake meth lab I've got going.

Does your mother know that you've been talking to girls?

Cute dog.  Not sure why we feel the need to take selfies in the walk in closet, however.

I'm just going to let my (unnamed) friend's comment stand on its own for this one.

Then there's Scottie. Scottie....Scottie scares the shit out of me.  I think he may have multiple personalities, and thus he felt that he should have photo representation of each.
Scottie#1 "It rubs the lotion on it's skin"

Scottie#2 "It's not the size of your gun, but the number of your bullets."

Scottie#3. This.
He has taken a picture of his cat peeking up though his drawers while he sits on the toilet.
Now, I know that there are few among us that have indoor cats that have not experienced a feline's tenacity when it comes to wanting attention whilst one is on the can.
But Scottie...Scottie decided to take a picture and then USE IT ON HIS TINDER ACCOUNT.

Finally, this guy.
I don't even have words.
I'd advise you not to read his min-bio there if you're the least bit squeamish.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

If the leggings fit...

These are the leggings I wore to work on Tuesday.
I like them.  They are warm and comfy...the waistband doesn't rub my barely-healed incision where I had my laparoscopic hernia surgery last month.  And with a tunic-length sweater and boots I don't look too bum-ish.
Most days I don't have to interact with a lot of people at my job.  But when I do, it's usually lots of people from far-flung places.
Tuesday was the second day of a visit we were having with a bunch of foreign nationals.  All from different nations...Serbia, India, Russia, England, Czechoslovakia, Malta...etc.  And I was playing the part of Girl Friday...fetching and running and escorting (not like that) and copying and faxing, etc.  Did not use a lot of my Mechanical Engineering skills for this visit, but still, it was a necessary function and I was happy to assist.
All of the people in the group were very pleasant to work with, even if there was an occasional language barrier.  English was not the mother tongue of any (except the Englishman) but was the only common language to all.
So when the guy from Serbia was trying to find me...what he wanted to say was..."what is the name of the lady in the colorful leggings."
What the final translation was?
I have officially been called, "Ms. Crazy Pants" at work.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

(Algo)rithm of the night(mare)

Is it just me, or does everyone get things "suggested" to them on their timeline that just make you wonder about the method that Facebook uses?

Well, lately, I'm beginning to wonder if they've added a new "insult" component to their "suggestions" algorithm:

I'm not a grandmother, dammit!  Not that there is anything wrong with being a grandmother.  I've heard it's great.
But I think it's just presumptuous to assume that because of my advanced age, I must be one. (Having a grandkitten does not count).

And this one?  Is not just insulting...it's the stuff of nightmares:

Now you're just being hateful, Facebook.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Be what you would like to see

I don't know about you guys, but the crap on the news has been depressing me.
I am sick to death of all of the ugliness and shootings and bombings and hatefulness.
I'm also just worn out with all of the politics that we are constantly being bombarded with.  For the LOVE OF GOD, we have eleven more months of this crap before we get to vote...and then it is likely going to be reminiscent of the South Park episode where the kids had to vote on a new mascot and their choices were between a Douche Bag and a Shit Sandwich.

We are well into the month of December, and I have been struggling to pull my head out of all of the negative and get into the holiday spirit.  It has been an uphill battle this year.

Until yesterday...

I hang out with a fantastic group of women, the infamous (we believe) Funkalicious Alabama Kudzu Queens. I cannot adequately explain the number of times and the variety of ways that these ladies have impacted my life.

For the most part, we are a loosely regulated coalition of multifarious women. I say loosely regulated because our group's guiding rules are not very strict: 

  1. Pay our yearly dues.
  2. Don't do anything to get us arrested or get our children taken away.
  3. Show up as often as you can.
  4. Love one another.
  5. Support one another.
Multifarious because, well, we are.  Our ages range from early thirties to late sixties.  Our professions are extremely diverse: business owner, chemist, engineer, travel agent, nurses, controller, fitness instructor, interior designer, domestic goddess, etc. We are single, married, divorced; with and without children.
We convene monthly for our "liquid lunches" (that should be self-explanatory).  And several times a year, we try to use our many combined talents, resources, and just plain awesomeness for the forces of good.

Recently, a member of our group, Rebecca, became aware of a serious issue right here close to home. There are several families in our local community that have a difficult time providing food for their elementary school aged children on weekends and whenever school is out. Several organizations have been sending food home for these kids in backpacks on the weekends. However, Christmas vacation is on the horizon and these kids are looking at 17 days straight of no school breakfasts or lunches.
We (Rebecca) identified 16 families with a combined total of 38 kids that really needed some help. (Rebecca got with the principal & some of the teachers at the elementary school. The kids and their families we chose were vetted by the principal and teachers. Those of you out there in the education system know that it’s the teachers and school administrators who REALLY know the stories of the children in their care.) In a lot of cases, you have grandparents who have been thrown into the task of raising children on a fixed income…or single parents who are just struggling to make ends meet.
The KQs as a group decided to raise money amongst ourselves, as well as our friends and associates  to provide care packages for these families so that these kids will have something to eat while they are out of school for Christmas break. We each gave what money we could, several ladies put boxes out at their work places to collect items, and we put the call out far and wide for donations.
The response was fantastic.
We raised approximately $1800.

Yesterday, 6 of us out of the group met together to do the shopping for the care packages:


We bought non-perishable items such as: cans of ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, breakfast bars, ramen noodles, Spam ( I have been assured that kids love this, even though I cannot stand the smell of it myself), mac n' cheese, apple sauce, fruit cups, juice boxes, etc. (we made sure not to get anything with peanuts!)  We stuck primarily to the stuff with some nutritional value...though we did include some chips...'cause everyone needs a little treat.


You know what really, really made my day?
While we shopped, we kept a running tab on what we were spending...by the time we had everything we wanted in the quantities we needed, we calculated we'd be about $16 short. The six of us shopping were just going to split the extra...but on our way to the register a lady stopped and asked us what we were doing...when we told her, she handed us a $20. God is truly shown in the kindness of strangers.

There wasn't a dry eye among us as we put that lady's $20 with the rest of our money and proceeded to check out.

At the register, we got another pleasant surprise.  Because we were spending so much and Rebecca was a "Plus" member, we got $10 back for every $500 we spent.
We hadn't calculated that in our original tally, and we had money left over.
So...we had a quick little conference...and we'll be getting each of the families a Christmas ham to go along with everything else.

Next week, we'll be getting together to put the packages together for delivery to the families.

This experience has finally put me in the Christmas spirit.
It has reminded me that there are good, kind, giving people still out there.
It has reminded me that there is more beauty than ugly out there.
And it has reminded me that if I want the world to look different I need to "Be What I Want to See" in the world.
A modern twist to "Man in the Mirror", I'm changing the "Chick in the Selfie"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday blues

Last week, Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, tweeted about having an embarrassing encounter while on travel.  What ensued were hordes of tweets about the embarrassing things or awkward occurrences that others have had.  Jenny has an awesome following and the tweets they shared are absolutely hilarious.
You can see them here or here.

I attempted to tweet about one of my most disconcerting experiences EVER, but alas, my mortification is such that it cannot be condensed into a 140-character synopsis.
My story begins shortly after Christmas, some time in the early 90s.

Jeff and I had been out somewhere.  It was really, really cold and wet and nasty out and Jeff had gotten a chill that he couldn't shake...so he decided to hop in the shower when we got home.

Jeff: Marianne!  Come here!

Me: What? What's wrong?

Jeff (pulling the shower curtain back and tilting his left upper body out): Look at my left arm and chest!  It's all blue.

Me: Ohmygod!  Do you feel okay?

Jeff: I dunno...it kinda feels a little tingly or something, I think.

Me: Get out and dry off!  I'm calling an ambulance!

Jeff: No, don't do that.  Hold on.

Me: Hold on!  Hold on?  You could be having a heart attack.  How does your chest feel?

Jeff: Well, now that you mention it...maybe it does feel a little funny.

Me: We're going to the hospital!

Jeff: Well, don't call an ambulance, we'll just drive.

Me: You are NOT driving!  I will.

So he gets re-dressed and we bundle back into the car.  I drive like a bat-out-of-Hell lunatic to the hospital.  The whole way is like:

Me: How are you doing?

Jeff: I dunno.  I think I feel a little funny.

Me: Anything hurting?

Jeff: No.  But I think I might be a little short of breath.

More acceleration

I practically skid into the Emergency Room parking lot sideways, pull up straight to the door and go in and grab the first medical-type person I see: "My husband is having a heart attack!" They grab a wheel chair and unload him from the car.
I quickly slam into the first parking space I can find and race into the ER where they have him on a gurney and are taking his blood pressure and temperature.
Then a nurse comes up with a bag of  saline and tells him to take off his shirt and put on a hospital top so that she can start an IV.
She gets everything set and takes his arm to put the IV in...gets out an alcohol prep and disinfects the crook of his arm with it. She also rubbed the blue off.
She held the swab up  so we could all see with a look of "Huh?" on her face.
That's when it all clicked.
My grandmother had given Jeff a brand new Tommy Hilfiger shirt for Christmas.  It looked a lot like this:

Jeff had worn it for the first time that night in the cold rain.
He hadn't washed it prior to wearing it and the indigo dye had rubbed off on his skin.

Jeff and I looked at one another across that ER triage room as we both came to the same realization.
Jeff calmly took the blood pressure cuff off of his arm, the oxygen sensor off of his finger and changed back into his shirt.  He got up off the gurney.  As he walked past me, I handed him the car keys.  He never uttered a word.
I was left there to explain to the doctor and two nurses what had happened and to close out the paper work.
I am sure that it is a story that they still tell to this day.  Luckily, they were all chortling so hard, they didn't charge us anything for our whirlwind visit.
So even though Jeff was the primary focus of this tale of chagrin, it was still pretty embarrassing to have to apologize to the Emergency Room staff for not washing my husband's new shirt before he wore it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The glaring facts about my household

Did you know that a group of cats is called a glaring?  I have enough feline population in my house to actually say I have a glaring.
In honor of National Cat Day, I'd like to formally introduce my brood:

First up, Kendall:

She's our oldest cat...somewhere around the 13-14 year old age.  She recently cost me a small fortune and the better part of my day off when I thought she was dying of terminal cancer that was bloating her body and causing her distress.  Turns out she was just fat and had a UTI.
Also?  Every time our daughter has had a boyfriend of any duration, when they'd break up and the guy quit coming around, Kendall would go into mourning and groom all of the fur off of her stomach.

Then there is Izby:

He was the runt of the litter of a feral cat living underneath one of Mileena's friend's house.  We got him when he was teeny tiny. Being the runt, he always had sort of a fragile constitution.  He is also incredibly bow-legged:
These days, he isn't such a delicate flower anymore.  He does have a weird fascination with the sticky sheets from lint rollers.  He begs for them.  Seriously.  He'll hear you using the lint roller, come running and meow at you until you tear off a sheet and stick it on his back.  At that time he will act as if his back end is paralyzed:

But after he's schlumped around the house dragging his back legs behind him for awhile, he stops and pulls the sheet off his back and eviscerates it:

Then there's Daisy Faye:

Isn't she precious?  Daisy only weighs a tich over 5 pounds, and she's two and half years old.  We just got her spayed because the vet really wanted her over 5 pounds pre-surgery.  Being such a dainty, sweet looking thing, you'd have no idea what a whirling dervish she becomes when you try to do anything besides pet or play with her.  Cleaning ears, clipping nails, administering medication?? It's about like oiling a running chainsaw.  I took her back to the vet's office to get her stitches removed and the vet was, "Would you like to hold your baby while I get these stitches out?" and I was all, "Hell no, I'm not paying $50 for this visit just to bleed my own blood, thank you very much." It took the vet and two techs to get the four stitches out.  I was the only one unscathed.  That was half a Benjamin I got my value out of.

Here's Daisy having a Maury Povich-style throw down for squatting rights to the world's most cherished cat-possession: a cardboard box.

Finally, there's Maxx:
Maxx is 18+ pounds of Laid-back dude.

And I mean LAAAAAAID back.

There are only a couple of things that get him riled.  One of the things that Maxx does not care for?

Birthday hats get on his nerves...but he really, really hates hats that are foreign.  He is not one who appreciates the celebration of Cinco De Mayo...lemme tell you.

The other thing that Maxx cannot stand? (and that I cannot explain?  Because let's be honest, the hat thing surprises no one.  Cat in the Hat, my butt, Dr. Seus. Find me a tam o'shanter wearing tabby that is happy about it. I dare you.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh...Maxx's other peeve...the HVAC system in our house.
He goes around the entire first floor pulling the vent covers off:

I've even caught him attempting to pull apart the return grill.

Jeff's of the opinion that Maxx doesn't actually hate the HVAC system, but thinks that it is a potential escape route to the great outdoors.  He (Maxx, not Jeff) is very convinced that he is a wild beast that needs to poop in real dirt (honestly, the few times he's gotten past us and darted outside, he ran to the nearest bald patch in the yard and dug a spot and pooped. What's up with that?)  But since he is basically the color of smoke and shadows, we can't let him out or we'd never find him again.

So this is my clowder (that's another word for a group of cats).  Hope you enjoyed meeting them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Doctor's Orders

The About 3 years ago, our Golden Retriever, Simba, (then only two years old) started having seizures.  They were very frightening, but were infrequent. 

The very first one happened in the peak of summer while playing his very favorite thing in the world: fetch the tennis ball.

(I wish that ANYTHING made as happy as a tennis ball makes Simba.)

We had been playing ball for quite some time in the middle of the afternoon on a hot-as-the-hinges-of-hell Alabama summer day...so when Simba started staggering and looking disoriented, we thought we'd let him over-do it and that he was having a heat-stress related episode.

A couple of months later, it happened when we were inside and nothing special was going on...we managed to bundle him in the car and get him to the vet's office...at which time he had completely recovered and the vet couldn't really determine what had happened.

As time went on, we managed to record an episode...we went back to the vet and they determined that he had mild epilepsy...not uncommon in goldens.  They put him on a six-month regimen of anti-seizure meds and told us to keep track of any episodes.  After six months, he had only had one very quick, very mild attack.  So we went back for his checkup and the vet said we'd keep him on this medication.
However, the cost of the medication had gone up significantly...when they gave us the 6-months supply, the cost had been about $70.  Now, a one-month supply was gonna run about $60 at the vet's office. The vet tech on hand suggested that I call around local pharmacies and see what their cash price would be.
I did...and CVS (where we humans in our family get our meds filled) had the lowest price...$16.29 for a month.
The vet gave me the written prescription and I dropped it off.  The pharmacy chick asked me what Simba's birthday was...I told her I wasn't sure on the exact date...but that he'd been born in November of 2010...so she tells me that she's just gonna put 11-01-10 into the system.  I told her fine...that I'd be by the next day to pick it up.

Next day, new pharmacy chick:

Me: I'd like to pick up a prescription I dropped off yesterday for Arensmeyer

PC: Yes ma'am.  Oh...you should know that your insurance didn't cover this.

Me: I know.  Simba isn't on my insurance.

PC: Oh. Okay.  Well, I need his driver's license number, because Phenobarbital is a controlled substance.

Me: Simba is my dog. He's also only five.  Either way, no driver's license.

PC: Well, I have to have a driver's license number.

Me: Why don't I give you mine?

PC: He has to be a family member.

Me: He's my DOG.

PC: But this is a controlled substance.

Me: Can you use my driver's license number if I say I'm his mother?

PC: Yes, but your insurance will probably still not cover it.

Me: (sigh) I understand.  BECAUSE HE'S A DOG. It's okay. Don't try to run it through insurance.

PC: I really am supposed to have some identification for the patient.

Me: (Heavy sigh) Well, he's a dog, so he doesn't have any identification.

PC: What is your son's Date of Birth?

Me: (Heavier sigh) November 2010.

Hope it's not this complicated every month.