Monday, August 27, 2012

Aplology in Order

So Friday I posted my heart-wrenching tale of the "one who got away." By that, I meant the awesomely fantastic concrete monkey I saw outside a local antique store.  I was really, really upset about it.  I called Jeff repeatedly and begged him to please, please tell me that he really had him safe and sound and that there wasn't really another family out there getting to bask in the awesome that was MY MONKEY.  He'd tell me that he was really, really sorry...that he'd go back to the antique store and see if there was any way to contact whoever they'd gotten the monkey from....
Then I came home to THIS:

He'd even gotten Prometheus a landscaping stone to sit on and a plant to hold. He got a cactus-y thing that he hopes I won't kill because I have a very, very horrible black thumb., sometimes I buy myself a plant because I want so badly to have one and not kill it...but it just isn't I've taken to buying plants with someone already in mind to give it to to keep it from dying.  I'm usually okay with a plant for a few days...maybe up to a week.  That's when I will relinquish the plant to either my Mother-in-Law or to my good friend Jacquie.  Maybe I'll be luckier with this cactus-y thing.  It only needs "very infrequent" watering and it's not in a place where I can easily run over it with the car (this is actually a concern...true time, my step-mother gave me a bunch of ferns.  She told me that they'd need "misting" one day, it was raining a light mist and I thought "Oh, goody! Natural misting for my ferns!"  I set them in the driveway because it was level and I didn't want them tipping over.  30 minutes later, I was cooking spaghetti, realized I was out of margarine for the garlic bread, hopped in my car and...yeah, you get the picture.) Anyway, we'll hope for the best for the poor helpless cactus.  Prometheus may end up holding a bowl of rocks or something.  It WILL NOT take away from the awesome, I assure you.
On another note, my daughter thinks Prometheus is creepy as hell.  She refuses to see how cool he makes our house...she just insists that he looks like he'll come alive and murder us all in our sleep.  Even though he doesn't have a key to the door.  I have to admit that it took me a few days of catching a glimpse of him through the front door side lights while coming down the stairs before I got used to him.  But I do love him, and I just KNOW that we have increased our cultural cred with the whole neighborhood.  Or that the neighbors now think that I have the ability to place ancient Hindu curses on them.  One of the two.

Also...I'm never playing poker with Jeff.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sad, sad day

So this morning, I had breakfast with Jeff at IHOP.  I was sitting there eating my delicious buttered-with-some-type-of-unwholesome-product toast when I. SAW. HIM:

Isn't he wonderful?  Isn't he breathtaking? He was next door at the antiques shop.  After paying our tab at IHOP, we went for a closer look. The store wasn't even open yet...he was just one of the things that they left outside 24/7.  His tag said he was marked down from $149 to $129. I fell instantly and totally in love with him.   Jeff liked the monkey...but not exactly worth the money.  Keep in mind that this is the man who had zero respect for my dancing bears painting:
Which I had absolutely COVETED for years at my friend Lori's house.  Fortunately for me, Lori bequethed me my portrait of the conga-line of bears  (it's actually called The Bear Dance by William Holbrook Beard, and is actual ART thankyouverymuch) so it didn't cost me anything.

When I went to work the next day, I decided I'd call and see if there was any bargaining room on the monkey...I hadn't stopped thinking about him since our parting.  I got the manager on the line...and he said he thought they could reduce the price to $99.  Then he asked me to hold on...he needed to go get the code on the tag.  When he came back he told me THE MONKEY WAS GONE!

I called Jeff & told him that my monkey was sold & asked him if he had, by chance purchased this delightful creature for me.  To which he replied, "Did I buy you a $130 monkey? Uh, no."
Am inconsolable.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Out here at my work, we have an animal problem.  We are located close to a) the county landfill and b) the county animal shelter (no, I don't work in a's complicated). We have lots of strays that make their way down to our location because irresponsible people are constantly dropping off their unwanted pets nearby.  There are several of co-worker, Jan, my bestie, Annette, a lady up at HR & myself that have kind of unofficially made ourselves into a sort of impromptu rescue group.  We have each adopted at least one animal abandoned around here into our own households (mine: a cha-weenie named Libby & I lurve her) and have found homes for literally DOZENS of other cats and dogs.  The puppies and kittens are easiest. Some of the harder-to-adopt animals we have at least found non-kill shelters to take them to...even if we've had to transport them to larger cities.
Despite all of our efforts, however, these past couple of months, we've seen an dramatic increase in feral know, it only takes TWO and then you've got them exponentially multiplying.  We'd been making sure they weren't going hungry, but apparently once they weren't STARVING, they had the health and energy to start making new feral kittens. What to do?  We finally found an organization that loaned us some traps (S.A.F.E.) and had a vet they worked with to spay/neuter these animals.  Okie-dokie, then.  We bait and set some traps up, and five minutes later...woohoo!  We have our first vasectomy volunteer!  (actually, castration candidate is more accurate.) Unfortunately, we failed to consider how to transport Mr. Hellcat once in his have-a-heart trap. (note to anyone who might try this at home...use dry food to bait your trap.  When they realize they can't get out, they go bat-shit crazy & there's nothing like the smell of cat-piss combined with the smell of wet cat food. They will have both All. Over. Them.)
Now, I hope that I have effectively illustrated for you that I am totally commited to do my best for these poor animals...I feel like I certainly do my duty to king and country when it comes to taking care of God's little creatures...but I do drive a nice, sporty little zippy-zoom Volvo.  And I love my Volvo.  I certainly didn't relish the thought of the interior (my pretty, pretty carmel leather interior) being befouled by the stench of this beast.  Thankfully, upon further review, I couldn't have gotten the trap/cage into the backseat anyway.  So, I call the hubby.  And he agrees to come with the van & transport our captive to the vet.  I rounded up some gloves (no telling what kind of exotic bacteria is living under those claws, just waiting on someone's long-suffering husband to come within striking distance) and then sat in my office and waited for Jeff to show up.  And waited. And waited.  Finally, I sent him a text:

Me: "Hey. You comin to get this cat? Vet closes at 5."

Jeff: "Slash and I are already out the gate."

Me: "Slash?"

Jeff: "Yeah, as in "I'd like to SLASH you across the eyeballs."...this is one mean-looking mofo cat."

Then I don't hear from him for a bit until I get:

"Slash has been dropped off, and the van is once again urine-free."

So, Jeff's done his good-hubby deed for the week.

A much less virile Slash was picked up and released the next day.  We're currently trying to get some of the others trapped & fixed.  We got two calicos yesterday & shipped those girls off before they could get knocked up.  We're trying to find someone in need of some barn cats (I think Slash in particular looks like a mighty fierce mouser). For the interim we're just trying halt the multiplication factor.

Jan (after we set Slash free): The vet says he's notching their ears so he'll know that he's fixed them
Me: Ummmm....isn't the lack of balls a pretty good indication?
Jan:'d think.

So, anyone in need of a barn cat...or Slash!-a vicious guard cat, please let me know.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I have been told repeatedly that I should start a blog.  Soooo...I am finally going to give it a shot.  To kick things off...I am going to make my first post one of my all-time favorite happened years (like, 9 years) ago, but still, it never gets old:

So, as it happened, Jeff and I found ourselves with a whole week without the monkey.  For the very first time since she was born, we were going to go on vacation…just the two of us.  Our beloved off-spring had decided that she wanted to go to summer camp...a real live summer camp with horses and archery and cabins and everything.  We were a little afraid to let her know we were going to the beach while she was at summer camp, so we just kinda, sorta didn’t tell her that little fact before dropping her off in the hills of Mentone, AL with about 60 other squeally little monkey girl-children.  After getting her settled in, we loaded back into the car, dropped back by the house for OUR luggage and headed South.

Six hours later, we are on the sugar sands of the Gulf of Mexico, in Panama City Beach, Florida…my favorite place in all of the world.  Some folks prefer the more reserved Destin, or even Gulf Shores.  Not us…the people watchin’ doesn’t get any better than in PCB.  And anyway, it’s where we got married, so we have a soft spot for it.  There may be other reasons I’m drawn there as well.  I was once on vacation with my mom, her husband, my clan, as well as my sister’s brood in Destin.  I made the comment that even though this was really pretty and all…I just really preferred Panama City and was just sad as I can be when I don’t get down there once a year.  My mom just ever so casually says, “Well, that’s probably because you were conceived there.”  I mean ICK!!  I try not to think about it, nor about the salmon-like way I am drawn down to the coast every year, but it is what it is.

Anyhoo…Jeff and I made it down there without incident for our first kid-free beach trip we’d had in oh…about 9 years.  We get our bags to the room and commenced at once to frolicking.  We went down to the beach for a little while (it was late afternoon).  We went to a FABULOUS dinner…where it didn’t matter how long we had to wait, we just sipped something frozen…no little impatient kiddo, who can only think of getting back to the pool, or going putt-putting or SOMETHING besides waiting on a table.  We ate great seafood ‘til we were just about to POP.  Then when we got back to the hotel, we decided to fix ourselves a couple of adult-type beverages and go relax in the hot tub until the food had digested enough for us to settle in for bed and prepare for our first WHOLE day of lolling around the beach and people watching.

Well, we relaxed in the hot tub, drank our big girl and big boy drinks, and relaxed some more.  By and by, the drinks needed a re-fill so we DID, and before too long, it seemed like a good idea to go back up to the room.  Well, once we got ready to go to sleep (which was not IMMEDIATELY after we got back to the room, if you know what I mean) I changed into my warm weather PJs (shorts and tank top).  Jeff decided just to put his swim trunks where they’d dry over night, and come to bed nekkid.  He happens to have a heidel hernia, and a reflux esophagus, so in a couple of hours, that Pina Colada we had downstairs is starting to give him some serious heartburn.  He gets up, shuffles on into the bathroom half-asleep and gets him some Tums or Gaviscon or something I’ve packed, and checks the time.  It’s about 2:00-2:30 a.m.

If you have ever been to Panama City Beach, you know that they have “the strip” or “the Miracle Strip” that runs along the beach.  It is a favorite pastime of the ga-jillions of recent high school graduates and/or college students to ride up and down the strip acting like fools and hollerin’ at each other.  No one knows why.  They basically keep this up for all night long, then go sleep in their hotel rooms where they are usually piled 20 deep in some cases, and then repeat the process all over again once the sun goes back down.  Some will actually stagger out into the 3:00 afternoon sunlight, blinking and squinting for a little sun and surf, but many come to the beach just to ride up and down US Hwy 98, a.k.a. “the strip”. 

Jeff, being the people watcher that he is, got to wondering at 2:00-2:30 in the a.m. if there was much activity going on down on the strip.  The hotel we were staying in is configured in an arch, with balconies on the ocean side in every room, and open air walkways on the other side facing the strip.  The walkways have a half-wall, a little more than waist-high to keep folks from falling off. 

So, Jeff opens the door that leads out onto the walkway, but because he is in the doorway, the half-wall is blocking his view of the strip.  He steps out into the walkway a little more, keeping his heel in the doorway to keep the door open and looks again.  He still can’t see, so he stretches a little, then a little more, then a leettle more, then…ka-chump.  The door slips past his heel and closes…locked.

Riiiight about that time, he discovers (or maybe realizes is the word I want here) that the coastal breeze is blowing on parts of his anatomy that strictly speaking, it has never blown before.  This is when my dear hubby remembers that he took his swim trunks off & hung them up to dry before coming to bed and was right at that moment butt-nekkid.  Outside of his hotel room.  Of his LOCKED hotel room.  On the road side of the hotel room.  In Panama City Beach.  At once he commences to banging on the door, like I’m going to hear him.  Let us remember that I had indulged in a couple of frozen cocktails and had participated in some mildly strenuous exercise before retiring.  Also, I was alllll the way back towards the ocean side of the hotel room with the air conditioning unit blasting away so that I could snuggle under the blankets like I like to do.   I was out cold.  There wasn’t NUTHIN going to disturb my rest.  And deep down, Jeff knows this, but he has to hope, so he bangs away for awhile longer before resigning himself to the fact that it’s just not going to be that easy.

At this point, he looks around and tries to rationally assess his circumstances.  Is there a door mat?  No.  Have they delivered the paper outside the door, from which he could origami himself a pair of briefs? No.  Is there anything at the vestibule by the elevators that he could arrange to cover himself?  Actually, yes, there are some palm fronds.  Unfortunately, there are also cameras at the elevators that feed directly to the hotel lobby where they are sure to notice a nekkid man denuding their palm fronds.  What to do?

Well, right then, a security guard comes strolling along the curve of the building and spots my husband, who while he was pondering his situation had kind of pressed himself into the doorway to make himself as un-obvious as possible.  Though how un-obvious you can be while standing butt-nekkid outside your hotel room is still a matter of debate.  At any rate, the security guard makes eye contact with my hubby and says, “Well, shit,” or something like that and TURNS ON HIS HEEL and starts to go the other direction.  Hoping, no doubt that on his next circuit, this situation will have resolved itself without his intervention.  Jeff is in a panic.  He’s had his bare ass to the wind for over 15 minutes now and has run out of options.  “DUDE!” he says, “PLEASE come back!”  The guards sighs, slumps his shoulders and comes back to confront my butt nekkid husband.  “WHAT!!??!!” he says, “are you doing?”  So Jeff tries to succinctly explain his situation…wet swim trunks…heartburn….looking at the strip…comatose wife…and asks him can he PLEASE just let him back in the room?  All the while demurely covering his nether-like regions with his hands as best he can.  The security guard gives another long-suffering sigh and says into his walkie-talkie, “Can I get someone up here with an all-pass?”  He makes eye-contact with Jeff again, briefly, “And a towel?”  So they stand there, NOT making eye-contact, NOT making small talk until finally, two more security guards come around the bend.  Sure enough, one of them is carrying a towel.  Grinning like a FOOL, but carrying a towel.  Jeff gratefully receives the towel and wraps it around him while the others avert their eyes.

He explains the situation to the newly arrived, they call down to the front desk, Jeff’s able to answer a few questions to prove that yes, this is his room, no, he is not some pervo, yes, he is sober, and they finally let him back in.  He later told me that without thinking, he had put his hand out to shake theirs to say “thanks.”  The grinning, towel carrying security guard just looked at his hand and said, “That’s okay, dude.”  Jeff realized that his hands had only moments before been ah, shielding himself…so he just says, “Ah, well, thanks again,” and goes inside. He drops the towel, finds himself a pair of boxers in the suitcase (little late for THAT, don’t you think?) and crawls back into bed.  He doesn’t even wake me.  It’s been such a harrowing experience that he’s not really ready to relive it.

The next morning, after we wake up, he recounts the whole tale to me as I stare at him in disbelief.  Surely he is making this up?  But no, I can tell by the shell-shocked look on his face that it really happened, and that he can’t even see the humor in it yet.  I wanted to call the front desk and ask who the !@#$ let a nekkid man into my room last night, but he wouldn’t let me.  On the way down to the lobby, we passed the grinnin’ towel guard (whose name was coincidentally, Jeff), who waved and shook his head at my Jeff, and I just about laughed myself sick at him for the rest of the vacation.  We’d be lying on the beach, sunning like lizards, and I’d look over at him start chuckling. “Shuddup, it’s not that funny,” he’d say.  Oh, contraire, mon freire. I could not WAIT to share this hilarious story with my nearest and dearest.

My sister bought him one of those terry cloth wrap-around velcro’d things you wear when you get out of the shower with instructions that he take it on all upcoming vacations.  My bunco group nearly all peed themselves when I related the tale.  My beautiful and talented best friend, Annette, who writes for the local paper, wrote a news story about the Nekkid Man of the Holiday Inn Sunspree, and pretended to have found the story on the AP website.  Jeff was a pretty good sport about the whole thing by this time.  He does want me to add one positive side effect of this whole ordeal…

You know the dream that everyone has of showing up for work or school or whatever without any clothes on?  He assures me that this experience has cured him of ever having a dream like that again. As I said, it's been years since the event, and he swears he hasn’t had a single one.