Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Meme: Love It/Hate It

Yikes! Almost two weeks since my last post. Lots of excuses, but let's leave them be and jump right in with something that makes it easy to Get Back At It (the It being writing a blogpost).

Quicky Monday Meme: Love/Hate Relationships

1. What song/kind of music always makes you feel good/irritated?
     80s music always makes me feel good, and so does Tina Turner or Earth, Wind, and Fire.
     All country music irritates the hell out of me.  All of it.  All the time.

2. What are among your best/worst traits?
     A few of my best traits are empathy, tolerance, and my ability to organize.
     My worst traits are impatience, impatience, and probably impatience.

3. What food did you used to like but now you don't?
     I used to like ham, sloppy joes, and fish; I don't anymore.

4. What book did everyone else love but you didn't?
     Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
     Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

5. Fill in the blanks: I love my ______, but I hate (its/their/the)______.
     I love my cats, but I hate their hair.
     I love my country but I hate what the republicans are doing to it.
     I love my blog, but I hate how worky it sometimes feels to keep up with it.
Your turn in Comments.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Who Knew Salad Could Be So Racy? Sign Language Saturday On A Tuesday

Photo Dept. of Nance

Great sense of humour over at the ad agency in charge of the layout of this ad, which arrived in my mail today for a local grocery store.

Too bad it's the Baby Spinach that's "washed & ready to enjoy."  What a missed opportunity.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It Started With The Coffeemaker

On Saturday, Rick repaired--again--my coffeemaker. I'm inordinately and irrationally fond of this coffeemaker, a Cuisinart drip model circa 2004-5, and I refuse to let it go. When I first discovered it was leaking a month ago, he took it apart and replaced a hose. My Gratitude and Joy were boundless. Last week, when it started leaking again, all Rick did was to mildly berate himself for not replacing both hoses when he had the thing apart the first time, and set about taking it apart again. This time, unfortunately, the repair was more difficult and tedious.

Lucky for him, my own tasks took me in and out of the kitchen so that I could check on his progress help. On one of my sojourns through his work area, he asked me to hold the light so that he could use both hands to maneuver the circuit panel/board back into place and put everything back together.

But it wouldn't all fit back in. I watched my husband's face carefully for clues: was my coffeemaker terminal? did he really know what he was doing? was I going to have to get dressed and do my hair in order to go get coffee in the morning? WAS LIFE AS I KNOW IT OVER?

My search of his features yielded nothing. His expression was one of Placid Determination and Quiet Concentration. Clearly, I was going to have to Get Involved.

"Maybe you should just untie that bigass knot in the cord there," I suggested helpfully. "It seems to be holding up the whole shebang."

"It's not that."

"Okay." He moved around a lot of wires and cords and the panel/board thing. He tried a couple more times to get it all to fit. He looked at a piece of plastic that fit on the back near the power cord. It was obvious that my expertise was necessary here. I thought carefully about Strategy, Tact, and the cost of Marital Counseling.

Then I decided to speak up anyway. "Hey, Rick? Maybe they just tied that knot in that cord because of some UL regulations about cord length or something. You know? I feel like--"

And suddenly, right in front of me, Rick was screwing the bottom onto the coffeemaker. Just like that.

"Hey!" I said. "You got it! Yay!"

"Yep," he said. "Nance, that knot in the cord is there to keep the panel from being yanked all the way out."

"Oh. Well, you could have said that from the beginning! Why didn't you say that before?"

"I just thought about it."

I boosted myself onto the kitchen counter to keep him company while he finished up. We needed to test the coffeemaker to see if it worked and to see if it would leak again. "And how did you do all this tedious, frustrating work without swearing? If it were me, I'd have been a few Eff Words deep and then some."

"Because every time you hear me swear while I work, you think something's wrong. And then you worry. So I learned not to do that."

For a moment I was floored by this.  It showed a depth of understanding and concern that truly touched me.  It showed that Rick had listened to me over these many, many years!  "Wow," I said.  "That's really true, and I very much appreciate that, but okay, hold on. Of all the fantastic advice I've given you in all the years we've known each other, what percentage of it would you say that you've actually listened to?"

Rick held the coffeepot up to eye level to measure its contents before pouring it into the machine. He plugged the coffeemaker in, flipped the switch, and without turning around said definitively, "Seventy percent. Your coffeemaker is working."

My heart was full. I was so happy! As soon as that red light came on and I heard the sound of water successfully burbling through My Precious Coffeemaker, I almost gave Rick a pass on his preposterous answer. Almost. "Seventy percent! That's ridiculous. No way is it seventy percent. I'd put it at forty percent, tops. Especially if you figure in follow-through, like when I say you should ice your leg or take a naproxyn or stay off screens after 9PM. And you don't."

"Look under here when I lift this up," he said. "See if you see any water." He carefully raised the coffeemaker, and I craned my neck to see beneath it. A few drops of water were collecting on the newly-replaced hose. A wire clamp dangled, too. I reported these to Rick, who sighed patiently. "I can't believe I forgot to put the clamp back on after all that."

"Don't burn yourself. Be careful. Why don't you wait until it cools way down? It's easy enough just to put the clamp on, right?" I leaned over to provide Support and show Concern, so much so that I almost fell into the sink. I needn't have bothered; by the time I had expressed my Profound Sentiments, Rick had unscrewed the bottom of the unit, replaced the clamp, and started to screw it back in place.

"Why don't more people take my advice?" I asked him. "I'm not talking about the people on TV; I know they can't hear me when I tell them what to do. More people need to do exactly what I say. And immediately. Everything would be better."

"Maybe a lot of people do take your advice. They just don't tell you about it."

A final check of the coffeemaker proved successful. Hopefully, I'll have another fifteen years of Good Service and Good Coffee from it.  I'll let you know.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Free For All Friday: Some This 'N That Bric-A-Brac Gets Thrown Out (And It's Not Even Thursday)

Let's have a bit of This 'n That, which also happens to be the weather forecast for NEO. Please don't mistake that for A Complaint; I can look out and see grass in the Dept. front yard, and yesterday it was 58 degrees. Today, although it is a full twenty degrees colder, we are not anticipating sn*w, so...Good News.


Here's some Brain Bric-a-Brac I need to download (or is that upload?  I always goof that up):

1. Teacher Tuesday On Friday. I feel like the cumulative IQ of Our Nation is dropping precipitously, thanks to 45* and the moronic spew he emits as well as the elevation of the ninnies who elected him. Everywhere I look I see errors in...well, everything. Not too terribly long ago, I read this comment online: You really nailed it on the head! This individual obviously customized the well-known idiom You hit the nail on the head, which is already perfectly fine and makes more sense.

I also would like to clarify the meanings of the words in this group: pique, peak, peek, also found misused online. Here they are, used correctly in sentences.
The new cat toy didn't pique Webster's interest one bit.
It's not like Fabio is at the peak of his career.
I'm ready to give you a sneak peek at the new me.

2. A Discontinued Product Is Back! Way back in 2011, I lamented and cursed the demise of Reynolds Plastic Wrap. It was such a great product, mainly because its box had a slidey little cutter thing that made using the wrap so easy. Well, it's back! I wish I could take credit for its return after a seven-year hiatus, but I cannot. Instead, I will chortle in my joy and hope that some other Discontinued Products That I Miss will return as well (Oil of Olay facial bar soap, hear my plea).

3. Monday Meme On Friday: Quick Fact Rundown.
~*~My fantasy basketball record right now is 14-3; I have the second-best record in the league (and am the only woman).
~*~I watched Big Little Lies on HBO Now and was enthralled by the acting but stressed out by the stories. So good!
~*~I'm feeling so much better that I have been Primary Snow Shoveller here at the Dept.
~*~I started another knitting project and sorted stash yarn for yet another.
~*~I have Thrown Out Thursdayed even more stuff.  (And discovered moth damage in my yarn. Sigh.)

Check in, won't you, in Comments?


Friday, February 09, 2018

As Seen On TV...Almost

Scene opens on Living Room. Dinner is over; it is approximately 7 PM. Rick is in his chair. Nance enters from the bedroom where she has just changed into her pajamas and heads past him to the small trunk where she keeps blankets. She draws out a patchwork quilt backed with flannel and heads to the couch. Out of nowhere, both cats trot over to her, waiting.

Nance: Holy crap, do you see this? It's ridiculous. (curls up on couch, spreads out comforter, and both cats jump up onto it, with enormous orange cat claiming her lap)

Rick: (chuckling) Well, that's what you wanted. You wanted a cat to keep you company and be on your lap.

Nance: I know, but this is all the time. Every single time I sit down. (orange cat begins snoring) And now, I can't move. I simply cannot move.

Rick: Nance, it's a cat. You're bigger than he is. Maybe not by much, but you are. If you need to move, just move. You know he'll come right back.

Nance: That's not nice. Piper knows he's fat. But I hate to bother him when he's not feeling well. He's been so stuffy lately.

Rick: I know. I can hear him over the TV.

Nance: (getting fussy)  Both cats rushed me, and now I can't move. I want this light off, and I can't reach it.  (sighs, then brightly)  You know what I need? I need The Clapper.

Rick: You what? The Clapper?

Nance: Yeah. That thing for old people. Then I could just clap this light off. It would be great!

(Rick is looking at her with increasing suspicion and disbelief. He is not sure if she is serious or, at this point, even sane.)

Nance: (continuing excitedly) What would even be better is if The Clapper could multitask. Like, right now, I can't reach the light. But I also can't reach my water, my phone, or even my iPad. What if The Clapper could get those things for me? Now that is something I really need.

Rick: (in the spirit now) It could clean the shitboxes for you, too!

Nance: I don't really mind that job. Litter has come such a long way that it's almost nothing to do it. But if The Clapper could put my jammies on me and wash my face every night while I just sit here on my couch under my blanket, I'd take it!

Rick: How about if it just finds your Chapstick?

Nance: (big sigh) Yeah. For sure...that, too.

End scene.


Friday, February 02, 2018

A Winter's Tale: Sadly, A True Story

Even with large doses of Vitamin D, I still fight through Seasonal Affective Disorder during NEO's interminable winters. I employ lots of different strategies with varying success. Trying to stay physically and mentally active can be frustrating, and I often find myself wondering if I'm losing the battle.

Like The Day I Lost My Chapstick.

This winter has been taxing on my skin, hair, eyes, and lips. I'm trying everything to stay hydrated, and I've never gone through lip balm like this before. I've taken to having three tubes at the ready: one in my purse, one on my nightstand, and one in the living room on the table next to my chair and couch corner. I've finally found one that works great for me, and I'm hanging onto it like Grim Death because I know damn well it is Destined To Be Discontinued like every single other product I have ever loved and gotten attached to.

But I digress.

Last week, I must have retrieved my Livingroom Lip Balm eleventy hundred times from the floor (and under furniture) because it suddenly became a Cat Toy for Marlowe, the grey cat who, every once in a while, knocks stuff down that belongs only to me. It was largely okay, until the day that I really needed my chapstick. And couldn't find it. I had been folding laundry, and I reached over for it, and...not there. I looked over on the table. Nope.

With a heavy sigh, I took Marlowe's name in vain and got down on the floor. I searched under the couch. Nothing. I grabbed my phone for a flashlight and looked again. I looked under both chairs, the huge ottoman, and the coffee table. Nothing. By this time, I was just outright aggravated. Because now I knew that it wasn't Marlowe's fault anymore. It was my own. I had probably grabbed it and put it in a coat pocket when I went out for a walk or something.

In the closet I went through the pockets of both coats I wore--twice. "God. Damn. It," I said, carefully raising the level of my voice after each word. I dropped to my knees on the floor of the closet and looked around. It wasn't there.

I was outraged. I was incredulous. My lips were chapped! This was becoming a Sanity Challenge, and I had to win.

I emptied my purse onto the table in the breakfast nook. Not there. I rooted through the drawer in my bedside table. Not there. (But did I use the lip balm in that drawer? HELL NO! I AM NOT A QUITTER! I AM NOT THE KIND OF PERSON WHO BOWS TO EXPEDIENCE IN TIMES OF CRISIS!  I HAVE INTEGRITY!) Next up, my clothes closet: all garments with pockets yielded nothing. Ditto the dresser drawers.

Throughout most of this search, I was talking to myself--loudly--but not in encouraging terms. "Where in the hell IS it? I only put it ONE PLACE! This could not BE any more FU**ING ridiculous! I am losing my goddam mind!" Finally, I admitted defeat. I dragged my shameful, chapped-lipped, weary sadness into the living room and plopped on the couch like the addle-brained loser I was. Piper immediately jumped into my lap. I felt somewhat comforted, despite the shower of hair that came with him.

I was exhausted. I leaned over and grabbed my huge tumbler of ice water and gratefully drank several gulps. When I turned to put the water glass back on the coaster, I saw it, my chapstick. It had been there, hidden by my bigass waterglass the whole time.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Our Finger Is On The Pulse Of The Nation: A New Feature Here At The Dept. Of Nance

Ladies and Gentlemen, we here at The Big Simple Polls, LLC, have our collective finger on the pulse of the nation. At times like these, it's important to know what Joe and Sally Citizen are thinking. Too often, talking heads, policy wonks, and Washington insiders get caught up in D.C. skulduggery and beltway mumbo jumbo. It's up to regular people--like us!--to bring all that political jibber jabber and Internet noise into focus and boil it down to something clear, easy, and basic. That's why we call ourselves The Big Simple: we ask the big, simple questions to people just like you and get answers that are, well, big and simple!

Here are two questions we polled recently and their responses below. We have given you two easy-to-understand pie charts to assist you. I think you'll agree that The Big Simple Polls, LLC, has not only assisted you in understanding these issues, but also distilled them into their most basic form.

Question 1: Is the current president doing a good job?

Question 2: Would you trust the current president to tell the truth under oath?

Until next time, Keep It Simple!

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