Friday, August 26, 2005

Caution! Immigrant Crossing?

A sign like this exists? And it's being used as a SERIOUS caution?

I just love our country.

Posted near the San Diego/Mexican Border

Do you think they stop and freeze in headlights like deer do?

The Obsessive Picker

We'd finally made it to Colorado and were having nothing but good luck. We effortlessly found our way to the baggage claim JUST as our two bags popped out onto the turn-style. That's really all that happened that could be considered lucky. What can I say, I'm easily amused.

Which you probably already have figured out based on what asinine things I write about.

Come on! Be happy for us! If you've ever had a bag lost or detained somewhere I'm sure you are cheering and clapping your hands. Or not.


We grabbed a rental car at the airport and decided that since we were not fed on the plane (yea United!) and it was now past our lunchtime, some good eats were definitely in order. And with that we braved downtown Denver which really isn't all that bad. There's a lot of pavement, with lines, and then there are lights hanging from cords. Every once in a while there's a sign that tells you something fascinating like "stop" or "no left turn" or "pay your taxes". Very plain and simple.

We had picked a BBQ joint that was recommended by a friend of a friend (thank you Emilie!) that was way down one of the main drags. So we sat in light traffic waiting at stop lights. You know, the usual mid-afternoon downtown city driving. Naturally, being the passenger, I spent a good amount of time checking out the sites and people watching.

That is when I discovered the Obsessive Picker. She seemed innocent enough, driving her mildly beat-up hatchback with a small pile of crap in the back seat. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Nothing except for what she was doing.


I still cringe when I think about it.

As if the nail clipping wasn't enough? I had to witness someone, not more than 5 feet away, POPPING ZITS on her NOSE in her vanity mirror.

Oh God. The mere nastiness of it all. I can still see it like it was moments ago. There she was just oblivious to the lines of cars surrounding her.

SQUEEZING her nose. And then she'd pull her hands away and inspect her nails for the treasure she just extracted from her pores.

Then wiped it on her shirt.

Naturally I've already grabbed the Husbands arm and gestured in her direction.

So by this point if she were to actually stop her obsessive picking and looked in our window she would see me, with a look of HORROR on my face, and my husband cracking up in the driver's seat.

Then the light turns green.

We all drive forward for another block and stop at the next red light.

Guess who we're sitting next to?

Like the Blog Gods just sent her down for me to witness.

But she wasn't squeezing blackheads on her nose anymore.

No, she had moved on. Must cover more surface area you see. Perhaps her nose was sore. Maybe she ran out of zits. Or possibly she just got bored and decided to move on.

Move on to picking zits on her ARMS.

And I continue to stare like there are two 10 car passenger trains headed for each other with a Bus stuck on the tracks in the middle.

Picking and squeezing.

And she's picking at obviously already aggravated sores! And how do I know this you ask?

Because I am sitting RIGHT next to her in my seat - I am SO close I can practically see the pores she is assaulting. And does she NOTICE that there are other people in plain site who can see this horrible display of grooming gone wrong?

Apparently no people, she does not.

So I would like to issue this plea. A plea to all of you out there who treat your car as if it were your bathroom. Who have mistaken your vanity mirror for your bathroom mirror. All of you nose pickers, ear wax harvesters, pimple extractors.


Yes, we can see through glass. And not just some of us have this mystical power - ALL of us can see through glass.

So please. PUUULEEEAAASSE. Wait until you get home. Do not share this part of your grooming routine with us. Because we will watch. With sick horror on our faces.

And then we will blog about it.

What did I tell you?

So I went and stepped on the scale the other day with reckless abandon. Just went and stepped right up like I owned the place or something.

And what did it do?

It said I weighed 1.5 lbs more than the day before.

See? Do you SEE?

You have to sneak up on it or it will be mean and cruel and not particularly care about your feelings.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Old Man Drunk

Oh lovely Colorado.

Went there last weekend with the Husband to visit my folks. The trip was, for the most part, what anyone might expect from a four day weekend with one's parents. I won't bore all of you with details from that.

I'll just bore you with details from other aspects of our trip.

We got to the airport in good ol' Sac town and discovered that United, being the delightfully charming and oh-so customer savvy airline that they are, had decided to book us in seats 10 rows apart.

Oh, and it doesn't stop there. Naturally, we each got a middle seat.

Yea United!

Both of us tucked away into our seats, my husbands knees (I safely assumed) wedged nicely against the kidneys of the passenger in front of him. I pulled out my iPod and tried to tune out as much as possible. (for the record I was not trying to be witty with that little "tune out" remark but afterwards I realized it might look that way and I wouldn't want any of you to think that I was campy in a grandpa sort of way. I mean I AM, but there's no reason to dwell. Sort of like what I'm doing here. Dwelling. Look at me dwell. Dwell dwell dwell.)

I quickly noticed, as I was "tuning out" that the old man next to me seemed a little odd. But he was old. Old sort of predisposes us for oddness. I mean, "old" and "odd" are practically the same word.

First of all he was wearing a suit. Which isn't all that odd really considering that there used to be a time when everyone dressed nicely for flights. As I thought this my eyes darted to the girl in 18D with her cloud pajama pants, gut hanging out of a skin-tight shirt that read "Hot Mamacita", and little fuzzy slippers.

But the thing that struck me as odd was that his hands looked CHEWED on, complete with 4 bandaids on varying fingers. That and he seemed very protective of his jacket which he had already taken off and was clutching to his lap.

Soon I found out why.

Turns out his jacket wasn't a jacket at all. It was in fact a bar. A bar that apparently only served whiskey and brandy.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted him fishing around in his jacket pocket. Then he - oh so stealthily - pulled out a one-shot bottle of whiskey, screwed off the top, and downed it in one gulp. All while gripping the bottle in his hand so that no one would know what he was doing.

Uh huh.

I had NO idea what he was doing. No siree.

One bottle of whiskey down and I start analyzing the situation.

Me: Do we have a nervous flier here?

Me again: Well, not necessarily - hell, if I had thought to stock up on shots of Maker's Mark I'd be doing the same thing right now.

Me: Maybe he's an alcoholic?

Me again: Given that comment I just made about Maker's Mark that would mean WE'RE an alcoholic. Split personality syndrome yes - but alcoholic?

At this point in time I felt there was not enough conclusive evidence to diagnose the man a nervous flier. Instead I imagined that he was someone who appreciated whiskey. All the time. Or, perhaps he thought it was 10:30 at night rather than being 10:30 in the morning like it was.

And then out came another shot.

Of course, since he is so stealth-like, it just looked like he was twisting one hand over the other (like he had a pepper grinder in his hands, or perhaps, gee, like he was opening a tiny bottle), and then lifted his fist to his mouth and tipped his head back (sort of like he, oh I don't know, was maybe drinking something from a small bottle ensconced in his hand?).

Whiskey shot count: 2

Right about now we started taxiing out to the runway which was, in my opinion, the moment of truth. Were we dealing with a nervous flier here?


Out came another shot.

And by the time we made it out to the runway and began final preparations for lift-off - another shot.

Whiskey shot count: 4

He probably would have had another shot during actual lift-off but he was old, frail, and probably couldn't manage to both drink and be inconspicuous about it. So instead he clung to the armwrests and pressed his eyes shut.

We finally leveled out and before the seatbelt light went off...can you guess?

Whiskey shot count: 5

So now my little buddy has got 5 shots in him, having offered NONE to me I might add, and seems to be pretty tame. I wasn't too concerned that he would be a mean drunk, he seemed too small and squirrelly to be mean. To the point, he just seemed like the product of years of taking abuse from a really mean bitch of a wife.

But what I didn't see coming was the horror of all horrors. Something I could never have predicted being that it was so, well, UNPREDICTABLE.

Into his pocket he reached, and out he pulled a pair of nail clippers.

Yes, nail clippers.

And then he proceeded to, yes, clip his nails.

His thick, peeling, yellowing nails. And oh boy, I'd agree they needed a good trimming.

But there?

On the plane?

With ME right NEXT to him?

Let me just make this perfectly clear. I don't particularly think cutting one's nails is gross or disgusting. It's just practicing good grooming, which BELIEVE me - I totally like. Good grooming skills are important.

But I believe there is a time and place for everything. And clipping your nails on a plane when you are in close proximity to over 100 people is not what I would consider the correct "place" for this "thing". When a nail might SHOOT off at a high velocity and stab a very nice girl, who was JUST trying to mind her own business, in the CORNEA.

And it's making that CLIPPING noise. The one that everyone recognizes as a nail clipping noise. And I'm looking around and seeing that people are slowly noticing the sound.


Looking up from their books, stopping their conversations...


Turning their heads to try and see what UNCOUTH MORON is clipping his NAILS on a plane!


And all I could think about was how I did NOT want a nail lodged in my eye ball. How I would have to go to the doctor and get eyedrops like I did when my cat scratched my eye (totally another story) and how eyedrops suck because I completely suck at putting them in. How the term "putting them in" is really a creative exageration on my part unless you consider drooling eyedrops all over my cheeks as getting them in my eye. And how when I succeed at getting ANY of the solution in it just burns and makes me tear up.

And finally he finished.

By this point I was ready to TAKE his whiskey from him and should he try to fight me I'd give him one of those *stop right there and no one gets hurt* kind of looks I'm sure his wife gives him all the time.

But the stewardess came to take our drink orders. And gosh, what do you think he ordered? A beer. And then he called the stewardess back to get a glass of milk as well. Milk? MILK?

Oh no.

I'd heard of this before. But I'd never actually seen it done. He took the milk, fished a tiny bottle of brandy out of his pocket, and spiked his milk with the liquor. Why milk? Why on God's green earth milk?

He cracked open another bottle of whiskey, threw that one back.

By the end of snack hour=
Whiskey shot count: 6
Brandy shot count: 1
Beer: 1
Milk: 1

The rest of the flight was as you can was only a 2 hour flight so we were preparing for landing not that long after our drinks. The fingernail clipping bastard downed another shot before the seatbelt lights went back on. Chugged another one right before our final decent.

We finally landed and I was thankful that I had managed to avoid getting a fingernail lodged in my eye. Something I'm always thankful for after landing. Really.

And then I notice in my periphery that he is, yet again, drinking more whiskey. And I'm wondering just how MANY bottles he can fit in that magical jacket of his? And why doesn't he just get a fucking FLASK? An IV perhaps? And since he had so many why didn't he offer any to me? Hmm? Rude.

And then he starts talking to me. Mind you we have exchanged no words up to this point. 2 hours next to each other and the only words I hear come out of the man's mouth are "I'll have a beer" and "could I have a glass of milk too?".

But apparently us having landed has relaxed him a bit, so he decides to makes friends with me.


Drunk Bastard: My connecting flight is out on Concourse C

Me: Really (smiling in a leave-me-alone sort of way)

Drunk Bastard: Oh yea, I've made this flight a number of times and it's always out in Concourse C. Yup. Always is.

(clearly you never get USED to flying)

Drunk Bastard: Normally I have at least an hour to get there. But today I only have 30 minutes.


Drunk Bastard: I even asked the person on the phone when I booked the flight "normally I have over an hour - why do I only get 30 minutes this time?"

(I'm sure it was a personal affront on his part to annoy the piss out of you...)

Drunk Bastard: He said he wasn't sure.

(Ok, seriously, we've been sitting here for like 5 hours - how hard is it to open the FUCKING PLANE DOOR?)

Drunk Bastard: So I guess I'll just have to rush and hopefully I'll still make the flight.

(is he going to have enough booze to last through his next flight? Holy cow - how many more bottles does he have IN that jacket?)

And then the door finally opened and we all deplaned. All of us happy to be out of our seats. Some of us a little groggy, others a little buzzed, and one of us with shorter fingernails.

Final Shot count: 10

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Mary, Husband, and the BestFriend Variety Show!

I came across this pic and I thought I would post it. The Husband just created a new blog to PUBLICLY BROADCAST our inability to finish projects we so foolishly start and had this in his profile.

This is what my husband looks like when he's had to much exposure to me and the BestFriend:

Notice the way he holds his hands to his head in an effort to keep his brain from exploding. He has much practice at this. The feared aforementioned explosive head syndrome is a concerned side effect of participating in a conversation with the BestFriend and I. So sometimes he holds his head to prevent said syndrome.

What you don't see in this picture is the BestFriend EATING MY LAST CINNAMON ROLL. Whatever. Bitch. But I'm sure I ate some cheese and bacon shortly after putting the camera down to soothe my pain.

Bad mary! Bad! BAD!

Don't go away! Come back - come BACK!

I didn't mean to neglect all of you Blogowers (Blog+Followers=Blogowers...aren't I creative and charming?! See! I can make up Blog vocabulary TOO. Or...Blogulary. Ha!).

So my last brain dump was on the 12th. Which was like forever ago. I am such a failure.

I've let you all down.

Clearly my lack of dedication and commitment to boring you on a fairly regular basis deserves nothing but abandonment and disregard.

But I deserve a second chance! Please! Don't go! Stay, read, roll your eyes, groan! I promise I have more stuff coming. I'm crafting witty, charming, and mildly captivating stories as we speak.
At least I'd like to THINK I am capable of writing anything that can be even remotely described as "witty", "charming", or "mildly captivating".

And who knows. Maybe if I stop writing this groveling little plea I can get back to my REAL stories and post something later today.


Just DON'T go away.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Animal House, Installment III

Took me long enough to get around to writing the final chapter didn't it.

Whatever. I claim artistic license.

Last we left off with the threesome (review here), the two cats were ignoring the evil red-eyed cat-eating alien (aka the bunny) because meowing through the bedroom door at us at 3am is much more exciting.

Thank God it was Friday because that meant we wouldn't be home all weekend to listen to their meowing through the door.

And apparently there ARE small miracles in life because by the time we returned on Sunday they had forgotten ALL about the magical place that is the bedroom with all it's fresh tuna and endless supply of catnip and sisal furniture.

And they forgot that the bunny is an evil red-eyed cat-eating alien apparently too:

One big happy family.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Where did all the good ones go?

As we have already discussed, moving offices brings about change. There's the different surroundings, the new commute, serene blue stripes, different places to eat. But what I did not touch upon was my change in gym.

Because who the hell cares?

So I have to go to a different Gold's gym now on my lunchbreak. Whoop. De. Do.

Well now I have a story to tell about it.

So now you're going to care. That's how this works.

It was just an average day on Friday. I made my way over to my new Gold's at lunchtime like usual. I pull my car into a spot and out of the corner of my eye I see some guy walking by. I think nothing of it. I open my door and I hear him say something. Confused that he's talking to me because I do not KNOW him I make the mistake of looking right AT him.

For those of you who may not understand why this was a mistake...making eye contact with random people in a Gold's gym parking lot is a BAD thing. There are weird freaks that workout there. To elaborate, Gold's is a non-family gym. It's where a lot of serious weight lifters work out. These are the actual reasons why I go there - no kids running around and if by some chance I want assistance with weights there is usually someone big and strong and more than happy to help. But it also means there are CRAZIES there. The ones that are break-out dancing in the middle of the gym floor to their headphones. The nutjobs that wear black-out liner under their eyes (a-la football linebacker) when there isn't a blazing sun in sight (oddly enough there is a roof and walls on the building to fix that problem). There are the cornrows, the guys wearing matching outfits, and the thong bathing suits worn on the outside of the spandex shorts. On men.

And occasionally there are the muscle heads who's muscles squeak when they move and like to sit in front of a mirror (in PLAIN sight of everyone) just flexing their muscles. Over and over. and over.

Flex (Squeak!)

...fleeeeeex (sqeeeeeeak!)

So I usually avoid the eyeball locking in the parking lot - a common location for weird things to happen.

But I did by accident. If was Friday ok? I was in a good mood. Off my game. Let my guard down.

And because I made eye contact with this guy he repeated his question which apparently really was intended for me.

RandomGuy: I've never seen you here before - do you normally workout here?

He walks closer and I quickly note that he's one of THOSE guys. The kind that can't stand still for more than 2 seconds.

Me: Uhhhh, not usually - my office just moved so now this is my local gym.

This is suspiciously heading in the "I'm a trainer here and would like to give you my card" direction.

Shifty McShifterson (formally RandomGuy): Ah! So you work here now!

So he thinks I work AT the gym now?

Me: Uhhhhh, no...I work nearby...

Shifty (clearly not listening): What's your name?

Me (hesitantly): Mary

Shifty: Hi Mary, I'm Andre!

Insert sales pitch here.

Shifty: Wow, you're really cute! Can I get your phone number? Would you like to go to dinner with me sometime?

1. He wastes NO time
2. Totally did NOT see this coming.
3. Mental note: absolutely under no circumstances make eye contact in gym parking lot again. Must work on aloof, autistic-esque, introverted toe-staring at all times.

Me: Um, yeeeeeeeeaaaaa - I'm married. But thanks anyway.

Must get away!

Shifty: You're married?

Like he's going to talk me out of it?

Me: Yea.

Can this be over now?

Shifty: Aw man! See what's up with that? All the good ones are taken! How's a guy like me supposed to find a good one if all of 'em are taken!?

Ok, first of all - you have determined I'm one of the "good" ones by finding out that I work in the area and my name is mary? Secondly...

what does that make YOU Mr. Shifty?

Me: Yea, good luck with that.

And I walk away - staring at my toes.

A real charmer that one was. Wonder why he has problems with the ladies.

On a side note.

Do any of you subscribe to the theory that if you step onto the scale slowly that maybe you'll get a lower number? Like maybe if you do it slowly it won't notice you got on? Or if you get on it too fast and abrupt that you'll send it sailing WAY past your true weight and the needle will get stuck - giving you some horrible answer?

Because I totally do.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bacon, Biscuits, Wine, and Fontina - the 4 Food Groups

Let me take you back a few weeks to that wedding I blogged about. Yes, the one where we acted moronically about some cookies. The lunacy failed to end there. I meant to draw up the 2nd installment of this story sooner rather than later while I still had the momentum. But you know, life happens, offices move, we avoid knitting projects whilst drinking wine and trying to ignore weird cookie obsessions.

Here we go...on to the 2nd installment. Maybe. Wish me luck.

After making well-rounded fools of ourselves at the charming B&B the three of us wandered on to the next event of the evening - a beach bonfire. Nothing to report here. We sat, we drank, we avoided getting caught on fire, we made our way back to the house we were staying at. Bottom line: we behaved ourselves which means no fodder for my blog.

But do not distress!

Upon returning home we had discovered that it was not only early, but the fingerfood we had snacked on at the post rehearsal dinner was not going to cut it. Not only that, but we had no food (of the junk variety) or drinks (wine) to keep us through the weekend. Clearly a trip to the grocery store was in order.

It didn't take long to find a foodstore of suitable size and before long the BestFriend and I were strolling up and down the aisles with a cart, the Husband off in some other area searching out cookies. Ok, to be more specific, it was the aisle that contains the wine that we strolled. Three bottles of wine in the cart, we moved on to the refrigerator section in search of bacon.

Wine? Check.

By this point it had already been decided that we would need to have bacon as a snack once we returned home. Mostly because the BestFriend and I had determined on a previous weekend that if you bake bacon in the oven on a broiling pan you get the most perfectly crisp, scrumptiously nummy yummy bacon. Seriously. Never going back to pan frying.

Bacon? Check.

After acquiring the bacon, the Husband returned from his trip searching for cookies. After dumping two bags in the cart he grabs some Cinnamon Rolls of the you-bake-it variety. Which drew my attention to biscuits which sat innocently nearby.

Me (to anyone who cared): You know what goes tasty with bacon?
BestFriend: No, what?
Me: Biscuits. I think we need biscuits.
BestFriend: Oh totally.
Biscuits? Check.

Next thing we absolutely needed was Fontina cheese. Don't ask me why - it's just the best damn cheese ever. If there was ever a cheese I was going to just sit around and snack on, that would be it. Given that BestFriend is in total agreement with me on this opinion we headed over to the cheese section - picking up some orange juice and crackers on the way. Naturally.

Fontina Cheese? Check.

Our cart full of sundries that would make any stoner rouse from their daze, we made our way to the check-out and headed home.

Where we drank wine, ate biscuits, cinnamon rolls, fontina cheese and crackers. And yes, we ate it all. Well only half the package of bacon.

But let me caution you, whenever eating around the BestFriend, be careful to guard whatever it is you're nibbling on. If you eat too slowly she'll wait until you're not paying attention - which at this point in time when the story is being told is like, all the time, because by now I had consumed approximately 1 margarita, 1 beer, and 4 glasses of wine. And then she'll steal your last cinnamon roll. And stuff the whole damn thing in her mouth before you can stop it.
And then smile for the camera.

(click to enlarge so you can read my chicken-scratch comments)


But at the time I was unphased. I had more bacon to munch on and the attention-span of a knat given my buzzed state.


And that was our way of fulfilling the four food groups.

I kid you not - we are full-fledged adults. We have jobs, pay taxes, own property, and flounder around with responsibilities like the rest of you.

Go figure.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Moving Offices: Sucky and Simultaneously Cool

So moving my office from the hot, dry, boring underbelly of the Bay Area (aka South San Jose) to the more trendy, charming, and uber hoity-toity town of Los Gatos has been energy-sapping and creativity-stifling. But not without it's disadvantages in the long run. Sure I've been running around like a mad woman for the past week, covered in dust, trying to make sense of all the boxes. But now I have 16 more square feet! Yes! I now have an 8x8 cube rather than the 8x6 I had before. A cube I couldn't roll my chair around in without either hitting a wall or rolling out the door. And you're probably thinking how sad and miniscule 16 sqft is. Well you try increasing your working space by a third and then tell me about it.

Ok fine, it's still pathetic. What do you want? I work in a cube. I have low expectations and am easily charmed.

That and I have a cool blue stripe on my wall that is both calming and serene.

So here I am in my new 33% larger cube, unpacked, feeling serene, and I realize I haven't blogged in, like, 5 months. My fanclub (of maybe one person) must be feeling horribly deprived. (love you mom).

Did I mention I am now in hoity-toityland? Oh it is so nice. There are actual places to EAT here! Yes! I am no longer forced to choose between BoringChainRestaurant #1 and BoringChainRestaurant #2. There are cutsy little "cafes" and "deli's"! And everywhere around me are huge beautiful homes to remind me of just exactly what I will never afford for as long as I shall choose to remain here!

It's fab!

Word on the knitting front: uhhhhhhhhhh...

Let's change the subject.

Ok, ok. I'll admit it. I haven't been working as diligently as I once was on the afghan project. And if by "working as diligently" means "not at all", then I am being nothing but honest with you.

And, oh for shame! I cannot lie to you - my adoring Blogowers - I went to a JoAnn Fabric yesterday and bought yarn.

Yes! I bought yarn. Yarn that has nothing to do with UnFinishedAfghan #1 NOR UnFinishedAfghan #2. Did I not mention there is an UnFinishedAfghan #2? My bad. There is.

Oh the foolishness of it all.

So now I'm sinking into that pit. You know the one.

THAT pit.

The one where you start in on a new hobby and then start shopping for it even though you don't particularly NEED anything for it. And then you become a COLLECTOR of the hobby materials. You may not even actually partake in the hobby anymore - but you still BUY things for it. It's like you think that tomorrow, when you have a free moment, you are TOTALLY going to work on it. And these new materials? Absolutely needed.

There we were at the new ginormous JoAnn's near our house, buying fabric for yet ANOTHER project. (One we might actually stand a chance to finish - but totally on another topic irrelevant to my blathering-on here). And I think to myself:

Me: Look at ALL the knitting stuff they have here!

Goodie-goodie side of the brain: you don't NEED any knitting supplies - you have all you need to work on your current projects

Me: who the fuck cares - let's go touch the yarn!

And it was then that I made the mistake. I wandered over into the knitting section with no boundaries for myself in place and there was the most softest, plush looking yarn I have ever seen.

And it was on sale.

For those of you who are fellow pitt-dwellers you know of the dangerous waters I am treading at this point.

Me: ooooooooohhhhhhh, what do we have here? It's so soft, and so cheap, and gosh-darn it I must have it for a scarf that I need to knit for no particular reason other than to just knit one.

Goodie-goodie side of the brain: seriously, just back away - the yarn is not needed! We have other projects to finish for no particular reason other than to be obsessive-compulsive.

Me: oh whatever. Why do I even talk to you?

And I took the soft, nubbly, on-sale yarn and bought it!

And now it's sitting in my craft room. Amongst all my other hobby-affiliated items. And at this point I'm still convinced I'm going to use it and it will be the most soft, wonderful, cute scarf I have ever knit. Because I have never actually knit a scarf.

Anyone wanna take bets on whether I'll actually use it?