Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just Call Me Ms. Goodwrench

I was at Wal-Mart yesterday.  I feel that in the past I have been fairly critical of Wal-Mart for being such a miserable place to shop.  The lines were always 15 people deep, two-thrirds of the checkout lanes were inactive, the aisles were messy with nothing residing exactly where it was supposed to be, and it often smelled of humanity (liquid, solid, or gas depending on the day and aisle).  In the interest of fairness, I should say that my local Wal-Mart seems to have gone through an overhaul and the last few times I've been there it's been a much more efficient and less sketchy experience.  So, good job to you, North Attleboro Wal-mart.

As I left Wal-Mart and crossed the parking lot to my car I heard someone say "Excuse me!  Can you please help me?"  I looked around and saw a woman standing in front of a large pickup truck with its hood raised.  It seemed as though she was talking to me so I put my stuff in my car and walked over to her.  As I approached, I asked if her truck battery was dead.  She gave me an odd look and then told me that, no, her issue was that when she tried to remove the oil fill cap she came away with the entire oil fill tube instead.  After some discussion I concluded that when her son had last changed her oil, when he screwed the oil fill cap back onto the tube he misthreaded it and tightened it to the point where it was essentially frozen in place.  So, when she went to unscrew it to add some more oil the cap was so stuck that the twisting motion released the entire tube from the engine instead.  Fortunately, I had a flashlight app on my phone (yay technology!) and about 6 additional inches in height (yay genetics!) which allowed me to examine the area closely enough to figure out how the tube needed to be held in order to get it back onto the truck.  It didn't go on perfectly but it did go back on and it was tight enough to form a seal.  I told her I thought she'd be OK to get home but she should get someone to put everything to rights as soon as she could.  She thanked me several times and gave me a couple of handwipes as my hands were black with engine oil.  I told her it was no problem, wished her luck getting home, and left.

It wasn't until I was well away that it occurred to be that there is a good chance that the reason she asked me for help in the first place is that she thought I was a man.  I think that's why she gave me a funny look the first time I spoke to her to ask if her battery was dead.  I don't care one way or another about the mistaken gender identity there - it was getting dark and I have very short hair.  Actually, I guess I should be pleased that from a distance my middle aged lady hips weren't as obvious as I think they are.  What really pleased me, aside from the fact that I think I was actually able to help her, was that it never dawned on me that I wouldn't be a perfectly reasonable person to ask for help.  It was nice to know that I didn't automatically assume that some kind of testosterone-give knowledge was required.

This is a good thing since my efforts at playing the helpless female usually end in disappointment anyway.  A few years ago, a stray cat decided that my garage would be an excellent place to shuffle off its mortal coil.  Unfortunately, thanks to warm weather and a several day stretch in which I didn't need anything from the garage the cat's mortal coil had become quite a haven for disco rice.  Rather than deal with this, I went next door and told my neighbor Jeb about it.  I was hoping that if I seemed traumatized enough he would manfully go into my garage and take care of it.  Instead he got all queasy looking and suggested calling the city animal control office.  This turned out to be excellent advice because about a half an hour later a woman from Animal Control showed up and womanfully took care of it.  My heroine!

They Work Out

I have to admit that I have bought both singles by LMFAO that have been released thus far.  I watched the video for the first, "Party Rock Anthem" and then spent quite a bit of time researching YouTube for instructional videos on "how to shuffle".  My brain now completely understands what needs to be done in order to shuffle (and to dougie, thanks to my last dance-related research) but where the spirit is willing, the flesh remains awkward.

I had seen a few people on Facebook mention the video for the next single, "Sexy And I Know It" but it took a while to get around to watching it.  I'd like to discuss the video a bit, so please check it out if you have a moment.  Don't look at it if you're at work or church, though.

OK, so now you've seen that.

My first reaction was along the lines of "Yikes!" and "I wonder how much therapy costs." upon reflection, though, I realized that they aren't doing anything in this video that women have been doing in music videos since the dawn of MTV.  In addition, lots of people make a point to spend their Super Bowl half-time watching women (sort of) play football in their underwear.  How different is that from rival underwear gangs posturing at each other at the beach?  Aside from gender, it's pretty much the same thing.

So, I'd like to know what you think:  Do you think LMFAO is just trying to be silly and a little disturbing or are they spandex-clad geniuses making a prescient statement on how numb we've become when it comes to female almost-nudity in pop culture?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peck-um, Peppers

One of the great things about teaching is that learning takes place on both sides of the (metaphorical) podium.

So.  Last week I was teaching my statistics class some probability, specifically binomial probability experiments.  Don't worry, I'm not going to explain that now.  What's important, though, is that talking about binomial probability experiments requires one to say the word "success" approximately a million times.  Make that two million because I have two sections of stats.

Here's what I learned:  It is impossible to say the word success a million times (or even twenty) without at some point butchering one's pronunciation.  Unfortunately, for me that means changing "suck-sess" into "suck-sex".  Yeah, so that happened.  A bunch of times.

Sadly, this is not my first foray into being accidentally lewd in the classroom.  When I taught math at a high school in Virginia there was a time when we were covering trigonometric problems.  The abbreviation for the secant function is "sec".  I was using the variable x to represent the angle which meant writing "sec x" on the board several times.  You can see where this is heading.  Yup, in front of a whole room of 17-year olds, I wrote the word sex on the blackboard.  I sent them further into hysterics by saying "Well, ya know, it is Friday."  What I meant was that it had been a long week and I was tired.  What they thought I meant was that Friday = Sexday.  Frickin' fricklebats.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Could Happen to Anyone

I'd like to present this conversation with as little explanation as possible and leave you to determine how it came about.

Me:  Erk!  (accompanied by a wide-eyed look of pain and surprise)

Huppy:  Did you just pinch the skin on your stomach in the hinge of your glasses.

Me:  I did.  It left a mark.

Come conclusions you may draw:  I am very, very flexible.  I have a specific unique facial expression for absolutely every situation.  One of these things is true and one is probably not true.

Situational Awareness Is For Suckers

So we're just coming off a nice three day weekend.  The weather was quite temperate and so a ton of house projects got done.  That's the good part.  The bad part is that in those three days I found three different ways to hit my head on something.  I'm pretty sure the first and the third time were on exactly the same spot.  How did I manage this?  Well, I started out with the locking mechanism from an open trunk lid on Saturday.  The next day I climbed the ladder into the attic and stood up right into a roof beam.  I wrapped up the holiday weekend by hitting my head on a shelf after plugging in some speakers below the shelf.  The lesson I'm taking from this is that it would be best if I just walked around all hunched over because floating just above me is a whole host of crap of stuff waiting to bash me in the noggin.  So, if I start acting weirder than usual I may be concussed.

A-Maia-can Horror Story

I know, it's been a while.  I have a few things saved up to share with you, though, so buckle up!

A few weeks ago we had about a week of dreary, rainy weather.  On one of these days we'd had a respite from the rain and I drove downtown to stop in at my taekwondo school to find out why Master Oh had called me on my cell phone.  I parked in the municipal parking garage behind the school.  When I pulled in I noticed that someone seemed to have parked their wheelchair next to the low wall that separates the garage area from the alley.  The wheel chair was completely draped in a thin red blanket.  If this was to hide it, I'm not sure that red was an ideal color choice, by the way.  As I was straddling the low wall (what, like I'm going to walk all the way around?) near the shrouded chair I glanced over it and saw that there was something in it.  In all the times I have parked there and gone across this wall to get to the school I have never, ever made it over that quickly.  Seriously, if it was a pommel horse I would be sporting a medal right now.  Whatever or whoever (whomever?) was under there was not visible aside from tenting up the blanket in a few odd spot.  It seem to me that there was a smallish person under there taking a nap with their arm up over their head.  On my way back to the car I gave it a wider birth and kept me eyes locked on it the whole time.  No movement.  I sped home.  A hour or so later when Huppy called to say she was on her way home I a) told her about the freaky deaky wheelchair red (blood red!!!) blanket ghoul in the parking garage behind the school and b) made her promise to drive by and see if it was still there.  It was and she was equally creeped out.

I spent the next day thinking about what was obviously either a troll who lost his bridge and hides under this red (blood red!!!) blanket now waiting for unsuspecting people who get to close so he can snatch them and suck the marrow from their long bones OR a pile of dismembered body parts stacked on a wheelchair with a note for the police from a brilliant serial killer who wants to engage in a battle of wits.  That evening, I told Huppy that we were going to drive back there and see if it's still there.  AND IT WAS.  This time I took pictures:

At the time that I took these it had been raining again all day.  As a result, a few things became clear:

1.  It's not a troll in a wheelchair.
2.  It's not a pile of body parts in a wheelchair.
3.  It's not, in fact, a wheel chair.
4.  It is probably someone's bicycle and cart.

Or is it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yay! These Pictures Are Gre-...Oh.

At the beginning of May I participated in my first half marathon.  I think I blogged about it already so I won't rehash.

For some reason the company that was contracted to do race photography is based in Germany.  Normally this would be no big deal because I never, ever feel the need to order race pictures.  I have yet to take one where I don't look like I'm having some kind of episode.  In none of my pictures do I look like I'm having fun or even running, for that matter.  I swear I'm doing both.  One time I started running in an exaggerated fashion when I saw the photographer in the hopes that overemphasizing the movements they would show up on camera.  That experiment yielded a series pictures that make me look less like I'm running and more like I'm doing an impromptu roadside audition for Westside story.

So, no spending my money on race pictures for me.  Until now.  I decided that for my first half marathon I really needed to get a picture because it felt like kind of an accomplishment.  Luckily for me, there was a photographer at the finish line getting pictures of people holding their medals.  Perfect!  A race picture where I don't have to be running!  I ordered it and one other one that was only bad but nor outright horrible.

The race photographer's website was very, very slow.  After a million years of trying to look at pictures that would or would not expand from thumbnail I picked the two that I mentioned earlier.  Since the company is in Europe I got hit with an additional fee by my bank.  Thanks bank!  Then the waiting began.  It took about a month but they finally arrived this week.

Here's the one that I was so pleased to order:

I was pretty happy with this one until I looked at it closely.  See it?  Allow me to zoom for you:

I can't decide whether this makes this picture more awesome or less awesome.  On the one hand, look how tough I am!  On the other hand, that is a Buzz Lightyear band-aid.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Leaving My Mark

This morning Huppy and I ran a 10K that started and ended at Gillette Stadium.  For my non-local friends, this is the place where the professional football team the New England Patriots plays.  Actually, I guess I should say this is the place where the major league soccer team the New England Revolution plays because that's who uses the place in July.  Anyway, it was very warm.  VERY warm.  I did not finish in a time faster than my first 10K in February which was disappointing.  But that's OK because it was really, really warm.  Did I mention the heat yet?  It was hot out.

Anyway, after finishing up we decided we needed food and drink.  Gillette has a big shopping complex attached to it and we decided to stay there since we were disgustingly sweaty but there we were among thousands of disgustingly sweaty people milling around.  

So, we squelched into the Olive Garden.  (Side note:  I actually ate some salad).  While we were eating, I joked about how I hoped we didn't leave sweaty butt prints on the booth when we left because that would be a super gross thing to do.  The booth seats were vinyl, though, so when we left after our meal no visible butt sweat was seen.  

Unfortunately, the seat backs at this Olive Garden are cloth.  Yup, when we got up there were big wet marks from our backs.  For the record, the mark I left was bigger which I think makes me the grosser of the two of us.  

So, I'd like to apologize to the Olive Garden at Patriot Place and whoever was seated at that booth after us.  I am usually much, much better at keeping my bodily fluid expulsion restricted to the appropriate times and places.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

I'll just prep you right now:  this one might not be all that funny.

Today is June 15th.  On June 15th, 1985 I was talking on the phone with my bestie (we didn't have that word then, though) Amy when the operator interrupted the phone call.  I know, that only happens in movies!  Well, it happened to me in real life, I swear.  The operator interrupted my call with Amy to patch in my mother who had left the house with Pop (my dad) a while ago.  Pop had mowed the lawn earlier and wasn't feeling too well so she insisted that he go see a doctor this time instead of chalking it up to indigestion/gas/pickled pigs feet.  They were about halfway to Peoria (where the ER's are) when Pop died of a massive heart attack at 43 years old.  I was 13 and my sister was 8.

Clearly this was what in my Intro to Psych class at ICC "a significant emotional event".  The effects of it on me then and the adult that I have become are big enough even I can see them.  I'm not sure what kind of teenager I would have been but the timing of this event (the summer before I started high school) probably helped me stay on the straight and narrow.  It was a sad summer, obviously, and it became very important to me to not do anything that would make my mom cry ever again.  I had seen that enough and it was awful.  So, I came home when I said I would, called when I'd be late, didn't drink, and didn't cut classes. I'd like to say that I also got excellent grades but, hey, a leopard can't change its spots.  I'm sure I got in trouble for things but for the most part I tried to not be a problem.

I remember seeing Mr. G , my grade school principal right after it happened.  He gave me his condolences and was asking after my mom and sister.  I distinctly remember telling him that I wasn't sure of I was going to be able to stay in high school because I might have to drop out and get a job to help support the family.  Yes, I know that is crazy melodramatic and probably something that would only have been necessary had we been living in the Little House on the Prairie but I honestly though that it was a possibility.  Mr G said that it probably wouldn't be necessary and that mom was was a resourceful woman.

In addition to not wanting to make anyone sad, Pop's death also made me less likely to indulge in those risky, stupid behaviors of which young people are so fond (drugs, drinking, reckless driving) for the simple reason that I, unlike many of my peers, suddenly believed in my own mortality.  Death happened and it could happen to me sooner than I'd like if I temped fate.

Pop's death also meant that mowing the yard was now my responsibility.  Unlike many kids, I was not handed a lawnmower by a relieved dad the instant I was strong enough to push it.  Noooo.  Caretaking of the lawn was serious business and was not for the less-than-committed.  Pop mowed the yard in different patterns each time in order to...I'm not sure why but I know there was a reason.  As a result of this lawnmowing as rite of passage experience I think cutting the grass is great.  I love it to this day.  It's a great time to be alone with your thoughts (although, aren't we always?) and still accomplish something tangible.  I wonder if Pop felt the same way and that's why he wouldn't let me cut the grass and not because I wouldn't remember to mow on a diagonal that week.  (Side note:  We custom ordered his grave marker to have a lawnmower on it.)

While Pop's death made a lasting impression on me (and my mom and sister obviously but it's not my place to talk about their experiences) his life did as well.  Since I can't make new memories of him I have to hang on to the ones I have.  Pop was my mom's second husband and not my biological father.  The way I see it, that's even better because Pop chose to be my father.  This is also why I called him Pop and not Dad - Dad was already taken.  It is my impression that my biological father washed his hands of me when I was 4 or 5 and my mother was granted sole custody of me so Pop is pretty much the only father-type that I remember.

When Pop was born his right arm stopped just past the elbow.  Obviously, this made him left-handed (there's a joke there, I just know it).  Since he was the one to teach me how to play softball, I am a righty that bats and golfs as a lefty.  He taught me how to pitch in our backyard.  Most of the time he pitched it to me at a reasonable speed but every once in a while he's tell me to move and he'd wind of and whip it at the wooden wall of the garage.  It would hit with a huge BOOM and I would get a thrill of terror imagining trying to catch it.  When you only have one full arm, that arm is pretty strong!

The shorter arm had its uses as well.  Because it ended in a rounded stump maybe 4 inches below the elbow it had the shape of a potato on a swivel.  That doesn't sound very flattering but it's the best I can do.  That short arm was MURDER when it came to tickling.  You know how when you were a kid and someone would tickle you and you would laugh and laugh but eventually it wouldn't tickle as much because the tickler would be digging in to hard with their fingers because of your squirming?  Not this arm.  It had no fingers so it never stopped tickling and because it was all swivelly you couldn't block it.  It was brutal.  It's possible that instead of a birth defect this was a new step in evolution.  Just sayin'.

Don't get me wrong, Pop had his less than stellar moments as well.  The man could not stand in a line.  He would get incredibly crabby and start swearing.  We all went to FL to visit my uncle when I was a kid and we actually drove past Disney but didn't go in because there was no way in hell Pop would have made it more than 10 minutes in one of those lines without losing it completely.  Imagine being, say, 11 and driving from IL to FL and being taken within sight of Disney and not going in.  I know, right?  I still haven't been there and I think I might be the only one (well, other than my sister).

As an adult, I think he probably reacted to feelings of anxiety with profanity.  Most of the times when he cussed me out it was because I had scared him somehow.  I remember playing on my swingset shortly after a growth spurt and not realizing that I was about a half inch away from breaking my neck on the ground as I did summersaults on the part of the swingset shaped like an A.  He saw me from the house and ran outside to tell me to use my head for something other than a hat rack.   I was a literal child and this was waaaay to non-specific for me to get his meaning so I confusedly told him that I wasn't even wearing a hat.  He interpreted this as sass and I probably ended up grounded and still confused about what hats had to do with anything.

Another time I had some stitches on my upper leg (butt cheek, whatever) from a mole removal and the stitches popped open when I sat down to pee.  Obviously I started screaming, my little sister came to see what was what, saw me bleeding and she started crying, Pop rushed in freaked out his own damned self and started cussing me out for...not sure...having blood?  having to pee?  Finally my mom arrived on the scene and quickly realized that while I did need medical attention I was in no way, shape, or form bleeding to death, told this to my sister (who thought I might be bleeding to death), and told Pop to calm down because he wasn't helping.

While I grew up in a small town, it wasn't always idyllic:  especially for a girl who looked like a boy.  Once day I was riding my bike when a car pulled up and some older kids (old enough to have a car) started calling me names.  This was nothing new to me so I did what was sensible, I flipped them off.  They did not take kindly to this and circled the block so they could approach me from behind again and this time the passenger leaned out of the car and pushed me.  My bike hit the curb and I went flying.  I'm not sure if I landed on the curb, the street, or the sidewalk but my bike was pretty mangled and my forearm was suddenly devoid of skin.  I was only a block from home at this point and so dragging my bike I started walking (and crying, I'm sure).  The two idiots in the car came back and said they were sorry and asked if I needed a ride somewhere.  (Seriously, you just almost killed me and you think I'm going get in a car with you?)  I told them no.  I probably did not say no thank you but manners be damned.  They drove off and I made it home.  Pop was home and he flipped right the hell out.  He bandaged me up, put me, my bike, and a baseball bat in the van, and then we drove around town so I could tell him if I saw the "sonsofbitches" that did this to me.  I was young but smart enough to a) know not to tell him if I saw the car and b) know not to tell him that I knew who they were and did not need to look for their car.  That would not have ended well for anyone.

I'm not bringing all if this up in an effort to garner sympathy.  It was 26 years ago and the 13 year old with the interrupted phone call is a distant memory.  The reason I bring it up is this:  it might have been prevented.  In the immediate, it might have been better if he didn't insist on taking a shower before heading to the hospital.  But maybe not.  At the very least it might have meant that he died in a hospital and not in the van that I was convinced at 13 would be mine when I turned 16 (It had shag carpeting!).  Instead that van was sold to Mr. Crank of Crank's Roto Rooter and that probably means it lost it's shag carpeting.  More long range, though, Pop's father died of a heart attack at approximately the same age.  Pop got indigestion a lot but then he also ate strange things (pickled pig's feet).  He smoked.  He probably had high blood pressure.  I doubt he went to the doctor all that often (if ever).  Maybe his heart was bad and he wouldn't have gotten old but I am sure that with some care he would have made it out of his 40's (a decade that I am entering).  He probably knew on some level that he wasn't well but going to a doctor would take that from feeling into certainty and that's scary as hell.  It might have meant being told to change his habits.  Pop (and many of his siblings and my sister) was not a fan of being told what to do.  Some might say that he lived on his own terms and I suppose you can look at it that way.  However, I think if he'd really thought about what it would meant to his family and friends for him to cut out early he might have made a few changes.  Maybe not.  So I guess my real point is this:  rather than make up once new excuse after another to explain away why you feel like crap, be proactive.  You'll either be told that you're fine and having nothing to worry about or you might be given an opportunity to fix something before it becomes a real issue.  Wouldn't it be nice to know 26 years from now that your kids are plotting what kind of goofy thing to get you for Father's Day instead of writing a blog post about how it shouldn't have been 26 years since you last cussed them out?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is This Weird?

Sometimes when I'm driving by myself in my car I, like most people, sing along to the radio.  What I also like to do is say the lyrics in a speaking voice and try to make it sounds like lines in a movie.  This doesn't work on all songs, of course.  Some lyrics are just too stupid to say.  One of my favorites is "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits.  Try it:

That ain't workin', that's the way you do it.
Play your gee-tar on the MTV.

That ain't workin' - that's the way you do it.
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free.

I like to create different characters and moods and make the words fit.  So...that's not weird, right?  If it is, I'm going to blame all those drama classes in high school.

Running Update

So I posted on February 28th that I was planning on running a half marathon.  I resisted saying anything prior to that because I didn't to jinx myself.  The universe has quiiiite a sense of humor, it seems.  The very next time I ran after going public with my plans I noticed a little tightness in one ankle.  I didn't think much of it but I did cut the run short at 3 miles.  After a few days of increasing discomfort, I decided to see a medical professional.  I was really rooting for a nice prescription, maybe some therapeutic massage.  I could totally get better if I had some therapeutic massage and pills that make me feel like I'm floating, I;m sure of it.  What I got instead was a diagnosis of a fibular stress fracture, a clumpy aircast boot, and no massage.

So.  This is my new announcement:  I do not want to be saddled with an iPad2.  They look hella stupid and not fun at all.  Also, m&m's are yucky and I hope I don't have any soon.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Maia Don't Be A Hero

Last November I decided to sign up for a half marathon.  I have two motivations for doing so:

1.  I wanted a fitness goal that I had a decent chance of not achieving without putting in a lot of work.  This is because in the last few years I've discovered that I can pretty much do very little training and still improve my times for the sprint triathlons I have been doing.  Make no mistake - I am not bragging here.  My triathlon times are extremely slow, they're just slightly less slow than they were before.  I have honestly been passed by people who are walking when I am running.  So, I figured I'd work on running because I suck at it the most.

2.  I exercise:  I take taekwondo, I work out once a week with a trainer, and I go to the gym.  I also try to watch what I eat.  I log what I eat and my trainer and a dietician at the local hospital have both come to the conclusion that my biggest problem is that I don't eat enough most of the time.  Nevertheless, I have gained weight steadily for the last several years.  Thus, I decided to try to literally run my ass off.

So far, running is working.  I am able to run a lot farther than when I started and I've lost almost 25 pounds since November.  There's plenty left to go but Huppy (she's trying to run her ass off too) and I decided that when we both had lost 20 pounds we'd book massages at a local spa.  Sadly, we both hit that benchmark in early February which meant every masseuse with a job was booked solid for a week on either side of Valentine's Day.

Today was the day!  Recall one of my previous trips to the spa involved a masseuse that accidentally cut the fromage while she was working on me.  Nothing like that happened this time, thankfully.  What did happen, though, was this:

My advice to you, Gentle Reader, is that when they tell you to let them know if the stones under your back are too warm and they are you should really just say something.  I can confirm that they do not have a special medal that they give out to those of us who are so very tough that we would rather get first degree burns than speak up.  But if there was a medal, I'd totally have gotten it.

On the upside, it looks kind of like a bunny.  Easter is just around the corner.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Sins of the Mothers

I won't even begin to explain why it's been so long since I posted.  Not because there is a long, convoluted explanation, but because I am a lazy sack.


My mom is visiting for a couple of weeks.  Let me tell you about my mom.  She was born in Norway and moved here when she was 11, got sent back to Norway to live with her sister as a teen (I suspect discipline problems), and moved back here again a few years later.  Much of what she's accomplished, she's done on her own so I know she's functional.  She's had a career, bought and sold a few houses, raised two kids, and after she retired she became and EMT and a lab tech.  But.  She also has a tendency to end up in the restaurant kitchen when she means to go into the restroom (it's happened more than once), she once drove us through two or three darker than the darkest dark thing mountain tunnels with no lights because (we found out later) she thought the defroster button was the headlight switch, and she hit herself in the head with a hammer so hard that she had to call an ambulance for herself.  Another thing she does is mixes her idioms.  Some examples:  "I know you like a glove." and "She's a real piece of cake."  She claims that it's because English is not her first language but I'm somewhat skeptical since English has been her daily language for, oh, 50 years or so.

Anyone who has met my mom makes a comment about how similar we are.  That's fine since so far I've never gotten lost on my way to the bathroom I figure I must have inherited some of her other qualities instead.  Yeah.

Today I had to make some phone calls to track down a pond warmer because, as I told the person on the other end in all seriousness, my old pond warmer "kicked the dust".  Noooooooooooo!