Friday, December 28, 2007

Open Letter

To That Person:

Do you ever get tired of making the same derogatory comments every. single. time.?? Doesn't it ever get old?

Do you think you are changing opinions? Do you think it's going to make a hill of beans of difference?

Try just saying it without inserting your opinion just once. We all know where you stand. Good grief, you've hit us over the head for years with it. We get it. Truly. We mostly get that you are a colossol bore, but that's really not the point. The point is that your incessent put downs have made your good points invisible. You have good information. If you could manage to say it without the insults you wouldn't be dismissed as a crackpot.

We get it. We understand your point of view. But like most blowhards, you are more bluster than substance. I'm sure you don't want to be seen as a blowhard.... but you are. You sound like the teacher from The Peanuts specials.... wah, wah, wah wah wah.

You should go out to lunch with that Other Person. She's an expert too. You know this. We all do. Because she tells us every. time. she speaks. She'd probably annoy the daylights out of you too. But maybe the two of you can solve the world's problems. At the very least, you won't be annoying the rest of us while y'all are at lunch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


This was originally posted on ScrapShare. At the time, this was a testy conversation. After I wrote it out, it was funny. When I read it to Norm, he laughed and laughed. Neither one of us thought it was at. all. funny at the time. Not one bit..... So that business about "we'll look back on this and laugh"? 'Tis true.

I kept talking to the Mr. about Stacy Peterson. He was talking about it back with me. I thought we were having a conversation. (I am often mistaken on this point.)

One day I said something along the lines of "cause he's a cop".

Who's a cop?

Drew Peterson.

Who's Drew Peterson?

Uh.... Stacy Peterson's husband.

Who's that?

Stacy Peterson. REMEMBER? She was a customer of someone from SS....? Any of this familiar?

I remember that conversation. But what does that have to do with Stacy Peterson?

(and people wonder why my head hurts all the time.....)

Stacy Peterson is the customer of someone on SS and now she's missing and her cop husband, Drew, is Suspect Number One.

Yes. I. remember. the. conversation. But what does that have to do with Stacy Peterson??

I'm out of English words to explain this anymore.


Oh. STACY Peterson.

I thought you were talking about Laci Peterson.

She's not missing.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


We like to get dressed up. Tux. Formal. The whole nine yards. Our only regret is we don't get to do it more often. We look forward to the Scott's annual Christmas party so we can put on the Really Grown Up Clothes (the food and company is all top notch too!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So Emma has a blog......

One day, probably about five years ago or so, she lets out this heavy sigh and says:

It's hard to be me!

I stifled the big "BWAHAHAHA!" that wanted to burst forth and managed to say "Why is that Em?". I had my theories, but I thought it would be worthy to hear her say it.

I have SO many wonders in my head!!

It struck me that she does indeed have many wonders in her head. Not a day passes that she doesn't say "I wonder....". These are not generally Googlable wonders. We cannot research them and come up with a precise answer. They are wonders such as:

I wonder who decided to call it "grass" and not something else like "carrots".

I wonder who chose the word "pink" for that color.

They make my head hurt, these wonders.....

So now, she has a blog of her very own to document her multitude of wonders.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Crack me up.... but not surprised.....

Orange County

You're rich, pretty, and living a charmed life. (Or you seriously wish you were.)
From Disneyland to Laguna Beach, you're all about living the California dream life.
Just make sure to marry rich - so you don't have to work for it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No surprises here....

Brain Type Test - Free Results

Are You Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

Although one side of the brain is generally dominant over the other, we should strive to utilize both halves. A balanced brain makes a balanced person - combining sequential thinking with a holistic approach, or linear thinking with intuition, enables us to fully comprehend issues and solve problems. Left-brainers can dramatically improve their problem solving abilities by learning to "follow their gut," while right-brainers can improve the execution of their creative efforts.

Realizing your dominant half is the first step in becoming balance-brained.

Your percentage score for the left brain is 55%.
Your percentage score for the right brain is 45%.

You are more left-brained than right-brained. Your left brain controls the right side of your body. In addition to being known as left-brained, you are also known as a critical thinker who uses logic and sense to collect information. You are able to retain this information through the use of numbers, words, and symbols. You usually only see parts of the "whole" picture, but this is what guides you step-by-step in a logical manner to your conclusion. Concise words, numerical and written formulas and technological systems are often forms of expression for you. Some occupations usually held by a left-brained person include a lab scientist, banker, judge, lawyer, mathematician, librarian, and skating judge.

Your left brain/right brain percentage was calculated by combining the individual scores of each half's sub-categories. They are as follows:

Left Brain

  • Linear
  • Sequential
  • Symbolic
  • Logical
  • Verbal
  • Reality-based

Right Brain

  • Holistic
  • Random
  • Concrete
  • Intuitive
  • Nonverbal
  • Fantasy-oriented

I just have to wonder if I need any special expertise to be a "skating judge".... ya know?

Have You Seen Her?

(I think that's a registered trademark or something, but I don't know how to get that "R" in a circle thingy....)

Today, the WNBA announced an expansion team in Atlanta. This brings the total WNBA teams to 14.

Everything that annoys you about professional sports? The egotistical players, the high salaries... all that? It's not there in the WNBA. Salary parity is a long way off... these women play as hard (and it is a physical game) and do so year round (playing in Europe in the off season). But it means tickets are affordable and you can take the whole family.

We are season ticket holders for the Sacramento Monarchs and win or lose, we have enjoyed every game. We can take our girls and while they still aren't big basketball fans, they are Monarchs fans.

If you live in the Atlanta area.... get your First Season Season Tickets. No. It isn't the same as the NBA. In some's better.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blogthings Day

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.
If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.
As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.
And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.

Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 52%

You are well on your way to becoming a movie buff.
You've seen many of the great films, and you have even probably developed an expertise in a few genres.

You Are 80% "Average American"

You are average because you live within three miles of McDonalds.

You are not average since you have (at least) a college degree.

You Are 5: The Investigator

You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.
You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.
You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.

At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.

At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.

Your Fixation: Greed

Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent

Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed

Other Number 5's: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

For Thought

This photo album was found by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. Here is the press release regarding the album, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today unveiled an important new addition to its collection—a personal photo album containing 116 pictures taken between May and December 1944 chronicling the life of SS officers and other officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The rare images capture SS guards and Nazi officials relaxing and enjoying time off—hunting, singing, trimming Christmas trees, and more—all while Jews were being murdered at rates as fast as anytime during the Holocaust. The album was created and owned by Karl Höcker, an adjunct to camp Kommandant Richard Baer.

“It’s hard to fathom the kind of people who ran these camps and one always struggles to understand who they were and how they saw themselves,” says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “These unique photographs vividly illustrate the contented world they enjoyed while overseeing a world of unimaginable suffering. They offer an important perspective on the psychology of those perpetrating genocide.”

The 116 new images represent a significant increase in the number of known pre-liberation images of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Previously, only about 320 images existed of the camp before it was liberated by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. (This figure does not include photographs of prisoners as they were processed into the camp for forced labor.)

The album complements the only other known collection of photographs taken at Auschwitz, published as the “Auschwitz Album” in 1980. Those images specifically depict the arrival of Hungarian Jews at the camp in late May 1944, and the selection process that the SS imposed on them. Some of the images contained in the new album were taken just days later. In contrast to documenting mass murder, they focus on the daily lives and recreational pursuits of Nazi officials, and no prisoner appears in any of the images.

Images in the new album include:

  • Photographs of Dr. Josef Mengele in uniform on the camp grounds; some of the only known photographs of his tenure at Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • A funeral for Nazi officers most likely killed in the accidental December 26, 1944, American bombing of the camp
  • A sing-along featuring an accordion player and approximately 70 SS men, including Höcker; Dr. Josef Mengele; Birkenau Kommandant Josef Kramer; former Auschwitz Kommandant Rudolf Höss, who was brought back to oversee the murder of Hungarian Jews; and Otto Moll, the gas chamber supervisor at Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Höcker trimming Christmas trees in December 1944, weeks before the Red Army would overrun the camp
  • Female SS auxiliaries eating blueberries and then mockingly crying and posing with empty bowls turned upside down when they are gone
  • Numerous hunting trips and portraits of Höcker’s favorite hunting dog

Remarkably, many of the album’s pictures were taken when the camp’s gas chambers and crematoria were operating at and above capacity as Hungarian Jews were arriving and being murdered.

“The Holocaust is recent history, and much more remains to be learned,” says Teresa Swiebocka of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. “We know there are many more hidden collections like this. They need to be found and preserved to help transmit the memory of the Holocaust to future generations. Some of these new, unique images will enhance our new permanent exhibition.”

An online exhibition of the collection can be found on the Museum’s Web site at

How the Museum Received the Auschwitz SS Album

In December 2006, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and former member of the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) wrote to the Museum archives. As one of its many tasks as a military intelligence agency, the CIC conducted investigations of Nazi perpetrators for U.S. prosecutors in the Judge Advocate General’s Office after World War II. While stationed in Germany in 1946, this officer found a photograph album in an abandoned apartment in Frankfurt and took it home with him. In 2007, he donated the album to the Museum, but wanted his donation to remain anonymous.

The Fate of Karl Höcker and His Photograph Album

After the Germans evacuated Auschwitz-Birkenau in mid-January 1945, Höcker accompanied Baer to command Dora-Mittelbau. He fled that camp before it was captured by the Allies and was eventually captured by the British. Not recognizing him, the British released him in 1946 and he reentered civilian life as a banker. Not until the Eichmann trial of 1961 did anyone attempt to locate him. In 1963, he finally faced charges at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. Baer was also a defendant at the trial, but died of natural causes while in custody.

During the final year of the Holocaust, Höcker was stationed at Auschwitz I, a labor camp. Although witnesses, including other Nazi officials, testified that he would have been aware of the gassing operations and was an administrator of the killing operations at Birkenau, a few kilometers away, prosecutors could not produce a witness or any evidence directly linking him to the killings there. Höcker claimed that he was ignorant of these activities. Yet, many pictures in his photo album show him socializing with Höss, Mengele, Moll, and others intimately involved with the killing process. It strains credulity to suggest he would have been unaware of their crimes.

Höcker was sentenced to seven years in prison, but time served was deducted and he was released on parole in 1970. He returned to his banking job, and he died in 2000 at age 88 in Germany.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mrs. Hughes

This is my friend Amy's mom.

Amy is a stitch. THAT apple didn't fall far from the tree......

Mrs. Hughes.

btw.... there are other acts after her. I make no promises about THOSE.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Senior Moments

1. Who was your best friend?
2. Did you play any sports?
3. What kind of car did you drive?
1972 Blue Chevy Impala
4. It’s Friday night. Where were you?
Football game
5. Were you a party animal?
6. Were you considered a flirt?
I don't think so. Maybe....
7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir?
Yes, yes and yes.
8. Were you a nerd?
9. Were you ever suspended or expelled?
10. Can you sing the fight song?
No fight song. But I can sing the Alma Mater. Probably could play it on my flute even.
11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Then? George. Now? Mr. O'Brien.
12. What was your school mascot?
The Knight
13. Did you go to the Prom?
14. If you could go back, would you?
15. What do you remember most about graduation?
We had first graduation and it was hot.
16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day?
We didn't have Senior Skip Day. We had Senior Munches. We all skipped on an officially sanctioned day with an activity. Knotts Berry Farm and someplace else. Can't remember now.
17. Did you have a job your senior year?
Summer after I worked at Disneyland and Woodward's Ace Hardware
18. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Quad and outside the band room
19. Have you gained weight since then?
Uh.... YEA.
20. What did you do after high school?
Went to college.

Monday, July 23, 2007


The media blackout has been lifted.

All who care to read, have read.

We can discuss freely now.

We mourn the passing of.... the series. We have all enjoyed the books. We would queue up once again if another is written.

We look forward to the movies.

FYI to Warner Bros. We would gladly pay double if you doubled the length of the last movie. Make a "director's cut". Get it all in. We'll pay. We all would. We stood in line late into the night and bought over 8 million books in under 24 hours. We'd pay. Really.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Basketball Fun - Midwest Version

The children went off to Camp Aunt Sharon Part Deux.

So we decided to go to a Monarchs game. Which really isn't all that unusual for us. Except this one wasn't exactly at Arco Arena.

It was in Minneapolis. Against the Lynx.

The Target Center is the Lynx's home court. Except Prince was having a concert the next night and Friday was needed for set up. So the game was shuffled off to Williams Arena at The University of Minnesota. Which was built in 1928 before Central Air Conditioning was invented. Holy cow, it was hot.

But we had GREAT seats! We ordered "behind the Visitor's bench". This is what we got:

Most excellent position behind the bench. We talked to Koz and Krista before the game. (and fans listening at home heard there were Season Ticket holders in the arena! US!) We kept up the chatter. We cheered when everyone else was quiet. We never felt the need to cheer when everyone else did. Sometimes all you heard was the two of us. Towards the end of the game we talked a bit with Linda Frohlich and Kristin Haynie. Kristin asked us where we were from and couldn't believe it when we said "Elk Grove". Surely she was expecting something a little bit more Minnesotan.

It was a hot game. Both teams had to fight the heat. We were hot sitting. I can only imagine how it was running up and down the court.

The court is raised. We were worried someone might go flying off the edge. No one did.

Every season ticket holder should road trip. Sure... it would be easy to go to LA for a game. About as easy to go to Seattle. But going someplace unexpected like Minneapolis gives you a very different perspective. At first we were a bit disappointed that the game had been moved. But we really enjoyed how close we were to the action. Our Row C seats are going to seem like they're in the nose bleeders now!

Monarchs 85
Lynx 80

Tahoe - Summer 2007

It was almost anti-climatic.

We came down into the Tahoe basin to see clear blue water and clear blue sky.

Fire? Smoke? Not that we could see.

If you look very carefully you can see the burn area.

So we just went sailing....

Basketball Fun

So Kaitlyn went off to be a Counselor-In-Training at Camp Alive Now! and we had an extra ticket to the Monarchs game on June 23 (against the Shock). Of course Emma wanted to invite Kaelin. And of course we did. Because they are BFF's!!!!

We ate dinner at the Skyline Restaurant like we often do. We had barely sat our behinds down in our seats when Emma and Kaelin were asked to participate in the ball exchange before the game. Of COURSE they do!

Kim Smith handed a ball to Kaelin. Linda Frolich handed a ball to Emma. They were THRILLED. The balls were not autographed. I think it would be VERY COOL if the players autographed the balls before they handed them out. But they don't. Nor does getting a ball and t-shirt get you into the autograph line after the game. But Dad was the hero of the night and scored two of the coveted autograph tickets. They waited in line and got their autographs.

Two team favorites. DeMaya Walker and Yolanda Griffith were the designated autographers of the evening.

They were THRILLED!

On Thinking

I'm not naming names....

I have come under criticism for accusing people of "drinking the Kool-Aid". The criticism comes, obviously, from those who, in my estimation, are swimming in the stuff.

As I was sitting in a lovely first class seat on a flight home I mused about the concept. The origins of the phrase. Why it is used. Ultimately, I mused on why people are so willing to consume what is given to them without thinking if it is the best for them or not.

Maybe it's in religion. I can't begin to count the number of times I've been told that "the Bible does/doesn't say that". Of course it leaves me wondering what Bible those folks are reading. I find it ironic that some of the best Bible scholars I know are Atheists. They know the Bible. The strict Bible Literalists all too often (although not always) cite what they've been told from the pulpit. Their pastor knows more than they do and so they trust in what he (it's always "he") tells them. They do little if any independent study. They don't do any independent thinking on what is being preached.

Maybe it's in politics. We all know how I feel about the current administration. But it still boggles my mind that the President can loudly proclaim "Mission Accomplished" in 2003 and there are people who don't see the problem with us still being "in the mission" FOUR years later with no end in sight. How can they reconcile these two contradictory messages? Alone. Forget the rest of the bull.... He said we were done. Why are we still there? If I pose the question "was he lying then or lying now?", well... that's just unpatriotic (still) and unsupportive of the troops. But whatever is said by The Government is believed without question.

Maybe it's at work. All signs point to fiscal problems that could very well bankrupt the company. Enron is the poster child for this. Warning signs ignored. Whistleblowers punished. But I'm watching some dots being connected at a couple of different companies. (not naming names....) I see their PR problems. Do they? Maybe they do. Maybe they are ok with it. Maybe they don't. I see decisions that were bad decisions two years ago coming back to haunt them. I see daily decisions being made that portends a really expensive implosion. I also see those same people who have been told "Danger Will Robinson" feeling (and very possibly truly being) completely blindsided when it's above the fold news. No one told us. How did this happen? What went wrong?

It makes me crazy.

I have a hard time believing that I have some sort of special power to see around the corner, to connect the dots and see the Big Picture. I don't actually possess a crystal ball.

My mother never let us have Kool-Aid. Maybe that's it? I don't know. I don't actually enjoy being right. At least not all the time. If I'm right about some of the situations I see brewing, it's not going to be fun being right. It's going to be sad.

I just don't understand the unwillingness to think for oneself even when (and maybe especially when) authority speaks.

But for now... I'm just handing out the Kool-Aid.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Low Friends in High Places

Yea.... I'm not really surprised.

I don't think W would know The Right Thing if it bit him in the ass.

So OF COURSE he commutes Scooter Libby's sentence.

For the record... Not a single West Wing staffer was ever sentenced to prison in the Clinton White House.

It must be nice to be King.

Sadly, no one elected him King.

Could be argued whether or not he was elected to anything, of course.


Hopefully the Democrats don't squander this gift....

Right vs. Left

Brains. Not politics.

And I'm not even sure if it's a left/right brain thing....

Sometimes someone will say something or I will observe something and the Big Picture will be quickly clear to me. They'll draw a picture, metaphorically or allegorically, and I know what they mean.

I, generally speaking, hang out with like minded people.

Sometimes I'll encounter someone for whom that is a completely foreign concept. Not just in one instance, but repeatedly. They obviously don't see the world the same way as I do.

Today at the grocery store something similar happened. Several of us (myself, the checker and another customer) were joking around using irony and another person could not see the humor. He insisted on the literal interpretation of what we were saying. And it. was. not. funny.

I consider myself a logical, connect the dots type of person. But irony is one of my best friends. I use metaphors and allegories to explain a point. This gets me in trouble a lot.

We were not talking about that!
No....that's a metaphor. It's an EXAMPLE.
But what does it have to do with what we are talking about?
It's a metaphor for what we are talking about. It's something similar. An illustration of my point using a different set of circumstances.
I'm lost. I have no idea what you're talking about.

Irony is often mistaken for sarcasm. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about the sarcasm. But simply pointing out the irony of a situation does not sarcasm make.

It seems that one must be wired to get irony, metaphors and allegories. Some folks can't see the gaps. They can't make the leap and see the connections.

It makes conversation difficult because they are like different languages. Quite frustrating too.


Last night someone asked my 11 and 15 year old daughters if I was their sister.

They were aghast.

*I* am amused.

The Mr. is wondering if they thought he was my father....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nearly 14 Months

It's been well over a year since I wrote this blog entry about The Bird.

I remembered what I wrote several weeks ago. Several weeks ago when I realized there was no tapping/attacking at our window.

It was strange. I saw a blue bird out in the yard. But I knew it was not OUR blue bird. How can I tell that? It's a bird. It's blue. Nothing very distinctive one bird from the next....

Our pesky bird friend did not return this year.

I enjoy the peace.

I mourn his passing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Year

A year ago this next weekend, I took the photo above from Zephyr Cove on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

It breaks my heart to think of that view today.

My heart breaks for those who have lost their homes.

My heart breaks for my beloved Lake Tahoe.

Pray for the firefighters. Pray for the relief workers. Pray for those who have lost everything. Pray for the politicians who must find a way to balance the environment and the desire to rebuild. Pray for sanity in a fire protection plan for the entire Sierra.

I will try to take that photo again..... it will be years before it is the same.

Basketball and Sorority Teas; A Comparison

There are many clues that will lead you to determine whether you are at a professional basketball game or a sorority tea party.

Let us review:

There is more sweat at a basketball game. Raw, unadulterated sweat. The kind that comes from physical exertion. Not perspiration. Not a "glow". Sweat.

Ten men or women are running back and forth in a basketball game. They have a round orange ball. They throw the ball around. Sometimes they put it into a metal hoop with a net looking thing hanging down. This is called "the basket".

There is a lot of yelling at a basketball game. Lots. Not polite applause... raucous yelling and cheering.

The entire assembled body of people are likely to suddenly jump to their feet and yell in celebration or righteous indignation at a basketball game.

At a sorority tea, one might discuss one's plans for the weekend. One might discuss how events of the past week transpired. One will find friends at a sorority tea. No doubt one will love to chat and catch up with these friends at a sorority tea.

But girls.... let's pay attention. Let us distinguish between a BASKETBALL game and a SORORITY tea. And when I say "girls" I mean "you men who keep chatting like a bunch of girls at a sorority tea".

It's happened twice now. Once at the Kings vs Pacers game in March. Again tonight at the Monarchs vs. Liberty game.


Tonight's Chatty Cathy's show up AT HALFTIME and then chit chat.

There is something very very wrong with this picture. These MEN, who we can only presume paid their money (and those Kings seats were $165 per) to go to a SPORTING EVENT, are chit chatting while *I*, sports fan not so much, am trying to watch the game. Stay home and have your visit. Because us WOMEN want to watch the game. We're trying to see. We're trying to hear what that moronic call by the ref was, exactly.


I should not know about the soccer games and the marital problems and the new investments and the deals about to be made.

Good grief. The 12 year olds with us paid more attention.....

Monarchs 59
Liberty 46

Sunday, June 10, 2007


(again.... without Stacy, I'd never blog...)

ARCHAEOLOGY: the study of material remains
What's the oldest article of clothing you still wear? HA! I NOW wear a pair of capri's that have to be at least 5 years old...maybe more
What's the oldest article of clothing you won't get rid of? It isn't so much *I* won't, but my children won't. A big ol' cowl neck sweater dress circa 1982. Gen-U-Ine vintage 80's wear.
When was the house/building you live in built? 2000
What in your fridge needs to be thrown out? Most everything

BIBLIOLOGY: the study of publication
What are you reading? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. So I'm up to speed before the movie comes out.
Do you have a favorite quote? Of all time? No.
What's the most recent music you purchased? CD's of compliations of the Schoolhouse Rock music.
What book could you read again without being bored? As I was falling asleep last night I thought "I should read The Great Gatsby again..."

CARDIOLOGY: the study of the heart
How old were you the first time you fell in love? For real? Probably 20.
What charities do you have a heart for? Elk Grove Food Bank Services.
What's the best way someone can show their love for you? Do stuff for me.
Name five things you "love": THINGS? Hmmm.... I might remember to come back to this. (still got nothin'....)

PHYSIOLOGY: the study of physical function
Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right
Do you like your smile? Not especially
What's your best feature? My hair
Have you ever had anything removed from your body? The shorter list is what hasn't....
Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? Smell. I'm always the only one that "smells that".

OMNOLOGY: the study of everything
What color do you think looks best on you? Strong colors.
Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? Not that I'm aware of
What's your favorite flavor of gum? Hate. Gum.
Where's the first place you went today? The bathroom.
Do you stand or sit in the shower? Stand.

AXIOLOGY: the study of the nature of values and value judgments
Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? No.
Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? Sure.
Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? No.
What value is of utmost importance to you in a friend? Honesty
Would you accept an indecent proposal for $1,000,000? Depends. Is his name George Clooney? If so... we can talk. If not.... Is his name.... ;)

TECHNOLOGY: usage and knowledge of tools
What's the last movie you saw? Heh. Ocean's 12. RIGHT before that? Ocean's 11. Hey... Ocean's 13 is opening... gotta refresh the memory!
What's the first website you visit when you log on? ScrapShare
What's your ring tone? The stupid one that is the ONLY one available on my Razr.
Would you quit blogging for $25,000? Maybe.....
What piece of equipment do you wish you owned? Hmmmm...maybe a new MacBook Pro. Or a zippy new camera.

GENEALOGY: the study of relationships within families
Is there a specific family member you're really missing right now? No.
Who is your oldest living relative? Maybe Aunt Elsie.
Are you named after anyone? No.
Is there anyone really famous in your family tree? Yes.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Open Letter

This is an open letter to the woman in the silver Honda Civic in front of me in the drive-thru at Starbucks this morning.

First.... you cut me off. My car is bigger than yours and I would have hit you in your door. I would have won. Think about that....

Second.... if you have never used a drive-thru before, Monday morning at 7am at STARBUCKS is not the place to learn.

Third.... on Monday morning at 7am at STARBUCKS, in the drive-thru people just want their coffee. If you want breakfast, for all four people in your car.... Go. In. Side. At the VERY least, know what everyone wants and be ready to order it quickly. This is NOT the time to peruse the menu.

Lastly.... you are in the line at STARBUCKS. Wells Fargo Bank is next door and opens in 2 hours. If you NEED TO BREAK A FRICKIN' 50 dollar bill, they have some fancy schmancy new ATM's... Starbucks is not a bank. I know it's nice that they will take your credit card and I see that you used that. But asking the girl in the window to make change so you can give your kid in the backseat lunch money? Uncool. Especially since you, apparently, were particular about what kind of smaller bills, exactly, you wanted and seemed to get peevish that STARBUCKS could not provide you with exactly what you requested.

The 7 cars behind you.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Our house needs deep cleaning. Mostly it needs less junk.

We've been in the process of de-junking. Many trips to Goodwill and The Discovery Shop have been made. Many more are to come....

Part of the problem has been storage. Some things simply did not have a place to live. Example: The vacuum doesn't have a home. It just ends up where it ends up. It still doesn't... but if we had a proper linen closet, it would. Why home builders don't build proper storage, I do not know. Lots of useless attic space. Lots of vaulted ceilings. No storage.

One item that has fought me every. single. day. of my married life is the dresser that was handed down to us by my in-laws. The Mr. has always thought the bedroom and dining room sets that we were given were perfectly wonderful. Yes. I agree. They are quality Thomasville pieces. However, they are circa mid-1970's and not at all my style. Never have been.

The style.... I can live with. It isn't my style, but it's ok. Sorta. But FUNCTIONALLY the stuff reeks. The drawers are shallow and don't slide out more than a quarter of the way. Well, they will slide out half way....if you yank on them with the force of 20 elephants. I could never fit all my socks in the sock drawer. Clothes were ALWAYS piled on the top because the drawers were full and/or just a pain to use.

I got fed up the other day. We went out to RC Willey in Rocklin and bought all new bedroom furniture. We didn't find a "set" we liked....but we found parts of different sets we liked and that went together. We added a bookshelf from Target (cause Marfy made me) and kept the side table Mr. made a few years ago.

Of course...we decided to paint. Big heavy furniture had to get out of the bedroom. More big heavy furniture was coming in. Now was the time.

We had the red paint for years. It's been long discontinued. We stole it from our neighbor. They used it in their family room. I quickly chose something to go with it and we got down to business.

It was all done when the furniture arrived 6 days after purchase. Marfy approved of the painting and the furniture. We think the boys that delivered the furniture thought me -n- Marfy were gonna be sharing the new furniture. This makes us giggle.

ALL those drawers slide in and out OH so nicely. Socks? I have room to spare!

Now to get the big heavy stuff downstairs and find some kindly charitable organization to take it away.

....and to go through all the boxes and bins and whatnot and find places for the stuff I'm gonna keep. But! I keep adding to my Goodwill pile. Especially when I go through all those things that got shoved to the back of the drawers that wouldn't move.

Next room: Emma's. It was supposed to be next. She and I will start on that after school is out on Friday. Well...not ON Friday.... school's out on Friday and we'll start the following week.

But here's the result:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Some Days

Some days I'm smarter than other days. Some days I can't figure out how to tie my shoes. Ok..... most days.

Today.... eh....smarter.... LOL!

IQ Test Score

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Greetings from the End of Season

The last week of Tax Season brings 'em out. Early season clients are generally just your run of the mill dingbats. One can be generous and say they are hard working folk who just don't make a lot of money.

But that would be a lie for the vast majority of them. They don't work hard. They don't work long. They make just enough to maximize their Earned Income Credit and apparently do something else that doesn't generate income tax records cause I know that if I was only making $14K a year, I wouldn't be driving an Escalade. Especially since I don't drive a vehicle that starts at $55K and I make more than $14K by a fair margin.... but I digress.

End of Season.

At our office that means we get those folks that owe the guvment. These are not, for the most part, the folks of whom I speak. Those are the people who just don't want to write that check a moment before they have to. Which is fine.

It's the other people.

Glen is our New Guy. He keeps saying "We are getting some CRAZY calls!" Welcome to the End of Season, Glen....

In the past week:

Phone rings, I answer. Person on the other end says:

I have taxes.

I pause waiting for the rest of it. Or is this just an information only call perhaps? But no. Nothing. So I say "ok". The now TESTY person says "SO! I need to make an APPOINTMENT!"

But of course....

Phone rings.

"I MUST get in this weekend!"
"I have to get my 2004, 2005 and 2006 taxes done!"
(You're in a hurry now....why?)

Person walks in. Wishes to "have his taxes done." Appointment? "No... do I need one?" (four days before taxes are due.... what do you think?) Let me see if we can fit you in...

Sure enough we can. So what does he need done? Taxes from... 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

Well ok then.

Considers the cost of doing all those at once, decides to just do 2006. He says he'll be back to the rest later.

"Hi. I got a tax thing. How much is my return?"

(Do you now? A tax THING? Sucks to be you. IRS doesn't like to see THAT. No one wants to see your thing, especially if it has taxes on it.)

A W-2?
"Yea. That's it. How much am I gonna get back?"

(I KNEW I shoulda brought my crystal ball to work today....)

Well sir, I can't tell you that over the phone. I need to DO your return before I can determine how much you'll get back, if anything.

"What do you mean do my return? Can't you just tell me???"



"I did my own taxes on TurboTax, but it says I owe. Can you fix that for me so I get money back?"



" I've got TurboTax and it's asking me if I had any capital gains on my stocks. How do I figure that out?"

(so.... you just want free tax advice??)

I would imagine that you would enter in the differential between your sales and your cost basis plus or minus commission depending on the reporting.



"What's the last day to file?"
April 17. Next Tuesday.

"So if I file on the 17th, will it be late?"
No. The 17th is the last day.

"What if I file on the 18th?"
Then you'll be late.

"huh. Uh.... ok."
(waiting for more.......)

"So can I come in on Sunday?"
Sure. Let me give you to the person who can make that appointment for you.

*caller on hold...sent off to appropriate person*

~time passes~
That guy you gave me...wanted an appointment on Sunday?
Sunday the 22nd. Got mad when I said we were closed.
Did he make one at all?
Of course he didn't. Now he's gonna tell everyone that we won't LET HIM file his taxes.
Of course he is.


"Can I still get my credits for last year?"


"Yea. I need to get my credits."

Credits? What credits would those be?

"My tax credits."

(of course)

You can still file your 2005 tax return and any and all credits would still be available.

"ok. good."

Later...she walks in.

"I need to do my 2005 so I can get my credits."

(of course you do)

"I only have $100 to pay you."

(of course you do)

She did get all her credits. But she mumbled random numbers under her breath the entire time so we aren't sure if they were the same credits she was looking for. But we did give her all the ones afforded to her by the tax laws of the US Government and State of California.

Then there are the phone calls OUT.

"Hi...this is me calling from the tax office. I'm just calling to remind you that your return is still on hold (since January) and the deadline for filing is in four days." (and yes, I know you don't want to pay the government but they aren't going away....)

~dial number~
"We're sorry, but the number you have just dialed is disconnected or no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again."

~check number, dial again~
"We're sorry, but the number you have just dialed is disconnected or no longer in service. Please check the number and dial again."

Allrighty then.... Moving and leaving no forwarding number TO US does not mean the US Government cannot track you down. You still owe 'em.


"I went to H&R Block and they said I owe for one of those Rapid Refund things I got a couple years ago. Said I didn't pay 'em. I told them I paid it but they said the bank said that I didn't. Can you call the IRS and tell them to give me my money cause H&R Block won't do that."



"I got my taxes filed by H&R Block. But I think they totally ripped me off. Will you file my taxes and get me more money?"

We can review what Block did and see if they missed anything.

"No. I want to re-file my taxes."

Well.... you can't RE-file your taxes. It's kind of a one shot deal. But your taxes can be AMENDED if they made an error.

"Ok. Do that then. I don't know what it's called!" (said with tone and attitude)

We would have to re-enter all your information and thus, charge you the full amount we would have if you had done your taxes with us, plus another $100 for the amendment. Of course, we'd let you know if you'd be getting more back before...

"I. KNOW. They effen RIPPED ME OFF. I want you to get me MY MONEY."

I cannot guarantee that we will be able to get you MORE money. I just want to be sure you understand it can cost you at the minimum $200 and maybe as much as $500 for us to do all that for you.

"What the hell???? I wasn't the one the effed up my taxes! Block did!"

Then perhaps you oughta go back to them and insist that they make it right.

"I don't trust them."

Would you like to make an appointment?

"I have to have an APPOINTMENT??"


~~~~New record for documented mortgage INTEREST (not principle. not property taxes. not insurance. in.ter.est.):
$82,000. Yes. Eighty-two thousand dollars. In 2006.

An individual.
Personal home.

This job is an amazing look into the lives of ordinary people....

Sunday, April 08, 2007

36 and 20

Thirty-six weeks ago I started keeping track.

Thirty-six weeks ago I started going to the gym, on average, three times a week and weighing in each time.

Down. Then back up. Down. Then back up. If I hadn't been keeping track, I would have given up because it sure didn't FEEL like that scale was moving.

This past week, I reached the twenty pound mark. I have at least that many more to go. Thirty more will be a real reach. So....somewhere between 20 and 30 more pounds to go.

I decided I wanted a new dress (or two or three) this weekend. Normy and I went to the mall in the quest for a new dress. Between the "potato sack" look and the "bad LSD trip" prints, the pickings were slim. I finally found a couple and was ever so happy to be able to just grab a size 10 off the rack and not wonder if I could get the zipper zipped.

I have to go through my closet. I pulled a dress out with every intention of wearing it to work last week. But it was a 14. It was a dress that just fit last year. Barely. Mostly. I could wear it with super-dee-duper-suck-it-in underwear. I really like that dress. I REALLY like it now.

I'm hoping next Easter the two new dresses in my closet will no longer fit in the same way that Easter dress of last year no longer fits.

I still don't like going to the gym. But I like trying on clothes and not trying to make sure all the lumps and bumps are camouflaged. So I will keep going. Another 36 weeks will put me just about Christmas. Hopefully by that time I will also be able to keep up with Renee in her spinning class. I think I'm gonna have to go to more than just Sunday morning spinning to do that tho'.

And then Normy and Stevie are gonna have to take their smokin' hot wives out on the town.

Monday, February 26, 2007

If it wasn't for Stacy...

I might never blog.... Again, from her...

10 Favorites
Color: green? blue?
Food: I don't think I can narrow it down to just one.
Month: Any one that is warm and sunny.
Song: Depends on my mood...
Movie: Princess Bride? Love Actually? Top Gun? Again.... too hard to name just one.
Sport: To play? None. To watch? Lately, it's basketball....
Season: Summer
Day of the Week: Friday, generally
Ice Cream Flavor: I do try to avoid ice cream.... mint chocolate chip is the usual order tho'
Time of Day: bedtime

9 Currents
Mood: Frustrated
Clothes: Jeans, shirt,
Taste: dinner
Desktop: stock photo from Apple, rocky seashore
Toenail Color: Holy Pink Pagoda
Time: 6:30pm
Surroundings: my messy family room
Thoughts: "who thinks up this stuff?"
Wonderings: See above

8 Firsts
Best Friend: Charles Mullen. Mullin?
Kiss: Brian S.
Screen Name: Nancy D.
Pet: Cat
Piercing: Ears
Crush: I'm told my cousin David
Computer: An IBM circa 1986. Had a boot disc you had to put in first....
Home Location: ever? Daly City

7 Lasts
Cigarette: Haven't had a FIRST
Drink: Milk with dinner
Kiss: When Normy got home
Movie seen at the theater: Night in the Museum
Phone Call: Emma called me from the bathroom upstairs using her sister's phone to tell me that her sister had left her phone at home and wasn't getting my messages. She would have come downstairs to tell me, but.... she was in the bathroom. She's helpful like that.
CD played: One of my own in my car
Gift received: Normy got me brownies the other night

6 Have You Evers
Dated One Of Your Best Friends: nope
Broken the Law: does speeding count?
Been Arrested: nope
Skinny Dipped: of course
Been on TV: Yep
Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: nope

5 Things
You've Eaten Today: the pot roasty thing I made for dinner, green beans, biscuits, bean burrito and yogurt.
You've Done Today: got a pedicure, watched the rain POUND down, fixed an actual dinner, surfed the web, blogged.
You Can Hear Right Now: "Friends" on the TV
You Can't Live Without: Air, Water, Electricity... don't know what else
You Do When You're Bored: nap, websurf, read.... don't know what else

4 places you've been today
To get my pedicure
To the mail box
Down the street to unblock the gutter so the rain water could get to the drain
....that's it

3 people you can tell anything to
Bob ;)

2 Choices
1. Black or White: White
2. Hot or Cold: Hot

1 thing you wanna do before you die
Travel more

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For Stacy again...

1. Is your second toe longer than your first?
A bit.

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
Not like Stacy does. Or Normy for that matter. I will have a favorite pen and then I'll lose it or it will run out ink and I'll find a new favorite. Currently, it's a pen advertising some pool service that I use at work.

3. Look at your planner for March 14, what are you doing?
My "planner" is my iCal.... It appears I am going to work. It is not a Girl Scout meeting day. Maybe I will go to Late Night at Knitique.

4. What color are your toenails usually?
Winter? Au naturale. Summer? Something bright and garish like hot pink.

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
Where someone needed to sign their tax forms.

6. What color are your bedroom curtains?
Navy and "natural" stripe. Canvas.

7. What color are the seats in your car?
Dark Gray

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
Sorta. Oreo was my parents cat after I had mostly moved out of the house.

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
The envelope to send in our COBRA payment a couple weeks ago. Not that they did anything with it except to cash the check. I will send another one this week. Hopefully they will establish our account and pay our freakin' insurance.

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?
Kinda. Friends of my sister's live there. I think. Maybe they moved....

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
I remember doing it. I needed cash for where I was going. Can't remember where that was though.

12. Who is the last baby that you held?
Oh. Wow.... Might have been Gracie. PJ and Maryann's daughter. Who's, what?, 2? 3? Oh! Maybe it was Aiden, Krista's son. Happy 3rd Birthday, Valentine Boy!

13. Do you know of any twins with rhyming names?
None personally. But yowza... the names that come across my desk.....

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
(sorry Stacy) My yellow New Beetle.

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators.

17. Last time you went to Six Flags
Six Flags???? Dang if I know. Six Flags Over Texas??? I think I was in 7th or 8th grade. Went with my cousins who lived in Dallas at the time. (again.... sorry Stace...)

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?
Other than the red chili pepper Wallies, no.

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow:
It appears to be some piece of paper... probably brought home from school.

20. Last person to give you a business card?
No idea.

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
The gal who did my nails yesterday.

22. Closest framed picture to you?
The Renoir print hanging over the fireplace that I bought when I was in college. It's faded and needs to be replaced.

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
Normy made tacos on Monday night. I didn't get home until almost 10 last night from work so I didn't eat dinner.

24. Have you ever applied for welfare?

25. How many emails do you have?
email addresses? Four. My regular one. My usetabe CM one. My gmail one. And my Yahoo! one that I use when I have to give people an email address but I don't really want them emailing me. I used to actually use it.... now it's just junk mail.

26. Last time you received flowers?
Maybe 19 years ago today (Valentine's Day). A big bouquet of red roses was delivered. Sent by my boyfriend. A month later he proposed.

27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman?

28. What are you listening to right now?
The clicktity clack of my typing and Emma's typing on the computer.

29. Do you play air guitar?

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
I've become fond of CoffeeMate's Chocolate Raspberry Non-Dairy Creamer as of late.

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?

32. What is your high school mascot's rival?
Tustin Tillers

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
Jennifer. Duh.

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
Probably last week at work. Germy place that work....

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?

36. What color are the blinds in your living room?
Medium brown stain.

37. What is in your inbox at work?
No inbox.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
That Joe and Gavin SWEAR they aren't gonna move the team to Vegas but golly, what a swell place for an expansion team.

39. What was the last pageant you attended?

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Round Table. Last Friday.

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
I don't think so.

42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Tax papers.

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
I don't drink unclear Pepsi. CLEAR Pepsi? Barf o'rama...

44. Are you ticklish?

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
Fourth of July.

47. Who is the last person that left you a message & you actually returned their call?
My mom.

48. Last time you parked under a carport?
Probably when I lived at the Fairgrounds apartment.

49. Do you have a black dog?

50. Do you have any pickles in your fridge?

51. Do you find Dan French irresistible?

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
Uh... he lives in Australia and I don't actually KNOW him....

53. Last time you saw a semi truck?
Yesterday. On the Blvd.

54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?

55. Do you have a little black dress?
Yea baby.

The Effort of Hate

The Dixie Chicks won five Grammy Awards this weekend. One of them for their song "Not Ready To Make Nice". I downloaded it several months ago from iTunes. Here are the lyrics if you aren't familiar with them:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and I kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting
They won on Sunday.

Saturday I was enjoying my Free Time during our church's annual Women's Retreat. I had gone to the mall and was on my way back to the retreat center. I passed a man who had what appeared to have originally been a small pickup truck. He had built a "shell" around it. It was really too big for that little pickup. But it first told me to REPENT! and then, in big, bold, garish, assaulting letters it railed against homosexuality in general and "Gay Marriage" in particular.

These two things happened pretty much within 24 hours of each other. But last October I had a brief conversation with Juror Number One from the Scott Peterson murder trial. My husband and Greg were friends in high school and their reunion was last October. When Normy realized that the guy on TV was his old friend he sent him an email. Normy told him thanks for the sacrifice he made and hard work he put in. He also told Greg that he made him proud and represented the old school well.

When we spoke to Greg about the whole thing, he told Norm how much he appreciated the email. He said something about how frighteningly easy it was for people to get his contact info... like Norm had. Norm told him "I got it out of the last reunion book". Greg looked a bit relieved and told us that not only did he get email, but snail mail too. With death threats.

So this weekend's events against the knowledge that Greg had gotten death threats and his family had been harassed by complete strangers got me thinking about The Effort of Hate.

How can the words that someone says, send someone so over the edge that they write a letter saying a life will be over?

It was easy for Norm to get Greg's email. Greg had, in effect, given it to him. He went to the cabinet where all such things are kept and got it. But Norm knows Greg. Perfect strangers had to take time out of their lives to search for that information. Then they had to compose the hate mail. Some of them had to then affix a stamp and take it to a mailbox. Others simply hit "send". These aren't friends and relatives of Scott Peterson, no no. These are total strangers. People who personally knew none of the principles involved.

That man with that truck? The time and money it took to create this display of hate. The effort it took to make sure it was street legal. What would have happened if he had put that kind of money and effort, and in the name of his god, fed the hungry? But instead, he chose to spread hate the name of his god.

And those people who sent death threats to Natalie Maines? It took effort too. What if they had expended that energy sending care packages to soldiers serving overseas? They chose to tell her to "Shut Up and Sing" instead.

The Effort of Hate.

Imagine a world where the energy put into hating was re-channeled into doing something out of love and compassion instead. Imagine that instead of saying "You don't have the right to...." be who you are, who you were born, voice your opinion, come to a different conclusion than I did, worship your god, love who you do, feel differently than me, be smart, be successful, be beautiful, be wealthy, be poor.... Imagine that instead, we simply said "You are a child of God and have sacred worth".

You don't have to agree except perhaps to agree to disagree. You don't have to adopt "the other way" as your own.

Imagine a world where it was OK to be...... Not just like me, like you, like them, like us.

To simply.... be.

Imagine a world where no one made an Effort to Hate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


My mother, quoting her mother... who for all I know was quoting HER mother, always said:

If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

I attribute that quote to my grandmother. Today I changed my signature quote line on ScrapShare to that quote. It seemed appropriate.

I ask a lot of questions in my job as a tax preparer. Some questions are surprisingly difficult for my clients to answer. Like.... "what is your child's birth date?" It's a stumper to far too many people. It's also hard to remember one's child's last name.

Some questions I ask and they throw it back to me to answer.

"How much did you give to charity?" I ask.

"How much is normal?" they ask me.

I swear.... one of these days I'm gonna say "Bill and Melinda Gates gave a couple of mil last year. You?".

Having grown up with my mother quoting my grandmother, I know better than to ask questions when I don't want to know the answer. And I don't. So it takes some getting used to dealing with those who haven't heard the wisdom of my maternal family line. People ask a question. I give them an answer because it just doesn't occur to me that they don't want to hear the answer.

I find it puzzling too. Why ask if you don't want to hear the answer? What is the purpose? These aren't rhetorical questions. These are actual questions. What is wanted is only answers that the questioner agrees with or wants to hear.

I guess it's like that proverbial wife question: "Honey, do these pants make me look fat?" Men know the answer is "no", even if it makes her ass look like a double wide. It took my husband years to fully understand that I'm asking because if they DO make me look fat he better tell me. If it looks bad on me... TELL. ME. Because if I didn't want to hear the answer, I wouldn't have asked the question.

I don't understand the thinking, invariably female, that says "tell me a lie instead of the truth if the truth is something I don't like". The thinking that says "I'd rather go out looking like hell than to be told the truth and make a change."

I guess it comes down to hidden agendas. The other day at work my boss and a co-worker said "With Nancy, you know where you stand." They were giving me grief cause I was giving it to my boss. Good natured ribbing.... But it's true and I've heard it more than once. Not always so good naturedly. There are those who down right do. not. like. me. because I have answered their question and they didn't want to hear it. And that would be my fault for the answering, never their's for the asking.

There was a hidden agenda. They wanted to be told they were doing the right thing. They wanted to be justified. That's fine. But don't ask if you are doing the right thing if you ONLY want to be told you are. I always think that if you have to ask, you are questioning and are thinking somewhere deep inside that you are not doing the right thing. I realize that it's tough to be told you aren't. I've certainly been told so many times in my life!

I said something off the cuff many months ago and someone quoted me back to me. Not saying it to me, but saying "whoohoo! I get to use my favorite quote of yours!" and told me what it was. Cracked me right up. It went something like this....

When several people, people who usually can't agree that the sun will rise tomorrow, tell you that your slip is showing, it is probably a good idea to retire to the ladies room and examine your outfit.

And so I add onto my grandmother's wisdom....

Don't ask the question if you don't want to hear the answer, and when you ask and get the same answer from different quarters, it might not be what you WANT to hear, but what you NEED to hear.

My mom says it was her mother's philosophy, but her one-liner. Now we both know! ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Relatively Cold

It's been cold here. Now I know all y'all in the more northern climates are thinking "they don't KNOW cold in California". Heck... these days... some of y'all in the SOUTHERN climates are thinking that too.

According to VW (my handy dandy thermometer on my Jetta) it was a balmy 26 degrees this morning. I thought it was closer to 36. Last I had looked at it, it was 39. I looked at it at that point because the Jetta warns me when the temp is 39 degrees. The display blinks and a chime chimes to let me know... HEY! It's cold out there! Watch for ice.

My chime has been chiming a lot lately.

But as I looked around the parking lot at the grocery store I noticed those crazy Californians doing what they always do.... Walking around in short sleeves. One would think Sacramento Valley inhabitants (who don't hardly blink at 110 degrees for 5 days straight) would be the first to pull out the long woolies as soon as the temp dips below 50. But like heat, dry cold isn't as cold as wet cold. And we haven't had wet cold. Fog? Have we HAD a foggy day?? Maybe a foggy morning... I don't think we've had a day of fog yet. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

It's been cold here. My friends in places like Minnesota and Wisconsin have been grousing about how ponds aren't frozen over. Huh. The holding ponds (for the mosquito fish) at Mosquito and Vector Control were frozen over on Monday. I don't think one would want to skate on them.... but frozen over they were. The big lake/pond/whatever next to them wasn't. Maybe the geese and ducks (and occasional swan... we have wild swans around here) kept it moving enough through the night.

Our neighbors keep watering their lawns at night...and overwatering as usual. So sidewalks are dangerously slippery.

It might not be below freezing.... but this is cold for us. We don't know how to behave. We don't wear coats. We don't turn off sprinklers. The only thing we do is wrap towels around our outside pipes after the news reminds us to do so to keep them from freezing.

This morning, a major water main burst underground a major intersection. The cold is the suspected culprit. It's been cold enough to freeze an underground pipe. They are struggling to get it turned off and much of the road has been washed away.

I can hear you Canadians laughing. I know you Yankees are shaking your heads. It's ok. This summer we'll be doing just fine in our 110+ degree heat. We'll be wondering what y'all are complaining about when it hits 90 at your house. We don't even call that "hot".