Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let's try this again

Okay, Dancing fans, what's your take on last night? Of course, Cloris should wave good-bye, but given the mood of the voters, I'm picking an alternate: Rocco.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm glad to see we still have our sense of humor

And irony. Our "take-that!" attitude seems to be working also. Because surely that's the only way Cloris gets to come back next week on Dancing.

Or, could it be a cross with something else? Personally, I didn't know who half the contestants were. Perhaps we vote for those we know and have no feelings, one way or the other, about the rest.

Perhaps I'll stop making my choice for who's off next, since my track record is sketchy at best.

Nah. Too fun to do it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Put your dancin' shoes back on!

Yes, tis the season once again for Dancing with the Stars, ABC's attempt to enliven and enlighten us. I survived without watching the first 5 "seasons", but having succumbed last spring, I find myself once again at their mercy. However, we missed the first two hours, and although they're on tape, I doubt I'll go watch. I managed to catch up last night.

In the tradition I started the last time out, I'll be doing my best to predict, or at least narrow the range, on who should have spun their last time across the floor. Not having seen Jeff Ross boogie his way into infamy Monday night, all I can say is he must have been pretty bad, if he went and Cloris did not. For a lady of 82, she's most impressive, but... tonight we should say good-bye.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

The case of the disappearing phone book

It's that time of year again, when the new phone books start appearing on your doorstep, or on our driveway, as the case was. We have several phones, which I thought used to get you one new book per, but obviously not. Then, just when I thought we'd have one and one only, a second one was tossed onto the drive. One upstairs, one downstairs, along with the new advertisement-heavy county book, and we're in business for the next year.

It doesn't really matter how many new ones we have though, as the phone book which counts in our house, is the one in the kitchen. I keep all notes on new phone numbers and addresses, work and cell numbers, too, if I have them, in it. Then, when the new book is here, I carefully transfer all of that over, from the old margins into the new. Absent two new phone books, the old kitchen book goes upstairs by the bed for a prolonged life.

Going through the phone book like this is an opportunity to weed out people who no longer live here. But it would appear the phone company has been doing some weeding also. Our phone book has dropped from 2007's 37 pages to 2008's 34.

Where have all the people gone? The population of the town seems stable enough, never mind several good friends have left for jobs elsewhere and our social calendar has taken a huge spur-of-the-moment hit. I think part of the three page loss can be attributed to cell phones.

Several households I know have nothing else. A cell-phone-only world has some disadvantages, as I'm sure those on the Gulf Coast can attest in the wake of Hurricane Ike dispensing with cell service. Also, one's physical address is essentially a mystery if not in the phone book. (Don't ask why you weren't invited to a party if no one knows where you are.) Personally, while we were early adopters of cordless phones, there's nothing like a good old landline for security and lack of electricity. But the number of people who think that is shrinking.

Who knows but in a few years I may be adding pages to the phone book to put in all the cell numbers and physical addresses I have managed to accumulate.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

A new smell and it's me

With apologies to Bulgari, because somehow in the first post (Can you smell me? Can you smell me now?), I ended up with Bulgari as Bulvari and it may be Bvlgari, because that's what it looks like on the label.

I know this because I succumbed. Tired of chasing my Quelques Violettes all over the web where signs of "sorry, out of stock" kept creeping up, I gave in and bought the new. Bulgari pour Femme and I are learning to get along. I like it well enough; it seems to last all day which is wonderful. The salesclerk at Nordstrom's filled my little bag with samples not only for me, but 'pour homme', and sent me, wallet lighter, on my way.

A new smell has arrived in town.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

A sad Sammy tale ends well

Sammy, the orange tabby from next door who moved over this spring to find good food and keep Duchess the other refugee kitty company, has become a fixture in our lives. He follows me about the yard (Duchess doesn't care as long as I have the food on time), purrs and makes a fool of himself begging for attention if I'm on the patio, and is an all-around good people cat. Therefore, if Sammy was going to ingratiate himself into our lives, he was going to have to follow a few rules.

First and foremost: vaccinations up to date. So last Monday Sam and I visited the vet. He was given an all-clear, ear medicine for the yeast infection, and made an official member of our family. I brought him home (he was a bit disgruntled by this time, all good sportsmanship having gone out the window at the first shot), fed him very good cat food, and petted him. He was miffed, but two hours later was on the front porch to greet my spouse as he came home.

Then Sam disappeared.

This is not unusual behavior for a cat who's had a traumatic experience. We were sure he wasn't feeling well--and was mad--so we didn't think much of his not being up Tuesday morning. By Tuesday evening, I called the neighbors. By Wednesday morning, I felt I had been punished enough and I went to roving about the neighborhood, calling his name, and deciding on my course of action: call the City, call the vets, ad in the paper.

Gentle, gentle Sam. Something had to have happened to him because he wouldn't have left voluntarily, no matter how mad he was. He will follow me on Sunday mornings to the end of the driveway, wait there while I go a block to get a newspaper, then join me for the stroll back to the house. Someone had to have taken Sam.

Then... as I'm checking the bushes in the backyard--could he be so mad he's laying low and eating after I go back inside?--I look at our garage. There's a space under the door that pregnant mother cats have no trouble breaching. If Sam had gone in there, couldn't he get back out?

A meeting of the humans puts the story together: what if Sam, Mr. Friendly, had followed my husband in there Monday night when he aired up my tires? What if... he couldn't get out?

Where were our minds?

Key in the lock, door up, and Sam shoots out of there as if from a cannon. His ears are grimy; he looks like a lynx. His front paws are filthy from trying to dig out. Feeling not only relieved, but about 2 inches high, we follow him to the backyard, produce the very good food, and stroke him until he's eating and purring.

He will not let me clean his ears or paws. He is a bit snooty for a day, but then my lovin' Sammy returns. The grime is wearing off his ears and he's cleaned his paws.

We'll now look in the garage first for any missing family members, but yesterday evening, with the garage door up, Sam didn't approach.

Perhaps we all learned a lesson.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Signs of the times

I'm an habitual coupon clipper. I learned it from my mother and have done it throughout my married life. Over the years I have honed my skills and impulses: I clip only what I think I'll really use and realize that large monetary coupons for ultra-new items may go to waste because the coupon will expire before the item makes it to my stores' shelves.

Over the years, coupons have become larger in denomination. Gone are nickels and dimes. Quarter ones are out there, but they're for the cheaper items. Yoplait's 40 cents off 6 cartons of their product is one I regularly clip, small savings that it is. Also, it would be unusual to find a coupon good past Nov 30 of this year. Their shelf life has shrunk into weeks, not months, or even the end of the next year which was once quite common.

But in last Sunday's paper (my main source for coupons), I was quite caught off guard by the number of 'buy 1, get 1' offers. There's usually one or two, but not the plethora I was seeing/clipping.

What gives? Manufacturers are understandably reluctant to give the consumer anything, but has a drop in sales prompted this largesse? Are we being wooed? Because these offers weren't just for new products, but for established ones.

Not a complaint. I clipped away.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Angling for an angel

I'd love to know what you would do:

At a flea market yesterday, one that consisted of half commercial merchandise and half homemade crafts--and a totally wasted trip if not for the lovely antique shops, small (but interesting) art fair, and really good place for lunch all half a block away--I came upon a situation I wasn't quite sure what to do about. I did nothing, but should I?

This particular booth was selling etched tiles. Their samples had a home-sweet-home, Bible-verse quality to them. They even had a notebook full of samples including work on inside walls of homes. And there, in the midst of their token tiles to admire was one with a saying about angels. Except it didn't. It was about angles.

Now, if you're in the business to sell your words and work, you should know the difference. I thought this before reading today's Dallas Morning News article about commercial signs and the pervasive inaccuracies thereof. Some are comical. Others, just make you want to shake your head.

So, should I have told the owners about their mistake? I didn't want to embarrass them, but isn't a bad representation of their work even worse?


Friday, September 05, 2008

What is it with August?

I think it's the heat.

Although re-creation has been tried, no one has been successful: 1969: Woodstock. August 15-18, a farm in New York.

Since 1938, the first full week of August: Sturgis Bike Rally in the South Dakota Black Hills.

Sorta' since 1986, kinda' the last week of August, although it started, according to Wikipedia, as a Solstice event: Burning Man Festival, north of Reno NV in the desert.

The Bayreuth Festival, a 6-week celebration late July through most of August of Richard Wagner's operatic masterpieces. Bayreuth Germany.

I wonder if they draw the same crowds, if it's a decision each year: Sturgis or Wagner... Nevada desert or Germany?

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I couldn't have said it better

Since J McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, I've been trying to cement my opinion on it. Just as I came to the conclusion that it reminded me of Capra's 1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--AND I decided to put that on my blog, I found this article.

Would never have been able to state it better. Thank you, Mr. Warren.

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