Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Puzzles and other frustrations.

I have been totally ensconced in puzzles this winter.

Hubby and I love to do puzzles in the winter. Currently our dining room table has 2 going. He brought home a 1000 piece blue puzzle. Yes, blue. I have grown to hate all shades of blue. This puzzle frustrates the living hell out of me. It's blue. I am not exaggerating. There are a few items in the puzzle of a different color and those were done instantly. Leaving us with blue. The ends are not ends as you know them so that too adds to my frustration level. So now this puzzle which was intended to entertain us during the TV strike has turned into something that frustrates me beyond belief.

Each time I sit down to work on it I swear at the puzzle and curse my husband for buying a BLUE puzzle. He laughs and says, "where's your sense of adventure" HUH?
I then swore off the dining room - but I'd sneak back in and try it again and then become so frustrated that the frustration was annoying me. Honestly the time just flies as I sit there and stare at blue pieces that somehow don't seem to even belong to this puzzle. The other night I dreamt of this shittin' thing! I woke up frustrated, can you believe it?

So my loving spouse goes to the store to buy a friend a birthday card and sees that Hallmark is having a sale on their puzzles. He brings home a 500 piece puzzle of a tall sandwich. He gives it to me and chuckles, "this should be easier for you babe."

Okay maybe....but NO. This one has me getting up in the middle of the night and thinking, "no that piece wasn't roast beef it was ham I need to move that piece and then maybe...."
Seriously this is sick.

I have decided that maybe one of those puzzles with 8-12 pieces for ages 4 and up should be my next attempt at a puzzle!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I HATE PENNSYLVANIA

I was born in a small city in PA. It's a horrible place as I have mentioned numerous times on this blog.

After yesterday's election I HATE PENNSYLVANIA even more so.

That they can be this stupid doesn't surprise me. They are the same numb nuts that thought W was saving their asses and going into a much needed war to find Osama Bin Laden. Idiots, the whole lot of 'em.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

After pictures

Where are the after pictures? Well it didn’t work out the way we had planned.
Always happens when you have a plan doesn’t it?

We thought we’d have the dock finished this past weekend but rain and storms had other ideas.
We were down at the dock working and then it started to pour and got windy.
It was so hot and we could feel the air changing but were hoping we could still get more work in.
Nature had other ideas.
Instead we went up to the house after the rain started and began drinking.
Then it was nap time.
We headed to the screened in porch to get into the 2 man hammock.
We napped in the hammock while it poured – it was glorious.
That sound (okay and liquor) lulled us to sleep.
It went from 90 to 59 degrees.
We got all cozy under the comforter and slept like babies
(well babies with a drunk on...tee hee)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Off to the Lake

Off to the lake this afternoon. YIPEE.
Packing up the laptop & off to work I go on Friday outside on the deck.
Sounds good doesn't it? Can't wait.

Did not watch the debate last night.....the state of delusion is becoming rather comfortable - I mean the rest of America is there so it's not lonely.
(Seriously the Yankees were on ESPN so that was helpful.)

But I can't completely let go ya know.....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9eDJ3cuXKV4

Have a great Thursday.
Enjoy the musical link and pics will follow on Monday

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Organized Religion - Oh No She Didn't!

So you are saying to yourself, Margaret, you said you weren’t going to watch the news and continue in your state of delusion. Okay I do prefer my Leave it To Beaver world I admit but there are just some dumb ass shit that has to be addressed.

I was at the doctors office and I was reading a magazine that lists the “new sins” that the Pope has come out with.

Now before you go on you must understand this about me.
I don’t happen to enjoy organized religion.
If you get what you need from it spiritually, emotionally and peacefully then by all means it’s good for you. I am also happy for anyone who receives what they feel they need from this religion of choice. However, Do not try to convert me or do not try to ask me for money. This country was founded on freedom of religion but it seems to be infiltrating our society in a very negative way to me.

This is just my humble opinion and while you have every right to your own blog pontificating your views and beliefs of what ever cult you belong to that is just fine. I think whatever works for you is fine as long as you aren’t telling me I am going to hell, a bad person, or overall immoral because I do not agree with you.

Why can’t we all live our lives as we wish without others imposing their shit on you? If you don’t like what I say – move on. If you don’t like that TV show – change the channel. If you don’t believe in same sex marriage, then marry someone of the opposite sex, if you think that L.Ron Hubbard is your leader then by God go to the mothership. But do not tell me I am wrong because I don’t believe it. Don’t tell me I am going to hell because I do not fear my God. Do not tell me that I am going to hell and am immoral because I wish to marry someone of my own sex. You see where I’m going here. Basically leave me the fuck alone.

Catholism is a hot point to me only because I was raised this way. When I asked questions I was punished. I don’t believe in most of what I was taught but I learned early on to shut up so you can move on. I was smart enough to at least learn that and when around my family I live by that. And it ain’t easy. My Dad would put on the Nike's and drink the Kool-Aid if Pope Benedict told him to....and i am not exaggerating.

That brings me to the Pope’s new sins he came out with a few weeks ago.
I read where some archbishop said the new sins were needed to be more relevant.
The first one I found tragic and a bit humorous. But most I thought fell into the category of the original 7 deadly sins but apparently they needed tweaked and updated which makes me scratch my head a bit. Are we now dumbing down our sins too like the rest of society? If it wasn't so tragic it is funny.

One of the new sins is pedophilia.
Hard not to laugh at that one isn’t it? Do you see the irony here?
Excuse me isn’t the Catholic Church one of those that engage in this activity? Aren’t they the ones that when informed of a priest at a particular parish is committing such a “sin” that they move him to another church? I guess instead of damnation or punishment for said sin they reward the priest with a new crop of kids to abuse.
Fresh meat so to speak. It sickens me.

The new sins are drugs, pollution, genetic manipulation and social and economic injustices. If this is the case then the only comfort I get is that the whole damn lot in the Bush administration is going straight to hell. (Oops that’s politics isn’t it?)

Why not add war in this list? They should add torture to this list.
Bottom line – was all this hoopla necessary? Are the Catholic followers really so slow that they don’t know what is right and wrong? Are they really so gullible that they now know that pedophilia is a sin and they didn’t before they were told this by a man wearing a robe and a big hat? That is what frightens me most. I need to believe they knew and they too are shaking their heads at how out of touch their leader is.

The Pope is here in DC today and it has caused great congestion and traffic and I guess this event will be like a rock star visiting. I will not be there but I know it brings a lot of happiness and fulfillment to those that are attending and for that I am happy and I pray that some peace comes from them all even for a moment.

My hope is that next year this leader will come out with a new list of sins about religions who preach hatred of certain groups and exclusion of certain people and he then only preaches equality and compassion.

A girl can dream can't she?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Author David Sedaris

I was first introduced to this great comedy writer while delayed at the Boston Airport. I hate being delayed and I dislike Boston even more. But something good happened that day....even in Boston.
I picked up his book, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" while waiting for my flight to leave.
Having spent 7 years in speech class I was intrigued by the title so I picked it up.


We finally got to board our plane. Lucky for me I got upgraded since I was a premiere executive. (translation - poor son of a bitch frequent flyer with a ton of miles who has to travel most days of the week and is miserable so they put you up front to appease you)
There I sat sipping my Tanqueray and I was laughing non stop. I closed the book because it was causing me great discomfort trying to suppress my laughter and I sounded like an idiot - I knew that much.


The man next to me was reading a biography of our president Lincoln. I glanced over at this good looking well dressed man and thought it said something about him that he would choose his biography book over say, “Thanks Stadium Pal" To me I had a vision of this man by the book he chose already played out in my mind. And I wondered what he thought of this lunatic woman next to him that couldn't stop laughing aloud?


After we took off I began to read again. There were a few chapters that made me weep and I was trying desperately to stifle laughter. I finally closed my book and wiped my eyes. My seat partner leaned over and said to me, "What is the name of your book, it sounds so much better than mine."


I handed him the book so he could read some. He began to laugh and even read some things aloud to me. Okay that made me feel better - now I wasn’t the only lunatic laughing aloud. By the time we were at our jet way in DC he said he really wanted to trade books with me but handed mine back to me anyway.


While this link isn't the reading of this particular book it sure as hell is a funny story of David's just the same. I defy you to listen to this reading and not crack up. It doesn't hurt that he is reading it either.


Enjoy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Monday Thoughts

Had a good lazy weekend.
As I have said again and again here on my blog I am misanthropic.
So on any given week after having to deal with people and keep on what I refer to as my "Peggy face" I choose not to deal with people on Friday night. It is just a big fat NO WAY.
I have to deal with people all week and by Friday night I want NOTHING to do with them. I am very anti-social by Friday evenings. It has always been my M.O.
(being misanthropic has always been my MO as well)

Our friends, who are also our neighbors, invited us over on Friday night for dinner and lots of cocktails. They started the invite with, “We know you’re anti-social on Friday but please come over....we bought Tanqueray gin for you”.
Now that to me is funny. How pathetic that I am being enticed to be social by promising me my favorite beverage so that I can’t say no. It was too funny of an invitation to not accept. So off we went to get shit faced with the neighbors and stumble home. We laughed so much that evening that it was good to come home so my face could stop hurting from all the laughing and smiling. Good way to end the week after all.

There is a man from my hometown who is working on a cure for cancer. He himself has leukemia and just completed his 2nd or 3rd round of chemo. (I’m sorry I can’t recall which) He was featured on 60 minutes last evening. The story was too short for me. I wanted to know more and I also thought they would have had more background on him. I know the background because I have been interested in his work for such a long time now but I thought if you didn’t know his story they were leaving out a lot of interesting as well as important information.
Anyhoo, it is now in trials at MD Anderson Cancer Clinic on animals as well as the University of Pitt. I hope he lives long enough for the trial on humans. This looks so incredibly promising. I have so many friends who are dealing with this horrific disease. I have felt it in my own family. I currently have a friend whose partner is suffering with lung cancer. I would love to see him and his partner be free of cancer as well as what I call the cancer life. While you see it eat away the person who is actually diagnosed you also see it within the loved ones as well in a way – know what I mean?. It’s such a dreadful disease. Apparently this will be in trials on humans in 4 yrs or less. I hope sooner for all our sakes.

Just a quickie today....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Inappropriate Laughter

You know how you get the giggles in places when you know you just shouldn’t be laughing? And somehow that makes everything even funnier?

Rick and I were talking recently to some family members about the time my husband, who was just my live in boyfriend at the time,  first met the WHOLE FAMILY on my Dad’s side. My cousin-in-law Pat could so relate to Rick's experience that follows because as he explained he was in the same "shocked state" when he met the family....but he sure did enjoy hearing about my pain and Rick's realization.

Now to be fair to my family I have to say that all the idiosyncrasy’s of ones family sometimes don’t seem quite as LARGE as when you are seeing them through someone else’s eyes for the first time. I admit that it surprised me at how funny it all was to me when I heard myself explaining things to him the first time. I suddenly saw it all so differently.  What I had taken for granted or was just so used to now seemed so big and colorful and yes embarrassing.

Rick being my boyfriend at the time had not been fully exposed to all my family at one time at that point.  Oh he had met my immediate family. (I felt that punishment enough.)
But that whole lot of crazy loud Italian American's on my father’s side I thought was a bit much for him all at once. My father had 8 brothers and sisters and each with a slew of children of their own. (you know how those Italian Catholics feel about their birth control!)

I loved these people but there were days when all gathered together it was overwhelming for even me.  How did I think he was going to deal with that?
On this particular day of telling this story there were other “in-laws” laughing about how hard it is for someone new to adjust to this motley crew and how overwhelming it can be for them.

My husband always compares it to the movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Fools Rush In.  The poor WASP tries to fit in and sees the family as so strange. Only difference from these movies is you need to change the food and liquor and sadly the rest is all the same! 

I see how overwhelming it all is from the outsiders point of view from all those movies.
That is the exact reason I hadn't introduced him to all of them just yet.
So Rick shared with the other "in laws" at the table on this particular day this story and it had them all laughing and nodding their heads because they see things just as he does because it isn’t their family either....they also remembered this event.

We were attending a funeral for a very close cousin that had passed away in a tragic car accident. She was young, beautiful and about to be a mom for the 1st time.
It was tragic on so many levels. She was loved by all and lovely as well.
It hit me hard and when I got the news my hubby was there to pick me up.
I knew everyone would be there for support and comfort for my Aunt and Uncle as well as her siblings.  It would be an event like a wedding with all the family in attendance only not for a happy occasion.

When it came time for the viewing one evening Rick asked if I wanted him to go.
I told him he really didn’t have to but secretly I really did want him there for support.
But I wasn't sure this was the time to expose him to "the family"
He came with me, perhaps a mistake looking back. When we arrived it was packed.

It was loud and there were so many people they were overflowing into the hallway.
There was a woman dancing with her hands above her head snapping her fingers.  
She was smiling and laughing when we got up to her she said to me “Aren’t parties fun?”
I hugged her and said, “yes they are Aunt Mary” and just smiled and walked into the viewing room.

Rick asks, “What the hell was that about? Why did you say nothing to her about this not being a party?”
I told him she was my Aunt Mary who has Alzheimer’s.
She is one of Dad’s sisters she probably thinks all these people gathering is a party and I’m sure her daughter is in here somewhere so she is not here alone.
He just went along with me.
Whew I thought the worse was over....what the hell was I thinking?

At one point in the evening I went to sit down. There was an L-shaped settee/sofa type piece of furniture in the corner. My sister Stephanie was sitting there and Rick and I joined her. (Stephanie became my sister at the tender age of 6 after Mom died & Dad remarried – I was 8 yrs older) Then my sister Pam came over and sat with us. (Pam is my full blood sister) 

Honestly I was just exhausted emotionally as well as physically from the constant talking to so many people and standing around. It felt good to just sit.
Or at least that is what I thought I was going to be doing.

Then it happened....In rapid fire succession the following occurrences take place:

This man and woman walk in together and the man is wearing a baby blue polyester suit with white belt and white shoes. No shit - and this is the early 90’s not the early 70's.
Rick chuckles and asks sarcastically, “Who is that stylish man?”
To which Stephanie and Pam laugh and reply, “It’s Uncle Tony. He’s my Dad’s brother from Ohio”
My sisters say in unison, “he probably has his accordion in the car but don’t ask or he’ll play it” and we all laugh.
Rick hasn't a clue of what the hell that means and I don’t go any further into that hot topic.

Before he can digest that information Rick asks, “Who is that woman and what is on her head?”
I look to where he is pointing and tell him “It is my other Aunt from Ohio, my father’s sister, and that is her wig that is on crooked.”
We all laugh.
He says, “why doesn’t someone tell her to fix it?”
“Well, we’ve tried but it appears she likes it like that.”
"Like a dman beret?" Rick asks.
That was met with more giggles from my sisters and my boyfriend.
I wanted to melt into the sofa, this guy is never going to want to be with me again!

Then a nun walks up to the woman in the crooked wig and he asks me, “Is the nun in your family?”
Stephanie laughs and says to my Rick with such conviction, Please remember I am not blood related to any of these people”
To which my sister Pam and I laugh like crazy. Right now Pam and I are wishing we weren’t either.

Rick asks again, “Well, who is the nun?”
I tell him, “She’s the daughter of the woman with the really crooked wig, but she’s not really a nun.”
At which point my sisters are now howling from the realization of how this must sound and appear.  They are literally doubling over with laughter and neither can speak to assist me.

We notice my father giving us the evil eye from across the room so we try to regain composure. Even as adults that look from him gives us all fear.  Our father is mouthing something at us like we are all 12 yrs old instead of being grown ups.

Rick now asks, “ If she isn’t a nun then why does she wear a nuns habit, it’s not Halloween.”
My sisters at this point shriek with laughter which makes my father look over at us again.
I have to continue on.....“She was kicked out of the nunnery awhile back and she refuses to take it off”
Roars of laughter at this sentence from sisters who are not helping me here.
“Why was she kicked out?”
“ Hell, I don’t know. No one knows for sure, and no one will talk about it”

At this point my sisters can hardly contain themselves and now hubby joins them in laughter. Stephanie says to hubby, “REMEMBER I am not blood related.”

This statement from Stephanie makes all 3 of them begin crying with laughter and now my father just shot us a look that could have made any one of us join our dearly departed cousin in a casket.

At that very moment in time I had gas escape. Yes, that's right to put it crudely I farted. 
Mortified as could possibly be,  it was silent but deadly.
To which my sister Pam who was sitting next me says loudly, “Oh my God Peggy” and walks away.  How did she know it was me?
Then Stephanie gets up and walks away followed by Rick.  

Okay now everyone knows. But I am defiant....and stupid and I am not moving.
I sit there trying to look like I did not do this.....however from the look of everyone else on this settee who get up and walk away I surely look like the guilty party now don’t I?

My sisters and Rick were being reprimanded by my father and they were all looking over at me as I sat there oh so innocently.

Now Patrick, the cousin-in-law who was listening to this story that Rick was sharing had a real good laugh.
He asked, “And you still wanted to marry her?
At least I did not have the privilege of meeting all these crazies when I asked my wife to marry me. Maybe there’s something wrong with you. Ever thought of that?”

Now that made me really laugh because he hadn’t even met the crazy Italians on my mothers side yet. I made him wait until the wedding for that. 

Hey, I may be slow but I’m not stupid.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Parents and Family

I'm still on my "NO TV WITH POLITICS" so I can remain oblivious to the world events and not get upset so I give you my parents.....

One holiday when my cousins were all together as is the custom at these gatherings we were all laughing,drinking and telling stories about our parents.

”God love ‘em, my cousin says....how we all grew up normal is simply amazing.”

Now I think a lot of people would first think after that statement, NORMAL? But I knew what he meant. The fact that we are all productive citizens is really amazing some days when you watch these older folks process of thinking.

Here is an example I shared with my cousins about my parents that day.
Now keep in mind my step mom is not that much older than me, only 14 years.
(As I’ve mentioned before my mom died of breast cancer when I was 13.)
Honestly you’d think she was as old as my father though and I guess that is why it works for them because there is a 14 year age difference between them as well.

My mother has a habit of calling us and saying the following on our voicemail,

“Margaret pick up its mother.” (sing songy no less) "Margaret if you are screening pick up it’s mother.” (now if I was screening, she is who I would be screening from!) “oh George they aren’t picking up do you think they aren’t home? Margaret it’s mother. Oh I never know what they are doing....put that down you don’t need to eat that right now. Oh for heaven’s sake George close that door. Mumble, mumble, mumble and then she hangs up.

My husband and I went up there for that years Christmas holiday and I share with her yet again while in the kitchen that we do not have an answering machine so I can’t screen her messages.
I explain that she doesn’t need to tell me it’s her because I can’t hear her.
My father is reading the paper at the kitchen island while my mom is at the kitchen sink with her back to me.

“Why can’t you hear me? Is there a volume to turn it up on your machine?”

I continue on how we don’t have an answering machine anymore that it is voicemail so I can not hear her when she is talking to me in voicemail.

She says, "Well if you aren't home of course you can't." I said, "no I am not screening at all. I can not hear you BECAUSE I don't have a machine Ma, this is voicemail. Think of it as inside the phone.

I go on to explain the difference between an answering machine and voicemail. I explained that the best way to think of it is that it’s an answering machine inside my phone from the phone company so until I pick up my phone and put in a code I don’t hear any messages.

She says, “okay I see. So how do you think they get faxes to go through the air with a picture and words and then it ends up at someones home or office? Isn’t that something?”

I begin to laugh because where the hell did this come from?
My father looks up from the paper for a moment and looks at me with the most dead pan look and says “that’s YOUR mother” As though he has never met her before.

Fast forward to our trip home that week and we get caught in some bad weather and the 6 hour trip takes over 8 hours. We finally get home and unpack and I check voicemails.

There are 3 from my mom saying, “Margaret we are worried if you made it home please pick up. Margaret it’s mother if you’re screening pick up please.” Why haven’t you called to let us know you got home okay? Oh George I’m getting worried....then mumble, mumble mumble and hang up. There were 2 more similiar to that.

When I listened to them I put them on speaker so my husband could hear and we both just shook our heads and laughed. She still does it and for the life of me I don’t get what else I could possibly say to make her understand. I have even showed her how it works when she visited. She smiles and God love her I see that she just doesn’t get it.

Will I be like that in 14 yrs? Oh my goodness I hope not. And who will I get to drive crazy since I have no children? My younger sisters perhaps?  I guess I should have rethought this have children, don't have children, a little more closely.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring in Here and all that Allergy Stuff

Yesterday I was driving with the top down on the car because it was 80. Today I am wearing fleece and freezing. Spring is weird.

Going to the lake this weekend to powerwash the dock and stain it. Hope the rain holds off. Also doing yard work. Doesn't that sound like fun? No it doesn't to me either.

I am not in the mood to work today or do much of anything besides sleep. How can i get that job? I am having severe issues with my allergies this week and while that is good because it means spring is here it feels just awful.
So I will leave you with a picture of my dock in the back yard that needs to be cleaned this weekend. A "before" picture if you will. I will be painting and staining until at least Memorial Day.

I have to go put my head down now somewhere, even if it's this desk.