Friday, July 30, 2010

A Lake Adventure for Clarence & Walter

A couple little Uggly Wugglies stowed away today as I went to spend the day at Taughannock Park. I'll let them tell the story.

Once we decide it too late for lady to kick us out, we climb out of her bag and get our own seat on bus.

Man, these seats are wild!!

I tells Clarence to get up on this piece wood here so's we can be seeing the things better.

Hey, Walter, I see North Carolina from here!

That no lighthouse, that power plant, dumbazz.

Hey, a ship off in teh distance! We are saved! Oh THANK GOD!!! Hello! Over here! SOS!!

Jeez loueez, Clarence, we not shipwreck. Hey, mebbe there be pretty lady on board! Let's flash 'em!

Once again, I lecture Clarence on proper sun protection. He think melanoma is joke. I say, who be laughing when you all wrinkle and I still smooth and foxy?

And now I shall venture forth into the wilds to hunt the elusive snipe!

It is a wily creature... shy, cagey, yet delicious.

Walter, why are you talking all funny like the crocodile guy?

Because I am a dangeous game hunter! Now get out of my way, or I shall have to trounce you with my big stick of danger!

Heh heh. That's what she said.

That doesn't even make sense.

We ride the waves for HOUR!

We keeps finding treasure that wash up on shore.

But corn?? 

I sells seashells by the seashores!

I just likes to eats them!

Dammit, Clarence, those are mine shells!!

nom, nom, nom

After awhile, Clarence get tired.

I get tired too, so I lay down in bed of moss.

Lady was nice enough to pick us up and take us back home on bus again. Driver happy to see us and ask how day went. He nice guy. From Ukraine originally! Time to rest up so can have more adventure!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Psst, we're shooting craps in the locker room at 3:45pm. Pass it on!"

One of the perks of my job is staff access to many of the facilities at the college across the street, which happens to be my alma mater.  I've recently decided to start swimming laps on my lunch hour and the fact that IC's women's locker room has not changed one iota since I attended swim camp there in 1989 (1989, for the love of radishes!) flashed me back to my high school swimming days.

My school was very small and we didn't have enough girls to justify a girls' swim team, so thanks to Title IX, they had to let those of us interested swim on the boys' team.  Most of the other small towns around us were in the same boat and all had co-ed teams, but it got interesting when we were up against all-male teams. It was a good thing- we were swimming during the boys' season and were held to the boys' qualifying times, which pushed you harder. And the boys on our team were wonderful-- they were some of my best friends in high school and beyond.

We had a curious relationship between the girls & boys on our team. The boys were simply fascinated by the girls' locker room- even without girls in it. I remember a 7th grader who sincerely thought those were gumball machines on the wall next to the toilet.  And we had a floating craps game (pun intended) in the boys' locker room for the 30-35 minutes we had between school letting out and coach arriving.

Our school did Guys & Dolls as our musical in junior year and those of us who were chorus dancers or had other bit parts learned to shoot dice backstage.  The boys' locker room had one giant stone bench in the middle of the room and we used that to roll the dice. We mostly bet penny candy and sometimes pennies, nothing high stakes.

There was also a hazing ritual where new team members got either tossed in the snow outside or in the snow-filled dumpster outside. And every year just before Sectionals, we girls had to help the boys shave.  It allegedly cuts a couple seconds off times, so they were all for it.  The guys who had been on the team a couple years had the routine down, but we girls were always enlisted to help out the newbies.

Besides shaving boys' legs for them, it was a great experience. Frankly, you're never going to be more unattractive than you are competitively swimming:  race suits work to flatten you out on top and widen you on bottom to make you more streamlined in the water; swim caps basically make you bald and goggles make you look like a bug, and if you wore contacts like me, you wore them extra-tight so you wouldn't lose a lens, and spent a couple hours after practice or meets with deep circles imprinted under your eyes. You got to the point where you were used to boys seeing you like THIS all the time, and sort of stopped caring about how they saw you in other situations. We also had Saturday morning practices and when you're just going to get in the water anyway, why bother getting dressed & cleaning up? We all showed up in our pajamas and bedhead and just grew very comfortable around each other.  I had a cross-country friend who joined swim and used to reapply her makeup after meets. The rest of us would just shake our heads and take bets on how long that would last.

One thing I do NOT miss:  pre-race jitters.  I had a decent butterfly stroke and got stuck swimming those events.  The relay was fine- down and back, no problem.  The 100 - four laps of the pool- would kill me. It's an exhausting stroke, and the first time I did it, I started hallucinating (lack of oxygen?) on my last lap and thought the water around me had turned into orange soda.

Monday, July 26, 2010

You are so beautiful... um, no.

I had a doggie recovering from surgery this weekend, as well as dog-sitting another whose owner was at Grassroots, which meant I wasn't going far from the house. My husband was going out of town for a funeral, so I had all kinds of plans to get a lot of work done with the house more or less to myself. I only managed to sort out the mess on the kitchen countertop and watch a lot of old Saturday Night Live episodes. Season Two, episode three had Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) hosting and Joe Cocker as the musical guest. I can't find a clip of it, but Joe Cocker's first performance was him singing You Are So Beautiful, and damn, I cannot tell what the f is wrong with that guy. He came out on stage wearing a sparkly elvis-y type suit with what looks like a little girl's peasant top unbuttoned nearly all the way that barely comes to the top of his very round belly, and the top couple buttons on his pants are undone. Let me repeat that: HIS PANTS ARE UNDONE. While he's performing. While he's performing a song titled "You Are So Beautiful." The irony was not lost on me. If you get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it. (The whole season is available on Netflix and Netflix instant streaming.)
His second performance was "Feelin' All Right" and John Belushi joined him onstage doing his Joe Cocker impression. It was priceless. The video below isn't that particular performance, but you get the gist.

And let me add this:  Belushi is not exaggerating in the least.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mr Dog to Cesar

My dog, Minchy, had two abscessed teeth removed yesterday. In addition to a whole slew of various pills, he also requires soft dog food for the next 7-10 days. Friends of ours gave Minchy a little get-well gift that included a can of Cesar soft dog food (which we were really grateful for, as we hadn't thought that far in advance) so this is in honor of my dog's new diet:

Monday, July 19, 2010


Reading Maureen & Kasey's blogs about the jobs they've had made me think about mine.  My family never went on vacation anywhere, so when I was a kid I used to collect mail & water plants for people who were lucky enough to go out of town. It brought me a couple of bucks, which was fine because there was nothing to do in my town anyway and my needs were small.

I babysat UP THE YIN YANG in high school. I watched everyone from a 6-week-old baby to someone just 3 years younger than me. The worst was the kids next door- four year old, two-year-old twins & a 6- month old. One night they all got a stomach bug. It was not pretty.

Summers during college I was a lifeguard and counselor at my town's summer recreation program. I was the token girl- literally, they needed at least one girl on staff to check on the girls' locker room. I got along with the other boys, so I was in. (I seem to be in a lot of situations where I'm hired/selected/shanghai'd primarily because the boys involved don't get along with any other girls.) It was fun. I had pool duty the most often, because the guys preferred outdoor games, where they could work on their tans and be seen by people driving by. I had these two kids- more twins- who were so scrawny they looked like drowned rats before they even got wet. They used to BEG me to let them swim in the deep end. I told them they could when they'd proven their fitness to me by swimming 15 lengths of the shallow end. They'd get tired & bored and leave to play kickball. One day, one of the guys was lifeguarding for some reason and I was supposed to come in and relieve him. I watched as Scrawny Rat Twin 1 jumped in to the deep end (with the guy's permission) and promptly started flailing and sinking. I had to dive in & pull him out and I was furious. Fortunately SRT 1 was sufficiently freaked out by the experience that he was happy to stay in the shallow end the rest of the summer.

During craft time, I would try to inject a little feminist anarchy into the proceedings. One day we were making dolls from old-fashioned clothespins and I put nine of them together in black robes. Everyone asked who they were, and we learned the names of the Supreme Court justices that day, with special emphasis on the women.  I will never forget this little girl (who had a mama-sister, no lie) run up to the program director with one of the Supreme Court clothespins and yell at him, "Look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg!!"

I had some tough-guy jobs too, which I found humorous. I was "Weight Room Security" monitor in college for a couple years. Which meant I sat at a table and scratched a tally mark on a sheet of paper every time someone came in to the weight cage to lift.
I also moved furniture my first summer in Bowling Green. It was supposed to be temp work painting dorm rooms. Instead, I'm hauling wardrobes on a dolly. I lasted a couple weeks before I had to quit because riding an elevator up 15 floors and down dozens of times in a day gave me vertigo. I ALWAYS felt like I was ascending or descending. It was trippy- not in a good way.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Berry-pickin' & pizzas

What a beautiful day today was!
First, I joined Maude & Gary at Viva for tacos & burritos.
Georges Le Soq got a little fresh, it seems.

The Uggly Wugglies tagged along to do some berry-picking.

Walter made sure to bring an appropriate hat.

"Now, see, we split the berries five ways."

Walter's decision was not a popular one.

The berries were enormous-- we just couldn't stop picking!

Gary, Maude & Georges joined us for beers & pizzas back at our house.

Georges says, "Hooray beer!"

A couple of Red Stripes, though, and Georges was swinging from a vine like Tarzan.

Le Cirque de Ugglie!

Left to right: 
Clarence's pet trout, Fred
Walter's nephew, Teabo
Felix's pet parrot, Ethel

"We worship the fire god, Frank!"

Brett made us delicious pizza with homemade whole-wheat crust on the pizza stone on the grill. Rice-cheese, fresh tomatoes & garlic and basil right out of the garden. Yuuuuuuummmmm!

The Ugglies Get Around ...

The Uggly Wugglies sure do get around.

Monday, July 12, 2010

an exciting weekend

To start, Minchy & I took a long walk saturday morning and saw this pair of underpants discarded on the rec trail:

The dogs, post- walk.

Then today, I joined Gary's lovely wife Maude in some berry-picking. I allowed two of the Uggly Wugglies, Walter & Wanda, to join us.

Walter offered Wanda a beautiful flower.

She ate it.
They enjoyed a peaceful ride in the berry basket until ...
... the bloodstained hands from hell descended upon them!
Then we joined Gary & Penny back home.
Walter enjoyed some chips and Wanda enjoyed the piggie on the bowl's rim.
Gary and Walter shared a chip.
Maude expressed dismay at the boys' behavior.
I let those damn ugglies walk all over me, I tell ya.
You just can't take them anywhere nice.