Refresher Course

•June 30, 2010 • 2 Comments

Dear U.S. Mail Contractor #54 ~

It was me.  The person who was yelling expletives and gesturing wildly at you.  Me.  Why?  Because you are a jackass.

I’m not sure if you need a refresher course on driving and/or you missed the class when you went for your CDL where they taught you how to drive, but here are some pointers that may make your driving experience – and ours – more enjoyable.

1.  You are an oversized vehicle.  Right away, this is an indicator that you should probably limit your lane accessibility to the right.  The left lane is for PASSING not for TRAVELING.

2.  If you decide to travel in the left lane, please have the decency to maintain a speed of at least the speed limit + 5 miles per hour.  Anything less is just not acceptable.

3.  If you have to exit on the right, do not move into the left lane to pass everyone just to get to your exit that much sooner.  It makes people angry and it isn’t fair to those who have to exit on the left.

4.  When changing lanes, please follow these rules:
      a. Turn on your directional signal.
      b. Wait for there to be a break in between the two vehicles in which you are attempting to wedge yourself (and your oversizedness).
      c.  When the vehicle which will ultimately be behind you honks their horn because you are dangerously close to removing their front hood and all necessary engine parts, this does not mean proceed with caution.  This mean “Get back in your lane you jackass!! There is no room for your kind in this lane!!!”
      d.  See rule number 3.  You have just made matter much worse as you have proven that you didn’t belong in that lane to begin with. 

5.  That is not a real bird that is being flipped at you.

Most sincerely,
Ms. Mazda

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Morning Commute: People I’ve Seen

•June 18, 2010 • 2 Comments

One wouldn’t think that I’d have that much “people scenery” on my commute and normally I don’t, but today I got to see two fantastic characters…in addition to the turkey who returned!

Biker Chick?
I was tailing someone on a motorcycle and was already entertained by that fabulous thing that happens when someone wears clothes that are loose and they ride a bike.  Know how the wind sweeps up inside their clothes and makes them look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man*?  I love that.  So this person, in addition to being humorously puffy, had a braid.  It was a poor excuse for a braid, but a braid nonetheless.  It could have fallen easily into the category of rattail.  I was thoroughly amused because the rat-braid was whipping about like a pinwheel.  I thought “that guy is awesome.”  Then I passed him…and it was a her.  Maybe.

Mid-Life Crisis
I passed another guy who was in a frat-guy Jeep with the top down.  He was wearing a button-down shirt that was a lovely shade of BRIGHT teal (mistake 1).  He had a prominent bald spot (mistake 2…top down, bare head!).  He was ROCKING out to some tunes and he looks like an absolute fool.  But the kicker:  He was driving about 45 in a 65 and an 18-wheeler had to pass him. 

*Side note: For the longest time, I thought it was State Puff Marshmallow Man… that doesn’t even make sense.

When I grow up…

•June 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

I’m almost 32.  I think technically I’m either at the age, or have passed the age, when I should know what I want to do when I grow up.  Thinking back to 20 years ago, I was sure I knew what I wanted to do.  12-year-old Elizabeth was confident that she was going to be a veterinarian.  No doubt.

15-year-old Elizabeth took Biology and it became evident the veterinary science wasn’t really going to work out.

I went to college and I majored in “communications” (I have a degree in in and I’m not really all that sure what it means).  I had a very brief stint with pursuing a Business degree (vague) and I even considered being a Spanish teacher.  Can you even imagine?  A 6′ tall redhead teaching you how to conjugate verbs in Spanish?  Sadly, seven years of Spanish and I can just barely hold my own listening to a conversation in Spanish…let alone trying to come up with more than “Hola! Me llamo Isabel.”  (But give me Don Quixote and I can read it cover to cover – and understand it!)

Anyway, so here I am… accidentally thrown into a career of event management.  And I’ve decided that this is most certainly NOT what I want to be when I grow up.  But I have no idea what I want to do.

They say you’re never too old to change your career path.  I don’t necessarily buy that.  In hindsight, I do regret not going to veterinary school.  Animals has always been my passion and I should have laughed in the face of partially dissected frog, bitten the bullet and gone to vet school.  But I do think it’s too late – and I’m not feeling badly for myself, I promise.

So I need some direction.  I need some focus.  What do you think I should be when I grow up?

PJ

•May 5, 2010 • 1 Comment

When I first moved into our house (and I say it like that because I moved into the house that Wade already lived in), I was quickly introduced indirectly to our neighbors.  There are only 3, so it was a quick intro.  Neighbor behind us is a nice older couple with horses.  Neighbor diagonally across the road was sort of a jacka$$ and put garbage on our property because he thought we couldn’t see it.  He has since moved and the new people are super nice.  And then there was Bob. 

Bob is our directly across the street neighbor.  He’s an odd one. Very nice and absolutely harmless, but just odd.  He’s the very helpful type.  For example, he let us borrow his wood splitter.  For two years.  He’ll help shovel our driveway back into place when the rain washes it way. Just a nice guy.  But, again, odd. 

Bob has something like 47 step children and he’s been married MANY times… and friends, it’s not as if Bob is a catch.  His wife when I moved in was a very large lady.  About 3 times larger than Bob and she would sunbathe a lot.  That is her prerogative*, but it was unpleasant for me.  Alex used to run over to their yard to play with their (weird) dog, Wolf and when I would go to retrieve her, I would see the bathing “beauty” on the back porch.  Then I would want to stab my eyes out. 

Anyway, Beauty had a lot of kids.  How many exactly, I can’t be sure.  I know of at least four, but there may have been more.  One of the kids was in the 11-14 age range and I called him PJ.  That is not his name. 

PJ used to place basketball incessantly.  Which is great – yay for kids playing outside rather than playing basketball via video game.  Rock on.  He only wore Michael Jordan attire, as well. 

As I mentioned, Alex would wander over to visit.  PJ… well, let’s just say he was not a fan of Alex.  He was scared even.  She was a big fluff ball and the farthest thing from scary, but whatever.  Whenever she came to see him, he would drop his basketball and FREEZE.  He’d hold his arms very close to his body and say “Go home Alex!” and pivot so she was always directly in front of her.  And every time he did this I would giggle and think of this:

Taking after my dad and creating random names for people, PJ was born.  Pivot Jordan.

Well, Bob and Beauty got a divorce.  It was too cold in New England, so she packed up and moved to Florida leaving Bob behind.

A few weeks ago, a guy started showing up at Bob’s house ALL the time.  He came over one day and introduced himself as …. well, honestly, I don’t know.  I was distracted because I realized it was PJ!  Here was my chance to learn his name and I blew the opportunity because PJ was all grown up! 

I told him that I remembered him from a few years ago and pointed Alex out to him.  I said, “You probably remember her.” (hehehe…) and he said, “No…I wasn’t a very observant child.” 

Nice to see he got over his fear of my pooch.  He just better watch out for Mabel!

*I did not know that is how you spell “prerogative.”  I always thought it was PERogative.  Huh.  Learn something new every day. 

Frickin’ Dogs

•April 23, 2010 • 2 Comments

I got sucked into a House marathon last weekend.  I don’t watch the show at its normal time, but I’ve always wanted to be “into” House…mainly  because I’m very much “into” Hugh Laurie. 

The episode started off (as they all do) with the medical mystery scenario.  The mysterious patient was admitted to the hospital with his service dog.  Upon seeing the service dog, I immediately had a red flag that something was going to happen to the dog.  I should have changed the channel. 

I’m one of those people who cries at anything that involves sadness for an animal.  And when I cry, I CRY.  Full blown bawling my eyes out, inconsolable break down. 

So when I see this dog, I think that one of two things is going to happen:

     1. The dog is going to die.
     2. The patient is going to die and the dog is going to be sad and an orphan and then I’ll need to adopt him even though he’s a fictional dog. 

Not to spoil it for anyone in case you stumble upon the episode, but the dog dies.  It’s a horrible episode.  The patient and the dog die, but at least I don’t have to see a sad dog. 

And of course, upon his death, there was much crying.  Flood gates opened and I was a basket case. 

Meanwhile, Wade is hanging on the couch with Alex (asleep) on one side and Mabel (asleep) on the other.  I look at him and he’s looking back with the not-at-all-surprised-by-your-emotional-outburst look. 

I took a deep breath, pulled myself together and sighed, “Frickin’ Dogs! Every time!” 

On queue, both Alex and Mabel lift their heads and stare at me.  And I laughed, erasing my tears.

Just ducky.

•April 13, 2010 • 3 Comments

I talk the big talk about how I live on farm and when it really comes down to it… it’s, well, true.  I do technically live on a (no longer operating) dairy farm. Our farm animals consist of :

  • (2) Domestic short-haired cats; (1) Un-Domestic short-haired cat
  • (1) Beagle
  • (1) Alaskan Malamute (who, in her defense, sometimes resembles a sheep)
  • a plethora of gophers
  • rabbits including a very large one I spotted this morning
  • sometimes (2) horses (when the neighbors electric fences fail)
  • a recently spotted 6′ black rat snake (which prompted us to consider moving immediately)
  • a smattering of chipmunks, mice, voles, other garden-variety rodents, etc.

I also have ZERO ability to keep a plant alive, so our gigantic garden is just a big ol’ waste. 

But there is one farm staple that I am desperate to have (alive, not as a meal).  And that, my friends, is a duck.  A male Mallard to be specific.  And I’ve done my research, so I think I’m ready. 

Wade and I visited a local farm equipment/chicken & duck proprietor last Spring and I learned that ducks are easy to come by and the are CHEAP!  Baby ducks are in the price range of about $4 each.  (Chickens are about $1.25) According this store, one can find all the info they need to know about raising chickens – which is supposedly interchangeable with ducks – right here:  Chicken One-Sheeter  (please click…you need to have the full effect)

I am skeptical. 

Last year for my birthday, Wade got me this:

When I opened the package with the book in it, I was instantly expecting there to be a duck in the bag too.  Not so much.  I was tasked with learning, living and loving this book and then I can get a duck. 

So here we are…Springtime.   It’s the best time to buy baby ducks.  And (fingers crossed), I just may be the proud mama of a couple of baby Mallards very soon.  I’ll keep you posted! 

I may just be a farm girl afterall.

Smile – sunshine is good for your teeth

•April 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This morning I pulled into my lane and stopped at the light.  I was mentally gearing up for my Monday morning and this was my final weekend moment before entering the parking garage.  I saw in the car to my right there was a young boy looking out the window. 

The boy was no more than four.  Dark hair. Deep dark eyes. 

Something possessed me to smile at him and give him a wave. 

He grinned back!  Not just with his mouth but with his eyes and his whole self.  The eyes that were just staring at the city traffic were suddenly bright and excited.  Someone was saying hi to him!  And he reached up his small hand and gave me a return wave.

I’ll smile all day today just thinking of that young stranger’s smile. 

**Smile – Sunshine is good for your teeth. ~Author Unknown