Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Oh, hello! Come on in and have a cup of tea with me.

I was brough up in a Catholic household. Church every weekend, Sunday school, confirmation, the whole works. It was fine then. It was all I knew. I’d look around at all the people and silently make disparaging comments about them in my mind. I didn’t know better.

When I finally started paying attention, I decided that I didn’t really like what they were saying. It wasn’t that they were saying anything different or new, it is just that I started having my own opinions that didn’t necessarily agree with theirs. I don’t think either opinion could be labeled right or wrong – just differing. I was my opinion that going to church was being preached AT, rather than preached TO. There were the commandments – you can’t do this or that. And obviously, murder and adultery are not good things. (Well, adultery might be, depending upon your own moral compass. I’m not judging. But murder? Still bad.)

Like many others, I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. I still pray. I still believe there is something greater “up there”, or wherever. And it has crossed my mind more and more frequently that I might like to find a new church. Being the card-carrying lazy apathist (yes, I just made that up – you’re welcome) I am, I haven’t made the effort to go visit any churches to see if their philosophies more closely match mine.

To be clear – I am in no way saying that the Catholic belief system is bad or wrong. It just isn’t for me. I think we should all be able to practice any religion that works for us; worship at the altar that works best for you, and let me do the same.

Then, I see this headline in a Tweet from a local news station:

Maine’s Catholic churches plan a second collection weekend to help the referendum campaign to overturn the law recognizing gay marriages.

And that pisses me off to no end. I would have the same reaction regardless of the religion at the center of the story. While I can appreciate that this does not necessarily fall under the separation of church and state, what business is it of any church to get involve in this law?

This whole gay marriage thing and the opposition against it? It’s beyond my scope of comprehension as to WHY THE PHUCK IS IT ANYONE’S BUSINESS IF TWO PEOPLE WHO LOVE EACH OTHER GET MARRIED????????? We should celebrate MORE love in this world, not try to squelch it. If two people get married, it doesn’t affect my life in any way. I don’t care if they are gay or straight.  And now for the church to get involved?? WHY? So, your beliefs may not be the same, so you have to make others’ beliefs wrong? How is that showing the love of a higher power?

And don’t even bring in “the Bible says it’s wrong” crap. This is NOT A RELIGIOUS ISSUE. It shouldn’t be a state issue. It shouldn’t be ANY issue. If these couples aren’t hurting you or themselves, leave them alone to be who they are.

Dear Catholic Church,

Stay out of it. Take care of your own house before you start finding fault with anyone else’s house. And that goes for all your brother religions as well. Just because you may not believe something doesn’t make it wrong. Isn’t there a “turn the other cheek” edict somewhere that should be followed?

I’ll get off my soapbox now. I’m a little dizzy from the altitude. I just think, again, that we should encourage love. Regardless of the form it takes.

*Maggie tried to stop me from writing this by walking on the keyboard and planting herself on my lap for a number of hours. She knew this would not sit well with folks. But since it is my blog, and my opinion, I’m okay with it.

Oh, hello! Come on in and have a glass of port with me.


Back Story: One of the very few perks of working at the Gas ‘n Sip is that sometimes we get tickets. To sporting events. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that we had tickets to the Boston Red Sox for last evening.  Now, I am, admittedly, not the biggest fan of baseball. It’s fairly boring.  But, since I NEVER get offered a ticket, I thought it would be fun.  There were 4 tickets. I got 1 and the other 3 went to Frank, the napkin dispenser filler, and Aubrey and Wesley, the co-chief gas Pumpers.  Yep, me and the 3 boys get to hit the road for some baseball.

I rode down with Frank. He drives one of those froofy cars, FAST! I didn’t know that froofies went 80+ and got so close to the cars in front of them. 😮  What an exciting ride down. The Pumpers took Wesley’s car.

After that exciting ride, Frank and I stopped for 2 of these:

mmmm, beer

We finally go into the stadium, and these are our seats:

pavillion seats, first base line

Aubrey and Wesley were already there. Our seats? Rocked. We had servers. We didn’t need to schlep to the vendors. They came to us. I tried to take a picture of the menu, but it didn’t come out clearly. I could have gotten a lobster roll. Yum, right? $18.20. No. That is not a typo. Hotdog? $6.10. Energy drink? $8.10. French fries? $6.10.  Um, no thank you. I’m good.

Here are some pictures of Fenway:

The Outfield

The Green Monster

The maintenance guys making the infield pretty again for the players

And here is a picture of the shmev in front of us with a truly tragic hat:

No, this isn’t one of the Pumpers. But it is truly tragic.

So, why am I freaking out? Well, the Pumpers found my blog. Wesley said, “That’s what you get for putting stuff out on the Interwebs”. Yeah, there is a HUGE difference between virtual strangers reading my deep dark secrets, and boys I see EVERY FRIGGIN DAY reading it. They don’t need to see when I write a post about me being lonely. They don’t need to hear me bitch about the Leg Jiggler – they KNOW the Leg Jiggler!!!

I’ve made a deal with them. They promise secrecy in exchange for free Blue Raspberry Slurpees. I countered that if the Slurpee machine really does go away, I would keep them in orange cheese-flavored food product if I move to the Nacho Bar or the Wiener Wheel.  Deal.

So, you phuckers. I know you are reading this, and you know who you are. If I get back to the Gas ‘n Sip on Monday, and there is any indication of my having a blog and/or working at the G’nS, I will grab you both by the short hairs and make you scream like 12-year-old girls. MMMMKAY? (But if you made me a new, slammin’ Gas ‘n Sip name tag, I’d like to see it, please. 🙂 ) (Oh, and my girl Lesley, over at Um…What? would like one too, please.)


Oh hello! Just popping back in to ask a question. Have some Pop Rocks in honor of that.

Why is it that I KNOW the benefits of exercise and how good it is for you? I KNOW that I always feel better after exercising? The post-exercise fatigue? I like that too.

Then why is it that I am so loathe to do it? It’s too easy to just veg out on the sofa. Or read a book. Or sleep. What is it going to take to kick myself in the ass and exercise regularly?

Ideas welcome. 🙂

Oh hello! Sorry I haven’t been around for a while. Have some noodle salad.

Several years ago, when my brother Herb was still with Satan, we had all talked about learning to kayak and/or buying them. We went to a local sporting goods store which offered “outdoor sports training” and tried out some kayaks. Herb and I thought it was great fun. Satan decided she didn’t like to get wet. Or leave the house without showering and putting on a full face of make up. And doing her hair. She also didn’t like to sweat. So instead, we continued on with the same old thing – they would leave their house on weekends at around 2, after Satan had vacuumed (again), done at least 2 loads of laundry, had 1/2 pot of coffee, cleaned the stove, and gotten ready. Then they would swing by to pick me up, do Satan’s errands which she couldn’t seem to do during the week, and then go somewhere so Satan could drink we could eat.

I’m fully aware that I could have opted to do something else, but I like hanging out with Herb. And I like to go out to lunch on occasion too. But I was getting tired of always having to plan everything around alcohol. Drinking is also all well and good, but jeepers, can we do something else??

The last winter that Satan was around, I said that I thought it would be cool if we got snow shoes and got out and did something in the fresh air. Herb seemed into it, but Satan doesn’t like to be cold. *sigh*

Flash forward to this summer. Satan is gone. Herb is now with a lovely person. Let’s call her….Spice. (Get it? Herb and spice? No? hmmm…) Anyhoo, Spice has to work every other weekend. So Herb has some free time. He also got a bonus over the summer and invested in….. drum roll…. KAYAKS!! WOOT!!!

The first time we went this summer, we went to a little pond. We were both a little wobbly and tippy, but quickly got the hang of it, to some degree. Neither of us could paddle straight – or float straight for that matter! Being the lazy person that I am, my shoulders and arms were toast, very quickly. Then we went the next day, to a bigger pond. Still ridiculously sore, and uncoordinated, but we both realized that THIS was the way to spend sunny summer days. NOT sitting inside cleaning or running errands.

We’ve been a handful of times since that first weekend. Herb spends every other weekend with Spice. (still nothing? huh…). Each time, we get better and more confident and have tried larger ponds and lakes.

This past weekend? We decided to try THE BIG ONE! The lake everyone boats on. The lake our water supply comes from. The lake with more boats, jet skis, canoes and kayaks that we’d ever seen. On the busiest weekend of the summer. Yeah. Good thinking. *eye roll*

So we head out early. It’s a gorgeous sunny day. We have lunch and water and beer and lots and lots of sunscreen. We get there, put the kayaks in the water and set off. So far so good. “Hey cool, we should paddle around those islands!” “yeah, let’s do it on the way back” “k”.

It’s a bit rougher out there than we’ve seen, but nothing we can’t handle. We paddle up one side of the lake, looking at the ducks and trees and camps. We went for about an hour and a half. Then we stopped at a sand bar, where there were a lot of people sunning themselves or bringing in their boats to stop for lunch. We swam for a while, had lunch and rested.

Then we get back in to go further. Onward we go up further into the lake. There are a LOT of boats now and the wake is getting higher. But we pressed on. We traveled that way for about another hour-ish, then turned back. By this point, the waves were practically white-caps due to the number of boats going by. We were both exhausted, but kept going.  We even went by a whole flock of tufted ducks. They looked almost like loons, but they were brown with tufts of feathers off the back of the head. Tufted Duck This is the closest picture I can find. But the real ones were way prettier.

Almost back, we decide Hey! Let’s go across to the island! Yeah. From where we were, to get to the island, we had to go across “open” water, across the boat lane, across the jet ski lane. No protection of the shallower water. No protection of the shore. And off we went. For about 30 minutes we paddled. Hard. I lost feeling in my hands from gripping the oar. We both decided our shoulders were burning. Finally!! We made it. Um. Yeah. That was fun. Kinda. NOT.

The waves from the boats were pushing my boat into the shore and I almost got washed up onto the rocks. But halfway around the island, we discovered such calm water that we floated for a while then. We made our way back towards the car. We had to wait at the bridge for 5 or 6 boats to go under first, then we went under and back to the car.  We were out for about 4 and a half hours. Whew!

Long day. But the weather was perfect. The exercise was great. The water was warm. We had a lot of fun. I did feel badly that after all of that, Herb had to drive down to Spice’s house for the evening. Spice lives about an hour +/- away. UGH. I was toast. I don’t know how he made it. 

But the best part? After that adventure, we decided that we would be able to make it out to one of the coastal islands next summer. Ocean! There is a lovely restaurant out there that we could have lunch at. FUN!

Oh, and if you are wondering why Herb doesn’t go kayaking with Spice? It’s because she is not a strong swimmer and is a little bit afraid of it. I still think she would be fine and have a blast, but Herb doesn’t want to push her. She would have probably died out on THE BIG ONE with us, but the smaller ones would have been great for her.

So there you go. My new favorite thing to do. Kayak. If you have been kayaking before, you know. If you haven’t, and you have the opportunity, GO! You don’t really need to be a strong swimmer if you stay on the lakes and wear a life vest. (I consider myself a strong swimmer and still wear one, because you just never know what could happen.) Try it. You may find yourself with a new favorite thing to do, too.


Oh, hello! Have some tea. And sugar cookies.

I think it would be an affront to feet everywhere if I said what I have are feet. Or soles of my feet. No, I think it’s safe to qualify what I have as hooves.

These? are my feet. I’ll wait while you go hurl…

Back when I pretended to have money, I would get myself a pedicure every 2 weeks. It kept them soft and pretty. Then, when I realized that I really didn’t have money, that stopped. I bought the Ped-egg to scrape down the worst parts and, while I do like it, if you don’t do it very consistently, the hoof-ness can get away from you. Add to that that I prefer Dansko clogs (mostly due to my foot issues – I would love to wear hot sexy heels all the time. Alas, tooties aren’t cooperating). These shoes are unbelieveably comfortable, but they are conducive to calluses. I even bought something called “Crack Creme” but mostly due to the fact that the name made me giggle.

Tonight, I broke out the big guns. Bag Balm. And socks. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m desperate. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’m willing to give them a try!

Oh, hello! Have a mini-cupcake. They’re fresh.

What has happened to customer service? Back in the day, store employees would actually say “Thank you” or “Thank you for shopping here”. At the very least, they might make small talk with the customer, ask  about their day.  Dealing with service people by phone used to be less of a chore. They would attempt to resolve your issue, without putting you on hold 5 times, all while speaking clearly.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home this evening. I picked up a rotisserie chicken (LOVE those!!), some fruit, bread, and frozen veggies. At the checkout, I was not greeted by the cashier. I was not acknowledged. I was given the total. And then…. she packed the groceries. Bag #1: fruit ON the bread. Bag #2: frozen veggies with the HOT FROM THE OVEN chicken. Yes. She put the hot stuff and the cold stuff in the same bag. That takes stupid to a whole new level. What the heck is wrong with people? In what universe would that ever be considered appropriate? Or sane?

Then before I left, I didn’t get the “Thank you for shopping here” or “Have a nice day” or even the ever-irritating “Have a good one”. No, no. Insult added to injury, after she started the melting of the veggies, she was talking to another cashier about her weekend. Um, really? Who raised you? How does one learn to be that rude? And how does one go about NOT acquiring common sense.

Listen, you are in a SERVICE POSITION. This means you DEAL WITH PEOPLE. If you don’t like to do that, great. Go find a job where you don’t have to interact with customers. I did it. The Slurpee manager doesn’t actually have to deal with customers. And trust me, we’re all happier for it. The Chip-Bag Fluffer? He has to deal with customers. He’s good at it, and likes to do it. Good for him.  The point is this. If you work with the public, be polite. Have a smile on your face. Pretend to like your job. That’s what you get paid to do. IT’S YOUR JOB. Each interaction takes less than 5 minutes, usually. Suck it up.