Friday, August 31, 2007

ZedFly, by Sans

Look what Sans made for me!

The file is called ZedFly.jpg, and it's absolutely beautiful.

It reminds me of THIS (click),
but it's sooooo much better.

Thank you, Andy!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gone, but Not Forgotten

My mother has returned to her beloved state of Florida. While she was here, she kept saying things like "Florida has much better roads than the Tri-State," OR "You have gas station attendants pump your gas? We don't have anyone pump our gas in Florida. What's wrong with this state?" OR "We get free refills of coffee and soda in our restaurants. You people have to pay for refills. Florida's better in so many ways" OR "It's FREEZING here. I miss the warm weather of Florida."

So she's happily back in warm and steamy Florida, where she rides on smoother roads, pumps her own gas (at the age of 88 and weighing only 105 lbs.), and gets as many coffee refills as she wants without paying. We surely lack many amenities here in the Tri-State.

Anyway, I keep thinking Mama Zed's in the same room as me, and I frequently turn around to say something to her, but no one's there. Or I think I hear her rustling around the kitchen. But no, she's really back home in Florida catching up with her friends (one died in her absence), and settling back in. It's as if my place is haunted, but that can't be because she's still alive. I miss her. Weird, huh? :)

Thank you all for hanging in there with me during her visit. It made it so much easier to deal with if I c0uld vent here on a daily basis. You guys are great--I owe you big-time!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Nerves!

I was wrong. The plane leaves at 1 P.M. not 12 P.M.


We're leaving my apartment at 9:45 for a 1:00 p.m. flight. I live 20 minutes from the airport.

She's making me nuts right down to the very last second.

Departure Time

Departure time: Tuesday, August 27, 2007, 12:00 noon.

Zed's disposition:

For clarity's sake, Zed stays here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Who's in Control Here?

My money is now officially in the hands of this place:

Caesar's Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Well, at least $280 of it. But there is some good news: Last year (CLICK HERE) I was furious that it took me 32 minutes and $10.75 to withdraw my own money from my checking account by using my debit/credit card at the Caesar's Casino. This year it took 2 minutes and $4.00 to withdraw cash.

I bet I had those people at Caesar's just SWEATING until they straightened out the problem. They probably had to have a series of high-level corporate meetings (with perhaps members of the Board of Directors and shareholders) to figure out what was the best way to make Zed happy. In the year since I've been to AC, I'll bet they tried a number of methods to dispense cash quickly, and finally settled on this new method today, knowing I would be in town again.

And to cap it off, when I asked a casino waitress for a Diet Coke today, I waited for over an hour and she never actually returned with the drink EVER. Maybe Caesar's execs did that just to show me that they are still in control. Yeah, like THEY'RE IN CONTROL ... bwahahahaha!

I think I'm losing it. How about you? :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Endless Repetition

Last Sunday ...

Mom: When are we going to Atlantic City?
Me: On Friday, Mom.

Sunday night ...

Mom: When are we going to Atlantic City?
Me: On Friday, Mom.

Repeat twice daily Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. This morning we bought tickets to AC. This afternoon ...

Mom: When are we going to Atlantic City? Oh, that's right tomorrow.

An hour ago ...

Mom: So we're going to Atlantic City tomorrow, right?
Me: Yes, tomorrow morning.

All kidding aside, this is really difficult.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

She Was Beautiful

This is what she looked like in her heyday.

My cousin, my father, me, my mother, my sister.
For me, think screaming red hair.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

All Warm Things Are Not Equal--Recap

When it's 84 degrees in Florida, it's a "warm" 84 degrees, not like the cold 84 degrees we have here in the northeast.

Mom: It's freezing in here [in my apartment].
Me: Mom, it's 84 degrees--look at the outdoor thermometer.
Mom: But my nose. Feel my nose; it's ice cold.
Me, after feeling her nose: It's fine. It's not cold at all.
Mom: Well, to me it's cold. It's ice cold in here.
Me: No it's not. Look at me--I'm sweating! I'm dying of the heat! That's how warm it is--and you won't let me put on the central air.
Mom: How can you put on the air when it's so cold?
Me: Didn't you leave winter clothes in the drawer in the office a while back? Let's find them and you can put them on.
Mom: I'm not going to wear winter clothes in summer.

I go get the space heater.

Me, re-entering room: Okay, let me plug this in.
Mom: What is it?
Me: A space heater.
Mom: You can't use that! It's summer!! That's ridiculous. Take it out of here!
Me: But YOU'RE cold. It doesn't matter what season it is.
Mom: I don't want it. Unplug it. I don't want it. And I'm not going to use it.
[Next morning, she's sneezing at breakfast.]
Mom: I think I'm getting a cold from it being so icy in here.

My 87-year-old mother flies home on Wednesday morning after a three-week visit. She will be returning to Florida, where the temperature is 84 degrees, but a warm 84 degrees.

I cracked up when I read this in the August 2006 archives, because today she wore a sweatshirt and sweater with long sweatpants and wool socks and complained how she never expected it to be so bitter cold in the Tri-State in August. We had a high of 72 today. A wintery 72.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

She's on the Prowl for a Boyfriend

So far I still have longish hair. But yesterday I took a scissor to it at my mother's urging and it's now 1 to 1 1/2 inches shorter than the day my mother arrived.

I hope she's happy, though I'm thinking, no ... no, she's not.

We went clothes shopping and she choose size 5 items to try on. In the Junior Department. You know, where teenagers shop.

Me: Maybe you should try on the next size? Like a 6 in the Women's Department?

Mom: Why? I have a good figure and I want to show it off. I don't want to wear old-lady clothing!

Maybe she's trying to land a boyfriend! Please advise if you know of anyone.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pot Roast Coming Up!

Mom, on the way home from the airport, Tuesday: Have you tried Stouffer's Yankee Pot Roast? It's so good.
Me: Nope, haven't tried it yet.

Mom, Wednesday AM: My friend Mary told me to try Yankee Pot Roast. I think it's made by Stouffer's. You have to try it!
Me: I will. Sounds good.

Mom, Thursday evening: You know what's good? Yankee Pot Roast! Who makes that again?
Me: ... Stouffer's???
Mom: Look how you know! Have you tried it?
Me: No, not yet.

Tonight over dinner: My friend Kathy told me about Yankee Pot Roast by Stouffer's. Have you had it? It's so good.
Me: Not yet. Some day. You want me to buy it for you?
Mom: No! Why would I want you to buy it for me? I don't want it. I just asked if you've tried it.

I'm thinking we're having Yankee Pot Roast some time in the near future.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where Did I Hear This Before?

"What are we doing today?"

I gave her several interesting suggestions. All good ones--honest.

Mom: "Why don't we go get your hair cut instead?"

It's a theme! (See HERE.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Towels!! More Towels!

Mom: "I need more towels."

Me: "Mom, I already gave you four towels, and you just got here yesterday evening."

Mom: "No you didn't."

Me: "Sure I did. Let me show you."

We go into the guest bath.

Me: "See? One blue towel, one purple towel, and two white towels. That should be enough for a day or so, no?"

Mom: "They don't match."

Grrr. :) She's really cute in a mother sort of way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The First Jab

So my 88 y/o mother got off the plane from Fort Lauderdale, gave me a hug hello, and said:

"You need a haircut."

I've got a long two weeks ahead of me. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Home Depot Imrov Everywhere Stunt

I love the group Improv Everywhere. They pull off the greatest, most harmless but amusing stunts anywhere.

The Slo-Mo Home Depot Stunt was performed by hundreds of volunteers given the following instructions:

1. Go to a specific Home Depot at a specific time and shop.
2. On cue, walk in slow motion throughout the store for 5 minutes.
3. On cue, walk normally for 5 minutes.
4. On cue, freeze in place.
5. On cue, walk normally and leave the store.

Simple right? And hilarious! Watch THIS.

I hope you haven't seen this, but even if you have, it's worth a second look.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

List of Lists Meme. My Cousin Rocky's Heading Your Way, Sushiboy

Sushiboy tagged me last week with this meme. I tried so hard to ignore him, but it's impossible. He's just too nice. So now you all are going to suffer through another meme. HEY, DON'T BLAME ME. BLAME SUSHIBOY!

List of Lists

3 people who will be annoyed you tagged them…
1. No one. If you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged!
2. No one. If you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged!
3. No one. If you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged!

4 things that should go into Room 101 and be removed from the face of the Earth.
1. Cruelty to animals
2. Cruelty to other people
3. Michael Vick
4. Poverty/hunger

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently.
1. Lie to each other
2. Fail to listen to great advice (mine) :)
3. Drive as if they are playing a video/online game instead of a dangerous machine.

2 things you find yourself moaning about:
1. Lack of consideration; rudeness; unkindness; thoughlessness
2. The necessity of money

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself
1. I want fairness, kindness, mutual respect and lack of cruelty in ALL relationships, not just with people but with animals as well.

Question #1: What Were You Doing 10 Years Ago?
Running a software development team at a major corporation

Question #2: List 5 Snacks You Enjoy:
1. Coca-Cola
2. Diet Coca-Cola
3. Pretzels
4. Potato chips dipped in sour cream (I don't have this too often, for obvious reasons)
5. Vanilla ice cream with butterscotch syrup and a dash of whipped cream (again, I don't have this too often, for obvious reasons)

Question #3: List 5 Songs You Know All The Lyrics To:
1. I'm terrible at remembering lyrics and have always messed up in this area. I insert my own words in lyrics. I rule that way. :)

Question #4: List 5 Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire:
1. I'd give $500,000 to Sans Pantaloons. (He just lost all his money in the stock market.)
2. I'd buy a castle in Europe (not too old though; the old ones require lots of plumbing repairs).
3. I'd get the people next door to sell me their apartment and move out, thus doubling the size of mine.
4. I'd hire an assistant to organize my life. Perhaps 2 or 3 assistants to organize my life.
5. I'd hire a staff to feed as many stray animals as humanly possible.

Question #5: List 5 Bad Habits:
1. I drink too much Coca-Cola (I'm with Sushiboy on this)
2. I am computer-addicted. Completely and thoroughly.
3. I'm a bad communicator (in terms of returning phone calls/writing thank you notes/etc.)
4. Procrastination.
5. Procrastination again--because I'm that bad.

Question #6: List 5 Things You Would Never Wear Again:
1. Anything pink (I'm a redhead.)
2. Short shorts.
3. Mini-mini skirts.
4. Teased hair.
5. Contact lens. I tried to adjust on three different occasions with 3 different types of lens and I hated them. Squinting is good :) ... or I wear glasses in the car and at the movies.

Question #7: List 5 Favorite Toys/Video or Online Games:
1. Pacman
2. Ms. Pacman
3. Super Pacman
4. Panic Pipes
5. Pacman (did I mention that?)

I hope you're happy Sushiboy. :)

Stinky Fish Part II

I just know I'm going to sound like an ungracious host, but I'm not good at hosting strangers. And quirky, difficult strangers at that.

For three days, I opened my home to friends of friends of friends (strangers to me) who asked if they could stay with me while they visited the Tri-State since they had heard I have a large apartment. The fact is, I COULD have refused, but I didn't. Why not? Because I wanted to be gracious to these people (a husband and wife and the wife's mother) because ... well, actually, I don't know why. Sad, isn't it? I'm not usually this nice. Why start now?

They were constantly in my face, moving things around, breaking things, bickering/arguing with each other, blasting the TV, and pretty much expecting me to take them wherever they wanted to go whenever they wanted to go. I cooked every meal for them, or if I didn't cook, I provided the food. Haven't these people heard of HOTELS? or RESTAURANTS? or RENTAL CARS? or CABS? They aren't poor; they just didn't want to spend the money it would take to go on a three-day New York vacation. Good, so I'll spend the money. Me, a stranger to them.

The truth is my apartment is my oasis, all cozy and warm and nice. But it turned into a bit of hell with their dirty towels, dishes, and laundry; empty glasses; a backed-up toilet; frequent disagreements and nitpicking. On Friday night, the TV was blasting so loudly that the doorman called to request I lower it since the neighbors were complaining. Yesterday the kitchen sink backed up for the first time in the 15 years I live here. Last night the toilet overflowed (also a first).

Frankie & Johnny meowed far more than I can ever remember, and finally they just hid in the sweater closet and wouldn't come out. I wish I COULD HAVE HID in there with them.

The unwanted guests left early today, and although I need to pick up after them, change sheets, wash dishes, clean, etc., my oasis is slowly creeping back in. I'm feeling my peace return at last. And Frankie and Johnny have stopped hiding, came out of the sweater closet, and are running and jumping and rejoicing once again.

P.S. My 88-year-old mother arrives on Tuesday. Oh. My.
P.P.S. No, I'm not going to win the Ms. USA Graciousness Award.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Stinky Fish

Benjamin Franklin knew what he was talking about when he cleverly, and correctly, stated: "Fish and guests stink after 3 days." I can't go into further detail. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm Going to Witness a Birth UPDATE


She's having a C-section. Whew! I'm spared! Yahoo!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I'm Going to Witness a Birth

On Wednesday I will be a “support person” for the birth of my friend’s child at the local hospital. Okay, in English, I’m going to be in the room when a friend gives birth on Wednesday (she’s being induced). I’m totally freaked out. Her husband will be there as well, but I fully expect he’s going to be a basket case. Any advice on how I should support her and what to say to encourage her during delivery?

Help! Any and all advice is welcome. Where's my Rescue Remedy?

Update: The delivery's been moved to Thursday. One more day to worry.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's Never a Good Sign When ...

... the cable guy says "Why do you have a Homedics power cord plugged into the back of the cable modem instead of the cable modem's Toshiba cord? The two power cords supply two different voltage outputs." Oh.

And so it turns out I somewhat fried the cable modem, causing my computer to freak for a week.

He gave me a new cable modem, properly attached the Toshiba power cord, and my computer's working again.

Oops. Bad me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I've Been Interviewed!


There is a Blogger Interview project making the rounds, and I volunteered to answer some questions via one of my favorite blogs,
Passion of the Dale. Dale has kindly supplied me with 7 queries that he demands be answered. Alright already, alright! Don't be so pushy, Dale. :) Here we go:

1. While I am aware of your awesome ability to make paper snowflakes to rival my mother's, what other secret crafty talents do you harbour?

a. I'm a good cook with several specialties, including home-made manicotti, glorious chicken (chicken in mushroom sauce baked in croissant dough), killer mashed potatoes (with sour cream, cream cheese, and butter), and yummy cookies. All the good things in life. I've tried to develop recipes that will knock off several friends through cardiac ischemia, myocardial infarction, or other heart conditions, but so far they're still here. Drat!

b. I am able to play piano, guitar, and violin (separately, not at the same time, thank you), but only if you hold a gun to my head and don't mind a few mistakes. Even women can have performance anxiety, just a different type than the norm.

c. I traveled cross-country by car from New York to Phoenix and didn't kill my traveling companion whom I didn't like. Click HERE.

d. I keep all telephone numbers I use in my head rather than stored in telephone memory. Don't ask. I bet you can't do that, or would even want to. If I ever sustain a head injury, I'm in serious trouble.

e. I am able to live as if I'm NOT the center of the universe, despite my WANTING to be the center of the universe. This is quite a talent, trust me. What do you mean I'm not the center of the universe?

f. Don't be frightened, but I can sense when someone is about to die within the next 24-48 hours, even if that person is considered to be in very good health at the time I sense their demise. It's happened way too many times, and I think no one wants to look at me in the eye anymore. :(

2. You like old movies according to an old post you did. Name a few that you could watch again and again and tell me why.

a. Groundhog Day with Bill Murray just kills me. I like the idea of getting many chances to get life right. It isn't particularly old, but old enough.
b. Anything directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The master of suspense can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. I'm still terrified whenever I watch The Birds, but I'm a big baby that way.
c. Anything featuring Jimmy Stewart (Harvey/Mr. Smith Goes to Washington/Anatomy of a Murder/Rear Window) or Cary Grant (Topper/North by Northwest/Charade). Those guys exuded charisma. They may not have been the best actors or best looking, but when they were on-screen, they ruled.
d. Crying time movies : Gone with the Wind; Breakfast at Tiffany's; The Heiress; How Green Was My Valley.

3. Hosting parties is something you do well, who could forget your 70s, 80s and 90s blog parties? If you were to have a real party and could invite a few famous or infamous people, who would you put on the list?

I would invite political figures (dead's fine, and someone of a different political view than mine is fine too). For example, I'd like to chat extensively with Karl Marx, Hillary Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and that bizarr-0 from North Korea. I'd also invite John Kennedy Jr.--but only because he was breathtakingly gorgeous. Hugh Jackman is on the list as well, and he's not even in politics. We don't even have to talk. I can just look at him. :) I'd also like to speak with President Bush to ask what the heck he could possibly be thinking.

4. Were you the kind of kid who would have been more likely to run away and join the circus or run away and join the music group The Runaways?

I'd join The Runaways. I used to sing in the choir--I know I'd do a good job.

5. Would you rather write a theatre show or star in one?

I'd like to write a Broadway play that I star in. Because deep down everyone knows it's all about me. All of it. Yes, it is.

Bonus questions:

6. How's your mailman?

Jim's retiring in December 2007, and I'd like to know who will do a presort of my mail, taking out all junk mail, advertisements, flyers, etc., and NOT expect me to pick up my mail more than once a week. Volunteers? Anyone?

7. What have you done for me lately?

Not much, Dale, except I DID tell you what a wonderful writer you are and help build your ego to giganto size. The only other thing I could do for you is make a tray of homemade manicotti with meatballs on the side and ship it up north to you in the great land of Canada. But I only make manicotti once a year, and I've already done that this year--in April. How about next year? Will that do?

Who wants me to interview THEM? If you are one of those lucky people, I'll supply questions to you that are deep and/or silly. Or whatever. Let me know in the comments section, and I'll send them to you. I'LL MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD!

My Computer Is "Very Clean"--So Why Doesn't It Work?

Peter, the computer hospital guy, doesn't know what's wrong with my Dell and charged me $107 for telling me that. To make me feel better, he once again gave me many kudos for maintaining such a clean hard drive. "The cleanest I've ever seen ... " Uh, so Peter, why isn't my computer working? "I don't know. Very strange ... " he said.

Tomorrow, I've got the cable guy coming. Right now I can work on my computer, but Internet connections are dreadfully slow: 243 bytes/sec. Think of a snail. A disgustingly slow and semicomatose snail. To get a page to load, I have to stare at a blank page for 5-7 minutes. Except for Google--that loads in a flash.

Computers are the bane of our existence. I hate computers. But I also love them when they work properly, and I need, want, and miss mine ... It's love-hate relationship.

I need to scream: #$%&**&(&)*)(*(*(#!!. Thank you for your patience. I feel better now. Hugs to you--see y'all soon.