Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cancel the Memorial Service

You can call off the Memorial service and send the professional mourners home. I didn't die.

The Zicam kicked in, working in conjunction with Listerine (my breath was more than superb, thank you!!), and one 1/3 dose of Nyquil.

Another night I had cognac latte (I learned about that one during one of my living-in-Europe episodes) and put on three blankets to try to sweat out the cold.

Twenty years ago I walked into a hospital in Rome with the worst bronchitis ever and said, "I need help, I'm dying." Yes, that was dumb to say; but it got their attention. A young doctor took me on the side, listened with his stethoscope to my wheezing, whiny breathing and turned to make some notes on paper. He opened a cabinet, took several bottles of medication out and handed them to me, saying, "Here take these." He also told me, "If you want to get well quicker, go to the liquor store and buy some cognac and put a good amount into hot milk. Drink this several times a day, and you will be well by the end of the week."

It worked without my ever having to take the meds. Who knew?

And under socialized medicine, I didn't have to pay a dime for the meds, doctor's time, or the advice.

Glad to be back! Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seeking a Remedy ...

I've been super-stressed. And so, of course, I now have a heavy-duty cold. Ker-choooooooo!

Sorry. I'll be back soon. I hope you are all well!

Anyone have any good cold remedies? List 'em please! Thank you!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Men in Planes

Another episode of "Men and Their Toys" ...

Click HERE.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


My apologies for not posting for two days, but I've been busy working on books about machinery and machinery systems (captivatingly zzzzz) , acting (I think I'll become an actress; I could win an Academy Award! I've still got my speech ready...), teaching and classroom diversity (another zzzzz), and other fascinating topics.

I even have a book coming up about collation
. How much is there to say about collation? Do they mean, like, the collating of papers that come out of a desktop printer? Probably not. I'm worried it's about this:

But one must pay the monthly maintenance, so I take whatever work I'm given. I can stop TOMORROW if you people would just get together and pay my maintenance for me. Sheesh, what's the problem?!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oh Really ... ?!!!!!!

See these? !!!!!!! I'm quite addicted to using them. I mean, it's not as if I'm addicted to some DRUG or ALCOHOL or something. Using exclamation points is a harmless exercise in studied enthusiasm and an expression of urgency. Or so I thought.

Last week I asked a neighbor if I could use her fax machine since mine was broken. BIG MISTAKE. The first attempt failed. So she took my cover sheet and an invoice I was sending to a textbook editor and she shuffled the pages. In shuffling them, she noticed several !! on my handwritten cover sheet: "Hi Sue, did you ever get a chance to send me the manuscript for that computer book you asked me to edit for you? I really need it soon in order to complete this job on time! Could you please send it asap? Thanks so much!! Zed"

Neighbor: I wouldn't leave those exclamation points in there.
Me: Why?
Neighbor: Because that's rude. It's as if you're yelling at her. Why would you want to yell at her?
Me: I'm not yelling at her. I know this woman for 15 years--we're friends. We write to each other like this all the time ...
Neighbor: Well, when I receive a note like this at work, with all those marks on it, I rip it up. I don't even read it. I'm not going to put up with that--I don't want to be spoken to in that manner.
Me: What manner?
Neighbor: Rudely. It's as if you're yelling at her. I'd just rip it up!

See that last exclamation point attached to the neighbor's final comment? I added that just to be obnoxious.

Here are some more, lady:


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Post Cards from the Tri-State

Sushiboy asked me to bring back a postcard from the post office. I brought back three 'cause I'm just like that. Accommodating.

Here you go, one from each state in the NY Tristate:

Mystic, Connecticut

Ellis Island, looking toward Manhattan, circa 1999. It looks older than that to me! In fact this photo looks about 30 years old, doesn't it? With hand-painted color?

The Pulaski Skyway, New Jersey (near Newark)

I'm including this postcard instead of a beautiful one for the fine state of New Jersey because the powers that be just figured out that this humongous bridge was built using the same exact method employed to construct the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota. They now plan to rebuild the Pulaski Skyway over the course of 20 years. Sounds like fun for all.

There you go, Sushiboy. I aim to please!

Post Office Run

I'm running to the post office. Do you need anything while I'm there?

My Preachin' Post--Amen!

This morning this big black ominous cloud hung over the Hudson River and I thought, "This could be it--the end of me." I started planning my demise--it was THAT ominous. :)

So I made breakfast (leftover pizza, I'm that pathetic), and by the time I was done eating, the big black ominous cloud was gone and the sun was shining.

Made me think of how we often view life. Sometimes it hits us with big black ominous clouds and we don't think we'll ever get out from under them. And we grumble, and complain, and feel oppressed and sorry for ourselves. But somehow, miraculously, when we look out the window again, the cloud has lifted, the sun's shining, and life is good again. Amen to that!

Done preachin'. Strike up the choir!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Name the Sport

I'm working on a sports book. I'm snoring. It's not about the greatest or most famous of sports, such as baseball, football, or basketball. No, it's about ANOTHER sport. Can you guess what it is?

The winner gets ... NOTHING. Because I'd have to get dressed, put on makeup, go down many floors to the parking garage, BUY the prize, drive to the post office and PAY to send whatever the prize is to you. Is your dumb one-word answer really worth all that aggravation? I say no.

What sport is the book about? Betcha can't guess.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Phrases to Kill By (Again)

Today's Phrases to Kill By include some of the hippest phrases in use today. I hate 'em.

Peace out. What does this even mean? If you want to bring about peace in your life, shouldn't the phrase be Peace IN? (Think about it. This is very deep.) Or do you mean Piece Out, as in "Please take that gun out of the building"? (I live in the NYC Tri-State, we know about these things.)

Step up to the plate What plate? Do you SEE a plate? I don't see a plate! And if there's a plate involved, does it have food on it? Because, I have no food left as well as almost no underwear (see post below), and to be honest, I'm HUNGRY.

Bling bling Shouldn't the correct phrase be "Ring Ring", "Necklace Necklace" or "Rolex Rolex"?

Keep it real, yo/keeping it real To be perfectly HONEST, I'd like to tell the person who invented this phrase: How about you just buzz off? Keep it real some place else. Honest enough for you?

Can you do me a favor? Actually, no. I can't. I'm busy washing underwear today (see post below). Hey, can you do ME a favor? Do my laundry for me, and then buzz off (see phrase Keep It Real, Yo/Keeping It Real)

Holla Don't yell at me!! Oh, it doesn't mean that? Okay. Hello?

When push comes to shove Don't shove my push or I'm calling the cops! We're not into violence around here.

Think outside the box What box? I only own shopping bags.

TMI (Too Much Information)

I'm 3 pairs short of being out of clean underwear , so I won't be around very much today due to laundry and other neglected responsibilities. (Was the almost-running-out-of-underwear thing just a little too much information for you?)

Oh, one other thing. My right hand is extremely, extremely itchy, and has been all morning. Does this mean I'm coming into millions $$$$ today? I'll share! I promise, I'll share!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What Am I, the Bank?

About 10 years ago, I worked with a woman who asked if she could borrow $100 until the next paycheck, two weeks away. I knew her for many years, and she swore she would repay the money, so I lent it to her, but emphasized that I wanted the money back when the next payday came around.

Next payday? She said she was paying me $25, but would give me the remaining $75 the following week.

The next week, she gave me $25 instead of $75, AND she did so resentfully and with attitude.

Each day I'd watch her return from lunch at a restaurant with co-workers ($$$) or with bags of clothing purchases from the local mall ($$$). Or she'd come to work in the morning to tell stories about her fun times out with friends after work at the local club or bar ($$$), at the movies ($$$) or at a concert/event ($$$). Paying me back was obvious not a top priority for her.

She still owed me $50. When the next payday came by a week later, I asked her if she had my money for me. She said no. So I sat down with her in her office and said, "Then pay me $5 a day. You can do that, right?? $5 a day for 10 days, and we're done." She looked at me quizzically and asked, "Why, do you need the money?"

Need I say more? People ...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fish for the Timid

I am soooo not a fish eater. In childhood, the only fish we ate as a family was tuna fish bought in cans because my father wouldn't allow any other fish in the house. Well, that's not 100% true: Once my mother served some fish that lay on the plate, fully cooked, with one eye pointing up, and that was the point at which my father wouldn't allow any fish other than canned tuna in the house. The fish in that plate did NOT look happy.

So years passed and I remained in a predominately fish-less condition. I tried salmon once or twice but couldn't get past the idea that it had fins and stuff, and that, well you know, if you turned it on its side, one eye might stare up at me.

This past week a friend called to invite me to a small dinner party at her home. It sounded great until she told me what she was cooking. She was making tilapia. FISH. I'd heard of it, but I asked what else she was making to see if I could find something I could eat for dinner. She was making side dishes of asparagus (yeck!), a Vidalia onion tart (yeck!), and wild rice. Obviously she wasn't cooking for ME. :) (I' m a pill. Don't ever invite me for dinner.)

Well, I went and tried the tilapia. Who knew it was so delicious? I certainly didn't! It didn't even taste like fish. It was so good, I went back for seconds! My friend also served tiny, thin asparagus sauteed in oil and garlic that was delicious, as was the Vidalia onion tart (again, who knew???). Hey I'm finally growing up and I'm branching out. It's taken far too many years!

Now that I've eaten FISH, who knows where I'll go from here. Any suggestions for fish eating? Anyone?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My ONE Flaw

Today my blog counter passed 30,000 (PLUS approximately 5000 from my earlier blog), so I've had 35,000 visitors, and I'm just shallow enough to be proud of that.

Okay, so I have ONE flaw. Happy?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Should Have Become a Plumber

On Friday, I found water pouring out the bottom of my guest toilet. Building maintenance said it was the flange that was broken, and they don't handle that, so I called a plumber and asked when he could come by:

Frank the Plumber: Next Wednesday. I can make it next Wednesday.

Me: Next Wednesday? Today's Friday. That's 5 days I have to wait?

Frank the Plumber: Well, it's a holiday weekend, I'm wrapping up here for the day, and I'm going to be really busy next Tuesday. So the earliest I can make it is next Wednesday.

Me: Fine. I'll see you Wednesday then. You'll be here when?

Frank the Plumber: 9:00 a.m.

It's a good thing I have two bathrooms. Of course, the second one belongs to my cats Frankie & Johnny, but then let me share it for a few days and by this morning wanted me out of there. I got up early today and I thought, "I bet the plumber doesn't remember he has an appointment with me. Watch. I'd better call him." I call Frank the Plumber.

Me: Hi, this is Zed at the Fortress. You're coming at 9:00, right?

Frank the Plumber: Do we have an appointment? Your name is Zed? We spoke? When? I don't have anything written down.

He didn't remember. Of course not.

Me: When can you be here?

Frank the Plumber: 9:00 a.m. sharp.

So he came at 10:10 and was here until 10:45. He fixed the flange and adjusted the water flow.

Frank the Plumber's charge: $325. That's $325 for 35 minutes work.

Of course handling other people's toilets is a rather messy and smelly occupation, but let's face it, Frank earns more than my doctor. Why did my parents insist I go into publishing?

A toilet.

A flange. (This is a clean one. Be happy I didn't show you a dirty one.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gerbils ... for Teri

Apparently Teri of Family Tree Junkie is hooked on gerbils (I found this out via Dick Small, who knows everything). And when I say "hooked" I mean totally and completely in love with them.

Gerbils are cute little creatures, as most would agree, but they are no match for Brad Pitt and George Clooney or even my ex-boyfriend Brian (Teri's friend) or my ex-fiance Peter Pan Small. They are related to rats, for heaven's sake--hence the name "desert rats." They're rodents! Cute rodents, but rodents nonetheless.

Think it over, Teri! Don't give up on humans just yet!!

I'm in Blogging Rebellion

I've been in blogging rebellion for 3 days now. I can't do it, and you can't make me. Maybe later today. It's just I have so many important things to do today:

1. Clean out the junk corner of my bedroom.
2. Check out why that red helicopter is doing circles over the Hudson River.
3. Do another Suduko puzzle.
4. Win Turtle Mania again at IBProArcade.
5. Criticize Britney on a celebrity blog.
6. Make butter cookies.
7. Watch Ellen.
8. Watch What Not to Wear.
9. Take a nap due to the shear exhaustion of the day.

Hey, I'm busy ...

UPDATE: I have thus far accomplished 3, 5, 7 and 8. I'm about to perform 9. Number 2 disappeared. I'm fighting with myself about making the cookies (6).

UPDATE #2: Dealt with: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 (twice). I haven't yet played Turtle Mania today (I'm already champion over there, ho-hum), and the junk is still in corner. Sans understands, right Sans?