Sunday, March 29, 2009

OMG, Srsly?

I got the urge to Google "Martha Stewart Turkey Hill" for images of her former home - even though I have a book with photos of it - and I ran across this photo of Martha and some asses:

Not only is this barn more beautiful than the house I live in, it would also be accurate to say it's much cleaner.

I'm gonna go cry until I throw up.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

That's what my dad's mother used to say, and it is the prevailing theme of my life in this house.

There was a time when I at least tried to make my house look presentable. But when the home you live in is nearly 100 years old, and someone else owns it, you tend to not want to throw cash into the money pit.

However - when the vinyl flooring in your kitchen is about to have its 22nd birthday, and has been gouged by boots and heels and a million objects falling on the floor, and the top layer has begun to peel off leaving actual holes so that sweeping with a broom allows all the dirt to collect in the holes and you can't even mop anymore, it is perhaps time to do something about it.

Maybe it's time to confess that I'm not very good at decorating. I know what looks good, but can never copy it. My taste runs anywhere between traditional/American Colonial (something like Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill house) to cottage style to Swedish design to Zen minimalism. If any of that makes sense. I was also raised two miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so, traditional style + Indy 500 would equal a passion for a black and white tiled floor. I've always wanted one. Always. And now I have it, such as it is.

Please don't point out any flaws in craftsmanship. I did it mostly by myself, despite a couple of attempts by hubby to finish the edges. And do you know why he couldn't finish it? Two reasons, really. One: he spent too much time complaining about the stupidity of laying the tiles diagonally, and refusing to understand the aesthetic appeal. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I would never have a diagonally-layed floor ever again. And two: it's Spring, which means he doesn't have time to do anything not related to farming. If I hadn't finished this project by myself, it wouldn't have been done until next Winter.

There's also some controversy about the wall color. All the males in the family think the red has to go. I think it's okay, and frankly, don't feel like painting again. So, be honest. Is my decorating sense really THAT whacked?

Oh. And the other reason I wanted a black and white floor? To match my cat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

Have I mentioned Sense and Sensibility lately? If not, forgive me for the lapse.

I just wanted to show off my autographed copy of the screenplay, which was written by the brilliant Emma Thompson. I haven't taken very good care of it. In fact, it's been thumbed through like a pay telephone book. There's even a small, cigarette scorch mark. Ack. Let's just say I believe in using things.

At the top left, we have Tom Wilkinson, who played the father of the Dashwood girls (for about 30 seconds at the beginning of the film); just above the title, my beloved Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood); in the center, Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood); below that, the talented Alan Rickman (Col. Brandon); and then from left to right - James Fleet (John Dashwood), Hugh Grant (Edward Ferrars), and Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood).

If my house were on fire, I do believe I'd run back in for this.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Apparently my doctor thinks I'm a street dealer.

I could see it in his eyes while he talked about the street value of Xanax, about why he didn't like to prescribe it, and why he was only giving me 30 of them.

And the only argument I could make was "but it makes me feel better."

What it boils down to is that the doctor believes my blood pressure fluctuates so much (yesterday it was 115/78; today in his office it was 160/100) because I suffer from "situational stress," a condition that would probably go away if I would just agree to take a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. In other words, an anti-depressant, which I swore I would never take again.

What I really need is to not have a job, but money, and lots of chickens and horses and time for art. And then I wouldn't need a doctor or Xanax at all.

That's how life was meant to be. I feel as if I've spent half of mine doing all the things I don't want to do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cowgirl Up!

Last night when hubby got home, he mentioned that our new 21-year-old was going to a place called The 8 Seconds Saloon. He thought it would be humorous if we showed up and crashed the party.

So the cowgirl in me rose up and hollered "YES!"

I also warned him that I planned to ride the mechanical bull. In return, he tried to warn me that, well, I'm not as young as I used to be, and I could break a hip or something.

But I ain't skeered. I even rode before my 21-year-old did, presumably because he wanted me to wear the bull out before he got on.

I rode that bull, yessiree. For at least 8 seconds, but it's hard to count seconds when adrenaline is rushing through your body, you can't breathe, and you are focused on not falling off of a moving object. Determined not to be thrown, I was also focused on my dismount, and during a quiet moment from the bull, I seized my opportunity, dismounting on the right the way you're supposed to, so your left hand won't get caught up in the rigging. I stuck that dismount without even a bobble. Almost threw my hands up like a 13-year-old gymnast, but figured I'd already made enough of a fool of myself.

Fortunately for you, there are no photos. I did a search on youtube for "old lady riding mechanical bull" and I wasn't there. But through the magic that is youtube, I give you what I would have looked like if I had ridden a mechanical bull 29 years ago:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Benny Hill: Alive and Well and Living in Iraq

Chatted with my soldier on Yahoo Messenger yesterday. As usual, I asked him how things were going, and he answered, "Same as usual, just being an extra on the Benny Hill Show."

I laughed out loud.

He told me to go to youtube and search for the Benny Hill theme song to get a mental picture of what life is like for him in Iraq, serving under a bunch of alleged idiots. I told him I didn't have to, because the song was already playing in my head. Apparently he plays the theme song repeatedly for his buddies to remind them of their roles.

For those of you who don't know it, here is the new theme song for my son's battallion:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just wanted you to know.

Last night, in that quiet, dreamy place between wakefulness and sleep, I came up with the phrase "Chinese Nipples." It just flashed before my eyes like a neon sign. I'm willing to give it up, pro bono, to whoever can use it.

Sorta makes me wonder if I'm getting Tourette's, though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thought for the day

It's possible that President Obama signed his Stimulus Package at the same desk where President Clinton had his package stimulated.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

US Government: Still Bending the Truth

Just because George W. Bush is out of Washington, doesn't mean the government isn't still bending the truth to make themselves look good. According to Yahoo News, the US military announced today that 12,000 US troops will leave Iraq by September.

I could have told you that. Most of them are called the 4th Infantry Division, and their one-year tour of duty will be finished by then. Whether they'll be replaced or not is the part of the story we can't be certain about.

In other news:

I will again be staging a tax revolt, and will start buying Russian cigarettes online. Until I can stop smoking, that is. Because the representatives in our State government, who no longer represent me, have decided that it's necessary to raise the tax on cigarettes again, and I feel it my duty as an American to be a revolutionary. It's also my duty as an American to be revolting. And if I can get cigarettes for one-third the cost, isn't it fiscally responsible for me to do so?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

In keeping with a theme

Johnny Depp is starring in a film about John Dillinger (one of my lifelong anti-heroes). The film is scheduled to open in theaters on July 1, 2009, and is called Public Enemies.

For those of you who don't know, I live very near John Dillinger's old stomping grounds. Unfortunately, Johnny Depp has never stomped anywhere near me.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My son got hammered on his 21st birthday.

Yesterday was J-Dub's 21st birthday. I called him on my way home from work to see if I could drop off a cake and a card (with cash), thinking he may have left work early. I asked if he was at home. He said, "No, I'm at the hospital."

Those of you who followed me at Journalspace may remember that I have a phobia of March. March is when all the bad things happen. Last year, my youngest son had emergency surgery to have a blood clot removed from his spine at midnight on February 29th. The year before, my father passed away in March, and in years before that we lost my father-in-law and my husband's favorite uncle.

So it wasn't really unexpected that somebody I know would end up in the hospital. The cause couldn't really be predicted, though - while at work, my son was banging on a piece of equipment with a hammer when the hammer shattered, embedding a piece of steel into his thumb.

I didn't go to the hospital to hold his other hand, because I had the youngest son's sectional basketball game to go to (they lost), and J-Dub wouldn't have wanted me there anyway. When I called later to check on him, he said, "I'm in surgery right now."

Words every mother secretly wishes to hear from her son, but only if he's a doctor.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

It's true. I'm 10 percent white trash.

I'm just guessing at the 10 percent. It could be more or less, but somehow I'm just not as elegant and cultured as I'd like to be. And it isn't just because at this very moment I have a cow leg complete with hoof lying in my front yard.

Yesterday it was planned that I would meet my mom, sister-in-law and niece for lunch and then shopping at a big discount/decorating store called Old Time Pottery. I still wasn't feeling well, so I lollygagged, which sounds not attractive at all and is pretty much my worst trait. I think. Please don't tell me I have a worse one.

To make a long story short, I missed my shopping date entirely. But I shopped anyway, finding myself attracted on this particular day to blue things, which reflected my mood. I loved the bluish-lavender Thomas O'Brien plates, but they were $2.49 each. That didn't seem discounted enough for me. I loved the goblets shot through with streaks of blue glass, and some wreaths with silk violets. I could have left the store empty-handed...if I hadn't been in the mood for summer. And, well, for summertime rednecky things to clutter up the outdoors. So I bought a chicken and a birdhouse.

But I didn't buy just any chicken. No, I bought faux copper SuperChicken, with action wings. Seriously. His wings are attached to little metal springs, which make them flap a little. And he has big googly eyes.

Tell me YOU could have passed him up. Really? You could have? Then what is WRONG with me???

Then I picked up this birdhouse. I don't know. I really don't. It was something about the red, white and blue. Something about the fake '58 license plate. Something about birds.

Is it kind of cute? A little fitting for the side of my garage which needs to be painted? No birds will ever nest there, of course. It's just for show. I'm so pretentious.