Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's Finally Summertime

In spite of having my heat on in the house this past week, this weekend is making me a believer that summer is finally here.

It's been a busy week for me. I started a new audit. The only good thing I'm going to say about this is that it is close to home. No flying to work, or even driving for over an hour to get there. Believe it or not, only about six miles away. Yeah, I could get used to that.

The start of an audit is usually a little stressful. Learning new people, a new place, getting the third degree and in this case, getting to hear how much they hate me and hate that I'm there. Yeah, what fun. All this and I'm locked in a room with people that wish I would get hit by a truck. I've heard auditors tell horror stories about audit sites before. I have a few of my own stories, but so far being locked in a room all day beats them all.

So there's my week in a nutshell.

Today though, I had to run to my office to pick up some documents and drop some off. The good part about this is that Ron went with me! Poor guy has to sit in my office while I put in a little bit of work. But, I made it worth his while by showing him a great Mexican place on the way home. Food wise, this has to be my favorite Mexican restaurant. Since it's way over by work, it's not someplace Ron and I would go to together. But, since we were in that neck of the woods, I finally got him there.

Since we were good and finished our dinner, we decided to get dessert at one of my favorite ice cream places, Petrucci's. This is an awesome place that is close to the apartment we used to live in. We used to be such regulars at this place, that once we stopped in there after an afternoon of riding the motorcycle. We ordered our cones and then realized that neither one of us had any cash on us! Unfortunately, this ice cream parlor is a cash only operation. I felt like such a heel. Like I said though, we were such regulars that the kid behind the counter told us not to worry, we could just pay the next time we were in. Gotta love being a regular!

Unfortunately, we don't live as close to there as we used to, so we don't get there as often. But we did stop today. I had a fantastic cone full of mountain raspberry ice cream and a whole lot of happy memories of summers gone by, sitting out on the picnic bench in front of the store eating some of the best ice cream I've ever had.

Welcome back summer. I've sure missed you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fix It

I have been very vocal in the fact that I hate my bed. The bed is only a couple of years old and I've not been thrilled with it since shortly after we bought it. Ron even bought one of those posture-pedic toppers for the bed, hoping it would help. I think it did help a little, but I still don't like the bed. For at least the last month, I have not spent a full night in that bed. I start out there ok, but then my back or my hips start to hurt and I finish up the night on the couch or the recliner. I am just not getting very restful sleep, for sure. We have started doing some research on buying a new bed. I thought maybe one of those sleep number beds that you see advertised all the time might be the answer. But at a cost of $3,000, I need to find another question, because I can't afford that answer! Before we outlay a ton of money for another bed, Ron had one more idea. Sunday, he totally ripped our bed apart! The box spring portion of our bed is in two pieces. He started by switching, taking each of the pieces and moving them to the opposite side. We then flipped and rotated the mattress, and finished with flipping the posture-pedic topper as well. Then the bedding was washed and put all back together again. For the first time since I can't remember when, I spent the entire night in my bed! That fact really hit me this morning when my alarm started going off and Ron actually asked me what that was for! I've been shutting that alarm off and turning on the one downstairs when I go downstairs to finish off my night. I guess it's been awhile since he's heard the incessant blaring of my alarm. So, the first night was a success. I felt good this morning and felt like I had a good night's sleep. Here's hoping that will continue. Otherwise, my checkbook will be getting a good workout.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Whale Is Just A Whale

I don't get it.

I am one of those people that things are very black and white for me. I have a lot of trouble seeing the gray area. In my mind, Moby Dick is just about a whale and The Old Man and the Sea is about an old guy out fishing. I never see symbolism. I just don't get it. English classes could be a bear because everyone else would start talking in a foreign language as far as I was concerned.

I don't listen to the radio much. I like a couple of local guys in the morning who have a pretty decent talk show going during my drive to work. Other than that, I'm a flipper of stations, just trying to find a song I know and/or like. I don't do much new music. Once in awhile though, one slips through.

While scanning the TV channels with my trusty remote control, I came across VH1. On VH1 was James Blunt singing his new song, You're Beautiful. It was an unplugged version with him on guitar and a keyboard player. The song lyrics are really kinda weird, but there is something about the tone of his voice and the melody. I really really liked it. I even put his CD on my Amazon wish list, at least until I break down and go out and buy the dang thing.

Well, I guess the unplugged version of the video is not the only version. I caught the actual video, probably also on VH1. Ok, now I'm really confused. I have NO earthly idea what the hell this video is supposed to mean. I still love the song for some reason, but I have no idea what this video means.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Storm After The Calm

It's been a quiet week. I think no news is good news.

Then tonight happened.

Ron and I don't have specific "jobs" around the house. Now that I read that, maybe that's not exactly true. Ron does mow the grass and he plows the snow. Garbage night, I'd say 99.9% of the time, he is the one taking out the garbage.

Well, I figured tonight he worked hard on the grass, so I said I'd pack up the garbage tonight and lug it down to the curb. That should have been a no brainer.

Until . . .

It happened . . .

As I was taking the first load from the side of the house down to the curb, an enormous spider started chasing me around the driveway! I know, y'all think I'm exaggerating on this. No lying though, this monster had to be more than an inch in diameter! He was huge! And when something that you're terrified of to begin with is chasing you down the driveway, it looks even bigger and is even more menacing.

The first thought in my mind was just plain screaming. I knew Ron would come running. But then I thought that with all the other excitement in our neighborhood, I didn't need to get all my neighbors up in arms yet again. While I thought a call to the S.W.A.T. team was probably warranted, I didn't think they'd actually take an M16 to kill my stalker.

We have a bucket by the door filled with chestnuts that we collected last fall. I hefted the bucket over my head and brought it crashing down on my mortal enemy, Mr. Spider. All I will say is . . . I won.

Ok, I guess I proved that if push came to shove, I could protect myself. But just to be on the safe side . . . taking out the garbage is now solely Ron's job. Sorry honey!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Oh What A Night

One of my guilty pleasures in life is Friday night. Here is my average Friday night.

Ron and I usually go out to dinner on Friday night. This more than likely is followed by a little shopping. You know, Sam's Club, grocery store. That kind of thing. Necessities of life.

After getting home and getting the booty put away, I grab a nice iced cold Diet Pepsi and it's Pogo night!

I stay up absolutely as late as I possibly can. I will watch trash TV and play Pogo. I know it sounds silly, but I look forward to Friday night. This is my guilty pleasure and my reward for making it through another week.

Last night was like my Friday night since I have off today. Last night Ron and I did dinner, then Sam's Club, then Giant Eagle. After spending over $200, it was after 10:00 p.m. by the time we got home and had things put away.

I have the windows wide open in the house enjoying the gorgeous night, the remote control to the DVR in one hand and the Pogo playing mouse in the other. I am set for a marathon of goofing off! I set a goal of 1:00 a.m. I'm going to try to stay up THAT late!

Well, I outdid myself. It was well after 3:00 a.m. before I actually called it a night. Now I know what I miss by not stretching my abilities and calling it a night around 1:00 a.m. I wanna say about 2:30 a.m., we heard screaming coming from down the street, then some yelling. Ron looks at me, I look at Ron and it's like YES! Some neighborhood excitement! It's been a long winter.

There is a house two doors to the north of me that had been empty for about 15 years. Well, the house has been bought, fixed up and there is a young couple with a child living in there now. Our new neighbors were giving quite a show.

After the screaming, Ron had run to the window by the steps watching the side of the house, while I kept watch on the front window. He reported someone leaving that house via bicycle. Hmm. Shortly thereafter, a van pulled out. Shortly after that, the neighborhood was filled with the police! The street in front of our house was blocked by police cars and our local police were scouring the neighborhood. We both staked out our places on our steps, our two noses pressed up against the screen in the window looking out.

There was at least one officer scanning the backyards with a flashlight. I don't know what he was looking for, but I really had to suppress the desire to start yelling out "hot" or "cold" to see if he'd play my reindeer games! But, discretion took hold and we just enjoyed the front row seat to the excitement.

Police cars came and went for the next hour, as well as someone in the yards with the flashlight. We heard no more screaming or yelling or anything.

So there is our excitement. It sure beat the gunshots that were heard the night before!

Today is the actual Friday night. I don't know if I'm up to staying up that late two nights in a row, but we'll see what we can do. Maybe Ron and I dressed in our jammies, need to put on a pot of coffee and stake out our front porch for the night. Who knows what could happen around here next.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ron!

Happy Birthday, Ron!

Just so everyone knows, Ron started his day by listening to me sing very loudly and VERY badly this morning! Isn't that the way everyone should start their most special day of the year?

Actually, last night was a late night, and since we were both up at midnight, I let the singing start then. Just a regular bad version of the happy birthday song. This morning, however, he got to hear that one again plus the Beatles' version of the birthday song. I know he absolutely loved it!

So, just to show that I really do care, there won't be any more singing from me! Happy Birthday, honey!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Taxes? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Taxes

April 10, 2006 - 10:34 p.m.

Mark that time. That's when I JUST finished my taxes. Nothing like cutting it close, huh?

The Feds will be giving me a little kickback for all my trouble this year. I pay the state but get that money back from the city. It's all hooie if you ask me.

I hate taxes. I hate auditing them, I hate reviewing them, I hate filing them. There. I said it.

Next year, I think I'll wait until the 14th of April to finish them. The adrenaline rush you get from cutting it this close is almost worth the ten more gray hairs I just gave myself!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Show Me The Way Home

What a mess.

I am on the turnpike every single day. It costs me $1.40 a day to go to and from my office. It's worth every penny. The roads are in good shape, the traffic flows better than any other freeway in the area, and in the winter, the plows or salt trucks are out with the first falling snow flake.

From my house to my office via the turnpike takes 40 to 45 minutes. Long, but livable. It's spring time now, and what is the state flower of Ohio? Construction barrels. They are sprouting up everywhere. Especially on my beloved turnpike.

For a week or so, the east bound and west bound lanes were decreased from three lanes to two lanes each way. Ok, a little slower but still doable.

Thursday night I am on my way when there is a looooong line at the toll booth just to pick up your toll ticket. They are handing you the ticket stating that there is a three mile back up heading west because it's down to one lane. Hey, that's my direction to get home! Or you could risk life and limb to cut through the grass behind the administration building, right next to a cliff and try to cross a zillion lanes of traffic and head back the way you came. That is the option I took and there are not words to describe the attempts at crossing those zillion lanes of more pissed off people that are still waiting in line to hear that they aren't going anywhere quickly.

So that was the first nightmare. Then, Friday morning, I'm dumb enough to try it again. C'mon, the previous day had to be a fluke. It can't really be that bad. Friday morning proved it was that bad.

So, now I've had to find an alternate route to and from work. The word on the street (ok the turnpike) is that I will need this alternate route until June 1st. That's when the construction is scheduled to be completed. The alternate route may be more scenic but it takes a lot longer. My drive to and from work now is taking me over an hour each way. This sucks. Unfortunately, it's still faster than going through the construction zones.

I try to look for the silver lining in any day. I mean, every day has to have SOME bright spot in it. Yesterday's bright spot? I had a great hair day. Really. Every hair went just where I wanted it to and my hair spray lasted all day. Yep, a great hair day.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

See What I Mean?

Like I was saying in my last post, baseball just ain't what it used to be. Where have all of our heros gone? They sure don't treat them like they used to.

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's Finally Here!

I can't believe it! It's finally here! After 180 long, tedious days, it's finally here! Can't you just smell it in the air? Can't you just feel it? If you listen hard enough, you can probably hear the crack of the wooden bat.

For those of you not in the know, today is opening day in Baseball! For some of us, today is the absolute best day of the year. Every time I've had a chance today, I've logged on to If for nothing else than to see my beloved Cubs in first place in the National League Central Division. Aah yes. Thank heavens for alphabetical order. As my Dad used to say, my Cubs are the only team to be mathematically eliminated for the season by the end of spring training. Damn, that's harsh.

But today is a day of hope. A day of optimism. A day of happy memories.

I can see Mom, sitting the couch with her note pad and pen in hand. She would write down all the players, noting the name, jersey number and position played. This sacred list would be kept right under her seat on the couch. If I wasn't home during the game, notes would be taken. She could write faster if she just wrote down the player's jersey numbers. Then, when I'd get home, I'd get a run down of the game, inning by inning, with Mom translating her short hand into a color commentary on our beloved Cubs. Rick Sutcliff, a Cy Young award winning pitcher, always made her heart beat a little faster. Ok, mine too for that matter. But I digress.

I remember the days when my phone at work would ring and when I answered it, I would be listening to Harry Caray singing the seventh inning stretch. He's be singing loudly and badly, just like I do! Mom wouldn't say a word, just hold the phone out for me so that I could join in the song.

Baseball for me has changed a lot since then. It's hard to get though an opening day without calling Mom to say "Did you see that???" Or to lament with her over how things are going with our two ace starting pitchers beginning the season on the DL. As a matter of fact, baseball itself has changed. Gone are the glory days replaced by steroid abuse and contract squabbles.

Harry Caray no longer is around to sing to us and to yell at the Cubs to "let's get some runs". I won't pick up the phone to call Mom about the game, but I'll wish I could. It will be hard to concentrate this afternoon at work when baseball is being played by my boys in blue. But, for today, I am filled with hope for the new season, and filled with happy memories of the games of days past.

C'mon, Cubs! For Mom and for Harry...let's get some runs!

Update: CUBS WIN!!
Cubs Win over Cincinnati, 16-7. Now THAT's getting some runs!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Made Me Laugh

I just read this a little bit ago and thought I'd share it. Here is a list of things you DON'T want to hear during surgery:

  • Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness!
  • Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500ml of this stuff before?
  • Damn, there go the lights again...
  • You know, there's big money in kidneys. Heck, the guy's got two of them.
  • Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!
  • Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing my concentration off.
  • What do you mean he wasn't in for a sex change...
  • Anyone see where I left that scalpel?
  • This patient has already had some kids, am I correct?
  • Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donor card?
  • Don't worry; I think it's sharp enough.
  • She's gonna blow! Everyone take cover.
  • FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out of here.

What can I say? The strangest things make me laugh!