Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Got Laid Off Yesterday.

No one else. Just me.

After if happened I got a slew of phone calls, some from friends and family, some from coworkers. The coworkers all thought it should have been someone else, someone worse, not me. That's easy to say when the execution is over and your neck is safe. I'm having a minor identity crisis. Who am I if not this girl? She didn't like it there, but it was home for five years. The cops came after they let me go. The graphics girl freaked out. "Have they come to escort you out?" I threw up my hands in mock surrender. "Jesus. I'll go peacefully!" But they were there for something else. Life moves on.

I woke up this morning laughing at some practical joke I dreamt I did at work. No practical joke. No work. It took a moment to set in. Hoop says it was divine intervention. Things that rhyme with divine: decline, malign, landmine. Before he lost his job some three months back, Hoop claims he'd cry out to God during traffic jams. Then he got laid off. No more traffic jams. I hate driving. So, it was sort of a cosmic joke when I got stuck with a ten-hour-a-week commute for two years. Last week I found myself crying out to God during a traffic jam. BAM! No more traffic jams. Funny how that works.

I'm not sure where I'm going to go from here. Well, other than to the Scottish games this afternoon. When life throws you lemons, you go watch men in kilts. Rest assured, I'll still be posting. We'll still have the Weekly Words Challenges. It's this thing outside of the blogosphere, real life, that's going to get a bit odd for awhile. I'd ask you to pray (or wish or hope or whatever you do) for me. But there are far more worthy causes to spend that energy on. I'll be fine. And that girl inside, the one who doesn't know who she is anymore? She'll find a new identity soon. I promise you she will.

Much Love...

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Be Careful What You Keep

Dedicated to Mamatulip, who cracked me up with her post on porn this morning.

My paternal Grandfather was a porn dealer, among other things. I didn't find this out until the spring of 1996 when he died, suddenly, of progressive lung cancer. I was thirteen, half the age I am now. We weren't very close. My Dad, were he here to argue the fact, might disagree. What little interaction I had with the old man was spread out among cousins. We would gather on holidays, a large Italian mass, to eat fist-sized meatballs and watch Grandpa shoot down the family photos with a Nerf gun.

He had a bar called The Trap. Memory, which cannot be trusted, has blended it with an image of Cheers. Some say it was a front for illegal gambling. My Dad would take me there on Saturday mornings when I was little. I would sit on the bar and serve unwanted Shirley Temples to vagabond customers. But what I really wanted was an excuse to eat maraschino cherries. Dad and Grandpa would migrate to the back at some point, leaving me to dig through a bag of Crane Game stuffed animals. They'd argue and we'd leave... until the next time. I collected so many stuffed animals that way.

After Grandpa died, the family divided his things. I ended up with a gold plated Coke bottle and his Italian horn pendant. The pendant was special, a symbol of hierarchy. I'm not sure about the Coke bottle. Some elderly family member claimed I'd told her that I collected Coke memorabilia. I didn't, collect that is. People shouldn't be held accountable for what they say while waiting for a family member to die. My Uncles got my Grandfather's cars, two mafia-style vehicles with suicide doors.

I'll never forget how the family pawed over those insignificant things. It was like they'd won some lottery with mortality or something. My Dad stood by, quietly and undeserving. He just wanted to stay awhile in that house, to smell his Father's things and to care for the dog. Or maybe I'm being too kind. It wasn't long after the garage was opened and my Uncles had claimed their respective cars that someone suggested opening the trunks. Being old mafia cars, these compartments were rather large, and each was stuffed to capacity with black trash bags.

Being young, I was quick to distraction and didn't witness the opening of the bags. But I heard the "Eep!" one of my aunts let out when it was done. What followed was stunned silence... and then laughter. They laughed until they cried, hugging at their ribs and gasping for air. My cousins and I stared in wonder. We had denied ourselves all morning anything that might be misconstrued as happiness and here were our parents, laughing (!) so soon after death. They ushered us into the house without explanation, eager to get back to the bags.

I waited until that night to ask, once my Dad was sufficiently liquored up. I'll never forget the way his eyes crinkled at the corners as he relived the memory in his head. "What was in the bags, Dad?" "Porn," he said sloppily. "Porn?!" To be honest, I'd expected him to say bodies. "Yup. Porn and dildos." And that was it. I didn't have the guts to ask him to explain. So for several years I lived with that information in my head, with absolutely no explanation. I'd be lying if I said it didn't fuck with me a little.

Later on, about seven years later to be exact, I asked for the full story. Before I was born, my Grandfather owned a lucrative porn store. Its main draw was that you could seat yourself in a private booth onsite and watch X-Rated movies, provided you had the coins to keep feeding the meter. Every minute, the movie would shut off. Which was fine if you were done. But if you weren't, you had to pay another $.50. Once out of the booth, customers could peruse the store for take-home materials.

When the business eventually folded, my Grandfather decided to keep the unsold merchandise in his cars. Who knows why. Maybe he sold it out of the trunk on occasion. Or maybe he passed it out at parties like a dirty old Santa Claus. Either way, it made me realize that there are certain things I DON'T want people to find after I'm gone. Like my diaries... or my old pipe... or that pair of ratty underwear with twelve holes in it. Ew. So tell me, what things have been unearthed posthumously in your family? What would you rather NOT be found after you're gone?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weekly Words Challenge 73!

The "words" for this week were 2 and Expressive Face.

How did you interpret them?

2 chalk. a set.

Just The Two Of Us

Expressive Faces


(Left to right and down) Happy face... or is that sarcastic? Angry face... or maybe a crazy pirate? Sexy face... or feeling sneaky? Scared face... or just poked in the butt?


Bento for Hoop 02-23

Bento for Hoop 02-24

(Other Random Photos)

Keystone Library Tree

Original Drive-Thru Diagram (at Work)

Modified Drive-Thru Diagram (with Godzilla)

Who would do such a thing? *Walks away whistling*

If you haven't joined the fun yet, go
here for details. We also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Not only do you get to add "Lowly Foon" to your resume, but you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

The words for next week are:

Daily Etsy Pick:
"Home Is Where..." Print
"What the Funk?" Mixed Tape Pouch
Board Mounted Giclee of Snake

WTF Etsy?:
"Squitches Master" print
Octopus Heart T-Shirt
Horse Butt Pillow

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Monday, February 23, 2009

I Am Jack's Complete Lack Of Surprise

Do you know why I have nothing to say today?

Because when I wasn't tipsy on donated wine and Hurricanes this weekend, I was recovering from being tipsy on donated wine and Hurricanes. That's a good excuse isn't it?

So, what did you fahhhhbulous people do this weekend?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stupidity Is Infinite

I was driving down the road yesterday when I came across a kid on the sidewalk who was waving at me in a very peculiar way. He was pumping his fist in the air, up and down, up and down while smiling broadly. I slowed down just a tick to wave back. "How sad!" I thought. "That poor little slow boy's parents have left him to walk to school alone." Then the tow truck beside me honked his horn, an answer to the obvious "honk-your-horn" gesture the kid was making at it.

Whatever doubts I had about not being smarter than a 5th grader have just been confirmed.

Daily Hoop Conversation:
(While watching T.V.)
Hoop: Did you see that?
Tink: See what?
Hoop: A washer and dryer combo that can complete a load in 30 minutes.
Tink: Neat!
Hoop: Do you know how quickly we could do our laundry with one of those?
Tink: In 30 minutes.
Hoop: ...
Tink: Was that a trick question?

Is it just me, or does
this man who washed up on Christmas Eve look like Santa Claus?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weekly Words Challenge 72!

The "words" for this week were Z and Abandoned.

I was really pathetic this week. No, really. The only picture I took for the challenge was...

Z for Zelda

It's not even interesting. Next weeks words should be a lot more inspiring.


Bento for Hoop (Valentines)

Bento for Tink (Valentines)

One morning, when I was running even later than usual, Hoop offered to make my lunch. He called at noon to ask if I had seen his note. "Your note?" I asked, looking for some paper or napkin tucked into my box. "In the fruit!" So I looked at my fruit and saw...

"House, circle, I? Is this a cleaning reference?" "Turn it around." "Oh!"


(Other Random Photos)

Chef Hoop

Oddly, this was one of his Christmas presents.

Wasp in Lemon Tree

If you haven't joined the fun yet, go
here for details. We also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Not only do you get to add "Lowly Foon" to your resume, but you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

The words for next week are:
Expressive Face

Daily Etsy Pick:
Koi Fish in Scarlet and Electric Orange
Sasquatch In My Pocket
Owl Recipe Cards

WTF Etsy?:
Bacon Devils
Turd Burglar Magnet
Golden Girls Necklace
Boobie Pin (Mature)

You Heart Etsy:
Star Trek Corset (Chris, who tipped me off on this gem, and I agree that they should put a disclaimer stating, "wearing corset will not guarantee awesome rack like one shown". Because there might be, you know, some confusion.)

You Heart Etsy:
Sushi Pillows (Amusing was awesome enough to tip me off on these should-be-Etsy items.)

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Sun Starved

(Just a bit of fluff.)

I sit in glass doorways at lunch, limbs outstretched to the limit of their skin. My Florida soul feeds on sunlight. But I live in the dark, rising before the sun and barely chasing it home, always with the car between us. My office window overlooks the shadow of a roof. The sunlight teases, reflecting off of cars and trees, but never me. I catch it at lunch, warming a concrete stoop. Book and bag in hand, I throw myself at it. It welcomes me by sucking the moisture from my skin, a heat that tingles before it burns.

Before I can enjoy it long, that marvelous Florida sun, a raindrop falls and hits my open book. I stare at it for a second, that big wet punctuation mark. But there's no use trying to pretend it doesn't exist. Up North, where suns are meek and clouds aren't raging beasts, you might be able to bide your time. Not here. Where one drop falls, three thousand more are sure to come. So I retreat from the sun, not a moment too soon, to that doorway in filtered air and light. And my needful soul consoles itself in the fingers and toes of my outstretched limbs.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Married White Female

We were watching Lost last night, the part in Wednesday's episode where someone dies. I was frowning at the screen, totally into the moment, when Hoop turned to me and said...

Daily Hoop Conversation:
Hoop: If I had just died, and we'd never had sex before, would you feel my package?
Tink: What?
Hoop: You know, to see what you were missing?
Tink: NO.
Hoop: Oh.
Tink: ...
Hoop: ...
Tink: ...Would you?!

I think I'm going to place a want ad in the local alternative paper... for some girlfriends. Yeah, there's just no way to say that without sounding like a loser. For the last five years I've worked at a beer distributor, surrounded by men. What few women I have as coworkers are either older or have incompatible lifestyles. I'm not in school. My extracurricular activities consist of drinking with the boys and attending a monthly wine book club, which I thoroughly enjoy, but that caters to women twice my age.

I've unintentionally cut off all avenues for finding girlfriends in my age bracket. But I refuse to believe that I'm alone in this. I live in a military city, after all! Surely there are women who have followed their soldiers here, only to be left alone while their partners fight overseas. I'm not looking for a BFF. Shit, I'm not even looking for a BF. I just want someone with low drama who wants to meet for a drink or sushi or shopping every once in awhile. Any suggestions how I can write this thing without sounding like a freak or a pervert?

So, anyway, we'll see. Maybe something will come of it...

...or maybe it'll just be really great blog fodder.

Have a great weekend Homebloys!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekly Words Challenge 71!

The "words" for this week were G and On This Day.

How did you interpret them?

Laughing God

Grimm's Fairy Tales

Good Girl

On This Day (02/05)

There might have been snow...


Bento for Hoop (02/10)

Bento for Tink (02/06)

(Other Random Photos)

That's the money you could have been saving with Geico.

If you haven't joined the fun yet, go
here for details. We also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Not only do you get to add "Lowly Foon" to your resume, but you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

The words for next week are:
Z (Ooo, toughie!)

Daily Etsy Pick:
"Sunset Dandelion" Print
Men's Vintage Leather Shaving Kit
Custom Robot Metal Wall Art

WTF Etsy?:
Hot Pink "Fabulous" Leggings (My God this girl is awkward.)
Pull Toy Chicken
"Eat Your Popsicles Kids" Drawing
"Spork-tastic" Bag

Somewhere In Between:
"Turn Down The Suck" Ring

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Rules To Blog By

A real life friend, and part-time lurker, has decided to open his own blog- The Beer Geek. Feel free to stop by and haze him. As the bored good Blogger that I am, I have decided to compile a list of Blogging rules to help him and other noobs out. Feel free to join in on that too.

1. Never start a post with an apology for the stupid post ahead...
2. ...or the words "I have nothing to say" followed by details.
3. Great opening lines include the words booger, dinosaur, Chuck Norris, waffle and pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism.
4. Blogging requires no educational background (obviously)...
5. ...but it helps if you can at least site your sources.
6. Unless you have multiple personalities, you should limit yourself to no more than two blogs.
7. Having five blogs: one for what you ate, what movies you saw, what pictures you took, what you did on Monday and what strange materials you pulled out of your cat's hairballs is too much.
10. Nothing is private on the Internet. Nothing.
11. If you don't believe me, go ahead and post your social security number.
12. Don't write about anything that could get you fired, that you don't want your Mother or Lover to know, or that could possibly pin you to that Big Boy vandalism of '92.
13. I swear I don't know who drew a penis on that statue!
14. For the love of Jebus, please use spell chek.
15. When in doubt, list it out.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pickled Beef Bison

There are some people who can whip things up without a recipe, innately knowing which flavors can mix and which can't. Then there are people like Hoop, the man who thought orange extract would make pizza sauce more zesty. It didn't; just in case you were wondering. Hoop isn't a bad cook. Really. He's rather good, when he follows a format. But he's not the best at improv. Ever since he discovering that our government has approved the integration of cloned meat and milk into our food supply, he's been boycotting beef.

I'm not complaining. I'm all for putting better things in our body. But boycotting beef is harder than it sounds for a man who loves burgers, meaty lasagna and tacos. Tuesday night, as we were at the grocery store, Hoop decided to buy a pound of Bison meat as a possible substitute. I came home last night to burgers. They looked beautiful. They smelled wonderful. Unfortunately, they didn't taste as good as they looked or smelled. "What do you think?" Hoop mumbled around his mouthful. "Um... Honestly? It's not very good."

Hoop stared at his burger suspiciously. "It does taste a little off. Do you think the meat is bad?" "No. It just doesn't taste very good." We chewed in silence for awhile, not willing to admit defeat or waste the food. I tried in vain to pinpoint the flavor. Nothing came to mind. "I was really hoping this would taste better," Hoop sighed while finishing the last bite. I frowned and nodded my agreement while cleaning up the plates. About five minutes later Hoop turned to me and said, "Do you think it was the vegetable oil?"


A few people have marveled at the smallness of the manatees in my Tuesday photos. To put it in perspective, the fish in that lone manatee shot is the size of my arm, my entire arm... including my weird elbow. I knew when I was taking the shots that it would be hard to gage their size without some reference. I thought about throwing something into the water while we were there, like maybe a can, or one of those small children running around the dock. But I didn't think the park rangers would like that very much.


I bought my little ninjas (Hiyeee and Ya!) at this etsy shop:
Goose Grease. They're very small. I would not recommend them for children or really immature adults. Other cool ninja figures from Etsy can be found here, here, and here. You're welcome.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Weekly Words Challenge 70!

The "words" for this week were Jump and M.

How did you interpret them?

Don't Jump, Ninja!

Man, ninjas have it so rough.

Manatees at Blue Springs

All those blobs in the water are Manatees, 90+ in total.

(Other Random Photos)

Manatee Reserve

"WTF?" Flea Market Find

("Biggest Loser" Sabotage)
We're having a "Biggest Loser" competition in our office.

In Front of My Door

In the Kitchen

In the Sales Room


Bento for Hoop 02/02

These are the meat pastries I made on Sunday.

Bento for Tink 02/02

If you haven't joined the fun yet, go
here for details. We also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Not only do you get to add "Lowly Foon" to your resume, but you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

The words for next week are:
On This Day

Daily Etsy Pick:
MADART Painting
Scrabble Nameplate
"If you don't tell your cat..." T-shirt

WTF Etsy?:
A $30 Photo of a Shoulder
Mr. McSquissy and His Cat Tiddles
"We Are In This Together" Print

Somewhere In Between:
"Fire In The Hole" Grenade Candle

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Ah-ha Moment

There have been far too few instant gratifications in my life lately. Everything for us has become a "wait-and-see" game. When we have money... When we have time... When the economy gets better... We'll enjoy the next house. We'll take a vacation next year. Maybe when we retire in forty years. So instead of enjoying life now, which (face it) is the only guarantee we have, we just keep holding out for some undetermined date in the future. Fuck that.

I've decided to do something gratifying each day, create a reason to get up other than necessity. It doesn't have to be anything that cost money or requires a lot of time. In fact, it'll be better if it doesn't. It can be fun or functional or silly. It can be done alone or with friends and loved ones. The object is to do it, whatever "it" is, and be happy about it.

I practiced this weekend, almost just to see if it could be done. By the end of Sunday, Hoop was marveling at how much fun we'd had. It had been the best weekend we'd had in a LONG time. Friday, we had a "Gift Certificate" day. We only did things that utilized the miscellaneous gift cards and coupons we'd accrued over the holidays. There was one for the movies, and Bed Bath and Beyond, JCPenney and Smoothie King.

Part of the fun was dividing up the cards. "OK, we have $25 on this JCPenney card. That means we both get $12.50 to spend. Now, go!" Hoop bought a green tie and I, a blue robot t-shirt. I'm sure we could have spent the cards in more responsible ways, like on a couple of towels or a cutting board. But there was something magical about doing it this way. I felt like a kid again, with a pocket full of quarters in the dollar store.

Saturday, Hoop and I loaded up the car with snacks and drove an hour to Blue Springs. We spent $5 to get in and $7.50 in gas, and the view of the manatees was PRICELESS. On the way home we stopped at the Daytona Flea Market. That took up the remainder of the day. We left with an arm full of fresh strawberries and green beans and sang to cheesy 80's music all the way home.

Sunday, we played video games in our underwear and watched the Super Bowl. I tried my hand at black bean and sausage pastries. They were a huge hit, once I got the hang of them. By the end I was even decorating them with little dough hearts. With 12 for $6, plus leftover filling, that gives Hoop and I ample lunch material for three days. You can't beat a $1 home cooked meal.

So tell me, what did YOU do this weekend?