Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year .... last post of the year....

This is my last and 55th post for the year 2013 and i plan to approach blogging somewhat differently in 2014. I will continue to keep this as more of an online journal of lists. 

After finding out the stats on here were artificially inflated a few months ago because of *spam like websites i have not been as happy about blogging since folks aren't really reading. I started this blog because i wanted it to be participatory (as the Gumbo YaYa message board used to be) but smart phones and Facebook sort of killed that.

I still like visiting and writing here because i  need an outlet for writing plus i enjoy having a reference to what i was doing a year ago or a few years ago, so i am not going to abandon it. I have often come back here to find out what year i remodeled my bathroom, a recipe i posted, what books i have read, etc. And i do like  going back and checking out the sunset times seeing how we are on the upswing of getting lighter each day.

I also like the idea that if something happened to me i am still living out here on the internet.

So i think I am going to switch this blog up somewhat and just go back to lists, making it more of a Notes to Self/Menu only that will include stuff like the following:

  • Best Book this week: 
  • Last song purchased online:
  • Best movie:
  • Product endorsement:
  • Stupidest thing i read on Facebook:
  • Lamest Dear Abby letter:
  • Favorite commercial this month: 
  • Longest run:
  • Observation and Rant of the week:
  • Sunrise/sunset:
  • Weird conversation: 
  • My own photo of the week: 

(Not all at the same time.) I hope y'all will maybe want to continue to visit and add your own responses to the list. Happy New Year everybody.

And *Vampirestats, you can go suck it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dear Santa.

Dear Santa:

The few things that I want for Christmas will make the world a better place for me and many others. I can't ask God because my requests are trivial and insignificant and God already His plate pretty full with Middle East chaos, typhoons, tsunamis, and other natural disasters, school shootings, global warming, and all those people who want Him to make sure their football team or American Idol wins.

So Santa it's up to you.

I still believe in you. I know i doubted your existence when you bought me that Frank Sinatra album for my new record player that Christmas in 1966 when i was 9 years old. It gave me pause because it was MY MOM who loved Frank Sinatra, not me! What i wanted was Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made for Walking. But then it occurred to me that maybe you just got your Sinatras mixed up.

So here's what i want Santa.

1. People need to put away their fucking iPhones when interacting with other human beings. Most of my friends are good about  this when i am with them... but not everybody. It especially irritates me in a meeting when the very folks who are constantly checking their phones make the meeting longer by asking questions that were already addressed earlier.

And while I'm on the subject, Do NOT bring me a cell phone for Christmas.  I am perfectly happy without one.

2. Please make people quit telling their super sad stuff on Facebook. Facebook is not the appropriate place to lay out your life's woes. I am wholly inadequate in how to respond when someone posts on Facebook about their loved ones who have died or even worse, those who keep a running weekly report on their dying loved one.

3. Please keep Obama safe and on even keel through his last term. I am asking God for this too, but i am also asking you. (He needs that much help. And like YOU, i still believe in Obama....

4. Stop James Patterson from writing books! And Dean Koontz while you're at it. And also that woman who writes those Fifty Shades of Gray books. They suck because they write for the money only.

5. Can you do something about Microsoft and Bill Gates too while you're at it? Or at the very least can you make it happen that every time i "Send Error Report" they send me $100?

6. I would love it if you can make sure that Darrell doesn't get killed on The Walking Dead. This is actually more important to me than my #4. But not as important as my #3.

7.  Could you make Xanax a vitamin?

And though i have more requests on my lists i have to quit because of my limit of 500 words per blog post...But i do want to add one more:

8. Can you make it happen that the Seahawks win the SuperBowl? (I no longer care about American Idol.)

Love, jo

Word Count: 496 (not counting Notes)
Sunrise: 7:52 am
Sunset: 4:21 pm
Temp: 46/37
Book: Military Brats (nonfiction)
Shout Out: Amulbunny
Longest run this week: 45 minutes.
Looking forward to: Snow in the forecast on Friday!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

7 Reasons I Might Get Coal in My Stocking

1. I was going to donate some money to for the Philippines Typhoon relief but haven't.  I'm trying to figure out a way to do this so that i can quit getting all the phone calls and emails. (It's not about not wanting to give the money, it's about the calls.)

2. I have to say I especially hate those kind of calls when they never leave a message. I figure they are either Planned Parenthood, The Democrats, or all of the magazine subscriptions i have decided to quit getting.

3. For example: I have recently been cancelling: Better Homes and Gardens....Vanity Fair....Cooking Light....Cuisine at Home....Sunset....and Food and Wine. (The ONLY one i am keeping is Rolling Stone.)  I don't need any more recipes! And Vanity Fair magazine has great writing in it and some pretty cool articles, but i am sick to death of wading through 1000 advertisements before i even get to the first article. And i gag on those folded page perfume-y ones that make me sneeze. Plus it's so thick that it's very difficult to read in the bathtub, (which is where i read most of my magazines).

4. At least one present i'm giving away is one that i bought awhile ago for myself and never used.  But it is perfect as a gift for someone else. It's not really re-gifting, which is one you received but didn't want. I actually did buy this for myself. I just didn't use it.

5. I have enough time on my hands that i should already be volunteering, but don't. I'm content to hang around the house on my four days off doing nothing of importance. I am shocked by how fast the time goes by. I feel a little bit guilty. But not enough. (I feel more guilty about how i don't feel guilty!)

6. I am awful about making the first contact to make amends. It's should be MORE disconcerting to me about how easily i can let people slip out of my life. I often attribute it to being a military brat who moved around a lot and went to 3 high schools. I also divorced two husbands before i was 35 years old without too much remorse. Maybe there is something to the military bratdom or maybe that al-anon counseling from my divorce taught me too much about detachment. I don't know. But when things don't seem to fit with me, i find I am not too traumatized by letting go of it.

7. I've been ignoring my political mojo. I seem to need an enemy to work against. Such as George W. Bush. THAT was when i worked hardest and was most involved (or our last Governor election). I am never more motivated than when i am against something. I am hoping by getting out of union work i will start to feel differently. I think i view myself as being at my best when i am standing up against something that i feel is totally wrong. I think it can be a good thing, but there has to be some balance that i am missing.

I am trying to keep this under 500 words and keep editing and it still is over. But i've giving up and putting this puppy to bed.

Sunrise: 7:46 am
Sunset: 4:20 pm
Book: Dirty Love by Andre Dubois (however his name is spelled...he wrote the book House of Sand and Fog, one of my favorites!)  These are stories and so far i like them!
Shout Out: Marla! If you are reading you should post a comment even if it's just happy face.
Longest Run this Week: 55 minutes.....(however knee is hurting.)
Word Count (not including Notes) : 550 exactly.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holiday Chillin'...& my new favorite commerical!

Christmas 2013 -  tradition about 13 years running....Kylee/Chinese Food/old movie

1. Holy crap! We actually fit 12 people in our little 1000 sq foot abode for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (not counting the Baby Brady). 

2. Though actually when you think about all the shit his parents had to bring with him, i think i should count Brady as TWO people. He actually took up MORE real estate! 

2. My niece Kylee has been so busy with her design job in Seattle and being in love that i didn't expect that she would want to keep our tradition of helping me decorate my Christmas tree, but i am so happy that she did! And in keeping with tradition we watched an old movie. She wanted to see Annie Hall. One of my favorite movies!  This is always my First Christmas Moment of the year. (Love that girl!)

3. I am looking forward to the holidays this year and that's not normal for me. It  likely has something to do with my nephews babies and also having more time this year to get ready. Plus Brian and I head out to our favorite Vashon Island beach cabin on Christmas day after we open presents for three nights. 

4. We had so much food! 95% of the people in the Louvrak family do not eat dessert so we had a whole Thanksgiving pie, more than half of a chocolate mousse and lots of cookies left over. 

5. What's astouding is that we even had some beer left over too. 

6. We played Apples to Apples at one table. (My brothers are hysterical to play with.) The other table played bouree'. So it all worked out.

7 Have you noticed that this year folks put their trees up VERY early this year? During my runs last week i could see that many people were ready for Christmas in a big way before Thanksgiving. Is it because T-Day is so late this year? 

8. Normally this bugs the shit out of me. But not so much this year. 

9. You might think i was on Xanax for all of this good chill i'm exhibiting, but you would be wrong! 

10. Xanax just made me remember..... We are going to Italy! In June for two whole weeks to a place called Cortona. Somewhere in the Tuscany Valley i think. Brian has a friend through work who has a place there and she offered it to us and she sent photos. It's a cool apartment set up! With a pool! She is going to be there in another place and will pick us up at the airport in Rome and help us get acclimated. 

11. How many Xanax will i need for a plane trip as long as this? 

Ok, that's all i got. I just wanted to get this changed since it's been awhile. 
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are ready for the deluge of Christmas! 

Notes to Self: 
Word Count: 481 - doing good keeping it under 500 words!  (not counting Notes to Self)
Shout Out: Donna! (I thought of you because i put your beaded ornament on my tree today!
Book: The Circle by Dave Eggers.... this is a creepy book that almost makes me want to quit Facebook! 
Longest Run this week: 48 minutes

Temp: hi/51; low/46
sunrise: 7:34 am

sunset: 4:23 pm

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Opinionation Station

my original blog photo!

1. I changed my subtitle here to Opinionation Station. I like it better!

2. See the thing is.... I can make up words on my own blog. So don't be calling the English Language Police on me...

3. louie, i mean YOU! And pearl too, if she is looking in.

4. I am excited about Christmas. (I always love the early part of the holidays!) Plus this year I have already started shopping.

5. Don't hate me for being semi-retired please. I wish allofy'all could have my schedule! If i were Santa Claus I would grant all of you that wish!

6. How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus and why did you stop?

7. I am back to running okay and feel better about being able to stick with my goal of running until i am 60 years old now that my foot has healed.

8. However, i have found that running is so easy compared to doing those circuit training classes at the YMCA! I rejoined after 5 years and going back has been hard. I can't do what i used to do in those classes. I had to quit before the class was up, it was just too hard.

9. Planks are a bitch! I used to be able to hold a plank for nearly two minutes. Now it's about 30 seconds.

10. How can i be getting old when i don't feel old in my head? I hate measurable differences like this that reminds me.

11. Since it's Thanksgiving let me add this and y'all should add yours: I am thankful for many many things.

  • I am thankful that my brothers and sister had children so that i didn't have to. Because the truth is, i do love being around kids and young people. 
  • We have two new babies in our family this year - my sister's son had a baby in August and my brother Troy's son had a baby in October. My niece Ashley just got engaged to her boyfriend after 4 years. (I posted her very funny email here that she wrote to me telling me how she was so stressed to the point of being ready to throw up about having to buy him a Christmas present since they had only been dating a few weeks.)  I like her man A LOT! 
  • I don't take my health for granted anymore. (But i also don't worry about it.) 
  • I love my galpal friends and our annual getaways. 
  • I love that while i am not the perfect wife or perfect person, my husband still lets me know when he thinks i have done something special or cool. This is special because i know that he is truly a better person than i am. 

i just checked and Wordcount = 465, which the exception of this sentence, so i am signing off! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I only need three more...

my husband Brian and louie's daughter Emma in Port Townsend
Jo Glows! 
Port Townsend chairs
My blog post goal is one a week and lately i've been slacking. I think ever since i found out that fake vampirestat blog was stalking me and inflating my numbers for their own gain that i've not been as diligent since humans are not REALLY here. This is post number 50 for the year 2013. And about as many real views for the year by humans. 

Let's just do an old fashioned Menu....
Port Townsend Brevia coffee. 

Menu of the Day:

Photos: louie and i and our husbands had a fun weekend in Port Townsend over Veterans' Day.  Louie's daughter Emma joined us for Saturday night. Here are are few photos from that.

Book: I just finished two. Where'd You Go Bernadette and We Are Water. I love both of these books! The Bernadette one is a raucous fun satirical bunch of characters. The Wally Lamb Water book is very good too, better than his last one which was a novel about Columbine.

iTunes purchase: I bought the Lumineers from iTunes but iTunes has upgraded and for the life of me i cannot figure out how to get it on my iPod. It used to be a drag and click to the joPod. But now it's more complicated.

Irritation: See above.

Blessing: See above. (If iTunes is my irritation, i have to say i have it pretty good!)

Struggling with: winter running. I don't believe this year i will be able to consider the half marathon training as incentive. I'm still running but my knee is not going to hold up for long runs and now the bottoms of my feet are always sore. (I blame New Balance for making it difficult to find my shoe size and i have to keep trying out other brands, first Saucony, and now Brooks. Neither work for me.)

Looking forward to: I have finally ordered the fabric to re-upholster my sofa. It will be a nice solid cranberry red.

I'm feeling good about: Having started some Christmas shopping!

Speaking of Christmas: This year we are going to get a tree from H&L Produce. They already are cut. For the first time in nearly 40 years i am not going to the tree farm where it takes me two hours to choose a tree, OR as in the times when Brian went alone, 15 iPhone photos of trees sent to my work email for my approval. Each year they have been drying up in spite of my diligent watering and the cooler LED lights. Also i'm putting it up Thanksgiving weekend.

Note to Self: 
Word count: 294
Sunset: 4:38 pm :(
Longest Run this week: 42 minutes

Saturday, November 2, 2013

i can't think of anything to talk about.

I have a post but it's stupid so i deleted it.

I feel blunted and stupid and boring. Only what's interesting is i am not bored at all. I just feel like i have nothing to talk about. Even Dear Abby must have heard i was going after her job and she started kicking it in with better readers AND advice. So i can't even go after her.

I think i have Writer's Block. Or i am losing my ability to have opinions. Which is most scary to me. I don't even have anything to rant about.

I feel neutral and content. Yikes.

I don't like it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ten Randoms

This is not Baby Brady. This is my friend Renee and her little boy Santino. I needed a photo for this post and this one i took yesterday makes me smile every time i look at it so here it is.
1. I joined the YMCA again. My foot is better, but has that kind of ache that doesn't keep you from working out, but is hard to completely ignore. I hope this doesn't mean my running game is over, i really wanted to reach my goal of running until i was 60 years old.

2. The worst thing about joining the Y is that i have to shave my legs more often now.

3. I love having Mondays off. Today the most ambitious thing i've done all day was reduce the percentage of my DVR from 65% full to 40% full by watching those last episodes of the final season of The Office.

4. They made me cry.

5. Is there no more perfect man than Jim on The Office? Or perfect woman than Pam? And how about the perfect prototype of marriage and family?  (You know what? I think i hate them.)

6. The grocery clerks in our county, and surrounding counties, are possibly going on strike today. I hope for their sake it doesn't last 81 days like the last time (in 1989) if they do. I will not be crossing picket lines. At the same time i have no plans to do big grocery shopping today either. But H&L Produce is close by. And the wine shop is next door to H&L. AND there is always going out to dinner!

7. My nephew Brian (who has always been special to me) and his wife Adrienne just had a baby boy named Brady. After a week of being in the hospital they think they come home today if Adrienne's BP comes down. They are exhausted but doing well. It's funny to see him become so smitten. Brian's a big reader and he told me he wants his kid to be one too and that he already bought books for the baby, including the one his Dad read him: Where the Red Fern Grows.

8. One thing you should never do a week before Halloween: open up that big bag of candy that you bought at Costco.

9. My vegan mac N "cheese" turned out surprisingly really good on Friday for my company. One friend is on Weight Watchers and the other a vegan. It was probably one of the cheapest meals i have ever prepared for company, because they didn't want dessert either.

10. Who here watches Orange is the New Black ? I haven't yet but i just found that i can stream it on Netflix on my computer. Also when everyone here watching Project Runway is done with their DVR viewings i would like to talk about the finale.  (No spoilers until we know that louie is done, because i'm pretty sure she isn't.)

Notes to Myself: 
Book: Prep 
Sunrise: 7:36 am
Sunset: 6:13 pm
Temp: 51/45
Shout Out: susieatl
Word Count: 458 (Not counting the captions and these notes) From now on i'm going to try and keep these blog posts under 500 words.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Disclaimer: I realize that if this is all i have to rant about lately then i'm in a pretty good space. I had written on a post it note  'Middlefinger' as an idea for a blog post awhile back. I recently found it in being used as a bookmark and decided it sounded like a good idea since I had no other.               

1. The Tea Party and Republicans and this whole government shitdown. What is this? The 12th day?

2. And all the pundits talking about it too.

3. We quit getting the newspaper because The Tribune for some stupid reason can't keep our subscription ongoing without interruption or renewal in Brian's checking account.

4. The upside of that is our newpaper carrier didn't know we had not been paying since last May (and neither did Brian because unlike me, he doesn't look at his statement). Now that i think about it, maybe he DID know but gave it to us anyway since we always left him a $6 tip at the beginning of the month. (He used to leave me these great hand written thank-yous for those tips, he was a somewhat mentally challenged adult, but no dummy!)

5. I'm a sucker for thank-yous. You've heard my rant before. Lately my nieces and nephews have been great though. They have heard my non-thank you rants from the past. If i am going to take my time and venture out shopping at the mall for a wedding present or baby present, when i HATE to shop, the least the recipient can do is send a Facebook thank you.

6. I am back on blood pressure medication. I went off in July (same month that i quit getting allergy shots after 34 years!) while on vacation and kept checking it and it was normal. But now, even with working only an 18 hour week, i need them again. 154/103 was the highest reading this evening. (Though i should not complain after hearing about a friend of a friend getting a heart transplant this week.)

7. I can't run so it might have something to do with that. It's been two weeks. But i'm thinking it's work. I hurt my foot while laying beauty bark two weeks ago. I think i pulled something in it by pushing hard on the shovel for those 6 hours. I went out last night and did it anyway but it really felt bad. I'm afraid i'm getting near the end of my running days. I know i love to say i hate running. But in truth i would totally miss it if i couldn't. It has been making me cranky.

8. Miley Cyrus. She used to be a rather nice role model for awhile there. Now look at her. She's the worst. Miley makes Madonna....well..... almost look like the real Madonna. It's sickening when musical artists have to hype up their image to that degree which degrades the music, not matter what style. Lady Gaga comes to mind too.

9. Who else does that shit? Elton John comes to mind from back in the day, but that's when i stopped liking him so much too. You wont see Petty, Neil Young and Springsteen doing that crap. Can y'all think of anyone?

10. Yeah, i'm going to keep writing here like a bunch of you are still reading. So from time to time i'll still put those requests for feedback here.

11. Back to #4 for a moment: I kind of miss the newspaper and think i'll have Brian restart it. Hell, i have no idea what is going on anymore because i refuse to watch CNN or MSNBC and my favorite King 5 never has a story anymore that isn't some big shooting, it's enough to make this little homebody turn agoraphobic. And I don't need any more reasons to not leave the house. Next thing you know i'll be getting cats.

12. Of course that is a lie. Cats definitely get the middlefinger - especially those posted on Facebook.

13.  I have to cook for a vegan friend next Friday! HELP! I stupidly thought i had the best idea: gnocchi and i even was going to make it with ricotta instead of potato (because it's much better with the cheese) forgetting, of course, that vegan is far more militant than just being vegetarian. My friend Debbie is going to help me so she will share in the blame for cooking a meal that tastes like air.

OK so if you are reading i have two requests:

#1 Do you have any good vegan recipes that are fit for serving for a nice dinner? (Thug Kitchen isn't what i want for this.)

#2 What other musicians are in the Miley Cyrus/Lady Gaga genre of clowns who sing?

Notes to myself:
Sunset: 6:35 pm
Sunrise: 7:19 am
Book: Cuckoo's Calling (The Harry Potter author writing under a pseudonym)
Blood pressure meds: Day 1... again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I should have known.....

You're really NOT here. I started checking around to figure out why this blog gets so many views but no responses. Here's the thing: it's NOT really getting so many views.

I got suspicious when i put up the previous blog post right and right away it got a hit. That seemed weird to me because i don't have any alerts like that. So I clicked through my blog audience and noticed something called 'vampirestat', also 'adwatch' and something with 'secret' in the title. These links showed having the most views. Thankfully I didn't click on their URL but when i Googled these I found that many bloggers were asking the same question. I found this site above which explains that they are not legitimate views at all. Makes so much sense to me now.

I'm putting this link here so if you are indeed reading and have a blog you need to be careful. I am not doing it so that you too can find that you are not as popular as you thought you were on your blog, (which is a blow to the ego, i have to admit)  I'm doing it to warn you NOT to click on those sites in your audience if you see them.

Well i guess there goes THAT post-retirement career! :)

Plus... i feel kind of stupid.

Notes to Self:            
Sunrise: 7:10 am
Sunset: 6:49 pm
Temp: 58 hi/46 low
All time page views for real: certainly nowhere close to what i thought!
Page views yesterday: 0
Last Book: two of them: Sisterland and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Book i'm wanting to read: Why I Jump by that 13 year old autistic boy. (Jon Stewart really talked this book up earlier this week on his show in a big way and made me curious.)
No run: Day 5 because of foot.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Closed temporarily....due to Government Shutdown.

Jon Stewart compared the Republicans to a losing football team.

"Did you see the Giants game on Sunday?" he asked. "They lost 31-7. Do you know what the Giants didn't say after that game? 'If you don't give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the fucking NFL.'"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hardly anyone is here, so i'm just going to talk about myself.

My first week of retirement was spent  in Manzanita, (Oregon beach) Sept. 2013

1. I like that photo above, not only because we both look so relaxed and happy, but also because i'm wearing a hat. I love wearing hats and i look pretty good in them, if i say so myself. But it's difficult to pull off hat-wearing as regular fashion in normal public outings...know what i mean? It's nearly impossible to not notice a hat (unless it's a baseball cap) and it often feels like the person is seeking attention.

When people seem to be trying too hard to get my attention is exactly when i don't want to give it.      

HOWEVER a hat is not only allowed, but recommended, if you are at the beach. You can do what the shit you want at the beach, that's why i love going there.

2. Plus the hat helps camouflages those lines between my eyes.

3. I actually had to look up the word camouflage. (I was putting the 'u' in the wrong spot. I put it is flauge.) Damn that pisses me off when i have to look up what i think is an ordinary word like that because while i know i don't have the best vocabulary, i think i'm a pretty good speller.

4. So far my retirement has not been leisurely. Tomorrow i am spreading beauty bark.

5. The wine dude has not called me back for the wine bar job even as HE was the one who came to ME! The following week after he mentioned it I dropped off a resume with references so he would know i was serious because i didn't always sound serious when i went in there. Tomorrow it will be a week and he still hasn't called.

6. I feel a little bit like i did when i was a single gal waiting by the phone.

7. louielouie... did you give me a BAD reference? Maybe that's why he's not calling!

8. No hurry for me though really for that job.  I'm still working three days a week for a while, maybe until June and i'm not really looking to work 5 days a week at all.

9. I read about 10 books this summer but can't really recommend any as something you MUST read, like i've done in the past summers. I wrote up a list and then lost it.

10. Do you do this too? I write up a grocery list and then almost always leave it at home or on my desk at work. Sometimes just writing it out helps me remember what i needed. But today i left off toilet paper.

11. Which means i should make a Costco run now, which i was trying to avoid. Toilet paper at Costco costs $7.99 at Albertson's and about $150 at Costco. You know why.

12. Our grocery clerks may be going on strike. It sucks what they are doing to this union. The one that speaks to me is cutting out any benefits, even pro-rated, for employees working under 30 hours. Every grocery chain in this union will cut fulltime employees hours from 40 to 29 so they no longer have to pay any health benefits.

This is fucked.  Because like the guy who checked me today he said they will make it so no one will be paid any health care if this is ratified. He did say they had three chances to vote and he voted that morning and it was super busy.

I told him i would come and walk a picket line if it comes to a strike. I'm going to get some friends too.

I guess in some ways i haven't lost my mojo for this stuff. Funny how something adversarial can be a good thing to get your juices running.

Notes to Self:                                  
Sunset: 7:03 pm
Sunrise: 7:00 am
High/Low temp: 60/43
All time page views: 48,600
Last book read: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Shout Out: EoDe and amulbunny

Monday, September 16, 2013

Let's Talk About Our High School Life !

This idea came from me surfing Ryan Adams on YouTube and he was singing one of his more youthful angsty songs Come Pick Me Up (which i love and i believe was in Cameron Crowe's movie Elizabethtown).

Accompanying him was Neil Finn and Janis Ian. Remember her? Anyway that song of hers which i have linked above At Seventeen came out when i was seventeen years old. I related to that song SO much and made it my teenage anthem. (Especially the "clear skinned smiles" lyric because i had terrible acne and was so self conscious about it.) .

So it got me to thinking that we should all share stuff from our high school years. But first be sure to tell us what year you graduated so we get a feeling for the times.

1. I graduated in 1975 as a new senior student in Tacoma, having just moved here from Colorado Springs. I never ate lunch once in the cafeteria that whole senior year. It was awful being a new senior so i talked to a school counselor, and shortly after with her help, enrolled in Vocational School so i didn't have to stay on the high school campus except for two periods a day. (I took a library assistant voc tech class that was nearly a whole year course.)

2. I attended three high schools - (Get out the violins! Poor me, right?) I was a  junior in Colorado Springs (we lived there only one year) and a sophomore and freshman in Zama, Japan.

3. We were military and my dad was a low ranking E-5, non-comissioned Air Force sargeant - so with four kids and a non-working mother, we were poor, (like free and reduced lunch kid poor), only too proud to apply.

4. With my babysitting money i bought vinyl records at the PX on base. I wore out Cat Stevens Tea for The Tillerman and Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, (which incidentally is still some of my favorite music today).

5. I dated an African American football player for nearly my whole sophomore year. He was my first real boyfriend. This was when we lived in Japan.

His name? ....Michael Jordan. He was a senior. His dad was a West Pointer army officer. The year was 1973, which was a pretty turbulent time for blacks and whites to be dating, but on base in Japan it was different. My parents tried to stop it at first, but then my dad relented and Mike spent a lot of time with my family, even visiting me in Colorado when we moved away. Mike was super polite, raised with class, a very cute and sweet man. All the teachers loved him and he was popular for the right reasons.

6. I used to dye my hair blonde myself with Clairol's Midnight Sun and it was just terrible (and why i don't mind spending lots of money today to pay a professional.) When i was a junior i tried to dye it back to it's normal brown shade and it turned khaki green. And it was like that for awhile before i could fix it again by dying it more red.  I also used to iron it with a real iron.

7. I never got below a "B" grade in all of high school (but i have to admit to taking the easier classes: Spanish instead of French; no harder math class than algebra, etc.) and i never missed turning in my homework. Not even once.

8. My favorite movie was (I hate to admit this because it's so cheesy).....was.....Love Story. And as I have mentioned here before, I had a girl crush on Ali MacGraw.

9. My favorite book was Catcher in the Rye and Gone with the Wind. (I read them both twice.)

10. My favorite class was Creative Writing. I still remember my junior year teacher Miss Tarver and how pretty she was with her super long straight hair. The reason i remember her is because one time when she handed back one of my stories she told me that I was too young to write so well and that she had liked my story so much she had given it to a friend of hers to read. (I remember being most fascinated by her sharing it with a friend!)  She encouraged me to send it to a magazine for publication. (I did, of course, and saved all the rejection letters.)

I also liked math and had some excellent math teachers, but i don't remember their names.

11. I never went to the prom my senior year. I did go to one junior dance in Colorado that was not prom. I sewed my own dress and went with a guy I knew from Japan who had moved to Colorado before us. He wasn't cute, but he was in college so i thought that was cool.

12. I had a babysitting job for four kids from 3-6 pm nearly my whole junior year in Colorado.  I made 50 cents an hour. The year was 1973. I think that job is the reason i never had kids. I used that money to buy records and Clearasil.

13. I never drank in high school, but my parents once let me have some pink champagne when i was a junior and i was so sick the next day. I never smoked pot either. I was a goody-goody and spent a lot of time in libraries, probably had something to do with not having that many friends since we moved a lot. I was a senior before a lifeguard asked me out to a kegger. I didn't know what a kegger was, i thought beer only came in cans! (I went to that kegger, but didn't drink anything.)

OK, so what were your high school years like? My school years weren't really all THAT terrible, at least i was never bullied or beat up, but my clothes and hair were always wrong and i always felt out of place, especially my last two years. And like most people i know, there is not enough money in the world to make me want to relive them, even knowing what i know now.

Notes to Self:                                                              
Sunrise: 6:48 am
Sunset: 7:22 pm
High temp: 65 degrees
All time blog posts: 48,261
Last iTunes purchase: Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
Last Book read: Brewster
Longest run this week: 45 minutes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why I don't own a cell phone....& stuff.

And NO....this is not the reason, though i have to admit,being around folks who do this when I am with them make me crazy!

So many people are incredulous that i don't own a cell phone. And I don't miss it. I can't remember a time when i thought to myself, damn if only i had a cell phone.

I am not making this up.

And i realized just very recently how much the phone has affected me because of my job in the union office. I've worked in this job for 25 years (not to mention the previous 10 years in the school district where i was a secretary).

I am now retired but temporarily working part-time in the union office and one thing i no longer have to do is answer the phone.

It's only been two days post retirement, but i realized how much more i like going to work just knowing the phone is no longer my duty.... I feel lighter... I feel happier! Just knowing when that phone rings i don't have to have some conversation with the person on the other line has freed me up to be more positive and ready to get to work.

Here's the deal: nobody calling the union office ever does so with positive news. They call crying, venting, whining, griping, yelling, and i am not kidding, even suicidal (That has actually happened to me four times. One time...  months later i read the member's obituary and that's where i found out she was really serious....And on that call i actually had access to the mental health place next door who I had a colleague summon to come over and take the call.)

They have even called drunk.

It was SO rare to receive a good phone call that i actually started to save any voice mails i received that were nice messages. I had calls from a few members or colleagues who liked what i wrote in a newsletter, or what i said in a meeting,  three of those calls were from my friend Julie (jj here) who had her little kindergarten or first grader kids in her music class sing happy birthday to me.

Because of retirement and cleaning up my office,  I also recently cleared them off my voice mail. There were 9 messages in all.

And sometimes when i had a particularly negative experience at work i would play all 9 messages and listen to them again. (Julie's kids singing were the best.)

So now i'm thinking maybe after i de-program myself from this union job there are a few things that I think will change me. 

#1. I will be a more positive person.

#2. My house is going to be in much better order because i actually like doing things like putting things where they belong - for example my next project now that the refrigerator is done is to put up new shelf paper and reorganize my kitchen cabinets.

(I don't have THAT many kitchen cabinets so this is not that arduous a chore really.)

#3.  I will like being around people more.

#4. My health will be improved. Already i have been able to quit the blood pressure meds. Going on two months now and my blood pressure has been just great.

#5.  Hell, I might end up getting a cell phone. (Not saying i will really use it, but i might get one.)

How do you think YOU would change if you weren't working at your current job? What do YOU think you would be doing differently? How might you feel differently?

Notes to Self:                                           
High temp today: WOW! it hit 90 degrees at 4:05 pm. That might be the record high all summer. We have had the most fabulous summer ever in the history of Washington State summers. (However, next week it changes and goes back to 62 degrees for the high.)
Sunrise: 6:42 am (right now as i type at 7:46 pm it is 83 degrees outside! That's amazing!
Sunset: 7:32 pm ...
it's going SO fast now! :(
Longest run this week: 51 minutes
All time blog posts: 48,081
Blog posts last month: 1084

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day of Non-Vacation Retirement

Here's what i did today.

  • Got up at 7:30. 
  • Found out i didn't win Thug Kitchen's contest. :(
  • Called the furnace guy to come out and fix it. 
  • While waiting for him to fix it I decided to tackle cleaning the refrigerator. 
  • Changed this blog.

Damn, the refrigerator took two hours but the furnace guy took only a half hour to add a part. (Yay! We have air conditioning again! ) Plus I found an old diet pepsi way in the back that had an expiration date of 2006. (Makes sense since i don't drink it!)

So it was a good first day.

Cleaning the frig was also a great way to procrastinate going running. Now i think I'm too exhausted, all that bending hurt my knees. 

Maybe it's time to settle in and watch some Matlock and Murder She Wrote on the retro cable channels. Tomorrow I might see what time those quilting ladies are on! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dear Thug Kitchen

Thug Kitchen's recent recipe for blueberries muddled with basil and lime
As i write you from my vacation in Manzanita Beach, Oregon (a very hip vegan kind of place, you would love vacationing here in this quiet beach town i am sure) I am trying to decide which red i like better as i write you to plead with you one last time to choose me for your contest.

One is Three Rocks Red and the other is Three Rivers Red. (The threes was a happy accident.) They are both Washington, one from Zillah, one from Walla Walla. (I'm leaning Walla Walla).

(Thug Kitchen must approve of wine, i am sure.)

I hope you were so entertained by my blog entry for the contest from May 31 this year ripping off your voice to post a recipe for my bacon wrapped tator tots that you continue to check in.

I really need that knife because i got suckered into spending good money on Cutco knives, first from my ex-stepchild and then from my friend's son who i really like a lot. And not one of them is a good everyday knife.

I hope you are not offended that i tried to mimic you. I actually think i did a pretty good job of it, considering i am not as well versed in cussing.

(Ok, that's a lie. I work in a union office and the F-word is my friend.)

From what i can tell, Thug Kitchen does not take itself seriously and the bacon is pretty funny you have to admit. (The tator tots were just an added plus as i am sure you have very strong opinions, as you should, about tator tots.)

And no lie, these are the first things to go at a party and i know you have lots of carnivore readers who would really appreciate this recipe. It shouldn't be a copyright thing either because i changed it up on the measurements.

Not only that, i'm certain that Thug Kitchen is also about breaking rules too!

So i hope you choose me. My blog actually reaches more people than it seems, which is an added bonus for you! My readers are shy, they lurk, but don't always post. According to my stats they are checking in, OK, maybe not like Huffington Post, who plugged your blog and probably helped you win Best New Blog, but my readers are resourceful and sharing and smart AND they too all eat like they give a fuck.

So on the chance that you continue to check back here or Google your name and my blog pops up, here is one last plug for the thug.

I hope to hear from you on Friday.

happy eating,


P.S. I really need that knife. I promise not to use it inappropriately in any way, as one of my Facebook friends inferred.  When she saw the knife that i copied and pasted from your blog link, she laughingly referred to me as applying for a job as a serial killer.

note: for y'all reading in case you missed it: Click here for Thug Kitchen's website

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Winging it...Wine-ing ...Miley-ing it.. MLKing it....

I have not been watching TV at all for about a week, though i did watch my DVR of Project Runway, so this is going to be very random and i might be missing some important shit. Here we go. Maybe y'all can fill in some blanks for me.  Wine tonight: Fume Blanc by Ferrari Carneros... 

1. Oh-Em-Gee... are we going to war with Syria? If not for Comcast i would be living under a rock. Things go through my the end of the world, at the very least, reinstatement of the draft..... scary. i want to know more, but i almost don't want to know more.

2. Oh and on the other side of the news spectrum.... we have ...Miley Cyrus. Are we really going to keep talking about this? I hope not. I watched the YouTube of her wack performance. The creepiest thing about it for me was the stuffed animal people, bears or whatever they were. She is 20 years old. She's not a virgin. And helllllloooo, it's MTV!

3. Having said all that. I am so freaking glad she is not MY daughter. The dude who made a hit out of that stupid ass song Achy Breaky Heart deserves this as payback for the year 1992 when i had to hear that song ad nauseam.

4. Who here watches Project Runway? louie i know does because she turned ME on to it. It's a great season so far but they got it wrong trying to kick off the deaf dude. The black bow tie dude is freaking me out and might be the reason i have to go back on my blood pressure meds!

5. I entered Thug Kitchen's contest to win a super cool knife. I sent him/her/them the link to my blog post May 31st of how TK might write out a recipe for Bacon Wrapped Tator Tots. (Sorry for the redundancy for you Facebookers). I thought it would be funny that Thug Kitchen writes a vegan blog and was asking for an entry about cooking and in their own words 'whatever' to win these prizes. Oh and it had to be 300 words or less because TK doesn't want to read a bunch of essays but i figure if anyone breaks the rules it would be Thug Kitchen. I am so sure my blog post is something like 900 words! Y'all know how verbose i can be here! The contest ends Sept. 6th.

6. Google has got to be one of the coolest places to work! Especially the employee who gets to do the graphics on the Google daily logo. Today is the 50th anniversary of MLK's I have a Dream Speech and i just had to put this up.

7. I've been thinking about my post-retirement work lately. I think if i win the Thug Kitchen knife then maybe i could maybe apply for a job there. I don't believe for one second that Thug Kitchen is written by one dude anyway. It's by a team. I think they need me! Even if i am a carnivore. (Did i spell that correctly?)

9. I am going to misnumber this one in honor of ummagumma. Are you still reading here miss Robin?

Sort of an honor of the 50th anniversary:This photos is from a couple of days ago. I ordered this t-shirt for both of my nephews,  (my sister's son, Chris) who had a baby girl a few weeks ago, (and my brother Troy's son, Brian) who is having a baby boy in October.

Notes to Self: 
Sunrise: 6:23 am.
Sunset: 7:59 am .... so sad... first time under 8:00 pm for awhile!
All time blog views: 47,556
Page views last month: 1053
Shout Out: amulbunny and Swiss!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Random Summer's Waning Post...

Posting this photo will make sense if you read through
I have no idea what to write about, but it's been TWO WHOLE WEEKS since i have changed this blog and it's time, even if i bore all of y'all. (i don't think I have ever gone that long this year.)

I'm just going to wing it....

1. My new favorite musical artist i've just discovered is Nick Waterhouse. (Best Song: Say I Wanna Know). If Amy Winehouse and Dan Auerbach (sp?) from the Black Keys had a baby, he would sound like Nick Waterhouse.

2. I really like my music kind of stripped and raw and not with a lot of synthesized sounds, or background strings or horns or chorus-y singing. Nick Waterhouse sounds like he recorded this in his mom's basement. Maybe he did. (He only has one cd/record or whatever we call them these days.)

3. I just read Bad Monkey by Carl Hiassen. Hiassen cracks me up. A woman in the novel responds to the main character Yancey this way when she feels he is hitting on her at their first introduction: She casually drops it that she is married to a sniper on the SWAT team. (She isn't.) I thought what a great way to deflect a come on from someone you want to get away from.

4. Not that i need to use any lines like that anymore, but they might have come in handy when i was a waitress in a sports bar back in 1986.

5. Which is incidentally where i met Brian, my husband today. He used to come in after the photography class that he taught at the college where he is still working. He asked me out. I said no. And he never came in again. We finally hooked up again 6 years later after my divorce from my second ex husband.

6. Next week is my last week at work. At least full-time and no longer with benefits and my regular salary. I do go back, working on a time sheet in mid-September . I will work 18 hours a week, 3 days a week (Yay! FOUR DAY WEEKENDS!)  They need me temporarily while they figure out what to do in our office. We are considering merging with another office but that could take up to a year. So i might be there for awhile, but then again i could be done by December.

7. We're a union office and like the Democrats we have too many players and everyone has a say and it just slows down the whole damn process. I keep saying that sometimes we just need a good despot to get things done. I have a feeling i could be there awhile but  I feel fortunate that i have this opportunity to ease into retirement and hope by the end of this gig that i will have it figured out what i want to do.

8. I'm leaning towards working in a wine bar and forgetting about going back to work in the schools, though i do plan to volunteer again.

9. For ummagumma. Saw her on Facebook. Wonder if she still reads here!

10. Over vacation I stopped taking my blood pressure (July 19).  Since then I've checked it every day and it's remained normal and it was normal at my doctor's office yesterday too and on record there. So it's official : Work actually made me sick. That's all i can think of. Retirement, just the thought of it,  is making me healthy! (It could also have something to do that i've upped my average mileage on my runs.)

11. Let me bore you with my latest scary dream, it's a recurring one and i put it here for history, just in case it happens:  I'm in the car and my niece Kylee is driving and we are on a freeway bridge going into a sharp turn and as she turns the corner i start to tell her to slow down  but i'm too late and we go off the bridge and as we are going down i say out loud very calmly, "I always knew this would happen someday." and i wake up. (I was never so glad to wake up at 3:00 am.)

12. Sometimes i think that water will be involved somehow when i finally do die. Or a car. Or both. Personally i liked the idea of a heart attack, one of those kind that you die before you hit the floor.

13. Speaking of my second ex-husband: I saw him the other day and it was just perfect. (I worry i will run into my exes at Albertson's after i've been running and looking straggley, they don't mean anything to me and i know i shouldn't care, but i do...really who wouldn't?)  Anyway i was sitting at the bar watching my now husband's band play at this waterfront restaurant/bar. He came in and we saw each other at the same time. (I haven't seen him in probably 8 years, we've been divorced since 1992  and i was the one who wanted out.)

And i went over and gave him a hug. He asked why i was there and i got to say "I'm with the band." hahahaha... I have ALWAYS wanted to say that since i was a teenager!... And i pointed to Brian and said 'my husband is the one playing the drums." And did i mention he was alone? He even had to make a disclaimer that he was just popping in on his way to something bigger. (I'm sure that's why he left quickly after his only drink.)

14. Oh yeah, and i had just had my hair done by my stylist the day before and it looked better than i can ever make it look by myself. He looked okay i guess. Not as bad as i thought he would since he is 11 years older, (which would make him 67 years old).

15. It's been a great summer in our Pacific Northwest. The very best on record! Everybody's talking about it. I don't even mind that autumn is starting to come because we were treated with so much sun these past months that i almost miss the rain.

OMG, i can't believe i really have nothing to say and yet here i am on #15, but not exactly riveting stuff for so many points.

Oh yeah and i almost forgot... How about that John Oliver?  He did an awesome job on The Daily Show! My prediction: I think Jon Stewart is going to replace David Letterman any day now and John Oliver is going to take over The Daily Show and i told my husband that i bet that it's already in the works between the networks and this was a test run. I'm sure David Letterman must be getting close.

Notes to Self: 
Sunrise: 6:17 am
Sunset: 8:08 pm
High temp: 83 degrees
Total page views last month: 1053
Total all time: 47,387

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stuff i give a shit about

The other night when my husband Brian and i were outside on the patio playing cards, enjoying the summertime and drinking wine we were talking about work because we were both back to work after our vacation. And he brought up something about a meeting he had to attend where they talked about quote core values unquote. (He is communications and marketing director for a small college where we live.)

In the union office where i work we use that term often too. And i have always hated terms like that.

And so  i said, "I HATE those kinds of academic professional termages.... (I can make up words like 'termages' because it is MY blog.)

I added, " they should quit calling it 'core values' and instead call it  "Stuff i Give a Shit About and i am Ready to Kick Somebody's Ass If They Don't Feel the Same Way".

Isn't that a more provocative way to get somebody's attention about quote core values unquote?

And i made a quick note to make this my next blog post.

So here it is. Let's talk about Stuff We Give A Shit About. (And i really don't know what i am getting ready to say, but here i go:)

1. I give a shit about having enough money to save for my future, to make my small home nice, and getting my hair done, and eating well, and helping out family members to some extent.

2. I want to be able to keep running, at least until i am 60 years old. That is my goal. But in truth, i hope to be able to run longer than that, and i say that even as i HATE running. But it makes me feel younger.

3. I give a shit about feeling younger than i am.

4. I give a shit about looking and feeling and thinking younger than my age, and i think that is not going to last much longer, maybe two years.

5. I give a shit about my family being people i love hanging out with.

6. I give a shit about people i work with who are ethical, strong, healthy minded and fun.

7. I give a shit about good TV like Newsroom. The Daily Show. Parenthood.

8. I give a shit about great music. Van Morrison never disappoints me EVER. (He is playing right now as i type.)

9. I give a shit about being married to a man who gets me. Who finds the good in me when others don't and tells me about the times he sees that in me, even if it is a small thing.

10. I give a shit about have a lot of unencumbered time to do what i want.

11. I give a shit about electing the right person in the political world.

12. I give a shit about being around generous people who aren't self absorbed and who don't always talk about themselves.

13. I give a shit about a great bottle of wine that i've never had before.

14. I give a shit about that first cup (and only cup of the day) of really strong coffee that my husband brings me in the morning when i first wake up.

15. I give a shit that right now, as of this moment, every person i love and care about is healthy. As far as i know... at this moment.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Best Version of "Hallelujah"....and stuff ladies talk about while on vacation with wine!

August 1, 2013 Iron Springs - l to r: Sarah/louie, her daughter Emma, me, Julie/jj. I finally figured out my self-timer on my camera, which is why i'm laughing, i had to jump in quickly!

Just got back from a three night galpal trip, or as Emma likes to call it, "The Ladies' Vacation". (Emma is one of two non-family people  who i would be willing to adopt as my own daughter. I posted on this sometime last spring on this blog.) We went to Iron Springs on Copalis Beach, which is one of the nicer Washington ocean beaches because the cars can't drive between the inlets so there are fewer cars. Plus the cabins are very cool. (My husband and i were there earlier in the month.)

Here's what we did:

1. On the last night we played every version of the song the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" on our iPods. We had them by: Rufus Wainwright, k.d. Lang, Jeff Buckley, Brandi Carlile, JJ Cale. (I thought i had Jackie Greene's version, but didn't.)

2. We then voted on k.d. Lang's version as being the best. (Check it out and see if you don't agree.) Emma sort of likes Brandi Carlile's the best, and i might put her second, equal with Jeff Buckley's.

3. Then we gave some shit to Emma (who is 25 years old) for not knowing that Leonard Cohen wrote it.

4. Weird than none of us had Cohen's version. We found it on YouTube and then understood why.

5. We also drank 9 bottles of wine during the three days. We cooked every meal, steamed clams, marinated flank steak on the BBQ and pasta with homemade pesto and proscuitto. (We eat well on these trips and don't mind cooking. )  It was funny that we all brought goat cheese and granola.

6. We talked about lots of stuff. How young men are terrible in bed, family dynamics, actors we like and actors who irritate us, how to fix education (Emma is a teacher too, so we are all in education).

7. We also talked about how size doesn't matter (though louie didn't participate in THAT conversation, being that her daughter was present).

8. We talked about vegans vs. vegetarians and how irritating it can be to cook for them. Emma used to date a vegan and it was a stressful trying to come up with T-Day vegan dishes. I know, cause i was there.

10. We tried too late to make a drinking game out of every time that Sarah and Emma shared a funny endearment about Ron, (louie's husband, Emma's dad).

11. We watched The Big Lebowski and even though we had all seen it, Silver Linings Playbook.

12. I think we all agreed that Bradley Cooper is someone we would date.

13. louie and i played a card game Speed, for quarters. We were evenly matched, each winning four quarters. (We forgot to have our playoff. Too bad because Julie and Emma could have laid bets on who would win.)

14. We completed a 513 piece puzzle that had three missing pieces and three dog chewed pieces and entirely too much white.

15. We took two long walks on the beach. I ran once, but not long, i hate beach running, so boring going out and back.

16. We played Qwerkle and louie won one game and i am not sure who won the second. Emma kept score. We have to ask her.

17. We talked about how hard it must be to date when you are 50 - since this is what Julie is doing. And then laughed about what if you are dating someone who needs to sleep with one of the sleep apnea machines that makes you look like an aardvark. (How does one look sexy in one of those?) But if Bradley Cooper needed to use a sleep machine it would be okay. Though I realize he is not 50 years old.

18. We weren't careful of our language. Emma had the best quote. "She always uses the F-word more in July" ....(in talking about her mom).

19. We talked about our future....with the exception of Emma, i think we are all ready to be done with our jobs. But worried about what we want to do. Julie maybe Peace Corps, Sarah - uncertain, me - watching a lot of TV, taking bowling lessons, archery lessons. (I'm the least ambitious in the group, not embarrassed to say.)

So come tell us: what are YOU doing on YOUR vacation?

Notes to Self: 
Sunset: 8:43 pm
Sunrise: 5:50 am
All time blog views: 46,610
Shout Out: equeyaya....cause i know you love the song Hallelujah too!

Above is Alexandra from the X-FActor that louie is talking about.

Above is Swiss's link of Hallelujah of the guy's singing together. I actually like this one better than Alexandra. But i still think kd lang does it best.