26 September 2008

Fogging Banks

I love the fall. Who is with me? Our area tends to get socked in by fog in the mornings but the effect is beautifully surreal and makes me think of stillness.

Fall weather inspires me to curl up in a chair and read or bundle in hats and sweaters and take long walks. Or drink coffee. Or put on my Freddy Kruger mask, wield a chainsaw while laughing, and scare the crap out of the kids at the school bus stop.

The news has been depressing with bank after bank getting bailed out by bigger banks. Pretty soon only three institutions will be left standing: Taxpayers Bank, Screw You Bank, and Overdrafts R US Bank. The CEOs will be even more filthy, stinking rich while customers like me are service charged to financial death. Three words: Mon. Opo. Ly.

I used to work for the bank that Chase took over yesterday. I loved my bank but I can't stand Chase. Can't stand them. It's in the way they handle their loans and customer service. There is a good reason they are called 'Chase'. A few years ago they carried one of my home loans and with the loss of hubby's job they went from Helpful Bank to Ready To Rob Their Own Grandma Bank. We are extremely thankful we sold that house before the market bottomed out or worse, Grandma's pearls went missing.

My school is a go for winter. I managed to hear from Financial Aid two days after school started for Fall. With financial backing now, the classes I need are full with waiting lists...unless I'm going to branch out into Cat Hair Macrame 101 or Fun With Fungus 025. Weeks ago, I was advised to un-enroll for lack of funding. I was told my Financial Aid wasn't going to be processed in time. I cried, un-enrolled with dashed hopes for Fall, and resolved myself to starting in Winter.

For those just tuning in, I'm going to be a radiologist when I grown up. It's only taken me 18 years after high school to sort that out. I figure medical careers have job security because no matter the state of the economy, people will always a) have babies, b) take a dirt nap, and c) do stupid things like stick foreign objects in their body. It appears to be a career that will keep my type A personality happy, yet appease my dark humor. Real stories from the trenches look promising.  

I have NO idea how that got in there.

Yeah, talk about some awesome blog material.

Lastly, I'm designing like a fiend and baking for the first time in my life. I'm going to give myself another facelift cause I can and last night I made a rhubarb cobbler. It's edible. Not the blog, the cobbler. I'm so proud.

~Bee likes to wear hats while financing the radiation of Chase people curled in the fog of baking.

17 September 2008

A Flock of Seagulls In AquaNet

I'm officially half way to 72. I had a wonderful weekend that also included my daughter's 12th birthday. It seems just yesterday I was walking the mall and stopping every 30 minutes to have a contraction. I didn't know it then, but I was blessed with an easy-going baby girl that ate her weight in squash and could soften hardened criminals with one toothless grin. Nothing much has changed, except for a perfect row of pearly whites and mile-long eyelashes.

I love that my kids have grown fond of 80's music but I feel like I've gone through a time-warp seeing my daughter and her friends. These are middle-schoolers going gah-gah over leg warmers and florescent jewelry. I'm seeing girls neck ties, over-sized vests, striped knee socks, fingerless gloves, and rocker tees. My daughter even has a pair of Jellie shoes. I'm hoping the gigantic Flock of Seagulls hair doesn't come back in, although if it does, I'm buying stock in Aqua Net.

Since the kids have been in school, I have gotten so much done. My laundry is done, two closets cleaned, and goodwill bags are ready to go. I went shopping yesterday and found huge deals. $20 doormat for $3. My favorite hair care for 50% off and we also got a great deal on tires for the van. The tires were in DIRE need of being replaced even Tire Man Bob was shocked they were so bald. I asked him about neon running board lights, some sweet spinners and roaching the wheels. He got a good laugh. My 1996 Ford Windstar would be the hottest thing on the road.

Today, I'm going to come around *stalk you in comments* and say hi *apologize* to my readers after being out of the loop for weeks now *AWOL*.

~Bee has not fallen off the planet.

13 September 2008

Rambling and A Birthday

If you could see the daily thoughts swirling my brain it would resemble some kind of monster banana smoothie whizzing around in my blender-like cranium. Today it could end up being post worthy.

Mr Coffee and I are both huge Serenity / Firefly fans. Being as such our ears perk up when we hear of Nathan Fillion doing a new project. Apparently, he and Neil Patrick Harris decided to use the downtime during last year's writer's strike to make a little film. Mr Coffee and I downloaded it off iTunes and I'm telling you, we have ended up in tears from laughing so hard. Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is one you must see. So. Stinking. Funny.

Today my son and I polished off the last of my strawberry freezer jam. The kids loved it and stood guard by the freezer so that after an hour, they could attempt to eat the entire batch with a fork, al la popsicle style. It was my first attempt at freezer jam and if I had any inkling it would be so easy, I would've owned a full freezer most of my married life...aside from the airplane bottles of vodka/tequila/brandy I store in there for special occasions.

Special occasions = Returning from an afternoon birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.

I will openly go on record here to thank Wendy's for their new kid's meal toys. We don't eat out but on rare occasion. Supersize Me, anyone? But new kids' meal toys like audiobooks for kids, namely The Magic Treehouse series, are always a big hit at our house. Outstanding idea.

This week our 8 year old managed to bring home some kind of funk from school. He's been feverish, but I think the worst has passed. I hoped to clean the house, but ended up plunked down at my email and got to some design requests between requests for blanket, water, and go away, MOM. I haven't designed a new template for months now and yesterday I got three inquiries. I'm thinking of revamping my site here, but just the header. Should I? Should I not?

If you are already tired of politics and lipsticked pigs, please raise your chad. Thank you....

Lastly, I had a birthday this week. I'm a whole 36 and I've said it before, the years are shorter, but sweeter. Life is a good teacher.

When it comes to birthdays, I'm one that likes the party hats, decorations, guest lists, and hoopla. I remember birthdays and anniversaries partly because I like people to remember mine. It's good to be remembered by friends and family and in turn to feel appreciated for being alive at least one day of the year.

My parents forgot my 16th until evening when my sister reminded them. They usually had small family gathering for our birthdays, but our family budget was small. They did the best they could, I guess. I like the big bash with people around me. My apartment neighbors already complain about my kids, what's another 10 adults with families?

I don't mind getting older. It boils down to food as it's all about the cake. The more years=more candles=bigger cake to fit them=bigger cake=more for me.

I like birthday gifts. My 20th birthday I was given useful, yet funny gag gifts of toilet paper by all 20 people who came to my surprise birthday bash ~thank you Dapoppins~ It was the last big party I had. As it goes, I was notorious for forgetting to buy TP and making guests use Zee napkins from the kitchen.

Mr Coffee brought me flowers, three cards and a big smooch. I like big smooches even though I get them on a regular occurrence. He usually gives me three cards, because he can never decide on just one. We were going to go out, but some family ditched us for camping this weekend*. Both my sisters sent me well wishes. My parents? The usual no phone call.

Next post, I'm going to post my 36 things I want to do before I die, like eat a whole cake.

Thank you again, to all who sent me birthday wishes on facebook and email. I'm off till Monday....

*PS. Doozie, you are NOT a bad friend, STAAAAHP.

06 September 2008

The Incomparable Pavarotti

I cried when I got the news you had passed on. It was one year ago today. You see, celebrities do not have that effect on me. But you, Pavarotti? You were different.

I never liked opera growing up. I never took the time to really listen. It wasn't until I met Mr Coffee that I began to listen to you and opera. I found myself loving this new genre of music because I heard it for the first time.

How I miss the incomparable you. May your melodic voice live on always.

Luciano Pavarotti
October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007

Che Gelida Manina
from Puccini's La Boheme

What a frozen little hand,
let me warm it for you.
What's the use of looking?
We won't find it in the dark.
But luckily
it's a moonlit night,
and the moon
is near us here.
Wait, mademoiselle,
I will tell you in two words,
who I am, what I do,
and how I live. May I?
Who am I? I am a poet.
What do I do? I write.
And how do I live? I live.
In my carefree poverty
I squander rhymes
and love songs like a lord.
When it comes to dreams and visions
and castles in the air,
I've the soul of a millionaire.
From time to time two thieves
steal all the jewels
out of my safe, two pretty eyes.
They came in with you just now,
and my customary dreams
my lovely dreams,
melted at once into thin air!
Bu the theft doesn't anger me,
for their place has been
taken by hope!
Now that you know all about me,
you tell me who you are.
Please do!

04 September 2008

Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

At the urging of a friend, I post this story. My childhood stories are fairly entertaining, so I've been told. Gird your loins, this is a good one.

As a teenager I had a huge sweet tooth. While this is not news, there was a time when my sweet tooth was a problem. Not cavities or lbs. mind you, but clonked on the head with a shovel and left for dead.

This trip down memory lane is made possible by those gloriously golden pieces of goodness called Coffee Nips. You see, in high school I lived on a steady diet of Coffee Nips, caffeine, and McDonalds. Have you seen these below? They are pretty much coffee-flavored crack.

Nips are the most perfect, mouth-watering, substance on earth. So euphoric in fact, that there was never a time that I wouldn't walk miles to the store solely to replenish my stockpile.

On one occasion, my sister and I needed a fix. Wide-eyed, we drooled with anticipation over our upcoming sugar coma. The store nearby wasn't our usual 7-11 but when you are jonesin' for candy, do you care? I assure you, you do not.

This was a little corner store, with the usual convenience goodies: coffee, gum, beer, soda, and ancient groceries at quadruple the typical costs. The store was clean, well stocked and run by a very kind, yet very animated Asian couple. They spoke broken English but it was enough to communicate with their customers. She usually ran the cash register while he was perpetually in and out of the back room while talking to her intermittently in Japanese.

We searched up and down their little isles for our candy. My sister inquired of the woman, "Do you have any Coffee Nips?"

The woman looked at us blankly. She just stood there and said nothing.

~awkward silence~

"Coffee Nips?" my sister repeated herself. The gentleman in the back walked out and stood next to his wife. Neither answered and continued to stare at us blankly.

This was the problem:

- noun
Definition: Delectable candy often desired by clueless teens.

See also

 - noun
Definition: Highly derogatory slang term for a person of Japanese descent. It is derived from "Nippon", the Japanese term for Japan. Usage in this context probably peaked around the time of WWII.

Can you see where this is going?

My sister and I glanced at each other and seeing I was the older and wiser, I take over hoping to get through to the shop owner. In all my teenage wisdom, I immediately came under the impression that her lack of response, odd expression, and foreign, I needed to speak LOUDER and SLOOOOWER.

in·san·i·ty - noun
Definition: To do the same action over and over again hoping for a different outcome at each attempt.

"DOOO YOOOU HAVE ANY COOOFFEE NIPS?" I tried asking, enunciating every syllable and speaking louder than my sister's previous inquiry.

By this time her husband's blank look has turned into a full on glare. They start talking quietly to each other in Japanese.

"What is their problem?" I thought to myself.

"No," He declared emphatically as he motioned us away with the flip of his hand.

"Okay. Thanks," was all I could muster, still puzzled by his odd reply. We paid for our sodas in ignorant bliss and made our way out.

If I had been, say 40 years older, I might have understood the cultural faux paus we had committed. The sweet, little Japanese couple thought they heard, "Do you have any coffee, Nips?"

Now older and wiser, I cringe when I buy a box of Coffee Nips. It's a funny, but an uncomfortable reminder that commas do make all the difference.

~Bee has been enlightened and fully embraces cultural diversity.
Listening to: Turning Japanese by The Vapors