Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for March, 2009

So dumb it HURTS

Posted by Lissa on March 31, 2009

I think we’ve all had conversations like this a time or two . . .

(And yes I realize that, with my recent airheadedness, I may not be the best person to criticize the brain freezes of others, but — DUDE.  At least I know the difference between dollars and pennies!!)

(h/t to my sister)

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In which I confuse myself, a police officer, two women, and a dog or two.

Posted by Lissa on March 31, 2009

Everyone told me I would lose my mind in the run-up to the wedding.  Apparently it’s true.


“Sweetie, I won’t be home for dinner tonight, I’ve got that meeting.”

“Oh, the one for the Lissaville Animal Shelter?”

“Right, the one at the police department.  Must run, bye love!”

Cursing a bit, I hustled off to the Lissaville Police Department.  The meeting was at six and the clock already read 5:57; I *hate* being late to meetings, but while Lissa proposes, the T line disposes.

I made it to the building just after six and practically sprinted inside.

And found . . . nothing.

No sign.  No obvious conference room.  No gathering of people.

Oh, sh*t.  I *knew* I should have taken the time to review the email today.  Dammit, why do I always forget things like that??

As I glanced around with increasing confusion and consternation, a friendly-yet-authoritative voice called, “Can I help you?”

Shamefacedly, I turned to the courteous police officer speaking through the window.  “Um, hi,” I said with a resigned smile.  “I was looking for the meeting of the Lissaville Animal Shelter, and for some reason I thought it was here.  I must have REALLY read the sign wrong.”

He was nice enough not to laugh at me outright, but I could tell he kind of wanted to.  “Noooooo,” he drawled, “the only animals we got here are a DIFFERENT kind.”

“Right.  Right.  Sorry!” I mumbled, and fled.

Back in the car, I dug up my phone and called up email, thankful that I could access the meeting reminder without going all the way back to the Kitty Den.

202 Communication error, please try again

“Oh, c’mon, NOT NOW, phone.  Behave, dammit!  Give me my email!”

202 Communication error, please try again

202 Communication error, please try again

My mother would be displeased, but unsurprised, if she’d heard the language coming out of my mouth.

What else could I do?  I drove over to the Animal Shelter in the hopes of finding someone who — UNlike me — knew what the hell was going on.


“Excuse me!  You’ll need a shelter volunteer to escort you!”

(Apparently my suit and high-heeled boots were a dead giveaway that I wasn’t there to help with the dogs.)

“No, no,” I explained, “I *do* volunteer here, on Sunday mornings.  It’s just that –” (I waited for a few seconds in hopes that the barking would die down a bit) “– there’s an annual meeting and I don’t know where I’m supposed to be.”

 The woman paused for a moment to calm the bellowing boxer, before throwing me a glance of absolute bewilderment.  “Ummmmm, you mean Orientation?  I don’t know of any other meeting tonight.  Helen, do you know of any other meetings?”


“Oh, THAT meeting,” said the volunteer apparently named Helen.  “That’s NEXT week.  Not tonight.”

Dammit!  Dammit, dammit, dammit!

“Oh,” I stammered.  “Thank you.  I’m sorry.  That makes sense.”  I shook my head.  “Ladies, in my defense, I will tell you — my wedding is in TWENTY DAYS.”

Immediate comprehension flashed across their faces.  “Ohhhhhhhh.  Yeah that makes sense.”

Sigh.  As a consolation prize, I gingerly entered the wormhole bakery and emerged relatively unscathed — a slice of Tiramisu for Mike and a few mini cream-puffs for me.

Thank you, Ted.  You were right — the wedding really DOES work as an excuse for everything!

P.S. The Lissaville Animal Shelter currently boasts the FATTEST Basset hound I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Her name is Twinkletoes.  Yes, really.

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A Day in the Suburban Jungle

Posted by Lissa on March 27, 2009

10:35 AM

“I’m off to the mall, sweetie. I should be back around two or three or so.”
I left for the mall just FULL of purpose. I clearly defined my goals. I mapped out my routes for each store. I planned for parking debacles. I promised myself I would mentally smack only HALF of the obnoxious teeny-boppers I encountered. I was confident, prepared and ready.

I was wrong.


First stop: parental wedding gifts. I knew exactly what I wanted. I took cell-snaps and sent them over to Mike to make sure he approved. And then I started the simple process of filling out the forms for the engraving.

Twenty minutes later, I had pulled out a scratch-pad, my own Sharpie and half my hair while I showed the nice sweet little old lady how to spell my name, AGAIN. Thank goodness I showed up an hour before my hair appointment.

“No ma’am, I do not want the gravity pen, thank you.”

“No ma’am, I do not need a fourth gift, thank you.”

“No ma’am, I have no idea how long you’ve been working at this store and how many crazy young people you’ve helped select the perfect wedding gift.”

“No ma’am, I had no idea that your sister’s neighbor’s daughter is getting married next month to the nice boy that she met while she was back in high school and that he is so good to her son and that you don’t approve of his hair but you do approve of his job and you think that he drives his car too fast and you never see him in church but you really don’t expect that of kids nowadays.”

“Thank you for all your help ma’am have a good day.”


“Welcome to Regis, how can I help you?”

“Hi, I’m Lissa, I’m here for a twelve-o’clock color appointment.”

“Oh, wonderful! Well, Stacey’s running a bit late, she won’t be done for another twenty-five minutes or so, but you’re ten minutes early so really she’s only running fifteen minutes late!” (beaming smile)

“Ummmm, that’s great. Okay, I’m going to go grab lunch and I’ll come back in twenty-five minutes.”

Lunch took twenty-five minutes. After that, I only had another twenty-five to wait, hooray!


I’ve never had my hair professionally colored before. Back in my semi-wild days (only one tattoo and two piercings) I used to dye my hair with the over-the-counter stuff, but that was quite a while ago. Luckily for y’all, I made sure to capture the utter silliness to share with my sister:



The stuff they dye your hair with?  STINKS.  If I had to classify the scent, I’d say it most closely resembles a cocktail of three parts rubbing alcohol, two parts diseased rotted raccoon, and one part fresh-cat-dung.  With a dash of cayenne pepper.


“Welcome to Lord & Taylor’s Clinique makeup counter, are you looking for a makeover today?”

“Actually, yes, I am, thank you. I’m doing my own makeup for my wedding next month and I’d like some help in figuring out how to do my eyes.”

“Oh, congratulations!” the nice woman cried. “Well, let’s see . . . You say you want your eyes to stand out?”

“Yes,” I confirmed, “though I don’t want anything too gaudy. It should look sort-of-natural.”

“Fantastic,” the Nice Makeup Technician (NMT) replied, and proceeded to slap pancake onto my face. Or Play-dough. It felt like Play-dough.

“This is our new photo-friendly foundation! It’ll show up just great when the photography flash goes off! Oh, and don’t you have such pretty eyes! I love doing wedding makeup!”

I smiled painfully through watering eyes as she merrily stabbed my corneas with a mascara wand.

Five minutes later, I looked in the mirror and beheld this:


“Oh.  Um.  Well,” I stammered.

NMT’s colleague, Scary Makeup Lady, wandered over to coo over NMT’s job. I tried to decide if it made things better or worse to get compliments from a woman who had 1) bright blue eyeshadow raccoon-rings, 2) bubble-gum pink lipstick, 3) fuchsia blush in perfect circles on her cheeks. I’m serious, SML looked like a cross between Raggedy Ann and Fannie Mae Baker.

“Ummmmm,” I tried again. “It’s a lovely look, really, and I’m sure I’ll wear this to a club sometime, but can we maybe experiment with something lighter? More subtle?”

“Oh surely!” NMT chirped, reaching for the makeup remover. “Let’s try that same look using Dark Violet!”


“Hi, I need to make a nail appointment right before my wedding. Oh, while I’m here, could I get my eyebrows waxed please?”

“Sure-sure! You go to back room!”

On an academic note — when the woman doing your eyebrows accidentally drops a big blob of wax into your freshly-colored hair, the best removal method really is to painfully pick it out with your fingers. At least, I assume so; she didn’t offer any alternatives.


“Excuse me. Excuse me please, trying to get through,” I said politely.

“Dude! Look at ’em go! FIGHT! FIGHT!!” — “Naw man, the cops are already here’n’sh*t! They’re gonna take this to the parkin’ lot for sure!”

“ExCUSE me,” I said, a little less politely. “I don’t want to see the fight, I just want to get to the escalator.”

“Yo dude, he ripped his shirt off ‘n’ sh*t!” — “FIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHT!!”


“Oh, excuse me,” I said, VERY politely. “Was that your toe? I beg your pardon.” I flashed my sweetest smile and escaped through the gap.


Oh, surely not.
“Um, sir. That engraving has a word missing.”
“Huh? No, it’s right there!”
“No, sir. There is a word missing.  Right.  THERE.  Sir.”
“Oh. Oh, sorry about that. Okay, we’ll have this fixed right up in a jiffy! Come back in forty minutes.”


I crawled home at 6 PM. Mike kissed me, gave me a glass of wine and dinner, and put me to bed.

Now tell me again . . . WHO says that women love shopping???

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Three-picture Thursday: 3/26/09

Posted by Lissa on March 26, 2009

Good morning all! Thanks for the votes on the last post, and try not to worry; the Ace-strapping-a-cat to sneak him onto an airplane actually came from a book I read recently. I didn’t cite the book because it would be a plot-spoiler; I adamantly declared to Mike mid-book that “if they kill the cat, I am NEVER reading anything by this guy ever again!!!”  They don’t kill the cat, they smuggle him into Mexico.  The End.   🙂

But let’s stick with the theme of flesh-shredding for just a moment longer, shall we?  I too took a picture of The Knife Buffet at the Hilltop, though mine will differ slightly from Jay G’s; namely, by the big honkin’ possessive red circle:


FYI – no, I do not print like a blindfolded five-year-old, but the text box print was too tiny and I couldn’t embiggen it.  It’s hard writing with a mouse!  (On the other hand, my cursive DOES look rather like that of a blindfolded five-year-old.  It’s sad, really.)

While we’re on the subject of the Bloggermeet — I had described the following FAIL to my tablemates, and I offer it now for all y’all’s viewing pleasure:


Just . . . just, NO.  NO NO NO.  How could someone put that up, on purpose OR accidentally?  I’m hardly race-obsessed, but, DUDE.  BAD.

Finally, I offer up the following Photoshop Disaster.  I’m pretty sure I should be outraged — “That’s why women have body issues!  Even a perfectly respectable beautiful model gets Photoshopped!  Come and see the sexism inherent in the system!” — but really I just laugh at the horrific Photoshop-FAIL.


(“Call that a woman?  This  is a woman . . . “)

Almost Friday!!

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Last night I dreamed of climbing a mountain in Russia

Posted by Lissa on March 25, 2009

Or, more accurately, I dreamed of *preparing* to climb a mountain in Russia. In my dream-mind Russia is apparently easier to get to than Canada, since I was still at my house a half-hour before my flight left.

Besides seriously lacking a sense of geographical scale — and the hellishly hellacious hell which is international customs — my subconscious mind is obsessed with trivialities. I dwelt feverishly on my lack of tall socks (but decided I could get away with booties under my hiking boots — ouch) and the possibility of snow getting down my pants (which was solved by packing long sleeveless undershirts). Oh, and I was most definitely concerned about remembering my Kindle. This seems to be a theme lately.

Things that did NOT particularly concern my dream-self included my total lack of Russian-language skills, having only a computer-bag’s-worth of traveling gear and clothes, forgetting to pack underwear, and planning to strap my cat to my torso using Ace bandages so that he could ride the airplane.

On second thought, the lack of concern about strapping a sharp-clawed cat to my delicate flesh before subjecting our joint bodies to the rigors of flight — well, that seems less like mere oversight and more like suicide-by-cat.  (That’s like suicide-by-cop, only much bloodier.)

If I had to guess, I’d say the homestretch to the wedding, crammed as it is with details and organizing and diplomacy, is making my subconscious stress small details and lose sight of the big pictures. Either that, or I *really* want a real-live ROLcat.

Bonus exit quote from PJ O’Rourke: “All the world’s Russia experts (and most of its Russians) are trying to figure these things out.  But Russia is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, tied in a hankie, rolled in a blanket, and packed in a box full of little Styrofoam peanuts,” said Winston Churchill, or something like that.”

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I agree with Crystal, this site is AWESOME

Posted by Lissa on March 24, 2009

Between making chicken-pesto-pasta with asparagus and prepping the Crock Pot coq au vin for tonight’s dining pleasure, I spent all my spare time last night in the kitchen instead of updating my blogroll.  Dammit!  Maybe tonight?  Hey, maybe I’ll even manage to catch Gun Nuts!

In the meantime, you can check AD and Jay and Borepatch and a bunch of other places to read up on the Northeast Dinner/Bloggershoot with AD.  Or, if you’re in the mood for a laugh, you can traipse on over to FML.  I got there from Crystal’s site and I’m just laughing myself silly.  A few workplace-friendly examples:

Today, me and couple of friends were driving around town and saw a lady who had accidentally backed her car up onto a concrete wall. Laughing, we all turned to look as we passed and I drove straight into a parked police car at 30 that had stopped to help her.FML

Today, it’s my birthday. My mom decided to wake me up by having our new, previously stray, cat thrown on top of me. I was awoken to two claws ripping across my face which needed 16 stitches to fix. Happy Birthday.FML

Today, I fell asleep in class.As a joke, my professor used an airhorn to wake me up. I got so freaked out that I punched the girl next to me in the face. She got knocked out.FML

Today, I was on the bus going to formal for my sorority. I was sitting in the 5th row of the bus when I felt raindrops on my face coming through the open window. I then realized it wasn’t raining, but the girl in the 1st row was throwing up out her window and it was coming back in through my window.FML

Today, I was at a club with my girlfriend of only two weeks. As we were dancing, another woman grabbed my ass from behind me and squeezed. I yelped and turned around to see my mother as the culprit. My girlfriend punched her. I found out my mother is a Cougar and my girl has a mean right hook. FML

Today, I was taking the bus home from work. As I was getting off an old man whistled at me, I told him to go to hell and got off the bus. When the bus drove away the old man stood in the back of the bus, holding up the wallet I left that he was trying to give to me. FML

Today, I got my laptop back after sending it to Dell to repair water damage after a night of partying.Dell returned my computer unrepaired, saying it was unfixable.When I called to ask why they couldn’t fix it, they told me it was a biohazard. Someone got drunk and pissed on my laptop.FML

Today, I decided to start working out because my friends said I’m scrawny and weak. I bought an expensive giant container of protein powder to take before during work outs. I wasn’t strong enough to open the lid.FML

Today, I went skinny-dipping with my best friend. We were on the beach and it was fairly crowded but we got in the water at this really secluded area. While we were swimming I looked up to see a homeless man wearing my clothes, walking away. FML

*gigglesnort* Admit it — your day now seems a helluva lot better, does it not?

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Read of the Day: Airline edition

Posted by Lissa on March 23, 2009

Short version:  For God’s sake do not, repeat do NOT, fly Alitalia:

The black man was hyperventilating and literally shaking while he tried with all his might to restrain himself from committing violence. A few passengers stepped between him and the manager. None of us wanted a riot. But a riot felt imminent.

“Do you know what’s going on with these Africans?” a woman said to me. “They’ve been here for four days, and now the airline is saying there’s no record they ever booked a flight at all.”

“We want to go home!” the five Africans yelled in unison.

Four days they had been waiting!

“Get it, man?” said the first African man. He looked ready to rip out the manager’s spine with his fingers. “We want to go home!”

“Where are you guys trying to go?” I asked one of the calmer African men.

“Nigeria,” he said. “Now he’s saying we never purchased a ticket.”

These men had Alitalia boarding passes. They wouldn’t have even been to pass through security without them.

“Unbelievable,” said an American man. “The staff is obviously racist against these guys.”

“Our luggage is right outside that window,” a man said to me. “It’s sitting there on the tarmac next to the plane.”

One woman told me she checked in her cat in its carrier two days ago. She was worried her cat might soon die. (In hindsight I can say that her cat almost certainly died.) [snip]

As we approached the front of the line, I noticed that the man in front of us was checking in luggage.

“Excuse me, sir” I said. “You might not want to check your luggage. The baggage handlers are on strike. The planes aren’t flying, and once you check your luggage, they won’t give it back.”

How dare you!” said the Alitalia woman working the counter.

“You aren’t warning this man,” I said. “So I’m warning him. Somebody should have warned me before I gave you my luggage. .”

“He’s checking in!” she said.

Sofocles and Tatiana laughed out loud.

“He’s checking in?” I said. “He’s not going anywhere. Nobody’s going anywhere.” I turned around and made an announcement to everybody in line behind us. “They’re on strike. You aren’t flying today, and if you get them your luggage they won’t give it back.”

“That’s not true!” the Alitalia woman said. “How can you say that?”

“How can you stand there and lie to these people?” Tatiana said.

Passengers in line behind us with luggage shifted and murmured to each other. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into until I told them.

“It’s not my job to warn people,” I said to the woman behind the counter. “It’s yours. Have a little decency, will you?”


(h/t Bookworm)

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Northeast Blogger and AD Dinner 3-22-09

Posted by Lissa on March 22, 2009

Steak.  Bloggers.  And lots and lots of knives.  What’s not to like??

I’ll try and update this post later, with lots of official links and an updated blogroll for folks I’ve met (Yay!!), but for now, I’m simply dumping off my Neo (thanks Marko!).  A big whopping thank you to Jay (I’ll update with a link once he posts his review of our lil’ shin-dig) — you ROCK, Mr. G.  We had a very excellent time and I TOTALLY look forward to the spring bloggershoot!

Quotes ‘n’ Notes from the evening . . .

If there’s one quote to walk away with tonight, I’m sure it would be Ambulance Driver’s: “Naw, naw, I’m not a redneck, I’m a good ol’ boy.  Y’see, both grow up having relationships with the livestock, but rednecks get emotionally involved.”

– Apparently I need to see Amazon Women on the Moon.  Or is that just for SciFi junkies?  Weer’d Beard

– Lissa:  “I don’t know about eating bunnies.  Bunnies are cute.” 
Ted: “Well, so are deer, you know.”
Lissa:  “Yes, but bunnies have never threatened my car. Every deer on the plate is one less deer in my headlights.”

-My new friend Steve was kicked out of Boy Scouts AND Hebrew School.  I’m not sure exactly what he did to deserve that, but he did mention smoking in the girls bathroom.  He swears it was NOT to pick up chicks — “They were the only other people who smoked!!”

– Ted: “I’m definitely just an amateur.”
Lissa: “If you’re just a gun amateur, what does that make me?”
Ted: “What do you think?”
Lissa: “Um, they called me a baby gun chick.”
Ted:  “Well, you’ll get a LOT more hits off “baby gun chick” than you will off “amateur” !”

– According to Ross, there are only three changes to MA gun laws that are really imperative:
1. Change licensing to “shall issue”
2. Scrap the EOPS list (?)
3. Beat the hell out of the AG until she stops pretending that gun safety laws protect children, or are really meant to.

– Ted, on living in England for a year:  “Yeah, you never got used to it.  When the movers came to pack us up, to go back home, they were these big burley cockney guys, and I’m like, “Would you like a spot of tea?” (raises his voice an octave) “Oo, lovely!” ”

– It was voiced that we might need to talk to the Hilltop management ’cause the Winchesters on the wall don’t have trigger locks.  Naturally, Jay had all the answers — it seems that antiques do have a loophole. Maybe just so that Minutemen could do re-enactments? Massachusetts:  We only want to regulate your guns if there’s a possibility they might be useful.  Yeah, it doesn’t make sense.  Deal with it.

-Ross:  “Yeah, I missed the day when we did Duck and Cover.
Lissa (squealing and clapping hands): “Oo! Oo!  I saw that in American History class!!”

– Jay G: “One . . . two . . . five!”
Lissa: “Three, sir!”

– (After some explanation about goats, a large boot and bodies of water) – Weer’d Beard: “Remember, Gentlemen: “BAAA” means “NO!!!”

Breda – you really must meet Ted some day and ask him about #2 son going to the ER for an injury obtained in a library.  And I must be there to take notes.  It’s just how it has to be.

– Ted: “You need to start a group, because really, Mike has to post so he can write, ‘Hey all, I’ve been looking for Lissa. Has anyone seen her?’ ”

– (I don’t even know to what this referred) – Jay G: “Help me, Tamara wan Kenobe, you’re my only hope!!”

– (On the drive home) – Lissa: “I was a little surpried you wanted to come, since you didn’t know any of the people or AD or stuff.”
Mike: “Well, it’s people you’re friends with.”
Lissa: “Cyber friends.” Pause. “Oh dude that sounds TERRIBLE.”

 It was lovely to see my old Bloggershoot friends again, and lovely to meet new ones.  More to come when I’m less sleepy.

Thank you Jay!  Cheers, AD!

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I guess not everyone likes Michelle as much as I do

Posted by Lissa on March 20, 2009

I peeled my hard-boiled egg, sprinkled a paper towel with garlic powder and salt for dipping and clicked on Michelle’s website for my normal breakfast-at-my-desk browsing.

Only to see this:


Aw, drat!  They’re finally taking away all of our political blog access!

Hmmmm.  ALL of it?





As Mike commented, “But those are moderate, legitimate news sources!”


P.S.  Four hours later Michelle is up and running.  I wonder what happened?

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Friday Footwear

Posted by Lissa on March 20, 2009

The “Friday Footwear” title is shamelessly stolen from Seraphic Secret, but hey, these are the first new shoes I’ve bought in a long time and they’re super-cute!



They’re sold out in this color, but you can find ’em in brown here.

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