Thursday, May 28, 2009

Airport Security and the Absent Minded Boy

Did I already tell this story? Well I did, but I don't think I told it here and today's post over at the House of Lime brought it back to mind.

I find the pressure of getting on a plane and being flying a very minimal thing as compared to the angst of going through airport security. Why? It's such a high pressure situation. An, 'am I doing everything correctly so as not to piss anyone off' task. Believe me, there are a LOT of people you can piss of. To name a few, The security personnel (there's a lot of them), The people in line behind you (a lot of them too!) and sometimes even the people in front of you (don't accidentally push their things around, they'll snap at you like hungry gators.) I ALWAYS try, maybe too hard to be as amiable as possible... Let's face it, I'm a people pleaser and people who make a raucous horrify me.

So, there we are heading out to California, going through airport security. Since my son is a bit too old to have his mom fishing through his pockets to make sure he's emptied them of all paraphernalia, I trusted him to 'know what to do.' However, we are talking about the classic example of 'The Absent-Minded Professor' here... A boy who is very often completely detached from the circumstances surrounding him. So, this is what it looked like:

Security Guy to Son: "Step forward please."

Son: *steps forward*

*beep* *beep* *beep* *beep*

Security Guy to Son: "Son, do you have a belt on."

Son: "Um, yeah.... Uh, wait... I think it might be my PDA."

Me off to the side, safely through security: "Are you kidding me?"

You see, I just couldn't believe that he would go through all the measures of placing his lap-top in a bin, removing his shoes, placing his back-pack on the conveyor belt and then FORGET he had an electronic device IN HIS POCKET!

Why should it bother me so? It's this lingering sense of responsibility, that I know I really should let go but just can't because I'm such a control freak.

Fast forward to 10 days later when we're at LAX getting ready to go through security. I tell the boy to have his i.d. ready and ask him if he's taken his PDA out of his pocket.

Son: *feels pants pockets and says* "Uh, yeah... yeah I did." *feels jacket pockets* "But wait, I didn't take my extendable fork out of my jacket?

Me: *with a great sense of horror* "YOU WHAT?... Are you freakin' kidding me?"

I mean, I could only surmise what they might do to you if you're carrying around a projecting fork? Couldn't you put out a pilots eye with something like that and take over an entire airplane? They've pulled people out of line for nail clippers... What would they do to someone carrying an extendable fork?

So the boy gives me that 'Don't have a cow Mom' face and begins to empty his pockets of the nefarious fork and a screwdriver/wrench thing he carries around... And after that, I just quite watching... And I'll just quickly mention that he DIDN'T have his i.d. OUT of his wallet and ready like I told him, which resulted in a 15 minute argument about what having your i.d. OUT really means.

Screwdriver Wrenches, Extending Forks, PDA's and any other symbols of possible terrorist activity aside, the boy obviously made it through security and safely home but I swear I have seen at LEAST 16 new gray hairs as a result.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What the hell does EMJECOPXXO6 spell?

So Cousin, Daughter and I decided to head into D.C. on Saturday for a 'Photo Safari' so to speak.

You know those BEAUTIFUL photo collages that depict letters of the alphabet? They look something like this:

Well, the following is MY attempt at recreating this concept:

So there you have it... EMJECOPXXO6... Pretty DAMN impressive eh?
Hey, it's a LOT harder than it looks and let me tell you why...
It's VERY difficult to pinpoint the letter of the alphabet your photographing and extract it from all other 'noise' in the composition. Then you must take into account that each photo must be cropped to the same size for framing... Unless you want to get all 'wild & crazy' and cut your own mattes and crap... AND, just TRY to find the ENTIRE alphabet in one go... C'mon I DARE you (Chris & Stacie)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I had time to read a book?

Dear Friends & Fellow Bloggers,

I just finished reading the most charming book. Okay, charming(?) is that the right word? How about, the most enjoyable book? No, that's not right either... Hmmmm, *checking thesaurus* entertaining? No, that's not quite right. Pleasant? Alright, how about the most pleasantly entertaining, enjoyable read I've had in a long while. Guys, this may be more of a chick book, but maybe not. I don't know, I'll have to see if I can get my husband to read it and get back to you on that. Huh? What's that? The title of the book you ask?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by, Mary Ann Shaffer
and Annie Barrows

(I know, it a mouthful. Just ask your bookseller or librarian for the 'Guernsey book' or the 'Potato Peel Pie book'.)

The format of the book is made up of letters written back and forth between the characters. Thus the reason why I'm using that very same format to blog about the book, though MUCH LESS eloquently.

You can read a brief synopsis of the book here, by a fellow blogger. I think she liked the book too! I intend to poke around the web some more to see if I can find a review by anyone who DIDN'T like it.

So kind of hard to believe I had time to read, what with all the damn painting I've been doing. Actually it's hard to believe I can even muster up the strength to type with the claw my right hand has become from being wrapped around a paint brush and roller for the past two days. But yeah, one has to do SOMETHING to occupy ones time while waiting for paint to dry.

Speaking of the bathroom project. I've been asked about pictures... As in photos of the HIDEOUSNESS that was the FORMER paint color. Nope! didn't take any pics because believe me, it was best left forgotten and NO Mike, a few days time wasn't going to make that ice cream shop/asylum green even remotely manageable. I will however consider posting pics when the project is completed. I say CONSIDER because there's just something a bit off to me, about releasing pictures of the room I use to uh, powder my nose, for all the internet to view.

In conclusion, the master bath is now a lovely hue of green, my arm should be in a sling and if you're looking for a really good book, you now have my endorsement on 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.' So don't walk, RUN to your car and... Wait! Grab your keys first, you're not going to get very far without those. Did you remember your wallet because your library card is probably in there or at least the cash you'll need to purchase the book at the store. C'mon, do I have to help you with EVERYTHING? Here's the cover of the book so you'll know what to look for:
Now, aren't you glad you dropped into The Paper Treehouse?

Happy Reading!

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The Greenening

I thought it would look nice. I mean, I REALLY thought it would work. I spent ALL day yesterday painting... ALL DAY! Give it a chance I thought, you know it always dries darker. Today when I look at the walls I want to cry. Seriously, the master bath looks like a cross of either a mental hospital or an ice-cream shop.

What will I be doing today?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our 5:41 am Visitor

Christy said we should start our own Audubon Society around here, perhaps she's right.

The noise is deafening, it started yesterday at 5:41 am.

Seems we have an amorous woodpecker in our neighborhood and he's spreading the word of his virility on our rain gutter. We heard him over the weekend but it didn't cause too much of a stir because he picked a better hour for his mating call and he wasn't using OUR house. However, yesterday at 5:41 am he began his head ramming cadence... The PECKER! My husband was already up for work, in the kitchen, eating breakfast at the time. Even though I was jarred awake by the racket, bleery eyed and mostly oblivious, I chuckled to myself when I heard him open the door to the deck, step outside and utter the most hilarious gutteral, non-sensical, noise I'd ever heard come out of him, it was part whoop, part hoot, part howl and part roar Then he did what any slightly insane homeowner who's trying to protect his domain would do... He threw ice at the woodpecker. I tell you, THAT'S giving him the whatfor! Because that damn bird flew away and wasn't heard from again...

UNTIL, this morning AGAIN at 5:41 am. Does this bird wear a watch? Probably because I'd called him at work and made fun of the noise he made yesterday, my husband did without the threatening holler this morning, but I believe I heard another ice shower against the house. It seems to work though because only two bone rattling pecks, then the ice and that bird is outta here!

That pecker-head better not come back tomorrow because who knows what my husband will throw at him next time?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's in a Name?

This mornings paper had an article about the most popular baby names. The piece listed the most popular boy/girl names from the years 1958, 68, 78, 88, 98 and 2008. I read this all with great interest as my friend Lori and I recently had a conversation about how much I hate my name.

Hate my name? Why yes, always have and always will. What is my name?
Mar-JOR-ie (with emphasis on the JOR.)
I was named after a great aunt. Let me tell you, there's nothing sexier than being named after a great aunt (in case you think the name Marjorie IS sexy, it's imperative you read that last sentence with great sarcasm.) As I read the the most popular girls names from 1968, (closest to the year I was born) I can just picture all the cutest, most popular girls I went to school with. All the Lisa's, the Kimberly's and the Melissa's each one of course dotting their i's with a puffy heart. Every single Lisa, Kimberly and Melissa I knew not only dressed in the latest styles, their hair was always perfect and the smelled like Love's Baby Soft. Not that I went around sniffing these girls, because that would just be weird... But you know, when they walked past you, there was always a pleasant scent that wafted by and well, the light just kind of glowed off their skin.

Back to MY name. My name shortened is Margie, but most people shorten it to just 'Marge.' When YOU think of a Marge, what comes to mind? Marge Simpson? Yeah, I get that one a lot... Blue haired bee-hive, middle-aged mom of Bart, Lisa & Maggie. But before Marge Simpson, what's the image of a 'Marge' for you? For me, it was always a tired middle-aged woman, in a tattered bath robe. She has one of those short non-descript hairstyles which require a visit to the beauty salon every other Saturday. The 'Marge' in my head always has a cup of coffee in front of her, a cigarette dangling off her lower lip and bags under her eyes which match the size of the gigantic black handbag she carries when she shops at Sears for her wardrobe. No offense to any other Marge's out there, but this is a stereotype I've carried around in my head for the last 40 some odd years. Do I fit this stereotype? Well I sure as heck try not to. In fact, for the longest time I refused to drink coffee. I don't smoke, I try to keep my hair long and I hate carrying a purse. As for my clothes? Well, I DON'T shop at Sears. Penny's sometimes but NEVER Sears (I know, big difference, right?)

Anyway, my friend Lori thinks if I hate my name so much I should choose one I like and just start having everyone call me by the NEW name. Um yeah, somehow I just don't see that really working. I mean obviously if you've spent your entire life answering to the same name, you can't easily answer to something new. Do people actually do this? Well, at least people who aren't in a witness protection program. And I wonder, what exactly should my new name be? There's always 'Princess Consuela Bananahammock' but I think that one's taken. I like Amy, Marissa, Mandy or Mindy (maybe if I stay with the M's it'll be an easier transition.)

But who the hell am I kidding. I don't see myself as a Mindy or a Marissa. I don't smell like Love's Baby Soft. My skin doesn't 'glow' and I AM a middle-aged house-wife. So I guess I'll just be happy I'm alive and I'm ME and I'll just try to be the best damn ME I can be. But someday, if I become a great-aunt? Please don't name your daughter after me... The poor kid.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Little Bird & The Savior

Thursday when I picked 'Nature Girl' up from school, she greeted me holding a large bucket with this little guy cowering inside:
She asked if I would mind running across town to the Tri-State Bird Rescue to drop off the little wounded bird. It took a little searching to find this place which is located down a narrow country lane. As we searched for the facility 'Nature Girl' told me what kind of bird this was (a Mourning Dove and a juvenile.) I smiled to myself when we met the director at the front desk and she began to share with us the 'make & model' of our little bird. My daughter had, of course, nailed it. She'd also correctly surmised the bird had been attacked by a hawk.

You can't imagine how thrilled I was when the director began to talk to my daughter about becoming a volunteer. Because when I consider my girl and the things she absolutely loves to do, I simply can't think of a more perfect fit for her than helping to care for injured birds.

Nature Girl will be attending a volunteer introductory program next Thursday evening and then an all day volunteer session in June. She asked about photography but the director explained picture taking might be too traumatic so she didn't think that would work... But you know, it doesn't always have to be about the picture taking.

However, here are a few more beautiful macro pics to show you she'll always take her photography seriously.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Designer Dilemma

If you're the type to turn on HGTV 24 minutes and again at 53 minutes into an hour, just to check out the design of a completed room... Then you're probably like me and enjoy decorating and transforming rooms in your home.

But let me ask you this... What's the LAST area of a house to get decorated? Besides the laundry room... C'mon, I'm willing to bet it's that room you spend the majority of you time in... You know, the Master Bedroom? We've been in our house for five and half years now and I'm still going to bed and waking up to the same contractor white walls. I keep saying it's because I can't arrive at a decision on color scheme or exact style but the truth is, I'm just freakin' lazy! It's a large room with a large unpainted bathroom attached and I ask myself, WHO really sees this area besides my immediate family, which is made up of people who could care less what color the walls of MY room are?

SO, I decided I needed a jumping off point. Something that would make it necessary to begin the decorating process in this area of my home... This area which has become the last frontier (well, other than that laundry room.) My jumping off point?... The lighting in the master bath.

Picture if you will, the most heinous light fixture imagineable and that would be the one the contractor or the previous owners chose for the master bath. Not one, but two silver rectangles with 4 giant round bulbs on each one (I priced this fixture at Lowes... It's $6.50 fugly.) Below these two fixtures is a mirror the size of Montana... A mirror lacking bevel or frame or any interest whatsoever. A mirror placed directly across from the shower so as to make one shudder at the sight of their naked form, as it displays every bulge, crack & crevice and all highlighted by heinous contractor lighting.

BUT! The bulbs were starting to die... One by one, a month or two at a time, I'd flip on the bathroom switch and *ptchew* there would blow another bulb. That's when I made a promise to myself. When that last bulb on my fixture blows (my husbands fixture had 3 bulbs still lit, by last week mine had whittled down to one) it's time to take on the master bath and ultimately the bedroom too.

What a great idea huh? No light, no way to use the bathroom. It's a genius way to light a fire under my butt! On Wednesday, I flicked the light on and *ptchew* the last bulb blew. Tuesday evening I had been considering recarpeting the family room but when that light blew on Wednesday I knew what the next project HAD to be.

Thursday I went to Lowes and found the perfect fixtures and paint color for the bath. I considered having someone come in and cut the mirror down to size so my husband could make two frames for the 'halved' mirror... However, after reading some DIY info online about the removal of 'oversized' bathroom mirrors? I'm pleased with my decision to hit Marshall's and see what they had available in the framed mirror department. I scored two lovely framed mirrors at $40 a piece (SO much cheaper than the ones for sale at Lowes.) They're expresso colored and don't exactly match the cherry cabinetry but that's okay, I was planning on painting that and changing out the plain gold knobs. While at Marshall's I also found the perfect towels to help me nail down a color scheme. I was THRILLED to bring my purchases home and share the finalizing of color, style and inexpensive mirror renovation with my husband... And it all went well, UNTIL...
My 'freakishly' tall husband pointed out that the mirrors, which had to be hung at a height that would not interfere with the current placement of the light fixtures, were too short! I mean, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? Because as I stood there holding up the mirror (where it should fit perfectly), from MY perspective it looked like he fit in the mirror just fine! This is where the whole CONFUSING perspective part comes in.... Even though it APPEARED to ME (at a respectable 5' 8" tall) that his head fit in the mirror, he continued to argue that his eyes met directly with the bevel along the top of the mirror so it appeared he had four eyes (uh yeah, he only has two and did I mention he's 6' 5"?)

Seeing my plans for a gorgeous bathroom redo shatter around me, I began to argue the point.

Me: "Well, do you ALWAYS stand up straight when you shave or do you lean into the mirror a little?"

Him: *No answer, just that look.*

Me: "Well, you know you ARE getting older and you might be starting to shrink."

Him: *Still just the look.*

Me: "Well, WHAT am I gonna do and WHY do you have to be so freakishly tall?"

Him: "How many times is that now you've called me freakish?"

Daughter walks in the room to see what's going on and says: "Mom's right, you ARE freakishly tall Dad."

Later I discuss the dilemma with my son who says: "Well, Dad is getting older AND starting to shrink, right?"

Poor husband, he just can't catch a break.

SO, this is what we're thinking about doing... Relocating the light fixtures to a spot higher up the wall, so the mirror will in turn be able to be hung higher. Which leaves me with a concern for any resale opportunities we might have for a house with mirrors scaled so only GIANTS can view their reflections.

You know, maybe I should just take EVERYTHING back and buy a pack of ugly round bulbs to fit in those heinous contractor grade light fixtures.

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