A Veritable Fishbowl Full of Random

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Gentle Reader,

1.  It is still hot.

2.  The Boys are still the sweetest Labradors ever invented.

3.  The cat is still the cutest, MEANEST feline ever invented.

4.  Agatha update?  Halfway through “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”.  Where are you???

5.  It’s getting to be this time of year again.  Anybody want to join me in the challenge?  This will be my second year, and I am now older and wiser and will absolutely make room in my budget for Diet Coke.  It very well might be that I spend the entire week eating cheese grits and Diet Coke, but the likelihood of my practicing the art of citizen’s arrest on people that irritate me is WAAAY lower. And I’ll get my veggies next week.

6.  In conjunction with this, I will be doing some kind of donation to the North Texas Food Bank tied to my challenge.  But I am out of creativity on what form that challenge will take.  (You remember like when we were little and we did those jump rope marathons and collected pledges based on how many times you can jump rope.  It will come as no surprise that none of my donors had to write very big checks to whatever charity that one was for.)  (I merely mention this as sort of my inspiration, not out of any kind of desire to actually jump rope at my age.)  Two things:  1-I promise I will not hit you up for money.  Just not my style.  And 2-anybody that has any creative ideas should feel free to tell me about them.  (Andy, no I will not donate a dollar for every word I publish on the blog.)

7.  If I were to consider an e-reader, does anybody have opinions?  I like to read at night and so one of those backlit screens is a priority because when I get all sleepy, I don’t want to have to hoist myself up out of bed and turn off the lamp (it wakes me up just enough to have to start the falling asleep process all over again).  The World’s Smallest Apartment Bedroom is not very big and so comfort and convenience were trumped by the “just get it all in there” factor. I think we’ve already established I have plenty of routes of communication with the online world, and so I do not need my e-reader to surf the net, show movies, or create a slideshow of my Spring Break ’12 trip to Huntsville, TX.  (You know you’re jealous.  Huntsville has just as many sketchy criminals as Cancun, only without the pesky sun and beach and girly drinks in cute vessels.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Huntsville is known as “the Cancun of the piney woods”.)  I’m concerned about pinning myself down to one bookseller over another if I buy the Nook or the Kindle.  Can I read books I bought on Amazon on the Nook and vice versa?

And I do believe that is all.  Maybe tomorrow I can work on a coherent narrative with appropriate transitions between paragraphs.  I promise nothing.



PS-Not too late to join us in the Agatha project.  Up next?  “The Secret Adversary”.  I think I remember watching the movie version of this.  But the advantage of grad school and aging is that I’ve forgotten everything about this book/movie adaptation.  I don’t even know which detective is featured.

PPS-I want you to REALLY REALLY consider doing the Challenge with me.  The rules for this year aren’t up yet, but you can get an idea at their site.  And I think careful planning is the strategy to making it thru the Challenge without driving my car into buildings on purpose.  So if you start thinking about it now, you’ll be ahead of the curve.

PPPS-Paper books are still VASTLY superior to (shudder) “e-ink” (shudder), but standing on principle here is rapidly devouring my available bookshelf space.  It also makes movers crazy angry with me (even the professional ones) and send me their chiropractor bills.

Project Agatha, or “This could be a long one, Baby Andy.”

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Gentle Reader,

This morning pretty much stunk.  I had to do something that I knew when I Became what I Became that I might have to do, but that thought had occurred to me in a headier time involving such things as “YAY! NO MORE SCHOOL!”, “SCHOOL’S OUT FOREVER!”, and then finally, “YAY!  NO MORE EXAMS, EVER!” (also known as “OHMIGODIPASSED!!!!!!”).  So the knowledge of my potentially having to do what I had to do this morning was: 1.  Not grounded in the concretest of realities, and 2.  tempered with a massive dose of “I don’t care because did I mention the part about NO MORE SCHOOL????”

To give those of you who went through that entire experience with me a tiny bit of perspective, remember the first year class we had whose named rhymed with “Borts”?  And then remember who I had for Borts?  His name rhymed with “Tight”.  I would sooner take another of Tight’s Borts exams again than do what I had to do this morning.

My heart still hurts, and this afternoon?  I have spent it being very conflicted.  I even gave The Sir a chicken nugget because the gaze of adoration, loyalty, and appreciation usually returns my world to rightness.  And I got the gaze, and he WAS extremely handsome and sincere, but then he figured out I was in a vulnerable state and kept begging for more nuggets.  I take back any earlier assertions of his lack of intelligence.

So to put my mind onto happier things-murder mysteries!  When one of my dearest childhood friends, A, and I hit pre-adolescence, we became fascinated with Agatha Christie.  We read many if not most of her books.  (Full disclosure:  A read more of them than I.  I REALLY enjoyed making lists of all of the books we/she/I had read and books that we/she/I still needed to read, and then since some of her books were released in the US under different names than in Merry Olde England, this opened up NEW WORLDS of list making opportunities.  And while this near-clinical obsession to detail might sound neurotic and nerdy (HINT: yes), it also served as a really great tool to procrastinate actually reading anything.)

An aside:  A has seen me with a perm AND with bangs.  The fact that she has not capitalized on the photographic evidence of this unfortunate phase in my hair life?  Means that A is one of the most singularly great friends a person could ask for.  (And I’m not even going to rewrite that sentence.  It’s been a rough day.  Grammatical error duly noted and frankly, I don’t care.)

I would post a photo here, but A also had a perm and bangs, and in a good number of our photos together, there is a WHOLE LOT of acid wash going on with our jeans.  Not to mention the fact that the jeans?  I just didn’t know they made “mom jeans” in junior sizes.  Nine inches of zipper, pleats, hip pockets.  Mama?  Mrs. C?  HOW COULD YOU????

So instead of a picture, know that A is taller and blonde, with blue eyes.  Me?  Shorter, more round-y, brown hair and eyes.  And our bangs arched in opposite directions.  Yes, we applied the Rave aerosol (or, when we found out about its superior gravity-defying ability, Aqua Net) to our hair both before attacking it with a curling iron, and also WHILE IT WAS ON THE IRON.  For the sizzle.  That’s how you know it’s working.  The fact that neither of us got blown up in a tragic bathroom explosion coupled with the fact that neither of us is bald is proof that indeed there is a God and that He protects babies and the stupid (as my senior English teacher used to say…).

Anyway, since it’s summer, and I LURVE me a good project, and since it’s too hot to embark on any kind of exercise regimen, and I refuse to engage in any home improvement projects around The World’s Smallest Apartment, I’m going to do my own summer reading project!  You know, like when we were little and if you read so many books at the library by a certain date you got a free Dairy Queen?  (Only this time, I’m hoping the Summer Reading Program Fairy will reward my literary curiosity with a new purse or a Chocolate Lab puppy.  What say ye, Fairy?  You don’t want to squelch this young girl’s thirst for the written word, do you?????  DO YOU????)

I promise this is going somewhere.

So I’ve decided to tackle, for once and for all, the Agatha Christie canon.  Beginning to end.  (Except maybe her plays and screen adaptations-I don’t believe those types of things were meant to be read silently…And I talk to myself enough without reading all of the parts of a play aloud.)  And, full disclosure, when I told A about my plan, I gave her FULL OPPORTUNITY to wiggle out of doing it with me.  But she volunteered.  Since she has children and a husband now (I can only assume he didn’t see the acid wash jean phase photos before he asked her…) I am also hereby making the ruling that her baby sister and her mama can also do the challenge along with us and she can claim credit for them if things like the feeding and growing of two children get in the way of her reading.  (Note:  A had one of the best wedding dresses I’ve ever seen.  LURVE.)

And since I think we’ve well established my aversion to commitment (daily posting on the blog, finishing my OT homework on time, etc…) I’m not going to make this a big THING on the blog, but I’ll update y’all on my progress and if there are any of you who would like to read along, well, that would be fun and chime in with your progress, too.  I’d say we could discuss the books, but there are approximately 847 of them, and they all involve the death of one or more humans, usually in a small town in Merry Olde England, so that might get monotonous quickly.  (Note:  I am taking the OT class again this year.  We’ll call this the year of finishing what I start.)

So there we have it.  In long form, the description of Project Agatha.  Low commitment, books cheap and easy to find at your local Half Price Books or on your electronic gizmo.  Join us.  We’re starting at the beginning with, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”.  Numero uno.  (And A, to answer your question, the only one I know I remember I know the ending to is “And Then There Were None”.  And I’m pretty sure once we get to “Death on the Nile”, I will remember it, but I don’t right now.  Other than that, I’m a blank slate.)  (Professor Tight would definitely agree with that assessment.)

Start reading!



I Expect We’ll Be Doing Keg Stands By the Weekend.

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Gentle Reader,

Some of you know that The Sir has been under the weather this week.  He’s had a bit of a stomach bug.  That combined with the INSANE HEAT, means that The Boy is on a lower energy setting than usual.  I know.  I didn’t know there was a lower setting than, “No thanks, you can go fetch the tennis ball, I’ll just stay in here and keep the couch down and the telly watched.”, either.  But he’s now on the mend, thanks to some antibiotics.


He even felt like chewing last night.

But we’re still on the antibiotics.  And cramming a tiny pill down the throat of my suddenly mistrustful 90-lb delicate flower isn’t quite as fun as it sounds.  So I resorted to our usual tactic of hiding the pill in a peanut butter sandwich.  (I swear, I have a point.)  I had no sandwich bread, so The Sir became the first Labrador in history that had his peanut butter sandwiches on baguette.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the store.  At first, it was just at the stage of, “I need milk and bread.  And whatever chocolate happens to hop into the basket.  And a magazine.”  But then I got busy, and didn’t go.  And now, we’ve skipped right over the, “Well, ramen and canned peas aren’t a CLASSIC combination but it’ll work.”, stage and we are straight into, “Frat House At The End of The Semester”, stage.  I’ve got olives and capers because WE AREN’T SAVAGES HERE, but the baguette got moldy a few days ago.  I can swing by some place with a drive through (seriously, people, it’s too hot to leave the car) and get something for myself to stave off hunger, and The Boy’s got kibble, so we’re not starving. (Summary of the last sentence?  “wah wah wah first world problems”)

But I have now officially run out of antibiotic disguises.  The boy got his morning dose today wrapped in a bowtie pasta with a delicate parmesan cream sauce.  What was officially the last bit of food in the house.  In my fridge, I have canned beer (you are right to judge me…), boxed wine, and Green Tabasco.  In my freezer?  Vodka and my emergency Haagen Dasz.  Or however you spell it.

The thing is, it’s sort of become a point of internal fascination…just HOW LONG can I go without a run to the store?  (I mean, it’s too hot to cook, and I’m uninspired.)  I’m really afraid that if I don’t shake myself out of this weird mental fixation soon, I’ll start to run out of the real necessities…TP and laundry detergent.  If I do, please stage some kind of intervention.  You know it’s my place because it will smell FUNKY.  Kind of like a frat house at the end of the semester.



PS-Otto the Amazing Golden Retriever is under the weather, like, for realsies.  The Boys are praying for him, and I’m sure Otto would appreciate all of your good thoughts!


(See?  He’s so regal.  And handsome.)