Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just to catch up

First off, despite the driving making my head want to explode, last weekend was actually pretty nice.

We had a family reunion that went, overall, pretty smoothly. The dinner on Friday wasn’t that great – it helps to let the restaurant know ahead of time that there will be approximately 80 of you invading their back room. The next day we had a bus tour of “historic family sites” that was actually more fun than it sounds. OK, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word, “interesting” would be better. The most interesting part was seeing the old family farm house. See, the reunion was for my paternal grandmother’s family – specifically her siblings, all of their offspring, and all of their offspring, and so on down the line. My Grandma was one of 13 children. There were a LOT of us – and not everyone could make it.

I liked hearing stories about a sleepwalking great uncle walking himself out a 2nd story window and breaking his leg, or a different sleepwalking great uncle standing at the top of the stairs driving a team of dream horses while great-grandma knelt at the bottom of the stairs praying he wouldn’t fall. Not to say that I like hearing about people getting hurt or being scared, but it was cool to actually *see* the place where these events took place – to be there and imagine it in context.

The one thing that I saw connecting all of us, besides our shared bloodline, was our love of alcohol. There were no activities taking place without it. People brought coolers of beer and Bloody Mary mix on the bus tour. While touring the old family church, the Bloody Mary drinkers left their plastic cups on the steps of the church before going in. The beer drinkers carried their bottles with them into the church. Classy!

I also got to spend some time with my Stepmom and her horses. She raises Gypsy Vanners and had had two new additions born in June. They’re still little and cute as all get out. They’re much like big dogs, and after you scratch them behind the ears, will follow you around, begging to be scratched some more. A good time had by all.

I had my 29th birthday this last week, and that was a good day. My hair actually did what I asked of it. The ladies I work with brought in lots of treats. We all went out for BBQ for lunch. The Dentist and her mother took me out to dinner. I got lots of nice emails and phone calls and cards. I couldn’t have asked for more.

In other news I see my blog has been linked on Home Improvement Ninja, which makes me ridiculously excited; mostly because I don’t personally know HIN, and yet he still includes me in his blog neighborhood. Granted, it was just because I have a link to his blog on my site… but still. He cared enough to embed my link into his code, and that means something to me.

Also, I notice most of you come to visit on Mondays, so here you go. A nice new post to help you procrastinate on Monday. I’m here for you. I’m here to help.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Please, for the sake of my blood pressure

I drove to the hometown in WI for a family reunion this weekend and opted to take the freeways to get there because the 2-lane back road highways usually have me stuck behind someone who is out for a leisurely ride versus actually trying to get somewhere and it makes my head explode when I can’t pass them.

But no, the freeways were not idiot-free this weekend. I know I’ve ranted about this before, so feel free to skip it, but I would like to put out there, into the ether, these handy driving tips for anyone and everyone driving the same routes that I am before I decide to purchase a menacing-looking handgun to threaten people with.

1. Be alert! Be aware! No dozing off! No cell phones! No animated conversations! No staring at the scenery! More precisely – NOTICE ME – and act accordingly.

2a. Pick a speed and stick to it. I honestly don’t care what speed you pick, just as long as you pick one. I can adjust, really. I’ll pass you if I need to (and it *is* a need), or I’ll let you pass me, whatever. All I’m asking for is some consistency and predictability.

2b. Use your damn cruise control! I promise that if you try it, you will like it. And for the assholes out there spreading rumors that cruise control use will raise your chances of getting in an accident? Shut your pie hole. You’re absurd. Cruise control is very easy to turn on and off as car manufacturers made it that way on purpose… to keep you from having accidents… which would preclude you from buying their cars… see? All very logical. If you’re prone to zoning out you’re going to do it whether your car is on cruise or not – I know, I’ve seen you do it.

3. This is not a game. You and I? We are not racing. I am not trying to “beat” you. Shame will not come to your family or your good name if I pass you. Your girlfriend/boyfriend/imaginary friend is not impressed. And I am just pissed.

4. The *left* lane is for passing. The *right* lane is for everything else. You can see the scenery on the left side of the road just as well from the right lane. If people are passing you on the right – that means you should MOVE OVER. The two lanes are not equal, nor are they options for you to choose from “Hmm… I could drive in the right lane, but I’m feeling that left is better for me today.” No. No no no. No. You cannot. It is not allowed. Where is that damn trooper I passed a few miles back? I’d like them to slap you.

5. If you’re going to pass me, hurry up and do it. I do not need you hovering around my blind spot, or next to me, or just slightly ahead of me. You seem to do this just as I’m closing in on someone I’d like to pass myself. Please reread 1 & 2b.

6. I do not enjoy playing “leap frog.” You lead me only to assume that you are either drunk, dozing off, or schizophrenic. Especially if you look at me as if I’m the annoying one. I have my cruise on – YOU’RE the one acting strange. Please reread 1, 2a, 2b, and especially 3 (and 5 if you’re bored).

7. Specifically for today: What the hell was going on around River Falls and Hudson this afternoon? Traffic slowed to a crawl – TWICE. I fully expected to see an accident, but there was none – either time. WTF?

This public service announcement is brought to you today by my circulatory system, which is begging you, pleading with you, to help me keep it together while driving. Thank you for your attention and good night.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sickly observations

1. Sore throat lozenges don’t actually make your throat feel any less sore. They just make your mouth numb. Then you can’t bitch about your throat being sore. The only thing that really works is ice cream.

2. NyQuil and its knock-offs really need to do something about lengthening its effectiveness. Six measly hours just isn’t long enough. Make it at least 8 for folks who want to work the next day. Or cut it down to 4 so I can slam another cupful in the middle of the night. Or, I need to start planning for 12 hours of sleep … say, that’s not a bad idea. Forget I mentioned anything. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm not dead yet

I've just been convalescing on my couch watching the Dead Like Me marathon on the Sci Fi channel.

A quick recap:

First, I was busy. I do work, hard as it may be to believe.

Then, for reasons that became clear today, I lost my cable AND internet service here at the homestead LAST Wednesday. It was very sad and very quiet here without my roommate - TV. I missed it terribly and am very glad to have it back today.

Repair Guy: So, how long has it been out?
Me: It was a week as of yesterday.
RG: And you're just getting someone out here now? They usually try to have someone out here within 24 hours!
Me: [shrugs]
RG: You must not have been very nice on the phone.
Me: {knowing that I am very polite on the phone] I certainly tried.
RG: Well, it looks like someone confused your house with the other house (on a very similarly named street behind mine) and disconnected your cable instead of theirs.
Me: Huh. Well, I'm definitely getting credited for this week without service.
RG: Good for you.

And now I have a cold which has sapped all of my energy for the past couple of days and will probably continue to do so.
After this, I need to take a nap.
Hell, I'll just go to bed.