Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dogs vs Vacuum

I believe I've written before just how difficult it is to get a shot of both Isabelle and Tallulah in the same frame. I had forgotten about the one tool that causes the dogs to close ranks: the vacuum. At my house, at least, the vacuum is a tool that is in use far too seldom for the animals to completely get used to it (hence the giant fur tumbleweeds blowing about the place).

Isabelle, having many more years on her than her younger sister, tends to acclimate to the equipment and the sound much more quickly, but both dogs view my all-too-infrequent bursts of vacuuming with roughly equal apprehension in the beginning. And I, heartless blogger that I am, have no problem menacing both pets with the Eureka for the sake of a photo opportunity.

Here Isabelle gets her guard dog on facing down The Eureka as Tallulah cowers in the background.

Isabelle continues to place herself in harm's way for the sake of her younger sister, but now her face says, I have to do everything around here--it's getting old.

Later in the vacuuming process: Isabelle, satisfied now that the Eureka threat level is low, relaxes a little. Tallulah, still not convinced, isn't leaving the protected area immediately near Isabelle.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Catching Up

I’m not quite sure why things seem to really be sliding out of my control lately. Full time work and full time school are leaving me little time for reflection and blogging. Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s up with me:

I got a Blackberry. Like I needed one. I can’t figure out how to work it beyond the most rudimentary of tasks. If you’re trying to call and I’m not answering? This is why.

I passed Astronomy. Holy sh!t. The final was a bunny, thank God, and allowed me to pull the whole thing out of the crapper at the very last minute. I was seriously sweating that one.

I ate at Martin Fierro Argentinean Grille for the first time a while back. It was, by far, the most meatastic experience of my life. While the menu boasts fourteen varieties of meat at a sitting, we were treated to only nine. NINE. Our waitress helpfully explained, before the meat parade began, that we would be actually eating our way through the cow starting at the ass. Not sure, but I think this was supposed to whet our appetites. But cow’s not all! Oh no! We also had chicken, pork, sausage, and lamb. By meat five, my heart was sluggishly lurching around in my chest like a seasick tourist. Don’t get me wrong, the meat was delicious, I just don’t think anybody needs THAT MUCH MEAT at a sitting. (Or even in a week, let’s be honest.)

Speaking of a healthy diet, I have placed the Amish at least partially in charge of my produce choices. I missed the February deadline for signing up for the Amish Vegetable Cooperative a program whereby, one pays the Amish, and they, in turn, provide you with 22 weeks of slow-food organic produce, whatever is in season. Fortunately, the Amish had mercy on my late self (unlike the POElease) and accepted my order passed the deadline. According to the contract, here’s what I can expect:

In spring, cool weather crops like mesclun mix, radishes, green onions, and dark leafy greens; followed closely with strawberries, broccoli, new potatoes, cabbage, and squash. As the season becomes warmer—heirloom tomatoes, beans, sweet corn, peppers, sweet onions, eggplant, melons, and blackberries. As cooler weather approaches, sweet potatoes and winter squash along with melons, tomatoes and peppers continuing. The season will close with cool weather crops again like lettuce, greens sweet carrots, radishes, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and more.

How delicious does that sound?

Yesterday? I was driving down Highway 60 on the over pass (if you’re not local, this is a four-lane highway, as big as roads get in these here parts) when off the right median the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen in my life starts leisurely goose-stepping its way across the road. While deer are a common sight in these parts, turkeys are usually a bit more timid. Not, however, this turkey. It was HUUUGE and all like, “That’s right, bitches, you can just stop right now, because Mama’s headed to the other side.” Miss Thang the turkey, would manage to stop all four lanes of traffic in both directions before it was over without so much as a glance in our direction. I suspect, had I stood next to the bird, her head would have easily reached my shoulder. It was quite a spectacle.

My cousin was the victim of a hair crime last week. I received a panicked call just after work wherein she informed me she HAD A MULLET. We took immediate action and ended up at a mall salon where a nervous but fortunately competent young stylist managed to fix the situation by giving her a modified bob saving much more hair than we had first anticipated would be possible. The stylist chatted nonstop during the remedial cutting and styling process and informed us, among many other things, that the word “mullet” is now the equivalent of a cuss word in most salons. As in many stylists won’t even say the word “mullet” and those stylists that do will only whisper it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Big Fifty

I was fascinated to read an article published by The Guardian (UK) that lists its take on the 50 most powerful blogs in the world (March, 2009). Arianna Huffington rules the list, Dooce rolls it at a very respectable #5, and the Fug Girls don't get their due at #30 (I think they should be higher).

Still wondering how they overlooked my blog. Whatever!

Find out what's missing from your "must-read" list here.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I had to take a test after work today. The exam covered a bunch of tedious nerve-wracking computer related stuff and I was dreading what I thought would probably be a good two hours in the library when I encountered a tulip magnolia tree in full bloom on campus. The photo I post here is not of the actual tree I saw, but the blooms are identical, as big as my fist, and so riotously gorgeous that they did not seem real, not the least bit.

I live in a land of many blooming trees, most notably (I think), the dogwoods and redbuds, but this tree today was a totally unexpected pick-me-up. An early bloomer. The tree drained the dread from me on my way to the test and lifted me out of my post-test droopiness when I passed it again on the way back to the car (yes, indeed, two hours later).


Thing is, a good portion of the tree, what looked to have been the very center of it in fact, had obviously fallen victim to the ice. Half the trunk was a broken, naked shard pointing jaggedly at the sky, all that remained of the foundation that used to hold the center most branches. All around its ruined middle the tree had gone about it's business, though. Blooming merrily along.

I soaked in the lesson.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who loves ya, baby?

You never really think you’re going to grow up to be the girl that needs the proverbial concealed file in a cake, you know? The tragic star of her own personal Shawshank who suddenly finds her fabulous, law abiding self chained to a bench on a random Tuesday morning.

Turns out that while a certain city department in blue has been conspiring to keep a sister down, I'm very happy to report that certain other city departments have been conspiring to bust a sister out:

Ladies and gentlemen, from the minds of the people who brought ice skating and wired hot spots to the local masses, comes a product so handy, so GENIUS that no [Paducah] girl's glove box should be without one.

Introducing The Liberty Muffin:

Because sometimes justice is...well. Insane.

Thanks guys. Obviously? I needed that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Color me naive, but when I was tipped off that the police (or as we say in the south, the "POE-lease") were looking for me my major reaction was,

"Gee! I wonder what they want?"

I learned this information from a helpful source with whom I had a work meeting at the (let's all remember now) new job. It didn't take but a few hours before curiosity got the better of me and I just went ahead on and gave the police a call. It went a little something like this:

Paducah Police Department

Hi! This is Suzanne Mylastnamethateverybodyknows I hear you're looking for me?

(long pause)
You...heard we're looking for you?

Right. I hear the police are looking for me and so I thought I'd call and see what they wanted.

Ma'am, I don't know what they want.

Maybe you could...I don't know...ask around?

Can you give me your name again?

Suzanne. Mylastnamethateverybodyknows.

Can you hold please?


(a minute or two goes by.)



There are no officers here right now, what is your location?


No, ma'am, what is the address where you are at right now?

And you would need that why?

So we can send an officer out to you.

Let's review: I don't want an officer at my place of business for heavens sake, I want to know what officer is looking for me and why! Hello?

It may be that an officer needs to get a message to you. About your family or something. That happens sometimes.

My family is fine. Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to give you my cell phone number and if you happen to run into an officer that's, say, looking for me? You give him this number and have him call me, okay?


And then, if you can believe it (and I'm sure you can because it's me we're talking about here), I just went right on about my business and forgot about all that. In fact I forgot about it all the way up until this morning at 7:30 am. when my cell phone rang.

Indeed, the caller was the elusive officer of the law in question. And friends? I was informed on my very own cell phone that I was, at that very moment, a fugitive from justice. It seems I had gotten a ticket some time back (on, yah, that) that boiled down to a mere $25 fine for not wearing a seatbelt? I was supposed to have paid that ticket at some point in time right around that little ice storm we had. Turns out? I had forgotten all about that.

Which is how I came to be a fugitive, wanted, a person of interest, a desperate woman on the lamb, a suspicious character, a wanton criminal, a perpetrator who had been, only moments before, applying under-eye concealer as if it were just an ordinary day.

Having absorbed the shock of all this information, briefly fancied myself (as stated above) in the role of Official Criminal, and (kind of) regained my composure, I asked the officer what some good advice might be for some in my, er, situation?

Turns out, I needed some cash (they don't take any guff at the jail and they sure as hell don't take Visa) to show up to the PD and to, dear God, turn myself in [cue dramatic violins]. At this point in the conversation Tallulah, no doubt sensing the worst, began barking her fool head off at my feet. I placed my hand over the receiver and shouted, "Will you SHUT UP Mommie's UNDER ARREST for god's sake!" And she did.

I told the officer I'd be there within the hour and got off the phone.

Two things: what to wear and, oh my heavenly stars, I'm going to have to call the office. It was easy really, black pants, black sweater, the usual black cowboy boots (might as well look the part). Then the office, "Um, yah, I'm going to be in a little late today? I'm going to have to be arrested, etc." My boss's response?

"Don't drop the soap."

Thanks, dude.

Then it was off to the PD--tra la!

I mean, seriously, who else does this just suddenly happen to on a Tuesday? I met my arresting officer and we moseyed on over to the jail where we filled out some paperwork--hey, this arrested thing isn't so bad--and then? Well, and then I was handcuffed. Handcuffed people! In broad daylight in the street! (Bright side? At least it wasn't zip-ties. 'Cause...eww.) Once the cuffs were on, I couldn't help but remark to my arresting officer as well as the world in general,

"Now THIS RIGHT HERE? Is what you call a blog post."

I was escorted to the jail where the big metal door of freedom clanged shut ominously behind me and presented to at the booking counter (?) where there was someone already in process ahead of me. I was then led to and seated on a metal bench. My AO (get me and the slang) removed the cuffs--yay--but then the jail dude hurried over and cuffed me to the bench. (Bright side? This left one hand free.) A nice looking, young incarcerated man hurried efficiently over and desposited what was obviously meant to be my orange jump suit and flip flops on the bench next to me. And just like that? It was here. My own personal Private Benjamin moment. I placed my free hand on the folded clothes, glanced around to the officers and others bustling around and said,

"Do these come in another color? Because orange just isn't good on me."

I went on to be fingerprinted and photographed, pay my fine and bail (in exact change in cash), sign some stuff, repeat my mother's phone number over and over (everybody needs your emergency contact in jail) and was in and out in probably twenty minutes or less. Everybody was super nice, it was all very smooth. And, honestly, I seriously don't think it had one single thing to do with the fact that my AO, upon first presenting my handcuffed self in the booking area, made a little announcement. And that announcement was,

"This woman writes. On the INTERNET."

(Note to yourselves.)

Friday, March 06, 2009


[Edited to add: Jon Gosselin has issued a statement: “It is certainly hurtful for people to spread rumors and lies about us. It certainly makes me reluctant to live my life like the average person would. This has made it very clear that the simplest innocent gesture -— such as taking a picture with a fan, can be taken out of context. As you can see on the show, I am not perfect, but I am a part of a loving family and couple.”]

I was horrified to be the next-to-the last person (sorry, Kate) to learn, when the incident made it to the round table chat on Chelsea Lately tonight, about the recently broken story that Jon Gosselin of TLC's reality show "Jon and Kate Plus 8" has allegedly been seen canoodling with college coeds.

According to the story, Jon has appeared in bars sans Kate and behaved badly on consecutive weekend nights (including Valentine's Day) in the Huntingdon, Pennsylvania area near where the couple purchased a $1.3 million home. The new house and the couple's move into it has been featured in J&K+8's most recently aired episodes.

It's hard to tell, but I think the source for the story is Star Magazine. The story has also been featured on (video) and is spreading like wildfire online. My devotion to the show and fondness for all the Gosselins and their amazing story has been pretty well documented here. I actually got misty when these two renewed their vows on a recent trip to Hawaii. And I'm not one who mists easily. Let's hope it ain't so.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Let the record show I knew it was going to be a bad day at the groomers going in. I hinted that, perhaps, our little Tallulah might face rather more grooming than she is used to due to her. Well. Let's call it "less than tangle-free" coat. Unfortunately, it turned out to be an "off-with-her-fur" situation. A very bad night indeed at the dog salon.

As we all know, Isabelle is a girl who can--and does--rock a fur-free look (I'd link but I'm lazy) each and every Spring, Summer and part of the Fall.

But when I brought the newly groomed Tallulah home tonight, Isabelle immediately went into an involuntary "What the hell is THAT?" spaz:

So I hustled our poor little plucked chicken into the hallway while Isabelle recovered her composure and took a photo:

Big furry head, big furry tail, and tragic tiny newborn naked rat body in between. This is actually a very flattering photo of the whole situation given that, in real life, Tallulah's body has a decidedly more fuschia cast because there is so little fur and so much actual skin shining, light-bulb like, through what's left of her fur. Not to mention, her whole back butt situation? Is just OUT THERE.

The good news? Tallulah has (shhhh...whisper) no idea.

And we're not telling her. So, hey! It's really just another day in (electrified) paradise!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Dirty Girls

Holy cow, it's nearly possible to get these two photographed in the same frame while each at the same time look the least bit sane and one or the other isn't licking her butt or something. This is the best I could do. And, while they may look normal, and marginally socially acceptable, both are sporting coats in deplorable condition. Dirty, smelly. Itchy, scratchy. Both desperately in need of a bath and some serious grooming. Tallulah especially looks like a little white unkempt orphan rat dog.

Isabelle is better at pulling off the,

"Sure, I'm a little crusty but still MAJESTIC" look.

Now that the horses are once again hitched to the gravy train, Tallulah has a spa appointment on Thursday. I will have my usual conversation with the groomer wherein she will give Tallulah's coat a brief examination and pronounce her "matted" with a sneer. And I will, once again remind her, that, yes indeed, she's matted and that's why we're here, um, here. At the groomer's.

Isabelle I will schedule for a spring shearing as soon as the cold weather breaks.

And then all will be right with the world.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho...

That's right, people, it's back to work I go!

And not a minute too soon either. Note to yourselves: My latest job came to pass as a direct result of this blog and a comment I made in this post (1st paragraph, last sentence). While I am a woman who almost never mixes blogging with work, I will say the time to be publicity shy is not during a job search. Make sure everybody you know (and everybody they know) knows you are on the hunt and never underestimate the power of the people who may or may not be visiting your website. Sing it, shout it, put it on a tee-shirt. And for heaven's sake, make sure you can produce a good looking updated resume at a moment's notice.

Today? I'm the expert. Last week? My Mom was coaxing me out from under my bed with a sack of Twizzlers.


But seriously folks, since I wrote back in December about my wildly unexpected ill-timed lay-off (after which all my friends and family were treated to Post-It notes with "love ya" written on them in red Sharpie from me for Christmas) my philosophy has, in all honesty, really been put to the test. You know? My whole "Do your best and the universe will take care of you" philosophy? The whole "Be in the moment" thing? Yah.

I've had a few moments.

But only a few. You don't spend as much time as I have these last few years acting as an Official Third-Tier Punching Bag for the Amusement of the Universe without a) Developing a much more finely honed sense of humor and b) Just plain old getting used to it.

And, anyway, I believed the Universe would take care of me and it did, didn't it?

Whether or not it took its sweet-assed time is a whole 'nother question.

Then there was that whole NATURAL DISASTER in between. Nice touch, Universe! I gotta admit, it is sort of a challenge to find a job during a natural disaster. People aren't hiring so much when they're, oh I don't know, trying not to die of hypothermia for two weeks in their cold, dark houses! Ha-ha, Universe! Good one! You got me there! Nothing like foraging for kerosene to take your mind off a job search!

But things are looking up now.

They really are. Waaaaay up. Because right around the time I found a job? I starting flunking a class. That's right, me, woman who never flunked anything, flunked a test. Guess, gah-head, just GUESS what class I'm flunking (oh ha ha this is SO funny). Heck you already know anyway--ASTRONOMY--otherwise known as the study of the -- say it with me:


Oh the irony! Oy the pain!

Oh. Mygod.

So, if you'll permit me, I'd just like to say to my good buddy the Universe (who apparently needs to take the stage at The Improv) that I think Jupiter is a big, fat, baby, sissy chicken planet! Okay? And I think that big, swirly, red storm dot is just STUPID, that's what! It's embarrassing, even if you can fit two Earths inside of it. I think it's a real load of CRAP that you can't stand on Jupiter's surface, okay? What--Jupiter thinks it's a big shot with all that liquid metallic hydrogen and at least sixty-three moons? Hey! I got your "Ganymede" right here!

(But thanks for the paycheck. 'preciate it.)