Desperately Seeking Votes

WE live in a political battleground state. Regardless of which side of the aisle you favor, this is not a great thing.  Since the middle of August we have been inundated daily with TV and radio ads, as well as one or more of the following:

  • robocalls
  • personal phone calls
  • telephone opinion polls
  • political mailings
  • lawn signs
  • people at the front door
  • bumper stickers on cars.

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FOR those of you not living in a battleground state it’s difficult to get across to you how intrusive*, annoying & wasteful this really is.  I’ve never seen a presidential campaign like this one that diminishes the office of president and insults a voter’s intelligence with incessant gibberish and visual clutter.  It’s quite something.

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WHILE I trust that the election on Tuesday will put an end to this nonsense for now, I worry that this 2012 presidential election will become the prototype for all future elections.  Because I fear that the lesson of this election is: if you want to make sure that no one gives a flying fig through a donut hole about who wins an election, bother the electorate every day until they are just too tired to care about it any more.  Then railroad your candidate through.

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[H/T to Pied Type for the YouTube link.]

[H/T to Carmine Coyote & his defunct blog, Slow Leadership, for the cartoon.  Image & link removed because spammers could not leave it alone.]

[* Case in point: while writing this post yesterday afternoon I’ve received two phone calls.  One was a real person who told me who to vote for and then hung up on me without so much as a thank you for listening or a goodbye.  The other was a robocall from a doctor somewhere in Washington, D.C.]

[Further: Throughout the rest of the day I received two more unsolicited political phone calls.  One was a robocall from a nurse in Chicago.  The other was a robocall from an actor in CA.]

I Need New Eyeglasses

{ Via* }

What is a blog if not a place to whine about discuss something that one wants, but for various reasons, has yet to get?  ‘Tis the essence of blogging, imho.

So, here’s the skinny.  I am sitting here all squinty-eyed looking at my lovely computer screen because I need new glasses.  I’ve known this since July when it dawned on me that I was leaning in very close to the computer screen to see what I’d just written.

Bad posture + squinting.  Not good.

But here’s the thing: I can’t get my eyes checked by the doctor until the weather turns cold.  Very cold.  Freezing cold.  Because I need all the nasty pollen and mold spores to die. So that my itchy, red, inflamed eyes will be able to accurately see all those letters on the eye chart.

The key word is accurately.

Past experience, and the eye doctor himself, have taught me that until the allergens that cause my eyes to be irritated disappear from our environment, there is no point for me to try to get my eyes checked.  The results of the exam will be wrong.

That would make me not happy.

So instead of charging forward [term used in both physical movement sense + paying for something expensive with a credit card sense], I am sitting here perusing the intertubes looking at photos of eyeglass frames so that when the magic day arrives for me to get my blurry eyes checked, I will have some idea of what frames I might want to go with.  The choice, as I see it [pun intended], is between rimless frames OR dark plastic frames.

Sarah Palin or Wolf Blitzer?

Yep, that’s what it comes down to: granny or grump?  Continue with my rimless look or give the hipster look a try?  Spend oodles on another pair of Kazou Kawasaki frames or spend less on a pair of Warby Parker frames?  All the while knowing that no matter which style I choose, I’ll initially dislike them because that’s what I do after buying new glasses.

I fret. 


•  Bobbi Brown’s The New Tortoise Shell Collection, eye shadow specifically for women who wear glasses

•  Makeup Tips for Women With Glasses, how-to photos to achieve natural yet polished look

•  Makeup for Girls Who Wear Glasses, article geared toward women who wear bold frames

•  Revenge Of The Nerds: Makeup Lessons For Gals With Glasses, video showing makeup applied to make your eyes pop

[*Original Source for image here.  Just realized that I linked wrong above.  Mea culpa.]

Even Though I Make No Sense Doesn’t Mean That I’m Not Right

A glimpse into a marriage…

Mr. Man has a habit of not shutting the blinds on the windows in the bathroom before he gets naked and showers.  In the summertime when the leaves are on the trees and the mornings are bright & sunny, this is okay.  But now that the trees are losing leaves and the mornings are dark, he is on display when he gets ready to shower.

I don’t like this and I told him so.  In uncertain terms.  That made sense to me before I said them to him.

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ME:  You can’t stand in the bathroom in the morning with the blinds open.

Him:  Huh?

ME:  Someone could see you.

Him:  Who?

ME:  Someone out for a walk in the early morning… on the street behind us… who looked through the trees and saw you in the bathroom.

Him:  Who would that be?  It’s a private drive back there.  And someone out there can’t see through the trees, across the ravine and up this high to our second floor window.

ME:  But they might have a camera with a telescopic lens– and then they could see you.  Clearly.

Him:  Not likely.  The only creatures who can see me are the squirrels in the trees back there.

ME:  Well, that’s not good.  You don’t want that, right?

Him:  I don’t give a [insert curse word of your choice] if squirrels see me naked.

ME:  Well, well… there could be a sniper back there with a rifle and he could see you… if he was in the neighbor’s second floor bedroom… through their window.  With a gun.

Him:  HUH?!!

ME:  And he could shoot you because you’d be a clear shot.  YOU DON’T WANT THAT, DO YOU?


ME:  Well, there could be.  And then I’d be a widow all because you couldn’t be bothered to shut the blinds.

Him:  Where do you get this stuff?

ME:  It could happen.

Him:  No way.  How did the sniper get into the neighbor’s house anyway?  Or are you saying that our neighbors are snipers?  Like that Mr. & Mrs. Smith movie?

ME:  No, of course not.  Our neighbors aren’t assassins.  DON’T. BE. SILLY.  I got the idea from all the NCIS reruns… that you make me watch.

Him:  THAT I MAKE YOU WATCH?  How do I make you watch them?

ME:  You put them on the TV and then I see them… and begin thinking about what could happen if someone saw you naked in the morning getting ready to take a shower.

Him:  That’s what you get from watching NCIS?  That someone might shoot me?

ME:  Yes it is.  So just shut the [insert curse word of your choice] blinds before you get undressed.  OK?

Him:  Sure.  All you had to do is ask.

Clothes Shopping: Doing What I Don’t Like To Do And Telling You All About It

The Facts.  I went clothes shopping yesterday afternoon.  I dislike shopping for clothes.  Yet I forced myself to get out there and buy something to wear this fall.

I wore: Josef Seibel sandals (from Dillard’s), Diane Von Furstenberg capris (from Kohl’s), Lands End t-shirt (from Sears) + simple jewelry (from Tiffany’s*).  I was carrying a Baggallini cloth purse (purchased online) which is lightweight and expandable.  For me, this is a typical shopping for clothes outfit;  I wear clothes that I can get in & out of easily.  But in this case I didn’t have on even one piece of clothing from the stores I was going to.  This was probably an oversight on my part.

I went to a lifestyle center where I could park my car in one spot, then walk along outside to these four women’s clothing stores that are almost side-by-side.


•  First I went to Talbots.  This is not my most favorite store, but I admit that they do have clothes that are well-made and age-appropriate in decent colors.  Usually.

A sales woman dressed in black [isn’t that out of fashion?] greeted me when I walked into the store.  She then took one look at me, turned around and went to the back of the store.  After I picked up a few items to try on a young guy came over to me and offered to put my items in a dressing room.  I never saw him again.

After trying on a number of clothes, I decided to buy a few things.  So I folded what I wanted, took my purchases to the cash register counter and waited for the one employee at the register to ring up all the customers standing in line.  During my wait the first woman appeared, looked at all of us waiting to buy items, turned around and went back to wherever she was hiding.

It was a disappointing shopping experience.  I give Talbots a C-.

•  Next I went to Ann Taylor.  I love the style of clothes in this store.

A sales woman working behind the cash register counter enthusiastically greeted me when I walked into the store.  She explained the deals to me & smiled at me.  I looked around the store, but saw nothing that I needed now.  This made me sad because I wanted to buy something there.  So I said “thank you” and went on my way.  The sales woman said “good-bye” and told me to stop back again.  She was still smiling.

It was a lovely shopping experience.  I give Ann Taylor a B+.

•  Next I went to Chico’s.  I have a love-hate relationship with this store.  My style is not glittery and flow-y, but the clothes are well-made & the accessories are great. So I go in there when I’m near one just to see what they’ve got going on.

A  sales woman greeted me immediately as I entered the store.  She told me about the deals.  After I began to collect items to try on a different sales woman came over, took my items to a dressing room and then checked back as I was trying on clothes to see what I might need to resize.  She was helpful.

When I went to buy some items I did not wait in line because three employees were running cash registers.  The store was hopping and the vibe was fun which made me happy.

It was a wonderful shopping experience.  I give Chico’s an A.

•  Last I went to Coldwater Creek.  This store is popular around here and I like some of their clothes, some of the time, when the colors are not muddied and the textures are not too nubbly.

No one said a word to me when I walked into the store.  I wandered around, collecting items to try on– while carrying two large shopping bags from other stores.  No one offered to take my clothes to a dressing room for me.  No one offered to grab a blouse off the higher rack for me.  No one noticed that I existed.

I found myself a dressing room, tried on some clothes, re-dressed myself, went back out onto the sales floor carrying my two large shopping bags from other stores, found what I needed, returned to the same dressing room, and tried on some more clothes.  I then decided to buy a few items which I took to the cash register desk.

Here I found two employees at the cash registers ringing up customers while both employees carried on an involved [grandma one-upmanship] conversation with three other women who were [supposedly] shopping in the store.  I felt like an intruder within their [60-something] clique, but I have to admit that as the employee handed me my purchases she did manage to say “thank you.”  So there’s that.

It was a frustrating shopping experience.  I give Coldwater Creek a D+.


The Conclusion.  I really have no insightful conclusion to this story.  Yes, I got some clothes.  Yes, I had a tolerable time clothes shopping.  I guess.

But what could have been one of the best afternoons of fall– filled with lots of new clothes & warm memories– was, as usual, a trial.  A struggle to find something that fit.  A struggle to find a sales employee who was attentive.  A struggle.

And I just don’t think that is how clothes shopping should be.  But it is.


* Upon hearing this story, Zen-Den took it personally that my jewelry from Tiffany’s did not help me get noticed or good service in two of these stores.  From his POV, this shopping trip did not offer the predicted ROI that he was expecting from sinking his monies into platinum & diamonds!  He’s so sweet.

[Well hello there FTC!  It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  But today, because I’m talking about specific stores, I want to let you know that I was in no way compensated for my opinions about what happened to me when I went clothes shopping.  We’re good, FTC.  Right?]

What We Didn’t Do Over The Weekend

The weather was supposed to be clear and warm over the weekend.  THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID.  So I planned accordingly.  I thought that we’d take the weekend off from our usual home improvement projects and goof-off instead… but that was not to be.


I thought that we’d go to a rural county park on the other side of the city.  We go there a couple of times a year.  We like to walk the trails which take you through groves of wildflowers + into farmlands + beside horse paths + near a stream.  But we didn’t do that.

Then on Saturday night I thought that we’d have a cookout for the two of us with burgers + grilled veggies, cold beer and perfectly toasted marshmallows courtesy of moi.  I figured that we’d kick back and enjoy our deck for a few hours.  But we didn’t do that.

On Sunday morning I thought that we’d go to an outdoor antique show (which is more flea market than an antique show) at a county fair grounds.  We like going there because it’s filled with all sorts of old stuff and costs only $3.00 per person.  It’s a fun way to get lost in time.  But we didn’t do that.

Then on Sunday afternoon I thought that we’d spend some time sitting down in The Spoon [the lowest level of our terraced forest backyard].  I figured that we could just do nothing or read our books or play some backgammon or whatever.  But we didn’t do that.


All of which leads me to the real point of this post that: PLANS CHANGE OFTEN.  And that instead of grumbling about this truth, I’d do well to remember the following Rules of Life by Robin Patricia Williams that I keep on a sticky note on my desktop because, well— they are the rules of life.  And because, clearly, I need to refer to them often.


As some of you have figured out already, I’ve had quite a bit of difficulty getting the following to show up here on this post.  I’m going to try it one. more. time.   Then if it doesn’t work, I’m going to go drown my sorrows in a cold adult beverage.  Of course, if it does work, there’s a good chance that I’m going to go celebrate my victory with a cold adult beverage.  From my point of view, this last attempt at posting The [Revised] Rules of Life is a no-lose proposition.



We Caved

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Remember two weeks ago when I told you that I had absolutely nothing planned for the week?  That I was going to spend my days in quiet contemplation with a book or writing or just being?  I was in a very good mood when I wrote that.  Possibility awaited me.

Well, that didn’t happen.  Practicality showed up instead.

You see, without any advanced warning, workers from the sprinkler installation company arrived– and began installing a sprinkler system in our front  & back yards.  A sprinkler system that we’ve tried to do without for all 13 years that we’ve lived here.  A sprinkler system that we reluctantly decided to buy.

A sprinkler system that says to the world: yes, we’ve been assimilated.  We are… suburban.

I remember when we first moved to this area we surprised our friends & relatives by voluntarily living like this.  Suburban, that is.  We’d always lived within walking distances of restaurants and grocery stores and parks.  We’d been in high-rise apartment buildings and historic preservation districts and old-fashioned city suburbs.  But never in exurbia, outside the ebb & flow of a city.

However, be that as it may, for the most part this has been a good way to live.  I’ll admit that.  Having space within your home and quiet outside your house is delightful.  And Z-D loves to come back home from his workplace in the city to an area that is nothing like the city.

So if having a sprinkler system is part and parcel of this choice, then I guess I need to accept that caving on this subject might not be the worst idea ever.  In fact, I suspect that come mid-August I’m going to think that a sprinkler system is the most brilliant thing that we’ve ever done around here.

Having come to the mature realization that: Resistance was futile.

My Weekend Summarized Into Two Sentences

 When asked what color they stained their deck, she replied:

“It’s a color called– NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT.”

 While in the process of staining the deck when asked by her husband where she was going, she replied:

“I’ll be back.  I just need to change my clothes– BECAUSE I HAVE TOO MANY SPLINTERS IN MY BUTT.” 

… So how was everyone else’s weekend.  Did we have fun?

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{Photos added 05.22.12 for Margaret… because she asked.}

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{Please Note: the deck color that you see here is a warm pearl gray instead of a light golden oak as originally planned.  Fortunately our bricks have a gray undertone in them + our siding is SW Agreeable Gray so this “NOT THE ONE I PICKED OUT” color coordinates just fine.  No harm done, really.  In fact, Z-D really likes it so maybe it was meant to be.}

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