Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh me, oh my, I doth forget

Last Thursday, I had a meeting with the Queen.
Mimi, Queen of Memes, aka Pencil Skirt, summoned me and Linda to meet her at a restaurant here in Connecticut. You can read about it here.
I couldn't refuse.
I brought along a Pencil Skirt reporter's pad for her to use in her Pencil Skirt reporting job.
Sadly, I doth forget it in the back seat of my car. I suppose I was too anxious to get out of the car and finally meet Her Majesty.

Will she forgiveth me?
Will she go into a royal snit?
Will she send me her home address so I can send it to her?
Willeth I see her again and giveth it to her then in person?

I realize these are difficult questions I doth pose.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Queen and her Ladies-in-Waiting

Date: March 27, 2008

Time: Running late (It's my fate)

Place: An Italian restaurant (well, actually the restaurant isn't Italian; the food served there is Italian-American style cuisine)

Reason: The Queen of the Blogosphere (Mimi) was visiting Connecticut (gracing The Nutmeg State with her royal presence)

Like Linda, I had also received a royal summons, nearly a command, to travel many miles to dine with Blog Royalty. Since I am not nearly as well known in blogospheric circles as Mimi and Linda, I decided to keep my invitation under wraps. Although I must say I had some fun dropping hints about it.

One should never turn down an invitation from a Queen, especially this one.
So I gassed up the carriage and took a drive. I got to the restaurant and introduced myself to Her Highness, who had just minutes earlier met our friend Linda for the first time.

Linda and I soon became Ladies-in-Waiting.
We carried the Queen's purse. We gave her newly-charged batteries for her royal camera. We even let her have her own side of the restaurant booth to herself.

(Truth be told, the thought of sitting NEXT to a Queen struck fear in my heart. So I gracefully seated myself next to the much less intimidating Linda, who has been given the title of Linda, Duchess of Norwich-upon-the-Thames. Yes, Connecticut has a Thames River just like London does.)
We had a delightful dinner, free of alcoholic beverages, but filled with caffeine, pasta, and lots of laughter.

Sadly, however, other local blue bloods I know and love were not so fortunate.

Behold the following conversation overheard among two of my close friends who were visiting me just yesterday:

Prince: Cindy, I've heard that our Queen, the lovely Mimi, is visiting Connecticut and staying in an undisclosed location. She has even dined in public, crown-less. But I have not received a royal summons to spend time with her.
Havest thou?

Cinderella: Nope. I ain't got no invite to no dinner, lunch, breakfast or brunch. Not even to Happy Hour.

Prince: I feareth we no longer rateth.

Cinderella: You may be correcteth.

Prince: How caneth we get our revenge?

Cinderella: Hmmm ... I know! We can bloggeth about it. That would enrage the Queen.

Prince: I believe you are correcteth. That would be a royal mess, and one I would like to help maketh.

Cinderella: Next time I am going to make a public appearance, I ain't gonna call the Queen to ask her to join me. She can go pound sand.

Prince: Cindy, you are not only beautiful, but smart. Borderline brilliant, I dare sayeth.
That is why I lovest thou.

And so, the Prince and his lady love, Cindy, decided to forget about the Queen and her snobbish ways. They were slighted by her but they knew in their hearts they could get over it. They left Connecticut and moved to a less expensive state, where they lived happily ever after.

* * *

Here's Linda --->
snapping a photo of moi.

And here I am, warming up to the Queen:

(As for the three of us, we returned to our respective homes and computers, full of memories of a jolly good time.)

Jolly good.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE: Please read Linda's and Mimi's accounts of this special evening. They are great fun. And Mimi even got the videos to work.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A meal fit for a Queen

Ah, to be in the presence of royalty.
I am one of two people in the United States who can sit back and know what it is like to have dined with a blog queen today. The blog queen, I should say.
I can savor the memory of being near someone who lives in a castle complete with a dungeon and a moat.

Yes, Linda and I met Mimi. I didn't let on that I was invited to join them Thursday at a secret location in Connecticut, but I was. I tried to drop some hints, with the talk of tiaras and pencil skirts.
Her Majesty begged me to join them. I was honored indeed.
I couldn't have said no to the Queen, right?
It was such fun.
We laughed and talked and ate and drank non-alcoholic beverages like iced tea, hot coffee and diet cola. Two of us shared a dessert. I didn't talk as much as they, but then I am not a talkative one. I laughed though.

And we took pictures. Linda and I will only be able to post the photos pending the Queen's approval.
And she might not approve. I am anxiously waiting her decision. Her wish is my command.

Problems never end

And now I can't find my sapphire tiara!

I guess I'll have to wear the emerald one for my meeting today.

Clothing crisis

What's a woman to do?
I have an important meeting today ~ really important ~ and my pencil skirt is at the cleaners!

Oh no!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Birds and newspapers and tiaras, oh my

I haven't posted much lately. I've been busy with other stuff that keeps me from blogging.
Remember our friend the silver pheasant? (See Saturday's post).
I ended up writing a story yesterday about him for the newspaper and it was published today, with the photo that previously appeared on this blog.
I fed the bird some cracked corn yesterday. I threw it on the ground; I wouldn't dare feed him by hand. I'm kinda fond of my fingers.
The handsome male pheasant gobbled the corn down and came up on the patio as if he wanted to be let into the house before strolling away.
He seems lonely, but a wildlife expert told me these birds are not communal.

My mother, in whose backyard he spends a lot of time, affectionately calls him "B.T."
Can you figure out why? (Answer below*)

In addition to work and the usual stuff like cooking (not much), laundry (a lot) and litter box cleaning, I unearthed my tiara from a box full of mothballs.Why, you ask, would I need a tiara?

Stay tuned.

(* it's short for "Big Tail")

Monday, March 24, 2008

From the e-mail bag

My piggy bank after I filled up the gas tank (at $3.35.9 a gallon) today ...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

>< Just for fun ><

Q. Where does the Easter Bunny go for brunch?


~ Happy Easter ~

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Feeling thankful

Yesterday morning I drove to the big city (that would be New Haven).
In the shadow of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, I spotted a person sleeping on the grass in a tiny park between two city streets.

The stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots was right there in front of me.
I wonder why that person (not sure if it was a man or a woman) was sleeping there? What brought that person to that point in his or her life?

Seeing that poor soul lying there made me appreciate all that I do have.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Making a wish

Linda tagged me and lots of other blog friends with this Make a Wish meme. Below you will see my heartfelt wish. I may do another one just for fun - maybe about someday being able to afford a manicure and a pedicure ...
So here are the rules.
The Rules
"1. Think about what it is that you want more than anything, what your heart's desire and fondest wish is, and what it is that you would wish for if you were to see the above wishing star flame across the night sky.
2. Right click and SAVE the blank graphic below.
3. Use a graphics program of your choice and place your wish on this picture:
4. Post the Make A Wish Meme and your wishing star on your blog along with these rules.
5. Tag as many people as you like so that there can be wishing stars all across the Blogosphere and ask them to please link back to me (Linda) so that I can see what wishes others have made and share those wishes with others."

I tag my friends Michele and Odat.
Have fun!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

S is for S*t*r*e*s*s

Your Stress Level is: 52%

You are somewhat prone to stress, especially when life gets hard.

When things are good, you resist stressing over little problems.

But when things are difficult, you tend to freak out and find it hard to calm down.

How Stressed Are You?

Have you ever been in a crazy rush in the morning and clunked your noggin on the car door frame?
YEOW!! Ouch that hurt. A seeing stars kind of moment.

That is how I started my day yesterday. And I wasn't even going to work, just going down the street to take Kid Two to school.
I feel like there is too much to do, and I am forgetting stuff like crazy. Scary.

I'll blame it on stresssssssssss.

Meanwhile here are some un-stressed looking cats to look at to help you feel more relaxed, if that's what you need (I know I do).
Now that they are more comfortable here with us they let us skritch them, which is always therapeutic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mr. A.H.S.

Last week nine brave young men, all 12th graders, took part in an all-in-good-fun competition to determine who would be crowned Mr. A.H.S. The annual event is always a popular one at the high school.
One of those courageous kids was our son, Kid Two. He did a great job, says me, his mom.
He played the role of "Mr. White and Nerdy" taken from "Weird Al" Yankovic's song of the same name.
"White & Nerdy" is the second single from Yankovic's album Straight Outta Lynwood.

For his skit Kid Two played a teacher. He wore a white button down shirt, black pants and black tie shoes. A pocket protector would have been a perfect accessory.

All of the boys made fun of themselves, or at least how they see themselves, and it was hysterical.
I know how hard they all worked on their videos and skits, and they spent hours in rehearsal.

Even though he didn't win, just watching Kid Two up on stage made me and Ralph proud of him once again.

Here's the video:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

All's well...

that ends well.

On Friday I met this adorable kitten (but then again, did you ever see an ugly kitten?) with a sad story that needed to be told.
(Don't worry, this has a happy ending!)
I don't want to re-write the entire article I wrote for the paper, but the gist of it is that this Maine Coon Calico mix kitty was severely abused. The veterinarian thinks she was kicked, because the cat had not cuts or bruises that would indicate being hit by a car.
The tiny nine-week old suffered a torn diaphragm and broken pelvis. She was found on the street March 4.
She underwent surgery and came through the procedure with flying colors.
Today she is a local celebrity and has been adopted.
She purrs incessantly, her foster mom told me Friday, and doesn't fear people.
This kitty has a lot of spunk. And eight more lives ahead of her to enjoy being a beloved house cat.

Photo credit goes to portrait photographer Andrea E. Greenberg of Shelton, Ct.

Just for giggles ~

Another Irish Joke

Paddy was tooling along the road one fine day when the local policeman, a friend of his, pulled him over.

"What's wrong, Seamus?" Paddy asked.

"Well didn't ya know, Paddy, that your wife fell out of the car about five miles back?" said Seamus.

"Ah, praise the Almighty!" Paddy replied with relief. "I thought I'd gone deaf!"

and from the e-mail bag, the "ultimate" peep show:

Friday, March 14, 2008

* Coming up on St. Patty's Day *

Mike lay dying on his bed when his wife Brigid came in to him and asked if there was anything he wanted.
Mike said "Brigid, what is that delicious smell coming from the kitchen?"
And Brigid replied "Oh Mike that is a ham I am baking."
Mike thought, and said,"Brigid, as my dying wish I would love to have some of that ham you're cooking."
Then Brigid said, "Oh Mike, I'm saving that for the wake !!"

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Two Irishmen, Patrick Murphy and Shawn O'Brian grew up together and were lifelong friends. But alas, Patrick developed cancer, and was dying. While on his deathbed, Patrick called to his buddy, "O'Brian, come 'ere. I 'ave a request for ye." Shawn walked to his friend's bedside and kneels.

"Shawny ole boy, we've been friends all our lives, and now I'm leaving 'ere. I 'ave one last request fir ye to do."
O'Brian burst into tears, "Anything Patrick, anything ye wish. It's done."

"Well, under me bed is a box containing a bottle of the finest whiskey in all of Ireland. Bottled the year I was born it was. After I die, and they plant me in the ground, I want you to pour that fine whiskey over me grave so it might soak into me bones and I'll be able to enjoy it for all eternity."

O'Brian was overcome by the beauty and in the true Irish spirit of his friend's request, he asked, "Aye, tis a fine thing you ask of me, and I will pour the whiskey. But, might I strain it through me kidneys first?"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Red sky at morning...

...sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight.

My father used to say that all the time. He was old-fashioned, and an older dad when I was born. He would be 97 if he were still alive.
This morning's eastern sky seemed redder than the photo would indicate. But at least I was inspired to go for the camera.

As a post script to my Tuesday post about my father, the rest of the story is that he died two months before I was going to graduate from college, a college he had dreamed of me attending. I know he was so proud he was able to send his only child there. It was back in the day, when there were still women's colleges. Yes, I went to an "all-girls" school. But I digress.
After the funeral, I had to go back to school, finish up my senior year and all that entails, and graduate without my father. He should have been sitting in the audience next to my mother on that lovely May day.
It was devastating.
It sent me into a tailspin that, looking back, took a long time to climb out of - a long time. I had a few short-lived jobs in retail as I tried to get my act together. My mother worked, and since I was living with her I spent a lot of long days at home alone.
Depressed. Direction-less.
Can you guess I had very few friends? Everyone I knew from high school and college was getting on with their lives and careers. They were busy. I wasn't. One good friend got married just a week after she graduated from college and moved to England. That was difficult. I was happy for her, but...we lost touch.

Then one fateful day I applied for a job at a newspaper.
'Nuf said. Here I am.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Learning computer geeky stuff

I started with a cool photo of Rigby with eyes that came out an unusual shade of green, then played around and got photos 2 and 3. I'm learning.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A sad anniversary for me

I want to be silly today. It’s the 32nd anniversary of the day my father died. Looking back at this point in my life, I feel like I didn't know him very long at all. Even today I have questions about stuff for which he would instantly know the answer. A walking encyclopedia, some called him.

I wish I could write like Mimi does, but I can’t seem to find the words to express my feelings here.

So instead I’ll be silly. The cats help in that respect.

Michele, who is a wonderful photographer and sweet blog friend, said yesterday she can’t get enough of my photos of these felines.

Well, here’s Linus, who formerly lived under the futon but now "flies" from above the cabinets to the counter, runs down the hall and screeches to a stop and generally acts like he owns the place.

Here he looks like he has outgrown the cat bed, doesn’t he? A perfect fit, I guess you could say.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Avoiding heavy stuff

Aren't these felines of ours a great way to avoid serious stuff? (see recent posts)
If I just talk about the cats, I don't have to divulge too much about our problems ~ you know, what's on the Internet is always there for potential employers to see. And I really don't want to whine.

I've been networking for Ralph a lot lately. The irony of it all is I know everybody in this area who is anybody, and they know me and always are complimentary of the stories I write about their organizations and events.
I'm on a first-name basis with quite a few movers and shakers in this small community. I've told many about our situation and they say they will keep me/us in mind, e-mail me info, etc. I keep networking but so far, nothing.
Ralph may even put his name on the community bulletin board at a supermarket or two, trying to farm himself out for any work that can be done at home on the computer.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This was fun, Mlle. Odat

Odat suggested to her blogging friends today that they (we) write a few paragraphs in English, have them translated using Babelfish into the language of our choice, (j'ai choisi Francais) and then have that translated back into English. Zut! What a hoot!

Here's what I wrote:

The two cats that we have adopted have taken over our humble abode. We are now scared to go asleep, fearing they may get hungry during the night and nibble on our noses, or worse!

We are broke and cannot afford to feed them much longer. They are getting fat. We may have to give them away. Boo hoo!

In French:

Les deux chats que nous avons adoptés ont assuré notre demeure humble. Nous sommes maintenant effrayés pour aller endormis, craignant ils pouvons devenir affamés pendant la nuit et grignoter sur nos nez, ou plus mauvais ! Nous sommes les avons cassés et ne pouvons pas se permettre d'alimenter beaucoup plus longtemps. Ils deviennent gros. Nous pouvons devoir les donner loin. À bas hoo !

And back into English:

The two cats that we cuts adopted cuts taken over our humble abode. We are now scared to go asleep, fearing they may get hungry during the night and nibble one our noses, but worse! We are broke and cannot afford to feed them much to skirt. Conceited They are getting. We may cuts to give them away. Boo hoo!

Do they look like they are planning a coup? Help!

Destructo boys ><><

Don't ask.
Moosie said yesterday these guys appear to be taking over the house. She's right!
I heard that tractor sound again this morning when I was sleeping. It was only about 5:30. I had hoped to sleep a little longer, but Rigby had other ideas.
I guess they were hungry. I think they are growing. And not just fatter.
They're scaring me!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Act 1, Scene 1

Pssst!! Rigby!
Is it almost curtain time?

I gotta go over my lines.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Purr... =^ . . ^=

I was awakened this morning by what sounded like a tractor - but we don't live in the country.
No, it was Rigby, the less scaredy of the two kitties.
He was trying desperately to get my attention to let me know it was time for breakfast. He was cuddled up against my backside, purring as loudly as he could possibly purr.

This was a good thing. Cute and obnoxious at the same time and another example of our kitty cats loosening up and feeling at home (finally).

<----- This is Rigby, in the front window. Linus is behind him. They do get along well.

This is Linus, who apparently likes to stand in the middle of this plant. To each his own.

And here's one of the best photos I've been able to capture of Linus. He looks so majestic, trying so hard to hide his timid nature!

As you can see, I'm still veering away from the serious in my posts, and veering instead toward the silly.
And our cats are a perfect subject for that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Quote of the day

This from a fourth grader at a school I visited Friday: "My grandmother had to go to the hospital. They said she had a disease called old age."

My job is fun; not lucrative, but certainly fun.

Have a restful Sunday, everyone. I plan to!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Disappearing acts

Not only is my cat photo from Thursday's post gone again, now my Message in a Bottle that Mimi made for me that I posted Thursday has disappeared.

What is happening?