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Archive for the ‘ridiculousness’ Category

List envy

Did you see this map about baby girl names?  It is mesmerizing.  I accepted as a young child that I was never going to find a keychain or a license plate or a coffee mug with my name on it.  I do have a couple coffee mugs that say Chuck on them.  Since SSA is a large part of my every day life, I am well aware of the 1000 top baby names released every year.  What I was not aware of is that my name was once in the top 1000 baby names!  I made a list!  Exactly 50 years before I was born! This made my day.  Thanks, Cristi and Mental Floss, for giving me real evidence for the next time I get in an argument with a stranger who says Charlsie is not a real name.  It IS a REAL name.  It’s just an old name.  59 baby girls were named Charlsie in 1930.  Don’t worry about the fact that 237 baby girls were named Charles in 1930, it’s not relevant.    According to SSA, 1930 is the only year that the name Charlsie broke into the top 1000 names.  The name Travers has not made the list to date.  The records began in 1879, 100 years before Travers was born.

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At the end of April, my friends and I attended the Charleston Jailbreak. I worked a full eight hours this particular Saturday, and when I got home from work, I was super enthusiastic about life and ready to have fun. We met at our friend Adam’s house for a drink and a brief dance party in the kitchen before heading over to the Jailbreak. It was a great group of people, the weather was fantastic, and I was really happy with everything and everyone.

The Jailbreak was in full swing we when arrived, and I strongly encourage everyone to attend a Jailbreak at some point. The music was loud and awesome, and there were modern dancers wandering from room to room who would randomly breakout into choreographed numbers. There was every kind of artwork you could imagine, and I’m a sucker for artwork. The atmosphere was invigorating and life affirming, the darkness was perfectly complimented by the bright colorful lights, and I was with some of my favorite people.

By the time I stopped being distracted by the dazzling environment and hulu hoops, I tried to buy some food at a food truck. In an unfortunate turn of events, the food trucks grossly underestimated the crowd, and were mostly out of food. One truck gave me some grilled chicken and peppers, and I tried not to worry too much about it.

Then I found a piece of art that I HAD TO HAVE. It was an oil on canvas of palmetto trees. The street I live on is lined with palmetto trees, and I really liked the colors of this particular painting. And I adore trees. Especially paintings of trees. Greens and blues and browns with shadows of pinks and reds. Denise told me I should think about, and come back in an hour if I still wanted it. Obviously, an hour later I DID still want it, so I dragged Denise back to the painting and bought it. There was still about an hour left for the party, so I paid the artist, got my receipt, and said I would pick it up the next day.

We stayed until the bitter end of the party, and although I know we were there for at least three hours, probably four hours, I felt like we were there for 45 minutes. I remember sampling some interesting craft beers and restraining my desire to buy puppets and monster stuffed animals. As the party shut down, for reasons I still do not understand, I stopped by the room where my painting was hanging out, and convinced the volunteer clean up people to let me take it home with me. The artist had already gone home, but I was proud to show them my receipt.

I was the happiest person in America with my new painting, except for this one little voice inside my head that said, this is a bad idea, you should have left it and picked it up tomorrow. I ignored that little voice, and traipsed to the closest restaurant/bar with my painting in tow. We sat at a high top table, and I proudly leaned my painting against the wall on the little panel ledge. After a while, my friends refused to continue discussing my new treasure, and we moved to other topics and new friends.

At some point, a friend offered to drive a few of us home, and I jumped at the chance. As in, I jumped up, and left my painting leaning up against the wall. I realized that I left it when I got home, but by that point it was too late to go back, and no one answered the bar. I told myself that it would be there the next day, and not to worry.

The next morning, I went by the restaurant/bar as soon as I thought someone might be there, and the first worker said that if I left it, it would be in the manager’s office, who was not there yet. So I went home to worry. The artist, a gem of a person named Sam, called me to tell me that I could come pick up my painting between 2-4 that afternoon at the Jailhouse. Mortified, I had to confess to Sam that I took the painting with me the night before, and proceeded to leave it at the bar. I confidently told her that I was SURE it was still at the bar, and I was waiting for someone to call me back about it. I felt horrible, like I would feel if I left the gate open and your dog got out, or if I backed over your kid’s bike with my car, or if my dog ate all the cupcakes you just made and was standing on your kitchen table with icing all over her face. Or if you produced a piece of artwork and I got drunk and left it at the bar. Like that. Damn those food trucks and loud music.

Sadly, the restaurant/bar never found the painting. I assume it is hanging up in someone’s house around these parts, and fingers crossed I’m going to run across it at a party one day. Then I’m going to get loud. But on that day, and many days afterward, I beat myself up about the lost painting. I beat myself up for being fiscally irresponsible to buy something I wanted for purely aesthetic reasons and then immediately lose it. I beat myself for not eating dinner and overindulging in the spirits. I tried to chalk it up as a donation in support of local artists, reasoning that I’d wasted that amount of money before in much more frivolous endeavors and mistakes. I could have gotten a speeding ticket. I could have exploded my car battery with improper use of jumper cables (this ranks up there with one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done, and I was 32 years old at the time). I could have left a favorite pair of very beautiful heels at a wedding reception where I shouldn’t have been wearing heels in the first place because of injury, and not recovered them (I did actually recover them the next day, but I might not have). I could have gotten too excited at a wedding reception and jumped up and down, resulting in the sunglasses on my head falling to their shattery death on the concrete. I could have dropped my cell phone in the toilet (fyi, a bag of rice does wonders) or dropped it and cracked the screen. I could have dropped a friend’s new iphone 5 and cracked the screen. I could have missed a flight and had to rebook at a gouging rate. Really, the possibilities are endless.

But even after I stopped beating myself up, I was still real sad I lost the painting, because I really liked it. I considered asking Sam if she would paint me a replacement if I paid her, and I asked Catie, one of my favorite artist friends, if this was a good idea. She couldn’t really decided, so I didn’t. I just didn’t have the nerve.

Three weeks later, I got a text from Sam. She wanted to know if I ever found the painting, and if not, that she would repaint me a replacement, because she felt terrible that I bought a painting that I didn’t get to enjoy. I tell her I would LOVE for her to repaint me a replacement, but that she had to let me pay her for the supplies and the time. Sam said that she felt like I had already paid for the painting, and that she felt that the good karma would be enough payment. Y’all, I was so excited.

Two weeks after that, Sam delivered to me my new priceless piece of artwork. I know y’all have been waiting with bated breathe – so here it is!

Image

I am even happier with it than I was after the Jailbreak. This is just a photo I took of it hanging on the wall of my office, and I still haven’t decided exactly where it will live permanently, but I love it. I hope I make lots of new friends one day so I can retell the story over and over at my house without my current friends strangling me for being repetitive.

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Let’s get real. No one wants the oatmeal raisin famous Amos cookies in any circumstance, much less when they are seeking satisfaction from a vending machine. This is like when instead of peanut m&ms, they have those gross crunchy m&ms.

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Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?  It has really snuck up on me!  I’m so excited!  Then after Thanksgiving comes Christmas!  I can’t wait to decorate my house for the first time.  It’s going to be really awesome and exciting, once I come up with an awesome decoration scheme.  All I’m sure about is that I want a big tree in my front window with lots of lights.  Lots.

You know how sometimes your birthday or Christmas rolls around and everyone says, what do you want this year?  And you really can’t think of a single thing you really want?

Yeah, me neither.  Especially this year.  I can think of lots of things I would like to get into my hot little hands.  Some of them are things I really need (in ivory, king size, please), some of them are things I think I need (size medium, thanks) and some of them are things I’m fairly sure I don’t really need but might die if I can’t have (size ten, if you are in the market), and some things that I just think are downright pretty and might want to come live at my house, with me (I’m a libra in case you were wondering).

Speaking of things I want and like, I want to amend my statement that Lie to Me is the best show on television.  It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve decided I like Castle the best.  Partially because I love it when ridiculously good looking people do mundane every day jobs on television shows, but MOSTLY because I love every single article of clothing worn by Detective Kate Beckett.  Her clothes are obviously not in the average salary range of a new york city cop, good thing her back story includes her being a park ave princess in her earlier life, you know, before tragedy struck and her mother was killed and she swore to avenge her by joining the Force.  It makes it all so much more believable, especially the part where she wears spike heels while chasing criminals through the streets.  The unbelievable part is how completely obsessed I am with all the different leather jackets she sports. I love all her coats, and her shoes.  Sigh.  So, sorry Lie to Me, until you can beef up the wardrobe, Castle is in the lead.  And a quick search of the internet leads me to believe I am not the only one who is obsessed with this aspect of the show.

I hope you have all enjoyed this installment of “I’m a materialistic fashion whore who watches too much television.”  Tune in next week for “I like to complain about things that don’t matter to anyone but me to everyone I can corner and make my captive audience against their will.”  Actually, next week might be more along the lines of “Listen to the nutty, crazy, ridiculous and embarrassing things that were said and done by my family on Thanksgiving after a few bottles of wine.”  Who knows, you just can’t ever tell.  (Note to family:  I’d never really report such things on the blog, I keep them all written down somewhere else for the expose novel I’m going to write one day about everyone I know and love).

Man, I’m cracking myself up with the jokes this afternoon. 🙂

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I have been dog sitting for my parents for the past week.  Bo and Bella are kind of ridiculous dogs, but I love them and they have been trying to be cooperative, but mother nature has been making this very difficult. 

I went to sleep early on Monday night, and Briscoe was upstairs with me.  Bo and Bella were downstairs in the kitchen.  All the sudden I hear a CRASH!  It sounded like the baby gate we use to keep the dogs in the kitchen had fallen down.  This happens on occassion and isn’t a big deal, since the dogs are deathy afraid of the gate and won’t climb over it.  The concerning part, was that there continued to be crashing and noise from downstairs.  Not in the kitchen.  When meant, something other than the two dogs I’d left downstairs was presently enjoying the classic decor of the living room. 

I called Travers, he said he’d be right there.  I called Matt, cause he was in the cottage, and he came over to help.  Briscoe was freaking out.  She ran into the living room and I watched in horror as she chased a squirrel up the plaster wall and onto the window scounce. 

Can you see his arm and leg?

Can you see his arm and leg?

Matt got close to the window, and the damn thing fell, bounced on his back on the table, leapt onto the piano, almost knocked over every breakable object in the house before hiding behind the china cabinet.  Smart animal.  Too heavy to move, too fragile to try. 

The dogs were so traumatized.  I had to physically carry Bella into the house and drag her into the kitchen.  She knew the squirrel was still there.  She knew.  Well, two days later, after chewing through a couple of electrical and cable cords, setting the alarm off and otherwise terrorizing the dogs, I came downstairs yesterday morning to find a dead squirrel on the rug in the living room.  Sweet.  Dead things.  Well, we all know I can’t pick up the squirrel or go near it, since the last time I tried to pick up a dead squirrel he wasn’t dead and bit me. 

The dogs had had enough of me forcing them to hang out inside with a squirrel, and flat refused to come inside yesterday morning, so I left them outside.  I put water under the house and made sure they couldn’t get out anywhere.  And I found the biggest spider I’ve ever seen.  bananaspiderI freaked out, got in touch with Josh (Josh is a professor and has his phd in forestry bugs – I saw his dissertation, the man knows his bugs), and anxiously awaited his instructions.  Josh said she won’t hurt me, that it’s what they call a banana spider, they are quite common and spin really pretty webs which they use to catch beetles (read – roaches) and mosquitoes.  He further recommended that I grab a few beetles and throw them in her nest, because she will attack them and spin them into a cocoon before she eats them and that it is “neat” to watch (his words, not mine).  Sweet.  It really made me miss him.  I told Josh I appreciated his expert opinion but that I would not be throwing any beetles anywhere.  I am really pumped that she eats mosquitoes and roaches, so I’ve decided to keep her as a pet.  I’ve named her Hermione and she has been watching the dogs for me while I’ve been at work.  She is the size of my fist and I swear I can lean on her web without it breaking.  It’s like fishing line. 

My life is so national geographic.   

Other happening of note, we had a successful last minute cook out last night, with lots of tomatoes, cheese, beer, hamburgers, chicken, and french fries.  It was a victory of effortless entertaining, low stress, high enjoyment, everyone left happy and full.   Thanks to Kate and Trav for going out of town. 

I have woken up the past few mornings to a chill in the air, which has made my coffee taste better and my over all personal happiness level improve.  My imagination immediately transports me to a morning where I am getting ready to get into a car to drive to Athens for a football game, instead of driving to the office.  Of course in that scenario I would be drinking a cold beer instead of hot coffee. 

But you know what today is don’t you?  GAME DAY!  I want everyone to be watching football tonight.  I hope that everyone has been watching the HBO series Hard Knocks, which is a reality show about the Cincinnati Bengal’s training camp.  I get really sad when anyone gets cut, it’s so depressing for the players to be woken up at 5 am and sent home.  But I really really really love Chad Ocho Cinco.  Love.  Child Please.  I could say it all day long.  Child.  Please.  child.  PLEASE.  child…please.  CHILD please. 

And I know I’m never suppose to say such a thing, but I’m going to say this once and only once.  This is for Ike and Peter and Matt and Claire and Darius (I love your music Darius).  Ahem.  Um.  Give me a second.  Deep Breathes.  DEEP.  Okay.  Here goes.  go cocks!

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I hate to say it, but there are a lot of people in Columbia, South Carolina who need to learn how to Shut the &*%@ Up. 

Case in point –

“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford said. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”*

Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he’s trying to fall back in love with his wife.**

“At that point I was very careful, everything was paid for in cash,” Sanford said. “And you won’t find a credit card record.”***

Culbertson said he believed his friend when he said that this was his only marital transgression. He thinks Sanford was simply caught off guard by “the power of darkness.”

“One of the quotes we use in our couples course is, ‘You can choose your sins, but you can’t choose your consequences,'” Culbertson said. “We used to use David as an example of that. Mark may be the 2009 version of a good example.  “Mark knew what David knew.”****

 

* SHUT UP!  Seriously!  Think about your four sons reading this and stop professing in the international news your love for the woman in Argentina!  STOP IT. 

** Lucky Mrs. Sanford, he’s TRYING to fall back in love with her. 

***Is he bragging about this?  Is he proud of how sneaky he was with his cash paying hotel rooms?

**** Did he REALLY just compare himself to King David?  REALLY?  AGGHH.  I’m absolutely blown away by his arrogance.  Please, just stop talking.  And don’t even get me started with how straight up crazy Culberson sounds. He sounds like a cult leader.   This is my favorite crazy quote so far –

“God hates lawlessness and is tireless in His desire to dissuade man from his fascination with lawlessness,” reads a paper titled “Cubby’s Talks.” ”Our hearts are lions’ dens of devouring lusts. Lawlessness torments righteous souls every day.”

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Is the Palmetto Bug.  A.K.A. The Flying Roach. 

I can deal with a whole lot of things, and flying roaches are not on that list.  They make me die a little inside every time one gets close to me.  Which is unfortunate, since I come in close contact with them on a regular basis these days.  I have the Orkin man on speed dial and he told me today that it was a battle we were going to have to fight together.  They live outside, these are not the sort of roaches that inhabit the inside of your walls.  These are the kind of roaches who might fly off with your dog if you leave her in the backyard for too long. 

Although, I do have to say that these roaches have nothing on this sucker that lives in maggie’s parents pond.  I swear to the heat of the South Georgia summer that thing in the water is a giant catfish.  Who Maggie swears wants to eat her dog. 

This train of thought is going to spin off in two different directions – one – animals around here that want to eat your dog – over in Aiken they have collected 7 monster pythons – man-eating pythons as they are called – and placed them in a big pit to see how they survive.  Sweet.  This sounds like a HORRIBLE experiment.  Apparently a bunch of pet shops carried these man eating pythons in Florida back in the ’90s and a lot of the snakes escaped in the destruction of Hurricane Andrew.   (side note – Florida is like another country.  When you enter Florida on I-95 the big trucks have to go through a customs like check point.  How weird is that?)

A direct quote from the article –

While pythons don’t make a habit of attacking people and most aren’t large enough to eat a person, Gibbons called the possibility a “nightmare.”

“What about the first kitty cat they eat? Or the first little poodle? They’d love poodles, I imagine,” he said.

Mike Dorcas, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, has sliced open pythons in Florida to find the remains of white-tailed deer, bobcats and large birds.

Then this last part – 

Pythons are masters of disguise — slippery and quick — and all but one of the serpents was invisible within minutes of being deposited into the pit.

So counting pythons in the wild is a daunting task. Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida.

“It’s certainly in the thousands, or tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands,” said Gibbons. 

The other train of thought is the safety of the fish you catch in the Central Savannah River Area.  I thought it was interesting that the parts of the river that do have advisories say – one meal per week.  Is that one fish per week?  Because, my meal is not the same as some other people’s meal.  Some people could eat four fish. 

So, we do a lot of quiet title actions around here, which is how you clear title to a piece of property that has been sold at a sheriff’s sale when the property taxes haven’t been paid.  Although quiet title actions do not normally involve any particularly complicated legal principles, the difficulty lies in finding all the people who have ever had a claim of title to the property and serving them, which often time includes adjacent land owners or the heirs of an estate.  Which means I spend a lot of time trying to find people and figuring out how to serve them in Jamaica, New York, or Erie, Indiana, or, as the case was today – Denver, Colorado. 

The process server I found in Denver is a fleet of bike couriers.  How cool is that?  This time my petition to quiet title is going to be delivered by bike!  This really made my day.  And the guy I talked to on the phone was so nice and friendly and it made me really wish I was in Colorado.  I got really Colorado Home Sick.  Or maybe I’m just, IT IS REALLY HOT HERE SICK. 

Last night at tennis clinic I got to play singles with Jane.  AGGHH.  I LOVE singles.  I love singles so much more than doubles.  In doubles I feel like I’m in the way, or the wrong place, or I should have made that shot because I’m letting my partner down.  In singles, I know where I’m suppose to be the whole time.  Maybe I’m not always there, but the knowing is much more instinctive.  It’s been so much fun getting back into a sport.  I haven’t played a game in a really long time and I didn’t even know how much I missed it. 

Briscoe has been sleeping in the new big bed with me recently and every morning I wake up I feel the need to grab her toe and sing to her about catching a tiger by the toe.  She fails to see the humor and normally either tries to bite me or kick me.

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