About Me

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I love a lot. I wait a lot. I try to find a lot to laugh at. I don't usually have trouble with that. I pray a lot. I'm not always sure who or what I pray to, but I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. I try not to panic very often. I try to learn something new every day. I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters and we take them with us when I can't. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs (or maybe no SELF RESPECTING germ would LIVE in my body?) I collect: gnomes, passport stamps, MONEY-preferably US dollars or Euros, red headed womyn and chicks named Stephanie. My Momma taught me many many years ago that girls don't fart, they foosie. She taught me lots of other chit too. Thanks for stopping by-leave me a comment and let me know you were here, feel free to link to me, or email me at jacquelynn.fortner@gmail.com

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye, Lisa, Goodbye

Well, the word is out.  The suffering is over-the physical part, anyway.  Lisa Kelly from Clusterfook passed away last night at around 11:30.  You would think that I would be limp as a noodle, sitting here sobbing like a baby, but weirdly enough, I'm not.  I don't know if I got it all out of my system, or, more likely, that I realize how hard I've been praying for the suffering to end and realize that in some ways this is a good thing.  I mean, of course, that her pain, and the pain that Dude and Cam and Teenie had to watch is done with.

Maybe that pain serves a good purpose-it is the thing that allows us to let go.  Lisa made it clear in her last few posts that all she wanted at that point was time.  Time with her family and friends, time to come to grips with what was happening to her.  She was hanging on so fiercely that perhaps the pain was the only thing that would allow her to let go from this life.  And seeing her in that amount of pain was probably the only reason they were willing to let her go.

God, she was strong.  I couldn't do it.  I just can't imagine myself having that kind of strength.  I mean, if I found out I had cancer I would fight, of course-no one in their right mind wouldn't. But come on!  Ovarian cancer?  THREE TIMES?  I know me, and at some point, once I knew things were not going to get better, I would have to leave.  I don't know that I would have the courage to write about it, because I'm all about the shiny parts, folks.  I want to be remembered as fun and happy and someone who could make you smile.  Not that Lisa wasn't, I'm just saying I don't think I could do it (No, not today-I'm not thirteen today.) with her grace.  I don't want my family to ever have to remember me suffering.  I just want to be able to go somewhere that no one knows me and do any pain and suffering as privately as possible.  Not for me-for everyone else.  I mean, face it, bitchy is not pretty, and I'm pretty sure I would be the Supreme Cancer BITCH.

But this is about Lisa.  I'm sure heaven is throwing a welcoming party the likes of which we can only imagine.  Tequila.  Sushi.  Ribs.  Choirs of angels singing Rolling Stones tunes.  Wonderful company-some old souls she hasn't seen in ages and new ones she's about to charm.  In an odd way, I am happy for her.  Because you know?  It is what it is.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Attention Deficit What?

I don't know which is worse lately-my internet 'connection' (how can it be called a connection when half the time it is not connected?) or this super spiffy 'ultimate gaming' laptop that was top of the line back in the day (if by back in the day you mean SIX MONTHS AGO.) 

I sat down no less than *eyes roll back, tallying* oh, at least eight times to write something yesterday, but I would get nine minutes into a post and my computer would just shut down. Didn't matter if I was connected to the internet or not.  And for some reason, no matter how many times it happened, it surprised the snot out of me when it happened AGAIN.  Every time, I would jump like someone stuck me with a cattle prod, which the birds all interpret as "Momma's dancing-must be time to do the Good Morning, Jesus song" which of course necessitated doing the Good Morning Jesus song even though by that time it was well into the afternoon.  I'm sure the neighbors thought I was having a revival over here what with all the stomping and clapping and little bursts of feathers flying out the sliding glass door.

HA.  Another case of need to pay attention when I'm writing.  I was all ready to count the number of 'sleeps' (28, count'em, TWENTY EIGHT.  FOUR SHORT WEEKS!) until I leave for our trip when I sat down here, but I got distracted.  Musta got sidetracked by something shiny.  

Anyway, twenty eight days.  I am all packed and ready to go, of course, but there is a nightly 'refining' of the contents of both my everso groovy new Samsonite and my 'personal item'... *watches the monitor bounce as she giggles uncontrollably* *considers all of her personal items* *and their contents* *blushes*...Um...Where was I?

Oh, yes.  Packing.  Part of the challenge of packing in this case is that we will be dealing with two very different climates, so I have to take things that I can layer in Amsterdam but that can be worn separately for the more moderate temperatures in Barcelona.  Fortunately for me, my mother never throws anything away as far as shoes and clothes go.  She doesn't have closets full of clothes, she has ROOMS full.  I went over yesterday to try on a pair of slacks she had found for me and ended up coming home with several mix and match outfits as well as two very groovy pairs of boots, one pair that hasn't even been worn.  How I think I'm going to manage to wedge all of this into what is essentially a carryon bag I have no idea.  I keep thinking of Anne Frank's family wearing five layers of clothing as they left their home to go into hiding, and see myself getting on the plane looking like the Michelin Man-but with very manageable baggage.

The thing that gets me is that no matter what I pack, I will come home with clothes I never wore.  It never fails.  We only do carryon luggage-kind of hard for the airline to lose your stuff if you don't ever give them the chance.  Each trip, I pare down what goes into the bag, swearing to take only the bare minimum, and I still end up taking too much.  *looks at the purty boots all lined up expectantly*

Poor things.  I have a feeling I'm going to have to break it to them that they are domestic shoes, not cleared for international travel.  But not yet.  You never know.  The only thing constant is change.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's a Girl!

Finally! My oldest son Ronny and his beautiful wife Jamie have finally decided to expand their family. Not exactly what I'd been hoping for, but this will have to do for now.

I'm proud to introduce ya'll to my new grandoghter, current 'working' name "Nanako" (???) (She's a girl, or she would have been "Neil Patrick Harris") (not as Doogie Howser, but as Neil Patrick Harris in "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle") (*snort*)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Crack In My Armor

Heh.  Yeah, I know.  Crack.  I said it.

I wish I could laugh about it, but in this case I am very sad to say that that isn't possible right now.  I knew this was coming--in fact, I've been expecting it.  I just didn't know how much it was going to get to me.

The armor is around my heart, and I am afraid that it is broken.  I don't know it I wear it to keep things out, or to keep them in, but either way it has been breached today.  

I really dislike writing 'in the moment'.  Emotions tend to make me say things I will regret, but I doubt that will be the case today. *She says as she sits sniffling, snotting and snorting into her hanky*  I guess this is just another case of me feeling helpless.

You see, normally (or whatever passes for normal around ME, anyway) I try not to hit my reader before I sit down to write because I don't want other blogs to 'flavor' what I write.  This morning, however, I was curious to see if anyone else was talking about losing several followers in what was a matter of about an hour yesterday, as three people on The Beautifulist just up and disappeared.  I talked to a friend last night who said it had happened to several people she knows too and that it was a Blogger problem, so I didn't get out my hari-kari knife (yet) (although I know who is missing and if it is deliberate it hurts, but I really digress).  Anyway, I never got to skim through the 'blurbs' in my reader because the first one on my list was Clusterfook.

It is time, ya'll.  She is DYING, and I can't do anything about it but sit here and blubber like a baby.  What's worse, is she is SUFFERING.  If I could do ANYTHING in the world right now to take away her pain, the pain of her family having to watch her suffer-my GOD, the pain they must be feeling.  If I think I feel helpless, it just makes my whole body ache to think of what Dude and those kids of hers must be going through.

"But you don't even know her."  No, *she types as she sucks back a big old wad of snot* I've never had the privilege of meeting her in person.  *light bulb moment*  But she let me see the SHINY parts of her.  I think that is the beauty of Blogsville.  We get to show off our pretty parts.  No one sees anything that we don't let them.  In Lisa's case, I got to see beauty and courage and pride.  Fierce, fierce courage.  And strength, both physical strength and strength of character.  I don't know if I could do what she did, because I dread the thought of anyone seeing me weak.  In myself, it pisses me off.  In her case, I think her weakness emphasizes her strength.  

Please join me in lifting her and her family up today to whatever deity or power you believe in. They are receiving an amazing soul.  I will miss her.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Got Nuttin'

Kinda weird.  Until I sat down to write today, I did not realize that my ennui seems to have just evaporated.  Which is a prime example of why I try not to spout off 'in the moment'.  Seems like if I mull chit over long enough, it all kinda either works itself out or my anger/pain/confusion fades enough that it no longer reigns supreme in my life.  Either way, I feel much mo' betterer.

What I actually set out to write about before I had that little epiphany was that sometimes when I sit down to write, I have no farking idea what is going to come out of my fingers.  Roughly sixty five percent of the time when I am ready to blog, I know what my subject is going to be and other than some editing, the post comes out as one 'piece', if you will *looks at that suspiciously, wondering if it sounds as pretentious as it looks* *nods* *grins cuz I said piece*  WHOLE.

The other thirty five percent of the time?  No clue.  You know that old saying that life imitates art?  (Not that this is, by any stretch of the imagination, art, but indulge me for the sake of argument here, okay?)  Well, in this case, art is imitating LIFE.  As in-I let my fingers do the walking.  *titters* *pauses for a long moment to let that sink in* *imagines Innocent Bystander's fingers doing the walking* *shakes self and sternly warns self of impending bitchslap*  Yep.  Thirty five percent of the time when I sit down in front of this here computer I haven't the foggiest idea what I am going to write about, but once my fingers are positioned on the keyboard, they seem to take on a life of their own.  *snort* Again-art imitates life.

Oh, crap on a stick.  I just heard a phrase that can either fill me with dread or make my heart sing, depending.  "You've got mail."  I just peeked, and in this case, it is most definitely dread. You know what I'm talking about, because we all have that one friend or relative (by marriage, of course) who inundates our inboxes with every single piece of drivel in theirs.  I love getting email.  Love it, love it, love it.  But THIRTY SIX emails with a picture of a kitty or some flowers saying "have a nice day-OH, and forward this to all of YOUR friends or your hair will fall out" or the new Obama jokes that seem to be all the rage amongst rednecks?  *shakes head*  I can do without those.  What really pisses me off about them though, is that I HAVE to open them, because the person in question is famous for sticking in a little personal note that demands a response, so I can't just delete them.  I guess I'd better just hush and go start on them, because once she gets on a roll, there is no telling when it will stop.  It's okay, though.  Every once in a while, I get a 'real' email-a notification of one of your comments-those are the ones that make my heart burst into song!  *SMOOCHES*

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Watch Out Folks, She's Gonna Blow

Heh. I said she's gonna blow. *snort* Too bad I tickle myself so easily-for YA'LL, not for me!

So I've been thinking a lot about yesterday's post, and what is making me so supremely wormy, and I think I fingered something out. And before I delve into this, let me start by saying this is not about YOU *looks to the west* or about anyone else in particular, so don't go getting your knickers all in a twist and send me "Have I done something to make you mad?" emails. This is about ME.

I guess New Years coupled with this trip and the fact that the Innocent Bystander asks me way too frequently what it is actually that he pays me for made me decide to try to class up my act a bit. I am usually a pretty much what you see is what you get kinda girl, but in the interest of preserving the life to which I've become accustomed, I came to the conclusion that I needed to purty things up. I am deceptively high maintenance, and I know how HE thinks ("You can't polish a turd, Jackie") so I got out my lotions and potions and goos and have been trying to shine just a little. Sometimes it seems an exercise in futility, but now and then I see a glimmer of something that gives me hope.

Enter the flies in the ointment. I have been forced in the last few days to recognize some lumps in the oatmeal of me. The underlying brass sometimes shows through despite my best efforts to electroplate myself in the platinum of life, and it just gnaws at me like a dog worrying a fresh meaty bone. Sometimes I just hate being human.

Sometimes I forget things, which freaks me the hell out because I am so farking paranoid about Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes I am, against my better judgement, very judgemental (HA! WHO, ME??). Too many times more than I care to admit I am impatient and intolerant, mostly of STUPID PEOPLE (again, who, me? Judgemental?) and I want to pinch their little pointy heads off and spit down their necks. I am pretty good about not mouthing off when I am angry, because that is when I use words as weapons, and sometimes they make wounds that are harder to heal than any surgical incision, but I fear that the next dipshit asshole that crosses my path is going to be walking into a shitstorm of vitriol the likes of which I would not wish on Beelzebub himself. I am Vesuvius just waiting for Pompei, dammit.

So I guess he's right. There just isn't enough polish for this turd.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Gah times four.  I am out of sorts.  Not cross, really.  Just wormy.  Uncomfortable in myne own skin.  The sun is out and it is a pretty day, but there is something brittle about it, and I am dreading getting out and on the road.  When the kids used to get like this, the Innocent Bystander would hit them with the old "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms."  That doesn't really hit the nail on the head either, though.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself-I have everything I could possibly want (other than the IB being here with me).  I am just feeling like a very large trapezoidal peg trying to fit into a tiny crescent shaped hole.

I either need to poop or my jeans are too tight.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Power of Suck

Pardon me whilst I scream bloody murder. 

Whilst I've been sitting around having this wonderful glamourous life for the last couple of days, I've been focusing on a few things that chap my ass, and I thought that I would share them with you, thereby participating in my friend Christine's theme for the month over at Strange Pilgram, "Suck It."

First off, two phrases that I have heard quite enough of lately: "It's the economy." and "In these tough economic times."  OKAY.  WE GET IT.  Things are tough all over.  I don't need it rammed down my throat every time I turn on the radio or television.  How about focusing on the farking positive instead of the negative, folks?  These are opportunities to help each other out, to see how we can make things last, to see what we really don't need.  Less is MORE, dammit.  Try on my rosy fucking glasses, wouldja?

Next, two things that suck the damn life out of me: turds and feathers.  I spent the vast majority of yesterday chasing turds around from various lifeforms around here that I feed.  In return, the little bastards ALL reward me with turdage.  I have bird turdage, which is at least self contained.  Then I have goose and duck shit all over my gangway that I have to *titters* GOOSE STEP through to get to the hose so I can wash it off before it gets drug into the houseboat.  Now to add to the fun, this little kitteh?  Decided that it did not like the (all natural corncob) litter that I bought whilst I was still fool enough to keep her in the screened in porch, so she eschewed the litterbox in favor of select corners of the porch to deposit her little favors in.  Lucky me.  When I was all done, and the floors had all been mopped and I finally plopped down in my glider to boot up the computer, my eyes drifted under the futon where they saw...FEATHERS.  I just get done with round one, and round two starts.  *rolls eyes*  May I just say with the distaste that I feel, "MUTHERFUCKER"?

My final suck it gripe o'the day is more a concept than a tangible thing.  Buyer's remorse. Especially when the object of the remorse is VERY NICE and you know it will last FOREVER. Because every day, for the REST OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE, every time you look at it, it will mock you.  You can look forward to your eyes falling on it every day, several times a day, and thinking of all the other things you could have done with that money.  You will come to hate it over time, as it represents a lifetime of hemorrhaging money for things you really didn't need, but because it was so very dear, you must maintain the charade of love it love it love it.  

Yes, these things suck, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, they are lessons learned.  The economy sucks.  Into each life a little smelly stuff must fall, but it will be tempered with the soft things that drift down into each of our lives without us seeing them until they are already THERE.  And our mistakes are with us always, but hopefully we learn from them in the long run and don't let them ruin us.  

Shit runs deep in the river, ya'll.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Identity Crisis

I don't know what has happened since the Innocent Bystander left, but by all indications, when he left my body quit producing testosterone.  That is the only explanation I can come up with.

For one thing, as I already mentioned, I am just one quick leg hump away from the mother of all big O's.  This did start before he left, but it has gotten progressively worse as time has passed.  I can just see myself meeting him in Amsterdam.  He gets there two hours before I do if all goes as planned, so we will be able to take the train from Schiphol to Centraal together. Wish there were a way to get a private compartment.  I have visions of riding him like a mechanical bull, my free hand keeping time in the air for balance.  Sloppy dismount, I'm sure, but at that point, who would care?

Then there is the fact that against my better judgement, I have again started carrying a purse.  I was doing just fine without one, but like I said-testosterone leak.  And I don't do anything halfway, so I went whole hog.  Embracing the womyn in me ^arched eyebrow^ I chose this beauty from Dooney & Bourke:

Of course, as soon as I bought it and carried it for a day, my inner dyke rebelled, so I went back to the mall and bought this KAVU, which opens up to mid-backpack size:

Now I have to make a decision as to which one I'll take with me.  We don't check baggage (although we will have to on our flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona) so I can't just take both.  I guess the five and a half weeks between now and then will tell.

And finally, we get to this morning.  I don't know what the pluck is up with this, but for some reason, when I went to choose shoes to wear as I fart around the houseboat today cleaning birdcages and mopping floors, out of all my choices, these are what I picked:

Four inch high wedgies.  Me.  KLUTZ, Inc.  Thank goodness I 'know people' at my orthopaedic doctor's office.  Maybe they can refer me to a shrink whilst my soon to be broken ankles heal.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creative Parenting

I can just imagine the conversation.

"Are we there yet?"

"Stop touching me.  She won't stop touching me."

"Stop touching me.  She won't stop touching me."

"MOM!  She won't stop touching me and now she's copying me."

"MOM!  She won't stop touching me and now she's copying me."

I see mom studiously keeping her eyes on the road.  She is not remembering trips like these from when she was a kid.  She has three hundred miles behind her, and another three hundred to go, and the fact that conversations like these are going on in cars all across the country is the last thing on her mind.  She is tired, but she is excited, because although one door is closing and she has all her worldly possessions and everything and everyone she holds dear in this SUV with her, another door has opened halfway across the country and for once, she is going to take a chance and RUN, not walk, toward opportunity.  She is not running from something, she is running TO something.  




"Don't MAKE me pull this car over!"

But they did.  I saw them on the side of the Interstate.  Mom, boy about twelve, girl about nine. Had it been me, I'd probably been leaning over the back of the seat swatting at little legs and screaming at the top of my lungs and making them sit on their hands for the next hundred miles.  Not this mom, though.  She calmly got out of the car, got the kids about 20 feet from the road, and made them start doing calisthenics!  Jumping jacks, running in place, pushups.  I had to pull over on the other side of the interstate to watch in awe as she WORE THEIR ASSES OUT.  No switches necessary for her.

I wish I knew who she was.  I'd nominate her for Mother of the Year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Potty Mouth

I figured since we were on the subject of bathroom habits in different parts of the world (we were? No one informed us!) I would continue on that thread. To catch some of you up, we have established that it is recommended that you DON'T flush toilet paper into Costa Rica's delicate septic systems and that some people in certain areas of Nigeria do not know how to use toilets-they are used to digging holes and squatting over them to 'take care of bidness'. Now I am going to take you on a little tour of the facilities we visited the last time we went to Europe, and perhaps some of ya'll across the pond can enlighten me as to the use of some of the unique equipment we encountered whilst there.

In Rome, we stayed at a very nice hotel very close to the Spanish Steps. The room we stayed in was by US American standards very small, but very plush. The bathroom had all the usual amenities with one unusual addition. At the foot of the commode, there was another commode basin with no seat that had sink type faucets. Now, I was under the impression that a bidet sprayed upwards and that it was for washing one's nether regions, but this thing was maybe ten inches from the floor, and placement wise, the only thing we could finger out that it was suited for would be for soaking one's feets whilst taking an extended dump. Personally, I don't think I could function that way if my feet were soaking in water. Anyone have a clue?

Then there was Paris. Again, very nice ApartHotel, with what we in the US would consider 'normal' with one rather odd difference. Rather than a flush handle on the toilet, there were two pads on the wall that both flushed the toilet. One was about three inches by three inches, and the other was about six inches by three. The smaller one flushed much faster than the larger, so we deduced that the smaller one was for 'les peepees' and the larger for turdage (Europeans seem much more conscious of conserving energy and natural resources than we are in the US).

And now for my personal favorite, Amsterdam. It is always fun trying to find somewhere to use the bathroom in Amsterdam, especially for womyn. The city kindly provides some outdoor portolet type urinals on busy streets for men to use, probably to keep them from whippin' 'em out and just pissing on the sides of buildings. Womyn not being as 'equipped' for said business as men are are at a distinct disadvantage, however, because the VAST majority of public restrooms in Amsterdam are of the PAY variety. And not the old coinop stalls that I have encountered in the US-these are 'guarded' by an attendant who has a little saucer into which you are supposed to put your 'offering' before you make your offering. This goes for places where we in the US would expect facilities to be readily available for free, i.e. restaurants etc. Case in point:

We were wandering around the streets of Amsterdam and both of us developed 'The Urge'. I had to pee, which was no huge deal, but the Innocent Bystander was suffering the effects of a night of beer drinking and needed an actual STALL, so we decided to avail ourselves of the convenient McDonald's. The little bathroom attendant sat in her little chair with her little saucer into which we both deposited out thirty five or so Euro cents. I did my business, then came out to wait for the IB, seating myself so that I would see him when he came out. I guess it didn't take long for the attendant to figure out what he was doing in there, because as soon as the next gentleman came up the stairs to go into the bathroom, she leapt from her chair and blocked the door to the men's room and motioned for him to go into the ladies room to do his business. I giggled a little to myself the first time it happened. In the next ten minutes, it happened three more times, each time the attendant being a little more dramatic and adamant about directing the men into the ladies room, letting them know in no uncertain terms (even I could understand her Dutch at this point)(not that there is a whole lot of translating necessary with a woman standing in a doorway blocking it with her body while waving her arms dramatically like she was waving off a field goal and then waving her hand in front of her nose making a 'stinky' face) that they did NOT want to go in there. When the IB finally came out, she jumped back over to her chair and made a huge deal of grabbing a can of air freshener and spraying her way both into and out of the men's room, leaving no doubt whatsoever as to what he'd been doing in there. I was ROLLING.

How about it? Any insights? And what about ya'll? What kind of 'different' facilities have ya'll come across (Heh. I know. I just said come across. *snort*) in YOUR travels?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Funny Valentine

He knows me too well.  For Valentines Day, I got the first set of pics of Igor in Nigeria.

I also received this little gem from him this week (unedited):

the cleaning guy came to me and asked me to talk to the 2 mo po's    they are muslem  and they keep standing on the toilet seat to shit and are making a mess
why the fuck would somebody do that?
how do you go tell somebody they have to sit ,, not stand on the seat
i sent the mate to do it
not a problem i faced before

I asked him about it later, and he said that the mate told him the mobile police in question were from the north and had never seen a toilet.  In their part of the country, he explained, they dig a hole and squat over it to take a crap.  He told the IB that the men had thanked him and told him that they had not understood how it worked and that they would TRY it his way.  I told the IB that would be great until they went home and wanted to sit on their holes in the dirt.  Then it wouldn't make so much sense.


Friday, February 13, 2009


*Sings at the top of her lungs*...is making me wait.  It's keeping me WAYAYAYAYAYATING...

You would think that after a while I would calm down about traveling, but it seems the opposite is true.

I don't know exactly what it is about this trip as opposed to the one we just took to Costa Rica, but I am walking around like an orgasm waiting to happen.  I would think that the Unit Innocent Bystander being gone had something to do with it, but even when he was still home I was feeling like I was one stroke away from exploding.  I am and have been positively VIBRATING.  I reckon it paid off in the inserting of slot A into tab B-it was a wicked fun goodbye week.

I mean, I was excited about going to Costa Rica and I learned a great deal, but that one was more like going to Disney World or Six Flags than our trips to Europe.  It was exhilarating and beautiful in a natural and relaxing and physical way, whereas Europe is exhilarating and beautiful in a very manmade, stimulating and MENTAL way. 

The minute we step out of Centraal Station in Amsterdam, we are surrounded with history.   The architecture is amazing-churches, government buildings-even the hotels.   And the art-don't even get me started on the art.  I know we have art here in the US-my parents are both artists (in fact, Dar and I are going to the opening of a new gallery my Daddy will be showing in tomorrow night for V-day).  But the US has nothing on Europe for historical art or the Masters, and personally, I DIG old.  And you know how we US Americans feel we have this wonderful melting pot (and believe me when I say that that is written tongue in cheek) of a country?  *shakes head*  I don't know how it was before the European Union in effect dissolved its borders for 'member states', but we have NOTHING on Europe as far as melting pots go. 

Maybe the reason I am so titillated is that we have been trying to finger out a way we could spend a couple of years there, and had kind of zoned in on Spain as our destination of choice (mostly because  it seems to have the least restrictive temporary residence requirements)(but the birds are a huge cog in this fantasy). Going to Barcelona to me is somewhat of a scouting mission, and the fact that I will get to see some of one of my favorite artist's (Dali) work is just a boner.  *bitch slaps self* ....er...BONUS, people.  It's a BONUS.

And?  It is all carved in stone.  All of our reservations are booked-airline tickets both to, from, AND in-country, as well as hotels in both Amsterdam and Barcelona.  We had talked about taking a train to Paris again and staying there for a day, but decided that that would be unfair to both Paris and us-we did that last time we 'crossed the pond' and Paris deserves a trip of her own. (Although we got an AMAZING amount done in the day and a half we were there, including TWO trips to the Musee' d'Orsay, my favorite museum in the world.)  That is FINE AND DANDY with me-it just ensures another trip!

I'm off to pack.  Again.  I do leave SIX WEEKS from today, don'tcha know?  


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To Sir *snort* With Love

Yesterday was errand day-I had to go to the dentist, get my oil changed, visit with my mother in law for awhile for her birthday.  I'm not sure if anyone knows which one it actually was-the Innocent Bystander asked me, and I had no idea.  She said my brother in law Frankie asked her how it felt to be 82 and she said she felt pretty good, but that she thinks she's only 78.  Hard to tell, because she still has plenty of zip left-I picked her up from the Wellness Center, which she goes to three times a week to work out.

I went to my pregnacious little hairdresser this morning to get my roots done, and actually made an appointment for next month in advance as I don't want to forget and go on my trip with a skunk stripe down my part.  Planning ahead.  So unlike me...

I've been having this recurring nightmare lately.  I am going on a trip (go figure) and it is the day before I am supposed to leave and I still have a million things to do.  My passport is still in the safe so I have to go get it, I need to write down my confirmation number so I can check in when I get to the airport which means I have to get into my saved mail to retrieve it.  This along with trying to find some fucking red panties that won't ride up my ass -I am not allowed to fly unless I am wearing red panties.  (In case the plane goes down?  Look for the chubby fishbelly white assed body floating in the water in bright red knickers.  That will be me.  The only reason I go along with it is because if I have to, so does he.  He's cute in red panties.)

Anyway, in the dream, I am in Gulfport dropping off the birds early, planning on going and doing all this stuff when I am done, but I keep getting distracted.  Every time I get online, something pressing catches my attention and I forget what I got on for, and sign off without getting my confirmation number.  I get all packed and head to the airport only to remember as I get there that I forgot my passport, so I have to go all the way back to Pascagoula to get it, which is okay in the dream, because I always leave plenty of time for major malfunctions because that is just how I am.  So I go get my passport and make it back to Mobile and am running around trying to find the international terminal.  When I finally find it and get to a ticket agent, they tell me that my flight is on time, but that it is leaving out of GULFPORT, not Mobile.  I wake up shaking, ready to throw up.

Now, couple this with our trip to the taxman.  Uck Fay Ee May in the Ass Ay.  Twice.  Talk about wanting to throw up!  This is the first time that we really NEEDED to be able to itemize because we had to file as self employed, but because we didn't have enough reciepts to make it worthwhile, we had to file the standard deduction crap, which means we had to write a check that seemed like it should cover the national debt.  On the bright side, we (don't you just love how I keep using 'we' like I had anything to do with it?) had thought far enough ahead to save enough to cover said check, so fortunately, we ain't gonna have to sell the farm, but still-I just know that if I were a better record keeper we probably could have kept some of that money.

So.  (This is the part where the IB's mental, if not physical, willie is going to get a major boner right before your very eyes if you happen to be reading this at the same time he is.  Nothing excites him as much as ORGANIZATION.)  I went out and bought an accordion file and have organized all of our receipts, EOBs, insurance and bank statements etc.  AND (insert MAJOR drum roll here) I made a LIST.  I have both an ongoing list of crap I need to accomplish in the next few days, and a master list of chit I need to get done prior to the trip.  Before you know it, I will need a list of my lists.  I can just imagine the blissful smile on the IB's face right now.  I've gone over to the other side.  *shakes head*

Monday, February 9, 2009


One of the things I love most about blogging is the way it has connected me more to the world through our common Blogsville.  One of the things I love least about blogging is the way it has connected me more to the world through our common Blogsville.

I love learning something new every day, and I love this 'meeting' new people.  That little Feedjit gadget in the bottom right corner of the page is an awesome little tool.  It never fails to amaze me that people in other states read this, much less in other countries and on other continents.  And of course me being me, I have to look up every town, city and country that comes here, and read everyone's blogs who comments.  So I do feel very connected.  And meeting new people and learning new things are two of my favorite things to do, so I love it.

It makes the world much smaller, however.  And again, me being me, when someone in MY world is hurting, I am hurting too.  Empathy is a good thing in small doses, but ya'll?  My heart is ACHING right now.  Because I fear our friends in Oz are wondering if the Apocalypse has come.  Some dipshit or dipshitz decided to test the old "play with fire and you'll pee the bed" theory and started wildfires in Australia that are only being fueled by high winds and record temperatures.  Now there are over 165 dead, and it ain't over yet, folks.

I know that from what I've read what they need most right now are blood donations, so if you have some to spare, it won't cost you a cent.  Unfortunately, they won't take MY stinkin' blood, so right now the best I have to offer are my fervent prayers and rain dances.  If they won't take your stinkin' blood either (or even if they will) won't you join me in sending happy thoughts and positive vibes their way?  If tears were raindrops, myne would have already put these fires OUT.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh, No! Not Another Bleme!?!

Since it is El Juevo's birthday, I am on limited time, so I fingered I would take the 'easy' way out and participate in this week's Sunday Stealings, "Get To Know Your Friends".  I know, I know...you've had about all you can take of this getting to know you crap, but like I said, folks. Limited time.

Before I start though, I did want to say "GO SEAWOLVES".  They pulled one out of their collective arses last night and won despite their PeptoBismol pink jerseys.  Keep up the good work, boys.  We need another win tonight.

Also, just for the record?  One three pound kitteh?  Makes one HELL of a racket running down the gangway.  I can't believe how she makes the houseboat shake-I thought my neighbor had come to visit!

On to the Q&A's.

1.  What is your occupation right now?  Good question.  The Scrote Innocent Bystander asks me all the time what he pays me for.  I just roll my eyes at him and drag him into the bedroom.

2.  What color are your socks right now?  White shortie fuzzie wuzzie house socks.

3.  What are you listening to right now?  Nemo asking me about boogers and what am I doing and BIRD and gimme dat beak.  GOOD MORNING.

4.  Last person you spoke to on the phone?  El Juevo.

5.  How old are you today?  I have taken 47 trips around the sun so far.

6.  What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?  Underwater BB stacking.

7.  What is your favorite drink?  Depends on my mood.  I drink more water than anything when the IB is on the boat, and prolly Busch Light in a bottle when he's home and we are 'drinking'.

8.  Have you ever dyed your hair?  Not just yes, HELL YES!

9.  Favorite food?  King Crab legs or lobster.

10.  What is the last movie you watched?  Paul Blart, Mall Cop *waves hand back and forth*

11.  Favorite day of the year?  Today.  Always today.

12.  How do you vent anger?  I don't usually vent, I usually mull.  Then I realize anger is not productive-it only hurts ME, not the object of my anger, which then makes me finger out a way to change what is making me angry.  Sometimes it takes awhile.

13.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  Hands down-my chemistry set and microscope.  I asked the IB this once, and he said the Evel Knevel motorcycle set, so I found him one.  He in turn got me a kick ass microscope.  I love that man.

14.  Living arrangements?  The IB and I live on a 20' x 40' houseboat with our three parrots and a (brand new rescued stray) kitten.  El Juevo lives in a little house we have a half mile away with (currently) five stray cats that deign to dine at Chez Derfina, along with various aardvarks, hedgehogs and who knows whatall.

15.  What was the last thing you cried about?  HAH.  My *^$#%-ing blog.

16.  Who is the friend you have had the longest?  Mah darling Dar.

17.  What did you do last night?  Went to a casino (won $40) and then went to the hockey game.

18.  What are you most afraid of?  Alzheimer's.  It terrifies me.  I don't want to lose me.

19.  In how many areas of your country have you lived?  Hmmm.  Rhode Island and Ohio, so north.  Mississippi and Florida, so south.  Puerto Rico-US Commonwealth, so Caribbean, whatever that would be considered.

20.  What is your favorite flower?  I'm torn between tulips and carnations.  Carnations last longer and are different every day, but tulips are so unpredictable.  All good qualities in a flower as far as I'm concerned.

That is all.  *smooches*

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Muchas Gracias, Ya'll!

I love Splenda.  I think we've established that.  But personally?  I have no interest in getting a gram of fiber in every pack.  My coffee already has body, thank you very much.  AND it has its laxative properties as it is-I certainly don't need any more fiber greasing up THOSE wheels.


Oh, shit.  I wrote that down.  I thought it was just in my head.

I had thought I was going to start out today by acknowledging two very special awards from two of my favorite followers.  They gave me these in a period when I was having doubts about my blogging and helped me realize just how very important it is to me.  

First, from Amber at Proud Army Wife and Momma of Two, I got this little beauty:

And second, from Christine at Strange Pilgram, I got this, my second fucking fabulous award from her:

Thank you both very much.  It is really nice to know that someone out there in Blogsville appreciates me as much as I appreciate you all.

Last night's hockey game sucked major hind tit-we lost, 4-2 against Cincinnati.  It wouldn't have been so bad if it had been a good game, but the boys just played with no aggression whatsoever.  I think it being Youth for Christ (I can't help but hear YOOT for Christ in my head, ala Joe Pesci) night may have been holding them back, but I could be wrong.  I guess that doesn't bode well for tonight, as tonight's theme is Pink in the Rink. *laughs hysterically*  I'm sorry.  I know it's a good cause, but come on.  If they are in pink jerseys with pink hair playing against a team that beat the snot out of them the night before, I just don't have overly high hopes for them tonight.  I just hope nobody ends up being carried out on a stretcher.

Speaking of which, the Innocent Bystander checked in today.  As soon as he got back to the Fatherland he had to go to a school that the petroleum company he indirectly works for (rhymes with WELL) is requiring.  It is a water safety course where they put him in a helicopter simulator, then drop it into a pool until it is submerged, then he has to unstrap and escape through a window.  He said that wasn't too bad, but the second time they put you in, drop you, then SPIN it once before you can get out, and the THIRD time they spin it TWICE.  He said some of the guys in the school can't even technically swim-a lot of them pay someone to take their swimming test for them.  The only reason they passed this one is that they all managed to get out of the helicopter, which was the only requirement for this test.  He said several of them had to be rescued by divers because they nearly drowned, and that he personally got a good stomach full of water in the process, bless his heart. 

Now I am fixing to hit the road.  El Juevo and I are going to do something today-I left it up to him.  Movie, casino, shopping-whatever floats his boat.  I can't stay here at the houseboat-there is a big bass tournament going on, and about every twenty minutes, I look up and see someone eight feet away looking at me through my picture window sitting her in my jammies whilst they cast between the houseboats.  Creepy.  Prolly creepier that I haven't gotten up and put something on, but fuck'em.  This is my HOUSE.  In any case, I'm outta here.  Hasta luego!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let Me 'Splain Sometheeng To Joo

Remember Pura Vida? 

Pura Vida, or Pure Life, is many things.  For one thing, it has been turned into a marketing tool for Costa Rica.  Probably a full third of the souvenirs (is that REALLY how it's spelled?  That just goes against my grain.  Just sayin'.) use it as the 'signature' of Costa Rica.  Because really, it is a philosophy of sorts, and one I can really subscribe to.  Not necessarily 'pure' life, but pure LIFE. Doesn't that just sound like us?  I like to think of it as grabbing all the forking gusto I can and wringing what I can't just grab out of what's left.  I guess some of this is coming from something Braja spoke about in a recent post.  I choose, every day, to see the beauty around me instead of the ugliness, and I try my damndest to see the beauty or the funny in the ugly.  Do ya feel me?

In that vein, I wanted to say, just for the record, that I have a lot on my plate right now.  I have birds trying to make a granny out of me.  I have a wonderful, two legged trip to prepare for-and this is a full time project in and of itself-we don't do anything halfassed, so I have a chitload of research to do.  Fortunately, I know the history of Amsterdam and the artwork, architecture and language barriers involved from previous trips, but Barcelona is a whole new ballgame.  In order to fully appreciate what we are seeing, there is a staggering amount of information to absorb.  Then there is El Juevo, who has been somewhat on the back burner for a month.  When the Innocent Bystander is home, he is the one who really suffers, because all focus is on the IB for the duration, so I try to rectify (I just like that word) the situation when the IB is on the boat by making it all about him, which means it is all about hockey.  Another train I can get on board, as I am a fan myself, but something that takes up a tremendous amount of time.  We have a routine, El Juevo and I.  We get there when the doors open, an hour prior to the game, so we can watch warmups.  That is after a 45 minute drive to the coliseum.  Add to that the minimum two and a half hours for the game, and the 45 minute drive home and you are looking at five hours per game.  We have games six days in the next week, and we have tickets to five of them.  And then, there is this:

Puss.  Someone evidently dropped her off back here instead of taking her to a shelter, and the night I found her out in the woods howling for her momma it was supposed to be a hard freeze, so I got her set up in a little corner with a towel and some dog/duck food I had.  I improved her conditions considerably yesterday so she was VERY comfortable last night.  I will take her next week and get her shots, wormed and spayed.  She will have to be an outside cat because of the birds, but we have a very nice screened in porch for her recovery period, after which she should do quite well as a houseboat cat.  This in addition to the five strays I feed over at the house.

My point?  Why yes!  I have one.  I explained all this as an apology.  After my recent reticence about posting, I felt I should warn you in advance that although I am going to do my best to continue posting and replying to as many comments as possible, and will continue to keep up with all your blogs, something has got to give, and the only thing I can think of that I can ease up on that will save any time is commenting myself.  So.  Don't think I'm not reading you, or that I no longer love you many.  I am just trying to keep myself from being overwhelmed.  I am sure that I will be moved along the way here and there to comment, because we all know what a big mouth I am, but they will be fewer and farther between.  Know that I am still out here, and I appreciate each and every one of you, and will stick my foot back in it as soon as I am able. Until then?  PURA VIDA!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Takin' Care of Bidness

Gah.  My coffee is off.  I forgot to put the lid on the pot so it did not fully drip through, and it tastes weak and weird. 

I got the Innocent Bystander off yesterday with no major malfunctions.  Dar and I were going to go to the outlet mall, but between her bum knee and the subfreezing temperatures, we decided to hell with that idea.  We met at Starbucks/Barnes and Nobles for a cuppa and for me to pick out some Barcelona travel guides (don't need Amsterdam books-have a million of them, and already been there twice), then went on a wild goose chase trying to find some Euros to buy.  I had to go to three different banks before I was able to trade my green, uniform bills into a mismatched stack of multicolored funny money.  And I have a beef. Who the hell actually gets the going exchange rate?  What is the forking point of reporting that the Euro is at $1.28 if you can't get them for less than $1.37?  The $10 service fee isn't enough? *shakes head*

After we drove from one end of Gulfport to the other, I talked her into going into PetSmart as I wanted to look at birdie toys and such.  I got some high calcium egg food for Ahabella and while I was looking at toys, my eyes drifted down to the bottom shelf, where I saw nesting boxes.  (This is going to generate a pissed off phone call from the IB, but... ^shrug^)  The IB and I had discussed letting her keep her eggs and sit on them so that she will quit laying, because we are up to three eggs now, counting the one that I made him bury.  She is laying an egg every two days, and I don't want her to keep it up, because it really depletes her little body of calcium and makes her vulnerable to breaks and infections.  I met up with my friend Dinky the other night, and she said she will help hand feed any babies that may result from this little experiment and will take one (she had to get rid of her companion bird after Katrina as she lost her home), although we don't even know if the eggs are fertile.  After all, we thought Ahab was a boy-Moby may well be one too.  Only time will tell.  In any case, supposedly letting her keep her eggs and sitting on them will either result in a wee clutch of little half breeds, or her losing interest in sitting after three weeks or so, in which case all we are out is the seven bucks the box cost.  She seems happy.

Now I am off to pick up El Juevo from school.  I am taking him out to lunch (Chinese, natch) then we are going to 'do' a movie, which I've tasked him with picking (brave, eh?), and then we are home for a long weekend.  His birthday is Sunday, so I also have some planning to do for that-I may smell a trip to a casino coming on.  I'm certainly feeling LUCKY!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Farewell, My Love

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things:  Of shoes, and ships and sealing wax, Of cabbages and kings..."

It has been a wonderful hitch, but like all good things, it was bound to come to an end.  The Innocent Bystander leaves tomorrow to go back to Nigeria.  Normally, this would be a melancholy day for me, but for some reason I can't wipe this silly grin off my face.  Could be because I'm walking around bowlegged, or it could be the fact that the ying to my yang just booked me on a flight to meet him in Amsterdam when he gets off the boat next time.  And he used frequent flyer miles to upgrade me to first class.  And four and a half days after we get there, we will fly to Barcelona for four and a half days there before we fly home together.  And I got my base pay (gotta work it for bonuses *wink*) today.  Can it get mo' betterer?

Now I just have to hope my mom can birdie sit.  I'm off to grovel!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Final Day in Costa Rica

We left Jaco with Mario about ten and told him we just wanted a leisurely drive back to San Jose, and that we wanted to stop at the soda that we'd stopped at on our first day for lunch.  He started out with his MP3 player playing some really offensive rap crap that was in english.  I mean, this stuff was the epitome of why I hate most rap-fuck the bitches and stab the cops shit and n----- this and...well, you get the picture.  The Innocent Bystander was giving me some eye english that let me know in no uncertain terms that he was not going to be able to put up with that for two hours, and sure enough, after about the third song, he told Mario to pull over.  The IB got out his Iphone and pulled up a playlist of Latin American music and the gringos actually introduced the tico to some new (for him) artists.  After we got going again, he held up his MP3 player again and explained that he had borrowed it from his ten year old son.  *blink*

I asked him how many kids he had and he said ten.  Johnny and I both looked at him, eyebrows raised.  "DIEZ?" we both asked.  He nodded and repeated it.  Ten.  Then he looked at the IB sideways and said "No TV."  It took half a beat, and we all burst into laughter.  No TV.  What a card.

We stopped at the roadside soda at the top of the mountain and found that they had all the same souveniers that we'd bought in Jaco for about a third of the prices we'd paid.  We all decided to have a casada one last time (because we had big plans for dinner) and discovered that this little hole in the wall had the best food we'd eaten thus far!  The IB even finally got some queso frita (a fried white cheese) that he'd been hunting the whole time we'd been in Costa Rica.  After a wonderful meal, we proceded on to the hotel.

We stayed at the Hotel El Rodeo, a four-star, ecologically sustainable hotel ten minutes from the airport.  Mario took us in and helped us get checked in, then told the IB to hang on a minute, that he had a present for him.  He ran out to the taxi, and when he came back, he had his hand behind his back.  When he brought it to the front, I started crying, for there in his hand was Igor, his little iguana that rode everywhere he went in his taxi.  We insisted that Igor needed to stay with him, but he insisted that we take him, and that the IB take him to Nigeria and let him ride on the boat with him.  I sobbed like a baby.  We exchanged email addresses, and said that we would take him with us on all of our travels and send him pictures of everywhere Igor goes.  It was SO HARD to tell him goodbye.  I am tearing up just thinking about it.  Mario es mi amigo y amo a Igor.

The hotel was very nice.  It was a welcome change to be in an air conditioned room, so we both took our first shower that 'took' for the whole trip.  We went for a walk around the grounds and basically just took it easy for the rest of the afternoon. ^^groucho eyebrows^^  When we came up for air, it was time for dinner, which was the whole reason the IB had chosen this particular hotel.  The El Rodeo Steakhouse is supposedly "the best in the country for 27 years."  I believe them.  The IB had a SLAB O'Beef and I had a much smaller version (sorry Braja!  I'm a carnivore, what can I say?).  They were very, very good, but mine was so rich I had to go into the bathroom and *searches for a delicate way to put this* puke it all up.  I didn't feel sick though, so I returned to the table and finished my dinner with no problems.

The trip home was uneventful other than the last minute dash to catch our connecting flight in Houston.  By the time we got through customs and immigration, our flight was already loading before we even got to our terminal, so we ended up getting to be those people you always see being driven through the airport on one of those little annoying electric carts-we flagged one down and he was happy to give us a ride!  It is the only thing that kept us from missing the flight, but it was okay since we were in first class (thanks again, frequent flyer miles!).

Impressions.  We as US Americans take a lot of things for granted.  We assume that when we go to the bathroom, you put the toilet paper IN the toilet and flush it down, but it doesn't work that way all over the world.  Costa Rica's septic systems are so delicate that they have signs in all the restrooms advising you to please NOT FLUSH toilet paper down the toilet.  There are wastebaskets provided and you are supposed to deposit your used tissue there, which seems very unsanitary but is necessary to keep the pipes from clogging.  We also take for granted that when someone says American they are talking about US Americans.  One woman from the states who was on the safari cruise asked "How can they call them American crocodiles if they are here in Costa Rica?"  I wanted to get up and bitch slap her.  We also take our natural resources for granted.  I don't think we talked to any Costa Ricans who were not acutely aware of their environment and the impact both tourism and development are having on their country and its flora and fauna.  I heard from several different people how it 'used to be' so tranquil (and they say it so beautifully "trankeel"), but that you had to go deeper and deeper into the mountains to find that tranquility anymore.  Progress.  ^^shrug^^

All in all, a wonderful trip, a wonderful country, a wonderful people.  A new piece in the puzzle of my life.  New experiences, new friends.  Isn't that what it's all about?


Oops, She Did It Again