Friday, October 31, 2008

A Blackrock Halloween

Well, happy Halloween, little campers! Are you all ready with your costumes, your candy, your fun parties?

Yeah, we have none of that here at Blackrock. No costume for me, because I have no job and it would be pretty pointless (BUT FUNNY) for me to wander around here all day raking leaves and dumping compost in a French maid costume. No costume for A., because it's hard to take a lawyer dressed as Batman seriously. No candy, because no child is going to haul his ass a quarter mile up our dark driveway for a Blow Pop. And no fun parties, because . . . uh, because we're social rejects, I guess.

But that doesn't mean we aren't celebrating in our own special Blackrock way! And how will we celebrate, you ask? Like this:

Does this really need a caption to be funny?

Yes yes--shake your head at my lameness all you want, but you KNOW you just laughed out loud. I, of course, laughed until tears formed, because, as I have already demonstrated, I find great merriment in my poor dog's humiliation. In fact, I'm laughing right now. I choose to use my evil powers for purposes of entertainment.

Is this why we don't get invited to parties?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Order of Things

Way back about a month ago, I may have admitted that one reason I have this site is because I'm a youngest child and need attention. I was surprised at how many of you said you are also youngest children. And all of you said you need attention. What a bunch of prima donnas we all are.

So are youngest children drawn together somehow? Because our birth order contributes to all of us having similar personalities? Maybe. Although personally, I never got spoiled the way the baby is supposed to be. I was cheated out of my birthright by my parents, who refused to buy me a convertible for my sixteenth birthday. Or whatever spoiled children are supposed to get. I KNOW. It's a tragedy. ( Youngest children are also very dramatic.)

Birth order is kind of fascinating. I sort of go back on forth on its real impact on a person's attitudes and behavior, though. I think it does account for some personality traits. Or maybe accentuates what is already there. Or maybe it's just a load of crap.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Where Are We? Don't Ask Me

I have a flaw. I KNOW. And here you thought I was perfect, right? It is a small, relatively minor flaw. That causes me to never, ever know where I am in relation to anything else.

I am totally, completely, scarily without any sense of direction. And not "direction" in the life or career sense (but yes, that too), but "direction" in the sense that I cannot tell you where north is unless I have a compass. And someone else to read the compass for me.

I know this is not a particularly unique problem among females--something to do with the left-brain predominance or something science-y and smarty like that. All I know is that if you give me a choice to turn left or right to get to my destination, I will ALWAYS turn the wrong way.

Like on Sunday, when I dropped A. off at his boss's house so they could drive to the airport for a trip to D.C. They left as soon as I dropped him off. They turned right out of the driveway, and I turned left and started to re-trace my route to get out of this circuitous, inter-connected, really confusing neighborhood the guy lives in. I had my directions on a sheet of paper. I looked at them to make sure I could just make opposite turns to backtrack . . . and turned the wrong way at the very first street. AND THEN, while driving about aimlessly, trying to find my way out, I passed A. and his boss, going out of the neighborhood.

Well, hello, A.'s boss! Please meet A.'s completely moronic nitwit of a wife!

Road trips are always a tense affair in our car. A. always wants to drive. And he always wants me to navigate. Despite 6 years of conversations that go like this:

"Do you see where we are?"
"Hang on . . ."
"We just passed a sign for X. Do you see X on the map?"
"Wait a second . . ."
"You're not even on the right page!"
"I can't find it with you yelling at me!"
"JESUS CHRIST, GIVE ME THE MAP. Take the wheel. We're right here."

Ten minutes later, repeat. Because it was so fun the first time. We're either slow learners, or masochists.

I really, really wish I could read a map. I can't just blame those two X chromosomes, though, because my sister can. The MiL can. But my mother is just as bad as me. It's truly frightening to think that the two of us drove cross-country once using only the AAA Triptiks, and had we gotten off course from those directions even once, we probably would have ended up in Alaska.

It's not just me, though. Right? Some of you MUST have horror stories of driving in circles or seeing a sign and realizing you're 50 miles off course. RIGHT?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Time of My Life

There is a deep, dark void in my life. I feel bereft and incomplete, for I do not own a copy of "Dirty Dancing."

I KNOW. It's only like the best movie ever ("Nobody puts Baby in a corner."), and yet it is not in my collection. I am forced to check it out at the library, where I always seem to be checked out by the little 80-year-old lady who sees fit to comment on everything I check out, and yet is ominously silent when she picks up "Dirty Dancing."

It should also be noted that I blush very easily.

Besides the great draw of Patrick Swayze before he got kind of bloated and piggy looking, the real reason I LOVE this movie is the dancing. There is something so amazingly expressive about the way the dancing was incorporated into the movie. It's most noticeable in the big seduction scene, where Baby asks Johnny (incidentally, why are "bad boys" in movies always named Johnny?) to dance with her, which sort of segues seamlessly into the seduction part. It's so much more appealing and tasteful than watching the characters yanking shirts off and tripping over their pants. Maybe not as realistic, but certainly more appealing.

I still have the tape (yup, tape--not even the DVD) from the library, and I'm thinking today might be a good day to watch it yet again. But then I'll have to return it to the library, and I can't check it out again for a long time, because, come on, I have my pride. I need to check out something more serious and cerebral next time to make up for my frivolous choice last time. But if I owned the movie, I wouldn't have to pretend I'm really interested in "The March of the Penguins," and could instead give myself over to the great pleasure of watching Johnny beat up Robbie the Creep ("Get outta here--you're not worth it.") over and over again.

Mom? Are you listening? My birthday is coming up . . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Totally Inappropriate--Or Best Idea Ever?

I had a thought yesterday (yes, just one--harhar). We attended a baby shower for A.'s cousin (hi, C.!), who is With Child and due to give forth said child on December 3rd. She made a comment yesterday that she looks forward to being able to drink again after the kid's been brought forth to the light. I have heard many, many pregnant women express this at various points in their pregnancy.

But that wasn't my thought.

Later, as I was dragging our gift over to the chair where soon-to-be Mama Bear (and Papa Bear) was opening gifts, I found myself questioning the appropriateness of putting our baby gifts in a wine box (it was really, really hard to wrap, okay?). But then, I had my thought! DING!

It totally makes sense to include a bottle of wine or liquor for the parents when bringing a baby gift to a shower.

I mean, really. Assuming the parents drink anyway (and I'm not talking alcoholics here--relax), wouldn't it be great for them to have a nice bottle of wine (or whiskey) to have a toast after the baby arrives? I can't speak for the fathers, who can drink any old time they want anyway, but I think the soon-to-be unpregnant women would appreciate it.

So. Totally inappropriate, or the best idea ever? Feel free to weigh in. (Like you needed an invitation . . .)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Real Nutjob

So yesterday, out of those three rainy-day options (mud spa, mud wrestling, or sitting by the fire), I went with option D--picking up walnuts in a driving rain. There is an explanation for this attack of Crazy, though I'm not sure it's a very good one.

We have two huge black walnut trees right next to the house. Black walnuts, unlike the English walnuts you would typically buy in the store, exude a black (imagine that . . .) substance that will stain anything it touches upon contact. This substance is also toxic to most other plants. In addition, black walnuts are more bitter than English walnuts and stupidly difficult to crack without smashing the nut meats to slivers. This means that we don't bother trying to save them to eat, but we have to get rid of them, lest they totally destroy the lawns and flower beds. So every fall we commence the dreaded Walnut Gathering.

These two trees produce literally hundreds of pounds of walnuts. If not thousands. They litter the ground like little booby traps. You can't take a step without coming down on a round sphere that threatens to throw you off balance and send you crashing down into a bed of black stain. There's really no easy way to gather walnuts. They're heavy, so they can't be raked very easily. And even if you do manage to rake vigorously enough to gather a pile, then it's impossible to scoop them all up together. This leaves picking them up, one by one, by hand. Stoop labor at its finest. Or worstest.

Now. Black walnuts are actually something of a gourmet food item, and are very expensive to buy at the store. If you can find them at all. There are black walnut buying stations that will take a truckload of walnuts from any random person who gathers them and pay by the pound. A. was very excited to learn this. Not so excited when he found that the closest station to us is in southern Pennsylvania. It's not really worth the gas it would take to get there, but he wants to go anyway, just to see the machines and everything. And I've never been down there, so we thought maybe we'd take a road trip with a load of walnuts. The walnuts will at least (we hope) cover gas one way, and we get a mini-vacation out of it.

I suspect only true rednecks would consider a walnut-selling expedition a vacation.

But we have to gather the little bastards anyway, so why not just save them in old feed sacks? Why not indeed. So that's what we've been doing. A. has been very good about gathering them, but he can only do it weekends, because of that pesky little JOB he has. And the buying station is only open until November 10th. Which is how we came to be gathering walnuts yesterday, despite the fact that it was pouring. Like, dripping off the end of my nose. Like, it looked like I just got out of the shower. Like, REALLY NOT APPROPRIATE WEATHER TO BE WORKING OUTDOORS.

However. When it started raining really hard, we only had a couple of empty sacks left. And A. suffers from this same issue I have of not leaving jobs half-done. And then we kept discovering sacks that could hold just a little more.

Two hours later, we ended up with this:

The nuts . . . and the nut. HAHAHAHA!!!

Now you KNOW how many walnuts that is. That is a shitload of walnuts. We hope in this case, a shitload is enough to make gas money. We should be going on A. and K.'s Excellent Walnut Adventure next weekend. Stay tuned . . .