Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Because really, a t-shirt is pretty awesome.

On this morning's commute we had the radio on for a traffic notice and when it was done, we switched to a local radio station.  Note that we normally opt to play MP3s on our drive, since we hate commercials.  

Note also that we're both really tired today.  Which isn't so different from other days, really.

This conversation starts as an ad finishes for Lasik, where the woman radio person thanks the man radio person for the gift of 20/20 vision.  Several years ago I facilitated Mr. Eggshells' own laser eye surgery and he routinely thanks me for making it happen.  

Me:  And you're welcome for the gift of 20/20 vision.  Actually you're welcome for the gift of me in your life.  Because I'm just that awesome.

Mr. Eggshells:  You got me a t-shirt once.  I liked that.

He wins, again, the bastard.  I'm still laughing.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Proof We're Not Morning People

This is an actual conversation between my husband myself this morning.

Me:  What are you doing?

Him:  Putting on my pants.

Me:  *stares at him, confused*  Then "Oh, putting on your pants!"

Him:  *stares at me, confused*  What?

Me:  Well in my head, I asked you "Which is what song are you whistling?  Putting on your pants was a little confusing."

Him:  *laughing*  It was September Morn.

Me:  It should have been Forever in Blue Jeans.

(Which makes sense if you know Neil Diamond's music.  Or me and my husband.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Who's Gonna Save Me? Or the post with the potential-plethora of parentheses problem

I have no reason for the post title except that I was listening to Midnight Oil while trying to figure it out.  I guess it could be a valid question though, thinking about it.  I wonder what all I need saving from these days.

Ooh, sounds like a list!

1. Political ads.  This should be self-explanatory.
2. "Fun size" chocolate bars.
3. Writer's Block.  
4. *mumbles something*
5. Cats that got left alone for 1.5 days and ohmygodthedrama.
6. Myself.  

That's probably about it.  At least that's as much as I can trick out of my brain.

As I'm writing this, Hurricane Sandy is opening a can of whoop-ass on the denizens of the US's East Coast, and I just want to let my friends there know that I'm thinking of you and crossing my fingers and toes for y'all to be safe.  Of course this is only gonna be read by people who still have power.  The rest of you are likely ignoring this blog anyway, with the lame excuse that you have no power.  Hmph.

Of course, being from the rainy Lower Mainland of BC (which translates from its native Canadian to a rough "Pacific Northwest" in US English - which is actually an oxymoron, because it doesn't sound anything like English at all - and I have too much punctuation in here now so I'm confused and have no way to gracefully remove myself at this point so I'm going to pretend that this is completely planned and you can't say it's not, well you could, but I don't have to agree and I can delete your comments anyway so NYAH!), I have webbed feet so I don't get my tail feathers in a knot over rainy weather. But I will concede that the wind is worrying.  

(By the way, I know that last paragraph was a mess, but I'm calling it a creative foray so shut up.  Writer's privilege.)

It's been proposed that Sandy and the weekend's 7+ point earthquake off BC's coast are a direct result of my actions.  Honestly I have not found evidence to refute that proposal; to the contrary all indicators point to my involvement.  

I went camping this past weekend.  Apparently the balance of nature was completely tossed and Ms. Nature is having fits at my daring to leave my natural habitat.  I'd tell her off but she gets really nasty.  Plus, I live closer to Mt. St. Helens than I did growing up and I know she's gonna use that one on me one day.  The old adage of "never piss off an active volcano or its momma" still stands today.  If only the Brady kids had figured that out when they went to Hawaii, Greg wouldn't have died in that surfing accident.  Or something.

Actually the news that I went camping isn't such a big deal.  The news that I survived camping is.  Of course, I went with two grown up boy scouts (that sounds very wrong), a very savvy chica, and a two year old that has numerous survival skills superior to mine (seriously, that is not a joke).  I did manage not to cut off a limb (no one let me have anything sharp), burn myself (didn't get to throw myself in the fire for warmth), or drown (they made me walk around the puddle between the cabin and the indoor washrooms).

Yes, cabin and indoor washrooms.  There was even a heater in the cabin.  Because my type of camping rules.

I jest a very little though, I was a Brownie, and a Girl Guide - *ponders if I need to explain this to the non-Canadians and decides, no, that Google is your friend so do your own damn research people!* - and have camped in all seasons and all kinds of weather.  Here's the thing though...on the first multi-day camping trip, I was handed a jack knife** and proceeded to "whittle", ultimately producing a lovely scar on my left index finger.  (Seriously, what numb nuts hands a jack knife to an accident-prone 8 year old?  I'm lucky it was just a flesh wound.  I could have been killed!)

**Brief segue - years later, like maybe last year, I finally put together a "jack-knifed semi" that was named as such because it looked like a jack knife partially distended.  Who knew???  Not me, that's for sure!  Mr. Eggshells laughed at me, but really, flashes of brilliance can happen anywhere.

Anyway, I camped as a child when I didn't have to do all the work, left the outdoor survivalist groups when they conflicted with my regular viewing of "The Greatest American Hero" (I know...I wish it was for something way more poetic, like "The A Team" but that wasn't on the air yet), and as an adult I camped with people who offered to teach me the ropes/fill in the gaps (which largely consisted of me being the water fetching and dishes girl).  Needless to say (which is really a dumb phrase, because it's obvious I'm going to say it), I didn't learn much about putting up a tent (most pointedly does not say pitching a tent because I have learned that well), securing tarps and the like.  

Essentially, I didn't learn much about that this time either, but it was a good trial run for the next camping trip.  Since Mr. Eggshells and I had never been camping together, despite our many years of marriage and the almost yearly conversation of "we should go camping", cabining was a relatively easy dynamic to start with.  By the time we work our way up to tenting, I might have convinced him to let me play with matches.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Holy Crap, it's still September!

Okay, just barely, but it still counts!

I would still be counting, but once I'm done with my fingers and toes, that's it, that's all you're getting out of me.  It's been a really busy Summer, with a really busy intro-to-Autumn chaser; despite my belief that we were winding down, it looks like we're still on the Summer pace.  Looking at my schedule through the end of November, if I'm still alive at Christmas, it will be proof there -is- a Santa Claus.

Because of said busy-ness (which is not spelled 'business' but that does explain a lot about why my job is beating me to a pulp of late), I have not been able to put two concrete thoughts together.  Oh who am I kidding, I haven't been able to put together two jello thoughts.  Or jello shots.  Which actually might have helped.

So without further ado, I will attempt to summarize my life since the last time I shared here:  Random Thoughts for the Month of September


I'm a big believer in setting much so that I set goals for myself daily.  True, some days the bar is set very low - "get out of bed" - but for the most part it's a daily thing.  Relatively recently I have discovered a couple of things about the goals I set myself.

One, is something I read that intrigues me.  The article was talking (in a deep chocolate male baritone no less) about how it's possible that goals aren't met because when the goal-setter shares the information or intent of the goal, that's enough to satisfy the 'goal-fulfillment'.  Essentially the action of telling someone that you have a goal provides a feeling of completion so the drive to achieve the goal itself is minimized.

I find this really interesting because, as I mentioned earlier in this blog, I had set a goal for myself to write daily starting on September 1st.  My achievement of this goal is abysmal, but I've learned it's not my fault.  It's because I told you all about it that I failed, not because I'm a lazy slacker.  Absolution!  

Two, is that goals need to be achievable.  I have a really cute tendency to overload myself with way too much and then stress myself out.  Actually all my tendencies are cute.  It's just my way.

But I digress.  I've been trying something new...pacing myself.  It's definitely a learned activity but I'm practicing well.  I'm also counting everything I do toward my day's activities (hence the goals of getting out of bed, getting dressed, etc.).  In fact, pretty much any moment I'm lucid and upright, I'm giving myself points.

All my points go into sexiness.  

Critical Reading

I've re-started reading a series I enjoyed back in the 90's.  What it is isn't important (FBI type thriller), but what I'm noticing is that I'm not simply reading to enjoy it.  It's been long enough that they story lines are "new" again, but I'm reading them with analysis.  What makes the characters tick, why do they appeal to me?  How does the author use pacing, and tension?  It's kind of odd because I've always been able to lose myself in a story and now I'm thinking through it.  It's not bad...actually it's kind of neat to be able to enjoy it on two levels.  It's just weird.


I swear to goddess it's multiplying overnight.  Where does it all come from?  I clean up everything I can see, shred, recycle, file.  Within hours it's accumulated again.  I'd think it was Mr. Eggshells but I've had him tied to a chair for the last week, just to make sure, and it still multiplied while he was unable to contribute.  

Thinking about it though, I didn't check the cats.  I'll just bet he convinced them to work for him on this.  Bastards!

Video Games

It's still one of my greatest joys in life to watch my husband do what he calls "driving" in video games. 

Intelligence and Learning

Despite being a fairly intelligent person as well as a quick study, I have determined that I have some extremely interesting gaps in my knowledge base.  For example, a joke that Mr. Eggshells told me last night went right over my head because I didn't know the term 'lead' in reference to aiming and firing a gun.  I.e. you aim to where the moving target is going to be, not where they are.  There was math and probably science but I tuned that part out.  So now whenever he kills some bad guy in the video game, I exclaim "Yay, you shot him in the lead!"  He just looks at me and smiles.

Getting a Rock is a Good Thing

I'm still fuzzy on how the conversation turned the way it did...but with the advent of Fall, Mr. and I have resurrected the phrase "I got a rock.", uttered by the beleaguered Charlie Brown in the Peanuts Hallowe'en special.  (No, I'm not explaining it, you should know it.  Do your part!)

We had finished grocery shopping and that phrase came up again.  Only somehow it turned out that the "rock" was frozen urine (seriously, it made total sense at the time and I wasn't even drunk!).  And that the frozen urine was only Mr's.  I said that it bothered me that I wasn't sure if I should be upset or not that he wasn't collecting my urine as well to freeze and hand out on Halllowe'en.  

It was about that point that we decided we'd go out that night instead of handing out anything to trick or treaters.  Because we're obviously confused.

We did agree, though, that if we were trick or treating and got a rock over frozen urine, we'd be happy.  


Okay I'm tired and I need to go to bed because, as you probably deduced, the subject quality of this post tanked around the 3rd line.  From the top. 

Hopefully will be back sooner than the end of October.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Holy Crap, it's September Already!

Hi!  Remember me?  Yes, I'm still here.  I hope you're still here too...otherwise I'm talking to myself.  It wouldn't be the first time, nor, daresay, the last.

Now that the season of activity is winding down and our social life down to its usual simmer over the rapid boil that was our summer, I'm getting back into "projects".    These are everything from house stuff (did you know that it never ends?  I mean seriously), crafts, reading, and of course, writing!  While it's not all blog related, there should be a good increase of that from the current dry-as-dust riverbed with its teeny trickle.  

The goal I started on September 1st was to write daily.  This is in preparation for the NaNoWriMo event that kicks off November 1st.  Unlike last year, this year I plan to be prepared when I start, and hope to even attend some of the local 'write-ins'.  

Of course, I missed September 2nd, but it wasn't my fault.  I had to watch Slither again.  (Hey, there's only so many hours in a day!)  Plus, don't look at me like that, I'm a grown up - at least chronologically.

Okay, now life stuff.  Just what have I been doing when I wasn't here?

  • Kicking ass in Munchkin.  Not always winning but doing much better with the game in and of itself.  Of course, it helps that one of the rules encourages cheating (a tasty paradox).  Being the good girl I am (shut up!), I tend to play fair unless I'm allowed to play dirty.   This sets me up in the perfect scenario because I'm told to be bad.  Oh, it feels soooo good.  ;)
    (By the way if you don't know about Munchkin or haven't played, you are a loser!  Okay not really, but honestly, super fun stuff there!)
  • Job!  OMG so much volume, and lots that I'm still learning.  Apparently from all sources I'm kicking ass there too.  Come to think of it, if anyone wants their ass kicked, apparently I'm your gal.  Step right up!  I think I still have my Dad's old steel-toed boots around here somewhere.
  • Being social.  Or should I say Social.  Because it is a fairly auspicious event when a cave troll manages as much time outside the cave as I have, so I think it deserves to be capitalized.  Especially since I can't take my happy little Xanax pills right now, so I've been going straight.  (The horror, the horror.)  Let's not ask Mr. Eggshells how many breakdowns before and after each event I've'll be our little secret.
  • Traveled!  Starting with a trip to Eastern Washington for a wedding, and most recently a whirl-wind trip to Seattle, we've been uncustomary in our "out of the house" time.
  • House 'stuff'.  Continuing work on the bathtub install/bathroom renovation.  This is the last major thing to be done before a few minor ones and then we can list it.  Because commuting an hour plus each way for work bites.  And not in a good way.  Starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel...
  • Grieving.  One of my dearest friends has had devastating loss in a brief period of time.  Considering my history with loss, this situation has brought to me some things I've needed to cope through.  I've valued it, though, because it's helped me be in the right mental place to help her through where I can.  Which has been very important to me, and I hope, of help to her.
  • Writing!  I have been writing, just not here, and never as much as I'd like.  You know, if anyone wanted to adopt me so I could just write all day, every day, I'd be okay with that.  Let me know.

    Anyway, I have a few different writing projects on the go, and am enjoying them.  So at the very least there's that.  My hope is to actually finish one or two even.  

But now I may need a nap.  This was a lot of thinking for a holiday Monday.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wildlife and Other Such Calamities

As evidenced by this earlier post that you really should have read already, I am most decidedly a city girl.  Well even a suburban girl would work as a descriptor.  What I am not is a rural girl.  The upshot of this is that it makes for some really good anecdotes and aren't you all so lucky that I'm sharing.  (Fully expects you all to be nodding at this to sleep perhaps but in my world you're just agreeing with me.  ;)  )

We recently made our way to Eastern Washington to attend the wedding of one of our beautiful nieces and spend some quality family/friend time.  Deciding it suited our scheduling needs, we stayed in Spokane and traveled the hour or so to where family was.  As such, we spent a lot of time going up and down that highway number I can remember when I'm there but can't remember when I'm not.   Yes, that one.

I don't do a lot of the driving around that area; Mr. Eggshells schooled, worked, lived there most of his life so he's much more familiar with the streets and such.  Actually, if I drive our truck too long he's in real jeopardy of my declaring it to be "my" truck, and he likes it too much to risk that.  Plus, a lot of the driving is in decidedly rural areas, which, as I've already established, is not my ideal match.

I will now confess that I'm afraid of cows.  I take a lot of crap for this fear, being assured by rural people that they are harmless.  Bull!  (See what I did there? *flex*)  I believe this to be a reasonable fear; they are, actually, several hundred pounds bigger than I am, and I'm sure they know I've drank their milk and eaten their cousin.  I'm fairly certain they are currently plotting a coup, but sadly, I cannot find enough proof to back my claim.  I saw something similar with chickens in a movie once (and holy crap, that movie came out 12 years ago?  WTH?), and it was totally true. 

Needless to say, from the farming on the hill slopes to the variety of wild animal life there is to be had in that region, it is a fairly good understatement to say I'm out of my element.

It happened on the off-ramp of that one highway to get onto the other highway where, as Mr. Eggshells was navigating the abrupt curve (seriously there's acres of land, no curves need to be abrupt...these people went to planning school at the same place as the guy in our town who designed the northbound access on the I-5 - a neat little some kind of math/circle degree curve that's really awkward).  Where was I?  Oh yeah, the curve and it was there that I saw the stuffed animal.

We'd just gotten past it when I commented to hubby that someone had put a dead stuffed animal on the off-ramp concrete barrier.  He gave me a look and asked me to clarify what I meant.  I told him that I'd seen this upright animal on the guardrail, and that someone must've put it there as a joke.

It was about this point that I got the other look, the one that's half-amused and half-incredulous with just a smidgen of "facepalm, let me educate you", and he informs me that it was likely a real animal...based on my description, a marmot.  

Okay so I've heard of marmots, at least.  Apparently they're fairly prevalent in that area, and I was forced to believe him when he pointed another one out in the same location the next day....that moved.  

I still think the first one was a college prank.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Minutiae...or this post is being written on the fly

The interwebs had me confused at the blog title.  I'm trying to do a post that captures the last few days/weeks since I last wrote (because really, time has no meaning at the could be Tuesday, or May, or 7).

I spelled minutiae as I did above.  And then thought that maybe I was adding an inappropriate silent "e".  And we all know I would never be inappropriate.  So I looked it up.

Of the Google results that ensued, it became clear that no one out there really knew either.  One source had minutiae as the various parts that make up fingerprints, and minutia as the correct spelling.  Other sources used them interchangeably.  

You're getting the silent "e" spelling because, well, it looks way more fancy.  And I'm all about the fancy...I'm writing this while wearing a tiara and heels.  Plus, with that many options and my resulting need to explain to you, we're now four paragraphs in on minutiae/minutia and I haven't even gotten to the stuff I'd planned!

Planned you say?  Lists you say?  Yes!  I made lists.  As I've mentioned before, I often come up with ideas for blog posts at inconvenient-to-write-them times.  Like 3 am.  Or when I'm driving.  Or basically anytime that I'm not near a computer.  Or paper.  Etc.

I have a composition book.  Which, by the way, seem to be everywhere here in the US but I can't recall them being any kind of anything in Canada.  Being the connoisseur* of stationery products that I am, I have embraced it wholehandedly.  

*ZOMG I actually pulled the correct spelling of that word out of my head first try!

Actually I have several composition books, littered around my universe.  And I've been furiously jotting down notes in them all.  Tonight, as I sit down to share my unique take on the world with y'all, I grabbed the one from my bed side, confident that I'd find something in there that would engage, amuse, and delight my audience (all four of you are still out there, right?).

Here's what I found.

Page 1:  A list of the items that can be made using tiki mojo in Island Paradise, a game now defunct on Facebook.  

Page 2:  Blog ideas.  Yay!  Um, okay of the 10 on the page, 5 are from last week, so I still understand what they are.  The other 5 items I can't even read.  Of the 5 I can read, 4 are minor rants that won't even take a paragraph.  Fail.  I am amused that one of the newer ideas is about writing longhand...since apparently I can't even read jotted notes, I'm thinking this is not one of my better ideas.

Page 3:  Ah yes, one of the many pages dedicated to trying to wrap my head around the novel characters, pre-storyboard.  Which I've bought but haven't actually used yet.

Page 4:  More novel character/storyline.  I can read it, but I have no idea what it means.  Or if I did write it, or should write it.  Hmmm.  (At which point I realize that I'm slacking on that, especially if I'm going to get geared up for the November writeathon.)

Page 5:  A list of things I need to do around the house.  Including such fascinations as ironing, laundry, and organizing my beads.  I've had clean undies so at least the laundry got done.

Page 6:  Blog ideas.  This time I can read them all and may even be able to write something on it.  I am amused that I actually wrote "bitches!" as part of the note on one of them.  

The rest of the book is blank.  Now I'm pondering how many other notebooks of this stunning quality I have out there.


Ignoring the epic fail of blog ideas from the comp book, I will now give you the best "facepalm" moment from last week...and there were many.

We were at the dealership with our truck (this is apparently the summer of "check engine" lights) when an older lady drove her car into the bay beside where we were checking in.  And asked if she could have the airbags disabled.  Naturally, the service people declined as disabling safety devices is not usually in their best interests liability-wise, plus they might feel bad if they did that and someone died.  The woman was very upset, because, you see, her husband was going to be having open heart surgery and if the airbag went off it could be very damaging to his healing wound.  

I later asked Mr. Eggshells if the service people had suggested her husband sit in the back seat while convalescing.  He looked at me, amused that I'd missed that part of the conversation.  He was going to be the one DRIVING.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Girl Named Frank...

Before I head into today's blog post, you will undoubtedly be pleased to hear that I have cleaned out my vegetable drawer (erm the day after the last post actually...and where did June go???), and moved the basil plant outside.  So those of you that were going to form a posse to come lynch me over this can just stop it right now!

Oh, wait, that was a posse to come lunch me.  I actually am up for that.  

Today I'm going to tell you the story of how I ended up being called Frank during my junior year of high school. But first I have to explain to my US readers that  Grade 8 is the same as 8th Grade.  It seems to be confusing so I thought I'd throw that out there.  Also in deference to the confusion that is wrought over said use of Grade either before or after the numeric modifier, I actually spent a good deal of time trying to figure out that Grade 11 (11th Grade) is Junior year.  Because my "high school" was Grades 8 through 12 (8th through 12th Grade) so those freshman etc. labels didn't work so well so I never learned them.  You're welcome.

Next time I'm adding French to the translation above.  I think it might make it clearer.

In said high school, the first three years (yo, bitches, I'm a writer! I can work around the whole 'grade' debacle!) had remedial, regular, and challenge classes based on, well whatever they base that stuff on.  In the latter two years, the classes diverged into two groups, people planning to move on to University levels and those more geared toward trades, or technical schools.  I had been in the challenge classes for the most part, with more or less the same group of people.  Then in junior year, the classes/students all changed.  

To an introvert like myself, such a drastic change is stressful.  (That sentence by the way is a massive understatement, and we won't go into just how hard the first weeks were for me to manage so many new people.  Plus, teenager!  Angst!)  I also really didn't like the spotlight or the attention on me in any way.  

For those of you that only know me online, I also have a stubborn streak.  People that know me in real life generally have that part figured out.  :P

Throughout my school years, at the beginning of each new class, the teacher would always ask me what name I went by.  See, my Mom had put both my first and middle names on the registration so teachers would always ask if I went by Pamela or Dianne.   I've gone through a spate of variations on those, but I've noticed people tend to start with Pamela, then shift to Pam or Pammie depending on relationship.  Throughout high school my nickname was Pammie Di.

It was English 11 where the teacher, who also doubled as a drama teacher and general asshat (colored in no small part by the story I'm telling) was taking roll call the first day and asked me the question.  Only he threw me for a loop when he asked if I went by Pamela or Pam.  So I responded with "Both."  Because it was true.  

That answer was not well-received.  "What is your preference?"  My response was "I don't have one."

I'm not sure where his head was at in this, as an adult I'd love to know what was prompting the arrogance that followed, but I was really happy that my stubborn nature completely stomped on the introvert during the following conversation.

"You have to have a preference."

"No, actually I don't.  It's my name.  Either can be used and I'll answer."

"But there must be one you prefer."

"No, there isn't."

"What do you want us to call you?"

"Either of those are fine."

"You have to have a preference."  

By now this exchange had been going on in circles for several minutes, and if I'd given it any thought I'd have likely been mortified at the attention.  As it was, he was mostly just pissing me off by not allowing my perfectly reasonable answer.

It was about at that point that the guy beside me I didn't know, obviously done with it all, called out loudly, "Fine, we'll call you Frank."  I laughed and told him that was fine as well.  Fortunately it was enough to get the teacher to back off and move on to the next person.  (Fortunate for him, because when stubborn mode is on, I can outlast anyone.  ;)  )

I don't remember what the teacher ended up calling me that year.  But I do know that I got called Frank by pretty much everyone in that class, in the classroom and out.  It was to the point where I'd be in the mall and someone would call out Frank and I'd turn to look and respond if it was me.   

Oddly enough, that one incident became a huge learning experience for me in terms of meeting new people openly and without fear.  And the guy who named me became a really good friend through my last years there, and a lot of fun to boot.  

Now when anyone asks me what I'd like to be called, it's easy to answer too.  "No preference, you'll figure it out."

Monday, June 4, 2012

I've been missing you...

Did y'all miss me?  I'm pretty sure you must have because I've been missing myself and if it's gotten to the point where I miss myself, well you know it's bad.  I didn't even know I was missing.  Or that my aim was that crappy.

The reason I haven't been around is largely work-based but I'm also wrapped up in other writing projects at the moment so haven't been giving my blog the time and attention it deserves.  As evidenced by the fact that I completely missed the month of May.  Bad blogger!  Bad!  No cookie!

The other problem I'm finding is that I get these great ideas for blog posts at 2 am, and they're so clear that I'm sure that I'll remember them in the morning, and then, well, I don't.  I'm going to put that down to the lack of sleep in the wee hours of the morning and not the fact that every single day of my life I'm aging and the brain cells that I have accumulated appear to be undergoing spontaneous combustion. a result, this morning I decided to jot as much as I could down from the wee hours mental rambles.  And now for your viewing pleasure...

1.  I need to clean out the vegetable drawer.  Seriously, this is the stuff that keeps me awake at night.   KEEPS.ME.AWAKE.AT.NIGHT.  And I can now hear you all asking, well, why don't I just clean it out and be done with it?  Because I keep forgetting it needs to be done when it's daytime.  Or when it's evening.  Or when I'm at home.

Apparently lower brain owns this and higher brain could care less.  Frankly I suspect that higher brain should just stab lower brain, but lower brain has some automated mechanism to stop that.  No wonder I'm awake, with those two fighting all the time.  And I doubt yelling "Settle down you two, don't make me come in there!" will really work. They know I'm squeamish about blood.  And brains too.  Bastards know way too much about me.

2.  I bought a basil plant that needs to be planted somewhere but I'm feeling so lazy about it, I'm considering just making (more) pesto and being done with it.  Of course, I still have the pesto from the last time I made it (the great food processor debacle of 2012), so that's kind of a lame decision.  No, I'll just have to wait until the plant dies suck it up and deal with it .


Okay I'm back.  It's really not my fault, I was paged to Facebook to attend a thread about my boobs.  And not one that I started either.  *ponders if my boobs need their own page*


3.  That part above about no cookie is a total lie.  I have a cookie on my desk right now.  SUCKERS!

4.  I forgot the rest of my list.  

5.  Oh yeah, I made a note on my phone (technology, bitches!).   A shampoo bottle rant!  Why oh why do the manufacturers insist on making the same shaped bottles but with openings on opposite ends of the bottle for shampoo versus conditioner.  Seriously, it's hard enough finding my hair first thing in the morning never mind trying to figure out how to open them.  

And how the heck am I supposed to tip whichever one upside down to get the last dregs when the top of the bottle is slanted.  Now I need to make my husband McGyver something to get the bottle to stay up so I can get my full money's worth of this stuff.

It may look pretty but did we do any sort of a usability test in the real world? No?  Thought not.  That's the last time I believe one of those commercials with all the scientists standing around in lab coats telling me how awesome their stuff is.  I'm no scientist and I can figure it out.  Hmph.

6.  #5 is a first world problem.  It might even only be a my world problem.

7.  I make way too many lists.

I have another idea for the next blog post so stay tuned.  Don't fall asleep.  And don't wake me if I do.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sunday Bloody Sunday, or My New $1000 Food Processor

I couldn't decide on a title.  So you get two.  Just because I have an abundance of love for you all.  (Or I'm just wordy.)

And as thought-provoking as the first title is, this post is not about U2's international hit or the political machinations and the horrific death toll that inspired it all those long years ago in Ireland.  (And if I've already lost you, that's okay...I'm totally asleep right now so you're just lucky I'm blogging this at all.  LUCKY!)

But then, you might have already guessed that from the second title.

Okay what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, the day I almost got kicked out of a restaurant.  Because of Mr. Eggshells.  Who won't admit it was his fault, even though it totally was.  And then to prove it I had to cut my finger off.  Well not off, but a lot.  Well not a lot, but some.  It HURT, darn it!

It all started with breakfast.  We went out to the local diner to get a good portion of breakfast-y with a normal sane breakfast omelette and Mr. with some totally disgusting raw hunk of meat and fried eggs.  *shudder*  We've stayed married this long by a) his only having that kind of meal at restaurants and b) my staring adoringly into his eyes so I don't catch sight of that food at any point during its consumption.

Anyhow, there we were at breakfast and, after having eaten, were finishing our drinks.  The empty plates were toward the edge of the table, and the waitress came by and double-checked with me before picking up my plate, completely ignoring Mr's absolutely empty plate.

A little disconcerted, Mr. moved the plate closer to the edge of the table.  Another waitress came by and took my now-empty toast plate from the table, completely ignoring his plate again.  As she left, the look on his face was priceless, and so like any good wife, I laughed at with him.  He held up his hand to make sure he wasn't invisible, and then told me what was going on.

"They've been to my website:  Keep your hands off my plate, bitch."

My giggling was getting harder at that, since between that and the face he was making, it was so so funny.  And then he sealed it, by saying after the perfect amount of pause for effect:

"dot com"

I LOST IT.   Completely.  I was laughing so hard I was crying, drawing the attention of pretty much everyone in the busy place.  Mr. was looking more and more like he wanted to bolt and leave me to my solo embarrassment.   This went on for several minutes until I got myself under control. 

And just as I did, it was at that moment that our waitress came by and without even stopping or commenting, picked up his plate.

I looked at Mr. and he looked at me.

"She's not online."

I lost it AGAIN, and Mr. got up to pay the bill.    


So later that day, we were doing the usual Sunday home stuff and my old friend, "accident" decided to pay us a visit.  It was while I was happily and FINALLY getting to play with my post-Christmas food processor.  I'd made pesto and shredded some zucchini while Mr. was prepping the Thai peanut chicken that would be our lunches for the week.

It was while I was washing the dishes that the wonderful blade that sliced through the pine nuts so beautifully, leaped out of the sink and attacked my right pinkie (apparently spellchecker doesn't believe that pinky is correct...I swear I'ma fire her soon).   

I would have liked to report that this sort of event was so far removed from my life, and that this was the first time I'd had such an accident, but I can't.  See, I can't even be original about these things any more, since about 15 years ago I sliced the EXACT SAME finger open with a food processor blade.  (And no, before you ask, it was not on purpose either time...despite how much fun it is in the Emergency room here in this very scary town, it's not my favorite way to spend the evening.)

After the initial home triage and determining that yes, it would need stitching, we made our way to the hospital...3 minutes away from home, not an accident...I married a Boy Scout/Marine who is awesome at preparedness. (I re-wrote that sentence like 15 times because no matter how I put it, it sounded like I was declaring myself a bigamist.  Which I might be, you don't really know now do you?  By the way, do multiple personalities count toward that?  Cuz we could be very well past bigamy between Mr.'s and my personalities...).

Okay where was I?  Oh yes, bleeding to death in the meth capital of the county on a Sunday evening in the only hospital.    I do have to segue seems that every single time I end up in the Emergency room (which, with my usual level of accident-prone-ness is surprisingly seldom), I get asked if I have a head injury.  Now, that would make sense if I in any way looked like I did, but it's usually after I start answering questions in Triage.  Something about the way I act, joking and friendly, makes people think I have a brain injury.  There's probably a lesson to be learned from that, and it's probably time one of you did.  Because I really have no idea.

I was finally brought back to treatment and was dealt with well...they seemed to understand my personal brand of humor.  Although the doctor did scoff when I had less than half the anticipated stitches but in my defense I couldn't count because I was bleeding out of one of my counters.

I did learn a new rule.  When you have to go to the hospital, you get whatever you want for dinner.  I'm not sure this was a good lesson for me to learn, because it seems a little drastic just to get a milkshake.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

I Wrote Something!

SQUEE!  My lovely Facebook friend is hosting some of my writing on her blog.  Check it out at Martha's Digital Creations.   :)

Martha has some really cool crafty stuff there as well...check the rest of her site out!  

(Okay so announcing I wrote something is kinda dumb, but it's first thing in the morning and I'm not stellar yet.  Except for my ability to sit upright on a balance ball chair...which is pretty amazing since I can barely keep my balance on level ground...)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two Things

Thing 1

I have about 17,987 (approx.) blog posts I've been working on, but they've all been while I'm doing everything else in the world.   They're all in my head.  At some point I may get them down onto paper (um, how archaic), erm typed into my spiffy word processor and then you will benefit from them.  Truly you will.  Even if it's only to think "Wow, I'm way so much less f*ed up than her."  Assuming you swear.  If you don't you might use a different word.

Thing 2

I just had to call two different customer service departments to find out where my supposedly-delivered package may have gone.  Since it wasn't actually delivered as far as we can see.  I was not upset in any way shape or form, mostly just following the process I thought I needed to in order to get a resolution.  I know that customer service people are trained to speak in a non-confrontational manner, including apologizing for inconvenience, etc.

My experience with both reps was good...but throughout the whole thing - with both of them, mind you - I got the impression that they were trying to make sure they weren't going to become my verbal punching bag.  Since I wasn't even starting to sound upset, I'm guessing that it's a knee jerk reaction because they do get those types.

Which makes me mad.  I mean, stuff happens.  It really does.  I just don't get why anyone would feel the need to freak out at some person on the other end of the phone because something didn't go their way.  Most reputable companies have a resolution process...and their c.s. people get paid to help you through that...not to take shit-storms of abuse because you didn't get your *insert random item*.    

I'm not perfect by any means (as anyone who has been near me at work can attest, and I can't even completely blame it on PMS or anything either, darnit), but I try to make sure that I'm not crapping all over other people even when I'm not happy about something.   

Perspective is a good thing.

So is karma. 

(And okay, Thing 2 was a bit of a soapbox rant, but I can admit it.  Plus, my blog!  Ha!)

Thing 3

Ha!  Fooled you.  Thought of another thing.  If I continue to eat Quiznos Honey Bourbon Chicken and subsequently each time spill some sauce on my shirt, which incidentally, stains and does not come out, I think I will need to go shopping.  Maybe the weekend my husband is in an all day Saturday conference for Toast Masters (which in my head I pronounced as Teletubbies).  And now I'm laughing out loud, and not able to proofread this. 

Thing 4

There's really not a Thing 4, it's just acknowledgement that I can't count.  Which is not news at all, to anyone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Short and Sweet

Tonight, after fighting with my newly re-OS'd computer and getting printers up and running because all I wanted to do was print some coupons, the following conversation ensued:

Me:  What was the thing that had the cloud that had the 2 free things?

Mister:  Drop box?

Me: Yup that's it.

The moral:  My husband speaks tired me.  Which is a really really good thing.  :)

Cookie and the Coloring Book

Before I post about this, I need to confide in y'all that I miss the "u" that Canadian words have.  It makes them seem fuller or more balanced or something.  I no longer type them in by accident anymore but I still think it looks strange to type "color" instead of "colour".  I also think it's fairly heinous of Microsoft to make me choose one spell check language.  But that's a rant for another day.

Now onto the show.  Erm, story.

A few days ago one of my Facebook friends posted a NSFW link to a coloring book. Since I was at work, and despite the fact that we have relatively little issue around such things, I decided not to click it.  (Okay the real reason was that I was actually super-busy at work.  I know, right?  What's up with that??)

I did, however, feel the need to send it on to my work partner-in-crime.  You remember her from this post (and if you haven't read it, then you're behind and a bad reader.  No cookie for you.  Heh, get it?  Because it's FUNNY!).

I prefaced the link with the fact that it was not for children's viewing without some discussion and that she should make sure her impressionable youngsters did not get a full view without some dialogue.  

A coloring book seems innocuous enough, but this was an aid to discussing reproduction with children...and it was a coloring book of vaginas.

Oh baby, oh baby
Now I'm not anything like a prude, nor am I against understanding and knowledge.  I was taught the "facts of life" (you take the good, you take the bad...) age-appropriately and knew how babies were made from the age of 5 or so.  My parents encouraged questions and answered them without stigmatizing anything to do with the sex act.  I remember being at friends' houses and sharing their books on the birds and the bees (complete with cartoon people who looked nothing like Barbie and Ken).  Actually thinking about it now, those cartoon characters kind of looked like Peter Griffen.  Both of them.           

But I have to admit, the vagina coloring book is kinda weirding me out.  I mean, I get that it could be very useful...but I'm having trouble picturing some child sitting down and coloring in the anatomically correct hoo-hoo.  I can't imagine it holds any major's not like a Disney Princess or Dora the Explorer.  There's nothing really tangible for a child to connect with.  And older kids, who might be around the timing to actually learn from it, would generally seem to be well past coloring stage.

In and among this confusion, I ship the link off to Cookie, mostly for a laugh, truly.  And of course, her pre-teen daughter walks in on her looking at it, full screen, vag-city.

"Ewwww MOM!"

The obvious connotation that her Mom spends the work day pre-occupied with sex aside, that seems to be a pretty clear indictment of the vagina coloring book...when the intended audience is really not all that interested.

And I'm not even going to tell you all about the sperm cookbook link I sent her too.  Suffice it to say, the interwebs are a vast and scary place, and Facebook is an automatic delivery system.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Recently, I had an interesting revelation when it came to my husband and I.  (No, not that we're totally adorable, even though that is true.  But I've known that for years so it doesn't quite count as a revelation.)

No, it's that it is overwhelmingly obvious he grew up with two siblings and I was raised with one.  (Although I should probably said he was raised, because we all know he never really grew up.   ;)  )

That's not the revelation.  Of course I knew that long before we were married.  But y'all should know by now that I build up to my huge announcements of life-altering proportions.  I mean, what's the point in cultivating a teensy bit of a flair for the dramatic if I'm never going to use it?  

Mr. Eggshells gave me three cookies in my lunch today.  See?  Proof positive!

No, it doesn't matter what kind of cookies they were (Oatmeal Rocks...and aren't you all jealous - and if you don't know what those are, just suffice it to say you are very very jealous!!!), but that there were three of them.  Not two, not four, but three.

To a person raised with two siblings, three - or multiples thereof - is the number of balance, harmony, and sharing.  To a person raised with one sibling, three is a number of immense confusion, adjustment and, dare I say it, fractional math.  I dared.

I never realized how much that particular concept had attached itself to everything I did until I married the Mister.  I allocate everything into the balance of my own paradigm.  Even numbers are fair, easily arranged, and comfortable to me.   That's why I buy four apples, and why when he buys three oranges I'm unconsciously yet frantically trying to figure out where the extra one goes.  (This week it went into an orange and fennel spinach salad with a raspberry vinaigrette that you're jealous of as well, by the way.)

But I digress.  The point is, that it's a complete revelation to me at age (40+) 29 that my childhood patterned so strongly and so subliminally that it actually causes me to acclimate to the "stressor".  

I have no idea if my purchasing or providing four items jars the Mister as much as three does to me.  I suspect not, because he's more comfortable with math than I am, and the fraction thingy doesn't drive him nuts.  Plus his OCDemon is weirder different than mine.

It does make me ponder, however, what other behaviors of mine are ingrained to this degree that I haven't figured out yet...

In the end however, I guess it doesn't really matter.  I got THREE cookies after all.  Yay!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Things and Stuff

This is a guilt post.  I know, I know, it's my blog and I shouldn't feel guilty but I haven't posted since mid-January.  MID-JANUARY.   You people were just left hanging and I didn't even come back and check on you.  No Kitty, that's a bad Kitty!  (Yes, I've been watching Southpark, damn you Netflix streaming!)

So what's new?  Oh right this is really one-way communication unless y'all comment back.  Hey, there's an idea.  What do YOU all want me to talk about?  Leave me a comment or an email (ceriserose at gmail dot com) and suggest something.  I may not use it, but at least then I'll know who of you have opposable thumbs and who don't.  

Now on to why I'm posting.  I have no topic so today it's going to be all about things random.  

1.  I'm completely addicted to Pandora Radio.  If you haven't tried it, you absolutely should.  You set up a station or two based on artists you like and it gives you other similar artists in the mix and plays you all sorts of songs.  I've rekindled love for some artists I'd forgotten about and found many new ones.  (And in a related rhetorical question, just how many covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" are there anyway?!?)

2.  I've been having trouble getting back into the novel, but it's mostly due to storyline threads that I keep either changing or losing.  One of my favorite writers posted a picture of her work space on Facebook and it hit me.  I should be using post-it notes to keep track of the plot.  Only instead of a wall (since my work space is wherever my rear-end lands), I bought some neon-coloured (heh, Canadian) 11x14 poster board and will use those.  Since I'm trying to keep two separate storylines going before they converge, this should help immensely.  Since my head just doesn't manage that kind of convolution.

And aren't I a meaniehead for mentioning the book that I haven't finished writing and continuing to whet your appetites?  Yes, yes I am.  :)

3.  My house makes me crazy.  We've been spending a good deal of time doing renovations for the last several years and "stuff" just keeps getting moved from one pile to another, one room to another.  This Spring I've decided to just sit down and get real with all this stuff, and sort the crap out of it.  (It can't read, so unless one of you tells the stuff what my plans are, it shouldn't be forewarned and hide or multiply or something.  And you won't do that because you so don't want to awaken my ire.  Plus, just by reading my blog you are automatically entered on my side and must work with me not against me.)

Websites keep showing me ads for Professional Organizer Certification.  The Internet is just taunting me now.

4.  I have yet to get out my end-of-year/Christmas/Yule/New Year's letters.  (Actually I have yet to write one, but that's beside the point.)  I have a strong suspicion that those are not going to happen for several months.  I've decided that maybe I'll just do a late Summer one, since I've come to realize over the years, that September is when my mind and body re-set for the year.  Of course, most of you that know me, and know me well, know better than to hold your breath on that score.

5.   Wow, made it to 5.  Um, well this is getting really long, so I think I'll just stop and figure out what to actually write for next time.  :D

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Vet

We have four cats.  This was not by design, but rather by happenstance, for when one has two cats and one has two cats, the math makes four cats.  (They're all fixed so we're not talking multiplication here, and besides like I'd do hard math at this time of the night...sheesh, do you know me at all?)

Mixing the households went well enough at first, but feline relations tanked after a fairly traumatic few days where the humans left the rulers of the territory alone with one another and worse, with that person who keeps showing up and talking to us and ohmygod we will just die and ooh, treats, but wait those are mine, not yours and, and, and.

They're separated now when we're out, and have monitored visits with their jailers, erm, I mean human feeding units, present.  They have reached a tentative level of the Geneva conventions with one another, provided there is no aberrant sniffing going on.   Because goodness knows butt sniffing among felines is tantamount to war.  (You don't believe me?  Until you've cleaned up two unhappy cats covered in urine and blood at 1 a.m., you.just.don't.know.)

The only time they are of one accord is of course when they must face the horror of the veterinarian (okay I spelled that word incorrectly 6 different ways and still had spell check not provide the correct word.  FAIL - spell check's not mine.  I knew it was spelling incorrectly, but at least I knew it wasn't "subterranean".  And don't ask me how badly I spelled it because I won't tell you.  Also don't ask if I had to correct the spelling of subterranean either.)

January is the month of cat vaccinations in our house, which involves at least a day of preparation, and a day of recuperation for the 30 minutes they are out of the house.  And that's just the humanoids.

We start by making sure they're relatively presentable - claws trimmed to lessen any frantic swipes, coats brushed so the 15,000 pounds of hair they will drop in the stress of leaving the house might just be minimized.  Then there's finding all four cat carriers, and figuring out how to arrange the cats in various rooms so they can't hide nor can they figure out what is going on with the other cats.  Some earplugs for us, and we're set.

I won't describe trying to get them all in their carriers, because it exhausts me just thinking about it.  Once in, the yowling that had been mere whimpers punctuated with the occasional hiss now reaches "they're trying to kill me" point of at least 1000 decibels (hence the earplugs).  We bundle them off to the cars for the 10 minute trip through town, where we proceed to yowl back at them the whole way.  I have no idea if it makes them feel any better, but it makes me feel better and that's really the point, right?

The most trauma they experience is to then be in the vet office and have to come out of the dreaded carriers.  The horrifying nasty place is now the BEST PLACE EVER and they all usually have to be dislodged by one of us holding the cat and the other upending the carrier off them.  (It is rather funny though to watch their faces when they realize they've been thwarted by gravity once more.)

Thwart is a great word but it's awkward to type.  So is awkward.

Once they've been given their shots, and are happily back in their little plastic homes, they're much quieter.  We then pay a ridiculous amount of money  - although to be honest, we'd probably pay more if they offered housecalls for this kind of thing...because really (either that or I'm learning to give them shots myself...if they're going to hate me they might as well hate me for the whole enchilada, not just the carrier and vet's).  The ride home is generally pleasant, albeit a little surreal (until I realize the earplugs are still in).  We all come home and pass out for the balance of the day, exhausted.  

Fortunately the wee beasties are indoor cats and relatively healthy so there's very few trips in general.  The few we do take definitely make up for it in cat drama.   

(In spite of all this, they really are cute little things, when they're not being obnoxious.  They get it from Mr. Eggshells I'm sure.)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

...and then Reality went and hit me upside the head...

A few years ago there was a commercial for Staples that ran during the November-December holiday season.  (If you're not familiar with it and want to see it, I'm sure it's out on the interwebs somewhere...but it's not important to this, because I'm a writer and can paint word pictures for you.  ;)  )  

The commercial itself was okay, but there was one part that made me laugh hysterically like a three year old discovering their uncanny ability to make adults do their bidding with repeated funny faces and/or pratfalls.   It's a relatively peaceful scene of a person puttering in the snow outside the house and a GPS device flings out of the sky and hits him on the head, causing him to fall down.  No, I'm not advocating laughing at violence or pain (at least not that I'm admitting out loud), but right at the point it hits, there comes a voice from the GPS saying "You have reached your destination."

Kills me.  Dead.  Every dang time.   Even sitting here recounting it, I'm laughing.   (Shut UP, I do *so* have a sophisticated sense of humor!)

The point of bringing this commercial to bear is that sometimes life hits us with a-ha moments where everything just clicks into place.  For me, many of these occur when I'm struggling with writing something, typically having to do with plot adjustments.  Of course, this is where I let the Muse* and my subconscious deal with it, and as a result, most of my a-ha moments come at the same time as the phrase "Ohgodisitmorningalreadyandwhereisthedamnsnoozebuttonanyway" is mumbled from under the duvet.  

*(tangent):  I've been wondering if I should name the Muse.  It seems rude to just be using a title when we work so closely together.  Plus, when I'm angry with her, it would probably make me feel better to yell right at her.  She probably needs a middle name too for that matter...
(end tangent)

I had another one of those epiphanal moments recently, but it didn't make me burst into joyous song and dance (like all the other ones do).  In fact it was more along the lines of "Oh crap, really?"  And after a few days of meditative contemplation, I'm ready to share.  

Somehow, without my actually being aware of it, I became a Cougar.  No, not a cougar like a wild animal - although some mornings my hair does look like I've been tearing around a jungle all night, but that's beside the point.  A Cougar, like a middle-aged woman on the prowl.

I know, right?  I don't know how that happened either.

Wait, what are YOU talking about?!?

I'm talking about the middle-aged.  (Let's face it, every woman has the potential to be a Cougar.  haha)  I'm not sure how it happened, but it sure did happen in the blink of an eye.  One minute I'm watching this music video and thinking the lead singer is really cute, and the next I'm realizing that I'm old enough to be his mother.


Then it was everywhere.  Pictures of film stars, the realization that actors and singers from my teens had grown children.

Of course, I did have to check and see if a married woman could actually be called a Cougar, and I was assured most intensely by a couple of people on Facebook that it was definitely a label that could be placed on a married woman.


However in the big scheme of things, I think Cougar is a better title than old cow, so I'll take it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GladRags Giveaway

Okay another girly subject, but an important one (so boys, not sure if I can exempt you from this, but mercifully for you, it's short.  ;)  ).  

GladRags has fantastic eco-friendly and sustainable products, are based in my local area but ship worldwide, and promote health and education with regard to women's menstrual cycles.  They even have been working to bring sustainable solutions to African women (I can't imagine having to stay in the house during "that time of the month" simply due to lack of hygiene products!).

Even better, they're doing a giveaway!  Enter to win!

GladRags ROCKS!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Dread Pirate Politics

I should start this post on politics by stating unequivocally that I dislike discussing politics.  However, as I prepare myself for the first U.S. Federal election in which I can vote, I find myself taking in more and more information and learning how to process it.  

The thing I notice most about politics in general, regardless of region or country, is that there seems to be a lot of talking and not a lot of listening.  Whether that be between party members, between elected officials and constituents, or various factions on opposing sides of whatever corridor of whatever building they happen to be in.  Maybe it's my Technical Writer bias, but clarity in communications is a passion for me.  (Despite the fact that sometimes I'm speaking my own made-up language.)

Having been raised in a multi-party system in a Commonwealth country, it's an understatement to say that politics here in the U.S. seem very different.   (Just call me Alice and hand me the blue bill...wheeee!)

Since I'm paying more attention, I'm increasingly amazed at the level of chaff and rhetoric there is to wade through.  Not that it's any different in Canada, but having grown up around it, and having the history behind the parties and candidates, it was less a monumental task to figure out who was saying what and what they really meant by it.  After a handful of years living here, I'm only just starting to get a handle on the parties, the people, how the infrastructure works to make things happen (or not, as the case may be).

Which brings me to the most shocking thing I've discovered about U.S. politics.  The low percentage of voter turnout.

It does make the monumental emphasis placed on the right to vote in all my Naturalization application documents and interviews a whole lot more understandable, though.  Seriously, everywhere I turned, there was another reminder of my right and privilege to vote.  Considering how very odd it felt to not be allowed to vote for my elected officials, not voting now that I have the legal right to do so is unthinkable.  Not to mention unconscionable.

*small segue here:  Can you tell I've been reading 19th Century English literature again?  Who uses the word unconscionable these days anyway?  Well besides me, just now...  :D*

I would have thought from the level of self-described "patriotism" I see, combined with the jingoism, and the general tendency of an "us versus them" mentality around politics, that it meant everyone afforded themselves their civic/national duty and took part in the process.  It doesn't.  Even more terrifying are the people that repeat the soundbites from the talking heads (amusingly, I only learned last year what talking heads were too...).

Which is not to say that everyone is as the stereotypical political blockhead depicted in the mainstream media - far from it (again, here it took me awhile to figure out the stereotype in the mix).  Truly, the more I get over my anathema of discussing this subject, the more people I realize have a balanced approach to their candidate selection.  Even if I don't agree with their choices (since we know it's all about me!), at least I see how they came to that decision and can understand that there was a thought process involved in getting there.  

I think that's what I've learned the most being here.  That it's not that the politics is so different (although there is a sad lack of either a French Separatist or Legalize Marijuana party here versus my "home and native land"), but that with 10x the population and only two real parties, the volume or "noise" of politics is much louder.

It's going to be an interesting year, methinks.