Sunday, August 30, 2015

All The Things I Would Have Said

Opie and I went hiking in Arkansas this weekend and it was AWESOME.

The only downside was that we were completely cut-off from technology--no internet, no cell phones, no way to get on social media.

That part was excruciating.

Especially since share-worthy photo opportunities just flung themselves at my feet every time I turned around.

A couple of times we hiked high enough on the mountain to catch a weak signal but eventually I decided that the only sensible thing to do was keep a list of all the things I would have said and share them when I got home.

So, here it is, 4 days of tweets, instagrams, and posts all jammed into one.


Call me a cynic but when the camp catches on fire an hour after I arrive, I consider it a bad sign.

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My vacation hair would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to 1985...and, for anyone who has ever complained about how long it takes me to get ready, I defy you to straighten all this mess in less than forty-five minutes.

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Nothing says "Camping with Kimbo" like grilled pineapple margaritas.

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Ok, you're a BUTTERFLY, what do you have to look so serious about?

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Please note I wasn't the only one who wanted to hike to the top of the mountain for internet-related issues...although Opie maintains that checking the hockey boards is significantly more important than random selfies.

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I'm not going to lie, I feel like Hershey's should sponsor me to post s'more related blogs.

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As a matter of fact, I do consider this roughing it...I mean, we're drinking champagne out of red solo cups like a couple of SAVAGES.

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Saw this deer early this morning, shortly before encountering the most savage of beasts: children whose parents have no problem with them running and screaming at the top of their lungs at 6:00 am. In related news, these same children were very surprised that they didn't come across any wildlife.

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Heading home and realizing that packing to go on vacation is much more fun than packing to go home.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hypothetical Question

Let's imagine for a minute a completely fictitious woman who has an equally fictitious dog.  And let's say that this imaginary dog looks a little something like this:

And, just for fun, let's say that this woman and her dog not only live adjacent to a Bull Mastiff but also to a Doberman Pinscher.

And let's say the tiny dog above has no idea how small she is and continually tries to dig under the woman's brand new fence in order to show the Doberman that she's not going to put up with sass and back-barking and other doggy shenanigans. Which, in our completely hypothetical scenario, might make the Doberman look a little something like this:

And let's say that one day the woman, ever the responsible dog owner, went outside, shovel in hand, in order to fill in the gaps along her fence line, thus protecting hearth, home, and hound from the dastardly Doberman.

And, because she was so intent on her life-saving mission, let's say that she may or may not have dug right through an AT&T cable that was buried remarkably close to a little orange flag the woman hadn't noticed but upon closer inspection said "Caution buried cable."

Would this woman be financially liable for any alleged damage to this cable? Would it be wise for her to remain hidden in the house all day and  pray for rain to eradicate any signs of digging? Should the woman spend the intervening hours training her larger dog to attack anyone in a cable company uniform? Is it wrong that after checking her own internet and cable, the woman decided to pretend that nothing was amiss?

Asking for a friend....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days when you're rushing to get to the hairdresser on time, only to be blocked from getting on the highway by a big rig

who has somehow gotten stuck as he is hauling something that's bigger than your house

causing such a traffic snarl that some bearded, redneck-looking old guy is inspired to jump out of his truck and scream angry instructions at the driver

then attempt to help by YANKING THE STOP SIGN OUT OF THE GROUND?! I mean, I get that he was just trying to help, but isn't removing a stop sign a little bit completely illegal?

Anyway,  ever have one of THOSE days?  No?  All right, I'll be honest, it was a first for me too.  But thanks goodness I got pictures or my hair stylist would never have believed that was why I was late.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Mouse In the House

I'd like to start by saying we have a cat.

Not a very cat-like cat, to be sure, considering he's hairless and partially blind. But still, we have a cat.

We also have two dogs, one of which hunts squirrels and moles and birds in the yard with reckless abandon.

So I can't figure out how in the world we got another stinking mouse in the house!!!

It all started early last week when I got in one of the lower cabinets to grab a couple of dog treats and I noticed that the bag had been completely chewed open, dog treats were scattered willy-nilly, and there was trace evidence of mouse excrement.

I freaked.

The dogs, it is interesting to note, also freaked…but only because I had gone to the treat cabinet, retrieved the treats, then refused to give them so much as a crumb. “We’re throwing the whole bag away,” I told the dogs firmly. “You don’t want a bunch of vermin-ridden, mouse-chewed treats. That’s disgusting.”

The dogs allowed as how they saw nothing at all disgusting in mouse-chewed treats. What they thought was disgusting was throwing away perfectly good treats when there are dogs starving all over the world.

Seriously, these dogs are a little over-dramatic.

In any case, the next step was, of course, to eradicate any evidence that any mouse had ever been in residence.

“Don’t!” Opie insisted. “You shouldn’t clean until after we catch the mouse.  Cleaning will eradicate his scent and he might not come back to the same place.”

“Maybe it will make him move out,” I suggested. “But it doesn’t really matter because I can’t live here knowing we have mouse poop in the cabinet.  I have to clean it or we might have to move out.”

So, I cleaned and then we set the traps and for 3 whole days they were undisturbed.

I considered this a screaming success—mouse gone, house clean, everything was right with the world.

“We’ll give it one more night,” I told Opie. “Then I think we can trust that he’s moved on.”

“I don’t think mice just move on,” he said skeptically.

Which just goes to show you that he hasn’t seen The Rescuers.  Because mice do move on. Heck, sometimes they fly to Australia, fighting crocodiles and cliff diving.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a cartoon mouse.

Or, if we do, we have a mouse that is more like one of the Rats of Nimh—a super smart, mutant freak of a mouse that can skillfully remove every bit of bait from every mouse trap in the house and the garage without setting a single one of them off.

I did not handle this well.

I also didn’t handle it well the next night when we got this super-sensitive trap that’s supposed to snap if so much as a whisker touches it. And I can attest that it was so sensitive the stupid thing snapped almost every time I tried to move it to 
the appropriate location.

To be fair, the mouse did trigger this trap.  I mean, sure he also got the bait out of it and got away completely unscathed, but he did snap it.

Which was more than I can say for my attempt at humane, catch and release mouse-catching. See, I smeared peanut butter on the end of a strip of cardboard, extended that halfway across an empty bin and waited for the mouse to go after the peanut butter. This would cause the cardboard-and the mouse—to fall into the bin, Opie could take it to a field a few miles away and we all maintain the appropriate karmic balance.

The only thing that we caught with that elaborate setup was a couple of dogs sneaking in and out of the kitchen, irresistibly drawn to the intoxicating scent of peanut butter.

And that’s when I lost it ever so slightly. “That is IT!” I screamed at Opie.  ‘” I can not live like this!  I can’t stand thinking about that thing using our cabinets as an all night diner,  scampering around like an uncontrollable scamper mouse!”
“A scamper mouse?” he asked. “Is that a specific breed of mouse?’

“Don’t start with me!” I shouted.

In any case, we are in take no prisoners mode. I got everything mouse-friendly out of the cabinets and stuffed it in the refrigerator or a huge cooler.  I found these high-tech, super fancy mouse traps:

and I even have the humane trap set up again—except this time, instead of a piece of flat cardboard, I got a leftover paper towel roll, filled it with bait and then balanced it ever so gently on the edge of counter above the bin.  The theory being that the mouse didn’t fall for the other trap because he could see over the edge of the counter and perhaps he is too afraid of heights to risk it for some peanut butter...I just hope he isn't afraid of heights!

Honestly, if I don’t wake up to a trapped mouse, I may have to concede defeat and just move.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Communication Breakdown

You know how people complain that technology is destroying communication, that whenever you go into a public place you don’t see people talking to each other, you just see people tapping away on their phones or plugged into their iPods or the like?

Those complainers forget how awful it is to be trapped next to some moron who assaults you with communication and feels no compunction about sharing all the details of his personal life, whether you asked for them or not.

Like the idiot in line with me on my way to NY last weekend. I was flying Southwest and had committed the ultimate sin: I didn’t check in at the first possible second I could so I got C boarding.

Suckage major.

But I got in line and this guy next to me immediately announced angrily, “This is perfect. We're probably going to be stuck with an aisle seat!"

Which was odd because "we" weren't sharing a seat plus I doubted there'd be anything but middle seats left and I was just hoping to get a spot between 2 people of reasonable size and regular bathing habits.

But I didn't say that, because he was already full into a rant about 9-11.

“I just hate to fly since 9-11. All the security and crap.  It’s ridiculous. And it’s not going to help. It makes me nervous just thinking about everything that could happen.”

I should mention that I am a skittish passenger at the best of times. The last thing I need is some other paranoid freak show getting me amped up before a flight.

“You know what I mean?” He said. “Anyone could take a plane down—“

“I'm going to need you to stop talking,” I told him.

At least that’s what I thought I said, apparently what he heard was “While your current subject matter is making me ever so slightly uncomfortable, please don’t pass up this opportunity to hit on me as I find your particular brand of crazy oddly appealing.”

“You know,” he said, leaning closer. “I don’t mind flying when I’m in control. I used to be a pilot in the Navy. But these commercial flights are so, so…” he shook his head, briefly at a loss for words.  Sadly, the silence didn’t last. “We should just drive.” He said a few seconds later.

“I’m good,” I assured him and scurried onto the plane as fast as I could.  And I was so focused on getting away from this freak show idiot that I didn’t even go through my whole obsessive-compulsive pre-flight rituals.

He sat right behind me.

Actually, that’s not completely true. He was supposed to sit on the middle seat behind me. But he made a big fuss about needing to sit by the window, had to sit by the window, wouldn't the woman in the window seat be a decent sort and sit in the middle seat so he could have the window seat?!

And she did!

That woman is waaasyyyy nicer than I am.

She didn't even punch him in the face when he spent the next forty minutes sharing with her, me, and basically the whole front half of the plane the excruciating details of his itinerary, the problems he had encountered on the way to the airport, why his wife doesn’t understand him, his favorite television shows, his contempt for the TSA’s screening procedures and of course, how much better the flight would be if he were in control of it.

And the irony is, if I had given in to my impulses and shrieked "Stop talking! Stop talking RIGHT NOW OR ILL KILL YOU!" like I wanted to, I would probably be the one in jail for disrupting the flight.

But it was awful…almost as bad as the drunk guy I sat next to when we flew to Florida for Thanksgiving last year. That’s a story for another time but seriously, I could write a book based on my fellow passengers alone.

The point is, if this interaction is the kind of communication that technology has replaced, bring on the tech!