Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Like many people in southeast Kansas. I own a weather radio. For those of you who get to watch TV and have fancy local radio stations, you may not see the value in these contraptions. They're kind of annoying, especially when the mechanical radio man voice interrupts your sleep with a very urgent test of the emergency broadcast system. And if there should actually be a weather event worth mentioning? Trust me, there's no way even the people at the cemetary a mile away could sleep through the beeping that radio emits. My husband hates it. I hate it, too, but during the summer tornado season, it's my best friend. We don't get the weather channel out here, and the closest severe weather siren is 4 miles away. In other words, we wouldn't hear it. So you can see why a storm-phobe like myself would require such a radio. It's the only thing that allows me to sleep during thunderstorms, because I know there's no way a tornado could sneak up on me with that weather radio blaring in my ear.

Right now I despise the weather radio. See, I've been trying to deny that winter is coming for a while now. Mother Nature has, up until now, played along with my charade, providing unseasonably warm weather and lots of sunshine. Gray November? Not this year. But winter *is* coming. In fact, winter has charged in like a bull in a china shop today. The first sign was the wind. Not just a little wind, but the howling, gusting, leaf-swirling kind of wind that even sounds cold as you listen from inside your warm house. (The shack of impossibly small proportions does have an up-side - it's easy to heat!) Next was the rain. Cold, half-freezing, sloppy rain, driving in wind-propelled sheets. And now, the weather radio is sounding its shrill warning. Pretend no more, summer-lovers.

I'm trying not to listen to it. I'm trying to pretend I didn't just hear 6 inches and snow in the same sentence. Please, someone make it stop!

If there's going to be 6 inches of snow, let's at least hope it's a nice snow. Not sloppy, wet, half-snow. The only good thing about a big snow is cross-country skiing. I'll try to look at the bright side. I do look really cute in my ski gear. ;)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Copy Machine Part 2 and Cheap Wine

1. You may recall my ongoing feud with the copy machine at my office. Fortunately, there haven't been anymore flames, other than the verbal kind I launch at it when it refuses to spit out a mere black & white 11x17 copy. However, it has developed a new and equally as irritating habit of jamming when I even get near it. How is that even possible? All I know is that twice in the last week, I've been walking by the copy machine when, somehow sensing my presence, the machine begins flashing the paper jam message. It's taunting me.

2. Meanwhile, I've recently learned that one of the new, giant machines in the back of the newspaper office is a copier of enormous proportions. And it's fast. 120 copies per second. If I can cause a regular copy machine to catch on fire, can you imagine what I can do with this machine? I've been trying to steer clear of the behemoth copier, but since it's near my new desk (the desk furthest from the other copier, naturally) I have a hard time keeping my distance. I'm a little nervous, though, because if I somehow offend this new copier, or it senses my hostility towards a smaller member of its species, things could get ugly. I'm just saying that if you hear about a girl in Kansas being crushed under a rogue copy machine, or that a giant nuclear-sized copier-machine-induced explosion has made a crater out of the whole Midwest, you'll know why.

3. Random note: I heard someone today talking about how they'd finally found a wine they liked. It wasn't too dry and tasted much better than other wines. What is this miracle potion, you ask? Boone's Farm. Yep, the $1.99 wine. Now, I'll admit that the stuff isn't awful, but calling Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill "wine" is like calling that processed cheese food "cheese." It might look vaguely like its natural counterpart and taste somewhat similar, but it's definitely not the same.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

"Real-Life" Friends

My husband says I'm internet-addicted. He laments the amount of time I spend staring at my computer monitor, reading my various forums and laughing at the antics of my forum friends. I've been involved with forums for almost 4 years. Some days I can't believe it's been that long. Other times I feel like I've know my online buddies forever. Lately, I've been noticing how some people on the forums distinguish so much between forum friends and "real life" friends. I've decided that, for me, it's high time I stop making the distinction. Friends are friends, no matter how you meet.

Most of them I've never met face-to-face, though I've had the pleasure of hugging a few of them in a non-virtual way. All I know is that living in the middle of nowhere is a lot more pleasant knowing that I can log on and laugh with other kindred souls. Like any friendships, we share harder times, too. In fact, I feel more free to share my own struggles knowing that if a tear slips out as I'm typing I won't feel like I need to hide my face. Life is a little easier with a cheering section, even if you can't see their faces.

In the past four years I've shouted joyous congratulations for countless babies born, threatened to strangle several unruly or otherwise obnoxious husbands, prayed for sick family members, waited on news of new jobs, rejoiced at long awaited positive pregnancy tests, cried over miscarriages and family deaths and giggled at countless bawdy jokes and late-night chats. What's not "real life" about that?

OK, so you're wondering what the point of this rambling is. I don't really know, to be honest. There's not a deeper meaning to be had. I'm just glad to live in an age where internet has made it possible to have a group of "fake internet friends" spread across the country and across the world. Huh. I guess I could have said that in one sentence.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Woe the Humorless Hack

So, it's been a while since I've updated my beloved blog. I'll be honest. There has been almost nothing funny that has happened to me in the last few weeks, hence my lack of blogging. I like a blog with some humor, and at this moment, mine is lacking. It pains me, but I'm also not willing to create situations like the bicycle and crazy nephews incident just for your amusement. I'm sick, but not that sick.

One of the reasons I've been absent is because I spent the last few weeks slaving away in front of my computer to create a sample website for in hopes of becoming their new Guide to Baby Products. Thankfully, I got the job, so the lack of sleep paid off. I also have a new freelance writing job with Bullseye Midwest Edition, which you haven't heard of unless you run in my fabulously bitchy, I mean bitchLy, farm circles. While these things are great for me, they have resulted in a serious lack of time for funniness. Weep for me!

Right now I have the flu, which sucks immensely, and I can't sleep because of a particular flu-induced pain in my back. So here I am, desperately trying, at 3 a.m., to think of anything mildly amusing to add to my blog. All I can think of is a dream I had recently, which is uproariously funny to my co-workers. We'll see how it fares with you.

As you know, unless you live under a rock, we had some elections recently. The election fever must have reached a limit in my brain, because I started dreaming about local candidates. One such candidate, in a hotly contested county commission race, earned an extra-special spot in my normally tame dreamscapes, though. We'll call him Bob. I've never actually met Bob. His name came up often during elections, though, because his competitor was engaging in some illegal campaign tactics, like stealing Bob's signs and hanging disparaging posters around town. In my dream, I went to an election night soiree, dressed to the nines, with my husband. I was looking fine in this dream, and of course, I was 30 pounds lighter (I *love* dream-world!). Picture a presidential inauguration, and you'll be getting close to the type of event this was in my dream. My husband was in a tux, which realy should have tipped me off that it was a dream, but I digress. Someone in my dream introduced me to Bob, who leaned in as though he was going to give me a kiss on the cheek. Here's where it gets odd. Instead of kissing me, Bob licks my cheek. Not just a little lick. More like a St. Bernard lick. I woke up just as my dream-self was hissing under my breath to my husband, "Oh my God, Bob just LICKED me!"

OK, dream interpreters, I dare you to take that one on. I'm scared to speculate on it too much. Even weirder, though, is that I saw Bob in person a week after the dream. He announces the local football games, and my husband pointed him out to me as we cheered on his alma mater in their bi-district game. I'm telling you, Bob looked *exactly* like he did in my dream. How weird is that? Not only did I dream that the man licked me, but I dreamed him with dead-on accuracy. Bob has never, as far as I know, given any indication that he would actually lick a person, so let's count the possibility of prophetic dreams out for the moment, eh?

One final note - the shift key on my new computer (new to me, not new overall) doesn't like to work with the i key. If you notice lots of lowercase i's, it's not because I'm channeling e.e. cummings.