Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winter is Coming.

They (who is this "they?"  I’d like to write them a mean letter.) say that there’s another round of Polar Vortex coming around in late September this year.  Which means snow.  IN SEPTEMBER.  I sincerely hope that they’re wrong, but I am silently gearing up for another Michigan winter.  Which in theory will be my last Michigan winter for the next few years.  Can’t say I’m too disappointed about that idea (how are winters in Japan? my sources say that they get some snow but nothing like our crazy “make sure there’s a tennis ball on your car antennae so the plow knows there’s a vehicle under all that snow” kind of snow.)

It is times like these, where I brace myself for shorter days and colder weather, that I find myself reflecting on winters past.  In this post in particular, I’d like to reflect a bit on that one time last year where I was 3 hours late to work because I am incapable of being a reasonable human being when there’s too much snow.  Would you like to hear this story?  I think you would.

At the very beginning of 2014, Michigan found ourselves whalloped with soo much snow that it truly felt a bit like being Mario and taking a THWHOMP to the head.  We had a few snow days in a row, and when I say snow days, I mean like even the universities in the are closed, and if you’re not from a place that does snow days, you should know that’s when a college calls off class, you know the weather is a big flipping deal that day.  Anyway the point is, the preschool was super closed.

The day we the world started turning again and Michiganders were all supposed to brave the elements, was also the first day The Mister or I had put any thought into the snow on the driveway.  I will be the first to admit that I am lazy(-ier) in the winter, and so generally throughout the winter, the bottom of our driveway becomes a giant piece of ice, because once I’ve already gone through the trouble of shoveling the whole stupid drive, I am too tired to then chip away at the small chunk of ice that always accumulates at the end from the plows going by.  So that ice grows, obviously.  By the time our “go back to land of living” day came around, it was at least a foot of ice between the world and the driveway underneath.

So on that day, I got ready to go to work, put on my winter boots (I love that point of every Michigan winter where people stop bothering to even bring along nice shoes to work and just wear their winter snow boots with their professional clothing all darn day), and trudged outside.  I got the car started, so that was a win (cold can sometimes kill a car’s ignition), and backed down the driveway.
I then got stuck half in and half out of the driveway on the ice/snow/plow combo.

Not a problem.  If you live in Michigan and know how winter works, you keep a shovel in the back of your car at all times for just such an occasion.  SO I got out of the car to try and shovel out a path for the tires.  Except that I also forgot, since the car was not moving, and since I had not had any coffee yet, that I left the car in drive.

I realized that the car automatically locks when the doors shut if it's in drive... a millisecond after closing the door to keep the heat in while I shoveled, and then immediately started to freak out that the car will somehow gain purchase and magically drive up the driveway and into our house while I was locked out of both the car and the house.  And when I say freaked out, I mean full on meltdown in the middle of the damn street.

I managed to pull myself together well enough to realize my phone was in my pocket, and I calmed down to call for help.  Only to find that so many people had been boneheads in this snowpocalypse that tow trucks aren't responding to anything but 911 calls to keep from getting overwhelmed.  

...What else could I do?  The car’s tires were still, thankfully, mercifully, just going round and round in place on the ice, half in the road but at least not moving anywhere.

I decided to trudge through the 2+ feet of snow, over the fence and dig down to the ground to grab the hide-a-key in the backyard.  Did I mention that I may have thought to wear winter boots that day, but I had paired the look with a sweater dress and leggings?  That fashion statement goes really well with two feet of snow. (Oh hi Sarcasm, what’s up?)  

That hide-a-key I dug up out of the garden? Frozen shut.  Of course, I go back to freak out mode then.  Trying and failing not to cry as I called 911 for essentially being a giant idiot.  I would imagine, based on the voice at the other end of the line, that I was certainly not the first person that day to call the emergency line for something insanely stupid.  However, stupid getting locked out of a car in drive is… I did at least qualify as an actual emergency.  An officer was dispatched to my location as soon as he was available from the previous stupid people being stupid in the snow call.

In the meantime, I stood outside in the cold for an hour.  Let me be clear that I definitely earned that wait.  My legs disagreed at the time, but really I wasn’t missing a limb or anything so I had no right to complain.  

After all that, once the officer arrived on the scene, he was the kindest and most patient person I could have asked for in the situation.  He poured out his fresh hot coffee over our hide-a-key so I could get into it, then get into the house, and get a coat hanger.  He used that coat hanger to spend his whole morning picking my car lock, and THEN once he actually got me into the car so I could put it in neutral, he wasted another half hour chipping away the ice at the end of my driveway and pushing me out of it.

Moral of the story:
  1. Never make fun of a cop getting breakfast at Dunkin’ Doughnuts.  That coffee he’s having with his glazed jelly is could come in super handy. (not that I made fun of cops before)
  2. Don’t wear a dress to work if there’s more snow on the ground than your boots are tall.
  3. Chip the ice.  If you don’t want to chip ice, move out of Michigan.
  4. Hey Mister, did you buy our plane tickets out of here yet?
What’s your worst winter story?  
Ever get stuck somewhere and needed to call for help?  
Have you ever needed to call 911 for something stupid?  Tell me in the comments!
I feel like weathering Winter would be more way more reasonable 
while hanging out in a hot spring with Japanese Macaques. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I tried.

So that maybe was a mistake?  I need a different tactic.
I mentioned I was going to switch to TUMBLR, thinking it would keep me hip and make it easier to keep up regular content.  Turns out it just made it easier for me to reblog other people's stuff and procrastinate on putting out my own.  Boo.

New plan: I shall continue blogging here and then cross post them on tumblr.  So if you're on tumblr and you'd like to follow me there - no worries, we'll keep this happening.  And if you're on blogger and you somehow have stuck with me during this 3 month trial phase where I crashed and burned, well... thanks?

I've got a few things backlogged to post in the coming weeks - Here on out, I'm going to shoot for one original post a week and then on tumblr I shall do the usual reblogging stuff of other people's creativity.  So stay tuned if you dare.  Here's some sketchbook doodles to make up for lost time!

I continue to practice my Japanese.  
One day I hope to be trilingual in multiple phrases instead of just my ability to demand pizza.

Bacon and I are in a constant struggle.  I want to eat you bacon, why are you so hard to not burn?!

One time I tried a workout I found online using my husbands exercise resistance bands.  
It... ended poorly.  
(My foot still has a little bruise on the side where it got thwapped.)

And meanwhile, The Mister has officially joined the Navy!  
Super proud is not a strong enough phrase.  He asked for some Navy-inspired designs 
(I shall one day make these into stickers for him)
Fun fact: new Navy people are referred to as "baby squids"

He preferred the more many representation of his Naval Officer status.  I guess I can't blame him.

What have you been up to world?  tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The yard sale to end all yard sales

Alright y'all, I made the switch to tumblr.  You can check that out [here].  After a few more posts I won't be cross-posting any longer. :)
Big things coming down the pipeline here at team McD headquarters.  Namely, we are moving.
Meanwhile, We have nice things. We don’t want our nice things to get stuffed into boxes (AGAIN). So we’re re-homing those nice things. Thus, I have half a garage full of stuff to sell at our Epic Yard Sale this weekend.  We priced everything CHEAP CHEAP because we want them all to find nice homes… aka I don’t want to put things in boxes (AGAIN).
Of course for me, much of the fun of a garage sale is the advertising and hype.  I had fun today putting together some of the push-images for the Facebook vent, hyping some of the more notable items that will be up for grabs this Saturday.
Wanna see some of those?  Yes of course you do.
I went with a meme theme.  Because why not?
Have you held a garage/ yard sale?  How did it go?  Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

It's posts like these that make me wonder how my husband is still attracted to me.

Alternative title: if you ever wanted to know how much time I spend on the internet, allow me to talk about these youtube people like everyone knows who they are.

I WANT AN ADULT ONESIE.  I think it started because I follow the holy trinity on youtube.  Not the Christian holy trinity - youtube has their own "holy trinity" that consists of Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart and Hannah Hart, a group of friends who each have their own hilarious youtube channels that they have somehow branded into their own livelihoods.  (I could only be so lucky with this little blog*)

And then once upon a time, Hannah introduced her viewers to the Carrot Onesie. (click it, you'll never get it out of your head in the best way)

And then you tubers everywhere followed suit and all the people I follow online (excepting the vlogbrothers) seem to have their own onesie.  So now I feel like it's part of how internet people build their brand.  Obviously, this leads to: I need a onesie... and I need to get one before all the good ones are taken by someone else.

I know The Mister is reading this and rolling his eyes because I somehow find the most absurd ways to be unapologetically unattractive**, and he knows I would totally wear a onesie all day, err-day***.

Help me pick, will you?
 Option 1: Owl.  Because he has little wings off the arms. Come on.

Option 2: Chicken. See above re: wings.  And also because I want chickens (we've chatted on this before), and maybe this will be an alternative for a while****.  But I feel like that white will last one wash-cycle...

Option 3: Shark. I don't really want this one, but I figure if The Mister is super anti-onesies, maybe I can convince him by opting for a FINvites appropriate option which we could write-off as a business expense (I would TOTALLY wear this to a Bridal Vendor Show - think how many people would be intrigued enough to see what the hell the crazy lady was selling?)

Option 4: Lion!  Because rwar baby, that's why.

(also there is a tiny tufted tail on the back.)


Other options I am unaware of?  Tell me in the comments!

*I... am not sure how effective blogger is anymore folks.  I made it to 250 posts, but I feel like this is a restrictive platform at this point.  Who stumbles upon blogger anymore?  I am toying really hard with the idea of moving my blog over to tumblr.  I feel like I have more opportunity to share things over there without it being in the long, drawn out format of blogger... anyone real upset over this?  Anyone super gung-ho?  I'd like to know any thoughts!  (you should know regardless of those thoughts I'm totally going to make that switch in the next couple posts.)

**I will be the first to admit that earlier in the winter I procured a pair of man's gigantic sweatpants and wore them for almost a month straight because "they were warm" (mostly because they were comfortable).  I always make sure I have a pair of slippers that are shaped like bear feet (this year's pair is pink).  Most of my clothes have paint or small tears in them because I craft and have no care about the clothing I wear while I do said crafting.  If I have bothered to leave my hair down and not in a messy knot on top of my head... well that's a special day right there.

Basically what I'm saying is that as a lady I am fully aware that I have no obligation to dress to please my husband, and he doesn't have any expectations in that vein.  However, as an individual, I enjoy the idea of trying to look nice every once in a while... except then I would really rather spend money on a onesie instead of a cute top, and that whole "occasionally looking like a presentable adult" thing only seems to play out in my mind.

***slang for "everyday."  Because I have mad street cred.

****I know these posts have been less than amazing lately, and have had little to do with the goings on in my life.  There is a reason, and that reason is I can't talk about the interesting stuff until there is a contract signed.  We'll get there, and at that point, I have some thoughts on the number 7.  Someone remind me. (sadly these thoughts are unrelated to Friends.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another post about TV... but with drawings!

I finally got The Mister to watch an episode of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge with me last night.  Which quickly turned into watching TWO episodes of JHCSC last night with The Mister.  And I don't want to be all "I told you so," but I've been trying to get him to sit down and watch that show with me for like, well maybe a week.   Because I KNEW!  Come on, it's a show that mixes art/puppetry with electronic engineering.  How is that not the best show that's ever existed for a couple like us?

So far, we're both really glad that Tina is gone.  What is she doing with her life besides being a whiny poster-child for the focus-challenged?

The only problem is that now I have last night's episode on the DVR and I don't feel like I can watch it until the Mister comes home and is all caught up with me.

Meanwhile, I've had ideas stuck in my head because last night, just before we went to sleep, the Mister said "you would rock at JHCSC."*

Thus, instead of visions of sugarplums dancing through my head as I drifted off to sleep, I sketched out my entries into some of my favorite creature briefs already given (not last night's, because as we've already covered, I can't watch that one yet.)  Since I need to get into better practice with my tablet, I figured, what better opportunity?

EPISODE 1:  Peter Brooke mentors the Creature Designers into building the full-bodied puppet of a never-before-seen sea creature.

The Hoarder Crab - on STILTS! (why didn't anyone use stilts?!)
The puppeteer's arms are in first set of legs, his/her legs in back set of legs.  And the second set of legs are attached to the arms across from them so they move opposite each other.  
Claws are of lightweight material, rest against the front arms, and are mechanized to open & close.  Eyes remote-control to turn 180* for vision.  

*not pictured* I’d attach a bunch of ocean debris on his back with moss and old rope.  As he shuffles through the ocean, he collects things to “decorate” his shell to make him more attractive to a mate.  (make sure there’s a fork/dinglehopper on there for Ariel)*
I also debated how cool it would look to have a paint job like he was see-through - many deep sea creatures just don't have pigment in their skin/shells, because why bother if nothing will ever see it?  Buuuuuut then I figured I probably would have run out of time to do all that.

Episode 4:  Peter Brooke mentors the Creature Designers when they create a fantasy creature that has been slain and returns to life as a hunting trophymounted on the wall at the Wizard's Mansion. The slain fantasy creature must be made from an animal foam mold which will be given to the Mold Makers to have the molds made for the slain creature. The project must include puppetry with some mechanisms in it which must be performed on the Wizard's Mansion set with the hunting trophy explaining how it ended up in this fate.
Antioch the Foogerman.  Ferocious beast guarding the front gate of the castle garden.  Can snarl, blink, and move his ears.  Horns would are curly-goat like for no reason other than looking more intimidating.  Scaly texture as protective armor around temples and under neck.  Voice is a little like “Dug” from Up. Loyal to the end, never leaves his post.  Saw a bunny near the magic turnips and ran after it.  Turned out to be the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python.  Growls at any mention of bunnies or squirrels, birds, etc.  Really wishes he could lick his butt.  Really wishes he knew where his butt went.

I'm not even going to pretend that this personality isn't 100% based upon Mac.

Episode 5:  John Criswell mentors the Creature Creators where they create a large-scale believable creature that has real movement while running their ideas with teams' appointed puppeteers. They will also use UV paint to make it glow in the dark as part of a way to bring it to life in the dark. The large-scale creatures will be performed in the black light room.
Floating Nightmare Squid.
Puppeteer one would carry the backpack and be in charge of the two “squid” legs in front via a pole with cables attached to the ends of the arrows.  puppeteer two would be behind the squid operating the UMBRELLA that all the other legs are attached to.  Infrastructure of the legs would be constructed to curl up a bit as they open and straighten as they close (like the tail that the dinosaur Josh and Lex made, except thinner)  inside of legs would be white and bright as a defense mechanism/ scaring off predators and alerting other squids of danger, ala white-tail deer.  accents of red , and should time allow, an lighted eye that changes color from red to yellow depending upon mood.  A risk, I know, because the stage is set for an above water scene.  Go big or go home I say!

Have you ever thought you would be a fantastic contestant on a competition show?  
Which show and why?  Tell me in the comments!

*that's really sweet of him ot say because I have 0 understanding of how 'servos' work.   But I could make some really kick ass creatures that don't move.  Or maybe I should just learn how servos work.  Practical knowledge? No.  Fun knowledge? YES.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Running with Roo

The snow has gone away(!)  Here's hoping that it stays gone for a bit, but lord knows I'm not about to waste the sun while it is here.

I decided to ditch the treadmill today and go for a run outdoors.  I also decided to take Mac, which is not so much because I wanted to have a running buddy, as I couldn't handle the pouty-puppy eyes that stared me down as soon as I put on sneakers and touched the car keys.  So, to the park we went.

You know how they say that pet-owners start to resemble their pooches after a while?  I realized today on our 3-mile "run," that I might not LOOK like Mac (I could never be so lucky to master his perfectly sculpted eye-brows), I certainly run like him.  To that effect, here's a look into Mac-a-Roo's mind for today's run.  A thought-train which was reflected in my own mind with *almost* 100% frightening mirror-like accuracy.

The Pump-Up.  
Alright, it's go-time.  Got my gear on (his running harness, so he doesn't choke himself on the end of the leash with his collar) and I'm READY.  The weather is perfect, not too hot, not too cold, a little bit of wind,  I'm gonna run the CRAP out of this run.

The Warm-Up.
Check me out, other running path users.  I know I look like a professional.  I got my head in the game.  I'm about to run like a Greyhound in a minute, just wait.  Gotta stretch out the hammies walking briskly for a tick first.

Official Go-Time.
Yes!  Running!  I'm RUNNING over here.  I got this.  I feel GREAT.  I could do this forEVER.
Well, I could definitely do this for a few minutes.
...I can do this until that sign up ahead.
OH GOD okay.  Okay.  I made it to the sign.  Let's just walk a bit, I am le tired.  Good first push.

The decision to do "Interval-Running" instead of just a straight jog.
Yeah, yeah perfect.  There are like people who say doing spurts of intense stuff is the best way to fat-burn, right?  Right.  I'll just walk until that bridge, then we can run by those kids, because they're loud, and that makes me nervous.

The Second Interval.
Okay yeah, we're good, we're going again.  Love it.  Perfect.  Feels good.  Except this harness.  When did this get so snug?  Man, winter was cruel to me.  It's in my armpits and it's rubbing, UGH.  It's fine, just ignore it.  Armpit. Armpit. Armpit. Armpit.  Noooooo I can't.  I'm done running until you fix it mom.  Stop goading me on, I don't wanna go to the next sign, I wanna stop.  Take off the harness and carry it for me.

De-Gearing (I took off my sweatshirt and tied his harness into it around my waist).
So much better.  See me shake off?  That's how uncomfortable I was.  It's 100% why I wasn't running to my fullest potential there.  Next interval I'm gonna crush it.

Interval Number Three.
You see that dude with the punky little dog?  He doesn't see us yet.  We have to run past him, because we're better than him, and we have to prove it by running past him and around the bend until he can't see that we've stopped running.  Then he'll think we've been running all along.  We can do that.  Yes.  Here we go.
Haha, see the punk-dog is barking at me.  I'm better than that.  I don't bark.

When we stop running no more than 10 feet after passing the punky little dog that "we are better than" so he can emergency-poop right there and force the poor dude with the punky dog to drag his angry pooch past us right after we *just* passed him.  
I'm so embarrassed.  I hope I don't fart.  I always fart when I feel nervous.

When Mac audibly farts as I bend down to pick up after him.
How dare that man with the punky dog laugh at me.  Or wait, he was probably laughing because he assumed that was mom who just ripped one*.  As long as he's not laughing with me then.

When we turn around because we're certainly not going to follow the man who thinks mom just farted like a grenade after her dog dropped a deuce as big as his punky little dog.
Well, we probably ran like 10 miles already anyway, I mean, I feel like we did.

Interval number four.
Heeeey mom I feel great!  Like a load has been lifted!  Wait, did I toot again?  Oh, no, there's just a hole in the poop bag.  Oh, we're running to that garbage can up there?  That's doable.
Oh, we're going to SPRINT to the garbage can before something falls out?  I... I'm gonna hang back here at the very end of my leash and make people think you're abusively dragging me down this path.

When all the loud kids we ran past before start judging mom because she looks like she's heartlessly dragging her exhausted dog toward a garbage can.
Look how nice these kids are, mom!  I wish you would pet me like they do.

Interval number five.  
I don't even feel tired anymore, this is great.  I bet we can do this for longer than any of the other intervals.  Oh yeah.  IS THAT A SQUIRREL?

Walking... kind of.
Noooo mom we left a squirrel back there!  We must go back so I can smell everything, there may be crucial clues to how I can catch a squirrel!

Interval number six.
Wait, we're still gonna keep this running thing going?  Like, half speed though mom.  Seriously, I'm not even gonna break a trot - you're going to have to keep pace with me.  Slow down.  You know you wanted to slow down.

Getting back to the car. 
ROLL DOWN THE WINDOWS!  We both smell like sweat and gross and we must let that smell out into the world so everyone else can know we made an amazing effort to run today!

There you have it.  3 miles later (maybe 1.5 of which we actually ran) we're back to the grind at home.  Or at least I am, Mac is sleeping.  Which is something I wish I was doing, because I am apparently exactly like my dog.

Do you have any similarities to your pets? 
Tell me about them in the comments!

*You all know I am not above using bodily humor to get a chuckle here, but I assure you in this instance, it was truly the dog who ripped a fart, not me.  No matter what the dude with the punky little dog thinks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm just gonna leave this here.

Snow.  I know I live in Michigan, but I feel like Mid-April is around the time where I'm allowed to start whining about snow still existing on the ground.

Mac and Bub concur.

I've been trying to push the winter away - I went out and raked the whole yard last week in the like, three days we didn't have snow.  Two days ago I put out the summer patio furniture.  I'm sure freezing is good for our sun umbrella.

At the same time, I've been trying to find some good things indoors to keep me from going nuts like Mac and Bub.  Top five options for not going stir crazy?

1.  Chinzy Competition TV Shows.  My favorites:  RuPaul's Drag Race and Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge.  Thank goodness for DVRs.  Do you watch either of these?  Who are you rooting for?  Tell me in the comments!*

I'm amazing and accomplished.  
2.  The library's crazy awesome selection of children's movies and video games.  There's something oddly satisfying about completing something.  Even something REALLY insanely simple, like a Pok√©mon game that was made for ages 5-8.  But. 100% completion, yo.

3.  Cleaning out the house.  Y'all, The Mister and I have a LOT of crap.  Actually, most of it isn't crap, but we have SO MUCH of it in this tiny house that we don't hardly use any of it... we just found random spaces to cram it where it collects dust.  And since we're looking at moving in the next... well I don't know, soon... I'd like to get rid of as much of the un-used stuff as possible before I have to YET AGAIN put all the things in boxes.

4.  The library's crazy awesome check out system!  I can log in online anytime and request holds, check my due dates, renew check outs, search their whole selection and even request new books they don't have.

I know this is pretty typical of libraries everywhere now, but I never cease to be amazed at how far this system has come since I learned how to look through those little drawers with Dewey Decimal numbers on them in grade school.

I've recently decided to read everything Christopher Moore has ever written, and so far that's been fun.  (He wrote a book titled Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend.  HOW DO YOU NOT IMMEDIATELY READ THAT?)  Also the Vlogbrothers are starting up a book club and I'm super down with that.

5.  Tanning.  Because everyone gets one vice, and at least mine ups my serotonin levels with a side of skin cancer.

What do you do to ward off the winter blues?  
You know the drill - hit that comment button!

*I haven't seen enough of JHCSC to really get a feel for who I want to win, but RPDR?  I'm team Bianca y'all.  I heart her.  SO MUCH.  (Courtney Act can come in second.)