Friday, November 28, 2008

The garbage can fairy

In July, I moved from an apartment to a sweet, little duplex. For the first time in 5 years, I have to take my garbage can to the curb once a week, as opposed to tossing my bags of garbage in a dumpster. No big, I'm so pleased to be in this nice space that I don't mind it at all. (I also have the opportunity to recycle now, which thrills me to a completely stupid degree.)

Garbage day is Tuesday, so each Monday night I take the can (is it a can if it's plastic?) to the curb. Every Tuesday when I get home from work, I find the empty can next to the garage door at the top of the driveway. Now, I entertain a very small fantasy that one of the local sanitary engineers got an eyeful my fabulousness, developed a little crush and acts it out by carting my garbage can up the driveway for me, but I realize that's highly unlikely. I was off work for four weeks after surgery recently, and I thought I would surely catch the fairy in action. She's sneaky, that one - four Tuesdays and I didn't get even a fleeting glimpse of a glittery wing.

I think the garbage can fairy is the lady who lives in the other half of the duplex. We've met, have spoken on a few occasions, but I don't really know her and I rarely meet her coming or going. But who else could it be?

It's a small thing, both for the fairy and for me. But it makes me smile and gives me a warm, fuzzy "aren't people the best?" feeling every week. It makes me want to reach out to other people more often - hold more doors, smile at more mothers with screaming meemees in their arms, and find other ways to pay it forward. Maybe that's why it happens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meme stolen from the Hotfessional

The Hotfessional (my newest girl crush *blush*) stole this meme and I love memes (even though I don't know what 'meme' means) so I stole it from her...
  1. Clothes: as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, this often clashes with my desire to be sexy. Himself doesn't seem to mind as long as the neckline reveals plenty of landscape.
  2. Furniture: comfortable but aging. My couch is 11 years old and is showing her age, poor thing. She sags and her edges are beginning to fray. The couch, people, the couch!
  3. Sweet: Himself. Ours is currently a difficult tale of star-crossed lovers but he is the only sugar I want.
  4. City: Chicago...the skyline, the lakefront, the Cubs, the Bears (but NOT the new Soldier Field), the three-flats, the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture...
  5. Drink: not often enough, whether we are talking about liquor or water. I'm often a parched violet.
  6. Music: this week it's Abba. Their music is so peppy, so major-key, so happy...until you pay attention to the lyrics. I love music and can appreciate almost anything but I generally listen to the music of my yoot and classic rock.
  7. TV Series: Jon & Kate Plus 8. Many say that Kate is a bitch but after watching every single minute of their series (dear God, please send many blessings on the person who invented the DVR), I have decided that she is a control freak, a germophobe, and afraid of way too many things, but she is not a bitch. She is obviously in love with Jon and they have a great vibe.
  8. Film: The Quiet Man (guess who figured out how to do links? heh.). I don't like westerns so I never saw it (John Wayne = western, right? right.) until M.A. forced me to watch it earlier this year. Oh. My. Stars. How did I not know that John Wayne was unspeakably sexy?? And that scene where they break the bed? I couldn't breathe for a week.
  9. Workout: currently just post-total knee replacement exercises and physical therapy. I can't wait until next summer, when both knees should be in great shape and I can walk, hike, festivalize, fair-go, and parkate. I dream of going to the ball park with Himself, too, and am looking forward to more yoga classes.
  10. Pastries: You can have all of that flaky pastry dough. I'm a cake girl. mmmm, cake.
  11. Coffee: I like a little coffee with my cream and sugar.


Solid employment, health insurance and a retirement plan
Mary Alice – the best friend ever. Eh. ver.
M.A.’s husband, Brick* - he always makes me feel loved
My capacity to love
Knee replacement surgery
My cute little house
My parents – they have answered every single call and gone way beyond when I needed it
4 nieces and 1 nephew – the best-looking, smartest, coolest kids on the planet
2 sisters and brothers-in-law – they do an incredible job of keeping me real to the nieces and nephew even though they live forever away
Mashed potatoes
Cell phones
Tall, dark, handsome, unbelievably amazing Himself* – we’ll talk about Himself one of these days when I get control of the stars in my eyes
My hair stylist
The friends who constantly, consistently give their love, insight, support and encouragement – I am in awe of them
The lessons God puts in my path – hopefully I’m learning and growing
Hot water and forced air heat
Computers and the Internet
The garbage can fairy
Nice fingernails
Greeting cards
Digital cameras
Fresh pineapple
Friendly people
Opportunities to serve others

Music, movies, books, television

* names have been changed to protect the not-even-remotely innocent

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mary Alice Murphy

My BFF is Mary Alice Murphy. Well, that's her chosen Witness Protection Program name and thus how she will be known here. When I get lazy, I'll call her M.A. but never M.A.M. because I know too much dirt to ever be so formal.

Mary Alice and I met in 1979. (That's almost 30 years, people! I'm not old enough to know someone that long!) When we met, she was a Peter-Pan-collar-wearin' goody-two-shoes but I liked her anyway. We were friends all through high school, even after I sort of but not really stole her boyfriend at a costume party. She married a really great guy who corrupted her. She still loves the Peter Pan collars (I won't let her wear them) but can curse like a sailor and has a truly warped mind. An essential attribute in a BFF, if you ask me.

I got married, too, (mine didn't stick) and the four of us were inseparable. I think the fellas bonded out of necessity, so they would have someone to commiserate with. Like the time the sprayer on my kitchen sink broke. I figured if we were going to mess around with the sink, then I wanted to replace the faucet with one of those new-fangled ones that has the sprayer right in it. After consulting with my dad and the Internet, M.A. and I decided that we could fix it ourselves. The soon-to-be-ex opposed that idea but certainly wouldn't do it himself.

Mary Alice and I skipped over to the hardware store and purchased everything we needed, including a pipe wrench. Made me feel capable and somehow macho to buy a pipe wrench. We skipped back home, removed the old faucet and sprayer and installed the new one. Everything went smoothly...except we couldn't get the hot water line to stop leaking at the joint where the new line met the pipe coming from the floor.

Did I mention that this was a Sunday afternoon? Yeah. Hubris R Us. So after several attempts to stop the leaking, I called a plumber. He patiently listened to my situation, said we probably just didn't tighten the connection enough and that he wasn't going to come out on Sunday afternoon and charge us triple time to fix something like that. He'd be there bright and early Monday morning. Okie-dokie, Mr. Plumber Man!

When we started the project, we discovered that the shut off valve under the sink was broken so we couldn't just turn the water off to that sink. The leak was only a leak, not a hemorrage, but it was strong enough that packing a couple of towels around the pipe for the night wasn't going to cut it. So we had to turn off the water to the whole house.

By this time, the ex's blood pressure was of more concern than the water leaking onto the kitchen floor. He was NOT happy that he had to sleep without water available should he become suddenly dehydrated in the middle of the night. Mary Alice, my BFF, the woman who always has my 6, slunk out of the room when the ex's BP spiked and his head exploded off of his shoulders. Apparently bravery is not an attribute I value in a BFF.

Somehow the ex and I made it through the night alive and quenched. Mr. Plumber Man arrived bright and early Monday morning, tightened the joint and fixed the broken valve. I had a gorgeous, sexy new faucet and my kitchen remained spotless forever after. Well, ok, that last part's not true but I like to dream.

The threat of hiring Lucy & Ethel's Plumbing Service still strikes fear into the heart of M.A.'s husband.

Surprise, surprise, this post veered off on a tangent. Sometimes I think my whole life is a series of tangents. I'll have to tell you why Mary Alice is the world's greatest BFF another day.

My WPP name? Lupe, but don't tell because I may need it someday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My favorite joke

Q - Where do you find a dog with no legs?

A - Right where you left him.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I've been telling that joke for well over a year now and it ALWAYS makes me giggle. Why? What does that say about my sense of humor? Y'know, I don't even care - I think that joke is brilliant!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dipping my toe in the bloggy waters

I have become addicted to reading blogs. So many people are witty and clever and interesting and I like nothing more than surfing from blog to blog to see what everyone has to say. OK, I like eating cake more...and talking to the one who I hope is The One...and attending college football games (go Illini!)...fine, there are lots of things I like more than surfing blogs but it's right up there.

"Violet," I eventually said to myself, "you're witty and clever and (you think you are) interesting. You should have your own blog!" Inevitable, right? So here I am.

This space will probably be a combination of random thoughts (why does the Secret Service use codewords for the members of the First Family if those codewords are public knowledge??) and introducing myself in the most witty, clever, interesting way I know how.

I was going to promise that there will not be a plethora of parenthetical comments, but I can't. Something tells me there will be.