Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Others

Hello Dahlings! I thought she would never get off the computer! I kept nudging and nudging and nudging her hand away, but she’s so dim she could not take the hint. I guess that’s why they’re called dumb animals…

So, it has come to the attention of The Zsa Zsa – moi – that there is interest in hearing from the other canine Linguinis. Really, the Zsa Zsa wants to know: What other canine Linguinis? There is only the Zsa Zsa, there should only ever be The Zsa Zsa. The Zsa Zsa is the end all of Canine Magnificence. Anything other than the Zsa Zsa is just a….a…Mongrel.

Oh, you don’t mean…surely you can’t want to…No! You can’t want to hear from The Other Aussie?!

Instead of the Zsa Zsa?

You do know he comes from Bayshore, just down the road, whereas the Zsa Zsa is imported from Michigan! The Zsa Zsa has papers! And, look, The Zsa Zsa has diamonds!

So I ask you: What more do you need than The Zsa Zsa?

Oh – and for you ingrates wondering about those…those…Parson…Jack…Corpuscle…things…those annoying white rats…those flea-bait, rodent-chasing, attention-deficient yapping PESTS – well, there are none here that I acknowledge…OW! ...There are only Aussies…SHUT UP!...Not a single terrier here that I can see… OUCH! KNOCK IT OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF….




As The Zsa Zsa said, there is nothing but The Zsa Zsa, Dahlings. No terriers here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads...

Okay. I’ve been very patient. I haven’t said one word of complaint. For the past two days I have been gracious, tolerant, polite and accommodating.

But this is the third day of rain and someone needs to find something else for Dirtman to do and make sure it can be done somewhere else. It’s either feast or famine around here, in terms of time spent with Dirtman.

Mornings in a string good weather:

Dirtman (racing out door): Took $200 from the ATM. Don’t hold dinner. Who is that big kid sitting there? The babysitter?

Sisiggy: That would be Heir 1. We haven’t needed a babysitter in five years. Did you grow a beard?

Heir 2: Mom, who was that?

Heir 1: Can I have some cash?

Mornings on a rainy day:

Dirtman: Looks like I’m staying home today. What’s for breakfast?

Sisiggy: Homemade scones, eggs and bacon. Here, let me pour your coffee. How lovely that we’ll be spending the day together!

Dirtman: I think after I finish some paperwork, I’ll spend some time with the boys.

Heir 2: Golly, that’s swell, Dad. (Editor’s Note: Parts of the previous sentence were edited to maintain our family-friendly standards.)

Heir 1: Can I have some cash?

Morning on the third rainy day of the week:

Dirtman: Looks like I’m staying home again today. What’s for breakfast?

Sisiggy: Breakfast? I haven’t seen the stove since two nights ago. It might be somewhere under those soil maps or perhaps under that pile of topos or pile of faxes. Are you ever going to shave?

Dirtman: I think Heir 2 needs a haircut. And I think you should change the entire bookkeeping system for the business. Oh, and the filing system? Really stinks. Let’s renumber everything from 2004 on.

Sisiggy (Sinks to her knees and begins to weep.): For the love of God, when is it going to stop raining?

Heir 2: (Editor’s Note: The entire previous sentence was edited to maintain our family-friendly standards.)

Heir 1: Can I have some cash?

I would send him to our building site, but we’re down to the last contractor who will actually show up and I don’t want to alienate him (the contractor).

So now I am three days behind on office work and THERE IS NOT A CLEAN GLASS IN THE HOUSE. What’s up with that? Why can’t the glass be reused or rinsed and reused? And socks. The socks are everywhere. Only they don't match and I never see him actually wearing them. And why can’t the trash be put in the trash, not NEAR the trash, NOT IN THE VICINITY OF THE TRASH, BUT ACTUALLY IN THE RECEPTACLE FOR WHICH IT IS MEANT…

(Editor’s Note: Sisiggy will be unable to finish her post for today. When last heard from, she was mumbling, “Every pencil. He couldn’t sharpen the one he was using…no…he had to take a new one every time and drop them and then get a new one and drop it and get a new one and drop it and…”)

Reasons Why Your Mother Is Not As Big a Dweeb as You Think She Is

Heirs 1 and 2 need to be reminded of this every now and then.

First reason: The total lack of teddy bears in all aspects of her life

I have never worn a garment that had a teddy bear on it, at least not since I was 8 years old. This includes anything featuring a character conceived in the mind of A.A. Milne.

Additionally, I have never used teddy bears as home d├ęcor for anyone except a child under 5. I have never felt the urge to buy a teddy bear and clothe it.

This may seem like a good thing to my sons while in their tough-guy teenage years. However, they may regret this later when they become fathers (much, much, much later. Eons later.) because I cannot come within five yards of one of those “make your own teddy bear” stores without waves of nausea overcoming me. No, this is one grandmother who will stick to clothing and diapers.

In fact, at risk of offending some young-marrieds and ruining the fond memories of their glorious wedding day (don’t get me started on that little slice of tradition…), I would venture to say that if your wedding cake is topped with a teddy bear couple dressed in wedding garb, you probably should rethink your expectations of the institution.

What spurred this particular rant on this particular day? I recently saw a grown woman sporting sweatshirt featuring a pink-ribbon bedecked teddy bear with a slogan that I couldn’t read but what probably said something like, “I bearly wuv you.” Cigarette dangling out of her mouth, she was flinging a small, screaming child into a car seat and yelling something unintelligible (to me – I haven’t developed an ear for the accent and cadence in some of the deeper Southern speakers).

While I will agree this is a most extreme example of the teddy bear attire appearing on absolutely the wrong person at the wrong time, it did set me to trying to think of occasions when this would be appropriate. I came up blank.

But then my rule of thumb about age-appropriate attire is: if you can’t picture Hepburn in it (Audrey or Katherine), don’t wear it.

Editor’s note: Those expecting updates on The Zsa Zsa or any of the other canine Linguinis, please understand that non-dog people think we are strange and some even go so far as to equate making your dog talk in a blog to wearing a teddy bear t-shirt.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Prima Donna flees photogs

(Self-) Acclaimed diva, The Zsa Zsa, has communicated that she has no comment on this weekend’s festivities and has cancelled all public appearances through the holidays.

Cornered by paparazzi while attempting to flee Howard County in an unmarked blue van belonging to her Former Personage, Ms. Zsa denied rumors she was returning to her previous manager due to irreconcilable differences of opinion.

In response to her current Person’s comment that the weekend was a success because “no one got hurt or threw up,” Ms. Zsa stated: “A gorilla dancing Swan Lake is more graceful than That Woman.”

Friday, November 25, 2005

Yes! The day is here, Dahlings!

The day you get to hear from Me, The Zsa Zsa!

Yes, I know you’ve had to endure two days of The Person droning on and on about her sad little life. But she did set up this little blog thing for me so I can communicate with You, my Adoring Admirers.

And The Person is such a good little typist and supposedly makes a lovely cup of coffee (though The Zsa Zsa does not drink coffee. It causes the skin to age prematurely – not that this is a problem for The Zsa Zsa…)

So today The Person will be busy because, you see, today is Spa Day for The Zsa Zsa!

Yes, today is The Zsa Zsa’s day of pampering, where The Zsa Zsa will be bathed and massaged. The Zsa Zsa will be fluffed and pouffed. The Zsa Zsa will be made to be even more fabulous than the Zsa Zsa already is. All because tomorrow is:


The Day of Zsa Zsa


Yes, Dahlings. The Zsa Zsa will be making a public appearance and my Adoring Admirers will come from all over the country, bringing their own Persons with them, all to do homage to The Zsa Zsa!

Then they will choose One Among their Persons who may meet The Zsa Zsa one-on-one and that Person may actually touch The Zsa Zsa!!!!!!!!!

(I must say, though, Dahlings, some of these Persons do touch in some of the rudest ways. I suppose it’s because most of them are mongrels and, as we all know, breeding always shows. Ah, well, I suppose we must endure their little foibles if we are to continue allowing them to serve us.)

For a special treat, also with The Zsa Zsa will be appearing her son – uh – close male relative, The Bedford!

(ha ha – pardon the slip of the tongue – heh, heh – how can he be my son when The Zsa Zsa is only a puppy herself – heh, heh…)

I’ve managed to secure a much more experienced Person for my Bedford. I, of course, being The Zsa Zsa, can train my person, she’s so new to all this. Though I must admit to being a bit envious of my sonclose male relative – when I see him precede me so regally and well-presented and then I, The Zsa Zsa, must endure the antics of this…this…this Clod...This…Oaf…this…Woman!

(Pardon my French, Dahlings, but, you know in person breeding, “woman” is not a derogatory term.)

Yet, I know, The Zsa Zsa’s magnificence will shine through, in spite of the little woman. I know this because always the Chosen Personage says a heartfelt “thank you” after the Zsa Zsa had allowed it to touch her. It is such an honor for them (an honor I don’t think the little woman appreciates to its fullest extent).

Always after the One Chosen Personage is permitted the ceremonial Touching of the Zsa Zsa, we go home. I have no idea what you Adoring Admirers do for the rest of the day since we never stick around to find out, but I assume there are celebrations and festivities honoring All That is Zsa Zsa!

Someday, perhaps Dahlings, I will stay and receive the honor that is my due. But The Person is so easily bored and does tire quickly. Sometimes The Zsa Zsa thinks it is The Zsa Zsa who should be waiting on her, instead of the other way around.

But that would be absolutely ridiculous! HA! Imagine letting a person in charge? HA! (Though I do hear, among the mongrel trash it is common that the dog sleeps on the floor while the human sleeps on the bed. Truly! I’ve heard whispers of this embarrassing practice. Though it is to be expected among that class, it is a dangerous situation should word get out among our own.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I hope you enjoy your home-cooked meals, at your own table in your own home.

Me and mine? We’ll be chowing down at a local inn. There will be no leftovers. No week of turkey soup, turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches. No leftover pie.

No homey Thanksgiving for the Linguini family. Everything is packed away in a storage facility because 89 years ago we thought we were “just about to move.”

(Those of you who happen by because you know me have already endured most of this post. So go get a cup of coffee while I complain to everyone else.)

For the past 150 years we have been building a house. To save time, we decided on a house that is stick built elsewhere and then comes in on several tractor trailers (not exactly modular, but using the same concept). After all, as the company advertised, weather no longer becomes an issue if the house is stick built in the plant. We even visited the plant and watched someone’s house roll off the assembly line, completely done, shingled and sided. We ordered ours, a fun process because you get to pick out your tiles and fixtures and colors.

That was approximately 115 year ago. Even when, 20 years later, they got back to us to finalize our choices, we laughed and said, “You know what they say about building your own house…it’s never done on time (chuckle, chuckle).” We had figured, after 20 years, we’d be living in it, you know? But, Dirtman and I, we’re easy to get along with.

The house was delivered 78 years ago, looking like this:

I don’t recall asking for my siding to say Tyvale and it might be hard finding shutters to match…

Okay. So it wasn’t quite as done as we were led to believe. I guess I should have been more specific when I said I wanted a house with a bay window.


So, we put our crack crew on the job and now, 78 years later the house looks like this:

You know, that siding is really starting to bug me.

There is a siding guy somewhere and he assures us we’re on the list. In fact, I understand we’re on the list at the phone company, the electric company, the fuel company (who came by to fill the tank they hadn’t delivered yet), the drainfield contracting company, the electrician, the plumber and the paving company.

I want to know exactly which list I’m on.

There are only two dependable entities in our crack crew: our carpenter Tony and his dad and our swimming pool contractor Dale and his crew. (I know I’ve just lost the sympathy of most right there. Swimming pool contractor? I know. But I got over being guilty about complaining when I hit the 105-year mark.)

Tony and his dad show up every day, even some weekends, even in the bitter cold. And they never laugh at us. We are abysmally stupid about most construction issues and they never laugh – to our face anyway.

When we mentioned in passing to Dale we needed a whole lot of fill dirt, it became like that Mickey Mouse scene in Fantasia where the brooms keep dumping water. Every day we arrived there was another pile of fill. Only no backhoe guy to spread it around. But we’re on his…oh, never mind.

Meanwhile, since we’ve started this process, I’ve watched vacant lots being sold, built on and inhabited three times over. One is even up for sale again.

So enjoy your turkey and pie, everyone. (Sigh) We’ll just sit on our boxes, watch the Macy’s Parade and tell Heirs 1 and 2 about how, in the future, they will live in a house with more than one bathroom and a basement where the tide doesn’t come in and out and where you can blow dry your hair without blowing a fuse. I’m sure they and our grandchildren will enjoy it and they can come to the nursing home and tell Dirtman and me all about it.

It really ticks me off about no pie, though.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Why "Linguini on the Ceiling"?

In the book Good Faith by Jane Smiley one of the characters, a middle-aged married woman with two teenaged sons (hmmm, sound familiar?), explains why she is having an affair by describing this scenario: She had arranged some flowers in her favorite vase and was just placing it on the mantlepiece when a football flew over her shoulder, breaking the vase and spilling water everywhere. This, she feels, sums up her life: "I live in a frat house."

Now, I don't have a mantle (yet...more on that another time). But I do have this:

Yes. That's what it is. Linguini on my ceiling. Why?

Good luck with that one. But, you ask, who...?

I asked the same thing. Who would put linguini on my ceiling? The answer I got?


So you see, I'm supposed to believe a total stranger entered my house, sneaked past four dogs, flung a strand of cooked pasta onto my ceiling, and sneaked out.

Heir 2 later fessed up. Heir 1 was highly insulted that I even considered him, claiming flinging macaroni is not his style.

This, however, is:

This was facing the commode in our bathroom during a party, with a caption I've cropped out. Rumor has it that it has faced the commode in a local Walmart and a few local fast food places. So don't dare suggest that Heir 1's humor is as juvenile as that of Heir 2....

So according to Jane Smiley or, rather, Jane Smiley's fictional character, I'm permitted an affair, something I pointed out to my husband. He laughed.

Seriously. He laughed. The man whose food I fix, laughed.

Now, I could go around the house and photograph every hole in the wall explained away with the excuse, "I didn't throw him that hard." I could write a lament for the broken mattress I still am forced to sleep on that couldn't take the strain of celebratory jumping during a Virginia Tech rout over UVa. I could list the anniversaries, birthdays and Mother's Days I spent at Little League baseball games that went into extra innings.

Instead, I leave the linguini on the ceiling. In fact, next time we paint I'm painting right over it. I have this vision of decades from now, when I'm long gone (not dead -- just to Ocracoke), someone preparing the kitchen ceiling for repainting, coming across the linguini and wondering...

Besides, I'm too damn tired to have an affair.

No whine, thank you...

I’ve always blogged in my head.

Even before there was such as thing as a “blog,” this stream-of-consciousness-Andy-Rooney-esque commentary on life would be continually running through my brain, getting in the way of other, more fruitful thoughts. Only I’d edit my rambling, stopping myself just short of – dare I say – enlightenment to study the grammar of the sentence with which I was involved.

This is the only purpose I can see for this thing called “blogging.” It might shut up the never-ending flow of commentary long enough for me to balance my checkbook in peace.

For years I tried journaling. A box of them is in my closet and every now and then I take one out and listen to it whine and whine and whine. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t love me enough. He doesn’t love me in the right way. He never loved me. I don’t’ need him to love me. So there. Then I tear up the pages and trash it. The box is half empty.

No. Journaling is too private. You need accountability. You need to know that if you lapse in to maudlin self-pity, someone is going to give you a prosaic slap in the face and tell you to Just. Shut. Up.

…Assuming someone else is going to stumble upon this blog and stay awhile. I suppose my family will, if only to check my schedule, perhaps to gauge my mood and, most definitely, out of curiosity. Initially, anyway. Beyond that, I may be blogging into the ether.

So this is my take on my world, which may be the same or different than your take on your world. Don’t take it personally.

I know a first entry should introduce who I am, but I think that will reveal itself in time. As a springboard, suffice it to say I’m a 48-year-old female, married, with two teenage sons.