Monday, April 28, 2008

Phallic Water Tower. What were they thinking?!

Living here in Ypsilanti, MI, fills one with an overpowering sense of awe and wonder because we few, we lucky Ypsilantians, live in the city that is home to the most ridiculous water tower ever erected (pardon the pun). The joy we are burdened with is unparalleled. I defy you, dear reader, to supply proof of a more phallic-like structure in YOUR home town.

I have pictures, people! Prepare to be amazed. And dumbfounded.

This first picture is the view I get heading west from my home towards Depot Town. Do you see it there? Dominating the western horizon?

Yes, people, we have our very own State of Michigan Registered Historic Site! Check it out:

Now that you have the history of our fine tower, here's a close-up view the beauty I get to see every day:

Yes, that is the Greek flag flying next to, but slightly lower than, Old Glory. Ypsilanti was named after General Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek war for independence. I don't know how Ypsi (typical American city... we residents hack the name in half and just call it Ypsi) got named after this famous Greek. (Lesson in pronunciation: Outsiders often call it Yipsilanti, but that's wrong, people. It is pronounced Ipsilanti. There will be a quiz later.)

We love our water tower so much that every Christmas season, we top it with a shiny, glittery star.

OOOH! Two other fascinating tidbits about my town : Our WWII Bomber factory was home to the original Rosie The Riveter. Also, the originator (though this is disputed) of the term the real McCoy, Elijah McCoy, developed his automatic lubricator (for oiling steam engines of locomotives) here.

Head over to see Miss She La and check out her creativity. I've heard she's doing very well from the sale of these postcards and only wish I had thought of it first. (Yes, I do own one of these cards. I wasn't sure about copyright issues so I didn't scan it to post here. Just follow the link, people!)

Man, I LOVE this town.

(Post edited on June 11, 2008 because after re-reading it, I realized the first version fell WAY short of funny tone I was striving for. So here it is, in it's gloriously edited form.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

And so it begins.

Google Reader is a fantastic gizmo. I love that, with a glance, I know which blogs I subscribe to have new posts to read. No more clicking through my list of bookmarks - now I just look for blog names in bold. Whee! This could be dangerous, though. My "Love List" could get huge.


Two days ago, I called my friend to ask her to dog sit for me while we're away for a long weekend in May. After that was settled, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Her: That running you started earlier this year -- how's that going?
Me: Ha. What running? I got a bad cold and couldn't breathe when exercising, and my running partner didn't like running and switched to the stationary bike. Loss of endurance + loss of running partner = quit!
Her: Oh. Because I've made it a goal to run the half-marathon in Detroit on October 19 and I don't want to train alone. Want to train with me?
Me: Really? Fantastic news. Count me in.

So it has begun. Our plan is to sign up for a beginning runners class (there's one local), then continue on with the half-marathon training class that, conveniently enough, is designed for the Detroit marathon/half-marathon.

This is good for two reasons: 1) running pretty much sucks ass and we'll need all the motivation /coaching/ass kickings we can get and 2) we're beginners who don't know what the hell we're doing!

(Please, Lord, let them help me find comfortable shoes before they even think of making me run a step. Amen.)

I'm so needing to lose weight after the winter we just had. I don't understand how I got so chubby. I've never weighed this much in my life and I'm quite uncomfortable. My clothes don't fit, and I feel heavy and crappy in general. I have gained 25 lbs since I started dating DB 2 years ago. 25 pounds. (And it's all on my ASS! For God's sake my ass can't get any bigger!) DB didn't sign up to date a chubby chick. (He's never said anything to me about the weight and I know he wouldn't. But FFS, people!, he's in fantastic shape and has the metabolism of a humming bird. GAH!)

So, I'm thinking I might do a "before" picture to hang on the wall above my desk so I can see it every day. Then, after all this craziness is over, I'll take an "after" picture so I can compare. A good idea? Hell, yes. Will I post those photos? Ask me in October.

Time for thanks:

Recently, blackbird gave me encouraging words about finding my blogging voice. She said it's not easy finding your voice and that it's OK if your blog is just for you. So, thanks, Blackbird! I'm looking forward to figuring out what type of blog this will be. Because right now? I'm not sure.

Either way, I can't keep posting about old shit I've bought and daffodils.

Coming soon: pictures of the penis-like water tower. Because it is something my blog needs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend update

Normal spring-like activities happening here, people.

Friday evening, dinner at the folks' for Mom's 70th birthday. Lovely time was had by all. She loved her MP3 player and really liked that it has an external speaker. She says the music on it is so pretty that she finds herself paying close attention to it instead of going to sleep! Oops. Defeats the purpose of getting her an MP3 player.

After dinner, DB and I took the dogs to the cottage, had some strong whiskey drinks, and watched Juno. The moon was mostly full and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The reflection off the lake was fantastic. We slept on the sleeping porch on a perfect evening for sleeping: cool and slightly breezy. The crickets (isn't it too early for crickets? maybe it was frogs) were out and lulled us right to sleep.

Yesterday morning, we awoke to an overcast sky so no beautiful sunrise to watch from the warmth of flannel sheets and a down comforter. We left the cottage and got back to town about 10. I ended up hanging with my best friend K the rest of the day. We ate lunch and shopped. I didn't buy much, but what a fun time we had!

This morning, DB went to help install the mast on the boat he crews on. I got picked up by my parents and we went to Home Depot and then to lunch.

The weather has been gorgeous this weekend! The large maple tree in my side yard is starting to get leaves and my iris patch is hatching.

Here's a shot of my daffodils taken this morning (a nice surprise for me - I bought the variety pack last fall! there are a few cream daffodils):

And a close up:

Happy day, people! Happy day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bite me!

Your Slogan Should Be

Tuli. Love Every Bite.

The Slogan Generator

Totally stolen from blogography.

Beautiful day here in Tuli-land! Going to my folks' house for Mom's 70th birthday celebration this evening. Small family gathering is all it will be. But we'll be able to eat outside, it's that lovely!

Staying at DB's cottage tonight. There's an easterly view from the sleeping porch so sunrise is the best time of day there...especially when there's fog on the lake. Beautiful!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mom's big day.

Tomorrow is my mom's 70th birthday. I can't believe she's going to be 70. She acts like she's 90 (bless her heart) but doesn't look 70.

We (brother and me) chipped in and got her an MP3 player for her to listen to at night when she can't sleep. Creative Labs makes a one with a speaker! Which is perfect because now I won't have to worry about her strangling herself. Silly old gal...she was going to sleep with headphones on! External speaker = problem solved. Having a ton of extra gadgets on her bedside table would've driven her mad. This one, all she has to do is push a little button and all the songs I'm loading on it will lull her to sleep and shuffle until she wakes up.

Do I dare tell her that I sneaked an album with subliminal "you are calm, peaceful and relaxed" type messages on it? Mama didn't raise no fool, people! I'll just pray that she calls me Saturday morning and says "I was SO relaxed listening to my music!" (Because that's what she'll call it. Her music.)

My mom was born and raised in eastern Kentucky. Mountains, coal mines, hollows (hollers, ya'll), family, family cemeteries, God. Tons of siblings (two of whom died when they were infants), extended family, home-grown, home-made and down home. Doing the right thing, an eye-for-an-eye, and family ties. Friendliness, neighborliness, community.

I love it there (!!!) and am so very glad that's where my mom came from. We had huge fights when I was being a born and raised Yankee and all, her being Southern and backwards (so I thought at the time. I was quite the little bitch.) and so much older than all my friends' moms. But now? My mom? My friend. A gem. The best.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Class sessions with Dr. Evil Professor have ended. My presentation kicked ass and my research paper has been submitted.

Now I just have to do the final. 6 out of 12 multi-part questions due by 5 on Thursday. But he's letting us email them in so I didn't have to go all mental trying to get back over to campus to turn the damn thing in.

My plan is to get up early in the morning and crank the bad boy out so I can spend the rest of a beautiful day in my yard. I've got limbs to pick up, leaves to rake and bag, weeds to pull already, and lavender plants to fuss over. Plus, there's always more dog poo that needs scooping up.

The daffodils will be making an appearance tomorrow, I think. Remember that old Mervyn's commercial where the woman was at the door, faced mooshed up against the glass, and she was tapping on the door with both hands saying, "Open, open, open"? That's me with those daffodils. So far I'm seeing bright yellow petals. But there are some late bloomers that just now broke soil. Did I buy a variety pack? Oooh! I can't wait to find out! (And damn those cute little squirrels that DUG UP and CARRIED OFF some of my daffodil bulbs! I know it was winter and your fuzzy selves were hungry but eating my spring bulbs was just meeean, ya'll.)

I think I might go watch some Father Ted episodes. I'm not Catholic, nor Irish (at least to my knowledge) but this show cracks me up.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sexy or elegant? Maybe both.

DB and I are having a bit of a debate. I think my new coffee percolator is sexy. He thinks it's elegant. Maybe it's both.

Been looking for a percolator for awhile and, of course, I wasn't happy until I found a classic percolator. One that had been around for a long time. One that had a goose-neck spout (because the new percolators have a little lip-type spout at the top that makes you stand the damn thing practically on it's top to get the last drops of coffee out and THAT sucks). One that had some style, grace, and the ability to beautify it's spot on my kitchen counter.

Web searches, home goods stores, Target, Mejier...none of these sources had what I was looking for. Then, 'lo-and-behold, I saw it. In the window of an antique shop here in town.

And it was beautiful.

So I made it mine. Here it is, people, the newest edition to my old-shit-that-I-use-every-day-because-damn, isn't-it-fan-bloody-tastic:

Tucked inside was an old cloth-covered cord that looked like it was original to the machine. And the percolator itself looked barely used. Someone took very good care of it. DB said it looked like it could've been a wedding present that was hardly ever used. I think he really digs my percolator. And I know I've typed it a lot, but percolator is such a fun word. Like pincers.

Anyway. Do you know who I blame for my obsession with all things old? I blame DB. He lives in a 1920s kit-house bungalow that is cute x 3. And it is filled to the brim with fantastic old stuff that was his Grandpa's. And I love the old stuff in his house so I am trying to acquire my own old stuff. Granted, I'm not stuck in the mission/arts and crafts decorating style like DB is. Because my house has no such style. It's just a plain-Jane old house. So I'm acquiring all this eclectic-but-old stuff and, along the way, enjoying the hell out of myself.

In other news:

I've only one class left with Dr. Evil Professor. This class will consist of listening to other classmates' lectures, handing in my research paper, and getting my take-home final. I'm taking a day off work to complete it as it's an essay final and I won't have time to complete it during the ONE EVENING I have to do it. I get the exam end of class Tuesday and have to turn it in at 5:30 on Thursday. Yeah, my class-mates voted on this bright idea. I wanted to kick asses that day, let me tell you. Because who hates writing about criminology theories? I do.

I've also got only one more Spanish class. I may not have to take the final exam. This would be a good thing as part of the exam is oral. I can read and comprehend what we've covered, but I have no confidence speaking the language.

My daffodils are getting close to blooming. I'm thrilled to bits about this. They've got the little flower-pods already, they just need to finish cooking so they can bloom. And the really nice part of this? I can't remember what color I planted. Did I buy all yellow? Or the light yellow with the cream centers? It's like Christmas in April.

Except it snowed today so hopefully they're not going to say, "Screw this! I'm not coming out in THIS shit." Be just my luck.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What is the proper etiquette?

Need some help with blogging etiquette, folks.

I would like to post a list of links for the blogs that I read on my site. Is it proper to get permission first from the blog author? Or do I just put the list up?

My first meme, people!

the rules are:

1. the rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.-----

what I was doing 10 years ago:
Adopting a dog (She's still living with me; she's diabetic, blind [cataracts], and a bit wobbly on her feet but she eats well and her tail wags more often than not, so until that changes, she's staying right where she is). Was also preparing to break the news to my parents and my husband (now ex) that I was moving to Texas (which happened in November of 98). Being a messed-up 25 year old who had no business being married or moving to Texas.

five things on my to do list today:
1. Get through a day at work.
2. Study for Spanish test tomorrow.
3. Laundry.
4. See if my daffodils are blooming yet.
5. Study for Spanish test tomorrow.

snacks I enjoy:
1. apples with peanut butter
2. bloody marys (what? there are veggie-type juices in there! and a celery stalk!)
3. triscuit - anything salty
4. tortilla chips with melted cheese on top (and maybe some chopped onion and black olives if I have them on hand)
5. ice cream

Three of my bad habits:
1. I'm a knuckle cracker. And a joint cracker (neck, knees, ankles, shoulders).
2. I swear a lot (fuckin' A)
3. My bedroom is always a mess.

five places I have lived:
1. Dexter, Michigan.
2. College dorm (for one semester. I HATED it.)
3. Round Rock, Texas
4. Manchester, Michigan
5. Ypsilanti, Michigan

five jobs I’ve had:
1. Video store clerk (several different stores at various times in life)
2. Florist's assistant (yes, working around flowers was fabulous. I miss that job.)
3. Secretary
4. Secretary
5. Secretary (do you see the pattern? That's why I'm trying to finish my degree. So I can QUIT BEING A SECRETARY.) (Not that there's anything wrong with secretarying...I just hate sitting at a desk.)

If you want to play consider yourself tagged!

Totally stolen from Heather!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring state of mind

A beautiful weekend just passed here in Michigan. It was sunny and warm and the breeze was cool and I totally blew off school work to spend time outside. Yes, I even spent time cleaning up dog crap - just so I could stay outside (and avoid blogger which was having fits of gigantic proportions).

I took Big Boy for a walk around the neighborhood and it was lovely. We weren't in a rush so I was able to let him stop and smell every blade of grass, tree, and pebble that struck his fancy. He LOVED his walk - it was the first time in a long time I'd taken him out alone. We were totally bonding. What a fantastic way to spend part of a sunny Sunday morning.

I think I've mentioned before that I planted bulbs last fall that they were already starting to come up. Here's a few of 'em:

And this one is the grand pooh-bah of bulbs-planted-last-fall (I don't remember if these are the daffodils or the other type of bulb I planted):

I must confess, before you see the next picture, that I hate paying retail for clothes/shoes/light bulbs/books/anything. Hate.It. So I shop sales, buy end-of-season clearance, scour the racks at Salvation Army, and buy "new" stuff at the Reuse and Recycle Center. I haven't always been such a tight-wad, but buying a house rearranged my priorities quickly. Also, since going back to school, I've not had time to get a part-time job which would allow me to buy things without worrying about price. So, for the past few years, "cheap" is a label that I've readily applied to myself.

That being said, when I was younger, I was a shoe junkie. I'd buy tons of shoes. I'd buy cute shoes and wouldn't think twice about paying full price for them. But now I avoid shoe shopping like the plague because those shoes I bought weren't very GOOD shoes and my feet now protest no matter what shoes I wear. Usually, I try to only buy shoes that will give support and will last a long time. Except for these shoes which were SO DISCOUNTED and SO CUTE and SO THE RIGHT SIZE that I snapped them right up and gave the stink-eye to anyone who even looked in my direction once I had these beauties in my cart (here's where I admit I got them at Salvation Army. But they were brand new! Never worn! Because really? Buying used shoes grosses me out.):

Talk about an impractical purchase! My feet hurt just LOOKING at these shoes. But I cherish them. I have no clue when I'll EVER wear them but when I do I'll take ibuprophin BEFORE I even put these torture devices on my feet. But PEOPLE! Aren't they FANTASTIC? I shall suffer gladly when wearing these shoes. (Bonus: they make me taller than DB.) I will have to come up with an excuse to wear them soon because they're just too cute to sit in the closet. (The cute little bag just screamed 'spring' at me so I couldn't pass it up.)

Another of my oh-my-God-I'm-so-cheap purchases this weekend:

I needed some bookends for my new library shelves, and while I don't have a thing for horses, I have a thing for these glass bookends. They glow quite prettily when a light is shined on them. Oh God. I'm going to have to dust these damn things all the time.

Why didn't I think of that when I bought them?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Photo Friday

It's Friday. A good day for pictures of things that make me happy.

This is Russ (a.k.a Bubbers, Big Boy, Biggest) and Scully (a.k.a Skulls, Skullster, Baby Girl). The best dogs EVER:

This is Dearest Boyfriend:

This is his dog:

This is my pear tree (which currently looks nothing like this because it's still practically winter):

And this is what it gives me (even though I do nothing for it. It produces so much that branches break!) (I'm hoping to have a friend teach me how to can this season so I can do something will all this wonderful fruit! Usually it all just falls off the tree and does nothing but attract bees and become dog snacks. Shame, I know, but it makes me happy that this thing thrives.) :

Michigan is supposed to have a bit of a warm spell next week. So that's a good thing. But it won't last. (2.5" average snowfall in April, people.)

Watched Sweeney Todd last evening. Loved.It. DB was a bit squeamish because of all the blood and couldn't believe I didn't have a problem with it. But, 'ello!, it was bright red and so obviously not real blood. Rubies, ya know!?! The music was fantastic and everyone sang their asses off even though none of them are singers and when can I watch it again?


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Numerous down, 2 to go

For the past four years, another sure sign of spring has been the winding down of winter-semester classes. (I only go half-time. So yeah, I've taken 4 classes a year since 2003. But, when added to the 2.5 years I completed right after high-school, it adds up and = a BS!)

Anyway. About this time every year, I start getting antsy for classes to end. The warmth and sunshine distract me from school ESPECIALLY when I've got professors I really can't stand. My Tuesday evening class (meets from 5:30 to 8:10 weekly) is lead by a man who is brilliant. He really knows his stuff and is passionate about his topic. But his class has been nothing but lecture, lecture, lecture. And he has a REALLY HEAVY accent so it's hard to understand him. And he thinks he's funny but he's totally not. And it's really hard to sit still for so long when you really just want to push the man out the window. Seriously, people. I could do him bodily harm. But it's almost over and now the classes have gotten really interesting. WE get to teach. Everyone has to give a 15 minute presentation, a "talk", about the subject of our huge research paper. The first round of folks went tonight and I really enjoyed them. Why couldn't we have done this a lot earlier in the semester? Granted, we're NOT going to be teachers (unless some go on to careers in academia) but tonight's presentations were really good. I took notes and everything! I give my presentation next week, then the week after (4/15) we get our take-home exam which is due on the 17th, then I'm DONE with Dr. Evil Professor! 2 more classes to go!

BUT -- one of the classes I am required to take is being offered next semester by only one professor. And it's him. I think I'm going to wait until Winter semester and try to get it then. It may mean delaying graduation, but that's OK. I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER CLASS WITH THIS MAN. EVER.

My Saturday class (5 hours, Spanish) is wonderful. My classmates are wonderful and my professor, who also has an accent - but it's a lot easier to understand then Dr. E.P.s - is entertaining and funny. So, for those reasons, I'll be bummed when the semester is over. But not for losing 5 hours of every Saturday for the past 4 months.

I used Olay's Microdermabrasion kit thingy for the first time this evening. I think I like it! Not so crazy about the smell of it, but that's just me. I don't like citrus-y smells. DB torments me about my hatred of all things citrus. He'll eat an orange then come up and rub my shoulders. Or play with my hair (which is lovely but he never does it when he doesn't have orange odor all over his hands. grr). Yeah. It's rude. But he does enjoy tormenting me so.

Trying to figure out how to put twitter on my side menu but I've not figured it out yet. I do so love a good tweet!

*Raising my Smithwick's to you*