Friday, July 27, 2012

"Strong Woman Number"

I'm not a big person.  I'm 5'2 1/4" tall....that's not "big" to anyone over the age of 4!  I don't have a trim and fit kind of body, the only definition that my arms have is of the Webster know, "the upper limb of the human body."  I don't exercise, I don't lift weights, I'm not even the person of choice to open an uncooperative jar lid!  I barely have the strength to put dishes away in my upper cabinets.  Actually, what I am is a weakling!  Pathetic, even!

So I would really like to know how (with not much more than a nudge!) I managed to break my printer!!!  I didn't use any kind of implement on it (no hammer, no wrench, no screwdriver); I didn't kick it, or drop it, or throw it!  No excessive use of force!  I didn't even YELL at the darned thing!

Nope, all I wanted to do was to get to the ink cartridges.  I have worked in various office settings for over nearly 45 years.  I have changed toner and ink cartridges, fixed every possible kind of paper jam on 800 different printers made by HP, Canon, IBM, Dell, Xerox, and others.  I have used huge copiers that handle 2500 copies an hour (or something like that).   It isn't brain surgery, or rocket science, or even algebra!  Over the years the companies who make all of the common business machines have designed them to be nearly "idiot proof".  Getting to the "guts" of the machine is pretty straightforward with lots of helpful little diagrams and arrows, and colorful warnings...."HOT", "Do NOT touch!", "Lift Here" and the like.  They do that in an effort to keep people, especially the inept, careless, and clumsy from killing themselves when trying to add paper!  (It isn't 100% effective, there are still an enormous number of bozos who managed to injure themselves on a regular basis!)  I am a reasonably intelligent woman, I have never been injured by a printer!

Okay, so I think I have clearly established that I am an experienced office professional!  I had no agenda, I was neither angry nor in a hurry.  I did not do anything that I haven't done thousands of times before!  

All I did was nudge it a little!  There is usually some sort of set point on printers to hold the cover open so you can use two hands to deal with the "innerds". You usually have to open it beyond the set point and then the cover will automatically lock into the spot and will hold until you are finished and manually close the cover.  Right??  You've all encountered these things and I daresay use them all the time.  But I couldn't find it!  The cover would not stay open!  So I did a little extra lift (really, it was hardly even a push) because I thought maybe I hadn't gone far enough.  One teeny, tiny little, itty bitty lift!

All I got was one loudish SNAP!

Oh-oh!  That can't be good.  I looked at the back of the printer, there was something wonky about the alignment of the back.  I set the cover back in place, but it wasn't in place.  It wouldn't close.  There was a small gap that didn't used to be there. And it was kind of .....loose! And the little screen said something about the cover being open and that I should close it before it would work again!  Easy for it to say!  Ha!

Mikey tried valiantly to repair it, but one of the hinges was broken.  It had come apart where it wasn't supposed to come apart.  The printer is only about 4 years old.  One ream of paper lasts for MONTHS!  It works just fine. Well, it did work fine.  It's a nice combination of copier/color printer/fax/scanner.  Doesn't matter. It will not work when the cover is open and the cover will not close.  Sigh.....

Mikey gets to go to his favorite place, "Best Buy" and buy a new printer.   

I guess I'm stronger than I thought!  Got any jars you want opened??

Monday, July 23, 2012

"The Wheels on the Bus"

I am really excited!  In just one short week, I will be back doing what I love!   I will be directing the opening show of the 15th Season of the Way Off Broadway Community Players!  "The Wheels on the Bus" will go round and round as we present "Bus Stop" a play by the American playwright, William Inge!  

This play opened in New York in 1955 and starred Albert Salmi, Kim Stanley, and Elaine Stritch, among others.  It was nominated for four Tony's.  The story?

In the middle of a howling blizzard, a bus pulls up at a roadside diner. All roads west are closed and the weary travelers are going to have to hole up until morning.  Cherie is the passenger with most to worry about.  She's been pursued, proposed to, and kidnapped by Bo, an exuberant cowboy with the romantic methods of a headstrong bull. Virgil, Bo’s friend and mentor tries to keep him in check with only limited success.  As counterpoint, Grace, the diner’s owner, and the bus driver, Carl, at last find time to develop a “friendship” of their own.  A former professor comes to terms with himself; and a young waitress gets her first taste of romance. All the while the Sheriff keeps close watch on the weather, the roads, and the diverse group of people stranded together for one long night at the Bus Stop.
We will be having open auditions on July 30, 2012.  I'm a bit nervous about getting a good turn-out, so keep your fingers crossed for me!  (And if you know any (non-equity) actors in the Austin area please give them a heads up.  Here's the theater's website: 

The process will be ongoing until we open in September and close in October!  Yep, "The Wheels on the Bus" are on their way!!  Wheeeee!

You'll be hearing more along the way, I promise!

Way Off Broadway Community Players

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Stealing

I have been sorely lacking in inspiration for writing lately.  It's been a full week since I've posted.  Abysmal performance!  Because I don't want you to forget me....uuhh.... still don't have anything fun to write the most self-centered human being on the planet....(ahem)..... can't come up with anything else....errrr.... think these things are fun, I thought we might all enjoy another round of Sunday Stealing!

1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?     If I want sweet, it's Mr. Goodbar, but if I need an infusion of salty/crunchy, I head right to the Cheese Curls!  And iced tea!

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?    A mermaid, of course!

3. Who’s your favorite redhead?   Brenda Starr!  (Is she even around anymore??)

4. What do you order when you’re at IHOP?   Pancake platter, crispy bacon, extra butter, and warm maple syrup and iced tea!  (Known as "the usual" to the staff at my local IHOP!)

5. Last book you read?   "Suburban Renewal"  by Patricia Morsi

6. Describe your mood.   Content

7. Describe the last time you were injured.    Do paper cuts count??

8. Of all your friends, who would you want to be stuck in a well with?   Stuck in a well???  Why ever would I want to be stuck in a well with anyone??!!!

9. Rock concert or symphony?    I have to choose??  Really???

10. What is the wallpaper of your cell phone?   It's a photo of a great traffic sign for a roundabout.

11. Favorite soda?    Pepsi

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?    A Mickey and Minnie  pajama top.  (Hey, it's the day of rest....don't judge!)

13. If you could only use one form of transportation?     I am content with a cute car!

14. Most recent movie you have watched in theater?   I think it was "The King's Speech."   I don't do movies much.  There's just not much I want to see!

15. Name an actor/actress/singer you have had the hots for.    Ahhh, I hate being predictable, but I would have walked through fire for Paul Newman.

16. What’s your favorite kind of cake?    I love spice cake with cream cheese frosting!!

17. What did you have for dinner last night?    A croque monsieur, pasta salad, and mushroom soup at Le Madeleine.  Lovely!

18. Look to your left, what do you see?    TWO boxes from Zappos with shoes I need to return before May, 2013.  (They have the BEST return policy, bar none!)

19. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?   Most of the time

20. Favorite toy as a child?    My Teddy.

21. Do you buy your own groceries?     Not anymore!  After doing the shopping for 40 years, my dear, sweet Mikey , is now the official grocery boy!

22. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?    I'm pretty sure some do!

23. When was the last time you had gummy worms?     I tried one or two when they first came out years ago!

24. What’s your favorite fruit?    Bing Cherries!!

25. Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?   Are you  kidding??  I have never done a cartwheel with or without a picture!

Today we ripped off a blogger named Metalmom from the blog I Don't Want to Hear It. We will do the fifty questions in two parts. She explains that she got it fromRobin from the blog Libra Girl. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time.Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at  Sunday Stealing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"I Don't Want to Mention Any Names"

Don't you just love it when a name is witty, clever, and/or cute?  I am not, of course, speaking of people's names.  Who wants to be named Ima Hogg or Ura Hogg??  (They were real people!  Seriously!)  Yes, it's a clever word play, but not really nice at all!  Certainly not a nice thing to do to your children!

There are other areas however, where word play leads to a name of a business, (or a book, or a color) a real delight for those of us who love words and the use of them.

The very first time I remember  encountering a real-life cleverly named business was back in Chicago around 1972 or so.  (I'm sure they existed before then, but this was the first business I actually SAW that made me laugh out loud.  It was a hair salon on North Clark St. and was called "Curl Up and Dye."  I was driving by one day and saw it.  I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard!  Since that time I have come across the name in multiple places but to me, that's where it came from and all the rest are copy cats!

Since that time I've seen lots of other business with witty monikers.  I can't help but giggle when I see The Enchanted Florist, or Wok and Roll, or Cutie Pie!  Those are real businesses here in  Austin.  There are many others (that I can't think of right now) in Austin, after all "Keep Austin Weird" is more than a slogan!

The most recent one I saw was for an online retailer.  The name was "Ottoman Empire"  and they sell....ottomans and footstools!!  That is subtle and clever and effective!   Now if it's too subtle for you, just Google The Ottoman Empire for the "real" definition.

There is another online site that I came across recently called Mod Cloth.  They sell clothes (no surprise there!), but each dress is given a name.  And they really play around to come up with creative names.  They make me smile a lot....sometimes I even giggle!  For instances....

*  Light brown summer dress??      Safari the Eye Can See
*  A raincoat??                              Waterway to Go
* A romantic black top??               I'm in Louvre!
*  A Polka Dot dress??                 Dot a Worry in the World
*  A party dress??                         Master of My Fete!
*  A Printed Tee w/ 2 giraffes??     Neck and Neck
*  A bright orange dress??             Tender Loving Carrot
*  Swirly dress for dancing??         Outside the Box Step

And my personal favorite (so far)???

*A light weight short coat???        Hit the Bricks, Jack(et)!!   

Don't you just love it!??  Their clothes are cute too!  
Here's a link:  
 (Sorry, you have to cut and paste, for some reason my computer doesn't like to paste in links!  I'm probably doing it wrong!)

New Arrivals - Keep Palm and Carry On Leggings
Keep Palm and Carry On Leggings

I was going to write about some Nail Polish Colors and Names of Books (particularly mysteries), but that would probably be overkill.   I'll save those for another day.

Besides it is raining cats and dogs complete with lightening and very LOUD thunder.  I think it's time for me to get the heck off the computer!

Friday, July 13, 2012

"What's the Use of Wonderin'?"

You would think that anyone who has lived 66 years would have pretty much encountered most of life's weirdness by now!  It doesn't, however, appear so.  There are still a whole bunch of things I don't trends, styles, inventions, attitudes, behaviours  that I just don't get.  And new ones cropping up every day.  For instance:

1.  The trends in shoe design!  The designers appear to be constantly pushing the envelope toward the strangest, most uncomfortable, completely unwearable contraptions they call "shoes"....just to have a "new" fashion in footwear to sell.  Some of the most recent have included the current crop of silly-looking platform shoe with 6" stiletto heels, or the "gladiator" style that does not look good on anyone!

There is one style that I just don't get at all,  not one bit.  Have you  seen the open-toed boots???  Isn't that about the dumbest idea ever?  It's pretty close to an oxymoron.  The purpose of a "boot" is protection!  Protection from the elements, the temperature, the terrain, and so on.  The boot is worn to keep our little piggies warm and dry and comfy!   A boot with open toes cannot do any of that!  Besides which, it looks ridiculous!  I just don't get it!

2.  I guess you could call them "food parks" or "lots of eats".  I don't know what they are really called (if anything) but they are popping up all over Austin.  Wha??  Vacant lots or unused parking lots are being used by wagons, trailers, or Airstream Caravans that have been turned into food sellers.  Each one sells some specific type of food.  It started with trailers selling cupcakes, or sno cones, or coffee.  But now they sell tacos, or pie, or sandwiches, or ice cream or whatever.  You walk up to the window and order what you want and either go sit at a picnic table or take it with you.  It's like what you see at fairs or carnivals.  There is no ambiance, or comfort.  You eat outdoors (in the sun and heat) and the "facilities" consist only of por-ta-potties.  They must be a shangri la for both crawling and flying insects!  It must be because Austin has such a large teenage to young adult population (this is a college town, after all.)  But for me??  No, thank you!  I just don't get it!

3.  Everybody has times when their emotions appear to be on a roller coaster ride of enormous proportions....up....down.....up....and down again.  It's part of human nature (and hormones.)   But how many times have you run into someone who suddenly just seems down all the time?  Those people who are chronically and clinically Depressed.

I'm not talking about the generally crabby people who just never see any glass more than half-empty.  In "Steel Magnolias", Ouiser has a great line, she says, "I'm not crazy.  I've just been in a very bad mood for the last 40 years!"  That's personality not Depression.

Depression is usually brought on by a series of significantly challenging events,  those emotionally stressful situations that we all encounter occasionally.  Everything from deaths to financial loss to post partum "blues". We all have them sometimes.  Usually the regular cycle of up and down will resume as the person adjusts to the changes.  But for some people the stress of their lives is overwhelming and they can't resume the regular cycle of ups and downs.  Generally when this happens, there is an additional element that kicks in.  In ways that I don't understand (but know to be true nonetheless) a chemical balance crops up and and makes it impossible to just bounce back!

So what is it that I don't understand??  I don't understand why so many of these folks are absolutely unwilling to accept that it is not "normal" to remain in this state for months and months and months without even trying to find their way out!  The believe thay will "snap out of it" soon.  They think they'll feel better soon.  They refuse to consider therapy, they refuse to consider medication, they refuse to consider even talking with a doctor, they refuse to admit that something might actually help lift the cloud they are under!!  This is what I mean.  Some combination of those potential treatments will usually beat back the bleakness and return them to the light.  But they will not even try!   If they fell off a boat in the middle of the ocean, would they refuse a life preserver  too??   I just don't get it!

4.  Prices that just keep going up and up and up!  And frequently it makes NO sense at all! For example, I hurt my shoulder and it's hard to lift my arm over my head.  That makes it painful to to use a hair dryer after I have washed my hair.  Because I was getting tired of it, I went to one of those chains of hair salons called something like Kwik Klips or Wash and Wear or something and asked what they would charge for a shampoo and styling blow dry.  This was not a private high-end salon.  No appointment was necessary, and a lot of guys use them for a quick haircut.  Anyway, the clerk told me it would be $30.  Thirty freaking dollars!!  That is outrageous!  So I went to Walmart and a very nice woman just a bit younger than I washed, dried, and styled my hair for $14.95!  Now the last time I checked 30 was TWICE as much as 15!  TWICE!! She did a great job and it only took her about 15 minutes!   And the other place wanted $30 for the same thing?   I just don't get it!

5.  Could someone please explain "Instagram" (or whatever it's called).  It has something to do with photographs, but I've never seen it referred to as a "camera" or a phone, so I don't know what it is, how  it works, and why suddenly so many people are using it to post photos on FB and their blogs, while I have no CLUE!  Is there some sort of  underground grapevine that only goes to selected people who "get" technology.  Three months ago, I had never heard of it.  Now it seems like everyone is using it except me!  I just don't get it!

As always, I probably won't ever understand any of this so, really, "What's the Use of Wonderin'?"   I just don't get it and I never will!

Monday, July 9, 2012

"There'll Be Some Changes Made" -- 181st Metamorphosis Monday

Have I ever mentioned that I love having a pretty house filled with pretty things?  I do!  I love finding the perfect doodad...uhhhnn....thing....uhhhnn....piece to add to a room that makes it just right!  It's a gift!  I love deciding on a new color scheme for a room and finding just the right blend of old and new to give a space a whole different feel.  I frequently come across a project to create or recreate something fun to add.    If I had the money, I would be updating and changing rooms all the time!

Have I also ever mentioned that I have not one crafty, creative, or artistic skill to DO whatever project I come up with and make it turn out exactly the way I see it in my mind's eye!  My efforts by and large suck swamp water.  What looks easy isn't!  What seems simple is hard for me.  Consequently, if I can't buy it in the exact condition I want it, I will never personally be able to do the work to make it that way!  It's a little....ok, a LOT frustrating.

Have I mentioned that I have a not-so-secret weapon?  I have the Big Guy!  He has all the skills I do not have in the "make something" arena.  My Big Guy can fix, make, or put together ANYTHING!  He can paint, build, redo, remodel, and install whatever idea I can come up with.  HE is a gift!!

Sooo, I will share with you our latest project....and, yes, it is OUR project!  I come up with the idea and he makes it happen. 

I needed a dresser for my bedroom.  About EIGHT  YEARS ago I found this blinding beauty in a used furniture store.  OH. MY. GOD.  These photos were taken at the point we had already started the redo, so you won't get the full effect of the HORROR!  Nevertheless I liked the lines and saw it much differently in my mind.   It sat and sat and SAT in the garage until we were inspired to move it along.  I certainly still needed the storage and it certainly wasn't doing anything for anyone sitting in the garage!


We decided that the dresser must have belonged to a teenage girl who wanted BRIGHT!  Well, I like bright and all, but this was just SOOOO bright!

I had seen a lot of evidence of the epidemic of ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT invading homes of crafty decorators all throughout Blogland.  It looked and sounded like it would be easy!  And it WAS....for me!  For the Big Guy....not quite so.  We chose a warm cream (sorry, I can't remember the actual name of the paint). As the directions advised,  Mikey painted without priming, without sanding anymore than the top and the places where he had used wood filler.  

He found out that in certain circumstances (like painting over HOT PINK AND GOLD) , the highly touted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint did NOT cover in one coat as advertised.  It covered most of it, but there were two drawers that just didn't want to give up the pink!  It kept bleeding through!  Mikey tried several different brushes, left it to cure for a few days between coats, but still the pink came through.  We decided that the pink must have been a water based paint (I personally think it had been watered down a bit too....maybe going for the look of a wash??) and because the chalk paint was water based too, it just kept interacting with the old paint.  

Finally, after about six coats on the offending drawers, it stopped bleeding through!!  YAY!  And it was beautiful!


Isn't it GORGEOUS??  We had originally intended to distress it but when we (all right, HE) got to this point it seemed like it would be a sin to beat on it!!  I figure in a few years it will become distressed all on it's own!

I'm sorry I'm not a better photographer.  These shots do not do justice to either the before or the after!  The afters seem to show a lot of imperfections, but they are shadows or poor lighting or really bad photography.  But it doesn't matter too much, because in real life it went from horrid to heavenly!  

Thanks again to the Big Guy!  It is lovely and soooo much better than I ever hoped for!

I am so pleased with this, I am sending it to the 181st Metamorphosis Monday (if I can figure out how!) at

Between Naps On The Porch

And... Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick

Thrifty Decor Chick

Go visit all the lovely links with changes of their own.  You'll love it!  I do!

Compared to all the beautiful Metamorphoses and Before and Afters, this is kind of small potatoes, I know.  Still, it's a big change for us!!  Hope you enjoyed our makeover!!  I think we may have started something around here!  Yep, "There'll Be Some Changes Made!"

"Something's Gotta Give"

I have been diddling around about writing in my blog off and on for weeks!  I have no good reason why I have been so unproductive lately.  It's not as if I have been involved in some huge project, or been on vacation, or even been under the weather.  I just lack motivation.

Before  retired when I was still trying to find a permanent and palatable job here in Austin, nearly every ad or recruitment site mentioned some variation of "needs to be a self-starter."  And every time I came across that phrase I knew I was doomed.

I will follow directions that I am given.   I will work hard to complete a "to do" list quickly and efficiently.  I will accomplish all aspects of whatever job I am assigned.  I am a fast worker.  I can get things done.  I can be one of the best employees in the company.   I can even be a good manager as long as I have a clear understanding of what is expected, what needs to be done, and the timeframe within which it needs to be accomplished.  I respond extremely well to praise or compliments.  I will do everything in my power to meet someone else's expectations of me.  (Perhaps this is part of why I always wish more people would read and comment on my "Musings".)

What I can't do, however, is be a self-starter. I am no good at coming up with ideas or plans for something new or innovative, and I positively suck at being motivated on my own! I am the very personification of the second part of  Newton's First Law of Motion, (simply stated as):

"An object in motion shall remain in motion 
(until encountering an external Force); 
and an object at rest shall remain at rest."

In other words, once I start to do nothing, I continue doing nothing!    I am so far from a self-starter it's laughable.  If something is expected of me by someone else, 99% of the time I will do my best to accomplish it quickly and well.

At any given time, there are a million things that need my attention to varying degrees.  Some are one time actions (e.g., planting bulbs in the Spring), others are occasional actions (e.g., polishing silver), and still others are those dreadful,  repeated-to-infinity actions (e.g., dusting or laundry) and lastly are those things that I SHOULD do (e.g., write!)
If there are, however, no expectations, no boss, no deadlines, no one relying on my effort to get a job done, I can pretty much guarantee that I will not do anything. When I sits, I stays sat!! 

I believe that this is not so much a lack in my character or good fortune as it is a genetic problem!  I just don't have a very strong motivation gene!!  My DNA must be missing the amino acids that govern such things.  My individual genome has to be a few chromosomes short of a normal person's get up and go!   

So, when you encounter a period of time when I appear to have given up writing or disappeared into cyberspace, remember it's not my fault!  I am genetically impaired!  Even Shakespeare said so!  Sort of....

"The fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, 
but in ourselves...." 

[Act I Scene II "Julius Caesar".] 

Either that, or I'm just plain bone-lazy.... 

* * * * * 

On a related side-note, I never realized that Newton's First Law of Motion had been set to music!  Remember this 1950s song??

When an irresistible force, such as you,

Meets an old immovable object like me,
You can bet as sure as you live,
Something's gotta give, something's gotta give,
Something's gotta give!

--  Johnny Mercer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"The Stars and Stripes Forever"

Let's remember to celebrate and be grateful for our Freedom on the other 364 days of the year!

Long may she wave!

You might also like....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...