Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Spring! HNT

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to witta-woo!
~~Thomas Nashe (1600)
What a crock. We've been under a winter storm warning for two days now, and it extends until tomorrow morning. It's been snowing non-stop (albeit lightly) since Tuesday morning. So far, we've got about a foot of snow where I live, about 2 feet in the hills, and up to 4 feet in small towns about an hour away.

For those who are not familiar with snow, there's a 'dry' snow and a 'wet' snow, based on the relative amount of moisture in the snow. And snow that falls in sub-zero temps will be nice and powdery since it's too cold to stick to each other. In the temps that we have now (right at freezing), it sticks quite well. What we've got is most definitely 'wet'. Great for snowballs and snowmen. Really sucky for shoveling and plowing.

Ah, plowing. Not much of that going on this morning. Nothing quite as fun as driving in a foot of slushy snow. Even more fun coming home after work to find that the parking lot at my apartment complex hasn't been plowed. Even more fun will be trying to get out in the morning through the ice-formed ruts that used to be slushy ruts.

Do I sound bitter? I hope I do. After reading ASM's first line this morning, and knowing that Queenie probably spent some time at the pool today, and people like M have a great farmer's tan going--yeah, I'm bitter. Spring snow storms are expected around here, but c'mon! It's damned near May! I suppose it's better than a drought, but still...

This is from early Tuesday afternoon (you can still kind of see pavement behind me!). Squinting to keep the snow out of my eyes. The only thing good about all this--symphony season is over! I didn't have to move equipment through all of it!

"Mountains will go into labour, and a silly little mouse will be born."
I was looking for a good cat/mouse poem or quote, and sometimes the most perfect one pops up!

One might wonder how talking about a cat toy might give you a hint about who this MG might be, but then again, it should be the perfect hint! But only if you've been to her site this week! If you haven't, be sure to come back Thursday afternoon to find out who she is!
It doesn't appear that many of you figured this one out! Our cat-toy loving MG is terminally cute NY Diva! Stop by and tell her that she's lovely, even when she's not inspired! And you can catch a glimpse of her cute tummy, too!

I swear that some of you must talk to each other before sending in pictures for "...the Other HNT"! Butts apparently were the subject of the week. How do you guys do that? Still, lots of other things to see, and to be on the safe side...consider it's still NSFW! Be sure to leave comments!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stuff, No TMI, and a Tag

It's 31° and there's snow on the ground. This is getting old...
Some of you have asked about Dad. He's doing as well as can be expected. Cranky at the requirement to be homebound, but other than that, pretty good. Even the Twizzler thingy is clearing up!
Did absolutely nothing this weekend, other than two loads of laundry. After the week/weekend spent with the opera, this was a good thing!
The TMI questions this week seemed a bit lame (sorry, anonymous question writer), and would have elicited nothing more than one word answers from me, so I'm opting to post a tag I've been holding on to since last month. The lovely Lil Bit tagged me with this one.
The rules:
1. Just state what kind of sports car will you buy if you have a ton of money at the moment.
Short and sweet. Gotta like that!

There's no question in my mind as to what that car would be. A red Ferrari. From the earliest days when I started to appreciate different models of cars, I somehow/somewhere saw one in person. I was immediately hooked. It was a running joke of sorts as I was growing up. "What do you want for your birthday?" "A red Ferrari." I even got a Hot Wheels one when I was a kid! The vehicle picture has a MSRP in the $200,000 range, depending upon options. This would definitely be my first choice.

However, as Lil Bit did, I couldn't simply stop with one car, especially if I have a ton of money, so I include the following...

The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile! I think the current model with the big windows is much more fashionable than the older models.

I originally thought about a Shriners clown car, but these little ones would be a kick in the ass!

The Partridge Family bus. Gotta have it! Even better if Susan Dey (young Susan Dey) came with it!

A Hummer limousine. This might very well be the one that my siblings and I rode in when in Vegas. The only thing missing was a swimming pool!

The 1969 Ford Mustang. I actually DID own this one. My very first car. Given to me by my grandmother after she owned it for 7 years! It was in pristine condition when I got it. I ran it into the ground. Ah, youth...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins: #121

Found something to do in that dead zone between Wed. nights and the weekend that I seem to have developed. Led here by Amber... we go!

1. Apparently there's some sort of stink about Ms. California's comments (like she's someone we should listen to???).

2. I long for a warm, sunny day.

3. 2009 has been cold and wet so far.

4. I was looking forward to the symphony season ending, and the opera... that was it.

5. For too long I've been stuck in a rut.

6. I am not obsessed with HNT; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleep, tomorrow my plans include napping and Sunday, I want to take it easy!

Play along if you'd like, and let them know over at FFI!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day HNT!

Earth Day was founded in 1970, smack dab in the middle of the hippie movement. Everyone was concerned about ecology back then. Those of us who lived then can remember the auto emissions, the factories spewing God-only-knows-what, the smog, the polluted rivers and lakes, the litter along the highways, and abominations against nature that generations today couldn't possibly imagine. But that all happened somewhere else other than Montana.

OK. Let me say this right off the bat...I'm not much of a "green" person. I was not brought up in a particularly "green" environment while growing up. Even today, recycling in this town is barely funded or well used. People aren't terribly concerned about burning gasoline, because it takes gas to get from point A to point B which are long distances apart. And because the toys we play with in the forests and water and mountains take all sorts of gasoline. And we'll never give up the toys. And digging out mountainsides to get to the silver and gold is something we'll always do, because that stuff is important. Oh, sure, there's the radical environmentalists in this state (*ahem, Missoula, ahem*) who shower once a week, drive VW vans converted to run on cow farts and recycle everything that they use. Twice. But for the most part, we're smart enough not to dump sewage in the rivers, burn so much fuel as to create a permanent smog or waste much of what God's given us.

That's not to say that we haven't made strides. Society in general is certainly greener. And I'm not one to pass up a chance to use a "holiday" to help with HNT! So here I am doing my part. Swapping out the light bulbs with those energy-saving curly-cued ones. Turning off the heat in my apartment (well, that's more of a survival thing for me--no AC here in the summer), and I repotted this tree thing, because plants do that carbon dioxide/oxygen swapping thing. Just call me Mr. Green!

Way back in the dark ages (well, about 3 1/2 years ago), there was an avid group of bloggers who got caught up in this whole new phenomenon known as Half-Nekkid Thursday. Many of these avid bloggers have since left HNT, if not left blogging altogether. But once in awhile, you find out that some of them haven't abandoned us completely!
This week's Mystery Guest is one of those! She used to write about her son (the joy of her life), her work, and her social life. We followed her through her poetry. And her music (a real Sinatra fan, but just as much a fan of Daft Punk!). And her great HNTs! So this MG is for the old-timers around here. If you look closely, you might even get a clue as to who this might be! She'll be revealed late Thursday afternoon.
Our "blast from the past" MG is YoJ! I'd link you, but she's got nothing that isn't invite only (outed at work, bad scene...). She's one of the HNTers I met in Nashville. You can click the "proof" link on #10 to see her. It's great to know that the old-timers continue to check in!

Lots of pictures over at "...the Other HNT" Most definitely NSFW, but you should check them out anyway. And leave some comments for your brave fellow HNTers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do biscuits go stale after a year?

Not hardly! I refer you to this post. Not much has changed in a year. Other than getting better looking every day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stuff, and TMI Tuesday #183

Dad Update! He was supposed to go to Billings Tuesday to get his pacemaker re-zapped. Surgeons want to wait for a month so that his other surgery has healed more. They seem confident that it won't run down on him before June. Seems to me that they're cutting it close.

I've opted not to get into the gory details about him, other than he's got a tube in his gut with an automated vacuum pump. When it's moving gunk, it looks sort of like a Twizzler...
The opera went quite well Saturday night. The orchestra played well, the soloists all sang well, and everyone was happy. But the thing is about THREE HOURS LONG. Add in a 15-20 minute intermission, and it was well after 11 PM before it got over. Then the tear-down.

My position with the symphony is operations manager. I take care of the orchestra stuff. The sets, props, furniture, etc. for the opera should have been handled by someone else. It wasn't. It was somewhat thrown together, and no one made arrangements to return any of it after we were through with it. The best way to describe it would be to use a word that rhymes with 'clustertruck'. In any case, we got it all taken care of today, and officially, the 2008-2009 season is history. As soon as I get the paperwork taken care of...
Not that I care one iota, but did you realize the NBA playoffs have started? Another crock o' crap that I don't care about.
Some pretty good questions for TMI this week!

1. Marriage and children aside, what has been your greatest accomplishment in life? - I think it would have to be graduating with my Master's degree. Not something that my parents thought I needed, nor helped pay for. But they were supportive. It was something that I did on my own. Possibly as great, though I didn't realize it at the time, would be the number of former students I taught that have continued on with their music into adulthood. Many continue to play, and a few have become music teachers, as well (I warned them not to do that if they wanted financial independence...!). I'd like to think that the greatest accomplishment hasn't yet happened.
2. Aside from healthy and happy children, what is your greatest ambition for the future? - At this point in my life, I'd say waking up in the morning is a great ambition. Seriously, I'm not sure that I have any particular ambition. Geez, these questions are beginning to bring me down...
3. If we were to enter your real name in a search engine, what would we find? - Wow. I had to check. A couple of references related to my symphony job. Some articles in the local paper (no, not the arrest records). Mention in an Indian business magazine (2nd to last article at this link). And, for the first time, I've seen mention made of two others with my name!
4. Who is the most famous person you ever met (not just in the same room as, but actually spoke with)? - Does having a running conversation with James Taylor in between songs from the fourth row count? Probably not... I've had the pleasure of talking with some big-name jazz musicians (partied with a couple of them), and squeezed Alison Krauss' butt, but probably the most famous would be meeting Buzz Aldrin last summer. Or maybe meeting Vixen or Dana or any of the Indy kids later in the year...
5. Parents aside, who is your biggest hero? - Not big into heroes (though Buzz certainly fits the bill). I'd have to go with my grandfather on my mom's side. Hard working, well liked, respected in the community, and a heckuva nice guy. Died about a little over 15 years ago. Still miss him.
6. Someone once worked out the sexual version of Six Degrees of Separation - Celebrity A slept with B, who slept with C, who slept with D, making as sort of connection between A and D. Are you connected to anyone famous through six or fewer bonks? - I would have absolutely no idea.

You should go check out the other TMIers!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

List of 8s

Lots of busy stuff over the next couple of days, so when I got this tag from M, I did a quick little Snoopy dance! Seriously! It keeps me from having to come up with something original!

Here's the rules--mention the person that tagged you (did that). Complete the lists of 8's (see below). Tag 8 of your wonderful blogger friends (usually don't do this, but I will!). Go tell them you tagged them (if I have time)!

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
  1. End of the symphony season (this weekend!).
  2. Big-name concert next month (more on this later!).
  3. Non-cloudy, warmer days (Monday!).
  4. Blogger visits this summer (got a couple probables, and a possible OsTour!).
  5. Beers and keno with my two friends from high school (hopefully a couple of times this summer!).
  6. Dad's eventual recovery from his recent surgeries (hates being cooped up in the house!).
  7. Kokanee and Howard's Pizza with Rachel (hopefully on a 'regular' basis!).
  8. My next paycheck (keep those coming!).
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
  1. Surfed HNTs.
  2. Chatted with M.
  3. Almost fell asleep to Mozart.
  4. Pulled a groin muscle (insert your own joke, but it hurts like hell...).
  5. Deposited money in the bank.
  6. Ate half a sleeve of Thin Mints!
  7. Ate ibuprofen like they were M&Ms.
  8. Ordered 2 Domino's pizzas (set for the weekend!).
8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
  1. Win the lottery, without really playing the lottery.
  2. Lose weight and get in shape, without really working at it.
  3. Convince certain people in my life to see themselves the way that I do.
  4. Zap certain people out of HNT, or blogging in general.
  5. Jump on the OsTourBus on my whim and do it up right!
  6. Play the piano at the level I could be at if I were forced to take lessons as a kid.
  7. Play catch with my son, and teach him to play golf, poker and piano.
  8. Understand all the words to "Louie, Louie".
8 Shows I Watch:
  1. N.C.I.S.
  2. Dirty Jobs
  3. House
  4. Blue Collar Comedy Tour
  5. NFL Football
  6. Iron Chef
  7. The Weather Channel
  8. Austin City Limits
8 People I Tag:
  1. Amber
  2. Amy
  3. Autumn
  4. Biscuit
  5. Ella
  6. Moose
  7. Q
  8. Tish

Thursday, April 16, 2009

End of the Birthday HNT

Gosh, what a day it's been! Thankfully, I didn't have anything specifically planned--way too much going on! Things started last night with Vixen IMing me at 12:06 AM, followed immediately by Moose's phone call within a minute of her. I ended up chatting/talking with them and others until almost 2 AM!

This morning started at about 5:45 with a phone call from my birthday buddy Mere. And as the day continued, so did the Facebook alerts, phone calls, texts, and emails. Unfortunately, work was really busy, too, so I couldn't completely keep up!

While I didn't get the month-long parade of birthday cards like I did last year, I did get a couple of things sent to me! A longtime friend and lovely southern gal sent me an iTunes gift card. That was unexpected! Thanks, hon!

I got a package today which I was expecting. From another southern gal. However, I didn't expect the 42¢ POSTAGE DUE!! No details about what this gift was, but I can definitely tell you it was well worth the 42¢!

And lastly, a big package came for me that I was told about last week. From yet another southern gal! Not sure what it is about that. Anyway, all I knew is that this sucker was heavy (20 lbs, according to the tracking info!). I had absolutely no idea what this could have been. But what I got was one case (12 boxes) of Thin Mints!!! Dana, eat your heart out! If you're nice to me, I might freeze a couple of boxes for August!

I have often commented that the people 'out here' are a close-knit, friendly bunch. Everything today certainly bears that out! Many thanks for all the calls, texts, emails, presents, comments here and on Facebook, etc., etc... In trying to think of something to symbolize my 52nd bday, only one thing seemed to be appropriate...

I dance for the love

I dance even when I feel pain
I dance knowing there's something to gain
I dance for the love

I dance for me
I dance for everyone to see
I dance for the love

I dance as the sunshine
I dance hoping you will be mine
I dance for the love

I dance with words to say
I dance all day
I dance for the love

I dance even when you leave
I dance and still believe
I dance for the love

~~Amy Lee
This dancer's name will be revealed Thursday afternoon. Be sure to come back to check!
The dance-loving MG this week is part-time HNTer JerseySjov (hey, she's a student--she does what she can!). Stop by and say hi!
Birthday celebrations continue over at "...the Other HNT"! Seems like occasionally there's an unofficial 'theme'. A number of pictures that almost seem to mimic the same pose or body part. This week it appears to have been boobies! It's not ALL boobies, but it's definitely NSFW!
It wasn't ALL perfect today. Snow, wind, temps right around freezing. Not good for these aged bones...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Birthday in the Boondocks!

"I feel no shame
I'm proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks"
Little Big Town

Twenty-eight years ago today, the space shuttle Columbia touched down, successfully demonstrating the first re-usable winged spaceship. Twenty-eight years ago today, Volcano Girl sent me a dozen roses, the first I'd ever received. Twenty-eight years ago today, there was a birth in the boondocks. Little did her parents realize that their little girl would grow up to dislike mayo, ketchup, Jell-o or pudding. Yet, love broccoli and chocolate ice cream.

Their little girl ended up being the middle child. In spite of their best efforts, she grew up to be a bit of a tomboy. Played all the sports, and was pretty good. But she got her culture taken care of too. She played the trombone in high school (chick + trombone=hot!). Nothing says culture quite like the trombone... Now it's been twenty-eight years. OK. Dork alert here. If you've been here already, you'll notice that the picture on the left is different than earlier in the day. I put up the cropped picture of her sister. I couldn't tell. Though now that she mentioned it, it's completely obvious. Sorry, hon. I'm a dork.

She's a great mom to four kiddos (every one of them inheriting their mother's lookin'-good genes. Even the adopted one!). She's been a foster mom for a number of years. She's a coach. She's a secretary (by title), but can teach you how to drive a school bus in no time, and tell you the best supplier of urinal screens in the tri-state area. She's got freakishly small feet and hands. She's re-discovering life and old friends, and making lots of new ones. She's also about to embark on a new chapter of her life.

Sometimes you meet someone new, and you just "click". No real reason, but it's definitely there. I've been fortunate enough to run into that quite a bit out here, but this one "clicks" a bit more than most. And I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet her! Happy Birthday, Mere! You've turned into a dear and special friend. I hope that you have a great day today! And give yourself that gift that you need... You deserve it! The rest of you go wish her a happy birthday too! She shares her birthday with two great men. Click on Lenny's picture to see who else!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TMI Tuesday #182 - Dance Edition

OK, before I get into the actual TMI questions, some basic information about my dancing past needs to be addressed. First and foremost, I am a musician. I play in a band. Contrary to popular belief, one does not play in a band because he can't dance--it's because one chooses not to dance. There's an important difference there. In actuality, I generally DO dance when I'm playing. It's not a pretty sight. I dance like a white boy. And when we do "Play That Funky Music", then we all get to break out our white boy moves. Again, it ain't pretty.

Second point--my mother taught me how to swing dance when I was maybe a freshman in high school. At the time, I really didn't appreciate the record collection she had, and unfortunately, most of it no longer exists. But I think I salvaged the 45 of "In the Mood". She taught me well. I used that knowledge to my advantage during my college days (always fighting against the evils of disco). I'm not sure how my sisters learned, but S2 and I got to be pretty good partners any time we had the chance to show off. Until about 1986 or so. The night I split my sister in half.

I'll spare you most of the details, but suffice it to say that copious amounts of alcohol were involved. I tried one of those "flip-the-girl-over-your-back" moves that you always see on the movies. She wasn't ready for it, and we'd never tried it before. Lesson One: NEVER lock elbows! We did, and I drew my arms together, trying to flip her all the way over. Meaning she was opening up like a Cornish game hen. (Remember that scene from the first "Alien" movie? The first time we see blood and gore? When the baby alien pops out of John Hurt's chest?) The final damages? A cracked sternum, a bruised heart, and an abnormal EKG. And a heaping helping of embarrassment. I broke her. Couldn't even pick up her baby girl, my first niece, out of the crib. And yet, she still talks to me! Honest to God, I haven't danced since.

So now, with that history out of the way, here's the TMI questions/answers:

1. If you could describe your personality through a dance what would it be? - "Dance of the Hours" by Ponchielli. This is how it looked in Disney's "Fantasia". A hippo in a tutu, dancing without a care about what others may think. It fits.

2. What about describing your sex life through a type of dance? - The Zombie (is there such a dance?)
3. What's one move on the dance floor sure to turn you on? - I don't know... When the clothes start coming off? (Oh, I guess lap dances don't happen on the dance floor...)
4. Is there a dancer you would love to be with? (Dancer can be used as loosely as you want!) - Santa's Dancer would be sorta cool.
5. What moves do you pull out to impress someone new? - The Batdance (not Travolta's. Adam West!). That always gets the women!.

Be sure to check out the other TMIers!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Bullets

Back to my bullets...
  • Dad is tired, but cranky, so he's on the mend. I've got gross TMI stuff to tell, but it will have to wait. Bad news--he's home-bound for at least 4 weeks, except for doctor appointments. Good news--he's off to Billings in a week to re-zap his pacemaker!
  • Spent Sunday watching the Masters with the rest of the family. I'm not a Tiger fan, nor a Phil fan, so I enjoyed the way they both pissed it away towards the end. Going into the final round, I was rooting for Angel. Not a great bit of playing on anyone's part, but I'm glad he came through in the end!
  • Passed on Passion of the Christ and both versions of Jesus Christ Superstar, and opted for The Ten Commandments. They just don't make them like they used to!
  • I sucked down a Diet Coke w/Lime on the way to brunch Sunday morning, after going without it for 40 days. My, that's foul tasting stuff! I figure I'll be used to it again by Tuesday!
  • New Burger King commercial parody on "Baby's Got Back"--jury's out on this one still.
  • I'm up at the asscrack of dawn Monday morning to start loading sets, props and furniture for next weekend's opera. Not really part of my duties, but it appears that there's been a little lack of communication, so who's always available to fill in?? Yeah... Monday will be the worst of it, putting in a full 16-hr. day (including my regular job, too). Surfing will be sporadic, I'm afraid.
  • Don't forget--Leonardo DaVinci's birthday is Wednesday!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

End of Lent HNT!

All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from the Easter Bunny
  • Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
  • Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
  • Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
  • There's no such thing as too much candy.
  • All work and no play can make you a basket case.
  • A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
  • Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
  • Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
  • Some body parts should be floppy.
  • Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans.
  • The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
  • An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare.
  • To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell.
  • The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
It's that time of spring when the candy comes out. Possibly rivaling the candy output of Halloween! But I'm not here to extol the virtues of all of it. Cadbury's Eggs? How can you not like them? Chocolaty and creamy goodness. Or caramel. I'll admit to having had a few so far (wish I could have found the orange ones this year found some!).

Jellybeans. How can you go wrong there? Until they came out with the black licorice flavored ones, you couldn't! Now, with Jelly Bellies, you sometimes have to exercise some caution with what flavors you mix (as well as the bizarre specialty flavors they've been known to concoct). But in general, you're safe.

Chocolate bunnies? Hit and miss, depending on the chocolate. But who hasn't enjoyed the pleasure of biting off those ears, and smiling with bits of chocolate dripping from the corners of their mouth? I don't know who decided to make chocolate bunnies filled with marshmallow, but that brings me to the grossest abomination known to the candy industry.

Peeps. Those sugar-coated, marshmallow "treats" that can be found year-round, depending on the holiday season, but seem to go into overdrive at Eastertime. Bunnies, chicks, purple, blue, yellow, the dreaded hot pink... It's enough to drive one mad!

And apparently many others. There's dozens upon dozens of "Peeps" sites, many of which are dedicated to the destruction (if that's even possible) of these horrible confections. One particularly good one called "BUNNYOCALYPSE" actually has 26 episodes of different forms of Peeple destruction. Complete with pictures and videos, in most cases! Youtube is sprinkled with a variety of "Peeps in the Microwave" videos.

It is in this spirit that I present my HNT this week. Don't try to defend your love of Peeps. They'll fall on deaf ears. As will any protestations of my nuking of these Peeps. I'm happy and proud to say that many Peeps were destroyed and/or abused during this particular photo session!

Happy Easter, y'all!

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.
"Happy Trails" - Dale Evans

OK, this one is a bittersweet MG. Due to a real life situation raising its ugly head, she's had to shut down, but not before leaving a farewell post. Stop by and leave her some lovin'!
"...the Other HNT" starts off its 4th year this week, with its usual assortment of NSFW images from your fellow HNTers. Many thanks to all those who helped celebrate last week! As always, everyone is invited to submit! Or just stop by to take a look around (leave some comment lovin', too!).
I haven't discussed what I gave up for Lent, or why, or why I bother, or get into all that good Catholic discussion that many others can do so much better than I. It's fairly well known that I consider myself a Catholic, though my church-going attendance is few and far between. Yet I always try to give up something for Lent, and I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Some things are just ingrained. So what have I given up? Diet Coke w/Lime. Actually, any sort of carbonated drink (which technically doesn't include beer. whew!). And I've done extremely well thank you. But when I roll out of bed this Sunday, the first thing I'll be doing is hitting the fridge (well, second thing--I'm sure I'll pee first...), and sucking down my DCw/L. And savoring every drop of it. Am I going a little nutso without it for almost 40 days? Of course! Did you see my HNT???
Dad update - Got a phone call from Mom tonight. I was expecting her to tell me they were home, but no, that would be too easy. Apparently his surgeon went into overtime with a patient today and didn't get out until about 5PM. So he's keeping him one more night and releasing him in the morning. Which is good, because the little vacuum thingy the installed to continue sucking out any infection started to beep this afternoon. Not that big of a deal, apparently, but they would have royally freaked if it happened on the road! Speaking of beeping, I asked about zapping the pacemaker. They couldn't do that at this time, so he's got another appointment (already pre-scheduled) on the 21st to take care of that. Apparently he's got 6-7 weeks left in it, so he should be OK! And finally, apparently the weekend festivities are still on. As Mom said, one way or the other... Thanks for all the concern and comments!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Update update, and TMI Tuesday #181

Nothing new to update on the update. Read the post below for all that I know!

1. Have you ever had a sexual experience with the opposite sex? - What kind of question is that??
2. When you see someone you like, how do you act, how do you get their attention? - Strike up a conversation. Much can be determined from that first contact to see if it's worth the bother to continue (for either one).
3. Dominate or dominated, which do you prefer? - Neither? Both? No preference.
4. Would you/ Have you ever had a threesome? - No threesome. Sort of a foursome once. Would I? Only with the right people.
5. When was the last time you had sex? - Pick a number between 1 & 10. Multiply that by the square root of your age. Add two. Divide by pi. Subtract from 2009. That very well could have been the last year that I've had sex. With a partner.
6. Sex on the first date...good or bad? - I'm of the old-fashioned upbringing. Only girls going to hell would have sex on the first date.
7. Do you have any random or out of the ordinary turn ons? - None that I'm aware of.
8. What attributes attract you to a potential partner. - As mentioned in prior TMIs, simply breathing is a great attribute!

Be sure to check out the other TMIers!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Dad Update (of sorts)

Well, I'm glad I waited to do this, otherwise there would have been all sorts of edits...
Update(s) at the bottom.
Easiest way to do this is through my favorite device, the bullet:
  • Dad had heart surgery just before Thanksgiving to replace the stent in his aorta which had shifted some. Somewhat standard procedure. Move up the femoral artery (the groin) to the heart, replace stent, come back out. Well, the femoral artery collapsed on them, so they had to spend an extra two hours fixing that! The heart stuff went routinely well.
  • Dad goes outside for the first time to have Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's. He can barely walk, as his legs are severely swollen (as are his privates) from fluid retention after surgery. And the two holes in his groin from where they poked around.
  • Two weeks later, it was found that the hole in his leg was healing incorrectly, so it was left wide open, to be packed on a daily basis (Mom is getting alot of nursing experience!).
  • A couple of months go by without much incident. Until about a month ago. One night they heard a beeping sound. They figured it was Mom's cell phone. It happened again, but it wasn't the phone, so they figured it was the smoke detector in a back hallway. They replace the battery. Then it happened one more time. Dad determines that it's his pacemaker!! He had a scheduled MRI for later this month, so it was decided that he could wait until then to take care of it. (OK--a couple of points here. If MY pacemaker was beeping, wouldn't I want to take care of it right now?? Does a pacemaker slow down as the battery is dying, or does it just shut off? How does one re-zap a pacemaker? I don't think they open you up to replace it, and I haven't noticed any electrodes on my dad's neck to jump the battery if necessary.)
  • Two weeks ago, he woke up in the middle of the night, lost his balance, and fell into the walk-in closet. Needed help getting up. Mom attributes this to the fact that he hasn't been doing any sort of exercise because of the hole in his leg.
  • A couple of days later, at my sister's again for a family bday celebration for my niece, he fell on the ice and scraped his arm. His skin has the consistency of cellophane, and he bled quite nicely. Mom had to get up twice that night to re-guaze his entire arm as the blood had totally soaked through them. I, of course, suggested going to the hospital. Mom just pfffttt'ed me and said it was nothing.
  • This past Tuesday night he apparently started oozing 'something' from the incision point on his other leg from the heart surgery. They took him to the hospital Wednesday morning to check it out. Apparently, the site has been infected for the past four months. They immediately admitted him and got him on IV antibiotics (but not sure if they had him on the 'right' ones or not). They wanted to monitor his progress for 24-48 hours.
  • I get an email from Mom saying that they'd sucked out 15 ml of "goop" from the area, and they wanted to keep him until the swelling and redness went down. They were confident that the antibiotics were correct.
  • I get another email from Mom (love the way we communicate? for those who don't know--they live 2 blocks away from me, and the hospital is 4 blocks away!) saying that he was scheduled for surgery on Sunday morning. They wanted to drain an encapsulated hematoma and insert something a bit more than just a drainage tube to suck out anything that continued to seep in.
  • Sunday morning, I get a phone call (!). They decided to postpone the surgery because they didn't have a back-up team in place in case his heart decided to act up.
  • Sunday afternoon, I get another phone call. This one was from on the road. They stuck my dad in an ambulance and sent him off to Billings (3.5 hours away). Mom and two sisters were on their way to Billings. Evaluation tonight, and hopefully surgery in the morning. Hope they remember to zap his pacemaker!
So that's basically it. Dad said the night nurses were noisy and kept poking and prodding him all night, which in turn, made him cranky. As long as he's cranky, he's going to be OK. I'll update as soon as I hear anything.

UPDATE #1: Mom called from Billings. He's out of surgery, everything went well, and they expect to keep him another day or two to let the antibiotics do their thing. Should be coming home Wednesday afternoon-ish.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

This & That, and Crises Averted

No post about Dad yet. Look for that later this weekend.
I don't have any idea where the Final Four is being held this weekend (I'm actually surprised I even know it is this weekend). I don't know who the four teams playing are. I don't know who the top seeds in the tournament were. I have not watched a single minute, let alone a full game, of any of March Madness. I have not watched a single minute, let alone a full game, of ANY basketball game this season. And you know what? I am SO okay with that! Basketball ranks as low as NASCAR and baseball in my "need to see" on TV. On the other hand, the Masters starts next week!!!
You may have read the report within the last couple of days that 1 out of 10 Americans receives food stamps! What??? 1 out of 10? I am dumbfounded! Don't get me wrong--I don't mind the use of food stamps. I think it's a valuable and necessary social program. FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT. But 1 out of 10? I can almost guarantee that if I were in a group of 10 people, I would make less money than any of them, but applying for food stamps hasn't ever crossed my mind. Food stamps are meant for those who need them. 1 out of 10? Sure, there's corruption and fraud included, but even with that...1 out of 10? And I don't want to stereotype, but why is it that when I follow someone out of the store who has just used food stamps, they invariably load their groceries into the late model sports car or SUV? 1 out of 10? Am I missing something? Should I be signing up myself?
I've found two great time-wasting sites to check out. Many of us of the "older" persuasion have grown up with LIFE Magazine. Known for years as one of the finest news/life/photo magazines around. The photography is renowned, and is generally regarded as some of the finest ever published (perhaps second only to National Geographic). I don't know how long it's been up, but you can now find LIFE online! Collections of thousands of their photographs. The famous and the obscure. You can do a word search, or a category search. And you can purchase some of the photographs. Hours and hours of fun! The other site I've mentioned Full TV episodes, interviews, and all sorts of fun stuff. Just as good as Alec Baldwin says it is! Both sites have been bookmarked for future reference!
I can laugh about it now...

I was at the symphony office on Wednesday afternoon for a few minutes. As I'm walking out, I notice my flash drive sitting on the front counter. I didn't recall pulling it out, so it must have fallen out of my pocket and somebody just set it there. My flash drive isn't something that I necessarily want to have someone I know looking at. Sure, there's the symphony related files on there. But there might be pictures on there, too. Say, from my second night in Indy last November. Or this past week's OHNT pics (sometimes I draft OHNT from work...). Certainly not something I want the symphony people looking at. So, crisis averted. Or so I thought.

As I was getting ready for work on Thursday morning, I see that the flash drive is on the floor. I put it in my pocket, and what do I find? Another identical flash drive. Same brand, same color, same capacity. Yep...the one I picked up at the office wasn't really mine. A quick check showed that there were file names that meant nothing to me. I didn't dig any further, because that's just not what I do. I saw enough with the file names to know that it wasn't mine, and that was that. I didn't have time to get to the office again that day, but I knew I'd be seeing one of the volunteers at rehearsal that night. An older lady who plays violin is also a retired attorney and spends many hours a week in the office. I knew that she'd get it back to whomever it belonged. Turns out, after checking her pockets, that it was hers! So, crisis averted. Or so I thought.

I got a phone call just before leaving work on Friday. Caller ID says it's the symphony office. It was the nice retired attorney lady. Can you see where this is headed? Apparently, the flash drive I gave her was MINE. I swore I put them in different pockets to avoid this. Nope. She had mine, and I still had hers. I swung by the office to swap them, and on the drive over, various scenarios played through my head. She opened up the OHNT folder and fainted and the EMTs were furiously trying to revive her. Or she copied all the contents and passed them around to the rest of the staff. Or she was so shocked and disgusted by what she saw that she immediately deleted everything on it. I walk in the door, and she's talking with another attorney who is involved in the money side of things. None of us really say a word to each other. She and I just extended both our hands--one with the wrong drive, and the other one, open and ready to grab our respective property. I said thanks, and so did she, and I'm not sure, but I think she gave me a smile. To my relief, the police weren't outside waiting for me at the door.

All my files are intact, and I suppose I could go in and see when the last time was that they were opened, but I'm not sure I really want to know. I'd like to think that she respected my privacy as much as I respected hers. Obviously, there were no EMTs, or police, or maternal admonishments, so I think she did. But I'll never really know. Moral of the story? Password protect your flash drive!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's April HNT!

It's finally April! My favorite month of the year! Lots of things to look forward to:
Of course, there's dozens of meaningless things that are celebrated in April, but the good things all stand out. And in Montana, that means that spring is just around the corner!

I have always loved this month. When I was teaching it was the most intense time of year for the various musical groups I had (festival time). It was also the light at the end of the tunnel. The weather starts to get nicer, the birds start coming back, the days are getting noticeably longer, and people are coming out of their winter funk.

Of course, one has to start out the month with April Fool's Day! Hope you weren't pranked too badly during the day. From one fool to another...

Unfortunately, this isn't an April Fool's joke... I've got no Mystery Guest for you this week. If you've been one in the past, you're more than welcome to be one again! And for you newer ones, feel free to ask to be one!! No one is ever turned down, but I can't guarantee specific dates. I'm set for the next two weeks, but it's wide open after that!
"...the Other HNT". Wow. Three years ago I was chatting with a couple of different bloggers, who had taken HNTs that they didn't feel comfortable posting on their own sites. This was back in the day when HNT was still a bit more tame than it's become. After hearing the same thing from different people, I posed the question to the masses--"was there interest in a separate anonymous site where they could post pictures that they wouldn't post on their own site?" Obviously, the response was positive enough to give it a shot.

OHNT was born. It started slowly, but steadily. And some people decided that they liked it enough that they'd take an extra shot while doing their HNTs, just for this new site. And people started to take note of it. Over the years, I don't think that there's ever been less than 3 participants in a week, and I believe the most ever has been about 20 (until this week).

The styles of pictures has evolved over the three years, too. I've only censored one picture in the three years, but it would fit in just fine with the current style today. As is true with HNT, I think that the participants have somewhat policed themselves quite well. Boundaries are constantly expanded, and if it's too far, then they get pulled back. I think that's a great thing.

Some people consider OHNT as porn. Some people look at it as a chance to put out a picture that's outrageous for them. Some people continue to provide quite artistic pictures. And that's the beauty of it. It may not be for everyone, but the opportunity is available for those who want to use it.

I'll end this by reposting the general terms for OHNT:
  • This site is intended to showcase anonymous pictures from those who would rather not post HNTs on their own sites, or regular HNTers who would like to do something a little more risqué.
  • This site is not intended to become a porn site of any kind!
  • As the success of this site is dependent upon anonymity, if you should recognize someone, please keep it to yourself!
Congratulations to everyone who has participated. Those who have sent in one picture, and those who have sent in 77 or 67 (the current individual high numbers!). And to all of you who secretly sneak in over there to take a quick peek (individual high day was 12,000+ hits!). You've all shaped it into what it currently is. I'll keep things going as long as you want to keep it going!

This week we got almost 30 participants (including one who participated in the very first one!), and most of them are definitely NSFW. I think some of you notched things up a level for the occasion! They'll post at 12:01 MDT, and they all have the same posting time, so I have no idea which will come up first. Be aware that you might be greeted with something quite explicit! Thanks all!
Look for a post, probably on Friday, updating you on my dad. I got the phone call from Mom this afternoon--"FYI, your father's in the hospital again..." Yeah, I'm thinking he should rent a room there. Not life-threatening, but he'll be there for a couple of days. More on Friday!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What I Bought at WalMart

I braved the snow and the cold yesterday and went to WalMart (eeeek!). Didn't find what I was there for, but then I saw this album which was released Tuesday. Get thee to a store and buy it! It may not be your regular cup of tea, but she is the most sensual singer I've ever heard. I've thought that for years. And this albums features Brazilian music, which is about as sensual as you can get. Put the two together, and, well, if you can't get laid while it's playing, you're hopeless...
Diana Krall--"Quiet Nights"--Buy it today!

While you're at it, why not submit something to OHNT this week (even if you've never done it before!) Three years of naughtiness is quite a feat!