Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Readers Like Dirty Talk

I have had several comments on my last post about cleaning the shower which leads me to think that my readers like it when I talk dirty. Never one to disappoint my loyal fans, I will give you more of what you like.

Yesterday, I decided that I would start the room by room deep cleaning of this McMansion with an attack on the dirt and grime of the mud room. After scrubbing the mud room and organizing its closet, I proceeded to rid the hallway from the garage to the kitchen of its dust and dirt and then cleaned the powder room. It took me about two hours to accomplish all of this by the time I finished mopping the floors and dusting the baseboards.

Today, my plan is to do the giant and useless waste of space that is the foyer, the dining room and the library. In the dining room, I will do a ruthless clean out of the dishes that I will never use and sell them on e-bay. I will also get rid of really ugly table linens that I must have purchased while under the influence of alcohol. One only needs white china and white linens. And one only needs that when one entertains, which we seem to do very little of since we moved to Bloomington. Maybe I am too busy dusting to organize one of my wonderful dinner parties...

In other news, I learned yesterday that as women approach menopause, they start having elevated levels of testosterone in their bloodstream. This can lead to an increase in fat around the midsection. And here all this time I thought I was eating too much. Phew...now I don't have to worry about dieting.

In other other news, Jack had his six year check up yesterday and the nurse who measured his height said that she has never seen a kid his age grow so much in one year. He is off the charts and seems to be accelerating. If only he would do his Hoosier duty and get interested in the holiest of all holy Hoosier sports.

Well, off to do the dirty work.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Scrub City



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
If it takes over an hour and almost a whole can of cleanser to clean the master shower, then a few things must be true. First, the shower is WAY too big. Second, it doesn't get cleaned it often enough. Third, a professional might be better equiped to do the job.

It is times like these when I cannot wait for someone to buy this house so that they can have the pleasure of cleaning the shower. Or, the pleasure of paying someone to do it, which is what most people with homes this size do. Our master shower is all tiled and the tile/grout combination needs lots of cleaning maintenance.

I know that tiles are supposed to be in better taste than those one piece fiberglass things that you can get for your shower or bath, but truth-be-told...the next time I have the choice, I will opt for the fiberglass and suffer the sneers of the interior decorating police. The older I get, the more I want things that are practical and easy. If I have to sacrifice style for it, I don't mind doing it. What a freedom. If only I could have seen the light on this earlier in life.

I used to have a cleaning lady in CT but when we moved here, I decided that I didn't need one, since both girls were out on their own and all I had to do was take care of Chris, Jack and myself. When we lived in our little rental house, it was one thing, but when we moved into the McMansion, it became something else entirely. Still, I would rather clean myself than pay someone to do it. I don't mind cleaning and I would rather not have someone working for me in my home. Growing up on Pigtail Alley in Herkimer, NY, I was never comfortable with having domestic help of any kind. To be truthful, the house isn't as squeaky clean as it might be, but I do manage to keep up with it fairly well.

I know that this is a silly blog, but it is what is on my mind tonight. I would write more but my hands are so tired and dry from scrubbing with cleanser that I just want to go to bed and read. But, that might not be so relaxing either since I can't get the smell of bleach off my hands or out of my nostrils. (I decided to go the extra mile tonight. After physically scrubbing every last bit of scum off of the five million tiles in our stupid shower, I did a generous wash down of all shower surfaces with a bleach solution. It made me feel mighty, but it sure does smell rather noxious. My lungs hurt a bit...Did I breathe in too much chorline? I tried not to...) If I don't post again any time soon, you can assume that I was overcome by chlorine inhalation and had to take a break.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lucky Me

Loyal readers, I haven't posted in a few days because my amazing friend Cindy has been visiting from Springfield Center, NY. Cindy and I go back to elementary school, believe it or not. Those of my readers who grew up in Herkimer will not be amazed at hte longevity of our friendship because we all have that going on.

Cindy is the only friend of ours who has ever come to visit us in Indiana. To be fair, we do live entirely too far away from our friends back East and it wouldn't occur to many (or any) of them to trek out to Indiana of all places on a vacation. But, Cindy comes anyway. She came last summer and is here again. She wishes to keep the quality of her stay here a secret so that others are not encouraged to visit. She says she will be too jealous of them. It has been wonderful to have here here. I hate to see her leave tomorrow.

In other news, well, there isn't much. Life is good, what can I say? I will catch up later this weekend with a wittier (I hope) post.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Vegan Cake Update

An overnight in the fridge did wonders for the Vegan cake. It is simply yummy.

That is the most exciting thing that happened to me today. Do you think I ought to get a job?


PS....Jack on Vegans:

Jack: What are vegans mommy?

Me: They are people who don't eat meat or any product produced by animals, like milk or eggs or even honey.

Jack: Is it because they hate animals? So they don't want anything that they make?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nobody Likes a Vegan



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Well, I shouldn't say that. Some of my best friends are Vegans, actually. Hmm, that isn't actually true, either. One of my good aquaintences is Vegan. And, I happen to be cooking dinner tomorrow night for a couple of Vegans. That is why I am even thinking of Vegans. Otherwise, your Bloomingtongirl, staunch fan of butter, cream, eggs and various kinds of meat, wouldn't give the Vegans a thought.

The lucky Vegans who will feast upon dinner cooked by yours truly tomorrow night are "Mr. B", one of the first grade teachers at Jack's school, and his wife. They just had a baby. In these here Midwestern parts, when a family has a baby, it is customary for friends and aquaintences to sign up to cook dinners for them. It lasts anywhere from three weeks to a month, depending on how popular the people are and if they have a friend who organizes it for them.

In case you don't know what a Vegan is, it is someone abstains from any animal product or by-product. They don't eat meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream or any dairy product. Honey is a no-no and for some really strict Vegans, refined sugar is banned because it is processed with some kind of bone char. I sort of get why one might not eat meat or fish but it is a stretch for me to understand going without dairy products or honey. In fact, I just visited a bee farm and those bees seemed happy to me and not at all exploited. The farmers let them fly around outside but they always came back, so there.

With the Vegan restrictions in mind, I developed a menu. The main dish was easy since I have a fabulous recipe for a Minestrone Stew, which, just happens to be Vegan. A nice baguette will go with it - also Vegan. For a side dish with some protein, I shall steam up some Edamame. But, for dessert, I was a little stumped. I could do a fruit salad, but I wanted to do something more than that. I can't recall ever baking a cake or cookies without eggs...what to do? I went to my Oracle, the Internet and there I found a recipe for Vegan Chocolate Cake that contains no eggs, no butter, no milk. The ingredients were very simple and easy to put together. Flour, sugar, brewed coffee, baking soda, vanilla, salt, cocoa, vegetable oil and cider vinegar. I was skeptical, but I think that it might have come out well. The batter was delicious (and no pesky raw eggs to worry about.) and the cake itself looks really normal. Hold on for a minute while I try it....

.....Hmm...not bad. Not bad at all. While it isn't as good as a "real" cake, I have to admit it is quite tasty and moist. I will post the recipe on my recipe site for those times when you have a chocolate cake emergency but no eggs on hand. Or, for those times when pesky vegans are coming to visit. Or for those times when someone who can't have any cholesterol at all needs to have some chocolate cake.

Bye for now, loyal readers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Neither Hair nor There


Wax Job
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Yesterday, I dutifully went in for my every-four-week bikini wax. Yes, loyal readers, you are right to remind me that I used to perform this insane ritual myself and that I should continue to do so given that I purchased the professional waxing kit and still have five hundred wooden wax spreaders and as many muslin strips left. But, I implore you not to judge your Bloomingtongirl for taking the easy road of paying a complete stranger to pour hot wax on her genital region, rip the wax off and tear out her pubic hair by the roots. The last time I tried it at home, my husband took one look at the disasterous results and suggested that I have a professional do it. I had to agree with him.

In the spirit of complete disclosure, I must admit that I do not have the basic bikini wax. I have the "Extreme Parisian" version of the bikini wax. This version takes off more than the basic wax but less than the "Sultan" (absolutely every hair comes off), or the famous "Brazillian" (all but a "landing strip" in front comes off). I opt for the EP because I swim several times a week in the summer and I don't want to worry about having a pubic hair festival peeking out from my suit.

For the Extreme Parisian, part of the time, the waxee is on her back, naked from the waist down, hugging her knees to her chest while the waxer plies her trade. It is not a very dignified position but it is endurable because it is quick and there is no need for chit chat with the waxer. But, this time, there was a trainee in the room and for some reason, this made chit chat necessary. I found out that it is hard to be my witty self with my 43 year-old hoohah available for view at all times. It made me a wee bit self-conscious.

When I returned home from my wax, I decided to read the news. I had planned to read about the terrible state of affairs in this world, but I happened to see that the most e-mailed news item this week in the NY Times is one called "Throw Your Tweezers Away." Not wanting to ignore a cultural trend, I clicked at once on this important article. Good thing I did because I learned that bushy eyebrows were going to be in fashion this fall. I would not have known otherwise and might have continued to tweez my eyebrows only to be a laughingstock.

As I read the piece, I became anxious. I ran to the mirror in fear. Would my scrawny brows grow in fast enough to make the Fall fashion deadline?

To my relief, I learned from the article that women with over tweezed or just plain tweezed eyebrows need not worry. (Phew!) We unfortunates can have Eyebrow Extensions put on. For a mere $75 to $250 dollars, an eyebrow expert will " thicken brows by gluing a tiny fiber onto each existing hair." The effect lasts two weeks. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone who does this service in Bloomington. I shouldn't have been surprised since the article did specifically say that "On both coasts, everybody wants a thicker brow." Nothing was said about the heartland. I will just have to go to one of the coasts to get my eyebrow extensions. This will be expensive, but one has to do what one has to do.

Wait a minute...I just had a better eye-dea. Why not use my own hair for my extensions? After all, I have a healthy amount removed every four weeks, right? I could simply recover some of that hair and stick it on my eyebrows. The wax would make it sticky enough. It wouldn't be a perfect match, being a bit redder and curlier than my eyebrows, but I bet I could make it work.

Stay tuned for photos.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Kate & Vanessa


Kate & Vanessa
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This is a picture of Kate and her new Australian friend, Vanessa, in NYC about a month ago. Vanessa is a second cousin to one of Chris's partners here and we arranged to have Vanessa stay with Kate in NY while she was travelling around the states this summer. The girls hit it off so well that when Kate came to visit this weekend, Vanessa stayed with us too. (She has been in Bloomington for the past couple of weeks with her relatives and has been a babysitter for Jack...we have adopted Vanessa into our extended family.) It is such a treat when a chance meeting can result in a nice friendship.

In other news, Chris and I went to see The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orch. on Saturday night.

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

They always play here as part of the IU Summer Music Festival and they are world class musicians. For here, it is an expensive ticket ($20) but still very cheap and only five minutes from home. I again sing the praises of this town. On Sunday night, Chris, Kate, Vanessa and I went to a free outdoor bluegrass concert at a park in town. We brought a picnic and some wine and really enjoyed ourselves.

I wish this post could be more interesting, edgier and funnier, but alas, it isn't. When Jack goes back to school on Wednesday, I will again have some time to write. Wednesday can't come fast enough...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

I post this news gem from our little daily newspaper knowing that I run the risk of inviting my East Coast readers to (rightly in this case) make fun of Hoosiers. Too bad the guy didn't have a headache. (And is name is Darrell to boot. I wonder if he has another brother Darrell...)

Here it is:

POLICE: MAN SAID HE SHOT HIMSELF IN THE KNEE TO STOP PAIN


A Bloomington man was still being treated Friday night for a self-inflicted gunshot wound he suffered Thursday.

Darrell Rodgers, 40, reportedly told police he shot himself in the left knee because it was causing him too much pain.

According to reports filed by Bloomington police officer Paul Post, Rodgers had been shot in the same knee 10 or 11 years ago, though details of that incident were not available.

Rodgers said he had been fishing with his brother Thursday afternoon, and on the way back his left knee began causing him extreme pain.

Just after 6:50 p.m., his brother took him to Bloomington Hospital to be examined.

Rodgers’ brother went inside the hospital to find help. Two nurses had begun walking toward his car, and were only about 15 feet away, when they heard a gunshot.

Rodgers, who remained conscious for about two minutes after the shooting, later told officers he had used a .38-caliber handgun with jacketed, hollow-point bullets to shoot himself in the knee to “make the pain go away,” the report said.

Rodgers was taken inside the hospital, where he remained Friday for treatment.

That’s where Post cited him Friday afternoon, for discharging a firearm within city limits. Rodgers did have a current gun permit for the weapon.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Old News


Graduation
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I was "surfing" through my photos tonight and came across this one from Kate's graduation from Wash U earlier this year. I really like the picture so I thought I would post it.

I can't think of anything interesting to say other than I think that "terror alerts" have been made up by the Bush Administration to draw our attention away from how shitty things are in the Middle East. Just my opinion.

Better go to bed now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Castle, Some Homemade Community Building & Still Petty, In case you were worried


The Castle
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Jack built a castle today on our coffee table. Who needs toys, eh?

In other news, I went to the midweek farmers market where certain of my favorite farmers now call me by name. How do they know me you ask? It is because I did a tiny little something to build community.

I wanted to show my appreciation for my favorite farmers at the market. Not only for their produce but for how friendly and happy they are. There are several with whom I always have a little conversation and it just makes my weekend so pleasant. Anyway, I baked a bunch of my famous HoosierMama brownies and packaged them up in a beautiful way. I gave them out last Saturday morning and you know what? The recipients were really happy about it and it gave us all a chance to learn each others' names. It is a small thing, indeed, but if more people did this kind of stuff randomly, we all would have a bit more community in our lives. It is a nice thing.

I know I have raved and raved about the market but it is such a joy I can't keep it to myself. There have been many meals on our table this summer that consist completely of locally grown food. It is delicious and for some reason, really festive for me. If we were to ever leave Bloomington, the market would be one of the things I would miss most.

I know that some of my readers might be thinking that I am becoming some sort of Amishy Hoosier with only nice thoughts in her midwestern brain, what with my recent letter to the editor and my homespun community building activity. I want to reassure you all that I am the same old BloomingtonGirl - nay, East Coast Girl- I always was.

I offer in the spirit of proof that I had an extra dry martini tonight and indulged in saying snide things about some perfectly nice people who happen to be, through no fault of their own, just plain stupid. And, to reassure my readership that I have the same old petty and catty interests, I report the following. This morning when I was reading the NY Times, I saw the pictures of Ned Lamont going to the polIs in CT. My interest was not in the actual race (Shame on you Joe Lieberman and where is your party loyalty? Running as an Independent? What a load of crap) rather my interest was in the hairdo (or lack thereof) being sported by Lamont's, Annie. Since Annie works out at my old gym (or used to anyway) I phoned my former trainer there and left her a message to please encourage Mrs. Lamont to get a hairdresser or stop being photgraphed in the Times.

Also, I have to add here that I am sick to death of the press referring to Ned Lamont as "Greenwich Millionaire Ned Lamont". I think that the press characterization of him in that way is a pointed effort to get the "common" people to think a certain way about him. Surely it must be possible to describe Lamont in another manner. Let's face it. Anyone running for office in this country is either a millionaire OR is beholden to someone else for their millions. Frankly, I would rather have someone who has their own money and therefore might be a little more free to vote their own views then someone who does not. Having said that, I don't know anything about Lamont other than that he beat Lieberman and that is wife has bad hair. I do think that Lieberman needs to get out of the race for the sake of the Dems. If he doesn't he is a selfish man. But, I digress.

Oh! Look at the time! Off to bed.

The King


The Castle
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Published Again and Not a Little Surprised

I can't recall whether I informed my loyal readership that my letter to the editor of the Bloomington Herald Times about obesity was indeed published a couple of weeks after I submitted it. To my husband's great relief, we didn't have a gaggle of pissed-off fat people with torches come down our driveway, bent on revenge. The letter was published and a few of my husband's collegues commented on it (very favorably, I might add), and that was that.

Well, today, I was quite surprised to open our little newspaper to see my name on the Opinion page yet again. I had submitted a letter last week without intent of having it published. I just wanted to voice my opinion on something. I thought that they usually called to confirm that you want your letter published and since they hadn't called, I forgot all about it. Well, here it is:

Shocked, appalled by ad (the "headline read")

To the editor:

I was shocked and appalled at the H-T's lack of judgment in their placement of a quarter page advertisement for a product promising "Better Sex" right next to "Youth Sports" in the sports section. The content of this ad, which discusses, among other things, poor male performance, sexual dissatisfaction and "orgasms you've been missing out on" is completely inappropriate to be run anywhere in our community newspaper, let alone on a page where children will turn to see the photos of themselves or their peers.

How could the H-T have such an error in judgment? Did the sponsor of the ad pay so much that you lost your common sense?

I am not sure it is appropriate to even print this letter to call further attention to the ad. I just wanted to make my views known. I imagine you will receive many such letters.

-Joni McGary, Bloomington

I got an e-mail and a few phone calls today from people saying that they had seen the letter and to "keep up my activism."

I have to say that I am sort of chuckling about it because I never thought that I would be one to be "shocked and appalled" over something like this. Boy, do times change, eh? I hate to be perceived as a prude or (worse) a republican, but the placement and content of the ad was simply inappropriate. So there. I did my little civic duty to keep our paper safe from smut.

In other news, potential buyers for our house are starting to surface after a three week silence. This time of year is usually dead in this very school year driven cyclical market and then things pick up a bit in the fall before going totally silent after Thanksgiving. We had someone come last weekend and another person is scheduled for Thursday. I know that I should be happy that we might sell the house, but truth be told, I have gotten over wanting to sell it. In fact, the thought of packing up everything and moving again just makes me want to take to my bed (after a martini or two, of course.) I just don't feel like moving. There, I said it.

But, I have to continue to take the long look. This place is way too big for us and we don't need the headache of taking care of the property...etc... I am going to write that 100 times on Jack's blackboard upstairs in his playroom before I go to sleep just to make sure it sinks in.

Well, off to bed to read my trashy but entertaining novel.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mrs. Robinson: Fictional and Real Life


Mrs. Robinson
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
One of my recent posts took up the issue of the mid-life crisis affair with one who is half one's age.

Christie Brinkley

I opined that men seemed to have those kind of affairs more than woman because they could. Women, I theorized, were less likely to think themselves attractive to younger men, therefore less likely to act for fear of humiliation. (Plus, I think that it is a fact that older women ARE less attractive to younger men so a younger man is less likely to pursue her.)

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. A couple of which came to mind this week. Affairs with some extra complications.

Take for example the iconic Mrs. Robinson, pictured here with her befuddled Benjamin. In the film The Graduate, Mrs. Robinson seduces Benjamin before he falls in love with her daughter, Elaine. It's pretty bad that poor Elaine must deal with the fact that the man she loves has already been bedded by her mother, of all people. But at least Elaine can't fault her for stealing her boyfriend, because she wasn't seeing Benjamin when the affair begins. The whole situation is a mess, of course, but it is only fiction.

And now, a non-fiction example. In my very own home town of Herkimer, the current big gossip is of a real Mrs. Robinson incident. I heard the rumor from my personal Herkimer Gossip Source. I will not mention her name because it isn't nice to implicate your own mother. The rumor concerns a 46 year-old woman who graduated Herkimer High two years ahead of me. For the sake of not naming names, let's call the woman in question Cookie. Cookie is married with a daughter who is about twenty. Whether Cookie has other kids, I don't know. My nephew used to date Cookie's daughter at one point, but he has nothing to do with this story, thank goodness. Anyway, my mother, oops, Gossip Source, said that she "knew something was going on in Cookie's marriage when she saw Cookie coming out of a law office recently. (Apparently, in Herkimer, the only reason one visits a lawyer is to dissolve one's marriage. How odd, but I digress.) Some time after the law office sighting, my Source got the goods on Cookie. Cookie was indeed getting a divorce and the reason was this: Cookie's daughter had walked in on Cookie in the hot embrace of the daughter's very own boyfriend.

Why-oh-why do people do such things? It is one thing to have an affair but quite another to so completely betray every aspect of your relationship with your own daugther! Honestly, what are people thinking when they embark on such madness? That they won't get caught? And even if you never got caught, how could you face your kid? I just can't imagine it. Truly, I can't. If I were going to have an affair, as a practical matter, I would be certain to go pretty far afield of my daily contacts. In pure fact, you don't know far many more people than you know, so why not choose from the larger pool? MUST one seduce or succumb to seduction by someone a family member is dating?

I heard of another case in CT where a husband was having an affair with his wife's sister. The wife found out about the affair but never found out who the woman was. The husband broke it off and the couple went on to work things out and be happy again. BUT, the rotten sister/lover revealed herself to her wronged sister years later because she felt guilty. PUHLEASE! Guilty? I beg to differ. Selfish is more like it. She just couldn't stand that her lover had broken it off and chosen her sister in the end. That woman should be beheaded, if you ask me. What? Too harsh a punishment? Nah, I don't think so.

There is no compelling point to this post, other than such stuff happens in real life and sensational gossip such as this, even when you don't really know the person, is just too good to keep. (I guess that is why the tabloid magazines sell so well.) Truth be told, I am suffering a major confidence crisis about my writing ability so I am just blathering on for the sake of making an entry.

In other news, well, there is no other news. Perhaps some will develop and I will post later.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rude People Report

A couple of rude people sightings:

1. Out side of the IU outdoor pool, there is a large crosswalk that allows swimmers to cross safely to the parking lot for the facility, which is across a fairly busy street. From my experience, I would say that most people stop for you if you are in the crosswalk or if you have a kid with you. Often, they don't stop if you are without a kid and not yet in the crosswalk. It isn't a big deal either way because while the street is busy, there are sufficient lulls in traffic for crossing conveniently.

The other night, after the first evening swim lesson and before the second, the area on both sides of the crosswalk were populated with parents coming and going with their kids to lessons. Among these parents was a solo adult woman, intending to cross to the pool from the parking lot. She proceeded and was just a bit into the crosswalk when an SUV drove by, not stopping for her or anyone else waiting to cross. She was angry at the driver's lack of consideration and yelled at him. "IT'S A CROSSWALK YOU ASSHOLE!" I have to ask you loyal readers. Who was less considerate? The ASSHOLE screaming woman in front of twenty or so kids under the age of ten or the driver?

2. Yesterday I was in the baking aisle in the Kroger and another woman was in the aisle on her cell phone. She is a super buff athlete who I see often at the pool. Anyway, she was deep into a loud conversation, which in itself, was a bit annoying. I always hate that because I end up feeling as if I am intruding upon their private conversation when indeed, it is they who are intruding on my public experience by making me LISTEN to their not-so-private conversation. Anyway, she was telling some kind of story that for some reason made it necessary for her to say "throwing up" over and over. I am not kidding, she kept telling the person on her phone about having to tell someone over and over that she was throwing up. It was bizarre and annoying.

Well, loyal readers, time to go to bed to read the lusty adventures of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Worry not, my next book will be either real literature or a historical something or other.