Friday, September 29, 2006

Are they Serious?



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I browsed the Sony site today because a relative mentioned that she just got a new flat screen TV and I wanted to see the model. I never got that far because I was riveted by the marketing on the Sony website for their new TVs. I happened upon the "Choose Your Model" section of their site. On this page, Sony helps you determine your TV needs with a couple of questions - What will you be watching on your TV and how big is your room? - and these parts of the page are reasonable and helpful enough, especially for someone such as your BloomingtonGirl who really would need this kind of basic help. But right under this part is a section that begs the question, "Is Sony Serious?".

This section was called "Decision Aids - Helpful Tips. Quick suggestions on the practical side of buying a Sony HDTV." There were three tabs on which to click.

Tab 1: Finance. Click and a panel is revealed that says "Financing your HDTV. Sony HDTV is affordable. Sony Financial Services can make getting an HDTV easy. Find out how affordable your new HDTV can be. " (If you have to finance a new Sony HDTV...Hello? You CAN'T afford one.)

Tab 2: "How to talk to my wife" (I couldn't make this up). Click on this panel to see a photo of an upscale white couple in evening dress, apparently on their way out for the evening, walking past a beautiful Sony TV on the wall. The text reads, "It's your marriage. We'll be able to cuddle on the couch and enjoy all those romantic comedies. A new Sony HDTV will only strengthen our relationship." Sony had better run this up the legal flagpole because someone is going to sue them over this advice. My guess is that even if the cuddling on the couch and the enjoyment of all those romatic comedies did come to pass, the wife will only end up comparing her marital romance with the Hollywood version and divorce her TV-watching husband. A battle over who gets the new Sony HDTV will follow. And besides, what husband "enjoys romantic comedies"? Please.

Tab 3: "How to Talk to My Husband" Click on this tab to see a photo of a young Asian couple. The wife is holding her open eye glasses in her hand - apparently a clue that she has been crunching the numbers. The text? "It will save money. Dinner and a movie can get really expensive. A new Sony HDTV will really end up costing us less." Poor things. Their only recreational choices seem to be going out for expensive dinners followed by movies OR staying at home and watching a new Sony HDTV. Glad I'm not in those shoes.

Right now, loyal readers, I am actually in my fuzzy socks, sitting in bed in my flannel PJs writing to you. My poor husband is working the late shift today and won't be home for another hour. Jack is fast asleep and the house is almost silent.

I would keep writing but my reading list has been getting rather long lately and I want to give it some attention. On my trip, I read the latest Vogue cover to cover and I am here to tell you that I learned interesting stuff and enjoyed the very well written articles. It is not just a fashion magazine. I am so glad that I ordered it. One article that particularly interested me was about cooking "sous vide" . I might even try it on salmon.

On my trip back I splurged for the latest Harper's and was glad that I did, though in doing so, I broke my "current events fast". I am a glutton for punishment, I guess. Worry not, though. I am not going to comment here on the content of the compelling articles I read. It would get my blood pressure up and I don't want to do that before bedtime.

Bye for now, loyal readers.

W stands for Waste Material



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I can't believe that I actually subscribe to this magazine. To be fair, I didn't realize that I was subscribing to both W and Vogue when I ordered Vogue. I arrived home from my trip today to find this idiotic tome in my office with this beyond rediculous picture of Janet Jackson on the cover. "Janet Jackson - She's slimmed down and fallen in love, but can she get her rhythm back?" Who cares? Someone must, but I don't. The photo makes me wonder if she is getting as wacko as her brother. Come on, doesn't she look really strange in this picture?

Other items of urgent import on the cover include:

The Fatted Calf: When You Can't Fit Into the Season's Boots
The College Coed with the $10 Million Condo
Living Large in Malibu, Paris and Scotland

I know I have no right to complain - after all, I did invite this waste of paper and ink into my very own mailbox . But, that won't keep me from commenting on the weirdness of it all.

With each passing day, I see more and more weirdness everywhere. I hope that it doesn't make me weird.

Or, perhaps it is already too late.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Driving Miss Val'ry

I am on my way out the door today to travel to Columbia SC to pick up a friend from surgery and drive her to Florida, where she lives. I will be back on Friday, full of stories about the drive. If any are interesting or funny, I shall post them here.

In other news, I might just stop reading ANY news for awhile. I don't know if it is good for me to get so fired up (see previous "Disgusted..." right here on this very blog. Before that realization I was considering trying to write an essay for the local paper with sentiments strongly expressed along the same lines as those in my "Disgusted" blog entry. Chris said - and I paraphrase - I don't mind if you want to do that but you might consider that some people might not want to be around you if you write stuff like that. At first I was put off by people not wanting to be around me. Then, I came to my senses. Perhaps I will reconsider writing the article.

More from the road, oh loyal readers.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Disgusted - A BloomingtonGirl Rant OR There's No Place Like Home

Today we got a flyer from the Indiana Republican Party urging us to vote for the incumbent Republican Congressional candidate in our district, Mike Sodrel. The cover shows a picture of Sodrel against a background of the American Flag. The caption reads, "Congressman Mike Sodrel. Unwavering Values" . When you open it up, it says that Sodrel's "values can't be compromised" and lists three reasons to support this statement.

1. "Protecting Our Faith" The brochure brags that Sodrel opposed a federal judge who ruled that invocations before the Indiana State Legislature must not make reference to Jesus Christ or to the Christian religion. Now, someone help me out here. Who's faith exactly is Sodrel protecting when he fights for the inclusion of a Christian reference in an official State session? Not mine. The REAL protection of every American's faith is the separation - and I mean total separation - of church and state. I am so fucking sick of the Christian version of - nay, ANY version of God - being trotted out for government debate of any kind. The topic of God shouldn't even be discussed in government.

2. "Protecting Our Freedom" The brochure says that Sodrel co-sponsored the Pledge Protection Act to prevent the ACLU and liberal organizations from taking "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. And this is a reason I am supposed to want to vote for this guy? I happen to think that God should not be in the Pledge, but, having said that, I don't think that it is importance enough to be brought up for discussion, much less legislative action. But what really rubs me the wrong way in the brochure is the use of "liberal organizations" . UH OH! Liberal organizations!!! As if they form a united and evil force determined to rob America of any and all "values". Be afraid, stupid Americans. Be very afraid of the dreaded "Liberal Organizations"! Oh, loyal readers...I am a fumin' as I write this!

3. "Protecting our Flag" Sodrel co-sponsored the flag desecration amendment resolution calling for a congressional amendment to prohibit desecration of the flag. This just makes me pissed that my congressional representative is wasting his time and my tax dollars diddling around with such an inconsequential issue when there are real things to worry about. Honestly, who CARES if someone wants to burn the flag? And, if I may venture a guess...not many people care to burn one. THIS is worthy of legislation? What's next? Can't burn a picture of George Bush? I'd burn one right now if I hadn't already burned them all.

THEN, the next part of the ad says that Sodrel's democratic challenger, Baron Hill, is “just wrong on the issues that define America". Listen up, loyal readers, for you are about to learn what the issues are that define America:

The Brochure states that Baron Hill is:

1. "AGAINST empowering states to decide whether to display the Ten Commandments". I wasn't aware that an Old Testament version of right and wrong defined America. Silly me. I thought our country was defined (at least in part) by our constitution - you know, that old rag that certain people in power want to revise for their own purposes lately, our bill of rights, our canon of law, our history as a nation...THOSE kinds of things. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a beef with the message of the Ten Commandments. I just don't think that they actually DO define America. And what I also find interesting about this (and about creationism - another Old Testament Story by the way) is that it is always a certain group of Christians, those decidedly NEW Testament folks- who are at the forefront of the push to display the Commandments at state buildings and to teach creationism in our public schools. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that if anyone were to push for this it would Jewish people? The Old Testament is their book, after all. But, I ask you, how many Jewish people do you know who are pushing for the Ten Commandments to be displayed or for Creationism to be taught as a reasonable alternative to Evolution in US public schools? I don't know ANY! And you know why? They're smart enough to be concerned about larger issues and also to know that this stuff has no place in either our government OR in our school systems. The right wing Christian movement is always trotting out the Commandments and creationism out as if they were the “Gospel Truth” yet they are the first people to tell you that the New Testament supplanted the old. Can't have it both ways, people. At least not on my tax bill. Believe whatever nonsense you want but keep it out of the government. Hey, I’ll go one further. If you want to live in a nation that does not separate church and state, perhaps you might consider a place like Iran.

Phew! Got a little off track there. The take home message for me on this point is Hooray Baron Hill! for fighting to keep Church and State separate.

2. "AGAINST protecting the flag" Hill voted three (oooh! three!!!) times against a constitutional amendment to protect the American Flag from desecration. Thank you Baron Hill for protection freedom of speech. Need I say more?


Now, here's the bottom line, loyal readers. If Sodrel gets re-elected, I will be urging my husband to ask his old group in CT to take him back and move us to a state where these issues wouldn't be the ones that "define America" much less be important in a candidate's campaign. These things would be laughable in the Lieberman/Lamont campaign. I visited both Lieberman's and Lamont's campaign web sites and believe me, the issues listed as important really were. The voters there demand it. Prayer in the senate? Flag burning? Not on the radar. Why? Because they are not important. Yes, perhaps Indiana is a truer representation of "real America". But, if that's the case, I want to live in a state that is NOT. I want to live in one that is out of touch with the so-called "Values that Define America". I want to live in a state that is peopled by citizens who think that our government should be dealing with the urgent issues at hand. How about real national security, the crisis in the Middle East, maintaining freedom of speech in our country, maintaining the separation between church and state in our country, keeping a free press, the energy Crisis, the HUGE deficit, the environment?

The bright side of this is that I do live in Bloomington, a town that is decidedly out of step with the rest of this state. But, if this town doesn't hand Sodrel a firm defeat, I will be questioning whether even this is enough to hold me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

44


44
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday Dear BloomingtonGirl
Happy Birthday to Me!


(Okay, so the cake says "Happy 3rd birthday" but it was the cutest cake picture I found.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Perfect...until they shrunk



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This is a picture of "Assets" a smoother (or if you must be bone honest...a girdle) sold by Target. No, loyal readers, this is not a photo of your BloomingtonGirl modelling this not-so-sexy garmet. It is just a model who wishes she looked like me.

Anyway, Assets are designed by the same woman who started the wildly successful (and if I may add, fabulously excellent) Spanx product line. Spanx is a line of undergarments for women and they are pricey but, I am starting to think now, worth the price. The line includes pantyhose, footless pantyhose, briefs, bodysuits and all sorts of inventive "just what I needed under this outfit!" garments.

When I spied Spanx's cheaper cousin at Target, I fell for the ploy and plunked down a whopping fifteen smackers for the "Assets Incredible Underwear" (or something like that) because I had purchased a new outfit (not at Target) under which I could use some, shall we say, smoothing. They were perfect until I washed them, using the manufacturer's instructions (cold water) and they shrunk just enough so that when I put them on, I had the unsightly role blubbing over the waistband, which I did NOT have prior to washing them. That slight alteration made the garment unwearable because it created a problem where there wasn't one before. I think that I will take them back when I return to town and put the money toward a real pair of Spanx (sassier name, too, if you ask me.)

You will be relieved to know that I was able to wear the outfit in NY this weekend and looked smashing even without those crummy Assets.

NY was enjoyable and interesting. We went to visit Kate and her boyfriend, Phil. Here are some highlights:

On Saturday night -the night of the great outfit -Chris, Phil, Kate and I went to Phil's Aunt Shelley's apartment for cocktails with Shelley's friend, Andrea and Phil's mom and then out to dinner to meet Phil's grandfather. It was great to be in the city having dinner and also great to get the two families together for the first time. Kate is fortunate to have fallen in with such a nice bunch of people. (Jack stayed at home with one of his favorite babysitters from IU who now works in the city...how cool is that?)

It was a strange feeling to be the parent visiting my grown up daughter in her new place. It made me feel sort of old and out of touch in a way I haven't before. I don't know why but when I visit Meg and Abram, I don't feel that way. I just feel like my same old self.

In NY, for the first time, I identified with parents who live vicariously through their kids. I found myself longing to be young and starting out in NY in an exciting job, living in an exciting apartment and just plain being exciting. I also wanted to help Kate fix up her place by buying her everything she needed and I wanted to run out and buy her tons of new clothes and shoes for her job. It isn't that I am not a generous person, loyal readers, so don't take this next statement the wrong way. I was surprised that I had the impulses to buy all the stuff for Kate. Why? Because I am always quick to say that kids, especially those just starting out, should be making those sorts of purchases on their own in order to learn how to budget and how to do make good buying decisions. But, there I was, wanting to spoil her with everything. I didn't do this, mostly because we didn't have time, but I really wanted to. It also made me want to send Meg a package filled with stuff that I imagine she needs. Maybe I want to buy them stuff now because I don't feel that I have other things to offer them in the way of parenting? Or maybe I am over thinking that one. Who knows?

Another thing that surprised me a bit was how country bumpkin-y I felt in the city.

My guess is some of that was due to now being "from Indiana" rather than Fairfield County and some of it was due to being in a weird frame of mind about my "career" as a homemaker. Seeing Kate starting out in business reminded me of how much I enjoyed my career. She is working on something I know a little about from my working experience and I found myself wanting to say smart things to her and show off what I know (more what I don't know, probably). I felt sort of pathetic for some reason.

Now, having said all this, I don't want my loyal readers to worry that I am unhappy or depressed. Because I am not. Rather, I think that with Jack in school full time now, I have some time on my hands and the luxury of thinking about what it is that I want to do. I have been a mom in an intense way until fairly recently. Things are very different now that both girls are out on their own and doing well. It is a whole new chapter for me.

And, I will start that chapter tomorrow, right after I get some much needed exercise. Oh, and maybe after I do some outlet shopping here. Yeah, I'll start it then.

(We are in Williamsburg, VA for a few days visiting my in-laws, by the way.)

The Big Apple

Greetings loyal readers. I have just spent the weekend in NY visiting our daughter Kate. It has been wonderful. I will write more later in the week from Williamsburg VA where I will have more relaxing writing time. New York is wonderful, what can I say? It is times like these that I wish we lived in CT again so I could be but a train ride away. Kate has a great spot, right on Central Park South and a plum little job at a high powered law firm. It almost makes me want to go back to work...

Almost.

More later from the road.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BloomingtonGirl Stands Corrected

Loyal readers, I apologize for an error in my post about Favors a couple days ago. Friend No. 2 is indeed NOT a staunch Republican but a registered Democrat who has been leaning toward being more conservative in the past several years. I stand corrected and beg for your forgiveness for so falsely representing my good Friend No. 2.

You will be happy to know that Friend No. 2 and I have reached an agreement on what it is he will pay me for my favor. The details are private and cannot be disclosed here.

After all, a girl's got to have some mystery.

How Low Will They Go?

Today I experienced how politics in this nation have sunk to a new low. This is not a partisan rant, per se, though the offending party in this case happens to be the Republicans. I can't say with any certainty that the Democrats don't do this, so I won't say it. The bottom line is this: It has left me so angry and depressed over the state of affairs in this great democracy that I am actually going to volunteer for a campaign as a way to push back. Here's what happened:

I received a phone call today from "Fedr" from a 571 area code. I picked it up and a recorded voice told me that the call was from Federal or Federated something or other and that they were conducting a 45-second poll. The first question was "Are you a registered voter in Indiana?" I said yes and decided to participate in the poll because I WRONGLY assumed that it was being conducted to assess voter habits and contribute to some effort to get more people to vote. BUT, what it turned out to be was a smear of the Democratic congressional candidate from this district. After a few innocuous questions about the election, the recorded voice would pose questions like this:

"Baron Hill (the dem candidate) voted to put more pornography in the hands of underaged kids. Would knowing this make you more or less likely to vote for Baron Hill?"

Each fake poll question started with a rediculously out of context, spun, smear statement about the candidate...the real purpose of the so called poll.

I was so insulted and angry about this that I immediately called the local campaign headquarters for Hill and told them what had happened. They had received several such calls already. THEN, I phoned Mike Sodrel's local office (the Republican incumbent) but got an answering machine. So, I called his DC office. An insipid young man answered the phone. I told him my name and where I was from and why I was so angry and he said, "I will give you the regional office number." Well, of course that only made me more angry so I said, "No, I don't want the local number. I want to speak to you. Now, I know you guys are going to say, 'OH! we don't know anything about these phone calls. They aren't part of our campaign and they aren't sanctioned by Mike Sodrel!' but you better get on top of it right away because it is disgusting and insulting"...I went on a bit...you get the idea. I think that I was perfectly firm without ranting but I did make my point. Then, the insipid man said (insipidly), "I'll relay your message." Then I said, "Please relay my message with the appropriate rage level." He said he would and we hung up.

Later on, I googled Fedr and the 571 number that came up on my caller ID. I was directed to a website on which you can enter prank call numbers and find out who is calling you. It turns out that there were many comments on the site from people ALL OVER THE COUNTRY who had received similar "poll" phone calls from that very number. In each case, the phone call was a smear of the democrat candidate in the respective district disguised as a poll. Sounds like the Republican party, or perhaps some "friends" of the party have set up a little calling smear center in the 571 area code.

The sad fact is that so many people are so stupid that they would actually get their information about Hill and other dems from these very kinds of sound byte phone calls.

I am so sad that this is what campaigning has come to. I would rather the Republicans (in this case) have the balls to just call me and smear their opponent directly. Or, here's a novel idea...run on their records! Oh, sorry, they must not have very good records to run on otherwise they wouldn't have to stoop so low. And again, I am not saying that other parties are running squeaky clean campaigns...but I do believe that the Rove's Republican Machine has been nastier and dirtier than most have been in our history. I believe that Rove is a gifted individual who has unfortunately put his gifts to very bad use. Imagine if he had put his brain power and talents of manipulation behind a really good cause, like fighting poverty and disease or creating peace.

In our fine state, Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican, is running unopposed. I have to guess that even if he had an opponent, he would never allow this kind of smear campaign to be run in his name. He appears to me to be a good senator and an intelligent man. I don't agree with him on many issues, but I respect his integrity. See, loyal readers...I am not so blindly partisan.

Well, that is all for now. Tomorrow, I will work on a letter to the editor and perhaps the head of the Republican National Party. BloomingtonGirl will not stand still for this kind of fraud. Rest easy, loyal readers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What to Charge for a Favor & A Magazine Surprise

I have been recently asked to do two very big favors for two friends of mine. These favors are completely unrelated and indeed, the friends do not even know each other. One favor is for "Friend No. 1" and involves time and travel. The other favor is for "Friend No. 2" and involves disclosing something secret, which I have never shared with anyone else.

These two favors have nothing in common but the two friends do. They are both, dare I say it? Staunch Republicans. I know, loyal readers, you are startled to think that your BloomingtonGirl who has been so NOT Republican during this administration, would have good friends who support George Bush. I am startled, too, (and I imagine that they are equally startled to have me as a friend) but you have to realize that I have known "Friend No. 1 for about 22 years and have been through thick and thin with her and I have known "Friend No. 2" for over thirty years and have been through many ins and outs with him. So, in each case, our histories outweigh our political differences...plus, we wisely don't discuss politics.

Anyway, Friend no. 1 is pretty grateful that I have agreed to do this favor for her and Friend No. 2 said he would "do whatever I require" in order to get me to do what he has requested of me.

Now, normally, I would not ask for something in return for a favor to a friend. That just isn't in my nature. But, times being what they are, this might be the time to make an exception.

I think that in exchange for my favors, Friend No. 1 and Friend No. 2 should vote Democrat in the next election. Is that so much to ask? It's just a flick of the finger, right? Or a punch of the paper or a touch of the screen...what the hell is it these days?

In other news, I received W Magazine in the mail today. A 10 X 13 inch, 2.9 pound completely useless publication filled with fashion and society photos and articles. I used to read it at my gym in CT and still do occasionally when I find a copy at the Bloomington Y, which is rare. I was surprised to get W in the mail and wasn't sure if I had subscibed in a Martini moment on line or whether it had been sent as a gift by my way more glam than I am back-East friend who gives me Vanity Fair every year. I suspected both possibilities equally. (After all, in a recent "Peace on Earth" moment, I made an online donation to Code Pink (no, not the porn site, the PEACE movement) and totally forgot all about it until my AMEX card came at which time I had to do some detective work to understand what the hell the charge was for...And, by the way, it isn't as if I am even remotely drunk when these things happen. I just get carried away and then I forget all about it. I am beginning to scare myself.)

So, to be sure that I didn't owe my hip East-coast friend a thank-you, I called W to see who sent me the magazine. It turns out I sent it. When I subscribed to Vogue, I was also subscribing to W. I didn't realize the offer was for BOTH magazines. What an idiot I am.

Tune in tomorrow to see what else arrives unexpectedly in the mail.

Misfit



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
In this day and age of a million dizzying choices for everything from coffee to cars, it comes as no surprise that retailers such as Old Navy no longer sell regular old T-shirts. You can get the "classic fit", "favorite fit", "stretch fit", "relaxed fit", "seamless fit" and, shown here, the "tiny fit". Okay, I guess that the "tiny fit" is a tight little t-shirt that looks, well, tiny on the person wearing it. And, let's be honest. Nobody above a size small should be wearing the "tiny fit". So, why does the "tiny fit" come in XL? There is nothing tiny about XL. What XL person would even want a "tiny fit"? One could argue that maybe a regular medium person might buy the "tiny fit" in XL because it would probably work out to being a medium, but why wouldn't they just buy a regular medium shirt instead? Who is the "tiny fit" XL marketed to? Loyal readers, I ask you.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Not-So-Little-Guy



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
There is no mother on earth who does not think her kid gorgeous and I am no exception. I just want to eat him up.

In other news, I am feeling better than I was yesterday. A friend of mine threatened to ship her mother to me so I would have some real problems to complain about and that threat snapped me right out of my funk. Seriously, a long time and wise friend reminded me that I get like this when the fall starts coming around, so it shoudl be no surprise that I have been feeling blue. He also kicked my ass a bit about my writing and as a result, I finished a piece today and got it into form for submission. To what or where, I don't know yet, but by the end of the weekend, believe me, I will.

In other other news, Chris and I rented "The Big Lebowski" tonight. We hadn't seen it in years and really enjoyed it. I liked it more this time around. I might have mentioned that we use Netflix now and it is really great. I would never do that if I still lived in Fairfield, home of the finest video store on the planet. (Read their hilarious blog at the link below.)

Mediawave Blog

But, alas, I live in Bloomington now and the most convenient place to rent movies is the evil Blockbuster.

Well, off to bed now. More when more develops.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Target Checkout Anxiety and Other Topics of No Importance



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Today, I went to Target and was faced with the same dilemma I always face when I have to check out there. How to avoid the check-out people that just make me uncomfortable without being obvious about it. (Like anyone notices what I do, but still.)

Who are these odious people, you might ask? Well, first and worst, there is a woman - at least I think it is a woman - who looks like a homely version of Chris Cooper (pictured here) in not-very-fashion-forward drag. He/She is tall and has a homely Chris Cooper face - who is himself not so great looking to begin with, albeit a gifted actor of the highest degree- topped with a boufante hair-do and large seventies-style ugly glasses. He/she wears the red Target empolyee shirt tucked into jeans a tad bit too tight (note fat roll hanging over) belted with a belt that might look mod or retro on another more fortunate being but here just looks awful. I know I have spent some effort here describing Mr/Ms. Homely Chris Cooper's appearance, but that isn't the only thing that makes me take pause. It is his/her southern accent and gracious speech. "Y'all find everythin' ya need, hon?" He/she might say. She looks you straight in the eye and is as pleasant as you could imagine. For some reason, I just can't take it. If she is a natural born woman who was burdened with those looks, I just plain feel sorry for her. If he's a man who chooses to dress as a woman or who has had sex change surgery, I just plain feel sorry for him/her as well. After all, if one is going to suffer through that kind of surgery and pay that kind of money for it, one should at least become an attractive member of the sex to which one aspired. And in this case, that sure didn't happen.

The other checkout person who bothers me for some reason is a seemingly nice Indian man who is always pushing for his customers to save 10% on today's purchase by signing up for the Target Visa Card. He even suggests this when you are buying something very small, say toothpaste for less than $5.00. He never looks you in the eye when he suggests it but his tone says that you are his dearest friend. I don't know why he bothers me, but I always avoid him, too.

In my avoidance of these two clerks, I often end up in long lines or wrong lines ("10 Items or Less" when I have so many more than 10). Today, I ended up in the line of a middle aged-woman with post chemo baby fuzz hair on her head and lots of distracting growths on her face and skull. She was very pleasant and for some reason mentioned having to move a lot because of her husband's job and her cancer. I think it was my purchase of a new baking pan that inspired her comments. Politeness almost demanded that I ask about her cancer since she so forwardly brought it up but I am ashamed to say, loyal readers, that I just did have the energy. I was too wrapped up in my own shallow problems of gaining five pounds and of being a lousy writer. So, I thanked the poor woman and went on my way without so much as a sympathetic look to acknowledge her suffering.

A few more of these checkout clerks and I might have to start shopping at Kmart instead of Target.

Which brings up the question on everyone's lips. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, BLOOMINGTONGIRL???

And, loyal readers, I must be honest. I have no idea what is wrong with me. I believe I might be going through a mini-self-image-crisis due to Jack now being officially in school full time and due to me gaining just enough weight to not fit in my favorite clothes. If I could just go ahead and throw myself a pity-party and wallow in my depression, I might be able to get beyond it faster. Unfortunately, I know that I have nothing - and I mean NOTHING - to complain about compared to most people. Still, for some reason, this week I just feel plain old blue and discouraged. There, I said it.

And having said it, I must advise my loyal readers not to worry. I will bounce back soon, I am sure.

In other news, I am going to plant some mums tomorrow in our large planters out front so on the off chance anyone comes to look at our house, they won't suspect how little we care about that kind of stuff.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

me with freckles & nothing interesting to say


me
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This is a picture of me with the freckles that I get now in the summer. I always wanted to have more freckles but I never expected that I would actually get this many.

Jeez...I need some more material, don't you think?

I am having writer's block and an almost complete confidence crisis as far as my writing goes. I can think of few topics to write about and those that do come to mind aren't fertile ground for the old BloomingtonGirl wit lately. Is this the end of my writing career? I certainly hope not for a couple of good reasons. First, I would hate to lose this crazy illusion that I am a WRITER on the verge of getting published and acheiving fame and money. Second, I already paid my tuition for my writing group this semester so I can't fold my tent now.

I guess I could tell you what has happened to me since I woke up this morning. I got out of bed and got dressed, ate some ten- grain cereal, got Jack ready for school, took Jack to school, took Zoe to the groomer, cleaned my office, picked up Zoe from the groomer, did an hour long "power walk" while listening to the audio book 1776 by David McCullough, pondered how much history repeats itself, pondered how wretched war is, took a shower, ate lunch in front of the TV while I watched the end of a movie I started last night (P.S. I ALMOST NEVER EVERY WATCH TV DURING THE DAY), organized my office, washed some laundry, folded some laundry, went grocery shopping, picked up Jack from school, brought him home, got him ready for karate, took him to karate, took him back home immediately due to his PANIC at how large the new class was, lamented his shyness and fear while trying not to make him feel ashamed about it, cooked dinner, played StarWars with Lego mini action figures, oversaw Jack's piano practice, greeted my husband naked at the door when he returned from his long day at work (just kidding), ate dinner, washed dishes, tried to write something interesting and wrote this instead. So, there you are. Now, I shall go to bed, read a book and go to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow I will go out and do something outrageous and report on it. If you have any ideas, don't hesitate to comment here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

OCD (Obsessive Cleaning Disorder...continued)



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This is an artist's rendition of your BloomingtonGirl at work this past week. Today - a Saturday no less - I finished the library which I started yesterday. While dusting this my most favorite of rooms in the house, I rediscovered Endust, that wonder of all cleaning products. What a shine and such a light but fresh scent! I was virtually dancing around in my French Maid Outfit, singing the praises of that can of cleaning magic. Yes, loyal readers...I was a sight to behold, as you can see here in the picture.

After dusting and vacuuming and cleaning the baseboards, I organized the built-in cabinets in the library. Several games that Jack used to play with made their way out to my trunk and will soon grace the premises of our local good will. I love getting rid of things. Until the day or so afterward that is, when Jack misses the discarded objects for the first time in a year or two and won't stop asking where they are. Mothers out there know exactly what I am talking about.

Tomorrow, I tackle the master closet, which could sleep a family of five in a pinch and the master bath and bedroom. Then, on to the upstairs, which should take me most of next week. The playroom is full of stuff just begging to be given away and who am I to tell them no? I will, of course, keep my loyal readers posted on this project as I know that they draw great inspiration from my determined and humble work.

Besides cleaning today, I went to the Farmers Market with Chris and Jack this morning. I never cease to marvel at the size and quality of that market. We had a feast of fresh vegetables for lunch. After lunch, I met a friend of mine downtown for the 30th annual 4th Street Art Fair. Great stuff there and a nice atmosphere.

Chris, Jack and I played Monopoly in the late afternoon but the game came to a screeching halt when your BloomingtonGirl purchased the coveted Boardwalk. It sent Jack over the edge into a pit of despair. It was an impressive display of grief.

This evening, Chris and I went out to Restaurant Tallent for dinner to celebrate our 9th anniversary (coming up this week.) They were featuring their "Late Summer Menu" with all sorts of local ingredients. The fare was, as always, superb. I am starting to resemble a native Hoosier, however, so tomorrow I need to stop enjoying quite so much of summer's bounty. I don't mind living in the nation's ninth fattest state but I sure don't want to look as if I do.

Well, off to bed because my alarm (Jack) goes off at about 6:20 every morning and I am sure that tomorrow will be no exception.