22 July 2012

What is This "Blogging" You Speak of?

At least it's been less than a year since the last one! NO COMPLAINTS.

You have no idea how many times I've sat down at my computer, blog post ideas ready at hand, only to be distracted by international newsworthy events, or Bubble Saga. But I'm in the mood, I've finally shut down facebook and all of its evil, evil games, evil evil updates, and evil, evil "friends" (not you, though), and I've started with enough time that I'm not pushing the "publish" button at 5am (which of course, has never EVER happened...you ingrates).

So. On to me. Hey! Remember back when you used to love me? And you'd show your love in cookies? Or rather I'd respectfully request you display your supposed love for me with cookies and you'd come up with the worst excuse of all time and not produce said cookies? Remember those good times? Those empty, loveless, hate-filled times? Yeah, me too. Ethel is always on the ball, I have to say. This past Christmas she prepared dozens of sugar cookies for me, including raw ones I could stick in my oven later so my cookie-levels would remain high. I appreciated that. What I didn't appreciate, was the rest of you losers failing to love me during the Season of Holy Loving Each Other, dammit!

So what did I have to do to fix this situation? I GOT CANCER. Oh yes, you jerks, I had to get BLOODY CANCER JUST TO GET SOME DAMN COOKIES. And did I get them? Oh, I got promises. EMPTY PROMISES FULL OF LIES. LIES THAT MAKE MY CANCER SAD. Out of all the people who professed to love me, I only got Cancer Cookies from all of three people. And I can't help noticing that that was a month ago and I am cookie-less yet again, you bastards. What will it take, huh? Will you throw stale sugar cookies at my coffin?!? Oh, you'll be sorry all right. You'll be sorry. When my zombie corpse comes and forces you to bake cookies while I threaten you with brain-eating, don't be surprised. NO TEARS.

OK, what else? Oh, we moved. Not that you knew where we lived before, but we're in a different place now. You know, in case you're stalking me or something. We like it here very much. We have more room to  put our mountains of crap, and a bigger yard for me to never go out in because it's as hot as the surface of the sun right now. And far, far more areas for the Idiot Cat to puke up furballs. It's quite the game every morning to see where she's left it this time! The little minx!

Did I mention I have cancer? And that cookies are the only cure? And that you're hateful for not trying to make me well again? OK, just making sure.

Speaking of cookies, I think I've made it clear that Ethel delights in making me mounds of sugar cookies every Christmas. This is why she gets everything when I die. But back to the cookies. One December Fred and Ethel had a party and a small group of us got on the topic of cookies (I may have had a part in steering that conversation). *Just a side note. Never give me a captive audience.*  I jokingly demanded that Ethel not only make me monster-sized sugar cookies that year, but I wanted my name on every fricking one.

Did I mention Ethel loves to humor me?  Thank you, Ethel. I hope you're all taking notes, because THAT'S WHAT LOVE/THE CURE FOR CANCER LOOKS LIKE, PEOPLE.

So I also remembered another story from our trip to Maine two years ago! If you need a refresher on that, it's the post right before this one. See, not posting for a year was intentional until I could remember all the stories. One of the towns we drive through on our way to the cottage is Thomaston, the former location of the Maine State Prison. Not particularly exciting in and of itself, but the unique and wonderful thing about the State Prison and its prisoners is the State Prison Shop/Showroom. The State Prison has since been torn down and moved elsewhere in the state, but the shop has stayed where it always was (attached to the front of the former prison, and now attached to nothing). I love the program the Maine State Prison (MSP) has created for the inmates there. They teach them woodworking and then sell what they make. And we're not talking crap here, we're talking some pretty impressive things these guys can learn to make. The prisoners get a small percentage of the sale of what they make, enabling them to earn a small salary to help pay off debts/child support/etc., and they learn a new profession that will hopefully help them on the outside. Those on good behavior even help out in the shop itself. Several years back I bought something and a prisoner was at the register ringing people up. He had a guard standing two inches behind him with his hand on his gun, but he was still in charge of the register. The last couple times we went, the guards themselves ran the register and the inmates helped stock shelves, wrap up purchases, and even carry heavy objects out to your car for you. So obviously they're not too worried about them wandering off.

This last time I went with all three screamers/children but no Husband because he was relaxing back at the cottage. SweetPea was a mere 10 months old and needed to be strapped in a stroller lest I lose my mind. The front of the showroom building has approximately 174,594 narrow concrete steps leading up to the front door. This is cumbersome if you choose to bring the child + stroller rather than tying them to a lamppost and leaving. Upon finally thrusting the four (five if you count the stroller) of us into the front door, I happened upon the inmate team standing in the check-out area, who had apparently been watching my attempt at entry with some degree of amusement. One pointed out, "There's a handicapped ramp right on the side there if it'll be easier to leave that way." I thought that information, while not timely, was helpful indeed and I thanked him for the tip, vowing to myself to look for a ramp to the side of the stairs that was apparently invisible to me previously. After making our purchases we headed back to the front door and I fought my way out of the swinging door onto the small landing, only to note that there was no ramp to be seen. I looked back to see the absolutely baffled look on the inmates' faces as I stood there, contemplating fighting my way back through the door to ask exactly where this ramp was, or just sucking it up and carrying the stroller down the stairs again. Rather than embarrass myself further, I chose the latter. It was only then that I saw the ramp, as described, on the right side of the building. A side where I never even noticed there was a door, let alone a ramp. Needless to say, I felt slightly stupid. Mind you, this is not your average situation where you feel stupid in front of another average Joe like yourself. Everyone's stupid sometimes. But I was frantically stupid in front of prisoners. You know, the guys who are IN JAIL BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO STUPID. These men, with pasts full of illegal stupidity, thought I was stupid. Are you sensing the gravity of the situation here? The absolute unparalleled mortification I felt? Good, I hope so. And you thought my vacation was full of wonder and delight. That'll show you.


15 August 2011

This Just In: Still Not Dead

Although my communication as of late has suggested otherwise.  As always, enough whining and complaining from my clamoring fans (all two of you) has prompted yet another statement from my agent affirming that I am alive, definition-wise.

My excuse as to why I stopped writing has always been the same.  So much has happened in the, uh, more-than-a-year (oops) that it's too overwhelming to write about everything.  So I've decided to sum up.  Those of you who remember me know that I'm incapable of truly summing up anything and ramble on and on and on, mostly so I can hear the monotonous tone of my own voice.  So we'll just do that.

K, last June-July (2010) the Delusional Family took another trip up to Maine.  What's not to love about Maine?  Or rather, what's not to love about driving to Maine with several small children and staying in a decidedly non-kid-friendly house for over a week?  Lots, as it turns out.  Worst. Vacation. Ever.  "But Abby, that Titanic vacation probably sucked pretty hard.  I mean, all the screaming, and the drowning, and the..."  NO!  WORST. VACATION. EVER.  The screaming on the decks of the Titanic paled in comparison to the screaming in our minivan on the 16-hour drive up and the 13-hour drive home.  Most of my time in the  deathtrap that was our car was spent either handing toys to a shrieking baby or fervently praying the Husband didn't drive off the side of the nearest cliff just to end it all.  Why do our children hate us so?  Why does the baby cry at all available opportunities until passing out from exhaustion, only to be awakened when the toddler sees her sleeping and gleefully screams until she wakes up?  And why did we bother saving that same-said boy's life when he repeatedly tried to end it by balancing on the two-story deck on the back of a chair?  Or when he did his best to destroy everything in that entire house and for the third time in as many vacations there the Husband had to repaint the children's room to cover the glaring evidence of our having stayed there?  I defy any survivor of a world-famous disaster to beat my tales of woe at the next group therapy session.  NEVER AGAIN.

On the other hand, I did score some wonderful photos while we were there and I didn't even erase them all this time!  The next time you see me, be sure and high-five me for that one.

So then what?  Huh.  I think I've discovered the solution to my too-overwhelmed-to-blog issue.  Wait long enough and you can't remember anything anyway.  Problem solved!  All right then, moving on.

Miss Misty and I have started our own book club because everyone else's book clubs suck, including yours.  Our first book is "Washington: a Life" by Ron Chernow.  I hope the title didn't spoil it for you, but it's about the life of George Washington.  I've been intensely interested in becoming more intimately acquainted with the Father of our Country for some time, particularly since I refused to believe he was as boring as every history text book has ever made him out to be.  And I was right!  As usual!  I've barely made a dent into that enormous doorstop/murder weapon and I've already discovered a side of Washington no one ever talks about in schools.  He was vain and ambitious, had a volcanic temper, had a mother he probably dreamed of throwing off the nearest tall building, and suffered an unrequited crush on his best friend's wife.  He was tall and handsome, but intensely self-conscious about his bad teeth and facial smallpox scars.  He was egotistical but shy, and anything but a ladies' man, but surrounded by female admirers for much of his life.  Awkward in social situations, but a wonderful dancer.  Deadly serious, but loved a good dirty joke.  Like most of us, he was full of contradictions and reading about them makes him human and real.  Something fun to consider: Washington nearly single-handedly started the French and Indian War (it's not everyone who can put "Started a War by Myself" on their resume).  We can also thank the proud British for refusing Washington a regular British Army officer commission, despite the fact that he undoubtedly deserved one.  He never forgot the slight and it came back to bite them in the butt when his resentment towards the British culminated in, "Why yes, I would like to lead the Revolutionary forces against the British Army for our country's independence.  How did you guess?"  It's a book I can already highly recommend.  Once we've finished this mammoth of a biography some time in the next decade, we promised we'll go see Mount Vernon again to celebrate.  Who's with us??  This Book Club Presentation has been brought to you by My Efforts to Talk Endlessly About Myself.

What else?  Oh, we're moving.  Not far, but I figured since most of my JERK FRIENDS were moving, I might as well, too.  JERKS.  JERKS.  JERKS.  'CAUSE THAT WON'T COME UP IN THERAPY EITHER OR ANYTHING.

Wanna see some vacation pics?  Of course you do.  Especially since you'll never see any ever again.

Peawhistle's Beach Finds

Marshall Point Light

Port Clyde General Store

Port Clyde

Port Clyde


PW halfway to Rockland Light 

Weskeag River



21 December 2010

The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

For months I've been wondering how I would get back into the swing of blogging things, considering I haven't blogged about anything substantial in, oh, half a year, depending on your definition of "substantial."  And as each month passes the more likely I am to put off the whole blogging thing because the more happens to me and the more I then have to write about.  Bonny, the ever helpful advisor, suggested I forget everything that's happened to me in the last six months--feign a coma if you will--and start afresh.  I may be lazy in some things, and by "some" I mean "almost all," but I cannot permit myself to do that.  What, deprive my vast reading public from reliving the minutiae of my days, allowing them to sadly shake their heads, and possibly, if I've done my job, fall on their knees and thank heaven above they're not me?  It ain't me, man.  

First off, apologies all around.  I just TODAY finally finished reading all of the blog posts that have been stacking up in my Google Reader since August.  Yeah.  over 500 posts at one point.  I'm sorry I haven't commented on, well, almost any of them, but I can at least now say I've read them all.  Whew.  Also, I've received several, SEVERAL inquiries into the status of my existence here on earth, mostly in the form of "OH MY GOSH DID YOU DIE??" followed thereafter by queries regarding my health, mental stability, and workload.  When none of my answers satisfy their curiosity as to why I quit writing, they berate/plead with/threaten me.  Yeah.  Like that's ever worked. 

Which brings us to our next point.  It is FOUR days until Christmas!  And you'll never guess what I don't have enough of!  FRICKING FLIPPIN SUGAR COOKIES.  Now, I've also been asked why the annual pleas/threats regarding Christmas cookies is so late in coming this year.  Well, I'll tell you.  For reasons beyond my understanding friends actually started bringing me cookies without the threats.  I know, right?  It blew me away, too.  So I've been munching on those.  However, my cookie numbers are waning and my mood is darkening.  I suggested to dear, sweet Jody that I might threaten to put my blog on hold until said cookies were forthcoming, but she pointed out that it's been on hold for six months as it is so it's not really much of a threat now, is it?  College-educated, that one.  

So here I am, pleading and threatening, but mostly threatening, that unless I start seeing some damn sugar cookies on my doorstep before Christmas is over, this blog will be nothing but cheap clip-art accompanied by a dull and witless description of it.  OH YES I WILL.  That, or the cat again, but honestly the cat threat didn't work as well last year.   Odd.  So clip-art it is.

Oh, hey, so I had a dream the other night that our next-door neighbors decided to build an outdoor amphitheater in their backyard, complete with roller-coaster.  The husband asked, "Are we even zoned for that here?" while I asked, "And why are they concentrating on this project when there's a fricking zombie apocalypse going on here?  We could all be eaten!  While on the roller-coaster!"  Yet, it didn't stop us from taking a tour just the same.  And then we turned into zombies.  THE END.


10 August 2010

A Little Too Cute

A note to all owners of yellow Hummers world-wide (and this is by no means based upon personal observation from this afternoon):

Painting an enormous Tweety Bird on the side of your Hummer kind of cancels out the supposed "cool factor" of this, your testosterone-choked car of choice. Just FYI.

12 July 2010

Happy Late Rebellion Day

Coulda sworn there was something I was going to write about today. Huh. Oh well.

Hey, do you read Epbot.com? You remember Cake Wrecks(.com), right? The creator, Jen, decided to start a personal blog for her personal thoughts on her not-so-personal website, epbot.com (epbot being a combination of Epcot--and if you don't know the Epcot reference, you don't read Cake Wrecks enough--and robot, something she's into). It's cute. Anyway, if you read that already then you've seen this. If not, then here it is.

As she said in her post, it gets a little odd at the end, but I can't stop watching it. It's just so well done. And I realize it's a little late, being that it's well after the Fourth of July at this point, but I wasn't in town on the 4th so here it is now (oh yeah! That's what I was going to write about! Well, later.).

I dare you not to watch this more than once. I DARE YOU!

Perhaps it's just me in a patriotic mood, or perhaps it was the entire "John Adams" series the Husband and I saw. (John Adams turns out to be one of the most influential founding fathers we had, but the history books were never kind to him and rarely gave him his rightful dues.) At any rate, I've been in the mood for Revolutionary War-era things lately and this fun video fit in nicely with that. Also, feel free to research the era on your own; it's a fascinating time period.

Happy late Independence Day, America. You rock.

16 June 2010

Dear Abby

Well at least it's been less than a month since my last post, so you can thank your lucky stars for that tonight.

So this is what I lay awake thinking about a few nights ago:



On a related note, after high school I worked for a Korean man who pronounced my name A.B. Yes, like the first two letters of the alphabet. And then I had a college professor who had, I'm assuming, NEVER heard the name Abigail before in his life, despite it being a biblical and popular name. The man could not pronounce it to save his life. So I begged him to just call me Abby (most professors just stuck with your given name and didn't care about your stupid nickname).

Also, in reference to the title of this post, here is what I get from every single person who has ever written me a letter or email for the first time:

Dear Abby,

Oh my gosh! I didn't even realize the connection between your name and that old lady who answers questions! How funny!

Every. Time.

Aren't you glad you waited for this?

20 May 2010

Just Write What You Know

So here's the last column I wrote for the parenting newsletter that I never sent in for publishing. I didn't think it worked as well as I wanted, plus there was some discussion about whether or not the parents in my neighborhood would be sufficiently appreciative of the subject matter. Hey, you never know.


I have a few friends who have expressed an interest in getting into the field of writing children’s books. The problem, they say, is writing a good enough story to get noticed in such a competitive field. Personally, I don’t see what’s so hard about it:

Fluffy Bunny raced down the green path through Happy Forest. The trees had never seemed so welcoming before. Fluffy was just about as happy as he could remember being in a long, long time. The parole board had granted his request and he was out of the pen on good behavior after serving only two years of a five year sentence for possession of illegal substances. His best friend and dealer, Silly Puppy, hadn’t been so lucky. He was still serving his 25 year sentence for distribution of illegal substances to minor woodland creatures. But Fluffy’s lawyer, Rabid Robin, had convinced the jury of furry animals that although Fluffy was certainly there when the meth lab blew, the D.A. couldn’t prove it actually belonged to him.

Rabid Robin had been there to welcome Fluffy upon his release from the hoosegow and they decided to meet up again for a celebratory drink afterwards.

“Thanks again, Rabid. You really did a great job back then. Can I buy you a shot?”

“Oh, no thanks, Fluffy. I’m still in AA you know--my sponsor would have a fit. I had that relapse back when Cheeky divorced me and I can’t afford to let him down again. Speaking of which, I’d like to officially apologize to you for being intoxicated during the majority of your hearing two years ago. Restitution you know.”

“No worries, Rabid. You did a-okay by me. I gotta run anyway. I’m meeting Adorable Kitty in an hour.”

“Your old cellmate? You better not let your new parole officer see you with that old trouble maker or you’ll be in big for it. Who did they give you again? Cuddly Squirrel, right? He’s one bad fellow, friend. You mess with him even one little bit, he’ll jack you up good.”

Fluffy thanked Rabid Robin for the warning and left. He stopped long enough to verbally harass his ex-girlfriend outside the diner where she was a waitress before the cook stepped out wielding a greasy spatula and a threatening look. Fluffy skipped along Happy Trail, hoping to avoid Main Street where he knew his P.O. was most likely to hang out. He ducked into a pawn shop off of Chipper Bird Drive and walked straight to the proprietor, who was none other than Adorable Kitty himself. A.K., as he was known to his friends, had been released three months prior after an appeals court found him not guilty of the first degree murder of eight judges. (Coincidentally, the judge who had initially sentenced Adorable had gone missing the day after his release from prison and was found floating in Joyful Pond two days later with a 9mm slug in her back. The police were positively perplexed.)

“Well if it isn’t the Meth Lab Muskrat! How’s my ol’ buddy these days? Have you had a chance to see Bubbly Chicken yet?”

“Yep, I just stopped by the diner to yell at her. She looks good. Angry, but good. I still can’t imagine why she issued that restraining order against me, but I’m sure with enough verbal and visual contact outside of 100 yards, she’ll come around. She still loves me, I know it. Loves me too much is all.”

“Yeah, I’m sure that’s it. So what mischief are you up for now that you’re out of the big house? There’s a new judge in town—something-or-other Raccoon. Finally convinced one to work here again, can you believe it? I’d like to get a look at his new digs. See what sort he is, you know? Up for a walk?”

“Nah, I’ve got a guy to see about a loan. Maybe later, huh?”

As Fluffy skipped toward Skid Row to meet the infamous loan shark who dressed like a 70s pimp, he felt good. Free. Happy. He had learned many valuable lessons during his 26 months in the clink. He had learned to value friendship, loyalty, and most of all what a pack of cigs on the inside will get you. He had learned to hoard food, make shivs, join the right gangs, make tats with a ballpoint pen, and bribe guards to the best of his ability. Yes, he had learned all this. And yet, he had learned so much more about his soul. He learned he’s happy being on the outside in Happy Forest, among his free friends, among good citizens who won’t shank him in his sleep for a slice of bread.

And he had learned to deny all knowledge of anything when that new Judge Raccoon turns up as a bullet-ridden floater in a few days.



Honestly, why would anyone object to that? Weird.

05 May 2010

So there.

If you don't think this is the cutest baby ever, then we can't be friends anymore.

29 April 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

So while we're blabbing about Peawhistle, I figured I'd talk about her views on the supernatural. Now, I'm not a big fan of terrifying my children unnecessarily. Other people's kid, yeah, but not my own. I have to live with them after all. I still recall the many weeks when PW started getting out of bed at night because she was scared giants were going to come crashing through her window. It took many explanations to get her to believe that giants (as those in her imagination) do not exist outside storybooks. This is also why I've very strenuously asserted that things like ghosts, witches, vampires, etc. do not exist. I'm not prepared to get into a discussion about Wicca or modern-day vampire wanna-bes with a six-year-old, so I've just decided to make things simple by telling her they're all make-believe. She's on board with this and often remarks about how none of these things exist, hence why she thinks they're funny.

Not long after St. Patrick's Day, PW informed me that she thinks St. Patrick's Day is a stupid holiday. I asked why (before it was because she wanted a holiday named after her instead) and she said it's because she thinks St. Patrick was a leprechaun and she doesn't believe in leprechauns. This, coming from the kid who is all about living the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy lie. I explained who St. Patrick was, that he did indeed exist, and why the Irish/Catholics felt it necessary to give him a holiday. She was only vaguely satisfied with this, but she still clearly resents the whole affair.

PW just recently told me that she does not believe in elves. Not the wood-sprite kinda elves, but Santa's elves. Remember, she is an ardent supporter of Santa himself, but his elves? Screw them. They're not real. I asked her where the toys come from and she said they came from a factory, with a "Duh!" look on her face. You know, Santa's Factory, where Canadian minimum-wage workers crank out her favorite toys in between smoke breaks and quittin' time.

So let's review:

Santa Claus: real
elves: fake
Easter Bunny: real
Tooth Fairy: real
ghosts: fake
witches: fake
vampires: fake
leprechauns: fake
giants: ?
Saint Patrick: fake

So...anybody who willingly forks over toys, candy, or cash has to be the real thing. Everybody else can just go to hell. Fair enough.

21 April 2010

"Hey, Donkey...."

OK, here's my conundrum. Greta and I went to the movies the other night because we're awesome like that. Also, we're awesome for collapsing into bed the second we got to our respective homes at 11 p.m. (sucks getting old). Anyway, we went to see the new Steve Carrell/Tina Fey comedy "Date Night." I'll let Greta do the official movie review since it's her shtick; suffice it to say it was funny. It wasn't the most hilarious thing I've ever seen, but it was pretty darn funny. I'd watch it again, but I wouldn't own it--that funny.

So now to the conundrum. The best part of that whole fricking movie was Mark Wahlberg. And not only just Mark Wahlberg, but a shirtless, funny Mark Wahlberg. Now, I'm not normally ga-ga over movie stars. I'm not the fangirl type, you know? I appreciate actors for how well they do their jobs, period. If they happen to be easy on the eyes (most of them are), even better. But I'm not plastering posters of Matt Damon on the wall above my bed, you know (the Husband would likely object anyway)?

Oh, but Mark Wahlberg. This man puts me in a difficult situation. This is Marky Mark we're talking about here. That lousy rapper from the 90s who by all accounts should still be in jail right now. And please note that I said "still" because he was in jail. To use the term "punk" is playing it lightly with this guy. One website got it right when they called him "the biggest douche on MTV (no small feat)." He really was a piece of work. And no number of Calvin Klein underoos ads could have ever changed my mind.

Remember that idiot? Sure, we all do.

And this is what happy thoughts and a little pixie dust turned him into:

Smokin'-hot Oscar-nominated Mark Wahlberg, that's what. Now, I've seen Scorsese's "The Departed" (for which he was nominated), which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2007. It's a fantastic movie. Not one for the kiddies though, what with all the people getting violently whacked and such (it is about the mob after all). Again, Mark-minus-his-Funky-Bunch had the best character in that film. Not just because he stole every scene he was in as a hardcore Boston cop, but because his whole job was to verbally abuse Leonardo DiCaprio, and who here hasn't fantasized about that at least once? Don't deny it. If you have the opportunity to watch the movie edited on TV, I highly recommend it.

So the problem is, I fully admit to having a crush on an actor. He's good at what he does too, which is part of the draw. But on the other hand HE'S MARKY MARK. How can I ever forgive myself? I can hardly face myself in the mirror these days, which fully explains my hair failure situation.

Anyway, lest we all think Mark is all seriousness and can't poke fun of himself, here's a favorite SNL sketch* about him:

Followed by his response:

Honestly, how can you dislike someone like that? Congrats to him for turning his crappy, worthless life around into something awesome and...awesome. Plus, he goes to church now. So maybe that'll keep him out of prison for a while.

And hey, say hi to your mother for me.

*These SNL videos won't play in Google Reader, only on the blog. So if you want to see them, you'll have to quit being lazy and actually click on my blog link.