The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Category: Real Life

My Christmas Card

I know it’s after Christmas, but you know you very much want to hear the story of how a photo of me posing with a shark and an Ewok was my official Christmas Card this year. You have your cold beverage ready? Okay.

So a million years ago or two or so years ago (one of those) my sister and her family went to Disney during the flower and garden festival. They posed in front of a Miss Piggy topiary that a person that may or may not be my boyfriend confused for an Ewok.

So I used an iPhone app I owned (KnockOut) to “fix” it after my sister said “I was looking to see if there was an Ewok in the photo with us and Miss Piggy. This combination would have been fabulous and makes me laugh just thinking about it.” So of course I had to add one to that photo.

I added him to a lot of additional photos from their vacation. They started leaving space for me in the photos, so I added myself (and others) because they didn’t take me with them.

Apparently one of my sister’s co-workers (Cathy) was very amused by me adding myself to their vacation photos (something I continued to do on subsequent vacations). In fact, she started asking where I was when my sister or her husband posted new ones. Here I am on a rope swing in Hawaii, I believe.

This December, Cathy, a person you will remember I have never met, posted a photo on FB showing the first three people who had sent her a Christmas card. Because my sister was tagged in the photo, I saw it. Now is it my fault she left a giant hole right in the middle, inviting someone like me to fill it? So I ran to the Knockout app, found a background of something Christmassy, added myself and and ewok, then added it all to her photo.

My sister’s neighbor Beth saw it and demanded “I HAD BETTER GET ONE OF THOSE!” so I had to print them out and stick them in cards for people, my first Christmas cards in years. And that’s the real story of the Happy Holiday Shark. And Ewok.

 

Countdown to Vacation

I’m so very ready for my vacation. I’ve had enough of work, and of stuff going on outside of work. The way things have been going, I assume while I’m away my home will be destroyed by a bus-sized chunk of blue “airplane ice.”

But I shall take my chances and hope Captain Stubing steers away from any hurricanes we stumble upon, and I’ll give my now adult son <gasp> the keys to the swinging singles pad, with the assumption it won’t be overrun with garbage and vermin by the time I return. 

Stack Ranking Sick People

I declare new rules for Emergency Room prioritization. We have to throw out HIPPAA because you should have to loudly announce what’s wrong with you so the rest of us can stack rank you against the others to decide who goes in first using the following guidelines. 

1. Heavily bleeding flesh wound (cause that’s a quick fix anyway)

2. Throwing up or about to. I don’t need that shit while I’m sitting waiting

3. Passing out from pain

4 Trouble breathing normally

5. Clammy skin the color of the parking garage.

6. Head injury

7. Uncontrollable swelling 

8. 4 hour erections (see 7)

9. Swallowed a battery

10. Broken bone (not compound fracture) 

11. Something stuck in a body orifice that you can’t get out

12. Thing for which you could go to a Minute Clinic if it was open

13. Place for you and your friend to sit while you both eat fruit cup with your fingers 

Adventures in Tequilaland

Last night Tom took me to Ixtapa Cantina for guacamole and I had a margarita that literally made my eyes stop working properly. [Thumbs up, El Presidente!] In the spirit of Christmas, he wrote down Jody quotes because fair is fair after I wrote the Michael quotes while he was on anesthesia.
We then went drunk shopping at Walmart, which I think was a ripoff because I didn’t find anything good to make him buy me. My next morning comments are in italics.

🍹🍹🍹

[I tweeted these myself from the restaurant]

This margarita is made with cocaine or something. Oh my god who broke my eyes.

Oh my Hod two of you liked my tweet you guys are the ducking best. But not as good as these margaritas.

We’re gonna park in someone’s driveway and take pictures of their Christmas lights, like Americans. It is our right!

🍹🍹🍹
I need you to be that guy who would steal a balloon from a 7 year old.

Mikey says [about Tom] “But he’s a nice guy!” Like that’s an excuse.

[about going to jail after he steals a balloon]
Shit. I’m gonna have to be in a lesbian relationship again.

🍹🍹🍹

[About shopping for Tom’s daughter for Christmas She] needs drugs and cigarettes to trade in the big house.

🍹🍹🍹

I’m cutting this like the Incredible Hulk. Did I eat lunch today?

🍹🍹🍹
Dude you know what I could do with [$15,000]? Breasts up to here. Watch the Brady bunch. Teenage boobies.

🍹🍹🍹

This is the greatest meal ever in possibly my entire life! [Takes another bite] It’s kinda salty.

🍹🍹🍹

I just want to eat the outside shell of my burrito. It’s called a tortilla. The skin of my burrito.

🍹🍹🍹

[Regarding my favorite musician/band (other than Jeff Lynne) Luce]
Luce’s first name is Tom. So you’ll just have to wonder if I ever call out that name.

🍹🍹🍹

[Inside the restaurant] Can we take pictures of Christmas lights? Not In here.

🍹🍹🍹

It’s not a good time of year to get those water balloon multiple thingies. And I should know.

🍹🍹🍹

You know what would be the worst Christmas present? Wrapping paper. And thank you cards.

🍹🍹🍹

Crotchless pants? Do they sell them at Walmart? Sweet! Not saying I’ve bought them before. At least at Walmart.
[I completely do not remember saying this one AT ALL.]

🍹🍹🍹

[spotting a skewer of Peeps]
Look! This is impaled peeps! Look they stabbed you and it makes it taste better.

🍹🍹🍹

Can we buy a cello? My Amazon wish list is full of magical things.

🍹🍹🍹

Look it’s resting bitch face Barbie!


🍹🍹🍹

I love you. This lighting is very unflattering.

🍹🍹🍹

Why didn’t you tell me my cleavage was showing?! And I’m not buttoning up. People will have to deal with my boobage.

🍹🍹🍹

Expanding My Horizons

I recently added a cello to my Amazon wish list, because I think it’s good to learn you suck at as many things as humanly possible. Starting to feel cocky about yourself? Here, let’s see how you do with this set of oil paints, Vermeer. (See also: the tap shoes I bought myself.) 

This is the cello. 

  
Seriously, how COOL is that? I could hang it up as art when I invariably realize I’m not a cellist! 

That wishlist is more just a way to bookmark stuff I might buy myself later than a list I think people will actually use. I have zero expectation that my fan club members will pool the change in their car consoles to get me a home electrolysis system. I mean, unless my unsightly knee beard is really bothering them. Which, really, will be an interesting conversation that we must have as soon as I can find the time to spend with someone PRETENDING to be a fan. 

Old Person and Her Music

I am not young. Kids who still need car seats probably think I’m someone’s grandma. To be fair, I do have peers who are just that, and that’s cool, I just like to think of myself as a much younger woman. Like maybe 32, tops.

I have read articles that say people stop listening to new music around age 35. I can see that. I know a lot of people who just sat back in their easy chairs surrounded by their favorite bands from college.

I followed a different path. I kept finding new music I liked. If it’s power pop or has a certain type of solo male singer-songwriter vibe like Duncan Shiek, I’m in. I use those “if you like A you should try B” algorhythms and often find some pretty cool stuff. I have all sorts of Spotify playlists of new fun things I like. Friends introduced me to Jellyfish years ago and I used the members of the band to branch out to find solo work, special projects and people they worked with. I found Bleu this way, and found the world’s greatest ELO album the ELO never made, L.E.O’s Alpacas Orgeling. (Go buy it. Trust me.) Over time I found other bands I love: Luce, Air Traffic Controller, Washed Out, The Neighborhood, Walk the Moon, Two Door Cinema Club, to name many. I like musical styles I shouldn’t at my age. But I really do.

I discovered a guy who recorded as “Owsley” a year or so ago on Spotify and just fell in love with his music. I bought his  two albums on iTunes and played them on repeat for weeks. Now I have a habit of reading up on anyone I like (singers, actors, underwear models) so I looked him up. I was absolutely crushed to learn he had committed suicide years before. No more music from him; I was robbed of his voice, his talent. If I was this upset about it, I cannot fathom what his family was going through every day.

in the past year the Bleu newsletter 

So I just discovered Bleu covered Owsley’s Oh No The Radio on this album. This is the 2nd time Bleu has done something with an unrelated favorite of mine (see Air Traffic Controller). I thought the Owsley version was perfect so I was hesitant to listen. The cover is amazing. And made me sad all over again that Will Owsley killed himself and robbed me of any future new music. Sorry for the tangent but you can understand why this would stun and amaze me, and why I wanted to share. 

If I Ruled the iOS World

The latest Apple operating system is due out this week. Or soon. I can’t keep up, to be honest. Anyway, I decided this would be a good place to list my pet peeves and almost all of them are related to music apps, which is interesting. In particular order:

1. I hate hate hate how the Music app just does whatever the hell it wants when the phone locates and connects to a Bluetooth device. A good half the time, when I start my car, the music app just starts playing, even if I was using Spotify last. And it just starts playing in alphabetical order. I got to hear the first 5 seconds of the ABC Cafe from Les Mis until a song called “A Thrill of Anticipation” pulled in first. Hey, Apple, nobody includes the articles when determining alphabetical order. WTF.

Either way, stop auto-playing, and stop going back to the top of the song list.

2. Almost worse than that, why can’t I set the default for shuffle? Sweet baby Jesus, turning off shuffle multiple times a day is pure horseshit. If I turn it off, LEAVE IT OFF.

3. iTunes: STOP SUCKING. Music App: maybe force the developers to USE it so they’ll understand how unintuitive they’ve made the damned thing. I loathe Music now and listen to Spotify EVEN when I own the album and have to use data because the Music app sucks hard.

4. Spotify app: you need to let me change the order my playlists are in from the app. And set the default to add new songs to the top of a list (from within the app). (I figured this one out. Pull down on the playlist and the sort order is upper right.) Also, MyMusic would be far less annoying if it let me view by album. I hardly ever want to play every song by an artist, but I may want to play a whole album. Your UI makes me take 4 extra steps. And bring back the original concept of “Starred” songs going into the Starred playlist.

5. LastFM app: Get your shit together. Who on earth releases a whole new version of their software with all the functionality turned off? You weren’t ready to go live? Roll back to the previous version. The app is pretty much useless right now, listing only song title (not artist). Knowing I listened to Luce 22 times last week is different from knowing I have listed 322 times total. A weekly view should be a weekly view. Period.
Lastly, I don’t know if this is on Apple or you or the 3rd party app I’m using, but I shouldn’t have to listen to every second of a song for it to scrobble. Listening to 5:45 of a 6 minute song should count.

Is that a full wish list? Hardly, but addressing these issues would remove 80% of my iPhone frustration.

All About Julia

My kid is historically an over-achiever. He was married by the time he was five. I went and found all the related posts and present them here.

The Ninja Dance

Junior announced to me this morning that he had to go to work, get into his ninja costume and do the ninja dance (that his boss had taught him) with his girlfriend the cheerleader, Julia.
I had no idea he’d finally found a job.

Ninja Followup

After showing me the “ninja dance” this evening, Junior added “You know why we do that kick at the end? Because the grown-ups only want to see the cheerleaders.”
He also introduced me to his invisible girlfriend Julia. When I said hello to her, he informed me that he doesn’t speak for her, she does her own talking. This should be a quiet evening.
*newsflash* Oh, wait, it isn’t his girlfriend…it’s his WIFE! He told me the reason I didn’t get to go to the wedding is because “you weren’t invited.” Wow, I already hate my daughter-in-law and I just met her.

She’s Still Here

My new daughter-in-law is still hanging around. Apparently she slept in the spare room last night. She hung around with us in the car today but at some point she must have wandered off because he hasn’t talked about her or to her for 5 or so hours now.

My Invisible Daughter-in-Law Update

Julia, my invisible daughter-in-law, hasn’t been making many appearances. I have to admit I kind of forgot about her. But last night, Junior approached the coach and said

“I can’t find them! I can’t find my kids! I was supposed to only get one, but he game me two!”

“Two what?”

“Two babies. Julia and I have two babies now.”

“Who gave them to you?”

“Joe. He’s the guy who gives out the babies. And he gave us two but I can’t find them.”

“Well, you’d better get looking because I don’t want strange kids running around my house. If you are going to have kids, you have to be responsible for them. You need to keep an eye on them.”

“They’re a boy and a girl. The boy is named Jonah, and the girl is…the girl is named Jody! I’ll go check my room. Maybe they are up there.”

Damn. A grandmother and I’m not even 40.

How Could I Forget!

We had this exchange the other morning.

Jr: After breakfast, Julia and I have to have a talk.

Me: Oh?

Jr: Ya. She’s gonna be moving out.

Me: I hope it isn’t because of something I said.

Jr: No, it’s just time.

(Okay, so I feel like a total slimeball now. Cause I think my teasing about not liking her because she didn’t invite me to the wedding has made him decide to toss aside his wedding vows.)

Lookout, Julia

I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my invisible daughter-in-law Julia, but she does come up every once in a while. About two weeks ago Junior mentioned something about Julia and Jim (Jim is his invisible buddy, I’m not sure if he lives with us or not), but since then nothing.
Yesterday when he got home from his new child care center, aside from gushing that it was the greatest place in the universe, he casually mentioned that he had a new girlfriend. I’m loving and supportive, and trying hard not to be the jealous psycho mom you see in TV movies, so I don’t tell him he’s too young. I don’t even tell him that because he’s already married to Julia he can’t actually have a girlfriend. I just ask what her name is.

“I don’t know. But she wears an orange shirt.”

“Well honey, what if she isn’t wearing that shirt tomorrow?”

“She has a mountain of hair.”

Oh good gravy, it’s so hard to keep a straight face sometime. Don’t you just want to eat him up? Miss Mountain-of-Hair is a very lucky young lady.

Love Boat Questions

I hate to admit how many episodes of The Love Boat I’ve watched. But it’s a LOT of them. I think my favorite part is the gritty realism. But if you can get past the danger and intrigue and look deeper, you’ll see the pure nonsense that is my favorite reason to watch the show. Here are my some of my favorite things to ponder, in no particular order.

 

  • Why is the gift shop so small? I’ve seen bigger gift shops in a Ramada. This is the spot where passengers can buy anything they forgot to pack and various episode that happened to have shot inside show a ton of jewelry and some dress shirts. if you need a watch, they have them. sunscreen and magazines? I’m not so sure.
  • Vicki is Captain Stubing’s biological daughter but he had to adopt her for some reason. I haven’t seen that episode. So Vickie is on the boat from the time she’s 12. Unlike The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, there isn’t a school on board. I’ve never heard mention of homeschooling, so I guess she’s a University of Phoenix alum.
  • Vickie worked as Julie’s assistant from an early age, which  I assume was an unpaid role because she was only 13. Between her “studies” and assisting Julie in whatever it is she does (see below) Vicki can, uh, swim? a cruise ship is probably an awful place to be an indentured servant.
  • Why does everyone buy a piñata (or a tiny chair) when the go ashore? You just watch the extras in every episode as the disembark at the end of the cruise.
  • Captain Stubing doesn’t really drive the boat. he’s never on the bridge unless someone swings by to talk to him and then that conversation gets his FULL attention. I guess there’s another officer who does the heavy lifting, but he/she is faceless and names less. Aside from the main characters, the only other staff we see are engineers, maids, and waitresses in the Pirates’ Cove Lounge (not to be confused with the Acapulco Lounge) dressed like pirates.
  • Is it really possible to meet someone, fall in love and get engaged on a 3-day Mexican cruise? Apparently true love means never needing more than a long weekend to get to know each other.
  • Julie my cruise director spent a lot of time walking around chatting and not a lot of cruise directing. Gopher and Doc don’t do much more, but at least Doc once did surgery in his tiny office, and diagnosed a guy with ALS and another with cancer. Doesn’t she have parties and events to plan and oversee? She must be good at her job because once she threw together a pirate party and suddenly all the passengers had costumes. She did accidentally hire a male stripper once thinking he was a regular dancer. Attention to detail much, Miss McCoy?
  • Isaac is the clear winner of the “Most Valuable Employee” award. He appears to work 18 hours a day and isn’t constantly falling for the passengers unless they are Diahann Carroll. Isaac should be calling to complain to HR about how much more he works than Everyone else.  While Doc, Julie and Gopher are hogging seats at the captain’s table sitting *closest* to the captain (what the hell? isn’t that for VIPs?) he’s been seen doing bartender things on the side of the dining room. I’d be mad as hell if I were him.
  • Would the captain and key staff of a ship that does three-day jaunts to Mexico be asked to all take over a ship with a European trip? They arrive at the ship basically the day before they sail, which doesn’t leave much time to learn enough to help passengers. Or steer the ship. Or get a license to practice medicine in a foreign country. Isaac will be fine, though, because he’s awesome.

Couch Life

The idea of a weeks-long medical leave to recover from my surgery made me giddy! Oh the things I would accomplish! I could write a novel! I would nap! I would take walks when I felt better! I would….

…Play solitaire and watch tv shows about serial killers and cruise ship employees that are allowed to pick up people while on duty. I would spent a lot of money shopping online. I would set up a table near the couch so I could simply not move for weeks.

My couch is starting to feel like a prison. I’m not looking forward to going back to 40 hours a week of stress and nonsense, but it will be nice to leave my living room.