Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baaaaaah Humbug

Down the street, the winery hired goats to come and eat the grass/weeds/burrs/thistles on the hillside as a "green" way, I suppose, of reducing fire danger. Of course I mean green as in ecological, not as in color, which is not surprising because I'm sure I live in the greenest county in the nation. When I run into the grocery store for a few things, I prefer to balance all the items in my arms rather than use a plastic bag and take the walk of shame to my non-hybrid vehicle.

So anyway, the goats were all congregated near the road (probably for photo ops) and I stopped to watch them. I pulled my camera from my purse and snapped a few images and in the process, shocked myself on the 88 gigawatt agricultural fencing. (Zap! If I'm a goat, I won't be trying to escape anytime soon.)

There were big goats with curly horns, little teeny baby goats with little teeny beards, mama goats, teenage goats, brown goats, white goats, spotted goats. You get it. Lots of goats. Of all goat varieties, with one thing in common: eating. Everything in sight.

Grass, weeds, burrs, thistle, oak trees, MacDonald's cups. All of it was yummy and all of it was being mowed down, no questions asked. I wondered about the goats and I wondered if any of them didn't WANT to eat all that junk. I wondered if any of those goats had any food issues and really preferred to just eat thistles, thank you. Or just whipped cream, or something. What compelled them to just eat everything in their paths?

And I decided that between the 88 gigawatt fencing (it seriously hurt) and the eating, eating, eating . . .

I would make a lousy goat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's with that Dude?

Have you ever noticed that when you go to the gym (and I am assuming that all of you do, since it is a requisite of trophy wifeness--or if you are a man, of trophy wife-deservation), that the same people are always there. No matter when you go.

How can this be? Do they live at the gym? Are they "plants" of some kind, hired by 24 Hr. Fitness to walk around, filling up space? And if they are "plants" of some kind, why aren't they in better shape by now? And why do they look as they do? Shouldn't they look more anonymous, somehow?

Here is my list of "What's with the Dude?" patrons as viewed at my local gym. Of course, some of the dudes are chicks, which is duly noted.

•Aren't Hammer Pants Still in Style? Dude
•Super-tight shirt and super-tight, super-short shorts complete with weight-lifting belt Guy
•Your Tummy Tuck didn't turn out as well as you think Chick
•Your Moustache is Older than my Son Guy
•Old Guy with Shirt tucked Neatly Over Big Belly
•Are my Implants Really That Obvious? Chick
and one more favorite
•Hiking Boot Dude

Which got me to wondering about the above folks--and others who see me routinely at the gym. What name do they call me in the privacy of their own minds? While I would dream of "Darn Hot Blonde Chick" or even "Pretty Darn Hot Blonde if You're into Older Babes", but I think it could possibly be more like, "She's Not A Real Blonde Who Could Use a Sandwich Chick."

So, who frequents YOUR gym?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Big Idea

Daughter and I were having another (in a series of many, I assure you) important conversation today. Our discussions are varied; we may drift from whether or not she has a brain tumor (I'm going with 'not' on that one) to how long one can refill his 44 oz soda cup at the 7-11 before it becomes a health hazard.

Today Daughter was saying that if one really wants his kid to be successful (read: famous) the children need pretty awesome names. She actually had the nerve (read: balls) to imply that with her given name, she was destined for a somewhat average life. As the namer-of-the-daughter, I fully disagree and think her name is spectacular and memorable and whatnot.

So Daughter and her Husband were discussing memorable names for their kids, such as 'Darth' and 'Tom Cruise' and 'Indiana Jones'. Alright, maybe those were not the exact names, but I can't remember. I scoffed a bit, because let's face it, 'Busta Rhymes' is so not a real name. She countered with, "Well, what about Leonard Nimoy? With a name like that he was destined for intergalactic travel." (She may not have said that exactly, but that's what she meant).

I scoffed a bit, as had become customary in this discussion and said, "That can't be a real name. Have you ever heard of anyone named Nimoy?" However, a quick internet check confirmed it; he was born Leonard Nimoy but I'm pretty sure the pointed ears are fake. However, here's the cool part and hence, the big idea: His mother's name was Dora.

Not even kidding. Then was born the concept, which I'm sure will be stolen from me and produced in some whacked-out off-Broadway play before being picked up by Disney and making millions and on account that my name is Dianne (read: average! boring! not famous!), I will receive none of the credit (read: money) that is due me.

In the next Star Trek adventure, Spock is taken hostage by a frightening looking alien (I think purple) with eight arms, which drags him away. While the rest of the trekkers search the universe, that-little-round-guy -that-always-wore-the-gold-suit-too-tight beams himself under the sea where he meets all manner of 'alien' creatures in his pursuit of Spock, who may or not be the prisoner of a whacked-out dentist, and is befriended by an undersea creature (read: a fish) named Dora who helps him in his quest of:

Finding Nimoy.

Heck, yes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seriously, who talks like that?

My daughter has shingles. How weird is that? The only people I know who have had shingles are, well, old. (Sorry, but I call 'em the way I see 'em). And they are pasty. And they are inclined to watch Lawrence Welk.

While musing over the odd turn of events, Daughter and I wondered about the name of the illness, figuring that it came about because the shingles rash looks a little (very little) like a roof. Well, that's what I thought. Daughter figured that the guy who invented shingles (discovered?) was 'Edward Shingles.' Perusing the internet did not, however, verify her statement. But we both agreed that 'shingles' beat 'herpes zoster' hands down.

While Son and I discussed his sister's random diagnosis, he exclaimed, "Shingles! Isn't that a seafaring disease?" After eliminating the possibility of 'barnacles', I am quite certain that he was referring to 'scurvy' which we called 'ricketts' when we were kids, which actually probably was named after poor, unfortunate 'Edward Ricketts'.

But that is not my point. The point is: Seriously, who talks like that? He could have asked "Shingles! Isn't that the disease that you get on ships?" or "Shingles! I thought that was something sailors got".

But no. 'Seafaring Disease'.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mr. and Mrs.

So, I run into Safeway after my pilates class to pick up a few of the items I need to make Martha's Strawberry Shortcake Gelee. I'm at the checkout, running my debit card, punching in my Safeway card number. You know, the usual.

The clerk, who was not overly gracious, did her thing and folded up my receipt to hand it to me. (Why do they fold those things, anyway?) She glanced down at my name, which was on the receipt on account of my debit card. Obviously, she was having a little trouble with either her eyesight or her pronunciation, because these words came from her mouth:

"Have a nice Day, Mrs. . . . Gremlin."

Heck, yes. Mrs. Gremlin! Fantastic! And that means there is a Mister Gremlin! How could I not have a nice day after that?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Dead Birds

When we were driving to Ikea on Saturday (ah, I get starry-eyed just thinking about Ikea), we passed about eight hundred million soccer fields with kids in various stages of running around and standing around. One of the sites particularly caught our attention because it was located right on the Bay with the wind blowing and whipping and parents huddled on the sidelines in blankets and drinking, probably, something hot and maybe even spiked with something else.

The field had a big sign and it said something like, "The Joe (or John?) Somebody Memorial Soccer Field." I had the opportunity to read the sign and peruse the event quite closely because, at that moment, of course, we were sitting in traffic while drivers slowed to a crawl to examine an earlier accident.

It was all very nice (the field, not the accident), but I can not imagine having a soccer field named after me, after the fact of my existence. True, I don't "get" soccer--kids running all around at all times of the day and night (seriously . . . is there ever not a soccer game?), games with a final score of 1-0, and the fact that soccer would take precedence over a child's, I don't know, presidential inauguration or something. The only thing I could think of that would less suit me (as a memoriam) may be a hockey rink, where men skate around with missing front teeth and hit each other with sticks when they get mad.

So I asked my husband, what he thought would be a suitable memorial for me, should I ever be in the situation of requiring one. We discussed the concept at length, largely due to the afore-mentioned traffic, and considered the options. A beautiful garden, a culinary device of some sort, a shihtzu rescue center. We eventually concluded, however, that a new tictac should be made just for me. And not those little tictacs (those are for amateurs!), but the big ones. The flavor? Diet Pepsi Vanilla.

Kinda kills two birds with one stone.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wild Gesticulations

Note: Is it just me, or is the word 'gesticulate' a tiny bit uncomfortable to use in general conversation? It seems to be an uncomfortable combination of 'genitals' and 'testicles' and you-know. I will not use it again.

Anyway, Rubi and I were driving down to the craft store (I know, weird huh, because I'm not real good at crafts. I can't see a doggone thing and my thumbs can't pick up much) to buy stuff for the Young Women value dinner at my house next week. In the car ahead of us, a lady was wildly "flinging her hands around" (I promised!) while chatting or berating or whatevering the person in the passenger seat. The surprising part about the whole thing is that there WAS a person in the passenger seat.

Nowadays (yes, nowadays) when people are "flailing about" as they drive, they are most often on a cell phone. Back in the day (like less than a decade!), when folks "gestured uproariously" they were threatening their kid (yup, under 12 in the front seat!) within an inch of their lives or trying to get the dog to get his head back in the window or letting the dude in front of them know that his driving was rather poor.

Not so anymore. People fling and flail and gesture at absolutely nothing in ways that 'back in the day' would probably get you an appointment at the loony bin.

Me and Rube think it's crazy.

However, let me share one last thought question on the subject: The benefit of the cell phone glued to everyone's ears 24/7? When's the last time you sat at a stoplight bouncing to the bass of the speakers of some dude behind you playing his stereo at its full and distorted blast? The driver couldn't possibly hear a darn thing on the phone with his music shaking the earth.

There's always a silver lining. ">)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Word Up!

I really like words. And I like to use them, to the chagrin of the poor souls who are required, through no fault of their own, to spend time with me. It's not so much that I talk a lot, but I have lots of important things to say. Seriously. Ask my dog.

As someone who really likes words, I probably should have said something like, "I possess a great affinity for words". But I believe that there is a fine line between sounding intelligent and well-educated (and sadly, I'm not known for either) and sounding annoying. And arrogant. And ultimately kind of stupid, in a high-brow you-don't-have-many-friends-do-you? sort of way.

When I teach pilates, I find that the art of distraction is helpful while we hold our plank position, so we discuss stuff (while breathing and contracting our core muscles, of course). Today we were talking about vocabulary and the fact that some words just make you sound smarter. As a general rule, words of more than three syllables can be very impressive, but in spite of the three-syllable rule, we compiled these favorites (Actually I compiled--everyone else was tightening their core and trembling with effort and whatnot.):

perhaps, perchance, however, thereof, certainly, uncanny, obscure, observation, nonetheless, peruse, inevitable

Thanks for reading. And perhaps, given the opportunity to peruse the dictionary, you may wish to add a word, however obscure to our somewhat-abbreviated list.

Heck, the plank only lasts sixty seconds. How many words were you expecting?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Zebra: A True American Hero

Okay, I know that zebras are not originally from the United States. But if you want to get technical about it, few of us are originals. Theoretically, I'm a Swiss/French blend myself (sounds like a yummy recipe for fondue--make a note of that) which means I don't qualify as a true American hero either, except that I was born here and so are most of the zebras I see in these parts. Of the zoo variety, of course. I'm not sure about the wild zebras running freely along the golf course in my backyard. (And the eye doctor seems to think my current 'spectacle' prescription is fine. Seriously, that's what they called it--my spectacles! More on that later).

We went to the Oakland Zoo and had a chance to see lots of interesting animals including apes that ate their own poop (and they say our genetics are 99.8% the same? That .02% is pretty major, I'd say) and supermodel turtles that posed for pictures. But it's the zebras that captured my attention--and my heart.

And thus inspired this little lesson for all trophy wives or trophy-wives-in-training that may be reading this blog: (Or both of them. My readership is not terribly impressive.)

I have been told my whole life, by people I trust no less, that horizontal stripes are a NO for every woman. Period. End of story. And horizontal stripes on the behind? Are you kidding me? Then, imagine my delight when the zebras at the zoo not only wore horizontal stripes on their behinds, but flaunted it! No sooner had I arrived at the zebra pen (habitat?) when those zany little ladies turned their voluptuous, curvaceous behinds to me and showed me their stuff. They weren't ashamed of their round bums, knobby knees or horizontal stripes and they were workin' it.

Lesson learned, ladies (and men, too--for both of the men that may read this note): You are fantastic the way you are. This concept is not an excuse to become complacent in our self-improvement efforts, but for goodness sake: Love yourself today! Flaunt your stuff!

In the immortal words of Fat Boy Slim: Shake What Ya Mama Gave Ya!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tyra Banks: A Great American Hero

First, a disclaimer: I'm kidding. Tyra is really not my idea of a great American hero. But I'm not dissing on her either. Not particularly. This piece of writing is considered satire, by those in the know. Which now includes you if you were having any serious questions about my sanity.

Second, Tyra is NOT a trophy wife, which probably explains a lot of things. Wikipedia, when discussing her personal life says only that "She devoted an entire show to the subject of 'Professional Athletes and the Women Who Love Them' on her talk show in November 2006." I am at a loss. I do not comprehend that explanation, but it appears she is not a wife. Hence, since she is NOT a trophy wife, perhaps she could learn a little from one. Like me.

So here goes, Tyra:

On a nationally televised talk show with a host (not to be named) who is famous for producing 30-minute meals and eating an awful lot of pasta (just an observation), Tyra was billed as having the "the best portion control diet tip ever." Or something like that. (Sure, I put it in quotes, but let's call them paraphrased quotes). She advises going to the yogurt place (which is hip again, according to Tyra, although those of us who loved it in the 80's never un-hipped the idea!) and asking for a sample on that little teeny tiny spoon. Then eat it. And leave.

Huh? Tyra may be surprised how much yogurt could be piled on that little teeny tiny spoon. Or how many times you could dip that little teeny tiny spoon into a big ole' jug of the stuff. My advice to all of you: Have a small serving. Enjoy it. (I said small. Let's not go crazy here.)

Tyra also told us the mortifying story of her high school prom when she was not (gasp!) selected as prom queen. As her name-was-not-being-called, she actually stepped forward and THANK GOODNESS her date had the good sense to stop her. (Whew! That would have been humiliating). But the good news is that she feels she really grew from that horrible experience, and without it, she probably would have ended up a big-headed b*$%# (her word, not mine) instead of the down to earth gal she is today.


My prom was at the fairgrounds and I went in a borrowed dress from a lady at church who liked to eat the knuckles off the chicken bones.

I win.

But it's why I'm the down to earth gal I am today. Waaaay down to earth!