Tuesday, October 30, 2007

i'm not quite dead yet...

i'm not dead. but in the last two weeks, if this is any indication of how things are going here, i've crossed into diamond status with Hilton's loyalty club and gold with American Airlines. and that's AFTER redeeming miles for a leisure trip.

it's good, because it means that i'll get better treatment when i'm traveling. and since i'm not going to stop traveling any time soon, i might as well be treated nicely.

i'm home until 4 this afternoon, and then i'm off to huntsville, al for the rest of the week and the weekend. hopefully, i'll get a chance to get online and post pictures of my fabulous halloween costume sometime soon.

oh, yeah. the leisure trip was to haverford, pa (dangerously close to philly) where rose and i attended a halloween party hosted by some dear friends. it was quite a hoot, but i never did wrap my lips around a cheesesteak. i'll have to try harder next time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

bathroom curtains?

in my ongoing quest to keep my faithful readers informed about the state of women's rest rooms around the country, i present to you the latest weird thing i have observed in my travels: paper stall curtains!

so what is a paper stall curtain? well, you know how the standard stall divider is separated from the wall or the next panel over by a short gap? the size of the gap varies due to the mounting hardware used to attach the thing to the wall, but it averages about 3/4 inch. well, at the facility i'm teaching in this week, someone decided that gap was large enough to threaten her privacy, i guess. i wandered in, put down my paper ass gasket, and prepared to do what it is we do in a toilet stall when i noticed this long streamer of toilet paper dangling from the stall divider just in my peripheral vision. someone had hung a makeshift paper curtain to block the view through the gap between the stall divider and the wall. and this raises the question: did the previous occupant of my stall erect her paper-thin veil of modesty because she herself has viewed something objectionable through the gap between stall panel and wall? or did she catch someone peeping at her? my curiosity is piqued!

it is completely beyond my ken that someone might actually attempt to observe a stall occupant in her disadvantaged state, but i am assured by an ex-girlfriend of mine that this did occur to her, and not in the larry craig way. and this story, i think, is REALLY REALLY weird. let me know if you agree...

my ex fell ill at work one day and found herself in the women's room, doing what one does when one's gastric system is in distress. she heard some foot-shuffling and other traffic outside her stall, but she was in her own special world of misery and paid no particular attention to it. upon exiting the "necessary room" and returning to her desk, she heard strange titters from her coworkers (say it with me: cow orkers) and felt her spidey-senses tingling. she had the strange feeling that she (and maybe her unfortunate lack of intestinal fortitude) were the subject of office gossip. as she was telling me this, i interrupted her story to interject, "Surely," says i, "nobody came out of the restroom and discussed what she saw in there! To do that, she'd have had to bend over and peer under the divider and identify you by your shoes, and that's just ridiculous! No grown person does that!" surely, she assured me, this was exactly what had happened. on the one hand, i was stunned at the puerility and the crassness. on the other hand, this woman's propensity for stirring up drama was well known to me by this time, and it just fit.

still, i ask you, gentle readers... if you came out of the toilet and found yourself the subject of gossip for solo activity conducted in the privacy of your stall, would you be embarrassed for yourself? or for the harpies who were sitting in the cube farm discussing you? seriously. i thought this was a one-off thing, just one crazy pot-stirrer's crazy behavior in a crazy office. is this stall-spying problem more widespread than naive little me would like to think? do i need to start hanging paper stall curtains, too?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


it's been two weeks, and i haven't written about camping yet! i'm a slacker!

rose and i went on our annual camping adventure to Rainbow Ranch with our friends. it was an absolute blast. the weather was gorgeous, the sunsets were incredible, the beer was cold, and the marshmallows were hot. i couldn't have asked for more.

No, really.  I couldn't ask for more.

as usual, i took my dog, who is a hyperspastic labrador retriever. she is six years old, and most people still think she's a puppy because she's just so... juvenile. i also had my sister's yellow lab, orenda, with me. when we were in the planning stages of this outing, rose asked me how orenda did at camping... which caused me to laugh until dr pepper came out my nose. then i referred rose to my sister to ask how well orenda handled camping, and my sister laughed until caffeine-free diet coke came out her nose. she gently explained the situation, orenda had never gone camping because my sister is not the sort of woman who goes camping. seriously, the only camping my sister has done since she was about 10 is the kind where your parents send you off to a college campus to play basketball for a week over the summer. so, in spite of the fact that she had to sleep outside for, like, the first time in her whole life, orenda seemed to enjoy the camping, too.

we played in the lake with the dogs most of the day saturday. because we are the place where stereotypes come from, our little lesbian tent town had as many canine residents as it had humans. there were dogs everywhere, and they all splashed in the lake, chasing each other and playing fetch. even the pug! the dogs were so tired after two solid days of swimming that they slept for two solid days once we got them home. it was bliss! orenda somehow managed to lose her collar in the lake so we faked a leash and a collar out of some rope that i had in my truck. she looked like a real redneck dog for the rest of the weekend. :)

speaking of pugs, did you know that if you squeeze a pug's head its eyeballs will pop out? yeah, i think that's an urban legend, but the girl who brought the pug was just dog-sitting and she had a long and ridiculous list of instructions to follow regarding the dog's care. basically, it boiled down to this: DON'T TAKE A PUG CAMPING! but the pug had fun and probably felt more like a real dog that weekend than it ever has in its life. we started discussing all the things pugs can't do one night around the campfire, and with the assistance of a little creativity and some BEvERages, we came up with a photo essay. from this photo to shot 35 from that album, we illustrate all the things one should NOT do with a pug. also, you should not do this or anything on any of the next 14 or so shots with a pug. there's a lot of overlap between those two galleries. if you're only going to look at one picture, it should be because at this point, i think the pug was a little tired of the traveling gnome game we'd been playing with it. if i knew how to LOLCATS that thing, it would say "we are not amused."

and that was my rainbow ranch camping adventure. thanks to sylwester and julie for the photos!

quote of the weekend, which actually came after the weekend was all over:

Why do we turn into circus seals around you?

i dunno. maybe it's because i laugh real hard and throw sardines when i'm amused?