I don’t often wait while I have my car’s oil changed, but today I decided to. So I’m sitting here at the car dealership, enjoying the free wireless as others read, watch TV, or talk on the phone. The man on the phone was talking about arranging for a car for seven people. That’s the only part of his conversation that even registered with me—I have absolutely no idea what else he said because I was concentrating on what I was doing.

Man on Phone: Okay, thanks. Bye. (Or some such thing. I have no idea because I wasn’t listening.)
Nosy Woman Nearby (loudly, to MOP): Can I ask you a question? (At this point, I began tuning in, but kept my eyes focused on my laptop.) Do you realize that other people can hear your conversation? Don’t you think that’s insulting?
MOP: (somewhat dumbfounded) Uh, well, yes, I guess you could hear what I was saying. But it wasn’t anything private.
NWN: Well I find it insulting when people do that.
MOP: Well yes, if we were in a restaurant or something I would’ve excused myself and gone outside. But there isn’t any seating available outside today, and besides, it’s not that big a deal. I’m sorry if you were insulted.
NWN: Harrumph!

::stony cold silence::

MOP (to NWN): So, are you an Obama supporter? (I couldn’t even believe he brought this up with her, but it truly did sound like he was trying to make conversation.)
NWN: Heh, heh. (You know that Dolores Umbridge throat-clearing/cackle? It sounded a lot like that.) Oh, that’s not available for sharing.
MOP: Oh, so you’re not?
NWN: I’m not saying either way.
MOP: Ah, so then you’re probably not. I guess I should’ve expected as much from someone like you.

Me (to self): Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

So should I have been insulted by his conversation too? I really hate it when people aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing (in the car, at the grocery store, standing in line for something) because they’re on the phone. But in this setting it didn’t bother me at all. Would you have been insulted? I do think that word is a bit strong—would you have been irritated by the phone conversation?


Say it isn’t so!


After a week of high temps and disgusting humidity, we’ve had a really nice weekend. J.P. and I decided to explore a local park this afternoon, so we loaded Mags into the car and headed out. We walked along a trail that led down to the lake, and it was really nice. Until I saw this. It’s too early for fall. I’m not ready . . . I’m NOT READY!

It’s only Saturday!

Time to push the flowers down the page. If you thought they looked dead a week ago, you should see them now. (Yes, they’re still on the little table where I set them to take the picture. Sad, I know.)

It’s the weekend! Yeah, I’m betting you already knew that. But it’s a good one, and it’s only Saturday! J.P. took yesterday off and we ventured into the city. We like to wander around Reading Terminal Market (pronounced “Redding,” like the railroad) and just soak up the sights, sounds, and smells. And believe me, there are smells. Flowers, fish markets, meat markets, bakeries, spice stores, and any kind of cuisine you can imagine—all of the scents blend together as one. Need some pigs’ feet? How ’bout some sugar from Mauritius? You can find both—and dog collars—at RTM.

My favorite find was this:

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This afternoon, J.P. and I went to Target so I could pick up some travel-size toiletries. I’m heading to Chicago tomorrow, and I want to be able to cram everything into my carry-on bag.

Before we even got into the store, I found myself swearing in the presence of a two-year-old. I’ll skip the thousand words and let you figure out what might’ve happened.

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No more Bah Humbug

Well, now that Thanksgiving is over, I guess I can’t complain about the Christmas season being upon us. As you can see, I’ve updated my header image to reflect my new-found holiday spirit.

We had a great Thanksgiving holiday, eating our fill and then some. Emphasis on the “and then some” part. And we’re not finished yet—we’re not flying home until Tuesday, so that means we may still hit Big Bowl and/or Twin City Grill before we leave.

We spent our first few nights in Minnesota at Character Builder‘s house, and Wednesday night we took the kids bowling.

Pre-Thanksgiving entertainment

Can you believe these shoes? I don’t know what size they were, but they were so cute! It was Lauren’s first time bowling, and she had a great time. She didn’t really need our help, but we did step in occasionally. If we hadn’t, I think we’d still be waiting for her first ball to hit the pins.

An exercise in patience

We ventured out to shop on Black Friday, but didn’t brave the 5:00 AM crowds. No, thank you. Not for me. We may have missed the best deals, but we were able to park in the same county as the mall. Most of our shopping for MN relatives is now complete. Tomorrow we just have to finish up a few little things, and then try to get the gifts wrapped while the kids are at school. Woohoo!

Weekend recap

First signs of spring

Friday night we hit a milestone: It was warm enough that we could sleep with the windows open all night. It was wonderful to wake up yesterday morning to the bright light, fresh air, and singing birds. I enjoyed it so much that I went back to sleep and did it all over again two hours later.

J.P. and I decided we needed to get out and do something outside, so we loaded up Mags and headed to Valley Forge, which has 18 miles of trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding. We walked a couple miles along the creek, and Miss Maggie had a wonderul time dragging us along behind her. The photo above is about the only green thing we saw—everything else around here is still gray or brown. But it won’t be long now!

The outing ended where all springtime outings must:

All spring outings end here

Today was still warm, but rainy and overcast. I wish it had been nicer, but it’s probably good that it wasn’t. J.P. and I create our church’s member photo directory every year, and we finished taking the photos a few weeks ago. Now it’s time to wrangle them all together and actually create the book. I spent several hours adjusting and cropping the images, but there’s still more to do.

Now it’s Desperate Housewives, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, and some relaxation to finish the weekend off right.

An open letter

To the various state agencies that maintain public restrooms along the turnpike:

Last week, my husband and I drove cross-country to visit family over the holidays. Along the way, we stopped at several service plazas and rest areas in your lovely state, and I would like to make the following observations.

Putting the diaper-changing station near the entrance to the restroom is a bad idea. No one needs to encounter a wall of stench as they rush into the restroom and speed toward their own stall. And if there’s a line, everyone is subjected to the nastiness until a stall becomes available. Put the changing area on the far wall, and install an air freshener near it in an attempt to contain the smell.

Who thought it would be a good idea to install stainless steel bathroom stalls? They may be less susceptible to graffiti artists who like to scratch their initials on the wall, but they’re total fingerprint magnets. I do not need to be reminded that several thousand other people (a large percentage of them with dirty hands) have touched the bathroom door that I’m about to touch.

Auto-flush toilets are the WORST. I always manage to set them off prematurely, and then must clench my loins together to keep the nasty water from getting inside me. Gah! Go for the old standby manual flush—I can always use my foot to flush that.

However, all other bathroom fixtures should be of the automatic variety. No mixing and matching! Who wants to wash their hands with soap and then have to touch the paper towel dispenser that has been touched by Rinsers? Or maybe there’s an automatic faucet, but a manual soap dispenser, or vice-versa. If you’re trying to project a clean image in your public restroom, why wouldn’t you go all out? You don’t get partial credit for an automatic paper towel dispenser if I have to use my hands to turn off the faucet.

As you consider future improvements to your restrooms, please feel free to contact me for advice. I’m more than willing to offer my input for a reasonable fee. Thank you.