The Filthy House

Susan's neighbor came over for a chat and Susan's house was FILTHY.
Not just messy. It was FILTHY, with nowhere to receive company comfortably.
Susan doesn't mind if her house is just messy, that's the hallmark of a real person who has things to do. Susan's house today indicated that Susan doesn't give a sh*t.

As with most real houses, there are a few trouble spots. The table in the kitchen normally piled high with cookbooks, newspapers, magazines and a bowl of fruit is one. It doesn't even belong in the kitchen, it was brought upstairs sixteen months ago for a party & never left.

Before you even get to the kitchen you have to walk through the living room.
In order to keep the mongrel dog from sleeping on the couch all day, the last person to leave the house places something on the couch to impede access. It's always the same thing, a ladder back chair from the computer area which is very lightweight and does the job nicely.
When Susan comes home she takes the chair off.
However, not today.

Susan has a nice fireplace and a handsome fireplace screen which was given to her by the mother of the twins. Susan threaded Christmas lights through the screen and plugs them in everyday because she likes to see the pretty lights.
Not today.

Most days Susan has a fragrant candle lit on the mantel. Not today.

Every day Susan's daughter uses the decorative mirror in the living room to perfect her hair straightening and styling. There is a small table beneath the mirror which holds a large glass cylinder filled with stalks of forsythia. As a result of the daily styling regimen the forsythia is set on the floor and the table top becomes adorned with a straightening iron, bobby pins and maybe a glass of something Susan's daughter was drinking. It remains this way until Susan notices it. Susan hadn't noticed it yet this afternoon.

Susan forces herself to keep the dining room table tidy and clean. But, like the seashore another wave of mail, schoolwork, folders, grocery coupons and little Star Wars Lego men are going to wash over it any minute. And, although she likes to keep it clean enough to eat off, because that's where Susan's family eats, it's not always in that condition.
Like today.

But, that's where Susan and her neighbor sat, at one dirty table overlooking another, situated next to a disorganized and unkempt laundry alcove while the mongrel dog came and rubbed and sniffed, begging for attention without a shred of self restraint.


Saturday, Midnight

As she was preparing to go to bed Susan noticed a car idling in front of her neighbors, the Drunk's house.
She believed the car had been there a while so she peered through the window to survey the situation. The car looked to be a patrol car. Susan turned off all the lights in order to remain undetected while she peered.

Indeed it was a patrol car. Susan couldn't see very well from that window so she repositioned herself in her son's room for a better look. Yes, now she could see. The policemen remained inside the car while Mr. & Mrs. Drunk stood alongside the window deep in conversation.
Were they being arrested? It seemed not.
Were they leaning on the patrol car? It seemed so.
Are you even allowed to lean on a patrol car?

Susan cracked open her son's window hoping to catch part of the conversation. Unfortunately, Susan's mongrel dog had followed her into the room. It was walking around with it's overgrown nails clicking on the wood floor, snuffling & snorting, making a racket. Susan chased the mongrel dog out of the room and turned her attention back to the Drunks.

She couldn't hear much. Mrs. Drunk mentioned her brother twice. She said something, quite conversationally, about 'when we lived there' but Susan couldn't hear the rest. Mr. Drunk was asked to confirm a telephone number. That's all Susan got.

It was a nipply March night, foggy and wet, but Mrs. Drunk was standing outside for an extended period of time in some sort of sleeveless shmatta talking with the officers, who never left their vehicle. Were they just chatting?
Wasn't she cold? The open window made Susan cold.

Don't police officers get out of their cars to shine lights into windows or investigate things?

Mrs. Drunk walked into the house leaving Mr. Drunk outside to finish his conversation.

Susan was perplexed by the whole situation.
Mr. Drunk went inside after a few more minutes. He closed the door.
The policemen drove away.
Susan went to bed.

On The Run

Susan's hand-me-down van is currently uninspected. She's not going to explain why because who really cares and she's got her reasons.

The expired inspection sticker differs greatly in color from the inspection stickers of compliant vehicles, and therefore sticks out to anyone paying attention. Susan has managed to elude the police on more than one occasion. The fact that she parked in the criminal court parking lot for almost three weeks undetected by anyone in a position to give her a ticket is bloody lucky.

However, she finds herself scanning the horizon for patrol cars & making unplanned lefts or rights to stay out of their way. One close call came as she was in the left hand turning lane. A policeman drove past, eyeballed the inspection, then eyeballed Susan. He put his blinker on to turn around as Susan's lane got the green arrow. Heart pounding she stomped on the gas pedal and made the first available turn off the road then sat there till the coast was clear.
The other day Susan found herself driving right into a police roadblock. She was trapped like a rat!
She mentally adjusted to the situation and rolled her window down in preparation for the conversation the officers would want to have with her. She took note of where she could pull over. She leaned toward the window and looked at the officers. She was ready to be cute.
They waved her through.
Wait. What?
The officers waved her through.
Susan kept going and watched in her rear view mirror as the officers jumped on the car behind her to get it to stop for them.
Susan kept going.


This Post Has Been Deleted By The Blogger

Susan stayed up quite late last night writing a post about something that disturbed her husband before he even read a word.
Oh, my!

The subject post was very long and funny and Susan didn't even write anything bad about anything.

The husband advised Susan to delete her hard work.
She complied, but would like it noted for the record that the husband is a bummer.


The $130 Pair Of Pants

Susan purchased an expensive pair of pants rather impulsively the other day. She was under the euphoria of job foreplay and was too woozy to make a solid purchasing decision. Although the pants were nice, they never would have made it out the door with her under normal circumstances. But, sometimes when one shops in a nice store, with proper dressing rooms and psychologically trained sales personnel, things just happen. Particularly when one comes directly from a promising job interview armed with a gift card.

The following day the pants went back.
In their place were purchased two tops because that's what Susan needs. She can wear the same pair of black pants for a month as long as she alternates everything else. Susan would like the reader to know that she also negotiated a 20% discount on one item and free shipping on the other.
Susan rocks.

When Susan returned home after a long morning of trying on all the clothes in the store twice, she expected to find a message on her answering machine from her prospective employer.
There was no freak-out when the message was not there.

Susan is a confident and mature woman, not a paranoid & isolated housefrau who believes that there is a plot to f*ck around with her. What employed stranger has the time to f*ck around with Susan anyway?

Susan kept her mind occupied by ironing everything in her closet.
She mended seams and polished jewelry.
She brutally re-assessed her clothing.
Susan started a bag for Goodwill.

Eventually Susan left the house to watch her son's wrestling team, eat pizza and interact with her family like a normal person.


Susan Contemplates Her Unemployment

Lately Susan's unemployed ass could be found winding electrical tape around the pieces of her life hoping they'd hold together for one more day.

That notwithstanding, she has enjoyed large parts of her exile from the working world.

She spent the summer with her kids, then relished the solitude when they went back to school.
She liked the relaxed pace of not having to be anywhere.
It didn't matter if she ran out of clean clothes.
There was always time for whatever she wanted to do, as long as it didn't cost anything.

She learned how to cook curries and make chutney. She figured out she could replicate ricotta with tofu, lemon juice and dried oregano. She had an affair with blue cheese.

Susan had a couple of melt-downs; like when the COBRA benefits were cancelled or when her food budget could not accommodate paper towels.

Susan has been led to believe she'll be offered a job shortly. One with responsibilities and benefits and people to talk to. With a decent salary. A job Susan anticipates she'll actually like.

Susan celebrated this possibility with a $130 pair of pants.

Simmer down, she used a gift card.


North Carolina

Last month Susan had the pleasure of sitting in a car packed to capacity with her family and their suitcases before emerging twelve hours later in North Carolina. Susan and her family were visiting her elder step-daughter's family, which included two brand new baby boys! In addition, Susan's younger step-daughter would be joining them with her own toddling daughter. Everyone bunking in the same house.

Susan doesn't care for the term step-daughter because she really lucked out with these two. But, for the purpose of this post, it identifies the relationship. Susan and her step-daughters have spent many hundreds of hours together. However, they were divided into increments of 5 over the course of 15 years, not over one long weekend.

Susan's hosts spoiled her;
First, by the father of the twins who jumped up to make his step-mother-in-law coffee whenever she needed a hit. When he wasn't impressing her with his magic caffeine elixir he was pouring her another glass of sangria or a snifter of something delightful and intoxicating.

Then, by the mother of the twins who fetched Susan a blanket to chase away the chilly night air as they all sat outside drinking, smoking, chatting and laughing. She also indulged Susan in hunting down a local thrift shop (because Susan has a monkey on her back) and turned Susan on to a favorite cheap wine, a case of which she managed to stuff into her trunk on the way out of town.

Lastly, by two utterly adorable brothers, so charming and sweet, happy and bright, chubby and blue-eyed. Who could care about anything else when they're in the room?

Susan's younger step-daughter is no slouch herself;

she's got a toddler in tow, a bun in her oven, a full time job and still likes her husband. One of Susan's fave parts of the visit was being given 'Europeans', a kiss on each cheek, by the toddler.
Oh, and this particular step-daughter bought Susan some underpants.

Susan tried to be a good guest by cleaning up after herself, pitching in with household chores and reorganizing a few closets to her own specifications (because Susan's OCD travels with her).

After three days fish and house guests begin to stink so Susan folded herself, her family and their suitcases back into the car and made the grueling twelve hour trek home.

The End.


Apparently Susan's Nieces Were Right

Susan's little sister has a hot tub in which Susan has often found herself a guest. Little sister's hot tub is tucked away for privacy and open to the stars. And sometimes the rain or snow, which only adds to the wonderfulness of the experience. Susan has no need for vacations or chiropractors or psychiatrists when she can soak her bum and sip a glass of wine while she and little sister discuss life's events. Plus, Susan has no money for such extravagances.

A while back Susan's nieces K8 and Liz joined their mother and favorite aunt for a relaxing soak. The conversation soared and swirled over many topics, as it usually does, before pit-stopping at who reminds them of Aunt Sue.

All four have been enthusiastic fans of Project Runway and therefore very familiar with the associated hosts, judges & personalities. Susan was startled to learn that everyone (but she) overwhelmingly agreed that Tim Gunn reminded them of Susan.

Tim Gunn is a gay man, while Susan is nothing of the sort.

The conversation revealed opinions of warmth and respect for Tim Gunn, the alter-Susan. Very shortly she found herself not minding the comparison at all. In fact, Susan was quite happy to linked with a well regarded man of style and wit with a good vocabulary.

Tim Gunn, indeed.

Most recently, while Susan and her fellow jurors were spending time not talking about the thing which brought them all together, Susan remarked about the comparison to Tim Gunn. Immediately, almost in unison, three or four of the jurors exclaimed 'Yes, we can see that!'


Adorable Cousin Alex

Last night found the majority of Susan's girl cousins together to watch a movie which Aunt Eileen had chosen for the occasion, Anatomy of A Murder
(Susan's review; it was long).
What a delightful surprise to find Cousin Alex home from college with her new short hair-do and smarty pants attitude.

Susan is a big fan of Cousin Alex because she is a creative, independent thinking young woman who sez things like 'I love to be in France for Bastille Day' as serious as death.
She is also adorably diminutive and when the conversation looped around to weight (a popular topic among this demographic) she said
'I never weigh myself. I don't understand why anyone would ever weigh themselves.'
Tre cute!

The movie was about to begin and Cousin Alex inquired, in an agitated manner, as to whether everyone was planning to talk through it. Susan and her little sister indicated that Cousin Alex could leave right then if this might be a problem. However, she did not take the bait and stuck it out, like everyone else, to the bitter end.


Jury Duty, The Conclusion

Susan had the privilege of spending the better part of the last three weeks with twelve strangers as they sat in a courtroom and listened to two versions of the same story. The story was always interesting and often thrilling, informative, entertaining and scary.
Susan was most impressed with the open-mindedness, integrity and patience of her fellow jurors as they deliberated every point of every charge, even the ones with the obvious answers.
The group helped one another see varied points of view, listened with a willingness to hear and kept each member as equal as any other.
Susan's world was made a little more hopeful because of them.
Thanks guys.



Susan's medium sized children are pretty good about eating their vegetables. This of course can be attributed to the manner in which Susan prepares and serves the vegetables.
Further supportive evidence of Susan's vegetable talents are often provided at the dinner table by unrelated children invited over to eat. Quite often the mothers of these children will remark how their child would never eat such a vegetable at home, making Susan feel superior.
And rightly so because we're talking about hardcore examples such as cauliflower, asparagus and broccoli rabe. Some of them may not be particularly happy about the broccoli rabe, but they eat it.

There's one vegetable that Susan & the husband love but, no matter what she does with it her children refuse to eat;
Susan's children absolutely gag on the vile eggplant.
One of them even cries when she sees it on her plate, which is one reason (of many) why Susan likes to refer to this child as The Crybaby.

Susan was looking for the easy way out of dinner & wished to serve her family the eggplant left over from a weekend party. Susan's eggplant preparation was such that even Susan's eggplant-resistant little sister was won over. And she's a tough customer.
Nonetheless, Susan had a tougher job ahead of her getting The Crybaby to crack.
If she could weaken The Crybaby then her older brother Fuckleupagus would crumble.
But, how?

What would make The Crybaby voluntarily put eggplant into her mouth, chew it up then swallow it? Repeatedly? Until it was all gone?

Susan put her thinking cap on.

The habit in Susan's house is not to serve soda during the week. However, Susan had a premonition and held onto a bottle left over from the weekend party, everything else was poured down the sink.

Susan approached The Crybaby.
'What can I do to get you to eat some eggplant?'
The Crybaby looked at Susan, pondering the answer. Susan's heart was pounding.
'Money?' suggested Susan. The Crybaby's eyes widened.

In the end The Crybaby sold herself out for $4 and a glass of Sprite Zero.
The family sat down and enjoyed their dinner of leftover eggplant, salad and penne with sauce.

Susan swears she heard someone say 'That wasn't that bad, Mom.'


Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream

On her way to jury duty, as Susan was gathering up her belongings after walking through the metal detector, she became involved in a short conversation with the officer who x-rayed her bag.
Susan was complimented on smelling 'like the first breeze of summer.'
The officer told Susan that his wife loved the fragrance of coconut, and what was she wearing? So, Susan opened up her bag & pulled out the Burt's Bees tube to show the officer.
She explained that it's very greasy and one only needs to use a smidgen.
When he asked how effective it was on dry skin she unscrewed the cap and motioned for the officer to extend his hand.
Susan placed a pea sized amount on the back of the officer's hand and instructed him to really work it into the skin, which he did.
Now they both smelled like the first breeze of summer.
Susan had an extra bounce in her step as she walked away to join her fellow jurors.


Lovely Day For A Guinness

Arthur Guinness was an Irish brewer and father of twenty one children, Sweet Jesus!

In 1759 he left his little brother in charge of the brewery & signed a 9,000 year lease on the abandoned St. James Gate brewery in Dublin which remains the blessed home of Guinness Stout to this day.

Stout is an ale. It began as a porter, which was a dark beer popular with the fellows who humped heavy objects all over town for a living. These guys needed a drink after a long day toiling away at their careers in cheap labor.

Guinness has many beneficial qualities. Aside from being a bloody fantastic brew it contains iron, antioxidants and only 125 calories per 12 ounces. A nurse friend of Susan's used to mix it with condensed milk and serve it to her elderly mother. If that isn't a proper testiment to the medicinal properties of a wee nip o' the Guinness, well then I don't know what is, Bejesus!


Susan Green Cleans Her Tub

Susan likes standard caustic chemical cleaners as much as the next guy but decided, purely as an experiment due to the boredom of unemployment, to clean her filthy tub with vinegar and baking soda.

Susan did a small amount of research and settled upon the combination of 1/4 cup baking soda (as a scouring element) and 1/2 cup vinegar (cuts soap scum) which she administered with a scrubby sponge. Oh, how her shower gleamed! (After much rinsing). Susan was very happy with the result although she had to mix several batches.

Susan was very attracted to a recipe for a tub & tile spray which she felt may be more practical and convenient. But, she would have to purchase some tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil has many uses as she came to learn. It has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties and can be used both on the skin or in the toilet.

Susan mixed 1 and 2/3 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup liquid soap into a spray bottle. She added 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, a half teaspoon of tea tree oil & shook the crap out of it. Then she added more water when the baking soda appeared to be clogging the spray mechanism. However, again Susan's tub gleamed! (After minimal rinsing). And it smelled nice in a way that didn't make her cough up blood.

So, Susan took her spray bottle into the kitchen to try out on her eighties era counter top. She sprayed, scrubbed a little bit and wiped like the unemployed Stepford Wife she was, and at the conclusion her counter was clean! It even pulled Cousin Lisa in from the other room with it's magical natural mojo. Cousin Lisa is an organic gal & has a long list of things she can't tolerate such as aerosol, Splenda & old house smells. Cousin Lisa shared Susan's new enthusiasm for natural household cleaners and made it her business to go home with the recipe for Susan's green cleaning spray.


Susan And Grace Meet At The Movies

Susan's childhood friend Grace invited Susan to be her guest at the movies. Susan and Grace are in the habit of going to the movies when one of them has some extra money. They even have a favorite movie theatre and like to take advantage of unadvertised savings when they pay for one movie then sneak into a second. Needless to say anyone who would do something as ethically murky as this would probably also smuggle in their own snacks and alcohol.
However, on this particular outing Susan and Grace were living large and wished to purchase a cappuccino & some biscotti to enjoy during the second movie. Unfortunately, and to their absolute horror, there was no milk available for the cappuccino. Grace, always the better student, spied a can of whipped cream and instructed the server to use the the contents in lieu of steamed milk. The childhood friends looked on as each cup was completely filled with whipped cream. They waited while the coffee brewed. And, as if seeing the Gates of Heaven, they watched the coffee being poured over the whipped cream before being delivered unto their trembling hands.
Let it be known far and wide, that from this day forward Susan and Grace very much prefer to drink their coffee from a cup filled with whipped cream.


Susan Likes Jury Duty

Susan is currently seated on a jury somewhere within the democratic society in which she is privileged to live, but she can't talk about it.

What she can say is that the right side of the judge's face twitches when he gets angry, that nobody in court looks anywhere but straight ahead or at the lawyers and court room lighting makes even the pretty court stenographer look bad.

Additionally, Susan has picked up a few tips for anyone who may find themselves in the witness box;
Confine all answers to either yes or no unless instructed to describe something.
Do not make clucking noises into the microphone during a sidebar.
Do not yawn into the microphone at any time.
Do not incorporate personal comments about the absurdity of the question into your answer.
Do not start a conversation with anyone in the viewing gallery.
And, if the judge threatens you with contempt of court, believe him.

Susan likes her fellow jurors. Mostly. She even baked for them last week. However, Susan's Little Sister has said that you don't know how stoopid people can be until you have to deliberate with them. This comment was based on Little Sister's personal experience and not jealousy because Susan is seated on an interesting case or because Susan likes joking with the officers who make her empty her pockets & x-ray her bag or because Susan holds the next twenty five years to life of another human being in her hands.
More on this as it develops.
Rather, after it concludes.


A Lady Walks Into A Bar With A Pig Under Her Arm

This joke required two telephone calls to Susan's old man because it's his joke and she's retarded.
A lady walks into a bar with a pig under her arm. The bartender looks up and sez 'Where'd you get that dog?' The lady sez 'That's not a dog, it's a pig.' The bartender sez 'I'm talking to the pig.'



My son thinks he can
Fool his unemployed mother
With middle school lies

No homework again
What a nice teacher you have
I'll give her a call

When I was a kid
Teachers took perverse pleasure
Assigning homework

Please bring me the phone
But don't wander off because
I'm not done with you

Parental Failure

Susan appears to be failing in a specific parental responsibility; to motivate one of her medium-sized children to complete his homework. Perhaps the term homework is misleading, let's add social studies projects, English test reviews and Italian worksheets just to be safe.

For purposes of identification and until the child in question decides to pull his head out of his arse, he will be known as Fuckleupagus.

Fuckleupagus has many exemplary qualities but we're not going to talk about any of them right now.

Fuckleupagus dooms himself to failure, which Susan guesses is pretty standard behavior for someone of his demographic. The lies of Fuckleupagus are riddled with facial tics, are poorly constructed and unravel easily. Sometimes he seems woozy with panic when caught, and other times he appears completely unconcerned. This inconsistency is certainly a puzzlement for Susan.

The electronic recreational privileges of Fuckleupagus have been replaced with enforced reading and early bedtimes. This has resulted in minimal effectiveness so Susan has added jumping up & down and screaming for variety. Susan has also tried calmly questioning her Fuckleupagus because there's obviously something wrong with his f*cking brain and did he wish to see a doctor?

Susan has always found the discipline of her children to be a tricky area. Her own mother ruled by the back of her hand and Susan's children should thank their lucky stars that Susan has not chosen to follow that example.
Although she'd like to, yes she would.


Righty Tighty Lefty Loosey

As a youngster Susan's old man taught her a short rhyme to help her remember which way to turn the knob on the spigot in order to shut off the garden hose. Fast forward forty years. At least once a day Susan gets an opportunity to stare at a faucet and think about which way she has to turn the bloody knob to get more hot water. This is matched only by the amount of time she spends thinking about how to get less hot water. For a few moments she tries to remember on her own because what sort of a pathetic load doesn't know how to get more, or less hot water from a household faucet. I mean, she turns water on and off all day so what's the problem? Ultimately, it's righty tighty lefty loosey that saves her ass from certain scalding and for this Susan is always thankful. She's thankful she's got a little rhyme that her old man taught her to keep her safe. She's happy she gets a chance to think of him every day even if mostly she's naked & dripping wet when she does.


Susan's Guide to Home Confinement

Sometimes we may find ourselves trapped at home for extended periods of time. The reasons vary. You may be taking time off to raise small children or be wearing an ankle monitor or perhaps you are unemployed and your car was towed away first thing Monday morning. Regardless of the reason Susan knows how you feel and has a plan to help.

Most working folks say they'd jump at the chance to shuffle around in PJs all day with nothing to do, but they don't know what they're talking about. Once you've put those babies down for a nap, washed all the windows, organized the tools in the basement and looked up your old schoolmates on Facebook, depression sets in fast.

Really fast.

First off, you must MAINTAIN as much NORMALCY as possible. This means that you get out of bed before the sun has begun it's descent. Take a shower, brush your teeth & do something with that hair of yours. No one is to take their shower after dinner. Showering is a morning activity.

After your shower you must GET DRESSED in clean clothes. Casual clothes are acceptable, even required for your new lifestyle. However, let's establish the definition of 'casual'. A casual wardrobe is comfortable, maybe even a little bit frayed around the edges, this fraying must not detract from the overall visual appeal of the garment. Something left on the floor of the laundry room for two years is stained with bleach and full of holes rendering it unacceptable.
Yoga pants or gym pants matched with a properly fitting, coordinated top are fine for staying home. However, wearing sweat pants and your husband's tee shirt is not. Come out to Susan's neighborhood and she'll show you what she means.
Now that you're showered & dressed, let's go have breakfast.

EATING PROPERLY is very important to keep your mood buoyant. When your blood sugar crashes so do you. Please eat at regular intervals, preferably sitting upright at a table and include vegetables or fruit daily. Susan will admit to having a period in her life where she fed herself & her children breakfast cereal for every meal. It lasted a few weeks and everyone survived. Feel free to indulge in a bit of comfort food but maintain your self control because everyone will notice your fat ass.

KEEP the TV OFF. Susan finds the radio very relaxing and recommends it as a way to stay connected to humanity. However, take caution when listening to overtly one-sided AM programming, it's too easy to become brainwashed by someone else's agenda. Susan had to detox from Dr. Laura a number of years ago.

ORGANIZING your PANTRY is nothing to be ashamed of. Just don't do it every week. The same goes for rearranging your linen closet, bookshelves or wardrobe. Any of these are worthwhile projects. Susan is a big advocate of throwing things out in tandem with these activities. The more aggressive you are the better. On the topic of donations, no one will be damned for throwing out a perfectly good book although it is recommended you donate your coats and footwear.

CULTIVATE an OBSESSION. Nothing counter productive or deviant but something that inspires enthusiasm and help focus your thoughts. Susan learned to bake this way. Baking is very calming in its monotony. Susan still uses this as a way to unwind although now she's added cooking to her repertoire of anxiety deflecting activities. Recently she found herself logging onto cooking blogs like they were pornography with hands shaking upon the realization of having all necessary ingredients for mango chutney; frozen mango, fresh ginger, red pepper, tumeric, allspice, cumin...
Please excuse Susan as she has digressed from the original topic.

INVITE FRIENDS OVER. Neighbors are an acceptable substitute for actual friends. Put up a pot of coffee and enjoy some face time with real people.

READ SOMETHING. As hard as it is for Susan to accept, she knows that there are folks out there who don't own anything with words written on paper. For everyone else, go get a book, a stack of magazines or the newspaper. Middle of the afternoon or middle of the night, this is a calming, solitary pursuit.


Susan was Sick!

Susan was in bed from Sunday night to Tuesday morning crawling out only to vomit. For the greater portion of Monday she was actually lying there moaning but did it while no one was home so that she wouldn't reveal herself to be such a pathetic load. She is not used to being sick and tends toward over dramatization.
Sue her.

By Tuesday Susan managed to walk erect & was enjoying a nice starchy diet of toast, oatmeal and pumpkin pancakes. She had her first cuppa coffee in days & like a magic caffeine elixir it banished her headache, although she still felt like someone punched her in the ribs & poured ice water over her head.

Wednesday Susan pulled herself together long enough to interview for a hopeless, dead end job in a technologically bereft environment. (The reader will take note that Susan is sick and UNEMPLOYED). She drove home & immediately climbed back into bed, coat still on, shoes off and slept until someone woke her up to eat a bland bowl of macaroni. However, Susan's symptoms had been reduced to chills, shakes & coughing. An improvement.

And poops like bricks. Sorry.

One of the perks of being sick is that she hadn't done anything in the house, no cooking, no food shopping, no laundry, nothing.

Thursday night Susan busted out some salmon burgers from the depths of the freezer to George Foreman and then put together the few viable vegetables to make Baked Rice (saute whatever's on hand with some onions/garlic, add rice & broth, bake in oven for 15 min @ 400*). She was the last to sit at the table so her family was already eating, in absolute silence, the gruel that had been prepared. Susan took a bite of the salmon & knew what it must be like for someone to have to eat from a garbage can. She put the salmon aside & took a forkful of her rice. She immediately rose from the table & spat it into the sink then collected everyone's dish right out from underneath them & scraped their dinner into the trash. Twenty minutes later they were all eating Hawaiian Pizza from Dominos.

Susan worked some canned fruit into her diet which had a lovely effect on the bricks.

Friday morning Susan awoke while it was still dark to the sound of her mongrel dog urinating in the bedroom which Susan, of course, stepped in. She peered through the darkness into her immediate future and saw a bucket, mop and multiple loads of laundry.


How Many F*cking POTATOES Does One House Need Anyway?

Susan's family are a bunch of POTATO eaters. Every once in a while the POTATOES get eaten all up & must be replaced. This is exactly what happened just a few days ago; no POTATOES.

Susan picked up a 5 lb bag of RED POTATOES at the market easily enough. However, she asked the husband to bring home some SWEET POTATOES because she's on an obsessive curry making tear & wanted to incorporate them into a red curry she's working on. They're also higher in certain vitamins than REGULAR POTATOES and good to eat at any time with anything.

The environmentally devastating plastic bags from the market sat on her kitchen table till the next morning when Susan got an opportunity to put the contents away.

One bag held seven big WHITE POTATOES hand picked by the husband. The other bag held a 5 lb bag of RED POTATOES, exactly like the one she had purchased & put away in plain sight a few days earlier. Susan questioned The Husband in order to ascertain whether he understood her request or just couldn't bloody see that these POTATOES were white and not orange. It was the latter. He threw the bag of RED POTATOES in for good measure because you can never have too many F*CKING POTATOES in one house, you know.


Susan Has Spots on her Brain

Thanks to Dr. Goodman's IV Ativan, Susan took a calm trip into a very narrow tube one Friday morning not too long ago.
The nice ladies in scrubs talked to Susan in soothing voices and asked if she was ready to 'begin'. Susan didn't feel as though she was ready to begin, but the taller of the nice ladies said 'You should be ready, your numbers are down', so Susan agreed.
Susan closed her eyes and went headfirst into the narrow tube.
There was much clanging and banging which Susan thought sounded like music. It was very rhythmic and loud, not unlike listening to The Clash in the car. Susan likes The Clash. So she liked the clanging and banging, it gave her something to think of.

Susan was aware that she could freak out if she wanted, but she didn't want to.
When she was done, Susan went home.

MRI of the BRAIN without CONTRAST.
HISTORY: Paresthesias
There is no evidence of restricted effusion or acute infarction. There is mild prominence of the cortical sulci. There is evidence of scattered white matter changes identified bilaterally involving the left greater than right periventricular white matter. The possibility of demyelination cannot be excluded based on the somewhat round shape and long asix perpendicular to the ventricles. No obvious involvement is identified within the corpus callosum or the brain stem. Again, these white matter changes are nonspecific and again are noted to be unilateral.

IMPRESSION: Unilateral left supraventricular and periventricular white matter changes. Demyelinatin cannot be excluded based on their orientation to the long axis of the lateral ventricles. Again, no acute infarction. No mass.


Susan Looks Unemployed

Susan's daughter came home from school, saw Susan & asked 'Aren't those the same clothes you had on yesterday?'
Then the husband came home from work, saw Susan & said 'Nice look.'
Susan responded that this was her Default Look.
'Reboot' sez he.


What Susan Likes About Her Town

Her NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS because they're everything that good neighbors should be.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY is celebrated with an enthusiastic parade and subsequently much green spray painted hair.

The HEALTH FOOD STORE because it smells like a health food store and sells candied ginger and all manner of exotic supplies and never costs Susan a lot money.

The LIBRARY because even though Susan still hasn't figgered out how to effectively use the computer system & rarely finds what she wants, she always walks out happy. The library personnel are helpful and nice and never once has Susan needed to reach across the counter & grab anyone by their throats. Most delightfully, there are frequent used book sales and a magazine recycling bin which Susan finds very exciting to poke through.

The SCHOOLS because Susan's children come home smarter than when they left.

The big neon ROCKY POINT DISCOUNT TIRES sign because it's very pretty and the colors alternate except for when it's not working, like lately.

TREES. There's loads of them, who knew Susan would become so smitten with trees? And when they fall over onto cars or fences they get to live a little longer as firewood.