Saturday, November 27, 2010

Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Boasts

I've mentioned before about my aversion to Minnesotans' aptitude for declaring the state's superiority in practically every measurable circumstance known to mankind. Herewith are some Actual Factual examples:


Minnesota's 49 million turkeys were far and away the most raised in any state and 18 percent of the nation's total.

Minnesota leads the Midwest in a hot trend: cremation

Our state is tops in fishing licenses sold per capita.

Minnesota has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country.

Other states have challenged the accuracy of the decades-old breath test device called the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, but Minnesota is the only place where the case landed in federal and state courts.

Minnesota has been named the "Best Trails" state.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the most intoxicated areas of the U.S.

Minneapolis has the purest heroin at the lowest price in the country.

* * * * * * *
Well, well, well...don't you just want to stand up tall and give out a yell?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I saw the light...not

Beloved called me while I was at work and announced that she had a light out.

This confused me a wee bit, as I'm more accustomed to thinking "the lights are on, but nobody's home." (Not that I think that about Beloved, you understand! It's just a common phrase. Seriously, folks!)

Upon cross-examination, it was discovered that the light to which Beloved was referring was the driver's-side headlight of her car.

"No worries," I cheerfully responded, "I'll just pop that puppy out and plug in a new one. In fact, I think I may already have a replacement at home. I'm pretty sure I bought a two-pack the last time I needed one."

"Where would it be?" asked Beloved. "I've been looking for a while and haven't found anything."

"Well, if there is one, it would be on a shelf in the mud room," I jovially offered.

"I looked there."

"No big deal," I chuckled, as this latest development rolled off my back, "I'll just stop on the way home and pick one up."

* * * * * * *
It took a couple passes through our newly-remodeled, super-sized StallMart for me to find the automotive lighting aisle, and the model number I needed had only one representative in the massive display of possibilities (which seemed to have absolutely no logic behind what got hung where), but I eventually arrived home, triumphantly carrying my quarry in its requisite plastic bag.

It was while I was placing said plastic bag in the recycling bin (strategically placed in our mud room) that I saw the previously-purchased automotive headlamp on the shelf. "Ha-ha! How amusing," thought I, as I cheerfully headed out to quickly switch the good for the bad so Beloved could once again drive safely in the dark.

* * * * * * *
NEWSFLASH! THIS JUST IN: Those who design the engine compartments of the modern mechanical marvels we call automobiles are apparently double-jointed contortionists...with an evil streak a mile wide.

It's true...when I finally wormed my hand into the so-called "space" between the battery and the cap sealing the compartment that held the bulb for the headlight, my only option for actually twisting the cap off was to have a friend lift me up and spin my body. And when this was done, I immediately dropped the cap into the interior of the fender/wheel well/labyrinth.

But was this enough humiliation and defeat for this particular day? Apparently not.

Having irretrievably lost the cap/seal/lid-thingy, I then proceeded to be completely unable to remove the faulty bulb...forget about putting in the new one. It was impossible to actually, you know, see what I was doing, so I was stuck feeling around with my fingers, which were fairly well numb with cold at this point. I could unplug the thing, but as for figuring out the combination of yoga and ninja moves necessary for getting it out, I was about as useful as a seeing-eye dog with a blindfold.

I finally submitted to the reality of my ineptitude and drove to my friendly neighborhood oil-changing tire store and asked the grease monkeys if they could save me from my rapidly-increasing frustration. Practically before I finished asking the question, I was on my way, with my bruised ego whimpering in the back seat.

When I asked MonkeyBoy how he got the cap out of the fender, he said, "I'm the one that's always dropping things around here."

So, yeah...I was out-performed by the worst guy in the shop.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bela Lugosi, where are you?

I gave blood the other day.

Correction: The Red Cross took some blood from me. Giving just isn't the right word to use for the red-tape wrapped, multiple-instruction sheet covered, inquisition-like screened event that I endured Monday afternoon-into-evening.

The unfilling station had been set up in the atrium-formerly-known-as-the-foyer of my church (http://www.valleycc.org), and the lead pastor had shamelessly begged us to fill up the appointment sheet, so I dutifully-obediently-pathetically participated.

Upon entering, I was cheerfully greeted, given a name tag, and issued a forest-killing pile of instructional pages informing me of the importance of my donation ("Give blood, good; use dirty needle, bad") and warning me of the possible-though-not-likely side effects of having blood forcibly removed from my body...including having a bruised arm that may display "a rainbow of colors." (Actual factual quote.)

I had to answer several questions about my personal health and private behavior. The good news is that said questions were privately answered by me on a computer. I'm thinking if the questions had been asked by a human being, face-to-face, we both would have been blushing like a nun at Chippendale's.

I was granted acceptance into the privileged crowd of acceptable donors, and directed to lay down and expose my neck to the incoming bat — er — give the nurse access to my arm. Once she pounded the inside of my elbow and painted my right side with antiseptic, it only took three people to lift the needle that was then twisted into my helpless flesh...all while telling me to relax, which was kind of like telling a person jumping out of a plane to fall up.

However, my attempts at relaxation must have been effective after all, because the next complaint cast in my direction had to do with the lack of speed with which my blood bag was filling. That's right — I wasn't bleeding fast enough for them. They kept jiggling the pipe that was protruding from my arm and milking the hose that ran from the pipe to the blood bag, but it all was taking so long that the wound started clotting over as if my body was saying, "I ain't got time to bleed."

Bottom line was, they couldn't get a full pint out of me and ended up having to discard the 90% of a pint that they got. It's all-or-nothing with those professional vampire types at the Red Cross. They told me not to let it discourage me from giving again in the future, but I said, "You are not the boss of me! It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to!"

But I think I will give it another try at the next opportunity. My arm is looking like a bag of Skittles and I can practically taste the rainbow. Yum!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My financial worries are over

I think I've had an apostrophe.

I've seen my future, and it's so bright, I need to wear shades.

The source of my inspiration and abundant hope is the following Associated Press item I read a few days ago.

McDonald's Pays for Worker's Weight
SAO PAULO - A Brazilian court ruled this week that McDonald's must pay a former franchise manager $17,500 because he gained 65 pounds while working there for a dozen years. The 32-year-old man said he felt forced to sample food each day to ensure quality standards remained high, because McDonald's hired "mystery clients" to randomly visit restaurants and report on the food, service, and cleanliness. The man also said the company offered free lunches to employees, adding to his caloric intake while on the job.

I can see clearly now (welcome to your newest earworm)...there are untapped resources out there waiting to be mined:

  • I should be awarded a cash settlement for all the sleep I lost during the nine years I proofread prospectuses for mutual funds...on third shift. Not to mention the damage to my nervous system and arteries from all the caffeinated beverages I had to ingest to ensure my wakefulness.
  • There should be a sliding scale of damage payments to my tender sense of well-being and usefulness for all the years I ministered to teens...who turned around and became felons, freeloaders, and insurance agents.
  • My current place of employment forces me to actually, you know, show UP, which involves wear and tear on my vehicle, along with other operating expenses that are not fully reimbursed.
If we work this right, ladies and gentlemen, we may never have to work again.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good morning, Earworm, the Earth says hello

I wake up in the morning, and these songs are turning/churning in my mind. I shoo them away. They ignore me. I take down their names so I can put them on report.

AUGUST
3 – Everlasting God (“Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord; we will wait upon the Lord; we will wait upon the Lord…”)
4 – Country Road (James Taylor)
9 – Lady (Little River Band; this REALLY needs to stop showing up in this list. I’ve even NOT listed it a couple times when I should have, figuring it would be too annoying for readers with heart conditions to handle.)
10 – I Will Call Upon the Lord (“…who is worthy to be praised.”)
13 – Me and Bobby Magee (Janis Joplin. Kris Kristopherson can suck eggs.)
19 – Spinning Wheel (Blood Sweat & Tears)
20 – These Eyes (The Guess Who…no…seriously…this is not a game …that’s the group’s name)
22 – Love Isn’t Always on Time (Foreigner)
24 – I Am the Walrus (The Beatles. Where have you been, oh, Fab Four? You haven’t showed up in my morning music for a loooooong time. And when you do, you give me THIS?!!? Well, goo-goo-ga-joob to you!)
25 – First Song that I Sing (Sara Groves)
26 – Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners)

SEPTEMBER
2 – Reign In Us (Starfield)
3 – So Far Away (Carole King)
8 – I Am a Servant (Larry Norman. I sang a different Larry Norman song at the state fair on the 4th and found out that NObody in the room knew who he was. I could barely finish singing the rest of my set because of my grief.)
9 – You Should be Dancin’ (Bee Gees)
13 – Running On Empty (Jackson Browne) What a way to start the work week.
26 – My Wish (Rascal Flats…though I’m really hearing it because Beloved sang it in three concerts last week.)
28 – Top of the World (Carpenters)
29 – Still the One (Orleans)

OCTOBER
1 – If I Can’t Have You (Yvonne Elliman)
3 – Couldn’t Get It Right (Climax Blues Band)
7 – Country Road (James Taylor)
9 – The Face of Christ (Chris Rice)
29 – Hey Tomorrow (Jim Croce)