Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Getting a fix

I've been without consistent technology for the past week or so, and I survived. Since we last met, I spent a few days in Montana where they do have the internet (Craigs List just launched there!) but no one has notified my dad. The movers arrived yesterday and carted away our belongings, so we spent 24 hours without internet service or even a television. We sat warming our hands around a bare light bulb in the living room for entertainment.

We have lived without cable television for the past eight months, which I thought was good preparation for technology deprivation. When we checked into our hotel yesterday, I realized that we'd only created a couple of TV-starved monsters, similar to those children I knew growing up who weren't allowed to watch television at home, so when they visited my house we couldn't rip them away from reruns of "Green Acres" long enough to eat dinner. We are now GLUED to old episodes of Law & Order, reality MTV, doubles tennis on ESPN, whatever we can get our hands on. I watched Boo-Bah for 15 minutes this morning. I also spent almost an hour(!) on the "Lost" website, clicking around for previews of the seasion premiere that I'll never see. So, for the next week, We will devour all the cable television and high speed internet that we can suck down before we fly off to the land where we don't understand how to change the TV channels, never mind understand what the newscasters are talking about. Fortunately our temporary German digs does offer wi-fi, so I'll having nothing but time to blog blog blog away. I must say I'm thankful to have access to US CNN this week; the footage coming from the gulf coast is horrific but I appreciate being informed. Many thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Southeast.

By the way, thanks to those of you who showed up at the rummage sale, we got rid of lots of good stuff (there was practically a bidding war over the Berry Bake Shoppe) but somehow we still filled up a big truck yesterday with all of our treasures. I hope we still want all of that stuff when it arrives at our next destination.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Won't you be my neighbor?

I've been imagining this day for weeks - my house would feel airy, my closets purged, no more small plastic quacking duck toys or blue spatulas with price tags on them floating around my life.

It's true, the price tags are mainly gone (except the one I found stuck to the bottom of my shoe this morning)but somehow the only difference in my house is that our living room is pitch black as soon as the sun goes down because we sold all the floor lamps. I can't even quite remember what else I've sold, besides the microwave, which was missing when I attempted to make popcorn this afternoon.

On the positive side, we met some of our neighbors during the sale. Many friendly folks with adorable dogs and children who have now adopted our toaster, coffee table, leather jacket, and weed eater (I guess I do remember what we sold). Unfortunately we weren't especially neighborly neighbors during the past five years or we might have met them before we sold our house.

Perhaps this will inspire us to meet and greet the neighbors in our new neighborhood, though it may take me five years to learn "Hello, my name is Blythe, please be my friend" in German.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Everything must go

I've been perusing the ads on craigslist and attempting to make mine honest yet enticing. It's tempting to tell an entire story (we're moving to Germany and wish we could take along the berry bake shoppe but unfortunately we do not have children and don't know any Germans who are into Strawberry Shortcake) but I imagine serious garage salers scoffing at my lame sales pitch. So I posted something short and sweet. Let's hope our driveway is empty by 3pm on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sparkling water with lime, please

I imagine you're wondering what I could possibly be doing with all my free time. This morning, I've surfed my new favorite website,, which features photos of food from airlines all over the world. We're not talking publicity shots; these are pictures of actual airline meals from every airline you can imagine, along with comments and ratings (and sometimes views of their knees beneath the tray table) from the people who sent the photos. I'd always heard that the food on Virgin Atlantic was tasty, and now I've seen photos; in fact, one friendly passenger submitted pictures of himself eating the food as well as the flight attendant who served him. Contrast this with neighboring British low-cost airline Ryan Air, whose listing includes images of a blank tray table and says, "If you want free food, don't buy a cheap ticket."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sibling rivalry

I am an only child. I love being an only child, I have no regrets about it, and I have always been content not to have to share things like the back seat of the car, my toys, my red Mercury Bobcat, my Christmas gifts, or anything else with anyone else. People tell me I don't 'seem' like an only child and I respond by sharing baby photos of myself and telling them all about how well-adjusted I am and I imagine they walk away realizing they spoke too soon.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with most of my husband's family. He comes from one of those amazing families with an equal number of girls and boys who also have their own spouses and babies and pets. They get together and visit and splash around in the kiddie pool and and argue about whether or not to put onions in the fajitas and who was actually in the kitchen that time in the 1970s when there was a grease fire. I am always astounded by how different each of them is from all the others but how their senses of humor tend toward the same ridiculous puns. No matter what their image is at their jobs or with their buddies from college or the gym, and no matter how cool and together they are, there are at least five other people in the world who have seen them (ahem, him, because some of these people were boys) getting a permanent wave in the kitchen during the 80s, or know how one of them was thrown out of a swanky hotel because she followed Duran Duran a little too far down the hallway after the concert. Sometimes I imagine their parents look around and realize that they've created their own little colony of mini-mes and want to get on a cruise ship and sail far away from the madding crowd, but in general they seem quite proud.

Once we've moved away (25 days and counting down) I know I will miss the little voices (one of our nephews called me Uncle Blythe yesterday) and impromptu Sunday dinners where we're trying to corral enough chairs so that most everyone has a place to sit. A good reason to encourage family vacation 2006 in Germany, right?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

All together now

They've just reported on the news that the extended forecast calls for RAIN next weekend. That would be the Very Important Garage Sale weekend. I'm asking for your help and support, my friends.

Please take this opportunity to say a little prayer, thought, mantra, to whatever the deity, life force, or goddess that works best for you, and request some sun for your good friend Blythe on Friday and Saturday, August 19 and 20. I will not have a soggy garage sale. And, yes, it's actually a carport sale, which makes the sunshine that much more imperative. It's August, for goodness' sake.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

That's not a name, that's a major appliance

I will try to refrain from excessive posting about 1980's pop culture. Considering the number of Adam Ant song lyrics, MTV veejay trivia facts and Flowers in the Attic plot points that I have to draw from in the archive inside my head, you're just going to have to live with a post or two on this topic.

The other day when I was stuck in traffic listening to NPR, the editor of Premier magazine was listing the "best" teen movies. A couple of people called in and quoted John Hughes (thank goodness or I might have had to dial in myself, placing my fellow highway travelers and myself in grave danger as we inched across the 100-degree blacktop), and of course Rebel without a Cause was mentioned, and the Premier guy said his favorite was The Blob. I've never seen The Blob but I'm willing to take his word for it that it's better than I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Anyone brave enough to share their favorite teen movie in the comments section? C'mon, folks, this is an easy one. Don't be afraid of The Internet.

Oh, my favorite is Pretty in Pink. But I don't actually own my own copy, in case you're looking for something to buy me for a going-away gift. I also really dug that movie Fire with Fire, I think it starred Virginia Madsen who recently showed up in Sideways (not a teen movie) and it had a killer theme song. And I also loved Flirting, with a young Nicole Kidman and Thandie Newton and a leading man who was meant to be geeky. I love me some geeks (Duckie Dale etc).

Monday, August 08, 2005

Float like a butterfly

I am a boxer. I am surrounded by boxes, baskets, crates, bins, and tubs. My boxes are in boxes. I am being forced to make decisions on a moment-by-moment basis, surrounded by a disorganized mess. This is one of the layers of my personal hell, though it is an upper layer because so far I've noticed that indoor plumbing remains nearby and Rob Schneider is not on television. (Incidentally, I watched "50 First Dates" over the weekend, and I am insulted on behalf of the entire state of Hawaii, since I've been there once, in the same way that Ricky Martin is speaking on behalf of Arab teenagers.)

As Jeff keeps reminding me, moving allows us the opportunity to purge our belongings of those items that we haven't looked at in years, and which are so dusty they make us sneeze just to think about them. However, I refuse to give up my personal history. There is a scientific system (the "yes" and "no" buttons that exist only in my brain) by which I've sorted everything (yes, EVERYTHING) in our house.

Some items I plan to keep:
-My fifth grade class photo
-All of my Fisher-Price dolls (My Friend(s) Mandy, Jenny, Becky, etc all the way down to Mikey)
-T-shirt from summer camp
-T-shirt from freshman year sorority function (yes, I was in a sorority; no, I won't tell you the secret password)
-My first business card
-My husband's graduate school hood
-Multiple copies of blank RSVP cards from our wedding

Some items that went straight into the green Hefty bag:
-A photo of my best friend and myself in our bathing suits in 9th grade, posing in her grandmother's living room (no, they weren't bikinis)
-The completed RSVP cards from our wedding
-T-shirt from junior year sorority function (not as much fun as freshman year)
-Large box of paints and brushes from that art class I took that improved my sense of design so dramatically

Some items that we will attempt to sell at our garage sale (don't miss it - August 19th & 20th - everything must go):
-Strawberry Shortcake berry bake shoppe
-Picture frame that formerly housed 9th grade swimsuit photo
-Several never-used wedding gifts (no, I'm not going to tell you which ones and who they were from)
-A juicer that Jeff swore he would use weekly. He still loves the Juiceman commercials.
-T-shirt from sophomore year sorority function (more fun than junior year but less than freshman year)

My priorities have really snapped into focus during this project, obviously.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Maybe this was what Steve Winwood was talking about

I had planned to post today on all the wonderful things about being a lady(?) of leisure. At the top of my list was to be at least a paragraph on the joys of cruising around the city without having to fight weekend/rush hour traffic, since my errands can be completed in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, while you working stiffs are off the roads.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to post earlier because I spent half my day in the car on the freeway inching along at five miles per hour. Apparently some "debris" was blocking the lanes, though I never actually saw said debris; eventually the road just miraculously opened up before me. On the positive side, I'd loaded up the CD changer before I left home, so for two hours I sang along to the "Rent" soundtrack (did you know they're making it into a movie? Let's hope it is still in theatres when I come back for Christmas. I'm delighted that they're using most of the original cast.), and my fantastic mix CD that includes Britney Spears' "Toxic," Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," and even some Bronski Beat.

Maybe this was the universe's way of telling me that I needed to catch up on my musical theatre?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Did you know

that "they" can run a scope with a camera attached down your sewer pipes to check for problems? Or, as my dad said, just like they do with your guts when you have an ulcer. I have the videotape (of my sewer, not my guts) to prove it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Jennifer Jennifer Jennifer

I haven't even read the Vanity Fair article yet, but thank you for the Billy Idol comment I read online this morning. I couldn't have said it better myself. And hang in there - remember, she may be a humanitarian, but she once wore someone's blood in a vial around her neck, I think those two traits cancel each other out.