Saturday, April 29, 2006

Yo, Gram. What it be. Bow-chickie-bow-wow.

An AP article on the Washington Post website reads in part:

YONKERS, N.Y. -- A 62-year-old retired schoolteacher is fighting with a cable company over a hefty bill for porn and gangsta rap programming she says she never ordered.

The charges of more than $1,000 appeared on Claudia Lee's February Cablevision bill, shortly after she bundled her cable TV, computer and phone services.

"They are harassing me and trying to make me pay for something I didn't do," said Lee, who lives alone.


Lee said the only regular visitor to her house is her 81-year-old mother, "and I don't think she wants to watch porn."

If she were Grandma Mazur from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, she in fact would be quite interested in porn and gangsta rap.

But generally, I find grandmas and porn/gangsta rap interests

1. In sharp opposition.
2. Made up of parts or qualities that are disparate or otherwise markedly lacking in consistency.
"discrepant." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 29 Apr. 2006.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Summer is coming! Summer is coming!

I hate the heat. The hate the humidity. I hate the mosquitos.

But all three are more than mitigated by the fact that school is out, so my children are home. Home.

We take it easy here. We don't set alarm clocks, we catch fireflies in the twilight, we regularly make mud in which to play. We go do things on whims; very few things are scheduled during summer. We eat nearly all of our meals in the backyard. We leave the heavy door open so we can watch sudden, fierce summer storms through the screen door; summer rain smells magnificent. We rarely wear shoes. We read on quilts laid on the back lawn. We eat all the berries and melons we want.

Summer is coming, and

the world is our oyster
Everything is going well. In this term the oyster is something from which to extract great profit (a pearl). It was probably invented by Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor (2:2): “Why then, the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open.”
"the world is one's oyster." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. 28 Apr. 2006.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bill for $ervices Rendered

a.k.a. Rhapsody in Buick

Lovely amber "Check Engine $oon" flashing light====$free!
Obeying said light===================Let's itemize, shan't we?

  • Check ECM system & clear-----------$75
  • Ignition tune-up-----------------------$150
  • Platinum spark plugs-----------------$78
  • New plug wires------------------------$63
  • Air filter--------------------------------$13
  • Fuel injection tune-up----------------$150
  • Fuel filter------------------------------$26
  • Front brake job-----------------------$150
  • Front rotors---------------------------$140
  • Front pads-----------------------------$100
  • 5 exhaust hangers---------------------$31
  • Exhaust o-ring-------------------------$13
  • Asst. light bulb replacement---------$69
  • KY tax-----------------------------------$30
  • Drum roll, please========== $1,093

I believe, even without the $2,500 we sunk into this heap a couple years ago, this qualifies my old Riviera as financial

  1. A bed of loose sand mixed with water forming a soft shifting mass that yields easily to pressure and tends to engulf any object resting on its surface.
  2. A place or situation into which entry can be swift and sudden but from which extrication can be difficult or impossible. Often used in the plural: “This theory of the future entrapped [them] in the quicksands of Vietnam” (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I go to my Grandma's house every Sunday. I've been doing this since I was born, which means I've gone to my Grandma's house every Sunday for nearly 29 years. Before my dad's mom died, we went to her house, too. It's one of the most widely-celebrated traditions in my family. Every branch of the family hosts their own Sunday dinner, so I know that at noon on Sunday, all of my cousins, aunt and uncles are following the below schedule:

1. Arrive at grandma's house at noon.
2. Eat pasta.
3. Eat meatballs.
4. Eat sausage.
5. Eat salad.
6. Eat bread.
7. Drink Diet Rite.

These days my nieces are there, so in our family we can add to the list . . .
8. Stare at Rosa and Gianna and wait for them to do cute stuff, which, as you can probably tell by this picture of Gianna, it doesn't take long for that to happen.
I get to take the leftovers home because my grandparents loves my boyfriend, and he gets the leftovers. Here's how the conversation went last week:

Grandma: "You want to bring some leftovers to K?"
Sue Ellen Mischke: "Sure, Gram. I'll put them in this Tupperware container. How much meat can I take, Pop?
Poppy: "Take two-tree meatballs and a sausage."

1. Roughly two or three in the Italian-American language.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Note to Self: Huntington. Out.

From the AP Wire:

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- A 71-year-old man who went outside in the rain to pick up the Sunday newspaper plunged into a cesspool in his front yard, and his son and neighbor were sucked in when they tried to help.

That's awful! What a random thing to happen, huh?

It's not the first time a cesspool _ a pit that collects waste from toilets and sinks _ has swallowed someone in Huntington.

In 2001, a man practicing archery in the backyard with his two children died when his cesspool caved in and consumed him. And in 1998, a Huntington Station man was rescued after he fell 65 feet into one.

Wow. So, um, not so unheard of there, afterall.

And cesspools aren't really so much associated with cess at all.

noun, Irish
"cess." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 24 Apr. 2006.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can I get an amen

As my father loses his eyesight, I am more and more often responsible for keeping him abreast of the local written news. Part of that is letting Daddy know who has died, as well as the dates, times, and locations of visitations and funerals. For this information, I rely upon my local newspapr's obituaries.

Daddy being Daddy, he claims to know a lot of people, so I have to read through each obituary incredibly carefully to see if the decedent's path appears to have crossed my father's at any time.

Daddy also being Daddy, he goes to any funeral to which he can only possibly claim to have a tie. Daddy thinks he once met the dead man when he visited Daddy's church as a child with a classmate back in 1932? Daddy's going to the service. Don't know the dead man, but his mother was once the neighbor of Daddy's maiden aunts? Daddy's got to pay his respects.

But it's not bad, by any means. Our obituaries are fantastic, filled with love, charm, and euphemisms. And every once in a while, I come across one that begs to be read aloud.

Mr. Monte Martin, 100 years young, of 4570 Ogburn Ave., Winston-Salem, left this side of Jordan on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, for a place not made by man.

Still others make me mourn never having had a chance to meet the decedent.

Mr. Fred Hester Pegram Sr., 83, passed away at home, the same house in which he was born on June 22, 1922, to James Henry and Bertha Slater Pegram. Mr. Pegram was a big-hearted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and father-in-law. He enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, especially giving tractor rides and going fishing. Mr. Pegram was a very hard worker and a well-known landscaper in the community in which he never met a stranger. He loved farming, cows, and enjoyed cutting wood.

1. An expression of admiration or congratulation.
2. A formal token of appreciation and admiration for a person's high achievements.
"tribute." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 23 Apr. 2006.