Thursday, February 26, 2009

Did Our House Just Sneeze?

Ok. Our entire house has a cold. You know, just like in My Cousin Vinny, with Joe Pesci. The WHOLE store had the flu? Well, that's us. Except it's a cold.

I was feeling kind of run down and snotty at work today (more than the usual snot I am), and all I looked forward to all day was coming home and maybe crawling on the couch where my devoted family (read- minions at my every beck and call) would wait on me hand and foot.

What I got home to was one kid on the couch sniveling more than usual with a thousand crumpled tissues forming a two foot circle around him. Apparently his cold prevents him from reaching the garbage can six inches away. And can I please make him yet another pot of soup?

Son number two was feeling well enough to immerse himself in the world of X-Box, but not well enough to tend to dogs. His allergy reddened eyes made even me give him a pass tonight.

Mountain Man managed a delicious dinner, but before I could hop into bed and play my "I"m sick, so pamper me" card, he had beat me to it. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to concentrate out here with all that sneezing and groaning he's doing in there!

So here I sit, throat aching, head stuffy, and snot dripping out of my nose. I turn to you, my constant reader. Can anybody out there make virtual chicken soup?
No? How about just sending more tissues?

I can't wait to got back to work tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Cross to Bear

Today, as most "Good" Catholics may know, is Ash Wednesday.
Bear with me, dear reader, as I reveal yet another startling mysuestories fact:

I am Catholic. I have been baptized, communized (?) , and confirmed all in the catholic church. I have never once been married in a church, which in hindsight, is probably just as well, seeing as how I would have had to acquire all those annulments! Apparently the teachings of God and I go our separate ways on the whole "Till death do you part" thing. (Although in a couple of cases, the death of my partner may have been a whole lot easier, and a helluva lot cheaper!)

Anyway, back to the Holy Grail that is mysuestories.

My children have been chrismated (no, constant reader, they did not mate with Christ or Chris or anyone else in a church for that matter - at least not to my knowledge!)...Although I did once date a guy who thought he was a god. (Turned out he was dyslexic, and was most assuredly a dog).
And I have been known on occasion to refer to my Mountain Man as a God, and Jesus, and sometimes just plain old asshole. (The first two names are usually uttered after he has rocked my world by making the bed or cooking dinner- the last is uttered in pure annoyance which delights him to no end. Really, it does.)

Ah, yes...the chrismation of small children. For the duration of marriage number two and the conception of said children, we attended what we affectionately called the Cult of the Resurrection. It was Byzantine by design, and while they had a few quirks (they gave out willows on Palm Sunday and led a 3 day candlelight vigil around the clock right before Easter!),
it was one of the few churches where the priest told jokes during the sermons and took your football bets in the dining hall during coffee and cake after.

Oh, and did I mention there was a fully stocked bar off the coffee room? Yep. Father Dan could pack the house for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Every husband in town made sure his family was there on time. Where else could you get snookered and blessed before heading home to drunkenly wrap the kids presents?
So what if a few of the tags got mixed up. I remember one particular Christmas morning when a certain 6 year old got size 34 men's boxers and exclaimed "Santa knows I'm ready for the big time now!"....Um, no. My bad. Daddy really doesn't want to wear under roos.

Again, I digress. Okay...Chrismation was our cult's way of baptising and confirming a kid at the same time! Can I get a Hallelujah?
I guess it cut down on dragging reluctant teens to religion classes. It also saved the time of convincing the child to affirm his place in the church as an adult since he apparently already made this decision when he was baptized at the cult age of consent- infancy.

Oh, well. The world turns. Father Dan was all but put to the curb by higher ups who didn't take kindly to a pastor whose congregation actually enjoyed him and his sermons, and our church days faltered.

So tonight at the dinner table I mentioned it was Ash Wednesday. To which my 12 year old hysterically laughed at the thought of naming a day after a buttock.

"No, you little heathen," I lovingly corrected. "It's Ash, as in cigarette. It is not Ass Wednesday."

This was then followed up with an intellectual conversation led by the Mountain Man about Ash Wednesday. (Tell me you don't see an oxymoron in that line!)

"George Burns was God," says the object of my affection.
"George burned God? With the cigarette ashes?" Out of the mouth of babes destined for the down elevator come Judgement Day.
"No, George Burns was God. In a movie. But he died." I tried to explain.
"God died? From the burns?" speaks the child who will definitely not lead Them.
"No, Jesus died for our sins. But then he arose on the third day." Off the movie route, back to the church. Good segue, mysuestories.
"Oh. So Jesus is a zombie."

Maybe it's time to start looking for a new church.
Any one know of a good church with a decent bar out back?
Heck, how about a lousy church with a good bar?
No? Damn.
OK, how about one that serves a really good wine with communion? If I bring a few hats, I could probably get back on line a few times before the priest catches on....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Be Careful! It's Slippy In Here!

I realize that the current state of the economy is forcing everyone
to make cutbacks. But I do believe we have to draw the line on safety signs!

This sign appears on the freezer door of our local drive thru dairy stop.
From Slippy

I certainly hope that the maintenance that will come to your aid when called is not the same maintenance who lettered the sign!
Then again, the extension probably goes straight to a recording telling you to be careful and don't trippy on all that ice!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Confuscious Say First Class is for Those Who Crash First

You may remember a posting here, dear reader, from last Monday, when I exalted from the heavens of the good fortune of mysuestories and the Mountain Man to be riding high in the skies in First Class. Yep, that was us with our noses turned high.
Sadly, he who walks with nose up in rain often drowns in storms. (Note to self- there is a reason I don't write fortune cookies!)
On our return trip home from the Dominican Republic, the Mountain Man and I quite haughtily skipped up to the check in desk at the airport and asked to upgrade our flight (AGAIN!) to Fancy, er, I mean First Class.
You also may have heard, constant reader, the quite audible pop of our hoity-toity bubble as we were informed that this flight was full, and not only would we be riding in Row 22 of 24, we would also be paying for our cocktails to boot!
Damned is he who counts his free drinks before in flight. (Hallmark is in no danger from me!)

After we waited ( and waited) with the rest of our fellow cattle travelers to be herded to the very back of the plane, we did the only mature thing we could : We drank heavily and made fun of those in the front of the plane who would actually pay more to sit a mere few hundred feet ahead of us.

Oh, and lest we not forget the irony of my Coach Bag sitting in coach while we got bagged.
From First Class

Oh well. You can take mysuestories out of first class, but you just can't take the class out of swigging from airline liquor bottles!
From First Class

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sundae!

OK! I have officially broken my no gym rule. Yes, I belong to a gym. Yes, I have a lifetime membership and faithfully watch as monthly fees are deducted from my checking account each month. And no. I do not actually go to the gym.
In a moment of weakness/stupidity ten years ago, I signed a lifetime commitment to Bally's Fitness Centers. Now, if you know anything at all about mysuestories, it's that commitment is not exactly one of my strong points. (Geez, there's a surprise for ya, husbands one through twelve!)
It's not that I don't believe I will maintain such an exercise relationship, it's just that very often I believe I'd rather have a second plate of pasta or another drink rather than waste all that energy going to the gym.
So, monthly fees be damned, I broke up with my gym. Okay. It WAS rather a one sided relationship to begin with. I had to make all the commitments, and it was my responsibility to always go to HIM. Not once did he show appreciation, either, unless you count the pain he made me endure.
Even after the break up, he'd still taunt me. I could see him leer and posture as I would drive by, all the while me keeping my eyes cautiously tuned to the Baskin Robbins across the street.
Monthly he would send love letters on my bank statements upon which he still extracted his royalties!

Any yet still I resisted. What did HE have to offer me anyway? Health? Over rated. Happiness? Not nearly as much happiness as in an ice cream caramel covered super sundae deluxe with crumbled Oreo's on top. The hot bod? I think I've pretty much come to terms with the notion that my Anna Nicole Smith/ Pamela Anderson swimsuit days are well behind me.
(Oh! But THOSE days!! Brief? Yes! But Great? Oh yea!)

Anyway, three days into an extremely relaxing do nothing vacation, I hit the local fitness center. I jogged, I walked, I swam. Every day. I even picked up a tennis racket (which I just as quickly put down when I remembered that all I knew about tennis could be written on the backside of a fly!)

So, here it is Sunday. 48 hours after we returned from our most relaxing vacation. And for the second time in as many days, I have revisited my old beau, Gym.
Yep. We walked, and jogged and swam, just like old times. We both left this encounter having invested more than a little sweat, and I must say, I almost look forward to going back tomorrow.

After all, if I stay true to form again tomorrow, that will be day #3 I will have earned (And YES treated myself) to the lovely caramel covered ice cream sundae with crumbled Oreo's!
Finally! An incentive worth going to the gym for!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Painstakingly Beautiful

Hello, constant reader... It's good to see you here again. Thanks for being on stand by while the Mountain Man and I were busy collecting more data for future mysuestories....Hmmmm, that DOES make these little trips a tax write off, doesn't it?

Anyway... you may remember, one of our last detail sharing (read- embarasing) adventures here at mysuestories (lurkers our specialty!), was the of the very handsome Mountain Man getting a (gasp) pedicure for his mountainous feet.
From My Pedi Valentine

This mini-foot spa treatment (and by mini, I'm not talking about his feet, but rather the treatment!), you may recall, left our head of household at the mysuestories ranch very happy.
From My Pedi Valentine

And happy he was. Happy, that is, until two days later, when in a very revealing mankini (OK, they were surf boarding shorts- I'm not ready to unleash MY man in a banana hammock onto parts unknown just yet!) I noticed THIS on the Mountain Man's previously unscathed lamb chop.
From My Pedi Valentine

It appears that our local Asian Walk In Day Spa is really a cover for Jeffrey Dahmer's Slice 'Em and Dice 'Em Butcher Shop! And while under the guise of scrubbing supposedly dead skin off his legs, she apparently removed a few live layers of dermis as well. Perhaps they run a skin donor program on the side?
Not to worry, dear reader. My own Nurse Ratchet alter ego kicked in and prescribed plenty of liquids and rest for our poor maimed Man Of the World.
From My Pedi Valentine

From My Pedi Valentine

As you can see, he is not one to complain when being administered to with Baileys and sunshine pool side.
That Mountain Man! What a brave little buckeroo!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Today the Mountain Man and I headed south to escape some of the New York weather.

We flew from from JFK to Charleston, No Carolina after a journey that began at 2:30 am when the Mountain Man very lovingly planted his foot firmly in the center of my back and pushed me out of bed, proclaiming "Honey, it's vacation time!"

Ain't he sweet?

The early am car drive to the airport was a bit of a blur, as my eyes were still glued shut. ( Due to no fault of yours, dear Alex-our favorite car service oeprator!)

Anyway, after intermittently sleeping like a pretzel on the first 1 and a half hour leg of our journey, the Mountain Man and I decided to kick thngs up a notch.

Once in Charleston, we upgraded our "Coach" vouchers. Keep in mind, constant reader, that in the airline world, "Coach" is not quite as prestigious as in pocketbook world!
From First Class

Anyhow, we upgraded to First Class (for a mere 25% of the original upgrade fee-Thank you very much Mrs. Travel Agent!), where we were seated first and generally treated just like Billy Idol in Adam Sandler's "The Wedding Singer".

A little First Class insider info:
Have you ever noticed in the back of the plane, you're always told they can't serve cocktails until you're in flight?
Well, in the front of the plane, coctails of all types are served BEFORE coach even boards.
Oh, and those cocktails? Absolutely free.
From First Class

Mountain Man and I figured if we kept a steady pace of drinking, we will have well surpassed the additional $150. upgrade fee before our FREE inflight meal was even served!

Giddy on imagined wealth and airline cocktails, we tried not to sneer as the mere ordinary folks wereled like cattle to those seats behind the curtain--talk about a social barrier!

Mountain Man laughed as I commented on the riff raff ---reminding me that after about one more cocktail, "WE would be the Riff Raff!"

hey, I'll bet you didn't know that in first class, they don't show you how to inflate that little life vest that is expected to sustain you in shark infested waters after a 35,000 foot fall from the sky in a huge hunk of metal.

Nope. They have a steward who blows up each one for you.
And, i suspect, frequent flyers of the premiere club are shown to the exits first. I guess they want to make sure the sharks dine well on us "fat cats" before tossing out the rest of the passengers into the great blue sea!

Well, constant reader, i gotta go. New cocktails just arrived, and a decision has to be made as to which (FREE) entree to dine upon...

Sigh, I guess the cold cut platter with fresh fruit and strawberries will have to do.
From First Class

Well, if we walk like rich ducks and fly like rich ducks, why do I still have a hankering for an eight dollar ham and swiss hero from coach?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh My Darling Toe Jam Tine-

Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers, (yes, plural..I am feeling pleasantly optimistic!)

As promised in yesterday's cliff hanger, I took my dear, sweet Mountain Man completely out of his element (read: beer, bodily noises, and anything fishing and hunting), and treated (ha!) him to a day of feet pampering.
That's right. My Valentine's Day gift to him/us was a stop at the local spa, where we BOTH (That's right..BOTH) had pedicures!

Now, I generally do my OWN pedicures and manicures at home. It's cheaper, and I am pretty damn good at it, if I may(and I do) say so myself. However, I HAVE been and DO go to the spa occassionally for the professional treatment of toes and fingers.
And...There's no way in hell I was gonna attempt a spa treatment on HIS feet! (Having a VISA card? PRICELESS!)
So, off to the salon we went...

Now, if you know ANYTHING about the mountain man, you would know that he and his 250 lb, six foot frame are not exactly akin to having strange asian women play with his
feet while sitting in an automatice massaging chair built for size six women.

Apparently, the three Korean women in the shop argued over WHO would have to deal with this Toe Jam Travesty. I don't speak Korean, but I'm pretty sure the words "I no do General Stinky Tsaos stinky toes!" were a firm denial of service. Suffice to say the oldest/ homeliest female in the salon drew the short straw.

Anyway, there was my hulk of a handsome man in a chair six sizes too small..
From My Pedi Valentine

And THEN he figured out the remote massage.
From My Pedi Valentine

"It rubs the lotion on it's skin, or it gets the hose again,"
From My Pedi Valentine

When the woman asked the Mountain Man to roll his pants up higher for the "Supreme Pedicure And Massage", I swear, he DID NOT offer to remove them altogether.....(Okay...I just WISHED that was the way it had played out...)
From My Pedi Valentine

Oh well. At least at the end of the day it paid off, (even if i can NEVER go back to that salon again!)
This is how the Mountain Man's feet look tonite:
From My Pedi Valentine

Whoops... A little too much info there...
Nope...THIS is what he looked like, REALLY, I swear!
From My Pedi Valentine

Shit! It's only toes, right?

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine

Okay, I'm going to let you, constant reader, in on a little Valentine's Secret.
Tomorrow, I am taking the Mountain Man AND his adorable size 13 feet for a pedicure!
Any polish color suggestions, dear reader?
From Pedicure Plans

Now all I have to do is contact all his big, burly hunting friends so they can wave at him through the window!
Trust don't want to miss THAT post!

Happy Valentine's Day, dear reader(s)! I'd take (all of) you with me if I could!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That Doggy has Style

My girlfriend once asked me why I don't carry around our "lap" dogs in public. THIS would be why.
From Doggy Do Doggy

Note to friend: Yes, the two in the background are the males: Mickey (I guess you could say is in the rear?) and Bruno is the rear.
Notice Bruno never stops eating. And yes, sadly, Rusty, in the foreground, is the only female.
Poor Rusty. Must be her perfume. Sorry, sweetie. It's a dog eat dog world out there. Or maybe it's just a dog eat Bruno world.
You won't see this at the Westminster Kennel Club.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Hen House

Ok, kids, here's a little bit of a different look at mysuestories.
I work in a hen house.
Technically, it's an office, with computers buzzing (mainly tuned to the internet!), and papers churning, but that's where any differences end.
I work (read-lay eggs) along with six other very strong willed chicks, in veryclosequarters. We are typically on our perches hours before the sun rises, and we spend the next 10 hours or so pushing out those golden eggs. (In our cases, those golden eggs we bear are for the baskets held by "Management" -best spoken in the voice of the troll -like midget from that classic, albeit short lived HBO series, Carnival).

We are seven very different chicks at varying laying stages of our lives. Some of us have yet to fertilize our first eggs, while several of us are watching our hatchlings hatch chicks. Suffice it to say, there is enough hormonal energy in this VERY small hutch to supply a third world country with enough nukes to become a major player in World War III.

Have you ever even tried to regulate the temperature for such a wide range of mother hens? Half want the air conditioning set to Alaskan temperatures, while the rest have under desk heaters searing their little chicken legs to a nice crispy brown.
It is best to come to work in a bikini layered with sweats, pants, shirts, and sweaters, so as to accomodate your own temperature. Trust me, summers have some chicks working naked, while others are wearing ski jackets. I kid you not.
Forget the fact that when "Management" (herein known as Foghorn Leghorn)enters the roost disturbing the hard laying chicks, there is a gaggle of sqwarking and the feathers do in fact fly!

The sqwarking concerns any number of highly intelligent chicken tid bits-
Who's being catty (deadly in a hen house, I tell ya!) -That would probably be me.

Who's not working nearly as hard as the other chicks - That would be all of us,as we are ALL THE MOST HARD LAYING OF THEM ALL.

Who's hair is a mess- Me again.

Who's stealing all the best vacation times- Um, guilty here.

Who's starting the rumor that we are all nothing but a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off---um, Mrs. K.? -You may have to own THAT one!

Anyway. We ARE like a bunch of chickens in a tiny coop. And we do Cluck while we go about our business of laying the golden eggs. And yes, the feathers really DO fly when a fox is in our hen house.

But you know what? As long as I gotta lay eggs (and I do, just ask the Mountain Man!), I'd rather do it with these chicks, all of them. Come hell of high water, I wouldn't trade them for finest chicks in town.

Actually, if I did trade 'em in, I'm afraid I might end up with a bunch of turkeys!

Thank you, no. I'll just keep my eggs in THIS basket, thank you very much.

From The Hen House


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Mountain Man's Magic Beans

It's been pretty mild here in my part of the world this week, and naturally a young (Talk about poetic license!) girl's heart turns to spring fancies...
Every spring, the Mountain Man plants a vegetable garden. It's mostly for fun. (His gardening sustains us in the vegetable department about as much as his hunting keeps us in meat---He has all the right toys, but in the long run, it's more about the fun than reaping the proceeds!)

Anyway, his garden usually just consists of a bunch of tomato plants and zucchini and cucumbers. But I am (was?) a city girl, and I wanted to learn to garden proper.
The first thing Mountain Man did was buy me a cute little pair of gardening gloves and a pair of work boots. He knows the way to my heart is through my feet (mainly by buying me shoes!), however, the word WORK boots should have been an omen!

Now, the Mountain Man wasn't just a weekend gardener. It should be stated here that his family had hugely sustainable produce and livestock farms right here in our neighborhood since the late 1600's. And we have sheds full of all that (ahem) modern day equipment.

In the yard where our dogs now romp, once grazed cattle, pigs, horses, and chickens. And where there are animals, one can always find animal poop. And after generations of such composting, our soil is perfect for producing the proverbial shit load of produce!

I, who have never grown anything other than a few kids (and the final results still aren't in on THEM!!), was totally ready to do the Ma Ingalls gardening thing. Except, of course, with better foot wear.

Our first planting season together (sounds like we were trying to make a baby---trust me--NOT), anyway, that first spring, the Mountain Man goes down to the local feed store (read-AGWAY) and comes home with packets of seeds.

Just as I am ready to sprinkle them about while whistling "Ring Around The Rosey", he comes out of the shed dragging a contraption that looks akin to something you should hitch a covered wagon up to. "This," he proclaims rather proudly, "is the rototiller". Apparently, before you plant seeds, someone must till the roto, which must be an ancient term for hard as a fucking rock dirt. And that soMEone, was, yup, you guessed it. Me.

I get behind (and NOT in a good way!) this dinosaur of a farm implement, and proceed to push, goad, shove, and curse forward....up and down a huge patch of land. Up one row, turn while trying not to fall on my ass, and up the next row. I may have looked like Ma Ingalls on a bad day, but there's no way in hell I sounded anything like her, as I grunted, sweat, and made up entirely new curse words made just for farming. And my cheerful whistling had taken on a strangely low baritone key as I sung "Swing low, sweet chariot..."

After what seemed like eternity (read - ten minutes), my loving Mountain Man comes to my rescue and shows me that the hunk of metal on the side of my Roto-Rooting-Tiller-O-Matic is what they apparently call on more modern farms, quite simply, a motor. Guess how many new curse words I came up with especially for him!

Well, once we entered the 19th century, the planting and sowing moved right along. We watered, and weeded and watched as our little patch of once hard as a fucking rock dirt became a garden.

Never having produced anything other than the occasional story on a keyboard before, I was awed more and more each day as our seeds became seedlings, then plants, and lo and behold, fruit was born, or borne? Or did we bear fruit? Or maybe bore it, by talking too much? Anyway, frigging fruit was just there one day.

We had ears of corn growing, and while we planted enough corn to bear/bore/boar? 200 ears of corn, no one was more proud than I of the measly six that DID grow.

Zucchini and tomatoes were so plentiful, that our friends would pretend they weren't home if we showed up with a plastic bag bearing (baring?) our fruits. And let me tell you, it's not just during the harvesting season that my Mountain Man likes to come baring his fruits!

One evening, during our daily sojourn through the wilds of our little garden, I noticed that we even had little cantaloupes growing to about the size of a peach. I was simply amazed at how fast things grew out there, and I said as much to the Mountain Man...He, who had helped me to create this little miracle garden....a little symbol of our love, if I may be just a tad uncharacteristically mushy.

The very next night, we tiptoed through our tomato plants with our youngest farm hand (read-unpaid child labor). When we came upon the cantaloupe section, kind of like the sections in the market, except without the air conditioning and WITH lots of bugs, anyway, we came to the cantaloupes, and NOW they were about 7 or 8 inches around!

I marveled my amazement at the growth rate of our garden--think My Cousin Vinny and the magic grits that cooked faster on a stove where the laws of physics do not apply!---

I turned to see one small farm hand and one supposedly loving partner/gardener doubled over with laughter. It seems the two of them had made a few trips to the market, replacing my growth stunted cantaloupes with hearty fresh bought sugar babies.
Yep, one even still had the PAID sticker on the damned thing. They had even tied several ears of corn to the stalks I had supposedly sweat over and nurtured from seeds!!!


I will say this, though, those store bought sugar baby cantaloupe were delicious. And the deformed ones I grew? Let's just say The Mountain Man made for a good target!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rain Man Meets Bill Gates

This is Vinny. He is a friend of the Mountain Man.

He is our personal computer genius. He helps us with everything from all our electronic purchases to teaching us how to take the lens camera off the lens BEFORE shooting pictures that come out crummy anyway. You may recognize him better from this photo.

We LOVE Bill, um, Vinny!

This is the Mountain Man.
From Handsome is as Handsome does

When Vinny Gates starts talking about computer stuff, the Mountain Man looks more like this:

When the computer talk gets real intense, he may look like this:

But MY Mountain Man is definitely a better kisser than him.

And it doesn't hurt that he is really as handsome as this:

He's sooo cute!!!!! You just might think this is him.

Then again, that's probably only beacuse I look like this!

Ain't he a lucky man?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Marlboro Madness

Way back when, I used to smoke cigarettes. A lot. Probably much more than a lot. In fact, I was apparently such a good customer to Big Tobacco, that they would send me all kinds of coupons and promotions. Every different brand wanted ME and MY lungs!!!!!

The discounts were pouring in with the daily mail. NEWPORT promised me pleasure in their monthly Newport News newsletter. And Kool sent promos filled with happy, skinny, gorgeous people playing water sports. Funny, none of the were actually smoking Kool cigarettes in the ads...hmmmm. Tarryton offered to give me a black eye if I didn't try them (remember the old "I'd rather fight than switch" ads, where the girl always had a black eye AND a Tarryton? Do you suppose it was the Marlboro Man beating her up?) I tried smoking the super slim lady like cigarettes like Eve and Espirits, but it felt like you were smoking something illegal. And funny looking. At the same time. And when half (most?) of the reason you're smoking in the first place is to look cool, funny looking and law breaking just doesn't cut it.

Anyway, I was a Marlboro loyalist for years. And with good reason. Those hunky cowboys smoking on horses while the sunset in the background commercials beat a battered woman smoker any day!

And the prize give-a-ways! Wooo Hooo!!! Entire catalogs came of what I could "purchase" with those little bar codes off each pack of cigarettes! Each bar code was worth five points, and for about 1,800 points (That's 360 PACKS of cigarettes!!!) you could redeem them for a cigarette lighter with which to light more cigarettes and earn more points!!! Yea, Me!

Oh, there were other prizes. The camping equipment for 3,800 points (we got that as a joint effort, my ex and I, smoking up as much as we could for it! Turns out the tent was only big enough to fit two small kids, which was perfect, as OUR tent stunk from all that cigarette smoke!

There was the rolling duffel bag luggage on wheels for a mere 5,200 points. THAT one was a good buy, 'cause after smoking 20,200 cigarettes, there was NO WAY I was carrying anything anywhere!

There were the ash trays, tee shirts, and board games, all sporting the signature Marlboro logo. We even chose the blue speckled outdoor coffee pot, 'cause nothing goes better with that early morning cigarette than some nice caffeine!

They offered kayaks, and bicycles, and canoes. There was hiking equipment and rock climbing accessories. You really had to wonder about these mad ad men at Marlboro -All of whom I'm sure were chain smoking in the brainstorming marketing department while thing up this stuff......

Didn't they KNOW that WE, THEIR adoring loyal customers, were all hacking and wheezing heavy smokers???!!!! The only way I'd be pedaling that bicycle, or hiking, or rock climbing, for that matter, would be if I ran out of cigarettes and needed a ride to the local smoke shop!

Wouldn't it have been more beneficial to offer us iron lungs redeemable for 157,000 bar codes? Or maybe a free cancer treatment for every 90,500 points. How about some new paint to cover up the tobacco stains on the kitchen ceiling? NOW they'd be onto something!!!

But, alas, we took the swag of smokers and told ourselves we smoked for the freebies. Then Marlboro announced they were ending their promotional bar code swaps. Seems the big bad people at the American Cancer Society were making an impact and ruining it for all of us! Those Marlboro Man has throat cancer didn't exactly help much either!

Americans every where had 6 months to light up and send in our codes. I think I even started smoking more heavily as the days ticked down.

I ordered a kayak, and still had some bar codes left over, but not enough to get anything. They did have drawings you could enter though. For every bar code you sent in, you could enter one of many drawings.

They had great prizes.
They were giving away a real horse.
They were giving away a cattle ranch somewhere in Oregon.
They were giving away saddles, and blankets, and all this real cool stuff, that at the very least, you could e-bay it.

I entered. And waited. And forgot all about it.
My kayak came. I never used it. Naturally.

I finally quit smoking.

Two weeks later, I came home to a box on my front porch from my good friends at Marlboro. I. Was. A. Winner! The big giveaway and all those cigarettes and babies with low birth weight finally paid off. I was a big winner.

THIS is what I won.
From Marlboro Madness

Yep, that's right. Six feet of steer horns. In New York. Perfect for the great room, no?

Sigh. Well, I DID win something. And it sure is different. I think Big Tobacco only did this because they want me back. Well, they just may have to sweeten the pot just a bit more to woo me. Now, had they sent me a fine pair of cowgirl boots, THEN we could talk, 'cause it's ALWAYS about the shoes on THIS farm.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Working it Out

Well, I've finally decided to get off my fat butt and get back to exercising. In the last year and a half, the only thing I've exercised regularly would be my right arm (usually lifting a fork full of food to my ever gaping mouth!). I'm not happy with the state of my body these days (that state being the size of Texas!), and I could no longer find a way to blame it on the Mountain Man, although his gravies and freshly baked breads are definitely enablers in this crisis!

I have a lifetime gym membership at Bally's, and I watch faithfully as our checking account is dutifully slimmed down by twenty bucks a month. That's about all the use THAT little membership is up to!

Not yet ready to commit to the gym , you know, the five minute car ride, the packing of the gym bag, changing into the perfect workout outfit....I decided to get a home bound jump start to this latest workout routine.

I begged/pleaded/demanded that the Mountain Man drag my tread mill (make that my 800 pound tread mill) from it's exile in the garage, and place (read-drag/hump/push/lug/tow)it gently into the empty half of our newly expanded living room.

I was so exhausted from watching Mountain Man do all that work getting the exercise equipment into place, that the only thing I could do that night was make the poor dear a cocktail (or three). Did I mention he hates to drink alone? Thank goodness. Every alcoholic questionnaire in THE WORLD starts with the question "Do you drink alone?"- So our marriage vows included a small verse attesting to the fact that we would never want to have to answer that question as a "Yes". (Don't ask about any other questions that may or may not determine our sobriety! It isn't polite to pry. It IS, however, perfectly proper for me to air my dirty laundry as I see fit to my ENTIRE readership-of one-but THAT'S another posting).

Anyway, day two of the treadmill in the living room went something like this...
I broke out the FANTASTIK and some rags and cleaned the filthy thing from top to bottom. (I HAVE mentioned I LOVE cleaning, no?). Well, once the machine was sparkling (sort of) I vacuumed the carpet it sat upon to catch the dirt recently misplaced from the treadmill. Then I noticed the glass tables in the FURNISHED part of the living room needed dusting. Then the couches needed wiping down. I polished the dining table and then moved on to the laundry and the dishes. By the time the house was clean, I had nothing left to give that poor treadmill.

Day three, I changed into sweats and a tee shirt. Twenty minutes searching for sneakers (try the back of the closet under the laundry basket first, next time!) and I was at least dressed for the part.

I hoped aboard old faithful, and three minutes in, I smelled something burning. Mountain Man wasn't home, so in the interest of family safety (stop, drop, and eat a buttered roll), I halted my intense albeit three minute workout.

Day four, I hop aboard my faithful steed (NOT the one in the bedroom---the one in the living room!). Six minutes in, and the rollers are not spinning the tread part of the old mill. The machine will only make its' revolutions if I push back with my feet and physically force them to move. After ten minutes, I double the calorie count due to extra work on MY part, and call it a day.

It is now Day 5, and my trusty tread mill is staring me down as I sit (oh what a familiar position THAT is!)here typing this post.
From Working It Out

Are you mocking me, boy? Yep. I think you are.

I am going to get right back on it ("it" being the dreaded exercise beast of skinny jeans past!) , as soon as I finish here. If there isn't any more laundry to be done. Or dust bunnies to chase. Or Ice Cream in the freezer...

Yep, I'll be running that steed to the ground. But first things first. Is that Dust I see on old faithful? Looks like I'd better get out the Fantastik first.

Oh, hey guess what? In five days of my new exercise regiment? I gained another pound.

Did I mention Mountain Man lost two pounds just humping that bastard machine in the house in the first place?

Sigh. I think I'll drown my sorrows in a box of OREO's.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Take Your (Sugar ) Lumps

Okay. Time to come clean with my Internet obsession. (yes, I have discussed it before -see mysuetories- the first step is the hardest)-
It all began, way back when my 16 year old son let on that he had a Face book account. I like to think of myself as an aware of what's going on in the lives of my children(read- hoodlums). But when I thought about it, just how much does any mom know about the secret Internet lives of their spawn? That was when I though about how much MY parents knew about MY secret life as a teen.

That's when I panicked. And like any other scared but curious as hell parent, I opened up my OWN face book account. Just to see what the little bastard(read- darling offspring) might be up to.

Well, it turns out the photos weren't nearly as bad as I thought, and truth be told, there weren't many surprises, which was quite surprising in of itself.

But while I was on MY face book account, reading about HIS account, I received an "Add a friend" message. It turns out, I had hordes of old friends I hadn't spoken to in over twenty years, and of course I wanted to be friends with all those people who wouldn't give me the time of day (nor I them) all those years ago.

I went one better, and started stalking, er, I mean, seeking out people I knew. Who would have guessed we could all have virtual cocktail parties on Saturday nites via the Internet?!

I've pretty much all but forgotten my son's Internet usage. Hell, who had time to check his Social surfing, and my e-mails, the constant stalk/search for new people of my own, all while trying to instant message those unfortunate to actually be on line when I'm trolling for victims? Something had to go. So I cut his cyber spacing a little slack (read- completely forgot about him.)

Then today, I surfed a little (no worry about sharks here, chum) and came upon something on You Tube.

Note to all of my Internet interventionists(you know who you are!)- This is the FIRST time I have actually randomly searched ANYTHING! Really! I didn't even know there was a You Tube. OK, OK, I've heard about it, but I though it was just a personalized sock site, ya know? Not to worry. I can stop any time I want to. Just please don't take my lap top away!

I digress. OK. So I stumble, quite literally, like a drunk on a binge(?)and found this little tidbit:

Now, I'm thinking two things here.
#1. I really should just take a peek back into my kid's cyberlife now and again (which I did- nothing new there.)
#2. Stupid video? Maybe. Entertaining? Juvenile? Yes. But creative and hard work? Definitely.

Let me suffice to say that my son's cyber socializing is a bunch of kids having laughs with acronyms for sentences I can't decipher. But the kid in the video?

I'll bet his Mom is proud.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Holy Cow, I Think He's Gonna Make It!....STOP RIGHT THERE!

Well, the big game has come and gone. The spicy wings and cocktail franks and beer and yummy desserts are all gone, and there's nothing left to show for it besides jeans that are a little (?) tighter today, and mysuestories is a little more tired than usual!

Yep, Bruce still rocks! Looks like he's barely aged a day over the close to three decades I've been a fan. Although I will say that that one slide he did into the camera looked a little painful! Who knew jock straps should be required attire for active aging rock stars?

The only low point of half time was when my 12 yr old asked just who Bruce Springsteen was! Damn. That one hurt me!

Ohhhh! Did I mention we won POINTS? Yep, me and my youngest won TWO (that's right, TWO) boxes worth a whopping total of 550 POINTS! I don't know about him, but I am headed to the nearest shoe store that accepts said POINTS!!!

Oh, the game..... Well, Mountain Man and I were close to winning 2,500 POINTS on the final score, but wouldn't you know the bastards had to change the score with a minute left in play?!!
At which time Mountain Man reminded me that the same exact thing happened to us last year with two minutes left in the game.

So, I've decided to write to the Football Gods (read- commissioner of the game of football(?)- and request that they shorten the game by three minutes. This way I won't get all excited planning on how I will spend winnings that get yanked away from me at the last moment!

And those commercials are hardly worth mentioning. Oh, the Budweiser Clydesdales in heat was cute, bu we expect that much from them. had a decent spot with the employee who hurled the snow globe at his boss' head and would now be "Looking for a new job?"! Other than that, I expect a lot more for my $6 million bucks a minute! Not that it WAS my $$$. Even if it HAD been mine, they would have just yanked it away at the last moment!

Oh well. At least we won something! And we laughed and ate and drank all with good friends.
But I gotta tell you, I STILL don't know the final score. Only that I had it, and then *poof* some hero had to go break the record for the longest interception return (?!!!) in Super bowl history. Great. I hope HE'S happy! All I know is now the Springsteen tickets for the new tour are off the table. Sigh. Maybe I can still buy the CD.

Thanks, constant reader, as always, for coming along for the ride.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

It's Super Bowl Sunday! And as we are great traditionalists here at mysuestories manor, we shall follow in the steps of those who have celebrated this great day before us!
We will scurry all over town and collect our numbers from the boxes we have been securing for the last six weeks, in the hopes that we will win MANY points! Because points are good and we ALL want to have more of them, right?
Then we will take our carefuly recorded numbers from those boxes (which by the way, pretty much suck-they are the least likely numbers to pay off those elusive POINTS that we continuously seek!), and we will hole up with twenty of our nearest and dearest, where we will play for even more POINTS!
We will eat hot wings, and six foot hero sections, and cocktail weenies, all the while being weenies while cocktailing!
And we will watch football(?), which, by the way, I could care less about besides the fact that I may win POINTS (Yea me!). And we will watch commercials that cost more than my entire shoe collection for a thirty second spot (and they call ME frivolous!).
Oh. And there will be Bruce Springsteen at half time--the love of my youthful music persona! The endless concerts, the vinyl albums...Ahh youth!Ohhhhh, Growing Up!
Yes!!! Bring on the wings!

Do you think anyone will mind (besides my kids!) if I bring my lighter and sway at the end of halftime yelling ENCORE! ENCORE! ? Because Tramps Like Us, baby, We Were Born to Run!

Come on, teams! Bring on the POINTS! Mama needs a new pair of shoes (Really, I do!). Tonight In Jungleland!

And those points sure will help when Sprinsteen tickets go on sale tomorrow morning for the new tour! And tonite, when we collect all those points, I sure hope to set the night on Fire!

Oh, can someone please let me know... who's playing in the big game, anyway?