Another one bites the dust, spewing Young Adult fiction toxic dragon barf on my favorite pants

If my Sims had known to do CPR chest compressions at 110 beats per minute singing along to Queen's song, "Another One Bites the Dust", those clueless computer buddies of the early millennium might still be around to cheer me up.

The Sims never ironed pants or shirts for work. This was a creative oversight by the game designers, since ironing has potential for personal injury, wardrobe malfunction, family disputes, and house fires
  • Don't iron while wearing a bikini unless you want to have a painful, scarring burn across your abdomen.
  • Be extra careful draining the kettle of spaghetti into the colander lest the scalding water splash on your midriff. See above.
  • A BBC mystery series in the DVD player is an enticement to marathon ironing.
  • That would be until the iron went cold and started spewing chunky particulate matter and off-color liquid on the pant legs in question.
  • This steam iron joins the long parade of small appliances who have bitten the dust.
Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I'm gonna get you, too

Another crockpot bites the dust...

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


An app for the MOG

The internet is a fabulous imaginary place for identifying caterpillars so surely it's the place for locating the Mother-Of-the Groom dress you have always dreamed of, or of which you have always dreamed, even when your sons expressed the teenage opinion that you were a real witch with dangling participles and sentences ending in prepositions. Thank heaven one need not master grammar to finally marry off the youngest son.

If a caterpillar intended to walk down the aisle and sit in the front row to the right, the choices would be body main color, body main pattern, hair density, and distinct features.

This is surprisingly close to the decisions for a mother of a groom in the aisle heading for the same pew.

1. Main body shape:

2. Main color

3. Main material

[  ] Plastic bags     [  ] Duct tape     [  ] Chia pets     [  ] Goose feathers     [  ]  Bubble wrap

4. Distinct features

[  ] Cloak of invisibility [ ] Crush into overseas travel bag* [  ] Slimming [  ] Hide flabby arms 

Directions: Fill  [  ] with #2 pencil. Spelling counts.

This will, indeed, go on your permanent record.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Soft on bathroom tissue

Cruz calls Trump "soft on bathroom issue"
No, it wasn't Mr. Whipple!  Creepy Ted (video) is the blaster, ranting about Trump in the little girl's restroom. Sociopath Trump is the blastee. Charmin is the issue.

Top to bottom:

Planks in the outhouse party platform:

  •  Never buy store brand unless you need sandpaper
  •  Stockpile at least 24 rolls and 2 cases of beer  in case of blizzards
  •  Flush twice. Omaha needs the water.  
  •  "Three squares are plenty for most jobs."--Fritzi

This is not the election to shrug and say, "Never mind." Don't sit it out.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Storage, screams, and boredom

Monday:  My life is a mess, or my apartment is a mess. Well, maybe it's the bathroom that's a mess ... especially the counter with all those pill bottles and hair goo and mouthwash that won't fit in the drawers or in the cabinet below the lavatory.  Maybe Target holds the answer to my life.  Target is a mess with a leaking roof . Target has giant jellyfish catheter bags hanging from the ceiling in many departments and only two cashiers and the customers are getting properly pissed disgruntled. My life is looking better and the bathroom storage solution only cost $42.

Heavy Duty Drain Tarps Help Redirect Leaks From Ceiling Through A Drain Port.
Tuesday: Am I bored with my Breakfast Blog, or just bored with making breakfast? Why am I up to two mornings per week bribing myself with Einstein bagels to creep into the shower and get the day going? The employees at Einsteins know my name. Sometimes you want to go....

Wednesday a.m.: Yes, he is still there, the young/old person camping out under one of the thirty-seven High Five bridges, but now over on the east side of the 75 Expressway instead of the west.  The concrete supports create a sleeping berth and shelves for his/her belongings. I spy a cooler, a burgundy nylon sleeping bag, and maybe a boombox with my little eye.

Wednesday p.m.: I'm still not sure which bridge exactly, but I worry about the new resident rolling over in the night down the slope into traffic. What could be more of a deserted island than this spot you can't get to from here, you can't check out or ever leave. A half million of us weaving under and around and over the interchange everyday feel we can't get anywhere without moving through this place of his/her complete isolation.

Thursday: The periodicals room is screaming at 9:15 a.m. Librarian noir? 650 _0 $aHomicide investigation$xFiction. No, a computer back-up battery has died under a desk, oozing a chemical goo that ruins wood finish,  If the person under the High Five falls out of bed who will hear the scream? I buy cream-of-wheat and taco shells at Tom Thumb, then store myself on my ledge.


© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Snail's breakfast after thunderstorms

Commanding cracks of thunder jolting me out of sleep and nearly out of bed sounded like titans were cracking Roc eggs on the peak of my roof at 2:30 a.m. Is Sinbad out and about?

The next wave of the storm had impressive examples of "rolling thunder", with the sound seeming to approach down a long tunnel then traveling on past me.  All my life I just thought "rolling thunder" was the same as "thunder rumbling". This was a completely different auditory experience. And since I was wide awake at three a.m. it was time to wonder which Indiana Jones movie had the giant marble rolling down the tunnel--or sewer--to squish our hero.  Or do all Indie movies have a variation of that theme? What was Operation Rolling Thunder? What was the Rolling Thunder Revue?

When would I get back to sleep? Shouldn't work be called off on account of scrambled Roc eggs?

Work was not called off, so the morning moved forward with the speed of stop-action clay animation filming. One might say it moved at a snail's pace. Stepping out of my car in the post-storm sunshine, the first snail seen on the sidewalk seemed to have only one eyestalk. The second snail had been stepped on, but was still moving. My boss moved it onto damp soil where it would surely die soon. The third snail was slowly stalking tiny insects on the damp wood armrest of a patio bench.

Are gastropod eyestalks retractable? And doesn't this snail's brocade jacket and pleated chiffon skirt look like a lovely mother-of-the-groom ensemble? I could slime up the aisle on the usher's arm.

Sinbad's crew discovering Roc eggs--By Columbia Pictures - Trailer for the film, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40492354

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Fish gotta swim, Bill, just sayin'

"That was not the Bill song I expected," said my opera buddy. We had in mind something on a sliding scale between Laura Nyro's composition, "Wedding Bell Blues," and Barbra Streisand singing "My Man".

5th Dimension ______________________________________Funny Girl

The Dallas Opera production of "Show Boat" is a visual feast with two musical themes that embed themselves in breath, muscle, and mind. Even more, the show pulls  uncomfortable moments of family history to the mental forefront for reconsideration.

When I began piano lessons in third grade, my dear dad Howie spewed out, "Darkies work on the Mississippi," which he must have learned in childhood in all-white Pierce, Nebraska. Age nine, I suddenly had to deal with a racist attitude on top of a foreign musical instrument for which I had seriously limited aptitude. The lyrics and the dark key image was indelibly etched.

Dad would need to travel a good 120 miles to even meet a person of color, but his aunt had gone all the way to Omaha and brought back prejudice. Her attitudes burrowed into the minds of her family and her elementary class students. Far more than that prejudice, my great aunt despised everything French, including the dashing skier Jean-Claude Killy in the 1968 Olympics.

My wise parents gave my permission to not like my great aunt because of  her bigotry. They provided the opportunities for me to learn our family history and the reasons behind my great aunt's attitudes. I could despise the opinion, and still grow to love the opinionated, yet generous and wise old lady.

And so, Morris Robinson's "Old Man River" is still sending shivers up my arm a day after the performance. Thanks, dear Muse, for a long run of challenging artistic experiences.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

Charmed, I'm sure

Brunched with long-time friends and shared our charm bracelets for show-and-tell. We don't actually wear our bracelets, but we could. I was contemplating a redesign of mine.

Because the collection of charms spans a lifetime some are childish, many were gifts, and others I gave myself more recently. They are symbolic and commemorative, linking my mom, my sister, A few never fail to get entangled in sweater cuffs.

I want to start a bracelet for my granddaughter. James Avery's charm bracelet catalog arrived the day after our brunch. I'm wavering between finding a child-size chain or beginning the collection on a full-size bracelet. What will be Little Missie's talents? Interests? Travels? Tools of her profession?

Landmarks in history? I have an astronaut charm for Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. Should I find a human genome charm for her? Melting icecaps don't charm me.

Some Grancy who will remain nameless spent way too much time looking at charms online...

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


MOG PEPO is not what you think

NWA fall of 1977

MOG PEPO is a condition closely associated with MOBO. UNESCO should create an NGO humanitarian relief organization to deal with this international challenge even though contagion vectors are not yet clearly defined.


MOBO -- Mother of boys only
MOG  -- Mother of the groom
NGO  -- Non-governmental organization (relief)
PEPO  -- Panic early, panic often (motto)
Tencel  -- A semi-synthetic form of rayon
FCO  -- An alleged airport in Rome
CFA -- Compostable formal attire
NPR -- Pledge drive
TLT -- Think lovely thoughts (Mind over matter method for Darling children to achieve lift-off after Peter Pan blows the fairy dust on them)
NWA -- Newlywed apartment (SEE Macrame)

Imagine how very delighted my youngest son will be when I arrive at his destination wedding location with a roller bag full of plastic newspaper sleeves, then sit on a stoop weaving and braiding the bags into  a stunning full-length formal gown appropriate for all MOG occasions.

We receive a minimum of four "newspaper sleeves" every library day, and most days several more. Hmmm. Perhaps macrame. Tying the knot...

I'm not suggesting the wedding guests remove and compost their formal attire right there at the reception.  That would be bad on several levels. Thinking more about how to make extra space for souvenirs in my carry-on luggage for the return flight.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Fibonacci gets two fillings

Women with power tools and heavy equipment should wear hard hats. The assistant wielded the oral shop vac near my palate, and placed blocks between my jaws way back by my "hangy-down-thang".

Not that I have dental procedure anxiety disorder. It's more of a fear of gagging all over the dental staff. The dentist herself was treading like a military mine removal specialist.

For the first hour or so I wondered just what was the engineering/construction term for those boxy things sitting near road construction sites looking like tipped over coffee tables from an ancient giant race of gods. You've seen them, but you might not have really noticed since you didn't have blocks the size of Stonehenge boulders in your mouth when you drove by. My anxiety about gagging was being replaced by engineering vocabulary panic.  My dad would be so disappointed. Dad taught me to solve square roots to make road trips go faster.

Second hour it was obviously time for a different distraction technique. Though seriously numbed and blubbery, anxiety was still lurking in my fuzzy brain. And that's when Fibonacci came to the rescue. Zero + 1 is 1. 1 + 1 is 2. 1+2 is 3. 2+3 is 5. 3+5 is 8. 5+8 is 13. 8+13 is 21. 13+21 is 34. 21+34 is 55. 34+55 is 89.  It was getting increasingly difficult to hold onto the thought, but the second dental filling seemed to be going much faster than the first. 55+89  is  is   is, hmmm. Or was it 54? I would have to start over. This is pathetic. This is a gross, 144.  Prime numbers were starting to holler in tiny munchkin voices back behind my ears. The munchkins were wearing sparkly magenta hard hats and safety vests.

"Trench box," cried the munchkins, "shoring box." 144 + 89 was interrupted. "Tap, tap, tap," said the dentist munchkin ... "Grind, grind, side to side." "$194," said the front desk woman.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Snail's progress with lazy Susan

Bet your bottom dollar the sun will come out tomorrow when I'm at the dentist or the day after when it's back to work. Today's gray skies, clouds of green pollen, and humidity were not working for a trial run of the cyano print/papercut process. My Cosmic Permanent Record was being stamped.

The sun made a half-hearted appearance at five p.m., shining through the balcony railing. Bad angle, bad shadows, bad girl for being so impatient!

[ ] This is a high tech solar energy experiment, and every delay adds billions to the National Deficit. Or not.

[ ] This is kitchen sink shoestring experiment proceeding at a snail's pace and requiring:
  • A seven dollar picture frame from WalMart
  •  A lazy Susan
  • A cutting board of a certain thickness
  • An adult beverage
  • Toes to turn the lazy Susan
  • A bathtub
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • A sweater drying rack
[ ] Seated in the old-red-starting-to-rip-soccer-mom chair, turning the lazy Susan with my toe to mitigate the balcony rail exposure on the sun print I contemplated the nature of art, the art of snails, and my personal need to balance practical and creative pursuits while wearing a hat made of aluminum foil. Or not.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

Hard-boiled private eye

Our place in the universe is easily filled by bare minimum wage workers, by which I am referring to people making the pathetic Minimum Wage, and not to naked Kroger deli counter workers. That would be even more troubling than the lack of plastic lids with SKEW labels at the olive bar. I had to go over to the sushi kiosk and request assistance.

Sushi Guy and I peeled the packing tape off a carton of lids inside the gourmet cheese/olive kiosk, but the Guy had overstepped his grocery national boundaries. As I wheeled my cart away it seemed the returning cheese worker and the sushi invader might have a nuclear situation.

Why isn't the sum of brats + dogs equal to the number of buns, which we will call (z + y) equals not x?

Why did I bolt wide awake at 12:26 a.m. from a nightmare of the coffee table in the nonfiction reading room ablaze?

Why do book clubs select books about preparing for death or depressing WWII fiction?  This is not my question, but that of of library patron.

Why is the retired engineer checking out Descartes to Nietzsche and Piketty's Capital? After the usual jokes about curing insomnia and using tomes for doorstops we ponder life's persistent questions at the circulation desk.

Our place in the universe is a tiny intersection between physics and jazz improvisation where hard-boiled eggs and pitted black olives intersect in a Venn diagram. Pluto was so depressed about losing planet status it vaporized all the green Readers' Guides to Periodical Literature in the Periodicals room. The newest library staff member has never even heard of the Readers' Guide.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


Inside out and backwards

No thanks to my silent coworkers, I wore my boatneck shirt backwards all day. When I went on a retail therapy fitting room excursion at my dying local mall after work I discovered the truth. No wonder I got all those smiles and muffled chuckles. Maybe tomorrow I should wear mismatched socks, and then on Saturday it's inside-out day!

All those years of teaching preschoolers we just celebrated when kids got dressed all by themselves, and weren't too picky about the details. Concurrently, all those outings to Outback and Red Lobster with my 80-something father in his plaid PJs, with his walker and his very loudly expressed opinions when I mostly wanted for Scotty or Spock to beam me up...

So, now, here I am sporting an un-proofread fashion statement wardrobe dysthymia turtle backwards in its shell.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder


The medium is the meditation

Traveling a great circle route I find my home anew.  My new job pushes me off into other waters to fuel my creative needs. I'm in the flow, even if it is an eddy. Holding hands while treading water to stay afloat are childhood drawings on Howie's blueprint paper, environmental education solar-power cyanoprints, papercutting influences from around the globe, nature photography from Oak Point Nature Preserve, textile art, Photoshop junkies, and mental flipflop gymnastics.

And so, I take up my tiny scissors once again to cut paper patterns to make blueprints on fabric, getting my big fat knuckles stuck in the scissor handles in the process. The past few evenings have passed in a state of capital F flow, an alignment of challenge and intent focus, while renewing ability to make papercuts for a new purpose.

The treated fabric pieces arrived from Blueprints on Fabric. On my next sunny day off I'll make the first sunprint from a papercut pattern based on one of my insect photos.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder