You know those self check-in kiosks at the airport?  You know how you have to check through a bunch of questions including ones about carrying flammable materials or firearms?  Don’t click on the “yes” box at these questions.  Even by mistake.  If you do they will print out a boarding pass that says “DANGEROUS GOODS” in bold.  And it will tell you to immediately stop all your travel plans and visit the special check in desk which has a long ass line and you will have to stand there with a bunch of people with dogs.

Luckily your “DANGEROUS GOODS” boarding pass makes you immediately known to all the check in agents who are standing around and they will come up to you and call you by your first name and ask if they can help you.  If you are really innocent looking and stammer a lot they will take pity and direct you to the agent they usually only let the first class passengers see.  If you explain very nicely that you hit the “hazardous goods” box by mistake (and if you look especially pathetic they will understand) they will print you up a new boarding pass and send you on your way without too much time shaved off your pre-boarding drinking time. 

The birthday and new baby cards at work are getting out of control.  I work in an office of over 50 people and it seems like I am getting some kind of card to sign at least twice a week now.  Often times the card is for a person who, I am ashamed to admit, I barely know and would not be able to pick out in a line up. 

I know I am not alone in my frustration.  The worst thing about signing these cards is trying to find the next person to pass them off to.  Everyone hates the incessant card signing.  Last month one of the attorneys saw me walking toward him, new baby card in hand, and he purposely ducked around a corner to avoid me.  I broke to a run and chased him down. 

The other day one of my co-workers, a dear, timid 20-something named Diana, came over to hand a card off to me and, seeing that it was for some guy who didn’t even work at the company I completely lost it.  “No,” I declared, “I’m not signing this.  Cross my name off the routing list and find someone else to pass this off to.” 

Poor sweet Diana stammered, “I’m so sorry.  I didn’t know.”  She then dashed off, in tears I think. 

I love being a cranky old lady. 

Mrs. B crawled under the futon at 9am this morning and she has been there ever since. 

Mrs B futon

She discovered this spot as a good hiding place a few years ago but seems to be spending a lot more time there lately.  I think she’s freaked out because I’ve been running the vacuum cleaner a lot more lately.  Like all cats, the vacuum cleaner is Mrs. B’s natural enemy.  She is convinced she is it’s prey. 

The ironic thing is Mrs. B is the reason for my increase vacuum usage as of late, what with her constant hair shedding, compulsive nail scratching and bringing in debris from outside. 

Jerry is also a bit frightened as well as mystified by supplemental vacuuming.  Seeing me at an activity other than reading or watching TV, much less something domestic, makes him wonder if there’s something wrong.  If I keep this up he just might suggest I fire my maids.  Yikes! 

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I don’t care that it’s Coach.  Frustration has been building for months and I am  pursenow ready to declare this the worst purse I’ve ever had.  And apologies in advance to my sweet sister-in-law who gave it to me. 

Honestly, when I first received this purse a few years ago as a Christmas gift I was thrilled.  I had always wanted a Coach bag and this one was especially beautiful.  So rest assured Mia, my shrieks of delight were sincere.  As was my efforts to use this purse.  Since I already had a functional purse I reserved this one for special occasions.  I felt so stylish and expensive when I used it I didn’t even mind the jangley noise the chains made. 

Then, six months ago when my old purse finally gave out I decided to promote this one to a full-time position.  It’s been misery ever since. 

In addition to finally getting on my nerves every time I’m in a moving car, the jangley chains have also proven themselves to be rather heavy.  Tuck in a paperback book to and this purse feels like it’s 50 pounds.  Having no side pockets or compartments makes it a bottomless pit.  That is until I have to reach inside and then everything falls out.  Add that it constantly slips off my shoulder and I’m ready to catapult this thing into a dumpster.  And I will, as soon as I find a replacement. 

Purse search officially launched. 

We don’t co-mingle funds.  It started as an unspoken understanding and eventually evolved into the secret of our marital success of which we speak frequently. 

Most couples we talk to can’t understand how Jerry and I can not share money yet function as a unit.  Oddly enough the fact that we keep our money completely separate from each other is probably one of the key elements that keep us together.  Because we keep separate bank accounts we have eliminated something that often drives some couples apart.  We never argue over finances.

Neither of us knows how much money the other person has, yet we have complete faith that the other person is financially solvent.  We buy whatever we want and the other person never complains.  Big ticket items, while rare, have the expected courtesy of a consultation but even this rule can be waived if the proper strategies are put in place.  A couple of years ago Jerry bought a motorcycle which he told me about after the fact.  However, because the news about the motorcycle was immediately followed by the news that he had also booked a trip to Hawaii the purchase of the motorcycle was completely forgotten. 

Anything looks good in freakin’ paradise. 

Awkward moment count for the weekend is currently at two. 

First one was last night at dinner.  I won’t get in to the details but let’s just say that running into estranged family members at taquerias is becoming pretty common for us. 

Awkward moment number two just happened when the Comcast guy who spent four hours installing our new service came back looking for his missing cell phone.  The first thing he did when he walked in the living room was glance up at the TV and saw that we were watching Dish Network.  The internet service and the TV picture provided by Comcast was so bad that 20 minutes after the installation Jerry unhooked all the equipment and brought it back. 

My months of blog block has finally been broken, inspired by what I hope is a pithy observation too lengthy to tweet.  It’s the contents of Jerry’s suitcase for his 36 hour business trip to Boston: 

  • Black suit
  • Two ties
  • Sports coat
  • Khaki pants
  • Three button down shirts
  • Black shoes
  • White tennis shoes
  • Five pairs of socks
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Three tee-shirts
  • Shaving kit with complete collection hygiene essentials and first aid supplies
  • Hair dryer
  • Travel iron

I love you honey!  And will miss you as usual!

*Note: Contents of laptop bag are too numerous to list and primarily beyond my technical knowledge. 

The year started with Jerry losing weight and making some other lifestyle changes  in an attempt to get his blood pressure down.  He did a pretty good job but not enough to avoid taking the medication ultimately prescribed by the doctor. 

We took one of our Southwest adventures which included a ride over the Moki Dugway, a visit to Arches National Park, Monument Valley and Zion National Park.  We also made a stop in Colorado City.  We didn’t find any Jessop relatives (that we know of) but we did get waved at by a truckload of teenage boys, probably on their way out of town for good.  

Jerry had a slight motorcycle accident.  To my ultimate relief he walked away unscathed and spent the next 6 months repairing his bike. 

We heard from Stephanie and found out that she is in the Navy studying to be an air traffic controller.  She is also angry as hell and very bitter, in true Jessop fashion. 

Two weeks after discovering Facebook and Twitter we got iPhones.  We now have no need to communicate verbally which just may improve our marriage. 

We planted a vegetable garden in the backyard.  Crop statistics:  2 ears of corn, 1 tomato, 8 peppers, 5 eggplants and 387 zucchinis. 

Mervyns went out of business which will cause problems for Jerry’s future wardrobe.  For now he still has pleasant memories of the liquidation sales where he was able to purchase dozens of shirts for $6 each. 

Two days before the end of 2008 Jerry took a 15 hour trip to Hawaii in order to gain gold member status with Northwest Airlines.  Thanks to my iPhone, Nip/Tuck DVDs and box-o-wine I didn’t even notice he was gone. 

Mrs. B almost got a little sister the other day.  Our next door neighbor showed up with a 2 month old kitten who needed a home and knowing we already had a cat, thought of us.  The kitten was a dark brown calico with a white chin and chest and cute, really cute.  It’s true because even Jerry thought she was cute.  Jerry thought this kitten was so cute and sweet he had to call me for an objective opinion because (and this is between you and me) he was ready to take her there on the spot.

I was in the back room ironing sheets when I heard Jerry’s urgent yell, “Honey?  You need to get out here!”

I rushed to the door thinking something crazy was going on like a mob of angry neighbors coming to tear down our webcam with pitchforks or something.  Luckily it was only one neighbor and she was holding this kitten.  She started to explain why the kitten needed a home but I didn’t hear a word.  I just reached out and took her in my arms.  I looked up and Jerry and he said “It’s up to you.” 

For a moment the kitten was already mine.  I was about to say “We’ll take her” when I suddenly remembered Mrs. B.  Of course I couldn’t take a kitten if I didn’t have Mrs. B’s approval first.   I ran in the house leaving the neighbor standing on the porch.  Rude of me, I know, but Mrs. B is deathly afraid of strangers. 

I found her sleeping in her kitty bed which is perched on a small top of a small dresser in our room.  I thought she would respond immediately to the kitten the moment I appeared with it, but surprisingly I had to call her name and wake her.  Even then, she seemed unperturbed that another cat was in the room. 

The kitten, on the other hand, noticed Mrs. B right away.  She started climbing up my sweater and tried to hide herself at my neck.  I unhooked her off me, and set her on the other end of the dresser.  She cautiously stepped through my  things, made her way to the bigger cat and sat down next to the bed. 

Mrs. B was obviously not in the mood to meet this kitten.  She didn’t even bother to sit up.  She just raised her head, opened her mouth gave a lazy, non-combative hiss.  The kitten on the other hand, bristled up and hissed back.  They went back and forth like this a few times until Mrs. B grew tired of it, put her head back down and went back to her nap. 

The exchange only confused me.  On the one hand Mrs. B seemed fairly mrs b bedaccepting of the kitten and typically she loves other animals.  Despite this I knew that she would never share.  I would have to find room in our already cluttered house for another cat scratcher and set of food bowls.  I wondered if Mrs. B would share my lap with this kitten. 

And then I thought about the whole indoor/outdoor issue.  Being a nearly feral stray, Mrs. B still spends a good portion of her life outside and (thank god)  prefers the great outdoors to a cat box.  Would the kitten adopt this same lifestyle?  It was this very thing that answered my question.  I couldn’t take this new cat.  I just wasn’t ready to raise a kitten. 

Later that evening while Mrs. B and I were watching TV I asked her, “Do you want a little sister?”  She turned up and looked at me with her “shut up and pet me” look.  I took that to also mean “I prefer being an only child.” 

Every once in a while I get in a strange mood and start cleaning.  Like today for instance….I was drying dishes and realized that since I was using the last clean towel I would be forced to throw a load of towels in the washer.  I looked around and decided even though they didn’t need it yet, I would do the bathroom towels as well to even the load.  And with that small decision I suddenly went into action. 

I ambitiously decided that while the towels were in the wash I’d run the vacuum.  Normally I never vacuum.  Since I have a cleaning service come in every two weeks I don’t want to go overboard.  But today I decided to “let go” a little.  I even removed the couch cushions and attacked the window sills. 

Once the vacuuming was done I hit the bathrooms.  This is when Jerry noticed.  I think he got a little scared, especially when he saw me pull out the Clorox bleach pen and open the toilet seat.  “Don’t worry honey, ” I said in as calm a voice as possible, “just leave me alone and I’ll be back to normal soon.”  When he saw that I knew what I was doing he seemed to relax a little and slowly backed off. 

Luckily the cleaning spurt was short lived.  Tackling toilets usually seems to bring me back to my senses.  And the towels?  They’re still in the drier.