Friday, May 11, 2007


Our driveway is lined with lilac bushes and they went into full bloom this week. The smell is absolutely marvelous. This is the second spring since quitting smoking and this spring have realized what I've been missing all these years. As a smoker, my olfactory sensors were so numbed I'd have to stick my nose in the flowers to smell them or occasionally I'd catch a whiff of them in the air. This year, I step outside and their perfume permeates everything. It's wonderful! Last night was pure heaven falling asleep to a cool breeze fluttering the window curtains, the sounds of a distant chorus of frogs and the smell of lilacs filling my dreams.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I Will Never Be Unemployable

I know this because if the guy I spoke with on the phone can work at Target, I am sure I will be able to don the red shirt of Target.

My usual source of ink cartridges went out of business. I had called the closest Target store and asked if they carried Epson ink cartridges and sure enough, they do. I went to the store only to find they were out of two of the five colors I need to complete a set. I asked where the next nearest Target was and was told Oakdale; another 20 minutes down the road. I called the Oakdale store to make sure they had my missing colors before I ventured further down the road with $3.10/gallon gasoline in the tank. I was transferred to the computer department. The conversation went as follows:

(TTG=Teenage Target Guy)

TTG: (with slight surfer dude accent) Hello, how can I help you?

Balou: I was just at the Hudson Target store and they are missing two colors of the Epson ink cartridges I need. I am calling to make sure you have what I need before I drive there.

TTG: We have Epson ink cartridges.

Balou: Could you check and make sure you have all 5 colors for the R300 printer?

TTG: Ummm, R300?

Balou: Yes. R300 is the type of Epson Stylus printer. It is printed on the box.

TTG: Ummm.

Balou: There is a picture of a guitar on the front.

TTG: (excitedly) Oh! Yaww! We have the guitar one.

Balou: Do you have the Light Cyan and Magenta available?

TTG: Yaww, we have those.

Balou: OK, thanks. I'm coming from Hudson. I know I need to go north on I-694 but what exit do I take?

TTG: Take Hwy 5.

Balou: Are you on the east or west side of the freeway?

(After a long pause...)

TTG: Umm. Which side does the sun come up again?

Balou: bwaaa haaa haaa haa ha hahaha ho ho ho hummm um. Are you serious?

(I can hear him asking a co-worker "Dude, are we east or west of the freeway?")

TTG: Yaww, it's the east side.

Balou: Thank you.

So, what side of the freeway does the sun come up in your neck of the woods?

Forgetfullness - Billy Collins

US Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads his poem "Forgetfulness"
with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Foreign Particle Etiquette

I was reliving an embarrassing moment I had a while back. I used to sell handmade greeting cards at a very chic/whimsical art gallery. The woman that owns the gallery is personable but intimidating at the same time and always made me nervous when speaking with her.

I was on my way to drop off some cards and was running late so stopped at the fast food drive through and picked up a sandwich for lunch. It was some chicken concoction with mayo and shredded lettuce. I walked into the gallery and talked with the owner for a spell after handing her my cards. Me, nervous as ever and she was looking at me a bit funny. I get out to the car, look in the mirror and there's a blob of lettuce and mayo on the side of my face. It had taken on a mucous-like quality from the heat of my blushing cheek.

I was embarrassed beyond belief which turned to frustration at her lack of common courtesy. Why didn't she say something? All it would've taken is handing me a Kleenex and a hushed "Here, there's a little something on your right cheek."

If someone I know has some mustard or other foreign object on their face, I discreetly let them know. I think it's common courtesy. For myself, I usually look at myself in the rear-view mirror before I get out of the car and perform routine foreign particle checks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Hasselhoff*

Have you been missing the Hasselhoff? It's OK. You can admit it here. We're all friends. Well, here's your cure. Enjoy. And if you're anything like me, you'll spend the next hour scraping your jaw off the floor and trying to get the "what the hell" look off of your face.

Did you hear the dog bark track plugged in every once in a while? Go back and listen again. I dare you.

LOL @ a Hot Cup of Hoffee! And is it just me or does he have a little man boobie action going on? Sorry, I digress.

No need to thank me. I can feel the love. Warm, fuzzy puppy love.

*Please direct all Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or burned retina lawsuit claims to the Hasselhoff. Born-a-girl is exempt from all legal action heretoforeafterhithertotoo.