Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Some Things Friday for Jan 4, 2008 - Another Vacation Comes to an End

We left Clearwater Beach yesterday, drove to Atlanta and spent the night. This morning we left Atlanta and arrived home about 3:30. It's nice to be home in familiar surroundings, especially my own bed, but it was sad leaving Florida.

We left early because the Florida climate was going to be so similar to Arkansas, it seemed redundant to stay there and merely sit in a hotel room until Friday. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Cold is cold. So what! So, as I sit here in my kitchen looking at my indoor/outdoor thermometer, it is 48 degrees, approximately 20 degrees colder than it is in Florida today. And, the temperature is going to begin climbing back up to the mid-70's. No, it doesn't matter at all...Waaaaaaaa!

Some Things I Love:

1. My husband, Tom. He makes me laugh. He makes me cry. He loves me even when I am not very lovable. When I reach over to hold his hand, he strokes my arm and kisses my hand. I know. I am so very lucky

2. Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico primarily. I like the sunset in the west over the water. I grew up in California. The sunset was always over the Pacific Ocean. I can't imagine what it would be like to be at the ocean on the east coast and have the sun set on the horizon behind me. That would be weird.

3. Riding my bike here along the beach and the intracoastal waterway. Mike and Kathy bought me a very cool vintage bike when Tom and I moved to Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe) in 2001. It has a bell, a horn and a basket, just like when I was a kid. Very, very cool!

4. Frenchy's Rockaway Grill.

Why? Oh My God, let me count the reasons! It's on the beach, literally. Shoes and shirts are not required (I know that just grosses some people out!). Buffalo Shrimp (Oooooo, yum!). She Crab Soup (a cross between a chowder and a bisque - just the best I've ever eaten). Tom loves the Buffalo Grouper Sandwich (Hmmm, Hmmmm, Hmmmm). I have met and chatted with some of the most awesome people from all over the world.

5. This is Dubya's final year!

Some Things I Hate:

1. People who try to read or text message while driving. Picture this ~ You are driving in the middle lane of a 3-lane interstate (in the west, it's just called the freeway). The speed limit is 70 MPH. You are doing about 73 MPH (okay... that's a conservative number). This guy in front of you is doing about 60 MPH, weaving back and forth in his lane, crossing the line into either lane several times. Is he drunk? Is he nodding off? Should you pass him? You wait until he appears to straighten out for a minute or two and you pull into the fast lane, punch it and pass him quickly before he swerves over the line again into your lane. But, as you pass him, you notice he's not dozing; he doesn't appear to be drunk; he's reading the freaking paper!!! Now, being the bleeding heart liberal that I am, I don't think that police should have broader police powers. However, this case is altogether different. It is in circumstances such as these that police powers should be expanded, so when an officer observes a person engaging in this type of moronic behavior, the officer should be able perform the following duties: a). Using routine traffic stop techniques, require the driver to pull over to the side of the road; b). Once stopped, the officer may remove the driver from the car by grabbing the idiot by his shirt and dragging him from the driver's seat (opening the door is optional); c). The officer may commence slapping the living shit out of the driver while informing him that he does NOT have the right to be a moron on a public road; d). After the officer confiscates the driver's newspaper, magazine, blackberry or other distracting object, s/he may assist the driver back into his vehicle, making sure the driver smacks his head on the door frame upon re-entry to his vehicle. A citation is not required.

2. People (read: men) who insist on driving in the fast lane even though they are traveling slower than the flow of traffic. Is this a testosterone thing?

3. I hate myself for allowing Tom to drive. It is incredibly stressful. He is just not able to focus in a way that I think is appropropriate. In the 70's and 80's Tom was a cop... er, police officer. He spent over 10 years on the San Jose Police Department and about 3 years as a deputy on the Placer County Sheriff's Department. During those years, he drove an extremely recognizable automobile ~ a cop car! So when he was driving around his area (they call it a "beat"), you really couldn't miss him. He was pretty obvious: a guy in a cop car in a cop's uniform. You would not mistake him for much else. Anyway, he could weave all over the road. He could straddle the middle line in the road. He could stop in the middle of the freeway to check out somebody in a car that had broken down. He never got hit by another vehicle. Who wants to hit a cop car? Would you want to hit him? Wouldn't you go out of your way to make sure you didn't hit the cop's car? Well, he still drives like everyone is still looking out for him.

4. Who is the imbecile who designed The Pier in St. Petersburg? Oh, wait, I know! He got fired, traveled to Arkansas and designed the River Market in Little Rock. The ad for The Pier said a "favorite place to shop and eat." Shopping? I don't want to buy the ugliest candles ever made. I don't want to buy another thing with a hot red pepper on it. I don't need another shell. And, food... well, if I wanted a hot dog, I'd buy an Oscar Mayer.

5. I was not able to button my jeans last night. All of the 2-mile walks; all of the 10-mile bike rides did not off-set the consumption of she crab soup, buffalo shrimp, grouper burgers, Grecian pizza, cannoli's. Damn!

Some Things I Just Don't Get:

1. The prayer vigil at the Huckster's Iowa headquarters during the caucus. I have nothing against prayer, but the videos of his volunteers in a prayer frenzy were almost scary. I was waiting for someone to offer a chicken for sacrifice. I get praying for strength. I get praying for grace. I get praying for guidance. I don't get praying for getting the most votes.

2. Tom watching poker on tv. Now, poker in person, at best, is boring. But, poker on tv? That's like watching grass grow.

3. The parents who brought their starving children to Dominic's Capri Restaurant on New Years Eve expecting to be served upon being seated. Two groups left the restaurant very disgruntled because the service was so "slow." You want fast food service? Take them to McDonald's.

4. I saw a sign on a truck advertising housecleaning. "We treat your home like our home." What if that meant that they didn't clean corners, didn't vacuum carpets or dust cob-webs? I think I would want to see their house first.

5. Another sign along the road today ~ "Heads Cafe". An advertisement for a restaurant...that serves food... with pictures of the heads of all sorts of dead critters mounted on the wall. Ewwww. Ewwww. Ewwww.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very fun New Year. I hope the New Year provides many opportunities and gifts.

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