A review of Election Night

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(warning, lots of words and not enough pics)

I’m sitting at our Airbnb with my laptop, Rick is watching the Sharks game on his tablet and we have election results news with the sound off on the tv.  It’s a little disconcerting to be hearing the Sharks game and I look up, but its some talking head, not the Sharks announcers.  My little pea brain tries to make sense of that, poor little brain.  There’s no teal on the screen – lots of red, white and blue.

I really should be getting some work done but I’m distracted by the TV…Tell you what, instead, I’ll be Max Headroom and give you a running commentary on what’s onscreen (sans glitches).

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One woman is wearing a Kelly green dress with a shiny multi-strand gold necklace, another woman is wearing the brightest red with a thin black belt and the 3rd woman has a dark purple suit.  They’ll pan to a different lady in a another area of the studio and she’s also wearing an audacious red.  The two gentlemen are wearing staid blue suits and red/blue striped ties.

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What they sorely need to wear are pizazzy suits like ‘Chunk’ wears on the TV show “Bull”, or that wealthy nerd, Harold Finch wore on “Person of Interest”.  Those election analysts need to step up their fashion game.  The woman in the purple suit gets my vote for ‘best dressed’.  Gorgeous color.

 

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I know, what these shows could use is a fashion director who can put all those heads in colors that work as a whole.  So the lineup of commentators would look complimentary to each other instead of like a primary color graphic from preschool.

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I’m pretty entertained (and pretty entertaining, right?!?)  keeping the sound off and criticizing the makeup, hair and clothes.  Looking at the head shots of the politicians getting voted in, and out, there is a preponderance of faces you’d have a hard time describing to a police artist.  Perfectly forgettable.  most of them could have used a makeover, a little swipe of makeup, some spit and polish.

That’s another weird old saying – spit and polish – but this one is easy to explain since most of us have done this at one time or another… to our kids or a smudge on eyeglasses or something.  Spit on a cloth and wipe off the smudge.  Ugh, though, spit.  That’s enough about that.

When a politician’s photo pops up, it looks especially bland compared with the stage makeup the broadcasters wear.

Hey, just saw perfect and understated makeup on someone. She was wearing eye-punching fuchsia, though.  Which clashes with the red and blue banners surrounding her on all sides of the screen.  Her face is all business and the fuchsia is glowing in the dark.

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I’m looking at a handsome man running for Governor somewhere giving a speech and I’m afraid to turn the sound on for fear he speaks with a cringy voice and is spouting cr*p.  He looks so earnest and intelligent.  Leaving the sound off protects me from being disillusioned.

Well, darn, according to the banner on the screen, he’s conceding the race, bummer.  Based on a projection, right now the votes stand at 50% to 49%.  Seems early to concede, don’t you think?  Well, he’s young, maybe he’ll run next time.

The races seem so close, some of them are only a few thousand votes apart.  When one person receives 51% and another person gets 49% of the vote shouldn’t they run again?  Or win by a greater percentage?  Or stop behaving like they won by a landslide, at the very least.  How about they job share?

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One of the people on the stage is waving a placard and it looks very awkward to hold.  No stick to hang onto.  Aren’t they getting a cramp?  How long can they hold the sign at that angle?   There are a couple kids on the stage and they look entirely bored out of their minds.  As bored as I would be if I was listening to the broadcast and not just watching it.

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Hey, a talking head wearing a bantam yellow necktie with what looks like balloon animal doggies on it.  And onscreen now there’s a lovely dark green suit and plaid tie…that’s a win for fashion!   TWO wins!  No, THREE wins if you count the purple suit from earlier.

The purple tie with meh white diagonal stripes, disappointing effort, get off the stage.

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Rick just looked at the TV screen and said ‘what’s with all the fake blondes in Texas?”

If I was a guy broadcaster I would want to wear killer suits.  I’d start off trying to have a new one for every news show, but I wouldn’t be able to keep that going for long, I admit.  Easier to have a different tie – just go to the Men’s Wearhouse and you’ll see I could have a new tie for every day of the year!

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Why don’t these guys wear spiffy suits?  Maybe the ones they’ve got on are expensive, I dunno, but they have no spark.

Older women need to remember their eyebrows, they spend so much time on the cheekbones and forget to fill in the eyebrows.  Under the lights the eyebrows practically disappear.

 

 

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I wish my brows were a teensy bit higher.  More space between the eye and the brow, I also wish I could raise 1 eyebrow.  So much skepticism relayed in 1 raised eyebrow!  And my eyebrows have always been thin towards the ends, so I fill them in a little with a pencil – EYEbrow pencil, silly!

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I think 25% of the Rock’s career is based on that eyebrow.

New guy on the screen is trying to have Justin Bieber hair, he’s not pulling it off very well.

 

The yellow tie – I think it’s a deer wearing a red sweater hugging some other animal wearing a blue sweater!  That’s a cute tie for an evening of red vs blue.  Or maybe the deer is choking the other…?  His jacket is unbuttoned, not very flattering.  More comfortable, points for that, I suppose, since its probably gonna be a long night for him.  His eyebrows need buffing, too.

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A screaming funny (but profane) show.

Ooh, this older (actually ancient, I think) political winner has a practically PERFECT make-up job, and her eyebrows are fantastic!  AND they moved up AND down, so no botox!   I simply MUST ask her who did her face!

Oops, back to a talking head with a makeup job that is seriously caked on, fake eyelashes, rouge, lip liner).  And, just so no attribute is left behind, a low-cut almost off the shoulder dress plus the requisite tiny gold cross.

Ack!  The Kelly green dress just put on big bright teal blue glasses!  That was a bold fashion move.  Maybe she likes the San Jose Sharks hockey team.  But with the long chunky gold necklace, well, that’s a teensy bit over the top.  I vote for a necklace that could have brought dress and eyeglasses together.  I’m pretty sure I have just the necklace for the job, too.  But no one asked me.

Turns out broadcasters have saved the spiffy suits for later in the evening!  These new guys that just showed up have a superb fashion-sense, these suits quietly outshine the bright reds and bold greens and boring blues.  Literally, they have a sheen to them – they are stylin’.

I love this photo from Franco Masoma’s website, look at those colors!  I’d have suits made by THIS guy any day!

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I don’t know how Joan & Melissa Rivers had the strength to keep up their fashion commentary at those award shows. I’m exhausted, its only been a couple hours and I didn’t have to wear fancy shoes or hold a microphone!

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Wearing this is an Olympic sport

 

Btw, if any candidates for future elections are reading this and considering plastic surgery to be more photogenic?  Get dimples, I’ll vote for dimples every time.

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Bad guy?  Just get dimples…

This is MyBetterHouse, coming to you practically live on Election Night from a couch in an Airbnb.  Ha 😉

Afterthought!  Let’s have a MST3000-style show on election night!  Remember that for next time, k?  Have your people call my people…

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The value of making lists

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I don’t like making lists…they defeat me.  The list is endless, just the idea of making a list makes my tummy hurt.  Except, I CAN add something to a grocery list once in awhile.  Even though I despise going to the market, the list isn’t tied to the store in my brain.

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I have a lot to do and instead of doing any of them, I’m trying to write my daily entry in the NaNoWriMo.  To be fair, I DID accomplish some chores today…and a nap…

I went to the grocery yesterday so I don’t have that on my list.  But dammit, it will pop up again next week!  Aargh.

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No matter what, the grocery is always on the list…I can’t walk away from it.

My list:

…do I number the items?  That will make it worse, won’t it?  To see the actual number of them to be done?

…maybe a dash, instead?  OK, just a dash…(which turned into a dot when I posted this)

  • Repot the tiny kumquat tree Lowe’s gave to us for $5 cuz it looked so pathetic.
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I remember eating kumquats at a friend’s house when I was a kid…but it had a big seed in it and these don’t so, what was it if not a kumquat?

  • (re)start to learn to play the guitar (there is a back-story, but we’ll just leave it right here)
  • Clear off the pool table – I actually worked on this today, but its not cleared yet. It’s a perfect landing point for, um, lots of stuff.
  • Hang pictures, now that we downsized our house we have twice the pictures as before PLUS there were many in storage. So, also decide which to give away.
  • Learn to speak another language – Italian? Spanish?  Which?  Both?
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Clean the bathrooms
  • Change the sheets on our bed. Oh, wait, I did THIS yesterday, too!  Yay for me!
  • Clear off the island – its another perfect landing point for, um, lots of stuff.
  • Fix the waistband on my navy skirt that I’ve had so long the elastic no longer is.
  • Organize the hall closet – have I mentioned that we downsized? I have?  Well, that means DOUBLE the number of sheets, towels, and so forth and so on.
  • Where are the board games going? How did we accumulate 15 decks of cards?
  • Where are all my shoes going? I had a HUGE closet and now, not so much.
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OK, I don’t have THIS many.

  • And purses? I’m a bit of a hoarder, is that it?
  • Read a magazine OR admit I will never catch up and toss (some) of them – which is what Rick would rather I did.
  • Do SOMETHING really fanTAStic with the front porch. Too many random plants, random furniture, random plant stands, random = ugh
  • Oh, and while I’m at it, de-web the front porch as part of that porch fantastic-ness
  • Sigh, the middle bedroom, which we call the Bird Room, cuz of all the bird-related things in it. The middle bedroom is packed with what needs sorting, organizing, gifting, storing, surreptitiously put in the kids’ car trunks when they leave at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and suchlike.
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Batik of a toucan (plus another one awaiting repair) is in the Bird Room

  • Shorten a couple slips
  • Mending
  • Will I ever make that Christmas wreath out of the hoop and fake (I mean faux) evergreen? There is hope for this item as I DID make a wreath for my mom LAST year!   I have a glue gun and I know how to use it!

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  • Catch up on all the TV shows I’ve recorded and not watched – doing this means I need to get on my exercycle and kill 2 birds with 1 stone, which leads me to this next item…
  • Buy wireless sport headphones since mine have died
  • Get moving on Able Grable, a duo my friend, Pam, and I are working on (Pam, I’m calling you out!)
  • Do that colon testing thing for Kaiser (TMI?)
  • Finish organizing at our new office, we’re so CLOSE to being done.
  • Go to the Post Office
  • Pack the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox
  • Learn something about the sound board at church (print out the manual). One of the problems here is that I’m helping with sound pickin’ early on a Sunday morning – meaning my brain is NOT ready for prime time.
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Our sound guy, Tom, is so patient with me, bless his heart!

  • De-tangle the spaghetti of necklaces that got that way when we moved
  • Call Nestle Refresh (Arrowhead Water changed their name…to Nestle Refresh, which is a stupid name) and have them come get all the empty water jugs. I think we have 5 of them and they take up a LOT of space.

That’s enough for now, don’t you think?  I have more items but, jeepers, I’m calling it quits 😉

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Road Trip With My Sister!

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I can’t recall a time my sister and I ever went on a road trip together, just the two of us.  When our son, Austin, moved to Visalia last year, we decided to schedule a visit but hadn’t gotten around to it until recently.

He’s not far from Sequoia National Park and we thought we’d do a little day hike there, too.  We try to hike together once a month.  It doesn’t happen, but we try…and when we do hike we hardly ever get lost.  And by ‘hardly ever’ I mean all the time.

Because Rick and I were downsizing our office and also moving out of our upstairs apartment, we also had a 12’ trailer of stuff for him.  Rick has a contractor-type pickup, bare bones (with a nice stereo, natch), so, we took Susan and Daryl’s really super-duper crew cab luxury pickup truck, instead.

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Traffic was yucky until we got over Pacheco and then it smoothed out.  I was travelling pretty much at the 55mph required for trailers.  On the way we stop at Sonic’s for their limeade-spritzer-slushy drink…man, does that hit the spot.  That limeade drink is perfect for a hot day.

We arrive at Austin’s around, oh, 8’ish maybe, yeah 5 hours for a 3 hr trip (although its possible we stopped for another limeade somewhere along the way) and pull up in front.  Dinner is a chicken/salsa crockpot dish and smells so good, but first we unload the trailer while we have some daylight left.

Its hot in Visalia, did you know that?  Hot!  Like over 100 during the day.  Fortunately, Austin has ceiling fans in the living room and bedrooms, so its comfortable inside.

The next day we head off to a farmer’s market, then to breakfast.  Back at the house we pack our stuff for the hike.  Austin looks up the directions via the Park’s website.  Marble Falls is a ‘moderate’ hike of 3.7 miles to a waterfall.  Austin’s done this hike with friends before.  The map is loaded on his phone and off we go.

We turn left onto N Fork Drive and are going past rural homes and churches, markets and hotels.  It’s a nice little vacation area, apparently.  We suspected nothing, at this point.

We’re following a couple of other cars.  Road gets rougher and rougher and narrower.  Austin and I check the map, yep, its still the right direction.

The road makes a sharp turn and to the right are a bunch of cows, just chillin’ in the shade.  OK, hi cows.

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We keep driving and the potholes are threatening to take out the tires.

The Charger in front of us stops and motions us around.  We drive a little further and there’s a sign that says ‘pavement ends’.  Ummm, what?!?

We naively continue our drive.

Austin checks the map, I check the map, I think we’ve taken a wrong turn!  I could swear the road is a dead end.  I think Google’s directions are telling us to turn around.  Yes, it IS telling us to turn around.   NOW its telling us to turn around?!?

We turn around and head back the way we came, wondering how we could have possibly missed the turn-off.

Narrow road, we come upon another car going in the opposite direction…where are you going, we ask.  They say Marblehead Falls.  We say turn around and follow us, which they do.  Another car going the wrong way, they turn around and follow us.

We are peering at the Google map, watching our little fly pointer-thingy get closer and closer to, wait, the COWS…we were supposed to turn at the COWS!?!

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That is NOT a road.  It’s a dry stream bed. You can call it Shepherd’s Saddle Road all you want, but its still a ditch filled with boulders.  You’d need a rock-crawler to drive that road.

NOT possible in a Dodge Dart.  Fine, back to 198 we go.  Unbelievable.  As least we weren’t the only car Google pranked.

FINALLY, finally, we are at Marblehead Falls.  Austin nudges a rock with his car trying to get into a parking ‘space’ and knocks off some small protective cover under the engine.  There’s no oil leaking, so that’s good news, right?

It is HOT.  Did I mention that before?  HOT, like 106 degrees hot!  But, hey, it’s a moderate hike with a waterfall at the end, so refreshing. We’ve done 9 miles on a hot day.  We’ll be fine…so we hit the trail.

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Or should I say the trail hit us.  Not much shade.  Sequoia National Park and not a Sequoia in sight. Without my visor and sunglasses, I’d be dying.  Oh, I spoke too soon.  I am dying.  106 degrees.

People are coming in the other direction and saying ‘you’re almost there’.

Moderate hike.  106 degrees.

We’ve gone about 3.2 miles.  Almost there, they say, almost there.  Liars, all.

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Our goal

My legs are having no trouble with the hike.  Knees are good.  Heart is a little elevated but I’m not panting.  Yet I have to stop and take a break like every 20 steps.  We sit down when there are shady rocks.  This is so weird.  We drink water, eat grapes.  But we don’t feel better for long before we have to stop again.

Its as if Austin and we are in alternate universes.  He must be hiking a completely different trail than we are, even though he’s right in front of us.  He is like Tigger, he doesn’t even look like he’s sweating in his cargo pants and hiking boots, yet Susan and I have become people we don’t even know, slogging underwater against a current.

We stop for a rest and snack in a little shaded area with a stream that runs through the path.  We stop because the hill in front of us is steep and daunting.

I look at the stream and remember I packed an extra t-shirt in my backpack.  I get it out and put it in the cool water and give it to Susan.  That turned out to be a lifesaver!  We took turns putting the t-shirt around our necks and it really cooled us all down.

I decided to lay out on a rock in the shade with my feet up.  I always carry a pareo and spread it out.  We sent Austin up ahead to scout how ‘not far’ the falls really are.  During the (too long) time it took Austin to get back to us Susan says, I hate to say this but we’ll have to ‘call’ the hike.  It’s not safe for us to continue.  I completely agree.  I love her for admitting that…I wanted to, too, but didn’t want to be the spoilsport (which was dumb of me).

So that’s it, we’re done.  We won’t be able to finish.  We are this close to heat stroke, it’s too hot and we are too tired and what were we thinking?  Now do what anyone would do in our place, we take a nap.

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Which was exactly what we needed.  Afterwards was cooler, the sun was on the other side of the hill so there was a lot of shade AND it was mostly downhill!  Ah, yes, this is what a hike should be.

We tell Austin he isn’t allowed to say anything about this hike except ‘I’m impressed my mom and aunt attempted the hike in that heat’.  He is such a trouper, so patient.  He’s been in Visalia for a year and he’s obviously acclimated to the oppressive heat.  Even now, a couple months later, I’m kind of amazed how patient that kid is.  We were completely out of our element in the heat and he never treated us like the idiots we were.

The trip down takes hardly any time at all.  We’re back in the car pulling out of the parking space and there’s a strange dragging sound as we begin driving.  The plastic cover that’s part of the undercarriage has dislodged and torn – maybe when we hit that rock trying to park.  We need something to cut it away.  Perhaps a Park Ranger has large pruning shears?  Maybe a sword?

We are contemplating the problem (no cell service, either) when guy comes over from a campsite.  I’m a former car mechanic, he says, helpfully.  Wow.  He tells us to drive over and park in front of his car. He and Austin jack the car up on one side and break off the snaps of undercarriage cover, jack the car up on the other side and repeat.

Our hero!  His wife tells us that now her hubby will be happy for the rest of the weekend because he got to work on a car!   What a sweetheart for helping us.

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The undercarriage cover

Austin pops the broken cover in the trunk and we are FINALLY on our uneventful way home.   3 adventures in one day.

Moral of the story:  Keep your sense of humor, know your limits and believe in the kindness of strangers 😉

 

I have one job…

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Last weekend we got the area ready for the drywall people.

The insulation is in and the electrical wiring is updated/moved/augmented – or rather, the other way around!  Can’t do electrical stuff very easily if the insulation is in the way.

I am a perfect helper!  I stand and wait for Rick to say ‘hand me those pliers, blue tape, wrench, power stapler’!  I say:

“I have one job on this lousy ship….” GalaxyQuest is one of my fave movies!!

I am also at the ready to get this bundle un-caught from the many places it finds to get trapped:

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The cord is just the right length to get snagged on everything within reach.

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Stapling insulation into place

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I’m holding a rod that is holding the insulation in place for Rick to staple it

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This is a $30 valve for the water supply to the fridge ice-maker.  Rick tried valiantly to save $30 by doing something else but ended up doing this anyway.  Goof…

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Cooking chicken teriyaki meatballs on the George Foreman Grill!   These are the leftovers…

Tomorrow the drywall’ers will begin their work, which will taken about 5 days, then the cabinets can be installed!  Oh, pooh, and I haven’t even picked the counter tops yet!!

On a side note:  We had a huge swarm of bees at work last week!  I walked into our back entry and saw a lot of bees bouncing against the windows.  I was, like, what the heck?!?  I looked outside and saw this monstrous cloud of them all circling around a tree and also meandering around everywhere else.  They came in through the open back door and an office window (its an old crank window that opens outward and doesn’t have a screen, if you really want to know).  I was going around catching them in a paper cup and releasing them back into the wild.   They’re bees, not spiders which deserve to be swooped up into a kleenex and flushed down the potty until they are dead……but I digress…

One of our clients is a beekeeper.  He called some of his family to come take the hive.  Its sitting on top of our compost bin waiting for the queen to gather her worker bees to their new home, then the whole kit n kaboodle will be taken to their new ‘forever home’.  awwww…

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Such good little drones – following their queen wherever she goes.

A change of plans

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I was supposed to go somewhere this morning.

But that would have required:

  1. Getting out of bed
  2. Taking a shower and
  3. Washing my hair
  4. Getting dressed
  5. And looking nice
  6. Getting in the car, driving
  7. Talking to people

Plus, we had a dead banana so Rick was making banana pancakes!

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Oh, these look good, don’t they?  They aren’t the pancakes we had this morning.

The photo above comes from Once Upon A Chef  whose blog I follow.

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I’m being mean…only 1 of Rick’s pancakes looked this sad

So, I didn’t go anywhere.  I’m sorry, Lisa (notreallythatsorry)

😉

 

 

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