Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sparkle 'n The Mystery of the Mysterious Elevator

1) This elevator goes to EU--Europe! I go there every morning to get croissants.
2) Here's the thing: Where are Floors 1 & 2? Here's the other thing: I am scared to ask what they did with Floors 1 & 2.
3) YES, medical professionals, YES. PLEASE remember to REMOVE your medical gloves before touching these buttons. Blecch! Now I have the heebie-jeebies thinking that the medical professionals might forget to remove their gloves after doing who knows what on the invisible Floors 1 & 2.

Cancer Team (doctor, nurse, junior doctor): Sparkle, do you have any questions this week?
Sparkle: Yes. I have a question. What did you do with Floors 1 and 2?
Cancer Team: Not sure why the elevator doesn't go to those floors. Not sure why they did that. You can't get there from here, etc.
Sparkle: So it's not that those are casino floors and I can't go?
Cancer Team: No. Any other questions?

It did not get the big laugh I was hoping for.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

That darn johnny

I'm a little cancery right now--nothing major--and I think I'll be posting again from time to time, so drop on by if you get a chance. Video footage of godzilla riding the handlebars of my bicycle will be up in the next post (I'm not sure if that qualifies as a coming attraction or a warning).

I'm getting treated with radiation. Here is a current photo of me. As you will note, there have been minimal side effects and my new super power is being able to spew fire while looking like a scary baby (I was hoping for x-ray vision or flight abilities, but whatever):

At the moment, I'm having some serious problems with the darn johnny I wear every morning. Either I'm naked at the wrong time. Or, I'm fully clothed at the wrong time. Or, I'm stripping at the wrong time. I'm not sure why I keep getting it wrong. All I know is this johnny stuff is tricky. Plus: I'm the only one in the waiting room who's ever wearing one. Maybe everyone else has cancery clothes that are being zapped? If so, what super powers will their clothes get?

1) I'm on time for my treatment, I park in my special close parking spot (yeah you should be jealous--I get a special close parking spot), I smoothly greet staff, I scan my id card, I swiftly & efficiently change into my johnny & robe, zip zoom I'm in the room, zip zoom I'm up on the table. The technicians hover. I pull down my johnny. I am still wearing my shiny red bra. I forgot to take it off. (Note: It's not supposed to be on.) The technicians are embarrassed! Why? They have a whole computer full of photos of me without it. But, they are very embarrassed. "Should I turn away while you take it off?" one technician asks. "Heck, no!" I cry, whipping it off & tossing it to one side. (Suddenly, however, I feel like I should charge them money...possibly have music?)

2) I leave my bra off--at home. If I'm not wearing it, I cannot forget that I'm wearing it. Right? Theoretically, it's a fine strategy. I'm seein' a doctor & nurse after my treatment. There I am sitting in my street clothes casually chatting about side effects when suddenly they ask..."Can we take a look?" One of them mutters "It's easier if you keep the johnny on..." "Well, can I just flip my shirt up?" I ask, worrying that I'll need to go back, get the johnny, put it on, tie it up, and come back and untie and pull down the johnny. "SURE!" they cry, beaming. Again...such is their supportive enthusiasm that I feel like I should charge them. (More for the side they're the most interested in and I'll give them a freebie for the other one? That seems fair.)

3) I've got it all under control. Troublemaking red bra is at home. Wore the johnny at all the right times. Untied the johnny in all the right spots. Perfect. I got it. I finally got it. I stride into the changing room. Whip off the johnny & robe. Toss them into the Soiled Laundry with a very cool flourish. A FLOURISH! Realize I left my clothes in a locker outside. Sigh. Pick up another darn johnny. Go back for clothes.

Am thinking I should just come dressed in a johnny with a smart jacket over it & coordinating shoes/gloves/hat/purse.

Here are some way cool pictures that I stole from other bloggers--one from Molly Lewis and two from a guy who is stuck with a comb and the fourth from I'm not sure?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuff You Do Not Expect to Find During A Nice Walk in the Woods (aka WTF?)

Note: Sudden drop of camera in second video is not due to attack by fiend but due to sudden fierce itching of elbow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

By jove, it's a diner!

Briefing: This is a diner called Snoopy's. There is almost always a "Help Wanted" sign in the window. They specialize in small jukeboxes and even smaller "Hot Weiners," which I contend are actually "Hot Wieners." But, hey, Snoopy's the specialist--not me. There is a lifetime supply of Sweet 'n Low behind the counter, so if you run short you know where to go. End o' Briefing!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yeah! It's a diner!

Briefing: This is a diner owned by a guy named Vern. Vern's diner has a lighthouse on top of it. On the menu: The Vern Omelette, with four kinds of meat and a bunch of other stuff. Note: You can join a contest to name Vern's plane. End o' Briefing!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Salute to Old Stuff!

I thought my yard sale days were long behind me because how many mildewy-smelling Popular Mechanics does one gal need? (Answer: A lot. Too many. Possibly enough at this point in time. But, maybe not. Maybe if I find some that are NOT mildewy-smelling at all, and...)

I was wrong. These days, I'm a careful sniffer of goods* and I do not buy anything that smells mildewy (see above), but this yard sale thing is ON.

What This Does Not Mean: I promise that I will not be driving that car creeping along in front of you and lurching suddenly over when I see a yard sale sign and then darting back IN ahead of you. I promise.

What This Means: I salute your old stuff, and there's a chance I'll buy your old stuff--well, so long as it's not in a pawn shop after it has been stolen from your house.

My Caveat: Your old stuff must be like the stuff I bought at last weekend's yard sale. And, what is that stuff? Why I thought you would never ask. Here it is! (Perhaps best characterized as old, odd, and random--surely you have some stuff that meets those stiff criteria? If so, have a yard sale and I'm there.)

THE AERODYNAMIC WOODEN BEE (its eye is GOOGLY!)CLOSE-UP OF GOOGLY, SLIGHTLY BALEFUL, BEE EYETHE TINGLER! (a fine William Castle film starring Vincent Price...in movie theaters, Castle showed this with "Percepto"--the seats were wired to give people an electric shock)
THE SHOE STORE FOOT MEASURING DEVICE!CHINESE CHECKERS! (It has great pictures and says "CHING-KA-CHEK," which I really can't imagine is Chinese for "Chinese Checkers")
THE METAL CARDINAL WREATH (Sharp-edged, yet appealing)
This book just cracks me up--and is a tad scary at the same time. Here are all of the different types of eyebrows; the book tells you what they all "mean" about a person's character. (YIKES)Here's a little excerpt:
"Let us suppose you are examining a small man. From the rules in Chapter III you will know that most small men are very quick in both their thinking and their actions. And from your other observations you may feel sure that he is not an exception to that rule. So you tell him that he is impulsive, impetuous, and excitable. Does he start slightly or seem a little surprised? If he does, you have the green light. You can go ahead from there, elaborating and adding several closely related characteristics...Act as if he were an open book to you in which absolutely nothing is concealed."

Sparkle sez: If I'm shopping in the supermarket, see a small man, sidle up and examine him, and fill him in about himself, I imagine there is a high probability that he will "start slightly or seem a little surprised." In fact, I imagine this will be true of the "Jolly Fat Man" (Chapter II), as well as the "Shifty-Eyed Fellow" (Chapter IV). Don'tcha think?

*I do not want to read what this book has to say about the character of people who go around sniffing goods.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday's Heavyweight Match: Fatty vs. Chubby's!

In a tense stand-off between two culinary giants today, Fatty McGee's of Providence, Rhode Island is the heavyweight champion.

From 7:00-9:00 a.m. today, Fatty's offered a COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST BUFFET with the purchase of a cup of coffee. Fatty's will go on to feature a "block-party style" celebration of the St. Patrick's Day holiday with corned beef and cabbage.
In stark contrast, Chubby's Bar & Grill of North Providence, Rhode Island (no photo available) is providing no free food with coffee and no "block-party style" event. In Chubby's defense, "corned beef sandwiches and dinners," as well as Lenten specials, will be for sale.

Pudge's Steaks & Hoagies in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania was unavailable for comment at the time this story was filed.
Today's Semi-Related Video: A Version of "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" Featuring Theremin

The Original

Friday, March 12, 2010

FTD Phones It In (aka I am Old and Cranky)

I'm online looking for flowers to send to my aunt*--it's her eightieth birthday tomorrow--and I stumble across this:This is the Sweets in Bloom® Ultimate Happy Birthday Snack Attack Basket.

Here's how the pricing breaks down:
--Sweets in Bloom® Happy Birthday Snack Attack Basket: $34.99--GOOD (I think "good" means the snacks are NOT stale, yet there are not that many of them and the basket is mostly filled with green tissue paper.)
--Sweets in Bloom® Deluxe Happy Birthday Snack Attack Basket: $44.99--BETTER (I think "better" means that there are significantly more Combos to cheesy your hunger away and you pay $5 more for the word "Deluxe." But, it also might simply mean a bigger basket and more green tissue paper.)
--Sweets in Bloom® Ultimate Happy Birthday Snack Attack Basket: $54.99--BEST (Okay. Surely FTD does not throw the word "Ultimate" around indiscriminately? I'm guessing there must be pirate gold underneath the extra large amount of green tissue paper in the bottom of the extra large basket.)

This does not include shipping and handling.

1) No, I will not be sending this item to my aunt--I believe her personal weapons in the war against snack attacks are iced tea and little sugar-free waffle sandwich cookies (they come in pink, tan, and white).
2) I figure my aunt and I aren't in FTD's demographic for this item--it's a "dorm room and den" kind of gift. But, I have to admit that I keep staring at it (and I need to stop now and close the deal on the flowers) and thinking, "Couldn't I slap together that Ultimate version in one trip to Costco for $5.00?" and "Snack attack? More like heart attack. Look at all that salt and sugar!" which is yet another sign that I'm not in the demographic for this item.
3) Still, there's something about this that bugs me. And FTD's disclaimer, "All items featured on this Web site represent the types of products FTD.COM offers and may vary depending upon availability in certain regions" does nothing to smooth my feathers. Which regional delicacy might they leave out--the M&Ms or the Nutter Butters?
4) And, I keep thinking about all of those ripped open Snack Attack wrappers and all of that scrunched-up tissue paper (in the Ultimate version, this might be as much as 8 lbs. of tissue paper and 25 Snack Attack wrappers) fluttering around landfills just off the main highway like debauched butterflies. (Why like debauched butterflies? I have no idea.)

To sum up: I am Old and Cranky.**

*Her larger gift is 80 books, which I imagine she'll tear right through. But, I don't have a catchy name for it.
**Yet not quite Old and Cranky enough NOT to wish you a wonderful weekend. Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


There's a big scandal afoot! All of these cops have been arrested and are on "desk duty" (which sounds kinda comfy and relaxing--is this a reward or a punishment? Are they denied cheese danish privileges? Are they included in the lunch run? "Okay, what do you want for lunch, Stan?" "Ham on rye and a..." "No, Stan, you can have gravel or you can have bark chips--which?") for being involved with a drug ring.*
The local news media has dubbed this entirely shocking turn of events...wait for it, wait for it...

OPERATION DECEPTION (but there's no ominous theme song, as yet--they might be working on it)

I think two things about this.
Thing 1: I now want to become a criminal because I can outrun these guys.
Let me be clear: I can outrun very few people and if I laughingly pretend to "lose a foot race" to a 2-year-old, I am lying. I am losing a foot race to a 2-year-old. I am built somewhat along the lines of a dachsund--without the tail and cuteness. But, it fills me with pride to know that I can outrun these guys. Later today, I go out to buy my bandit mask and the special soft-soled shoes you need to creep around on your tiptoes. G'bless, boys. You have given me a new career.

Thing 2:
What kind of half-hindquartered name is this for a sizzing hot scandal? C'mon. You can do better. I can do better. Here goes.
"Operation Snow Blows!" (this is to set an example for the DARE kids)
"Operation Whaddya Mean 'Deception'? Haven't You Ever Seen A Crooked Cop Movie?" 
"Operation Expected" (okay, perhaps this is a bit cynical)

*Are drug-selling cabals always rings? Why circular? Aren't drug operations more complex than that? Wouldn't a Drug Dodecahedron be more accurate? Sheesh. It's always up to me to point these things out.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Sister Teaches the Basic Thrill of Golf!

My sister does not use blogger, facebook, etc. She uses e-mail for work. But, she does not have a cell phone. She does not text. Indeed, she and I share a primitive fear of texting. Perhaps rightfully so. Here's an e-mail she forwarded to me that a lady sent to her from her phone (it's nothing bad...just kinda funny):

-----Original Message-----

From: Lady who mistakenly e-mailed my sister from her phone
Sent: Some Day, Some Month, Some Year 2:12 PM (I do not know why I am making the date anonymous and keeping the specific time--just am)

To: My Sister
Subject: Thank you

Again it was great lesson with you today. You taught me basic thrill of golf. Now it is up to me to practice and continuously produce what I've learned. I cannot wait to practice when the clubs are ready next week. In the meantime, have safe journey and have a wonderful season in Palm Beach. I am very grateful to you that now I have new excitement in my life. Thank you so much and warmest regards,

I cannot explain why I enjoy this message so much. "...basic thrill of golf"? Perhaps. But, I also like the concept of "...continuously producing what I've learned..." We could all stand to do a little more of that.

Now, can someone please explain who the old lady with the party hat is that someone e-mailed to MY phone?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Auntpocalypse Then

Note: Today's Tuesday's Tune is "So It Goes" by Nick Lowe! And now...The Auntpocalypse

My aunts brought gossip that I wasn’t allowed to hear and freaky candy I didn’t want to eat. Brown horehound drops tasted like dirty beets dipped in root beer. Powdery orange marshmallow circus peanuts fought your mouth with a sort of banana-y chemical warfare. With this non-candy, they packed non-presents, such as scratchy knitted elf costumes clearly designed to make adults laugh at small children. Once I could have sworn I heard my mother mutter, “Am I wrong? Does she look like a little raisin in that?” This was all very rough. Yet, it was my aunts’ lipstick that really had me on the run. I had a severe lipstick phobia, and it got wildly worse during the summer visiting season, when the six riders of the auntpocalypse came surging toward me in a relentless fleet of Fords—their tooting, waving numbers swelling to 600 in my nightmares. Shrouded in a hazy funk of tobacco smoke, Maybelline face powder, and Windsong perfume, they all, to an aunt, clamored to kiss me. What to do? What to do? HIDE!

I always chose the same small bush, and my legs stuck out from beneath it quite visibly—or so my sister told me later on. So, each summer, all of these aunt mouths, all Revloned up in the whole red and purple sector of the Crayola Box—mulberry, plum, red orange, violet red, red violet—swarmed down upon me. Only Auntie Hazel—the former saw player in an all-girl Hawaiian band—didn’t wear lipstick because she was too busy watching the Red Sox, smoking, and swearing, not necessarily in that order. So, I wasn't that worried about Auntie Hazel during the on-arrival smooch fest, when all of the aunts attempted to deposit their mouths all over my face, even as I perfected my aunt-B-Gone move, one arm flying dramatically in front of my face as if to ward off a blow. As I cowered and sought out the company of sparsely-branched shrubs, my sister made polite conversation and passed nimbly through the throng, processing them quickly and with great diplomacy, “Ah, you’re looking well, auntie. Yes. To be sure. School. It is fine. And, my recorder skills? Here, let me play you ‘Merrily, We Roll Along.’” She got it all over with a honed, five-minute meet and greet, a pro forma recorder tootle or two, and then she oozed smoothly, chameleon-like, into the background.

In contrast, by ducking and feinting and going to ground, I managed to prolong the agony of the auntslaught, and I became prey that had to be stalked through the whole visit. “Where is she?” “Oh, she’s shy. She’s hiding.” “What? Why, that’s silly! Where’s my girly girl? Girly girl? Girly girl? Why, you’re going to hurt my feelings, honey! Come out, auntie has a kiss for you!” Off I scooted, and with each and every aunt-ditching maneuver, I kicked up the suspense another notch or two. The air went electric with the thrill of the hunt. “Do you think she went down into the basement? Let’s see!” While I spooked around wild-eyed, my sister kicked back at the kitchen table, sipping an Orange Crush with a flexi-straw and cutting out paper dolls. Occasionally, for sport, she’d misdirect the posse as I crouched behind the furnace, sooty-faced and sure I was invisible.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bob and Precious

So, yesterday Lily and I went out wilding. We took a nice, long Junior Explorers' Club walk in the woods near a ruin of a factory and whatnot and there were amazing smells--decomposing leaves, moss getting mossier by the moment, nefarious/scurrilous squirrel poop, all the best stuff. Lily was power-sniffing, I was strolling, all was good. Then, in the distance, I could see the unmistakably menacing forms of The Elderly Man With the Cane and his Giant Dog Who Is Unleashed And Runs Two Miles Ahead of The Elderly Man.

"Menacing? Why menacing?" you might ask. "Are you worried the Giant Dog will savage Lily?"

No. On the contrary, I am worried that Lily might savage the Giant Dog.

I have learned something interesting about Lily in the last several weeks. She loves people INSTANTLY. The second she sees you, she will prostrate herself at your feet, lean her head back lovingly against your legs, and melt. Yet, it takes her several weeks to begin to warm up to another dog. I'm pretty sure that this is due to her being beaten up by other dogs when she was a sick lil' street dog in Mexico. My hunch is she feels like she has to get off to a strong place in the poochy hierarchy before another one jumps her.

Unfortunately, my poor friend's little dog Elvis was shocked by her latina fury upon their first encounters. The second she sees another dog--such as the hapless Elvis--she makes a complicated series of noises composed of yearning, wariness, concern, and what I like to call "a wild surmise." It sounds like "mmm mmm MMM? MMM! mmm errrrrrrrrr." The girl mutters pensively. She kinda seems like she wants to play, she kinda seems like she wants to flee, she kinda seems like she wants to hide behind me, and she kinda seems like she wants to jump the dog in a dark alley with some of her chicas as back-up.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. It was a sad, perplexing time with Elvis and Lily at first. Happily, they're pals now. But, it took a couple of scary weeks....We'll see what happens with ol' Bob and Precious.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Zolo!

Aunt: "So, Rita Mae was wondering why your sister's card says "Happy Zolo!"

Sparkle: "Tell Auntie Rita that it says 'Happy 2010!'"

Aunt: "That's what I told her, but she doesn't believe me."

Sparkle: "Did she think it was some weird new city folk holiday?"

Aunt: "Probably. With Rita Mae, you never know."