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Archive for the ‘Vanity’ Category

The Vanity Of Writing

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-7-2009

Last week, James gave me back my random image plugin. That’s that thing on the right side of the page.

I have missed many hours of sleep going over the old posts.

Some I missed very much, where is that sucker ? And so, I have a new category that is simply called *vanity*.

And here is the first one that I spent too much time looking for :



Posted by Mummy Dearest on Mar-9-2006

Although Mr. Vous kept sniffing and telling me how old my computer was, as of ( oh, when did he first darken our doorstep ?) a few days ago, I gave him one big old smile and said that I loved my computer : it did exactly what I wanted it to do.

Plus I can spot a sales pitch from 200 paces. Maybe even 2000, being joined at the hip- as I am- to the world’s greatest salesman.

Or perhaps I have changed so many diapers that I can sniff the most minute amount of shit, rather like a beagle, or a bloodhound ( coon dog ?).

Now, after his expert advice, I spend a lot of time punching in ipconfig/release and ipconfig/renew on the children’s computers. But they have whiz bang connections. When they have the correct IP.


Which- by the way, Freek- is spelled correctly. I know this because I opened my very tattered dictionary and looked it up. But you see, in the end, cleverness is not based upon correct spelling, it is being able to refer to Torquemada in a casual manner, in the assumption that all shall follow the reference.

And I, the proud owner of a computer which allows me to do everything I want to do ?

I’m lucky when I don’t hit a time-out.


Whew !!

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-8-2005

Jeannine took the baton, she answered the Meme
Karen, forgive me. Believe me, I am musically challenged.

Jo does music very well indeed.

I rather shine on depressing Russians and 19th century french novelists.

Although I can do Early Church Fathers in a pinch.

That little pink heart over on the left proves that.

Should they ever come into fashion once again.

No Problem

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-24-2005

A few weeks ago, when a VIP client ( you know, the one that sponsors the team that shall not be named) asked The Father if it would be possible to have a small, secure website put up, so that employees could easily review work wear options, The Father- being such an agreeable chap- said sure, no problem.

He came home and told me what they wanted and I said sure, no problem. It’s a pretty simple thing and simple is my middle name. And as a last by- the- way, he told me that my name would be attached to this site. I don’t know how, I only know that it has never been attached to anything else that I’ve done for them, so now why ?

A poor designer at the best of times, this news did not inspire me as it might have others. It has been more of an oh shit thing. Until today. For some reason, when I opened up my software this morning, I knew exactly what I wanted. And – for a change- everything went smoothly, graphics, layers, positioning, works in IE and Mozilla. The dummy ( or whatever you call a working draft) is being well received- so far.

And no, I won’t be flashing it around here, for I never design anything flashy. It is just a clean, simple site which does what it supposed to do.

But I am pleased, for designing is not my strongest point.

Wasted Days And…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-11-2005

Today, I spent about 5 hours on a Fashion Shoot.

No, that’s not really true. Today I spent too much time snapping pics of t-shirts.

And that is not really true either : the truth lies somewhere in between.

The Company is now supplying work wear to a branch of The- Company- Who’s- Name- Shall- Not- Be- Mentioned. The- Company- Who’s- Name- Shall- Not- Be- Mentioned asked if it would be possible to have a simple site put on- line, so that employees could look at the array of work wear which is available to them. As Simple is my middle name, The Directors felt comfortable with saying ‘No Problem’.

Eddie and The Father felt more than comfortable when they said ‘No problem’, for of course, I can put up a simple web page. And as for photos, well, that is what most of my work- work entails : I have about 20 CDs chock- o- block with photos of products that The Company makes and has made in the past, all in Dinosaur formats, and I simply crop them, at times extract certain models and make the images digestible for the Web. This is not work that requires an Einstein, no Rocket Scientists need apply.

Except, as I kept telling The Father and Eddie, this is a custom- made line. No where in my rack of CDs do I have photos that I can use. Um, we need to do the photos ourselves, if you want this done within a reasonable period of time.

Truth be told, photographing their products has always been something that I have wanted to try. Not because I am such a whiz- bang photographer, but simply because a photograph taken for the printed media is posed or arranged differently- I think- than one to be used on a web page. I noticed that when I received my CD filled with the photographs used in the catalogue for last year. I ended up having to put the sucker on- line, within the very strict limits of 800 px by 600 px. Given the layout that I used , I could only allow an image to measure 200 px by 200 px. Now, the pictures that I had were lovely, they arched about the printed text very nicely indeed, but when I had to use them, well, the sweatshirt photo with the arms extended looked like nothing so much as a chap in a sweatshirt imitating the crucification, as seen from the wrong end of the binoculars. All arms, no detail.

Since there are no photos of the articles, I was of course given the OK to try to do it myself. Uh, Fashion Photography is not as simple as it seems. Suddenly, when I looked at the articles not through my eyes, but that of the camera, every bubble and wrinkle simply…screamed out in horror. I spent most of my time pulling and twisting fabric into smoothness, re- taking photos because the fall of light was not uniform. I actually broke out into a sweat as I stood on a chair high above a Polo Shirt lying pristinely upon a background of white fabric which in turn was padded by a damp, white bath towel.

In the end, I was pleased with three photos that I had culled from the lot. This evening though, when I discussed the matter with The Father, I realized that tomorrow I might very well toss them all out. You see, all three articles were basically, well, black, with cobalt accents- I couldn’t capture all of the details.

The Father tells me that The- Company- Who’s- Name- Shall- Not- Be- Mentioned has their own photographer, who should take any pictures that they want. A professional.

Still, it was an interesting day.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Nov-6-2004

The blue windmill from my very first BlogSpot blog just appeared on the left side. I doubt that anyone but Karen- who I still find myself thinking of as Molly -remembers it, but I was mighty proud of that design.

And the blue windmill.

Fuss and Fret Agenda

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Nov-1-2004

- I wake up. When does the election coverage begin here ? Oh * flipping through the TV guide* five before midnight. Midnight. I grow old : I go to sleep at 10 on a week night.

- * glancing at the cat’s food bowl * she still hasn’t eaten. Three days now…

- * checking that 270 to win link at my place* Erg, it looks bad.

-* Making the beds up with clean sheets* Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s flashes through my mind ( Matthew, dontcha know). I’m so appalled by the desecration of the separation of church and state rule… the silent attack upon women’s rights…

- Sorting the towels, I recall a small- really small- blurb that I read in the paper last week : Jeb Bush will not be going for the presidency in 2008. Uh… read my lips : there will be no draft ? Scary indeed.

- New toy : hardware and I don’t suit one another. It takes a very long time indeed before the printer does what I want. Although it does it very well. And I must have some photos by Friday.

-work- work : grabbing a good still shot- to be used on a printed page- from a DVD is more difficult than one would think.

- The Girl and what is happening to her.

- Checking out BKO : Perhaps I started by simply wanting to vote against Bush, but now – I must say- I wonder what it is about Kerry that people have problems with ? His hair style ?

- I want to put up the picture of Tom’s Kerry poster , right in the heart of the Big City, but my brain is fried. Tomorrow ?

- And, in a certain way, I should like to wake up and find it Wednesday morning.
Or perhaps Thursday.

- And on top of it all, I don’t know how I will feel about America if there are four more years of Bush. And then, perhaps, what if Jeb changes his mind ?


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Oct-19-2004

I must confess : I rarely watch television, and when I do, well, what I watch is surely not quite what one would expect from a woman with intellectual pretensions such as mine. At times, I watch utter rubbish. But this deviant yen of mine is lifted out of the gutter by the mere fact that- points added in the snob- o- sphere – I watch rubbish put out by the BBC.

There. Have an American Moment. The BBC simply must put out classy shows. So, twice I’ve watched their latest- The Bank of Mum and Dad- and, uh, er… Perhaps my age is showing.
The FatherHan rather feels that he is a Lily of the field- that’s good. I myself am reckless with money- it has no meaning for me at all: when it is there, I blow it to indulge my every whim.

But when it’s not, I don’t.

We have no credit cards.

Our only debt is our mortgage. Our house is now worth 5 times times the amount that we owe.

I do believe that I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if we had over-whelming debts.

I suppose that that makes me- officially- an Old Fart .

All of that aside, I don’t much care for this new show.

Old fart that I am.

A Test, II

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Sep-30-2004

I have ( I am hoping) disabled that RSS thing. Oh, it was no big whoopy, just a lot of little things and the larger implications of the whole idea which led me to do so ( I hope).

My initial reaction wasn’t even the one that I mentioned earlier , of finding it rude. A quick- I admit- perusal of the site shows that the aggregator contains most of the content, and was following about 5 – 6 blogs, of which mine was one. My first concern was that I am already an invited member of a group blog which covers whatever aspects I chose to share – there- about living in the Netherlands. You know, Lost in Transit.

I found myself, during the day, flipping over there- were there gaudy ads ( no), but still, there could be. I noticed posts that I had deleted in their archives and realized that while my content is being used, I have no control over it.

Someone else who discovered that they were also now delivering content to this community expressed the opinion that hey, it was publicity. Well, sure it is. But maybe when it’s so close to home, I want stats on it so I can see just how close to home it is. Maybe I just don’t want that kind of publicity.

I went along with RSS as a means to make it easier for people to see if I had updated. It was never meant to be a method in which each and everything I wrote would be published at someone else’s site. Sure, I received a nice link every time, but I would rather that it’s more difficult for people to lift my tripe. Cut, paste and simply steal it. ( Oh, did I mention that today I replaced my timid Jack and Rose photo with a stomach-churning close-up of what gonnerea does to one’s dick, re: that hot- linker at the tweakers forum? )

And, you know, they just really should have asked me first. Because of LOT, I probably would have declined, but still, it sticks in my craw.

Dr. Seuss

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Aug-13-2004

Last Tuesday was one of those days which probably could have been better spent by simply staying in bed, by sleeping through the whole thing.

The planning was simple enough : I would accompany Dad to Eglin Air Force Base, 5 miles away from the hotel, so that he could stock up on booze, pick up a case of gin for himself and a case of Grand Marnier for my wicked Step-Mother. I would come along to help him tote that barge, lift that bale.

Because he would be driving and his pain medication makes him tired, Dad didn’t take any of his pain medication that morning. After all, we would be back at the hotel within two hours, max. Piece of cake. He is a Ranger, after all, talks about pussy and road trips all in the same breath.

Four hours and many adventures later- adventures of the sort which can only be classified as adventures by spoiled housewives with a tendency towards melodrama- we headed for the West Gate of Eglin Airforce Base. I, for one, would breath easier once this little adventure was over, once those fences were behind us. Once Eglin Air Force Base had no power over us, a spoiled housewife and her father, a Ranger. Once odd little fellows wearing Security Officer badges were behind us, men redolent and evocative of the S.A., the S.S. in fact , were behind us. A parallel military, as it were-

As we neared the exit, the West Gate of Eglin Air force Base, we joined a long line of cars, about a quarter of a mile from the gate and then extending ahead as far as the eye could see. It was about 1 o’clock.

We would remain in this unmoving line for the next 45 minutes. No, that is not quite true: the line of cars did move, but only when a car somewhere, far in front of us- driven by a local, no doubt- would cross that green strip between the lanes and turn around and head back into base, perhaps to an alternate route.

As we waited, Dad and I made that sort of small talk that one makes when caught in an unmoving line of traffic : imagine, the line behind us must be tremendous. The accident ahead must be terrible. Perhaps he- as well- imagined heroic EMT’s, struggling to save small children, children much like The Baby. We could have patience for that, understand that perhaps we must wait so that lives could be saved.

After a half an hour, Dad broke down and dry swallowed one of his mega- doses of codeine. The pain in his leg is a grinding one, I know. Shortly after he took his pill, lights flashing on the road curving up and behind the left side of the car caught my attention. I pointed out the motorcycle- drivers wearing lemon yellow and acid green singlets- he turned his head- and as the bikers zoomed by, commented that it must indeed be quite an accident up ahead of us.

10, 20, 30 perhaps even 40 motorcycles passed that road curving around to the left and above and behind us. Then a caravan of sheriff’s cars, a few ambulances, and then it became clear to us : we weren’t waiting for the victims of some dreadful wreck to be treated. No, as the bus bearing the slogan Bush- Cheney ’04 swung around over our left shoulders and entered our field of vision, we realized that traffic had been stopped, totally, for between 30 and 45 minutes so that George W. Bush could hit the campaign trail, get some votes, visit the town of Niceville, Florida.

Yes, we caught George Bush as he was truckin’ out to Niceville. Now, coming down to Florida from Alabama, or making that very same trip back up, one must pass through Niceville : there isn’t any choice. I’ve passed through Niceville many a time. But what sort of reporter am I ? A self- proclaimed New England snob ? For all I know, people down in Miami lull themselves into sleep at night, imagining the day on which they win the Florida State Lottery and can buy a spread in Niceville, retire.

But as I sat in that car, a really beastly day ( for me) behind me, all that I could think was that Niceville sounded like something out of a Dr.Seus book, like Whoville. That some second rate speech writer, knowing that George W. would be hitting Pensacola, saw Niceville on the map and came up with some speech that The Boy- or perhaps even The Baby- could dream up.

I’m proud today to be in Niceville. I’ve looked around here and I see nice people all ‘ round me. Nice people, people who make up the backbone of this great country, America. People who believe in…yadda, yadda, yadda, add a turn the corner somewhere along the line.

Later in the evening, as Dad and I sat on the balcony of my favorite hotel room in this whole wide world ( although the rest of the hotel sucks, sucks, sucks) and sip iced gin, I tell him that after mulling over it, that Security Officer was indeed way out of line.

He agrees. He could write a letter and get the guy fired, but as we enjoy the most beautiful view that this earth can give, we agree that living well is the best revenge.

I try to forget a man threatening- within one minute- to put my father in handcuffs, to forget three cars filled with MP’s surrounding us as a Master Sargent got the details of the case, to forget the small gun – licensed- that I had to slip into the pocket of my shorts as we waited on the side of the road.

All of the snappy salutes, the way that the Security Officer had to scuttle about, arranging Dad’s passes, can’t erase that burning memory of that gun in my pocket. I grew up with guns in our home and I hate them. It burned like a scorpion in my pocket.

Niceville. A nice place, filled with nice people, the backbone of America.