Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Several months ago, I was chatting with my BFF, The Admiral, about some things and the topic of nicknames came up. We talked about how she had maintained her moniker over the years, and dearly loved the title, and as the conversation progressed, we realized that neither of us could recall the reasoning for her being deemed "The Admiral" but no matter what, we knew that it didn't really matter anymore.

In recent months, The Admiral has found herself in a family way. To put it bluntly, she got herself all knocked up, and we here at the Happy Hour couldn't be happier for her.

So she and I were having a chat over the weekend and I decided that despite her changing family situation, rather than adopting a new, more maternal nickname or title, she would be allowed to maintain her current nickname. The reason for this being that as a mother and breadwinner, she would be the commander of her familial fleet. This reasoning was met with approval.

I further noted that since I had not been assigned a real nickname over the course of our friendship that I was taking matters into my own hands and appropriating a moniker of my own.

Generally speaking, I frown on the concept of self-assigned nicknames. They seldom have the genuine resonance to catch on the way you want them to, and often if they manage to catch, they wind up getting all twisted around and misused. So I ran it by her first. I wanted an official sign-off from The Admiral stating that she was on board before I made anything official.

Seeing as she has managed to grow up, get married, and start herself a little family, while I have managed to avoid most of the trappings of genuine adulthood, I selected, "The Artful Dodger" as my new title. It has further roots in my artistic pursuits, and that other aspects of my life are somewhat Dickensian in nature. It really is quite fitting. (And The Admiral agrees.)

So, with that, I became The Artful Dodger... And I invite you to give me any thoughts you might have on the matter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shot all to hell...

Let's get right to it. I LOVE March Madness. Every year I spend my winter Saturdays watching men's college basketball because I love it, and as I watch I hope, (though often mistakenly,) that the games I watched will provide some relevant insight when March rolls around... In the end, the games I watch don't matter. They never matter come March. I know that... And I still love it.

This year, the teams invited to the big dance have provided me with some SERIOUS entertainment. I mean we've had more nail-biter outcomes, ridiculous upsets, and just-squeak-by games in this tournament than any in recent memory. Sure my bracket has been shot all to hell, but let's be honest for a minute, with this year's final four lineup, SO IS EVERYONE ELSE'S! And since we're all up shit creek together, let's all just hug it out and acknowledge that even though we would have been better off burning that money we threw into the friendly tournament pool, but if nothing else, we have watched some SERIOUS basketball this year!

I mean sure, I still have BIG problems with the play-in system that they implemented this year, and I know I'm not the only one. And I am even more bothered by the fact that by making the final four, VCU is lending validation to the misguided system. But no matter what, all of the 68 teams came to play! (Except maybe Tennessee, but that is a whole other speculative matter.)

I know I'm not breaking any shocking news, but let's face facts here. This March has been full of surprises and even though my bracket looks like it belongs to someone who entered a pool despite never having watched a single game of basketball in their entire life, and who picked their winners based on something irrelevant like "better mascot" or "more appealing team colors" it must be said that I wouldn't have it any other way!

Man, I love this stuff!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In case you forgot...

I find it rather important to remind people from time to time just exactly how awesome I am.

Today I just got a somewhat more awesome. (Admittedly, I even amazed myself a little bit on this particular occasion!)

First, some back story.

A year and a half ago I was having some car trouble. My air conditioner stopped working just as summer was transitioning to fall... Seems easy enough to cope with, you say, the season is about to change, just roll down the windows when it gets hot... Yeah, but the master switch that controlled all the windows had been wonky bordering on non-functional for roughly 6 months prior to that. Incidentally, the air conditioner decided to crap out for real about 2 hours into a 6 hour road trip... in the middle of the day... in August. So basically it was really frickin' hot out, the A/C had just died, and I couldn't roll my windows down, and I had 4 hours left in my trip. UGH.

Not knowing where to go for a quick fix while out on the road, I struggled through the remaining 4 hours, sweating my ass off the whole way. Upon getting home, I figured it was time to replace the window switch at the very least. Being a thrifty gal, I went to the internet, did a little homework saw that it was an easy fix involving a little more than a screwdriver and a replacement switch, so I figured I could do it myself. I then ventured to the auto parts store got the part I needed and I changed it out. That was too easy to warrant mentioning. But fixing the A/C was a little more involved... I was due for an oil change so I went to the pros... Mind you, changing the oil is easy too, but since I had other issues, I figured the pros could diagnose it while they were already under the hood.

They looked at it, told me what was up, and so I know what's wrong with it, but I never did anything about it because I prefer to roll with the windows down anyway.

Skip forward in time about a week. (Still roughly 18 months ago.) I start hearing a rattling sound. Crap...

So I take it back to the pros attempting to pass the buck onto them saying, "I was just here, now I've got an unsettling rattle going on here... WTF?"

They took a complimentary look, to appease me, (and to cover their asses,) and 45 minutes later, told me that I had a bad engine mount.

"Yep, your engine mount is bad."

"Engine mount? As in, the thing that holds the motor part of my motor vehicle in the place where it needs to be? You mean that kind of engine mount?"

"Yeah... That about covers it."

"So, clearly this is an important part, what would that cost to fix?"

"Well, let me get an estimate written up."

[about 30 minutes later... I am incensed as they clearly know what is wrong, and how to fix it, and they are keeping me waiting for their own amusement... Also I had somewhere to be, and they were making me later and later by the second.]

"Yeah, so here's your estimate."


"Yeah... New parts plus 3.5 hours labor involved. That's the going rate."

"Ok, well, I have to be somewhere. In fact, I had to be somewhere 30 minutes ago when you went to get that estimate. So I don't have 3.5 hours or five hundred sixty three bucks to spend here at the moment."

"Oh, that's ok... We're getting ready to close anyway, there's no way we would get it fixed today."

"So, you have no intention of fixing it now... Interesting... (After a thoughtful pause to consider the exact subtext of the mechanic's previous statement, I continued) Ok, so, I get that this is an important part of my vehicle... But you're telling me that you're closing up, and don't plan on fixing it now anyway... So, are you implying that this is not a part that is so far gone that it is absolutely critical to fix tonight, and that my car is essentially more or less temporarily ok, as long as I can deal with that rattling?"

"Yeah, I mean it isn't un-drivable, you'll be fine for a while."

"Care to define 'a while' a little more clearly?"

"Nah, no telling really... You could hit a pothole tomorrow torque things all out of whack and be way worse off. Of course, you could be fine for a lot longer, as long as you're ok with that rattling, but I wouldn't advise any off-roading."

"It's a paid-off, ten-year-old four-door sedan... Not exactly off-roading material. As for things that could happen tomorrow, I could be hit by a bus, or consumed by a pack of wild dogs... I suppose I will have to take my chances at least until I can pay for the job."

"Ok, well, we'll see you then, I guess."

"MMM-HMMM..." (Which literally translated to, "At the rate you charge? Nope. Not a chance in hell.")

So skip forward to this past weekend. 18 months later, I am bothered by the rattling every day, and yet I have done nothing about it because I am fine with avoiding potholes if it saves me more than five hundred bones. I took a short road trip to visit my dad. As I pulled into the garage the rattling seemed to noticeably worsen. CRAP.

So I did all my visiting with the family, and drove home, paranoid about the worsening rattling. I parked my car, left it alone, did a little more homework on the old internet, and decided that surprisingly, it looked pretty easy, certainly not 3.5 hours worth of work, and if nothing else, it was worth a shot.

Not to bore you further, but I took out that old engine mount, (BTW, it was TOTALLY SHOT ALL TO HELL!) and replaced it with a spankin' new one. And BAM!!! My little vehicle is purring like a kitten again!

A fabulously timed ego-boost for me, because I fixed that shit all on my own using little more than google and a wrench!

So that fix cost me not $500, not $400, not $300, not $200, not even $100! It cost me a grand total of a glorious springtime afternoon spent working outside, a bruised palm, a cursory amount of frustration over some oxidized bolts, and $52 bucks for the new part.

So, yeah, I am a badass.

I am a reasonably attractive, intelligent, sports-loving, home-improving, car-fixing, badass, handy-dandy jack-of-all-trades marinated in awesomeness... Combine that with my fantastic sense of humor, classic aesthetic tastes, the fact that I can cook, and it kind of goes without saying that I'm going to make some man incredibly happy someday... Which is why I can afford to be picky.

In short, I am kind of a big deal...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So the Awesome post yielded no awesomeness. And that last post featured a video removed for copyright issues, so in short, the last two posts were total busts.


But buck up everybody! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

No, it's not Christmas... That's a wonderful time too, but I'm talking about something even greater!

It's the time of year where I dedicate time, energy, and attention to one fantastic end. I commit hours in advance to consulting by phone with my best friend so that we can mutually hem and haw over things that ultimately don't matter in the grand scheme of things. At this stage of things, let's face it... It is a quality diversion from all the horrible crap going on, you know, like the impending nuclear meltdown.

What is this wondrous event, you ask?


I'll get back to you after I have taken in countless hours of NCAA hoops, sweating over the outcome of my predicted upsets, cheered for Cinderella teams, even though it will jack my bracket up, and essentially gorged myself on enough college basketball to hold me over until football picks up in the fall... You, know, if we all haven't perished in the looming nuclear holocaust.

In the meantime, I will be behaving like a raving lunatic, frothing at the mouth, and crumpling my bracket in frustration only to uncrumple it 16 seconds later to see if there is any mathematical chance I can salvage my dignity, sanity, or hopes of winning the family pool... I expect that you will either be engaging in the same foolery, or you'll be behaving like a normal person...

Of course, there is also the possibility that you will be quietly quivering in a corner, not far from a pile of your own excrement, praying that the nuclear-meltdown-generated zombies spare you in their quest for global domination... Or something.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Despite the fact that this video excerpt is essentially an acid trip on my favorite television show, and that the message is essentially counter to my entire personality, I do still kinda want it as a ringtone... And by kinda, I mean REALLY A LOT!