Friday, March 31, 2006
There, Wordnerd - more ways to waste time.
First there was last night, a rather unsettling kind of evening in which one child was uber-bouncy and distracted and all elbows and knees and attitude so that he got sent to bed early, whereupon he reappeared no less than 6 times complaining of various complaints ranging from a sore throat to too much noise to I'm not tired to my legs hurt and getting rebuffed back to bed every time in sniffles and snivels and in which there was a husband who was tired out from moving and stressing and went to bed at 9 only to be awakened at 9:30 when the sniveler fell out of the top bunk and started weeping loudly and the younger child started chanting something about falling out of bed and the dogs felt that it was THEIR particular time on this earth to start yapping about how they wanted a new brand of food and why don't I ever just LISTEN to them, making husband wonder why on earth he ever decided to have a wife and family in the first place is they won't just LET HIM SLEEP dammit and now he's sure his blood pressure is through the roof so he has to test it three times on his little buzzy machine to be sure he's not stroking out while I'm getting the sniveler back to bed and the chanter under the covers and the dogs settled down, to walk out to the family room at 9:45 where the husband announces that, actually, his blood pressure is low for him and that this seemed to be rather an odd night and he thinks he might just go back to bed and I collapse rather gracelessly on the sofa to read something, anything, as long as people stop making me do stuff I don't want to. At 10:30 (or was it 11:30?) I go to bed.
And the dreams commence, in which I'm on an outpost in the middle of the ocean on which is an airbase and rollercoaster, and one of my kids is on the rollar coaster and one is running toward the edge of the outpost toward monstrous waves and the wind is blowing so ferociously that I can't stand up and the hoverplanes that are trying to land are being blown toward the rollercoaster and the boy on the edge loses his footing and nobody can hear me shouting over the roar of the wind...
And I wake up somewhat distressed.....
To the sound of a dog shaking his head to get rid of the itch in his ear that is constantly bothering him and rattling his collar at 10-second intervals so that I, foolishly, think there might be some hope in those brief intervals that he's going to sleep in the bathroom like a good boy, but indeed he's just getting ready for yet another full-body shake, rattle, and roll, which wakes up husband, who mutters about the dog and how nobody is going to get any sleep at all, so I get up (thinking that, really, it must be closer to 6 and I should get up anyhow) to tend to the dog and quiet his ass down, and look at the clock on the stove to see that it's 4:12 a.m. and I should really be asleep, so it's back to the futon with an afghan and an itchy dog, to settle back in until 7:15, when husband walks out to see us there and thanks me for letting him sleep and then goes to make us coffee while I bring some sensation back into my numb right arm that I'd been using as a pillow.
So, yep - feelin' pretty GOOD today!
The fine people at Yahoo news are cleaning up their act to an alarming degree, and not really giving me anything to WORK with. What the heck is THAT all about? Who can I mock if not the inept headline-writers? Where do I turn to vent my overweening sense of superiority and arch sense of snark?
I mean, look at this:
Summit papers over immigration dispute
I can't make fun of it because it's almost incomprehensible!
Iraq Shi'ite ayatollah wants US envoy sacked
The only amusing thing about THIS headline is the use of the word "sacked," and because I'm not up to making double entendres right now I've hit a dead end.
Actor Matt LeBlanc, Wife File for Divorce
There are earthquakes and ferries sinking and people getting killed all over the place, the ice cap is melting and there's not enough ethanol to go around so gas prices are going to go up (please, someone, explain that to me), and bird flu still won't go away, and, what's worse, the headlines are written so well that I "get" them the first time and can't make even the weakest pale and addled little snippet of humor of any of it.
So, let's do this instead - pick your new naked pet! If you had to take one of the three below, which would it be?
That's all for today! Toodles!
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Twelve hours later, I stopped, in what is now "home."
It's taken a year, but I'm starting to feel like it is indeed home. I know the back roads and the pretty drives, the local parks and shopping areas, the way around traffic jams and which grocery store has the best produce. I know where the hardware store is and how much it costs to buy a waffle cone ice cream at The Corner, I know NOT to try to drive anyplace on Sunday at noon, and I've seen Spring come in twice.
I'm putting down some roots and starting to feel comfortable. It takes me a while.
However, Rob made me think about old friends today, because he's feeling the loss of proximity to one of his dearest friends as she goes through a difficult time. This prompted me to dwell, perhaps a little morosely, on the fact that I don't even have to know that the friends I left back North are going through a tough time to miss them terribly, and thought knocks against the hollow place in my heart and resonates with their absence.
It's been a year, and I still miss them. A lot.
Some people are just like that.
Thank goodness for e-mail and phone calls! These friends and I have burned up some bandwidth in the past year, with almost daily e-mails and occasional phone calls. I don't know where I'd be without those tools of immediate gratification. The ability to stay in touch whenever one wants to fills up the hollow place a little, which is a grand thing.
A few months ago when I started this blog, I offered a couple of those northern friends a chance to guest blog. To my amazement, so far they haven't taken me up on this tremendouse offer, but I am an optimist and hold out hope that they'll come through for me and offer up some part of their very capable selves for your reading enjoyment. The beauty part is that there's an excellent chance that they would be more amusing and insightful than I ever COULD be.
At the very least they would offer a fresh perspective on life and all its mysteries, and probably tell far better jokes than I do.
Here's the thing - I need your help shaming them into it. They need a virutal kick in the butt to get them going. Won't you please tell Q and RI Red that you want to hear from THEM sometime soon? If we work together I'm sure we can chip away at their defenses and get them to find their voice on the internets.
Thanks, in advance, for your help.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Throughout my life I've consistently been confused for other people. Perhaps it's because there's a plethora of other tall brassy-haired freckled nordic women out there that are almost indistinguishable from one another, who knows?
There was the guy in college who swore I was the St. Pauli Girl, and confessed to certain self-pleasuring sessions imagining me in a bavarian peasant girl outfit.
There was the woman in the WalMart 15 years ago who asked me if I was Kim Basinger.
There was the girl who thought I was her best friend from third grade - when we were both in our early 20's. Some good memory on that gal, I tell ya.
There was the cute young teller at the credit union who looked at me one recent day, and said - "You know what? I just figured out something. You look just like my Mom."
(That one hurt.)
It's bothered me throughout my life that I don't have a particular "look" that I can call my own. It's like I don't have the "Tiff" look, I look LIKE too many other people to have my own "thang." I remind people of their neightbor, or teacher, or old friend, or some actress, or a cartoon beer wench.
A former manager called me "as Swedish as they come," which is completely WRONG because I'm not swedish at all, but perhaps the combination of my heritages has melded into the archtypical "swede-ette," which makes me think I should convert religions to something more Lutheran, but that would be getting off the point, so let's not go there.
Maybe, to break free of the ongoing doppelgangerism I should color my hair something different - dark brown or red or stark blond. Maybe I should get a really obvious piercing, or shave my head, or wear opaque white makeup that covers the "hale and hearty" look I got goin' on. Go Goth, maybe.
It's just that, it would be NICE to have something identifiably MINE, that doesn't instantly put people to thinking of someone else when they first see me.
Just as long as I can still look like the St. Pauli Girl from time to time. I think the beer wench costumes are pretty cute.
Remember that work thing I talked about yesterday?
I actually did some! I know! Color me shocked!!! Amazing!
You know what sucks? I have to do more today.
Two neat sites to leave you with today.
As an FYI - I have a thing for old places, the older the better. When I went to Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London a couple of years ago I thought I was in heaven. The worn stone steps, the old tombs, the 500-year-old trees (from which people were hung!), the whole history-soaked aura got me giddy.
I like buildings that have old advertising painted on their sides. I like when you can see where windows or doors have been bricked over. I love trying to figure out which way roads USED to go 100 years ago before the 4-lane highways took over. I like old books with rough pages and cracked spines. I like old postcards and letters, spotted with age and crease-worn. There's a certain smell of history to me, if I can put it that way, that I think is immesely enjoyable.
Which is why these 2 sites are so awesome. The first is about Forgotten New York, the city where my Mom and Dad were born and raised, and the second is all about exploring decrepit places and taking gorgeous photos of what remains of what used to be. Ghosts seem to wander through these images. I imagine these places with people and laughter (or tears) and sunshine (or thunder) and scents and plans and dreams (or nightmares), creating a virtual reality that is perhaps close to the way they might once have been in fact. The artifacts left behind afford a glimpse into yesterday's realities and are made curious and beautiful and melancholy in their ruin.
(Plus, they're GREAT time-wasters.)
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Why, you ask? What on earth has prompted this time-shift, this stunning departure from the norm?
It is simply this - I feel the need to actually WORK today, and if I do the post early then I'm all out of time-wasters and the rest of the day can be spent productively.
Really, this is how I think. Even with the WHOLE internet out there and all the wonderful things contained therein with which I could spend my entire DAY, I truly and honestly believe that once the daily post is done I must begin my actual-factual work.
Which, of course, leads you clever readers into a quick calculation of how many hours I NORMALLY waste in a day because I don't usually get around to posting until lunchtime (EST).
Ok - You can stop it. Right now. Enough with the calculating, already!
See, there's this big ol' project I'm supposed to be working on, and I haven't really been working on it because I've been trying to figure out how, dear God, HOW, am I supposed to use the equipment a client wants me to use that doesn't seem to realize I even EXIST, and the one time it did "see" me it forgot me 2 hours later, for the love a' Mike! It stubbornly refused to grant me access to the soft and fleshy goodness of its operating system and the miraculous seeecrets held therein, and I have now decided to give.up.entirely.
I must WORK, daggone it, and stop trying to make this bit of technology bend to my whims and desires and muttered curses.
It has won, I have not. Ergo, I must, like an adult, admit defeat, and go to plan "B," which is to use the technology afforded me by my OWN company to do the project and take a more circuitous route to communication with the other team members who were supposed to be at the tips of my virtual fingers if I could only have used the OTHER black box on my desk.
Grrr, and grrrr some more.
It's become apparent that I must stop the gnawing at this particular bone and place it aside, to begin anew with purpose and a keen awareness of the ticking of the clock toward the rapidly approaching END OF MY TIMELINE!
So, the early post.
Which is, really, about nothing except how I waste too much time doing things that are not on the path to productivity. And, because they are not, are very often a good deal of fun.
If you do happen to click on that link and get sucked into the mind-numbing vortex of challenge that lies therein, please tell me to what level of genius-y smarty-pantsedness you got, because I'm totally lame at this diversion and ready to be dazzled by your brilliance.
That is all.
Must. Work. Now.
Monday, March 27, 2006
My forehead itches like I'm peeling from a very bad sunburn, and I keep reaching up there to scratch, and little flaky bits of Tiffy goodness keep coming off of my FACE!
I was just in a meeting with a banker-type fellow and my husband, and as we were wondering where to put the money we've got to put someplace now that the house is sold and we need to "shelter" and "diversify" and "invest" I kept surreptitiously rubbing my forehead and being kind of happy when I saw a little drift of what used to be "bad" skin separating itself from me forever. Because I'm a little bit gross like that.
And until all those little spots are gone, I'm sure the itch will remain, and I will scratch or rub, and be happy to say goodbye to that which could have, in several years, been the cause of so much more trouble than just a little itch.
Is it fair to say that it's really unfair to be asked to work when it's so beautiful outside that you just want to jump in the car and take off for the mountains or beach and play hooky for a few hours with nobody else knowing where you are? I mean, you just get in and go, maybe stopping to buy a really cool CD or new pair of shoes or a great cigar to smoke as you drive and pretend to be a whisper-thin movie star from the 40's that's getting a little old for ingenue roles and who is consequently on the run from a controlling manager who is forcing you to sign a contract to be in a movie where the main character is a DOG, and you're on your way to your secret hideout where your lover awaits, who you don't know is really a secret agent and will tell the government of a small eastern European nation everything about you in hopes to lure you into being a spy too because they still love you over there and think you have character and a future in the spy biz.....
And it would be good. Very, very, good.
We should have mental health days for times like this. We should be allowed to say "I'm feeling far too good to report to work today, so I'll see ya tomorrow" at least twice a year.
Or is this what sick days are for? If so, I'm hopeless, because I rarely take those, and almost as rarely take vacation days. In fact, I just donated 8 hours of my vacation time to a person in our company who is in a bit of a rough patch and needs to take a big chunk of time off from work, and in truth, this donation isn't going to affect my overall vacation plans at all. It felt great to donate the time, I'm glad I could, and would do more of it, but I'm told we need to keep 40 hours of vacation in our stockpile (for what?), and that 8 hours is all we can donate (why?) so I can't do more, even though I have no idea where I'm going to spend the time I have....
I've come to work when I had pneumonia, I've come to work when I was so twisted from pulling a back muscle that I could barely walk, I've come to work with fevers and when I've had headaches so severe my eyeballs pulsed with each heartbeat. I've not taken long vacations because it's too much trouble to come back to work after them, I've worked on vacation days because it was easier than letting someone else take over a project, I've worked on work while on business trips because it was better than just hanging out in the hotel room with nothing to do.
But I would feel GUILTY taking a vacation day for a mental health day. How idiotic is THAT?
Don't answer; I think I already know.
Friday, March 24, 2006
I simply have too much crap.
Wait, let me rephrase - my FAMILY simply has too much crap. I found this out yesterday, when my family's "too much crap" filled up a 10 x 30 foot storage unit PLUS another 10 x 10 unit with still more STUFF LEFT OVER to move into the rental house so that we can all live "stuffed" inside a house that no longer echoes.
You know what's sad? I've discovered that I quite LIKE echoes. They're friendly, and sound like me, and isn't that a warm and fuzzy happy little thought?
But, now, it's not so much with the echoes - it's hell-OOOO BOXES!
Shall we go meet a few of those who made the cut and actually got INTO the house?? Let's do!
You, over there, what's that on your side? You say you're full of SPICES that we just moved 500 MILES? Terrific! I'm glad you're here, because goodness knows the Harris Teeter does NOT sell cinnamon and coriander........
And who might YOU be? Ah, you're one of the FOUR wardrobe-sized boxes that came along for the ride, thinking that we'd NEED all those winter coats in North Carolina in the summer. What's that you say? You hope there's room for you someplace in the FRONT closet, because you are not "back-closet" material? Fine, I'll put that on the list.
I see a fine specimen over here, hold on a moment as I navigate though this little corrugated aisle-way to get to it......here we go. Ooooh, a treat! Here's a box that says it's full of summer clothes, and apparently it must have a twin or other siblings because it's marked box #1! How many more might there be, I wonder? The mind boggles, really.
Wait, who invited YOU, you box full of canned goods? Or YOU, box that says you're full of pillows? Or YOU, box I know we haven't unpacked in 15 years but still manages to keep getting MOVED....... Couldn't all y'all find someplace ELSE to go so I can invite the echoes back?
No? Fine. Just move over so at least I can sit on the couch, and don't hog the remote.
Oh, good God - I just realized. We live in a rental. We have to move again. And all that crap in the storage unit(s!) will need to be moved, again.
Moment of silence, please, as I digest this incomprehensibly bad news, and possibly have a quiet weep.
(................feel free to sing the "jeopardy" theme song..........)
Right then. Chin up - there's always hope that I'll win the lotto and can hire sherpas or trained monkeys or maybe a mahout and elephant to do the heavy lifting for us.
All right - I know it's Friday and I usually do the news a stern disservice by totally corrupting the intent of the headlines, but I don't have it in me after seeing this picture.
The possibilities for captions are immense, and yet I can't come up with something. Please, do a sistah a favah and make with the witty remarks. BONUS points for keeping politics OUT OF IT, because political humor is cheaply got, and y'all are better than that.
With that, I wish you a lovely weekend. I'm off to find some echoes.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
First, let's start with a baseline - me after my first application. Nothing much going on yet. Hey, this might not be so bad after all!
Let's move on to day three, when there was still hope that this wasn't going to be really really awful. I'm thinking here - "wow - that flash sure does make the ol' fivehead stand out - maybe I should be thinking about wearing bangs on a full-time basis! Plus, perhaps a little eyebrow pencil next time isn't such a bad idea!"
Then, let's take a look at Day 10, when it seemed to be pretty, uh, developed up there. As an added attraction, here you can also see the thicket of gray hairs that is springing up on my temples and, once again, the complete and utter lack of any eyebrows. I look like a spotty white Whoopie Goldberg.
Which brings us up to today, at the ever-so attractive "scaling and scabby" phase of lesion development. If there are small children about, please shield their eyes from the horror-scape that my upper face has become. Note - those really red spots on my nose are from where my glasses rest on the tender Efudex'ed skin - not painful, but dashedly unattractive. The rest of those spots? They chafe and itch and burn slightly, especially after I wash my face or touch it or think about touching it or think I might want to someday touch or wash it.
Mind you - I just did my forehead and nose (and upper chest, but you know, I'm not cozy with the chestal pics. It's not that they show anything, it's just that that area is really unattractive right now and I'm not going to put that out there. "Worse than the FACE pics?", you ask in shock. "No," I say, "Just worse that I thought it should look.").
Just so you know, of ye of boundless curiosity, I started the rest of my face today. If events warrant, there will be pictures of that as well. Judging from the several hits on this site I've gotten from the search "efudex pictures," I'm pretty sure there's a market our there for this kind of thing for people interested in either 1) what they're getting into when they're prescribed this cell-death-in-a-tube or 2) really gross stuff.
Take heart, all y'all that are in the former category - if you're doing the Efudex for suspected subclinical issues, it will only feel as though you've smeared weak hydrochloric acid on your face for about an hour or so after application, and that CoverGirl makeup does indeed provide plenty of coverage. In truth, no matter how uncomfortable, this treatment is very much better than getting actual-factual skin cancer.
Take it from this freckled Irish/German/Englighwoman who had several blistering sunburns as a child and young adult, and to boot spent several summers as a lifeguard without "proper protection" - I wish I'd known then what I know now. I would have rivaled "Powder" in my whiteness to avoid this kind of foolishness.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I am in no way a style maven.
Fashion means little to me. My MIL does my best shopping. I live in LL Bean or Land's End. I accesorize sparingly. I do not have an up-to-date haircut; as a matter of fact, I leave the house with my hair wet most mornings and let it do what it will. I do not own high heels, or shoes that have pointy toes or flowers on them. There are no pants in my closet that do not reach my waist. I am hopeless.
I do know that there are these things called "trends," and that fashion plays a large part in some people's lives. I have seen the low-rise jeans and the crop shirts (often accompanied by the muffin-top), I know that "tight" is the new black and that high heels and jeans still (inexplicably) is still an acceptale look.
I accept that these are things that have passed me by, but do not poo-poo other people's right to wear them.
Which is why I was so excited to see who I think was Bobby Trendy walk into my building this morning!
Yes! THAT Bobby! Don't know him? He's the guy (a term used very loosely, as I suspect he'd want me to) who decorated for Anna Nicole when she was on the teevee and all big and bloated and Xanax-ed out and she thought his stuff was "luxe"! The queen of fabulous, the reincarnation of Liberace, Bobby Trendy!
He drove up in a big ol' American land yacht of some sort, a lovely champagne color. The wheels were shiny and the hubcaps were chrome-y, and when he opened the door and stepped out the fabulous quotient of this part of the state increased exactly one log-fold. Spiky black hair, crisp while shirt, cream-colored lined linen jacket with the collar AND lapel popped, sharply pressed cuffed navy trousers and wickedly shiny black loafers (just a tiny heel) bedecked his trim Asian person....it had to be him!
The way he moved with military presicion to pop open the trunk of the aformentioned land yacht to retrieve his brieface, the authoritative way he pressed the trunk closed, the brisk flick of the wrist as he remotely locked the car (with a "click" of the lock and a honk of the horn that signaled the 100% completion of the task), the whole package was Bobby!
The clincher? The briefcase was leather, finely tooled, and a brilliant lime green.
Fabulous? You KNOW it!
I just wonder what he's doing HERE. Will our offices be bedazzled tomorrow? Will the "approved work attire" now include the donning of feather boas? Will glitter eyeshadow be acceptable for both men AND women? Will we all have lovely cushy couches with contrasting leopard-print throw pillows to recline on while taking our telecons?
One can only hope.....
Note from the author - I LOVE Bobby Trendy. I think he's awesome in a completely over-the-top way, and in small doses. If the guy I saw this morning WASN'T him, then I salute whoever it was who totally made my morning.
Now for the peepy goodness promised in the title.
I have but one question - why? Why, when you can BUY them for a buck a dozen at the CVS and eat them on the way home, because everyone KNOWS as soon as they touch the air they start to go stale?
But hey - if your inner Martha calls you to do these things, now at least you know how. In truth, I have no room to scoff, just this weekend I made soap from old cooking grease......
I did. And it worked. And was very cool. I got to play with lye. Good times.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Did I also tell you that he told me that if you put a bunch of people in a completely darkened room and send a burst of electromagnetic energy through the room, that people with migraine are likely to "see" a flash of light at much lower energy levels than people without migraine (if they see one at all)? More fun!
But really, I'm not sure how to take in all this "you're special" information, when all along I've thought I was a pretty normal person. Being sensitive to Mother Nature's whims and the pull of electromagnetic energy makes me feel kind of, otherwordly, like I'm not really stepping on the same ground as most other people, or am experiencing it a whole 'nother way. What if your reality is waaaay different from mine??
It's like when I was a kid, I thought "what if the color I call blue is not really the same as the thing some other person calls blue? What if I'm really seeing is what they'd call red, but we all have agreed from babyhood on that this is what blue looks like?"
It's like hearing your own voice on a recording, and realizing that what you sound like to everyone else is not at all what you sound like to yourself.
It's like looking at yourself in film and seeing all your little idiosyncracies the way other people do, and hating yourself for them.
Maybe this whole "different way of looking at the world" is why I'm no good with recreational (read: illegal) drugs. There are very few substances I can actually ingest that don't throw me for a total loop.
The pain pills I was given after having a HUGE plantar wart carved out of my foot when I was in college? I took one, and 45 minutes thereafter I had to quickly hobble to the bathroom to upchuck all the coedeine-y goodness, then rinse and repeat every 45 minutes for 8 hours. I wound up taking aspirin thereafter, to good (and GI-sparing) results.
The funky-looking joint I smoked while on my way to a party my 4th year in college? I wound up reacting very badly indeed to the PCP that I suspect was hidden therein, and froze stock still in the backyard of my apartment building while trying to feel my arms and legs and to regain my vision. My boyfriend at the time was very patient as I totally freaked out for the hour and a half that it took to regain my senses. We did not go to the party because I was shaking so badly, once recovered enough to see and feel, that I could barely make it back to my bed.
The morphine the docs gave me before having the c-section that resulted in the successful delivery of a lovely 8 pound 9 ounce baby boy almost 9 years ago? I puked right there on the table as I was getting stitched back up, and for several hours thereafter (when I wasn't sleeping).
The dope I smoked while experimenting with the whole pothead thing? This was the ONLY illegal substance I could ever deal with, because, in my science terminology, I could "titrate" it by taking little puffs and building up the buzz if I wanted to. Same with booze - a drink, then a pause, then another maybe (OK, probably), up to a point, at which point (usually) I realize I'm "done" and it's time to stop or have a hangover of unpleasant proportion.
However, a BIG "no thanks" to the cocaine and ecstacy and mushrooms that passed before me during my wild years - there was no titration possible, therefore Tiffy no takee the drugees.
And as for hallucinogens - I've been told I should NEVER try them, and can not agree more. Me seeing melting walls and dancing musical notes and shifting perspectives and talking plants? No thanks.....My reality is crazy enough. I don't even need a GOOD trip.
But still, electromagnetic pulses! Bring 'em on! I like the pretty lights!!!
Monday, March 20, 2006
I'm not kidding. Who knew people were so very hungry for information regarding this odd physical phenomenon?
Because I'm not one to disappoint if I can help it (does that sound right?), please find more info on the SS and all its joys in the following links:
Rather dry reading, but accurate....no pictures
Somewhat more interesting reading, with some pics and holistic advice as well as a spinny moon goddess thingie
A link to a blog that has tons of comments by people who responded with sympathy at the writer's first experience with the oddity
One that'll give you nightmares
Chock FULL of renderings of the aura itself, some with animation
One for the experientially minded among you
There you have it - my pandering to the community of people who are searching for answers in this crazy world of ours. They seem to ask, I attempt to give. Because I'm a giver like that. NOT a taker, a giver. Give, give, give give, that's me all right.
It's exhausting work, but fulfilling in a hands-off no-shared-germs kind of way.
Can anyone tell me why Christians go to church on Sunday? Is it because Monday is really the first day of the week and Sunday the seventh? Who decided, or, as I suspect, is a decision still being made and that's why Catholic churches still have Satruday afternoon Mass so that the unsure among them can go to church when they think it's correct so to do, therby appeasing God, who wonders where everyone else is on his day off?
I just don't get it.
Also what I don't get is why I'm thinking about that.
I've recently come to realize that it's really really hard to just do nothing. I've found that even when I'm "doing nothing" I'm really doing something. Like, if I'm sleeping, I think that would qualify for doing nothing, but then again I'm SLEEPING, so that's doing something, isn't it? If I'm staring listelssly out the sliding glass door hoping to track the sun's path over the back yard on a brilliant but cold Saturday afternoon, then it's not like I'm doing NOTHING, because there's the tracking and staring (and possibly drooling) going on. Frustrating!
Think about it, y'all, it's nearly impossible to do NOTHING. At. All.
Even, you know, once you're dead, you're still actually doing something, whether it's sipping sweet tea with Jesus (substitute activity and deity of your choice here if you're not anticipating this sort of thing for your afterlife - like "deflowering virgins" and "Mohammed," or "french kissing satyrs" and "Gaia" or whatever), or patiently decomposing, or taking up space in that urn on the mantle; it's still SOMETHING.
Is there a verb that describes the act of doing absolutely nothing at all?
Is it, maybe, "blogging"?
Sunday, March 19, 2006
|Your Mood Ring is Purple|
Purpose is known
|You Are Bart Simpson|
Very misunderstood, most people just dismiss you as "trouble."
Little do they know that you're wise and well accomplished beyond your years.
You will be remembered for: starring in your own TV show and saving the town from a comet
Your life philosophy: "I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!"
Friday, March 17, 2006
Israel to Destroy Thousands of Turkeys
You know, maybe it's just me, but the first thing I think of when I think about Israel is NOT turkeys! Call me crazy! And, according to the story, it's not just thousands of turkeys, its more like TENS of thousands of turkeys! I would not have thought there was room over there for this many turkeys.
Hawaii Authorizes Emergency Dam Checks
Tens of thousands of girl sheep protest the sudden intrusion.
Turkey Smashes Window of Couple Viewing TV
Probably escaping from Israel
Experts Argue Over Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
"Woolsey, I swear that you are the most obstreperous neurosurgeon I've ever met!"
"Well, Smythewick, you are the most dashedly frustrating nuclear physicist I've ever had the displeasure to make the acquaintance of!"
"You're stubborn and addleheaded and have mash for brains!"
"You're an ignorant pollywog who can't tell a quark from a quasar!"
"Horse's ass!!" (strikes hand on table, barely missing the tail feathers of a large stuffed bird with a white beak)
"Pusillanimous twerp!" (pushes table over, sending large stuffed bird with white beak sailing through the air and into the coal hod)
"Now look what you've done you narrow minded prig! You've sullied the woodpecker! Clumsy nebbish!"
Astronomers Detect First Split-Second of the Universe
Oddly enough, it sounds like this - "oops!"
Republicans Happier than Democrats
Does this fall under the heading of "is this news"? Why yes, I think it does. And no, it's not.
Hot pepper kills prostate cancer cells in study
Just bend over, Mr. Jones, and we'll insert this new medicine right there, yes, that's it. Yes, Mr. Jones, it's all natural! Of course! Yes, yes, a slight burning is normal, I suppose, it's made of chili peppers, after all. What's that you say? It feels like your prostate is on fire? Why are you tearing up, Mr. Jones? You need an ice bucket? But this is all part of the therapy, sir, you'll just need to wait it out. What's that? Please, Mr. Jones, I can't hear you through all the blubbering, please speak up! You think WHAT? By mouth? Let me see what the bottle says......oh dear, I'm afraid you're right. My apologies sir. So very, very sorry.
Yep - that's how I envision this clinical study going.....
There you have it. My best efforts for this week's installation of TIFF teevee, where our mottoe is, and shall always be, "Lame humor is better than no humor at all."
When I think about people like this, I wonder why I can't do something just a tiny bit similar. What is is that makes people become great, both in their dreams and in their realization of them. How do they find the courage to keep reaching for the stars when the stars themselves seem aligned against them, and how do they make grabbing one a reality?
I wonder - what if I've missed my chance? What if my time has passed and I'm stuck here in the middle class world for the rest of my life (not that that's a bad thing, it's just that I'm kind of "over" it)? Who will remember me when I'm gone? What mark will I have made on the world? What will I have added to the sum total knowledge or experience of the human race? What will I leave as a legacy for my family to remember around the dinner tale 100 years from now?
Then I wonder - is all this wondering a sign of an enormously inflated ego? :>
Feel free to offer opinions in the comments......especially if you think the ego thing is right.
Headlines at noon.
Note to those who might think my mention of the scientist in the cited article glorifies war----it's not meant to. The fellow bio'ed in the article had no intent of his life's work turning that direction. I am impressed more by his perseverance in sticking with his dream....
Thursday, March 16, 2006
(If you don't know what I'm talking about - go read "on being Irish" in the archives and then come back here.)
It's been a week of slathering on the stinging F-U cream (hee! And yes, I'm beginning to realize just how unfunny that joke really is. Won't stop me from using it, just so you know), and I'm starting to get the eagerly anticipated facial lesions! Oh yes, internets! The scaling and scabbing has begun! The reminders of my youthful solar indiscretions have commenced with the popping up of red itchy things all over me freckled forehead!
If I'm counting correctly, I've got about 6 spots that are coming along very nicely indeed - the one spot that prior to the treatment was already causing some discomfort (like, you shouldn't be able to FEEL your skin if nothing's going on with it, right?), 4 (four!) over the outside of my left eyebrow, and one floater hanging out right near the top of my forehead. There may indeed be one starting up INSIDE my left eyebrow, but so far it's not a fast comer.
You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that I would not, in fact, light up like a Christmas Tree in a whorehouse, a goal to which I was aspiring and hopeful I could achieve. It's reasonably impressive, in a "Frankenstein's Monster" kind of way, and smacks of "more for your money and time" in a weird way.
Wait, let me see if I can find a picture of what I was promised in the brochure...(trots off to to a little Googling)......
Oh y'all, do NOT look for "Efudex" on Google images! Oh, the horror!! Oh, my God - the man from "boomer books" has taken the wind right out of my wee sails on this thing. It's disgusting! OK, yes, fine, he had diagnosed SKIN CANCER (squamous, not basal), and I didn't, but freaking freaky-deeks, y'all, nobody should have to look like that! Imagine, if you will, what a slightly overdone pepperoni pizza looks like, then overlay that image onto someone's face......yes, it IS that bad.
Let me search a little further, then, to see if I can turn up something that looks like the brochure I was given.....what about "topical flourouracil" google pics????
I thought it couldn't get worse! Oh, friends, do NOT do this search and look for photos, else the delicious lunch you just finished come back for a second audition. I'm warning you, for the preservation of your delicate systems, whatever you do, do NOT look at the pictures.
You have now been warned - search at your own risk.
Oh, sure, they SAID there might be scabbing, they SAID there might be scaling, they SAID there might be redness, but Oh.My.GOD, if I'd seen THOSE pictures before I'd started this treatment I might have just opted to plunge my face into a vat of simmering E.V.O.O. and had the flaying over with in one go.
Hmmmm....wonder if it's too late to ask if they do that as an office visit?
Newsflash - I'm having sushi and strawberries for lunch. Don't you wish you were me right about now? Mmmmm, wasabi.
One word to the wise - eat your sushi within a couple of days of buying it from your friendly neighborhood grocery store sushi man. If you don't, there's every chance the sushi will disintegrate in your hands and the rice will be a tad chewy from dessication. Other than that, it's not bad at all.
In other news - isn't it great when you use your native bloodhound instincts and spend your lunch hour hunting down someone from your past and actually find a way to get in touch with them, and they WRITE BACK? Huh? Isn't it?
Isn't it also cool when the person you hunted down responds kindly and not with a restraining order against you and your nosy proclivities, admonishing you to bug out of their life and leave them the heck alone, because you're the reason they moved halfway across the country to a little backwater town that has more goats than people and gets its electricity through a series of water-powered turbines and windmills?
I know! So true!
I say this because I had the marvelous good fortune yesterday to hear from someone I knew when I was a freckled little teen-girl with a perky rack, someone who I thought might not offer a response to the e-mail I sent to the assistant of the community chorus of which he is a part because he failed to recall my impact on his early years, but what ho! He sent back an e-mail of humor and news that made my day. Really, what's not to like about a letter that combines Target, a wedding, and tiki bars?
Again, I can feel your envy all the way over here.
Lastly, let me just say that at some point in the future I will once again delve into subjects that have actual form and substance, and will commence ascetic preparations in order to preach to you of social injustice and science and space, but for now I'm feeling giddy and silly and lucky; none of which lend themselves very well at all to discussions of serious matters like DNA-shaped nebulae (which, when viewed from the top, looks much like a Cremesaver) or the bird flu pandemic (run! run for your lives!) or mad cow disease (I say Bossy, I'm right put out by this latest story in the Times!) or why people insist on having annoying ringtones (because they can? I don't know).
But first, we'll have to get through the Friday headlines tomorrow. Then it's back to all business.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Because all the stuff from the house in the Northeast is finally coming south (now that our house is sold after almost a year of finishing and building and fixing and cleaning and hassle, none of which I was a part of, and then the eventual selling, also unencumbered by my presence), it became time for Tiff to look aound the wee rental house and declare "I declare! This house is a mite too small for all our stuff!" and get off her butt to the local mini storage place to rent some space for all the things not left behind.
Like, the snowblower. Because obviously we'll need one here. My partner in life has insisted that the snowblower can indeed be turned into a rototiller, and will have multiple uses around the ranch he wants to buy, so yes, it's coming along for the ride.
Also, all the stuff in the attic that was put there for a REASON, and the reason is that it's stuff that I'll probably never look at again, or at least until the kids are in college and I want to torture myself with memories of when they were small; or perhaps I'll pull it out when it's time to start, at long last, all those photo albums I intended to have done by now.
In addition, all the stuff in the storage room that got put there 4 years ago needs to move. This is stuff that hasn't been looked at since we put it there, because, as we all know, a storage room is for STORGAE, and not actually to be used for things you might really USE, ever ever ever.
We rented the biggest unit they have, and I only hope it's big enough. Put it this way - in New England we had a 5000 square foot house (I know, somebody tell me how foolish that is), and the rental is a shade under 1900 square feet. Yes! I know! How do I live in such pitiful conditions?
Answer - very simply indeed, and with the ability to actually clean the house in one go and find the kids when I need them. It's refreshing, that is. Anyhow, there's a lot of stuff in a big house that won't fit in a small one, no matter how little you think you really own.
Here's the beauty part of the whole storage thing - the woman helping me out gave me half off the second month's rent. Really. I wasn't crabby or demanding or irrational or anything; she just did, and said it was because she didn't have any non-climate-controlled units to offer me in that size and so because of that I couldn't choose between that cheaper type and the type I had to rent. Welcome to the South! Something like this would NEVER have happened in New England - and I'm not knocking New England; they're just more "businesslike" or something up there. Her gesture of generosity just floored me! Then, she asked me when I was "moving in" and when I said not until the end of next week she adjusted my payment dates so that I wouldn't have to pay next month's rent until the end of the month rather than the middle. She said there was no sense me paying for space I'm not using......
Shoot, I said this was going to be short......ha! Psych!
One other tidbit of life at Casa Teef - last night had a rather crabby attitude descend on the youngest human denizen of the home. He was all attitude and stomping, and when I asked him what was wrong he said "NOTHING" and stomped some more. I gave him to the count of three to tell me if he was going to sweeten his attitude, because it wasn't fair to the rest of us to be subjected to his bad mood for no reason, and when he didn't answer me in the allotted time I yelled at him "ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER ME?" and his response was to stomp off to his room.
To fall asleep. At 6:30 p.m.
Guess he was tired.
Huh. I never would have thought of that.
This morning, he was up and ready to go, just as sweet as a big ol' slice of pecan pie. Boy does NOT hold a grudge, thank goodness.
And that's it for now. Must go do some workie type thingies so that my boss believes that hiring me was an actual good idea, and not just a chance to put a warm body behind a desk at a critical juncture. I'm coming up on my year anniversary at this company, and am just now finding my comfort zone. I'm a slow learner, apparently.
Update - I highly recommend spending a lunch hour and a half with a fellow blogger. I'm just sayin'. Awesome!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
And maybe the flame-outs that are starting to appear on my forehead from the F-U treatment I'm giving myself.
Oh yeah - Google THAT, internets!
So, because there's nothing for me to talk about in my REAL life (except maybe a lunch date with another blogger tomorrow, about which I get a little bit excited every time I think on it because, well, it's neat!), why don't we take a little trip down memory lane?
Let's see, which bright spot in my past will take center stage today?
Center stage you say? I've been there a time or two, so let's talk about my ballerina phase!
Shut up RI Red and Q and Hovatter62 and Oldfriend and whoever else knows me! I was TOO once a ballerina, and my Mom has the pictures to PROVE it!
When I was but a wee lass (this was a loooong time ago, friends!) of about 5, my Mom decided that I night like to take dancing lessons, and signed me up for ballet. Because, apparently, my Mom has a warped sense of humor.
In case you don't know, or have never walked alongside me for any length of time (say, about 10 feet), I have a very poor sense of balance, and perhaps this is why my Mother, bless her, thought that I'd benefit from the dance training. That, and my feet flapped out like duck's do as they waddle toward the beach, so I guess if I could say I was a ballerina then it would be OK to walk with my toes out, because that's how they ALL walk, only, you know, with their toes hitting the ground first in a dainty mince and not like I did with the heels slamming down first.
Anyhow, there I was, all of 5 years old and looking much older (BIG runs in the family), in a beginning ballet class, in which we spent about a week learning the proper hand and foot positions and then spending the remainder of the session (something like a year) learning the "routine" that we were to do to showcase our new talents at the recital. We had these little half-hula-hoops covered in spring flowers, and were supposed to be doing some kind of (perhaps Pagan?) dance to Spring, and had to wear itchy pink leotards and our hair in buns, which were 2 particularly heinous tortures foisted in us in the name of grace and beauty.
It should have come as a warning of my future as a dancer that, even with all this coaching and prep time, come recital time I was dependent on the movements of the OTHER girls on stage to tell me what I was supposed to be doing at any given moment, sometimes to mixed results.
Despite this inauspicious beginning, I must have shown either 1) promise or b) interest, because I was signed up for another dance session, with predictably similar results of performance to the first time. THIS time, however, the leotards had little skirts on them (squee!), and they were bedecked with sequins and tulle edging, thereby upping the itch quotient by a factor of a million. We also got to wear pink tights, the direct result of which looked like I was dancing on 2 bratwursts. Not pretty. We did get to wield umbrellas this time (danger Will Robinson!), and twirled them like little sparkly itchy maniacs in the pre-ordained pattern set forth by our dance instructor, with the end result that we reached the conclusion of our piece with very little in the way of injury or bruised emotions to show for it.
I happen to KNOW there's a picture of our dance class from that year in our costumes, positioned on some kind of riser (I think); and I, as the tallest girls in the class, of COURSE got to stand on the tallest riser, thereby lending me the appearance of the girl-who-got-left- behind-a-time-or-two-and-might-actually- be-on-the-short- bus.
There's a word for my stage presence at this time, and that word is "uncomfortable." And maybe "gawky." Plus, "itchy."
Thus endeth my ballet career, whether it was through my insistence or my parents' belated recognition of my complete and utter lack of grace and inability to be trained into it. Mercifully short, as all wrong things should be.
My gait in later years would be termed "trucker" by Mom (see, again with the sense of humor!); the kind of rise-and-fall loping galumph seen all too often on girls who don't know what to do with all their body parts. My Mom would yell "FEET!" at me as a reminder to turn in my toes as I awkwardly shambled to a given destination, and I would, for a minute, try to walk with poise, remembering the mincing gait of the delicate flower I once tried to be.
And being happy there was no tulle edging involved.
Great heavenly days - go touch those balls. (thanks trinamick) Woo!
Also - for those more in tune with their inner God - check this game out....it's not as easy as you might think...and there are, apparently, no rules. Go! Create!!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Ray, Ray, Ray Bradbury, is the MAN, as far as I’m concerned. I started reading his stuff when I was about 12, and dove headlong into a Bradbury-athon for the next couple of years. The Stories in “the October Country” kept me coming back time and time and time again, until I had all of them almost memorized.
I had my favorites, for sure. The story about the man who wishes to have his skeleton removed stuck with me as something so weird that only a very deranged person could have thought of it.
Other goodies are The Lake, The Crowd, The Emissary, The Wind, The Scythe, and The Jar. So many of which I’ve forgotten (had to lift the list from an online source) that it’s time I go back and re-read the collection.
Such fodder for my imagination.
When I was 14 I had one of those stupid caricature things done at the mall for a Christmas gift for my parents. Yes, how very thoughtful of me; the self-centeredness of youth is astounding. Anyhow, in the sketch I’m holding a book (because the artist asked me what I liked to do and I said “read”) and on the cover it says “Science Fiction and Scary Stuff” (because that’s the kind of stuff I said I liked to read.). The author of this book of science fiction and scary stuff was (and remains, to this day) my man Ray B. I was all about the Rayman, and might even have wanted him to be my secret boyfriend (I know, he was older than me, but my BRAIN was ready for it even if society wasn't).
An aside - In the background of the sketch is a bench with science stuff on it like test tubes and whatever, because even at 14 I was a hopeless nerd, and didn’t really care who knew.
Once I got to be about 16 I dropped Ray for real live boys and music and driving around with my friends, but every once in a while I’d go back and read what I’d read before, either Ray’s stuff (I call him by his first name because we’re buds like that) or the Dragonriders of Pern books or the Little House on the Prairie series, just as a comfortable thing to do. I had, and still have, a deep affection for those books; they got me involved in a world of words in which I could imagine myself playing a part.
But Ray, the wicked man, had a trick up his sleeve to permanently engrain himself into my brain forever as a true favorite, and it was this: a darkly fascinating movie starring a most luscious Mr. Dark, who I wished would ask me what I wished for most. Oh yes, dear internets, this movie rekindled my love for the Barnabas Collinses of this world, the admiration for the dark magician, the purveyour of dreams, the giver of desire who asks for only trifles in return.....or so he would have you think.
This movie, which I swear to you was remade as “Stephen King’s Needful Things,” got me “right there,” as a shadowy sidelong glance at what can happen if we ask for too much too selfishly, a cautionary tale for those could hear it.
It’s a very good movie. Rent it and see for yourself.
Plus, Jonathan Pryce is in it. That’s worth the price of admission right there.
BTW - Blogger apparently hates my GUTZ, becasue this is the first I've been able to get into it all day. Grrrr.
Is it a sign of addiction that I tried about eleventy-billion times to log in and publish already today? Hmmmm?
Addendum - before she found out about the plumbing problem, did she see a bright light and angels? Sounds like heaven to me! :>
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Oops - I think it's too late - here it comes!
"Oh, I smoke mint-flavored cigarettes
and I go to bed by three
I don't wear socks and my feet don't sweat
Don't look like that at me!
My dog's named Freud, not Blue or Spot
and I don't have a gun rack
I don't wear trucker caps with greasy spots
And my jeans don't show butt crack.
Oh I'm not your average popup camper man, man
I'm not your average popup camper man
Not your average popup camper man, lordy lordy
Not your average popup camper man."
See, that's how the song would go, if there was one. And, in my mind, Tim Wilson or Rodney Carrington is singing it.
Anyhow - it's good camping weather here, which is what got me started on the the thinking about camping thing, which led to the first line of the chorus of the song that doesn't exist, which led me to this point again about the camping weather.
For those of you who don't know, I believe the term "good camping weather" is understood to mean "cool in the evenings, warming up by afternoon." Somewhat akin to "good sleeping weather," but with the daytime meteorologic requirement tacked on.
Good camping weather suggests that you build a roaring fire in the evening after you set up camp and insists that you wear something flannel while you drink a cold beer and watch sparks pop and drift up to a black sky. On awakening, good camping weather demands that you put that flannel back on and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or two while poking the fire back to life, then hunt for dewy spiderwebs or deer prints on your way to the bathroom. After the breakfast dishes are done, good camping weather then graciously turns up the temps a bit so that a morning hike is just the thing to get your blood going. By afternoon, good camping weather warms enough so that by about 2 it's just about hot enough to take a dip in the lake or a canoe ride up the creek. Once stomachs start to grumble for dinner, the cycle starts all over again, with good camping weather making the temps dip lower as the sun goes down and the trees turn gold, then orange. Once the world goes that soft shade of blue and yellow pools of light from camping lanterns and fires start to dot the park, good camping weather really cools things down, and the flannel is once again donned as the smell of woodsmoke and grilled chicken fill the air.
So, ayup, that's what it's been like here the past coupla days, and all the windows in this woman's house are thrown open to let as much of it in as possible. It's a glorious thing, to have the windows open in March, and to have the sound of birds and children come in through the screens while I drink my coffee and wonder what this day will bring. I'm thinking I need to buy a grill and some chicken!
Wishing y'all good camping weather, and the time to enjoy it.
Addendum - I would never, ever, ever, want to have this woman as a friend. She must have come from the shallow end of the gene pool. It's highly irritating that she is what some men think women are all about.
Friday, March 10, 2006
A combination that, for all intents and purposes, renders one immune to the thing commonly referred to as "a tan," no matter how hard we might have tried in our youth to get one.
I mean, who cares if we're all gorgeous in our youth, sunning ourselves on the back deck, slathering ourselves in baby oil in an attempt to get that "deep golden tan," when all that the slathering and baking is going to get you is the distinct possibility of having to dose ourselves in our 40's with a chemotherapeutant that will turn our faces into bright red masks that highlight where our sun-damaged skin is currently cooking up some pre-cancerous lesions?
Well, lemme tellya, folks, WE, the pale-skinned and freckled masses, should care, because it could happen to us.
It did to me. Yesterday.
The PA who examined me said to the nurse "I think we should F-U-dex her," which sounded to me like quite the walloping dose of disrespect and not a very great bedside manner, until I learned that what she was really doing was presecribing "Efudex," a creme that contains an agent normally used to treat cancer.
Say it with me, y'all - Cancer.
The good news is, no cancer yet, not for me, but the treatment they give you to be sure you DON'T get cancer is the treatment some people receive once they DO have cancer, so there you go.
And, I say! It's divine! The joy of the fluorouracil creme! The "slight burning and itching" as a likely side effect! The spectre of the scabby cooked-lobster appearance I will sport in my future! The TOTAL SUN AVOIDANCE necessary to complete this course of therapy! The fact that I have to treat myself, twice a day for 2 weeks, with this crap, and then wait another month or so until my face is truly healed, then have to use SPF 30 everyplace the sun do shine for the rest of my life! The klaxons that were sounded at this wonderful news! The raptures I expereinced at this loud announcement of my inevitable travels into later-middle age!
Oh yes, internets, there will be pictures. If I have to suffer, then let my suffering be posted far and wide so that some other young Irish girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles (let's leave all those moles out of the pitcutre for now, shall we?) can look at them and say "you know what? Nicole Kidman has the right idea. Pale is the new black."
Oh, and just so you know, even after only my second application of the F-U creme (hee!), I'm experiencing a burning sensation that I can imagine will only grow in intensity with time. And you know what? I'm only doing my FOREHEAD right now! The rest of the face still needs to be treated!
Maybe news headlines later, maybe not. Why you ask? Welllllll,
Today I'm going to a neurologist, who will ask me "so, Tiff, what about those visual auras you've been having, and for how long, and why haven't you SEEN anyone about this before, and maybe let's just go ahead and give you an MRI so we can take a peek inside yor skull and see if there's really a brain there at all or if maybe you're one of those people who has just a tee-tiny little rim of gray matter surrounding bloated vestibules filled to overflowing with CSF and then we'll write you up in a respected medical journal and we'll go on teevee with you as our "exhibit A" about how people with enormous cranial deficiencies can lead productive lives and you'll be all embarrassed but that's OK because then maybe you'll get long-term disability and start that dryer-lint knitting bizness you've been thinking about."
So, maybe I'm not feeling all that up to being clever today. Really, there's a chance I might not have the brain capacity with which to be clever! Ain't that some shit!
Now, back to figuring out how to ignore my burning forehead, and if burkas are acceptable corporate wear.
I think I'm going to need one from here on out.
Random add-on - I think this is cool.
UPDATE - The brain doctor says I have "classic" migraine, so yay for that, but a big boo that I can't have an MRI to look inside my own head. I was rather looking forward to that! However, when the doc says you're OK, there's no sense arguing with him, especially when he's 6'5" and has a handshake that could crush cement.