Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Being as how all the really big bosses are in another state, I'm thinking it's fairly safe to go potty from time to time. Maybe even as far as the coffee machine.
There's one other person in the cube farm today, and it's obvious that she's the proud owner of a laryngeal amphibian (AKA froggie in her throat). About every 20 second she clears her throat with a gurgly lil' 'ahem-hem-hem,' and it's about to drive me mad. If it keeps up, it may come to pass that she will be visited by me or one of my minions, who will urge her to just COUGH THAT EFFER UP and quit with the quasi-ladylike harumphing. Or at least go get me a cup of coffee, and grant me five minutes' peace.
Had breakfast at the local eatery this morning, and ate what may have been the best corned beef hash EVER. Farrago, if you're reading this, they've upped their game since we ate there. Not at all salty, hot on the inside and crispy on the outside, tiny potato cubes cooked perfectly. Mmmmm, hash. There was enough of it to be a meal all on its own, which was shame because that meant I had to give way my homefries to my dining partner. He was not getting my lovely grease-schmeared scrambled eggs though - I love the taste of that fake butter they use to grease the grill. Mmmm, griddle shortening.
After that auspicious beginning, what other way would be better to wrap up the Old Year than by going to Downtown Wake Forest (all two blocks of it) and participating in the 'First Light' celebrations? If by 'going down' you mean' staggering,' because this is, sadly, an alcohol-free event, perfect for the kiddies and Southern Baptists, but not so much for the very determined social drinker like me and so needs must that I should get my drink on BEFORE getting my New Years schwerve going. Sheesh - ring in the New Year SOBER? Are they kidding? Where's the holiday cheer in THAT? I just need to be there by 11 p.m. for the noisemaker check, that much is for sure.
Have a wonderful day folks - and happy end of the Old Year to all.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Until you get lost in Chinatown, which is about when the shine wears off that ball and you see that it's composed largely of sludge, with a rich garbage-y center. My goodness, the things one can see when one turns the wrong way out of the subway chute. For instance: stores that purvey live seafood, much of which was encased in a thick layer of its own slime, gangs of thugly Asian youth, geriatric Asians a-spitting and hacking up whatever lung they have left (which, incidentally, resemble the slimy seafood more than a little), and lots and lots of bags of garbage what with it being Christmas and all and therefore a day on which the refuse trucks do not run.
Oh, for a familiar touristy face, something that would have made us feel a touch less...obvious. But no, for we were not IN the actual tourist area of Chinatown; oh no. We were in the part of Chinatown that SUPPLIES the touristy part of Chinatown, and thus was a touch more 'realistic' than might otherwise have been the case if we'd turned right instead of left. Lets just say that Hester Street won't be getting a return visit from me anytime soon, for all its authenticity. I am TOURIST, and should stick to those places that are designed for tourists. Bring on the fakery, for I am a fan!
On the bright side, after abandoning Chinatown as a very bad idea indeed, we found a great Indian place three doors down from our hotel, and that was reasonably priced. Saag ghost - yum.
Other things we did on our brief trip Norf:
Got to the Top of the Rock for the 850-foot view of the city. Gorgeous. I could spend all day in a place like that, looking at the city, the people who look at the city, and lounging in the sunny rooms set aside for tired visitors and grandmas. Totally worth the 20 bucks a ticket.
Times Square. This place is a giddy throng, a fantastic and disturbing mad mad crush of nations, a charcoal-scented kebab heaven, a gaudy jewel in the heart of midtown, and an entire vacation on its own. Being as how we were billeted a block away, Times Square was a frequent go-to. Free entertainment!
The Red Flame Diner. Cheap eats, and plenty of them, right next door to our fancy-schmancy $20-for-a-croissant hotel.
Watched the skaters at Rockefeller Center, saw the tree, and had a very good spinach knish from a kosher deli on the ground floor of Rock Center (and at $3.50 a knish, a darned good deal!). Mmm, biting into a steaming-hot knish on the plaza while babbling hordes of touristas surged past is a memory that will stick around, I'm betting.
Went to the Intrepid Air Space Museum too, which just re-opened in November after being shut down for a while for refurbishing. A great place to go get your fill of aircraft carrier info, see a bunch of cool warplanes, get a FANTASTIC view of the river, and be darned glad you didn't have to serve on one of those floating cities during wartime. Cozy, it ain't.
St Andrew's Scottish pub, or, as our bellman called it - 'church.' Awesome burgers, wonderful steak, employees in kilts, and a Canadian woman who was drinking alone at the bar (on Christmas Eve! How sad! Let's talk with her! Mistake!) who has the dubious honor of adding "Yah, no, I know" to the catchphrases at the Tiny House. If I say that it soon became clear why she was drinking alone on Christmas Eve, would that sound horrible? Yah, no, I know. She did buy us a Glenfiddich after much admonishments that we NEEDED to try it (and really, who can resist a head-nodding slighty lonely and GENEROUS Canadian woman?), so hey, it's all good.
The lobby of the Algonquin, our home base for the trip. On Christmas Eve, a white-haired bearded gentleman was invited to play the piano by a well-dressed fellow who I'm sure I should 'know' who then proceeded to sing bits and pieces of standard Christmas tunes. The piano player was wonderful, the singer may have been experiencing some holiday cheer-induced memory lapses, but no matter. The 20 minutes of spontaneous atmosphere more than made up for continuity issues. Also at the hotel we were fortunate enough to be party to the final day of Mike Lyons, a bellman who has been there for 47 years. That, my friends, is a long, LONG time to be at one job. Kind of cool to be present for what was, for him, a momentous day.
We didn't see any shows, but we walked past a gutload of theaters, being as how we were right near BROADWAY and all. Could have seen Harry Potter naked, but passed. Could have seen the Phantom, or Spamalot, or the Radio City show, but passed as well. Next time, I'm sure.
And yes, we went to Central Park. On Christmas day. It was lovely, and crowded. We only walked a minor portion of the park before settling in for a good bask on the rocks by the skating rink. Right there by the dairy, and the zoo, and the Game House. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? If not, you should go. I'll bet it's great, no matter when you go.
Oh, and one more thing - if you should ever EVER be tempted to go to the Plaza Hotel (right across the street from where all the horse carriages are parked at Central Park South), do NOT order double bourbons, for they will set you back a mean fee. I would stick to tap water and a good gawk, unless you have money to burn. Lesson learned, kiddies. It's a gorgeous place, chock FULL of class, but you will PAY FOR THAT CLASS. One nice thing - the waiter allowed up to sit at a table, even though we weren't getting any food. Shit - for 40 bucks a DRINK, I should hope so.
So, yes, we did a lot of stuff, saw a lot of things, and got well tired out from all the walking. It was grand. At least now I think I could navigate a small chuck of midtown without having a map, and that makes me feel a little more at home in the city that truly never does sleep. Should you actually TRY to sleep, be aware that car alarms, police sirens, and the occasional PILE DRIVER will wake you right back up again.
Ah, New York. See you again soon, I hope. Though next time I'm going into La Guardia, and taking a taxi to midtown instead of the van shuttle. That alone would have saved 90 minutes on the front end, and that's just getting off the airport grounds!
And now you're all caught up. Have a wonderful day.
Monday, December 29, 2008
An elderly, chubby, shaven-headed, multiple-layer-wearing, grocery-cart-wielding, other-people-oblivious, muttering-under-her-breath, smelling-slightly-of-bad-fish Chinese woman who decided that YANKING DOWN HER PANTS to scratch her bare ass on a crowded subway car was exactly the right thing to do.
Once finished scratching, she neglected to hoist the pants back up. Oh yes, there was indeed naked crazy old Asian woman ass ON DISPLAY.
That fishy smell mentioned previously? The source became a touch too obvious once the airing of her netherbits commenced. (here's where you go 'ew!')
Thankfully, our stop was next. A herd of young Latinos came up the stairs with us; one guy cracked me up when he spoke-shouted "OK, who ELSE didn't need to get off at this stop?" Dude, I KNOW.
Thanks, New York City. Thanks a whole bunch.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This is the last post from here for a few days; there is much busy-ness and travel in the near future for the residents of the Tiny House, and so y'all won't be bothered by my brain-dumps for a while.
(I can hear the loud Hosanas now. Thanks for that.)
I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and that you get everything you wished for in this most 'present' time of year. Wherever you are, may the dreams of your hearts be closer to reality today than they were yesterday yet not as close as they'll be tomorrow.
See y'all in a week or so.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I wonder how Santa knew that they'd accept this as a wholly satisfactory substitute for the XBox 360 and snake they wanted? Oh wait, he's Santa...like God, he knows stuff about stuff; in this case, 'stuff' means what adolescent boys will like.
Smart Santa. Must have been a testosterone-soaked young man once himself...
In other news, the Christmas tree is finally decorated, in full. THIS IS TOO NEWS, being as how the poor dear thing sat half-done for over a week while waiting for the boys to get back home. Oh, the garland and lights and a few ornaments were pretty, but I think this year's tree proves beyond a shadow of doubt that more ornaments is almost always a good thing.
The tree, she is enCRUSTed with glittery baubles. Becaus the decorating ws done by the aforementioned adolescent boys, not all the ornaments are in the same color family, or even really match. Not all of which are hung on the 'right' branches. Not all of which are where I would put them or facing the way I would face them, or showcased in a way that I might otherwise, if left to my own devices, would showcase them.
Truth is - those things don't matter. Not one tiny whit. The tree is happy like that. There are no overly saggy branches. There are no clumpy clusters of similarly-colored or shaped balls (my ONLY requirement), and the stand is full of water. It's a darned good life for a tree, and so, knowing (as trees do) that having already been chopped down, it's best to have found a good home to care for it for the last few weeks it's able to transpire.
We? Are that house.
Also - prezzies are largely bought, and those that were bought are now wrapped and under the tree. I probably say this every year, but if I never set foot into another super-crowded mall chock-full of simpering teen gothetts, junior criminals, snotty babies, doddering oldsters, and the COMPLETELY UNABLE TO GET OUT OF MY WAY, it will be too soon.
Malls used to have some attraction for me, but no more. They are the stomping grounds for those who care about trends, being seen, conspicuous consumption, or idly whiling away hours that could be spent doing something productive, like shaving weasels or stuffing spray cheese back into the can.
Could be though that I'm just getting old...
Hope y'all are having a spectacular day. Oh, and if you've read this far (and why on earth? go shave a weasel!), why not hop over to Tracy's and read my guest post from this past weekend? You'll have to scroll down some (for I am being extremely lazy and not linking to my own post), but that should be small effort on your part for such a huge payoff in terms of overall high quailty and damned fine writing.
I'm talking, of course, about everyone else's guest posts. Mine's just the usual dreck, wrapped in a a shiny holiday bow. Avitable's post alone is worth a trip over. So touching.
So go on, click on over, and have a great afternoon.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Made it into the office today - and good thing too, because the CHRISTMAS TREATS are here! Yay!! Boxes of things that look like goodies have been delivered from our vendors, but beware, for these goodies are not so great and mostly taste like the boxes in which the came. That right there is a brand of evil that I won't touch.
Much preferred are the homemade treats that are on my desk right now - well, ONE homemade treat. A coworker has dropped off some kind of unbelievably good nut mix that she made, and I think I might need a padlock to keep my fave out of the bowl for the rest of the day. They're sweet and a little spicy and super crunchy and I want them allll.
The best, however, MUST be the gift from my boss. He knows me well, for in a lovely festive gift bag there sits a bottle of Knob Creek bourbon, a potable that tastes like a slice of sun-warmed heaven. This too may well need a padlock, for reasons other than the simple sin of gluttony that the nut mix would tempt me toward. I'm thinking that drinking at work would be frowned upon, even IF the boss was the one doing the tempting with his offering of sweet sweet liquor.
So, I'm going to New York City for Christmas. There was hardly any thinking involved in the decision-making - the plane tix and a couple of nights at a Very Famous Hotel were too reasonably priced to pass up. The Things will be with their Dad and Grandma, getting spoiled rotten prior to our trip to My Mom's the weekend after Christmas, where they will be spoiled rotten also. Therefore, I decided to spoil MYSELF a little, and thus the trip to NYC at Christmas.
There is a vague outline of Things To Do - Empire State Building, the Intrepid, Grand Central Terminal, NY Public Library, Central Park and Times Square are on the menu, and we'd love to fit in Chinatown and maybe a show, but is there something that simply cannot be missed in The City that we could squeeze into a 3-day visit? Tell me about it, won't you?
I'm getting excited to go back. NYC is great. My folks both grew up there, and when I was a young kid I thought a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house was a thrill. Oh, their apartment wasn't all that (though it was pretty cool even if you did have to walk up several flights of creaky stairs to get there), it was the feeling of the city, the bustle of millions of people, the cars blaring horns and the smell of bus exhaust, the pigeons and exotic shops, the gray bulk of hi-rises, and crackle of life energies colliding with each other. No other city has that particular vibe, the semi-gritty, sort of sophisticated, dressed-to-the-nines-to-step-over-a-bum kind of personality.
If you happen to be there too, I'll be the wild-haired yokel in jeans and skull-bedecked vans gawping at....everything. Feel free to say Hi.
And have a lovely weekend.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Oh yes indeed – home again today with the big box o’ tissues right at hand. Seems the Great Sickness of Aught Eight has migrated downwards, infesting my lungs with a rattly goo that makes coughing ever so much more interesting than mere expulsion of air. I might go so far as to say that I sound like a TB patient, but really, I’m not sure if TB patients rattle so much as wheeze weakly or perhaps whistle though constricted airways as they struggle for the next breath.
I’m not to the struggling phase yet. Don’t intend to be. It’s me and the DayQuil and perhaps another shot of Afrin to get me totally cleared out.
A little secret here – I’m kind of afraid of the Afrin. Right on the box it says there are some possible side effects like burning, stinging, and ‘enhanced nasal secretions for a short time after use.’ HEED THE WARNING - for they ain’t kidding. A couple of shots of that stuff up each nostril and WHAM! Burning, stinging, getting teary-eyed, nose cramps (I shit you not!), and then a cataclysmic outpouring of whatever it was in the ol’ nasal passages that had previously been blocking my ability to breathe. Yeah, it worked, but I think pouring pepper up my nose might have been more pleasant.
But hey, when that big ol' snot goober dislodged itself from deep inside my nosal crypts, I was grateful for modern medicine. Blessed relief. Too bad it only lasts for 10-12 hours.
So, because I have not generated much news lately (at least, none that I’m going to divulge to any of y’all, because a girl must keep SOME secrets), here’s a lil’ something to maybe make you giggle:
And have a great day.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
At which I'm SURE I talked too much. Again. Even while staying on-topic (a first! progress!) it was like I was unable to shut my mouth and let someone else have a go.
I am the Queen of oversharing. My queendom (or would it be kingdom?) is often left bereft of anything for charity because I am such an over-sharer. My minions go unclothed and hungry while I've give UP all the good stuff to the neighboring dukes and such so that they are amused by me and won't attack my borders with their SCORN at my utter boringness.
Heaven help me if I should be seen as being boring. Fate worse than death, that one. So I tell people all kinds of stuff about myself that I'm sure they never thought they needed to know, I ask them all kinds of weird probing question (but have thus far stayed away from the 'polka dot dress' prompt), and if no dishing is being done by anyone at the table, might just turn the topic to something like someone's DEAD BROTHER, like I did just now.
I am a dork. Home grown and deep fried. Happy Holidays, now just HOW did your sibling die???
In other news, I had goat curry for lunch. It wasn't baaaaaaad. Even better than THAT, as if that wasn't enough, was the wide screen teevee by the bar that was showing Bollywood movie clips (only the singing and dancing bits, apparently, and those without sound).
I have never really seen Bollywood before today. This is an error that needs to be corrected with a full movie screening ath the Tiny House, I'm thinking. WHAT FUN! The costumes and the sidelong glances and the mass hysteria and the hundreds of people vogue-ing and dancing, the sari(s) blowing around in the inexplicable wind, the mens all smoking hot and the wimmens even HOTTER (if you can believe it), the colors and textures all mingling....
My new goal in life is to be a Bollywood movie star. What do you think my chances are?
I was about to end this post with "have a nice weekend." That is a pretty clear indication of where my head is right now.
Must be the effect of having a pound up snot up each nose-hole that's making time creep like a pair of old undershorts.
See? Oversharing again.
Have a nice day.
Monday, December 15, 2008
reading a book in the afternoon instead of doing something productive
the smell that comes out a dryer vent when there's a load going
warm summer nights, with peep frogs and crickets going great guns
the 'pop' open of blocked sinuses 20 minute after taking Sudafed
toast (maybe more of a 'like,' but a STRONG like).
What would YOU add to the list?
(BTW - what I'm not at all keen on is the snot running out my nose like there's a fire inside my head. I sound like an entire first-grade class now that the Day Quil has worn off. Grrrrrr.)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Yes, raisins. Or, to be more specific, 'a' raisin. No, I did not click the link, for I do not have arthritis. The raisin, she would do me no good at all. Might was well tell me that inhaling cow farts is good for baldness, or that rubbing newt spit on my underarms would cure excessive....wait, I might could use that one.
Where dem dang newts? And what makes them salivate?
In other news, there were tornadoes in the area yesterday evening. None in my neighborhood, which was slightly too bad because who doesn't like a nice Class 1 tornado skudding across their skyline, whipping dead limbs off 'heritage trees' and causing just a tee-tiny bit of mayhem that might give them an excuse to stay home from work in the morning? Really now. Oh, we had ONE tree limb down in the lot next door, and some leaves scattered around, but nothing much more than that except some enthusiastic bursts of wind, some very large puddles of water, and an extremely long commute home in the dark and wetly rain.
And once I got home? It was time to turn right back around and go out for a 7 p.m. appointment. By 9:15, when Tinkerbell pulled safely into the driveway again, never was there a more welcome sight than the Tiny House's Holiday Light Display and the twinkle of the half-bedecked tree shining through the living room windows.
Oh yes, the TH is starting to glow in anticipation of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. There are sprays of pine boughs on the porch columns, half the garland is done on the porch rails; the tree has lights and garland and some ornaments (many many more to come); the BAT (the big-ass teevee) is tarted up with some garland and rope beading of its own; and the holiday cards are going up on the wall in the LR, a pastiche of holiday greeting from around the world, most of them from people I don't know.
All the house needs now is the smell of baking cookies, some carols playing low in the background, and a tumbler full of well-iced bourbon and it would be absolutely perfect.
So why am I thinking of going to NYC for Christmas?
Update on yesterday's much-dreaded meeting: it was fine. Nobody but one guy had really even READ the stuff I slaved over all THANKGIVING WEEKEND, and the preclinical guy was editing HIS stuff while people were going over mine, so it could have been much much worse.
Y'all have a great day and a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to click that raisin if you need to. I'm off to squeeze some newts.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Hey - lookit the cool stuff on my sidebar over there! Clickety-popping pictures that take you to new websites (sign up now, limited time offers on both)! Thanks to Biff, who is far more perseverant that I would ever be at figuring out how to make stuff like this work. Because really? The figuring out would be maddening for this ol' girl, especially since my template is HTML and not widget/gadget enabled. Oh yeah, I'm rockin' it old school.
It could also be true that I might be afraid of changing to the new Bloggety templates that DO allow you to widgetize, because what if my ability to chance things is lost? I LIKE messing around with HTML in my kindergarteny fashion! Pretty colors! New (gasp) BORDER SIZES! OoooOOOOO!
And, really, how many whizz-bangs does one small corner of the intertubez really NEED (though it would be cool if the archives would roll up and if I would one day put Mojo's suggestions on how to permalink things into action (see the aforementioned 'old girl' thing for a possible explanation of why this has not yet been put into action. (Also? LAZY!))).
Nested parens-a-thon OVER.
Why would my left pinkie and ring finger suddenly commence to tingling? It's making my already ham-handed typing attempts even MORE porky, and I'm not a fan. Of course, if it keeps up, I could amaze my friends and neighbors by playing 'extreme mumblety peg' in which I do not CARE if I get all stabbity on those digits, because I cannot FEEL them right now.
I am maybe looking for ways to be more fun at parties.
All y'all out there who are about to suggest me going to a chiropractor - I know. However, I'm not looking for solutions here, I'm looking for reasons, no matter how far-fetched, about why on earth I'm losing sensation (AGAIN!) in half my dominant hand.
Help yourselves to irrationalisms in the comments.
That is all I have time for today (OK, that's kind of a lie, because truly? I could spend all day here just going on and on about things both large and small (what's up with the headstone desecrating in France, for example?)) but I feel compelled to begin prework for a 1 p.m. meeting that will surely find me with a new orifice ripped, which requires I go purchase some steel underwear over the lunch break and start toughening my skin ASAP.
Have a wonderful day, my internetly friends. Goodbye!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Fall of 1979. I was hanging out at the Fairfax Ice Rink with some friends, having fun as young folk do who are not yet old enough to drink. We were a bunch of 'good kids,' all in the band, all (or mostly all) Honor Society kids, and headed into our senior year with bright bright futures way over the horizon.
Nerds and geeks, all. Never was there better company. I love me some nerds.
So, we were skating along, like you do at a skating rink unless you know that there are kids out back smoking and necking, which I did not, and because I was then, as I am now, somewhat of a showoff (though in later years I've tempered this significantly), I decided to demonstrate how I could, while travelling at a high rate of speed, go down on one knee, spin around, and come on back up in one smooth, elegant, Torvill and Dean-type movement.
The going down and spinning worked really well. The coming back up, not so much. Something happened on the dismount, and I put a wee tad too much pressure on the knee joint. This was, as it turned out, a bad thing. You see, knees aren't really supposed to bend INWARD. When they do, a soft wet 'pop' can be heard as the patella gives up trying to stay attached to its various ligaments and shit and goes snapping around toward the BACK OF YOUR LEG.
It was the 'pop,' and the accompanying instinctive 'uh-oh' that kept me from getting up off the ice to which I had fallen after the popping and uh-ohing was done with. I just KNEW something was wrong. The knee felt all squishy and wrong. My friends tried to get me to stand up, but there was no way; I think they thought I was showboating, until one friend saw how pale I was, at which point they got all helpy instead of mock-y. It might have been the low growl of discomfort I was emitting that clued them in, I don't know. Fortunately, I was much more sylph-like in those days, and with a friend under each arm holding me up I was able to get off the ice and limp to the show room, where it because instantly apparent that my knee was swelling.
How did I know this? Well, my jeans were stretched TIGHT around that knee, even with the leg straight. Not at all normal, and just a touch worrisome.
Uh oh. Heckfire and darnation! Red alert.
Fortunately, my buddy Kai's Dad was a doctor, so we went trooping over there (did I drive? I think I may have!), where I THINK Doctor G cut the jeans off that leg to get a look at the swollification, pronounced it a significant issue, and called my folks to come get me. At something like 10 o'clock at night.
By 10 o'clock the next morning, I'd already passed out once. Seems the body knows when something is really wrong, even when the brain says "of COURSE you can go to the bathroom by yourself! You're FINE!" Good thing my Mom was there to catch me as I tumbled off the piano bench (which was 3 steps from the bathroom, and about as far as I could go once the constellations started obscuring my vision and that long black tunnel appeared to swallow my soul), because for sure I would have clocked my head on the keyboard and added injury to insult.
So that's the story of how I dislocated my kneecap. I left out the really grody bits. Like the draining. And the bruising. And the random knee failures that occurred for years afterward, sometimes spilling me onto the pavement when the whole thing would go pear-shaped and collapse under me.
You can thank me for my self-restraint in the comments. ;)
And have a great day.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
There is not enough coffee in the world to combat what appears to be the encroachment of a cold. NOT ENOUGH.
Today's post is a list of stuff about me, because someone posted it on their blog after I sent it to them, then they had the GALL to say that just because a person READS their blog they are compelled to actually POST the list on their own blog with answers specific to them. GALL! You are not the boss of me! Pronoun confusion! Bersnivens!
But the muzzy precludes anything else. So, here.
46 ODD (Ed note: which, at first? I thought ODD was some kind of acronym. This is how my brain works, and it is a dark matter, indeed.) things about you!
1. Do you like blue (sic) cheese? It's not the first cheese I reach for, but sometimes it's OK (as long as there's some mints nearby for after)
2. Have you ever smoked heroin? no
3. Do you own a gun? no
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Wha?
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? all the time...
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They need to be coooled down..
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Nightmare Before Christmas
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? COFFEE!
9. Can you do push ups? With the right bra. Ba-doom-CHING!
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? silver celtic knot earrings....
11. Favorite hobby? drinking to excess
12. Do you have A.D.D ? Yes. Shiny things are my friend.
13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? procrastination, gotta be.
14. Middle name? Lee, after my g-g-grandaddy Archibald Lee
15. What is your favorite TV show or movie? I love me some Dirty Jobs. And Cops.
16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Gel pens, index cards, tissues
17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. coffee, water, bourbon
18. Current worry? getting all the stuff done at work that needs doin'.
19. Current hate right now? None .
20. Favorite place to be? In bed.
21. Where would you like to go? Rome, Paris, Heidelberg, London, Minsk, Tahiti. Not in that order, and not an exhaustive list.
22. Name three people who will complete this? me, myself, and I
24. What shirt are you wearing? black scoop-neck shirt with a plum-colored fleece jacket o'er top.
25. What year would you go back in time to? Personal life - 1987. Any ol' time - 1942; the clothes and hair were awesome.
26. Can you whistle? from several orifices, AAMOF
27. Favorite color? blue, no... green!.
28. Would you be a pirate? The fancy-dress kind, yes. The Somali kind? Not so much!
29. Favorite girl's name? Sarah.
30. Favorite boy's name? Connor
31. Last thing you dreamed about? an underwater rollercoaster.
32. What's in your pocket right now? A dollar bill and a dime.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Biff.
34. Best Halloween costume? Puff's Smoking Jacket from many years ago
35. Worst injury you've ever had? dislocated kneecap.
36. Do you like where you live? Sure do - Ye Olde Wake Foreste is great!
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2
38. Who is your loudest friend? This? Remains unanswered. Because really, I only have loud friends.
39. How many dogs do you have? 1
40. Does someone have a crush on you? I would hope so
41. What is your favorite book(s)? Another Roadside Attraction.
42. What is your favorite candy? Snickers.
43. Favorite Sports Team? Don't have one, even though in NC that's something of a sacrilege.
44. Favorite Sports? Football, and minor league baseball.
45. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping on the couch.
46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Where the heck AM I?
And now it's your turn. Have a lovely day.
Monday, December 08, 2008
That right there might have maybe resembled me a little over the weekend. Who knew I was such a control freak? (rhetorical question, y'all)
This whole notion of 'letting go of expectations' and 'establishing new traditions' and 'white garland on the tree' is a bit unnerving. Funny how little tiny things can serve as a reminder that this life is not all about ME.
At least the garland, white as it is, swoops. At least there's that.
Hey y'all! The Shrinking Piggies have undergone a renovation in anticipation of a new year's worth of weight loss. Go check it out, and join up if you're so inclined. Everyone who wants to join will be able to post to the site (a new feature! Empowerment!), and we'll have cool Google docs that participant will be able to use to keep track of his/her progress.
The Shrinking Piggies won't ask you how much you currently weigh, because for some of us that's as closely held a secret as the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe, and perhaps a painful reality to admit to, even in the most private of times (or maybe that's just me?). We WILL ask you to track how much you've lost, and what you're doing for exercise, because a healthy weight loss plan always includes some physical momentum. Opportunity for DOUBLE shaming! Who wouldn't want to be a part of that??
Along those lines, it's apparent to me that my personal physical momentum has been somewhat glacial lately. The slightly sore butt muscles I'm currently sporting are the results of a 2-mile walk I took yesterday.
2 miles. That's sad. I'm hoping that by February I'll be able to look back on that and laugh.
Anyhow, the Shrinking Piggies. Not necessarily just for those of us who want to lose weight, it's for everyone who would like to be held accountable for a change in lifestyle toward the ideal to which our government and an entire phalanx of medical professionals would have us aspire, not to mention the whole 'your body is a temple' thing that I think God might have something to do with.
It was God, wasn't it?
Have a grand day. I'm off to find someone who has the power to turn up the heat in this building. It's not right that my boogers should be freezing in my nose when I'm INSIDE.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Bonus? The ball flashes as it rolls, so the dog likes it too.
This is the ONLY toy that that cat likes, aside from chasing a string or similar snaky object. The string-chasing requires human intervention, so most of the time it's her and the scratcher-ball thing if she's wanting any play time.
The dog, of course, has it worse, because ALL her play time requires human intervention. Except, of course, if the cat is playing....and then the dog is far more likely to scare her off of it wanting to GET TO THE SHINY THING!!! It's SHINY! It emits LIIIIIIGHT! GET IT!!
What I wouldn't give to have one of those kinder-spy cameras the folks with babies have nowadays. Watching the cat and dog standoff over the shiny ball of powah would be hysterical.
Oddly, the cat does NOT play with the laser beam shooter ma-thingie that doubles as a flashlight. No interest, thankyewverymuch. The dog? Totally LOVES that thang. If one of us dares pull it out to use like...a flashlight, she's whining and jumping and spinning circles until her nose is up her own ass in excitement. It's thlittle red light she wants, you see. A tiny pinpoint of red light that sends her into absolute spasms of joy. She'll drop her squeaky bone (second best toy) in favor of the SHINY LIGHT, every time.
This is also the dog that gets bent out of shape if reflections from a sink full of dirty dishes happen to be on the walls or ceiling. She maybe has a fixation. Heaven help you if the WATER actually reflects, because the motion makes her completely mental. The whining ramps up a few notches and soon an eviction to the backyard is necessary (as is the washing of the aforementioned dishes), because if there's anything more annoying than a dog's whine, I'd like you to tell me about it.
So, what with the attention to all that is shiny and marvelous, it's no wonder I'm experiencing some degree of trepidation at the notion of purchasing a Christmas tree. 400 tiny white lights, sparkly garland, shimmering ornaments? Skeet's head may well explode with joy.
If the damn cat doesn't knock it all over in a shimmering heap of glass shards first.
Speaking of glass shards - we watched "The Dark Crystal" last night. The Things had never seen it before; I think they were suitably impressed.
Let me say this to all of you who do not know what to get me for Christmas - I want one a' dese (Starts at 2:45)!
Y'all work on that, and have a great weekend.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
2007 was a huge year for changes in my life. Deciding to leave my marriage, moving out, buying a house, losing 25 pounds, meeting someone new, getting a new job, it all added up to a big ol’ dumpload of stress, excitement, and, ultimately, gratefully welcomed peace. The adjustments were enormous, but in the end were totally worth it.
Except now? All the peace and happy happy joy joy I've had in '08 have left me the unhappy recipient of that 25 pounds BACK again. Fuckers. Add to that, turns out that another life step reached this year, 'the menopause' (TMI? Tought darts, farmer. It happens!), is a large contributor to the rebound; in that that estrogen plays a hige role in metabolism. And I thought it wouldn't happen to me. Eeyeah.
I’m not at all happy about that weight thing. Pants that were blissfully loose last year are now ‘fitting’ again. There’s a spare tire around my middle that I’ve NEVER had before (my abdomen was one of my best features in years past), and let’s not even talk about my grandma upper arms. Sheesh.
Being happy comes at a price, or so it would appear. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it, not for all the skinny in the world if it meant I had to give up the world I’ve created.
2008 has been great; the happy is awesome. 2009 looks to be even better, with the forcast calling for much more of the same. Guess I’d better start working out again, lest all the happy piles up around me in great folds of adiposic glee. Fat and happy is good for babies (and perhaps for those ladies over there <---), but not for this ol' gal. Might be time to start the Shrinking Piggies up again.
Anybody with me?
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Also almost equally loveable is when, during a moment that should be held private between a person and their very noisy bowels, someone else walks in to the ladies' room at the moment of decible-tastic bomb-droppage. Oh yes, so much to love about sharing the moment of defecation with a faceless coworker. SMELL IT!
Another thing to love is cookies. I'm just saying. Cookies are wonderful. Unless they're those Italian wedding cookie things that look so wonderful but taste like they need more sugar and perhaps some flavor other than 'stale.' EAT IT!
That is all.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
A needle dropped in the hallway. A cushion of moss caught it before it could wake the babies. When the babies woke up, they were hungry. The babies needed to be fed, and what they like to eat were the walls. And floors. Carpet and draperies, stairs and terra cotta roof tiles.
The babies liked it all.
If they were asleep though, then they weren’t hungry. The babies liked quiet. It was fortunate then that the house had been built in the middle of vast acres of rolling farmland.
In the bright years before the babies came, Hilltop house had stood alone at the crest of a perfectly formed small hill; a white pebble road wound up to a broad landing where carriages parked and disgorged bright cargoes of guests. Back then, the house basked gloriously under a good warm sun, thinking nothing.
As time went on the parties trickled down to a barely perceptible occasional pump of life; rampant rumors of haunting kept many away from Hilltop House. The rare visitor would leave almost as soon as they arrived, throwing pebbles from spinning tires in their haste. The Basement saw them go, felt the dark future underneath its stone foundation.
The Basement had known for a long time that the babies were coming. They were coming up through the grit and cobble of the hill. The Basement could feel them pricking at its belly with their burning wish to emerge from their ritual entombment deep underhill. The babies were hungry, hungry for ‘up.’
So, as a young forest grew up around Hilltop, the babies nibbled. As the oaks and hickories dropped countless years of seeds and nuts around now-empty Shadowlands, the babies sucked. As the draperies rotted on their rods, the babies plucked and nuzzled their way into the house, tearing tiny bits of it from everywhere, an agony of slow destruction. Hundreds of years of terrible slow assault had left Hilltop ghostly, nearly invisible.
It was important to keep them inside, for Hilltop had learned the babies were hungry for more than stone and mortar. Once they’d escaped the house, found ‘up,’ they'd continue into the woods and world, feeding their dark need to conquer. Like all babies, though, they needed to sleep. Hilltop, therefore, had learned to lullabye its babies by sighing through the thousands of holes in its walls and crooning down crumbling chimneys. It learned to keep quiet once they were asleep, muffling floors ans walls with moss. leaves, and cobwebs. The babies always woke up though, chewing anew at their angry prison.
In this way a thousand years of quiet fighting passed, until a migrating bluebird hopped on the conservatory roof, yanked its small clawed foot back out through the hole it had unwittingly stomped, and exploded in a thousand and one years of the babies’ unfettered hunger.
As they screamed free, Hilltop sagged, and waited for the end of the world.
For the Wordsmiths.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Mmm, melty warm cheese over the arroz con pollo simmering on the stove? The perfect coup de grah on the dish. Seriously, that was one dish that was teetering on the edge of being not only LOADED with unnecessary veg, but also low-fat to boot, and by GOD, this is America, and we cannot have that.
Same for bagels. Bagels and butter? No. Bagels and CREAM CHEESE, perhaps the most wonderful.food in existence, after peanut butter. And cinnamon-sugar toast.
Damn, I'm hungry. Good thing that layer of mozz and cheddar I just sprinkled over the aforementioned arroz con poultry is almost the perfect gloss of melty goodness that signals eatin' time.
Can you tell it's been about 4 days since i cooked anything? I've been living on Thanksgiving leftovers, eating mostly from the plasticware containers in which they were secreted after the big meal, and while they were heating in the microwave was sucking on cold gravy chunks.
It was a thick gravy this year. Yum.
Also, I have bought three DRESSES today. Hi! Many big events are coming, and a girl must have a selection from which to choose when facing said big events, and while I seriously hope my first choice is the one that wins the 'fit' contest, I'm not stupid enough to believe that my first pick will necessarily be the best.
I haven't worn a dress in ages. This? Should be fun.
Now where can a gravy-eatin' cheese loving ninja girl get her some Spanx?? I think I'm going to need them.
Friday, November 28, 2008
In that three hours I COULD have been doing the workly work that I need to do this weekend, getting the first big chunks bitten out of the gigantic elephant I have to finish eating by Tuesday. I could have. Really.
But no. I have been reading through the Fark and CakeWrecks archives instead. FOR THREE HOURS.
What the hell is wrong with me??
Nevermind. Don't answer. Your words would be too close to the hard harsh truth, which might make me cry while looking into the mirror of self-recognition. You are good to me, my dears, your willingness to hold me up to a stalwart standard of being to which you know I should ascribe pierces me through my moistly thwunking heart. You hurt, good friends, you hurt me with your honesty, your disappointment at my laziness, your soft tongue-clucks and gently shaking heads. I can hear your sighs, barely audible, but the mysterious weight of sadness with which they are breathed is like a lion's angry roar in my soul.
So I go now, to begin the long and arduous downloading, the back-breaking copying and pasting, the sweaty business of document conversion and formatting. Oh, how I shall labor to get back into your good graces (and to save my ass from being pink slipped during the holiday season). You have shown me the folly of avoidance and evasion, and thus I go to face this job head on, strong in the knowledge that you, my friends, will cut me to ribbons with your virtual hard stares should I be caught with my figurative pants down at delivery time.
With that, adieu.
(Exit, stage right, yanking up literal pants, just for a laugh.)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Not sure if that's anything to be grateful for, but it's certainly a milestone. It's taken slightly over 3 years to get to 900. Never let it be said that I'm short of things to say.
Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!
This is a total day off for me, being as how we celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday due to schedules and such. The Things just left with their Dad to start some hard-core relaxing at the house in the woods; I believe football and ham are on the menu. I've been invited over to the neighbors for their feast, and so at 4 I will make the long hard trek ACROSS THE STREET to let them feed me. It's only fair, y'all, they got about half of our leftovers on Sunday. Apparently my neighbor likes the Tiny House stuffing recipe - hooray!
If you're interested in the recipe, here it is:
Tiff's Mom's Turkey Stuffing
1 loaf white bread
1 pound sage sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
2 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup white wine
Set the bread in a 200 F oven until dried. Cut bread into cubes.
Brown sausage, set aside.
Sautee onion and celery in in a covered pan with the sausage fat and a little wine and the bay leaf, until veg are glossy and soft.
Put bread cubes, sausage, and veg in a large bowl, let rest until room temperature. Beat eggs together and pour over top of stuffing mix. Sprinkle herbs and spices on, pour 1/2 wine over, and toss by hand to mix. Add more wine until mixture just barely holds together if you're going to stuff the bird with it (recommended) or until it forms a loose ball when gently squeezed if you're going to bake in a separate container. If baked separately, about 30 minutes at 350 F in a covered baking dish should do it.
There. Guaranteed to make your house smell awesome and the tummies start to rumble with hunger. No turkey needed.
Today is a nationally recognized day to count your blessings and pratice the art of gratefulness. In that spirit, here are the things for which I am grateful (at least in part):
A beautiful day
A loving family
A good job
A great boss
Peace in my heart
A rich past and a promising future.
What are yours?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
For example, that a faceless bot (thanks Grant!)has surmised that this here blog is 61% likely to be written by a MAN. Why would that be? What is it about this blog, and by extension, my writing, that is more masculine than feminine? Is it the random cussery? The almost complete lack of gushing about my kids or or cooking or decorating (all of which I love, some more than others, but for some reason choose NOT to write about on a regular basis)?
I'm wondering about their algorithm. Their algorithm is not available on their website. One must contact them to get more information. This leaves me unsatisfied.
So, what to do? Why, take an online quiz about how masculine or feminine I am, of course. Be it known right here and now that this quiz doesn't deserve a link, because it makes you give your name and e-mail address to get the stupid results, and plasters 'special offers' across two screens that one must click through to get the results, which totally crumbles my cheddar.
My results of this annoying quiz? "Ultrafeminine." Something about how I love romantic movies (do NOT) and have the shopping thing down pat (HATE it, is that what they meant?). It's like that quiz did not notice one single thing I told it, down to the fact that I would too make a sandwich before doing a pile of dirty dishes if what I wanted to do in the first place was make a stupid sandwich.
Who would do dishes BEFORE making a sandwich?
I do not believe I an ultrafeminine. I'm not the girl with the beauty-salon hair and nails. I'm not the woman with the fashionable clothes and a personal shopper at Belks. I'm not the chick with the hair-trigger emotions, a tissue at the ready. And I am most CERTAINLY not the delicate flower who thinks that fart jokes are immature or unfunny, because I happen to think that they are. I am taking UMBRAGE, y'all.
Not that there's anything wrong with being ultrafeminine. Please don't infer from the statements above that I am dissing those women (and maybe some men) who take pride in their femininity and glory in it. They should. It's their life, and to do what pleases them and helps them create an identity is fine and dandy. It's simply not MY identity, and that damned quiz machine should be able to TELL that.
Just like the genderizer should be able to tell I'm really a girl.
God, I'm so hard to please.
If y'all are travelling for the holiday, be safe out there. Getting smooshed on the road while on your way to delicious nummies is no way to go.
And have a great day.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So, 19 years after being married, we are no longer. The end of a long chapter in my life, but not the end of the story. Fortunately, the ex and I have forged a reasonable relationship, partly out of necessity, and (I hope) partly out of decency. There was enough evil between us before our split to last a lifetime, so there is no real reason to perpetuate those negataive feelings. I am not strong enough to have survived a fractious divorce. I’ve seen them; we all have, those couples who bankrupt themselves in the legal system trying to get their hands on small goods, on ‘things’ they deem important enough to spend their childrens’ college funds on, on items they have decided they must have, forgetting that most everything they possess can be purchased at Target for a nominal sum. That’s just bitterness and petty grubbing, heaping anger on top of the deep sadness that comes with the dissolution of any marriage. Throwing rage onto broken promises and grief cannot be the wisest course of action, though some rage is unavoidable.
Anyhow. It’s officially over. The agreement we reached 20 months ago (when I moved out) held up through lawyers and court, the papers were stamped and approved, and with the delivery of one small envelope, we were the recipients of the big D.
It’s said that change is good. This change has been one of the most difficult to make, with booby traps to avoid, pitfalls to step over, inroads to make, a different relationship to establish with the person to whom I was once married, but in the end it was a change that was totally necessary. Sometimes you just have to know when to quit, you know?
Monday, November 24, 2008
You ever have days like that? Weeks, maybe even?
Three days of offsite meeting last week, a couple of sick days (and kids), a holiday to eat up more time, travel plans to make, holiday gift card exchanges to do, presents to buy, and then....the work.
Y'all, I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, and I'm not a fan. WHO STOLE MY WEEKEND???? Can't even remember what I did on Saturday; is that a sign of approaching senility?
Akshully, senility wouldn't be too bad. The idea of hanging out in a housecoat and Depends thinking I'm 8 years old and spending time out back in the swingset seeing just how high I can go before gravity overtakes centrifugal force is sweet. To recapture some of that indolent youth of too many years ago, when time stretched out like a languorous housecat, full of nothing to do and all day to get it done. When trips to the creek were the most important thing to get accomplished other than being home in time for dinner; ah, to go back (if only mentally) to that timeset would indeed be a blessing.
Senility then doesn't seem so bad. Conjuring up the little girl I used to be, with ever-present bandages on my knees, flyaway blonde hair, and a big ol' cheesy grin just from being young, would be a nice way to spend a year or two.
As long as I don't forget the ones who I love and who love me, I'd be cool with senility. Something tells me though that I don't get to craft my own version of mental escapism, and that what goes will go of its own accord if indeed it's going to go at all.
So, that being the case, there's the looming 'everything' to deal with while I'm waiting to lose my mind.
Hey, at least Thanksgiving's over with.
Shut up. It is too. I have the leftovers to prove it.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thought you’d like to know.
Anyone started their holiday shopping yet? You do realize that ‘the big one’ is not but about a month away, don’t you?
I am proud to state that I have indeed started my shopping. Why, I’ve perused the lizard aisle of the local pet store, purchased a couple of CDs online, and am feelign on top of the world. Yes folks, with 30 days before the big event, I have but about 95% of my shopping left to do!
Thanksgiving must come first. The turkey and the stuffing and sides, the football and the parade (though they get more lame each year, or at least the coverage does), the bloat and cranberries, must all come before any serious planning for the last major ‘thing’ of the year is contemplated.
Oh, and also I must put aside the cold hard cash for tree buying, because that, my friends, is an expensive proposition down here. You’d think that with all the tree farms and such out in the western part of the state that trees would be a dime a dozen (or thereabouts), but no. A cool 80 bucks or so is needed to purchase the yearly conifer. Seriously! Even a tree compact enough to fit in the designated corner of the Tiny House’s living room is that much.
Makes me miss Connecticut, just a little. Up there, tree buying meant a quick schlep down to the Lion’s Club tree lot, where you could cut your own for 20 bucks and take home extra boughs for free. The Lion’s Club dudes would be gathered around a 55-gallon drum in which a fire was built, and point out the trees that had been claimed. Oh, they might help you with the sawing and such, but who wants that when one can get down and dirty on their own, hacking away at the trunk of their very own tree? Shoot, after getting that done, one can stroll across the street to the picturesque corner store and pick up a cuppa hot chocolate to warm those frigid fingers. It’s all very New England, and I miss it.
But still, snow here today. It feels a little like the right season now.
If only I could find a tree to tag.
Wal-Mart names Duke to succeed Scott as CEO
NC State Sorely disappointed.
Dr Pepper to deliver on its free-soda promise
Because captive soda is a global issue that needs to be addressed!
Dell 3Q profit falls as PC spending slows
Politically incorrect spending, however, boosted HP shares.
Model Karolina Kurkova voted world's sexiest woman
And she will EAT YOUR FACE if you disagree. Zoiks!
Have a terrific Friday, y’all. Tiff out.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As we well know, being not crazy, and also eating "a fruit a bread a veg a milk a cheese a bean a meat," are very important.
For years I thought I was only imagining this segment, and if on the off chance I wasn't imagining it I thought that Farmer Brown was a Sesame Street guy. Neither of those figments are true. This is actually good news. I don't mind being not crazy, and if you watched the video, you can well imagine WHY I was thinking Sesame Street, because who in their right mind(s) would be thinking USDA?
Thanks Dude! You rock, and I love you, man.
That video production I mentioned yesterday? One good thing about it: I did not appear in the presentation. One bad thing about it: It was a team effort, one in which a group of a dozen people were assigned various roles that were supposed to reflect the actual movie-making procedure, but which also in their turn describe some of the roles that exist in the clinical development paradigm.
Guess who was assigned to be executive producer?
Yeah, me. I had to lead a team of people I barely know through the motions of making an 8 - 12 minute film on the future of clinical research at my company. Sure thing! I can do that! Why, as someone on the very BOTTOM of the corporate totem pole, I am well equipped to tell anyone and everyone what to do, to hold team meetings at the appointed times, to stay out of the way of any TECHNICAL work being done and simply command the ship, to delegate and let the core team success or flounder on their own! Yes! That's me all right! Step aside and Let.Me.Lead.
Yes, friends, me, with a sum total of about 8 minutes of management experience, was put in charge. It's a wonder the very earth under my feet didn't split and swallow me whole right there at the very unlikelihood of it. With all my 'leadership potential,' it should therefore not be any wonder that my team had not committed ANYTHING to film until 30 minutes before we were supposed to turn in the cameras and begin our feedback session. We had a blank screen, despite the timetable that declared filming should have begun a full 90 MINUTES before deadline. Hey, what's an hour's difference in an exercise that took 2.5 hours, start to finish? Bah! A pittance!
Oh my yes, there were many chiefs and chefs, all of them stepping on one another's toques and headdresses as they 'worked together.' My crack core team needed to be reminded time and again that they were responsible for pulling this thing together - I saw one of them give up hope way too soon, leaving his team to determine how to get their jobs done. I had one team member who forgot they were in charge of DIRECTING, and so nothing was happening except random nattering. The writers were constantly being bugged about producing a script, which meant that they couldn't actually produce a script because they were answering questions, and with three minutes left before the deadline there were still shots being put on tape....aw heck, with 30 SECONDS left they were still shooting!
And yet, despite all the floundering and shouting and cross-purposing, they did it. They pulled something kind of awesome out their collective asses, and I was so proud. Good thing too, because I was the one standing up in front of the room reeling off our 'lessons learned,' and would have hated to be the lynchpin of a failed effort (I am unabashed in my drive to CMOA, as this standing in front of the room was leaving me terribly exposed, as it were). What they produced was funny, well shot, decently acted, and to the point.
It was kind of fun, but if I ever have to go through that exercise again, I'm going to bribe the grip to change places with me. Being at the peak of the responsibility pyramid sucks chapped monkey ass.
Y'all have a good one, mmkay?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Not nice, and something I'm dreading with every moist molecule of me there is to dread, is this afternoon's 'team building' experience, which, I've hard, involves video cameras. Why, dear Lord, WHY? Is there no one who will speak out against this awful cruelty? Why must we, the great mass of self-delusional people, be forced to be on camera and face the reality of ourselves? Why can't we instead script out a nice RADIO piece as a team-building exercise? I can do radio. I've done radio before. Radio is fun, and does not require make-up, good angles, fake smiles, an awareness of physical quirks and the suppression thereof, or decent clothing.
Radio is THE medium to explore for a person like me, NOT video. There's no real reason to subject me, or anyone else for that matter, to the evil that is facing ourselves in the lens of a camera.
The people who thought this up are wicked. Too bad the person who thought it up is the global head of our department, and as such is about a brazilian levels above me in management...makes bitching and moaning a difficult thing indeed.
A bright note: the Doubletree Hotel serves some really awesome cookies for those all-important snack times.
No bacon though.
Have a lovely afternoon folks. I'm off to find a way to lose 30 pounds and turn the clock back 10 years before we start taping this afternoon.
Again - gah!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It's been a day of corporate booshee and stuff like as I've never had to live through in a a few years, and I've plumb down forgotten how much tired a day of meeting in a conference room can make a person.
Breathing all that recycled air can't be good for a body, I swear.
Now though, I'm home and, with the addition of a few good shots from my buddy Jim Beam, I'm feeling fresh as one of those things Mike Rowe just picked up off the floor of that chicken house he was cleaning. Oh yes, I'm nothing if not one twist short of fully wrung out.
My ancestors would scoff at my 'tired.' I'm sure, feeling as I do now, they'd be ready pop off and plow that back 40 or clean out a Stygian Stable, but I am of much fluffier stuff, and so find that after 9 hours of 'meeting' and 'good show' and 'liasisng,' I am right knackered.
I can hear my grannies rolling around in their graves now, along with the rattling bones of those they gossip with. Sorry ladies. My fate is to allow my ass to get as big as yours (but not, I'm sure, as firm) with no effort spent toward actual hard work.
The brain, she is nimble and quick. The rest of me? Well, that candlestick better watch out, because I'm a-stumbling off to bed pert near soon, and it's in dange of being trampled.
Might be Thursday before I see y'all again. Pray for me, won't you?
Monday, November 17, 2008
I just picked an apple out of my lunch bag. It smells like vinegary old feet.
Candy machine, here I come!
This past weekend was the one when all the leaves came down. OK, maybe not ALL, but certainly enough for us to now be able to see our neighbors behind and to the north of the Tiny House.
All summer long we can pretend like we don't have backyard neighbors, because there are trees and other leafy green plants that block their view of us and our view of them (amazing, how that all works out, huh?). Ah, summer, when it's too daggone hot out to consider spending any time in the backyard, and when there are so many mosquitos out there that you take your life in your own hands if you go out un-slathered wtih DEET, and when the air is too thick to breathe, there are leaves. Come October, when the weather starts to moderate there's a window of about 2 weeks when the sky is clear, the air is crisp, the bugs are too lethargic to bite or fly, porch sittin' is just about perfect.
By the middle of November though? It's all over. It gets COLD (brrr- 40 degrees! Shocking! I might have to put on a jacket!), and the trees shiver off their leaves, preferring to stand naked in the winds of winter. Our backyard lies exposed to the prying eyes of the neighbors; not even the weeping willow whips can keep out unwanted stares.
No, we can no longer pretend we don't have neighbors, because there they are, right over the back fence. Our privacy is vanished, and the glass block of the bathroom window becomes not QUITE enough shield from the outside world. Curious folk who live in the old mill could make out bedroom activities if they chose, so the blinds must be lowered, shutting out their view, and ours. We become a little more trapped in our home when the leaves fall, having forgotten how small 4 rooms can feel when the doors are all shut and the blinds lowered and louvered.
It begins a season of patience, of biding time.
The good thing for People of Little Patience such as myself is this: Spring arrives early around these parts, and so come March we'll have our living screen back again.
Just about the same time the first hatch of mosquitos arrives.
Enjoy your afternoon, my friends. See you tomorrow.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sun to cut up to 6,000 workers, 18 pct of staff
Moon pink-slips 50% of its work force.
India's first lunar probe lands on the moon
To pick up the cheap labor looking for jobs after the big layoff.
Long-lost lunar photos get another day in the sun
Said to show long lines of pickets protesting the recent job losses while the CEO of Lunar Limited takes home huge annual bonuses.
Had a school open house thingie last night for Thing 2. It was……interesting. The kids lead their own conferences, following a script provided by their teachers. There were checkboxes to tick off when each task was completed. To nobody’s surprise, Thing 2 was dutiful in the checking and the script following and the meticulous review of each of the pieces of schoolwork he had in the 4 folders of his core classes. ‘Leave no stone unturned’ is that boy’s motto. You want thorough? Go to him.
You want completely and utterly random? Go to his older brother. Thing 1 will yell out stuff like ‘I like ham’ at odd intervals, and half the time is walking around with his shoelaces untied and scraps of paper falling out of his pockets, which also happen to be chock full of pencils and pens which he picks up off the floor at school and re-sells for a quarter apiece. He’s a lanky blond storm of a boy, while his younger brother is more like a big ol’ brick wall.
How two children who are so very different have the same two genertic material donors is quite beyond me.
NaBloPoMo. Yeah. Some people are doing it. SOUNDS like a good idea, until you’re faced with a certain dearth of anything postable. The pressure of having to post is tremendous, and unless you’re able to blather on about this n’ that at length (or not, I suppose), you’re going to wind up posting a lot of inanity. Like this. And I’m not even participating in the NaMoBloPo, or whatever.
Eh – I gots to go. Y’all have a wonderful weekend, and a beer for me.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
You should have been there. It was perhaps some of the very best whinging I've done in a long time. Really well done stuff.
Today? No more whining! Just like THAT, I've adapted to the lot life has cast me. There are no more worries, there is no more angst, there can be no further bitching about my current position, because today I am working at home.
It's an elixir for the crabby-pantsedness, is the working from (at) home.
Woke up late this morning. It was not my alarm clock's fault. It did its job at 6:something on the dot, just like it was told. The waking up late was completely and operator issue on my part.
I love me some bed time, and on a gray wet morning such as we had here, further snuggling under the covers is what's called for.
So, at 7:22 I found myself in a bit of a pickle. The Things' school starts at 8:15. It's a 15-minute commute. They need at least 5 minutes to get to their lockers and to the band room to drop off their instruments. That meant at there were about 35 minutes to
- make coffee
- wake up the kids
- get them to eat breakfast
- make their lunches
- ensure the Things brushed their teeth and hair and washed their face (thank GOD they'd taken showers the night before)
- police their fashion choices (going to school in your lounge pants? no, but nice try Thing 2)
- get their randomly strewn crap back INTO their backpacks and get them out the door.
That's not a lot of time to get all that done, especially when the 'responsible adult' is still half asleep.
And yet, by 8:10 they were disembarking the rent-a-van (yay! Success!), and by 8:16 I was at the repair shop asking about Tinkerbell's health. After being assured by the nice young man behind the counter that she'd be ready for me in half an hour, I drove the rent-a-can back to the rental place (goodbye, sweet ride!), got picked up by the dealer shuttle, brought back to the shop, where I was told she'd be ready 'in a few minutes."
I can hear you all moan in sympathy, because you KNOW, don't you, about the secrets of repair shop time? For those uninitiated, or simply forgetful folks out there, a hint: Car shop time is not like regular time. "15 minutes" is equivalent to an hour of normal time. When the nice young man behind the counter said "just a few minutes" I should have responded with "just drop me off at home and come get me this afternoon, because I KNOW you're a lying son of a gun and I'm going to have to sit in your gray humorless waiting room reading ad mags and some godawful 'Fashion Rocks' glossy while listening to Dr Phil deconstruct some poor slob who agreed to appear on his show (perhaps in the ope of achieving some kind of bizarre fame), which to me seems like the first circle of hell, so GAH! NO!"
But I did not say that, for I am a hopeful person, and choose to believe that he was telling me the TRUTH about how much time it will take for the shop guy to return from his hookers n' blow run IN MY CAR. Test drive, my left butt cheek. That lil' beetard is out cruising in my baby, probably has her driver's seat all ratcheted back so his head is in the back seat and he's got her stereo-e-o thumping on 1) cracker country or 2) crunk-a-dunk rappage while he's impressing the girls with the awesomeness of my sweet lil' Tink. Oh yea, she might LOOK like a gramma car, but she's got soul, baby, and don't all the chicks jus' KNOW it.
So, after ramming my knees into the dashboard because car guy over-compensated with the seat adjustments once he was done snorting coke off the damp flaccid bosom of whatever ho' he bought his shit from, it's a good thing I'm working from home. I'm sure we all can agree that it's best I'm not on the road with that kind of attitude.
Y'all have a lovely afternoon.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I just wrote a very VERY self-indulgent ‘poor me’ entry, and then out of a burst of common sense, deleted every single word of it before even saving a proto-draft, because damn. Who in their right mind would spout off about bad crap when they just got back from VACATION?
Holy shit Tiff, get a freaking grip. You just had several days of fun in the sun, of fresh air (Times Square!) and great friends and many many items of debauchery, and you’re going to BITCH ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
Shut the fuck up, Tiff. Just shut. Up.
I am simply depressed about being back at work. About staring my white board that, as of this moment, has 19 projects on it that I’m tracking. Nineteen. Seven of which I’m managing, which means constant contact with the vendors who are doing that work, asking me for guidance and input while I’m juggling the process issues. The leaves 12 projects that are mine, all mine. Eight of which need to be done by the END OF THE YEAR.
This is far too much work to think about all at once. This is the kind of work that a person who loves to work would kill for.
I? am not one of those people who LOVE to work, but I cannot complain about my current situation to anyone, because I brought this on myself, I agreed to do those projects because there was NOBODY ELSE to do them and outsourcing was not possible and so, to save my boss from working yet another series of 80-hour weeks (no exaggeration), I said I could do the work, which now finds me in the position of just about falling to bits whenever I consider starting even one silly little thing.
Names run together, project codes meld, indications and filing types and timelines intermingle in an evil slurry of responsibility, and I have to drink the poison of my own making.
I’m particularly crabby about that last part.
Also? Maybe I’m crabby because a few days ago a crab actually had the temerity to PINCH ME right on the soft meat of my right index finger, and that little farker DREW BLOOD. No amount of prying would tear that wee demon loose, and it finally turned out that a stranger had to pry its claws apart with a plastic shovel to get it off of me. My God, that hurt. If that crab had been any bigger, I’m sure that right now I’d be minus one fair-sized hunk of finger-meat, and that crab would be dreaming of its next meal of human flesh.
I shall never again laugh at ‘comedic’ scenes involving netherbits getting becrabbed, for it is no laughing matter.
Maybe that crab infected me with crabbiness! Perhaps at any moment I’ll begin scuttling sideways. Perhaps I’m on the verge of sprouting eyes on stalks and a sand-colored carapace. Perhaps there’s a wet sandy pond bottom waiting for me to shimmy my mega-ass into where I can lie in wait for my next victim to chomp onto. Grumpy ol’ crab-Tiff, lurking in the depths, fluxing brackish water over her book lungs while fish larvae dart above her head, backlist by a noon sun.
It’d be better than working, that’s for damned sure.
Full of memories, which include:
- Meeting Puff's family
- A huge bed in a palm-tree themed room. What could be more Florida than that?
- Baby Z. A marvel of nature, and also one of its forces.
- The squeaky white sand.
- Catching crabs, the moral way.
- Having a crab catch me, the immoral bastard.
- That back porch and its call to hedonism. The bourbn and smokes were out there, and sheesh - BACATION! Yes!
- Bowling. With a baby. Who is learning all about stairs. There were stairs at Ye Olde Bowling Alley. Turns out? I am the perfect baby Z antidote for steps. Child won't come NEAR me. I stand at the bottom of steps, she turns and runs the other way.
- Becks, and the way one person can make a dozen just chill the fuck out with her hippie-ness of awesomeness.
- Mr P's incredible accent. I swear, he put it on and KEPT it on the whole weekend. Sounded just like a real Englishman, he did. Like ye do.
- Miss A, the scientist.
- Miss K, the artist.
- Master C, the sportsman.
- Baby Z, Mistress of Just About Everything
- The Things, melding into the Puff Brood as easily as slipping into their own bed. Amazing to watch. So glad to have been able to make it happen.
- Fine sand, warm sun, cold air, happy chaos, good coffee, new friends, OLD FRIENDS, Texas Hold 'Em, big porches, palm trees, clouds of seagulls (not even flocks!), and so much more.
But far. Too. Short.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Gettin' the fam ready to take a drive down the eastern part of this great nation, where we'll take a right at Jacksonville and continue on for a few hours. Because, you know, semi-spontaneous 12-hour drives are the new black.
My buddy Puff is waaaaay over yonder, waiting for us to descend on her and her family. It will be a meeting o' momentous proportion, I'm thinking, being as how she's been all up n' married and spawing chilluns' for about 15 years without me ever meeting any of the folks she calls 'family.' This is what living on a whole other continent will do for you. It's tough to pop over for dinner or to babysit for a friend when there's an ocean between you.
Puff is a wonderful woman, as evidenced by the fact that she invited us down to see her and her gang while they are cavationing, and STAY AT THEIR HOUSE WITH THEM. That's just crazy talk right there! Wonderful, crazy, impulsive, generous woman. There was about 15 seconds of mental wrangling on my part (the basic question being 'fly or drive' because NOT going was never really an option), a 'yes we'll be there' popped out, and the planning was underway.
Today's the day! Yay, hooray! Today's the day we rentaminivan and pileourstuffin and drivepastdark on our way to the sunny shores of the Gulf o' Mexico-ho-ho.
Today's also the day I:
Also take Tinkerbell to the shop to find out why she's leaking oil.
And also pay the utility bills.
And also pack.
And also finish up a few work projects that are threatening to swallow my brain with their complicated demands.
But hey - vacation in a few hours! Yay! Hooray!
Talk amongst yourselves until Wednesday. And have a nice day(s).
Postscript - my step-dad's mom passed away early this morning. She was 93, and until last week lived at home alone taking care of things on her own. Please throw a kind thought his way as he has to say goodbye to his Mom. He's lucky to have had her for as long as he did.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
These people are returning home from a relaxing pilgrimage (or something) in Pakistan.
Note: This is just the OUTSIDE of the train.
Can you imagine the living hell that the inside must be?
OK, I understand that people need to get places, but my personal space demands at least a smidge of elbow room. If I lived in Ye Olde Pakistane, I'm thinking that my stingent demans for breathing room would likely mean that I'd be hoofing it home as the option of choice rather than cramming myself into that seething mass of humanity.
So, Pakistan is right out. Also Japan. I've seen their subway cars.
Please don't get me wrong, It's not like I don't want to go to these places (because hey history and culture? Love you!), it's just....if I have to do in Rome like the Romans do, it'd be the death of me. To think about having white-gloved policemen SHOVING me into an already crammed-full train car gives me the shivering jibblies. To entertain the notion of becoming part of a million-legged beast like the one in the photo above engenders a case of the creepin' willies that's worse than styrofoam rubbing together.
My personal space demands are so strong that if there are more than 3 people on an elevator I'll either 1) wait for the next one or 2) walk. Crowded airplanes are also a test of my creep-o-meter, what with all the flesh-pressing and recirculated air-breathing going on.
I love people, just (generally) not when they're touching me.
Tell me it's not just me, and have a great day.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Overall, Obama seems to have won by 6 percent of the popular vote, which is extremely narrow to my mind. The middle of the country and a good portion of the south went for McCain, which was expected. My home state of North Carolina is, apparently evenly split between the two candidates.
I couldn't watch the results come in. No way - that would be too much like watching a close contest between two really good pro sports teams. I'd get all hopped up and excited and loud and sweaty, and who wants THAT? Nobody, that's who. So, after a quick tee-tiny lil' peek at some of the semi-early returns last night (hey, I'm only human), it was nighty-night and we'll see how it all shook out in the morning.
And now? We see how it shakes out for the next 4 years. It's my sincere hope that the results of this election don't polarize the country, that they don't foment violence or strengthen some folks' resolve to remain ignorant of what the real goal of government is and instead focus on skin color or middle names as a means of coping with the loss of the Oval Office. I'm afraid that the middle of this country will become a hot mess of anger, that messages will not be received as intended (ooooh, SOCIALISM! oooooh, he's gonna STEAL YOUR MONEY, that rat-bastard MUSLIM!), that the blinders of politics and the strong historical bent of some voters' ideas of what a candidate and the 'right party' should be will prevent a new vision from reaching everyone for whom it was crafted.
(In truth, I had trepidation about the election results going the OTHER way as well. In the current political furor, tempers are easy to poke up to a roaring blaze, and who knows how many people had a LOT of personal identity at stake this time around? Seems such a silly thing to get into a fight about, but maybe that's just me and my penchant for apathy.)
I understand that this is hard news for lots of people. It totally understandable for people to be upset. Hell, I was upset in 2000 and 2004, believing that all those votes for the candidate of my choice were stolen by a phalanx of hanging chads and such, but after the disappointment wore off it was back to business as usual, with me ignoring Washington and taking care of daily life. I hope that same can be true for the people experiencing disappointment after this election.
In short - I'm happy, but afraid. I'm afraid that the bones have already been thrown for a sizable chunk of the population of this United States, and in them they see nothing but ruin and a new leader to aim their blame on.
I really hope I'm wrong.
In other news, it appears that my Libertarian votes were not for nothing. The guy running for U.S. senate got 3.12% of the vote, and only needed 2% to get the Libs automatically on the ballot for the next election cycle. See, any third party needs to get something 10,000 signatures on a petition to the state to allow their names to be entered on the ballot for any election, and the petition needs to be accepted. If a party can get the petition accepted AND get at least 2% of the vote at that election, then their party's name is on the roll for the next election and the whole petition thing can be skipped. That's a hugely time-consuming and expensive thing to get to take off the books, and is a big step forward IMHO.
I threw my vote for Governor to the Libs as well, and that candidate got 2.87% of the vote. It doesn't LOOK like much, but I think the wave has started breaking over the walls of the two-party system, which I find I dislike more and more. If at some point in the future I find myself staring at a ballot with at least 3 names for every office, it will be a grand day. I might be very very old and easily confused, but you can bet I'll have 1) done my homework, 2) marked up my sample ballot, and 3) voted my conscience.
Full disclosure: on a ballot that included probably 2 dozen choices, I voted republican about 6 times (because they seemed the better candidate! Whoa! what a concept!), left the uncontested races blank (about 6 of those), tossed a couple of votes to the libs, and you can figure out the rest. Schizo, yes, but what would you expect from this aging hippie with a good job and a mortgage to pay, a straight ticket vote?
Gotta git to work. Y'all have a good 'un.