Thursday, November 30, 2006

Firefox and the stretchy screen

So, I recently switched my default browser to Firefox (from the much-maligned IE), and I have to say, it's been nothing but fun and games since then.

I like the tab features, so that's good.

I also like the speed, so that's cool too.


When I go into Blogger, sometimes the "edit" button is reeeeeeeaaaaaallllly long. Sometimes when I go into Haloscan to engage in witty repartee with those who dare to comment, the "edit" link there is allthewayofftooneside and is often covered up by an ad, which makes engaging in the aforementioned witty repartee very difficult indeed. When I try to e-mail some of y'all in response to one of your comments, the e-mail doesn't wrap if I copy and paste from YOUR e-mail.

My question is: why?

Why does Firefox hate me?

Also, why does Firefox regularly tell me that it can't find sites like, oh, the HOME PAGE or GOOGLE? Why does it make me nervous this way?

Firefox, baby, I LOVE you, because you are sleek and cool and all the in kids use you, but if you don't treat me a little better I'm going to have to start up with the nerdy kid I left for you, because at least IE was stable, steadfast, and, even if it was a little slow sometimes, it always gave me good screen.


Tomorrow, a story. Monday, a story. Next Wednesday, YOUR story is due for Wordsmiths.

(please don't perceive that as a threat - I just really want to read all about your favorite childhood toy and the things you said to one another!)


That's it for today. Y'all have a good one and I'll see you back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thing 2 speaks!

This is from Thing 2, in response to Wordnerd's question of today:

'So the flaming unicorns and chocolate covered Indians were good ideas, but I think flying monkeys with diaper machine guns tops it all off.

However, when I got to school today I changed the story, because I didn't think my teacher would accept that as a good enough imaginative idea, so I changed "flying monkeys with diaper machine guns" to "raining St. Bernards and lions." It's imaginative and yet believable, sort of.'

That's all from Thing 2. Over and out.


Y'all, that's about all I have time for today.

Stupid deadlines.


Oh, if you haven't done so, please go to the Wordsmiths homepage and see if you'd like to join in the fun and games. I've got some idea for my story already, and I promise that no matter what you may THINK the guidelines for this month's challenge say, my story will probably be very different from what you'd expect.

Yes, it's yet another peek into my childhood, and my stars, it's not pretty.


Fitness update: 850 meters in the pool today in 28 minutes. I've increased the efficiency of my frog kick (yes, the one you do when you're breaststroking in the POOL, cause I know one or the other of you is going to make some joke about breastroking. I expect nothing less, you prurient little perves! But hey, on thinking about it more, I suppose if you wanted to frog kick while having your breasts stroked or while stroking someone else's breasts while you're on dry land it's up to you, but mind you, you won't get very far no matter how vigorous your kick and you may well end up injuring someone or something! Now, back to the sentence....) by a pretty good margin - it takes me 24 kicks to get the length of the pool vs the 32 it did 2 weeks ago.

Somebody (Q, I'm looking at YOU!) do the maths on that one and tell me in percents what the improvement is. Is it 25%?

Also, I'm regularly doing the length of the pool in 17 full strokes, down from 19-20.

With a moderate amount of effort, I can create a wake.

I don't need to stop to rest every 2 lengths.

This makes me happy, but there is far far to go.


Spent some time helping Thing 2 with homework last night. 'Twas an "imaginative" story that had to have the ending line "was I surprised to find the police at my front door."


First - all the "imaginative" gets thrown to the curb if you're bringing COPS into it. Way to give the dream some cement boots, teach!

Second - hello? Options for imagination that would call the police to your door? Drugs? Loose women? A loud party? Not the stuff of fourth-grade imaginations.

Soooo, after Thing 2 rejected my ideas of flaming unicorns, ballet-dancing pirates, chocolate-covered indians, and some other HIGHLY imaginative stuff, we (um, "he") wound up with a story that involves flying monkeys who brandish diaper machine guns. Imaginative, offensive, and violent, all at once! Brills!

A side note: I expect an "A" on the story. Anything less will draw my irrefutably imaginative ire.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A thing you do not want

Also could be titled "Fiddling while Rome burns."

Yesterday afternoon, while have a fine lunch with some very fine collegaues and talking about holidays and children and other topics af intense interest, I began to notice that something simply was not right with my internal operating system.

To be more specific, it felt like somebody was trying to squeeze my esophagus out through my ears.

Very distracting.

As I am wont to do, I ignored this odd sensation and gamed on, conversing with my usual gusto, or perhaps with MORE gusto, so as to distract myself from the ever-mounting pain. After I time I grew quiet, ostensibly to let my colleagues have a chat without me interefering with my opinions and anecdotes, but really to begin an attempt to gauge the threat level to my overall health and welfare.

By the end of lunch I was at orange level. The squeezing in my throat and through my ears had spread to my chest, which did NOTHING whatsoever for my feelings of peace and goodwill toward all men.

In fact, I was starting a bit of a panic.

Naturally, I did what made the most sense.

I did NOT go to the health center a mere three floors below me! Tish tosh on that notion!

Instead, I googled "chest pain." Then I googled "causes of chest pain." Then "causes of chest pain in women," and spent the next 90 minutes in a full-on orgy of self-diagnoses, of which there can be many, depnding on whether the pain is crushing, burning, pinching squeezing, radiating, centralized, pulsating, steady, etc. etc. etc.

After a while, threat level red was achieved, probably helped along by the whittling down of the diagnoses to 2 things (to my oh-so-nimble thought processes): 1) esophageal spasm or 2) myocardial infarction. I could live with the first, the second might well kill me.

I began to feel clammy, which is another symptom of a heart attack. My heart began to race, yet another symptom. The pain intensified (centrally, no radiation, no crushing, no nausea), at which point I decided (brilliant!) to go to the wellness center and see the PA there, just to get a second opinion, in case my own expert diagnoses were completely off the mark.

Heck, maybe this awful pain was the result of work-induced stress, and I'd have a medical OUT of work! That would be sweet, (though not listed as probable cause on any of the thousand webpages I'd perused).

As I headed to the elevators, 2 things happened that were to change the course of the rest of the day: 1) one rather exuberant belch followed by 2) another of similar quality. I felt instantly deflated, my pants fit a touch more loosely, and I stopped perspiring for no reason.

By the time I'd gotten 3 floors down on the elevators, I felt somewhat better.

By the time I'd gotten down the hall to the med center, I felt markedly better.

By the time my systems were checked, I felt fine.

Stupid esophageal spasms. I was hoping for something much more dramatic, yet non life-threatening. Something that would get me out of work yet not hang like a Dementor over my sickbed. Something,,,,poetic, and only a little painful.

Ah well. Tomorrow is another day.

There was one golden moment. I was so CLOSE to being 100% right in my self-diagnosis!


Sometime yesterday I had my 10,000th visitor. I am thrilled by this turn of events.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Here we are again!

Shreds of things today. It was a long weekend...and it left me with very few coherent thoughts.

1) Kenju got it right, so go to her site to read all about the great inaugural meeting of the Highly Irrational Raleigh Area Bloggers Association (HIRABA).

2) I realize I have not yet bored y'all with tales of my Thanksgiving. Nor will I. Suffice it to say that I made enough stuffing to ensure an adequate supply for a week of meals, and that for once people other than me ate the homemade cranberry sauce. Also, I did not have to clean up All in all, a successful holiday.

3) Sometimes I am on the ball and get things done before they need to be. Take, for example, the fact that I have a bag of gifts for my coworkers sitting in my office just WAITING to be given out for X-mass, and it's not even December yet. Is it too soon just to distribute them and have done with it, do you think?

3a) I have also finished the writing of the holiday letter. What is wrong with me?

4) More to point 3, but enough different that it gets its own number, I have engaged in a holiday rubber-stamping frenzy that has sucked in both Things. Christmas cards, thy name is addiction. There is also glitter spray involved, and sparkly pens. This degree of shimmer does not seem to affect the masculinity of the Things, as shortly after finishing any session of creativity with holiday stampage they can be found pounding one another or pretending to be Pokemon once again. This pleases me to no end (not so much the pounding, but the sparkles-can-coexist-with-manliness thing. I need the help, quite frankly, if I'm going to get all 120 cards done in time for the holiday, and any hands are helping hands with that amount of obligation). They're coming out quite nicely, might I add. Thing 2 has quite the designer's touch.

5) In much more "moving" news, the dining room is almost bereft of boxes. This IS a major milestone, people. The "library," on the other hand, gained a few new boxes over the weekend. Sigh. Something about "getting the crap out of the garage so some WORK can be done in there" was muttered (repeatedly) over the course of a couple of days this past weekend. Being as how the "work that's going to be done" involves making bookshelves for the "library" (in quotes because it sounds so damned pretentious and yet that's exactly what it's going to be!) and finishing base cabinets for the breakfast room so our Tupperware has a place to live that's NOT in the dining room, I can live with the boxes. I eagerly await the ringing of the circular saw and the soothing hum of the orbital sander....the sounds of progress being made are sweet indeed.

6) In the unpacking this weekend I found the following: Christmas decorations, about 8 strings of lights, 18 electric candles for the windows to make our house look bright and cheery, a Mac OS, 2 modems, 2 almost complete sets of dishes that we no longer need because we've since bought new stuff, a pile of decorative gift bags, a half a box of Q tips, old letters sent to me by boyfriends I had in college (yowza, the things they did say!), my botany/microbiology/zoology books from back in the day, pictures of me at 24/5 years old (goodness, how thin!), and a wicker picnic set that has to be from 1971 or so (because that's the year mentioned on the as-yet-unopened Thermos label) from the "Optima" company (which I found out through a Google search is a British firm that still makes "fine quality picnic sets).

(and also, apparently, a gift for using parenthetical phrases)

Rather a nice haul, don't you think?

Unpacking is a heinous chore, I'll give you that, but when you stumble across things you've been toting around for 20+ years (the wallet that was carried in high school, for example, complete with graduation pictures of people you don't recognize) it's like rediscovering yourself. I also found a whole sheaf of music from wayback, most of which I can't remember playing, and a good chunk of which I should have returned (oops! Sorry Hayfield High School! Y'all must have supplied the music for the Regional Band program in 1978 or so. Need all those third horn parts back?).

7) I recovered a chair cushion also. Yay electric staple gun! Kapow! Blam! Dangerous weapon in use! Loves it.

There you go. I believe that puts you pretty much up to speed with what's going on with me right now.

Oh wait...

8) 30 minutes in the pool yesterday. The SkinnyBack program took a few days hiatus, but is back on track.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Kiddies, gather around

Specifically, Renn and Erica.

Look what I found! This may be a must-have for all parents of children "of a certain age."

I have NO idea what the music sounds like, BTW, so please don't blame me if it sucks.

'Tis the season, after all, y'all

My good buddy Hovatter62 sent me these, knowing I have a penchant for large words and an odd sense of humor. They're obfuscations of simple Christmas Carol titles, in case you didn't know. I believe I've figured them all out, but why not give it a shot and tell us what you think they are by leaving a comment?

Thus beginneth the 2006 Christmas season. Hohoho and a bottle of fun.

1. Listen to the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.

2. Embellish the interior passageways.

3. Twelve o'clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival.

4. The Christmas preceeding all others.

5. Small municipality in Judea south of Jerusalem.

6. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite in distinguished males.

7. Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness.

8. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.

9. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic, resonant cups.

10. In awe of the eventide characterized by religiosity.

(#9 has got to be my favorite. Thanks Hov62!)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This is my life

Well, my morning giggle has been replaced. I am sad.

There used to be a sign on a local church marquee (for I can think of no other way to describe the signage out from of most of the churches down there that are used as platitudinal billboards) that read:


To which I would (usually) think "and Mary comes at night!"

Heeee! Good for a giggle every.daggone.time.

Well, that's gone now, and I'm left with some stupid thing about your attitude should be one of gratitude or somesuch preachy nonsense.

I say "BOOOOOO" to this change of events. Bring back the giggles, Leesville Road Baptist Church! Bring it back NOW!


It is possible, when you live in the South, to have a quick bill-paying session at the electric co-op turn into a 15-minute conversation with the counter lady during which you find out that her husband (her second husband, because the first died at age 49 of cancer, don't you know), just had a heart attack, but it was mild, and had cardiac catheterization but didn't really bounce back because a bad urinary catheterization caused him to have a bladder infection for which he had to take 10 days of antibiotics but isn't it geat that there was no damage to his heart and the stents are working fine and oh yes, there's a granddaughter with a persistent bladder infection who may have three kidneys and also one of the lady's daughters had three kidneys so it's entirely likely the granddaughter has one as well, and gosh shouldn't we all be thankful for what we have even on a rainy day like this one.

I know this, because it happened to me.


It's raining chupacabras and chthulus here today. Has been since last night, when I thought the roof was going to blow off and we'd all be standing in our bedrooms, soaked to the skin, wind whipping though our hair, wondering what brand of nightmare this was.

There are frogs doing the backstroke in midair.

There are treeses up to their kneeses in water where water oughtn't to be.

There is a backorder for arks.

And yet, I have no right to complain, because I understand the Northeast is getting in SNOW what we're getting in rain, and with snow packing 8 inches of equivalent for every inch of rain (more or less), there a possibility that the folks up there will be up to their eyeballs in fluffy white goodness by nightfall.

So, I'll shut up about that rain now.


UPDATE: I would like to take this opportunity to thank Erica, of amopeysouthernchick, for being the first ever (EVER!) commenter on my blog. All this thanking was Neil's idea, and I forgot to put this in the post this morning, so I sure hope it's not too late to be grateful.

It's NEVER too late to be grateful, is it?


Anyhow, there's a good chance that I'm not going to update for the remainder of the week (just like the rest of the blogosphere but for those hardy souls that are still doing NaBloPoMo), so I'll take this opportunity to wish you and yours the most satisfying of Thanksgivings. Spend a few moments really basking in what you have, and then go donate some money or time to a charity.

And have some turkey for me!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Accidental Taxidermist, and a fine idea

From time to time here on NAY I divulge secrets about myself in an effort to 1) shed one more dark layer in an attempt to peel back to my shining center (a lifelong exercise, let me just tell you right now), and 2) to get response from y'all about whether or not a particular secret is a shared item amongst humanity/the blogosphere or is peculiar only to me.

Today, you lucky dogs, is one of the "secret" days! You get to know another little tidbit about the Tiff!

Here goes:

As many of you know, I have a rather long commute to and from work (why, the distances "to" and "from" are nearly identical, now that I think of it! Amazing!). Much of this commute takes place through country, and by country I mean "country," with farms and cows and forests and suchlike as you'd find in a rural southern community.

Example: there's a place not far from our house that advertises "turkeys, poults, and chicks" for sale. A bit further down the road is a beat-up trailer home that regularly advertises "free kittens" on a crooked hand-lettered sign. A week or so ago, at 10 p.m., there was a harvester in the soybean field next door bringing in the crops. I pass a place that has pygmy goats tied out in the front yard.

Stuff like that.

So, in all this "country," and with all the driving, I have the opportunity, if you will, to pass many varieties of wildlife who have been knocked lifeless and left on the side of the road. As one old swain termed them - "road-ready flat snacks."

Here's my secret: I HAVE to look at every single one of them and try to identify what it once was.

I know, it's icky, yet I can't help myself.

Deer are easy, except when they're fawns, when they can easily be mistaken for dogs. Usually deer can be ID'ed through fur color or the presence of a deer-y ear or fluffy tail rising up from amidst the carnage. Cats are also usually easy, though can be mistaken for skunks, particularly in colder weather when the telltale scent is frozen into submission. Dogs and foxes can be hard to figure out, especially if the fox is a gray one and the tail got mooshed. Sometimes a real stumper comes in in the form of some manner of bird, and because I'm no ornithologist I can't tell if that tangle of feathers is owl or seagull or hawk. (note to self: work on that)

As if that's not bad enough, I go beyond the identification process, taking the horrific compulsion one step further.

I go all CSI on the scene of the crime as I whizz past at 50-70 MPH, and make an attempt to figure out time of death.

This is easier in the summer. I won't go into why.

Some questions arise from this morbid preoccupation: Was I a taxidermist in a former life? A scavenger? A turkey buzzard? More importantly, does anybody else out there share this odd fascination, or am I, as usual, alone in my twisted little world?


Found this on Yahoo today, and think it a most excellent idea.

I haven't been to the official website yet (for fear of getting the dreaded "this site is not in compliance with corporate policy, you have been marked as a naughty girl for this infraction, you base little minx!"), but this seems to be a mighty fine idea in theory.

One big ol' happy world - woo!

If anybody does choose to go there (you brave little soldiers, you!), please feel free to report back on what you find!

Monday, November 20, 2006

So late I might as well not bother

Dag - it's almost lunchtime, and no post. I'm totally off my game here.

I blame it all on an unexpected phone call, Blogger balkiness, a series of interesting IM sessions, and that little thing known as "work" that consistently messes with my happy little world in which I am fully in charge and no-one dast question my time or motives or productivity.

("dast" may not actually be a word, BTW.)

So, let's make this a quick one, just to get one in the bag...

First - the quest for fitness is rolling along - another session in the pool yesterday (half hour of swim time, and no I have no idea how far I went because I spent a good deal of time "thinking" about the nice looking guy 2 lanes over who looked a LOT like an old boyfriend, and when I say that that kind of reminiscing can actually make you forget to count lanes I hope you know what I mean.) No Chinese lady on Sundays, apparently. Also, on Saturday I think I went up and down our ONE flight of stairs approximately a billionty times, so that counts too. Today is a day off, except for the ball-sitting/crunching/balancing I'm going to do this afternoon, which is really more FUN than fitness so I don't count that, really, unless I pull something, and then by God you'd best believe I'm counting it.

Second - I have not bought my T-day bird yet. I'm waiting for prices to drop to 25 cents a pound. I don't know why.

Third - There's hardly a reason for a third, now is there? What with "first" and "second" coming in like a load of unseasoned compost (that's "horse crap" to all y'all who don't know from gardening), it's not likely that "third" is going to send you into raptures, do you think?

However, because good things (and, apparently, things in general) come in threes, I will submit that on Wednesday the inaugural meeting of the Raleigh area blogger association is planning to meet for lunch. Well, OK, it's not ALL the bloggers in the Raleigh area, and not even all the ones I KNOW of, but two other bloggers you may know and I are planning a little something that involves midday prandialisms, and will likely be so awesome that it's likely that the weather in the Triangle will take a turn for the Arctic what with all the coolness going on.

If YOU'RE in the Raleigh area and have a blog (even secret ones that you tell nobody about!) and want to show up and meet us three fi-YINE ladies for lunch, let me know and we'll make the reservations fit the size of the interest. I promise, you WON'T be disappointed.

That's it y'all. I've GOT to go get some stuff done. More tomorrow on the fitness quest and my search for cheap turkey.

(By Gods, if THAT doesn't make you wish it were tomorrow already, I can't imagine what would!!)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Headlines and humble pie



Ah yes, the old ways are sometimes the best ways. Let's go back to a wackier time in N.A.Y.'s history, and see what can be done with today's Yahoo news headlines!


Woods edges into lead at Dunlop Phoenix

Alchemy is proven at last. All it took were some trees and a legendary bird to create a base metal. Huzzah!!

Beauty queen puts down arms to save legs

Because, what's a beauty queen without a good promenade in a swimsuit and pumps? Forget the arms, who needs 'em? They just get in the way of gawping at the boobies, after all.

Golden Gate Bridge considers corporate sponsors

Golden Grahams? Gateway? Tropicana? Who's going to be first to rush into this prime marketing opp?

Study: Chocolate milk good for athletes

Be prepared for the Nestle's Quick to double in price next week.

Signs of warming continue in the Arctic

"It's minus 25 Fahrenheit in Barrow today, a balmy streak has hit our area. Watch out for the floods on main street, it appears as though the Arctic sea might be a little higher today due to this warm weather and some further polar ice cap melting. There are reports of icebergs by the school, crews are on their way to investigate. More on the spring-like temps at noon! "

Fighting breaks out after Iraq hijacking

Oh! What's this? People are fighting in Iraq? How very very odd.

( DID this make the news, anyhow?)

Strong Leonid Meteor Shower Expected This Weekend

All right - I'm not going to snark this one. I just think it's cool, and fully intend to be out on the front lawn at midnight wrapped in a blanket waiting for the show to start.


(A note, lest you think I've lost me edge and overlooked some other obvious targets: I'm not going to mention the gay penguin book flap or the Brazilian model who, at 5'8" weighed only 88 pounds and just died at age 21 of a massive infection she was too weak to fight off, or Prez Bush's comparison of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, or the Rockets' win over the Bulls by ONE POINT or any of that other stuff, because sometimes the targets are far too easy and the snark just isn't satisfying when there's no work involved. So there.)


Here be a FITNESS UPDATE!!!! Woo-hoo!!

(if I'm going to keep this up, I'm going to need a theme song for this, don't you think?)

Today's effort in the quest to bring SkinnyBack: 750 meters in the pool in 26 minutes. Not QUITE a half mile (which would be 800 meters, or thereabouts), though I thought it was this morning before I looked it up on Google. Whatever.

Because I am stupidly curious about what this means in terms of speed, let's do the math!

750 meters = 30 lengths

30 lengths divided by 26 minutes = no, wait, that's not right.

26 minutes divided by 30 lengths = 0.867 minutes per length. There we go!

0.867 minutes = approximately 52 seconds

52 seconds to go 25 meters = a BLAZING 2-point-something-small seconds per meter pace!

OK - while I'm happy to have achieved almost a half mile in under 30 minutes, I see an opportunity to eat humble pie here. Let's quench my enthusiasm a little bit by comparing ME to an Olympic swimmer, shall we?

I'm primarily a breaststroker, so let's go get the current women's Olympic records for that.

100mLuo Xuejuan, CHN1:06.64Aug. 16, 2004
200mAgnes Kovacs, HUN2:24.03Sept. 20, 2000

1:06 = 1 minute and six seconds to go 100m. That's, ummmm, 16.5 SECONDS per length, right? Or, to put it on a much more personal level, that's something along the lines of about 4 TIMES as fast as me. Ms Kovacs, the Hungarian water wunderkind, is a little kinder to my ego, and does the 200 at a slighty slower pace, but, still, if we were in the same pool, by the time I'd have finished going up and back once she'd pretty much be done doing that 4 times.

I can give myself a little quarter for their ages (undoubtedly young) and all their training (certainly intensive), but, y'all, I'm bouyant! I should be like a hydrofoil in comparison to their toned little submarine bodies!

It's clear I have much work to do. More news as events progress.


Also, the new Wordsmiths challenge is up. You know you want to, so go ahead and DO IT ALREADY!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The quest for fitness

Here's a little confession for Thursday: I'm a fatass.

Oh, I know, you had your mental picture of me, a willowy blonde with piercing blue eyes and firm thighs, powerful yet sensual, confident in her striking teutonian appearance (something maybe like the lady in the photo, eh?).

You did have that mental picture, right?


Well, haha on you, because you were WRONG about all that.

(Well, except for the blonde, and even that's not really really real (Thanks L'Oreal!). Oh, also the blue eyes. I have those. They ARE real. Woot!)

In truth, I USED to meet that smokin' description y'all have in your head of me, and yet, somewhere along the way I lost "firm and willowy" and picked up "well-padded and soft." Perhaps it was because willowy and firm were much too hard to maintain - they required time and effort and attention and willpower, which, um, I also lost somewhere during the last ten years or so. On the other hand, well-padded and soft require NO effort or time or attention; as a matter of fact, they seem to thrive on LACK of those things! So easy! Imagine that.


Now, despite the fact that I'm, uh, "fluffy," I'm in reasonably good health. Good BP, good cholesterol, good heart rate and rhythm, no major hormonal issues, etc etc etc. This reasonably good health has been my little cushion of denial for several years now. It seems, however, that my cushion is going a bit flat under the added, uh, "fluffiness," and things are starting to break down in the land of ignorant bliss.

Therefore, I have decided to boot Fluffy, and to find Willow(y) again.

This can mean only one thing: I'm going back to the gym.

(Dear God, help us all. One can only guess where this will lead.)

Thus far this week it was walking on Monday (a whole mile and a half...whoopee), swimming on Tuesday (25, and walking and upper-body weight work today (a mile and 12 minutes, Tomorrow it's back to the pool, where I'm hoping once again to be able to swim with the older Chinese woman that I met the other day who said "you a gud swimmah!" to me after my first lap and spent the rest of our time together walking at a stately pace up and down the shallow end singing Chinese folks songs in a lovely deep resonant voice or floating on her back in the deeper end.

I like the older Chinese woman. I could be her fat American friend! At least for a little while, you know, until I'm not fat anymore. Then I'd just be her American-friend-she-sees-at-the-pool-twice-a-week, which is a very long name indeed and wouldn't be something I'd name a child but fits nicely as a descriptor of what I could be. To her. My older-Chinese-friend-who-sings-in-the-pool.)

Anyhow, that's the deal. What this means is that you should be prepared to hear much much more about my time at the gym. My thinking on this is that if I have to suffer to bring Skinny Back, then you should too. You can thank me later, or in the comments.

Not all of this will be horrible, because from time to time I intend to offer up bits of information I think might be useful to you, gentle reader. For example: I learned today that paper towels, when enough are used, do a fine job of mopping up after the post-workout shower if one happens to forget to bring a TOWEL along with one. Also, the semi-sweaty tee shirt one just worked out in can absorb a fair amount of liquid. Plus, the blow dryer is great for removing the last of the dampness the first two methods didn't.

You know, in case you find yourself in a similar situation someday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Three hundred and nine

I'm feeling lazy today, so I'm going to throw something up here I wrote last year and thought I'd posted, but then probably thought better of it because it's poetry and stuff and in all likelihood I got scared that nobody would come back once they read it but now of course y'all know that I'm likely to do anything and post any brand of mundane crap just to put something out there for your consideration because I'm a giver like that.

So, poetry.

On Wednesday! I know! What's the world coming to! I could wait until tomorrow, the accepted poetry posting day of the internets to get this out of my system! But NOOOO, it's poetry Wednesday, dammit, because, as I said, I'm feeling lazy about the writing today.

I originally wrote this as a lark, riffing on someone's challenge to write a terrible poem about autumn, and then, horrifyingly, I started to like it, and tried to make it good. See? I can't even follow the rules of snark properly!

(Hey, at least it's not the Popup Camper Man song lyrics again!)


Come beautiful Autumn,

Daub with golden light

Paint with brilliant colors

Bring the nearing night

Cloak the path with crackling leaves

Gold and brown and red and green

Rustle them with gentle breeze

In sunlight’s dappled low-slung sheen

Melancholy Autumn

Toss high the harvest moon

Chill the lawns and lakes in morning

Warm the stones in afternoon

Nature's lasting brilliant gift

Warns of winter's frozen blast

Autumn plays with hue and light

Before the die of ice is cast.


You may commence to giggling now. I don't blame you a bit.

Once you've recovered from you little amusement at my expense, might I offer a few words on this whole poetry thing? The few words are as follows:

It's HARD to write poetry. It's difficult to not get all bashful about the words and withdraw them to someplace private so only YOU can caress and love them. Poetry is personal, mostly, a flutter of heart or a drop of soul.

Unless you're Ogden Nash, of course.

I was introduced to O-Nash (his hip-hop name, yo) in the fourth grade by my friend Kathy Oggins. Kathy knew "stuff", I thought she was fascinating. She could recite verse like a pro, and shared my love of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder. So, naturally, I become an O-Nash fan as well.

My favorite childhood Nash-ism was this:

The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk
One end is moo, the other milk.

(As a kid I thought this was HILARIOUS! What an odd child I must have been......)

My favorite "mature" Nash-ism is this:

What's the use?

Sure, deck your limbs in pants.
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance,
Have you seen yourself retreating?

(hehheheh......well played, O-man)

o, if I ever do poetry seriously, I'm going at it O-Nash style, to save myself the anxiety of having to suffer for the art. I'm just not big on the suffering, you know??


Feel free to offer up your thoughts on poetry or poets in the comments. Also, it's open season on mockery of my poem, so have at it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Think about it

Wordnerd is on a quest to save Thanksgiving.

I can't agree more with her sentiments.

Look around the local shops......Where are all the paper turkeys? Where are the platters bedecked with gobblers? Where are the indian-corn decorations and the cornucopias? Where are the orange and brown tablecloths and the fine china and the cider?

Where did they go?

I'll tell you where.

They were trampled under the onrush of crass commercialization of Christmas, that's where. You'll find them, gasping for breath and a little shelf space, somewhere near the deeply discounted Hallowe'en leftovers. You'll find them clawing for recognition in the classrooms of schools. You'll find them shoved aside in the card aisle as the great flood of green and red begins its annual deluge of our senses. You'll find them clinging to the corner of the home-decorating sections of craft store, being pushed out of the way by peppermint-scented candles and candy wreaths. They're there; you just have to look.

It's sad on so many levels, not the least of which is that at some level we, as a nation, feel it's necessary to celebrate a holiday by BUYING STUFF that's SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE or we're just not "doing it right."

I say "humbug" to this notion. When the wreaths started coming out on store shelves before the end of September, I felt the first nerve grate. When the inflatable lawn ornaments started leaning over the wide lanes of the local big box stores, flinging bits of styrofoam snow about madly in their self-contained worlds, a tight band of irritation formed around my skull. When I heard my first sanitized nondenominational (and secular!) "holiday" song before November even began, I got queasy.

Y'all, it's Just.Not.Right.

Hey, I like Christmas just as much as the next person. Pretty boxes and prezzies and eggnog and family and Andy Williams on the radio and "Chestnuts Roasting" and all that. Cozy! Happy! Festive!

But WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much about "stuff."

This is why I like Thanksgiving the bestest of all our nationally recognized holidays. It's gentle, and calming, and satisfying. It's gratefulness, and grace, and warm candles and mashed potatoes and sausage stuffing and parades and football.

(A quick word on televised parade coverage. Every year I get excited to watch them, believing that maybe this is the year that I can watch one without being subject to stupid-ass Broadway show musical reviews and lip-synching D-listers who take time away from THE MARCHING BANDS and FLOATS and MASSIVE BALLOONS of possible mayhem and DEATH that are NOT all about the latest frigging toy that some damned manufacturer wants to sell a ZILLION of for (shudder) Christmas, and ohbytheway, shut UP already you stupid insipid announcers who can't even read a G-D CUE CARD right!!!!!! Gah! Please, CBS, just turn a couple of cameras on the parade route, tell me QUICKLY who the band is or who made the float or how tall Underdog is and LEAVE ME ALONE to enjoy the parade!

Aside over. I'm all het up and need to get back on track)

So, Thanksgiving. A day, just ONE day, on which we're asked to reflect on all we have, to purposefully give thanks for it to whatever higher power we choose, to realize that life is a good thing, a valuable thing, a thing of short duration for which we ought every DAY to give thanks.

Thanksgiving is a REAL holiday. Is it too much to ask that Christmas, or at least the grotesque spectre of Christmas hawked by our friendly and avaricious neighborhood retailers, wait politely in the wings until Thanksgiving has its day?

One day a year. That's all it is.

Let's remember why it's there, and bring it back, with purpose and conscience.

Then we start on that whole parade thing.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I've got plenty of nothing!!!!

And nothing's plenty for me!

But not for you, dear gentle reader, not for you. You deserve the very very best, and so I shall give you the best I've got.

(No, it's not a boob shot. Sorry.)

Today's "best of the Tiff" takes us on a little trip down memory lane.

All the way back to yesterday.

Oh-ho! you think. What's this? Cheaping out on the tales of young Tifferdom for something so shiny and brand-new that it's not for sure if it's going to enter the long-term memory banks yet?

Well, why not?

It's quick too! And I can remember it in almost perfect detail.

Picture it: a rainy Sunday. Mom, Dad, and the Things nestled in "Pearl," the family vehicle, ready to ride back home from the beach through the many little towns along routes 158 and 17. Yes, the family is happy and tired from their impromptu weekend at the beach, and the rain makes them all a little introspective (or, in the case of the Things, "DS-aspective," if such a thing exists), creating an atmosphere of calm and peace in the little 4-cylinder riceburning mode of transport. The wipers beat their little rhythm, the wet road creates perfect white noise, and the gray skies prompt deep thoughts.

Until, that is, we cross The Second Swamp.

And its gas.

Have you ever put your nose right up to a dog's ass as it's farting out yesterday's trip through the garbage can? You know that acrid semi-burnt not-of-this-earth Fido funk? The kind that makes your eyes water and hold your mouth tightly shut to keep the rank from getting on your tongue?

That, dear friends, is the evil that is swamp gas.

At the first whiff, Thing 2 yells "Dad! Cut that out!"

But, sadly, there was no "cutting out" to be done. We were surrounded by the noxious swamp fumes. It was like being held hostage at a junkyard dog party at which rotting corpse of rat and yesterday's ground beef wrapper were the main courses.

Every breath intake another fresh assault. Every breath out a fight against the next intake.

Did you know that General Sherman (first name, Tecumseh, an awesome name that is sadly out of fashion nowadays) lost more men to swamps than to outright fighting during the civil war?

(That's Sherman, right up there! Looks like he's got a noseful, doesn't it??)

I know why all those men died. It was the gas. The foul swamp gas made them kill themselves to escape it. No man, no matter how strong, can stand that stink for long.

Sure, they can SAY it was due to yellow fever and malaria, but, after yesterday, I KNOW better.


Afterthought: I once thought Elizabeth, New Jersey, was the worst-smelling place on earth.

After yesterday, I have changed my mind. "The Great Swamp" just outside of Camden North Carolina wins, without a doubt.

Which, naturally, prompts a question: What's the worst-smelling place YOU'VE ever been? I ever so anxious to know.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My excuse

Though I have totally and completely failed to make good on the NaBloPoMo thang, I have done something very much better with my time the past few days than bore y'all by posting inanities just to fill an unofficial official quota.

What's better than that?


(This is the view from our hotel room window.....)

Here, at MP 7 on the OBX (Outer Banks), NC.

Instead of staying home and being responsible adults and crossing off many items on a to-do list a bazillion entries long, what did we do this weekend?

Drive to the OBX without a room reservation, hoping to make the most of a summer weekend in November flying by the seat of our pants.

Conditions: 77 degrees and sunny Fri/Sat. A nice breeze. Hot sun. A must-do kind of forecast.

Activities: Finding a room (made almost impossible because the OBX marathon was being run today - oopsie!). Once that was accomplished, there was: Fishing. Eating. Running straight down the side of the huge dune at Jockey's Ridge. Dinner with Thing 2 at Awful Arthur's while Dad and Thing 1 zoned to the teevee. Feeding the seagulls right from our hotel balcony. Giving the kids free reign over the pier game room (unsupervised! a first!).

Pluses: The indoor pool. Delivery pizza. Thing 2 swimming, unassisted, in the deep end (another first!). Free breakfast. Crashing waves. Unimpeded views. Cool damp sand.
Sea air.

Bottmom line: Highly recommended.

Had a wonderful time. Wished you were there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A model of restraint

OK, it is possible to do a one-word post. (I guess titles don't count. )

I, on the other hand, suffer from hyperloquaciousness, and can't bring myself to edit DOWN to that level. So, y'all, break out the finger cots and squeezy balls, get those muscles pumped up for scrollage, for we've seen the last of the 3-paragraph posts around THESE parts!


Topics that were tossed aside today as "not worthy of a real post": the effects of antibiotics on the gastrointestinal system, why boys feel the need to dismantle things, transsexuals, period farts, and lipstick.

I am being the very model of restraint by not going into much more detail, much as I'd like to.


Let's talk about something else then. Something that won't offend the sensitive, won't reveal too much about my personal life, won't delve into why I'm fascinated with alt-lifestyles, or why, indeed, I can't find a single lipstick that looks good on me and won't make me look like a geisha or Kabuki actor.

That leaves, what exactly?

Work? Um, no.

More stories of unpacking? Hell no.

My past? Don't feel like going there today, though do remind me to tell you about how I spent my 30th birthday sometime.

My rich inner fantasy life? Do you REALLY want to know?

How this morning as I was driving to work I passed through drifts of falling leaves and wondered if the tree shakes them off or if even the most gentle whiff of breeze is enough to send the multitudes to the ground?

Because I had nothing else to think about right then and there, I started to think about what that would be like from the tree's perspective, like how maybe it would think "Jeez, you know, I haven't been able to see my neightbors and family CLEARLY for a while now, I think it's been since, like April, and it's high time I got all this stuff off my face. Lemme give a little shiver and see if I can't shift this stuff around so's I can get a look at Uncle Bernie to see how he's doing" and then the tree, somehow, does a little arboreal boogie-woogie and a whole bunch of leaves get dislodged and tumble down.

Then I wondered if maybe winter is a great time for trees, because they're all naked and stuff and can see one another without clothes. For months. Rowr!!

I wonder if they look around and pick out the tress in the neighborhood that they'd like to pollinate come Springtime, or start planning how to tip their pistils toward the hottie to the northwest to ensure a higher chance of insemination by such a studly specimen of treedom.

I wonder if those trees that self-pollinate are happier than the ones that have to rely on some other tree to do the deed. Like they'd be all "nyah nyah" come March, when their tender little buds open to welcome the pollen drifting down from high branches, sighing with woody satisfaction as the fertilization process begins. Or, maybe, is that like self-pleasuring to humans, very satisfying, yes, but lacking a certain "something" that a partner brings to the equation? Are the self-pollinators the uber-wankers of the forest?

I wonder, I really do.

I also wonder what happens when, once the leaves are gone and their vision has cleared, they get a good look around and realize that hundreds of their relatives (and perhaps a good number of former partners) have disappeared, and in their place are boxes of humans.

Don't you sometimes wonder too, or is that just me?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The three-paragraph post

Recently, my good buddy Wordnerd has been on a "tiny post" roll, in which she blogs in three sentences or less. While this makes for rapid reading, and certainly ups the ol' post count in an expedient manner for the blogger, it does leave one with a sense of being cheated out of the fascinating panoply of happenings that might be occurring in her life right now. I mean, bring back the lovebugs already!

Tangentially, I've HEARD that a good blog post is done in 3 paragraphs or less, because people don't want to have to SCROLL DOWN through a whole post.


"People" are so damned lazy that they can't be bothered to SCROLL???

Which got me to thinking - how many people might be coming HERE, looking for digestible bits of trifle with which to avoid work for just a few minutes more, and wind up stalking off in digust at the EFFORT they had to undergo because of all the SCROLLING? My God! The horror! All those short-attention-span slacker homie and homettes gettin' their confuddled on at all the words! I'm sorry! Come back, I have something FOR you!

Yes, in a nod to all the scroll-leery oxygen thieves out there, and in an effort to blog like a real pro, I bring you my first (and perhaps only) 3-paragraph post.

Starting now. Well, OK, starting with the next paragraph, because that's really the START. All this other stuff was just backgrounding.


I believe a lot of disharmony in relationships could be rendered harmonius again with a little something I like to call "The Care Limit."

The Care Limit is like a speed limit - it keeps you safe, is there for your protection, everyone similarly engaged is expected to operate under the same set of rules, and it's enforceable. It works like this: if, for example, you are asked out to dinner and also asked where you'd like to go and you say "I don't care," then even if you HATE the place you wind up you cannot complain or whine or even breathe loudly during said meal out because you're abdicated your rights to bitchiness by saying you didn't CARE. Once you say that, you are not allowed to care about anything that relates to that decision point. Another example: Do you hate the color your wife picked out for the living room paint, but during the decision process could not be bothered to look at paint chips or go to the paint store or look at magazines or respond to any line of questioning that would have given even the least bit of a hint as to your preference? Too damn bad, pal, because your time for CARING was OVER when you were asked for your opinion. You cannot care about the shade of blue that your walls are going to be or offer suggestions about an alternate once the paint is purchased, because that ship has sailed right off the edge of your influence. Further, if you're asked about one dress or another or one tie or another or one lover or another and you respond "it doesn't matter," then you HAVE to be happy with, or at the very least not complain about, the dress, tie, or lover because you stated your lack of preference and it's to late to change up once the pitched decision is in the air. (building bad metaphors, one line at a time!)

Yes folks, The Care Limit can save time and effort on all those arguments you have about crap that should have been decided on only once. If you say you don't care about something, then you don't, and shouldn't, and most importantly, you can't. No fussing, no fuming, no huffing, no hissies, no nothing can accompany an outcome that someone "should have known" was your preference, because The Care Limit is in effect. You're an adult, so grow up already and remember to observe The Care Limit.


There you go. Three paragraphs.

Between you, me, an the internets? I don't think I can keep this up.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Let's get this over with

Dudes! Good morning!

I know. Another early post!

Ya wanna know WHY? Hmmm, do ya?

Three ugly words - Meetings.All.Day.

All daggone day. One from 9-10, one from 10-4 (!), on from 2-3 (damn!), and one at 2:30 (double damn!). Tell me how I'm gonna do that without a timeturner. I'm still trying to parse it out.

Eh - they're mostly all telecons, during which I sit in my office and do other "stuff," like read blogs and sift through paperwork and daydream while waiting for my part of the agenda to arrive, at which point I unmute my phone, say the two necessary words, and go back to patently ignoring what everyone else is talking about.

My life = Xtreme Xcitement.

However, today's meetings might actually involve my involvement, so I can't say for sure if I'm going to have the time needed to write a post of even dubious quality (as they all are)!

Therefore, straight from my kitchen table to you comes today's EARLY blog post, complete with really bad semi-adult joke. Feel free to giggle about this throughout your day and think of me, the one who's in meetings All.Day.Long.

"I heard about hits Hawaiian King who had 300 children."

"300 kids? Whoa - what was his name?"


(I'd Audioblog it so you can get it the first time, but I haven't signed up for any new service now that Audioblogger is no more. Sniff sniff.)


Also, I'm thinking about getting one of those enormous exercise balls for an altenate office chair. How much fun would THAT be? Despite my ample natural padding in the buttal area, it's simply no match for a full day of sitting, which is, sadly, what I do because I'm an office worker.

But the big ball! Woooo! Bouncy! Sproingy! Tippy! Fun!

In a former life I used to take "ball classes" (that sounds dirty, but it's not) to get my workout, and y'all, if you've never been there, don't mock. That's some HARD shizznit right there. I would challenge any one of you to sit yo butt on that ball, take your feet off the ground, and balance. Or, try doing push-ups with your feet on the ball (for those of us less spectacularly muscular or coordinated, knees on the ball is fine). Or, do situps on the ball.

Because, y'all, that ball ROLLS, and you've got to stay on top of it, or risk a slow topple over into an awkward heap on the floor in front of your classmates, who, if they've got any sense at all, are contemplating how to get OUT of the next ball class because it's the hardest damn thing they've ever done.....ever!

Ball class = pain and humiliation.

Ball class also = the strongest daggone core (torso and major stabilizing muscle groups) I've ever had.

I recall one happy day in ball class, as some spectacularly muscular classmates were balancing on their KNEES on the ball and "dancing" to the techno music, I actually sat on the ball, lifted both feet off the floor, and BALANCED. For a whole minute! Oh yes, I wobbled, oh yes, I grimaced, oh yes, I waved my arms around like I was bringing in an airplane to the gate, but I balanced, and life was very very good.

As a bonus, my spectacularly muscular classmates cheered for me. Happy day! I was, at last, one of "them," or, at the very least, not a complete and total embarrassment anymore. I could balance, and life was very good indeed.

So yeah, I'm thinking about getting a big ball for work.

And probably some padding for my desk. At least until I can balance again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Big Moon Rising, 8 to the Bar.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(Taken by Thing 1 from a moving car)

On the drive to school this morning the full moon hung in the brightening sky, skating along treetops and contrails as we headed north and west. The rising sun colored the soybean fields a strange russet and deepened the gold of the senescent leaves still clinging to the trees. Ponds steamed while the local golf course and suburban lawns twinkled with frost.

Fall has arrived in North Carolina.

Oh, sure, there are still flowers blooming, and the tall pines are still green, but a cold snap has chilled the air, carrying the scent of earth turned by the combines bringing the last of the crops, woodsmoke from backyards and chimneys, and the last of the season's lawnmowing.

Break out the sweaters and fleece, turn on the football game, settle into dark at 6 p.m., because it's fall, glorious fall!


On the radio this morning: WSHA, a jazz station out of Shaw University in Raleigh. We stopped at that point on the dial because Thing 1 loves him some jazz; has since he was a wee thing. At times I wonder which old-school musician has reincarnated him (or her) self in that skinny drink of water that is Thing 1? He can't get enough of it.


His love stops at the atonal ramblings of live modern jazz; that brand that believes that a consistent shuffling beat from a brushed drum allows any kind of musical vicissitude to be expressed. Thing 1 likes the melody, the tune, the riff, the humor of jazz, not the seemingly self-indulgent bleatings of an overly inventive soloist.

I'd have to agree with him in this preference.

Being as how he's a trombonist, I believe that one day he'll find himself smack dab in the middle of a jazz band, baring his own melodic soul, engaging in the moment with a group of like-minded compatriots.

I sure hope so.


Thing 2, on the other hand, is all about the BEAT, baby. Give him a dance tune or a hip-hop beat and he canNOT stop himself from dancing. I don't think he even knows he's doing it. Them feets start a-goin' and the torso starts a-shakin' and he's a gone Daddy-o by bar 3.

Years ago, when Thing 1 was a baby, I had a dream that the husband and I were at a Celtic "thing" watching a long-haired tall bearded redhead in a kilt dance with a wild power, grinning like a madman as he sweat and stomped. At the time I thought that glorious being was Thing 1.

Now I'm pretty sure that man will be Thing 2.

I can't wait to see if I'm right.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I said I would, and so have done, so far

NaBloPoMo is going to kick my ass.

I'ts 5:30 on a Sunday afternoon, I should be relaxing, and yet, I am doing the bloggie thing out of a sense of obligation for a thing that I have not even signed UP for!

Gah! I'm such a JOINER! Even in my HEAD!

RIght now, in my kitchen, it's cozy, we've had a bizzeeeeee weekend here with cousins dashing to and fro and cooking being engaged in and lots and lots of talking, and on a NORMAL weekend I'd be headed deep into a new magazine as a form of escape because it's cocktail hour and it's dark outside, and yet....


So, fine. Here we do be goin'.

- Thing 1 learned to blow bubble with bubble gum today. Yay!

- WalMart was crowded today with a capital "k," and I'm not kidding. A 35-minute wait in line is ever so much easier with a new Enquirer in one's hands. Also, it's cool now because any child that accompanies me is going to be the "reading" variety and not the "fall on the floor screaming" variety. Sweet!

- I've learned that just because I inflict house rules on young visitors doesn't mean they'll hate me for it.

- I quite like knowing that. Makes me feel more "adult."

- Our kitchen chairs are FAR too hard for prolonged sitting sessions. Anyting over about 30 minutes will result in buttal numbage. I have been here 35 minutes. I wonder what will happen when I try to stand up.

- As a corollary to the previous point, there's a "Mythbusters" marathon on teevee today, and I must go to watch it. Jamie (Hi, baby!) awaits, and if for some odd reason he shuns me I shall have Adam. It is the way of things; I can't fight this feeling anymore.

Allrightie, this is not the world's most inspired post, and yet, it is a post, and thus I press on in search of the fortitude necessary to post every single day for a whole month, which right now I'm glad isn't 31 days.

They should do this NaBloPoMo shizz in February, is all I'm saying.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Officially unofficial

Firstly - this is post the 300th.


Secondly, this is post the 300th because I think that maybe I'd be interested in engaging in a little unofficial NaBloPoMo action, but because I'm not usually a "joiner," and because, well, something terrible might happen to me this month that will prevent my blogging one or several days during this most festive period, I cannot officially join because then if I do I'll feel all obligated and stressed and I cannot have that kind of thing at all.

You understand.

Thirdly - a little Googling on the word "masturblog" reveals only 89 hits, many of which are for foreign-language sites or domain names for hire. You'll be pleased to know that as a term, it is exactly what you think it is, or so I learned by clicking through to some enormously popular British guy's website which, even on weekends, is getting over a thousand visits A DAY. Weekdays, it's more on the order of 3500 visitors A DAY. His sitemeter counter is at something 1,435,352 right now, and he is is a "Large Mammal" in some blog ecosystem or other......

(That sobbing sound you're probably hearing is me. Pay no attention as I seethe with jealousy and weep the bitter tears of harsh envy.)

Trouble for me is that this fellow, who I'm purposely NOT linking to here (but who's first name begins with a T and if you google masturblog he ought to be on the first page of results or so), actually puts CONTENT on his site. Content like website roundups and opinion pieces and such. I have to admit to myself that I do not normally engage in such contentapalloozas, for I am much too selfish for that, and therefore will struggle along, masturblogging my little heart out until the end times, most likely.

Hee! I love that term! Masturblog! Nothing can take that bit of hilarity from me!

Fifthly - are we at fifthly yet? Oops, no.

Therefore, FOURTHLY, as I listen to the whoops and hollers of Thing 1 and Thing 2 with their cousin coming from upstairs, and wonder how 2 p.m. now looks like 5 p.m., and that I love how my house looks when it's clean, I realize how fortunate I truly am, even if all I am is just another damned masturblogger.

Thus endeth post the 300th, and my official unoffical entry into NaBloPoMo. Can't wait to see how THIS turns out.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nope, sorry

Hey y'all!

Remember how cool "invisiblog" sounded yesterday? How excited we all were to have found a name for our sub-microblogs that would speak to their extreme paucity of readership and separate us from the "microbloggers" who get the vaunted HUNDREDS OF HITS A DAY?

Wasn't that fun? Didn't it feel neat?

Yeah, it did. I guess the people who actually
COINED the word felt that way too. Now, while the idea of a completely anoymous blogging service sounds cool, and I'm sure lots of people who want to blog from work or sound off about their spouses or coworkers or rant against the political macine from their snug office on Capitol Hill might find it to be an extrememly valuable service, I'm just a tiny bit disappointed that our really cool name has already been pressed into service as a corporate identifier.

Therefore, the search continues. Your contributions are most welcome.

"Subversablog"? "Nematodalblog"? "Meohmyohblog"? "Masturblog"?



Hey, once again I got tagged to play along with a popular interweb game. This game involves me embarrassing myself in front of all y'all tens of readers.

What's not to like about THAT?

See it goes like this: I answer questions about books. Firstly, for you younger readers, books are stories (or maybe poetry, or a collection of stories...) that are printed on paper that are then bound into some kind of cover that you can then carry around with you and read. Books also tend to smell nice, and when you gather a whole bunch of them together that you have what's called a "library." Amazing! You can MAKE YOUR OWN LIBRARY! No card required.

Anyhow, because I got tagged, and because I'm at a loss for anything else to put in this post (Yahoo headlines no longer snarkable and nothing else much tickling my fancy), here goes:

Tracy Lynn, who tagged me, has all kinds of erudition in her answers to these questions. There shall be no such thing contained in my answers.)

1) One book that changed your life.

Here is the first admission of just how shallow the pool of my answers is going to be, because the first thing that popped into my head was "The Dragonriders of Pern."

How I wish the answer could have been some philosophical tome, or work of great literary merit (Pulitzer prize winning would be good), but no, I come up with the first three books in the massively entertaining and transporting Pern series.

I WAS Lessa, in my brain, for a couple of years. How I WANTED a dragon of my own to impress and train and live with and fly. How I wanted to be "discovered" as the gifted and insightful next Weyrwoman....

Confession: A part of me still does.

2) One book that you'd read more than once.

The Stand." Randall Flagg, baby.

Yes, the ending is as weak as water (hand of God, my ass), but the rest of the book is chilling enough to keep those pages turning, over and over.

3) One book you'd want on a deserted island.

Another Roadside Attraction" Tom Robbins wrote a full-blown awesome novel his first time out of the gate.

If I could be any fictional character (that has to live in THIS world and no other), I would be Amanda. She's got her life right.

Plus, a former football-playing fake monk who winds up at the Vatican and finds a big surprise, a world-famous artist who dresses in skins and speaks in tongues, a courtly baboon, one of the best oral sex scenes ever to be written, and a flea circus? All in one book? And it all makes sense?


4) One book that made you laugh.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress" by Susan Gilman

This book was loaned to me by the fabulous
Rennratt many moons ago, and it took me far too long to start it. It's going to take me far too long to finish it as well, because I keep going back to reread what I've just read to see if it's really really that funny, and by God it is.

It's no exaggeration to say that this is by FAR the most fun reading I've done in some time.

5) One book that made you cry.

I do not read books that make me cry. At least not lately. The ones that did I've since forgotten, because that's how I roll.

6) One book you wish you'd written.

The Bible. All of it. Hoo-boy, the editing that would have happened. Plus, the royalties. Mind-boggling.

All right, I kid.......just seeing if you're still with me here.

Um, other than that, let's see. Jane Austen is pretty good, as is Ms L'Engle, and of course Ms Rowling's got herself rather a nice little enterprise going on, and I do like Mr King's work and Mr Bradbury's and of course ol' Tommy R's stuff is mighty fine, and oh crap I can't pick one.

I guess that, really, I don't wish I'd written any of their books, or any of the books that exist, but to instead be able to create my own tales as adeptly as they have so that some day someone will say "that was a good book Tiff wrote."

7) One book you wish had never been written.

The Bible.




Allrightie book I wish had never been written. My brain hurts at this question, because there's so much CRAP out there getting published that has no business even living through the first edit. I have picked up so many books and left them on park benches or in the donations bin at the library after having read only a little, that I can't single out just one. Sorry.

8) One book you're currently reading.

Tis," by Frank McCourt.

Love it. I can hear the brogue in his writing, the lilt of his storytelling is phenomenal, and even when he's describing things that are unpleasant there's a bit of a twinkle in the telling that softens the hard edges. Again - LOVE it.

9) One book you've been meaning to read.

Oh, I don't ever MEAN to read a book. I don't intend them; they, by and large, just happen.

10) The tag.

Renn, Wordnerd, Rick, DebR, Utenzi, come play with me!

Also, if you're reading this and want to play along, please feel free, and let me know you did. I'm keen to know what's on YOUR personal library shelves.