Friday, March 30, 2007

Little Suzy's Sandbox

When I was a kid, I used to chew on rocks. Just thought you should know.

As I got older I moved into construction. Paper. I preferred green.

Once I hit grade school, I chewed on my fingernails.

Middle school started the "biting the insides of my cheeks" thing.

Finally, I moved to biting my tongue.

Some would say I moved to biting my tongue far too late. There are many many instances during my formative growing up years in which I did NOT practice the lingual gnawing, and was shocked and surprised to learn that not everything that came out of my mouth was greeted with "huzzahs" by the recipients of the words.

Often , there would be stunned silence or tears. Or, um, punishment, for some of the worser things I said. The licking a bar of soap? Not so effective for a kid like me, who had (and has) a very rusty self-edit feature. The next infraction would be nearly assured before the last bubble had disappeared from memory.

Once there was threat of physical violence. I deserved it, if you must know. What I said was awful, and shouldn't have been said, no matter HOW angry I was.

As I've, uh, matured, it's gotten a touch easier to watch my mouth, but I fear it's never going to be totally easy. Things come out of it sometimes that are baffling, or awful, or so offbase that "quirky" doesn't even begin to describe them.

Now, y'all know me. I can say some weird/shocking/provocative/outright odd stuff from time to time, but some of the stuff that I do not say here is of the worst sort imaginable. It's actually OFFENSIVE, even to ME, the one who thought it. When my brain uses words like "retard," I (the other "I" that isn't my brain, just in case you're keeping score) take myself by surprise. I don't say things like that, do I? Why should I even THINK them then? When I think horrible things, I try to parse out the deeper emotion that blurted out such bilious spew so that I can erase it from my future MO.

But, you guys, it's HARD. It's so damned HARD. I've got snark and sarcasm and cynicism in my BONES, and the horrid things I think are sometimes really funny, and if they're not funny then they're indicative of a deep psychological problem that, if explored thoroughly, might lead me to an real explanation of why I hate clowns. But still, horrid. Offensive. Shockingly bad, and not in a "ha ha I meant that as a joke" kind of way.

I've learned to bite my tongue on those things.

Anybody else suffer similarly, or am I alone in my leaky boat, yet again?


As for anything more, I got kinda nothing, except that my children saw a roach as big as a palmetto bug yesterday at the KMart.

Oh, and that microwaves are one of the best things ever. I've been living without one for the past few weeks, and didn't realize until I got one yesterday how much I missed it.

Also, where the hell did Spring go? It's freaking COLD here today.

In addition, I would like to state that preadolescent boys can watch an inordinate amount of teevee, and, if given a new gaming system, can virtually stay alive just on a steady diet of electronic mayhem (it's Lego Star Wars so it ain't bloody, but those little Lego bits do fly when you whack a clone with your lightsaber, lemme tellya) and nothing else. I'm in a state of amazement at this.

That is all. Have yourselves a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's raining flower petals


Down in in the old North State, Spring is in full swing. I believe I mentioned this before, so won't belabor you with the deets of how EARLY it got here or how generally WARM it's been, and it's not even April yet, which is a little disconcerting but normal for this time of year, but instead will launch right into a catalog of all the current Springtime activities we gots goin' on right now.

  • Kids are wearing shorts to school.
  • The Bradford pear trees are shedding their flower petals in a fair rain. The gutters and streets are coated with them, a white river of tree finery. This happened last night, as far as I can tell.
  • Deciduous trees have tiny baby leaves on them, proving, once again, that chartreuse is in deed a color that mother nature has found suitable to include in her palette. It amazes me every year, this delicate color springing out from brown branches and peeking out from behind spent blossoms. it's a thrill, every daggone time.
  • Jackets are now firmly relegated to the coat closet. Except for raincoat, which I could have used today, but do not have right here with me. Nor an umbrella neither.
  • The first sighting of sandals at work has occurred. Actually, this happened in February, but I took that as a fluke because those particular sandals were on the feet of an Indian collegaue, who was also wearing some kind of almost-sari getup, and I chalked that up to cultural identity and not actual seasonally inspired sartorial expression.
(did anybody understand that last sentence but me? Just wondering)

  • Soon the flapping of the flip flops will be heard far and wide at my place of employ, a kind of happy sound, to my mind, but one that I know drives some people almost out of their heads. Yes, pedicure season is almost here. Break out the pumice stones and lotion, y'all!
  • Daffodils are almost done blooming. Camellias are out for the first showing, and I saw some early azaleas going great guns yesterday afternoon. Y'all, it's not even APRIL!
  • Lawns are greened up, even the ones that habitually turn brown over the "winter."
  • And, perhaps most tellingly, I've had to put the AC on in the car.

Yup, that's Spring. It's here. It will soon give way to stiflingly hot summer days, when there's not enough pant in a dog to cool down properly, when the heat makes the parking lot macadam soften and and unprotected steering wheel too hot to touch. Summer can be brutal.

Spring, on the other hand, is glorious. And early. I'll take it.


Yesterday, Jeff Kay of the fabulous WVSR spent an entire post on what kind of underwear he likes and had used through the years.

That got me thinking, because, well, underwear is a funny subject. UNDERPANTS!! See? I'll bet one of you giggled like a second-grader right then.

When I was a wee sprout, I had those day-of-the-week underwear things that were supposed to, I guess, be worn on the day of the week that was printed on the outside. I recall that mine were a CHRISTMAS PRESENT (!) from an Aunt, that were made of some kind of awful slippery tricot stuff and that not only didn't fit right but that also made me hot and itchy. I couldn't ever find the right day of the week, and I wouldn't DARE wear the WRONG day because what if I accidentally exposed them on the playground or somebody pantsed me and saw that I had on Tuesday when it was Friday? The other kids might think that I'd worn the same pair for three days, and that was not at all acceptable. No way, no how. Too much pressure.

All us grade schoolers thought underwear was a pretty hilarious thing. If you saw someone's underwear, it was right and proper to call out "I see London, I see France, I see X's underpants!", after which the so-shamed one would blush furiously and try to adjust matters so that the shameful exposition was closed to the general public.

Children can be so cruel.

A little later in life (say, when I was in 4th grade) I remember going across the street to a friend's house, and she showed me the new underwear her mom had gotten her. There they were, a 6-pack of fresh, new, COLORED underwear, with lacy trim. I was aghast - COLORED? Underwear came in COLORS? Unreal. I was floored. MY underwear came in white. And some other white, with more white thrown in for good measure. I was instantly jealous, and impressed with her high degree of sophistication.

This was also the friend who had purple suede shoes with gigantic chunky heels, which I also coveted, and an array of zip-up bodysuits in all manner of paisleys, which I longed to have, this being the 70's, when such things were common and stylish. Those "ladies of a certain age" among the readership of NAY might remember those bodysuits, the ones with the circle-shaped zipper pull and the mock turtleneck? So horribly uncomfortable - the ONE I had kept unsnapping at the bottom when ever I sat down. I distinctly remember being in class feeling yet another snap let go (accompanied by a faint muffled "pop"!), and wondering if that was the second snap to disengage, or if that one was the LAST one, and at any moment my bodysuit would come shooting out of my pants in a rebound of elasticity that would send the snaps rocketing into the back of my head, knocking me out cold onto the floor of Mr Diorio's social studies classroom and cementing my position as the dorkiest of dorks in the land of Dorkasia.

Needless to say, even though I wanted the fashion, I didn't not want to suffer for it in that way, and so soon abandoned the idea of bodysuits altogether in favor of the far safer and more figure-hiding jumpers.

Oh, cuz yeah, I was one of the only girls in 4th grade with BOOBS. Just try wearing a form-fitting zippered bodysuit to school when you've got those pups a-blooming on your chestal area, and see how long the zipper goes untugged by some daggone fifth-grade boy out to get peekies at what he somehow knows he wants but doesn't yet know why. It's not a long wait, I can tell you from sad experience.


Anyhow, where was I? Oh, underwear. Heh. Jeff put out a question to his readers as to what kind they prefer. The comments section made for some amusing reading.

So, because it worked for HIM, I thought it might work here too.

I'll start by offering that I have no favored kind of underwear, because, well, I don't often WEAR any. Started going commando (as it were), a number of years ago, and never looked back.

Oh, sure, for special occasions I might break out something fancy. Maybe. I tend to think they just get in the way, but I understand the allure of a lacy something to cover the naughty bits or a bit of silk to run your hands over. But for regular everyday, nothing gets between me and my Calvins.

How 'bout YOU? Please, tell me in the comments. Feel free to lie like a rug for entertainment's sake if you're so inclined.

TYVM for playing along.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In which I make a lot of wishes about things that have no relation to one another and yet somehow all came out of the same head

Firstly, may I just say that I think it would be really really cool to have magical powers? I would TOTALLY love to be able to wave my wand (or, better yet, my BARE HAND) at a toilet brush and have it start swishing away all the doom and gloom under the rim, or point pointedly at the pots and pans in the sink and get them to commence to being vigorously warshed by a levitating brush, or to flash jazz hands at my bed and have it snap to perfectly-made perfection in a trice.

Just a spoonful of sugar! Look! All done!

That scene in the (second?) Harry Potter movie, in which our boy HP himself visits Ron's House, and the dishes are doing THEMSELVES in the sink is, to my mind, one of the most powerful scenes in the whole movie. Mind-boggling! Using magicks for everyday chores!

Imagine! There's a spell for "dishes do themselves"! I wonder what it is....could it be:

PLATUS WASHO! or......



One wonders. That last one might be good for a whole-house sparkling, really.


I also think it would be cool to have a teleporter.

Like Wonkavision, only without the shrinking part.

Y'all might not know this about me, but I LOVE to drive. I like getting behind the wheel and just taking off.....something about a long drive settles my brain, forces me to take things one step at a time, to relax. You can't get there any faster by rushing, because that's 1) unsafe, 2) agitating, and 3) possibly criminal.

That being said, my love for long drives in the car stops somewhere around hour 4, when my butt goes numb. After that happens it's just a tedium of seat-shifts to try to bring feeling back, unexpected rest stops to stretch the legs, and a mounting desire to have done with the relaxing already and just GET THERE.

So, a teleporter would be nice.

I'd take a transporter also, in case we're fresh outta the tele-kind.


Lastly, I'm really hoping that someone someday creates "instant motivation." I could do with some of that.

I have a project due today that I've been dorking around with for the last WEEK, and it's come down to this: I got up at 4:30 this morning to cram the last of the bits and pieces together to have it ready to deliver at noon.

Even if I'd worked on it all week it wouldn't have been enough time. I left approxiamtely one quarter of it to do until today.
The day that it's due. 2 days of work to do in half a day.

I ALWAYS do this. Always. I have kicked myself in the ass so many times for this that I should be black and blue, or at least have learned my lesson. But. No. No lesson.

This horrific bent toward procrastination is probably why I enjoyed "immediate" jobs so much - the bartending, the waiting tables, the lab work - they demanded attention to the task at hand, there was no putting things off until tomorrow, there was an expected result and productivity level expected for each and every day, and there was NO possibility of guilt trip for NOT doing your job, because NOT doing your job meant getting fie-erd. The daily plan was made, it was adhered to, and life was good.

All this "long-term project" stuff makes me nuts.

So, somebody please invent some instant motivation. I'll be your first and BEST customer.


And that's it for today. Must stop procrastinating and get back to the task at hand. Suh-NAP! The job's a game!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Overseen in NC

Recently I stopped into a local fast food eating establishment in a part of the state I don't often get to.

Think "Mayberry," and you're pretty much locked on target.

From looking around inside, it seemed as though everybody in "Mayberry" was of adult age when Andy Left Town for Hollywood. I have never ever seen a place populated solely by very very very old people in my whole life; it was as though there was some secret passageway from the Local Home for the Incredibly Aged straight into the fast foodery.

Now, I love me some older folk, I really do. I think that most people are fascinating creatures, but folks over a certain age hold a certain fascination for me. If they're old enough, they've seen some horrifying and miraculous things happen in their lifetimes. Radio. TV. World Wars. Vietnam. The Cold War and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union. Cell phones. Computers. Polio vaccine. The rise and fall of the middle class. So very many life-changing moments, some of which they may have played a part in, many of which perhaps they were ignorant of until the wave had passed by and "normal" had changed again. In a long life, you can't help but live through some amazing things.

But, wow. I was easily the youngest person in that place, which creeped me out a little bit, because let's face it, I'm not that young. Granted, it WAS late morning, and so the moms and kids and jobbers and such were likely there and gone, but I suspect that in that spare sparse gorgeous corner of the state there isn't a whole lot going on most of the time anyhow.

I got the distinct feeling as I headed toward the ladies' room that I was been scrutinized as a stranger, much like heads will turn in a local bar when the door swings open, so that people can get a gander at who's coming in. I was, for sure, NOT a regular there, and thus was an object of attention.

Old old men in wrinkles and ball caps peered at me through tired eyes. Their old wives (or maybe girlfriends, and if so, way to go Pops!) pretended not to notice, but I did see a couple sit up a little straighter and did hear a couple start talking a tad more animatedly. The simple presence of someone unusual was kick-starting all kinds of geriatric action, lemme tellya. Despite the obvious attention-getting that was occurring, and my object as a curiosity around them thar parts, what I really really wanted to do was to just plop right down at a table and start asking the folks all about them selves.

What's your name? When were you born? How did you make a living? Do you prefer John Deere or Farmall?What did you do for fun with you were 10, 20, 50? Have you ever seen the ocean? Have you ever been in love?

(I get like that from time to time - all interested in people. There was a time when my life's goals was to meet every single person on the face of the Earth. It's still a pretty cool goal, I think, but it's made difficult by the fact that people keep making MORE people, and therefore I'd never be done going to meet all the new people that are being made once I'd met all the existing people. And guess what? I don't really WANT to spend my life traveling from maternity ward to maternity's simply not the very best way to see the world.)

Back to my story then.

Food ordered and bag in hand, I turned to go, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a hairdo of such astounding proportion that I was stopped in utter amazement.

Remember that Wonder Woman hairstyle from yesterday's post? This things was, seriously, almost that tall. It was easily 8 inches tall, and stuck out at least 4 inches around all sides. It was teased and black and high and stiff and massive.

And it was on an an itty bitty 60-some-year-old Nawf Cah-line-uh gal. Who also had on bright read lipstick and fancy nails. Oh, she was ALL dressed for work in her fast-foodery uniform, and looked right fine, mostly, but the hair, oh, the hair. It was my good fortune to see her while she was backlit by the sun, giving me the distinct advantage of being able to see straight THROUGH her coif and out to the parking lot beyond. I cannot imagine the time and effort it must take to create and then maintain a hairdo of such grandeur, and I'm not even really being snarky when I say that. I mean, wow! That's some kinda commitment.

I will admit that I stared long and hard at the majesty of it.

And not just becuase I wanted to, but also because there was plenty of TIME to stare, being as how hair-woman was helping out a couple of "regulars" to the parking lot and blocking the exit lane, all the while keeping up a constant stream of chatter. It was obvious they knew one another, and had for a long time. Mrs Regular was using a walker, Mr Regular was helping out by getting the door, Miss Hairdo's job was to hold one of Mrs Regular's arms and lift the walker over the threshold. As you can imagine, this took a while. Miss Hairdo was, as I said, chatting away, saying things like "Oh, you know, I would just LOVE to come over and take care of y'all, but with my job and house and the grandkids and all it's hard, real hard, but don't you know that if I could I would." to which Mrs Regular replied "Oh now honey I sure wish you could, it's getting harder and harder to go on" at which point I might have almost ocularly precipitated a tiny bit and then nearly volunteered to go clean this woman's house for her, because the thought of her all hunched up over her walker, shuffling from room to room trying to clean up caused something in my heart to hurt a little.

Then, I thought better of the volunteering, because I was a stranger in those there parts, and strangers don't DO things like volunteer to clean houses, now DO they?

I didn't think so.

Still, I wonder what they would have done if I HAD?

"Lord Lord, you should have been there Billie Sue, it was an amazing thing to see. That woman came on into my house and set it to rights in almost no time atall, and then made us some tomater sammiches and sweet tea and told us to have a nice day. Why, I had time to sit on the front porch with Earnest and talk about the barrows and gilts report and what we're gonna do with all them biddy hens that just come in the latest hatch. It was one of the nicest afternoons, I tell you whut!"

"Well, whar'd she some from Bobby Jo?"

"The McDonalds down on Main Street."

"Naw, woman! You know that's not what I mean. Where her PEOPLE from?"

"Well, Billie Sue, I hate to say it, but I did detect a measure of YANKEE in her accent."

"You did NOT let a Yankee into your house."

"Yes, yes I did. She said 'y'all' like a local, so I thought she was OK."

"Lord, lord. Did you check the spoon drawer after she left?"

"Sure thang, and they were all there. She made good tea too."

"Huh. Way-ull, I suppose it cain't be helped that some people have the misfortune to not be born and raised in the south. It takes all kinds to make a world I do expect."

"Right you are Billie Sue. Right you are. Pass me my walker, would you hon? I'm fixin' to commence to git me some more of that bourbon, you want some?"

"Sure thing, darlin' I've got time for one more before the early-bird specials start down at the Golden Corral."

"Mmm-mm. Don't we just live in some good times, Billie Sue, don't we just."


Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm not her

Despite my best intentions, I am NOT this woman. Wondrous or not, I fall short of the goal of having my hair done just so, my purse coordinated with my top, my granny bloomies exposed in a symmetrical fashion, and my "lariat of truth" neatly coiled and ready at my side.

Cause, y'all, that stuff takes a LOT of work.

A lotalot.

I am not made of the stuff that can get that kind of "all there" look put together and out the door in anything less than the time it takes to 1) do something awful to my hair with a seldom-used blow dryer and vent brush, 2) nearly set the house ablaze with the Aqua Net and hot rollers I use to try to fix the blow dryer mistakes 3) bring myself to tears of frustration trying to zip into the costume, 4) get all hot and crabby when the tiara won't slide on correctly, and 5) throw something at the wall when I realize that I forgot to put on my ultra-support hose BEFORE donning my fabuloso costume of powah.

Therefore, you will NOT see me traipsing down the street in heels and hose and high hair anytime soon. I'm much more the "solids go with other solids, even when they're shades of BLACK" kind of female, not prone to making many more mistakes with pantyhose or hot rollers or pointy-toes pumps that look like they could be used as an instrument of death if one was properly provoked.

It's not that I don't ADMIRE that look, I really do, because it's all girly and sexy and stuff, but it's simply not me. I've given it up to the point that I don't even own clothing that could get me within shouting distance of that look anymore - also, there are no "heels" in my closet (because, for Pete's sake, I'm tall enough already!), no hose in my lingerie drawer (except those thigh-high things that aren't really thigh high because of the tall thang, but I keep anyhow because even though they DO roll down some they're more comfy that the pantyhose of sweaty death), my makeup kit can fit in a sandwich bag, I don't own rollers, and a fair number of the things I DO wear could probably fit an extra person in them while I'm wearing them.

How did it get like this?

Easy - I've pretty much always been this way. Oh, I struggled with fashion in college for a while, but truly I was the girl who wore shorts under her skirts in grade school so she could swing on the monkey bars. I was the girl who would rather hunt bugs then have a tea party. I was the girl who cried when she was given her first Bonne Bell lip gloss. I was the girl who would rather have blended into the woodwork than be noticed. I was the girl who didn't understand most any girly stuff that girls of my age were doing, back in the day.

Yes, yes, in college I spent many an hour in front of the mirror, maximizing my potential. It was tedious and took a long time to get just right, and once you did get it just right you had to spend the rest of the night maintaining the look instead of having a good time. Heaven help you if the spiky hair should fall flat or the heavy eyeliner should smear or if your shoes got beer on them. DISASTER! It was tiring. I soon switched to hippie chic and Vans, never ONCE looking back.

Marriage and children and career took whatever notions I had of being well-kitted out and threw them right into the trash. My goal was to show up for work or other public appearances clean and brushed. A little mascara and blush and I was out the door.

Recently, I've even given up on the blush. I have, however, added eyebrow pencil and lipgloss, putting my total "beauty regimen" time at about 1.5 minutes.

Is it true that when I
see a well put-together woman, I get a momentary twinge of jealousy, a tiny hint of "wow she looks great."

Then it passes, because, the way I figure it, I'm the one who got to sleep that extra hour this morning, while she was struggling into her hose and pointy shoes while spraying the pilial architecture atop her cranium and preparing to apply the first layer of facial spackle.

More power to you, Wonder Woman - it takes all kinds. Just wake me up ten minutes before you're ready to go, and I'll be showered and ready when you are.


I suspect that most of y'all who come by here are fairly minimalistic in your daily regimen of public preparedness, much like I am.

For example - I must shower. I MUST brush my teeth (no skippies! Gum isn't a substitute!). I MUST use the tip of Q. I MUST moisturize. I MUST wear shoes that match the general color tone of at least one of the articles of clothing I'm wearing (and yes, I make sure all the bits and pieces are well covered). Other than that, I'm flexible.

What about you? What MUST you do before leaving the house? Give us the rundown, won't you?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What Thing 1 Finds Funny

Click it!!

Oh, and it loops, so don't expect an end.

You're welcome.

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's a disaster

It's an incredible mess.

Late posting, too much work and not enough inclination to do so, too much outside distraction (birds! flowers! puppies! comment moderation! shiny things!), not enough self-motivation, kids to wrangle, cable to get, routers to buy, bills to pay, people to call, etc etc etc.

Things are kind of almost on the verge of being out of control at Casa Tiff.

That being the case, there's no better time to write a blog post! Because as we all know, when the going gets confusing, the confused get blogging.

In the spirit of confusion, therefore, I offer up this bit of existentialism/mind farting what as has been roiling away in my head the past 4 or 5 minutes and needs to get out, otherwise how am I going to concentrate briefly on puppies again?

Look! A chicken!

That wasn't the the rolling-around thing, BTW.

This, however, is: who makes the widgets from which the widget-makers make theirs? Is there some terminallly tiny widget from which no further widgets can be extracted, thus identifying it as the basest widget of them all? Are widgets like atomic particles? Corollary - when is someone too insignificant to quality as being even the SMALLEST cog in the wheel of life? We all say we are, but what if we're not really even big enough to make it to the Cog List? A rather sad thought for a Friday, but there it is.

All this is a fractalisic approach to trying to characterize units of measure and thereby life, I know, but fractals are interesting things and can make very pretty pictures if you let the computer run for long enough. Math made into art, some of the most ponderable units in creation have basic mathematical equations as their basis of beauty.

Stare long enough at a honeybee's comb, and you'll undoubtedly come to grips with parts of the universe you didn't know needed your attention - the perfection and repetitive uniformity are things of awesome wonder indeed.

Think about the spiral of a nautilus' chambers, and know that life, no matter how we believe it came about, is precise and gorgeous, satisfying in its regular increases in shape and size.

Anything not chaotic can be described mathematically, and even chaos can be set out in a long series of numbers and symbols that mean nothing at all to most of us. A set of instructions to swing a series of dots along a prescribed line when plotting using polar trigonometry will result in some very pleasing pictures, and it's all math. You can use geometry to ascertain the swirling of the seeds in a sunflower. The relationship of walls to ceiling to floor or angle of inflection and deflection or skip of a dust mote in a sunbeam can, if all parameters are accounted for, be explained using numbers.


It's all math.

And even though I kind of suck at most maths (to use the Brits' term), this still amazes me.

When I see some Einstein or another (to me, most smart people MUST have Einstein as part of their name) scrawling out complicated equations to explain bits and pieces of the universe, I get excited, as though the symbols and integers must hold great secrets in their relationships. The mystery of mathematics is vast, the minds that work the maths with ease are unlike mine, so very far unlike mine that it seems incomprehensible that they're still humans at all. Math-smart people are like aliens to me, who hold the keys to the explanation of the whole universe in their mega-minds.

Of course, I kinda feel that way about carpenters too - framers who can figure out angle cuts in a vaulted ceiling or finish carpenters who know how to use a miter saw to make a perfect cut in the baseboard so that no caulk at all will be needed to seal the join once the piece is in place are also works of wonder. How do they DO that? One does wonder.

All that math. For someone else's brain to do. Me, I'll just sit back and admire those folks who do the math, and wait for the next puppy to come ambling by.

The world needs puppy-watchers too, right?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Straight to the Source

There's a reason I have my e-mail address right over there on the sidebar.


I love e-mail.

Feel free to use it.


Bradford Pears and Redbud are in bloom in NC. Forsythia are also going great guns, and the daffodils and hyacinth are still holding their own. It's gorgeous, and not really even too early for Spring.

Had to turn on the A/C yesterday for a little bit after getting in the car. THAT seemed a little early.

Yep - Spring is happening right when the calendar says it should.

I wonder what on earth happened to winter?


Did you ever have a HUGE work project just disappear overnight? I have, and recently. It was a huge weight lifted, a specter vanished, an elephant leaving the room.

But only for a little while. The client has said they will be back later in the summer.

When, of course, I'll be working on other things, and someone ELSE will have to manage the elephants.

Heh heh heh.

Sometimes procrastination DOES pay.


More some other time. Much to do. Not enough time to work up a full post, or rant, or story, or complete fabrication that I pass off as reality.

Right now I have to ponder on what's for dinner, which might take a while.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No post today

Tomorrow, maybe. Today is all about the search for wellness.

So, kindly move along....nothing to see here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

When your brain is in a vise

I've got lock-brain today. It's like lockjaw, but of the brainal variety.

Nothing's coming out of the cranium that should. My brain can't even control my typing fingers properly, and, when you're a writer and LIVE by the typing, this can be a dangerous and frustrating thing.

I blame recent events and maybe a little too much party party fun time at my house last night. Lock-brain usually accompanies stress and hangovers, for which the only known sure cure is water, water, greasy food, water, and water.

Back when I was on the "pro party" circuit, only Waffle House would do for those really long nights out that you just KNEW were going to result in a hangover of mammoth proportion. A 4 a.m. trip to Billy's Place (because Billy ALWAYS worked the night shift) for waffles and eggs and hash browns were quite the stomach settler, and a double dose of their hellishly awful coffee would set the purge in motion.

Cuz, you know, you're GOING to purge anyhow from all that alcohol, why not just get it the hell over with and get on with you life? That was our M.O. at the time, and it worked so well that very often we would pick right back up at 5 that night with a continuation of stupid human tricks PLUS liquor, and start the cycle all over again.

This modus operandi came back to me this morning, as I recognized the onset of the "lameass white chick celebrates a tiny bit too much and winds up with the head owie and tumbly tummy" syndrome, and thus motored my way to a McD's for some breakfastage that would give my body something to do other than chew away at its own meninges. As it would happen, I ordered 2 sausage burritos, thinking that the cheesy eggyness of it would settle my stomach and provide me with some much-needed proteins.


I had to get past the sausages first.

Did y'all know, that on close inspection, the sausage chunks in a McDonald's breakfast burrito look like the leavings of an anemic rabbit? They do. You don't really even have to inspect them that closely to see that I'm correct in this simile.

Did y'all ALSO know that the "sausage chunks" don't so much taste like sausage as they taste like something that wants to be sausage but has just hint enough of flavor to give you the idea that someday somebody might come along and spice things up enough to start MAKING sausage out of them?

Much like the pepper chunks, which were barely large enough to qualify as "specks," the pseudo-sausages could have been left OUT of the eggy cheesiness and I would have been just as happy.

Pass the salsa, baby, and call it a day.

Also? Did nothing for my stomach. Dammit.

So, I need your help. What do I do NOW to un-quease my stomach and un-ow my brain? Keep in mind that I can't go home and work, like I normally would, because right now I don't have internet access, which I need to continue to be a productive member of the working class. I have to stay at work, working and battling my own stupidity and lock-brain, until such time as I either get cured or puke. Y'all, I hatehatehate the emetic event, but I'm thinking right now it looks like a not-bad option.

Help a sistah out, won't you, and leave your suggestions in the comments.

My thanks, in advance, for your expert advice.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Windburn and shutzhunds

Yesterday rocked.

I went with a friend (who, unless s/he wants to be named here, shall go unnamed because I don't like to out people who don't want to be outed, even if I know they don't really care, becaue I'm circumspect like that) to a "first" for me:

A Schutzhund competition.

And, oh my goodness, it was cool. Really.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I love love love to learn new stuff. New experiences, new places, new people, new subjects, all are right up my alley. So, being invited to take a few hours out of my day to go watch doggies compete in something I had no idea of what it was piqued my interest right off the bat. Plus - doggies! And a friend to hang out with! And a road trip! Hi-ho, let's go!

After finally (ahem) getting to the site of the competition, my education began. Shutzhund is all about training a dog (mostly German Shepards, because that's who the sport was invneted for!) to utilize their full capacity as trackers and protection dogs through three types of training: tracking, obedience, and protection (T.O.P.). All dogs have to compete in all three areas at every meet, and even if they flunk out of one area they still have to have a go at the other two for practice and good sportsmanship.

There are three levels of Shutzhunds (as far as I understand): 1, 2, and 3. Ah-ha! You can TELL this sport was developed by a buncha Germans, because there is a simple NUMBERING system in place to tell who's who and who has achieved what! The 1's are the beginninest level, and the 3's are a sight to behold. Imagine a dog who can't take his or her (though most shutz doggies are boyz) eyes off you, who follows your commands the INSTANT you give them ,who will ignore other dogs completely and not care to investigate the various crotches of random human beings, who know "left: and "right" and "down" and "heel" (or "fuss"!) and a host of other commends, who is happy to be useful and who WANTS to work for you. That's a shutzhund, fo sho.

To say I was impressed would be only partly true. I mean, it was cold and windy out there on the field, and so maybe my enthusiasm was a tiny bit frozen-over at some point. However, in retrospect, I think amazed is the right word. The handlers spend YEARS with their dogs, working them through the various exercises and classes, the dogs are dedicated, the decoys (for the "protection" part, which involves "bitework") have got to know their stuff and get certified in being decoys, the judges are on the fly all day long.

I didn't see tracking, though I've been told that someday I'll be forced to watch it. That's fine with me. I don't mind learning new things.

Plus, I hear hot dogs are involved, and that's something I can TOTALLY get behind.


This is a public service message to all y'all who might have something negative to say about this shutzhund thing : DO NOT SAY IT.

Do NOT ruin my good time and budding enthusiasm by ranking on the sport, the training, the dogs, the elitism or politics, the power of money, or any crap like that.

That is not what I'm excited about. I'm excited about the NATURE of the sport, and the opportunity to learn new things. There's a possible seamy underside to every pursuit, you and I both know it. I don't know nearly enough about this sport to even start to begin to commence to fix to cogitate on taking a notion on it, so, please, just hush up and enjoy me being happy to learn something new, mmmkay?


Friday, March 16, 2007

Ark Ark!

If anyone has a paddle and a boat, please come rescue me, for it's a-coming down a toad-strangler outside and I'm afeared that I might have to bail out my house to keep it from sinkin'.

Yesterday was one of those gorgeous spring days that make you want to break out in song, and today, we get a gullywasher going of hours-long proportion. That kind of rain that can blind you if you're driving, the kind of rain that would serve as a complete 10-second shower if you stepped out into it, the kind of rain that insistently pounds on the roof and doorframes at conversation-stopping decibels.

We need the rain, there's no doubt of it. One look at the state's drought alert website (and oh yes, they do have one, and I am maybe a tiny speck obsessed over checking it on possibly a daily basis, and so what about THAT) will tell you that we need the rain.

Except, you know, do we need it all at ONCE?

I saw farmers out yesterday doing some tilling. That made me happy, for some reason. The clouds of dust following the tractors mean that agriculture is still happening in my part of NC. The neat rows laid out behind the John Deere please my semi-autistic neat freaky side, and the smell of freshly turned earth is positively yummy.

But, where are those rows NOW? I'll just bet they're washed into mushy hummocks, all slouchy and sad, the crisp folds of yesterday's work worn down by the beating rain. No "farmers rain" this time, oh no, but rather an all-out assault of fat drops smashing into the earth.

Tangentially, and believe me, this will come to a point very soon, when I was a kid I used to LOVE watching slo-mo nature films. OK, let me amend that - I STILL like to watch slo-mo nature films. Also the time-lapse films. Anyhow, one of my favorites was the "water drop landing in a still pool and making a huge splattery pattern" thing, where the descent of the drop was captured in such agonizing detail that it was almost a relief when the splash was over. The anticipation of what was to come was almost, IS almost, too much to watch.

I imagine that whole freshly-turned field was like a gigantic slo-mo film as the rains started, with puffs of dust rising with the first wave of raindrops, the concussions of the impacts deafening to the earthworms and grubs below, the cool moisture seeping into the ground, an initial buggy/wormy relief at the reprieve from dessication, then a building annoyance by the invertebrate denizens at the continuation of the percussive precipitation until one of them SNAPS and starts screaming at God to cut it the heck out already he's trying to get the kids to go to sleep and how on earth can they do that if there's all that NOISE!!!

For, as we all know, earthworms are testy fellows, especially where noise is concerned.

And what about the BIRDS? Way back, I saw a book titles "Where do butterflies go when it rains?" My thought is - forget the butterflies, what about the birds? What about those robins and finches and returning cardinals and suchlike? What about THEM, huh? Sitting on a tree branch, all sodden and soppy wet, waiting for the irritated earthworms to start emerging from the muddy ground. They get chillier and chillier until one of them sneezes, prompting their near-neighbors to move slightly further away so as to protect themselves from what is sure to be some variant of the bird flu, and don't you just know that nobody wants that after what happened to Myrtle Waxwing's husband's cousin Floyd, who migrated to China last year and never ever came back again. So sad, leaving behind a nest-mate (don't you know they weren't MARRIED!) and a clutch of eggs, one of whom hatched out the very spitting image of Floyd, and even though he's puny is the darling of the brood and is getting fat from all the grubs his mama's pulling from the muddy fields, bless her broken little heart.

See? The rain, she makes us ALL crazy.


What's it like where YOU are today? You got crazy-making weather too, or all you all happy and sunshiny and glittery with perfect schpring weather?

G-head - drop your weather report in the comments. I'm interested, I really AM!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Butter and Eggs

This story is from a writing challenge that Hyperion offered to me many months ago. I've saved it for a rainy day (metaphorically), and because I don't really have time to write a real post today I thought I'd just give y'all a little dreary reading to do.

The inspiration for this story comes from this picture. Be aware - there's painted nakedness therein. You'll need to see it to understand my story, so go and look and then come back here.

What's below is the result of my efforts. Feel free to offer your comments or suggestions.


Butter and Eggs

Years ago, Erae used to joke about running shirtless through the streets of Boughton, saying “wouldn’t that just be a sight, me titties flapping side to side all goggly while the men stare from the front doors of their taverns and their wives glare from the front doors of their houses,” then she’d collapse with laughter, like it would have been the funniest thing in the world.

Once it happened, though, she thought better of laughing.

Erae and I were thick as thieves most of our lives, almost since we were nothing but a bundle of swaddle attached to out mothers’ breasts. Our mams were close, so we were too. As alley-side neighbors, we learned to toddle on the grimy cobbles together, we amused our mothers by finding bits of flotsam in the gutters and bringing it to them as “gifties,” we played in the backdooryard of the drapers and butchers, hoping for a scrap or piece to drop from a customer’s bundle that we could snatch up, thrust under our shirts, and race home with to our poor mams, who spent the days feeding yet more babies gotten from their sailor husbands and taking in the washing of the rich women.

Growing up, Erae used to say I was the skinnier of us both, she’d said I was “a bundle of rags wrapped on bone,” but to my mind she was much thinner than me. Being thin was a sure mark of our poverty, and so we longed to be plump like the candle-maker, who looked dipped in the beef tallow from which she made her wares. We wanted to be all pink and moist, like the shepard girl , who we’d heard drank straight from the udders of her ewes if thirsty and rubbed her hands in their greasy wool if they were chapped. God, to be pink and plump, to be clean and warm. To have bright eyes and bouncy thick hair instead the pissholes and straw we found on our own selves. A real meal, a real bed, these seemed things of luxury.

Skinny as we were, and as starved for good things, there was no denying that turning 16 did something for both of us. Almost overnight bumps grew where there’d been none before, hips swelled from the wasted flanks of childhood, and hair grew from underarms and crotch in lush abundance. Our mothers told us that our father’s Spanish heritage shone in those private places. He’d come and gone from both of them the same night without either of them knowing of the other, leaving them both with child; hence, Erae and I were more than mere friends, we were sisters. This was the first we’d ever known of it, and thus our bond was cemented stronger than ever.

It was on the second Advent Sunday that Baldrun the night watchman approached us as we made our way home from church. He had an idea for us, one that would make us money enough to support our families and line his pockets as well. He’d noticed us of late, noticed how well we’d grown, and knew for a fact that there were men from the ships that would give us money to look at our young bodies, to touch them, to be near them. Baldrun offered to show us the ways of the quay-women and to help us get started on a new life of wealth. Erae and I were to be he start of something big for him, and us, and he would be glad to introduce us to the way of the flesh as a start.

Even as poor as we were, we had a moment’s pause over this shocking proclamation, for even being young girls we knew what went on between men and women; the cries from our mam’s bedrooms when their husbands were home was education enough in that regard. Erae took me to one side and with gleaming eyes started straight at me and said “I’m thinking this is the way to go, Shiavon. Money for a grope or two, money for new bread and fresh milk. Money for a bit of meat. Money for clothing and food. We’ll be rich and fat in no time! We’ll have money for combs and soap and we’ll have cakes and butter. Shiavon, we need this, please say you will.”

There was nothing for it but to say yes. Truth was, no other man in town would have us as we were, skinny and dirty and poor. Baldrun took Erae first, lifting her skirts right in the alley behind the parish house and quickly breaking her bond with virginity. Her cries were sharp and fast, but she said there was no pain, that it actually felt lovely and wasn’t she lucky to have it over an done with once and for all. My turn came and went as quickly, Baldrun taking my marriage gift with a few thrusts and barely any pain.

We were ready for the quay, he said. Be at the Pump and Arbor at 9 tonight and he’d show us how to work. But first, he said, for God’s sake take a bath. No man wants a smelly whore, no matter how long he’s been without.

The appointed time came, and Erae and I met in our alley, as clean as we could be without raising our mam’s suspicions. We’d done up our hair as best we could, wore our best clothes, and told the folks around the fire we were taking some air. It was a fast walk to the Pump and Arbor, us holding our breath against the cold, fairly fainting with excitement and fear.

Baldrun met us as the church bells struck nine, took us around back by the stable door, and told us to strip our shirts to our waists, for he wanted to have a little peek at what he’d missed earlier. Erae, being bold, took down her blouse at once, and Baldrun praised her for being such a good girl, then gave her a penny. That was all I needed to see to be half naked as well, but I got no penny, and I saw that our business was to be a competitive one. Baldrun asked who would go first, and I voiced up before Erae, earning a penny of my own.

We were told to stay where we were, shivering in the stable-yard, while Baldrun went to find some business. As proof of our promise to him to be good, he took our shirts with him, leaving us bare-breasted in the dark December evening. Erae’s nipples were brown, I noticed, much like mine. Her breath came in clouds as she jabbered on about the cold and our money, hugging her skinny arms over her full chest. For my part, I was out of my head with worry should the first man brought to our new place of business be someone from town who’d have me out as a whore to my family and our congregation. Too late for worry, said Erae, too late for anything but to move on toward the coppers that would buy us our first real meal.

A few minutes after Baldrun left, we heard his voice and another man’s coming toward us through the alley. Right nice young girls this way sir, said Baldrun in a strange accent, right this way. My heart leapt into my throat. Ah, here sir, here they are, Baldrun continued, and we could now see he’d disguised himself to avoid being identified. Ar, yeah, said the other man, a fine sight for these sore eyes they are, a fine sight indeed. Those brown nips are callin’ me name, sure and they are. You’ll have the shorter one, said Baldrun. I’ll have nothing of the sort, said the man. I want the taller one with the snappy teats. No sir, we’ve picked the order and you’ll have the one first, and if you’ve got enough for the other after that why then you can have her too for an extra shilling. I’ll do no such thing, Baldrun, said the man, and at that Baldrun growled low and hard, striking the man across the face saying no man knows my name on these docks and lives to tell the tale! The sailor threw aside his hat and hood, and we knew him for the constable, out for a bit of work. We, and Baldrun besides, had been discovered! Instant shame and excitment filled my heart and throat, an icy wash of fear filled my belly. Erae gripped my hand, hard, in her stone-cold fist, and we waited for whatever would happen next.

We were shocked to see Baldrun hit low on the constable’s belly. He went down fast, at the same time kicking Baldrun’s feet out from under him. Erae and I picked that moment to make an escape; we ran behind the stable, afraid of the men and the crowd a fight might attract, afraid of our nakedness and obvious position. From our hiding spot the constable and Baldrun were two gruff lumps of man, fighting like a couple of cocks in the yard. I couldn’t tell the men apart, I could only see shadows and hear their shouts and cursing. It was all I could do to turn my head around the corner to see what our future held. After a good deal of fist-fighting in the gloom, one man drew a blade and thrust it forward into the other, who fell like a stone with a wet grunt.

Death filled the air with groans and the smell of blood and shit. But who had died? Were we saved or doomed? And how would we know the difference?

The standing man approached us on hobbling legs. Erae and I stood, scared as children, to the spot we'd fond, too terrified of moving to think of escape, awaiting our fate at the hands of whoever it was that drew close.

All I could think as the constable's bloody face came into focus was, well, there’s goes the butter and bread money, we’ll not see our chance at that ere more.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

All the Way

So, my dear friend Rennratt loaned me the new Indigo Girls CD yesterday at a music swap and shopping meet at our local Target store.

I am here to report that she has fine taste in music.

There are many many solid tunes on this CD,and even though the Girls have one or two songs I just KNOW I'd habitually skip (the realllly dark, morose, moany songs, of which it seems like they invariably have a couple of each CD they do), most are fun or interesting or tuneful enough to listen to over and over.

My Favorite is "All the Way," in which a love affair is likened to a car crash. It takes some kind of artistry to pull that metaphor off, and it's done brilliantly.

It's been a very long time since I listened to any Indigo Girls. They first came on my personal radar when I heard "Galileo" back in the day. LOVE that song, and so bought the CD, because that's how I roll, yo. I must have listened to that CD a hundred times in the months that followed, singing along and trying to figure out the words. It's largely the words that get me....somehow they, as lyricists, put their emotions and stories right out there in a way that hits me square in the heart or funnybone, almost every time.

There's a song called "Love will come to you" on the "Rites of Passage" CD that struck me right in the gut, but not on my behalf. It's a song about love, and how people search for it, and how even though it might hurt, there's always hope for the future. At the time I heard it first, my Mom was very very lonely after the death of my father. I could see her grief, it was a ghost around her, a weight in the room, a desperate longing for what used to be. She missed him terribly, and saw no hope for the future. These lyrics - "
I say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they're true as if I've offered up a crystal ball to look through where there's now one there will be two" brought me to tears, because it was my wish for her to be able to hope, to be able to see beyond the pall of her own sadness toward the future.

Eventually, she did. Time did as it does and healed her to the point that she could step out from around the curtain of anger and grief to see what was on the other side, and found love again. Naturally, she still misses my Dad, but decided to go on with the rest of her life, honoring what they had while striking out on a new path with someone else. Still, when I hear this song, or sing it in my head, I feel that pull, the pang, the upwelling of extraordinary emotion, and relive a it of my past. I doubt that time will change that, not one little bit.

When the Things were little, we were gifted with a CD of Kenny Loggins' children's songs, most of which were, um, rather maudlin. After one or two go-rounds of "All the pretty little ponies" and "The house at pooh corner," I chucked that tape and never looked back. It's a plain-faced FACT that one should not CRY when one is nursing one's child on a sunny autumn afternoon, despairing of the loss of their precious moments when that child is only a few weeks old. (Aside - I maybe had a touch of the post-partum depression, particularly after Thing 1, but DAYUM that tape didn't help.) Now, when I think of those songs, I get hit with a sense of confusion and frustration that is a mere hint of what I was feeling then. Damn that Kenny, anyhow.

On the flip side of all the weepy, there are other songs that carry a connotation of happier times.

"Magic Carpet Ride" will ALWAYS make me want to get up on someone's shoulders and bang on the ceiling while clutching a stadium cup of warm-ish keg beer, because that was the house tune of the frat I hung out at for a cupla years in college. Every time that came on a mosh pit of sweating horny frat boys would hoist the nearest girl up on his shoulders and the house would ROCK.

"Wrapped around your finger" by the Police will ALWAYS be linked with a late-night lyrics dissection session in the living room of P-house, with music majors debating on the nature of Sting and his affiliation with the classics that led him to cite Scylla and Charybdis, and what that could POSSIBLY mean in the context of the song. One vocal major had all the answers, but in HER context of a state of extreme inebriation, was ineffectual in her explanation. We finally found her point, after far too long a period of intense thought and sobering up. Good times.

Lastly (I can hear the cheering now!) I will ALWAYS love "Don't worry, be happy." I do not care that it's been done a million times and people are sick to death of it and were from the second time they heard it, it makes me happy. I first heard this as a second-hand song from a guy I had the ultimate hots for in grad school. He was my part-time snog partner and an actor, and came back from acting camp one summer with this song in his head. He sung it in his very bad voice, then played the CD, and I was hooked. I remember him hopping around his apartment, arms flapping, hair wild, lip-synching with total joy and abandon. Actors will do that from time to time, so I understand. Whenever I hear that song now (yes, we have the CD), I transport back to that place of youth and freedom, that small hot living room on the second floor, that person and their utter pleasure at being who they were, and I can't help but smile.

Second-lastly, I have to add the "Let's Crash the Party" (by guess which band? All right, it's OK Go) makes me deliriously happy. Every daggone time.


Which leads me to this question: Are there some songs that really hit you right where it hurts, or where it tickles so much you can't stop laughing, or that make you wanna get up and shake that tailfeather? What are they, and why?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tickle me Pollen

Ah, March in NC, how I love thee.


There are trees in bloom, the daffodils are up, there boidies is choipin, the landscape crews have reappeared from their long winters' absence, and all seems right with the world.

Except.....those trees that is a-blooming and the flowers that is a-poppin' are, naturally, shedding pollen like it's their own personal orgy and we're in their daggone way. Why, I can't even drive home in the evenings with the windows down, enjoying the warm air while cranking out some tune-age without my eyes commencing to watering and itching and burning.

It's too early for that kind of thing. I usually wait until at LEAST the chartreusy blankets of oak pollen cover my car after a day in the parking lot to start with the watery itchification. Could I be getting sensitized to North Carolina's flora? Three springs in this state have turned me allergic to nature.



Those of y'all still under winter's continuing weather advisory, please don't tell me I shouldn't complain about an early spring, I can TOO complain if I want to, It's MY reality, and I'll bitch if I want to. You don't see ME telling you to hush about the snow and ice and cloudy gray doldrum skies, do you? No, you do not, for I am polite like that and realize that everyone has a right to drone on and one, relentlessly, about their own particular meteorologic irritations. I certainly do.

Heh - just WAIT until summer. I can do a full ten minutes of the suck of NC in August.


Why do some convenience stores smell like vomit?


Also, how do blind people know when they're done wiping?


Does anybody else's dog throw up when they get excited?


It looks like I'm a-gonna be a part of the Carnival of the Mundane again. I recommend y'all take a meander over there and take a moment to consider contributing something to the melange of goodness that is sure to be the next installment of mundanity. Truly, it is a thing of beauty, for a compendium of posts from a variety of authors on the everyday is fascinating reading for all us voyeurs and thrivers-on-the-vicarious.


And I leave you today with a poem, because I feel like it.

It was GOING to be about poop, but Biff gave me another-another idea and I went with that instead, because I'm thinking that vomit/poop/vomit question string up above might have been enough gross for the day.

It's about daylight savings time, and the poor victimized cows. THink of the COWS, people!!!

Daylight Savings Time

confuses me
and cows

It's not nice
to take away
an hour

those poor things
on grass

cannot tell
their milking bell
to pass

udders sway
at 5 each day
no fail

farmers yell
no clock change hell
we'll bail

those bovines
might feel divine
at four

but change time
and they'll just whine
all dour

save the moos
please so to do
I beg

and save us
from farmers' plussed

confuses me
and cows.

Stop the crazy
time made hazy

There you go - don't be sayin' I'm not all about trying to please the readers!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Yes, I'm doing it too

How farking cool is THIS?? Do it yourselves, lovies, and tell me you did. How totally awesome.

Thanks, Wordnerd and Tracy Lynn, for showing me the way to the high-tech giddy.


Tulips on my Organ

Purple ones!

They're really on my desk, not my organ, but because my motto seems to be "a good line is good line and should be used early and often," I went with the organ thing to pique the interest of all the naughty girls and boys out there in Internetlandia.

The tulips (on my desk, NOT my organ, hee!) are a gift of gratitude from someone I helped move. I didn't expect anything for helping out a friend in need. I'm not the kind to stand around with my hand out waiting for a treat or honorarium or beer or even a word of thanks. I figure I was asked to help, I helped, and that kind of sealed the deal. End of story.

But the tulips? A nice touch.


More tomorrow. I'm going to go try to do some work, now that the giant Kirin I had at lunch has worn off somewhat.

Mmmm, sushi and Japanese beer.

And enough wasabi on that one piece of futomaki to make my eyes water for a few minutes. I totally LOVE that. Pickled ginger, a glob of wasabi the size of a fresh pencil eraser, and an impossibly HUGE piece of sushi. Such the yum.

Made by the presence of three lovely and witty galfriends, who can talk serious beezwax AND who's the hottest hottie of the hot in Hollywood in almost the same breath. BONUS better points because we talked GIRL hotties too.

Sorry Jenifer Aniston, you don't get our vote as hot. But heLLOOO Val Kilmer! Come join us next time and feel the lurve! Or you, Sean Connery. Or even YOU, man who stars in "The 300" that we don't know the name of. More Kirin and sake! Woo!

Oopsie - time to work. And maybe sober up a tiny bitty touch.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Best Online Mail, My Eye!

My very heart is darkened with the monstrously aggravating Yahoo e-mail, what with the not working and the "can't connecting" and the blank staring and the rotating wheel of impotence.

Grrr, Yahoo, I seethe at thee through the clenched jaws of frustration and anger. Thou arte vile, mocking me in my hour of need, tanatalizing me with the four e-mails of un-read-id-ness and the subsequent gray screen of unachievability.

I froth at the mouth, yet you do not respond. I bait you with curses, and you ignore my taunts. I pound my fists on the table before me, yet you do not bend to my entreaties, you frigid bulk of communication hoggery.

Four messages. Not readable. My witty slash thoughtful slash heartfelt slash snarktastic responses to the missives launched in my general direction, stopped by you before they could be birthed from my willing brain onto ether. My disappointment knows no boundary at this turn of unfortunate events.

Contact lists, not searchable. My mater, therefore, uncallable in her Florida condo by the sea. Poor, poor, mother, seeking the voice of her only daughter, only to be thwarted at a late hour by the vagaries of the electronic media on which we've come to rely with such gravity and depth. My mother's disappointment is palpable, even here, some thousand miles removed from her gentle curious soul.

Ah Yahoo, if your intent was to teach me patience, to instruct me in forebearance, then I must inform you that you have failed. For, if you do not know, there are others out there who would provide me the same service as you have, and who are both sexily named (hi-ho Hotmail) and ready to receive the output of my active typing fingers and beseeching mind. Oh yes, yes they are.

So, be watchful, dear Yahoo - for though you are mirthfully named and prettily dressed, you are not the only provider of your services in the town of Internets.

You must needs, therefore, consider yourself warned fairly and in good time. Much more of this obtrusive behavior and I will go elsewhere to satisfy my needs.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Which would YOU pick?

Do I take the 2-bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms and a pool, or the 2 bedroom cottage in the historic district with 1 bath and a wee fenced-in yard?

Choices. One I have to make, and soon.

An interesting position in which to find myself, made all the more interesting by the fact that I did it to myself.

They cost the same, except I'd have to quality for a mortgage on the house.

Still, which one do I choose? I'm at a a loss here, and need your help.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Belated, as is to be expected

Because Wordnerd asked us to, I forthwith present my Wordplay Wednesday, two days late.

You are welcome, I'm sure.

A word that describes me is:
Tall (Gosh, that was dull. Let's hope the prompts pick up from here)

My favorite word is:
Snuggle. Sounds as good as it feels.

My least favorite word is:
Hate. It's a strong strong word that carries no positive connotation at all.

Use these two words in a sentence:
I hate to snuggle with porcupines or monotremes; however, a quick clutch with a kangaroo sounds rather nice.

A word I have to think twice about pronouncing is:


Nah, I don't really have to think about most words. If I pronounce them wrong, there's a good chance nobody else knows what they are anyhow.

Recently I've begun pronoucing "out" as though I'm from Canada (not "oot," but something close). I believe that a good look at my brain may reveal a small stroke event in my speech area that has caused me to believe that I'm from BC, for this word and this word only. How very odd, and yet I cannot stop myself. Combine this with my developing southernisms, and you've got yourself one confusing mess o'accent going on.

Maybe I should just switch to all-Brooklyn, all the time and get it over with.

Make that "Ohvah wit."

Yeah, dat's it.

Dictionaries. Printed or online?
Both. Several of each, including medical dictionaries for work, which are fascinating reading. My my, the things that can go WRONG with a person! Absolutely horrifying, in a Mutter Museum kind of way.

A word whose meaning I cannot seem to retain no matter how many times I look it up is ...
Clinquant. I love the word, can't remember for the LIFE of me what it means. I keep thinking it's adult in nature, but it's really not. Not really.

Open a dictionary to a random page and find a word you don’t know. Post the word and its meaning.
infralapsarian: a believer in the Calvinist doctrine that the election of some men to salvation followed and was a consequence of man's fall, OR relating to this doctrine or to one believing in it.

OK y'all - this is totally confusing. Lemme look it up on the interwebs....

One of that class of Calvinists who consider the decree of election as contemplating the apostasy as past and the elect as being at the time of election in a fallen and guilty state; -- opposed to Supralapsarian. The former considered the election of grace as a remedy for an existing evil; the latter regarded the fall as a part of God's original purpose in regard to men.

Well, didn't I just pick a winner of a word? I STILL have no idea what it means!!

More research is required. Ah, here we go. I get it now. Read for yourself and see if the bright light of understanding doesn't shine on you too!

And with the learning portion of this post ovah wit, we can move on to the next bit! Hooray!

Use the word above and the word you can never remember in a sentence.
It is my understanding that most modern Christians believe in a infralapsarian-based theology, however, surpalapsarianism has a certain appeal for those who can accept in a more purposeful God and the preordination of a select group of humans as elect to a clinquant salvation.

One of the most overused words in my area of work/study is


Well, that was kind of interesting, I think.


You know how to tell when a kid is really sick not not just faking it to get out of school?

When they start choke-crying while laying DOWN in the back seat of the car as you're getting ready to drop them off AT THE DOOR to school.

Oh yes, THAT'S about as clear a signal as it can get, aside from projectile vomiting or green-tinged flesh.

FYI - it's not even 9:30, and the aformentioned sick kid is now lounging on the couch watching AFV and having a snack.

Either he's a REALLLLY good actor, or he's had the fastest-moving ailment in the history of sickness. I think I got suckered into an ad hoc vacay day for that child. The stinker.


I faked being sick only ONCE when I was a kid. Should have known that a human can't generate a temperature of 107 degrees without some serious bad-ass illness working. Mom saw right THROUGH the hold-the-thermometer-over-a-lightbulb trick, and packed my faking carcass off to school.

How 'bout you? You ever pull off some good "get out of school free" sick days? How did you manage? I need to learn. Leave your secrets in the comments.