Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Casual Wednesday

Last day of the year, and I'm at work. Of course I am. Fortunately, I'm just about the only one, so that nobody will witness my mid-week leap into casual wear. The jeans are on, I'm wearing my absolute current favorite sweatshirt (mm, French terrycloth), and I have, once again, done NOTHING with my hair. Life is good, so long as no big bosses are planning to walk the building's corridors in search of people to wish a Happy New Year.

Being as how all the really big bosses are in another state, I'm thinking it's fairly safe to go potty from time to time. Maybe even as far as the coffee machine.

There's one other person in the cube farm today, and it's obvious that she's the proud owner of a laryngeal amphibian (AKA froggie in her throat). About every 20 second she clears her throat with a gurgly lil' 'ahem-hem-hem,' and it's about to drive me mad. If it keeps up, it may come to pass that she will be visited by me or one of my minions, who will urge her to just COUGH THAT EFFER UP and quit with the quasi-ladylike harumphing. Or at least go get me a cup of coffee, and grant me five minutes' peace.

Had breakfast at the local eatery this morning, and ate what may have been the best corned beef hash EVER. Farrago, if you're reading this, they've upped their game since we ate there. Not at all salty, hot on the inside and crispy on the outside, tiny potato cubes cooked perfectly. Mmmmm, hash. There was enough of it to be a meal all on its own, which was shame because that meant I had to give way my homefries to my dining partner. He was not getting my lovely grease-schmeared scrambled eggs though - I love the taste of that fake butter they use to grease the grill. Mmmm, griddle shortening.

After that auspicious beginning, what other way would be better to wrap up the Old Year than by going to Downtown Wake Forest (all two blocks of it) and participating in the 'First Light' celebrations? If by 'going down' you mean' staggering,' because this is, sadly, an alcohol-free event, perfect for the kiddies and Southern Baptists, but not so much for the very determined social drinker like me and so needs must that I should get my drink on BEFORE getting my New Years schwerve going. Sheesh - ring in the New Year SOBER? Are they kidding? Where's the holiday cheer in THAT? I just need to be there by 11 p.m. for the noisemaker check, that much is for sure.

Have a wonderful day folks - and happy end of the Old Year to all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Other stories from the City that never sleeps

My folks are from NYC. From Queens AAMOF. A whole BUNCH of my family still lives in the area (on Long island), so you'd think I'd be more familiar with "The City" than I am, which is not at all familiar. The whole place is a giant mystery, a glittering ball of possibilities.

Until you get lost in Chinatown, which is about when the shine wears off that ball and you see that it's composed largely of sludge, with a rich garbage-y center. My goodness, the things one can see when one turns the wrong way out of the subway chute. For instance: stores that purvey live seafood, much of which was encased in a thick layer of its own slime, gangs of thugly Asian youth, geriatric Asians a-spitting and hacking up whatever lung they have left (which, incidentally, resemble the slimy seafood more than a little), and lots and lots of bags of garbage what with it being Christmas and all and therefore a day on which the refuse trucks do not run.

Oh, for a familiar touristy face, something that would have made us feel a touch less...obvious. But no, for we were not IN the actual tourist area of Chinatown; oh no. We were in the part of Chinatown that SUPPLIES the touristy part of Chinatown, and thus was a touch more 'realistic' than might otherwise have been the case if we'd turned right instead of left. Lets just say that Hester Street won't be getting a return visit from me anytime soon, for all its authenticity. I am TOURIST, and should stick to those places that are designed for tourists. Bring on the fakery, for I am a fan!

On the bright side, after abandoning Chinatown as a very bad idea indeed, we found a great Indian place three doors down from our hotel, and that was reasonably priced. Saag ghost - yum.

Other things we did on our brief trip Norf:

Got to the Top of the Rock for the 850-foot view of the city. Gorgeous. I could spend all day in a place like that, looking at the city, the people who look at the city, and lounging in the sunny rooms set aside for tired visitors and grandmas. Totally worth the 20 bucks a ticket.

Times Square. This place is a giddy throng, a fantastic and disturbing mad mad crush of nations, a charcoal-scented kebab heaven, a gaudy jewel in the heart of midtown, and an entire vacation on its own. Being as how we were billeted a block away, Times Square was a frequent go-to. Free entertainment!

The Red Flame Diner. Cheap eats, and plenty of them, right next door to our fancy-schmancy $20-for-a-croissant hotel.

Watched the skaters at Rockefeller Center, saw the tree, and had a very good spinach knish from a kosher deli on the ground floor of Rock Center (and at $3.50 a knish, a darned good deal!). Mmm, biting into a steaming-hot knish on the plaza while babbling hordes of touristas surged past is a memory that will stick around, I'm betting.

Went to the Intrepid Air Space Museum too, which just re-opened in November after being shut down for a while for refurbishing. A great place to go get your fill of aircraft carrier info, see a bunch of cool warplanes, get a FANTASTIC view of the river, and be darned glad you didn't have to serve on one of those floating cities during wartime. Cozy, it ain't.

St Andrew's Scottish pub, or, as our bellman called it - 'church.' Awesome burgers, wonderful steak, employees in kilts, and a Canadian woman who was drinking alone at the bar (on Christmas Eve! How sad! Let's talk with her! Mistake!) who has the dubious honor of adding "Yah, no, I know" to the catchphrases at the Tiny House. If I say that it soon became clear why she was drinking alone on Christmas Eve, would that sound horrible? Yah, no, I know. She did buy us a Glenfiddich after much admonishments that we NEEDED to try it (and really, who can resist a head-nodding slighty lonely and GENEROUS Canadian woman?), so hey, it's all good.

The lobby of the Algonquin, our home base for the trip. On Christmas Eve, a white-haired bearded gentleman was invited to play the piano by a well-dressed fellow who I'm sure I should 'know' who then proceeded to sing bits and pieces of standard Christmas tunes. The piano player was wonderful, the singer may have been experiencing some holiday cheer-induced memory lapses, but no matter. The 20 minutes of spontaneous atmosphere more than made up for continuity issues. Also at the hotel we were fortunate enough to be party to the final day of Mike Lyons, a bellman who has been there for 47 years. That, my friends, is a long, LONG time to be at one job. Kind of cool to be present for what was, for him, a momentous day.

We didn't see any shows, but we walked past a gutload of theaters, being as how we were right near BROADWAY and all. Could have seen Harry Potter naked, but passed. Could have seen the Phantom, or Spamalot, or the Radio City show, but passed as well. Next time, I'm sure.

And yes, we went to Central Park. On Christmas day. It was lovely, and crowded. We only walked a minor portion of the park before settling in for a good bask on the rocks by the skating rink. Right there by the dairy, and the zoo, and the Game House. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? If not, you should go. I'll bet it's great, no matter when you go.

Oh, and one more thing - if you should ever EVER be tempted to go to the Plaza Hotel (right across the street from where all the horse carriages are parked at Central Park South), do NOT order double bourbons, for they will set you back a mean fee. I would stick to tap water and a good gawk, unless you have money to burn. Lesson learned, kiddies. It's a gorgeous place, chock FULL of class, but you will PAY FOR THAT CLASS. One nice thing - the waiter allowed up to sit at a table, even though we weren't getting any food. Shit - for 40 bucks a DRINK, I should hope so.

So, yes, we did a lot of stuff, saw a lot of things, and got well tired out from all the walking. It was grand. At least now I think I could navigate a small chuck of midtown without having a map, and that makes me feel a little more at home in the city that truly never does sleep. Should you actually TRY to sleep, be aware that car alarms, police sirens, and the occasional PILE DRIVER will wake you right back up again.

Ah, New York. See you again soon, I hope. Though next time I'm going into La Guardia, and taking a taxi to midtown instead of the van shuttle. That alone would have saved 90 minutes on the front end, and that's just getting off the airport grounds!

And now you're all caught up. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A quick thing, because as soon as I share it with you, it will leave my brain

One of the most memorable moments from the NYC mini-vacation was this:

An elderly, chubby, shaven-headed, multiple-layer-wearing, grocery-cart-wielding, other-people-oblivious, muttering-under-her-breath, smelling-slightly-of-bad-fish Chinese woman who decided that YANKING DOWN HER PANTS to scratch her bare ass on a crowded subway car was exactly the right thing to do.

Once finished scratching, she neglected to hoist the pants back up. Oh yes, there was indeed naked crazy old Asian woman ass ON DISPLAY.

That fishy smell mentioned previously? The source became a touch too obvious once the airing of her netherbits commenced. (here's where you go 'ew!')

Thankfully, our stop was next. A herd of young Latinos came up the stairs with us; one guy cracked me up when he spoke-shouted "OK, who ELSE didn't need to get off at this stop?" Dude, I KNOW.

Thanks, New York City. Thanks a whole bunch.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One post lasts a few days

This is the last post from here for a few days; there is much busy-ness and travel in the near future for the residents of the Tiny House, and so y'all won't be bothered by my brain-dumps for a while.

(I can hear the loud Hosanas now. Thanks for that.)

I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and that you get everything you wished for in this most 'present' time of year. Wherever you are, may the dreams of your hearts be closer to reality today than they were yesterday yet not as close as they'll be tomorrow.

See y'all in a week or so.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa knows no calendar...

The jolly old elf made a quick pre-Christmas stop at the Tiny House today, bringing "Rock Band" for the Things' PS2. Current playing positions - Thing 2 on drums, Thing 1 on lead guitar. The mic is as yet unused, but already there's talk of purchasing the bass controller.

I wonder how Santa knew that they'd accept this as a wholly satisfactory substitute for the XBox 360 and snake they wanted? Oh wait, he's God, he knows stuff about stuff; in this case, 'stuff' means what adolescent boys will like.

Smart Santa. Must have been a testosterone-soaked young man once himself...


In other news, the Christmas tree is finally decorated, in full. THIS IS TOO NEWS, being as how the poor dear thing sat half-done for over a week while waiting for the boys to get back home. Oh, the garland and lights and a few ornaments were pretty, but I think this year's tree proves beyond a shadow of doubt that more ornaments is almost always a good thing.

The tree, she is enCRUSTed with glittery baubles. Becaus the decorating ws done by the aforementioned adolescent boys, not all the ornaments are in the same color family, or even really match. Not all of which are hung on the 'right' branches. Not all of which are where I would put them or facing the way I would face them, or showcased in a way that I might otherwise, if left to my own devices, would showcase them.

Truth is - those things don't matter. Not one tiny whit. The tree is happy like that. There are no overly saggy branches. There are no clumpy clusters of similarly-colored or shaped balls (my ONLY requirement), and the stand is full of water. It's a darned good life for a tree, and so, knowing (as trees do) that having already been chopped down, it's best to have found a good home to care for it for the last few weeks it's able to transpire.

We? Are that house.


Also - prezzies are largely bought, and those that were bought are now wrapped and under the tree. I probably say this every year, but if I never set foot into another super-crowded mall chock-full of simpering teen gothetts, junior criminals, snotty babies, doddering oldsters, and the COMPLETELY UNABLE TO GET OUT OF MY WAY, it will be too soon.

Malls used to have some attraction for me, but no more. They are the stomping grounds for those who care about trends, being seen, conspicuous consumption, or idly whiling away hours that could be spent doing something productive, like shaving weasels or stuffing spray cheese back into the can.

Could be though that I'm just getting old...


Hope y'all are having a spectacular day. Oh, and if you've read this far (and why on earth? go shave a weasel!), why not hop over to Tracy's and read my guest post from this past weekend? You'll have to scroll down some (for I am being extremely lazy and not linking to my own post), but that should be small effort on your part for such a huge payoff in terms of overall high quailty and damned fine writing.

I'm talking, of course, about everyone else's guest posts. Mine's just the usual dreck, wrapped in a a shiny holiday bow. Avitable's post alone is worth a trip over. So touching.

So go on, click on over, and have a great afternoon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Can a midget look at gift horse in the mouth?

Hi! I'm almost feeling better now! Why, if I hack up the remaining three pounds of gunk that have settled deep in me far-down lung lobes, I might just have a fighting chance at something like 70% capacity by suppertime. I am SO looking forward to that. It would be a 69% improvement from where I was yesterday morning.

Made it into the office today - and good thing too, because the CHRISTMAS TREATS are here! Yay!! Boxes of things that look like goodies have been delivered from our vendors, but beware, for these goodies are not so great and mostly taste like the boxes in which the came. That right there is a brand of evil that I won't touch.

Much preferred are the homemade treats that are on my desk right now - well, ONE homemade treat. A coworker has dropped off some kind of unbelievably good nut mix that she made, and I think I might need a padlock to keep my fave out of the bowl for the rest of the day. They're sweet and a little spicy and super crunchy and I want them allll.

The best, however, MUST be the gift from my boss. He knows me well, for in a lovely festive gift bag there sits a bottle of Knob Creek bourbon, a potable that tastes like a slice of sun-warmed heaven. This too may well need a padlock, for reasons other than the simple sin of gluttony that the nut mix would tempt me toward. I'm thinking that drinking at work would be frowned upon, even IF the boss was the one doing the tempting with his offering of sweet sweet liquor.

Daggone it.


So, I'm going to New York City for Christmas. There was hardly any thinking involved in the decision-making - the plane tix and a couple of nights at a Very Famous Hotel were too reasonably priced to pass up. The Things will be with their Dad and Grandma, getting spoiled rotten prior to our trip to My Mom's the weekend after Christmas, where they will be spoiled rotten also. Therefore, I decided to spoil MYSELF a little, and thus the trip to NYC at Christmas.

There is a vague outline of Things To Do - Empire State Building, the Intrepid, Grand Central Terminal, NY Public Library, Central Park and Times Square are on the menu, and we'd love to fit in Chinatown and maybe a show, but is there something that simply cannot be missed in The City that we could squeeze into a 3-day visit? Tell me about it, won't you?

I'm getting excited to go back. NYC is great. My folks both grew up there, and when I was a young kid I thought a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house was a thrill. Oh, their apartment wasn't all that (though it was pretty cool even if you did have to walk up several flights of creaky stairs to get there), it was the feeling of the city, the bustle of millions of people, the cars blaring horns and the smell of bus exhaust, the pigeons and exotic shops, the gray bulk of hi-rises, and crackle of life energies colliding with each other. No other city has that particular vibe, the semi-gritty, sort of sophisticated, dressed-to-the-nines-to-step-over-a-bum kind of personality.

If you happen to be there too, I'll be the wild-haired yokel in jeans and skull-bedecked vans gawping at....everything. Feel free to say Hi.

And have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Oh yes indeed – home again today with the big box o’ tissues right at hand. Seems the Great Sickness of Aught Eight has migrated downwards, infesting my lungs with a rattly goo that makes coughing ever so much more interesting than mere expulsion of air. I might go so far as to say that I sound like a TB patient, but really, I’m not sure if TB patients rattle so much as wheeze weakly or perhaps whistle though constricted airways as they struggle for the next breath.

I’m not to the struggling phase yet. Don’t intend to be. It’s me and the DayQuil and perhaps another shot of Afrin to get me totally cleared out.

A little secret here – I’m kind of afraid of the Afrin. Right on the box it says there are some possible side effects like burning, stinging, and ‘enhanced nasal secretions for a short time after use.’ HEED THE WARNING - for they ain’t kidding. A couple of shots of that stuff up each nostril and WHAM! Burning, stinging, getting teary-eyed, nose cramps (I shit you not!), and then a cataclysmic outpouring of whatever it was in the ol’ nasal passages that had previously been blocking my ability to breathe. Yeah, it worked, but I think pouring pepper up my nose might have been more pleasant.

But hey, when that big ol' snot goober dislodged itself from deep inside my nosal crypts, I was grateful for modern medicine. Blessed relief. Too bad it only lasts for 10-12 hours.


So, because I have not generated much news lately (at least, none that I’m going to divulge to any of y’all, because a girl must keep SOME secrets), here’s a lil’ something to maybe make you giggle:

And have a great day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bubbling noses, leaky eyes


So, in lieu of a regular post, there's this. Enjoy!

I'm going back to my tissues and tea now, and will continue to work on NOT LEAKING from several cranial orifii.

Y'all have a good day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is there some reason I feel like I HAVE to be the life of the party?

Just got back from a very nice lunch out with my boss and a coworker.

At which I'm SURE I talked too much. Again. Even while staying on-topic (a first! progress!) it was like I was unable to shut my mouth and let someone else have a go.

I am the Queen of oversharing. My queendom (or would it be kingdom?) is often left bereft of anything for charity because I am such an over-sharer. My minions go unclothed and hungry while I've give UP all the good stuff to the neighboring dukes and such so that they are amused by me and won't attack my borders with their SCORN at my utter boringness.

Heaven help me if I should be seen as being boring. Fate worse than death, that one. So I tell people all kinds of stuff about myself that I'm sure they never thought they needed to know, I ask them all kinds of weird probing question (but have thus far stayed away from the 'polka dot dress' prompt), and if no dishing is being done by anyone at the table, might just turn the topic to something like someone's DEAD BROTHER, like I did just now.

I am a dork. Home grown and deep fried. Happy Holidays, now just HOW did your sibling die???



In other news, I had goat curry for lunch. It wasn't baaaaaaad. Even better than THAT, as if that wasn't enough, was the wide screen teevee by the bar that was showing Bollywood movie clips (only the singing and dancing bits, apparently, and those without sound).

I have never really seen Bollywood before today. This is an error that needs to be corrected with a full movie screening ath the Tiny House, I'm thinking. WHAT FUN! The costumes and the sidelong glances and the mass hysteria and the hundreds of people vogue-ing and dancing, the sari(s) blowing around in the inexplicable wind, the mens all smoking hot and the wimmens even HOTTER (if you can believe it), the colors and textures all mingling....

My new goal in life is to be a Bollywood movie star. What do you think my chances are?


I was about to end this post with "have a nice weekend." That is a pretty clear indication of where my head is right now.

Must be the effect of having a pound up snot up each nose-hole that's making time creep like a pair of old undershorts.

See? Oversharing again.

Have a nice day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things I love

tollhouse cookies
reading a book in the afternoon instead of doing something productive
lounge pants
organized dishes
the smell that comes out a dryer vent when there's a load going
bald babies
warm summer nights, with peep frogs and crickets going great guns
the 'pop' open of blocked sinuses 20 minute after taking Sudafed
being hugged
being loved
toast (maybe more of a 'like,' but a STRONG like).
parasitic twins

What would YOU add to the list?

(BTW - what I'm not at all keen on is the snot running out my nose like there's a fire inside my head. I sound like an entire first-grade class now that the Day Quil has worn off. Grrrrrr.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cure Arthritis with a raisin

You can, you know, if you simply click on the link in Google that might show up at the bottom of your account page, which they JUST CHANGED WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. That link looks like it might take you deep into the secret recesses of arcane sun-dried knowledge that hasn't seen the broadcast light of day since Zoroaster was a nappy-wearing nubbin of a prophet.

Yes, raisins. Or, to be more specific, 'a' raisin. No, I did not click the link, for I do not have arthritis. The raisin, she would do me no good at all. Might was well tell me that inhaling cow farts is good for baldness, or that rubbing newt spit on my underarms would cure excessive....wait, I might could use that one.

Where dem dang newts? And what makes them salivate?


In other news, there were tornadoes in the area yesterday evening. None in my neighborhood, which was slightly too bad because who doesn't like a nice Class 1 tornado skudding across their skyline, whipping dead limbs off 'heritage trees' and causing just a tee-tiny bit of mayhem that might give them an excuse to stay home from work in the morning? Really now. Oh, we had ONE tree limb down in the lot next door, and some leaves scattered around, but nothing much more than that except some enthusiastic bursts of wind, some very large puddles of water, and an extremely long commute home in the dark and wetly rain.

And once I got home? It was time to turn right back around and go out for a 7 p.m. appointment. By 9:15, when Tinkerbell pulled safely into the driveway again, never was there a more welcome sight than the Tiny House's Holiday Light Display and the twinkle of the half-bedecked tree shining through the living room windows.

Oh yes, the TH is starting to glow in anticipation of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. There are sprays of pine boughs on the porch columns, half the garland is done on the porch rails; the tree has lights and garland and some ornaments (many many more to come); the BAT (the big-ass teevee) is tarted up with some garland and rope beading of its own; and the holiday cards are going up on the wall in the LR, a pastiche of holiday greeting from around the world, most of them from people I don't know.

All the house needs now is the smell of baking cookies, some carols playing low in the background, and a tumbler full of well-iced bourbon and it would be absolutely perfect.

So why am I thinking of going to NYC for Christmas?


Update on yesterday's much-dreaded meeting: it was fine. Nobody but one guy had really even READ the stuff I slaved over all THANKGIVING WEEKEND, and the preclinical guy was editing HIS stuff while people were going over mine, so it could have been much much worse.


Y'all have a great day and a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to click that raisin if you need to. I'm off to squeeze some newts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A couple new features, a question, and then a salutation


Hey - lookit the cool stuff on my sidebar over there! Clickety-popping pictures that take you to new websites (sign up now, limited time offers on both)! Thanks to Biff, who is far more perseverant that I would ever be at figuring out how to make stuff like this work. Because really? The figuring out would be maddening for this ol' girl, especially since my template is HTML and not widget/gadget enabled. Oh yeah, I'm rockin' it old school.


It could also be true that I might be afraid of changing to the new Bloggety templates that DO allow you to widgetize, because what if my ability to chance things is lost? I LIKE messing around with HTML in my kindergarteny fashion! Pretty colors! New (gasp) BORDER SIZES! OoooOOOOO!

And, really, how many whizz-bangs does one small corner of the intertubez really NEED (though it would be cool if the archives would roll up and if I would one day put Mojo's suggestions on how to permalink things into action (see the aforementioned 'old girl' thing for a possible explanation of why this has not yet been put into action. (Also? LAZY!))).

Nested parens-a-thon OVER.


Why would my left pinkie and ring finger suddenly commence to tingling? It's making my already ham-handed typing attempts even MORE porky, and I'm not a fan. Of course, if it keeps up, I could amaze my friends and neighbors by playing 'extreme mumblety peg' in which I do not CARE if I get all stabbity on those digits, because I cannot FEEL them right now.

I am maybe looking for ways to be more fun at parties.

All y'all out there who are about to suggest me going to a chiropractor - I know. However, I'm not looking for solutions here, I'm looking for reasons, no matter how far-fetched, about why on earth I'm losing sensation (AGAIN!) in half my dominant hand.

Help yourselves to irrationalisms in the comments.


That is all I have time for today (OK, that's kind of a lie, because truly? I could spend all day here just going on and on about things both large and small (what's up with the headstone desecrating in France, for example?)) but I feel compelled to begin prework for a 1 p.m. meeting that will surely find me with a new orifice ripped, which requires I go purchase some steel underwear over the lunch break and start toughening my skin ASAP.

Have a wonderful day, my internetly friends. Goodbye!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How I dislocated my knee

Because Malach wanted to know.

Fall of 1979. I was hanging out at the Fairfax Ice Rink with some friends, having fun as young folk do who are not yet old enough to drink. We were a bunch of 'good kids,' all in the band, all (or mostly all) Honor Society kids, and headed into our senior year with bright bright futures way over the horizon.

Nerds and geeks, all. Never was there better company. I love me some nerds.

So, we were skating along, like you do at a skating rink unless you know that there are kids out back smoking and necking, which I did not, and because I was then, as I am now, somewhat of a showoff (though in later years I've tempered this significantly), I decided to demonstrate how I could, while travelling at a high rate of speed, go down on one knee, spin around, and come on back up in one smooth, elegant, Torvill and Dean-type movement.

The going down and spinning worked really well. The coming back up, not so much. Something happened on the dismount, and I put a wee tad too much pressure on the knee joint. This was, as it turned out, a bad thing. You see, knees aren't really supposed to bend INWARD. When they do, a soft wet 'pop' can be heard as the patella gives up trying to stay attached to its various ligaments and shit and goes snapping around toward the BACK OF YOUR LEG.

It was the 'pop,' and the accompanying instinctive 'uh-oh' that kept me from getting up off the ice to which I had fallen after the popping and uh-ohing was done with. I just KNEW something was wrong. The knee felt all squishy and wrong. My friends tried to get me to stand up, but there was no way; I think they thought I was showboating, until one friend saw how pale I was, at which point they got all helpy instead of mock-y. It might have been the low growl of discomfort I was emitting that clued them in, I don't know. Fortunately, I was much more sylph-like in those days, and with a friend under each arm holding me up I was able to get off the ice and limp to the show room, where it because instantly apparent that my knee was swelling.

How did I know this? Well, my jeans were stretched TIGHT around that knee, even with the leg straight. Not at all normal, and just a touch worrisome.

Uh oh. Heckfire and darnation! Red alert.

Fortunately, my buddy Kai's Dad was a doctor, so we went trooping over there (did I drive? I think I may have!), where I THINK Doctor G cut the jeans off that leg to get a look at the swollification, pronounced it a significant issue, and called my folks to come get me. At something like 10 o'clock at night.

By 10 o'clock the next morning, I'd already passed out once. Seems the body knows when something is really wrong, even when the brain says "of COURSE you can go to the bathroom by yourself! You're FINE!" Good thing my Mom was there to catch me as I tumbled off the piano bench (which was 3 steps from the bathroom, and about as far as I could go once the constellations started obscuring my vision and that long black tunnel appeared to swallow my soul), because for sure I would have clocked my head on the keyboard and added injury to insult.

So that's the story of how I dislocated my kneecap. I left out the really grody bits. Like the draining. And the bruising. And the random knee failures that occurred for years afterward, sometimes spilling me onto the pavement when the whole thing would go pear-shaped and collapse under me.

You can thank me for my self-restraint in the comments. ;)

And have a great day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Muzzy McAddlehead, reporting for duty.

There is a war going on in my head for domination of the 'awake' zone. Also the 'thinking clearly' area. The side AGAINST these two things is winning.

There is not enough coffee in the world to combat what appears to be the encroachment of a cold. NOT ENOUGH.

Today's post is a list of stuff about me, because someone posted it on their blog after I sent it to them, then they had the GALL to say that just because a person READS their blog they are compelled to actually POST the list on their own blog with answers specific to them. GALL! You are not the boss of me! Pronoun confusion! Bersnivens!

But the muzzy precludes anything else. So, here.

46 ODD (Ed note: which, at first? I thought ODD was some kind of acronym. This is how my brain works, and it is a dark matter, indeed.) things about you!

1. Do you like blue (sic) cheese? It's not the first cheese I reach for, but sometimes it's OK (as long as there's some mints nearby for after)

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? no

3. Do you own a gun? no

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Wha?

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? all the time...

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They need to be coooled down..

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Nightmare Before Christmas

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? COFFEE!

9. Can you do push ups? With the right bra. Ba-doom-CHING!

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? silver celtic knot earrings....

11. Favorite hobby? drinking to excess

12. Do you have A.D.D ? Yes. Shiny things are my friend.

13. What is one trait you hate about yourself? procrastination, gotta be.

14. Middle name? Lee, after my g-g-grandaddy Archibald Lee

15. What is your favorite TV show or movie? I love me some Dirty Jobs. And Cops.

16. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Gel pens, index cards, tissues

17. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. coffee, water, bourbon

18. Current worry? getting all the stuff done at work that needs doin'.

19. Current hate right now? None .

20. Favorite place to be? In bed.

21. Where would you like to go? Rome, Paris, Heidelberg, London, Minsk, Tahiti. Not in that order, and not an exhaustive list.

22. Name three people who will complete this? me, myself, and I

24. What shirt are you wearing? black scoop-neck shirt with a plum-colored fleece jacket o'er top.

25. What year would you go back in time to? Personal life - 1987. Any ol' time - 1942; the clothes and hair were awesome.

26. Can you whistle? from several orifices, AAMOF

27. Favorite color? blue, no... green!.

28. Would you be a pirate? The fancy-dress kind, yes. The Somali kind? Not so much!

29. Favorite girl's name? Sarah.

30. Favorite boy's name? Connor

31. Last thing you dreamed about? an underwater rollercoaster.

32. What's in your pocket right now? A dollar bill and a dime.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Biff.

34. Best Halloween costume? Puff's Smoking Jacket from many years ago

35. Worst injury you've ever had? dislocated kneecap.

36. Do you like where you live? Sure do - Ye Olde Wake Foreste is great!

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2

38. Who is your loudest friend? This? Remains unanswered. Because really, I only have loud friends.

39. How many dogs do you have? 1

40. Does someone have a crush on you? I would hope so

41. What is your favorite book(s)? Another Roadside Attraction.

42. What is your favorite candy? Snickers.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Don't have one, even though in NC that's something of a sacrilege.

44. Favorite Sports? Football, and minor league baseball.

45. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping on the couch.

46. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Where the heck AM I?


And now it's your turn. Have a lovely day.

Monday, December 08, 2008

If 'tis not all swoopy, you're doing it wrong!

That right there might have maybe resembled me a little over the weekend. Who knew I was such a control freak? (rhetorical question, y'all)

This whole notion of 'letting go of expectations' and 'establishing new traditions' and 'white garland on the tree' is a bit unnerving. Funny how little tiny things can serve as a reminder that this life is not all about ME.

At least the garland, white as it is, swoops. At least there's that.


Hey y'all! The Shrinking Piggies have undergone a renovation in anticipation of a new year's worth of weight loss. Go check it out, and join up if you're so inclined. Everyone who wants to join will be able to post to the site (a new feature! Empowerment!), and we'll have cool Google docs that participant will be able to use to keep track of his/her progress.

The Shrinking Piggies won't ask you how much you currently weigh, because for some of us that's as closely held a secret as the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe, and perhaps a painful reality to admit to, even in the most private of times (or maybe that's just me?). We WILL ask you to track how much you've lost, and what you're doing for exercise, because a healthy weight loss plan always includes some physical momentum. Opportunity for DOUBLE shaming! Who wouldn't want to be a part of that??

Along those lines, it's apparent to me that my personal physical momentum has been somewhat glacial lately. The slightly sore butt muscles I'm currently sporting are the results of a 2-mile walk I took yesterday.

2 miles. That's sad. I'm hoping that by February I'll be able to look back on that and laugh.

Anyhow, the Shrinking Piggies. Not necessarily just for those of us who want to lose weight, it's for everyone who would like to be held accountable for a change in lifestyle toward the ideal to which our government and an entire phalanx of medical professionals would have us aspire, not to mention the whole 'your body is a temple' thing that I think God might have something to do with.

It was God, wasn't it?


Have a grand day. I'm off to find someone who has the power to turn up the heat in this building. It's not right that my boogers should be freezing in my nose when I'm INSIDE.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cat-baiting and orreries

Heh - the cat is currently going ape-shizz (or 'kitty-shizz'? Don't know) over a combo corrugated cardboard scratcher n' spinny ball toy we got her a cupla weeks ago. She's all OVER that thing, going at it like the fate of the world depends on it. The ball goes around this track, and by GOD she's determined to circumnavigate that sucker, over and over and over.

Bonus? The ball flashes as it rolls, so the dog likes it too.

This is the ONLY toy that that cat likes, aside from chasing a string or similar snaky object. The string-chasing requires human intervention, so most of the time it's her and the scratcher-ball thing if she's wanting any play time.

The dog, of course, has it worse, because ALL her play time requires human intervention. Except, of course, if the cat is playing....and then the dog is far more likely to scare her off of it wanting to GET TO THE SHINY THING!!! It's SHINY! It emits LIIIIIIGHT! GET IT!!

What I wouldn't give to have one of those kinder-spy cameras the folks with babies have nowadays. Watching the cat and dog standoff over the shiny ball of powah would be hysterical.

Oddly, the cat does NOT play with the laser beam shooter ma-thingie that doubles as a flashlight. No interest, thankyewverymuch. The dog? Totally LOVES that thang. If one of us dares pull it out to use like...a flashlight, she's whining and jumping and spinning circles until her nose is up her own ass in excitement. It's thlittle red light she wants, you see. A tiny pinpoint of red light that sends her into absolute spasms of joy. She'll drop her squeaky bone (second best toy) in favor of the SHINY LIGHT, every time.

This is also the dog that gets bent out of shape if reflections from a sink full of dirty dishes happen to be on the walls or ceiling. She maybe has a fixation. Heaven help you if the WATER actually reflects, because the motion makes her completely mental. The whining ramps up a few notches and soon an eviction to the backyard is necessary (as is the washing of the aforementioned dishes), because if there's anything more annoying than a dog's whine, I'd like you to tell me about it.

So, what with the attention to all that is shiny and marvelous, it's no wonder I'm experiencing some degree of trepidation at the notion of purchasing a Christmas tree. 400 tiny white lights, sparkly garland, shimmering ornaments? Skeet's head may well explode with joy.

If the damn cat doesn't knock it all over in a shimmering heap of glass shards first.


Speaking of glass shards - we watched "The Dark Crystal" last night. The Things had never seen it before; I think they were suitably impressed.

Let me say this to all of you who do not know what to get me for Christmas - I want one a' dese (Starts at 2:45)!

Y'all work on that, and have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Turn, and Face the Strain, Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

What a difference year makes.

2007 was a huge year for changes in my life. Deciding to leave my marriage, moving out, buying a house, losing 25 pounds, meeting someone new, getting a new job, it all added up to a big ol’ dumpload of stress, excitement, and, ultimately, gratefully welcomed peace. The adjustments were enormous, but in the end were totally worth it.

Except now? All the peace and happy happy joy joy I've had in '08 have left me the unhappy recipient of that 25 pounds BACK again. Fuckers. Add to that, turns out that another life step reached this year, 'the menopause' (TMI? Tought darts, farmer. It happens!), is a large contributor to the rebound; in that that estrogen plays a hige role in metabolism. And I thought it wouldn't happen to me. Eeyeah.

I’m not at all happy about that weight thing. Pants that were blissfully loose last year are now ‘fitting’ again. There’s a spare tire around my middle that I’ve NEVER had before (my abdomen was one of my best features in years past), and let’s not even talk about my grandma upper arms. Sheesh.

Being happy comes at a price, or so it would appear. And yet, I wouldn’t trade it, not for all the skinny in the world if it meant I had to give up the world I’ve created.

2008 has been great; the happy is awesome. 2009 looks to be even better, with the forcast calling for much more of the same. Guess I’d better start working out again, lest all the happy piles up around me in great folds of adiposic glee. Fat and happy is good for babies (and perhaps for those ladies over there <---), but not for this ol' gal. Might be time to start the Shrinking Piggies up again.

Anybody with me?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

There is awsome here, if you look hard enough

Don't you love it when you're talking with someone, say at a meeting at work, and when you exhale through your nose either out of exasperation or agreement a booger comes shooting out? Klassy, baby! Yep! That's my nose grit on your agenda! LOOK AT IT!

Also almost equally loveable is when, during a moment that should be held private between a person and their very noisy bowels, someone else walks in to the ladies' room at the moment of decible-tastic bomb-droppage. Oh yes, so much to love about sharing the moment of defecation with a faceless coworker. SMELL IT!

Another thing to love is cookies. I'm just saying. Cookies are wonderful. Unless they're those Italian wedding cookie things that look so wonderful but taste like they need more sugar and perhaps some flavor other than 'stale.' EAT IT!

That is all.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Cravey!

Y'all go tell her yourselves, then come back here and read the Wordsmiths story I wrote, mmkay???


Monday, December 01, 2008

November Wordsmiths

Whatever Baby Wants

A needle dropped in the hallway. A cushion of moss caught it before it could wake the babies. When the babies woke up, they were hungry. The babies needed to be fed, and what they like to eat were the walls. And floors. Carpet and draperies, stairs and terra cotta roof tiles.

The babies liked it all.

If they were asleep though, then they weren’t hungry. The babies liked quiet. It was fortunate then that the house had been built in the middle of vast acres of rolling farmland.

In the bright years before the babies came, Hilltop house had stood alone at the crest of a perfectly formed small hill; a white pebble road wound up to a broad landing where carriages parked and disgorged bright cargoes of guests. Back then, the house basked gloriously under a good warm sun, thinking nothing.

As time went on the parties trickled down to a barely perceptible occasional pump of life; rampant rumors of haunting kept many away from Hilltop House. The rare visitor would leave almost as soon as they arrived, throwing pebbles from spinning tires in their haste. The Basement saw them go, felt the dark future underneath its stone foundation.

The Basement had known for a long time that the babies were coming. They were coming up through the grit and cobble of the hill. The Basement could feel them pricking at its belly with their burning wish to emerge from their ritual entombment deep underhill. The babies were hungry, hungry for ‘up.’

So, as a young forest grew up around Hilltop, the babies nibbled. As the oaks and hickories dropped countless years of seeds and nuts around now-empty Shadowlands, the babies sucked. As the draperies rotted on their rods, the babies plucked and nuzzled their way into the house, tearing tiny bits of it from everywhere, an agony of slow destruction. Hundreds of years of terrible slow assault had left Hilltop ghostly, nearly invisible.

It was important to keep them inside, for Hilltop had learned the babies were hungry for more than stone and mortar. Once they’d escaped the house, found ‘up,’ they'd continue into the woods and world, feeding their dark need to conquer. Like all babies, though, they needed to sleep. Hilltop, therefore, had learned to lullabye its babies by sighing through the thousands of holes in its walls and crooning down crumbling chimneys. It learned to keep quiet once they were asleep, muffling floors ans walls with moss. leaves, and cobwebs. The babies always woke up though, chewing anew at their angry prison.

In this way a thousand years of quiet fighting passed, until a migrating bluebird hopped on the conservatory roof, yanked its small clawed foot back out through the hole it had unwittingly stomped, and exploded in a thousand and one years of the babies’ unfettered hunger.

As they screamed free, Hilltop sagged, and waited for the end of the world.


For the Wordsmiths.