Thursday, July 30, 2009

Phantom ass syndrome as a pervasive force against decorum.

Y’all who read the WVSR will no doubt be familiar with the term “Phantom Ass Syndrome,” which is that numbing of the hindquarters brought on by too much sitting.

I has it.

What's more, PAS, in combination with a twingey little pain from the stitches, is making my ability to sit (a key part of my job!) difficult, and thus I find myself a-shifting around like I have crotch cooties. Not that I have ever HAD crotch cooties, mind you, but I read, and have a vivid imagination.

Cross leg, uncross leg, cross other leg, uncross, shift onto one haunch, then the other, lean forward, then SLUMP. Rinse, repeat. It’s like I’m 6 years old again and it’s a May afternoon and I’m still in school when there are FLOWERS and SUNSHINE and OMG why can’t we just get out of school already there must be all kind of crayfish up at the creek and I need to ride my bike!

It’s a darned good thing I have a cube way the heck in the back 40 of the cube farm. Otherwise, someone might delicately suggest a trip to the local delousing facility, or maybe some Ritalin. Neither of which is good for the whole ‘professional’ persona I got going on.

A better darned good thing is that I’m working at home today. There’s nobody to see me twitch.


A new era is dawning at the Tiny House: the Time of Bus Riding.

Thing 2 is already back in school, the poor dear, and as a test of parental derring-do we’ve agreed to let him ride the bus home instead of going to the Y after school. THing 1 has aged out of any after-school stuff, so was going to be on his own anyhow. This step is saving me more than 300 bucks a month (150 or so per kid), and so is a welcome one at the same time it's a little nerve-wracking.

They will be Home. Alone. And responsible for getting themselves there. Scary!!!

Fortunately, with a bunch of neighbors who are home almost all the time (retirement and fibromyalgia tend to keep some people close to their couches), and who will be introduced to said young men this weekend. The Things will know that eyes are watching out for them, even when they believe they have the run of the place.



Word to those who might be thinking of throwing out a perfectly good area rug because their cat has decided it’s his personal urinal:

Copious amounts of Nature’s Miracle (the kind made just for cat' issues'), followed by about a week outside through thunderstorms and baking sun, will eradicate the smell.

That’s 700 bucks worth of rug saved. Sweet, eh?

Tiff out.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me and my three-page 'to-do' list are going to have a little talk later

I'm all about the writing of lists lately. The pad of paper I carry around is my surrogate brain, reminding me of the things I need to do, in no particular order.

Normally I'm not much of one for lists, and rely pretty much solely on 1) the whiteboard that takes up a big chunk of all space in the ol' cube-o-doom and 2) my e-mail inbox to keep me up to date, but now? Now I NEED that paper and the FANCY PEN to scribe out all the things I ought to be doing. There are simply too many moving parts in motion at this point in my work life to even begin to pretend I know where they all can possibly be. It's like trying to wrestle an electron cloud, man!

So if I'm a little scarce from the internetly places you'd expect to see me, or if I don't (gasp!) post for a few days, it's probably because I caught a proton to the noggin trying to scribble through some ghastly dull chore.

(I know...electron clouds don't have protons. Just hush)

It's time to go home and dumb the mental chatter with a little of Kentucky's finest. Have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

thus beginneth the amputation diet

It's really really hard to find a comfortable place to sit when right the very top of your right thigh there are three little stitches placed neatly in a row, there to hold your skin together and keep you from spouting gore all over the place after a lovely young lady with lots of education punched a hole in your meat to take out a dysplastic nevus.

Imagine a spot three inches or so under your butt crease, toward the center, right in the pale fleshy bits that, if you're me, are very nearly the bits that rub together whilst walking (shut up about the 'whilst,' OK? When I have a point to make I get all Britishy). Tender, no? THEN imagine a bit of that luscious cannibal-fodder about the size of half a pencil eraser CORED from your body. The three stitches all in a row are, I'm sure, a blessing, because a hole that size could no doubt cause some sizable laundry bills to pile up, what with all the gushing.

Then? Imagine that after the nice young smart doctor lady finished doing crewelwork on what is very nearly your ass, she shoots a stream of liquid-frigging-nitrogen at the bridge of your nose to get rid of the actinic keratosis that's lurking there waiting, just waiting, to turn into a basal cell carcinoma (<---or perhaps a horn, like that lady over there). The actinic keratosis now has a whopping case of frostbite, is soon to swell to admirable proportion as a blister forms beneath it, which will then scab over (so much to look forward to!), and, in about two weeks, will fall off leaving nothing but sparkles and rainbows underneath.

If you can imagine all that, then welcome to my world, post-dermatologist visit.

Anybody out there know how to take out stitches to save me an office visist? Anyone? You'd have to not mind being close to my butt...

Monday, July 27, 2009


I like being helpy, and that prediliction found me spending a fair chunk of Saturday assisting Biff with reno work on a client’s house. My part was to paint a new exterior wall. The wall was about 10 feet high and probably 20 feet wide. About 200 square feet of wall, if you're the mathy type.

That little chunk of wall? It took me over 4 hours to finish.

In fairness, MOST of the wall was made up of 2 new 8-foot sliding glass doors, which meant that the bits of slight shaggy cedar siding I was painting were fraught with fussy little cut-ins and lots of edging, but damn. That’s a lot of time spent for very little return, ya know?

In additon to being a glacially SLOW painter, I am also not a neat painter, as least as far as my personal body goes. Within a few minutes of starting I’d already gotten paint under my fingernails (how? HOW?!?) and rubbed on the ass of my shorts. Oh, I don’t ‘splatter’ so much as ‘smudge,’ which was good for the deck but not-so-good for my wardrobe.

Eh. It saved Biff a half day’s worth of tedium, so there’s a good Tiff for helping out.


Dear Sarah Palin,

I heard an outtake of your going-away speech this morning.

Let me say this: I am so VERY glad you’re not the Vice President now. If that shriek-fest was any indication of how you’d behave and how you’d sound when put into a stressful situation that might or might NOT involve Armageddon, then it’s absolutely best for eveyone that you are not anywhere near any little red buttons.

Point for ya to consider:“Shrill” is NOT the first word people should think about you.

I'm afraid that if you were to be in a position of any power whatsoever, just the sound of your voice alone could cause heretofore unkown ranks of frothing jihadists to identify the United States as a threat, so grating is it on the frayed nerves of a weary world. We do not need more jihadists, or their ilk, to be aiming their ire at us, don't you think? I mean, gosh, angry Russians could practially WALK to Alaska and start bashing baby Americans about the head and neck with empty vodka bottles, and that would totally suck, right?

Therefore, while I cannot control the content of what comes out between your meticulously glossed lips, I can hand out a few tips on increasing your listen-ability, for I was once a paid radio announcer and therefore know of what I speak.

For someone as vocally...challenged... as you are, might I suggest that before you make one more speech, or launch another foray into politics on a larger stage or, dare I say it, make a run for the Presidency (shudder), you consider taking up smoking a pack of Marlboro Reds a day and commence with heavy bourbon intake? FYI - Tequila will suffice if you’re not into the brown water. See, the smokes and the liquor, if indulged in for long enough, should bring your eye-pooping pitch down to a more soothing level, or at least irritate your throat so much you can’t SCREAM INTO THE MIC, you rabid twang-ridden cheerleader.

Put it this way: I’d rather listen to a chorus of frogs than one tiny mosquito, anyday.

Hope this helps!



And that'll do it for today. I've made too many false starts on stuff that didn't wind up in here today to try any further.

Rock on until tomorrow!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tis is what happens when you let me work from home

I have been working at home today. Thus far, in addition to spending time actually working (SHOCKING!), this is what I've done:

- Played with the dog in the backyard
- Changed out of my PJs. At 1 p.m. Into another set of PJs. This time with some boobal support in case anyone stops by.
- Ate cold baked beans and Diet Squirt for lunch. Did not use a plate or cup for either. The Squirt? Was in a 2-liter bottle.
- Laid down at 2:30 and read for 15 minutes. BLISS.
- Decided 4:30 was long enough to wait for a cocktail.

I am totally into this working at home thing. Because even with all the apparent loafing, I have gotten a surprising amount of work done today. No underwire required.


The Tiny House is in dire need of a real honest-to-God cleaning. We make do around these parts by wiping down horizontal surfaces and running the odd broom around the gritty bits, but it's been way too long since every wee nook and adorable little cranny was investigated for gunk. I mean, I actually LOOKED at our bathroom sink today, and who'd-a thunk a vessel that sees so much soap and water could get so filthy? Even the floors, that were done completely to a perfect shine on Saturday are again in need of a scrubbing.

And let's not even begin on the paperwork. Holy stone cats, my friends, I have more filing to do than Courtney Love has body lice (or is it Amy Winehouse?). My recent attitude toward all things official has been "if they're not calling me to get something, then I must be on top of things" which of course is NOT a good way to go. At some point I must gird my tenderparts and dive into the mess, sorting responsibility from duplicates from junk, and hoping like hell any huge checks written to me I might find are still in-date.


Earlier today I was looking at pics of the town where I went to college (woot woot for Google maps!) and got VERY VERY wistful for that place. I don't know if there's anyplace else on this earth I long for as much as that silly town. Puffhead is going to be there this weekend, all the way from Germany, and I can't go see her because of 'life' and all that goes with it. She's going to be hanging out with lots of folks from back in the day, those lucky ones who decided to just stay put after school, or those who were townies and never felt the need to leave that little corner of paradise, and I am full of envy.

Which prompts me to start a-wondering, which of course leads to lots of questions. Questions like this one - what's your corner of heaven going to look like when you get there? Mine is for SURE full of Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, maybe like someplace out by Rawley Springs, with soft green rolls of earth crumpling toward a broad valley, hollers deep in shadow and hilltops bright in the morning sun, and a swimming hole right down that path there.

Enjoy it, Puff. And then do it again for me.

Tiff out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ask, and so shall ye receive.

A spider big enough to see from the top of a flight of stairs is a spider big enough to save, or so the old saying goes.

If you say it enough times you start to believe it, which is a good thing to do when escorting said honkin’ huge arachnid out the back door of a lovely house on a large lake.

It’s a REALLY good thing to say if you are not the one who has to get near enough to aforementioned BEAST to do the escorting, which was the position I was in last week when the discovery of the KILLER was made. If memory serves, I was in the upstairs kitchen doing something productive (probably pouring a cocktail) when a shout of “Oh my GOD! Tiff, come HERE!” came up from the lower level. Thinking, as one would when a panicked yelp with one’s name attached comes roaring up a flight of stairs, that someone had been grievously injured, I rushed to the top of the stairs, where the Things were pointing and yelling ‘look at the spider, Mom! It’s HUGE!”

The noise that came out of me as I backed away as though shot from a cannon was the source of much jocularity later. Though it very likely sounded like I was gurgling through a half-decapitation, the real reason for my insensible garbling is of course that I HATE SPIDERS WITH A PASSION because THEY ARE CREEPY and are ALL OUT TO GET IN MY HAIR.

Brave Biff, who actually hates spiders more than I do, came through as the hero of the day by capturing the blasted demon under a drinking glass, then sliding a Tupperware lid under the vile creature, trapping it in a wee terrarium before taking it out to the yard to let it go. Later he revealed that the release was determined to be the best way to go because a spider the size of a baby’s head would leave a mighty gooey splat indeed on the carpet if utter destruction had been the chosen path.

He is a smartie like that. I would have gone for the crunchy ‘smoosh’ as pure terror-induced reflex.

But only if I’d been wearing shoes.


The snake story is a pretty good one too. Last Monday or Tuesday night I was returning to my Mom’s rental house alone in the near-dark. I saw a black snake slide across the patio in front of me, slipping into the grass as neat as you please. Being that I don’t mind snakes at all (because they’re not trying to get in my HAIR!), I though nothing of it and mentioned it to nobody.

Little did I know that the snake was a persistent bugger, and that two days later my nephews would come a-tearing out the house down to the dock yelling something about there being a snake in the house.


The younger nephew was the first to see it, and thinking it was a prank he kicked the damned thing, causing it to begin a-slithering. It was at that point that the mad escape was made.
Not long after, their dad (my younger brother) and the older nephew went hunting while certain people (HI MOM!) shivered in abject fear down on the dock. It wasn’t long before brother and youngun returned to the dock, a lacrosse stick handily holding the dismembered corpse of a 3-foot-long blacksnake.

Normally, blacksnakes are ones you’d like to have around, being as how they eat icky crap like mice and rats, but as my brother put it ‘it ceased having value once it was in my house’ and thus it was struck mightily about the head with the blunt end of the lacrosse stick before having its head sawn off with a steak knife.

My Mom needed an escort for the next few days to move farther than the living room, such was her fear. Good thing she’s got that pacemaker now, huh?

(I love you Mom, and am glad you didn’t keel over from the excitement!)


And then there was the barfing.

Last Thursday morning I woke up with a killer headache, which is unusual even if I’ve partied on down the night before (stick to one drink that’s low in sugar content kids!). I could have attributed it to a migraine, but I didn’t have any aura and I could walk properly.

Also, about 30 minutes after awakening, it because clear that I was soon to puke.

I hate puking.

Hate or no, I did it anyway. Twice. Both times ‘tweren’t nothing coming up but the water I was drinking, and both times I thought for sure I was going to die by urp-aspiration. Is it just me, or can other people simply not catch a breath while vomiting? I was shedding tears from the effort, coughing and spluttering, breathing as hard as if I’d just run a mile once the wracking waves of nausea passed. It was...miserable.

Miserable, but blessedly short-lived. I took a 4-hour nap after Biff, the absolute wonder that he is, went out and got some Alka-Seltzer and Excedrin, the second dose of which I managed to keep down. While my guts didn’t’ feel ‘right’ for two days afterward, there was no more cataclysmic peristaltic activity.

The semi-sweet icing on the cake of blech is that I have someone to blame, because Thing 2 had not been feeling well the day before. He made me sick on vacation, the ingrate, and didn’t even have the sensitivity to barf himself. Oh no, HE got away with some quiet time in his room on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, while his poor suffering mama was horking her guts up at 5 a.m. the very next day

Ungrateful wretch.


And there ya go. Nearly a thousand words on the ‘not so great stuff that happened on my summer vacation.’ Hope you enjoyed. Tiff out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation - '09 edition

This time last week I was on vacation. *Sigh*

Somehow, arriving home to discover that one of the cats had decided to use the living room rug as a port-a-john took a little of the bloom off that particular rose, but once the tragedy of a super-stinky rug was tended to it's still sweet to reminisce a little about Lake Week ’09.

(BTW – large rugs tend to get VERY VERY heavy when soaked with a car wash schnozzle thingie. Just sayin’)

The basic recipe for this past vacay time included 3 houses, 1 pontoon boat, 1 runabout, 1 jet ski, 12 people (6 of whom are 18 or younger). Mix well with plenty of sun and water, and baste in leisure. Allow to marinate for a week.

Biff was the Jet ski specialist, running the younger set (and me) all over the lake, skipping wakes, riding the chatter bumps, spinning and dunking and flipping over with aplomb. By Day 2 all interested parties were threatening to turn pro on the go-fast machine, so much was it being ridden. The beauty part was that the marina gave it to us for a relative song, saying ‘take it for X dollars a day for the week; I don’t want to see it until next Saturday’ and because that stated price was less than half what they normally charge, we gladly complied. (OK, I took some convincing, because that thing still ain’t cheap, but the cost-to-enjoyment ratio was high enough to justify the added expense).

A highlight was that my mom’s oldest grandchild turned 18 at the lake. Turning 18 meant, in addition to getting presents and having cake, that he could drive the jet ski. Pretty heady stuff, judging from the face-splitter of a grin he had going on as he slipped the key lanyard around his wrist and started that puppy up. One would think, from his initial turn at the ‘wheel,’ that he’d been doing it all his life. Something about ‘jet ski’ and ’18-year-old dude’ just screams freedom, and he rode for all he was worth. His father’s son, for sure. No apparent caution at all.

There were many long pontoon boat rides as well, one of which had the added extra thrill of seeing us almost run out of gas in the middle of the lake. Rather a surprise, because the marina guys swore they’d given us a replacement boat with a full tank just that morning. (yes, replacement. We swapped out all THREE water conveyances before Monday, trying to upgrade to craft that actually had all their parts in working order. A slight bummer, but not a total buzzkill). Even though we could have been stranded, the traveling party’s spirits were buoyant, because there were so many WORSE places we could have been than sitting on a boat in the middle of a gorgeous lake on a sunny summer day. It’s all about perspective, wouldn’t you agree? s it turned out, we sucked the tank down to fumes and idled into a more-nearby marina than the one we were headed to initially, so there was no coast guarding needed for us that day.

Other activities: carp feeding, boat ride up to where the river stops and the lake starts, diving off a drifting pontoon boat into deep deep water, family dinners, tubing (ouch! my arms!), endless games of solitaire in a sunny dining room, mini golf, hanging at the arcade, lazing on the floating island, getting nibbled by fish, and late-night swim sessions.

Oh, and we had a family concert too! Most of us play some sort of instrument, and Grandma's grand plan for this year was to have us all play together for the first time ever. We got a score for the “Wallace and Gromit” march, and after 3 short practice sessions managed to honk out a reasonable facsimile of music. Instrumentation was as follows:

Me on the horn
Older brother on the euphonium
Younger brother on the keyboard
Biff on the drum set (yes, we brought it with us)
Oldest nephew on alto sax
Other nephew on clarinet
Thing 1 on trombone (Thing 2 was supposed to be on the ‘bone as well, but ‘forgot’)

With experience ranging from 35+ years to 1 year, we were a motley group for sure. Happily, it all worked out, there’s video to prove we did it, it made the matriarch happy, and we all enjoyed it so much we’ve vowed to do it again next year.

It wasn't all sunshine and roses though, as there was a giant spider invasion, a snake in the house, some barfing, and at least 1 near-death experience. I could tell you all about it, but I’ve run out of time, space, and possibly your interest. Perhaps another day, if you beg prettily enough.

Tiff out.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Next week, it will be very quiet around these parts. The family is gathering at an undisclosed location to once again bond over a week's worth of boating, floating, food, fun, and games. And also naps. Naps are a big part of Lake Week.

We've been doing Lake Week so long it should come with extra 'e's at the end of each word, like so: Lake Weeke. Thirty years' worth of tradition, don'tchaknow, comes with extra vowels; always has, always will. (Though why by now we're not tacking an 'e' on to Thankgivinge is beyond me....or maybe we sliced that sucker off to give to all the Ice Cream Shoppes that have since sprung up? I simply don't know).

Speaking of, there was a GREAT Ice Cream Shoppe in the small town I lived in in Bohonk (not its real name) Connecticut. Ice cream AND candy AND toys, a kids' paradise. When I moved to Ye Olde Wake Foreste a few years ago, there was a quaint Ice Cream Parlor and Lunch Place on the corner of North Main and North Street (I know, it's confusing) where, if you asked nicely, the elderly ladies behind the counter would tell all sorts of stories about the town in its heyday of actually BEING the home of Wake Forest College. Sadly, that store is gone now, the vitctim of Raleigh's sewer laws, which took down several eateries in our little town once we agreed to get our water from Raleigh rather than making it ourselves, as had been the way for lo those many prior years.

So, no great little ice cream places here. Unless you count the gelato store downtown, and it SHOULD be counted, but it's not 'quaint' as much as 'done up,' and so loses a little of its appeal for me.

THIS week though will find us snorfing frozen lemonade from a paper cup purchased from a very quaint marina, feeding giant carp, lazing lazily on many a float at randomly selected locations, diving off pontoon boats into deep green water, crazing along on a tube behind a speeding ski boat, and otherwise leaving the world behind.

And that, my friends, is worth its weight in extra 'e's.

See you on the 20th.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

There's no fixing stale marshmallows.

Favorite new ‘not a curse’ is Monkey Fingers!

Go on, say it out loud

Satisfying, no?



I ate something the other day (a vitamin, perhaps?) that turned the product of my alimentary canal a frightening shade of BLACK. Honestly, buh-lack. It was creepy!

You’ll be glad to know that everything’s back to normal now, but for a while there I was psyching myself up for a colonoscopy, a thought that gives me the heebly jeeblies.

Which makes me wonder something - Anyone else inspect their poop on a regular basis, or am I the only one curious enough to take a gander nearly each and every time a sewer sub is launched? I’ve never gotten over that pride I used to take as a small child in what was a regularly occurring success story. Yay poop!

(Oh, and for those of you who do NOT know, I had a portion of my colon removed when I was young because it was non-functioning. Mmm, congenital megacolon! After the sugery, me and poop had a very intimate relationship. That’s not something you leave behind very easily. (heh – behind.))


Changing the subject:

We haven’t seen our baby robins in nearly a week. I’m hoping this is because they’re galivanting around the neightborhood pitchin’ woo with some other young birdies, and not because they’ve been the appetizer in a local cats’ luncheon.

It’s clear that the pie-in-the-sky notion that they’d somehow be grateful for all we did for them and maybe come back to visit every once in a while was horribly misguided.

It’s also clear that I’m in for a whopping amount of disappointment once the Things are old enough to be on their own. The difference between 4 weeks of robin-rearing and 18-20 years of HUMAN rearing had best not be proportionate in the heartbreak one feels when you realize they’re really gone, because that would kill me dead.

Oh wait. The boys have cell phones. At least they can call.

Phewf. Crisis averted.


A favorite game to play in the Tiny House is “pervert that acronym,” and you can play too! For example, when presented with something like “PRI” (which really stands for Public Radio International), the first thing you should do is invent alternate explanations, like ‘pube-riding insects’ or ‘pissy rabid idiots’ or ‘pink runny ick.’

The possibilities are almost endless, and the inventiveness of a playing partner is sometimes a very revealing peek into their psyche. You should not be surprised that most of MY alternates involved gore/death/disease. It's just my thang, yo.

So why not have a go at it tonight with someone you love? If that’s not on your list of to-dos (and whyever not, you afraid to find out what lurks in the mind of a dear one, ya chicken?), then feel free to riff on, oh, FDA in the comments.

And have a lovely day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Goal setting, my favorite holiday season!

Did I mention to anyone that I’ve decided to spend the rest of my life infested with scaly weepy boils from poison ivy adorning various body parts?

Because, apparently, I AM. Might as well make it something I’ve decided, and not simply something that happens to me because my immune system gets all hot and bothered when gently stroked with the pliant greenery of poison ivy/oak/sumac/whatnot. Purposeful goals are so much more satisfying to achieve than being there mere random pawn in a game played by nature, don’t you think?

Why, at this very moment there’s a raw thickened patch of semi-healed blisters on my left shin that I MEANT to get, have TENDED TO over the past 2 weeks, and will be SAD TO SEE GO once the healing process does what it must do. I am a work in progress, and it’s been so lovely to see that what was done with INTENT has turned out so beautifully. Of course I meant to have a weepy crusty rash right there during SHORTS SEASON, because what’s the point of doing that during the winter when nobody can see it?


This go-round with the hypersensitivity did have a far better turnout than the last time, in that at the very least it’s not spread to my boobs and attendant sticky-out bits. That right there was overshooting a goal if I do say so myself. Hypersensitive nipple syndrome is NOT something a first-timer should attempt; a fact that I only know from sad experience. Must work UP to that one after a few rounds of practice, otherwise the really GOOD stuff is wasted on an inexperienced system! See? I'm learning!

Yes, spending the remainder of my days sporting geographically recognizeable pink papulae, fighting the itch, and being smeared with superpotent steroid foams sounds just the RIGHT way to spend the late summer of my life.

And I can teach you how, for just $14.99, or a bottle of calamine lotion. You pick.

Monday, July 06, 2009



I think I'm getting the hang of this corporate thing. See, all you have to do is be FULLY PREPARED for a big meeting, including setting up telecon and WebEx info way ahead of time, sending reminders, being on time, and having all the equipement work just right, and then what will happen is that nobody will have either 1) read the damned documents you sent out a week ago or 2) they will not have any major issues with the content.

In this way, what was supposed to have been a 60-minute meeting is over in 15, including exchange of niceties.

This? I could get used to.


So. This running thing. A few things I've learned:

1) It's way easier to wog first thing in the morning
2) Me and the 5 minutes have a love/hate affair going on.
3) I need an inhaler
4) Still feels so good when it's over
5) It's creating calf muscles where there were none before
6) I'm a better tennis player (or so says my tennising partner)
7) Those 36 stairs going up to HR at work? Piece of cake.

Yesterday we did a wog in the later afternoon. MISTAKE. It was humid and warm, 2 things that are like instant pulmonary death for me. I had to break in the middle of the first 5-minute interval to catch my breath (conditioning takes a while, it would seem), and somehow we wound up doing all these long low inclines so that my calves were screaming for mercy only halfway through an interval (which I did not give them, because sore calves are a Thing I Can Get Over, much unlike the lung thing). All in all, not the best outing we've ever had.

As we were scandalously near to finishing our second long interval, bathed in the sweet sweat of near success, a little blue car overtook us, an arm started waving out the driver's side window, and a friend poked his head out the car window shouting "woo! GO FOR IT!" and then offered Biff brownies.

Oddly, that one smiling face cheering us on gave me 30 extra seconds of running time. Yeah, I'm totally a sucker for positive reinforcement.

(Note: We turned down the brownies, then went home and made giagantic chocolate chip cookies and drank red wine. Yurm! )


(<---eet's a NAKED mole!)

So, on Thursday I get to go to the dermatologist and have her carve a piece of butt-meat offa me because it seems the mole she took off a couple of weeks ago has reached some tiny tendrils OF DOOM farther into my sweet spots than her original carvery could cut.

Stitches will be involved. ON MY BUTT! Well, OK, NEAR my butt. Specifically, at the very top of my right thigh. This make sitting, which is one of my favorite hobbies and a thing at which I am very good indeed, will be difficult. I might be forced to...recline heavily for a couple of days. Oh, the horror.

The doc had better get it ALL this time, because really? Having people jab my ass with needles full of hot stingy anaesthetic, and then hack away at a place I cannot see is disconcerting once, let alone twice. Thrice (what a word!) would just be too much. They might as well just take the whole damned LEG, you know?

I don't even get to keep the souvenier, which just heaps insult on injury. One measly corner of whatever oddity I've sprouted isn't too much to ask, do you think? Sheesh!

With that, have a lovely day.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Two things, wholly incongruous, that I find...striking

OK, it's been a long weekend. I promised myself time after time (Hi, Cyndi Lauper!) that I'd do productive things and 'get stuff done,' but in the end I just said fukkit and mostly loafed.

Hey, I have to get ready for VACATION next week. And my Bejeweled Blitz score needed tending to.

Being as how loafing is not anything anybody needs or wants to read about, I've chosen instead to post here a couple of things that made me come close to tears tonight, for two entirely different reasons. Hey man, tears of laughter and tears of joy - can YOU tell me which are better?

First off, the joy one...Switchfoot's '24'

The laughter one...Hitler finding out Michael Jackson is dead (Thanks for this to the one who KNOWS they sent it, but who might not want to be mentioned here as the kind of person who sends this kind of thing to people like me. I can totally respect that circumspection, honestly).

(Hardly any wine was involved in the writing of this post. I KNOW.)

Have a lovely night folks - I'll see you tomorrow, when life rights itself on a grindstone's axis and begins the merry march toward Friday again.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Who needs a white noise generator?

Bad thing number 89 about life in a cubicle farm:

When your intestines sound like a 4-wheeler spinning out in a mud pit, everyone else can hear them too.


Tuesday nights are small group nights at our house. A bunch of folks (or maybe just 1 or 2) from church come over and we discuss whatever was preached about the previous Sunday. It can be very very interesting, especially when we start to read what’s AROUND the verse used to support the message.

Let’s just say that once you start that kind of reading, you realize that ‘context’ is key.

Anyhow. People start coming over at 6:30, and normally stay for a couple of hours. We spend a good deal of time just chatting and having coffee, eventually winding up plowing through question prompts and exploring all over our various versions of the good book.

It’s the 6:30 that’s the most difficult part of the whole affair. It might not SEEM like it to most people, but if you’ve worked all day, having your house clean, the dishes done, the coffee made, the snacks put out, and sanity in check by 6:30 p.m. is sometimes a very difficult task.

Especially when both parts of the ‘hosting couple’ slide in the door at 6:15…which is what happened this past week.

Which, in turn is why the oven was full of dirty dishes last night. That’s right – we stashed the dirty dishes from the NIGHT BEFORE in the oven, where they stayed for a further day. What could possibly go wrong with that? Well, I’ll tell ya – 48 hours of unrinsed dishes marinating in their own grease and funk in a closed space can generate a miasma powerful enough to turn stomach from a half a house away. Something evil was brewing in that oven, and I shudder to think what might have happened if we hadn’t done the washing-up last night. Spontaneous generation, anyone?

Maybe giving rise to something like THIS?

And have a lovely day. Tiff out.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Floating on a breath of fresh air

I should be working, but there's a thunderstorm.

I should be hard-nosed, focused, but the cataclysm outside is....better

I should be putting the final coats of spackle on a shiny new document, prepping it for distribution and review, but the flashing lights and peals of gut-rumbling thunder, the needy dog, the sketchy power, the wide-furred cat, are all far better entertainments than mere WORK.

There is no work that can stand up to an act of nature, no matter what. A good thunderstorm is something to stand on the front porch and watch wash over whatever brand of reality surrounds you.

This is not time for the reality I believe I have the power to create. This is the time for what is real.

So, come join me on the front porch for a beer and a gawp and perhaps an arms-flung-wide stand in the blessed rain. I'll be there a while, I'm sure of that much. Thunderstorms demand that kind of attention.

Not work. Not now. I'll make my apologies tomorrow.