Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dear rain

Get the heck out of my neck of the woods, you malingering precipitation. Don't you know we're having a party tonight, and a fair amount of the party is planned to be held outdoors? How fun is a bonfire in the rain? Or a bounce house? How about SCAVENGER HUNT? How we gonna do THAT if there's a chance of also getting costumes wet and makeup runny? Why, that's not much fun at all.

So, shoo, rain.

And take this frigging headache, cough, and wheeziness with you.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things to do today

Cough? Check.

Sneeze? Check.

Wipe teary eyes? Check.

Blow snotty nose? Check.

Take the day off work? Check.

Y'all, I'm not exactly oinking but I am honking.

After 1) replacing a dead car battery while on vacation this past weekend, 2) replacing a dead water heater on returning HOME from vacation yesterday, 3) having to kill a day at work yesterday waiting for the IT guys to figure out why my account seemed to be disabled, and 4) taking the finish off my wedding ring while trying to get rid of a belt squeak in Tink's engine (that lube is caustic, apparently, and now the formerly shiny celtic knotwork band is BLACK, which is, as Biff said, 'kind of your style,' so it's not really a disaster of major proportion, but still), I'm simply not prepared for anything else WRONG to happen.

I'm taking a slug of Formula 44 and heading back to bed. Maybe in a few hours I'll be farting rainbows and spitting diamonds, but for now this old girl is giving up and going back to sleep.

Y'all have a good day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Haideeho there!

Remember last week when I was trying to answer that '69 questions' thing and was dong (the original had a lil' whoops! Thanks LL for the correction - - should be 'doing') a dozen a day,then got busy/distracted/bored and didn't finish up? Were you genuinely offended by my lack of focus and follow-through? Were you about to downgrade my performance to 'meets expectations' due to my utter inability to just finish the job already, and maybe do it ahead of schedule to boot?

Well, never fear, for I got a post for you. Numbers 49 through 60 of the list, now with more info-power!


49. What do you buy at the movies? A ticket and a large bucket of curdled baby yak blood. Mmm, crunchy!

50. Do you know how to play poker? Sure – extend your pointer, find a lady, and start a-jabbin’!

51. Do you wear your seat belt? Always.

52. What do you wear to sleep? Nothing. Anything more than ‘skin’ and I start perspiring.

53. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? What, like putting a whole University there? Nah. One big thing every couple hundred years is enough for us Southerners. We don't need to rush around all willy-nilly making things HAPPEN, for Pete's sake.

54. How many meals do you eat a day? Generally 3. I know, I'm totally leading the pack on this thing! THREE meals - imagine!

55. Is your tongue pierced? Nope. That’s ONE piercing that completely squicks me out. Pretty sure if given the choice between lady-part piercing and the tongue, I’d have to go to the happy place first. Now, if the choice is between nipple and tongue, I'd have to think a bit more....both seem to have the capacity to hurt like a futhamucka.

56. Ever meet anyone you met on myspace? What? I already met them on MySpace, so yes I’ve met them. What a stupid question. Like '"did you see Jenny when you talked to her at the Food Lion?" Why no, I was temporarily struck BLIND during those 5 minutes, dumbass.

57. Do you read myspace bulletins? Um. No. I had a MySpace page for about a millisecond a few years ago, and was an early abandoner of it. Simply didn’t have the time or interest in it. Plus which? I generally dislike other people's taste in music, and hated getting bombarded with it every dang time I'd open a page.

58. Do you like funny or serious people better? You asking me to pick sides? Why can’t the funny people have a serious side (many do, you know) and why can’t the boxy drones of this world make an occasional attempt at what might pass for humor among their bland and 2-dimensional friends? Equal rights, I say! Quit trying to shove me down one path of preference!

59. Ever been to L.A.? Yes, and I enjoyed New Orleans quite at a lot.

60. Did you eat a cookie today? No, but lunch was a bag of pretzels, does that count?


Stick with me dudes, there are only 9 more questions left to answer, and so by tomorrow it will all be over.

I'm sorry. Let me dry your tears of disappointment with my sleeve. They are so tasty.


It's come to my attention that funny things don't happen to me. Other people have funny stuff happen to them or around them all the time, but it appears I'm in a 'funny stuff happening' vacuum. Everything in my world is so normal. I mean, from the 5' wide spider on the front porch to the sinkhole in the backyard that occasionally emits little moans and clouds of rank purple gas, my world is as middle-of-the-road as it gets. Shoot, even the spider seems bored lately, the count of kitten carcasses wrapped neatly in rope-like silk is down dramatically since the warmth of summer has passed. And let's not even GO into how beige it is to realize that everyone else on the block has seen the throatless ghost...for a minute there I thought I'd have something interesting to talk about.

From the talking dogs to the polydactyl neighbors, from the spandangulous shape-shifting houses to the grouchy ol' dragon down the street, there's nothing funny that happens to me.


So hey, at least there are those last 9 questions to look forward to.

Have a grand afternoon. I'm off to paint the inside of my mouth and festoon our mailbox with rusty nails. Fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Useless tools, sudden bursts of topic, and raise that chemise for me darlin'!

Someone please tell me how to turn off the ‘feature’ in MS Office that brings up the ‘helpful sidebar’ each and every damned time you open an application. I don’t NEED the helpful features, dagnabbit; I’m a PRO and pros don’t need the quick tips and other assorted chaff that is presented therein.

Little things bug me sometimes.

(Don’t even GO to the place that say’s ‘if you’re such a pro, you’d KNOW how to turn off the sidebar,’ because child? You do NOT want to get the death glare, do you?)


Things I did this morning instead of exercising:

  • Snoozed the alarm about 12 times
  • Ate breakfast
  • Drank coffee
  • Washed the sheets
  • Did the dishes
  • Checked work e-mail

I am a clever user of time, no?


Every year I think it’s a good idea to make Halloween costumes, and usually every year I curse my short memory. This year though? I think they’re going to totally rock. Pictures will be posted if they do. If they don’t? All evidence of their existence will be expunged from the current consciousness of our communities.

Hey, I saw ‘Men in Black,’ I know how it’s done. All's I need is a halogen flashlight and a Van deGraf generator, right?


Do y’all dress up for Halloween at work? My company is having a Halloween thing on the 30th, inviting people to dress up and par-tay down. Normally, this is the kind of thing I avoid like 8 kinds of plagues, preferring to work at home or be sick or otherwise tied to my desk to NOT participate (baa baa, black sheep!) but this year I might JUST wear my costume to the fete.

If I get it done on time. Which I will. Because not only do I think it’s going to be a fairly accurate representation of the character, the outfit actually looks comfortable. No, it’s not a burkha, though that would be a smashing idea if it didn’t break my rule of ‘must be easy to eat and drink in,’ but dang close. This costume is also awesome because I don’t even have to worry about how I cross my legs, or if my ass is covered, which are things you would in all likelihood have to do if you purchased almost ANYTHING from the H-ween store. BONUS!

Seriously, why are 90% of the costumes for women at those seasonal stores so tarted up a girl has to wonder if she’s flashing the happy place just reaching into the beer cooler? Even the costumes for fat girls like me are mostly short, mostly low-cut, and feature suggested footwear that makes their wearer look like she’s cruising for 20 dollar tricks down the corner.

Or is that the point, that inside all ladies there’s a dirty ol’ HO just waiting to be propositioned by some drunk fool she can take back to a seedy hotel room, boink until he passes out, then roll for the bills and plastic in his beat-up ol’ wallet? Really? I think not, but mostly I don’t usually think like other females, so would put that question to whomever might have an opinion on the matter. Just wondering.

So, yeah. I’m not a ‘sexy witch/devil/cop/nurse/french maid/waitress/cave girl/whatever’ this year, again. Even a brash girl like me can have SOME sense of subtlety and reserve, ya know? If it means I have to get my own beer (and not worry about reaching into the cooler while doing so) because all the mens are ogling a pair of tits nearly spilling out a too-tight top or drooling over a pair of barely-skirted legs bedecked in fishnets and stilettos, that’s fine. I prefer to save that shit for the bedroom, baby, especially now that I'm old enough to be someone's gramma.

Well now. It's patently obvious I have some feelings on the matter. Based on that min-rant, perhaps I should start shopping for shoe buckles and neck ruffs for next year's Puritan costume. Wonder if they make a ‘sexy’ version of THAT?

Y'all have a nice afternoon. I'm off to grumble derogatory things about kids and lawns, adjust my girdle, and find the dang Geritol.

Monday, October 19, 2009

choo choo`

When I was 11 years old, my family moved from upstate New York (Hello VESTAL!) to Northern Virginia.

Culture shock? Why yes, yes it was.

We were transplanted from the gently rolling hills of lower-upstate NY to the literal flatlands of red-soiled Virginia, where there was hardly EVER any snow, noplace good to skate, was bereft of the crowds of kids we were used to, and DIDN'T HAVE A CREEK.

Change was, in this case, not good. It was hard as hell to make the necessary adjustments.

One thing new and good that did come of that move though were the trains. Mom and Dad bought a house in 'The Timbers.' a subdivision that was on the total outskirts of civilization in 1973, a place that butted heads with still-vast woodlands, that smelled of ancient beings when the bulldozers turned over yet another plot of earth for yet another new home, that had a passing acquaintance with the Fairfax County that used to be.

Which included the trains.

The first time, or the first 12 dozen times, those trains blew through on the tracks that ran not but 4 blocks or so from our house, I thought for SURE they were coming through my window they were so loud. My teeth nearly rattled, my ears ached, and my heart raced with excitement, thinking I might just die tonight when the locomotive came churning through my bedroom, I would be aa sad fact of derailment that coursed energetically far enough to scenically murder a young girl in her bed. So tragic. Ah.

Never did happen, at least not yet. I hold out hope it is the way I ultimately 'go.' Death by derailed train having such an...impact. You know?

Ever since those musk-filled days of youthfully overactive imagination, I've loved the sound of a passing train. It was my good fortune then to have recently moved into the Tiny House, who is situated not but 3 blocks or so from a reliably scheduled train route. Every morning at around 9, and every evening at around 9, the train goes by, hooting warnings to a new morning or a fading day. The knowledge of a train going by is like an open book, a story to be written in the grit and chug of an engine, in the rattle of the cars, of the graffiti on the sides of countless coal cars passing from there to who knows where.

Oh yes, I love me some trains, and am so glad to have landed in a spot that is within shouting distance of their muscular thrumble through this quiet pinch of the South I now call home.

So that's what's on my mind today. Hope you're enjoying your corner of the world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A link for Sickos, and more answers

Dudes. Just one more reason I'm glad that God knew I'd be a weak person and not able to stand life in anything less than a first world country.

Do NOT click on the link if you have a sensitive stomach. The grossness of the idea is supplemented with various pictures, and even video. Toe-curling, stomach-churning, horror-inducing VIDEO.

Why I feel compelled to share this with you, I'll never know. Enjoy at your own risk.


More from the vast pile of inquiry that is the '69 (hee!) questions meme':

37. What movie do you want to see right now? Zombieland

38. If you could fast forward your life, would you? Hell no!

39. What did you do for New Year’s? Switched over from an “all Dirty Jobs” marathon to watch the ball drop, said “happy new year’ to the guys, then went back to Mike Rowe for about a half hour before falling asleep in the big comfy chair. Woohoo!

40. Do you think The Grudge was scary? Not at all. Especially after his heart grew three sizes!

41. Could you relate to a character in Mean Girls? Sure! I really identify with ‘girl #4.’ You know, the one wearing the black cords and blue sweater that carries her books under her arm like a boy and refuses to do ANYTHING about that awful flyaway hair? She’s awesome.

42. Do you own a camera phone? Can you get a cell phone WITHOUT a camera?

43. Do you have an “ex box” with pics and letters from past lovers? Not one box devoted to that sort of thing, because that would be odd and a little sad, but as I am an avowed collector of notes/cards/papers, there are items aplenty in my stash boxes that are from old BFs and such. I don’t swell on them, have no idea of what I intend to do with them, but won’t get rid of them. They’re a part of who I used to be, and sometimes a nice reminder that I’m glad I’m not her anymore.

44. Was your mom a cheerleader? My mom was on the teams the cheerleaders should have been cheering for. That woman played every sport available to her when she was young. Her bookworm musician daughter did NOT take after her in the sports department.

45. What’s the last letter of your middle name? E. Bonus points – my middle name has three letters!

46. Do you like your middle name? Yup – it’s my great-great grandfather’s last name, and a fine southern moniker to boot.

47. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Normally around 7 or 8. On the nights I get less you can BET I’ll feel it by around 2 the following afternoon. Me and sleep, as I believe I’ve already mentioned, get along famously.

48. Do you like care bears? Not as much as I like their lesser known cousins, the Caer Bares, who are are nuggets of charmingly clumsy naked gaeliclusciosness. Look it up!


I'm a huge fan of delegation.


I keep meaning to write about the HS band concert the other night, but seem to be running out of time, space, and the words to adequately describe how wonderful I thought it was.

The concert band (of which Thing 1 is a member) played a piece by Andrew Boysen entitled "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that knocked my socks off with its creativity and their impeccable performance. It's a piece of grade 3 band music (1 being easiest and 6 being hardest on that particular scale) that sounds much more difficult what with tempo and time signature change-ups, innovative methods of 'playing' instruments, very demanding percussion parts, and no 'real' melody except excepts from 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God' played as what can only be Ichabod Crane's theme. Really neat piece. The concert band also played a folk song suite, the second movement of which was heavy on the horns, something that will always make me smile. The three young men in the horn section have a lot of promise; I look forward to hearing them develop over time.

There was newly-formed brass choir that played three pieces. These are a group of kids that were getting together in the band room at lunch and playing their instruments kind of randomly until the band director said 'let's make some thing of this' and st them up with some literature. At the time of the concert they'd played together for only 4 weeks...and pulled off some very nice licks. They too will continue to improve, and again I'm eager to hear them mature.

The Symphonic band was also very good, but I wasn't really paying much attention at this point.

As a close, the entire marching band (being as how they're all either in the Concert of Symphonic bands) spread out all around the auditorium and ran straight through their whole show (sans drill execution). The show is taken from the movie "300" and thus is chokablock with rousing battle cry, LOTS of percussion, and neat opportunities to blast the faces off whoever might be in the stands. Fortunately, they kept the blast power set to 'stun,' so nobody had ringing ears when it was over. It was neat to see all the horn movements, watch the pit guys up close, see these kids do the whole show from memory. Lots of schools don't ask their kids to memorize, and lots of school don't even HAVE a fall concert season opting instead to focus full time on marching band, so I was pleased to see that THIS director is (IMHO) doing it right.

Thing 1 was please with his work that night, and has expressed interest in being in marching band next year.

THAT had to be the best news I'd heard all day. My little ex-drum major's heart, like the Grudge's, swelled THREE SIZES.


That's it for now, my pretties. It's time to develop analysis plans for the upcoming slug-rodeo results, after which there's the whole question of 'which ion to use in the next light saber replica?' question to answer.

Have a lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poetry Wednesday, in honor of just how gorgeous it is outside. Also - FUDGE!

It’s raining,
It’s pouring
My work is
So boring
I drank a cup
Of coffee up
And now my guts are

It’s raining
It’s pouring
We’re in our cubes
we slave all day
to make our pay
our skills we are

It’s raining
It’s pouring
My hopes aren’t soaring
My butt is numb
These files are dumb
I’d rather be laying

It’s raining.
It’s pouring.
This old girl is
Can’t we stay home
And work by phone
And quit the rush-hour

It’s raining.
It’s pouring.
The outside world
Needs exploring
But I’m in here
So drab and drear
‘cause I came to work
This morning.


Remind me to tell you all about the concert last night. I got all goosebumpy at least a dozen times, in the very best way possible.

Then have a lovely afternoon y’all. I’m off to figure out how to stuff a bloated donkey into an envelope, after which the jackalopes need tending to, and there’s that octopus I need to teach to hum the “tarantela’ while juggling frozen yogurt balls.

Bizzy, bizzy day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am eating caramel-chocolate fudge as I type this, and feeling mighty good about it too.

Third in a continuing series of posts in which I try to milk as much time from a set of 69 questions as possible. This time, I keep it short because I love you all:


25. Do you have a secret fetish? Heck yes! Am I telling you? Heck NO!

26. Have you tried sushi? Oh nom nom nom. Keep the wasabi coming!

27. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? Yes.

28. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?Has to have been a few years at least, though there was a brush with the possibility of it being this past weekend but for the crowds of people waiting out front for the lusciousness that was sure to be inside. So we went to Red Robin instead, where we had to shout at one another from 5 feet away to be heard over the unholy DIN. Hey folks at the Red Robin corporate headquarters - a little carpeting couldn’t hurt!

29. When was the last time you were at Church? Last Sunday a week ago. We skipped this week in favor of going to the lake and hanging out visiting family.

30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? To work. All of 24 miles away.

31. What was your favorite job? HAS to be radio announcer. Puppeteer comes a close second for ‘best way to make minimum wage’ goes, and waiting tables a second for ‘best job with free food and cool coworkers’ goes.

32. Do you like mustard? It’s OK, but I don’t LIKE-like it. I save that emotion for mayo, with whom I have a lifelong love affair. But none of that Miracle Whip crap, which is evil and should be taken out behind the barn and taught how to ack right.

33. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? Sleep, without a doubt. If you’d just met me you’d probably not guess that, because I am a fluffy woman, but given the choice (and starvation not being a factor) then sleep it is!

34. Do you look like your mom or dad? Both. I favor my dad in hair and eye color, have my mom’s freckles and nose shape, and the mouth is a total combo job. No doppelgangers in our family!

35. How long does it take you in the shower? A simple wash-down is done in 5 minutes or less. Add in pit and leg shave and you’re up to 10 minutes. If it's a Saturday late morning with rampant depilation, then I’m good for 20 minutes…me lurves the shower.

36. Can you do the splits? Not anymore. Stuff tends to go ‘pop’ when I try. Trust me, the popping is NOT a good thing, unless you're talking popcorn or bubble wrap (Grant - don't even THINK 'cherries,' all right?)


Isn't this amusing? Aren't you finding out so very MUCH about me? Aren't I the most fascinating thing EVAR?

Sure hope you think so, because NCP tagged me for ANOTHER thingie that is on deck after I make it the rest of the way through these 69 (hee!) questions. Lucky for y'all though, this new one is a '1-word answer' dealie, which will be a struggle for me to do properly, and so might never do it at all for the shame of not being nearly terse enough to play by the rules.

Ad now I'm off to do what needs doing before ripracing out early to purchase Thing 1's band outfit for the concert that's taking place tonight, for my people are 'think ahead' kinds of people, if by that you mean 'think 8 hours ahead.'

Hey - At least the forewarnings are coming 8 hours ahead instead of the 60 minutes that have been the historic norm. Silver lining, people!!

So, you know. Have a glossy afternoon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An excuse, a question, and a clear example of why I should write parenting books

For all those folks who like what happens here…you may have some 'splainin' to do.

Oh yes. You stopped me from quitting blogging. You see, it’s been a touch disheartening around this bare and dusty corner of the internet lately, with traffic dwindling to numbers I’ve not seen in years, with my motivation to post right around ‘meh’ most days (when I used to LOVE to come up with stuff and rattle on), and with a noted lack of anything original.

Sad fact is that other people do it better, more wittily, more stably, and to a far wider audience than I do, which is not a fun place to find oneself.

I confess, I’ve never thought of myself as ordinary, and yet that appears to be what my opinion of NAY is lately. Ordinary. Just one of a million other self-indulgent places of the internet, so tiny as to be forgettable, so middle of the road as to be the blog equivalent of an all-beige home.

It seems that as my life became more and more stable/fun/settled, the need to write was subsumed into living what is an embarrassingly wonderful life. As it has always been, my BEST writing comes from a place of anger or misery, when emotions cause an upwelling of insight and passion that spills over into something readable or that packs a real wallop. Happy times are ridden calmly and happily, the life equivalent of a pony ride versus the bronc-bustin’ thrills that come with difficulty and rage, and life lately has been the equivalent of the fattest little Shetland equine you ever seen...

Another thing is that it’s coming up on 4 years of me keeping NAY, an exercise that started with the desire to create a chronology of my life but rapidly devolved into a gmish of competing content and styles. It’s had it’s ups and down, and at first I was caught up in the heady rush of an increasing reader base, the thrill of seeing the comment count steadily increase, the notion that I might just be able to turn this thing into a cultural meme (I hadn’t yet heard of Dooce, or probably would never have typed the first letter, much less be so brash as to believe I could do something that would garner me ‘household name’ recognition). Gathering up a little clutch of friends and familiar faces was (and is) so full of potential and rich interchange, a learning experience in each pseudonym. But then things leveled off. And then they started to drop off. And drop, until now I don’t check stat counter anymore for fear I’ll find out that most of the hits come from me checking in to see if anyone has comments…the equivalent of calling your voicemail every 5 minutes to see if that cute guy from Bio 101 called you when you stepped out to use the bathroom for 5 minutes 4 hours ago.

Nobody likes to realize they will never be one of the popular kids. Sometimes the best thing to do is have a nice snack, go lie down for a while, and maybe when you’ve had a little nap the world will have turned enough to allow some light into a formerly gloomy room.

Well, in the past few days I’ve apparently been asleep, taking that whole ‘nap’ idea to a ridiculous extent, and the first thought I had once I was ready to form one was ‘I think it’s time to quit.’ This was what I posted on Facebook, a clear pity ploy if ever there was one, but the resounding ‘oh HELL no’ from those who commented were the jostleneeded to fully wake me up to the reality that even if I have a short handful of readers, and even if my name won’t ever be pasted on book covers or BlogHer agendas or billboards, and even if what I do here is as schizophrenic as Sybil on a bad day, there are those folks who like what they find here, and so it’s for them I write incredibly long sentences like this one in thanks.

So, thanks y’all. Just be aware that if what you find here is a big steaming pile of sulfurous reek, it’s all your fault. You’re the ones who asked for it!


Question – anybody interested in seeing the Wordsmiths start up again? I have a teeny tiny feeling that part of my case of the ‘meh’ these days might be in part due to the fact that the storytelling aspect of writing has been absent for a while.

Perhaps it’s just that the holidays are approaching and that’s always a time to start thinking creatively, but dang it I feel like it’s time to spend a few hours dabbling and cutting and pasting and throwing words around so that each and every one of the 500 allowable words is as shiny and perfect as it can be.

So, anyone ELSE up for a revival?


Lastly, it’s once again apparent that I should really be pressing the Nobel committee to initiate a prize in “mother of the year” because I so TOTALLY deserve it.

Exhibit 1: Thing 1 comes home from school Friday with a story of how he tripped over a bunch of backpacks that morning and has since been suffering with a sore ankle. To this new I of course said “there there dear, take some ibuprofen and get in the car, we’re going to go see Grandma.”

Yes, I did. That’s how much I care.

All weekend long Thing 1 suffered with spastic attacks of limping which I as his loving mother attributed to some first-class attention-seeking behavior from any of the gathered relatives. That limp wasn’t consistent, you see, and so I had my suspicions of how genuine it was.

Yesterday on the ride home from our visit there was actual writhing in the back seat as he tried to get comfortable on our 4-hour ride home. “Eh, teenage histrionics!” thought I, once again believing he was looking to get some ‘poor baby’ love from his mama. Oh, I went so far as to ask him how bad it hurt, and if there was any bruising, but I didn’t really get terribly far into any one line of questioning before letting the whole affair drop, for I am a caring and committed mother who was also maybe a little occupied with the fact that Route 8 south in Virginia was trying to kill me absofuckinglutley DEAD with its crazy sloping switchbacks and deathly mountainside drop-offs. When one is facing the very real possibility of becoming the next sad traffic statistic (‘4 dead in flaming 40-foot plunge into the Roanoke River’), random sore ankles don’t really get top billing.

Sometimes? It IS all about me.

Until it’s not, which was last night, when I finally, FINALLY took a close look at the youth's size 13 hoof. Which, as it turns out, was sporting a VERY nice golf-ball sized swelling over the ankle projection. Hey, it turns out the boy really WAS hurt! Color me astonished!

So guess who was the next in the family to get X-rays, require crutches and a fancy new ankle-stabilizing boot, and might just require further orthopedic care if in 2 weeks we see evidence that the sprain actually tore loose bone fragments? If you guess Thing 1, you get a prize.

So yeah, I totally need to talk to those Nobel people. Parenting skillz like I have should be rewarded with a cool million smackeroos, don’t you think? It’d go a long way toward their inevitable counseling bills.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

69 Questions, continued

(Grant, you'll just have to levy another fine. I'm doing the second dozen questions today).


Continuing on yesterday's initial foray into answering a massive gutload of random questions, the second dozen Q's and A's!

13. Do you like to pursue or be pursued? One of my goals in life is to have adoring throngs of lackeys, sycophants, and minions, so I’d have to go with the latter.

14. Use three words to describe yourself? Currently Under Construction

15. Do any songs make you cry? When the Things were babies, I fervently wished Kenny Loggins had never written “House on Pooh Corner.” Now that the boys are strapping young men and I am no longer swinging wildly from the hormone tree, nothing even remotely like the uncontrolled sobbing brought on by that damned song (and all the others on that stupid album) has occurred in years. Sudden busting out in tears is no way to go through life, man.

16. Are you continuing your education? I’m contemplating a continuance of my academic career, yes. Should gone for the PhD when I was a single young thing, but HOW STUPID WAS I not to when my then-boss told me I was a shoo-in to the program? VERY very stupid, is what. Listen folks, in the research world a Master’s degree means you can work the bench; a PhD means you can rule the frigging world. If you have a chance to get that sheepskin, go for it. Do not (as I did) let LOVE stop you from attaining something that will have long-term benefits to your employment trajectory. Do NOT, for a minute, think that a PhD is too hard or that you’ll only wind up being an administrator of grant proposals if you DO get the vaunted initials after your name, because that is misguided, untrue, and short-sighted. Just get the dang degree already!

And so, that’s what I’m thinking of doing, more than 20 years after I first had the chance. Sadly, it won’t be in something cool like Molecular Biology, but it’ll be a PhD all the same. Hey, pharmacoepidemiology has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

17. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Yes, and have done. I like shooting guns! Bang Bang!

18. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? Biff.

19. How often do you read books? I’m way down in this regard. I might finish a book every few weeks…which is an embarrassing thing to admit being as how I love a good story and could easily sink several hours a day into reading if allowed. Somehow, life keeps getting in the way.

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future? Certainly not the future, as my lack of a will, my meagre 401K, my lackadaisical attitude toward firm financial planning, and my inability to remember doctor’s visits would tell you. I have had a rich past life, and so like to reminisce from time to time, but the here and now is the best time of my life, rendering it nearly impossible to dwell too long on any other timepoint. Yes, I’m lucky, and I intend to make the very most of THIS day as possible (despite the fact that I’m strapped to a cubicle for the next few hours, which is regrettable but does put food on the table and bourbon in my glass, so the daily sentencing must be accepted and dealt with. On the other hand, and in keeping with the vague prison metaphor it appears is building, I did see a team of convicts on the road this morning doing garbage duty, and that seems like kind of an OK way to spend the day, as long as there were fewer guns pointed at my head while doing the community a good turn.).

21. What is your favorite children’s book? I LIVED the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series as a kid, and take the books out from time to time and re-read from start to finish.

22. What color are your eyes? Dark blue on the rims, light blue inside that, and yellow around the iris.

23. How tall are you? 5 ft 10 in

24. Where is your dream house located? Someplace near Boone NC. It’s a little house, quite possibly a log cabin, with sweeping views of a battalion of gentle rolling mountains. There’s a small field down below where the goats live, and maybe a pond/swimmin’ hole. The house smells of woodsmoke year-round and has a large stone fireplace in the front room. There are bookshelves all around the chimney, and another bookshelf that runs all around the room about a foot from the ceiling. Each shelf is thick with volumes of all types and description. There is no television. Oxblood-red broad-chested leather furniture lounges casually in well-lit corners, welcoming the tired or the frankly lazy. The front porch is deep and shaded by a tin-roofed ceiling under which sit a pair of hammocks that are the perfect place to spend a summer rainstorm. There are thick pottery plates and mugs in the kitchen cabinets, and brass-clad cookware hangs on iron hooks above the broad prep island. Over the kitchen sink is a window that looks out to the garden, which hosts a lopsided scarecrow that in good years barely peeps over the corn and sunflowers. Tomatoes spill over their cage walls, and zinnias snuggle up with the cucumbers while the chickens cluck for bugs. Bikes lean casually against the garden gate, picturesque and useful for three seasons. The cross-country skis are in the shed, waiting for winter.

Over the years I’ve decorated this house pretty thoroughly in my head. Someday I’ll seek it out for real; and if it happens to have a crooked mailbox and a big ol’ knotty apple tree out front that’s just right for climbing? I’ll know I’ve found my home.


Commence the mockery! And have a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Welcome back

Well now, it's Tuesday again already, almost a week has gone by without a single peep outta me and so before you forget that this used to be a blog you recall having mildly enjoyed reading, I figured now's the time to put up something new.

I need to feed my faint flame of fame, therefore this shiny new post, which is but a snippet of a '69 questions' thing that NCP did to good effect. I hope that my efforts will be met with approval, because answers to random questions is probably all you're going to get this week - say, did I mention there are 69 of these questions?


So here you go, a dozen of the 69, in perfect numerical order:

1. The phone rings; who do you want it to be? – (Ed note: this answer was copied DIRECTLY from NCP, as it’s perfect as is) I want it to be a hang up call. I hate the phone. The only reason I even own one of the damn things is that there might one day be an emergency that requires the use of a phone to summon live saving implements in a siren-y vehicle. Gah – can’t you just send me an email?

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Yes, and I will often return OTHER carts left stranded on curbs or in a perfectly good parking spot. Let me go so far as to state here that I think people who DON’T return their carts are selfish and very likely the same people who text while driving, kick puppies, tailgate, pee on the toilet seat, and leave hair in other people’s brushes.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? As much as I hate to admit it, I’m totally a talker. There have been many MANY occasions when I had to, by force of WILL, kick on the internal editor to just quit blathering. Part of my inability to STFU and let other people talk is that I’m all people-pleasy and like to make folks feel good, so I get ‘on stage’ as it were to keep the noise (or conversation) going. Silences are, in most cases, fairly uncomfortable. It’s a damned hard habit to break.

4. Do you take compliments well? Now I do. In times past I’ve actually had people comment on how bad I was at accepting them. See #3.

5. Do you play Sudoku? I play Sudoku about as often as I purposefully visit a hog farm and poke piglets with a sharpened herring while humming the national anthem of Trinidad and Tobago. Which is to say, never.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Oh, for at LEAST 5 minutes. After that I would expect the porters to arrive with the cabana, the tiki bar, the comfy chair, and some Grey Poupon to be used on whatever animal the contract hunters have procured and is about to be put over the roaring fire that some lackey will have no doubt constructed and lit. I'd try to survive for 10 minutes if it meant a minion was going on a Jim Beam run and was accosted by a wild bear/boar/tiger and needed those extra few moments to beat the offender about the head and neck with an appendage before delivering the sweet nectar of life.

7. Do you like to ride horses? No. Anything that can be scared by a gust of wind shouldn’t be ridden.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Sure thing, and loved it. Oddly, the Things haven’t gone to overnight camp, ever. Mostly because I don’t have a spare arm and leg hanging around as payment for such an activity. Six HUNDRED bucks a week is the going rate, and I can think of ohsomany other things on which to spend the 600 smackeroos. So, I’ve robbed my children of a fond childhood memory, and will probably wind up paying that 600 back in psychotherapy bills, but at least the mortgage was paid!

9. What was your favorite game as a kid? Uh….hmm. Game, eh? I was way more of a reader than a game player. I did like kick the can, because that usually meant being outside after dark, and that was pretty exciting stuff when I was in the single-digit ages, even if I WAS almost always the first one tagged and had to spend most of my time on the stoop waiting for someone to come long and kick that ol’ can to set me free. No problem – I LIKED sitting, watching the moths cloud around our streetlight, listening to the kids running around in the dark, smelling the night. It should therefore come as no surprise that I never tried very hard to hide.

10. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew s/he was married, would you go for it? I’m quite happily married, thanks, and need no other diversion in that regard.

11. Have you lied to get out of a date? No, I went on all of them I was asked on, sometimes to horrific effect. I learned my lesson when the guy I went out with REFUSED to let me out of his car on our first date until I kissed him, saying that 'he bought me dinner and so I OWED him something.' Real quailty guy, that one. So yeah, he got his kiss (it was AWFUL, like smooching a wet rubber chicken) and I got the hell out of that car, never to speak to him again. It was one of a handful of times in my life I felt like buying a whole new skin, because he made me feel so filthy and cheap. Creep.

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? Yes. Dating would be one thing, but it sure does help a long-term relationship to have at least some similar views on something as important as religion, unless of course you agree to not discuss it or relish the notion of a lifetime spent arguing your particular case with the one you love. Note: Politics, another hotly contested topic of conversation, SHOULD be argued, or at least discussed, as often as digestible. Couples should fight about SOMETHING, shouldn't they?



More tomorrow. Y'all have a swell-tastic afternoon.