Sunday, January 29, 2012

strength training

It was a lovely day yesterday in Wake County. Sunny, slightly breezy, and warm-ish. Just the right kind of day to get out and take a lovely walk.

So we did.

Biff and I strapped on the gear and headed to the a greenway we walked part of a couple of weeks ago. This time we started about at the point we stopped last time, hoping to make it down under some RR tracks and a major highway before heading back to the parking lot. On the maps it looked a touch under 2 miles each way, so, about 1.5 hours total walking time (including gawking stops and such).

Easy peasy.

Except...about half a mile into it I got the first hints from my bladder that something was going to need to 'go on' before too long. 'Surely not!' I thought. 'I did my business before we left the house, and it's only been half an hour since then!'

But lo, bladders will have their way, and by the 2-mile mark there was clearly a need to find a facility.

However, and I'm sure you could feel this coming a mile off, there ARE no facilities on the greenway. No toilet, Port-a-potty, not latrine. Not even a nice secluded ditch with a roll of TP on a stick. NOTHING. Not even very many good places to go 'exploring,' (if you get my drift) as the trail sits between the river and, usually, housing developments.

Which is why, if you'd been under a footbridge with me at around mile 2.25 of our walk, you'd have sympathized with me, I'm sure, and turned the other way for a moment as I relieved the pressure.

Or TRIED to.

Because, for those moments under the footbridge, my bladder suddenly became imbued with super-hero strength and NOTHING came out. Not a drop. Oh, I could feel it wanting to, but damn if that sphincter was locked up tight in what I can only assume was a case of 'shy bladder.' Well, that's never happened before, so I gave it a bit, nothing more happened, and that was that. There's only so long a gal wants to be hanging out under footbridges trying to pee, is what I'm saying I suppose.

Once we resumed out walk back to the car, it quickly became evident that the job had clearly not been done under the bridge and it was also becoming clear that it was going to be a LOOONG walk back to the car in the face of mounting pressure in the nether bits. We couldn't walk too fast, or the bladder would jostle, then spasm, and I'd have to pause on the side of the trail in thoughtful contemplation of some bit of nature while the spasms subsided, at which point we could walk again. This went on for about 40 (or 50?) minutes. I think I might have groaned a couple of times, and said a few naughty words more than a couple.

(I would have gratefully welcomed even this on the trailside-->)

The situation was getting really desperate. I was contemplating many a tree by the time was were 3/4 of a mile from our destination. By the last half-mile I was convinced I was going to just wet myself and be done with it, but by the last 500 feet fortunes turned a bit and I began to think I could make it. However, the spasms struck once more and by the last 100 paces it was nearly a sure thing I'd be riding home butt-nekked due to having let loose the tidal wave of pee that was sure to break free from my poor beleaguered bladder. By the last 15 or so paces I was doing the peepee dance, hand firmly in place, while carloads of people drove by looking for parking place.

It is hard to walk unobtrusively with your hand in the peepee dance place, but it didn't matter. That hand NEEDED to be there, atl east until I reached the van, at which point I would have been happy to strip off and have at it in the peeing department and not care who saw...

Thank GOD I didn't need to drop trou on the side of the parking lot, though, as Biff had gone ahead and prepared a place for me in the back of the van. A resting place, if you will, consisting of a hurriedly-emptied trash can and just enough squatting room amidst all his band gear to do the deed that needed to be done. One firm roll-shut of the van door and I was peeling off those lounge pants and letting it rip. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....


Next time we go hiking, this is the plan: I'm just going to put on a Depends and pee at will on the trail. 'Squish your way to Fitness,' I'll call this program. Farther, faster, and longer, through absorbent undergarments, it's the workout program for the very middle-aged lady.

Yep. There's only so many times I want to feel THAT panicked about possibly peeing in public, and that number is exactly once. Wearing an adult diaper is a sacrifice I might just be willing to make.

(BTW - I have the best LOML ever, as he not only got the van ready for me as I hobbled up on crossed legs, he handed me the TP when I was done, then sympathized and celebrated with me as we rolled off from our now suspiciously wet parking spot. Isn't that sweet? I think so)

Hope all is going as well as can be expected for all y'all. Tiff out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

truth is immutible (*table?)

Six years ago, I wrote this.

It is still true.

It's not encouraging news, but it is the way of things.


In the swing through the archives just now (yes I do sometimes go back and read who I used to be), it's apparent that I used to put a lot more thought into writing. Why, there are stories there, and almost-fully-baked themes!

Not so now. The devolution of this blog is nearly complete, but not entirely back to the larval stage. There is a chance it could re-evolve through several instars and then decide to re-emerge as a beautiful butterfly (or full-grown roach, who knows?) sometime in the near future. Anything is possible.

One thing I won't do is to let it wink completely out of view and consciousness. Too many good 'personal' bloggers have done that (for which I thank them because it leaves room for the middlin' personal bloggers like me), and though I am conflicted regarding the ratio of 'good' content versus 'this blog's' content, I do think there is room in the internet for personal blogging that's not gone commercial or isn't crowded by hundreds of commenting fans pouring accoladinal gloop over every squint and fart the adored one deigns to record.

So, for those of you who still keep a personal blog - please don't quit. PLEASE. I love reading your stuff, I enjoy the relationships we've created through nothing but a few quarky oompohs of mutual goodwill, and I'd hate to 'lose' you entirely if you quit.

And don't for a SECOND think Facebook is an acceptable equivalent.

For my part, I promise that in 2012 NAY will seek to establish a resurgence in relatable content, interesting tales, snortable linkage, and shocking insight. It's been too long since we were all young and stupid together, hasn't it?


Tiff out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

if you don't already know, I'm not all sunshine and light.

Introit to a little something about me, which you might not know if we've met recently: There's something 'wrong' with me.

'Wrong' being a term people use for folks most folks ain't like, which is all of us, I guess, but is some of us in particular who are just a titch outside what is considered to be nominally charming and 'off-beat.'

To wit:

Longtime readers of this blog know that when I go to write fiction from a piece of art, almost nothing good can come from it. I kill off people, mostly, or sew them to ceilings, or sell them off in terrible human trafficking schemes. If they're not human then they're certain to be running from something awful or getting lost in the great outer reaches of space. One time, I even had me being attacked by radioactive spiderlings in a TB hospital in Russia.

True, all.

Obviously, there is in my mind a definite bent toward the dark and gruesome.

I thought I was sort of alone in this dense dark space of dreadfulness, until I discovered the artwork for the original 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' series, which features some of the most 'me' artwork I've ever seen. These are the drawings that scared the snot out of legions of young kids back when they were published (starting in 1981), and which because of my age (graduated HS in 1980, so too old!) I missed out on entirely. I would have LOVED these books, and stared at the illustrations lovingly until they were embossed on my retinas to the point where I could close my eyes and see them in negative.

So, now, OF COURSE, I want all three books. And they are, OF COURSE, out of print.

Oh, you can buy the stories, but just not with the Stephen Gammell illustrations that made the books so ghoulishly memorable. Because, you know, why include the iconographic art? Why the heck would you print out a 30th anniversary edition of the books with the original illustrations, the ones the made such reluctant fans of so many young kids? It would be foolish to include them, right?

(insert loud 'gah!' here)

Harper-Collins thought it would be fine to just switch out illustrators (GAH!), and thus have included illustrations from another artist (A really good one, mind, but not SG!) in their re-distributions, thinking that of course because it's a BOOK the words are most important, thereby forgetting it's a KID'S BOOK and therefore, because children are visual, it's the illustrations are what moves the stories into hive-mind memory. This new version is not the same, doesn't evoke the same feelings, doesn't promote the same sense of 'out there' the old one did, isn't the same squidgy morass of fear and fascination the old one was, and so I don't like it even if I HAVEN'T EVEN READ EITHER VERSION.

Sheesh, people! Let children be scared. Let them chase their fright down long passageways into shady corners while in the comfort of their own snug beds. Let them be terrorized at home, safe, where there's a warm lap to snuggle into if needed and a word or two about 'overactive imaginations' to wrap around themselves before trundling off to bed, knowing that even the terrible things in those pictures aren't real. Don't water it down, mostly because for hte people who 30 years ago had the wits scared out of them by mere illustrations and who commented on the sad lack of them in the re-release there is no clear message that the mystical terrible pictures that accompanied them did anything but heighten the appreciation of the story, and give each cowering child a little bit of horrifying reminiscence to their younger selves.

Of course, you must remember that this message comes from me. The one who wrote this. And who dreamt of her sunny bedroom walls eating her alive with their gulping malodorous mouths and soil-stained knife-like fingers.

When she was 4.

Yes. I might indeed have some issues, but it's all given me some wonderful ideas for completely dreadful new stories to tell. Perhaps (dun dah duuuuun!) in the dark.


Tiff out.


(That up there is one of the illustrations in question from the books on question, which I recognize as one of the staircases in the house of the my dreams. It goes to the attic. AND BASEMENT. At the same time.

Sweet dreams!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I can see clearly now

Two words:


And thus I find my way one step further into old age. But it's OK. At least I can see what you cretins are up to out there now. What was before a smeary gray blob of amusement has crystallized into a brilliantly crisp landscape of WTH was that?

Good on ya, internetly friends. You have made the purchase of a pair of cheaters worth the money and shame.

Also, I can see every crinkle on the back of my hands. Lord love 'em, they're almost ready for 'make a handbag of them' category.'

Mmm, crinkly handbits. Delicious.


We struggled a bit with what to have for dinner tonight. There was NO MEAT, dear Lord have mercy, and so it was a Bit Difficult for a while.

But lo, a bit of sausage (AKA- meat that'll do) reared its head from the 'things to make sandwiches from' drawer of the 'fridge and thus we did declare it the night of beans and rice. And sausage. And homemade what-might-be tortillas.

Funnily enough, for a weird-ass make-do meal, it was good. Second-helping good, AAMOF. I blame the Adobo for this, as it's loaded with salt. Get you some. It comes in handy.


Line of the night: "just because we go to the same church doesn't mean we share the same politics." Hoo boy, might we not.

Something to keep in mind.


I hear folks in the PNW are getting some snow. Feel free to send it here. We are bereft of it, BEREFT, say I, and it's about time to make with the winter around here before Spring comes creeping in.

You heard me, Winter. I just dared you. Bring it. I am ready.


To that lady (term used loosely) who felt it was OK to be a complete twatwaffle on the way to work this morning: Your Hairdo Sucks.

It was in fact possible to examine each strand of it while you were hovering mere inches from Jiminy's back bumper today. Each lovingly shellacked strand. Like a hair-helmet.

Do you use it to keep out the alien messages? Is it maybe a weapon (are you secretly a ninja, slaughtering the unworthy with your pilia of peril)? Does the unholy bleach job somehow convey upon you the same paint-huffing glow a vagabond might have after a can of 'gloss gold #20'?

We might never know, but one thing we do know is this: you are an ass. A big ol' stiff-haired, shiny-truck-driving, texting, wheel-gripping, ass.

Even now, 14 hours later, I hope someday you get caught in a stiff breeze and your hair just cracks off.

In sincerest flusteration, Tiff.


And that's it, mah internet buddies. Tiff out.

Monday, January 16, 2012

gentler pillowy doom

This post is nothing more than to say that the person who created the phrase gentler pillowy doom is a genius, and awesome.

That's Kap.

She hates everyone.

Except maybe you.

Sometimes I feel the same way.


You will of course have noticed that I'm not posting here as much anymore. This is a sucktastic turn of events, much like my promise to me to walk 2+ miles a day at the beginning of this year. Turns out, walking that much means you have to devote time to it. Time that, as it happens, eats into the sleeping and the lazing about and the gaming that I've come to define my life by,


I read the other day that at 40 we start to lose muscle mass.

I? Am almost 50. Schnikes!!!

It's a fair guess that by now I can't do a regular pushup to save my life, given my advanced age. Shit, just getting out of the shower some days is enough to make me cringe, and for some reason my SHOULDERS now hurt when I do crap like....close the car door.

F-ck getting old. I hate it. And I once again am angry at it. (This is a recurring theme. If you've read me rant about geting old, you've no doubt heard this all before. Clue for the newbies - It's bound to be full of fist-shaking and onions).

Because NOW, instead of just having to live and be strong and awesome like I was until I was about 24....I have to work to maintain muscle. MUSCLE. The shit that lets you hold your arms above your head, or get out of a car gracefully. That stuff. That stuff that used to form a really nice mound on my bicep when I flexed, is now no more than an anthill.

It's going.

Dang it.

So, yeah. Me ain't sissy, but I'm lazy, How's a lazy old gal supposed to keep her schwerve if it all comes down to WORK?

I'm open to suggestions.


Also - it's been too long. Let's do lunch soon. All y'all.

Tiff out.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

all these changes can't be good for a body

Gmail wants me to change to the 'new look.' Google+ is trying to hijack my homepage. Work is moving to Windows 7. The new training page is chock full of new features, and the expense reporting system at work is upgrading to met up with the new Sunshine law that demands we reveal everything but the size of what we keep in our underwear.

And, like usual, I keep saying 'no thanks.'

Three years ago I said that to the company that bought us when they offered a new business credit card that demanded we put our personal credit scores at risk through some crazy-assed bookkeeping scheme that must have made it better for the company to have their people assume risk and debt instead of them covering a possible small risk that whoever would be stupid enough to charge personal items on a company card would default on that debt. I, therefore, did not get a company card. Even though that now means I can't host my own telecons because all that is charged through the company card.

Thank heavens we're now using free services. Once I learn how to use them for TC's I'll be a mad rush of techno-geek! Until then, I call no meetings. Or I do so and make someone else put it on their card. That's the beauty of my job - our issues are almost always someone else's priorities.

The deployment of Windows 7 to the work environment though might be a little happier story. Shoot, you can do cool things like bump and grind, or whatever, and suddenly desktop items fly off your screen or resize or go get you a caramel macchiato, and who would not like that? Nobody, that's who, so I embrace the OS, until it eats my history and swallows whole my will to live.

In other news, my left ear is buzzing like the morning after an Death Metal concert, and I hate that. Everything I hear from it is muzzy and bloated, like a salamander is living in my ear canal and frothing goo all over people's words. Bad job, body! Give me back my tinnitus-ravaged ears and leave the rest alone.

Crap - I already have varicose veins and crepey skin and weird vision issues and a receding hairline. I'd thinking the freaking EARS would leave well enough alone. Getting old sucks. There's no part of me that's not being ravaged by time, except maybe my navel. It's still pretty cute. But getting deeper as time goes on. Still not echo-y yet, but that' only through my amazing powers of belly-sucking-in. Tones the tummy.

And this one was about nothing much. Sometime that happens.

Shit, someone I know wrote a post about nothing but farting today. Consider THIS post, therefore, a gift.

And have a lovely day.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Can't go a month without posting

Since I last checked in here, a lot has gone on. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the goings-on is that I've not stepped foot into my place of work in over 2 weeks. A trip to California the week before Christmas, then the week between Christmas and NYE as a company shutdown, then 3 extra days off this week ('use it or lose it' vacation) makes for a nice long respite from the commute and cube-claustrophobia.

Thursday is therefore going to suck, and heartily. I'm trying to keep the level of dread down by vigorously ignoring the impending re-start of regular life. The internet helps, as do adult beverages and the usual long list of 'crap to do around the house,' which I am also vigorously ignoring. The list is why we now have the A.N.T. board (ANT = A Nice Thing), on which I post daily chores for the Things to do. This helps me out by shifting responsibility on to them for a least 2 things a day. Sometimes, if I'm feeling particularly Mean-Mommy-ish, I make them each do 2 things each a day! The horror!!

It's kind of nice to have these couple of extra days off, because one of them (TODAY) is the anniversary of the day Biff and I got hitched. It's been 3 years, which I'm having a hard time believing. We are, I think, settling in nicely to this marriage thing, and hardly ever fight, and when we do it's because I start them, which is shameful because he's about the nicest guy you'd ever meet and doesn't deserve friction, at all. Sometimes I just lose my mind and get all testy. I'm sorry for that, LOML; you deserve better.

BUT! Anniversary! Exciting! What are we doing to celebrate it, you ask? I do not know, I answer. He is working today, while I am not. This should mean that I need to do up something nice for this evening, but he has band practice from 7 to 10 and it's 45 minutes away which means he'll be gone by 6 and back at 11. This makes 'doing something nice' rather an issue of timing, and what can you do that's memorable in 15 minutes (keeping your fool minds OUT OF THE GUTTER!)? Perhaps I shall make a delicious cake and put our wedding cake toppers on it, recreating the magic that was our dreadful-looking homemade wedding cake, this time without the black decorative icing, because, newsflash! It bleeds. Yes, a nice cake seems a requirement. And maybe a meal on the table for when he gets home from work, which means we will be eating about 3 hours before our normal 8 p.m., but it's all for LOVE, right, and he is worthy of the effort. Why, I might even do my hair nice and put on something pretty! Goodness, this is starting to sound like a lot of work. Clearly, I'm not really big into celebrating, or I'd have put much more thought and effort into this whole anniversary thing. Which is why I'm writing a post, so I can end it thusly:

Dear Biff

I began a poem with numbers
Counting minutes, hours, days
But numbers couldn't capture
The myriad of ways
Your love has recreated me
Opened up my heart
Changed my way of being
Offered a fresh start

It's impossible to make a sum
Of what you are to me
To put a simple number on
What it means to be
In this richest love with you
The very best of men
Who is my strong supporter
And a trusted loving friend

Counting up my blessings
Is impossible to do
There aren't numbers big enough
To describe how you
Have worked a miracle in me
And truly changed up my life
So words will have to shout it out
When integers won't suffice
I wish you a googolplex of love
From me, your lucky wife.


(Happy Anniversary, you big ol' hunka adorable dork. You rock.)