Friday, December 29, 2006

just needs the old John Hancocks...

Looks like we're finally selling our house :) By February I could be hiking in my own 13 acres of woods...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RIP: James Brown

Dear Godfather of Soul, even though you had some "issues" with domestic violence, your contribution to the American music landscape will be remembered always.

James Brown has now been added to my husband's running tally of musicians I have seen in concert that died shortly after I attended their concerts. Other names on this list include:

-Stevie Ray Vaughan (I was at his last concert; that night he died when his helicopter crashed into the ski hill at Alpine Valley)
-Jerry Garcia (I was at the last Grateful Dead show)
-Lou Rawls (died within a few months of us seeing him perform at Mohegan Sun Casino)

We saw James Brown maybe 3 years ago, so I'm thinking I'm not connected to his death. You may also note that Bob Dylan, Jon Bon Jovi, Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young, Ronnie James Dio, Vince Neil, and Eric Clapton are all still alive, despite my having seen them in concert, some of these as many as 15 years ago!

However, if it is true that I can kill artists merely by attending their concerts, I will need tickets to the following shows immediately: Clay Aiken, Nelly Furtado, Aaron Neville (who I already saw once but apparently my death mojo wasn't working that night), Paris Hilton, Toby Keith, Celine Dion...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Have great sex, help change the world

This year, I've vowed to mark the Winter Solstice with some sort of ritual. So, there I was, looking for ideas online, when I came across the GlobalOrgasm website. That's right, these folks want people across the globe to participate in a massive "synchronized global orgasm", at the time of the upcoming Winter Solstice (Dec 22). During and after orgasm, participants are asked to concentrate their thoughts on world peace. The idea is to create a huge surge of positive human energy in an effort to combat the high levels of aggression and violence present around the world today. I'll be the first to admit that the science behind the GlobalOrgasm project is certainly less than solid, but I'm happy to be a guinea pig in this experiment. See their blog for more.

Friday, December 15, 2006

PMS Book Review

I just finished this wonderful book:

And now, because I have PMS, I am totally choked up and sad and happy all at once. Actually, the book was so good that I probably would have cried regardless of the PMS...but that's enough talk about PMS.

"The Time Traveler's Wife", by Audrey Niffenegger, is a beautiful, crushing, uplifting, artistic, heart-rending tale of true love, with a highly original science-fiction twist. I can barely write any more about it as I am starting to get that "about-to-cry" headache again. All I can say is, read this book. You won't regret it (unless you also have PMS when you get to the end, in which case you may end up sobbing into a box of double-stuff oreos while wondering who would play Henry when the book is made into a movie and whether you would get to see him naked or not, and whether or not you would even want to, depending on how the filmmakers decide to handle the ending).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Merry Christmahannukwaanzaka to you!

With the house situation still in limbo, I've distracted myself with holiday decorating. I wasn't particularly eager to do it this year, having been enjoying the relative sparseness of a staged-for-sale home.

I should mention here that if it were possible to make a living in the clutter production trade, J would be CEO of the world's largest clutter-producing corporation. We can go from "showing-perfect" to "just-ransacked" in a matter of seconds. I keep trying to come up with creative organizational strategies that will help J reduce his clutter output, but haven't been completely successful. In an effort to eliminate his sea of post-its and torn scraps of paper (covered with phone numbers, website addresses, concert dates, movies to watch, CDs to buy, random calculations, etc), I bought him a PDA. The inside cover of the PDA is now covered with post-its. You see what I'm up against.

To get back on track, it's beginning to look pretty festive at our house. Which brings me to my next point. According to this article:

Americans are ready to put "Merry Christmas" back into holiday shopping, a new poll shows.

The majority of Americans surveyed - 95% - said they were not offended by a "Merry Christmas" greeting in stores, according to a poll by Zogby International.

However, 32% of respondents said they took offense at "Happy Holidays," the religiously neutral alternative promoted over the last few years as inclusive and inoffensive.

I actually take the Zogby polls, and I happened to take this one. I was among the 95% of Americans who is not offended by having a store clerk (or anyone for that matter) wish me a "Merry Christmas." Interestingly, the poll results confirmed a general sense I was getting, which was that my saying "Happy Holidays" is actually considered offensive by quite a few people. Yes, I celebrate Christmas, in the sense that I gather with family for food and the exchanging of gifts on Christmas day. But I am not actually celebrating Christmas as in celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In fact, for me the Winter Solstice will probably be the most spiritual day of the holiday season. Humans were celebrating during the yuletide season long before Christ was born, and it's not like I have to remind any of you where the vast majority of so-called Christmas decorations originated.

But back to the point. If you are a Christian and want to wish others a "Merry Christmas," by all means, go right ahead. By the same token, allow those of us who don't quite agree that "Jesus is the reason for the season", to wish you "Happy Holidays", without taking it as some sort of slam on Christianity. When I wish someone "Happy Holidays", it is because I sincerely hope that they will be able to spend happy times with friends and loved ones during the coming weeks, sharing in whatever traditions they choose to celebrate with each other. I fear that too many people, when they say "Merry Christmas", are really saying "Screw you, liberal heathens"...which I'm fairly sure was the real emotion behind the "tell the ACLU 'Merry Christmas'" scheme. (The ACLU has never filed any kind of anti-'Merry Christmas' lawsuit, by the way.)

So, how do I express myself this holiday season without offending? "Happy Holidays" is obviously risky, and "Happy Winter Solstice"--if the recipient even understands what that means--is just too new-agey and pagan for my taste. I think I'm going to follow J's lead and go with a good old "Happy Festivus".

Monday, December 04, 2006

another house update: thanks Ned Flanders?

So, we got an offer on the house this weekend. It was pretty low. We're in the midst of negotiations. We want everything to work out but we also don't want to give away our house for a steal.

Thank god I'm not buying a house by myself--I would be a total pushover. J tends more heavily toward stubborness, so I think we balance each other out well.

Hopefully all this will be a done deal soon!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

buy our motherf***ing house

So here's the latest: we have a contract signed on our dream house, contingent upon the sale of our current home. We have even had the "new" house inspected, to the tune of about $700. So now there's more than potential disappointment on the line--we're talking cash here!

We had somebody come look at our house last week. Apparently they've now narrowed their search down to 2 or 3 homes, of which ours is one. They are coming back to see it again this weekend. A very good sign. Someone new is also supposed to be coming to take a look at the place tomorrow. So we are poised for things to move forward. I just knew that burying that Ned Flanders figurine in the houseplant would be the solution! I never did say anything special when I buried it, so let me make a public attempt here and now:
Hi-diddly-ho there, prospective home buyers! This charming cape has much to offer. Newly refinished wood flooring, a cheerful color scheme, lots of natural lighting, and the back closet barely smells like dead mouse anymore. Just about every room in the house has been blessed via Bacchanalian ritual, and you'll enjoy sorting through all the crap that we plan on leaving in the basement. And just so you know, we've never had any problems from the neighbors or from the previous owner, who died in the driveway. You won't mind if we dig up a few of the plants before we leave, will you? Okely-dokely then, do we have a deal?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

the midwestern indoctrination continues

This year J was lucky enough to get the week of Thanksgiving off from work, so we road-tripped it from the east coast all the way back to Illinois to spend the week with my family. J is a brave man. Now, I've taken him back to my homeland before, so he knows all about the flatness, and the corn, and did I mention the flatness? This time he was lucky enough to be able to spend some time in downtown Chicago, but there was still something missing from his midwestern experience: he had never eaten at Steak & Shake.

What better meal to have the night before Thanksgiving than a big old Steak & Shake Frisco melt (the platter, of course) and a giant sippable sundae shake? That's what we thought, too.

After ravenously devouring everything on our table, we sat back to reflect on the experience. J turned to me and said, patting his belly, "Ugh, I feel like an engorged tick!"

My mother's jaw dropped open, and she fixed her eyes on us. "WHAT did he just say?!"

"Tick, mom, with a 'T'! He said he feels like an engorged TICK."

(P.S. You may have noticed the new look of the blog, and the new title. This is because I switched over to Blogger beta where I can actually understand what I'm doing when I edit the blog. Hope you don't mind the changes, but I bore easily. It's a wonder I kept it the same for so long!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


It's on its new Macbook Pro, that is! If pigs in shit are really as happy as we're made to think, then call me Porky and roll me in a cow pattie. I've used Macs in the past, but never for personal use, so I am beyond excited.

We have made an offer on a house (contigent upon the sale of our house, though luckily the sellers are being nice enough to give us plenty of time; that wouldn't stop them, however, from taking another offer if it came along). But anyway, we are signing the official contract on Thursday. It's a rockin' house, a 1978 contemporary on 13.5 wooded acres. We're very excited about it, but I'm maintaining a realistic perspective. The market for selling our house is terrible, and a major employer just announced it was leaving our town. So things aren't poised to improve anytime soon. In lieu of burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down in the yard, I plan to devise a similar ritual involving a small, plastic Ned Flanders figurine...

To Jennifer: You commented recently asking what we went to Belize for, and I tried to reply to your comment but Blogger was being screwy and it didn't take and I was too lazy to get around to it again. But what I wanted to say was that more stories and pictures from this Belize trip are forthcoming, pending the arrival of the Macbook, but that in the meantime, I thought you might be most interested in something we did there last year. We visited a cave called Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre). To enter the cave, you must swim about 100 ft, and you remain in water ranging from ankle- to chest-deep for about 80% of the tour. There are no guardrails, no installed lighting. When you get to the part with the artifacts (after climbing a large, near-vertical ladder and squiggling your way through some pretty small tunnel-like areas), you walk in your socks and are careful not to step on pottery fragments. Or areas of crystallized bone. Visitors won't be able to experience the cave like this for long. It was an amazing experience!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

my first time (you betta Belize it!)

When we visited Belize for the first time last year, I was aware of its stature as one of the world's top sites for scuba diving. But with all the time and expense involved with planning a wedding, I wasn't able to get dive certified in time for the trip (J has been certified for years). Turned out not to matter too much--we stayed on an island where good snorkeling could be had right off the beach, and J had a cold and wouldn't have been able to dive anyhow.

But when we decided to return to Belize earlier this year, I was determined to be able to dive there and see what all the fuss was about. I completed the first half of a PADI Open Water Diver course (classroom and pool sessions) in one weekend here in CT. While the rest of the suckers in my class would complete the open water portion of the certification in a Pennsylvania quarry, I headed down to the warm waters of Belize, referral in hand.

To complete my Open Water Diver certification, I would have to do 4 dives in 2 days. When we arrived on Caye Caulker, we stopped by the Belize Diving Service office to shore up our plans for the next day's dives. The weather had been overcast and rainy since we'd been in Belize, but we were told that they'd probably still be going out the next day, and to show up around 9 am.

The next morning, I was nervous. Diving sounded like a lot of fun, and I was excited to explore life under the sea, but it's an activity not without its very real dangers. On top of that, my anxiety was increased because of the fact that I had lied about one small item on my medical form, and had been advised not to dive by my neurologist but decided to take my chances (I'll save the details for another post, but in the meantime don't be's a migraine-related problem).

So anyway, having demonstrated that I knew how to assemble my gear, we (me, some other referral students, as well as a group of certified divers) got on the boat and headed off to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, about a 40 minute boat ride. The sky was still darkish, and there was intermittent rain. The water was choppy, and most everyone on the boat was keeping an eye on the horizon in an effort to ward off seasickness. Until recently, I have been immune to any kind of motion sickness. Maybe it's related to the onset of the migraine problem, but I've noticed that I'm a bit more sensitive to it these days. So needless to say, I was trying really hard to hold it together on the boat. I'd been assured that any seasickness would disappear once I got under the water, so I geared up and fell backwards over the side of the boat, ready for my first dive experience.

We descended slowly, but the abundance of the sea life was immediately apparent. Fish were everywhere, we didn't have to go very deep to see beautiful coral formations, and we even saw a group of nurse sharks. The problem was, I still felt pretty damned queasy. I had not been instructed on the finer points of retching underwater while trying to breathe from a tank, and I really didn't want to find out how well that would work. I breathed as calmly and steadily as possible, and tried to enjoy my first dive.

After about 35 minutes, we made our way to the surface, and within seconds of my head hitting air, the contents of my stomach were being gobbled up by a group of fish who had quickly found their way to my special floating buffet. J came up below me, so he got a nice view of this scene. A few more hurls in the rough water, and I got back into the boat. We had to wait an hour before diving again, an hour which I spent sitting silently, trying to calm my stomach. After one more fish-feeding session over the side of the boat, it was time to dive again. I felt better during the second dive than during the first, but once again, upon hitting the surface, the heaving began. This time, there wasn't much left...nothing the fish were particularly interested in, anyway.

We returned to the island around 3:30, and I didn't feel normal again until about 8 that night. Determined to finish my certification, I loaded up on Dramamine and showed up at the dive shop again the next morning. The other students were impressed at my tenacity and resilience, but no way was I going home with the damn thing half-finished (no quarry dives for me!).

The second day of diving was a completely different experience. We had better weather (and thus no choppy boat ride), and I think Dramamine is a miracle drug (I'd never tried it before). Unlike the end of the first day, by the end of the second I was already thinking about when I'd get to dive again.

Just call me Jacqueline Cousteau:

*Note: The whole crew at Belize Diving Service, including my instructor Ines, were awesome, and I would highly recommend them if you're ever on Caye Caulker and want to dive.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

you betta Belize it!

Returned late last night from a too-short return trip to Belize. I'll have stories and a few pictures to share over the next day or so, but first I wanted to share my excitement over a few pieces of news that broke just as we returned to the States:

1. Democrats take back the House, and may still yet gain control of the Senate, depending on the outcome in Virginia. We were glued to CNN at the Miami aiport last night, and again at home from about 2 to 4 am, and again upon waking this morning. I kind of missed being around for the full coverage, but I'm not sorry I missed the final week of campaign ads. (We'd already voted absentee weeks ago, no worries!) I hope the rest of the world can really see now that the American people are as fed up with this administration as they are. I just hope the election results amount to something, and that we can really see some big changes being made. Yes, we've got to change course in Iraq, but it's equally important that we fix healthcare and education here at home, and, yeah, raising the minimum wage would be nice too.

2. Britney files for divorce from K-Fed!! Here's where you can see that I'm a well-rounded person with a wide array of interests. I'm the first to admit that I enjoy some celeb gossip now and then, and I have to say I really had given up hope on Britney (not that I ever held her in especially high regard). But ever since she married that idiot, I just figured she was more comfortable reverting to her "country" (as she puts it) ways, popping out babies, eating Cheetos and putting up with all kinds of shit from a loser husband who was just milking her for everything he could get. But now she's actually leaving him, and now I can take solace in the fact that even the most seemingly hopeless cases can grow a spine and walk away from that kind of crap, maybe even with a little bit of dignity.

3. Back to the important stuff. Rumsfeld FINALLY resigned today, and it's about friggin' time. Seems to me they were waiting for the election results to make the final decision, because you know the Dems are going to launch some big bad investigations now, and Rummy doesn't want to be around to take the heat directly. If only we could get rid of Cheney and impeach Bush...but I'll take what I can get for now.

Friday, October 20, 2006

are your crossed fingers cramping up yet?

Mine are. Long story short, we've heard diddly squat on the house (to my one international reader: that means "nothing"!) I'm not even going to speculate on what happened. From talking to others who have gone through the home selling/buying nightmare, these things are to be expected. I suppose I should be thankful that we didn't get as far as having things in writing and *then* have the deal fall through. It's probably best that the lady disappeared this early on.

In an attempt to be optimistic, I will say that at least it seems we may have hit a price point that is generating more interest.

Also, I will say to anyone reading this who may be looking to buy a house: don't fuck with people. It's not nice, especially in this market. And if you decide you're not interested after making some tentative moves toward an offer, at least have the courtesy to let someone know. Maybe this is karmic payback for that time I went on a date with a guy I thought was really fun, but then on the date I realized I wasn't attracted to him--it was like a brother kind of thing--so instead of having the balls to tell him straight up I wasn't interested, I simply ignored all his calls until he stopped calling. I felt bad about that for a really long time, pretty much until the guy married a really great girl, which assuaged my guilt.

But anyway, I am *this* close to burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down in my yard...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Yesterday we got the call: someone was making an offer on our house. We shared a few moments of excitement, which quickly lapsed into J admitting "I feel like I'm going to puke." I suppose excitement manifests itself differently for everyone!

They had offered us $10K less than our asking price, which we had just dropped by $10K about a week ago. So, J was reluctant to take it. (OK, I'll just say it, my husband is *stubborn*, no 2 ways about it). I can certainly understand his position, but considering our house has been on the market 4 months and this was our first offer, and adding in the fact that it is now a *total* buyer's market, especially in our area...well let's just say if it had been totally up to me I would have just taken the offer and been done with it.

We have countered with a number $5K more than they offered. You would think that if these are reasonable people, and if they really like the house, $5K should not be a big deal. But for now we just have to sit here and wait for the phone to ring...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

another episode of "why I love science"!

"The whole of science consists of data that, at one time or another, were inexplicable." - B. O'Regan

Anyone who knows me knows I am a skeptic. If you forward me a stupid e-mail, I'm the one who'll look in up on and send a rebuttal to the whole list. I don't believe in the paranormal, which means that certain people in my life don't enjoy watching "Ghosthunters" with me. I turn my nose up at "spirit balls" or other weird smudges in graveyard photographs, and thoroughly enjoyed a recent exhibit on "spirit photography" (which explained how all the tricks were done). What non-skeptics consider paranormal, I consider "things that science will eventually explain".

Having a background in neuroscience, I was especially intrigued and delighted to read this article in the NY Times, which chronicles recent discoveries that begin to explain (scientifically, that is) out-of-body experiences and other strange sensations once considered (not by me, of course) to fall within the realm of the paranormal:
They are eerie sensations, more common than one might think: A man describes feeling a shadowy figure standing behind him, then turning around to find no one there. A woman feels herself leaving her body and floating in space, looking down on her corporeal self.

Such experiences are often attributed by those who have them to paranormal forces.

But according to recent work by neuroscientists, they can be induced by delivering mild electric current to specific spots in the brain. In one woman, for example, a zap to a brain region called the angular gyrus resulted in a sensation that she was hanging from the ceiling, looking down at her body. In another woman, electrical current delivered to the angular gyrus produced an uncanny feeling that someone was behind her, intent on interfering with her actions.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It was bad enough having to get up at 4:45 AM to make it to the airport for a 6:45 AM flight. On top of that, I knew the plane was going to be one of those small ones, because the airline recently (for some ungodly reason) switched over all of their flights between Chicago and Hartford from normal, safer-feeling planes to the tiny, wobbly ones where you can barely hear yourself think over the engine noise. I'd also forgotten to medicate myself, it being so early and all.

I had a driver to take me to the airport, and noticing his foreign accent, I started to chit-chat with him, asking where he was from and the like (he was Bulgarian). Halfway to the airport, he suddenly--and OUT OF NOWHERE, I might add--asks me, "Do you believe in God?" Now, aside from the fact that this is a highly inappropriate question for a service provider to ask his customer (who is TRAPPED in his car with no escape), my immediate reaction to this question was an overwhelming feeling of being in a bad made-for-TV movie, this scene being the one that foreshadows my forthcoming doom in the rickety plane I am on my way to board.

I made the mistake of telling him I was an agnostic (which I then had to define for him). He went on to preach to me for the entire remainder of the car ride, basically telling me that if a person *really* wants to find God, he will (no shit). To add insult to injury he alluded to his being a veterinarian by training and thinking that evolution was ridiculous (WRONG way to approach the religion topic with me, sunshine). As we pulled up to the terminal, he said he was sorry we didn't have more time, and that perhaps we would meet again, maybe he would even pick my husband and I up from the airport at Thanksgiving (we are definitely now going to drive, not fly!)

Lesson learned: next time a stranger asks me if I believe in God, I will steal a line from Frank Lloyd Wright and answer, "Yes, I believe in god. I spell it N-A-T-U-R-E."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Before I moved in with J, I had one simple rule: I don't do garbage. I mean, I knew I'd get stuck with the majority of the household tasks, so I just wanted to lay it down right then and there. I never wanted to take the garbage out again. This is probably because in my last apartment I lived on the third floor, so taking the garbage out meant going all the way downstairs--not forgetting the keys since the doors locked automatically--and then going into the darkest corner of the parking lot to the dumpster, where sometimes a homeless man would be hanging out to collect the recyclables, touching the nasty dumpster lid, and then taking the 3 flights back up to my apartment.

Well, my friends, I believe that I have just discovered a household task that makes taking the garbage out seem like a day watching monkeys fondle themselves at the zoo (which, in case there's any doubt, is something I would consider FUN):

The worst household task EVER is having to fix an inside-out plunger after having frantically plunged a crap-clogged toilet. It's bad enough when the thing goes inside-out mid-plunge as the water rises in the clogged bowl, because then you don't know if it'll still work or if you'll end up with shit water all over your cream-colored bathroom rug. But then you have to deal with the fear of that thing splashing shit-water at your face as you try to put it right (and you can't just put it back on the floor inside-out because, well let's just say one should never have to see what's on the inside of the plunger after a frantic plunging).

Monday, September 11, 2006


I was on the treadmill at the University of Illinois gym when it happened. The Today show was on the overhead TV, but I was listening to music on my headphones when I saw the first footage of the WTC on fire. At first, I thought they were showing movie footage. The thought that this could be REAL, and happening right NOW, was almost impossible to grasp. I had switched over to the TV audio in time to see the second plane hit on live television, and was completely and utterly stunned.

I got home and stayed glued to the television. I also called my mother to find out where my father was. He is an American Airlines pilot. Turns out he had been flying, but had landed safely just before the tragedy happened. After watching the towers fall on television, I didn't know what else to do so I went to work. Many of the other people in my lab are not Americans, so I don't know if that's why a CD and not the news was playing on the stereo, but I was dumbfounded that no one else seemed to appreciate the magnitude of what was happening. Was I the only one afraid that the attacks weren't over? Yes, it was true that we were a thousand miles from New York, but the absurdity of what had happened already that morning meant that nothing would be impossible now. I somewhat angrily dialed up the news on the radio, and struggled to get through the day. At some point that day, or maybe the next, at home in my apartment, I thought about the number of people who had lost someone in the attacks--a mother or father, a daughter or son, a sister or brother, a friend--and I cried.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hey everybody! To document my new-found obsession with bonsai, I've started up a new blog dedicated to the subject. Follow along with my successes and (hopefully not too many!) failures over here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I just never got around to it because other things kept getting in the way. Like air.

There really is no excuse for this, only that I used to approach all my school work in exactly the same way. I’d write papers three hours before they were due, study for tests as I walked to the room where they were being given, finish my homework as the teacher was collecting it. I performed best under that kind of pressure, and my teachers often told me that they wished all their students would work as hard as I did. If I could patent my technique I would call it Laziness™.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I think it is this feature of my personality that has lead me to experience near-Catholic levels of guilt for the greater part of my life.
Who am I kidding, I am getting fat and it's not even winter! I just put on some jeans (that I bought about 15 pounds ago) and while they still zip, they definitely accentuate the beginnings of a muffin-top. I will NOT be that girl. Now, I could just resort to wearing nothing but big flowy hippie skirts and just let those hips and thighs swell up like Meg Ryan's lips, but perhaps some exercise is a better course of action.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Things I am currently obsessed with:
-Organic foods and nutritional supplements

Things I have become obsessed with--or at least pretty gung-ho about--in the past (and then kind of lost interest in after a few days or weeks):
-Digital scrapbooking
-the "Grocery Game"
-the Atkins diet
-the South Beach diet
-"Sqaure Foot" gardening
-Guinea pigs (I still have them and like them, but am not reading about them every day)
-Taking vitamins (this one comes and goes)
-Exercising (ditto)
-Trading tapes of live Phish shows
-Drawing (I wasn't very good anyway)
-Meditation (would like to do it but don't reliably make the time)
-Yoga (ditto)
-Pilates (hurts my butt too much, though I like it in theory)
-Karate (I may return to this)
-Myspace (still use it, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly)

I think I have inherited this problem from my father. He has become obsessed and then subsequently lost interest in many things over the years, including food dehydration, home juicing, playing the piano and guitar, home picture matting and framing, photography, and stock trading.

I draw the line at buying ridiculous infomercial products. I can take solace in at least that much.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I just made my first ever Craigslist post (in the rants/raves section, which seemed to be the best fit), and it happens to be a story I feel like sharing here as well:

You pulled up next to me in the post office parking lot, right into the one handicapped spot. I glared at you, and then, as you were getting out of your car, I muttered loudly "that's a *handicapped* spot!" You responded, "check the plates." Like a coward, I kept my back to you as I offered a halfhearted apology. You followed me into the post office and said "you really should know someone's history before you start asking questions." You were right.

Let me explain myself. That week, I'd seen several people--who were clearly not handicapped--using handicapped spots (yes, I checked the plates). Normally, I'm not one to say anything. But you, you did not look handicapped at all! No wheelchair, no limp, and you walked just fine on your own into the post office. I considered that perhaps the plate was for someone else in your family and that you were just cheating, but then why would you have been so confrontational with me? It wasn't until I got back outside that I saw your plates, and now only were they marked with the handicapped symbol, they also said "veteran". Now I really felt like shit. But more than that, I wondered what could actually be wrong with you, seeing there was nothing visibly handicapped about you. Was it a war injury? Do they give handicapped plates for PTSD? Maybe you have epilepsy? No, then you'd have had your driver's license revoked. It remains a mystery. Let me just say once and for all, if you really are handicapped, I'm sorry that I said anything. You happened to be the object of my accumulated frustration over people misusing the handicapped spots. I will think twice before reprimanding strangers in the future.

One more thing that you might be glad to know: karma has already punished me for my harsh words toward you. Last night, I used the handicapped stall in a public restroom (come on now, who doesn't!). When I emerged, there was a woman in a wheelchair waiting outside the stall. I've never experienced such a clear example of karmic payback.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

As a lover of science, it pains me deeply to know how backward the United States is when it comes to the evolution-creation/"intelligent" design "debate". It's embarrassing, really, a big, fat stupid "L" on the forehead of American science. Once and for all:

-Evolution IS a theory. A theory like gravity. And I sure as hell don't see anybody throwing themselves off buildings to disprove that one.

-If you use an arguments such as "you'll never see a monkey give birth to a human baby now, will ya?!" or "if we came from monkeys, then how come there are still monkeys?" in an attempt to "disprove" evolution, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire process. Go read some Dawkins.

So, in light of my horror over the inadequacy of the American educational system and its probable relationship with US religiosity, I am especially pleased to report that Dr. Dino himself, prominent creationist Kent Hovind, is a big fat crook.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Saturday night we were wild and crazy kids, staying up til 4 AM. What were we doing, you may ask? Cleaning the house, that's what. We had an open house planned for Sunday, and it was my chance to use every ounce of my OCD for the powers of good. Of course, one never knows what to expect with these things. At about 2:30 am, J said to me "please don't cry if no one shows up". I assured him I would try not to.

On Sunday the house looked so good, it almost made me not want to sell it. And, thankfully, people did show up, so I was able to save my tears for sappy Today show segments that I should not watch while I have PMS. Only 2 couples looked at the house, but apparently one couple expressed a lot of interest (and their son wanted to know if the guinea pigs were part of the deal). So keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, July 21, 2006

In honor of the fact that we have not yet killed each other (and hopefully this will remain the case at the time of our 1-year anniversary), J and I have decided to go back to Belize this fall. As of this morning, the tickets have been purchased!! :)

This time, we're going to stay on Caye Caulker, a laid-back, bohemian strip of sand right off the barrier reef. Six days of chilling and scuba diving, sounds about right to me. (OK, we might visit this place, too...just to switch it up).

Sorry, J hadn't had enough coffee yet this morning to be giddy about this with me, so I'm sharing my overflow of excitement with you, Internet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My doorbell rang at 9:30 this morning, and I wasn't expecting anyone. I was still in my nightgown. I grabbed my robe (which, for summer, is short and satiny) and frantically ran about the house, trying to decide what to do. But then the bell rang again and, against my better judgement, I answered the door. Right away, I knew it was THEM: the Jehovah's Witnesses here to try to save my poor heathen soul.

In an effort to get rid of them, I tried to explain that I was working and that I'd be happy to take their literature, and, GOODBYE, NOW! They asked if it would be alright if they came back another time to see how I'd enjoyed my complimentary copies of the Watchtower and Awake!. I said, well, OK, but not during my business hours, which I explained were between 9 and 6. (Sorry, J, I know I should have said no but this is what happens when you are not here to help me with these things).

Now that my panic has died down and I can look at what transpired in retrospect, I wonder what those 2 nice ladies must have thought about a woman in a short silky robe with disheveled hair (and not much interest in the Lord) trying to explain that she works out of her home and that these are her business hours and that she really needed to get back to work...

Friday, July 14, 2006

tequila, inducer of apocalyptic dreams

Last night after 2 margaritas, I had a very vivid and detailed dream.

First there was a very short pre-dream, in which my friends Chrissy and Dave had gone to a movie and text-messaged me the ending: "The punks did it!"

Then, the big dream began. It started out with a cryptic premonitory note from my mother, warning us to fill up the car with gas and prepare to evacuate. While it was not exactly spelled out, I interpreted this to have something to do with upcoming potentially apocalyptic world events that would require mass fleeing and chaos. Next thing I knew, I was in the driveway of Heather and Jon Armstrong (of dooce and blurbomat, respectively), where Heather was completely freaking out, muttering about sea monsters and other things. In the meantime, there *was* mass chaos in the streets, and school buses lined the neighborhood, and everyone was being told to put their children on the buses. I had a strange feeling that something was not quite right, that maybe this was just a covert alien plot to abduct all of earth's children. But Heather was convinced that the earth was under attack of some kind and that putting the children on the buses was the right thing to do.

Fast forward to a sort of post-war scene, devoid of most people (at this point Heather was hiding in her attic in an almost catatonic state and Jon was creeping around the yard trying to avoid being seen), and full of overturned cars and other debris. Suddenly, a mass of youths came spilling out into the streets, cheering and causing a ruckus. I realized, "the punks did it!" It had been their plot all along to rid the world of mainstreamers by taking away their children, and they had succeeded by convincing everyone that the earth was under some kind of horrible attack.

(A side note: while I identified the youths as "punks" in the dream, and they did *act* like punks, they were clearly attired as goths.)

I need to stop drinking tequila before bedtime.

Monday, July 10, 2006

house-hunting heartbreak

So, as of today, our house is *officially* up for sale. We spent the weekend refinishing our deck (turns out the wood hadn't actually turned grey, it was just covered in a thick coat of mildew!), but still have a ton of organizing to do before I will actually feel comfortable having a showing. Tonight we tackle the nightmare of laundry and crap that is our bedroom.

Yesterday our realtor took us out to look at 2 houses we'd seen listed online. We absolutely fell in love with one of them, a huge colonial on over 2 acres with a big pond in the backyard. And it was a steal, price-wise. We spent the afternoon saying things like "we could put in a patio" and "I could build us a little dock there on the pond for our kayaks". Our realtor was supposed to call the agent and get "the scoop" on the house last night. We haven't heard from him yet. Last night I went online to look at the listing again, and lo and behold the house was listed as "Pending" sale. J says not to get too upset, that anything could happen, but I'm pretty sure we won't be getting that house. :( To cope with the not-quite-loss (can't really lose what wasn't yours to begin with!) I simply went back online and looked for more listings. Screw you, Buttermilk Lane, we can do better!

Monday, July 03, 2006

dream report

The other night I dreamt about falling. Two consecutive/connected dreams in which I fell from great heights, to be exact.

In the first part of the dream, I fell from or off of a very very tall building. Actually, it was the Sears Tower, but because the imagery as I fell in the dream was so vivid, I can tell you for sure that despite the great height of the Sears Tower, it was more like falling from an airplane. It was a LONG fall, and I wasn't terribly frightened. As the ground features became more visible, I started to look for a soft landing pad (as if I could somehow steer myself towards a dumpster or a truck full of feathers?), but suddenly a gust of wind blew me towards a body of water. I landed in the water and because it turned out to be something like a pond in the middle of an urban park, I walked right out of it unharmed.

Then, a while later, I was in the Sears Tower elevator with SV when something went terribly awry. There was a rumble or something, and then suddenly we knew that the building was falling straight over. Gravity shifted abruptly so that I was sort of stuck to the ceiling (formerly the side of the elevator). SV was wearing a hat and I grabbed for it while trying to brace myself in some sort of crash position. The next thing that happened was that the dream shifted into movie voice was narrating, saying things about how I had died. So that was strange, because in some way I did die in the fall yet not really because there was my voice narrating as if it were fiction. And then the dreaming continued with me in it somehow.

Isn't there an urban legend or something that says if you fall and die in your dream you've died in real life? Well, this isn't the first time I've fallen and died in a dream, and I'm still here to tell you about it, aren't I? Unless of course my brain is somewhere in a vat and none of this is real...think about that one, why don't ya?

Friday, June 30, 2006

so far today,

I have:

1) Locked myself out of the house. J had already left for work. I called him from the neighbors' (the only neighbors we really have any sort of relationship with are the retired couple next door. She has ulcerative colitis--I know because she's spent a LOT of time telling me about it--and for some reason was wearing a piece of scotch tape across her forehead and going all the way around her head. Maybe it was meant to match the housecoat? I digress...) and luckily he was able to call his dad, who works nearby and has a key to the house, to come and let me in. I did have to wait almost 40 minutes, during which time I walked the dog up and down the block--taking her for a walk was the reason I went outside in the first place--picked up one poop, and sprinted away from another one as I had no more baggies. She kept trying to squat but I made her run home, cruel, I know. I hear you can get hemmorrhoids from holding it in, but hopefully that doesn't apply to dogs.

2) Finished the big powerpoint presentation I've been working on for days, went to send it out to the client, copying some of the higher-ups on my e-mail, only to send it out with no attachment. I am chalking the flakiness up to pre-4-day-weekend-brain fog.

3) Found out that "bringing the gifts to the altar"--the task I've been assigned at a Catholic wedding ceremony tomorrow (J is a groomsman)--means I will be carrying the bread and wine (before it gets transmogrified into Jesus meat and Jesus juice, of course) up to the priest. If the church doesn't burn down we will have had a successful day. I also think I should probably not wear the animal-print, cleavage-baring dress I bought for the occasion until the reception.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

easily amused

Stupid laugh of the day: Hitler Cats

The latest event to remind me that I'm becoming an out-of-touch old fogey:

I step up to the window at Scoopy Doo's to order my ice cream. It is Friday night, and the place is staffed by teenagers. It is almost closing time, and they are a bit rambunctious, playing hip-hop and jumping around. I give my order, and they swarm to the window, yelling: "Drop it like it's hot, and you'll get your ice cream for free! DROP IT LIKE IT'S HOT!! COME ON, DROP IT LIKE IT'S HOT!".

I look at the girl. "Um, I'm too old to know what that even means. I have no idea what it is you want me to do." As they looked at me, I could feel the hairs on my head losing their pigment and my breasts inching more quickly toward the ground. They gave up and asked for my order again. They tried the same thing on J, who saved the day by reciting his order AND dropping it like it's hot *simultaneously*, even adding a provocative thrust at the end. He is my hero.

Monday, June 12, 2006

one of the joys of telecommuting

Maybe it's because we were away most of the weekend...but it's probably just because he's such a slut. This is where Monty has parked himself this morning, and I swear he got into this position all by himself:

Sunday, June 11, 2006

all you need is LOVE

The Girl and The Boy got hitched yesterday! It was sweet and also kind of muddy ceremony followed by a rockin' reception, both held on a very lovely property. A good time was had by all, to be sure. I was honored to be included in the big day. Congratulations to the happy couple!! :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

church camp

Just got back from a long-awaited communion with nature. 5 nights camping in Acadia National Park (that's in Maine, on the Atlantic Ocean, in case you didn't know).

Beautiful pine forests, with floors of granite interspersed with soft spongy beds of pine needles and moss. Ferns springing forth from every surface. From rocky summits, grand views of treed islands and hidden lakes. Muscles flexing to scramble up just one more hill of rocks to see what lies beyond. Waves crashing against rocky shores. At night, stars and silence; cool forest mists. At every turn, life plentiful and spectacular. Warm rain falling against our skin as we stumble over rocks along the wooded lakeshore, thunder and pines our only chaperones.

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike." -John Muir

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Quirky Teleworky, Vol 2

How many days of telework* does it take before you have a day where you just don't quite get around to showering?


To be fair, it was on the fourth day that no shower was to be had. The first three days, the potential presence of the IT guy or the AT&T technician prompted me to groom appropriately. With no such pressure on the fourth day, I went makeup-free and, by late afternoon, was sporting a Pebbles Flintstone hairdo.

You may also be surprised to learn that I've been fairly productive working at home. I think the main driver may be the company's somewhat draconian time-tracking system. As far as I know, there are no job codes for "reading celebrity gossip online" or "toilet cleaning", and if there were, they certainly wouldn't be billable.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"Telework" sounds so Orwellian

Having spent the weekend assembling Ikea office furniture, I was ready for my first day of telecommuting. I spent the first 2 hours of my day waiting for the IT guy to show up, only to find out that he'd been given the wrong date. Without access to the company network, I spent the majority of the day attempting to read background articles, though I was frequently interrupted by the dog's demands to be alternately let in and out of the house. I did spend the day at my desk, resisting the urge to read on the couch (mainly because I was sure I would have fallen asleep).

The day was capped off by an account status call during which my coworkers were soundly put in their place by some really bitchy clients. They talked to us as if we were in the principal's office with our parents after being caught behind the school with the burnouts--that cool, calm tone with a not-so-subtle undercurrent of disgust and disappointment. I am going to love working on this account, I can just tell...

Day 2 is starting out just like day 1--waiting for servicepeople to arrive. The IT guy is supposed to be here at 9; the phone guy anytime before noon. The majority of my afternoon was going to be spent on a phone call, but it was cancelled so I'll have to find something else to do. I have a project but am frankly not quite sure what exactly it is I'm supposed to do with it. Perhaps I should find out...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Guys, TMI warning...

So, my whole adult life I've made it a point to schedule my yearly "lady doctor" visit with a female practitioner. This isn't because I have the notion that male gynecologists are somehow perverts or that they're going to get really excited about poking my private parts with cold metal objects and gloved fingers, but just because it always seemed more comfortable to go to a woman. Women can sympathize with how idiotic you feel with your feet in the stirrups, all your womanly glory on full display in a decidely non-erotic and fairly uncomfortable way.

The ob/gyn I've been seeing the last couple years, Dr. S, is ridiculously hard to book. Appointments have to be made months in advance. For a number of reasons I had to call today to change my upcoming appointment, and was trying to book it for a specific day. "Dr. S is on vacation that day, but Dr. O is available," I was told. Grateful that an appointment was available at all on the day I'd requested, I took it. As soon as I hung up the phone, I realized my problem: I had no idea if Dr. O was a man or a woman.

Turns out, he's a man, and I am going to have to deal with it. So, ladies, if you care to comment: do you have a preference whether to go to a man or a woman ob/gyn? If you've been to both, was there a difference? Did you worry more or less about how well-groomed you were? Do you feel more or less comfortable with an older male doctor? Discuss.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I resigned from my job this week, which turned out to be a lot more complicated than I'd anticipated. Offers, counteroffers, counter-counteroffers...well, it *is* nice to be wanted, I suppose. Truth be told, I'm not particularly passionate about my career. However, it's something I can do fairly well and the money's pretty decent. I suppose the same could be said for some of the Craigslist "Gigs" my friend V was telling me about yesterday. A man in the northwest suburbs of Chicago is willing to pay $500 a pop (plus travel) for a weekly foot-job or handjob, performed topless. I mean, come on, $500 for a handjob! Maybe she was right to be tempted. I did warn her that, for that sum, chances are that there's a camera hidden in the closet and she'd soon end up on handjobsluts dot com, masturbatory fodder for nasty men worldwide. Somewhere else in the burbs, a couple was seeking a topless woman to film them having sex. The job pays $100. If anything, Craigslist--like the ads in the back of alternative weeklies--is a fascinating glimpse into human nature.

But I digress (and have probably just added a whole slew of dangerous search results to my blog). My new job is in the same industry I'm currently in, but the big change is that I'll be working out of my home for a Chicago-based company. I'm very much looking forward to no more commuting, but am a little worried about being cooped up in the house all day. I may have to rig up the TV with a mini electric fence and put on a shock collar each morning so that I won't be tempted to take Springer breaks. My other worry is that I'll be distracted with house cleaning. I suggested to J that we hire the Merry Maids to come in every other week, but I don't think I've sold him on it yet. Anway, I'm sure I'll have a lot to chronicle as I transition to the telecommuting life. If nothing else, I'll keep you posted on V's career search...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

So, TomKat had a girl. Brooke Shields did too (on the same day, no less). And, Brangelina are supposedly in Namibia, where she is due to pop any moment.

Just thought I'd keep you all enlightened on these subjects of international importance.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

BBFK did it, so I had to, too...

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In your FACE, you silly Creationists! (once *again*, that is):

"Missing Link" found between sea and land animals

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dear Lady From the Office Across the Hall Who I Often Run Into in the Bathroom,

How old are you, anyway? From the way you walk and your slight hunch, I'd guess about 80. Your facelift isn't fooling anybody. Seriously, you look like Joan Rivers, but much, much older. I know you work in the law office across the hall, but somehow I doubt you are a lawyer. What do you do over there? And WHERE is it you go every day after work? I see you most days in the bathroom around 4:30, standing in front of the mirror reapplying makeup and fixing your hair. It takes you forever. Guess what--you still look 80, even with fresh lipstick. I heard that you go to a bar most days after work and hang out. Are you trying to pick up men (EWWWW!)? I don't get the feeling that you're a drunk. Shouldn't you be home knitting things for your great-grandchildren? Seriously, lady, you weird me out. Especially the way you won't touch the door handle with your bare hands when you leave the bathroom (even though I can still smell your crotch odor after you leave the stall. Thanks for that.)

Someone Who Uses the Same Bathroom as You in Your Office Building

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

In addition to starting up with the meditation group, I've started going to yoga classes. Yeah, yeah, look at me, all zen and shit.

Anyway, I'd just like to point out some of the pros and cons of yoga, from the perspective of my very limited experience:

-It's very relaxing
-It improves flexibility
-It promotes a sense of peace
-That cool vibrating feeling when you chant "Om" (even though I wanted to laugh the first time)

-Trying not to fart during the ass-in-the-air poses is really distracting

Friday, March 24, 2006

Last night, J and I attended a meditation sitting group. Neither of us had any real experience with insight meditation (also known as Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition), but we were interested in trying it out--J mostly for stress-reduction reasons, and I for a multitude of reasons, including gaining a better understanding of the connections between meditation, zen, neuroscience, and emotion (read more about that here, here, and here).

Vincent, one of the "leaders" of the group (I put that in quotes because from the little I know it seems inappropriate to refer to anyone as a leader in this context), agreed to meet with us prior to the sitting group meeting to give us a little bit of beginner instruction. The meditation practice is very simple, in theory. You sit for a designated period of time, and focus on breathing. When your mind wanders, and it will, you gently refocus your concentration on the act of breathing and nothing else. You can focus on the feeling of the air moving past your upper lip, or--as I chose to do--focus on the way your chest expands and relaxes as you take each breath. I found myself having to picture fat pink lungs and moving ribs as I breathed, which I hoped was acceptable, at least for a beginner.

Vincent led us through just a few minutes of this, and then we joined the group for their half hour meditation. We got settled on our cushions, a candle was lit in the middle of the room, and Vincent gently sounded a small chime to let us know to begin. The room was small, and very quiet. In addition to the sounds of your own breath, you could hear other peoples' stomach noises. For some reason I felt myself needing to swallow often, and was very conscious that other people could hear it. Obviously I was having trouble not thinking of anything but my breath. Then, maybe 5 minutes into the half hour session, it happened. I swallowed, and some of my spit tried to make its way down the wrong pipe. I had no idea whether coughing was acceptable. I mean, people were trying to *concentrate*, for Buddha's sake! So instead, I swallowed many times, rapidly. I am fairly sure the girl next to me probably thought I was about to vomit, because to me, the swallowing noises sounded a bit like my cat before he hacks up a hairball. At this point, concentrating on breathing was a joke. I was too worried about choking to death, but more so about disturbing the others in the group. Finally, it became too much and I had to cough. Several times in a row. I think someone felt sorry for me because shortly afterward there was a throat-clearing noise in the room, as if to say "it's OK, it happens to the best of us". Someone else coughed once later on too. I should have just coughed right at the beginning and not put myself through the torture of trying to hold it in, because once it was over, everything was fine. (Except for the minor distractions of worrying whether or not the people closest to me could smell my bare feet, wondering if I was allowed to shift positions during the session, and hoping that when my spine cracked during an attempt to sit up straighter, it didn't reverberate throughout the room).

After the meditation, there was a lesson. I won't get into it here, because I don't even know if I could do it justice with my limited understanding. However, I would like to mention that there was one member of the group we found particularly amusing. Apparently he was also new (he'd been there the week before), and he liked to ask a lot of questions during the teaching portion, our favorite of which was (asked in a slightly concerned voice), "so, you don't think it's possible to reach enlightenment in this lifetime?" I think his ego may get in the way of his practice.

As for us, we really enjoyed the meditation and the teachings, and it looks like we'll be going back. However, seeing as J's state of mind went from calm to fury in about 4 seconds upon confronting an asshole driver on the road after the meeting, I will be driving home from now on, lest the experience be a complete waste of time...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wife, upon walking into the bathroom and detecting a foul but familiar odor: "Are you pissing in the shower?"

Husband: "I'm multi-tasking. Just be glad the drain isn't bigger."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today, the Reviews of New Food at McSweeney's had me rolling with laugher. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

So apparently, you are exempt from federal drug laws if you can justify breaking them on the grounds of being delusional.

Hey, government! I've come to realize that the only way I can connect with god is by dropping acid and then running naked through the electronics department at Wal-Mart every Saturday. Better not try to stop me...THIS IS MY RELIGION, after all.

Anyone want to join my new church? God likes it when you donate at half your earnings to your church leader. While you're at it, you can scoop my cats' litter boxes, too. I'll be waiting with the Kool-Aid when you're finished.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I have always prided myself on being a brave and cooperative dental patient. I have never been afraid of the dentist, and even handle novacaine shots fairly well despite my confirmed phobia of needles.

However, according to the dental hygienist I had the pleasure of spending time with this afternoon, I am:

1) Doing a terrible job with my flossing
2) Doing an even worse job brushing, so that:
3) I have been systematically causing my gums to recede (and they DON'T GROW BACK)and this has resulted in
4) near-exposure of the roots of my molars so that:
5) I AM KILLING MY TEETH AND GUMS AND am doomed to a future of unenjoyable eating and sure tooth-death

All this was delivered with the pleasant type of bedside manner you might expect from Dr. Laura, along with a rather non-gentle (read--a half hour of jabbing and stabbing my mouth) tooth cleaning.

All I can say is, thank god she isn't my gynecologist.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I Love:

-the way he giggles when I get him in those tickles-so-much-but-feels-so-good spots

-that I'm convinced he can read my mind

-the way he walks through the kitchen on his toes in the morning

-that he can make me laugh until my face hurts

-that he sometimes wears mismatched argyle socks on purpose

-that he brings me coupons

-that he still plans romantic surprises, and still brings me flowers

-the way his voice sounds on the radio

-watching him "do" his hair

-the way he smells

-knowing he would get into a fight over me (even though I wouldn't want him to)

-the way he tries to protect me when I cross the street

-that he comes to get me when he finds a cool bug in the yard

-his karaoke impressions of Christopher Cross, Neil Young, and Ronnie James Dio

-that I married him

Happy First Married Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 30, 2006

I was in a carefree mood as I drove the last block to our house. Then, I saw them--a giant swarm of them--meandering along the road. Heading towards OUR house. Their eyes darted to and fro, yet they retained an almost nonchalant appearance, as if to say "pay no mind, we're just passing through, NO NEED to worry...", though in reality they are plotting their next moves. How to divide and conquer the entire block. How to infiltrate and penetrate each and every soul.

I panicked. My heart began to race, and I realized that there was no way I could avoid them. I would pull just past them before pulling into the driveway; I could not possibly avoid being seen. Then, even more horrifying, they would know that I was home. They moved slowly, surely plotting when to make their move for me, when to approach. I darted quickly into the house, and headed straight upstairs, where I VERY carefully peered between the blinds to keep an eye on the determined swarm. I watched as they split into groups and slipped quietly up to the front steps of the houses across the street. How were they selecting their course? My breath quickened with fear.

Assuming my side of the street to be momentarily safe, I placed a panicked phone call to J. "There are tons of them out there!" I said "They are moving up and down the street, and I don't know if they've already been here and I don't know where they're headed, and they KNOW that I'm here. They saw me, I'm sure of it!"

He replied calmly, "I already talked to them. Didn't you see The Watchtower and the Awake! magazine on the table?"

Yes, dear readers, I married a man who is completely and utterly unafraid of answering the door when the Jehovah's Witnesses (or the Mormons, for that matter) come calling. He told me that not only did he allow them to read to him a verse from the Bible, he gave them his opinions on the misuse of the Bible by many of our government leaders, and told them that they should check into that. Gotta love him.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Allow me for a moment to live up to my blog pseudonym...

We have a new girl in the office. I can smell her perfume up and down the hall. And she has a HUGE ass, the kind that looks like it's trying to escape from the rest of her body when she walks. Today she is wearing a knee-length pleated skirt, that, as I'm sure I don't need to spell out, is HUGELY unflattering to her figure.

She seems nice though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Maui Ink

Sitting in the Detroit airport on my way home from Maui last week, I called my mother. "I brought home a rather interesting souvenir from Maui," I said. Her guess: "You're pregnant?!" Um...NO. "Well, you're so close, but actually, I got a tattoo."

It's true, me with the fear of needles that once caused me to (very briefly) pass out at the counter in Claire's after an ear piercing, underwent over an hour of tiny needles being repeatedly dunked into my virgin (to inking, that is) epidermis.

I have thought about getting tattooed for a long time, but could never really decide on what to get or where to get it. Anywhere in the abdominal region is out due to potential future baby-related stretching; forget the lower-back "whore brand"--too cliche, and besides, I wanted to be able to *look* at the damned thing without using a mirror. I was really considering the top of my foot, but the thought of those bazillion tiny needles hitting my delicate foot bones was too much to bear.

So I finally went for it and got a dragonfly (and not a cute cartoony one either) on the back of my lower calf (ankle, really, but directly on the back instead of the more popular side option). Though I do like the design, there are a couple of things I would like to change about it. Now, normally the time to do that would be when the artist shows you the drawing and it can still be erased and redrawn, but I am such a fucking wuss that I just smiled and said OK and had her just shrink it down a bit overall. Fortunately, I'm fairly certain that the changes I envision could be easily made to the current version.

Since I'm sure you're wondering...YES, IT HURT. It really wasn't so bad at first, but near the end a few spots seemed to get really sensitive and it was all I could do to keep my foot still. At least by that point I'd stopped worrying about the fact that my toe was poking the tattoo artist in the boob. Because thinking about what was *really* going on made it harder to handle the sensations, here are some of the things I imagined was being done to my leg during the tattoo process:

1. That a small, very hairy portion of my leg was being continually depilitated with the Epilady from the 1980's (basically a tight metal coil that spun around while you rubbed it over your hairy areas, abruptly ripping the hairs out of your skin)

2. That my leg was being repeatedly tasered.

3. That stinging ants with huge mandibles were burying themselves in my skin in order to lay eggs and establish a colony that would eventually lead to their world dominance. (OK, I didn't really think that at the time, but it still works).

All I can say is that if it weren't for the calming effect of the palm trees swaying outside the window, I don't know if I'd have handled the pain nearly as well. And that said, I am already thinking about what I will get tattooed next. My husband was right about not being able to get just one (he has 10). He claims it's the pain that most people find addictive, but that I just don't get. Of course, most people wouldn't "get it" if I ended up with 10 different non-cutesy insects tattooed all over me, but that's their problem.

Anyway, here's the result (sorry for the crappy image quality:

Thursday, January 12, 2006

absurdity of the day

Like a good anal-retentive rule-follower, I was perusing the site today in preparation for doing my taxes. I downloaded the pdf of the instructions for good old Form 1040, as, this being my first year filing jointly and thus having to deal with mortgage interest and such, I'm used to the simpler forms 1040-A and 1040-EZ. Anyhoo, the very first page of the instruction booklet begins with a section entitled "What's New". This includes some information about deductions you can take related to loss caused by Hurricane Katrina, for charitable donations made in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, and other logical items.

Then, I noticed this bullet point:
Certain whaling captains may be able to clain a charitable deduction for whale hunting expenses. See Gifts to Charity on page A-6 for more details.
WTF, IRS? W. T. F.??

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

spam, a lot.

I've been getting a ton of spam on my primary e-mail account lately, and no matter how vigorously I report it to comcast, it just keeps on coming. The interesting thing is that, instead of subject lines like "earn millions now!" or "your penis too can be the size of King Kong's", the ones I get are just collections of random words--jibberish, basically. Actual examples include "avesta hearten hyannis thorough trite conscript", "a marx, it's cloudburst", and "radiometer salina shrunk brahmsian crow duty".

Yesterday I received a spam with the best subject line to date:
"!However, the baby appears to be mentally alert..." (note that in the original, the exclamation point at the beginning was miraculously upside-down, even though the statement following it was in english). Today I got one entitled "dispensate laxative". Because, you know, a subject like that *really* makes me want to know what the e-mail says...

Anyway, I am thinking of have a t-shirt made one of these days, perhaps by the folks at Another one to add to the "damn! why didn't I think of that?!" list...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

another reason to write about work

They are sending me to MAUI. In January. I get to spend 4 full days there, and I have to work for about 4 hours TOTAL while I am there. I get to bring J (though we have to pay for his ticket and food) and we are staying at a nice resort. Cheapest Hawaiian vacation ever! Now I am able to forgive them for the lack of a Christmas bonus...