Saturday, February 28, 2009

I. Ron Butterfly

Since the Red Cross has been calling us and begging to come in and roll up our sleeves, Matt made an impromtu suggestion that we go and try that this morning. I am worried about being deferred for low iron, again - since I've neglected my multivitamin and iron supplements for awhile. Oops.

I took them last night, I'll take them again before we leave. But I'm not sure that's going to be enough.

After that, some of the basic Saturday fun...McKay's to sell some DVDs, Big Lots, Costco, PetSmart, and then at 5PM, I get my pedicure with my ladyfriends.

So excited!

Wish me luck on donating...


Friday, February 27, 2009

Guerilla Tactics or Gorilla Tic Tacs?

- Enough with this cough. I'm going to get addicted to Dextromethorphan if it doesn't get better soon. I saw something about it on Dateline. And then, they caught a predator.

- They call the things like being polite on the phone, having a nice speaking voice, etc - "soft skills". And while I'd agree that trackingmetrics, logging data and analyzing numbers are all well and good, customers deserve the soft skills. I have decided that my new mission is to soften up my co-workers and get them loving the customers and loving their jobs. Then I'm going to cure Cancer. The astrological sign, not the mutating cellular disease.

- My daydreaming is all pinks and blues and greens and yellows - I have Spring Fever and I have it bad. Tomorrow, even though it's going to be cold, I'm headed to Viva Nails with some friends for a pedicure. I CAN'T wait. I'm sure the people at Viva could probably wait a lifetime before laying hands on my hooves. The barnacles have had plenty of time to attach over the long winter.

- I am feeling kind of disconnected from my family - both here in Nashville and around the globe. A lot of it has been that I've been - dare we say - fussy this week, so not a lot of fun. Oh well, this too shall pass.

- I am craving home cooking - either that or nachos. Then again, why can't nachos be cooked at home? Exactly.

- One of my customers today told me I sound *just like* the other female rep - which, given that I have a deeper voice than she does and fairly neutral accent (I'd like to think I sound very upscale, but in fact I am kind of nasal), and given that she has a distinctly Southern accent with a tendency to upspeak (ending sentence on an up inflection), I was kind of stunned. I kind of wanted to say, well, we not only sound just alike, but we both have boobs and vaginas.

We have all kinds of things in common. I don't know - I guess it's that I'd like to think I'm unique. Although, how's this for bursting your bubble? All through high school, I had a doppelganger - two years ahead of me in school, people thought we were either sisters, or the same person - depending. It even fooled me - I was watching a video of a school event, and said, "I don't remember being there when this happened." It was my doppelganger, Sarah. Who is now a lawyer and living in DC. I wonder if she ever thinks of me? Hell, even 15 years after high school a teacher who taught us both mistook me for Sarah. I was having kind of a "feeling fat" day at the time, maybe I should have let her think I was Sarah and made up some crazy shit about becoming a pole dancer. No, no - you can't treat your body double badly.

- I would love to get the Zumba music dislodged from my brain, but it's stuck on a loop there. Better that than the two songs that invaded my brain for all of January - "Crazy Train" and "Single Ladies".

- Not to be all cliched, but, uh, TGIF.

That's all I have from here, for now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Part II - Electric Boogaloo

Before I get started on what I love about Nashville, I’ve actually thought of a few more things I miss about Atlanta (and today, I am feeling a bit homesick, so…):

Decent Chinese food - Nashville has great Thai, Indian, Vietnamese (and Japanese, which I don’t like, but could have if I wanted it) – but I cannot for the life of me find good Chinese – and neither can anyone I’ve asked. It’s odd that a city that boasts numerous ethnic cuisines - Kurdish, Greek and Ethopian come to mind – can’t support a decent Chinese restaurant. I currently believe that PF Chang’s is the best option, and that’s depressing.

Quik Trip – Gas station and convenience store ne plus ultra. They have the cheapest gas and cleanest bathrooms, but what makes them the real standout in my mind is their fountain drinks. Two kinds of ice – crushed or cubes – and every drink you can think of – at least 25 options. In the summer, they usually have a deal – 32 ounces (or a quart - qt, get it?) for 59 cents. Every summer, you’d be likely to find that QT cup sweating on my desk as I worked my way through a diet orange, or a diet Dr. Pepper, or, if I really needed a boost – diet Mountain Dew). Mapco is OK, and when I worked over at MetroCenter, the nice lady at the TigerMart called me Ladybug, and that was nice (especially since the workday I was about to walk into was such a disaster), but those quarts of icy soda…mmm, pure carbonated love.

The AJC – The local paper – The Tennessean is a Gannett property – so if you like USA Today, you’ll LOVE the Tennessean. But when I think Sunday Paper, to me, that will always be the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The AJC has better funnies, they have Mike Luckovich, and there’s usually more news than paper. In full disclosure, the AJC is a product of Cox Media, and I briefly interned for Cox in 1993. As they say, it is what it is.

And now, in defense of Nashville:

Las Paletas – Is $2.50 too much to pay for a popsicle? Come to Las Paletas, try anything on their menu and you tell me. My mother and sister are both addicted. They beat Bobby Flay in a Throwdown. For me, that’s enough proof – and if you need more – I’m so enchanted by the fruit pops that I haven’t even delved into the ice cream pops. Seriously.

My house – Do I need to spend some quality time cleaning and reorganizing? Yes. Do I need to take a weekend to either donate or dump some of our acquired detritus? Absolutely. But I love, love, love my house. The location is perfect, the neighbors are friendly and our little 1930’s Bungalow suits me just fine.

My history – As you might know, my grandfather grew up in Nashville, and lived on the same street as me – though a different part of the street a few miles away. But I like passing his old High School (Hume-Fogg), his old house (which my cousin Amy now occupies) and finding the old Delited factory where my Great-Grandfather used to make jams, jellies, preserves and sauces. Yes, folks, there is jelly in my blood. So to speak. Though I never met my grandfather, I’m told we were two peas in a pod and that he would have enjoyed knowing me. I know I would have liked knowing him – this is almost as good.

Hillsboro Village – Provence has the best bread and prettiest pastries. Their cheese counter isn’t bad, either. Pangaea is the place for fun gifts, and I love killing time and Book Man/Book Woman. A great afternoon is a movie at the Belcourt, then coffee at Fido, or a beer at Bosco’s.

McKay’s - originally introduced to me when Matt and I would meet in Chattanooga, this is just a great, great used bookstore. But if you see it and you want it – buy it. It won’t be there the next time you come back.

The Y – The nicest health club run by super nice people. And a bargain to boot. Yes, I am often tempted to wear my “Let’s Get Baked” T-Shirt and see if it’ll get me kicked out, but the women in my Zumba class are as supportive as my WW group in Atlanta was – and no depressing weigh in.

The Sounds and The Preds – I couldn’t afford to go to Braves games, but I could get the best seat in the house at a Sounds game every week if I wanted to – AND get a beer or two. And who doesn’t love dizzy bat races? As for the Preds, I love me some Fang Fingers. Although, I do find the seats a little small for my zaftig ass. Well, more Zumba is the only prescription.

My friends – It’s somehow easier to make friends here – I don’t know why – it’s not that Atlanta was unfriendly, but here, geography and traffic don’t create artificial barrier. Also, maybe I’m just nicer. Naaah. It’s the geography for sure.

The airport – This is sort of a love/hate – while I love navigating BNA, I do think Hartsfield-Jackson has better amenities. But BNA has Southwest. But ATL has restaurants that stay open 24 hours a day. Ah, well…it's a draw, I guess.

The traffic – As in, there is no traffic.

That's all I have...for now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Could Ask For Anything More?

The precursor to this is that I'm not homesick -how could I be? I'm home!

That isn't to say I never think about my hometown... and with that, I give you:

Things I miss about Atlanta

- Mom and Dad. Well, duh – but as the great Kahlil Gibran once wrote – “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” Word.

- Henri’s Bakery. Because sometimes, only a wax-wrapped Corned Beef on Pumpernickel will do. To say nothing of the Po Boys and macaroons.

- Rhodes Bakery. Cheese straws, caramel cakes. Cheese straws.

- The Varsity. As if my arteries needed another aid in slapping shut – but sometimes, my body cries out for a chili dog w/ pimiento cheese. Heaven on a bun.

- Buying wine at the grocery store. Sure, it’s nice to be able to get beer on Sunday, but making a second stop for my cheap champagne chaps my hide. Also, it kind of makes Cost Plus/World Market and Trader Joe’s that much less compelling.

- The sheer volume of Chick-Fil-As. I used to pass three on my daily commute. I’m lucky these days if I pass one a week. Not that I need easy access to their sweet tea, breakfast menu or waffle fries, but…I miss the diet lemonade too.

- Crate & Barrel. For one thing, they’re the best place to pick up little housewarming gifties, and on a pure selfish level, I need to replenish some of my everyday china (bowls break, as it happens). There’s something really decadent about walking through the store and looking at all the pretty, shiny things. Plus – I need these juice glasses:

- Shopping for clothes. OK, so my best bet for clothes in Nashville is to head 65 South and hope for the best at Cool Springs. But really, is there anything like Lenox Mall (to say nothing of the two story Target and Phipps Plaza across the street)? No – especially because there’s a huge Crate & Barrel at Lenox. To say nothing of the ginormous Macy’s.

- Meeting up for a kvetch-fest with Connie. Sometimes, we just need to complain in a non-judgmental environment. We still connect, but less often.

- Manuel’s Tavern. Their breakfast was amazing, their beer was always cold, and the pervasive liberal vibe was right up my alley. I once told my dad I had found my perfect bar and was pleased to learn it was his perfect bar too. Once when I was there having breakfast and improv rehearsal, a group of Secret Service came in an did a sweep – turns out, Jimmy Carter’s grandson was having his wedding reception there that afternoon. Now THAT’s a bar.

Next time, in the interest of fairness, a list of things I love about Nashville.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude

I probably don't tell people often enough how much I enjoy being married to Matt.

Here's a good example of why:

Thursday night, Matt showed me a website -

Basically, they're taping all these shows for PBS here in Nashville - each show features four artists - a "Rising Star" and three people in who have done their time in the songwriting world.

Last night the three pros were Marc Cohn (who wrote "Walkin' in Memphis"), Barry Mann (who with wife Cynthia Weil wrote the most played song on American radio of all time - "You Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), and Lamont Dozier (of Holland/Dozier/Holland Motown Fame).

We signed up to go (for free) and it turned out Matt had to work late, but urged me to go without him.

So basically, these three guys got onstage and talked, sang and played for two and a half hours while a crew filmed, and we watched. And by we, I mean me and about 300 of my best friends in Nashville. They had an audience wrangler who helped keep us entertained while they did set changes, re-set the cameras, etc. I even enjoyed watching the jib cam operator and the Steadi-Cam operator do their thing.

But the music was pretty amazing too. Before they played their songs, they would tell us a little story - my favorite - Barry Mann mentioned that many artists used to bristle at having their songs used in advertisements. He and his wife have relaxed on this over the years, but sometimes you have to put your foot down - for example - a company in London wanted to use one of their songs for a condom ad - and then he launched into the Dolly Parton hit - "Here You Come Again". Fantastic. Lamont Dozier actually compared Diana Ross' high vocal range to a chicken choking. Marc Cohn talked about growing up in Cleveland, his fateful trip to Memphis and sang beautifully. I have to say, it was a free show, but I'd have paid good money for that experience.

I enjoyed it so much that Matt and I signed up for a second taping today. We saw Glen Phillips (from Toad The Wet Sprocket), Guy Clark (who I'd never heard of, by name or by what he wrote) and Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds) - this show was all guitar, no piano - and the tone was totally different, but all three performers were terrific and funny and fun. I get the feeling I'd hang out with Glen or Roger at the bar. And Guy was a grumpy old cuss who played as though he was in pain (we suspect chronic back issues or arthritis), but his lyrics were gorgeous and he told terrific stories - to wit - his friend wrote the Crystal Gayle vehicle "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" - and it was inspired by the writer's dog, who had glaucoma. Maybe it's not true, but it's still funny.

So, I'm grateful to Matt who exposes me to new and interesting things every day, and without whom, I'd be bored to tears.

Once these gems start to air on PBS - I'll let you know.

And here's something truly funny - one of the crowd manager ladies said to me today when I walked in, "Hey - you were here last night!" And when I left, she asked if I was coming to other shows.

I might. Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) is tomorrow. And that's what I told her.

I tend to think I blend in - but I guess not.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aw, Snap!

It's official - I'm a murderer.

After talking with Dad, he strongly recommended using traps rather than poison. I can't argue with his logic - namely, if a critter chooses to die in an undisclosed location before leaving the premises, we would have a rotting, hidden corpse to deal with.

So, I bought some traps, baited them and left them in the "problem areas".

When I came home from work yesterday, I found my first kill. It looked something like this:

I'm kidding - it was only one little cute, gray, furry little guy - I named him Smudge.

So I put on some gloves, interred the remains in the garbage can out in the alley, and reset and replaced the trap.

When we got back from the Y, we found another victim. Again with the gloves, interrment, etc. I didn't name this one.

I called Dad to tell him and he suggested that since I'm now a killer, I should get a tattoo of a tear in the corner of my eye - but to up the ante, it should look like a tear until you get close up on it, and then, it's actually a mouse. And people wonder where I got my odd sense of humor. Pretty funny.

That said, I do feel guilty. Matt and I talked it through though - realistically, we can't have mice in the house - it's just not going to happen. Of course, that doesn't make being a cold-blooded assassin any easier...

No new body count as of this morning - and this will be the last I blog about it.

You can simply assume that from this point on, everything rodent is under control.

Psycho Killer - Qu'est-ce que c'est?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

M-I-C – I see we have a problem…K-E-Y – Why? Because I’m unlucky. M-O-U-S-E

So, we have a rodent problem.

Recently, Lola has become fascinated with a corner of the attic, and sure enough, it looks like we have mice. They chewed open Matt’s rice bag (a tube sock filled with rice which can be heated and used as a heat pack) and there are tell-tale droppings near Lola’s go-to corner in said attic.

I’ve also seen a few droppings in the mud room. Initially, I was in denial and was able to overlook them, but now, I see that this means war.

I’ll admit that I’m not going to win an award from Good Housekeeping, but we’re by no means in danger of having the Board of Health condemn the house, either. So, yes, I have some cleaning to do, but it’s not as though we live in a tenement slum where infestation is a given.

Mice happen. And it’s been a cold winter, and we have an old house with lots of points of entry, and so on.

The question then becomes, “Now what?”

Matt doesn’t want to kill them, and to a point, I agree. That point would be the point at which I have to deal with carcasses. Mice, as it happens are kind of cute, and if I have to dispose of their little bodies, it would be not only gross but possibly upsetting.

But…once you have mice, it’s not as though they just up and leave on their own. There is no way we can seal up every food source in our house. We’ll definitely get rid of the rice bag, and I’m starting to think we need either metal or glass canisters in the mud room, especially for the kibble. The can chew through plastic, or at least, that’s what the interweb says.

But if we eliminate the sources in the attic and mudroom, they’ll start getting hungrier, and I really don’t want to start seeing them in the kitchen. Cue Bob Marley’s “Rat in Mi Kitchen”.

So my thought was poison. They eat it, they get thirsty and go seek out a water source, and then they stage a little rodent death scene. Something tasteful.

I would feel bad, but for one, I run a respectable home and that home does not include a place for vermin, Also, rodents are R Species – a term I picked up in Vernon Meentermeyer’s Intro to Soil class back at UGA. This now makes 2 concepts from college I’ve actually used. Thanks Professor M!

An R Species is one that reproduces quickly and en masse. Like mice (or that lady who just had octuplets). Their counterparts, K Species reproduce slowly, and usually one offspring per gestation – like elephants.

If we had an elephant problem, I’d be less likely to buy a few blocks of poison and stick them in random corners. Of course, a small block of poison would be unlikely to affect an elephant. Although, can you imagine finding elephant droppings in your attic - that would probably be upsetting.

Interesting fact, by the way – did you know that people take rat killer on purpose – it’s Warfarin, a prescription blood thinner – my parents are both on it. Although, technically, the kind they're on is Coumadin - but, same thing, really.

I think I’ll head to the store on my lunch break today and check out the selection, figure out my options.

One point of contention here – we leave Lola alone all day – I wonder if I gave her access to the affected areas if she could “take care” of things. As a terrier mix, shouldn’t she have some ratting instinct naturally ingrained?

I’ll keep you posted.

Soy Confudida

I spent all yesterday thinking it was Monday, when in reality, it was Tuesday. Nice work.

Things in my world are going relatively well - I managed a Zumba class Monday night, and my lungs didn't impede my progress too much.

I'm feeling frustrated with work - mostly, I just need to regain perspective - which is to say that the reason I feel overloaded is because I'm good at what I do, people trust me and they want to work with me.

That doesn't make me any less tired at the end of the day - I don't mind doing training twice a day when I'm at full vocal capacity, but at the moment, I can't get through a session without having to mute my phone several times and cough helplessly for about 10 seconds at a hit.

Other than that, I don't have much to share.

I am looking forward to Spring, and my daydreams revolve around a Spring menu for a party I'm throwing in my mind!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Answer is None. None More Black.

Several cranky and or not cranky thoughts for Monday:

1. Put your mothertrucking cellphone on vibrate. If everyone else in the office can, you can. I know WAY too much about your musical tastes and guess what - they're not good. Seriously.

2. This office is either a sauna or an igloo. It's no wonder I'm still getting over this crud - we can't keep our digs a consistent 68 degrees. Layers. Wear layers.

3. Zumba tonight - let's see if my lungs cooperate. I've missed it, that's for sure. Has it missed me? Time will tell.

4. Enough with the weird dreams! Last night, I dreamt I still had an apartment in Atlanta and I was a week late on paying rent - but I also hadn't been to my apartment in a long, long time. And I didn't have the money to write a check, so I was going to have to drive over there and pay - except, there was this huge gate that was controlling traffic at the entrance to my parents' neighborhood and I couldn't get out. Anxious much?

5. We celebrated 10 Years of Lola on Friday. I love her a big, big bunch! She's not perfect, but she's perfect for me.

6. We're trying to talk my parents into coming for Easter weekend and having people over for dinner that Saturday. I know Dad will balk, but if they want to bring the pugs, they can. Plus, we could do a big ham - everyone loves ham.

7. Speaking of both parents and celebrating - Mom and Dad will have been married 39 years this Friday. Pretty amazing. Next year, we should throw them a party. Reminder to self - mail their card tomorrow.

8. After cutting my pattern yesterday for the apron I'm working on, and attempting a few steps, I can safely say that my talent lies more in straight lines like, you know, throw pillows. I hope I can make the apron work as a) that fabric wasn't from the bargain bin and b) if it works, it's going to be adorable.

9. Tomorrow is a double training day...meanwhile, the other trainer has as many training classes for the week as I do in a day. I don't expect life to be fair, but I'm starting to see that not having balls is a real detriment to my career.

10. I am stopping at Michael's on the way home. They sell the little Easter chicks I use on my coconut cakes. I want them. I want a lot of them in every color I can find.

11. This list goes to eleven. Mostly in homage to Spinal Tap, which I watched on Friday, and I still love. See the title of this post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for youuuu.

I've been to 2 doctors this week - on Monday I went to get this bronchitis fixed, and today, my annual with my lady-parts doc - the main purpose of which is to get that all-important scrip for another years' worth of drugs.

I hate waiting, and waiting at the doctor's office is the worst. In my first scenario, because it's a family practice, I was flanked by whining, sick, hyper, irritating kids and their irritating parents. Today, it was like I landed on Planet Pregnant. Which always evokes in me this split sense where part of me feels as though I'm missing out on something and part of me wants to lean over and tell the expectant mother next to me - "Kiss the next 21 years goodbye, sister. And enjoy not eating brie for the next 9 months, sucker." Which sounds harsh, and is. But it's the way my brain overcompensates for not knowing how to deal with that envious feeling that I may be missing out. To be fair, none of these women looked to be brie lovers, either.

My GYN doctor always, always runs late, and I always, always, call the receptionist on it. I need to start calling him on it. I used to work for a group of docs, and the patient never complains to the doctors, when they're the ones who are at fault.

Anyway, as soon as he got into my room, he put it in high gear - wrote me my scrip, told me to disrobe and he'd be back. Well, he got back a little too soon and caught me completely naked, in the middle of putting on the cocktail napkin that they call a paper robe. He was flustered and backed out of the room, but honestly, he's going to see a lot more of me as soon as the exam starts, so I thought it was kind of funny. He apologized profusely, and I wish I could have thought to say that the only man I undress faster for bought me a diamond ring...

All is well, healthwise - I have an inhaler for my lungs, I'm healthy for another year, and neither doctor gave me a lecture about my weight. Which, I am working on, so a lecture wouldn't have done much but frustrate me. Also, my BP was excellent at both offices - even after taking a hit of inhaled steroids this morning.

And that's that. Matt gets home from Akron tomorrow, and we think he may have the same crud that I had. I feel bad for him. But I also felt bad for me (and still do kind of).

Work continues to keep me busy. I sent out my Valentines yesterday, and I would like to do something for Matt's office as well as my own, but I am out of clever ideas. And even run of the mill ideas.

Maybe brownies. They're easy, and who doesn't love brownies?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Little Women

When I was 24, on a flight from Paris to Atlanta, I read Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott for the first of what would become many times.

I bought it because it was cheap, I was broke, and I needed something long to read on the flight.

It turned out to be one of those books I've grown to really love.

I think, like a lot of women, I relate to Jo - strong, independent - a caretaker prone to fits of anger. Bright, but held back by convention and the rigid gender roles of that time. Not that I relate to all of that, but really - Meg? Meg is boring - she's pretty, has nice manners and is reasonably intelligent, and of course, she wises up early, snags a husband and gets the hell out of the house. She then proceeds to have twins (Demi and Daisy, how pwecious!) and at that point, the author more or less checks out on further character development of Meg, unless it involves making a dress or trimming a hat. Noble,

Amy is everything Jo can't be - pretty, sweet, agreeable. And she gets everything that Jo can't have - a trip to Europe, and of course, Teddy's hand in marriage. Both of which Jo could have had, were she not so stubborn. Alcott makes Amy just flawed enough that you don't totally hate her, but yeah, you pretty much do hate her.

Beth. For the first several chapters, Beth plays with kittens and dolls and is generally portrayed as skittish and passive. She befriends Mr. Laurence for the use of his piano, which begets her a smaller piano of her very own - and of course, she really does grow to love Mr. Laurence. She goes out to help some poor neighbors and comes down with a near fatal case of Scarlet Fever, which scares the living hell out of everyone and they all piss and moan about Beth being their conscience. Beth pulls through, but is greatly weakened by this disease. In her favor, she is the only sister who ever gets to booze it up - the Laurences often send her wine for medicinal purposes - she only gets a little - her father sends the rest to soldiers. But three years after the Scarlet Fever, she starts realizing she is dying. How she knows this, I couldn't tell you. But she starts acting weird, and the parents get Jo to try to figure it out, and Jo thinks Beth has a crush on Teddy. But she finally figures out that Beth is dying - how Jo knows this, again, I couldn't say. But the scene where it comes out is on a beach and it's very sad - but when Beth finally dies, you can't help but think - well, lucky her! In my opinion, she died of boredom. Don't worry Bethy, there are kittens aplenty in heaven.

And then there's Jo. It's Jo who sells her hair to pay for her father's medical expenses when he's injured in the Civil War. Jo befriends Teddy and Mr. Laurence and makes a whole boatload of things possible - Meg meeting her husband, Amy and Teddy falling in love, Beth and her fucking piano, etc. Jo gets shit done. And in return, people call on her to get more shit done. She essentially runs the March household - and because she gets dragged out on social calls with Amy and shows her ass a little, loses out on the aforementioned trip to Europe. She earns money with her writing, which pays for all kinds of shit, and nobody really seems to thank her.

Jo kind of gets kicked in the teeth a bit, then leaves for New York, where she works as a governess and writes. It's here that she improbably meets Frederich Bhaer, a German Love Interest Ex Machina that Alcott wrote wishing she had one of these herself. The book is highly autobiographical, except that Alcott ends up alone, and Jo and Bhaer have a "meeting cute" scene in which they profess their love for each other.

In the end, Jo does inherit her cranky Aunt's house, which she and Bhaer turn into a school, and it's all very lovely and ends happily ever after (until the sequel, Little Men, but we won't go there).

There are so many things I love about this book - being critical of the four sisters is only one of them!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Down, and briefly out.

So, I've had this weird right side stomach pain since Thursday night. I went from thinking it was a pulled muscle to thinking it was appendicitis, and I have now settled back on pulled muscle. Regardless, it hurts like a motherf%#er. And there's not just a ton I can do about it.

And to add illness to injury, my wonky sinuses went from abusing head to throat, and have now settled on/in lungs making my chest feel tight and I spent a lot of today trying to breathe properly/cough up weird shit.

Finally, I gave in, asked Matt to stop at the drugstore, and I got some Brand X Mucus Relief tablets - which I took, then proceeded to sleep for several hours without much movement or fanfare.

I feel better.

Not "go kick ass at Zumba" better, but "spend time with Matt before he leaves for his trip" better.

That said - a good weekend - we spent today with my favorite guys - Matt and I met up with Seb and Alex for brunch at the Copper Kettle. Worth every penny, but next time we'll go earlier and maybe not before Seb has to play a big soccer game - which we also went and watched. Good times. Seb and his pals won. They call their team the "Misfits".

And that's pretty much that.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Pensées Quotidiennes*

1. I actually kind of enjoyed listening to Christian Bale go apeshit on the set of his new movie - it was, using a term I coined in college - catharsis by proxy. Matt now refuses to go see anything he's made, but I'd rather hear him have an honest "losing it" moment than find out that Mel Gibson called a cop "sugar tits". Maybe I'm just weird like that.

2. The fact that Michael Phelps took a bong hit or six only makes me like him more. In full disclosure, I've never smoked pot, and doubt that I ever will. I have nothing against it - in fact, the reason I don't smoke it is because I'm afraid I'd really, really like it. Also, I don't need a drug to make me hungry and paranoid. I'm already hungry and paranoid. But come on - with his lung capacity, it would be a crime not to use his talents to get really, really high.

3. So, I pulled what I have Googled and determined to be an external oblique muscle - presumably during my efforts to represent, represent Cuba during Zumba class. It's a Zumba joke, and a dumb one at that - so roll with it. It hurt to put on socks this morning. Still, totally worth it.

4. This morning, some starlings have been congregating outside my office window. I'd love to invite them in to keep me company while I compile data. But, they have better things to do than watch me format databases, and who can blame them?

5. I have a sore throat. I read a comment recently that resonated with me - the source I've long since forgotten: "I had my tonsils until last year when they became sentient beings and tried to kill me." I can relate. I'd remove mine with a sharpened melon baller and a gallon of Vodka for anesthesia/antiseptic if I thought I wouldn't botch it and render myself mute. Because really, when your job depends on you answering phones, speaking is critical.

6. I also feel like I have an ear infection related to point #5. But the last time two times I've sought treatment for an ear infection, it turned out to be something else. The first time, I had waxy buildup (a job hazard when you wear a one-sided headset). The second time...high blood pressure. I'd hate to go in for a ear check and learn I had gout or rickets or something.

7. Tickets for Flight of the Conchords go on sale in an hour. I need six. Wish me luck.

Make it a great day.

* That's French for Daily Thoughts - it sounds pretty, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

State of Things

1. I'm cold.

2. I'm sore from Zumba but I still want to go to another class tonight.

3. I'm hungry, and I don't think my Lean Cuisine will suffice, but I'm trying for a month without fast food. Or at least, a LOT LESS.

4. Seriously, could we get some heat on up here on 3rd Floor?

5. My sinuses are jacked up from the temp swings - 16 this morning, supposed to be 61 on Saturday. Really, my nasal cavities give up.

6. I wonder if I set fire to my desk, would that warm things up? Well, at least until it set off the sprinkler directly over my head

Monday, February 2, 2009

9 Banded Awesomeness

When I was roughly 9 or 10, I became fascinated by armadillos. I couldn't tell you why - I don't remember. What I can tell you is that this is pre-interweb days, so everything I learned about them was the old-fashioned way... and it involved the Dewey Decimal System.

Here are a few fun facts:

Armadillos have the ability to remain underwater for as long as six minutes. Because of the density of its armor, an armadillo will sink in water unless it inflates its stomach and intestines with air, which often doubles its size and allows it to swim across narrow bodies of water.

Armadillos are carriers are leprosy.

Most species of armadillo have litters of identical quadruplets.

I have all kinds of armadillo paraphenalia - my favorite is a set of seven crudely carved marble armadillos from Mexico.

I also have a pewter armadillo pin that I should wear more often. Ditto my sterling James Avery armadillo earrings.

I have seen both live and dead armadillos - the former at age 10 on Cumberland Island, GA. The latter, I-40 en route to Waverly, TN today to do some training.

I prefer them live, to be honest.

Given their nickname, "Possums on the Halfshell", and my animosity toward possums, it's odd that I have such an affinity, but there you have it.

My old (old in the sense of former) shrink had a field day when he found out they were my favorite animal. Hard outer shell, soft pink underbelly... hmmm. Sounds...vaguely familiar.

That's your Earth Sciences Lesson for the day.

Go out and learn more! If you dare...