Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This is only a test...

So, we're going to have to board the dog for a few days while we're at a wedding next month.

I called our vet to see if they had a spot for our baby.  They want her to come for a trial day to make sure she's not going to be a problem child.

So on Friday, I'm taking her for a trial day.

It's kind of daunting, because, what if she's terrible?  What if they don't let her come back?

Well, I guess it's better to know now.  We'll continue to take her to the obscenely expensive kennel south of town.  Well, west of town... actually.

But I feel like it's a referendum on my skills as a parent.  Ok, owner, but I don't have kids, so let me just have this, OK?  Thanks.

Anyway-  we'll see how she does.  I can't help it that she has canine Tourette's.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to head to Florida.  I need to do a million things before I leave, and I haven't come close to starting.

Also, I'm so freaking MAD.

There was this blouse on Land's End's website, and it looked perfect.  It was on backorder, so I just passed on ordering it and was going to do it on payday.

And now... it's GONE.  They debuted it earlier this month.

GONE.

SOLD. OUT.

Meanwhile, I have two fugly dresses in my car that are being mailed back (one Land's End, one not) - the price of them would have covered the cost of the blouse in two of three colors.

Damn.

And I need to get those fug dresses in the mail to free up the income required to buy something that isn't fug.

It's not easy being me.

ae

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sweet.

I find that people who shop at Trader Joe's fall into two categories:  1. Couldn't be nicer.  2. Completely in my fucking way.

There are more of the latter, but I shared a nice moment from a woman in the entrance of the store as we were both trying to untangle carts.  We ended up in the ice cream section together and she clued me in on some ice cream sandwiches I was contemplating - they were good - not as good as the S'more Ice Cream sandwiches I had hoped would be in stock (but weren't).



Beggars cannot be choosers.

The cashier was also super nice.  The rest of the store was mostly a cluster.

Quiet weekend, all in all.  A little Home Depot with some fence fixing as a result.  I tried to give Piper some immersion therapy having her watch the marathon runners as they clomped down 12th Avenue. It went OK.  We watched the Preds lose to the Blackhawks, so they're out of the playoffs.

Today, I dyed a shirt, and it didn't get as dark as I want it.  I may need to give it one more shot.  Or I could give up and move on.

This time next week, I'll be flying to Tampa.  Big CAT Conference.  I need for it to go well.

Again, it would be great if I were 80 pounds lighter, but we'll do what we do, yes?

I guess I could start by not buying the ice cream sandwiches at Trader Joe's.

That's the latest.

ae

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yet again...

So, we had a big departmental meeting this week - two and a half days of togetherness.

I spent several weeks dreading it, and when all is said and done, I had a lovely time.

Although, I should share one of the pictures of me that surfaced after it was all over...

I'm asking some sort of insightful question, but doesn't it look like I could just burst into "What I Did For Love"?

I told my friend Jim that I look like a troll doll that got left in the hot car and melted.  Including the hair.

Clearly I need to lose weight.

Also clearly I need to deep condition my hair and work some product in at the roots.  It would also be helpful if I received an electric shock every time I attempt to put my hair behind my ears.

Now, that's not to say that all the photos of me are bad... none of them are great, but there's a few that aren't terrible.

They have other people in them, though - and I don't want to violate other peoples' right to not see pictures of themselves they may hate shared in a public forum.

So it's OK to shame myself - not others.

I have standards, beautiful people.

So, I need to de-trollify my look.  Time to hydrate, exfoliate, moisturize, condition, exercise, reduce, reuse, recycle.

And love myself, nomatterwhat.




ae

Monday, April 20, 2015

Orange Crush

There was a time that Anne of Green Gables played nearly constantly on PBS - it was a staple of pledge drives.

I also remember that one of the gentlemen who had a cabin up in the mountains once told me and my sister we were welcome to come over any time - he had the whole series on tape.

One year for New Years Eve, I rented the damn thing and watched it all, greedily.  In fact I didn't actually *read* Anne of...everywhere until after I'd seen the TV movie.  Which is totally fucking great.

I think we all relate to Anne - we all know we are more than the sum of our parts, and we're waiting on our lucky break. I think we all wish we had a bosom friend as dear as Diana, and that we had a Marilla and a Matthew who raised us with love and structure and surprised us with the perfect dress with puff sleeves when we weren't expecting it.

And I think we all wish there were someone who loved us with the fierce devotion of Gilbert Blythe.

It's Gil that I'm here to talk about.

Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played him, and let's be honest, WAS Gilbert Blythe, on the PBS movie died last week.  And with him, thousands of crushes from devoted young women (and probably young men) the world over.



It would be impossible for any of us who watched the movie to see anyone but Crombie as Gil.  Now, it's worth noting that about eight years ago,  I got to see him in another role.  The lead role of Man in Chair in the Broadway Musical The Drowsy Chaperone.

And he was wonderful.



But even then, I was taken back to my youth, and the wistful longing that someone out there, someone cute, and smart, and sensitive - someone who sends violets to your graduation - would love me with the stalkerish, violet-sending devotion of Gilbert Blythe.


Anyway, everything I've read indicates that he was a standup guy, loved being Gil and loved life.

And we loved him.  And we'll miss him.

ae


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Funny Ha, Ha, Redux

So, I completely forgot that I have been compared to one other comedienne, and it's actually a good one.

Carrie Brownstein.

Yes, indeed - one of the frontwomen of Sleater Kinney.  She of "Put a Bird On It".



The one (1) person who told me that has also known me for awhile.  He says it's the personality and the facial expressions.

Anyway - enough of that.

Onto the real point of this post, which is that last night, I went to an event and got some mentoring on the fly.

There's a comedy festival in its second year here in Nashville - the Wild West Comedy festival.  Last year I went to hear Mitch Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development - he did a talk and Q&A with @Midnight's Chris Hardwick.

This year, I went to a screening of Airplane! with a Q&A with the Zucker Brothers - moderated by Jeff Garlin.

The movie was great - still funny.  Not so funny was the broad-shouldered broad who scanned the nearly empty theater and decided the best seat in the house was rightnexttome.  At least the guy on my right gave me a one seat buffer.  Also annoying was the woman who, as the lights went down shouted, "Good luck.  We're all counting on you."

Har, har.

Anyway, after the movie, Q&A - and the audience just wasn't feeling it with Jeff Garlin.  He was attempting to troubleshoot some feedback with the microphones, and some schmuck in the audience yelled, "We hear it, we don't care!  Just keep talking."  Ouch.  They were rude to him all night. 

I was the second person to ask a question, which was, "What's the line you get quoted back to you most, and what do you wish you'd never hear again?"  Jeff Garlin said, "That's a great question.  I've been on both sides of these things, and I've heard a lot of shitty questions, but that's a great question."

After it ended I saw Jeff Garlin standing in the stage door and I went and apologized to him for the crowd.  He hugged me.  Then I thanked him for giving my question props, and told him that as a kid, Airplane! and Alice's Restaurant were my comedy jam, saying, "So you know I was super popular."

I was at least cool enough to refrain from fawning over his performance in The Goldbergs


He replied that funny people are never super popular and that's OK.  He also said not to be embarrassed about the crowd's behavior, because it's all just chemistry and that there are good nights and bad nights.  It was like he was giving me some advice.  Like he knew I was struggling.

And like he knew I was funny.

So, Jeff Garlin.  Thank you.  I kind of needed the hug, and I definitely needed the acknowledgement for asking the good question, and I really needed the reminder that sometimes, it's chemistry and it's OK to bomb.

Thanks.

ae

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Back on the Grid

When I first moved to Nashville, I took a job that I knew in my gut was a mistake, even as I was taking it.

I was leaving another job that was a mistake.  Which I took because I was getting married in eight months, and I needed a job to pay bills.

But anyway, this job.  It was heavy paper pushing and documentation and contracts processing, and what not.  and I was terrible at that.  There were a handful of things that the job required that I was actually quite good at.  And those, I worked hard at and excelled in.  But that was 10% of the job.  And even if I was a superstar on that 10%, I was a goat 90% of the time.

The people there were a mix.  I loved the Nashville based co-owner and her husband.  A gentle, kind couple who liked me and were friendly to me.  My first friend in Nashville was an older woman I met there - we bonded over Project Runway and politics. We still bond over those two things.  And then there were a handful of women my age with young kids, who didn't get me or like me.  And then there was a handful of younger single girls, who didn't get me.  There was a second co-owner out of Texas who hated me.  She liked to talk about religion, and was openly hostile to me for suggesting that was a heavy topic for lunch time.

I lasted about a year and a half.  I cried on my lunch breaks, out in my car.  I felt sick to my stomach on the drive in.  I would stop at the Tiger Mart near the office to get a diet Coke, or an Oatmeal Creme Pie because the sweet woman working the register called me "Ladybug", and that was about the only kindness I'd get.

Early on in my time there, I found a coping mechanism.  And that was Sudoku.



From a website online, I'd print a page of puzzles - four of them.  And I'd hide that under my paperwork, and when I felt overwhelmed or like I was failing, or I got dinged on forgetting something, I would slip out the paper and work the puzzle a little.  And I'd feel a little better and I'd work some more.  Puzzle, contracts, puzzle, phone call... I'd reward myself with Sudoku.

About a year into my time there, my team lead - an angry little woman on a power trip, found one of my puzzles in my papers, and she laid into me about how lucky I was that she wasn't sharing this with the owners of the company, as they would be furious.  I lied.  I told her I did them on my lunch breaks.  Whether she believed me or not, I don't know.

I stopped printing the puzzles, and I stepped up my crying schedule to fill that void.  In addition to the lunch breaks, I'd occasionally go cry in the bathroom, or even occasionally just a little at my desk.  Every Friday, I marveled that I was still employed.  Every Sunday, I felt sick.  On my way into work, I made up a ritual that if I saw a bird on my drive in, it would be a good day.  I always saw a bird, it was never a good day.

It's been eight years since I was asked to leave this company.  Well, I had the choice - quit or get fired.  I opted to quit.  It messed with me.  In a big way.  I felt broken and worthless and dumb.

Then six weeks later,  I started at my current job.  I worked hard, I was good at what I was doing, and I stopped feeling terrified every time a door closed.

But I didn't really pick up Sudoku again.  It felt tainted. And what a shame, because I love it - I'm good at it, and it's a great time killer. 

Every now and again in the Southwest in-flight magazine, I'll noodle around with one, if I finish the crossword and need something to do.  But, it just didn't feel authentic or pleasant.

Yesterday, on the flight from Orlando to Nashville, I hit my stride.  There were three crosswords - but  I had tackled those on the flight down.  Impressing my colleague greatly.  So I started hitting the puzzles and by the time we landed, I'd successfully completed all of the warm-up and easy puzzles, and one medium one.

And so, I do hereby declare, I am reclaiming Sudoku.

But not at my desk.  I'm already successful here.

ae




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The rub...

I've been getting massages off and on for years. Nearly twenty years, in fact.

I love them.  There's an old episode of Frasier where Niles, separated from Maris, discusses his sexual frustration. 


Niles: You don't realize how desperate I am. Ever since our separation, I've been paying women to touch me.

Frasier: Oh, Niles...

Niles: Manicurists, pedicurists, facialists. When you see a man who's well-groomed, you can bet he's not getting any. 

 
I co-opted that line some years ago, because I regularly pay people to touch me.  Not out of frustration, but because it feels good.  And because I wear sandals and my feet need professional intervention.

So, I was at the airport in Nashville yesterday, and decided to avail myself of the Massage Bar.  It's a chair massage place - and there are two in the airport - I prefer the one in the B Terminal - but my flight was in C Terminal, and I was meeting colleagues there.

They plunked me down next to a woman who moaned quietly though her entire encounter.  I mean, it was kind of inappropriate.  And by kind of, I mean entirely.


Season 3, Episode 16 - Look Before You Leap - February 1996


Massage isn't sexual, or at least - the kind I get isn't.

Now, that said, has more than one massage therapist seen more of me than they wanted?  Sure.  I know for a fact of at least two people who have seen areola. I'm not proud of it. Sheets slip, and so do nips.

And have I, in the privacy of a massage room, emitted a noise that sounded like it belonged in a bad adult film?  Yes.  Indeed I have.  Relief of lower back pain will do that. 

But unlike Tourist McGee, I leave my squeals of delight packed neatly in the overhead compartment or in the seat pocket in front of me.

I actually found a new massage place near the office.  I'm sure it's going to get shut down for cock fighting and opium sales soon - but it's cheap, reasonably clean, and they don't advertise happy endings, so... I feel like it's OK.  And for $120, two hours of massage. No half assed weird flutter touches, either - like they get in there with elbows and attack knots without mercy.

I think what I'm saying here is that my back hurts.

ae


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Funny Ha-Ha.

Twice this year, I've had someone tell me I remind them of that funny woman, you know the one in Bridesmaids, did that movie called Tammy?

They're talking about the exceedingly talented Melissa McCarthy:



I get it - white, middle-aged, chubby funny woman.

The thing is, her comedy is heavily physical.  Mine isn't.  At all.

I'm closer, truth be told to Amy Schumer... although she has a total rock n roll lifestyle that I do not.



She's also smoking hot and sexy.  So you can see how I feel just like her.

Really, the comedienne I relate most to is the exceedingly funny Aparna Nancherla.



Find her here: https://twitter.com/aparnapkin   -  I strongly recommend you follow her.

I fell in love with her when I saw her doing standup and she said, "I believe that any pizza can be a personal pizza if you cry while eating it."

But I don't look like her.  I look more like Melissa McCarthy.

At least she didn't say:



Not that there's anything wrong with that.

ae

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Talk hurty to me...

So, to the surprise of nobody who has read more than two posts in the past year of my blog - I have issues.

Today I decided to do something about it.

I went to my first appointment with a shrink here in town, and started the process of untangling a few knots.

It's going to be good, I think.  I hope.

I'm glad I'm doing it.  In the course of a short hour, I got confirmation that no, I'm not crazy - that the shit I'm dealing with is not only real, but it's really shit.

And we're going to work our way through it.

So there.

ae


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Angst

When I was a kid, I didn't do sleepovers.  I had horrendous anxiety, and once the lights were out, I had such severe homesickness that it was game over.  I would lie there and panic, thinking something terrible would befall my family in my absence.

By the time I was 10 or so, I managed to gut it out - hell, I even did a sleep away camp a few different times - but it wasn't that I wasn't still anxious and homesick,  it was that I managed to overrule it with self-admonitions to grow up and be cool.

And now, thirty years later, I am starting to get that same, sick feeling where the lights just went out.

We got our girl back from Obedience School yesterday, and man oh man - I do NOT want to leave her for a few days to go to my customer site.

I may be over the whole travel thing.  I like the points, I like the miles.  I do not like leaving this baby for several days at a time a few weeks a month.

The good news is, after this trip, I don't travel again til...I'm thinking May.  And that may get cancelled because that's the CAT Conference, and the sales person in charge of that has left the building.

So, now what? 

Do I need to start looking for jobs that keep my wings clipped?  Or will that make me crazy?

Or, what?

But I ask you... would you want to leave this behind?  Ever?


Nope.  Me either.

Only this time, I can't have my friend's mother call my mother to come and get me.

ae

Friday, April 3, 2015

Animalia

We went to the zoo yesterday.




This is a lorikeet - and I'm feeding him some nectar, and my fingernail.




The Nashville Zoo has a sense of humor.


This is a kangaroo.  I got to pet one of the babies.


Beyond the door sits the rare brown-nosed pencil pusher.

Bird is the word.


So tomorrow, I get my favorite animal back.