Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Open Letter to My Dog

Dear Beasto,

I'm in Wisconsin. You have probably figured out that I'm not home. Duh.

Anyway, at the moment, I'm in Elkhart Lake, a town about 20 minutes from my hotel. It's cute here. I'm having dinner at a trendy little place that uses old books to house their menus, and I came across this:

So, of course I thought of you.

I hate that I'm not home much. I am sorry. I wish I were there now.

I'm also sorry you aren't coming to the mountains this time, but I will take you in the fall. It will be less crowded and cooler to travel.

But... I am about to come off a few long weeks on the road, and we will have fun. I will make it up to you.

And the moral of the fable from this picture is that "Notoriety is not Fame". Which is dumb.

You are always on my mind.


Thursday, June 23, 2016


I'm in Fresno, California.  It's... well, it's California.  I don't get it.

I have a sinus and cough thing going again, and I am pretty over it.  If I could take a shop vac to my sinuses and suck them dry, I would.  See also:  my lungs.

I am halfway through my string of trips.  I have left Sheboygan, which should be easy.  And Raleigh, which... won't.  Well, it won't be bad - but it'll be harder than Sheboygan.

But the good news, I have a quick a break in between the two where I get to do 4th of July. 

If I can get through July, I have a chance.

But the fact that I'm saying that before the door even hits June's ass on the way out gives me pause.

I need a vacation.  And at this point, not even one where I go to a beach and eat lots of seafood and read trashy novels.

I'd settle for a week at the house, divesting of clutter and taking trips to the dump.  Cooking healthy things in the pressure cooker, maybe going to a movie in the middle of the day.  But something rated R so that it's not me and all the anklebiters who are out of school.

Doesn't that sound vacationy and fun?

I need a vacation so that I can recover from snarky doctors making snarky comments about the software.  I didn't build it.  I can't control it.  I'm sorry that It you don't like it, or how much it costs.  I appreciate you asking if I have whooping cough.  I don't.  I have post nasal drip, which triggers my cough.  And since I have drainage, I cough a lot. And when I cough, it sounds bad, and I am sorry.  I appreciate that you think I'm "testing" my cough... but it is testing me. And I am failing.  Thanks for sharing with me what types of cures you think would be helpful.  I'm sure honey *would* dry everything out, and/or a corticosteroid inhaler would move things along.  Write me a scrip and I'll get it filled. No?  Then back off, doc. 

So. Yeah. I need a vacation. Thanks.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Un, deux, trois...

Tomorrow is Father's Day.  Which, when you aren't a father, your spouse isn't a father and both your fathers are dead... well, we don't really have plans.

Me and Dad, circa 1978?  Seersucker and a cigarette.

I was trying to think of a story I could tell about Dad, and the one I came up with was this.

When I was in 4th grade, my parents had me tested for Attention Deficit Disorder.  It was the 80s, and that was the scapegoat diagnosis for everything.  Although I was ultimately diagnosed with ADD, the truth is, my best (only) friend had moved to Mississippi and I was depressed - but back then, they didn't really know what to do with a depressed ten year old.  They put her on Ritalin. That, plus making a few new friends pretty well fixed it.

That's not really the point, though.

The point is that the shrink ran me through a bunch of tests, and one of them was to draw a picture of a family member.  I drew my father.  She asked me what he was doing in the picture, and I said, "He's asking me what we're going to cook today."

Dad did most of the cooking in our house.  I'm sure I've told you that before.  I watched.  I basically just liked hanging out with Dad.  And I liked food.

He would do smothered hamburger steaks sometimes. Rice was the standard carb in our house.  Rarely potatoes.  When I was sick, he would make me matzo ball soup.  He did birthday cakes for us - chocolate pound cake with a chocolate buttercream icing.   Once, for my birthday, he made me a pasta dish with a Gorgonzola cream sauce and toasted walnuts - based on a meal we'd had together in Paris.

Funny story about that night in Paris, actually. He, mom and I were walking, and it was raining out, and we kind of got turned around.  He went into a bar to get directions.  When he came out, he remarked on how friendly everyone had been to him.  It was a gay bar, if the rainbow flag out front means the same thing in France.  Dad was not homophobic. He would have been appalled about Orlando.

Once, for Mom's birthday, we attempted to make her a caramel cake - it was raining that day, too - and we were making the icing, which is burnt sugar and very, very picky.  The humidity worked against us and we ended up screwing up several batches of icing,

Another time, I would have been in my 20s, he, Mom and I at Christmas time were making peanut butter fudge, and again, it was raining, and a batch failed.  I offered to take the aluminum pan filled with the unset goo out to the trash can outside, and I remember standing in the cold rain eating some of the warm peanut butter/sugar sludge before going inside.

At least once, I remember Dad picking me up from school, handing me a Mounds bar and telling me I looked like I needed some Vitamin M.  Occasionally, if we were out early running errands, we'd get a snack cake and a soft drink.  "Breakfast of Champions", he'd say.

So, is it any wonder that in missing my Dad, I turn to food?  Dad was food, and Dad was comfort, and in absence of Dad... there is food.  And a modicum of comfort.

I'm not sure what the shrink gleaned from my drawing of Dad.  But I suspect in some file somewhere, there's a note that reads:

"Probably not ADD. Seems depressed.  Give her Ritalin anyway.  Also, probably going to have an eating disorder.  Daddy issues."

Happy Father's Day.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Agony of the Feet

I have funky feet.

They don't smell bad - they're just kind of wonky.

I blister easily.  Once, a long time ago, I ran a 10K.  Actually, I did this same 10K three times, but I'll talk about the first time I did it.

The Peachtree Road Race is a huge 10K that takes place down Peachtree Street in Atlanta.  On the 4th of July.  It's a big, big race.  About 40,000 people run it - the prize for the madness is a t-shirt. A highly coveted t-shirt.  Once you get the shirt, you wear it to whatever your other 4th of July activity is for that day.

So, the first time I ran the Peachtree Road Race... well, I didn't run it so much as speed walk it.  But.

I did it.  And it wasn't pretty, but I finished.  But within the first 10 minutes, I had blisters on the balls of my feet.  By the time I hit the finish line, the soles of my feet were squishy.

And that's where things got weird.   I met up with my mother after I was done.  She worked the medical tents there.  She suggested I wait for her to finish up, and then we could walk to the MARTA train together.  I was ready to go, so I said I would head out on my own. 

The problem is, I wasn't entirely sure I of where I was going, and I ended up getting turned around.  So instead of walking maybe a quarter mile to a nearby station, I walked three miles to a station that was clearly not near the finish line.  I was overheated, dehydrated, exhausted and in pain.  When I got to my station, I couldn't find my car.  I hobbled around for a bit and found it, then got in my car and drove to my apartment. 

I spent much of the next few days attempting to rehydrate.  I ended up getting a massage because I was in a lot of pain. I went on to do the race two more times and managed to not get so messed up, but the bottom line is that the bottom of my feet will blister at the slightest provocation.

Which is what happened last night.

I had to get quickly from Concourse B, Gate 24 to Concourse F, Gate 7 at Chicago O'Hare.  That doesn't really mean much - but basically, it was a good 15 minute mile. With a backpack, and crowds, and... anyway.  I hustled to my new gate and my sandals turned my feet into hash.

So, now I'm walking gingerly.  But I'm home for the next 72 hours, and I am going to love my dog, cook some fresh vegetables, and do some laundry.

Living the dream.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Well, fuck.

So, some shit went down in Orlando in the early hours of this morning.  A man walked into a club and shot a metric fuck ton of innocent club goers.

The current count is 50, but that's obviously an estimate.  And says nothing of the 53 that went to area hospitals, some critically wounded.

There are some things that add information here - it was a gay club, and apparently Latino Night.  The shooter told his father he was homophobic.  He had been interviewed at one point by the FBI.  He had, at some point, pledged his allegiance to ISIS.  He was, apparently, a Muslim.

And we can talk about all of that, later.

What matters now is that one man, heavily armed, well-prepared and extremely organized, went into a crowded building, hell-bent on taking out a lot of people, and that's what he did.

And for every one of those 50 people, there are dozens of friends and family who will miss them.  And for every one of the 53 taken to the hospital, there are dozens of family and friends who are worried.  And several hospitals filled with staff who will care for them and watch them recover, or not.  And there have been/will be emergency responders, police, detectives, FBI, ATF folks who have to see something so horrific that no classroom scenario could ever prepare them for.

It affects all of us, in some way.  Maybe we make jokes to keep from crying, or watch the news coverage til we're numb.  Or try not to think about the number of times we've been in a club minding our own business, or we can be grateful that we haven't been directly affected by gun violence.

But it affects us all, even if not directly.

I don't know how we fix it.  But I want to fix it.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Get Low

I have started this post a half dozen ways and none of them work.

So here it is. I don't want to get back on the road for four weeks straight. I really, really don't.

I want to hang with Piper, cook big healthy dinners and declutter my attic. Watch movies with Matt. Even ones I hate.

But I also need to keep getting paid.

So. There's that.

I guess I should keep buying lottery tickets.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Oh, shoot!

So, a few months ago, I agreed to help some folks at work.  They were building a safety course on what to do in the event of an Active Shooter.

It's sad that we live in a world where that's necessary.  But we do.

I did it for a few reasons: I like the people who were in charge of it, I thought it would be a nice way to support them, and mostly... gore makeup.  I am a little too excited by gore makeup.

So, I did it.

My only thought is... I should've worn Spanx.  Double Spanx. 

I will avoid putting any of the gory images up here, though there are PLENTY.

I will put up the image of me hiding under a table in a barricade conference room.

Terror on the Sixth Floor!

Film at 11.


Monday, June 6, 2016

Up Dog

I'm home for a whole week for what will be the last time til July 11th.  That's... not optimal.  But, it is what it is, right?

Anyway, I had the whole weekend with just me and Piper, and it was a lot of fun.  I sprung her from the Kennel we board her at when we have to, and she was pretty stoked to see me.  She was also EXHAUSTED.

And for what it's worth, SO WAS I.

This was taken before I dusted and swept this room.  Don't judge.

So we took a lot of naps.  And we did some housework.  And we napped some more.

These feet.  I. CAN'T. EVEN.

And I went and got a pedicure:

That's OPI Rich Girls and Po-Boys.

And finally, after all the housework was done...

We napped.

I plan to enjoy my girl as much as possible while I'm here.  And I'll miss her when I'm gone, then enjoy here when I get back.

That's how we do it.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Whine and Cheeseburgers

I am in Ohio. Typically, I don't love it here. I've had a few doozy classes in the Buckeye State. Got a speeding ticket here, had someone hit my parked vehicle here.

But I've had some good meals, a few fun times.

And although the work part of this trip is beating me sideways, the non-work part isn't the worst.

The Hampton where I am laying my curly, increasingly gray head is nice. Good location, quiet.

And then there's Adam.  Adam checked me in last night and we struck up a conversation. He clued me in on where to eat while I'm here. And he is just nice, personable and enthusiastic. I pegged him as about 23. He's 30.  But he's good at his job, passionate about his town, and I like that.

I'm also near a mall. A nice one with a Charming Charlie, a Macy's and a Lane Bryant. I had an ex-boyfriend who called it Lane Giant. While I shopped there. Note: ex.

My car is fun this trip. I got a yellow VW Beetle. It works.

So. I have some good food, a diversion or three...

I'll be home in no time.