Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yep, It's Done Over Here

I won't be updating this blog anymore. The archives will remain up for the time being while I slowly transfer them over. But to get the new material, visit me at my brand-spanking-new home: www.nabbalicious.com.

I hope to see you over there!

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Big News

I'm a dot com.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Time May Change Me, But I Can't Change Time

Did you know that that was our high school senior class quote in 1991? I think as far as senior class quotes go, we quoted someone awesome. Considering that "Ice, Ice Baby" was the big hit back then, things really could have been horrible. Oh wait. They were. Our prome theme was "Under the Sea." My date, Ron, and I posed in front of a wall full of fluorescent painted fish and crap.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that there are changes going on, and I hope to have something specific to tell you by Friday if I can get my act sufficiently together. Don't you make me start singing "Patience" and doing my Axl Rose dance. 'Cause I totally will.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yes, the Statues Are Back Because I'm Running Low on Material

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Monologue We Overheard Months Ago, Which I Am Just Now Getting Around to Blogging About

"So, like, I ran into her and was all, 'Hey, how are you?' and she was like, 'Oh, I'm good' and I said, 'Yeah?' And she said, 'Yeah, abso-lute-ly.'

So, like, we were talking and stuff and it was going pretty well, so I was like, 'Do you want to go grab some dinner at Cosi later or something?' and she was all 'Abso-lute-ly' and I was like, 'Great.' So, I got there a little early, but then she was late. But we sat down and we had a nice meal and we got coffee. I didn't want to go home, so I asked her if she wanted to hang out some more and she was like, 'Abso-lute-ly.'

So, we walked by the White House and all around, and we were talking and she told me that she was leaving the country for, like, a month or something. I don't know, man. I'm not sure what she was doing, but she said she had to leave. I asked her if she wanted to get together when she got back, and she said, 'Abso-lute-ly.' But it's been a few weeks...I haven't heard from her, but we're going to make plans."

That's when I leaned over to the Mr. and said, "Yeah, I don't think this one is going to work out. Time to move on."
"I know! Poor guy."
"Leaving the country? Never a good sign."
"Shhhh!"

Lock

Monday, January 23, 2006

It's Nothing A Little Peanut Butter Afterward Won't Fix





Scenes from a Saturday Morning

10 a.m.
Hop on the internet because tickets for a show are going on sale and you want to be first.

10:00:01 a.m.
Two tickets, please. Enter some letters to prove you're not a robot. You're glad to have settled that.

10:00:05 a.m.
Tickets have been reserved. Caveat: You have 4 minutes and 45 seconds to fill out your address, phone number, credit card information and just a few simple questions about your hopes and dreams and a short essay on the meaning of life, in which you should be sure to include footnotes. If you fail to complete the survey in a timely manner, you will lose your tickets and start over.

10:01:03 a.m.
You're a fast and accurate typist, usually. But the pressure, it's getting to you. Your fingers can't seem to find the keys.

10:02:15 a.m.
All you can manage to crank out is garblegjaeras;lkjafn.

10:02:45 a.m.
You're cracking. Dude, what is your phone number? Your aversion to the phone is finally coming back to haunt you, and the clock is ticking fast.

10:03:34 a.m.
Why is it that you can remember your debit card number, your bank account number and your old bank account number that you haven't used in something like nine years, but you can never remember the three-digit security code on the back of your debit card? What the hell is your problem? No, you're really asking.

10:04:15 a.m.
Almost there.

10:04:37 a.m.
You made it! What's this? $3.25 for will call? Bullshit!

10:05:03 a.m.
No, seriously. Total bullshit. A $14 ticket has suddenly become $22 after service charges are factored in.

10:05:04 a.m.
And the Postal Service is no different. It costs $3.25 to mail what you're assuming is two little scraps of paper. If they turn out to be gold bricks, you won't complain. Plus, you knew the rates were going up and all, but this is highway robbery. You shake your fist at the monitor and prepare to grab your torch and round up all the other angry villagers.

10:05:33 a.m.
Steam starts coming out of your ears. Trade indignant e-mails with maliavale about ticket prices these days and, why, back in your day...

10:05:44 a.m.
Oh, who are you fooling? You're going to get the tickets anyway. You've played right into their hands, those bastards.

10:05:46 a.m.
But you are so writing a letter about this.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Snap

Commencing Countdown, Engines On

[This post was totally inspired and piggy-backed off Jurgen Nation's post of yesterday.]

I don't do math. When I was a kid, my life's goal was to be an astronaut. I wanted to be the next Sally Ride. What's so hard about being an astronaut? You suit up, climb into the rocket and off you go. You do a few orbits around the earth, maybe snap a few pictures for the friends back home, float around in zero gravity, make a pit stop on the moon, hang out for a bit, pocket a couple of moon rocks and then you're home in a week or two telling everyone about the awesome trip you just took. I just don't think jobs get more awesome than that, in my book.

I was just about failing math during my freshman year of high school, and my parents were called in for a conference.

"Nabbalicious, you're going to need math to get by in the real world," said that skank Mrs. Elliot. "Oh? Really? I doubt it."
"Uh-huh. What do you want to be? What kind of career are you looking at?"
"Astronaut." How I said this with a straight face, I will never know. I mean, I was fourteen. Time to get a little realistic about my capabilities.
"You need math for that."
My jaw dropped. I looked at my mom. "Is this true?"
She nodded her head. "Yes."
"And there's no way to be an astronaut and not need math? There has to be something."
"You need math."
"Fuck!" OK, that was in my head.
"Well, this is the first I've heard of that. Hmph!"

I suppose I was just thinking I'd show up at NASA one afternoon after graduation, asking for a job application. I'd fill out my name, my past experience ("Hostess at the Magic Pan restaurant from 1990-1991" -- cool under pressure!) and wow them with my charms in an interview. I'd be hired, go through a little astronaut training for a day or two ("Press this button to go warp speed; this here button slows you down if you get a little more warp than necessary; if you need to contact ground control, flip this switch."), be fitted for my spacesuit, get a nametag and to the stars I go.

Instead of clinging to my lifelong dream and buckling down at math, though, I said farewell and went back to pursuing my other goal of becoming a supermodel. They don't need math, dammit.

I'm still very insecure about math. Don't ask me what 70 divided by 3 is. Or even 2. I don't know. I like to think that I've very successfully proved Mrs. Elliot wrong. Turns out, I don't need math. I've gotten by quite well without it. The trick is to just get other people to do it for you. The things they don't teach you in high school.

The only person who doesn't really play along is the Mr. I guess I can't blame him. He's not much of a math person, either, but he is smarter than I am, so I think it's only fair that he do my math for me. If it were in me, I'd do the same for him.

Whenever we go out to eat and it's my turn to pay up, he just loves to psych me out.

The Mr.: So, what are you going to tip?
Me: Umm, what's 20%?
The Mr.: Eh. I don't know.
Me: Come on. What's good?
The Mr.: Whatever you think is fair.
Me: (Argh) OK. Um. Is $7 fair?
The Mr.: (grimacing) Hmmm...
Me: Um! $8? $9? Help! I don't know!
The Mr.: (shaking head sadly) Well...

Here, I begin to panic.

Me: I'm not cheap! I'm a good tipper!
The Mr.: I know!
Me: Help! I liked the service! I don't know what to tip! What's 20%?! I can't figure it out! I can't do the math! (commence pathetic whimpering)
The Mr.: Oh, $7.50 should be fair.
Me: (collapses)

Clearly, there are flaws in my little system.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Light

Song for Adam

When I was back home last month, my mom and I dug out my old high school yearbooks. Really, why? Why did I do that? Is it really necessary? I might have broken a bone or two from all the cringing.

But I'm surprised by how much has come back to me, and how well I remember most of the people who signed my yearbook. The best friends always had a page reserved for them. The good friends got half a page. I hated signing the yearbooks of the people more popular than I was. I liked to head straight to the back, where all the blank pages were, but it always seemed that every single one of those pages were reserved.

"Reserved for Susan."
"Reserved for Lisa."
"Reserved for Kelly."
"Oh, here, this little corner? Yeah, I think that's open. Sign there."

I did the same thing, but I don't think I ever had more than two pages reserved for someone else.


Most of the messages in my yearbook were variations on six different things:

"The Cure rules!"
"Your parents need to mellow."
"We need to hang out this summer."
"Have a good life!"
"Have a lousy summer!"
"Maybe I'll see you sometime!"

At the time, I figured that I would see so many of these people again, that we'd keep our promises to hang out over the summer, that phrases like "have a nice life!" were just jokes. We were such close friends. BFF! Yeah, not so much.


Even Jesse, one of my best friends. He wrote a full page, a heartfelt message, and I never saw him again. Well, that's not entirely true. I saw him in a photo on the front page of our local paper. It was part of a story on a bunch of students who had gone to Africa, and he was one of them.

Toward the back of my sophomore yearbook, I saw Adam's note to me. Adam. Adam Hiteside-Way.

At my high school, Adam was this elusive, mysterious, totally intimidating figure that all the girls drooled after. He didn't look like the rest of the students, not even close. Even though he was two years ahead of me, he looked much older, more sophisticated. I couldn't picture him cracking open a book. He didn't look like he even needed to. Adam already knew the ways of the world. He'd seen it all. The only picture of him in the yearbooks is one in which he was voted "Best Dancer" in the senior polls. He really didn't seem to be for real.

On nice days, he rode a red Vespa scooter to class. On rainy days, he drove a black Cadillac. He was almost never without his beige trench coat, and his pants were always creased and pressed. He smoked Dunhill cigarettes. When my best friend, Candace, found this out, we went to a smoke shop at the mall and had someone buy a pack for us. Then we sat on a bench outside and smoked them.

"Hm."
"Yeah. These are Adam's cigarettes."
"I know. Weird. They're OK, I think."
"I like the box. It's so big."
"They're from England. That's so cool."
"I guess I can see why he likes them."

I never talked to Adam. I barely made eye contact. You didn't look directly at Adam. He would burn your retinas.

One day, I got kicked out of P.E. class and was sent to sit in the lobby of the building that housed the gym. When I walked in and sat down on the floor, I looked over. It was Adam. We were alone, breathing the same air. It was my big chance. Since I couldn't think of anything witty, I went with aloof and wrote in my notebook. Knowing me at that age, it was probably various combinations of the two of our names. A few minutes passed, and it became apparent that aloof wasn't working in my favor, because Adam could play that game twice as well. I was going to have to bite the bullet and talk to him first.

"Um, so what are you in here for?"
He said something back. I don't know what. You think I was listening to him? I think I sat there, watching his lips move, amazed that what he was saying was being said to me.

We traded a few words, and then it happened.

I started giggling uncontrollably. It was right after he told me how much he liked Chanel No. 5. The nerves had gotten to me and I was losing my shit. And I had been doing so well, too. I told myself to hold it together about twelve times, finally calmed down and we said a few more things, but you know, I just couldn't seem to shake the feeling that he thought I was insane.

I recovered, but it turns out, Adam was really boring. And maybe also gay. Either way, it wasn't in the cards for us. Dude was way out of my league.

Don't get me wrong, though. I still wanted his attention.

On the last day of school, I approached him and asked if he would sign my yearbook. That scene in the pilot episode of "Felicity" where Felicity approaches Ben to sign her yearbook, then stands nearby, pacing nervously as he writes what is obviously more than just his name? That was me.

Adam said "Sure," grabbed my book and squatted down to rest it on his knee as he wrote*:



Well, it's not exactly "let's hang out this summer!", but I'll take it.

* Translation: Well, what can I say, at least there's one less trendy person on the face of this black planet. Don't change -- for anyone -- Posh Boy** (Adam Hiteside-Way). P.S. Go buy a Bauhaus album or two***

** Posh Boy? Mmm-hmm.

*** It took me weeks to translate what was after the P.S., but I did have Bauhaus! If only he knew! We could have been so happy together!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Holding On

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fingers

It's Good to Be Alone

The Mr. begins a new job this week. I'm not at liberty to say what it is, but it's pretty much the same job he was doing before, just for a bigger, better organization.

He travels a lot. Sometimes he's gone for two weeks, sometimes a week, but most often, he's gone for 5 days of the week 10 months of the year. Even though I love to be alone, it took a little getting used to at first. I remember a colleague asking me how I was doing when he first started this work, and I almost burst into tears on the spot, I was so miserable. In fact, I think my exact answer was whispering, "Not good" and shaking my head and my eyes welled with tears.

But the adjustment period was short-lived, and I got used to him being gone so much. Maybe too used to it. Every other time I talk to my friend Kim she says, "Honey, I don't know how you survive with him traveling so much. There is just no way I could do it. You are so independent."

Oh, but I'll bet she could manage just fine if she knew about all the things I do when he's not there. If she had just a glimpse into the rampant hedonism, she'd be shoving her husband Kent onto the next flight out of LAX.

I do disgusting, shameful things when the Mr. isn't there, or anyone else, for that matter. Things I would almost never admit to if cornered and directly asked.

There was, for example, the first birthday I spent alone in 2001. The Mr. left early that morning, so I was on my own. Nothing was going to get in the way of my good time, so I drowned my sorrows in a giant hunk of delicious store-bought cake. All. For. Me. Oh, and the time I bought a tub of frosting at the store, got it home, grabbed a spoon and ate about half the container? Good times. Really good.

For one or two days, I'll stay in my pajamas all day. I'm not proud to admit this, but I've been known to walk the dogs after dark so I can a) just throw on a jacket over my pajamas and b) if I run into anyone I know, hey, it's dark. Are they going to notice I'm not in normal clothes? OK, I might be deluding myself a little with this one. The neighbors probably call me Frannie Flannel Pajamas behind my back or something.

I can feel free to ease up on the hygeine a little, too. When the Mr. isn't there, who am I getting all dolled up for? Frankly, the dogs seem to enjoy kissing me more when I'm rocking the rancid breath. Their noses hover by my mouth just a second longer and they seem to be wondering, "What is that scent I'm detecting...a little morning breath, perhaps? Oh, it's just delightful." I'll skip shaving my legs for a day or two. Keep this quiet, but I've taken a pass on showers for upwards of two days, as well.

Make that Frannie Flannel "Stank" Pajamas. I don't know, but between this and the walking-dogs-in-pajamas thing, it's a wonder I haven't been committed, isn't it?

Last, but not least: the crappy movies and television I can watch free from the Mr.'s sneering judgment and eye-rolling! I recently took in "Road House," and wow, was it bad. Fantastically so. But I got to watch it without hearing "Why are you watching this crap?!" once. "Center Stage" also makes a regular appearance, because it pains me to hear the Mr. snicker during the exciting, gripping final dance scene. So what if I want to watch a "Sex & the City" rerun for the 400th time? And maybe I like watching UPN's Late Night Comedy Block, because that Kevin James, he makes me laugh...step off.

So, that's how I muddle through.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got "13 Going On 30" waiting in the DVD player.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Because I Can't Talk About Journey Too Much. Or Can I?

We were in my car, on a two-hour drive back home. The Mr. was driving while I played DJ with the iPod. I picked assorted favorites, classics and songs I just generally thought he should think about getting into.

And then, I could resist no longer. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' " was up in the rotation. The drums started. Then the piano kicked in.

you make me weak
and wanna die
just when you
said we'd try
lovin', touchin', squeezin'
each other

He made a face. "Come on. Journey sucks."

"No they don't!"

"I'm sorry. They do."

"There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love Journey, and people who say they hate Journey and are lying about it."

One should note: he didn't dispute that.

Face

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Despair

Friday, January 13, 2006

Take Me Where the Rhythm Is Crazy

The most frequent type of comment that shows up on the comment board at my gym is always some variation of, "I hate the music you play. Play something else!"

I've seen things like:

"That hip-hop is just so offensive and trashy. What language! Please find something more appropriate."

"Soul? For working out? Way to put me to sleep! Can't you find a better station?"

"That techno is giving me a headache! Do you really have to play music like that, especially first thing in the morning? We're at a gym, not a nightclub."

I get so tired of these freaking whiners. A few weeks ago, I wrote a comment saying:

"If you want to hear music you like, why don't you just bring an iPod or a walkman? It's not all about you, and get over yourselves if you think your taste in music is going to appeal to everyone else here."

The lady who answers the comments posted mine and said, "YES! THANK YOU!" Hey, happy to help. I think I would like her job, answering those comments. Smacking down people who are just being big babies is fun, and it would have been especially fun to address the hip-hop complaint with a profanity-laced tirade.

I think the fitness director should have been telling these people off long ago, frankly. She's been way too nice. Her usual response is, "If you don't like the music, please go to the front desk and ask them to change the station!" How is that workable when you have 50 people who all want it on a different station?

Anyway, I thought she and I finally had the last word, until a few weeks ago, I noticed this comment:

"Could you please not play Barry Manilow in the morning? Instead of making me want to work out, it makes me want to find a pretty girl to take out dancing, and I just can't have that if I'm supposed to be getting my exercise!"

Awww. Well. I can see the guy's point.

Wreath

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Broken

You Think You Know Someone...

"Do you want to go to Chipotle for dinner tonight?" I asked. I was positive this would get a "yes" response, and was really only asking as a courtesy.

"Ehhh...not really," said the Mr.

Double-take. "What? Why not?"

"We just went last week."

"Yeah? And?"

"Isn't that enough?"

"No."

"Don't you ever get sick of it?"

"Huh? I was thinking a week is too long to go between Chipotle visits."

"Well, I was thinking that it's not long enough."

It is here that I stop to fan myself.

"Okay, okay," he says. "You can go to Chipotle and I'll go to Panera [next door]."

"Boy, I wonder who's going to have the better dinner?"

Before leaving the house, he asked, "So, where are we going to eat our dinner?"

"I just figured we'd take it home and eat it here."

"So, we're going to drive all the way out to Chipotle [a 15-minute drive] and then turn around and come home?"

"Well, we have to come home at some point, don't we?"

"I suppose. Are you sure this is worth it?"

"Hello, have we met?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wings

Got a Box Full of Letters Think You Might Like To Read

Before I began this blog, I had another hobby or two. One of them was "letter writer." Or, more descriptively, "profusely bitchy letter writer." I tended to direct my letters to businesses that I felt had either wronged me in some way or had some general room for improvement, often in the area of customer service.

I would blame it on crankiness and old-er age, but I can't. The fact is, I wrote my first letter in college, when I tried some new cereal that tasted like Ass Flakes. I wrote the company that invented the cereal to let them know that my breakfast was less than satisfactory, figuring, hey, maybe they'd just like some feedback. A few weeks later, I received a letter from the company thanking me for my comments and a free coupon for any of their other products.

As a college student, it was just as good as sending me a winning lottery ticket.

My next notable letter came a few years later, when I wrote to the salon that had accidentally dyed my hair orange, and then in an attempt to fix it, made it blonde. I wanted them to know they were awful and horrible and mean and I wanted my money back. The manager, who truly was an a-hole from the get-go, called me a few days later and I'm not proud to say this, but it devolved into an epic screaming match which ended with me yelling the words, "Oh, why don't you just fuck off?!" and slamming the phone down.

One really should be nice and logical when composing letters like this and dealing with companies, but I think this interaction is more illustrative of the fact that some people just aren't fit to deal with other people, and they apparently aren't aware of it. I know I'm not fit for it, which is why you don't see me running a salon.

My biggest score to come out of the letter writing came when I was living in Florida and preparing to move up north. I splurged on a cherry wood sleigh bed for my new apartment. The saleslady told me the bed would hold a full or a queen mattress. Being poor after buying the bed, I opted for a full mattress and found one at another store. Since I was to be moving soon, I didn't bother to assemble the bed.

A few weeks later, the Mr. and I drove to my new home and began to unload the moving van. After everything was in the apartment, we put the bed together. It was all going well until we put the mattress on and, boom, it fell clear to the floor. The bed holds one size and one size only, and it isn't a full. We drove to a mattress store, purchased a queen for $500, loaded it "Flintstones"-style onto my tiny little Geo Metro and collapsed when we got home.

The next day, I woke up still feeling peeved about the whole thing. Because of the woman's bad information, I was stuck with a mattress that was useless to me, and I couldn't do anything with it since it had been bought in another state.

I contacted the company and told them what happened, but they were unimpressed. That's when I broke out the big guns: the Better Business Bureau. I sent them a letter, complete with receipts, and let them go to town. A few weeks later, the response came: the company was going to reimburse us for the cost of the new, queen mattress. Did someone leave a horse's head in someone else's bed or something? We'll never know the answer.

And now, my most shameful moment as a letter writer:

Three years ago, the Mr. and I were on this kick where every Wednesday night, we'd go to , um, Airy-Day Ueen-Qay and get a Lizzard-Bay. We did this in the dead of summer, and we trudged through a snow-covered parking lot more than once in the winter.

One night, we pulled up to our usual Airy-Day Ueen-Qay around 9:45 and saw that it was closed. Since we pretty much lived there, we knew that 10 p.m. was the closing time, and not a second earlier, dammit. I must have been PMSing this night or something, because I smacked the wheel of my car.
"What?! Why is it closed?"
We could see some guy sweeping up inside.
"I don't know," said the Mr. "Maybe it's just some emergency and they had to close up early. It's not a big deal. Let's just go home."
"Oh, ho, ho. It is a big deal. I didn't finish my dinner so I'd have room! I want my damn Lizzard-Bay!"

There was no time to go to the other shop in town, so we had no choice but to give it up for that week. I was so mad, though, that the minute I got home, I e-mailed the company a letter. The next morning, I had calmed down some and forgot all about it.

A few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from the owner.

"Thank you for telling us of your experience at [location of the store]. We conducted an investigation into the matter, and we learned that the manager had closed the store early, going against our wishes. We fired him, and are happy to have done so."

Gulp.

Fired?

I got a guy fired?

"Please accept these coupons for two free Lizzard-Bays as a token of our appreciation."

Lizzard-Bays tainted with the blood of the manager.

I took the coupons out, but folded up the letter and stashed it away. I couldn't let the Mr. see what I had done. When he came home, I showed him the coupons. "Hey, look! I got coupons for complaining about them closing the store early! Cool, right?"
"Oh, yeah! Great!"

But the next day, I took out the letter and showed him. He laughed his ass off. "You got a guy fired?! Hahahaha, hoo-boy. Wow, I hope you're happy!"

Well, I cheered up some a week or two later when we got the Lizzard-Bays.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Union Square

Monday, January 09, 2006

See, Hear, Speak


The Pukersons

Well, it finally happened. I got sick. I mean, like, really sick.

I've boasted a little about my superhuman immune system before. I've remained frustrated that I never get to call in sick to work. Whenever I hear of someone who has called in sick, my first thought is, "Ugh. Lucky!" Even if the reality is that they're writhing on the floor in agony, it's not how I'm picturing them. In my head, they're camped out in bed, surrounded by books and bottles of Diet 7Up, watching bad television with a little thermometer in their mouth for good measure.

I haven't thrown up in 14 years, for any reason, whether it's illness or drunkenness. Sure, I've come close. But vomiting is just something I simply do not do. I refuse to throw up; I don't see it as an option. I don't care if it supposedly "makes you feel better." Whereas some people are resigned to the fact that throwing up is a part of life, I think, "No. There has to be another way."

I know lots of you probably throw up all the time, like, once every winter or something because of this thing I've heard about on the news. How you say, "the flu"? Is that right? But since this is practically an event for me, I thought I'd make a huge deal out of it and chronicle the entire thing for you. It's my little Halley's Comet, although a lot more colorful. And chunkier.

All day Wednesday, I'd been feeling a little off, but didn't think much of it. The symptoms mostly mimicked that of my previously documented IBS, although perhaps a little more intensely than usual. I've plugged through worse, so I ignored it. Jasclo and I had lunch, and afterward we went shoe drooling. I kept clutching my stomach and doubling over in pain. She'd ask, "Are you okay?"
"Yes, yes. I'm fine!"

I'm sorry, I didn't want to stop. We were proceeding up and down the aisles in an orderly fashion, and I wasn't quitting until we got to the end. Eventually, though, I caved and asked her to just please take me back to my car. I wanted to go home and rest.

I came home and, feeling a little better, puttered around the house for a bit. Then I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep. The Mr. asked what I wanted to do for dinner, and since my stomach seemed to have settled down a little, I chose pizza.

This choice could forever alter my life.

We had a nice dinner. I ordered a slice, a salad and some wine while he got a personal pizza. We came home and drank some more. Wine for me, beer for him. I plopped down the on the computer, lit my peach-scented candle, put on some music and sipped the wine. Eventually, it began to taste strange to me and was no longer appealing, and I gave up with half a glass left. Then the peach candle...boy, did it always smell this nauseating? I blew it out.

The nausea washed over me in waves. I needed to lay (lie? lay? lay lady lay?) down again. I logged off the computer, made my way toward our bedroom when I suddenly had to make a right turn and lunge for the guest toilet. It was coming, and I had no choice this time. I threw up four times in a row. Who knew my stomach could hold so much? The Mr. helped me to bed, where I tried to go to sleep but could only curl up and wish the pain would go away.

Once each hour, I had to throw up. From midnight until 6 a.m., instead of sleeping, I threw up. Around 2 a.m., the Mr. came into the bedroom, announced "I'm not feeling so good, either" and vomited.

Around 5 a.m., I started getting kind of thirsty and drank some diet Sprite. At 5:30 a.m., it came back up. Then, there was nothing left and I began the dry-heaving portion of the program. Then it started coming out the other end. And the chills came, alternating with fever. I kept throwing the blankets on, throwing them off, putting them on, never fully satisfied.

The Mr. and I eventually fell asleep and slept until late afternoon. The vomiting was over, but we still had the intestinal distress to contend with. We initially thought it was food poisoning, but now it's sounding more like "winter vomiting disease." Is there a vomiting disease for all seasons? I hope not. But it could have come from anywhere.

I woke up Friday feeling better, but I still seized my big moment to call in sick. I only felt perhaps 10% guilty about it, too.

The only thing I'm worried about now is that all this puking may have ruined pizza for me. My beloved pizza. I cringed whenever a commercial aired the whole time I was home, and I covered the takeout menu from the restaurant where we had dinner Wednesday. I just couldn't stand to look at it. There's still some hope, though. I ate a frozen pizza for dinner Saturday night and felt fine. If I can stomach that, things are looking up.

Well, until I blog about this again in 2020...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Long Distance Bleatication

The lone boy in the pack, Rocky the pygmy goat.

Stop

This looks like it could be a really dorky album cover, doesn't it?
Another one for the Hands Project.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Oh no, she di'int.

Is that my mother flipping me off? Yeah, I thought so. Afterward she said, "Oh, no. Is that going on the blog?" I said, "You bet it is." She probably thought I had forgotten all about it.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Goat

One of my mom's four goats. Don't ask me which one. I only know that her name is Sukie, Jane or Alex.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Couple of the Reasons I'll Be Hauling My Butt Back to Weight Watchers Today (Oh, But It Was Worth It)


The Black Book You Took

Last night, I bought something I haven't owned in years: an address book.

I'm an organization maniac. I'm not always successful at being perfectly organized, but I'm always searching for Total Organization Nirvana. It's been and will continue to be a lifelong quest. I feel drunk with glee when I see a room with everything in its rightful place, everything lined up, no clutter anywhere to be found. This is probably why I've been known to plop myself down and kick my feet up on the display couches at Pottery Barn and pretend like it's my house. I wish.

A few years ago for Christmas, mom got me a Palm Pilot. I had noticed earlier that year that my dad had a pretty nice one. As he showed me all it could do, I said, "Wow! I have got to get one of these!"
Dad stopped and said, "Why would you need a Palm Pilot?"

Sure, my life wasn't exactly busy or fast-paced, but a Palm Pilot would be another tool through which I could attain utter Nirvana.

After mom hooked me up, I sat down and got to work. At first, I exercised restraint and just added addresses and phone numbers. Then I created a "to do" list. Then I went hog wild and created multiple "to do" lists, prioritizing each item.

Then I lost my mind.

I made a list of all the spices we had in our pantry, so I wouldn't buy, say, nutmeg, again by accident.

I made a list of all the coupons in the paper I had clipped. They were alphabetical, complete with expiration dates.

I kept my grocery list on the Palm Pilot, much to the amusement of some random guy one day at the grocery store. He snickered as he said, "Oh, I tried keeping my grocery list on the Palm once. Doesn't work."
"You probably just weren't doing it right," I replied.

I listed things we needed for the house, things we wanted for the house.

Things I wanted, just in general. Usually clothes and shoes.

I listed my favorite stores. You know, just in case I forget how much I love Target.

My lifetime goals. My short-term goals.

Lists of my weight and measurements on various dates.

Books I wanted to read. CDs I wanted to own. Movies we wanted to see. I felt that all of this was important, because I suffer from some very irritating affliction that wipes my mind completely blank the moment I step into any store that sells or rents media.

I showed my mom, a fellow organization freak, all of my lists and she sighed, "Oh, I wish I had that much time on my hands! Honey?" she asked my stepdad, "Can I quit my job?"

Then my world came crumbling down. The Palm Pilot crashed, and I had backed up none of it. All of my precious lists, gone. Addresses and phone numbers, vanished. It was a wonder I didn't buy all kinds of cinnamon and oregano on my next trip to the store, sending our pantry into complete chaos. I had to send a humbling e-mail to everyone I knew telling them what an idiot I was and ask them for their contact information.

Anyway, ever since then, I've had a few trust issues with technology as an organizational tool and I've rediscovered my love of writing things down. Typing is nice and efficient, but a written note? Totally impractical, but so much better. Years ago, I had a pen pal. We kept it old-fashioned. Our notes were almost always hand-written, and even after e-mail came along, we decided to keep up our correspondence the cumbersome but rewarding way, except in emergencies. We're not friends anymore, but I saved all of his letters and I'll always treasure them because they feel like relics. It's a lost art.

These days, I keep my lists on paper, next to the bed. I reserve my nicest handwriting for them.

So, the address book. This is shameful, but I had been keeping my addresses on a chart I created in Word (and printed out, lest the computer crash) since the Palm Incident. Addresses acquired since I printed out that list two years ago are kept on little scraps of paper nearby. It's gotten pathetic, and I think a few of my friends are starting to lose patience with me calling to ask, "Um, so, what's your address again?" I think I've asked Arwen a record five times for her address and the last time I asked, I was kind of surprised she didn't come over here personally to tell me to get it together, already. It's really about time I got around to it, considering my lofty aspirations.

I've got my pencil, my best penmanship and my crash-proof black book at the ready. Maybe now I can head to Pottery Barn with it and sit at one of those cute display desks while I scratch out some letters.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Oh, They Never Catch the Squirrels

Fellow lip gloss lover Alyssa at Big Red Blog tagged me on this one. Really, I don't think you should waste your time reading my answers, because I'm just going to play it straight. Go read Darren's answers instead. They're much funnier.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was working at my first job in my chosen field, dating a guy I should blog about someday because he was such a piece of work and living in an apartment with four friends. I had my own room, though.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was probably still recovering from my New Year's hangover. Hoo boy.

Five snacks I enjoy
Peanut butter sandwiches
Fat Free potato chips
Oatmeal
Cheese and crackers
Ice cream

Five songs to which I know all the lyrics
Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', by Journey
Kiss Off, by Violent Femmes
Judy is a Punk, by the Ramones
Tables and Chairs, by Andrew Bird
Brain Damage, by the Blake Babies

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire
I don't know...a million doesn't go very far these days. Can I be a billionaire instead?

Five bad habits
Picking my cuticles
Not returning 99% of the phone calls I receive in a timely fashion
Spending too much time online
Going to Target every single day
My stubborness

Five things I like doing
Going to Chipotle
Baking (not to be confused with cooking)
Ordering in takeout, especially when it's pizza or Chinese (also not to be confused with cooking)
Encouraging Nabby and Rufus to terrorize squirrels in the park
Going to rock shows

Five things I would never wear, buy or get new again
Anything made from jelly (bracelets, shoes)
Anything that resembles anything Madonna wore in the "Borderline" video
Horizontal stripes
Those boots I bought last year that I actually threw in the garbage after one wearing because holy shit they hurt
Leggings

Five favorite toys
iPod
Camera
Lenses
The computer in general
DVR

So here's the deal: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot:
Greensunflower
me vs. rut
ala carter
Unhip
nabbalicious

Then select five people to tag
Just about everyone I know has done this, so you know, if you haven't and you're bored, knock yourself out!

Waiting to Take Off

Carl

Carl is a really cool friend of my brother's. One for the Hands Project.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Benjamin

Meet my other nephew, Ben. I didn't know about him until he was three weeks old because the flow of information in my family leaves a lot to be desired. He's two-years-old now, he talks up a storm, but he doesn't form many sentences. It's fun to ask him a question, because you can see the wheels turning. He thinks and thinks and thinks and he even scratches his head while he figures out what he wants to tell you, and then when he knows what it is, he gives you one perfect word to sum up everything he has to say.

When my stepmom puts Ben down for a nap, he yells, "Time out!!!!"

Ben is fearless. When Santa came over for Christmas (really, it was my aunt's boyfriend in a suit, not the Santa or anything), Ben leapt off my sister's lap and grabbed Santa by the hand and lead him to his seat. When it was his turn to sit in Santa's lap, Ben practically knocked Santa on his ass trying to get to him.

One of my cousins growled at Ben, and he ran away screaming. After three rounds of this, he ran away screaming, then turned around, clenched his fists and let out a lion cub's roar.

We watched the Wiggles with him (what is the deal with Captain Feathersword? He scares me.). At one point, they ordered all the kids to turn around. Ben began to turn, but halfway through, he pointed at the Mr. and ordered: "Do it." You have to draw the line somewhere, though.

The Bridge That Launched a Thousand Journey Songs

Sunday, January 01, 2006

T-r-o-u-b-b-b-l-e


This is my 3-year-old nephew, Steven.

Oh my heavens, I love him. Sure, he was way cute when he was a baby. But now that he talks? He's a freaking riot. He says my name. It's the greatest. I asked my sister if I could take him home with me. She has three kids, so I figured she'd probably be up for unloading one. It's win-win, because I'd be getting a kid that's potty-trained. She chuckled and said, "Oh, sure. You can have him." But I came home empty-handed.

After I took a bunch of pictures of him, and he leaned over to look at my camera.
As I showed him one of his photos, I said, "Wow, you're really cute, aren't you?"
"YEAH!"

He won my heart when we went out to dinner and he ran up to me and yelled something. I couldn't understand him and listened closely for a few seconds. By the fourth time he repeated himself, I heard it loud and clear. "Loser!! Looooo-serrr!"

At first I was like, "Dude, did my nephew just call me a loser? What did I do? Why am I a loser to a 3-year-old?!"
"Loooo-serrrr!"
Except, it was coming out more like "Looo-soowwww!"
I looked at my sister for explanation. "He doesn't know what it means. We're not sure where he picked it up. We haven't explained it to him yet."
Knowing that, I said, "No, you're the loser! Loser!"
"Looo-serrr!"
"Looo-serrr!"
"Hee hee hee hee!"

When we were at Mass on Christmas Eve, he was sitting two rows ahead of me. He mouthed "Loser!" and did the "L" shape with both hands. I did the "L" shape back. It was far more entertaining than anything else going on in church.

The Mr. thinks someone should explain what "loser" means before he enters kindergarten, lest he get his butt whooped after saying it to the wrong person. Hm. Good point.

His other favorite game is "knock knock" jokes with no point.
"Knock-knock!"
"Who's there?"
"Uhhh...the Wiggles!"
"HAHAHAHA!"

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

For the last few days, I've been thinking about the resolutions that I could make for myself for 2006. If you let me, I'll go on and on and list about 40 different things I'd like to accomplish or do differently. That's also about 37 different things I'll have forgotten all about by January 2nd.

This year, I'll take it easy, forget about the 37 things from the start and focus on the three things.

1) I'm going to read 40 books, dammit. This was one of my bigger personal disappointments in 2005, seeing that I scaled back to 40 from the traditional 50 to give myself a break, yet still couldn't manage it. For someone who enjoys reading, 28 books is kind of a pathetic number, don't you think? I can do so much better than this.

2) Just five more pounds gone. Please. I think I can do it. I feel disgusting enough right now, with my Christmas-acquired muffin tops and bat wings, that on January 1, my motivation will be stronger than ever.

Actually, I did well with this in 2005. Despite the holiday backslide, I've mentioned before that I managed to lose 10 pounds after buckling down and getting serious. This might be the least I've resolved to lose in years. Maybe next year I can use this space for something else, like resolving to go to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert every night.

3) I'd like to save some more money. I did pretty well in 2005, between my personal savings and retirement fund, and it'd be great to keep it up. I guess this means I can't also resolve to buy more shoes. Crap! My mom was telling me the other day about a friend of hers who has 80 pairs, and my first thought was, "New year's resolution!" But the Mr. would kill me. At least I'd be wearing bitchin' shoes.

There. Three perfectly manageable things. Less disappointment on December 31, 2006.

Have a great new year, y'all. See you on the other side of the hangover!

Turn to Clear Vision

Friday, December 30, 2005

I Didn't Know You Could Break Cameras With Too Much Cute

My nephew Steven, giving some snuggles to his little brother, Jackson.

Two Rare Photos, In Which We Aren't Trying To Poke One Another's Eyes Out*

I'll bet for a second you thought it was Robert DeNiro, right? No, it's just my (little) brother.

I don't know what happened here, but I'm trying not to spit out my drink.

*Courtesy of the Mr.

Once I Really Listened, the Noise Just Went Away

It's 7:01 a.m., and I'm at the ATL airport right now. I wish I had something interesting to say, because I feel like this is my big opportunity to sound really worldly and busy-busy-busy, like I blog during the limited downtime of my high-powered and glamorous job and I type between sips of my nonfat lattes and people wonder, "How does she do it all?" But the truth is, the Mr. and I got off the plane and I asked, "Does this airport have wireless?" and he wondered what I could want to do with the internet at 7 a.m. on a few hours of sleep. Hey, I could totally have stuff. He's so onto me, though. I just like the internet, that's all.

I'm not having any sort of coffee drink, either, because I'm going to need to sleep some more later. And the facade just falls away, doesn't it?

As I'm sitting here, though, people are glancing over at me. Maybe they think I'm doing something huge! I'm closing a big deal! I'm...updating my blog! Which they've probably never read! Unless, of course, they are members of the Site That Will Not Be Named.

Let's see. The flight was OK. It was so bumpy that at one point I tightened my seat belt. I never do that, because those things are so uncomfortable. They make me claustrophobic. At another point, the plane shook and dropped, and there was a loud "Thump!" from the back. I just gripped my book harder and went back to sleep.

Our flight did leave about 45 minutes late. At the time, I was very irritated, but now I'm kind of relieved. This was originally going to be a long layover -- just about two hours -- and now it's a fairly short one.

When I got off the plane, a couple that looked reasonably content while boarding were fighting. Well, she was fighting and yelling and waving her arms, while he stood there helplessly. I tried to linger nearby to see what it was all about, but I have no idea. Then she stormed off and left him to drag both their suitcases. They're not on our connection home, which I was disappointed to see. What got her so crazy?

There was just one baby behind us, but he or she only cried once, when we were getting ready to land. What a relief!

The Mr. and I did online check-in before leaving for the airport, and toward the back of the plane were a TON of empty seats. We picked an empty row. He got the window, I got the aisle (frequent trips to the bathroom and all that) and we thought, "What lunatic is going to pick a seat right in the middle of us with all these empty rows around?" The joke was on us, though. The flight was full, so we had a girl occupying the seat between us and thus, couldn't spread out. But I wound up having a nice sleep, anyway. I owe it all to my fuzzy, soft travel pillow. This thing is ridiculously comfortable and worth what I paid for it. In fact, I might go back and throw more money at the vendor because I'm so happy.

You know you're addicted and devoted to blogging when you're having an internal debate about whether you should sleep when you get home, or post some pictures from your trip.

I haven't decided which side wins yet.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Riot of My Own

I've had my iPod for just over three months, and just about the only thing I haven't done with it is put it on "shuffle." I've been afraid to. Why? Well, what if my iPod shows an affinity for Journey or the Carpenters? Oh, sure. I love Journey and the Carpenters, but shouldn't my iPod have better taste than that? Shouldn't my iPod, when left to its own devices, be the snobbiest of music snobs, or at the very least be somewhat selective? I'd like my iPod to be cooler than me, to give me something to aspire to.

So, it was with much trepidation the other night that I finally set the thing on "shuffle" and sat back to see what it would spit out.

1) "Nightswimming" by R.E.M. Good start. "Automatic for the People" is, in my opinion and with the exception of a few songs, a terrific album that reminds me of my sophomore year of college. I breathed a sigh of relief when this came on.

2) "Ann Arbor Grandfather" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. This is an album I recently added from the Mr.'s music collection, so I'm not so familiar with these guys. But this was a decent song. Good work so far, iPod. You're not embarrassing me. It's all I ask.

3) "Take Me I'm Yours" by Squeeze. OK! Things are looking good.

4) "AT & T" by Pavement. I was hugging and kissing my iPod by this point.

5) "She's a Woman (and Now He's a Man)" by Husker Du. I'm glad my iPod is showing some love for the Minneapolis music scene. I'd have preferred the Replacements, but Husker Du ain't too shabby.

6) "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" by Public Enemy. Just when you think you've got the iPod all figured out.

7) "Steve Berman (Skit)" by Eminem. Um. I should have just deleted the skits when I uploaded my Eminem CDs.

8) "Wait" by the Beatles. Good choice, but the iPod is taking the easy, safe route with this one, isn't it?

9) "Lives in the Balance" by Jackson Browne. The first real misstep. This is probably one of my least favorite Jackson Browne songs, so my heart sank a little when this came on.

10) "Linda Paloma" by Jackson Browne. This is an improvement, but I guess the iPod and I will just have to agree to disagree on Jackson Browne's best works.

I was going to stop at ten songs, but the last two selections were so disappointing that I decided to give the iPod a chance to redeem itself. I crossed my fingers and proceeded.

11) "White Riot" by the Clash. Love affair? BACK ON.

12) "Last Day of the Miner's Strike" by Pulp. Well, it's no "White Riot," but what is?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This One Didn't Make the Final Cut, But It Should Have

Another one of the Newport/Catalina stories we like to tell is one about Joe. Go look at his picture below before reading on. Cute, right? I mean, just totally adorable. He's still impossibly adorable (and also funny as hell), but man, as a kid...so cute!

Joe asked my stepdad, Eldon, for something, and no one seems to remember what it was, but Eldon said no. Joe was so mad, he stopped in the middle of the street and yelled:

"FUCK YOU, DAD!!!"

All of Catalina, right down to the buffalo that inhabit the other side of the island, heard it. It probably made the local paper the next day.

Don't be fooled by that face.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Just Another Story

Me and Joe, taking charge in Catalina. Dig the giant hair.

It's a rare thing when my stepbrothers Jake and Joe and I are all together in the same room. If we're lucky, it happens about once every several years or so. It happened again this Christmas, and like it does every time, the conversation eventually turned to a couple of legendary trips we took to Catalina and Newport Beach in the early '90s.

My stepdad was sent down to Newport Beach on business, and it was decided that this would be a family vacation. The first year, my dad loaned us his van (sans air conditioning), we loaded it up and head out. Jake, Joe and I thought that perhaps it would be wise to stay up all night, then fall asleep in the van and sleep the entire drive, waking up in sunny Newport Beach rested and refreshed. The plan worked until we found ourselves on the stretch of I-5 known as the Grapevine, which is legendary for the number of cars that fail to complete the journey. The grade of the hill and the heat kills transmissions. Jake, Joe and I woke up just as we hit the Grapevine dripping in sweat. To make matters worse, mom was blasting Linda Ronstadt, and I voiced my dissent immediately. Eldon put on the Doors, and when the part of "The End" that goes "The blue bus is calling us" came on, Eldon took out his blue brush and sang, "The blue brush is calling us..."

After surviving the Grapevine, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. We were crabby, hot and tired. Joe and I began to squabble, he told me to "take a Midol" and I smacked him with my open hand. We laugh about it now, but mom and Eldon say he looked a little dazed. Joe says he didn't even know what "take a Midol" meant at the time. He was just repeating something he heard that sounded like it could be funny.

Eventually, Joe and I made up and the three of us became a team again. Each morning, Eldon wanted us to get lost, so he gave each of us a twenty and told us to go have fun. The three of us would agree not to spend our money on anything but the bare necessities and instead, we'd look for free ways to have fun. Our most brilliant "bargain" was to jump off a little bridge that rose about 25 feet over the water. It was a carefully thought-out plan. We saw the bridge, thought, "Hey! Let's jump off of that while we're here. No one tell mom and Eldon." We discussed it for a day or so, decided that it would be wise to go into the water below the bridge before jumping to make sure there was nothing that could impale us. After the water passed inspection, we went back to the bridge, climbed over the railing, sucked in our breath, leaned over...and only Jake went. Joe and I froze at the pivotal moment and watched in horror as Jake plummeted toward the water, all flailing arms and legs, executing a perfect belly-flop.

Jake still thinks we set him up, even though we try to reassure him that up until it came time to actually let go of the bridge, we were dead serious about making the leap.

The next year, we spent a few days in Newport before going on to Catalina. What happened there was so embarrassing that my mother feels the need to trot this out as the capper to any Newport/Catalina-related storytelling binge. I've long since given up trying to stop her from telling it.

It all started in a bar and grill where a local reggae band was playing. Since I was in my thanfully short-lived "I love reggae" phase, I insisted that we all go to the restaurant and listen. When we got there, we were told that after a certain hour, the restaurant would become a bar and all the underage patrons without adults would be kicked out. Mom and Eldon wanted to leave after we had our dinner, but I begged them to allow me to stay behind. They agreed, but about five minutes after they left, I was booted out. The band continued to play, and the music could be heard through speakers outside the restaurant. I decided that the restaurant and their stupid rules weren't going to keep me down, man, so I just danced right there outside. By myself.

It wasn't long before a group of four men eating ice cream cones came by, sat down and began to watch me. They asked why I was dancing out there, and I told them, and they continued to watch. I wasn't really interested in continuing to dance or talking to them, but didn't know how to gracefully stop and walk away. Finally, about five very uncomfortable minutes passed before I saw mom and Eldon making their way up the street. "Oh, thank God!" I waited until they got a little closer, then abruptly stopped and ran toward them. Clearly, it was the graceful exit I had been waiting for.

"What were you doing?" they asked. I explained about the pervy men with their licking of the ice cream cones and the not knowing what on earth to do about it and ohthankthesweetbabyjesus they finally showed up.

Eldon said he and mom had been walking toward me having the following exchange:

"Oh, look at the girl dancing! She looks like she's having fun."
They got a little closer.
"Wow, that looks like Nabbalicious."
A little closer.
"That is Nabbalicious!"

And now Eldon always adds, "And the men! They were just sitting there, licking their ice cream cones and just waaaatching her! Oh, it was so gross! Hahahaha."

We always tell these stories, always in the same order. The same people say the same things like we're all in a play and we know our lines by heart, yet every time, it feels like it's the first time I heard them.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Bring It On

I've gotten VERY good at parallel parking, since I have been doing it almost daily for seven years. It's my specialty, a trick I use to amaze, wow and win over my friends and influence people. I'm not generally a braggart, but if I were to totally brag about something, it would be my parallel parking ability.

And now, I can finally present some evidence. This was taken a couple months ago, but I just received the picture from the photographer.

My car is the one in the center, with three inches of wiggle room. Behold*:




Oh, don't feel too bad for the poor guy behind me. After this was taken, the guy in front of me moved his car forward, and then I moved my car.

*How you like me nowwwww, maliavale?