Monday, February 28, 2005


I'm guessing that back in the olden days, these were used for people to park their horses? It's not in the frame, but there's a hook thing in its mouth.

You CAN Find True Love At 8, Kids

Fellow lip-gloss devotee Alyssa over at Big Red Blog invited me to expound on my most favoritest lip gloss. She has her own musings on her favorite up there today, as well, so go check it out!

Over the years, I have tried all manner of lip balms. It all started in my youth, when my grandma used to send my sister and I ginormous value packs of Bonne Bell lip gloss at Christmas. Cherry. Watermelon. Bubble Gum. But one flavor rose to the top and stood out above all of the others: the mighty Dr Pepper. The flavor? Delicious. The tint, just right for my not pale-not quite tan skin tone. The price, $1.09 at Target today, and perfect for loading up. The staying power? Pretty darn good. Moisturizing effects? It's downright soothing. It can't be beat.

In some of those years between that first lip-balm Christmas and now, I had doubted our love. Is it really possible that I found what I hadn't even been looking for at the tender age of 8? I wasn't ready to commit. Sure, Dr Pepper was great and all, and had all the qualities I was looking for in a lip balm, but I wanted to sow my wild oats for a few years and really find out if Dr Pepper was The One.

I heard about Kiehls' #1 (in the tub). Kiehl's was manna from heaven, from the sound of it, so I thought I'd give it a try. There was the initial rush -- I was using legendary lip balm! But the high faded fast. It has no tint, doesn't smell like anything special and is a little greasy. Meh.

Jasclo tried to set me up on a blind date with some lip balms inspired by snack foods: namely, Junior Mints and Sno-Balls. Junior Mints smelled chocolatey, but was lacking in the mint smell department. While it was a good date, it wasn't exactly as advertised. Sno-Balls is moody. Sometimes it smells like coconut. Sometimes it smells like cake. And we were always out of sync. When I wanted to smell coconut, Sno-Balls was all, "But I'm cake now!" We weren't feeling each other.

Four years ago, the kind of wisdom that comes with age was bestowed upon me. I looked up Dr Pepper to see how it was doing. Oh, it was doing great. Wanted the world over. I would go to Target to find it, and often, it wouldn't even be there. But...would it take me back? Would it forgive me my lip gloss infidelities? Dr Pepper was understanding. A little hurt, sure. We started up again slow. One tube, here and there. Gradually, I added more. And today, I am happy to report that there are no fewer than 12 tubes of Dr Pepper stationed around the house, in the car and in my desk at work.

It's an open relationship, though. Dr Pepper knows I'll never leave again, and is secure enough to allow me to experiment with other balms. Some of them are nice -- the A&W Root Beer flavor is a new favorite (there is no tint, however) -- but none of them have every single quality I am looking for on one balm except the magical Dr Pepper. We will never be apart again!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Happy Oscar Day

Here are my predictions, which will probably be way off in most instances:

Best Actor: You've gotten the memo that it's going to be Jamie Foxx, right?
Best Actress: Hilary Swank
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (originally I thought Virginia Madsen would win, and I really want her to, but has Cate ever turned in a bad performance? Although one could argue that Virginia deserves a body of work Oscar for Candyman. Come on! That movie was scary.)
Best Movie: Million Dollar Baby
Best Director: Martin Scorcese
Who Will Look Like the Most Butt: Please, this is a gimme. Star Jones, of course!
Who Will Look All Pretty N' Stuff: Kate Winslet
Who Will Be the Big Attention Hog All Night: Julia Roberts
Who Will Most Want to Smack Julia Roberts: Me
Who Will Be So Funny That You Will Spew Soda Through Your Nose: Chris Rock

Happy viewing!

Isn't He Cute?

It's one of the geese I posted a photo of a few weeks ago. This one is a crackup. As soon as he (she?) saw Nabby and I, he almost fell flat on his face in an effort to get off the porch and race to the fence to greet us. When he got as close as he could, he just stood there quacking at us. Maybe he was asking for Peeps, and who could blame him?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

This Is Also Why We Don't Have A Lawn

Me and plants, we do not get along. Give me a plant, and I will personally guarantee that it will be dead in a month or your money back.

I've tried, really. When we moved into this house, the seller had planted some lovely pansies and other things I don't know the name of in front. By the end of summer, they were gone. And I did not know this, but it's my understanding that pansies are pretty hardy and can live through winter. Correct me if I'm wrong on that. Either way, our pansies are all dead. Maybe the fact that I only watered them once or twice had something to do with it. I've tried other plants, too. Ferns and assorted greenery in pots, hung in a nice, sunny spot. I'd feed them with Miracle-Gro and sing them little songs, but they'd always die on me.

Then I heard about bulbs. They're the perfect plant for lazy people! You plant them in the fall, and do nothing. Sounds about right! But still, it was with little hope that I planted them last August. If anyone could screw this up, it would be me. Don't ask what I planted, though. I remember tulips.

So, imagine my shock this morning when I let Nabby out to do her business, and I saw little leafy things that most definitely were not weeds sprouting up where I had planted the bulbs. Even if they don't ever bloom, I will always remember this day as the Day I Realized I Could At Least Get Green Things That Aren't Weeds To Sprout In My Back Yard.


Friday, February 25, 2005


The Bishop's Daughter

When dooce does her "in the name of the Heavenly Father forever and ever amen" (or some variant), I have flashbacks to the days when I was a Mormon. That's a whole other story. The thing I most vividly remember about those days is Heidi, the bishop's daughter. They were such a nice family, actually. Very blond and blue-eyed. Very righteous and surprisingly accepting of someone like me, who was the opposite of righteous. I think the words I'm looking for are "totally hellbound."

Anyway, there were a lot of righteous girls in the church and most of them avoided me, lest they learn that not listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was a much more fun way to spend Sundays. Heidi and I weren't best pals, but she was always nice to me. And now I realize it was because she was so secure in her faith that she knew in her heart that the path she was on was the right one for her and no amount of slumber parties with me, in which I cajoled all the goody-goodies into TPing the neighbors' houses, were going to lead her astray. I can respect that.

But that's not what I really remember most about Heidi, unfortunately. What I remember most vividly is that about four times a year, she would get up in front of the congregation for reasons I don't remember, and testify her faith. She'd tell stories meant to inspire the rest of us. And each and every time, she'd end her testimony by professing her love for the Lord. "I believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ..." OK, OK. "And..." here is where it would always go awry "...I" (sobs) "...Heavenly Father loves meee." The "me" always came out as more of a honk, because at this point, she would be in hysterics. She became so legendary for it, that whenever my mom, brother and I saw her going up to speak, we'd start laying bets on what word she'd make it to before breaking down.

The totally hellbound apple doesn't fall far from the totally hellbound tree, does it?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

You've Been Invited to a Pity Party -- No Need to RSVP! Your Presence Is My Present.

The last few days, I've been feeling a little down. I miss my family and friends back home. This is going to sound hilarious coming from a hardcore phone-hater, but I wish the onus weren't so much on me to stay in touch (preferably by e-mail, of course). I do great with being alone most of the time, but believe it or not, I do get lonely out here. And I want to hear from someone familiar. I want to hear stories, too. I want to know what's going on in everyone's lives. I want to hear things that won't make me feel so far away. I know it was my choice to move away from home, but sometimes I feel like I'm forgotten and I'm always the one saying, "I'm thinking about you." Is anyone thinking about me?

My mom does a great job with calling and e-mailing frequently. My mother-in-law always writes the most thoughtful notes and calls us frequently. And Kim and Trish have been great, too. Our lives have gotten busier, but they're just as much my best friends in the world as they were when we were dancing our butts off, flirting with guys and drinking ciders at 'Toons. But there are some people I never, ever hear from. And this week, it kind of made me cry. But maybe that's just where I live. Sometimes there isn't much else to do around here.

But anyway, today, I got an e-mail from my sister-in-law, Laura. And I don't think she reads this blog, but I hope I conveyed how absolutely thrilled I was to hear from her without sounding too psychotic. But it was just what I needed at the perfect time, and I'm feeling a lot better.

It's...Too...Much... Can't...Read...Any...More

Beccause I had about 7,000 unused airline miles, I got to trade them in for magazine subscriptions. I gave subscriptions to me and the Mr., to friends, to friends of friends. And by the time all was said and done, I still had 1,000 miles left.

So, now I've got the Wall Street Journal awaiting my perusal each morning, alongside our regular paper, which I rarely have time to read thoroughly. But, whatever. I love the WSJ. Back in the day when I was a receptionist, copies of the WSJ arrived when I opened up and I'd read it until the fatheads who it was meant for came and snatched it away from me. But the personal finance section rocks, and their profiles are nice, too. But still, seeing two papers there gives me a little ulcer.

And the other day, Newsweek and Spin started arriving. Thankfully, Spin was an all-photo issue, so it took about 5 minutes. I got sucked into an interesting article on autism in Newsweek. Shape should be arriving any day now.

Books? Who said books? Like I've got time for those anymore.


I find that shadows things cast more interesting than the objects themselves, lately.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Train Tracks

Ten Things I Can't Envision Myself Doing

But never say never, right?

1) Owning a minivan
2) Being sickeningly rich
3) Being pregnant
4) Reading "War and Peace"
5) Eating caviar
6) Being a size 4
7) Enjoying salmon
8) Working in retail again
9) Living in the suburbs
10) Eating prunes to stay regular

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Old Lady Alert, Part II

This weekend, I learned to knit! And don't I sound excited! That is because I am getting old and now like things like knitting! Next, bingo!

Just kidding. Really, I know knitting is all hott (tm Paris Hilton) these days, but do any of us young 'uns not have the stigma in the back of our minds as we're doing it? I learned to knit with my group of crafty friends who meet once a month, and at one point, I found myself sitting in a rocking chair, knitting and a cat was in my lap. My future?

Anyway, I am digging knitting regardless of the stereotype or the fact that I am not very good. You not only get the meditative effect from repetitive motion, but you're creating something as well.

This Christmas, scarves for everyone!


This is what we are greeted with every morning. As soon as Nabby hears us stir, or even when we simply open our eyes, she hops on my side of the bed and props her head on it like this. If I don't immediately lift her, she trots over to the Mr.'s side and does the same thing. If he doesn't lift her, she goes back to my side, and this will continue until we relent. Does it make us cruel if some mornings, we pretend like we don't see her doing this, just to see how mad it will make her? Because it's really funny.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Most Awesome Thing I Will See All Week

There's this lady on the corner who owns two of the most heinous dogs I've ever encountered. Even more heinous than the German shepherd who chased me down, tackled me and bit me on the ass when I was 5 years old, necessitating a trip to the hospital where I got a test for rabies.

They're obnoxious 6-pound yappers who go insane whenever anyone so much as walks outside their building. And it's a busy neighborhood, so the yapping goes on ALL DAY LONG. One of my neighbors said when he first heard them yap, he thought someone was arming their car, except at a much higher volume.

Their owner used to put them on the balcony during the day, because why keep the joy to herself? Spread it far and wide for all the land to hear! Eventually one of the neighbors would tire of hearing them, so they'd go over there to tell her to put the little buggers inside. But as soon as the owner would open her door and see my neighbors standing there, she'd say, "Oh, are my dogs bothering you?" No, no, the yapping is a veritable symphony to our ears.

So now she keeps them inside. Where they continue yap and yap and it's really only about 2 decibels quieter than when they were on the balcony, but at least we can all be assured that they are torturing their owner just as much as the rest of us.

Now I'm getting to the awesome thing. Today as I was turning the corner onto the street, their owner was out walking them without a leash. Would you expect anything less, really? She can't even train her dogs to not act like spazzes. And there it was: her two little brats yapping like maniacs and cornering this lady other lady who clearly did not like dogs, because she had taken off her shoes and was beating them back with them! Don't get me wrong, I love animals, and she didn't make contact from what I could tell, but damn, that was funny as hell.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Hip Is Next

On Friday, I hurt my back at the gym doing squats on the plate-loaded machine. Now I'm hobbling around like an old lady, especially first thing in the morning when my back is all stiff from doing nothing all night. But it's nothing serious and it's already feeling better, but I feel a little put out here. Stuff like this is supposed to happen to people who don't ever exercise, am I right? People who eat like garbage and don't take their vitamins and are sourpussses. Wait, that last one kind of is me sometimes.

But the formula should be thus: You don't exercise=you strain muscles in your back (or insert other injury here). It's not too much to ask that if I spend a bunch of hours in the gym every week that this stuff is at least staved off until I'm 90, is it?

Gray hair isn't looking so bad now, I'll tell you that.

More Bolts

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Waiting for a Ride

Friday, February 18, 2005

Who Has Mind Bleach? Anyone?

I have a question.

How does one not know when their butt crack is hanging out? Seriously, how do you not know this? How how how do you not feel the breeze gently carressing your butt cheeks?

And if you do feel the air on your butt and you know you're traumatizing people with the sight of your crack and you don't bother to hike up your pants but instead let them to continue to fall further and further, exposing several of us to ever-growing vistas of your butt, then you deserve to go to hell and be subjected to looking at hairy butts for all eternity. Especially if your butt is not at all attractive.

I am still in shock.

This message brought to you by the trauma inflicted on me by the 60-ish dude at the gym wearing the teal and purple shorts circa 1980 and probably manufactured by Ocean Pacific. He was on the treadmill, doing the most ineffective workout ever: resting his arms on the rail and letting his legs just be carried along by the belt. That in itself would bug me, because why would someone cheat themselves like that? Why bother going to the gym at all if you're just going to flail about and not burn any calories? If I'm going to do that, I'd be more inclined to just stay home and do nothing.

But no, the worst part was the butt. The Hairy, Ugly Butt. As he flailed, his shorts dropped. And dropped, and dropped. I saw like, 4 inches of his butt at the maximum shorts droppage level. And I willed my eyes to stay on the TV. "Keep watching Ellen. Keep watching Ellen. Keep...oh jesus! That butt! No! Mustn't look! Abort! Abort! Back to Ellen!"

I want my mommy.


That Was MY Idea

Last night, I watched the premiere of the new season of Survivor. Imagine my excitement when the contestants arrived at the beach. And all 20 of them stayed there overnight. And then Jeff came by the next morning and had them separate into teams, and STILL stay on the beach.

I almost jumped out of my pants (good thing we have curtains). That was my idea! Survivor took my idea! Have the two tribes live side by side for the duration! I have long believed the game's setup as it is is getting stale. Where's the fun when everyone knows what to expect? And since Johnny Fairplay isn't coming back to keep things lively, this is the next best option. The scheming that would go on! It would be great. So yeah, it was MY idea. I was so excited. I almost paused the show to call the Mr. and go to Fametracker to share my glee and just make sure that in general, everyone knew I came up with this and not Mark Burnett. But I didn't, because it's Survivor and you can't pause it. Even if it is stale.

But then, right after the first challenge, Jeff had the winning team pick a beach (they stupidly picked the beach that hadn't been settled an en route, lost the stuff they won to make fire. Way to go!) and, alas, the tribes were separated once again.

Oh, and the new twist this season was that one day into the game, when they picked teams, two people were eliminated right off the bat. Ooooh, way to shake things up there. Although it did serve to get rid of that crazy singing lady, so that made me happy.

Come on, Mark. Get with it! Is it your ego that's getting in the way here?

Also, I'm glad I can talk this way about a TV show that actually IS real, instead of looking insane when I talk about Gilmore Girls like Luke, Lorelei and Rory actually exist.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Train Station


Aw, poor Nabby. So mistreated. If she could talk, she'd be on the phone with the SPCA, telling them about how we abuse her by giving her baths every few weeks and begging to be given refuge.

As the water line advances, she plots her escape.

For just 30 cents a day, you can help a poor little corgi like Nabby.

Shake it like a polaroid picture!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ten Things I Should Do More Often, or Every Day, Mostly Because I Just Don't Wanna

1) Floss. I'm up to 5 days a week, though. That's still better than the average, right?
2) Make the bed. What's the point?
3) Call my family. I think about them Every Single Day, but don't call as often as I should.
4) Do the dishes. There have been many nights I've gone to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.
5) Clean the bathrooms. I put it off and put it off until it's on the edge of disgusting.
6) Take a shower. The longest I've gone is two days. What's that smell?
7) Brush Nabby. Especially in the summer, when she sheds enough to make 4 new dogs.
8) Brush Nabby's teeth. God, I feel so guilty about this. My mean old vet gives me a lecture about it every time she goes in for a checkup, too. I try to do it at least once a week, but apparently, that is not enough. I've tried all the other teeth-brushing substitutes out there, but the fact is, they don't work and she's going to have to go in and get a teeth cleaning.

9) Fill up my car when the gas level gets to 1/4 of a tank. No matter what, I always seem to want to push it to the limit.
10) Hang up my friggin' clothes. See mom? It's the same old me.

Um, I Can't Think of a Title

One of the gazillions of bolts that keep the train tracks from collapsing into the river.

I Don't Have a Problem. You're the One With the Problem.

Aside from caffeine, my other addiction would be lip gloss. I need a tube with me at all times. If I can't find a tube, I panic. No, really. I get irritable. My lips start to ache. I can feel them cracking and splitting as I sit there, wondering how I will get my next lip gloss fix and where it will come from.

It all started when I was around 8. At Christmas, Grandma Besse used to give my stepsister and I these monster packages of Bonne Bell lip gloss. We're talking, like, 10 tubes of the stuff. The glorious, glorious, delicious...oh, excuse me. Ever since then, I've needed lip gloss. I wonder if my brother remembers the time he took my tube of strawberry lip gloss with the little ball on top -- which I had begged mom to buy me -- and dislodged the ball and consumed the contents?

This picture doesn't include the stash I have in my car, where I keep 4 of them. I also keep a bunch in my purse, 4 tubes at work, a tube in the coffee table downstairs, 2 tubes in my nightstand, a tube in the desk in the office and 3 tubes in the master bathroom. They are strategically placed, so as to avoid any panic on my part.

I've tried it all, and hands-down the best brand is Bonne Bell's Dr Pepper. It stays on your lips. It smells great. It leaves the nicest little tint. I may be dating myself here, but does anyone remember when it came in a giant ass tube the size of a rolled-up newspaper? Why don't they do that anymore? No one has a mouth that big (I hope), but it sure was fun to use.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Apt, No?

You have to love descriptive street names. This is my second favorite. Nothing can replace Semicircular Drive, located somewhere in San Mateo County, CA.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I Can't Resist

I stole this from Eugene's blog, and it has been cracking me up all weekend. I don't know if I love the eyebrows or the arm waving more. At first you thought "What a dork!" didn't you? And then you remembered that you've done the same thing. Oh, yes you have.

As I told Jasclo and Mary, if it doesn't make you laugh, you are dead inside! Dead!


Some guys making a movie. I think it's pretty safe to say we won't be seeing this one at Sundance.

Now. If I Could Just Have that Cool Mind-Reading Skill Bruce Willis Does In the Movie, I'd Be Set

Me and Bruce Willis: We're Unbreakable.

I'm telling you. For one reason or another, I've been blessed with quite possibly the greatest, most indestructible immune system known to allllll mankiiiiind (echo...echo...echo...). I am so convinced of its indestruction, in fact, that I don't even feel compelled to knock on wood as I sit here bragging about it. And if I do get sick tomorrow, well, I had a really good run, so I won't complain.

I'm starting to feel a little left out, though. Yesterday in spinning, everyone was talking about how they got the flu that's going around. "Oh, it's awful. I had a fever! I couldn't do anything!" Everyone had a story. Except me. Every year it's the same. Even when Trish and I were roommates in college and she got strep throat, I never got it. When the Mr. gets sick, I can kiss him all I like, because I never get what he has, either.

All the cool kids get the flu, and I get to never call in sick. I can count the number of times I've legitimately called in sick on one hand (not counting hangovers, natch), and I'll even spot you two fingers:

1) In 1992, I had an inner ear infection that rendered me unable to walk without barfing.
2) In 1997, I had a cough so bad that I couldn't talk.
3) In 2001, I woke up having dizzy spells and feeling nauseated. I blame Dr. Atkins for that.

Once a year, I do get a cold that lasts for about a week. That doesn't really count. If I can go to the gym with it, it isn't really called "being sick." My best guess is that my immune system comes from dear old dad. Mom gets sick about as often as a normal person does, but dad only ever seems to get colds.

I never really get hurt, either. In Hawaii in 1991, I was relaxing in the ocean with my back to the horizon (I later learned you should never do that, dumbass). People began shouting and pointing at me. I turned around just in time to see an outrigger barrelling toward me, and the guy steering it looked terror-stricken. I hurriedly swam back toward the shore, but it wasn't far enough and as the outrigger slowed and turned, the back of it whacked me on the head and pushed me underwater.

That would kill a lot of people, right? I didn't even get a concussion. Not even a headache. The only thing I got was mortification after the cute surfer came up to me and asked if I was all right.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to get too sick or hurt, but it's a little creepy, isn't it?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

More Coffee

Another pic of the coffee bean roaster thingie.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Does This Make Me A Bad Friend, Then?

Since I still don't know all that much about photography when you take into account how much there is to actually know about it, I have a "Learn a New Thing Every Day" moment about twice a day. This week, one of the things I learned is that polarizing filters will get rid of reflections on water and glass, such as the ones that mar this shot. They'll also make your blue skies bluer. How lovely is that? I cannot wait to get my grubby little hands on one!

Lost and Found

1) Mom reports that E.T. is alive and well and residing on top of my brother's refrigerator in his apartment. Come on, man. Have some fun with him! Buckle him up in the passenger side of your car and drive in the carpool lane. Toss him in a public pool and freak the kids out. Dress him up and take him trick-or-treating on Halloween. Oh, wait. Don't do that. It didn't turn out so well the last time.

2) In my referrer log, I found a link to the "thanks for parking so close" cards. Order up, if you wish! It's even got the British spelling, so you can sound dignified and proper when cussing people out.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Oh L'Amour Broke My Heart

Is there anything that makes you feel quite as old as a beloved band coming back to serenade you once more? And that the venue in which the serenading is to take place is maybe one-sixteenth the size of the last venue in which you saw them?

As a teen, how I loved Andy Bell. Sure, he was gay, gay, gay, but I didn't care. He would be miiiiiine. I would even be so understanding, he could wear his tutus around the house, if he so wished. Just as long as he sang to me. The first time I saw Erasure, my best friends Danielle and Tessa begged our parents to let us get to the San Jose Convention Center at 8 a.m., so we could be absolutely positive that we would be right at Andy's feet. They let us, which was incredibly cool of them. We were thirteen, and we were going to be spending an entire day camping out on a major street in a fairly large city. Maybe it was because they knew we'd be spending the day with Tessa, who was super smart and sensible. I hear she went on to Princeton, and I believe it. People who are Princeton-bound won't get into stupid situations like people who are say, state-college bound. And before you get your knickers in a twist, I'm talking about me and no one else. And really, I loved my college. I had fun. But boy, do I do dumb things sometimes.

The opening act was terrible, but then Erasure came on. Tessa got tired of the shoving and pushing, but Danielle and I stuck it out. Before Tessa left to grab a seat, Danielle gave her her jacket to hang onto. About 5 songs in, an object flies through the air and lands on stage. "Oh my god!" Danielle screamed, "That's my jacket!" A stagehand swooped out, picked it up and took it backstage.

We found Tessa, who said that someone had swiped it when she wasn't looking. Danielle was pretty upset, because the jacket had some sort of meaning to her that I don't recall.

After the show, Danielle wasn't quite ready to leave. She wanted to get her damn jacket back. A couple of guys heard her freaking out, and one of them gave her their backstage pass. See, Danielle was very, very cute. Guys were doing things like this all the time. So, back she went. When she came out, she had a couple autographs, but no jacket.

"They were sooooo nice. I asked them for the jacket, but they said they couldn't give it to me. But Andy said he liked it, and he might wear it in a poster someday!" Tessa and I were like, "Awwwww! How sweeet!"

But really, what a jerk.

Me and My Shadow

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ten Things I Do the Day Before Weigh-In at Weight Watchers, Which May Seem a Little Mental, But I'll Bet Most Members Do This

1) Most likely consume a gallon of water, sometimes a little tea.
2) Weigh myself 12 times, at least. You know, just to make sure 5 lbs don't just spontaneously attach themselves to my body. It's happened, I swear.
3) Stop eating by 8 p.m.
4) Stop drinking anything by midnight.
5) Avoid Chinese food.
6) Avoid alcohol.
7) Go to bed early because I'm so damn hungry I'll eat everything in sight if I stay awake.
8) Have a good, sweaty workout.
9) Daydream a lot about going to Chipotle after weigh-in. My stomach just growled.
10) Cry a little when I watch the Amazing Race and they show the teams eating pizza from Geno's East in Chicago. Did you see Kendra throw up because it was too much food? COME ON. Wuss! I think I ate 4 times as much as her when I went there. Guess that's why she is a model and I am not, huh?

Stained Glass

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Killer migraines run in my family. Both Mom and Grandma get them, and in both cases, they are often triggered by chocolate or red wine. That just figures, doesn't it? It's not enough that we can't gorge ourselves on it because we'll just pork up, but now we have to worry about our heads cracking open if we consume them?

I remember as a child when they would get one, our house became like a funeral home. We had to whisper. We couldn't watch TV or walk around too much. Mom or Grandma would take refuge in a back room of the house and convert it into a dungeon -- close the drapes, lay down, cover their eyes with a wet washcloth and wait for some sort of relief. It was hours and hours of immense pain, throwing up, trying to sleep.

I've yet to get my first migraine. I'm not anxious for it, really, but I would like to get it over with. They both started getting theirs in their 30s (after having children, so insert the very obvious joke here, funny guy). Now that I'm around the Age of Doom, every headache is suspect, like the one I've had for about three days now. As I feel one coming on, I wonder, is this the one? Is this the headache that is going to hurt so bad that I will probably wish I had just died instead? There are new drugs now, and I don't think Mom or Grandma have to deal with the pain they did 15 years ago, but I'm not looking forward to getting even a sample of the pain they went through.

Eh. While I'm waiting, I think I'll pop on over to See's and order some truffles. My days are numbered!


A component of the coffee bean roaster thingie at the cafe down the street.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Li'l Brudder. Such a Trooper.

There is much debate in this household as to whether Homestar Runner is actually funny. I'm firmly in the camp of, "Hell, yes, it is." The Mr. doesn't get it. But maybe if he would actually watch a cartoon instead of playing with the dog when I try to show him something funny, he would. His loss!

I triple dog dare you not to laugh so hard you cry when you watch the e-mail titled "Crying." (Go to 'Toons, then Click on StrongBad E-mail, then scroll down to Crying).

UPDATED: Go here, then click on "crying."

Li'l Brudder. He's gonna be all right!

I Always Knew If She Flapped Her Ears, She Could Take Off

It took four street corners to get this. The first one, I wasn't thinking. The second, she was distracted by mud. The third, she just strolled across the street like she owned it. Then this one, where she raced across like a maniac.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bad Parkers Make Bad Neighbors

I really love our neighbors, even though we don't see them all that often because of our schedules. But if you want to know what is going on down the street, or why that cop car stopped down the block the other day, you just need to ask George or Patty or Brenda. They'll tell you what's what and give you the whole backstory. They are the eyes and ears of our little neck of the woods, so much that if I ever forget to lock the door upon leaving the house, I probably wouldn't even worry too much about it, because I would love to see some burglar try to get past our first step without being noticed by one of them and whisked away to the pokey in the paddy wagon. Not that I'm going to test that theory. I'm just sayin'. And I just wanted to say "paddy wagon" and "pokey."

There are six houses on our block, plus one public housing complex, which appears to hold 4 apartments. The people there are quiet and friendly. The best-known tenant there is Henry. He is, by all accounts, a nice guy, though I haven't really met him. He drives an old Mercedes, which I know because every single damn day, he parks it right in front of our house. That's across the street. And down about two houses. It's not even directly across from his building. In fact, the last house on the street was only purchased in the last month or so, and the whole time this house directly across from his building was empty, he still parked in front of our clearly occupied house.

For a few months after we moved in, I tried to just chill out about it. It was a small thing, although I did point it out to the Mr., and was more puzzled by it than irritated. Come on, it's just weird. But then we had our party, and Patty and Brenda wondered (without prompting from me, I might add) why Henry insisted on parking right in front of our house every day. The other neighbors chimed in, too. They had all noticed it, and it was bugging the shit out of them. Suddenly, I didn't feel so crazy. I was validated! It IS annoying. They even had theories: he was trying to needle us, the new kids on the block; he was just clueless; he was just being a jerk for whatever reason.

So, what am I going to do about it? I don't know. I don't really want to confront him. He's old, and as I said before, I've heard he's nice. Why pick on him? But that doesn't mean I don't look forward to my days off, when I can park in front of my own house, which has now strangely become a passive aggressive act I perform with much glee as I wonder, "Where you gonna park your car now, Henry?"


This isn't the greatest pic, which means that the well is running dry. I am going to go out tomorrow and shoot. Actually, I always think the interior of the barber shop would make a good picture, but I'm not yet nervy enough to actually take a pic. And it doesn't help that whenever I walk by, the barber looks at me. If he were so wrapped up in cutting hair that he didn't notice pedestrians, I'd probably be less afraid of taking his picture.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Friday, February 04, 2005

I'd Have Expected Bamboo Shoots In the Fingernails, At the Least

I bit the bullet and paid the library for so carelessly losing that book. On the way there, I planned my speech. And debated whether I should check out a new book, then confess and pay for the lost one. Or should I just go directly to the checkout counter sans new book, pay for the lost one, then leave and go into hiding for awhile? And I wondered how I should confess. Should I go the direct route? The pathetic route? Maybe cry a little? Grovel, definitely grovel.

I finally decided I would just get my new book, and be prepared for them to rip it out of my hands and tear up my library card and scowl, "You are DEAD TO US. Now leave." With the new book in my hands, I went to check out.

"Um, I did something really, really horrible. I lost a book. I am so sorry. I'm not a person who normally loses things all the time, and this is so weird. I just don't know where it is. I am so, so sorry. I looked everywhere. It's just gone."

The girl didn't tear into me. She didn't get mad. She didn't ask how I could be so stupid or ask where my respect for libraries was. She just called up my account. "You Shall Know Our Velocity?" "Yes. That's it. I'm so sorry." She wrote down the number and disappeared for a few minutes. My eyes wandered around the desk, seeking information on what exactly happens to you when you lose a book. I found nothing reassuring. She came back, and said there was one on the shelf, but it wasn't the one I had checked out.

She punched the keyboard a few times, clicked the mouse a bit and announced, "That will be $31.50." I wrote a check, she gave me a receipt, checked out my new book and told me to have a nice day. No lecture about being more responsible. Nothing.

That's it? Guess I'll have to go elsewhere to get my floggings.

Yes, We Live in the City

And why are there geese here? I don't know. I often see them in the park, waddling behind their owner and hollering "Quack quack quaaaack quaaack quack quack" to everyone. This is where they live. Aren't they damn cute?

Nabby, incidentally, is cool with them. The first time she saw them, she was extremely confused, because her world until then had consisted of kitties and squirrels. But now when we walk by the Geese House, she just coolly glances over when they start quacking, then continues on her merry little way.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hey, Remember the Time We Put E.T. in the Street? That Was Really Funny.

In one of the photo galleries on Rebecky, there were some pictures of childlike statues that they moved to various locations on the beach with amusing results. It totally reminded me of the stunt we pulled with my brother's E.T. hamper. Before I hopped over here to share the story, I looked for some pictures online, not hoping for much, and then I find this. Look up there! At the top! It's probably the E.T. hamper. Can there really be that many floating around out there?

So, yeah. This hamper. It was E.T.-sized. He was begging to be more than just a hamper. He wanted a higher purpose. My stepbrothers, Jake and Joe, and I were bored one night after dark, so we decided to take him outside and put him in the middle of the street and see what cars did as they came upon...what's this...Is that E.T.? Right in the street?! I mean, when you have a life-sized totally famous alien sitting in your house, you have to have a little fun with him.

We hustled him out there, and then hid in some bushes. A few minutes later, Scottie, the senile old man who lived behind us, came out.
"Hey, kids!"
"Hi, Scottie!"
"What are you kids up to tonight?"
"Is that a kid in the middle of the street?" He shouts to E.T., "Hey! Get out of the street!" Back to us, "Who is that?"
"That's our cousin."
"Is he stupid or something?"
"No. He's deaf."
Scottie starts waving his hands wildly, gesturing for E.T. to come back.
"He's blind, too."
"Oh. That's too bad."

Just as Scottie turned to shuffle back to his house, a pickup truck with 4 guys came along, stopped, picked up E.T. and tossed him in the back and drove off.

"OH, SHIT!" Because, did I mention that my mom and stepdad didn't even know we were outside? E.T., the famous alien, had been kidnapped. Crisis. We stood there, panicking, not knowing what to do. It was quite the ruckus, and they came outside. "What's going on??" We confessed. They roared, thank god.

And while we were all standing there, the pickup truck came back, stopped and placed E.T. back where he was found and drove off again. Well, I hope he enjoyed his little joy ride, because who knows where he is now.

Ice Ice Baby (Too Cold, Too Cold)

Here are my feet, encased in snow boots and standing on ice.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Ten PMS Symptoms I Get, But Not Every Month, In Order of Frequency of Appearance

OK, since I am a creature of habit and routine and love lists, herewith, I introduce the Wednesday 10. A list of 10 things. On Wednesday. Every Wednesday. Forever.

1) Extreme, almost homicidal, irritability
2) Breakouts
3) Bloating
4) Chocolate cravings
5) Depression
6) Teariness
7) Fried food cravings
8) Lower back pain
9) Extreme lethargy
10) Clumsiness

Where Is Everybody?

Oh, yeah. It's, like, 12 degrees outside.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Crazy Dog

It's a dark picture, sorry. I'll do anything to avoid the flash! She was going nuts for some treats I had.

Gimme My Blankie, While You're At It

A few weeks ago, I gave my Weight Watchers leader (that always sounds so cult-y, doesn't it?) my journal. She wondered if I was eating enough -- the first time anyone has ever wondered that about me -- and I asked her if she'd peruse it and give me her thoughts. Last week, I got it back. She had written all kinds of thoughtful and helpful observations. Observation number one: You eat oatmeal every day. Don't you get tired of it? The answer: Hell, no.

I love oatmeal. You can never tear us apart. I love it so much that breakfast is the meal I look forward to most on many days. For probably 5 years now, a big bowl of Quaker quick-cooking oats (no envelopes, yo) topped with salt and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter has been the perfect start. When I can't have my oatmeal and my giant mug of coffee, my day just ain't going to be right and everything is out of whack. Some nights, when I've had a hectic night at work and taking a book straight to bed won't cut it, I'll have another bowl of oatmeal.

I even eat it in the dead of summer, when the humidity is, like, 1,000% and the air doesn't move and coffee and oatmeal only make you sweat all over the place. That's OK, I just eat it before I take a shower. Problem solved!

But I ask, how much can go wrong when you've started your day with a giant bowl of comfort food?