Monday, December 31, 2007

Everybody's Doin' It

You find this list of questions everywhere but I don't know if I've ever answered them before. Linda is always kind enough to print just the questions for easy copying before she posts her answers so I was inspired by her to jump in. It took a long while to do, it's far from easy but it is interesting. I'd love to know what your answers are. If you don't have a blog but would like/allow them to be posted in public I'd be happy to post them here.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

Went to my 20th HS reunion...sprained some joints...had facial surgery...went to the wedding of one of my parents...owned a cat with a heart murmur.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I kept some I didn't keep others. I try to think of them as guidelines. I will definitely make some more so stay tuned to this station.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yeah, Mrs. X, D. Jay, Jake, Jack.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed here. Like right here. Didn't even move off the East Coast. This is not so good.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

Better health. More kissing. Fame and fortune. A different president/hope for the future.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 3rd when Mrs. X died. November 27 when I had the wacky Mohs surgery. April 27 & 28. On the 27th I was driving north for my father's wedding on the 28th and I got the call that my mother's partner of many years, Jake, had died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Continuing my near 39 year streak of not committing homicide? It was harder to keep this year than you might think. Realistically my answer is plunging into producing an evening of new work, probably. (February 15th & 16th at 8pm in Brooklyn, hope to see you there!)

9. What was your biggest failure?

Staying another year in the j.o.b. without significant progress toward supporting myself doing something I love.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Oh christ yes. I fell and fractured my radius, sprained my elbow and wrist and messed up my knee. I got my head professionally busted open to remove basal cell carcinoma. I got food poisoning. Even my pets suffered illness, it was ridiculous.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I honestly can't remember a damn thing that I bought this year, though I know I bought stuff. For lack of a better answer I'll say the ticket to my 20th High School Reunion. Though my Weight Watchers subscription might be a tie.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Anyone who put up with me? Gar's did certainly since he helped me immeasurably in his short stay on the East Coast. Pony Express also fits this category what with the coming to watch me get my head cleaved and all.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm not super impressed with some family members. I'm still weighing whether to include myself in this category. The Athlete has been making some choices I'm having a lot of trouble with.

14. Where did most of your money go?

You'd think I'd know this since I spent a significant chunk of the year watching my finances. It seems to be going largely to bills but a lot of it went to the different vets who have kept my pets alive and the pet food store as I tried to find the right balance to keep them that way. Also to getting my new glasses and to the downpayment for the show I'm doing in February. (Feb 15 & 16 in Brooklyn, remember?)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I got overly excited about my HS reunion and other people's reactions to it. That's about it, it's been a bit of a downer year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

I'm so bad at this. Probably White Trash Wedding by the Dixie Chicks. For no particular reason I love the fast picking twanginess of it. It happened to be one of the first songs that shuffled off my iPod after dad announced his wedding date and now I don't enjoy it at all, it sets my teeth on edge. Again, downer year for me, sorry.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

Sadder. I'm never particularly happy at this time of year and this year has kicked my ass a little. I'm thinner, a lot thinner. I'm poorer and still trying to figure that out.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Traveling. Kissing. Performing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Working at the j.o.b.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With friends and family in New England.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?


22. What was your favorite TV program?

So hard to choose (also so hard to link, I'm going to leave you to google for yourselves). Veronica Mars, Class, How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, The Riches, Weeds, Battlestar Gallactica, Burn Notice, Saving Grace and probably some more that I'm forgetting. I love TV.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
This is dangerous and I really don't think I should answer it. I'd say yes and leave it at that but hate is such a strong word I'm afraid to stick to close to it.

24. What was the best book you read?

I was going to say Time Traveler's Wife but it turns out I read that last year. I'm having trouble remembering anything I read this last year. Oh! Harry Potter, that was awesome and that was definitely this year.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I can still play the piano with both the same time!

26. What did you want and get?

The rest of the Twilight Trilogy, a sweater handmade specially for me, a Mike Lowell t-shirt, a reprieve from my review, champagne on my birthday, Christmas sheet music, my old camera back, a piano, a superhero necklace

27. What did you want and not get?

Big camera, feather duster, Sandman comics, an upgrade of my Flickr account, a new president, world peace and so many other things I am too embarrassed to list here.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Notes on a Scandal. Can't recommend that enough. I also really enjoyed Stardust and a bunch of things I saw on DVD.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 38 and I didn't do much on the actual day. We usually go bowling with the brunch club on a Sunday near my, but we didn't this year. I came home early from Mrs. X's funeral and we had an evening champagne toast at a local wine bar. Alex and I ended up perching Alita between us and making her laugh like a manic sci fi character for hours. Maybe we can do that again, that was fun.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More kissing? Less surgery? Book deal? A job I really love? Fewer days involving the intimate knowledge of cat urine?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

Crap, I need a belt.

32. What kept you sane?

Friends of both the 2 and 4 legged variety and having my own apartment.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

My love for Lee Tergesen has become unavoidable.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The upcoming election so, in some ways, all of them.

35. Who did you miss?
Mrs. X, D. Jay

36. Who was the best new person you met?

This also seems dangerous, also I can't remember who I've met. I enjoyed the 2nd year of NaBloPoMo and meeting some new people and their blogs through that.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.

Wear sunscreen (no matter what Gerry says).

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

There's this other meme that a bunch of people are answering as well. I decided not to since a lot of the questions are love/partner/marriage related and since I don't have anything in that category it's too many Not Applicables for my taste. There's this one question on it, though, that's cracking me up the way people are answering.

The questions are about what you'll be doing in the coming year and one is, "Will you go to bars?" So far everyone I've read has answered in the negative in such a vehement way as to imply that they were reaching for the smelling salts with one hand while typing, "Oh heavens to Betsy no!" with the other.

People, they're bars not opium dens. Those big dudes at the door are to bounce rowdies out not to block you in and force feed you Jagermeister. You can go in, enjoy the company of good friends in an adult environment that reminds you there's a world outside your 4 walls and if you want you can even enjoy a (gasp!) NON alcoholic beverage. It's like everyone thinks that married people aren't allowed in bars. Really not the case. I don't mean that in a "cheating bastards" context, either. Happily married people often enjoy the atmosphere of a nice bar with or without their spouse. I saw it with my own two eyes last night.

So, for you of the "Heavens to Betsy no!" crowd may I suggest you put just one ever so brief visit on your to do list. There might be a pleasant surprise in it for you. If you need suggestions of places for beginners to try let me know, I'm happy to do the research.

Nothing Like Hitting the New Year Feeling Old

JRH sent me a link to one of USA Today's year end lists. I browsed through it for names I knew or thought I should know. I came across one that sounded familiar but she's an artist who draws comics and graduated from art school in Chicago and I couldn't find any reason I'd know her name. I decided that she must have boosted her public name from a fictional character and I set about looking for that character.

Lucy Knisley, Lucy Knisley, Lucy Knisley....

It just kept coming up with this artist chick, her success must have buried the character I remembered. Strangely I could hear myself saying the name over and over in my head. Why would I have done that? What reason would I have to repeat a name like that, especially one of a fictional character. I mean, even when I'm being naughty I don't repeat Pacey Witter, Pacey Witter, Pacey Witter, I use the boy's real name.

It hit me like a nerf arrow to the heart. (The real arrow went to the ego.)

"Lucy Knisley. Lucy, stop it. Lucy pay attention, please. Lucy tap, tap, tap tap tap. Come sit in the soup pot Lucy! Come see Lucy, Kizzy needs to show you something. Lucy Knisley!"

I taught Lucy Knisley. That's why the picture of herself as a kid (scroll down) that she posted on her web site looked so familiar. When she was that age I saw her and that beautiful goofy smile at least once a week.

Now she's old enough to be on a year end list and to have a best seller on Amazon.

I thought about e-mailing her to congratulate her but I don't know what I'd say. It's both cool and profoundly humbling all at once. I am both thrilled for her and overwhelmingly envious. It's nice to know that my memory still works, though, even if it's a little slow.

Last Call!

So, this is the last day of 2007. What are you going to do with it?

I am going to do some mundane things but good I think. I'll buy or order dog food, clean up around the homefront, write some holiday cards, watch some TV, get some writing done (this one is important to me), take some photos, maybe have some dinner with friends and ring in the new year with the crazy steam pipes.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm a Dr. Demento Song

People are watching me. Yes, sounds arrogant but these days it's true. I was in a local morning joint over the Christmas trip on a Saturday. It was just about the time that all the dads bring the kids in for breakfast so mom can get a break...and vacuum or finish Christmas shopping or something else relaxing for her. Men kept looking at me as though they were going to talk to me. I was very flattered, feeling pretty high on life, until I realized that they were turning away juuuuuust at that point where the social contract requires you to say something.

They didn't want to say something charming to me at all. They were just looking at my head.

Now that I've pinpointed the issue I see it for what it is. And it's happening all the time. Especially now that I've taken to leaving the house with the thing uncovered.

Tonight I was at a Rangers game (note to self: always check the start time of the game before you leave the house) and I happened to be seated next to a young lady of about 6 years of age*. Oh my god did she want to just stare at my head for half the game. However, broaching that sort of subject with a 6 year old is a bad call. Whoo boy, it was like our eyeballs had magnets on them and they were set to opposite poles, wowee did she not want to talk about it. All I said was, "Yeah it looks weird doesn't it?" At which point I realized I'd turned into my mother and left the poor kid alone. Let her stare! I was just really interested in what she thought happened. Oh well, surely someone will tell me what they think at some point, and I'll probably hate that.

*I was very impressed by her dad's approach to bringing her to a game. It was clear that they were Rangers fans and she knew what that meant but he didn't bring any of the rivalry and overly emotional stuff into it. No yelling at players and clear, objective explanations about the game, even when a Rangers goal was disallowed. He also bought her a hot dog, cotton candy and a drink. She ate every bite of all of it and his only comment was, "Don't eat too much. I don't want you to get sick." She said she wouldn't and he left her alone and as of the end of OT she hadn't hurled. So, yay for intelligent, simple, laid back dad, we wish there were more like you!

The First Step is Admitting They Have a Problem

My cats have a carb problem. They love them. I have to keep bread in the fridge and close cracker boxes very tightly. If you drop a cheerio in the house it's not the dog who comes running. She waits for bigger game. Before I left for NH I emptied the dog food bag into the can I use to serve from. I walked away to do something else and returned to find my cat half in the bag, literally!

Little freaks.

I Like Doing These

I always end up taking a hiatus from the Hot People posts and then binging. I might need counseling.
All these fine folk are from the USA Original show, Psych.
A bunch of young cuties, no? Kind of makes you want to move to San Diego and commit a bizarre crime.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I'm way behind in replying to people's comments. I've got them all saved to reply to but now it's been so long I suspect no one is going back to those posts to check on the conversation. Thus, a post full of replies right up here where everyone can see them.

whodoesshethinksheisanyway has left a new comment on your post "Good Morning to Me!":

Great Kizz! Thank's for blowing up my spot! A "marshmallow" huh? And I am usually up around 4ish.. It's my job to wake up the sun! Most of my posts will probably be in the am.
Why, you're welcome! I'm really glad you decided to start your own space and I can't wait to keep reading what you have to say. I will never understand how you manage to get up so early and still function all day long.

Gertrude Jane Kennedy has left a new comment on your post "It's An Obsession, I Know":

With all that I wouldn't get off the couch either.
Well may be to let the dogs out, go to the frig, smoke, and refresh on the batteries after the Spader flick.

I love the Weeds. The speech her brother gives her son... masterbating and the banana... one of the greatest ever!
It is! I love the guy who plays her brother and that speech is one of his very very best.

JRH has left a new comment on your post "It's An Obsession, I Know":

I am sending a disc back today and need to decide what to ask for next.

Re: 80's James Spader... when was the last time you enjoyed some Naughty in Pink?
I would say at least a year. At least. It's not my favorite Spader. He played all the baddies in the 80s so my love only matured when he did. It was Secretary that did it for me.

Laurie B has left a new comment on your post "See That Wall? I Have Hit It":

Sometimes it's just an excuse you need. Here's one. "If I'm thinking of going to work today I must be sick". That makes it a sick day, I guess. Next year, take the day off.

You'd fit right in with us and our families, both of birth and of choice. Come on over, we'd love to see you and share a meal.

I know you won't mind that the house isn't "company's coming" clean.

Thanks for your posts, LB
Oh you're so right. I can deal with less than "company" clean. I'll bring dessert! I absolutely love your sick day excuse, you're so right.

twoblueday has left a new comment on your post "This Is The One I Was Telling You About":

I think the rule malls and other places where Mammon is worshipped are to be excoriated for forbidding private photos of children with "Santa" in order to sell their "professionally" made shots. Shame on them.
I should clarify that Santa doesn't forbid photos by the peons, he just likes to prescribe when we take them. It's for a good reason, so that our flashes don't mess with his camera, but I still find it confining so I try to find ways to get around it. I think I did OK this year.

Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "Santaland Outtakes":

That's some freakin' throne Santa's got there. Yeesh!
Isn't it though? I understand why the kids get a little intimidated.

Zelda has left a new comment on your post "Santaland Outtakes":

Is this the little baby what lives/ed in the brownstone with the big giant dogs?? good lord. If it is...I'm going back to bed. She's gorgeous. and OLD!! great shots dear.
Yes, indeed it is. Frightening isn't it? I don't know how she manages to get older and older while we stay so young and pretty. She's enormously tall and will surely surpass me the moment she gets a rush of hormones.

Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "See That Wall? I Have Hit It":

I'm with JRH. You give all year - you don't need to save it up for one day (and, not for nothing, but I loved the gifties!).

I love you.
You're very welcome and I love you back.

JRH has left a new comment on your post "See That Wall? I Have Hit It":

Hey chica, from where I sit (at my messy kitchen table) I think you do a fantastic job giving back to the people you love. And they all realize that, since Christmas isn't exactly your prime time, you give your best presents/presence all year long.

Oh. And this crying on Christmas thing? I thought it was a tradition that was passe now that I spend more time being a mother than a daughter. Hey, not so much. I've decided to celebrate it and plan to do it every year. Wanna join me?
I don't exactly plan to do it every year but that's how it works out. I think part of this year's problem is that I drove to Christmas Eve with my mother and the drive back is usually where I do my sobfest. This year I waited until Christmas night in the shower. It's harder when you have to try to be quiet. I had hoped that when one had a kid of one's own who was "Santa age" it helped alleviate the crying but I guess not. Sorry.

JRH has left a new comment on your post "Watch Out! It's Hot!":

Merry Christmas, Kizz! Love the juxtaposition of the wreath with the alcohol (that is alcohol, right?). Have a great day!
It's actually condiments, mostly hot sauce.

Auntie has left a new comment on your post "Christmas Quotes Thus Far":

Cool, I am the #1 quote! I'm going to call you names more often! And by the way, you could have told me sooner that you were coming, I would have liked to have a cup of coffee with you. Moron.
I am, I know I am. Christmas makes me stupid. Next year I'll try to be better, I promise. Thanks so much for offering your help.

shay has left a new comment on your post "Here We Go!":

Well I'm new so I have NO IDEA where you're going but please have a wonderful time!
I always feel the same before I leave to go somewhere.
We are finally staying home for Christmas - yay!

Have a great last few days of 2007!
I went to my home town in NH. I did try to have a wonderful time. And I did for the most part but the food poisoning made it a bigger challenge than usual and it's always a lot of stress.

Zelda has left a new comment on your post "Voila!":

ok, the guy behind MusicBaby that has his back to the wall and his head down? The reflection behind him made me think you superimposed an angel behind the kid's head.
am I loopy?
do you see that?
I do not see that at all but I love that you did. I realized much later that the guy behind was a little more prominent than I wanted him to be.

Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "How Close To The Edge Are You? A Christmas Quiz":

Heh. I bet I know which answer YOU chose...

Ask me again in a couple of days - my hysteria hasn't kicked in yet.

What version WERE they playing? I've had it 'bout up to here with Johnny Mathis, I can tell you that right now...
I'm asking again.

I have no idea which version they were playing but it didn't really matter. It was just the lyrics standing alone that got to me.

Rich | Championable has left a new comment on your post "Freaks Me Out Every Time":

That's one of the jobs I am least suited to do.
Rich, it involves standing relatively still in a small confined space. I've never even met you in person and I can't imagine you lasting 10 minutes in that job. For your own safety don't resort to it.

JRH has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

I disagree that all reality tv contributes to the dumbing down of society. I believe I have actually learned things about cooking and the fashion industry, and even though Survivor probably doesn't make me smarter, it's pretty cool to watch the intelligence of the players (it's not all that unlike watching a sporting event -- there may be more emphasis on personality dynamics, but coverage of sporting events is heading in that direction too).
I agree and I disagree. I mean, I see what you're saying but I think the way it's replacing other shows that make you think is a problem. Mythbusters and cooking shows are a far cry from say, Survivor.

Gertrude Jane Kennedy has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

Or and PS... why don't we have any power in this? Can't we go on strike? Seriously. I am still super pissed about them canceling I don't know Butchie instead. And the Sopranos could have gone on forever. And I don't know who decides all that writers, producers, actors... but humph! And Sex in the City! Gilmores, still heart...broken.
But seriously. I want to strike too.
You can strike and some viewers are striking. Not going to see new movies, not buying DVDs, not watching TV, especially the reality stuff. I don't know how much weight it's carrying but it's not a bad idea. I think that letters to advertisers are more important. Even letters to networks. When those nutty Jericho viewers sent all those peanuts to CBS (it was CBS wasn't it? and it was peanuts?) they got their show back. It's going to require a lot of letters, though.

Gertrude Jane Kennedy has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

I watched reality TV before the strike. So quite frankly I get a pass.
Tim Gunn is a must in my life. As well as Project Runway and various other romances I keep with the reality of TV when its not causing so many people so much grief.
I am also a huge fan of Summertime Big Brother. As many brain cells as it may be sucking. I like it.
My Nip Tuck is still running with previously written episodes.
And Dancing with the Stars... there is not anything, anything that could come between me and Maskim.
I miss Craig Ferguson and Letterman. I miss Housewives. I miss Grey's. I miss Brothers and Sisters.
But I did pick up a few very smartly written show this season... Dirty Sexy Money, Picking up Daises or what ever that is called.
I am sorry for the writer's and this pain for the holiday season. I hate that they have to worry where the light bill money is going to come from. Or where they are going to get Christmas cash.
But the reality is I enjoy reality TV. Desperate Housewives of Orange County is absurdly funny. Gene Simmons Family Jewels is precious. I even caught a few episodes of Snoops show the other day and its hysterical. I keep waiting for him to be blowing out in his shed behind the house.
I should have made this a post.
So long.
No, you don't get a pass, not unless you were watching them before the last writers' strike. I'm not even giving myself a pass for watching American Gladiators and that was on before the last strike. All of the big reality shows people watch today were spawned during the last writers' strike and took the place of created shows. We're just finding a decent balance and creative shows are getting their knees shot out again. If you enjoy it you enjoy it but given what I love I hate to see it getting a foothold again. I really don't enjoy it at all, it makes me super uncomfortable to see people being made fools of even when they ask for it.

We have not even begun to address how Letterman and Conan and Stewart have made a special
deals to go back on the air with skeleton crews while negotiations are still in progress. I see it as pulling their support from the group of writers as a whole. I know they have good reasons and that they are doing what's best for the employees of their own shows but this issue needs them to be a loud, strong part of the whole group instead. I may be wrong about all that. Only time will tell.
Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

NO reality t.v.! Ever! I'm proud to say I've NEVER seen an episode of "reality" t.v. I refuse to participate in the dumbing down of American culture.

I'm vibing for the writers. This is a big deal and I'll be interested to see how (if) folks come to a fair agreement.
I can't say I've never watched it. I watched Queer Eye, I've seen the occasional episode of different things over the years. I can say that I've never been able to sit through a full episode of the biggies like Survivor, Amazing Race or Big Brother. I've tried occasionally but just not been able to sit still. The whole format of it wigs me out so. This season Pony Express got slightly hooked on the hair dressing show and we ended up watching a few episodes in a row and I had to practically leave the room during the judging phase it freaked me out so hard.

JRH has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

My TV Critic Boyfriend said of the Biggest Loser: "Tonight NBC crowns The Biggest Loser. Pot meet kettle." Sorry, Zelda.

I'll watch the reality shows I have been watching all along, but none of this filler crap.

Is McCreamy too inappropriate?
It's highly inappropriate but equally accurate!

Zelda has left a new comment on your post "Pencils Are Still Down":

Friends DON'T let friends watch reality tv!!! That's so the truth my dear....
does it count that I'm typing this while kind of semi watching the finale of the biggest loser??? sucks. I know. But damn the transformation of these people and their bodies is unfuckingbeieveable.
Yes, my dear, it counts. Sorry. But if you're finding inspiration from the show then what's a girl to do?

Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "The Support of a Good Friend":

You are, indeed, remembering the day of her funeral.

One of the only things that pangs me (it is too a verb) about missing April is that I'm not sure I WAS the support she needed. I was often harsh with her, and I told her things I know she didn't want to hear. I never did what I did out of anger or self-righteousness, but the fact remains that we'd grown apart by the time she died.

That doesn't make me miss her any less, though.
You had to be true to your convictions and you were the one who introduced her to our group so you were, on some level, responsible for any support she got through that, which counts too. has left a new comment on your post "On the Bandwagon, Literally":

I had only heard Eastmountainsouth's version of "So Are You To Me," so I went to iTunes to find the Red Molly version. What a nice take on the song! That's one of those songs which is so beautiful that if you can halfway sing on key you can't ruin it! I don't say that to denigrate the Red Molly version at all. Some songs are just, well, perfect.
I've never heard anyone's version but Red Molly's. I'd like to, though, I'll have to keep my ear out. It's a simple, gorgeous tune.

Mrs. Chili has left a new comment on your post "On the Bandwagon, Literally":

Re: James Taylor - I have that CD, with different cover art, and I think I got it through Hallmark. I LOVE it.

Will you make me a CD of your favorite Christmas tunes, please?
I did make that CD. How did you like it? I should have asked to borrow your JT CD.

theinnerdoor has left a new comment on your post "Who Need Sheep?":

p.s. - while I'm happy that I can link right to my blog now, I'm sad that I come up as my blog's title and not my name...
This hoo ha is all fixed now so you can link as you, right?

Miflohny has left a new comment on your post "Just Can't Let Go":

breaks my heart that woman is so thoughtless - plus, that candle was a great gift!
I know! What the hell is wrong with a nice candle? It's perishable so you're not cluttering a person's life but you are brightening it. And for that matter making it stink less. I couldn't understand what the problem was with it. That re-gifting woman is a bitch.

And on that note, I think that's it. As a note to my favorite things post I want everyone to know that the next issue of the Best American Erotica series (2007) is going to be the last. I don't know why but it sucks. Go out and collect them all!

Thanks for all your comments, I love to get them and I do try to reply when I have something usefulish to say but I am reading them even when I don't have anything good to say.

Outpost: Boring

I need to report that I have ingested the final "prophylactic" antibiotic from the Great Head Cleaving of 2007. I haven't taken antibiotics for a whole month before, thank goodness. I don't ever want to do it again. Good lord, my body is balanced on a knife edge as it is, I don't need any more help screwing it up.

That noise you hear is me heaving a huge sigh of relief.

Good Morning to Me!

I had to get up early (for me) this morning for my grocery delivery. I'd explain but it's just not that interesting. When the stuff arrived it was still too early to take my dog to the park so I went back to bed.

I just woke up.

While I was up and waiting, though, I had another reason to love my sitemeter in a way that's illegal in 14 states and the District of Columbia. I checked out the stats for yesterday and found at the very top of my list of "referrals" that someone had come over from a blog I'd never heard of before. Do you know why? Because it didn't exist before today. Though I consider myself to have risen early Auntie Chili had gotten up and created a blog before I rolled my lazy ass out of bed...the first time. She'd even been kind enough to link to me in her first post. I like being part of history.

It's called Who Does She Think She Is Anyway and I urge you to swing by and give her a warm welcome to the blogosphere. Don't be scared by all the rules she has about blogging, she's a marshmallow on the inside.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What Was I Saying?

I'm headed out to meet my friends for a drink after their show but before I go I wanted to turn you on to a post from Chicago. Erin is writing about an important issue, you should read the whole post, but that's not actually what pushed me to link to her. Go see the video she links to at the bottom. It's bizarre but also sort of nice and something I wish was being used in place of all the "this is your brain on drugs" kinds of admonitions.

Yeah, I know what I've said before about videos. I guess, like texting, once you get me started I can't stop.

Not Forgotten

A while ago Gert suggested the DQ for a Hot People post. Back in the Big Easy days I would have long ago dedicated at least one post to him. Sadly we had no internet back then, at least not like this. He's aged quite well, though, so these are for Gert. You should also go here for a lovely picture of him. It's a photographer's web site so I didn't want to borrow it.
This last one is for people who aren't into the boys or the Quaid. Remember when he was married to this lovely lady? Remember when she had an upper lip and could make a variety of facial expressions? Ah, we miss that version of Meg Ryan.
Who do y'all want to see next?

Decisions, Decisions

I made my self go to work yesterday by dangling the carrot of 5 full days off in front of myself. No reason to leave the apartment except to walk the dog and see the steam pipes.

Then before I left work I remembered that I have hockey tickets for Sunday and my highly opinionated and adventurous cousin is joining me. Not so bad, it'll cut the 5 days in half and keep me from growing roots in my apartment. On the way home I was toying with the idea of going to a museum, probably the Brooklyn one for ease of travel. I haven't been to a museum in a while and to go on a Friday is not a bad call, really, even with kids out of school.

At some point during the night I realized that I have friends coming in from Jersey Friday night to see a show and they'd invited me and I'd forgotten to reply. I don't see them enough and it would be good to see them. That somehow opened the flood gates. I should see Paul in his show. I haven't seen Magelox in ages and don't know how she's doing. I'm way behind in my work for the show I'm doing in February and it involves admin and creative work. It would be nice to return the New Year's Eve favor and invite Kath & Alex to have dinner at my place before the steam pipe extravaganza. My apartment isn't exactly dinner party ready just now. People were far too generous to me and I haven't unpacked yet and there's a lot to unpack. There's a lot to do in my 5 days. I have decisions to make.

I'm no good at decisions. Especially the opinion-only ones like all of these. My brain is just refusing to go one way or the other. So, really, who knows what I'm going to do? As of now I've managed to read a chapter in my book, feed the pets, eat something (pop tarts and yogurt, oh my!) and take half my meds. It's time to walk the dog, buy some cat food and think about a plan.

What are you doing this weekend?

It's An Obsession, I Know

I took the day off on the Thursday before Christmas to tidy up my pig sty, organize by presents and pack my shit. Also to make the if-then chart from hell.

I watched 3 discs from Netflix.

My queue is still over 275 discs long, I have to keep up! I watched some lady sell drugs (OK grow drugs this season), I watched the post-Apocalyptic version of Law & Order and I watched my new favorite superhero fight to know forgiveness. I did this so that there would be blessed, blessed mindless entertainment waiting for me upon my return. This is what I have to look forward to:

A Wesley Snipes movie (which I actually got because Robert Downey, Jr. is in it)

The other half of the second season of Mary Louise Parker's Money Train*

James Spader circa 1985


*I have now watched this and it was everything I hoped for and more. Now I'm waiting to get some exciting do-gooder serial killer action in the mail.

P.S. I really need to go to bed but can't seem to get my ass off the couch.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I hauled my cookies in to work. I got dressed up enough to be presentable at an appropriate restaurant. I even put on jewelry, though I couldn't hack any makeup. I'm wearing truly inadequate footwear. Then one boss is clearly having an early morning meeting I didn't know about so who knows when he'll be in. The other boss shows up before freaking 9:30am! Gah! Will I get no peace?!

9:30 boss sounds like a team of bullfrogs dipped in sludge have taken up residence in his chest cavity. He gingerly asked if it would be all right if he didn't stay for lunch.

Folks, it was all I could do not to go all Amityville Horror on him ("Get. Out."). I took all my acting training and lightly passed it off as good for him to heal while I quickly typed a note to early meeting boss telling him that he didn't have to come in if he didn't want to, nosirree, he should feel comfortable packing and readying himself for take off tomorrow, we'd just reschedule lunch later by gum! No, no, I'm happy to take one for the team, no worries.

By 11:20 I was alone in the office. I've got a pile of crap to do but I think it's all well and truly doable by 4:30 at the outside. It's a motherfucking Chrismakwanzeidaekah miracle, people. I am blessed.

Santaland Outtakes

The room where Santa holds court is very small. Despite the size it's acoustically magical because I have no idea what their conversation held besides "What do you want for Christmas?" As a result I don't know what he's telling her hear but, man, it looks pretty freaking important doesn't it? Even though she's facing away from the camera you can tell how seriously she's taking it.
The lighting isn't perfect when viewed from the family and friends corral in Santa's cabin but here's my version of the "SMILE!" shot. A little overexposed but not too bad. Naomi Campbell should know about Alita, huh, she's got some skills.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This Is The One I Was Telling You About

Santa is very strict about the photo policy and toes (tows?) a hard line in order to get the perfect commercial shot (which you have seen previously). I purposely worked without a flash so I could fly under the North Pole radar and get some candids. I prefer candids. I have to admit, though, that I was a little scared of getting scolded by the red suit.

Alita infused her entire visit with Santa with a deep sense of sincerity and I was able to get some lovely examples of it. I hope that when we're slightly less hard core in our belief we'll still visit Santa and still treat the experience with the same respect.


It's dangerous being an adult around small children when the shutters are clicking. Everyone's watching the kid, no one's watching you and the results can be less than flattering. The picture above is a lovely slice of life but it certainly doesn't do justice Carolann. She's got a sort of Simpsonian overbite going on which is really unfortunate and not representative of her natural beauty.

Fortunately I also got the shot below. Much better. I particularly like the line of her graceful bass player's hand.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

See That Wall? I Have Hit It

It's a thing to be proud of, really, usually I hit the wall much earlier in the Christmas celebration. But right now? Really done.

I finally realized that the deal with Christmas for me is this deep feeling of inadequacy and not belonging. There's no space that's mine and nothing I do is perfectly right. I'm too lax for the planners and too structured for the flow goers. I'm too messy for the neatniks and too clean for, well, for my mother.

All my life I've been a solid B student. Not consistently an A student, only occasionally a C (or lower) one, always the B student, riding pretty much the mid level of the middle class...or something. And so it goes for all aspects of my life. Which is fine, perfectly fine, moderation in all things, right? But it's a hard place to live at times when you'd like to please a lot of different people. I have good people, I'd like them to be happy with me, I'd like to be able to repay them for all their kindnesses.

More on this all later because it's going to make my cry (again) and I don't have a space of my own in which to do that but let it suffice to say that if I had any semblance of my own power I'd be driving home right now, speeding along the open road with the face of my blessed pooch in my mind's eye. I'm really looking forward to being home in my own bed and I'm truly regretting the decision to go to work on Thursday.

Oh well, another one down. As Zelda says, I don't have to do this day again.

Watch Out! It's Hot!

Merry Christmas, you guys. I hope that you get all the peace, love and understanding you can eat. I recommend you put some pie on top of it to keep it properly packed in.

I'm feeling much better now, not perfect but really, nobody's perfect. That's OK, too, Santa & the baby Jesus don't mind, they love us anyway.

I wish you a happy day with friends, family and (all the best) what have you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Remember What I Said Before About the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I have food poisoning.

So does ChemE. Haven't been able to raise Mama Kizz or So Divine who are the other consumers of the suspect buffet haddock.

Y'all pray for death for me, willya?


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Quotes Thus Far

"You dumbass!"
- Auntie Chili on my voicemail after reading that my plan to get home didn't involve calling her for help. Whoops.

"My pockets aren't big enough for this buffet."
- So Divine upon realizing that the Italian bread was too big to hide in her coat pocket.

"One of my goals for this year is to see you more." Then 15 minutes later on the phone. "You need to come back to my house, I forgot to give you something."
- Chili

We went to our regular Christmas lunch place but since it was Sunday there was a buffet brunch. I'll need a whole post to describe the excess of it but I wanted to give you this scene:

ChemE and I sat with Auntie Blanche while the rest of the group hit the buffet line. When Mr. ChemE returned to the table we got into line. We were still a few folk back from the actual food so I surveyed the room and noticed my mother. She was walking around, not even carrying a plate, looking at the food and sampling things straight off the tables. That's vintage Mama Kizz. After her hands on recon she got a plate and made at least 3 trips through the line.

Oh and after So Divine crammed that bread in her pockets Mama Kizz topped it off with some roast beast.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I'm here.

I'm tired but I'm here. I've had a good evening eating and playing with the dogs. It's good to be landed and I have most of my presents sacked up and ready to deliver and soon I will to bed. Tomorrow is going to start early and go late.

Oh, yeah, and I'm on wireless at the Bee house which is a new and brilliant and will make me much more communicative. Are you happy about that? I am!

Talk to you soon.

Here We Go!

You know that feeling you get right after you get locked into a carnival ride's seat but before the thing starts moving? You know, where you have that moment to think, "Hold on, is this such a good idea?" I've got that feeling now. I've checked the clock 5 times in the last 3 minutes. How long until we get to the top of the rise and plummet to our deaths?

I'm up, I'm showered, my clothes are laid out, most of my stuff is packed, I've written instructions to the people who are taking care of my pets, I've packed the dog's stuff, too, my Netflix are nestled all snug in their mail boxes. I need to dry my hair, pack some food, pack some last minute things. At 9 I need to walk out the door with the dog and her stuff, drop her off, drop keys and instructions off at the dog walker/pet sitter, call a car service, suit up and head to the bus.

I am unnaturally afraid that I will not get on the first come, first served bus. I am afraid of holiday glitches like nothing else today. I can't take any more changes in plan, people! Once I get into Boston I figure out how to get a cab and go to the other station because heavens fucking forfend that all the trains go out of the same fucking place. Then I see if I can catch a train to my hometown. I've never done that before. It's a relatively recent development that we have trains going up there and there's never been an opportunity. I might make the 5 but then again I might not. There's a 6:20. If I miss that then hopefully my dad will be able to pick me up and drive me north.

There's some wireless up there but sometimes it's hard for me to log on. So I'll try here and there to get on and if I can I'll post the equivalent of a "Polo!" to your "Marco!"

I hate math and science, they're all full of if-then statements. If-then statements make my brain tired. I'm exhausted.

But anyway, that's where I'll be case you're missing me at all...which I know you won't because, I mean, how arrogant is that? Right? know whatever, Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You'd Be Crying Too

I don't know what was on the boy's plate but I know that it wasn't french fries like the ones he could see on his mother's. Is it mean to take a photo of a child in distress? Nah. It's only fair to document the full range of emotion in his life, don't you think?

For the record, though he ate some yogurt later, he did get some more fries. He got so drunk on the deep fried goodness that he dropped his guard and let me hold him for a couple of minutes. It was awesome.

How Close To The Edge Are You? A Christmas Quiz

The ghetto grocery store is playing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Browsing the aisles for last minute items do you:

a. Not even notice?

b. Bop along enjoying any version of this delightful Christmas classic?

c. Begin weaving on unsteady pins, laughing maniacally and muttering, "Wonderful? Wonderful? Who the fuck are they kidding? Who wrote this? I'm writing a stern letter!"


The Music Baby, practicing his eye roll at an early age.

It's been too long since we've seen him, hasn't it? There's a lot of debris in my photos of this day because the boy and I were at opposite ends of the brunch table. Fortunately that straw blends pretty well with his nose. If I were better with iPhoto/Photoshop and the like I'd probably try to magic it out of there but I'm not (yet?) so for now we deal and I don't mind it too much.

It's a funny, and I think, representative capture of the little guy but I'm at least equally interested in his dad there on the right. I love the look on Mark's face there checking out his fabulous son.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ungrateful Grinch

Oh, today has been a decidedly unChristmasy one. Yes it has. Use the picture as metaphor, it's been blurry and garish and somewhat overdone. An excess of that which is unnecessary and grating.

I am done, fried, fork tender and served on a bed of julienned carrots.

I could talk about how my Christmas Trip Cruise Directing was poked at. I could talk about how I forgot shit that I wanted to do and did a lot of stuff I didn't want to do. I could talk about how just when I thought I had some freaking plans in place one of the carefully placed supports was removed for service elsewhere in the crumbling infrastructure that is the holiday season. I'm not going to, though. I'm going to talk about how a good thing wigged me out so bad I almost cried.

I fucking hate the performance review process of having a "real" job. The fire of a thousand suns doesn't begin to describe it. My bosses aren't mean about it, I don't have to write things down, there's no proof and grading aspect to it, so I know it could be worse but I still hate it. I worry about it after Thanksgiving when I know it's going to come up at some point and I have to wait for them to suggest it. I worry about it when they suggest some vague time for it. I worry about it while it is inevitably postponed a couple of times. I worry about it while it's happening and I worry about it afterwards. If I tell you that I'm still worrying about both of the annual reviews I've had in this job already you would have to believe me because it's true.

I know what I'm doing wrong. I know where I'm not measuring up. I know where and how I could be better. I get that. Sitting face to face with these perfectly nice old geezers who claim to like me and have them tell me what they like and what they don't like about what I do is the adult equivalent to the first time you were punished by having your parents be disappointed instead of angry. Performance review in highly personal situations like this should be on paper, there should be a clear rubric and it should be sealed for the recipient to read when they have some privacy. Don't fucking make me wait for you to call me into a conference room and sit at a table looking practicedly casual while you judge me!

So, today, after a couple of weeks of idle chatter, they talked and then they called me in and said that, since we were short on time, they'd go over the numbers with me now and then give me a more considered review next week.

Next week.

So I fucking have to worry about this goddamned review over Christmas! I couldn't even just walk out of there with it behind me tonight and just say, "You know, it's over, plenty of time to worry about it when you get back after Christmas." I can't believe it's not over. I can't fucking believe it.

The numbers were good. The projections for next year's numbers were not great (the structure is based on percentages and if you kept getting the same percent of an ever-increasing salary, well, it'd just be too good to be true so next year seems to be the time that will change) and I have to explore different health insurance options as a show of good faith (cool, changing insurance for a third time in 3 years, totally can't wait for that, god I hate insurance as much as I hate performance reviews) and I have to wait to have my stupid review for a whole other week.

Yes, I got a raise and a bonus and I'm still bellyaching. I am an ungrateful bitch. Going to sit on the couch and eat rum cake (made by Kath, thanks Kath!) and cry now.

Quantity Breeds Quality

I got my photos back and there were things on there that I'd forgotten. I'm forgetting a lot of things these days. I blame the surgery. Or the pain killers. Or the pain. Or the season. Or my age. Oh pick one from each column, it could be anything but forgetting what I'd taken pictures of is the least of what I've forgotten. One day I got out of the shower and realized that I'd forgotten to wash certain very important parts of my body. If you see me out and about without my glasses or my pants please help me out.

Anyway, it turns out I took the advice of a number of photographers who specialize in children's portraits and wasn't afraid to take a lot of shots of my young subjects. You'll see them over the next couple of days (not just this kid, I got me another one, too). This one was basically a test shot as we stood in line just before we entered Santaland proper. As I hit the shutter she struck a pose and I had a couple of relatively uncharitable thoughts about her since I'd been hoping for a candid shot. Not sure what I was thinking, someone's crammed into a 3 foot wide corral with you, pointing a 50lb camera in your eye and you're going to pretend you don't notice?

Turns out this is probably my favorite shot of the day of my smirky little lady.

Freaks Me Out Every Time

Every couple of months while we're sitting in the office minding out own business a couple of guys come swinging down past us washing the windows. We're on the 31st floor. It's so disturbing.

A couple of weeks ago when it happened Audio Girl said, "I wish I could take a picture." So I did. The we giggled. The guy didn't seem to mind, he even waved at us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pencils Are Still Down

Let's not forget the writers' strike just because we're used to not having new episodes of favorite shows at this time of year. It's still going on and a lot of people, both writers and the professions that surround them, are having one hell of a holiday season trying to hash this stuff out. The latest thing to enrage me is that I've found out that Joshua Jackson's arc on Grey's Anatomy wasn't written before pencils down so it's in jeopardy in its entirety. I mean, by the time this is over his schedule may be different and we may never get to see what they'll call him now that McDreamy and McSteamy are taken. (I vote for McMine, but I'm not sure they'll agree.) Head on over to to show your support of the working people in the industry.

And remember, friends don't let friends watch Reality TV.

The Support of a Good Friend

My friend April died a year ago on the 13th of December. Chili wrote a nice piece about that day on its anniversary. For some reason I remembered it as being the 18th. Perhaps her funeral was on the 18th, I didn't attend but it stuck in my mind and I'd like to think there was a reason.

I met April through Chili when we were all part of an informal women's group and we bonded here and there over different things. The lovely thing about a group like that is that with the right mixture of people you're virtually guaranteed whatever sort of support you need even as your needs change. April went through a lot of changes while that group was meeting and I hope she found the support she needed from us.

Last year at this time my desk was in a large room full of other desks with other people sitting at them. My phone rang in the middle of the morning and it was Chili. She said, "(unintelligible)l's dead." I was doing something else at the time and I asked her to hold on for a moment so I could get that out of the way before I came back and asked, "What did you say?" "April's dead." Well, that's what I thought she said. How could that possibly be? Oh, it could possibly be in the way that these things are always possible. One minute April was whizzing along to work after dropping her younger son off at school and the next minute (we hope it was the next minute, we're told it was and we have to believe) she was dead. Road, guard rail, impact, weather; none of the details are important, though they are something I am ravenous for. I wish I knew how quick it went and what she thought of and if she was able to have a moment of grace as she departed.

I'll never know but I can choose to believe that she did.

*Photo credit to Laertes under the terms of the Creative Commons license. Stella (back) and Oola (front).

On the Bandwagon, Literally

I don't usually participate in the music list things since I don't know enough music that everyone else seems to know so I'm usually lost. Yet, I was compelled to do something musical for 10 Things Tuesday this week. Blame the rum balls, you have to roll them with your fingers and it would be wasteful not to lick your fingers and yes, that is a little drool on my keyboard, why do you ask?

The other day I revamped my commuting playlist to add some new songs and to mix in some holiday fare. As I was cooking last night I put that playlist on shuffle and here are the first 10 selections:

1. The Good Life - Bobby Darin
I really love Bobby Darin's style. He makes me feel like he's singing just to me.

2. A Soalin' - D. Jay Bradley
This is an honest to goodness olde englishe holiday tune.

3. My Phone's on Vibrate for You - Rufus Wainwright
I got yer holiday spirit right here in my pocket.

4. Your Body is a Wonderland - John Mayer

5. Bring Me to Life - Evanescence

6. Back to You - John Mayer

7. You'd Never Recognize the Room - Liz Callaway
It's a sad break up tune, so at least it's reminiscent of my Christmases past.

8. Chiquitita - ABBA
Yes, I like ABBA. I am not ashamed.

9. Mia - Carolann Solebello
OK so this is really not so much in the holiday spirit. It's a power ballad about child abuse sung in the first person. Her voice will move your soul, though, so it's often in my everyday mix.

10. So Are You to Me - Red Molly
A capella, it's everywhere and it's awesome.

Then I decided that I'd keep it playing while I finished up some things around the kitchen and list the next 10 Holiday songs that came up on the shuffle. My kitchen simply isn't big enough. Or my ratio of holiday to non-holiday songs was out of proportion. I had to use the skip button to find the next 10 Holiday songs or I'd have been there all night but regardless of method here they are:

1. Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful) - The Roches
Again with the a capella. I really love the classics these ladies do.

2. Silent Night - John Denver & the Muppets
One of the definitive versions of the carol made only more poignant with Denver's passing. "Merry Christmas Jonathan." says Miss Piggy at the end. Merry Christmas Jonathan, indeed.

3. Emmanuel Meets De Bobba - D. Jay Bradley
It's a sort of funky re-creation of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. It's slinky Christmas music.

4. We Need a Little Christmas - Sam's 75th Anniversary Christmas CD
Sam's is (was?) a restaurant with a small music stage in the theatre district in Manhattan. Carolann's first band used to play there occasionally and I picked up their Christmas CD, which was a charity effort. The technique is, questionable, but there are some nice musical theatre arrangements and I enjoy it so I play it a lot. Except the You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch track which just grates on me.

5. Hallelujah Chorus - Handel

6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - James Taylor
Did you know he has a Christmas CD out right now? I just saw it the other day. So wish I'd known that before people asked me what I wanted for Christmas. (Whoops, in looking it up for the link I discovered that it was released in October...of 2006 so I've missed asking for it twice.)

7. The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen - D. Jay Bradley
You have to hear it for yourself. Simple, elegant, hilarious.

8. I'll Be Home For Christmas/A Place Called Home - Sam's 75th...

9. All I Want For Christmas - Olivia Olson
Blame this one on ProfDoc. Without her Love, Actually obsession I might have missed it all together. It's peppy and good for me, it makes me want to dance.

10. What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve - Sam's 75th...

Jingle your bells, people, this time next week it'll be Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Thoroughly Average Blog Post About What I Did Tonight

It's been a bit of a whiplash evening. Too bad I didn't have one of those web cams like Rich so you could have watched me. I set out to make a wedding cake*, some rum balls and maybe some cookies. First I didn't have the milk to make the cake so I decided to make bread then I had to crush the nuts (heh) for the rum balls, then I almost ran out of flour for the bread, then the rum balls were too liquidy to make into ball form and now the bread is soooooo slooooooow to rise I have no idea if it's going grow up to a good size or not. I added some dry ingredients to the rum balls and had the bright idea to chill them for a bit before I balled them up, which worked pretty well. I even had the foresight to buy wax paper to go between the layers so they don't end up as just one enormous ball when they thaw. I feel so smaht, as they say where I come from. I also made the last 3 donations to bring my Christmas presents into the purchased column. Amazon has tried to give me a heart attack by telling me they might not be shipping some of my stuff in time to get here before I leave. Then I got most of the merch at work today so it looks like even if I don't get the rest of it before I leave I'll have the lion's share and be able to make it work. Everyone cross your fingers that Shutterfly and the USPS work in concert to bring me the rest of my stuff ASAP. This shipping, that I thought I had done in plenty of time, has literally been keeping me awake nights. Yay for rabid consumerism! I'm going to write a few Christmas/New Year's cards before I hit the hay. I'm sleepy but the bread needs to bake and I dread going back out into that cold to walk the puppely dog.

What did you do tonight?

*A friend and neighbor got married last month right after I had my surgery. I wanted to give her a little something for the holidays and had the bright idea that I could make one of ChemE's signature cakes, which is simple and delicious, and call it a wedding cake and bring it over to her tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe I'll give her bread. I'm getting to the point in the holiday where if things don't come together as planned they are easily expendable.

Santa Recovery

There's a lot of planning that goes into seeing Santa. Then there's the anticipation and the event itself is exciting but a little rushed. You need some time to decompress afterwards.
It was also cold in Santaland so I gave my coat up to a needy orphan. No, wait, she's not an orphan, her mother was just haggling for a package of the official photos of the event. So we were amusing ourselves over in the corner. There used to be a big old Nutcracker statue in that corner but not any more. Perhaps they decided they needed more room for the needy orphans/sugar-hyped Santaholics. So we took pictures of our reflections in the over sized ornaments hanging from the ceiling. Lord knows we couldn't just stand there and talk to each other until mom was done.

This was our first one. It took a while to get the hang of it. It took me 3 tries to get the kid to look at the right ornament. We're in there, though, if you look hard enough.

This is our best one, I think. The one at the top is a crop of it. You can tell vaguely that we're in there but it's still arty. Eh, maybe it's just me but we had a lot of fun doing it.

Who Need Sheep?

I've been thinking of more ways to describe my head wound. It turns out to be better than counting sheep and far preferable to thinking even the tiniest bit about the way it directs water flow when I'm in the shower. Of course I can't help but share so here you go:

Rain gutter
Overflow release valve
Emergency exit
Worry line

Hmm, maybe I should have saved this for Ten Things Tuesday.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Charles Osgood Didn't Mention This

Even though CBS Sunday Morning didn't do a milepost on me today I know it is a big mile marker. 5 years ago tonight I was sitting on the floor of my apartment drinking champagne out of paper cups with a small group of friends. We were sitting on the floor because there was no furniture in the apartment. There was no furniture in the apartment because it had only been my apartment for a matter of hours.

I took an hour or so off of work at the evil job to sit in a board room at a law office I had no connection to with a bunch of people I had never met before and signed many pieces of paper and many, many large checks. Wait, I take that back, I had met the previous owner once or twice before. He's a micro manager so he'd been around to lead the real estate agent through her job in much the same way that he re-ran the numbers on the check I wrote him 3 times. For the record it turned out to have been right the first time and he shouldn't have messed with it.

It would have been a weird thing to do even if I hadn't been buying by myself but I feel like there was an extra measure of bizarro world in doing it alone. It was like trying to buy suppositories in a foreign country. Or something else like that where you can't really even ask what the word for something is. I felt about a foot shorter and ill dressed and like everyone was trying to scam me but there was nothing to do but stay on the ride until it came to a full and complete stop.

I am still, frankly, a little weirded out that I own something that's worth more than everything else I own or am by several hundred times. If I didn't own my apartment and hadn't bought it at the time I did I would be in the process of being forced out of this neighborhood by wacky real estate hijinks. I love this neighborhood and I want to stay and this way I can. On the other hand it's a gentle stretch for me to continue to pay for the privilege of owning my little bitty dwelling. I don't have a lot of wiggle room if something goes wrong and if I were to try and follow my bliss and quit my j.o.b. and do the things I like exclusively it wouldn't be long before I'd have to sell the place and make a lot larger changes than I'd like.

Five years ago, though, I decided to make the leap. It was a now or never situation and I'm not much of a leaper so it's a pretty big deal that I did and I am glad. Still a little petrified to be living in this foreign land but happy to be here. Which is probably the best that anyone could ask.

A Sucker For This Sort of Thing

I almost never watch videos in people's blog posts. I think it's some sort of emotional or mental block from back in the day when I had a 5 year old Gateway computer and a dial up connection and spent an hour watching a 10 minute interview between Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson. She was Katie Holmes back then, long may she wave.

Whatever the reason now it takes a lot to get me to hit that Play button. SueBob included a video of some Christmas music in a post recently and I couldn't resist. It's a capella. I know, I watched Gilmore Girls, we're supposed to be petrified of the a capella. Blame my upbringing, I'm a sucker for it, and these gentlemen from Indiana University manage to do some fun things with classic holiday tunes and then top it all off by making fun of the genre in which they are reveling. It may not be quite as funny to you if you didn't pass your formative musical years in the 80s but I still think you'll like it.

Go on, press play, don't be scared.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Vanity, Thy Name is FrankenMe

Forewarned is forearmed, the final photo of this post does not include a bandage but it still includes my forehead.
I had some time before the Copoc holiday party on Thursday night so I took some pictures with the Photobooth feature on my new work machine.

Below, what I look like when I work. Dig the headset, do I look like Lily Tomlin? You know, Lily Tomlin after she's been abducted by aliens and brain probed?
I brought the hat to cover up the bandaging but I'm not sure about it. It's just band aids now 'cause the steri-strips peeled off on Thursday morning. The nurse said I didn't have to wear anything after they came off but I worry about stuff getting in there and about grossing people out.
Does that hat work better if I add a better attitude? I ended up not wearing it because it hurt too much on the super tender brand new "skin" and the lighting was properly dim.
This is what we're talking about now. I'm coming up with ways to describe it. Divot. Furrow. Hole. Track. Scar. Lobotomy. Skull Window.
I find it super gross. It still hurts on and off and my forehead is still swollen some of the time. It's not 100% closed over yet, from what I can tell, since there's still a spot or 2 of blood when I wash it. I cover the forehead part with band aids and leave the bit that's in my hair uncovered. I can't stand having adhesive in my hair anymore even though the only thing grosser than his scar is this scar with my hair stuck in it. I do not like to touch it. I apply the bacitracin with a Q-tip. For Christmas I want a personal bandage changer for the duration. Yes, I am a princess, wanna make something of it?

I am assured that this, er, deficiency, will fill in over time. I am skeptical. Proof to the contrary will be gratefully accepted.

If You Have to Ask You Can't Afford Them

Saw them on a poster at a bus stop recently and can't get them out of my head. I checked out the company and it turns out I like all their rings. But, like the title says, since I have to ask...

Here We Go, Gerry

A little bit ago with no warning Gerry pointed out that the ability for non-blogger users to sign in and direct readers to their blog information went away. Yesterday someone (Contrary? Chicky? not sure and really need to walk the dog so not going to look, sorry, love you both!) thanked me for re-activating the ability. I'd love to take the credit but I had nothing to do with it. I noticed this as I signed in today:

After just two short weeks of testing on Blogger in draft, OpenID commenting is now available for all Blogger blogs. This means that your friends and readers can leave authenticated comments on your blog using their blog URLs from OpenID-enabled services such as, LiveJournal, and AOL Journals, or with their AOL/AIM accounts.

We've chosen a few popular OpenID providers to highlight on the comments form, but OpenID is, well, "open"! You can use any OpenID service to post a comment by choosing "Any OpenID" and filling in your OpenID URL.

You'll see the OpenID icon (OpenID icon) next to the names of commenters who posted with their OpenID. This icon assures you that the person who posted the comment is the same person blogging at the URL their name links to. Say goodbye to comment spoofing!

Blogger provides helpful shortcuts to, LiveJournal, TypeKey, and AOL, but you can use any URL that you control as your OpenID URL by using delegation.

For example, say you have a LiveJournal account with the username "brad." This gives you an OpenID URL at You could comment with this URL, but you'd rather have your comments link to your homepage at

By copying two lines of HTML into the tag of, you can turn it into an OpenID URL. Then, you can use to sign your comments, while logging in to LiveJournal when you do so.

Delegation gives you complete control over what URL you use to represent yourself online, and complete control over what service you want to use to login with. Sam Ruby wrote a great article about OpenID delegation that we recommend if you're interested.

LiveJournal, AOL,, and TypeKey aren't the only OpenID providers out there. If you need an OpenID account, you can also get one from myOpenID, Verisign, or any other service that implements OpenID.

Right now, the only way to add a URL to your name when commenting is to sign your comment with OpenID. We apologize for removing the URL field from the comments form prematurely two weeks ago. That was a mistake on our part that came from launching OpenID support on Blogger in draft.

Ironically, our testing of OpenID, a feature that lets you use accounts from all over the web to comment on Blogger, made it appear that we were trying to force you into getting a Google Account. We regret this appearance, since we're strong supporters of OpenID and open web standards in general.

If you haven't set up OpenID, you can still link to your blog — or any webpage, for that matter — by using the standard tag inside the comment form.

Mostly that's all blah blah blah about how to use the form which is used pretty much everywhere else in the blogosphere but if you skim the end bits you'll see that it contains an apology. If you keep reading along after the apology you'll see how it was a clusterfuck PR-wise on a number of levels. I love it when big companies are humbled after doing something stupid.

The best news, though, all fixed! Comment away and tell people where to find you. Thank you for joining us over here.