Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Spy With My Little Eye

What's it like where you are on Halloween? Did you dress up? Did you eat candy? Did you scare the pee out of anyone?

I've told you about my neighborhood on this day before. It is, if possible, even awesomer (too much chocolate, can't find real word) this year. I have been outside wandering around drinking in the crazy since 5:45. I'm cold and a little sugar shocked and my feet are tired and the dog is exhausted from all the freaking out but I think it was worth it. We'll never see anything exactly like this again. Sadly, the whole outdated digital camera + not knowing how to use the flash on my film camera means that I don't have pictures for you (some day, I promise, and maybe it'll even be a day before I win the lottery) but I can provide a delightful bullet pointed list of the cool. Kath has taken a ton of pictures and I'm sure she'll post them soon, I'll link you over when that happens. (Go over there now and check out some of her pre-Halloween festivity shots.)

  • First sighting of awesome was Thing 1 and Thing 2. You know those tricycles with the handle on the back so the parent can steer you out of oncoming traffic? I don't know if you can buy this commercially or if the parents had made it but there were 2 kids on a tandem one of those. Their hair was died blue and they were dressed in the little red jumpsuits. It was very cool.
  • The huge crazy house had an alien theme this year. There was a spaceship in the front yard, like a big one, that people could fit inside. The people from the original house had roped the next 2 houses in to their scheme so it was a whole progressive show. Aliens came out of the spaceship with cans full of really gross, smelly garbage (diapers! there were dirty diapers!). They put the garbage into a recycling machine and made it into...HALLOWEEN CANDY! Fun, gross and educational! For the last show of the night they let a few of the kids join in. One little girl had a ray gun and I thought she was going to waste us all.
  • There's a very hoity toity pre-war building a couple of blocks away. Very beautiful and full of families and older couples and people who, if they lived in suburbia, would belong to a block association. They had a few decorations out this week but not much until tonight. The tasteful globe lights flanking their entry had orange bulbs in them and their steps were lined with jack-o-lanterns. Not your average one tooth up, one tooth down kind of thing but those high art ones.
  • I haven't carved a pumpkin in over a decade. I think I might miss it.
  • If you need a good laugh ask the kids for the magic words and see their little brains explode. One poor little girl went with please, which was good but then she was prompted, "the magic three words" and she asked, "Happy Halloween?" No, sweetheart, but another very good choice. She did finally get it. Another favorite was the one whose friend heard the question and went right to Trick or Treat. This little girl, though, wasn't quite sure and really didn't want to get it wrong so she leaned over to her mom, "Trick or Treat? Is that it?" "Yes, baby that's it." So she used it properly and got her candy and then went back to mom, "I did it good, right?" "You did it excellent."
  • A young Superman very gently petted Emily. He went away and came back. On his second round he leaned in to her face and I thought he might be whispering in her ear. He softly dragged one hand down the front of her nose and she yawned. He leaned in further and when she closed her mouth he popped back up with a huge grin on his face, "I wanted to see her big teeth!"
  • One tiny little Tigger had lost her bounce. If you waved a peanut butter cup in front of her face she'd try her best to bounce her knees but as soon as that treat was gone she got the thousand yard stare, poor thing. I totally know how she feels.
  • The politest teenagers on the planet work at the local supermarket. They dressed in costume, went to work, closed up, cleaned their stations then swung by for treats. When told they could go into the bowl and take whatever they liked they each took one, maybe two pieces each and said thank you.
  • One family had turned their little red wagon into a coach worthy of Cinderella. They had a prince and princess riding in it and the parents were dressed in full on Marie Antoinette era servants costumes complete with the 15 foot all wigs.
  • Amy Winehouse is a popular costume this year apparently. I saw one kid version and one adult version. What's the appeal there? OK, no I get the appeal of the awesome hair but she's not exactly kid friendly. For the adult version there didn't seem to be any...well, props. If you're going to do Winehouse as an adult you have to be either going to a very specific sort of karaoke party or you have to play the nutty alcoholic card. At least smear your lipstick, grab yourself a can of PBR and put your wig on a little crooked, you know, for authenticity's sake.

I find Halloween a little like the marathon. Every year I wish I'd participated but by the next year I've lost my oomph. I'm never going to run the marathon but could you please remind me to dress up next year?

Just Call Me Marky Mark

Yesterday I joked about my biopsy-induced costuming for Halloween. Since then it's grown into a parlor game. Feel free to play along in the comments.

I don't have any spot band aids to I ended up wearing a regular sized one all over my forehead today. I put the "eh" in "sexay". I thought I might get some theme band aids (Princess maybe, because I'm so pretty with my forehead stitch?) and just own the fug.

Pony Express says no Princesses get Pirate band aids and tell people it's covering my third eye.

That sounded for all the world to me like it'd make me a sort of hippie woo woo new age sort of a pirate. PE concurred. She said I'd be hi-jacking people's chakras and laying seige to their auras and collecting a booty of karma to be used at will. Oh yes, and all this would be accomplished by brandishing my terrifying weapon - a sparkly wand.

ProfDoc went simple but high impact with, "Oh just slap a tassle on it and tell them it's a third nipple."

I wonder if the world is ready for another Wahlberg sibling.

Fair + Pony Express + Child + Camera =

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

40 Looks Good On Her

Queen bee turned 40 today. She has had the exact smile you see below as long as I've known her. For the record I've known her since I was 5 months old. Isn't she beautiful?
Below is the man who engineered the surprise party. He snuck down to the basement to mix dip and cut cheese. He worked it out so the honoree was showered and dressed before I surprised her. He faked a call from his father as an excuse to go out and get the cake.
Oh, yeah, and speaking of the cake, I had to run out and grab a second cake. If the dog is locked in the bedroom and you hide the cake under the bed you're just asking for trouble. Ask us how we know.
I have great friends. The Queen Bee is a perfect example of that species. I love her to pieces and wish her a minimum of 40 more fabulous years.

Terrible Horrible Tuesday

I don't have the wherewithal to do it in 10 things format. It's been such a no count fucker of a day. I know that I'm not alone, I mean check out what Zelda woke up to and then go see what happened next. A day when you have to change your cat's name to Stumpy is not a day for the good books.

However, my work day was so bad I threw stuff. Not like, argh Hulk mad, Hulk find stuff to throw. But more of a get it off get it off fucking get this headset off me whammo! Threw it across 2 desks, into the wall and skidded through a bunch of photo frames, then I shoved my chair away and into the radiator and it's possible that I sort of kind of slammed a door. It was a frustrating day.

The good thing, though, was that I got to leave early. Granted it was for an appointment with a dermatologist but at least it was leaving early.

I have to say I never in a million years would have guessed that there was going to be a biopsy involved in this appointment. It just never occurred to me. I had a dry scaly spot on my forehead that kept cracking open and I couldn't get it to heal no matter what I did. Apparently that part shiny part lizard look can also be a sort of cancer.

The facts:

  • punch biopsy as opposed to shave
  • 1 stitch
  • won't be melanoma it'll be basal cell or that other sal ending kind that I can't remember
  • no reason to believe it's more than this one spot
  • if it's cancer they'll have to remove more of my forehead
  • I go back in a week to get the stitch out and get the results
  • I should wear sunblock

The sunny side is that it's solved my problem about what to do for Halloween. I'll be going out as a Cautionary Tale.

Before & After

As you know I've been having trouble visualizing the change in my body since Weight Loss Odyssey 2007 began. Then I found this before photo.

So I took an after photo to go with it. Can't argue with the (blurry but usable) evidence. 132lbs as of October 29th.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun, Free & a Little Bit Evil

I work in an office. Sometimes I work very hard, sometimes I work moderately hard but very smart and sometimes I don't work much at all. No matter what sort of day it is I try to get out of the office for 20-60 minutes for a change of scenery. Often I run errands or sit in a nearby courtyard and read or write but lately I'm really trying to keep moving or at least standing. It seems counterproductive to get up from my office chair so I can sit on a stone bench for half an hour. I have trouble just walking around aimlessly, though, I need direction and purpose, which really translate to permission to stop at a some point. If I know where the end is it makes the middle easier. So lately I've been going to the big, chain bookstore a few blocks away. I started out perusing the specialty tables on the first floor and had plans, once I'd exhausted them, to go upstairs and maybe do some writing within the inspiring fiction and literature stacks.

Yeah, didn't happen.

The magazines are to the left. The really good ones are right up front. So for the past week and a half or so I've walked to the bookstore every day, read a tabloid mag and returned to the office. Total outing time: 45 minutes. It's perfection. I get to indulge my guilty pleasure, I get out of the office and I don't sit down, and I'm not tempted to spend any money. Now I have Jorja Fox's perspective on her departure from CSI, I read up on the really interesting and meteoric rise of Andy Samberg (who is a friend's nephew by marriage) and I know that a former stylist "friend" of Brittany's told her to wear underwear with short skirts.*

Ooo, and it's environmentally sound too, right, it's like recycling. Somebody call Al Gore!

*This, and all news of Ms. Spears just makes me sad. I wish she had a friend who really tried to help her out. This woman does not fit that description.

Play It Again, Sam*

In the short 2 games this series was in CO I saw, I believe, 5 broken bats. I know they keep the balls in a humidor because they dry out and get smaller and sprout little snitch wings and fly away but what's up with the bats? My limited powers of deduction would suggest that the bats also dry out (so fast, though?) and become brittle, like my hair. Anyone know for sure? Was it just an MLB cost cutting measure and they made shitty bats for a couple of games? That doesn't seem smart.

Would you get in the way of anything coming off the end of his bat (whoops, dirty!)? I don't think so.

There was some question the other night about what women (and one assumes some men, too) find attractive about Manny. I think it's that smile (not pictured) and that commitment (see above). I hesitate to include how the batshit crazy factors in.

Speaking of batshit crazy...

Seriously, though, if he keeps just saving games like that he's welcome to dance around the infield in his undies (also not pictured but it looked a lot like this only with no shoes) all he wants. No, really, go right ahead, let Mama just grab herself a box of vino and a lawn chair and she'll be right there.

There have been days that the Red Sox dugout has been very dusty but last night they cleaned house** and the Nation was pleased.

*Yes, I know this phrase didn't actually appear in Casablanca, I'm using it anyway.

**Please do not use the woman on the right as an example of good fanship. She's enthusiastic and she has good props but don't buy a team cap in a color that doesn't belong to the team. Get a Celtics cap if you need something green, don't be ridiculous.

Let's Hear It For the Boys

I won't be able to head to Boston for the parade but I don't think they revoke your citizenship in the Red Sox Nation for that. I will be there in spirit...and my tongue will be down Mike Lowell's throat.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm No Witch...

...but I've got a broom 'cause the Red Sox just swept the Rockies to win the World Series!

Such a Card

It's too early for carols or holly or decking of the halls. Not only do I know this I am the largest advocate of a pre-Thanksgiving decorating moratorium ever to walk this 1 sleigh planet.

However, poor prior planning presages peril so I've been having the casual conversation here and there with someone and another one about Holiday schedules and gifts and the like. In that vein today I ordered my Christmas cards. I like to have them made from a photo I've taken. Usually I do a postcard to save on postage.

What a miser! Saving on postage at Christmas? Well, that's because I send between 150 and 200 cards. To some this sounds excessive and to others this seems ridiculously little. I generally write a short personal note on each one (sometimes not so short) and I love this one piece of the holiday for the thrill of giving and getting proper mail in the mailbox and reaching out to talk with people I don't get a chance to see much anymore. I love to hear how everyone is doing and to see the photos.

So, an informal poll. Do you send cards for the holidays? Do you like doing it? Do you like getting them? Personal note, signature only, holiday newsletter or some combination thereof? Homemade or store bought? Tell me everything!

It Doesn't Take Much

There's something to be said for an old fashioned cocktail party joke. I'm sure there's plenty that people could find objectionable in this one but if you don't take it seriously I think you'll get a good giggle.

An Irish Ghost Story
This story happened a while ago in Dublin , and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, its true.

John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a storm.

The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him and stopped. John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got into the car and closed the door.. only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on!!

The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life.

Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and turned the wheel. John, paralyzed with terror, watched as the hand repeatedly came through the window, but never touched or harmed him.

Shortly thereafter John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering strength, he jumped out of the car and ran to it.

Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.

A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying and....wasn't drunk.

Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in from the stormy night. They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath.

Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the other...

'Look you, Declan.....there's that feckin' eedjit that got in the car whilst we were pushin' it!!!!'

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where DID you go?

So, a little quiet today but that's because I've been on the road all day. We're celebrating Queen Bee's birthday back home tonight. I got on the Chinatown bus and with the help of ProfDoc was able to surprise the Queen.

She was really surprised.

No, really.

The King Bee threw her a party (another surprise and another one she totally fell for) and made an ungodly scrumptious dinner of seafood pasta. I am full, so full, so happy. We're hanging around with a bottle of wine and the Red Sox game (GO SOX!) and enjoying the good life.

This is also my excuse for not using all your fabulous suggestions for humilia...I mean, dressing the pooch up for Halloween. The Pupkin got rain delayed until tomorrow but I'll still be on the bus on the way back.

She's only going to turn 40 once, though, and I wasn't about to miss it. She looks beautiful, she's got a stable of great friends and she's got a newfound rabid love for the BoSox. I think this next decade is looking like a winner.

Using My Powers For Good Part 2

Using My Powers For Good

Queen Bee requested a gift for Christmas. I told her why wait since her birthday is this month. She would like some enlargements of some of my photos to frame and put up in her newly renovated home. So this post and the next are going to be full of the short list from which she can choose. She gets 5 for her birthday but she can probably negotiate for Christmas gifts later if she needs to. Feel free to leave her your opinion in the comments.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

I haven't just dropped the budgeting thing, I promise. I got stuck in a place where I wasn't tracking spending and I got overwhelmed. My plan is to compile the info from the month I did track and report on that at some point soon and then to start tracking again on November 1. I hated being bracketed by days in the middle of the month. The other obstacle I have is that I want to move my tracking over to Quicken, which I have (thanks Chili!), but I want to know how I can use it to track what I purchase with cash I take out of the bank so I know where that money is going to. I can try to pay for most things with my debit card but some things are unavoidably cash. Anybody have any thoughts?

I Ask You

What is funnier than a good spit take? No, really, name one thing.

Lowering Blood Pressures All Over the City

Earlier this year I finally took the recommendation of a number of friends and started to read some of the real estate/development/citizen empowerment blogs for New York City like Curbed and Brownstoner and Clinton Hill Blog. A lot of them are based in a particular neighborhood but some take on whole boroughs. They all link to each other and most cross post relevant information.

Its hard to explain exactly what they do so you should probably just click one of those links and scan through a couple of entries to see what they're talking about. Some of it is very technical or about renovations or purchases that I don't have even close to enough money to entertain. Other things are really interesting to me, restaurants I want to try, the closing of businesses I love, governmental changes that will affect me, stuff like that. They even ask for information from commenters. There are a lot of commenters on these sites. A lot. And they're mean. So mean! If someone posts pictures of a renovated apartment most of the comments disparage it. And not with a "Wow, looks like my grandmother did the decorating." it's about how the person who allowed an architect or decorator to do such a thing must have fundamental character flaws. Only their language is more colorful.

You have to have a thick skin and a fearless nature to submit a question to the general readership. I stopped reading the comments pretty early on because it was making me really uncomfortable. I just don't get it. I feel like the ability to comment on real estate is preventing heart attacks all over New York by letting people lash out indiscriminately and disproportionately. Anybody have any theories about why this subject matter prompts people to release their pent up venom out into the internet?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pumpkin Picking In Suburbia

A good time was had by all.

How Did He Miss This?

Dr. Demento plays a song called "Entering Marion." It's all double entendre about a road trip through Massachusetts using all the towns that are named after women. If you're a 12-year-old boy, or, you know, me it's hilarious.

So imagine how hard I laughed when I was skimming the sitemeter stats and found that someone had visited from Cummington, MA.


I promise that this blog is not an internet scam, I am really a 38 and three quarters year old woman not just a masquerading tween boy but you're only as old as you feel, right?

Somerville, MA I'm looking at YOU!

The lurker from Somerville is back. They were on the site this morning for 14 minutes and change so they had to have seen the request for delurking, don't you think?

Let me soften my approach. I don't mind that you're reading even if you are one (or both!) halves of the ex-boyfriend/ex-friend couple that lives there. I really don't. I mean, if we can be stranded, just the 3 of us, together at a party in Suburbia for over an hour this summer we can handle this. At least here we can pretend we aren't listening when something uncomfortable happens.

There is a small chance that the person reading in Somerville is neither my ex-boyfriend nor my ex-friend. If that's true, I appeal to your kind nature, whoever you are, and ask that you identify yourself so that I can stop wondering. My brain just won't stop wondering. It's like having 99 Bottle of Beer on the Wall popping up in my head every other day and it's making me

That all being said, I did declare that if Somerville came back and didn't speak up I'd start telling embarrassing stories. Someone should thank the good lord I don't have that scanner yet, 'cause the photographic evidence is the most damning.

Here's a short one on the ex-boyfriend. He decided he was going to bike the Blue Ridge Skyway. He bought a bike, he bought a camera, he set a training schedule, he bought panniers and an under seat pack and shorts and shoes. He got a train ticket and he set a tough riding plan and his parents, who were to be vacationing in Black Mountain, NC, would pick him up at the end of the route and I would fly to NC and we would all spend a pleasant week in the pretty, pretty mountains not asking each other when I was going to get an engagement ring. (For 3 out of 4 of us this last bit was not hard. Sorry Ex's Mom.)

He did not stick to the training schedule.

Instead of camping as he'd planned he had to stay at motels. This was not because he didn't have the right equipment or because he was afraid of the dark. It was because he had blisters on his ass. Big, painful, horrifying blisters that made each moment of pedaling an agony. He had to sleep on his stomach and eat standing up. When he called from the second or third motel and described trying to contort himself enough to see the ass damage I laughed so hard that I almost passed out. Then I had to spend another 30 long distance minutes (this was before anyone invented unlimited long distance) apologizing for laughing at his pain. I felt bad he was in pain. I really did. But, come on, that shit is funny no matter how you slice it.

Don't worry, his parents rescued him early and they had some parent-child time before I arrived. No permanent damage was incurred.

OK, Somerville, come out come out wherever you are or next week I'm buying a scanner.

Would You?

I love Mighty Goods. It's exactly the right sort of shopping for me since, well, since I don't actually have to go shopping and can just look at pretty things without getting out of my seat or spending money. If you have trouble figuring out gifts for the young'uns they even have a new sister site, Mighty Junior.

Sometimes, though, I wonder. Apparently you can commission your own portrait. I suppose it wouldn't have to be of you, it could be of a loved one or a whole family. A whole very rich family. Getting a portrait done, it's so very 1743, you know? I know, I know, Emily Gilmore did it but, really, are we aspiring to be Emily Gilmore these days? I think not. I just don't know what to think. What do you think?

I am intrigued.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On the Naughty List

Someone needs to tell the folks at How I Met Your Mother about these. I've tried and I can't figure out how. Doesn't Neil Patrick Harris have a blog? You just know this is what Santa's going to bring Uncle Barney.

*Welcome everyone who's coming over from Mr. Gaiman's blog. Thanks for swinging by and I really hope to see you again!*


Neil Gaiman just linked to me in his blog! Neil Gaiman NOTICED me!!

I am fangirl, hear me squee.

Many, many thanks to whoever brought the story to his attention, I'd love to know who you are.

Setting Off the Selfish

Queen Bee is wearing one of these today. It's Red Sox day (or week or month) at her school so she had to outfit herself. Don't tell Papi but she really wanted one of Manny's shirts only they were sold out. C'est la vie. Her manicure is Red Soxian as well, so she has come down with a serious case of Red Sox Fever!

Haven't we all.

I was offered tickets to the game tonight but I had to refuse. The details are too sordid to explain why but I did have to and it hurt me. It hurt me deeply until I got my head out of my ass and realized that people's homes are burning in CA and a baseball game isn't nearly as important as I might want to make it. Pamie put up an entry today with easy to understand signposts to reputable organizations gathering donations to help the people who have been displaced (and their pets!). Take a gander and see if there's anything you can do. After all, none of us will be needing that money for a beer and a dog tonight at Fenway, will we?

Turns Out TV Is Dangerous

In that twilight place of the morning my dreams got seriously out of hand. I was at the Big Apple Circus. I had friends who knew someone who drove for the circus. My seat was a box seat sort of thing that felt for all the world like a teacup ride at a fair. I only got to the circus after I left the morgue, though. I was performing pre-med dissections on a baby hand that was mysteriously re-generating. You know who my supervisor was? Meredith Grey. She didn't even care when I poked the baby hand with a knife tip (steak knife to be exact) and felt it in my own hand. (I'm guessing I got stabbed by a cat's claw in the real world at that point.) A mind is a terrible thing, huh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This picture represents merely a fraction of her ability to brighten my life.

Stockpiling for Winter

Looks like Chili beat me to this admission. I think that just goes to show you that great minds really do think alike. I've been stockpiling blog entries since I can't seem to get it together to write all the things I want to write. I have lists of ideas and I have drafts in blogger and I have constant narration in my head. It's partly to get ready for NaBloPoMo since during the first weekend I'll have a friend in town and I want to make sure that I have things to post even if I don't have time to write anything. It's like pumping extra breast milk if you work full time only blog posts last longer than 14 days and they don't take up any space in the fridge. It is hard to get ahead, though. I'm used to just pressing "publish post" so I have to remember to save as a draft. I was going to save that Real Mental post but I hit the wrong button. I'm used to the blessed immediacy of blogging and now I'm trying to rein that in. It's unnatural! Seems to be working pretty well, though, so I'll keep trying it for a while.

10 Places to Go

I suspect this idea will take more than 10 slots. I dream of road trips. I dream of days in shorts and tanks with the top down and my sunglasses on with the radio blaring. There's so much to see on this continent alone and I do not know why I've waited this long and still haven't seen it. Here's a selection of 10, not necessarily in the order I would plan my trip.

1. Seattle, WA to visit Miss Rebecca.

2. Portland, OR to visit my family and to go to that crazy donut shop that Anthony Bourdain showed me.

3. Los Angeles, CA because I've never been and I think I'd hate it but I don't know for sure.

4. Marin County to visit Gar and see what Pony Express thinks it's so gorgeous.

5. Anywhere there's a baseball stadium or park on game day.

6. Mackinac Island, MI because the only time I've been there it was cold and I was working and I had to take a plane from the mainland that was smaller than a van.

7. Baltimore, MD The secret is that about a decade ago I sometimes entertained thoughts of leaving NYC (I know, scandalous, I knew it would never happen) and I thought about moving to Baltimore. I had a great weekend there once so apparently it made an impression.

8. Halifax, Nova Scotia to visit Ruby, I can't believe how long it's been since I saw her, it's criminal.

9. New Orleans, LA because it's been too long since I've been there, too.

10. The St. Petersburg area of FL to see the Dali museum and meet some family I have down there.

Where would your car take you?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Who Trained Who?

Now that we have some cool weather and the heat is on in my place I've had to start using my humidifier to keep the entire inside of my head from hemorrhaging. It's a noisy apparatus, mostly white noise with the occasional glugging of water descending into the well.

As a pet owner I am conditioned to respond immediately to the gagging sound of an animal about to vomit in a projectile manner.

Apparently while I'm sleeping I can't tell the difference between glugging and gagging. I keep sitting bolt upright from a dead sleep ready to fling an animal off an upholstered surface before the eruption.

I Will If You Will

I admit to all you people out there who count housekeeping among your top priorities that I do like it when my table is clean. When the dishwasher is empty, or in process of being filled rather than waiting to be emptied, it makes it somewhat easier to work in the kitchen.

I challenge you, however, to admit that some days it takes a Herculean effort bring your dishes to the sink and rinse them, that there are days when you just feel like Goldie Hawn in Overboard right before Kurt Russell dumps her in the rain barrel. Sometimes it's all one can do to simply sit in a chair and say "buh buh buh buh-buh buh buh buh buh" while someone dings peanuts off your cranium.

Breathing Out

After Saturday night's baseball game I found Ulserad on IM. As we talked he said very confidently, "Well, now we're going to the series." I don't entirely understand this but I know that a largish portion of BoSox fans feel that the hump to get over is game 6. We have a history of very bad 6th games. Very bad. As a result a loss in game 6 feels like the end of the series and a win apparently feels like a win overall. I'm too superstitious to breathe a sigh of relief when there's still a whole game left to play.

Lesson: Always listen to the expert.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm Real But Am I Mental?

Mental illness is a thorny subject. I come from a fairly practical line of folk so my gut reaction to people who claim depression, OCD, panic, anxiety, bipolar disorder or the like and get medicated for it is to be suspicious at best. Then my brain kicks in and tells me how judgy and ridiculous that is. I have family members who are medicated (and thank the good lord) and friends whose lives are made immensely better with therapy both talky and pilly. I know this stuff works. Sometimes I even think about how it might work for me.

I went to my first "therapy" appointment when I was in grade school and I had a perfectly normal little kid meltdown over some issues with a friend. My mother sent me to the guidance counselor to get me treated.

I went to my last therapy appointment when I was 19 or 20 and my parents were in probably their 7th or 8th year of separation. It was a family appointment with my mom's therapist (I now know how utterly uncool and likely unethical this is). My mom sat alone in a chair at the side shivering and freaking. My father and I sat at extreme opposite ends of a couch. He tried not to cry and I tried not to vomit. We were both largely successful. Fairly early on in the appointment my father likened his relationship to me with his relationship to P (his now wife, then girlfriend). The therapist stopped him before he could elaborate and asked, "Because you're having sex with her?" I don't remember even one other thing from the appointment, I'm fairly certain I never spoke at all. And, clearly I haven't forgiven anyone for making me be there and experience that (go me!).

In between I saw school counselors and therapists and psychiatrists for everything from college counseling to panic attacks.

What I'm getting at is that my experiences have been long and varied but never good. With this evidence behind me in talking to counselors the thought of allowing one of these yahoos to suggest medication to put in my body is preposterous.

And yet, when I can't go into the reptile house at the zoo or I lie in bed and talk myself out of bombing fantasies when the planes fly overhead or I have to leave a table when a political discussion gets too heated I wonder where, were I evaluated, I would end up on the crazy scale. Obviously I'm functioning fine and don't think about hurting or killing myself, I don't call in sick to work more than twice a year so I'm guessing I'd be pretty low down there.

This here internet has a little bit of everything, though. Have you noticed? I started to notice how every other blog is by someone who is medicated for something or other. That's not all the person blogs about and I don't have to live with these people and experience the pain day by day so I can listen and care and learn without it affecting me. Now that I read that it sounds horrifying but I'm going to trust that you understand that I mean that it's easier to learn without the static of real life. Ok, still doesn't sound good. I'm sorry, I'll work on it.

In any case I have been reading Jen and Schmutzie and Dooce and Leah and a number of other bloggers who are extremely open about their struggles with mental illness. Some of them created a new site after Blogher this year. A small group of prolific bloggers with similar struggles contribute to the clearing house of personal stories on Real Mental. I can't recommend enough these individual blogs or their collective one. Go. Read. I'll wait here.

Even Cuter On Her (New) Home Turf

I've heard her pitiful cries over the phone. She doesn't like it when no one is paying attention to her.
I also her she's a mite stubborn. Well, fancy that.
Should be a sin to be this freaking cute, though, shouldn't it?

You Really Don't Know

I spent yesterday in Suburbia. There were burgers and there was pizza, we picked pumpkins and I sat among that most dangerous of species, the soccer parents. I took some pictures and I think there are some really good shots but we won't know until I get them developed. However, I think the most interesting moment was at dinner when I had the following conversation with a 7-year-old girl. I think it just illustrates that we never know what's going on in someone else's mind, even when the person in question is a kid, we shouldn't get cocky because we simply do not know.

Her: I have a question!

Me: OK.

Her: So, ok, you know when people get married and the bride and um, the, um...

Me: Groom.

Her: Groom. When the bride and groom say I do and then they kiss and everything?

Me: Yeah?

Her: OK, yeah, well then after that? Why do they get divorced?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October Gets Hotter and Hotter

Criteria for choices was me recognizing the name and being able to find an acceptable photo of the person either in a Red Sox uniform or not in uniform. I did not penalize for bad attitudes but I thought about it (Josh Beckett, I'm looking at you). I did give extra points for the kind of hot that's on the inside (Terry Francona, I'm looking at you, sir).

Before we go let me comment on the "Believe Again" banner I saw in the bleachers of Fenway. If there was a point at which you stopped believing, and I assume there was since you now believe again, then you need to pick another fucking team. You're clearly "Not Our Kind Dear" (tm Tracey).

Love, Mum

When MamaKizz leaves messages on my voice mail she never quite feels comfortable ending them. After she's said all she needs to say there's always a bit of an awkward pause and then she says, "Love, Mum" like she's sending me a letter.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Show Must Go On*

I highly recommend taking someone to their first Broadway musical. If you're going to do such a thing then I highly recommend taking someone who is able to express themselves intelligently and completely.

Carmencita and I took Alita to her first Broadway musical tonight. I wish I had a picture but, while I remembered to bring my camera, I forgot to check the batteries for freshness. We saw a musical adaptation of Neal Gaiman & Dave McKean's The Wolves in the Walls by the National Theatre of Scotland.

Show time was 7:00pm and by 7:15 nothing was happening and people were clapping rhythmically to try to get the show started. I do not approve of such a thing in a proper theatre but it prompted the House Manager to come out and make an announcement. At 6:45 one of the actors fell up the stairs and sprained his ankle badly enough to have to go to the hospital. The show has 8 actors and no understudies. By 7:15 the actors had re-worked the show so they could go on with only 7 actors and really, I'd have been hard pressed to pinpoint the person in the new role. I love this not only 'cause it proves that the ensemble is awesome but also because Alita's first show was different than any other performance of any show ever, even more so than the way that every performance is always different from every other one.

She loved it. She has the book and has read it a lot recently. Her memory is impeccable both for what she saw onstage and for what's in the book and how it differs from what was presented on stage. She preferred the play and was able to tell us that was because the play was funnier and had more action in it. She especially liked it when the wolves danced. We were both pleased to see that they included the tag line from the book (I don't want to spoil it for you so I'll just say it involves elephants). I also loved that she had thought through how certain effects might have been achieved. There were partial body puppets, small puppets, mechanical scenery, projections and animation and she had thoughts about how each thing had been created. I think she's got some of it right and some of it probably not but I don't know how it's really done so who am I to say? Most shocking moment of the evening for me was when she talked about when the pig puppet was propped up next to "that box" while the wolves danced. "That box" was a turntable for 45s, one of the ones that comes in its own carrying case. How would she know what that was? Oh, then she remembered, she'd seen one in the 2nd Scooby Doo movie. Who says movies these days aren't educational?

Afterwards we ran into some old friends outside, then we meandered over to Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream over which to re-hash the show. The conversation was lively, the ice cream was awesome and my homeward commute was blessedly swift. It was a great night out. I love an evening of theatre more than almost anything but it is made infinitely better by the right companion, especially if you get one who snuggles with you during the show.

*Not to be confused with My Heart Must Go On which is what the guy in the subway was playing on his steel drum as we headed home.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Someone Needs to Wise Up

How is it that bigoted Isaiah Washington already has a new job? And on a pro-strong chick show like Bionic Woman too. This I do not get.

They're listing him as a Special Guest Star so he may not have a proper contract yet, maybe they're testing him out first to see who he punches or belittles or insults. Initially I thought I was OK with that. The BW beats him up and that was fun to watch. Now, though, every time he gets a new ep I wonder how he gets to do the job he loves, how casting directors all over creation didn't think it prudent to push for one of the thousands of other principled and qualified hot guys of any ethnicity to put in this role, how he can possibly go through any day of work without getting pantsed at least once.

If I were this poor actress I'd want an Emmy for sitting next to him and not kicking him in the crotch every single day.

Flushing Out the Game

Still at work. Still annoyed. Still can't decide whether or not to cut and run.

So I looked at my stats on Sitemeter. (Oh, Kath, that's how I see who is visiting my site and from where. There's a little button a the very bottom of the page that links to the place that's counting my stats. I can probably work through getting it on your blog if you want, or Alex can, let me know if you want help.)

Anyway, part of why I was psyched for the Great Mofo Delurk was because there are people checking in from locations in which I am interested. For instance Peru, Dubai and Somerville, MA.

OK, I am interested in all of them but it's the last one that's killing me. I have exes who live in Somerville! If you're the reader who's from Somerville just comment already, willya? 'Cause if you don't I'm just going to start posting super embarrassing stories about my exes until you do. Think of it as less threat, more promise.

Sometimes It's Better if I Just Sit Quietly

Why am I posting at almost 5:30pm? Because I got sprung from work early and have walked the dog and am sitting around the house in my happy pants? No. No, I am posting now because payback is a bitch and when you're often allowed to leave work early or call in sick or just rained on and you never work on Fridays you can't really complain when you have to stay a little late. This is 2 days in a row, though, and it's on the same guy and I'm seething quietly.

But it means I can squeeze in a blog post so we'll just call it a partial win.

Leah wrote a couple of spot on posts today. She was reacting to some relatively invasive and presumptive comments from her post yesterday and I really felt her pain. So I thought I'd comment and say so. I wrote a nice little comment saying just what I said in the last sentence and then I went on:

Quick funny story to alleviate the punching. I have awesome friends. If I have to take my pets to the vet someone almost always comes with me. So most vets think I'm a lesbian but when you come in with a girl no one drops any of the hints about it. My cat got very sick a couple of weeks ago and a male friend was in from out of town. He is a fabulous dude, from the Bay area actually, and he was right on board for skipping our dinner plans and helping me at the emergency vet. He did gross things, things no one should ever have to do for a friend, especially a friend you're visiting for the first time in 15 years and he did them with a smile. At one point the vet said, "These are great cats, really super. But you guys are calm" and he leaned in for the implication "so that's not surprising." When Garret casually disabused him of the notion that we were together the guy started hitting on me.

Dude, you need to stop working so much. Get out of the vet's office once in a while and meet a real girl. I'm not married but neither am I shopping for man-meat by paying $300 to sit in an exam room with a urine-soaked cat who's bleeding from the ass.

So, yeah, people make ridiculous assumptions all the time. I'm sorry they did it to you.

What the fucking fuck am I fucking talking about?

I am pretty new to commenting regularly on blogs, especially blogs of people I don't know well. I feel like if I'm going to spend the time to comment and spend the time of whoever will read the comment I have to have something worthwhile to say. Sometimes, though, emotionally something feels right to say but it's not much or I feel like my "sorry" isn't going to do enough so I have this compulsion to add in something funny or uplifting, like having someone say they have a headache and offering them the opium you have in your purse, it's neither useful nor appropriate. Today I managed to keep my finger off the Post button until I'd edited myself appropriately, we are not always that lucky.

Quelle D'omage*

Are you watching Damages? If you saw the penultimate episode of this first season you saw my block! That last scene where Ellen talks to Patty? Not in my neighborhood, not even I think in my borough. Right after that, though, when she walks around the corner of a building and those menacing guys start to follow her? That's my bodega, my bus stop, the place where Pony Express gets her caffeine is in the background. That is across the street from my house. Hee. You'd think I wouldn't still be tickled by that stuff.

But I am.

*Can't guarantee I spelled that right.


The weird thing about living in New York is the number of people that you "know" without ever speaking to them. Anecdotal evidence suggests that I tend to "know" more people that I don't speak to both because I refuse to speak to most people and because I tend to observe and remember things about people in my quest to write and act new characters.

As a for instance there was this thuggy white guy that used to live in my apartment complex. He hung out with the young, multiracial, drinking-in-the-courtyard crowd but he was super hyperactive and didn't seem to have a key to the place where he was living (with his parents? hard to tell) so he was down there at all hours, both when I came home from work and when I left. I heard him talk about going to work a couple of times. He sticks in my mind not only because he was the only white kid of his age down there but also because he liked my dog and he talked to me about her, even helped me out when some total idiot dog owner wouldn't move so I could get through the courtyard with my "unpredictable" dog.

Then he disappeared.

One day I walked by him on his way to the handball court (hyperactive, remember?) and the next day he was gone.

A month or so ago he turned up in the office building where I work. That's over 6 miles and a totally different culture away. Not to worry, he's not stalking me, without my dog he can't even seem to identify me. He's an electrician there and it seems like he's doing pretty well for himself. I've seen him a few times and even accidentally made eye contact once but I can almost guarantee he hasn't made the connection. I might say hi some day but I'm just going to play it by ear.

It's weird, right? But also weirdly cool.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Are You Welling? I'm Totally Welling Up

I totally ganked this picture from Chili's blog but I'm pretty sure she'll forgive me because a. I gave her credit and b. she loves me. (Love you back!)

This sort of show of emotion is why I love sports and sports movies and sports stories and little league and travel soccer and a good game of contact Scrabble. Sure, the ALCS Championship isn't the Battle of Thermopylae or anything but it is a battle and it's beautiful (and sometimes heartbreaking) to watch. We may have lost a battle or two but the war is still winnable.

Boston Believes, my friends, and so do I.


After a period of mourning ChemE decided to just go look at some puppies. One of the black and brown ones is coming home with her on Friday. We think it's the one on the left above but we can't tell for sure.
They're part dachshund, part jack russell terrier and part labrador so, you know, super low energy. The white one was spoken for so she could choose the more cuddly but more needy one or the braver independent one. I suspect you can guess which one she chose.
Could they be any cuter?
I think not.