Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EwwwwBox 360

Is anyone else seriously grossed out by Microsoft's XBox 360 ad campaign?

I'm sure you've seen the commercials. It starts with some weirdly expressive young man, woman, or kid and some plunky music and then the camera pans around the person until you see that instead of a normal head, filled with skull and brains and stuff you'd expect to see - instead there's a creepy, hollowed out amitheater where their cranial innards ought to be.


Seriously? Does anyone NOT feel like throwing up after watching these commercials???

Maybe it's just me.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Sharon is trying to bribe me.

Man... That woman knows how to play me. She's been trying to get me to enroll in a class at the gym - ANY class - ever since we started working together.

But I don't want to do classes. I'm not a joiner. I prefer to workout solo - aside from my sessions with Sharon. I don't like having other people looking at me. I'm clumsy and I lack coordination (it says so on my Kindergarten report card) and I get very self-conscious in situations like that.

So Sharon's latest idea has been to get me into a spinning class. Her theory is sound. There're no goofy dance steps for me to flub up or difficult moves to master. Just pedal. Pedal pedal pedal. (And yes, Garth, you know I think of you every time I get on a bike!)

And the carrot?

Sharon: If you go to a class I'll give you a surprise.
EEE: Oooh! What surprise?
Sharon: You won't know unless you go.


Oh, yes. She knows how to play me.

So, I have not yet gone to a spinning class yet (there's one on Tuesdays at 5:15am that would fit my schedule perfectly) but only because I wasn't sure A) that my ass could handle it or that B) I was strong enough to bike for an hour straight.

But I've been working to break in my ass. Sharon told me that it takes three sessions on a bike to break in your ass. The first time will hurt. The second time will hurt. The third time will hurt. And then, like a miracle, the fourth time: no pain.

And, what do you know? She was right. I've biked almost every day since she first mentioned the spinning class. The first time it hurt. The second time it hurt. The third time it hurt. And the fourth time - just like Sharon said - it didn't hurt.

Huh. Who knew?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Benadryl Dreams

I occasionally get hives. Not often, just every few years or so.

Several of my friends have had them in the past and I never really thought much about them until I contracted them myself.

Let me tell you, I would not wish hives on my worst enemy. They're not just ugly and annoying. They're TORTURE. They itch. They itch like hell.

I would rather be in pain than itch.

And the really wretched thing about hives is that most cases have no known cause. While 75% of women will contract them at some time in their lives, the majority of cases are idiopathic. Grrr!

Luckily, while the cause is unknown, the cure is simple (for me at least): Benadryl.

I don't like taking Benadryl. It has a lot of side-effects: sedation, tiredness, sleepiness, dizziness, disturbed coordination, drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions, and stomach distress. May also cause low blood pressure, palpitations, increased heart rate, confusion, nervousness, irritability, blurred vision, double vision, tremor, loss or appetite, or nausea.


Benadryl knocks me on my ass. I know people who can (and do) take it every day. Not me. It knocks me to sleep within a half hour. And I get weird dreams. The sort of dreams that seem real but can't possibly be real.

Last night, for instance. I took one tiny little Benadryl and soon I could barely raise my head from my pillow. Before long I was having Benadryl dreams.

I dream that my power went out - and I dream that my cat was eating my hair - and I dreamt that the lamp doing a tap dance. And I was convinced that there was someone in my front room (it was probably just Fluffy Kitty Butt eating the Xmas tree) But I couldn't do anything about any of it because I was practically comatose from one little pill.

The dreams are weird and they freak me out. But they're still better than hives. No question.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Creamy Honda Center


I haven’t driven my car since the last time it snowed – which is only about a week, but it’s enough that my car was buried under several inches of snow before this latest blast of Winter Fun arrived in Chicago.

So now there will be even more snow on top of it. PLUS a lovely layer of ice.

Do you remember that dessert topping Magic Shell? The chocolate syrup that hardens into a shell when it hits the cold ice cream? I think they may still sell it but I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Jo. She always loved that stuff.

Anyway – I fear that’s what my car is going to be like when I finally dig it out tomorrow: A crispy ice shell over a fluffy layer of snow with a creamy Honda center.


Happy Holidays, All!!!!!

Be safe and happy and don’t let the batsards get ya down!



Thursday, December 18, 2008

One for you; Two for me

Ugh. I have a problem shopping around the holidays. I don’t shop very often normally. When I need something, I’ll go to a store with that particular item in mind, buy it, and leave.

The problem with the holidays is that I’m not shopping for me.

So I end up going into stores that I would normally not frequent.

And I see all sorts of new, cute things. And I want them.

So I end up buying my Secret Santa coworker the tie he requested – and I end up buying myself two new sweaters and a pair of earrings.

But they were all on sale!!!!


Through most of the year when I see something I like, I have a soft rule that I will leave the store without buying anything. If I still want it the next day, (hell, if I still REMEMBER it the next day!) I’ll go back and get it.

Obviously, this rule doesn’t apply if I’ve traveled all the way out to fooking Woodfield or the store is otherwise difficult to get to.

Apparently it also doesn’t apply during the holiday sale season.

I mean, really, $25 for cashmere???? How am I supposed to turn that down?

So, a rational person would then make the decision to do the rest of her shopping online where impulse buying is easier to resist.

But I’ve waited too long, dammit, and I’m now running the risk of my gifts not arriving on time.

So. Everyone left on my list is getting stuff from Best Buy. I don’t impulse shop at Best Buy.

Though…. Maybe I’ll buy myself a new DVD. Or two….


Friday, December 12, 2008


I spent the last week serving on a jury at the Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California.

It was the luck of the draw, mostly - I was called early in the day and apparently I'm an ideal juror...

All in all it was a very positive experience. I found the process itself interesting and I wised up enough after the first day to bring my own lunch. The judge told us from the onset that the trial would last three days and he was 100% correct.

I took copious notes. Seriously, I had an effing transcript by the end of the trial. I felt like I was back in school.

The case was presented to us fairly efficiently and without too much drama. It was almost a disappointment - we kept joking amongst ourselves that it wasn't at all like Law & Order.

Overall, I was actually almost enjoying the experience. Almost.

Until the very end.

The attorneys presented their closing arguments and we were lead back into the jury room after the two Deputy Sheriff's were sworn to not allow us to leave or have any contact with the outside world.

We selected our foreman. It wasn't me - I had decided that I'd step up if no one else volunteered and one guy jumped forward immediately. We should have thought that out more (the guy was nice enough but there's a reason Programmers don't lead people...) In the end, another juror and I had to step up several times to keep us organized and on track (INTJ reigns supreme...)

We agreed to most of the charges fairly quickly - finding the defendant Guilty of two counts of Armed Robbery and one count of Aggravated Battery with a firearm. But it was the charge of Attempted First Degree Murder that we had more trouble with.

Honestly, I could have gone either way on that charge at the beginning of our deliberations. I was on the fence and I said so. Several others were as well.

I was supremely impressed with my other jurors. Everyone - absolutely EVERYONE - took their duties with utmost seriousness and we all treated one another and our various opinions with complete respect. I am very proud of each and every one of us.

In the end, we agreed to a Guilty verdict on all counts.

I had no problem signing any of the verdict forms and when we re-entered the courtroom, I held myself upright. But when the court secretary read the verdicts aloud, my stomach began to twist. I felt I owed it to the defendant to face him.

I did not expect it to be as difficult as it was. I do not regret my decision at all. But here it is, two weeks before Christmas and we tendered a verdict that can only send a young man (he is 20 yo) to prison for the rest of his life. It is not a happy job.

So yes, we found the defendant Guilty.

But I feel guilty as well. Not shame - I would do nothing differently if asked again - and I am proud to have been a part of Justice and I am 100% positive that the defendant (and his victims) received justice. But I'm not dancing in my PJs today.

I am sad. This whole situation was utterly heartbreaking and a waste of several human lives. I can take no joy in it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Love U

I think my mom is using the internet too much.

I got my first round of holiday cards today.

The first is from my trainer. That was nice of her. I feel a little guilty because I don't really send out cards. I'll just tell her tomorrow that I got her card...

The second card I got was from my mom. Technically it was from "Mom & Dad" but I've never seen the words "Love, Mom & Dad" written in Dad's handwriting. Ever.

But the odd thing was that above the "Mom & Dad" were the (hand-written) words "We Love U"

Not "We Love YOU" but "We Love U"

A fantastic sentiment but pretty disconcerting.

Lord help me if she ever starts to text...

Monday, December 8, 2008


I had jury duty today.

And I'll have jury duty tomorrow.

And the next day.

And the next day.

Yep. I was Chosen.

Luck of the draw, mostly. My panel group was called early and in the group I was called early. So unless they had a reason to object to me, I was going to be Chosen.

It's not a bad time at work for this to happen. I'm not terribly busy right now and the judge is fairly certain it will be a three day trial. Period.

I'm actually kind of intrigued. I'm curious about the legal process and if nothing else, it's an "experience" and I'm all about the "experiences" in life.


So you know I'm totally going to try to be the foreperson....


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have a troll problem.


Do I have a sign on my back that reads: "Trolls Wanted: Ask me How" ????

Apparently I have the ability to annoy anyone anywhere.

Also I have mad alliteration skills.

But lately it's been a bit ridiculous, even for me. There was that Babar chick who got all shirty when I offered gift-giving advice that she didn't like. And then yesterday there was the Super Spud who LIKES TO TYPE EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS. And I HATE that.

Should I have let it go? Yeah... probably, but he got it into his head that I was really his arch-nemesis in disguise and he wouldn't let it go.

But I have to take a look at the common denominator here: ME.

What am I doing wrong? More importantly: WHY do I let myself get drawn into these stoopid, pointless arguments with people I don't even know????

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Done. Done. Done!



I finished my NaNoWriMo novel - at 5:45pm on November 30th. Nothing like waiting until the last possible day.

One thing I will say, though, is that this novel is by far the worst one I've ever written. It is B.A.D!!!!! I can't even figure out what the plot is supposed to be and I wrote the damned thing...

Ah well. I'll take a few days off and then get back to my REAL novel. I'm going to try to finish that one by the end of the year. I'm close. Just have to wrap up the last couple scenes and I'll have a "first draft"

I'll worry about revisions etc next year....

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adventures in E-Dating: Part 1

I went out on my first date with a guy I met on Match.

I’d seen his profile and he looked attractive and sounded entertaining so I sent him a *Wink* which is the Match way of letting someone know you’re interested without having to say anything.

Given how quickly he responded, I could reasonably assume that he liked my profile as well. He mentioned how much he liked my glasses (that librarian thing again, Garth?) and wanted to set up a date for bloody marys that same weekend.

This was awfully quick for me and I told him (truthfully) that I was helping a friend move. He then came back with Monday, and when I shot that down: Wednesday. And after he hounded me a bit, I finally agreed to meet him in person on Thursday, assuming that he’s the sort who just likes to do stuff face-to-face.

My inner alarm bells did not go off when he suggested a place near his home, though I was a bit miffed that he didn’t even try to suggest someplace in the middle. But the alarms did begin ringing when, as we were confirming the time and place, he wrote that if we “clicked” we could go back to his place after.


I thought I might be over-reacting to this, but my friends (both imaginary and real) told me to be careful and a couple even suggested cancelling.

I didn’t cancel. Instead I emailed him back, very firmly telling him that if was looking for a quick hook-up I was NOT the girl for him.

We met.

Boy was he cute! Several years older than me with classic but understated good looks. Thick dark hair with a little grey in it (sexy!) and incredibly blue eyes.

But he was fucking nuts.

He spent the vast majority of our date talking about what a psychotic bitch his ex-girlfriend is.

I’m not kidding.

He complained up and down about how poorly she’d treated him. So, at one point I just had to ask what the appeal this heinous hell-beast had had for him.

EEE: I gotta know, this chick sounds like a total pill. I mean, she treated you like crap. WHY did you stay with her so long?
Guy: Well, she was HOT!

Yup. He even tried to give me her Match username so that I could look her up to see just how hot she was.

Surprisingly, I actually had a good time. I was vastly entertained by the whole situation, the conversation flowed well, and I really liked the little joint we were at: a cool little neighborhood wine bar called Broadway Cellars. Good atmosphere, cute bartender, lovely Zinfandel…

So, at the end of the date, he paid the bill (my rule is that I’m always prepared to pay my share but I will graciously accept if the guy insists) and I thanked him.

But we didn’t leave.

He made no move to put on his coat.

Finally I couldn’t just sit there any longer and I had to ask,

EEE: Um…. Are we waiting for something?
Guy: (Pointing to the TV behind the bar) First Down

I can’t make this shit up.

So, I waited patiently through the next play and when the orange and black team did not make it past the Yellow Line, I stood up and put on my coat.

EEE: Well, I’m going to go to the El.

To his credit, he put on his coat and walked out with me. But we’d only gone about ten feet when he walked away towards a car parked at the curb.

Guy: (from the other side of his car) Well it was nice meeting you!
EEE: You too! Thanks for the drinks.

And he got in his car and drove off. Now, I’m all for equality and independence and clearly we weren’t going to exchange bodily fluids any time this century, but still!!! He could at LEAST have offered to walk me to the El. The neighborhood wasn’t totally sketchy, but….


Stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in E-Dating!

Have a great weekend, all!!!!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Divorce Bus

I was on the Divorce Bus this morning. Some law firm had bought every inch of advertising space the CTA would sell them on this bus. There was even an ad on the ceiling of the vehicle just in case someone was lying on their back in the aisle and needed something to stare at from that position.

They were hocking everything from “Contested Divorce” to “Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements” (POST Nuptial? That’s a new one for me…) to “Orders of Protection” (Depressing!!!!) Everything EXCEPT Mediation. (Personally I think that there isn’t enough mediation being done)

Now, I understand that divorce happens. Some marriages just can’t (and shouldn’t) be saved. I also understand that divorce attorneys fulfill an unfortunate but necessary function in today’s society. Especially when the economy starts to suck donkey balls, as it’s doing now.

But this bombardment of “More Bad Times than Good? Need a Divorce? Call NOW!” on every available surface just seemed tacky.

And sad.

But hey! I just joined Match dot com! Wish me luck! Ah… l'amour

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This SSSSucks

For the second time in last six months, I have had a flight cancelled at the last minute. Weather was NOT a factor in either case and both times the airline was United.

This last time, I am 98% certain that the flight was cancelled b/c it was too empty. Just minutes before we were supposed to board there were only about 30 people at the gate waiting to board.

I managed to get rebooked on an American Eagle flight leaving four hours later, but it was still really frustrating.

Part of my frustration stemmed from the fact that when you book your ticket through one carrier and then get rebooked through another, you're more likely to be issued a boarding pass with the dreaded "SSSS" code on it.

I don't know what "SSSS" stands for. "Sucks to be you, you Sad, Sorry Sucker!" is the closest I can come up with, though "Selected for Secondary Security Scan" may be more likely.

Anyway, what it amounts to is this:

1. I checked in
2. I went through Security and sat down to wait at the gate
3. The flight was delay 30 min
4. The flight was cancelled
5. We all got up to go back to ticketing to get rebooked
6. The United Airlines Rep at the gate got on the intercom to assure us that the flight was NOT cancelled
7. We all sat down
8. The United Airlines Rep at the gate got on the intercom to say "Oops! My bad! It IS cancelled!" (This is a whole 'nother issue that I will be discussing with Cust Serv soon!)
9. We all got up to go back to ticketing to get rebooked
10. After waiting 45 min, I got rebooked on American Eagle
11. I went to Security and had to go through the whole pat-down, bag search rigmarole - regardless to the fact that I had already been through Security once already and was only going through a 2nd time because United Airlines are a bunch of cockknockers.


But I was nice about it. I know it's a precaution.

But I couldn't help feeling like insult had been heaped on top of injury. It was like being pissed on after being knocked over.

But whatever. I'm home now and I will make a concerted effort NOT to fly the Friendly Skies again anytime soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So. It's official.

The CB and I are no longer. We barely ever were.

I'm sad, of course, because I was having a lot of fun and I was looking forward to more fun with him. He made me feel smart and funny and sexy (God, soooo sexy) and cool.

But shit happens.

I'm not mad or resentful. He's a really great person and I wish him all the best.

Thank you, sweet boy, for all the laughs and the all the thrills.

Farewell and Good Luck!


Back to the Grind

The last several days - hell, the last several WEEKS - have been hellish and I have not been to the gym for a solid week.

I'm meeting my trainer at 5am today and I'm worried about what she's going to say.

I'm also nervous about what the scale is going to say.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Class - and the lack thereof

(Sorry to go political again, but what can I say... I have opinions...)

I heard two concession speeches this morning – I couldn’t bear to watch election results last night and went to bed without turning on the TV, internet, or radio.

The first concession speech I heard (segments of) was John McCain’s. It was both gracious and moving. I regained some of the respect I once had for him but had lost through the course of this election hearing him urge us to come together for the betterment of our nation.

The second concession speech I heard – though “concession” is a very loose term in this case, came from Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica. Now, I have very little respect for Peraica prior to this, but his petulant, whiney, sour-grapes speech following his loss to future State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, just showed anyone who didn’t already know that here is a man with absolutely no class.

Instead of congratulating Ms. Alvarez, a career prosecutor, and offering his help, he whined about the choices of his own constituents.

What’s next, Tony? You barely held your own district on the Cook County Board during the last election. Even your own party is getting disgusted with you, you media-whoor. You ask why the Republican Party has such a hard time gaining a foothold into elected offices in Cook County? It’s because YOU have elbowed your way to the front of the line and voters find you off-putting and obnoxious.

My guess? You’ll lose your seat during the next election for County Board. You know it too, Tony, which is why you’ll run for any race that’s open (including the chief prosecutor when you’re a DEFENSE attorney?!)

And when the voters of Cook County finally get that immature, useless Toddler out of office, it will not be YOU sitting at the head of the table. It’ll either be Quigley, Claypool or Gorman. And you’ll fade away into nothing until you find a new way to get your name in print.

I hear Paris Hilton is looking for a new BFF…

Though I think even she has more class than you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Just a shout out on this Election Day (VOTE!!!!) to my dear imaginary friend Terri. I hope you have a spectacular birthday!

To everyone else: Vote! Vote! Vote!!!!

See you on the flipside!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Ex is a Boob


My ex's wife is about 23 months pregnant.

She came to Dave's Halloween party tonight as a pumpkin. She was adorable, but is clearly CLEARLY insecure about the weight she has gained in the last few months.

Boy: Hey!
EEE: Hey!
Boy: Have you lost weight?
EEE: Yes.
Boy's Wife: What?
Boy: I was just commenting that EEE has lost weight. She looks great, doesn't she?
EEE: (silent groan)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh, and one more thing...

As if I don't have enough going on right now, it is now November.

For most people this means very little: Election day (of course), the end of Daylight Savings, (tomorrow, folks!) Thanksgiving, and the holiday shopping season.

For me, it means all those things in addition to a busy time at work, family stuff, the novel I'm finishing, PLUS National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org)

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I love Love LOVE NaNoWriMo. I've done it four times now and I really want to make it a life-long challenge. And this year will definitely be a challenge!

I've given it absolutely no thought. I have no main character and no plot. All I have is a potential title ("They Hate Me in Des Plaines") and a vague idea that I'd like to incorporate some of the personality quirks of my imaginary friends.

We'll see how it goes. I'm gonna get started today. To hit 50K in 30 days, I usually aim for 2k/day (always with the assumption that there will be days when I just can't face the computer)

I'm completely overwhelmed. We'll see how it ends up.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wow! Just... Wow!

The good: Early Voting turnout has been phenomenal! I mean, beyond anyone's expectations. The number of people who have committed to performing their civic duty by voting has been outstanding.

The bad: Early Voting turnout has been phenomenal! It's been completely brutal for the poll workers.

I've only given a small corner of my time to this election but the election judges at the early voting sites and the staff working behind the scenes downtown have been bleeding, sweating and crying their guts out to pull off a successful election and to make sure that everyone who should vote CAN vote.

Wow. I'm in awe of all of you. Just... Wow!


Note to Self

Note to Self: Do NOT wear sexy little boy-short undies to the gym on "running" days.


I swear I had to un-wedgie myself about twenty times this morning...

Monday, October 27, 2008


My ex is - was - an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) which basically means he's pretty good at basic first aid and gets to put a cool sticker on his car.

I'm writing a scene that requires my MC to perform some first aid on herself and I couldn't find what I was looking for on the internet so I called the Boy.

Of course, his pregnant wife answered the phone. She sounded perky and happy and I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'll be out of town the weekend of her baby shower... I chatted for a minute and then asked to speak to the Boy.

EEE: I have a first aid question
Boy: OK
EEE: How would you un-dislocate a dislocated your shoulder if you were all alone?
Boy: Um... wow. Well, first of all, don't bang it into place like Lethal Weapon
EEE: Uh huh...
Boy: I'm really not sure how you'd do it alone...
EEE: Well.. what if the only person you had to help you was really really drunk?
Boy: What?
EEE: What if you had a dislocated shoulder and the only person who could help you was fall-down drunk?
Boy: I'd call the paramedics.
EEE: Not an option. There are vampires at the door.
Boy: *pause* What?!

I found that conversation vastly entertaining.

Friday, October 24, 2008



I'm not a huge fan of Fridays. I think they're the longest day of the week. But right now I'm so looking forward to this week being over that I'll take what I can get!

Besides, I'm working tomorrow anyway.

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope the weekend treats you well!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Being bad

I've been bad this week. And NOT in a fun way.

I skipped the gym yesterday and really I should be there right now - but I'm obviously not. I'm sitting on my couch with my laptop in my lap. I see Sharon tomorrow and I dread telling her that I've been such a bad little exerciser.

To be fair, I just spent the past half hour WORKING (it is 5:15am) and will probably continue to work all day off and on until around midnight.


I'm hoping work sorts itself out soon and I can get back on track. But until then, I guess I have to suck it up and do what I know I have to do. So I'm gonna go change and hit the treadmill.

Oh! And a special shoutout to my imaginary friends. Some of you are going through really tough times right now and (at least) one of you is about to embark on one of life's greatest adventures.

Good luck to all of you!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Um…. Just Ignore That…


I had impromptu drinks and appetizers at the Midtown (formerly Mondays) last night after work. He had moved since the previous election and hadn’t re-registered to vote so he had to come to the County Clerk’s office to take advantage of the grace period (over now) and vote.

Since he was in my ’hood, he gave me a buzz and we met up to talk about work, our writing, his girlfriend, my cabana boy – pretty much everything.

Afterward, he missed the last purple line up to E-town so I offered to drive him home. He waffled a bit but accepted.

We got into my car and started driving north.

Dave: Um…. Your car is making a funny noise.
EEE: Shhh! It might hear you.
Dave: But that sounds really bad. It sounds like it’s coming from the front of the car.
EEE: Yeah… We don’t talk about that.
Dave: Have you had it looked at?
EEE: I’m ignoring it and hoping it’ll go away.

Oh, I could just hear him stewing about what an irresponsible car owner I am.

Sigh. I suppose I should take it in. Maybe I’ll call the Car Talk guys…

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crazy Extroverts


I am crazy busy right now. It’s mostly my own fault for goofing off through most of September. But now I’m putting in extra hours every day and I do not like it.

Add to that the upcoming election – which takes up part of my weekends – and the looming specter of NaNoWriMo (boy howdy am I NOT prepared this year!) and I’m feeling really really frazzled.

And yet…

And yet my schedule is NOTHING compared to the cabana boy’s. That boy’s got something going on every night of the week and on most weekends. Not sure how he does it. I would lose my nut if I had so little personal time.

My friend Anita is the same way. If she has a free night during the week she starts looking for a new class to take or a new project to begin.

Crazy extroverts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pissing Contest

Far be it for me to get political on my silly little blog, but I witnessed a distasteful pissing contest this weekend.

Early voting is in full swing. The idea being to alleviate some of the pressure on voters by allowing them to cast their votes early so they can avoid the potentially long lines on Election day. People are more likely to fulfill their civic duty if it doesn't inconvenience them.

But at the Village of Palatine, early voting was anything but convenient. The wait to vote was between 45 minutes and a hour on Saturday.

And the reason for that was quite simple: the Village of Palatine is pissed off at the Cook County Board for raising sales tax to the highest in the nation.

Do they have a right to be angry? Hell yes. It is, in my opinion, the stoopidest tax ever. Todd Stroger has no credibility and less class.

But do they have a right to take out their anger on the voters of Northwestern Cook County, including their own citizens? NO!

Considering the amazing early voting turnout, one would think that the Village of Palatine would give voters the space required to vote in a safe, private, and efficient manner. But, in a bid to thumb their nose at Cook County officials, the Village offered only one room in their largely empty Village Hall: a tiny ante-room across the hall from the general assembly room (which itself is much larger and EMPTY)

But the Village of Palatine is clearly more interested in its own little fued than it is in the democratic process.

Who loses? The voters.

I'm utterly disgusted.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

I was at the gym this morning – shocker! – using the pec press machine (won’t make the boobs any firmer but it builds the muscle under them so they sit a little higher…) when a woman I’ve never met, or even noticed before tapped me on the shoulder.

I pulled out my headphones and she said, “I just wanted to tell you that I’ve seen you here early in the mornings working with your trainer and I wanted tell that it really shows. You look great! Keep it up, girl!”

I’m getting all teary remembering it now. She totally made my day!

My friends, my coworkers, Sharon, everyone I know tells me that I look good – but this is the first time a total stranger has gone out of her way to say something to me.

I was chatting with her on the way down to the locker room after than and she told me she’s lost 60 pounds. SIXTY! How incredible is that?!

Losing weight is hard. (Understatement of the year, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less true!) And when it’s done right, it’s SLOW – which just makes it even HARDER!

And it’s something that so many people struggle with. It’s not just a matter of deciding: “Hey! I’m gonna lose some weight!” You have to really commit to it and it’s a CONSTANT commitment. A slip here and there is fine, but it’s a constant and continual battle – every minute of every day.

I’ve only lost 20 pounds in six months but I’m determined that those 20 pounds will never come back.

To everyone fighting that constant, demoralizing, difficult, uphill battle against your own body and mind: Good luck!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My cabana boy (“Chuck” as Terri has taken to calling him) and I have had some bad luck with our schedules lately. Mostly his schedule, really, because let’s face it: my schedule is, by design, relatively uncluttered. But that’s changing too. November is always busy for me on the writing front and October is heating up. So finding time for “Chuck” is going to get even more difficult.

It’s a bit frustrating but not unbearable.

Work is getting busy again – I’m running behind on an important deadline so I’ll need to put in some (unpaid) overtime in the next week to catch up.

I’ve let my urban fantasy novel simmer on the back burner. I wanted to finish it before NaNoWriMo so that it would be novel number seven, but that’s unlikely to happen unless I devote some major TIME to it in the next couple weeks. Maybe…

Interestingly enough, while my life is becoming more cluttered (in a GOOD way) my home is more organized than it’s ever been. I’m not a TOTAL slob but I can be lazy – I’ll leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher or the clean laundry in the dryer – I lack follow-through.

It was never a total cesspool or anything, but it would not have met Rational’s high standards. But lately, with the ever-present possibility of a studly young cabana boy stopping by for a little fun, I’ve had to keep my home clean all the time. And to my eternal shock, I actually LIKE it.

And now I’ve gotten into the habit of doing “projects” with the time that I would usually spend cleaning (or looking at the mess willing it to clean itself up…) I’ve cleared out two closets and reorganized the drawers in my bathroom cabinet. It’s oddly fulfilling…

Who’d have thought that a cluttered personal life would lead to an organized home life?

Have a great day, everyone.


Monday, October 13, 2008

New Math

My best friend's cat has diabetes. Poor puss! Really, it's a very managable disease in cats. He just has to get 0.025cc (1/40 of a cc) of insulin twice a day after he's eaten.

No biggie. The vet gave my friend a small supply of 1/2 cc syringes. They have 20 graduated units marked on them so he gets 1 unit twice a day.

Syringes aren't the most expensive thing in the world, but the cost adds up, so my friend went to Sam's Club and bought two boxes of 1/2 cc syringes. The only difference between these syringes and the vet syringes were the number of units. Human syringes are broken into 50 units instead of 20.

So my friend did the math. If "v" = the unit on the vet syringe and "h" = the unit on a human syringe and "v" = 1/20 and "h" = 1/50 and if Kitty is riding on two trains traveling in different directions, how many syringes can kitty buy?

Basically: she needs to give Kitty 2.5 units on the human syringe to equal 1 unit on the vet syringe.

This is really basic algebra.

But when she mentioned this to the vet, the vet argued that her math was faulty, that she was over-dosing her cat. She claimed that a "unit is a unit."

Buh???? One unit is 1/20 of 1/2 cc (0.025 cc) the other is 1/50 of 1/2 cc (0.010)

My friend was very upset about this and when she told me, I laughed. Is this vet using New Math???? They got into quite an argument about it.

Of course, my friend does not want to jeopardize her beloved pet's life just for the sake of economy, but the vet's math just does not make sense.

So, my friend and I did a little science experiment. We filled the vet syringe with the proper dose (using water) and used it to fill the human syringe.

Sure enough, 1 unit one the vet syringe was exactly equal to 2.5 units on the human syringe.


Now, if a parking lot holds 250 cars and is 2/5 full, how many pennies will the blue-haired lady in front of you count out while the cashier flirts with the bagger and accidentally hands you $300 intended for deposit?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dr. Dave

About a week ago the D key on my laptop stopped working. It had been touchy for a while but now it wasn’t producing its all-important letter no matter how hard I hammered that key.

So I figured that there must be something stuck under the key and I pried the key off. I blew on it, thinking there might be some dust there, even though I couldn’t see it. After struggling for a while I got the key back on and it was working again – sort of.

It was working, but I had to really hit it hard for it to take. I had to keep pausing while typing to go back and fix words that spell check missed. (“And” without the D is still “an” actual word.) I never realized how many times I use the letter D in a normal paragraph. It was beyond frustrating. I couldn’t contemplate living with that headache for long. Grrr!

My laptop has been steadily falling apart over the past six months – ever since the warrantee expired (of course!!!) And I’ve pretty much resigned myself to replacing it in the spring after I get my tax refund. It’ll be four years old by then, which is a good long life for a laptop. But with this last problem, it looks like I may have to accelerate that schedule.

Oooh! Shopping! I’m not a huge fan of shopping for clothes, but I love computer shopping.

And, when looking for a new computer, the first thing I always do is call my friend Dave, who doubles as my IT guy. He knows what I like and he knows all the latest technology and all the good deals.

EEE: Hi!
Dave: Hi. What’s up?
EEE: The D key on the Cricket is dead.
Dave: Do NOT buy a new computer.

This may seem like a strange response, but clearly Dave knows me well. Too well…

I kind of have a history of automatically replacing things when they break instead of getting them fixed. I call it my “dealership mentality.”

In grad school in Colorado, the rear defroster on my car died. I called my dad and told him I wanted to buy a new (rather: slightly newer used) car. He hung up on me. A week later I got an ice-scraper in the mail with a note: “Here’s a $3 Answer to a $10,000 Question, Love Dad.”

So, Dave’s response to me was completely valid.

And it turns out the problem was indeed easily fixed for about $70. That’s $20 for the new keyboard, $30 for a decent bottle of wine, and $20 for pizza and poppers.

Much cheaper than the $3K a new laptop would be…

Thanks, Dave!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I love Tulip. Not the flower, though those are quite lovely too – they always make me think of Pella and windmills and my old friend Leslie who went to Central College.

No. I’m talking about the store Tulip in Andersonville. It’s a tiny little shop discretely wedged between two framing shops on Berwyn east of Clark.

Tulip is a sex toy shop.

Oh how easy it would be for it to be sleazy and cheap. But it’s not. It’s cute and quaint and the salesgirls are always tremendously helpful. (I guess they don’t have to be salesgirls, but really, the shop does mostly cater to women)

It’s very much a boutique. Tiny – smaller than my livingroom – with shelves proudly displaying sundry items from simple, sleek vibrators, to the complex and intriguing multi-action toys like the rabbit (bought mine at Tulip last year – LOVE IT!) A single rack of corsets and other snazzy lingerie, a small library of self-help and erotic fiction, and a small wall devoted to co-education items like cock rings.

I popped in there last night on my way home. I wanted some new erotica. Again – it would be so easy for this to be an excruciatingly embarrassing situation, but it wasn’t. I wandered in, smiled at the salesclerk, and started to peruse the bookshelves.

She recommended a book of short stories that I’m hopeful about. So far so good, anyway…

It was all very mature and respectful and upbeat. No silly giggles or creepy leering or awkward silences. But there was one moment of mirth. As I was paying, I glanced down and on the floor next to the register there was a bucket full of candy-colored penises (penii?) with a sign which read “Discount Dildos – 20% Off”

Hee hee!

Just the book for me – this time. Maybe next time I’ll have to take a closer look at some of the restraints or maybe buy Flawless a new cat-o-nine-tails for her birthday…

Happy Thursday all!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


My sister is a hypochondriac. But it’s not the normal sort of hypochondria where you hear of a disease and you suddenly have it or the sort where you’re just constantly sick. It’s not even like MY hypochondria – which is more of a hypochondria by proxy (I like to diagnose my friends….) Hers is more the self-fulfilling kind.

A doctor once told her that 1 in every 10,000 people has an adverse reaction to the Tetanus shot. Sure enough, three hours later her arm swelled to the size of her thigh.

I am convinced that if her doctor had just kept his damned mouth shut, she would have been fine.

A couple months ago she wrenched her shoulder while swimming with her kids. She bitched and moaned about it for a few weeks – because that’s what Jo does – before finally going to the doctor. Sure enough, she’d managed to do the most damage possible without her arm actually falling off. She’d stripped all the cartilage from her shoulder joint.

I always feel a little guilty when dealing with Jo. I always scoff at her when she says something hurts. (Probably because EVERYTHING seems to hurt her at some point)

My dad is no better. He has no patience for other peoples’ pain and suffering. He used to tell us that menstrual cramps were “all in your heads.” To be fair, I never had bad cramps. That didn’t stop me from happily using my period to get out of 7am Mass once a month…

But back to Jo. She had a three hour surgery the other day to rebuild the cartilage in her shoulder and when she told me that she’d be off work for a full month I was quite rude to her. I was ruder still when she told me that she wouldn’t even be able to take care of her kids for the first couple weeks because it is essential that her arm remain still.

Why am I so rude to her? Why her? Any other person and I would at least PRETEND to be sympathetic. Why am I so ready to disbelieve and belittle HER?

I’m sure it doesn’t help that Jo has a very complex relationship with “the truth.” Read: she lies. A lot. And when she isn’t lying, she’s exaggerating.

But I love her. And I don’t want her to be in pain. And I’m sorry I was such a snarky bitch the other day.

I guess that’s the good thing about sisters. Even when we’re horrible to each other, we aren’t going anywhere.

I love you, Jo. Be better soon.

And quit whining.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Oy... I've been slacking again.

Sorry. I've just had a lot going on. I've half-written a blog entry almost every day, but sometime between writing it and posting it, I get caught up in other things. Like work, Topix, the cabana boy...

Mmmmm.... the cabana boy....

I'll try to be more on the ball...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sporting Events

I feel like I’ve fallen into Bizarro World. And I’m not sure I want out.

Today I’m going to blog about sports.

Holy Carp! Is the sky falling??? Run for cover!!!

I know, right?

Specifically, I’m going to write about two types of sports: Baseball and Sex.

Now, I have not had a whole lot of experience with either of these two activities – at least in terms of “team sports” – but I consider the latter to be vastly more entertaining than the former.

Last night I was surprised to find myself not only watching the Sox-Tigers game, but actively engaged in the outcome. I hadn’t let myself get my hopes up but I was thrilled with the results. Go, Alexei, Go!!! That kid looks about 15 years old (maybe he’s really from China?) but man can he hit!! Holy Carp!!!! Four Grand Slams in a season and he’s a rookie?! Outstanding!

And after the game… Well, let’s just say that the Sox weren’t the only ones to break a streak last night.




It’s been a really really long time since I’ve gotten some play and I was a little worried that I’d forget what went where. I was also nervous about my less-than-perfect figure and the F ing zit that cropped up yesterday morning…

But, oh! It was sexy and sweet and funny and awkward and I can’t wait to do it again!


Go Sox!

And to my cabana boy: Thanks!

Monday, September 29, 2008



Over the past five years or so, I have developed some allergies. This is frustrating and annoying. I never used to be allergic to anything other than penicillin and novocaine.

But now I’m allergic to a whole host of shit. Pollen is the big one. I notice in the spring that I get very congested. And I’m fairly certain I’m allergic to my cat.


One thing I didn’t think about was that I might be allergic to my favorite flower.

I adore lilies. There’s just something so sweet and charming about them. I don’t buy them very often because they are quite toxic to cats. But yesterday at Whole Foods, I found a charming little mixed floral bouquet – all white and green with just a couple stems of dusty purple. At the center was a single white lily.

I figured: OK, I’ll put them somewhere the cat can’t reach and it’ll be all right.

I placed them on a high shelf and sure enough, Fluffy Kitty Butt had no interest in the flowers at all.

I wish I’d been so lucky. As the day passed, I started to sniffle, my throat began to itch, and I developed the mother of all headaches.

I was pretty sure that the lovely lily was the culprit and it truly broke my heart to remove that lily and relegate it to the trash. The arrangement, mostly daisies now, is still quite charming, but I KNOW that half the price of that bouquet was that single lily. Grrr….!

My headache cleared up within an hour and I am faced with the knowledge that I can only enjoy my favorite flower from a healthy distance.

Guess any guy trying to get into my… good graces… will just have to buy me roses instead…

Friday, September 26, 2008

All Clear

My dad finished his chemo a few weeks ago. And yesterday he had his follow-up scope to check the surface of his bladder for regrowth of the tumors.

EEE: Hi Dad, how was your follow-up?
Dad: It was great! There's nothing I love more than having a scope snaked up my penis.
EEE: *choking* Dammit, Dad! How were the RESULTS of your scope?
Dad: Fine. Fine.
EEE: No new tumors?
Dad: Nope. Some scarring but no new growth.


I love you, Daddy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I have a date tonight. With a real live man. I know, I know. This flies completely in the face of my policy of only having imaginary boyfriends, but he’s just too damned irresistible…

So, of course, it’s 8am now and I’ve already chipped the polish on one fingernail. Seriously???

Now, I could fix it. But I’d have to go to the drugstore and HOPE I found a similar shade and let’s face it, I’m not the best nail polish applier. So I’m leaving the chip. Better not to give him unrealistic expectations anyway.

I think that I am moderately cute and I try to be well-groomed – I’m not a total slob! – but I am rarely well turned out. There’s always something: coffee spilled on the white shirt at 9am; that one piece of hair that won’t lie flat; a chipped fingernail.

I could never spend my life in the public eye. I just don’t have the time, the energy or the inclination to put that level of effort into my appearance.

Obviously, I’m willing to work out five days a week but that’s not with the intention of looking good…. OK, OK… that’s not JUST with the intention of looking good. Of course I want to have a slammin’ bod. But I also want to be healthy. (And I feel better than I have in YEARS, btw!)

And I’m enough of a girl to pay for a decent haircut occasionally. And I wear clothes that I think are flattering. And, yes, I shave my pits. (And I’ve never breastfed in public…)

But I’m just not going to sweat a chipped nail.

What you see is what you get.

If that’s a problem for him then we’re clearly not well matched. But I don’t think it will be. He seems pretty damned cool.

*blush; giggle*!

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today is the Autumnal Equinox. The day when Summer is put to rest and Autumn begins her reign.

It doesn’t feel much like it today. We’re supposed to reach 80º. Ugh. I hate the heat.

But I am determined to be in a good mood today. It’s my birthday and I’m determined to start this year off well. So I’m actively looking for things to smile about.

I had a great workout this morning – after dragassing my way to the gym – and I just feel GOOD and refreshed.


And a few minutes ago, as I was walking to the train, a fresh breeze blew past, ruffling the feathers of a honey locust tree. As the Wind ran her fingers through the tree’s branches, a shower of recently turned leaflets fluttered to the ground. The sun caught the event just right and to me it looked like a gentle golden rain.


And I got a fun, flirty wakeup message from a certain sexy boy.


I got a good seat on the El.


And my favorite song is playing on my Pod.


Anyway… I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC day today!

Happy Monday.

Happy Equinox.

And Happy Birthday!

(Ooops! That last was for me. And Katie… And Soomee… And Scott Baio… And Joan Jett…. And Bilbo & Frodo Baggins….)


Thursday, September 18, 2008


My Topix name has been banned. If I post under EEE it shows up as ****. The same holds true when my imaginary friends refer to me in their posts. ****. F ing filter.

It all came out of an unpleasant incident involving a nasty little cockscab who made threats against my obnoxiously adorable little friend Trix. And yes, I know I like to preach “don’t feed the trolls” but I get all indignant when someone picks on my friends – even a snobby little twerp like Trix! (You know I love you, Trix! ;P )

The whole EEE thing was kind of silly to begin with. Not to disappoint anyone but it really doesn’t refer to much of anything. It is not my initials and I do not think of myself as an “Ever Elegant Enchantress” *snort*! (Sorry, Ange)

I’m not famous or anything, but a number of people – in addition to my little group of imaginary friends – “know” me on Topix and I don’t WANT to change my name.

So yesterday I posted as Tripoli for a while. But I don’t like it. EEE is easier to find when I go looking for responses to my posts. So I’m gonna go back to putting spaces in (E E E) and see if I can wait out this stoopid filter. But something Trix said leads me to believe that this may be permanent. Unless someone comes in and removes my name from “The List” I think I’m stuck.

I was more annoyed to be given profanity warnings just for posting my name.

F ing batsards.

Oh well. I’m not the sort of person to dwell on stuff I can’t change. Especially something as ultimately inconsequential as this. So I’ll just make do, adapt, and move on.

Happy weekend, everyone!


Don’t Look Down


My poor sainted mother!

So, following the loose screw issue she had a second foot surgery. The doctors gave her more lovely medicine and though she was having some pain in her foot, it wasn’t unbearable.

What was unbearable was the severe abdominal pain.

I got a phone call Tuesday afternoon.

Me: Hello?
Mom: Hi, EEE. Now, I don’t want you to worry…*

*This is the second time in recent months my mother has used this particular phrase.

Note to parents, children, loved-ones everywhere: there is no better way to ensure that someone is going to worry than by telling them not to. It’s like saying “Don’t look down.”

Turns out my poor mother has been having ever worsening abdominal pain ever since her first surgery. As someone who suffered fairly stoically through 35 years of debilitating periods, when my mother said her stomach hurt, she meant it.

My father called her doctor who admitted her to the hospital overnight for observation and then tests.

The most annoying part of all of this, though, is the manner in which the follow-up phone call was handled.

Jo: Have you talked to Dad?
Me: Hello to you, too.
Jo: Hi. Did Dad call you?
Me: No. What’s going on?
Jo: Figures. He called Dave.
(Buh? Dave? The incredible disappearing man? The one who won’t return your phone calls unless you owe him money? I don’t think he even HAS my phone number. What was Dad thinking?)
Me: That makes no sense.
Jo: I know.
Me: So…?
Jo: They know what’s wrong with Mom.
Me: And…? What is it?
Jo: Well you know that they made her do a CT scan this morning and then…. Blah blah blah…. (Jo loves to draw out a story before finally coming to the point…)

Long story short: Her CT scan revealed nothing, so the doctors did an Upper-GI scope and found that my poor mother has stomach ulcers!!! Three of them!

On the one hand: how horrible! On the other: thank goodness it’s something definitive and treatable!

I spoke to Mom a few minutes ago and she’s home and while she’s in some discomfort, she’s feeling pretty good. She’s not terribly happy about having to drink the Ultra-Chalky-Super-Pasty-Max-Peptic-Antacid, but her tummy feels better.

I love you, Mom! Feel better soon and make sure Dad takes good care of you!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Now?

This one's just for you, Terri.

Happy now?

Sorry. I've just been kind of busy and lazy and uninspired lately.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Ding Dong the Plateau is DEAD!

I lost a pound!

OK, so it’s only one punky little pound, (and yes, yes, Rational, I know the scale doesn’t matter, now shut up and take off your shirt!) but I’d gotten so used to that F ing scale refusing to budge that I’d nearly given up all hope!

So I’ll take that pound, thank you very much!

Almost all of my other stats have improved too. Overall, I’ve lost 7 pounds since my last eval in June (16 since I started in Feb). I’ve lost 2 more inches on my waist and an inch each on my thighs and hips. (Interestingly, the girls have stayed the same)

I’ve improved my bicep strength by 5 pounds, I’ve improved my sit and reach by 3 inches, my BMI has gone down another 2 points and in the biggest change of all: my VO2 Max (my cardio health) has improved by 10 points. Ten! (All that time in Zone 4 wasn’t for nothing, I guess!)

And my overall “Body Age” has dropped 6 years, bringing it almost down to my actual age. My body is still “older” than it should be but least it’s in the 30s now! I’ll take it!

The only “bad” thing is that I haven’t gained any muscle. I’m stronger (30 pushups, thank you very much!) but I’ve lost almost a pound of muscle. I’m guessing I can blame Zone 4 for that? Garth?

Anyway… I’m happy! I’ll probably celebrate with a big ole bowl of pasta for lunch! Hehehe! I’ve been craving carbonara ever since a certain sexy devil put it in my head – you know who you are!


Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In a New York Minute

In a New York Minute; Everything can change
-The Eagles

Seven years ago today, in a New York minute, everything changed. Our world was rocked on its axis. Our marvelous, brash American confidence was shaken to its core.

I don’t want to get political here, but I’ve noticed in the years since the September 11 attacks that people have reacted in a variety of ways. Some have become selfless missionaries for true world peace while others have used the fallout of the attacks to further their own selfish agendas.

Our emotions have run the gamut from outrage to despair, from hatred to sorrow, from terror to pride. I know people who are so overcome with anger and hatred that they cannot be in the same room with anyone of the Muslim faith. I know people so entrenched in fear that they vow to never fly again.

I understand all of these reactions. They each make sense to me, even if I do not share them.

My reaction to that terrible day can be summed up in one word: Defiance.

I defy anyone to make me cower.

I defy anyone to make me hate.

I defy anyone to make me give up one iota of my rights as an American citizen, for whatever reason.

I defy anyone to make me judge an entire population by the actions of a tiny, hate-filled group.

I defy anyone to make me less than I am.

I am lucky. I was supposed to fly on September 11. But just before 9am, as I was preparing to leave work to head to the airport, we heard the awful news. I wasn’t going anywhere near the East Coast, but I could easily have become trapped somewhere for a week or more. Several friends of mine were stuck in various cities, forced to pay outrageous prices at hotels who thought the “American way” meant gouging their customers in a time of National crisis.

I was among the first to fly again after the attacks. I flew to a vendor meeting on September 18, one week to the day after that brutal day. My mother begged me not to go. My boss told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to.

But I’d be DAMNED if I’d let a group of hate-filled crusaders bent on using fear as a weapon to destroy my confidence and pride in out great nation.

I will always remember September 11, but I will never forget who I am.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I went to the gym this morning. Nothing unusual there, I do that almost every day. But today I had a small problem – I couldn’t unlock my locker when I was done.

The lockers at my gym are nice. There’re big, which is great for winter coats and stuff. And you don’t need a key or a padlock. They’re set up like hotel safes. There’s a keypad. To lock it you enter in any 4-digit code and then to unlock it you enter in the same code.

I always use the same code. And I try to use the same locker – or one near it.

This morning I knew I used locker #34. But when I tapped in my code after my workout, it didn’t open.


So I thought, maybe someone else had typed in one digit before I got to it, so I tried various combinations of my code.

No joy.

Finally, feeling really stoopid, I went to the front desk and asked for the master key. I met the chief custodian at my locker and she was about to use the master key on it when one of the other custodians came rushing over.

“Oh! That’s mine!” she said and typed out her code and opened the locker. And, Yep, her stuff was inside.

I felt even more stoopid and checked in the lockers around #34 – all of which were unlocked.

All empty.


Then, the second custodian reached into #34, and pulled my jacket out from under hers.


Obviously, I had forgotten to lock my locker. I do that sometimes. It’s really early when I get there and my brain cells don’t get moving until I’ve been on the treadmill for a few minutes.

It’s no big deal. None of the people at my gym seem shifty (yes, I know I’m naïve…!) And besides, the only thing in there was my cheap workout jacket and my house key – which only works on the inner door and wouldn’t do a thief any good unless s/he had the outer door key or the building code.

So anyway, I obviously forgot to lock it and then the second custodian came and put her stuff in with mine and locked it. The head custodian frowned at her and told her not to do it again. I just smiled, thanked them both and left with my jacket.

But seriously. WTFuck? There are about 200 lockers in that locker room and there couldn’t have been more than 30 women on the exercise floor this morning. This chick couldn’t pick ANOTHER locker? One that didn’t have someone else’s stuff in it?

I don’t know. Maybe she thought she was “protecting” my stuff. Or maybe she didn’t notice my jacket – it IS kind of small and black. But…????

Anyway… It’s been one of those mornings.

When I got home, I noticed that one of the light-bulbs over the bathroom sink had died and I had to replace it with one of those new, ugly, energy-efficient ones because I didn’t have time to search for a prettier, old-style type. Then the shower started to not drain properly and I discovered that I’m out of Drano.


And then later – I am so not kidding!!!! – as I was rushing to leave my apartment, the F ing hem fell out of the right leg of my pants. Come ON!!! No way did I have time to fix it, so I had to do a quick change.

And now I’m on the El and my left sock is a quitter. I just can’t catch a break.

At least I didn’t decide to cut my hair this morning…

I hope everyone is having a better day than I am!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Anger Management

I don’t get angry easily. I get annoyed or frustrated or exasperated fairly easily, but rarely do I get ANGRY. And when I do, it’s usually because something has happened which has hurt me.

My parents have vastly different anger profiles.

With my mom it’s the slow burn. She’s eternally patient and will put up with a hell of a lot before she snaps, but when she does… get out your flak jackets, ‘cause it’s gonna get messy! And her memory is long. The woman knows how to hold a grudge.

Dad is the opposite. He’s got a flash temper – almost anything will set him off. And he’s got the patience of a two year old. His temper will go off about a dozen times a day, but once he’s yelled at who/what ever is annoying him, he’s back to his usual fun, funny self. No grudges, no recriminations.

It’s obvious to me which of my siblings takes after which parent. Dave is totally my mom (they’re both the oldest sib and they’re both introverts) and Jo is Dad to a T (both the youngest and both extroverts) I try not to spend too much time alone with Dad & Jo when they get together: fireworks are inevitable – and not the fun kind!

And then there’s me. Like my mom, it takes a lot to get me REALLY angry, but like my dad I don’t have a lot of patience and once I AM mad, I’m more than happy to let people know.

Luckily I don’t get really angry often. But if something bugs me, I say so. And I’m less tolerant of things that I used to let slide – like my dad making fun of elements of my life that he doesn’t understand (“Staying home alone on a Friday night?? What’s WRONG with you? Get a man! Get a life!” – “Back off, Dad. I have a life. Just because you’d find it boring doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it!”

And of course, though he continues to not understand my introversion (most extroverts will never really get us!) he respects the fact that I’ll give it right back to him.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I got really mad a couple weeks ago. I forced myself to not spew all over everyone, but it wasn’t easy. Instead, I cried in vexation on the train ride home while I wrote that person a long, rambling, vitriolic letter. And then I didn’t send it. The next day I sent a much calmer, more rational letter that I thought expressed my feelings better than the previous rant had.

I’ve haven’t heard back from this person. I’m hoping that they can appreciate that my anger at their actions has little bearing on how much I value their friendship.

If you’re reading this, I’d like to hear from you.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Friday, September 5, 2008

The Poor Mommy!

My mother had foot surgery last week. She had three hammer-toes on her left foot that have been getting worse over the years and recently they had become quite painful. The poor Mommy!

(Funny side story – when we were in California in June, my mother stubbed her toe on the coffee table in our room and broke her big toe on her OTHER foot – the poor Mommy!)

Anyway, she had surgery last week – basically the doctor had to break each of her toes and then insert a screw to ensure that as they heal they heal straight. Obviously, this is very painful, so she’s been on Vicadin, which in turns upsets her tummy. The poor Mommy!

She went in for a checkup the other day and it turns out that she has a screw loose (I’ve suspected this for years) and now has to keep her weight off her foot completely. She was using a walking cast (like Nova’s Robo-foot) but the doctor got her some crutches. Ugh! Crutches suck. The poor Mommy!

So my dad was talking to my Uncle Pete yesterday and it turns out that because of some issues of his own, Uncle Pete owns a walker that he’s not currently using. My dad drove over and got it and my mother much prefers it to the crutches.

So do I. I think it’s kind of hilarious that my young, ornery mother is using a walker! Hahaha! Obviously, I don’t wish her pain (more Vicadin, STAT!) but the visual is just priceless.

Me: Dad, you have to get a video of Mom using the walker
Dad: What?
Me: You have to video Mom and her walker!
Dad: No.
Me: Come on! Please!!!!
Dad: No.
Me: Please?? It can be my birthday present!
Dad: Oh, all right.
Me: You’re just saying that to shut me up. You’re not really going to do it.
Dad: That’s right. Bye, we love you!
Me: But…!

I guess I’ll just have to use my imagination!

I love you, Mom and I hope you’re better soon!!!

Psst, Jo! Go over to Mom and Dad’s and video Mom with the walker!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Theory

I’ve been really stumped by this ongoing plateau. What’s worse: Sharon’s been stumped too.

So stumped that she actually went to her supervisor (the perkiest woman on the planet) to have a consultation about me.

New theory: I’m working out TOO HARD.

I still don’t understand this completely. I always thought that if your Calories Burned was greater than your Calories Ingested, you’d lose weight. Apparently not.

The theory is that I have been spending too much time exercising in Zones 4 & 5 and not enough time in Zone 3. I’ve been working out like an athlete (What?! Hahaha!) – training my body to build cardio endurance rather than to lose weight. Instead of taking energy from my stored fat, my body is taking it from somewhere else (but I’m not sure where…?)

This theory was precipitated by the fact that my father bought me an early birthday present: a heart-rate monitor. I wear it when I’m working out and it tells me exactly what my heart-rate is the whole time, not just when I grab those annoying sensors.

Sharon was sooooo excited when I showed it to her.

Sharon: This is great! Now we can tailor your workouts, set your zones, and really see what you’re doing. AND we can do a sub-max test!
Me: Sub-max test? That doesn’t sound fun.
Sharon: It isn’t.

Oh dear… I knew it would be bad if Sharon admitted it wasn’t fun. This is the woman who will routinely show me a piece of equipment like the Gauntlet and say, “You’re going to like this!”

As it turned out, the sub-max test wasn’t as bad as I thought and I can run faster than I thought I could – for a short burst, anyway.

Anyway, this week Sharon asked me to cut back on my workouts – not the frequency or the duration, but the intensity. And I’m surprised to say that I’m getting a little BORED. And I kind of miss that kind of hollow, heavy-breathing feeling you get when you really get your heart-rate up.

Me??? Bored because I’m not exercising hard enough????


Friday, August 29, 2008

Dorkiness Beyond Borders

Sometimes my dorkiness is too much even for my closest friends.

Several months ago I sent out an email, trying to rally support for a trip to the United Center to see the Spice Girls’ reunion tour. Come on! How fun would THAT be!!

Not one of my friends took me up on that idea. Nor did most of the nation and the tour quickly fizzled into nothing.

Not that I’m some crazy Spice Girls fan or anything. I remember their one song and I thought their movie was campy, silly fun, but I’ve never bought any of their stuff. Wanting to see them in concert was never about musical appreciation or anything like that. It was about the experience of attending a Spice Girls concert. It would have been fascinating!

And then recently, I sent out an email trying to get my friends to go see the new musical “Dirty Dancing” with me.

Most of my friends just ignored the suggestion entirely. I have to assume the email got lost in cyberspace… But I did get a few responses.

They ranged from polite:
“I’m sorry, but I never really cared for that movie. Maybe your parents would like to go the next time they’re in town?”

To perplexed:
“Um….? No.”

To mildly snarky:
“That’s all you, babe.”

To outright snarky:
“Did someone steal your meds???”


I never said I was cool.

Now, who wants to go see the Back Street Boys at Ravinia this weekend????

Have a great holiday, everyone!!!!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

And the Plateau goes on...

Happy now, Garth???

So… yet again I have lost no weight this week.

I’m beginning to become seriously discouraged by this plateau bullshit. I’m working out. I’m eating well. I mix up my workouts.

Sharon has suggested I see a nutritionist. Not so much to tell me what I should be eating – I KNOW what I should be eating and I’m doing it. But there’s some sort of metabolism test that will measure exactly how many calories I’m burning while resting.


And I need to see my doctor. I have nothing against seeing my doctor. I think that everyone should do preventive care. But it’s time for the dreaded mammogram and that scares the shit out of me. But I should probably have a course of blood work done to rule out thyroid or hormonal issues.


I think that every overweight woman in America has this secret hope that all of her weight issues are due to a thyroid problem and once you start popping a pill a day, the weight will magically melt off!


Also, I saw a great episode of Dr. Who where people took this little pill and lost 1 pound a night – but the fat wasn’t just melting away – it was turning into little 1 pound critters to repopulate some other planet. Kinda gross.

Anyway. Here’s hoping for a thyroid issue because I’m otherwise at a complete LOSS.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cheshire Moon

Every day we’re inching just a bit further from the Solstice. Every day the days get just a bit shorter and the nights just a bit longer – inching closer to the Equinox and perfect balance. And we’ll sit in that perfect balance for one brief day and then it will shift and the northern hemisphere will belong to night.

Right now the days are still longer than the nights, but night is gaining.

Every morning my walk to the gym is just a bit deeper, the sky just a bit darker.

Today I saw the moon smiling at me from the east, hovering above the horizon, a wicked, pearly slash of a smile like Carroll’s cat, waiting, biding his time, and planning wicked things.


Friday, August 22, 2008


Very strange things have been happening to me lately. Odd coincidences… weird connections… unexpected revelations….

I’m not a big believer in fate or Karma or astrology. Though I do love to read my horror-scope, I don’t put a lot of stock into what it has to say (unless F ing Mercury goes retrograde – for whatever self-fulfilling reason, stuff gets fud up when Mercury goes retrograde)

But this isn’t bad. At least it’s not ALL bad.

Last night I was trolling the net, trying to track down old friends through Facebook when I ran across an old college classmate. He got me thinking of other classmates and my mind naturally drifted to my unrequited crush from senior year (well, ONE of my unrequited crushes…)

He wasn’t on Facebook so I Googled him and he came right up! He has a blog! Excellent! I’d never thought of him as being much of a writer – our field isn’t known for its eloquence.

When I opened his blog I discovered two things. 1. He’s gay. Isn’t that just typical??? And 2. He has an aggressive form of lymphoma.

Quelle rollercoaster!

Luckily, it seems like the experimental treatment he’s receiving is really working. But I was so torn between gladness at reconnecting with him, fear and pain at this horrible disease he is fighting, and joy that he appears to be in a warm and loving relationship with a great man and is surrounded by loving and supportive people. (Wishing you nothing but the best, Casey!)

And other things have been happening, too. Little things, mostly, but odd.

I thought musingly of a word I haven’t used or heard in ages the other day and a few minutes later a friend used that same word in an email…

I was chatting with another friend about my Ex and a few minutes later I got an email from said Ex (we’re friends but we don’t talk often anymore) …

Then the weird coincidence of my Vegas post on Topix…. (Boy did I step in it!!! Aphrodite, I hope you’re doing all right! We’re all thinking of you and wishing you well!)

And then there was a VERY unexpected surprise from an even more unexpected source – you KNOW who you are! Though that was more bizarrely funny than anything else!

Anyway. I’m going to buy a lottery ticket today.

As I said, I don’t put much stock into fate or Karma or Kismet or any of that bullsh/t, but it really seems like the universe is trying to tell me something (does that make me narcissistic, Angel???)

Who am I to ignore the universe???

Happy Weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My parents got their new car back from the body shop and unless someone told you about the deer incident, you’d never know it. The thing still looks brand new.

I get a kick out of this car. It’s got all sorts of bells and whistles. The sort of stuff you really don’t need but it kind of fun anyway: like a heated steering wheel. Seriously? Can’t you just wear gloves like the rest of the unwashed masses?

But my favorite feature is this little sensor that lets you know when you’ve strayed out of your lane without signaling. I know I’ve mentioned this little alarm before, but I gotta tell ya, I love this thing. Not because it’s a valid safety feature, which it IS (intended to alert drowsy drivers to Wake Up!) but because of the vindication my mother is stewing in.

She’s told him for YEARS that he’s a lane-wanderer and he’s denied it vehemently.

(The car crosses slightly onto the shoulder)
Mom: You’re drifting again!
Dad: Bullshit!
(Dad over-corrects to skirt dangerously close to the semi in the left lane)
Mom: (clutching the door handle) Goddammit, Evans!!

Fun for the whole family!

I read recently that couples who fight frequently sometimes have stronger marriages because it means they’re more “engaged” in the relationship. My parents’ marriage is VERY strong! Hahaha!

As my dad was driving me to the airport on Tuesday, that little alarm got a lot of play. And so did I.

Lane Alarm: Doo-doo-doo
Me: Doo-doo-doo!! Hee hee!
Lane Alarm: Doo-doo-doo
Me: Doo-doo-doo!! Hee hee hee!
Dad: Stop doing that! It’s very annoying.
Me: I find it very entertaining.
Dad: (sighing) Do you want to hear it again?
Me: Yes, PLEASE!!!
Lane Alarm: Doo-doo-doo
Me: Hee hee hee!!!!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gold, Silver, Bronze, & Butter

I had the dubious honor of attending the Iowa State Fair this weekend. Now, I am not what you’d call a “State Fair person.” I’m not a big fan of Fair food (Deep-fried Oreos? Seriously?) and I’m not terribly interested in over-fed, over-grown cows, pigs, or pumpkins. Nothing wrong with any of that stuff, but it’s just really not my bag.

Why go, then? You might ask. My niece had a tumbling meet at the Fair this weekend. She won second place. Yea! And then, later that same day, she had a gymnastics competition and she won third place. Yea!

Another central Iowa girl did exceedingly well in gymnastics this week. Shawn Johnson is the toast of Iowa these days. Her 1.21 Gigawatt smile packs almost as much punch as her powerful floor routine. The infectious smile flashes across the screen in every other commercial on the Iowa networks, hocking everything from groceries to commemorative jewelry.

She won team Silver in the Olympics, followed by individual Silvers in the all-around and floor, and, in her crowning achievement: a Gold yesterday on the beam.

Yea, Shawn! (I was totally bawling last night as I watched her take the podium!)

And, in typical Iowa fashion, Shawn has been lauded in a truly unique manner: she’s been cast in butter. Every year at the Fair, there is the requisite “Butter Cow” – a life-sized bovine carved out of butter. And every year there is also a “special” butter sculpture. Last year it was the “Butter Harry Potter” in tribute to Book 7. This year there was a “Butter Shawn Johnson”

I think I will consider that I’ve truly “arrived” only when I’ve been replicated in butter at the Iowa State Fair.

Congratulations, Shawn!

Congratulations, Little Miss Thing!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thank God for Gin

If there’s one thing I can’t stand…. Oh, who am I kidding? There are a monkey ton of things I can’t stand. But the thing I can’t stand right now, right this minute, is an asshat. Now, there are many different classes of asshat, but the type of asshat I’m annoyed with today is the teenage, petulant, inconsiderate, ungracious asshat.

I encountered just such an asshat Friday evening while diving headfirst into O’Hare Airport.

The kid was no taller than me, which suggested he still had some growing to do, with buzzed blond hair and glasses. A clean-cut enough looking kid, but a total asshat. He was a wanderer. The sort who drifts as he walks, checking out the scenery, dawdling along; clearly NOT a seasoned traveler. These are all things I’m willing to forgive.

I’m even willing to forgive the fact that this little asshat felt the need to commandeer three bins at the security line, even though he was only carrying his shoes, his belt, and a narrow cardboard tube. Apparently, he felt that each of these items required an individual bin.

Again, this I can forgive.

What pissed me off, though, was this kid’s complete, asshatted ingratitude. As we’re leaving the X-ray line (I managed to put my laptop and my shoes in one bin and my bag, being a bag, did not need a bin) the little asshat forgot his cardboard tube.

I notice this as he’s walking away. I pick it up and use it to tap him on the arm (two birds, one stone and all that) somehow the little asshat still doesn’t notice me trying to get his attention so I whap him a little harder and say, loudly, “Hey! You forgot your… thing!”

He turned, gave me a blank look, grabbed his tube and said, “Oh,” flatly before turning and walking away.

I blinked stoopidly.

There was an instant in time. A moment frozen and lost forever when I could have pretended I didn’t notice. There was no name or other markings on the tube. If he hadn’t noticed its absence, it would have been lost forever. And so I did the right thing.

I don’t expect a medal or fawning adoration (it was probably just a lame-o poster from the Shedd or – more likely – the Science and Industry Museum) but how hard is a simple “Thank you” ???


Friday, August 15, 2008


I’ve been slacking on this blog lately. Channeling Nova? (I couldn’t resist! Sorry!) ;P

Seriously, I’ve been slacking at a lot of things lately. I’ve been goofing off at work. The work is getting done, but I really don’t have my eye on the ball. Yesterday was pretty bad. I spent a LOT of time emailing with one particular person – you know who you are! – and I let a few things slide at work. Nothing that can’t be easily caught up today, and the diversion was EXTREMELY entertaining, but still…

Sigh. I really need to get my act together!

(Yeah… That’ll happen!)

Anyway. The weekend is nearly here. I have lots and lots going on.

And just a quick shout out to Shawn Johnson! The little powerhouse from my hometown (she even goes to my high school!) won a Silver Medal yesterday in the Women’s Individual All-Around!

Woo-hoo! You go, girl!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


There’s something about a blank page.

Even though I do most of my writing on my computer these days, I still get kind of silly about a fresh notebook. I just love the crisp, naked pages.

I carry a notebook with me at all times.

I’m picky about notebooks, too. (There’s a shocker)

I like spiral, preferably with a hard board cover with at least one pocket for loose pages. I like them thin and about 5x8. And it’s gotta be lined. Lined is key. My good friend Dave prefers unlined notebooks because he likes to do sketches of some of the more bizarre characters and environments he creates.

But I like lines. (This is true of the other sort of line, too. Who doesn’t love a good single-file line???)

I like the order and rationality of 30 perfectly ordered and parallel lines, just waiting to be filled up with my thoughts.

The pen is important, too. There’s nothing I hate more than a cheap Bic ball-point pen. Ugh. My pen of choice is the Pentel micro (0.5mm) in blue. About once a year or so I buy a whole box of them. My mother used to “commandeer” them from her office, but now that she’s retired, I have to feed my pen habit myself.

But, like I said, mostly I write on my laptop: the Cricket. A Dell 12 inch Inspiron 700m (only 4 pounds even with the extended battery so I pretty much have it with me wherever I go) which is slowly falling apart. The external speakers stopped working a month after the warrantee ended (Hahaha!) and it’s starting to do some squirrelly things.

So I’ve been backing up EVERYTHING in my fiction folder and crossing my fingers that the Cricket survives until my next income tax refund comes around in February….

Friday, August 8, 2008


This whole plateau thing is getting old.

Sharon’s new theory is that I’m not getting ENOUGH calories.


It’s just so confusing. I do cardio five times a week and lift weights at least twice a week. I mix up my workouts: interval running on Mondays & Wednesdays, followed by weights; long moderate-pace walk on Tuesdays; ladders on Thursdays and Sundays.

I’m eating healthily and watching my calories.

But I just can’t seem to break past this fifteen pound barrier.

It’s incredible to me that I can be “maintaining” this weight doing all the hard work that I’m doing now when just a few months ago I was “maintaining” a slightly higher weight by sitting on my ass and eating like a pig.

I just don’t get it and it pisses me off.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Little Miss Thing

Little Miss Thing

My niece turns seven next week. She’s the cutest damn thing you ever saw. She cut off her hair recently for Locks of Love and now she has this cute bob that makes her look like Ramona Quimby. Adorable!

She has this fantastic thick rich pure brown hair that she definitely did NOT inherited from our side of the family – aside from my dad’s graying chestnut, we all have fine, dirt-blond hair.

But she did get our blue eyes. Sort of.

My mother has brown eyes – and she’s the only one. Dave got plain old blue, nothing remarkable but nice. Jo’s eyes are COOL. They’re sky blue, no trace of green or grey, just light blue without being pale. I got my dad’s eyes exactly. Medium blue with streaks of green.

LMT, though, has these amazing, deep, darkest blue eyes. They’re like the color of the abyss, like an ocean trench. And they're HUGE in her cute little face. She got my mother’s French complexion and tans a rich golden brown every summer (partly because she’s outside 36 hours a day!)

She’s also an aspiring gymnast. She recently received an invitation to join a competitive gymnastics team which will mean 5 hours of training a week and competitions every other week.

It weirds me out a bit but she LOVES it. She spends more time walking on her hands than on her feet. (We still have to remind her that she needs to not do that when she’s wearing a dress…) And when she’s practicing her aerial – she just whips herself through the air with complete abandon… It’s a little scary.

And she’s cut. I mean it. The kid’s got a totally little baby six-pack.

Anyway, here’s an early shout-out to Little Miss Thing, my favorite almost-seven-year-old!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I saw a documentary at the Landmark last night with my friend Anita. Normally I’m not the sort of person who will attend a documentary screening in a theater. I’ll watch them at home where I can keep one eye on the TV and the other on a game of solitaire or something equally inane.

I went last night because Anita had free tickets and because I didn’t know which film I was going to see. The Midwest Independent Film Festival www.midwestfilm.com/ screens indy films the first Tuesday of each month and I usually love indy films. I love the existentialism and the surreality and the pretension.

So I was sort of ambushed into watching a documentary film about: National Debt.

This is not a topic of particular interest for me. I mean, I’m concerned about it – who isn’t? – but it’s not something I dwell on as much as reproductive rights or civil liberties or conservation.

But MAN! This film was scary – and surprisingly non-partisan. (And included a number of unexpected bits of humor – I officially love Robert Bixby!!!) Granted, they made a number of unnecessary digs at the Shrub but the best, and most disturbing statements were things that came right out of his mouth: “I don’ know much about economics. I think I got a B- in that class, but I’ll tell you what I do know: How to cut taxes!!!!” (He should NOT be allowed to go off script…)

Blame was not laid at his feet. Or at the feet of anyone in particular (though Greenspan did get some guff)

The causes are wide and varied. They are cultural, political, and personal.

Personally, this film made me want to bury my money in the back yard and stop buying ANYTHING that I don’t NEED to live on.

Anyway, I highly recommend this film. I think it should be donated to every Jr. High School in the nation and be required viewing for anyone thinking about opening a credit card. (Haha! THAT will happen!)

Anyway, the film is called I.O.U.S.A. www.imdb.com/title/tt0963807/ and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I need a thunderstorm

I lived in Colorado for three years during grad school (except the summer I spent doing research in Alaska)

The weather in Colorado is about as close to perfection as any place I’ve ever been. It’s temperate, ranging from wicked cold in the winter to damn hot in the summer – just like Des Moines (and Chicago) – but with two major differences: abundant sunshine (320+ sunny days per year) and no humidity.

For the first time in my life, I realized WHY we sweat. I would sweat on a hot day in the summer in Colorado and it would immediately evaporate, cooling me. (Rather than forming a moist, sticky seal between me and my clothes…) And in the winter it would snow (sometimes a lot) but because of the pounding sunshine, it would all melt within a couple days. I did NOT miss the crusty, exhaust-blackened snow turds that form unsightly piles along Midwestern streets in the winter.

What I did miss, though, was thunderstorms. The part of Colorado I lived in was flat but with a clear view of the Front Range of the Rockies. Those same, brutally beautiful mountains that brought all the money into the state also kept the rain away. Few rain clouds survived their easterly trajectory through the mountains, leaving the plains on the other side high and dry.

After three years there, I YEARNED for a thunderstorm. I ached for the wild, uncontrolled fury of Nature screaming and thrashing about in a wild, uninhibited temper tantrum. I could feel the weather’s sexual frustration, its hunger to break out in a stunning, perfect conflagration of pounding rain, sizzling lightning, and roaring thunder all coming together into a raging, explosive orgasm.

I’ve been back in the Midwest long enough now to witness my fair share of storms – we even had a few tornados touch down near Des Moines the last time I was home – but nothing to compare with the STORM that we had last night. My god, that was a thing of beauty.

I know that it did a fair amount of damage and I’m glad that no one was seriously hurt, but MAN! What a gorgeous thing it was.

Someone hand me a cigarette…

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dress code

It’s 8am and I am the only person in my section of the El car not wearing jeans or shorts. Where do these people work? A couple of them, I suppose, might be students, but most appear to be near my age – mid-twenties to mid-thirties. At 8am on a Monday, I would assume that they’re headed to work.

So where do they work that they can wear jeans and baseball caps or shorts and t-shirts?

Our office actually reinforced its dress code recently. The issue was never the men. Their dress code is clear: dress pants, dress shirt, tie. I’m sorry to say the issue was with the women. Too many did not understand what “professional attire” meant. There was never a ban on capri pants or sandals – until now. Too many women looked like they were on their way to a picnic rather than a day at the office.

I know that a lot of hip young offices have adopted loose dress codes where trendy clothes like “dress shorts” can be worn. But we don’t work for a young hip office. We are an old-school organization with old-school rules and expectations. And one of those expectations is to look like you’re a professional and you’re here to WORK.

We can still wear sandals, but flip-flops are strictly verboten and I can’t say I’m sorry. I hate that whap-whap-whap sound and some women in our office clomp around like cows.

And should you have to tell grown women that hoochie spaghetti-strap tops are not “office appropriate”???

Of course people complained (they always do) and when one woman said to me, “But I’m more comfortable in flip-flops” I replied with “I’d be more comfortable with a beer and a cute boy to rub my feet. But I’m here to work.”

OK, so I guess I’m not cool in this regard. But I really feel like people take what they’re doing more seriously if they dress for it.

End rant. Sorry.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Drunk Post: II


You'd think I'd know better by now than to start blogging when I'm obviously impaired (thank goodness for the spellcheck function!)

My friends and I started the evening with a lovely Tattinger brut, moved onto a questionable Chardonnay that advertised that it was "good with food" (????) and finished with my favorite Carneros-style Napa rose of Pinot (It's the loveliest shade of darkest pink and is called "Fleur", Angelique!!!!)

I should know better than to start blogging when I'm clearly buzzed but I just can't seem to help myself... I just feel the urge to write when I drink...

My second NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) included a whole slutty passage that I attribute entirely to a bottle of Wilson Creek almond champagne (fanTAStic with chocolate!!!) That same bottle generated a spate of drunk dials in which I requested a writing "dare" from each of my friends. So I had to work an illicit gin-mill, a "flaming duck", and a case of mass-food-poisoning into my novel (Thanks, guys!) in addition to my own personal dare (I include at least one reference to an "armadillo" in each of my novels...)


I drink, I write...

Though, to be fare I write even when I DON'T drink, but when I do, it's sort of impossible to avoid.

I wish I owned "Real Genius" on DVD. I feel like watching it...


Thursday, July 31, 2008


When I was home recently, I went with my sister to the store to buy my niece’s school supplies.

It was a Saturday and we’d been hanging out in the 3-season room, watching the kids play dominos. (Have you ever watched a 4yo boy play with dominos? It’s… interesting.) My parents were going to a retirement luncheon and my sister wanted to go shopping.

Jo: Do you want to go to the store with LMT* and me?
*LMT = Little Miss Thing, my niece
Me: Sure, I guess.
LMT: Yea!!!!
E-man: Me too???
LMT: No!
Me: (rolling my eyes) If you want me to go, he has to go too. Grandma and Grandpa are leaving and he can’t go with them.
LMT: I don’t want HIM to go!
(Ah… smell the sibling rivalry!)
Me: Then what do you suggest we do? (Yes, I realize I was trying to reason with a 6yo…)
LMT: Leave him here!
Me: By himself?
LMT: Yes!
Me: No. If you want me to go, E-man has to go too.
(argument over)
Me: How long is this going to take?
Jo: About an hour and a half.
Me: What?! An hour and half? At Wal-Mart? On a Saturday? No way! Give me the list!
Jo handed me the list.
Me: There’s no reason this should take any longer than 20 minutes.
Jo: What?
Me: I’m serious! Drop me off at the door and come back 20 minutes later and I’ll have everything. An hour and a half… That’s crazy!

My sister rolled her eyes at my mother, who had long since accepted my “unnatural” hatred of shopping.

So my sister drove us to Wal-Mart, which in my opinion is a store conceived in the seventh ring of Hell. I don’t like shopping, and I really don’t like shopping at stores like Wal-Mart, and I especially don’t like shopping at stores like Wal-Mart on a Saturday unless it’s 8am and the store is practically empty.

As we’re driving I notice that my sister is holding her cell phone in one hand and steering with the other. And then I realize that she’s TEXTING. Now, my sister is not a stoopid girl. She does a lot of stoopid things (we ALL do) but she’s not stoopid. Or so I’ve always thought…

Me: Are you out of your mind?! That is the stoopidest thing I’ve ever seen anyone do! Put your phone away and DRIVE!
Jo: You just don’t like it because it’s illegal in Chicago
Me: What!? No. I don’t like it because it’s STOOPID!
Jo: Whatever.
Me: Put it away or let me and the kids out of the car. You’re driving around in 2 tons of glass and steel. PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD!!! Put the phone away! There’s nothing you need to say that can’t wait ten minutes!!! There’s nothing to say that’s worth jeopardizing your life and mine and your CHILDREN’s lives!

Laws are being enacted all over the U.S. to make texting while driving illegal. I’m astounded that this is even necessary. When did this trend start??? Are people really that stoopid???

Yes, E. Yes they are.