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 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. 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 ( 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...