Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I am at work today, and I'm not happy about it. It's New Year's Eve, there's a blizzard going on outside (8 to 12 inches by the end of the day), and I'm still really tired from a dramatic stomach bug I got on Sunday. The various off-site people I work with have been out of touch since Christmas Eve so there's not a lot I can do today anyway. All in all, I would much rather still be in bed. But I am at work. Unhappily.
I'm going to try to make it to the Sierra later tonight, but we'll see how it goes... Maybe I'll celebrate by going to bed early.
Happy new year anyway, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays y'all!

Last time I was at Ikea I got the cats a basket. They had been sleeping on a folded blanket in front of the fire, but we thought a basket would give them even more off an opportunity for max relaxing and cuteness. We were right -- there's usually one of them in there, sometimes two, and even, a couple of times, all three. The unfortunate downside to the popularity of the basket is that my cats no longer come and sleep with us at night. The basket (and the fire, which comes on intermittently during the night) is too attractive to them. I miss the cats, though -- they were good at keeping me warm, plus they protect me from nightmares.* If I want them to sleep with me, I have to get ready for bed completely, then go down, pick one up, and make it back to bed before the cat starts struggling. Then I have to get into bed before the cat decides to run back downstairs because settling down on top of a cold bed is too much trouble.

Hey, do you know it's Christmastime? True. I have a half-day of work -- really a 2/5 day of work -- tomorrow and then we will attempt to drive to NJ in the slushy rain. Pray for us. I did take a young adult mystery audio book from work that we can listen to, at least.

I went out to lunch (Fitzwilly's) with some co-workers today. I mentioned how I was being dicked around by the airline for our flight to Belize (they keep making it worse and even more inconvenient, which seems like it should be illegal -- I paid for a specific service, and now they're telling me they won't give it to me?) and it turned out that one of my co-worker had been to Belize. She said it was great, but then she kept saying things like, "We took this tiny plane from one town to another, and as soon as we stepped off of it, my four-year-old threw up all over my husband," and "We took a boat out to a snorkeling spot, and we almost died. The water was very rough and the driver of the boat was going very fast, and everyone was yelling at him that we would flip over and that he should slow down. He didn't." She was laughing at all of this, she wasn't being a Debbie Downer, just telling it like it is. It was just so dire sounding that it became a Thing, with people being worried for me -- "Don't drink the water, you know that, right? Did you see 'Into the Wild'? Don't eat any strange berries in the wild, either!"

Anyway. That trip's not for weeks. I have San Diego to cross off the list first. On the docket there: Wild Animal park, a trip to the desert, some free dental care, and maybe a trip to Legoland. I just hope it's warmer there than it is here (it was in the 40s there a week ago).

*Note: Not actually true.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I have STILL not been to the KFC/TB Combo, because every time I drive by the drive-thru lane wraps around the building and makes it impossible to enter the parking lot. Seriously, it's been a week and they are still doing crazy business. Which makes no sense to me. There's good food all over the place in this town, and a KFC a 10 minute drive away.

I have been suffering yet another bout of nose herpes (a cold sore just below my nostrils) for the last 5 or 6 days. It sucks so bad. It's always stinging and feeling weirdly cold, like a burn; and of course it looks gross. I don't know of anyone else in the world who gets cold sores only on their nose and nose-environs and never on their mouth. I guess I'm lucky? Sort of? Though it's the kind of luck like "It's too bad that you lost a finger in that accident. But look on the bright side -- you didn't lose two fingers! Just think about that!" Yeah, no. Right now the sore spot is all scabrific and looks like it might heal into a nice hole right through my face.

I sold my first thing on Etsy! And the same person ordered a custom job via their Alchemy service. I seem to have forgotten how to make these things, though, and I am on my third pair of Shrinky-Dink earrings. The first pair were way larger than I wanted, the second two ended up shrinking into completely different shapes, so I figure the third time's the charm...

And, shockingly, I am almost done with my holiday shopping, with a whopping 8 days to go! I have yet to start making CJ's gift, but he's ok with it being late (actually, I am just assuming he's ok with it. Heh). Speaking of shopping, the new Urban Outfitters is open downtown. I hate to like them, but man if they don't know how to design a store. It just tickles my hipster nerve in the most perfect way. Damn them. Damn them and their pro-life-cause donations and skinny jeans and for my lost youth.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Today's the big day! The one we've all been waiting for lo, these many months. Such anticipation has been building! I speak of course of the opening of the combo KFC/Taco Bell on King Street. I pass the brand-new building everyday on my drives to and from work. And I've been telling everyone who'll listen that I wanted to eat there on their opening day because the food will never be better than that. The grease in the fryers will be fresh, the food won't have been sitting in a dirty, stale freezer for months, every piece of equipment will never be as clean as it is today.

However! On my way home from work today, on the approach to the KFCTB, traffic was literally at a standstill in both directions. One lane was clear, so I just drove around it. The parking lot was full, the inside of the restaurant was full, the drive-thru was just more parking lot... There was no way I was going to wait an hour for a chicken strip meal. So I will have to hope that it will be just as fresh and tasty tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I just want everyone to know that Local Burger is planning on staying open until 3 a.m. on weekends. Sweet, now I just need to stay awake enough to enjoy the drunken feasting...

I was interviewed by an AP reporter today, in my role as "family craft expert." So that was pretty awesome.

I have more things to mention, some things that actually might be interesting or interestingly written, but I've had a very full day and my brain is shutting down. Time for cereal and bedzzzzzzzz...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving was a success. There were some food-related mishaps -- the green beans from my garden weren't very good, I had blanched and frozen them, but they were all limp and waterlogged when I tried to cook them; plus, I made the mashed potatoes too early and they got dried out in the oven. But the turkey (cooked by my coworker's husband) was divine, and there were three kinds of stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce, so that was all good. The ten-year-old boy turned out to be a Lego-maniac, so CJ let him go through this big box of Legos he has for his new office. He kept rustling through it, finding some piece of plastic and yelling 'oh! This is really rare!" And I'd say, all smug in my knowledge, "is that a grappling hook from a snow speeder?" and he'd say "yes, but this is an OLD one! They don't make them like this anymore!" It was kind of mindblowing. I hadn't thought that Legos evolve, and that retired pieces would have value, but apparently they do. It's just another one of those eBay-fueled childhood-completion manias that for some reason I never thought of before.

I spent yesterday being cat-like. I didn't leave the house except for a walk to the bird blind (where I fed some chickadees from my hand) and back, and though I slept in, I ended up back in bed in the afternoon. Warm, cozy bed, with my big plush cat sleeping in it. I curled up around her and played with my iPhone until my eyes got too swimmy and I gave in and napped. Later, B and I finally played the board game version of Halo I got from work. He beat me, but I didn't know what I was doing until halfway through, so now I am itching for a rematch. In sum: Slept too much and frequently, played with birds outside, played inside, ate, and lazed around. It was just fine with me.

I'm feeling less nauseated now. Whew. I felt gross after brunch today, but that is because the Haymarket seems to like their breakfast foods to consist of at least %75 butter, and then, just as an underscore, they put big blobs of butter on top of them. I ordered the "buttermilk pancakes with fruit, almond butter, and maple syrup" but when it came there was only a little fruit, and though I was expecting almond butter (which is peanut butter made with almonds) I think I got butter whipped with almond extract. It was totally delicious, of course, but I felt not so great after. But I have recovered. I think.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I did get out of work early, and I did make it to the Food Bank Farm. They're down an extremely muddy, rutted road, and the "store" is an unheated garage-type space. But it had good produce and other items, cheap. I got organic potatoes, carrots, and a butternut squash, all grown locally, plus some nice olives. I almost bought some egg nog (from Mapeline Farm) but it was $4.50 and had no list of ingredients. I'm not paying that much for nog if there's a chance it has the same crap the Stop and Shop brands do. Anyway, it looks like my sauteed green beans (from my garden, frozen), carrot sticks, mashed potatoes, and mashed squash will all be local. I bought celery at Trader Joe's because the Food Bank didn't have any; but I walked across the mall parking lot to get it, instead of driving, so that's something, right? Give me a frickin' medal.

I drove on to Target etc. In JoAnn's, a 50-something man was whistling, at full volume, "Ain't Nothing Gonna Break My Stride." I had to pinch myself to keep from saying something to him. "Listen, I know it sucks that you have that song stuck in your head. But do you have to share your affliction with the world? HAVE YOU NO DECENCY, SIR??"

Now I'm home and taking a break from sorting through clutter and doing tiny cleaning tasks that should have been done weeks ago but that I am only now getting to because I have guests coming tomorrow. That is the way things are done around here. I feel better today, mentally at least. Still some queasiness here and there. Chewing gum or ginger candy helps. I can only imagine how badly I'd be feeling if I was preggers. Ugh...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hey, look at me, I skipped another day of posting! huh. Time for another list of randomness.

During my therapy appointment last night, a big parade of marchers came through town. I was on the third floor and couldn't see them, but I could hear them yelling, "No justice, no peace!" and "What do we want? Blergabedoobit! [something with two many syllables that I couldn't make out] When do we want it? NOW!" If I had been in a more fun situation I would have gone over to the window to check them out and maybe make fun of their garbled chants. But I wasn't, so I didn't.

The building my office window faces is usually topped with a full row of pigeons, of which there are exactly two all-white ones. All-white pigeon = dove.

I have not been feeling so great physically or mentally and I'm having a hard time pinning down the reason. I'd blame it on The Pill, but I just started it Sunday (no barfing yet, but some queasy feelings). The only things I can pin it on is the recent cyst reappearance, the weather getting colder, annual holiday-related anxiety, an upcoming trip to CJ's parents' place for a week, and restarting therapy. (Therapy usually makes one feel worse before you feel better, right? Please?)

The bad feelings might also be attributed to watching too much Celebrity Rehab and The Real Housewives of wherever and other similarly empty-calorie shows. I need to stock up on some quality DVD rentals for my free time this weekend.

I am excited to get out of work early tomorrow and shop at the Food Bank Farm, a CSA that opens to the public on the Tuesday and Weds. before Thanksgiving. I'm going to try to buy everything I need for my Thanksgiving side dishes there.

And that's all from this chick for now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drive home was uneventful, I did it without stopping, I only flipped the bird at another driver once. I miss my cutie niece and nephew. I keep on remembering my nephew, who is not yet two, counting from one to ten with me. "un? doo? fee? door? die? see? deben? ay? ayn? ehn." I already asked his parents to take a video, but I do not think this has happened.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I didn't blog yesterday. I worked and then I drove to NJ, and then I couldn't get a signal in the room I'm sleeping in. So there. I had wanted to say that there's a new sign on the Tappan Zee Bridge that says something like "Life is worth living!" to stop bridge jumpers, I guess, which was strange and sad to see, just posted up there right after the "Next exit 2 miles" sign and right before the "road work ahead" sign. But I couldn't post it. Now I'm in a better room for the wifi.

I did this "Tyapealyzer" on my blog, and here's the result:
ESFP - The Performers
[ESFP]
"The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions."

I really don't think I'm a "performer." But I do like pleasure and beauty (crazy, right?). I do like to plan ahead, but I hate making decisions, so that means the plans end up being a bit vague. And the work thing is probably correct. The thing is, I only write about certain parts of my life here. I don't usually write about politics, or anything too nerdy...

Anyway, I'm at my parents' house for a pre-Thanksgiving, parents' birthdays celebration. When I got there last night I was told that one of their two odd and tiny Abyssinians, Misty, had escaped and had been missing for two weeks, but that we were not to bring it up with my niece. They have four cats and they occasionally jump over the dogs as they're being let out for a pee, but they come back in an hour or two. Anyway, this morning around 11 we were in the kitchen and we saw the missing cat outside! She came right to the door, we let her in, and she ran to the food and started gobbling it up. She is VERY skinny. Like, Animal Cops skinny. Poor little kitty! Poor and kind of dumb. These cats have tiny brains. We have no idea where she was or what she spent the last two weeks doing, except she's clearly not a great hunter, though she must have found water.

The other event of note that happened today is our trip to Costco, at which I got a big bag of nuts, a big bag of clementines, a big box of cereal, and a big box of granola bars. I love a Costco. Also, the kids are ridiculously cute, but nothing new there. They're great.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We kicked so much ass at trivia, getting 26.5 points (out of 30), but then it turned out everyone else did too, and we didn't even end up placing in the top 3. Sad.

I'm in the middle of a malaise of which I can't find the cause. I almost didn't go out at all tonight, wanting instead to curl up on the couch and watch TV (again). But I did, and I feel much better now. I am looking forward to going to sleep. I'm supposed to start taking The Pill soon, but I'm nervous about it. I already feel bloaty and nauseated, and I am worried about getting morning sickness again and gaining weight and all the other bad stuff that happens when you take it. I am trying to focus on the fact that it's probably a weaker drug than when I took it oh, 15 years ago or so. Also melancholy-ish: stressful hard stuff at work. Today I got the equivalent of a check-minus and a "see me after class" on something I had given to my top editor to approve. Thing is, I knew what I handed in wasn't perfect, but fixing it was making my brain hurt. My head just shuts down after a certain number of hours. Plus there were fractions involved. No good.

I'm planning on driving to Jersey tomorrow after work, but it's almost 12:30 at night and I haven't packed a single thing, I'm already in need of more sleep than I've been getting and I won't get it tonight, so I'll have to come home and pack after work, and since I'll be home I'll have to feed the cats and give Junebug her two pills and maybe a shot.

Also it is very dark and cold. Maybe I have SAD?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I was so tired after work and dinner that I almost fell asleep lying on the hard floor in front of my (gas) fireplace. Then I managed to make it upstairs to the sofa in front of the TV, where my ifauxn (is that a stretch? it's a disconnected iphone) sits in a charger within arm's reach. And then I was going to write this blog entry with my iphone, so it would be all hi i am typing like a 16 year old who cant be bothered with capital letters or punctuation p s noone understands me i luv twilight ttfn.

But then I got up and got my cereal and here I am in front of the laptop. Tonight my goal is Bedtime by Midnight. It's good to have realistic goals, I say.

Winter has begun, I guess, because suddenly it is freezing cold outside, and I saw a few flakes of snow blow down yesterday. I'm already feeling both antsy and bored. Kandy is also having some after-work motivation problems so we might start a support network. She has a busier social life than I do, though, so she's less bored than I am (but equally unmotivated to be productive).

Anyway, in order to reach my Goal, I should wrap this up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey, lookit me! I finally did something and started up a shop on etsy. Right now there is, um, just one item up there. But I put up a temporary-ish banner and filled out all of the other info, so I should be good to go, once I'm at home during daylight hours and can take better photos... Which might not be until Thanksgiving. (Mornings are off-limits; I can barely get my ass out of bed, showered, dressed and out the door before 9:30 as it is.)

Also, it looks like the two 2 GB Kingston SD cards I bought for way cheap do work. I bought them in prep of going to Belize without my laptop (and without the ability to dump all of the images off my camera every night).

Edited to add: Now there's 7 items for sale! Go shop!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today I was videotaped -- or at least my arms and hands were -- in a quiet, private room in the basement of my office. I was demonstrating how to make a tricky craft. I made one from start to finish once on Friday and once today, so I had to bring the same clothes I wore Friday. Plus, I was supposed to say what I was doing, but the guy (just a co-worker) taping me was so casual about it, I wasn't really sure if he would use what I was saying or not -- maybe one-fourth of what I was saying was useable, mainly because I was talking to the camera guy the other times, or mumbling to myself about the mistakes I was making, or laughing nervously... Ugh. Anyway, he's going to edit it together somehow. I kept offering to do a voice-over after he was done, but he kept telling me I did fine. Well, it might be fine for him, but I have HIGH STANDARDS.
Today I went to the gym with CJ, which cost $12 for 45 minutes speed-walking on a treadmill and a shower afterwards. I've been wanting to try it out because I know I need to be more fit, and finally I resigned myself to go. The working-out part was fine; the treadmill had its own television screen, so I switched between America's Next Top Model and Man vs. Wild, and the machine had a heart rate monitor so I could see I wasn't pushing myself too much. But after I was done, I stepped off of the machine and almost fell over. It made me super woozy and dizzy. I am guessing it was a combo of watching a stationary TV while walking in place (moving my head up and down), because I have worked out on a treadmill before (not for as long as 45 minutes though) and never had this motion-sick feeling. Next time I'll turn off the TV and listen to a podcast or something. Or I might try working out with Maya again, though I'm going to have to pretend I'm a new user (which will require giving myself a new name) since it's been so long and I couldn't take the scolding.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I kind of love Beyonce. She does what she does extremely well, and she seems to be really smart, show-business-wise. Tonight's Saturday Night Live reminded me of it. The real video for that 'single ladies' song is incredibly impressive. One of the blogs I follow recently posted the video and the inspiration for the dance moves below it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The benefit show last night was amazing. Fantastic music, lots of groovy people, just a really nice atmosphere, though a little conflicted -- bands kept playing these great covers of songs Melissa had really liked, and it was all music I liked too (REM, Flaming Lips, The Police), which made me sad I never had the chance to get to know her. I helped out with selling raffle tickets at the door, and people bought a lot of tickets, so we were very busy. I could only partially watch the Rub Wrongways Supergroup's set, which is too bad, though I did walk away from my post a little bit to shake my booty to Dancin' Queen.
I helped L with the silent auction, too; I ended up with a sleep mask and a framed pencil outline of a horse with the words "FORTITUDE signifying STRENGTH COURAGE and ENDURANCE" because it spoke to me. My necklace and earrings went for $15 and $20, I think, and the doll went for $25, after 2 bids. The first bidder on the doll was very disappointed she had lost, and with her and L's encouragement I agreed to make her a version of the doll for $30. I am assuming it will take me a shorter amount of time this go-round.
The show was in the Center for the Arts, so there was no legal way to sell booze, but people could BYOB. One of the side rooms was the designated cooler and six-pack area. I hadn't brought anything because I had felt kinda woozy after work, but then after I was at the show for a couple of hours I felt better, and suddenly there were a million open bottles of red wine everywhere pouring into the plastic dixie cup I had borrowed. It was nice. I think we made a lot of money for Mark to do whatever he wishes to do with it (slightly better than average preschool for the girls?) and the lineup waqs fantastic. Even the crazy drunken Skexsis who demanded her money back at the end of the show didn't put a dent in the evening (though I obsessively thought of comebacks and insults for her on the drive home).

Friday, November 14, 2008

I had my lady business looked at ultra-sonically this morning, and guess what! I have a cyst of the same size and on the same side as I had before my surgery. (You know, the cyst that made me opt to get surgery in the first place.) The gyno kind of semi-apologetically explained that because of all of the scar tissue it was hard to get in there and get all of the endo out, or to cut off the blood supply completely, or something -- whatever it was, it was too hard for her to do, and she didn't want to just take the whole ovary out. This time I'm going to try to tough it out as much as possible because that surgery sucked HARD.

I also got some birth control pills called "Loestrin" which is supposedly the lowest hormonal dose you can get. My gyno said that it's the kind her daughter uses. We'll see how it goes (in a few weeks).

Can I just say that when you're infertile, the gynocologist's office is the last place you want to be. I can't imagine how I'd hold it together if I were actually trying to conceive, or god forbid, miscarried. There's photos of babies and happy mothers everywhere, posters for breastfeeding classes and new mother workshops, etc. I'm not even sure I want to carry a baby and I was feeling bitter and resentful.

Thank god I'm an identical twin who already made a couple of kids who are carrying my genetic material. Sure, it's all mixed up with that of my swarthy, asthmatic brother-in-law (I kid because I love) but it's obviously in there somewhere. Now I can feel less weird about buying a baby from some other country or whatnot. And if I do, you'd better believe I'd be all, "Hey look at this baby! I bought him in Ecuador," or, "This little cutie only cost us $15k! Good deal, right?" Because cynicism's the only way I can deal with the unfairness of getting pregnant easily = free, and being infertile but wanting kids = many, many thousands of dollars.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wow, I just have nothing to say here. Uh, the piece of fried chicken I got from the hot bar at the co-opseemed undercooked. My friend Kandy donated a piece of art to auction off at the big show tomorrow, even though she doesn't know the people affected and can't make the show. We are working on a plan of having Thanksgiving here, though I refuse to try a turkey (I am just not ready). My lady parts appointment is tomorrow morning at 8:15, which is too early. I have no idea what to get my dad for his birthday, as usual. It's my mom's birthday tomorrow but I already have something cool for her. CJ is away tonight and during our phone call the signal kept dropping out -- note, there is nothing more annoying than saying "I can't hear you, you're breaking up," except for saying it. Bill O'Reilly is on the Daily and it's time to hit the hay.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hey, thanks for your comments, ladies. I am feeling a bit better today. I am going to try going on the pill, which I haven't taken since college. It made me very, very emotional, so it will be ... interesting to try it again. It also made me barf whenever I had to wake up in the early morning, including one memorable time around 5:30 a.m. when I was driving my boyfriend to work. I had to pull over on a busy road and open my door to puke into the street as my boyfriend sat next to me. (Later he said, "It was so sudden! You were puketry in motion!") So there's that to look forward to. But hey, it also works as birth control, so I hear! That is a benefit.

I think I'm finished with the item I will be silent-auctioning off this Friday for the Melissa Mulcahy benefit (which you should all attend, as it is going to be amazing). It was supposed to be an "art doll" but instead it just looks like a, um, regular doll. Creepy scan of it here:



I hand-sewed it without a pattern, so it's all wack, and of course it took me many hours, but it really doesn't look worth more than $20 or so. Which is what I'll make my "suggested starting bid" I suppose. Maybe I'll bid on it first, and just give it to my niece.

Also, CJ just told me that he just remembered learning a dance to "Pata Pata" at camp when he was a kid, too! This was in Southern California. Where did the dance come from? It is a mystery!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am pretty bummed out today. Last night I had bad cramps that didn't go away even after 2 ibuprofen and a heating pad against my belly. And it's nowhere near my period, so basically the endo is back. I'm getting an ultrasound this Friday morning to find out if there's a "mass" as the doctor said. I'm going to see the doc who did my surgery, even though she has a terrible bedside manner, like really horrible, but she has seen and moved around my insides with her own eyes (well, using a tiny camera) so I can't give that up. I feel almost post-traumatic stress-ful about that surgery I had in March, and now I feel just as bad as I did before I had it. So, I am pretty bummed, as I said. The doctor (not my usual one) I talked to today brought up trying Lupron, which is by far the scariest sounding, worst reviewed drug I've ever seen. It basically puts your body through menopause, which has the side effect of starving the endo of the hormones that make it react. People on Lupron get hot flashes and night sweats, they get migraines, nausea, weight gain, facial hair, vaginal dryness, loss of memory... It makes me think maybe I can handle the pain and nausea and bloating I'm dealing with now.

Sorry to be all sad and shit. On a lighter note, Bare-Naked Granola is really, really delicious. It is almost worth the $5 a bag they sell it for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I woke up to a familiar song playing on NPR. Miriam Makeba, the singer of Pata Pata had died. I posted this comment on the appropriate post on Metafilter:

Powell House, the Quaker retreat center whose weekend youth programs generally kept me from going crazy as a teenager, has a very close relationship with Pata Pata. During my teen years in the late 80s, a 45 of Pata Pata hung on a nail next to the record player. It was played every Friday night, and there was a dance similar to the electric slide (but with more funky chicken) that everyone would do, the older kids teaching the younger ones. After being played (and dancing to it) at regular speed, we'd do it again all fast and crazy at 78, and if we were really feeling it that night, we'd play it slowly at 33 which allowed us time to add extra flourishes to the dance moves. The Pata Pata dance was created before I got there and I assume it still lives on today. Hearing it still makes me want to jump up out of my chair and dance goofily around the room.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

As part of my duties as chairwoman of that association I got railroaded into leading, I must take care of (or oversee the taking care of) a large pavilion on the grounds of my neighborhood. Attached to the outside of this building is a very large wooden cross. This cross is illuminated by a spotlight every night. Today I went inside of the little room that forms the back stage of the building and I found the very old-fashioned timer that turns the cross light on and off. It was still on summer-time, so I unscrewed the little tabs and tightened them at the correct hours. But now it is night, and the cross is not on. Clearly I did something wrong.

It is possible I will be relieved of my chairwomanly duties without having to actually try to sabotage myself. How about that.

Actually, I know most of the people whose homes get a nice view of the glowing cross, and I don't think any of them would mind if it was never lit again, or (even) if the cross was removed altogether. I would definitely get in trouble for allowing such a thing as chairwoman, though. There are still many older people who remember my neighborhood as the Christian camp it used to be, where all of their Christian friends lived and hung out together all summer long. Taking this big symbol of the past out of this place, that's already been repopulated with Jews and gay people and atheists, would break their hearts. And I just can't do it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Right now CJ is sitting behind me, playing our video game in which we kill orcs and goblins and shit. I can't play, of course, because my arm is still feeling bad, so it's kind of like being grounded the night of a big party. Except sneaking out and going to play with him would only make my arm hurt a lot, so. I recently won a free raffle at work for a Halo board game -- that's right, a cardboard and plastic-playing-pieces version of the super best-selling video game. I was just looking through it before I started writing this, and I think playing it will just make me feel sad. Maybe not, but I wouldn't know, since CJ won't stop playing his video game in order to try it out with me. (I am writing this in order for him to feel guilty later. Don't tell him!)

Today I went to the bead store to get more wire. While I was there a flock of ladies came in and loudly oohed and aahed at everything they saw. It reminded me of the time a couple of weeks ago when two middle-aged couples came in to Faces and tried on wigs, which made them laugh so loudly and so crazily that I thought there was a danger they might wet themselves. I like a wig as much as the next person, but they don't get more than a chuckle out of me. These people were laughing as though seeing their husband wearing a fake afro was the most clever and hilarious thing ever. Maybe my comedic standards are too high?

Friday, November 07, 2008

I have some good excuses for not posting today, but I won't bore you with them. (Nothing bad, just busy away-from-computer times.) I should start writing some posts in advance so I can just drop 'em in at times like these. Ah well. Enjoy your Friday rocking!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm squeaking in right under the wire here. I just got back from work-->dinner-->trivia, so I haven't had time to blog. But here I am! We didn't win or even come close to winning at trivia tonight, but I did remember what animal is on a caduceus, plus I identified a nautilus from a photo of one. Also, that the much-parodied "You're the Best Around!" training-montage song was originally in Karate Kid. So it was a personal victory, for me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So, yeah. Whew! Our guy won. I'm pretty freaking happy about it. Last night I ended up at an election results watching party at a local bar, which was the official spot for the area's Obama campaign headquarters. I had been thinking of just staying home, but my neighbor Kandy talked me in to going out with her, and I dragged CJ along with me. When we showed up at around 8:30, it was so packed that there was a line to get in. Eventually we made our way to the bar, and some pints of Hop Obama beer, and we even scored a barstool to take turns sitting in. The bar erupted in cheers and applause every time they called a state for Obama. During one of those times, this photo was taken for the local paper:



Kandy's the grey-haired bespectacled woman two people to the left of me. Just in case you can't see me well enough, here's a close-up of my lovely mug, very unflatteringly captured in mid-"wow!" (or maybe "awesome!" or "woo!"):



And the best of all is CJ's, which I'm trying to find a funny way to describe, but I'll let the picture do the talking:




It was wicked fun to be with such a jubilant crowd. We were chatting with everyone that happened to be nearby, like the older dude next to me who went to Kansas State, and the baby-faced grad student from France (studying political science, of course). I ran into a bunch of people I knew, like Kshama (sitting next to me in the pic, and I'm sure I'm spelling her name wrong), the WRSI folks (Jaz, Bill, and Scott), and Philip and Flora. We stayed until after Obama's speech, and as we walked through town to our car people were skipping around, yelling and hooting, people in cars were honking their horns, and a church was ringing its bells. Today I've come back down to Earth somewhat -- I'm really saddened by prop 8 passing in California -- but I am still feeling really optimistic and excited to see what the next four years will bring. Yes!
Fuck. YES.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It is not yet On the Other Side, but I did find a photo of me as the lady who can't wait for Christmas:



Courtesy of Henning at the good ol' Rockumentary. It is both good and bad that you can't really get the full effect of the pants.

I'm about to go to a bar/restaurant place that's hosting a results viewing party for the local Obama campaign chapter thing, though I did not volunteer with them at all. I am going with my friend and neighbor who DID volunteer, so maybe that's enough? I did vote...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tomorrow! Tomorrow is Election Day! When I will be drinking and crying no matter what the results are, though for different reasons! I can't wait until this long national nightmare is over. I can't wait to return to my little bubble, where I don't have to listen to the kinds of people who ignore mountains of actual evidence in order to believe incredible, outrageous stories that fortify their own prejudices and beliefs. You know, the kinds of people who love Sarah Palin. I can go back to pretending that, while there might be people like that out there, there are only a few, and those few are considered harmless crackpots in their communities. After tomorrow I won't have to hear assholes on the radio calling me unamerican because I believe in national health care and taxing the wealthy. (Sure, people will still be saying that, but it will be in easily-avoided pockets of the internet.

And for the first election of my lifetime, I want one particular candidate to win SO BAD. I've always wanted my guy to win, sure, but this time I actually really, really want my guy to win. As in, I'm excited to see where he'll take the country. I don't even want to talk about it because last time (2004) was such a disillusioning heartbreak, and back then I didn't care even half as much as I do now. I can't wait to vote. I wish it were tomorrow night already. Please vote tomorrow; our state is a lock for Obama, but the ballot questions are still a toss up. (Just follow my handy guide: 1. No, 2. Yes, 3. Yes. You're welcome.)

See you on the other side.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

So, yes. We're planning a trip to Belize. Why Belize? We were trying to think of an interesting and warm place to go this winter (since Hawaii rocked so hard last year), and I found a website of unusual hotels. I was hoping I'd find some awesome treehouse inn or something, and I came across the Parrot Nest Lodge. It was cheap, and in the jungle, so I looked up "Belize" online and saw that the country has cool, huge Mayan temples in the jungle and nice snorkel action on the shore. Many, many hours of research later, we've kind of decided to stay at a slightly better hotel. But there will definitely be a jungle portion of the trip, then a beach portion. I have never been somewhere so uncivilized, and I can't wait for the excitement, the iguanas and river otters and howler monkeys and manta rays, but I am also petrified of picking up some debilitating parasite that will make me go blind or just ruin my health for the rest of my life. In preparation, I have done something I never thought I'd do: I purchased convertable pants. (I'm so ashamed.) Hopefully, they will keep the scorpions from biting me on the shins, and the zwip-zwop sound the nylon fabric makes as I walk will scare away the jaguars. I also bought a crazy shirt that has both sunblocking properties and confusingly-located security pockets directly over the boobs. In short, I will look kind of dweeby.

I realize that I spent a lot of the last post talking about bad-looking pants and other clothing, and I promise that I will be branching out on my post topics in the future.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Hey, it's November! Perhaps I'll try to do the ol' NaBloPoMo or whatever it is. Post a day for the month of November. And they have to be real posts, not Twitter-ish short ones. Let's just see how it goes.

Halloween is over, and I'm going through post-holiday syndrome, where I can't stop looking for things I could use for it even though the holiday is done and my costume is half-disassembled. This year I was A Middle-Aged Woman Who Cannot Wait For Christmas. I had found an excellently tacky Christmas sweater and extremely cringe-worthy Mom jeans at the Salvation Army -- seriously, two different people said, "please never wear those pants again" -- and I borrowed a Santa hat from the prop closet at work. I also had a small strand of battery-operated mini-lights, so I turned those into a necklace. I baked Christmas cookies too, for a prop. It went over well at the show I went to, and I won a set of four classic mini game pens. I only hope my cookies weren't what pushed that drunk girl over the edge and into Barftown, USA.

The day before was Halloween at work, where all of the parents in the office are invited to bring their kids in to do some cubicle-to-cubicle trick or treating. Workers choose whether or not to participate, and if they do, they get a sign and a basket of candy. Since I work with a bunch of bookish nerds, a lot of them dress up for the day -- usually not in full costume, but they'll put on a crazy hat or a wig. I still have my bird costume from 2 years ago, which is essentially just a hoodie with felt fabric-glued onto it, so I decided to wear that. And I wanted to do something to my cubicle, too. I considered finding four big branches and duct-taping them to the corners so I could have a little mini-forest, but that seemed too hard. There happened to be a never-used, still-flat cardboard box nearby my cube, so I stayed late Weds. night and made it into this:



It's a birdhouse! A birdhouse with the added bonus of acting as a door to my cubicle! I got a lot of envious comments from my coworkers, lemme tell ya. It slides to the side to open it, but whenever a person came to my desk to talk to me, they'd just lean over and talk through the hole. In the photo I'm kneeling, which I did throughout the trick or treat thing, and I actually have bruises on my knees now. Corporate-strength berber carpeting is no joke.

I wrote down the costumes the office kids were wearing, just for anthropological interest:
Apollo (the mythological figure)
cowboy
pink bunny
bee
Tinker Bell
dinosaur (2)
classic ghost (2)
Ariel (the little mermaid)
cat
dead bride
headless football player
an "oxymoron" (a dunce cap with ox horns)
crazy clown
Batman (with fancy mechanical wings)
A Bionicle (?)
2 devils
2 Transformers (Optimus Prime and Bumblebee)
turtle
farmer
baby on back of old man
A family with mom: daisy, dad: beekeeper, baby: bee
two renaissance ladies
angel
tiny lion
Lightning McQueen
"girl from the 80s"
skeleton head
candy corn witch
forest fairy girl
Hannah Montana (I assume)
Sponge Bob Squarepants (hand-painted cardboard box)
vampire
gypsy woman
lady bug
Statue of Liberty (a 3-year-old boy)

In other news, we bought tickets to go to Belize in early February. "Fuck the economy," we said, knowing deep in our hearts that my magazine will probably fold before then. (Luckily, there are always going to be crazy people for CJ work with.) More about that later.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes I need to post, I want to post. Halloween is taking up my creative energy at the moment. I stayed late at work today in order to turn the entrance to my cubicle into a birdhouse, so I can wear my old bird costume to work tomorrow (yes, Halloween is Friday, but our "Bring your kids for trick or treating day" is tomorrow). Anyway, more later, gators.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Over the weekend someone threw a slice of pizza (or maybe a slice of pizza that had been balled up) onto the big window next to mine. If I raise my eyes above my computer screen I can see the big greasy, saucy, chunky 'splat' and the wide swath that slid downward. Right now it's all extra bright and shiny in the sunlight. People are jerks.

Last night CJ's cat, Voo, woke us up a couple of times, meowing. He's really been ramping up the "talking" lately. CJ has been trying to modify his behavior by spraying him with water every time he meows, but usually the cat meows, CJ jumps up from wherever he is, runs to the spray bottle, runs after the cat, and once he's cornered the cat, sprays him. So I am not at all sure the cat is making the connection. Cats are jerks.

[I'm trying to come up with a short anecdote here that I can end with "I'm a jerk," but I can't think of anything, even though I know I am sometimes jerk-like. Oh wait, here's something.] Parts of my garden are still alive (barely), and when I went to visit it on Saturday, I had two giant zucchinis. So yesterday I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread (just one of my zucchini provided more than the 3 cups of grated stuff the recipe needed) with currants and walnuts. I put half the batter in one of the loaf pans, and mixed chocolate chips in the rest before pouring it into the second pan. There was some leftover chocolate-chippy batter int he bowl, so I poured that atop the first loaf. Sure, some weeks ago CJ had expressed some mild disgust at the idea of putting chocolate into a zucchini bread, but I assumed his reaction was due to the brainwashing he received as a child from his dentist father. I knew he'd come around and revel in the unexpected chocolatey goodness mixed with the currants and walnuts. But, after I told him what I had done, he was crestfallen. It turns out that he just doesn't like chocolate chips in things like muffins and scones and stuff. I told him this was more of a cake, but I don't think I convinced him. I just didn't take him seriously. I'm a jerk.

[Yes, that's the jerkiest thing I can think of. That goes to show how jerky I really am, I guess.]

p.s. My arm feels marginally better. Still hurts, but I no longer think amputation would be a relief. I started reading John Sarno's "Mind-Body Connection" book and I'm trying to believe in it.

p.p.s. I have made a few things to put up on etsy, and I'll link to them here once I get them there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Hello people. So, I went to an orthopedist this morning who basically said I was doing all I could be doing. The next steps -- cortisone shot, electrical nerve test thing -- are unpleasant, so it behooves me to see how I do in the next few weeks before I get more medical intervention. CJ would love for my arm to magically and instantly get better so we can go back to being half-human warriors in our PS2 game, but I don't think I'll be doing much video gaming for a long time.

This week Mel Gibson is filming a movie in my town. He's the only name actor involved, so far as I can tell. There are big signs all over town saying "EOD" with arrows on them pointing the way to the shoot. old Honda dealership is the new ground zero for the catering trucks and extras parking. I saw them shooting outside of Tully O'Reilly's this morning. Wednesday is going to suck, as they're shutting down Main Street entirely. The town doesn't even shut down Main Street for the very popular sidewalk sales, but they'll go all out for Mel. (I complain, but I do think it's awesome when I see my town on film.)

I just chairwomaned my first meeting. I had 7 middle-aged (and older) people looking at me expectantly, and I had prepared nothing but a vague two-item list of discussion topics that existed only in my head. But it seemed to go ok. I just kept saying, "Yes, that [course of action] sounds good. Would you like to take the next step with that?" I ended up having very little to do before the next meeting, which is what I wanted. Whew.

And that's it for right now. Time to rest the arm.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I went to Brooklyn last weekend, and shot this video of my cutie-patootie niece, who is four and two-thirds years old.



I don't know how YouTube's compression system manages to make everything I upload look so incredibly terrible.

I haven't posted all week because my right arm is in burny pain pretty much all of the time -- from my neck to my fingers. RSI, probably, but who really knows? I am 99% sure my doctor will tell me to take ibuprofen and take it easy, and I'm already doing that, so I've been avoiding wasting my time and money. I've been trying to use my arm as little as possible, so no more typing for me at the moment.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Butterfly update! My little transformed friend has flown the coop! On Tuesday, CJ called me to tell me that the butterfly had hatched (sometime in the late morning). He sent me a cell phone picture and took a shot with my camera:
Just born monarch

When I got home, the butterfly was standing on the bottom of the pitcher, looking either tired or near death:
Sad monarch

After the light had been on for a few minutes, he got very lively and ended up near the top of the pitcher, hanging off a twig I'd put in there. Much better.
The next morning it was time to set him free. I brought the pitcher outside and made him get on my fingers.
Why, hello there
He reluctantly got onto the morning glory vine I offered him, and then he just sat. It was too cold to fly (they need it to be 60 degrees out or warmer, says the internets) so he just hung out.

Butterfly on a vine
I kept trying to get a photo of him with his wings open, but he just sat there. And every time I'd give up, he'd open his wings for a moment. We eventually figured out that he opened his wings in response to my hand going up and down close to his back, so I gently waved my hand behind him, and got this:
Monarch, wings open
By the time I got home from work that day, it was gone, of course. I hope it started flying due south as soon as the sunlight hit it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday morning I went and did a little work in the garden, and when I was pulling out one of my dead tomato plants, I found a chrysalis attached to one of the fabric strips. I brought it home and looked it up online, and sure enough, it's a monarch butterfly! I have never found a chrysalis before, ever. So I am pretty excited about watching this thing hatch. Of course, the actual hatching part takes just a minute, and it usually happens in the morning, so it's unlikely I'll witness it -- but I will see a brand-new butterfly! I loosely tied the fabric strip to a pencil, and placed the pencil over the mouth of a big glass pitcher. I covered the top with a round potholder so the future butterfly can get air but not escape until I've gotten it outside.
Anyway, I have a couple of photos. The first one is from yesterday. Note the little gold specks -- they look like actual gold, all metallic and shit. Crazy.

monarch chrysalis, day 1

I love that color of green.
Today, after work, I noticed that the chrysalis is already becoming transparent, and you can see the wings a bit:

monarch chrysalis, day 2

Pretty neat.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A few quick things: The cats are getting along well, though there are still minor hissy fights pretty much every day. One of my cats has recently tested positive for a whole mess of allergies, and since removing her from all of the allergins would require suspending her in a vacuum in deep space, I'm going to be starting allergy shots in a week or so. Daily allergy shots. Shots that will make it quite difficult for me to leave home, since I'll have to pay someone to give her the shots while I'm away. The daily shots will go on for four months before we even know if they're working. Then, I think, I get to taper off the shots until she's only getting one every three weeks or so. For the rest of her life. This is with a cat who freaks out at getting a drop of Revolution between her shoulder blades. Pray for me.

And the mattress seems to have relaxed a bit, or maybe we're just used to it -- either way, our bed is nice and cozy now.

I have no doubt that my tomatoes perished at the hands of the septoria leaf spot menace mentioned by a commenter. I probably got a third of the amount of tomatoes I harvested last year. And this septoria crap leaves its evil spores all over the soil, so in order to grow tomatoes in my plot again, I'm going to have to build a raised bed and bring in clean soil from somewhere else. With the money it'll cost me I might be better off buying heirloom tomatoes at the farmers' market. Maybe.

Tomorrow I am sworn in as president of an old-fashioned social association of which I have been to exactly one meeting (and that meeting was for electing people to serve as president, clerk, treasurer, etc.). I've been asked to say a few words about our vision for the association for the next year. I think I'll start with, "my presidency came about as the result of being the slowest one to say 'not it!' at the nominations meeting. [pause for applause] And I promise to continue to keep this association limping along as it has been for years despite the apathy and general laziness of its long-time members!" Then comes the cheering, "Barracuda" played over the sound system, and balloon drop.

Not really. We (me and my vice president, who is actually the Karl Rove and Dick Cheney of my Bush -- in that she has the ideas and the gumption, and I just stand in front of her and give out orders) are hopefully going to do some cool things. Things which you, local reader, may even want to attend. That's our plan, anyway.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hi people! I just (yesterday) turned 36 years old. It's like I'm twelve, but thrice! I had a groovy weekend on Cape Cod, staying at a low-rent motel in Provincetown. Well, not IN P-town proper, but a nice 2 mile walk from the action. Our hotel was also just across the street from a bay beach, so we could go and wander around on the sand during low tide. I didn't choose the place -- my friends made reservations for 2 rooms for their bandmates, and only ended up needing one. So me and CJ went instead. We hung out with them a lot, and did some things on our own -- it was a fun way to vacation. When I left I got all sad that my friends wouldn't be right next door to me anymore. (Because I am 12, remember?) (The sadness could also be attributed to it being my birthday, and for the end of the last trip of the summer.)
Anyway, on the Cape we ate some great food, did a lot of walking, ate some more, walked through the dunes to the ocean, waded in the icy Atlantic, fondled some hermit crabs in the wild, sighted a seal, watched plovers plove, and saw our friends' bands play. On Saturday, CJ and I had a fancy meal in Wellfleet, and got soft-serve in P-town afterwards; he stuck a candle in my cone and sang Happy Birthday to me on the street. My actual birthday was the day we needed to drive home, but we managed to cram in a visit to the seashore, the three-county-fair, and the new episode of Mad Men, so I was happy. I even got some presents: A faux-Creuset dutch oven, a ridiculous stuffed patchwork cat, an excellent ski jacket from the 1980s (found online), The Warriors (an old PS2 game), a how-to-sew-knits book, pinking shears, and a gift certificate to the art supply store. And I have a couple more gifts to come, so I pretty much scored big time.
Here's what we watched at the fair last night, while eating fresh-from-the-oil french fries:


Updates on other matters: My garden has had some issues this year. My tomato plants have contracted some kind of nasty disease that attacks the leaves and makes them yellow, then brown spotted, then entirely crispy and dead. I am still harvesting tomatoes, but not nearly as many as last year. My eggplant are also very disappointing; I have four pieces of fruit total on two plants and none have yet gotten big enough to pick. My bean tepee is out of control, however; my freezer is almost full of blanched, bagged green beans. I am also happy with my zucchini yield (from one plant!), green bell peppers, and basil, which had a very slow start. My zinnias look great, the result of my first seed-saving experiment from last year. I'm growing other fresh herbs (the usual rosemary, parsley, and thyme, but also tarragon and shiso) but I, um, haven't so much been eating those.

And our mattress is much harder than the one we tried in the store. We (and by "we" I mean CJ) went back and talked to the salesguy, who determined that our mattress is formulated slightly differently than the one they have, so they would take ours back, no charge, for another model (store credit only, in other words). We were also assured that the mattress should loosen up over time (and that walking on it would help -- leading CJ to spend 45 minutes pacing on the bed one day), so we finally decided to keep it. It is big (my first queen-sized bed!) and despite having no boxspring and the most basic platform bed possible, feels super tall. I like the size and feel "meh" about the height, so I'm happy enough.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I spent the weekend in Brooklyn with my sister and her family. On Saturday I went to the Louise Bourgeois show in the Guggenheim, which was incredible, then I walked down to meet up with my sister (S) and my niece (T) at this amusement park place at Woolman Rink. They were there as part of a birthday party (a friend of T's was turning 5) and had unlimited ride wristbands. T was in hog heaven. All of the rides were tailor-made for younger kids and she was loving it, the giant rotating swings being her favorite. But alas, eventually is was time to go home. She was so bereft that we had to carry her out. (And I don't mean "carry her out to our car" — I mean carry her several blocks to the subway station, and then once we got to our stop, carrying her several more blocks.) She cried and cried, inconsolable. "I don't want to go home!" she'd sob. "I want to stay here!" S bought her a hotdog and an apple juice, but it didn't stanch the tearflow. During my turn at carrying her, I tried to distract her by coming up with silly names for the stuffed lizard she (sort of) won at whack-a-mole. "How about Slithery? How about BlueToes? How about Fred? How about Bugeater McLongtongue?" She said no to each one, but at least she wasn't crying... It took being completely absorbed in a sticker-related activity book on the subway to make her stop. She was totally wiped out, of course; with all of the rides she went on, she's probably never spent that much adrenaline before in her life.

The next day, we were supposed to go to the Riis Beach in Queens, and after a cranky morning and an early afternoon nap for T, it was about time to go. But she did not want to go. She wanted to lie on the sofa and stare at the ceiling, instead. Every strategy we tried, failed. "But I came down here just to go have fun at the beach with you," I said. "Remember how much fun we had when we went to the beach a few weeks ago?" S said. "I want to stay here," T said. "You know, there's no TV if you stay home," S said. "And I'm going to go home too, if we're not going to the beach, since that's the only reason I'm still here," I said. "That's OK," she said. "If you don't go, I'm going to be very sad. Very sad, and very angry," said S. "That's OK, mommy," she said. We demanded she give a reason for her reluctance, and she finally said that she was scared of the waves, or something, and we assured her we'd hold on tightly to her hands. Nothing doing, she still wanted to stay here. Then, over her horizontal body, me and S and my brother-in-law talked about forcing her to go. We knew she would love it once she got there, but would it be worth it? Or she could stay home and be bored, but we would be respecting her wishes. Hmm... Finally, T said, wearily and with disdain, "Alright, alright! I'll go."
From then on it was smooth sailing. We got her suited up and slathered with sunscreen, we drove to the beach, we frolicked in the dead-jellyfish-laden waves, we built a sand castle. On the way to the car she started getting very sad; not crying, but melancholy. On the drive home, she said, with sorrow, "I don't want to go home."
S: Why not, honey?
T: I just don't want to go home. I didn't want to go to the beach because I didn't want to go home.
S: What is it about home you don't like? If you tell me, maybe I can do something about it.
T: Well, I guess because it's not the beach.
S: It is really sad to have to leave a place you really like. Everyone feels sad when a fun time is over. But it's worth it to go and do the fun things, even if you feel a little sad after. Otherwise you'd just stay home and be bored all the time.
T: I guess.
S: Is there anything we can do to make going home better for you?
T: I wish our home could be like the beach.
S: How could we do that?
T: Well... We could get a bunch of sand, and put it on the floor. And then we could put a pool in the middle.
S: That's true, though sand is kind of messy. Plus, cats really like to pee and poop in sand, so it could get gross.
T: We could just build a wall around the sand so the cats can't get in.
We drove on in silence for a while, then S said to me, "I think T got the same kinds of strong emotions that we had as kids." "Yes, I know," I said. And I felt sad.

Monday, August 11, 2008

[You get a two-fer today.] CJ and I have been mattress shopping, my four-year-old "premium" full-size futon not being good enough for Mr. Princessandthepea, Sir Yes-I-have-to-sleep-with-my-head-leaning-on-my-arm-so-we-need-a-mattress-indescribably-
soft-in-order-for-my-arm-to-not go-numb-instein. I have only ever bought futons -- in fact, I've been sleeping on a futon since high school (excepting four years of vinyl-covered Hampshire-supplied mattresses). At the futon store, you try the various kinds, of which there are maybe 8, and the prices are marked, and you pay what the sign says. You can see that I had no idea what I was getting into when I walked into a regular mattress store last Sunday and had a salesman immediately attach himself to my (and CJ's) hip. We were ushered immediately to an air-bladder-filled mattress that measured our bodies and told us what level of firmness we would like best. He took us to various options, taking into account all of our desires as to price, lack of "partner disturbance" (i.e. bounciness), and of course the firmness. When we laid down on a mattress for a few minutes of testing, he would gracefully find something to do at the other end of the store. When we decided we liked a particular mattress, he suddenly remembered that, wait a minute, wasn't this model on sale at another store? Because they can use the coupon codes from any store, you know. He "called the other store" and indeed, the mattress was half off! But we still didn't like it enough to buy it right then, and we wanted to try another store. Somehow, through some kind of sleight of hand, we ended up at his computer terminal, giving him our names, my phone number and address, along with the name and model of the mattress, just to help us when we came back later, you know. I told him I didn't want anyone to actually call me, and he said that was fine, he'd make a note not to call. "Please give us a chance, guys, I think you'll like what {store name} can do for you," he said to our fleeing backs as we made our escape.

We went to the other store, a higher-end place that sold other furniture (which somehow translates into a no-haggling situation), and tried a couple of mattresses we really liked, but that were quite spendy. A couple days later, we decided to drop by the first store again to do some comparing. A different salesguy was there, though he remembered seeing us that Sunday. CJ and I had changed our criteria and were trying some latex, non-spring numbers. The salesguy was, again, very helpful and attentive. But again, we weren't ready to buy without more thought, even though he said that this mattress was part of a special promotion in which we could pick out a free pillow, even after he "checked" with someone unseen and found out that we could actually get THREE free pillows, and even after, once we told him we were going to leave, he said "Is there anything I can do to get you to buy a mattress today?" We had to say no.

I got a call on my cell phone at work on Wednesday from, hey wouldyalookitthat, the mattress store! It was some woman, a "regional manager" who "just wanted me to know" that the mattress we had been looking at was now an additional $100 off, but just for the next 11 hours! I had to break it to her that we had moved on from that particular model, and I couldn't remember the name of the new one we liked, so she had no way of making up some sale that would entice me further.

Even after all of that, we decided that the cozy, all-natural mattress at the furniture store was not $1,000 more comfortable than the one at the big mattress store. So we came back on Sunday (yesterday) to find our original salesguy, who did not offer any free pillows, but who knocked $200 off the price when we asked him what he could do for us, and then 10% on top of that (because of the proximity to tax-free weekend; don't ask), and then let CJ buy a fancy pillow at cost. Despite my amusement/uneasiness with dealing with salesguys on commission, we are very much looking forward to our new sleeping experience. And now that I know my memory-foam-topped Talalay latex baby is coming in a week, my futon feels like granite.
Tonight, somehow, I got railroaded into being the chairman of a committee for which I am not even yet a member -- I have not even attended a single meeting of this committee. It wasn't that the other people really liked me, just that they were quicker with the "I offer to be the clerk!" I'd like to be a member at large!" until there was nothing left but the top positions. I came into the meeting not even sure I wanted to be a part of it at all -- lately I've been wanting to use my precious free time to make art again, finally, and I don't relish giving more of it up to benefit others. Selfish, sure, but damn -- I work 40-plus hours at work a week already, at a job that is not stress-free. Being chairman means I will need to, shall we say, "work on my patience," as several of the members are retired and find the meetings a social occasion. Tonight's meeting had one item on the agenda and it took two hours. TWO. So yes, more patience will have to be spent, and I usually spend most of my reserves at work, so I don't know where all of this extra will come from. I'll probably end up snapping bitchily at those closest to me, so look out, CJ.

I would like to organize my life so that I am spending time on things that are most important to me, not things that would be nice to do but are not essential. Instead, well, just call me madame chairwoman. Sigh. Perhaps I will cultivate a power-hungry dictator-like persona, and then nobody will ever ask me to lead anything again! (In reality, I will probably do a fairly good job, and will try hard to delegate as much as I can, which may not endear me to anyone, but so what.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not only have I not written, but because I was away on vacation last week, I just noticed that I had four lovely comments to my post below. Thank you for reading.
My vacation was nice, though it rained torrentially for about half of the time. It didn't matter. We still go to sleep, eat, and read, without having to clean up after ourselves, for an entire week. CJ and I went to Inspiration Point (disappointingly, just a high spot on a hill, not a park filled with cars populated by making-out couples) and we kayaked across the lake and around a tiny island, which was the farthest I've kayaked ever. There were nightly fun pre-school crazy times after dinner on the lawn. And when I was tracing kids in chalk on the sidewalk, a 3-year-old friend of mine said, "You're really good at that. You should be an artist when you grow up," which made me want to simultaneously laugh at her cuteness and sob bitterly, but instead I just chuckled and thanked her. And then after every kid got traced, the sidewalk looked as though there had been a particularly tragic mass shooting.

Now I've been back, and working, and work has been stressful, because of course one can't simply go on vacation without somehow making up for that time you were away. And, somehow on vacation CJ seems to have caught hoof and mouth hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is a thing that normally only little kids get. And it stays in your body for weeks after your symptoms go away, so I have to decide how long I really want to go without kissing my very own boyfriend. It feels cruel. Of course, it's very likely that I've already been exposed to it, and might be getting it any minute. My throat has been a little sore for a few days, but who knows what it could be? All I know is that CJ has been unable to eat anything but jello, yogurt, and ice cream for two whole days. And, not being able to sleep because I'm worrying about getting sick is making me more likely to get sick, which stresses me out so that I can't sleep, which forms a perfect and beautiful circle.

Anyway, more soon. I am going to try to do shorter, more frequent posts, which I believe I have promised before and not followed through with. WTF, me? Get it together!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

CJ thinks I should change my profile at right to read something other than single. But it's accurate! I am not married or divorced. Or widowed.
Tomorrow I go away on vacation for a week, to my Quaker thing with my family in lovely Lake George, NY. CJ is coming for the first time (obviously, since we've been dating less than a year). I think he'll have a good time. He claims to enjoy airplane trips because of all of the time you have to sit and read, so he'll do just fine.
The Park where I live has a communal raspberry patch that's incredibly overgrown. I seem to be the only person to be picking from it this year. I've already gotten a couple of pints' worth, and could have picked even more. I've been freezing them, which reminds me of my grandmother, who had a very tidy row of raspberry bushes and would freeze hers in old Cool Whip containers. (Just thinking about how I used to eat a spoonful of Cool Whip right from the tub makes me gag.)
I finally, finally dusted and vacuumed the house this morning. It had been many weeks -- probably 8? Some disgusting number. The dust kitties were the size of actual cats (and mostly made up of cat hair, too). Luckily, CJ bought the Furminator and went to town on his cat, who now, no joke, looks like he's lost 5 pounds. Unfortunately, my cats don't seem to like it. It is a little intense, true. The cats have been getting along a bit better -- no scary, screaming fights, just the occasional hissy fit.
I won an office raffle (they raffle off the stuff companies send us that we both don't want to put in the magazine and can't donate to the various family shelters we usually give our stuff to) for a SingStar karaoke game! It came with a Rock disk, an 80's hits disk and a Pop disk. Of course I know 100% of the 80s, about 75% of the Pop and maybe 40% of the Rock. It is fun, but a little strange to "play" it alone, or even with CJ, though he gamely did a singing "battle" with me. I need more practice, clearly.
So there's the latest from me. Um, how are you?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What the haps, my friends. I have been sick, but just for the past two or three days. It's a cold. Whatevers. I kind of wish that every cold was different -- like, one time, your skin would turn green, and another time, your toes would really hurt. But instead, it's just the pressure in the ears, the swollen glands, the post-nasal drip, the subsequent coughing and sore throat. Such a snore.
Kitty update! The cats are now mingling 24/7. Voo and Junebug are still fighty sometimes, with the hissing and the sudden, very loud yowling. Junebug is becoming a little bitch, though; earlier today she walked right up to Voo and (silently) whapped him upside the head a couple of times. To his credit, Voo just walked away. He has been kind of a bully over the past couple of weeks, so maybe they just need to be assholes to each other for a while, and then they will build a grudging, mutual respect. Or something. All I know from my own experience is, ignoring bullies doesn't work. (Surprisingly, neither does wincing, pleading, and crying, though I did get a scary girl to take back her promise to "kick my ass after school" because I was such a whiny bitch about it.)
Where was I? Oh yeah, the cats. Junebug has a skin biopsy thing scheduled for Monday, which is not a big deal but will mean she'll be wearing a cone for a few days. And it's hard to be tough with a big ol' cone on your head. She's been licking patches of her fur off and we're trying to figure out what the deal is. It started way before the new cat was on the scene so it's not stress-related.
Look at me, I'm an old lady who talks about her cats! Feedle-dee-dee!

Friday, June 27, 2008

So, CJ lives with me now, which is very good so far. And we are thinking about getting a joint account for bill-paying. But I am kind of enjoying the $75 in interest I earn with my special rewards checking account... interest I only get if I've made 12 ATM transactions over the month. Several of those are made at grocery stores, where CJ and I would probably be using the joint account. Plus, of course, a lot of the money currently sitting in my personal account would go to the joint, which would be fine if all accounts fit the "12 transactions a month" rule. I imagine I'd be buying packs of gum at CVS just to hit the quota at the end of the month... Maybe a joint account isn't the way to go at all.
So, I ask you, other people living in sin (or even legally together): How do you pay the bills together?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shizzle, it's been a week since I posted. So, the wedding. I did not end up wearing my dress for the car ride, but I did end up putting it on in the car while CJ drove, once we got close to the destination. It worked out fine. A stranger even came up to me at the reception and said "you have on the best dress here!" I got this dress as a hand-me-down from my sister, so I can't really take the credit. The wedding itself was fine. It and the after-party were in the middle of nowhere, Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. Seriously, for such small states, there's sure a lot of nothing inside 'em.
Blogger thinks I spelled "Rhode" wrong. Fuck you, Blogger.
I've been going back to bar trivia again, after a many-months-long hiatus. I'm playing with H and L and without our "ringer" J, who had been useful in filling some of our knowledge holes. CJ has also come for a couple of games. We haven't really gotten close to winning, but that's ok. We bask in the glow of the answers we do get right, and avoid thinking of the money we are not winning.
Anyway, I am too tired to write more. The cats are back to loudly playing at the first hint of dawn (that would be 4:30, by the way) and yet I still stay up past midnight. Dumb. The cats have not met, yet. We may try mingling them this weekend...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

So I have a new roommate. Yes, CJ moved in on Sunday, and I haven't kicked him out yet, and he hasn't left in a cloud of anger and disgust yet either. It's good. I firmly believe that we can fit all of his stuff in my house, even if it must be crammed in, Tetris-like. My home is spacious but sorely lacking in closets (and there's no basement, attic, or garage; I couldn't buy a shed even if I wanted one, as it's against the rules here). But I am confident it will work out. I have a smaller ladder-accessible loft that I use very rarely, and that will become our storage area. I would like to figure out a way to block my view of the boxes, but that can happen in time.

Right now the biggest challenge is our cats. Voo, CJ's black male cat, moved into the first floor on Monday (my cats get the upstairs, since they're used to . So far, my (female) cats have sniffed and hissed at Voo through the screen, and sort of batted at him through the tarp. Nobody has freaked out yet, but there have been some growly-type meows. Voo was nervous in his new home at first, but now he's being his old affectionate (to humans) self. Oh yeah, he also meowed ALL NIGHT LONG last night. For no reason at all. He's used to sleeping alone, as CJ (cruelly) has always banished him from the bedroom at night; and my cats were on our bed all night, so I really don't know what Voo's deal was. I asked him, but he had no answer. We are continuing to keep them apart until they get bored with each other. CJ is all into this Feliway idea -- it's this stuff that sends out kitty pheromones that make them think that everything smells like themselves, or something, which makes them feel all is right with the world, and it pretty much sounds like kitty Ecstacy. A Feliway purchase is in our future.

I have a wedding on Saturday that's about 2 hours and 15 minutes from here (in Rhode Island). Should I wear my fancy dress in the car the whole time, or stop at a McDonalds right before we get there and change? I'd rather not arrive all wrinkled, but, well, I'd rather not bring my nice dress into a McDonald's bathroom. What would you do, reader?

P.S. I found my planner! It was in my laptop bag. You would know this already if you followed my Twitter.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life is busy. CJ is moving in this Sunday, officially (i.e. that's when he's renting the truck), though he prematurely sold his mattress on craigslist last week and so is sleeping here every night. Work is busy, like always, though now we've passed Memorial Day it means we have Summer Fridays, which condenses the work. Which I prefer, anyway. And my neighborhood's tag sale is this Saturday, 8 to noon. Come on by! There are only two tag sales a year here - the other's in September - so they're usually pretty meaty.

And then the weekend after, I have a wedding to go to in Rhode Island and Connecticut (seriously: the ceremony is in RI, and the reception is in CT), for which we got a room to stay the night on Saturday. The weekend after that is open, but the weekend after that one is the fourth of July, and I'll be dog and house-sitting up in beautiful Chesterfield, for my ex-aunt. My sister and her family are coming up for the long weekend and I might even have a little barbecue. I seem to have some sort of mental block for throwing a party; I don't know if I'm too worried that people won't have fun, or won't show up, or if I'm just lazy - probably a mixture of the three. Which is ridiculous. My friends are nice. It's really not much work to go buy some beer and snacks. Come on, lady.

There will not be a good opportunity for having guests at home for at least a few weeks, though. We're separating the two floors of my house with a $20 screen door and a couple of heavy-duty tarps, and it's not going to be pretty. See, CJ has a cat, a solo male (fixed) cat who has shown in the past to not take kindly to other cats. So we are going to try to sequester him on the first floor, and my two kitties on the second, so they can see and smell each other but not truly interact until they stop howling and hissing at each other. Which should happen in a couple of weeks. We hope. Seriously, pray for us.

I have lost my Little Otsu planner, and I am bereft without it. I had written all of my summer Fridays into it, and all of my other future events, so now I have no record of when my hair appointment is and stuff. I have looked everywhere. Every once in a while I'll think something like "Ooh, I know! It's in my other purse!" then I go and look and it's not there. Maybe it's hiding. Or stolen, though it's half-filled-in and not worth much. Consider this post a message to the universe that I want it back. Or, if I wanted to follow The Secret, I could just visualize the planner back in my hands, and that would bring it back to me - like when Luke used The Force to get the lightsaber into his hand when he was hanging upside-down in the ice cave on Hoth. You know.

Monday, June 02, 2008

CJ's family was in town this past Friday and Saturday. Note to self: Do not take the guys from San Diego out on a nature hike during peak mosquito season. They aren't used to the buzzing and the swarming and the biting and the general horror. We are numb to it, of course, but they don't really have annoying insects in southern California. The people there are soft and pampered, like babies. They did say that it was very pretty, though.
Being around CJ's parents means going out to eat a lot on their dime. It was enjoyable, I must admit. They are similar to my bro-in-law's parents in many ways, and since they are all Jewish, I now have the (probably-mistaken) impression that all Jewish families are helmed by people who are incredibly generous and declarative. (They can also give guilt trips at a professional level of skill.) It's like visiting a foreign country.
My parents, however, avoid making nauseating, cringe-making hints about CJ and I getting married and having babies. And if we have babies, how we should move closer to them so they can spend time with the babies. And how they'll buy us fancy Danish furniture and give us a house if we move there and have babies. They are kind of kidding, but in that way that's obvious they are not kidding at all. I tend to deflect the conversation by making snarky jokes, since they like and appreciate a good cutting remark. So they like me a lot, which is nice.
Not nice? My robin's nest is empty. Empty! It still had two eggs in it on Sunday, but this morning, empty. It shocked me and made me very sad. There are enough robins in the world, but this one was my robin. I looked up robin egg predators online; both squirrels and crows are happy to take an egg from a nest without leaving a trace behind. We have plenty of crows and squirrels here too, but none of them are my crow or squirrel. Thus I now hate all squirrels and crows. (The previous is an allegory about how the personal is political, or all politics is local, or something.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

[This is way too detailed, but whatevers.] So, yesterday I traveled to the Wonder of it All [i.e. Foxwoods, which I am not linking to here because of their website is quite annoying] with CJ, H, and L, to play Bingo. H and L had played Bingo once or twice before, and have a startlingly good winning record. H, you may recall, even got a stint in the money machine.

So. Foxwoods is loud, and complicated, with a lot of different areas and casinos and restaurants. There's a fake-New-England town area, and a fake-NYC area (though I only "got" the theme after I saw signs for Juniors and Craftwich), a bar with a giant salmon statue, and a buffet where they display huge, bloody pieces of raw meat, which did not make us want to eat there. Their Bingo hall is enormous. Just rows and rows of chairs at long tables with pink plastic trash bags duct-taped to the sides every fourfeet or so, so that you can shove your losing bingo sheet into a bag without getting up. You can also, if you got there early (recommended), put the trash from your El Pollo Loco dinner into them. The hall holds 3,600 people, though there was less than half of that there when we played. But over a thousand, for sure. People bring special bingo dauber caddies and little figurines and stuffed animals brought for good luck. There were a lot of old people, as you'd expect, but also a few couples and small groups of 20- and 30-somethings, which felt encouraging somehow. We paid $20 to get in, which gives you bingo sheets for all of the regular games, and then we bought the maximum extras package with all of the Special and Quickie games for an additional $29. They scatter the Special and Quickie games throughout the regular rounds. Each round is slightly different, so you might be looking to create a 9-square, or an L shape, Bingo the hard way (not using the free space), or an "Indian star". TV screens encircle the room and show you the ball with the number for a few seconds before the caller says it out loud. If you get a Bingo, you have to wait until the caller says the letter and number, and then shout "Bingo!" loud enough for the caller to hear it. Then you hold your sheet up and wait for a person to come over and verify your sheet. Each sheet has a code printed on it, so they read off the code to the caller, and then the caller people punch it into their computer, which will tell if a Bingo was possible on that card or not. The caller says either "No Bingo" (and play continues) or "Good Bingo" which means there's been a winner. If more than one person gets Bingo at the same time, they split the pot. Most sheets have 9 cards on them, so that's a lot of searching for numbers. They don't go slowly, either.

Before we started, CJ and I made a deal to split whatever we won 50/50, and shook on it. Somewhere in the middle of the first act (there's an intermission) was a game where we had to make a "Y". Suddenly I realized I only needed one more number. "I only need one more!" I whispered, and then the very next number came up: 34. "And there it is!" It all happened so fast! I waited until she said "N thirty-four" and I yelled "Bingo!" super loud, as everyone in the room groaned a little (as they did after every call of bingo). A runner person verified my sheet, had me sign a little slip, and a few minutes later she came back and counted out $500 cash for me. I gave CJ $250 the next time we had a spare minute. We were very happy, though CJ said, "I kind of feel like I didn't win," and I was all, feel that bulge of cash in your pocket? I think you won.

At intermission I looked at my watch and saw it was around 9; we had started playing at 6:30, which seemed about an hour ago, tops. I watched a woman do the money machine. She had clearly not gotten any of the helpful hints that H had gotten, because she was just grabbing and crumpling the money and then trying to shove it through the little slot, which wasn't working all that well. I imagine that's about how I'd do it. In the second act, L got a bingo on one of the special games, winning $300. It's like old hat for her; I think she's played 4 times and won 3, or something. Had she won a second time on that game (it's complicated) she would have gotten to spin the big wheel. Instead, a nice older woman did it and everyone cheered her on.

By the time we were done, it was 11 p.m. We wanted to get a snack and play some slots, so we got bagels and soup at Panera, and then found the "smoke-free slots" area (oh yes, smoking is allowed indoors here. It's on a reservation so they make their own rules). I lost $5 on a slot machine, then another $3 at a different one, and $2 at a video poker machine. I did get a free vodka and cranberry from a passing waitress, though, which was nice. I put in another $10 bill, and lost about $8 before moving back to another slot machine. This one was "The Hex-Breaker" and was a 5-cent slot, and my "points" kept going up and down and it was time to leave, so I tripled my bet and hit it, bringing me up to $30.05. So I cashed out $10 ahead.

There were about 1,200 people playing Bingo, and maybe 40 winners, so I was one of the lucky 3%. A couple of the people our age also won, though there were lots more old-timers there. I think this kind of Bingo might be too hard for the elderly. You mis-hear one number, or fall behind at all, and you're screwed. I can't believe how the time flew by. They totally suckered me in with the winning, and I signed up for their free "Dreams card" which gives you points for losing your money. Foxwoods is almost 2 hours away so I don't know how often I'll be tempted to return. Still, though: Bingo. The 5 hours of entertainment was totally worth $50 -- of course I say that since I won something, but still. A+++, would play again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here are some Twitter-like things.

There is a new robin's nest on my second-story porch. This time, it's about three feet off the ground, perfect for spying. I haven't seen a robin near it for a few days, though I think I remember that happening last time, too. (The robin is off getting fat and making little eggs inside herself. Or something. We'll see what happens.

I rode my bike to work today. Yesterday I drove, because I foolishly let THE MAN tell me that it might rain. It did not. So today, I said, 30% chance of rain? I'll take those odds! And I was rewarded with a dry commute both ways. Lesson: Don't listen to the MAN! He's clearly in bed with the oil companies.

I have Asked Metafilter a couple of things. Some questions I haven't asked (yet):

Say I found a dead bird on the ground, and wanted to preserve it without getting a taxidermist involved. Could I, hypothetically, mummify it with a food dehydrator?

How can I make a room in my house, with walls and at least some sound privacy, without adding a separate heat source for the room?

How do I stop feeling dizzy on my bike rides? Do I have a brain tumor?

You know how people who have really loud Harley Davidsons talk about how the noise "means freedom" to them? My counter argument to them is, what if my definition of freedom is screaming at the top of my lungs while walking down the street? Is there a hole in my argument that I'm missing? Because it seems iron-clad to me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So we went fishing for real on Saturday. We had gotten the correct bait at the sportsman's shop, and (from the proprietor) the precise location where fish had recently been stocked and were biting. And I caught our first fish! It was a weird short little bass. He had very big, bulbous eyes, and was only about 5 inches long. So back in the lake he went. But then I caught a perch! He was very pretty. And at about 8 inches long, big enough to eat, so we kept him. Keeping him, in this instance, meant putting him in the old kitty litter bucket which was half-full of melting ice. This meant that for the next half-hour or so that we were fishing, there would be an occasional rustling sound from the bucket as the perch slowly froze/suffocated to death. "Do you want me to gut it now?" asked CJ after I glanced sadly at the bucket for the 10th time. Yes, sure. He "took care of it" out of my line of sight. It was a very pretty fish, with cool stripes on the side and bright orange fins. I think I would have felt less conflicted if it had been ugly. I am like most pampered first-worlders in this regard, sadly.

We ended up not catching anything else, and it was kind of cold and windy, so we took our one small perch home. We don't yet have a scaling knife, so CJ filleted it (while I read a book upstairs, under the covers). He had to do some online research to do so, but he did a great job. We ended up with a very small amount of meat, which I sauteed in a bit of olive oil and salt. The flesh was perfect, very little fishy flavor, mostly just really good, really fresh tasting. The texture was divine. Eating it made me want to go fishing again. But fishing is time consuming, and a lot of that time is spent staring out into space as you wait for something to happen. It is, frankly, kind of boring. CJ is still wicked into it, and is fine with it being his solo thing. Which it may be.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I just got my MA fishing license in the mail. I have never gotten such a thing, but there it is. For $27 a year, I can catch my share of trout and panfish, bring them home, and eat them. (Only one a week or so, though, because of the various heavy metals in the fish. Zero if you're pregnant, which can't be a good sign...) Of course, this is all CJ's idea. I am too squeamish to put a worm on a hook, for example, or to gut a fish, but CJ is experienced in such things. I like the idea of being more connected with the food that I eat, though, so I'm into the fishing idea. Plus I have always liked those Skil-crane games at the arcade, so. You know. Similar.

We actually fished last weekend, when it was cold and drizzly (we had temporary fishing licenses that we'd bought online). CJ has his father's classic, manly old rod and reel and tackle box, and I have a bright yellow Scooby Doo-licensed fishing rod that I got at a tag sale for fifty cents a couple of weeks ago. It works fine, mostly. We went to the conservation area near my house, because we've seen people fishing there before. In fact, there was a guy fishing from atop a beaver lodge when we were there. We arrived baitless, so we dug around in the dirt with our hands to find a few feeble worms. We didn't catch anything, which was fine, as I was considering it a dry run. I had already perfected (almost) my casting technique while inside, using a bobber without a hook. A fishing rod makes for a very alluring cat toy. (Nothing better than having a 10-pound cat at the end of your line with a bobber in her mouth, fighting you with all her might as you reel 'er in.)

Because we caught nothing, we decided to "catch" a couple of trout at the new co-op. They were fairly tasty. CJ stuffed them with tomatoes, garlic, olives, and basil, and then steamed them. Next time I'm going to grill them.

After our failure, we went back to the local sporting goods' store, where the guy gave us advice about where to go and what bait to use (mealworms, which we bought, and this weird neon playdough-like stuff, which we also bought) and how to use it. So we are totally set for next weekend. I may have trouble with the eating, though; CJ is the kind of fellow who doesn't leave a scrap of meat on the bone, and when we ate the aforementioned store-bought trout, CJ opened up the head to get at the forehead meat or whatever. I told him that next time, he needs to do that over the sink when I'm not around.

I am hoping my vegan friends don't disown me now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The River Valley Market (a co-op) opens tomorrow! I am a "member-owner" which just means that I paid them $150, will get my name on their electronic "founding member wall", and will get some discounts on store items. I am hoping this will mean I can afford to shop there (though they claim things will be competitively priced for non-members too). You don't have to do any work to be a member, which is a bonus, and the fee is a one-time thing. The store is about a perfect mile from my house, so I've gotten to watch the entire building go up. It's exciting. In anticipation of doing my grocery shopping at a place so close to my home, I bought these. Of course it's currently too damn cold to consider riding my bike anywhere (I am a wimp), but eventually it will warm up again. Of this I have faith.

And I am going to begin carpooling with my neighbor/coworker, finally. Having another person depending on my punctuality will really help me get my ass in gear, because I hate disappointing people even more than I hate leaving my bed. The past two nights I've gone up to my bedroom area and found both cats waiting on the bed for me. I think the dose of ultra-cuteness makes it harder for me to get out of bed in the morning.

Yes, I am an old lady who talks about her cats, and sleep, and the supermarket. Yes.