Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fool Me Once

Hooooooo no.

Melissa, who I'm sure was just being sweet and helpful, commented the following:
Don't let any of it fool you. amazon says:

(direct quote) "want it by dec. 22? 17 days left for free super saver shipping
21 days left for two-day shipping"

17 days! and they will still send you stuff for free. and the amazon is the big gorilla that has everything. williams sonoma, go pound sand!

Now, some of you faithful readers may recall that I discovered Amazon saying the same thing last year. And even if you don't, you should really go read the archives because they can save you from being the dot-cocky shopper I was right up until I had a good old-fashioned holiday freakout.

The brief freak-out is summarized here where I use the word FUCK a lot.

The ways in which Amazon reached in and stole my super-saver shipping dreams from me and nearly left all of my family devoid of any christmas presents is discussed here. BE WARNED.

But even funnier?

I was perusing my archives and read the part about how I decided for some mystery reason to make meatballs for a holiday party despite that I don't really cook. The results were um, funny. But here's my favorite part about this archive:
i made enough for a group of 8 to 10 people to have as a side dish (as meatballs are generally intended) and have enough meat leftover to make about 842 more. or so.

on the other hand, this has allowed me the rare opportunity to announce that as of this moment, i have actual LEFTOVERS in my fridge. like, something i could make an actual MEAL out of.

Do you know why this is so funny?

Because a few weeks ago, when I went through my major apartment overhaul and got rid of lots of things (and Ish hid in the kitchen and decided to clean my fridge) do you know what he found in the freezer?

Yes, of course. So despite that I hand made something from scratch and had leftovers and even went so far as to pack and freeze them, I still never managed to eat them.

I fear for my someday children.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Behind

I'd like to point out that it isn't even December yet. That I still have turkey leftovers in my fridge and they are in good shape. That even though Williams-Sonoma wants to give me a heart attack, it is still November and I really don't accept the fact that I am behind.

Except I know I am.

How does everyone do it? How do you flick the Holiday Switch on? I feel like it was only days ago that I was traipsing around the city as one-fourth ABBA, and the next thing I know my a cappella group is standing in front of a Christmas tree in a mall singing Do You Hear What I Hear? for bored and hungry people waiting for their tables at the TGIRubyChiliBees next door.

I mean, as fun as the mall-singing was (and it actually was, I felt like I was in grade school again!), I do not feel the Holiday Spirit yet.

Instead, I hear the music at the grocery store (Is there anything more cliched and pathetic than buying frozen Lean Cuisine pizzas at a discount grocery store while Feliz Navidad plays in the background? No. No, there is not.) and see the lights on the streets and jingling commercials on television and know there are eggnog lattes out there waiting for me, but I'm just not ready. I refuse to believe that there are only like, 20-some shopping days left until Christmas. That just can't be right, can it?

Over the weekend I begrudgingly pulled my Christmas Decorations Box out of my closet and re-assembled my fake tree from last year and got as far as sitting both of them on my desk in my bedroom. They remain there, laughing at me.

The tree, I should note, came with pre-strung lights, and even though it took me the better part of a half-hour to get it standing upright despite that it's only 3 feet tall and I HAD A FRIEND HELPING ME, for some reason only the bottom half of the tree will light. Ish tried to fix the problem last night and nearly electrocuted himself. I figure at this point I have two options -- un-pre-string the tree of its lights and use my own (which will, I'm certain, take a good two hours at the least), or go buy another altogether. It was only $20.

I suppose option three would be to put all the Christmas stuff back in the closet and pretend it doesn't exist, which is really what I'm leaning towards.

It's not that I don't like the holiday season. I do. I like singing and mingling and festiv-ing and eating and drinking and making merry. I love shopping for my family and -- well, I don't like the traveling part -- then seeing my family and being back east where there is real winter weather.

I just wish that would all start in about another month.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Run, Turkey, Run

A few years ago, I accidentally stumbled upon this website, showcasing a 2nd grade classroom's collections of poems about The First Thanksgiving.

What I can discern from these poems is that the class all heard the same version of the story (and it involved beer). Then, for the sole purpose of allowing me to indulge in a snarkfest that makes rather plain the fact that I am not around young children much at all, "Alex's mommy" posted them online.

With all due respect, these poems are maybe the funniest things I have ever read.

* * * *

Now, first of all, we have the title:

Title

How much you wanna bet that Alex's mommy also has a MySpace page? I'm just saying.

But on to the really good stuff.

Here we have a very good example of the kind of average poem the class produced:

Mayflower

And when I say average (sorry, Arianna), I simply mean there is no drama or hyperbole or random Thanksgiving wish. Blah blah blah food, Pilgrims, Mayflower.

Although Arianna did pick up on a couple details that several other children in the class also noted: namely, that the Pilgrims "had to" drink beer and also that they went the wrong way.

Um, hello? Since when has the Thanksgiving story involved a kegger and drunk driving? Where was that story when I was growing up?

1st Drunk Pilgrim Named John: Hey, John? [hiccup] JOHN! Get o'er here. Hey. Hey, John? You know I love you, man. And I don' wanna upSET an'one, but-- Whoa! I love your hat you know that? How'd you get that buckle to shine like that? John I got a concern. I kin'a feel like maybe when we were jumpin aroun' out here in the togas -- dude, we gotta do that again -- but I'm not sure the auto-captain worked so good, you know what ahm sayin? Like look, look. There. Does that look kinda NORTH to you?

2nd Drunk Pilgrim Named John: TOGA! TOGA!

Seriously, that would have made for a much better filmstrip when I was in grade school. Mayflower gone all Animal House.

Anyway.

Danielle's take is a little different. No absence of drama here:

Squanto

Danielle seems to have something of a rescue fantasy going on. I picture a Harlequin-esque romance novel with Danielle's name and a Fabio-looking Squanto on the cover. I'd call it, Squanto's Salt.


This next poem by Treimane is especially lyrical if you read it aloud.

Too Many Turkeys

At first I thought Treimane was just phoning it in with this one, but once I recited it for a roomful of people I understood its true genius. Try it.


I think perhaps Anthony is having a little trouble keeping various traditions straight.

I Eat Turkey

Good luck with that, Anthony.


And now we come to my favorite group of poems, which amuse me in inappropriate ways, as I'm pretty sure all of these children have some serious mental and/or emotional issues. These are children I would fear.

Take Mike's for example:

Turkey Legs

Sure, I'm projecting, but if you read this in a Hannibal Lechter voice -- especialy the "ha ha" part, this poem is very, very creepy.

Use that same calm, terrifying voice to read this one and it's even creepier:

Turkey Goes Wils

The turkey would never let us out of here?

I notice that Garrett has used the word "out" three times in five lines. I feel like Garrett has an underlying sense of need to escape. Perhaps from the voices in his head.

The turkey! The turkey wouldn't let me out! It wanted to keep me trapped! TRAPPED. It was never going to let me out of here. SO I ATE IT.

But my all-time favorite is this gem by Evan:

Run Turkey

Evan here seems a little...conflicted.

I get that it's hard to reconcile the whole cute-pretty-feathers-gobble-gobble part of the turkey with the delicious, slathered in gravy and potatoes part of the turkey. However. "In my belly you are cute" really is a creepy notion.

Like with domestic abusers whose excuse is essentially "I only hit her 'cause I love her" I hear a young, matter-of-fact Evan whispering to the bird, I only eat you 'cause I love you.

* * * *

So those are my Thanksgiving Day highlights. Because if making fun of 7-year-olds doesn't say Happy Holidays, I don't know what does.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

SUCKAHS!!!!

Anyone who is remotely familiar with me or my family or my childhood knows that:

a. I love to shoot videos, and

b. I should never be allowed to shoot videos

The b. part is because I am a ridiculously bad videographer, who has a tendency to shoot, say, 27.8 hours worth of Footage Of The Hotel ("here are the stairs to the lobby") and forget to film any member of my family doing, really, anything.

Oh, except occassionally I'll think to point the camera at someone and ask if they have anything to say, which they never do.

But to all of this I say OH WELL HAHAHAHAHA because it occurred to me yesterday *poof* just like that, that my camera takes video and also the YouTube is easy to work and WHOA!

So, for your viewing pleasure (ahem) I present to you, IIFs and The Internets, amazingly horribly filmed video footage of NONE OTHER THAN............
...........
................
..................(if you use lots of ellipses it means it's a drumroll)..........

my CATS!

Oh, lucky day!

Yes. Here we have my cats, who have both made mad rushes to LEAP up to my desk to get treats that are actually just "Craisins." They don't understand. They want to know why the bag sounds so much like treats and yet does not smell like hardened crunchy chicken powder.



The awful sound you hear in the background, by the way, is my radiator going on. I am so used to it that I didn't even realize it was making sounds until I watched the video playback. Even though I have learned the radiator rules, sometimes the thing still likes to clang just to remind me that I have chair rails and hardwood floors.

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror...

So you may have noticed that I'm not much for celebrity gossip. I like to know what's going on, of course, but I really just don't care. I can't care. If I cared, I'd spend all of my time rolling my eyes and muttering and quite possibly throwing things at the television and pointing and shouting at crap magazines that don't answer because the celebrities these days? They are mostly horrible human beings who are stupid and self-absorbed and out of touch and CRAZY with the ALIENS and but! They are dazzling! And famous! And I love them!

I am conflicted.

I am also in love with Britney. Do not ask, it just is. (And if you ask me, which you didn't but hi! My blog!) the only real parenting mistake she made was having the damn babies in the first place knowing full well who their godforsaken father was going to be.


Anyway.

I bring this up just because I noticed something while standing in line at the grocery store last night.
Did you hear that? That I was at a grocery store? Buying groceries!? And not even for Thanksgiving!?!?!? There may be domestic hope for me yet. What? Oh, well, um, I picked up pesto and asparagus and pasta for Ish to cook. And also wine. But come on! It's a step in the right direction.
I noticed that the creepy Kenny Chesney was on the cover of some magazine. And I couldn't help but stare at him, thinking, "Doesn't he looks like someone else?"

cheeseney2
(This is not the photo I was looking at, but you get the idea.)

"Hmmm," I thought, "those eyes...that scrunchy, pouty face...someone else..." And then I thought, "this guy is totally skeevy to me. I do NOT get what Renee ever saw in him."

And then I realized. "THAT'S who he looks like!"

Zellweger

You may disagree, but it makes a lot of sense to me. What did Renee see in Kenny?

She saw herself, apparently.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Party People!

It's a party, people!

And it's also my first official BlogHer-ian post. I'm excited.

At Home With Lunch Sounds

My cats are not a little obsessed with "treats." Sherlock will eat any kind, where Monster will only eat the crunchy kind. Monster wants treats all the time, and will do his best to try and herd you -- violently, if necessary, with jumping and sometimes biting -- to the cabinet wherein they are kept.

I will not admit publicly how well his herding techniques work, nor how many treats he receives a day as a result.

I bring this up only because I recently decided to snack on some dried fruit.

It didn't occur to me how much eating from a bag of these:
cherry

sounds like I'm eating from a bag of these:
temptations

And YOU try and explain to your cats that they aren't their treats, but are in fact special, mommy treats.

Right.

It won't work. And you will then have to transfer your Craisins to another container entirely, or else suffer the puppy-dog kitty-cat eyes* staring up at you, imploringly.

Not that I don't love every second of working out of my apartment, but at least in an office you don't have to spend any part of your day trying to figure out how to NOT let your lunch make cat sounds.



*I would have taken a photo of my cats doing this very thing. I would have also just taken my own photos of the Craisins v. Temptations, but because I am She Of The Vexed Camera Karma, my THIRD digital camera is now behaving with increasing peculiarity and has decided this week not to stay on once turned on. I do not know.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Racial Rant

It's not just that Michael Richards uses the "N" word when he goes off on a heckler, which could be bad enough. To me, it's the first statement he makes on this video.

Dear Williams-Sonoma:

THAT IS NOT FUNNY!

How dare you "last-minute shopping" me ALREADY. It is still NOVEMBER. See? Up there? Where it says NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET on the calendar? Bitches.

What? What's that? Oh, ho. I DO NOT CARE if your special, we're-a-cooking-y-store-so-we-have-different-rules "last-minute shopping" refers to Thanksgiving. Some of us don't need added stress right now, you hear me?

In fact, SOME of us might enjoy this time of the holiday season THE MOST because it is the ONLY time during the whole damn season that even if we haven't bought a single thing we are STILL NOT BEHIND.

Do you understand?

Save your panic-inducing emails for NEXT MONTH, please. Or else the terrorists win.

A Little Touched


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cool Ass

I had a long talk with my sister last night. (Actually, she had a long talk with me.) And while I couldn't possibly recount all the things she said, I hung up the phone happy. Actually happy.

I wish I could explain the ways in which Healy is herself kind of...special. I am certain I can't do it justice, it's just...

Healy sees the world through a different lens than most. It may not exactly be rose-colored, but it's close enough. She has heard a different drummer her whole life.

She feels things so, so deeply.

If I could use the word "touched" to mean "blessed with something else, something most of us don't get" I would. That's what it should mean.

Ever since Healy was a little girl, people have said she lives in her own world. My mom was the exact same way. But I think that definition is too limiting. That "other" world is our world, there's just more in it somehow.

If you show Healy a straight line, she'll see it as crooked. If you show her a crooked line, she'll see it as something worth looking at.

As you might imagine, Healy had a tough time in school. She was never diagnosed with any sort of learning disability -- how do you diagnose "sees things differently"? -- but some things just seemed harder for her than for "normal" kids. She just didn't do things the normal way. (She ended up with great grades throughout school anyway.)

And now she teaches children with learning disabilities. "I just get them, Kristy," she tells me again and again. "I know where these kids are coming from. I feel like I'm just like them."

No, Healy wasn't delayed and neither was my mom, but whatever secret language they speak, those kids speak it, too.

"I actually think maybe I'm lucky to get to do this," Healy said to me on the phone last night. She speaks his language. He is special, and she knows they connect in a real, distinct, interesting and special way.

"He's different," she said, "and I love different."

It is true that Charlie is lucky. Because of the career she has chosen -- or the career that has chosen her -- Healy has access to incredible, progressive schools, disciplines, doctors, professionals, minds. The kinds of people who can help make Charlie's an amazing story.

"You know, it's kind of like if the corporate office called my center and said that they were sending a very challenging case to me, because they thought that we would be able to help the kid," Healy said. "It's just that in this case, the corporate center is God. He thought I could do this, so he sent me Charlie."

And then she added, "...or maybe Mom did."

And I didn't cry then, I smiled. Because it's true. Our mom would have loved Charlie, if possible, even more than Healy does. It's that same special language. And if you have to believe in something, why not something like that?

So sure, there's a lot more we have to learn and still plenty we won't know right away. But my fear and frustration and anger has become something more like wonderment. At Charlie, and at my sister and her husband, for being the kinds of people you want to be related to.

"Fuck it, I don't care what they say," Healy said as we were hanging up the phone. "Charlie is one cool ass kid."

And then, "HEY BRIAN!" she suddenly yelled into the background.

"ISN'T CHARLIE THE MOST COOLEST ASS KID YOU'VE EVER MET?"

I heard enthusiastic murmering in the background.

"He says yes."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Enough

My friends, my extended family, they've got to be tired of saying "I'm sorry." I'm damn well tired of hearing it. I'm tired of needing to hear it. I am tired of my world changing on a dime, just like that. I'm tired of those phone calls. Too many fucking phone calls.

So you know what? I didn't even call anyone this time. I can't. I can't call everyone again with "unfortunate" news about my family, because I can't stand to hear the hurt in their voices. Hurt, followed by a whole lot of "I have no idea what to say" because who does?

So I'll just tell you, Imaginary Internet Friends, and you can say whatever it is that gets said in a situation like this and we'll go from there. Because frankly, this is getting a little ridiculous.

Yesterday, my sister Healy called me about her son, Charlie. The first words out of her mouth were, "It just never ends."

I hoped against hope that she was just fed up with something stupid, like traffic. Like a bad day at work.

Please be about traffic. Please don't be about Charlie. Please let Charlie be okay.

You may remember that in addition to dealing with my dad's death and the subsequent nightmare that has been selling his house, Healy and her husband, Brian went through a traumatic few weeks as their dog suddenly collapsed, was paralyzed, and eventually put down because of spinal cancer? And that they were dealing with having a baby boy at the same time?

What I didn't mention about them is that Charlie -- who is as happy and bright-eyed a baby as you've ever seen -- has had some difficulties. Challenges. He hasn't been hitting the developmental milestones on time, and his doctors wanted him to be tested.

It could be a lot of things, Healy said. Or nothing.

But as the course of our lives seems to be going, it's not nothing.

Charlie was diagnosed yesterday with something called Fragile-X Syndrome.

Are you fucking kidding me?

And here is where I lose my shit, and don't know what to scream about first.

Okay, okay. In case you don't feel like looking it up, here's what we know. We know that it is a genetic disorder that is present in Charlie. We know that it results, when symptoms are evident...

...well. The truth is, I'm embarrassed to write it, and I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed. This is my nephew, my flesh and my blood and --
-- and how can this be???
-- and Fragile-X is a form of mental retardation. The "good" news is that it is a mild form of mental retardation, or at least it can be. There's a lot we don't know yet. My sister will go in for genetic counseling on Monday and we will learn more, so I can't answer many questions. Any questions, really. The doctor "warned" us to not go reading all sorts of incorrect information on the internet. (Yeah, right. Too late!)

What I do know is that it's possible (maybe probable) that my sister is the carrier. She will be tested. If she is, then Samantha and I will also have to be tested. And if we are also carriers...

What if...what if...what if...

Do you have any idea how many questions this raises?

Healy has a beautiful, happy baby boy. Who has a genetic defect, the likes of which most mothers pray they never have to deal with. And she loves her son with all her heart and wouldn't change anything about bringing him into the world and so how does she reconcile any of this?

How can all these mothers out there have perfectly healthy, normal kids? And then even with all our losses, how can the three of us and my dad and my mom and their moms and dads and our aunts and uncles all be mentally "normal" and --
-- and even really fucking smart, thankyouverymuch.
-- and not have any signs and then there's Charlie and I don't even know what you say. This doesn't make him not smart, right? It just makes him delayed, right?

I don't want to feel sorry for him, or for Healy or Brian. And I'm not. It's just.

It's just.

I guess it's possible that he may only have slight learning disabilities. That's more "good" news.

And also -- ironically? fortuitously? -- Healy is the director of a teaching center for children with learning disabilities. So regardless of Charlie's diagnosis or prognosis or whatever, he will have the best teachers in and out of his home for his whole life.

But god damn. I can't help but feel like this is wholly and completely unfair.

Enough already.

Just, enough.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Meet Brandon

I am not entirely sure you're all aware of this, but I am a very amusing person.

I know this because as I've started hunting through my "drafts" folder on gmail, where (as I recently mentioned) I keep rough drafts of blog entries, I have found some fascinating things.

I would detail them for you, but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. Es. Surprises.

But I will include here one of the drafts that just never got very far. I don't really know where I was planning on using this quiz, or why I came up with it, or when I was going to expand on it, or what I would do with it once administered, but I am certain it had something to do with my visiting MySpace.

I am absolutely terrified of MySpace, have I mentioned? I DO NOT understand it and feel like a completely out-of-touch parent because of it.

Like when I tried to explain The Internet to my mom, back in 1993.

During my Christmas break of my freshman year of college, I went out and bought a modem for my parents' home computer (because I had just discovered the wonders of the internet myself).

I soon noticed that any time I was away from the computer, my mom would sneak into the computer room and turn off the modem, because she didn't want to rack up any extra charges on the phone bill.

"But Mom," I would say. "Simply having the modem turned on is not the same as having it connected to anything. The modem works like the phone. You don't go around unplugging the phone and turning it off just because no one's talking on it."

She would nod her head and agree with me and the next time I'd go to use the computer the modem would be off and I'd have to reboot it.

So fast forward 13 years.

"But MySpace works just like Friendster," they say to me, trying to get me to understand that MySpace isn't inherently evil or hard to understand. But the truth is, I totally didn't like or get Friendster, either. So there they are, trying to tell me the modem is just like the phone and I am my mom, nodding and then returning to my safe world of IM and blogs.

Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, right.

So here are the first three questions from a quiz I was writing for no known reason:

1. The best Christmas movie ever made was:
A) A Christmas Story
B) That clay-mation Rudolph one
C) A Diva's Christmas Carol, the made-for VH1 special starring Vanessa Williams as Ebony Scrooge
D) This is a trick question. There is no way to distinguish the best from among It's A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard. Probably Die Hard, but I'm abstaining.


2. Which is the most gross?
A) finding toenail clippings that aren't yours


3. I am on MySpace to:
A) spy on people I never liked in the first place
B) appear more popular online than I am in person
C) insult every law of usability and web design EVER CREATED
D) insult every law of usability and web design ever created AND THEN ADD MUSIC

I still think this is funny, but also still have no idea why I wrote it or why I would bother coming up with more questions for it. Oh, well.

I bring all of this up, you know, because I went to MySpace this morning. A friend of mine had left me a comment, and I realized I hadn't been there in ages and so I dropped in, to do what I usually do when there. (Read: as little as possible.)

I added friends. I read comments. I checked to see how many birthdays of people I don't really know had passed. And then I read messages. One "message" from Caroline reminded me that Crazy Aunt Purl calls it "the MySpace."

And then I thought, Hey, I'm here. I should actually try and do something that qualifies as actually using MySpace. I should add Crazy Aunt Purl to my friends!

And then I wondered how.

I first went to the "Find" page and looked her up by her full name. I thought this was a pretty straight-forward thing to do. Easy, and logical.

I got back 21 hits. None of them were her. None of them were even close, actually.

(I DO NOT GET THE MYSPACE.)

But I decided to try one more approach before I left running and screaming from the site as I usually do, because I understand that the modem/phone thing and I'm only 31 and this should not be so damn bewildering, right?

So I used the "search" function, and searched for "Crazy Aunt Purl." A-ha! I thought. I bet THAT will work.

And I got one hit. One. And for a moment, I was happy.

But this guy?

Purl

Um, I'm sure this here Brandon may be many wonderful things, but a somewhat crazy, female blond knitter from the south?

He is not.

Sigh.

Tune in again next month when I try and upload video to YouTube.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

30 Years To Get This Color

I am never organized enough.

I believe that there are people in this world who were simply born organized. The kinds of people who not only own matching bras and panties, but who actually manage to wear them together, probably with an outfit that complements the bra and panty set.

Or like, okay -- here's an example of two people who were born organized: A friend of a friend decided to move in with her boyfriend. They were each moving from their sole apartments to a new place they would share. Once they found their new apartent, they then went to great lengths to figure out where everything they owned would go in it. Everything. I mean, they measured every drawer and cabinet. Every hallway and closet. They identified where every one of their respective possessions (the ones they were keeping) would go. And then...well...you know what they did? They packed and labeled the boxes according to where the contents would go.

Oh, but I don't just mean like, "living room" or "dining room." I mean, "Living room. Bookshelves to the left of window. Left side. Top shelf."

Every single thing they owned got put into a shelf- or corner-specific box. Unpacking was a cinch.

And that kind of organized? That you're just born with. There is no other earthly explanation. (I just have to assume that that kind of person is no fun in bed.)

Then there are people like me. People who are organized simply because we have decided to be. Kind of like how a gangly teenager who can't catch a ball to save his life might decide to spend hours in the gym on the treadmill and lifting weights instead. You know? He'll work out regularly, and probably grow to be considered "athletic" by most standards.

Just don't throw him a football.

So I decided a long time ago that I would do myself a favor and get organized. Be organized.

I do have a natural inclination to think of details (I also have a natural inclination to forget them, but shush, we'll get to that) others might miss, because I believe I have a natural ability to perceive what others are perceiving. Managing events is a lot about this -- thinking of how the attendee will feel, and planning the elements that will make her feel most comfortable.

However.

Because organization is not my natural state, I have to work hard at it. I have to be ever-vigilant, or else it will become readily apparent that I'm actually a gangly teenager. (By which I mean likely to live in complete dissaray, never knowing if, for example, I EVER owned a match for that sock, or that earring, and remember that time I accidentally left my cell phone in the refrigerator?)

Thus, over the years I have had to come up with disarray-proof ways of foiling myself.

Two rules have helped in particular:
1. Write everything down.
2. Write everything down in the same place.

The "in the same place" is key, lemme tell you. It does no good to have three (or four) separate notebooks going at work. Plus post-its. Plus electronic notes.

And yet, "in the same place" doesn't even matter if the notes themselves aren't coherent.

I posted about this a long time ago, when I found a VERY HELPFUL post-it on my desk. And it would seem that in the many months since that entry, I have gotten better.

Oh, I got good at writing things down and at keeping them all in the same place.
For the record, or those of you seeking tips:
  • Work to-dos go into my little work notebook. It comes with me everywhere.
  • Longer writings (like blog drafts), get saved in the "drafts" folder of my gmail account, for access anywhere with an Internet connection.
  • If I have brainstorms about potentially funny stand-up bits, I write them in my journal notebook OR on the "stickies" on my computer. (For those of you who might not know, "stickies" are post-it looking things that you just write and keep on your computer's desktop. I use them for quick ideas, usually blog posts.)

But it turns out I've only just barely gotten better about writing coherent notes, especially those to myself. As today, in opening the "stickies" to see what gems of blog fodder I'd hidden away for use later --

(Because I should note that as soon as I've gone a while not blogging, I feel pressure to write something good. Oh well.)

-- and found this awesome idea:
30 years to get this color

Oh! Oh yes! THAT. THAT brilliant post. The one about THE COLOR.

Honestly, I have zero idea of what I could have possibly meant. What color? What 30 years? Did I mean me? That it's taken me 30 years to turn a certain color? And just what color would that be? I'm the same damn color I've always been, as far as I can tell.

Was someone mixing paint? Was someone changing the color of their hallway more times than I? So that it took them 30 years to get the right color?

Hair dye?

Finding the right magic marker?

Your guess is as good as mine.

And despite my best efforts, my organizationally challenged DNA strikes again.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I'm Alive!

In addition to the craziness of starting a new job last week, a group of my friends had a getaway planned for this weekend. We left Thursday night and I have only just returned to my apartment.

I'm tired, I'm fighting a cold, I'm not especially coherent. But man, did we have a good time.

I had expected to post a few times while away, but there was no viable internet connection. Meaning I was without the internets for almost three full days, and the withdrawl practically killed me.

Wine helped.

Details and pictures to follow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Early Election Results Coverage

should be banned.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

The results are inaccurate and often so premature as to be absolutely useless. Oh, it gives the countless talking heads something easy to discuss, but come on.

There is no way this premature "results reporting" doesn't effect voter turnout.

If you have worked a full day, and you are on your way to the voting booths, and you hear that the race is 73% in favor of the guy you are opposed to...why wouldn't you think, "Oh, what's the use?"

Because perhaps you don't see the little number on the top of the screen that says 0% results in.

That's right. As I write this, MSNBC is reporting preliminary results with -- statistically speaking -- ZERO PERCENT OF VOTES COUNTED.

I find this practice at best shameful and at worst?

Done and Done

Vote Here

GoVo, It's NaBloPoMo!

I thought I was hilarious when I realized that if you're at Starbucks and want to order a product that includes milk, and you want to be sure the milk does not contain the bovine growth hormone, you could order a Grande Skim Latte, NoBoGroHo.

I don't think anyone else thought this was as clever as I did.

Anyway, apparently this is national blog posting month (NaBloPoMo), which means those of us with blogs are supposed to post at least once a day. I think this is great, but it didn't exactly coincide with my recent lifestyle changes. Meaning I'm apparently five posts (or so) behind.

What else is new.

The point I suppose I'm making is, Hi! Welcome! I'm a regular blog poster again!

And I'm at work! In my livingroom! And I don't have to feel guilty for taking time to blog!

And I can vote whenever I want to!

:::PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:::

Go vote today. Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can all agree that having the right to vote means having the obligation, duty, and
responsibility to vote.
It matters.


Now back to what I'm sure you're all dying to know about -- the state of my "live/work" space.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

No, no, okay. Let's be serious. I know that I have maybe not been so much with the "tidy" way of living. Oh sure, I put forth a pretty impressive effort in the first few months of this year (remember my vow of No Joy in '06?). But it was not enough.

It is not enough to put things in bins. It is not enough to put things in stacks. It is not enough to reorganize, when all you're really doing is moving all your shit from one arrangement to another.

Turns out that is not so much cleaning as it is lying to yourself.

So now that I have to really live in my place, it's another story. If I am going to be in my little apartment all day long, I have to be able to move around. I have to have a place to put things.

That's really key, you know. It doesn't matter if you have a place for everything you already own, what matters is that you have a place to put things that come into your home.

For example. Last go-around, I neatly compiled and "put away" all my old magazines that I didn't want to throw out. The new issues were stacked on the lower shelf of my coffee table. It looked nice!

But I soon discovered that solved no problem at all, because there was nowhere to put any new magazines that arrived. And before I knew it, I was back to having all my storage space full, all my surfaces covered, and nowhere to put the things I'd acquire.


This time, I had no choice. It was time for an official Pitch & Bitch. That's what my mom always called it when it was time to purge. We'd all complain ("but I want to keep that!"), but when all was said and done, we never missed what we got rid of.

Anyway, now that I'm working from home and writing about it, and the lines between my home/work/blog life are completely blurred, I figure I may as well share with you what my apartment looks like. Why not?

(Well, aside from the obvious reason of my apartment just not being that interesting. But whatever. Hi.)

* * * *

Here is some idea of what my closet looked like "before."

Closet Before


And the bedroom, after my closet had thrown up:

Bedroom Before

Here is my hallway, which is actually even more full now because all the stuff I'm donating is currently lining the walls. Eventually, I might even hang the pictures that are lining the chair rail!
Hallway

More stuff to purge:

Mess


Ikea to the rescue! Pink boxes! Helpful Ish!

Ikea to the Rescue

And now?

Here is my bedroom, plain though it may be:

My Bedroom


And my new "office":

My


And my very helpful assistants:

Hiding Because He Can


And my view from my desk of my livingroom, and of the beautiful flowers Ish sent me to say congratulations on my first day of my new endeavor...

New Livingroom

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mama Mia!

This has been a whirlwind of a week, trying to wrap up stuff at work before my last day tomorrow, and let me tell you.

You know what is not good for managing stress levels and staying focused?

Yes, that's right. Eating eight hundred thousand million "fun size" pieces of candy. (Halloween leftovers are the devil.)

I am looking forward to a normal routine again, to blogging more, to reorganizing my now live/work space, just as soon as I tie up all these loose ends.

In the meantime, please feel free to laugh at me and the rest of ABBA.

ABBA