Monday, December 31, 2007
I had a little gathering to attend at some friends' house Saturday evening, just after the cable came back, and it was oh, so tempting to blow it off and stay at home to watch TV, but I didn't. I wasn't that far gone. And the gathering was nice...low-key and informal, with lots of music being made, cheese being eaten, beer being drunk. And I got to spend a lot of time with their 7 ("And a half!")-year-old daughter. I hadn't seen her in a while, and she was pretty much my shadow all evening. Plus they have a new golden retriever puppy, and what's cuter than that? It was worth the delayed cable gratification.
I have no big plans for this evening. I'm just hoping 2007 slips away smoothly and painlessly, and 2008 is even better.
Happy New Year, all!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Suffice it to say that I still don't have cable. I just don't know why not. Every call I've made this week--and there have been several, with LOTS of hold time--has netted me a different answer. Nobody there knows anything about anything. The Cox customer service robots are forced to answer the phone with "This is Insert Name Here--I can help you." I have started responding with "I seriously doubt that" or "Well, you'd be the first." They always seem surprised that I'm calling. "We don't show you in an outage area." It's beyond frustrating, and my chat this morning with a supervisor did nothing to alleviate my pain. She was as clueless as her employees. I informed them that if my cable doesn't come back on this weekend, I'm changing to DirecTV or Dish on Monday. They didn't seem to care. And why should they? They've already got my money for this month, and I'm sure they'll take their own sweet time giving it back if I disconnect.
I'm not heartless, really. I know they've had a big job the last three weeks. And for the first two weeks, I was as sweet and patient as I could be. It's only since they began telling me, alternately, that I'm "not showing as an outage" and assuring me that a "service call has been scheduled" that I've become livid.
Okay, deep, cleansing breaths, in and out through the nose. In, out, in, out.
How was my Christmas? Okay, I guess. Non-eventful. (Does that sound better than "boring"?) Lots of gift cards given--even by me. I didn't even have the holiday spirit necessary to stir up my usual "gift cards are not real gifts" rhetoric. I just caved.
I did get one actual gift. A new cellphone, which has the capacity to do so many things it makes my head spin. (Note: capacity, not ability. Ability will require the purchase of some accessories, which a little birdie told me he would like to do for my Christmas present. Don't know when that might happen, though, since that particular little birdie is currently enjoying a long Christmas break with his children, and I don't know if I'll see him until after the New Year. And no, the prolonged absence, combined with the lack of cable, is NOT helping my mood.) Eventually it may function as not only a phone and a camera, but also an mp3 player.
Here's the pretty phone:
(Note: that is a promotional picture from the website. I do not actually know the soulful young man playing the guitar. And yes, it really is that color. Apparently it was that or orange. "Lime" is better. Though seriously, what kind of diseased lime was EVER that color? Hee.)
So, that was Christmas. There was no yelling or family dysfunction, and I did get gift cards that will enable me to go clothes-shopping this weekend, so that's good. My wardrobe is in serious need of enhancement.
I haven't been invited to any New Year's Eve parties, which is fine, since I probably wouldn't go, anyway. I can't even remember the last time any of my friends threw one, actually. It may have been the eve of Y2K. I remember that one, since it was notable for a couple of reasons. A) I was actually dating someone at the time, and hence had someone to kiss at midnight, and B) we made jokes all night about whether we had enough potable water and canned food if the world indeed came crashing to a halt at 12:01.
I find the older I get, the less desire I have to be out among the crazies on that night. And besides, it sucks to find yourself at midnight, the only single person at the party, trying to be inconspicuous in the corner as people begin kissing all around you. Awkward! So I guess I'll stay home and watch the ball drop on TV. Or will I? (Damn you, Cox!)
All in all, not a great end to 2007, which has, for the most part, been a pretty decent year. (The Year of Liz! With a trophy to prove it!) Fingers crossed for 2008! (And, oh my word, how has so much of a decade passed by so quickly? Those lame potable water jokes were made just yesterday. Yowza.)
Friday, December 21, 2007
At any rate, my Secret Blogger Santa, Allie (thanks to LSass and RA for setting that up!), came through with a package this week that included:
- A little book on good karma
- A lovely scarf, which I am wearing at this very moment
- A heated ice-scraper that plugs into your cigarette lighter
I plugged in the ice-scraper to see just how it worked, even though we're having lovely weather right at the moment (that will change tomorrow, they say) and, in my typical "clumsy oaf" style, managed to touch the heating coil with my palm. Let's just say it heats up very, very well, and one should not attempt to test out new toys with heat when one is driving. (Note: this incident in no way diminishes my love for the ice-scraper. It rocks.)
I obviously need the karma book, as well, since apparently the universe is unhappy with me for some reason, the proof being that MY CABLE IS STILL OUT AND WILL BE UNTIL AT LEAST DECEMBER 27! Sorry to yell like that. I'm distressed, as you will note that that date is well past the end of the "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" marathon. Gahhhhh!! And, fool that I am, I went ahead and gave New Guy his key back a couple of days ago, so I can't even sneak off to his place for some illicit TV viewing while he's out-of-town. Sigh.
I have coupons for both Borders and Barnes and Noble, so I'm planning to just go stock up on new reading material. I can't afford to buy DVDs to cover that extended a period, so I figure my best bet is to just find some nice, fat, juicy paperbacks to sink into for a few days. Reading is Fun(damental)!
I'll be away from the internet until the day after Christmas, so I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or Festive Festivus, or Sparkling Solstice, or Kickin' Kwanzaa, or Dysfunctional Family Gathering, or whatEVER you choose to celebrate!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Who cares if I don't have cable? Okay, I do, but I do at least have the great joy of having been awarded A Major Award from the delightful Sauntering Soul. Thanks, SS! Back at you. And if you haven't checked out her blog, you should, and drool over the pictures of her lovely porches and deck. And give her some love for having survived TWO rear-endings this month. And for being willing to share actual photographic evidence of her "awkward" years with the blogosphere.
Okay, in the spirit of Christmas, I'll pass this award along to a few others, as well. Narrowing down is hard--I love everyone in my sidebar! But I'll bite the bullet and single out a few leg lamp recipients.
Stefanie is smart and funny and all-around fabulous and sends music and trophies and sometimes reminds me of my younger self. (You know, if I had somehow managed to NOT surround myself with more animals than any sane person should.) One of my new goals in life is to someday sip cocktails with her at a tiki bar! It should be your goal, as well.
Stinkypaw, my friend from the north, sent me maple syrup and assorted Canadian trickets, and amuses me regularly via I.M. (And she checks in on me when I go a little too long between blog posts. Thanks, Stinky!) Plus she always posts a Friday Smile!
3carnations is raising a wonderful child, and letting us all be privy to those "darndest things" kids say, through her stories. I don't know who she "really" is, or where she lives, since her husband thinks we all might be psycho liars/stalkers here in the blogosphere, (which in and of itself makes me laugh, imagining that anyone would invent MY particular blog persona for themselves--I mean, hey...I talk about cat poop) and for all I know he may be right, and I admire her prudence, and thank her for sharing what she can. (Unless...maybe SHE'S the liar, and "she" is really typing those lovely posts from a maximum-security men's prison or something--hee!)
-R- will definitely be invited to the tiki bar to sip wine from a juicebox, and maybe she can bring her husband H to give me advice, since he's the self-proclaimed "next best thing to Ann Landers." She regularly makes me laugh, and she's willing to post pictures of herself with finger guns. She organized the fabulous "Blogger Exchange." Need I say more?
Noelle is dealing with orthopedic surgeons and still managing to keep me entertained with her posts. Kudos! I love hearing of life on the Christmas tree farm, and the landlesbian (and water lesbian--hee!). Is it insensitive of me to give a leg lamp to a person with a broken leg? Well, maybe...but I feel sure she'll see the humor in it. ("It's A Major Award!")
LSass runs more miles in a week than I've run in my life, I think. She's smart and funny (and "craftier" than she thinks!) and just got accepted into grad school. Go congratulate her! And if you didn't take part in her shared brainchild "Secret Blogger Santa," you should be kicking yourself, and making plans to do so next year, should the tradition continue.
Okay, I'm stopping there, though I could go on and on listing wonderful bloggers, 'cause it's lunchtime, and a girl's gotta eat, right?
And maybe THIS will be the time that I walk through the door at home and have cable again! Fingers crossed. I'd LOVE to stop whining, and if I don't have cable again in time for the "24 Hours of a Christmas Story" marathon...well, it ain't gonna be pretty.
Monday, December 17, 2007
We have power again at work. Whoo hoo! By the way, if my previous post made my boss sound like a evil bastard, that really wasn't my intention. He was here in the cold right along with the rest of us. And I work for a very small, family-owned business that just really couldn't afford to be closed any longer--loss of income hurts us all. (I work partly on commission.) So I was, well, if not HAPPY to work in the cold, at least WILLING to do so.
Schools are back in session for the most part, we're down to about 30,000 customers without electricity (yeah, "only" 30,000), and there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you, linemen of the counties of the country, for driving long distances and working long, cold hours to help us out! You rock.
I still don't have cable, and the cable company is refusing to even give estimates on when I will again. They won't give credits for the time without service until AFTER all service has been restored, so I had to pony up $79.36 to pay my bill today, even though I may not have service again for weeks. That galls a bit, I must say, though I suppose I understand it from a bookkeeping perspective.
Okay, how ending up with a nice bulleted list?
Things I Have Learned from the Great Power Outage of 2007:
- Living through "history" is no fun. (This was the largest power outage in the history of the state.)
- If (when) there comes a true cataclysmic disaster, I will be a whiny baby. A highly functional whiny baby, to be true, but inside...I'll be whining.
- It is possible to be at one time both incredibly grateful for heat and lights, and incredibly pissy that you can't watch TV.
- I now know how to dismantle and reassemble my electric garage door opener. (With a big nod of thanks to New Guy, who walked me through the dismantling over my dying cell phone, even though he's never actually had an electric garage door of his own. Before he had a music degree, he had a degree in industrial technology. Yay for handy guys!)
- Even though I lived for 40 years without a cellphone, I am now panicky beyond belief at the thought of driving anywhere without one. (My battery was almost out, my car charger wasn't working, and I drove to New Guy's with only the tiniest sliver of a bar left, hyperventilating that I might need to call for roadside assistance and be unable to complete the call.) How quickly we get attached to our conveniences.
- When my routine is disrupted, I don't deal well. For example, one might think that a week of being without cable and internet, having nothing to do but watch DVDs, might lead one to get really aggressive with the workout and yoga DVDs. But I'm used to working out BETWEEN work and whatever comes later, and when that BETWEEN time never comes...well, let's just say I haven't worked out this week at all. (And yet, somehow I lost a couple of pounds. I didn't eat much, really.)
- My dog is very well-behaved. Even better behaved with a hefty dose of Benadryl. Heh.
- Feral cats are very smart, and if they disappear for a few days while the trees are falling, they are undoubtedly holed away somewhere safe. Leave food out, and try not to worry about them. They are most likely NOT trapped under the downed tree next door.
Wow, I've learned a lot this week, huh?
Friday, December 14, 2007
I'm back at work, but only because my boss finally located a generator. We've got a few computers, the phones and the fax machine working. NOT much in the way of heat or lights, mind you. So it's a bit chilly here at the old desk. If by chilly, you mean "I'm wearing several layers of clothes, a coat, a scarf and my gloves AT MY DESK." That kind of chilly.
Power is still out to much of this part of town. I'm lucky enough to have heat and lights. Cable? Well, that may be a while. I'm trying not to whine about it, when people are still living in unheated homes. Driving is an incredible hassle, since many of the stoplights are out, and you'd think that after 5-6 days people would get a little better at that "uncontrolled intersections are automatic four-way stops" thing, but you'd be wrong.
We're expecting snow late tonight/early tomorrow, and I can't tell you how happy I am about that! (Sarcasm duly noted, I assume.) At this point it's not expected to be too much in the way of accumulation, so...fingers crossed.
New Guy headed south to see his kids yesterday--I can't blame him. He was getting cabin fever, they don't know when school will resume (he's a teacher), and there was really nothing keeping him here. What, entertaining me wasn't reason enough? (I kid. He made the right call.) We did spend some time together before he left, so I'm not feeling too deprived. And he left me a key to his place, should an overwhelming need to watch actual TV overtake me at any point. (Extremely possible.) He's been incredibly sweet to me through all this, even letting me bring my ginormous dog to spend the night at his house the one night my power was off. (Pudge was very good, by the way. I was proud of my boy. The cats? Well, I left them a big pile of food, some running water, threw an extra blanket on the bed and hoped for the best. And they were fine. They didn't even seem to hold a grudge.)
Ice sucks, basically. S-U-C-K-S SUCKS!
On the good news front, Steve the stray cat has a new home. Whoo hoo! (Always looking for the bright side, I am.)
On the bad news front, I have never been less prepared/interested in preparing for Christmas. All the holly jolly has just been sucked right out of me. Bah humbug. (Quick, get that girl a dose of "A Diva's Christmas Carol" right now!)
Okay, I'm going to put my gloves back on now. Hold a good thought for my cold townspeople.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
This is the worst ice storm I've ever seen. And the strangest. It never iced the streets. Only the trees and power lines. My part of town looks like a bomb went off. My backyard is full of the neighbor's trees, but I'm one of the lucky ones. My neighborhood got its power lines buried last year, so I only lost electricity for a day, and I was able to kiss the cats, grab Pudge and head to New Guy's house for a night. I'm very lucky. It may be several days before many of my friends have warm houses again.
Okay, I still feel a little sorry for myself not being able to watch TV or check the internet, and I can't help fretting a little about whether Friday's paycheck will be arriving, but I am completely ashamed of myself for feeling that way. I know I'm lucky, trust me.
Please hold a good thought for all those here who are still in the cold and the dark. I'll check in again when I can.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
So, what's been going on? Let's see...do you want to hear about how New Guy and I ate pizza a couple of nights ago? No, I didn't think so.
There have been some fun Christmas-related things happening.
Over the weekend, I went on one of those limo Christmas light tours with my "drink and bitch" group. We wore Santa hats, drank, looked at lights (the Griswolds are alive and well and living in Tulsa, by the way--I'm hoping to get photographic evidence at some point), and attempted to sing Christmas carols. Only the Jewish girl could really remember most of the words, though. (In defense of the rest of us, we were drinking more than she was.) It was great fun.
I decided to take part in the Secret Blogger Santa organized by LSass and RA, and the first week's gifts have been successfully sent and received. I received a "virtual" cat named "Noel," and she's delightful--except for her insistence on peeing on the bed. (Seriously--was the programmer just having a little fun? 'Cause when you hit the "pee" button, she just meows and lets loose right there. Hee.) Big thanks to my Santa, whoever he/she (oh, who am I kidding...male bloggers are few and far between enough around here that I'm pretty sure it's a "she") is! Now I just have to come up with something to send next week that tops this week--oh, the pressure!
I can't believe we're a week into December, and I have not bought a single Christmas gift. I have an idea for my brother-in-law, and I'm just drawing a giant blank for the rest of my family. At this point I'm tempted to just get them all donorschoose.org gift certificates and let them knock themselves out being philanthropic. (I made a donation yesterday that finished funding a project, and the teacher emailed me back almost immediately, telling me the entire class just stood up and gave me a cheer, and she herself was crying. Awww...talk about your warm fuzzies.)
We've got a chance of freezing rain this weekend, and I am not happy about that! New Guy is already freaking out at the thought of wintry precipitation--I may not be able to get him out of his house at all if hears the words "freezing" and "rain" in rapid succession. Heh.
My landlord has arranged to have the trim on my house painted and fixed up, and some shrub-trimming done that was beyond my reach, and he let me choose a new color for the front door (we're going with cranberry), and he's called every day to make sure they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but having a landlord that actually CARES about the property is still very new and exciting to me! (I once went without water in my kitchen sink for THREE MONTHS in my old house. THREE MONTHS! Why did I stay in that house for 11 years? It was oh, so cheap.)
Oh! I almost forgot! Steve the stray cat is going for a trial run at a potential adopter's house this weekend! She's very nice, and I really, really, really hope this works out! Cross your fingers for Steve!
That just about catches you up, I think. My life is so exciting--try not to be jealous. Heh.
Friday, November 30, 2007
The Rules are:
Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It's more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you'd also like to take.
Okay, first is the class from her list that I would take with her. I have long felt that someone implanted a butt-magnetic device into my couch when I wasn't looking, and that said magnetic device is the sole reason that my butt stays so firmly affixed to said couch. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) But perhaps this class would help me to remove the butt-magnet.
Motivate yourself to get off the couch more!
Do you come home from work, put on your pajamas, make yourself some dinner and head straight to the couch to numb your tired overworked brain with blogging and reality TV? No? Me neither. But if you do, take this course which will give you insider secrets to making your evenings more productive. Learn how to (a) go for an actual walk for some actual exercise; (b) maybe do a load of laundry so you have clean socks tomorrow; (c) organize your personal paperwork and pay those bills on time!; (d) volunteer to help others in your community; and (e) buy birthday presents ahead of time rather than stressing yourself out trying to pick something from the only drugstore that's open on your way to the birthday celebration. Don't just sit there on your bum.....call right now!
Okay, now my classes.
Learn how to stop taking in stray cats!
Do people get a "oh, she's one of those crazy ladies" look on their face when you tell them how many cats you have--and you actually cut the real number in half? Do you consider cat hair a legitimate fashion accessory? Can you toss a hairball-yacking cat off the side of the bed without even waking up? This class will help you to STEP AWAY FROM THE KITTENS! Special electronics instruction on the correct way to safely disconnect the flashing neon visible-only-to-feline-eyes "vacancy" sign over your door.
Come to understand men.
Bwaaaaaaa!!!! There ain't no understandin' 'em. You just gotta love 'em. Or give up on them entirely and just have cats. Your call.
Learn to De-clutter Your Home.
This class will enable you to realize that NOT keeping every single plastic tub, butter dish, etc., that crosses your path for your entire adult life will (probably) not worsen global warming significantly, and/or bring Al Gore to your house for a personal chastisement. (Probably. But if he does come, it will be with Powerpoint and pointer.) You will also learn that it's okay to get rid of shoes/clothes you haven't worn in years (But what if that style comes back?--No talking in class, missy.), and that the IRS probably isn't interested in your 20-year-old bank statements. Perhaps you don't need to keep (and pack in boxes and move, and pack in boxes and move, repeat ad nauseam) every single book you've ever purchased in your life, especially if you haven't read it in years and/or it dates back to that somewhat embarrassing "historical romance" phase from high school. Your childhood diary? Oh, that you can keep. That "historical romance" is comedy gold.
Say no to that third slice of pizza.
I wish I had attended this class earlier today, then I might be a tad less miserable right now. (It's the owner of my company's birthday. In addition to the pizza, there was rotel dip and chips, and Italian cream cake. My tummy hurts.) But really, how do you eat a sensible amount of "Pizza of the Gods"? There are artichoke hearts on there, for pete's sake! And garlic! And provolone cheese! And mushrooms! And tomatoes! And olive oil! Why, it's practically health food, right? Right?
Okay, that's enough learning for one day. I'm going to slump over here at my desk and revel in my misery for the rest of the day. If I'm still this uncomfortable tonight, I can always take a nice relaxing soak with the delightful l'Occitane relaxation kit that was part of my contest prize package from -r-. Thanks, -r-!
Oh, and tagging five? I'm too tired. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. You know, if you want. Whatever. Slump.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? A bar of some funky Indian brand, rose-scented, and some Avon lavender shower gel.
2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? I hate watermelon. So, um...no.
3. What would you change about your living room? I wish it was bigger, and I wish the furniture had not been "customized" by the evil cats and their evil little claws.
4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? I don't have a dishwasher. But everyone who knows me is giggling right now at the thought of dirty dishes being allowed anywhere in my house. (I have an OCD thing about that.)
5. What is in your fridge? Oh gosh...rye bread, english muffins, multigrain artisan bread, fake turkey, swiss cheese, sauerkraut (I just had a Reuben craving), kimchee, lettuce, asparagus, radishes, mushrooms, fresh mint, green onions, lemons, eggs, butter, mustard, curry paste, assorted salad dressings, peanut butter, cherry jam, an partial can of dog food, iced tea, soy milk, Pur filtered water pitcher, various and sundry assorted pickled things, and a sliced cheese variety pack I got to take to a party that was cancelled and I'm fighting the urge to rip it open and gorge myself. (But I've got another party to go to this weekend, so I'm trying to save it.)
6. White or wheat bread? Always wheat. White bread is not actual food. I once had a partial loaf of white bread (left by someone else) in my refrigerator for over a year-and-a-half, and it still didn't have one spot of mold. That's not natural!
7. What is on top of your refrigerator? A bamboo steamer, a stack of vegetarian cookbooks, an empty champagne bottle that was given to me by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee (it wasn't empty at the time, of course), a wine bottle my boyfriend at the time bought me for my 25th birthday (it wasn't empty at the time either, of course, and boy am I a sentimental sap, but it's hard to throw away things given to you by the last guy who really, truly loved you), an ashtray stolen from somewhere I can't even remember, a set of oil and vinegar cruets stolen for me by a friend from an Orange County restaurant on perhaps the best summer vacation of my life, some little cow-themed knick-knacks, and a bunch of straw baskets, one of which may have a cat nesting in it at any given time. Boy, that makes it sound like the top of my refrigerator is huge, but it's really just normal-sized. And covered with stuff.
8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's kind of beige, with purple flowers.
9. How many plants are in your home? 26 in the living room, plus assorted cuttings in water in the kitchen. (I am partial to living things, it seems.)
10. Is your bed made right now? If I'm not in it, it's made. (OCD.)
11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Method brand daily shower spray
12. Is your closet organized? No. (The OCD only applies to things easily visible. Closets, drawers and cupboards are not covered under my OCD contract.)
13. Can you describe your flashlight? I have a sturdy yellow one with a magnet on the side, a purple one, a heavy-duty blue one, another yellow one I usually keep in the car. Apparently every time I need a flashlight, I just buy a new one.
14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic more at home? Glass.
15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? Always and forever.
16. If you have garage, is it cluttered? It's not too cluttered, only because I actually park in the garage, which limits the clutter to the sides.
17. Curtains or blinds? Blinds through the house, curtains and blinds on the living room picture window.
18. How many pillows do you sleep with? 4. Plus my enormous dog.
19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? I sometimes leave the fluorescent light over the kitchen sink on.
20. How often do you vacuum? Every Saturday morning, like it or not.
21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Electric. (Oral-B Vitality rechargeable. Love it.)
22. What color is your toothbrush? Blue and white.
23. Do you have welcome mat on your front porch? It doesn't actually say "Welcome" on it, but I do have a mat.
24. What is in your oven right now? One cookie sheet and one very large skillet that don't fit in the stove's storage area.
25. Is there anything under your bed? A little dust. Sometimes a cat. Sometimes a yacked-up hairball left behind by a cat.
26. What chores do you hate? Can't say I love any of them. Cleaning the litter box closet is pretty heinous.
27. What retro items are in your home? My house is mostly furnished with cast-offs and give-aways...I mean "family heirlooms," so everything is somewhat retro. I have a bed and dresser that were used by my parents and before them, my grandparents, dating back to the 50s, I think. I have a vanity that was in my mother's childhood bedroom, and a dresser handmade by some family member that was in my grandmother's house as far back as I can remember. I have one of those old 50s-style formica-type kitchen tables, a funky round, glass-tier-topped coffee table I bought in a thrift store and a great, creaky wooden rocking chair that was made by some long-dead family member (and which my mother used to rock us all to sleep as babies). I have two art deco table lamps with groovy round 2-tiered fiberglass shades that were found in my grandmother's attic after she died, but which nobody ever remembers seeing before. At the time, one was given to me and one to my sister, but I was forced to take my sister's from her after seeing that she had replaced the groovy tiered shade with a countrified silk monstrosity with fringe. Sacrilege!!
28. Do you have separate room you use an an office? No.
29. How many mirrors are in your home? One in the bathroom, one on the dresser in the bedroom, one full-length on the closet door, one each on vanity and dresser which are actually in the living room.
30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? I used to be good at keeping a little cash rat-holed, but at the moment I'm down to the spare change holder in my car.
31. What color are your walls? That generic taupe-y rental house color. I don't mind it too much, actually. It goes with everything.
32. What does your home smell like right now? My hope is simply always that it doesn't smell like cat poop. I have a multi-tiered odor removal system in effect at all times. And still sometimes it smells a bit like cat poop--one of the little devils isn't so good with the covering after, if you know what I mean. I've discovered Indian incense is the best way to instantly remedy that aroma.
33. Favorite candle scent? Lavender, cotton...clean scents, mostly.
34. What kind of pickles are in your refrigerator right now? Nothing sweet. Dills, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, etc.
35. Ever been on your roof? No. I used to have a friend who would let us climb on her roof to watch the 4th of July fireworks display nearby. That came to an end one year after she realized there were a couple of dozen drunken people on her roof, singing "Stars and Stripes Forever" at the top of their lungs. (Hi, Julie! Miss those parties!)
36. Do you own a stereo? Yes
37. How many TV’s do you have? One
38. How many phones? One cordless, one regular in case of power outage, one cellular.
39. Do you have a housekeeper? Ha ha ha ha ha ha....oh, that wasn't a joke?
40. What style do you decorate in? Shabby chic without the chic? Eclectic, very eclectic.
41. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Solid, generally.
42. Is there a smoke detector in your home? There are two. One is very near the stove and goes off every time I cook. (No, I'm not in the habit of burning things, it just seems to sense the heat.) I try to remember to take the batteries out if I know I'm going to be cooking, 'cause the noise turns my 86-pound Doberman into a quivering mass of jelly who MUST BE LEANING AGAINST ME. I have a tiny kitchen, and it's very hard to cook with 86 pounds of quivering Dobie jelly between you and the food.
Well, that was kind of fun, wasn't it?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A little background info--and this part's not funny at all. One of the players in the story is a woman I go to church with who has been diagnosed with Pick's Disease. For the last few months, we've been watching this intelligent, articulate, capable woman disintegrate before our eyes. It's beyond sad. And terrifying. This disease (which has similar effects to Alzheimer's) primarily strikes people in their 40s/50s, and since I'm 45...well, it's like watching one of my worst nightmares play out right in front of me. Unlike Alzheimer's, its victims generally don't live very many years beyond diagnosis. At any rate, to watch this formerly vital and forceful woman pacing restlessly up and down the aisle, stopping sometimes to salute people, or repeat the same bit of trivia over and over with childlike glee...there are no words. She's not like that all the time, of course. The real cruelty is that there are times when she's completely lucid, and I hope during those times she doesn't remember the other times. Okay, backstory done.
On Sunday our usual priest was out-of-town at a family funeral. We had a guest priest--a very charming, charismatic little guy who was raised a Southern Baptist preacher's kid, somewhere along the line became an ordained Lutheran minister, and was hired as an assistant pastor by an Episcopal church here (the big downtown "high" church), after the Episcopal and Lutheran churches established "full communion" a few years ago. (Basically, their clergy are authorized to serve in each other's churches.)
He was very excited to be with us, and announced at the beginning of the service that "while the cat's away, the mice will play," and we were going to shake things up a bit, since our usual priest had assured him that we were a particularly open-minded and flexible congregation. (True enough, I'd say.) The Southern Baptist in him came out right away, as he repeated the opening sentences three times, until our response was vigorous enough for him to continue. Then he informed us that we were going to worship "from one end of the church to the other," and requested that we begin the service at the back of the church, circling the baptismal font.
We all trooped to the back and circled the font, which was then ceremoniously filled with water. At that point, he picked up a small whisk broomlike thing, dipped it into the font, and began to dramatically smack us all in the face with water to remind us of our baptismal vows, and that we were "marked as God's own."
Okay then. (And boy, just TRY not to wince as you see that whisk broom coming your direction! And no, never in a million years would they let him try this at his usual church. They're a little more...traditional there, let's just say.)
We began the opening hymn and processed back to our seats. Things proceeded more or less as usual--some slight differences, due to his Lutheran background, I presume, (I've never actually been to a Lutheran service) and also his own extreme exuberance. (He's just a happy, happy guy. He's a "shiny, happy people," so to speak.) Different, but nothing we can't handle. We come to the scripture reading portion of the service--the lay readers are asked to approach him before each reading, so he can remove his stole and drape it around their necks while they read. (That's not funny in and of itself, but each time he pulled the hood of his vestments up to remove the stole, he reminded me of the Jawas in the first Star Wars movie, and I had to stifle a giggle.)
So we get to the gospel reading, which is done by the deacon. The deacon happens to be the husband of the woman with Pick's. At my church, the deacon and the crucifer process about halfway down the aisle to do the gospel reading, facing the back of the church, and the people in the first few rows generally turn to face him, which means the deacon can't see anyone sitting in those rows. Deacon's wife always sits very near the front. So he starts the reading, and suddenly I noticed a woman sitting in my pew (I also sit near the front) duck across the aisle and sit next to Deacon's Wife, who has just slumped right over in her pew. Another woman slides into the pew on DW's other side, and they gently rouse her. She sits up, I see her mouth "I'm fine," and I think she just had a dizzy spell or something, but it's worrisome. The two women stay on either side of her, obviously still concerned, as well. The deacon, of course, can't see this, and he just plugs away at the gospel reading. (Which was a pretty long one.) Then suddenly, over DW goes again. A couple of more people go to her, and one woman sprints off to call an ambulance. The deacon at this point knows there's something going on behind him, but everyone is being very calm and quiet about it, and he obviously doesn't know just what's happening. He finishes the reading, turns to process back to the altar, and sees people clustered around his wife, who is sitting up at this point, but is deathly pale, and her eyes are quite unfocused. He returns the Bible to the altar, and at this point the service stops, obviously.
The priest jumps in, calls us to gather around DW, and we do a little laying on of hands while he prays, and we lay her down, prop up her feet and wait for the ambulance to arrive. This part was really...moving. You could literally feel the love and care surrounding DW, and I don't think there was a person there whose eyes weren't filled with tears. I hope she could feel the love--she was conscious, and when we segued into the Lord's Prayer, I could see her lips moving along. Pretty soon we hear the ambulance pull up outside, and we all move back to let the paramedics do their work.
At this point, someone notices that the baptismal font at the back of the church apparently did not have the drain plug inserted properly, and has been trickling water all over the floor for some time. Water, water everywhere! So a mop and bucket and towel brigade is formed to clean up that mess before the paramedics are forced to wheel DW down a canal, instead of an aisle.
Eventually, they have her strapped and ready to go to the hospital, and the deacon goes with her, of course.
We all take a deep breath, and the service continues. Except...the next thing to happen is the sermon, and guess who was scheduled to do the sermon today? Of course...the deacon.
So our apparently unflappable guest priest pulls out a chair, re-reads us the Gospel, and asks that we each try to focus on a word, phrase or story that popped to mind when we first heard it. He then improvs a pretty decent sermon, ending by telling us excitedly that he wants to try something he saw done recently in San Francisco. He wants US to finish the sermon! Remember those words, phrases or stories we were supposed to be thinking of? Well, let's out with them, and make a beautiful tapestry of the voices of the church!
Okay, let's be honest here. I did not hear ONE WORD of that gospel reading the first time I heard it. The only words or phrases in MY mind at the time were "Oh holy crap, what's wrong with DW?!" I didn't really hear it the second time I heard it. One very outgoing church member got up and rambled emotionally a bit, and then...well, apparently I was not the only one less than inspired, because the silence was deafening. It was awkward, and sad...he stood there, with the sweetest, most expectant expression on his face, and...silence.
Okay then. Moving on.
He asked us all to depart from the norm, and come on up and kneel around the altar for the portion of the service preceding communion. Okay then, but at this point I'm just consumed with hoping that the 90-year-old woman next to me is okay with all this extra traipsing around. "Please don't let sweet Mrs. R fall and break a hip, God, okay?" (That prayer was answered, fortunately.)
We made it to the end of the service, with perhaps a little extra exuberance in the final "Thanks be to God. Alleluia, ALLELUIA!"
I stopped to shake the priest's hand on my way out, and thank him for being there. Right behind me was a fellow I'd never seen before--we didn't have our usual introduction of visitors amidst all the hubbub, so I didn't know if he was a friend of the guest priest, or a true visitor. Turns out he's someone our regular priest had been ministering to, and "this is my first church service after a 15-year hiatus." I turned and said "Well, you certainly picked an interesting day to come back, didn't you?" and we all laughed a bit.
'Cause really, what else are you gonna do?
So, that's the tale. (I haven't heard anything regarding DW, so I'm going to assume that she's okay, or as okay as someone with her disease can be, as I'm sure the phone tree would have been activated otherwise.) What a crazy day, huh?
And on that note, let's all go somewhere tomorrow and be thankful for our blessings, shall we? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
BFF: "Have I really bought you ALL those purses?"
Me: "Are you kidding? ALL those? I didn't even mention the furry black one, the tiny green silk one, the beaded black one, the two with monkeys or the old lady brocade one."
BFF: "I am the gayest man alive."
Me: "Yes, you are."
Monday, November 19, 2007
New Guy, kids in tow, had a relatively uneventful flight back home to Louisiana today. I miss him already, but I know he really needs this time with his family. Before he left for Texas Saturday morning (his kids live in Texas--he moved to Oklahoma from Louisiana to be closer to them--did I ever explain that?) he thanked me for the last three months and told me I had made Tulsa "livable." How sweet is that? (Not exactly a declaration of love, or anything...but sweet.) I told him I'd miss him, and that I was giving him permission to lie just this once and tell me he'd miss me. His response? "I WILL miss you." Awww. Sweet. Even if, as I then laughingly told him, I'm quite sure he'll be so busy with his kids and his parents and his childhood friends that he won't even remember my name by mid-week. "Liz WHO?"
I was going to tell you all the tale of the most interesting time I've ever had at church, which happened yesterday, but I think I'll save that story. It involves a guest priest, a whisk broom, an ambulance, a leaking baptismal font...it was really quite an experience. (Intrigued, aren't you?) I don't want to make too light of it all, though...the part involving the ambulance was really quite sad, and I don't know the exact ending to that part of the story yet.
That's it for today--I think somebody's got a case of the Mondays. Heh.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Said challenge to be:
1. Linking to poster who tagged you. Done. (See above.)
2. Listing seven "random/weird" things about yourself. Well, here goes.
- I'm somewhat double-jointed, and can bend the pinky finger on my left hand so far back it nearly touches the back of my hand. I don't have a camera handy to give you photographic evidence of this freaky finger limberness, but trust me, it's impressive. In a "ewww---doesn't that HURT?" kind of way.
- I had Michael Jackson's first solo album when I was a kid (when he was still part of the Jackson 5, and also still a black man and a reasonable proximation of a human being) and I was FASCINATED with the song "Ben." I listened to it over and over, singing along. Is it any wonder that I came to have pet rats for several years?
- I was one of nine valedictorians for my high school class. (That's not weird, but it is, indeed, random.)
- I have been onstage in a Mr. Peanut costume, speaking with a Cockney accent.
- I love trying to see how low a bid I can use to win jewelry auctions on eBay. My record is $0.99 for a lovely pair of sterling silver and iolite earrings. (And no, I did not pay $25 for shipping and "handling"--I'm smarter than that. See above re: valedictorian. Hee.)
- I sometimes still put potato chips inside my sandwich like a junior high girl. (I like the crunch.)
- I own two purses made out of cigar boxes, one purse made entirely of beer cans, one made of grey (faux) fur, two purses that are hinged wooden boxes (one handcrafted to look like a freaky cat, one with shells and fish affixed to it) and one shaped like Andy Warhol's red cat, among many others. I did not purchase any of these. Do I have a BFF who loves to buy me purses? Yes, yes I do. Have I carried any of these purses? Yes, yes I have, but mostly I love to display them as art pieces. Is the decor in my house a little offbeat? Yes, yes it is.
Okay, that was seven heretofore unknown, or at least unblogged about, things about lizgwiz.
3. I'm supposed to tag five additional bloggers, but I'll just issue a blogosphere-wide challenge. Any up for it, get to it!
On that note, I will bid you a lovely weekend. New Guy and I are going to an organ recital tonight (heh, I said organ), and then he is leaving to spend Thanksgiving week back home with his parents. Pity poor me, all alone with only my 86-pound Doberman to keep me warm. And, you know, 57 cats. Or so it feels. Heh.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Ironically, a complete lack of regard for my body is how I made this mess. And now… now it’s all I think about every single second. I overreact (internally – I’m not screaming in public or anything) to every little feeling.
“What’s that? Did my foot just tingle? Is it going numb? Do I feel nauseated? Should I eat something? Why do I have a headache? Is that normal? Will this scratch on my foot ever heal?”
I have diabetes, and I’m still in my 20’s.
Lots of people have diabetes. Lots of people are worse off than me. I can control this, potentially for the rest of my life, with just diet and exercise. I don’t have to give myself shots, I don’t have to test my blood sugar, I don’t have to have anything amputated.
I think I’m overreacting to everything because I don’t trust myself to take care of myself. I’ve put nothing but bad things into my body for 29 years, how can I be sure that I’ll change now? Why can’t I just do the things that I know are good for me and walk away from the bad? My body is finally, dramatically, telling me to STOP, but I can’t guarantee I won’t eat my mother-in-laws Christmas candy.
(Hell, that candy might be worth it. It’s freaking good. Homemade peanut butter covered in homemade chocolate? Gee, okay, I’ll eat ten of those.)
I feel bad for my husband. He didn’t sign on for this – he signed on for a healthy, happy, slightly chubby girl. Now he has an overweight, moody woman. He didn’t think that someday his wife might have to have something amputated because she just couldn’t put down the Fritos.
And bean dip. Great googly moogly, I do love me some bean dip.
I have a blog on a weight loss website, and so far it’s been surprisingly helpful. I’ve lost some weight in the last week and a half, and it’s inspiring me to stay on track. So far, things are looking up. But I’m afraid of failing, of falling back on my bad eating habits and doing more damage. Maybe that fear is exactly what will keep me in line, but who knows.
I’m afraid to talk about this thing, this diabetes, and yet at the same time I feel the urge to shout it out to everyone. The few people that I have confided in have, for the most part, had very casual responses, like, “Oh, that sucks. Let’s talk about me now.” At first that really upset me, but now I think maybe it’s just a reaction to finding out we’re not invincible, we are getting older, and we all need to take better care of ourselves.
So maybe that can be the good that comes out of this – a message to everyone… PUT DOWN THE FRITOS AND BEAN DIP. OR YOU MAY LOSE A FOOT.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
AndYou Know What Else
Bright Yellow World
Confessions of a Novice
Everything I Like Causes Cancer
NotWhat You Think It Is
Red Red Whine
Thinking Some More
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
My work email has recently been inundated with spam from the MegaDick corporation, all of it designed to make me feel inadequate because my penis is so small. Or, excuse me, my "pen!s."
"Don't you think it's time you stopped being a loser with a tiny pen!s?"
That's kind of harsh, don't you think?
"There are no losers among the possessors of long dic'ks."
No losers, perhaps, but plenty of inappropriate punctuation usage.
Don't worry, though, MegaDick assures me it can turn me into a winner:
"So, don't miss it out, perform a miracle in your life with this unexampled preparation."
"Unexampled preparation"? What the hell does that even MEAN? And speaking of "what the hell does that even mean," what the hell does THIS, received as a subject line, even mean:
"Wattlework fouled driftingly bewrayment"
"lactation wilcox brawlis macwilliams"
Well, I don't know about you, but I am completely befuddled. First I'm being urged to enlarge an organ I didn't even know I HAD (and the huge plastic one given to me by friends as a 30th birthday present certainly doesn't need enlarging!), and now it's all "wattlework" and "lactation."
So I didn't know WHAT to think when I saw this:
"We featured it Tuesday and it exploded."
Calm down, it turns out they were talking about an investment opportunity. Whew.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Last night I had to go meet my animal rescue friend to pick up Steve the stray from his second (unsuccessful) stint at PetSmart, where we're trying to get him adopted. I hadn't eaten dinner, and had given some thought to running out to my favorite restaurant afterwards to pick up some "crack noodles." (Crazy good Vietnamese noodle dish--I crave it so strongly there MUST be drugs in it.)
I met Linda at our designated swapping spot. She generally has about a dozen cats she carts back and forth to this gig--her car is crammed floor to ceiling with caged cats. "Someone pooped in their carrier," she said. "I think it might be Steve."
It was. Of course. Forget the noodles. I rolled down the window, turned the fan on high (vents pointed AWAY from me) and raced home. Where, instead of munching on delightful noodles, I spent a few minutes washing Steve's hiney and cleaning out the crate. MY LIFE IS SO MUCH FUN!
Earlier in the evening, I had demonstrated my one-handed cat puke cleanup, while on the phone with BFF. Didn't miss a beat, or a word of conversation, when Babs went spewing. Just followed her around with a paper towel. I had to hang up, though, when Pudge suddenly decided to part company with HIS dinner. "Sorry," I said to BFF, "I can't clean up THAT much puke with one hand." I am a delightful cellular conversationalist, aren't I?
But it's finally Friday, thank god, and New Guy is, I believe, staying in town for the first weekend in a while, and we have tentative plans to take in a play and a concert. So hopefully it will be a delightful weekend.
I'm sure it won't be excrement-free, though. "I am, after all, me."**
*If you don't know the source of that, well then, you missed out.
**That's for BFF, should he read this post. It's one of our favorite movie quotes.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
New Guy: "So what are the winters usually like in Oklahoma?"
Me: "There is no usually."
New Guy: "Ha ha. No, really. What's it usually like? What should I expect?"
Me: "I wasn't being glib. There is no such thing as 'usual' Oklahoma weather."
New Guy: "What kind of snow do you get?" (They don't get snow where he's from.)
Me: "Last year we had 8 inches on the ground for several days. I didn't leave my house for 4 days. The year before that we had light snow one time, and it didn't stick. I went to a party in January that year and stood outside at midnight in my bare feet. You see where I'm going with this?"
New Guy: "Oh boy."
Me: "You have front wheel drive? You'll be fine. And they're saying La Nina should warm things up this year. But you should probably buy a coat."
Should be interesting!
And now the not-so-funny...my mother called to tell me my father stumbled and cracked a rib, and in the process of diagnosing that, they found a small spot on one lung. He's been a heavy smoker for 50 years, so...please send all good thoughts/prayers/positive energy his way. (He's having a CAT scan, and then we'll know more.) I refuse to panic yet, but I'm very concerned. Damn it. I'm not sure he's sturdy enough to undergo chemo or radation, so a cancer diagnosis is JUST NOT AN OPTION!
Okay, back to not worrying yet. Sigh.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Okay, it could be a GREAT deal more fun. Grrr.
On the plus side, I'm back on antibiotics, with an added topical cream, and an option to refill the antibiotics if necessary, so hopefully Blotchy is on his way to being banished for good. The doctor won't come out and say whether he thinks I actually have a MRSA infection, only that the drug he's giving me is the best for that, just in case. There has been a little outbreak of MRSA (all the not-too-serious skin infection type) in the schools around here, so I guess it could be. I hate the way they're now saying "Mersa," though...so I'll stick with Blotchy.
Five Aleve and one antibiotic horsepill first thing in the morning will make your stomach just a tad bit upset. Did you know that? Consider yourself warned. Fortunately, the Aleve finally kicked Crampy in the butt and made him lie down, so it was worth it.
Sleepy? Well, he decided to settle in for a nap today...probably because I could not for the life of me get to sleep last night (VERY unusual for me--I never have insomnia), and finally got up around 1:30 to take a Benadryl. Which did put me to sleep for a few hours, but boy, did I have unpleasant dreams. I should have just gotten up and watched a movie or something, I guess.
Cranky? Well, he's been around since yesterday, all of which I spent putting out fires caused by someone else's incompetence/general stupidity, etc. Seriously, it was the most aggravating day. These weren't BIG fires, just one petty little annoyance after another. Someone remind me WHY THE HELL I WORK IN CUSTOMER SERVICE!?!?
New Guy and I had vaguely talked about getting together last night, so when I finally left work I thought, hey...as soon as I've tended to my own horde of critters, gone to my chemo-enduring cat lady friend's house and tended to her horde of critters, come back home, worked out and done yoga, then at least I can go and get a little snuggling action. Guess again. Someone was suffering some...digestive upset and for some reason didn't want to share that experience with me. So, no snuggling. (Except for Pudge. And far be it from me to discount the snuggling power of a clingy 90-pound Doberman.)
I can't believe it's only Wednesday. It might take a few more tiny packs of leftover Halloween Skittles to get me through. I'd LOVE a good stiff drink, but that's contraindicated with the antibiotics...I guess Skittles will have to do. (Taste the rainbow!)
Monday, November 05, 2007
I have to go back to the doctor in a few minutes. The tiny little red dot that was the sole remaining vestige of my giant red blotch decided to start shaking things up this weekend. Yep, blotchy again. Only about the size of a pencil eraser, but it's there. The doctor won't prescribe antibiotics again unless I come in and spend some money, so into the office I go. Grrr. I'm hoping we just didn't do the last round of drugs for quite long enough, and it's not something scary like MRSA. I'll let you know.
How's New Guy? Fine, mostly. He's been battling some homesickness, and in a bit of a funk. Perfectly understandable, if not much fun for me. But I am being sweet and patient and understanding. And he better by god appreciate it! Hee. Seriously, I have not once been the slightest bit passive-aggressive or snarky with him. I don't know if it's the yoga getting me all zenned out, or if he just brings out my softer side, or a combination thereof, but I don't even WANT to be passive-aggressive or snarky. Who AM I? I'm like Doris Day, all "que sera, sera."
How are the animals? They're all okay, more or less. I need to take one of the indoor cats to the vet--losing hair and weight again. Steve the Wonder Stray still needs a home. He's a great cat--I don't know why someone hasn't snapped him up yet, damn it! And Dolly and McBeady are now into winter mode--staying close to home and making full use of the blankets I've put out for them. I'm trying to get them all fattened up before it gets really cold. (Which might be tomorrow night--our first freeze warning. Boo!)
I went to the 50th birthday party of one of my theatre friends this weekend. A good time--although it would have been a better time if I wasn't a vegetarian. They brought in barbeque, and there was meat. And next to that, meat. And oh, over there...meat. I dipped bread in barbeque sauce and ate my weight in his mom's homemade potato salad (which was quite yummy--who needs meat?). I chatted with said friend about my desire to possibly try to do a one-woman show sometime soon, and would he like to direct if I did? And he said he'd love to be involved, so I sent off for a couple of scripts I thought looked interesting. (Yeah, I know, I should turn my OWN life into a one-woman show...maybe some day. Unless one of you really good writers wants to go ahead and pen that for me. Unsolicited scripts happily accepted.)
We saw a really great concert last week (it was New Guy's birthday present from me)--a sort of super-energized baroque quartet called "Red Priest." Seriously, you should check them out. They play very standard baroque repertoire, but they play it...differently. With attitude, if you will. (And the lead guy, a "recorder virtuoso," is way yummy.) I played in a recorder consort all through college, and of course, after the concert I had to get my recorder out and see if I could still play. I can--although my cat Stella might disagree--she bit me pretty sharply on the elbow when I hit the high notes. I actually might try to brush up my mad recorder "skillz" and find a group to play with. I loved playing recorder. (Yes, I am a geek. Your point?)
Okay, that pretty much catches you up. I'll try to be a more diligent poster this week. Hey, I never promised you a NaBloPoMo, did I? Heh.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I swear this is not a payback for being the winner of her contest. I used very scientific methodology to determine the winner. I wrote the names of the correct guessers on pieces of paper, balled them up, and attempted to throw them at a donut of scotch tape to see which one stuck. None of them stuck. I then tried a big piece of packing tape. None of them stuck. I THEN took a beautiful ceramic bowl given to me by my ex-sister-in-law, put it on the floor, closed my eyes and hurled the handful of paper balls at it. One went in. Bingo! (And I'm very sorry I don't have a camera phone--no photographic evidence exists of this sophisticated maneuvering.)
Anyway, -R-, you're the winner, and as I'm thinking of customing the prize a bit, I will be contacting you shortly via email to ask a couple of questions.
No, as multi-talented as I may or may not be, I can't tap dance to save my life. I am, however, a master of the mock time step--I can flap my arms around in a pretty accurate rendition of a time step, distracting the viewer completely (hopefully) from my pathetically flailing feet. Probably not enough to win a talent contest, though...even in the fourth grade.
#1 really happened. Back in the day, my small hometown was host every summer to the national parachuting championships. (And, one very exciting year, the international championships.) My father had his commercial pilot's license (small planes only), and used to spend hours every day hauling jumpers up and dropping them off, so we spent a lot of time hanging out and watching. Some of the contestants were remarkably accurate--they could hit that tiny target right square on the nose. Others were...not so much. One day I was toodling along, probably on my way to the concession stand, when I heard someone yelling from above "Hey! Look out!" I looked up--and right into the face of a way-off-target jumper, barrelling toward the earth--and me. I tried to run, but got caught by the lines and thumped to the ground. His body didn't actually land on top of me, thank goodness, and I wasn't hurt, but everyone who saw it came running, and there was a big fuss, and as I was the shyest child alive, I was completely humiliated (everyone's looking at me!) and just kept saying "I'm okay, I'm okay. Just let me go." The jumper was mortified, of course--I was probably only about 8 at the time. Good times all around. Heh.
#2 also happened, sad to say. I was doing a production of "Das Barbecu" a few years ago, the first musical I'd done in years. An evil virus worked its way through the cast during rehearsals, but didn't hit me until halfway through the run. "Das Barbecu," for those unfamiliar, is sort of "Greater Tuna"-like in that five actors play 30+ characters, and it's all rapid-fire quick costume changes and lots of mad dashes through the cross-over, in addition to the acting and singing and dancing. Thursday night I was suffering from a greatly scratchy throat, but managed to get through the show. Friday night the voice was on its way out, despite my panicked trip to the doctor for emergency steroids ("I want the shot Madonna gets!), a great deal of Throat Comfort tea and sucking down the contents of a honey bear between every scene, and I ended up dramatically speaking my last two power ballads. It was an absolutely miserable experience. Saturday the voice was gone. G-O-N-E, gone. I had no understudy, of course (ah, the beauty of community theatre) and there was no way anyone could learn the ins and outs of all the rapid changes on short notice, so we...improvised. The music director sang my songs from her place at the piano, the stage manager read my lines from the side of the stage, and I did all the movement. Yes, I mimed the entire show--songs and spoken dialogue. I'm told from the back half of the theatre you almost couldn't tell it wasn't all me. (Although we had made an announcement to the audience, of course.) And, actually, compared to the misery of the previous night, it was kind of fun. I just kicked back and went with it! Okay, it was not so fun that I'd ever want to do it again, mind you, but the show must go on!
So there you have it. Two truths and a lie. Thanks for playing!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Okay, having landed on the bandwagon, I will commence to offering you Two Truths and a Lie (following in the footsteps of -R-, LSass, etc.), with a prize to be awarded to the winner, chosen randomly from everyone who guesses correctly which of the following three statements is NOT true. Got it? Good.
- While watching a national parachuting contest as a child, I was landed on by an errant parachuter, and knocked to the ground.
- I once mimed an entire performance of a musical after losing my voice.
- In the fourth grade, I won the school talent show performing a tap-dancing number.
(Prize to be awarded on Monday.)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Seriously, who signed up me, the pastiest white girl around, for a year-long subscription to "Latina" magazine?
Not that I haven't enjoyed the interviews with Judy Reyes (love her! love "Scrubs"!) and Eva Mendes (eh, she's okay, I guess), and the tips on how to make the most of my Latina curves and wavy hair, but...HUH?
At first I thought they were just sending sample issues to households in zip codes with high Hispanic populations, which mine certainly would be. Then I got another issue, and noticed it's not addressed to "occupant," or even to "Elizabeth," which is how I'd be known on any purchased mailing list. No, it's addressed to "Liz," and it's a full-year paid subscription.
Could you pony up for some "People" or "Entertainment Weekly" while you're at it?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some maracas to shake. (Hey, God wouldn't have given 'em to me if he didn't want me to SHAAAKE 'EMMM!!!)
Monday, October 22, 2007
New Guy and I went to the opera as planned, then went to see the Japanese drummers "Yamato" last Wednesday. (And you should see them, too, if you get a chance...way cool!) Things are pretty much the same on the New Guy front all around...I'm trying hard not to worry about what's happening, and just let it happen. (Oh yeah, I'm still smitten. Just trying to keep an even keel here.)
Steve the stray is hanging out in my garage, being all laidback and sweet, and earning his keep by killing at least one baby rodent. (He beheaded and disemboweled it as well, and left it in a grisly pool of blood. Ewww...) Rover the inside cat, not to be outdone, killed HIS own baby rodent yesterday, as well. He, however, did not mutilate the little carcass. No, he just batted it around the room like it was a catnip toy, and became completely confused when I snatched it away from him. He searched and searched for his prize. What a mean mother I am! The real question, of course, is why Dolly and McBeady fell down on the job and allowed these tasty morsels to even enter the house. I must be feeding them too well.
I remain completely enamored of my yoga video. I've missed a few days of cardio here and there, but I never miss my yoga. I blame it for my current slow blogging pace, though...it's hard to work up a head of steam about anything when I'm feeling all zen and centered. I'm sure that will pass, though. Heh.
There have been little bits of sadness, of course. New Guy's 94-year-old grandmother (his last remaining grandparent) died, and he's on his way back home for the funeral. I lost MY last remaining grandparent at about the same age, a few years ago, so I know how that feels. The upside is that he gets to see his parents for the first time since July, and I know they'll be glad to have him there. He had just spent a long weekend visiting his kids, and now he'll get to see his whole extended family, and then when he gets back tomorrow night, I will be glad to see him! (And anxious to try some sort of only-in-Louisiana cookies he's been jonesing for ever since he's been here, and plans to bring back with him.)
I got my hair cut Friday by a new hairdresser, and I feel like a unfaithful whore. But I just wasn't really happy with the last couple of cuts my old guy gave me, so I tried a friend's stylist, instead. We'll have to see how it grows out, but I think she kind of understood more fully that I TRULY don't want to have to style my hair every day--I'll put a little product in it, but no blowdryers, no diffusers, no flat irons, no NOTHING. She said what I had looked like a great cut that would require some daily effort, and did the stylist "style" it after he cut it each time? And, yes...he did. He'd fill it up with product, attack it with his magical stylist fingers and the diffuser and I'd walk out of there looking great. Until I washed it, then it was all over. This gal deliberately did NOT style it, gave me some product tips, sent me out of there wet-headed, and told me to let her know how it turned out. So far, I think it's going to be okay. I would have liked her to take a little more length off, but I'm sure she was just being cautious with a new client. (Probably a prudent move...I used to have a stylist friend who told horror stories about clients coming in, asking for a short cut, leaving pleased, and then NOT stopping their husbands/boyfriends from calling my friend to threaten her life for cutting their woman's hair off. Sheesh.)
Okay, I think that catches you up. I'll try to wrangle some of these thought fragments floating around inside my head into something resembling a coherent post soon.
Maybe I'll just go off on a rant about local tv stations and their need to ENDLESSLY cover "severe" weather, to the point that they preempt the entire last half of "Pushing Daisies." AAARRRGGGGHHH!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Of course, now the difficult part will be in not getting too attached to Mr. Steve while I search for a home for him. But I've already notified the rescue group that was going to take him before, and we'll be able to show him as planned. I'm going to try continuing to foster him in my garage for a while, and we'll see how it goes. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO KILL HIM!! That was me screaming with delirious joy. While doing a happy dance.
I really needed some good news, as yesterday was quite an emotional roller coaster. I went to my hometown for the funeral of the father of one of my good friends in college. (Did you get that?) There were three of us who were inseparable my first couple of years in college, and though we drifted apart as time went on, as sometimes happens, we were still in at least sporadic contact. Dennis moved to Texas several years ago; Amy and I both ended up living in Tulsa, so we see each from time to time, as our busy schedules allow. Amy called this weekend, her mother having just called to tell her about Dennis's father. My mother had made the same phone call to me a little earlier. We decided we needed to go to the funeral. Dennis hadn't contacted either of us, but we knew he would be glad to see us. So we went.
It was a little surreal. It occurred to me that I couldn't even remember the last time the three of us had been together...we think it must have been sometime around 1984. We'd all seen each other separately, but not together. Dennis looked exhausted, and devastated, and he just grabbed us in a big hug and sobbed. (He lost his mother several years ago, so he's now parentless.) We stood that way for a while, and it felt so strange, and yet...so familiar.
The three of us were SO entwined in each other's lives back then. We did everything together. But times change, and people change and...I don't even know where I'm going with this. It was so good to see him, and he was so touched to see us. It's been so long since he's lived in that town that we were really the only people there for HIM, you know? It felt good...and it simultaneously made me sad. What happened to those three bright-eyed young things? When did we get to be middle-aged? Why didn't we stay in better touch? How could we have been so close, and then...not been? It was both sweetly sentimental and weirdly nostalgic. We agreed that we needed to have another reunion soon, and under happier circumstances, and Amy and I drove back home.
And I just felt unsettled for the rest of the day. The weird nostalgic feelings, of course. The pain of seeing someone you care about in pain. And also...it just freaks me out a little that my contemporaries are starting to lose their parents. This was the third good friend in the last year to lose his second parent. It forces you, like it or not, to start imagining your own parents as...mortal. Nooooooooooo!!!!! I refuse to allow it! Fortunately, my own parents are still relatively young and basically in good health, but someday...I don't want to think about it. And yet, I do. Every time I see that look of devastation on a friend's face, I do.
So last night I did my work-out, and then moved on to my yoga video, and I was feeling pretty good when, during the final relaxation pose, tears just started pouring down my face. I wasn't even really crying, per se...it's like I was just...leaking. Big, slow-rolling, cinematic Demi Moore-in-"Ghost"-tears. It was a little freaky. I wiped the tears away, and thought I was fine.
A few minutes later I was talking to New Guy on the phone, comparing notes on our days, and here they came again! Poor New Guy. I think it freaked him out a little. Hell, it freaked ME out a little. I didn't mean to be crying, but I just couldn't stop. He gave me a "hug over the phone" and told me to do something nice for myself, and he'd call me back later.
Do something nice for myself, I thought...okay, maybe I'll have some of that ice cream in the freezer. But wait, before I do, sniff, sniff...what's that smell? "That" was the smell that results when a cat has diarrhea on the throw rug OUTSIDE the litter box. That's what "that" was.
And you know what? I just started to laugh. That is SO my life. I ask for ice cream, and the universe hands me shit. But I figured if I can laugh at cat shit...I'm going to be okay. So I cleaned up the mess, and then I had the ice cream.
YES, I washed my hands well in between...what kind of crazy cat lady do you take me for? Heh.
Friday, October 12, 2007
- I take my last antibiotic this evening. The arm looks good.
- The lab results still aren't back on Steve. Do you know why? I know why, but only after two solid days of browbeating my vet's receptionist. Because, for some reason, for this particular test the lab sends the blood TO CALIFORNIA. The suspense is killing me, as I am now WAY attached to the sweetest kitty in the world. I simply must find him a home. All he needs is a room somewhere. Far away from the cold night air... (Insert Cockney accent here.)
- I did a short yoga workout on my lunch hour yesterday to keep from killing my vet's receptionist and, do you know, it worked!
- New Guy and I are going to the opera this weekend. "Tosca." Love that Puccini.
- It's beautiful here today. Now if only the ragweed would stay out of my eyes. (Tulsa is the Ragweed Capital of the World. It's true. Pollen.com said so, and I believe them. Achoo!)
That's all, folks!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
- The arm is nearly healed. You can barely see the red blotch now. Yay, antibiotics! (Boo, what antibiotics can do to your digestive system.)
- Steve, the sweet tuxedo kitty I was hoping to get into an adoption program tested positive initially for both FIV and Feline Leukemia. We're doing a more sophisticated test, but it's not looking good for Steve. I am greatly saddened.
- Things with New Guy continue on much as before. (We don't necessarily see each other every night, but at least every other night. And we talk on the phone every day. You know, in case you needed more detail. Heh.)
- One of my cat lady friends has cancer, and began chemo this week. She's been ordered not to go near cat boxes for the next 2-3 months, so we've organized a litterbox brigade to scoop for her twice a day. The first couple of days of radiation/chemo have not gone all that well--she's having some clotting issues. She's in the hospital, and you should all send good wishes/prayers her way.
- I've been very diligent with my yoga video, but haven't been quite so good with the cardio this week. Must address that!
- Why is it that when you have a fully-stocked refrigerator/freezer/pantry and only a paltry amount of money in your checking account until payday, ALL you want to do is eat out/get take-out? Why? I HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD AT HOME! (I wasn't yelling at you, I was yelling at my stomach.)
- I think I love "Pushing Daisies." I apologize now to anyone else who loves it, as my love generally nets a quirky show a quick cancellation. (No, I will NEVER get over "Arrested Development.")
- I had a box of goodies in the mail yesterday from Canada. Stinkypaw rocks!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Anyone want a cat? A handsome black and white tuxedo cat has been hanging out at my house off and on for the last few days. The last 2-3 days it's been more on than off. He's very sweet, obviously somebody's pet at some point, and I don't know how he came to be on the streets, but more to the point, WHO THE HELL GAVE HIM MY ADDRESS? That invisible beacon, it beckons. Dolly and McBeady (who has been staying VERY close to home lately) are a bit suspicious--apparently they know he's not one of "their kind." But they let him eat without too much fuss. I was hoping he was just new to the neighborhood and exploring his new surroundings, but it's looking more like he's either lost or abandoned. Sigh. Maybe I can find someone to take him, since, unlike Dolly and McBeady, he's not even remotely feral. WHY DO THEY ALWAYS COME TO ME?
Today promises to be the longest, slowest afternoon in recent history--the phone hasn't rung here in about two hours, and I only hope I can stay awake. I have much to do this weekend, none of it particularly fun--housework, yard work, grocery shopping. I'll try to fit in at least one really long workout, and some piano playing. Oh, my fabulously exciting life! (New Guy's kids are coming to visit him here for the first time, so I won't be seeing him, if you were wondering.)
Last week I bought a yoga workout video, and I must say I'm loving it. It's pretty gentle and relaxing, and I do it after my regular cardio/toning workout. I swear I can feel the difference in my hips after only one week! Very nice.
Look at me, being all healthy and shit. Hee. Lest you think I've gone completely into an all-healthy-all-the-time lifestyle, I will confess to you that yesterday I ate generous portions of both potato salad AND pasta salad, along with homemade peanut butter ice cream and a brownie. Or two. We had a cookout at work, and I figured since I wasn't eating the steak, I could splurge on the other stuff. Can you say "carb overload"? I couldn't, as I was too busy sitting like an overstuffed lump at my desk for the rest of the day, wanting all the while to put my head down on my arms and moan quietly.
And with that image, I will leave you. Good weekends, everyone!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I went ahead and scrubbed off the nearly indelible purple sharpie drawings on my arm, as I was getting tired of people asking if that was a new tattoo. Seriously? Do you think I have such hideously bad taste as to TATTOO a big red blotch and some purple circles and squiggly lines on my forearm? (Don't answer that.)
Hopefully this new drug will kick in soon, and I can stop looking like a leper.
Did any of you ever sing this particularly tasteless little ditty in your youth?
(To the tune of the Beatles' "Yesterday.")
Leprosy...all my skin is falling off of me...I'm not half the man I used to be...
Oh leprosy...came suddenly.
Syphillis...it all started with one simple kiss...now what's this burning feeling when I piss?
Oh syphillis...came suddenly.
Anyone? Just me and my friends? Okay then.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday was my "early day"--the one day a month I get to leave work early for no particular reason. Always good. Before I left I noticed I had what looked like a pretty large insect bite on my arm, but I didn't give it much thought. Just smeared it with some hydrocortisone cream and off I went.
I stopped by my favorite Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant for some take-out, headed home, pigged out and then napped. A long, long nap. Maybe a little too long, actually. I woke up a little groggy and disoriented, but a workout, followed by a go-round with my new yoga video, woke me up, and I actually managed to make it to the party I was invited to that night. Good party. I saw Spock/Wiley, who seemed to remember me (or so I let myself think). Saw some people I hadn't seen in a while, met some new people, drank some beers. It was nice. I actually stayed until 2:00. I think that's a record for me lately!
Saturday morning I did my usual household chores, and Saturday afternoon New Guy (nope, still no blog name) and I headed off to the state fair. The weather was perfect, and we had a delightful time. We toured the exhibition buildings, the animal barns, spent quite a bit of time admiring vintage tractors (New Guy grew up on a farm, and he's a BIG fan of the tractor.) He threw darts at balloons and won me a little Big Bird. (Awww...) We ate many things on sticks--pizza, cheese (me), shrimp, gator (him). Fun was had.
The insect bite was still there on my arm, and it was getting bigger and redder, but I still wasn't too concerned. I've had mosquito bites swell up like that before, and tick bites sometimes swell my lymph glands--I'm sensitive like that. At some point I did take a pen and make a couple of little marks, so I could see if it suddenly got bigger. I'm smart like that. Heh.
Sunday morning I was kind of lazy. Napped, did laundry (yes, his), napped, then did a dance workout, followed by the yoga tape, which left me feeling pretty good. I had a bite to eat and was heading to the shower, when I checked the red spot again and noticed there were now red streaks heading up my arm. I'll repeat that--THERE WERE RED STREAKS HEADING UP MY ARM. I decided to forego the shower and head straight for the minor emergency center, fearing that flesh-eating bacteria was even then preparing a full-on assault on my body.
One hour and $209 later, I headed out the door with a diagnosis of cellulitis, a buttful of antibiotics and a prescription for more, some pretty purple sharpie drawing on my arm, so I can monitor the spread of the redness, and an order to return in a couple of days for a recheck. What fun! The doctor told me I did "exactly the right thing" in coming in right away, as it's much easier to treat when it's caught early. And, judging by the pictures you'll see if you're brave enough to click on that link, it's definitely best to treat it early. Yowza.
Last night I helped New Guy unpack the latest load of his belongings he'd brought back from where they'd been stored, accompanied him to the grocery store, and that was pretty much the weekend.
The arm still looks a little scary (the spot's only about the size of a quarter, for anyone thinking my entire arm is a weeping sore), but it's not getting any bigger, and I don't have any of the more serious symptoms that would indicate systemic involvement (fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, headache.)
So it's all good.
It's not all perfect, for those of you thinking I am now frolicking through a lovely, charmed, free-from-angst (well, except for the flesh-eating bacteria) life. Now that the first flush of new...whatever has passed, we're into the "dealing with each other's years of accumulated baggage and hard-earned defense mechanisms and figuring out if we can let ourselves trust again" portion of the festivities. Oh, it's still lovely, and I'm still smitten...it's just that the work has begun. It's exhilarating and it's terrifying.
And such is life. You know I'll keep you all posted.