Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry The-Day-Before-Christmas... we should create a word for that...

Hello from work! Where I am! Where I am working! Much to the shock and awe of pretty much everybody that I know, apparently, judging by the shocked and horrified tones of their voices when I call them from work to ask a question.

“This caller ID says you’re at work!”

Yes, I am

“But WHY????”

Because it’s not yet Christmas. It’s very, very close, I grant you. But today is actually Christmas EVE. EVE. As in “the day before, but not actually the day of.” As in "the day where you keep thinking how cool that it's so close, but you're not actually celebrating the day really." As in "the day where, if the holiday in question were New Years, it would be very strange for you to already have a hangover." Not that I’d be against being home right now, because I enjoy being home (just as general rule) but I am officially done defending my being at work today as though I’m working on a holiday. I’m working on a holiday EVE.

But enough of that grumbly tone, because today is a lovely day of cheer and the like! It’s almost Christmas! All of the shopping and wrapping and shipping and planning is finished and now we’re just about to reap the rewards! In my case that comes in the form of me sitting in my pajamas in my ‘rent’s living room, watching them open up stuff and looking for that “wowsers!!” reaction. My parents are the ones for whom I finished shopping last. Not because they’re necessarily hard to shop for, but more because I COMPLETELY overthink them. I load on tons of pressure around finding exactly the most excellent and perfect of perfect gifts for them. After all, seeing as they gave me that pesky little gift of life it’s gonna be really tricky to find the thing that is a proper “thank you.” But I’m gonna keep trying.

It’s the super-ironic part of this holiday for me: my favorite part is the giving, not the receiving, and yet I make myself CRAZY trying to make sure that my people are happy with what I give them. And by “happy” I really mean “overjoyed.” Or more like “ecstatic.” Or most accurately like “This is the best gift that ever have I received, oh friend/family member of mine, and I will cherish it for ever and for always and will write in my diary today about the wonderful gift you gave to me and if I don’t keep a diary I will start today because lo, this is a gift well worthy of documenting in a diary!!” Which is asking a lot from a pair of fuzzy socks or a stud finder.

I finished my shopping on Saturday, but spent a chunk of today phone-shopping for my sister and her husband, looking for gifts that they want to give each other. They’re the ones who have been chewing through a super-ambitious house remodel since mid-year and are only just getting back into the house. Like yesterday we were helping them find the hardware for the shelves which will hold dishes. So that they can have dishes. They’re all fancy like that. Anyway, the point is that they’ve really not had the time to do all the shopping they want or need to do, so I was all over the online phonebook and the phones and letting my fingers do all kinds of walking so that we could find the perfect things from them to them as well.

I just feel like everyone should be as happy as we can make them this time of year, you know? I know that we can’t make everyone perfect and we can’t solve all the problems and we can’t abolish hunger and poverty and stuff overnight, but if at least one day a year we could all work towards making everyone else happier wouldn’t that be cool? Couldn’t we at least afford one day of 100% generosity? Hmmm? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, that’s my wish for all of you lovely readers. Thanks for taking an interest in my lunacy, and no matter what you celebrate I hope you celebrate (or celebrated) it up good!

Happy Merry Bon ho-dreidel-stuff!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Drugs and Parties, but not together.

First, the update: officially I survived the dentist. That is if you define “survived” as “I didn’t come out the other end all dead.” I’m not dead, but I’m not what you would call “happy”

I took the valiumy-pill. And then I waited. And at first I was sure I felt a difference right away. But no, that’s crazy. So then I was sure that I felt nothing. But THEN I sat down to meet with my boss (she’s a brave soul) and as I sat there another co-worked walked in to ask a question, standing beside me in my chair. And from where I was sitting the co-worker was roughly sixteen feet tall.

And then I knew something was happening.

I had another 30 minutes or so at work, with a floor who refused to stay flat and wheeled chairs with a mind of their own and can I also say that when the “possible side effects” included “clumsiness” on their list they were really, REALLY not kidding? Like that poinsettias don’t so much bounce? See what I’m saying? Right.

But you may ask here “were you at least more relaxed?” And I would reply with one of those “HA!” thingies, but with a side-order of wanting to puke. Dizzy? Yes. Clumsy? Yes. A little slow to react (as in “oh hey, that’s my thumb stuck between the desk and the chair. Surely that should hurt? Oh, there it is…”)? Yes. Relaxed? Good golly no.

Finally my Mom (who I so much love because she drove me all over town just so that I could jam my thumb between a chair and a desk without noticing it!) picked me up and took me to my dentist. I got out my dentist kit (which is really just my walkman and good tunes, and trimmed fingernails so that I don’t gouge my palms accidentally) and we were about to roll, I was ready, I was freakin' prepared... and at that moment the masked man (pretty sure it was my dentist) got that “I just realized something not so good” look in his eyes, asked to check my chart, and dropped the bomb. The “oh yeah, I just now remembered that you were supposed to get a root canal before we finish this crown.” Bomb.


So there I am with this dilemma: I really do like my dentist, and I know this was just a mistake, and even I, EVEN I, have been known to make those once in a while. Yet right at that moment I was filled with the overwhelming desire to grab the nearest super-sharp instrument (which in a dentist’s office are both plentiful and FREAKY looking!) and plunge it deep into his un-masked forehead. What to do, what to do…

We still did the crown prep, but instead of going to an office holiday party with food and presents and stuff this afternoon I got to go have a second dental procedure. For those of you keeping score that would be two trips to dentists in two days. And that would also be so WRONG!!!!! I got to spend my lunch getting a last-minute root canal.

Also? The temporary crown that Dentist the first gave me yesterday was too tall. I couldn’t tell when he asked me in the office because of course it felt wrong. All my teeth felt wrong! The whole right side of my mouth was full of teeth that I’d never met before, so how could I possibly tell that one of them actually WAS wrong? They fine tuned it and fine tuned it and I thought we were there. But hours later I tried eating. At that point the wrongness of my tooth was pretty danged obvious. So I gummed my way through a bowl of mac and cheese and that was the last solid food I’ve had to eat since then. Because now I can't eat due to the brain-melting pain in my jaw from two days of poking and gouging and other assorted dental evil.

(however here's a pony I found: I was given permission to have a milkshake as my dinner. aaawesoooome...!)

So, to recap: I’m hungry. I’m sore. I’m exhausted. I’m really hating all dentists right now. But at least I’m done for the time being. Merry ho-ho-kill me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dentists, drugs and what were we talking about again?

Hello from basket-case central, a dark and swirly land of badness. How are things in the land of lightness and goodness and “I don’t have to go to the dentist today”-ness? I wish I were there. I hope I live to visit you there tomorrow.

(translation: OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod-I have to go to the dentist today and I don’t want to SO MUCH - OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod OhGodOhGodOhGod!)

Yeah, I’m going to the dentist today. I have a tooth that broke over a year ago, and which has been suffering through with a temporary filling on it. (I know, I had the same reaction when the dentist told me how long ago we’d put that on. “Temporary filling? Lasting over a year? Are we sure we’re using that word “temporary” correctly?”) But now I have the Good Job again, with the Really Good Benefits, and so it’s time to start repairing the things that are broke. And my mouth is thing one.

So remember how I’m a great, big dentist-phobe? How I’d rather spend a couple of days with my mouth tasting like the inside of a soda can then visit my dds? How I’d rather spend a couple of days ON FIRE then visit my dds? Right, that’s me. However today I’m going to conquer my fears (or at least beat them into temporary submission) and get my butt into chair. And all I have to do in the meantime is try not to crawl entirely out of my skin and leave it a hollow (albeit smartly dressed) husk in my desk chair as the rest of me curls up in a ball under the desk. Piece of cake!

I know other people who are as enthusiastic about dental visits as I am and several have suggested pre-medicating myself. I explained that while I’m not crazy about dentists in general I really like my personal Dentist (protecting the innocent we’ll call him Guy Smiley) and therefore I don’t feel good about greeting him with a terrible case of tequila-breath. Not to mention the eventual vomiting. Turns out, though, that these people were talking ACTUAL medication. So now I’ve got this prescription for Valium. (well, actually it’s Valium’s poorer, less-famous cousin Diazepam. But I’ll bet she’s just as bright and shiny once sucked on down!)

A normal person would see this as some kind of solution or otherwise good thing. “I am ever so glad” they would say “that this small, blue pill will help me to be less stressed and make this trip to the dentist a less scary thing. Oh joy and for goodness, little blue pill.” Yes they would.

Yes they would.

I’m pretty sure they would.

Whatever! The point is this: not me! I woudn’t/couldn’t/can’t say this. Instead I say this: “Crap and crap, now I’m stressed out about going to the dentist AND I’m stressed out about taking drugs! Drugs that I’ve never taken before. AND I have to take the blue pill here at work. And wait for an hour. AND now I have to get rides all over the place because apparently they aren’t kidding about the “don’t operate 2-ton vehicles while all loopy and stupid” warning. And did I mention that I’m probably going to be stupid at work? A place where I generally try to keep my stupidity to a minimum? Crap. And also crap.” That's what I say.

And by the way, I read the possible side effects (which is something that I always, always, ALWAYS do, ever since this one time where I ended up going blind in the shower. But that’s a story for another time…) and now I’m sure I’m having them all. (please note: I have not actually taken the pill. No pill has crossed my lips. But still I’m clumsy and drowsy and headachy and stuff.) And I’m supposed to let the doctor know if I have any memory loss, but I haven’t yet. I don’t think. Unless I have, but I’ve forgotten about it. Have I mentioned crap and crap yet? Crap.

So wish me luck and tomorrow I’ll try to post even if just so you’ll know that I survived. But for now I’m busy stressing and filling-up my tummy with poisonous asps and tapping my toes constantly, to the great enjoyment of the folks sitting around me. (and if you’re very lucky I’ll be just foolish enough to write a blog post while stupid-loopy on poor, ordinary lady Diazepam.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Because I wanted to make sure you guys knew I was still alive…

Oh I cannot tell you how busy things have been, and it’s all because of Christmas. And I LOVE Christmas, so I can’t complain or feel bad about it. But still, it’s busy and I’ve spent some time every day for the last week going “and dang-dang-dang, I STILL haven’t written a blog post!!!”

One of the things that I did do in the last week was my monthly responsibility with our work kitchen. In other words, I am on kitchen duty this month. This has benefits and drawbacks. For instance, there has been a fairly constant stream of treats and goodies and num-nums and such, given that we’re all holidayish, and so I can go in and say “oh gosh and golly, look at this terrible mess in the form of a huge plate of sugar cookies or a tray of sloppy, juicy holiday pears – I shall be noble and clean them!” (and by “clean them” I mean “eat them”. And by “noble” I mean “greedy, greedy, oh so greedy…”) On the other hand, I kept hearing people complaining about the lack of space in the fridge due to stacks of abandoned food and such, and at last I could avoid it no more, so I decided that I’d clean out the fridge.

So as to get some official credit for my creativity building up to the fridge chore, I present to you “Cleaning the Fridge: an email drama in three parts. Plus one.” Enjoy!


Sent: Monday, December 10, 2007 11:50 AM
From: Femtastic
Subject: Fridge cleaning on Friday


Looks like it’s time again to take a blowtorch to the fridge in our kitchen. I’ll be “disposing” of anything toxic or semi-toxic at the midpoint of the day on Friday, so please take a minute or two in the meantime to see if there’s anything in there to which you have a sentimental attachment. Thanks!

Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 8:10 AM
From: Femtastic
Subject: Fridge Reminder – the Second Coming


OK, just another reminder that everything in the fridge currently learning to speak and reason will be hitting the trash come midday on Friday. If you’ve not yet achieved “sentient tuna salad” by then and you want your science experiment to go a little longer you’ll want to move it to your home laboratory. Thanks all!

Sent: Friday, December 14, 2007 9:18 AM
From: Femtastic
Subject: Fridge Reminder -- the Final Chapter!!!


OK, so I will be attacking our fridge with the standard tools (gloves, garbage bag, blowtorch, wooden stake, etc.) right after lunch today (1-ish). So this is your very last, bar none, no exceptions, hasta-la-vista and adios muchachos chance to find new homes for anything you’ve been cultivating in there. I will show no mercy, I will take no prisoners and I will suffer no whining if your pet chicken burrito is sacrificed to the sanitation gods.

Consider yourself warned. (cue dramatic movie music here.)

Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 11:18 AM
From: Femtastic
Subject: The Fridge Cleaning - epilogue

So the deed is done, and I’ve scheduled my three follow-up doctor visits for the required inoculation shots and 20-minute long hugs. And in case anyone thinks that this was not a valuable and informative use of my time, I present you this:

Things I learned about my new place of employment while excavating the cold box in the kitchen:
  • Folks around here buy yogurt, so to look health-conscious and fit and spry. But they don’t actually eat yogurt.
  • 20 oz. of soda is just way too much soda for one serving – better to make your Mountain Dew or Diet Pepsi stretch over several days. Months. Years. Whatever.
  • Hummus sweats when it’s nervous.
  • As it turns out, this fridge DOES have a freezer! It’s cleverly disguised as “the back wall of the fridge”, as anything that actually touches the back of the fridge will freeze solid. (Just like at my house.)
  • If left alone in a dark space Lean Cuisine frozen meals will reproduce much like rabbits. Really cold rabbits.
  • The only dessert that gets forgotten in a fridge is sugar-free dessert.
  • There was a potluck in the office sometime around March of 2006. Someone brought salad. And dressing.
  • The fridge hasn’t had a serious cleaning since sometime around March of 2006.
  • Mold will grow on mustard after all. Fierce, hearty mold which could probably also be used to strip paint or remove a wart.
  • If you warn people that you’re going to clean the fridge, most will honestly believe that they have nothing in that fridge to worry about.
  • Most of those people will be wrong.
  • It takes about four hours for an empty fridge to fill right back up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vocabulary builder...

The definition of irony:

Being super-annoyed when the blogs I check daily haven't been updated recently, while personally being unable to make/find/get/have/steal/beg for the time to update my own.

stupid irony.

(watch this space for soon goodness!)

Friday, December 07, 2007


My mother worked for a very, very long time. Worked in various offices and other places of order and civility, like a Museum or a University or (even more so) a university’s law school. The places where she worked came to think of my mother as a miracle worker of making order and keeping everything just so and ALWAYS knowing where things should go and would be found. All my mother’s co-workers openly wept and cursed the gods of retirement every time she went on to the next thing.

This reality was (and probably still is) very frustrating to my father, for whom my mother keeps losing the rubberband from the checkbook.

It’s their own system (and by “their system” I of course mean that it’s mostly his system) to keep things together in the land of check-bookery and it works pretty well, but it all hinges on this big, fat, purple broccoli rubberband that goes around the checkbook and holds it all compact. So when Mom goes out to do a pile of things, at least one of which required writing a check, and comes home with a rubberbandless checkbook Dad sometimes has a hard time not losing it. And a crucial part of his frustration goes like this:

“Why are you so super-organized and on top of absolutely everything at work, but you can’t be like that at home????”

(Side note of importance about my Dad: he’s mostly been self-employed my whole life. There was some time where he worked for others, but he’s way happier and better and less “want to chew a hole in my own cheek and set fire to someone’s desk”-ey when he’s his own boss. However that means his experience out in job-world is different than most.)

The reason that my Mom can’t be super-organized and on top of absolutely everything both at a job and at home is this: nobody can be super-organized and on top of absolutely everything all the time. You just can’t. If you were to really be that methodical you’d last for 20 years and then you’d be super-organized about loading the rifle and picking just the right clock-tower and… you see where I’m going with this, right? So if you can only be super-organized part of the time you’re gonna chose the time when you’re at work! The time where someone is paying you good money to BE super-organized, as opposed to the time where you’re home with your sweet baboo who probably didn’t marry you because of your organizational skills. I totally get this.

I get this because I INHERITED this. At my work everyone thinks I’m ever so efficient and organized and I don’t lose things and I’m good at remembering things and it’s excellent. Especially because hopefully they’ll love me and promote me and pay me enough money so that I can hire a personal assistant to come to my home and help me find ANYTHING! Socks! Library Books! Checks for actual money! You name it, people, and I can lose it. Not at work, but at home. At home I’m a loser. (so to speak.)

For instance, right now I’m supposed to be sending this big, important paper to this big, important company in a big, important city for what will eventually provide me some big, important MONEY to help me pay for big, important CHRISTMAS. Except for that I went to get the big, important paper in the place I was sure would be it’s home last night. And I know that right now I don’t even have to tell you how lacking in big, important papers that place was.

I. Am. Freaking. OUT.

If I had no systems in place for this I’d probably be less frustrated, but I really thought that I’d totally managed this. I was sure that the paper would be right there when I went for it, looking all smug and “I knew you’d come for me eventually.” But then I got there and nothing. No matter how many times I went to the same place it was still never there. I spent hours going through every single pile that couldn’t possibly have it because HELLO, I had a FLOOD 2 years ago and so everything in that room has already been SORTED once and this thing was received LONG BEFORE THAT so it could not be in the piles. It has to be in that place where it just isn’t.

So my list of things to do this weekend just got one new item added to it: FIND THE PAPER. Open every drawer and box and slot that I haven’t opened in the last 4 years and look through it to find that damned paper. Open the ones I’ve already opened. Don’t dare throw ANYTHING away. And, of course, lots and lots of good, healthy cursing.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My Santa Claus can beat up your Santa Claus

It’s that time of year when all the stations are doling out my childhood in sweet little 60-minute, claymationesque lumps. Mmmm, “Santa Clause is Coming to Town.”, Mmmm “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”… After watching a few of these I started thinking about one of the more consistent ideas from all of those stories: Santa makes the toys. He makes them, the elves make them, whatever: they’re wood and paint and nails and MADE. By HAND.

I don’t know how any current kids can believe in Santa Claus now, since everything you can give a kid is plastic and molded and chock full of lead paint and mercury from our good friends in the North Pole China. But I know that I believed in Santa in my day. (technically I still do, although that belief is dependent on a careful combination of not thinking about it too hard and selectively forgetting facts of life the second I learn them. And egg nog.) I even remember that my Granny knew Santa – they were pals. That was why she could sleep on the couch on Christmas Eve when she stayed at our house. So that she and the Big Man could catch up, compare photos (Granny: “That’s my granddaughter Femtastic – she’s a little hellion, but please bring her stuff anyway.” Santa: “That’s Dasher’s latest fawn – we call him Skipper and he keeps eating my slippers.”) It was with this level of detail that for always and for true I believed, believed in Santa.

Still, how could I believe if I was getting these toys and things that were obviously made by things other than hands? Here’s how: my Santa gifts (when I was wee) were often hand made! By hands! Actual people hands!!

There was the year of the complete kitchen set – fridge, sink, stove; all wood and white paint and perfectly wee-sized. I had that set for a really long time, and then eventually passed it on to the next youngest kids in the family. From Santa I bequeath you this kitcheny goodness, kids! Also I remember a microphone stand that elevated my dancing around the living room, singing with the Bee Gees, Shawn Cassidy or Olivia Newton John to almost professional levels. It was wood on the base, then a series of interlocking metal tubes and topped off with a microphone from a tape recorder (ask your parents about what that was, kids – it’s the thing that cave men used in order to rock out to tunes. They were normally steam-powered.) with just enough cord for me to do that cool Roger Daltry spinny thing. And I’m pretty sure that Santa was responsible for the blanket that was pink/green/blue plaid on one side and lined with hot-pink fake fur on the other. Because Santa knew how to rock the hot pink like that.

OK, so I don’t remember how I reconciled these treasures with the slot car track or the bean bag chair or the Casio keyboard. I think once the faith in Santa was there it was unshakable! Show me your plastic, mass-made toys that I have MYSELF seen advertised on TV and I will show you my smooth, polished wood or hand-sewn lovelies that probably took so long to make SO wonderful that the elves were forced to stop at K-Mart to pick up the last few things, ‘kay?

Also I know that one of the reasons for many of the hand-made treasures from my parents (via Santa) was to keep costs down, because we weren’t what folks would call “overwhelmed with massive piles of money” when I was a kid. But that was never how it felt; it was just so cool that Santa’s own elves had taken the time to paint the little black knobs on my pint-sized stove! For ME! And that nobody else I knew had what I had because I had the only ones anywhere. Limited Edition. Special Reserve. One Night Only. Be the only kid on your block.

Best of all: I could watch my Rankin/Bass holiday treats with 100% belief, because of course Santa and his crew were making everything by hand. Allow me to direct you to the fur/plaid blanket wrapped around the wood/steel microphone stand in that corner where, later on, I will be doing a command performance of Andy Gibb’s “Shadow Dancing”! Get your tickets now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Where are my hatches, and how do I batten them?

We are having a storm, people. My little town of near-constantly temperate weather dares to have a full-on, news-worthy, brow-furrowing storm! I’m a little shocked, and totally without any method to prevent it, as is the unique thing about weather. (that unique thing being that weather, for the most part, makes all human beings it’s bitch. Go weather!)

Mostly what we’re talking about is a) rain and b) wind. But it’s the amounts and/or the velocity of these things that is taking the weather from storm to STORM!!! Things started early Sunday morning (so early that most of us would really have called it late Saturday night) and have been cooking ever since. Highlights, according to those who have the technology to track it, have included almost 2 inches of rain in about a day and supposedly winds over 50 mph over at the coast.

But that doesn’t impress me.

What impressed me was the tree that had ditched the traditional vertical stance of it’s tree brethren to give a try to the more edgy horizontal position about three blocks from my house. And this tree didn’t convince ALL of it’s parts to do this – the roots were holding true to the traditional “in the ground” position. This thing (a big thing!) snapped about a foot from the ground. Woof!! By the time I came home for lunch it was a tidy little pile of firewood, still reminiscing about it’s former tree life.

Also impressive was the freight-train-like sounds that the wind kept making all day yesterday. I couldn’t help but think of all of the Midwest people who compared the sound of a tornado to a train, and all the times I thought “well that’s just plain crazy talk from people who think it makes sense to keep building houses in areas that mother nature is obviously trying to clear for future open space!” But then there I was, washing dishes and hearing the train coming down the street, regardless of the track-free space there. And no matter of peering down the road helped me figure out what the heck the wind was doing that made that sound. (turned out to be the sound of my storm windows on my great, big front windows which, as it turns out, will shake and rattle when properly inspired.)

Impressed was I by the visual of my neighbors great, big recycling bin scooting down the street in front of the house (and happy was I that I don’t park on the street because my headlights would have been helpless to defend themselves from recycling bin attack!) Also impressed was I by sitting in the bathroom here at work and hearing, and FEELING, the breeze of the outside work on my less-than-all-dressed body. Here’s the thing you should know, if you want to share how impressed I was: there are no walls in the bathroom that lead to outsideness. All of the walls lead to other walled-in space. Halls and offices and kitchens and closets… All places where there should be no wind. And yet I was windblown!

But of all of our storm excitement the thing that was MOST impressive to me was that all afternoon my hummingbirds kept coming to the feeders. HUMMINGBIRDS! TO THE FEEDERS! Defying the tree-shredding, bathroom-rocking, bin-propelling winds to come and get a drinky-poo. Little critters who weigh probably about negative an ounce and who are not traditionally known as icons of super-strength, but they were undeterred by all this storm foolishness. They’re just SO cool! The next time I hear someone on the news vexed by how terrible the storms and how vicious the winds are I will think “hey, if Mr. and Mrs. Hummingbird can come out for a bite you can just shut it!”

Friday, November 30, 2007

Things that I did today when I was home for lunch.

  • Let the kitties in the house (“quickly because now, now, now, what if there is new food, aaaauuuggghhh, noooowwwwww!!!!!” plus little kitty clawing at the locked door to magically unlock it.)

  • Let kitties back out of the house (“same food as was in the dish when we left this morning… stupid human… grumble, grumble…”)

  • Set the egg timer for 35 minutes, because that’s how much time I have at home once I deduct the time to bike home and bike back to work, and because otherwise I will either forget to go back or possibly fall asleep on the couch.

  • Put a microwave pizza in the microwave oven. For my microwavey meal goodness.

  • Fall asleep on the couch. But only briefly.

  • Let one kitty back in the house – ("any new food yet? How ‘bout now? How ‘bout now?...")

  • Flip back and forth between an ABC soap opera and an NBC soap opera, trying to decide which makes me feel less dirty inside when I watch it.

  • Give up and watch Tivo’d Scrubs from last night instead.

  • Push great big, food-wanting kitty off my lap so that I can fetch melty, soggy, disgusting but WARM microwave pizza from microwave oven for microwavey goodness that I will now eat.

  • Pause from my eating to allow some skin to re-form on the top of my mouth where now there is only scalding-hot melted cheese. (cry just a little bit – don’t want the kitties to see me be weak.)

  • Let kitty number one out of (“stupid human, grumble…”) and kitty number two in to (“hey guys, what are we doing???”) the house.

  • Check the mail.

  • Throw away the mail.

  • Envy other people’s mail, which sometimes contains things other than junk mail and sales temptations from the evil department stores

  • Remember that to have other things in my mail I’d have to write cards and letters to other people. Which isn’t going to happen.

  • Let kitty number two out of (“there’s nothing fun in here… grumble…”) and kitty number one in to (“How ‘bout now? How ‘bout now?”) the house. Tell kitty number one that THERE WILL BE NO NEW FOOD AS THAT BOWL IS PRACTICALLY FULL OF FOOD AND YOU BETTER EAT WHAT’S THERE BEFORE THERE WILL BE ANYTHING NEW, AND NO AMOUNT OF GOING OUTSIDE AND COMING BACK IN WILL MAKE IT DIFFERENT!!!

  • Let kitty number one out of the house.

  • Let kitty number one back into the damned house. (“this time for sure!”) Weep a little more, but in the bathroom to hide the weakness.

  • Finish the Lava and Pepperoni pizza.

  • Get super excited when I see both a woodpecker AND a hummingbird in the tree out my window! Very cool! Watch them flit around each other! Wow! Nature happening right there! Take that, Steve Irwin! Take that, Marlon Perkins! I’m gonna take excellent pictures of this and they’ll be great and finally give me something cool to post on my photo blog and-

  • Watch kitty number two attempt to get back down out of the tree, having successfully chased all cool bird life away in a completely futile attempt to catch THINGS WITH WINGS.

  • Clean up bloody thighs from the punctures left there when kitty number one fled lap, startled by the egg timer that goes off every single afternoon and yet always scares the hell out of her.

  • Re-bundle for the cold and/or wet bike ride back to the office. Remind myself that I still have to invent that hat/ear-muff/ski mask combo-thing so I can be famous and also rich. I’ll do that tomorrow for sure.

Thanksgiving's impact on the laws of physics and me

Hey everybody! Did everyone enjoy their traditional, completely normal and expected, par-for-the-course and not at all questionable or extravagant Thanksgiving week holiday, which would (of course) run from Thanksgiving Thursday all the way until the following Thursday and therefore exempt you from any kind of working or responsibilities… or blogging… or whatever…

Me too!

Sorry I’ve been AWOL – just way too much happening and apparently way too much need to crash the second I get anywhere close to a couch. Not even my couch – just couches in general. Somewhere around Thanksgiving the gravitational pull of all couch-bodies increased by at least twofold. So it’s not my fault.

I will say that Thanksgiving was excellent, which is always a good thing. I love that holiday, but slightly less so since I became some form of grown-up and was expected to actually contribute food. (please see previous mentions of me being a crappy and super-unenthusiastic, and possibly even bitter and resentful, cook) still, thanks to my friends at Costco, and their "so simple even a blind monkey with one hand and super-serious fits of spasms can't screw it up!" cooked hams, I was able to do my grown-uply duty and bring both a major course (the ham) and a dessert course (brownies, baby!!) and thereby enjoy the foods of my foody-family with no guilt.

In other words, Yay Thanksgiving!!

But I think I’m back to functioning again, so watch this space for more words and such!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This is why offices need to have ovens...

You know how when you’re being interviewed for a job they pretty much always ask what area you need improvement, which is a good way of both finding out how honest someone is and also what areas they need improvement? And if you’ve ever been the interviewer you also know that the lamest, most cop-outish of all answers to that question is the classic “I’m too much of a perfectionist and way too hard on myself when I make a mistake.” because it’s like saying “I’m way too beautiful and it’s distracting to the other employees.”?

Well, that being said I am too much of a perfectionist and way too hard on myself when I make a mistake. For instance, right now I’m trying to decide if you can kill yourself by eating an entire box of paper clips.

Oh ugh, I SO made a mistake. Here at work, yesterday – no really, a BIG one.

I generally avoid talking about work because one should always learn lessons that others are kind enough to live through for you (thank you, Heather Armstrong) but I have to tell you enough so that you know how much I suck SUCK. So on a very high-level, generalized and all, here’s the deal:

I screwed up while scheduling a meeting and basically added an email that said “this dude is so pissing me off!!” into the meeting invitation.

And now I die.

Now in my defense (which sounds stupid as I type it, because HOW DO YOU DEFEND THIS STUPIDITY? ONLY BY CLAIMING TEMPORARY STROKE OR POSSESSED BY ALIEN GHOST MONKEYS!!!!) I ask you, why would someone send an email asking to schedule a meeting, and then mention “oh by the by, isn’t Senior Doody-head being a Doody-head? Dang him!” in that same email?

Of course the answer is “because you are supposed to READ THINGS in your job, right?” Apparently I learned nothing from all of those tests in grade school that start out “Step 1: read ALL of the directions before you start this test” and end the list with “Step 15: don’t do anything at all – we were just seeing if you could follow the simplest of directions. Now turn and mock all the people in your class who are half-way through cramming Kleenex into their shorts (step 4).”

The good news is that my boss is super-cool and understood how I made the mistake, and yet also didn’t take responsibility for the mistake which so many bosses do, and which is super nice (which makes me feel even worse) and yet not appropriate because it is NOT their mistake (and therefore makes me feel borderline suicidal). She put the onus on my as it should be, and now I just need to figure out some way to stop wanting to stand in traffic from the guilt. Because I’m too much of a perfectionist. And I’m way too hard on myself when I make a mistake.

Happy Slapsgiving, everybody.

(raise your hand if you wanted to giggle like a 10-year old boy when you read the word “onus.” Yep, me too.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Big Finish!

Get Prescription for new glasses: check!

Get new glasses: check also!

Get the actual glasses in your hot little hands on your hot little face: Will do, cap’n!

The process so far has been kind of, bordering on extremely, painful, I think we can all agree, but now there’s a finish line; a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. This gives me ridiculous hope, which is a mistake you’d think I’d have stopped making in these kinds of cursed scenarios! But no, hope actually does spring eternal.

Stupid hope.

Anyway, after 5-10 days (which actually was 11, but who’s counting? ME! I’M COUNTING!) I get the call from New Guy, letting me know my glasses are there. I show up with a good hour before closing, figuring all I have to do is three little things: 1) give plastic money card, 2) sign receipt saying “here, have a big wad of not-real money, on the promise that eventually I’ll give you real money, in exchange for my hard-fought-for glasses”, 3) take new glasses. That should take all of 5 minutes, right? 10 minutes if I forget how to spell my own name. No problem!!

The only person working the store when I get there is New Guy. But me, I’m optimistic. “He’s had almost 2 weeks by now, surely he’s feeling more confident? Surely he’s less panicky? Surely he’s going to be able to help me with this very simple task?” Plus we get off to a good start. He finds the glasses (good start #1) AND they’re the right ones (good start #2). And I’m thinking that we’re almost scott free – give that man your Department Store card and flee! And right then New Guy asks me to try them on to make sure they fit right.


See, I’d forgotten that another mutant aspect of me is that my ears are not level. Or my eyes aren’t. Or my head is crooked, something, all I know is that when I put nice, normal glasses of any kind onto my face they are NOT STRAIGHT. There is an extremely visible and unsettling difference between where the right and left lens hits my face. It looks a lot like I’m near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in one cheekbone. But it had been such a long time since I last had to adjust any glasses, so I’d really forgotten. And as these new glasses slid down the left side of my face I had that feeling of impending doom, because there was nobody to help New Guy adjust them. We were on our own.

I must say this: his heart was in the right place all the way. He didn’t shy away from the task at hand, and he said with all the sincerity in the WORLD: “you spent a lot of money on these glasses and you should be 100% happy with them.” These are good words. These are the kinds of words that lift your spirit and make you feel really good about the customer experience that you’re about to have! They give you hope, dare I say even confidence! I knew he could do it, and he knew it too! This was going to be the magnificent pay-off for the interminable process of picking out the glasses almost 2 weeks ago! This ugly duckling was about to become a glasses-adjusting swan!

New Guy took a long look at my face and the crooked way my new glasses hung on my miss-shaped head, and then he took them from me and began to manipulate things. With a big, confident smile he handed me back the glasses and I placed them back on the face… and they slid even faster down toward my left shoulder, evaporating both of our confident grins.

What followed was an endless series of attempts to find the sweet spot between my ears and my face. He’d bend and twist and hand them back and they’d be closer, and then he’d bend and twist more, and they’d be much further away. Each time the goal got farther from us he’d put the glasses down on the counter and stare, and stare, and stare, as though this were one of those optical puzzles where if you could just focus your eyes 3 feet past the glasses you’ll see a dolphin jumping out of the water. Every once in a while he’d try to argue with me about whether or not we’d gone in the wrong direction, as though there was anything that he could tell me about what he did that would carry more weight than the fact that the glasses were now practically parallel with my neck! And each time he’d hand them back to me they were more and more hot.

Did you know that when they want to adjust glasses there is this box of hot salt that they put the frames into? Apparently the idea is that they heat things up to make them more willing to bend. At first I thought that was cool new information, but after a while I started to worry about the effect of so much hot sand on my poor plastic frames. Finally I had to ask him if he’d ever broken a pair of glasses while adjusting them.

“Yah, earlier this week. The first pair that I ever adjusted. They just snapped -- it was not good.”

Two new pieces of information there: it is possible to break the glasses in this process, and he’s been adjusting glasses for less than a week.

Somewhere along the line I couldn’t stand it anymore and asked New Guy to explain to me the theory he was operating with, and it was obvious that he had it backwards. I walked him through how this had to work, using my poor, hot, salty glasses as the visual aid, and sent him off to try it again. He decided to bend them back to square one and start fresh from there, which seemed like a solid idea, and he got it almost right the first time around! Second time and they were practically perfect! At least for as broken as they were!

Between the heat and the 30 minutes of vicious manhandling both stems were only partially attached to the frame front. They weeble-wobbled ever so sadly, as if to say “no mas, no mas, we will tell you whatever you want to know!” I pointed out the tragically loose stems to New Guy, and without skipping a beat he replied “You want me to send them in? I’ll send them in.” and grabbed a repair form.

At this point I knew I was done, but there was no point in being done to New Guy. He was without any power, without the tools to do anything with my fury, and without the stamina to stand up under the hurricane of frustration that I felt rising up within me. If I let loose on him he’d crumple like a condo of so many playing cards and what fun would that be? So I took my wobbly glasses and my hand-written itemized receipt (don’t get me started) and left.

Three days later I returned to the scene of the crime and met Not New Lady Who Knew What Was Going On (NNLWKWWG – don’t try to pronounce it, you’ll dislocate your tongue). She took my complaints in stride, and explained that a series of health problems and spontaneous quittings had left the local BFD Optical Shoppe tragically under-staffed, which is why she was there, some 4 hours away from the city in which she normally lived and worked. “That’s too bad,” I replied, along with “gimme my money back.” She did.

On Friday I picked out a new pair from the Optical Shop right here where I work. They’re fancy and stylish and DEEP CRANBERRY RED and I already know that I will love them, LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM. And the lovely lady who helped me with them seemed all knowledgeable and experienced and not at all panicky or terrified! I’ll get them in a couple of weeks (seems there’s some kind of holiday this week that is delaying everything good in the world, but comes with pie, so we’re putting that in the “win” column) and then everything will be so much better. I can’t wait. (knock on wood.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Femtastic hates getting her new glasses

Get Prescription for new glasses: check!

Get new glasses: on it!

In years past when I had to get glasses I mostly always went to this department store that sold clothes and shoes and sheets and blenders and also glasses. The main reason for using the Big, Fancy Department store (BFD) was because my vision benefits required that I pay for the glasses and get reimbursed, and I never seemed to have a spare $200 in my pocket any of those times. So I could use my BFD card, which is kind of like having the spare $200 in someone else’s pocket, like for instance the pocket of my good friends at BFD. But I’ll also say that in the 10+ years that I’ve been going there I’ve never had any complaints.

Let’s bask in the glow of the previous, non-complaint-filled time for a moment…

I get to BFD and meet New Guy (NG) and his “helpful” friend Not New Gal, From Another Store (NNGFAS). New Guy appears to be VERY new – still has New Employee smell (interesting mix of fear, anticipation and HR), still has his tags on him, still looks like he’s constantly trying to decide whether or not he should make a panicky break for it. Not New Gal, on the other hand, has glasses-picking experience dripping from her pores. She also has a tremendously thick (so much that it sounds almost fake) New York accent, a super-abrupt personal way about her and fingernails that have probably been registered with the local authorities as lethal weapons.

NG has no idea what kind of glasses I should wear, and NNGFAS thinks it’s cute, even funny, that I think I should have an opinion about what kind of glasses I should wear. I lie somewhere in between, where I'm not completely sure what glasses I should wear, but get the f*ck away from me with the pink leopard-print ones!! The process of finding my new glasses went kind of like this:

“How about these? Love the shape on you!”

“I’m not crazy about such round lenses, they look goofy on my face.”

“You’re totally right, that shape is not right on you at all. How about these? Great color!”

“Normally I’d try to steer clear of really dark glasses…”

“And these are too dark you think?”

“Well, they’re black. So yes. They’re kind of completely too dark.”

“how about these? These aren’t black. They’re not too dark at all, right?”

“No, they're not dark. But these are the round ones we tried on before. Like right before. Like 30 seconds ago.”

“ that's a no?”

Sigh. Amazingly, though, we did find a pair that was the right color and size and shape and everything, with poor NG mostly just along for the ride. He’d mastered the art of the encouraging-but-lost emphatic nodding, which I think will come in very handy as long as NNGFAS is there. Once the right glasses were picked we then had to enter everything into the computer. (shudder…)

I would have to say that it’s a bad sign when you find yourself walking someone through the computer screens of their job. NNGFAS thought that the best way to get NG up and running on the computer system was to turn on the computer and then walk away with a “call me if you need any help.” over her shoulder. I’m not necessarily against the 'sink or swim' form of training, but the problem with this system was that if he didn’t swim he was taking me down with him! I could figure out what was required on each computer screen up until we got to the “enter the prescription magic numbers” section, at which point NG announced that he knew this part. Yet each time he’d enter the info he’d get a “warning” screen. Over and over. Warning, Warning, Warning... You could see the tiny sliver of confidence he got when we reached familiar computer ground evaporating as he kept doing the same thing over, over, over.

Finally NNGFAS came over to find out how things were going and he sadly displayed the warning screen he couldn’t seem to conquer. And guess what? It was my fault. Well not mine, per say, but the fault of my special/rare/bizarre eye condition. (Remember from before? Antimetropia? Remember?) Turns out if you enter a prescription that goes one way on one eye and the other way on the other eye the computer is going to ask you “hey, are you sure that’s right? Because those are some MESSED UP eyes!” And it will ask you this EVERY TIME you enter the numbers. Or pass by the numbers. Or look at the numbers. Or fondly reminisce about the numbers. These are disturbing numbers and the computer really wants you to know it. They want to make sure that you, at some point, took a good look at the mutant customer that you’re helping right there because dude, who knows when such a freak of nature will sit in your glasses-shopping chair again. You can tell your grandchildren about the time you helped someone who’s eyes are trying to get as far from each other as they can while still sharing the same face.

Finally, finally, FINALLY we were done. It had been over one hour. The shop was overdue to close. I was exhausted and not entirely sure anymore about the choices I’d made – what if I said yes to the special scratch coating thing just so that they’d let me leave? – and the strong New York accent of NNGFAS had developed into a hatred from me every time she spoke. And for my patience? She gave me some glasses cleaner. But not just a little bit of cleaner. This was a 6-gallon jug of cleaner! This was the largest container of glasses cleaner I’d seen since I’d toured the factory that makes the special glasses cleaner chemicals, which is a tour I’ve never taken, so it’s just THE largest container of glasses cleaner I’d seen ever!

And when would my glasses be ready for picking up, thereby finally giving my eyes the rest they’re dying for? 5-10 days. Oh joy. But hey, at least that gives me the triumphant third part of my story. Because yes indeed, TO BE EVEN MORE CONTINUED!!

Big Finish: Femtastic hates her new glasses.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Femtastic gets new glasses

So technically I wear glasses, although if you asked most of the people I’ve hung with i the last few years they’d say “oh her? No, she doesn’t wear glasses.” And when you insisted that I did they’d be very “nu-uh!” and there might be eventual fisticuffs. But I really am someone who wears glasses.

It’s not that I have trouble seeing stuff – I see fine. But apparently my seeing fine requires major heavy lifting by my eyebones. Apparently I’m near-sighted in one of my eyes, and yet far-sighted in the other one. No really. It’s so rare it even has a name – Antimetropia. An·tee·me·tro·peeah. AntimetropiaAntimetropiaAntimetropia... Say it fast, it will totally mess up your tongue! Now I’m all “lookit me, I got a fancy eye condition! I now own a word that nobody else but eye condition enthusiasts – eye goo groupies if you will – will know anything about! I’ll get a pin that says “Ask me about my Antimetropia!” Everyone else will totally wish that they had Antimetropia – all the cool kids are doing it these days!”

Anyway, although my antimetropia (giggle, tee-hee!) doesn’t impair my actual vision, a side-effect of making your eyes work really hard is that they get tired. And like most sorts, when they get tired they get cranky. And the eye-version of a tantrum just happens to be a migraine headache. Bleah.

I started getting the headaches, and then right after wearing the glasses, 10 years ago or more. Here’s what I discovered about me wearing glasses: I look good in glasses. They make me look smart! Good-smart! I’d even go so far as to say they make me look hot-smart, like the naughty librarian right before she whips off her glasses and lets her hair come flying down! Not that I have naughty librarian body or hair or whip off my glasses or let my hair fly or would continue to look hot-smart if I did whip off the glasses and let the hair fly. I’m mostly look just like me, but average-smart and kind of disheveled. But with the glasses? Look out, baby! I even got this pair once that were purple, which I would have thought “no way, that’s too goofy for me.” and would have totally avoided, but then when I tried them on they looked so cool! Fun and also still hot-smart, and I made this classy chain-thing to hang them around my neck and I was rockin’ the glasses look.

But then right after I moved away from my former super-good job, with the Capital-M Money and darn good benefits, and came home to the land of the rare good job and even more rare benefits (of which I had none) my eyes had the audacity to change. Not enough so that I couldn’t see still, but enough that wearing the glasses started causing the headaches. Instead of the headache-stopping which was the whole point of them. (the whole point above and beyond the looking cool – I still looked cool. I just looked cool as I lay on the couch, planning to drill a hole in my head to let out the demons.) So I decided to just stop wearing my glasses until I could afford new ones.

Fast forward to now, with the new good job and SUPER-UBER-GOOD benefits, and also the return in full force of the migraines from my eyes who are officially done doing all the heavy-lifting w/out help, and it’s time to get glasses again. And remember, I’m pro-glasses because of the smartness-making and the possible naughty librarian thing, right?

Tangent: As much as I like wearing glasses, I hate going to the eye doctor. Specifically I hate the eye tests. They’re too much pressure! I hate tests full of subjective questions (“raise your hands as soon as you think you hear something?” “how bad is the pain, on a scale of 1 to Z?”, “do the voices in your head sound angry or more scared?”) where you can’t study and therefore can’t be sure you answer them right! What if I think I can see more clearly on this one… when really I see slightly more clearly on this one…? One time I tried “pass” but that’s apparently not an option. Well fine. (end tangent)

The last time I got my eyes checked (about 5 years ago) I trotted right back to work and finished my day, even though I looked COMPLETELY STONED and freaked everybody out. It was a little tricky to read things, but not impossible. Well, apparently they’ve really suped-up the dilation stuff, because holy crap I could not see ANYTHING! They dropped my eyes and sent me out to this waiting room to wait for the drops to work their eye-bulging magic, and so I did what you do in waiting rooms: you read crappy celebrity magazines and judge the poor, broken celebrities who have it all and can’t seem to keep from crashing it all into walls and down into ditches and stuff. A little waiting, a little judging, a little feeling superior to someone rich and famous just because I’m wearing underwear… good times.

After about 10 minutes I gave up completely because I couldn’t even make the big, bold headlines clear enough to read! Did Brittany really bake her kids? How horrible! Is it possible that Madonna sold peyote to a blind nun prostitute? Gosh, I guess? Oh right, like George Clooney would get into a fight with Fabio! (note: the last one turned out to be true. Oh George…) Not only did the drops hit my poor pupils like a tone of eye-bricks, but they stayed like that for HOURS! It took at least another hour after I got back to work before I could read anything and several more hours before I stopped looking like everything I was seeing was made out of cotton candy and sequins and smelled like hot strawberry-Jello.

Still, in the end I had me a brand-spankin’-new prescription with which to go get me new glasses. Even with the specter of having to get bifocals this time I was still excited about picking out my new smart-hotness accessory. Maybe something in a hot-pink-leopard print? You’ll have to wait and see. Yes, my friends, it’s true – TO BE CONTINUED!

Next: Femtastic hates getting her new glasses.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mouths and irony and aluminum foilishness

My mouth tastes metallic.

This started night before last – I was eating dinner, a lovely turkey kielbasa all spicy and good, and I kept thinking “this kielbasa is not quite right.” But then neither was the Red Delicious apple, later that night, nor the cookie right before midnight. Nor any food I’ve had since then. It all starts off tasty goodness, but when it gets to the back of the mouth it goes all bad. Like it’s been dipped in aluminum foil.

So at first I treated this possible medical concern with my same normal process, which is a combination of ignoring and procrastination which can run anywhere from a few months to 4 years (and counting!) Initially I was working on the tried and true “I’m sure it’s nothing, it’s temporary and it will go away. See, that last bite tasted a little better, didn’t it?... gleh.” You can do that for some things for quite a while, such as excrutiating pain, but not so much when it’s ruining every single thing you eat.

So that pushed things to the next level a little quicker then normal. I next did that thing that anyone who’s been hanging out on the internet for more then six months already KNOWS you should never do, and that’s go do my favorite medical expert, Dr. Google. He’s friendly, he’s full of info and he’s always available! What’s not to love? So according to Dr. Google I’m apparently suffering from cancerous post nasal drippy taste buds with infected mouth batteries. So no worries there.

Of the 83 gajillion possible things that could leave a metallic taste in my mouth my favorites were these:
1. That 2 fillings of 2 different alloys in my mouth have somehow combined to create a battery. I’ll test that theory by sucking on a sparking Wint-o-green Life Saver and see if my head explodes!
2. That the taste buds at the front of my tongue were damaged, causing my crappy back-of-the-tongue taste buds to step up. Which are crappy. Leading to crappy tastes.

Last night I think I noticed that a filling at the back of my mouth, which I think I got when I was still breast feeding (in other words, it’s super-old), isn’t looking so good. Even for a filling. So now I’m thinking this is less a medical problem (which is too bad, because you can’t swing a dead domestic-animal-of-your-choice in my new job without hitting a doctor) and more a dental problem (swing all the cats you want, you’ll only hit a dentist if they’re in here being treated for their own health crappiness.)

Tangent: I hate dentists. Seriously I do. No, I don’t mean “oh gosh, I sure do hate going to the dentist. Gee and also darn.” And a playful punch in the arm. No, I mean “For the love of god, I can live with this pain of the infected, impacted, inflamed and possibly radioactive wisdom teeth! Just don’t make me go to the dentist please because if you do I’ll have to KILL EVERYBODY!!!” And a playful loading of my gun. I will get teary-eyed sitting in the lobby not reading Highlights and the waterworks flow freely during a teeth cleaning. Which, I might add, FREAKS OUT THE CLEANER-PEOPLE. There is no amount of warning ahead of time that will prepare them for the tears, and then they need to know if there’s anything at all they could do to make me feel better? Anything? Anything? Puh-LEASE??? To which all I can suggest is that they quit their job and become a baker or lion tamer or anything that isn’t dental in nature. Which wouldn’t really help me right there, because then someone else would just have to take over, and are you seeing the problem here yet? So any time the solution to a problem is “go to the dentist” I don’t so much see it as a solution as much as a massive, terrifying escalation of the previous problem.

Even so, I called my dentist. Oh, and here’s the other thing about that: I really like my dentist. Don’t get confused, I do hate “dentists” as a category of profession/torturer, but I really like the guy who happens to be my personal dentist. As dentists go, he’s a peach! He’s funny and he explains everything with just the right amount of detail (because really, there is a point at which I don’t need to know that much about the evil you’re about to do in my mouth, people!) and he gets my fears. He won’t freak or beg me to stop or offer a solution. He just puts his great, big dental hand on my shoulder and gives it a warm, “I wish you weren’t at the dentist either.” Squeeze.

The only thing I don’t like about my dentist is this: he’s closed on Fridays. I should remember this, too, because I swear to you that every dental thing that has ever popped up in my entire life has always done so, without fail, on a Friday. And because he’s not there it means that I always, also without fail, have to suffer through the entire weekend with whatever new miracle of agony my mouth has come up with. It’s the cute little irony-joke my mouth plays on me, so that I remember to be nice to it.

So now I get to spend the weekend not enjoying any food. Which is depressing. And you know what I like to do to cheer myself up when I’m depressed? EAT.

Stupid mouth irony.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where I think I’m being robbed by Television-Badguy-Persians

I know this sounds paranoid, but here’s the deal: I was at this tradeshow/fair/fest/thingie on Friday and I made a purchase at the booth of some oh-so-classic Persian dudes as to be played by Horatio Sanz and Rob Schneider, as to be used as spokesdudes for moustache wax; as to portray the wildly-inflammatory villains in the next 24, next Die Hard or next James Bond story. My purchase was $30 worth of stuff. Thirty Dollars. Three-Zero-point-Zero-Zero, right?

The first guy packs up my stuff and sends me over to the second guy to make my purchase, and like a big dufus I’m using my plastic. The second guy is busy with “We are always, always the most cheapest of silver, you can tell everyone!” as well as the occasional “I see other people going to other people and I know they will be here, soon they will be here…” He is so busy that he somehow, mystically manages to charge me not the $30 that I was supposed to be charged, but instead $141.52. And he slides me the receipt to sign and I get lost in trying to find a number anywhere on this receipt which resembles the dollar amount that I’m purchasing. That one with the 3 and the trio of zeros. But I’m finding ones and fours and fives and twos and no threes and no zeros and where the hell did an additional number before the decimal point come from?

At this point Mr. Second Dude gets involved with big, swoopy apologies and “I am no idea how that happened. Somebody had a $141.52 somewhere, for sure! For sure!” He asks for my card back, and at this point I’m 97% “hey, it’s a human mistake” and only 3% “I’m on to you, you swarthy back-stabber, and luckily I brought my oozy and know the ancient art of Karate!!!!” He pushes some buttons and runs my card and out pops another little slip. And then he asks me to sign them. Both of them.

Wait, I have to sign the one that says “yes, please, I will give them $141.52 of my money, and thank you for coming.”? Why should I do that? I don’t want to give you that money, that’s MY money. And so I say “I’m not so happy about signing the receipt that says $141.52.”

“Oh, but you see here how the other is saying “Return”? See “return” there? See that there? That is the return of the other. You sign this, but then you sign that and there is a “return” and it’s all good. It’s all good.” (twirls his evil mustache, even if he didn’t actually have a mustache.)

I stood there for what felt like about 15 minutes, but was probably only about 30 seconds, and I can hear the voice in my head saying “you do NOT sign anything with that many extra numbers on it! No signing!” but the other receipt DOES say “return” and he DID say that it would be all good… That’s a legally binding contract, right? So guess what I did? (all of you who said “signed it!” make me sad that you have so little faith in me. And are right.)

Now we jump to Monday morning and my checking to make sure that my rent check (scheduled to go from my bank this very morning all automatic and robot-like through the wonders of the internet and modern science) has gone like it’s supposed to. But it hasn’t. Also the difference between “the money that you have in your account” and “the money in your account which you can have” is way different. WAY different. By something around $141. And fifty two cents. Gah!!!

I go through the soft-and-cuddly automated phone jail to where it lists all the pending debit card transactions – it sounds something like this:

“Yes, I remember that. Yes, that too. Yes…, yes…, yes…, No. NonononononoNOnoNO! Where is the negative $141.52? I hear the positive one, but right after that should be the negative one! The return! Where’s the return??? I have the receipt that says “return!” It’s all good! IT’S ALL GOOD!!!!” (this is where I remembered that I was at work and some portion of this emotion is coming out of my face at a volume called “audible by others” and there are concerned heads popping up over cube walls like panicked groundhogs. And I shut up. And I press the key to talk to someone.)

The helpfully-intended but less-helpful girl from somewhere far, far away (I could feel 100% humidity and smell cumin through the phone) could only explain to me that it’s not uncommon for the transaction to happen right away but for the return to take “longer.”

“how much longer?”

“I am sorry, I do not have that information.”

“because it’s holding up my rent check, you see? And I’d just like to let my landlord know when the funds are coming, so about when will that get fixed?”

“I am sorry, I do not have that information.” (twirls her evil mustache, even if she didn’t have a mustache.)

Long story short here (if you say “too late” I’ll send my luck to you!!!) is that the money returned to the bank account this morning and the rent check is going tomorrow and my landlord is super-cool about it always, and now for you my fabulous readers I can be one of those excellent cautionary tales, because NEVER, EVER, EVER sign the receipt for the wrong amount, and you don’t want a RETURN, you want a VOID. Tell them Femtastic told you so!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Where I see myself in an iconic icon of iconry

I saw the Hairspray movie this weekend at the cheap theater. I love the cheap theater, because you get the big-screen experience (well, you get the “bigger then my tv” screen experience, although probably about the size of the tv that my brother in law will someday own, so whatever) at rental prices, and if the movie is only ok you really only feel like you’ve been cheated out of the hours of your life, rather then the life hours and also the cost of a week’s worth of groceries. And since I never get to see movies (because as I mentioned before my friends who are supposed to be the people with whom I see movies decided that it was a higher priority to have kids. WHATEVER!!) I even more love the cheap theater because it makes it that much easier to get my parents (who have kids but who don’t have to stay home because of them anymore and who really should get out of the house more often and do fun things because isn’t that the GOAL when you have kids? To get to that point where you don’t have to plan your life around their tendency to start fires and make crank phone calls?) to go see movies with me.

Taking a breath.

So I went with the parents and the favorite aunt to see Hairspray for the low, low, bargain-basement cost of $2 plus popcorn. And a soda that I smuggled into the theater in my pocket. Which never did warm up ever again. (the pocket, not the soda) Now, I know I saw the first version of this story like 20 years ago but it left a very specific impact on me, which reads something like this: fat girls can be cool, rich girls are bitches, if you wear your hair too big you’ll go to special ed and that mother is awfully dude-ish. In my memory the integration part was so tiny as to have poofed from my recollection entirely. So I was pretty surprised with how much it was the point of this movie, with dance numbers and star-crossed loves dedicated to it and everything. But the thing I most kept thinking was this:

I’d have been that fat, pushy, idealistic girl. I totally would have.

I know we all want to believe that we’d fight the good fight and stand up for the underdog and [insert music-swelling, heart-expanding good deed here], but then it seems like many folks don’t actually do it when push comes to shove. Which would probably make them the smart ones. But you can totally ask all of my embarrassed friends who have, on multiple occasions, tried to wander away as if a total stranger while I rail on, in public, about some injustice, such as someone littering right there in public or some kids picking on a smaller kid or someone smoking where people could be trying to breath. I’ve had dude friends convinced that I was about to get them killed as I challenge a group of testosterone-infused would-be gang members on a subway train, and no amount of “Hey, I would never have let them hit you!” from me made them feel any better. Something about how it wouldn’t have been up to me, which is a concept complete foreign to me, because I’m pretty sure that EVERYTHING is up to me! That would be the cornerstone of having the universe revolve around oneself, right?

So I watched all these scenes in the Hairspray movie where the pudgy little go-getter with a heart of gold pushed everyone around with sugar-coated naiveté and a very nasal-but-loud singing voice and I thought “That’s me, baby!”

And I understood once again how I could be celebrating my 11th year of re-virginity. Why don’t you people smack me around more often??

Thursday, November 01, 2007

To Treat, to be Tricked.

So yesterday was Halloween, and though I know I’m too old to trick-or-treat I really get into being trick-or-treated. Or mostly just the giving of treats. No kidding, I’m almost as giddy about it as I think I was about T-or-T’ing when I was a kid! Like the other day I was thinking about what Halloween would be like if I did have a kid, because I’d be a single parent so then I’d have to decide between taking the kid T-or-T’ing or being there for the T-or-T’ers in my neighborhood, and where as most sane people would only think about it for three seconds before automatically knowing that they’d take the kid out for candy I’m the one who starts wondering “who else could I get to take the kid door to door?” because I so hate the idea of being that dark house! That dark, crappy house with no candy at all! Who among us has not hated the dark, crappy house from which we get no candy-joy?

Anyway, I really love Halloween and I rush home after work to light my punchman and make sure the bowl is full and by the door and well-tossed (a sugar-salad, if you will) and to unlock the (normally locked because I never use it because the side door has a carport and so HELLO?) front door and all that stuff. And then I sit and eagerly await the first bing-bong of costumey-goodness!

Last night I realized that part of my love of Halloween is it’s one of my chances to get a barometric reading on our nation’s youth. Here’s how my brain sees it: “if the kids who come to my door on Halloween are mostly cool then we’re all gonna be OK.” And by “we” I mean the whole dang world. And by “mostly cool” I mean clever costumes and they know to yell “Trick or Treat!” and when you say “one each please.” they take ONLY ONE, rather than sneaking 2 or more and forcing me to have to say “Dude, there’s more than one there. Drop the extra, dude.”, and they say thank you and, if they’re VERY cool, they even shout out “Happy Halloween!” as they’re rushing to the next spot. This, to me, is evidence of a well-raised society and proof that we’re all gonna be ok, my friends. It’s a simple theory, but one that works for me.

Based on my criteria I’d say the future looks pretty bright! My groups were very good about saying the right things, I only had to bust 2 over-grabbers (who were pretty young, so I cut them some additional slack) and there were many superheroes, which makes me very happy. More than a few of the grups (grown-ups, for those of you who didn’t watch Star Trek reruns forever, ever, ever) were generous in their praise of my Bert punchman, which made me preen and offer them candy. My favorite costumes were the little kids dressed as Scooby Doo and Daphne (though sadly I was the first person who’d recognized Daphne – what a sad comment on my generation!) and I was ever so glad to see how many of the grups were dressed up too!

Of course, just when you think you’ve received your proof that the future is gonna be excellent, along comes the Douchebag Patrol to poop on the end of my night. Round about 10:30 last night I got a knock (ok, so a POUNDING) on my door and I open it to find 2 high school kids (I’m guessing 16ish?) standing there. They have no costume. They have no bag. They have the lamest, least-inspired “trick or treat” I’ve ever heard. And they’re asking for, nay DEMANDING, that I give them candy! Now I have no rules about “too old” or “too late” – if my punchman is glowing then I’m still open for business, and as long as you have a costume you’ve satisfied my only real requirement for gifts of candy. I’d give a funsized Snickers to a 40-year old investment banker so long as he’s got a pink wig and fishnet stockings on!

However, to quote comedian Greg Behrendt, “is this no-costume-candy-give-away-day?” I don’t think so! I told these hooligans (yes that’s right, I said it. HOOLIGANS! And they were totally hooligany too!) to take a hike, they were not getting my candy. And they fought me about it! Heck, they were incredulous that I would say no! Phrases such as “This bites!” and “Come ON man!” were yelled. Yelled! At my closing door! Like they were somehow entitled to candy just because they didn’t have a car or bike and had to walk home from whatever criminal behavior they’d been enjoying and took the time to knock on a door. With no costume!!

And then, just in case I wasn’t hating these total wankers quite enough, they capped it off by throwing Bert. Busted his noble Bert face right down the middle. Broken Bert. I knew they were gonna do it, but by the time I had the realization he was already sidewalk décor.

So in summary, I think the world’s mostly gonna be ok. But I’ll be our current governmental administration used to roll up on houses w/out costumes and demand candy. And break punchmans. I can totally see them doing that, can’t you?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You say hallucination, I say photograph...

I have proof. Proof I say! I have PROOF that hook-dude exists. I know there are people who think I’ve been making him up, or possibly hallucinating him. Well FIE on this people, because this weekend I got me some ever-lovin’ proof. I got PITCHURS!

Saturday I did a little photo-stroll through our open-air local market, which just happens to congregate across the street from our County courthouse. And in front of the courthouse is this big courtyard-type-deal that is called the “ Free Speech Plaza.” Or “Wacky Hippy Drum Circle Spot.” This is where people come to chant or drum or wave their “I’m Against This!” signs. Or, apparently, to be a guy with a hook for a hand, should that be your thing.

Because there he was! Hook Dude, big as life (and someday one of you will have to tell me where that phrase comes from) hangin’ with friends who have a couple of hands, rather then the hand/hook combo. And me with my camera!

So I cross the street but I know I gotta be sneaky-sly here, because some folks don’t like having their picture taken. For most people I’m pretty hardcore about it – “golly, I guess you shouldn’t have left the safety of your home then, eh?” or like that. But in the case of a guy with a lethal weapon welded on to the end of his arm I figure super-sneaky is the way to go.

So I did my standard sneaky thing: I find someone who I know won’t mind me snapping their picture, such as a guy with a p
olitical sign (who by definition wants ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION!) or the drummers in the circle, who hope their rhythmic rhythms will incite passers by to spontaneously bust out dancing. So they can’t be shy either. I focused in on a not-shy figure, but who is about as far away as the true target, and in similar lighting, and I meter and focus it all up. But I also peeky-peeky out the corner of my eye where my target is, and when I can see their distracted I POUNCE! Voila!

So now all of you nay-saying nellies can just lump it, because hook dude is real and I gots me the proof. Now I just need to capture the talking parking meters on film. Soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


One of the folks I work with is a sensitive sort. She has a long and impressive list of pet peeves, and handles her peeves with the smooth aplomb of a water balloon in the crotch. I had kind of been given the 411, and thought I could handle her sensitivities no problem because I’d known other sensitive souls in my day, but I’d totally underestimated just the level of peevishness she can attain.

But that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is that when Ms. Sensitive is peeved she cannot deal with it on her own. No, she needs to share. Specifically she shares with the one that has peeved her. And even that isn’t my chief bug. The thing most up my butt about this is that when she shares her new peeve with the peever she always chastises them for having committed a social feau pax. In other words, when you step on her size 16 toes she scolds you for being all impolite and uncool. Except that it’s NOT a problem for everyone – it’s just that she’s super-extra-special sensitive. But she can only see it as a collapse in ettiquette. I've got your ettiquette right here, sweetie!

If someone wants to be all kinds of prickly that’s fine with me. (ok, so that’s a lie. I hate it when people are so very touchy-touchy. Frankly if you insist on being made of feathers and tinkly glass and a fine layer of fragile sugar then you should take a job like data entry from the safety of your own sofa and leave the rest of us in peace. Or get a dang layer of skin that can be rained on once in a while! But I digress…) I just say you don’t pull me aside and lecture me on conversational etiquette like I’m some kind of uncultured, overbearing boob! Your peeves are your own issue – own them and move on with your world. You can even tell me that you’ve got the peeve, as in “hey, I just wanted to make you aware of this pet peeve I’ve got in the hopes that you’ll look out for it some in the future…” I’ll try to avoid your Jumbo-sized, tender-to-the-touch toes if I can. (although I’ve started a list of her peeves because I know I’m gonna forget some of them eventually – I can only hold so much info in my sad little brain.) I just resent being scolded as though I stood up in the middle of a meeting and dropped trow for the assembled personage or whizzed into her lunchbox!

I handled yesterday’s little interaction with smooth disconnection, as though she were making any sense at all. However I did stop her after she helpfully pointed out that I’d have the same reaction if she’d done the same thing to me. There will be NO comparisons between us, so says I, and so I helpfully corrected her on that little false assumption. But for the future I figure I’ve got a couple of options for how to handle these moments. I can either let her make mistakes and try not to giggle when she falls (ker-SLAM!) on her pinched little face, or I can take the high road but be sneaky-sneaky when I sneakily give her sneak-help. Which would make me the better person, and be better for the organization all around. Even though there would be less giggling. Wish me luck with the higher ground.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wanted: better face, less blushy.

So I still have my crush on Dr. Cyanide. And also, by the way, crushes suck. I don’t think the Doctor knows that I have a crush, but if he had any idea about it he’d TOTALLY know about it because of how often I act like a total goober because of it! Like I’m WAY too enthusiastic about anything that results in my helping him out. Get him coffee? Sure! Help him with a meeting? Fine! Clean his house? OKEE DOKEE! Well, maybe not the last thing.

Also I think I’ve actually blushed a couple of times. I have several problems with that, not the least of which is I DON’T BLUSH!! I have never been a blusher and I pride myself on my non-blushiosity and so when I realized the other day that either I was blushing or someone had set fire to my face I was SUPER peeved! Plus embarrassed. Which does the same thing as the blush. You can see, I’m sure, the vicious circle here? Stupid blush.

Today I saw him coming up the stairs and had a TOTALLY VALID WORK QUESTION to ask him so I waited in the hallway. Which I would have done for anyone else in the same situation, so I wasn’t doing ANYTHING wrong! He popped out of the stairs and saw me and said “waiting for me? Wow, I’m being stalked!” which was funny, and meant to be funny, and if I’d had any brains I would have said “oh darn, you’re on to me! Guess I can stop bringing my binoculars to work!”

That’s what I should have said.

But the stupid crush got there first and that’s not what I said. No, instead I said this:

“Hmmm? What? Oh no! No, not at all! No, not stalking, I was just waiting is all. Because I saw you coming, that’s all. That’s all it was.”

And then I burst into flames and collapsed as a little pile of stupid, crushy, embarrassed damn dust. Is all.

Also the next 20 minutes were full of my brain chewing that idea up into smaller and smaller pieces:

Stalking, me? Stalking? No, I’m not, right? I’m not! There’s plenty of time when I’m not! And besides, is it stalking if I’m being paid to do it? (gee, is there such a thing as a professional stalker? No, probably not.) I bet he was joking. Right? He was, he had to be. Because if he wasn’t joking that means he knows I have this stupid crush, which he does NOT know because if he knows I’ll have to set fire to myself, which I could probably do just by putting something flammable next to my face when I blush WHICH IS PROBABLY HOW HE KNOWS ABOUT MY STUPID CRUSH OH MY GOD!

So, in short, I’m going to have to either quit this very good job, kill Dr. Cyanide or marry the very next person who wanders near my radar so as to throw suspicion off of myself. I’ll let you know which thing I decide to do.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The All-Vidiot Installment!

There are things I should write about, but lately I've been overwhelmed by the number of excellent videos that have been sent to me or I've found or were shoved under my door, etc... Anyway, I'm all about the sharing, and so I share these lovelies with you, my lovelies. More writing will come, but for now? FUNNY...

(Note: Not all of these funnies are safe for kids or work -- tread carefully!)

~stolen from my hero, Joshilyn Jackson, over at Faster Than Kudzu. I know actual people with far less rhythm then this little guy!~

~if you haven't discovered these guys yet you should. Everyone should. I'm sending missionaries into the wilds of third world jungles to make sure they know -- that much everyone~

~this marks the moment when I first fell for both Steve Carell and Steven Colbert. Not to mention Steven's 11 brothers and sisters, and Steve's excellent french pronounciation.~

~my favorite thing in every episode of Saturday Night Live are the digital shorts, and especially random and bizarre things like this. Which I would like to think are just like what I would do. With that kind of time. And resources. And support people.

And talent.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Heart Pandora. And her box. (dirty!)

Have you guys tried this? Pandora Radio? I’m probably the last person in all the world to have discovered this, but I heart it so. It’s seldom that I read something in a geek magazine and think “Amen my brothers!!” but the recent Wired release of a Geekapedia waxed poetic (or I should probably say “waxed nerdetic”) about how much better Pandora Radio was then any of the other online “we know what you want to hear and play it for you as if we are magically living in your spleen (which is the organ where you keep your musical desires)” radio stations. And amen my geeky, nerdy, tech-obsessed brothers!

I have three stations created so far. One is all about female singers who wail about unrequited love or lost love or unhealthy love or the love of a woman and her motorbike, and all in haunting, minor keys. The second is drum-heavy, bass-heavy jams with nods to the rock-gods of the very late ‘70s or early ‘80s and plays “Canary in a Coal Mine” at least twice a day because it psychically knows that I want to hear it three times a day but that would be indulgent and it cares about my wellbeing. I just set up the third station and today will be it’s big test. But how could my beloved Pandora do wrong by me? I believe it can’t.

Why all this obsession about music? My boss is out of the office today.

(No, it does make sense. Just go with me…)

See, if I were to be promoted and get a fancy job with a fancy title and business cards and MY OWN OFFICE there’s one big thing I would love more then anything else. (except maybe the raise.) If I had my own office I could have music while I worked. In this new situation I’m sitting with a bunch of other people and so I can’t listen to music. And it’s the first job in years, probably since high school, where I can’t listen to music as I work. I’m pretty sure it’s going to kill me or drive me mad.

If I don’t have music playing in my head I still have music in my head. But instead of being a jazzy tune created by tunefull people it’s a small chunk of 1-3 totally different songs that has been lumped together in my sad, tuneless brain into a loop that will never… ever… end. Or sometimes it’s not even music! I actually get phrases stuck in my head. Not musical phrases, but just words. Like quotes from a movie? I have the ability to get “Why would you lock me in? And why are you getting calls from J. Edgar Hoover?” (points for knowing the movie) stuck in a non-stop loop in my brain. (all of this has got to make my obvious insanity much more understandable.)

The only exception are the days like today where my boss is out of the office, so it’s “catch up” day, and when you’re doing catch-up work then wearing headphones on one ear and filling the brain with Pandora-tunes just makes sense! If my day goes as planned I’ll get so much work done PLUS I won’t be any more crazy when I leave today then I was when I arrived! (a small triumph, I realize, but still.)

So here I sit, with my new Pandora station crooning piano-heavy pantheons to girls who steal your black t-shirts and dudes who don’t cut their hair. Rock me, Pandora. Rock me with your psychic play list.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The last of the baby-free women

So it’s official. Every woman I know is pregnant, nursing or done having kids because they’ve already had so very many of them and done the “having babies” thing so very well that there’s no reason to ever do it again. I’m now not only the only single woman anyone knows, but also the only one without various smaller versions of me in tow.

I’m of mixed feelings about this. Truly I do like the idea of having a kid. I’d kind of assumed that I’d have one at some point, but it’s one of the few tasks that is actually not at all possible without a little help from a guy. Or at least some guy-ingredients. Simply put, it’s the only thing I want to do that my single status has blocked. The only thing. It’s just that it’s kind of a big thing.

It’s also one of the few things that has a built-in expiration date. Like I can’t keep saying “I’ll just wait and see” too much longer, because soon enough my system will take the question out of my hands. And I’ll admit that I find this pressure kind of… what would be the word? Let’s go with nauseating.

For instance, I can’t be honestly happy for other people when they confide in me that they’re having a kid. I want to be. I want to be all giddy and do the standard “Eeeeeeeeeeeee!” squeal with jazz-hands and then touch the tummy with wonder and awe, even though there’s nothing there but half-digested chicken enchilada. But the best I can manage is “Wow, that’s great! How do you feel?” and then while they explain whatever symptoms their suffering through the listening part of my brain shuts off so that I can divert energy to the silently envying and hating parts of the brain, where I silently hate and envy this lovely friend of mine because she’s pregnant and by the way I’m not. Nor is there any chance of my being so any time soon. Which I already knew, but am now all aware of because of the baby, or chicken enchilada, she’s got in her belly area. And since she's here and so danged happy I might as well just blame her.

This is a very small and not-so-good way to feel. Because of these not-so-good feelings and other minor panic moments I’ve researched what it takes to have a kid with the assistance of a turkey baster and UPS delivery from “Wigglers R Us” I’m so the poster child for “sisters are doin’ it by themselves, baby!” so the idea of being a single mom by choice just kind of fits.

Plus I do think I’d be a good mom. I think I could use all the excellent parenting techniques that my parents used on me and make a pretty cool person. That’s what they did, my parents. They used their excellent parenting techniques and made two pretty cool people. (yes, I’m one of them, and by the way shu- uh-!)

Sometimes, though, when I’m feeling crappy (like I was on Friday) I think about how if I had a kid I wouldn’t have had the option of curling up on the couch with my bag of potato chips and my flat Pepsi and my goofy TV and tell everyone to go hang. There would be some little person demanding things like attention and energy. And food. And the occasional diaper change. And I couldn’t go “Honey, come and get your child and make it leave me alone!” because I’d be it. And that’s something to consider.

I guess I’ll just wait and see.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Could be Worse. Could be Crunch Berries!

Hi, my name is Femtastic and I am a photography addict.

(Hi, Femtastic!)

I’m not kidding, and here’s how I discovered my addiction: remember before how I said that we (a whole bunch of us, more then ½ of whom were cute little kidkins?) went to the super-fun farm to feed goats and get punchmans? Remember that? Just yesterday? Anyone? Anyone?

Right, so as we pulled into the parking lot I thought to myself “gosh, there will be EVER so many lovely chances to take excellent pictures, especially since it’s so nice and sunny and lovely here and you can hardly even tell that it’s FALL it’s so nice and sunny! I’m going to take all these great pictures with my camera. EXCEPT THAT I FORGOT MY CAMERA AT HOME!!!!” Then I melted into a tiny moment of wailing and gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair and cursing the day I was born. It was tiny, but impressive.

But then I accepted the lack of camera and moved on with the day. The kids fed goats and I was fine. They played on the old-timey playground structures and I was fine. They rode by on the old-timey horse-drawn wagon thing and I was fine. I handled it all extremely well.

BIG, BIG LIE. I spent the rest of the afternoon cursing myself every time a wonderful picture popped up. A wonderful picture that I was incapable of capturing for myself because my picture-capturing device was so very NOT THERE. Three times I almost convinced myself to drive the 25 minutes home and additional 25 minutes back just to get the camera. I watched other people with lovely cameras taking the lovely pictures that I wanted to take and my stomach hurt. My Stomach HURT ME. To punish me for the stupidity of being the only person there who WASN’T capturing these lovely, idyllic moments. THE ONLY PERSON!

Finally I just had to accept the fact that I am now a person who has not just two additions, but actually three. Pepsi (sweet, carmel-colored goodness…), cheeseburgers and photography. (Lucky that I kicked that pesky heroin thing…) Of course it could be so very, very worse.

Now that I’ve accepted that I have a problem (which is the first step to solving a problem) I’ll just need to figure out the 12 steps to recovery. I believe they’ll look something like this:

1) Take pictures.
2) Take more pictures.
3) Take animal pictures.
4) Take scenic pictures.
5) Pictures of buildings and buildingy stuff.
6) More animals.
7) Is that abstract? Take a picture of it!
8) Take Self portraits (no idea why)
9) Next take Portraits of others, because then I capture their soul!
10) Take portraits of strangers, but be ready to RUN LIKE CRAZY.
11) Download and bask in the glow of excellent pictureness.
12) Repeat steps 1-11 until crazy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Groan + Augh x Creeeeaaak = I'm super-old

This weekend I was busy and industrious and helpful. And now today I am creaky and groany and SUPER-old.

I’m pleased about all that was accomplished, because prior to accomplishing those things my biggest accomplishment in about 24 hours had been starting my period. (no high fives required.) I’m pissed to report that since having finally had sex (over a decade ago - not a recent accomplishment people) and going on the pill and then going OFF the pill my lady parts (the inside ones that dudes don’t get so excited about) took serious offense and have been punishing me ever since. To the point that the whole day before my most recent womanly joyous celebration (see how I’m sucking up? It never helps) I was actually convinced I was getting the flu.

(which was embarrassing in a whole other way, as I’d just spent the previous week at my job at the hospital telling people that I pretty much never get the flu (knock on e-wood) and that the rest of my family who get flu shots still get the flu (although I’m sure it’s a different flu then what they were inoculated against, but who cares because it's still the flu and having any flu sucks!) and therefore I would NOT be going downstairs for a flu shot, thank you very much, and enjoy the poking. And then I suddenly was getting the flu and that just couldn’t happen because I’d lose face. Oh, and also have the flu. But mostly the bad part was the losing of face!)

So finally on Saturday I discover both that I’m not getting the flu and also that I’m still a vibrant and fertile woman. Dammit. My resentment both of being duped into thinking I was sick and also of it all just being because I’m a girl (I hate that word, but more on that rant later) caused me to be further foolish still during the weekend.

Like Saturday I did 2 hours of weeding. On my knees, as weeders do. Which is fine for most, but I have crappy knees who don’t respond well to long periods of time on them. But in case that wasn’t foolish enough, I finished weeding and skipped, la-la-la, over to the back corner of my carport to do battle with bramble bushes who once had a supporting role in the Disney Sleeping Beauty movie as “the huge, killer, thorny vines that kept out the prince and kept in the Beauty and were slightly more scary then the villain who had turned into a big dragon!” These things are actually from my behind-the-house neighbor’s yard, but they’ve made their way through my bushes and they’re just plain taking over. I had macho leather welders gloves and they helped, but still it was a pitched battle for sure.

And then on Sunday I and a pile of younger people (my sister’s kids) joined the Royal Family on a trek to our most commercial and also most entertaining of local farms. The goal was the hunt and retrieval of Halloween punchmans for all, but the King and Queen (being new parent types especially) went all out and there was “let’s feed the goats!” (which is much more fun then it sounds – it incorporates an elaborate series of ropes and pullies!) and a horse-drawn wagon ride out to the sprawling punchman patch and everything.

Of course I went all old-fashioned and puristy. “no thanks!” says I to the idea of the horse-drawn wagon of goodness. “I’m gonna walk!” says I. “Pushing this 42 lb wheelbarrow!” says I. “With the one wheel, full of some – but either not enough or maybe too much – air. Which likes to bounce, bounce BOUNCE down the path. The very long path. Very, very long path… Did they move the punchmans? Didn’t they used to be just here? How much longer? Wow, it sure is sunny for October!...” My 13-yr old nephew was also silly enough to skip the ride, and so there are he and I pushing our 100+ lbs of bouncy wheelbarrow and punchmans up the long, long, super-long path (which I think they made very long, by planting the punchmans much further away, so that the cost of the wagon ride would seem a much more reasonable thing. Sneaky farmer types!) while the rest of the group rode away into the sunset.

And THEN (no, still not done) I brought the sister’s kids home to where everyone else in my family was busy painting primer on every non-floor or non-window surface in their “gosh, is this STILL being remodeled?” house. They’ve been working on this tremendously ambitious remodel plan since before Independence Day and now we’re to things like sheet rock and paint color choices and admiring the new circle-shaped window, and when it comes to this point you ask your family for help painting.

So I spent the next several hours on my knees (which you may remember I don’t do so good) or on a ladder (which I also don’t do so good, but for very different, much more phobic, reasons) and apparently in shoes that I need to throw away because they don’t support as much as they pinch-and-bind (it’s a patented two-step process) and getting hand cramps and painting up above my head and who knew a paint cup the size of a Big Gulp could get so heavy?

And in the end, I’m now a thirty-sevenish person trapped inside the body of a seventy-sevenish-type person, who groans when she either sits or un-sits and who is too dang aware of her joints and considers the cost before deciding to reach for anything over a foot away from her general area. And indulges in cranky rants apparently.