Thursday, January 31, 2008

This is Me, Testing a Blue Pen

First, before I explain this other thing that you should know about me, you should know this about me: I love pens. LOVE them. When I’m stressed out at work and need a little pick-me-up I don’t ask for chocolates or flowers. I want a wee trip down to the local stationer to peruse the aisles and aisles of fabulous ink-squirting utensils. One of the things that I take with me to work every day, and bring home every night for fear that if left behind someone will ROON it, is this set of 10 pens. I love that they open up as a stand (an award-winning stand!) and come in such colors, including yellow, which is completely absurd as a pen color but which I love anyway, and I impress everyone at work when I arrive to a meeting with my super-cool pen set. (and by “impress” I mean “they look at me and understand the smallness of my life. And they feel sad.”) Yep, I love pens. LOVE them.

Now, when you go to find new and glorious pens you must first, of course, try them out. You can’t bring home just any pen. It’s got to have good flow, and just the right amount of ink on the line. You need to be able to write smoothly and fluidly, and it has to be able to write both cursive and print. Both! Except nothing less! Fortunately the purveyors of fine pens understand this, and they normally have little pads just for to be trying out your pen choices.

But then you have to decide what to write. What, of all the writable things, will you write with this, your one chance to test a pen before you fill out the papers to take it home!

If ever you’re in the pen department at your local pen emporium (or Penporium) and you find tester pads that say “testing a blue pen” and “checking out a pen of red” know that it was me. I write “this is me, trying out a blue pen.” Or “this is the black pen I’m trying out.” “Hey, look at how this red pen writes.” “this is how this green pen looks when I write with it. Like I am now.”

Today a fellow administrative monkey (we’ll call her Jeans Girl) offered me up a pen from the box of new pens she’d ordered, and so I had to try it out. After I wrote “this blue pen writes like this.” she asked me why I would write that, of all the things to write. I explained to her that otherwise I get completely stuck by the multitude of options!

Otherwise you’ll see me in the pen aisles, stymied! Staring at the blank tester pad with no direction! Should I write my name? Someone else’s name? A famous name! What about a quote, like Shakespeare or Noel Coward. Should I write “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” so I can see how the pen writes all the letters? What about numbers? What if I get this home and find out it just SUCKS at the number 4 and question marks? I could try to draw something, but I suck at drawing, and then I have to decide if the sucky drawing is because of a sucky pen or just me sucking at drawing. Don’t get me wrong, because I love pen shopping, but the choosing of a quality pen should not take several hours.

Now I have a simple system that takes my far too active imagination out of the equation. I should probably come up with systems that do that for the rest of my life too. You SO don’t want to see me picking out underwear.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Me vs. sub-freezing temperatures

We got snow on Sunday. A lot of snow. Not a lot of snow for Alaska, or New York or Denver, or Wisconsin or even cold parts of California or heck even Alabama or anywhere else at all! But for Hippyville it was a LOT of SNOW. It was somewhere between 3 and 4 inches, depend on what news channel you watch. It brought the town to pretty much a grinding halt. You see, because we never, ever get any real snow here we only have a couple of snow plows. And one runs on hemp gas and the other is made of macramé, so you can imagine what a 3rd of a foot of snow can do.

I lived on the east coast for several years, and pretty much every year I was there we experienced The Blizzard of the Century!!!! In the end they weren’t really blizzardy, but they were a nice, big dump of snow. For days, instead of an afternoon. Enough snow so you actually had to worry about driving and all the big parking lots would have mounds of snow in each corner the size of Snow White’s cottage for weeks afterward. So when we get our cute little snow “storms” I just can’t take it seriously. You could say I’m a snow snob. (actually you could try, but you’d find that is much harder to say out loud than you’d expect. Go ahead, try. I’ll wait…)

My snow snobbery meant that the people who couldn’t even get into the office by Monday? I scoffed at them and in my head I called them “wimp!” and “weeny!” I slathered judgment all over them like judgy-butter on a bagel (again, in my head) and pounded my chest in my manly navigating of the lightly-snowed streets!

Cut to last night. I’m hanging out at my sister’s place, and her house is built into the side of a butte. So in front of their place is a fairly steep driveway about 10-12 feet long. And while we’re hanging out in the house it’s pseudo-snowing outside. The wet, slushy snow that doesn’t get anywhere and can’t be used to make anything cool, except maybe a tropical drink (when mixed with the right booze and juice). Time comes for me to leave, and I trek down the driveway with confidence.

About 3 feet from the street I hit a slick patch. This is when I realize that between the end of the slushy snow and right then the temperature did a pretty big dive. Some things have become icy. I check this off in the “good to know” category and I head to a new path. But that one is slick too. And that one, and that one. And not only is that direction slippy, but holy crap I’m having a foot cramp!

I spend the next 5 minutes inching myself in one direction or another, almost losing it entirely and cracking my rump over and over, and occasionally standing around on one foot while I zen-yoga-contort the other one trying to un-cramp it. I’m stuck. Three feet from glory and I’m stuck. I did what anyone would do in that situation.

I called my sister on the cell phone.

“I’m stuck in your driveway.” I say.

“Do you want me to come out and help you push?” she asks.

“No, I mean me. I’m personally stuck. In your driveway.” Looooong Pause… “How do you usually get down your driveway when it’s slick?”

“I normally stay home when it’s slick.”


“I’m stuck. In your driveway.”


“That silence better not be you laughing…”

Finally my brother in law came out with excellent traction boots (for him) and some kind of high-tech scrapy tool (for the driveway) and made me a path. A path upon which I humbly slunk over to my car and manlessly drove myself home. And never, ever judged the snow-challenged ever again.

(Stupid slushy snow.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Here in Hippyville it is cold.

No, sorry, that's not right. It is COLD.

I biked to work this morning at 6:30 in the Holy Crap morning and it was 20 degrees. And I know there are places where it gets whole bunches more cold, but it's not supposed to get this cold here! Temperate Climate, people! And I was going to write a whole long post about "biking in when it's so cold is hard!" and also "should skin be that pink?" and the classic "crap it's so cold!"...

But then I saw this.

Oh internet, how I love you and your important life lessons!!

Wii = Whee?? Oui!

First, a little back story: those readers who are over the age of about 22 may remember the ancient times, when video games roamed the land in packs, called “arcades” (pack of dogs, herd of cows, mob of crows, arcade of video games, etc.) They were much larger than they are now (so take that, you crazy people who don’t believe in evolution!) and they were slower, much more rudimentary. You could easily fool one of these prehistoric video games with the well-placed hand jive or a bottle cap.

This was my time. I would spend hours with an arcade of video games that had settled down near my work, and I would play with ones called Tron or Crossbow, but probably my favorite was a quirky little member of the tribe that was called “Rampage” Rampage was a very social game; liked to play with two or three kids at a time (as opposed to the more skittish, easily spooked games like the Pac Men who required you to approach carefully and only interact 1-on-1) and Rampage loved noise and high energy! Oh yes, I used to play with Rampage often, but then slowly the arcades of video games became more and more scarce. Now you’ll find some arcades in refuges built either in the corner of a shopping mall or pizza parlor, but they’re practically extinct. There are newer, faster, much more sophisticated, domesticated video games, used to living in a home with a family which loves it. But I never found one that I could really warm up to. This new evolution, called “game systems”, is just too flashy for me, and tends to thrive on really aggressive play, like Halo. Not my thing.

So I’ve lived without the companionship of a video game for years, watching as various new species hit the market but not terribly impressed. Thus endeth the backeth story. Eth.

OK, so the most biggest party our family does each year is not Christmas. It’s not New Years. It’s not July the 4th. It’s my Dad’s birthday. Early January, right after all the other holidays and about when you’d think that nobody wants to do any more partying, and yet it’s the biggest blow-out of the year. I don’t even know for sure how he does that, and in a classic example of the Coming of Age rite of passage where a child wants to surpass their parent, I think each year that I want to top it. But I don’t even get CLOSE.

One of the examples of the excellence of his party is that it is invariably the longest day of the year for many of us. People stay at his party much, much later than they stay at any other party.

For instance, this year I was rushing home, racing the sun, just wanting to be in bed (not even asleep, mind you – just not standing up!) before the sun was actually lighting the world. I just BARELY made it. Then I had close to 5 hours of sleep with hourly check-ins from the kitties – “getting up now? Now? How about now? You know the sun is all up and stuff, right? Would it help at all if one or both of us were to stick our cold noses in your eye? And again? And again? Is this helping?...” – finally culminating in my getting up around noon and sitting on the couch staring at the front yard. For an hour.

So what would I have been DOING until 7am? Playing with the Wii! And what was I playing? RAMPAGE, BABY!

Yes, I admit that after years of shunning all this new-fangled technology I may have finally found a way of playing with video games that I can get BEHIND! Even better than my ancient Rampage, with the punching of buildings and kicking of cars with my little joystick. Now if I would like to, say, utterly crush a fleeing fire engine I bring my fist down with vicious fury! If I want to scoop up some hapless SWAT guy I don’t just nudge a timid little controller – I swing my arm into their midst and there I am nom-nom-nomming that guy! Nom-Nom-NOMMING! To DEATH! So excited was my little nephew that he would literally vibrate across the floor, invariably ending up standing right in front of me.

You may ask “do you have to stand to play the game?” Why no, you don’t have to. And by practically dawn I admit I’d plopped down in a chair for my destructive flurry. But when you’re in the throws you just feel like you can’t sit down. Who sits down to completely and utterly wipe the city of Dallas, Texas from the map??? (no offense to Dallas – we also wiped out San Francisco, Las Vegas and London. Our destructive wake was international, y’all!)

So there was I, along w/ my aunt who we'll call Ruby (after her favorite monster), at 5:45am, putting the finishing destructive touches on a bank, a parking garage and two honkytonks in Dallas, and completely oblivious to the time. Having TOO MUCH FUN. But that’s my idea of the kind of thing to lose track of. Give me an entire night of too much fun over too much sleep any time!

(what happened between 6am and 7am? Oh, just a little drama-infused surgery is all. Wii!!!!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So,... just me then?

Hey, have you ever been on a really long trek on your bike and all the sudden you freak out because you realize you're not wearing your seat belt? That is, until you remember that you're on your bike, not in your car, and that bikes don't have seatbelts and that if you're going to worry about anything you should worry that you're not wearing a helmet because you can't wear your earmuffs under a helmet (or over one) and right now you're going to wear your earmuffs no matter what, at least until the weather warms up enough that muffless ears won't fall off of your head like two chunks of ear ice? Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah, me neither.

Monday, January 21, 2008






No, seriously, the woman who can burn juice successfully defrosted, unstuffed, stuffed (sort of), cooked, cooled and CARVED a gosh darned turkey!! And also? Nobody was wounded or maimed and I didn’t die of food-poisoning! It was a red letter day, people!!

(to which you ask “all by yourself??” To which I answer “are you mad??”)

Here's the deal: my work gave everyone free turkey or free pies for the holidays, and of course my first thought was “Mmmm – Free Pie!!” (because that’s actually one of my life mottos – “Mmmm – Free Pie!!” I’ve got it tattooed on my right butt cheek, across from my other life motto tattoo, “There is no such thing as a good morning”) But then I thought to myself “some day all the grown-ups might not be around to cook us a turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas. The Horror!” and, fueled by the idea of sitting down to my Christmas balogna sammich, I grabbed me a frozen turkey and bypassed those pies! Shunned them, even!

Of course then I was just some clueless boob with a frozen turkey and no idea what to do with it. And kind of wishing I had a few pies to console me.

Next step: I called my Mom, a woman who has made successful turkey after successful turkey; a woman who is not easily flapped by a cooking disaster; a lovely, generous and PATIENT woman… I called her and asked “please oh please, oh mother of mine, would you teach me the Jedi ways of the cooked turkey?” And then I bribed her with brownies. (And can I just say thank all the cooking gods for the invention of the boxed brownie mix, from which excellent brownies come and which is so very impossible to screw up, at least beyond the second time? Oh yes I can.)

This woman, this wonderful Mom-woman, she spent her Sunday afternoon and evening helping me to do this. And as those of you who have ever cooked a turkey already know, it is the classic example of the “hurry up and wait” project. She got there and helped me to confirm that yes, the insides of this bird were still 80% ice. Which, apparently, is bad. And then it was a couple of hours of thawing tactics, as well as yanking things out and pouring things in and chipping things loose…

Once it was thawed we put stuff in it and lavished it with yummy, yummy butter and stuck it in a box ever so hot. And then it was ‘wait thirty minutes, check-poke-slather, wait thirty minutes, check-poke-slather, repeat until crazy…’ She was smart enough to have other chores and errands that she could run during the waiting periods, but even at the end she still came back, at 8pm that night, to show me how to carve a turkey without also carving my thumbs.

Some things I learned:
  • Turkeys actually keep all their internal organs collected together in a little plastic bag. Smart thinkin’, evolution!
  • The little “I’m done!” indicator on a turkey lies, it lies! Listen to it not, for that way lies madness!
  • You can never put too much butter on a turkey. Go ahead, try. It will never be too much. Never.
I know that science (those big show-offs) are saying now that turkey doesn’t make you any sleepier then any other meat. I don’t care – I was still falling asleep on the couch by 11pm. But it was the blissful sleep of the turkey-stuffed, the lucky few who know they have enough white meat in their fridge to feed them turkey sandwiches all week long. There is no better sleep.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Breakin' the Law! Breakin' the Law!

(Note: I actually posted this over the weekend, but due to some various technical thingies it ended up on 1/13/07. Last year. So for any of you who just happened to be reading old, old posts between Sunday and Thursday I clarify that no, this did not happen to me two years in a row! I'm just stupid is all. And now I post this again, but this year, just to be crazy...)

One of my break lights is more dark then light right now. Dad pointed it out (since it’s pretty tough to notice things on your own ass) a while ago and I keep thinking about it in extremely convenient places like in bed at 4:30am or just as I’m lathering up my head in the shower or sitting in a movie theater. But I am aware of it, so that’s something, right?

So then the weekend before Christmas, as I was pulling into a parking space across the street from our big used book store, I happened to notice that these ladies sitting in the car parked behind me were staring, SUPER-staring, at my car’s rump. And with kind of a “we hate that car, hate it SO MUCH!, and specifically the car rump! Hate!” sort of facial expression. So much so, in fact, that I just had to go see what could cause such rancorous facial expressions about a car’s behind.

As I’m coming around the car I remembered the brake light. “That’s probably it” I’m thinking, “It’s probably that my brake light is out and that’s against their holistic 'all cars should be in good working order' spiritual way and so my dark brake light horribly offended their auto sensibilities. That’s probably all it was… or maybe it’s that my license plate tags are expired.”


Oh, and not like “gosh and golly, my tags expired 20 minutes ago”, but more like “Wow, I’ve been driving around just asking for a ticket since the END OF NOVEMBER!” Again I go Gah!

See, here’s the thing: the post office doesn’t like to deliver mail sent from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to my home address. They don’t flat-out refuse to do it, but they won’t do it every time. They’ve got about a 65% compliance rate. And it’s not that they’ve got a mistake in my address – I’ve checked. They’ve checked. I’ve asked uninterested third parties to check. We all agree that the address they have is totally my address. The post office has confirmed that there is no reason why they wouldn’t deliver mail addressed thusly. And yet some stuff just never arrives at my house, and this is the second time that an undelivered piece of mail is the one to remind me that my danged license plate tags are about to expire!

Seriously, gah.

OK, so I first realized this on the street on Christmas Eve, when I know there’s no chance of my getting to the friendly people at the DMV right then. I know I’m gonna have to keep driving around all fugitively from the law. Which I’d been doing, at that point, for practically a month. But I didn’t KNOW it before. I thought I was all law abidy and such back then, in my innocent days. Now that I knew that I was a law breaker the cops were just EVERYWHERE! I left the book store and make two left turns, and hey, there’s a cop! I make two more right turns and hey, there’s that cop again! I make a right turn, a left turn, a right turn, another left turn, down a long street… and pull up right next to that same dang cop. Same. Dang. Cop.

I know that they aren’t going to notice my expired tags just driving around, but remember that I also have the much more noticeable single break light. Or as I like to call it, the huge sign on the back of my car that says “Hey officer, look at me, I bet I'm doing all sorts of illegal stuff!!” And sure enough, I spent days surrounded by Five-O until the holidays were over and I could go out and get the tail light fixed. (Because fixing the break light is much cheaper then fixing the tags, which I’ll get to right away. Ish.) In the meantime I am the most law-abidiest person you ever did see. No speeding for me! No iffy parking, no under-feeding the meter. I’m Johnny-Legal, that’s me! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not a good season for art

I like to think that I’m a photographer. (I also like to think that I’m skinny, brainy and the King of all the Trees. So whatever) I took classes in ‘the big city’ and have a real camera (digital, but digital SLR, so that entitles me to official camera snootiness.) with removable lenses and filters and accessories and I can talk about aperture and ISO and “depth of field” as though I actually know what any of that stuff means. And in past years I’ve won three, count ‘em THREE, ribbons in the photography exhibit at the county fair! (let us not focus on the fact that they were “honorable mention” ribbons which our photography judges give away like suger-free candy. They were ribbons. That’s all that truly matters.) For all these reasons and more I like to think that I am truly a photographer.

Also I really enjoy taking pictures. And I get all googly-eyed when I have a great photographic triumph like this or this or especially this – so cool! But as much as I like these pictures, that’s how much I hate flash pictures. I hate them. I hate how everyone always looks shocked and how the colors are sand-blasted and you just know that the picture right after the picture that was taken is of someone being very annoyed about the damned flash. Even I, who champions the rights of the shutterbug to click away all they want, have been known to say “enough with the flashes please!” at a busy party. Give me available light whenever possible.

Easy to say during the spring. During the Summer. Even during most of the fall. But man, when it’s winter it’s just really tricky to get good pictures. I don’t know how someone like Dooce does it – either there is always sun in her house, always, always, still and forever, or she has the best, biggest, most light-providing lens in creation, or her monthly lighting bill is astronomical. Regardless, I’m jealous. I want me some sunny days! Some artistically lit days!

We had sun on Sunday, and even though I was groggy from lack of sleep (oh, I haven’t covered that yet? I will, I promise) and unclean and everything I still dragged my heiny out to our bestest park and took pictures of the children of strangers. (the key to that? Every once in a while I smile and wave to an imaginary kid across the park. Presto: now I’m just someone’s Mom, taking their picture as a good mom should, rather than some creepy stranger stealing souls) Highlights of my picture day included watching a road-trip parrot being coaxed into pooping (bird poop stop – in case you thought it was a myth), the baby that kept falling, face-first and quite purposefully, into the sand box and then CRIED and CRIED, and the mass game of tag w/ players from age 11ish to probably college-age.

I got a couple of things I like, but within an hour the sun was fading and my hands were mostly just purple lobster claws from all the cold. So now what I think is I need a trip to the Bahamas, just me and my camera and the sun and the lack-of-cold, so I can take pictures of the children of strangers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

For my fellow Santa Snobs

OK, so I got some cool websites in response to my post about how superior and awesome my parents were when I was kid, which now I realize probably should have been called either "the ways in which my parents were superior to everyone else" or "just one more reason I should be whacked a whole bunch more often then I currently am." I've been remiss in passing them along. I shall be remiss no more:

Land of Nod: (thanks Nicole!)

I love this store for the cool name alone! Of course it's not someplace for folks who are where my parents were financially when I was a wee winky, but if you have a little silver to rub together you should rub it around these people. (or something like that)

Sassafrass Enterprises: (thanks again Nicole!)

Specifically for the cookery-types among you, and even more specifically for those cookery-types who have had wee cookery-kids. Who knows, if I'd had some of this stuff as a kid maybe the idea of making cereal wouldn't give me the cold sweats?

Etsy: (thanks always, Risky!)

I've probably already mentioned this site, because it's awesome and because a chum and fellow-blogger has stuff there. But though I think it gets most of it's publicity about jewelry and art-stuff, this website also has cool toys. Toys that a Santa could make!

Uncommon Goods: (thanks to several people!)

I actually got introduced to this website last year and kind of forgot about it. (so lame!) So I was really thrilled to have it returned to my radar!! I have received excellent things from this very website as gifts for 2 years running, and invariably they're some of my favorite things.

I can't help -- must gush. Check out these cool things that people loved me enough to gift!:
SZECHUAN SCARF KNIT KITS -- I knitted this, despite the best efforts of my new
kitties (a last year gift) to stop me. And now I wear it and love it and ha, ha, ha, I MADE it!
CAT TAO GLASSES SET -- Things that someone knew about me when purchasing this gift = I love cats, I love LARGE glasses (I spit at you, silly little juice glasses), I
am not at all Zen and I love cats.

HEMA: (thanks Julie)

OK, so I can't tout the products or the mission or anything. But go there. And wait. And trust me...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Joe Joe Eco-Friendly. Go Joe!

One of the things I may or may not have mentioned about my new job (which really isn’t that new anymore, but it’s not old either so whatever) is that I can bike to work instead of driving. This is something that I was super-excited about when I first got the job, back in the summer! SUPER excited!! Save money on gas and maybe insurance too, cut way-down on my killing of polar bears (and I super-duper love polar bears, by the way), and even get some exercise.

Exercise tangent that may be a rerun for some of you: I hate to exercise. I don’t hate getting exercise, but I hate taking time out of the day just for the sole purpose of painting on spandex/grippy clothing that make me look the worst I can possibly look and then running around or lifting heavy things or any other task that is only to get exercise. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the willpower and I really HATE DOING IT. And frankly I feel very stupid while I’m doing it. However if I can find things that either I enjoy doing, and which coincidentally make me exercise (like tap dancing or laser tag or paintball or attempts at tennis which are mostly me chasing tennis balls all over the court) OR that I need to do anyway and which coincidentally make me exercise (like biking into the work) then I’m perfectly happy to do it. And so? I bike to work. End of Tangent/possible rerun.

I will guarantee you this: everyone who has ever decided to walk or run or bike to work always reached this decision during nice weather. It’s June, sunny, 72 degrees and there are bees and butterflies and fluffy clouds in the sky. You’re sitting in your car, possibly in slow or stopped traffic, and someone zooms by you on their bike, all dashing with the air flowing through their hair and with a tan and a spandex biking shirt with rippled muscles and they look light and happy and everything around them is kind of rosy and warm and pleasant. And you think to yourself “Hey, I could do that! I have a bike and it would take about the same amount of time (what with this crappy, slow- or not-moving traffic!) and I would get exercise and not pollute and everything. I’m gonna do it!” And the next thing you know you’ve dropped $150 on having your bike checked out and getting a new helmet (because your old helmet has apparently become a planter or back-up shovel) and a basket and a light and that spandexy bike shirt (turns out the rippled muscles? Some assembly required.) and you’re zooming past slow moving or stopped cars in traffic on the way to work and it’s GREAT!

Now fast forward ahead about 6 months. It’s January, 16 degrees and there is sleet/snow/super-cold crap falling from the sky. Some dude is sitting in his car, possibly in slow or stopped traffic, with their defroster and heater running and warm buns courtesy of a heated seat and the radio is telling stories of ice-related car smash-ups on the freeway and possibility of full-on blizzard around lunchtime. You zoom by them on your bike, w/ rain pants swish-swishing and the bright green raincoat over the fleecy liner and the wooly scarf and gloves and goggles and earmuffs and good LORD it’s still cold! And they think to themselves “I am so glad that I am in my car right now.” And you think to yourself “I hope that dude gets 4 flat tires and has no jack. And where the hell is the spring?”

Don’t misunderstand: I’m extremely pro-biking to work and kind of wish that everyone was doing it because I think I already mentioned that I totally love polar bears and it amazes me that my whole generation is going to let that entire species become extinct rather than STOP DRIVING SO MUCH. I hate the oil companies and absolutely believe in global warming and think Al Gore looks better with a beard. My most hippy-dippy side comes out full-force when you’re talking about the environment, and so why not bike? And I’m trying to do it every single day because honestly there’s no reason I can’t.

But I’m wimpy.

I know other people who bike everywhere and they’re so awesome. It rains and they go “Eh – it’s just water.” The temp plunges and they go “Eh. It’s just cold.” A plague of frogs falls from the sky and they go “Eh – it’s just frogs.” And get out their frog slicker. I so wish I could do that; be all stoic and cool about winter weather biking. But I confess: I hate biking in the rain. I really do! I hate wearing the rain pants, both because they have a most unfortunate impact on my figure (think Michelin Man covered in motor oil) and all that damned swish-swishing! You get rain in your eyes, in your eyes, which sucks. So then I got some clear glasses (safety goggles) and now my eyes are rain-free, but after about 6 seconds in the rain I can’t see anything. (because yes, the safety goggles are covered in rain. Which I was actually surprised about the first time. Because when I bike I turn off my brain, apparently.)

I have to battle with my hood always because in order for it to not blow off in the rain I have to tighten it’s opening smaller then my face. But then I have no peripheral vision and can’t look right or left. OK, I CAN look right or left, but then all I’m doing is looking inside the hood. Like “here’s what the inside of the right side of the hood looks like, and over here is the inside of the left side of the hood. Thanks for asking.” And there’s just no point in “doing my hair” in the mornings before work because it’s going to be either wet or a great tangled mess by the time I get in. Plus who wants to start every day with prune fingers? Oh! And the Runny Damned Nose! How I hate that!

I should probably also mention that in the grand scheme of winter weather here in Hippyville we get about 28% cold, about .2% snow, about 6% hail/sleet/frozen crap and about 347% rain.

Do not despair: my love of all things polar bear will not allow me to backslide. I will continue to bike through the winter weather and I know that eventually there will be glorious spring and even more glorious summer (and then eventually that really hot winter time, where I’ll post about being sweaty and sticky and stinky and seriously, who came up with the idea of a big ball of lava in the damned sky anyway?) and in the meantime I’ll keep watching my mail for that Nobel Peace Prize I’m sure I’ve got coming.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Gravity made me it's bitch.

Happy New Year! Did everyone have lovely holidays, regardless of which ones they were? (me personally, I decided to celebrate Flag Day (and Flag Day Eve, of course), followed a week later by National Silk Boxers Appreciation Day.) Mine were fabulous, because they just can’t be anything but. It’s the thing about this time of the year, at least for me. Nothing can ruin it. Not even near-death falls down concrete staircases.

I happen to KNOW this.

Remember how on my last post I was working? Working on Christmas Eve, which I know NOW is a great and terrible crime against chipmunks and other small and cute critters and I should be punished should I ever do it again? Remember that? Well guess what: I was punished for it! The universe, it noticed that I was not properly contrite for my workiness, so as I was walking down the cement fire steps at lunchtime it snuck up behind me and pushed me. Down the stairs. The fire stairs that were, I think I mentioned, extremely concrete and hard and cold and HARD and un-heated and without any cushioning.

Lest you imagine me tumbling head-over-heels down the stairs, rest assured I looked much dorkier then that. I didn’t just FALL down the stairs. I tried to grab the railing. And tried. And tried, tried again, also once more, oops almost had it that time!, still no, no, still no, not that time either… I kind of wish that I’d had an out-of-body experience at that moment, because I’d have loved to see what the whole thing looked like from outside. From inside it felt like I was a cartoon character who seemed to have two thousand hands all at once, a blurry mess of unsuccessful grabbitude! Finally I DID grab the railing, with my left hand, but since I’d tumbled feet over feet down the 8 steps or so by then I had some pretty significant momentum, and so all the railing did was yank me around so that I hit the ground on my right side, arm still gripped vice-like on the (completely unhelpful!!) railing. Looking not at ALL lame or dorky or sad or feeble. Lucky me.

Once the swift downward movement had stopped (in other words, once I hit bottom) I decided to just lie there for a while – somewhere between 2 and 15 minutes – until whatever was going to be bashed, bruised and/or broken had made itself known. But here’s the even more crazy part: except for bruises some here and there I was unscathed! Scatheless! Scathe-free! I figured I’d start feeling really achy and twingy after a bit, but nothing. NOTHING! I practically skipped to my car, so giddy was I about my bulletproof-iosity! I came back after lunch and bragged about my near-death, and yet injury-free adventure. “Huzzah!!” said I, “I am IN-WINCE-ABLE!!!”

24 hours later irony ended it’s vacation a little early and spanked my cocky little rump with a case of “dang, my wrist hurts!” and almost 2 weeks later my wrist (dang) still hurts. (also I’m starting to get whiny about it.) I was forced (forced, I say!) to go to the nurse here. In retrospect it is a little stupid to refuse to seek medical check-outery given that around here one good swing of the domesticated pet of your choice would smack a doctor or nurse right in the puss. The nurse confirmed that yes, in fact, I’d “screwed it up” (pardon the technical, medical jargon-talk) and that it would take a while to fix it.

One never really appreciates one’s left wrist until it’s gone (or at least screwed up). The list of things that are apparently dependent on a working left wrist (at least for me) includes:

1. scratch dead center on my back (which, coincidentally, has itched non-stop since Christmas!)
2. take things out of the oven – my right hand does the door opening, and apparently the left hand does the out-taking. Who knew?
3. wash my butt. (You heard me.)
4. check the time. And I tried wearing my watch on the right hand – that’s just not natural! Also it’s the closest I ever came to doing the old “say, do you have time time? Why yes I do, allow me to pour this can of cold, sticky soda down my front as I tell you the time!” schtick to myself.
5. type more then 4 sentences, and so now you know why it took me a week to compile this tragic story for your blogging enjoyment.

I gave myself almost two weeks to get back up to typing speed, but it’s just gonna be one of those things that refuses to truly heal any faster then it darn well wants to. And as opposed to most rational people, who would then resign themselves to taking it arm-easy until things are better, I am going to go back to living my life as though I am completely unharmed, punctuated by periodic shouts of “Ow! Crap!” when my arm begs to differ. It’s a battle of wills, people, and I will crush my arm. Crush it completely!!!