Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today's buzz word is "tile"! How many "tiles" can you find in the following story?

It seemed simple enough...

I was in the shower this morning and realized I was out of shower gel. I had a backup bottle (the free 'travel' size that comes with the 2 gallon bottles from Costco) on a shelf about three feet away from the shower. I opened the shower curtain a little bit, stepped out onto the bath mat (and by 'bath mat,' I mean folded Polar Plunge towel), and reached across for the bottle. My fingers had water on them and I had a hard time gripping the top of the bottle. I reached a little further, grabbed more of the bottle, and............all hell broke loose.

As best I can tell, my right foot, which was still in the tiled shower, must have slipped on the tiled floor, propelling me forward towards the bathroom shelving and toilet. At the same time, my left foot on the Polar Plunge towel shot off to the left (I know this because the towel wound up against the bathroom door, three feet to my left). I guess I started reaching for something to break my fall, but since the ENTIRE bathroom is tiled, I couldn't actually create any friction with anything and just kept falling. I think there may have been a full flip in there somewhere. When all was said and done, I scratched my right boob on either my Costco vat of shampoo or conditioner which was on the tiled shower wall, ripped the shower liner, brought the shower curtain into the shower, crashed the back of my right leg into the tiled shower wall (which I can't figure out since the right leg was IN the shower the last time I checked and the wall was in front of it), slammed my right side/ribs onto the tiled wall, then my right arm, and finally came to a crash landing on my left side onto the tiled shower floor. The bottles of shampoo and conditioner were strewn about the tiled bathroom floor and had both lost at least one pump of product on impact.

It seems either physically impossible or Olympic-gymnast-worthy to me. It was lightning fast but also seemed like it would never end at the same time. The whole house shook when I finally landed. And where was my faithful canine companion? Curled up in a ball in my down comforter on my bed. She didn't even bat an eye. When I finally got into the bedroom, she let out a sigh that said, "Please keep it down, I'm trying to sleep."

I'm not sure if I've truly indicated the wonder that is my bathroom. The ENTIRE bathroom is tiled. Tan, 1970s tile. Floor, walls, shower, shower wall, and the piece de resistance, CEILING. It literally looks like the Downtown YMCA communal shower. Same premise, same color scheme. If it weren't for the wood door, I could close the whole thing up and hose it down once a week.

As if I need to state this, a bachelor is responsible for this creation.

To be continued...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Concussions I Have Known

My memory is fuzzy, so this may be an incomplete list. I'll just list them now and will flesh some of them out later. This will give friends and family time to remind me of any I may have missed.

1. Age 1. Bouncing on Dad's stomach as he lay on his back on the living room floor, knocked head into coffee table. Awoke in hospital and puked in Dad's shirt pocket.

2. Age 9. Covered in bruises from teaching self to ride bike (finally), knocked out by falling light fixture in kitchen.

There have got to be some more in here, especially with all the sports in grammar and high school, but the next one I can recall is in college. Mom, what say you?

3. Age 20. Playing softball, running from second to third, clipped short stop's foot and did somersault in the air over her. Lights out when I hit the ground.

4. Age 26. Performing with ComedySportz in Raleigh, NC. Smacked head into stage accidentally. Vision shot, lightheaded, felt like I was going to puke, but director didn't believe me so I kept on keeping on. Improv while you're suffering from a concussion is fun!

5. Age 31. Playing softball with work team. Ball thrown from outfield to second baseman as I'm running to second. Ball goes over second baseman's glove -- into my forehead. As my friends like to remind me whenever this story comes up, I then dropped like a sack of potatoes. One of many times I wish there was a video so I could see what in the heck happened.

6. Age 38. Playing adult kickball. Should have slid into second, but realized too late. Had to tag second and hang on. Something went terribly wrong and I tripped over the second baseman's foot. I broke my arm on the way down and landed on my head. Knocked out cold. Came up determined to play though (so we wouldn't forfeit) but have no memory of tripping, falling, landing, the last inning, most of the hospital and about 4 hours of that night. Again, video would be helpful...

Boy, this only brings us to six. I went through them one day and thought I had about ten. As you can imagine, my memory isn't the greatest at this point. I have no idea why... ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

You Say Reynaud's, I Say Reynaud's...Let's Call the Whole Thing My Fingers Falling Off

How often does a Facebook status update lead to a blog topic? I just updated mine with the above and decided that might be something to ramble about tonight. It's on my mind because my hands are frigid at the moment and the tips of my right fingers are numb. Goody!

Now I know there are far worse things to be stricken with, but this one is no treat. And as far as I know, there is no cure, so that's a bummer. Thanks to my mother for diagnosing me, by the way. If she had been blessed with just a wee bit more self esteem and confidence, she would have been one hell of a physician. Lucky for those of us who know her, she's been accurately diagnosing friends and family free-of-charge for decades!

So when I freaked out in the fall with what looked like a frostbitten middle fingertip, she started telling me she thought I had Reynaud's. Being her daughter, I of course ignored her. At Christmas, when she saw my fingers turn porcelain white, she again told me she thought I had Reynaud's. And I again blew her off. Maybe if she hadn't called it a Syndrome. It just sounded so...official. This was just some weird circulation thing I was having.

Thanks to the lowered temperature at work, I've become increasingly aware of what my fingers (and sometimes toes) feel like right before they go completely numb and death white. Sometimes they start with blue, other times there's red, but when it's bad and I can't stop it in time, we move right along to white. Oh, we Caucasoids think we're white, but we have no idea how much color we have! Here, let me fetch you a picture:

Nice, huh? Those aren't my hands, but I've seen that lily white effect on my right index and middle finger more times than I can count hand.

It doesn't usually happen when I'm at work, but it gets started there. It's cold enough that my body temperature drops (it's already one degree below normal) and when I get outside and it's even colder, my blood vessels collapse and all the blood goes to my core to keep me alive -- at least, that's what they say online. Because of course I forgot to discuss any of this with my doctor at my annual checkup in January. Whoops.

Today was a nice one. It was FREEZING inside our building at work and even my heated gloves weren't doing much. But once I got outside in the sun, it was actually warmer. So I wasted the Hot Hands I had activated and put in my mittens before I left.

Yes, you read that correctly. I now have a Reynaud's Survival Kit nearby at all times -- mittens, Hot Hands, Toe Warmers, plug-in heated gloves... I just wish I knew how to pronounce the darn thing. I think it's Rey-nodes, but I've heard others call it Rey-nuds. It's going to bother me until I find the right answer. In the meantime, I may wind up in arguments on my own blog, but since I believe in "cold hands...warm heart," I must have one fiery ticker!

Goodnight, all. I'm off to stick my hands in a cup of hot tea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Morning

I just found my soul mate in a 91-year-old gay man.

I’m spending my Sunday morning as I see fit – drinking coffee, reading the paper, and watching CBS’ Sunday Morning. It’s my guarantee I’ll transition into old age somewhat gracefully – if newspapers are still around in thirty years…

The show just did a story on Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for West Side Story, and is currently directing a Broadway revival of the show. The current show’s twist is that the Puerto Rican Sharks are singing and speaking their lines in Spanish where appropriate.

Laurents’ list of writing credits is lengthy, including Gypsy, Hitchcock’s Rope, and The Way We Were. But what struck me during his interview was his being told that many people consider him a legend and brilliant…but that he can be very mean.

He said he’s heard that for many years and that at first it bothered him, but now it doesn’t – “because I know who and what I am.”

And there it is.

I knew I had found a kindred spirit. I’ve discovered that honesty and bluntness are not generally appreciated. I’m talking about being truthful with someone, not cruel. I’m talking about honestly assessing someone’s abilities or personality or whathaveyou – not to hurt their feelings or to cut them to the quick, but to help them – to help them see what they don’t and maybe help them improve and evolve and reach their full potential.

But most people probably see me as a mean bitch. And more often than not, that hurts. I vacillate between knowing that I’m not and trying to find someone – anyone – who sees things the way I do to wondering if I should just shut the hell up and play nice.

I lose my mind when people are less than truthful with me and lie to me to protect my feelings. What a waste of time! We’re here for such a short period of time, why are we spending so much of it prefacing our words and laying a soft, cushy foundation before getting to the heart of the issue? I rail against this daily at work and it’s gotten me nowhere.

My boss likes to bury his head in the sand and any honest assessments of his section or employees is too much for him to handle. You can actually see a little switch go off in his head as he pulls down the shades behind his eyes. He’s the type of person who asks each morning how everyone is doing, but has absolutely no interest in hearing anything other than, “We’re great, thanks.” In his mind, he’s checked in with his section and made sure everyone is happy. He has no real interest in identifying and solving any problems or improving the lot of his employees.

But now back to my boyfriend, Arthur. The interview continued…

Mo Rocca asked Mr. Laurents if a lot of people suffer from the need to be liked. He responds, “I think people suffer from it enormously.”

His autobiography is discussed and Mo Rocca says Laurents was blunt in his description of Katherine Hepburn, when he wrote she “had no sense of humor about herself.”

Mr. Laurents responds, “Define the word ‘blunt’… I will define it for you. Katherine Hepburn did not have a sense of humor. Do you want me to say, you know, [in a singsong] ‘I adored Kate and she was wonderful and she wasn’t exactly the most fun person…’?

Why spend all that time?? She had no sense of humor. Period.

I think people spend a lot of time being evasive and worrying about what should not be worried about.”


He then laughed and said, “This is not adding to my reputation but you know, I don’t care.”

You and meeeeeeeee against the world, Arthur. Sometimes it feels like, you and meeeeee against the world. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tam-Pon, Tam-Poff; Tam-Pon Tam-Poff, The Tamper!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

I found myself in Target this afternoon, purchasing a salad spinner for our lab. Seems the OXO salad spinner makes an excellent centrifuge for 96-well plates and costs $30 vs. $1000-$1500. If you just nodded as you were reading along with the hope that sentence would end soon, here’s a really basic explanation:

96-well plates are about the size of a 3X5 flashcard and have 96 depressions or wells, distributed in 8 rows and 12 columns. Liquid is placed into the wells and for an instrument we’re going to start using, there can’t be any air bubbles in the wells. Air bubbles are sometimes formed between the bottom of the well and the liquid when it’s added. The easiest way to get rid of the bubbles is to spin the plate in something called a centrifuge (think Spin Art or one of those vomit-inducing amusement park rides that spin and force you up against the wall of the chamber as the floor is lowered…)

Hang on, I’m dizzy.

So I’m standing in Target wondering if I should pick up the regular salad spinner or the mini-. Our section’s Head Kahuna saw someone use a salad spinner with the 96-well plates, so I called him to see if he had an opinion on which spinner would be better. He did and reminded me to get a receipt.

Since I was in the Kitchen section at Target, I looked around to see if there was anything else I needed. I picked up some splatter screens so I can cook down store-bought tomato sauce without making my stove top look like a crime scene…

I was almost at the checkout lanes when I spotted the feminine protection aisle. I thought about picking some up because I couldn't remember how much I had at home, but then walked past and decided I'd get my usual vat-o-Tampax at Costco. But then I wasn't sure when I'd be going to Costco and had a current need for some tamponage, so I went back and picked some up.

I got to the checkout aisle and the cashier’s uncomfortable grin and cheerful “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” reminded me that I was wearing a giant kelly green tam with attached bright green hair. I laughed, got a little frazzled and watched her ring everything up.

Right about the time I was signing the signature pad for my credit card purchase, I heard the Head Kahuna’s voice in my head: “Don’t forget to get a receipt.”

And it was then that it dawned on me I had everything rung up together. So tomorrow I have to turn in a receipt at work for three items, one of which is TAMPONS.


I can hear Head Kahuna now – “Nice try, but the state’s not paying for your tampons. We might consider getting you something for your PMS mood swings, but I have to draw the line at tampons…”

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Band-Aid Removal Would Have Been More Entertaining

Whewwwwwwwwwww! Thank goodness Bert finally left a comment today!! I decided a while back that since it appeared Bert was pouting over my reprimand for trying to hijack my blog that I wouldn't write until he left a comment.

OK, that's a lie. I've just been really, really lazy lately. But I was thinking of Bert this afternoon and wondering if I should maybe check in on him. I thought he was pouting over the reprimand as he was suspiciously silent both here and on email, but then I was concerned that he had given himself a heart attack. Last I checked, he was integrating some serious treadmill work into his Beer Enjoyment Algorithm (don't ask) and there was the slightest chance that something might have happened to him. But I really didn't consider that until I was driving home this afternoon.

So once again, I threw it out into the universe and the universe responded. Glad to hear you're alive Bert!

Not much is going on here. At the moment, I'm trying to do my taxes but my Turbo Tax didn't load properly yesterday and my computer crashed twice while I was trying to uninstall Turbo Tax so I could attempt a re-install of Turbo Tax. Go Vista!! Cancel or allow?

Let's see, what else? My running's in the absolute crapper but I've joined a running Meetup group and am looking forward to getting on the stick with that. The big Shamrock Marathon is this coming weekend and I'm waiting for that to pass before I get started again. I know, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I've been living with me for nearly 40 years and I don't understand most of the things I do, so don't strain yourselves trying to figure it out.

Work I'm happy to have a job. I'm happy to have a job. I'm happy to have a job. (If I discover the universe can't hear above a whisper or doesn't understand pig latin, I may give you the full skinny in a drunken rant one day. But for now...) I'm happy to have a job. I'm happy to have a job. I'm happy to have a job.

Just for the record, I am happy to have a job. I know a lot of people out there have it a lot worse, so I do appreciate the steady paycheck...

And at this very moment in time, I'm watching this week's Desperate Housewives and am very sad to see Swoosie Kurtz as a lesbian. One, because she's pushing 100-years-old; two, because she reminds me a little bit of a coworker; three, because she's not wearing her Pushing Daisies' bedazzled eye patch and the realization that my beloved show is never ever never ever coming back on is sinking in; and four, she's not the most attractive lesbian I've seen. I've had to wait over three-quarters of my life to see lesbian characters on television and this is what they give me?? Phlagh. And don't go throwing the L Word hotties at me -- the season finale aired last week so now they're gone forever.

Sad times for this TV addict, sad times indeed.

Well isn't this a fine 'welcome back' to the blog??!! Hope you're all well. House is on, so I bid you adieu. Why can't they make Cuddy a lesbian?!