Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaBloPoMo No No

Crap! Guess who fell out early tonight and missed her blog deadline?? Phudge!!

This is the first time since I started participating in NaBloPoMo that I messed up... Well, I never win any of the prizes anyway. ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

I heart Cogan's!

So many beers, so little time.  Sometimes I wish they wouldn't make us drunk, so we could try many more.  :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Try to remember

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.


flying
surfing
camping
hiking
love?

Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.


NYC
comedy
California
Italy
Machu Picchu
teaching
mentoring
building
love?

Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
And follow.


children
dreams
breath
stars
love?

hurry

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm not getting this time back

A typical exchange overheard at work. Know that the initiator of the exchange has a slow, monotonous drawl and takes approximately 2.5 times longer than the rest of us to say something.

“Elizabeth, did you place that stock room order already?”

“Yes.”

“Ohhh. DNA needs a bigger notebook for those CDs they keep…”

“I have 5-inch notebooks in the stock room. That’s the biggest they make.”

“Oh, 5-inch is the biggest they make?”

“Yes.”

“See this here -- it’s bulging. Maybe if we split it up into two notebooks.”

“I have 5-inch notebooks in the stock room. That’s as big as they come.”

“Is this 5 inches?”

“Yes.”

“Do we have any of these?”

“Yes. I have 5-inch notebooks in the stock room.”

“Is that the biggest they come?”



AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Namaste

Bear with me for a moment, we'll get there...

I was just looking through the 20 catalogs I've received in the last two weeks (it's almost as if Christmas is right around the corner) and came upon a necklace with "Namaste" printed on the pendant.

A word that used to make me think of the end of a yoga session and a final relaxing exhale now makes me chuckle.

According to Wikipedia, "Namaste is a common spoken greeting or salutation originating from India and Nepal. When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest."

Additionally, some of the meanings and interpretations include:
* "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me."
* "I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."
* "Your spirit and my spirit are ONE."
* "That which is of God in me greets that which is of God in you."
* "The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you."

Or as my mother used it one morning last December, "Thank you for my coffee, Indian man at Dunkin' Donuts."

Yeah.

Typically, if my mother's leaving the house for any reason, she's hitting a Dunkin' Donuts drive-through along the way. Fortunately for her, Dunkin' Donuts have littered Southern Jersey much like 7-Elevens and Starbucks have littered the rest of the country. As I'm writing this, I'm sure they're building one on her front lawn.

When I go home at Christmas, we have to make our (her) daily stop at "Dunky Nuts," as she likes to call it.

And she's the one without Alzheimer's.

You can imagine my surprise as I handed payment over to the Indian man at the DD drive-through window, thanked him, and heard from the passenger seat of my car a very chipper, "Namaste!"

I just looked at her.

And then burst out laughing. She explained that she often thanked the DD workers/owners in their language.

Hahahahahahaha!!!

First of all, my mother has a bit of selective racism. She's the woman you can hear in the grocery store huffing and puffing and muttering about Spanish-speaking persons and shooting them a friendly, "If you can't speak the language, go back to your country!" under her breath. Hopefully, under her breath. So for her to claim she's doing anything to accomodate someone from another country is HYSTERICAL.

And last time I checked, "namaste" wasn't really used as the equivalent of "Thank you," "Hello," "Goodbye," "Shalom," or "Aloha." Nor do I think she's bestowing country-specific greetings on anyone else. I want to find an African shop or restaurant when I go home this Christmas to see if she'll start clicking...

Namaste.

With low-fat milk and two Splendas. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beautiful

Today would have been my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary. As I've discussed earlier, it's also the 22nd anniversary of my finally realizing they were knocked up when they got married. :)

But anyway... Today would have been my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary. If they hadn't gotten divorced and my father hadn't remarried and if he hadn't died. Details, details...

I guess it's one of those dates I'll always remember. One of those dates that makes me scramble for a gift idea only to remember no gift needs to be purchased. I really only remember getting them one when I was a kid and it was some god-awful giant white serving dish with a rooster lid. I wonder if that's what pushed my Dad over the edge?

I do have another memory of them that I hold dear. Whenever I hear the following song, it reminds me of them. I can see them dancing to it in our living room and it always warms my heart and brings a tear to my eye.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. Three is a magical number, even if it's only for a short while. I love you. :)





Please don't let the fact that the album cover accompanying the video looks like Bryan Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad detract from the sentiment of this blog post. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Immune System Workout

Anyone who works with me or hangs out with me often enough will hear me utter today's title on occasion. I'm a firm believer in exposing ourselves to germs on a regular basis in order to develop and maintain a healthy immune system. So as my coworkers are opening doorknobs with paper towels and drowning themselves hourly in hand sanitizer, I can be found sharing eating utensils and drinks with people and ingesting dropped food stuffs that were retrieved well beyond the 3-second-rule...

I also firmly believe we're doing the children of America a HUGE disservice by immunizing them against chicken pox and making them wash their hands incessantly with anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.

And I have found vindication!! And by vindication, I mean at least one other person who agrees with me: Dr. Mary Ruebush, author of Why Dirt Is Good.

When you're done snickering at her last name, have a gander at the following vid from my lovely little Sunday Morning program...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

being human

I'm not in a writerly way this evening, so a cheat for your reading pleasure. A friend posted this yesterday and I'd like to share... Thank you, Sara.

"being human"
~naima penniman

I wonder if the sun debates dawn
some mornings
not wanting to rise
out of bed
from under the down-feather horizon

If the sky grows tired
of being everywhere at once
adapting to the mood swings of the weather

If the clouds drift off
trying to hold themselves together
make deals with gravity
to loiter a little longer

I wonder if rain is scared
of falling
if it has trouble letting go
If snowflakes get sick
of being perfect all the time
each one trying to be one-of-a-kind

I wonder if stars wish
upon themselves before they die
if they need to teach their young to shine

I wonder if shadows long
to once feel the sun
if they get lost in the shuffle
not knowing where they’re from

I wonder if sunrise and sunset
respect each other
even though they’ve never met

If volcanoes get stressed
If storms have regrets
If compost believes in life after death

I wonder if breath ever thinks
about suicide
I wonder if the wind just wants to sit
still sometimes
and watch the world pass by

If smoke was born knowing how to rise
If rainbows get shy backstage
not sure if their colors match right

I wonder if lightning sets an alarm clock
to know when to crack
If rivers ever stop
and think of turning back

If streams meet the wrong sea
and their whole lives run offtrack
I wonder if the snow wants to be black

If the soil thinks she’s too dark
If butterflies want to cover up their marks
If rocks are self-conscious of their weight
If mountains are insecure of their strength

I wonder if waves get discouraged
crawling up the sand
only to be pulled back again
to where they began

I wonder if land feels stepped upon
If sand feels insignificant
If trees need to question their lovers
to know where they stand

If branches waver in the crossroads
unsure of which way to grow
If the leaves understand they’re replaceable
and still dance when the wind blows

I wonder where the moon goes when she is hiding
I want to find her there
and watch the ocean
spin from a distance

Listen to her
stir in her sleep

Friday, November 12, 2010

Angel of Death?

I can't remember if I've blogged about my Angel of Death nickname before, but my friends are aware of it as is anyone who saw the video of my stand up routine from last May.

But for the 3 of you who know not of what I speak... Long story short, I have a tendency to bring about the demise of people. There was a period of time during which every time I went home to NJ, one of my relatives died. If I think about someone out of the blue that I haven't thought of in ages, I typically discover they've died in the last few days. My mother and I find it somewhat morbidly amusing. Oh no, wait -- we find it disturbing. That's right.

Up until now, my "powers" have only affected animate beings. But I have to wonder...



As you may or may not be able to read, the building in the picture is being demolished because its proximity to our future light rail train is too dangerous for visitors to the building.

Guess whose therapist is located in said building?

Yup.

I read the accompanying article and there was no mention of relocating the practice.

Whoops.

While I'm prepared to take responsibility for the demise of this building, I'm happy to report I'm not responsible for publishing the caption containing the word "basicaly." :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who's with Me?!

Ahhh, it's that moment most people (I think) try to avoid -- the dramatic walk out. We've all seen it in countless Very Special Episodes or teen angst movies. Typically, it's The Shallow Bully who up until the Dramatic Moment is perceived as the most popular person in school or work -- until that moment he (or she) tries to take the gang with him and no one follows. They've all discovered they don't really need him or even like him and and that they have the strength to stand up to Popular Bully...

Or, they're a school bus driver in Norfolk who staged a huge Sickout that no one attended. hahahahaha.

According to Lauren King of the Virginian-Pilot, Reports that as many as 100 school bus drivers might stay home from work Wednesday ended with a one-person "sickout," school officials said.

Shortly after 7 a.m., all school bus drivers, except the person who was organizing the event had reported for work and were on the road picking up children as usual, said Karen Tanner, a division spokeswoman.


D'oh!

On Monday, Brenda Williams told WVEC.com she would be among about 100 drivers who would call in sick to protest no pay raises.


I'm guessing that while the other 99 bus drivers would appreciate pay raises, they decided getting paid their current wages was preferable to not getting paid at all. I think it's a mantra many of us repeat to ourselves these days.

Good luck to you, Brenda. I've learned the hard way over the years that most people will bitch and moan until you're ready to strangle them but when you stand up for them in an effort to better their circumstances, they often scatter like roaches and you find yourself standing alone. So hang in there and pick your next battle -- and your fellow soldiers -- a little more carefully.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good News, Indeed!!!

Wendy's sprinkles trendy sea salt on its new french fries
~By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

A nation swimming in new products with sea salt is about to get the clincher: sea salt fries.

On Thursday, Wendy's will unveil Natural-Cut Sea Salt Fries — revamped french fries of 100% russet potatoes, cut with the skin on, sprinkled with sea salt.

The move comes as sea salt has set consumer hearts aflutter and invaded American pantries. In 2010, 1,350 new products with sea salt as an ingredient have been introduced, research giant Mintel says. The percentage of all foods and beverages with sea salt jumped from 5% in 2006 to more than 8% in 2010, Mintel says.

"Sea salt has the potential to grow as fast as low-carb did," says Lynn Dornblaser, new products guru at Mintel. "Hopefully, it won't decline as fast."

Wendy's, which continues to lose share to McDonald's, is in the midst of a companywide move to stress the wholesomeness of its food. It opted to fix the fries by using better potatoes cut a new way — and sprinkled with sea salt.

"Wendy's has never had the best french fry," concedes marketing chief Ken Calwell. "If it's not your strength, you can start with a clean sheet."

Why sea salt? "There's a halo that goes with it. People associate it with good, natural things."

They also link it with flavor. The typically bigger salt granules can add more flavor with less salt.


I'd like to think I had a little bit to do with this. If I may refresh your memory...

Dear Mr. President

Um...Mrs. Schmidt, if you're reading, don't click on the link. Just know that it was my mini-rant against Wendy's fries...

Anyhoo, I don't really care who gets credit for this idea. The important fact is that Wendy's is introducing new fries!! Wendy's is introducing new fries!!

Now if we can just get the Wendy's folks to cook the fries thoroughly... Baby steps, I suppose. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Visions of sushi rolls danced in their heads...

Testing out the mobile blog feature...  Sushi approximately 30 minutes before bed.  Good idea?  
Eh, who cares?  Yum!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lick-a-Lolly, Then Shove a Lolly in Your Ear

Was just doing a little channel surfing and saw something that reminded me of Crazy Eddie. If you grew up in the tri-state area (the REAL tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) and are of a certain age, you are painfully aware of Crazy Eddie. His commercials ran hundreds of times each and every day. This first example is more in keeping with his, um, excited delivery, while the second example just made me laugh. Check out the "new" computer models!





And as long as we're strolling down this path, let's take a look to our left at another golden nugget from NY/NJ...



Only Tom Carvel could use one mold for Fudgie the Whale and Santa and another for the Hanukkah cake and Cookie Puss. I'm pretty sure I've talked about Tom Carvel before, but Crazy Eddie memories begat Tom Carvel memories begat...

The Magic Garden!



Wow. I hadn't seen that in 30+ years. All this time I've been blaming my friend Cecco, but I think this show made me a lesbian. Who knew? Maybe I should grow a giggle patch...

And, as long as we're here, might as well finish up with The New Zoo Revue. A theme song I still work into casual conversation as much as possible. Freddie was the best!

Phudge. I couldn't find a good clip of it online. And then I got distracted by this!

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for your not being able to get this song out of your head.

And don't forget to keep an eye out for Rita Moreno...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Personal Foul

I'm a fairly intelligent person. As a Gemini, I have a pretty good shot at understanding things both left-brained and right-brained. And yet, at the tender age of 41, there are several things I'm convinced I will never fully comprehend:

1) The cosmos. Carl Sagan, I'm sorry. I try, but I get overwhelmed and then...I surrender. I know I'm just a speck of dust. But man, I cannot comprehend what's going on OUT THERE;

2) Reproduction. Oh, I understand the mechanics of it. All the way down to the cellular level. But when all is said and done, YOU HAVE A HUMAN BEING GROWING INSIDE YOU!!

3) NFL Football.

I'm quite confident I could understand the intricacies of nuclear physics before I understood this game -- or Americans' affinity for it. My girlfriend can rattle off teams and stats and who bet on whom and who she needs to win and who needs to lose and the coaches and the players and the refs and the history and the rules and the and the and the and the FOR.EV.ER.

And all I see is a game that should take about 20 minutes extended into 3 hours with a bunch of horse's asses running around celebrating every blasted play they make. Congratulations, you did what you're paid to do. Now pipe the f*ck down!

Can you imagine if every sport did this? If every baseball player started fist-pumping and chest-thumping every time he caught a ball? If hockey players started celebrating every stolen puck? If women's volleyball players started screaming to the spectators and demanding congratulations after every point?

Yes wiseasses, women's volleyball has spectators! ;)

Anyhoo, I don't mean to piss on anyone's testosterone parade. I know I'm in the minority here and I'm just discussing my ignorance of the game and its appeal.

But I can't help but wonder where we'd wind up if we Americans invested a fraction of the energy spent on NFL football on our jobs or education or inventions... Maybe we'd go back to being known for more than professional sports, music, and entertainment. I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Only Thing Running is My Nose

I've had Zombie Ick for the past two weeks. It started the morning after Survive Norfolk -- during which I forgot to use my inhaler, ran like a madwoman from pretend zombies, and felt as if my lungs had caught on fire. Since then, an assumed army of viruses has descended on my sinuses and respiratory tract and seem to be in no hurry to leave. At any given moment, my head/chest is like my golf game -- only two of the three parts are working properly. My driving and short game are okay (lungs and throat to you) but my putting is off (sinuses). And 'round and 'round we go. The crap leaves my head and winds up in my lungs. Crap leaves my lungs and jumps up to my head. Crap makes it way from my head to my lungs and makes my throat sore. Repeat.

Come to think of it, this great influx of phlegm is similar to the recycling of water from the earth to the sky to the oceans, ad infinitum.

As you can imagine, this has gotten a little old. I'm all out-of-whack. I want/need to run, but don't really feel like it. Plus, I'm fairly certain my running-induced (see burning lungs above) asthma wouldn't be too thrilled about it. But I know I feel like a lump and my spirits are lowwwwww, so I've got to do something.

I'm sick of being sick and getting sick of myself!

Perhaps tomorrow. Maybe a good run will knock everything out. Be gone my little virus visitors. You have overstayed your welcome...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Young Frankenstein

I just stumbled on Young Frankenstein and once again my first thought was to call my Dad. Which many of you know would be somewhat difficult since he's been dead for almost 14 years.

Yowza. I know it's been a long time, but it still throws me when I see the number. Kind of like when I remember I'm 41. :)

Anyway, I thought I'd just rattle off some lines from Young Frankenstein. I loved the movie as a child because my father did. And because he'd laugh through the entire thing. He had a great laugh when he really got going... As I got older, I loved the movie for the original reason and then because it made me laugh too. It's one of those movies I never tire of...

The nursing home staff is going to have a hell of a time trying to figure out what I want when I start speaking exclusively in Young Frankenstein quotes once the Alzheimer's has set in for good and they're the only words I remember. ;)

Roll, roll, roll in the hay!
That's FRAHNKenSHTEEN.
Frau Bleucker! (horse whinny)
What knockers! Why sank you, Doctor.
Taffeta, darling... Taffeta, darling. No, the dress -- it's taffeta...
You take the blond, I'll take the one in the turban!
Damn your eyes! Too late!
Walk this way. Here, go on, take the stick; this way...
Perhaps some OVALTINE? No. Nothing. THANK YOU.
Put the kendle beck!
Putting on the Ritz!
Vootshtops. Vootshtops vootshtops vootshtops!!
Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you!!!
Abby.....Normal
I ain't got no bodyyyyy.
I can do something about that hump. What hump?
Give him a seda-give??


As if speaking in Young Frankenstein quotes in my dotage isn't bad enough, I've had the song "There's a light over at the Frankenstein place" from Rocky Horror running through my head this whole time. I can only pray I don't wind up combining the two movies at some point.

I'm going to wind up in a carnival. I just know it.

I should've had children. Or siblings at least. Siblings with children! Dammit to hell, Mom.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Give Me My Money Back, You Bitch, and Don't Forget To Give Me Back My Black T-shirt

Some of you may have noticed the widget to your left
<------------------

That's only if you're reading this on 11/4/10. Any later, just go up to the current blog post and you'll see. I'm assuming even if you're reading this in 2015, it will still be there because honestly, I don't foresee being paid back anytime soon.

I put it up there as a little reminder for myself. I'm one of those numbskulls who forgets things after a while. Money owed, injustices, fights. Sometimes it's good -- if something is so insignificant that I forget about it after a while, then maybe it wasn't such a big deal after all. But sometimes, some things are worth remembering. Like a $2100 "loan."

It was loaned freely and with no strings. I told myself at the time that I wouldn't loan it if I couldn't afford to never see it again. I know how that game goes. And at the time I could afford it. And then the universe laughed. I was supposed to be paid back in approximately 10 days -- after the next paycheck. Well, the loanee dodged and weaved and threw up distractions and quit the source of any future paychecks. We were still friends at the time, so when she FINALLY cut me a check, 1.5 months after the loan, I told her I would hold it until she was working again because I knew cashing it would clean her out. She thanked me.

And that friends, is all she wrote.

We're going on a year now. There has not been one penny repaid. I'd be happy with a dollar a week at this point as a good will gesture. When I finally got fed up enough with the whole situation and phoned the bank to see if it could be cashed, I was told it couldn't for two reasons -- one, it had been more than six months, and two, there weren't any funds to support it.

I'm fairly certain there never were.

And so, the counter on the left. And this marvelous suggestion from a good friend:

"You should say,

Dear Drama Cow –

I was going through some papers and I found this check that you wrote me to pay me back. I had completely forgotten about it. I’m so sorry if it has caused any problems with your record keeping. I did call the bank to find out if I could still cash it after all this time and they told me that it was no longer “active” so I wouldn’t be able to bring it in. So, if you wouldn’t mind writing me a new check I will run it to the bank right away and cash it so that we can both finally have our accounts all straight.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. I hope you are doing well,
AJ
:)"


Hahahahaha! Makes me laugh every time I read it. True friends and good people are to be treasured, my friends. I still want my *&^%$ money back, but thank goodness I'm rich in so many other ways...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tattoo Stiggy

Sometimes they just write themselves...

I literally just sat down and was going to either write something about the deaf woman answering our phones at work or about parking, when I overheard the name Stiglitz on Jeopardy!

It's a name I grew up with but heard more often as "Tattoo Stiggy." And off to Google I went to find a picture of Walter Stiglitz for you fine folks. Imagine my amusement when Google Instant offered "Tattoo Stiggy" up as an answer to a question formed only in my brain... I didn't realize he was famous enough for Google Instant. :)

And here he is circa 1980, in the living room of his house in my hometown:

photo credit: John Wyatt

Stiggy was covered in tattoos when single ones were rare. I knew he was in the Guinness Book of World Records at some point in time for having the most tattoos, but only just discovered that he has 5,555. Apparently, his last one is on his behind, as in, "The End." Actually, it may be "had 5,555" -- I have no idea if he's still alive or not.

And now I'm bummed that I never went to his shop. Or received a tattoo from him. I still want one and I still can't commit to one. I figure by the time I commit, I'll have far fewer years to live with it. But in the meantime, it would've been cool to receive my first tattoo in a small shop from a famous human canvas in my little town...

And since the 80s were not the Aughts, my mom would've had a stroke if I had. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No Dulling that Sheen

Does anyone else think Mel Gibson planted this story?

"Charlie Sheen Found Nude In Restaurant, Screaming N-Word: Report"

Can't you just see him fuming, trying to figure out why Charlie can beat women, go on coke binges, trash cars and hotels, trash women, trash coke while trashing women, yada yada yada and would probably be welcomed with open arms on the Hangover 2 set?

Mel really needs to suck it up and go away. Maybe it's because we don't have audio of Charlie. Maybe it's because this is the way he's always been, this is the way he's always going to be, and any chick dumb enough to hook up with him, well...let's just say she was warned... It doesn't make it right, but even rats in experiments learn to stay away from the electrode pretty quickly.

Anyhoo, the person who should really be pissed about all of this?

Pee Wee.

Was it because it was so gross? So ridiculous? Because he was catering to kids at the time of his arrest? Poor guy STILL hasn't redeemed his earlier fame and is now taking the Pee Wee show to Broadway to try a revival once again.

He does still hold the award for Best Attempt at Re-Entry into Polite Society After Getting Busted Behaving Badly, which I conferred upon him from a distance after he delivered this line at the 1991 VMA's:

"Heard any good jokes lately?"

Funny, but you still nasty, Pee Wee. Good luck!

And Mel, dear Mel, once you establish that you hate, despise, and abhor every human other than white male Catholics, ya kinda limit your audience a little. Charlie still has a few groups to go...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy NaBloPoMo 2010!!!

Ho Ho Ho!!! 'Tis NaBloPoMo time once again!! And since it's been approximately 19 hours since the passage of Halloween 2010, it's time to begin Christmas shopping -- at least, according to the stores and advertisers.

Truth be told, I'm STILL denying the end of summer.

Which is getting harder and harder to do since I can smell the artificial heat being pumped into my living quarters...

Well that's exciting, isn't it? Any NaBloPoMo 2009 readers may recall that last November was a very cold time for yours truly. $16,000 and one vent that sounds like a large box fan/airplane later, the pooch and I are WARM.

Most often, it's the little things in life that make me happy. Every so often, it's a GINORMOUS thing like an internal home temperature greater than 50 degrees. Ahhhhh....

I had planned on writing earlier in the evening, but two things quickly got in the way:

1) Bodhi, in reaction to the outdoor temps and a day of doggie daycare, decided to get all snuggly on the love seat. Bodhi's definition of snuggly is to lie on me and immobilize me. Fortunately, I was able to wriggle my left arm free and reach over to an end table to retrieve obstacle numero two-o...

2) I have FINALLY gotten into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! It was supposed to be the first of many beach books this summer, but sadly wound up being the ONLY beach book, whose first 16th was the only portion completed.

THE HORROR.

Thanks to a pitiful number of beach trips this summer that were never alone (and therefore with good company, good convos, but poor reading opportunities), the big IT book of 2010 sat unopened on a shelf for the last 6 months.

Fortunately (silver lining), I caught some sort of Ick last week and have had many opportunities to read. Joy! :) And now I'm nearing the end of this first-of-three tome.

So you know what that means, right?

Good night. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chuck Thursday Eighteen!!

Chuckus are legal!!
Back off, overzealous males!
Chuckus are ladies...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chuck Thursday Seventeen

Oh, it's a wet one!
Norfolk's sinking once again
As are our spirits!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chuck Thursday Sixteen!

Chuck says, "Let's skydive!"
AJ says, "No, you just go..."
She shouldn't bother!

Yeah, that little cherub-faced conniver can talk me into just about anything... I want to go skydiving, but wasn't gonna go this week, but I shouldn't have even tried to decline...

Meanwhile, he hasn't made the appointment yet, so there's a good chance I'll be at the beach come Saturday... :)

PS -- thanks to Jenny B and PJ for reminding me to write this thing at the kickball fields!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chuck Thursday Ffifteen

Ran out of money!
Cow bank says check goes "bouncy"!
Best things in life FREE...



Yah. Yours truly has finally run out of cash thanks to 2010: The Year of Living Expensively. All the home repairs, car repairs, dog repairs, and -- ahem -- eating and drinking out have finally caught up with me. On a fluke, I phoned Drama Cow's bank to see if the check she gave me back in January (that I said I'd hold until she got back on her feet) was still valid and if there were any funds to support it. Not surprisingly, there weren't. I'm hoping I can parlay this financial karma into a winning lottery ticket.

If I ever remember to purchase a lottery ticket. :)

In the meantime, I've tried to get back out for my lunchtime run and while on one yesterday, I started looking around and itemizing all the wonderful things in my life that are FREE. Feel free (harrrr) to add to the list or just work on one in your own noggin. Chances are if you're feeling down or stressed or whathaveyou, you'll feel much better afterwards. Have a wonderful day, my friends! Sentiments of cheer are free, fyi. ;)

FREE STUFF:
the sun
wind
blue skies
puffy clouds
LOVE
hugs
smiles
laughter
genuine friends
helping tourists by the Wisconsin (hey, I said I formed this on my run...)
good cheer
postive attitude
deep breaths
running!

Shoot, I know there were more, but I've got to get going! Help me out here...

PS -- The Ffifteen in the title is a shout out to my softball friends and their banquet last week whose entertainment included yours truly and a band called Ffelt. :)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chuck Thursday Fourteen

Kickball starts tonight!
Did it ever stop for us?
Belmont fail, AJ.

Today's Chucku is for those in the know, I suppose. Basically, some of my friends and I played in a summer kickball league, so while our traditional league is starting back up again tonight, some of us fools never stopped playing. And since kickball is a gateway drug to that dirty little secret, karaoke, and yours truly is mildly addicted, I lost a lot of work hours on Fridays this summer.

And now the bell tolls for me.

Looks like I'm working a full day tomorrow which means I'm skipping the big Bel tonight. Sniff... I will miss my frenzied friends and our wonderful waitstaff. sniff.

In other news...

"[Tupac Shakur] always wanted me to smoke weed with him, and I never did it. I wish I did. That's my biggest regret." — Mike Tyson (AP)

Uh...Mike? You bit a man's ear off and THIS is your biggest regret?

You MARRIED Robin Givens and THIS is your biggest regret?

You BEAT Robin Givens (OK, we may cut you a little slack on this one... No, no, it was wrong) and THIS is your biggest regret?

You have a tribal tattoo on your FACE and THIS is your biggest regret?

Man, Tupac must've had some amazing weed....

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chuck Thursday Eleven, Twelve, & Thirteen!

Uh, whoops. How's everyone been? Looks like I missed a few. Let's see if we can't review the last 3 weeks in Chucku form...

8/19/2010:

Getting back on stage
Seemed like good idea at time
Hope I don't crash, burn!

8/26/2010:

Stand up shows went great!
Have girlfriend, but still no date. :)
Hope this week's show kills!

9/2/10:

There was death, all right...
But I'm still smiling like fool!
Thank God for Ash and day job. ;)

And since I've been thinking about this a lot lately, let's go ahead and review a checklist I made a few months ago... (What I Want)

What I Want

Someone who enjoys my company and wants to share activities, thoughts, dreams, etc. with me. CHECK!

Someone who is financially independent CHECK!

Someone who is productive, creative, and fun-loving CHECK!

Someone who seeks and finds balance in life and love CHECK!

Someone who does not take herself too seriously and looks for the humor in life CHECK!

Someone who appreciates me, my efforts, and my love CHECK!

Someone who is not selfish CHECK!

Someone who is her own person but who is open to being in my world and letting me in hers CHECK!

Someone who is faithful CHECK!

Someone who recognizes that new is always shiny and who likes, loves, and respects me enough to work on our relationship (Haven't tested this one yet; but I suspect I already know the answer.....check)

Someone who recognizes her own idiosyncrasies Ditto

Someone who is not a victim all the time OR EVER -- CHECK!

Someone who recognizes that we can and will both be at fault on occasion. Statistically, it can’t always be my fault. :)

Again, not tested; but I already know the answer... CHECK!

Thanks for falling out of the sky, Pea Pod!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Knee Jerk Reaction

Virginia has just announced that it is going to end face-to-face visitation for its death row inmates, becoming only the second state in the nation to do so. Inmates will be allowed visitation via video conference only. Virginia is citing better safety and lessening of the burden on corrections workers as reasons and claims video conferencing may even lead to an increase in 'visits' beyond immediate family.

Those against the change say it is inhumane and that it hurts both the inmate and the inmate's family members -- those who don't get an opportunity to say goodbye before their loved one is executed.

I know. I know what the knee jerk reaction is from most and I know why. Most people probably think this is exactly what the person deserves. Most will say that the victim did not have an opportunity to say goodbye to his or her family. That the victim's family members did not have a chance to say goodbye to him or her. So why should the perpetrator be allowed visits and goodbyes?

Because we should strive to be better.

My knee jerk reaction was that a human being was going to be killed and would not be allowed human contact with his or her loved ones before dying. That was it. Same feelings, different context.

What does your heart say? Before your brain jumps in, when you hear that someone is going to die and is not allowed to say goodbye in person, what is your knee jerk reaction?

It should be the same for everyone.

We all started out the same way and we're all headed out the same way. And a lot of things happen to us in between. But we should ALWAYS strive to be better human beings and to show each other -- even the worst of us -- compassion.

Of course it's horrible that victims and their families don't have futures together and don't get to say goodbye. But that shouldn't cause us to stoop to the same level as those who prevent that from happening.

Think with your heart.

It's the better part of you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chuck Thursday TEN

Well this bad boy just wrote himself! My friend and old ComedySportz director, Christine, posted the following on fb: "Interviewed a Dianah Dulany for the book yesterday. She credits improv for keeping her imagination vivid. So, who's up for a little improv today? The game Haiku. Create a haiku..."

I immediately "scolded" her for stealing my Chuck Thursday gig, but then realized I should probably respond in haiku, and did:

Cranial Vault: Chuck Thursday
AJ's gig for weeks
Haikus to amuse, she hopes.

Now, what's really fun about all of this, is that Dianah Dulany is the director of ComedySportz in Houston, Texas and I dated a girl in her troupe for a year and a half in the late 90s. Welcome to your weekly small world reminder. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Your mission if you choose to accept it...

As usual, the right message at the right time. I'm stuck in a quagmire of my own choosing. I'm worried for a friend based on intuition and quite possibly, lies. If certain things are true, then I feel like the world's worst friend for not fighting through the crap and standing by her. If they're not true, then I'm right to push forward with my own life, without her. I may never know the answer. And so, all I can do is send a vague "I'm sorry" out to her and the universe. She'll never ask "What for?" and closure will remain elusive.

Onward, marching AJ.

GEMINI (May 20-June 21)
Despite your sense that you can “think things through,” that’s not really the case when it comes to feelings; you simply need to feel, and make the appropriate decisions. We’re inclined, indeed trained, to obsess over how we feel, and most of this involves guilt about how we feel. So let’s consider guilt, which is always rooted in childhood. It always has connections to the remnants of our family of origin, and we underestimate the power that these people, and their ideas, have on us as adults. Make no mistake: What you’re going through right now has something to do with that influence. Guilt is resentment directed against itself. We blame ourselves for our parents’ shortcomings, believing they are flawless, and get in the habit of attacking ourselves. When we take this into adulthood, it can cause significant emotional and relational problems. You may think you can work this out with them, but at this point there is no such thing. Your mission is to work out your life, your feelings, your needs, and your sense of safety with yourself. Be aware of when you are blaming yourself for the problems and shortcomings of your early caregivers, and be aware of when you’re dramatizing this with the people who currently surround you. You know it’s time to push out of your mental anguish and step forth into your full adult creative power. Don’t let the past hold you back.


http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2010/8/Horoscopes/Horoscopes-August-2010


PS -- This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chuck Thursday Niner

Almost forgot my Chucku for this week! Back to therapy today after a 3-week break. The good news is I can barely remember what I've done over the last 3 weeks, but I think I really enjoyed myself. :)

Car, roof, windows, run.
These are the things I dream of.
Cheers to awake fun!



OK, they can't all be good. Or even remotely entertaining. They just have to BE. ;)

I've done two open mics since my grand debut back in May. For the first, I used the wrong material at the wrong time with the wrong people. For the second, I decided I needed to keep practicing and made the poor decision to go up after spending the afternoon drinking in 100 degree temps. I did my old material but dropped half the jokes -- and again it was for a room of people who had no idea they'd be subjected to standup when they sat down in the bar. Needless to say, Mama's feeling a little shaky comedy-wise.

Fortunately, the universe stepped in once again. I finally made an appointment to get my sickly car checked out (thereby taking a step in the right direction) and within a minute or two I was invited to perform at a comedy club for an all-woman show. It's in 2 weeks and will hopefully give me enough time to get my sh*t together.

Comedy horse, I'm climbing back on.

Thanks, universe! And deceased relatives. Even though I (as the Angel of Death) probably sent most of you on your way, I suspect you're pulling some strings for me on a daily basis. Love you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Love (and clean underwear) Is All You Need

"We're all in this little boat of life together, and none of us are [sic] getting out of it alive." ~ Stephen King.

Have truer words ever been said? Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about, doesn't it?

Have you checked out the comments following any online newspaper articles lately? They are just chock full of hatred and horrific grammar. Oh, there's the occasional sane, level-headed person who tries to inject reason or compassion into the "debate," but he or she is usually drowned out or worse, ripped apart by the majority.

What is everyone so angry about?? Why does it seem like there's so much more hate than there's ever been? Have we just gotten better about allowing people to be themselves, about encouraging them to speak their mind rather than hide their hatred in the shadows? Just because you're louder, doesn't make you right. And you're welcome to think and say what you want, but wouldn't your energy be better spent getting to know the other people in the life boat? Maybe, just maybe, you'd learn something and open up your narrow existence a little bit.

Sigh.

Big sigh.

Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional today. That means for a brief period of time, those of us who think gay marriage should be legal will be celebrating. But there will be an appeal and more fighting and perhaps the argument will make it up to the Supreme Court and more fighting...

Why on earth does it matter? Most of us will only be on this big blue/green orb for about 80 years. Is this really how you want to spend your time?

About an hour before the Prop 8 announcement, one of my lesbian friends registered shock on Facebook about another decision. An Islamic group has been given permission to build a new mosque approximately 2 blocks from the hole that was once the World Trade Center in NYC. Apparently, a building is currently standing there and was just denied a historic designation which would have spared it. The building has now been cleared for demolition - making way for the mosque. Several other lesbians replied to the news with shock and disgust.

Hang on a second.

As best I can tell, these Islamic New Yorkers were not responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that they do not support it. Or even if they DO support it intellectually, unless they participated in the act through deed or financing, they are allowed to think and say whatever they want. Isn't that what we're all about?

How can one oppressed group turn around and deny basic civil liberties to another? What possible sane reason can you propose for denying these people land -- two blocks away from the WTC -- to build a community center and mosque?

And when all is said and done -- who cares?

Is this really how we want to spend our limited time on earth?

I heard an old Beatles song today.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

It's all we needed when we arrived, all we need during our stay, and all we need when we depart.

Tomorrow's a new day. Worry a little less about yourself and your outrage. Spread some love around. You're running out of time. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chuck Thursday Ocho

Chuck just posted a trippy video on fb and it reminded me of two short stories. Let's kill several birds with one stone, shall we? It's just a saying, PeTA, chill out.

The vid:



Story One:

When my dad was a kid there was a stray dog who used to pal around with him and his friends. As my dad told it, when he'd come home from school the dog would always jump up and throw his paws over my dad's shoulder to give him a hug Hello. One afternoon, the dog missed by an inch or two and wound up scooping out my dad's eyeball. Dad didn't freak apparently and just trotted himself on into the house while cupping his still attached eyeball up under its socket in his hand. His mother however, freaked (understandably). Off they went to the doctor, the eyeball was popped back in, his vision wasn't affected, and we always had a way of detecting when he was sleepy -- his eye would start to droop a little bit. (And in a sad twist, my father actually lost his vision in his other eye many years later. But that's another loooooooong story).

Story Two:

Bodhi can be somewhat curious when she wants to and particularly enjoys exploring our world through her sense of smell. She's a hound and sniffs her way through life. A friend and I were taking her for a walk when she was a little over a year old and we came upon a VERY old man and his VERY old dog. They appeared to be in an unspoken race to see who could decay faster. One of the dog's eyes was all dead and shriveled up in its socket and as Anne and I were talking to the old man, Bodhi began sniffing the dead eye. That was bad enough, but I guess she was confused by what she smelled, because she then stuck her tongue onto the eyeball to investigate further. She loves dead things, so I'm guessing she was just trying to figure out what was going on. I like to imagine Bodhi's thought process... "You smell dead. Are you dead? Do you taste dead? Blep." I embarrassingly pulled her away from the poor dog and was relieved to realize that the old man was so nearsighted that he hadn't seen what happened.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chuck Thursday Seven

CRAP! I almost forgot!! I know you'd never forgive me... I was going to try to squeeze this into a haiku, but I don't have the time or brain strength right now. Went for an organized run Tuesday night and as I was huffing and puffing in my friend Dolores' general direction within the first 200 feet of the race, I said that the only exercise I'd had of late was a surfing lesson and hitting some golf balls.

Dolores asked if I had gotten up on the board and I said No, that I caught a couple waves but rode the board in like a boogie board. :) I then said in my defense that, "Chuck brought a short board and not his long board," to which Dolores asked, "'Chuck Thursday' Chuck?"

And that made me laugh. :)

Two days of heart emos
Saying what we love and 'heart,'
Makes us all happy.


Monday, July 19, 2010

A Pearl by Any Other Name

Hmm...just discovered this is my 300th post. Well that's a shame because I'm not really writing anything -- just offering up a clarification for some of my friends. Our dear friend Voldy flitted past my cube this morning and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a very large, flowy, somewhat loudly patterned blouse on her. It immediately reminded me of late 70s Pearl Bailey and I first laughed and then posted something to that effect on Facebook.

Two of my friends have since asked if she was wearing a hat with a price tag hanging from it, confusing Minnie Pearl for Pearl Bailey, and so I feel I must clarify.

Herewith, Pearl Bailey. She's in the center. Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald flank her. I'm saddened that many of you may not know who they are either. Go find out.



And now, Minnie Pearl. I hope you can spot the subtle differences. :)




Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chuck Thursday 6!

Heavens, I almost forgot!

Car chugging along
At garage, but no word yet
Bodhi stuck at school??


OK, now that Chuck has stopped reading, guess I'll toss in an extra word or two. FUN day so far! Was on my way in to work to grab a file and head out to east bumblefark for court and my car was hes hes hesitating on acceleration. I had the same problem back in May and got it 'fixed' to the tune (up?) of 800 bucks... So I'm thrilled by the prospect of more repairs.

Actually, I'd just be happy to get the car back. They haven't called yet with the diagnosis, which means they haven't started fixing the problem yet. Which also means someone you know may be SOL when it comes to transportation. Alas, one Bodhi S. T------ is at daycare today and I'm unsure how to get her home. If only I had a side car on the Vespa!

I was also going to head up to a comedy club on the other side of the pond tonight, but I'm guessing that's out as well. I really needed to get back on the proverbial horse after a disastrous appearance at an open mic this past Sunday. I really thought it was just going to be a handful of my friends (based on a past open mic at this location) and that I'd be able to toss out some new stuff to see if it stuck or not. Instead, the place was packed with a bunch of loud, disinterested guys left over from the World Cup final game. They gave me about a minute to make them laugh -- which I didn't -- which wasn't their fault -- and then they returned to what they were doing -- drinking, playing pool, and talking VERY LOUDLY.

So, a trip to an actual comedy club would've been nice tonight. And a return to a few minutes of stuff I know is funny would've been even nicer. For everyone involved. :)

Oh, and in the meantime, we're having computer issues at work and can't get much done. Hence, this blog.

See ya, bye!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Honk If You Love Breathing

My friend Don sent the following story and attached a photo...

Pa. dog trapped in hot car honks to alert owner

MACUNGIE, Pa. (AP) -- A veterinarian said a dog trapped in a car on a 90-degree day in eastern Pennsylvania honked the horn until he was rescued. Nancy Soares said the chocolate Labrador was brought to her Macungie Animal Hospital last month after he had been in the car for about an hour.

She said Max's owner had gone shopping and was unloading packages when she returned but forgot that Max was still in the car. She later heard the horn honking and looked outside several times but saw nothing amiss. Finally, she went outside and saw Max sitting in the driver's seat, honking the horn.

Soares said the owner immediately gave Max cold water to drink and wet him down with towels before rushing him to the clinic.

Soares said Max was very warm and panting heavily but had suffered no serious injuries, only heat exhaustion.


I was going to alter the story to fit the photo below but just decided to leave it as is…

"



Yes, that's my dog, Bodhi. lol. But just for the record, it was taken late in the afternoon on a cool April day... :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chuck Thursday 5

'Tis therapy day
Feel like I'm doing it wrong
Are there rules for this??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chuck Thursday 4

Dang, haven't written anything since Chuck Thursday 3! I was slammin' busy towards the end of last week and then wrecked my back at our kickball tournament on Saturday. Ever since, I've been AJ on the half shell -- on ice every chance I get. Here's this week's Chucku:

Kickball for children?
We adults scoffed, drank, and played
Then injuries came...


My mom's going to shoot me for sharing this, but I must. She's seen the million pics on my facebook page of me and my friends being goofy and she felt compelled to write:

"Honey,

Could you please stop making faces when your picture is taken. You are such a beautiful woman and I know you like to be funny, but I hate to see that beautiful face distorted. I'm just sayin'!!!!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! That's a classic. Thanks, Moo! Love you! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chuck Thursday 3

FYI -- if you're a commentor, I'm moderating them now in an attempt to prevent the Asian viral graffiti from reaching my wall. I assumed blogspot would tell you after you left a comment, but some of you are leaving the same one multiple times, so I'm guessing you think something's wrong. No worries. I'll post everything that isn't an Asian virus. Or from that chick who started fighting with me over the old gay man.

And now, a 757 haiku in the 757:

Comment doesn't bring a laugh
Without asking, Chuck:
"Don't use that one in your act."


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Goes Up Must Come Down

We have two single-occupant public restrooms in our lobby and since they're closest to my current temporary office, they're the ones I frequent. I noticed some time ago that the terlets appear to be bolted together through a shared wall. As such, one can get bounced around a little bit if someone else is using the other restroom at the same time. It's similar to a shared booth in a restaurant... If I know someone's in the other restroom, I tend to land on my terlet a little more gracefully, lest they make the same discovery as I.

(And don't get me started on the hovering chicks. Sit your asses down. You're not getting anything from a toilet seat unless you're rubbing your chotch all over it after someone else has rubbed God-knows-what on it. You're far more likely to pick up a disease from a doorknob than a toilet seat!)

Anyhoo, the reason for this charming little tale is that I was just in the restroom and one of my heftier coworkers sat down on the other toilet and nearly launched me across the room like a tiddly-wink! It made me laugh and perhaps it will make you laugh too...

Monday, June 21, 2010

But I Wish I Still Had My Josie & the Pussycats Underoos...

I had no idea that one small portion of my standup gig would speak to so many people. But based on the comments and emails that continue to come in, I really seem to have touched a nerve. Many of us aspire to make a difference in the world and while I'm happy that some are viewing my public service announcement as such, I really had higher hopes for myself. Here's a sample for you; an email I received from an old friend last week:


Just FYI -- cleaning out my dresser tonight and got to my underwear drawer. While contemplating whether or not to keep some of the oldies-but-goodies that have been around forever, I found myself thinking… “Would you want to be caught dead in this underwear?”

And then…on the heels of that… “Would you want to be the victim of a violent crime in THAT???”

In the end, there was quite a respectable pile of trash.

So, as you contemplate those existential questions about your purpose and existence, remember one thing…there is at least one woman out there who will NOT die in bad underwear because of you.

Well done, AJ. I’m always glad to know you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chuck Thursday 2

No more Indian
Last Thursday's nearly killed me
Thai today, safer?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dimpled Butter

Stopped by the Farmers (Farmer's? Farmers'? Does one farmer or do multiple farmers possess said market? No, no they don't. So I guess it's just Farmers...) Market on the way home from work and got my first ears of corn this season! As I was attempting to butter my corn-on-the-cob correctly, with one pat of butter and a butter knife, and struggling ever-so, it occurred to me that I could just run that bad boy through the stick of butter on the counter. Ya know why? 'Cause I live alone. 'Cause it's my house and I can do whatever I want. And that got the wheels spinning...

There are some definite benefits to living alone. Granted, some of these can also be the downside of living without a mate. That accountability thing has its benefits. It's as if some sort of balance between the two would be best. There it is again, that nasty word...balance. :)

Good things about living alone:

1. I can pretty much do whatever I damn well please whenever I damn well please without explaining anything to anyone or asking permission. Except for the dog's. Darn dog still owns me, but you get my drift...

2. Huh. I kind of blew my wad (pardon me) on that first one, didn't I? It encompasses nearly everything else:

~running corn through the butter;
~vegging on the couch and watching TV for so long that my skin begins to adhere to the couch fabric;
~wearing whatever (or not wearing whatever) I want as I be-bop through the house aimlessly;
~using the bathroom with the door open -- and not just for #1...;
~talking to myself ad nauseum (this is bad outside though because my neighbor has caught me once or twice. It's somewhat acceptable now, but once I'm in my 70s, they'll put me away for that);
~sleeping in the middle of the bed;
~sleeping on the couch;
~sleeping in someone else's bed;
~sleeping in the car (that one's for Travis);
~dancing naked through the house listening to whatever genre of music I feel like listening to as loudly or softly as I please...
~I own the remote control.

3. This one stands alone: being able to put as much garlic in or on food as I'd like. I'm not kissing anyone, so pile it on!! (This one has its limitations though. In deference to my friends and not wanting to make them puke, I do limit my garlic if I know I'm going to see someone in the near future).

I'm sure there are a million more, but that's all I've got for now. Feel free to tack some on. Oh, and don't forget the flatulence. I can't actually fart in front of another person, so my digestive tract is much more relaxed when I live alone. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All in the Delivery

I had no intention of writing tonight, but the collective consciousness had other plans. In the briefest of explanations, a friend posted an album recommendation on Facebook for a band named Visqueen that included comments by her and a story that inspired their music. I'm going to close with the story, for fear that I'll lose you along the way if I post it first.

The story and Sara's comments seemed well-timed. Within the last week or so I came to a rather embarrassing conclusion about myself -- I only really start to plan my future when I envision it with someone else. I have no "5 year plan." I've never had a 5 year plan. Nearly anything I've accomplished was done so because I said I would do it and was loathe to humiliate myself by not coming through. I'm not entirely sure who I am, what I enjoy, or what I want from life. But here's the lightbulb moment for me: I am the only person who I will have for the rest of my life. So simple, yes? So why on earth am I not making plans with myself?!

One of my friends has raised her daughters with the following question: "Who's your best friend?" The only acceptable answer? "I am." I've heard her say it a million times and I understood the concept, but was never able to apply it to myself.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

As much as I appreciate all the help I've received along the way, I have to accept and understand and KNOW that I ultimately am all I have. Which doesn't mean I'm an island. I still want to love and be loved, but must first start with myself.

On to Sara. I'm guilty of not delivering in the truest sense of the story. I still deliver at work, but not above-and-beyond like I used to. I'm good at what I do, but it doesn't make me leap out of bed in the morning. But that's coming, I can feel it. I must deliver to myself first and foremost. And deliver to those I've committed to -- professionally and personally.

Thanks, Sara. You make my head hurt in a good way. :)

Longish story short (and from the band's website):

"A Message To Garcia" is an essay written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard inspired by the Spanish American War. The story celebrates the initiative of a soldier who is assigned and accomplishes a daunting mission. He asks no questions, makes no objections, requests no help, but gets the job done. Voracious reader as [Visqueen's front-woman] Rachel's dad was, this is the only time he physically handed her something to read rather than just suggest it. Visqueen toured America in a van for months after their first record, King Me came out, and again with their follow up rocker, Sunset On Dateland.

Focused and determined to make a go of the impossible, Rachel would call her Dad from the road each day. He'd ask if she was "delivering it". She knew exactly what he meant. And the only answer was "yes".


Herewith, "A Message to Garcia" by Elbert Hubbard

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.

Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Don’t you mean Bismarck?

What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.

It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner pail & worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chuck Thursdays

Had to log in to delete yet another Asian virus comment from ye olde blogge. Was lamenting inadequate time for blog posting, especially on kickball Thursdays, to some friends recently. Chuck follows my blog but will only read if it's less than one phone screen length. So, Chuck Thursdays will kill two birds with one stone. Short and sweet. 757 haikus, perhaps?

Each radio song I hear
Karaoke gold?
Which means it must be Thursday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Review

I'll get to my eagerly awaited (by no one) review of Sex and the City 2 in just a sec. First, I'd like to announce for the record that I may have broken my dog. I'm going to make light of it in an effort to hide the fact that I'm a little worried and feel terrible that I did this to her.

I just picked her up from daycare and while doing so, the world was seemingly ending in a great deluge of rain with mild amounts of thunder. Bodhi, the brave girl that she is, was FUH. LIPPING. OUT. I had plans to perform at an open mic tonight, but when we got home my attention quickly turned to calming my poor girl down. So I gave her a 1/4 tranquilizer pill. This is her normal dose and it usually takes about 2 hours for it to kick in. Well, this one hit her fast. I went to check on her (she was on my bed) about 30 minutes in and she was ZONKED. It was cute because as usual her eyes had become blue -- one blew this way and one blew that way (that one is courtesy of my grandfather). I wasn't terribly worried, but knew the open mic was off -- I could probably leave her, but wouldn't for fear she'd hurt herself in some manner.

I futzed around the house for a few and when I went back in to check on her, she had started leaking. This is one of the not-so-lovely side effects of the tranquilizer -- kinda turns all the valves open. I tried to wake her to get her outside, but she wasn't really having any of it. So I picked her up and put her down on the floor -- and discovered she couldn't stand. Now THAT'S not typical. It happened the very first time I gave her the meds, back when the vet prescribed an entire pill. Through trial and error, I got her down to a 1/4 pill and she can normally stand. I gave up on getting her outside and laid her down on her bed -- as long as she's going to leak all night, may as well be on her bed. :)

And now I'm just staring at her to make sure she's breathing. So far so good. I just dragged her bed (with her atop it) into the living room so I could continue keeping an eye on her. Unsure about sleep for me tonight. Guess I'll see how she's doing in a few hours. In typical AJ-planning-fashion, I just took off my lesbian work uniform (khakis and a golf shirt!) but wondered if I shouldn't keep my bra on in case I have to run her out to the emergency room later. lol.

PS -- the storms have passed. She didn't need to be tranq'd. Fudge.

And now..............................

Sex and the City 2
!

That's the last bit of excitement you'll get out of me over this movie. I won't be giving any details, so don't fear any "spoilers." But if you're easily influenced by someone else's opinion and want to see the movie, just skip this. I don't want to ruin it for you.

It wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't a good movie at all. The jokes, especially in the beginning, were delivered at such a slow, forced pace that it felt as if each one was somehow announced: "We're telling a JOKE now..." I don't know if they've decided we've become daft and unable to catch jokes in our old age or if they were given a specific length of movie they were obligated to fill. Either way, I found myself laughing at one out of every 50 jokes -- or so it seemed.

I still love these characters and am happy we had some additional time together. It was akin to a bad night with good friends. They happen every so often. You're disappointed, but you love and like your friends, so you're not going to end the friendship over one bad night.

I've given this review to several friends and they've replied, "Oh, so it's a rental." That's a tough call. The SATC thing has become such an event for so many women that I'd hate for them to stop the party because the entertainment came up short. I guess it depends on how much you liked these ladies before. If you were on the fence, then by all means rent it and save 10 bucks...

So our second date didn't go so well. I'm kind of pulling for a third. I want to give them (Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King) a chance to redeem themselves. I just wonder if I'm alone in this. Sometimes a bad second date is just a precursor to a worse third date...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Egg Toss

I awoke in a melancholy sort of mood today. I feel as if I'm coming down from one of the best -- if not THE best -- months of my life. It was full of fun, friends, and foolishness as well as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream -- to do standup comedy -- with a couple goofy birthday celebrations thrown in for good measure. I wound up crapping out towards the very end and blew off a couple Memorial Day weekend social opportunities. I actually wasn't feeling well and was a little wiped out, but as usual when I "miss out" on something, I have a feeling of regret. Where others relax, I regret...

I know the price of wonderful times is knowing that they can't last -- or that there's the inevitable slide down to the default of normalcy. And I know it's OK. There will be other wonderful times. And I also know much of what I'm feeling may be due to PMS. lol. What will I ever blame my off moods on when I run out of eggs? Seems I may find out soon, since things are becoming a little sporadic in the reproductive rejection arena... :)

My thoughts turned briefly to Drama Cow earlier and as I corrected for the many variables I've since discovered and recalculated, resulting in the filing away (once again) of all things Drama Cow, I thought to myself:

"Where is she -- the one for me?"
"You're not ready," came the answer.
"Seriously?" was my petulant reply.
"You still don't love yourself enough," was the final answer.

This was followed by my other favorite, in response to nothing at all: "God won't give you more until you take care of what you already have."

Sigh. And so the juggling continues. Not wanting to miss out on good times with great friends, but needing to take care of me and my job and my house and my dog. Toss, toss, toss...keep the eggs in the air.

Toss the eggs while I still have 'em. Figuratively and literally! ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Everyone's a Comedian...

Hello! I'm alive! I'm having a blast, running around with my head cut off, and survived my standup comedy debut this past Saturday. I still really haven't recovered from our festive weekend, so I'll keep it brief and just share the video of my big night. Hope you're all doing well and we'll talk soon! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Season in the Sun

So the first night of kickball was a little......odd. We jumped from 5 teams (maybe?) to 14 and my own team seemed to pick up about 150 new players. It felt like a whirling dervish sort of night. I bounced from person to person and saw a ton of people I hadn't seen in a while. It was great seeing everyone, but I didn't really spend much quality time with anyone. And all the while, our old friend Drama Cow was in the vicinity, making things a little awkward. Around the fourth time she did a literal 180 upon spotting me, I walked over and said, "This is stupid. Hello, X. How are you, X?" She turned and walked away. So, at least I know I tried.

Shortly thereafter, I realized I wasn't really having any fun. And I knew I had to work all day today, so it seemed wise to just pack it in. I'm hoping this isn't a sign of things to come for the season. I fear my all-or-none tendencies will be at work once again: I either have to get crazy and stay out all night to have a good time or behave, get bored, and leave early. Where's the happy medium??

I'm feeling the stirrings of a big change. It's like something's going on inside me and trying to make its way into the light of day...

And in the meantime, here are my horoscopes for March and April. They are ridiculously accurate!

March:
The whole spiritual thing seems to confuse you; however, it’s clearly growing on you. Think of it as a level of thought without words: a dimension of concept free from structure. Think of it as an opening in your mind, and what comes through is living information. If you relax, allow, and let go, this information will help you structure your other ideas and indeed your whole life around it. If you want to live for a principle, this is the one: the steady flow of energy that’s the essence of consciousness itself. Meanwhile, in the outer world, focus on cooperation. Move past outdated acquaintances and stale hostilities quickly. Don’t hold on to them; let them go with the ease of exhaling. Make a habit of transitions. Know when the time for something has arrived, and when it is up. You are preparing for one particular transition that you may not know about yet. It involves the work you do. Themes involve 1) doing something with this brilliant quality you have of not fitting in and 2) focusing your misty notion of a goal into a clear sense of mission that is guided by the living information. This will require trust because you will be making moves that are not preceded by the usual astonishing amount of mental chatter and debate. You will simply know and trust. The time has come.


April:
Your social environment is interesting now, and it’s going to get really exciting as the season progresses. I’m going to start with some conservative advice: Rekindle connections to your best friends. You love new friends and you’re a friendly pup, but with the surge of energy that’s coming your way, you’re going to want people close by who know you well, and whose opinions and perspectives you trust because they are so familiar with you. One thing to research with old friends is what dreams you’ve been talking about fulfilling for at least 10 years. The energy of your charts is bursting with new ideas, ideals, and craving for a new vision for your life. My hunch is that while you want and indeed need something new in contrast to what you have now, there are important elements of past dreams that you are recovering. Some of this involves collecting power that you have given away in relationships. You may be feeling confronted by just how powerful certain people are, and how potent are bonds of sex, shared resources, or contractual arrangements. That you are seeing the power of these relationships is an invitation to confront that truth rather than to back down. Your most dependable bellwether is this: To what extent do you feel that you can really make your own decisions, without running into the objections of others who seem to have power over you?


(http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2010/3/Horoscopes/Planet-Waves-Horoscopes-March-2010)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Waiting Room Musings

Wow, I'm sitting here waiting for my therapist who's running a few minutes late, and I stumble upon this nifty little link on my phone! Apparently, I'm the owner of a blog! Who knew?

How the heck is everyone? I think I'm doing ok. It's hard to say. I've been so busy that I really haven't had time to give it much thought. That may or may not prove to be a good thing. :)

Little Miss Bodhi is turning 11 years old on Saturday and I'm stunned how quickly the time has flown by. And I can never look at the passage of any period of time without thinking that the corresponding amount will fly past in the future -- only faster. I've done it since I understood the concept of time. Life has always seemed horrifically fleeting to me, ever since I was a kid. It's part of the reason I know this isn't my first time around. The frustration for me however is that this obsession with time past and future has made it difficult for me to stay present AND has rarely motivated me to squeeze the life out of life!

Instead, I sit. Daydreaming about what might have been or what could be, but strangely paralyzed. Hmmm... I should just bail on my appointment and go figure out what I want and how to get it! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

I know, it's been too long. But I've been going through a lot and haven't really wanted to broadcast it. I'm still not sure I want to, but I need to get it down on paper (as it were) and out into the universe. I need help.

I have got to find a way to get myself out of the well I dropped myself into over the last 9 months. I had an unfortunate run-in with a girl I've come to call Drama Cow, after this comic:



Yes, I know it's immature to call her a name, but it's my way of injecting humor into what is quite truthfully a very upsetting and painful experience for me. Things kind of came to a head a week or so ago and she lied to my face about several things. Just prior to that, some mutual friends and I compared stories and discovered we rarely heard the same one on any given topic. It makes me wonder if anything she ever said to me was the truth. I'm flabbergasted by the whole thing and really wish she would just go away. Alas, that's not to be.

I'm stuck. She and I are not speaking any longer and in as Shakespearean a move as is available in 2010, she unfriended me on Facebook. The whole thing is just absurd to me. I'm left feeling used, hurt, and foolish and yet STILL care about her and am very worried for her when I stop and think about it -- which I'm trying not to do.

Here's where the difficulty comes in -- people are still talking to me about her. I can't escape her and I need to. I'm seriously considering quitting kickball so I can just avoid the whole situation. And I hate that. I shouldn't have to go anywhere. I was friends with hundreds of people through kickball before she ever played and I'm still friends with them now. It's my home. And now I'm uncomfortable in my own home. Phlagh.

Don't think for a second that I don't realize how ridiculous this sounds. But, that's the way it is -- kickball is the fabric of our social lives...

So here it is. I'm sick at the moment, so that's having an unfortunate effect on my mindset. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things this week (oh, btw I ran a marathon last weekend) and will hopefully feel better. I just wish I didn't have this THING hanging over my head. I must find a way to acknowledge it and send it on its way, just like a disturbance in meditation. OK, there it is, it exists, be on your way now...

I had a lightbulb moment a few minutes ago that is the real reason for this blog. A voice in my head said, "Decide what you want and the universe will conspire to make it happen for you."

And that's just what I'm going to do! I'll let you know how it goes. I hope you are all healthy and happy and appreciative of all the wonderful things in your lives. I am still struggling to focus on the good and not the bad. I have so much to be thankful for and so many wonderful people who I appreciate and love. I hope they know it.

And no, Anne Tickle, I will not fall in love with you so that you can use me as the Relationship Conduit!! Stop trying to manipulate The Force! ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What I Want

Was about to sit down and write some jokes -- finally! -- and stumbled on the following. I wrote it a while ago and just banged it out in a few minutes, but it pretty much sums it up. So universe, if you're listening... :)

What I Want

Someone who enjoys my company and wants to share activities, thoughts, dreams, etc. with me.

Someone who is financially independent

Someone who is productive, creative, and fun-loving

Someone who seeks and finds balance in life and love

Someone who does not take herself too seriously and looks for the humor in life

Someone who appreciates me, my efforts, and my love

Someone who is not selfish

Someone who is her own person but who is open to being in my world and letting me in hers

Someone who is faithful

Someone who recognizes that new is always shiny and who likes, loves, and respects me enough to work on our relationship

Someone who recognizes her own idiosyncrasies

Someone who is not a victim all the time

Someone who recognizes that we can and will both be at fault on occasion. Statistically, it can’t always be my fault. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Death is Easy, Comedy is...wait, it will come to me

Greetings!!

I am in fact alive, if not without words to share... I've gotten myself in a bit of a pickle. I'm taking that standup comedy writing class and as is typical for me, I'm procrastinating my ever-decreasing ass off! Consequently, I feel like if I have anything even remotely creative to say in writing, I should probably make it for my standup class and not for my blog.

Additionally, I've been kicked to the curb once and for all but in an effort to extricate myself from the emotional/spiritual/physical/intellectual web I've been embroiled in for 9 months, I've decided to not write about that either.

So here we are! Anyone want to contribute something? :)

I put out the word on Facebook the other day asking for therapist referrals (at least one friend thought I meant a massage therapist...) and have an appointment tomorrow. Wish me luck! It's about damn time I reach my full potential in all aspects of my life, so I'm pretty excited to get to work.

And hopefully we can address this procrastination problem as well. This damn standup class is gonna kill me!! I've been home all day and have written squat.

It started raining/snowing/slushing here last night and as such, I spent all of last night getting up every two hours to pump out my crawl space so that the pooch and I would have heat. Once awakened for the day, I pumped it out every hour. And still...did no writing.

But the notebook is open over on the couch and there's hope I might get SOMETHING fleshed out in the next couple hours.

I fully understand why I have never pursued this avenue before. I'm wondering if there isn't room in the comedy realm for a completely improvisational standup comedian. Perhaps it's time. Because this writing of jokes thing is HARD! :)

All right, all right, that's enough bitching from me. Just wanted to check in and let you all know I'm still here.

Hope you're having a great week!