Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Relapse, remind, regroup.

Last night it would have been nice to have the attention span and emotional depth of my cat. No, I want to believe she's capable of genuine affection, so maybe a Beta fish. Then I'd also have some fighting instincts and I'd be a lovely shade of red with blue tips. Unfortunately, I can remember things, painful things. Having come through most of my depression from earlier months, I knew what that sinking, aching feeling meant and I panicked.

Once in a phone call to a friend, we discussed how when you're down, some things become your way to stay up - your work, your relationships, your creative outlets. Then, when you right the overwhelming wrongs, you have to tackle the ones you didn't know were there - the ones in the "saving" aspects of your life. It's a disconcerting feeling, knowing that you're not done and you didn't see it coming. What happens when I deal with this problem, huh? Does this wretched cycle ever stop?

That was last night in a nutshell. Because it wasn't a closet I could reorganize or a habit I could unlearn like forgetting to change my sheets, I felt stuck and despaired of ever overcoming it. I followed my counselors advice a while back and wrote down what got me out of the well. I thought about those things, once the initial tempest had passed. My old emotions of worthlessness were caused by the fact that I had little contact with people who could combat them, and the fix was to just seek friends out, start meeting people, start giving and receiving affection, even if it was just through a phone line. So that meant this problem could be conquered by consistently acting on the things I could tackle and slowly, calmly unpacking my mental baggage and sorting it all out.

I doubt I could have done that without K, though. He talked me through my feelings, keeping me from jumping to the conclusions that seemed to inevitable to my frantic brain. He rescued his damsel from a fate worse than death - insanity. Exaggeration aside, Love, you really deserve more thanks than I can give. You might need that encouragement, too, because my method of overcoming is more siege warfare than blitzkrieg. But you are absolutely right, this will not finish me, and your help will make it much easier on me. I know you feel like you can't remember to do all the things you should for everyday life, much less for new problems, but I know you can. And if it takes "nailing it to your forehead" as you said, then I want a nail gun for my birthday.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Nairobi, how I've missed thee.

I think it is KD who always reminds me that men have a small number of words they must use in a day versus a larger number that women use in a day. If you don't use your words you tend to feel lonely and frustrated. Now within the sexes, according to this theory, there are degrees of high-to-low word needs. I am a Large Word-Quotient Woman.

I used all my words today!

I just finished an on-again/off-again phone call with RC (I would refer to her as Nairobi, but talking about a city giving me a ring throws off the ole reading comprehension - hey, I should write for the SATs) and it is way, WAY past my bedtime, folks. I left a message earlier in the evening and she called me back on her way home, so excited that I had contacted her first because I NEVER used to do that. We talked for a bit before she started getting fuzzy, then garbled, then she was fuzzy again, then we spent an entire minute saying "R? R? Can you hear me?" or "E? You there?" and we didn't even realize we could both hear each other because WE COULD NOT STOP BELLOWING INTO THE PHONES. Dorks! Still we got back to talking, then she cut out. She called me back, then she got fuzzy again, so she called me on her cordless phone WHICH DIED ON HER. Then I called her cell and she had to plug it in before it, too, DIED. Finally, we talked for another long while before MY PHONE DIED and then I plugged it back in and we talked some more. We were supposed to get off the phone an hour ago. Riiiiiight.

Ever since college, our minds have been converging on the same issues and inspirations in our journey into Grown-Uphood. The last time we talked we commiserated about our mental struggles and emotional hurdles. This time there was much less commiserating to be done. She tackled the rest of college with aplomb and is now staring down the barrel of her first year of teaching. Yeah, good luck with that, Spartacus.

I tend to curse my luck, wishing I could have just one of the STINKING AMAZING people I know for coffee once a week. I don't often stop to marvel that I know one, let alone so many of them. That's just crazy talk.

August is almost over. Dude, I need a Gin & Tonic.

How is that possible? I noticed it today because I have double points at VS with my gold card this month and I only have two days left to rack them up (get it? ahahaha). Two days is not nearly long enough to select just the right shirts and coordinating bras. Not. possible.

Like everything in a woman's life, my mood about my wardrobe goes in cycles. Believe it or not, there are times when I really like my clothes. TODAY IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES. I got a new v-neck tee at Banana Republic ($13, girls, come and get 'em!) in a ready-for-fall teal. It's not going to make a big difference in my wardrobe, but it makes my proportions look darling, not dumpy. [Smile, brief but undeniable] On the whole, I'm working on MERCILESSLY evaluating my figure and whether my wardrobe is doing it any favors in order to improve my look. I think you can tell how well that's going for me because I JUST TOLD YOU I HATE IT. I'm more interested in swapping out body parts than garments at this stage, but I'm working on it. Perhaps Monday was a bad day to start, no? Here's to Tuesday and the end of work for that Gin & Tonic.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Listing Friday

Too scattered today for real posting. List, anyone? Don't mind if I do . . .

1. It's FRIDAY already. It seems odd to say this of an uneventful week, but it felt like one of the fastest of my life. All the better to enjoy my weekend!

2. I know I pimped iTUNES radio yesterday, too, but there's another station you must hear. "Rocking out" isn't the right descriptor, but Magnatune Classical delights my baroque-music-loving self. Quality and only occasional 15-second commercial breaks - Sweet Viola Da Gamba, Batman, I'm hooked!

3. I called someone back for work, forgetting to double-checking their area code's time zone. WHY BRAIN, WHY? The man at the other end of the line actually said "Do you know what time it is?" His tone wasn't cruel, but when I hung up (after APOLOGIZING MY GUTS OUT) I realized it was actually only 6:45am. I know it's not standard operating procedure to take calls at that time, but I still felt better. If the clock reads 5-anything, I would turn homicidal under his circumstances. Death by Angry Californian Successfully Averted.

4. The cooling trend in the weather the last few days has been fabulous. After weeks of 95º+ heat with high humidity, 84º feels delicious. I finally opened the windows in the apartment and aired it out. It's amazing what a difference it makes. I know I'M BLOGGING ABOUT THE WEATHER here, but IT'S MY BLOG AND I'LL BE TRIVIAL IF I WANT TO. That is all.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Humiliation and a Little Swedish

B called me up with work-related stuff. Apparently she had been trying to find a synonym for "pedagogy" from Merriam Webster and had become frustrated. In her words, "I called the next best thing." I blushed and the blood flooded my brain so thoroughly that I proceeded to UTTERLY FAIL TO HELP HER. I really tried but nothing coherent/appropriate to the specific problem at hand came out of my mouth. It was humiliating. I console myself with the thought that others have hailed me with similar praises and have seen me uphold my title. (R, "The Word Woman of . . . Forever" is a deeply-felt honor to me to this day.) But it was still embarrassing.

To cheer myself up, I found this in my wanderings: Trying to Translate What My Girlfriend Is Saying in Swedish While She's on the Phone to Her Mother. Dan Kennedy - you made my laugh until it hurt. AGAIN. Never have problems with paper and Swedish girlfriends amused me so.

My duties of the day include creating business cards for all my co-workers, working on Beast1500, and drinking my yerba mate. Also, I'm listening to KEXP, an alternative radio station out of Seattle, via iTUNES radio. YOU SHOULD ALL DO THE SAME. My list of Music to Look Into has suddenly exploded. Excuse me whilst I rock out to some Doves and Morcheeba. Hmmm, that sounds like it could be an exotic entree . . . the mate has officially gone to my head . . .

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Malaise of the Moment

I'm having a Day of Professional Inadequacy. It's not serious - my eyes are dry and my heartrate is normal while my mood is only dusky, not dark, but I still feel like I can't do what needs to be done. That never seems to inspire the warm fuzzies per se. I have this big project to do for work (probably 1500-page big by the end) and I'm overwhelmed. I don't yet have everything I need to do the one portion I'm supposed to start on ANYWAY, but I'm already feeling the bottom of the pool slip beneath my toes. Will I be able to stay afloat when this project is in full swing and I still have all my other job responsibilities? Will I be any more motivated when I have all the pieces and I can work without having to deal with changing input?

Now part of this is that I hate being flexible with big projects. I currently have about 50 pages of text and images. I have some of the images in rough form, some in final form, and some not at all. While the lazy part of me doesn't want to start at all, the gung-ho-work-ethic part of me wants the finals stuff, right now, let's get a move on so I can have this stupid monkey off my back. Neither part is terribly happy with the current compromise.

So I guess today is not a good day to ask me how working from home has panned out. Most days I enjoy it. I might add that it's been feeling more comfortable than ever as of late. The days pass much more quickly than they did when I began doing this a year ago, and I feel more productive and valuable to the company by the day. But not today.

I had a brief discussion about this with our realtor while we were driving around on Sunday. Working from home means you create your own schedule; you have fewer social distractions; and if you get in the groove, you can stay there as long as its working for you. Unfortunately, there's flip-sides to all those grand ideas: you have to have unbelievable amounts of discipline to avoid TV, the internet, playing with your cat, snacking, taking care of chores so you can relax in the evening, and going outside when its nice (which HELLO, who knew 82º could feel so cool and comfortable - I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE STAT). It's nice not to have interpersonal conflicts to sort out every day, but sometimes it just means missing out on fun and free birthday cake. Like anything else, then, there's pros and cons, but with all the pressure of the Beast1500, I'm not gazing at the sunny side of the street on this Tuesday afternoon.

If I were to take a gander at the aforementioned "sunny side," I'd say that Beast1500 is a great nickname for my burden du jour. Surviving is all about the silver lining, my friends.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Splenda Cookies to the Rescue!

We met up with our realtor on Sunday afternoon for a rundown of the current market and a driving tour of possible areas. THREE HOURS LATER, we were very tired. It looks like we will be able to purchase a home, but we're definitely on the low end of the property ladder. It feels ridiculous to think of it that way because of the sum of money we'll be dropping and because people struggle more mightily than we everyday to make ends meet while keeping roofs over their heads. I know, I know, it's all relative to your experience and your culture, but it still strikes me as odd, and often sad. The hunt is postponed until early October when looking will begin in earnest. Then we'll assess the market, our finances, and our willingness to endure shag carpet and go from there. Of course getting the "you'll have to wait at least a month to get started" line made me EVER so happy. When K and I got home we hit up the freezer where I stored my batch of chocolate-chip cookies and sat down to veg and munch and stew over the news. The chocolate definitely helped. Here's the recipe:

1/2-Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened
3/4 cup Splenda sugar substitute
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (Splenda has less flavor, so you need more vanilla)
2 eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (if you must)

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Splenda doesn't brown the tops like sugar would, so if you like a golden-brown color, give them a thin coat of non-stick cook spray to aid in the browning process. Also, they won't spread while baking, so mash them down a bit before putting them in the oven.

BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 6 to 8 minutes (they cook faster). Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

As you can see, the properties of sugar and Splenda are very different. The above recipe is, for the most part, copied straight from the Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels package. I found a very helpful page with tips on baking with Splenda and I distilled most of the tips I used into the recipe above. How did they turn out? Well Splenda makes the dough more fluffy and cake-like than sugar (whic is why you have to keep the brown sugar at least), so they look and feel a little different (no luck for crunchy-cookie fans, I'm afraid), but they still taste really good. I wish there were some way to get the fat content down, but what with "trans-fats" being equated to lighting yourself on fire in health magazines, shortening is out. Thoughts, anyone?

One more caveat: Splenda doesn't have the preservative properties that sugar has. The webpage said to freeze everything you couldn't eat in 24 hours. Now if we want a fix, we have to thaw them and we only get a few at a time in the packets I made. Fabulous! FYI, I got my Splenda from BJ's Warehouse Club. It was like $11 for the equivalent of 10lbs of sugar. So, yeah, not that cheap, but not too pricey considering I use it to sweeten my obligatory hot morning beverage and the occasional batch of these. I think I have more fun experimenting with a new cooking element than anything else. Whatever it takes to fill up the next month before house-hunting becomes my full-time obsession!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Feline Foot Menace '05

Tiny Furry Creature Cuddling K's Foot . . . or is she?

Yesterday morning we slept in. Well, I slept in longer than K (unusual) and he awakened me by hovering a plate of English muffins with dulce de leche on them over my head. I happily munched on my breakfast, allowing K to enjoy my orange juice (yet further proof that I'm not fully American - OJ in the morning is rarely palatable to me). Persephone decided to join in the fun and snuggle with us and that was delightful for a while, but pretty soon she saw one of us moving our feet under the sheets and LO, she did pounce like the lion-cousin she is. Witness the ears in the next shot - she always cocks them to te side when she's hunting. It looks like a Princess Amidala coif.

Tiny Toe Huntress

Friday, August 19, 2005

Random Friday

Essence of my memory, distilled on the lens

I found this picture and thought I'd share it. Plus I talked to my bro (Hi, J!!) last night who said he especially focused on the pictures because his sister is long-winded and boring. He said it nicely, but IF I CAN'T RECOGNIZE THAT HINT AT THIS STAGE, MY FORMER ENGLISH TEACHERS WILL GIVE UP IN DESPAIR. Today there's something for everyone: a picture and some verbage. Not that any of you want to slog through it, either, BUT I AMUSE MYSELF HERE AS MUCH AS YOU. Okay, more so.

I've been trying to tie up some loose ends on projects for work and so far the loose ends have begun wrapping themselves around my leg and dragging me into the Bog of Eternal Adjustments. I thought I'd focus on the positive and show y'all an image I like, even if the ones I'm generating for work are driving me nuts. I think this really captures my memories of July 4th downtown, which is when this was taken. Click on the image because it's much better in a larger format. Night scenes are so soothing.

Speaking of soothing - WEEKEND! If I were really into making my brother happy, I would include an audio clip of Lindsay Bluth's immortal delivery of the simple exclamation "Woooo!" Indeed, Ms. Bluth, indeed.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A New Purpose for the Fly-Over States

Lions And Elephants For U.S. Great Plains? I think I might tend to fly over them AT HIGHER ALTITUDE if they installed a whole new ecosystem there. Not that I don't like animals, but I want to keep my arms attached firmly to the sides of my body, thank you.

Back in reality, last night was pretty uneventful. K and I watched some CSI and intently studied a huge chunk of the listings from our realtor. We had some good chills and some good laughs, as well as being occasionally grossed out by the graphics or the rampant overuse of awnings over windows. Also, does NO ONE put total square footage figures on their listings? It's not like I won't consider your property past a certain range; I JUST WANT TO KNOW! Grrrr!

Night before last I hung out with HF. We went to El Patio and I found our yerba mate, Dadio! Rosamonte Selección Especial for $4.55 a kilo. You're right - it is superior. Anyhow, HF and I had a full meals for $15 total. We also had some more good talks about roommates, boys, places we MUST see before we die, and foooooood. What a lovely night.

I'm having a hard time believing that it's Thursday already. I think K and I will finish the analysis of our listings and have a leisurely meal. Also, I think I'm finally going to make those chocolate-chip cookies with Splenda. We'll see how that goes. I might have a recipe to pass along or a word of warning to the taste-obsessed. Enjoy your evening, all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just say NO to Coke, kids.

U.S. beverage group sets policy limit to soft drinks in schools

It seems someone suggested we legislate warning labels about the health dangers of drinking soft drinks like the ones on cigarettes. I doubt that would do much good, but I guess it doesn't really matter to me either way. I feel like those warnings only work on people who already care about the consequences. In other words, they don't really work. They definitely would not work on children.

The President of the American Beverage Association (I bet there's an American Creampuff Association somewhere. What about an American Buccaneer's Association? I think we're overdue. Okay, I'll stop parenthesizing now), Susan Neely, said of that program that "individuals, not the government, are in the best position to make the food and beverage choices that are right for them." She's right, but I'm glad they're realizing that kids don't have the tools with which to make those decisions, nor are they well supervised enough to stock vending machines with a ton of soda and then expect them to avoid it. As a chubby (though by no means obese) child, I rarely had soda. I can't imagine what I would have struggled with if I had. Thanks, Dadio & Mumsale!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Listing Tuesday

1. GOOD talk with Mair last night. We covered a bunch of our latest adventures, and I usually get off an hour-long phone call feeling spent but I felt like we'd just scratched the surface. Such a long way to come from the roommate days when we'd get so frustrated with each other and barely want to talk at all. Maybe that's why almost every time we call we feel the need to have a confession session and reaffirm how happy we are that we're so close now. We're such dorks. BUT DORKS WHO ARE GOOD FRIENDS.

2. Got some listings to browse from our realtor. Fell in love with an underpriced wonder-of-a-townhouse, but the owner has to move by October 1st. DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH HOUSES YET, SELF. This is gonna be a rocky couple of months. Poor K. ;)

3. I'm so glad bosses saw fit to hire B for the better half of our Marketing Maven duo "Bethica." She's so funny, and she laughs at all my jokes. She makes work so much more amusing than it might otherwise be! Yay for Bethica!

4. My birthday is 25 days away!!! Birthdays always bring out my inner child. And inner drama queen. And inner magpie - oooo, shiny presents . . .

5. I have a dentist appointment this afternoon. Yay for a half day, boo for the almost-certain fact that I will finally get that stupid crown I've been putting off. I hate my teeth.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Beware the Nesting Instinct, My Son

I don't think I've posted this fact in so many words, but K and I want to buy a home by the time our lease runs out on our current apartment. ATTENTION: DO NOT give into your instinct to call me and hint about "how great it would be if you could move to our area" because this is a LOCAL move. I was going to indicate who I was talking most to at this point but I don't trust ANY of you. >;)

Well, this would be our first home and the Terror Index around here is a pretty tomato-RED ALERT. We're young and it's one thing to swear fealty to another human so long as you both shall be kicking; it's another thing to indebt yourself for a sum of money which neither can fathom to a system that would probably like to reinstate the Debtors Prison.

Anyhow, we comfortably qualify for the biggest amount we are even thought of spending, which WOW! I guess cooking a lot instead of eating out, staying home A LOT, going down to one car, and buying our furniture at a snails' pace paid off! As much as finding the home is going to take a lot of time, long discussions, and probably a few fights, I'm still psyched. And PETRIFIED. And soaring with expectation. And anxious to get started.

This is where that whole "give and take" relationship thingy takes its toll. In the face of a huge decision, I think about it constantly, grow bat-like ears listening for any scrap of knowledge I encounter by talking about it incessantly, and DIVE IN PRONTO because if I'm going to have to do this thing, I'm getting it out of the way, darn it! Hubster, on the other hand, hangs back while mulling over it in the background, BECOMES a reclusive bat doing research, wets his feet cautiously, and rains on my FULL SPEED AHEAD parade. (pout) Do I HAVE to have him as my buddy for this project?

The answer, as always, is a loud, firm "Yes, now STOP ASKING!" And it's probably a good thing. I mean, I like to think my method is superior in every way (who doesn't?), but he keeps me from using the Jump to Conclusions mat I stole from Office Space. He usually has such well-rounded opinions that it's hard to WANT to steamroll over him even if I could.

In the end, I have to trust him to understand how important this is to me, even as I strive to understand it myself. I really do have a nesting instinct, and that means I have so much emotion associated with the idea of home that it startles me. Will the kitchen be the same delightful place to congregate as the ones in which I grew up? Will there be enough light and space for Persephone to stretch herself out for a sun-drenched nap? Will my dreams of saturating our new home with color, detail, and personality yield anything I can love? Will we be happy there?

And so it begins. The long hours, the in-depth discussions with subjects like "Laundry Room: Necessity or Frivolity?" and the nagging feeling that we will NEVER have all the information we want, swiftly followed by the understanding that WE NEVER REALLY DO get all that. Here's to home, whatever it is, whatever we make of it.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Folly, thy name is Too Much Yoga

I decided to do some yoga on my lunch break yesterday. I started out with some Sun Salutations and they felt great so I repeated them a couple extra times. MISTAKE! By the end of the 30 minutes, my heart was pounding like I was running from skeleton keys and mutant creatures in caves, or whatever it is the kids are watching these days. This morning, my arms are killing me and, were someone to ask me why, I would have to say something that either makes me sound Madhatter/March Hare crazy or kinda skanky: "upward and downward dog." Well, okay then!

Last night Hubster was slamming his head against our thin apartment walls because the Faux-Vo (my word, of which I am inordinately proud) wasn't cooperating. He's building us a Ti-Vo equivalent out of computer parts and his pure mental sweat. I'm worried about dehydration after last night! ;) Anyway, I realized that KD had called me while we were gone last week, so it was high time for me to call her back. We did the requisite amount of catching up, but we had the most fun just talking about random things like the good old days. I miss her. She said she saved a frequent-flyer fare JUST FOR ME, though, so maybe she'll come and visit. She might do it after the new year when we've moved (most likely), and anyone who's known us as roomies will attest to the truth of the following:

E: Ooo, ooo, if you come afterward you can help me unpack.
K: Of course, what are friends for?!
E: Wait, there's a flaw there since UNPACKING is not our specialty. We might need to call in reinforcements.

I would be honored if she would join me in overlooking boxes once more.

So tonight we're going out for dinner with Mr. T and a friend of his. Cactus Cantina's patio and some steaming skirt-steak fajitas is just the thing to start out my weekend. Hopefully my arms won't protest at having to work a Margarita glass.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pro and COME ON!! - Cooking

This post will no doubt bore you to tears. And yet you read on. Someone's having a bad day and in need of cleansing cry, huh? Aww, there-there, I haven't even started yet! Anyhow, I'm thinking it might inaugurate a new feature: "Pro and COME ON." I was going to call it "Pro and Contra" but in addition to being boring and pretentious that title did not make me think of Will Arnett's hilarious stand-by quip on Arrested Development. Plus this will most likely be about as logical and thorough as Gob. Oh, and there will be an arbitray point system as both an homage to Fametracker's "When Stars Mate" featurette and a gimmick for closure.

So I've been out of college for a year and a couple of months and I've been cooking for my husband and I for over a year. And it wouldn't be a properly-titled post if I didn't have mixed feelings about it.

1. The whole point is the food. (sigh) It's like a dream. (+10)
2. I get to be creative in which recipes I try and when to go off-book and season it myself, thank you very much, Food Network and Retail Cookbook Industry. (+2)
3. I get to try a lot more things now that I'm buying and for just two mouths at that. As long as I stick to budget and don't make things that K HATES, I can invest in salmon fillets or fresh Asiago. mmmmmm (+3)
4. All I have to do is use a few tools (measuring cups, bowls, range, stainless steel pots) and I can create something that not only sustains my physique but also my psyche. Synergy at its finest. And K sometimes does all the dishes for me. (+2)

1. I have to shop. This implies stocking as much as possible because I am not a Meal-Planning Domestic Goddess (MPDG), just a Garden-Variety Domestic Goddess (GVDG). And speaking of gardens, stocking produce for two is really annoying and I flat-out refuse to stock expensive fresh herbs. Whatever, Recipes That Use Them. Hey, look, Better Homes and Gardens, I don't need your disapproval, okay?!? (-4)
2. I got some handy appliances/tools for the wedding, but it's really annoying when I don't have what I need. I'll improvise, but I won't like it. (-2)
3. K and I don't always agree on taste. (NO!) To be fair, K has expanded his palette a decent amount, but when my mouth is watering over that mushroom and carmelized onion veal marsala, he's eyeing the spaghetti with meat sauce and I have to cave. (-1)
4. Clean up. Oy. It's bad enough that our dishwasher leaves inexplicable tiny crusties on the entire top rack, but I use pots and pans. Usually two of them. Worse, I have to remember to clean up RIGHT AFTERWARD or I make more work for myself. And FORGET cleaning up before I eat. If God had intended me to eat lukewarm food he wouldn't have created the kitchen range, people. (-3)

Final Score: 7 out of 10. Cooking's not so bad after all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Breaking News: Tanning may be cancer culprit

Attention All Those Who Mock Me For My Stubbonrly White Skintone, Check it: "You're talking about people in their 20s and 30s that went to a tanning booth because they wanted to look better, then they have this quarter- or nickel- or dime-size hole on their face," said Dr. Darrell Fader, a Seattle dermatologist.

I am SO gonna die at like 32 with twenty of those scars and I've never even seen the inside of a tanning salon. I slather on the SPF 30 with the best of them, but not every day. Granted, some days I don't set foot out the door, but still . . . wait, who actually does that? Darn it, we're ALL gonna die.

Man, I hate the news.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Five Umbrella Affair

or How to Vacation with 30 Family Members For A Week and Live to Blog About It

Beach vacation, family style

Vacation started out with the last wedding we had on the books. We helped bedeck the church the night before and partied heartily at the rehearsal dinner over the buffet and free Gin & Tonics. The next day was sunny and warm (deceptively so, as will later be revealed). My reading went off without a hitch (UNLIKE THE BRIDE AND GROOM - oooo, that is WRETCHED) and the minister said she had never heard anyone so well prepared for a reading before. THEY'RE CALLED INFLECTION AND THE DRAMATIC PAUSE. If you would like to believe that I conjured them up for this occasion, you may go right ahead. I just figured those well-established hallmarks of public speaking might allow P, C, and the rest of the Dearly Beloved to enjoy my dronings a bit more.

The next morning, I helped Aunt P bring the groceries from her house out to the Cape and discovered something: I FELT AWFUL. Tired, achy, nauseated, blech! I was in the right place with the right person to fall ill because Aunt P is a Fantastic Nurse and she proceeded to diagnose and treat the sick RIGHT OUT OF ME. She said I was dehydrated, probably from weeks of not drinking enough water and then sweating the entire day before and downing Sam Adams throughout the reception with a certain Aunt (I'm looking at you, J ;). The symptoms started well into the day, so I know it wasn't a hangover, but a hangover is basically a specific type of dehydration and I NEVER WANT TO HAVE ONE, NOT EVER. Also, I enjoy the taste of water ever so much more now that it's protecting me from THAT! Anyway this lasted two days, during which some people said I looked pale (so many jokes, so little time), others thought I was pregnant (ahem, WHAT NOW?!?!), and still others wished I would quit avoiding them so they could entertain me with their Tonka backhoes and discussions of destroyers and battleships (smart cousins that they are).

Actual highlights included the sailboat races in which a chunk of the family competed on a near wind-less day using, um, dubious methods. Paddling, creative "clothing" (read auxiliary sails), and the occasional shove while rounding a corner. Warms the heart doesn't it? I also got to have long chats with several Aunts who never fail to encourage and challenge me. Cousin G, K, and I also went to Provincetown and stumbled upon these folk:

K and I in 50 years. And yes, by then I'll be taller than he because I don't slouch. (Thanks Mom!)

Our beach week ended on Saturday morning when we treked back with Aunt L, dropping her off at a friend's in CT, and P, younger brother of K, whose friends are hauling him to the Outer Banks for more fun in the sweltering sun. Speaking of sun, I got some, but (mostly) not too much. I burned a bit on my back and got freckles on my face. Not too bad considering how much time we spent in the sun and water. Yay for progress!

Percy was SO GLAD to see us. I'm sure she thought we'd left her to HF's only occasional visits forever! She rubbed up against our legs (HF must have taught her to do that because she's just that NICE) and purred like a diesel engine. She has since climbed up and sat on my lap something like 8 times. Yes, Jimmy, it IS a wonderful life!

The Sunfish Twain, weapons of familial war in the now-famous regatta of Thursday last.

Google rocks my visage clean off.

Google hires real chefs who feed their employees things like "grilled petite New York sirloins seasoned with Creole spices" using as many organic ingredients as possible.

These people are unstoppably cool!

Monday, August 08, 2005

befreckled and back in business!

Sorry that I didn't write as soon as I got back, but then again, I'M NOT SORRY. We made the haul (12+ hrs) back from the Cape on Saturday and veged out while consuming large amounts of Chipotle that evening. Yesterday I sang in our church choir for the first time, attempted some unpacking, and once again spent lots of time resembling a vegetable. Today? Well, I'm STILL tired, but I'm working. I'll write you a recap (with pictures and everything!) later. I would have kept y'all posted throughout if our rental house hadn't had WRETCHED service for cellphones and satellite internet. Single tear.