Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Three Beautiful Things:

1. The bass line in With Or Without You (by U2)

2. The way Ana asked me the other day "Aunt Twinette, do you want to play Ticket To Wide?"

3. The text message last night that said "....wanted you to know I'm thinking of you today". Urr!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Inner Dork

My inner dork....

.....loves to do puzzles
......does the pumping fist in the air motion while saying "Yeeessss!"
....snorts when she laughs a closet Terminator fan
.....can be a little gassy, when she thinks no one is around
.....doesn't know half as many movie lines as she pretends to
.....listens to James Taylor & rues the day he & Carly Simon ever seperated
....wore Elvis Costello glasses all through Junior High School. And thought they were cool.
.......practices good penmanship
......breaks everything she touches
........drops everything she eats on herself
.......cries at Hallmark commercials & the theme to Oklahoma
.....would rather stay home most nights, with a book, then hit the bars/clubs/downtown scene
......gets really stinkin' tipsy after just two drinks
.....sings to herself all the time worried she's such a nerd people will see right through the facade and not like her. Oh well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

RIP Sean Preston (the car, not the kid)

I'm mourning my last car - Sean Preston. It took it's last breath Thursday morning, in the -15 degree cold, as I was on my way to work, driving down 35W South. The death throes were the speedometer whizzing back and forth (really, I know I wasn't doing 90), and the clanging that was something more than the permanent injury of it's muffler. In it's last moment, these telltale signs gave me warning that it was about to pass on to better pastures than the frigid cold of Minneapolis traffic. I was saddened and scared all at once. Thankfully we made it to an offramp and it spent it's last minutes on the corner of 46th & the Frontage Road along the highway.

In the wake of Sean Preston's shortlived life (I only got it back in October/November), I am trying to find the best way to handle it's clean & tidy disposal. And the only thing I have to say about that is: I'm a girly girl. I shouldn't have to be doing this. I'm a girly girl - I HATE doing this.

Sometimes the Lord stretches us in ways we can appreciate. We see the growth, we are happy. Other times, He puts challenges in our paths that serve as lessons, and they just suck. They go against our nature as human beings and cause us to do things we didn't know possible. This is one of those times for me.

I know I should be proud of myself when I do things I didn't think I'd be able to handle. Stuff that, under traditional gender roles, would be considered a "man's job". Like fixing things, or car stuff. But I can't help but thinking that I shouldn't have to do them. That's what guys are for. Look, I know this is wrong, but there is a really, really girly part of me that wants to scream that out, right or wrong or in between. In any case, there are no men in my life, so I have to do these things for myself, whether I like it or not. Lesson learned Lord - You will not give me more than I can handle, personally, and You will equip me to do whatever it is You are asking. Whether I like it or not.

So, this weekend, I made some phone calls, and was able to find someone to pronounce the final rites. Yep, it's heart gave out. It's very heart - the motor, just died out on me. Fortunately, it wasn't in any pain (save the humiliation of a missing bumper, almost like a hole in the back of your pants). Ok, good job Trin - you made the calls & got the prognosis, now what?

Well, unlike the tradition of the Griswold family, I can't just leave my car on the front porch, like Aunt Edna, curlers sticking out from under a blanket. So, I made even more phone calls, to see if someone could come tow it, and at least give me some of the money I've invested into poor little Sean Preston. Yeah, what a joke. Here's where things get hairy, and if I had a boyfriend/husband/brother/father, they would be handling this instead of me. Because the thing is, sometimes mechanic guys can be just rude. They hear a woman on the other end, and instead of dealing with her patiently and with detail, they snap off their information as if you're supposed to know just what they're referring to. Who knows, maybe they do this to other men too, but for all I know, it's just us weaker sexed individuals that they seem to pick on.

All this to say, that a few hours, a few phone calls and a few tears later, I have found someone to come pick up the last remains of my car. In about 12 hours I will be officially carless again. Which, I don't mind so much, really (except when it comes time to go grocery shopping, which is near impossible on a bicycle).

May you rest in peace Sean Preston. You were good while you lasted.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Last Straw

I'm not sure I can do this much longer. I woke up this morning to more poop and puke. And a cat who I caught redhandded peeing in my favorite bra. My favorite one. After I briefly contemplated murder, and started my third load of laundry since Sunday, I threw myself down on my bed, face down in my cat hair covered pillow (ew.), and cried. I don't know what to do. Short of the murder option. Anyone want a cat??

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Sensitive Subject: A Truly Serious Post.

It seems odd for me to be writing about this subject today. It is something I have never blogged about, and yet I am not one to ever shrink from a taboo subject. Yet, somehow, in this space, this blog, it seems a bit out of place. Yet, something must be said, and I feel I must be the one to do it.

I need to express my utter disappointment, frustration and general hard feelings about the NY Giants/Green Bay Packers game last night. What the heck??? Who do these NY Giants think they are? "Ooooh, I'm Eli Manning, I'm so fancy, I have a brother in the NFL...ooohhh!!" WHO CARES?? Don't you know that my dream this post-season was to see Brett Favre take on the 19-0 Patriots in the Super Bowl & defeat them in a neck-in-neck game, giving them their only loss this season and securing his place as the greatest man alive, on his way out of this glorious game, for this glorious team? Didn't they know that??? How could they win?? Those JERKS!!

My dreams for a wonderful Green Bay Packers Super Bowl party are crushed. My plans for dressing up in all green & yellow, painting my face and eating cheese and drinking beer & eating sausage and wearing a big green parka, and acting like a Green Bay fool - all dashed upon the rocks in a bloody, tear-stained mess. All of it, just ruined. I could cry. Brett Favre. In the Super Bowl. It's been 12 years since the Packers went to the Super Bowl. 12 years. Cut them some slack! It was -23 out there at Lambeau yesterday - don't those men DESERVE to go to Arizona just based on temperature??

I am so disappointed. So crushed. So saddened. And so willing to take on anyone who challenges this post with anything about the Vikings, or the Giants, because, oh yeah, I will! I don't want to hear it about the Giants, or any other team. Keep your comments to yourself, unless they are wonderful sweet praises for the team of teams, the Green Bay Packers! Then, you can write all you want.

So, that being said - here's what else shaped my weekend. I had no heat in my apartment all weekend. That was fun. I started working on a puzzle. That actually was fun. Saw the UCE - realized it's over - kind of saddened. Talked to my favorite chipmunk, Kaya and understood only about, hmmm, maybe four words she said. Held my favorite baby, Salad and watched football with him (actually he slept, content in my arms, but I imagined we were bonding over the Patriots win). Realized I hate my cats, as they pooped all over everything I own.

Oh, yeah, this is a different story altogether. Henry, that little freaking, furry little freak of nature, he pooped on yet another rug. I hate him. I hate his poop. Why does he poop everywhere? Why? Until this weekend it was only my suspicion that he was the pooper between the two. Nigel keeps to himself, he isn't an attention whore, like Henry. I knew, deep down, he couldn't be the pooper.

Then, Saturday night I arrived home, from a long day at work & running errands, to the coldest apartment ever. I plugged in my space heater, sat down to eat my salad (dinner) and realized, oh, I haven't fed the cats. So, I got up, and in a burst of generosity, decided to give them wet food, along with their daily dry food. Aren't I kind?

So, I put out a little bowl of some smelly tuna weird thing that cats eat. And like the attention craving little man-whore that he is, Henry pushed Nigel out of the way and proceeded to devour the whole bowl, in like two breaths.

A few minutes later, I saw him sniffing over near the litter box, but instead of going in, he was sniffing around near where I have the scooper/sifter thing. I kind of watched him, knowing his devious, oddball ways, and curious as to what he was going to do. All of a sudden, he squats down, and before I knew what he was doing, he let out the most ginormous, disgusting, smelly, foul cat fart I'd ever witnessed (actually, it's the only cat fart I've ever witnessed, but that does not diminish it's unprecedented grotesqueness).

I realized, OMG, he's about to poop, so I hurried and found my squirt gun/cat trainer and begin to yell "No Henry No!" and squirt him mercilessly with the, I must imagine, cold water, right in the kisser! He didn't stop, and I could tell he was ready & determined to just drop one right there, so I yelled again "NO HENRY NOOOO!!!!" and I stomped my foot on the ground, and squirted him simultaneously, which frightened him out of his anus-relieving ways, and caused him to run off into the living room, while I stood there disgusted and confused.

Sidenote: Urgh, at this point, I'm just at a loss, as to how to proceed with this foul, gassy, beast. I really am not a cat person, really I'm not. Why is it that a dog can fart, and somehow it's hilarious, and totally apropos, because that's what dogs do? But cats? There's like, a higher standard there somehow. Totally unfair, yes, I realize. But present nonetheless.

Anyway, at this point, I reached for my brand-new can of Lysol Air Freshener and sprayed the heck out of the kitty litter area, and then went back to the living room, trying to put the image out of my mind. I sat down, and just as I did, my mom called. So, of course I answered the phone, and began to relate to her this disgusting tale of pet ownership.

As I'm pacing the living room, salad yet untouched, carrying on about how gross Henry can be, I look over in the corner, to where he has wadded up my favorite rug into a ball, and is standing atop it, dancing. I watch him, amused, as my mom talks, listening to her relate stories of my silly nephew, while eyeing Henry's strange ritual. He stands atop the mounded rug and as he stands there, he moves his front paws in a sweeping motion back towards his body, exactly one time each paw. Then he rotates about a quarter turn and repeats this strange dance. He keeps doing this, and I wonder just what he's up to. Is there catnip on that rug, that he's pawing at? Is it his favorite sleeping spot and he's trying to adjust it? Hmmm, what curious behavior.

So I step in a bit closer, and as I do, the stench of tuna laden cat poop hits my nose like napalm in the morning. But even before my mind had the opportunity to process the situation (smell of poop=poop), I see it. A big, gross, painful to look at, even worse to smell, cat turd. On my favorite rug. Right in the middle of it, matter of fact. I look over at Henry, as he nonchalantly continues his ritualistic little pagan cat dance. He is totally unaware that I am watching him, much less that what he has done is wrong, completely, utterly, in every single way wrong!

Another sidenote: When I agreed to take these cats, I specifically asked their previous guardian if they were housebroken, or if they foresaw any weird poop incidents. I was assured that no, they had never pooped in weird locations before, and were very much housebroken. I'm sure that this person was stating the truth, as was best known to her, since they actually weren't her cats, but an aunts. Still, in my own defense, I inquired about the poop factor. I tried to find out before I took them, and yes, it would've made a difference in my choice.

Back to the poop incident. At this point, my jaw dropped wide open (in part to breathe through my mouth in an effort to not be ill, and because I was just in shock at the blatant disregard for litter box etiquette). I stood there, listening to my mom yapping on and on, and was just speechless. Then, rising up within me, like a hurricane force coming out of nowhere, like a swarm of angry bees ascending from their hive-prison, this yell escaped my throat "HENRY NOOOOOOO!!!!!". Which barely caught his sleepy-eyed, dumb-cat attention.

Sidenote: Back to the whole dog/cat thing. Dogs are supposed to be kind of stupid. That's what makes them charming, and lovable, and doglike. Aren't cats supposed to be smart? What about those Siamese cats from Lady & The Tramp? They weren't just intelligent, they were downright manipulative. Cat's aren't supposed to be stupid, yet I swear, as Henry looked up at me, he had the blank look of a stoner. I swear I could see right into the open, vapid void of his head, and it was EMPTY!

Not knowing what more I could do to prevent further cat-astrophe, and being a day late & a dollar short, I just swatted him away from the rug-poop mess, and groaned to myself, which barely elicited a response from my mom, who was still chattering away. Afraid that Henry might continue to poop randomly around the house and yet having nowhere to lock him up, I just stared at him, and tried to hold back the tears welling up in my eyes.

Here's the thing - I want to love my cat. With the same earnestness that I wanted the Packers to win, I want to love my cat, and be a good owner to him. I want to be able to love on this little creature that God has entrusted to me. But I find it really hard to not want to through him out on the highway when he poops on everything (this IS rug #3), or when he doesn't leave his bad pooping ways behind and immediately seeks affection in the wake of his pooping. As I'm writing this, it should be noted, the song on the radio is James Taylor (geek alert - I LOVE James Taylor!!) crooning in his oh-so-soothing voice about showering the people you love with love. But he said people. People, not cats.

How do you love something that, unwittingly, unknowingly, and yet just as irritatingly, poops all over. It's not Henry's fault, and all that jazz...blah, blah, blah. I know that. I know he doesn't know what he's doing, and that he's probably just reacting to blah, blah, blah. Just like with the Packers loss, I don't want to hear all the PETA supporting reasons that anyone might spout off. I know that they're probably right, but I just don't want to hear it. All I want to hear right about now is "Oh, Trin, it's a sad, sad day when the Packers lose & your cat poops on your rug". You hearin' me?

Anyways, for those of you with a weaker stomach than my own, I apologize (thank your lucky stars you weren't there, whooooeee baby!). On to bigger, better things.

My car battery is dead this afternoon. I left on my lights this morning accidentally. So, I'm asking God for forgiveness for my ill will towards my cat right about now, and hoping He'll heal my battery with a quick and easy jump. Please God! No matter how hard I try, the warped theology of "If I am good, God will bless me" lingers despite knowledge of the truth. As does the equally erroneous "I must've done something bad, because it feels like God is punishing me through the cat poop/Packers loss/dead car battery".

I can be ignorant, and ask "where do these lies come from?" or I can just acknowledge that the enemy easily tricks our feeble, pragmatic minds with what seems like simple logic. Tit for tat. Grace is anything but feeble or pragmatic - the beauty that lies at it's core is that it is mysterious, mystical and unfathomable, and that without reciprocation or equity of any kind, we can partake in goodness, forgiveness and blessings. That makes no sense to me most of the time, and yet I know I can recognize it when I see it. After all, maybe it is God's grace that my car battery died this morning, since one of our accountants just got back from lunch and said he saw three accidents amidst the slippery, slick road conditions.

Well, that's all for today folks. It's a lot, but there it is. Before I go, let me just say how thrilled I am that new readers are coming to this blog everyday. I try to make it enjoyable, and keep the posts interesting, quirky (noo!), uplifting and honest. I'm anything if not too forthright, so forgive me if sometimes it's mildly offensive....anyone who knows me personally knows my penchant for being mildly offensive (Dennis Leary & Sarah Silverman being two of my my "Guilty Pleasure" comedic heroes), though I do try to keep it in check. And thanks for everyone's comments too. Keep 'em coming, I read them all, publish the ones that aren't death threats, and try to take seriously the suggestions. Till later, that's all folks!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ten Things That Bring Me Joy

They're not all nice, just a warning!

1. Hot Dogs & LOTS, lots, lots of mustard.

I had a great one for lunch, and I should've ordered two, they were that good. Everytime I have a good hot dog I forget how much they really are one of my favorite foods. Lips, butts, squirrel anus, nitrates, I don't care! I like a good hot dog!

2. Getting packages.

I got a gift card from a friend for Christmas, from Nordstrom, in the mail
(thrill #1). Usually it's hard to choose, when I want to buy something from Nordstrom, because I could go shoe/makeup/perfume/clothing crazy in
there. But once I saw this sweater, I knew I had found a winner. Too bad I couldn't get it, and the bottle of Coco Mademoiselle I was so longingly
desiring. Instead I chose the sweater, and had it shipped (since they were down to Xtra-Smalls in store). I can't wait for it to get here. I really wanted it to get here by tomorrow, so I could wear it to Frost Fest with Josiah, Ana & Leah. Sigh.

Frenchi® Double Breasted Cardigan - This distinctively designed sweater has a double-breasted button front and Empire-waist seaming. The ribbed collar can be buttoned down or worn up for a different look. Subtle gathers below waist. Ribbed cuffs.

3. Hazy Shade Of Winter, the song.

Back in junior high school, when I was decidedly against the Bangles (c'mon, everyone knows the Go-Go's rocked that genre), this was their only song I liked. Heck, I loved this song, and taped (with our VCR) the video off MTV. Released on the Less Than Zero soundtrack, this is a souped up version of a Simon & Garfunkle classic, complete with rock-heavy guitar riffs and Susannah Hoffs melodic voice. In 1987 it surprisingly made it to #2 on the charts. Today, driving back from lunch, in a car with a temperamental thermostat, it came on the radio, and never was it more appropriate or appreciated. Thank you girl band the Bangles.

4. Britney's a Trainwreck

I know it's horrible to laugh at other people's misfortune, but after even more ridiculous antics by this scuzzed-out, bus station skank, former pop
princess ("That pregnancy test wasn't for me, y'all, I swear. My
family, weez believe in birf control y'all".) I can't help it. In a recent article in the Sports
section of MSNBC, Britney is claimed to have gone-a-beggin' to the NFL, to appear in their commercial promoting the NFL network, only to have met with
rejection. Yep, according to their sources, "She's too much of a train wreck. Besides, we already have Paris Hilton,". Anyone else here picking up on the irony?

5. Hyacinths & their sultry, spring smell.

Our CEO brought in some the other day, and you can smell them across the
building. They're bright, beautiful, and quite fragrant. And today, they're dead. Curse you winter! When will spring arrive?

6. Hot chocolate from scratch - made with finely chopped Scharfenberger chocolate, and sugar and whole milk, and Tahitian vanilla. In a big mug. Need I say more?

7. Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty & The Beast, by Robin McKinley

The first time I read this book was in junior high school, and I liked it
so much that I never turned the book back in to the school library. 20 years later I still have it, though it's cover has gone missing somewhere in between. It still resonates with me even as an adult. Robin McKinley's prose like storytelling, complete with colorful details of the Beast's palace and gardens, detailed descriptions of Beauty's life pre-Beast, charming and sympathetic characters and and uniquely sympathetic character development is so engrossing, that I could read it 20 times more before I die and it would still be new to me.

8. Coco Mademoiselle -
Again, a throw back to years gone by, I first started wearing this amazing scent
in 2001, after it had just been released to critical applaud. Never a fan of the
traditional, powdery Chanel #5, this spicy, younger scent quickly became my
"signature" fragrance, till I forgot about after moving to Minnesota and actually having to watch my money. With Top notes including orange, bergamot and
grapefruit; middle notes of lychee, rose and Italian jasmine, and top notes of
Indonesian patchouli, Bourbon vanilla and white musk, this is by far my favorite, most timeless fragrance, and one that I will be saving till June to purchase (happy birthday to me!)

9. Cream Puffs - Ummmm....they're so easy, and yet such a big, puffy, creamy pay off. I may have to make some this weekend, since I doubt I'll be going out much in the sub-zero cold.

10. Family Time With The Kiddos

Tomorrow night I get to watch my favorite kiddos. Ana Grace & the ever
charming Josiah Parker Coulon. We're going to meet Leah at Frost Fest at Pearl
Park. Sounds like it's a winter festival of some sort, which I'm fine with. What
matters to me most is spending time with three of my favorite people in the
whole wide world. I'm so excited. Now if only my sweater had come in time, I
could wear it!

Well that's it. There were a few other things that crossed my mind, including the fact that I'm getting used to the cats, my new haircut, being done with a huge work project, how it's getting darker later lately & snuggling up in my blanket reading in bed. But, since there's a ten item limit, there you have it!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tonight It's Kind of Boring - Just a warning, people.

I hate when I'm reminded that people actually read this thing, because then I feel the pressure to make it entertaining, or worse yet, be funny, and I'm inclined not to write. Although, I am flattered that anyone reads it at all. In any case, I'm just a girl, and I can't be funny all the time, though my coworker Stacey has gone from thinking I'm funny, to hilarious, to darn right adorable, all in a week. Whats with my fan club at work?? I think she means it in the way that people say when they're stumped that I can be that clumsy/goofy/brazen/naive. Not necessarily a compliment.

Tonight I'm working late again though, and I'm taking a break, as I know I'll be here at least till 9 or 10. Last night I worked till 9, then the elevator near my desk starting making weird noises, and fears of being raped and killed in the industrial park drove me to fearfully walk out to my cold car and leave, in quite a rush. Tonight I decided I will let no such fears overcome my ability to work ridiculously long hours, in the pursuit of finishing invitations for our company's Annual Gala.

I've never been married. I've been close, like two weeks away close, but by the grace of God I escaped the hell-hole of Jehovah's Witness brainwashing that would've been. Sadly enough, I have trouble even getting a date, much less being married. Hey, I have cats, who needs men. HAHAHAHAAH. I hate women who say crap like that. Anyway, if I ever do get married, I am now convinced, we are splurging on invitations. None of this "I'll do it myself and save lots of money" crap. Nuh-uh. Invitations will not be done by me, at home, by hand, no way, no how, nuh-uh, never again. So for all of you great friends out there that keep thinking "I should set Trinette up on a blind date with so-and-so, seeing's how her blog is so funny & entertaining", just keep in mind that if he's a cheapskate, it probably won't work, so save yourself the energy & him the humiliation.

You see, this week I had three days to get out 170 invitations, all made by hand, addressed the same, etc. And they're nice, they really are. Completely classy & all pretty & what not. But I have been feeling the pressure, and if there's one thing this commitment-phobe hates, it's pressure. 170 in three days, complete with RSVP cards, dinner selections, map, envelopes, etc. It's a preeeeetty tall order, if you're asking me.

Speaking of tall.....You know what I do like, however? Coffee (as in, "I'll take a tall double skinny cap, wet). And this week I am also on a coffee strike, to see just how much money I could save if I didn't buy coffee for an entire week. So my last overpriced espresso drink was on Sunday, and I'm missing it just a little. I find myself doing random drive by's of Starbucks late at night, cruising past in the parking lot, slowing down, sighing, and driving on. That's ok, I have Diet Coke to fill it's void. Here at work, it's free. I love perks.

Well, dinner is good & gone (Green Chili & Cheese tamales, from when I made them the last time & froze a whole bunch & a Diet Coke, third of the day), and it's back to work for me. My red swingline stapler is-a-callin', and I must answer.

Friday, January 11, 2008

You Lookin' At Me?

For those of you who do want to read something insightful and of meaning....go away. Just kidding. Here's something that I thought of this morning, that was kind of interesting.

So, on my Google home page, every morning, I have a different bible verse. Usually these just annoy me, because literally, they just randomly select a single verse, whether or not it's in need of context or not. So, sometimes it's like " Now I will break their yoke from your neck, and tear your shackles away." (Nahum 1:13), and sometimes it's like "But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near," (John 7:2), and sometimes it's like "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:9).

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it makes perfect sense in the single context of a verse, and sometimes you're left wondering "huh?". Then what??

But today, as I briefly scanned past the widget and the Sesame Street Terror Level Indicator (we're still at Bert & Ernie) to see what the verse was, it said this "And this will we do, if God permit." (Hebrews 6:3). I thought to myself, oh great, another out of context verse. What will we do if God permits??

Then it hit me, even in this snippet of a thought, this fragment of a sentence, there is great meaning as to the philosophy of our faith. Everything we do, we do only if God permits. Yes, I'm a Calvinist. I tossed around naming one of my cats Calvin & the other Luther, and then I came to my senses, and named them after famous English poets instead (some senses!)

The thing is, even in something as seemingly random as a verse out of context, God will speak to our hearts, the truth of His nature, and our faith. The word is alive, and powerful, moving and fluid, mercurial even. The very nature of God's word, whether spoken or in writing, is mysterious and awe-inspiring. These are the words of a majestic and holy God that we read, whether on or in church, or at home. Let us never forget how powerful and moving that can be.

So, today, as I look at my life, and at my choices, specifically whether to trust Him this weekend (for gas money, of all things) or to pursue my own, faulty methods and ideas, I realize that even in the mistakes, He is permitting me to make my own choices. All things that I do, are because God permits. Crazy! In light of that graceful truth, how can I help but honor Him through trusting, scary though it may be. Yeah, trust, that's a whole different blog post, for another time.

Friday Update (Aka Things I Did This Week)

Here's the week's update:

Got my hair cut - finally did the short Katie Holmes haircut that I've been admiring for months. LOVE IT!

Spent time with Ana & Josiah, brifely, all too briefly. Was invited to Ikea by my darling, Josiah. I love that kid!

Trained my cats to not be mostly psycho at night (Henry still has a long way to go, Nigel is an angel, however).

Realized there will be no keeping my clothes cat-hair free.

Made cookies for the UCE, and then decided not to send them, because I think he's just not that into me.

Watched the Disney/Pixar Short Films dvd.

Re-watched Ratatouille.

Began my volunteer training at the Christian Recovery Center, so I can finally begin to work with women victims of sexual abuse. I couldn't be more thankful!!

Dislocated a rib. Felt it pop back in.

Committed myself to doing 175 formal invitations for our companies Annual Holiday Gala. Realized I'm out of my mind.

Decided I'm going to uninvite the UCE to the Gala, because, as mentioned before, I think he's not that into me anymore. I'm not quite sure yet, though. I'm working on it.

Yeah, that's about it for me right now. It's been a quiet week, despite incessant meowing on the part of my two new cats, Nigel & Henry. God has been teaching me some interesting lessons about sacrifice this week. Or at least the kind of sacrifice that comes in relationships with other people. Through my cats of all things. Basically He reminded me how much I fear intimacy and committment. Thanks God.

I guess too, if I'm going to put it all out there, I'm really kind of irritated by the way things worked out with the UCE, and how I am kind of kicking myself for giving up my ideals, my standards, etc. I am also irritated by a friend, who though I know won't lord it over me, was right about him. And that pisses me off. I'm tired of her being always right! I just, once, want to prove her wrong.

There's a lot going on in this big noggin' of mine today. This week. Some of I started to share on here, and then discarded. Some of it I know I shouldn't share. I am feeling so out of sorts, with everything, lately. I don't know why. Could be the coffee. I'm feeling pressured, too, to have my blog be about something. Every post being meaningful or about something, when really I'm quite comfortable having the Seinfeld of blogs. It's about nothing really.

So, yeah, there you go. For now, that's all folks. By the way, check it out, I'm trying to give Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his money, in his new film "There Will Be Blood". Which of us do y'all think is more imposing??

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Update

So, recently a few friends informd me that they actually read my My Space blog. Who knew? I'm still in denial that anyone reads this thing. Anyway, I have started posting there recently. This is what I wrote there today. It's nothing new.....just saves me from having to write things twice. I actually would prefer people read this blog, since I'm just a wee bit proud of all the work I've done on it. I'd like to add a widget that shows what's on my Netflix queue, however it seems Netflix doesn't have a widget like that, only Blockbuster does. And I'm decidedly anti-Blockbuster. I hate those little cranks.

In any case, today is a whole new day, and don't I love it? I feel so great today, and I think I know why. I look really cute today. The kind of cute I wish I could pull off everyday. I am really proud of the way my outfit pulled together this morning**, and I'm having a good hair day, and my eyelashes are unusually long, which is, well, unusual. Looking good for once, has somehow boosted my self-esteem, and that combined with some funky, sing-along music on the ride into work has me acting like Katrina & The Waves. I even got complimented this morning, as one of the guys here at work commented on general Flintstones vibe of my necklace, and then said it was appropriate for a Betty like me. Wow, I'm a Betty? As if! (Ok, now I'm just channeling Clueless circa 1994, since isn't that like, the last time anyone actually used that phrase?)

Another reason I could be walking on sunshine (Get it? Eh? Eh?) is that someone I have a slight, little office crush on, is actually in the office today. It's one of our outside sales reps, and I have to admit, he's like one of the nicest guys to talk to. I've only met him in person once, but every time he calls in, I'm happy to do whatever he asks, because he's just polite, and nice, and well, a real joy to help. I mean, for all I know he's married, or gay, and he lives halfway across the country, and isn't quite my type anyway. But today I get to see him again in person, and I'm just pleased as punch. I even had a dream about him once, that he was training me in as an outside sales rep, and we were traveling all around Texas in a beat up old Ford pickup, hitting every BBQ joint in the steak, sampling pulled pork wherever we went. Hilarious, and I have no clue as to what it means, but just the fact that he was in it makes me smile.

What else makes me smile? Well, for the first time in months I can say I don't live alone anymore. I have cats. Yes, short of the wacky outfits, and a general disdain for anyone under 18, I am now a crazy cat lady. Emphasis on crazy. I can't believe I did it, but after weeks of hemming & hawing, and vacillating on whether or not this was the right decision for me, I just bit the bullet, and did it. It did happen rather spontaneously (me, spontaneous?? No!), as a friend Facebooked me the other day, mentioning that she had two cats she had to find a home for, or they were going to the shelter that night, and I responded with "I'll take them!". So, now, impetuous me is the mom to two beautiful adult, male cats – Henry & Nigel.

Henry is a little fatty pooch of an orange cat, and just a freaking freak of nature. He is older, about 7 years old, and very affectionate. First thing he did Sunday morning was come crawl up on my bed, and climb up on my chest, and lay directly on my face, which would've been kind of funny, except I like to breathe. By the time I was able to get his poochy, purring self off me, it looked like someone had pooped in my eye (go see Knocked Up). Teary, red & swollen, my poor right eye made me look like another trademark of some crazy cat ladies – stoned. Without the much needed mellowing effect. He's a soft orangish-yellow color with white markings around his neck and little white boots. Generally he reminded me of Henry the 8th, the cranky, old, impotent, womanizing king. I'm sure that if I dressed him up like he was going to the Renaissance Festival, that's what anyone who saw him would say too. So, he got to keep the name he had, Henry, though it makes me sad, because it was one of the names I had preemptively chosen for my future, unborn male child, but, whatever.

Nigel, on the other hand, is the very male name I gave to my as of yet sex-undetermined other cat, previously called Dasher. Dasher, seems to me, a great name for a reindeer, but maybe not the best name for a cat who sit around all day. So, Nigel, meaning "the black one" fits quite appropriately to him/her/whatever. You see, Nigel is quite the antithesis to Henry's down home country ways. He's just an inky black pool of velvety softness, with a full, round face, and piercing yellow-green cat eyes. He is the perfect Halloween black cat, and I just love everything about his regal, quiet nature. As he perches majestically on top of my ottoman, one paw tucked casually underneath him, surveying the living room land, I can't help but think he is truly a descendant of the great, beautiful, big cats. With the soft furriness of a snow leopard, but the coloring of a graceful jaguar, he is just so fun to watch and I want to scoop him up in my arms and snuggle him. He's not terribly affectionate though, but I did get a spark of hope yesterday as he came and climbed in bed with me to take a nap. His beautiful black fur contrasted so beautifully with my white duvet, and I couldn't help but take small pleasure in how pretty a cat he is. Yep, me and my pretty cat, catnapping on a Sunday afternoon. How poignant.

In any case, the decision to adopt these two charmers came rather spontaneously, as I chose to rescue them from impending doom ina shelter. So, though it was in style with my usual impulsive self, I cannot regret it. I am now the proud owner of two great cats. Wow.

Well, all is well that ends well. And as long as I don't get any salad dressing on my shirt today, that should end well. As long as I come home and the cats haven't pooped in my shoes, that should end well too (although they're going to come to their end at the bottom of a well if I find they have). And life goes on. The blog goes on. That's it for me today.

**Cute outfit description: Black wide leg pants with contrasting white stitching, a reddish-orange square neck tissue tee from J.Crew, with a white tank layered underneath, a faded khaki blazer, with interesting pocket detail and nickel hardware buttons (from Banana Republic like three years ago…I need to wear this more often!), black patent leather loafers & a chunky yellow beaded necklace that accents the orange top brilliantly. All together, a really smart outfit that is at once polished & pretty as well as stylish, like I just stepped out of Lucky Magazine.

Currently listening to : Girls and Boys By Ingrid Michaelson

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Am I Too Late To Jump This Bandwagon?

Oh, hell. I’ve been wrestling with this for weeks. Do I jump on the bandwagon? Or in a fit of protest over my individuality, do I abstain from boring my readers (all two of them) with my thoughts on the years “Best Of" whatever?

I know, full well, that I cannot compete with what I consider the master of all "Top Music" lists, so in the spirit of individuality, and well, mainly because I’m flat out of time and have to get some work done, the following are my Top Six Movies of 2007, Along With 4 Honorable Mentions And A Few Others I Could’ve Lived Without. The official term, I believe.

1. Ratatouille – Maybe I’m prejudicial. But it’s my damn blog, and I’ll rant if I want to. And in my opinion, Ratatouille was one of the sweetest, funniest, coolest films of the year, if not “the” one. The fact that it was all about the culinary arts had nothing to do with it, really, I swear.

This was however, for Pixar, on a plane above even my other favorite, Finding Nemo, which till now, really I had never thought they’d top. The plucky tale of a food-obsessed rat with the taste of Julia Child herself was refreshing and surprising. Chock full of both verbal and visual wit, genius comedic timing and enough j’ne sai quos to satisfy even the snootiest Francophile, Ratatouille was as thoroughly pleasing as a slab of St. Andre with apricot preserves, a baguette & a glass of Bordeaux on an autumn picnic. Not to mention that it contained what was probably the best performance of Peter O’Toole’s career (as Anton Ego, the critic from The Grim Eater).

Ratatouille faithfully carried out its thematic elements with a sensitivity and depth that belied its intent as a children’s movie. Touching on the pursuit of excellence over mediocrity and the unavoidability of family differences, it spoke to its audience with such personal insight, that anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider looking in could not help but be touched and moved to their very soul. I almost felt like I was Remy, the little blue rat with the oddly oversized nose and the annoyingly visceral family. Yet, it never gets so sappy that it forgets to infuse its audience with the joy of artistic creation and intuitive partnership that is the basis for the plotline between Remy & Linguine, his human counterpart.

Ratatouille is a kid’s movie that I would be happy to watch over & over again wit the niece & nephew were it not for the fact that at the end I’m always left with a nostalgic wistfulness for a trip to Paris and a hankering for some good Coq Au Vin. Like a perfect broth or stock, it is clearly a winner.

2. No Country For Old Men – the fact that this was a Cormac McCarthy novel scared me a bit at first, as I’m not exactly a fan. Only the uber-talented, creative genius’s, the Coen Bros could’ve done it justice however. And in a tale where justice is relative, it was done well my friend.

The screen seems to be painted with a stark gravity, a merciless sort of poverty really, in this tale of a movie. My only complaint might have been the vaporous ending, but really, McCarthy’s more to blame there, as Joel & Ethan Coen strayed not from his book or his dialogue, lending it breath and vision.

Do I even need to comment on the chilly sort of fear that Javier Bardem imparts, in his bowl haircut, as the most relentless villain of the year? I've not been a big fan of his before, but after this role, even if he played Santa Claus dressed up as Jesus, he could not redeem himself & win my warm affection. Respect, certainly, affection, uh-uh.

3. Gone Baby Gone – To say that this movie was personal to me would be like saying that Ben Affleck loves Boston. And after seeing this movie, any spectator knows one thing for sure. Ben Affleck loves Boston. Hell, Ben Affleck is Boston (though probably one of their more good-looking representatives).

Gone Baby Gone is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s breakthrough novel, the first to introduce sleepy PI, Patrick Kenzie, and his razor-tongued assistant/sometimes girlfriend, Angie Gennaro. Years ago, this series was one of my obsessive favorites. Lehane painted the characters in this novel with such rich depth and color, that they seemed to jump off the page and right into my room. I could almost smell the Killians & cigarette smoke.

Therefore, the nervous pessimism that predisposed me to a negative opinion on Affleck’s direction, even before seeing the movie, was heavy (though not as heavy as the stories scenarios and themes). I mean, come on, I’m supposed to believe Daredevil was going to do this justice?

Yet, as the film starts, and the Boston landscape is portrayed in gritty realism, the camera scanning grafitti littered walls with tubby, pasty Bostonians lazily passing time in front of them, it becomes apparent that only someone with a true love for their native land could’ve nailed the accents, the scenery, the general slow summer vibe, the way Affleck did. And I’m still talking Ben here. We won’t even go near how truly affecting Casey Affleck’s performance was. The moral and ethical dilemma’s that his character wrestled with were played out with such moving subtlety and whispery perfection that you almost wanted to crawl through the screen and wrap your arms around him. If this brotherly team doesn’t see Oscar this year, I will be wicked pissed!

4. Stardust - The first thing I could think of when this movie ended was “It’s a Princess Bride for the next generation”. Like it’s legendary predecessor, it had all the necessary elements – a star studded cast, a beautiful heroine, a sometimes gawky, but ultimately handsomely triumphant hero and enough wit and banter to hold even the most cynical viewer transfixed. There is action, swashbuckling swordplay, CGI witchcraft, comedic genius (as Robert DeNiro surprises and delights as the unconventional pirate Shakespeare), sweet romance and adoration (which was my favorite part really) and much, much more. Yep, loaded with colorful, delightful characters, Stardust is a cameo dream and a visual feast.

The story was original enough for a fairy tale, the result of a local Minnesota writer’s imagination. Stardust originally was conceived as Neil Gaiman’s four-book 1997 DC Comics mini-series, which later became a novel, caught attention and was later adapted for the movie, quite well I might add.

As one of the main characters, the usually grating Claire Danes, shines as the impatient, slightly arrogant fallen star, Yvain. The true star, however, was Michelle Pfeiffer, as the embodiment of every wicked, evil, vain stepmother/witch. Next to DeNiro (who you must see to believe) she truly steals the show. She poured into every conniving turn and phrase the passion of a star who relished the opportunity to turn her beauty on its head.

Like an old time variety show, Stardust is an all around great, versatile choice for family, date night or whatever the occasion may be. I really hope that, like Princess Bride, this film ripens richly with age.

5. Once – in a summer awash with Shreks, Spideys, Pirates, Transformers and myriad of other big daddy films ready to squelch anyone in their path, it’s a miracle Once even got noticed, much less made it through.

Its strength was not in its budget, its special effects, its award-winning cast or its massive publicity sprawl – Once found all its strength, and its soul in its music. A unique, low-fi musical that is both a bit scruff around the edges and hauntingly beautiful, Once was touching, soulful and moving. It drew me in and transported me, through its music, to a place where I want to fall in love - Dublin.

I heard one reviewer call Once “not a musical, but a film about music. Once contains some of the best songs you will hear in a film, ever”. I agree. But though it’s the music that makes Once shine with heart and depth, its sweet love story will carry you along as well.

6. Waitress - I wasn’t expecting much from this film. Both low budget, and sporting Keri Russell as the main star, it just didn’t look that promising. The heartbreaking story of the death of its director, Adrienne Shelly, however, was what finally drew me into renting it one night. And I’m glad I did. Sometimes tender, sometimes sobering, funny, witty and touching, Waitress was a little Easter Egg of a surprise.

Ok, like Ratatouille, the fact that this film deals with the culinary world had something to do with its appeal. But that’s not to say I’m an easy sell – after all, I never even wasted my $8 on that Catherine Zeta-Jones/Aaron Eckhart flop earlier in the year, and that was about two chefs.

The hilarious, sometimes ingenious pie names that were inflicted on Jenna’s towering creations were so entertaining and amusing. Take “Pregnant-Miserable-Self-Pitying-Loser Pie” for instance, which boasts dark chocolate and raspberry puree in a towering confection of a pie shell. Or aphrodisiacal “Marshmallow Mermaid Pie”, with its Miami-esque colored marshmallow topping beckoning. Yep, the pie sequences, and the pie song especially, were creative and whimsical in this little gem of a film.

What moved me more, though, was the stark honesty written all over Jenna’s face as she faced some pretty scary, hopeless situations – an unwanted pregnancy in the midst of a very abusive relationship, with her jerk of a husband, Earl (played to a tee by award-worthy Jeremy Sisto). It was the surprising realism of this aspect of the storyline that kept me watching, and eventually broke my heart. Sure, there were parts that were typically predictable. Yet, no one but director Adrienne Shelly could’ve nailed the fear, apprehension and anger that Keri Russell’s character expressed at the coming of a baby she didn’t want, and felt no affection or maternal instinct for. How refreshing to hear her expressing her own hesitation to be a mother, to the baby – so very un-Hollywood! Instead of nailing you with the typical “romantic comedy happy ending” that could’ve brought this film down to the level of say “Sweet Home Alabama”, this film took the risk to show something true, which is always more moving, albeit bittersweet.

I’d call Waitress a chick flick, because nothing blows up in it – but I would also wholeheartedly recommend this film to anyone looking for a sweet human interest movie.

*On a side note, probably the tearjerker moment of the movie, for me, was the closing scene of Keri Russell triumphantly walking away holding, on her hip, her movie daughter, played in real life by Adrienne Shelly’s 3 year old pixie of a daughter. Knowing now about the brutal murder of this innocent independent actress/director, that scene didn’t just bring me to tears, but left me weeping.*

Ok, now it's time for the Honorable Mentions:

7. Atonement - the only thing in this movie prettier than Kiera Knightly, was the movie itself. Even the war scenes were shot so cunningly beautiful that it was hard to ascertain the realistic tragedy of battle, because I was wondering "How'd they do that??" A tragic love story, spanning the decades, with beauty everywhere - in the swirl of cigarette smoke against dinner jackets, and silk dresses, and beautiful coiffed hair and sweeping English landscapes, and refined British accents. Ooooh, it's just so purdy and so damn English!

8. Knocked Up - I love Judd Apatow. I love Seth Rogen (no, really, I really do, that hair, he's big & awkward, my kind of guy!), and even Katherine Heigl was neurotically adorable (till she went and shot her mouth off to Vanity Fair about the stereotypicalness of the roles in this movie - honey, that's what made it enjoyable!). Knocked Up managed to take those same stereotypes and portray them with such biting comedy that I was laughing on the floor. If you didn't love Paul Rudd before, then the scene where he waxes poetic about his imaginary DeLorean over dinner will draw you into a sweet little boy-crush. It probably was my favorite scene in the whole movie, though there were so many great ones, it's hard to pick. Dirty, foulmouthed, with full vaginal birthing shots, Knocked Up sure isn't for everyone, but I happened to love it. Take that Katherine Heigl!!

9. Hot Fuzz - I’m so glad this wasn't Shawn Of The Dead II. Though the trailers, at the time it came out, gave no indication to the towering heights of funny that this film soars over. Taking one of the most ridiculously outlandish genres of film - the action/adventure cop buddy movie - and turning it on its silly little British head, this movie cracked me up in so many ways. It literally made fun of itself at times. With fast sweeping little sequences of amazing sound editing, and one of the best impalement scenes ever (seriously, it was just as good as Brad Pitt getting hit by a car in Meet Joe Black. I rewound it like four times!), Hot Fuzz is definitely worth the rent.

10. 300 - Last but not least, the late winters highly anticipated, grandiose, CGI bloodbath rendition of the battle of Thermopylae. Packed with so many special effects, so much visual candy, I couldn't keep my eyes focused, that was till Gerard Butlers’ thighs entered the scene, and then things became a lot more tranquil in my little world. Fantastical, voluptuous, bloody, ferocious, wow, this movie did not let up for one minute, and retold one of history's most senseless battles in a way that entertained the 13 year old boy in all of us.

And before I are just a few I could've lived without:

The Transformers Movie – Overblown, overly lengthy, overly caffeinated, way too much testosterone (channeling Independence Day), and just, too, too, too much. Shia LeBeouf, however, was charming as always.

30 Days Of Night – Such a classic graphic novel. The very first graphic novel I ever read (yeah, I got into comics kinda late). Just would’ve been better left untouched and pristine as the Alaskan landscape where it was set. The screaming, Eastern European traveling cirque vampires got on my last nerve after a while and I just wanted to plug my ears & bitch slap them.

The Heartbreak Kid – after a healthy dose of Judd Apatow humor this year (with Superbad and Knocked Up) the Farrelly brothers seem to just be overreaching. They were, in my opinion, really just trying too hard to push the envelope, instead of allowing the raunchy comic genius to flow as naturally as it did in Something About Mary. I could’ve done without the Kitty Ring & the Donkey Show, really I could’ve.

Zodiac – Actually, I was really looking forward to this true-crime thriller, for the fact that it’s in my favorite genre, and included three of my favorite hot guy actors, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr. & Jake Gyllenhaal (wow, that’s quite the tall, dark, handsome triple stack!! Highly inappropriate club sandwich references are now running through my head!). The movie, based on real events, however was not able to gracefully meld the crimes and subsequent investigations, into one cohesive story well enough to keep the pace moving or capture my attention for the entire duration of the film. The lengthy pauses between important plot twists, and the lack of any resolution to the events were awkward enough to sully the movie as a whole.

Pirates Of The Caribbean; At Worlds End - Yeah, been there, done that, and the first one still rocked the best. The extended dream like sequence, amongst miles of white sand, and forty CGI Johnny Depps, was surreal, and not in a good Dali clocks kind of way. Probably should’ve just fast forwarded to the very end when Orlando Bloom does the whole Davey Jones thing, and hooks up with Kiera Knightly on the beach. Oh, did I just ruin it? Oh well. ;-)

Ghost Rider – OMG. I’m so embarrassed to say I even watched this. But, I went to high school with Eva Mendes, and though she was a few years ahead of me, I still feel compelled to follow her career with pride. Till now. Oh, and by the way, does Nic Cage just have one method of acting that he does now, despite the script/character? Yet another reason to hate Scientology.

Ok, so just in case you think I have more to say.....let me add, in the great tradition of movies past, that this is........


Ya Had To Be There

For those of you who got a kick out of my "I Love Lucy" post a while back.... here's something more to brighten your day, and make you feel more graceful.

I woke up late this morning, so I didn't have time to hit Starbucks for my usual breakfast. I knew this leaving the house, so I grabbed a Mint Mocha Frappucino (disappearing from stores sometime soon) from the fridge, to drink instead. Once I got to work and settled in at the reception desk (I cover the receptionist on her morning break), I began to unwrap the plastic protective layer from the lid of my Frap. That came off pretty easy, so hastily, and without much thought, I shook the Frappupcino bottle to mix it, before taking a sip. I never got that sip.

The minute I began to shake the bottle, the lid flew off, across the desk, and mint mocha frappucino landed everywhere. I mean everywhere. It was all over me, the desk, the floor, my dress, the computer, the papers on the table, down my shirt, in my hair, and generally covering everything like a tiny little Starbucks rainshower. Thank you Seattle, try the veal!

My first reaction was something between a moan and a whine. A long, drawn out, high pitched mwhoane. There I sat, looking at the little puddles and ponds of delicious frappucino, covering everything in a three foot radius, feeling it's wet stickiness drip down into my bra, cold & minty (sorry, TMI!).

As this was all happening, the new IT Director, the new guy, happened to be walking by. As he disappeared quickly up the stairs behind me, as if this kind of klutziness were highly contagious and he needed to scurry, I could hear him say "wow".

Wow. I guess that's a good reaction to something this silly. Wow.

Fifteen minutes later, slightly cleaned up, skirt wet from washing the frap out of it, still uncaffienated, I'm up at my desk, wondering how, and why, these things happen to me. Is it strictly for the entertainment of others? Is God trying to teach me a lesson? Or am I really, just that klutzy??

Maybe once I get some coffee in me, I'll figure out the answer.