Monday, February 25, 2008

Things I Miss

The kiddos

The holidays

The warmth of sun melting, relaxing, soothing me

Sun Dresses & Sandals


The sound of rain pitter-pattering on the rooftops outside my windows

The way my (used to be) long hair would spread out all around me on the white pillows, so much contrast of dark on light.

Late summer night walks along the Stone Arch bridge.

Beers on St. Anthony Main, Pracna's late night happy hour.

Kaya's chipmunk voice.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

That Which Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Even Crabbier!

I'm CRAAAABBY today. And I don't need a reason. I'm a woman.

I do have a reason, in any case, but I don't need to share it. I'm a woman, and if I want to be crabby, no one should insist that I have a reason why, much less question me on what it is.

My reason anyway? The worlds most killer migraine ever in a million and a half years ever on earth. Yeah, that'd do it.

Even things that usually make me smile can't touch this mood today. Like the BoDeans coming on the radio, and singing along (albeit quieter than normal). Or a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Instead of these little things bringing me joy like they usually do, they're leading to some minor annoyances. Like having to repeat my drink order ten times to the Somalian girl behind the counter at Starbucks. "TRIPLE. VENTI. SIX PUMP., Venti, not Grande. SIX PUMP. Yes, Triple, that's an extra shot. CINNAMON. DOLCE. LATTE. Yes, Cinnamon Dolce. Six pumps of it. Yes, an extra shot. No, skim!"


John Mayer can't even cheer me up today. Vince Vaughan holding a Chipotle burrito couldn't cheer me up right now. I'm reveling in the gloriousness poutiness of being crabby, and I don't care who knows it or what they think.

The thing is, nothing is really wrong circumstantially. Other than my head feels like a vice is wrapped around it, the light streaming in from the windows is burning my eyes out of my head like sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads and the sound of my fingers rhythmically hitting the keyboard sounds like a U-boat is dropping bombs in rapid succession in the underwater fog that is my brain today.

I'm not trying to be dramatic. I just seriously believe this might be the worst migraine I've ever had. Which, accompanied by the lightheaded and dizzy feeling I was experiencing earlier, either means I should lay off the A&W chili dogs at 10 at night, or go see a doctor. Probably a little bit of both.

What was I doing eating A&W chili dogs at 10 o'clock at night, you ask? You asked, trust me. YOU ASKED! Well, I went last night with a friend, shopping for shoes for the Winter Gala next weekend. And though I wasn't going to buy a dress, since I have a perfectly good one at home, I couldn't resist, and bought both shoes and a dress, all for under $50. C'mon, it was so worth it. The new dress is a very flattering shade of midnight blue, with subtle sparkly action and a halter style that was demure enough for me to feel comfortable standing in front of my coworkers and announcing who just won the $25 Olive Garden gift card. The shoes, well, they're adorable. Midnight blue matte satin, with a little bow and cute little jewely thingy, and well, you get the picture.

So, in my blinded excitement last night, I engaged in some much forbidden gluten consumption, specifically of the A&W variety. Including a Coney Island Cheese Dog (what can I say, I'm a weak, weak person) and cheese curds and a tall, cold Root Beer. It was so pleasurable, while it lasted.

This morning though, I woke up to the clamorous guffawing of a murder of crows outside my window. Yes, a murder of crows, which is apparently what a buttload of crows is officially called. As opposed to a sleuth of bears or a smack of jellyfish. Speaking of murder, the noise of their caw-cawing was enough to make me want to murder someone, therefore the etymology of that phrase makes perfect sense.

These crows are not strangers to my neighborhood. No, as a matter of fact about two years ago, at the time when Hope was putting together the portraits for their first Church Directory, the crows appeared. Coincidence? I think not.

At that time, there was such an overwhelming proliferation of these crows that not a car in the lot was safe. Babies were being pooped on (Isaiah E. I believe), it was totally out of control. The noise was deafening, the sight creepy and frightening, and there seemed no reasonable solution in sight. Short of a pastor with a shot-gun, which unfortunately did not work. Time passed and the birds moved on.
Two years later, they're back in my neighborhood, and in such overwhelming quantities that their Hitchcockian presence thoroughly freaked me out last night when I arrived home. Infesting about six trees on my block, they clutter together so thickly, and in such large numbers that even the barest of branches looks full-leaved and blossoming with their darkness. As one entire treeful took to flight, they blackened the skies like a dark cloud, blocking out the moonlight, and squawking, cawing and carrying on quite unnecessarily.

I hate them. Cawcaw, cawcaw.

In any case, this morning, roundabout 4 am (a little later than midnight dreary), I was roused from my sleep (weak and weary) like Poe to his door, by their boisterous calls, (not quite a whisper of "Lenore", more like a ginormous, group effort "CAWCAW CAWCAW"). To which I responded,

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!
'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Or something like that.

That kind of rude awakening, coupled by the fact that I was bussing it this morning, was enough to put me in a foul mood, at least foul enough till the migraine set in, and then in fact, the mood became quite justified. And there I've been ever since.

Now, what's the flipside of all this birdbrain crabbiness? There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Light, thy name is Baileys. Tonight, I have a bottle of Baileys at home with my name on it. A spot on the sofa, with my name on it, and yes, a book, an engrossing book, with, you guessed it, my name on it. Well, sort's more inside the cover, on an adorable leopard print bookplate, but you get the idea.

I am an optimistic person. Even when I'm crabby. And I can only hope that tomorrow, I will have accustomed myself to the cawing of my new neighbors, have shed all signs of a migraine with a good night's sleep, and be back to my normal, cheery, chipper, happy self.

Even if I'm not, I'm a woman. I can be crabby if I want to.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Things I'm Just Not Good At

About 6 months ago I wrote a lovely little post on why elephants submit, and why I just can’t seem to. In it I posted this gem of an ad, from the 1970’s, likening women like me (ummm, spirited?) to a foreign model Pinto lookalike. Niiiiice.

Today I’d like to post this other nostalgic bit from decades past, letting women know just how to act. That is if you're a moron, or a Stepford wife. Or a fundie. Oh, by the way.....the underlining, that was NOT me.

Upon review, I don’t think I’m getting this right. (Oh yeah, for a closer look, just click on the pic).

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why I hate Chinese food, fancy dresses & William Shatner!

I'm frustrated. I can't seem to figure out how to load, oh wait nevermind, oh no, ok, I can not seem to figure out how to load the pictures from my digital camera into my computer, so I can post them. Not that they're all that attractive or entertaining. They consist mostly of some awesome shots I got of Pikes Place Market this summer and my Friday night spent celebrating Leah's birthday over the most expensive martini ever known to man. And that's not a run on sentence, really.

The highlight of my weekend was definitely watching as my little sister from another mister celebrated her birthday in Fondue style, at the Melting Pot. Although I watched from afar, afar being another table (the fun table, as I saw it), I think she had a good time. I know I did. Even if I did spend my entertainment budget for the entire week on a Chocolate Funtini & some chocolate fondue. Yeah. The hilarious thing about the pictures is that one can document, quite clearly, my rapid descent from attractive and sober to quite unphotogenic & sporting a nice little sugar/alcohol buzz. As Kurt said, we were all going to die of a diabetic coma that night.

Instead of the probably peaceful diabetic coma, the low point of my weekend was food poisoning. Big, bad, old food poisoning of the Chinese take-out variety. We’re talking cold sweats, fever, nothing staying down or in, weird nightmares (always happens when I’m sick), cramps, aching, generally, wanting to die, and more importantly, wanting to kill an entire family of Chinese restaurant owners for daring to produce such crappy quality, vomit inducing, pardon the expression, shit.


I hate them though. These ignorant people who think they can charge up the wazoo for Chinese food that has no vegetables (therefore, in my opinion, little nutritional value), is disgusting tasting and makes people sick. I was more than disappointed, I was literally sick in both spirit (thoroughly disappointed) and health. And if I could’ve gone down there in person and told them what I really thought, trust me I would’ve. Maybe it’s God grace towards them that I’m car-less right now. No wonder the Asian sense of retribution and culture of vengeance is so strong and violent – with this kind of food poisoning it totally makes sense. (BTW, I’m reading a great book, by one of my favorite non-Asian writers who likes to write about China – Lisa See. It’s called Flower Net, and unlike her previous forays into the world of Chinese literature, this is a dramatic murder mystery set in Beijing & Los Angeles that is not at all girly or Amy Tan-like.)

I’m still angry about the FP though.

So, Sunday, instead of going to church and then participating in Super Bowl festivities as I planned, I spent the day curled up in a knot on my sofa, praying that the rabbit ears would hold out and/or watching the game in the mirror on the bathroom door, which reflects nicely into the living room, by the way. Everybody’s got to have a system.

Today I don’t feel that much better. I’m hungry, since I haven’t been able to keep any food in since Saturday night. But my stomach is literally in a knot. Tight, tense, cramped up like snail quickly retreating into its shell. The thought of food is both appealing and repulsive, at the same time. Interesting. I have often prayed for a miserable case of the flu, so I could drop 20 pounds in like a week, but now that I’m facing the closest I’ll ever get, I am kicking myself for it.

Indeed, if the food poisoning could just hold out till the Winter Gala on the 16th, I might actually be happy. I have pulled out my best cocktail dress from my closet, having decided I won’t buy a new dress, but I might splurge on new shoes and/or jewelry. That is if I can find EXACTLY what I want (high maintenance strikes again) – which is pictured nowhere but in my dreams, and is impractically turning out to be neither accessible nor affordable. I wish I could load a picture of this dress – it is very, well, very wow. Classy, demure, yet sexy, unique…’s so not me it’s hilarious, but I hope I can pull it off. Without spilling, without tripping, without snorting while I laugh, while somewhat resembling a lady.

It’s black, as are most good cocktail dresses. But this one is of the one-shoulder Grecian variety, with a little matte gold square ring (not an oxymoron), up at the shoulder for the fabric to drape through. It drapes down and has a tie around the waist, and a slightly flared out A-line, to the knee skirt. The picture of simplicity, you really have to be able to pull it off, since it basically wears you, instead of the other way around. I’m nervous. There’s no way I’m going to feel confident in it. I’d like to be one of those women who can put on something this amazing and act like they were born in it, walking back straight, head high, smiling, laughing, chatting, not fixing, pulling, tugging, fidgeting, or shrinking because they’re shy & feel like they’ve been caught playing dress up in mummy’s finest and everyone knows they’re just faking.

Put me in a pair of jeans, ballet flats or flip flops & a zip-up hoodie (preferably cashmere) and I can do that act quite naturally. A dress of this magnitude, maybe with a little practice, but I’m still not quite sure.

Well, this is a lot of girly rambling, I admit. To my few male readers out there, and I know who you are, all two of you, I apologize! Thank you for your continued readership, and please bear with me as I ramble on about subjects such as these.

Now, I’m trying to think of something interesting and non-girly to write about, and I’m at a loss.

I’m back on a Dennis Leary kick, having also watched a lot of Rescue Me this weekend (Food Poisoning people. Food. Poisoning!). I had forgotten how entertaining I found his brand of Irish, I could give a rat’s ass kind of humor. Though the show is quite a different strain of Leary comedy, I still enjoy the little bit he injects in, and the shows writing in general, which I find smarter, actually, than his stand up. Watching this, and then coming in to find my 365-Day “1001 Places To See Before You Die” calendar documenting the finer points of James Joyce, Guinness Stout & Dublin in general have given me a wanderlust tic like you wouldn’t believe to see Ireland this summer.

It was my great hope to see Washington DC on Independence Day, with the BFF, who lives out there now. But I found out she won’t even be on that coast this summer (back in MN), and even if she was it is apparently “a swamp” in July. I’m not quite sure if that phrase refers to the abundance of tourists or the general humid climate.

With DC out of the question, my second choice, Boston came to mind, but was quickly overshadowed by Ireland. Rolling green pastures, quaint little pubs, flowing with beer and drinking and singing……..

…….WAIT! I can’t go to Ireland!! I can’t drink beer! Dang it!!!! Oh, man. I can’t believe that one is shot to hell too! I really wanted to go to Ireland, and see the sights and drink the sweet nectar of stout and sing endless strains of Danny Boy with ivory sweatered, kindly locals. But how can you go to Ireland and not drink beer?? It’s not just impossible, it’s positively unappealing.

Ok, back to the drawing board….Maybe Mexico? I hate Corona (weak pee in a bottle), so it could work.

In any case, I’m trying to figure out where I want to go for my birthday this year, and now that both DC & Ireland are out of the mix, I’m at a loss, though completely open to suggestions. Three years later, I can look back semi-fondly at my last birthday trip, to Chicago. Ahhh, yes. The Blues, and the blues. In more ways than one. That was the last birthday trip I took, and I think I’m about due. I don’t care who I go with or even really where we go, I just want to go celebrate my birthday in a city or locale I’ve never seen before. I want to use it as a lame excuse to travel!

For Christmas this year, I received a subscription to both National Geographic Traveler, and National Geographic Adventurer magazines. They are dangerous. Wanderlust dangerous. Wanderlust is a subject I need no acquainting with, nor encouragement for. I’m a born escapee. I crave nothing more than leaving present surroundings for the thrill and excitement and potential of the unknown. I want to travel. I want to roadtrip. I want to backpack. I want to go.

I am wired for it, and use it as my lame excuse and cover up for a huge fear of commitment to relationships.

In any case, I am shopping for a place to go this summer, and am enjoying the process almost as much as I’m sure I’ll enjoy the actual trip (though if I have to stare at William Shatner’s overbloated, aged face again on I’m going to spit on the computer monitor. Blame it on the FP). Domestic or international matter not to me (though price is always a factor). My only requirement is a complete lack of agenda, freedom to just wander and roam at will and at my own pace and someone fun, equally relaxed and enjoy the new place with. Someone equally fascinated by the concept of “slow travel”, as I am. Someone who does not feel the overwhelming need to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to see every sight, who is willing to venture off the beaten path and have adventures.

Speaking of adventures….what about Istanbul? Maybe Morocco…..hmmm……I’ll keep y’all posted. Till then, thanks for reading! TK