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Archive for October, 2006

Halloween

I think this is the first time I’ve gone all out and dressed up for Halloween since I was in elementary school.

A few observations:

The cheap wig? Itchy. Extremely itchy. I’m glad that Liz got me the curved hairpins, even though I was cussing her for it at 4:45 this morning. They’re hard to work with, see, especially if you have very short fingernails. But judging by how my head feels right now, I’m glad they’re curved. I imagine my head would be feeling much worse if I had straight hairpins. The pantyhose on top of the hairpinned hair is uncomfortable. And the combination of the cheap wig, the pantyhose, and the hairpinned hair makes for a real unpleasant itch.

The greasepaint? Well, greasy, as I should have figured, and I get an itch every now and then. The cool thing is that when I scratch it, I just blend a little and it covers everything back up. I’ve got these cool violet splotches on the sides of my face that look really disgusting. Whenever anyone looks at me and says how cute I am, I laugh and say that Joe refused to kiss me this morning because I looked too dang ugly.

The dress? Pretty, but really hard to go to the bathroom in. I have to hitch up the skirt, tuck in the dangling ribbons of the corset, hitch up the sleeves, etc., and wiping is a real challenge. It’s doable, but challenging.

I really like my black fingernail polish. It looks cool. I’m going to keep wearing it, and not just at Halloween.

I had thought of perhaps staying dressed up while I pass candy out to the kiddos tonight. Ha! And again I say, Ha! No, I shall be leaving the office at 4:00. As one of my co-workers says, I’ll head out of here so fast you’d think my butt’s on fire. And I’ll drive home as fast I can possibly drive, given the traffic situation. And as soon as the door is decently shut behind me, I will be stripping off this costume, ripping off the wig, madly pulling hairpins out of my hair on the way to the bathroom, and hopping into the shower to wash the greasepaint off of my face and to rid my hair of the stench that my sister has promised me I will find once I remove the wig, the pantyhose, and the hairpins.

And then I will put on a sloppy pair of stained blue jeans that are two sizes smaller than I was wearing three months ago, and my big Grumpy sweatshirt, put on a scary movie (until Veronica Mars comes on at 8:00 Central), and pass out candy to the kiddos. And eat some, too, because that’s what Halloween is all about, right?

Boo!

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“Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: It’s good to be silly at the right moment.” –Horace

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Splish! Splash!

Do you know why babies splash in the bathtub? Because it’s fun!!!

Do you know why I know that? Because I did it yesterday!!!

Every now and then I get really, really, really silly. Yesterday afternoon I was taking a long relaxing soak in the tub, and for some reason thought about how babies like to slap the water with their hands. And so I did it. And it was fun. So I just sat there and slapped the water with my hands and splashed. And it was really, really fun. And then I sang the rubber duckie song and wished I had a rubber duckie to play with.

Man, if I could just be a kid again, for a little while. Play with toys, play in the bathtub, and no one thinks you’re strange.

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The Blind Date

This is for the S-Project. As always, comments/criticism are welcome. I have no idea, of course, what was really going on in his head. For what was going on in my head, I was living in a city where I knew NO ONE. I was lonely, answered a personals ad. Regretted it. Yes, I was heavy. My teeth are crooked. His teeth were FURRY. I’m sure he was a perfectly nice guy and I was a shallow bitch. But I’m really happy with my husband; we’ve been married for about a week shy of 15 years; so I’m really glad that I was a shallow bitch when I had my one date with this poor guy here. And I hope that he’s happily married and has as many kids as he wanted and has a beautiful wonderful life. (And I didn’t mind that he wasn’t Kevin Costner. His teeth just really squicked me out. I don’t mind crooked or yellow teeth. I mind furry teeth.)

*****

My mother talked me into it. “You’ve got to meet a nice girl,” she said. “You don’t get out enough,” she said. “A nice boy like you should get married, have children,” she said.

So I placed the ad. “SWM, IBM Engineer, ISO SWF, intelligent, fun-loving.” I didn’t know what else to say. I couldn’t exactly ask for a supermodel. I wasn’t blind. The mirror told me the facts. I knew that I didn’t exactly look like Kevin Costner or whoever the girls were drooling over.

I got a few letters, emphasis on the word “few.” And of those few, only one really stood out. All the words were spelled correctly; she obviously had a sense of humor. I decided to call her.

She sounded nice on the phone. She didn’t have one of those hideous, grating laughs that I couldn’t stand. She admitted that she was a little heavy, but I didn’t mind that. We decided to meet at the mall, and go see a movie or something, and play it by ear.

I was so nervous that day. I made mistake after mistake at work, and finally gave up and cut out early. I took a shower, shaved, and in my nervousness spilled half the bottle down my shirt. I had to take another shower, but I still just reeked of the stuff. I was about 10 minutes late because of the extra shower. I stunk. I was so nervous that I was sweating. Way to make a good impression, dork!

She was waiting where she said she would be. I could tell that she was worried I’d stood her up. She looked a little nervous, a little antsy. She looked pretty. She was heavy, like she said, but not grotesque or anything. She had dark brown hair, a pretty smile. Her teeth were crooked. She was wearing a dark red shirt and black pants. When I came up and said her name hesitantly, she looked blankly at me for a moment, and then smiled at me.

We went to see some movie she suggested. I thought it was going to be a chick flick, some dancing movie, but it was actually pretty good. It turned into an adventure movie, these people escaping from the Soviet Union. “White Nights,” I think it was called.

After the movie was over, we sat around and talked for a while. I really enjoyed her company. She was funny and smart. I like her, I thought. I was already thinking about some fun things we could do together. I walked her out to her car, but as we got closer to her car, she started getting skittish. She practically ran the last fifteen feet, calling her good-byes hastily behind her.

Weird. I put it behind me and went on home, whistling. Maybe she hadn’t noticed the overdose of aftershave.

I waited two or three days, then called to see if she wanted to get together the next Friday night. She was busy, she said regretfully. Okay, then, how about Saturday? Well, she was busy then, too. Okay, um, next weekend, maybe? Well, no, she was busy then, too.

I’m a little slow on the uptake, okay? So I guess it’s not entirely her fault. I guess I pushed her into it. How about the week after that? No, she was busy then, too, in fact, she was really sorry, but she was going to be pretty busy for the forseeable future.

I hung up the phone, a little stunned. We’d had such a good time, I thought. Bitch!

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I love ya so much, I’m givin’ you barenaked ladies to look at, for one whole evening!

It struck us both as funny. Our 15th wedding anniversary is on 11/8. On 11/12, the Barenaked Ladies will be at Will Rogers in concert, so we just forked out a tidy little sum of money for a pair of tickets. As we were attempting to justify the cost (he said it was part of our Christmas present to each other, but then I hit on the happy justification of our anniversary), we both cracked up at the thought of giving each other barenaked ladies for our anniversary.

Guess you had to be there, huh?

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I coined a new word: blupdate. It’s so much faster to e-mail your sister and say, “I blupdated,” than it is to e-mail your sister and say, “I updated my blog.” Well, I guess it’s not that much faster, but it works for me. Of course, maybe it’s been used by billions of bloggers around the world, and I’m once again totally slow on the uptake. Or else perhaps it’s been considered and rejected by billions of bloggers, which makes me not only totally slow on the uptake, but totally lame as well. Yay! I’m lame! Woohoo!

Joe said he loves it when I say Woohoo! So I’ll say it again. Woohoo! He’s not here to hear it, and I’m not really saying it, but it’s fun to type. Woohoo! Woohoo! It’s Friday!

It’s nearly the end of October, which means I only get to look at the picture of Jason and Medea for a few more days. That makes me sad. Medea, as portrayed in this painting, looks like a surly teenager mixing a magical concoction with an air of self-importance. Jason is sitting watching her, barely able to sit still; his muscles are all tensed; he’s ready to spring into action as soon as her charm or spell is prepared. His interest seems to lie not in her, but in what she can do for him. His eyes are fixed not on her face or her figure, but on the goblet in her hands. She knows it, and so she is dragging it out as long as possible, hoping that she can impel his interest to her. I have really enjoyed my Pre-Raphaelite calendar this year! Shall I take a sneak peek ahead to see what I get to look at during November? I shall: It’s a far less fascinating portrait of Saint Cecelia being serenaded by two angels. I’d rather look at Jason and Medea for another month. Who is Saint Cecelia anyway? I guess it’s Google time again.

I’m not sure why I’m so thrilled about its being Friday. I actually have to work an extra two hours today, to make up for having had two doctor appointments this week (one follow-up with the neurologist–everything’s fine, see him again in 3 months–and one quick visit to the regular doctor about the sore throat–it’s allergies, I have a prescription for an antibiotic in case it turns into an infection). And I have to work four hours tomorrow as part of making up in advance for being off next Friday. But it’s worth it, since I’ll be going to the Fantasy Convention in Austin.

I’m really looking forward to the convention. The last time I checked the preliminary programming schedule, the majority of the sessions I want to attend actually are taking place on Friday. If I had to choose to miss either Friday or Saturday, I’d have chosen to miss Saturday. I had planned to skip the banquet. Who wants to pay $50 for a dinner? Not I. And I’m still not familiar enough with the world of fantasy that I don’t know anything about the award nominees. But my best friend Clover called and said that she and her sister want to go to the banquet and she doesn’t want me to miss it. She asked if I would let her buy my ticket to the banquet. I swallowed my pride and said yes. How incredibly amazing is that of her???? With everything that she’s got to deal with, she wants to do that for me! I don’t know Clover’s sister yet, but I’m sure that with the 3 of us sharing a hotel room, we’ll get to know each other pretty doggone quickly. And if she’s even .001 as cool as Clover, she’ll be pretty great.

Work proceeds apace on the preparation for NaNoWriMo. The-character-formerly-known-as-Verity is no longer named Verity, but she is refusing to tell me her name. I’ve been poring over lists of Celtic, Middle English, and Anglo-Saxon names, and haven’t found just the right name yet. I wish she wouldn’t be so doggone stubborn about this, but my characters tend to be stubborn. I guess they take after their creator in that respect. I did find a phrase yesterday that might work, and it’s one I can actually see her mother saddling her with, but I’m not quite sure yet. We’ll see. Now I’m trying to figure out if my Big Bad is redeemable or not. He hasn’t told me yet. He definitely has some noble qualities, and is not doing evil for the sake of doing evil. But I don’t know yet whether he can be brought to a marriage of true minds, or whether the impediment will remain. I want to have at least a reasonable idea of how this story will play out before I start writing.

Today at work there’s a pumpkin carving/decorating contest. I have fantastic ideas. But when it comes to actual execution, I pretty much suck. I went to the Wall2Wall Mart last night, and got a foam pumpkin (I didn’t feel like dealing with the mess of a real pumpkin), some Halloween-themed finger puppets, and some crepe paper streamers. When I got back home, I covered a cookie sheet with foil, and then put some styrofoam on top of the foil and covered it with black crepe paper streamers. I drew a door and some crescent moon-shaped windows on the pumpkin, and wrote “Trick or Treat” over the door. And I taped the pumpkin onto the crepe paper-covered styrofoam. Then I got some sticks from the back yard that still had some dead leaves clinging onto them, and stuck them into the styrofoam, and strung some of that fake spider web stuff across them. And I put toothpicks into the styrofoam and put the finger puppets on top of those, to be kids trick-or-treating. It’s really cute, in an extremely lame sort of way. If I had my camera, I’d take a picture. But I don’t. So just imagine it. Cute, but lame. I haven’t seen any of the competition–my pumpkin was the only one up there when I took it over to the judging table–but we have some really creative people here. I’m not expecting to win a prize. I’m just saying.

The Weight Loss gods must love Liz and me. See, she works in Arlington and I work in Bedford. We like to meet for lunch once or twice a month, but the only places that are right in the middle are a fantastic hamburger place called Al’s (really, really great food, but not so good for the diet), a Chinese buffet (I like Chinese, but the buffets around here stink), Wendy’s, and a southern cooking place (Southern cooking, good, but not for the diet). But just last week a Subway opened up in the same strip center that Al’s is in. So today we’re going to meet at Subway for lunch. I’m happy about that. Decent food, not too expensive, and it fits in with the plan. Tomorrow’s weigh-in. It’s been a difficult week, because I’ve been feeling cruddy with this sore throat/allergy stuff, and haven’t been doing well eating-wise. So I’m expecting either no loss or a slight gain, which is cool. It’s a process. I have to keep reminding myself of that. It’s a process that will take time, but if I just keep plugging away, I’ll get where I want to be!

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Help!

Can someone who is more html-savvy than I help me with this? I changed templates because I really didn’t like my old one. I need to know how to change the color of my titles from this diarrhea-yellow color to something a little more attractive. I also need to know how to move my sidebar from the bottom of the page up to the top.

It would also be nice to figure out how to put my avatar and my blinkies on, but it’s not strictly necessary.

If some kind reader could come to my rescue, I’d be eternally grateful. That gratitude could come in the form of cookies, Godiva, books, whatever. Um, I hasten to add, within reason. Let me know. Bless you.

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Music! Music! Music!

I love music. One of the great things about getting rid of the headaches is that I’ve been able to listen to music again. I have CDs playing all day at work again. I have the radio or a CD playing in my car all the time again. I have truly missed my music.

I also love discovering new songs. Well, new to me, anyway. They’re probably not new to anyone else. I’d say, “Hey, I just heard this great new song! “Political Science,” by Randy Newman.” And they’d say, “That old thing? It’s been around forever.” And it has. Apparently I’m the only one out there who never heard it before. So I don’t get out much, and I’m woefully lame. So sue me. (Actually, don’t bother. I’m not worth the time and expense of suing. I’m just saying.)

The point is, what other fantastic songs have I missed out on? My husband thinks I’m like the music queen of the world because he hasn’t heard of a lot of the stuff that’s in our iTunes library. I hate to tell him how sheltered I truly am, despite the hundreds of CDs we own.

It’s thanks to my sister (I love you, Zard!) that I found the Dandy Warhols and Poe. How banal my life would be if I didn’t get to listen to such great songs as “Nietzsche,” “Godless,” and “Bohemian Like You” by the Dandies, or “Haunted,” “Hey Pretty,” or “Not a Virgin” by Poe.

Each time I get a new CD from Crazy Mixed-Up, I listen to it obsessively, picking out the songs that I just have to add to my new list of favorites. And I wonder how I managed to miss those songs before. That’s how I found “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces”, which has been around since 1997. And I just met it several weeks ago!

Okay. So I’m begging you—list some of your favorite songs. Tell me who performs them, what feelings they evoke in you, why you like them, whatever you think I should know about them. Give me something to seek out. Expand my horizons. Get me out of this sheltered little isolation chamber I seem to be living in, music-wise.

What will you get out of it? Karma, baby. Sweet, sweet, musical karma.

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Twilight Zone

Okay, I swear I must live in the twilight zone. I looked again before I started the last long post where I tried to rehash a little of the previous lost post, and that stuff wasn’t there!

“I’m not crazy!” she screamed, as the men in the little white coats were trying to suppress her.

“Like we’ve never heard that before,” they grunted, strapping her onto the gurney and carrying her away.

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I wrote a long post on Friday, wherein I waxed rhapsodic on the word “raucous,” talked about my love of punk rock when I’m in a foul mood, waxed rhapsodic on the word “foul,” and blathered on about I now forget what else. I hit “publish post.” It took me to the screen where it showed the progress as it was republishing my blog. It made zero progress for 15 or 20 minutes until I finally, in supreme disgust, hit the refresh button and promptly lost my post. It really pissed me off, and in revolt I refused to blog again until now.

But I really have a lot to say, so I’m going to try again. But this time I’m going to copy and save the text of my post before I hit the publish button, so that when Blogger loses my post, I will still have a copy of it.

Okay–the words first. I love words. I mean, I seriously love words. Raucous is one of my favorites. You’ve probably seen it more than once in this blog. It sounds so lovely–raw and cuss come together in a brusque joining of emotion. Raucous! raucous raucous raucous raucous. And foul–when I say I’m in a foul mood, that’s saying something. It’s light years beyond being in a bad mood. Foul. It just a wonderful word. If the day outside matched one of my foul moods, the sky would be black and it would be pouring rain, but the rain would somehow be unable to pour away the muck and mire that one simply could not avoid stepping in, muck composed of horse droppings and the contents of chamber pots that had been hurled out of second story windows, and ankle-deep thick slimy mud, and icy water. And one’s umbrella would blow inside out despite all attempts to keep it from doing so. That’s what I mean when I say I’m in a foul mood. See why the phrase “bad mood” just doesn’t work there?

Punk rock. When I’m in a foul mood, I like to listen to punk rock. It just all goes together. Gimme my punk rock, and stay out of my way. I wasn’t in a foul mood on Friday, but I still wanted to listen to punk rock. It happens sometimes. I had one of my pissed-off mix CDs at work, but my boss had borrowed it so he could listen to “Run S***head Run.” So I didn’t get to listen to the Clash on the way home. I made up for it by listening to “One Angry Dwarf and Two Hundred Solemn Faces” by Ben Folds Five. It’s not punk rock, but it’s angry and funny and I love it.

I’ll finish up, very briefly, employee appreciation day. It went well. Mostly. I’m not going to talk anymore about it. Let’s just say that I’m glad it doesn’t come again until next year, and next year I am going to very strongly push for it to be held inside.

Weight loss. I lost another 1.2 pounds, for a total of 16.2 pounds. I am not losing quickly. You might have figured that out by the fact that I’ve been doing Weight Watchers since July 1st and I’ve only lost 16.2 pounds. But hey! I’ve lost 16.2 pounds! See? It’s all in the punctuation.

What’s the slowest delayed reaction, double-take you’ve ever seen? There’s a reason I ask. On Saturday afternoon I persuaded Joe to take me out to lunch. That’s after weighing in and going to my WW meeting. It’s also after I spent two hours stripping wallpaper border. I was hungry and tired. So we went to Logan’s Roadhouse and split grilled salmon, salad, and a huge baked sweet potato. Very yummy. When we got back into the car after lunch, Joe asked if we needed to go anywhere else, and I said that I needed a pair of shoes. He said okay, and was going to take me to DSW, but I told him Payless would be fine, because I only needed a cheap pair of shoes. I directed him to the nearest Payless, and he parked, unlocked the car, and was halfway out the door. He stopped, got back in, stared at me, and said, “You need more shoes?” I can think of no other way to punctuate his question to emphasize his complete and utter shock. I lost it. I sat there and laughed as I explained to him that I did indeed need a pair of either black ballet flats or else low-heeled dressy black pumps, since the soles of my ballet flats had come off long ago. And hey, since the shoes are Buy One/Get One Half Off, it only makes sense to buy two pairs instead of just one, right? So after unsuccessfully trying to talk him into 4 pairs (I was lusting after a pair of bright red shoes with obscenely high heels), I ended up with a pair of really cute dressy black pumps with low heels and a pair of black ankle boots.

In Joe’s defense, I do have lots of shoes. Nowhere near enough, because there is NO SUCH THING as enough shoes. Or purses. But I do have a lot. Oh, and he’s going to let me get a pair of red pumps with obscenely high heels, but he wants me to get them from Newport News instead of Payless.

Liz and I took a long walk on Saturday night, and then walked a little more before going to dinner at Mimi’s. We shared, naturally, and had salad, blackened chicken, fruit, and a really tasty pumpkin muffin. We each ate a third of the muffin, and I frantically poured salt all over the remaining third of the muffin to keep myself from picking at it. I was full and didn’t need to eat anymore, but it was so good I knew I’d keep eating it. I also had a cup of French onion soup. They make such fantastic French onion soup. The meal was so good that Liz suggested we take one home to Joe, so we did.

Yesterday I spent vast amounts of time decluttering. I filled two big black trashbags full of stuff for Goodwill; a regular kitchen-sized trashbag full of clothes for Sarah, and started another one that will be full by the time I finish the laundry; got some more trash out; and in general worked until I couldn’t work anymore. Joe was pretty cooperative with my giving so much stuff to Goodwill or dumping it, and didn’t make me haul anything back out of the Goodwill pile, as he has previously been known to do.

So I think that’s all I feel the need to blather about today. Thank you for reading this far, if you did so. You may now return to your regularly scheduled lives.

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