Archive for February, 2007

My Deadly Sins

Greed: Very Low
Gluttony: Low
Wrath: Low
Sloth: Low
Envy: Very Low
Lust: Very Low
Pride: Very Low

The Seven Deadly Sins Quiz on 4degreez.com

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Okay. Well, I didn’t really like the look with the funky colors. And I wasn’t so sure I liked the black crap going down my face. And after waking up this morning with puffy and extremely tender skin beneath my eyes, after wearing that black crap for what, half an hour?, it’s obvious that I’m not going to be going with that look.

So—-back to the drawing board.

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Playing with Makeup

I look absolutely ghastly in these photos, and that honestly wasn’t the intention. I should’ve smiled. Maybe that would have helped. And my hair wasn’t styled until near the end of my playtime, so having normalish hair with seriously abnormal makeup probably didn’t help matters either.

The ones with that show my full face are too ghastly to post. I’ve got to play some more with the make-up and hair. But I’ll finish you off with a fine shot of the back of my hair after M-A and V finished playing with it.




No, I won’t. On second thought, that photo looks pretty awful as well. I’m way better-looking than you can tell from my photographs. (Or else I’m extremely delusional!) But I look at these pictures and I look so damned ugly in them that it makes me want to kick something. Do I really look that awful?

I know. You’re going to say that there’s no way to tell unless I post the photos. Well, ain’t happening. But maybe when I get new batteries for my camera, and I’m dressed and made-up normally (no stage makeup), I’ll get S. or L. or someone to take my picture. And I’ll smile. But if that picture makes me look as–I was going to say homely, but downright ugly is closer to what I feel about them–unappealing as the pictures I took tonight, trust me–no one’s going to see them!

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100 Books

I stole this from Amanda. But she seems really nice, so I highly doubt she’ll mind. Yes, I have done a few memes lately. It’s because I’m a little hyper right now, and my mind’s doing 50 things at once. Somehow this seems to help it slow down, at least for a moment or two. Yes, I have ADD; you’ve asked me that before.

OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, make the ones you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole tiny, put a + in front of the ones on your bookshelf, and put an * by the ones you’ve never heard of. (Note that the instructions I saw were to make the ones you wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole red, but I don’t know how to do that. So I made them tiny. Because I don’t want to read them anyway, I crush them beneath my feet. Much like the fear demon in the Buffy Season 4 Halloween episode.)

And, because it’s me and I can’t resist, there will be comments. Be prepared.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown). The book was better than the movie. That’s not saying much.
2. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown). I actually thought this one was better than Da Vinci Code.
3. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen). What’s not to love about this one? I’ve read it many times.
4. +To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee). Another one I’ve read many times. I wanted to be Scout when I was younger. I think I wanted Atticus for my father, but I’m happy with my own dads.
5. +Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell). I’ll never forget the first time I read this book. I think I was 11 or 12, and was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office when I finally finished it. I closed the book and said something to the effect that there would never be another book that good. Hey! I was young then, okay? Gimme a break! It is a good book, but I loathe most of the characters in it, so I don’t read it very often anymore.
6. +The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien). This is where I decided I didn’t want to read LOTR anymore. And frankly, had it not been for Peter Jackson, I’m not sure I’d have managed to wade my way through the first two LOTR books!
8. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
9. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
10. +Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery). Another person I wanted to be while I was growing up. I never had any doubt as to her existence.
11. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
12. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
13. + Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling). I’ve read these books more than any other book on this list save one. Keep reading if you want to know which!
14. + Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
15. + Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
16. + Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
17. + Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
18. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
19. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
20. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
21. The Stand (Stephen King)
22. +Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). This is the one. I could not even begin to tell you how many times I’ve read this book. It’s the book that I may go months without reading, but if I wake up at 2:30 a.m. and want it, I have to have it right then. I love this book.
23. +The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
24. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
25. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
26. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
27. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
28. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). Not nearly as good as Jane Eyre. But good.
29. +The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
30. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
31. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
32. Dune (Frank Herbert) Did you see that awful feature film they made, seems like it was in the 80s or early 90s? Yecch.
33. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
34. +1984 (James Orwell). Magnus Frater Te Spectat!
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. * The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. Ulysses (James Joyce). I tried to read this once or twice, but got bored.
41. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
42. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
43. *The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
44. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
45. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
46. + Bible
47. +Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy). I read a few pages, but again, got bored.
48. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
49. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
50. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
51. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
52. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
53. +A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
54. +Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) I prefer Dickens’ shorter novels.
55. +Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
56. +The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) When I was in 10th grade, I fell in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read everything he wrote. I even had a pair of statues I named Scott and Zelda. I hung on to them long after my passion for Fitzgerald had waned, but eventually gave them to a roommate who really liked them. I really liked her, and by then it caused me no pain to give them up.
57. * The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. +Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. +Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
63. +The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
64. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy). I think I read about two pages of this one. Got bored. I’m sure it’s a masterful book, but I’m no longer in university and no longer feel the need to read a book just because I “should,” even if I did major in English!
65. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
66. * Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
67. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
68. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brasheares)
69. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
70. +Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). I still can’t believe I read the unabridged version of this when I was 12! It’s a fantastic story, but yikes, the man blathered on for pages and pages and pages and pages and pages about things that didn’t progress the story. And people complain about J.K. Rowling needing to tighten things up. Puh-leeze!
71. +The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). I’ve read this in English and French. This is a fantastic book.
72. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Helen Fielding). One of my few forays into the field of chick-lit. I’m not a huge fan of the genre.
73. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
74. Shogun (James Clavell)
75. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
76. + The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett). I’ve read this one many, many times. I wanted to be Mary and help the garden wake up.
77. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
78. +A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith). Another one I’ve read many times. It has such beauty and pathos and strong, strong women.
79. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
80. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
81. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
82. * Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
83. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
84. +Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier). My nomination for the best opening sentence ever: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
85. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
86. +Emma (Jane Austen). I love Emma. Love it, love it, love it.
87. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
88. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
89. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
90. * Blindness (Jose Saramago)
91. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
92. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
93. +Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
94. +The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
95. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
96. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
97. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
98. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
99. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
100. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

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A Voice

jDo any of these names sound familiar to you?

Gloria Rivas . . . Juana Sandoval Reyna . . . Esmeralda Juarez Alarcon . . . Violeta Barrios . . . Alma Chavira Farel . . . Elizabeth Castro Garcia . . . Rosario Garcia Leal . . . Rocio Barrazza Gallegos . . . Rosalina Veloz Vasquez . . . Maria Acosta . . . Claudia Gonzales . . . Esmerelda Herrera . . . Guadalupe Luna . . . Barbara Martinez . . . Laura Ramos Monarrez . . . Mayra Reyes Solis . . . Veronica Martinez . . . Silvia Arce . . . Griselda Mares . . . Elizabeth Gomez . . . Laura Inere . . . Lilia Garcia

Twenty-two women. Girls, some of them, barely into young womanhood.

Twenty-two lives cut short in a horrifyingly brutal way.

Twenty-two voices silenced.

Twenty-two people out of the hundreds murdered. Twenty-two people out of a vastly larger number of missing people.

I found those twenty-two names in mere minutes of searching. What will I have found after I have spent hours searching? More names. More faces. More sorrow. More heartbreak.

First come the tears. Then the anger. Then determination.

I am determined to give a voice to some of these women. I appreciate MoMentuM for letting me be a part of its Women of Juarez project.

If you want to learn more about the femicides that have been taking place in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City, you can start by exploring some of the links I’ve posted to the left.

Whatever you do, don’t just look away.

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Character Meme

I stole this from Erin. She didn’t tag me or anything, because our meeting was done through comments in Sarah’s blog. But I like her Character Meme. I will state categorically, however, that trying to pick just one is almost impossible. I will do my best. But if I have to pick two, that’s just the way it is. Okey-dokey? Now that we’ve got that established, on to the meme:

Character you’d most like to have over for tea? Jane Rochester, nee Eyre, I think. I’d love to have a nice long tete-a-tete with her, see if Mr. Rochester is really as pompous as he comes across at times (“Young lady, I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight.”). I’d like to see if she’s still happy with the choices and decisions she made in life. And, while most definitely NOT at the same tea, I’d also like to have tea with Bertha Mason one day. Preferably before she went completely off the deep end. It would be interesting to compare notes, you know?

Character you’d most like to have as a sibling? Mr. Darcy. I think it would be nice to have an intelligent, protective older brother to look out for me. And if he were my brother, then I would have Elizabeth Bennett for a sister. See? “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.”

Character you’d most like to be friends with? You won’t know her, because I think only one or two people have bought the book. But her name is Celia Pryce, and she’s a major character in The Treehouse, a book my sister and I wrote together. Celia was originally supposed to be a not-very-nice girl. But she actually is extremely nice, and extremely cool, and just exactly the sort of person you’d want to be friends with if you’re into books and drama, and into not fitting in. Not fitting in has been my theme through much of my life, so it was really fun to help create this person who, on the surface, fits in beautifully, but who really feels as much a misfit in her life as the rest of us tend to do. I know it may seem a little vain to pick one of my own characters, but I don’t care. One of the best bits of writing I’ve ever done was for Celia, and she’s very dear to my heart.

Character you’d most like to have as a cousin? Fred and George Weasley. It’s been fascinating to watch them grow and develop. They started off wise-cracking funny guys, with a tinge of mean-spiritedness. They are still wise-cracking funny guys, but they’ve carved out a really respectable niche in the jokes industry, as well as providing a very valuable array of support equipment for the good guys. They’d be fun to hang around with from time to time, most definitely.

Character you’d most like to have an adventure with? Charles Wallace Murry. He has good adventures. And he is another character who just gets more and more interesting as he grows up. I particularly enjoyed him in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

Favorite quirky character? I’m with Erin. Luna Lovegood. She is either wholly unaware or serenely indifferent to what everyone around her thinks of her. I personally think it’s the latter, and admire her indifference. It’s something I could never have done as a teenager, and am only now beginning to learn. She has shown herself to be exceptionally quick-witted and a true friend. I was very touched at the end of Half-Blood Prince to learn that she and Neville were the only members of the DADA to show up when called, because they were the ones presumably to whom it had meant the most, and were therefore the ones who would have been paying attention to their fake galleon that Hermione charmed. And now that I’ve mentioned Neville Longbottom, I have to add that he is one of my very favorite characters in the Potterverse. I’ve been delighted to see him bloom so beautifully, and continue to look to greatness from him. I’m firmly convinced he will one day be head of Gryffindor House!

Favorite love-to-hate character? Y’know, I think I’m going to have to go with Erin on this one as well, and select the former Hogwarts High Inquisitor, Dolores Jane Umbridge.

Favorite bad guy? Right now it’s Reason’s grandfather, whatever his real name may be, from Justine Larbalestier’s Magic or Madness series. He seems to be thoroughly Iago-like, in that I have not yet seen any reedeming features in him. I assume that, at one point, he must have had some. But his greed for magic and survival has at least hidden those thoroughly beneath the surface, if indeed they are still there at all.

And I’ll add one more category of my own:

Character to whom you’ve most often been compared? And this, my friends, is Hermione Granger. My husband, when Hermione groaned at the announcement that end-of-year exams were canceled at the end of the second movie, said, “That’d be you.” Huh! Shows how well he knows me! I’ve been known to carelessly walk into the crosswalk at the university and with a defiant eye just dare someone to run over me, when it was time for finals. Okay, this teeny little part of me loves taking exams. So I guess the comparison is somewhat justifiable.

TAGGING TIME: I tag Izzybella and Chicory. And, of course, anyone else who feels like doing it. (And you should, because it’s fun!)

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(Before I write this, please note that I feel like a kid in school being asked to write an essay on what she did over the weekend. But I haven’t been asked. I’m thrusting this on anyone who happens to be here reading. And I want to write it. But still. My Weekend?)

Friday night was pretty lame. It involved a quick trip to Subway for a tuna sandwich, the remote control, and my bed. Once the sandwich was disposed of, I turned on a movie I’d never seen before (and how have I gone this long without watching A Nightmare Before Christmas?). I fell asleep right after it was over, but woke up a little while later with a toothache. (Reminder to self: Call dentist, make appointment.) So I sleepily watched an hour of Pop-Up Video before putting in a Harry Potter movie and going back to sleep. For good that time, fortunately, because I was really really tired.

Saturday morning at weigh-in went pretty much as I’d figured. I was up .6 pound. I was NOT happy about it. But I went ahead with my plan to switch back to the flex plan on Sunday. Logically I can tell myself all I want to that I know that could be due to muscle gain or water retention, but I still want to lose pounds as well. If I were 60-70 pounds less than I am now, I could deal better, I think, with the scale not changing while my body still is. But when I’m still a good 80 pounds over my optimum weight, no matter how much my body is changing, I still have a fixed belief that the scale should change as well.

Joe and I went grocery shopping, and then he took me to brunch. But before we went to brunch, I had to change clothes. You see, my rocker husband wanted me to match him. So instead of my cute bright lime Tommy tee-shirt and my sneakers, I put on my New York tee shirt, a black jacket, plenty of black and silver jewelry, and my new black pinstripe sneakers. I admit I looked great. (Oh, yes, it’s hard to be humble….)

And we stopped at Borders afterwards, and I bought a new book. Making Faces, by Kevyn Aucoin. I have to just stop right here and say, I heart Kevyn Aucoin. I’ve been wearing my makeup the same way for 15 years or more, with only slight variations, because I didn’t know what to do differently. M-A has this book, and I was looking through it at rehearsal last week trying to get some ideas for makeup for the play. Well, I read it cover to cover this weekend, tried a few things out, and I look great today! I intend to go buy the rest of his books. It is just incredible what he can do for a face, with just a few items of makeup.

And S. and Izzybella and I had our girls’ afternoon out. It was somewhat abbreviated for Izzybella, poor kid–she works box office part-time for a theatre in Arlington. The play was sold out; the show started late; and there were, as there always are, computer problems. So she couldn’t join us until about 4. S. and I went to Ross and got lucky there–I found a fantastic red shirt with a huge black dragon on front. It’s great, and may end up getting worn in the play instead of the New York tee. Our late lunch was fun, and, according to Princess S., calorie free.

That evening I went out and dropped some money on makeup and got Joe’s birthday present (finally). And then went back home and read.

Sunday was spent mostly doing housework and some reading. I reread Wide Sargasso Sea. It’s a good book–not quite the earth-shattering novel I considered it to be when I first discovered it 14 years ago, but it’s good.

And, natch, I watched the Oscars. I like Ellen, and thought she did a nice job.

And that, friends, was my glorious weekend! It probably sounds really tame and boring, but I enjoyed it.

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I watched the Academy Awards last night, like a whole lot of other people. Wow–beautiful dresses! I think my favorite was Helen Mirren’s dress, but all that I saw were absolutely lovely.

And then I went to sleep. The whole have-to-get-up-and-go-to-work-in-the-morning thing. You know.

Then I had a dream. I don’t remember what it was. But I do remember that immediately at the end of that dream, I was standing on the stage accepting an Academy Award for my role in that dream.

Then I had another dream. And accepted an Academy Award for my role in that dream. This pattern repeated itself throughout the night.

In my last dream I played two roles, and was nominated for both roles. And I won. For both.

It was a highly amusing night. I woke up laughing at the absurdity of it all a few times, but immediately went back to sleep each time, and immediately had another dream for which I won an Academy Award.

Now what I want to know is, why did I win Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Dream? Why did I not win any awards for Best Dreamwriter? Because I wrote all those dreams as well as played the protagonist in them all. And some of them were damn complicated.

I’m just sayin’.

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Stolen from Izzybella, who stole it from Spin_Doc, who stole it from Chesney Girl. Chicory stole it somewhere along the way as well.

  1. Are your parents married or divorced? They’re divorced, and then remarried. They’re both much better suited with their current spouses, although I’m glad they stayed married long enough to produce their kids.
  2. Are you a vegetarian? No. But that reminds me of a great quotation I read somewhere: “I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals. I’m a vegetarian because I hate vegetables.” teehee
  3. Do you believe in Heaven? I do, although not in the white clouds and wings and harps version.
  4. Have you ever come close to dying? Well, if you consider that every time you go under anesthesia for sugery as close to dying, yes. Several times. Otherwise, no.
  5. What jewelry do you wear 24/7? None, because the thought of wearing anything 24/7 makes me feel claustrophobic. Last night when I got home I was too tired to take off my wedding rings and watch, and at some point during the night I woke up, took them off, and kept them in my bed. When I woke up in the morning, I had a wedding-wings-and-watch shaped indentation in my hip from laying on them. But I do love jewelry, and wear my wedding rings and watch almost every day. I also wear whatever jewelry complements my outfit. Like today, for instance, my right earring is shaped like a black guitar, and my left earring is shaped like a white guitar pick and has the word “Rebel” written on it.
  6. Favorite time of day? 3:45, when I realize I’m about to get off work.
  7. Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Yes. They’re a lot more tender if you peel them before you cook them, but who has time for that?
  8. Do you wear makeup? Yes. If I happen to get up in time to put it on before I leave for work.
  9. Ever have plastic surgery? Yes. I had a breast reduction done in 2001. Went from a DDD down to a C. My back feels much better, thank you. My boobs look much better as well, now that they don’t hang down to my knees.
  10. If you did have plastic surgery, what would you do? I’m planning to have some–for lack of a better phrase here–rough edges from the breast reduction fixed, and would like to have another lift at the same time. And as I’m losing weight, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that I want something done to my chin. I don’t know how to describe it, though.
  11. What do you wear to bed? My undies. If it’s cold I might wear some sweats or my yoga pants and a tee shirt. Or if I’m really tired, I’ll wear whatever I had one when I fell asleep, which could be jeans and a tee-shirt.
  12. Have you ever done anything illegal? Yes, but it was a long time ago.
  13. Can you roll your tongue? Yes, and it’s only been fairly recently that I learned not everyone could.
  14. Do you tweeze your eyebrows? No, that’s why hot wax and stylists were invented.
  15. What kind of sneakers? I don’t know. They are comfortable and I can run in them. Oh, and I bought a cute pair today for the show that are low tops, black with pinstripes, and have white rubber toes. Most excellently cute.
  16. Do you believe in abortions? I believe that they are performed, yes I do. But I’m being a smartaleck, because I know that’s not how the question is intended. It’s not a decision I would have ever made for myself. That’s all I intend to say about the matter here.
  17. What is your hair color? If you’re asking about my natural hair color, I haven’t seen it in so long, I have no idea. It used to be dark brown. It’s probably dark brown with quite a bit of silver in it now. But now it’s a lovely warm medium brownish red. Thank you, L’Oreal.
  18. Future child’s name? There are no future children, unless you count the two who are waiting for me in Heaven (see #3, above). Their names are Tadeusz Hayden (nicknamed Tad) and Elinor Catherine (nicknamed Ellie).
  19. Do you snore? Heck yeah! I also grind my teeth and breathe heavily.
  20. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Everywhere in the world. I want to see everything.
  21. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Well, Molly does sometimes crawl into bed with me right after she’s eaten, so I guess I could say yes. Occasionally.
  22. If you won the lottery, what would you do first? Faint. Once I came to, I’d have one helluva shopping spree! In New York City. One that would involve multiple nights’ stays. Which would mean multiple nights spent watching Broadway plays.
  23. Gold or silver? Gold.
  24. Hamburger or hot dog? Hamburger. If it’s a home-grilled one, it should have a slice of cheddar cheese, some crisp lettuce, a slice of juicy vine-ripened tomato, three bread & butter pickle slices, a thin slice of purple onion, and some mustard.
  25. Only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Can I pick soup-and-salad bar? Does that count?
  26. City, beach or country? City, please. But I wouldn’t mind if there were a beach nearby.
  27. What was the last thing you touched? My water bottle.
  28. Where did you eat last? At my desk.
  29. When’s the last time you cried? This morning.
  30. Do you read blogs? Yes, I do. Linky goodness to the right.
  31. Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex? No, I don’t really see any purpose to doing so. I’m a woman, and quite happy to be so.
  32. Ever been involved with the police? Yep. I helped put a flasher behind bars when I was 12 or 13. And there’s the whole thing about my mother used to be a police officer.
  33. What’s your favorite shampoo, conditioner, and soap? I use Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner. And I heart Dove soap.
  34. Do you talk in your sleep? Yes, I do, but it’s never intelligible, contrary to what Izzybella once persuaded me.
  35. Ocean or pool? Depends on what I’m in the mood for. Normally ocean.
  36. Sauna or whirlpool? Whirlpool. Might I remind you that I live in Texas? If I want a sauna, all I have to do is walk outside, at least during 6-8 months of the year.
  37. Starbucks or Krispy Kreme? Starbucks. When it’s cold or cool, I like the sugar-free, fat-free vanilla or toffee nut steamers. When it’s hot, I like the vanilla bean or strawberry frappuccinos. I also really like green tea.
  38. Window seat or aisle? Depends. If I’m going somewhere I’ve never been, I might like a window seat. If I’m going home, I like the aisle. If I’m going to see my Mom, definitely aisle. That three seconds makes a big difference.
  39. Ever met anyone famous? Yes, I have. Why, just last November I met Elizabeth Moon, Charles de Lint, Sarah Beth Durst (she may not be famous just yet, but she will be!), JoAnne Whittemore (ditto), Tiffany Trent (ditto), Eric Flint, and Carole Nelson Douglas, among others.
  40. Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life? According to my personal definition of success, I have. I hope to continue the pattern. I have been knocked down, and I have gotten back up every damn time. I have aimed high, and continue to do so. I have written and continue to write. I wanted to act, and am in my first play. I have good friends. I’m happy. I’m involved in causes that are important to me. Yeah, I would say that I’m successful.
  41. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? I twirl it. I have an Italian sister-in-law.
  42. Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey? Ugh.
  43. Basketball or Football? Well, if you’re going to tie me down and force me to watch one or the other, I suppose I’d rather watch basketball.
  44. How long do your showers last? Depends. If it’s winter and I’m in my house, about 5 minutes. That’s as long as the hot water lasts, until the tank’s had a chance to get heated back up again. If it’s summer, as long as I want, unless I’m late for work.
  45. Automatic or do you drive a stick? I love to drive a stick; however, when I was working for CPS, all the driving I did messed up my clutch knee. So now I find it easier to drive an automatic.
  46. Cake or ice cream? Why does there have to be an “or” here? Okay, okay, cake.
  47. Are you self-conscious? I’m learning not to be. Just for example, five minutes ago during my break I was so stiff that I was stretching in the breakroom, and even did Downward Dog. I will confess to being glad no one came into the breakroom while I was doing Downward Dog, but I still did it.
  48. Have you ever drank so much you threw up? Not since I was fifteen. That was so unpleasant I never repeated it.
  49. Have you ever given money to a beggar? Yes, I have, but I prefer to give food.
  50. Have you been in love? Yes, and still am, even though there are days when I feel like I hate him almost as much as I love him.
  51. Where do you wish you were? Right now? Honestly, I wish I were at home asleep. I’m so tired that I’m running on sheer adrenaline.
  52. Are you wearing socks? Yes, but they’re dirty. I couldn’t find any socks this morning because I was so tired when I woke up that I was crying, and I cried because I gained weight, and I cried because I only had 5 minutes of hot water in my shower this morning, and I cried because I was running late for work. So I put my shoes on my bare feet because I knew I had a dirty pair of socks in my trunk (don’t ask) and when I got to work I took my shoes off, put the dirty socks on, and put my shoes back on. But they’re not TOO dirty. Well, they are now, because I’ve been wearing them all day, but they weren’t too dirty when I first put them on. Only a little dirty. They didn’t stink or anything.
  53. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance. Yes. Several times. When I was younger our family was in an accident when we were returning home after an Atlanta Braves double-header. Another time I was in an accident when a pizza delivery guy ran a very stale red light and slammed into our pick-up. Another time I thought I was having a heart attack (I wasn’t, knock wood), but it was very unpleasant. Is that all? I think so. I don’t like riding in ambulances. Not fun.
  54. Can you tango? Nope. But I can merengue, and cha-cha, and salsa.
  55. Last gift you received? I assume you’re not counting gifts I buy for myself, right? Oh, I know what it was! Joe went to a Cheap Trick concert, and he brought me two picks that the lead guitar player threw out to the audience. He thought I could make them into earrings. I will, just haven’t yet.
  56. Last sport you played? Water polo, 12th grade, 1981.
  57. Things you spend a lot of money on? Books. Perfume. Clothes. Shoes.
  58. Where do you live? North Texas, near Fort Worth.
  59. Where were you born? Lone Star, Texas!
  60. Last wedding attended? It was the wedding of one of my husband’s godsons, in Pennsylvania.
  61. Am I the only person to notice that there is no question #61? So technically this is 68 things about me not 69 things about me. Unless you want to count that I’m pedantic as the 69th thing about me.
  62. Favorite position? I like to take the high road. You can take the low road, or you can take the high road. It’s kind of like how I tell you to feel free, or feel expensive, whichever you prefer.
  63. Most hated food(s)? Okra. Slimy, nasty stuff. Unless it’s deep-fried. Um, I know there are other foods I don’t like, but really, I’m pretty easy-going.
  64. Most hated soda pop? I don’t drink soda pop.
  65. Can you sing? Of course I can. I sing a lot. I sing loudly. This question probably means, “Can you sing well?” In which case the answer would be no.
  66. Last person you instant messaged? I don’t instant message.
  67. Last place you went on holiday? Austin, Texas.
  68. Favorite regular drink? Propel water. Peach flavor, although every flavor is good.
  69. Current Song? If this question is referring to my favorite current song, that’s just not possible to answer. That’s like asking my favorite current book, or my favorite Buffy quotation, or my favorite Chaucer story. Well, not quite like my favorite Chaucer story, because that’s an easy answer: The Miller’s Tale. But I can give you a few choices (note that the word “current” is relative): Painting by Chagall (The Weepies); Bohemian Like You (Dandy Warhols); My Own Worst Enemy (Lit); Nice Guys Finish Last (Green Day); Run, S***head, Run (Mudhoney), Song for the Dumped (Ben Folds Five), and I guess I’ll finish off with a decidedly uncurrent song that’s my theme song, Break My Stride (Matthew Wilder).

And now you know a little more about me than you did before, and possibly even more than you wanted to know. My sister, not without cause, refers to me as “The Queen of TMI.”

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Every muscle in my body aches. You think I’m exaggerating, doncha? Well, check this out.

Hamstrings? ache. Gluts? ache. Gluteus maximus? aches. Trapezoids? ache. Deltoids? ache. Abs? ache. Other miscellaneous muscles that I can’t identify because I didn’t take anatomy? They ache.

When I say every muscle, believe me, I do mean every muscle. Honestly–I didn’t know my butt cheeks could ache like this.

And when I say ache, believe me, I do mean ache. Let’s just say that while the copier was running, I plopped myself down shamelessly on the floor in the copier room to do some stretches. Helped. For a few minutes, at least. While I was passing out copies, I was able to walk with a degree of flexibility. Of course, now I’m sitting down again, so the stiffness will recur. So at any given moment, anyone could walk into my office today and find me back on the floor doing stretches.

So I shed a few tears this morning when I got on the scale and found that it was up .6 pound. Logically I know that (a) I’ve been stressed; and (b) muscle weighs more than fat. And I’ve been building muscle. I have been doing a titch of stress eating, but even with that it hasn’t been that bad. Probably if I hadn’t been doing the degree of activity I’ve been doing, I’d be losing. So when I go for my official WW weigh-in tomorrow morning, it may show a gain. But THE SCALE LIES!! because all the scale measures is pounds avoirdupois. It doesn’t measure my fat lost. It doesn’t measure my muscle tone gained. It doesn’t measure my blood pressure (117/70, thank you very much). It doesn’t measure the improvement in my lipids panel (I’m going for a physical next Friday, so I’ll have those results shortly). So I’ve got to quit attaching so much importance to the scale.

When I took my shower this morning I was admiring the increased muscle definition in my calves. I’ve got damn good legs, even if they are far fatter than I want them to be. Damn good legs. I’m just sayin’.

So I have my costume almost entirely figured out for the play. I’m going to wear my black and silver and white New York tee (it shows the NYC skyline pre 9/11, so the Twin Towers are proudly standing erect over my left breast) over a black skirt. The skirt is almost ankle-length, two layers of sheer fabric, but it’s very easy to move in. I’ll wear footless tights, probably, and they may be black or they may be fuschia or they may be lime green or they may be purple. I don’t know yet. And I’m not sure what will be on my feet. Maybe I’ll be barefoot. Maybe I’ll wear ballet shoes. Maybe I’ll wear high-top purple Converse. I dunno yet. And I’m going to wear hot pink panties. No one will see them, obviously, but I’ll know they’re there. And that’s what’s important. My hair will have lots of rainbow colors painted on the ends. And the makeup will be most excellently cool.

We’re having a makeup rehearsal on Tuesday night, and we’re taking the first batch of photos on Sunday 3/4. If I can, I’ll post something here so you can see how cool (freaky) I look. ‘K?

All right. What else can I rattle on about? I seem destined to throw people on their asses during rehearsal. On Wednesday night, during a game of musical chairs, I was so caught up in what I was doing that I pulled the chair out from under someone and she fell, quite hard, on her ass. Then last night someone else was spinning me around with a yoga strap, and I accidentally let go, and she landed on her ass. So I’m just wondering who I’m going to get next week.

It’s also really cool to realize that words don’t have to mean what they say. I’m a certifiable verbivore, so for me, that’s saying something. Last night, in light of the horrible day I had, I did lose it at one point during rehearsal. But I had a 3-person blanket of love, and the words they were saying (“no bath water”) really meant all kinds of different things. They meant, “We love you,” “You can do it,” “It’s going to be all right,” “Breathe,” and more things like that. I felt, and feel, very loved and accepted. I like feeling that way.

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