Thursday, April 30, 2009

weekly writing assignment

So I decided to hop back on the MamaKat bandwagon this week, because there was such a great email fiasco at work today, I just had to share.

We have 5 shared computer stations at work, where you have to log-on and off. Every so often, somebody forgets to log off and leaves their account open. Which isn't really a big deal, since there isn't any classified info on the computer or anything -- just staff schedules, patient schedules, email, stuff like that. What makes it a big deal is that if you leave your account open, you leave yourself open for email pranks.

For instance, once everyone in the department got an email from "Doug" saying that he had decided he is the most important person at work and he wants a heated parking space next to the door and a $10,000 a year raise immediately. Somebody else invited everyone to a book club at her house, this month's selection "The Kama Sutra". You get the picture.

Anyway, we all got a real email from the infection control coordinator today with an update on the swine flu and just general info about hand washing and universal precautions and all that.

Later, at lunch, I was complaining about the heating/cooling system at work. It's always on automatic which means that cool air blows out of the vents until the temperature gets too cold and then it switches over to hot air blowing out of the vents until it gets too hot and then cold air blows out of the vents and on and on.

"Why can't we just have NO air blowing out of anywhere?" I asked. "Today, it'd be a perfect 67-74 degrees if the system just broke down and we just, say, turned on a fan!" I had spent the entire morning putting on a sweater and taking off the sweater and putting on the sweater and taking off the sweater... "I feel like I'm going through menopause or something, here!"

"Uh-oh" Doug said "Do you have the cold sweats? "

"yes, I do"

"Are you lethargic and cranky?"

"More so than usual, yes."

"I think you may have the swine flu. You should go home immediately and quarantine yourself"

Then, apparently, Kim left her account open.

That afternoon, everyone in the department learned that "Uh-oh, Heather has the swine flu"

And even later, we got an email reprimand from the hospital director to "please refrain from sending jokes through facility emails, especially jokes of a sensitive nature."

I'm going to quarantine myself now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

tuesday's bad dates

After starting the Tuesday's Bad Dates, I learned a lot about myself. First, I learned that I'm really bad at dating. Secondly, I learned that I have knack for stringing people along for weeks on end before ending to a story. This week will be no different.

Because this week, I am not posting a bad date story. Instead, I am going to tell you about somebody who I'm sure would not be a bad date. Elizabeth, AKA The Evil Overlord is the brainchild behind New England Bloggers (see the button on the right). She is also the brainchild behind:

May Day Giveaway

Several other Yankees like me are participating as well:
Art from the Heart - Catherine in ME
Basia-Spirit Space - Barbara in MA
The Book Kitten - Kitten in CT
Fabric 'N Fiber Fanatic - Sara in NH
Life, as it is... - Tara in MA
Living the Local Life - Virginia in NH
Loving Mom 2 Boys - Liz in RI
My Secret Garden - Sue in MA
Penny's Art Room - Penny in ME
Penny-Wise People - Colleen in NH
Raise Your Hand If... - Carol in MA
Seriously, No Seriously - Michelle
Thoughts from an Evil Overlord - Elizabeth in MA

So what does this have to do with bad dates? Well, I gathered together several dating/relationship advice type books that are currently residing on my bookshelves and put them together in the Tuesday's Bad Dates Giveaway Package! Clearly, this stuff is doing me absolutely no good whatsoever. But they may help somebody out there!

The Tuesday Bad Dates Package:
2 books: 1) FIRST IMPRESSIONS: What You Don't Know About How Others See You
2) THE PROBLEM WITH WOMEN...IS MEN (signed by the author)

2) CHRIS MANN sampler CD (saw this cutie at BlissDom. I'd like to date him)
3) THRIVING IVORY: angels on the moon (also a BlissDom swag)

1 Pack of inspirational cards: FIFTY-TWO WAYS TO FIND YOUR TRUE LOVE CARDS

And I'll wrap it all up pretty with some Hershey's hugs and kisses!

To Enter, just leave me a comment.
Another addtional entry if you follow or sign up to follow me.
Yet another entry if you post or link back here.
And that's just about every idea I could steal from other people out there since I'm kind of tech-deficient.

Good luck! And check out the previous bad dates on the right!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lacey's Give Away

Forgot to mention....Lacey, who is one of the cutest and most creative gals out there, is having a fun give away on her blog. Check it out! You won't be sorry.

binge and purge

The ol' decluttering process is actually starting to show, and not just on the inside of the cabinets and drawers. A couple areas (the kitchen and the bathroom) are actually just about where I want them to be, where I just have to work on maintaining, rather than continuing to purge. The office area and the bedroom still have a ways to go. (You can tell where I let the "projects" accummulate) I've been thinking of skipping the tidy areas and focusing on the not-so-tidy areas in the weeks to come, but then I thought...I should give em one more run through. I'm sure if I forced myself to, I could come up with seven more things I could get rid of from those areas.

But this week wasn't about the kitchen or the bathroom. It was about the living room, which has some project accummulation, but is getting neater by the day.

April 20: Under the coffee table I have some baskets where I keep papers I may need at a later date. I had some job fliers I got in the mail in case I wanted to get a part time job for my Fridays off. I don't. recycle

April 21: Same basket, I had some catalogs from local community colleges. I've taken some classes in the past. But I don't need to catalogs from the past. recycle

APril 22: Happy Earth Day! I pulled out a few more magazines from the magazine basket and brought them to work.

April 23: OK, on to the piles on the coffee table: I went through the work pile and brought the student manual back to work, finished up some forms to bring back to work, and completed the expense forms for a course and brought THAT in to work, too.

April 24: I finished a book I had been reading that my Mom lent to me. Returned it to her today.

April 25: The THIRD basket in the living room area has DVDs and videos. Mainly exercise videos. But since I mainly bike, run, and swim for exercie now, I don't use them much. But I have friends who exercise at home. I forced myself to pull out three exercise videos or DVDs to give away to friends who will use them.

April 26: Laudry Day! I put a pair of pajama boxer short bottoms into the donation bag.

Next week is boxes and bins week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One good weekend follows another

As we come to the end of a beautiful weekend, I am once again amazed at the absence of a spring in these parts. A few days of spring like weather and then BAM its summer. (although in fairness, I'm pretty sure the temps will plummet once more. Its still only April)

As I look ahead to next weekend, I'm hoping to be just as amazed this time next week. Next Saturday, J and I are going to see the Dalia Lama speak!

The strange part? He'll be speaking in a football stadium. While I see the need to secure a large venue to accommodate as many people as possible, a football stadium just seemed like an odd choice.

Not so to J. "We'll tailgate!" she said.

So this week, my job is to whip up some delicious vegetarian tailgate nosh (c'mon, sausage sandwiches and hot dogs is hardly appropriate when a Buddist monk is speaking). And J? Is mixing up a batch of saffron face paint and crafting giant foam "Om Hands".

We're hoping to get three times around the stadium when we start the "meditation wave"

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Ian saga continues

The peeper frogs are making a racket in the pond across the street and the wild turkeys are spreading their plumage every chance they get. It's spring and mating season is in full swing. Mating season for frogs and turkeys? Quite apropos, I guess as two days late I venture back into Tuesday's bad dates.

When we left off, Ian was pestering me at a seminar that I was attending with some college friends. At the end of day one, we all reconvened and decided to go to dinner at a nearby restaurant. In addition to the 3 friends I was with, we had accumulated 2 more college buddies, and -- of course --Ian. We hemmed and hawed for a while about the driving accommodations and finally, I ended up in the rental car with Ian, en route to the restaurant.

"So" he said, "Do you like Vince Gill?"

"No," I said, "I'm not really into country music."

"I just got his new CD. Have you heard it?"

"I haven't"

"It's fantastic. You'll love it. Do you want to hear it?"

"Um, yeah, I guess so." I said. I wasn't sure why he believed I would love it.

So Ian popped in the CD and proceeded to glance over at me like a salivating puppy all the way to the restaurant. "What d'ya think?"

"It's ... good, I guess, if you like Vince Gill. It's really Vince Gill-ish"

"I could burn you a copy if you want."

"No, that's ok. I'm good."

"It's no problem, really. Just give me your address and I'll sent you a CD."

"No," I said. "Thanks, but I really don't want a copy of the Vince Gill CD."

"Let me know if you change your mind. And give me your home address."

Once inside the restaurant, we had a little wait. So the 7 of us were hanging around by the door and Ian demonstrated another of his non-talents: dancing.

The restaurant was a family owned Italian place. Reasonably priced, fantastic food, and kind of a kitchy interior -- like a brave attempt at an Italian village. And on the speakers, they had folksy Italian music playing at all times. To which, Ian proceeded to dance some kind of freakish, bouncy, undulating step. With his fanny pack bouncing in time right along with it. For 15 minutes he danced away, smiling his goofy smile and embarrassing the crap out the other 6.

Let me say that dancing like a moron is not necessarily a deal breaker for me. If the right person were dancing like an idiot in a nice restaurant, I may actually think it was funny or charming. But imperative to my enchantment with idiot-dancing is the dancer knowing it's a joke. Ian was completely serious. He even offered to teach me how to dance. We were all pretty relieved when the hostess seated us.

During dinner, Ian went from annoying into inappropriate.

"Oh, I bet you had some really crazy, drunken nights here, picking up all the guys" he said.

"Ian, this is a nice restaurant, not a dive. This is where we'd go when somebody's parents came to town and took us out to eat. Or people went for an anniversary date or something. We ate here after graduation."

"Oh, right" he said, pantomiming an exaggerated wink. "I'm sure you NEVER got drunk and had one night stands with all the guys"


Our two guy friends rode back in the rental care with Ian.

Day two of the conference Ian apologized for his behavior at dinner. He wasn't inappropriate on day two. He just talked like Yoda all day.

Again, let me point out that Yoda talk isn't necessarily a deal breaker. I'll bet Kevin Smith talks like Yoda all the time and I'd LOVE hanging out with Kevin Smith all day. But here's the difference: I'm pretty sure Kevin Smith would stop the Yoda talk after it was no longer funny.

Day three I remember as the day of inane questions.

"Are you a fan of fish?" he asked.

"Fish? Do you mean as a food? Or a pet? Or the band?"

"There's a band called Fish? You're joking." he said.

"Phish, with a P-H. They don't tour anymore" I said.

"Well, I'll be."

Then...."Have you heard of Guinness?"

"The beer?"

"Yeah, the beer. Have you ever had one?"

"Yeah. I love Guinness" I said.

"I had my first one last night. I don't believe that you drink Guinness."


He told me about a race track near his house where for $500, you could drive race cars around the track. Like in Nascar. "Wouldn't you just love to do that?" he asked.

"You know," I said, "I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather spend $500 on."

"Oh, you know you'd love it." he said "Just admit it."

And finally..."Do you like fresh water fishing?"

"I've only been salt water fishing" I said. "I could take it or leave it. I just like being on the ocean."

"You should come down to Texas. We could go out on my boat and go fishing. You'd love it."

He had a really long list of things that he knew I'd just love.

Finally came day four. The classes only lasted half the day and then there was a luau themed pool party at the outdoor pool. (and might I add that things had certainly changed since I went to school there, where any alcohol on pool grounds was like a sign of the apocalypse or something)
The pool party was where Ian went from annoying to inappropriate and then all the way to creepy.

"Oh," he said "You look so good in that bathing suit. You know what you need? A belly button ring."

Sure. I was 37 years old. Prime time to start on my body piercings.

Later, I found out that when I was swimming, he was perched on the side of the pool, taking pictures of me with his zoom lens.

I hadn't gotten that tidbit when he asked me if I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Which somehow segued into him asking me to spend the night in his hotel with him.

"I would be honored if you'd spend the night with me."

"Oh, no, no,, No. Absolutely not."

If you would all excuse me, I have to go take a shower now and scrub myself with wire brush and sandpaper.

Monday, April 20, 2009

decluttering the dreaded front closet

Each Monday, when I check in on the decluttering process, I feel like I am going to a weight watchers or alcoholics anonymous meeting.

"Hello, I'm Jeepgirl, and I'm a crap-hoarder. But one day at a time and let go and all that stuff"

But the place is really starting to look streamlined and simplified and all that stuff. I feel lighter, too.

So last week, I ventured down into DUM, DUM, DUM.....the front closet!!

April 13: I got rid of 2 boxes that I had down there and was saving for some reason. recycle

April 14: Got rid of a duffel bag that had the name of a company I used to work for. It'll become the new donation bag.

April 15: Into the clothes rack: I have a frickin' plaid vest. I actually used to wear it with black pants for a Christmas-y kind of look. WHy? I have no frickin' idea. But some poor soul may pick it up at the Goodwill store and decide to wear it to their next Christmas party. donate

April 16: Last week I got rid of a sweater set I had that reminded me of a bad time in my life. I have another sweater set that reminds me of the same time of life. Apparently, wearing sweater sets was not good for me. Seriously? A self-proclaimed hippy girl bopping around in sweater sets? No wonder I want to forget that period of my life. donate

April 17: Laundry day! One load, one article of clothing: a too big white tee shirt donate

April 18: and while I'm at it, a too big blue tee shirt donate

APril 19: Wow, that donation bag really filled up this week! I took the whole bag down to the Goodwill today and dropped it off.

On to the living room area next week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

signs of spring

A sure sign that spring has arrived in New England!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I admit, I am often baffled by the upsurge in the sheer number of metro-sexual guys over the past few years. In the 1990's, they did not seem to exist. But as grunge gave way to baggy and baggy gave way to low slung, the amount of uber coifed and tidy guys climbed exponentially.

What is behind this? Was it a naturally occuring reaction to years of sloppiness? Is it because of the proliferation of guy products? Is a result of careful mass marketing? Or is it a by-product of America's over-exposure to Ryan Seacrest? This weekend, something occured that made me re-think my ideas of the metro-sexual. Perhaps it's ingrained much earlier in life.

Last Friday, I was visiting with my 23 month old nephew. We were scampering around the house together, laughing and playing. Suddenly, he got a concerned look on his face.

"My pocketbook!" he cried. "Where is my pocketbook?"

"You have a pocketbook?" I laughed.

"Ya." He wasn't laughing, like me.

"What do you keep in your pocketbook?"

"My stuff " he said.

"What stuff ?" I asked.

"My stuff ! My stuff ! I want my stuff !"

"Don't worry, buddy," I said, "We'll find it."

We started looking around for his pocketbook. I figured a the likely place was in the mountain of toys in the toy room. (A mere 20 minutes before the pocketbook search, the toy room was neat and organized. But that was before the toy room was exposed to 2 weapons of mass destruction: toddler bombs)

Finally, I found a duffel bag near the back.

"Is this it, little man?"

"Yes!" he was giddy with excitement as he grabbed for the bag. Then he proceeded to show me all the stuff in his bag. "My baseball. My football. My basketball. My hockey puck. My glove. My hat. Cookie monster."

He carefully placed all of this stuff back in the bag. He slung it over his shoulder, ready to be on his way.

I tugged on the strap of his bag. "What is this again?"

He looked back at me over his shoulder and smiled. "My man-bag."

I suspect there'll be a lot of hair gel in his future!

Friday, April 17, 2009

adventures in grooming -- haircuts

Today was a beautiful spring day (finally!) It got me thinking about taking the top off jeepy-jeep, which of course got me to thinking about corralling my hair so that I don't end up with one giant dread lock when I arrive at my destination. The corralling of the hair is extremely important in Jeepgirl world, even if hair care, per se, is not.

The last time I got my hair cut was, um, can it have been since last March? How can that be? That's over a year! That can't be right. I must have gotten another cut since then, right? Regardless, my hair looks surprisingly good for zero upkeep in an entire year. See?

Today, I'm sporting the super straight, post New England winter hair. It sort of looks like I just spent 2 hours and an ironing board preparing myself to go see Jim Morrison in New Haven. But really, I just took a shower before bed and ran a brush through it when I woke up.

In the summer, when it get humid, things take a whole different turn. Remember the Friends episode when they went to the Caribbean and what happened to Monica? That's me. In August, I go from looking like hippie chick to looking like Slash.

I have absolutely no control over my hair. In the jeep, I can french braid, elasticize and bandanna the whole mess into submission. But as far as the texture, how it falls, whether it flies around my head in a frizzy halo or lies flat, I have no control.

I think that's why I generally keep it long. Because ponytails are my friends. As are braids, barrettes, and headbands. If you have hair elastics and headbands, you don't need product. (I've tried product in the past and it ended disastrously every time. More on that later.) With short hair, you need product.

Once, I got this super cute Meg Ryan-ish bed-head haircut. Know what? It takes an awfully long time and an awful lot of product to get that just-rolled-out-of-bed look. The only reason I got that cut was because I thought I could actually just roll out of bed. Not!

Another time, I got a longer in the front, shorter in the back, swingy, Vidal-Sasson cut. It looked great with very little effort. For about 6 weeks. Then, as it grew out between my yearly trips to the hairdresser, it just looked plain weird. And since I'm just too lazy to go to the hairdresser, weird was what I was stuck with.

Now my big dilemma is: as I approach 40, isn't this long, one length hairstyle a bit young for me?But given my lazy nature, is there any solution? AND...can this solution survive a ride in the jeep?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

an unexpected surprise

So today, after work I was doing my decluttering duties in the dreaded front closet. I spied three pairs of "skinny pants" yesterday and spent all day today psyching myself up for pitching them today. These pants used to be my favorite work pants. But they haven't fit in three years. I couldn't bear to get rid of them, because I KNEW that someday, I'd fit back into them. All I needed was to lose three, no five, ok eight pounds. And then it'd be fine.

Every spring and every fall, as I change from summer to winter wardrobe and back again, I try on these three pairs of pants. And every spring and fall, I carefully fold them and put them in the back of the closet. Because they were my favorite work pants. And I totally can fit back into them. With just a little work.

So, today, in round two, getting into the tougher purging mode, is the day I'm going to finally get rid of them. But it wouldn't hurt to try them on just one more time.

Guess what?


Not only do they fit, they are actually a bit big around the bootay. So instead of throwing them away, I threw them in the laundry.

Now I gotta find something else to get rid of today.

Yay, me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

weekly writer's workshop

MamaKat's prompt this week is: "I just gave you $400. What ONE thing will you spend it on?" I wonder if she's looking for ideas for the tax return. Methinks I will not be very helpful.

'Cause I'm thinking a "package of triathlon equipment" would be a great $400 investment. I need new sneaks. And a wetsuit. And some tri-shorts. But I think I may be violating the "one thing" rule.

One thing...I'd like a kayak, too.

Oh, I can't wait for summer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tuesday's bad dates (Ian, part 2)

A four day conference with Ian. SOmething I had been looking forward to for educational purposes that later became just more fodder for "Tuesday Bad Dates".

I arrived at the conference with three other friends; we were 15 minutes late despite coming from just 12 miles away. Fortunately for us, the keynote address was also late, due to technical difficulties. We were all settling down in the back on the floor (there were not enough chairs for all the participant) when I got a text from Ian: "I saved a seat for you." SCORE! I turned to my friends: "I got a seat! Smell ya later suckas!"

ONce I found Ian and settled in, he wanted to compare which classes I had signed up for. (There were 5 different tracks at all times for 8 hours, 4 days) I pulled out my schedule and confessed that I kind of haphazardly signed up for the classes and figured that I could change my mind as the conference unfolded. Ian was a bit adament that I let him know exactly where I'd be, so he could be in the same class as me at all times. I was starting to feel a bit uneasy and started to tell him so when the technical difficulties were resolved and the keynote speakers began.

After the keynote address, I met one friend outside and set out to class number one with Ian in tow.

"Ian, this is Jane; Jane, Ian" I introduced them.

Ian wanted to know how Jane and I met, and do we still keep in touch, and isn't Heather the greatest? and what are we doing for dinner tonite?

Jane and I managed to keep Ian entertained until we reached the class. During this class, I had the opportunity to discover one of the qualities most socially inept people have that Ian clearly did not: intelligence. (Do I sound bitchy?)

The instructor was outlining a research study he had run and describing the results. I will remind you, this was a health care conference, not a rocket-science conference. Research in this area always tends to cofirm what we already know. You know when you hear on the news about how researchers spent 5 million dollars to prove that couch potatoes generally weigh more than competitive athletes? And think "duh"? It was a research study like that.

During the break, Ian said "Wow. The results are so different than what I expected."

I looked at him. "Really? It seems like common sense to me."

"No, common sense would tell you that blah, blah, blah, but the study said that bleh, bleh, bleh"

Then I realized that he didn't understand the statistical measurement they had used. Truth be told, I didn't really understand the statistics, either, but I could see how it worked. I explained that the lower the number, the higher the statistical significance.

"No. The number always needs to be higher."

"Look," I pointed to the results "This factor is what we would expect to be relevant. And the number is low. Same with these other factors. But this other factor that clearly has nothing to do with the results, that was just thrown in there for the heck of it, has a high number. It is NOT significant. See?"

He couldn't see.

After the break, he argued with the course instructor about the statistics. Several other people tried to explain it to him. He couldn't get it.

At lunch break, he was still stewing about the statistics from class number one.

"Hey!" I said. "I'll settle this once and for all." I text messaged Nerd. (this was when Nerd was nothing but a nerd to me)

He texted back right away: "A P value is statistically significant when it is less than .05"
(It's like having my own personal google service)

I was right. That settled the question of what the statistics meant. And Ian found something else to obsess about: "Who was Nerd and why had I texted him?"

the story contiues next week...

Monday, April 13, 2009

clearing the entryway

Ok, I know last week I said I'd hit the front closet. But I just made it as far as the front entryway (you know, that transitional area with the shoe basket, the key bowl, the coat hook, the counter for the cell phone?) Kind of prepping myself to get back to the monster in the closet.

Just like last week, I ran into some projects and decisions. Round two is really making me delve a bit deeper. What the heck am I going to do on round three?


April 6: I have a little box with some coupons that I grab before I go shopping. I went through it and put all the expired ones in the recycling.

April 7: I went through the key bowl and threw away a flashlight keychain that no longer works and another keychain that I will never use. (I wish they were recycle-able)

April 8: Pulled a pair of sneakers out of the shoe basket that kind of hurt my feet. Put them in the donation bag.

April 9: I have a little pile of stickers for the car: AAA, AMC, USATF. I am not going to put these on my car! Threw em away.

April 10: Last week, when I went to my parents, they gave a bag of stuff to me that they found in the back of the closet to my old room. One of the items was: a monogrammed Bermuda bag that I carried in junior high. Remember Bermuda bags? Those wooden handled purses? They had different covers that you could button on so you could change the color with the seasons. And if you were really fancy (like I was, once upon a time --when my Mom bought everything for me) you had a monogrammed cover. So now, I have this ridiculous thing in my possession. I can't exactly donate this thing --it's monogrammed. What are the chanced somebody with the initials HMW is going to go into the Goodwill store looking for a wooden handled purse? So I took the purse and I bought it with me while I was babysitting. My 4 year old neice thought it was great for playing dress up.

April 11: Took another pile of magazines to the gym from the magazine basket.

April 12: In addition to visiting family on Easter, I was also attacking their doorlocks. I took the pile of unidentified keys from the key bowl and tried them in the locks at my brother's and parents. I got smart and LABELED them. The rest of the mystery keys went in the trash.
So, seriously...this week I'll face the monster in the front closet. Sooner or later, I need to get to round two there!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

cold spring rain

Today was the kind of day that makes you want to jump into a giant vat of macaroni and cheese and just stay there, all warm and squishy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adventures in Grooming

While searching out there in bloggie land for new and exciting reads, I have often come across blogs where folks post pictures of their outfits, rave about new cosmetics, or review products for hair, skin, or nails. These posts fascinate me. They literally leave me slack-jawed and confused in front of the computer screen. I would love to be so skilled in the area of "girliness" that I could actually put it all out there for the world to read and maybe even solicit advice from.

Sadly, I am not skilled in this area. I am the opposite of skilled. I am Ty, the girl Brittney Murphy plays in "Clueless." Or worse. I'm more like a female version of Tarzan. If anyone were to get a peek inside my head, they would most likely be left slack-jawed and confused.

"Is she serious that she didn't wear any make-up until she turned 35?"
"How could she NOT OWN a hairdryer?"
"Didn't shave her legs until age 30!"

Yeah, yeah, and --I'm sorry to say-- yeah. I could get away with it, too. I was THAT cute! (if I ever get around to hooking up a scanner, I'll pull out some old pictures and scan them in to prove it.)

But now, as I approach age 40, I am finding that I'm not that cute anymore. I just can't pull off the disheveled, hippy-girl look and come off as quirky and fun. Now, I look eccentric and borderline nuts.

I'm coming to the conclusion that I have to venture into the world of cosmetics and hygiene products. And it scares me.

My experiences in the bathroom rival my bad dates.

Won't you join me on the adventure? Stay tuned for Friday's newest feature:


(I promise I'll try not to leave anyone emotionally scarred along the way.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April's Addictions

Since I didn't get around to posting addictions last month, I figured I'd get a move on it this month!

Right now, I am addicted to:

Apples with peanut butter It's the perfect snack!!

Fleece For when it's too warm for the winter jacket and too cold for a windbreaker

My water bottle Trying to drink more water and less diet coke, that thing is my best friend.

Cadbury Mini Eggs They won't be around much longer

Rock of Love Bus It's so bad, but so good. So wrong but so right. And I want "Big John" to write a tell all book!

Be sure to check out Brazen who started the whole addictions thing!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

tuesday's bad dates --IAN

Here's something to ponder: Is it considered a bad date when you have no idea that it's supposed to be a date? I suppose that's the ultimate bad date: when one of you thinks it's a date and the other doesn't. That's what happened with Ian.

A while ago, I was going to a work-type conference that was hosted at my old college. I was quite interested in the subject matter; some of my friends from college were also going. We were going to crash at Lisa's house (who lived one town over from the college), eat dinners together, and get caught up.

In the midst of all this, I happened to mention this conference to Ian, whom I had met several months before at a different class in Austin. I had ended up sitting next to him during the two day class, since there was an open seat next to him. He had kind of latched onto me, even inviting himself to a dinner I was going to with a friend who had driven in from San Antonio. Overall, though, he seemed pretty harmless. A little socially inept, but harmless. And since he lived over 1000 miles away from me, I saw no harm in sharing my email address with him when he asked for it.

The next day, I got an email from Ian, saying that he was also going to the conference at my old college. Ummm....ok. I was unaware that he was even interested in the subject matter. (At the class in Texas, he had given me the impression that he specialized in a different area ) But, whatever. I told him that I'd see him there.

On the day before the conference, he texted me several times, asking if I wanted to get together and have lunch or dinner or walk around the campus or drive around the town. I got all of these text messages in one fell swoop as I left work, ready to drive the 3 hours to Lisa's house. I texted him and told him as much. "Oh. I thought you were getting in today. I guess I'll have to wait to see you." Yeah, I guess so.

Let me take a moment here to mention that generally, people who are socially inept have something else going for them. They may be brilliant research scientists, or artistic geniuses, or skillful computer programmers. A socially inept person discovered the theory of relativity. Another socially inept person brought us Beetlejuice and Sweeny Todd. Ian, on the other hand, was not only socially inept, but had very little else going for him. He wasn't that smart. He wasn't very attractive. He had a body that looked a lot like Grimace, the McDonaldland pal who liked shakes. Ian also was a horrendous dresser (coming from me, the self proclaimed slob, THAT says alot), a bad dancer, and had a poor sense of humor.

So why did I even stay in touch with him by email? Because he was a nice person. He was clueless, but not a jerk. And his cluelessness was actually a bit endearing ... from afar. However, after that four day conference, I didn't find him nearly as endearing as I once did. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The beginning of day one of the conference -- that's when things started going downhill.

(to be continued)

Monday, April 6, 2009

round two gets difficult

First this:
Strawberries are like little edible pieces of heaven

Then this:
After yesterday's perfect weather, today was windy, rainy and cold. Opening day at Fenway was postponed, and then vents in my jeep leaked. BOO! Mother nature has a cruel sense of humor.

And finally, this:
Decluttering this week was a jumpy, scattered process. Usually so soothing and methodical, it got me all wound up. I felt like I should be decluttering my head. I moved into the bedroom area, and sort of got lost. Then, I finally discovered that some of the things I was stuck on are 2 or more steps. I need to make some decisions about some stuff, and it's not the look-and-decide kind of stuff that I went through in phase one.

March 30: Had a flimsy sunglasses case that I keep, for some reason, on the dresser. Don't want it, don't need it. Not recyclable. TOSS!

March 31: In the bedside table, I had a pedometer that not longer works. Again, not recylcable. TOSS!

April 1: Also in the bedside table, I had a bunch of pamphlets and study guides from some classes I had taken over the years. I know I had saved them for some reason. So I moved the whole pile over to the coffee table (which is kind of like a giant IN-BOX) to go through leisurely.

April 2: Laundry night: why am I using a falling apart laundry bin that has dangerous wires sticking out every corner? (again, not recyclable. What is this? the non-recyclable week?) TOSS

April 3: Went over to my parents house for a visit. They are doing some purging of their own. And they gave me a bag of stuff from the back of the closet in my old room. Good, lord; I'm not supposed to be bringing stuff IN! But fortunately, I could put two things right into the donation bag right away: a couple army surplus bags I carried when I was in high school and early in college.

April 4: Ok, this was like some kind of breakthrough moment for me. I was going through some clothes and I came across a sweater set I have. It's really nice. I look great in it. But I never wear it. Because it reminds me of a period in my life that was pretty stressful. And I think of the stress every time I look at the sweater set. I had been keeping it because its really nice. And I look great in it. Whatever. I'm never going to wear it again. donate

April 5: Went through the magazine basket and pulled out some for the gym.

So now, I'm still working on the pile of pamphlets on the coffee table and moving into the front closet (my old nemesis)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Well, for all my complaining of the weather on Friday, Sunday more than made up for it.

I got up bright and early, for a 6 am 2 hour yoga class. (I it necessary to have it that early? Apparently) Then, I did some errands, got my oil changed, went for a long bike ride, and did some medicine ball lifting at home. It was so nice out, I put on some shorts and lay on the back deck, reading in the sun. It felt great to open the windows and air the house out.

I'm hopeful that spring is here for good.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

cold spring rain and dreams of Alaska

Last night, K and I were talking about the weather, bemoaning the fact that after a brief interlude of warm, springlike temps, they once again plummeted as the icy rain and sleet moved back in. Ugh. Spring in New England is terrible. (We do have lovely autumns, though)

K then said something that struck me as so utterly self assured and confident in his conviction: "I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, though. The mix of seasons make you appreciate them more. People who live in other areas don't appreciate the warm weather as much as we do here."

Nice sentiment. But my thought was: "How do you know?" K has never lived anywhere else but here.

I am fascinated by people who have that kind of confidence in their beliefs. People who can unwaveringly declare their preferences about things they have never personally experienced:
"I could never live in St. Louis."
"I don't like sushi."
"The food in New York is much better than the food in Chicago."
"New Englanders appreciate the nice weather more."

I am not like that. I am much likely to say "I don't know. I've never been there/ tried that/ listened to that music." Sometimes even after experiencing something, I'm not fully sure if I like or dislike it. I'll say "It's interesting". Or something to that effect.

I often wonder what it would be like to know yourself that well. To know -- this is who I am. These are the KINDS of things I like and those are the KINDS of things I dislike. To just KNOW that I wouldn't like something without experiencing it because it doesn't mesh with this fully developed sense of self.

Then I think, maybe it's not that there is something intrinsically wrong with my self concept. Maybe we just all need to experience the world in different ways. Maybe we all have different levels of comfort with new experiences from watching the travel channel to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in person. And that's OK.

At least it was OK last Friday, while the rained poured down in New England and we sat on the sofa -- one of us happy to be warm and safe while watching a show about Alaska, and the other dreaming of the day she would go there.

Friday, April 3, 2009

blogs I have loved.

A few weeks ago, I entered a contest over at Blissfully Domestic for a pair of jeans from Alias and actually won. That never happens. After I recovered from the shock of actually winning something, I waited with baited breath for the arrival of the jeans.

Jeans have always been a hard thing for me. They shouldn't be. Everybody owns jeans, and just about everybody looks good in jeans. I look good in jeans, but -- here's the catch --only certain kinds of jeans.

I have a figure like a weight-lifting hobbit. Although my driver's license says 5'1", I'm actually just shy of 5 foot even. Most clothing manufacturers believe that when you are this vertically challenged, you are either a pre-pubescent girl, or an adult version of a Chinese gymnast. I am neither.

I have no hips to speak of. As I write this, I am watching Stacey and Clinton talk about a woman's "hourglass shape". Stacey and Clinton have never met me. I have more of an inverse triangle shape. Broader shoulders, wide rib cage, narrow pelvis. Sometimes I think that I am made up of various parts of different skeletons thrown together in a whimsical fashion.

Despite my ridiculously narrow hips, I got a pretty high, round booty. And significant thighs. This is probably my own fault, since the more I work out, the bigger my thighs and butt become. And I have my eyes on a half ironman at the end of the summer. So finding a pair of jeans that take into account the non-existent hips, big butt, solid thighs, and short legs is near impossible.

The last time I went jeans shopping was around 7 years ago. Loose fitting jeans were in style then. I bought four pair which I rotate through on a regular basis. Of course now, I have iron-on flower patches on the back pockets to cover the little holes that have been forming over the past seven years. It really is time for new jeans.

I almost felt bad for Alias denim. They sent a free pair of jeans to a crazy person who has 7 years of jeans baggage to overcome. (I once walked out of a Gap and yelled "All I want is a pair of jeans that will contain more than 50% of my pelvis! Is that too much to ask?") That's an awful lot for one pair of jeans to live up to.

SO how did they look?

I am very happy to report that for the first time in years, I had a pleasant jeans experience. They arrived in the mail all tied up with a cute little hot pink tie. The jeans are 98% denim and 2% "stretch" (which I'm assuming is lycra.) Just enough for a little bit of "give" in all the right places. The jeans come in a dark wash, which is super nice, as I have been looking for a dark wash jean. (Good for nights out with the girls or to see a band) They look pretty well made, too. Rivets at the corner of the front pockets, good sized belt loops, nice smooth-working zipper.

And how did they fit?

You know? Pretty frickin' well! The "2% stretch" allows for a bit of expansion around the thighs and booty. But they never felt tight. Just comfy. The denim is just stiff enough to support that "inside cuff" without falling down. The only area where I had a bit of a problem was the hip area, where I was afraid falling debris could fly right down the back of my pants, perhaps doing damage. So I got a bit creative. One small nip tuck on either side of the waistband, strategically hidden behind the belt loops, and I was safe.

Most importantly, how did they perform?

I wore them out last weekend to a friend's birthday celebration at a bar. The low rise cut took a bit of getting used to, since all my 7 year old babies are medium rise. Once I got past the urge to pull them up every two seconds, I was rockin'! The comfy, stretchy material allowed me to gallop all over the dance floor and to sit on a bar stool with equal comfort. Better still, I got 5 (that's right FIVE) compliments on the booty that night.

For that reason alone, I'm sold.

I definitely do think I'll visit the Alias website for jeans in the future. And I'm hoping for a medium rise model to come out soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm not like my mom. Or am I?

MamaKat's posts options this week include: In What Ways Are You Turning into Your Mother?
First off, let me say that my mom and I are very different. In a weird way. My mom is a bit of a fashionista. She is a compulsive shopper, collector of handbags and shoes, regular visitor to the hair salon for cuts and color, did I mention compulsive shopper? And I'm...well, I'm me.

Hate shopping, sneaker wearing, jeans and Tshirts, why would I pay that much for a purse when I could get a backpack for less? I last cut my hair, lemme see, 9 months ago? (I know...I'm long overdue) And makeup? I have tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and chapstick.

We had bizarre battles when I was in high school. Who's mother argues that "You are not leaving this house without putting a little make up on?" Or: "Can't you wear some trendier clothes?" I guess she always had this fantasy of going on trips to the mall with her super trendy daughter and instead she ended up with...well, me.

So how could I possibly turn into my mother? We certainly don't resemble each other on the outside. But maybe we do, a little, on the inside.

See, in addition to gallivanting off on shopping trips, Mom also worked at the courtesy booth at the local grocery store. She did the customer service thing, doing returns and cashing checks and whatnot. There was one thing she did not stand for: line cutters. You know the people? In a long line of traffic, they drive up on the left and cut everyone off? They see a line of people in front of the courtesy booth and just walk past them and start speaking directly to the clerk? Not when that clerk was my mom.

"Hey!" she'd say. "What do you think you're doing? There's 6 people in front of you. There's a LINE. Now get to the back of it!"

Sometimes she's make them cry.

Flash forward 20 years and there's me: working at a nursing home and taking 5 patients out to a coffee shop for the community re-entry program. It's a small shop. Between the counter and the tables and the five walkers all in a row, there's not much room at all. But two women somehow manage to squeeze past the 5 senior citizens standing in line, right up to the counter where they proceed to order. Not when I'm in line!

"Hey!" I said, "What do you think you're doing? There are 5 people in front of you. There's a LINE. Now get to the back of it!"

They made the unfortunate decision of looking at me distastefully and then turning back to the counter to attempt another order.

"EXCUSE ME!" I said, this time squeezing past all 5 walkers myself. "Maybe I didn't make myself clear. You walked in, looked at the 5 people in line, decided you were more important than they were, and then cut in front of them. Well, guess what? You are not more important than they are. Get to the back of the line now!"

I guess they figured they were dealing with a lunatic because they started to squeeze back past the walkers on their way to the back of the line. But I was really aggravated by now. I made them stop and apologize to each and every one of the nursing home patients on the way.

What can I say? I may look like a slob, but my mom taught me well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Goals

Oh, March was tough. March was...introspectively tough (is that a word?). I've spoken a lot about how I was lost and last year I set out to find myself. This year has felt like that newly found person (me) just needs to take a long hot shower, sleep in a clean bed, and eat warm food --figuratively speaking.

In March I fell off the goal wagon, but somehow made a lot of progress nonetheless. I read an article in the gym the other day by Monica Selles. About how after the stabbing incident, she gained a lot of weight but was too busy training 6-8 hours per day to lose weight. Then, when she injured her ankle and had to take 6 months off from tennis, she ended up losing the weight by NOT exercising 6-8 hours per day. March was like that for me. My tri training, eating plan, financial goals, projects, sat undone, but I got a lot of inner work done.

Or maybe that's all just a big cop-out and I'm rationalizing a big case of seasonal affective disorder.


1) Stick to an eating plan: fail

2) Get rid of one thing per day: ok, that went well. Its getting to be a habit.

3) Three more books from the bookshelf: Focusing on health and exercise. I read "How to Eat Move and be Healthy", "The Triathlete's Training Bible", and I'm halfway through "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health". Plus I read "Prep", which was great. However, all of these books are books I will refer to in the future, so this won't clear the bookshelf at all.

4) Crank up the Tri Training: fail

5) Complete the Artist's Way Program: success! And maybe the reason behind all the soul searching this month. I'll probably do it again later in the year.

6) COntinue one time a week with the guitar: fail.

7) Complete the two work projects I've been dragging my feet on: DONE!!

8) Finish and File my Taxes: Last minute Lily is still working on this.

9) Complete Wellness Coach Class: done and done.

10) Complete two projects from the "project box": that stupid project box is sitting across the room, belittling me. Fail.


1) Whole new Eating Plan: Ok, courtesy of that wellness class, I have a different way of eating. Part intuitive, part planning, I'm trying it out. Let's see how that works.

2) Still with the decluttering

3)Books this month: I'm moving on to the "relationships books" that are taking up too much space on the bookshelf.

4) Along with Tri Training, I'm going to do 2 days of yoga a week.

5) Post every day for the month (doing the NaBloPoMo thing again)

6) Back to the guitar!!

7) In addition to decluttering, I'm starting an effort to detoxify the house, as well (That class may have made me paraniod)

8) Have an Easter egg hunt with my neices and nephews

9) Write 6 old fashioned snail-mail letters to friends.

10) Ok...really do the projects from the project box.

And...I got a few fun bloggie ideas I'll hopefully get to in April.