Sunday, January 22, 2006

Technical Difficulty

Apologies for the long silence around these parts.

It has been a good news/bad news kind of week. The good news is my BRAND NEW SUPER FANTASTIC digital camera arrived! It has all sorts of wonderful accessories, memory sticks, lens protectors--you name it. The camera itself is a wonderfully sleek looking thing. The night it arrived, I had just returned from happy hour. Whether it was the beer talking or just my general lack of talent with electronics, I don't know, but it took me a good twenty minutes before I figured out how to turn the thing on.

Within a few days, however, and a few torturous sessions ACTUALLY READING the directions (oy the pain!), I was snapping my first exciting but tentative shots. Eager to view and hopefully post and share the resulting photos, I began the process of trying to dowload the pictures from the camera to my computer. And this is where the trouble began. It didn't work. And it wasn't too long before Satan had to step in and take over.

Which brings us to the bad news: there's something wrong with the driver on our computer. Ideally, the computer should recognize the "scan disc" that I insert the photo stick into and automatically transfer the photos to the computer. It doesn't. Poor Satan has spent the better part of the ENTIRE WEEKEND (I kid you not) on the phone with tech support from scan disc, Dell, and who knows who else. The upshot is that it still isn't working. We have determined the the problem definitely lies with the computer and not the camera, which I suppose is a slight bright spot, but still no photos.

I personally think it's high time we got an actual geek to make a service call, but Satan insists that we wait for some CD or another that's supposed to arrive in the mail Tuesday. So, sadly, it will be at least until then before photos even MIGHT be possible.

The rest of the weekend has been good, but uneventful. I was nearly overtaken on Saturday by the desire to purchase the Urban Trampoline. As opposed to...I don't know the Rural Trampoline? Anyway, I came to my senses at the last minute. I told Satan about the incident, and he expressed fear that he might come home one day to find me bouncing around and looking like Kathy Bates. At which point we both spontaneously broke into "Stop in the Name of Love". (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, you must run to the nearest video store THIS INSTANT and rent Fried Green Tomatoes.)

Speaking of Satan, he continues to be a neverending FOUNTAIN of ideas about my hairstyle. I know you thinking I'm kidding, but I'm not. Because, people. Could I make this crap up? His latest brainstorm? I should dye my hair "silver". Silver! Wouldn't that be pretty? When I tried to clarify by saying, "You mean GRAY?!" He says to me, "No! I mean SILVER." It must be a find distinction. I was too traumatized to ask any more questions.

Otherwise, I pray for Jill Carroll. I hope you will too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Pop In

Okay, not much time here, but three guesses who that is in the picture?

No guess, right? Strangely familiar, but no real clue?

How about ALANIS MORISSETTE? No, seriously. The Fug Girls give the A+ analysis, I suggest you take a sec to stop in (scroll down). (Oh, Also? You'll note that it's evidently important to be very thin to be Depp-worthy).

Monday, January 16, 2006


And so my long weekend draws to a close. I've been off work for four days. It's been one of those mini-vacations where I didn't really accomplish anything in particular, but it has certainly been nice to be away from the daily grind.

I'm strangely quiet these days and I guess it's a combination of things. For one, having a twenty-one-year-old son certainly does make a person pause and take stock of things. Secondly, I seriously think the weather is getting the better of me. My body doesn't quite know what to make of a January wherein temperatures regularly reach the sixties. What the heck? Also, I don't know about you, but I could use a bright, sunshiney day.

Still, I am making some headway with my resolution to get more exercise. I'm having near daily sessions on the treadmill which is definitely helping me feel better physically.

After a brief detour with a Larry McMurtry book about Pretty Boy Floyd (don't ask), I'm back at the Carlos Castenada series. I'm nearly through the second book: "A Separate Reality". Alert readers may remember that, along with more exercise, I've resolved to engage in more positive self-talk in '06. With that in mind, you may appreciate how significant I found the following passage from the book that I read just tonight. (Apologies for the length.):

[Don Juan]
"You think and talk too much. You must stop talking to yourself.

"What do you mean?"

"You talk to yourself too much. You're not unique at that. Every one of us does that. We carry on an internal talk. Think about it. Whenever you are alone, what do you do?"

"I talk to myself."

"What do you talk to yourself about?"

"I don't know; anything, I suppose."

"I'll tell you what we talk to ourselves about. We talk about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk."

"How do we do that?"

"Whenever we finish talking to ourselves the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we kindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die.
"A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his talking. This is the last point you have to know if you want to live like a warrior."

"How can I stop talking to myself?"

"First of all you must use your ears to take some of the burden from your eyes. We have been using our eyes to judge the world since the time we were born. We talk to others and to ourselves mainly about what we see. A warrior is aware of that and listens to the world; he listens to the sounds of the world."

"I really do not understand you!"

"Your problem is you confuse the world with what people do. Again you're not unique at that. Every one of us does that. The things people do are the shields against the forces that surround us; what we do as people gives us comfort and makes us feel safe; what peope do is rightfully very important, but only as a shield. We never learn that the things we do as people are only shields and we let them dominate and topple our lives. In fact I could say that for mankind, what people do is greater and more important than the world itself.

"What do you call the world?"

The world is all that is encased here, " he said, and stomped the ground. "Life, death, people, the allies, and everything else that surrounds us. The world is incomprehensible. We won't ever understand it; we won't ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat it as it is, a sheer mystery!

"An average man doesn't do this, though. The world is never a mystery for him, and when he arrives at old age he is convinced he has nothing more to live for. An old man has not exhausted the world. He has exhausted only what people do. But in his stupid confusion he belives that the world has no more mysteries for him. What a wretched price to pay for our shields!

"A warrior is aware of this confusion and learns to treat things properly. The things that people do cannot under any conditions be more important than the world. And thus a warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as an endless folly."


And so tonight I wonder if, rather than more POSITIVE self talk, should my resolution be NO self-talk? Certainly, a complete lack of inner dialog would contribute mightily to my being more present (another constant goal of mine). Then again, it's not like one just turns off the internal dialog like flipping a light switch, right? People have been trying to quiet themselves since forever, through meditation for one thing. Actually, I've found positive self-talk nearly impossible, anyway. I have only, on the briefest occasions, succeeded in NO self-talk at all. I had thought that a defeat until tonight.


FurGirl had a super exciting day. Although Satan's workplace was closed in honor of MLK day, he had to go in anyway to tie up a few loose ends as he'll be out of town tomorrow. As a special treat, he took FurGirl along to hang out in the office. Now, I wasn't there for the outing, but I can assure you this was positively dizzying for my little fur-baby. Mostly, Satan's attentions to the FurGirl consist of him vociferously denouncing her for either the way she smells or for the ever-present fur-drifts that she constantly and thoughtfully deposits all over the house.

While Satan and FurGirl headed out to the office, I headed out to meet my aunties and Grandmother for lunch. When I returned a few hours later, I found poor FurGirl banished to her bed on the back porch. Also, she looked distinctly guilty. This could only mean that a) she rolled in something stinky or b) the field trip did not go well.

Alarmed, I sought out Satan in the bathroom where he was installing some towel racks.


Why is Furgirl in her bed?


She yakked.


You mean she...PUKED?




(dear god) At THE OFFICE?


After we got home.

And that's where it ended until dinner when we resumed the thread of the conversation over plates of spaghetti.

So...what did the yak-up look like? Because last time? It was just chewed up stick and digested grass.


It was orange.


Orange?! Good God! Like, how orange?


Like an Orange Julius.


She must have gotten a-hold of some orange peel or one of these oranges (we have a bag of oranges and a box of clementines).


Nah, she couldn't have gotten any of that. We'd have noticed her eating an orange.


Are you going to tell me our dog yaks up an Orange Julius and you don't think there's a connection with the three pounds of oranges in our kitchen?


Yah, and she threw up in the kitchen too.


Oy vey.


And it was more than that (he gestures to my large full tumbler of iced tea).


Gag. Hmmm...let's see what have we fed her lately...


Hey, we fed her carrots yesterday.


Carrots! Could it be...?


Actually, probably not. It was too long ago.


Yah, like, more than twenty-four hours. It has to be the oranges.






I tell you, it's impossible, we'd know if she had an orange.


What about an orange peel?


Or an orange peel. We would know this.






How long have we been talking about the quality and composition of our dog's vomit?


A long time.


Has it really come to this?


I guess so.


Thankfully, the progress in my neighborhood continues apace. Satan and I were able to tour one of the older buildings (The Colonial) that has been newly renovated into condo's yesterday. In case you weren't sufficiently entertained by my dark night of the soul or dog puke, I'll leave you with a few pics I snapped for your viewing pleasure:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Song List

Song List by Title, Artist & Album

6 Feet Under, Soundtrack Vol I

2)One of These Things First
Nick Drake
Bryter Later

In Time: Best of REM

4)Plan A
Dandy Warhols
Welcome to the Monkey House

5)Bones of an Idol
New Pornographers
Twin Cinema

6)Warning Signs
A Rush of Blood to the Head

7)Canto De Ossanha (Let Go)
Astrud Gilberto
Finest Hour Verve

8)There is an End
The Greenhornes
Broken Flowers Soundtrack

9)Breathe (2 AM)
Anna Nalick
Wreck of the Day

10)I Love Being Here w/You
Peggy Lee
6 Feet Under, Soundtrack Vol I

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Twenty-one years ago today I received the best news of my entire life:

"It's a boy"

Happy birthday, baby boy. Don't drink and drive.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Weekend Update

I’ve had a nice quiet weekend. I really needed one.

I’m happy to report that I’m making progress on my resolutions. I’ve been climbing on the treadmill, not EVERY day, but regularly. I feel better already. If you can believe it, I’ve even begun to run at intervals for some minutes. That’s right. Me. Running. FOR MINUTES. It’s a wonder I haven’t had a heart attack. So, really, it’s shape up or die. And I don’t much care which at this point. Fortunately, drinking water just follows along naturally with time on the treadmill.

My other resolution? Positive self talk? Would you believe has been the HARDEST? To date, I’ve only managed to sometimes quell the negative talk. I still can’t think of anything nice to say to myself. I’ll keep trying.

It was a movie kind of weekend. We took in "Ben Franklin", "The Squid and the Whale", and today I was fortunate enough to catch “If I should fall from Grace” on the Sundance channel. My favorite of these, by far, is “Grace” which is a documentary on the lead singer, Shane MacGowan, of a punk band from the eighties called “The Pogues”. Now, keep in mind, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that documentary film is the absolute highest and best form of filmmaking. (Real life, baby. It’s the biggest trip of all.) That being said, this move was just fascinating. The Pogues reached their peak in popularity in the early eighties, a time that was arguably my heyday, but I simply have no recollection of them.

The Pogues are all Irish blokes and actually nearly as self-destructive as the Sex Pistols (who became popular at right around the same time). Unlike the Sex Pistols, however, they all managed to survive (barely). Of course, that was all part of the “punk” persona. All that drinking drugging, and snorting and spitting and bleeding on-stage (and off) just went with the territory. It was a very angry genre. The Pogues’ music, however, is rooted firmly in the Irish tradition and is mostly love ballads and drinking songs and such. It sounds like a contradiction to categorize these songs as “punk”, but the Pogues managed it. Very well. I’m completely taken with the music which you can preview here. I can promise you I won’t be able to hold off purchasing that CD for any length of time.

Satan and I had mixed opinions of The Squid and the Whale. I liked the movie much better than he did. The movie is set in the late seventies and tells the story of the painful divorce of Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels and the resulting emotional fall-out for them and their two adolescent children. In a nutshell: often painful stuff to watch. That's not to say there aren't some great funny moments, particularly with Steven Baldwin who plays the unexpectedly likeable tennis coach to the boys and Linney's new love interest. Otherwise, this is pretty heavy duty stuff, something Satan finds hard to forgive in a movie or music. He tends to like his entertainment more toward the light and amusing. Me, I like a nice messy emotional trainwreck on occassion. I can definitely see Linney and possibly Daniels getting an oscar nod for this one.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to Reality (with a thud)

And so the vacation is at an end. It was a good one all except for the bad parts. I returned to work today and it grieves me to report that, yes, my desk piled high with crap was still there crouched in my office. Lurking. Just waiting for me to return. Further, you will notice this post is sadly bereft of wine glasses, wine bottles, or any other adult beverage and specialized glasses for same. (*sniff!*) I am, at this very moment, tragically sober.

We took down all the decorations yesterday and, as always, it was a relief to know Christmas had (as I told Satan), “Left the building”.

I spent my usual sleepless night last night. No amount of preparation or OTC drugs, it seems, can insure me a good night’s sleep after any length of time (even a weekend, much less ten days) away from work. That irrational dread, and it IS irrational, keeps me awake until the wee hours every time. I’m continually resolving to get my doctor to prescribe something serious since I guess these sorts of situations are what prescription sleeping pills are actually meant to address. I never seem to get around to actually making that call, though.

As for New Year's resolutions, I’ve only made a few. They are:

Resolution #1 WAY MORE positive self talk. I don’t know about you, but the vast, VAST majority of the stuff I say to myself is negative and critical. I don’t know why this is, but I suspect it’s a trait many women share—just expecting too much of and being too hard on ourselves. As my mother has repeatedly told me, I should be no harder on myself than I would be on a good friend. This is great advice and makes perfect sense, however, I continue to internally berate myself for one reason or another on a daily basis. This year, I’m going to make it a point to have AT LEAST one soothing, complimentary self-talk per day.

Resolution #2 is as old as time, I suspect prehistoric women were resolving to eat less seal blubber and run around the cave a couple of times a day, and boring as it is, this is my resolution too. I exercised nearly every day during my vacation and I can already tell my thighs are less jiggly than they were before. I mean, it’s not like you have to spend three hours a day exercising to be fit. Half an hour a day will do it, it’s consistency, that lifetime commitment, that is so difficult to master. Hopefully, ’06 will be the year that I make the transition.

Resolution #2(b). Drink more water. ‘Nuff said.

Resolution #3. Write more. WAY MORE. And not necessarily here (although here definitely counts). Also, take more pictures. Although...I don't think NOT taking pictures is much of a possibility anymore. Satan is already starting to get a little annoyed at my ever burgeoning need to document positively everything with my (really crappy) camera. I received last-minute notification of a photography class in Lowertown that is to begin Thursday and am considering signing up.

Speaking of which, just when you thought the Birthday Festivus was over, Satan gets another gift (pictured at left). This one I had to order and it didn't come in until today (very tardy as I ordered well before xmas). Those of you in the know will recall that Satan's birthday presents all centered around a coffee theme, and this mug was to actually be the centerpiece. Pictured on the mug you'll probaby recognize our very own FurGirl. The caption says, "Got bacon?". I swear, sometimes I kill me, I really do. And this gift is one of those times. Just had to share.

Lastly, I keep meaning to report here that I received a personal e-mail (in response to one I sent her) from Sara Astuc, who, in my opinion is the greatest online journaler EVER. Her (now defunct) journal, Perfect Way, kept me glued to my computer screen for ONE WHOLE NIGHT (as in until sunrise) back in the day. I’m usually not the goofy slobbering minion type, but getting an e-mail from Sara, I must admit, left me all a-twitter. Sara maintains a great shopping website as well as three-way action and does still post personal entries. But only occasionally. Come back for reals Sara!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Satan's Birthday Festivus: Part II

We seem to have discovered the perfect cure for a hangover:

Step #1 Drink one glass tomato juice.

Step #2 Go take a hike.

Satan's Birthday (aka New Year's)

For me the birthdays come fast and furious on the heels of Christmas. Satan's birthday is actually January 1st, but he has always considered his birthday to begin the minute we awake on the 31st and continue until we fall into bed exhausted on the night of the 1st. Sort of a birthday festivus.

Historically, the festivus has found Satan in all manner of moods and behavior. Yesterday, for instance, I was soundly rebuked for upwards of half an hour for my lack of kitchen cleaning skills as well as plied with excellent food and liquor. You just never know what you're in for during festivus.

Speaking of wines, it has come to my attention that all my vacation posts seem to center around wine, and glasses filled with wine and I'll just tell you right now that this post is going to be no exception. You're just lucky I didn't take my camera to the restaurant or there'd be ADDITIONAL pictures of arfully posed glasses and bottles. I just can't help myself.

The truth is, I've done alot of celebrating lately. Last night alone, I drank wine with dinner, Bailey's and coffee, and New Year's champagne. Oh wait and a glass of chardonnay too. I'm a little amazed to be upright already today. Don't tell anybody, but at the restaurant at one point I threw up a little in my own mouth and then later during the champagne phase of the evening, while attempting to simply take a sip from my flute, for seemingly no reason at all, I lifted the glass high into the air and actually poured the champagne directly on to my face. Yah. I would deny it, but Satan happened to be looking at me (in amazement) at the time. I truly have no explanation.

FurGirl, too, managed to have quite a festive evening being the beneficiary of a large portion of my Steak Forestiere that came to her in a super-exciting to-go box. She has learned through experience that white styrafome containers are a Very Good Thing.

We took in "The Blues Brothers" which you might be suprised to learn is a movie that, until last night, I'd never viewed all in on sitting. I know! I can't believe how young John Belushi was in that movie. We also watched an even younger Belushi in "Animal House". A very funny movie that really does stand the test of time.

Satan and I were fortunate to receive well wishing calls around midnight from two-thirds of our children.

So, onward to the pictures. You'll notice I'm at least starting to come out of my state of inarticulateness and am now able to post pictures and words. Well, sort of.

Happy New Year to you. And happy birthday to the nicest and meanest guy I know.