Monday, January 28, 2008

Memes and Beer

I don't know why I said "Beer", except that I think I could use one right now.

Well, the grant is done. It's not my most brilliant work, but it doesn't suck. Really, I think the make or break on this one will be whether or not I get the last one. Ironic, no? It's up there with the bank not lending you money unless you don't need it.

The good news is that I have a very good plan B right now, so I'm just sort of waiting it out to see what unfolds.

Anyway, our dear Rebecca has tagged me to meme about "seven random things about me". I've given a lot of thought to this in hopes of finding stuff you can't glean from my resume, so here we go:

1) I fractured my neck when I was 12 year old. We were on vacation at a state park in February in this giant snowstorm and I was swimming with my sister in the pool at the lodge. I was on the junior rec swim team at the time and felt perhaps a little too confident in my skills. I tried to do a back 1 1/2 off the 1 meter platform and cracked my head on the concrete on my way around. Yeah, it was a "Greg Louganis". Anyway, in the midst of all that compression I put a little crack in one of the bones in my neck. I spent about 6 months in a series of braces. It was not a way to be popular in 7th Grade.

2) My sister saved my life in the aforementioned accident. She was 10 years old and still in the "little squirt" stage of her development. I was 5'6" tall and probably 120 pounds. And she dead-hauled me out of the water. Pulled just about every muscle in her body doing it, too, or so my mother tells me. She was tough, even then.

3) Paul Newman once cooked me a hot dog. I was eight years old, and my dad was on an SCCA pit crew for Don Godovan. Apparently, this was when Paul Newman was messing around on that part of the racing circuit and he asked my dad for some help with his car. I was hungry and started bugging my dad for something to eat. Dad was irritated with the interruption ("where the hell is your mother?"), but Mr. Newman offered to take me over to his tent and get me a hot dog. I had no idea who he was until later.

4) I was once almost killed by a giraffe. No; I'm not making this up. I was helping a friend in the herbivore and carnivore building at the Columbus Zoo in 1987 and we walked into the giraffe pen. The big male decided he didn't like me and tried to crush me against the wall with his head. Giraffes have really big heads.

5) I have a heart-shaped (bifurcated) uvula. It's not as bifurcated as the picture on the left. That's also not me. You can tell from the moustache. Strangely enough, when you google "bifurated uvula" you don't get a lot of images to choose from...

6) I've never seen the movie E.T. Not sure why; the opportunity just never presented itself in a compelling way.

7) My family doesn't know this, but when they open a new bag of chips, I sneak in later and take out all the folded over ones. Because those are the only ones I like. When I'm with friends, I have to remind myself not to pick the foldy ones out of the bowl.

So there you have it.

I'm supposed to tag seven people on this; not sure I know seven who haven't been tagged yet, but let's try



Let's see what we get. ;) Do this at your leisure. Or elect not to meme. No pressure.

Now; about that beer...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Day, Another Death March

Dear Friends and Other Readers,

Please forgive what is likely to be another protracted absence from the Blogosphere. I am once again in a death march activity aimed at securing enough money from people who have it to justify my existence for another few years. I will rejoin you some time after Monday when w once again push the magic button.

In the meantime, can someone please explain to me why I am seemingly unable to write anything cogent unless I have a gun to my head? Every time, I swear, I'm going to get these pieces done early and every time, I can't seem to string five sentences together until I'm down to less than a week before Doomsday.

It's gotta be a pathology of some sort.

Edit: And for any of you who care, I actually HAD tickets to go see Three Girls and their Buddy tonight. Yes; I did. It starts at 8:00. Am I getting ready to go? No; I'm working. In fact, I'll be working until sometime in the wee hours of tomorrow.

I gotta get one of those jobs where you work 30 hours a week and make $125K. If you find one, let me know...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

God's Own Cheese

I had to make a late run to the grocery store tonight -- the cat was out of food and I figured it was better to blow 30 minutes of potential sleep time now than to face an entire night of yowling.

As I exited the grocery store, I noticed a packge of Kraft Cheese on the hood of my car. Just sitting there. Fully wrapped. There was no one else around, so I figured it was my destiny to take home the cheese.

My husband noticed the cheese as I unpacked the grocery bag.

Him: Why'dya buy cheese? We just bought cheese.

Me: I didn't buy it.

Him: You stole cheese?

Me: No; God left me this cheese. It was on my car in the parking lot.

Him: Well, you're not going to EAT it, are you?

Me: Why shouldn't I?

Him: Because...well, I don't know! Maybe it's poisoned or something!

Me: You are a very weird man. Why would God leave me poisoned cheese?

Him: Why would ANYone leave cheese on your car? Unless, of course, they were trying to get you to eat the poisoned cheese!

Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech is playing the background.

Hubby comments: What an amazing speaker. Really, I think it was a loss to the nation.

Me: You know, I hear he wasn't shot.

Him: Really? So how did he die then?

Me: I hear he got some bad cheese.

Him: I hate you.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Those little voices in your head

Inigo: Are you the Miracle Max who worked for the king all those years?
Miracle Max: The king's stinking son fired me. And thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? We're closed.
[knocking] Beat it, or I'll call the brute squad!
Fezzik: I'm on the brute squad.
Miracle Max: You are the brute squad.
Inigo: We need a miracle. It's very important.
Miracle Max:Look, I'm retired. And besides, why would you want someone the king's stinking son fired? I might kill whoever you wanted me to miracle.
From: The Princess Bride, (1987) 20th Century Fox. Screenplay by William Goldman

You know those little voices in your head?

No; not the ones that tell you to eat the last of the Cheetos, or the ones that suggest, ever so softly, that your sister-in-law's prune danish is in fact the devil's handiwork and should be dealt with by pounding it to death with the meat tenderizer that you keep with you for just such a crisis.

No; not those voices.

I'm talking about the ones that tell you that you're a fraud and that you have no business holding the positions of authority you hold and suggest that really, if anyone finds out how bleeding incompetent you are, they're going to drag you out into the town square and stone you to death.

Those voices.

Most days, I can keep them at bay. And some days, I can kick them in the shins and tell them to get back in their hole.

And then, there are days like today. Days when I can have a 15 minute meeting with someone who seemingly looks into my soul, plucks out the source of those voices, and brings them out into the open, screaming their foul message for me and everyone to hear.

The voices do not energize me. They do not challenge me to rise above. I do not feel compelled to beat them down.

I just want, instead, to crawl into a hole and hide myself away from the world.

I wish I felt differently.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Point of Privilege

I am not a Meme type for the most part, but Alison had one today that is interesting. My husband is in an Urban Studies course that is challenging all of our perceptions about privilege and our internal biases, so it's particularly timely for us this week.

The premise is that I bold all the statements that are true. I've added a bit of personal commentary in a few places where it makes sense.

Da Fine Print (because there's always fine print): The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

If you want to participate, please do the same. It'd be interesting to see the results

Father went to college

Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home Books were the one luxury in the house. My mother would buy used books at garage sales and library sales. We even had encyclopedias in the house.

Were read children’s books by a parent

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 -- I studied voice and piano

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18

The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs Haha! I had three scholarships and held down full-time work the whole time!

Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs

Went to a private high school

Went to summer camp

Had a private tutor before you turned 18

Family vacations involved staying at hotels

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them

There was original art in your house when you were a child My dad bought a few pieces from a local artist when I was a teenager

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home Not outright, of course -- we were always mortgaged

You had your own room as a child After I was about 10 or so.

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course

Had your own TV in your room in High School

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College *snort*

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 We took a trip to California when I was in seventh grade

Went on a cruise with your family

Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up Always. As in, just about every weekend, when the weather was bad. It was cheap entertainment and we had abundant museums in the city

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. Man, I think I knew every bill in the house growing up. My parents were all about accountability.

Things were, in retrospect, pretty meager growing up. We weren't suffering, for certain -- we always had a place to live, and there was always food in the table. We lived at the poor end of town, but I never felt poor. My parents always valued education but couldn't afford higher education for themselves. Really, though, if you look at where our money WAS spent, it was always on books, museums, and other items that were focused on enrichment. We always lived near a library and we always took advantage of it. Getting through college was rough -- I always had a job, or a collection of part-time jobs. But I think it taught me how to multi-task at a young age!

I live much better than my parents did. And I really, genuinely believe that it was because of their very strong focus on education. My folks are very smart people, but they never rose above their class because they both had to go directly into the work force after high school.

As my husband and I discussed this, he pointed out that most of the folks I pass on the way to work each morning couldn't say yes to a SINGLE one of these questions. That even though most of them live within 10 minutes of one of the richest collections of museums in the nation, most of them don't go, because they either cannot afford the bus fare or the relatively nominal admission price. That there are no libraries in those neighborhoods. I wonder how people raise themselves up without those resources.

Interesting exercise.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What, exactly, is going on inside that little head?

My daughter last night, apropos of nothing, turns to me while brushing her teeth and says:

"You know, if you're looking in the mirror, you pretty much can't be attacked by ninjas."

she then stops, walks behind me, and starts to tickle me, and says,

"Unless the ninja is WAY smaller than you!"

She goes back to brushing her teeth and absently begins to hum the Enzyte jingle again (I wonder if the people who wrote that thing know that it's addictive to children?).

She's thoughtful for a minute and then says,

"I wonder if Smilin' Bob ever has trouble with ninjas. He's pretty weird."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Apparently it takes my deciding to have surgery to correct my vision, for me to find a pair of glasses that I totally dig.

Pics to follow soon.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


A Good Day:

I used to define a Good Day as any day one is not having an episiotomy.

I now define a Good Day as any day that does not require a trip to the hospital for IV rehydration.

I think this simplifies things a lot.

The strain of stomach flu going around here is so nasty that it made the news. I can verify that, in fact, after contracting this one would have to get better in order to die. I picked it up Saturday and I have just successfully completed my first meal of solid food since then. A piece of toast and some cottage cheese. The thought of that even frightened me, but hunger won out.

Needless to say, my eye surgery has been put off until later in the year.

The only bright spot is that the five pounds I put on over the holiday? Gone! Plus another five. If I don't die, I might make target weight by the end of the month. ;)

I'm going back to sleep now.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Confidential to: Mildred

I'm pretty sure that was you today. I sure hope so. I hope you keep reading.

Know that you are loved dearly and missed dreadfully and that I will always leave a light on for you.



Friday, January 04, 2008

Weekend in Braille

Let's see if I can muster a bit more grace today than I did yesterday, hmmm? Sorry for being so bitchy.

This weekend, I get to participate in an experiment in understanding what it's like to be legally blind.

This isn't by choice, mind you.

On Monday, I am going in for my first appointment aimed at getting my eyes fixed so I don't have to wear glasses or contact lenses anymore. This wasn't in the works, frankly. I wear contact lenses for something like 18 hours a day, seven days a week without the slightest complaint.

However, I learned a few weeks ago that I was about to lose *several* weeks of unused vacation time due to my having maxxed out my vacation bank here. That didn't please me, but I couldn't see any way to suddenly use six weeks of vacation before it evaporated.

And then I learned that I could sell back my extra vacation and put the money into a medical spending account.

Bingo. I have a date with the #1 refractive surgery department in the region. For FREE! I'm loving this.

The part I'm not loving is that I cannot wear my contact lenses for 48 hours before I go in.

This wouldn't be a problem, except that I lost my 15-year-old glasses on a business trip several months ago and have been living on just my contacts since then. My original game plan had been to replace the glasses from my medical account, until I learned about the whole free surgery thing.

But I just learned last night that I can't wear my contacts. All weekend.

So, yeah. I'm a total moron. In fact, that's exactly what my husband said last night. "Wow. You're a freakin' moron, aren't you?" Yeah. He's a love, ain't he? I told him to kiss my unmanageable ass.

I'm so screwed. Nowhere to get a cheapo pair in my strength (because I'm pretty much bat-blind without my lenses in) before tomorrow.

This'll be a learning experience, for certain. I'll check in as soon as my eyes stop being dilated on Monday and I can put my lenses back in. ;) Hopefully, that'll be BEFORE the OSU national championship game starts.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2008.
I hope this is a year of peace and prosperity, health and happiness for you and yours.