Monday, March 31, 2008

The little things

I've noticed that it takes less and less to excite me these days. I've been trying to get into casual touch with a bunch of friends, acquaintances and former colleagues recently - and find myself at a loss to describe the last 20 years of my life without sounding trite. Particularly because the most exciting thing happening this week is a haircut. And I'm really excited about the haircut. How do you tell an old friend this and NOT sound as exciting as krill?

"Hi! I know we've been out of touch for the last three years, and I've missed talking. How are you? What is exciting in your life lately? Mine? Not much going on that I can think of. I'm getting my haircut on Friday, and I'm really looking forward to being able to see through my bangs again. Work is busy and I am happy."

UGH! How is someone supposed to respond to this drivel?

I'm reminded of the adage ascribed to Mark Twain, "If I had more time I'd write less." As I typed the silliness above, I found myself realizing that if I made time to reflect on all of the milestones I've passed, I'd probably have more to say in fewer words. Consider this change:

"Hi! Its been a long time since we've talked, and I've missed you. Some interesting milestones have passed recently - including my defining a career ladder for myself, making a commitment to becoming a cyclist, and beginning plans to buy a home. I've also realized that adulthood is a journey and this is where I am right now. Where are you in your journey?"

Same number of words in each (64). Both are true assessments of my life right now. Which would you respond to?

How do you respond when someone sends you a "what's up in your life" email or invitation or leaves an out-of-the blue voice mail?

Friday, March 28, 2008


BMG and I lay in bed last night giggling hysterically as we told each other jokes from the "Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who..." genre. I don't know why these are so darn funny to me, but they are. Here are the ones I remember from childhood:

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who hangs on the wall?
A: Art

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who lays on the floor?
A: Matt

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who hangs out in the pool?
A: Bob

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who lives in a hole?
A: Phil

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who lives in a pile of leaves?
A: Russell

And...from BMG, these gems, as told in his sleepy haze last night:
Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who lives in a garden?
A: Soil.
ME: SOIL? What kinds of name is Soil?
BMG: Whoops! I meant Pete. The answer is Pete.

Q: Whaddya call a guy with no arms and no legs who stuck to the side of a tree?
A: Pitch?
ME: Pitch? Who the hell names their kid Pitch?
BMG: Well, you never know, someone could name their kid Pitch.

Apparently there are zillions more - some good some stupid. Visit this link to check 'em out, or put your own amputee joke in the comments section.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cancer Free!

My little sister, E, found out this week the lump in her breast is NOT cancer. Hooray! There has been too much cancer in my immediate world lately. I could say that, in the pantheon of crappy things, cancer isn't terrible - worse than head lice but better than crippling poverty or genocide. But, still, I don't like having cancer - or the whiff of cancer - too close to my family.

Hooray E!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My bed time quirks

I have few routines of which I'm aware. I don't wake up at the same time every morning, I don't eat the same breakfast, I don't take the same route to work every day. However, I do have two bed time quirks.

1. If the blankets on my bed are not perfectly symmetrical, then I cannot relax into sleep. This often requires that I make the bed right before I go to sleep, because getting into an unmade bed is a recipe for asymmetrical disaster.

2. I cannot tolerate any noise as I'm falling asleep. Solution? Ear plugs. Even when I'm home alone, something as potentially soothing as the gentle whir of the alarm clock as the hands slowly move closer to my wake up time can drive me to a wide awake frenzy. Poor BMG, who snores, has taken to going to bed long after I've settled in for my evening nap, to give me the opportunity to fall into slumber sans his immediate honks and gurgles.

What are your routines - bed time or otherwise?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Internal alarm

I am in the middle of working a long week - a $5.5 million proposal is due on Friday.

I was at the office or writing from home for a total of 16 hours yesterday. I went to bed at around 1:00 AM after having taken 2 hours to decompress after finishing work, fully intended to get up at my usual 6:00 AM to get the day started.

I woke up out of a sound sleep at 5:45 AM. "Only 15 more minutes until the alarm," I thought. "Good, I can nap some more." I intuitively checked the alarm button to make sure it was on. It wasn't.

It was as if my body knew I didn't turn the alarm on, and she woke up so I could start my day, and eliminate the potential stress of having overslept during an intense week.



On a sort of related note, I've found myself questioning the idea of heroes this week, in the wake of the news that (former) NY Governor, Eliot Spitzer, was alleged to have used the services of prostitutes as recently as last month. I'm really disappointed. He was supposed to be Mr. Squeaky Clean. It is almost like finding out Mitt Romney drinks alcohol. Whatever happened to integrity? Who are our heroes for good and honest behavior, and why aren't they the leaders of our states and our nations?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pet Names

The following blog post is copyrighted and trademarked and protected in all manner of legalistic silliness. The point, don't steal my pet names.

On with the post:

My older sister has said to me that she cannot keep track of all of my imaginary pets. So, in the interest of helping her keep track of my menagerie, here they are:
1. Black pug = Gobbler
2. Maine Coon cat = Huckleberry
3. Turtle = Shelley
4. Boy Frog = Croque Monsieur
5. Girl Frog= Croque Madame

Okay, I'll have to keep adding to this. I know there are more. Apparently I cannot keep track of them either. Darn it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Delinquent blogger

I've been so busy I haven't had time to blog. Sorry. Here are some updates on my life:
1. I finally figured out how to thread my floss frog with the deliciously thick floss tape. I used a needle and thread! Hooray, now I can count on my plastic green buddy to be a partner in dental hygiene.
2. Digger and I finally figured out the tricks in my new (used) video game and we're rocking on it. And by we, I mean me. The game is so in my consciousness that I fell asleep with the video game tune in my head.
3. Oh, did I mention there is no working heat in my apartment? Brrr! Spent the weekend at Digger's to avoid the Somerville tundra and came home to find a thin layer of permafront covering all of the upholstered furniture. Sigh. Plumber comes tomorrow. My policy is no heat, no rent. So, I haven't paid my rent yet.
4. Feeling exuberant at the validated limit setting at work. Hooray! I have no idea how I get everything done that I get done, but, somehow, I get most of it done.
5. I never put plastic on the windows - so no heat + poor poor insulation makes for a home that is approximately 58 degrees. Super Brrrr!!!!!
6. No matter how many times I do it, I still forget how to convert iTunes music files into a mobile17-compatible format. So, I chose all of my ringtones for my new phone, and now don't know what to do with them. I wish I had done this over the weekend when Digger could help.
7. Girls group met last week and had a fascinating conversation about the difference between settling down and settling into a meditative state (both good) and settling for a spouse (bad).
8. Read the newspaper yesterday and got a little riled up by an opinion piece calling on women to make a priority of choosing a mate over other things if they are in a baby-making frame of mind. I'm aggravated because I know of no woman who has waited to have a kid because of her career - the waiting is mostly about trying to find the right person to "settle" down with.
9. Threw away the Jell-O Poke Cake I made for Digger last weekend. He is terrible about eating leftovers. I'm only making cupcakes from now on, because then I can freeze the uneaten ones.
10. Intrigued by the new cheese-stuffed tater tots posing as breakfast starch on the Burger King menu. (Are they for real?) If anyone tries them, could you PLEASE send me a comment describing them. I want to eat them, and know they are like devil's legos for this body's chemistry.