Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wherein I destroy expensive electronics


This morning I was watching Regis inspect a silver Aston Martin on TV. I was sitting with one leg crossed over the other. My iPhone was sitting on the top leg. I was resting a cup of coffee in my lap. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen next. It's like watching a child play with matches and tinder, or kittens and knives.

The iPhone slid quickly down my leg and plopped ass-first into the coffee. I frantically dried it off. I checked to see if it was still working, and it was, but it thought I was trying to plug in a device that wasn't working. That'd be the coffee, which is probably working its way through the phone's innards like a slow poison.

The Interwebs says to turn the phone off and set it in rice to draw the moisture out. So I've done that.

I'm disappointed with myself, but not surprised. I've always sort of felt I shouldn't be entrusted with anything too nice, and luckily this phone is a hand-me-down from my husband. Nonetheless, it did cost a pretty penny initially and I'm not sure I'd be OK with buying another one.

It reminds me of a time when I went to Tahoe with my grandparents. I was probably between 8 and 10 years old. In photos from the trip, my sister and I are wearing some pretty hilarious outfits. In one I've got neon green leggings on and she's wearing black biker shorts with neon blue stripes on the sides. Remember when biker shorts were in?

Anyway I had this really cool Esprit watch. Each of the numbers on the dial had a little decorative smear of paint next to it, in all different colors. Color was REALLY in.

At some point during that trip, I lost my watch. I was heartbroken. Really. It was just a cheap plastic watch, but my parents had gotten it for me and I was afraid to tell anyone I'd lost it or ask them to buy me a new one. So I didn't. And whenever I think about that trip, yes, I remember how much fun we had with our grandparents, but I always think of that watch first.

So I won't bust out the violins quite yet. No funeral arrangements are yet necessary for this beloved iPhone (which I've been using for only one month. Somehow I managed to not mortally wound the shitty Razr phone I had for several years but give me a $400 smart phone and PLOP it goes into a cup of coffee!). But please send my phone good cell juju today.

If you need me, I haven't yet permanently damaged the land line.

Monday, March 29, 2010



Darling husband tied an extra cord around the cats' play-house thing, and they are enjoying the new noms.


I'm the Big Macher Shammes

Why such schlotlz coming from this nebbish?

I learned that this morning, from a web site called hebrew4christians.net, believe it or not.

It means Why such arrogance coming from this incompetent nerd?

My sudden interest in Yiddish stems from a conversation with my parents last night. They'd spoken to my grandfather recently, who'd told them that some big-wig car guys come into town to race at the Bonneville salt flats. They stay at his motel and "act like they're the Big Macher Shammes." I can really only guess that is how it's spelled. It means literally The Big-Shot Control Freak. According to hebrew4christians, that is.

We are not Jewish, but my grandpa worked for some Jewish business owners in Chicago about five thousands years ago, and apparently hasn't forgotten his Yiddish.

Anyway. This post is going to be kind of all over the place. Just warnin' ya. Kind of a weekend recap.

Friday night I made stromboli, which was a huge pain in the ass because it involved pizza dough, and anytime me, pizza dough, and a rolling pin are within a yard of each other, maniacal screaming ensues. Seriously. There is nothing more irritating than wrestling dough into the shape that you want it. I'd just about sworn never to make stromboli ever again, and then I tasted it and it was, like, little pieces of heaven on my tongue. We ate that and drank a bunch of wine and watched "Who Do You Think You Are," which I believe I've mentioned is the best new show on TV.

Saturday we went to 14 different hardware stores to find cord covers that we could have bought at the first hardware store that we went to. Simon has been chewing on lamp cords and TV cables, etc., so we covered them up so he can chew on the covers instead.

Saturday night we ate dinner at Sam's BBQ with friends. It's a little salt of the earth hole-in-the-wall kind of place with the best BBQ you can get around here.

And then later we watched "Moon," which my husband had ordered on Netflix even though he'd already seen it, because in his words, he wanted me to see it because "I love it." For him to say he loves a movie is no small thing. Although, let me tell you, I was a little nervous because he also loves "Eraser Head," which as we know is the Worst Movie Of All Time.

But you guys? This movie? Was the bomb. I am sort of in love with Sam Rockwell now. The only thing I'd remembered him from was Charlie's Angels and I sort of hated him after I saw that.

SamRo lookin' hot in his moon suit

The premise is that SamRo's character, coincidentally named Sam, is nearing the end of a three-year stint working on the moon, helping to harvest a resource that gets sent back to Earth to supply power. His only company is a machine named GERTY, which is voiced by Kevin Spacey. Sam is looking forward to getting back to Earth to be with his wife and daughter.

He starts going a little nutty and seeing things. He has an accident. He wakes up in the infirmary, with GERTY watching over him. He goes out onto the moon's surface where the accident took place and finds ... himself. The other him is still alive. The two of them have to figure out how there are two of them and what exactly is going on.

I cried. It was so good. Watch it.


Sunday we went for a drive on the coast and got stuck in crappy traffic on 17 because mofos don't know how to drive. And then. We saw my 'rents for dinner and discussed our upcoming trip to Oregon, which starts this Friday.

Less hok a chainik tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pain in the leg

So the deal is, I attempted to run two miles without stopping on Tuesday, and practically had to be hauled away on a stretcher.

I felt pretty good while I was running. I was be-boppin' down the track with my iPod, listening to some Justice. I like to imagine myself in a really awesome music video when I'm exercising and listening to cool music. Nothing is really hotter than me in my sweatpants and T-shirt, sweating my ass off.

So running, yeah that was fine. It was when I stopped that my left leg was like, Bitch please. It had been bothering me a little bit after previous runs, but I figured that was because I am an overweight non-runner who has suddenly attempted to run and my muscles were like, Whoa! We don't do this.

But when I stopped running, it hurt pretty damn bad. There was no comfortable position I could put it in. I sat in the car and groaned in pain.

When we got home, I iced it and took ibuprofen and it felt a lot better immediately. I Googled the problem and it sounds like I probably have a small tear in my calf, probably because my foot is "pronating" (boring runner term). I shouldn't try to use it again for about a week. Which, HELLO. I have to run a 5K in three weeks and I've never run that far. Ever.

But unfortunately, it's not ready for any more training runs until at least next week. It's still like, Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, with every step I take, and finding a comfortable position in bed has been challenging.

So I'm a little pissed off. I don't want the setback. Surprisingly, it's weighing on me more than I would have expected, maybe because I was beginning to realize I might actually be able to run this whole damn thing. If I don't get to run it, or I have to walk it, it'll be a disappointment.

With that said, this is not going to deter my running efforts. After all, 2010 is the year of Angry Determination, among other things.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Minding My Own Business

Yesterday I made a little oopsie and got the tiniest little taste of Internet hate.

The back story is this: There are bloggers out there who have literally millions of followers (I am not one of them). They make a living blogging, and that is wonderful for them, but the downside to having millions of people read what you write is that everything you say is subject to the criticism of a number of nameless, faceless cynics who will not be pleased, no matter what. They inexplicably continue to read blogs they claim to hate, and repeatedly send nasty-grams to the authors. The bloggers' very success seems to irritate them.

When I was a reporter, this was a frequent occurrence. We received many anonymous phone calls, letters and emails. People swore at us, telling us how moronic we were. We knew it was just bullshit and that the people who did it were hateful, spinless jackasses with too much time on their hands, but it still rattled us and made us angry. We wanted to respond but we didn't, because it was beneath us to do so.

So yesterday I made a mistake. I responded to a derogatory remark that someone made on Twitter against one of the bloggers I read. The blogger is well-known, has many readers and is perfectly capable of defending herself. Yet I decided to "tweet" something derogatory about the person who made the first derogatory remark. This is because I am apparently still in junior high school and am very mature.

Don't ask me why I even decided to get involved. I don't know either of these people, so for me to be throwing my two cents in was pretty pointless. But I'd been fighting with a couple of my Facebook friends earlier in the day about the health care bill (and, in my mind, winning the fight), and I was feeling a false sense of confidence.

Now, because all comments on Twitter are public, after I made my remark, a friend of the person who made the first remark said that I should mind my own business and "quit stalking" the popular blogger. And then the person who'd made the first remark said a couple of things to me, and I said a couple of not-at-all-clever things back, and then it stopped. It was all very juvenile.

I admit it rattled me a little bit. It's weird to think that someone hates you, especially if there's not really a good reason why. And now I think I understand, at least a little bit, what bloggers with large followings deal with all the time. A lot of the bloggers I read have been writing posts about the negative emails and comments they receive. They put themselves out there, writing about deeply personal issues, and someone always responds that they should stop whining or stop writing about their children or stop airing their dirty laundry.

I think I'd just seen too many negative comments by the time this most recent remark reared its ugly head. As far as negative comments go, it was fairly benign, so it wasn't the severity of it that made me respond.

It's easy to say evil things to people on the Internet when your handle is something totally unrelated to who you are (like mine: zeromusings), and no one knows your real name or where you live. I don't know what their motives are for saying hurtful things. Maybe they're just bored. I think it's like when you're in grade school and your mom tells you that Suzy says mean things to you because she doesn't like herself and it makes her feel better about herself when you feel like shit. Except Mom never said "shit."

Anyway, I've decided I don't have the guts to do battle with the likes of these venomous blogger haters. I'll keep my mouth shut and hope my Twitter experience returns to the land of rainbows and sunshine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poised for action

I've got more adorable photos of Simon than I do of Murray because Murray is a man of action. He rarely holds still. After I took this photo, Murray bounded off to stalk imaginary prey.

Today I have to go to the grocery store, which I hate. I thought that grocery shopping on a weekday morning was going to be cake. Like, no one would be at the grocery store and I could get in and out in record time. What really is going on is that mommies and ancient crypt keepers are at the grocery store during the day on weekdays. Tons of them, roaming the aisles like hungry zombies. Moaning and bleeding from their eyeballs, and stuff.

Yesterday I finished my character profiles (yeeehoooo!) and today, after my awful trip to the grocery store, I am going to be working on more plot development. My evil plan is working, mwahahaha...

Then tonight, running. I decided that I'm just gonna turn on my ipod and run like 2 miles. I'll letcha know how that goes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Am Everyday People


I will be the first to admit I am more than a little wary of the new health care bill, even though I supported it, and I support the President, whom I voted for.

Because I'm aware of our government's many failures and I'm aware that people who live in countries that have universal health care are not always pleased with their coverage.

But the unfortunate truth is that prison inmates -- people who rape, murder, steal, terrorize, and are the general scourge of society -- receive basic health care. Better health care than some families who can't get it through their jobs and can't afford it on their own. Better than some citizens whose pre-existing health problems prevent them from receiving basic health care, because greedy health insurance companies don't want to pay for insulin and heart medication and chemotherapy.

So I'm afraid we have little choice but to support universal health coverage in America. To cry "socialism" and to claim this will further fiscally weaken our country - which it may - is to ignore your friend, your neighbor, your brother, who needs medical coverage. We can continue to allow individualism to rule our thinking. After all, as long as me and my family are covered and happy, who cares whether Stranger Suzy's daughter dies because no hospital will admit her due to lack of insurance? It's surely sad, but doesn't really affect me.

We can continue to think that way, or we can do the right thing and make sure innocent Americans who have not raped, killed, or terrorized others, receive the health care we all deserve. Twenty four percent of Californians do not have health insurance. Tell me that is right. Tell me they don't deserve it as much as prisoners on death row do. Tell me what a better way to fix this problem is.

Opponents of this bill would have you believe that its passage will lead to the demise of this country. Literally, they have said it will ruin this country. My suggestion is to not listen to their messages of fear. As rational beings capable of our own thoughts, I believe we understand this could never lead to our country's downfall. As part of the brotherhood of man, I believe we are obligated to support anything that gives equal rights to all Americans.

Tomorrow: More nonsense.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One Month of Freedom

Guess what, you guys!

Today, it has been exactly one month since the last day at my old job.

On Tuesday, someone asked me, "And what do you do?" And I said sort of bashfully, "I'm a writer." And they didn't look at me like I was full of crap!

That's the first time I've told a stranger what it is I do all day long -- never mind that no one is actually paying me to do it.

The last month has been absolutely eye-opening. I can't adequately express how much less anxiety I feel on a daily basis. I've concluded that my stress level was way out of whack and not natural. That is, I don't think humans are meant to live with that kind of stress. I believe it kills us.

So, I've summed up what exactly I've been up to in the last 30-odd days, in a tidy little list.

1. I sleep eight hours every night. This is a new thing for me. I LOVE it.

2. I exercise every day. This is also new for me. I do not always love it. But I love how I feel afterward, and I love where it's getting me.

3. I write Monday through Friday, during the same hours that "normal" people go to their jobs.

4. I battle the temptation to surf the Internet, because you guys? There is so much good stuff out there. I really believe there is some wild talent out there, just waiting to be discovered.

5. I make all of my meals at home, every day. This has resulted in the consumption of fruit and vegetables! I feel much healthier.

6. I work on the blog Monday through Friday.

7. I hang out in my backyard when the sun in shining.

8. I take photos of my cats.

9. I thank my lucky stars every day for my awesome husband.

Initially, I was pretty worried that this wasn't going to work out. My main concerns were that I would get really lonely and that I would be a complete failure at writing a novel.

Thankfully, what I've discovered is that I love being alone, for a while. I see other people often enough to satisfy my cravings for company.

And I discovered that, so far, I am not a complete failure. I've found some guidance, and feel like I am on a path that will end with a complete novel. Which is sort of amazing.

Many of the folks who read this blog (there aren't that many, but they are dedicated!) have been extraordinarily supportive. I thrive on the encouragement and am so thankful for it.

I'm looking forward to the next month, hitting more milestones, and finding out more about myself that I didn't know.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

That's my 'Who ate all the Cocoa Puffs?!' face

Yo, check out my new header, dudes! It's me, all mad and stuff. That is just one of many delightful expressions I can make.

I could have just posted the photo that the DMV took of me a couple of years ago. Anytime my husband wants a good cackle he just pulls my driver's license out and howls with laughter. The expression on my face in that photo pretty much says, "I will kill you," but you have to take into consideration that the picture was taken like 30 seconds after the pockmarked kid behind the counter asked me if my weight had changed since I first reported it when I was 16 years old.

Oh, pardon me, you want me to tell you how much weight I've gained OUT LOUD? My own husband doesn't know what I weigh, and I'm certainly not telling the entire DMV that I am a hippopotamus.

I just said, "No."

Anyway. I asked my husband what he thinks of the new header and he writes via email, I think you're prettier than that, but it's funny.

He's so funny. He's always telling me how ugly the actresses on TV are. Believe me, these are beautiful actresses, but he claims that I am more beautiful than they are. Sometimes I wonder what precisely it is he is looking at when he's looking at me. Because my eyebrows are totally lopsided and I look tired 24-7. I have bad skin and a pointy nose and hooded eyes.

Anyway I told him the point of this blog is not that I am pretty, but that I am a madwoman. It's like a disclaimer: No need to take much of what you see below too seriously.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Well aren't you just a bonny lass?

Today I went to Safeway to pick up corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and beer. The employees there had built a tower of cases of inferior beer directly in front of the Guinness. Which: Hello? Why are you trying to prevent me from buying Guinness on St. Patrick's Day? Anyway, I had to use my ninja skills to grab a six pack, and almost broke my neck. But I got that shizzle.

Erin Go Bragh!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Five Ws & An H

When I'm in a quandary, I often ask Google what I should do. Dear Google, Why am I so unmotivated today? Dear Google, Why does my shin hurt? Dear Google, What should I make for dinner?

Sometimes Google knows, sometimes Google doesn't know. But as I'm sure you've noticed, when you start to type something in to Google, the search engine will try to guess what your search term is going to be, based on (I presume) the most frequently searched terms.

Which can be a bit surprising. Especially when you're searching for something totally obscure, like "Ostrich feather centerpieces" and Google totally guesses what you were going to type. But often more surprising are the things people are searching for that you never would have guessed.

Below is a list of search terms. I typed in the beginnings of questions, and Google gave me a list of possibilities. The following are the most interesting ones.

Who ... dat?
Who ... is Lady Gaga?
Who is the ... hottest girl in the world?
Who is the ... antichrist?
What ... to do when you're bored
When ... will I die?
When should I give ... up on him?
Where is ... Santa?
Where is ... Tiger Woods?
Where do all my ... socks go?
Why ... are black people so loud?
Why ... can't I own a Canadian?
Why ... is my poop green?
Why is the ... world going to end in 2012?
Why doesn't ... God heal amputees?
Why doesn't ... a duck's quack echo?
Why doesn't ... he like me?
Why can't I ... stop eating?
When did the last ... survivor of the Titanic die?
How ... to kiss
How ... to get a girl to like you

From the looks of it, Google searchers are lonely, slightly racist, and a bit existential. It's kind of amazing what they're hoping Google can answer. Like seriously, how is Google going to know where all of your socks go??

And for the record, a duck's quack does echo.

Also, the "Why can't I own a Canadian" term has its own back story, visit the link if you're interested.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mexico Lindo's Revenge

Don't judge me for my lack of baseboards. It's on my to-do list. This picture is how I feel today. Washed out by light and frozen in my comfortable spot. I ate most of an enchilada & taco combination plate last night and today I'm nursing a mild case of food poisoning. I'll be curled up in the fetal position if you need me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wolves in sheep's clothing. Or something like that

Today I am so pissed off. I spent much of yesterday looking for an assisted living facility that would be covered by Medi-Cal, so that my family can move my grandparents in and breathe a little easier knowing someone will help them bathe, someone will feed them, someone will make sure they are getting their meds.

Well here's the short version (I'm not going to do a whole post on this because it will probably bore you): The government will collect money from you for your entire life via taxes and it will send you to war, and even if you, say, get fucking shot in combat, when the time comes for your government to give something back to you, I hope you don't expect much. You'd better start saving your pennies, kids.

So because I'm not going to blog about that today, I will instead blog about how someone knocked at my door yesterday.

I was singing in the bathroom while putting on makeup. A Fiona Apple song. Loudly. It's one of my workplace rules, singing loudly and spontaneously. I thought I heard a knock on the door but then figured the cats knocked something over (not an unusual occurrence) and continued belting out tunes.

Someone knocked louder.

I skipped to the front door and wedged it open just wide enough for me to fit my head through. The cats will attempt escape when the door opens. And there on my front porch stood two women straight out of the Juniper Creek compound, dressed in homemade full length dresses, no makeup, long hair braided and wound into buns. Their names were Sue and Charlene. I know this because they told me twice.

Sue began speaking and spoke without pause for about five minutes. She said they were talking to people about how to deal with these tough economic times. Hmmm. Free front-porch therapy on a Thursday morning. Why not! She pulled a Bible out of her purse. She read from Romans. I don't remember the verse because I started thinking at that moment of how I was going to make them go away.

She said something about "the kingdom" and then opened a book titled "WHAT DOES THE BIBLE Really TEACH?" She came to a page with pictures of culturally diverse Really happy people who were really happy because they were in "the kingdom," I guess. She asked me something. I don't remember what it was. I remember thinking, "Did that question even make sense? I am not sure she even understands what she just asked me."

So I answered "I don't think I'm prepared to talk about that right now but thanks so much for stopping by." Before I could get the door shut, she pushed the "WDTBRT" into my hands and said she and Charlene would be back next week to see what I thought of it. "See you then," I said. I have no intention of opening the door for these people ever again.

So, look. I don't begrudge Jehovah's Witnesses their beliefs. If they want to believe that when we die, we are just dead, at least until Jehovah comes back and then we throw a big party, that is fine. I don't know where they got their information and I don't frickin' care.

But seriously? If you're going to proselytize to me on my front porch, interrupting a vigorous singing session, at least be honest about what the hell you're doing there. Don't act like it's normal for you to be showing up, unbidden, in your polygamist's uniform to talk to me about these tough economic times. (For the record, I am not calling Sue and Charlene polygamists, I am just saying they look like they are)

My suggestion: Ask me if you may interrupt my day to speak with me about your faith, and explain to me that you are a Jehovah's Witness. At this point, I will so "No" and "Goodbye" but at least you'll be able to know you were honest and I won't feel duped and irritated and be writing scornful things about you on the Internet. Deal? Deal.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Waffle Stompers

Would you just look at Simon's feet? Hair grows between his toes like he's got that hair disease that some people get, where their hair grows down and meets their eyebrows so they look like a werewolf. Except Simon is a cat, so it's less weird.

Furry little bastard.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Them bones

Yesterday I ran my second training run, sore from a punishing yoga class on Monday (and probably still sore from Training Run #1 on Sunday) and MY GOD it was hard. Today my knees are not happy with me.

My "Couch to 5K" training program warns that some of the workouts may seem easy and that I may be tempted to run longer. My husband found this to be true. At the end of the first run on Sunday, he said it seemed too easy and proclaimed that he'd barely broken a sweat. Meanwhile, I was practically doubled over, panting, my legs burning from the effort.

Oh hello, exercise! It's ... interesting to see you again. It's been a while.

Yesterday I ran by myself, and I have to admit: By the end of that session, I was pretty much convinced there is no way in hell I am going to be able to run the whole 5K next month. But before a couple of minutes had passed, I'd mentally slapped myself on the hand.

No one, including Doubtful Dot in my head, is allowed to tell me that I can't do something. This is practically my new life mantra.

Just because I've never written a novel doesn't mean it ain't gonna happen. And just because I'm overweight and out of shape doesn't mean I'm not going to run three miles on April 17.

I've said it before - 2010 is a big year. I feel a lot of change happening in myself and the people around me. I don't know why -- maybe it's mass hysteria -- but many people seem to have decided 2010 is the year to Dream Big, even though it's Really Big and seems impossible. We've realized it's not impossible. We've just been telling ourselves that so we didn't have to take huge risks and feel scared.

My resolve is renewed today. Yoga Bob gets to punish me tonight and then it's on to Training Run #3 tomorrow.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The backup plan

On my mother's mother's side, I can trace my family lineage back to 1825, to a dude named Joseph Dallen, who had a daughter named Margaret, who had a daughter named Leona, who had a daughter named Cordelia, who had a daughter named Evelyn, who is my grandmother.

Most of my ancestors on this side of the family are Swedish or French, although one is said to have been Irish, and Lord knows how he got into the mix.

This particular branch of the family tree is the only one I really have any information about, and as far as I know, no one in my family - on any side of the family - was famous or did anything particularly remarkable (although my mother once told me of a Mexican beauty-queen cousin who was killed in a fireworks accident).

There is one guy who is said to have been a musician who did arrangements for the Lawrence Welk show. He was Margaret's (remember her?) brother's son's son. So some kind of distant cousin of mine.

I love geneaology. I love researching it and logging names and dates and occupations.

So it stands to reason that I adore this new TV show (new in America, at least) in which celebrities discover their ancestry. It's called "Who do you think you are?" In its pilot episode over the weekend, Sarah Jessica Parker discovered that one of her ancestors was part of the California Gold Rush. He died before he could strike it rich. Incidentally, this man was listed as traveling with a man who carried my father's last name, so my curiosity was piqued.

Another of Sarah's relatives was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials but was absolved of wrongdoing due to an amazing stroke of luck/timing.

It's renewed my interest in researching my own family's history. Anything is possible. There are three whole branches of the family I know almost nothing about (more if you count my husband's family).

So I've decided that if this whole fiction writing thing doesn't work out, I'm going to become a professional genealogist. I just googled "How do I become a professional genealogist," and after looking at the information, I think it's totally doable. ;-)

(By the way, when in doubt about anything, and I do mean anything, I always search Google for the answer.)

Feliz Lunes...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Because I like the pain, OK

Please think of one person you know who procrastinates excessively. Like, the one person you know who does this more than anyone else you have ever met. Because I need you to understand that I am like 43 times worse than that person.

Remember that 5K I signed up for last month? If I'd begun training immediately, that would have given me two months to train for it, which would have been a perfect match with the "Couch to 5K Running Plan" that I found online.

But did I begin training immediately? Of course not. Have I trained at all? Negative.

Today, B and I bought running shoes. Here is a breakdown of the training situation.

There are 41 days to train for the 5K.
There are 27 workouts in the Couch to 5K Running Plan.
I am taking 1 week of vacation in April (during which I will continue to run).
I will attend yoga 10 times before the 5K, on days when I am not running.
This means I need to run 5 times per week for the next three weeks, and 4 times per week for the following three weeks.

This should be interesting.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blast from the past

I've been struggling with what to name some of the characters in my novel, so yesterday I turned to my middle school yearbook for inspiration.

And got sucked into staring at it for like half an hour.

So first of all, I graduated from middle school in 1992, which doesn't sound like that long ago, but oh my God, that was 18 years ago.

In all of the pictures of me, I look constipated. Myself and my friends all look a bit homeless, with our over-sized clothing and disastrous attempts at achieving the puffed bang look.

The girls to my left and right had much better 1991-92 hair.

But the real treasures in this yearbook are the notes from my friends.

One friend wrote, "I hope I never move because I probably would never bee (sic) the same. But I doubt I will move. Yay! If we were moving I would know by now. We will probably be in biology together. I hope you and your 'dude-friend' turn out fine."

She did move but we still attended the same high school and remain good friends today.

My "dude-friend" wrote that he had to go "weez the juice - buu-dy!" and signed off, "Love you."

It didn't work out with that particular dude friend. There was an unfortunate incident involving a homecoming dance, braces, and my first French kiss.

My English teacher wrote: "It has been so refreshing to have you in my class this year. I knew each day I'd have at least one pleasant, smiling face out there. Thanks."

Poor guy used to get terrorized by students every day. Junior high is a battlefield, man.

So today, it's back to the drawing board. I still haven't come up with names for all of my characters, so maybe it's time to hit the high school yearbooks...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

There's no crying in yoga

I am on the floor. I'm doing my best to shove my left shoulder under my left knee.

I'm propped up on my two hands and the toes from my right foot, which is about 42 miles away from me, in a runner's lunge.

I am told to simply balance my weight on my left arm and levitate my legs off the ground, like a giant pair of human scissors. No one has ever died doing this, claims our yoga instructor, Bob.

A couple of the girls closest to me - college students and perhaps gymnast bulimics by the look of them - are doing it. Easy, easy, easy. I imagine they are snickering at me, the chubby girl sweating in the corner in her T-shirt and running pants.

Almost every time I work out with Bob, I want to cry. Actually, I think Bob wants me to cry, too. I think he gets a sick pleasure out of it when people who are not good at yoga take his class.

I want to cry, not because I'm sad or even because I'm frustrated that I can't put my shoulder under my knee and balance my weight on my left arm. It's sheer exhaustion. Every muscle in my body is burning and shaking and Bob is relentlessly demanding more.

Child's pose is always an option, Bob reminds us (Me. He is talking strictly to me). I try to avoid child's pose because, in it, I am curled, childlike, on the floor, with my forehead pressed to my mat, and to me, it's like I'm saying, All right Bob, you prick, you win.

In truth, Bob is not a prick. He's just a hardcore yoga instructor who will kick the living shit out of you if you come to his class. He actually seems quite friendly and he has a good sense of humor. But he knows how to bring the hurt.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stop and smell the roses

Our 9-month-old cats, Murray and Simon, are still in that curious kitten stage when, anytime anything new is brought into the house, they immediately inspect, sniff, and destroy. The above photo is Murray inspecting a mixed Valentine bouquet of roses, carnations and daisies, shortly before he gnawed the head off one of the flowers.

Monday, March 01, 2010

It seemed so delicious at the time

I thought of something last night. It was so brilliant and funny and wonderful, but the thought came to me as I was nestled in my warm bed, my head snuggled into my soft pillow, and I thought to myself, Nah, I don't need to write this down because there is no way I will forget this, even though I kind of knew, deep down, I would forget.

It was probably the most fantastic plot development ever for my book, or maybe the cure for cancer.

I went to sleep thinking about blueberries, not pineapple and baseboard paint photo collage bookcase typewriter cabinet curtains air-conditioning electrician book.

Thoughts become so weird as you're falling asleep, that if you are awakened from that half-sleep state you'll realize, I was just having this weird thought/dream about a ketchup bicycle. It seemed so delicious at the time.

Since I don't work at a "real" job any more, every night I dream about my old job. Don't ask me why; I'm apparently still anxious about it. It's almost time to fertilize the trees, I remember thinking. Check the budget.

Part of me believes I was about a month away from going completely ballistic at that job. Nothing out of the norm was happening. It was the same stuff, every day. Part of me wonders if I would have had a nervous breakdown, anyway, and would have been fired.

I read a book recently that said the term nervous breakdown is just what they used to call depression.

On today's agenda: Try try try to remember brilliant half-sleep thought and hope it wasn't ketchup bicycle. Continue outlining. Yoga. Namaste.