Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Some people get dressed and go to work. In their normal clothes. Even on Halloween! How dull! Given my propensity to stretch out a celebration just as long as I possibly can, I started dressing for today on October one. Just a festive t-shirt or Halloween-themed earrings or socks for the first three weeks of the month. Since Monday I've been building up to today with a greater concentration of costume pieces, arriving at today fully garbed as the mistress of the underworld. Some speculated as to what color my underwear might be since I have a reputation for a certain degree of (some say obsession with) coordinating my clothing. Another thought that perhaps I was wearing no underwear at all. I'll deal with her later, maybe by having her sign a little contract involving ownership of her soul after a few glasses of wine...I was greeted by a coworker with a joyous "go to Hell!" soon after my arrival. Had a few costume malfunctions with occasionally losing my tail since it was only tucked, not pinned. When I found myself carrying rather than swishing my tail this afternoon, I handed it over to a cute guy who held it for a moment and looked at me quizzically as he wasn't sure what he should do with it. I held out my hand and took it back, smiled, and said that he could go and tell all of his friends he got a little tail at work today. He grinned and blushed just a teensy bit. Leave 'em grinning and blushing, that's what I always say. I love that our sexual harrassment policy contains the key word unwelcome. I did win the vote for best costume just a few minutes later and was presented with a ten dollar gift card for our local Dairy Queen. Leaving visions of Blizzards (with peanut butter cups and Reese's Pieces) and footlongs smothered with chili and cheese dancing in my head. Which (witch?) isn't a bad way to start out the weekend, if you ask me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stay Tuned...

I'm experiencing technical difficulties with the Viking Warrior Princess costume. For one thing, a fur and flannel outfit with tights, boots and a long skirt is going to be much too warm to wear to work. Normally it's a little chilly this late in the fall so I thought Nordic attire would be appropriate! But no! And with the weather forecast for tomorrow being quite similar to today, I have found it necessary to rummage through the costume closet and come up with something more suitable for the relative temperature. Just think warm. Very, very warm. And, well...south, so to speak. Photos tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Geometry, Baby!

The Most Famous Fractal
I'm not much of a mathematician. I can do the important stuff like keep my checkbook in order and estimate how much wallpaper I need. But I leave the theoretical stuff to the experts who are trained in that discipline. Like people who have an enormous dry erase board in their living room that's covered with indecipherable squiggles and numbers that they will occasionally experience some sort of epiphany over and erase a tiny area and substitute some other symbols that for some reason known only to them, seem more appropriate. I have always approached math from a more aesthetic point of view. I enjoy the interesting intricacies such as the powers of two and perfect squares. The Fibonacci sequence I find particularly fascinating, a string of numbers in which any number is the sum of the previous two numbers. And now, I am in love with fractal geometry. At last, a branch of mathematics that can measure and explain nature. It's no surprise that the man who first described fractals was considered a nut case and was shunned and ridiculed by his colleagues. But we have Benoit Mandelbrot to thank for inventing fractal geometry. This, in my opinion, qualifies the man for sainthood, or at least my personal reverence. I would bet that at a dinner party, he's the most interesting guy at the table.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Checking Out

I remember reading a science fiction short story a number of years ago. I don't really remember much about it except there were two teenage characters, one a boy and one a girl. I suppose they were a couple, they were certainly friends who hung out together nearly constantly and had too much time on their hands to ponder the state of their futuristic lives and because of that became involved in some sort of adventure or were caught up in some kind of predicament. But I don't remember any of that. What I do remember is one odd little fact. The teenage girl's father didn't worry about all of the time his daughter spent alone with the teenage boy. It wasn't that he trusted them, he had taken her to some kind of genetic doctor mad scientist practitioner where they had done a procedure that "shut off" the part of her brain that was interested in having sex. When she became older or her parents deemed her responsible enough to make the decision on her own, they would make another appointment with the doc and have her sex drive turned back on again. How convenient! And lately I've thought how practical that could be. Just turn off those pesky hormones that addle the thought process and get on with the business of life without that particular distraction. I have a friend who takes an anti-anxiety drug that she says does that trick for her, and for many others. One of those side effects that take three pages of tiny print in a magazine to disclaim after the photo of pure bliss and happiness in the ad touting the drug. But then I think about another friend who has so much of himself shut off with various pharmaceuticals to get his personal demons under control that he's not really there any more. Which makes me think that I'd rather keep all of my channels up and running. So to type. The monkeys in my head are pretty well-behaved most of the time. Not completely under control, but then, that's when things get interesting. Sometimes fun. And what would I have to write about if life ceased to be interesting. And what would life hold for me if I could no longer recognize fun. This girl is not going to shut off parts of herself! Bring on the interesting, bring on the fun, throw in some endocrine cocktails! For today, at least, I'm grateful for the ability to deal with my demons without intervention.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Says It's Better The Second Time Around!!

There are no coincidences, there are no coincidences...everyone, repeat after me...there are no coincidences. It is pretty interesting how I observed a video on the mall sign on my way home from work yesterday that caused me to consider relationships and romance and what is genuine and real and good versus that which is manufactured and false and unfulfilling. Then upon arriving home I got a phone call that held the possibility of not spending the evening alone. Then I experienced a fair amount of anxiety, which I later determined was not the butterflies of anticipation sort of anxiousness, but the the sort of unsettledness that comes from feeling pressure and fear. I did slip into a nice, hot bath and sipped a couple of glasses of wine. Picked out something to wear. Wandered around in my bathrobe. Had an interesting discussion of the current political news with the ex when he dropped our son off. I looked outside at the chilly, rainy evening and retired to my bedroom to change into my jammies rather than the cute sweater and jeans and very, very nice underwear I had painstakingly chosen an hour earlier. My phone rang. I let it go to voice mail and then shut it off. Then something occurred to me that made the knot in my stomach fade and disappear. I don't think I'm too good for this guy but I do know that I want and deserve something much better than what we could ever possibly have had together. And while I don't like the idea of being alone for the rest of my life, I have learned that there are many and much worse things than being alone. I learned way back in my twenties that casual sex just doesn't work for me. It seems I'm learning all over again the lessons of dating. And I have to say that it isn't any easier the second time around. I didn't know that there would be a second time around, but here I am in the midst of it.

Just Say Nay

I believe that it is frequently just as important to know what you don't want as it is to know what you do want. Something that I definitely don't want is a long distance fuck-buddy relationship with nothing real and substantive in sight. And I believe this is what I have been offered. No, thank you. You seem like a nice guy who might be fun to spend some time with and I am flattered that you find me attractive. Maybe what I want is the frosting but what I need is a cake. And I just don't have the energy to put into something that's going nowhere.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Slipping Into Cynicism

When I take the usual direct route home, I go down twenty-second avenue past our local mall. Which has recently been updated with a full color video capable ostentatiosly large sign out front. Which was flashing a mushy presenting-a-fabulous-piece-of-jewelry video to lure customers into the jewelry store. I suppose. This video starred a very pretty young woman and a perhaps even prettier young man which ended with a very rehearsed kiss. I took in all of this in something less than ten seconds. My reaction was eeeuuuuu!!!! Yes, I have stepped out onto that slippery slope of cynicism. And I don't really want to be here. But there it is, my initial reaction to manufactured romance was disdainful. Wait a minute! Of course! It was manufactured romance not the real thing! I prefer to think of myself as pragmatic as well as a poetess. And now that I have ascertained that I'm still very much capable of discerning the difference between the live and the memorex, I feel ever so much better. Thank you for bearing with me through this agonizing moment. This isn't at all what I sat down intending to write, but gratefully I am still able to be spontaneous. As well as learn.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nancy!!!

Welcome to Club Fifty!!!

Home Improvement

How can the weekend possibly be over? I don't feel rested! I don't feel restored! I'm pooped from cooking and shopping and errands and my obsession with completing a household project that I maybe shouldn't have even started. But sometimes, once I get an idea in my head I just can't sit until it's completed. Last June, tired of the closet space in the entryway near the patio door, I removed the door and all the hooks and shelves inside the closet. I patched and painted the little niche but didn't quite know what to do with the space til today. The old tv cabinet had been sitting out in the garage waiting for a new purpose. And now, after removing moldings and trim pieces and lining everything up juuuuust right and pushing, the old tv cabinet has become part of the house. There are upper shelves for decor and books, a curtained-off area for storage, and almost the very best of all, the bottom shelf is a spot to park wet, sloppy shoes! Just in time for snow and the inevitable months of wet, sloppy shoes. And the best part is I didn't break a nail. Actually, the best part is that all it cost was the four bucks for a spring rod to hold the curtain in place. Could Martha Stewart accomplish so much for so little? Not without at least two assistants and a cameraman, she couldn't!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Top Ten Things...

...that I find endearing, attractive, cute, or all of the previously mentioned in a guy on first sight.

1. eyes that smile

2. dimples. oh yeah, dimples

3. looking all confident and comfortable even while holding his significant other's purse.

4. those smile crinkles near his eyes

5. not-too-neat-hair

6. an ear piercing with maybe a tiny hoop earring

7. nice arms

8. the edge of a tattoo peeking out from under his clothing

9. dressed in black

10. opening a door, car or building entrance, and holding it open, especially for a child or elderly person or anyone too encumbered to manage alone

Cartoony Me

Thanks for the link, La Guera! This is the new me. Makes me wonder how someone else would cartoonify yours truly. Pretty sure I got the hair right. I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't get the earrings to show, but all in all, I like the rendering. Anyone who knows me knows I never leave the house with naked ears.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Real Estate Update

This afternoon there was a Sale Pending red banner stuck across the realtor's yard sign in front of the house next door. My idle ponderings about becoming a landlady are no more. Soon we shall see who moves in. Will there be obnoxious pets? Children? Eye candy? Federal witness protection program relocatees? A kind fellow with an enormous snow blower who will feel a neighborly obligation to remove the snow from my driveway? The cute, single, heterosexual guy in my age range that I've mantraed about for the last six months? OMG!!! What if it's Jeremy from the street dance with his wife, eight kids, two dogs, gerbil and parakeet from Utah? As if my life isn't weird enough already. You never can tell what a full moon might bring.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ponderings PostScript

Oh, and I've been home from my trip for two weeks and I put the suitcase away today. And I fought the urge to buy Tinkerbell floormats for my car. They still have three sets and are marked down to $15. I plan on snagging the last set when they plummet to five bucks.

Sunday PM Ponderings

*I baked cinnamon rolls this morning. I just thawed out frozen dough overnight to make them, but I think that still counts as real baking. They were yummy, and were is the operative word, they have been long gone for hours.

*Soup weather has arrived and yesterday I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup. Which turned out to be a good thing, I just hauled some across town to the 20yo son who is suffering from a cold.

*One of my favorite bands, Abby SomeOne, has had their website go missing for a week now. What's up with that, Ed?

*The 16yo is something of a literalist linguistics pain in the butt. For the most part he is polite and refrains from correcting others' grammar and he frequently comes up with funny stuff. He recently suggested that handball should more appropriately be called wallball, freeing up handball to be used as the name for American football, leaving football as the name for soccer. He had no suggestion for a new application for the word soccer. I think soccer would be an excellent name for a new drink. Something alcohol based, you know, something that has a real kick.

*I have decided on a Halloween costume. I'm calling her Viking Warrior Princess. Basic black skirt and top with a belted tunic over the top. Somewhere around here there is a plastic sword with matching plastic breastplate. To complete the look I have some yellow yarn braids that reach down to my knees but I need a new horned hat and some fun fur sort of fabric to make the tunic. Last time I did this type of costume I had a little tape recorder with Ride of the Valkyries on it so I had theme music, too. That was fun.

*Finally carried the little step-stool out onto the front deck so I would be tall enough to deal with the light fixture that has been not lighting up for a couple of weeks. Figured out how to disassemble the darn thing, determine what sort of bulbs were needed, and then went out to purchase replacement light bulbs. This is the sort of thing that is best accomplished during the light of day. But I've been forgetting to do it because it's dark when I find out, for the nth time, that the bulbs are burned out when flipping the switch when I need some light in the front yard! For anyone who might be interested, I needed two 60 watt, flame shaped bulbs with a candelabra base. Let there be light.

*The neighbors with the yappy dogs moved out yesterday. There has been a realtor's sign in the yard for over six months. Attention all single, heterosexual, attractive guys between the ages of 35 and 55!! Buy the house next door to me! You'll notice I didn't say employed. I'm assuming that in the current economy if you can qualify for a mortgage, you have a job or family money or something. Maybe I should buy it and become a landlady. If anyone is going to buy it, the owners are going to have to drop the price considerably. Several other homes have sold in days in this neighborhood over the last few months. So it's not just location, location,'s price tag, price tag, price tag. Plus you'd get to live next door to me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Yes, I am appalled at the way feminine images and expectations have been warped by the Barbie doll. But somehow, I still adore Barbie and all her friends and the clothes and accessories. Maybe just a childhood association, I really have never examined it too deeply. Knowing this, imagine how I could not have possibly known that a Halloween edition of Barbie, marketed exclusively through Target stores, has existed since 1997! I became aware of this a year ago, only a week or so prior to Halloween, so naturally Target was completely sold out of the 2007 edition. But I scored one this year! And I have vowed to collect every single one from this year forward! And just as I suspected, my tiny little cauldron and broom are ever so proportionally correct for Halloween Barbie 2008. I do love Halloween. On a completely different note, I do believe that this evening I prepared perhaps the finest alfredo I have ever made. With chicken and served rather inappropriately over rotini rather than fettucini. The 16yo barely had opportunity to voice his approval because he was so busy devouring it. And speaking of the 16yo, he has recently revealed to me how low his level of deceit can reach. He kept secreted from me for nearly a full week the fact that he possessed M & M's! A very large bag of them! In his room! For six full days! Without sharing with his mother! He did earn them, they were part of a gift to him for participating in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure. But still, he didn't share, at least, not until I knew of their existance. And they were those pretty pink ones, too. Now I suppose I'll have to go out and buy a bag of them. But not until the cute purple, black, orange and bright green Halloween theme M & M's are gone. It can be dangerous to have too many M & M's in the house. And then there are those three blue Tootsie Pops lurking about in the pantry since last Halloween...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Photo Fetching

I love it when I go in to update my profile, and when I'm finished, I scroll to the bottom of the page to click on the save button, and for just a second or so, blue letters flash on the screen just above the button. It says,...fetching profile photo. I know, I know, I know what it means, but if I choose to think I'm being complimented, I reserve the right to do so. In fact, whenever I'm having a bad day, I should go in and edit my profile. Just for the pseudo compliment. Thank you ever so much.


The last week that I worked a full forty hours was March 31-April 4. In the ensuing twenty-six weeks, vacation and holidays have aided and abetted a growing slacker ethic within me. My normal shorter hours during the summer months did contribute, but that still leaves three months worth of time that I managed to actually work fewer than forty hours every single week! And while I still have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, plus a floating holiday that has been assigned for all employees to use on December 26th, plus the four and a half days of vacation I still must use-or-lose before the end of this calendar year, I just can't see a way out of putting in a full forty hours this upcoming week. I do have sick days unused, but I neither wish to use them for their intended purpose nor call in feigning illness. I don't want to be sick! And I hope to maintain my morally superior stance of not using sick days unless I actually am. Still, I find it rather remarkable that I have spent half of a year slightly less than fully employed yet enjoying all the benefits of a fully employed person, completely complying to the rules. Yet I still feel like I've been getting away with something. Like the grown-ups will come home after a long absence and force me to make my bed and vacuum and unload the dishwasher. It's been a pretty good run. One for the record books. And as we all know, a record set is a record begging to be broken.

Friday, October 3, 2008


It's Friday. I got off work two hours early. That almost makes up for having gone in two hours late due to the dentist appointment this morning. Just a cleaning and check up, no cavities, no problems. It is a beautiful fall day out here. Sunny. With a mild breeze and 72 degrees on the thermometer. I am out on the deck with my laptop and a freshly opened Beck's Dark. My feet are shoeless and my toes are happy. Grilled burgers are on the menu for this evening. And an evening by the fire in the backyard. Life is good. And sometimes staying home is as good as it gets. If you're in the neighborhood, stop on by, the beer is cold and the party lights are on.