Thursday, December 30, 2004

I hate doctors.
Not that they aren't useful when I need them, nor do I hate people I know who are doctors, nor do I hate the people themselves in the world that are doctors. If you are a doctor, I am happy for you and I'm sure you and I could be friends. But all in all, I find it an annoying profession.

Today I went to the doctor. I am not sick. Nor did I think I was sick. Nor did the doctor-office-people think I was sick when I called for an appointment. But, my refills on a prescription I take regularly ran out, and the pharmacist and my doctor conspired against me by refusing to give me any more of my drugs until I go see the doctor again.

Or, as I hear it in my head, until I take a morning from work, drive across town to his office, and give him money to tell me I'm still fine and write his name on a piece of paper that tells the pharmacist to give me my drugs.

A month or so ago when I tried to refill my prescription and they wouldn't let me, I was told to go see my doctor to get another prescription. So, I forgot about it for a month, hoping I could get by without it. I decided I can't. And the doctor knows this. It's part of his scheme to keep me coming.

So, last week I finally call to make an appointment and I'm told he is booked until March. MARCH. Um, I just need a prescription. I'm fine not seeing him til March, or ever. It's not him I really want to see. But I am not fine doing without my drugs until March, when it is convenient for him to see me to tell me I'm fine. I remind them that I am not actually sick, and the purpose of my call is just to get my drugs that I've been taking daily for the past several years. The appointment-making-person tells me the nurse will call me back and we'll figure something out.

Ok then.

The nurse calls later and says, yes, I do have to see a doctor to get the prescription, but I can see another doctor in the office. Really? This counts? Then I'm all for it. Whatever I need to do and whoever I can see to get my drugs before March. She books me with another doctor for today.

THEN she tells me that I will need to arrive 20 minutes early to fill out New Patient paperwork, since it's been over a year since they've seen me. Um... what? New patient? Check my chart, please. It's the thick one they usually have to wheel in on a cart of its own. I visited that office every week for three years to get allergy shots. During that time everyone in the office knew who I was by name when they saw me arrive. I've been going there for so long that all of those people have since left, and they have completely remodeled the office and replaced the familiar people with new Pod People who don't know me. I've spent enough money on co-pays there to put at least several of my doctor's kids through college, a few times. I am CERTAINLY not a new patient! I scoff at this paperwork.

At least call it 'Patient We Haven't Seen in Awhile and Miss Dearly' paperwork.

Nevertheless, the nurse insisted I would have to fill out the paperwork again. There was no talking her out of it.


Today I happen to be off from work, which means I have time to see the doctor. But it also means I have to waste part of a perfectly good sleeping-in day to go down to his office. It's across town. Bugger again.

So, I drive there. It takes 20-ish minutes. I park in the lot where I have to ride the shuttle to the building where his office is. It's a familiar routine. One that I do not miss, and am annoyed to have to do again today.

I arrive 25 minutes early, much to my dismay. I had debated the actual truth to the need for a 20 minute early arrival. Clearly this new nurse does not know who I am, because if she did she would know that I am quicker than most people at menial things, like paperwork. I know this about myself. So this morning I have the debate about whether I really need those 20 minutes, or if I can do the paperwork in say... 10 minutes. I've done the paperwork before, and it's not like anything has changed. I don't have any new diseases to report.

Finally I leave the house, and end up getting there way too early at 25 minutes before my appointment. BUGGER. I could have slept for at least 10 more minutes this morning.

I fill out this paperwork in 7 minutes flat, and then sit. And wait. Finally a large man-nurse comes to retrieve me from my waiting, and he takes me to the next little room. Where I am weighed. And my blood pressure is taken. All as though I've never been there before. When the truth is that I've been there so many times, I could do all of this myself.

The large man-nurse comments as he looks through the 108 gazillion pages of my Monster Chart, "Oh, I see you've met Barbara." Yes, I've met Barbara. She was the nurse who gave me my allergy shots every week for much of the three years I came for allergy shots. I've spent lots of quality time with Barbara. I think I was on her family Christmas card one year. Let's get on with this!!

Large man-nurse then leads me back to the tiny Doctor room, where I wait a bit more. Not long, though. Because I'm here to see the doctor that isn't booked until March, and who has too much time on his hands today. My doctor, the superior familiar doctor, is too busy for me now that I'm only in need of prescriptions, and not in need of say.... more invasive surgery to my head.

New Doctor Man comes in, again with large man-nurse (I guess he's there just to get in on the fun of a completely pointless and adventure-less consultation about my sinuses that are currently problem-free), and we begin. Doctor asks me why I'm there. I say I'm there to get my drugs. He then takes my glasses off, I guess so I can't see the "magic" he is about to perform on me and my healthy sinuses. He looks me over. He sticks some utensils up my nose just because they are there and need to be used. He squirts some junk up my nose to 'help him see in there better', and then reports that all seems well in the realm of my sinus cavity.

Yes, that's what I've been saying all along. And I've been saying it for free. Although... for just a minute in all the 'looking me over' I did fear that he would discover something terrible and I would regret coming to the doctor once again. I usually seem fine before I go. It's after I get there and they have a chance to poke around that I end up with some awful disease or condition that requires months of treatment or surgery and more doctors.

Sometimes I think it's the doctors and the offices that actually make me sick.

He writes me a prescription. The coveted prescription I've journeyed far to acquire, and have now been needlessly tortured with sinus utensils to earn.

Then I am led to the Pay For This Pointless 10-Minute Appointment desk, where I hand over 25 hard-earned dollars, and I'm sent on my way.

He did give me a free sample of my drugs to hold me for a week or so.

That was nice.

But not worth the drive or the loss of $25, which would have otherwise been used for something much more fun than a trip to the doctor.



Friday, December 03, 2004

I'm pretty much good for one thing
And that one thing is spotting famous people in airports, and then riding on planes with them.

It's a long list of non-A-list celebrities that I can claim as people I've seen in airports: Aaron the Bachelor on my flight from L.A., Gary Busey on my parents' flight to Tulsa (I saw him get off the plane), Ed McMahon on my flight to L.A. Just to name a few of the really special ones.

And to add another name to my list, Friend A and I had the distinct pleasure of flying to Costa Rica last week with Stephan Jenkins, none other than the lead singer of Third Eye Blind.

We arrived at the airport extraordinarily early. We had several hours to kill before our flight. Was I annoyed? Frustrated? Bored? Of course not! One of my favorite pasttimes is watching people. And the main reason why is because if I look hard enough, I'll eventually find someone famous.

We sat. Friend A read a book. I stared at people walking by. Eventually, a tall guy walked by and caught my eye. He was on a cell phone. And he was pushing one of those luggage carts that people use to carry lots of luggage. Except his contained one solitary carry-on size piece of luggage.

I thought he looked familiar, but said nothing. I continued to watch.

Awhile later, he walked by again. Going the same direction. With his cart. And one piece of tiny luggage. Maybe that one piece of carry-on luggage was REALLY heavy. But it just looked odd. I determied that clearly this guy was famous, because he was fancy enough to need a cart for his carry-on.

He still talked on his cell phone. And this time, I got a better look at him. And.... I knew.

It was the guy from Third Eye Blind.

I told Friend A. Why? Only because it was interesting to me. Friend A tends to know nothing about music, and even less about pop culture as related to music. I knew she would have no idea who he was. But, I'd just spent the last hour or so staring at people. It had finally paid off. Someone was going to know about it.

Surprisingly, Friend A seemed to have heard of the band. And as a fellow admirer of famous people (as she says, "famous people are better than us") she was immediately intrigued. She told me to go talk to him. This posed a problem.

First, he was already a good ways down the terminal again. Walking even further away as we stared after him. I had no intentions of chasing him down to talk to him. And second, I had no idea what his name was. I just knew his face and who he belonged to, and a song or two. I can't very well go talk to some famous guy without knowing his name.

Friend A started calling people. She eventually tracked down her brother, who knew the guy's name. Stephan Jenkins. I confirmed this detail on my cell phone with a quick Google search on the internet. It probably cost me more than a seat at a Third Eye Blind concert would cost me, but I likes my gadgets. It was imperative to confirm this information. Thank goodness I have the fun phone.

Upon confirmation of the name, I noticed that he was back in our area. And not only in our area, he was checking on our flight. OUR FLIGHT!!!

Yes, Stephan Jenkins appeared to be going with us to Costa Rica. For Thanksgiving. And... he was alone.

We got on the plane, because the airplane people told us to. Our seats were the first row behind the first class section, so I set myself up for a prime view of our new famous friend who would surely be seated in first class. Sure enough, as the last passengers filed onto the plane, there he was. Just a few rows ahead of me.


We flew to Costa Rica. I did not talk to him. I did see him get up to go to the bathroom, but unlike the Bachelor plane trip, I did not go in after he came out. I remained in my seat. With my seatbelt fastened. Because the airplane people told me to.

We landed and stumbled off the plane, heading to the immigration line. I figured Stephan would be lost in the crowd and we would never see him again. But as we came around the corner to the large crowd of people waiting to get through immigration.... there he was. At the end of a line. A line in which we parked ourselves directly behind him.

So, now we were in Costa Rica in the immigration line with Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind.

Oh yes. We were.

And... he turned and looked at me. I swear he did. He knew that I knew who he was. How? Because this is the one thing I'm good for. Finding famous people. We have a connection.

Friend A and I began discussing his musical repertoire. I knew Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, and proceeded to serenade Friend A. Quietly. So as not to disturb Stephan. She recognized the song and became excited that maybe this guy really was famous. Because clearly if I sing a song and point at a guy as though he is the one who really sings the song, he must be famous and I must know what I'm talking about. It's as good as scientific proof.

Then we discovered the ultimate confirmation of our famous person sighting. There, in the back pocket of Stephan's jeans for the whole world to see, was his immigration paperwork. And there at the very top of the page in large block black letters.... was his name. Printed. Clearly.


Friend A and I both saw it. And at that time I decided that my fun phone needed to be put to use again.

I took a picture of Stephan Jenkin's butt. With my camera phone.

Oh yes. I did. He is on my phone even as I type.

Now, the picture is blurry. And you can't make out the name on the form in his pocket. But, we know what it is. We know what it says. We know what we saw.

I never quite felt like I was fan enough to talk to him. We watched as he passed through immigration with his one carry-on bag, and vanished down the escalator and into the night. We felt sure that Costa Rica was a small enough country that we would surely run into him again, repeatedly, throughout our trip.

But, we didn't.

I'm just glad I'm good for such an important thing.

Because famous people are better than us.


Not getting any younger.
Why does it seem like the Oldest Person in the U.S. dies every week?

Maybe I just pick the wrong days to read the news. But it seems like I read fairly regularly that another oldest person has died. Is it the same old person fooling us every time? Not really dead, but just enjoying making the headlines each week? Or are we just experiencing a rash of oldest people losing the will to stay the oldest.

Whatever the case may be, things aren't looking good for whoever is the next youngest. Good thing she's likely too old to see to read about these other oldest people.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Welcome Again, Race Fans.
And by race, of course I mean the new season of The Amazing Race.

I know you thought I given up my pursuit and commentary on the sport of reality television. But I assure you, even though I have less time to write about it, I still watch as much of it as I can. It is my reality.

Tonight's season premier of TAR6 did not disappoint. I learned some very important things from this first episode:

1. Apparently one team of Colin and Christie was not enough last season. We now have no less than 8 teams of Colins and Christies this season, all of which yell at each other, belittle each other, and throw hissy fits every time something doesn't go their way. While there are many to choose from, the couple that has taken an early lead as the Most Like Colin/Christie Replacements (and dare I say, even more Colin and Christie-esque than Colin and Christie themselves) are Jonathan and Victoria. Seriously, I would not be surprised if their team is actually sponsored by Colin and Christie. It's impressive that I hate Jonathan already, and I just want to slap Victoria for marrying him.

2. As begun in the previous season of TAR, this season it is not only recommended, but it is required to use 'Baby' to refer to your partner at all times. Such as, "Baby, hury! Hurry, Baby!", and the shortened form of, "BABY!" which simply means, "Come on! Go faster! You're an idiot! But I love you! You're pretty!" I'm fairly sure the only reason the team members even have names other than Baby is so that Phil can tell which Baby's are which when they hit the Pit Stop Mat. Next week I would love to hear him say, "Babies, you are Team Number Two." Every time someone makes it to the pit stop. That would be sweet.

3. I fear TAR has enacted an Affirmative Action process of some sort, in that a certain large percentage of teams must be models. People not of model stature are in the minority. Therefore, the Tyrant predicts that a team of models will win this race, simply because the non-model teams are few in number. Our only hope is that the models are as stupid as they are pretty. And that the models are more stupid than the Wrestlers, and the team that can't read 'diesel' on the gas tank.

4. If you are one of the model teams, you must begin all of your sentences during the interview sessions with, "As models, ...." This is very important. Otherwise the whole world may not know you are models, and this will somehow affect how you function in society. In fact, I may begin speaking that way, so as to let everyone know that I may be a model. Or perhaps, a writer. "As a writer, I ...." It's impressive, right? Much like, "As models, we travel extensively ..." And... what. Therefore you know what planes look like?? That's a definite advantage.

Also, I would love to see the following Throw Downs throughout the course of the Race:
- Adam (Tiny Hellboy) vs. Bolo (My Neck is Cutting Off the Blood to my Brain)
- Bolo vs. Jonathan (Please Match My Pace or Be Ahead of Me At All Times)
- Kris (Oops, I'm Not Britney Spears) vs. Rebecca (Diesel? What? You mean, Vin? Oh... right.)
- Lori (I'm Really the Man) vs. Her Own Mouth

Aaah, I can hardly wait for next week. The start of TAR6 promises much entertainment for me.

These are good times.

And, lest you think I'd also forgotten my other favorite reality show, as an America's Next Top Model watcher, I am thoroughly involved in yet another great season of model mayhem. Tyra has done it again, and Janice never fails to disappoint with a random comment that makes no sense whatsoever. Truly, she is the star of the show. And will be for years to come, as long as the warranty doesn't expire on any of her body parts.

Long Live Models on Reality TV!


Friday, November 12, 2004

I might need that later
I have a lot of stuff in my kitchen. Not tons of stuff. But my kitchen is pretty well stocked.

Here is why that is weird:
1. I don't really cook.
I mean, I do cook. I eat at home most of the time. But I only cook about six different things, on a random rotation. And much of it involves 'heating up' and 'from a can or box'. Technically, some of it is really cooking. I make a few things from my mom's or my grandmother's recipes. But technically, most of it is really not so much cooking.

2. I didn't buy most of the stuff in my kitchen.
My mom did. I'm pretty sure I purchased the paper plates, and some forks. From time to time she feels like I need things to have a complete kitchen, or a 'respectable' kitchen. Because someday I may need to cook something for someone for some reason, and then host twelve people to witness the event. So, she will buy me things. Like the waffle iron. Or the Fry Daddy. Or a set of bowls. I have full sets of plates, and some serving dishes, and cooking utensils, and mugs, and more cups and glasses than I could ever use in a month if I were to use a different glass everyday for a month. It all looks great in my cabinets. And I'm glad to have it. I love all of it. But most of it rarely gets used.

3. Somehow in all of the stuff I have, I don't have a complete set of flatware.
This is the really odd thing. I can serve twelve people on plates and bowls and matching glasses. But the forks they use will be an odd assortment of different sets. I have a partial set of flatware that my parents gave me when I went to college. It was our family set, and I inherited it because it was missing several pieces, and my parents wanted a good reason for a new set. It has served me well. I also have a cheap set that I got at some point in college, I guess when I decided I needed more than three forks. And, earlier this year I discovered I still do not have enough forks, but I also did not want to purchase an entire set of flatware. So, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to their Clearance section, and picked out five forks from the 'random flatware bin'. They are five different forks. And I love them. It's eclectic.

But, as I do things in my kitchen, despite all of the stuff that is in there, I run into the same issue time and again. I have things to use. But, I am reluctant to use them for whatever I am doing.... in case I might really need it later.

For example, just now I was making some tea. I have a jar of spice tea that I made last winter (again, not cooking - just mixing). The tea is still good, but it is now one chunk of tea, rather than something I can spoon out with a mere spoon. I decided I needed to hack it up so that I could then spoon it out. So, I went to my Drawer of Many Utensils and saw that I have a wide variety of utensils which could serve as a hacking/poking device.

And yet, I tried to talk myself out of using any of them. For fear that I may need it for something later, before I've had a chance to wash it. Then what would I do???

I might need it.

What if I'm making something tomorrow that requires the use of this long, two-pronged utensil that is in my drawer but I've never seen before? What will I do???

Usually, I'll close the drawer and make-do with the spoon. Or, go without tea. I need to leave the Utensil of Ambiguous Use for whatever requires it's use, someday.

But today, I decided that I have these utensils for a reason. And I should use them.... to get my tea. NOW!

If I need it later, I will use something else then..... that I might need later.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I would buy you a monkey.
Haven't you always wanted a monkey?

I'm going to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving. Naturally, to celebrate Thanksgiving as my Costa Rican pilgrims and forefathers did many years ago.

There are monkeys in Costa Rica. I'm very excited about this.

Today I spent some time thinking about my need for a monkey. It had not occured to me in the past that I might need a monkey. But since they are abundant in Costa Rica, if one accidentally came home with me I could put it to good use.

It would be disease-free, of course. This is not the beginning of Outbreak: The Tyrant Infects Texas with a Monkey from Costa Rica.

The functions of the monkey are to be:
- A fetching monkey, to fetch things for me. Like paperclips.
- A typing monkey, to type my blog (or novel) as I dictate.
- A get-me-more-coffee monkey, to get me more coffee.
- A wash-my-car monkey, to wash the Jeep.
- A tell-me-I'm-pretty monkey, to tell me I'm pretty often. Especially when I first wake up in the morning.
- A bake-me-a-pie monkey, to bake me a pie whenever I want a pie. Sometimes, you just want pie.
- A pick-up-the-phone-and-order-me-a-pizza monkey. For when I need pizza.
- A laundry-folding monkey, to fold and put away my laundry. I can handle doing the laundry. But it never seems to really get put away before I wear it again.
- A lawn-mowing monkey. To mow and do general yardwork.
- A laugh-at-me-when-I'm-funny monkey. I just need to be laughed at sometimes.

So, quite obviously a monkey would be put to good use.

I can't believe I didn't recognize this need before. Good thing I'm going to Costa Rica soon.

I need a monkey.


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Let the noveling begin.
Ok, so at midnight tonight I will busily begin writing my second novel.

Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that I still haven't thought of anything to write about, nor have I officially signed up for Nanowrimo, nor do I conceivably even remotely have the time to tackle this challenge again.

Um, yes. Let's go with the second one.

But never fear, dear readers. I have not given up, yet. I may not have an idea, or much time to write. But I still have the desire to do this. And crazier things have happened.

I just may crank out another novel in November after all.

But as of right now, I got nothin'.

So, if nothing else, I cheer the rest of you on who are tackling this brave endeavor. May it be insightful, useful, and good writing practice.

But most of all, have fun.

Happy Nanowrimo!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

No really. It's a word.

Ok, actually it's National Novel Writing Month. You might remember last year I did this and came up with the national bestseller Lizzy Hated Pantyhose.

Well, it's time again. It's in November, the annual writing of a novel during the 30 days of November.

I'm debating whether to do it again or not. These are things I am considering:

1. It's free. And it would distract me from my current teen-phase of becoming a drummer. I *need* (I don't need them, I just really, really want them) to purchase drums, but I'm sure there are better things to spend my money on. However, I am obsessed with watching drums on ebay, and entirely serious about becoming a drummer. But if I'm writing for 30 days there's a good chance I'll be able to pay my mortgage during November, instead of blowing my cash on drums to go in a house I can't pay for.

2. I wrote last year mostly during work, which worked out well because it took up a LOT of time that I simply did not care to devote to a novel outside of work. This year, if I do it I will have to do it entirely NOT at work, since I have a new job that requires me to actually work. Which means, in November you may see or read very little of me. Unless you come over to stare at me at my computer. (if I don't know you, don't come over)

3. I NEED A TOPIC. This blog is to solicit ideas. Help me. Last year I did not come up with my amazing topic until November 5, which put me a few days behind, with many words to catch up to being on schedule. It was tough, but only a few homeless people suffered because I did no work for a few days at my job then, at the shelter. Obviously any topic goes, and the weirder the easier to write. I just have to do 50,000 words. It doesn't have to be good. Obviously.

Go here to see what the heck i'm talking about.

Want to try it with me? Sign up, find a topic, and get writing on Nov 1. It's really hugely fun! It's a beating for 30 days, but it's totally cool at the end to say you wrote a novel (and no, it's not a novella. it's a NOVEL)

(note: I haven't actually signed up, yet. I'm afraid of commitment).

Email me or leave a comment with topic ideas.

C.T. the Writer

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


It hurts to realize there is nothing you can say or do to make something better.

It's agonizing to realize you have no control.

It's humbling to not understand what makes things fall apart.

It's painful to be helpless.

This is when trust comes in... to either lead you forward, or send you backward.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Reunited, and it feels so .... weird.
So, the big reunion happened last weekend.

The whole thing is really a very interesting phenomenon. This 'reuniting' thing. Why do we do this? What is this need we have to go back and check on things that are so many years into our past? Seems like if we've done without it for the past ten years, we'll be okay to keep going without it. Do we need this to validate where we are now? Is seeing where everyone else is at this stage something we need to know we are okay where we are or wherever we're headed?

I'm intrigued by the socialogical aspects of the reunion.

But aside from the deeper levels of why we do the reunion thing, my reunion was great. It was fantastic. Truly, it was a lot of fun. I'm glad I went.

I was surprised by how many people really hadn't changed much at all. We all basically look the same. I recognized people. They recognized me. We'd all aged a bit, with changes in hairstyles and clothes and a few other minor details. But for the most part, everyone just looked ten years away from where we were at graduation.

Of course, there were a few exceptions. There was the girl who wandered around all night, but never really seemed to talk to anyone. She just wandered. I didn't recognize her at all. She was platinum blonde, had obvious, um, 'enhancements' in some facial and bodily areas, and she was dressed to show off all of these features. She was there to make an impression. When I got home from the festivities, I looked her up in the yearbook... and discovered why I did not recognize her. Seems she had purchased quite a few upgrades since highschool, and no longer even remotely resembled what I saw in the yearbook from ten years ago.

Um, yeah. Interesting.

Anyway, when Boy A and I first arrived for the Friday night casual activity, I had no idea what to expect. I hadn't seen these people in ten years. I didn't even know if anyone I knew in a graduating class of 800-plus people would be there. I fully expected to walk into a room of complete strangers, where no one would talk to me for a few hours, and I wouldn't be brave enough to speak to anyone else.

And that's exactly what happened for the first terrifying few minutes.

We walked in to a room full of people that seemed old. Not necessarily old, but much older than me. Were these my people? Did I graduate with these people? Am I seriously the best looking, and youngest looking person in my graduating class? Time had not been kind to these people that I saw in front of me, a mere ten years out of highschool.

Then I noticed that there was another highschool reunion in the same facility. These were actually not my people. These people actually belonged to the class of 1984 from a different school, also having their reunion festivities- their 20 year reunion, mind you - in the same place as my reunion. Well, that explained why they seemed older and not of my people.....


We walked past the older bunch and soon found my people. And thus began the game we played for the next 4-5 hours. The game became, "Did I Know You in Highschool, Did I Talk to You Then, and Is it Okay to Talk to You Now?" It's a complicated game.

Boy A didn't know any of these people, since he didn't go to highschool with me. But he faithfully stood by my side as we parked ourselves in a key location to view people as they entered the room. It was a prime spot to be seen, and also to see. Very important. I watched as people streamed in the door, many of which I'd never seen before in my life. But many others, thankfully, that I had known before and who... actually talked to me now!

Eventually we wandered. We talked to more people. And I soon realized that I'm ok. I look good. I was with someone who looked good, and who also made me look good. I was fitting in well. And, I somehow magically conjured the ability to be out-going and have conversations for that 4-5 hour stretch of time. I'm not normally a conversationalist, even with people I know well. But for all intents and purposes of the Ten Year Reunion, I conversed.

Can't have people thinking I grew up to be pretty, but dull and mute, now can we?

The Saturday night more formal festivites were much the same as Friday night. Except that people wore fancier clothes. Well, most people. There was the one guy who showed up both nights in shorts, flip-flops, a Hawaiian shirt, unshaven, and with a long ponytail. Apparently he grew up to be a bum, or possibly just desired to be a bum.

Or perhaps he is now a famous fashion designer who has developed a line of clothing that tries to capture the look of the poor and destitute.

Anyway, the Saturday festivities seemed a continuation of the previous night. We hung out. We admired how good we looked. We took a giant class photo in a space entirely too small for the several hundred people needing to be in the picture. We ate overpriced finger foods and lamented at the price of the reunion versus what we actually think we paid for. I'm pretty sure my nametag must have been made of solid gold, because everything else probably actually cost about $13.50. In fact, the nametag had better be solid gold, or else the entire thing was a huge rip-off.

I'm keeping the nametag. Just in case it is gold. Or at least gold-plated.

But as it turns out, I didn't graduate with anyone who went on to become famous. Or win a Pulitzer Prize. Or win an Olympic Medal. In fact, in all reality I'm probably the most famous one in the class. What with my high-profile blog and extensive line of quality merchandise.... Yes, can you believe that the class of 1994 was so lucky to have graduated with the future Cynical Tyrant? I assure you they were as impressed as it sounds.

Overall, it was good to see and talk with these people again. Maybe highschool wasn't so bad after all. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who seemed happy to see me. In fact, no one ran away from me, or pointed and laughed at me, or shoved me into a locker, or gave me a swirly in the bathroom. I felt pretty good about that. I guess people really did like me then, and maybe they still liked me now.

It was good to catch up, even though 'catching up' didn't really move much further than the basics: what we do now, what we've done in the last few years, where we live now, and if we are married or not. All the important things one needs to know about fellow classmates at such a time as this.

The cheerleaders were still the cheerleaders, still meandering together in a pack, now complete with husbands who drive nice cars to make the pack-meandering more fancy. The one exception to this was the very pregnant cheerleader, now also sporting dreadlocks, who arrived with a man in tow (possibly her husband) who looked like he was straight from Vegas, complete with over-tanning, tight pants and shirt, gold chains, and sideburns. Definitely an odd couple, who sometime in the past ten years apparently discovered a land where dreadlocks and gold chains are cool. I'm sure all the cheerleaders are sporting it now, after the reunion.

It was interesting to see how people turned out after ten years. But really, we haven't quite turned out, yet. Many of us are still in school, or in grad school, or trying to get to where we still want to be. Many of us aren't married, or have only recently gotten married. Kids are on the way, or maybe yet to come sometime in the next ten years. I had a lot of conversations that seemed like beginnings, like things were just getting started for people. Not settled or finalized, yet.

The Ten Year Reunion seemed more like a checkpoint, rather than a milestone, or a finish line. A time to check in with people and see where they are on the way to where they will some day be.

There's still time and opportunity for those Pulitzers, or Oscars, or Olympic medals.

We'll check again in ten years.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Romy and Michelle
It seems like several significant life things are going on lately for me. But none scarier, or more age-defining than..... the Ten Year Highschool Reunion.

Oh yes. The Tyrant is that old.

So, my reunion is coming up this weekend. And it's brought a flurry of emotions and thoughts along with it. When I received the first announcement about it several months ago, I pretty much decided not to go. Why go? I don't talk to those people anymore. I didn't have a lot going for me (or so it seemed to me). Why waste the time and money? I decided I didn't need the blow to the ego.

Here was the situation at the time: I had a job I hated, no husband, no kids, no prospects for husband or kids, I don't even have a pet. I live within ten miles of where I went to highschool, and this also happens to be ten minutes from where my parents live. I also have no Pulitzer Prize, nor an Olympic medal, nor have I made it on any reality television shows. My novel isn't published, nor is it likely to be read by people who don't know me or who haven't read it, yet. And, worst of all, my hair greatly resembled something of the mullet genre.

It was a very dire situation.

But since then, some things have changed. I have a job I like now (we can call it an 'advertising career' for the purposes of the reunion festivities). I own a home (which technically I owned when the situation seemed bad, but it makes the story better to mention it now instead). I have a Boy (which is what has been taking up a lot of my blogging time lately), and he is most definitely going with me to this reunion thingy. And, while I haven't won any awards or medals, and I haven't published any of my writing, I do technically have a 'website' with 'merchandise'. And I'm way hotter than I was in highschool. I've had a haircut to rid my head from the mullet. And I can probably come up with a few good stories to make myself more interesting for a few hours this weekend.

All in all, the situation is much more presentable. Thusly, I am going to the reunion.

But, this whole thought process and freaking out over who I am and what I've done at this time in my life got me thinking. Ten years ago I went through four years of trying to fit in. We go to highschool and struggle through years of trying to be accepted, trying to impress people, wanting to be with the right crowds and do the right things, trying to make a name for ourself. By the end of those four years we hope to come away with a few accomplishments, some good relationships, and a promising future beyond the walls of that have kept us thus far.

We do a lot of work to be a part of highschool. Then ten years pass, and here I am again- finding myself trying to fit in with the same group of people. Why do we do this? Is highschool forever to be a cycle of trying to be 'someone'? I feel certain I'm not the only one concerned about the impression I will make amongst these people here in a few days.

I have kept in touch with no one from highschool. Not a one. For awhile I did. But things change, distance occurs, and eventually I lost touch. Occasionally I'll see someone or hear from someone. But for the most part, those friendships and acquaintances have drifted away over the years. Now suddenly, in just a few days, I'll be thrown back into another experience with them. The first round of highschool with them was significant. It is an important time. We learn a lot about who we are to be during highschool. We graduate. We take a big step from one life to another, and it's all with the same group of people. Ten years later, you're back with them to experience another milestone. Whether you liked any of them or not, whether you stayed friends or not, there they are again to go through another rite of passage with you.

Am I going to show up and find out I graduated with a Pulitzer Prize winner? Or an Olympic medalist? Someone famous? It's possible. But that doesn't make me any less worthy to be there with my story and my life. Yet, I probably am not the only one that has considered not going because I'm not sure what I have to show for the last ten years.

I realized, though, that when I really think about it, I remember very few people from highschool. I was in the band, and not only in the band, but I was the drum major. The head band nerd. The leader of them all. I knew a lot of people because the band was large and I was in charge of them all.

But, outside of those people I didn't know a lot of people. I mean, I knew them. I was popular enough. I mixed well with other groups because I was the 'cool' band person. But, I couldn't tell you now who the really popular kids were. Or the hottest guy. Or the prettiest girl. Maybe I just didn't pay attention. Or maybe I just remember the more important things about my time in highschool. Like, the best friend I had throughout that I no longer keep in touch with. Or the few guys I dated. Or the group of friends who went everywhere with me, the ones I 'belonged' with. Does it matter who was the most popular? I don't think so. I didn't especially love highschool. But thinking about it now, I had what I needed.

Tonight I got out my yearbooks in a last attempt to recall some faces and names and to remember what highschool was like. I have to say that after looking through them, I'm even more excited about the reunion. I can't really explain why. I'm not at all impressed with the way I really looked ten years ago (seriously, the hair?? what is up??) But maybe I just need to see and be around people that used to know me. Maybe I'm curious. Maybe I have a tiny bit of hope that there are still some friendships there for me.

Or perhaps I just need to see how far I've come. I read through a lot of the notes people wrote in my yearbooks. My best friend wrote a long letter that is truly one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever said or written to me. Man, I miss that. The "Best Friend". But many of the names written with the messages are names that I can't put a face with. I don't know who these people are. Granted, I graduated with 800 people, including two people sitting on either side of me at graduation that I'd never seen before the day of graduation. But still, you'd think the ones who took the time to write in my book would evoke some sort of memory of them.

Anyway, there were several common themes in my yearbook messages:
- you're funny. really funny. we didn't hang out but you made class funny. stay funny.
- you're sarcastic. really sarcastic. it's really funny. stay sarcastic.
- congrats on making drum major. you should make band funny. finally, a funny drum major.
- congrats on making drum major. you're a great leader. we need a great leader.
- it was great getting to know you better this year.
- you're so cool. and i really mean that.
- here's my phone number. let's hang out this summer.

Seriously, I'm surprised at the number of phone numbers in my yearbooks. Not that it means people were actually anxious to hang out with me. But I have to wonder what would have happened with all those people if I'd actually called all the phone numbers with, "Hey, you said we'd hang out. You put your phone number in my yearbook." It would probably teach them to not give out their phone number so easily. Maybe I should call them now.... you said we'd hang out! Hang out with me!!

I wonder if I handed a 'yearbook' or even just a blank sheet of paper to my friends now and told them to write something to me, if the sentiments would be similar to what I found in my yearbook. I don't think they would be. I'd still get the comments about being funny. I think that's probably what people know best about me. But I'm not sure people would recognize leadership in me now. I tend to steer clear of responsibility these days. And it would be interesting to see what else they see in me or notice about me (besides my killer good looks....) to compare with what people saw in me ten years ago. What I really wonder is how well people think they know me, versus how well I let them know me.

I'm pretty sure that knowing me now is completely different than knowing me then. And I'm almost certain 'knowing' me then was just that- 'knowing', in a vague sense of the word. I don't think I let people really know me in highschool. I was funny, I was 'on', I could get the laugh, I could lead a group. That's all people really needed to know about me. I don't think I really even knew myself. I'm still not sure I really do, but I do know I have let more people since highschool and who know me now really know me.

If I've accomplished nothing else in the ten years since highschool, that one ranks pretty high in my book. I'm proud of that. I probably won't start many conversations at the reunion with that tidbit of information (I don't want to be laughed at for the wrong reasons - I do have a funny reputation to uphold). But for me, letting people really know me is a bigger accomplishment than a Pulitzer anyday. And tonight, realizing that difference from ten years ago, well, I feel pretty good.

Too bad Romy and Michelle invented Post It Notes, though. I was going to use that one for me.....

I'll keep you 'posted' on the reunion festivities. HA! See? I'm still funny....


Sunday, September 26, 2004

So much to say.
There's a lot going on for me right now. I hope to blog about all or most of it soon enough. Exciting things, new things, and just moments I've had and thoughts that come with the moments that I'd like to share if I can find a way to get it all on a page in words that make sense. It's an interesting time for me right now.

I'm like, growing and stuff. And I don't mean taller or larger.

Tonight I am very tired and longing for my bed and good sleep, but I have things I want to say and thoughts busily running amok in my head. I've noticed lately I've been a bit shy about blogging and getting personal on the blog. Lots of eyes read this, and I've been more self-conscious of what I write lately, unsure of how much to share with such a wide variety of eyes. Some who know me, many who don't. And some who are a part of what goes on with me, the things I experience, these thoughts that are provoked. I've discovered it's a fine line between sharing myself and opening up a bit more than is comfortable for me, and maybe sharing too much.

It's easy to write to an audience I can't see. There are no eyes looking back at me, intimidating me, helping me filter what I say and share. Is this all stuff I want people to know? Is it okay to write about what goes on with me? Or do I sometimes forget that when I put it here on the blog, people will know it. It's not just a book or journal that I write into here. It's a story I'm telling, and people read it. It's been awhile since I've struggled with that on the blog. But I think it's mostly because I'm just out of practice from blogging regularly. I have to remind myself that I put things out here that I want people to know. It's good for me. It's safe.

Well, mostly safe.

So, back to what I want to say for now. I just returned from a quick weekend in California, visiting some friends. These are people who I love dearly and who have blessed me tremendously in the time I've known them, just in knowing them. I always come back from time with them feeling great. They love me. And I always know that when I'm with them. We are family in a not-actually-related sense (although I'm pretty sure their son gets some of his unique qualities from Crazy Auntie Tyrant - especially his talents and good looks). I treasure the family they are to me.

I don't even really know how we became friends. We've never lived in the same city, or even the same state. I met Friend J through a network of organizations that worked together at a job I had several years ago. We would see each other at conferences, and we'd chat. Then we were chatting more, and eventually keeping up with each other outside of work related events. Finally we discovered that she is weird and I am weird, and we decided to know each other for a long time and ever after (she bought me a thing for my wall that says as much). We match. We get each other. It's good.

Friend J's husband is a Marine. He's been a Marine for a long time. Not active, but still Marine-ing. Recently, however, he was re-activated and inevitably shipped off to Iraq for too many months. This was when his Marine-ish-ness became real to me. This is what he does. It's very bizarre. I know him in California. I've never actually seen him do any Marine stuff. It doesn't fit that he was not there for a long time, and instead in the middle of this Iraq stuff I keep seeing on TV.

Last week he came back from Iraq. This weekend we threw him a party. I was there for the going away party months ago. I was glad to be able to go to California for the welcoming home party this weekend. These people mean the world to me. I very much wanted to see him home, with his family, as things should be.

I only had a short weekend with them, but I came home with a new respect for what these guys (and girls) do way over there in Iraq. He showed me a slideshow he made of pictures during his time there, and I looked through all 600-plus pictures more than once, just mesmerized at what his life was like for the past eight months. Stuff you don't see on TV. Scenes of Marines and helicopters and desert, but with my Marine Friend J's face mixed in every once in awhile. Except it was Marine Friend J loaded down in Marine gear and large guns.

The last time I saw him, he was rolling around the floor with his tiny son, in pj's, reading a book out loud in silly voices. Not at all Marine-like.

It made the whole Iraq thing very real. The pictures, seeing him now after so many months of being shot at regularly while flying helicopters in the desert. He looked good, but tired. He seemed good, but different. Maybe it was his desert farmers tan, having only previously ever seen him as white, or as sunburned as I ever am. Never tan. It was odd to see him tan.

I have to admit, I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the Iraq thing. It's far away, it's been going on for awhile. It's faces and people I don't know. Except now my friend has a weird tan from too much time in the desert. And there are 600-plus pictures of proof that it isn't so far away, it is people we know..... and it will continue going on for awhile.

Marine Friend J has to go back to Iraq in April.

In looking through the pictures, I realized the sacrifice these people make. The close quarters, the all-Marines all-the-time, the less-than-tantalizing food-type-stuff, the group bathroom experience. The heat. My God, the heat! It's not anything like home. But the sacrifice is not unique to just the men and women who go to Iraq. It's also the families who are left here. My heart has been broken for Friend J and Son A while Marine J has been gone. They've had to keep going without dad around to be a part of things as he usually is. Son A is almost two years old now, and in the time his dad has been in Iraq he has learned to walk and talk. Marine J returned to a family that was quite different than when he left. And if it were me, this might be harder than the whole eight months away. Fitting back into a life that went on without me. And knowing I'll have to do it all again before it all has time to sink in and feel right again.

Whether or not you agree with what is going on in Iraq or how the U.S. is handling the situation, remember that it really comes down to people. Lives. Families. Sacrifices.

Those guys over there with guns are the same guys you see here in pj's.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Miss The Tyrant?
Well, don't forget you can take her with you wherever you go.

I haven't promoted the store in awhile, but in case you haven't been there in awhile this is to let you know there are new items in The Tyrant Store, lower prices, and so much fun you will hardly be able to stand it.

And yes, there is now a yellow shirt. Or two.

Support the Tyrant. Buy stuff.


Things on my mind lately....
It's the simple things, really.

1. Why does Hallmark make 'good-bye' cards, but does not also make 'welcome home' cards? Do people never come back?

2. Why are UPS trucks white on top, but brown everywhere else? No one sees the top of the truck unless you look down on it from above. I've done this. The top is white. Did they run out of paint after doing the sides?

3. Do birds have personalities? I'm pretty sure dogs have different personalities. Some are nice. Some are mean. But what about birds? I saw two birds hanging out the other day. They looked like they were getting along fine. Then one bird started pecking at the other bird. Do they just do that? Or was that a mean bird picking on a non-mean bird?

4. There's a fine line between being cool and not being cool. In highschool it was not cool to listen to Ace of Base. Now? I'm fairly certain it's retro cool to drive around with the windows down in the Jeep, blasting Ace of Base. Or Wilson Phillips.

5. You know you're in good company when you are with two other people in the front seat of a truck for eight-or-so-hours of drive time, with only a radio, bad radio stations, and each other to keep the three of you entertained ... but you don't miss having more leg room and a CD player to help pass the time.

It's the simple things.


Sunday, September 05, 2004

The One About the Grief
So, recently there was this again. It's been five years now.

I didn't really intend to write anything about it this year. But in conversations lately, I've noticed that some give advice or perspective with the qualifier that they've never dealt with grief before. As though the help is less valuable or effective because they haven't been there, and whatever they say might not make a difference because grief is big. This 'disclaimer' got me thinking.

Yes, grief is big.

But as I've thought about it, it's a lot like everything else we deal with. We've all dealt with some form of grief, whether it's the loss of a relationship, or a job, or just something that disappoints us. Or we've all dealt with tough things that are tough to us, even if it can't be considered grief. Grief in it's purest, scariest form, when we lose someone in death or when big tragedy strikes, is huge. It's debilitating. It wrecks your life for awhile.

But really it's just an intense form of things we've all dealt with.

I realize that for each of us, the things we go through are ours. We feel it at that time, and it hurts, and it's very real to us. A break-up could be the worst thing we've ever dealt with. Time passes and it's still hard. It hurts. And that's what we're struggling with right now. It's not the end of the world, or comparatively as bad as things other people may be dealing with, or even reasonable to those who watch how we deal with it. But it's ours. It's real. It hurts.

It takes a lot to share grief with those you know have never been through it. I admire those who can receive it and still be brave enough to share their own perspective on dealing with things. People dealing with loss and pure grief can be scary sometimes. It's a situation we all fear to have to deal with ourselves someday, and when those around us are going through it, it becomes a little more of a reality. It's not pretty.

But, it just happens that at this time in my life the loss of my sister is the worst thing I've dealt with. It just happens to be a big thing. I didn't ask for it. But I also don't necessarily deserve for it to not have happened to me, either. It's just what happened. Sometimes things just suck.

But sometimes the best advice and perspective I get is from those who haven't dealt with grief, yet. Their vision isn't clouded by absolute rock bottom. I'm glad to have them, and their thoughts. Because sometimes in the middle of the toughest thing you've ever dealt with, your perspective hovers around doom and gloom. You get caught up in this being the toughest thing ever. It's hard to see around that.

So, it's nice to hear the view from someone that hasn't been in your shoes, yet. They're more qualified to offer perspective than they think.

And really, it's all the same. Whether you're sad over a lost job, or a boyfriend, or a relationship that didn't work out the way you thought it would, or you're sad over the death of someone close. The feelings are the same. It's all real. It all takes time. It all hurts. It's all good perspective.

Grief is just a little more intense.

So, here's to five years of intense, and to good people who remind me that it doesn't always have to be intense.


Can you take a frog to the ER?
Animals at my house don't fair well. It's not intentional. Things just happen.

I've discovered over the past few weeks that I have a frog. He lives in my yard. Typically I find him in the evenings near my water faucet when I'm watering the yard. He is small. He hops around. We are friends.

The frog went on vacation this week to visit the air conditioning unit on the side of the house. He should have let me know of his plans. Tragedy might have been avoided.

As I worked in my yard on Friday afternoon, it happened. I was routinely weed-eating my yard, as I do every week. The frog was not a thought in my mind. I made my way around the to the air conditioning unit and proceeded to weed-eat the grass and whatnot around the unit. As I always do.

Suddenly, I noticed some movement in the grass, followed by a trail a large spots of blood. Very bright red blood. Had I just weed-eaten my toe and not known it?

I checked. All toes accounted for.

Then I saw the frog. He was hobbling away from me, followed by a trail of the blood blobs, and dragging a lifeless leg behind him.

I weed-ate the frog's leg.

I immediately stopped weed-eating to attend to the injured frog situation. What do I do? This frog is my friend. I've taken other friends to the ER. Can I take a frog to the ER? I wasn't sure.

I decided probably not.

But, I felt horrible. This frog trusted me. We had a good frog/yard owner relationship. And I had abused that by severing a limb. He had now crawled underneath the air-conditioning unit, and was peering out at me.

Oh, the look of betrayal and pain in his eyes! I swear I hadn't meant to de-leg him. I just hadn't seen him until it was too late!

I apologized profusely.... until I realized that I was standing in my yard apologizing to a frog. Then I got ahold of myself and finished my yardwork. With a heavy heart, mind you. I did actually shed a tear.

Once the yard was finished I came back to check on the frog. He was still underneath the a/c, staring at me. I decided there was nothing I could really do for him. I fear he will die from bleeding to death.

Or, he will grow old and large, forever hobbled by a stumpy leg. He will be angry and attack small children and old ladies that pass by, hurling things at them with his good leg.

If only it had been one of the 57 stray cats that have inhabited my yard lately. I wouldn't feel so bad, and I would still have a frog as my friend.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Thinking Again
There are times when I wish my memory functioned better. Well, in general I wish it functioned better. But sometimes I see or hear or experience something that I know I'm going to want to go back to later, but the moment passes and I realize as it dissolves in front of me that I may not have gotten everything out of it that I should at that moment.

It's when I see or hear something that I know I need to remember. But I either pay attention too late, or I'm paying attention too much to really get it.

I saw a movie today that I wished I could take with me. I realize it will one day come out on DVD and I can buy it. But I wanted it today. I want to be able to refer back to it when pieces of it pop into my head throughout the week. It's another one of those 'right thing at the time' things that land with me and make me think.

Quotes, themes, images, sounds, thoughts - things I want to remember.

Things that make me think.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

After being absent from the blog for awhile, I wrote an AMAZING post just now. It was all about my love for the Olympics. It was witty, thoughtful, and probably the best thing ever written about the Olympics.


Then Blogger ate it.

So this is what you get instead. Maybe I'll try to recreate my amazing Olympic post later.

Thanks for the welcome back, Blogger.


UPDATE: Apparently Blogger ate my Olympic post, and then decided to spit it out again later. Because it has magically appeared below. Enjoy.

Let the Games Begin!
Ok, so I've been neglecting the blog lately. But not intentionally. Truth is, I've been training for the Olympics.

Well, to watch the Olympics, that is. I love me some Olympics!

I'd venture to say it takes almost as much training and discipline to watch the Olympics as it does to actually participate in any of the sports at the Olympics. It's not easy to be dedicated to so many different sports at all hours of the day for two straight weeks. Those of us who are called to do so must answer that call and watch with the best of our abilities. It's not an easy task, but it must be done.

Of course, this means watching even the sports that I question as actual sports. Some of these sports are as follows:

1. Kayaking- I mean, are there even rapids in Athens? Now, I understand that riding in that tiny boat without the use of your legs is not an easy thing to do. But really, to me this belongs more in the Extreme Sports genre. I'm sure it takes training and endurance. But is this a 'sport' of quality to consider it 'olympic'? I think not. All of this applies to Olympic Canoeing, as well.

2. Rowing- My thoughts on this are similar to kayaking. Sure, it's a lot of work. But, it's really just an option on how to get from Point A to Point B, with a group of your friends. Plus, that little person in the front is just getting a free ride. She'll get a medal with the rest of the rowers on the boat. But you know all she did was sit there and eat a sandwich while the rowers got her to the other side of the pond.

3. Men's handball- This is a 'sport' I've just noticed for the first time this year. I'm pretty sure I've never watched a game of handball, or even understood it to be a real thing played by people other than kids on a playground during recess. How do you train for this sport? Do countries really have teams for this? Does the U.S. have a handball team? Do they really just get out there and hit a ball around with their hand, and then get a medal for it? Did the ancient Greeks do this? So. Very. Odd.

4. Equestrian- Seriously, if the horses aren't winning the medals, then this shouldn't even be on the list of events. The horses do all the work. Whoever is sitting on the horse is clearly just along for the ride, and probably because they enjoy those weird tight pants. I mean, if Equestrian is a medal-deserving event, then that thing on the Animal channel where the dogs run the obstacle course should also be an Olympic event. It's the same thing.

5. Sailing- Same thing here. The boat and the wind do all the work. Sure, people run around on the deck and move sails and stuff. But really, they are not in control of where the boat goes or which one gets there first. The boat should win the medal. I'm pretty firm on that one. If sailing is a medal-worthy event, Nascar should be, as well. (And I say that as a true hater of Nascar)

6. Synchronized Swimming- This is an age-old debate, and quite frankly my favorite non-sport. Anything that requires the use of make-up and costumes = not a sport. This also applies to the Rhythmic Floor dancing. Sure, it takes lots of skill and training to float in the water like that, or to writhe around on the floor as they do in the floor routines. But, add costumes and make-up and you've immediately negated the whole 'sport' aspect of it. I do amazing water routines in my shower every morning, and because I do not wear make-up or a costume while doing this, I am WAY more deserving of a medal than the Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team. (note: please do not tell them where I live because they could easily beat me up, one at a time. They're strong.)

But, even though I question the validity of these sports as 'sports', I have no choice but to watch and be amazed, entirely caught up in Olympic Fever. I just can't help it.

So, for the next couple of weeks I will be thoroughly engrossed in the watching of the Olympics. It was always my dream as a kid to become an Olympic gold medalist in some sport. I think at this point in my life I have begun to accept that unless I invent a completely new sport and immediately become an expert and world record holder for this made-up sport, I am too old to ever realize my Olympic dreams in a normal everyday, already existing sport.

But, I always look forward to this extravaganza of sports competition. The triumph, the emotion, the competition, the shiny medals. And, of course, the making fun of the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

I mean, what was with that girl and her Glo-Worm belly?? So. Completely. Weird.

The games have begun.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

I, Fig
The figs have arrived.

And I am now suffering from Fig Fatigue, a term I've borrowed from Friend A, who also suffers from Hearing Too Much About The Figs Fatigue. Aside from work, the figs have taken over my life for the past week or so.  Blogging time has been usurped by figging time. It's insane.

I've mentioned before that I have a fig tree in my backyard. And by 'tree', I mean a giant, humongous, really, really ridiculously large monstrosity. It's huge. I cut it back last year, only for it to come back at least twice as big this year. It's everywhere. I cannot escape it. I'm pretty sure it controls the tide, rather than the moon. The gravitational pull of the Fig Tree has to be the missing link to what would make time travel possible.

It's a really big tree. With lots of figs.

Last year the birds ate all the figs from the tree before I could get to the figs. I was very sad, and vowed this year to not let the birds have the figs. Those figs are mine. For the past couple of months as figs began to appear on the tree, I've kept careful watch over them. I checked on them daily, anxious for them to ripen as I watched them so that I could grab them from the tree before the birds became wise to the ripe figs. As I watched, so did the birds. I knew this would be a duel down to the very end.

Figs. Will. Be. Mine.

Now, the history of figs is as such: In the beginning, Adam and Eve wore fig leaves as clothes. Several thousand years later, my Mamaw and Papaw had a fig tree in their yard. From this tree they would gather figs and make them into fig preserves. It became a family tradition, and something the kids and grandkids grew to love. Anytime I would get a jar of these fig preserves, I would make it last as long as possible, knowing that once the figs are gone for that year it could be a long while before I could get my next fig fix. It was an addiction.

These jars of figs were like gold. Brown, gooey, sugary gold.

Many people do not know what a fig is, and are only familiar with the term 'fig' by way of the Fig Newton. This, faithful readers, is a tragedy. For when put in preserved form, the fig is an amazing delicacy. Sure, there are likely 108 other things one can do with a fig. But in my family, we preserve them. Put on toast or biscuits, you will think you are eating a little piece of heaven.

Brown, gooey, sugary heaven.

Well, one day my Mamaw and Papaw no longer lived in the house with the fig tree. And consequently, there were no more figs and no more preserves. My entire family went into fig withdrawals for many years.

We need our figs.

Jump ahead a few years, and I become an adult of sorts. I buy a house. It coincidentally comes with a fig tree. And now, after this fig-less era in the history of my family, I will be the bearer of fig preserves. The torch has been passed.

I, Fig.

So, after consulting my Mamaw, the Matriarch of Figs, my mom and I collected all we needed to know about the figs. I continued to watch the figs, waiting for them to ripen. Mamaw said it would be July, but I wasn't sure I could trust that. They looked like they could go at any minute. But sure enough, last week the first of the figs became ripe. Mamaw knows her figs.

I spent last Friday night and Saturday morning picking the first batch of figs. Now, if you've never experienced figs or a fig tree, let me give you a brief glimpse of what it's like. From afar, a fig tree is a beautiful thing. Tall, green, full of large leaves and bronze figs. A work of art, if you will. However, once you get up in the tree, it is quite possibly one of the most disgusting thing I've ever experienced.

Fig leaves are sticky. And by 'sticky' I mean that everything you touch sticks to you, and consequently anything you touch after that will also stick to you. Plus, the stickiness is really, really ridiculously itchy. And it's itchy in a "want-to-scratch-my-entire-body-with-steel-wool-then-roll-around-on-some-sandpaper" kind of way. Once the itching starts, it doesn't stop until you flee the tree and immediately deposit yourself into a hot shower.

But, to get good figs you have to embrace the sticky itchy, and get all up in the tree. As well as endure the other unpleasantries associated with what goes on in a fig tree. The afore mentioned birds tend to take up residence amongst the tree, waiting for what they see as 'their' figs to ripen. Hence, the sticky leaves are not only covered with fig tree stickiness, but there's also a nice layer of bird bomb on many of the leaves. I can only suggest that if you should ever decide to pick figs from a tree, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, and try to keep the branches from hitting you in the face. Otherwise, you'll be sorry. And don't say I didn't warn you.

So, when I can stand the icky, itchy disgustingness no longer, and I manage to fill a bucket full of figs by climbing all over the tree and pulling branches down to get the higher figs, it is time for that hot shower mentioned above.  Fortunately, the shower does the trick. It provides immediate relief from the evils of sticky fig goo. Refreshed and sticky no more, it's on to the next step.

My mom and I then wash all the figs, first in water and baking soda to rid the figs themselves of the stickiness, then again in just water. Once we have clean figs, then comes fig grooming, to remove any unwanted fig shrapnel. Finally, once the figs have been deemed clean and pretty, they are put in pots and introduced to their new best friend: sugar.

And by 'sugar' I mean pounds of sugar. Literally.

In it's preserved form, the common jar of figs is likely two parts fig to eight parts sugar. This concoction stands for several hours, then it is heated over several more hours, then poured into jars. If all is done well, each jar will seal itself tightly to the sound of a 'pop'. And there you have it: fig preserves.

And by 'preserve' I mean these things will literally last forever before opening a jar, and will also likely survive any future nuclear holocaust. The obscene amount of sugar in the preserve concoction could probably mummify a small child for several centuries.

But, they are soooooooooo good. I must say, having never made fig preserves before and having only eaten the fig preserved perfection made by my Mamaw, the figs we made this week turned out really good. Brown, gooey, and sugary- just like they should be.

It's a lot of work, but it's so worth it.

So, the figs have taken over my life for the past week. One batch of figs, from picking to jarring, takes about twelve to sixteen hours and must be done almost all at once. Some of the sugar-soaking process can take place overnight. But once a fig is picked from the tree, it waits for no one. 

It. Must. Be. Preserved.

Fig Jar Count To Date = 50 jars, from three batches of figs, with at least one more batch to go.
I, Fig.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

MIA but A-OK
Again, apologies for the MIA postings lately. I'm still getting used to my new schedule and being busier than I'm used to. I have many fun stories to tell, so I promise to have something of substance up soon.

Thanks for being faithful to the blog!! I miss writing......


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Can someone tell me where the bathroom is?
I've made it through a few days of the new job. This is always a stressful time for me, for any new job I've ever started. It's mostly because I worry about everything, I'm extremely neurotic but too introverted to show it outwardly, and I just simply fear new things.

I have to say, though, that I'm enjoying the new job. Oh sure, it's completely insane and I feel completely inept at most things I've been asked to do. I've had way too much information thrown at me, and I'm already expected to do things with that information. It's the complete opposite of working at the shelter. It's hectic, it's busy, it's very little downtime. And people are nice and stuff. But even just environmentally speaking, it's a good job change for me, so far.

Of course, there are always the things at a new job that make anyone and everyone feel like a complete idiot. They hired me because I have a college degree, I have the appropriate work experience to fill this job, and because they feel I can come in and do this job well. Masterfully, even.

So.... why can't I operate the fax machine? Why do I have to have a lesson on how to work the copier, followed by proving I still don't know how to work it? Why can't I figure out how to check my voicemail or get into the system to record my outgoing greeting? Can someone show me where the bathroom is? Does my coffee cup go in the dishwasher, or should I wash it? Should I even use these cups? Where is the paper for the printer? Where is the printer? People ask questions like, "Has anyone shown you how to check your email?" Or, "Do you know where your mailbox is?" Or, "Have you ever seen one of these before? It's an Excel spreadsheet."

These are the things that reduce me to an absolute mess in my first few weeks at a new job. It's bad enough having to learn the job itself, learn new products, procedures, people, etc. When the computer won't let me log in because I forgot to enter my billable hours for the day before, that just pushes me over the edge.

On Day Two of this new job, the Fax Machine and I had a day-long duel of wits. It simply would not let me fax. Three or four of my co-workers kept coming to my desk with the non-confirmation-your-fax-didn't-go-through page from the fax machine, which incidentally alerts all who pass by the fax machine that the new girl can't fax. I have a college degree!!

Turns out, I wasn't dialing '9' before the '1'. Yeah, it took me five tries to figure that out.

It's simple stuff, but I forget how much of it I take for granted before going to a new job. I may have hated the last job, but I knew how it worked. It was familiar. I had my routine. I knew how to use the phone. It offered little frustration in the way of office equipment and procedures. At the new job, someone had to show me how to park in the garage yesterday. I know how to park, I've been in garages before. Yet, we had to schedule a time for Parking Garage 101.

The best part, though, was during my first day, amidst all the paperwork and introductory stuff. It was....... the Sexual Harrassment Video. Soooooooooooo great.......

I had to sit in a room, a room with windows that allowed everyone to see me in the room, alone, watching this video about sexual harrassment. I couldn't decide whether people should see me interested in the video, or if they should see me as casually uninterested. I'm the new girl. These things could dictate the rest of my social career a this place.

But, I found I was inadvertently intrigued by the video. It was a preventive/warning type video. But the title of the video is printed on the cover in such a way that if you look at it without really reading the whole title, the words that stand out are "How To Sexual Harrassment". I'm pretty sure it actually says something like, "How To Avoid and Prevent Sexual Harrassment." But, it was more entertaining to me to think of it as a 'how to' FOR sexual harrassment. Beyond that, the bad acting and instruction of the video just really made that twenty-four minutes a welcome part of my first day.

In fact, I'm making plans to create my own Sexual Harrassment video.

I'm sure it will involve a scene at the fax machine, learning how to use it AND avoid sexual harrassment at the same time.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Day One: I Survived
Today was Day One of the new job. I survived.

I'm too tired to post much about it now, so I'll go into more detail later. But overall it was a good day, as far as first days go. I didn't get lost. I met some nice people. They bought me lunch. I didn't do anything embarrassing, like walk into the men's restroom. That's always a plus. To NOT walk into the men's restroom, that is.

Some minor tragedies that occured include having to sign a very long document about the company policy of 'seriously encouraging' minimal to no use of the internet for personal use or email. I was heartbroken at this, and have since suffered severe withdrawal from having to go an entire day without checking email, checking any of my normal websites, and without blogging at work. My whole world is in freak-out mode right now. I've had to spend my personal evening time catching up on email and the web. It's insane....

Also, my chin hair decided to re-appear today. I'm fairly certain it's not quite of length to be noticed by the untrained eye. I doubt anyone saw it today. But then again, with my luck and as first days usually go, I now have a great fear that I am the New Girl With The Chin Hair. This will be my nickname. It will stick with me as long as I work there.

I dutifully plucked the chin hair again tonight, because I do actually have to go back and face those people again tomorrow.

Freak. Out.


Monday, July 05, 2004

Making me think
No small task, by the way - making me think.

I've been a bit obsessed with a new cd over the past week or so. Sometimes to appease my freaking out when stressed or upset or excited or in the midst of change, I purchase a new cd. I've actually been off of cds for awhile, kind of in a music funk, not really sure what I like anymore, not inspired by anything. Therefore not buying anything new since I don't really know what to buy. But on my last day at the homeless shelter, I left and on a whim went to buy a cd. It just seemed like it needed to be done.

Little did I know that I was buying a cd that seems to almost completely apply to me these days. I'm by no means a music expert. I like random stuff, often for no good reason or just because I like the way it sounds. I usually hear music before I hear lyrics, and sometimes I never even get around to knowing the words to songs. I have no consistent music taste, and I usually shy away from music conversations with most of my friends who happen to know and appreciate music for very intense reasons. I love music. I just don't have a good reason why or what.

The cd I bought was the newest from Alanis Morissette. I've been a fan of hers since Jagged Little Pill, although not always liking all of her stuff. She had a phase there where I had to break up with her for awhile. I even sold a cd or two of hers to get it out of my house, so she would know I was serious. But when she has something new, I like to check it out before I decide if we are still on a break or not. I'm not sure why, but something about her angst has always appealed to me.

I'd heard her new cd is a bit less angry and a bit more self reflective. Alanis has apparently found love, and I'd read or heard that this change is reflected in her new music. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But as I left my job and prepared to go spend time with friends to celebrate the end of a bad job and the soon-to-begin-and-hopefully-better job, I knew I needed a transition of some sort. So I bought the cd and popped it into the player in the Jeep.

And, me likey.

Like I said, I usually hear music way before the words ever penetrate into my brain. But for the first time I can remember, the words caught my attention on the first song. And, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I pulled over into a parking lot so I could hear the song again while reading the lyrics. I completely disregarded that I was supposed to be somewhere with my friends. I wanted to make sure I heard what I think I heard. (if you're familiar with Alanis, sometimes you really have to listen to decipher words, short of reading along with the lyrics sheet to figure out what the heck she's saying)

And what I heard was this person I don't know describing me as accurately as I've ever attempted to describe myself. It was a page out of my journal, only said better than I've been able to say it, or rather better than I've ever been brave enough to admit. It almost made me think that maybe this is what people see of me, or perhaps many reasons for things that I've struggled with, and it got my attention. Here's what I heard, from the song "Eight Easy Steps":

How to stay paralyzed by fear of abandonment
How to defer to men in solve-able predicaments
How to control someone to be a carbon copy of you
How to have that not work and have them run away from you

How to keep people at arm's length and never get too close
How to mistrust the ones you supposedly love the most
How to pretend you're fine and don't need help from anyone
How to feel worthless unless you're serving or helping someone

How to hate women when you're supposed to be a feminist
How to play all pious when you're really a hypocrite
How to hate God when you're a pray-er and a spiritualist
How to sabotage your fantasies by fears of success

How to lie to yourself and thereby to everyone else
How to keep smiling when you're thinking of killing yourself
How to numb a la holic to avoid going within
How to stay stuck in blue by blaming them for everything

I'll teach you all this in eight easy steps
A course of a lifetime you'll never forget
I'll show you how in eight easy steps
I'll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

I've been doing research for years
I've been practicing my arse
[edited by C.T. for viewers] off
I've been training my whole life for this moment (I swear to you)
Culminating just to be this well-versed leader before you

Um, wow.

Now, there's no need to go into details about which of those lines really does apply to me or in what ways they apply. If you actually know me, you can make some guesses and you're probably not far off. But let's just say most of them (if not all) do apply to me. And in a literal sense.

What I liked about the song most is that it's not from the point of view of someone calling that out about someone else. It's personal. Autobiographical. It's "hey, I've realized these things about myself, and they're not pretty. Please don't be like me, but I can show you how to be this way if you'd like to learn quick. I'm somewhat of an expert from years of experience." And I might as well have written it myself, although Alanis beat me to it.

Of course, I'm not saying that Alanis has it all figured out, or that this is the most monumentally profound song that has ever influenced my life. I'm not an Alanis groupie. It's just a song. But it did come along at an oddly perfect moment, as I went on to meet friends (a bit late, I might add - I did some good thinking, followed by needing to compose myself in the parking lot before I headed on). I had the words of the song on my mind all night, and pretty much since then.

It really made me think. About the way I am, how, why, how it affects my relationship with others, how it affects the way I live my life.

And, much of the rest of the cd is the same way. Songs with lyrics that are calling me out right now, making me think. I almost wish these are things people or friends would say to me when they see it in me. But really I think it's better when we realize these things ourselves and find the courage to recognize and admit it. And hopefully do something about it.

I'm not in the business of reviewing music or endorsing things with The Tyrant's seal of approval for my readers. I really think this cd just came along at an interesting time for me. It may be complete annoying fluffy nonsense to the rest of you. I may hate it myself in a week or sooner.

I feel like I'll write more about other songs on the cd sometime. Especially the last song, "Everything", coupled with the first song. Briefly excerpted from "Everything":

I blame everyone else not my own partaking
My passive aggressive-ness can be devastating
I'm terrified and mistrusting and you've never met anyone
Who is as closed down as I am sometimes

You see everything you see every part
You see all my light and you love my dark
You dig everything of which I am ashamed
There's not anything to which you can't relate
And you're still here

Um, wow again.

But for right now, it's making me think.


Things I've learned while on vacation.
I've been on vacation for the past week. An 'at home' vacation, meaning I didn't go anywhere, but I also didn't work. And by 'no work', I mean I relieved myself of all responsibility having to do with anyone other than myself. It's been great.

I haven't specifically taken much time in the way of reflection this week, and that was somewhat intentional. I had great plans at the start of the week to gather my thoughts, make a clean purging of all things bitter and oppressive in regards to my old job, perhaps journal about it, with the goal of refocusing on better things, improving my work attitude in time to start my new job, and hopefully also being more at peace in general. I've been a tightly wound ball of stress lately, I'm sure not the most pleasant to be around.

Plus, I have some bad habits and attitudes built up about working, developed during two years of going to a job I hate everyday. I need to start a new job with a better attitude and better habits.

But, instead of taking intentional amounts of time to sit and work through this, I decided (or rather opted by accidentally not doing it) to not make my week a grand, official, transition week of regrouping through any sort of formal system or whatever. I instead didn't think about much of anything. I took a break. And I think that was best. I tend to over-think things and stress myself out even more. So I opted to entertain myself in other ways. Not to avoid the issue. But instead to let a real, honest to goodness break work it's magic. It's been great.

It's amazing what taking a momentary lapse from most responsibility can do for you. If I wasn't such a responsible person, I could really get used to this. And that would be bad.

So, the 'break' was one major part of my week. I really needed it. It's been good.

In addition to the 'break', I have done some things and learned some things. I caught up on some projects. I watched a lot of tv. I spent some time with friends and family. And here is some of what I learned:

- Dawson's Creek is the most prolific and brilliant show ever on television. Sure, it's over as far as new episodes. But it comes on TBS not once, but TWICE every weekday morning. I cannot express how excited I've been to stumble upon this hidden treasure. This alone is enough to make me want to not work ever again. Or at least not work until the afternoon. I've found that the Creek gang and their teen angst is not so unlike adult angst that I see mirrored in many of my own relationships and situations. These kids are very wise. I implore you to rediscover The Creek. All of the answers are there.

- No matter how many home design shows I can watch during any given day, it's not enough. And no matter how alike they all seem, I find them all extremely fascinating. Even if I hate what they did to the room. I can't get enough.

- Children's television shows make absolutely no sense whatsoever, yet I can't seem to change the channel when I click by one of these shows. PBS is the best example of this. I found a show the other day that was nothing more than a lady wandering through a field following a strand of yellow yarn that was wrapped around trees. At the end of the yarn she had knitted herself a sweater. She put the sweater on, then the announcer said 'a yellow sweater'. And that was it. Today the same show had these five different colored, people-sized, furry blobs dancing around. Then there was a five minute 'skit' involving three people trying to make it over a brick wall that was too tall. No talking. Just wall and people. The announcer said 'a brick wall, it's too tall.' Then the blobby-guys came back and danced more. What is this?? Yet obviously I watched enough of it to give a recap. I hope kids get it. Because as a genius adult-sized person, I was completely lost.

- Being on vacation is the universal sign to the weather that it's time to rain a lot. The first five days of my vacation were completely soaked. I intended to gradually work on my tan this week, as the sole purpose of having a backyard is to have a place to layout without having to pay for sun, or have people see me lay out. But all I could do for most of the week was sit inside and watch it rain. Now that the sun has been out for a few days, I've tried 'crash tanning'. This has only resulted in yet another oddly shaped sunburn, which will then turn into an oddly shaped tan, then peel.

- Being home during the week provides a unique insight into neighborhood activity. Most people are working this week, which is strange to me since I am not working. Typical neighborhood things continue to take place as usual. Such as, the debris picking-up truck. This is the truck with a giant crane arm that comes down the street and picks up the large tree limbs and other debris that people leave out on the sidewalk to be taken away by the city. I had no idea how this was done. But now I do. Because I watched this truck through the window for a good thirty minutes one day. It was at this point in time, as I sat in my pjs, in my chair, by the window, with my coffee, that I realized I'd become the 'old lady who watches out the window' in my neighborhood. I blame the rain.

- Accomplishing at least some projects during time off is good. I managed to spray paint my patio table, transforming the look of my patio into ..... a patio with a different colored table. I learned through this adventure that if you stand down wind from paint that is being sprayed, the paint does, in fact, get on you. I'm pretty sure I wore as much of the paint as the table did.

- Feeding myself three times a day is hard. My previous job at the homeless shelter supplied free lunch everyday. This was a 'perk' of working there. I had free lunch for 2.5 years. Suddenly this week, lunch does not magically appear for me. I've not known what to do with that. I was reminded of a 'game' my sister and I used to play in highschool. She would come find me in the house somewhere and ask me what she wanted for lunch. Naturally I didn't know what she was in the mood to eat. So I'd throw out a few options (pb&j sandwich, macaroni and cheese, apple, lard) until I hit on something we had in the house, something she thought sounded good enough to eat, and that was also simple enough to be made by a teenager that was hungry NOW. I acted annoyed with it, but I miss it. It was one of our 'things'. I found myself this week wondering what I wanted to eat for lunch, but had no one around to tell me. Lunch is hard.

- When my friends take actual vacations where travelling away from me is involved during the same week when I am not working and I have a ridiculous amount of free time with which I could be playing with them, I miss them. It takes some of the fun out of not working when others are working for my friends to also not be working, but not here to play with, and in places more fun and exotic than where I am in my house.

- The only thing better than soon being allowed to wear jeans on Fridays at my new job is to wear t-shirts and shorts Monday through Friday. I plan to make this happen eventually at my new place of employment. It's only a matter of time.

I start my new job tomorrow. I'm completely freaked out. I'll be freaking out for at least a month or so. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the new job. But new things and changes always take me awhile to get used to.

I'm glad I took this week off. I needed the break. And these valuable lessons.


Friday, July 02, 2004

The Beauty of Nothing
I'm a big fan of nothing. Doing nothing, that is.

This week has been vacation for me. My last day at the old job was Friday a week ago. My new job starts next week. To transition, I really needed this week free from pretty much all responsibility. Some people have a hard time letting go of things and relaxing. But I am the complete opposite. I crave nothing.

It's not lazy. It's just an intense desire and talent for being content with nothing to do. I need it to be good for doing anything any other time. I'm a master at nothing for the benefit of something.

Many, many people do not understand this. I can explain it away as being an intense introvert. But that doesn't always make sense to people, or even truly sum up the whole of it. I just love alone time. I love being around people. I love my friends. But sometimes, I just need to not be around people. And I love every minute of not being around people.

I'm not bored. I'm just doing nothing. And it's great.

Sure, I get lonely sometimes. Often I realize I've gotten myself into this by removing myself too far from people for awhile. But sometimes, it's just what I need to do. I'm getting better at juggling this, at knowing when I'm still good for people or when I need to go away for awhile.

I'm also very, very reluctant to change. I don't handle it well. Now that I've left my old job and will be starting a new job, even on vacation my stress level is fairly high. The past few weeks have been a mess for me, emotionally, internally. My stomach has decided to freak out again, making it hard to eat or feel well. I've had headaches. I've been nervous. I've been, um, difficult to be around at times with friends. When I freak out about myself, I sometimes tend to freak out about other things that don't necessarily need to be freaked out about. Even though I left a job I hated and I'm hopefully going to something better, I'm still going through the freaking out I do so well when I have to adapt to change.

So, I knew I needed a week to detox in between jobs. I needed time to shake off the old, refocus on better things and find some peace, and then have time to begin freaking out about the new job. This is what I've tried to do this week.

I've spent some time with friends. Turns out, it's really fun to play during the week with no regard to needing to get to bed in order to get up early for work. I have no rules this week. But most importantly, I've spent time doing a lot of nothing, with no one but myself. It's been great. It's a wonderful vacation for me. I can find things to do around my house, things that have needed doing for quite awhile. Or, I am perfectly happy sitting in my chair, drinking coffee, watching out the window. Or watching TV. Or reading. It doesn't take much to entertain me. I think that really confuses people sometimes.

I'll even admit, there may have been a day this week that I didn't shower. I'm totally okay with that. It's not lazy. It's just nothing.

The week has been nice. Although I could have done with a little less rain and a little more playing outside. But now that my vacation is mostly over, and I'll have to start my new job in just a few days, I'm beginning to really freak out about it. It's a new place, a new routine, new responsibilities, and worst of all, new people.

I still have three days left before the job and the newness begins. But there's just not enough time. I'm not sure I'm properly prepared, and I only have a few days left to get prepared. My freedom ends in just a few short days. Are we sure I can't do nothing for a living? I'm really good at nothing. I'm perfectly comfortable with nothing.

I fear change. But I do not fear nothing.

Sorry for the light posting this week. I've had plenty of time to write, and plenty of things to write about. But as writing would interfere with the nothing, I just haven't gotten around to it.

Nothing rules.