Monday, September 30, 2002

Attack of the 11:30 PM dreamer

Andy:*quietly opens door to come kiss me goodnight*
A: it seemed like a good time
M: Well, I'm asleep!
A: You were just awake a few minutes ago
M: No!
A: I can go away
M: *Starting to wake up and feel guilty* NO, I'm sorry
A: *kisses me goodnight*
M: *I fall completely dead asleep*

When I woke up the next morning I felt even worse. I don't know what sort of crazy dream I was having when he came in, but apparently it was not a good time to wake me up.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

I really need to get out more

My posts have been uneventful lately, not to mention particularly uninteresting. Things are slow at work, quiet at home, and all in all...well, uneventful. Not to say my life is boring. Not in the least! But aside from the news, I just haven't experienced much lately to talk about.

This will change shortly I'm sure. I'm going to my first baby shower in 2 weeks. Well, that's not entirely true. I've been to one before, but I was 8. And I have to say I was pretty bored at the time. Now that I understand what's going on and the women at the party are more of my own age, it should be a lot more fun to attend. Plus, I got to shop for baby stuff, which is always cutesy and fun.

My folks are coming home for Thanksgiving. This should provide lots of new material. For those that don't know, my folks moved to Australia almost 2 years ago. This will be the first time I've seen them since then. I talk to my dad a lot about what they're up to, and email is truly a blessing, but nothing beats the in-person thing. They'll be home for about a month, so we're trying to cram as many things into those 4 weeks as humanly possible. Including Thanksgiving and Christmas. My grandmother's been cleaning and straightening like mad at her house, where all the festivities are to occur, and I'm taking the week before Thanksgiving off to help cook, clean, and hang Christmas ornaments. It seemed a little weird at first, but then I saw the malls already have everything out for Christmas anyway. The only truly hard part? What to get them.

Not only will they have to take back whatever we get them (on a 22 hour long plane ride), but it's also the middle of summer there. And not just summer, but middle of the outback summer. Every tried buying summer clothes in September? There aren't any. So what's lightweight, summer-y, and useful in the desert? If you know, please tell me!

So, much to look forward to in the near future. Just hang in there.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Amen brother

In his first major speech on the Iraq situation, the once and possibly future Democratic presidential candidate accused Bush of abandoning the goal of a world where nations follow laws.

"That concept would be displaced by the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the president of the United States," he said.

"If other nations assert the same right, then the rule of law will quickly be replaced by the reign of fear," and any nation that perceives itself threatened would feel justified in starting wars, he said.

Gore may not have charisma, but he would sure as hell get my vote over Bush any day (and did as a matter of fact. Actually, as I recall, he got the MAJORITY of the votes over Bush).

(Apologies to my Republican friends out there, but Bush is an idiot)

Friday, September 20, 2002

Please, please please!!!

I'm not trying to whine but could the three authors I'm currently waiting on PLEASE finish their next books?

I've been waiting for Book number three in one triology for over 5 years now, and according to Amazon it won't be out until November of next year. OH the agony!


Two more friends are pregnant. Two more couples we know that is, i.e. two more babies.

That makes 10 this year.

Two more bullets for me to dodge, according to the law of 3s.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Those crazy Aussies!

Ok they dislike peanut butter in favor of Vegemite. Weird thing number one. But MUSK flavored Lifesavers????

What were they thinking??????
Odd thing

One thing I saw while I was in the Halloween store. A costume that had printed on the front "Made with REAL vinyl." Since when did that become a selling point?
Oh the Smells you can Smell

My nose has had a habit of not working on occasion. Like pretty much not since I was born. But every once in a while my head clears and presto I can smell the world again. The only problem with this is it can be quite overwhelming. Today at the mall for example.

I walked in and smelled the salon and several varieties of hairspray. I walked into a shoe store and got that wonderful scent of new leather. I walked into a clothes store and smelled that sizing crap that put on all new clothes so they'll fold nicely. I was bombarded with flower/fruit/soap smells from Bath & Body Works from the other side of the hallway. I walked into a Halloween store (yes! can you believe it? they're already open) and smelled that strange combination of thick makeup and foam rubber.

But the best part, after I was dizzy from all the sensations, was that I got to smell lunch when I ate it. Split pea soup with ham, in a sourdough bread bowl. MMMMMM.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The world should be my oyster

And should be wide open. I think we should all be able to live and work wherever we damn well please. I would move to Europe somewhere and live happily eating Belgian chocloate and riding the tube, working in an office with other interesting Europeans. I would pay the necessary taxes while I lived there, I would be a very nice person. Why does there have to be so much red tape to do these kinds of things. Is that there are actually people out there that enjoy legal work? Or is it because a couple of nuts along the lines have spoiled it for the rest of us? Why can't world travel, living and employment be open to everyone in every country across the world? Would certain countries become incredibly overrun?

What brought this on? Trying to get legal work taken care of for our newest employee. You would not believe the immense about of paper shuffling that has to happen to hire one out-of towner. Wouldn't it be nice if all we had to do was say "Come on board" regardless of where the person came from?

Monday, September 16, 2002

Famous People

I'd all but forgotten about an encounter I had a few summers back. Yes, loyal readers, my summer in Middlebury, VT.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the author Julia Alvarez. She's written several very good books including In the Time of the Butterfles and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. Until that summer in Middlebury I was completely unaware of her works, I'm sad enough to say.

Before leaving for the summer I had read all the literature I could on Middlebury, and found out that Laura Esquivel who wrote Like Water for Chocolate, my as of then favorite Hispanic author, was a recent visitor to the school and the summer program. I had read that book backwards and forwards in both English and Spanish more times than I could count. I also, unfortunately had to read it for my literature class that summer and the professor didn't like my interpretation. Which brings up a side note, how can you be graded poorly for your own interpretation of the meaning of a book?

When I got there that summer I found out that Ms. Esquivel had been there the summer before and wasn't planning to make an appearance that year. All hopes of an autograph dashed, I contented myself with my classes, and the story of a professor who had met her. Apparently she had cooked several of the recipes from that book for him, and they really weren't that good. There's a reason she's an author after all.

About 3 weeks in to my summer, I was sitting outside after classes and looking at the mountains, pretending to do coursework. As I was sitting a woman rushed by, arms full of papers. I couldn't figure out who was going somewhere in such a hurry on such a lovely afternoon. About 10 seconds later I heard a loud thump and a woman screaming and crying. I didn't rush over at first, because frankly I was a little scared of what I would find. What if she was being held by some man with a gun? After another moment of indecision, the lifeguard training kicked in and I ran over to see if I could help. The woman who had been rushing by had tripped off the curb and with her arms full of paper, fallen head first onto the road. She had a huge goose-egg on her forehead that was already starting to bruise, and was for very good reason, very upset. I told her to hold still I'd run grab some ice and call security. She clutched my arm and asked me to PLEASE not leave. She didn't want to sit there alone. So I sat with her and talked to her and tried to calm her down until she felt I could go get some ice.

Once she stopped crying, she said she just needed to get to the auditorium where her husband was and she would be ok. We got up and I held her arm and helped her walk down the sidewalk towards the Arts Center. She turned to me and said "In case I pass out, my name is Julia Alvarez." She told me her husband's name and I promised I would get her there safely. I don't know if she was insulted I didn't know who she was, or relieved that she didn't have to deal with an adoring fan just then. In any case I told her my name, and kept right on talking to her.

All of this happened in English by the way, a very clear violation of my promise to speak only Spanish for the summer. She realized this halfway down the hill and said "I don't want to get you in trouble." I told her that this was clearly an emergency and the best thing was to get her taken care of regardless of the language. She switched to Spanish anyway, but soon switched back since I kept asking her to repeat herself (she spoke fast, and I was still rather slow on the uptake).

We made it down the hill and I got her to a security guard at the auditorium, she said she'd be ok from there and waved as I left. I still had no idea of who she was at this point. When I got back to my room and mentioned to my roommate the strange thing that had happened to me, her jaw dropped open. Not the Julia Alvarez? I responded with "that was her name, yeah." She dug around and came out with a book and pointing to the cover "Was this her?" My jaw dropped open at this point. That was her alright.

The next day heading back from dinner I ran into her again, with her husband this time. She smiled, came over and gave me a huge hug and thanked me for saving her. "My Angel" she called me. Her husband hugged me and thanked me as well for getting her safely back to him. All of this in Spanish this time. I was also a bit more embarrassed, since I knew who she was now and felt guilty for not knowing before. After they left, several people I didn't know came up to me and asked how I knew her so well.

A couple of weeks later my friends presented me with a copy of In the Time of the Butterflies for my birthday, which I carried around in my bag for weeks hoping to see her again and get an autograph. No such luck, she had gone for the summer.

I keep hoping to run in to her again, at a book signing somewhere possibly, to see if she would remember her Middlebury Angel, and finally get that autograph.

I've bought all her books, poems and essays since then, based my senior project on a good portion of her writing, and read everything of hers I can get my hands on.

What brought on this nostalgia trip you ask? When I went to pick up Andy from the airport the other night, I absent-mindedly grabbed a book to read while waiting. It was one of hers, and the story jumped back into my head and made me wonder, how on earth could I have forgotten about that?

Friday, September 13, 2002

An unusual chat

For some reason our back door number doesn't always work at the office, so folks have to go through me to be transferred. The other morning I answered the phone to hear:
her: no no poopie in the background
me: hesitantly I think you might have the wrong number
her: OH! I didn't hear you answer
me: Recognizing her as the wife of a co-worker Hi how are you?
her: You just heard me talking about poopies didn't you?

We both had a good laugh and I assured her it was no problem, and she wasn't interrupting my day when her calls came through me, and that the poopie talk didn't bother me a bit.

We'll have a little more to chat about at the next company picnic I think.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Let's play with our food

Vegetables as instruments.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

This seemed to fit perfectly for today

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh."
-George Bernard Shaw

Thanks to Newton's Kumquat for the quote
How old are you?

Sometimes I like messing with people's minds. Having them try and figure out just how old I am.

Last night for example. I'd left the gym and headed over to Blockbuster. As I was walking out of the store this woman read my shirt (I had on a SMC Swimming shirt)
and said "RMSC, both my kids swam there!"

The following conversation occurred:

Me: No SMC
Her: What's that?
Me: St. Mary's College...
Her: Oh, then you MUST know Jenny Cheng
Me: Noooo...
Her: *A look like I'm lying* You must know her IF you swim (notice present tense) there. She just graduated in May.
Me: Oh I graduated 5 years ago, this is an old shirt (ok I lied to her, but 4 is close enough to 5 and it just sounded better to have it be a nice round number)
Her: OH! *Another look like I'm lying*

End of conversation. I'd never heard the name before and it's also entirely possible this woman was thinking of Mount St. Mary's College in Western Maryland. We get this a lot. We also get a lot of "OH that's a Catholic school right?" Right. Because a school in St. Mary's City, on the St. Mary's River, in St. Mary's County couldn't POSSIBLY be named St. Mary's College of Maryland without being Catholic. My favorite comeback to this was by a friend who was completely wasted at the time, lying on the floor and slurring "Does this look like proper Catholic school behavior?"

But the best part of the whole thing was her looking like I couldn't possibly have graduated from college that long ago. Sometimes I get a huge kick out of that. Like when I won a bear at King's Dominion at one of those guess your age stands. They have to come within 2 years either way. He guessed 16. I was 21 at the time.

It used to really bug me when I was younger. My grandmother liked to play this game when we were at the grocery store. She'd talk to the clerk and say "How old do you think she is?" They were always wrong, on the young side of course.

Or the woman I ran into at a Young Life banquet this spring. Who stopped me in the restroom and wanted to know what I thought of the Young Life program at my highschool. I (kindly) explained that I'd been out of highschool for quite some time and I was there to make a donation, not as a participant of the program.

I had to stop typing in the middle of this because I had urgent stuff come up at work and I've completely forgot where I was going with the thread.

Oh well.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Pure Democratic opinion to follow...

Like father like daughter like niece apparently. Ok sure Clinton was a womanizer, sure he smoked a little pot. But he didn't (blantantly) buy his way into the White House. He didn't use crack when he was younger and fry his brain to a little crisp. He never said "strategery", even though he tried desperately define "is." He didn't drive the economy down the crapper (ok that's pure opinion, I know we would have a decline anyway). And he didn't do everything his daddy did. i.e. "Let's make war with Iraq because it worked so well before"

One thing I sincerely hope 'W' does just like his father. Have only one term in the White House.

Opinion session has now ended, thank you for your time.

Monday, September 09, 2002


Mr. Enoch Stiffl

My first thought...Carousel and Carrie singing about her true love Mr. Enoch Snow. Who is a fisherman. Of herring.
How Unfortunate

Once again I'm working on cleaning up my company's database and stumbled across a name.

Mr. Dick Willy.

Do parents not think about these things when they name their children?

Friday, September 06, 2002

Favs from the UK

Elasto-plast = Bandaid
Lorry = Truck
Plastic cheesy quavers = Packing peanuts
Lift = Elevator
Well chuffed = pretty darn happy

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Where do they come from?

Is there a set of farms out there especially breeding bland, flavorless, cardboard-esque tomatoes? And why is that's the only kind fast food places buy?
Strange Things

Ok for those that thought Homestar Runner was odd, check out Weebl, his friend Bob and their unwholesome obsession with pie.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Interplanet Janet she's a galaxy girl

I GOT IT!!!! I GOT IT!!!!
Too many hats

Working in a small office has it's perks, being needed is one. Being needed too much for too many types of things on the other hand...

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Only I didn't say fudge

How close have you ever come to cursing in front of your parents? How about grandparents? Have you ever gotten halfway through the word, realized what was coming out of your mouth and tried to change mid-stream?

I came real close this weekend. I was driving with my grandmother and sister in the car and other people were not letting me off of the ramp onto the highway. One word started coming out until I realized it was not an "appropriate" word and it got changed into another.

I'm not sure what would've happened actually. Aside from shock and dismay that the sweet little child in a frilly dress that I used be just uttered THAT word. It's not like she could've grounded me or anything. I wonder why it is we feel the need to restrain ourselves in front of our folks that way. Surely they've heard the words many more times than we have. Maybe it's consideration for the fact that they held themselves in for us, when we were too young to hear those types of things.

Anyway, thanks for saying sugar, shoot, phooey, fudge, darn, and dang. I know what you really meant now.

Mr. Morton walked down the street

Mr. Morton walked. Mr. Morton talked to his cat. Mr. Morton talked. Mr. Morton was very lonely. Mr. Morton was. Mr. Morton is the subject of the sentence and what the predicate says he does.

Ok I don't own it yet, but my sister picked it up last week. And we spent a fun-filled Friday evening full of nostalgia. Singing along to almost every single song, gasping when those we barely remembered came on "I'd forgotten this one!" Gasping when those came on that we saw quite frequently and had all but forgotten about, and then wondering how we could have forgotten that one, they showed it so often!

We also amazed my grandmother by how much of the songs we remembered. It also amazed her to realize that tucked into the sugar cereal induced coma-like state of Saturday morning cartoon watching, there was actually educational stuff going on. "That's probably why you all are so smart!" Well it didn't hurt us any that's for sure.

For those of you who don't remember what life was like pre-cable, there didn't used to be a 24 hour Cartoon Network. I'm not knocking it, I love the Powerpuff Girls, and Ed, Edd, & Eddy as much as the next guy. But Saturday mornings used to be complete kid time. I'd be up at 6 AM and the TV would be on. On low of course as not to wake the 'rents, chowing down on my Cookie Crisp (and yes I remember back when the box had just the cartoon thief and cop, before there was the silly dog howling COOOOOKIE Crisp). And the cartoons went on and on. Until about 1 PM I think. That's when The Littles came on and after that it was back to real tv. There were also plenty of kids shows with real kids. Not nearly as good as the cartoons, but hey it was all tv right? Like Kids Incorporated, where you can watch a very young Jennifer Love Hewitt strut her stuff.

But Schoolhouse Rock was tucked in between all the other cool things going on. As a filler of sorts, and it's amazing how much of that stuff sticks. There's a wholeCD if you haven't seen it before, of bands doing theme songs from their favorite Saturday morning hits. Conjunction Junction is in there too. I'm not the only one it stuck with. Of course my favorite was always "Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here."

I also can't tell you how much I'd wished some other kids had watched Schoolhouse Rock when they were growing up. I've always liked language, so Grammar Rock was always my favorite, and when I took German as my secondary language for my Foreign Language degree, it amazed me how little other people knew about how common English grammar worked. German is so similar to English in structure, if they had just learned that adjectives describe things, and adverbs modify verbs etc etc, they may not have needed that tutor, or whined quite so much about how hard German was. It amazed me they could even form English sentences.

Of course I'm not exempt from language mistakes. Like the summer I spent in Middlebury, I made tons in Spanish. The subjunctive is enough to drive a non-native speaker insane. But when Andy came up to visit, I think I suffered some severe brain damage. I'd been speaking nothing but Spanish for 5 weeks, then having to switch to English threw me for a bit of a loop, but when he switched into German on me I literally froze. I couldn't move, speak, or barely breathe. My brain all but collapsed, trying to wrap around what language I was supposed to be understanding at the moment. He of course thought that was the funniest thing ever in the universe. It is now, but I don't think I'll ever forget that feeling of complete paralysis.

Next time on Laura's nostalgia page "I hanker for a hunk of cheese!"