Wednesday, February 22, 2006

2 things....

First, as evidenced by the following article, I am not the only person who looks at the book titles. Lost boosts book popularity.

Second, not too many people are checking me out here, at NTE, this week. I'm going to pretend that it's because you are all away on February vacation. I'm also going to pretend that the person who found me by searching "woman chokes to death" is not looking for tips, but rather out of concern for any women who might do so.

In case you hadn't noticed, denial is one of my strong suits.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Am I the only one?

Thanks to a conversation that started over at Bookseller Chic's site, Who I totally didn't steal my template from - at least not on purpose the first installment of what I am sure will be a million part series: Am I the only one?


who checks for book titles if a character on TV, or in a movie, is reading something? I always figured it was a book-lover thing, but not that uncommon. But the other people in my house all looked at me very strangely when I asked them if they did this: Granted none of them are biblophiles, exactly, but still... does anybody else do this, or is this yet another way in which I am odd?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I am hating template fiddling.

I am doing it; But I hate it. Mostly b/c I think I know what I'm doing, until I publish it and then? Not so much. So bear with me (all of those 4 readers I know I have) because I can't make that STUPID profile thing to come back up to the top of my blog. (And no, I didn't make it go down there. All the fiddling has been to fix it.) Wow, I rock at this, no?

Read this!

I write book reviews for a website (I'd post it here, but I use my real name there because I was too stupid to think ahead). I review whatever I happen to be reading at the time (which is quite an eclectic mix), and they're mostly positive reviews (b/c it's not a paid position, so if I don't like a book I don't keep reading). I usually wind up doing one a week, even though I generally read about 5 books a week.

Well, this week I've been a bit slow. I've been savoring Elizabeth Berg's < The Year Of Pleasures>. I tried to write a review for the book, but it was too gushing, I was afraid they'd think she paid me to say nice things about it. And I found I couldn't summarize it, couldn't wrap it all up neatly in a paragraph or two. So instead of censoring the way I really felt into a suitable review, I'm just going to talk about it here.

This book was amazing.

"Now, on this road trip, my mind seemed to uncrinkle, to breathe, to present to itself a cure for a disease it had not, until now, known it had."

You know a book is going to be good when you feel the need to copy a quote off the first page. And it just kept getting better. I wound up with a rainbow of Post-It flags sticking out of the book. I continued to read at a snail's pace even though the book was three days overdue (and I HATE being overdue). I began to resent the fact that I had to ever return this book - it should be Mine; I shouldn't have to de-flag it, shouldn't have to part with it at all. I stopped at the end of a chapter, at the end of a page, to better absorb the words, the truths, that had been written there.

The story - about a widow's journey through the first agonies of grief - is utterly moving. I've never been a widow. I've never even seen a love like the character in the book was lucky enough to live. But her pain, her struggles, her story, is, to the author's credit, universal.

Berg's words are like lyrics in a song - slow and beautiful, full of meaning and grace. They have their own melody, their own movement

"I reread the letter, sat back in the chair, took another long drink of coffee. And noticed a specific and breathtaking absence. At the moment, nothing hurt. What I felt was only hope, that internal sunrise. The image of John’s face came into my head, and I felt only my great luck at having had him for as long as I did. I’d learned enough about grieving to know that other ways of feeling would come back soon enough. But it seemed to me that this was the way we all lived: full to the brim with gratitude and joy one day, wrecked on the rocks the next. Finding the balance between the two was the art and the salvation. "

The strength of her writing - the flow of words, the beauty of the sentence, the truth behind what she's said.

Anyways. The Year Of Pleasures. Highly Recommended.

Did ya ever notice cupid rhymes with stupid?

Ok, so I thought, since this is my 27th consecutive single Valentine's Day, that I would totally be anti-Valentine's Day today.

I thought I post some grinchy- Valentine's equivalent of "Bah Humbug"-ish rant about how Valentine's Day sucks & is really a conspiracy thought up by Hallmark to make single people feel like second class citizens.

Really, I had this whole thing thought out.

But then?

Sister #2, who is not the most demonstrative person ever, left a little baggie in front of my door this morning. With chocolate, and a card, and two pocket angels (strength and faith), and a beautiful statue of two ballerinas. The pocket angels were incredibly thoughtful, and let me to believe that she actually might notice some of the troubles I am going through, although she's never shown this to be so. And the ballerina statue almost made me cry, because it's been years since anybody thought of me that way, even though, in my heart I'm still a dancer. It was unbearably sweet.

And I've been listening to the amazing Michael Buble Check out #5
That song...Home? It makes me long for things. It isn't that I didn't know that was what I was missing: it just makes it so clear what I'm looking for and haven't yet found. Someone who makes me feel like that. (And if it just happens to be Michael himself, I would really have no qualms about that. No, I don't know if he's married or attached, or whatever. And I don't want to know: it's Valentine's Day, and a girl can dream.)

And the blogosphere is filled with people I've never actually met, and yet somehow still care about. And this I didn't expect. I didn't expect to care so much:

about the weather in North Washington

about Busy Mom's Mum

about a beautiful baby with a wonderfuly sarcastic mom

about at least 30 other sites I've got to put in my blogroll (Although, did ya notice...? I've finally got something up there!)

And there's the fact that people are reading this (Hello readers! I know you are there, even ever so briefly!) and that they might be caring about me & my life too.

And later?

My Youngest Nephew (age 5) will come bustling throught the door, heavy with character valentines (the kind that come in a package of 30, with teacher valentine included) and candy hearts. He'll be hopped up on sugar, b/c Valentine's Day is not a religous holiday (anymore,anyways), and therefore the teachers can - and usually do -- make a big deal out of it. There will be cupcakes, at the very least. And he'll be rambling on and on about how they had a special Valentine's themed gym class, and OH! because of the snow day yesterday, it's also their 100th day of Kindergarten. (Which, any self-respecting Kindergarten teacher will tell you, is a big deal).

So, really, what do I care if I'm still single? I'm not alone. And, for today, at least, I'm not lonely.

So: Happy Valentine's Day internet!

(P.S. I cannot get blogger to load ANY pictures (or put my type in color, like I told it to), so if you want some yummy Valentine pictures head over here:

Jelly Hearts)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dear Best Friend

I can not buy you a birthday present.

Or, rather, I can not FIND you a birthday present.

I have now spend 6 hours wandering through the following sites:

"unique gift ideas"
"What to buy your best friend"
"Gifts for her"

and about a million similar sites. Seriously.

I have found many many interesting things:

The best thing about this Survival Kit? That it includes chocolate.

This is right up your alley: January Cards. However, it is February.

Is it sad that I really considered buying the Electric Company DVD's for you?

I'd buy you this Goddess Bowl, but I don't know what kind of dishes you have anymore.

I've looked at books --> but I bought you books for Christmas.

I looked at clothes ---> but I know you still want to lose the baby weight, so I have no idea what size I'd buy.

I looked at movies ---> but even though we have the same taste, I don't know what you've seen, what you own.

I looked at pampering, spa-ish stuff ---> but we both know that I don't have any clue about that kind of stuff.

Basically, I'm thinking I might get you a popcorn bowl, since sharing a bag of popcorn with you is one of the treasures of our times together, but that sounds like a very sad present.

I don't know. I suppose I'll keep looking.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's everyone's favorite...

Linkage !!

First up:

"Five rules of thumb
October 31st, 2005

-The stupider your ringtone, the longer it will take you to answer your phone.
-The twin miracles of childbirth and pet ownership render you unable to share one photo of anything.
-If your vanity license plate makes any reference to the make of your vehicle, the people you work with despise you.
-Ph.D.s who ask to be called “Doctor” should be prepared to refer to every college graduate as “Bachelor.”
-If you own more than one Enya record you might as well buy all of them and make a little fort. "

--------------From 5ives------------

"Kids These Days, I Tell Ya...

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!
Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train"

_____________FromOverheard in NY_____________

"What do they have that I don’t have?

Multi-colored candy coatings?

Yeah, that’s great if I wanted to be in a Benetton ad, but I don’t.

Shaped like Hershey’s Kisses?

I hate to say this, but Hershey’s Kisses have always looked like steaming coils of dog poop.

Tasty chocolatey goodness?

If I had some chocolate pudding and rubbed it all over me, I could be tasty chocolatey goodness too."

---------From The Impulsive Buy-----------

"But it's not just his lack of expression that kills me, it's his actual face. It looks like they hired some chooch to put on the Captain America suit so they could take pictures to create the model kit, and then they forgot to make the model not look like that guy.

Either that, or it's Tony Shalhoub.

Another version of the model seems to have him with a crazy Ed Grimley smile. In this one I picture him running after the other superheroes shouting, "C'mon guys, wait up!"

---------------------------From The Sneeze ------------

"It's a bad week for obsessions after a British Trekkie was forced to file for bankruptcy because he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars turning his home into a replica of the Starship Enterprise. "I'm still proud of what I created," said Tony Alleyne, " but it's been a financial disaster." Recently, his wife left him when he replaced their fridge with a "warp coil.""

The part that got me? She stuck with him until he got rid of the fridge. That was the last straw for her... Deciding to use the family funds to remake a fictional ship - no problem. No fridge, time to go.

Can a "warp coil" keep cookie dough cold? I doubt it.

Totally understandable.
--------From The Week---

Medical Regimen

I am up to 22 pills everyday. 22 required pills. I can take as many additional pills for pain as I need, so sometimes I'm at 30. 22 - 30 required pills, and three vials of something that, when mixed with water, tastes like feet.

I take the pills 4 times a day, and they must be taken with food, or I wind up not being able to keep them down.

Some of them taste so bad that I have to trick myself into taking them - chew up my food, and then sneak the pill in right before I swallow. I don't know why it works, but it does.

It's my opinion that the popular method of pill swallowing - putting the pill on your tongue first, then rinsing it down with your drink - makes no sense. If you put the pill on your tongue alone, unaccompanied, then you get the full vileness of it, and therefore want to spit it out. If you have to take your pills with a drink, put the drink in your mouth first, then pop the pill in. Some people say, "well then it's in there floating around": To them I say, who cares? You only have to worry about swallowing the drink, and it'll go down with it, automatically. At least that's how it works for me.

That was a bit of off-topic advice, free of charge.

ANYways -

22 pills, three vials of feet, monthly (or bi-monthly) infusions, and 3 separate inhalers. That's my regimen.

And I a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. wouldn't care- not a fig, not a lick, not a bit - about doing all of this, IF it was actually helping.

Maybe it is - maybe it's keeping me from getting worse, helping me to maintain at this level of functioning. I don't know.

But I do know that I got dressed today:

I went to the closet, picked out warm sweat pants and a t-shirt that's too tight, a zip up that doesn't exactly show me at my best and some fuzzy socks.

I put them all on, lathering baby lotion on skin that's unusually dry first, then maneuvering my way into my clothes.

I did all that, and then had to rest.

For 3 hours - motionless, with the heating pad on the sorest spots, staring blankly at the t.v.

22 pills, three feet-vials, three inhalers, the monthly infusion, all for 17 minutes of functioning
followed by three hours of rest.


And now I've used up another 20 minutes or so, typing this in bed, only semi-upright, one hand on the keyboard, the other swigging the feet-water.

But, I wouldn't mind all the pills, all the shots, all the trips to the doctors (all the phone calls I still haven't made),

if it would just work.

If they did what they were supposed to do.

If I could just feel better.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Some things I am

You Are 32% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at medium risk for having a borderline personality. It is somewhat likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at medium risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is somewhat likely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

This sounds pretty good... I'm not a total nut job, is that what you're saying?

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

I probably would have given myself a little bit lower on the openness, but the rest seems on point(e)
You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

If you are a Bright Star or Dreaming Soul, please let me know :)

You Are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

A classic and an original, no wonder everyone snakes your style!

Now I want ice cream - or cookie dough. AND of course, we don't have either... plus, that must be a lot of points. Fooey.

You Are Sunshine

Soothing and calm
You are often held up by others as the ideal
But too much of you, and they'll get burned

You are best known for: your warmth

Your dominant state: connecting

Well, considering that in my family I'm thought of as a vampire, and feel like I am probably allergic to sunlight, this is the only one that doesn't really fit. But, hey, if you wanna call me sunshine... who am I to argue?

Monday, February 06, 2006

The opposite of happy

Back when I was functioning well enough to be working, I was finishing up my degrees working in various classrooms. During my time at a private preschool, one of the units we worked on was Opposites. Now, because I was a student teacher at the time, I sometimes had to follow the lessons planned by the actual classroom teacher, rather than making my own. She was a good teacher, with a different teaching style than my own, so sometimes these lessons didn't go exactly as planned (then again, I have NEVER had a lesson go exactly as planned, so this is not unusual). Anyways, the unit was Opposites, and the lesson plan ventured into the area of feelings. I was supposed to pose the questions:

The opposite of sad is ______?

The opposite of angry is _____?

The opposite of happy is____?

The only problem was, I didn't have a clue what the answers were supposed to be. They looked clear cut enough, but once I started to think about it, I couldn't make up my mind.... what is the opposite of sad? Happy? Glad? Excited? And if I'm the opposite of angry, wouldn't I be feeling generous or extraordinarily nice or something? The thesaurus that lives in my brain wound up making the whole thing MUCH too complicated for a bunch of 3 & 4 year olds. But...

It does make a nice little segue for today's post...

Which is the most complicated of the questions above: what is the opposite of happy?

Is the opposite of happy really sad? Sad doesn't really begin to cover it, does it? And unhappy is particularly unworthy, because it doesn't really describe anything: It kind of matters how long you're unhappy, why you're not happy, and a bunch of other things. But what about gloomy, miserable, bereft? They're a better fit, yet still a bit too loose a definition.

Because I've given this way too much thought, the two best answers I've come up with are: Cheerless and Melancholy.

Cheerless: Adj.: bleak, joyless.

Melancholy: Adj.: Dismay, pensive, depressed.

Today has been an "opposite of happy" kind of a day. When they happen, it's hard to remember that there are any other kinds of days. The things that would normally make my day, like seeing an update on Amalah (complete with cute baby pictures), or checking out the new & snarkworthy covers up at Smart Bitches, do little to improve my mood. The people in my house are acting odd, guarding their words, asking each other what is wrong with me (I can totally hear you btw... you do not whisper well ). I wonder what is wrong with me too, because nothing new happened: it's just that today, the weight of the SOS seems five/fifty/five thousand times heavier than normal.

So I'm giving myself permission, just for today, to feel all the wrong things, and just let them be:

Just for today

I won't pretend that everything is o.k., that this waiting isn't driving me nuts.

I won't just listen to everyone else's problems: if I think it is a stupid and useless problem, I will let myself think that.

And because I may want to shout "You don't understand! You DON'T HAVE ANY REAL PROBLEMS, and must resort to MAKING UP DRAMA ..." I will avoid people.

I will let myself play Zuma for 5 hours, and stew over the fact that I'm supposed to be making phone calls/cleaning/weeding through paperwork.

I will play whatever sort of music I want - if I want to listen to Home by Michael Buble 6 times in a row, I will do so.

I will allow myself to feel sad for all that I am missing.

I will be jealous of all the people in my life who have their health, and their own lives, and all the other things that I don't have.

I will have leftover lemon poppyseed cake, with Extra icing, and not care how many points the stupid thing is worth.

I will not take the medicine that makes me nauseous, just for today... I can't deal with it today.

I will not feel guilty about doing these things, or not doing them, as the case may be: It's just for today.

Ok, I Lied: I will only feel slightly guilty (b/c I still can't find the guilt-off-switch).

I will shut the door if I want to, and ignore any knocks on it. Or the phone rining, or the IM's pinging.

I will let myself pretend that the reason I am crying is that this song is very sad, and glare evilishly at anyone who contradicts me.

I will make up my own words (evilishly? WTF?) in a blog post and leave them in, just because I can.

I will realize that feeling sorry for myself for a little while is NOT ridiculously self-indulgent, even though I have lots of things to be happy for. I will be happy for them tomorrow.

Today is for brooding.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Trying to change things a bit

but, yet again, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Trying to download a new blog skin... no such luck so far.