Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Stormy weather...

rain, rain go away
no, seriously. enough!
i'm on vacation!

Friday, December 30, 2005

"Here comes the jackpot question in advance...

...What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?"

Ah, yes. It's that time again. Time to decide what to do on That Night. The night when many people go out just because they think they should. Because it seems lame to stay home, alone, when you think "everyone else" is out having a blast.

But here's the thing: chances are, they're not. Forced frivolity is terrible, on any night. But on NYE, you're also dealing with expensive cover charges, large crowds, and drunken amateurs. Unless you've got something really great to do, I think going out on NYE is highly overrated.

My fondest NYE memory: the year I went to Tahoe with Kimmy, Guppy, Sherri and her husband Andrew. Oh, yeah, the ex-hub was there too. Whatever. Anyway. Omigod, that was a fun trip... and we had such a raucous game of Pictionary one evening that we needed a nap afterwards. (It was the altitude! You people....) There was even a little drama. And snow. Good times.

In recent years, I've spent several NYEs at home, watching some great (or terrible) movies or TV marathons, pouring my favorite cocktails and enjoying my favorite snacks by candlelight. (I really know how to set the mood... for myself.) Yes, there's always a moment when I feel sad and lonely and end up in tears, but that passes when I think of all the wonderful people in my life and all the fun things I get to do. And think of all the possibilities of the year ahead.

Then there was the year my friend Ellen and I rented the Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee sex tape for our NYE entertainment. THAT was... uh.... interesting. Everything you've heard about Tommy Lee is true, by the way, but what was really fascinating was the non-sex stuff. Those two had absolutely nothing to say to each other, except "I love you babe!" "I love YOU!" Oy.

Tomorrow night? I'm not sure what I'm doing. My friend Audrey, who moved away from the Bay Area earlier this year, is in town, as her hubby's band is playing at a club in the city, so I might go there...but I'll betcha I don't stay until midnight. That particular moment isn't all that much fun when you're solo, with no one to kiss, so I'll probably be toasting myself at home at that magic moment. (We're expecting quite a bit of rain today and tomorrow, so that's another concern -- drunk drivers in the rain! Whee!!)

Hope you have a fun (and safe) celebration, whatever you're doing. Just watch out for the drunken morons. They'll be out in force...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Have you ever...?

Stolen from Jenn's blog. Put an "X" next to the things you've done. Go ahead... do it! It's fun! And totally self-indulgent.
Then again, isn't blogging self-indulgent??

1. (x) Smoked a cigarette.
The usual kidly experimentation. I thought it was pretty disgusting even then.

2. ( ) Crashed a friend's car.

3. ( ) Stolen a car.

4. (x) Been in love.

5. (?) Been dumped.
Umm... kinda? Hard to explain.

6. (x) Shoplifted.
Not intentionally!! I told you, I tried to pay for that coat!!

7. ( ) Been fired/laid off. Lucky.

8. ( ) Been in a fist fight.

9. ( ) Snuck out of your parent's house.

10. (x) Had feelings for someone that didn't have them back.
Well, of course.

11. ( ) Been arrested.
Not yet...

12. ( ) Gone on a blind date.
Does online dating count?

13. (x) Lied to a friend.
Little white lies.

14. ( ) Skipped school.

15. ( ) Seen someone die.
Thank god, no.

16. (x) Been to Canada.
Oui, eh?

17. (x) Been to Mexico.

18. (x) Been on a plane.

19. ( ) Purposely set a part of yourself on fire.
Okay, who does this??

20. (x) Eaten sushi.

21. (x) Been skiing.
Only a few times, many years ago. On my last attempt, after about 15 falls in a short period of time, I got frustrated, took off my skis, and walked the rest of the way down the hill. A few minutes later, my friend Sherri got knocked down and her arm got mowed over by another skier, so that was the end of that.

22. (x) Met someone in person from the internet.

23. (x) Taken pain-killers.

24. (x) Love someone or miss someone right now.
Okay, who's going to say there's no one they love?

25. (x) Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by.
Looove that.

26. (x) Made a snow angel.
Looove that.

27. ( ) Had a tea party.

28. (x) Flown a kite.
Not very well, though.

29. (x) Built a sand castle.
Not very well.

30. (x) Gone puddle jumping.

31. (x) Played dress up.
Every day, when I dress like an adult!

32. ( ) Cheated while playing a game.

33. (x) Been lonely.
Duh. Am I alive?

34. ( ) Fallen asleep at work/school.

35. ( ) Used a fake I.D.
Goody two, goody two, goody goody two shoes...

36. (x) Watched a sunset.

37. (x) Felt an earthquake.
Hello! I live in California!

38. (x) Touched a snake.

39. (x) Slept beneath the stars.
I'm not much of a camper, but when I was a kid, my friends and I would sometimes have slumber parties outside. Fun.

40. (x) Been tickled.

41. ( ) Been robbed.

42. (x) Been misunderstood.
All the time.

43. (x) Petted a reindeer/goat.
A goat. At a petting zoo.

44. (x) Won a contest.
I won a costume contest at work the year I dressed as Pat for Halloween. You know, the androgynous SNL character. I was apparently so good that two people I worked with INTRODUCED THEMSELVES TO ME, because they didn't recognize me.

45. ( ) Ran a red light.
I've come close, though.

46. ( ) Been suspended from school.

47. (x) Been in a car accident.
I was 18, and rear-ended an older woman who was stopped at a green light. Sucked.

48. (x) Had braces.
Luckily, no headgear. None of those annoying rubber bands, either.

49. (x) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night.
Hahahahahaha. Of course!

50. (x) Had deja vu.
Haven't I seen this question before?

51. (x) Danced in the moonlight.
On the beach in Mexico.

52. (x) Liked the way you looked.
Sometimes, yes.

53. ( ) Witnessed a crime.
Do traffic violations count? Or are we talking about the accidental shoplifting of coats??

54. (x) Questioned your heart.
All the time.

55. ( ) Been obsessed with post it notes.

56. (x) Squished barefoot through the mud.

57. (x) Been lost.

58. (x) Been to the opposite side of the country.
I was born on the opposite side of the country, and lived there until I was 9.

59. (x ) Swam in the ocean.
Hello, I live in California! Actually, I often forget that many people don't spend a lot of time around the ocean. When I was in Hawaii two years ago, it was really funny to watch people who hadn't, freaking out about the waves. I couldn't figure out what was going on at first...!

60. (x) Felt like dying.

61. (x) Cried yourself to sleep.

62. (x) Played cops and robbers.

63. ( ) Recently colored with crayons.
Not recently. I can't stay between the lines! (Does that surprise you?)

64. (x) Sung karaoke.
"Sung" is a relative term...

65. ( ) Paid for a meal with only coins.
Coffee, yes...

66. (x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.
All. The. Time.

67. (x ) Laughed til some kind of beverage came out your nose.
Yes, and it hurts! But my friend Kim has a much better story about those pasta stars in soup coming out of a friend's nose.

68. (x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue.

69. (x) Danced in the rain.

70. (x) Written a letter to Santa Claus.

71. (x) Been kissed under the mistletoe.

72. (x) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about.

73. (x) Blown bubbles.
We used to have bottles of bubbles in the newsroom, and we'd break 'em out to relieve stress. You'd be surprised how effective that was.

74. (x) Made a bonfire on the beach.
Many, many times. The smell of a beach bonfire is one of my favorite aromas. A hallmark of my youth.

75. ( ) Crashed a party.

76. (x) Gone roller-skating.
I've always been more of an ice skater, though. I wanted to be Dorothy Hamill when I was 12.

77. (x) Had a wish come true.

78. (x) Worn pearls.

79. ( ) Jumped off a bridge.

80. (x) Ate dog/cat food.
Once, just to see what it tasted like. Blech.

81. ( ) Told a complete stranger you loved them.
Who does this?? How can you love a complete stranger?

82. ( ) Kissed a mirror.

83. (x) Sang in the shower.

84. ( ) Had a dream that you married someone.
No, that was a real-life nightmare!

85. ( ) Glued your hand to something.
I've gotten my fingers stuck together, though.

86. ( ) Got your tongue stuck to a flagpole.
No one has triple-dog-dared me...

87. ( ) Kissed a fish.

88. ( ) Sat on a rooftop.

89. (x) Screamed at the top of your lungs.

90. (x) Done a one-handed cartwheel.

91. (x) Talked on the phone for more than six hours on one occasion.
To a boy, even.

92. (x) Stayed up all night.
Gets harder as I get older...

93. ( ) Didn't take a shower for a week.
I was about to say, "ewww..." and then I remembered that when I was in Spain, during my homestay in the little town of Talavera de la Reina, they were having a severe drought, and I COULDN'T take one for several days. Not a whole week, but it was close enough.

94. ( ) Picked and ate an apple right off the tree.
I have had pineapple right out of the field in Hawaii, though.

95. ( ) Climbed a tree that had a tree house.

96. (x) Been told by a complete stranger that you're hot.

97. ( ) Ever had a one-night stand.
So not me, even though I often think I should, just to say I did.

98. (x) Ever missed someone so much it still hurts to think of them.

99. ( ) Ever loved someone that you knew wouldn't love you back.

100. (x) Ever been to a professional baseball, football, or hockey game in a stadium.

101. (x) Went hiking in the mountains.

102. ( ) Smoked a cigar.

103. (x) Had a crush on someone you worked with but never told them.

104. (x) Wished you had the chance to change your profession.
I think we all have that chance, often. I'm just not sure what else I want to do.

105. ( ) Ever cremated and kept the ashes of a pet you cared a lot about.

106. (x) Wished you could live your life over again beginning at age 21.
And then the feeling passes, because it wouldn't be right.

107. (x) Been baptized.
However, I am a lapsed Catholic. Was never confirmed.

108. (x) Rode a horse.

109. ( ) Sent flowers to someone you never met. No, but I got some once. I think they were for me, anyway. A few years ago, some roses were left on the front step of my apartment building, with a note addressed to "Cherry." Now, there's no one else in the building whose name is even close to that, and the note writer was clearly not sure if the intended recipient was single... and my ex's name was still on the mailbox. At any rate, the note writer left no clues to his (or her) identity (though I had a suspicion it was a guy I saw at the bus stop every morning, but how can you approach someone you've barely spoken to and say, "Hey, are you the one who left those flowers? Were they for me? If so, WHY DO YOU SAY SO LITTLE WHEN I TRY TO MAKE CONVERSATION WITH YOU HERE??"), so I have no idea who actually left them or who they were really for. I left them in the building lobby, and no one else claimed them. A mystery to this day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And then there are those times when being single's not such a bad thing...

I'm at the movies today, waiting for the film to start.
A youngish sounding couple sits behind me, and they're in the middle of an argument about her hair. Yes. HER HAIR.
Him: "No, you REALLY need to do something about that." He's very emphatic.
Her: "But I LIKE my hair short." (I'm thinking, yay! Stand up for what YOU want!)
Then she says, "Besides, you told me it was cute and punk rock." (oookay.)
Silence from him.
She repeats her last statement.
He mumbles something to the effect of, "Whatever."
Her: "Shut up, you asshole."

Ahh, I could just feel the love. Is there anything more sweet or endearing than calling your significant other an asshole? Not in a joking manner?
I thought he was the schmuck until she started wondering aloud why the theatre wasn't showing those annoying movie trivia quizzes and TV commercials you see before the movie (before the trailers, even) at every multiplex, just moments after I was thinking how nice it was not to be bombarded by that crap. "That's the BEST PART," she says. Ugh.

I have a talent for attracting morons to sit behind me in theatres. I must have some sort of idiot beacon on me. During the film ("Brokeback Mountain"), she gasped loudly at every plot development, then one of them kept fiddling with the noisiest cellophane ever made during key scenes. And she chewed whatever the fuck she was snacking on with her mouth open. There was lots of smacking involved. Kinda hard to lose yourself in a film when you've got Tweedledee and Tweedlefuck sitting behind you.

Also saw "Good Night, and Good Luck" today, and I think George Clooney has now vaulted to the top of my Celebrity Sleepover list. Smart. Talented. Funny. Politically outspoken. And sexy as hell.

Who else is on that list? Let's see. It's been in flux this year. For the first time in a decade, Brad Pitt's not on it. I know he's crushed. He and I had a long run, though, and those were good times. But the whole Angelina thing has been such a turn off, I had to take him out of the line-up. Stephen Colbert has a pretty high ranking in my book now. Dave Matthews remains on the list, as does Ricky Martin. (I know. I KNOW. He's kinda cheesy. But have you LOOKED AT HIM? Have you WATCHED HIM MOVE?? I have. A lot. This is why he's on the list. Plus, he was so nice to me when I ambushed him a few months ago. I can't help it.)
David Duchovny's another favorite. As is Ewan McGregor (I sat through "The Pillow Book" solely because he was in it. And not just because of the lengthy ((pun intended)) full-frontal nudity). Peter Krause. Tim Robbins. Chris Noth. Mark Ruffalo. Justin Timberlake. I'm thinking Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal deserve spots on my list, too. Yummy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pumpkin pie and cookies for breakfast...

....and leftover stuffing for dinner.

Don't you love the holidays? I think my body will go into shock next week when I have to return to my normal life.

So I took mom to the airport this morning, after an all-too-short visit (once a year isn't enough, really). We went wine-tasting, we had some fabulous meals out, had some cocktails at the world-famous Top of the Mark, did a lot of cooking, and filled her carry-on bag with leftovers. That's the deal, now; whoever travels gets to take a lot of leftovers home. And I have plenty to enjoy myself.

Last week, before mom's arrival, I thought it would be cool to see if I could create a gluten-free version of one of our family's traditional Christmas cookies. I'd forgotten that this recipe creates about 10,000 cookies that need to be frosted once they're cool. GOOD GOD. I was frosting these goddamned cookies until about 11pm one night. They weren't bad, but they weren't the same. Thank goodness the GF bread doesn't ruin the stuffing, because that is one of my favorite things about Christmas dinner!

And can someone explain this weather to me? It feels like the tropics here. It's been raining a lot for nearly ten days, but nearly all of these storms are coming from Hawaii (and they're dubbed "pineapple express" storms), so they're warm and sticky and I'm sick of them.

However. I don't go back to work until January 3rd, so I'm gonna stop with the whining (but not the wine-ing...)!

Hope you had a fabulous Christmas. I did.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's the most wonderf....

hungover i am
mom's flight is late; damn weather
i could be asleep


Setting a drunk person loose in an apartment with 10,000 Christmas cookies is a bad idea.
(Wow, that was hard to type.)

Just got home from my friend Melissa's birthday party. I think I had 700 Sidecars. But I lost track after the frist three.

Why am I blogging under the influence?
Because I can?
Can I?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa Claus is coming to town...

...and so is my mother! So you won't be hearing much from me until next week, as we'll be very busy eating and wine-tasting and cooking and eating and drinking. And eating. And drinking.

I'm hoping she's able to soak up as much of the Bay Area as possible before returning to the snowy tundra of Wisconsin. She lived here for several years, just down the street from me (which was really cool - and reminds me of a completely drunken Christmas Eve...I'll have to write about that one of these days) until she moved back to the Midwest in the most selfless act I've ever witnessed. It's a long story, and she'd probably rather I not get into all the details, but she picked up her life and moved back to where she grew up to be nearer to her mother, who was not in the best of health at the time. And they'd been estranged most of my life, grandmother was a difficult woman. So I though it was pretty amazing that my mom was willing to make that sacrifice.

Then again, my mother is an amazing woman. I really wish Santa would move her somewhere warmer. Where she'd like to live. And closer to California.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Wanna see something funny?
Click here and here.

So THIS is what goes on when I'm not at work...!

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Single Life....

You know, this is a subject I've been wanting to write about for quite awhile, but couldn't figure out how best to address it without sounding pathetic, pitiful, or bitter. Then I figured, what the hell? If you're reading this, you already know I'm a major Dork.

Is it just me, or does it seem harder to be single at this time of year than at any other? Aside from Valentine's Day, of course....but that's such a manufactured occasion that it seems easy to roll my eyes and go have cocktails with my friends. Not the same with Christmas. It can be pretty lonely without a special someone to share it with.

I’ve led a very strange life, when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. I was in a very serious relationship from the time I was 18 until my early 30s, so I missed out on that critical training period that most people go through in their 20's. (I used to be really thankful for that. Ha! Hindsight...) And I didn’t date a lot in high school – when you don’t have that San Diego Barbie look, and you speak up a lot in class, you don’t get asked out a lot. At least I didn’t.

So trying to learn "the rules" (and I’m not referring to that crap-ass book) of dating when you’re in your 30's and 40's is truly strange, indeed. Apparently, my notions about the way adults dated were quite utopian. I thought people were straightforward and upfront. Hahahahahahaha! Silly me! I should have known that game-playing is still the norm. No matter how much people say they hate game-playing, they still do it. It's expected.

And that stuff we’ve been fed about how men love it when women ask them out? Seems that’s not true. Okay, I suppose if I DID have that Barbie look (and I’m much farther from that now than I was in high school), it might be different. But it’s not just me; I find that with most of the women I know, when THEY take the initiative, things don’t seem to work out. It would appear that men still want to be the pursuers. What year is this, anyway?

It's safe to say, without completely denigrating myself (for that's what my inner voice is for), that I don't exactly fall within our culture's traditional standard of beauty. For one thing, I'm... uh... much rounder than I'd like to be. But that's not all; no matter what my age or size, I've never been one of those women who's had men falling at her feet. Okay, yeah, there are those icky guys who hit on everything in a skirt (and boy, is THAT flattering), but that's not what I mean. It is rare, indeed, for a man to actually approach me, even when I'm feeling cute and sassy and confident. Even when I catch one eyeing me. Am I sending out "don't approach me" vibes, or what? I'm still trying to figure that one out. Then again, often, when I DO catch someone checking me out, I tend to think I have a big booger hanging out of my nose, or a big stain somewhere that's drawing attention. It often doesn't occur to me that someone's trying to catch MY eye. (More on that in a future post.)

I'm the girl who is everyone's friend. That's not such a bad thing, really; I LIKE having male friends. I do. But it would be nice to be treated like a babe every so often. By someone normal, I mean...

I’m finding that I’m at an age now where I’m getting a lot of attention from older men. Much older men. Like, in their 60's. It’s really odd and a little disturbing to get leered at and hit on by men who look like grandfathers. I'm only 41, fer chrissakes...!

So what is my point? I'm not sure I have one. I guess what I'm saying is I'm completely baffled by the whole dating thing. How do people get together? (And let's not get into online dating -- I've already discussed my feelings about that.)
I go out and about, I do things.... where are the interesting guys? It's been so long since I've even had a crush on someone that I can't remember who my last crush was...! Isn't that sad?

(okay, really... I AM in the holiday spirit! I know that I am blessed with amazing friends and family. I'm just saying....)

No day but today....

I am a Rent-head.
I've seen the show seven times -- here, though... not on Broadway. I think my mom and I even bought the cast album at intermission, the first time we saw it. That's how much we loved it.
I listen to the cast album a lot, and even THAT chokes me up. Certain songs, certain lyrics get me EVERY time.

So it was with much trepidation that my friend and fellow Rent-head Melissa and I went to see the movie last night, even though hearing even just a little of the music in the commercials on TV made my hair stand on end.
How can I say this politely?
We were not impressed.
Maybe I was too hung up noticing all the unnecessary plot and musical changes to properly get into it, but I was strangely unmoved by the film. And disappointed (although Jesse L. Martin got to me, at Angel's funeral).

Just makes me want to get on a plane and see it on stage again pronto.

Forget regret
or life is yours to miss

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Maybe it just needs a little love...

I finally got a Christmas tree tonight, despite the nasty, rainy, cold weather.

It's a little one. Not exactly a Charlie Brown tree, but definitely a little cockeyed (like me) and not exactly the belle of the ball (like me). But it's so cute and smells so nice, I can't help but smile when I look at it.

It's the first tree I've gotten in years. Since my ex-husband and I split up in 1997, actually. See, I grew up with an artificial tree (a really good one, which my mom still has) so I never had a real Christmas tree until he and I moved in together. And over the years, we created our own holiday traditions surrounding the buying of the tree. We'd always go at night, then come home and listen to my favorite Christmas albums (Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, and of course, the music from "A Charlie Brown Christmas") while decorating the tree (and arguing about the placement of the lights). Then I'd make us some hot chocolate with Bailey's, and we'd sit and admire our handiwork. This was a nearly ten year tradition, so when we split, it was far too painful to contemplate doing any of this on my own. I couldn't even listen to those Christmas tunes for at least a year or two after the break-up.

Even when the hurt subsided, it seemed kinda silly to get a tree just for me. Christmas dinner was usually at someone else's house, and in recent years, I've spent several Christmases in Wisconsin, so it just seemed pointless.

Until now. I went at night. I had to go to the store to buy more lights, of course. I listened to those very same Christmas CDs, and when I was finished, I poured myself a nice glass of wine (I have no Bailey's!) and admired my handiwork. It's the very first tree I've decorated all on my own. And I don't feel the least bit sad about it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's the most wonderful time, II

Is there any better feeling than leaving work on the Friday before a two-week vacation? Even if you're not going anywhere?
I think not. Ahhhhh.

Okay, those of you in colder climes will slap me for saying this, but JEEZ it's cold today. I don't think it got out of the 40's. And it's just windy enough for that chill to be a bitter one.
I know -- this is balmy compared to, say, Wisconsin...or Colorado (hi Jon!) but it's dang cold for California. Even for San Francisco.
I think my little weather pixie down there (on the right, below all the links) is on crack -- she keeps indicating rain, and we've had none for days.

Oh, and I think I'm a NyQuil Cough addict. Actually, it's the Walgreen's version I've been consuming in large quantities. I just bought my third bottle this evening. Should I be looking for a 12-step group??
And on that note, I'm in the process of trying to wean myself off of a prescription pain medication (klonopin) that I've been taking for... oh... seven years (!!)... for a repetitive stress injury. This is the stuff Steve Nicks has said was the hardest thing for her to kick while she was in rehab. GREAT. Though I know I don't take nearly as much as she did.

I figured now was as good a time as any to try weaning, since I'm already sick and taking lots of other fun things to help me sleep (like the aforementioned heavenly cough medicine), but I am just amazed at how sore my body feels today...! Lots of weird crampy, achy stuff going on. At first I thought it was because of that fall the other day... but now I think it's mostly my body getting used to less medicine. I just hope it doesn't get worse when I reduce the dosage even further....! I'm scared!

Like Snickers guaranteed to satisfy...

(bonus points if you can name that tune...)

These fellas make me so happy.

Barenaked Ladies, that is.

I think the high point of the show the other night was when they drew names to decide who was going to play which instrument for a rousing rendition of "Feliz Navidad." You gotta love a band in which each member can play any instrument.

You also gotta love a band that hangs out in the lobby before a show to greet fans.

And I'd like to dispel the notion that they do nothing but silly songs. That may be all you hear on the radio, but many of their songs are quite dark; in fact, the two new songs they played were about death. They're always witty though, with great word play.

I heart them.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blue Song...

I finally dug out my Christmas decorations the other night, so things are a little cheerier around my home than my last post might have suggested.

And there's one item in particular that really warms my heart.

When I was little, we used to spend most (maybe even all) of our Christmases in Connecticut, with my father's family (we lived in Virginia at the time). Most of my memories of those holidays come in flashes of sights and sounds and even the smell of all the baked goodies.

But the thing that is firmly implanted in my memory is a baseball-sized, shiny blue ball which looks like an ornament. It belonged to my Aunt Mary, and when you pulled the ring on top, it played "Silent Night." I loved loved LOVED it, which just goes to show you that I've always been easily distracted by shiny things. I used to call it "Blue Song."

A few years ago, I opened a small box my aunt had sent to me. Lo and behold, my beloved Blue Song was inside! I got so excited that I called her (and my mother) immediately, crying the whole time. It looks great, considering that it must be as old -- if not older -- than I am. And it still plays its pretty little tune.

I was so amazed that my aunt not only remembered how much I loved this thing, but that she still had it. And now that I think about it, how cool is it that she let me play with it as much as I did? I can't believe that I, in my infinite klutziness, never broke it.

And every year, when I pull it out of the box of Christmas decorations, I get tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, remembering a time when I was less jaded, and when all it took to entertain me was a shiny little thing that plays a Christmas song.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It's the most wonderful time....

I've now cancelled out on three holiday events, because of this goddamned bronchitis which keeps.... hanging.... on.
I sound like a barking seal in the shower each morning. I'm sure I'm the most popular person in my apartment building these days.

My commutes home have become hellish. I'll spare you all the details about how Muni has altered its schedule "slightly," but suffice it to say they're sending fewer buses to my 'hood, so not only do I have to wait longer for a frigging bus, it's jam-packed. All. The. Way. Home. Takes FOREVER to get home now. Seriously. I'm guessing that people who live across the bay get home faster than I do... and I LIVE IN THE SAME CITY IN WHICH I WORK!

Oh, and when I did a little experiment this week involving a different bus line, I saw (and heard) a bird get run over by a car. And the poor thing didn't die right away.

I slipped on a wet spot on some very slippery tile downtown this morning and FELL. Landed with full force on my left knee. OW.
Then I encountered several piles of vomit as I continued on my chilly walk to work.


Things are looking up, though. I'm seeing the Barenaked Ladies tonight, and they always make me smile. And I get to sleep in tomorrow. And then, just one more day of work before my holiday vacation begins. Yaay!

Please pardon my holiday whine. But you're used to my whining by now, right?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Oh Good GOD...

This is just pure insanity.

Then again, I'm no expert in the field of dating or even meeting guys I'd like to date.
More on that in a future post.

But really, is this really how it's done??


Saturday, December 10, 2005

A plea...

Dear Bronchitis,

You can go away now. You've done enough, really.

I've spent enough money on OTC drugs to keep me somewhat functional and cancelled enough social plans to satisfy you. Plus, because of you, I just don't have the energy to clean my filthy apartment OR dig out my Christmas decorations -- come on! It's the holidays! I need a little holiday cheer around here! I slept eleven hours last night and all I want to do now is go back to bed.

Be gone. Please. Please?


Friday, December 09, 2005

Are sequins inappropriate for daytime wear?

That's the question on my mind today.
Apparently, I decided the answer is no, because I'm wearing 'em. (And they're far more subtle than the bling over there.)

Okay, you know what Christmas commercial I hate most? The Lexus spot. Oh, I'm sure LOTS of people decide on the spur of the moment to buy their sweeties a Lexus for Christmas. Yeah. I have tens of thousands of spare dollars to spend on a holiday gift. Please.

However, I love the animated Coke spot with the polar bears and the penguins. Even with the Beach Boys song in the background. Call me a sap, but it makes me smile.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO watch too much TV. What's your point??

And if you're looking for some great gifts, check this out. I really want that pillow! Be sure to read the testimonials.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My secret's out...

I am a Trader Joe's addict.
Until a few years ago, I thought of TJ's solely as a place for specialty foods, or stuff you'd serve at parties.
Then, Miss Cheese enlightened me, informing me that they now sell just about everything you can find in your regular grocery store (and much more). For a lot less money. A LOT less.
So I became a regular (and fanatical) TJ's shopper.

The problem is, though, the store that's closest to my home is also the busiest in the entire chain. I had to time my visits properly so that I could park my car without a ten-minute wait -- I couldn't go right after work. I couldn't go on Mondays. I couldn't go anytime just before or just after a holiday.
Then I'd go in to find that some item I desperately needed was out of stock. Not to mention, a former co-worker of mine was working there, and let's just say I didn't enjoy him putting his paws on my food. It was becoming a less-than-pleasant experience to shop there.

So I was overjoyed a year ago when TJ's opened a new store in the city, even though it's farther from home. It's big. It's got lots of parking. And best of all, it was NEVER crowded or out of anything I needed. It was worth a longer drive to shop there.

Now, suddenly, it seems a whole bunch of other TJ's addicts have discovered MY store... and are buying up all of my favorite gluten-free bread. And much of the cereal. And crowding the parking lot. It's so very, very wrong.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

An apology...

To my colleagues and neighbors:

I am so sorry you have to listen to my constant hacking, especially when it's really phlegmy. Especially so early in the morning.

I know it's not pleasant. Please know it's not pleasant for me, either. I coughed so much yesterday that I had a massive headache by the time I went to bed last night. And I already have one now, at 9 a.m.

It is my sincerest hope that this lung comes up soon, so I can spare us all from any further noise pollution.

Until then, might I suggest some earplugs? Some soothing music? Sticking your fingers in your ears, saying "la la la la la, can't hear you?" each time I start hacking?


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Discovered by the Germans in 1904...

....they called it 'San Diago...' "

Goodness, with all those posts about my illness, I've completely forgotten to write about my trip to SoCal. It was great fun.

It started with a night in L.A., and a great dinner with my old friends Kimmy and Guppy. The disturbing thing is that we realized that the next big milestone for all of us is our 50th birthdays. Yeah, that's nine years away... but then I think about how quickly the last nine years have passed, and it FREAKS ME OUT! The good news is that I know I'll still be laughing with these two when we DO hit that milestone.

Then it was off to San Diego, on a 85-degree day. I'm sorry, but that's too fucking hot for November. For me, that's too hot just about anytime. I was grateful for my car's fine air conditioning system. But then I had to get out of the car. UGH.

But enduring the heat was a small price to pay to spend time with my pal Cindy and her family. They let me force them into spending yet another day wandering around the La Jolla Cove, one of my favorite spots on the planet. Lunch at Alfonso's, a fabulous Mexican restaurant there (it was after that lunch that Cindy's daughter Sierra had her little episode that I quoted previously)... watching the seals that have taken over the Children's Beach... and then sundaes at Haagen Dazs for dinner! There's a lot of history for me at that Haagen Dazs store -- in high school, my pal Julie and I used to go there after every beach outing in La Jolla. At the time, I think it was the only Haagen Dazs in San Diego, so we felt really cool and "in the know" going there.
Yeah. I've always been a dork.

Then it was Turkey Day itself, which meant a whirlwind of activity. Cindy's got a big family, and once you count siblings, cousins, significant others and strays like myself, there's always more than 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner. Three turkeys, countless side dishes, and tons of dirty dishes. Always fun, though. Then off to the movies - "Chicken Little," which was really cute. One of the many perks of visiting Cindy & Co. is the free movies, thanks to her husband's job with a SoCal movie theatre chain.

The next morning, we were up before 4 a.m.... yes, you read that right... so we could be at the mall by 5, when some of the larger stores opened. I know. I know. I KNOW. It's insanity. And if it weren't Cindy's big event, I would never do it. It's chaos, and the Starbucks at the mall doesn't open until a couple of hours later, which is REALLY stupid. But Cindy always manages to find amazing deals -- in many cases, saving more money than she spends, so it's worth her while.
This was her niece Lindzay's first post-Thanksgiving outing, and I think she expected us to leave the mall by 8. Hahahahahahahahaha. I think we shopped until about noon, then went home and napped. THAT's unusual -- I think we're usually out until 2 or 3, even, but there was a migraine involved (Cindy's), so we got out of there when the mall started to get even more hectic.

We spent the next day in Balboa Park, where we happened upon a comedy-juggling show that was actually funny, then headed into the Museum of Art. I always forget how pretty that park is. Oh, then we watched some goofy carolers for awhile, before the annoying loud-talkers all around us drove us away.

Sunday was another movie day -- "Walk the Line, " which I really liked -- and just hanging out.

It was great to get away, and especially great to spend time with some of my favorite people.

"....which, of course, in German, means 'whale's vagina.' "*

So, if I have so much fun in San Diego, why don't I want to live there again?

Note: the following contains opinions which are solely those of the writer, who is prone to making sweeping generalizations based on events from her adolescence and young adulthood...many moons ago.

Those of you in colder climes will want to slap me for saying this, but it's too hot there. More accurately, I get bored when it's 70 degrees (or warmer) every goddamned day.
It's too conservative, politically. Why does this matter? It's just another reason I never felt like I fit in there.
And when I was growing up, out in the inland 'burbs, it was too homogeneous. We had very little racial diversity at my high school, and consequently, there were a lot of really narrow-minded (and often racist) attitudes among my classmates. And not a whole lot of curiosity about the outside world.
Then there's that whole Barbie standard of beauty, which I never fit, so I felt like a freak much of the time I lived in San Diego.
And the growth. Oh my god, the uncontrolled growth. Talk about urban sprawl of the worst kind...

It's a nice place to visit, really... but it feels good to drive across the Bay Bridge and see the San Francisco skyline on the way home. It always makes me smile, even after all these years.

*from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." FUNNY.

Deep thought of the day...

Random, tuneless whistling on the bus at 6:15 a.m. is NOT pleasing to the ears.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

On The Road to Good Healthy...

I'm hoping that sign I saw in Chinatown the other day is a good omen. And in an effort to get on that road, I'm staying home from work tomorrow, and will maintain complete silence. Like a monk (which somehow seems appropriate, considering the state of my social life...).

I can hear you asking, "Why don't you go to the doctor, if you're so sick, you dork?"
Nine times out of ten, when I have one of these nasty respiratory things, there's nothing a doctor can do for me, except tell me I have a nasty respiratory thing. And sometimes, they'll prescribe me some nasty-tasting, weak-ass cough medicine that does nothing NyQuil Cough doesn't do. And they'll tell me everything my mother already has -- drink lots of fluids, get lots of sleep. And shut the hell up.

On another note, I feel so special. That little "site statistics" button you see down there allows you to take a look at how some people are finding your blog.
Today, someone entered the words "diseased toe" into a search engine, and guess what the number one entry was?
That's right. I'm number one! I don't think I've ever been so proud. *sniff* (wiping away tears of joy.)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My Christmas wish...

Dear Santa,

Would you please bring my voice back to me? Pretty please?

And if it's not too much trouble, could I have it before Christmas?

You're the best.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Told you this was coming...

Good GOD, it was freaking cold in my apartment last night! We had our first significant storm of the season yesterday, and my oh-so-quaint windows that don't all shut properly couldn't keep all of the blustery winds out. And my oh-so-quaint radiator just doesn't cover the whole living room, because it's a pretty large room. Not that I'm complaining about that, mind you, but it's hard to heat. But it's a good excuse for the million candles I have around the room.

It was actually cold enough this morning for me to break out the Ill-Gotten Coat for the first time. Yay! Luckily, nothing bad happened to me while I was wearing it. Well, my bus was late, but that's becoming a regular occurrence these days. Grrrr. At least I was warm (and stylish, natch) while waiting.

I still have no voice. People keep asking me why I'm at work, since I sound like an old, sickly man who's smoked several packs a day for decades. Well, for one thing, I actually don't FEEL all that terrible. But more importantly, I have no more sick days left to use this year, and I'm not giving up any of my remaining vacation time unless I'm at death's doorstep. So I'm here, under a vow of silence. Aside from the blogging, of course..

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just call me...

...Croaky McCroakerson.
(my friend and colleague Joe suggested "Croakie Roberts...")

I have completely lost my voice. I can manage a squeak now and again, but I sound like a boy going through puberty. It's really frustrating for me, since I am quite the Chatty Cathy. I am a Gemini, after all. My mom used to tell me I had diarrhea of the mouth. I was always in trouble in school for talking in class. And when you work in the communications business, it's helpful to be able to, you know, communicate.

I think my colleagues are relieved, though, as they're getting a break from my usual sarcasm and snarky commentary.

The weird thing is that I still feel okay. I've had many, many bouts of strep and bronchitis over the years -- even pneumonia, once -- all of which knocked me on my ass. I don't feel like that at all right now. It's very odd.

This crud didn't stop me from seeing Billy Crystal's "700 Sundays," which has just opened in San Francisco. What a great show. It's an amazing piece of work, with Billy on stage for the better part of 2 1/2 hours. I laughed, I cried. Not a cliche, in this case.

Off to get some more tea...