Monday, February 28, 2011

Frakkity blastit!

I wrote this whole long awesome thing and it went poof! Gaaaarrrrrrr!

Gaaaaaarrrrr is how you write gaaaaaahhhh in New England. Heh heh.

Favorite thing I overheard lately: "It's that f*cking sh*t that's crap!" I believe it was in reference to some kind of foodstuff, but I was too busy being overjoyed to notice.

Also new favorite non-cuss word cuss word, accidentally invented by Annietown Annie Choi (awesome!) today: flickering. As in, "They didn't even fix the flickering problem!" Yay! Try saying it all mad. See?

I went to Walmart to get my anti-anxiety pills, the teeny emergency ones that I love, not the hateful zombie ones that I don't, and also a box of Equal so I can not put sugar in my coffee, except I forgot the Equal and bought spice jellybeans instead. Whoops!

But I'm pharmaceutically not worried about it, so that's okay.

Day three of Experiment On Yourself With Pillage has yielded impressive results.

Day one: shovel 14 inches of snow, take prescription pain meds, feel fine the next day.

Day two: shovel the same amount only all packed into one spot by the plow. Take non-prescription orange dreamsicle beverages as directed by the appearance on the Oscars of people I've met. Get somewhat looped due to the show's obsession with Mark Wahlberg. Wake up nearly unable to walk and in massive pain.

Day three: prepare for shoveling the new four inches of wet, heavy snow by taking four ibuprofin before leaving work. Get home to discover the plow has knocked down the twelve foot snow mound into my driveway. Shovel it out with the shovel I keep in the car for just this reason. Try to shovel the rest of the driveway but be utterly unable due to excruciating lumbar, sacroiliac, and hip pain. Leave it 1/5 shoveled and hobble inside all crippled up.

Results: Mark Wahlberg needs to buy me a snowblower.

I think that's fair, don't you?

What goes with jellybeans for dinner? Don't say vodka. I had that yesterday. Honestly I was partly trying to test the theory that I needed to RELAX and that's what caused all the pain to get much worse the day after shoveling, getting all tensed up and scrunchy. Prescription narcotics mellow you out, see. But nope! It's the actual pain multiplying, apparently. No anti-inflammatories involved day one.

Science!

Sort of.

I also got a $2 eagle calendar in the endlessly entertaining Walmart marked down random crap yard sale aisle, so now a huge scary talony bird is giving me the gimlet eye above my desk. I'm working! I'm on it! Don't eat my liver! Okay, I'm not working, but I'm about to! Aaaaaah!

There better be ospreys is all I can say.

Yesterday I was so unpainy that I got my cello out and played it. Awesome, huh? You never forget cello when you learned it at 8 years old. My favorite part was tuning it without the tuning thing because the notes are the notes, how can you not know the notes? How? I have that ear thing.

Actually it really freaked me out when I started playing the baritone at twelve or whatever and C didn't equal C. C is called B flat. It's true. The note that sounds as a C on the piano and cello is called a B flat on the baritone. It's transposed because the music on the page would be in key signatures that are very hard to read all the time, full of many flats or sharps. No, really. Here, buy me a drink some time and bring scrap paper and I'll explain at length and draw you lots of clefs.

So it freaked me out that a C wasn't a C. It's like someone saying, "Okay, now we're all going to agree that when we say green, we mean blue. And when we say blue, we mean purple." And so on.

Anyway I was playing cello because last week the cello fell on my ARM and whacked it really hard with the fingerboard such that I still have a big bruise and a sore spot. I take that as a sign it wanted some attention, don't you? When inanimate objects (or semi-animate--I mean, it is a cello--they have huge personalities) take to moving on their own and hitting you, it's time to listen.

Then I played along with the soundtrack to Serenity because it came on tv while I was cleaning and polishing and tuning up the cello. There are lots of cellos on Miranda. And then it gets all Bear McCreary in the Reaver gauntlet. It's lovely to play along with some other music.

Transposing: when I first wrote band music in seventh grade, I transposed the G instruments the wrong direction so that when I gathered all my band friends together after school and we played it in the auditorium, it was hideous cacophony. So I ran home and transposed the G instruments right and we tried it again the next week, and it was AWESOME, except then the principal came and kicked us out. Apparently you're not allowed to stay after school and play homemade music in the auditorium without a teacher. As ringleader, I got in trouble. Ha! Which also tells you a lot about stupid Dullsville, PA, doesn't it? Goddamn delinquents writing ensemble music and getting it played!

I'm still jonesing very strongly for a French horn, even though they're in F, of course. Wait. That's one of those things that's wired into my brain but it's hard to explain. I like fourths, so the French horn being in F is okay because it's a very very satisfying interval and thinking F when you mean C is not hard at all. It's the second that's hard, C = B flat.

I don't like G instruments either because fifths are fascist. Sorry. That's why. Fifths are very bossy and will order you around.

If you ever got the urge to open up those plastic containers of sheet music you'd find the fourth thing is highly prevalent. Maybe not so much in the seventh grade pieces, when I was smitten with Vaclav Nelhybel's "Ritual" and wanted to write amazing things like that.

I used to sneak up on stage when no one was around and look at the conductor's score. It's true. You have to be able to read all the transpositions in your head, see. You read it all at once flowing left to right and see the shape of it and have to transpose without even thinking about it. You read the French horn's F and you hear C. You read four clefs and what, five keys? Simultaneously. It's amazing. I've only done it successfully a couple of times while conducting a full orchestra or band. And no, I haven't taken my narcotics yet, why do you ask?

Mmm, you know what's nice to read? Beethoven quartets. I have 'em! Mmmmm. 

Today I couldn't play if I tried because of no-bendy fingers but who knows, maybe tomorrow! I might be on snow shoveling strike. Except I'm not sure I can. I mean I could but I kind of can't due to Must Finish and all that. But the VERY WORST is doing it every day in a row and tomorrow would be four.

Hi! I'm extremely tired. Must do Online Jobbery and potentially wash the acres of dishes (mebbe) and find a non-jellybean food and possibly get a minute to do a writing thing before going to bed early. Gaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr! Don't like!

Lookit! This is how I wear my big scarves every day. They're that post-pashmina thing, wide and long and thin. Except I do it over the other shoulder. Very weird to see this since I've never seen anyone else wear a big giant scarf this way every day except me. And really it's mostly because this guy kept looking down my shirt and/or shamelessly ogling the general area.

Barbarians. I know. I could tell you some stories. Welcome to rural Maine, where it's 1850 in a lot of ways.

Maybe Mark Wahlberg can just rent me a truck instead of buying me a snowblower. I would be okay with that. But the cello rides with me.

Hey, good show

I am not going to play the have-you-met-them drinking game with the Oscars anymore if Mark Wahlberg is going to be in every other shot. Dang! If I'd even known who was nominated for what, I'd have been prepared. But nope. Yowza.

Also I count Sorkin even though we just sat in the WB building 160 Starbucks writing on laptops at the same time for an hour one day. And I went and kicked his building because I got mad at his show for being sexist claptrap.

What? Where were we? Oh yeah. Mostly got stuff done, except of course the dishes, which are multiplying even though I totally did them yesterday, or possibly Friday. One of those days.

I shoveled out the plowberg. I shoveled the new inch or whatever off everywhere else. I shoveled out the path to the bird feeder. I built a puzzle table top, meaning a piece of plywood got bracing frames screwed onto it so that it can sit on top of my coffee table and won't slide off. Towel in between. I'm working on this 2000 piece Van Gogh Starry Night puzzle, but I totally cheated because when I packed it up upon moving out of my old house, I saved many large sections intact. Cheating! Cheating cheaters who cheat!

But since I never finished it that time, it's just one whole time doing it, right? Yeah!

I made orange dreamsicles for beverages. That's oj plus vanilla plus the merest smidge of vodka in honor of how it's a work night. It's amazing what a bit of vanilla does to oj.

I got the Online Job big hairy scary weekend work done finally today in the hour between getting done shoveling and the beginning of the Oscars.

Last night I watched the dvd of the Northern Lights tour of the Red Stripes and have Many Thoughts. Like I need Goodreads for movies for this. Articulate your reactions, that's my motto. No it isn't. Well it kind of is, actually. But if I had to choose a motto it wouldn't be that. It would be more like, "What? Where's the tea?" Or possibly "What's the difference between a duck?" Or, "Jesus Crisis, it's a talking muffin!"

Why, what are you up to?

Oh right. Well here's what I took away from the Red Stripes. I mean white. White Strips. Stripes. Darn you, Mark Wahlberg! And now there's a Bones spinoff with Michael Clarke Duncan whom I met at the exact same moment or perhaps the moment directly after. Normally I use water, of course. Drink! Otherwise how would I survive all that Bones?

Right so anyway.

So Meg is very very quiet, such that they had to subtitle everything she said on the dvd or you wouldn't hear or understand it. And Jack is all loud and rock star alternative jackass person, but in a good way, right? Like people have to be larger than life to do that sort of thing and we love it. But you could see how in daily life it would make him VERY TRYING to be around. And even in the dvd interviews he was giving Meg crap about being quiet, about being a quiet person, like there's anything wrong with that.

Also if you see her she hides behind her hair and doesn't make eye contact and is always looking at Jack. And then, criminy, they ended the dvd with him playing the piano and singing along and she sat next to him on the bench singing along and then crying along and twice actually turned and looked the guy in the face. And then he got done with the song and looked at one of the roadies, who I imagined pointed at, you know, totally crying Meg one inch away, and that's when he noticed. JEEZ.

It was such a fascinating dvd because of course I know nothing about the band except via Wikipedia and that one song. And in the course of watching this thing I became convinced he broke up with her because she's too quiet and unassuming, but she's still smitten and went along with the band thing to be around him, except now she's all dressed up in tight tops and out on stage to get ogled by zillions and basically is in a supporting role musically.

Oh dear. She sang a song that kept going terribly off key. It just killed me. I had to fast forward like when the tone deaf Boreanaz sings.

So it was kind of like the dysfunctional ex-relationship rock band expose tour, but put an accent on the last e of expose. ExpoZAY.

So anyway I think he should be in a band with someone he treats as an equal and not an accessory and see how he likes that, Mr. Bossypants. No wonder she refused to go back out on tour and the band broke up. The more he talked, the less I liked him AT ALL. Yikes. Good music, though. So there's that.

Phew! That was in the buffer for two days! Or was that yesterday I watched it? Yesterday and today! Two days! Wait.

I get so fired up by the Oscars, I don't quite know why. Except obviously things like that Paltrow woman singing a country song. And if I never ever see James Franco or Matthew McConaughwhatever again, it will be too soon. HATE stupid stoner boys like that. There are nice stoner boys I like but I hate the ones who are like that.

So there.

Anne Hathaway is like an old school 40s film star, like Katharine Hepburn. Isn't she glorious?

Today's theme is apparently Boys Are Stupid And Should Get Stabbed Just Not By Me Because, Messy.

Ooh! Operation Pillage worked perfectly. Today I could walk perfectly fine. Isn't that awesome? So my theory that exercise sets off the no-walking thing turns out to be true, but in a roundabout way, because I get so sore and then can't sleep and do the whole lying awake all night crying thing and get even more miserable and clench up my muscles from stress and pain and no sleep and everything gets worse.

So now I just have to interrupt the cycle with painkillers and I can keep on doing stuff the next day instead of having to take four days to recover, staggering around.

It's so odd. Normally I'd have been wrecked today. But because I took that thing last night, I wasn't. Stopping pain yesterday stopped quadruple or quintuple the pain today. Which is amazing! I didn't know it would proliferate if left alone. I thought it would go away. It's amazing to me that it could be so much less today and I'd have almost 100% walkability back *overnight.*

This guy I know has lost 26 lbs in 5 weeks, a startling amount, so we were talking about it today. He said he eats the same as before except double the protein at dinner and he walks lots of miles a day. In fact he told me where to go! The mall has a sidewalk all around its perimeter that's kept clear of snow all the time. I was at the bookstore after work so I cut across the road and did the walk. He said it's a mile around and he goes four loops, but I just did one.

There's something inexpressibly comforting about going for a walk around a building full of people and phones and bathrooms and Orange Juliuses and whatnot. The mall is the exact opposite of here. Of course once the roads are passable again I can walk there.

There's also something poetic and literary novelish about living in the country and going for a walk around the outside of a mall, as well as the lovely imagery of walking around and around the outside of a building that is trying so hard to get you to go in. I don't know quite what to make of it but maybe you do.

Time to go collapse in a heap. I shake my vanilla-scented fist in your general direction, Mr. Wahlberg! Though it's nothing like it could have been.

Tired now. Yawn! Sleep.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

With your shovel or on it

With, as it turns out! Yay!

I didn't manage to dig out the glacier formed by extremely kind neighbor pushing a whole bunch of snow into my turnaround area. But I'm hoping to do that tomorrow after work. I mean, extra work day work!

I am sure working 6 days a week instead of 5 has no effect on this whole legs don't work falling down thing. Nooooooo. Okay, maaaaaaaaaayyyyyybe.

Are you so upset about the earthquake wrecking New Zealand? Me too. So awful. The Big Picture did a series on it this week that made me all fall apart. Dear oh dear.

Oops, we're entering the freezing and shivering part of the post-shoveling sequence. And I forgot to go look to see if the dryer vent is clear of snow while I was out there. Completely impossible to see from inside the house, as it turns out! Though I suppose hot air will just melt the snow if any is blocking it, right? No?

Why does that sound like a fire hazard in the making? I'll put my boots back on and go check super fast. And take the compost out. And get snowy up to my ears.

Snow! Am somewhat tired of it due to the overwhelming quantities and the vast physical effort required to shift it! Also it's so high, it's up nearly to the handle on the sliding glass door, which means 1/3 of the window acreage in this room is covered. I mean! Sheesh!

I was reading Joe Mallozzi's very awesome blog of anxiety and television writing this morning and he was quoting some of his assistant's fabulous butchered English. So now some of them have stuck with me and I keep giggling about how wonderful they are. Like reversing spinach into peasnatch. Yay! And saying "Jesus Crisis!" when alarmed. Hee hee hee. SO MUCH BETTER. I absolutely LOVE mixed up language.

I did it myself this morning, writing in Latin "We who are about to shovel snow say hi," instead of "We who are about to shovel snow salute you." The two verbs are close, it's true, but what a hilarious change! Hi! That's what the gladiators said, see. "Hi! Hi Caesar! Yo, Brutus! How's it going?" I suppose technically it means "greet," the verb I used, but greet and salute are not the same.

Nos morituri say yo, dawg!

Dead language jokes! Never not funny!

Time to get in the shower and use up all the hot water and then take the faucet apart and fix it, or alternatively make a fast drive to Lowe's and replace whatever's inside that's busted if it isn't in the little repair kit that the super nice Lowe's boy with the amazing cheekbones like a Celtic head picked out for me.

Every once in a while I think about the Celtic heads on Caprica and I look up where the wall meets the ceiling (ideal location for directing gaze while thinking) and just smile and smile and smile.

Hey, did you ever think about how Pete on Warehouse 13 is an FBI agent and how that same actor played an FBI agent on Bones and was involved with Brennan? Don't you think there's a great potential crossover episode there? Surely! He was just pretending to sail off into the sunset to throw the trail off as he got sent off to the cold Dakotas. Imagine Brennan confronted with the empirical impossibilities of the Warehouse. Imagine what she could learn from the many bones contained therein! Also she and Myka would be instant best friends. And she could argue enjoyably with Artie a lot while Booth and Pete go off to the shooting range. I see great things. 

I am maybe over snow for a while but you should see these outrageous five foot icicles growing off my roof. Awesome!

And as I have a moment to absorb what the new Online Job category could mean, I am getting that bubbly optimistic feeling again. Unless that's the chili. But either way! I think winter has turned the corner (I SURE HOPE SO) and maybe things are going to start looking up. Generally that sort of feeling means I'm about to get fired or something but let's not think about it that way! Even though historically it's true! Ignore, ignore! Instead, go bake some cupcakes and think some more about Celtic heads in space!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yo bunnies

Wie geht's, eh? Going bananacakes with the stress over here. You know the thing. Get all stressed out! Bad physical stuff happens! Get even more stressed out by that!

I've been Madame Cane to an extreme degree this week, all dizzy and lightheaded and with the vertigo. Kind of complicates the whole not falling over thing. Ahahahaha! I fall a lot but I haven't fallen DOWN. Yet.

Anyway there's all the bad bad bad blah blah that I can't talk about, but there's a mildly good thing that I also can't talk about, woohoo! Online Job is branching me out into even yet still more Online Job of different flavors! I love that because it's all Yay, me! and You are good! and such. Also if it goes double as I hope it will, it could become Solo Thing I Do which makes me a WRITER OF BOOKS because I can stay home and do that.

At least that's the fantasy version. Mmmmm!

Tonight I made awesome chili and also curiously disastrous cornbread! The chili, yes. Awesome. The cornbread, well, I usually use this buttermilk powder but I ran out, so I used that too glutinous yogurt instead, only then I mixed in some water to thin it down a bit. The upshot is that it overflowed from the pan and spattered all over the bottom of the oven. Messy!

I thought, Heck, what a mess! I'll clean it up after. And then it started burning and filled the house with smoke, whoops! So I came back to scrape it out with a spatula. Except a big hunk of it was on fire! Whoa! So I poured water on it from the teakettle and scraped out the charcoal sludge. Fun times. I know!

The cornbread turned out weird but good.

Must get more buttermilk powder. Yep!

Nothing going on over here. I go to work, come home and do Online Job, write a thing, go to sleep. I've never had such trouble walking ever, so that's causing some limitations in options, heh heh!

Also it snowed A FOOT already. Ha! Ha ha ha. But then, guess what? Someone came and plowed my driveway while I was making chili! I heard vague plow noises but thought it was the road. They kind of stop and back up and go again in the top of the dirt road because it's too wide for one pass each way. And then I went out to see how deep it was and some utterly kind soul had plowed the long half of the L! YAY!

Dunno how I'm going to shovel the rest of it when I need ski poles to get to the mailbox, but I will cope with that one scoop at a time. Throw one shovelful! Then figure out what comes next.

Shovelful. Spoonful?

I tried to swap out the gasket in the leaky leaky shower faucet but guess what? There's no hot water shut-off valve in this house which was built by one-eyed moonlighting gnomes with substance abuse problems! Can you imagine? The only way to fix this is to run the water heater empty. Does THAT sound like a good idea to you? Me neither!

So maybe I have to get the landlord in after all. Though I can certainly shut off the water heater. There's a switch. It says OFF. Much like the hot water pipes should have.

I can shut off the cold after the reservoir tank from the well, but it's not like a full pipe system where if you stop it at one point, the rest won't run out. There's air at the top of the water heater.

I just cannot believe there's no shut-off for the hot water. Or the cold, actually. House of cheese! Cheesily built in a sketchy manner!

Ridiculous, truly.

Someone asked me how to spell the word for the twirly bit on the top of the outdoor faucet where you attach the hose. Is it spickett with one t or two, they asked me. It took me a second to figure out they meant spigot. Which to be fair is an oddly spelled word unlike anything else, unless it comes from the French or something. I betcha it comes from a root more like spickett or something Anglo-Saxony like that, along the lines of thicket and picket and ricket.

Speaking of which, picket I mean, I was totally going to Augusta in my WGA t-shirt tomorrow to picket the the capitol in support of Wisconsin, except that then we got a foot of snow and oh yeah I can't walk. Like I really can't walk. I fall over. It's the vertigo plus all my muscles are both seized up and totally shaking to bits.

And YES I went to the walk-in care and they did this hilarious anti-ramp where they went HOLY CRAP YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE ER No wait actually you seem completely fine, go get some blood drawn and go home.

The NP I was talking to is one of the more awesome people I've ever met in my life and I'm completely putting her into the Ojai book (I've been thinking about it nonstop lately) but then she kept saying wildly unsubstantiated things that would make her a diagnostician to make House blush, like, after dismissing eighteen other possibilities, she said, "Obviously it's not a brain tumor!" Great, I think. Yay! Then I think: wait. If someone can tell things like that by LOOKING AT YOU FOR TEN MINUTES AND DOING NO TESTS then they are all miraculous and there oughta be a shrine and a reality tv show.

Plus did she ask about traumatic head injuries? Recent medications? No she did not. And so on.


I'm so happy to hear good things but really, I need a little more than palm-reading to be comforted. Also, what it isn't doesn't really interest me. Tell me what it is. And do something about it. Plus, can we please pay attention to the part where this keeps on coming back and is worse than ever? And my right leg seems to be on vacation, all of it? Yes? No?

Does anyone know where my Starry Night puzzle is? Dang! I can't find it. I'm 4/5 through this very nice one with a lake and a snowy mountain and the mountain reflected in the lake. Oh boy I love puzzles. I do. It's true.

Puzzle. Muzzle. There are not enough words that rhyme with those.

Here's a word I like: furze. Furrrrrrzzzzzze.

So tomorrow should be interesting in the herculean effort with one leg tied behind my back kind of way. Who knows, maybe it's just the ticket! Maybe so! Maybe not! Working on the couch last week wrecked me for about four days, however. I have leftover surgery meds planned to avoid the whole screaming agony thing tomorrow. And I'm going to take my cell phone in my pocket in case I fall down in the foot deep snow on top of the two inches of ice and so on.

I think: but if I get a dog, I will overcome and be awesome and get all cured! And then I think: unless it doesn't work and then I'm utterly behosened and that sucks for the dog especially but also me! Not to mention that there's really nowhere to walk AT ALL still. I mean, truly. Where? Fields: no. Roads: no. Yard: no. Oh, that nice path I cut...now deeply buried. Woe!

Things! Tremendously difficult and discouraging! Also there is hurtage!

Do you know a word I like for small round medications that come in bottles? You'll like this. Pillage! Yay!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making stuff out of other stuff

Mostly food, right now. Ooh! I'm so excited about my morning smoothie! It's true. The oatmeal hurt my stomach (I know that's so bizarre, but it's true) so I'm going to make a smoothie out of soy milk and whatever fruit, apples and those frozen blueberries from the farm last summer. They're really lasting, huh? Can you believe I finally ran out of frozen garden tomatoes?

Yes, I went to the STORE. Early, or actually late, come to think of it. There wasn't really food. Plus I have the powerful urge to make chili and cornbread. YUM. But by the time I got home it was too late, so I cooked up the remaining un-decayed zucchini with a little oil and black pepper, and then some water when they started to burn (what?) and then some salt.

Okay, this is why I'm an idiot. That was so ungodly freaking good! And so stupidly easy. And so stupidly cheap. So crikey, self, make stuff like that more often.

Okay!

I love this: I was all, "No, don't buy the yogurt!" and went back and forth past the display looking at it all wistfully and then finally got one. And then got another one. And then came home and there was still one in the fridge. I know! What's up with that?

Also for lunch I managed to bake a yam in advance and take it and actually eat it and stuff. And two skinny carrots. And the last of the cranberries I made in, I don't know, January? They're fine. And some bread. It was a weird lunch of unconnected individual items. And then oatmeal cake later in the day.

Food. So complicated!

But at least I didn't eat the terrible soup of pathetic fallacy land and moose tracks ice cream for dinner. That was some kind of new low. Though the ice cream, mmmmmmmmm.

So anyway not to be boring about food but I was reading up on osteoarthritis, the thing that seems to be crippling me up these days, the thing that has me lying awake crying in pain maybe three out of five days a week, the thing that makes me take four ibuprofin three times a day (which is why the oatmeal hurts my stomach) and trying to find out if there's anything I can do to quell it, since medical science is like, "Huh? What? I dunno."

I do have a referral to a neurologist. I wonder how that will go? My doctor, sweet though she is, is apparently completely out to lunch, because last week when I told her about how I can't hardly walk and blah blah she said something along the lines of, "Ooh, that's not good. I'm going to refer you to a neurologist."

My friend D. remembers clearly how the doctor told me that a) there weren't any neurologists in the hospital system, and b) I didn't need to go until the M.S. symptoms got a lot worse or persisted over time or something. But the doctor FORGETS EVERYTHING. She's short-term memory doctor! It's crazy-making.

So anyway. The neurologist will say that I have osteoarthritis in quite a lot of joints and that I have some kind of neurological problem also, which is slowing me down a lot, which is making the arthritis much worse because I just sit there. Hup hup, little bunny! That's what the neurologist will say. Crunchy joints! Severe pain! Blah blah blah!

Hilariously, one of the cures is corticosteroids, the very drug I fled L.A. to avoid being on for the rest of my (admittedly very short and unpleasant if I'd stayed there) life.

Blah! Glargh!

Flaky judgy hippie sources say (as usual) to cut out coffee, sugar, red meat, eggplant, potatoes, dairy products, all animal products, and so on. The usual suspects.

That seems a little extreme to me. And arbitrary. I know, we've been over this before, but it's very suspicious to me that all judgy hippie resources always say that the same few things are the culprits. There is nothing evil about dairy products, you guys.

Plus you can easily find one source to say soy will cure something and another source to say that the cure is cutting out all soy. Ooooooookay.

But Much Research brought me back to that allergist's report from Burbank who said I'm not allergic to anything but have a very high iG (??) something something factor. He never explained what that meant but MORE research says blah blah inflammatory something something allergicality food and stuff! Yeah!

In sum: must eat very healthy food. And all the judgy hippies agreed that I ought to avoid the breads for a while. Yawn. But, zucchini! Brown rice! Delicioso smoothies! Yum! Veg veg veg! Fruit fruit fruit! Grainiacal behavior in the manner of a grainiac!

I don't know, I sure feel better tonight than I did yesterday. And I have these two Starbuck rings, did you know? My hands swell up hugely when the arthritis is bad, so I wear the larger ring. Then it goes down and I wear the smaller ring. The larger ring is now too large but it was tight yesterday. So, go figure. I have no clue.

I love the rings because they're empirical data. Subjectivity has no place in flaky judgy hippie sciencey research kind of stuff! Yeah!

I really get rich lady groceries for such a poor person. I was all chagrined. But then I had $5 off from all my recycling and $5 off from some store receipt thing. I was so psyched, I clapped my hands and cheered and deeply embarrassed the boy bagging the groceries. He actually had to walk away. Hurray! It's so great to embarrass teenage boys with your dorkitude!

Anyway. I'm joking but it's not that funny in reality. Crippling pain pretty much sucks. Er, duh. And I know there are times when it's not around at all. So let's figure out how to have that much more and the bad thing much less, eh?

Must go make sesame noodles now, with that weird jerusalem artichoke pasta. Yum.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You are rethinking the whole silence thing

Because today was stupid. Every day is stupid! Except Saturday, which is also stupid, but in different ways. Stupid!

Fortunately I get to write the book, or I don't know what I'd do, for true.

Today I got to make up an outline for that Ojai book, instead of, you know, a vague idea. When you start writing and then you go rrrrrrrrrtttt! that means you don't know where you're going or how to get there. I think one or the other is okay, both are ideal, but you need at least one.

The other fun thing about that was making up the show that the one character starred in before miseryyyyyyy. Which is the latest BEST IDEA EVER that I had. It's all high concepty and easy to pitch and freaking awesome and really I should quit putzing around and write that as a pilot, but I live in STUPIDVILLE, MAINE, where it's silly to write a pilot, isn't it?

Is it? I have no idea.

I'll write it anyway, because the whole thing tickles me. And because I lurrrrrrrve it.

Yar. Well. Fun times! I do love the outlining process. It's all analytical and editorial and I can do it while being alert and in a distracting environment, unlike actual writing, which I tried to explain to a biologist friend is like falling asleep. You really have to be able to relax into it. I will leap into the air if interrupted while writing. Physically boing out of the chair. Knowing that a boing is imminent means I can't sink into it at all.

But I'm loving the outlines and feel that with my advanced forgetfulness an outline is a very good thing.

Ooh, then driving home I yelled "Shut up!" at NPR and turned the radio off (yammer yammer yammer!) and talked out the mystery and who did what and WHY which is the important part. It's awesome! I have to write it down before I wake up completely. Or something.

I'm possibly in the beginning of food poisoning here, at least in that I'm all swimmy and floaty and ungodly nauseous. I really shouldn't have eaten that soup. It didn't taste too bad, but it smelled terrible, but then, I don't know, my cooking has been very off lately, basically since about Thanksgiving. Which might be tied to the brokeness and concomitant lack of good ingredients. I mean I have a single stalk of broccoli and some potatoes in the fridge. I find that uninspiring.

Hence the vile soup.

Blister your potato field!

So then I ate some ice cream to try to eradicate the vile soup taste. That was also a bad idea. I think I might be in for an unpleasant night. And all because of pooritude and scrimpery. Well, see, I'm not that broke, but I have to save every penny, which leads to daft choices in the food department, such as not buying any.

Yawn. And so on. Issues!

The bread is really good, though. Stick with the bread and the frozen peas or spinach or whatever and get rid of that awful soup. And then only make good soup from now on. Actual recipe soup, not flights of fancy that result in interesting compost. We can't afford to waste food budget on things that the beasties will eat.

Hey! I got a new dresser today. It was by the side of the road with a TAKE ME! sign on it. So I did! I said, "Thank you!" in the direction of the house. It's little, like a little kid's dresser. And kind of beat up and crappy. I mean, obviously. But will be useful for putting things in. I'm a fan of that. My clothes are on plastic shelves.

Yeah! Writing the book! Woooooooo!

I liked the dresser thing. I was barreling down the road at 35 and hollering to myself about the mystery plot and stopped and stuck it in the back of the Outback and then jumped back in the car and resumed barreling and hollering.

I have a huge bruise on my arm where my cello fell on me. Fingerboard whacked me right on the radius. Or ulna. I actually don't know which is which. The outside one. The ulna! Good, I like that word better. It sounds like an old Scandinavian lady who marches along the road briskly with her gnarled walking stick that she doesn't even need.

Today I learned about the wisent or European bison. Did you know such a thing even existed? Did you know there are wild bison in Europe? I think that's awesome.

Also I looked at the least weasel, no bigger than a mouse (awww) and was utterly charmed.

Guess which is which?



I learned many other things but they are less photogenic. Awww, least weasel! You are adorable. And I like that use of the word "least"!

Well, for instance, I learned about wild pigs. I sort of knew because once I was in a campground in California and I saw a wild boar trotting down the road. Not a feral/mixed one, either. They look pretty different. Also did you know Hogzilla is real? Who knew?

Wild animals I have seen that I did not know were there and sometimes did not know existed: marmots, wild boar, mountain lion (true, in PA in the 80s--thought it was a German shepherd at first), melanistic mink (black fur!), porcupines and skunks of course, turkeys and deer of course, the back end of a moose a few weeks ago a mile from here, disappearing into the woods, badger, coyote, solitary gray wolf (twice), black bear, rattlesnake, prairie dog, woodchuck, snapping turtle, snowshoe hare, elk, bison, what else? Dunno.

There are crazy people out there trying to make animals revert to their prehistoric forms, which is kind of problematic all sorts of ways, if you think about it. But for instance wild boar died out in England in the 1300s (or were extinct-ified via hunting, actually) but now they're all over the place again because they escape from farms and--this is the kicker--people let them go free on purpose to try to return to the past or something.

There are also loons who have tried to breed back to the aurochs. Which is awesome, but did I mention loony? Because it's not the same animal. So it's like a fake replica of the original.

Don't even get me started on the ligers and whatnot.

A few issues are emerging as the anti-loon pills wear off, speaking of loons. One, excessive sympathy for inanimate objects. For example I rescued this little white stuffed bunny at Goodwill or somewhere (I can't actually remember) for some small amount of change but then discovered it had one of those little press-and-make-a-noise speaker things inside it, so I had to do immediate surgery and get it out because it seemed like this horrible inhumane monstrous surgical procedure to do that to a poor bunny, like when they grew that ear on that mouse. And now the bunny is on the couch by me, looking terrified, but bunnies always look terrified. I mean, stuffed ones. Because real bunnies hold perfectly still when they're scared, see.

Did you know that mouse is called the earmouse? The pictures are WAY too upsetting. Google it thyself if curious.

ANYWAY. I also ate the horrible soup because I felt sorry for it. Which is DAFT. Cut it out, self.

Otherwise, just the usual thinking I see mice scuttling past just at the edge of vision. But that's ancient. Actually it's funny because when there actually are mice, I don't think they're really there because of that quirk in my vision that makes me think I see mice when there aren't any. Plus you know mice always pretend you can't see them. They're all, "I'm not here! I'm not here!"

So we agree on that, at least.

Anyway I'm writing again and that's pretty much all I care about. Imaginary mice and sympathy for inanimate objects vs. not writing and boring zombitude? Easy choice.

I've also certainly caught the office flu or whatever it is that's going around. UGH. Hate that. I had to use someone else's computer for ten minutes today and afterward practically scrubbed my hands raw with the antibacterial soap. Even though breathing the air is enough to catch it. Bleah! Ack! Yucky!

I'm under a doubled sleeping bag and a quilt and a blanket in a room heated to 70, though whether it ever actually gets there is debatable, but anyway I'm still utterly freezing to the point where the soles of my feet are numb. Probably it's time to go jump on the trampoline and hope it doesn't disrupt the detente between the vile soup and the ice cream. Ooooh. Not so happy in there.

Meanwhile, the potential for apocalypse in the Middle East has me kind of on edge. Aren't you? So far good things and very bad things but you know there are all these lunatic dictators clinging to their power with iron claws and I worry that they'll do something, well, rash.

Bison bison bison. This is the sleeping bag I got for that trip east in the Penske truck with my stuff, where I drove through Yellowstone and saw the bison and waved at that motorcyclist to come jump in the truck cab with me when they stopped traffic and were lumbering toward her motorcycle. Yoicks! Also I happen to be wearing my Yellowstone t-shirt right now, but it has a grizzly on it, not a bison.

I think buying it was a votive offering. Please don't rip the sides off my truck with your claws as you so easily could, in order to get at my snacks! I mean, yeah, there were signs everywhere saying not to leave things on the seats in your car because if the bears saw them, they'd rip the doors right off. So in a not-actually-sealed moving truck made of thinnish metal panels, I had fears.

If you now have that Shonen Knife song in your head like I do, I apologize! Bear up bison, never say die! I still have this cassette, y'all!



Does anyone know where my stuffed bison is? Oh, between a stuffed bunny and the stuffed redtail hawk on the Harry Potter/medieval history shelf, where the ferret is on top of the books. Got it. Phew. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sup?

Wow, Iron Man is really heavy on the Middle Eastern stereotypes and hating and stuff, isn't it? I don't remember this from the first time I saw it, which is kind of more disturbing than its presence. Also the Iron Man himself is HILARIOUS in a first Terminator kind of way. Slow moving behmoth all stompy and exaggerated masculine features and a welding mask. Hee. Ooh, I'm scared. Wait. No, I'm really not.

Jensen is my favorite, of course. Polyglot polymath! Yes please!

Anyway. Hi! How's it going?

I just worked all day then slept all day and now it's, ooh, nine o'clock. Had to get up at 5 so when I got home at 3 I went straight to bed. I realize that those of you with small children are grimacing and saying Argh right now, but I sleep whenever I want and as much as I can. I know! Compensation for the lack of certain things, right? So after that lovely five hour nap I'm hanging out eating toast and watching silly action movies on FX.

May I introduce you to Carafe Serge? Two quarts! I'm failing at water consumption somehow. I never want to get up to get more water but will drink a fantastic amount if I have it. Enter Carafe Serge chosen for its obvious Sergeian qualities.

Isn't it lovely? None of the pictures really capture the excellent lensing and reflections. Nor do they show how narrow Serge's waist is, really. Makes him look a little chunky, to be honest. But he's not! He's all slender through the middle, the way glass Coke bottles are.

I also forgot that baldy-headed beardy Jeff Bridges and his cigar were even in this movie. Huh! And Penny Pretty or whatever her name is.

Is it time for the Oscars yet? I love the Oscars. Soon, right?

So the newly reconfigured couch is great! I haven't tried out the whole leaning against the arms yet because frankly they're kind of rickety AND need much cushioning that they lack. But they look great! If you kind of squint. Because I didn't sand anything down or any of that so it's all just raw sawed ends and such.

The plan is to get some bolts and put the arms and back on with those. Bolts and nuts. Nuts and bolts! After that maybe I'll get down to brass tacks. Which...yes, I do have, with the fancy heads on them, and might actually use them if I decide to go crazy and upholster the thing. Not sure I wanna do that. Plenty of time to think about it. COMFORTABLY. Gosh!

I'm all zonked out. Couch is where I want to be. Hey, I vacuumed up most of the sawdust yesterday. At least in here. So maybe a little got tracked around! Who's going to know? Exactly.

Oh my golly. I just remembered there's Moose Tracks ice cream in the freezer, the last thing I got at The Nearest Store (with its misspelled sign) before the new maximum savings austerity measures kicked in. I might even get off the couch for that. Woohoo!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fascist exit strategy

I worked this up while washing the dishes, so you know it's good!

Put a box out for Goodwill. Fill it up.

Put a box out for Powell's. Fill it up.

When it comes time to move, only clothes that fit me get to go with me.

Reduce the satellite dish (I can't shut it off--they won't let me) and Netflix.

Finish up any remaining quilting fabric into quilts. Not much left now!

Sew up or give away fabric that's meant for clothes.

Have a big yard sale before leaving and unload all those duplicate items.

Give the extra cello to the local high school orchestra.

Get the two old laptops (agggggh) fixed or get rid of them.

Unload all those tvs that are lurking in the attic.

Knit up yarn for Afghans for Afghans. Also, that helps my creaky arthritic hands work better.

And in my own personal overcrowded state:

Stop bending and breaking the food rules, because allergical food has all sorts of bad effects, including psychologically with the panic and anxiety and all that. Short version: don't eat anything I'm allergic to, EVER. Which also means reading labels more carefully because I just now discovered that the delicious Greek yogurt I eat every day has pectin, which is verboten. Gack! But I can easily make my own yogurt.

Reduce meat to zero (easy--nearly there) and reduce cheese down to nearly zero.

Eat a lot of vegetables (already on it) and fruit and grain and get all full and happy. Be a full, happy mostly vegan except of course for popcorn on Thursday (or Friday) which requires butter. Er, and sometimes I make homemade pizza. Can you be a vegan-with-cheese-sometimes? I think so.

When I get feeling deprived, bake! Baking my own delicious foods makes everything infinitely easier. Also remember other vast untapped resources of deliciousness like nuts and hummus and refried beans and homemade tortillas and crazy soup.


Most of this is aimed at socking money away in the bank for the exodus. There are lots of ways to cut expenses and save a lot more. I was hoping to settle in and relax but I just don't see that happening now. But I can save up as much as humanly possible and take this show on the road. Yes we can. That will also let me do practical things for the exodus and leave my brains free for the writing of many things. Oh yes! So say we all.

It's alive!

How did a week get away from me?

Well, I'll tell you.

BORING MEDICAL/STRESS STUFF FIRST

For one, that zombie drug was zombifying me to a degree I hadn't understood until I got to stop taking it. Whoa. And then I had ugly withdrawal like the racing heart and stabby headaches through the eye. That mostly seems to be over now, though.

Oh and there's the thing I described to D. like this: "You know when you start going out with someone and they get to a point where they figure they're secure so they start being really mean?" And D. was like, "There is so much wrong with that, I don't know where to start, except that I'm so glad you don't go out with people anymore." But anyway, THAT. Except it wasn't a person.

The zombie drug seems to have been exacerbating arthritis in all of its forms, such that by Tuesday I was completely crippled up all over. IT SUCKED. Now that's mostly gone too.

END BORING BLAH BLAH BLAH but that's where I've been, coping with all that.

COOL FUN STUFF!

1. I'm building my couch back and sides now! I spent all evening on it, with the Skil saw and drill and screwdriver and WB Mill measuring tape in the living room again. Well, the garage is freezing and full of car-snow-melt puddle. I'm making the back straight upright. I tried it last night in its unfinished state and it was infinitely more comfortable on my back. Yay!

The arms would have been done, but the electric screwdriver ran out of juice. And so did I! Apparently a dinner of spiced jellybeans and cranberry juice with vodka in it doesn't quite cut it energy-wise!

2. This isn't actually cool, but I did finally get my mail. Apparently it's totally kosher for the mail delivery people to decide suddenly that your mailbox isn't accessible, even though they've been delivering fine ALL WINTER and it hasn't snowed in weeks. So I didn't get any mail all week. I had to go to the post office in a town where I don't actually live (which is odd) and collect my stack of mail and complain a lot.

Because how arbitrary is that? Nothing changed, and suddenly they're incapable of delivering it? This makes me rageful.

But then I bought a big bag of salt and threw it all around out there so they can drive in a puddle of mud. That should make them happy.

3. It rained a lot yesterday so maybe the snow got squished down to where I can walk on it and don't have to shovel that path, right? I have trepidation about going out there to see, because a) what if there's no mail? and b) I am hoping so much that the snow is squished, I might get seriously disappointed. And then have to keep digging it. Ooof.

4. These things are not as cool and fun as I thought. But yay, couch! I have high hopes for a sitting place of zero back pain, is all. It's been major pain central around here lately. I can't really express how bad it is or what it does to me. Pain is famously resistant to communication. Put it this way: if you can think of your period as having Aunt Flo visit, a cranky old bag who makes everyone miserable, then I had The Gentlemen from Buffy, gliding around all silently, taking my voice, and cutting people's hearts out. Except someone dropped a piano on me first.

5. I think I might make pizza tonight. Doesn't that sound good? And bake bread. I have to do everything today because I have to work tomorrow. Oy! On a Sunday! Almost makes me wish I'd woke up earlier than 1:30 this afternoon. But then, I'm glad I banked the sleep.

6. Busy day today. Laundry, cleaning (didn't do it last week, or I think the week before), finish the couch, bake bread, make pizza, check snow path.

7. I'm reading a grim anti-totalitarian YA novel translated from Czech, I think. I seem to have two books going at all times. It's a geographical reason, though. One for my bag, etc. I've been reading analytically and schoolwise and writing up reviews on Goodreads if you're into that sort of thing. Befriend me on Goodreads! Let's talk about books!

My favorite is when I see a book someone else is reading and read it myself, then someone sees that I read it and reads it too. THAT is what Goodreads is for.

8. It's about to storm one way or another. It's around 30 degrees so it could go either way. Of course I'm hoping it's not shovel-worthy, both for anti-Gentlemen reasons and because the driveway is a thick sheet of ice. I have to wear crampons over my boots to get the to mailbox. For true. And I use two x-c ski poles.

Suffice it to say, I don't wish to leave this world via falling on the ice on my driveway and slowing freezing to death and then only being found a month later, just bones gnawed up by coyotes, when someone finally notices I'm not around. It's a sheet of ice out there, with meltwater on top. Whoosh!

Plus, crampons are COOL. They're rubber things with bars of spiky bits across the bottom. They even sell them in the grocery store here. The grocery store! Because you need them, that's why. The seasons go like this: snow, ice, mud, biting bugs, humidity, changing leaves. Or seen another way: mowing, raking, shoveling, shop-vac-ing the lake out of the basement.

Maine has the highest number of serious drug abusers in the nation. Not the highest percentage by state. The highest NUMBER. I think maybe we can figure out why.

9. Give me another couple of days and maybe I'll get the last of that zombifyer out of my system. Though I've also got a cold, so don't get your hopes up too high. There's no misery quite like the misery you get when something you thought would get much better turns out to be the same or worse. Hopes smashed! Awesome. Speaking of which, I'm going to put my crampons on and get my ski poles and go out and check the mail.

10. Mmmmmmmm, Oregon.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I really don't know

Why shoveling snow should hurt all my bones. Do you get it?

I even talked to D., the expert on both sports injuries and anatomy and physiology with advanced degrees and stuff. She thinks my joints hurt and that's making the long bones feel like they hurt when they don't. Except I think they actually do. It's like aches when you've broken a bone and that hurts for years later. Know what I mean?

It's worst at the knobby ends of bones but the whole long parts of all my big bones hurt too. That just mystifies me. It's not like I've gone running or anything high impact like that.

I mean I get why my neck would hurt, and of course my busted back, and that bad sacroiliac joint, and my knees, and of course obviously my wrecked hands, and it's okay if my whole right arm is numb, but why should everything *else* hurt too? Why? I really don't know.

What? What? What?

I don't know either! Aaaaaaaah!

These things were fun:

1. Playing soccer with little niece using the soft squishy stuffed soccer ball I got her at the Burbank Ikea LO these many years ago.

2. Holding baby nephew on my lap facing me and making ooooh and aaaaaah noises at him and watching him figure out how to make them back. SO COOL. Also he is getting RED HAIR. My people! Yay!

3. Making pancakes and trucking them over to Babytown and sharing them with everyone. Well, not the baby.

4. Discovering along with little niece that when you rub one of those sea urchin looking koosh balls on the Elmo blanket I gave her (a big piece of fabric, so called because it looks like an acre of Elmo fur) it puts static into the fur such that it will move toward your finger when you hold your finger near it. Isn't that cool?

5. Getting home in the daylight and having time and energy to write still. YEAH!

6. Sticking various oat bran/wheat germ things in the bread, now that I finally got my assorted grain products together to do such a thing. Jeez, it's been ages. Like, 2008, when that little bulk health food store where I ran into Brad Pitt was just across the street and two doors down.

7. Michael Taylor on Facebook! Yay! Fabulous writer and a super nice guy.

8. Chopping out another twenty feet or so more of the dog path. It is so dang hard. Other than moving large rocks, this is the hardest physical labor I've done. I suppose it IS moving large rocks in the sense that ice is rock with a very high melting point. Yet I still really enjoy it in a strange way. When asked what I was like in junior high, my friend Dennis said I was a jock, which still surprises me given the musical instruments I hauled everywhere, but it's true that I'm crazy in love with exceedingly effortful working out.

9. Conversations and snoogling with the cat. Goodness he has a lot to say. Every time I wonder why he talks so much to me when I can't understand him, I remember all over again that I do the same thing to him. We really talk a LOT for two beings who don't share a common language. And communicate well, also.

10. Coming in here to sit under my fabulously gorgeous quilt with laptop on top and cat cuddled against my right knee, chocolate orange and cup of tea on the bookcase, and the remote far too far away to be at all tempting. I might be able to resist the ten million Bones reruns for a while! It could happen.

Okay! Yes.

I have less positive things to list also but they're pretty minor.

1. I cut out the scrubs pattern, but guess what? It's too small. I can tell just by looking at it. I can probably add width in the accepted manner, but how much? I usually add too much. And then you just have a mess which eventually gets cut up into quilt pieces. Since the scrubs pattern has sleeves all in one piece with the fronts and backs, why not just lay out a t-shirt I know fits and cut around it, then adapt the neck? I know!

2. I frakking hate Valentine's day, blah blah blah. You can take the rest of that as read. It was reading Post Secret that set off the bile fest this year.

3. Oh, this is related to all the chopping of dog paths: OW. Every joint hurts. Which is mysterious to me. Why joints and not muscles? Why? I think that's strange. My muscles almost never hurt from shoveling or anything else. Suddenly that seems quite bizarre to me. Huh. But the joint/bone pain only lasts a day or two, which again is weird.

Yay! Only three complaints to ten praises, so that's awesome.

I really am super tickled that my baby nephew's hair is coming in red. Up until now he's had sort of male pattern baldness with darkish hair around the sides and back. But now it's coming in fine and red on top and he's growing little golden red eyebrows too. Gosh he's great. And huge! And looks exactly like my dad, who of course also had red hair.

What's the plan, eh? Stay under the quilt and write things? Presumably I'll have to get up at some point to cope with the bread that's rising right now. NO REMOTE. Bones is the book-killer. Well...no, because clearly it's filling that "you are around people you know and care about" role, remember that study they did? How our brains react to familiar people on tv who we have affection for the same way they react to real ones? In other words, we react to tv friends the same way we do to real friends. Clearly Bones is filling that role very well. But still, I do spend too much time with them and not enough in the writing zone.

I have so much trouble imagining having real live friends again. What is that like? I'm serious. I remember what it WAS like but that was a different time and place. I have a tremendously hard time imagining it happening again to actual me. Weird. That just hasn't been part of my life for years now.


You guys, this cat is still leaning against my leg. I love that so much! What a good kitty.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dig that crazy thing you dig

It's a path but it's hip-high, so it's sort of a runway type thing. I can't even express the effort it takes to dig a long walkway or rat run in the stupidly deep snow. Lemme try! I can't resist a challenge like that.

Well, the top four inches are a solid crust, so I had to cut that into manageable pieces, then throw those, then remove the snow underneath one shovelful at a time, meaning four times. Multiply that by two shovels wide and twenty feet long and now you know why I was shaking all over when I got back inside.

I'm not anymore, though. Just all weak and quivery like a wispy heroine type person. Where is my bonnet? Where is my pelisse? Oh, a rent in the frill on my muslin. Mercy!

Where is my hero on his white horse pickup with the snowblower and the sense of humor? Sadly lacking, that's where.

I'm pretty excited to relocate to a more cosmopolitan area, where I'll find a lovely liberal clean-cut Sean Bean type person with a penchant for soccer-obsessed writers who drink too much tea and have to be outdoors all the time. I can imagine a lifestyle overlap that would bring us into proximity! Clearly I'd be out walking my dog and stop to watch some very small soccer, where the Sean Bean person is coaching and/or solo parenting the tiny team members. It's not an actual game, though. There is a crisis! I assist! The dog licks the face of the fallen tiny warrior! And the rest is history!

I like it so much, I really hope it happens. Hear that, person who is writing events? Okay!

Dun dun...the rice cooker just got done cooking my barley. I don't recall ever eating barley before. But I reorganized the cupboards in a fit of tidiness and found jars of grains, so I'm making some.

This is one of those things that People Like Me have: large mason jars full of non-standard grains bought in bulk. It's true. It's a thing that always makes me feel a warm glow of camaraderie when I see it. If you have a jar of teff with a hand-printed label, I'm likely to fling my arms around you (metaphorically) and shout, "My people!" Silently. But in a heart-felt way!

I hope it's good.

I got Online Job done against a heavy current of DON'T WANNA so that's excellent. And got that path dug. It's not the dog-walking path around the field, but it does lead to the line of trees, and remember how there's a lane between them? My hope is that I'll be able to walk down there and save myself an enormous amount of path shoveling. It should be much shallower under the trees.

The path I dug does this excellent serpentine thing that was completely accidental. I meant to shovel a straight line, but it weaves. I just love that. How did that happen?

Anyway it's a huge relief to be able to take the compost out. Critters have been burrowing into the compost from under the snow, making tunnels and spreading chestnut hulls around. The path leads directly to the compost, which I only realized afterward would be a problem because we'll have to walk over it. Oh well. By the time the snow melts, it won't be an issue, right?

I like thinking of the critters burrowing in and going, "Mmm, carrot peels! Broccoli ends! Apple cores! Yum!"

I'm all warm and glowy still from all that huge exercise. That was way harder than shoveling the driveway. I want to get sewing but seem to have a severe case of the SIT STILLS. In fact, how is that barley going to get to me? A good question.

Tomorrow: bake bread, bake cake, wash the dishes, make soup, read books, write books, sew things. I'm feeling the scrubs pattern-based blouses coming on fast. Powerful urge to sew them! Powerful! Because I want to wear them with my jeans, see. My jeans that I get to wear now!

The Manchester derby is on, oh boy! I like that tiny little striker with the outrageously amazing skills that they have on City now. He keeps doing spectacular things. He's so little and speedy! He does these perfectly accurate blind back-passes that can't possibly work, but then they do. Wow!


Faramir and Boromir, of course. Our man Sean Bean on the right. Armor definitely optional. Imagine the clanking!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quit it...and raspberry math

Facebook is wigging me out. Tonight it offered me the guy I sat next to in band all through junior high and high school and the guy I had a massive crush on for most of high school, only to discover later that he thought I hated him. Do you see why I write YA? Do you? Do you?

The one from band didn't know the difference between A natural and A flat, which is why I called him "A flat [last name]" for years of our lives. It was like this odd blind spot. He'd play every other flat and natural and sharp as written, but it's like in his mind there was only A flat. A natural didn't exist. So even though it was right there on the page, he'd play an A flat.

We shared a stand in band for YEARS, can you tell? Years! Years!

If it ever tries to reconnect me with any of the actually evil people I knew, I might have to quit the thing again. Like the one who pushed me forward and made me share a stand with the guy with the elephant man disease, or whatever it was, who looked like that kid in the movie with Cher as his mom. Whatever that's called. He didn't go to school, but he did play the cello, and they brought him in to play with the orchestra for one concert or something. No one else did anything but stare, but we were sharing a stand so we talked. He was really nice. We talked kind of a lot. I made him laugh, which if you know me is sort of what I do. I also remember he smelled good. Then after a while he stopped coming back and I found out he killed himself.

That was my high school. People were killing themselves left and right. It really was the most hellish place ever, but surely not THAT bad. The nice boy from chemistry who used to tease me in a very cute way. The tall bassoon player guy who I played in ensembles with at church. Others I didn't actual know but had seen around. That horrible town.

Honestly the thing with me and that guy with the facial deformity in orchestra tells you everything you need to know about me and my high school.

I don't like Facebook. Not one bit. Well, one bit, maybe. But for every bit I like it, there's a hundred and twenty bits I really don't like at all. But it's interesting to recall how much my life revolved entirely around band, orchestra, quartet, wind ensemble, community orchestra, small ensembles at church, playing the introit and then having to pick up my cello, stand, and chair and hustle them out into the vestry, marching band at Piscataway stadium, practice rooms, the day the band director and the orchestra director looked at me sitting on the risers and told me I looked like something out of Playboy (which I still do not remotely understand, as I was wearing a sweater and corduroys--what does that even mean?) and the horrible year in choir, doom, but of course also playing Carmina Burana with full orchestra and choir, playing Messiah, playing most of the usual rotation of orchestral repertoire, meeting Vaclav Nelhybel, our hero, famous and awesome living composer!

In community orchestra my own cello teacher (who sucked) and the creep who wouldn't sit with the guy with the facial thing pushed me up to sit second chair with my friend's mom, because she was German and therefore totally scary and alien and to be hated. Yes. One of the arresting things about that town was that even the supposed adults were completely childish and hateful and would not step up and behave properly. You could basically count on everyone to act like they were in second grade at all times.

So I had an excellent time with my friend's mom, who is very dignified and reserved and sweet and funny. This is the mom of the friend who came to visit in L.A. with his two awesome teenage kids and we hiked up Mt. Hollywood! And as I was talking to the boy, he mentioned his age, and I said that that's the age his dad and I were when we first met, in seventh grade. How cool is that?

Anyway. Facebook! I like the good parts of all the memories it forces me to rub my face in, but I really don't like the bad parts.

I did not click on A flat [last name] nor eternal crush. I *did* click on my best buddy from band. We were neck and neck for first chair all throughout. In fact we competed for drum major as freshmen and I beat him then, but then he beat me for drum major when we were seniors. But I got the big solo. I played that solo in Pisacataway, in that ungodly ginormous stadium, in front of all those thousands of people. Madness.

Here's a picture. Still one of the most mind-blowing nights ever, because we played and performed miles better than we ever had before.

Incidentally, my dad went to Rutgers. So there you go.

I should have thoughts about how dire the past is and how bad it is to run away from it and try to forget it, or something. But I have fiction for that! Aha ha! Didn't see that one coming, did you? Yes, although I'm utterly unable to cope with anything much beyond feeding the cat in real life, I'm all full of the psychological coping in fiction world.

I did make food. In defense of my comprehensive failure to cope these days. There was this ground turkey that I had defrosted inexplicably. And its time was coming due. So I kind of waved my hands helplessly and stuck it in a frying pan and turned on the heat. And then I literally stood there watching it cook all in a block for an unreasonably long period of time, until it occurred to me to add onion and sage and pepper and salt and break it up. And then it was, I don't know, what was it? A bowl of cooked ground turkey with onion and sage and pepper and salt. It was DELICIOUS is what it was. But I'm not sure it was meant to be put in a bowl and eaten with a spoon.

I also ate some snow peas. And goat cheese and triscuits. It was so much variety of flavor and texture, as opposed to my usual meals, like "bowl of squash," or "toast," that I've been sitting around going, "What a meal! Wow!"

The raspberry thing is still bugging me. Now raspberries are a unit to compare all other things to. Sunday paper? Raspberries! Case of beer? You could get five boxes of raspberries for that! Really crappy terrible food costs more than raspberries! What are you people thinking? With your fake puffed up crunchy preservative fiestas? When you could be having RASPBERRIES!

They are $3 for a 6 oz container. Even priced by weight, tons of completely regular things cost more than that. Priced by serving, they cost way less than tons of things.

Ah, defensive raspberry economics part two. I think it's passing. Sighs of relief.

Someone came by during my lunch yesterday and looked at what I was eating while he waited for the printer to print. He said, "That's what my horse eats, twice a day." I looked at my lunch. Apple, carrot. I'd already eaten my sandwich, see.

Which led to the conversation with someone else about how cheap my food is these days. (Ridiculously cheap.) And they said: even with the raspberries? Which is why I'm all ARRRRGGGHH about it. Because people buy things that cost so much more than raspberries and don't think they're expensive. Things with practically no nutritive value. And I eat: vegetables, grain, cheese, fruit, yogurt, fish, and now exciting ham for sandwiches. Also Triscuits. Maybe ricecakes if I feel like hearing my teeth squeak.

I guess there was a bit more of that rant, there. D. and I will have an enjoyable mutual rant about it.

Today I got this giant task to do with not enough time to do it, had to be ready for Monday first thing, and for once everyone was leaving on time. But these guys were around so I was able to stay and finish it totally frantically typing away and they locked up behind me.

I am so very busy and important. Truly. It boggles the mind.

Okay, not really. So it was fun to have a time pressure and ticking clock. There was even this extra dramatic thing where I was DONE and then found ANOTHER PAGE OH NO. I'd have gotten all stressed out except I'm kind of chemically unable to freak out anymore, which I appreciate very much.

I really, really, really feel like playing my cello. Tomorrow, post Online Job Big Day Final Whatsits, pre shoveling out the dog path some more. I keep thinking I want to shoot my bow, but guess how easily you'd lose arrows in hip deep snow? It's nagging at me, though. I have an archery jones! Maybe I'll take the shotgun out and go blam blam and then go around going, "Aaaaaaaaaaaah!" the rest of the day, but enjoying the adrenaline jolt. And the sore shoulder. I've never shot this one but most of them (especially that WWII rifle from before they invented internal recoil) kick the hell out of you.

And there's soup and marmalade to be made, plus need to make bread soon again.

Cats like goat cheese, in case you were wondering. Also fresh snow peas. Don't you think snow peas are thematic for February in Maine? What other snow-centric foods could I eat? Snow-cone? Ice planet? My food is problematic.

In related yet unrelated news, I went to the judgy hippie store and got those mesh lids so I can make sprouts. Mmmm, sprouts. Once a million years ago in college someone said something that I heard as "mung bean sprouter" which made us all fall over dying laughing, so of course my choice of beans to sprout would have to be mung. Oh yeah? Well YER a mung bean sprouter!

Next up: making my own yogurt, which is ridiculously easy. Then I can own my own soul again since that Greek yogurt stole it away from me.

Gosh! One of those containers of yogurt costs more than a container of raspberries!

I bet a gallon of milk costs around a container of raspberries too.

Mmmmmm, raspberries. I have some in the fridge RIGHT NOW. Yummy!

Plan and execution

Every day I'm like, "I'ma go home and do all the stuff!" But then I get home and change and fall down on the bed kerflump. Kitty walks around on me saying MRAP and then if I don't get moving fast enough, he goes into destructo mode to get me up and out. Feed kitty, find food, then try to stay awake until bedtime. Then wake up a hundred times during the night.

Does that seem right to you? No! Me neither!

Well, I'm looking into it. We'll see.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blue!

Guess what? With my new status as a permanent fixture, I get to wear a BLUE thing on my head instead of the sad and lowly white. Yay! Only when required, though. I mean it's not all the time. But today I got to wear one and I was all super psyched!

Some day I'll explain the circumstances under which you wear a red one. Dun dun!

So what's going on, huh? Doing stuff? Hanging out? It's stupidly cold here again. What's new, I know!

I'm still not sleeping properly and it's driving me around the bend to Berserk City. I'm sleeping long enough but not well, or something. Anyway my eyes are all puffy and I've got the wicked headaches, blargh. Presumably it'll all go away once I get my Good News Migraine, heh. Thought it was going to hit this morning but it was only the usual hideous morning headache. What the what? I ask you!

Tonight's project: sewing some elastic on the blue flannel fitted sheet so I can use it again without having it break free and run for the hills. They put that elastic on fitted sheets for a reason, it turns out. It all croaked on these, though.

Yes, that is the major plan I have for the brief interval between Online Job (now done) and Bones (25 minutes away) and bed (immediately after Bones). TOO BUSY.

Can I just point out the raspberry math? Okay. I've been having raspberries on my yogurt for breakfast every day. They cost $2.99 for a package. Something about raspberries sets off the luxury alarm in people. Blueberries cost almost as much and they don't. Plus, like, what about a fancy coffee even at Dunkin Donuts? How much is a pack of cigarettes? How much is a cheeseburger? How much is a beer in a bar? (I don't actually know most of these answers, but I'm guessing that $2.99 isn't too much off any of those.)

It's weird that the actual cost doesn't seem to mean much, but the raspberries somehow convey some sort of luxury meaning anyway. I don't get it. Do you get it? What's that all about?

It's just fruit from Hannaford. Fruit! Fruit is good for you, y'all. If you're going to pay a few dollars for a foodstuff, you should pay it for fabulously delicious and healthy fruit, rather than, oh, a cheeseburger, an overpriced beer, a fancy overpriced coffee, or a pack of cigarettes. Or even a box of cereal. Or cheese. Cheese costs more than that!

Hey, that Bones episode is on where they have some fake bear poop that's the size of elephant poop. It would have to be one of those megatherium giant prehistoric bears, man. Every time I see this it cracks me up. This episode also suffers from some serious mistakes they never would have made later, like Brennan saying that the cannibal would have a prion disease from eating human flesh. Yes, if the person they ate happened to have a prion disease, which is exceedingly rare. And getting a bloody glove from touching a week-old body. What's with that?

Explain the raspberry thing, if you could. Explain!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is boodle a word?

I keep calling the cat Boodle. I think it might derive from kit and caboodle, or possibly from calling him Furry Booboo, which of course derives from Bunny Foofoo. Who's to say? All I know is I call him that and there you go. Boodle. It might be a butler, do you think? The housekeeper in one of my favorite Joan Aiken regency novels is called Hurdle, which I just love. Hurdle will make you up a posset. What's a posset? Do I want one?

The doctor told someone to drink whiskey with lemon and sugar and water, but it makes her barf (she said) so I offered to drink it for her. Because that's the kind of generous, selfless person I am. Hot toddy for table one!

Today. Epic! And I still have one cupcake left! Epic in the drama (resolved) and in that I got a Real Job where I already work and in that I got yet another Online Job iteration to follow the one that starts after the one that started yesterday. So one active and two scheduled sequentially, that's awesome. That gets me into May with Online Job. I'm burying the lead again, aren't I? Beard net! Or is that lede? That looks awfully Anglo-Saxon.

The quality of Online Job has gone way, way up, too. I'm pretty sure it was the result of deliberate measures on their end. But that's all I can really say about that.

Yesterday I told someone they did a really good job on something, and someone else said don't, he'll get a swelled head and won't fit through the door, and then the one who did a good job said, "I'll just butter both sides of it." Which is so funny that I'm still giggling about it today. Especially just off the cuff. Yay!

What else? I finished a Sarah Dessen book and started another one, so basically it's a day. She's good! I like how completely different all of her lead characters are. Also I was tickled to see that she completely botched up a chapter in this latest book, which makes me like her even more because she's human after all. Phew! It's true, it's told in flash forward and back in the midst of a book that doesn't do that at all, and she got mixed up with it. Whoops! I actually said out loud, "Awwwww."

Major accomplishments: I got the laundry from last weekend put away, and what remained from the weekend before (oh the shame I blush) and put away the dishes and washed the new ones. Oh and I planted some barley grass for Mr. Boodle. One day I'll even cook food! Hey, it could happen.

I've been eating ham sandwiches for lunch, due to discovering the existence of a brand of all natural, no preservatives lunch meat. Except the turkey has something verboten in it and they only sell the salami at Walmart. And salami's kind of gross. So: ham. But only due to my utterly nonexistent energy levels. You know I ate bread and butter and an apple for lunch for like two or three weeks because I couldn't summon the energy to do anything more. Well, a ham sandwich that I assemble on the spot is hardly more energetic. And chopped up veg left over from the Super Bowl party of one.

Parsnips every day, that's me, yep. Parsnips and gingerbread cupcakes.

I should chop up more for tomorrow. Veg, not cupcakes.

Today: no shoveling. YAY! Twice in three days, holy Hannibal, that is just too damn much. Even though both times were strangely small amounts, it still wrecked me because both times it was heavy as heck. But yesterday was nothing like as bad as Sunday. For which let us all be truly thankful.

I want to send President Obama a present for Presidents' Day. Also, he quit smoking, yay! Good for him! Gosh I love him. Love!

It's awfully nice to see the house getting out of my way, as more and more things get done and nailed down and finished up. It makes it so much more peaceful. I was at work Monday and thinking how uncomfortable it was to be at home, with all these things around clamoring for attention. That made me so sad! And then I got GALVANIZED.

Still left to do in the concrete realm of declutterization:

rebuild couch back
build couch arms
upholster couch
build tent frame for cat box (slats for dog exclusion)
finish purple quilt
sew baby Ryan's quilt
sew the bookcase quilt only just begun
knit things! many things! especially for Afghans for Afghans!

Some of that is verging into the future/hopeful mood. Intentional? Craft-based subjunctive? A tense/mood yet to be created?

But mostly I'm very hopeful that with the major stress taken away, I can settle down and write a whole lot more instead of vibrating at a high frequency and rattling all the windowpanes out of pure anxiety. We shall see!

You'll know when my lizard brain really believes it because I'll get an enormous migraine and be useless for 18 hours. Fun times! Something to look forward to! Sunday would be good. I have way too much Online Job to do this weekend, or possibly Friday.

All I know is that right now I'm so ridiculously tired, things are swooping around all vertigo-like. Swoop, whoosh. I'm going to bed. Yeah!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Then don't DO that

But I did. I had to! The genius plowmeister decided to knock down most of the mountain of snow on the corner of my yard, between my driveway and the main road, and plow the giant boulders into my driveway!

I think they get frustrated when plowing on days like today, when there's only two inches of snow. I can understand that. Giant powerful machine, small quantity of snow. But plowing boulders into my driveway to make a four foot tall wall is not the answer. Maybe plow it into the ditch on the other side of the road, where nobody lives, huh? Why not?

So, ow. And then I shoveled the driveway. More ow. And then I ate some leftover chicken from yesterday. YUM!

Bulletin: cats love fried chicken. Who knew?

I really want blue pieces in my hair, but will I look like I'm dressed up as Claudia from Warehouse 13? How come I hated Claudia at first? That's so weird, because truly she's awesome. I think it was a whiny episode or something. That's an adorable show. It better come back!

Okay, plus I finally hung up the coat rack. It's one of those silver jobs with five or six hooks and then each one has a smaller hook underneath. It had to get screwed to a board then the board to the wall, because the screw holes didn't line up with the studs. Which is CLEARLY why it took me a year and a half to hang it up. Chuh! Obviously.

Anyway now it's done and I can walk down the hallway to the only working door in the house without shoving my coat aside. Ahem.

Sometimes I think, What if wanting to smack my past self actually works out somehow and that's how I got headaches on some past days? It was future self smacking me! Is that what happened?

I got new iteration of Online Job up and running and underway. Phew! Otherwise I have gotten tremendously little done today, except reading up on Cushing's disease and Addison's disease, which kept making me go learn new words like neoplasm and axilla and made my lunch very late because I accidentally saw pictures of carcinoadenomas in someone's ex-colon and couldn't even think about food.

And then I ate up all the parsnips and had to go look up parsnips. Did you know that cut parsnip leaves can give you horrible blisters and welts? I did not! Now we know.

What I did was look at this medication that makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER and then see what it treats that the doctor hasn't thought of yet. They give it to me for allergic reactions but it makes everything bad go away. Isn't that an interesting way to figure out what's going on? I know! Am genius! I'll ask questions when I see doc next week.

Ooh, and I found out there's a cotton waterproofing spray that I can use on my already extant giant blue jumpsuit for a subpar snowsuit experience! For dogwalkery, because the other was stupidly overlarge and I returned it. I just have to get up into the attic and dig it out, then wash it, then get some Cotton Proof, then spray it outside in the Arctic wonderland that is my yard so I don't asphyxiate and stuff, then let it air and dry and detoxify itself for a while. And then, good to go!

I've thought about just rubbing mink oil into it or something. Would that work? What's an oilskin? If I oil heavy cotton duck, will it become waterproof, or just gross? Tricky.

Today we were looking at the snowpiles right outside the window and considering sticking our faces out the window into the snow to cool down. It got super hot today. I spend all day in a dry sauna in the center of a lot of snowpack, it's true. (Not actually a sauna. Just HOT.)

Argh, it's nearly 7 already. Time keeps skittering away. Er, between removing the mountain of boulders and the regular shoveling and doing all the rest of the chores like filling the bird feeder and taking the trash out and hanging up the coat hook and feeding the cat and trying to figure out what's making a sound like dripping water in my bedroom. (Hint: not dripping anything.)

It's the floorboards buckling up (buckling up?) from their adhesive. I walk over them and they stick down, and then gradually come unstuck bit by bit. Each unsticking bit makes a sound exactly like a drop of water hitting the floor.

Still on the agenda for tonight: put away the dishes I washed whenever that was (Sunday?), wash the new ones (few), more Online Job, writing the book, maybe sewing that purple quilt's edging on if there's time. WHICH THERE WON'T BE. Because that's a lot and I'm all post-shoveling zombified. I'll be lucky if I even get off this couch before bedtime. Zonk.

Hee, I love days when I wear my jeans. I feel all svelte and sleek and then at some point I'll catch sight of a mirror and go, "Oh!" Ha! It's like optimistic body dysmorphic disorder! Like instead of being all down on something that's actually fine, I do it the other way around! I think that's totally hilarious and awesome. Especially because both of them come true. I mean, whatever you feel about yourself comes across to everyone else.

I like it.

I have to do these absurd Beyonce kind of moves on the Pilates ball to try to loosen up my wonky bad hip. It is SO FUNNY that I spend the whole time going swivel swivel laugh laugh laugh. It really works, too, which is freaking awesome. Shoveling just kills that bad hip but I don't want another night like Sunday, so I'm doing anything I possibly can to fix it. That is the sound of my denial about the arthritis in my knees, neck, hips, and of course hands. It sounds like someone cracking walnuts when I move. At least, when the yells of OWWWWWWW don't drown it out, heh heh.

I think the people I see every day will be VERY pleased when snow shoveling season is over, though of course then lawn mowing season will start...and garden season...and kayaking...but in my plan, dog walking will cure everything and so I will sashay off into the sunset all skipping and happy, dog on blue leash and all's right in the world.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Late to the party but OH BOY!

Nota bene

It makes my toes squinch up and I die of embarrassment whenever I remember that we used to say that in screenwriting class. Awwww. Good note, we'd say. I guess it's not that embarrassing. I mean it's all affirmational and whatnot.

Must remember to say that in inappropriate situations! Along with "Blister your potato field," of course.

The kitty HATES IT when I play music on the computer, which tells you how often I don't do it. Speaking much the English? So don't I!

But I'm doing something so cheeseball that I totally wish I had a cheeseball to eat. How did I watch a nationwide televisual event without a cheeseball? Daft, man. Oh, the cheeseball thing is playing the song "Survivor" by Destiny's Child on eternal repeat. I really like the lines about how I'm better den nat. I love how they pronounce that. Partly because I'm in frelling Maine. The music is making the kitty agitated, but hello, I am allowed, I'm sure.

At least it's not like with the bagpipe music, where he leapt into the air and attacked my arms to make it stop.

Everyone's a critic.

Here's the very bad thing I ate instead of a cheeseball: fried chicken! I know! What the hell, self? It's the kind with no bones in it, but STILL. It's not like the bones are the unhealthy part. That would be the rest of it. I don't know, I was out and about and starving and I have to get up super early tomorrow and do much more heinous labor that's going to make me HURT ALL OVER and I thought, mmm, chicken.

So there's that.

It's been a year since I had it last, and that was the first time ever, so I guess it's okay.

I've been reading so much YA, I was enchanted with the pimply youth staffing the place, for real. I was sure they were all starring in their own finding-your-awesomeness story! I bet they are, actually. Though one of the bad things about a town like this is that most people don't think they have awesomeness in them. That's pretty common, though, suburbs and small towns and everywhere.

Do you think it's rare to believe in your awesomeness? I mean, do people think they're awesome, or do they think they're normal? Or is normal the thing you choose instead? I am not sure! Even though I wrote a whole YA novel about that exact thing!

I'm sad about the shoveling tomorrow morning, for real. I'm exhausted because I was in so much pain last night, I was awake for hours, and I know this sounds maudlin but I was crying from the pain. It, um, hurt. A lot. I thought about getting up and taking leftover surgery pain meds, but I'd already taken three ibuprofin and I didn't think that was wise. Holy cow. Every bone and every joint hurt. I almost couldn't turn over. Crazy, man. I don't really know what brought that on, because I didn't do THAT much shoveling. Maybe the bath afterward? Maybe sitting around watching the hands-based type of football?

Maybe there's some alchemical connection between parsnips and bones. Who knows? (Brennan!) I even decided to forego any knitting or quilting due to painful pain. And I stretched a lot. Which only helps with muscles. My muscles were fine. Dang, ow.

So I'm very grumpy about having to shovel again tomorrow. And kind of traumatized by last night. It was only when I got up the last time to go to bed that everything hurt so bad. And I'd gotten up pretty much every commercial break. There are LOTS of those in hands-based football. Unlike foot-based which goes 45 minutes with no breaks.

Soccer is empirically a better game, but it was pretty fun to watch last night.

Then I felt fine this morning, except my hands, which irked me too. What was that all about? What? What? What?

Today I was all pragmatical and sane and stuff and went and asked the right people the questions I needed answers to. About which you're like, "Um, duh?" But I'm not usually good at doing that. So yay! Also I went all above and beyond in figuring a thing out for someone and was super proud afterward.

Hurray!

Also I wrote a bunch of stuff. YAY FOR WRITING A BUNCH OF STUFF! Awesome.

I have to make a wish!

Wish:

I wish it was my very well-paid job to write awesome YA novels!

That is my wish.

I have a theory (based on nothing) that riding my bike will help my insanely painful arthritic sacro-iliac joint, as well as the stupid herniated discs. Like I said, based on nothing. So. Um. I guess I should bring it in and put it on the wind trainer. Yeah. Rah, rah.

I have to admit something. I sort of feel like non-pain is something I have to save up for shoveling days, where I'll spend it. Like if I exercise in ways other than shoveling, I'm spending it all and I won't have any when I need to dig out of the latest mountain of snow. This is SERIOUSLY interfering with my will to exercise. I have to snap out of it. Snap!

There are all these divots in the snow from the rain or the thaw or whatever. Except I keep thinking it sounds like a Bing Crosby crooner tune. "Divots in the snow," he croons. I don't know the next line! What is it?

I nearly got a sled but they were those circular dish ones. Where would I put my legs? I can't exactly leave them home. Mysterious. Oh, they're for tiny humans, that explains a lot. I want a sled! Surely someone has them still.

Hey, Californians! It got up to 38 today and not only could I not bear to wear my winter coat, I had to take off my wool shirt too, and run around in t-shirt and skirt and that one knitted black vest with the hood that I always wear. I know! It was boiling out!

Well 38 is only about 20 degrees colder than my house, so, see. It's often 58 in here, or less. I shovel in shirt sleeves when it's 20 degrees out. I'm cold-adapted. Also there's that whole extra self I'm wearing, which has to be useful for something, jeez! It is useful for staying warm with. For sure.

And making my joints and bones hurt, apparently. Hey! Go take some calcium. And a multi-vitamin. And the anti-wackdoodle pill. And then go read up on interactions with the surgery meds, because I am NOT doing that again, jeebus. Seriously, what was that about? I really don't understand it.

Ooh, did someone deity-like SMITE me? I certainly felt smitten. Someone smote me! That's what it was. Let's see, was it because I watched a mainstream sporting event? That was the only unusual event. Well, that and the parsnips. The soccer god and our lady of the parsnips got together and smote me hard! Pow!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here, have a cupcake!

I would totally give you one. You know! They're gingerbread with cinnamon icing (which also has some maple syrup in it) and they are super good. Yummy! The icing is too sweet but icing always is. And it has no butter in it because I ran out. I am out of butter! Madness!

I forgot it at the STORE.

So I have this football game on because, I don't know, it meant I could make a platter of delicious foods for dinner. Mmm! They are: smoked salmon, red pepper, yellow pepper, carrots, and parsnips. And I just baked bread so I had a piece of that. All in all I was not able to cope with any of the delicious cheese at all! Again with the madness!

The shoveling today was wicked hard work because the snow was wet and heavy, which meant many more throws because I could move less area of driveway per throw. I'm getting big muscles. It's something else, having that happen without any conscious effort on my part, but I do build muscle VERY easily, almost alarmingly so. Also apparently it's all shoulder muscles because holy crap, my shoulders are getting even bigger and stronger than ever.

I do find this alarming. For real. The cue people read to determine your gender before they even know they're doing it is the ratio between shoulder and hip. It's true. Broad shoulders read as male. Broad shoulders outrank anything going on in the chestal area, which seems unfair. There isn't really anything I can do about that except wear a skirt, heh.

Like the Packers players who aren't playing in the game! Why are they all wearing those yellow skirts? I guess they're really very long baggy shorts that fall in pleats to their knees, but WOW do they look like skirts.

Which is odd because the ones playing are wearing these crazy tight pants. Very large men in yellow tights.

All in all, I like soccer infinitely better. I know you're not shocked.

So yeah, shoveling! All done. It was hard. My neck is killing me. Blah blah. Then I had the most awesome bath, because I installed the $10 hand-held showerhead thing, you know, with the hose, so I can wash the dog. Yes. That's why I got it, so I can wash the dog. Have you ever tried to wash the dog *without* one of those? It's outside at the garden hose that way, which is brutally cold if you ask me. This way: nice warm water equals happier dog.

But it also means I can have a bath instead of a shower because I can wash my hair this way. Yay!

I have no idea how any of this translates into the worst stiff neck ever, but whatever, who knows.

Bath: awesome. Actually I only installed it because I was going to have a bath, so I scrubbed the tub, but then when it was time to rinse off the cleanser, I was like, "That's it! Enough! this far, no farther!" and I installed the shower thing, which took five minutes and would have taken less if I'd put the washers in the first time.

Also, it doesn't SCREAM like the old showerhead. Yea, verily, a wicked high-pitched horrible whine! Now gone! How on earth (and WHY) did I put up with that for a year and a half, every day? Eh? Huh? Though, you know, points for not being all spazzy about it and insisting on fixing it right away, right? I'm sure there's some kind of middle ground there that we call sane, but whatever.

Also I read another Sarah Dessen book and I'm into the third one already. Good writer! Yes.

I think it's time to sew the purple quilt's edging on now. I pinned it at least two different dumb ways before I figured out the right way. Good heavens, after HOW MANY quilts, I still have to figure this out all over again every time? Apparently so.

Here's a reminder to myself for the next time, not that I'll remember I wrote this. Cut the edging. Press it in half. Pin it level with the edge of the quilt on the back side, with the pressed point down. Sew it on closer to the edge than the top will be. Then fold it over as pressed and pin it on the right side. Sew that down, making sure to sew the piece on the back, too.

Okay! The super bowl is kind of awesome in various ways. The halftime show was fantastic in an over the top hilarious way, though I love the Black Eyed Peas so that helps. Plus remember that will.i.am song for Obama's election that used to make me burst into tears? I'll be fond of him eternally for that. Wish I could remember the name of it so I could find it online, heh heh!

Oh, yeah. YES WE CAN



I might watch this every day. Yay! I just love that so much.

I had to have a conversation with myself about STRESS this week since there's a lot riding on this particular week, see. It's a big week multiple kinds of ways. I have to make sure to stretch a lot and get on ye olde Nordictrack and the trampoline and get good sleep and all of that taking care of yourself stuff, y'all, or I will go up in a fiery ball of flame and how does that help anyone? Exactly! Baths! Exercise! Small meals! Lots of water! Articulating anxieties! I will make it through, hopefully with what I want on the other end.

The kitty came back to eat the rest of his piece of smoked salmon. Mmmm! Now I can go ahead and stretch without having to pick it up off the carpet. Ha ha. I mean, actually, that's true.

What will tomorrow bring? Who knows!

What a day!