Monday, November 29, 2010

Me, My Big Mouth, and I

Last week I only had class on Monday since I don't have Tuesday classes and the rest of the week was Thanksgiving Break.  Yes, it was pretty sweet.  Some of the the students in my last class of the day were debating whether they would attend their Tuesday classes or just head home for the break instead.  I pointed out that the vacation portion of the week didn't actually start until Wednesday and they run the risk of missing something relevant or at least graded.  Just call me Professor Buzzkill.  The students said that they wished their professors would just cancel classes which would let them off the hook.  I told them that doing this was kind of unprofessional.  As a bonus bit of wisdom, I gave them the advice that calling in sick after a long weekend looks pretty sketchy and should be avoided.

Not to sound arrogant or anything but I'm pretty sure the universe listens to me and thinks it's funny to mess with me.

Having said that, it should come as no surprise that at about 7 p.m. on the Sunday of Thanksgiving break I started to become sick.  So, eating my own words (and little else) I called in sick for Monday.

So, I'm going to try something:  I want you all to know that winning the lottery is really sketchy and should be avoided.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reason #47 To Get LASIK

I wear glasses.  I wear them for every waking minute of my life.  I own contact lenses but only wear them when I am swimming or something similarly fraught with danger.  Glasses are a big part of what I look like when I imagine myself.  If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a fan.  Sure, there are downsides:  they slide down my nose at the first hint of perspiration (this translates as anywhere from 20 to 100 times a day depending on the season), they fog up when I come in from the cold, they get smudged even though I'm sure I'm not touching them, and then there's the haircut problem.

The first thing that happens when I sit down in the spinny chair to get a haircut is that they put a superhero cape on me but backwards.  That part is cool.  Then they make me take off my glasses.  This means that I never, ever get to see anything other than the Before and the After.  So, I must trust the person wielding the scissors completely - I have no chance of knowing after I've told them what I want if they've gone rogue.

Today I discovered a new reason why I wish I wasn't a Spectacled-American on haircut day.  I've been going to the same two people for haircuts for the last several years.  One of them is a hairdresser with an in-house chair massage person who is 2 hours away from my house and the other is a no-frills barber a mere 2 minutes away from my house.  I went to the barber today for probably the 10th time.  Thanks to this no-glasses-during-haircuts thing, it took until the 10th visit to realize that my barber is missing an entire finger.  Damn you, nearsightedness!  All this time I had a mental image of what was transpiring around my head and it was only 90% correct.

I might have to add haircuts to the list of contact-lens-necessary activities.  For all I know my other hairdresser might have an eye patch.  Or only one ear.  Or a mime performing in the background.  ANYTHING could be happening during my haircuts.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Elementary, Right? Right?

They are showing a new series on PBS called "Sherlock".  It's a re-imagining of the Sherlock Holmes stories that takes place in modern day London.  Sherlock is a self-admitted high-functioning sociopath and Dr. Watson is a veteran of Afghanistan with a psychosomatic limp.

Based on hearing good things about the show, I set up a series recording on the DVR.  The HD channel, of course.  When we started to watch the first episode, we noticed that the show had a weird feature in the form of a narrator.  Narration is not itself strange but this woman was thorough.  She told us everything that was going on to an exhaustive level of detail.  I thought it was a little annoying but, hey, I figured it was their schtick.  Huppy, on the other hand, couldn't stand it and stopped watching.  I started looking on message boards to see if anyone else found the narration to be a little overwhelming.  Apparently not because there was no mention of it anywhere.  I found this to be puzzling since anyone who has spent any time on the interwebs knows that everything is mentioned at least once.  Everything.  Since we definitely weren't hallucinating her, I realized that she must be a service provided for the visually impaired.  OK, cool.  I'm sure it was just a mixup but I recorded the next episode on both channels (HD and SD) just in case.  The narrator was present again when we started the show but when we switched to the SD version she was gone.  The episode was much easier to watch without all the extra nattering.

Now, I'm glad they have these services for the visually impaired, I really am.  But am I a total jerk to think maybe it's not necessary to for them to do so on the high definition version?

Monday, October 25, 2010

This Isn't What It Looks Like

So when I got out of class at 10:50 today I moseyed over to the caf to wait for lunch (they start serving at 11:15. At about 11:08 I go over to the sandwich making line and casually lean against the counter reading a book while the sandwich guy did all of his prep work. By the time he was ready there was a line of about 15 people but I was first. I triumphantly headed to my table with my sandwich and was happily eating when one of my students came up to me and we had the following interchange:

Her - "Um...I just wanted to let you know there's something brown all over the back of your pants"

Me - "Really."

Her - "Yeah, it's brown."

Me - "Was it there during class?" (Visions of three hours of teaching with brown stuff smeared on my butt flashing through my head)

Her - "No! No, I saw it when I was in the sandwich line but I didn't want to tell you in front of all those people but, yeah, um it's on the right hand side."

Me - "OK, thanks for letting me know"

I sidled to the bathroom and sure enough there is about a 1/4 cup of peanut butter smeared across my right ass cheek. As I'm sure you're aware, peanut butter looks an awful lot like SHIT so I was obviously really happy and not at all embarrassed. I cleaned it off as best I could, went back, and gave that student a thumbs up. I mouthed the words "peanut butter" at her lest she think I'm incontinent.

My current fear is that peanut butter is like toothpaste in that you can clean it up and it seems to be totally gone until the fabric dries and it gets miraculously resurrected in all its glory. Toothpaste is like the Easter Jesus of stains. I still have another class to teach so I'm going to go now and see if there's peanut butter leavin's on my bum.
Also, I stapled my sleeve to a test the other day.  If I get any more suave I'm going to need a permit.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've Got The Moves, Baby

For the past few months Huppy and I have been working out once a week with a personal trainer.  Often when we meet in the basement of the Y, Shane (the trainer) has us do some ladder drills.  This week the Y was pretty crowded due to some renovations at the downtown Y so we went outside to play.  Shane put two ladders down side by side in the grass and we got started.  We soon learned that the ladder on grass is slightly elevated and it's very easy to catch it on your feet and yank it out of place.  This doesn't really happen inside on the floor so this new wrinkle took some adjustment.  In between ladder drills we would do some kettle bell activities and planks.  Somehow on one of my ladder drill segments I managed to get my foot caught in the ladder, spin around a few times hog-tying myself with the ladder, whirl even further out of orbit, then crash down to the gorund, roll over, and hit my head on a kettle bell that I swear had been 15 feet away from where all this started. 

After asking me if I was OK (which was nice of him considering how hard it must have been to actually talk with all the laughing he was doing), Shane said he really wished he had a camera.  I'm glad he enjoys our sessions as much as I do.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Like PURRicane Earl

So we here in New England were recently under threat of a hurricane.  The news reports were full of hurricane tracking and helpful hints as to how to prepare for it.  School hasn't started yet so I took it on myself yesterday to do the hurricane preparations.  I moved a bunch of yard stuff into the garage and what I couldn't move I strapped down.  High on a sense of accomplishment, I next went to Target to get supplies in the event we lost power, water, or both.

When Huppy got home she looked through the Target bags to see what I'd gotten.  This is what she found:

2 two-gallon containers of water
1 package of toilet paper
1 box of chocolate chip Fiber One bars
1 Wii pistol
1 package Double Stuff Oreos
1 bag kitty litter

Based on her reaction, I don't think I'm in charge of emergency preparations anymore.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I. Can. Tell.

A while ago I posted an open letter to my students and in it I mentioned that I can tell when they are texting during class.  Texting secretly from a classroom desk requires the phone to be held in the lap which means the neck and upper back are held at a particular angle in order to see the screen and operate the keyboard.  This angle is unique to texting, it seems.  I'm pointing this out again because people seem to honestly think they are being subtle about it.  I'm here to say that this is not possible.  Not.  Possible.  So stop because I and every other instructor who has their very own cellular telephone knows what you're doing and we're making a mental note and it may bite you in the ass at a later date.

This got me thinking about other things that people do that are impossible to misinterpret.

For example, I was at a sandwich shop the other day sitting at a table waiting for my oder to be ready.  A guy came in and was standing at the counter ordering his food.  He had his hand in his pocket and from behind his shorts started kind of jiggling a little.  No, he wasn't doing that.  What he was doing was either scratching himself or, I dunno, fluffing his "pillows"?  Disclaimer:  Now I do not now have nor have I ever had male genetalia so I am not an expert as to what sort of care and maintainence is involved.  However, based on how often I see men jamming their hands into their pockets and making adjustments it must be an area that requires a lot of fine tuning.  Is it super itchy?  If so, is it naturally that way or are the super itchy guys less than fresh?  If it's not itchy, are they in pain?  If so, is it so excruciating that it requires immediate and public redress?  I only ask because women experience discomfort in personal areas as well but it seems to me that our way of dealing with it is to, well, deal with it.  We endure until we have a chance to fix it without putting on a show.  Most women would risk a punctured lung from a rogue underwire bra than start meddling with their girls in the middle of, say, ordering sandwiches.  (See how I did that?  Full circle, baby.)  Perhaps they aren't itchy or in pain and are merely touching base, if you will.  Like Monk needing to touch all the parking meters, perhaps it has a calming effect.  My point, because I have one and I should probably get to it, is that a hand in the pocket to jiggle coins or something else strictly genital-free looks nothing like a hand in the pocket intended to scratch and itch or lift and separate or whateverthehell is happening.  So, guys, people can tell you're doing it.  Maybe other guys can't see it happening because if they could then they would have to admit that their own forays into personal shipping and handling are visible as well.  Women notice it, though.  The next time you hear a women mutter, "Ugh, seriously?!?!", under her breath look in the opposite direction of her gaze and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Nose picking.  This one is particularly relevant to me because I had to ride the train with a guy yesterday that literally picked his nose, rolled it on his fingers, maybe dropped it onto the floor, maybe touched it to his mouth for the entire 45 minute ride.  I don't know exactly what he was doing with it because I was too busy craning my head around far enough to keep him out of my peripheral vision.  I must have looked like the girl from The Exorcist I was trying so hard to spin my head around and away from him.  Honestly, if I had been on that train much longer I would probably have spewed pea soup all over as well.  And I didn't eat any pea soup.  So, anyway, this guy clearly thought he was being stealthy about it.  He seemed to be trying to do his digging quickly and with purpose so that he could remove his hand for phase II, The Rolling.  What he didn't realize was that any amount of time with finger in nose is A) really, really obvious and B) an eternity for those nearby.  It doesn't look anything like nose scratching.  I don't know why but it just doesn't.  Thus, I would like to add nose picking to the list of things that can not be mistaken for something more innocent.  Also, the reason I had to endure the Booger Show was that I was in the window seat and The Nose Goblin was in the aisle seat.  In order to get away I would have had to look at him, ask him to let me out, and then pass through is boogerified air space.  As it was, I had to do this anyway because he was riding the train aaalll the way to the end of the line in Providence.

So Far So Good

In my previous post I told you about my spooky encounter with a 4.5 year old who may or may not have seen catastrophic events in my future.  It's been a week and this is what I've got:

1.  The day he skeptically wished me good luck (Friday?) I waited in vain for a bus to take me to the train station before the train actually came and went.  This caused me to have to hang around for an extra hour and a half for the next train.

2.  That Saturday, I realized at about 9 pm the night before participating in a triathlon that I was getting a cold and not suffering from allergies as I'd previously thought (hoped).

3.  The triathlon was rough.  See # 2. 

4.  For my last week of teaching this summer I was blessed with not just a cold but also a...blemish...on the side of the bridge of my nose slightly above where my glasses rest.  Not only was it unsightly but every time I pushed my glasses back up the nose pieces hit it and basically sent an electrical jolt of pain throughout my entire body.  I don't know how the bridge of my nose is connected to the rest of my body but it is.  Perhaps it went into my brain and each time I hit it whith my glasses I actually gave myself a mini lobotomy.  I'm not ruling it out.

5.  Huppy came home from work early yesterday.  It seems she's coming down with a cold.  So, yeah.

Hopefully you're reading this list and thinking that this isn't so bad because it isn't.  I could have made a list twice as long of stuff that went my way this week.  So I think it's safe to say Dr. Doom Lite was just trying to freak me out.  I hope he put that on his list of things that went his way this week.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Sword of Davocles

We had houseguests last night.  Huppy's brother and his two kids (4.5 and 6 years of age) stayed over last night on their way to a fabulous vacation destination.  Since I'm teaching a summer class right now I had to get up at 5:30 to catch the train.  Since the kids are 4.5 and 6 they were already awake when I left at 6:10.  I went into the living room to say goodbye and to tell them to have fun and they were kind enough to tear themselves away from some kids show that involves a buch of obviously stoned guys in blue jumpsuts to give me a hug.  The younger one gave me a hug and said goodbye.  As he's heading back to the couch he adds, "Good luck."  You may think this sounds sweet but he said it in that exact tone that people use when they think you're going to need it and it;s not going to help.  You know, they way people say "Good luck with that." 

So now I'm left wondering what he knows.  His name isn't that far off from Damien the creepy kid from The Omen movies and he does sometimes talk in a demonic-sounding voice (which sounded more pro wrestler to me before but now I;m not so sure).  So what started out as a normal carefree Friday has now turned into a danger-fraught gauntlet of doom.

Just in case Junior Spooky is correct, I want you all to know that it's been nice knowing you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Woman Vs Wild

The house in which I live is bordered on two side by wetlands.  As such, despite being in the city we get a lot of nature passing through.  Deer have been spotted a few times.  Our last batch of koi (not the current batch) were likely carried off by a heron.  Each spring ducks disturb the sanctity of the back yard in their efforts to perpetuate their species.  They make up for it by bringing the baby ducks by later in the year, baby animals being almost always painfully cute.  In the winter the yard is criss-crossed with tracks leading in and out of the wetlands and often to and from under the wraparound porch.  It's definitely something I very much enjoy about living here.

Well.  Recently things have taken a more antagonistic flavor.  I suppose you could say the heron eating the koi was not nice but, really, it wasn't so bad.  The fish just went from being there to not being there with no drama in between.  This is different.  This is a raccoon.

The first time the raccoon knocked over the garbage can and pulled all the grosser (is that a word?) elements of the garbage out I was fairly sanguine.  I mean, really, the raccoon is a scavenger and the lid wasn't on very tight and I didn't actually know there was a raccoon living nearby bad.

After that I was careful to put the lid on and pop the handles up in order to secure it.  See, I'm human and we humans are smart enough to have invented locking garbage can lids.  Ha!  Go dig in someone else's garbage with your cute masked face and your creepily childlike hands!  It seems that my evolutionary superiority complex was ill-advised.  The raccoon knocked the whole thing over and since the lid didn't go flying off like last time he or she used those dexterous little mitts to painstakingly pull all the gross stuff out through a thin opening that formed between the can and lid when the can settled onto its side.

This is when Huppy the engineer stepped in.  I got a picture message on my phone later that day showing the garbage can augmented with not one, not two, but three bungee cords.  This was war.  To my untrained eye, I would estimate that our garbage can could probably be dropped from a plane without releasing its contents.  I'm happy to say that, despite making it somewhat laborious to actually use the garbage can, it seems to have worked.

While this was a battle won, the war continues.  Thwarted by the web of bungees the raccoon faded back to regroup.  The next sortie happened while I was out of town.  Huppy was asleep dreaming Huppy dreams when she heard what was obviously a zombie with a gammy leg slide-thumping across the porch outside.  OK, was probably not the first thing that popped into her head but based on her description-after-the-fact that's totally what it sounded like.  At any rate, she eventually determined that it was the raccoon dragging the bag of birdseed across the porch.  Apparently the bag was too heavy to be dragged off to Chez Raton Laveur so after dragging the bag some distance Plan B seemed to be to just eat as much birdseed as possible while remaining on the porch.  Huppy was unwilling to actually go outside and shoo the creature away so, satisfied that the house was not being invaded (by zombies or otherwise), she went back to sleep.  The next morning, of course, there was birdseed to be cleaned up and, as an added F-U for the bungee cord thing, a pile of actual raccoon vomit.  Apparently there is such a thing as too much birdseed.

After that things got quiet again.  The closest thing to a skirmish occurred one night when Huppy was out of town.  I went outside after dark because the next day was garbage day and since I was home alone it fell entirely to me to remember to put the cans out at the curb.  If you know me, you know that I had to write a note on my hand.  Anyway, I go outside to kick some remembering garbage day ass and there's a bunch of noise and scrambling just out of sight on the stairs leading to the back yard.  I did not pee myself.  However, I did get a powerful jolt of adrenaline and some practice seeing how fast I can dive back onto my house.  Once my less primitive brain took over again I realized that it was probably just the raccoon snooping around to see if I left the koi food out.  (In addition to bird seed raccoons will also eat koi food- they seem to prefer the $20 bag over the $8 canister).

As of this morning the siege continues.  At 6:00 this morning I discovered that there appears to be raccoon poop near the back door.  While this is disturbing enough I'm additionally disturbed by the fact that a part of me wants to use it to figure out what the raccoon is eating now that my garbage is so effectively on lockdown.  I won't do that but the CSI-watching part of me kind of wants to.

All I know is that this raccoon does not want to bring poop into this.  I have three freakishly large cats in my house.  At any given time I am in possession of about 300 lbs of poop and I am not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond

I swear to you all that I don't mean to go so long between posts.  I think of things all the time but am not very good at keeping them in mind until the next time I'm in front of a computer.  This is fairly pathetic when you consider just how often I am in front of a computer (almost all the time).

Anyway, I'm here to tell you about last night.  Calm down, it's not that kind of story.  When at home I drink Caffiene Free Diet Pepsi.  I know, what's the point if there's no caffeine or sugar?  I agree but I drink both sugar and caffeine out in the real world so while at home I try to curtail it a bit.

Anyway, the grocery store ran out of my usual soda the other day so I was looking at the other Diet Pepsi options.  There's Diet Pepsi (obviously), Pepsi Max, and Pepsi One in addition to the Coke famliy of diet colas.  From what I can tell Pepsi One is the same as Diet Pepsi except they use Splenda as the sweetener instead of whatver they use in DP (aspartame?).  I figured Pepsi Max was the same thing with yet a third type of sweetener so I chose that one.

After drinking two of them and then going to bed I realize just how off the mark I was.  As I'm lying in bed I realize that I am wired for sound.  I think I might even have levitated.  I definitely saw sparks.

Holy crap, people, did you know that Pepsi Max is basically Diet Jolt?  Shit fire and save matches, how did I not realize this?  It's called Pepsi MAX, for crap's sake.  It's extreme!  (Remember when everything was extreme?  Now everything is green.)  There is twice as much caffeine as other colas.  Recall I drank two of them after 8 pm.

I do not know when I finally fell asleep but I can tell you that when the alarm went off at 5:13 a.m. it was rough.

I'll leave you with a video of Wanda Sykes doing a bit about falling asleep that would be funnier if it wasn't so terrifyingly true.
Wanda Sykes - Additional Thoughts
Futurama New EpisodesIt's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaRussell Simmons Stand-Up Comedy

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Couch That Bites

The last post was boring and preachy, I know.  Here's a quick story.

My laptop cord is typically plugged into the wall behind the couch in the room with the big TV.  God forbid I have to watch TV without the ability to look people up on  Anyway, I just returned from ten days in sunny (rainy, actually) Iowa so obviously I'd brought the laptop and cord with me.  When I went to plug the cord back into its usual outlet yesterday the following occurred:

1.  Plug in hand I kneel on the couch and stick my arm between the wall and couch to insert plug into outlet.
2.  It's too frickin' dark back there so I randomly try to stick the prongs in to various places in the wall.
3.  I wise up and use my fingers to palpate where the outlet is.
4.  It still takes a bunch of tries but the cord is finally plugged in.  The lights in the room flicker a little but that, my friends, is a problem for another day.
5.  I rise up to remove my arm and start charging my laptop.
6.  Everything but the arm moves.
7.  I pivot my body a bit and try again to remove my arm from behind the couch while pulling the back of the couch away from the wall.
8. - 15.  See #7
16.  I start thinking about those Chinese Finger Cuffs and how the more I struggle the worse it's getting.
17.  I look at the clock and think seriously about whether I can stay there for another 2 hours before Huppy comes home.  The answer is no because I realize I have got to pee like it's my job.
18.  I decide to just pull as hard as I can until my arm pops out.
19.  Success, finally!
20.  I spend the rest of the day whimpering about how bruised my arm feels from its ordeal.

Before you think I'm a total moron (I will admit to being a partial one), I would like to point out that the arm in question had NO trouble going down behind the couch.  I swear there was plenty of room.  I;m tempted to try again as an experiment but I'm home alone and I kind of have to pee.

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Most if not all of you are friends with me on Facebook so this may be boring for you.  My friend list recently exceeded 300 people and I decided that it was time to trim it a little bit.  There was an explosion of people added in the year leading up to my 20th high school reunion and since then things have calmed down a bit.  Out of those 300+ people there were maybe one or two that I couldn't really place despite my best yearbook scanning efforts.  I suspect this is because their name has been changed but they didn't think to include their original handle anywhere in their profile.  Not fair.  Deleted.  Next I moved on to the folks that only seem to have anything to say when they wanted to promote their pyramid scheme/sell crap from the comfort of your own home business.  Don't get me wrong, I think social media is an excellent resource for the promotion of small business and if I sold crap from the comfort of my own home I'm sure I'd use it.  The people I deleted didn't seem interested in using it for any other purpose, however.  Gone.  The rest of the folks that I got rid of were people that just didn't seem to be on Facebook ever or if they are they just look.  I figure if they're never logged in then they don't care if I drop them and if they're creepy voyeurs then it's good riddance there too.

Before I did all this (actually the process is ongoing) I posted a status explaining what I was going to do.  This way if I delete someone with whom I have had little interaction they might have seen my status and will know it wasn't personal and can re-request me if they'd like.  I figured I'd get some comments from people saying that they were thinking of doing the same thing.  What I did not expect was the flood of comments from people asking me not to delete them.  I apologize if I caused anyone to panic.  Seriously, the people I deleted probably have no idea they've been deleted because they don't seem to be on FB at all anyway.  One thing this outpouring has cause is that I will now be extra-paranoid about my statuses and whether they are boring or not.  No pressure.

Having said all that, I would encourage people to take a good hard look at what information they have out there and to whom it is visible.  Those of you with kids, especially.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

So you know the voices in your head?  I'm not talking crazy voices that tell you to to shave one eyebrow or that the government is trying to steal your thoughts.  I just mean the ones where you have imagined conversations in your head with people.  Maybe you don't have them but I think you do.


Most of the time I don't think about these voices because they're just expressions of my own thoughts ("Holy crap, it's hot out here." or "Please don't be a telemarketer." or "Where the hell did I park my car?"). 

Every once in a while, though, they surprise me.  A couple of weeks ago I was driving in my car listening to the radio when a new song started.  I think it was Van Halen's "Jump".  If it wasn't it was certainly in an equivalence class with "Jump".  As it started I head the following very clearly in my head:

"Oh, hell yeah!"

What the heck?  I mean, I appreciate this song as much as the next person but I am pretty sure that reaction was not mine.

Should I be worried?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh Fud.

Yesterday was a very nice day.  I got to drive my car with the top down, go to a barbecue, have a yummy burger at Fudruckers, and go see my former football team (sort of  - they've been bought and renamed) give a solid beat down to their biggest rival.

Let me tell you about my trip to Fudruckers.  I love Fudruckers but I don't live near one so my love is generally unrequited.  Obviously I was pretty excited when I pulled into their parking lot yesterday.  I get a little scared, though, when I saw that all the blinds were pulled down.  It looked pretty dead.    Crap, what if the damned place went tets up in the years since I was last there?  I parked the car and walked toward the building hoping fervently that I wasn't going to be disappointed.  As I approached I saw that the windows were indeed covered completely with white opaque window shades.  Ugh.  I also realized that my fly was down so as I was checking out the windows I zipped myself back up.  The entrance was around the corner and when we got there I was elated to see that the door opened into a fully functioning Fudruckers.  I was puzzled as to why they were depriving their customers of a view of the bee-yoo-tee-full day outside so I skipped the order counter and went to check out the dark tomb of a seating area.  Those blinds?  Turns out they were some sort of magical one-way blinds that are opaque from one side and totally see through from the other.  Awesome.  Just awesome.

So to recap, I had an awesome day with a brief interlude of zipping up my pants while standing in the middle of a big window of a surprisingly busy restaurant.  Not that this stopped me from going inside and eating at said restaurant.  I mean, hey, it's Fudruckers.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Odds and Ends

These things don't really go together so I'm just throwing them all into one post.

I was waiting for the bus the other day (to take me to the subway which takes me to the train which gets me to the car which swallows the bird that swallowed the spider that ate the fly...) when I heard this repetitive clinking sound. I couldn't figure out why this sound bugged me so much but it did. It wasn't loud or anything but it was really sort of creeping me out. There was only one other person at the bus stop and his back was to me but it seemed like it was coming from his general vicinity. So there I am standing on the curb squinting around trying to solve this mystery when I finally identified the sound. Usually I feel better when I figure something out but this was not the case here. My epiphany was this: the dude was clipping his fingernails. On the street. Wating for a bus. I'm not talking about a little I-just-snagged-the-nail-on-a-zipper type maintainance, I'm talking a full-on Just-look-at-these-claws-I-really-need-a-mani sort of nail clipping session. Am I the only one who is creeped out by this? Like, really creeped out. Intellectually I know that I shouldn't be, but still.
Obviously, I took a picture.

And another thing:  what is up with people who fill up their soda at the self-serve soda thingy and then take a couple of sips before walking away.  Or worse, take a couple of sips, replace those sips with more soda, and then walk away.  I'm generally a patient person, I think.  Maybe not, I don't know.  Whenever this happens and I'm waiting for my turn to fill my cup I have thise urge to just smack them in the back of their head.  Not so that it hurts, just so that they get a noseful of soda.

Next I have a couple of pictures to share with you. The first one I took a couple of weeks ago in New Orleans. This is on a door in an elementary school lunchroom. I thought it was cool that the President was being used as an example of good table manners (vs Elmo or a sports figure, etc).

The second picture is old but it cracks me up.  Last summer I was at home and I heard a thud from the living room.  I didn't feel inclined to investigate because I have three cats who range in size from 15 to 19 pounds.  Cats of that size make frequent thuds.  Anyway, the next time I went into the living room I learned two things:
1.  Someone had knocked over the fan.
2.  Dennis does impressions.
This, obviously, is his knocked over fan impression.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Mile High Club

Ha!  I bet that title got your attention.  Calm down, it's not what you think.  I just wanted to peak your interest.

I recently took a couple of trips involving air travel and decided to spend some time on one of the flights to write a blog entry.  The catch here is that when I fly I take anxiety meds (hey, I used to get drunk like everyone else but having ulcers put the kabosh to that).  The following is what I wrote.  The only changes that have been made are fixing some pretty egregious typos.


So I thought I’d try something a little different for my next blog.  I’m currently on a flight from Boston to Chicago toward the goal of reaching New Orleans this evening.  The something a little different is not just the air-blogging.  It’s more the blogging while medicated.  I usually pop a couple of chill pills before boarding and from what I understand I seem fully functional if a little bit groggy.  Which is good.  I have to take people’s word for it, though, because I remember very little of my chill pill times.  So while it’s possible that nothing exciting will happen, I’m going to write this blog for myself as a little time capsule.

I was late to the airport because someone stole my cab at school.  I’m not talking about the big city idea of cab stealing where you hail the cab and then some jack hole jumps in and they take off.  I called for it at noon to pick me up at 3.  At 2:55 I was where I said I would be waiting.  Still there at 3 and now it’s kind of raining.  The reason I called a cab a priori (editor's note:  I managed to misspell the word plane twice but has no problem with a priori) rather than flag one down was that I didn’t have time to go hunting for an available cab.  So anyway, at 3:15 I talked to their dispatcher who was frankly puzzled since his driver had picked someone up at the assigned time and place.  I heard him berating the driver over the radio for not asking a name and then picking up a guy when the name was a woman’s name.  He tells me another cab will be sent.  The story fizzles from here because I was mad at the idiot cab driver but couldn’t take it out on my actual cab driver.  So I fumed my way through a ton of traffic and at least 2 near misses on my way to the airport.

Now I’m on the plane and aside from it being pretty bumpy there at the start it’s all good.  I can say that because of the chill pills.  Huppy and I are across the aisle from one another and must communicate by our own sign language.  This probably isn’t necessary except that I’ve decided it is and she’s really, really not good at reading lips.  I think it might be her disability.  Everyone has one.  I just told her I loved one of the flight attendants.  He's a round elderly Asian guy who moves with ruthless efficiency.  I conveyed this to her with a series of eye rolls and head tosses and then I drew a heart on my arm rest.  I think she got the message.  She didn’t stand up and ask if there was a doctor on board so that’s good.

Let’s talk about Huppy for a moment.  She’s still wearing her coat, has her headphones in and is thoughtfully staring in front of her.  No book, no laptop.  Just staring.  What’s going on in there?  Her hands are folded on the tray table in front of her.  Do people really do that?  Also, it’s always the tray table in front of you, never your tray table.  I wonder why.  Are the airlines trying to teach us about spatial relationships or do they think we’re dumb enough to try to monkey with the tray table in front of someone else.  I, for one,  am not interested in the sort of personal space violation that this would entail. 

The last flight I took from either MLI to ORD to ORD to BOS (memory problems, remember) had a serial farter on it.  It was a nightmare.  I overheard some people saying that the culprit was actually spraying deodorant after each episide in order to cover it.  While nice in theory I can say that in practice the poop particle dispersion rate was far superior to the deodorant’s.  For me, the deodorant part of that story will forever stay the stuff of rumor.

But that was not this flight.  This flight everything smells like peanuts.  It must be the snack of choice for high flying travelers.

The flight attendants keep bringing things back to the back of the plane.  Once it was a handheld grey box.  Now it was a tray held high with what looked like silverware wrapped up in a napkin.  I’m guessing we have a person back there who actually ordered an honest to goodness meal on the flight OR they’re setting up for an emergency tracheotomy. 

The woman in front of me just opened her flavored seltzer (the drink for people who hate taste) and it fizzed all over.  She held it in the aisle until it calmed down and then started whipping her arm around to fling off the seltzer that she got on herself.  So now I have selzer on my foot.  The thing that really ties it all together is that she’s wearing a raincoat.  Sitting in her seat.  On and airplane.  Apparently she knew she was sitting in a seltzer splash zone.  If I had known I would have worn galoshes.

Already I can see the benefit of this blog.  I can guarantee that without it I woudn’t have remembered why my right foot is sticky. (editor's note:  it's true - I didn't remember why my damned foot was sticky)

Other random thoughts:  sometimes compromising is the same as losing.  When I get up in the morning and stand at the train station it is in the mid to high 30’s.  I know that by the time I head home from work it willl be in the 60’s at least.  So I try to dress warmly enough so I’m not freezing in the morning but light enough that I don’t feel like bursting into flames in the afternoon.  This, it turns out, is not possible.  I know, you think the secret is layers.  That may be true for normal people but when I put clothes on in the morning I cannot later be held responsible for their location or how they get from one place to another unless it is on my body being worn as clothes.  So, my compromise is the same as losing because based on what I’m wearing there is a 15 minute window in the afternoon when I am dressed weather-appropriate.  Unfortunately I never get to savor that moment because I am in class at that time.  I think my new strategy is to dress whole heartedly for either the morning or afternoon temperatures and just suffer during the other one.  It adds up to about the same amount of misery and the compromise way but this time I have the added benefit of experiencing the part of the day where I get it right.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Wish I Had Thought Of That!

Here's a story.  Of a lovely lady.  (Me)

OK, stop laughing.

ANYWAY, this happened to me last week.  As you may or may not know, I've been studying martial arts for the last 5 or so years.  Recently I came to the very difficult decision to take a sabbatical from tae kwon do in order to spend more time at the gym.  My knees have been really hurting lately and it would take a few days to recover from TKD class which would happen just in time for another TKD class.  In between I would be too sore to do any other exercise.  This did not amount to enough activity so I was getting steadily less...visibly fit...which only exacerbated the knee issues even more.  So, I decided to take a break and go to the gym at least 4 times a week (one day with a personal trainer, even).  I saw someone I knew from TKD last week and was asked why I'm not in class anymore.  I gave the quick knees-recovery-sabbatical explanation and was given the following advice:

"You should lose weight, then."

I'll give you a moment to process that.

I know, right?  Who says that?  Several responses flitted across my brain before I answered.  They were:

"Huh.  That never occurred to me!  Wow!  Thanks for the advice!  Before I go, will you help me tie my shoe?  I forgot how.  Also, please explain to me how to open this door.  Do I push the knob thingy?  Turn it?  Do speak a password into it?  Dang, things are so confusing!"


"You know you said that out loud, right?"


"Considering I almost certainly outweigh you and I have a black belt in tae kwon do, would you like to amend this conversation in any way?"

But I went with:

"Uh, yeah, that's the plan."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!

So, yeah.  I'm sorry that it's been quite a while since I've posted.  I've been teaching an over-overload this semester and it's been insane in the membrane.  In the grand scheme of things, I can't really complain since no matter how crazy my schedule is it only ever lasts for three months before I get a minimum of a month off.  Here's a hodge podge of stuff for you:

1.  I am now down to one pair of pants that fit me.  Stress and the fact that I like to do most of my grading in restaurants have really taken a toll on the old waistline (and buttline, and pretty much all my lines).  Why am I sharing this with you?  I had originally vowed to not purchase more pants seeing as how I have many, many pairs of pants that are only 10 pounds away but after a marathon session of grading at Panera (see?) I decided to go see what I could find at Target.  I headed over to the women's clothes and wandered around trying to find something that seemed to be made of natural fibers and didn't have some dipshitty sparkly butterfly pattern glued to the pockets.  Right before I decided to abandon hope and go throw myself at a pizza, I found a pair of khaki pants that looked workable.  Not low-rise?  Check.  Made from cotton?  Check.  Waistband that won't dig in when I sit down?  Check.  Inexpensive?  Check.  Thank goodness!  I grabbed them off the rack and started to head to the checkout lanes.  Right before I got there something on the tag caught my eye.  I looked closer, turned around and put them back where I found them, and speed walked out of the store.

They were maternity pants.  As the kids say, FML.

2.  Remember when I told you I got my feet tangled up in my pants, fell down, and messed up my toe?  It's still messed up!  A toe is not a complicated body part.  What the hell could still be wrong with it?  Frankly, if this keeps up I might have to let it go. Times are tough and if it's not going to hold up its end of the bargain I'll find another toe.

3.  Thank goodness for iPods at the gym.  I've been doing a lot of interval stuff on the elliptical lately and I suspect that I probably sound like an obscene phone caller at times.

4.  Last Tuesday I had the house to myself for the evening.  This is what I did:
     3:00 I arrived home from work
     3:15 I headed to the grocery store
     5:00 I made tacos for dinner (the totally inauthetic orange powder in the beef kind)
     5:30 - 7:00 I watched some TV
     7:15 I went to bed

     I'm so wild and crazy that I go beyond wild and crazy and end up wrapping around into completely boring.

Thanks for reading, all.  Have a good night.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Can't You Smell That Smell?

Since I've blogged in the past about how I find some people stinky and wish they would not be so ick-worthy it's only fair that I share this story.  I don't want to but...well, you'll see.

So my morning routine is to get up, shower, brush teeth, get dressed, pack breakfast and lunch and then let the cats out of the basement.  Before you think I'm cruel, the basement is a nice place for them:  they have beds, cat towers, 4 litter pans (for 3 cats), and sometimes a toasty wood stove.  The cats have to go downstairs at night or one of them (Ibsen) will spend the night walking around my room pushing things off my dressers onto the floor and molesting the blinds.  It's not restful for me.  If I decide to take a nap during tthe day this same cat will join the others sleeping peacefully next to me but there's something about the hours from 11p.m. to 3 a.m. that are ripe for noisemaking to my friend Ibsen. 

OK, so they come running upstairs each morning and I head downstairs to make sure they have food.  This morning I was greeted by a terrible smell that needed immediate investigation.  One of the other cats (Dennis) was a stray for a few years in our neighborhood in Lowell before we took him in and so he's a little odd.  One of his peculiarities is that he doesn't really understand about using litter to cover up his poop.  He knows he supposed to do something but he's just not sure what so he dutifully scrapes at the wall and the floor outside the pan.  For a really long time.  This, of course, does absolutely nothing to cover the poop in question but eventually he figures he's put in enough time and he walks away.  If I'm home and I hear him tirelessly scraping at the walls I go downstairs and shoo him away and cover it myself (with a scooper, don't get any weird ideas) before the stinkiness can spread.

So back to this morning.  I open the door, it's smelly, I go downstairs and cover up Dennis' latest triumph.  All fairly routine.  I had a moment before I left the house where I wondered if I'd stepped in something but after a frantic moment of shoe checking I saw that I hadn't.  I chalked it up to my nose having flashbacks and left for work.

I drive about a mile and a half to the train station and then ride the train for 45 minutes before hopping a bus or walking the rest of the way to campus.  It's a pretty stress-free way to commute as I can nap or read for the whole train portion of the trip.  The downside is that I am beholden to the train schedules.  There is no turning around and heading home because I forgot something. 

Today, as I settled myself onto the train I smelled something icky again.  I checked my shoes again thinking I'd find something in the more-well-lit-than-my-living-room train car.  Already I was steeling myself for the phone call I'd have to make to Huppy to tell her that I may or may not have stepped in the poop or stinky barf and tracked it who knows where before leaving.  This would be a bad phone call at any time but I thought it would be particularly unwelcome at 6:30 a.m.  I had a moment of relief when I saw that my shoes were as poop-free as I'd originally suspected.  That vanished when I realized that somehow, someway in my brief interaction with my cats I had gotten a dime-sized amount of poop on  my shirt.  MY SHIRT!  And I'm on a train that will be traveling in only one freaking direction for the 45 minutes getting steadily more crowded.  Oh,  and I have poop on me.  Fortunately I was wearing a button-up shirt with a t-shirt on underneath so I unbuttoned it and rolled the offending portion of the shirt up like a coke-head's dollar, jammed the roll under my armpit, and zipped up my coat.  This put many layers between the crap and the rest of the world. 

I'm happy to say that for as paranoid as I was I didn't smell it again until I made it to my office and took off the button-up shirt and unrolled it to get a better look.  Cleaning it off was not an option because I had rolled the shirt up and I couldn't be 100% sure I knew where all of it was anymore.  Now I know I mentioned that I was wearing a t-shirt so you may think that it shouldn't have been a problem.  Not true.  I bought this t-shirt too small for the express purpose of being able to wear it under other things.  I thought I was going to have to cancel my 8:00 class and wait for the bookstore to open at 9:00 so I could buy another shirt but I remembered that I had a full zip sweatshirt stashed in a desk drawer.  I haven't even looked at this thing in a about a year and a half so I was relieved to find it still there.

My new problem:  my t-shirt was a kelly green ringer and the sweatshirt was olive green.  Also, it appeared to have food on the sleeve.  Trust me - the kelly green/olive green thing was a real problem (the food ont he sleeve wasn't optimal either).  Not a poop level problem but a problem nevertheless.  I freely admit that my main consideration in buying clothes is comfort, not fashion.  However, no matter how ill-fitting or unattractive my clothes may be they never, ever, ever clash.  Ever.  To me, seeing such a thing is as grating as hearing a note sung off-key.  So for three uncomfortable hours I felt like fire ants were crawling on my body because I had on this terrible color scheme.  Finally, when I got a break between classes I went to the bookstore and bought a grey sweatshirt.  Ahhhh.  I was able to focus much better after that.

My last class of the day ran late so I never made it back to my office for leaving to catch the train home.  This means the poop shirt is still rolled up in a tight ball on my desk so I have that to look forward to on Monday.

As for how the poop got there, I only have theories.  It definitely came out of a cat and I haven't found any outside of the approved litter boxes so I am guessing it occured when I was covering up Dennis' tribute to digestion. 

So, aside from that, it was a pretty good day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

It burns! It burns!

SERIOUSLY?!?!?   Suddenly my TV is riddled with commercials for this place.  Schools don't just start overnight.  It's not like a hot dog cart, it requires a lot of planning, hiring, leasing of space, you name it.  So how it is that all that happened and no one said, "You know, maybe we would have more credibility if we had different initials."

I wonder if they sell t-shirts.  I might need one.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

All You Need Is Love (And an Emesis Basin)

This blog post is will begin with a shoutout to Joe who said I needed to hurry up and post something before he leaves on his trip tomorrow.  Holla!

I love books. LOVE books. I read while watching TV, sitting at stop lights (shhh), riding the train, before movies start - have book will read. You get the point. I read for pleasure almost exclusively. The types of books I read tend to be mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, or fantasy. I do not read romance and I do not read books that are about horrible lingering deaths. I’ve mentioned before my aversion to sad movies. This rule holds for books too. When I was much younger I read Sophie’s Choice and thought I’d never recover. Also, I don’t read teenage angst vampire porn. I might have to, though, just so I can say definitively that I don’t like it. I grew my hair out once for that very same reason. (shudder)

OK, back on topic. Here’s what drives me around the bend. When I’m choosing my next book and I read the cover and there’s an appropriate amount of people missing/bodies found/zombies reanimating I am happy. I feel utterly betrayed when I get into the story only to realize that I am being tricked TRICKED into reading a g**damned romance. Suddenly all the spooky events and plot twists are just a device to pressure two people together so that they can take comfort in each other’s arms. Barforama.

Now you’re probably wondering, Maia why do you hate love so much? I don’t. I swear. I have what I believe are perfectly valid reasons to hate this sub-genre (the romance in disguise). I will enumerate them here and you can decide for yourself if I am just an old grump.
  1. Did I mention how they’re tricky? The fact that they don’t openly fly the romance flag on the dust jacket summary tells me that they know this is some bullshit too.
  2. They follow the same couple of scripts every time:
    • Script 1: Woman is imperiled, man protects her, they fall in love. This kind typically has a lot of description of her trim, athletic body and his kind eyes. What it boils down to is that she is weak and can’t handle shit and he is turned on by her obvious need for a big strong daddy. Ugh. I hate them both.
    • Script 2: Woman and man are both strong (usually law enforcement ) types, they meet, she gets kidnapped and almost killed, he finds her and saves her life. The way the bad guy captures her is by some lame-ass ploy like sending a text message claiming to be from the good guy setting up a meet at an abandoned warehouse. Never mind the fact that our protagonists have never communicated by text prior to this point in the book. These books spend so much time describing the burgeoning love between the two of them that they can only support the most moronic of characters
    • Script 3: My favorite. The bad guy is doing bad guy things. Stalking, killing, whatever. He’s soooo bad. This version has a woman and at least two men involved. They’re all trying to solve the crimes. Teamwork! Sexual tension! One guy is really nice and pines from afar and the other one is dynamic and charming. Naturally, this is the guy our lady fair picks. (Moment of silence for that pioneer John Hughes, everyone). The book is nearing its end and terror still reigns but our romance is hot and heavy. Suddenly it all goes wrong. In a surprise twist we find out the Mr. Right is actually Mr. PsychoKillerQu'est-ceQueC'est . And by surprise twist I mean something that has been painfully obvious for at least 100 pages. And from this, ladies and gentlemen, we learn that you should always choose the quiet creepy dude who loves you from afar over the fun exciting dude who secretly wants to make you into a sofa cover. Rookie mistake.
  3. I guess most of my beefs can be distilled down to the fact that having a romantic plot line seems to give the author permission to completely phone in the rest of the story. They say that love makes people stupid and apparently so does writing about love. Which makes me stupid right now. Whoa. 
After rereading this, I can admit that I definitely sound like a crab. In the interest of full disclosure, I am also a terrible person to sit next to in movies because whenever a character busts out some hackneyed sappy line like, “I’ve loved you since the moment I laid eyes on you.” I roll my eyes pantomime gagging. After rereading that, it occurs to me that I might be kind of an ass. Huh.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The One About Bowling

I just got home from bowling.  It's been several years since I've gone bowling and several years again since the time before that.  I had a lot of fun and hopefully won't wait another several years before I go again.  Here are a few observations:

1.  I have clearly not seen a single music video in a very, very long time because although I recognized most of the songs that they played the only familiar video was for....wait for it....Born in the USA by The Boss Himself.  Vintage!

2.  This bowling alley color coded the balls by weight so you could see from a distance if another lane had a ball with potential or not.  This is absolute genius and also such a painfully obvious thing to do that I can't believe this is the first place I've seen that does it (I'm looking at you, Plaza Lanes in Washington, IL).  Not having to slink around the drunks in the other lanes furtively spinning around each ball until you could see the weight and stick you fingers into the holes to check the fit was such a boon.

3.  Speaking of hands and fingers....I really do not think I'm a germaphobe.  I know I'm not.  Something is definitely happening to me as I get older, though.  Perhaps it's just an enhanced awareness of my own mortality.  Regardless, about an hour and a half into the three hours of bowling one part of my brain seceded from the union in order to dedicate itself to fixating on the horror show of pestilence that I must have on my hands.

4.  On a related note, on the drive home there was a lull in conversation that I chose to fill with, "So, how bad do you want to touch your face right now?" and got the response "Oh my God, it's killing me."  I know we could have washed our hands before we left but, honestly, hands washed in a public restroom    are only half-washed.  I kept myself distracted with fantasies of owning a home autoclave.

5.  I did better than I expected at bowling and I credit it this to the fact that I wore a bowling shirt.  You gotta dress the part.  Plus, in true Big Lebowski fashion, I consumed White Russians.  Also, I find that the more of an ass I make of myself the better I do.  Most of my strikes came when I ended up in a weird sort of airplane/crane hybrid stance.

6.  I must be so much more out of shape then I think I am because an hour into it I was sweating like it was my job and already starting to feel a blister form on my right big toe.  Pathetic!

7. There was absolutely no security with the bowling shoes.  Granted, they were half neon yellow and half neon orange.  But seriously, in my more morally ambiguous and less germaphobic youth I totally would have ended up with a pair of bowling shoes at the end of the night.  Do people not do that anymore or do they have tracker chips in them?  Can you imagine the embarrassment of being tracked down the my Bowling Shoes Retrieval Task Force?

8.  That rug really tied the room together.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Case of Cerebral Flatulence

There is a water filter in my basement that filters the water for the whole house.  Once in a blue moon it needs to be changed.  It's not a very difficult thing to do.  This is the story about how two reasonably intelligent people managed to turn it into a circus.

To begin, it was Huppy who decided it was time to change the filter.  I was in another room and I could hear her steadily growing frustration level.  It seems there's a knob at the top of the filter that allows you to bypass it.  This is helpful when taking the filter out so that the only water that comes out is that just sitting inside the filter itself.  This knob was not submitting to her efforts to turn it to bypass so she turned the water off at the knobs on the water pipes above it instead.  This is where I wandered in to see if a fresh set of hands (or, to be honest, a bit of cheerful optimism) could make some headway.  As she unscrewed the filter, water started spraying out a little.  This wasn't necessarily worrisome as we knew that there would be some water already in the pipes.  Well, I decided (this was my decision and my decision alone, world) that the thing to do would be to just go ahead and unscrew the filter all the way.  My theory was that, like a bottle of soda, once the pressure was relieved the water in there would fall into the bucket underneath the filter and we could proceed.  This is not even close to what happened.  Instead, the water started spraying out in all directions more agressively and then when I made that final turn it blew the filter housing off and a gush of arctic water came pouring out with absolutely no intention of stopping.  Obviously I tried to put the filter back on immediately.  This proved to be a challenge due to the sheer force of the water I was pushing against and the fact that it was so cold my hands were already numb and there were shooting pains going up my arms.  Did I mention this frigid water was going everywhere?  At this point in my story there was a lot of shouting happening.  I distinctly remember actually saying the words, "Oh my God, what have I done?".  Prior to this event I would have classified that statement as something that is only said in books or movies and not by actual people.  I won't keep you in suspense, I did finally manage to get the damned thing back on but not until the water had soaked everything within 5 feet of the filter (including me) and a little o-ring type seal had been carried off in the deluge.  The absence of the seal meant that once the filter housing was tightened again there was still a fine mist spraying out.  It was a vast improvement, though, so we took a moment to regroup.  Oh, hey!  There's the shutoff valve!  I turned it, the fine mist turned into a fine trickle, and all was right with the world.  Except, of course, the shitload of water dripping off of everything. 

Lest you think we are completely inept let me add a few notes. 

1.  The utility closet has no light in it so all activities are done by the light of a flashlight.
2.  The big, monster flashlight is not where it is supposed to be so we had to resort to the small crappy one that only allows you to see about 6 square inches at a time.
3.  The shutoff valves that were originally turned off were at eye level are bringht red.
4.  The shutoff valve that actually worked was gross, dusty, rusty, and located at ankle level.
5.  I should not try to help.

On the upside, Huppy's mood improved dramatically when the situation went from "Big strong Huppy is too weak to turn the damned knob" to "Maia made a huge mess (again)".  All is as it should be.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It Wasn't Me! (For A Change)

I want to tell you all about my experience at the spa the other day.  It was awesome!  Don't stop reading - I do have a story to tell, I'm not just gloating.

My mother is visiting from Iowa so we've been doing fun things this week like seeing Sherlock Holmes at the premium cinema (has booze and food), seeing Wicked, eating lots of good food, and a 90 minute massage at a day spa nearby.  I decided that since I'm still kind of banged up from the pajama pant incident I would try a hot stone massage since that involves less squeezing and pressing.

Let me just say that my mind is my own worst enemy most of the time.  I have to read a book or do a crossword puzzle before sleeping in order to tire it out and distract it with something to chew one while I drift off.  So while I love love love going to the spa and getting a massage, I never manage to relax into it all the way because my damn brain won't shut off.

Here are some of the things the voices in my head say to me:

In the locker room -

"OK, time to put on the robe.  I love these robes.  So big and roomy!  Wait, are you naked?  What are you doing?  Holy crap, you are not wearing any clothes under this tiny tiny robe!  You're supposed to keep your underwear on, you raging perv!"

I press on because you are, in fact, expected to be naked under the robe and I know this.

On the table -

"Did you remember to moisturize? You know your tattoos look ashy when you don't.  Nice job, this poor person has to rub your ashy tattoos.  Wait, did you eat?  You're not supposed to eat!  Oh my God, you ate today.  How could you eat!  What if you have gas?  Don't think about!  If you think about it, it will come.  You're still thinking about it!  Was that a gurgle?  I think you gurgled!  STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS!  Don't clench your butt, they'll see you.  Relax but not to much because you know.  The thing you don't want to think about will happen.  What is this music?  Are those seagulls?  Who thinks seagulls are relaxing?  This is so weird.  Ooh, rainforest, that's better.  A trip to the rainforest would be cool.  No it wouldn't, you hate heat.  Feet!  Do not flinch.  This.  Does.  Not.  Tickle.  Is this towel covering me?  I don't feel super covered.  What if I'm not.  What's hanging out?  Something's hanging out I know it.  Is that a breeze?  Did her boobs just hit my head?  I think they did.  Yup, there it was again.  Should I apologize?  That's stupid, she hit me with her boobs, I didn't head butt them.  I wonder what they think about this whole time.  I would count or recite poetry my head, I think.  Not you wouldn't, dumbass.  If that was true that's what you'd be doing right now instead of worrying about whether or not you're about to fa -STOP.  Do not speak its name.  OK, time to flip over.  Face down now.  I wish I had one of these tables at home.  I would totally sleep on my stomach of I had this face holder thingy.  I love this thing.  Soooo relaxing.  Hey!  You're drooling!  Could you be grosser?  What if that fell on her shoe?  Are those Crocs?  I don't care what people think, those things are comfy.  Those holes look different.  They must be fake Crocs.  Mock Crocs!  Good one, me.  Focus!  You almost drooled again.  Man, I really need one of these tables.  I wonder how much they cost.  Remember that movie Love At First Bite?  Was that George Hamilton?  I think so.  Wait, what?  We're done?  Oh man, I was just getting sleepy!"

So I can't fully relax because I'm too busy worrying that I'm embarrassing myself or about to embarrass myself.  Well, friends I have good news.  I now have an embarrassment credit!  While I was laying there doing my whole routine in my head the most wonderful thing happened.  Truly, truly wonderful.

My massage therapist farted.

This, of course, derailed my internal monologue to a desperate struggle not to react in any way, shape, or form.  It was not easy because, while I am an adult, there is something about being buck naked that automatically puts hysteria a few steps closer to happening and if you add a fart into the mix...I'm lucky I didn't have a stroke for as hard as I was trying not to react.  But I did it.  Which means I totally have a freebie coming.