Friday, August 28, 2009

How odd it was that friends could be the source of so much pleasure and solace, Wendy thought, with their constant assurances that you were all in it together, lamenting lost opportunities, laughing at inside jokes. At the same time, they could devastate you by doing nothing more than going about the business of their lives, lives that had no direct bearing on yours. They weren't family members. You didn't generally have sex with them. You didn't generally work in the same office as them, either. Yet is was impossible not to see your lot in direct relation to theirs - impossible, therefore, not to feel defensive, and even devastated when they did things you hadn't done, or simply did them differently (and now it was too late for you to go back and do them again).

Let the Internet Decide: Round 431
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Here's the skinny: Our trip to Greece is less than 2 weeks away. My regular, everyday sunglasses (that I love and worship b/c they are the first pair I've ever found that look even partially normal on my face - I have unusually low-set ears - for real) are nearing the end of their adorable life span. I need a back-up so that I'm not wandering around grecian markets, trying to pronounce "sunglasses" in Greek.

My immediate thought? Aviators.

There are two contenders: One of the pairs was expensive. I've been stalking them online (where they are constantly out of stock) and when they finally went on sale, I jumped. The other pair was super cheap - got them at TJMaxx in one of those display rounders from hell.

All other variables being equal, please tell me which you think looks better.



I refuse to take two nearly identical pairs of sunglasses on vacation - one of these is being sent back. Laugh all you want - THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I SHOP ALONE. I have no one to tell what the hell to do with myself. I fully realize this is a first-world issue that seems asinine in writing, but I'm curious to hear your input. Halp!

Third Time's A Charm(er)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I didn't do much tonight. Just a quick stop to visit the cutest baby ever. Ho hum.

Me and the Man

Please give it up for my newest nephew, Chase Ryan. He is a full-on carbon copy of his brother at this age. My sister is in some pain, but recovering from her surgery/delivery nicely. Her hair was done when I saw her - which is about 50 steps ahead of where I would be at that point - then again, it's her third baby so she sort of has her $h!T together, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Kudos to Adam and Jo on yet another fine production.

God Bless Anderson Cooper
I have not, in my entire dance life, seen something SO ATROCIOUS rewarded with a live, televised performance. Never. And I have seen some serious stinkleberry dancing.

I wouldn't normally tell you to waste moments of your life paying attention to someone like this, but it's just SO BAD. SO BAD it must been witnessed. This seems to be her overall approach to life, yes?

Click here for the video.

Also, who ON EARTH put her in those black, orthopedic nighmares? Blind stylist, anyone? She would have been better off barefoot. *shudders*

BlogHerd - 2009 Edition
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This past spring, it occurred to me that if I were to expect people to treat me like a serious blogger (which..hehe...yeah, right) then I should attempt to make an effort. Or something. So I went online and bought cocktail-only tickets to the BlogHer conference in Chicago. I mean, c'mon - I lived a mere 7 blocks from the conference site. There was literally no excuse, particularly considering I wasn't actually attending any sessions that required mental energy.

Upon entering the Friday night cocktail hour, it was immediately obvious to me that I was 100% out of my league. The room was full of mostly women (some of them singing really awful karaoke), and I made a beeline for the bar. One of the first women I noticed was Kristin, which makes sense since she is tall, irritatingly luminous, and not nearly as awkward as she claims to be. I have been reading her blog for years now, and though her life is much different than mine, she and I are similar in many ways. Sean and I went on vacation in Tofino, BC, because she blogged about it, and it seemed so incredible that I had to see it for myself. And she was right.

Since Kristin was working the event, I turned her loose to schmooze and socialize, and proceeded to introduce myself to the hilarious and lovely Bossy, and located Amy of Amalah (with angelic Ezra in tow). Just as I needed to leave, in walks Linda and I pretty much ran her down, poor woman. Like Kristin, she is a refreshing source of inspiration to me. I had to meet her and tell her how much she means to me, so I did. Hopefully she didn't think I was too bizarre - I'm sure she got a lot of warm fuzz from strangers that weekend...

As for me, I got what I needed from my short time in the BlogHer-sphere - validation that the people I read online are living, breathing humans with bright smiles, and the strongest hearts, minds, and convictions. Maybe I'll see them again next year in New York - who knows?

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wah, wah, I love Joey. Boo hoo, now I love Jen. Whiny, arrogant Dawson didn't deserve to have his name in the title. We're still happy that Joey chose Pacey in the end.

Dead on, all of them.

An Uncomfortable Equilibrium
Friday, August 21, 2009
Just when I think I can't be any more sick to my stomach about news like this, I find another story like this one and suddenly my personal, largely inconsequential hopes for the world are back in balance.

I'm just sick about this Lockerbie business. It turns my stomach to know that a man who willingly, knowingly, HAPPILY blew 259 people out of the sky (and 11 on the ground), forever altering the course of so many lives for the worst...that he's being allowed to die in peace with his loved ones, a privilege that he didn't feel necessary to extend to his own victims!...I just can't wrap my brain around the thought. It makes me nauseous and furious that he received such a warm welcome in Libya. Truly, it makes me so angry that I just want to punch somebody in the face. But he's just a man, a dying one at that. I don't know what to think. Justice and compassion, in this instance, make for strange bedfellows.

Cancer care for the uninsured, though, now THAT is something I can get behind.

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Dear Juicy Couture,

Your stuff is 99% tacky - of this I am well aware. I was not prepared, however, for your totally offensive, not to mention asinine "Back to School" line of products. I get it - the stuff thing - I do. I was once a hypercolor-wearing, plastic-charm-bracelet-bedecked pre-teen as well. I know about the wanting-stuff-because-Tiger-Beat-told-me-so thing...but this?

A 12 year old doesn't need a $225 handbag in order to be ready for classes. And this?A $55 wireless mouse? Really? I'm pretty sure the school computer lab has their own.

I don't pretend to understand the tween trends nowadays, but I think a product line like this - particularly given the state of the economy - is irresponsible and offensive. For shame!! Those poor, long-suffering girls with no backpack for their tiny designer dog! Whatever will they do?!



photo credits: Nordstrom.Com

In Which the Lone Stoplight on My Way to the Train Station Turns Red and I Miss My Window to Get Coffee
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
In a fit of rare, brutal honesty (ha), I'm going to give it to you straight, folks.

Commuting into the city is a giant pain in the giant ass of humanity.

Don't get me wrong - living in the city was a complete pain in many other, more expensive, crowded, tax-riddled ways...but this train situation! MY GAH. I just deleted a long, whiny, self-indulgent post about my daily routine. Then, while editing, realized that I sounded ridiculous and promptly cut it all.

That said, my new suburban routine is a ballbreaker. I'm lucky if I can get 3-4 things done at night (including dinner) and I have no spouse and no children! I'm living the easiest life that I ever imagined for myself, relatively speaking, and I'm still exhausted. Ridiculous.

So far, my list of solutions is as follows:
1. More caffeine
2. No more nightly glass of wine/beer with dinner
3. Vivarin
4. Get back to exercising regularly
5. Give in and just go to bed at 8:30 pm every night

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dolly was crushed by her grief and totally consumed by it. Nevertheless she remembered that Anna, her sister-in-law, was the wife of one of the most important people in Petersburg and a Petersburg grande dame. And owing to this circumstance, she did not act on what she had said to her husband, that is, did not forget that Anna was coming. 'After all, she's not guilty of anything,' thought Dolly. 'I know nothing but the very best about her, and with regard to myself, I've seen only kindness and friendship from her.'

Worth Far More Than 1,000 Words
Monday, August 17, 2009
I received another phenomenal birthday gift yesterday - from someone I don't even know in real life. I've been following Stephanie Nielson's blog for a long time - maybe a year and a half? She is without a doubt one of the kindest, most gentle people I have ever had the pleasure of not knowing. (ha) She is clever, crafty, and has the most adorable redheaded daughter. (not that I have ANY SORT OF BIAS TO REDHEADED CHILDREN. Ahem.) She lives life with passion, and in saying that, I make no exaggeration.

She and her husband survived a near-fatal plane crash exactly one year ago, yesterday. I would tell you more, but that's all you really need to know. (Theirs is a story that has received quite a bit of attention from the press, most of which comes from the internet rising up to support their family during this difficult time)

Stephanie has been, understandably, reluctant to reveal herself in photos on her site. I cannot imagine the internal struggle she has been through this past year - reconciling her life as it is NOW, versus what she perceived it to be THEN. Ultimately, it's not a question of how she looks (or looked) - it becomes a question of when she decides she is ready to be open to...well, the entire world, really.

And now she is. She is triumphant! in this action, in her own quiet, thoughtful way. I have been waiting and worrying all this time, and wondering - ever hopeful - when she might eventually feel comfortable enough to take this step. And she has.

Here's to you, stylish, sassy, superhero Stephanie. Thank you for teaching me about all the things I didn't know that I so desperately needed to know. What a wonderful birthday gift.

Finding Joy in the Unexpected
Friday, August 14, 2009
A co-worker of mine (a very thoughtful one) surprised me this morning with an early birthday gift. The act was precisely the kind of thing I strive to do, but at which I so often wind up failing. She's leaving tonight for a flight to Mexico, where she will prep for, and execute, her wedding. I can only imagine- with terror- how much pressure she's been under to get prepared for the big day.

The mere fact that she (a) remembered my birthday was coming up, (b) bought a card, and (c) found a quirky, fun gift that is so totally ME is a great reminder of how powerful or meaningful a small, thoughtful gesture/act can be. To wit: I could tell you the phone number of my childhood friend Becky, but I struggle to remember the birthdays of my closest friends in the entire world. I'm freaky forgetful about dates, what can I say? It's just who I am.

I need to do some more of the thoughtful stuff. Maybe this will be my goal, going into the next year of my wonderful, crazy, blessed, ridiculous life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God's own voice poured from her. How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice. It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven. It was a miracle and he wept for the gift of bearing witness.

Things That Cross My Mind: Half-Marathon Edition
Monday, August 10, 2009
- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, my feet hurt.

- Why do women think Brighton handbags are attractive? I don't get the appeal.

- OMFG, I am so far away from the finish line! Why does the skyline look SO SMALL?! I am completely deflated.

- Wow, my hands are really swollen. Ick.

- I wonder if anyone will notice that I didn't shave my legs this morning.

- I really should sing the praises of this bra to the internet.

- A cocktail had better be in my relatively near future, or heads will roll.

- Maybe I should buy a mega millions ticket today.

- If ONE MORE power walker passes me, I swear to God...

- Homeless dogs and cats, homeless dogs and cats, remember why you're doing this, you whiny s.o.b.

- Is that water station real, or just a mirage?

- These bands are annoying.


- I think I'll call Kate to complain.

- Maybe I'll look thinner at the end of this thing.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I'm in the base gym at noon on August 7, lifting a few hundred pounds over my chest, working off the days-long damage from our Vietnam War Film Fest, when I hear an announcement over the public address system: All personnel from STA 2/7 are ordered to report immediately to battalion headquarters. Get some, jarheads! Now we're locked down on base. Our deployment is inevitable.

ADHD in Action
Thursday, August 06, 2009
So, umm, hi? It has been a week or so since I last posted. MY BAD. It was as if my life noticed OOH OOH SOMETHING SHINY and *poof* went my blogging time/energy. Sorry, dudes and ladies, but sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles.

That said (and unnecessary apologies aside), guess what?! I ran a half-marathon this past Sunday! Can you believe it? BECAUSE I STILL CANNOT. Sadly, I didn't find it all that enjoyable. I didn't experience any of the things you hear about from runners and running magazines - no great epiphany about my own physical abilities, no overwhelming sense of pride, no runners high (though I am fairly certain I drank enough Cytomax to bring a grown man to his knees), and no real motivation to do it again. I felt some sort of overall satisfaction that I completed, and I'm certainly thrilled that I was able to raise funds for a wonderful organization...but I won't be renewing my membership in the 13.1 club.

Truth be told, I was bored. Really, really out of breath, and bored. How sad is that?! I basically plopped myself down into a sunny, energetic, teeming mass of 18,000 people with bands, and cheering fans, and twists, and turns, and participants with their shorts wedged up their butts like Borat, and I WAS STILL BORED OUT OF MY SKULL. I attribute this to my near-total lack of mental focus on the task at hand. I was really hoping to get that "mental clarity" that so many runners claim they enjoy the most - the "me time," the "time out" they feel they get from escaping for awhile. No such luck.

I did, however, get really excited when I realized all that exercise would justify eating half a pint of Chubby Hubby later that evening. Which is something to consider, really - Ben & Jerry's as motivation, that is. So that's exactly what I did...right after I popped a juicy blood blister on my toe, and iced down my old lady hip joint.

So, for now, "just do it" will remain a mantra most applicable to checkbook balancing and laundry - not to running. Oh well. Onwards and upwards!

Updates forthcoming: as soon as I can find a picture of me running in which I do not resemble a whale in grey capris. Also, my running playlist - for your enjoyment.