Giving love a bad name

I cannot seem to get “Stars and Stripes Forever” out of my head. I have no idea why, I haven’t been to any parades lately and I wouldn’t say that I’m that eager for the Fourth of July… yet.

In spite of the marching band comprised primarily of piccolos tromping around in my brain, it is a welcomed relief from the other song that has been getting stuck in my head each morning since leaving Colorado last weekend.

While I was there, my mom and I went to an Aveda salon for manis and she got all excited for me to do this aromatherapy-balance-your-inner-chakra test. I ended up with chakra number four (my lucky number), the heart chakra. The woman selling the product told me that to achieve the best balance I should spray it on my chest over my heart. So every morning this week, just as I’m preparing for my dose of balance, Jon Bon Jovi hollers in my ear, “CHAKRA the heart and you’re to blame!” Cue the guitars, drums, and hair.


But it honestly smelled really good

I've been single for a year now (the marinara jar and I broke up last Memorial Day weekend, ah good times), and I decided about a month ago to take a dating hiatus. Some of you may have noticed that my posts recounting various dates have essentially come to a screeching halt--maybe because I have NO GAME. Take for instance today...
(Walking into the kitchenette near my office. I spot a boy that I think is cute and that works down at the end of the hall--in my mind we have a little thing going on, and when I say "thing," I mean that I purposefully take a route to the printer so that I walk by his office and when I do so, I pretend that I'm so engrossed at what I printed out that I don't even notice that he's in his office. His "thing" is that he pretends that he's working when I walk by and he doesn't even look up. Yeah, I'd say we're pretty serious).

Me (thinking to myself): Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh, it's him! And he's out of his office! WhatdoIdowhatdoIdowhatdoIdo?

Him (standing there, heating his lunch in the microwave):--

Me (thinking to myself again): Oh, I should say something, definitely. Yes, say something. But what should I say?

Him (standing there still heating his lunch in the microwave):--

Me (walking to the water cooler near the microwave, start filling up water bottle): Hey.

Him (standing there still heating his lunch in the microwave): Hey.

Me (thinking to myself again): Okay, that's a start. Now say something else.

Microwave: Ding.

Me (as usual, frantically thinking...): Agh! Here he comes to the microwave. Say something, say anything, say it now.

Him (pulls food out of microwave)

Me: Mmmm, that smells good.

Him: (laughs) Yeah.

My water bottle is now full. So I head off to my meeting.

Yep, see I told you, we've totally got a serious thing going on. I think I may be riding the "L" train to Exclusiveville.

Note to self: Pull the emergency stop on this train, hop off, and don't you dare get back on until you find your game... or at least something better than "mmm, that smells good."


You can now LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY. Finally.

Fifth grade. A year when ‘tweeners are priming the pump for adolescence. A year when kids are nearing the top of the primary school food chain, but the unknown realm of junior high is looming. A year when boys and girls start becoming more aware of themselves and aware that other people are aware of them, but maybe a year when some of them remain blissfully unaware of this awareness.

Fifth grade. It was the year we learned how to deal with peer pressure (instead of spray painting the side of the school, let’s go bake a cake!), the year we were able to play four square with the legendary fifth grade teacher Mr. Davey, and the year some of us discovered our inner rock-stars--or maybe center-of-attention fiends?

Have you found yourself wondering, whatever happened to Northridge Elementary School’s Singing Detectives? Haven’t we all? Join us now as we take a look behind the music at the rise and fall of Southpark Road’s 1988 wunder-band.

The setting: out on the blacktop at the fifth and sixth grade combined recess. Most of the kids queued up to challenge each others in four square, a few kids shooting baskets, and a couple more playing tetherball. It’s a recess like most other recesses at a school like most other schools, enter the Singing Detectives.

This girl group, sympathetic to their classmates waiting patiently in line for their turn in Davey’s Rules four square, saw an opportunity to make recess a little more enjoyable for one and all. They could sing, by golly! No longer would little Johnny have to stand their bored waiting his turn. No, sir. Instead he could stand there waiting his turn with the sounds of familiar tunes as background filler.

Ah yes, Little Ms. Notetaker and her VBFF with a couple of other background singers, formed the nucleus of the Singing Detectives (how we solved elementary school capers is a completely different post). We provided hours (in 20 minute blocks of time) of entertainment recess after recess.

It was the late 80s, and if you think about it, there weren’t many female rockers to idolize (Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, and Belinda Carlisle aside), but when it came to reaching a broad audience, we were seeking a timeless act that could speak to all segments of our playground audience (teachers included). Our signature hit was our rendition of the Beatle’s classic (undoubtedly from watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one too many times) “Twist and Shout.” We were an a capella group and we had our act down—with choreography and everything.

Not to fall prey to one-hit wonderdom, we quickly added a second tune to our repertoire, “Mary Mack.” We stretched our creative and vocal styling to take this jump rope chant into a catchy tune that spoke to our audience in ways our first hit could not. Lyrics to the first verse below:

Mary Mack/Dressed in black/Silver buttons down her back
She asked her mother for fifteen cents/To watch the elephants jump over the fence
(Background singers: Doo-wah, Doo-wah, Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-wah)

You get the picture (as long as the picture you have is one of absolute awkward absurdity).

We catapulted to recess fame. Before we knew it we had a growing fan base and had rows two or three people deep cheering on our act. I daresay we were schoolyard heroes. And what do they do with schoolyard heroes, well just like any flash-in-the-pan elementary school rock group they put us up on stage—at an all-school assembly. Now that’s not to say they threw an assembly in our honor. No, it was a pep rally for the Denver Broncos. Yes. You read that right. Our school had a pep rally for the Broncos as they were on their way to—annihilation—Super Bowl XXII. Did any Broncos show up? No. But the entire school was graced with a special guest appearance by the Singing Detectives. We covered our cover of "Twist and Shout" with made up lyrics about the Broncos and the Washington Redskins:

Well, here we go Broncos now (Here we go Broncos)/Can those Hogs! (Oink oink, splat)

Needless to say, our spirit didn’t seem to help the Broncos, but now we had a third song to add to our rotation. And back on the playground our set pretty much went, "Twist and Shout," "Mary Mack," encore with "Here we go Broncos." It wasn’t long before the routine became stale (and it is quite possible that we were the last to know that), and our once adoring fans started to actually tune us out (gasp, the nerve!). We tried to reconnect by taking requests—I made up my best Spanish words to belt out La Bamba—but to no avail. Our fifteen minutes of fame were over before we knew it. The sex, the drugs, and the real rock-and-roll eluded us. Thank goodness!

So where are they now? Angie is raising a family and has two precious little girls. If they are anything like their mother (and I hope they will be), they are going to grow up with that same carefree attitude of embracing themselves and not trying to be what they think other people want; who knows maybe they'll have a musical group of their own someday? And me, well I like to think that our playground antics were pointing toward things to come (i.e., my new found desire to act out my dorkiness on stage).

And while I can’t say that we have a reunion tour planned, I can say that looking back on our heyday reminds me that the innocence and naiveté of childhood—not caring or even knowing how dorky you may or may not be—is truly fantastic.

Why it pays to use your credit card for everything

Note to self: Keep charging.

I know this advice seems counter-intuitive whilst we are in the midst of a nationwide credit crunch, but hear me out on this one. I have recently become an MVP member on an airline mileage plan. I may fly more frequently than an average person, but not enough to warrant the title of MVP. So how did I earn this prestige? Two words: Mileage Visa.

In order to be deemed MVP, you have to maintain a certain balance of miles on the year and I just happened to gain those miles not through flights, but through dollars spent (thank you, kitchen remodel). A public service announcement for the kids: make sure you only charge things that you have the money for. Little Ms. Notetaker does not condone living outside of your means. But if your means include using your mileage credit card for everything you buy then by all means do it!

Why? Because when you are an MVP, you get unlimited free upgrades to first class. FIRST CLASS!

I’m typing this post from the comforts of my oversized seat that reclines farther than those in the main cabin, sipping on a FREE bloody Mary in an actual glass glass (little known fact about me, I will always select bloody Mary mix as my drink on the flight, I love spicy tomato juice! But the fact that I get to make it a cocktail for FREE in first class, well that’s just the cat’s pajamas), and wiping off the residue of FREE gourmet chips and salsa. On my flight out, I forgot about the upgrade option and was forced to buy a “picnic snack” for $5 and believe me, it was not anything to write a blog post about.

The sad thing about sitting in first class—at least for me—is that I immediately take on an attitude of entitlement. Of course I get to board the plane first, of course I have someone to keep bringing me free food and drinks, of course we have our own special bathroom. But as we were preparing to take off I thought to myself, hmmm they should make sure our luggage is the first off the plane.
Ack! I should not let the mileage visa go so quickly to my head—but believe me it’s not going to prevent me from charging. In fact, right this second I’m going to recline my seat, sip on my cocktail, and reflect on how I can be a more compassionate MVP—yeah, and MVP with a heart. That’s the ticket.


It will be worth the wait

I over promised a fantastic post yesterday and I'm under-delivering with this one today. You see, the post that's forthcoming--the one that will make you LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY--is going to take a little more time to get it just right. I'm thinking of you, the reader here. Well, that and I didn't have much time tonight because little ms. notetaker got locked out of her house (cue dramatic music).

Note to self: Invest in a hide-a-key immediately.

If you think that your back door will only partially shut, and won't shut enough to engage the locks, think again. Because it will, but only because the second you stepped outside of your house, barefoot and in the rain, you thought, "wouldn't it really bite if the door closed and I got locked out of my house right now." Click. Yes, yes it would.

And if you think having a key over at your friends' house is good enough, think again. Because maybe, just maybe those friends will BOTH be out of town and the extra key they have for your house is locked in their house and the key you have for their house is locked in your house (and PS, they don't have a hide-a-key that you can access either). Oh, and their dog is inside your house and training her to open the door is not a possibility.

And if you think you can call your building's manager, think again. Because you are your building's manager. High five for home ownership!

And if you think you can call your mom to access the Internet (from Denver) and search for locksmiths (in Seattle), think again. Mom, I love you to pieces, but come on. You can find every single article written on the Green Bay Packers, but you can't find me the number to the locksmith (really, I do love you and the impatience you got from me tonight was me channeling dad--and to clear your web reputation, you did eventually find me that number, and I appreciate that).

And if you think you can call Gabe the locksmith and sound like the devastated and helpless person you are and have him come directly to your house to let you in, then you are right, just be ready to pay.


Bloody socks, YOU!, and cowboys

Note to self: Sign up for Improv 3o1, post haste!

You may remember that one of my 2008 goals was to take an improv class, which lead to taking another improv class that culminated in a performance (which I lovingly referred to as my imrpov recital).

Tonight was recital night and I still have adrenaline coursing through my veins.

For the past eight weeks (sixteen weeks from when I first started down this path), I have had an absolute blast being silly--and learning silliness--with an amazing group of people. The classes alone are worth the cost, but getting up on stage? That was more priceless than all of the MasterCard commercials combined.

When people ask me why I made improv one of the 2008 goals, my response usually includes the fact that I played sports competitively growing up, and I never really had a chance to be in theater and be on stage and I figure better late than never. I got to thinking about that statement today and I realized, what a minute, I've been on stage more than I think I have, so perhaps this has been a latent calling, always there but now it's just screaming at me. At any rate, I got to thinking about all of my theatrical performances and think you deserve the list of my top five formative performance experiences:
  1. First grade Christmas Pageant at Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary. Role: A star. Not someone famous, a literal star in the sky--and the day before the big show, this little star went skidding across the blacktop playground on her knee, thus having to be the star with a limp (hello, it was drama) and sporting a giant band-aid, but the show did go on.
  2. Fifth grade recess lounge act. Role: Singer in a musical duo or group. OH MY GOODNESS--this deserves it's own post... and that puppy is coming tomorrow, BE PREPARED TO LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY!
  3. Sixth grade Odyssey of the Mind (a fun year-long competition for the gifted and talented nerds in the group). Role: Scarlet O'Chick. I was a Southern Belle--er, Chicken--in love with Flirty Fox. I also did Odyssey of the Mind (or OM) in third, seventh, and eighth grades where I played an angry tree from Vincent VanGogh's "Starry Night," various pigs on a park bench, and some Pompeian citizens, respectively, but I think that Scarlet O'Chick was actually my penultimate OM performance. Oh, my gracious! I'm just a cravin' some chicken feed!
  4. Eighth grade community church musical production, the name of which I cannot remember. Role: A Southern Belle (whose name I also cannot remember). I had to sing a solo and wear a dress the color of a mint julep--I like to think this experience launched my booming karaoke career and forever turned me off of sea foam green apparel.
  5. All four years of Sigma Chi Derby Days skits in college. Role: Sorority skit writer extraordinaire. All four years I championed the cause of penning our sorority's skit for the inter-Greek challenge. I'd like to say that I wasn't the brains behind the skit my freshman year--the year the skit night fell on our Sorority formal, so instead of showing up to preform a skit, we sent a stripper. Oh dear God! But I do have to say that we learned from that debacle and bounced back to win the next three years. Yes, I'm competitive, but that aside, I absolutely loved writing and performing those skits.

So I think I've been lying to everyone who has asked why I'm doing improv. Over the years I have found my way on to the stage (sometimes very small side stages in dining rooms and/or foursquare playgrounds, etc.). But the reason I'm doing improv is because I wanted to push myself outside of the recess lounge act (wait for it) and see just how far this little star could go--this time without the major digger and bloody knee.

Special shout out to those loving and familiar faces in the audience: SMBF, OF, FCA, Karate and wife and the "bun", Viva la Tuesday crew, Coach A and a new-to-me-friend, and all of the others that were there, thank you so much. I cannot express how much it meant to have you all there. Thanks for laughing and being fantastically you--now you do improv so I can come and support you! Seriously. You should. Sign up for 101, here.

Oh, and if you're curious about this post's title, all of those were scene suggestions from tonight's performance...



This post brought to you by the letters O, C, and D

Here's something for the therapist, to celebrate my 100th post, I added sitemeter to my blog.

Bad call.

I shouldn't have done this because I've now become obsessed with seeing how many page views and visits I have--and I have been checking this at an alarming rate, but I don't know if I can let go of it now. BS (before sitemeter), I was blissfully ignorant to my visitors; however, I will admit that I would check my complete profile views rather frequently. Which just makes me laugh because half of my views are most definitely me, checking my own self out. I'm so vain.

And really, when it comes down to it, I am. I am vain and obsessed. Sometimes I love what I write so much, I'll go back to it multiple times and reread it just to make myself laugh--I feel a little vulnerable having admitted that to the Internet, but it's true.

But for all of the OCD tendencies sitemeter's brought to my surface, it has done a wonderful thing. You see, it's so much more than a visit counter. For those that don't have a blog, or sitemeter, that crazy new-fangled technology will tell me how visitors are "referred" to my site. And my biggest fascination is now with people who have found my notes via search. And, dear friends, people on the world wide web search for the darnedest things.

Below is my veritable list of "greatest hits" based upon the most popular searches that yield my ramblings:

1. "Bite+Taste+Buds" Apparently Web MD does not have the answer to this, but Little Ms. Notetaker does. If you find yourself here because you are wondering if you can bite those little nubs off your tongue and live to tell about it, the answer is yes. It won't do significant long term damage. A couple things you should know (I've taken the liberty to consolidate information for you, because if you typed those words into your search engine, besides my posts, you'd find an assortment of random Internet wisdom), you aren't really biting off taste buds, just part of the tongue (rest assured you won't lose the ability to taste things), and if you have one of those painful puffy "buds" on the tip of your tongue you can bite that off (and this I know from experience), just know that it will bleed. Maybe profusely.

2. Some variation of "Tom+Shane+Hip" or "Tom+Shane+In+Your+Grill." Yes, indeed, Tom Shane is hip. But know this much is true, neither Tom Shane, nor his associates will be all up in your grill, yo.

3. "Vera+Wang+20M11" This bridesmaid dress is popular. Real popular. Around the world popular. To all of you who are here because you were searching for this dress, I applaud your impeccable style.

4. And my personal favorite in the category of "Best Search Question" goes to a visitor from Canada who queried "what's in a lobster meal?" Ah, what's in a name? Would not a giant toddler lobster taste as sweet? Sadly, that visitor found out that I could not answer her questions, but I could strongly advise her to NOT eat corn on the cob candy. Words to live by.


The calm after the storm

Someone was a little bitter when she left the coffee shop earlier this afternoon. I guess someone had to have her little temper tantrum for all of the world wide web to see. Someone apologizes for her immature whiny behavior (see, someone did go up to that brewery and have a beer made with jasmine--it tastes so wonderfully like spring--and she returned home a much happier little notetaker).

I got the perspective I was looking for, not from the jasmine infused beer, but from a conversation with one of my grandmas. I called to wish her a happy mother's day and we got to talking about life and the goings on in our worlds. Grandma talked about how she and grandpa are getting ready to drive the motor home (and when I say motor home, I mean luxurious tour bus) from their winter home in Arizona back to the home that's full of so many of my wonderful childhood memories in Cheyenne, Wyoming (yip yip yaaaw! I've got myself some ranchin' country roots).

I was regaling her with gripping tales of the kitchen remodel. I had to make them gripping, because I don't have anything for when the questions inevitably devolve into the dating department. But we didn't even go there tonight. Tonight we just talked about what I was doing with my life and she reminisced about when she and grandpa were first married how they built two apartments into their home so they could take on renters to help cover the mortgage. She talked about how they would both work all day long and then come home grab a quick bite to eat and then head on down to do all the work themselves, often until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. That sounds so familiar.

And you know what, I bet she and grandpa had their own challenges--fixtures not fitting, tools not cooperating, things not being "just so"--but those aren't the memories she described. She remembered how much she learned building something by hand and the satisfaction they both had when all was said and done.

My lens was so zoomed in on each vignette in which I found myself this afternoon, that I lost focus of the big picture. What am I learning here and how great will it be when it's completed and I can say that I did that? And when I finally took that step back tonight, even though I didn't want to do it earlier this afternoon, everything magically came together. The light, it was installed; the last patch of grass, it was mowed; the work, enough was completed that I can go to bed with a clear conscience.

Note to self: Like you haven't heard this one before, but it obviously bears repeating--don't sweat the small stuff... and it's all small stuff!

And as a little treat to myself, to celebrate the fact that I persisted and didn't completely throw in the towel, I washed my sheets today, and we all know what that means.

Exercises in futility

Today is not working out how I had planned it. Not any part of it, not one bit.

I spent 12 hours yesterday working on my kitchen (two coats of paint on the walls, ceiling, and the "new wainscoting covered wall"), not to mention the 5 hours I spent on Friday night finishing up the wainscoting and priming everything... twice. I admit I felt a great sense of accomplishment as I washed out the brushes and headed over to my friends' place for dinner last night.

I wish I could have bottled up that feeling and taken a big swig of it today. Today, all sense of accomplishment has gone right out the window. My patience has been tested on more than one occasion, and I don't like the results.

The big item on my list today was to spend a good chunk of time on a work project. Normally I have really high and impenetrable boundaries when it comes to working outside of the normal 8-5 day, but today I had to make an exception. While the work work was the only big thing on my list, I had a couple of other things in the back of my mind that if I accomplished would be icing on the cake. But the cake, the cake was getting my work done--and doing it earlier rather than later.

Initially, my goal was to head to a coffee shop, hunker down with my decaf soy mocha and put in a good three or four hours on the work project. If I focused, I could accomplish that. But around 11, I looked at my backyard and realized in its place I was growing a miniature Amazon jungle--I swear I heard monkeys chattering. I thought, why don't I mow it quick and then I can start doing my work at Noon. In theory this sounds great and maybe even feasible, but people, I know better than this. I've never been able to mow the yard real quick, what with all of the squirrel holes and the world's most horrendous push mower--originally, this was going to be a post about the lawnmower which is most definitely the bane of my existence, but that was before the rest of the day happened. Don't worry, though, that post will be coming soon and maybe along with it a horror video entitled "Little Ms. Notetaker Mows Her Yard," I know it doesn't sound scary, but just trust me it's a ghastly sight that definitely incites nightmares... for me anyway. And today, today in my attempt to be quick, it started raining, hard, in the middle of the job. Mowing a jungle is hard enough as it is, now add a horrendous push mower and driving rain. Forty-five minutes later, jaw clenched, ego bruised, and soaking wet I quit. My yard's not very big (maybe 20ft by30ft), but I was so frustrated with the mower, the unwieldy long grass, and now the rain, that I gave up and left a small strip of grass unmowed.

I headed back into the house to shower and get ready to go to the coffee shop and work on the work. One load of laundry and a few other ADD distractions later, it was 1:30 and I was ready to leave. Only an hour and a half later than expected, but not a problem, I'd just work a little later than expected. That's when I got a call from the Man of Iron, he was in the area and needed to borrow a tool. No problem. The work could wait a little longer. And in my unnatural need to be hyper-productive in every open minute of the weekend, I thought I'd install my new light fixture while I waited for him to swing by--if I wasn't doing the work work, then at least I could cross a few other things off the list. I thought, that shouldn't be too difficult, it's a project I know how to do. But, people, I should have known better than this.

The lovely people at Rejuvenation warned me; the instructions explicitly state: "Threading the screws into the plate may be difficult as the screws have a tendency to shift. Patience and good lighting will make the job much smoother." They called out the need for patience--unfortunately for me, patience was not included in the package.

I got one of the screws threaded, but try as I might, the second screw would not thread. And I exercised as much patience as I possibly could. Just like the instructions said, the screw did shift and fell multiple times causing me to make several trips up and down the ladder (I lost count after hitting 20). I tried everything, all different angles, using different hands, repositioning the ladder, nothing worked. On one of my last trips down the ladder, it was all I had to not throw my screwdriver across the room. Ninety minutes later, jaw clenched, ego bruised, and muttering a few choice words under my breath (words about somebody's mother--not mine, not yours, but some mother somewhere, I mean it is Mother's Day and all), I quit. Clearly something was not working for me, but my stubbornness to not let the light win was keeping me there. For my sake, I had to walk away.

Flash forward to now. I'm in the coffee shop, hunkered down ready to do my work, about 4 hours later than expected--but I'm here and ready to work. Only the documents I need are in my Outlook. And my Outlook keeps locking up. Every time I open it up it won't respond. More choice words, less "responsiveness." After 30 minutes of trying to outsmart my laptop, jaw clenched, ego bruised, and at my wits end, I quit. I quit the work and started blogging instead.

I just want to have this work done, and I want to have my light installed, and I want my lawn mowed. I want my cake! But no matter what I do today, the cake and the icing are out of reach and it really irks me.

Note to self: You may think this should be some profound note about how I need to learn to be flexible and relax. But, no. I think what I want to remember from this is that some days it's just not going to work, no matter what. And even if you quit in the moment, take a deep breath get some perspective, and know that you're not allowed to quit for good. You've been given a timeout, use it.

I'm leaving the coffee shop. I'm going up the street to a brewery instead. Maybe they have that sense of accomplishment bottled up in the form of a hand crafted ale. So I'll go take a big swig of it and hope the frustrations will melt away and I'll actually get to the work.


Internal hemorrhaging

Note to self: Next time maybe go for 10 fewer jalapenos.

Wednesday is Taco Salad day in the cafe at work, ole! Love me my taco salad, but I was a little too eager to load it up with hotness today. Aye-yaye-yaye! (Does anyone know how to spell that? My mad high school French skillz are not helping me out here, "Ooh lala" does not produce the desired effect.)

My entire digestive system might be "en fuego" (ha ha, muy bien Espanol, no?).

Friends friends, or Facebook friends?

I'm overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by social networking. I'm LinkedIn, Meeting Up, Facebooked, Ninging, and was seriously contemplating twittering. But it's just too much. I had to pare down the networks and realistically am only giving limited attention to Facebook.

Here's my beef--or rather, beefs--with Facebook. It came out while I worked as an university administrator. The original audience was for college students, and when you worked in a role like me, the goal was to NOT be on Facebook. But then it opened up, and suddenly now everyone is on it. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. One thing I do like about it is the fact that I have the opportunity to stay in better contact with a larger circle of friends more frequently. However, to take advantage of that opportunity one needs to log-in more frequently and actually make the effort to reach out and make contact.

Which leads me to my second beef, the levels of friendship. I feel like Facebook has taken the good ol' junior high love note: "Do you like like me, or just like me like friends?" and made it appropriate for adults: "Do you like like me, just like me like friends, or just say that you like me on Facebook so you can look like you are Ms. Popular with a long list of friends?"

There is this phenomenon out there--and I'll admit I'm fascinated by it too--that you can find almost anyone, old high school friends, long lost college roommates, exes, you name it. I've been amazed at the number of people who have found me, or who I have found. But then there's the person, who maybe has a network in common with you (say maybe one of your former schools), and they friend you. And you open up your request and think, who the heck are you?! Do I even know you? And the next thing you know, they are sending you a message using a nickname for you that you know you never gave them permission to use (not now, and certainly not when you may or may not have known them in the past) asking you how you've been. And then worse yet, they start throwing things at you. I'm sorry, I don't even know who you are, I'm just being nice--you certainly don't know me well enough to shorten my name, let alone huck a vampire at me. Seriously?

I have to admit, I have been a Facebook b#$ch. On another occasion, a guy I went out on one date with about three years ago (he liked me too much... which, if you know what I'm talking about can be a major deal breaker) found me and proceeded to comment on how my profile status listed me as single and was just wondering if we could rekindle something. And he casually asked me "what's new?" It had been a long week, I was tired, and regretting the fact that I finally got on Facebook, a "not much" would have sufficed, but I proceeded to tell him what was new. I mean we had one date. ONE DATE. Everything is new. I said something to the effect of, "Well, since we had our one date, I fell in and out of love, I got a new job, bought a house, moved into another new job, turned 30, took up soccer, ran two other marathons, and am living a pretty full life right now. Considering we don't really know each other, what's new with you?"

Is it any wonder I never heard back from him? Well, at least he got the hint and is keeping his vampires to himself.


Run, Little Ms. Notetaker, run

I've spent almost the entire weekend working on the kitchen. In fact, almost every minute I've been at home for the past week has been spent on the kitchen. As I type this, I'm half-asleep and drooling on myself. I know that when I finally close down and drift off, I'm likely going to be dreaming of drywall and taping and mudding up the seams (if you don't know what that means, don't worry until a few days ago, neither did I and now I'm haunted by it).

But not quite every minute of this weekend was spent on the kitchen. Late this afternoon I had to step away from it all. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle and I went for a run. It was the best thing I could have done for myself--clearing my mind, getting in some fresh air (it was one of the few times I was without a dust mask over my nose for the past week) and ultimately just being. It was so needed and it made me realize it's something I squeezed out of my schedule recently. And even though I returned home to climb right back on the ladder to slather another coat of mud onto the drywalls, I climbed up that ladder feeling a little bit better about things. It definitely gave my batteries the boost that they needed.

Note to self: Trust that what needs to get done will get done when it needs to get done--and will probably get done better if you're recharging yourself along the way.