Where am I going?

Into the Woods, that's where!

I've been offered the role of Stepmother. "That's a promotion," FCA says. All along Monster was saying she thought I deserved to be the stepmother, because it's a bigger (slightly) role. Ultimately, I think I got it because I was tall. For realsies.

At any rate, I'm nervous. I'll be accepting the role, but I'm not going to lie, I'm a little tentative--something new and something different. But something fun and unexpected--something that I've always wanted to do and mustered up the courage for which to put myself on the line.

I'm getting ready for my close-up, Mr. DeVille...

LMNT edit: Mr. DeMille. Mr. DeMille. That's what I meant! Now I'm ready for the close-up.


Play by play

Shaking has stopped. Which is good. However, I'm halfway through the callbacks, still have to sing. All by myself. But not "All by Myself," that Eric Carmen/Celine classic comes later tonight with a late night Improv Karaoke Extravaganza (late on a school night, I know).


I started this post in the midst of call backs. There was a lot of waiting around tonight. First we were called in by parts with the other people auditioning for those parts to learn the songs with the voice coach (watching the DVD over and over and over again really helped). Then we had to read a selection of lines (or in my case, mime out myself getting my eyes poked out by overzealous seagulls). Then we were supposed to go back in and sing in front of everyone. Thankfully, after three hours of sitting, around, they decided not to have some of the less prominent roles sing and I got to leave.

Phew. I did it. I tried out for a play. Now it's all out of my control. And here's what I think about that, there were three of us trying out for two step-sister roles. One of the other girls was also trying out for another principal role, so if she gets that, I'm guessing I'm in. But if she doesn't I'm not sure who they'll pick. The other two girls are around the same height and may look more like sisters. But it may also be funny to have short and tall (and we're talking extremes here) sisters. At any rate, if I get selected, GREAT. But if not, also GREAT because then I won't have to make the two tough decisions that are looming out there and that I really don't want to make.

And another thing. Wow. I've never felt so much like an outsider. When I said where I work is kind of like a giant high school, I really wasn't lying. I mean when I walked into the callbacks tonight, it was quite apparent that I was not a part of this crowd. This was a hardcore theatre clique and I was the new girl trying to get people to like me. I'm sure, once you're in it's very welcoming, but when you're out, man you are out. I was sitting there thinking, hello, I was president of my sorority and captain of the volleyball team, but somehow I don't think that would have endeared me to the group. A couple of them invited me to sit with their big table, and I did, but it was awkward. Partially because who is this new girl? And partially because I am painfully shy until I'm comfortable around you--which takes a little while.

Oh, and one last thing. Note to self: When you are trying to ingratiate yourself with the clique, it is best not to insult one of the founding members. Yeah, I may have done that. Unintentionally. And I immediately tried to open my mouth and insert my foot, but I have a jaw issue and can't open my mouth very wide. Seriously. It's a problem.

To close out the night, I joined some of my improv friends for a night of karaoke. It was a great way to release the energy and I didn't sing "All by Myself," but I did sing all by myself and with my familiar clique. It felt good to be "in" again.

Would not be good at Operator right now

My hands are shaking. Check that, my everything is shaking, especially my intestines. I'm sitting in a cafeteria at work, the site of the callbacks.

I may soil myself. No, I just went to the bathroom and took care of that. I should probably be doing something, like I don't know, scales? Tongue twisters? Probably not blogging.

Oy. Okay I think I'm going to go do something. Maybe pace back and forth. But really I think I should be warming up my vocal chords, maybe, I don't know. Freaking out.

More to come... soon... sometime.

Note to self: Scaring yourself into action, although not good on the digestive track, is good for pushing yourself to grow and accomplish more than you thought you could... right?


And on the thirteenth or fourteenth day...

... after He had created all the other good things and rested and stuff, He said "Let there be Capri Sun."
Oh, and Skittles.


Beating the coin operated car wash at its own game

This is an excerpt from the hypothetical conversation you (and when I say you, I mean the Internets) and I had yesterday morning.

Me: Give me four dollars in quarters and six minutes and I can have your car washed at the local "Spray 'N Wash."

You: Oh, yeah? Name. That. Tune.

Me: Game on! Take notes, friend.

Step 1: Drive down the road in your dirty car that has been sitting under a tree collecting little sprinkles of sap and that also appears to be regular target practice for neighborhood crows.

Step 2: Approach the coin-op car wash and force yourself to pull in.

Step 3: Keep fingers crossed that you have single dollar bills or quarters to cover the entire wash. It would really be un-fun if you ran out of money mid-soaping.

Step 4: Find a total of four dollars--because no way are you changing your $20 bill into all quarters. Give yourself a Vince Lombardi-esque pep talk that although most people you know end up spending $8 or so on this, you can do this in $4. It's not everything... it's the only thing!

Step 5: Stretch.

Step 6: Talk yourself through your game plan, make certain you are crystal clear on the plan and do not be tempted at the last minute by the presoak, or the engine or the tire cleaners--those are there to lead you astray and suck up your money.

Step 7: Tell the crazy person that has wandered into your car washing stall that no, you don't have any spare change, that this is a very serious competition between you and sprayer, and that if they know what's good for them they'll steer clear (okay, don't really say that, but think it as you deny him any of your valuable quarters).

Step 8: Insert $2 and only $2, this is the minimum amount needed to fire up the fun.

Step 9: With the machine on the rinse setting, yes, rinse, quickly spray down the car so that it is sprays off some of the surface dirt and is primed for actual washing. This should take no longer than 20 seconds.

Step 10: Run to the machine (thankful you are wearing workout pants and flip flops as this is a soggy job), and quickly change it to the foam brush. Immediately start soaping up the car with the lathery brush. I like to start on all of the top surfaces, roof, trunk, hood and then move to the sides. The machine will start beeping at you and make you panic with one minute remaining. Whatever you do, do not insert more money. This is what it wants you to do, but you must resist. Turn to the machine and say, la la la la la la, I can't hear you (but don't stick your fingers in your ears when you do this, they are covered in soap). You see, even after the time runs out, the brush, it's still foamy and it's still brushy. You can continue to keep scrubbing away long after the beeping stops. Take your time and make sure you really get the whole car.

Step 11: Insert your other $2, and begin the actual rinse cycle. Now you have two minutes to rinse. You really only need one, but you have to pay the minimum $2, so you can rinse and rinse and rinse. Nice and thorough.

Step 12: If you are really cool, operative word being cool, you could pack your own shammy and dry that car streak-free. Don't travel with shammy? Then do what my dad does and peel out from the car wash driving down the road really fast. Oooh, look! See the beads of water fly from the car? Kids, LMNT does not condone or encourage speeding on city streets, all's I'm saying is that's one way to dry your car... options, you know?

Step 13: As you drive away, speeding or not speeding, laugh because you did not let the beeping stress you out and cause you to throw more money away in a panic-stricken state. Take that "Spray 'N Wash."

Actually you could probably do this in fewer steps, stretching is for wimps.


This would stand between me and a Fear Factor victory

I saw this AP report last weekend and have been traumatized ever since. I've heard about it a few more times this past week and keep feeling the need to rock myself in the fetal position in a corner whenever it's mentioned.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

I have an unbelievable fear of fish for the exact reason people are now apparently flocking to a spa in Alexandria, VA--THEY ARE GOING TO NIBBLE ON ME. People are actually paying to have little fish eat the dead skin off of their feet as a part of some whacked-out pedicure package. Gag reflex just kicked in.

Note to self: When thinking about booking that relaxing vacation, do NOT consider Alexandria.

I tell you what, my feet would be a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet for those fish, but I'd probably pass out and die before they actually hit the water. I'm quite happy embracing my callouses, thank you very much.


Bringing about the fall of humankind

Apparently my seriously heavy post the other day was beckoning the universe to open up its flood gates for Little Ms. Notetaker oglers. First, we had the whole "tush" episode, and then over the weekend I had a back-to-back apple accosting.

I'm walking over to the Commish and Monster's place, minding my own business, eating an apple, like you do, when I decide to cross the street to drop off some mail and because that's the way to their house. I was so into my apple and walking that I didn't realize there was a group of three guys sitting on the lawn of the house I was bypassing with my street crossing. They start giving me heck (in a somewhat flirty way, if you're into that aggressive heck-giving flirtation) for crossing the street and avoiding them.

So I holler back at them (I guess I am a holla' back girl) that this is the way I'm going and I have to drop off some mail. Just trying to be a friendly neighbor. Without missing a beat one of them yells at me, "that apple sure looks nice and juicy" in a way that is not nice and innocent. I scrunched my face up and looked at him quizzically--did he just insinuate lewdness with my apple? I laughed it off, told them to have a nice evening, and kept walking and eating.

Not half of a block later, a guy walking down the opposite side of the road yells out to me, hey pretty lady... you want to share that with me? Again, completely floored that my apple is having this affect on not just one, but multiple people, I look at him and ask, "uh, seriously? My apple?" He just laughed and told me he was joking. Uh, no duh.

But really, an apple? An apple? A banana. Now that's an easy mark for entendre, or better yet, an ice cream cone. I'd totally get that, but an apple? Really?

Even now, I'm still baffled. The only thing I can think of is that they reverted to primal biblical urges and there I was, Eve, tempting them with the forbidden fruit. But that can't be it, because if my neighborhood was Eden, I don't think there would be so many empty Capri Suns tossed in my yard. I don't remember those ever being mentioned in the Bible.

Supplemental words

Didn't mean to leave you hanging on the callbacks--truth be told, I've been busy watching and re-watching the Into the Woods DVD and reading and re-reading the script.

So here's the scoop: callbacks are in one week. I've been called back for one of Cinderella's step-sisters, which is secretly what I was hoping for--not too many lines to memorize, fun comic relief, easing into this whole acting thing, you know?

All I know about the callbacks is that we will be auditioning with all of the other auditioners present and will be doing some cold reading and singing, junior high choir don't fail me now! I've been reassured to not freak out--much easier said than done--that what they really will be looking for at the session is how I interact with auditioners for the step-mother and other step-sister role and if we all look like "family."

Here's hoping the others are tall, skinny, and pale complected.

I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity, although if I do get cast for the role I may be faced with a few tough decisions. Bridges to cross later. Now back to familiarizing myself with the music.

Note to self: if you don't remember how to sight read the music, memorize the tunes a la the soundtrack and fake your way through it!


The wedding dancer

Prologue: This is a post I actually wrote a couple months ago after the wedding I wore Vera to. I've had it in the bank to pull out when needed. It's quite timely today as I again defended my title at another wedding this past weekend.
I am she. Every wedding has one, and I wear that title with pride.

You know who I’m talking about, the girl that jumps up to the dance floor the second the music starts and the floor is open (after the whole first-dance-father/bride-mother/groom routine). The girl that doesn’t take a seat until the last song is played (and if you have a DJ, it will most likely be the 70s disco classic “Last Dance” followed by “Happy Trails”). Flying solo at the wedding? Not a problem for the wedding dancer. She’ll dance alone with herself to the slow songs, usually in a very dramatic and interpretive-type fashion.

A few weekends ago, I was at the gorgeous wedding for my dear and beautiful friend, it was no exception. This was the wedding where I got to be a classy bridesmaid… and I must admit that I think I showed nothing but class when I threw on my black Cons to hit the dance floor. Any experienced wedding dancer knows that heels, although cute and stylish, can be a showstopper. Not only did I get dozens of comments on how smart I was with my choice of dancing footwear (I mean how can you not pair Vera Wang with Chuck Taylor?), but I also had handfuls of people pull me aside and comment on my dancing ability.

All I can say is that I love to ham it up on the dance floor. I live for wedding receptions. I don’t fancy myself a particularly good dancer, just like I don’t think I’m a particularly good karaoke singer, I just throw my whole self into it, and it just so happens that my whole self comes with a heckuvalot of energy. But, dear readers, as an experienced wedding dancer, I can tell you that there is a winning formula for wedding dancing, and it doesn’t have anything to do with dancing, but all to do with the music.

There is a list of what I would call, wedding reception mainstays, that if you are hoping to turn your reception into a dance party, they are must plays. Some people have adverse reactions to certain songs, and that’s fine. The chicken dance, Macarena, Electric Slide do not need to be played if you don't want them. In fact, I’d say you don’t have to play ALL of the mainstay playlist, but the number of songs that are played from that list should be greater than the numbers that are nixed. It all depends upon the dance party you are hoping to host. Note to self: AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night” may be the exception to the rule—that one just screams dance party U.S.A. and should be played. And it’s not just about the list, but also the order in which those songs are played. This is very important. I have seen many a DJ clear a floor because they’ve ignored this oh-so-important rule. And when a floor is cleared, it is the wedding dancer’s responsibility to resuscitate the party.

On more than one occasion I’ve wondered how I can turn my wedding dancing abilities into a career, a sort of dance consultant for brides—oh, how I’d just love to have a business card with a title that read “The Wedding Dancer.” (Oh no! Would this mean I’d need to add another blog?) While I’m still working out that business plan in my head, I will offer you all one of my biggest pieces of advice—when selecting your music make sure you absolutely love your provider. If you have a DJ, make sure that DJ will stick to your plan—and won’t be some creepy dude from the Florida panhandle that will hit on your parents’ married friends. And if you have a band, make sure that you love that band and—depending upon the type of dance party you want—that the band understands the importance of wedding reception mainstays (i.e., this band should be so fantastic that they can cover many types of music and songs from all eras… if it’s a wedding that I’m going to be at, make sure they are prepped to play plenty of 70s and 80s).

If you are planning a wedding (or any other occasion that you’d like to liven up with a dance party that people will not soon forget), and you want me to let you in on the formula, let me know. And if you really want to make sure that you have the mother of all dance parties, be sure you have a wedding dancer on the invite list.


Unofficial contest winner!

A while back I added Sitemeter to my blog and began finding much humor in how some readers are referred to my humble home.

Well, one of yesterday's visitors is now the official winner of the unofficial contest I was sponsoring in my head entitled, "Craziest search query that brings you to my blog."

Congratulations to the unbeknownst reader from the UK that visited because they searched "why does my virgin hair keep breaking?"

Little Ms. Notetaker (who is the third result when you enter that query) suggests eyelash conditioner.


Not really THAT into copper kettles

Tonight, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone.

I auditioned for a play. A musical. And not just any musical, my favorite musical of all time. Ever.

Here's the thing, since I had accomplished my goal for the year of taking an improv class (count em, three classes, one, two, three), and since the whole reason for taking improv was to get me one step closer to my lifelong goal of being on stage, in a play, ahem, a musical, I decided the time was right to up the ante.

Sometimes where I work is kind of like a giant high school. There are clubs and co-curricular activities galore. In fact here's an honest to goodness sentence I uttered to the Commish the other day, "Yeah, I may not to be able to play in the flag football league at work, if I make the play." Has anyone in their 30s ever uttered that phrase and genuinely meant it?

So my work has its own theatre troupe. Last fall I went to see their production of "School House Rock, Live!" (yes, they unpacked their adjectives in conjunction junction), and when I saw the show I immediately thought, heck I can do that! I have an obsession with musical theatre and have illusions of Broadway--anytime I leave a show, I fantasize about what life as a tony award winning actress would be like. Uh, maybe they are delusions of Broadway. At any rate, it seemed like this work theatre troupe may be a safe and welcoming entry into acting (dramatic pause).

And when an e-mail popped up in my inbox announcing auditions for Into the Woods, I knew I had to do it. My high school put on a production of Into the Woods and I fell in love with the theater the moment I saw it. Loved the singing, loved the dark twisted plot, loved the thought of being up on stage. It's almost like it's fate--a safe step removed from community theatre kind of fate, but fate nonetheless. I may have set an Outlook response speed record in replying to that message. Only after I hit send, I realized I've never auditioned for a part in a play... I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The audition called for a 1-2 minute monologue and 16 measures of a song. I tried on multiple monologues for size and finally settled on a comedic performance where I could make a complete fool of myself (perfect). And, after being laughed across the cafeteria by FCA for my original song choice--Eternal Flame by the Bangles, okay, I know--I made a decision to go for a theatrical classic that I could belt out.

Flash forward to tonight and the audition. Here's my rendition of what transpired:

The scene: Conference room at work set up theater-style with several rows of empty seats (oh, maybe I should have seen those as audience members and not trampled through them in my monologue... oops), with the producer and director sitting at a table behind the empty rows.

Producer and Director (P&D): Hello (shake my hand introducing themselves).

Me: Hi. (Take a deep breath, which quite possibly maybe the last breath I take the entire time I'm in the room)

P&D: Would you like to sing, or act first.

Me: Act (do monologue, I think well, not factoring in the fact that I paid no mind to the "audience" of chairs).

P&D: Great now let's do a voice check.

Me: staring blankly Uh. I don't know what that is.

P&D: It's to see your vocal range.

Me: Oh. Yeah. Got it. Nerdy, dorky, giggle, on the verge of snorting, but hold it in. Sing up and down the scales trying really really hard to expand my range beyond that of 80s hairband.

P&D: Great, now what are you going to sing.

Me: Well, I've selected a wonderful musical number from the Sound of Music, "My Favorite Things."

P&D: (I think I heard an audible, yay!)

Me: Sing 16 measures, a Capella which is essentially the first verse. Stop. Do you want me to continue.

P&D: Yes, and we want you to continue with the physicality you had in your monologue.

D'oh. I thought they just wanted me to stand their and sing, so I continue to sing the entire song, channeling my inner Tony award winning self and dance around the "stage" pretending I'm Julie-Freakin-Andrews only this time I mind the fake audience and don't trample any chairs.

Me: That's it.

P&D: Great job.

Me: Thanks. I've never done that before. (At which point I realize I have so much adrenaline coursing through my body that I probably shouldn't open my mouth and talk any more for fear of what may come out. Note to self: Listen to that wise wise voice telling you to just smile, say thank you, and walk away.)

P&D: Oh really, so what made you come out tonight.

Me: (inhales deeply) WellIsawIntotheWoodsinhighschoolandloveditsomuchIknewIwantedtobeintheaterbutIplayedsportscompetitivelythroughoutsoIcouldneverbeinanyoftheplaysbuteversincethenI'velovedIntotheWoodsImeantheaterhaandIdecidedthisyearthatIwantedtotryandbeinaplaysoIstartedtakingimprovclassesandthenwehnIsawtheemailthatthefallshowwasIntotheWoodsIthoughtIhavetogotryoutbecacuseIloveIntotheWoodssohereIamtryingoutforIntotheWoodswhichIlove.

Pretty much that's how it went. Keeping my fingers crossed for callbacks and maybe a chance to redeem my amped up dorkiness. Ah, but maybe that "energy" will help me get a role. But if not, at least I can say I tried, had fun, and learned some stuff (not too unlike a date with me).


There was a time you could bounce quarters off of it

In light of yesterday's seriously intense post (by the way, thank you for the outpouring of love in posted comments and notes directly to me. Little Miss Notetaker feels blessed to be so loved. Also, Little Miss Notetaker was PMSing and had a heightened sensitivity, not to say what happened didn't upset me, but the fact that I let the whole world know what eats at my soul, something I've never even told some of my closest and dearest friends, yeah, that may have been hormones taking control of the keyboard and hitting "Publish Post" in an almost irrational manner. Anyway, thanks for all of it), I had a little, albeit slightly perverse, boost to the confidence today.

I took the day off work to join the Commish in a golf tournament benefiting... ooh, I'm not 100% sure what the organization that hosted it does, but it benefits something good. At any rate, of the 80 plus people playing in the tournament four were women. And a good majority of the 74 plus men were undoubtedly AARP card holders.

As with most charity golf tournaments, the round was followed by dinner and a live auction. Something in the auction caught my attention (especially when they reduced the opening bid to an incredibly low low starting price), so I started to create a scene. I was going up against another bidder (who actually donated the prize and was really only bidding up to get me to pay more). And because I'm never one to shy away from creating a scene and being in front of a crowd, the auctioneer called him and me up in front of everyone, where we had our all-out bidding war in front of everyone. Ultimately, I won--more about the "experience of a lifetime" I purchased in a future post--but as I was claiming my prize, I heard a few of the tourney goers in the front bantering back and forth,

"Did you see her tush?"


"Seriously, Harry, check out the tush on her."

Because those guys were not much younger than my grandpas, and because they used the word tush--I mean when is the last time you've heard someone use that term as a provocative way to describe adult female anatomy? They definitely get to play the "old-man-stuck-in-his-1950s-sexist-ways" card on that one--I felt flattered. A little bit like a piece of meat, but a flattered piece of meat, the fillet Mignon of the nearly all male tournament.

Oh, and by the by, there were local sports celebrities in the tournament, and this guy was one of them. All I have to say is I'd be his fillet Mignon, or even ground round, a-n-y day of the week.


A demon resurfaces

I'm just going to let you know up front, this post, it's not going to be pretty. It's something I've been holding onto for a long long time. It's NOT PRETTY, which makes me sad, and also completely and totally vulnerable.

I was driving home last night after meeting a friend for a quick round of evening golf followed by dinner and beers. It was, by many accounts, a perfect Seattle summer night. I was driving through the city with the windows down, a nice breeze drifting through my car. I pulled up to a stop light next to a car full of drunk 20-somethings who also had their window down. An obnoxious blond in the back pointed my direction and yelled up to the driver, "Pretty girl, pretty girl!" I can only assume she was on the lookout for finding someone for the driver, the sole guy in the car. All four passengers snapped their heads in my direction, when the same obnoxious girl backtracked saying, "Oh, wait. She's NOT PRETTY."

She was drunk, and, let's face it, a bitch. And it upsets me to great lengths that I even consider the next thought, but I think she's right.

Before you go all frantic to knock some sense into me, know that this is not a thinly veiled post, begging you fill the comment section up with messages about how stupid she is, and that I'm beautiful, blah, blah, blah. I mean that's nice of you to think that and/or even tell me, but I'm not fishing for that here. I've spent the past 18 years of my life believing I was NOT PRETTY, any comment, although appreciated is not going to "cure" me. If I'm ever going to believe it, it's going to come from deep within me (where I really hope it lives). This is something that I think about a lot, my own private monster eating me up on the inside daily. There's something about opening it up and sharing it out loud that makes me hope I can start to conquer it. And there's also something about opening it up and sharing it out loud that makes me feel completely exposed with a fragile childlike vulnerability.

Seventh grade. Two words that immediately conjure up images of awkwardness. Oh, and I fit the bill too--braces, glasses, gangly limbs, a spiral perm... uh-huh, a spiral perm with bangs! But I was in good company, as 99% of the population was equally awkward in their own way. It's quite likely that you are a part of that 99% too. But what about that other one percent? Somehow they lucked out in the adolescent lottery and never went through that awkward stage, moving straight from elementary school cute into outwardly flawless young adult--perfect skin, perfect hair, damn them.

In my school, the prototypical one percenter was named Feather. Yes, Feather. That's not to say she was perfect, she had her own monsters and insecurities, I'm sure, but as far as being pretty, solely based on appearance and completely divorced from the idea of holistic beauty, she was it.

There I was, not Feather, at school, walking down the hall with a group of girlfriends who were also not Feather, when we were stopped by an eighth grade boy. Were I to judge a book by its cover, I'd say this guy was a fellow memeber of the illustrious 99% club, except he had what I consider the awkward trifecta. On top of the baseline level of awkward, he had red hair and freckles--no good can come of that when you are a pubescent boy, it's a recipe for obnoxious.

So, Mr. Obnoxious, someone that none of us knew or had ever interacted with before, stops us. Pointing his pudgy freckly hand in my direction, he asked me, "Are you a model?" Flattered that he would think that (spiral perm with bangs, people!), I blushed and responded with a puzzled, "No." And without skipping a beat he exclaimed, "THANK GOD!"

Stunned, I exclaimed something I won't write here (in case you're reading, Grandma), and pretended to brush it off like it had no impact. But nearly 20 years later, I still feel the impact. Every day. There is no doubt in my mind that guy has no recollection of that incident, or if he does, he has no clue the reverberations it had on that little seventh grade girl's identity. Sometimes I wonder if I hadn't been walking down that hall, that day, at that moment and had not encountered that guy, would I have grown up believing myself to be pretty?

I believe myself to be a lot of things, athletic, intelligent, hard-working, funny, sincere, honest, loyal, talented, and now maker of kitchens, but pretty has never graced that list. Ever. I know this logic is completely flawed, but the reason I think I'm single is because I'm ugly. Because pretty girls are in relationships. And trust me, in my head I know that line of thought is completely ridiculous, but I just wish I could get my heart to believe it.

In fact, why I really think I'm single and not attracting people, is the fact that I can't see that I'm beautiful. Because if I don't believe it deep down inside and exude that confidence, how can anyone else appreciate it? Part of the problem is I'm looking for some sort of external validation that I am pretty, or at least not repulsive. Pretty enough that I don't have absolute strangers telling me to my face that I'm NOT PRETTY.

Wow. I just shined a giant tractor beam on my innermost gremlin. There you have it, Internets. I haven't ever opened myself up like this to anyone, lucky you. Gaping hole for all to see. It's now the elephant in my blog that I can't ignore. Wiping my tears away, I'm resolving to dive deep, tame that monster and love myself. Bear with me, there is a lot of ugly that I have to wade through and undo.


Seen on the 8

A couple of evenings ago, on a bus into downtown, I found myself completely transfixed by other people's business. Three other passengers were deep in conversation. I don't know if it was funny, sad, friendly, or heated; but I do know that it was amazingly beautiful.

I was sitting in the back of the bus and couldn't help myself from eavesdropping on what was happening up front. The three of them were all hard of hearing and signing to each other. I've always loved watching sign language; there's something so organic and powerful about articulating with your hands. And as impressive as I found their discussion, two of the three of them had limited sight--they were both speaking and listening with their hands. As one would start to talk the other would gently envelope the others hands to feel the words and phrases.

I can't do it justice, all I can say is that it was so calming and reassuring. It was so personal, so intimate, so connected. And I was so disappointed when they reached their stop and the absence left by their silent conversation was filled with the everyday racket of public transportation.


Peddling crazy, again

With the kitchen reno winding down and summer winding up, I've really been feeling the urge to uh, I don't know, STOP BEING A RECLUSE.

I mean my kitchen is absolutely fantastic (I desperately need to update DomestiKat... tomorrow, hopefully), and essentially I've been dating it for the past two-and-a-half months, but man, that's really a one-sided relationship. I mean, I do really nice things for the kitchen: buy it nice stuff, focus on the small details, you know all the TLC you'd give to the object of your affection--everything short of licking it just because it makes you so happy and you're curious what sort of reaction that will elicit. The least it can do is make me dinner, or do the dishes. Ah, but soon, very soon (well maybe not cook me dinner, but do the dishes, hello new dishwasher!).

Yes, I am a recluse and apparently I have gone crazy because I did just blog about licking my kitchen.

Note to self: If I actually act upon the impulse to lick my kitchen, or anything other than a utensil in my kitchen, an intervention will be necessary.


Happy Fourth!

If you know me at all, you know that I love baked beans almost more than anything (mashed potatoes and chocolate pudding are right up there with them).

Note to self: Anytime you really need to clean your house after a rennovation, host a party.

Although the kitchen isn't 100% finished, it's close; close enough to have people over for brats, beer and beans. Beans, glorious beans.

And I cleaned like a banshee (do banshees clean?). I started to "reclaim" the rest of my house--finally. Things are going back to their right place. And I vacuumed. Oh did I vacuum. And as a courtesy to my guests, in the kitchen, I even vacuumed the cardboard. Yes, I'm that classy.


Look, ma! No hands!

I may not be talking to many of you as often. Not because we are in a fight, and not because I'm taking on a new house project that will completely consume my life, but because this week Washington state started enforcing hand cell phone usage whilst driving.


I understand the reasoning behind the law, but I still find this very unfortunate. Before I got a cell phone (and I held out for quite some time), I always looked at those drivers yapping away with disdain. And then, I became one. It's not a habit of which I'm proud, but being stuck in traffic--some days for 30-40 minutes--provides the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and family across the country. It makes me feel productive and I like that.

Note to self: Check into other driving laws to see if "cheque writing and driving" is also against the law.

Now, I could keep talking if I had a hands-free headset. But I don't have one, yet. And it will probably be a few weeks before I get one. But maybe I won't, maybe I can fight the urge to pick up the phone and call someone during the dead-air drive. It's been really tough the past couple of days. I've thought, "Hmmm, who haven't I talked to in a while?" Pick up the phone, remember the law, freak out, and throw the phone across the car--it wasn't in my hand, I swear, officer. Maybe it's like caffeine or another drug, it's an addiction I have to kick and the first 28 days are the most painful, but then life resumes itself and is even more peaceful and fulfilling than ever before.

Yeah, or maybe I just need to go pick up a headset.