So not worthy

Watch me slide this post in without skipping a beat and not giving any mention (other than this) to the fact that I've been missing in action for the past two months.

One day during that two month period (okay, there's another mention) when I was neglecting you dear Internets, I received a text from the Commish. He was standing at a bus stop in Seattle when a couple of teenagers passed him. And guess what? One of them was wearing a VINTAGE KARL MECKLENBERG JERSEY! Granted it was not the jersey I wanted, if I did want one, which I do but not the one that the kid was wearing, the one that exists only in my head, but still it's not everyday you see a vintage Karl Mecklenberg jersey walking down the street in Seattle. In fact I'm going on living here 10 years and I can quite honestly say that I've seen a vintage Karl Mecklenberg jersey a grand total of NEVER!

So the Commish, being an engaging fellow called out to the youth and asked him if he was a Broncos fan. He gives the Commish a puzzled look, glances down at his shirt, looks back at the Commish, shrugs his shoulders, let's out a non-committal "eh," and keeps walking. Walking down the street and all over my dreams. That's all I can say about it, I'm still too upset about the less than deserving kid sporting #77's orange and blue. Maybe that's why I've been radio silent for the past two months (third and final mention).


Smells like team spirit

I'm originally from Colorado, which means Sundays in the fall are Bronco Sundays; I bleed orange and blue and I will always and forever swear allegiance to John Elway. None of that makes me a super fan, it's just baseline behavior.

What might propel me to super fan status, however, is going to the Fair with friends yesterday and on a whim getting an orange and blue bronco tattooed on my face. Granted, it was an airbrushed temporary tattoo. We originally had visions of glitter and pixies and a special kind of awesomeness, alas, there was no glitter, and the pixies were not-so-awesome, but she found a unicorn, and I found myself a bronco.

Now I know that one temporary face tattoo does not a super fan make, but after I took one look at my face I was reminded of a scene from some 20 years ago. Growing up, we had Bronco season tickets and I distinctly remember one game when I made it my personal mission to get on the jumbo tron. What's the best way to do that? Paint my face and spray my hair with blue glitter spray, of course. Armed with my orange face paint, I attempted to replicate the "D" from the Denver helmet on my cheek. Only problem with this do-it-yourself face decorating is that I did it in the mirror, so what looked like a "D" to me in the bathroom, looked like this "(I" to everyone everywhere else in the world. I didn't, by the way, make it onto the jumbo tron.

I'm sure a true super fan would have factored in the mirror reflection, but how about an "A" for effort? The commitment is there--incidentally, so is a temporary scar from the temporary tattoo. We were given the directions to either scrub it off or use rubbing alcohol to remove it. Unfortunately, I don't have any rubbing alcohol so I scrubbed it off along with several layers of my face. So many layers, that it looks like I now have rosacea on my face in the shape of a bucking bronco. That right there might be the making of a super fan.


A card laid is a card played

I'm learning so much about myself this round of online dating--and I haven't even gone on a date with anyone, yet.

What I've found out is that I'm really not as inclusive as I like to think I am. I know the odds of me finding potential guys are better the wider I cast my net, and I also know that if I impose too many limits I might miss out on something good. But there are some things to which I have aversions and I just can't help myself. Things like:
  • Height. I'm ruling out anyone shorter than 5'8". Why 5'8"? I'm not really sure. Marinara Jar was somewhere between 5'6"-5'7", but when we were getting set up I was told that he was 5'8" (and I also told the person setting us up that height didn't matter to me, apparently it does now). So maybe I've been conditioned to think that way from him and from thinking people always add an inch or two so 5'8" is the new 5'6". And I'm practically 5'10". It's not so much about the height discrepancy between us, but in our gene pool. The kids we have in my brain are tall and athletic. What kind of mother would I be, putting them at a disadvantage from before we even get started? Sorry, but shorties are out.
  • Appearance. As lovely as it would be to say that I could become attracted to someone without knowing what they look like, I can't. Nope. I need to see you. If you don't have a picture on your profile, or I don't have a positive reaction to you based upon the pictures you do have posted, you're out, too.
  • Spelling and grammar. This is your dating resume. You don't have to be the world's best grammarian (that position is already held by Monster), but you do have to at least proof read and use spell check. You wouldn't have typos on your work resume would you? Or use alpha-numeric text? Oh, you would? C U l8r.
  • The wild card. There is something in almost every profile that I think of as the wild card. To be fair, the wild card can be either good or bad and the wild card can trump almost everything else in the profile. In fact, I may consider a shorty for the right wild card. What would the right wild card be? Well, someone who loves to golf, makes intelligent references to things I think are funny, interjects well played sarcasm, or has intense love for the Denver Broncos. Now the same goes for bad wild cards, they could certainly take an attractive man right out of the equation. Some bad wild cards include serious gamers, being too into cars or motorcycles, or showing zero personality.

I'm in the early communication stages with a couple of fellows, and I came across an interesting wild card on one of them tonight. We'll call this one Longhorn. He and I have sent some predetermined stock questions each other's way and so far so good. He's tall (6'3"), attractive and articulate and he's got several other positive traits. However--because you knew that was coming--tonight I was taking a closer look at his pictures, and in one of them I noticed he's wearing a Utilikilt. A UTILIKILT. Oh, Internets. Could I possibly ever be with a wearer of Utilikilts? Unless you are Scottish and at a formal event, you're not going to win me over by wearing a skirt. I'm sorry, but it's true. Apparently I am that superficial. I mean cool if you want to wear a skirt, I'll still respect you as a person, but if you think that you'll get to step into my dreams and father my tall athletic children, well, you might need to think again.

That being said, I'm going to give Longhorn the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe all of his reasonably-legged clothing was dirty that day, or maybe he lost a bet with a friend, or maybe there's some other perfectly good reason why one would need to wear a Utilikilt whilst on a winery tour with friends in Napa. Yes. Maybe so. All I know is that if he's of the mindset that Utilikilts are essential for him to express his personal sense of style, methinks I've found a wild card of the bad variety (no matter how tall those imaginary kids might be).

Note to self: If you start dating Longhorn and you tell him about the blog either come clean about your disdain for Utilikilts, or destroy this post. Or maybe both.


Upgrading life


Internets. You there? Bet you've been wondering the same thing about LMNT. Well, I'm here. Phew, am I ever! It's been quite a summer; yeah, yeah, the Shingles, but also I've been working hard. Hard. And I'm not talking about at my job, but about working hard on me and my life.

It all started back when I went on my fabulous retreat with fabulous women in the Spring. The retreat after which I attended I started manifesting chocolate left and right? Well, it turns out the chocolate just happened to be a faulty--nay, AWESOME--vending machine. But since chocopalooza, I've been manifesting other goodness.

And while I've been doing the work, I haven't been doing it on my own. I've been working with an amazing woman, and she's been challenging me to think differently and not letting me get away with my stuff. We are clearing out some of the clutter and transforming LMNT. New haircut, new clothes, including aaaahhhhhhmazing aubergine Italian leather boots. Thank you Mama M!

Labor Day weekend, I flew down to San Francisco for my cousin's wedding and it was LMNT at her finest. I made a conscious decision to do this trip differently. For starters, I only packed things that make me feel like a million bucks, including aaaahhhhhhmazing aubergine Italian leather boots. And wouldn't you know it? Even when I packed all my favorite things I was still captain of the "light packers" club.

There I am, traveling in all my fabulousness. By the way, Internets, do you know how many friends you make when you're fabulous? A lot. So, fabulous little me takes myself to the rental car counter, and would you believe it? They offered me an upgrade from a Ford Focus to a convertible Mustang for $10 per day. I'm not sure if old LMNT would have gone for that. In fact, I think old LMNT would have stayed practical. But not new LMNT, she went for it. Yeah, it was only $40, but still this is a huge shift for me. And do you know how much fun it is to drop that top and drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in the hot California sun? So much fun that this is what my mom did when we drove through wine country. It is so much fun that I am highly considering trading in my poor little Jetta for a convertible. Yes, I know I live in Seattle, where it's only sunny for 20 minutes every year, and I'm here to tell you that I would buy one and drive it around for those 20 minutes and it would be the best 20 minutes of the whole year (and I'd also be wearing my aaaahhhhhhmazing aubergine Italian leather boots). It's THAT MUCH FUN.

Note to self: when offered an upgrade, the answer is always YES!

And also, wind blown hair? It simply adds to the fabulousness.


LMNT's approach to wooing would be suitors

Internets, have I gone off the deep end? I need some affirmation from you (or confirmation, I suppose, if I have indeed gone off said deep end).

As I told you yesterday, I've stepped back into the realm of Internet Dating (I really like imagining you just read that in your mind with a big booming announcer voice... I can still hear it echoing). Every time I enter this territory, I feel like I do so with such gusto, well, let's face it that's kind of how I do life. I believe that it's important to be me and get that out there, like a giant billboard that screams, "HEY, WORLD! IT'S LMNT. LOVE ME. NOW!" Sometimes I wonder if the billboard approach is a little much, like maybe what's needed is the tiny little warning on your coffee cup that subtly reminds you, "The beverage you are about to enjoy might be hot."

Yeah, maybe subtlety works, but come on. You know me, subtle is not really my thing. If it were up to me, disposable coffee cups would be imprinted with the following statement, "Hey, idiot. This overpriced mochaccinodeleche you just purchased is burn-your-tongue hot. Don't be fooled by the foam. Consider yourself warned. Oh and you can't sue us now. Neener neener." Because even if I were trying to be subtle with the first statement, "the beverage you're about to enjoy, la di da," what I'm really thinking is that second statement, "neener neener." So why waste any one's time, right? Right. So, billboard it is.

Only when you go all billboardy on your dating profile, you are taking HUGE risks. Risk number one: you scare people away. Some may argue that the right person won't be scared off, but first impressions are everything here and it's a game of numbers. In order to play the odds I need more than one person to not be turned off by the crazy I'm broadcasting. Risk number two: crazy attracts crazy. I don't really want a billboardy person myself--let's face it, too many billboards might clutter this freeway of love; I don't need competition. I just want someone who is intrigued by my billboard and wants to learn more--kind of like how I feel when I drive by the Abercrombie & Fitch boys on the side of the building on 4th Ave in the south end of downtown Seattle. You Seattlites know the one. First you're like, "Ho hum, billboard." And then you're like, "Whoa! Hello, billboard! Can you even put pictures like that on billboards? And I don't see any Abercrombie & Fitch clothing on there. Come to think of it, I don't see any clothing on there." And then you're like, "Psst, billboard, I need to see more than what you're showing me. Agh! Eyes on the road."

Wait. No. I'm not talking about naked Abercrombie & Fitch models. It's not really like that billboard at all. I mean it is, but it isn't. I'm not talking about putting scantily clad pictures of me on the Internets and exposing my flesh in order to make people want to get to know me--it has NOT come to down to that, yet. What I'm talking about is exposing my dorkiness as my hook. Enough with the similes and metaphors. Here's the deal: I put a slew of pictures on the site to try visually create the story of me, and then when I went in to caption them I had a stroke of genius (or madness) to write each caption as if it were a fascinating part of the story. So gather round little Internets and I'll read you the tale I like to call, "The Day LMNT Used Children's Literature to Snag Herself a Fellow."
Once upon a time there was a girl named LMNT.

Sometimes she has long hair...

... and sometimes she wears hats.

Sometimes she does crazy things like guest grounds keeping at Safeco Field (read: smile and hold the shovel)...

... or running Marathons like this one in Vancouver, BC in 2006. She sure makes it look fun, doesn't she?

LMNT likes wigs, stage makeup, and rocking on (or hooking 'em horns?).

She thinks margaritas in paradise are grand. Zihuatenejo works for her (as do infinity pools).

She looks forward to the day when she meets her match and they live happily ever after. The End.

There you have it, Internets, my billboard. I was particularly proud of the last picture and caption and how it really ties the whole fairy tale together with a nice little bow--sigh, some day my prince will come. And in the meanwhile, hopefully someone or sometwo or somemany good ones want to get in on that kind of crazy/pure creative genius--as I continually and consistently demonstrate, the line between the two is very very blurry.


Bring on the small talk and courtesy chuckles

Dearest Internets, this weekend I bit the bullet and I'm dating you again. I'm throwing my hat back in the ring and resubscribing to a dating website. Lucky you, because we all know there will be plenty-o-stories coming out of this adventure.

However, this time it's going to be different. I've spent the past few months doing some really good work on me--getting crystal clear on what my heart truly desires way deep down there. In the past when I've dated the Internet, I've been an equal opportunity dater, maybe even a bleeding heart dater. But this time, none of my time will be spent on those who aren't simpatico with what's going on deep down in my heart, or on those who can't complement my already full and rich life and add to that, or those who I just keep around because they are like the sad little puppy that I hesitate to turn away.

Who knows what will happen. I'm keeping my mind open--to a point. I'm just ready to have some fun, put some good energy out there and see what comes back. One, two, three. Here we go, again.


Uncomfortably Numb

Twice. Twice today I've been injected with Novocaine. And neither one of those times have I actually had real dental work done. And, that might not be the fault of the official dentist of the blankity blankhawks. As it turns out, Internets, it might be me.

On my first trip to the dentist today, first I was told that the factory that makes the porcelain for the crown I had has reported that the cement used to attach it to the tooth doesn't always adhere well and there have been reports of them falling off, then I was told that she couldn't affix my crown because my gums were too puffy and bleeding. Actually, there was something really weird going on with my gums, they were covered in white bumps. She even showed me in a mirror--definitely weird, definitely white bumps.

Here's how that visit went down. She asked me sternly, "When did this crown fall off."

I responded, "Friday."

"Are you sure it fell off on Friday?"

"Yes," I said, even though it actually fell off on Thursday night.

"And how did it fall off?"

"I was chewing gum," I said, even though it actually came out when I was devouring a hot tamale.

INTERNETS?! Why did I feel the need to tell not just one, but two lies to the dentist? I don't know, but that was my initial story and I'll be damned if I wasn't going to stick to it.

One more time she asked, "Are you sure?" Persistent dentist, that one.

"Yes, I'm sure," ridiculously stubborn patient for really no good reason, this one.

Okay, so I told a little fib--or two--to the dentist, but as it turns out, that didn't matter at all, but the Commish would have skewered me for not coming clean to you, so there you have it. I lied. And je ne regrette rien.

As I reclined there, silently saying my Hail Mary and Our Father as penance for the pair of sins I had just committed, she informed me of my fate: she was going to shoot me up with Novocaine to try and stop the bleeding and affix my crown. Only the bleeding didn't stop, because, hello?
Weird gums covered in white bumps. So there I am, laden with guilt for lying, freaking out that something bad was happening in my mouth, and starting to lose feeling in my face. I kept taking deep breaths to try and keep myself as calm as I could when I g0t hit with another whammy. She's going to need me to come back later in the afternoon, fill me up with even more Novocaine, cut the gum away, cauterize it, and then affix the crown. I'm sorry, did you just say CUT THE GUM AWAY AND CAUTERIZE IT? Oh, you did? Oh, okay.

I head back to work trying to play down the fact that she and her team of hygienists are basically going to have a civil-war era reenactment in my mouth, wherein I'm given a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite on as they burn the open wound to stop the bleeding. You can imagine my excitement to head back for that second appointment. Trying to occupy my mind during the three hours between appointments was difficult. Work was not distracting enough to keep me from going worst-case scenario, so of course I went there. It must be cancer.

Thankfully, both AP and Coach A reassured me that I didn't have cancer--I didn't even have to tell AP that I thought I had cancer, I must have had the "I hate to tell you this, friend, but I'm pretty sure I have cancer" look on my face, because before I said anything she said, "you don't have cancer!"

And sure enough, I don't (at least I don't think so). It's not cancer, it's the shingles! The shingles is definitely better than the cancer. I'll take the shingles. But, awh man, I thought I had beaten the shingles. I feel great, but apparently, the shingles have overtaken my mouth. And by overtaken my mouth I mean the gums in the very back of the mouth have become so inflamed and have grown so much, they have grown over half of my crownless tooth. Gah.

How do I know it's the shingles. Well, I get to my second appointment (on the verge of tears because are they really going to CUT MY GUM AWAY AND CAUTERIZE IT?), and the hygienist injects me with a high dose of Novocaine and then goes to town on cleaning out the gum. She's really hesitant to cut it away, and I am thanking every known deity because, we don't want to cut that gum, right? So I begin yammering on about all the things I can think about, like, my jaw hurt a couple weeks ago when I was on vacation, but then it went away and I didn't think anything more of it, maybe that's related? And that I swear the crown fell off on Friday (liar!) even though it looks like the gum has been growing out of control for a few months now. And how this has been such a crazy month--especially for the right side of my body. I mean it's like the right side of my body hates me. First the shingles and now this--

"Wait a minute. I know you're whole face is numb, and you have a couple of cotton wads jammed in there, too, but did you just say shingles?"

"Uh, yeah, I had shingles three weeks ago."

Before I knew it, "doctor" was at my station, chastising me, "Why didn't you say that earlier? I was prying to get any information out of you and you didn't say anything about shingles."

Well, yeah, because I'm awesome and I got over the shingles in record time, so how could that have anything to do with the crown that fell out of my mouth last Friday when I was chewing gum? Only, apparently I didn't (no, I didn't chew gum on Friday and I didn't get over the shingles). Because the weird gums covered in white bumps? Yeah, shingle blisters. In. My. Mouth. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

So today there was no operating. No cauterizing. No crown replacement (but there were several rounds of "Me and My Llama" playing in my brain). Instead I have to try and treat this new and oh-so-awesome "rash" (the one IN THE BACK OF MY MOUTH), and then come back in a few weeks and see if we can do this whole thing over again (minus the operating and the cauterizing).

Note to self: Shingles in the mouth definitely NOT making the the list of "Top 10 Hottest Things About The Shingles."


Now I can truly empathize with Vanessa Williams

I have no choice. The time has come and nothing can make me change my mind. I am breaking up with my dentist. Yes, the official dentist of the blankity blankhawks, who is the diva of all things molar, and who told me I have a low root-to-gum ratio which requires me to visit the office every four months. Yes, the very same dentist who left a wooden shim in my mouth.

The other day I was standing in an eternal line at the grocery store when I noticed a whole display of hot tamales (my favorite candy) on sale for a dollar a box. How could anyone say no to that? Don't ask me, because clearly I am not that person. I fell victim to the candy's excellent product placement and even better price point and bought myself a box. When I got back to my car, I had a fleeting thought of not tearing open the box immediately and waiting until I got home to enjoy my treat, but then I thought better of it and tore open the box immediately. Exercising some self-control, I poured a couple into my hand, even though my temptation was to just pour the whole box into my mouth. As I bit down on the first one, something strange happened: it pulled out a tooth. At least it seemed like a tooth. Suddenly there was a gaping hole in my grin, and something hard in my tamale.

Fortunately, it wasn't really a tooth, but it was a crown. The crown "doctor" had put in just a few short months ago. Some people might say, "LMNT, you're supposed to stay away from things like gum and sticky candies when you have dental work," but to those people I say, "pffffffffft." Fifteen years ago I had a crown installed from a dentist who is not the official dentist of the blankity blankhawsk. That's fifteen years of hot tamale eating and intermittent gum chewing, and never once has that puppy budged. But this new crown? Not so much. I've been stripped of my crown and I'm not blaming the tamale, or my affinity for chewy sugary treats; I'm blaming the dentist. But before I break up with her, I'm going to make sure she fixes this for free. And then I'm breaking up with her. Will I storm out of the office slamming the door in a righteous huff? Probably not, but I will be happy to tell her, "it's not me, it's you."


A tribute to The Shingles

The shingles is potentially a really huge-ass blessing. Now hear me out on this, Internets. The past three days of sitting home all day (and staying up most of the night) has left me a little bit introspective, if not delirious, and there are actually some good things, nay, some great things I'm learning about myself through the shingles. I'm still in the midst of some of those lessons, but what I have for you today is "Little Ms. Notetaker's Top 10 Hottest Things About Shingles."

Number 10: It's not lymphoma. There was a period of 12 hours when my paranoid little mind was convinced that I was showing the symptoms of lymphoma. I knew I was being paranoid, but I still went there, because the mind loves it some worst-case scenario drama. Thankfully, it's just the shingles. Thank you, shingles... and WebMD, not so much.

Number 9: Nakedness. Almost everything annoys my sensitive skin right now. It's all prickly and tickly. Really the only cure is nakedness. Unfortunately, the properties right next to mine were built within sneezing distance of all of my main floor windows which doesn't allow for much nakedness, but that's okay because it leads me to number eight.

Number 8: Wearing your shirt like you did in the summers of your childhood. You know, like this:

When you can't be naked, wouldn't you like to be like this? Of course you would.

Number 7: Scratch marks. There are certain places I can scratch and certain places are off limits. So when one of those off limits places starts itching, I vigorously scratch some other part of my body, hoping to play some Vulcan mind trick on myself. It doesn't really work, but that hasn't stopped me from continuing to do it.

Number 6: Constant bed head. Bed head like that slightly tousled slightly greasy look; you know the one, like I just stepped out of the pages of Vogue, only I didn't. I just got up off the couch to be upright so I could take another mega dose of Vitamin C.

Number 5: Memoirs of a Geisha. In case you have a thing for ladies of the orient, in particular their kimonos and obis, a girl with the shingles is the girl for you. I've found that when all else fails, nothing soothes the itching more than swaddling myself with a blanket. If I wrap it as tight as I can around my abdomen, I'm offered a few minutes of temporary relief. And if you happen to have a thing for Geishas dressed in fleece Strawberry Shortcake blankets, well, then have I got the girl for you.

Number 4: Tweety bird. After my first visit to the doctor, I got a healthy dose of vitamin B12 injected into my rear. When I went to take a shower the next day, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and had a minor panic attack that the shingles had spread to my derriere and had taken the form of a very dark circle. Oh, wait. It's just a tweety bird band-aid from the doctor. As you were, LMNT.

Number 3: A year's worth of date movies all in three days. Movies viewed: 13 and counting.

Number 2: Not having to cook. Oh. My. Gracious. This is pretty close to being number one. I have been blessed with some phenomenal people in my life and they have coordinated meal deliveries. Being able to nurse myself back to health with yummy and nutritious food (yummy and nutritious food that I didn't have to make for myself) is beyond amazing. Unbelievable amounts of gratitude for my good Italian friend, for whom making sure people are well fed is top priority. Coach A mobilized the lovely ladies and their meals-on-wheels initiative. My itchy, but satiated belly thanks you.

Number 1: Knowing that I will probably (hopefully) never have the shingles again. Enough said.


Professional Back Scratcher needed. Apply within.

Internets, I have the shingles. The shingles! Shingles are NOT fun. No way, no how. What is fun, however, is self-medicating your shingles with frozen custard. What is also fun? Calling shingles "the shingles."

So, yeah. The shingles. Apparently LMNT is not immune to the diseases most commonly associated with those in their advanced years like shingles and pneumonia. What's next? Becoming a bad tipper? Slow driving? Beating down the door to the Golden Corral at 4:45 for the sunsetter's special?

Note to self: Relax.

If you're not in advanced age, shingles is usually caused by an extremely weakened immune system or from stress. When I went to see my doctor today, she asked me if I was really stressed out. I don't think so. I mean I'm always in a heightened state of high-strungedness, but I'm not any more stressed out than usual. I don't think it's work; if anything is stressing me out, it's all of life's extra-curricular activities, like: will I make it to the soccer game on time, do we have enough women to play in our flag football game, and can I assemble a team for a mini-golf charity event? Internets, apparently the adult co-rec activities in which I participate have caused a viral herpes outbreak on my back (a big fat you're welcome to all the 12-year-olds trapped inside of you that chuckled their way through that sentence).

So, sports are bad and the shingles are worse.

It started out as a rash on my back, not necessarily itchy but noticably present. Then there were the random bruise like pains in my groin and running down my rib cage. Something did not seem right, so last night I took to the web to feed my hypochondria through trusty website diagnosis. Shingles seemed an obvious choice. And actually there were several other somewhat obscure and fatal choices that to my brain seemed quite possible, nay probable, so I spent the better part of the night stressing out about the fact that I'd be lucky to be awake in the morning because I'd probably be consumed whole by the flesh-eating disease currently devouring my back. Remember the part about stress causing the shingles? Yeah, I don't think I was helping my own cause. Oh and looking at pictures of shingles on skin on the Internets (skinternets)? That didn't help my cause either.

So, I'm gonna try to get all zen, but it's a really hard state to achieve when I'm simultaneously prickling with the sensation that all the scratching in the world won't relieve this itch, and writhing from the pain of someone having kicked my ribcage into oblivion, and the back pain, and the swollen lymph nodes, and the rash, and the uncontrollable urge to strap anything colder than room temperature onto my lower back. Oh, and not to mention the doctor's recommendation to take 6 grams of vitamin C each day. You might think that's not a lot, but 6 grams is actually 12 normal doses of vitamin C. Count them (like you would if you were going to the ladybug picnic): 12 pills! And, by the way, that much vitamin C wreaks havoc on your intestines. But I'm going to be all zen about this as my body is trying to tell me something, and if I don't listen I think the vitamin C will smack me in the face, pull my hair, and threaten a swirly until I start listening.


See you later, alligator

They say, if you love something set it free and if it comes back to you it was meant to be. But I know for sure this one's not coming back. It was too good to be true, I knew it from the start.

I was driving home from work today in heavy stop-and-go traffic, all proud of myself for finding my "new to me" hubcap yesterday, when I came to a quick stop just to see that very hubcap roll across the freeway lane in front of my car. No no no no no no no! Awh, man. Blarg.

As I watched it roll, in super slo-mo and then come to rest in the lane next to me, I strongly considered pulling the emergency brake, hopping out and grabbing the wayward cap. Wasn't it destiny that this hubcap and I were reunited yesterday? I guess not. And I also guessed it was better that I didn't jump out of my car in the middle of the freeway during rush hour. And just like that, I've got to go reinvent my wheel.


Oh yes, I did.

Note to self: keepeth thine faith in the hubcap humanitarian.

Internets, guess what I found driving home from work today? Yep, a hubcap. But wait, not just any hubcap, a hubcap for a Volkswagen, a hubcap for a Volkswagen that matches the other three hubcaps on my Volkswagen. There it was in all of its glory propped up against a bus stop shelter, undoubtedly placed there by a selfless saint.

Was it my hubcap (the one I lost months ago)? Eh, probably not. Did I immediately pull over, walk down the street, pick it up, carry it back, and attach it to my wheel? You bet I most certainly did.

As I parked my car down the road, I hemmed and hawed about if it was the right thing to do. Was it wrong for me to go and grab that hubcap off the side of the road? And the more I thought about it, the more I realized it had to be the right thing. How many of those abandoned little hubcaps do I see every day? Too many to count. How many blog posts do I have to write about hubcap humanitarians? Okay, probably too many of those to count, too. But, even if that hubcap wasn't really mine, the simple act of pulling over and claiming it is exactly why hubcap humanitarians do what they do. So, it's not so much that I was stealing something that wasn't mine, but I was creating a virtuous cycle within the hubcap humanitarian community. And although it is highly likely that hubcap is not mine, I will love it as if it were my very own--it may be a little scratched up and has been living out on the street for quite some time now--I'm thinking a gently used, free hubcap is better than no hubcap at all.


They really do happen in threes

Remember how I am a manifester of all things chocolate? Like donettes and candy bars? What do they say, if it happens once it's random, twice it's a pattern? Well, what if it happens thrice? I think it's a true sign of my ESP: Extra Snack Power!

I made a special trip to the vending machine at work today, again. And, you guessed it I scored free candy, again. Peanut M&Ms this time. You'd have to be there to believe it; thankfully, AP was.

I keep thinking my candy karma might be coming to an end, and even thought I had run out today, for when I entered my selection the first package of peanut M&Ms got stuck and didn't drop. Both AP and I had the same reaction with matching sad trombone sound effect. But then, just when it seemed all hope for chocolate was lost, the machine revved up and spun me out not one, but two bags of M&Ms. AP squealed and did a happy little dance--which quite surprised the man getting coffee at the other end of the kitchenette.

And don't get me wrong (especially you, St. Macarius of Alexandria, patron saint of candy makers), I like the free candy and all, but I really need to figure out how to channel my ESP into other arenas. Until then, Internets, if you need stuff, chocolate stuff, you know who to call.


One for the Pants

Those of you that use Blogger may have noticed when you draft and publish your posts the program provides you with some example labels you could attach to your post, "scooters, vacation, fall." For as long as I've been blogging, I've always wanted to tackle the challenge of writing a post that incorporates all of those items. Guess what? I have one, and even better, it's a fitting tribute to dad on Father's Day.

Ah, Dad. Dad, Denny, Lenny, Leonard, DenPants. Lots of loving names for the ol' man I love so much.

When I think about him, it's hard not to think of the things that are so uniquely him, his Dennyisms, if you will. The Dennyism that is most memorable to me (other than his impersonation of the Incredible Hulk, but that's another story) is his stock response to injury. Regardless the severity of your malady, if you went running to dad you'd get the standard answer, "rub it." Stub your toe? Rub it. Trip down the stairs at the neighbor's house wearing high heels from the dress-up box and scrape your knee? Rub it. Slam your thumb in the car door, rip it out of said car door, see blood drip from under the nail bed, nearly faint? Go to the hospital and get an x-ray because it's clearly broken? No. Have you not learned anything? RUB IT! The man was nothing if not consistent.

Growing up, we'd frequently take mini-vacations up to the cabin our grandparent's had in the foothills of the Rockies. We use the term cabin loosely, as it wasn't a rustic log cabin, but it was a nice little getaway on a reservoir with a boat, some dirt bikes, and a couple of Vespa-type scooters. I remember my brother and I entertaining ourselves for hours out in the garage. We'd climb up into the boat and pretend to drive it, and when that got old, we'd sit on the scooters and make believe we were driving around getting groceries and whatnot, you know, doing the things you do on scooters. And then when that got old, we'd go in beg any of the adults to take us out for real rides on the scooters to get groceries or just do the things you do on scooters, which was mostly just ride them.

At the tender age of 12 (which at the time I'm sure made perfect sense), I had it in my mind that it was high time I learned how to drive the scooter. I wasn't really of a stature that could control the scooter, I was lanky, awkward, and klutzy, but by golly I was determined to drive that scooter all on my own! I had been plotting that time for at least a year and I know that I was completely fixated on learning how that entire weekend vacation.

Finally, my dad caved and agreed to teach me. We strapped on helmets and headed up the hill to some property that my grandpa owned where I could practice on wide, level space that was off the street. My brother came along too, on one of the little dirt bikes. It's important to note that this property is dirt and gravel--ideal for the little dirt bikes, maybe not-so-ideal for scooters operated by tentative scrawny first-time drivers.

After some brief instruction--dad, I got this, I ride this thing in my imagination ALL THE TIME in the garage, trust me, I'm a pro--away I go with the task of practicing big loopy figure eights. I'm great on the first straightaway, I feel the wind on my skin and it's all that I dreamed it could be. And then I get to my first turn. Now what was it he was saying about turning? Slow down a little? Lean into it? Hmm, I don't think I like driving scooters anymore. I think I'd like to stop--OH NO! Look out for that rock! Turn. Rock. Turn. Lean? Screw it. And just as I was taking the scooter over the rock, without a hint of lean in my body, I yank the handle bars as hard as I can to the right and fall off. Yep. I laid that scooter down, only that makes it sound much more graceful than it was. As I remember it, I got up, shattered ego and scraped elbow, the throbbing kind where you can feel the blood dripping down your limb. Crying from the embarrassment, frustration, and pain, I was done. I turned to my dad, hoping for some sympathy and what I got-- in what I am sure was the most sympathetic way he knew how? Yes. Rub it.

I lost it. In what I am sure was the most dramatic way I knew how, I exclaimed I would NOT be rubbing my arm because my elbow was gushing blood, it hurt, and THERE ARE ROCKS LODGED IN THERE and rubbing it would only grind them in more! I then informed him I would not be riding on that scooter back to the cabin and proceeded to walk my stubborn sobbing self (with my helmet still strapped firmly to my head) back down the hill.

My dad and brother seemed somewhat surprised at my response; I think that may have been one of the first times my dad realized he was raising a teenage girl. Oh the fun of teenage emotions he had in store, lucky lucky him. I didn't have the same mentality that he or my brother had, where a scrape and a little blood didn't stop you, in fact a scrape and blood made you keep on going. I had the mentality that a scrape and blood took the fun out of it and made me want to abandon the scooter and go home.

You'll be glad to know my elbow and ego both healed. Dad even helped me make it through the teenage years and into adulthood (with plenty of Dennyisms all along the way). And while I've not driven a scooter since that vacation, I have had several falls, and the first voice that pops into my head is always that of dad. And even if I don't take his advice every time, it's reassuring to know that he's always there ready to offer it, or to drive my scooter back home for me when all I can do is walk.

Thanks, DenPants, for everything. I love you, always.


Summer Repeats

A few nights ago, I was driving home and was listening to a local call-in radio program. The topic was the impact of the video game industry and as I pulled up to my house I heard a very passionate father lamenting that gaming has turned his once bright and studious son into a slacker. It wasn't so much what the father was talking about, but the emotion behind it that struck me. I knew what he was feeling; well, sort of, kind of, in a way. I mean, I knew the energy he had coursing through his veins. The energy that calls you to action and compels you to call a local radio show, to ask advice... about your teenage child.

Let me explain.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my VBFF, TIG, had a boyfriend who was a senior. He was old enough to go to rated R movies, vote, buy lottery tickets and tobacco products. And TIG and I, we were not that old--and let me tell you, we were i-n-n-o-c-e-n-t little goodie-two-shoes (I know, you're all completely shocked). We were co-presidents, and now that I think about it, really the only two members of the club STAND (Students Taking a New Direction). Funny thing, it wasn't so much that we were taking a "new" direction so to speak, we were taking the only direction we had ever known: the straight and narrow. No drugs, no alcohol, no sex, no rule breaking of any kind. I've said it here before and I'll say it again, we were so flippin' cool. But we didn't really care, we had so much fun in our own dorky innocent ways, that doing anything differently never even crossed our minds.

Back to the melodarama. One day, TIG finds a can of mint chew in her boyfriend's car and is completely beside herself. Where did that come from? Why would he have that? Doesn't he know who she is and what she STANDs for? Distraught, we determine the best solution is to call into the local radio psychologist.

WAIT, Internets. I was typing this post and realized, I'VE TOLD YOU THIS STORY ALREADY! Aren't I adorable? Yep, back in 2008. And you? You were you going to let me keep going, pretending you hadn't already heard it weren't you? All the while just nodding at me, smiling and thinking, "yeah yeah yeah and then your husband bought your step-daughter a mink and yadda yadda yadda. WE KNOW!" Okay, I'll spare you all that. But if you haven't read this post, you really should. It's hilarious. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller.

Note to self: Reduce, reuse, recycle: great for the environment and maybe reviving the readership.


A post that does right by Edith Ann

Hey, Internets? Raise your hand if you remember this one:

My guess is that if you're of a certain age (like say, mine) after watching this you'll be overwhelmed by memories of Sesame Street. To this day, anytime anyone utters the word "llama," it immediately sets off this catchy little tune in my brain. And sometimes I sing it to myself in my car when I'm driving myself to the dentist. Okay, final Sesame Street confession, if I ever have to count to twelve, I either do it as if I'm going to play games at the ladybug picnic or I'm in a jazzy pinball machine. Can I get a witness?

So back to this whole llama dentist adventure, what the what? Re-watching this video raises the same questions for me as when I was a kid:
  1. Who has a pet llama?
  2. Wait, no, the real question is who has a pet llama in Manhattan?
  3. Are there any animal laws about walking your pet llama down a New York City street?
  4. How many llama dentists are there in New York City?
  5. If I couldn't find a llama dentist, would my dentist clean my pet llamas teeth?

I've decided to do some hard-hitting investigative research for you (read: I Binged it) and here's what I learned:
1. Who has a pet llama? Well, a lot of people do. And Chrissa. Chrissa has a pet llama.

2. Wait, no, the real question is who has a pet llama in Manhattan? As it turns out, a lot of people do. People like the owners of Lazy T Ranch, in Manhattan. Manhattan, Kansas.

3. Are there any animal laws about walking your pet llama down a New York City street? There are certainly laws about walking your dog down the street. However, llooking for llama llaws is lleaving me llost. Llame. If you want LlMNT's advice, check with the New York City department of Veterinary Public Health Services.

4. How many llama dentists are there in New York City? In New York City proper there are 14. Well, there are 14 "animal dentists," you should call them first before leashing up your llama and walking her there as they may only cater to small animals and it would likely be a little humiliating for both you and your llama to show up at the small animal dentist only to be turned away because they don't have a chair, protective eye wear, or scrapers big enough for your giant llama.

5. If I couldn't find a llama dentist, would my dentist clean my llama's teeth? HELL NO. Are you kidding me? The official dentist for the blankity blankhawks? With her rhinestones, skinny designer jeans and stilettos? That's just plain preposterous. It's not because she caters only to small animals--I mean, come on, the blankity blankhawks are anything but small--it's because you're a llama. Sorry, llama.

And that's the truth.



You know when you go to Dairy Queen, and near the cash register there's that donation box for some charity? And that donation box is really not a box, but is a funnel type thing (technical words are failing me here)? And the fact that it's not a box, but is a funnel type thing makes you want to donate all the change you have on you because change in funnels is way more fun than change in boxes? And the quarter you drop in falls just so that it rolls around and around and around the funnel--starting at the top in a very big and very slow orbit and then it follows a slight downward spiral where it rolls faster and faster and faster, until it falls into the great unknown?

Yeah, that's how my life has felt for awhile: circling at a ridiculously slow and monotonous pace, on the brink of a downward spiral into the great unknown. I've felt like I've been on the brink for a really long time, in a holding pattern of sorts. Stuck. I've felt stuck. Even though my life is rolling on (or around and around and around and around), I've felt like I've been going nowhere. And I've been trying with all of my might to make sure that no matter where I circled, that I would go anywhere but that downward spiral. Please, anywhere but there!

When I think about that funnel, it gets me thinking about how throwing your quarter in the funnel is more fun than throwing your quarter in a plain old box, it's times infinity more fun. Why? Because of the journey it takes, because you know where it's going to go but you don't know exactly how long it will take to get there, because when it starts to roll faster and faster and faster you get so excited that you hold your breath in anticipation until it drops. And when it drops, you think, that was fun! Again! Again! Again! And you put in another coin and repeat.

When I think about my life, it gets me thinking about how unlike the quarter I've been avoiding that journey. I've been circling the top of the funnel where it's slow and safe and where I'm bored. And I think I've been subconsciously trying to maintain that path because it's slow and safe and boring, and the downward spiral is terrifying and unknown. But when I really truly think about it, the spiral part is actually thrilling and exciting and will take me to the great unknown. And in my mind I was thinking like the downward spiral and the great unknown were bad things. However, they're not. In the case of the coins, the great unknown is actually a good place, where it joins other coins and becomes part of a something bigger, a donation to a good cause. So maybe the thrilling spiral down to the great unknown isn't bad afterall. What if, like my quarter, it's a good place where I can be a part of something bigger. Who would consciously try to resist that?

This week, I've taken some big steps. I'm surrendering to the revolutions of my life, I'm tired of circling up top when better things are waiting for me in the great unknown. Things that are so good that I know that as I roll faster and faster toward them, I'll be holding my breath in anticipation waiting to land. And after I do, I'll know that is was fun! And I'll want to do it again! Again! Again!


The midas touch

Apparently, I've got it.

LMNT is in a funk, my friends. And I was completely funkedefied yesterday. Granted I was PMSing, which caused me t0 host the most wonderful pity party in my head. It was while I was at said party that I realized I needed some chocolate. I mean what's a pity party without chocolate? Oh, no. I may have just turned this post into a Cathy comic strip. Aaaaaack!

Anyway, there I was partying away in my brain, making small talk with myself (read: letting my inner-critic, who is coincidentally named "Cathy," pile drive me directly into a puddle of misery, despair, and general badness), when I decided the best way to shut Cathy up would be to shove some chocolate in her face. Food is not love, food is not love, food is not love, oh well, whatever.

In a frenzied scene, not too unlike the one from earlier this month, I scraped together my change--I actually had to borrow a dime from Coach A--and marched Cathy and myself right down the hallway to the vending machine. This time I was very clear on what I wanted: Hershey's with almonds, please. It looked like it was the last one, but it had my name all over it; suddenly my day was looking up. I put in my money, hit the magic numbers, and presto: my own personal panacea.

But wait there's more, literally. As I reached in to grab it, wouldn't you know it, but ANOTHER HERSHEY'S BAR MAGICALLY FELL DOWN AND LANDED ON MY HAND. Seriously. I manifested more chocolate. Again. Doom and gloom be gone and make way for chocolate and more chocolate. Just enough to keep Cathy quiet and LMNT happy.


Long live the queens

I've always been a bit of a word nerd. One of my favorite movies of all-time is Spellbound, a heart-touching documentary of a cross-section of awkward tweeners preparing for the National Spelling Bee. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and if you're a word nerd like me, you'll totally--sometimes painfully--relate to these kids.

As far as word nerds go, I hold my ground steadily in the middle of the pack. I'm a decent speller, however my VBFF growing up, TIG, was the queen of spelling. And that is one of the highest honors a second-grade word nerd could hold. In fact, when I moved to my new school our introductions to each other included her spelling a-c-k-n-o-w-l-e-d-g-e-m-e-n-t. Wow. And when we really solidified our friendship I was all giddy at the prospect of having the girl who could spell antidisestablishmentarianism at my birthday party. Could it get any better than that? You don't have to tell me twice, we were so cool (as an aside, Blogger's spellcheck response to antidisestablishmentariansim? No suggestions. Note to self: Do not entrust Blogger with life's most important spellchecking needs. My vote is for TIG).

My vocabulary is also of decent size; it's like the baby bear of nerdiness: not too big to be off-putting, not too small to be pedestrian, but just right. Middle of the pack. However, my friend, Monster? She's the penultimate vocabularist (and if her title is worth anything, she'll point out that vocabularist is not a word. Yes, she's also a master grammarian). I'll admit it, I have vocabulary envy. Which is most certainly one of the word nerd's deadliest sins. Probably the most deadly word nerd sin is sloth: not putting your words to use. I'm in the process of thinking about applying for graduate school sometime in the future, again. And one of the first steps in the process of thinking about possibly going back to grad school someday is preparing for standardized tests, and one of the components of said tests is vocabulary. Yay! I purchased some flashcards and every night I quiz myself. I'm tackling 25 words a day--and these are big words. Words that the upper echelon of word nerds know and use frequently, but words that baby bear doesn't yet feel comfortable pulling out of her pocket and throwing down over a bowl of porridge, you know? But not wanting sloth to get the best of me, I know I have to start incorporating some of these words in my daily conversations. And here's the sign of my true word nerdiness, even if I wasn't thinking about the prospect of possibly going back to grad school someday, I'd still find great delight in this little exercise of studying flashcards. I know, I know, you don't have to say it again, I AM SO COOL!

Last night, the Commish, Monster and I got to talking about vocabulary and using big words and the process you go through as a kid when you're testing out the proper use of words. I told them about how one time TIG and I were driving around with her family after a tornado had hit Denver and I felt called to use a new word I had read in a Nancy Drew book. "Ooooh, look at all the DERBIS!" I interjected. I mean, there were downed trees and branches and leaves everywhere. DERBIS abounds. Oh, I was supremely proud of myself for just having used an impressively big word and I know that I emphasized the heck out of it. DERBIS, DERBIS, DERBIS. Through stifled chuckles, her parents asked me to repeat what I said. Slightly less confident, I responded, "uh, derbis?" They very gently corrected me. Oh. Yes. Of course. Silly me, DEBRIS. That's what I said. DEBRIS. Lesson learned. And to this day I still get a good laugh out of it.

And speaking of laughter, my recount of this experience inspired Monster to share a similar story (and with her permission, I think, er, I hope, I'm repeating it here). First you need to have a picture of Monster. As I've already mentioned, she's the vocabulary queen, and it's not like she stumbled upon that greatness one day, she was a vocabulary queen (or maybe princess) as a kid, too. So, picture the cutest, smartest, most innocent little elementary school kid. Got that image in your head? Good. Okay, so now picture that cute little brainiac as a third-grader having the honor bestowed upon her to read the school announcements over the PA system for a week. She reports to the office for her first day of announcement reading and the Assistant Principal a huffy old spinster shoves the announcement sheet in her hands, and asks her if she knows all the words on the page. It's Monster, OF COURSE SHE KNOWS ALL THE WORDS ON THE PAGE, duh? At this point nearly 30 years after the fact, I'm even incredulous. I mean, really, who would dare question word nerd royalty? Monster, confident in her abilities says yes, and the announcements begin. At this school, each day announcements begin with a quote--an aphorism, adage, or platitude, if you will. Monster clears her throat, presses the button on the system mic and begins, "LAWTER is the best medicine." Before she knows it the mic is stripped from her little hands, "LAUGHTER, that's LAUGHTER is the best medicine." What the what? "Laffter"? But hello DAUGHTER (DAWTER)? So therefore LAUGHTER (LAWTER), right? It makes sense, and I'm certainly not one to question the queen. That would be... what would it be? I think there's probably a really big and appropriate word in my box of flashcards for what it would be, but we'll just make do with: stupid. That would be stupid. Lesson learned. And to this day she--and now I and the whole of the Internets--still gets a good laugh out of it.


Manifest Hostesstiny

I am the great and powerful LMNT. Read and be amazed.

This afternoon I was sitting at work, proud of myself for intentionally eating well today, and also really jonesing for some chocolate. If lesson number one from the retreat was having clear intentions, lesson number two was building those intentions around my wants and desires--and at that moment I desired chocolate.

I desired chocolate so badly that I had to turn my whole office inside out to find enough change to get the vending machine to submit to my wants and desires. I was scraping the barrel. I had $0.57 in pennies, but the vending machine doesn't take pennies. Nickels and dimes? Yes. It was looking pretty rough, but was able to scrounge the $0.90 I needed--but that's it, not a penny more, only I had plenty of pennies more, so not a silver-colored coin more. Giddy about the prospect of chocolate, I set out down the hall thinking about what candy bar I'd get. Twix is my go-to candy bar, but as of late I've been tending toward the Extra Crispy Big Kit Kat or the ol' reliable Hershey's with Almonds. As I stood there debating the pros and cons of each option in my brain, I spotted a package of Hostess Donettes, and thought, ooooh, I want those. Which is funny because I don't really even like those all that much, and sad because they cost $1.00 and I was literally down to my very last nickel. Oh well, I thought, just go with your original instinct, and Extra Crispy Big Kit Kat it was.

I put my one dime and 16 nickels into the machine, punched in the magic numbers and watched my chocolate dream drop. Chocolate time. I reached into the machine to claim my prize and wouldn't you know it, my candy bar was sitting atop a package of Donettes! Flabbergasted by my crazy luck, or supreme magical power, however you want to look at it, I grabbed my chocolaty treats and hustled down the hall back to my office, looking over my shoulder every few steps just to make sure nobody busted me for stealing the Universe's Donettes--okay really so that nobody would see me hoarding junk food.

And it's true, I don't even like Donettes all that much, even if I did devour three of them at once, but I just couldn't believe the fortuitousness of this whole situation. It makes me think that if I can manifest Donettes, I truly can do anything. Dallas Cowgirls here I come!


Paving the road

Note to self: Every thing's a little bit better when there's intent behind it.

When I was out on my retreat a few weeks ago, I realized that I had somehow stopped living my life with intention. There were certainly big picture things driving me like: getting rich, retiring early, playing more golf, having kids so I can teach them to say funny things before they know any better, but on a day-to-day basis I was really just going through the motions. It was not uncommon for me to wake up in the morning, laying in bed for as long as I could with the only thought rolling around my head, "what are you going to wear today?" Then when fashion inspiration struck or when it was the absolute last minute I could get out of bed and get ready for work just in time to sprint out the door and make the bus (let's face it, 99% of the time it was the latter... as my uninspired wardrobe choices could attest to), I'd do just that: spring out of bed in a frantic rush to shower, get ready, and run out the door. Twenty minutes. I can do it in 20 minutes. And while this is kind of a point of pride because low-maintenance girl can get ready in 20 minutes, the fact that I looked like I got ready in 20 minutes was really not something of which to be proud. And I think starting my day with a pressure-filled 20-minute dash really doesn't do wonders for me mentally or emotionally.

Ultimately, my average day would look like this: race to get ready, go to work do typical work-type things, come home, not feel like making any dinner which luckily for me I couldn't make anything because it had been weeks since I had gone to a store and bought food for myself, fix cereal instead, watch food network and get jealous of the better-than-my-cereal-dinner food that they were making, start to doze off in front of the TV, drag myself to bed, fall asleep immediately. Wake up and repeat.

I thought this was just how I was when I didn't have project, but when I'm in the midst of a project, say like a play or a house remodel, my behavior is the same, it's just that I eventually have more to show for myself than sitting like a vegetable in front of the TV. I've realized it's not about the project or how I'm spending my time, it's about the intentions I set for what I'm doing, how I'm living each day, not just continually going through the motions.

So my new project if you will is clearly setting my intentions each morning and then giving gratitude for my day each evening. I've found that keeping it simple--I want a certain meeting to go well, or I want to go for a run, or I want to remember to breathe--makes it easier and at the end of the day, there's something to reflect upon. It makes me feel a little more connected to myself.

One of my intentions over the weekend was to get myself back into healthy eating habits; to actually go to the store and buy real food for myself that I will use to make real meals for myself, as opposed to going to the story and buying food for myself that I end up throwing away because I'm too lazy to make real meals for myself. I was reading an article in an old magazine I had lying around that had a month's worth of easy dinner recipes with exactly what I'd need to buy for the week. Perfect. Just in case you're keeping count, that's going to the store, one intention, having a specific list for the week's meals, two intentions. And if we want to go really crazy, five recipes for the week for my intentional dinners, that's seven, seven intentions. Muwahahaha, I love to count.

And can I just say, I've never enjoyed going to the grocery store or even cooking for one so much. I know that planning a menu and making a shopping list are not ground-breaking things. Trust me, I'm a list girl, so it's not like I've never shopped according to a list; it's the making of the list or the week's menu that makes me want to poke my eyeballs out so rather than do that I'll just opt for cereal or PBJs and skip the store altogether. Turns out that when it comes to this my intention is to do what I need to do so long as someone else tells me what to do--even if that someone else is an inanimate object like say a magazine. So when the magazine says this is what you'll buy and this is what you'll make with what you buy, I say, yes, sir, magazine sir. And I go to the store and I buy what I need to and then I make the dinners, all with a smile on my face.

And with that, I have a magazine breathing down my neck reminding me that I have stir-fry beef and baby bok choy waiting for me. And I do not intend to disappoint.


For CrissPiss

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always believing in me. Even when I've struggled to know exactly what I'm doing, or where I'm going, or who I should or should not be dating, you always support me one hundred percent gently guiding me with the wisdom only a mother can.

Thank you for buying me the poster from the Scholastic Book sale in elementary school. The one that hung framed in my bedroom my entire childhood. The one that said "strive to be the best you can be." It's my mantra and every day I try to be the best person I can be and make this world a little better.

Thank you for always kicking lil brother and I out of the house to go play outside. From that I've gained a sense of adventure, athletic talents, the ability to make-up silly little games that can entertain for hours, and the repulsion to just sitting idle not doing anything.

Thank you for making me play volleyball in the seventh grade when I said I wanted to do gymnastics. I am sure I made some sort of protest that my other friends were doing gymnastics, but you knew that wasn't where I was supposed to be. Whether it was because I couldn't touch my toes (and still can't) or because I was well on my way to growing into my 5'10" body, I think you knew something was in store for me on the volleyball court. That decision, helped me gain confidence, strength, and leadership skills in a way that gymnastics never would have. Lord knows I would have never landed a full-ride scholarship to a fantastic university with my prowess on a balance beam.

Thank you for calling Matt Dalzell in 1994 and then throwing the phone at me when he answered thereby forcing me to ask him to Prom. I didn't appreciate your gesture at the time (I mean, come on, it couldn't have been more awkward), and he didn't say yes, but you taught me not to sit around and wait for things to happen. Eventually I did get a date to Prom, and have since had many dates and several meaningful (and some, not-so-much) relationships--I've even loved and been loved. And I can say that your influence has--for the most part--kept me strong and on the path to finding a lasting and loving relationship where I'm able to ask for and get what I want and need.

Thanks for loving dad. The example you've set for me is the picture of that lasting and loving relationship I want. I promise you I won't settle for less.

Thanks for always answering the phone and for being there when I need you. Whether it's the flu, a broken heart, leaving a career, buying a house, or the day of the month when I have the blahs and don't think I'm ever going to shake them, I know you're always there, even when there is a thousand miles away.

Thanks for not being one of those moms who ingratiates herself to her teenage daughter. You always held me accountable and you always were mom first. I respected your authority and never wanted to do wrong by you. You didn't give us any inches, and in turn we didn't try to take any. I see so many mothers trying to be their daughter's friends when what the daughter really needs is a strong role model. Because you were always mom first, it helped me establish my morals and values in a responsible way. And now, our adult relationship is better because of it. You are both mom and friend.

Thanks for teaching me to read and allowing the nerd in me to flourish.

Thanks for everything you've done, everything you're doing, and everything you've yet to do. You have had such an impact on my life. I continue to live everyday striving to make you proud and hoping that one day I'll have the chance to be the mother you were for me.



That's what she said

Internets, guess where I went today?

Yep. You guessed it. I went to go visit the official dentist of the local NFL team. Apparently I had a few cavities that needed some filling and "doctor" thought she could do three of them in one sitting, only she forgot who she was dealing with.

A lot of people dread the dentist and they all have their reasons. I don't dread the dentist for the routine cleanings and whatnot, but I do dread special procedures. Especially procedures that cause me to have to open wide for long periods of time. Here's the deal. I cannot open my mouth very wide. It's adequate, but barely so. I always wonder what kind of notes dentists write in my file about my little issue, and then even more what they think when they look at their schedule and see that they get to have me, Little Ms. Micromouth, in their chair that day.

When doctor thought she could fill three cavities in one appointment I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I'd only have to go through the agony once, but on the other hand the thought of keeping my jaw open for 90 minutes was exhausting. It's the one physical feat I cannot do--okay, that and touching my toes. When she boldly stated that she thought she could do all three fillings at one time, I should have spoken up.

Note to self: you cannot handle three cavities being filled at once.

Ever ambitious, doctor thought she could handle it all, she has a bag of tricks, but they are no match for my mouth. She tried propping it open with a little bite blocker, but sadly, I can't even open my mouth wide enough for it. So she just had to take it slow, take frequent breaks, and maneuver the drill at funky angles to avoid it getting jammed stuck. Every so often she'd ask me if I could open a little wider, and I'd try with all my might: eyes clenched shut, neck muscles shaking, jaw unhinging a little. And by the little chuckle she'd make I would realize two things, 1) I was making a ridiculously strained face of pain and 2) the effort it took to make that face only yielded me a couple of millimeters of additional space.

Needless to say, we had to call it quits after two fillings. Man was my jaw tired. And was my face numb. As I left the office, they told me not to eat anything until the numbness wore off so I didn't inadvertently bite my tongue or cheek. Of course as soon as they said that, I was hungry. When I got home, I snuck a handful of peanuts--that I chewed very lightly on the non-numbed side of my face. I felt like I had just gotten away with breaking some very important dental laws. But I didn't bite my tongue or my cheek, so neener neener.

After about an hour, I started to regain feeling and the feeling I was gaining was something caught between my gum and cheek. Uh oh. Peanuts. I very carefully reached into my mouth to try and get the lodged particle out, but it wasn't a peanut. Actually, I didn't know what it was. I mean it kind of looked like a little piece of wood, and it kind of felt like one, too. It actually looked like a shim. But why would I have a shim in my mouth? It certainly wasn't to prop it open, or if it was, it didn't really work. Seriously, what the what?

And to prove to the Internets that I'm not a liar, I took a picture of the shim. Look, ma! It's longer than half an inch (you might notice that it's broken. I did that. I had to to see if it was wood or not. It kind of looked like a julienned carrot. And then I was horrified that it was a julienned carrot, only I didn't have a julienned carrot today, so where did that julienned carrot come from? Thankfully, it is wood--because that makes a lot more sense than a julienned carrot).

I'm not going to lie, one of my first thoughts was to go grab some Krazy glue to put it back where I found it.


Nose as long as a telephone wire

Commish, this one's for you.

I spent the last weekend out on a retreat with some fabulous women--several posts all on their own--but while I was gone, the Commish kept bugging me about something. Late Friday night he sent me a text asking me if I had a baseball or softball glove that our friend could borrow for Sunday. I ignored the text.

It was late; I was tired; I was disconnecting out on the Hood Canal; I was retreating. But that Commish is nothing if not persistent. He texted me Sunday morning, more direct this time: "Do you have a bb/sb glove?" I couldn't run any more, so I responded back, "I don't, sorry."

But guess what, Internets? I do have one. That's right, I lied. I'm a liar. And I lied to my friend, but deep down, I knew the Commish and our firend would totally understand why I lied and forgive me for it. And here we go, down the crazy road that is paved with vintage Karl Mecklenberg jerseys.

I was on the phone with the Commish tonight and we were talking about the glove texts and I had to come clean. I let him know that I actually do have a glove. It just happens to be the glove from when I played softball in the fourth grade, in oh, 1986. But that's not why I lied. I'm not ashamed of my 1980s glove, I'm actually proud of it, because I got Robin Yount to sign it. Robin Yount, Internets. Robin Yount.

Now, Internets, you might not know who Robin Yount is, but the thing is I knew that the Commish being a huge sports fan, and our friend being a huge Milwaukee Brewers fan would know him and would also know why I wasn't so keen to loan out my 1980s autographed glove. And I was so tired, and didn't feel like texting a message that said: "I do have a glove, actually the glove that I learned to play softball with in 1986, but I went to a Denver Zephyrs v. Milwaukee Brewers game at Mile Hi stadium in 1989 and I got it signed by Robin Yount who would later go on that season to be named the Most Valuable Player in the American League, so I'd rather not lend it out." "I don't, sorry," seemed the easier choice. Plus, I knew that if I would have said all of that our friend would have said, I can't use that glove. And then he probably would say that he wants to see it.

I swear, I'm not crazy. This is not like Mecklenberg at all. This all makes perfect sense, no matter what the Commish says to the contrary.


Call and response

Note to self (courtesy of CrissPiss): Sometimes it is just good to write down your feelings and put them out there in the universe.

Ah, love me the CrissPiss. Not only did her comment on my last post bring happy tears to my eyes, but it was spot on. So spot on that it's a little bit spooky.

I've mentioned before that I get daily "Notes from the Universe" delivered to my inbox. More often than not, these notes send a jolt right down to my core and make me look over my shoulder just to check and see who is following me around, because seriously, how do they know that's what I needed to hear at that exact moment? After my oh-my-goodness-I'm-going-to-be-an-old-maid-forever-better-start-investing-in-cats post from yesterday, this was the present the Universe left me in my inbox:

"You can make anything happen, Little Ms. Notetaker."

I love my mom and my Universe, and I can make anything happen.


One of those posts

This is going to be one of those posts where I just start writing and we'll just have to see where my meandering rambles lead. It's one of those posts where I'm writing because I've got a lot going on in my brain, and I need to process it somehow, and I'm tired of having conversations with myself in my car (yes, out loud) during my commute to and from work, so instead I'll have it with the Internets. It's one of those serious posts.

I'm really struggling right now.

I know that I have an amazing life. And I feel very fortunate to be able to say that. I try my hardest not to take that for granted, and to recognize that the amazing is a result of my hard work, and sometimes even scary risks. I wouldn't really classify myself as an ambitious person; when I think of ambitious people I think of people that truly know what they want and go out and get it. I think of my little brother, who has had a dream job since he was in the first grade--a dream job that in all reality is not really a job that is accessible to the average person. To even be considered for this dream job you have to overcome so many barriers and obstacles, certain things have to align, and you have to preform so perfectly, that most people who would ever dare dream of this job would not truly pursue it, and even fewer would actually have the chance to move from pursuit into being considered for it. But little brother doesn't let that deter him. And he is actually is a finalist for his dream job--this is just unbelievable. He's an incredible source of inspiration for me--and I don't think he knows that. I am so gosh darn proud of him and am utterly in awe of his ability to stay focused for nearly 25 years on this dream. Guess what my dream job was when I was a first-grader? Dallas Cowgirl.

So, there's little brother, on the precipice of making his dream happen. And here's me, still trying to figure out my dream. Obviously I'm not--nor ever will be--a Dallas Cowgirl. And I never even really wanted to be one. And since giving up that dream, one that I probably really gave up in the mid-1980s when I lost my blue and silver pompoms, I've had dozens of "dream jobs." The job I'm currently in is an iteration of one of my dreams, and I really do enjoy it. But here's the thing, my dreams are so fleeting. I'm not like little brother who has known what I wanted for a quarter of a century. I'm lucky if I know what I want and hold onto it for longer than two or three years. Then I get bored and I think, okay what's bigger and better and next? But even despite not having that one enduring long-term dream and not being what I would consider ambitious, I have been able to make some really cool things happen in my life. All of that is not lost on me. I do see that I have a lot of power, that I do have the ability to have laser focus when I want it, and that I can use both of those to create things that I want in my life, even if those things are fleeting.

But I'm still struggling.

And here's what I'm struggling with: I do have a long-term dream and I have known what I wanted to be since the first grade (even earlier actually). And what frustrates the hell out of me is that I can make all these other amazing things in my life happen, all of these other things that at times can seem ridiculously random, but no matter how hard I try I cannot manifest this seemingly common and simple thing. And the fact that I can't do that scares me.

I have always dreamt of having a family, of being in a loving relationship, of being a parent. It's the one dream that has never been fleeting, the one dream I've held in my heart longer than any other dream, and it's the one dream I have yet to realize. And I live with the fear, a fear that grows stronger every year, that this may be the one thing in my life that I can't make happen.

Internets, I'm not throwing this out there because I want your sympathy, or because I'm looking for advice, because I'm not. Especially if that advice treads anywhere near the lines of: "Little Ms. Notetaker, when you stop trying that's when you'll find it," or "good things come to those who wait," or heaven forbid "you should try online dating." I've heard all of those things more often than I have wanted. I'm not looking to be consoled here, I'm just throwing up my arms in teenage-like angst and screaming out a giant "WTF?!"

In all honesty, I don't like admitting what I just did. I want to erase all of that rambling (except for the part about how proud I am of little brother). I really feel ashamed, and foolish, and whiny, and pathetic for saying all those things, but it is an honest-to-goodness fear. And it's not my only fear. My other fear is that all of the amazing things I have made happen in my life are actually in response to my incapability to handle the fact that I have this open and unanswered dream out there. And that living with that reality is too painful to bear. So, I create other temporary "dreams" that I can pursue to compensate. And because I'm a hard worker and am ambitious enough, I can chase those temporary dreams and accomplish them. However, maybe I end up completely screwing myself because pursuing them with the tenacity I do actually takes me further away from my real dream. But it keeps me in a safe little bubble where I don't have to face reality, and where I can say, look at how amazing I am, I can do so much. And what I'm really saying, in incredulous subtext, is, "LOOK AT HOW AMAZING I AM! HOW CAN I STILL BE SINGLE?!" Not realizing that my efforts to protect myself might actually be a horribly awful self-fulfilling prophecy.

Maybe it would have been easier if I'd have stuck with Dallas Cowgirl.