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.