3.31.2011

Number 32

Earlier this month, my VBFF inspired my inner fashionista in more ways than one. First, she had a weekly WIWW (What I Wore Wednesday) post that documented her weekly outfits. Angie's a mother of four young ones, and the fact that she could be responsible for that much and still look adorable is truly inspiring--but if you knew her, you wouldn't be surprised.

I commented on how her cute outfits had me longing for a new wardrobe, and she shared a great little blog with me, wherein the author frequently takes on a wardrobe challenge where she "shops her own closet." It was just the prompting I needed to get a little more creative about my current wardrobe.

Truthfully, I've always been a little creative with my wardrobe, meaning sometimes I name my outfits. Anyone? Anyone? No? Okay. On a day that's not today, I'll post some pictures of some of my classics, there's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Ballerina Girl 1," "Ballerina Girl 2," and one I like to call "Oxford Chic."

I created that last outfit on a day we had a big cross-company HR meeting and I was rocking it. When I got to the meeting, I ran into my General Manager who was talking to her manager our Vice President. Let's just say that the VP is kind of a big deal, however considering she wears khaki shorts, polo shirts (collar popped) and running shoes every day (because we work for a company in a region of the country where anything goes as far as fashion is concerned), something tells me she doesn't really geek out about naming her outfits. When I saw my General Manager, she gushed about how much she loved my outfit (because, it is pretty darn cute) and I got all girlie, squealed, clapped for myself and announced, "Oooooh. Thank you! I know... and I named it." It was at that point I realized my adorable geekiness could potentially be career limiting--our VP just stared at me, blankly.

Note to self: When not amongst friendly fashionistas, keep the excitement about your named outfits under wraps.

I don't really think I put my career in jeopardy, but I do think that my little ensemble wasn't the only thing that made a name for itself that morning.

3.30.2011

Wants and needs

In this week's edition of On this Date in 2008, I was thinking about what the future held and making big bold statements.

I do still dream about moving to Ireland from time to time; and who knows? It may happen. But even if I haven't put all my energy toward my dream of being a grown-up exchange student, I have spent the past year getting clear on the things I want in life. More chocolate and drop-top upgrades are definitely on the list. I've also been giving a lot of thought to what the next step looks like at work. Things are really good, but I'm going on my fourth year in the role and I'm ready for some new challenges. Interestingly enough, I have an interview tomorrow morning for a new role at work. It might not necessarily lead me to Ireland, but it will likely lead me to new experiences, challenges, and adventures.

On one of my recent runs, I was doing some thinking, as I'm wont to do, and for some reason I was thinking about how I often get what I want. But then the more I thought about it (because it was a really long run, so I had plenty of time to have more thoughts about it), it's not that I get what I want--because sometimes I don't--but I always always get what I need. Even if I don't ask for it, or even if at the time I don't want it, there's reason for it. I think I both want this new opportunity, and as I head into the interview I'm going to stay curious about finding out if it is what I need. And whether I want or need Ireland still remains to be seen.

3.29.2011

One and done

Just like the Boston Marathon being a once in my lifetime experience, I'm pretty sure LMNT's nablopomo challenge is a once in your lifetime experience. The month is almost over and so am I.

While it has helped get me back in the habit of writing, and I do love writing, I don't necessarily love writing when I don't have a note to self to share. I can't say that I'll take on an extreme posting challenge in the future, but I can say that I hope to be better about posting more regularly--and I also hope that those regular posts will be better because they aren't about me posting more regularly.

T-minus two days...

3.28.2011

Merry Belated Christmas

You can thank the Commish for this post tonight. Well, really the thanks go to my lil brother and his family. Okay, no really, the thanks go to some magic-working seamstresses in South Korea.

Earlier this evening I found myself trapped doing work. However, it was my own doing. My procrastination skills at their finest, again. Only it's not fine and I don't like it. But that's the content of another post. So, there I was doing work (and also thinking that I need to blog tonight, but what if I didn't, what if I just walked away from the nablopomo challenge? But I didn't. I'm here now with a legitimate post), and the Commish texts me to let me know that a retrospective of the 1997 Denver Broncos is on the NFL Network. Work stops immediately and I run to the TV room and become completely engrossed. GO BRONCOS!

Following the '97 retrospective is the '98 retrospective (which I've seen before and am presently recording it on my DVR so I can continue to see it again and again and again, especially if there is no football next year). Thoughts of me blogging start to creep back into my head and I come back to the computer with a topic in mind. Thanks, Commish.

And now on to thanking lil brother. Really, when I tell you what I'm about to tell you , you are likely to exclaim, HOW COULD YOU WAIT OVER THREE MONTHS TO TELL US THIS?! Well, I don't know, but I did (although, I think every one of my half-dozen readers already knows about this so it's not really news, but I'm putting it down here for posterity's sake--my imaginary kids need to know about this! And also, I think it important that anybody scanning the Internets looking for information on "biting your taste buds off" should know of this amazing wonder).

Internets, guess what exists? Wait, no. Guess what exists and I possess? Wait, no. Guess what exists and I possess because my lil brother and his wifey and P Denny harnessed the magic of Korea's knock-off textile manufacturing industry? Yes. Yes! YES! A vintage Karl Mecklenburg jersey (which I also talk about here, here, and here--and in all honesty, I can't believe I didn't talk about it here). Holy mother of all Christmas gifts. When I opened the present--completely not expecting the jersey that up until that instant only existed in my head--I half-screamed half-squealed, ran around my parents' basement, ran upstairs, breathlessly told my mom what I had just opened, headed for the computer to write a blog post about it (seriously, I did. It's in my drafts folder with the title "Yes, Virginia, it really DOES exist," and nothing else), lost my steam, and then went back downstairs and had a Bloody Mary.

But the key to the story is, lil brother got me the BEST. PRESENT. EVER. And remember how I'm competitive and I like to think that my ability to outdo your gift list is way better than your ability to outdo my list? And I thought that giving him an Xbox Kinect was totally the cat's pyjamas? Yeah. He wins.

Oh, and this. Note to self: Mecklenberg is spelled Mecklenburg.

3.27.2011

Six-word Sunday: March 27, 2011

Inspired and impacted lives (mine included).

I know I've referenced a couple of times how mad this month is and how tired I've been this week, but the madness and the exhaustion (mental and physical) has been worth it. It was also exactly what I needed this week. I needed to be reminded that the work I do for a living is valuable and that it matters, and it was a good challenge for me to tackle--and next time I tackle it, I'd do it mostly the same, except next time with more sleep.

3.26.2011

L'eggo my ego

Internets, I'm exhausted. I know that was my excuse last night, but it's the same tonight. I tried to post earlier but was just as tired then as I am now. Well, actually I'm more tired now. You know how I know? Because I'm at the stage where little kids who are too tired (oh, and who are also two years old), get, where they whine and throw temper tantrums over what appears to be no good reason, except we all know the reason is because they are too tired. Fortunately there haven't been too many casualties or witnesses to my tantrum, but suffice it to say (in a whiny little voice), I'm REALLY tired. It's the week that's still catching up with me, and the fact that I ran 20 miles this morning. It was my longest training run until Boston, and of course me being me, I made it a challenging one. It's great to start out with roughly half a mile of steep down hill, until you realize that it means that miles 19.5-20 is practically straight up. It wasn't really that bad; it may have been hilly but I did lay out a gorgeous route for myself. I had views of the mountains, water, and mossy forest. I will say that every week I get closer to Boston, I'm more and more humbled. I have not been training enough. I'm getting my long runs in each weekend, but to maintain or increase speed, mid-week workouts are needed and I just haven't been able to put the time in lately. And it's starting to show. For the past two weeks, both of my long runs have started out extremely sluggish--it's been taking me five or six miles at least to get warmed up and to start running at my desired pace (and even then, my desired pace is actually about 30 seconds slower than my real desired pace). My ego is trying to come to terms with the fact that I ran my fastest race to get into Boston, and it is very likely that I'll run my slowest race at Boston. And I'm also trying to remind the ego my only goal was to run Boston and regardless if I ran my fastest or my slowest, I'll still get the same medal--and that's all that matters. I'm really hoping my ego will start believing me.

3.25.2011

This'll have to do

When I decided to post every day for a month, I maybe should have taken a few things into consideration. For instance, maybe I could have picked a month that didn't have 31 days? It just so happened that the month before this one has only 28. Or maybe I could have warmed up a little bit before diving in head first? Essentially I feel like I'm the Porsche of blogging: zero to 60 in an instant. Or maybe I could have picked a time that doesn't coincide with my busiest four weeks at work.

Ugh.

I'm exhausted this week. I've been running off of pure adrenaline for 72 hours and while the past two days have been inspiring and amazing--can I just brag that I did great work--it's time for me to sleep. Good night, Internets. I promise you a good story tomorrow.

3.24.2011

And the Universe sayeth

Apparently I've forgotten everything I learned in seventh grade. I mean, how could I forget the penultimate literary theme of Johnny Tremain? You know, Johnny Tremain, the 1944 Newbury Medal winning novel by Esther Forbes? Oh, you forgot it, too?

Note to self: Pride cometh before the fall.

Just like I called it. All four of the teams I picked tonight in the tournament have lost. Dropping me from 73rd to 2,241st just like that. Sorry, teams; maybe if I hadn't gone and bragged to the guys in the hall about just how good I was at guessing, or maybe if you would have actually played some defense with intensity tonight you would have won and I wouldn't be dining on crow.

3.23.2011

Step right up!

Who's ready to play your favorite game again? That's right, Internets, it's time to play On--or around--this date in 2008!

I can hardly believe that it's been three years since I remodeled my kitchen. It actually feels like it's been at least twice that long. But as archived history tells us, on this date in 2008, I was cleaning out my old refrigerator to make way for my brand new, shiny, "professional" one.

Well, Internets, after rereading that post, I thought it would be interesting to take a look in my fridge today and see what I found as far as marinara jars go. Would you believe that I only have one marinara jar in the fridge. Progress! Now I hesitate to bring up the large container of wilted spinach in the crisper and the half-dozen blackened bananas in the freezer, but I swear I'm going to make banana bread out of those bananas, and well, the spinach? It's beyond hope. But I take these all as good signs, perhaps I've learned to let go of the past and can take what nature gives me, hold onto it for awhile and make something fabulous out of it (my banana bread rocks! Thank you, Lettie, Sherian and the 4-H quick break competitions at the Douglas County Fair). And the spinach? Status unchanged: it's still beyond hope.

3.22.2011

Mekka Lekka Hi-Mekka Hiney Ho

When I was a little Little Ms. Notetaker, I lived for Pee-wee's Playhouse on Saturday mornings. Ah, Pee-wee, the luckiest boy in the world.

Do you remember how there was a word of the day, and any time someone would unwittingly say it, the whole playhouse would erupt in mayhem? Yeah. That's how I feel about my life right now. Only, there's no word of the day, I just feel like I need to run around, arms flailing, screaming "Aaaaaaaagggggggggghhhhhhhhh!" And collapse into Chairy.

This mad mad month is reaching is reaching the boiling point and if I can just make it to Friday, I know I'll feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Come on, Jambi, please grant me that wish!

3.21.2011

WINNING!

Internets, if you'll allow me to, I'd like to add another phrase to my list of favorites. I really love to say "terrifically pleased" especially when speaking about myself. In fact, I even said it in that post about my favorite words. I love that phrase because I think it is the most apt description of how I feel--and how I know others are perceiving me. I'm not sure I can succinctly describe it, so how about I give you a prime and immediate example of what me being terrifically pleased with myself looks like?

Over the weekend I was consumed with NCAA basketball fever; I've got the madness, well, in reality I think the madness actually has me. Anyway, the New York Times is hosting brackets and I entered into a group that the Commish put together. If you know nothing about NCAA Men's basketball championship bracket, no worries, just know that apparently this year, my gut instinct is really good at picking winning teams. So good that I'm currently ranked 78th out of over 35,000 participants. That's top 0.2 percent! And at one point I was ranked 43rd! That was until Notre Dame choked. Way to NOT fight, Irish.

I am certainly pleased with myself and my ability to make arbitrary picks, however it wasn't until this morning that my self-pleasedness moved into terrific territory.

I'm sitting in my office with my door cracked open, and I can hear a gaggle of guys from the finance team white boarding their bracket results in one of the offices across the hall. Hearing them talk about how abysmal their brackets are gives my ego a little boost. They keep talking and talking and talking, and I send an instant message to AP that says something to the effect that my bracket would grab all of their brackets around the neck and give them all gigantic noogies. And they keep talking.

I've finally had enough of their chatter about their sub-par picking skills (and I needed a little restroom break), so I get up from my desk and step into the hallway, and this is where the terrific happens. Just as I'm stepping out of my office and into the hall so is AP, and Coach A is coming down the hall and is right outside both of our offices when we both emerge. Internets, that is SYNERGY! It was like the holy trinity of grrrrrrl power. I felt a surge of good feminine ju ju, spontaneously blurt out to the two of them, "Watch this!" I walk into the man cave, interrupt their conversation and say, "Um, fellas? My bracket will take all of your brackets down." They all turn my way, puzzled that the HR girl has stepped into their sacred ground, and then I tell them that my bracket will kick all of their brackets' butts, because seven of my Elite Eight picks are still alive (again, if you don't know anything about what I just said, don't worry about it, just know that LMNT was representin' on those fools).

They were impressed (maybe not as much as I was of myself, but at least a little impressed). One of them even said, "Wow, that's the best I've heard." At that point I flashed them a little grin, batted my eyes, flipped my hair and trounced back down the hall (AP and Coach A still standing in the hallway laughing). And that right there is the epitome of me being terrifically pleased with myself. Of course now that I did that, the Universe is going to hand me a nice little dose of humble pie and course corrections will be made when all of my current picks lose. Ah, but it was worth it. Terrifically so.

3.20.2011

Six-word Sunday: March 20, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good.


I mean, technically, those aren't my six words, but they ring ever true for me today (do you think I could get busted for plagiarism? Nah, Peaches & Herb aren't reading this... but for those of you that are, I'm willing to bet 92% of you either just sang or hummed the tune). Long live the Haiku Club!

3.19.2011

Words, words, words

If you're a nerd like me (and you and I both know who you are), you love words. Gosh, I love them. But all words are not created equal (nerds, nod with me now). The theme for the month of nablopomo is "in a word," and that has had me thinking about my favorite words, because yes, I have them. And yes, I have them in multiple languages.

In English, I've never been able to pick my favorite. It's a tie between bohemian and formaldehyde. They're both so fun to say. Go on, say them: bohemian... formaldehyde. Fun, right? I know.

In French, I also have a tie--apparently, I'm commitment phobic when it comes to loving my words. Hippopotome and alpinisme (hippopotamus and mountain climbing, respectively). If I can break the rules to my own game and add phrases into the mix (which I can because it's my own game), my favorite French phrase is "faire de l'alpinisme" which literally means "to do the mountain climbing." And while I love to say that phrase, I think what I love more is that it means "to do the mountain climbing."

Diversion alert: when I was four or five (around the time we were hit by a school bus causing me to miss the end of Super Friends and/or the time when I encountered the very elusive but very real Colorado field turtle), a couple of my mom's sisters were visiting us from Wisconsin. I had been downstairs watching educational children's programming on PBS wherein three adults dressed in dog outfits were just doing what adults in dog costumes do, conversing. One of the dogs was French (a French poodle named Bob to be precise) and when the show was over I bolted upstairs to find my aunts. Terrifically pleased with myself, I informed them that I had just learned to speak French, I cleared my throat and enunciated, "Bob." What isn't coming across in the written form is that I said it in a French accent. Speaking French, you see? Yeah, I probably won't ever live that one down.

An interesting side note, my favorite word in American Sign Language is .

3.18.2011

It's a mad mad month

This month is killing me. Well really, my ability to procrastinate is what is killing me. And when I think about it, it always has. There's something maddening, yet addicting, about my extreme need for a deadline to get anything done. This goes for work, school, clipping my nails...

Seriously.

I've been suffering from a severe lack of motivation lately. So much so, that earlier this week I asked AP if it was a really sad sign that there have been weekends where all I needed to do was just clip my nails--and if I could just do that, I could consider the weekend a success--but I'd get through the whole weekend not having picked up the clippers (and not because I was too busy, definitely not because of that). I finally did it. Accomplishment. It only takes two, three minutes tops, yes, but for whatever reason, sometimes that's an impossibly big order to fill. The deadline this time, too much clicking on the keyboard and a hole in my running sock from my too-long-big-toenail. Shame.

AP totally affirmed me, as she recently measured the success of her weekend by her fingernail clipping accomplishment, too. It's so good to know I'm not alone in my madness.

3.17.2011

If you're a blogger, you totally know what I'm talking about

Commish: I wrote this really long and funny e-mail today to a group of people, and I understand that people might be busy, but I only got back two responses and they basically said, "Good to hear from you."

LMNT: And now you know what it feels like to blog.

Commish: I do?

LMNT: Yes. I mean not getting any response to your writing--

Commish: I comment on your blog.

LMNT: Yes, sometimes. But sometimes I write and write and write. And I think, "DAMN! That's good. In fact, that's the best thing I've ever written in my life and I go back to my blog and there are zero comments. ZERO! And then I look at the counter and I see only two people have even read the post. TWO PEOPLE! The funniest thing I've ever written IN MY LIFE! And Oh. My. Gosh. One of those people only freaking visited my blog because they did a search on "biting taste buds," so they didn't even read anything!

Commish: (doubled over in laughter, face in cushion) I just peed a little.

LMNT: See?! Thank you.

Commish: Yes. We're all just looking for a little validation.

3.16.2011

Indulge me, people

Something I've realized in posting every day is that I have to force the creativity more than I like. And rather than push through that tonight and give you a forced story, I'm going to gracefully walk away, and hope my creative muse strikes with a little more efficiency tomorrow.


I have to admit I feel tremendously guilty leaving you with this as my post for the day. To help assuage those feelings, I just invented a fun new game for you called, On--or Around--This Date in 2008. Why? Because it rhymes and it's filler, and it's good reflection for me to see just how far (or not so far) I've come. And on, actually around, this date in 2008, I paid some bills. If that's not enticing you to keep reading, then I don't know what will--I mean what more riveting content could you possibly want?! An account of my worst date ever (wherein I'm pretty sure I also may have blown my chances with a potential new suitor with an off-hand comment about the adult entertainment industry)? Well, you're just going to have to come back for that.

3.15.2011

The Ides have come...

... but they have not gone, yet. We've reached the middle of the month and I've yet to skip a post. Internets, can I tell you that the nablopomo challenge I so impetuously declared for myself is REALLY FREAKING CHALLENGING!

First of all, there's the obligation of having to post every night when I get home from work--and these weeks, I'm actually taking a tiny break from working late into the night so I don't miss my self-imposed deadline. And then there's the tiny little thing of actually having something about which to write every single day. It's not that I'm lacking material (well, not yet anyway, when one blogs everyday for thirty-one days straight one gets a little nervous that one will run out of all the good, heck even mediocre, stories from one's life. But fret not ye Internets, one has at least four or five more good ones tucked up one's sleeve. One would like to let you know that this one is not one of them), it's just that the posts in the hopper are going to take a little more brain power to actually compose--and these weeks work has turned my brain into absolute mush. In fact, my brain is so mushy, I had an ocular migraine at work today. Have you ever had one? All I can say is WHOA. It sounds a lot worse than it is, well, assuming you get over the initial panic that you are going blind, because well, you do go blind. A little. Temporarily. Also, really trippy things happen, you see blinking neon shapes and lights where there are none--even when you close your eyes, and then come the wavy fun-house mirror effects, then it's time for the blind spots which sort of meld into the temporary blindness. The good news is it doesn't hurt and it eventually goes away. However, I do think they might be stress induced because the last time I remember having one was at the onset of the shingles.

And that's my cue to pull the emergency brake. I am going to step away from my computer for the night. I certainly DO NOT need to repeat the shingles, and you DO NOT need any additional drivel from me--you still have 16 more days of that to go, you lucky ducks, you.

3.14.2011

Hope and Relief

For the most part, I try to keep things light-hearted here, but that's hard for me to do today. Rather than spend the energy on coming up with the perfect post, I think it's important to send all those thoughts and all that energy to the people in Japan.

With every story I read, every account I hear, and every shocking image I see, I'm struck by the magnitude of it all. It's so very heart-wrenching and I hope for peace and comfort for everyone in need. It's a huge reminder to me to make sure I'm living the life I love and am loving those in my life. I know that there are some things in this lifetime against which we will be powerless, so take power over what you can, and live this life. I keep faith for the hopeful little miracles of rescue and solace; I know the human spirit will prevail, it's just so painful to see the reality of the devastation. Note to self: Give what you can, when you can, if you can... and if nothing else, love, love, love.

3.13.2011

3.12.2011

Wringing out

In a word: insane. Also: dedicated, ridiculous, soggy, and inspired.

You see, Internets, when you qualify for the Boston Marathon and then get yourself registered for the Boston Marathon, it's a really good idea to train for the Boston Marathon.

This is the first time I've ever trained for an event on my own, every other race I've done with the team, and in the past year, I've also started coaching for the team. Leave it to me to turn an individual sport into a team activity. I've always found it impossible to find intrinsic motivation to get myself out running on my own. But the Boston Marathon is different. It is definitely a once-in-my-lifetime race, so I've taken my training a little bit more seriously. And today was proof of that: 18 miles in the pouring rain.

Running and I have a love/hate relationship, really it's more of a barely tolerate/hate relationship. This in and of itself is insane, I know, because if I don't love running, how could I spend so much of my time doing it? That's an excellent question and one that I thought about for a good portion of my 18 miles this morning. It's not a matter of me loving running, or even liking running, or event wanting to go for a run; it's a matter of me needing running. When life is crazy and I'm all in my head, nothing clears it out like a run. And once I get myself through the first three or four miles (yes, I know how absurd that statement may sound to all the non-runners out there because three or four miles would be considered by many a really far way to run), then I can just go and go and go (yes, I know how the runners out there totally get what I'm saying).

What I don't need, however, are the buckets and buckets of rain. Standing on my front porch, looking out at the downpour before the run, I almost started to cry. Really. It was raining. Hard. And I know that I live in Seattle, and that it's March--the height of the rainy season--but if I didn't have the once-in-my-lifetime race only five weeks away, there would have been absolutely no way I would have left my house. Often, the rain in Seattle is what AP has aptly described as "dry rain," you can see that it's raining, you can hear that it's raining, but you can't really feel that it's raining. In case you were wondering, the rain today sure wasn't dry. I'm still working on getting my hands and feet back to their natural un-pruned state. In fact when I got home, I blasted Red Tide by Neko Case (take a listen and you'll see why at the 2:03 minute mark).

So, I don't love running and I don't love the rain (well, I do love the rain, just not while I'm running), but I do love the team and even more I love the coaching. I love the people, I love concept, and I love the cause. To be a part of something so much bigger than me and to work toward finding a cure for blood-related cancers, that has definitely carried me across countless miles. And today, blocks from ending my run, I came across a woman walking down the puddle-lined street; she smiled at me and said, "Run a mile for me. Breast cancer." I smiled, held back some tears and said, "Consider it done. All of my miles are for finding a cure for cancer." We shared little victory fist pumps and went our separate ways. Yeah, I needed that as much as I needed that run.

Revival

It's actually Saturday morning (2:03 AM to be precise), which means I didn't post on Friday. However, I haven't gone to sleep yet, so my Friday hasn't ended, and therefore I consider this post my Friday offering.


And yes, you'll still get a Saturday post (yay for you).


Earlier this week, Monster, the Commish, and I went to the theatre (Monster and I are season ticket holders to the Seattle theatre that hosts the Broadway musical tours--one of the best gifts I've ever given myself). And then tonight, AP and I went to see the spring show put on by the troupe of which I'm a member. All I have to say is, boy howdy do I miss acting.

I miss everything associated with being in a show--the thrill of auditioning for a part, the memorizing of the lines, the rehearsing, the rehearsing, the rehearsing, the oh, did I mention the rehearsing? The creating something together, the camaraderie of the cast, the long hours, the director's notes, the tech night, the backstage antics, the wigs, the laughter from the audience, the cast parties, the closing night, the getting your life back, the not having to go to rehearsals anymore, the withdrawal from rehearsals, the desire to get back up and do it all again.

I don't know when and how I'll be able to squeeze something in; I think I'm going to have to force fit it in there, because I miss it oh-so-much and there is absolutely nothing else like it.


And with that, I call curtains on Friday. Good night, Internets.

3.10.2011

Shell shocked

When I was having childhood flashbacks while I should have been driving the other morning, I found myself trying to see if I could pinpoint my earliest memory. I'm not sure this is it, but I will go out on a limb and say it's the most random one (yes, more random than hoping to invent a tiny seat belt for produce).

I was on my way in from playing out in the front yard and as I skipped my way through the garage, tra-la-la, something forced me to stop dead in my tracks. I screamed for my mom, unable to take another step, because there, on the step leading into the house was a turtle. A turtle. And in case you were wondering, our family did not have a pet turtle. And, we lived in the suburbs of Denver. A turtle. Oh, and we didn't live by water. A turtle. In my garage. On a step.

I was four or five, and as has been proven in the past, I believed what adults told me. If an adult told me that my hair came from the milkman, I believed them, or at least made up a story that would help me make sense of this information (the information that MUST be true because an adult told it to me). So I'm screaming, because, uh, hello? TURTLE! And my mom comes out and saves me. I'm not sure what happened to the turtle, but more importantly, I'm not sure how the turtle happened.

I do remember the explanation my mom gave for why a turtle would be in our garage: it was a field turtle. True our backyard was adjacent to a field, and some developers had just begun to turn the field into a street lined with cookie-cutter houses, which obviously was disrupting this poor little turtle's natural habitat. And I guess that could maybe make sense, but that means the turtle marched his little turtle self all the way around to the front of the house, into the garage, and then well, there is tiny issue of climbing the step. But, I guess to a four-year-old, it makes sense. I mean, I also thought it made sense that the kids on Sesame Street lived inside my TV. And yes, I could tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street (all you had to do was have your mom throw you through the screen, and ta-da!, you're there).

Admittedly, it's been almost 30 years since I had my run in with the field turtle and I've never questioned the logic of that argument until now. But when you think about it, really? Field turtle? And, as I'm wont to do, I searched the Internets for evidence. They really do exist, and apparently there is one terrestrial turtle native to Colorado, the ornate box turtle. If that were a Wikipedia site I would probably add some content to let the readers know that they might spot the turtle in garages on West 71st Place. Oh, and also, they can climb stairs.

3.09.2011

Annie are you okay? You okay? You okay, Annie?

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I couldn't manage to get a song out of my head. What really drove my crazy, wasn't so much the song that had embedded itself, but that I couldn't figure out why it was that song. I know that it wasn't something I had recently heard, and I just couldn't shake it. Then, as I reached for my hair product it became crystal clear.


The song: Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." The product: Aveda Smooth Infusion. This isn't the first time I've gotten an ear worm from my eco-friendly botanical beauty supplies, remember Bon Jovi's "Chakra the Heart?" Yeah, well it turns out, my hair's been touched by smooth infusion. Ow! Cue the guitars, sparkly glove, and hair-singeing pyrotechnics.

3.08.2011

Patent pending

The other day I was driving in to work, when traffic came to a halt. I stopped in time, but was definitely caught daydreaming right before I hit the brakes, and as I looked into the rear view mirror, I wasn't 100% confident that the car behind me was going to stop in time, ultimately causing my daydream to quickly shift to visions of life flashing before my eyes.

And after that life flash, I went back to daydreaming, only my daydreaming was really a flashback to the only real car accident I've ever been in (excuse me while I go find some wood on which to knock). It was 1982 and I was about five years old. I remember distinctly that I was at home, watching my all-time favorite show, well, favorite show next to The Dukes of Hazard and/or Dallas, although I didn't really ever watch full episodes of Dallas, but man I sure loved the opening credits of that show and I had a crush on Bobby and boy was that "J Arthur" a bad man. So there I was, watching my favorite daytime syndication cartoon, Super Friends--Wonder Woman, Superman, and Aquaman, oh my--when my mom comes downstairs and says we have run to the bank.

UH! BUT MOOOOOOOOM! SUPER FRIENDS IS ON! HELLO?!

She can confirm this, but I'm pretty sure I threw a fit because how could life as I know it go on without seeing the ending of this riveting cartoon? I mean will they save the world or not? How can you expect me to leave when all of our lives hang in this very delicate balance?! I'll tell you how, because she was the boss of me, and she gave me a couple of apple slices, which shut me up and she also assured me it would be quick and we'd be back in time to see the end (at which point she should have found some wood on which to knock). Famous. Last. Words.

A few minutes later and a few blocks from home, we were hit by a school bus. Fortunately we were driving a tank in the form of an Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. I'm not sure how much damage was done to the car but all of us inside were fine, except for my apple slice that flew out of my hand and landed on the floor. I was so sad that it was laying there, with dirt on it, totally inedible and completely out of reach. I also remember that we sat there for what felt like an eternity, with the kids on the school bus staring down at us in our blue boat, and I was devastated that the trip was not quick like the boss of me had promised and I MISSED THE END OF SUPER FRIENDS! Had I seen it I'm sure I would have led a much more successful and fulfilling life, but alas, here I am today.

And there I was then, stuck in my booster seat, restrained by the safety locked seat belt, unable to eat my apple, missing my favorite animated amazon Wonder Woman, a tiny tear trickling down my cheek (I was always had a little bit of drama in me), daydreaming about how one day I would invent a tiny seat belt for my apple (true story). And as cool as that tiny seat belt would have been--not to mention totally practical and necessary--I think the real game-changing-license-to-print-money invention that would have saved the day Super Friends-style here was the DVR. Had I daydreamed that, we'd be talking a unbelievably successful and fulfilled life. Damn, missed opportunities.

Note to self: Daydream big (tiny seat belts for apples might be too limiting).

3.07.2011

The elephant's mantra

Earlier tonight I had a little exchange with Mr. McMichael wherein I realized we broke up one year ago today (I pulled a total me move, and proved to him that today was indeed our the date, not because I'm a freaky counter, but because I'm a freaky rememberer). And that's true, I haven't been sitting around counting, even if Mr. McMichael likes to pretend I've been sitting around in a dark bleak room, mournfully scratching a hash mark into the wall, noting every sad sad day from the past year (did I get that right, Mr. M?); I'm just really good at remembering things (you haven't forgotten that have you, Mr. M?).


So, happy anniversary to Mr. M and me. On the surface, probably an unusual event to celebrate, but the relationship we had was definitely not usual. The relationship was healthy and good, the break-up was even healthier and gooder (?), and the friendship we have now, is the healthiest and goodest (??). What I'm trying to say is there is actually a lot to celebrate. Celebrating what we had when we were together, what we have as friends now, and what we'll be able to have with others in the future. And because of all that, I know I'm in a very good place. I recently coined a new saying for myself, a saying that I repeat at frequencies akin to bicep curls (three sets of ten repetitions), because maybe it's like a muscle and if I get really good at flexing it, I'll be strong enough to bend steel against its will, muwahahaha. Where was I? Right, mantra: Ready to find, ready to be found.


Now, Internets, I know I say this a lot around here, but I really am ready to find the relationship of my life. And, dude, if you're out there, I'm sooooo ready to be found. Olly olly oxen free! And just in case you were curious about the history of that phrase, here's a quick Wikipedia read--that's right, until dude hears my call and comes running to home base, I'm gonna get my nerd on.

3.06.2011

Six word Sunday: March 6, 2011

My friend from work, Coach A, turned me on to Six Word Memoirs. Taking a cue from Hemingway, the editors at Smith Magazine, an online magazine that serves as a platform for storytellers and storytelling, ask readers to encapsulate their life story in six words.

I love the concept, and at least through my nablopomo challenge (maybe beyond), Sundays will be my six word reflection on the week. Without further ado, I give you the glory that was this past week:
Pondering my future (without the grey).

3.05.2011

@what she said

Week one of the nablopomo challenge done. In a word: ohmygracious. There's still a heckuva lot of the month to go, too. That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to stall until I think of a legitimate topic reflect and respond to a comment from a recent post.

Is this heaven?
Angie wondered: "Please tell me your washing machine works. I'm trying to picture you with a washboard ala Laura Ingalls Wilder, but it's not working."

Fear not, Angie, I haven't had to head down to the creek to wash my finest muslin. In fact, there was one day when I had three washing machines in my house. One was the one that came with the house; I thought it was broken, and went out and bought a new energy efficient set, but of course it was working again when the new set was delivered. For those of you keeping count at home, that's two washing machines. However, for the better part of 18 months, there was another practically brand new set that was just chillin' in my basement. That third one came into the picture when one of my colleagues moved here from San Francisco and realized the practically brand new washer and dryer he and his partner shipped here weren't going to work in their new place. At this point, I only had the old washer and dryer, and they offered me the practically new set for a song. It was an offer I couldn't resist and I thought they would work in my place, but it would have required me to divert my gas line and sadly that would cost me multiple songs. So, instead I bought a brand new and electric version of the practically new set, because that's how I roll.

The good news is, I am down to only one washing machine in the house, as I was able to find a friend who could use the gas dryer and offered her the practically new set for the same song. Now, if I could only do that for microwaves and old TVs, as I just remembered I have two of each of those in my transitional housing for retired appliances basement.

3.04.2011

This time with feeling...

Okay, so the last post was not much of one I know. But I panicked that I might not make it home in time to publish something substantial, or at least worthy of the six of you that read this. And how bummed would I have been to lose my challenge on day four? I mean I'd at least set the over/under on March 15--and, yes, I might even take the under, knowing me and all.


For a few years now, I've been obsessing over the fact that I'm going grey. Look, I even brought it up two years ago (almost exactly). Well, this past fall, I did something about it: I gave in and started coloring it. I know I have several friends that were singing hallelujah because they don't have to hear me moan about it any longer. And while I'm ecstatic that I don't have the straggly grey hairs sprouting up all over, I'm actually quite devastated. You see, I've always really defined myself by my hair. Not totally and completely defined myself by my hair--yes, I am so much more than just my hair, I know, it's just hair--but being a redhead was unique, and people were always so envious of the color, and it was all mine and I didn't have to get it out of a bottle. It was something that made me standout ever since I can remember.


Yes, I know there's a lesson about vanity in here, but dammit, that wasn't a pill I wanted to swallow, yet. Again, I know it's just hair, but I loved it and loved the fact that it was a beautiful and untouched gift. That's not to say it's not still beautiful, it is (Lynda, if you're reading this, I LOVE MY HAIR), it's just that it's not the same now and I do have to get it out of a bottle. I do feel very silly and vain to say all of this, because I know that there is so much more about me that makes me stand out and makes me who I am, and that I should be beyond thankful that I have my health and an amazing life (and I am, believe me)... but every once in awhile the vanity sneaks in and reminds me time is ticking.


I've read and reread this post a couple of times now, hesitating to post it. It was supposed to be a light-hearted quirky post about how for years I've been complaining about my grey hair and how much grief I have for lost youth. But this is an age-old story (I can't stop thinking about Narcissus), and that maybe I have a harsh awakening in store. Just like this one time in college I had a random thought about how much I loved my ears, weren't they just so cute and perfect? Yes, I actually thought those thoughts, and later that very same night, I swear it was the same night, I was playing a game of Ghost in the Graveyard with my sorority sisters and as I was running through the darkness, a treebranch came out of nowhere (well, it came out of a tree) and sliced my ear. There is much more of a story there, but the moral was: hey, Van Gogh, don't love your ears so much, because it's just an ear. And if you don't stop being so vain, you might end up in an emergency room getting your ear stitched up, and by the way you won't be numb so you'll feel every stitch. How do you like them cute and perfect apples?


On second thought, I take it all back. It is just hair. Don't be ridiculous, I don't love it (unless you're Lynda, in which case I do love it, let's just not tell anyone, we'll keep that our little secret...), and I'd be... GULP... fine without it. Yeah, totally. Who needs hair? Nope, not me. Note to self: You better keep your fingers crossed that reverse psychology works on the Universe.

Staying true to my word

And totally counting this as today's post. I do have more to say, however. Stay tuned...

3.03.2011

Chugga chugga choo choo

Internets, I owe you a few stories. At some point I may get to them, or maybe not, but I probably will, just not tonight. I tell you this just so you know that I'm skipping over some of the details of life that happened during my three month (or five month, depending upon how you count it) blogging hiatus. Those stories are relationship stories and for the sake of today we'll just say I had one and then it ended and now I'm back online (both in the blogging and dating sense).


I find myself turning online dating into a science and I now have several tricks up my sleeve that I can employ to increase traffic to my profile. The real art would be increasing the traffic of the guys I actually want to date to my profile--I'm finding that part slow-going. I'm also finding some very interesting patterns. Actually, they've been happening in pairs so they probably can't be considered patterns, just coincidences, but they are interesting enough to make me take notice. In all the years I've been involved in online dating I've probably screened well over 1,000 profiles of potential mates and never have I come across a locomotive engineer... until last week, when I was matched with not one, but two. That's right, two train conductors ON THE SAME DAY. And then the next day, I was matched with two postal carriers for the first time ever. It's like I'm being matched with secondary characters on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.


Another thing I'm finding are the number of men with kids out on the market. I'm getting to be of an age where the possibility of dating a divorced father is more the norm than the exception. I'm keeping an open mind about it (just like I'm keeping an open mind about dating people in careers that are on the brink of extinction), but what frustrates me is that on the dating site, people don't have to declare their parental status, but they do have to answer the question: "Kids at home?" Over the past couple of weeks, I've been communicating with two guys who have kids, and have them at their homes 50% of the time and guess what? They both answer "No" to question "kids at home?"


Am I crazy in thinking that if you have kids (who are considered your dependents) and they stay in your home at any regular frequency (be it 10, 50 or 100% of the time), the answer to that question is "Yes?" I understand that answering yes to that question is probably a huge liability for you and would make several prospective women not give you a chance (just like maybe some of them wouldn't give Mr. McFeely a chance), but it feels like false advertising. If you have to postpone your dating life for a week every other week because you have to "be a dad that week," or you can't talk because you are putting the kids to bed... uh, buddy? YOU HAVE KIDS AT HOME. Plain and simple. And this isn't about me not wanting to date dads (not my preference, but they aren't all bad, and I'm trying to keep my mind open) it's about me wanting to know who I'm dating and not being misled to think it's someone else.

3.02.2011

Shoulding

If there's one word I'm trying to eradicate from my vocabulary today, it's should. I should have gone for a run, or hit the gym--I'm six weeks away from the Boston Marathon. I should have gone to the store this weekend and picked up things to make dinner for the week--cereal for dinner does not a well-balanced diet make. I should be working tonight--the next two months are going to be hectic with work, I'm just not sure I'm going to be able to stay afloat. I should, I should, I should.


Whenever my brain heads to shouldville, I tend to shut down. It turns everything I could do into horrid chores and then I choose to rebel against myself and not do them (ahem, should call the plumber to fix the dishwasher, anyone?). So when I walked into my house after work, I went upstairs, lay on my bed and immediately started beating myself up for all of the "shoulds" I should have been accomplishing at that very moment. There was so much noise in my head, that after about 15 minutes of me verbally accosting myself I jumped up; declared "Enough!"; grabbed my laptop, wallet and car keys; and headed out the door. I'm not at the gym, and I'm not at the store. Obviously, I'm not working. I'm also not eating cereal, and in reality, I'm not worried about the fact that I'm running the Boston Marathon in six weeks.


In the midst of my mental Civil War, I realized that the only thing I should do tonight is what I want to do. So, I drove myself to my all-time favorite Seattle spot (which happens to have Wi-Fi), ordered myself my favorite grown-up cocktail and fabulous "not cereal" dinner, and decided to blog about it. My crankiness has faded and I'm happy (and well-fed), and this is how it should be.

3.01.2011

Commitment

It's the start of a new month. And while I'm on that topic, holy crap?! How is it already March?

I'm the kind of person who is methodical about things. Freakishly methodical. There was a time when I wouldn't get out of bed unless the time was a multiple of five (I've relaxed on that little trait, and now I just don't get out of bed). Likewise, if I go on a health spree and decide to change my eating or workout habits I will never start mid-week; I'll always wait until Monday to make the change. There's something about the nice, clean, fresh start that delights me.

So, as I sat here astonished at just how fast time is actually flying, my thoughts wandered to ye olde blog and the Internets and I thought about how I really do want to write more. And what better way than to create a challenge for myself? And it being the start of the month and all why not use my freakishly methodical mentality to push myself into a blogging challenge? And, lo, a habit is born. Or at least force fit into my life. Whatever, I'm gonna write and you're gonna like it, because I'm making it my goal to post every day in March. Yes, Internets, you read that correctly. EVERY DAY. Including weekends.

I even went so far to declare my crazy intentions publicly by adding myself to the blogroll at NaBloPoMo, a haven for other bloggers who have committed themselves to be chained to their blog give the Internets a month's worth of gold in the form of blog posts. And the fine folks at NaBloPoMo offer support, too. In the event you need an idea for a post, they offer monthly themes and daily prompts around that theme. March's theme is "In a Word." I'm not going to lie, some days you might get a one word post and, yes, I will totally count that as a post. You know why? Because I'm the boss of me. But knowing me and my freakishly methodical brain (and my verbose tendencies), you might be the winner of a month full of LMNT. You, in a word: lucky.