Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Holy Tamale!

After work I went to therapy (yes I see a shrink, get over it) and then to my favorite Chinese nail salon (which actually happens to be Vietnamese - go figure) to get a manicure and my brows waxed. Lovely. Then I drove home and guess what! Waiting on the kitchen table was a present from hubby!!! None other than a $1,400 Nikon D80 SLR Camera with 8GB Memory Card and 18-135 mm lens. OMG I'm so happy I could poop. I am so happy that I can not bring myself to open the damn box. This camera was $1,400. Thats a lot of money. Especially for someone who hasn't bought a new pair of shoes in nearly a year. Of course a camera is so much cooler than any heels...oh and I did buy some Uggs at Christmas, so thats really like 2 months not a year, but still, $1,400 is a lot of money. So I ate dinner with the box on my lap, carried the box with me to tuck the girls in, and then also into the bathroom (TMI) and now the camera box is sitting here beside me on my desk. Unopened. I can still return it for 14 days for a full refund. What to do? What to do?

First Pictures with New Nikkon!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Parking Paranoia

I'm late (everyday) and I decide to make 1 loop around Cary Street looking for free parking. Usually I give in and park in the $5/day deck. (Don't you just love paying to come to work!)

This morning as I was circling the block guess what! a car backed out of a spot RIGHT in front of the building. So I pulled in carefully. Put the car in park. And spent the next 5 minutes walking up and down the street looking for "No Parking" signs. No parking on Thursday...okay it's Tuesday. Is it Tuesday? I think it's Tuesday. What are those cones a quarter mile up the road? Could those have blown down the street? Was this spot supposed to be coned off for sewer line mantainance? Are there any of those flimsy street cleaning signs that may have blown over? Am I far enough from the crosswalk? The fire hydrant? Could I be towed or booted? Do I have any outstanding parking tickets? Hmmm, I think I'm okay. But am I? Am I sure? Let me turn around and look one more time. Could it be possible that I was able to score this good of a parking spot?

God, I hope my car is here when I come out of work this afternoon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm too much of an Aries to be Invisible

Saturday I pushed myself. I was fed up with hitting the wall at mile 2.5. Unacceptable mediocrity. I aimed to run at least 4 miles. Nonstop. And I did, mostly. I ran 4 miles. Though it turned in to an awkward jog/hopping/hunched over debacle towards the end.

I went out, again, on Sunday, and I stiff and achy. I could only walk 2.5 miles.

I took off my headphones and listened to the wind blowing through the tree's upmost limbs. The temperature was 50 degrees, I reminded myself that this is winter. The branches are bear. The water is cold. I noticed a certain type of bush that was still clinging onto yellow flaky leaves, as though autumn had not come and gone. The trees, the moss, the squirrels, and I... we are waiting for snow.

I didn't go running today. The weekdays are tough for running. I leave early, come home late, and it's all such a waste of time, you know, this work thing. What a fucking waste of time.

It's all really pointless. I think the word "administrator" is a catch word for "person who occupies their time with busy pointless paperwork".

I should have been a folk singer. I really wanted to do that.

I really wanted to do that.

Why didn't I do that?

Friday means NYC. I need NYC right now. MoMA. Time Square. 5th Avenue. With my Nikon D80. (The one I don't own yet). Maybe I'll stay in the hotel and look out the window all day. People watch. Maybe I'll ride the subway for 4 hours, take pictures of the tube rats. Maybe I'll sit on St. Patrick's church pew and light a candle for my grandfather and all the people in the world who need someone to pray for them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Obviously, it was Party-time

Who would have thought something so sweet:

could be such a little devil??

The neighbors spent the night. Sometime in the middle of the night the two girls woke up, snuck into the kitchen, and had their own personal party time.

And I mean like jungle hurricane wild party time. Here is a brief list of the midnight party activities that darling Chloe and Gracie enjoyed:

1. glued sparkles to the floor
2. stuck stickers to the wall
3. wrote on my kitchen table with permanent marker
4. pulled out a pack of pipe cleaners and bent them all in squiggles
5. pretended a large bag of glitter was fairy dust and sprinkled it all over each other
6. pulled pictures off the fridge and cut them with caterpillar scissors

The whole time they were enjoying this midnight party I was sleeping just a few feet away on the couch in the living room. Oblivious.

So I woke up this morning, walked down stairs, around the corner, into the kitchen, and OMG!

It took 2 hours to clean up, with the help of Payton and her friend Cayle, AND hubby, AND the two little demons. Towards the end of the clean up hubby says "I bet that was a lot of fun." Yeah, probably. A once-in-your-lifetime-if-you-dont-want-to-suffer kind of fun.

Then we made vegan waffles with princess sprinkles and sugar peaches. Yum.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amazing Mother-in-law Never Dissapoints

Mother-in-law, Beth, is starting a children's birthday party business. She brings the party to the child's house, sets up a fancy table with decorations, provides costumes for the children to play in, bakes a cake (Beth style which puts Martha to shame), provides treat bags, plays games, etc etc etc.

As with everything this woman does, these parties will be over-the-top spectacular. She has employed me (free of charge of course) to create her site. Her business color is lavender, her theme, victorian. These two components are something I've never worked with before. So far I've created this:

The roses are a bit gag-ish, but she like them, and it does help the overall Victorian-esque feel. I'm rushing to finish the design base so I can start the CSS tomorrow. Still a long way to go. I'll be up for a while yet.

As preparation for the business, Beth asked me to bring the kids down this past Sunday so that she could take pictures for the website/brochure. Beth charged hubby Derek to work the camera. Tamara (my sis-in-law) and I chased the kids around yanking off their clothes and putting on the costumes. I managed to snap a few pictures with my [crappy ass] camera.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a Saturday

I watched Resident Evil with hubby, and suprisingly, it didn't totally suck. I'm pretty sure this is the most beautiful woman in the world.

And then I changed my mind when I saw a picture of her at the movie premiere. She doesn't look as hot all dressed up:

Kind of like Viggo Mortensen in LOTRs - hot as Aragon


But nowhere else:

Today I ate a bag of Lays Potato Chips and drank a half a bottle of Smoking Loons Merlot. It's all good, it's all vegan. Now tell me again how a vegan can be chunky??

I ran forever today... Maybe as much as 4.5 miles, and hell, it was pretty damn cool that I was able to do that. Unfortunately now I am up all night finishing a website. The site is massively flowery, but it's for a special client, so what she wants she gets.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yada Yada Part I

Just got back from lunch with Angelica where she fed a stray dog her entire lunch - a lunch I paid for!

I ordered a tempeh wrap which they made with Fakin' Bacon - tasted awful. I fed half my wrap to that stray dog, too.

I found this great site: I Can't Believe it's Vegan: a list of vegan food one might not know is vegan, such as Oreos, Fritos, and cake frosting. Yum.

In other news, this morning I ran an astonishing 1 mile (that's sarcasm kids). I was faced with two major contraints, one in my thigh, and the other was the man. You know, the man at work who fires you when you are repeaditly late.

My thigh is much better, though "the man" still gets me down from time to time.

Here is a totally unrealted random story.

1. I applied for a web design job.
2. I interview. Rad.
3. I wait.
4. Posting for position is cancelled.
5. Posting revised at higher pay with additional duties.
6. I pass on applying, assuming they want someone more qualified.
7. I receive email from man who interviewed me, says "position reposted" and "feel free to reapply"

I am trying to decide if I should reapply. He did take the time to send me a personalized email. But is reapplying an effective use of my time? Funny thing is, I was just thinking about emailing him and asking him if there was something in particular lacking from my portfolio.

I am listening to this conversation:

Ph.D. 1: I made my lunch and left it on the counter and it's Friday so I can't bring it tomorrow.
Ph.D. 2: Well eat it for lunch tomorrow.
Ph.D. 1: Nah, I can't do that. It's a work lunch. Not a Saturday lunch.
Ph.D. 2: Yeah, that's too bad.

And for faculty at VCU these type of things ARE too bad, like way bad, like devastatingly write a paper get a grant to study the long term psychological effects bad. Oh and then there are environmental impacts, and time conflicts, and tax inflation in restaraunts in Metro Richmond. All which could have been avoided had that Ph.D. remembered his damn lunch. Hell, Dr. So&So look what responsibility you have on your shoulders as the foremost human being on planet earth.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If I were a diva, my name would be Ferosh

Me: Chloe, I said put on a scarf, that is a feather boa

Chloe: But it's warm and soft, I wanna wear it

Me: Fine, but when you get to school you have to take it off

Chloe: But Mommy, I have to wear it, I want to be cheetalicious

I dropped the kids off early this morning so I could vote.

I walked into the voting room which doubles as the school gym 364 days of the year. One table was set up for Republicans and the other was set up for Democrats. As a testament to the type of people congressing from my neighborhood, I made a mental note of the line that had formed across the gym floor, and curled out of the door. All these folks were waiting for one thing. A Republican ballot. Those in line for a Democrat ballot? One. Me.

The ballot was fairly straight forward, but I had to read it 4 or 5 times because, as the only apparent Democratic voter for 5 square miles, I did not want to make a mistake. I nearly broke the ink pen pressing down hard to make sure the entire oval was filled.

The man by the ballot-collector-machine leaned way over to read which bubble I had filled in. I saw him peering, so I stopped feeding the ballot, held it up close to his nose and said "Hillary", then I fed the paper through the counter. In retrospect, feeding the 8 ½" by 11" paper ballot into the counter felt a lot like shredding a document_

After successfully completing my civic duty, I called hubby to remind him that if he would like to vote for Clinton, the voting booth was open until 7pm at Payton's school, otherwise, if he choose to vote for Obama, he would find that the voting booth location had changed, and was now located somewhere in the Appalachian.

With my spare 15 minutes, I went for a run in the park. (Oh man am I gonna be late to work today). The weather? A cloudy 22 degrees. I tightened my shoelaces with numb fingers, grabbed my iPod shuffle with the little clippie backing (too cool), and set off to conquer the mostly flat course at Rockwood Park.

Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 my pace slowed and I knew I would soon be walking. My joints were achy and my heart was racing too fast. So I made a deal with myself. I would run the entire song, whatever it was, just one song, and then walk the rest of my course.

Dear reader, you will never believe what song was next. The soundtrack anthem from Rocky. You know, the one that's playing in the background in the movie while Sylvester Stalone runs across the Brooklyn bridge, and up some monumental steps, and through fields of grain.

So there I am, pounding the pavement, and this song lifts me up, tall and gazelle-like. Off in the distance, on queue, a flock of birds takes to the winter sky. And the chorus of women sing "Getting Stronger".

I'm running, and drooling, my ski cap fell off my head about a quarter mile back but I leave it where it fell.

"Getting Stronger" the chorus keeps singing, and I feel like a real superstar. My heart is racing and I'm thinking, um, maybe this isn't a good idea, I'm probably hitting my 90% heart rate max. But I just can't stop, after all I'm "getting stronger" and you know what? I want to be Rocky. I fucking become Rocky. I am running, and it hurts, and I've never been more ferosh.

FYI, I happened to download the extended orchestral version of this song. A full agonizing 7 minutes long.

Around minute 6, I forgot the pain and my heart rate steadied. My body said "Okay girl, I'm done trying to stop you, you ain't quittng are you?" I shook my head. Hell no.

And I didn't, until the song was over. And when it ended, and I slowed my pace, shot my arms up into the sky and said right outloud "I'M GETTING STRONGER. WOOHOO!"

"Alright!" said a little black man who I hadn't noticed sitting on the curb. He gave me a big warm smile, as if to say "You go girl." And I smiled back and said "Thanks!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

You Appeared in my Car like a Stowaway

You appeared in my car like a stowaway today. Reclining the passenger seat, soiling the leather.

I didn't realize you were there at first, beside me as I drove southbound on I-95. I suddenly felt your sarcasm burn my right cheek. Your abusive exploits pinching my arm.

You sat there, like undigested meat, a 3 foot clump of red clay, Mississippi mud. "This car won't hold both of us," I warned you. But you didn't listen, instead you became denser, substantial, and ponderous.

I rolled down your window, and you whined at me about the wind. I complained about your vulgar stench. "You can not exist without me."

The air in the car turned wicked. My spirits absorbed your sticky goo. I stopped breathing and curled inside myself, toxic, melting, miserable.

I reach out for you, "If I suffer from you, we suffer together." But you laughed and said "I'm only given you the rotten stuff, babe, I sent the good stuff to Switzerland for vacation."

My heart foiled in my chest, my breath constrained. "Ugh, you make me sick sometimes," you spit at me, "pathetic".

"Yes, pathetic," I think.

I reach out again, and feel your wet sloppy clay. I dig my fingers into you, feel your cold useless form. When I pull out my hand it is covered in your muck, lodged deeply under my fingernails. I reach again, into your soil, and grab a clump, holding it firmly in my hand.

"You know what? I want the window down." I say out loud, and before you can protest the window is down. The freezing wind rushes into the car, washing out your heavy stench. With the strength of Nolan Ryan, I squeeze your uselessness in my palm, and give a most impressive overhand delivery, right out of the passenger window, smacking into the back of a pick up truck. I watch your muck form into an image of you, with your face, and your arms, your torso leaning against the back of the cab, you smirk at me, as I drive past you and your new chauffeur who is oblivious to your presence. "There!" I exclaim, "You've always said you wanted to travel!"

And then I lean over and grab more of your gunk, now settled into my leather seat. I form a nice handful and toss it with an impressive curve, landing you on the Phillip Morris tower. You twirl into your man form, skidding to a seated halt, lay back against the tower, admire the stars.

I grab another handful of you, and pitch you out of my window, like a coin skipping across water, you hop, hop, hop, on your tush till you find a green place amongst the pine tree forrest. I see you rise up, taking your familiar shape, turn to smile at me, and then disappear in the woods.

I throw you into the James, where a boat magically forms beneath you on the river.

I hurl globs of you against the bridge and watch you grab on to the cement and climb up to the overpass.

I attach bits of you to an arrow and shoot you off into the distance where you find an outdoor cafe with a starbucks latte and wired laptop computer waiting to amuse you.

I open my door and shove the bulk of you onto a Wal-Mart parking lot, where you assemble into 50 identical men, all rising into form from chunks of clay. All 50 of you walk off in different directions like a starburst. Your mass exodus in all directions centering from my car must resemble an impressive firework display from Heaven's view.

You are gone. But left a fine dust behind. I sweep the dust bits into a zip lock bag, but they are resistant to containment and rise up into the air, disappearing into the sun. I can not take the chance that you will come back here. I am done with your evil intent. I grab a can of hairspray and spray the air. Your dust particles cling together, and fall heavily downward, where I catch them with the plastic bag.

I seal the bag and roll it into a ball. I secure the ball into the hug of a rubber band sling shot, with all my well intent and hopeful wishes, I pull the rubber band back using the strength deep inside my shoulder socket. "May you land where you will find peace and never again hurt another," I whisper curtly, snapping the sling shot into the air. Your bag flies into the sky, fierce, spinning into a fireball, your dust beams over the atlantic, twirls over europe, and slows, half way around the world, dropping as ash from the sky, somewhere over Asia. You appear out of the ground, kneeling in exhaustion, looking up from where you fell, and smile fondly. "What a quirky girl you are, my Tiffylou!"

Yes, fine, thank you very much, now if you would be so kind, please stay where I flung you, do not find your way back into my personal space.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Is this me??

I saw this picture on Magster's page and I thought "holy shit is that me?" because I'm pretty sure this image captures everything about my life: house, children, and of course, alcohol. Oh, and I also own that outfit in white, red, black, and leopard print.

I feel like I am typing sideways today. Physically slanted. I'm having to lean to one side because I feel like my ship is sinking. Literally. I am literally typing at an angle. I would love to photograph this, only my camera is in my purse and my purse is way far away at the bottom of the steps.

Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to share my iTunes library with hubby. Let's be honest, his music really sucks. Here is a sample of some of his faves:

Rose of Sharyn - Killswitch Engage
Whitewash - Buckethead
Needled - Children of Bodom (wtf?)
Satch Boogie - Joe Satriana
The entire collections of GNR, Beastie Boys, and Buckethead

Of course while typing these I clicked to play "Through Fire and Flames" by DragonForce, one of hubby's theme songs (Thanks Guitar Hero). And I have heard this song so many times against the click click click of the plastic guitar remote buttons. Sporting an 80% on expert level. Rock on.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mi Alegria Muerde tu Boca Ciruela

(I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth)

What treat I enjoyed, sitting on my front porch wrapped in a thinning afghan, I have emptied the universe to focus completely on the children, playing with intense consideration to their imaginary games.

The young one falls, walks to me for comfort, her stunning blue green eyes become liquid, and she stumbles the words "being mean" and "pulling my hair"

Thats not nice. Tell them absolutely not.

She leans, birdlike, gracefully brute, and yells to her mutual companions "ABSOLUTELY NOT"

My job on the porch is complete, I enter my house, the air feels delicious, a left over aroma of sautéed cabbage and portabella mushrooms.