Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Superstickies are fun!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dancing Machine

Yes, yes he was.

I'm sitting here in my office with tears in my eyes from watching this. I hope to hell no one walks by. I tell you, in 1974, it simply didn't get any better, badder, cooler than that. Especially for a 14 year old white girl in Indianapolis.

It still gives me chills. He was a fucking genius. And, like many geniuses, he paid for it by turning into a fucking wacko. It's all very sad.

Go watch more Jackson 5 stuff on YouTube. You will be shocked and awed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A moment

Just heard Michael Jackson died. He was just a wee bit older than me, so his music was an integral part of my childhood. Sister was a huge fan back in the day, when he was cute.

It's so sad, on many levels.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Master

This is for the two of you who do not watch The Daily Show. I believe every American with any sort of sense of humor simply must see this. Why? Because it's AWESOME!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Obama Kills a Fly
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

I love this clip so much. I'm not sure which part I enjoy the most, but Dan Rather calling Jon a pussy is hard to beat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guilty pleasures II

This one really hurts to admit, but I feel I will be stronger for it.

This show airs on TLC. I hear there's an hour-long show on Discovery Health but I don't get that channel.

I'm hooked on The Duggars.

They are about as opposite from me as white middle-age people can be opposite from each other. They are devout capital-C-Christians who believe that capital-G-God has a plan for them and they are subject to His Will. Their "desire is to make Christ known and for others to see that the Bible is the owner’s manual for life."

I, on the other hand, am not, and I don't.

Let me state specifically that I do not watch this show wearing my Sarcastic Irony Hat (patent pending). I'm not writing this to belittle them.

So, then, what's the point? Why am I so fascinated with people who believe something so fundamentally (ha!) different from my experience as a liberal atheist blue-stater that it seems almost freaky*? If I'm not watching to mock them, what can I possibly find to relate to?

I think it's that they walk their talk. They respect each other and their kids. I'm no patron saint of parenthood, but there are some fundamental (ha!) parenting principles that so many people simply don't get. The Duggars get it. Even though theirs is wrapped in a cloak of religiosity, it boils down to simple love, respect, and responsibility.

I tried to watch Supernanny a few years back but couldn't even make it through a whole episode. I mean, I enjoy a little familiar dysfunction as much as the next person, but to see so many fucking clueless and selfish parents... couldn't do it.

So even though I am a godless heathen left-wing radical wacko, I think Jim Bob and Michelle and I are probably closer in some ways than any of us would care to admit.

Oh, the other reason I watch it? Mr. B can't stand to be in the same room when it's on. It totally weirds him out, and that cracks me up.

* I also read the Left Behind series as science fiction. Actually, it was pretty good until the last book, when it just got silly. If you like post-apocalyptic speculative fiction, I highly recommend the first book.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Your application has been received

After hearing the big news, Mr. B's (adult) nephew J sent me his heartfelt congrats, which led to the following exchange:

What I wanted to say next was "Oh... should I shave anything?" but just as I reached for the SEND button, I realized that might be a bit suspect to send to one's future nephew, even is said future nephew is over thirty.

But it was oh, so tempting.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This week's been a whirlwind. Hell, the month has been one endless rollercoaster ride. I went from feeling tapped out and brutalized to, well, like I could burst out in song at any moment. I wanted to Rock this Friday in a manner befitting my current state of giddiness. It took several moments of concentration on YouTube, but I finally found it. The perfect song!

OK, all together now: "Can I get a napkin, pleeeeeease?????"

Thank you. Thank you very much. You're too kind.

Read more about Food Court Musical and other wacky hijinks at ImprovEverywhere.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Save the date

We did it! We set a date. Well, actually we set a date range, since there is information outstanding that may affect our final decision.

I'm such a romantic, aren't I?

We knew pretty early on in our relationship -- like, about two weeks in -- that we would be getting married eventually, but we were nowhere near rational enough to discuss the when. Now that we've been together over two years and The Move is history, the time has come; we're as rational as we'll ever be and the clock is ticking.

Mr. B said he couldn't, in good conscience, marry me before I turn 50 because I would be underage. I thought it was very gentlemanly of him to show such concern for my virtue and reputation, even though it puts us into 2010. We chose mid-March, for not only does mid-March commemorate First Coffee, it's also right in the middle of Anniversary Season and is the traditional observance of the Ides of Meatloaf. Add in Spring Equinox and it seemed plenty auspicious enough to counteract any bad karma incurred by disregarding the instructions we received from the universe last January.

That gives us nine months (give or take) to plan/obsess/fret over what might well qualify as one of the most minimalist weddings of all time, aside from showing up at the courthouse after work. Which I seriously considered. Briefly.

I think the most fun part is going to be picking out rings. Did you know you can get wedding bands with meteorite inlays?? Look at the Widmänstatten pattern on that puppy! All it needs is something in Elvish, or perhaps the wedding date in binary* (hexadecimal?) engraved inside the band and it'll be perfect.

Other than that, and a potential post-nuptial/pre-honeymoon trip Back East to visit Evil Twin and Sisters for an Ides of Meatloaf Reception, plans are sketchy.

Just the way we like 'em.

* So maybe 0011·00010100·011111011010, or 3·d·7da. Whaddya think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looked better in print

What was advertised:
Celebrate the Joy of Reading!

Every student will receive a new book Monday June 15th, thanks to our grant from the children's literacy program.

Parents are invited to join in our celebration of reading by enjoying a BBQ lunch together on Monday June 15th.

The Ex usually covers school-day events since he works in the area, but the Ex was scheduled to be out of town that day. So Monday I added some vacation time onto my lunch hour and headed south to partake in a celebratory BBQ lunch with Young Son. A BBQ! With new books! What fun!

I envisioned everyone sitting on blankets in the schoolyard, munching burgers and hot dogs, books being handed out, maybe a short speech... you know.

What actually happened:

The handful of parents who attended joined their kids in the lunch line. Young Son's class was the last one in line. When it was our turn, we grabbed a disposable styrofoam tray, loaded it up with our pre-grilled burgers - very well-done- condiments and chocolate milk, and went to find a seat. The weather was nice so most of the collapsible lunch tables with benches on wheels had been set up outside on an adjoining covered concrete slab. Those table being full, we wandered back into the lunchroom/gym/auditorium where we found an open corner at a table full of 6-9 year old girls and one other adult.

At the five minute warning, we finished up and obediently cleared our places. Maybe now there would be a presentation outside. Young Son ran over to tell his friend he would meet him at the tetherball pole. We walked outside together, whereupon Young Soon sprinted off to the far reaches of the playground.

I walked over to where he sat, near the tetherball pole.
M: "What am I supposed to do now?"

YS: "Oh, you can go back to work if you want."

An hour in the car, half an hour in an elementary school lunchroom. At least I got chocolate milk.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Webisode 4! Yippee!

Without further delay...

My Transient Life, ep. 4
Warning: Mature themes!

Can't remember if Lovely Daughter's in the next episode, but she did say she'd be back at some point.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Definitely not well

Oh yeah. This Friday's gonna Rock hard!

I'm feeling a little bruised and battered right now. Ragged. Tattered. And when I get to feeling that way, it ain't Jason Mraz I want to listen to. I heard this on the radio and it seemed to suit my mood particularly well.

Serving suggestion: Crank it!

A little overly dramatic, perhaps, but that's what music is all about, isn't it? A chance to scream 'Fuck yeah!' for no good reason?

Fuck yeah.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Important safety tips

Tripped over this during my morning blogwalk and I figured that y'all have tolerated enough of my whining to earn yourself a little levity.

We all know there are things that, as a villain, you just shouldn't do. Anyone who's ingested hours of Star Trek, Star Wars, or any other science fiction/fantasy/adventure tale featuring a Mark 1 Mod 0 villain archetype has been tempted, right when the villain traps the hero in a completely contrived compromising position, to scream at the screen/page "Just shoot the motherfucker!" But they never do, do they?

Well, when I become Evil Overlord of the Universe, this list of safety tips from Peter Anspach will be with me at all times so when I am tempted to shriek at my criminally stupid minions that I need sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads to torture my nemesis, I will always be reminded that it's much safer to simply pop a cap in the cocksucker.

Peter writes:
Being an Evil Overlord seems to be a good career choice. It pays well, there are all sorts of perks and you can set your own hours. However every Evil Overlord I've read about in books or seen in movies invariably gets overthrown and destroyed in the end. I've noticed that no matter whether they are barbarian lords, deranged wizards, mad scientists or alien invaders, they always seem to make the same basic mistakes every single time. With that in mind, allow me to present...

The Top 100 Things I'd Do
If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

This Evil Overlord List is Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach. If you enjoy it, feel free to pass it along or post it anywhere, provided that (1) it is not altered in any way, and (2) this copyright notice is attached.

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before killing them.

7. When I've captured my adversary and he says, "Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?" I'll say, "No." and shoot him. No, on second thought I'll shoot him then say "No."

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks' time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum -- a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

16. I will never utter the sentence "But before I kill you, there's just one thing I want to know."

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero's rugged countenance and she'd betray her own father.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way -- even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless -- my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.

27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

33. I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he's my trusted lieutenant.

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

43. I will maintain a healthy amount of skepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say "And here is the price for failure," then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

46. If an advisor says to me "My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?", I will reply "This." and kill the advisor.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artifact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh powerbooks.

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess' cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.

52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says "I'll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!", I will say "Oh well" and kill her.

54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

57. Before employing any captured artifacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner's manual.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in under 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

61. If my advisors ask "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?", I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.

62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a firefight.

63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

65. If I must have computer systems with publically available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they'd better save my life again.

69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

71. If I decide to test a lieutenant's loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.

73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.

74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk "Project Overlord" and leave it lying on top of my desk.

75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.

76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)

77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutentant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.

78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror "And he must be taken alive!" The command will be "And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical."

79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.

82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

83. If I'm eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. "Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse." Instead it will be more along the lines of "Push the button."

86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.

89. After I captures the hero's superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.

92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)

93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.

94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it's an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.

96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.

98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others' lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.

99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

Of course, these are merely the Top 100 Things I'd do. Other suggestions have been sent to me which didn't quite make the Top 100 List. But they are still so good that I couldn't bear to throw them out. Therefore, as an expression of gratitude, I have tossed them into Cellblock A and Cellblock B.

Doesn't that just make so much sense? In fact, I find I'm mumbling #34 to myself right now, over and over. It seems to be working.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stretch of the imagination

I know you've been simply dying to ask me about physical therapy. Am I still going? How much of my range of motion have I recovered? OK, OK, just simmer down and I'll catch you up.

I think it's week 17 and I'm still going three times a week. Sessions are hard but nowhere nearly as intense and painful as they were in the beginning. Progress has been made. I was starting to imagine life after PT.

Until today.

For some unknown reason, today the muscles in the upper right quadrant of my back and shoulder and down my arm were extra super sore, which made the stretching session especially brutal. In fact, Mr. Competent didn't even have me work on the equipment - he spent the whole time stretching. And stretching. And stretching. I jiggled my feet, clenched my jaw, breathed through my teeth, and did everything I could think of to stop myself from ripping my arm from his grasp. Toward the end I was this close to yelling "Uncle," kneeing the poor guy in the groin, and running for it.

Relax, I didn't.

I can't quit, there's still work to be done. I still can't raise my arm up much past 90 degrees out to the side, and I can only hold it there for a few seconds. I'm doing much better with forward motion and can almost reach directly overhead, but my mobility out to the side hasn't progressed much for weeks. Months, maybe. And please, let's not even speak of my external rotation, whatever the hell that it. Although a couple of weeks back I was relieved to discover I could once again cross my arms over my chest.

You have no idea how important that is until you can no longer do it.

I'm supposed to be stretching at home every day, but for some reason I am finding it difficult to force myself do something to myself that FUCKING HURTS. I can take stretching sore muscles, but this is different somehow. So maybe it's my fault I'm not getting anywhere. I don't know. I just know that for the first time in several weeks, I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever again be able to reach back and unhook my bra right-handed. To make it worse, my boss has been making unhappy noises about me taking so much time off, so as of next week I'm only going to be able to go twice a week.

Yeah. Discouraging's the word.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Webisode 3 is here!

Without further delay...

My Transient Life, ep. 3
Warning: Mature themes!

I think I need to eat more almonds.

p.s. Those are her own eyelashes, BTW.

p.p.s. Another episode to come - check back next week.

p.p.p.s. Wait! Of course you should still check back tomorrow for other stuff. I'll be here. Promise.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Less is still too much

I know y'all find this hard to believe, but sometimes, just sometimes, I over-extend myself. Not physically, universe forbid -- I can't imagine myself consciously agreeing to take on any more than the barest minimum requirement of physical movement -- but mentally.

See, when I get hit with a case of Shiny, everything seems bright and new, the world suddenly full of possibility. Let's see... hey, how about walking a mile every day! Wouldn't that be a cool project? And I'll bake all my own bread, and hey, becoming a fiction writer looks like fun, too. I can join a writers group and take a bunch of free classes; hey, they're online, it'll be easy! A group photo project that lasts a year? Sure, why not! And I can start blogs about everything and post every day! And all those boxes in the basement can be sorted, and the garage? No problem! And sure, I can list all of those books we don't want anymore on Amazon. Oooo -- it's time to get ready to plant tomatoes, too, so why don't we redo the whole back yard?

Then, inevitably, something like real life happens. A couple of unforeseen diagnoses, some other random crap. Shit adds up. The generous flow of mental energy starts to come out of the tap a little discolored.

Then, say, maybe my back goes out and I lose a week of work (where they're already looking askance at me for taking off three times a week for months on end) followed immediately by unexpectedly traumatic surgery on the head of someone dear to my heart. And oh, by the way? Then some little shit at day care breaks all of Young Son's favorite pencils, sending him to school in tears.

The flow of mental energy produces chunks of that rusty stuff, sputters, then slows to a sandy trickle that smells of sulfur.

Or something like that.

Having gone through this (OK, not exactly this) scenario repeatedly over the decades has finally taught me that resistance is futile, and trying to push through can only result in a more spectacular and comprehensive form of failure. The only recourse is to circle the wagons, marshal remaining resources, reduce-reuse-recycle, cut the line, and pull in the sails.

That means unsubscribing from half of the bazillion blogs I'm currently following, shut down many of my own blogs, abandoning recent projects, and in general, losing as much self-imposed pressure as possible.

Because, I'm embarrassed to admit, most of the pressure in my life is indeed self-imposed.

Oh, I'll still be here, since this is cheaper and easier to fit in to my schedule than therapy, but just about everything else is being shed like a greyhound's coat during 4th of July fireworks. So for now I'm booting the PC of my life into Safe Mode -- loading only the minimal set of drivers needed to get the system up. It ain't pretty, but at least I can get the stuff off my hard drive before it fails completely.

Although I have no idea how the last part of that metaphor applies to anything so I'll just shut up now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It rules

You know, it's been a rough couple of weeks, so I think I'm going to Rock it easy this Friday, if that's OK.

I heard this one on the way into work and it seemed to suit my mood just fine. So here's a little Lenny Kravitz for you, from way back when*, when he was new and edgy and looked like, well, let's just say he was a damned attractive young man**. And I can say that without sounding like a perv because he's almost my age.

Although I'd heard this song many times before, what struck me this time was how much it echoed my favorite types of music from the late sixties-early seventies, even more so than all of his other song that rip off reinterpret the music of that era.

I don't know enough music theory to break it down -- whether it's some sort of archetypal chord progression or whatever -- but it hits me right there, IYKWIM. Almost makes want to wear something way too tight, drink way too much, and dance way too intimately with strangers on a crowded dance floor.

What? That's not how you spent your teens?

p.s. Whenever I see a young black man with dreads, I think of Mr B's nephews, both of whom have worn dreads at one time or another. He told me that one of them had a t-shirt that read "Touch your own damned hair."

* Was 1989 really 20 years ago?!? Shit.

** I was going to say 'sex on a stick' but decided against it. Because that would be crass.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Projected high: 90 deg
Average high: 68 deg

Those in warmer climes can laugh all they want, but it's fucking hot here. Mr. B is home recuperating with no a/c (few have it in these parts) and he's miserable. Last I heard he was going to 'drug up' and go sleep in the basement. We may all be sleeping down there tonight.

I hate the heat. I start to whine at 80 degrees. By the time I get home tonight I should be in full 'shrill' mode.

Damn, even my toe is hot. I wonder if it's this hot in Topeka?

From 'Squeeze The Day', Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Young Son used to have the bathroom monologue memorized.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A surfeit of things

Do you ever feel like all it would take is one more thing to push you over the edge to... whatever is over the edge? Nothing personal, but I certainly hope so. I'm desperately hoping it isn't just me.

Objectively, I know I've got a pretty sweet deal. I mean, I have a job that pays enough, embarrassingly cheap medical insurance, a car that runs and is paid for, and good people around me. Hell, I even have an extra house! I have it about a go-billion times easier than millions of other people.

But that long list of blessings doesn't seem to counteract the pressure of all those things. You know, things I have to do, things I need to do, things I should do, and even a few things I'd like to do, most of which have already been jettisoned over the side as ballast.

A surfeit of things + A dearth of mental energy = Pressure, mostly internal.

So, anyone seen a relief valve around here anywhere? I knew I should'a read the fucking manual.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not so much

Well, apparently Percoset also makes me forget the Fridays Rock! post I promised you. Sorry 'bout that.

I'm back at work today, trying to shake off the remnants of The Week We'd Prefer To Forget, If It's All The Same To You. A week ago today, we were driving back from our long, lovely weekend at the shore. Then all hell broke loose, I lost a bunch of days (I do vaguely remember writing a few blog posts), and yesterday we found ourselves back at the LHRMI so Mr. B could participate in their annual Scalp Collection Drive.

I'll spare you the play-by-play, but we left home at 5:50 am and returned ten hours later with Mr. B looking like he was hit by a bus. Seriously. He looks like a cross between Massive Head Wound Harry and, as he puts it, 'someone's aborted attempt to construct a Borg in their garage.'

I'm not sure what's more impressive, the 3" wad of sponge STAPLED TO HIS SCALP or the 4" x 12" strip of skin missing from his left thigh. Hell, in comparison with that carnage, the wounds from the four lymph nodes they removed down the left side of his head and neck are hardly worth mentioning.

He even let me take pix, which I will link to as soon as I get them posted somewhere*. I didn't think it was fair to spring them on you without warning.

I'm emotionally exhausted, physically sore, and probably suffering the ass end of a drug hangover. I'm resisting (so far) the urge to curl up in a ball in the corner of my office and simply disappear for a few weeks. That space right between the bookcase and the back wall would be perfect.

*Update: I'm going to keep the photos private, but friends and family can email me if they want a link. There are two pix and they are relatively, ahem, tasteful.