Sunday, August 31, 2008


I accidentally invited people to author on my blog. (Thanks for pointing that out, Kiersten!) If you wanna do that, you're more than welcome, but I've deleted all those invitations and sent out new invitations for readership. Sorry about the snafu. It's been one of those days.

I'm leaving the blog public until some time next week to get us through the podcasts this week.

Slumber Parties and Lost Friendships and How Sometimes That's Okay

I was always the first asleep. Always. Yet I don't remember anyone putting my bras in any freezers. Probably my hand was put in warm water a few times. (I forget what effect this was supposed to have). There was one morning when Sarah* decided it would be really cool to put toothpaste in Heather's* eyes, and Heather woke up crying and yelling because she was in so much pain. It happened at my house. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive myself for that one. My only defense is that when Sarah decided to do something, she would do it, no matter how stupid it was. There was never any stopping her. She was that friend who always manages to get you into trouble, even though the only reason she convinced you to go along was because she would NOT SHUT UP until you did. Often our infractions involved her feeling guilty later, and she would tell her parents what we did. Guess who always got punished?

Mercifully, Sarah went away just before eighth grade to live with her father for good. I would make the excuse for her that she was from a broken home, but I met her in second grade, and her family life was well-intact then. Yet even then she was up to no good. Our escapades started with tying our shoelaces together in third-grade recess and eventually graduated to smoking cigarettes sometime in middle school. Things quickly grew more dangerous and disturbing from there. I think if Sarah hadn't moved away, I might have ended up in juvie with her, futilely trying to talk her out of yet another lame-brained scheme. It pains me that, while I was smarter in a lot of ways than Sarah, she was much more popular than me, which is how I think she was able to bully me so much. Popularity is power in middle school, especially when it's a relatively small middle school. She was street-smart, too, a natural schemer. I wasn't. At all. Part of that was that I was rather bookish, but I think it was mostly due to having parents who weren't street smart, either. Whatever street smarts my father had developed as a kid who was basically on his own from the time he was eleven, he lost in his transformation into a man who rose at five a.m. every morning to read the paper before he went into his twelve-hour workday.

Sarah eventually grew up to be a stripper and a drug addict—things Heather's parents predicted for Sarah as early as the third grade. (Heather, having street-smart parents and more than a little smarts herself, figured out Sarah much more quickly than I did.) If memory serves, Sarah's done some time, too. I don't think I was glad she moved away then. Sarah may have been a bad friend, but she was still a friend, and back then I had very few friends. But still, I felt a certain relief after she was gone.

Now? I'm glad she moved. Otherwise I might be writing this from prison. I'm not saying I turned out so great. But still. When I think about Sarah, I know it could have been worse.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"You are stunningly beautiful."

I look up from the newspaper I'm reading. "What?"

"I said, You're stunningly beautiful," and the man with the cane turns away and walks toward his bus stop.

"Thank you," I say. A minute later I feel like a jerk because I realize I've said "thank you" in a tone that implies I hear that sort of thing all the time. So I give him a reassuring smile as I walk by him.

I hope he didn't think I was rude.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've taken up running. Well, "jogging" is a more appropriate term. For the last couple of weeks I've been just jogging around the neighborhood, but today for the first time I am going to this track on Clark Street that's just beyond Lawrence. I'm going to try to make it around the track one time. I think it's half a mile.

I used to hate running. I'm one of those people who get shin splints even walking at a brisk pace. But while I initially lost weight with the yoga, I've hit a plateau (translation: I'm still chubby) and I feel like I need something a little more strenuous. And so far, I kind of like it. Instead of planting myself like a barnacle in front of my computer (or worse, the TV) I find myself now wandering around the house wondering what to do with my excess energy. Then I lace up my shoes for a run. My plan is to alternate the running and yoga so that I do each every other day. We shall see if I keep this up. Tomorrow will be my first day of exercise at six in the morning. Probably will be the yoga.

This is why I want the blog private. If I fail at these things, only a few people will know. ; )

Then I'm coming home and reading or something.

ETA: Walked out of the house and was met by two bulldogs who thought I was dinner. Then I walked under a tree and something wet fell on my head. I hope it was water. I jogged a mile (twice around the track) and then realized I had to walk another mile home.

Maybe I'll just keep running around the neighborhood.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Things falling into place

It's been a long, scary year so far, but in the last week or so, some major things have rather unexpectedly fallen into place. Not everything, but enough that I can start school with a clear head and a lighter-than-usual heart. More than enough, in fact. I feel a whole new affection for this thing we call Life.

Had orientation at school today. Even with one hearing aid missing (it's being repaired), it didn't go too badly. Need one more measles shot before I can register for classes. Hope to take care of that Monday. I'm not terribly excited yet; still decompressing. I'm sure once I get registered—and even more important, get my money—that will change.

I'm moving my blog to 'private' one week from tomorrow (Sunday). Blog authors on my blog roll should already have access. Those of you who would like to be linked, please drop me a comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lazy Bloggers' Post Generator

This is fun.

OMFG! I just had a cup of tea and realised I have not updated this since Hammertime was in the charts... You would not believe that my hands were chopped off and I was waiting for bionic ones. But I'm sorry you'll just have to take my word for it..

I am distracted with finding Jesus (after someone told me he was lost), selling my soul to Google, just generally being a terrible burden to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day drifts aimlessly from 8am to midnight. I am not complaining though. but this damned rock is heavy.

I make a solemn vow I will make more of an effort to blog more often until the nice men in the white coats come back. Well, I'll try. Until my paycheck dawneth..

Favorite Movie

What's your favorite movie? Any genre, any length . . . anything you like.

Mine used to be Tombstone for Val Kilmer's performance as Doc Holiday. (Or it could have been that at the time, that was the only movie I owned. But I loved it still.)

These days it's hard to choose. I suppose I'll have to go with Lord of the Rings. To narrow it down even further, I'm gonna have to go with the Fellowship. There's something about a new beginning that brings hope.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Harry Potter Quiz

Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with
You scored as Sirius Black

You are a gifted wizard and very loyal to your allegiance. Whilst you have a big heart and care very much about those around you, you can be a little arrogant and reckless at times.

Sirius Black


Ron Weasley


Hermione Granger


Ginny Weasley


Remus Lupin


Draco Malfoy


Albus Dumbledore


Harry Potter


Severus Snape


Lord Voldemort


Thursday, August 7, 2008


Seem to be coming down with something. All headachy and nauseous. I hope it's not the flu or a cold.


This was Ella. D and I had to have her put to sleep in January, after we learned she was suffering from renal kidney failure and was too far into it for us to reverse it. I'm glad she went quickly, in a matter of days. Been thinking about her today.

Ella was a stray when I got her. Her leg had been mysteriously broken when she was found, and she had drunk something that poisoned her, and when she got to the vet, it was touch and go. But she pulled through. My then-boyfriend introduced me to her through the person that found her. As soon as I saw her, I knew I was in love. You can't see her face in this photo, but she had big green eyes. When she looked at me, she climbed down from the person who was holding her and came right to me. It was love ever since. Her leg had been amputated (the right rear one), but she still zipped around like a little motorcart.

Ella was the friendliest cat I've ever had, although she didn't like other animals much. (As a matter of fact, she made it clear she was Queen whenever another one was around, either by 1) chasing the other animal 2) bopping it on the nose 3) yowling at the other animal to get lost. Fast.) But she loved people. Did I say she loved people? She LOVED people. She was convinced strangers came to the apartment for the sole purpose of petting her. If you were a stranger on the sofa who Ignored Ella, she would pat your leg until you Stopped Ignoring Ella. It was some sort of mandate or rite of passage every stranger had to go through. I guess you could say she was a little nympho. She didn't care who you were or what you did, as long as you touched her. She loved to have the insides of her ears rubbed, especially. The only place she didn't like to be touched was where her leg used to be. Bad memories, I guess.

I had her for ten years, all that time thinking she was a domestic shorthair and wondering why in certain lighting her fur looked blue. D and I now think she may have been a Russian Blue.

She wasn't really into human food, but she did like the occasional piece of ham. It pains me a bit wondering that perhaps her last years were not her happiest, as she had to share the apartment with another cat. But at least the last few months were spent in relative peace in a bigger apartment. And there was a screened-in porch she could wander around in.

I was on Kyle Cassidy's livejournal blog and his posts about his cat Roswell got me to thinking about Ella. (Note this was 2006 in that pic. Roswell now looks like this.)

Although Ella was most definitely catlike, people often commented on her being humanlike because she had such a big personality. Big personality. Small cat. Queen of any room she entered.

Me? Just glad I found her.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Award Letter

Got my award letter today from school. All I can say is . . . damn. School is expensive.


Okay. So eating creamy chicken flavor Ramen noodles for breakfast does not fit in with this health thing I'm trying. But it was storming out this morning and any kind of bad or cold weather always put me in the mood for soup.

That's one thing I will miss about Chicago when I finally do move: soup. Not that soup isn't available in California. But snow? I'm guessing it's rare. And I'm thinking earthquakes aren't going to put me in the mood for soup like a winter day (or night) in Chicago, with the snow falling and the wind blowing outside, and I'm all cozy in the TV room with a good book or an old movie. And soup. It can be any kind, really, but the best is potato soup, or a creamy chicken and rice soup with celery, carrots, and onions. Gotta be homemade, though, something I've slaved over in the kitchen for an hour or two, chopping veggies and boneless chicken, using up every pot and pan we have and generally making a mess. Then the soup simmers in the pot. An hour later I've had four bowls of increasingly hotter and spicier soup, because of course I can't wait for the spices to settle. I gotta have it NOW. Because I gotta read my book or watch one of those old Italian films (preferably with Marcello Mastroianni), and with the wind whistling outside against the windows, I gotta have soup.

So you can see how throwing the contents of a can of Progresso in the microwave just isn't the same. (Yet creamy chicken Ramen noodles do nicely in a pinch - like this morning. Except I heat those on the stove, so it's like cooking. Sort of.)

I guess I'm jonesing for winter. I shouldn't be. Winter in Chicago lasts a minimum of nine months. That's why summers in Chicago are so fun. People are ready to shed the winter clothes and brave the heat in their shorts and pasty, blinding white skin. They want to listen to the street musicians downtown and go to all the street fairs. They want to hang out at the beach by Lake Michigan (yes, we have beaches). They want to go on boat rides. Soup is just not the thing in summer. Beer is the thing, preferably at a restaurant or bar that has a big patio, where you can sit and ruminate on . . . whatever. (I've yet to experience this. Seems my luck always brings me to the dark, inner caves of Irish bars in Chicago, even during summer. Oh wait - there was that one night on a rooftop garden, a going-away party for a friend who actually joined up D and me with the landlord for this apartment. But that is rare rare rare. And don't get me wrong: I love Irish bars in Chicago, especially during the winter. They are cozy, baby.)

D thinks I'm crazy for feeling this way about soup, as he attaches no importance or comfort to food. He doesn't even get cravings, the bastard.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ho hum

Nothing much new with me. How are y'all doing?