Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I can't imagine any scenario in which trading Mark DeRosa was a good idea.

I'm so sorry to see you go. I really enjoyed watching you play, and you seemed like a really good guy, too. Probably the worst part is that you're in the American League now, so I'll never get to see you.

I think I need to start telling people that Soriano is my favorite player so maybe the Cubs will trade him next.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

So for all of my complaining about the holidays, I do have to say that at least one really great thing came out of all of it. I got kitchen gadgets. I've been getting into cooking more and more lately, because there is something about a home cooked meal - it almost makes me want to cry with joy after eating a really good meal. I feel like I'm doing my body a favor by eating well. I just had a red lentil curry with cauliflower and parsnips - a recipe out of my new favorite cookbook, Veganomicon - and a mini pita from Whole Foods. And it was just so friggin' good.

Thing is, I've always known that I could cook. I always did fine in home economics and stuff like that. I'm an excellent baker. But I have more of a taste for sweet things than savory things, so I took to baking more than cooking. Somehow, cooking was a little more daunting. But, as we have recently found out, I am a smart cookie and cooking shouldn't be that hard. So if you, like me, have some irrational fear of making dinner, let me offer you these simple guidelines that will take some of the scary out of it:

1. Find a recipe and follow it. They usually write out the directions very clearly, so as long as you don't skip a step, you should be fine.
2. Use a timer if necessary. If the recipe says to cook the onions until they become translucent, but you have no idea what that looks like, use a timer. The recipe will probably say something like "5 to 7 minutes." So cook them for six and you should be fine. Same with pasta. If you notoriously overcook pasta, just set a timer according to the directions on the box. You'll have perfect pasta every time.
3. Don't be afraid of "exotic" ingredients. So what if you've never bought coriander before? Give it a shot. The people who put that recipe together knew what they were doing when they put it in there, so if you put it in there, too, you'll get the actual flavor of the dish as it is supposed to be.
4. Don't be afraid to get dishes dirty. If you don't have expert knife skills and it'll take you longer than 30 seconds to dice an onion, cut up all of your veggies before you even start to cook so when it's time to throw them in, they're right there, ready to go. Yes, it's a couple of extra bowls to wash, but it will keep you from burning your meal.

I think those are the big ones. Though it also helps if you have good tools - sturdy pots and pans, a spoon that feels good in your hand, a grater, a mixer, measuring cups, etc. And fresh ingredients make all the difference. But really, cooking isn't that scary, and it's not that hard. And just think of the favor you are doing your body by putting fresh (organic when possible) ingredients in there instead of some crazy over-processed junk.

Anyway. Thus begins my journey down the road to foodie. And, in some circles, this would make me a much more appealing wife/girlfriend candidate. Woo hoo.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I think it is quite possible that the most annoying part of all of this snow and ice is the almost constant sound of tires squealing on ice as people try to force their cars out of difficult parking spaces.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

So I feel the need to put up a public apology for my last blog. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings with it. My family is wonderful and they put so much time and thought and effort into making the holidays warm and welcoming and then I went and kind of poo-pooed it because I have my own issues going on. I didn't mean to poo-poo their efforts. I love their efforts and I love my family very much. I'm sorry if that part got lost.

And I'm working on my issues. I know that 90% of it is in my head, but that doesn't make the issues any less real to me. I think my New Year's resolution this year will be to figure out how to reduce that number, to come to terms with my issues, and work on making them go away. Or at least to work on making it so that my issues don't ruin the holidays for me or anyone else.

Merry Christmas to you all (or happy Hanukkah, joyous Kwanzaa, peaceful Ramadan, or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate at this time of year, I hope your celebrations are warm and peaceful and joyous). I love my family. Please always know that. I love having you in my life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I think it would help if I had some sort of holiday tradition, but let's be honest, I don't. My childhood holiday traditions started disappearing and/or changing when my parents got divorced. And please please please believe me when I say that I'm not at all upset about the fact that my parents are divorced. I think it was a really good thing. Yes, it sucked at the time, but it really was a good thing - my parents both have partners now who they love and who love them and it really worked out well. But during the whole thing, the things that made the holidays great when I was a kid changed. We didn't make cookies as much. Tree decorating happened a couple of times, but not quite with the same vigor. The guests who showed up at the extended family gathering changed. The venue for the extended family gathering changed. I stopped going to church. It turned into this long ordeal wherein I would go to the big family thing, then church with my dad, the stay over at my dad's house (in freezing cold pajamas that had been sitting in my car for hours), do the gift exchange thing at dad's (where all my bows were smooshed from sitting in the car for hours), have something to eat there, go to mom's and exchange gifts again (again, with smooshed bows) and eat again, and finally get home somewhere between 24 and 36 hours after I left. It was a tradition, but an obnoxious one. And then I became vegan and made the whole thing even more annoying, both for my family who is lovely in trying to make stuff for me, and for me who had to bring my own form of protein to whatever family gathering. So finally last year, I stopped doing that. My dad no longer lived in the house I grew up in, so I said I wanted to spend Christmas night in my own bed. And it was lovely. But it means I really have no holiday traditions anymore. I tried getting my own tree one year and inviting friends over to make ornaments - I think two people came and I was the only one making ornaments. I've put up lights around my windows, but my cat tries to eat them so it's really more of a hassle than anything.

Which really makes me wonder what is so wonderful about this time of year? Which I know is probably a very offensive question to any religious readers I might have. Sorry about that. But it's been shown many times that Jesus probably wasn't born in late December - he was most likely born in the middle of summer but his birth was celebrated in December so that the Pagans wouldn't persecute the Christians for celebrating their beliefs. So why don't we all tell everyone we love how much we love them at the end of July instead? Why do we do it when it's cold and slushy and you have to bundle up in 17 layers to get out and do anything and when you're driving home, your chances of dying are much improved by the simple fact that the roads are probably coated in ice that you can't even see? Which is probably offensive to anyone in the southern hemisphere who happens to be reading this. Sorry about that.

I don't mean to be offensive. I'm just disgruntled. The holidays are a hassle, but people put up with them because they have fond memories or favorite traditions - things that make the hassle worth it. I don't. Which is mostly of my own doing, but I don't. I was so pissed off earlier today and I was trying to think of a movie I could watch that would put me in the holiday spirit and I couldn't think of one. I don't have space for a tree. I don't have a good kitchen for baking tons of cookies. I don't have a fireplace. I have gloves that reek of gasoline from when I had to refill my car manually. I have about four days this week where I'll have to go somewhere and be friendly and pleasant and pretend that everything is okay and I like this crap. Can't I just tell my friends and family that I love them and give them random Tuesday presents when I find something I think they'll enjoy?

To my friends and family - I love you. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I will tell you that when I see you. I will tell you that in March and in July and the next time you call for no reason. I don't need a specific day of the year to celebrate that. My whole attitude about the holidays will probably change when I have my own family and/or small children in my life and can start building my own set of traditions, but until then, I really don't want to participate. I really really don't. It's not intended as a slight against you; I just don't want to do this anymore.

Which means I'll go bake and decorate cookies this week and go over to my brother's and smile and pretend that it's all okay and I like this crap.
So I placed an order online for some items to give my dad and stepmother for Christmas. There were several items, one of which shipped by itself and has arrived just fine, the other five of which are in a package that is, near as I can tell, being held hostage by the United States Postal Service. This particular package was sent the day before the one item that has made it to me already, but I may or may not get it by December 23. As the wonderful, friendly, ray-of-sunshine woman I talked to on the phone told me at least 87 times, it's not guaranteed. Essentially, because I didn't want to pay through the nose for shipping, my package is worthless and unimportant and can be used, abused, mistreated, forwarded for some unknown reason, lost, redirected, and I may or may not ever actually see the thing. And if I call to ask questions about whether or not I might ever get my package, I am told that nobody there or at any other phone number can answer my questions or offer any sort of insight or, hell, even empathy regarding the situation. Nor do I have any sort of recourse if I never get my package because it isn't insured.

The long and the short of it is that the United States Postal Service can bite my ass. Merry friggin' Christmas, I hate you all.

Sorry, I'm grumpy today. My car ran out of gas while I was warming it up and brushing the snow off of it and even though I have a gas can in my trunk and was able to get down to the gas station to get some gas, it didn't work so I now either have to go get a new gas can and more gas or I have to call roadside assistance to come help with my car. That I am already uber pissed at for all of the other crap that's been going wrong with it. And normally, I wouldn't mind so much, but this is one of those weeks wherein even though I have the time off of work, I have so much crap to do that I really can't be without a car this week. And I ran out of toilet paper and Kleenex so even if I wanted to (which I do), I couldn't just sit around and pout all day. Do I have to participate in this week? Can I just skip the whole holiday thing? Please?

Friday, December 12, 2008

My whole life, I've been what most people would call a smart cookie. I learned to read by about age two. I was at the top of my class through school. I could have skipped second grade, but my elementary school didn't think that would be good for my social development, so they just gave me extra projects to do instead. I took all honors classes. I took high school algebra in 8th grade, and got a 5 on the AP calculus test as a junior in high school. I was in the program for smart kids at my high school, and graduated with 35 AP credits, which allowed me to graduate from college in just three years. Summa cum laude.

Why am I telling you this? Not to brag. Just to illustrate that I am a smart cookie. And I have to tell you, growing up, it sucked. Smart kids are teased. I was passed over for creative things in high school because I was one of the smart kids. And it becomes this weird intimidation thing, or just plain awkward thing. What teenage boy wants to ask out a girl who is smarter than he is? Not to mention that I had horrible skin and was socially awkward despite not skipping second grade. It sucked. I was resentful of being intelligent because I felt isolated.

So I went to college and studied theater at a school that is not necessarily known for smart cookies. I didn't really advertise the fact that I started as as sophomore and never had to take another math class as long as I lived if I didn't want to. And I just kind of blended in. After graduation, telling people that my degree is in theater from a university that is not necessarily known for spitting out smart cookies didn't exactly carry the same kind of clout that going to, say, Harvard or MIT or Oxford would have. And that was fine, for a while. But I know I'm smart. The people who know me well know I'm smart. And part of me really wants to be recognized again as a really smart person. Like maybe my opinion would count for a little something extra if people knew I wasn't Joe Average walking in from off the street. So I went in and took the test to qualify for Mensa. And I qualified. Which means as soon as I send in my membership dues, I will be a Mensan. I will be a person who is at least nationally, if not internationally, recognized as being a particularly smart cookie. And I will be able to network with other particularly smart cookies. I'll get back to that place where people will just kind of assume I know the answers to things. Where they won't feel it necessary to talk down to me. Hopefully.

The funny thing is, when the envelope showed up in my mailbox today, I was nervous about opening it. As much as I know I'm a smart cookie, only the top two percent are invited to join Mensa. What if I'm in the top five, but not the top two? And when I opened the letter and saw, "Congratulations!" I started jumping up and down and screaming. I had no idea it meant that much to me. But I guess it does. And I'm really happy that I qualified for Mensa.

It's fun being a smart cookie.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

As much as I know it's a necessary evil, I really hate extermination day. We have to take everything out of all of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and take the drawers out of their sockets so they can come in and spray. Granted, I would much prefer this to living in a roach infested building. Near as I can tell, this is not a roach infested building. Probably because they exterminate regularly. But it's rather a pain in the ass.

On the up side, it does make me go through everything I have in my cabinets so I can throw away the stuff that I haven't touched since the last extermination day. Dead cereal. Mystery crackers. Soup mix that in three years, I still have not made. And then I get to put all the stuff I kept back in the cabinets but with some sort of order to it. Hopefully a better order that makes more sense and takes less space than the previous order created after the last extermination day.

On the down side, once I put everything back in my cabinets, I'll have to take it out again and wash the strange yellow powder off of it. Yay.
So it just keeps getting colder outside. Fortunately it's staying something close to warm-ish inside. I put that plastic stuff up on my windows to try to keep the warm in, but this morning it was 64 in my apartment. And the plastic is blocking my cat's access to the condensation on the windows which he loves using for drinking water. I think he'd rather be warm though, and there are three other windows he can drink from.

And also on the positive side, it is now just under four months until opening day.

I also found a bass player. We have a show on Saturday. I'm a little nervous about it, and a little afraid he's going to leave, too, out of boredom or something. But he's really good and I'm really excited to have him on board.

So if we could just get past the whole holiday thing, things might be starting to look up.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Traci Lords (or whoever runs her official MySpace page) found me on MySpace and sent a friend request. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. I accepted, but I'm still a little confused. Is she just looking to up her friend count, or is she wishing Coming Home had been used in Zach and Miri?

I don't know that I'm ever going to think of that song in the same way.
Happy December.

So Tuesday is weigh-in day and I'm down 10 pounds from when I started. Woo hoo! This officially puts me into the acceptable weight range for my height. I'd still like to lose a little more so I'm more towards the middle of the range, but in general, I feel good. My pants fit again. I like it that I've sort of re-distributed my food throughout the day (bigger lunches and breakfasts, smaller dinners) and re-instituted the afternoon snack. And probably the best part is that I'm cooking more. I've kind of turned Sunday into cooking day, and then I eat the leftovers for lunch all week. Means I have homemade, satisfying lunches at work every day, which I have to admit, is kind of nice. Like today, I had a winter vegetable curry, dahl, and naan. How many people do you know have homemade Indian food for lunch? Who aren't Indian, anyway.

And please don't worry about me. I'm doing this in a very healthy way. I'm eating all of my points every week (or getting within a point or two of doing so). I'm still splurging on fries and cake every now and again. I'm eating lots of fruits and veggies, and getting enough protein. Even starting taking a multi-vitamin again. So I'm being healthy. Getting exercise. Eating right. Eating more balanced meals. And shedding the excess weight that I've been hanging onto with my really strange eating habits. Feels good.

So hooray for the first 10. Here's to another.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

And here we are, almost December. It's ick-ing outside, but not so much as to be annoying. Yet. Knock on wood.

Thanksgiving came and went with minimal carnage. Saw a couple of movies. Watched a bunch of television, including Episodes 1, 2, and 3 of Star Wars. Man, are those bad movies. There was such potential, but the scripts are just plain bad. They lack any sort of personality or humor or interesting dialogue. The production value (granted, 90% of it is cgi) is fun, though the costumes are really impractical. So they're really pretty to watch, if you can stomach the really bad dialogue. Oh well. If I ever have kids, I'm not even going to let them watch these ones. They will only see the original trilogy (minus the added bad cgi Jabba the Hut scenes in A New Hope) until they are so in love with the series that they can overlook the trite crap that is Episodes 1-3.

And yeah. That's about that. Here's hoping Christmas isn't too painful. And the turn over to December means it's just about four months until Opening Day. Hurrah! Maybe even a huzzah.

Happy December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So it was a little slow at the office today, so I decorated (per my co-worker's request) for the holidays. I think I kept it tasteful, yet festive.

Thing is, it made me feel festive. So when I stopped on my way home to get an onion, I also got some little white lights to hang around my windows. And I hung them up. And I stopped to get some stuff with which to make a Christmas present. Granted, traffic was horrible, and this whole lights thing might make it hard for me to put that plastic stuff up on my windows, but I have to admit, there is something nice about being even just a little bit festive. Nice smells in the house. Lights in the window. If this is all the holiday season was about, I think I might be okay with that.

Then again, ask me again tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

So I have to apologize; I just kind of feel like griping today.

Thanksgiving. It used to be my favorite holiday. Well, up there anyway. Halloween always kind of kicked ass, but when it came down to the winter holidays, the ones that you actually get time off of school or work for, I have always preferred Thanksgiving to Christmas. Essentially, they play out the same way - the whole family gathers somewhere and eats themselves silly. Christmas has the added hassle of presents, though, which is too much pressure. Thanksgiving is all about quality time with the family, just enjoying each other's company.

Thing is, as a vegan, and (I think) the only one in my family with any weird dietary restrictions, it has become more and more of a hassle to participate in Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong - I still love spending time with my family. But transporting a Tofurkey when I'm the only one eating it is a pain. And by the time I get there, it's cold, so basically, I get to eat microwaved Tofurkey and whatever side-dishes my sister-in-law has been gracious enough to make vegan. Which is really sweet of her to do.

Continuing along the whiny road, the family that comes to Thanksgiving is significantly different that they used to be, too. A lot of the people I used to look forward to seeing don't come anymore 'cuz they live too far away or have other engagements. And somebody always now brings a friend who had nowhere else to go, so the conversation leans primarily towards a "let's get to know the new person" theme which is one of the reasons my family is so great - they're very welcoming - but it doesn't make for the nice, warm, homey feeling that the Thanksgivings of my childhood held.

I know, I'm being awful. I love my family. Please don't ever doubt that. They are wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, loving people and I am so blessed to have them in my life. But as I'm sitting here thinking about the gathering on Thursday, I'm having little anxiety attacks. The preparation. The chit-chat. The fact that I will most likely be cold the whole day. The schlepping. The fact that my car needs new brakes and new tires. The having nothing interesting to say because I still don't have a band, I'm not in any theatrical productions, I'm not working on any interesting projects, and I'm not really looking forward to anything at the moment. How awful would I be if I just wanted to stay home and be thankful from afar?

Pretty awful. I know.
You know, I love it when I tell someone how much I hate being cold, and that my body temperature is naturally low so it takes me a really long time to warm up, and that I get panicky when I get too cold, so I'd rather be warm, and that person explains to me how when you're cold, you can always snuggle up under a blanket and get warm.

Oh, wait. No I don't.

I realize that there are about six of us world wide who would rather be too hot than too cold. And I might even be in the minority in that group because my comfort temperature is closer to 80 degrees Farenheit than say, sixty-eight. But really. Think about this for a minute:

If you put a blanket over an inanimate object that is cold, i.e. a car, a chair, etc, the inanimate object does not warm up. Why? The blanket is not producing heat. The blanket itself is probably cold, too. You know how blankets work? They trap the heat being given off by a warm (or warm-ish) something. If a person sits under a blanket and it's a good blanket, the blanket traps that person's body heat and makes everything feel all nice and cozy. Now think about this: if you put a blanket over, say, a person with an internal temperature of 98.6 degrees Farenheit, versus over a person with an internal temperature of 97 degrees Farenheit, the person whose internal temperature is 97 degrees isn't going to be as warm as the other guy. Why? There wasn't as much heat to begin with. Said person might get there eventually, but it's going to take longer. Imagine having one heating vent in your house and expecting that to heat the whole house. It's going to take a while.

Same thing with me. My body temperature is low. I am very sensitive to the cold. It takes me a long time to warm up. So while I can appreciate that most people are fine walking around their 68 degree houses in a sweater and socks, I would very much like it if people would stop looking at me funny when I tell them that for me, that temperature warrants sweater, sweatshirt, socks, slippers and a blanket. Maybe a scarf. I know me better than you.

Okay, I'm done. Sorry.

Friday, November 21, 2008

So I think I may have figured out the key - I have to not rely on my morning 1-mile walk to be my exercise for the day. I have to do something that really makes me sweat. I'm going to have to be careful to not become obsessive about it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So I've been doing the online weight loss thing for two weeks now, and have lost a total of eight pounds. I wish I was losing weight faster than one pound a week, but on the up side, losing at this rate means I'm losing real weight (not water weight) in a healthy manner, thus increasing the likelihood that I will keep it off. I was reading about plateaus, though, and how to jump start things when you're not really losing anymore. (Maybe a little freak out considering I haven't been doing this that long, but whatever.) A lot of the suggestions include eating more fruits and vegetables (which is a little silly for me) and putting more dairy in your diet (also silly for me). So I'm trying to work more soy dairy substitutes into my daily routine, thinking maybe it's a calcium thing. It also said that you should eat all of your points, including your weekly extras, every week, which in a weird way seems odd to me. I understand the whole "if you don't eat enough, your body goes into starvation mode and you'll actually gain weight" thing, but why build in screw up points if you're supposed to eat all of them? Why not just up the daily allowance? I guess so you can go over by a bunch one day and then not the next. But still. That might be the biggest challenge for me - eating all of my points every week. When I know I'm supposed to be watching my portions, and when I eat lots of vegetables that have no points, it might take some conscious effort to eat that much. But it's worth a shot. More soy yogurt and soy milk. More food in general.

The really nice part about the whole thing thus far is that I've been cooking more. I'm really enjoying cooking. I've re-instituted the mid-afternoon snack so that I'm not starving by the time I get home and I can actually take the time to make soup or chili or bake bread or make a fresh salad. The other night, I had homemade soup, a homemade salad, and freshly baked homemade bread for dinner. Tell me that doesn't make your heart and soul feel good to eat like that. It certainly helps mine.
I've been enjoying eating oranges lately, but in many ways, they're worse than corn on the cob. Mostly for the "crap stuck in your teeth" factor.
Okay, so I was really disappointed that Kerry Wood got traded. He came up in the Cubs system, he spent his whole career as a Cub, he was a Cub, through and through. And while I understand the move, it still makes me sad to see him go.

But on the flip side of things, thank god or jebus or whoever you thank in these situations that we re-signed Dempster. Without him, I think our rotation would be sunk. How weird that in one season, he went from Dumpster to "without him, our rotation would be sunk?" Whatever. I'm glad he's sticking around.

And a belated congratulations to the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, Geovany Soto. Booyah, baby!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So today was one of those days that called for sitting at home under a blanket with a cat on my lap and perhaps a mug of hot chocolate. But I had to venture out to the grocery store and in a really strange way, I'm glad I did. There was something really peaceful about walking down the street while it snowed lightly and "Falling Slowly" played on my iPod. For a minute, I didn't hate snow or winter or being cold. It was really nice.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So I think we all know that I love the piano. I love songs with piano in them. I didn't used to enjoy playing it so much because my teacher was kind of strict, but I'm a sucker for a good piano player. And I have recently rediscovered my favorite piano solo ever. It's in the middle of Nina Simone's version of "Love Me or Leave Me." If you've not heard this song, go purchase it somewhere and have a listen. Not only is it the fantastic Nina Simone, but the piano makes me so happy I just end up grinning like an idiot through the whole song.

Yeah, Nina.

Yeah, piano.

Yay, it's Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And again with the nightmares. Except in this one, I was extremely calm. Kind of resigned to what I was doing.

There were two buildings next door to each other. The one on the left was higher than the one on the right, or at least the back door was, like it was a tree house or something. And the building on the right had these two big back doors that opened up, almost like barn doors, to reveal a large disposal unit of sorts. Like a giant wood chipper or something, except missing the spout that spits out the wood chips. And I know there was another person there, but I'm not sure who it was. And we were taking turns throwing things down from the higher building to the ground and then picking them up and throwing them in the disposal unit. If you were really good, you could fling them from the one building directly into the disposal unit, and when that happened enough times in a row is usually when we would switch, because it would allow the person on the ground enough time to get up to the higher platform. The thing that made it a nightmare, though, is that we were disposing of bodies and body parts. Sometimes clothing (i.e. a boot), sometimes just bones, sometimes in-tact parts, sometimes whole bodies.

Yeah, have fun analyzing that one.

Which is why I'm up at three in the morning. Thinking about how I probably shouldn't have eaten those chocolate chips when I got home, but that if my weight goes up by a pound, I know it's a pound I can easily lose again. Thinking about trying to wake up early so I can do 20 minutes of Pilates before work. Wondering if I did top-two-percent good, or if I'm just in the top five.

Wherever you are, I hope you are sleeping well and not dreaming of disposing of body parts. Not so nice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh! I almost forgot. Congratulations to Geovany Soto for winning the National League Rookie of the Year. Booyah, Cubbies!

And for those of you who are counting (me), we are just under 5 months to opening day. Woo hoo!
So I'm down seven pounds in two weeks. I thought it might be more, and six of that was lost in the first week. Mostly, I think, because when I hit that number on the scale, it was artificially high. But then only one pound during week two. Kind of makes me wonder if I am at/near where my body wants to be anyway. What my actual weight is supposed to be. Which wouldn't be all bad, I guess. I'm still going to try to get down a little more. Thing is, I'm not hungry. I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. And I'm not even eating as much as they're telling me I can eat. On the up side, my pants are fitting better and really, that's what this was all about anyway. So I'm going to keep plugging away and hopefully getting smaller.

I'm also going to send my demo CD to a record label today. Keep your fingers crossed - I like this label and would like it if they liked me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I feel like I need to write something about the historical significance of what happened yesterday, but I also know that any words I use will be inadequate and I will sound like a crazy person writing about the struggles of other people and what this must mean to them. (Side note: I also don't really see Mr. Obama as the first African-American president, even though that's what he is. I see him as a strong, intelligent man with good ideas who I'd like to see in charge of things for a while. For me, this was an election about ideas, not skin color. I would like to say that I understand what his election must mean to the African-American population, I probably can't really as I'm not African-American, but I do know that his presidency is something great and about that, all of us can be happy and excited and hopeful.) So I'll tell you what it means to me, even though I'm pretty sure that will also show at least some of you that I am, in fact, a crazy person. But this whole blog is filled with my ideas and opinions. In the grand scheme of things, I could be totally wrong. But these are my opinions and the beautiful thing about this country is that I'm allowed to publish them on the interweb for anyone who wants to read them.

I think that there are those events in everyone's life that change you. Some of them are really horrific moments, frozen forever into our memories, like September 11, the Kennedy assassination, or the Challenger explosion. Some of them are wonderful, like the birth of a child, falling in love, or finding a mentor. I have some of these already, but last night felt like another Moment. With a capital M. I also think that once in everyone's life (maybe more for some people), there is a significant public figure who inspires them and makes them want to believe in something. I think for a lot of people, it was Kennedy. I think for me, it is Obama. Would I elevate him to regal status? No. But I think that he's going to do his damnedest to effect at least some of the changes he has promised us. I'm inspired because we have a leader in this country now who doesn't make me cringe in fear when he opens his mouth. I'm inspired because we have a leader in this country now who said, "...I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree." I'm inspired because we have a leader in this country who understands the importance of preserving not only the country in which we live, but also the planet which we inhabit. I'm inspired because we have a leader in this country now who is looking forward, not behind, and is ready, willing, and able to face the challenges that my children will encounter head-on. And I'm inspired that he has the support of so much of the nation behind him already. I want to give him a chance. I want to see him succeed, because if he succeeds, we all will, in one way or another. Even if it just means other countries won't hate us (as much) anymore.

When the election was called, I screamed so loud I tore my throat. I jumped in the air and clapped and hugged my friend and cried for about three hours, until my face was chapped from the salt. I'm in awe. I'm excited that this is the beginning of something. It may go down in flames and be a horrible disaster. It would most certainly go differently if the country wasn't in such horrible shape at the moment. But I think what gets me the most is that SO MANY PEOPLE voiced their desire for something different. "Stay the course" is no longer good enough. That, by itself, is inspiring to me.

Thank you everyone who voted. All of your voices were heard and will continue to be heard over the next four years. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on Obama's campaign to make it an historical feat by itself. And thank you to Mr. Obama, our President Elect Mr. Obama, for standing up to take on this country and all of it's problems in the hopes that things will get better. I wish you all the luck in the world and if there's some way I can help out, please let me know. I'm ready to make change happen.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thank you.
So I did my job today. I voted shortly after 7am. See, four years ago, I went to vote at about 6:30 am and it took about ten minutes. There was nobody in line. This morning, I showed up at 6:45 am and didn't leave until 7:25. There was a line out the door. It almost had me crying, I was so happy.

Thing is, I want to see the results now. I want the numbers to be in. I want to know if the guys I voted for won so I can celebrate, or if the other guys won so I should start considering moving to another country. Thing is, I really love America. And I really love Chicago. It would be hard to live in a city that didn't have the Cubs, or our skyline, or my family. So please please please let the guys I voted for win.


Monday, November 03, 2008

So I'm kind of excited for tomorrow. All this hype and all of this build up and after tomorrow, it will all be over. I plan on waking up early and walking over to my polling location and casting my vote before work. I know a lot of people voted early, which is fine, but I kind of like the pseudo pageantry of voting on Election Day. The same way I like paying my bills with checks even though it's really environmentally unfriendly.

Please, whatever you are doing tomorrow, take the ten minutes and go cast your vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

So I'm thinking I might turn into the kind of person who cooks a lot. I'm currently making soup and it makes my house smell so good! I could get used to this. But I think the key to becoming the kind of person who cooks is to have good tools with which to do the actual cooking. In the last year, I've come into some good knives. I bought new spoons. And today, I splurged and bought myself a Cephalon 6 qt stock pot so I can make soup. I'm making an Italian type vegetable soup with white kidney beans now, and I'm planning on making an Asian inspired tofu noodle soup later (both recipies from the website that is helping me lose weight). And I even got more plastic containers so I can easily portion out one serving, freeze it, and thaw it out for later consumption. And/or, for easy transport to work. I could turn into one of those people who cooks a lot on Sundays so her meals are prepared for the rest of the week. Sounds like kind of a fun way to spend the winter.

Wherever you are, I hope your house smells as yummy as mine does right now.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The thing about a funk is it makes it really easy to just sit and eat chips for extended periods of time. Or overdose on sunflower seeds. Or have a second helping of ice cream. And as you're in a funk, the more you do that, the more you want to do that because hey, what else are you doing? And I'm not saying I'm fat, because by no stretch of the imagination am I actually fat. But some time ago, I picked a number that if I ever saw it on the scale again, I would take some serious action. Because the thing about really obese people is you know there had to be some point, somewhere along the line, when their pants didn't fit anymore and they had to make a choice - seek help, or buy new pants - and they chose to buy new pants. I'm not saying every person with a weight issue has the issues as a result of simple overeating. I know there are those with thyroid problems and such. But there had to be a point, maybe at 250 pounds, maybe at 300 pounds, when they thought to themself, "I wonder if this is healthy" and they could have taken action (either diet/exercise or medical intervention) instead of continuing on to the point they are at today, weighing 700 pounds and being unable to leave the house and asking some daytime talk show for help because if they don't lose weight soon they'll die. There had to be that point. For me, I picked a number. It's a somewhat arbitrary number, and I'm pretty sure my doctor would still give me a clean bill of health, but I don't want to see the number get any bigger, regardless of how much lean muscle I'm building by going to the special gym for women. It's time to start losing some fat. For real. So I joined one of those weight loss places you sometimes see ads for on television. It's all about portion control, which is something I need to learn anyway. I eat healthy. Hi, I'm a vegan. But you eat too much of anything and you'll gain weight. But this is about portion control and exercise. And it's structured in just such a way as to appeal to my pseudo-competitive nature. I'm on day two and so far, so good. I'm technically not supposed to weigh myself more than once a week, but already this morning, the big, scary number was gone. A slightly smaller, not-quite-as-scary number was there instead. Here's hoping we keep on that trend. But if you hear me blogging randomly about food and points and things, that's why. I'm trying to lose some fat.

I'm also actively trying to find a challenge, so I'm thinking about joining Mensa. I think that if I can get ahold of my ACT scores, I'll be able to join without having to go take a test for it. But if what I'm looking for in life is a creative group of people who stimulate my intellect, wouldn't Mensa seem like a decent place to try looking to find them?

And to complete the random trifecta, I watched Obama's infomercial tonight. I really wish I had the opportunity to meet him in person, and I'm pretty sure I would weep if I did. I can't help but think of Kennedy - the hope and enthusiasm that he infused into this country. Obama just strikes me as a beautiful person - a beautiful speaker, a wonderful father, a loving husband, an intelligent man who will listen to as many sides of the argument as he can find before making an informed decision. And what makes it really nice is that his campaign promises are saying all of the right things. And he's saying them in just such a way that you can believe that at least some of them might actually come true. I know there are people out there who think he doesn't have enough experience, or that he's a socialist, or that he's trying to destroy the country from within. I don't think any of that is true. I think he's exactly what this country needs right now. And what makes me almost unspeakably sad is that if he is elected, I will spend 4-8 years holding my breath for the day they announce there was an attempt on his life. There are already people out there plotting to assassinate him. It's almost like he's campaigning for a death sentence. But he's campaigning anyway because he believes he can make a difference, and because he believes it is that important. Thank you, Mr. Obama, for (if nothing else) your desire to make that sacrifice. Here's hoping I'm wrong and you serve out your two terms and then retire to a happy life with your wife, children, and grandchildren.

And I know that some of you out there think I'm a crackpot for thinking this way. Sorry. It's what makes sense to me. But whatever your views, please go vote on Tuesday if you haven't already. The thing that makes this country truly great is that all of our voices can be heard, but only if you speak up.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

I met a fellow introvert last night and it was lovely. I'll probably never see him again and that is fine. Both of us knew that we could exchange the pleasantries of "Gimmie your number and we'll hang out sometime," but we're introverts. Both of us would wait forever for the other one to call and neither one would actually do so. But I do have to say that it was really nice to talk to another introvert about introversion. About our general love of people (as in human kind) and our general disdain for having to participate from time to time. I got a laugh out of a friend of mine, too, as we were talking about it when I said, "Introversion isn't about self-consciousness, it's not about having low self-esteem, it's not about being shy; it just means that other people make you tired." So that was groovy.

It was also nice to find out that being an introvert makes dating difficult for more people than just me. And I think I've figured out what it is. It seems that there are a lot of men out there (at least a lot of the ones I'm meeting) who want to get into a relationship in the shortest amount of time possible, probably so that a) they can get regular nookie or b) they really need to talk to someone about some really deep stuff and it seems only fitting to be able to talk to a girlfriend 'cuz they can't talk to their guy friends about this stuff and nobody wants to have to go to therapy. Anyway. I want more out of a relationship than that. I want someone who I can trust with my crap, too. I want someone who challenges me. I want to be with someone who stimulates my intellect as well as my emotions and my spirtuality and my physical being. Silly me, I want the whole package, in reciprocation, not in an "I get to be this for you and you get to have me be this for you" kind of a way. And it usually takes me a little while to figure out if this type of person is the one I'm sharing a beer with at this very moment. Longer than it takes him to figure out that I'm a good listener. I just don't know if, in this society, at this point in time, at this point in my life, I'll find someone who is willing to take the time to let me get to know him, and who is going to take the time to get to know me. Really know me. Which says that if I'm going to date someone, I should date someone in my circle of friends because they're already halfway there. Unfortunately, the gender distribution of my friends has changed and I'm hanging out with more women (which is lovely, just not great for dating. For me).

So yeah, being an introvert is great. I am very happy that I am one. Makes dating difficult. But we already covered the fact that I'm okay with not doing that so much.

Happy Saturday, everybody.
I have to make one little amendment to my post from yesterday. There was one relationship type thing that I did enjoy, even though it was frustratingly ambiguous. I enjoyed being in love like that and caring that deeply for someone. That was pretty cool. It would have been cooler had he felt the same way, but one can't really ask that of someone who isn't attracted to your gender, now, can one?

Friday, October 24, 2008

So I went to a movie with a couple of friends last night because I've been rather anti-social lately. It was a pretty good movie - Choke. Not for the feint of heart, but entertaining. We like Sam Rockwell. Anyway. There was a preview for this darling-looking movie beforehand that of course, I'm not going to remember the title of, but it looked like it was about this woman who is just a happy person and she's single and people keep telling her that she should find someone because really, they just want her to be happy and she keeps responding, "But I am happy." My guess is that in this film either A) she falls in love with some wonderful guy when she was least expecting it, B) her heart is broken by some jackass and she finds love elsewhere as she picks up the pieces, or C) we find that she has some horrible disease that causes dementia.

Which, while it looks like a lovely movie, brings me back to a question I've asked before: why do we all think that being in a relationship will automatically make us happier than we already are?

I'm not trying to poo-poo relationships. I know lots of people in lots of relationships and they are happy in them and I think that's fantastic. But seeing as I've not been happy for a little while now, I've started to think about what it is that truly, truly makes me happy and you know what? None of the romantic relationships I have been in is on that list. Granted, a couple of them made me feel giddy at the time (for which I hated myself), but after the fact, they're not the sort of thing where I find myself thinking, "Wow, that sucked. I should do it again and maybe I'll be happy this time."

Wow, that came out really cynical, didn't it? Sorry.

The things in my life that have made me truly happy have nothing to do with romance. My family. My cat. Making music. Performing. Being vegan. I love it when I am challenged. I think we can all agree that I'm smarter than the average bear, and I'm good at pushing myself to do things that a lot of other people wouldn't do or that I would have previously been afraid to do, but what really gets me going is a challenge from something external. Usually a community of creative people. Like my former theater company. Or when I had a band. I would have foregone just about any romantic relationship for those things, and I probably still would. If I could have both, great, but if not... Give me a challenge and/or a group of people to create with and I'm all good. Even if it's just someone who says, "Hey, what about this?" and then I can run off and play with the thought and create something new out of that one little "this" (because I am a rather independent person, you see). Give me a challenge and I'm happy. Let my cat sleep on my lap and I'm happy. Put me on a stage and let me sing and I'm happy.

My guess is that this kind of goes back to people not really understanding introversion, and that's why the general opinion is that happiness is to be found in other people. That's not really an introverted point of view. Happiness is to be found in all kinds of places. I think I just need to put some gas in my car and take a little road trip to all kinds of places.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Next time you're in the grocery store, walk down the aisle where they keep the nuts and pick up a container of, say, roasted sunflower seeds and look at the ingredients. My guess is that it will read something like this, "Sunflower seeds, cottonseed oil, salt." Granted, there are brands that will try to throw preservatives or high fructose corn syrup in there as if they were necessary, but for the most part, you'll find the nut, some oil, and salt. Look at some almonds. Same thing - the nut, some oil, and salt.

My question is this: why don't they roast sunflower seeds in sunflower seed oil? Why don't they roast peanuts in peanut oil? Why don't they roast almonds in almond oil? You almost never see a nut roasted in it's own oil. Why not? Would that create an almond flavor overload? My guess is that it is for financial reasons - canola/vegetable/cottonseed oils are cheaper than the fancy ones. But still. You're roasting peanuts, which means you have easy access to peanut oil, why not use it?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

No, I'm sorry, I can assure you that you have never "boughten" anything from me, the same way I am certain that I have never been guilty of driving on the "medium."
So another nightmare.

In this one, I was out somewhere with one of my girl friends, and when we were ready to leave, we went back to my car, only to discover all of the windows were smashed, and there was a scummy looking guy in the driver's seat trying to hot wire the car. I was on the passenger's side, but I got in and started hitting him and yelling. My friend opened the driver's side door and dragged him out of the car. When I couldn't reach him to hit him anymore, I called 911, but then all of a sudden, there was a cop there, telling me it was useless to call the police because my car hadn't actually been stolen. I looked at him, incredulous and furious at his lack of assistance, and the thief's accomplice (don't know where he came from, but it's a dream, remember?) starts leaning on the trunk of my car. I scream at him, "Don't you fuckin' TOUCH my car!" but by the time I get that out, he has opened the trunk, taken my guitar out, and started running down the street. I started running after him, tears streaming down my face, knowing all the while that as I chase this guy down to get my guitar back, the completely unhelpful cop is going to steal my car.

Then I woke up. It was about two in the morning, and I couldn't get the thief's face out of my head, and I had to go into the living room and touch my guitar to know that everything was okay.

Dream analysis: I feel not only like I'm losing things that are important to me, but that they are being taken away. Including my ability to create. On the up side, I had a friend there with me, helping me fight, which is good. At least I don't feel like I'm in it alone. But the feeling of powerlessness is not one that I like. Gotta do something about that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So the fun thing about having new windows is that I can open and close them at will. Also, that it is a lot lighter in my apartment. I had no idea how dirty my old windows were. The not-so-fun thing about having new windows is that I can see my neighbors from time to time. And you know how on Friends, they had Ugly Naked Guy across the street? Yeah, well, I have Little Old Masturbating Guy across the courtyard. I don't mean to see him. I don't want to see him. And it's not that I'm anti-masturbation. I know it is a natural, healthy thing, and if this particular gentleman's heart is strong enough to do that at age seventy, then more power to him. I just don't want to see him do it. All it would take is for him to close his blinds beforehand. Or even, to do it with the lights off. And I will also acknowledge that for him half of the fun might be doing it with the lights on and the blinds open on the off chance that someone will see him. Okay. But can it be someone else? Who then doesn't tell me about it later? Please?


Thursday, October 09, 2008

So my apartment still kind of smells like caulk from when they put in new windows. And it's just kind of dull in here. The air isn't moving much, and everything just kind of has this general feeling of dampness. I did laundry the other night and had to hang up a couple of sweaters to dry. They're still damp. Water just isn't evaporating in my apartment.

So I found a gluten-free, dairy free cinnamon raisin bread mix and I pulled out my old bread maker and I'm currently baking some cinnamon raisin bread in my apartment. Hoping it will help make things smell better in here. It probably won't help with the dampness, but it might make it feel more like home.

And I found an eco-friendly drain unclogging substance that I'm going to try in my kitchen sink. Yay.

And I've gone to the gym two days in a row now, after not going since before I went to San Francisco. With any luck, things will start looking up soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So you remember the story about the two doors, and one of them always lies and one of them always tells the truth, and you have one question to figure out which is which?

Yeah, the debate tonight made me think of that. Not quite sure why.
So the resounding cry from the south side of Chicago is, "At least we did better than the Cubs!" My question is, "Based on what?" The Cubs scored more runs (855 to 811), had more hits (1552 to 1458), more doubles (329 to 296), more triples (21 to 13), more RBIs (811 to 785), more stolen bases (87 to 67), a better on-base percentage (.354 to .332), better team batting average (.278 to .263), grounded into fewer double plays (134 to 157), a better stolen base percentage (71.9% to 66.3%), fewer ground outs and fly outs (1434 to 1685), a better season record (97/64 to 89/74), a better ERA (3.87 to 4.06), more saves (44 to 34), gave up fewer hits (1329 to 1471), gave up fewer runs (671 to 729 or 624 to 658 when you talk earned runs), struck out more batters (1264 to 1147), had a lower opponent's slugging and on base percentages (.395 and .316 to .410 and .320), committed fewer errors (99 to 108), gave up fewer stolen bases (87 to 139), and caught more guys stealing (36 to 30) than the White Sox. In every category - pitching, fielding, and hitting - across both leagues, the Cubs were ranked above the White Sox (Fielding: Cubs-19th, Sox-23rd); Pitching: Cubs-5th, Sox-11th; Hitting: Cubs-5th, White Sox-18th). So really, White Sox fans, you want to try to convince me that you had the better team this year? Based on what? One measly game that brought your season record to 90 and 77, versus our season record of 97 and 67? Really? You're going to try to play that card?

I don't think so.

I'm sorry to be angry and bitter, but I am angry and bitter. This was an amazing Cubs team. The best we've had, probably as long as I've been alive. And it pisses me off that a kind of decent team is trying to squash all of the accomplishments the Cubs achieved and records we broke because they won one game in the post season and we didn't. Sox fans can kiss my ass. I'm done being diplomatic on this one.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I still love the Cubs. It hurts and I'm really disappointed, but I still love the Cubs.

Next year. It'll be a different team, but it will still be baseball. Hopefully, we'll still have Theriot, Fontenot, DeRosa, Johnson, Dempster, Big Z, Hardin, Lilly. I'd like to see Lee and Ramirez back, too. I can see places where improvements can be made. Six months from yesterday and it'll all start over again.

I'd also like to send a little something to Mark DeRosa if I can, just because I know in his blog he is beating himself up about this. Mr. DeRosa, you provided more offense in the NLDS than the rest of the team combined. Yes, you committed an error or two in the second game, but you were out there playing as best you could. It's just sad that one man can't win it by himself. But please know that your efforts were noticed and appreciated. And I hope to see you back again next year for another amazing season of Chicago Cubs baseball. Thanks for everything you did this season.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I love the Cubs.

I was born loving the Cubs.

I will love the Cubs until I die.

I have learned many important life lessons from the Cubs:

- Tomorrow is another day, and it should be met with the same enthusiasm and energy and positive attitude that started today.
- You can fall flat on your face, BIG TIME, and still come back and do something amazing.
- Hope for the best, expect the worst.
- Sometimes, you have to find the joy in the little victories.
- There are some things in your life that you just can't give up on.

It hurts to see them losing in the post season. Again. But I love the Cubs. I have always loved the Cubs. I will always love the Cubs. I'm still crossing my fingers that they take the last three games of the series and blow us all away. But if they don't, I will spend the off season counting down to opening day.

Let's go, Cubbies! (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap) Let's go, Cubbies!

(Especially Mark DeRosa. Tee hee.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

If I could, I'd like a do-over for today, thanks. Yeah, just start the whole thing over and try again, because really, it's off to such a horrible start!

I feel like the worst mother in the world. I locked my baby in the bathroom before I left today. He has food and water and his litter box, and he does, from time to time, like to nap on the bath mat. But I feel awful closing him up in there. Thing is, they're installing new windows in my apartment today, and 1) I don't want him in the way of the workers, 2) I don't want him running out the door when they leave it open to bring things in and out, and 3) I don't want him to jump or fall out of an open window. So I left my cat in the bathroom with a note on the door asking them to please do the bathroom window last so that by the time they do that one, he'll be okay in the rest of the apartment. And it just about broke my heart to close him in there. Now the only thing I have to worry about is if they take the windows off from the outside without seeing the note I left on the bathroom door. I don't think my cat would jump out the window. But the thought of losing him...knowing that the last time I saw him, I hugged him and kissed him and then locked him in the bathroom...

So I get to work, and I'm the first one here. This is not normal. Usually, there are two or three other people here by the time I get here. But today, I'm the first one. Only, nobody ever told me the password to turn off the alarm. Yeah, not fun.

So I deal with that - finally - and I'm half expecting the police to show up today to file a report (but I know the password now to let them know it's okay), and I find out that our email server at work is down and I potentially lost all of the emails my international customers sent me between 8:30pm last night and about 8:30am today. Might not seem like a big deal, but that's prime working hours in Europe.

And then, to top it all off, I get a call from one of my co-workers who rides the train to work. The train he was on hit and killed someone this morning.

So please, can I have a do-over? Today is just not a good day, all around. Can we start over and try again? Please?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're getting new windows on my building! Starting with my apartment on Friday! Yay!

Did I mention, yay!

So I'm starting to think that at least part of my problem is that I keep having really bad dreams, so when you think about it, it's been quite a while since I got a good night's sleep. Granted, reaching REM sleep and having dreams is what most people would consider a good night's sleep, but if the dreams are upsetting or stressful, you can wake up even less rested than when you went to bed. For example:

A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed about an oncoming storm. My mom, my brother and I were all kind of sitting outside, waiting for this storm to arrive, half thinking that it wouldn't be that bad when it hit, and half watching the sky get blacker and blacker. Finally, we decided that since the storm was about five feet away, we should seek shelter, but I couldn't get away quickly enough and I was swallowed up in this big, puffy, white tornado type cloud. It wasn't really a funnel, though, or if it was, it was a funnel with a really wide bottom. It was kind of the shape of a cartoon drum that is full of too much water and is about to burst. Or a barrel, perhaps. But anyway, I'm now stuck inside this bright storm, and I'm on all fours in the hopes that a lower center of gravity will help prevent me being blown away, and I can hear my mom and my brother yelling for me to go one way or the other since we've now been separated, but I can't find them. So I decide to crawl the other way and I finally get to the eye of the storm, where it is perfectly quiet and not at all windy, but it's only about three feet in diameter, so I have to move along with the storm. And suddenly I realize, there isn't much air in the eye of the storm because it's all swirling around me and I can't breathe anymore. So I try to get out of the eye, but I have to break through this thick, plastic bubble first.

And then, I think, once I broke through the bubble, I was in another dream. I was back in college, and very upset about something, but I don't remember what. My mom offered to talk to me about it, but there was some costume thing going on, and I wouldn't talk to her until she dressed up for it. She dressed up as a geisha, but with hot pink lipstick.

On a totally different night, I had a dream that my mom was in the hospital and I was there with her when the doctor diagnosed her with terminal cancer and gave her about three months to live. She was strong and optimistic, but I was a wreck. I don't know that I've ever cried that hard in my real life.

And then last night, in my dream, I was back in high school, but I wasn't high school aged, you know? It was like they turned the smart kids program I was in into some competitive reality show type thing and I went back to participate. I don't remember what the point of our challenge was - maybe an exercise in socialization? - but we went to a grocery store and had to kind of mess with people in the produce department. Some of the other kids were moving vegetables around or following customers through the store, but I thought it would be fun to sit in with the vegetables and hand them to people as they walked past. One of my friends and I found that there was some space in with the tomatoes, and she climbed right in. I was screaming at her, furious that she had stolen my idea because I was convinced that it was clever enough to win the challenge, but she wouldn't budge. So I had to go try to find another spot in the produce section where I could hide amongst the veggies. There was something similar wrong with the new spot I found with the lettuce, too - either someone else snatched it out from under my nose, or someone who worked in the store started yelling at me because people are not allowed to be in the refrigerators or something like that. And I was so upset that my idea had been stolen, someone else got credit, and I lost.

So yeah, I'm not sleeping very well. Feelings of loss, would seem to be the underlying thread in all of these dreams. I wonder what I'm not dealing with that I need to deal with to be able to sleep peacefully. Could it still be residual band stuff, and once I have a complete band again, I'll sleep better? Or is it because I lost the fantasy of that one amazing man out there, who I connected with one night, who turned out to be just like every other man out there? Or am I starting to feel the loss of things that I could have done with my life, that a lot of other people my age have done, that I haven't and that it is probably too late for me to do? Roles I never got to play. Time wasted being afraid to sing in public that could have meant I'd have a music career by now if I had tried harder. A family of my own. I dunno. Maybe it's all of it.

I do want to thank you guys for your love and support. Yes, I've been having a rough year (I'd like to think it's not been a year, but let's face it, it's been a year), and I will get through it just fine. But it's nice to know that you all are still in my corner, that you love me, and that you'll listen to this crap if I need to spew it all over the internet. Thank you for that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I cooked tonight. I think maybe I'm nesting or something because I'm feeling really domestic. By which I mean I feel like cooking. A friend of mine sent me a link to a bunch of lovely recipes, most of which were vegan if you omit the cheese, so I stopped at the produce store on my way home and bought the necessaries for about five dollars. And cooked myself a nice, healthy dinner. Granted, next time I make this, I'll use a little more water on the mushrooms and a little less on the potatoes, and I'll cut the Swiss chard up a little smaller, but it was still tasty and I was kind of proud of myself for making dinner. I should do this more often. And/or if I ever have a family to cook for, maybe I won't suck at it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


All I can say is that this is a really exciting time to be a Cubs fan. I wish Harry Caray was around to see it.

Go Cubbies!

Friday, September 19, 2008

So I got to talk to my friend in Houston today. She's okay, as is her family, as is her house. Of course, I've known that for a few days, but still, it was good to hear her voice. Having not ever lived somewhere that was hit by a hurricane, it's kind of hard to imagine what life is like after something like that happens. Once the storm is over, then what, you know? The clean up is one thing, but so is finding lunch the next day, you know? And it can get tiring and old and hard and I have to say, it was just nice to hear her voice. To hear her laugh. To know that yes, she's tired and frustrated and annoyed, but that she also still has her sense of humor and a general positive attitude.

My sympathies to everyone in Houston and Galveston and anywhere in between who lost someone or is still without water or power or a place to live. And thank you, my friend, for calling to let me know that you're okay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, so I have a Facebook profile now. I don't know how long I'll maintain it, but it's up there. Yay. And apparently, there is some application on Facebook that allows you to buy your friends as pets. I'm not quite sure I get it, or what the point is, but it's there and today, I was bought.

Surprisingly, I'm a little miffed that I was bought. I'm a little miffed at who bought me, but also, just the general principle of being purchased...and I was purchased for $550. Apparently I'm only worth $550.

Now, in high school, one of my friends sold me to another one of my friends when we were in Morocco for 80 camels. This was in 1994. Let's assume that the Moroccan inflation rate has stayed at about 3% since then. This would make my current going rate just over 121 camels. Let's say a really good camel goes for $5,000, that would make my going rate $605,031.15. Significantly more than the $550 this guy bought me for on Facebook.

I'll be he doesn't even feed me.

I'm so worth more than $550.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So we all know I have body image issues, like most women in America. And most men in America. And probably lots of people elsewhere, too. It's just the way our culture works. And I think we also all know that I've done a bunch of things in my time to try to fight what I look like all together. I don't wear colors so I won't stand out. I mess with photographs of myself so I always look goofy. That kind of thing. All in an effort to get people to pay attention to the person, not the body she's in.

The strange thing is, it seems to be working. There were several people at the event over the weekend who didn't recognize me when I said hello or asked them to dance. But as soon as I reminded them of my name, it was like sensory recall. They remembered, for lack of a better word, my aura. Who I was, what we did oh so many years ago (and get your mind out of the gutter - I'm talking about dancing or tooling around London or whatever), and what I meant back then. If you look at it one way, it's a little depressing - I have an utterly forgettable face. But if you look at it another way, it's really flattering - my personality kind of transcends my physicality. Which is exactly what I was going for.

Kind of an odd take on the "glass half-empty or half-full" question, isn't it?
So I'm realizing that I used to write about interesting things in here, or at least things that weren't all whiny and poor me and all that stuff. It's funny - I get annoyed with myself for getting all girlie about things and then I fill this blog with feelings and boys and crap. I need to make a shift back to randomness.

But first, a tidbit about San Francisco. I've been there twice now and had an amazing time on both trips. Thank you to my hosts for letting me stay - it was really fantastic to see you. But I don't know that I would ever be motivated to move to San Francisco. I don't know if I don't think I'm outdoorsy enough, or that I'm not big on constant fog, or if that it's a matter of the level of dirtyness of the city. Which seems kind of silly because I love New York which smells of garbage every night. Or maybe it's the hills. I wonder if that's where the shin splinty feeling came from - walking up and down too many hills. Flat may be aesthetically dull, but it certainly makes walking faster. The food in San Francisco is excellent, as is the tea, but I think it's more a good place for me to visit so I can come home to Chicago to live.

Chicago. Sweet Chicago. My cat missed me lots and lots and lots. It was kind of cute, until he still wanted scritching at four in the morning. For future reference, always take the day after a vacation off of work. Good for healing the shins.

So I start thinking that I should go out dancing more often again because really, it is a lot of fun. And then I remember that these types of exchanges are a sort of heightened reality for swing dancing. You put all the best dancers in the country in a room for a weekend and of course you're going to want to dance more. But then you go out in your own town and all of the people from your own town are there, playing the same silly games they always did, stuck in the same odd, incestuous world you left so many years ago to find something else going on in your life. I dunno.

I should probably rest my shins.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So basically, it was what I expected. A great weekend. Lots more dancing than I thought I was going to do. Found some really amazing dancers who I hadn't met before, realized I still remember how to dance, and reconnected with some dancers who I know from way back in the day when the thought of leaving the dance at 3:30 instead of 5 am was ludicrous. I got a little bit of a sunburn because we walked on the Golden Gate Bridge today. The boy who I wished would give a rat's ass that I was there didn't. Which is probably better because it means I can get over it and stop romanticizing about "what if." And people who I wouldn't have thought would give a rat's ass that I was there did. Which was nice. It's comforting to know that even though we don't necessarily talk regularly, these people are still my friends.

And I'm tired now. I'm ready to be back in my home. I'm ready to not wear shoes for a day and I'm ready to sleep in. I'm ready to stop being sweaty and gross. And I might just be ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with things.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Okay, great vegan food and amazing tea to be had in San Francisco. I mean really, great tea. And I am, fortunately, staying with exactly the right people to be able to enjoy the tea in San Francisco. Makes me think I should go out for tea more at home.

And this is before even a lot of the dancing has happened. Last night was a precursor to the main events, and there were a lot of people out who I haven't seen in years, and a lot of people who won't be going out tonight or tomorrow, so that was fun, in that I got to dance with people I probably wouldn't get to dance with otherwise. The music was great, my shoes were nice and slippery. It was a really fun night.

I'm excited for tonight, and nervous. But some of my favorite Chicago people will be there, too. I found online some video footage of me dancing with one of these favorite Chicago people and that was kind of fun to watch. Sad, in that it proves that I've had a large behind for quite some time, but fun to watch anyway because we dance goofy together.

Anyway. I'm also really really really hoping that Ike isn't too hard on Texas. I love some people in Houston very very much and would be devastated if their lives were disrupted, ruined, or lost. So please send whatever good energy you can to the Galveston/Houston area so that the destruction isn't too severe. Come on, Ike. Be nice.
Greetings from San Francisco. All I can say is that I am SO happy to be here. It's just nice to have a change of scenery every now and again, you know?

Thank you mostly to my hosts who are letting me stay on their couch/fold out bed thingy for a couple of nights. This place rocks. But now, seeing as it is about 3:30am my time and I've been up since 6am yesterday my time, I think I should be getting some sleep. Sleep is good. It is not for the week, like some folks think it is. It's for the smart who know that they are going to be dancing like idiots for the next 72 hours-ish.

Good night from the left coast!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm going to San Francisco this weekend, just for a little time away. I have all of these romantic notions about what would be really fun if it happened, but in all truth, I'm probably just going to hang out with my friends, dance a little, and come home. I'm looking for kind of a low key weekend. I think I need it. Take a brief trip to the green world and come back ready to be me again. I've been thinking a lot lately about who that is and there are some things that I really really love about her. A few things I'm not crazy about, but a lot of really good things. For example:

I'm the girl who sings along with her iPod.
I'm the girl whose friends can count on her when they really need her.
I'm the girl with a bunch of great stories.
I'm the girl who is doing as much as she can to make the world a little better.
I'm the girl with the really strange laugh.
I'm the girl who can find the humor in just about any situation.

And maybe when I get back, I'll be prepared to say a few more nice things about myself. Honestly, it's making me a little uncomfortable at the moment, even though I know it's good for me.

Friday, September 05, 2008

One more thing about the Presidential races.

Both sides lie and give us half-truths. A co-worker of mine pointed me to, which is a non-partisan website dedicated to debunking the statements made by both parties. It's kind of fun to read, especially after some of the bigger speeches are made, i.e. Obama's acceptance speech, Palin's speech (they haven't posted about McCain's speech yet), etc. And what I am learning from this website is that neither side is giving the full story. But the Democrats are being a bit more honest than the Republicans. And that the Republicans, who seem to be focusing the majority of their energies on trying to discredit Obama, are doing so with blatant falsehoods. Obama may be stretching the truth and padding his record, but most of his statements have a least a grain of truth in them.

Please, go read the stuff for yourself. Pay attention to both sides and make your decision based on the actual information, not what the TV ads are telling you. Please. This is important.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Okay, I hate politics, but I feel like I need to say something. I know that this entry is going to piss a lot of people off, but please keep in mind that these are my opinions when you look at things from my perspective. I am the first to admit that I could be wrong. But these are my opinions when you look at things from my perspective.

Okay, let's do a quick run-down of the two sides:

One of them is anti-abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. The other would examine the situations on a case-by-case basis.

One candidate is on his second wife who he publicly called a trollop and a c*$^. The other is still married to his first wife.

One of them believes that women should get equal pay for equal work. The other voted down measures that would allow for just that.

One of them believes in exploring renewable energy sources. The other thinks the feasibility of renewable energy sources is so far off in the future that we should open up the Alaskan wildlife now to allow for more oil drilling - oil that won't hit the market for years and that will last about six months.

One side consists of a relatively inexperienced candidate who has served as a State senator and a United States senator, backed by a candidate with years of experience in foreign policy and whatnot. The other side consists of the oldest candidate ever to possibly be elected with years of foreign policy experience and whatnot, backed by a candidate who governed a town of 9,000 people until just recently when she became the governor of her state.

One side thinks our country has been doing fine for the last eight years. The other thinks we could do better.

You have probably figured out by now which side is which and how I feel about both of them. I can understand that if you are in the top 1% of Americans from a yearly income standpoint, how you might not want to vote for Obama because he's going to tax the bejesus out of you. McCain, however, will give you tax breaks, while increasing taxes on the people who already have nothing. I can understand how if you're in the top income brackets, McCain makes sense. If I ask you if you are better off now than you were 8 years ago, chances are that you would say yes and a stay-the-course president is just who you're looking for at the moment.

However, there are a LOT of people out there who aren't in the top income brackets who have sunk further and further into debt as food and fuel costs rise. Ask them if they're better off than they were 8 years ago and they will vehemently reply that they're not. If you are one of those sympathies are with you. And I think it is also pretty clear to see which presidential candidate's sympathies are with you. Please make sure you are registered to vote, and please make sure you go out and vote. We have a chance to change things here, and I think we should take advantage of that opportunity.

Okay, I'm done. For the moment. Let the barrage of hate-emails begin.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

There is something inherently sexy about a man in a suit. Yes, men can look really great in a t-shirt and jeans, too, but a man in a suit...I'm not sure what it is. Probably that men's suits are designed to highlight all of the things that are wonderful about the male form.

I do think, however, that someone needs to teach men how a suit is supposed to fit because I see a very large number of men walking around in suits that are too big. These men are mostly young men, fresh out of college, who probably got some sort of sales position at some company, maybe selling toner door to door or making business to business visits to talk about IT needs, and were told that they had to wear suits because let's face it, are you going to talk about your IT or toner needs with someone who isn't even wearing a suit? So they go out and pick up a suit in whatever style happens to be in at the moment - for a while it was three button jackets which can be really fun, but you have to be of a certain body type to pull that off, just like double breasted suits. Fat men should not wear double breasted suits - it makes them look quadrupled breasted. Short men should not wear three button jackets because they get lost in them. And these men buy suits that are too long in the arms because they're used to wearing t-shirts that cover their hands so they can do the brooding sensitive guy thing. And they buy suits that are too wide in the shoulders so they can hopefully make themselves look more masculine by having wider shoulders, but what they fail to realize is that we can all see that the shoulder pads are hanging down near his elbows and he ends up looking like a kid playing dress up in daddy's suit.

Sleeves should be just a tad longer than the wrist. The shoulder seam should hit at the actual shoulder - the outside of the shoulder bump. The length of the jacket should be no longer than the fingertips. With possible exceptions to these guidelines based on the man's actual measurements/proportions.

So go forth, young men, and buy your suits so you can feel like important sales people. But first, listen to the man trying to sell you a suit and have it tailored. Trust me. I'm much more apt to buy toner from a well-dressed man than from a kid trying to grow up too fast.
One year ago today I went to probably the best wedding I've ever been to - my brother's. I don't know if I can even explain how crazy insane great the wedding was, so I think I'll not even try. But I do want to say Happy Anniversary to my brother and sister in law. One year down, a lifetime of joy to go. I love you guys!

Friday, August 29, 2008


So I want to write about just sort of things in general and give an update about what's been going on. My hair is getting longer (I can put it in two very sad pigtails, but still), we auditioned a guitarist last night, I recorded a radio podcast with my full (former) band this week that was great and I can't wait for you all to be able to hear it, I love Mark DeRosa, I'm going to San Francisco in a couple of weeks and am very excited, but all of that stuff needs to be kind of pushed to the side so I can talk about something else today.

I don't understand stealing. I know someone who was robbed in the middle of the night. He woke up and heard the intruder and ended up tackling the guy in the street, but the guy still got away with some of his stuff. And I just don't understand it. I have a right to my stuff, but I don't have a right to anyone else's stuff. And yes, it is just stuff and most of it is replaceable, but the residual feeling left in your house after some random person breaks in and goes rummaging through your personal belongings...that takes a long time to shake.

I know why a lot of people steal. They have nothing and they see someone with something and the imbalance pisses them off, so they take it. And/or, they are desperate and think of it as a means of survival. But you know what? Often times, that desperation is the result of addiction or squandering one's own possessions or general laziness or something that the thief technically has control over. Yes, it is much harder to go get a job and earn money and purchase your own stuff, but just because you're strung out on crack needing a fix doesn't mean you are allowed to break into somebody's home and take their stuff. You fucked up your own life; don't fuck up someone else's. Go get help. Go to a shelter. Hell, get arrested and go to trial - you'll probably get put into a rehab program where they feed you and clothe you and give you a shower to use whenever you want and will help you get your life back to a place where you don't have to break into people's houses and steal stuff.

Sorry. I don't mean to be ranty, but it pisses me off. I try to live my life in such a way as to inconvenience and/or harm other people/animals/living things as little as possible and it just irritates the hell out of me that there are other people out there who go out of their way to hurt others without thinking twice about it.

Okay, I'm done.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The thing is, I know I will find other band mates. I know that there is a very good chance that the music will sound better when I do. I know that I am still a musician and that people still like to hear me play and that I'm still an artist.

That doesn't stop the hurting right now. That doesn't change the fact that there were so many more people who were supposed to hear us play who didn't. That doesn't change the fact that I now have to try to find those other musicians and I have absolutely no idea how long that will take.

I can't and don't blame the guys for wanting to do something else. I kind of saw it coming. And I wish them all the luck in the world. I truly love them and want good things for them, so if they'd be happier in another band, then be in another band, you know? But I truly love them and am going to miss them terribly. I already do.

So thank you for the messages of "you'll find other musicians" and "I still love your songs." They mean a lot to me. But right now, I just need to be upset about this. I don't need help finding a solution. I just need to feel like crap for a little while. I'll be fine in the long run; I think we all know that. I just need to be hurt right now.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

I wonder what it's like to be striped. My cat is striped, as are most tabbys, tigers, zebras, some snakes, some spiders, some fish. Leopards and giraffes and dalmations have it even weirder with being spotted. I wonder what it is like to be permanently striped or spotted. What if you wake up one morning and don't want to be striped? What if you want to be solid one day? Just for a day? What with being an animal and everything, you don't really have the option to put on a jumpsuit. Unless you're a Yorkie. What's with people putting sweaters on their Yorkies? And why don't you ever see someone put a sweater on, say, their Alaskan huskie?

So my cat is striped. Does it help in his cleaning process? Like, does he know that he's already cleaned up to this stripe, so when he does that weird stretchy leg thing, he knows where to start?

And personally, I think my cat's stripes are beautiful. And I don't think it's just because I really only want to wear black, white, gray, and maybe muted colors, but I really wouldn't want to be permanently striped. I wouldn't want to be permanently garish like that. Yet another reason to not wear animals. As if I needed another one.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Okay, so I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a minute.

I was talking to a coworker today saying that I really don't like dating and my coworker replied that dating isn't one of those things that any of us actually likes, it's one of those things we have to do in order to meet someone. So for the sake of playing devil's advocate, I asked why we have to meet someone. The words kind of fell out of my mouth before I could stop them, but then I had to think about them. You might have to meet someone if you want to procreate. Unless you're female -- you can go to a sperm bank and do things yourself. And there are tax breaks if you pair off. Is that it? Is that what we get out of relationships?

I kind of hope that there is more to a good relationship than the possibility of procreation and a tax break. I'm pretty sure that there is. I have some of the greatest friends a person could ask for and I get a lot out of our relationships -- humor, support, stimulation, love. And I sit and wonder what it is that I would want from a relationship that I'm not getting from these friendships and mostly, it boils down to the physical. I love my friends, but we're not going to make out. And while there are many stores dedicated to making sure that men and women can enjoy themselves without a partner, none of their offerings allow one to make out with oneself. It's just one of those physical impossibilities and let's be honest, kissing is fun. So if my emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs are being met through my various friendships, am I really just looking for someone to make out with? Is it possible that my current needs are that shallow? Though if that is the case, should I feel bad about seeking out a partner who is just plain hot?

I'm sounding really awful. Sorry about that. Please keep in mind that I'm playing devil's advocate. Why do we have to find someone to partner up with?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Okay, so I have a question that is probably going to drive horror movie fans a little bit batty. But just bear with me. I do have some logical points.

In horror movies, zombies and/or persons raised from the dead or reanimated are always angry, stupid, and eager to attack those still living. Up until just a couple of years ago, they were always slow, too. Yet, if you ever read accounts of real people in horrible accidents who were pronounced dead but chose to walk away from the light, they are, for the most part, thankful to be alive and treasuring every moment they have on this earth. They are eager to help others and to spread joy and peace and talk about the sanctity of life. They retain at least most of their understanding of their native language and have this strange sort of peace about them.

So why is it that reanimated persons/animals in movies are always so angry? Is it just for dramatic effect? Because if so, I think reanimated persons/animals are getting a really bad rep and someone should start an organization for the rights of those reanimated to make sure they are represented properly in mass media.

Yeah, I've been watching Buffy again. Sorry.

Monday, August 04, 2008

So it's tornado night, oh what a night
So it's tornado night, oh what a night

See, we all thought we were going to Wrigley Field on 70's night, but as it turned out, it was tornado night. The sky turned black and it started raining and they told us all to go down to the concourse level because of severe weather warnings and such and then the tornado sirens started going off and they closed the gates so we couldn't leave and it got hot and really loud and they kept trying to make announcements but we couldn't hear anything because let's be honest, 40,000 people crammed into a small space after a lot of them have been drinking for two to three hours can get really loud and after about a half an hour they opened the gates and people started going like they were going to leave but then they'd see the rain and stay in and finally my friend and I just left. We pushed our way out and walked home. In the rain. Or perhaps in the drizzle. It wasn't so bad by the time we left, but I was damp by the time I got home and we got to see some really amazing lightening.

So the long and the short of it is that we're fine. I have another fun adventure story now, this one related to Wrigley Field. And all things considered, I think it was handled pretty well. Wherever you are, I hope you're safe and dry.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Okay, Angel is hot, Spike is beautiful, I'd date Oz, and Drusilla drives me nuts.

And call me crazy, but after a day of watching a vampire-based television show, I find it a little bit odd that I go downstairs to take one load of laundry out of the dryer and put the next one in to find the lint screen sitting on top of the dryer. Which means someone went down into the laundry room, opened the dryer, took out the lint screen, put it on top of the dryer, started the dryer back up again (assuming that the cycle wasn't done yet) and left. Who does that? They didn't even start their own laundry -- my stuff was the only stuff down there. And suddenly, there is also a soda machine in our laundry room. It's been a couple of weeks since I was down there, but a soda machine? In our laundry room? That probably only about four people in the building actually use? Really?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Okay, so puppies are exhausting. And they're not even puppies. But three dogs with very different personalities take a lot of time and attention and energy. It's fun, but takes a lot of energy.

And I have a confession to make. This weekend, I was going to try that crazy juice diet thing, where for 48 hours you pretty much drink nothing but juice and water and you're not supposed to eat. Thing is, I like to eat. I like the act of chewing. I like the flavors and textures of food.

Which brings me back to every woman's internal struggle - how to enjoy life and try to fit into society's image of what is attractive. I've gained a couple of pounds lately. I don't know that anyone else would even notice, but I do. So I worry about it and think I should go on the crazy 48 hour pseudo-starvation juice diet because else than that, I can't seem to stop eating. But I look around me at all of the women in the city and they are of so many shapes and sizes and colors and they're all beautiful and I wonder how many of them are currently starving themselves or binging and purging or living only on salads, never allowing themselves to enjoy a chocolate chip cookie. I want to allow myself the joy of a chocolate chip cookie because I think that our societal body image issues are insane. So I tried the juice diet until about 4pm when I had a bunch of salad. And it was fantastic. I might have to eat some olives now. I'll just find another way to keep my weight in check, without putting my body into starvation mode.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Rabbit rabbit! Happy August!

And it is a very happy August as it starts off with the Cubs having just swept the Brewers. Yay!

But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. Today's entry could be titled, if I did titles, "Keen and Not-So-Keen." As in, things I am keen on, and things I am not-so-keen on.

I'm not so keen on Brazil nuts. I know they are actually seeds and maybe that explains the texture, but I've decided that out of all of the nuts, Brazil nuts are probably my least favorite. I'll still eat them if I buy a package of mixed nuts containing Brazil nuts, but instead of seeking them out like I would with cashews or almonds, I'll eat one or two and then try to avoid the rest until the next time I eat mixed nuts.

I'm not so keen on people who mis-hear my name when I introduce myself. I know that most people don't personally know someone named Kitty, but they probably know at least a dozen Katies, Katys, Kathys, Kellys, and Kates. However, I firmly believe that there is a big difference between the soft "i" sound in "Kitty" and the hard "a" sound in "Katie" or "Katy" or "Kate." To not hear that difference implies that whoever I'm talking to really isn't listening, which makes me kind of sad. And the worst are the people for whom I spell my name, say when I'm placing a take-out order over the phone, and they still get it wrong. "Name?" "Kitty. K-I-T-T-Y." "K-A..." "No, K-I-T-T-Y." "K-A-T-T-Y." Fuck you. I answered the phone at work the other day and introduced myself and the woman on the other end said, "Hi, Jenny, my name is..." and proceeded to have a conversation with my imaginary identical twin sister Jenny. My name really isn't that difficult to figure out. It's what we tell our children to call small cats. And even just out of courtesy, you could listen to what I say when I tell you my name. If you tell me your name is Achmed, I don't assume you said Aaron, just because I don't know any other Achmeds, you know?

I am very keen on this company that makes frozen dinner type things called Amy's. The company apparently started when this very busy working couple had children and wanted fast, easy meal options, but they were horrified at all of the preservatives and sodium and whatnot in most frozen dinners. So they started making their own. And they are so tasty! Mostly organic, lots of them are vegan, there are complete meals, or just elements of meals. I just had their tofu scramble breakfast with hash browns and tomatoes and it was so good! And you can find their products in most grocery stores now. Just go to the frozen section where the Boca burgers are and stuff.

I am keen on puppies. I get to dog-sit these three really fun dogs this weekend and I'm looking forward to some good puppy time. I am, of course, also very keen on my cat, but that goes without saying.

I am not so keen on money. It's horrible that we need it and what people will do to get it. And as Douglas Adams pointed out, we pass around these little pieces of paper in the hopes that we will be happier if we move these little pieces of paper around, but really, it's not the little pieces of paper that were unhappy to begin with. It would make much more sense to move ourselves around. Or something to that effect. It's been a while since I read that book. It's a good one.

I am keen on my bed. It's a good place to be. As of late, I've become the sort who sleeps in the whole bed, sometimes diagonally. I think it might be messing with my cat a little bit because he doesn't have "his spot" anymore, but he hasn't been sleeping in my room very much lately anyway. It's too hot.

So yeah, I think that's good for now. There are plenty of other things that I am keen on and not so keen on, but this will do for now. I mostly wanted to get the Brazil nut thing out of my system.