Tuesday, November 29, 2005

a little flash'll do ya...

What is it?

A) a 1 gig flash drive;
B) a portable people shocker;
C) what Mary is submitting a purchase req for first thing tomorrow because she never wants to have a day like this one, where the powerpoint presentation, saved on the archaic technology known as a floppy disk, because that's all her non-profit budget will allow her, refused to open for anyone, the second floppy also refused, ruling out that it isn't the floppy after all, furiously emailing it to herself as an attachment, then running back to the conference room two buildings over and rebooting the laptop there, only to experience the ethernet cable blowing up when trying to open the powerpoint presentation from said email, in front of her boss and three different members of management and their teams, thereby delaying said presentation for 15 minutes, until an old and practically useless version of a somewhat similar powerpoint presentation was curiously left over from last month and still on the desktop, which said boss worked with but not joyfully, later subjecting Mary to ridicule and harmless joking about "being fired" for the remainder of the presentation until she was ready to burst into tears.

Anybody wanna guess the correct answer here?

Apparently Mary's Monday came a day late this week.

Monday, November 28, 2005

o home beloved

Some of you out there know what it’s like to live on a shoestring budget. And then there are those that know how to live with the lint that clings to a shoestring on shoestring budget. And that would be me.

My apartment is in a two-family house. That means, for those unsure, that there are two apartments in one house. Ours is on the first floor. All right, half the first floor. Okay, a third. My apartment lacks many things. What points it loses in style and comfort, however, are more than made up for in negative counter space and Addams Family-esque landscaping. Come with me, and let’s take a written tour…I’ll just give you some of my favorite spots.

When you first pull up to our home, you may ask if the zombies only come out at night. There is a patch of dead grass, approximately 3 x 5 feet in diameter, sheltered by a runaway shrubbery that looks like it could eat a small child. Up the stairs, and on the porch not painted, you’ll find a dirty papasan chair, a twin mattress*, a small Weber barbecue grill, and an empty wicker plant stand weathered by forty years in the snow for that “chabby chic” look that’s so hot right now. The house is painted a brown that the hue gods never intended. You know how they name the different colors of paints? On the sample card for this color, you’ll see the word “Wretched”. The roof had some emergency replacement shingles added last Spring, when the New England monsoons hit. One of two times I have actually seen my landlord at his property. (The other was when the pipes froze. I know, we’re so demanding.)

The Foyer:
A long, dark, stark, narrow, poorly lit, windowless, tunnel-like hallway with diseased carpeting and a coat rack. The hallway covers more than half the square footage of the whole apartment. You don’t see another room for 10 minutes when you finally reach the end of this hallway and scream for Auntie Em.

The Living Area:
Three drafty windows, with no screens, and more deadly carpet. White walls covering the burnt sienna paint underneath. Burn sienna paint was used by previous tenants who belonged to some sort of torture-by-color civic club. Burnt sienna snippets can be seen in full view on certain areas of the ceiling next to windows.

Lavender Walls. Laaa-venn-derrr….walls. Take it in. Mustard linoleum on the floor in a lovely geometric pattern that begs to be used as a bacterial reservoir for feet and toes. An oven that wanted to retire when Nixon left office, and a water faucet that sometimes goes on little hiatuses unannounced.

Deep dents in walls covered sloppily with caulk and painted over. A vanity with half a sliding mirror. A tub where only the floor of it has been resurfaced with a non-matching color. Several small octagonal tiles missing after having lifted and detached from the floor due to mold. Current tenants have covered said mess with an old window shade and packing tape, then placed bath mat flatteringly over all.

I think my roommates and I have all done what we can to make these quarters more comfortable. We have painted, scrubbed, waxed, stripped, covered, closed off, quarantined, and set fire to certain areas within our bedrooms so as to prevent the scurvy from taking us in our sleep.

Sun Room:
Back enclosed porch area with ripped screens, half a door knob, abandoned junk from 10 generations of tenants and a smell that isn’t human. (Actually, we have cleaned this portion of the house out quite a bit, but this was the condition in which we received it, and for this we give many obscene gestures.)

We don’t talk about the basement. We don’t go to the basement. There is no basement.

Someday I’ll have a camera, and then you’ll all be able to take a virtual tour. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed my alliterate home.

Now I know that y'all might be thinking right about now...stop whining and do something about it! Call your landlord, fix it yourself and send him the receipts! But don't write this pity party post and expect us to feel sorry for you! To which I will answer...but then what would I post about?!?! And what will I tell my grandchildren when it's time for one of those "I've had it much worse than you" stories? And furthermore, I'm beginning to like the Wretched house with man-eating shrubberies and purple walls. I pay month-to-month, I don't have a lease, so it's not like I can hold my landlord to any sort of binding contract (calling all lawyers: do I have a leg to stand on here?) And as far as pity goes, I'm not asking for it. This is just a fun writing exercise to see if I can capture the depravity that is my abode in written word.

How was everyone's Turkey this year? Scale of 1-10, you give it a.....????

*Twin mattress is a more recent addition to porch décor. We thought the porch needed something.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

my life flows on...

This hymn will be at my wedding.*** It will be at my funeral. This is my soul’s hymn.

Especially now, with so much to look on and be grateful, it’s become to me a prayer of thanksgiving.

What is even more powerful about this hymn is how poignant it is to our day. It’s about rejoicing while in constant confrontation with chaos, fear, destruction, and loss. It's about remembering. Some power in my heart leaps out in affirmation of all it says.

Notice the verbs in each verse: hear, hail, die, liveth, shake, clinging, lift, see, learned, springing, found...

I want to share it …I hope you’ll read it slowly. Happy Thanksgiving, all. Eat lots and be happy.

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?
What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round!
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of God makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since truth I’ve found—
How can I keep from singing?

***To the chess-playing Nephite, of course.

Monday, November 21, 2005


[from last night...]

Me: No, here’s how it’ll probably go down…I’ll get up to the pearly gates, and some angel will be waiting there to greet me. He’ll tell me that I guessed right. Indeed, I was destined to marry some 16 year-old boy that died on an ancient battlefield, millennia prior to my birth, before having the chance to raise a family of his own.

Peggy: Oh, give me a break…

Me: Then this heavenly host will take me to a small room that looks like one of those interrogation booths in a police drama. He’ll open the door, and sitting there by himself will be my warrior, my Mr. Destiny. The angel will point to him, look at me, and say “There he is. That’s yours.” and close the door behind him.

Peggy: [laughing] Oh my gosh.

Me: I’ll awkwardly stand there for a few moments, then muffle out something along the lines of “well, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you…” or something. He’ll say, “do you play chess?” I’ll say, “um, well I’ve never played, but I’d like to learn.” He’ll shrug and say, “kay.”

Peggy: [laughing] oh…please stop!

Me: [continuing the chess conversation]

“I didn’t know Nephites played chess.”

“[shyly] Yeah, we used twigs and rocks for game pieces.”

Peggy: [cackling] OH MY GAWWWSH!***

“Wow. You don’t read about chess in the Book of Mormon. Some people speculated about the whole horses on the American continent thing, too. But….yeah. Chess AND horses. Huh.”

Peggy: You really must stop with this, it’s pathetic.

Me: [shrugs] Kay. Want some cake batter?
[I’ve been sitting on the couch this whole conversation with a big mixing bowl in my lap and a big wooden spoon in my mouth eating cake batter with the manners of a large hairy gorilla.]

Peggy: No thanks… I think you polished it off already.

Me: [looking down into the bowl] Oh, hey you’re right.


***Editorial Note: Peggy's laughter had more to do with how tired she was at the time of this exchange, and not necessarily because it was all that funny.

Friday, November 18, 2005

makes my nose crinkle

How do you like that? They take one of my least favorite words in the universe, and name a street after it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i'm not bad, but i sound like her

So the first day you lose your voice, it’s kind of fun. Admit it, it’s fun. You sound all raspy and sexy and stuff. Kathleen Turner living in your vocal cords. Day Two the novelty wears off a little since, by this time, you just want to be able to speak without getting light-headed due to all the air you’re blowing out your throat just to make audible noise. Day Three speaking actually starts to become a little painful and demands way too much energy. Day Four, especially if you’re a singer, is bad because now you just want to be able to sing again. Not solos at Carnegie Hall or anything, but just to be able to sing along with the radio, or even hum in the shower. It’s the little things you miss, like humming. It really begins to become annoying when you can’t even hum or laugh at something funny someone says. Well, you can….but it hurts. So you don’t.

On the other hand, there are advantages to losing your voice due to a severe chest cold. Which I have. When you call to leave a message for your boss that you won’t be coming in, your cracked, warbly voice really lends itself to the validity factor. They KNOW you’re not faking it if you can’t speak five words together without swallowing, coughing, or pausing while you attempt to get your balance back. The next day, when you drag your sorry self to work, they practically beg you to go home early. “You sounded so terrible on your phone message, I just wanted hug you!” You tilt your head with a look of “ohhh, that’s so sweet of you to say!” but secretly you feel vindicated. You love that they know you’re not faking it. They’re lapping it up, and everybody wants to feed you soup. They lap sick vibe, you lap soup. In other words, with some illnesses people may speculate whether you’re really sick because they see no evidence of it. With a raspy voice, there’s no need to speak in your defense for one minute….literally. In fact, they’ll ask you to stop after Word Six.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

so-called educated adults say the darndest things...

Here's an excerpt from an email my sister wrote me:

Okay, this was just too good, I had to share...and in my humble opinion it's right up there with "Treat Others as You Would Treat Them" and "It's Not Always Easy to Do What's Right, but It's Always Right to Do What's Easy."...

Last night I was at institute, and we were talking about the temple, and how you want to share with people your experiences with the temple, without discussing anything sacred. And a girl in my class said--

"You just don't talk about things that go on in the temple. It's voodoo."

She proceeded to use the word "VooDoo" to describe the activities inside the temple 2 or 3 times.

Now, I know that the words "Taboo" and "VooDoo" sound very similar, but due to the fact that that have SUCH different meanings, to me, this is a much more comical display of ignorance than say, "kinniegarden" or "Libary".

In all fairness, I have to admit that one time I confused the word "docile" with "domicile" when describing a domestic pet. Truly embarrassing. Got any stories like these?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

oh... to have a digital camera

Whatever you’re doing, stop...get on a plane, or the T, or a Harley. Come to Boston, and walk through the Common and Public Garden. Spectacular. We’re having a fantastic fall. I can’t believe how gorgeous it is. There are yellows and reds and oranges - - the leaves are on fire. Meanwhile, the grass has stayed this beautiful bright green, which makes for this amazing contrast amidst a backdrop of red brick, tall buildings, blue sky and a marble gazebo. Mix these with tons of sunshine and a slight chill in the air, and you’ve got an unforgettable day. I’m starting to see why people live here year after year.

Monday, November 07, 2005

body breakdown

Right now I’m drinking a Pepsi. Not a Diet Pepsi. A Pepsi. Fully loaded Pepsi. Pepsi leaded. And I’m a Coke fan. A Diet Coke fan!

I guess I just feel like being wild and wacky. I’m playing games with my body to see how it will process caffeine, caramel color, 41 grams of sugar, and carbonation on top of Chinese dumplings and a sugar cookie. I think I’ve got some sort of digestive death wish going on. Why do I feel the need to self-destruct?! (think of Sally Struthers’ face when you read that last sentence. You know that “plleeeez help theeeem” look).

Last evening I had a wonderful dinner. Butternut squash lasagna (no, I didn’t make it, what are you kidding) with asparagus and salad. I think I actually heard my stomach saying to me, as I nibbled on a lovely green spear, “um…scuse me….what is this, please? We’d like some more of it.” I felt so guilty.

On top of everything else, I think my uterus is getting grouchy with me again. Can’t really blame her. Nobody gives her a chance.

Next thing you know my pancreas will stage a strike, the tibulas and fibulas will request a leave of absence, and my ear canals will complain that I never listen. All from one non-diet, full loaded/leaded Pepsi. And I’m a Coke fan! A Diet Coke fan!

Friday, November 04, 2005


Well, hello there! I’m back in Boston, and I’m fresh from my trip to California. I’ve got great memories of D’land, and of being with the fam. I’m handling the time difference extremely well, I’m nearly caught up at work, I only have three zits on my face, and I’m thinking about wearing my red fluffy socks tonight. Cuz it’s Friday.


So while I was home, my sisters had me watch a couple of episodes of this TV show called "House". (We don’t have TV at my place, so I have absolutely no stinkin’ idea what is on the tube these days). Okay, this show, I must say, is pretty fun. My sisters are hooked on it, because Alias is just dumb these days. Apparently.

I had myself the largest crushy crush on one Robert Sean Leonard at the ripe ol’ age of 15, when my parents took me to see Dead Poets Society for my birthday. Yes, DPS is not exactly the zippiest of festive birthday flicks. But I was turning 15. I don’t know about you, but around that time in my life, displaying signs of happiness meant you were clueless as to how cold and ruthless the world around us actually is. Therefore, DPS was the choicest of choice movies to satisfy the angstly-gangly moi. Go 1990. I also think it’s funny how anti-authority I thought I was, but still had no problem being seen in public watching a movie with both my parents.

But back to the Robert Sean Leonard…yes, please.

Robert Sean Leonard plays a supporting role in the show, House. (for those of you who don’t watch). And I gotta say…it’s a little freaky how this man does not age. From DPS in 1990, through Swing Kids, Much Ado, Last Days of Disco (I admit to seeing it, to my everlasting shame), right up until this show, House, THIS GUY LOOKS NO DANG DIFFERENT.

But I still really like me the Robert Sean Leonard. Is he gay? Just wondering.

Because I really think Robert Sean Leonard and I should meet. Yes I do. Why? Because I understand him. I know his inner parts. I bet I can even guess his moon sign. We could sit together at a café somewhere in the Village, sip some kind of something, and discuss the difficulties of crossing over from stage, to film, to television, and how arduous the life of art really is. We’ll wear matching scarves with light khaki sport jackets. Patches on the elbows. I’ll lend him my handkerchief when his eyes mist, he’s so sensitive. And our talk is so intimate. He’ll say something about my eyes. I blush. Tension rises. We gaze. The waiter comes to break the piercing silence as he clears away our dainty saucers. We exit arm in arm. Only our eyes speak the inaudible words. “I know….I know.”

Then we head over to the tractor pull and order a couple of Budweisers. I win the belching contest. As I walk up to get my ribbon, Robert Sean Leonard bellows: “yeeeeaaaaah! That’s my chicky-mama! Woooo hoooo!”

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]