Friday, December 18, 2009

Were the cashews poisoned? Looks like we'll never know. Unless . . .

I just ate a whole bag of cashews from Starbucks. Yea for healthy lunches! Hey, at least it has nutritional value of some sort. But even aside the fact that the bag has about 500 calories, I’m thinking that I may have made a mistake. I’m afraid that it might have had some of what you might call “artificial flavoring,” a/k/a "I don't think that's supposed to be in there."

I’ve eaten far more bags of Starbucks cashews than I probably should have over the years, but I think I may have to give them up. While I was eating the cashews today, about halfway through the bag, I noticed that they tasted a little funny to me, but I thought maybe cashews just don’t go with gingerbread latte very much. Or possibly my taste buds were still a little wonky from the peppermint puff I’d had earlier in the day, the one with the red dye food coloring that makes me feel bad enough that I’ve started to believe the “red food dye will kill you” stuff in the Internet.

But now, I’m thinking it was just the cashews. I’m thinking they were a little “off.” Y’all, I really don’t feel too well.

This is not my first experience with Starbucks cashews What Gone Wrong. A few months ago, I bought some cashews from Starbucks, and they also were a little “off.” If you’re thinking that after my previous experience, maybe I should have figured out this time that something was wrong a little earlier in my dining experience, you’re wrong. First of all, I was in a hurry to eat and move on to work, so I was barely even chewing. And second, that time before , it was pretty obvious after eating just one that something was wrong.

“This tastes weird,” I thought. I tried to figure out what the problem was, exactly. “Kind of a chemical taste,” I thought. I tentatively sniffed the bag. Yep, chemical smell, too. A specific kind of chemical smell.

I took the bag to a coworker, because of course that’s what you do when you eat something that tastes bad—get someone else to try it. I usually don’t try to make people eat stuff that I really think could kill them or give them cancer or even just food poisoning, but I’d already eaten one! I needed to know that if later, I started having stomach cramps or went blind or something, that it was or was not because I’d eaten a toxic substance. So, yeah, my coworker was asked to participate in a small clinical trial of sorts.

“Do these taste funny to you?” I asked her. She hesitated, took one, put in her mouth, and made a face, nodding.
“Maybe like gasoline, maybe?” I asked.
“Yes!” she said, spitting out the cashew. Then she got mad at me. I can see that. The whole “may or may not be coated in gasoline” thing was information she should probably have had before the tasting, I just didn’t want to put the idea in her head and taint my data. Now I had confirmation that it did, in fact, taste and smell like gasoline. And then I made her feel better by suggesting that we get another coworker to try it. But then I felt bad and only made coworker #2 smell them. The consensus was—definitely gasoliney.

Of course, the whole thing was kind of worth it later. I’d left the cashews on my coworker’s desk so that she could remind me to contact Starbucks and ask for a refund (which of course I never did). A few weeks later, in her office, another coworker said something kind of snarky to her. She paused, looked him straight in the eye, and held up the bag to him. “Cashew?” she offered, straight-faced. She totally would have let him eat one, too, and my wide-eyed look of horror didn’t even make him pause, and although I thought it would be funny, I had a pang of conscience and stopped him. But her devious payback for the snark made her go up a notch in my list of cool people (and she was already pretty high up there).

So, anyway, yeah, I think I’m done with Starbucks cashews.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A hunting we will go

If you were wondering what the current state of the housing market is, I am here to tell you that even with the economy the way things have been, some sellers are still more than a little overly-optimistic about what their homes are worth.

Lately, I’ve been looking into the idea of looking into buying a house. It’s all very tentative. A longtime friend of my mom’s is a realtor, and she’d been helping me see what’s out there and talk through the process of whether this is really something I want to bother with.

On the plus side: no more landlord, a buyer’s market, and low interest rates on mortgages.

On the downside: yard work, which I don’t do; home repairs, which I don’t like messing with and don’t want to pay for; a committed relationship with a bank, which frightens me; and a commitment, at least for awhile, with one particular area of one particular city, instead of being free to move around the metroplex to whatever area is at that time most convenient for me.

But on the plus side: no more landlord. The no more landlord thing, that’s very appealing to me. I want to be able to rip up carpet or put a hole in the wall and answer to no one.

One of my coworkers just does not get this. She keeps trying to get me rent from her former landlords. Me: I want to be able to rip up carpet or paint a room without asking anyone first. Her: [clearly not listening to what I’m saying, as usual] I’m pretty sure they’d let you replace the carpet, depending on what you wanted to replace it with. Me: . . . Like I said, I don’t want to have to ask permission. Her: Oh.

And then a week later we have the same conversation.

Meanwhile, I’m trying very hard not to let my boss know that I’m looking. She’s a very helpful sort of person, and she’d be very supportive, but that would turn into her basically taking over the search. We’d probably have to go look at houses during lunch.

Anyway, weekend before last, I finally drug RR out and looked a few homes. The second house we looked at was lovely, but it already had an offer on it. The rest of the homes were, well, disappointing. Now, I remember looking at homes with my parents when we first moved to the area, and maybe it’s because they had more to spend than I do, but I don’t remember it being such a literally nauseating process.

The third house we went to had lovely hardwoods throughout, and a nice little office nook behind the family room that would be a great place to work. I loved the kitchen. But the floors in the living room slanted. A lot. Actually, it looked like maybe they had buckled, because the right side of the living room slanted to the right, and the left side of the room slanted to the left. Then they had also left one of those scented plugin-thingies in one of the outlets to pollute the air with a nauseating perfume-y smell. The floors made me feel like I was on a boat and hadn’t quite mastered my “sea legs” yet, and combined with the scent, I felt a little seasick. So, suffice to say, I couldn't leave there fast enough, which is not how you want to feel about your home. Also, it had an above-ground pool (which, sorry if you like those, is of no interest to me), as well as a hot tub, my feelings about which I’ve made pretty clear. Definitely a “no.” And most of the backyard had been inexplicably paved-over.

The third house had water damage and a second floor that did not give me or RR confidence in its structural integrity. There was another that I can’t remember what I didn’t like about it other than the carpet.

But the trip began and ended with the worst of the group, or the best, depending on whether you want to live there or just have something interesting to talk about at lunch.

The first house was just so darn cute from the outside. I'd been eyeing it on the real estate listing website for months now, more and more sure that this was going to be my new house. I'd even driven past it twice now, just to get a look at it in person, and it only made me want it more. On the inside, though, it was bewildering and confusing. Well, maybe it was the gas leak we detected that confused us, but I really think it was the house.

The entry was ok, an odd shaped room with hardwood floors, but immediately to the right was a very small room/alcove/entry area from the garage, a step down from the living room, laminated with some sad, old linoleum. It wasn’t big enough to be used as an actual, functioning living space, and it wasn’t set up right to be a mud room or anything like that, and although we discussed it for several minutes, none of us could figure out what it was for or could be used for.

Off the back of the living room was a family room that was actually quite cozy with a gorgeous fireplace. But there were cracks in the ceiling and floor that made it clear that it wasn’t standing on a good foundation. And in the room was a closet that, instead of a normal door, had what we we’ve been calling a “Scooby Doo door.” Instead of having hinges on the side, it had a hinge in the middle of the top, and it swung around on the hinge like the secret door always does in a Scooby Doo episode. You know, the one that the caretaker-disguised-as-the-monster is hiding behind, that swivels around so that the caretaker is in the room with Shaggy, and Scooby is in the secret passage. Except it wasn’t secret, and it was ugly.

The bedrooms were very interesting. The front bedroom had a closet that backed up to the hallway. The back wall of that closet had a door with a lock on it leading to the hallway. Which . . . what???? You can’t use the bedroom door to go into the hallway?

The back bedroom had a separate entry to the backyard with it’s own screen door and peephole. The back door looked like it had been attacked by a pack of angry dogs—a good quarter of it was missing pieces. Then, when we went outside to look at the backyard, we couldn’t get back in through that way because the push button on the screen door was missing. Fortunately, we were able to get out through the fence. I was not in the mood to climb anything.

All in all, after seeing it, we understood why it had been on the market for so long.

The last house was a historic two-story in a neighborhood that I’m dying to live in. It was understood before we went to look at it that it would need some work. Ultimately, we didn’t even go in. This is because when we got there, it was impossible not to notice that the entire house was leaning heavily to the right (well, technically, stage right). We looked at the house, at each other, and back at the house, and unanimously decided that we were done looking for that day.

And that was that. My first foray into looking for a home. I gotta say, if house hunting is going to be months of this, then the idea of continued renting is somehow seeming a lot easier to swallow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If this were only a marketable skill, I'd be rich

Just because we're twins doesn't mean that RR and are good at all the same things. When it comes to dancing, there is no comparison---RR got the full share of skill in that area. But I have my own area to shine when it comes to movement. Awkward movement, that is. I'm talking of course about being a klutz. My friends, I am good at it. RR is no slob in that area, sure, but I am a star.

Look, anybody can be clumsy. But me, I make it an art form. I'm a bumbling artiste.

Like tonight, for example. Anyone can lose her balance and stumble. But it takes true talent to lose your balance, stumble against the trash can, regain your balance by throwing your foot down perfectly onto the pedal, lifting the trash can lid to smack yourself in the sit-me-down-upon. That, my friends, is talent.

No, I mean it. The stuff I do on a daily basis looks like it was choreographed. That's good, because I think if you have to be graceless and uncoordinated, you might as well be entertaining at the same time.

Of course, my favorite clumsiness stories are from when I was in law school. I thought that I had blogged about it, but I can't find it anywhere, so here it is.

Second favorite clumsiness story (I swear I think I've blogged about this):
One day before class started, I was sitting in my chair. I had on heels, and I had them stuck between two rails of the chair underneath me. I do this all the time. I just like to sit that way.

I dropped a pen, and I leaned over to pick it up. The weight of me leaning over caused the chair to lean with me. I went to put my foot down to stop the chair's movement, only to discover that both feet were firmly hooked into the chair rails and weren't coming out, and I was going down. And sure enough, the entire chair tipped over, with me just sitting in it. Anyone can fall out of a chair. I give it a little something extra. My classmates were concerned that I might have hurt myself, but for me, it was just another day.

Absolute favorite clumsiness story:
One day I was walking to class, arms full of casebooks, backpack on my back. Heavy, heavy backpack with my heavy, heavy laptop tucked inside. I approached the door, but my arms were full, so I did what I usually did, what I had done successfully for years, first at work and then at law school: I pressed the handicap button with my foot so that the door would open by itself. And this did in fact work, as it had so reliably in the past.

But this time, I was wearing boots avec just a bit of a heel. And when I swung up my leg to push the button, I lost my balance and started to tip backward. I couldn't use my arms to regain balance because they were full. Being somewhat experienced with balance loss issues, I could have regained my balance with just my legs, resulting in a "I'm just dancing here" kind of movement, except that I had the aforementioned heavy, heavy backpack strapped on, and the extra weight just tilted me straaaaight backwards. Straight back. Down to the ground. On top of my laptop. Casebooks still firmly clutched against me. I wish, oh, how I wish I had it on film. I mean, straight backward. You don't see that very often outside of the movies.

And, naturally, because I have TALENT, when I had started to fall, as I tried to recover my balance, I threw my door-opening leg straight back down---hard---to the ground . . . .right into the nearly-waist-high paper recycling bin by the door. Which I took down with me, leg still inside it.

Ta-da! Bet you can't top that one.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chicken's Finger: Wally Has The Last Laugh

Deals pointed out that I should post more. I wish I had more to talk about! Well, I wish I had more that I could talk about. Mostly, I just work, and I'm afraid to blog about that too much. Some of the people I work with do not have a sense of humor about that kind of thing. But oh, the stories I could tell.

But I can tell you about the stupid thing I did last night. See, RR and I have to give dear ol' Wally subcutaneous fluids every couple of weeks because he's in pre-renal failure. It's kind of like hooking a little I.V. up to him. So the last time we did that, I left the needle on it (with a cap on it! for safety!) so that I could remember how to hook it up properly and to make sure that we didn't actually leak more fluids out of the bag between doses. But of course, RR and I were very, very careful to make sure it was covered, and we put the whole apparatus in a bag to keep accidents from happening.

I think you see where this is going.

So, yeah, I stabbed my finger with the needle. The needle that had been injected into my cat, removed, and then left around for several weeks. It bled like . . . something that bleeds a lot. I got no sympathy from the cat.

And today, it still hurts like the dickens if I brush it up against something. And now of course, I'm paranoid that I'm going to get some kind of weird infection, or cat scratch fever by proxy, or something. I'm keeping an eye on it.

I was telling my coworker about it, and she asked the same thing I was thinking, which was, "If you're worried about it, do you call your doctor or your vet?" I still don't know. But so far, nothing's swollen or weird-colored. I'll keep you posted.

Three Things

I redid my blog design a wee bit, and somehow blogger changed my links to old, old, old links, and I'm not entirely sure how to fix it.

I currently hate blogger.

I ate way too many cashews, and now I feel ill. And fat.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's not waterboarding, but it *feels* like torture

Y'all, one of my coworkers likes to sing at people. This is one of my pet peeves. Yes, I have a lot of them. I don't have a problem with someone singing in general. A person who sings while she works or is walking around or looking at a menu or whatever is a happy person with a song in her heart. But that's not what's going on here.

Like, say, we're sitting at a table in a restaurant, and she wants to tell you about a song that you aren't familiar with. She'll sing it at you. The whole thing. Like you bought a ticket for the performance. She likes to put on a show. She's not concerned with whether you want to hear it, just about whether she wants you to hear it. Normally the show is directed at me, but we took our intern to lunch the other day, and she got to be the recipient.

And I really didn't want to listen to my coworker, even if she wasn't singing, because what I really wanted to do was eavesdrop on the only other table there. This is because as we were being seated, I heard one guy at that table say to the other, "I shouldn't even be telling you this." You know that whatever they were talking about was way more interesting than what we were talking about. And definitely more interesting than the one woman show going on.

Of course, she did buy us coffee on the way back to work. But she also made us listen to a cd that she had playing VERY LOUDLY. And if we weren't paying enough attention and instead started trying to talk to each other, she'd say, "Oh, this is a great song," and then turn it up louder. My ears, y'all. MY EARS. I could not make eye contact with my other coworker, because she knows I don't like being sung at or forced to listen to music, and I knew she'd give me a knowing look that might lead to an uncomfortable discussion with the singer/music oppressor. I mean, my music oppressive coworker is nice, and I get that she's excited about music, but this just happens to be a major pet peeve of mine, and it . . . flames . . . on the side of my face.

But the coffee was nice.

Speaking of music, don't you love the song "A Hundred Hearts" from the Swimmers new album (currently streaming on their website)? RR and I have it on repeat. Very catchy. Now, see, if my coworker had been blasting that, I wouldn't have had a problem with it. Except that she made the poor Starbucks barista shout so that she could hear him over her music, so never mind. That's just rude.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Minor Annoyances

This past Saturday, I marched into Sephora in a fit of what I was thinking was optimism but more accurately could be described as temporary insanity and demanded that the sales associate give me a recommendation for idiot-proof liquid eyeliner. Ha! RR and I were going to an art exhibit that night, so maybe I thought it would make me seem more arty? Anyway, they were out of stock of the sales associate's favorite, but not to be deterred, I ignored my better judgment and purchased her second favorite with, despite very clear and helpful instructions, predictable results. Thank goodness for qtips and eye makeup remover.

In other news, there are lots and lots of dead little gnats all over my bathroom. This gives rise to three questions: (1) where is the security breach, i.e., how are they gaining entrance, (2) for what purpose are they here, and (3) WHY ARE THEY ALL DEAD? Are they coming in to die?

Speaking of gnats, this happened:
Clearly crazy.*

I really don't know what to day, other than this: doesn't it look like her face was just poorly photoshopped into the hideousness? That's how bad this outfit is. It's not daring, it's just sad. And also: I think I need to go into the business of celebrity stylist because clearly some people will wear anything.

*(credit where credit is due: this photo is from gofugyourself)

Monday, September 14, 2009

In a way, it's funny, but mostly I am appalled

At the mall this weekend, a sales associate thought that my twin sister was my daughter.

This is the second time that this has happened.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Eau dear.

The other day, one of my coworkers told me that the elevator in the parking garage had smelled like urine that morning. “Like, seriously bad,” she said, wrinkling her nose. There are two elevators in the parking garage, and I didn’t notice any smell in the one I had taken. I got to work only a few minutes before her. I don’t know if she rode on the same elevator that I had taken that morning.

On the way from my car to the elevator, I sprayed some perfume on myself.

And now I’m wondering if my perfume smells like urine.

Needless to say, I didn't ask her about it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toilets, Babies, and Starbufee

Yesterday, the automatic toilet flushing mechanisms thought they'd have a little fun with me. On three separate trips to the bathroom, the toilet flushed whilst I was still upon it. Three separate times. Fortunately, I wasn't in the middle of anything other than my usual o.c.d. arranging of the t.p., so I was able to jump up, but still. Ew.

In other news, BF/R is having a baby in a few short weeks, and I still haven't bought a present for her. Because I suck. Also, I am majorly indecisive. But mostly, I suck.

And, finally, to conclude this short post about nothing much interesting, a friend of mine gave me a Starbuffee gift card as a thank you for doing her a favor, and she put way too much money on it. It makes me feel guilty because it wasn't that big of a favor. That being said, it's awfully handy. I love it when people subsidize my habit. But is it weird that when I went there with her today, I couldn't bring myself to use the card in front of her? As though using the card would somehow convey to her that I didn't appreciate the gesture, that I took her nice thought for granted? Yeah, I guess it's weird. Hmm. I will have to make sure to use the card the next time we go.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Project Runway Excitement!

Project Runway is back! Project Runway is back!

No, not the original Project Runway.* Project Runway Australia.


*Please note that I'm not knocking the original, which I love obsessively. But season 1 of PR Australia didn't have a Wendy Pepper, Jeffrey, Santino, or Kenley in the final three, so in a way, it was far, far superior to the U.S. version.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And Now For Another Installment of . . . Overshare Theater!!

Right. So. I went to the allergist (finally!) last week and got tested (finally!) for various things. And I am allergic to everything.

Ok, I am not allergic to everything.

But I am allergic to pretty much all the grasses there are, most trees, cats (yep, as I suspected, I'm allergic to my cat), dogs, other stuff, and dust. I am very, very allergic to dust. Yep, I am the one in the "one in ten people are allergic to dust" statistic.

This list of many allergies? It explains so much. For example, why I feel so lousy most of the time. I go through tissues faster than I can replace them, frequently using paper towels because that's all I have left. That leads to an attractive condition called "chapped nose" that everyone feels the need to comment on, only I don't really mind because they know I'm not faking feeling sick when I look like that. But then I forget about until I wash my face with salicylic acid face wash, which hurts like heck, and I start to swear, but I get as far as "holy feeeerrrrr" (that's the sound of me trying not to swear), bite my lip, and then wash it off as fast as I can. And then my nose looks even better.

I use my neti pot, oh, 6 or 7 times a day---more if I'm home all day. At least once a month, I have a night where I wake up at least once an hour to have sneezing fits, and then I sneeze all day (hello, chapped nose!), which I'm sure disgusts my coworkers. I have frequent sore throats. And, apparently, I rub my eyes a lot. Normally, if RR catches me, she will point it out to me because I do it so much, I don't even notice anymore.

And it explains how, whenever I get close to a carpet, or go in a room with a lot of dust, I get all those things, sneezy, congested, itchy throat and eyes, plus I have a little bit of breathing trouble. Rights. That's allergies. This, I could not figure out for myself. The pollen allergies, I noticed that all by my lonesome, but the dust problems, that I had to have someone tell me.

So my allergist gave me a list of things that should help, although the costs start to add up, including (and this is the part that cracks me up), I should not be the person doing the dusting. In fact, I shouldn't even be in the house when it's being done. But if I have to do the dusting, (specifically, this is what cracks me up) I must wear a dust mask.

So now I will look like my grandmother, who I always kind of made fun of. Not to her face, but in my head. Of course, she wore one outside---I can still picture her walking out into their giant backyard, approaching us with that mask on her face, gesturing the whole time and telling us that it was time to come inside and we could play Uno or bingo or something---but it may come to that for me. I should add that she was very loving and sweet, and I think really she wanted us to come inside so that she could spend time with us without having to be outside with the pollen. But she looked ridiculous.

Ok, you are saying, this is just sharing. This is not so much oversharing. Wait! I'm getting to it!

(and I promise all of my oversharing won't always be about mucus) (but this is) (but first, a little something to make you sleep better tonight)

Did you know that dust contains, among other things, the feces and decaying bodies of dust mites? Did you know that the average mattress contains tens of thousands of dust mites, and then of course, when they die, they stay there for you to breathe in their decaying bodies at night while you sleep? Did you know that the weight of your pillow increases over time with the addition of dead mites and their droppings, which you also breathe in at night? You're welcome!

So anyway, back to phlegm. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I had ye olde green mucus again. I don't know why it is that when I finally figure out what I need to do to get rid of my allergies, they take a turn for the worse. Using my neti pot has been fun, let me tell you. Especially when that stuff comes out of my nose and then doesn't go immediately down the drain but just sits there in the sink looking at me, so I have to look back at it while I'm trying to pour enough water into the sink to encourage it to move along. Yes, I know, it's gross, and it's not the sort of thing you should share with other people. But that's why I'm sharing---I refuse to be disgusted alone.

I think this may be related to the pressure I've been feeling in my ears. Well, first of all, Monday at one point, I sneezed so hard that my ear popped, or whatever you call it when your ear goes from being fine to feeling clogged. I do not have feminine, dainty sneezes to begin with, they are much more of the "AAACCHOOOOO" variety (which is usually ok because as my dad says, if you have to sneeze, you might as well make it worthwhile), but this one was a doozy. But luckily, I later sneezed again and it unclogged. At least, it felt like I did, but I've been doing that old man, cup your ear and say, "Eh?" thing all day, so maybe not.

It still feel like I had a lot of pressure, and I hope that's why my ear was itching, because I always have this fear that a bug has crawled into my ear and died. That is not an irrational fear because people do get bugs in their ears sometimes when they sleep. The bugs crawl in and then can't get out. I slept with my sheets pulled over my ears for months after I learned that.

I spent most of Monday holed up in my office because I was afraid that I would sneeze with all that force, only in front of someone, and it would be scarring and gross for them and horrifyingly embarrassing for me. And I felt so bad for my coworkers anyway because you really can hear everything through the walls, so the coworkers with offices next to me get a real treat when I have this kind of thing going on. On Monday, I was relieved to see one of the coworkers, the one who can hear the best what's going on in my office, had on headphones. Because the sounds I was making when I blew my nose . . . those are sounds that would make me wish I had headphones if I was forced to listen to someone else making those sounds. I just hope that I'm not *why* he had on the headphones.

Anyway, I'm feeling better today, still stuffy and phlegmy, but of the normal variety, and things are mostly clear. But I'm still irritated that I had to deal with it at all because I'm already THAT person at work. That person that is always sick and talking about being sick. So now, I'm THAT person, plus I'm disgusting.

And oh great, I just realized that if I'm talking about my allergies all the time, then I really AM my grandmother. Next thing you know, I'm going to be saying that my parents' dog "thinks she's people" and using "quaint" little expressions like "dishy-washy washy dishy!" Please stop me if this happens.


That concludes this installment of Overshare Theater.

Large Bird and Computer Problems

Note: I wrote this in April and am just now getting around to posting it---sorry!

Ok, so, for about a month, I have been engaged in a battle of wills with my laptop, which I refer to as "my stupid laptop," because it has never once, not since I got it, behaved correctly. I should have known. I bought it from the Dell outlet, "certified refurbished," which didn't worry me and shouldn't worry you if you ever decide to buy one from there---between my sister and I we've now bought four computers from the Dell outlet, and mine is the only one that causes trouble. And I should have known better, I really should have. Because I called the 1-800 number instead of ordering online, and the one that I wanted had already been sold, but the guy on the phone was all, "oh, hey, we have this other one that has all the same specs you wanted, only its cheaper." I should have known better.

And oh, yeah, he said, it's pink. Bleck. I didn't want a pink computer. I like pink, I have lots of pink sweaters, but a computer I did not want in pink. Because that says, "I'm that girl. I like pink so much that I have to have my computer in pink. I'm such a girlie-girl, even my computer has to make a statement. Look at me, my computer is pink. I giggle a lot. I'm THAT girl." No offense, y'all, if you bought a pink computer by choice. But bleck. So, yeah, I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. But whatever, I hate pushy salespeople, and I just wanted to get off of the phone, so I took it.

And it pretty much ain't worked right since I received it. So many blue screens of death have flashed at me. And then, finally, for the last month, I'll spare you the details, but I had some corrupted files that appeared to be interfering with my installing important updates and so when I've not been working, I've been trying to fix my computer. And the free online tech forums I'd posted to, which are so helpful to other people, for me their advice was the equivalent of your company's IT guy who always asks you if you've rebooted your computer, even when your problem is something like "I just poured diet soda all over it and now there's smoke coming out and I hear sizzling."

I am happy to report that finally, finally, I won! Except only sort of, and it was a bittersweet victory, because my laptop was not prepared to go down without a fight, and in the end, I wound up just totally reinstalling the operating system. Only OF COURSE I forgot to backup my Internet bookmarks. So the massive amount of allergen-free recipes that I had accumulated over the last year? ALL GONE.

And my computer said, "HA ha."

I'm STILL not sure that everything is working right, but at least I got those updates to finally install. I do have a problem now with my cursor moving for no apparent reason, so now I find myself typing in the wrong place in documents, resulting in sentences that make no sense whatsoever, but as long as I notice where the errant typing went, it's ok. Annoying, but fixable.

On a totally unrelated note, recently, as I was sitting in my living room supposed to be working but instead struggling with my laptop, I just happened to glance over out our french doors onto the deck, and do you know what I saw? No, you'll never guess, so I'll just tell you.

It was A TURKEY. Well, it might not have been a turkey. But it was A HUGE bird. And of course I was alone. But I took pictures (albeit not very good ones), just so no one could say I was crazy.



Saw it with my own eyes.

See? HUGE. And of course RR wasn't here. I'm so sad that she didn't get to share that with me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Life is Great

So, I recently watched the season (and possibly the series) finale of "Life." Wow, you guys. It was soooooo good. I couldn't sit down for most of it because I was too nervous. The season one finale just about made me sick to my stomach, I was so tense watching it, so worried about what was going to happen, and this one wasn't much behind that.

Do you watch "Life"? RR and I had not planned to be regular viewers. I remember when the show was premiering, I saw the promos, and I thought, 'Lame!' I had absolutely no desire to watch it. And then, one night when we were bored and nothing else was on, we were flipping channels and happened to see the first few minutes of the episode “Farthingale.” It was all over after that. We were hooked. RR and I immediately watched all of the previous episodes online, and we haven't missed an episode since.

Yes, the show is about two police officers, yes, they solve crimes every week, but this show is absolutely not another "Law & Order" or "CSI." This show isn't a cop show anymore than "Veronica Mars" was . . . other than the fact that the main characters are cops. This is a show about a man who happens to be a police detective. Just like how on the first season of "Veronica Mars," Veronica solved a case every week, but also was working to solve the season-long mystery of who killed Lily, this show has a mystery that underlies the whole season. The center of the show is the character of Charlie Crews, who, as we learn in the first episode, spent 12 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Released from prison after new evidence turned up, he got his job back on the police force. This show is about Crews figuring out who set him up. And my friends, it's quite a ride. It will suck you in.

The show also develops very nicely the relationship between Crews and his assigned partner, Danni Reese. Over the two seasons, they develop a real friendship that is just lovely to watch.

Damian Lewis is PHENOMENAL on the show (you may remember him from "Band of Brothers"). Y'all, I was right about "Arrested Development," I was right about "Veronica Mars," I was right about "Pushing Daisies." I'm right about this show, too. And, naturally, since it's a smart show, people don't watch it, and it's in serious danger of cancellation. I'm begging y'all. Get season 1 from netflix. Watch the first season*--it's only 11 episodes. I promise you'll get hooked before the season is over, and you'll want to see what Crews finds out. If you do, buy the episodes on Amazon or buy the dvds, and then tell your friends. This show doesn't deserve to be canceled. *I suggest you watch the whole first season because it takes a bit for the series to hit its stride.

Oh, and did I mention the show was funny? It's funny. It's a drama. But like Veronica Mars, it's funny. Trust me. This one's a keeper, and without more people watching it and SOON, we'll lose one of the best shows on t.v.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

More Yellow Wallpaper

Well, hello! Let's just dive right in, shall we?

We have new neighbors in the townhouse diagonal from us (the building is L shaped, and we are in the corner). The new neighbors have a dog. Normally, I like dogs. I like them better than people, generally speaking. I have no idea what my next-door neighbors names are, but I know the names of both of their dogs. But this new neighbor's dog, he's testing me.


It's kind of driving me insane.

Right now, I'm try to make a game out of it. You know, like trying to predict the pattern of his barks, and barking quietly along at the same time. Which, I know, makes me sounds as crazy as the crazy I'm trying to avoid. But this kind of crazy is harmless, whereas the kind of crazy I am trying to avoid is the kind that usually involves cops and jail time.

So we're barking.

[abrupt subject change]

Ok, so the latest round of illness to befall me: virulent stomach virus. Such fun.

I woke up in the morning, started getting ready for work, and threw up. Ate some crackers, threw up. Took a nap, threw up. Called my boss, took a longer nap. Woke up, felt ok. I didn't feel great or anything, but I thought it was ok. I get sick to my stomach a lot, so I figured it was just allergies. Because yes, my allergies are that bad. So I went to work. And throughout the day, I felt not-so-great, which is not my normal I-just-threw-up-from-allergies feeling, but I refused to consider that I might be actually sick.

Everyone at work: AAAAAH! Why are you here?!!!!

Me: I'm totally fine!

Everyone at work: Don't touch anything! And don't breathe in my air space!

(I'm not kidding about that---when I was sitting in my boss's office talking to her, she got a phone call from my coworker, and her conversation went like this: "Uh-huh . . . yeah, she's here talking to me . . . Ok." *click* [looks at me] "She says not let you touch anything in here.").

And then I got home, felt progressively worse, and then discovered that the morning had just been a kind of warm up, if you will, a sign of things to come.

At work, there are two strands of illness going around---a cold and a stomach virus. My friend at work who has the same first name also got it. Even though we were not the first people to catch it, whenvever someone says they think they are coming down with something, people say, "what do you think you have---a cold, or [J]'s problem?" So now my name=stomach virus. De-lightful.

I think my friends must think I just make this stuff up to get out of leaving my house. "Oh, I would love to come have dinner with you, but unfortunately *cough cough* I seem to have caught something." But really, I DREAD telling people that I'm sick because it happens so often. But I feel like full disclosure is necessary because I have this totally irrational fear that I will pass the illness along, but somehow it will mutate and kill my friends or their children, and I will have to live with that guilt for the rest of my life. And then I'll have to decide whether or not I ever confess that I was the one that got them sick. And I'm just trying to avoid that.

On a side note, I just want to say how sweet RR was when I was sick. She drove some files up to work for me, went and bought me crackers, and made sure I stayed hydrated. She deserves some kind of medal, in my opinion.

In other news, I am super-excited about the Palm Pre coming out soon. I'm not even on Sprint anymore, but I'd consider switching back for the phone. I don't even know why I care about it---I don't normally get excited about cell phones. So, you may be thinking, will my excitement translate into my FINALLY upgrading my phone, which is at least four years old, the phone that a coworker saw on my desk last week and asked me why there was an ancient cell phone on my desk? No. I'm super cheap. My phone works great, and I don't need anything fancy, and ecologically-speaking, it's better to keep using your phone rather than upgrading.

But if anyone knows of any Pres that, um, fell of the back of a truck, if you know what I mean, do let me know. Well, more like, if you know of anyone that just hates theirs and wants to give it away. I would be willing to take it off their hands.