31 July 2008

Suck it, White Sox!

I would make a crack about that fucking douche AJ and his awful platinum blonde hair, but, um ... had anyone seen that orange monstrosity on Adam Everett's head? Oh my God, BRASSY. Ugh. Honey, no.

So glad we went to the game on Tuesday. My sister came over last night to watch the game (she really needs to get cable), but clearly, she chose the wrong night. I was texting her with updates after I got home from the gym and out of the shower. Apparently, one of her friends who went with us to the game was doing the same. We were like her own personal Dick 'n' Bert, but without the farting.

How funny. The Slat just called. He wanted to see what was up with the game. I was like, "Uh, we went on Tuesday." Oh sure, now everyone wants to go. Or at least one other person wants to go. Guess I just needed to break the seal, because I am all about more games and hot dogs and beer and corn dogs on the plaza. It's expensive and my legs are entirely too long to sit comfortably in affordable seats, but dammit, it is nice to see a game somewhere other than my own living room sometimes.

Yay, baseball!

Don't ever change.

Earlier this afternoon, I received an e-mail with a survey from my graduate school. I'll be honest, I don't always read what they send me. I've got something of a love/hate relationship with the Humphrey. It's a bit odd that while the Humphrey Institute is part of the University of Minnesota, I view my undergrad experience in the College of Liberal arts as an entirely different experience. It's almost like I went to two different schools, instead of two different colleges under the same University umbrella. (I fully realize I am capitalizing "University." It's a style thing. I mean, I am referring to a specific university. After doing it roughly 10 million times as a reporter, I can't not do it. It is in my fucking DNA now.)

Though, I did spend most of my undergrad experience on the East Bank and grad school was all West Bank. I tell you, it's a different world.

I'm fiercely loyal to the University of Minnesota, but man do they piss me off a lot. I feel the same about the Humphrey as I do the rest of the school. I worked full-time while attending grad school and I also attended while the University was making the switch from quarters to semesters. That meant my graduate school experience was all kinds of fucked up.

As a part-time student, I felt like a second-class citizen. My classmates in the same situation agreed. I always thought it was completely lame and shortsighted of them to treat us that way, since we were the ones actually out working in the public or nonprofit sectors. Yeah, what could someone like me have possibly contributed to a class on strategic planning in public and nonprofit organizations when I was involved in the strategic planning process the nonprofit where I worked?

The switch to semesters also fucked up the class schedule. That, combined with my part-time status, had me taking all of my classes backward. I finished all of my concentration classes in nonprofit management before I took the intro to nonprofit management class. My advisor was very much confused when I showed up on the first day of that class.

So, I actually kind of hate the Humphrey a little more than I love it. But that doesn't mean I would be on board with them making big changes -- like, say ... changing the name from "institute" to "school." However, based on the questions in that survey, it is pretty clear they are considering it. I'm sorry, but I do not want to be telling people I went to the Humphrey School. It sounds like a fucking pretentious prep school and not a graduate school. Not that "institute" doesn't sound pompous and shit, but it's graduate school. If I'm paying all that money, I do want it to sound very ivory tower and important. And that is very different than sounding like I'm a snot-nosed rich kid away at a fancy-pants high school.

Are you trying to be like the Carlson School, Humphrey? Don't do it! Those fuckers are our arch enemies.

Shit. I need to go to an alumni board meeting or something.

Also, for having a wealth of knowledge within your walls on how to create a survey, that was a piss-poor attempt. It was very confusing and totally unclear. Honestly, y'all should be embarrassed. It was so bad I actually took the time to say so in my comments. After I told them they had better not be changing the name, dammit.

30 July 2008

Tired.

I'm tired of feeling stupid at work. I'm tired of being frustrated.

I don't know exactly what it is, but I can't remember the last time I did something so hard. Normally, I am quick to pick up on something. I learn quickly. But for whatever reason, I'm having a horrible time catching on to the process or methodology that is the norm for research at my new job. Why is it so difficult?

Even worse, my confidence is constantly being undermined by any number of people. I'll think I'm on the right track on a question. Then I talk to my trainer and she makes me feel like a moron. Or I'll get started on something and check in with the resident "expert" or the person to whom I'll be sending my results and I'll question everything I'd done to that point and everything I'd planned to do.

When that happens, I listen to the person telling me to look here or check that source or use this search string and I'll go down a road that has nothing to do with my question. I start second-guessing everything. Then I panic. Or at the very least, I get frustrated.

On the off chance I don't second guess myself and change my strategy halfway through, my trainer will look at my draft and nitpick it to hell. Today, she was very hesitant to let me send something off. She thought it would be too short and I would need to do a bunch more work. I sent it off and the person I sent it to raved about my work. And that's what has happened every time. My trainer or some other person I'm consulting will look at what I've done and I'll think I'm the shittiest researcher and writer ever to walk the earth. I'll send my results off the person who will send them off to the client and that person absolutely loves what I did. Or better yet, the client loves my work.

Maybe their training objective is to tear everyone down and build them up again? Everyone who has ever talked about their training -- even if it was 10 or 15 years ago -- remembers it. And let me tell you, they do not remember it fondly. Are they trying to weed people out? One of my mentors checks in on me a few times a day. Probably to be sure I'm not slitting my wrists or something. She asks at least weekly if I'm going to quit.

Clearly, I am not going to be one of those people giving the testimonials on the website talking about how much I love my job and how I love working at Company X. I'll be amazed if I make it a year. Most of the time, I am amazed that I've made it through a week. I should look on the bright side -- I haven't cried or had to pinch or claw or bite or scratch or otherwise hurt myself in probably two weeks.

So, I guess I have that.

29 July 2008

Happy Birthday!

To my dear old dad and to my favorite NFL running back/blogger, IDYFT's Jerious Norwood.

Guess this means I'll have to have at least two "in honor of your birthday" beers at the Twins game tonight. That could be problematic for such a lightweight, teetotaller like me.

28 July 2008

Circle me Bert!

I'm finally getting to a Twins game. It's my first this season -- my first in the last two seasons, actually. I am not sure why I didn't get to a single damn game last season. Probably because I was declining all kinds of social engagements to work out. LAME. Okay, I've been doing that this summer, too. But to a much, much lesser extent.

Because I never, ever, ever fucking learn, I tried to get a group of my friends to go. Bless their hearts, getting most of those fuckers together to do anything is like herding cats. Why I keep trying is beyond me. Oh, no it's not. I do it because I adore them all.

Now, if this was say, a Thursday night, NFL Network football game and I was inviting them all over to my place to watch it, I'd get a crowd. Half of them wouldn't actually tell me they were coming and some might bring several stragglers, but they'd come. Talking about that has me totally stoked for football to start. But no! There is much baseball yet to be played. I'll worry about football when I have my fantasy draft. Anyway, football is easy. Getting my friends together for baseball or basketball games is really tough, though.

But I did get KayGee to come. She's always such a trooper. I say that as if I had to convince her. That is not at all the case. She was all about going. My sister and two of her friends are coming, as well. My sister and I were pretty much set on going to a game in this White Sox series. I was hoping we'd get the game that Mark Buehrle took the mound for Chicago, 'cause that fucker works fast. Alas, the Twins were taking him out of the park tonight.

I tried to get my sister to make a sign to see if we could get Bert to circle us. It's our dad's birthday tomorrow, so I thought we could make a sign that used that to get us circled. However, the people who won the lottery tickets tonight not only had a sign saying it was their dad's birthday, but they had dad with them. How would we look after that?

"Oh, those girls are horrible -- going to the Twins game on their dad's birthday without their dad."

Look, it's his golf night, first of all. He also lives 75 miles away. So don't you fucking judge me!

Um, sorry. Where was I? Twins game? I'm stoked. It'll get me through the work day tomorrow.

PS: Remember that whole moral dilemma about my brother and his new lady friend? Well, she did meet our parents that day. He has also met hers. We hung out with her on Saturday night at my brother's annual Leprechaun Days party. She added me as a friend today on Facebook, and I see that they've both changed their relationship status to being in a relationship with each other. *gag* I mean, awwwwwwww.

Know what Jess hates?

Jess hates it when people refer to themselves in the third person.

Pompous douchebags.

27 July 2008

I am entirely too excited about this.

The other night, when I got to The Boy I Currently Like's place, I saw a notice informing tenants the building had been sold. I meant to ask him about it, but I got very distracted awfully fast. And then I completely forgot about it after sleeping.

We were talking after we got up about something stupid, I'm sure, when he said, "Oh, so I'm going to be moving." Turns out they want to jack up the rent, and for his apartment, it would be ridiculous. Based on what I saw in a glimpse into the apartment across the hall when I was waiting for him after work one day, the other units are nice. His? Not so much.

So, we're talking about this and I was all, "That sucks. I'm sorry." Because moving is the suck. It sucks big, hairy donkey balls. It blows goats and all that. He said he was excited, though. It's a chance to move in somewhere nicer; to step up. And he actually had mentioned moving somewhere better not that long ago. As the conversation is moving along, I'm saying, "Yeah, it's a fresh start." And then the light bulb switches on.

It is a fresh start. A fresh start in a clean, clutter-free apartment. A clean apartment!

I know I mentioned in passing that his apartment is in quite a state after the first time I visited. I'm not going to go into detail or anything, but it is not good. His bathroom frightens me. I honestly think that if things had gone differently and he'd invited me over for drinks and Guitar Hero instead of me being the one to ask first, we would never have progressed any further. I would have been all, "Hey, this was fun. It was nice meeting you. Later!" But it was a couple of months before I went over there, so he had done enough ground work not to completely scare me away. Still, I wish I could have seen the look on my face when I walked in the door for the first time.

So, I'm going through this "fresh start, clean apartment" thing out loud. "Your apartment is going to be totally clean!" And I think I might have hurt his feelings a bit. He knows his apartment is a dump and that it is a messy, dirty dump. But at the end of the day, he's very sensitive and I'm still trying to get used to being a bit more careful about letting my sometimes-very-biting sarcasm slip out. KayGee thinks it's good for me to have to be extra-careful about his feelings. I'm sure it is, but damn, it's tough some times.

Anyway, in response to my escalating-and-slightly-sarcastic giddiness about the idea of his apartment being clean (I hold no hope out for the cluttered part), he said, "Now I'm not going to invite you over until I dirty it up."

Noooooooooooooo! I'll be good. I promise!

25 July 2008

I have a mission.

Yesterday, I came across a bit of news while visiting the Mall of America website to try to determine the exact location of The Body Shop. I do not like the MOA, but shit, it is right across the street and I needed some blotting tissues, dammit.

So, anyway, did you click the MOA link? Did you see? New Kids on the Block are performing and signing autographs in the rotunda on August 8! I've been really curious about this whole comeback/reunion thing they've been doing. I will freely admit (and I believe I have admitted in this very space) that my very first concert was New Kids on the Block, opening for Tiffany at the Minnesota State Fair. Now, it's not like there aren't plenty of artists I liked when I was 15 that I like now. But New Kids on the Block are not among that group.

Who is their fan base? Why reunite and tour? Who the fuck is buying tickets to their concerts?

A couple of hours after I saw that tidbit on the MOA website, The Boy I Currently Like sent me this link to the New Kids' new video, which he'd seen before he left for work. Turns out he was having the "who is going to these shows?" discussion with his coworkers. Also, I totally watched that entire video. They have to feel like a bunch of idiots. I know I felt totally mortified for them.

Clearly, this was all a sign. I need to go to that performance and see who the fuck is there. Maybe it'll be a bunch of stupid teenage girls who listen to whatever the radio tells them they should like. Perhaps it will be a bunch of women my age, screaming and carrying on and generally making fools of themselves. Or maybe it'll be both. I can't live with not knowing. That journalistic curiosity runs deep. And you know it will be good blog fodder. I only wish I could get drunk beforehand. But it's right after work and I won't have time unless I take my flask to the office with me.

Who wants to go with me? I can't take notes and pictures at the same time. I mean, I can do both on my own, but it would be more fun to have a photog with me.

Nerd-Alert PS: The X-Files: I Want To Believe rocked my socks. Sweetness and I went tonight. Sure, we have some unanswered questions and there were a few things that upon further reflection, were a bit silly. But it was still most excellent.

Awwwwwwwww.

Little Ms. Blogger gave me an award!



I'm not entirely sure where it came from originally or what it means, but at the very least, it means she likes I was told there would be bacon, and quite frankly, that is enough to satisfy my terrible ego.

Thanks! I'm all touched in my special places and whatnot.

24 July 2008

The red-headed stepchildren of the gym hierarchy.

That’s how a girl in my yoga class described us yesterday. Josh (look what happens when you wear a name tag!) was working the front desk and while scanning my card, he was talking to Loc and said, “I don’t care. It’s not my job. If they want the lights off, they can do it they damn selves.” Nice grammar, by the way.

He was, of course, talking about our yoga class. We have the lights off in the studio during class. Unfortunately, the switches controlling the lights in the studio are in the janitor’s closet in the men’s locker room. I would gladly shut off the lights before class, since I have no problem turning off the fans left on by the step class before us and the speakers that play whatever music the club is broadcasting, if they’re on. However, I don’t think I can just waltz into the men’s locker room and fuck around in the janitor’s closet. And quite frankly, based on plenty of the dudes who I see fully clothed there, I don’t think I’d want to risk seeing the vast majority of them naked.

So, I told my classmate what Josh had said and we talked for a bit about why the fuck it is that everyone seems to hate us. Contrary to Josh’s belief, I think turning the lights off probably is part of his job. Moreover, we aren’t bothering anyone. We’re quiet, unlike the assholes playing racquetball or the martial arts students, both adults and kids. We’re not running loose all over the club like the seemingly parent-less kids who take martial arts.

Okay, some of the people in class get a little overzealous about getting in to stake out a spot on the floor before the step class people have gotten all of their equipment off the floor. However, I don’t understand why the instructor for that class always yells at me for it. Is it because I’m Lavender Girl? Um, I’m not the boss of them. Also, maybe they wouldn’t be so antsy if you would finish your class on time.

The rudeness when I was coming in to the club wasn’t the end of it last night, either. During Savasana, there were a couple of guys in the little hall between the studio and the racquetball court and martial arts room talking. They were talking quietly, but not fucking quietly enough. I was about as far away from them as the room allowed and I still heard all the “And I talked to the office people and they go …” bullshit this fucker was talking about and it was making me insane. Color me absolutely fucking stunned to see them walking out after we were done with their racquetball gear hanging off their shoulders. And the moment we started clearing up our mats, those fucking martial arts kids ran screaming all over the floor. God help me, I so fucking wanted to knock them all down.

When I left the gym I was so angry and frustrated I wanted to cry. Usually, I'm able to let that shit roll off my back over the course of a class, or I'm so calmed and centered by the end of a class that assholes being assholes during Savasana don't bother me all that much. But for whatever reason, I wasn't able to do that last night and I was so disappointed in myslef for my failure.

I pay dues just like everyone else there. I don’t only take yoga. I use the weights and cardio equipment, too. I’m there several days a week. I’ve been a member for 12 fucking years and I’m tired of the yoga class getting screwed and the other people at the gym being completely fucking inconsiderate to us.

You’d better believe I’m taking a copy of this with me tonight to give to Mike, the club manager. I’m not so much of an asshole that I’ll post his last name here, but I sure as hell considered it. I suppose I should remove all of the obscenities from the version he gets, too.

23 July 2008

Glad.

As tough as this new job has been, I'm really glad today that I am here and not still at the disaster recovery company.

Well, I'm glad every day that I don't have to worry about mouse poop on my desk, mice rotting in my computer or termites flying about the office. And I'm glad I don't have the infuriating bosses making me crazy. That I can eat at my desk. That I have a much shorter commute. I'm glad I don't have to smell my supervisor's horrible, hairspray-smelling perfume.

But I am especially glad today with Hurricane Dolly bearing down on Texas. They have contracts with several areas that are going to be hit. At the very least I'd be working non-stop. I could also have been on my way to Texas to live in a trailer for God knows how long for my first field assignment. DO NOT WANT.

I am thrilled that I can leave the office after eight hours and eventually sleep in my own bed in lovely Minnesota tonight.

22 July 2008

Dear Michelle Bachmann: Please shut your fucking piehole.

Do the stupid things that come out of your mouth never cease? She seems to think that opening up any and all potential domestic sources of oil for drilling will bring back $2-a-gallon gas.

Look, lady -- whatever temporary, psychological effect increased domestic or offshore drilling would have on gas prices, it sure as hell wouldn't be to the tune of $2 a gallon. I believe I also mentioned it would be temporary. It isn't going to decrease demand domestically or overseas. And it sure as fuck isn't going to solve our long-term energy problems. I could be wrong about this, but I believe that oil companies already have plenty of undrilled, domestic land. Why do they need more?

I am so fucking sick of politicians being horribly shortsighted and willing to mortgage the future for short-term gains (re-election, anyone?). It really seemed to come into vogue in Minnesota when our esteemed Governor Pawlenty took office. Along with it came a culture of meanness that I'd never noticed before.

Maybe I was living with my head in the sand, but I doubt it. I'd been working in the nonprofit sector, for one thing. And I've been a news junkie my entire life. So, I'm pretty sure I wasn't behind the curve on this trend.

I was always proud to be from Minnesota and was doubly proud of our culture of caring for our fellow citizens. But all of a sudden, it seemed okay to not give a fuck about other people. Not only that, it seemed to be encouraged to say horrible things about people who live in the city, or people who care about the environment, or those who access social services, or anyone in the GLBT community, or anyone who wasn't from the U.S. ... the list goes on and on. Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time someone called me a pinko, commie, homo, baby-killing, America-hating, terrorist-loving, tree-hugger ... I would have enough money to buy a new couch at the very least.

So, fuck you, Michelle. (The culture of meanness has gotten to me, y'all!) I hope you get a particularly virulent and drug-resistant strain of chlamydia. Also, if you get a chance, read the comments on the Strib story. Some make me say, "Preach on, motherfucker!" Others make me laugh. Many have me scratching my head. And of course, there are those that make me want to stab myself in the eye and slit my wrists.

Found: An open letter.

I found this letter in my purse earlier today. I apparently wrote it on Sunday, after my nephew's first baseball game. But there was so much going on and I was so tired, I forgot all about it. Better late than never?

Dear Red Sox Grandma,

If you don't stop jingling those goddamn keys, I am going to snatch them out of your hand and shove them down your fucking throat.

Also, for the love of all things holy, please put on a bra. No one -- least of all a bunch of eight- to 10-year-old boys -- needs to see your saggy, nipping-out tits flopping around in that flimsy dress. Gross.

Yours in Christ,
Jess

21 July 2008

I'm sure this means I've gone 'round the bend.

When the 'rents came up this weekend, they brought the farm with them. I suppose they always do, since even my dad's cell phone has what my sister once called "a faint piggy smell." In this case, though, I mean they brought veggies from the garden and a variety of pork products.

I asked for bacon (duh!) and brats, as I was running low on both. Well, I wasn't really running that low on brats. But shit, it's summer! Who knows when I might get invited somewhere for grilling? I can't be showing up with *gasp* store-bought brats. God, how embarrassing. People have come to have certain expectations when they invite me to things where I might bring meat.

There was a problem with the brats, though. Mom said that when Dad told the butcher how to cut up the hog, he forgot to tell him to make some brats. Dad, of course, said he was sure he told him that we needed brats and it was the butcher's fault there were none in the freezer at home. So, Mom got the meat market (ha!) brats, which are the same, but the pork comes from one of our neighbor's hogs. I can live with that.

She got what was left -- a couple of fresh brats, a couple of beer brats, onion, mushroom and Swiss and cheddar. There may be another one or two in there, but I just can't remember all of the varieties. I was glad to hear they were out of wild rice brats. Mom insists they're delicious, but I loathe wild rice. So, upon hearing this, I'm all, "What am I going to do with all of those weird, flavored brats?"

Then I thought: brat tasting party! I could either label the ones I knew (apparently you can see the mushrooms and onion and there's some other identifying characteristics ... since I can't see through butcher paper, I cannot confirm this) and just let people try them, or! we could do taste tests and try to figure out which one is which.

I'm pretty sure this makes me crazy. Or slightly more crazy than I already am. But I so want to do it.

20 July 2008

Weekend wrap-up: reusable bags, deck drinking and youth baseball.

Sadly, I am not enjoying the evening at the Chiang Mai Thai Block Party right now. Y'all, I am wiped the fuck out. I slept like ass last night and then had to be up at 8:00 to make sure I was ready and had enough time to navigate road closures all over the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area so I could make it to my nephew's baseball game.

It was their season-ending tournament. They won yesterday and lost two really close games today to come in fourth. Not bad, considering they were the fifth seed and took the team that finished the season in first place to the bitter end of the sixth inning, losing by one run.

Gah. It was such a long day, and outside in the sun to boot. My ass hurts from sitting on metal bleachers. Goes nicely with my sore boobies, I guess? I got home about 45 minutes ago and went straight to the shower. My feet were filthy. I feel much better now, but I'm still tired.

The Nephew's baseball games of course mean family time. The 'rents were here for yesterday's game. We went out for dinner and then I escaped to the quiet of home. They only stayed for the first game today, which was a little weird. Oh well. My brother came for the second game today.

He brought a girl with him!

On Tuesday, I was sitting out on the deck with The Boy I Currently Like, telling him a bit of the story behind the shit my brother wrote on my wall on Facebook that had my sister and I in tears. I also told him I noticed some evidence that my brother might be dating someone. I was having a moral dilemma -- ask him about it, ignore it or hold the information in my pocket for a time he might really annoy me and then tell mom. I'm really evil. I know.

Alas, I think she might have met the 'rents today, taking away my opportunity to be the evil big sister. She seemed nice, I guess. Cute, if not a little heavily made-up for little kids' baseball. My brother is going with her next weekend to see her brother in a demolition derby at our county fair. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Speaking of the sibling hilarity story from earlier this week, my sister and I created an e-mail account for this guy -- Blaine Booshquashconash -- and sent our brother a message from him. Then I created a Facebook profile for him and added my brother as a friend. He apparently hasn't gotten that notification, but he's convinced the e-mail was all my sister's idea. I think we are going to have entirely too much fun with this.

So that was that. What else was I supposed to talk about? Ah, reusable bags. My order from Reusablebags.com arrived on Friday. Hooray! I'd been meaning to place an order for ages, but as with so many other things in life, there was that Brief Period of Unemployment that made me put it aside and forget about it for a while.

Something I tackled at work last week reminded me, though and I finally placed my order. I got this Envirosax bag. It works like a charm so far. I whipped it out to show my sister at the game yesterday and no fewer than four moms wrote down the name of the website so they could buy their own. I also go this Recycled Wave Tote. Holy shit, it's huge! I got a red/pink/orange one. I'll be able to haul so much shit around in that thing. Yay for being environmentally friendly.

Finally, Friday night deck drinking. Guess I'm going backwards. Mrs. Dirk and the World's Worst Wing Woman came over for what's could become a bi-weekly, end of the work week thing. That would be awesome! Macho Man, KayGee and The Brute ended up coming over, too. And then all of us but KayGee went to the Uptown to see Son Ambulance. I think I've mentioned a time or two how I love happy hours that turn into all-night, bar-hopping boozefests. This was kind of the same thing. Except it was low-key deck drinks that turned into a bit of a party that spilled out into greater Uptown.

(Awwww. They're missing me at the block party.)

Of course, I left before Son Ambulance came on because I was so tired. Random people have been telling me I look tired here and there -- 4W, the cashier at Target, probably others ... Yes, I am tired. Yes I look like hell. Thank you for telling me as much. Dicks.

I am actually thankful to be so fucking exhausted tonight. I'm hoping I fall asleep and sleep through the damn night. Maybe I got my dreading-the-work-week anxiety out last night when I couldn't sleep. Christ, I hope so.

17 July 2008

Blogging rules.

Honestly, there's always some new thing popping up that makes me marvel at all the awesomeness this stupid blog has brought to my life.

I am continually baffled and delighted.

16 July 2008

Relaxation trepidation.

Yoga and wine are no longer cutting it. The tension headaches, general body aches and fatigue have gotten the better of me. It hurts to put on eyeshadow. My shoulders and upper back are actually sore to the touch. So, I'm getting a 90-minute, full-body massage tomorrow.

Kick ass, you say? Why the trepidation, you ask? Well, I'll tell you -- for the first time ever, I will be getting a massage from a guy. Well, a guy I'm paying, anyway; a guy who isn't just giving me a half-ass back rub because he wants to fuck me.

(I wonder how much extra he charges for a happy ending.)

Things are kind of looking up at work, though. Maybe. I think things are starting to click. Or that's what my trainer tells me. She thinks I'm doing great, despite what I seem to think. So, yay.

But then I went and brought work home with me tonight. FAIL, Jess. Epic. Fucking. Fail. I am not going down that road again so soon. Thankfully, I had a moment of clarity during yoga and said, "Fuck that noise." Once I finally got home and showered and ate, I played my brand-spanking-new Simpsons Wii game. Score. Well, not really. I am terrible. But it's fun.

15 July 2008

Little things.

Sometimes it really is the little things that get you through the day. Yesterday when I got home from work, I was sitting on the couch, eating my pre-workout peanut butter toast when I got an e-mail. It was Facebook (ugh, I know), telling me my little brother had written something on my wall.

Now, I'd try to explain to y'all what he wrote, but you'd think I was a weirdo or something. Not that you don't already think I'm a weirdo. But still. It was one of those random, blast-from-the-past things we used to talk about when we were kids. I nearly fucking choked on my toast. I was in tears from laughing so hard. Sweet fucking Christ, he totally made my day.

I forwarded the message on to my sister. She called me at 10:15, crying because she was laughing so hard. For a minute, I thought something was horribly, horribly wrong. Turns out he made her day and her call kinda made my day again. It was kinda just what I needed after a shit-ass fucking day at work.

Today was better maybe because of that and also because I had that hello-make-out-session with The Boy I Currently Like to look forward to when I got home from work. I swear, it was the only thing that kept me sane. Of course, it wasn't just the making out. I always have fun with him. We watched Tom and Jerry and laughed our asses off like little kids. We got Pizza Luce and watched part of the All-Star Game. It's low-key and low-stress (once he shows up ... I stress until that point because that's what I do) and totally what I need every now and again.

So I made it this far. Only three days left to go.

14 July 2008

There are worse things, I guess.

As I was sitting in the bathroom today, praying for the bees to bring me the sweet release of death, a song came on the Toilet Radio. It was Heart! I love Heart. Wait. No. It's "Alone," but that ain't Ann Wilson. No, it's someone torturing the song.

Is it some newish country female singer I don't really know? No.

Is it some random pop singer I don't really know? No.

Oh shit. I know who it is. Celine Dion. How dare she ruin anything Heart has done? Bah.

I won't provide a link to the song, because I like you guys and someone might be tempted to click on it. I just can't have that on my conscience. I'm devastated that I had to learn this god-awful cover exists. Though, I guess it's another to add to the list of god-awful covers that I always bust out when people have a discussion about terrible covers. That's a silver lining, y'all.

Also, since Erin Andrews just interviewed him during the Home Run Derby, I was reminded of something. Last week or over the weekend not one, but two people, found my blog by Googling "Joe Mauer naked." Sweet!

13 July 2008

Good decisions.

I very nearly didn't go to the Bastille Day block party today. I was dreading work tomorrow and I had such a fucking tension headache that I wanted to cry. Granted, I've had the headache for the better part of the last three weeks, but sometimes it's worse than others.

Anyway, I sucked it up and went. Of course, everyone kept asking about work and it was everything I could do to not start crying when I said I didn't want to talk about it. God, I just do not want to go there tomorrow. Hmmmmm ... I thought I'd had enough to drink that I didn't care because I was just kinda drunk and tired, but now I'm feeling all angsty. Fuck.

It was a good time. KayGee asked if my sister was there because she was certain she'd seen her. I was all, "Um, no. Why would she be here?" About 15 minutes later, I look in the food line and there is my sister. Surprise! That was kinda funny. She didn't hang out for too long, but it's always so bizarre when I run into my sister in Uptown. Granted, it's only happened a couple of times. But it is still weird.

I was asked to try out for the North Star Roller Girls. Me? A roller girl? Um, that would probably get Cast Fetish Guy all hot and bothered. No thanks. Still, for whatever reason, I find it far more flattering to be asked to try out for the roller girls than being asked to audition at Sheik's.

Also, I got my hands on a 612 t-shirt! It's so hard finding a t-shirt when you're a girl with big boobs. It is not an ideal fit, but what can you do? Now I need to get the Spanish version and the I heart MPLS t-shirt. I would have grabbed the 651 t-shirt for The Boy I Currently Like, but ... well, I needed that money for drinking. Next time, I guess.

12 July 2008

Mmmmmmm!


Oh yeah, Daddy. That is a bacon Bloody Mary. And it is quite tasty. Last weekend, when Mrs. Dirk and the World's Worst Wing Woman were over, Mrs. Dirk and I were going to have Bloody Marys with smoked meat stick stirrers. But it ended up being too much of a bother and we drank Jameson and diet ginger ale instead. I got the idea in my head earlier today that I would have a bacon Bloody Mary, come Hell or high water. So I kinda had to follow through.

I went bacon crazy with this bad boy. As you can see below, I rimmed the glass (hahahahahaha. I said "rimmed.) with Bacon Salt. I used Peppered. I even used a bacon-flavored toothpick to skewer my olives. Now I suppose I'll need to hunt down that bacon floss from the link Alaina sent me. Wheeeeeeee!

Obviously, the bacon is from the farm. I baked it in the oven (350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Start with a cold oven!), which was a method I'd been wanting to try for a while. It worked out pretty well. You just put a wire rack on a cookie sheet and lay the bacon over the rack. The fat drains away and if you line the pan with foil, there's very little mess. And the bacon stays lovely and flat.


I guess this is just a delicious continuation to a fan-fucking-tastic day here in Minneapolis. Earlier today I continued what has become something of a Saturday summer thing for me; when I worked out, ran errands and came home to eat breakfast on the deck. It all kinda makes my heart want to explode, it's so awesome. On a day like this, the only thing I can think of that would top things off is a little Elbow sing-along. So, do enjoy "On a Day Like This." *sigh* Guy Garvey ...

See you at the block party tomorrow!

11 July 2008

I have a strong pelvic floor.

Or, so said the Physical Therapist after I picked an M&M up from the floor with my toes while holding a glass of wine.

Just eight hours to go.

Well, eight work hours. I'll probably be at the office for more like nine, even though I haven't taken a lunch since my first week there. And I've yet to leave for work or anything, so it's more like 10 hours, I guess. Still. What I'm trying to say is that there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yesterday seemed to go better. Everyone I've been doing actual work for has been quite pleased with what I've done -- very little editing or ripping my results to shreds once I hand in my draft. And yesterday, I finally wowed my trainer. 'Bout damn time. It didn't really make me feel any better, though.

I can't wait to not have to work tomorrow. And maybe if I spend all of Sunday evening drinking at the Bastille Day Block Party, I won't have to focus so much of my energy on dreading the start of the work week.

09 July 2008

What's your story, Toilet Radio?

Before I get to the toilet radio thing, I guess there's some work bathroom background I need to get into. I could have sworn I wrote about this already, but apparently that was just in an e-mail to The Boy I Currently Like.

So, there was this episode of The X-Files (I actually just saw it again during my Brief Period of Unemployment) where a woman at some sort of mailing facility (like a Fed Ex-type place, maybe) went to the loo for a break and she was in there, smoking and reading a magazine, blissfully unaware that there were bees, lots and lots of bees coming out of the vent in the wall. Then one stung her and another and another until they'd stung her a bazillion times and she died. I think this was also the episode where Skinner was doing all kinds of underhanded shit for the Smoking Man and getting caught on tape and whatnot. But he was trying to get the antidote for Scully or something. I'm not entirely clear on the non-bee related stuff in the episode. Then again, it's all related to the bees, in a way (By the way, who is going to see The X-Files movie? *raises hand*).

Now, only those of you who have done a bit of drinking with me may be aware of this (or anyone who has read about my numerous trips to the bathroom, I guess), but I have a tiny bladder. I've heard it has something to do with being Irish. I don't know the theory or myth or whatever that is behind it, though.

Anyway, I'm in the bathroom often and the air conditioning or the vents in there are very loud and it SOUNDS LIKE THOUSANDS OF BEES are just waiting on the other side to emerge. And boy, do they sound angry. Every time I'm in there, I fear the bees are going to start coming out from the vent and then start stinging me and I'll die from a million bee stings in the damn bathroom.

But over the bees, sometimes I hear what I like to call the Toilet Radio. It's actually the music that plays in all the common spaces of the office building. I only notice it in the loo, though. Now, you'd think it would be Muzak or lame easy listening shit. And you would be right sometimes.

You would not be right all the time, though. Mixed in with the shit I don't know and the Enya and Chicago and Corey Hart and the not-terrible-but-old Temptations and The Mamas and The Papas and Smokey Robinson and the not-terrible-but-kind-of-old-and-really-odd Fine Young Cannibals cover of "Suspicious Minds," I have heard Cat Power and Rufus Wainwright just today. I've also heard Gomez and Snow Patrol and Sade and Spoon.

Um, what? Do they play like, whatever might pass as easy listening in a certain genre? I wouldn't say the Temptations shit I heard today was easy listening, because I was kinda dancing as I walked out of the bathroom. There are times I'm in there and want to stay to hear the rest of the song. It's nice when I go in to cry and get cheered up by whatever's playing.

It's kind of an adventure, the bees and the music. It keeps me on my toes when I'm peeing.

08 July 2008

My eyes must be deceiving me.

Yesterday when I was driving through the parking ramp at the gym, I passed a car with a decal on the back. I could have sworn it was Calvin peeing on a cross. Like a blasphemous version of Calvin peeing on a Ford or Chevy logo. Or like a cartoon take on Piss Christ.

I was entirely too excited about this, as I heart blasphemy. Against my better judgment, I actually went to check it out to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. Big mistake. It was Calvin on his knees, praying in front of a cross. Boo! When will I ever learn to just take my first impression and have fun with it?

It's like the time I was at Walgreens and walked past the eye drops section and I was positive I saw something called "Hobo Tears." Now, I'm not going to go back to see what the package really said. Why? Because the real thing could never be as awesome as Hobo Tears. Also, I'd see what the package actually said and realize I need to stop smoking the crack.

In other news, I think I hate my new job. But it's a different kind of hate than the hate I had for my last job. This training is brutal. They do acknowledge that it is awful. I guess that's good? It is terribly nice of you to tell me I'm going to want to scream and tear my hair out and then tell me not to get frustrated. Um, okay. I'll see what I can do about that.

Once I get acclimated, I'm sure the hate will dull and I'll get through the days without crying or marking up the insides of my wrists. That's what I'm hoping happens, anyway. 'Cause I'm far too old to be a cutter. Thank the Baby Jebus for booze.

07 July 2008

Unexpected side effects.

As you may or may not know (and most likely don't care), over the last year-plus, I have lost a bit of weight. My doctor said in March that it was in the neighborhood of 40 pounds. And I know I have lost some since then.

Apparently, the most recent bit of weight I lost was doing some important work. Last weekend, after yoga on Saturday, my left hip was kind of sore. It wasn't my abs. I worried momentarily that I had a cyst or a tumor. Nope. It wasn't on the inside. But I couldn't see anything, so I brushed it off. I had yoga again on Wednesday. On Thursday, at work, I noticed both hips were sore. Again, I wondered if it wasn't my abs, as we'd done ab work in class the night before. That was not it, though. At least the pain was on both sides this time, so I didn't have to worry about some sort of growth.

When I got home from the gym later that day and was about to hop in the shower, I looked in the mirror: I had bruises on my hips. From yoga. Specifically, from doing Bow Pose. I rock back and forth in Bow Pose, and sometimes roll from one side to the other. And I did that on Wednesday (my instructor couldn't even roll onto her side). So, it's my entire body weight resting on my hips. However, I've been doing the pose for years -- I do it in my living room, for Christ's sake. Now I'm suddenly getting bruises on my hips?

I get bruises on my knees from doing the balance in Table Pose and I sometimes get really awful-looking bruises on the backs of my arms from doing Crow Pose. Those places are delicate or there's not much padding. But my hips still have plenty of padding, y'all. What will happen if I lose more weight?

The hip bruises are just the latest in a string of things I wasn't expecting. My hips and shoulders hurt when I sleep on my side on The Boy I Currently Like's futon. My knees sometimes hurt when I'm laying on my side to sleep because there is much less padding there than before. My hands are getting all veiny.

This one makes me sound like a 12-year-old, but ... my body is changing. I see myself in the mirror and I now feel like I'm starting to look different. It's difficult to explain. I guess the best way to explain it is that over the course of the first 40 pounds or so, I just looked like I was getting smaller, with everything in the same place. Now, it seems like something about my shape is changing. That makes no sense, I'm sure. Maybe I'm just crazy.

People keep telling me I'm getting tiny or small (or the less-nice "wasting away") or I look super-skinny. And I know they mean well and relatively speaking, compared to how I looked a year ago, they might be on to something. But let's be real people -- I am never going to be tiny or small or skinny. NEVER. It isn't possible. I believe The Boy's assessment of my legs could be extrapolated to the rest of me. He said he'd noticed how good my legs were looking and that, while they weren't skinny, they were well-built. Or solidly-built. Something like that. Muscular. ("Like Dolly Parton started speedskating," was the imagery he used. That is PRICELESS IMAGERY people.) Solidly-built is what I am. And I'm okay with that. My big feet and broad shoulders can't get skinny. Such is life.

I'm not even going to go on another rant about clothes and bras getting too big after a couple of months. That's a superficial indicator of what's going on, I guess.

Lately though (and this happened the first time I bought smaller jeans last year), I've been freaking about having to drop another jeans/pants size. Is there supposed to be some big change in me? Should I be happier? More carefree? I shouldn't have this anxiety, I'm pretty sure. What can the smaller me use as an excuse if people don't like me? Before I could always just say it was because I was fat and gross. That's why all of those first dates never turned into second dates. That's why the first interviews didn't turn into second interviews. That's why I lost my job. That's why ... whatever.

Now? Well, it's because I'm ugly or my hair is gross or I'm zitty or I'm a bitch or my personality sucks or I'm not smart enough or I drink too much or I'm annoying or I'm just not fucking good enough. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, 'cause I'm still pretty fat and gross. I'm working on it, though.

04 July 2008

So much summer goodness can't be contained in a single weekend.

Last weekend's fun is spilling over to this long, holiday weekend. Hooray!

Mrs. Dirk and the World's Worst Wing Woman came over to have drinks on the deck last night. I've not spent much time with either of them lately, so it was nice to be able to just hang out and chat with them.

I've been having this ... issue? problem? I'm not sure what to call it. But it's been hanging around for a while. The stupid thing is, it shouldn't even be my problem. I've been trying to just ignore it and hope it goes away, but lately I've been wondering if maybe I should be tackling the issue or something. The girls talked me out of that, though. We all know that your problems won't go away if you ignore them, but sometimes it is the only palatable option. I feel a lot better about it today.

We apparently had enough drinks to get motivated to head out to the Nomad to see Koo Koo Kangaroo. We even got 4W to go with us, since there was no cover. God, what fun we had there! My friend in the band is the sweetest kid ever. He's actually my cousin's ex-boyfriend (is that weird?). Anyway, their show was a riot. You should download the album and go out to see them. They're doing the Minneseries this month at the Nomad.

There was a a guy at the bar who, for some strange reason, kept saying "Barack Obama," over and over and over and over. And that is all he said. It was so weird. And hilarious.

Today is starting out delightfully. I couldn't not walk around Lake Calhoun on such a beautiful morning. I was kinda surprised by all the people at the lake already when I was there. I saw an old couple holding hands. LAME. Okay, so the old people weren't really that bad. They just made me think of my crazy grandma and the story she somehow got the local paper to write on her and grandpa for Valentine's day. There was something in there about them always holding hands. Bullshit, Grandma! No one has ever seen you hold hands. And of course you don't have arguments, because A) Grandpa turns his hearing aid off all the time so he can't hear you yelling at him; and B) He's terrified of you.

Um, sorry. Stupid tangents. Right after I saw the old, lovey-dovey couple, I saw a fat little dachshund that made my heart burst. I was moving a little slow this morning, but I suppose it was partly due to the fact that I had a little whiskey to sweat out of my system. My playlist was also in a weird, down-tempo place. I can't ever get it perfect, dammit. But once it picked up ("Napoleon Says," "Lyrical Gangbang," "Tiny Little Fractures," "The Angels Hung Around," "Are You Gonna Be My Girl," "Munich" and "I Predict a Riot"), I really got moving. On my way home down 32nd street, I met a little old man. I could tell he was going to say something to me, so I pulled my ear buds out. He said, "Happy Fourth of July!" Awwwwwwww.

And today is just going to get better. Though, I'm pretty disappointed by this Law & Order marathon. Remember when they used to be good? Anyway, later today is The Doctor and Physical Therapist's annual 4th of July party. It's such a great time. What party with red, white and blue Jell-O shots isn't fun? I'm missing some family stuff, though. My dad's cousin died earlier in the week, so about half the family is gathering tonight in preparation for the funeral and after party tomorrow.

I know it probably sounds horrible to call it that, but it is what we do after a funeral. After the luncheon at the church (following the burial), everyone goes out to the house for more food and lots and lots of drinking. It's a celebration of life. I am kinda sad to miss all of it. But I'll do what I did on Sunday at the Pride beer tent. That was my great-Aunt Tootie's wake. My mom said we didn't need to go. Dad said I should have a beer instead. So I did. We drank a toast to Aunt Tootie. And I'll be drinking a toast to Jane today.

Now I just need to see if I'm going drinking with Muffy and JP tomorrow. Can I take much more fun? I don't know, but I'm gonna try.

02 July 2008

Loveliness.

I thought about starting out with, "Does it get any better than this?" But the answer to that question would have been, "Um, yeah." Or, "It gets just as good as this more often than you'd think."

It is a beautiful night. We very nearly had yoga outside, but the bulk of the class voted against it. Granted, I couldn't really be mad, as I was one of those people last week. And my allergies have been pretty bad for about two weeks now (which is why I'm sure I'll sleep with my windows open tonight ... I will never fucking learn), so outdoor yoga would probably not have been the best idea for me anyway.

So no outdoor yoga. It was still a great class. We focused on back bends, which are very energizing. Last time we did a back bend class I had an awful time falling asleep. But I came home with all of this energy and I poured a glass of wine and went out to sit on the deck.

I had the "Does it get any better than this?" idea as watched the swallows swoop above the swaying trees, their leaves rustling in the wind. Neighbor Cat was roaming the yard. There wasn't much traffic going by on the street. Maybe Pride weekend with my friends wasn't better, but it made me feel just as good. Maybe cuddling on the couch with The Boy I Currently Like last night while watching one of his favorite movies wasn't better, but again, it made me feel awfully damn good.

Honestly, if I could ignore the fact that Star Wars was on the TV inside while I sat out on the deck, you know it's a good night.

I should really be getting to bed. I've got this big plan to trick myself into going to the gym tomorrow. We're getting out of work three hours early and if I don't wash my hair in the morning, I will be forced to go to the gym so I have a valid reason to take a shower and get all tarted up before I go to the Nomad to see my friend's band (Koo Koo Kangaroo). If I don't make myself go to the gym, I'll just have people over to drink on the deck all afternoon until it is time to head out. And if I don't have to wash, condition and dry my hair in the morning, I will get to work earlier and get to leave earlier.

I AM SO SMART, S-M-R-T. Of course, this means I will have to try to get into my monstrous new sports bra in a semi-public environment. So, clearly, I am not so SMRT.

I am such a sucker.

I'm a sucker for a lot of reasons and for a lot of things. Stupid empathy making me have feelings for other people.

But this is about me being a sucker for my beloved Timberwolves. It wasn't even a week ago I was on a tear about stupid Kevin McHale and his damn decisions that make me so mad. And it wasn't even a year ago I was vowing to be through with those damn Wolves. Of course, it was just November where I had a change of heart and decided to embrace the new-look Wolves.

I wasn't even halfway through this story about Mike Miller (that is not a flattering picture, by the way. Yeesh.) today before I was all excited about the new-new-look Timberwolves. DAMMIT.

Okay, so I am excited about the players. That never really went away, even when KG left. Well, there were (and are) players I'm not at all excited about. At the end of the day, though, it's the management and ownership I hate. I suppose it's like being a (very, very, very lapsed) Catholic while hating the Vatican and their stupid rules. Or being an American and hating our stupid president.

My loyalty and love can only be pushed so far, though. I can only be treated badly and then wooed back after saying it was over so many times before I really do end the relationship for good.

01 July 2008

Is it wrong to be impressed with my own cooking?

I mean, those peanut noodles rock so fucking hard. I made them again last night with shrimp, broccoli and orange bell pepper and hot fucking damn. It's so good.

Tonight, I made mashed potatoes as part of dinner for me and The Boy I Currently Like. Sometimes, when I make dinner for us it's not exactly the best food ever. Then again, when he "makes" dinner for us, it involves a phone call (and the best fucking pizza I have ever had in my goddamn life). Anyway, those potatoes (skin-on, Yukon Golds with a bit of skim milk and plenty of butter), were so good. And I don't even remember the last time I made mashed potatoes. But really, who can screw up mashed potatoes?

It's probably prideful and awful to be proud of my own cooking, but fuck that. Those potatoes were de-fucking-licious. And while I am 99.9 percent sure I would have gotten some ass without serving any dinner at all, I like to think I got a little extra action for making a pretty good meal. Even if I only made two-thirds of it. Thank you Rainbow rotisserie chicken!