Friday, March 26, 2004

Because It's Friday and Shiznit

Websites like mine are so darn boring these days. I mean, hel-loooooo...can you say vanilla??? That's why when I need a little street in my step, I use the Shizzolator. The Shizzolator takes your bland, dry, lifeless websites and sprinkles them with a dash of Snoog Dogg pep!

Now, I myself am nearly as "street" as Snoop. Let me tell you, I am aware of the time! I know who has released the dogs! My frappe is far superior to yours!

Shizzolate now, before it's too late.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dan Brown's Gotta Hold on Me

Dan Brown writes crap.

Crap, I tell you.

Now, I concede; he is fairly accurate with his factoids. And his understanding of the historical account of the Holy Grail in The DaVinci Code, while not entirely accurate, was fairly good. His iconography skillz are pretty good, for a dabbling author.

And he's a damn good story teller. I, like many before me, couldn't put down The DaVinci Code. And although I don't think it's as good (maybe it's just that my understanding of physics isn't as good as my understanding of art and iconography), I am enjoying Angels & Demons. Hell, I had no choice but to buy the damn book. He referred to it about 1,000 times in Code. Blatantly. I mean, the man all but said you really should buy my other book....

So, powerless to most forms of marketing, I did.

And I'm reading it. And I'm enjoying it. And I'm planning to do some research on some of his factoids.

But the thing is, it's still crap. It really is. I'm reading crap. I think John Grisham writes more poetic prose. The sentences are short and unadorned. Like, John had a headache. He sat down., instead of The throbbing behind John's temples had become nearly unbearable. He crumpled into a chair, writhing in agony.

Hey, being succinct can be a good thing. But not succinct like a far-too-literal fifth-grader.

And another thing, the plots become maddeningly predictable. It's the same thing, over and over and over. Like this:

JANE: I have no idea what this code means!

JOHN: Me, neither! The world is doomed!

Time passes.

JOHN: Hey, this code looks just like the other one we broke in Dan Brown's earlier book, I am Dan Brown and You Should Buy All My Books. I wonder if it's the same?

JANE: Why, John, I do believe you are right! I can hardly believe it! The father figure in my life who recently met with an untimely death taught me that when I was 3 and made me do it on the chalkboard before I was allowed to eat dinner every day! How could I not have seen it before?

JOHN: Well, the important thing is that you have seen it now. Hurry, we must rush on to the next code we will be unable to crack until we suddenly remember it's the same as this code!

JANE: You're right, John. And is it just me, or are you feeling a strange me?

JOHN: I am, Jane. But let's not touch on that just yet. I will, however, continue to admire innocuous parts of you. Say, your feet or strong, muscular legs.

JANE: Wonderful! Let's be off, then!

But still, I read the books. I like the books. They're like Pizza Hut pizza. You get some, you devour it, you're embarrassed to admit you did so, and you feel kind of crappy later. But that's not going to stop you from ordering Pizza Hut pizza the next time.
Young Girl, One Day You Will Be Old

Gustav the purple beetlebugcar has one drawback: as of yet, he has no CD player. The dealership is supposed to scam a 6-CD-changer off of the next used car they come across that has one (and yes, we have something in writing that says as much!), but so far, I have to make do with whatever crap Boston radio slings at me.

That is, until I remembered that I had a few cassette tapes somewhere that I could pop in whenever I got tired of hearing Hey Ya and that freaking Sheryl Crow song on EVERY. SINGLE. STATION.

I had to dig them out of the depths of the office/spare bedroom/crap repository first. I mean, we don't even have any sort of tape deck in the house. I didn't have too much hope for the quality of the music I found, though. Come on. I haven't bought a freaking CASSETTE tape since, like, junior year of high school. That's what, 12 years ago? More?

When I dug them out, I was pleasantly surprised. No crap to be found! No crap whatsoever! I was greeted by tapes from The Smiths, Morrissey, The Pixies, The Cure, Primus, Mother Love Bone, R.E.M. Yaaay!

This confirms what I already suspected. I was, clearly, the coolest high school student ever.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?

I'm not having a good day. Things just creep up on me, make me sad for no discernable (to the outside world, anyway) reason.

I just went down to the lunchroom to look at the salad bar. Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" was playing on the radio. I amost cried.

And then, to make matters worse, the salad bar looked less-than-appetizing. So I'm making do with a neon-green container of key lime yogurt.

So yeah, I'm having one of those days.

Monday, March 22, 2004

How to Spend a Weekday Off

- Drive boyfriend to T.

- Procure and eat forbidden cinnamon-chip bagel from Panera Bread (mmm...forbidden bagel...).

- Walk around house wearing pink see-through bra and track pants (Who needs to match? Who needs to wear actual clothes?).

- Look at furniture online (Yay for!).

- Do taxes online. Curse lack of understanding of "Lifetime Learning Credit" in previous years. Cross fingers that refund stays the same.

- Listen to tunes on the itunes jukebox Sean set up (So far, Maroon 5, the Indigo Girls, and the Smiths Best II...).

- Try to figure out which wine would go best with the pork roast I've had brining for the past day and a half in a Thai honey-chili marinade.

- Look at online pics of clitoral hood piercings. (Don't click on the link unless you really mean it...)

- Wonder if there's anything I need to go out and buy.

- Clean.

- Pay bills online.

- Rip itchy tag off of previously-mentioned bra.

- Do body shots off of all current and previous members of Menudo.

- Laugh uncontrollably at own Menudo jokes.

Saturday, March 20, 2004


Matilda refuses to hold still long enough to have her picture taken. She has much more important things to attend to. Like batting at the camera strap. Or batting at Tivy's tail. Or batting at a speck of dirt on the floor.

So far, we have a lot of pictures of various parts of Matilda. She moves too fast to get a shot of the whole cat. Maybe we can piece together a shot of her tail, one of a wayward foot, and one of her fluffy middle to make some kind of Frankencat picture. Then you could get an idea of her color, at least.

Matilda was waiting for us at the shelter. While all the other cats were napping in their cages, or busying themselves eating, or hiding under towels, Matilda was sitting calmly at the door of her cage; just waiting for us to come and get her. She seemed unsurprised by the whole situation, from the collar being foisted upon her to the car ride to being unceremoniously dumped onto our bed when we got home. She made herself at home almost immediately.

She did, however, growl little cat-growls at Tivy for the first couple of weeks. This was endlessly amusing.

Tivy has a penchant for licking plastic bags. You can hear it in the morning, this odd rustly rattling as he finds a bag somewhere and begins his feast. Matilda, however, prefers to lick people. She's the lickiest cat I've ever met. In fact, I've stopped going barefoot because Matilda has a tendency to sneak up on me and proceed to lick my toes (which skeeves me out a bit).

The problem with Matilda is her endless energy. She bounds around the house (mostly after midnight, as I've mentioned before) like a flea or jumping spider, launching herself off our unsuspecting heads whenever she flings her way through the bedroom. One of the reasons we actually got Matilda in the first place was in the hopes that she would force Tivy to lead a more active life. So far, he mostly just stares scornfully at her. His gut continues to expand.

Life is interesting with Matilda. I think we'll keep her around. And hopefully she'll cooperate with me long enough to snap a few shots at some point....

Friday, March 19, 2004

Two Years

It was two years ago today that The Sean and I had our proverbial "first date".

It took us about 2 weeks to fall in love and about 7 months to admit it.

Now, I can't imagiine life without him.

Love you, honey! Happy anniversary!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Warning: Objects in Mirror May be Hornier Than They Appear

I am the horniest girl in the world.

Wait, strike that. I am the horniest girl in the world at approximately 9:25 am, while I am driving to work.

You see, I've got this food/horniness thing. I can't be horny and have just eaten. Horny goes with hungry. But not too hungry, 'cause then I'm just weak and cranky. And not too tired, or too emotional, or too anything else. 9:25 is the perfect mix of awake, not hungry, coffeed up, and not overly preoccupied by work.

Thus, it is Horny Time.

This is fine on weeks where I go in to work at 12. Horny Time strikes while I'm still at home, either lounging on the bed post-gym (this is a great place to be) or showering with my removable massage showerhead post-gym (also a great place to be).

When I go to work at 10, however, Horny Time can be an extremely dangerous time. I'm driving at that time. On I-93 in rush hour traffic.

Now before; when I drove the automatic Passat, Gunther, my natural talents took over quite easily. I mean, there's very little I can't do while driving. Hence, I've given fellow drivers an eyefull more than once. And I don't really care.

But now, in the little stick beetle Gustav, I'm finding my morning, er; diversion to be a bit more challenging. The traffic is in a constant state of stop and go, requiring me to downshift, upshift, and constantly have both feet at the ready.

This is ruining all my fun.

Not to mention the fun of truckers everywhere, who no longer have reason to seek out my route whenever possible.

But it's Ok. I'm sure I'll learn to balance things better. I'm a wicked good multitasker.

Friday, March 12, 2004


When I was a kid, I always wanted a pony. I never got one, despite the fact that we lived on a farm with room a'plenty for a pony or two. I think my parents always figured it was the typical little-girl-horsey obsession thing and I'd grow out of it. I didn't, not really. I still kind of want a pony. Although I'd have to get a horse, these days. My legs would probably drag on the ground if I got a pony.

So, anyway, pony. I wanted a pony.

My parents, conservative hippies that they were, were very into cross-country camping trips. So we were visiting the Grand Canyon for the second time when I was five. The South Rim, specifically. (Much drier and less interesting than the North Rim, IMHO...) As you probably are aware, the Grand Canyon is famed for their mule rides. You can take a whole day ride, a half day ride, a short jaunt, or even do an overnight trip. Some of the trips actually go down into the canyon, and some just skirt the edge. Mules, strange unnatural freaky things that they are, are for some reason considered sure-footed and thus are preferred for precarious canyon trips. Personally, I think that they're just bigger and cuter than donkeys, and are used for that reason. Oh, and because horses are basically assholes and are unlikely to go into a damn canyon if they don't want to go into a damn canyon.

I wanted desperately to take a mule trip.

Of course, (back then, anyway) that was not going to happen with a five and a three year old in tow. Never mind that I was the five-year-old in question. No mules. No horses. No animal riding of any kind.

I was bitterly disappointed.

Of course, I was also very creative and perhaps a bit "eccentric" (a five-year-old can't really be crazy, can they?). I concocted an imaginary friend. Specifically, an imaginary mule. Her name was Jenny.

From then on, Jenny accompanied us on the trip. I rode her up and down hills, over winding roads, past historic landmarks. She was a very good mule, quite undemanding in every way. I just needed to pluck a few blades of grass every now and again and fling them down in front of her for her to "eat". If we'd go out for dinner, I'd wail plaintively: "But what will we do with Jenny?"

The answer, my parents assured me, was to tie her up to a nearby tree, or post, or even the blue VW rabbit we were driving. This worked beautifully. Except when I occasionally asked the waiter/ress for a carrot for my mule, who was tied outside. This may have elicited some strange looks.

Jenny came home with us, but it was never really the same. I rode her, but only back and forth to my grandparents' house, or just outside while I was playing. She didn't get much exercise during the day, or anytime I just plain didn't feel like playing with an invisible mule.

Then, whether it was gradually or just a sudden one-day thing, Jenny was gone. Much like little Jackie Paper deserted Puff the Magic Dragon, I deserted poor Jenny the Mule.

It makes me wonder--where do all the imaginary friends go when their creators are done playing with them?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Rationality is Relative

I'm one of those fearless people. At least, I've been described as such. I like to think it's an accurate description.

I charge boldly through most things in my life, sometimes falling just short of foolhardy. New job? No sweat. New city where I know no one? Great! Possibility of bad news? I'm sure it will be fine. Crisis situation? I'm the one who calmly directs the screaming masses.

The exception?

Sean being on a plane without me.

This is remarkably silly, I concede. I personally have absolutely no fear of flying. I've never felt the slightest hesitation about leaping aboard a plane, pre- or post- 9/11.

In all fairness to my own neuroses, it's the same with long car trips, short car trips, even extended hopscotch excursions. For god's sakes, the boy leaves to get a burrito and I'm convinced he's going to find a way to wrap the car around a tree while poking along at 35 mph. By the time he gets home 20 minutes later, I've already mentally divided his possessions among his closest friends.

I am a silly, silly person this way. And it makes me wonder what life will be like if/when I have kids. I can visualize these poor fearful things, subjected to an overbearing, overprotective freak of a mother like myself. I see them, stuffed into winter coats and hats and scarves when the temperature dips below 61. (They might get cold!) Forced to wear long sleeves on the beach. (Sunburn! Skin cancer!!!) Teetering under huge, cumbersome football helmets as they walk down city streets. (Anvils! Pianos! They drop from the sky!!!)

In short, I'm years of therapy just waiting to happen.

Oh, but Sean's plane just landed safely. I just hope his limo driver isn't really a Cuban druglord intent on kidnapping him as a political prisoner...

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Various and Sundry

It's snowing again. Again. And it's not even serious snow, but pissy little annoying flakes that bat at your car like mean kittens playing with a baby mouse before they devour it.

(Can ya tell I loooove the stuff?)

I spent the better part of yesterday trekking through the snowy slush around downtown Boston in search of a pair of shoes for one Sean. It was a wildly unsuccessful quest. The good part of the story is that I got to meet the aforementioned Sean at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Now, I'm a snobbish anti-chain chick, but I have a strange weakness for the Cheesecake. I'm not sure if it's the ridiculously-sized salads, the pizza lunch deal, or maybe just the titillation of wondering if one of the servers clad in all white will spill a vast quantity of chocolate or spaghetti sauce all over his/herself. But for whatever reason, I'm a fan of the place. So that almost made the wild goose chase worth it.

Matilda, otherwise known as The New Cat Who Has Not Yet Been Seriously Blogged About, has a penchant for tearing about the house from approximately 12 am till approximately 2 am. This. Must. Stop.

We bandy about lots of acronyms in my department. You hear the common ones quite a bit: CABG ("cabbage--Coronary Artery Bypass Graft"), SNF ("sniff--Skilled Nursing Facility"), CAD ("cad--Coronary Artery Disease"). My supervisors have also devised a few covert ones. There's the standard "CYA" ("Cover Your Ass"), as well as my personal favorite: "BS" ("Bitch-Slap").
So, you'll hear things like "I can't get this guy into a SNF. He just had a CABG, and he's been diagnosed with CAD for about 5 years. I've made notes in the case for CYA, but he's in dire need of a BS."

For some reason, this amuses me greatly.

Sean is heading off to Our Nation's Capitol (My almost-hometown!) this Thursday for a conference. I'll be joining him, by way of the lovely and amazing Brandy/Robb dynamic duo, for the weekend. I'm psyched to see the peeps who first introduced me to crucial things like The Iron Chef and Superhero Kitty. I'm also psyched to soak up a bit of the DC ambiance, even though we'll be too early for the cherry blossoms. Damn! I'm hoping he'll have a chance to check out Amazonia at the National Zoo (we always seem to get there too late to enter the buildings...) and maybe the Spy Museum. We shall see...

And, that's it for today. It's all my addled brain can muster.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Redpanda, Massachusetts

So, my business cards for my new position finally arrived today! Yay! I just caught the order before it went in and "asked" my supervisor if my cards should include my degree. (Which is a sensible question, since I'm surrounded by clinicians whose cards read "Jane Smith, RN")
"Of course!" my grad-school applying supervisor replied. "You've earned the degree! We want everyone on our team's accomplishments to be recognized!"

Thus, the cards were ordered that way.

They arrived today. Reading "Redpanda, MA". Not "M.A.", but "MA".

I've been handing them out and calling myself "Redpanda, Massachusetts". I think it's quirky and fitting. What do ya'll think?

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


It's 5:30 pm! And it's still light out! And my weatherbug states that it's 52 degrees! I was a bit warm in my corduroy jacket! And I'm drinking a Slurpee! A Diet Pepsi Slurpee!!!

Life is good.