Monday, June 30, 2003

I should have known it wasn't real when I saw her buy not only beef jerky but also a fat pouch of Big League Chew.

When I was around ten or so I used to steal money from my dad's pants pockets to buy Frooties, the fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls. (Which I am still addicted to but just don't have the self-absorption it takes to buy them anymore...seriously, I look at the bins of individually wrapped mana from Heaven and think, "Do I want the clerk to have to count my Frooties? Am I really worth making that woman count to 127 or whatever random number of Frooties I can fit into two hands? And I'll certainly want more than one flavor...probably handfulls of each flavor apart from blue raspberry, which I loathe just because it's blue. That will involve multiple trips to the counter, with people behind me in line who simply want to pay for their god damn Pall Malls and get the hell out of here, what am I, ten? Okay, so that last part was something someone actually screamed at me the last time I bought Frooties - I'm a little bit scarred.)

Whoa - diversion of the nth degree. Where was I? Oh yes, stealing money from my father. I would wait until he took a nap in the afternoon (he was a big drinker, but only usually when he was working...drink on the job, nap when you come home) and I would gently open his bedroom door. The hinges never squeaked because I made a habit of pulling the pins out of the hinges and oiling them with furniture polish. Except for my own door - my own pins were ground practically into squares. If anyone was trying to get into my room I was damn sure gonna hear them.

But his hinges would open smoothly. As I was pushing his door open I would lower myself to the ground and crawl across the floor like some kind of commando until I reached his pants. I would never take his paper money, only his change...which was tricker because (in my mind) the slightest tinkle of coin on coin could wake him up. Boy was I stupid. I could have stormed into his room like Hannibal crossing the...Alps? What the hell mountain range was that? Pah - I'll remember tomorrow. Point is, I could have made a lot of noise without waking him.

Money in hand I would cycle up the hill to the gas station that my dad never frequented. I was paranoid that if I went to our regular gas station that the clerk would mention it to my father. "I saw Natalie in here the other day...boy, does she like Frooties!" and my dad would realize that I had stolen his change. (Come on, I was ten.)

So I'm standing in this nasty gas station with Frooties spilling out of my fingers when I see my mother walk in and I freeze. She seemed like she didn't notice me as she walked past and grabbed a packet of Big League Chew bubble gum and a chunk of beef jerky from the plastic container on the top shelf (without using the tongs - no one ever used the tongs). I stood in line behind her and said, "Mom? What are you doing here?" and she stared at me, blankly. "Why are you buying that? You don't eat that stuff." Again, blank stare. "Where's dad?" Nothing. I knew it was her so why was she acting like this? Grey roots peeked out from under a nasty chemical chestnut hue; eyes hidden by those gradient tinted sunglasses with the jewels on the frames that seemed to say, "Why yes, as a matter of fact, I am Jewish!"; the scar on her lip from a run-in she'd had with a schnauzer with the improbable name of "Hitler" - it was her. Yet, she didn't know who I was. I thought, "Great - she knew I was planning on paying for my Frooties with stolen money and she's so upset with me she won't even acknowledge my presence." If you knew my mother you'd realize that being disowned for stealing a handful of change is not outside the realm of possibility.

After she left I dutifully returned all of my Frooties to their original containers because, let's face it, it was fruit from the poisoned tree at that point. No - they were Frooties from the poisoned tree...regardless, I couldn't enjoy them after that.

With a heavy heart I cycled home to face my doom. She must be seriously pissed at me, I thought, if she ignored me at the store. I walked inside to meet my punishment and instead was met with the smiling face of my mother, mid-conversation with a neighbor. I stood there for a while before asking her, "So...what was up in the store?" Blank look...great, that old gambit again. "Why didn't you talk to me?" She finally asked me what I meant and after I relayed the whole tale she dismissed me with a wave of her hand and said, "Nope, wasn't me. Must have been my double. Odd that she should show up so close to where I live, though."

My mother believes that we all have an exact body double somewhere and that if you ever come face-to-face with your body double you'd die. That's where spontaneous combustion comes into play. Though, thinking on it, she must not have believed that too strongly or else she would have probably been worried about accidentally running into her body double at some point...I mean, she was right here in town. Maybe she was looking for my mom - maybe she, I don't know, wanted to kill herself but couldn't bring herself to do it so she wanted to spontaneously combust instead? Go out with a bang, and all that.

I can't know for sure, as it never happened and I never saw her again, but I was reminded of this when I found this blog tonight. It was in the comments of my last post and she'd signed herself "Another Natalie". Now, I know that there are many other Natalies in the world - but the weird thing is that I don't know any of them. I've never in my life met another person called Natalie. My sister had a sort-of peripheral friend called Natalie but I didn't know her. So, of course, I was interested in peeking around this blog when I discovered that, not only is she another Natalie, but also that she has kids called - get this - Zoe and Nicholas. And she had a dog called Sam. (Maybe Sam was her cat - I can't tell from the context.)

Still...that's weird, huh? her husband's called Peter, and Peter is another word for "dick" and sometimes that's what I call Andy. (Okay, I'm really stretching it now, I know.)

I'm glad I didn't spontaneously combust - that would have sucked. I am, however, suffering from a bad case of indigestion. I could blame that on the other fact, I think I will.



Sunday, June 29, 2003

I realized today how often the act of simply minding your own business tends to set off a series of most unfortunate events. Think about it - some of the worst stories of Things Gone Wrong begin with the sentiment, "There I was, minding my own business..." and is invariably followed by something so horrific that you nearly swallow your uvula.

I don't understand the correlation but from now on I'm never going to mind my own business. Ever again. I think that bad things aren't allowed to happen to you if you're, say, steaming open your neighbor's credit card statement that you've stolen from their mailbox or rifling through you mother's medicine cabinet for tasty pills.

So that's the new me - I'm never going to mind my own business again. It's for my own personal safety.

Butting in-ingly,



They're all sleeping. Infant, child, man, canine...all are deeply well into their subconscious by now.

Can you hear them? Neither can I.

Every immediate need of everyone involved is being met by themselves. At this moment in time, absolutely nothing is required of me, and I'm blessed that I'm awake to savor the flavor.

This moment, this exact moment, is the closest I've been to alone in years.

It's amazing what you hear in the quiet, in the know, I don't know the difference between a cicada and a cricket? When I hear the chirping I instantly think "cricket" but I don't know. I've never seen either of them, and I doubt that either would chirp in my presence (if either even chirp). I find that delicious, that I'm hearing the night song of an insect unknown.

That I'm hearing it at all, regardless of the genus and species. Delicious.

It's funny, because just now in the midst of typing this I heard a phantom baby cry. As amputees can "feel" their missing limbs, so can a mother hear her child's wail even if it's absent. There have been times when, with Nic in my lap, I have sprung to my feet because I had heard him crying from his crib. This phantom cry phenomenon was probably borne of the innate guilt that mothers (in particular) inherently experience - an intrinsic by-product, if you will - of simply having given birth to a creature so ensconced in their care that anything simple and pleasurable is immediately deemed a self-serving detraction from the child. We mothers are our own worst enemy at times.

I feel dreamy. I remember this - I can get used to this again. Hello, alone, my old friend. I feel inspired.

Well, fuck, I did feel inspired...the dogs have now shaken me out of my reverie by going nuts barking at some jack hole who just turned around in my driveway. No,'s not some jack hole who turned around in my driveway, rather, it's my jack hole neighbors who missed their own fucking driveway.

Screw it, I'm gonna go watch Daria.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge-ingly,


Saturday, June 28, 2003

I always said I wanted to be a superhero whose power was the ability to speak in binary code. I now possess such a power and let me tell you, there's nothing super about it.

So I've decided that instead of being a superhero I'd rather be a soldier of fortune. Say hello to my alter-ego, Sumac. (Because "Poison Ivy" is a stupid name.)

Sexy, eh? Note her bow and quiver! (That's a pun...)


And this one I made just because it's more aggressive than the flags everyone has on their websites. A flag isn't intimidating, but she is...she's The Peacekeeper! Keeping the peace...with a vengeance!

*Sniff* Saul would be proud.



(link to Hero Machine unceremoniously ganked from Michele.)

UPDATE: And another one, then I swear I'm done.

This one time, at band camp...

I asked Andy, "What's a good name for a sexy dominatrix faerie?" and he said, "Bertha". So he named her, not me. In his mind - and I quote - "Bertha just works on so many levels."

Don't look to me for an explanation...hell, I named my dog after a beer.

Would someone mind turning down the sun for me? It's a bit loud.

I haven't felt this bad in years - the last thing I remember last night was Andy singing and dancing to Bronski Beat and I threatened to audio IM everyone in my Yahoo so they could hear thing I know, I'm waking up with three dogs in my bed. (I mean actual dogs, not three ugly wasn't that bad.)

At least when I was in my early twenties I would do really responsible things, like tequila shots at the end of the night...which would then induce vomiting, assuring me only a marginal hangover. Now that I'm older all I tend to drink is wine - and you just don't get your sick on with wine.

But it does give you lovely blackouts and hangovers. And mysterious injuries - they're always fun. Today I'm playing the, "Why can't I open my right eye?" game.

I take some odd satisfaction that Andy ended up worse for wear than I did - he's still not up. That's unheard of for's going on eleven now. I can't remember the last time he slept in this long. If he doesn't hurry up and wake I may have to drink the cup of tea I made for him. (You're all witnesses - I did make him a cup of tea. He gets mad that it's usually him waking me up with a cuppa. It's not my fault if he slept through his.)

There was good reason that I woke up (after setting all of my audio files to play at random all night) to the song, "I've Seen Better Days." Cuz I have.

Altogether now: I'm never going to drink like that again.

This post was written entirely with my right eye closed and dripping huge tears...better go see what's wrong with it.



Friday, June 27, 2003

Oh hey, I've figured out why!

Stupid me. Blogger's upgraded thing, blah blah blah, too many characters in the blog entry ID, blah blah blah, knew this was going to be an issue a long time ago, blah blah blah, too stupid to pay attention, blah blah blah blah.

I'm still gonna change the comments though. I think.

natalie succs-ingly,


Okay, in case you haven't noticed, my comments are messed up...on the rare occassion when I do not get hit with the "ycso is undefined" error, the link is showing up as though there are no comments. ("It's oh so quiet...")

Ergo, I haven't realized anyone's commented in the past few days.

So I was sad.

(Now you go, "awwwww")

But now I realize, why, there are comments after all!

So now I'm happy.

(Now you go, "hooray!")

Further, I am dumping my comments.

(Now you go, "wha--?")

Not completely, mind you - I'm going to implement the system that Andy uses (code by John) which is practically perfect in every way.

(Now you go, "whew!")

Unless I can't get Dame Edna in there - for she is the Patron Saint of Mumbled Comments and it's necessary for her to keep watch over the flock.

(Now you go, "um...sure...whatever")

I'll have Andy do that tomorrow.

(Now Andy goes, "groan" - stop being a big baby, Andy. I gave birth to your children, I slave every day to make this house a home, you always have a nice, hot dinner waiting for you when you get home from work and I don't even complain when you ask me to wear a cat suit when I'm cleaning the house. So you can just shut up, mister, I'm sick of your lip!)

Where was I? Oh yes...comments.

Erm...anyway...that's it, really.

Yaccs succs-ingly,


Strom, we hardly knew ya!

I cannot be happy when anyone, no matter how vile, departs this mortal coil but...well, you know. The guy was Satan on earth and now he can be...hang on, I think that position has already been filled.

Poor Strom...only the good, eh?

In memoria, I think I'm going to go wake Andy up for some good old fashioned sodomy.



Thursday, June 26, 2003

Must be something in the air...the lovely and talented adminho provided a brief run-down on what she sees as flaws in various ad campaigns, and points to (the also lovely and talented) Beer Mary (whose intro to her entry is the best ever..."Where is your mother? Divorcing your ass!") who pointed to (again, lovely and talented) Christine who in turn points to a happy little place where we can tell ol' JC what we think of the ad campaign.



There I was, innocently minding my own business, when a voice rang out and asked me a seemingly innocuous question that plagued me for the rest of the day: are you a typical girl?

The derisive undertones of the voice led me to believe that “yes” was the absolute wrong answer…saying “yes” excluded me from whatever followed that inquiry. Though I wasn’t sure if “no” was the right answer, either. Casting a cautious glance at the television I answered, “It depends. It depends on what your idea of a ‘typical girl’ might be, because I don’t know that I understand what you’re driving at here.”

Unfortunately, the television didn’t offer me an explanation but was helpful enough to show me their idea of what a non-typical girl might be like. First we see a cute, Meg Ryan type smiling at the camera looking like she’d just stepped out of an ad for TJ Maxx…typical girl? No. A not so typical girl, and she’s holding a guitar. Wha-wha-what? A girl…with a guitar? Does such a beast exist? And what…what does that caption say beneath her kicky lime green slingback sandals? “Stay at home mother”?

Wait – slow down there; this is too much information to process. She’s a stay at home mother who’s cute and plays the guitar…why, that makes her a Not Typical Girl! Hmmm…perhaps this is a demographic I would like to be a part of after all. But wait! There’s more.

Hey now, this gal is quite sexy…vaguely Lucy Liu…and she’s so statuesque! Watch how she gracefully crosses her lush green lawn – something tells me this gal is another one of those Not Typical Girls. The beatific look on her face suggests she’s probably just finished a long meditation and has, in fact, achieved a state of nirvana. As she leans in to sniff a begonia…a begonia that’s way larger than anything in your puny garden, mind you…we see the caption beneath her Easy Breezy Beautiful chin that reads…no, that can’t be right…does that say, “plumber”? Good gracious! She’s certainly a Not Typical Girl. This classification is looking more and more appealing by the minute.

And who might this young woman be…we see her from the back – she’s barefoot and carefully hanging clothes on a line to dry. Is she? goodness, she is! She’s using the old-fashioned clothes pins, too; you know the kind that don’t have a spring inside? Those slotted ones that slip over the clothes rather than pinch them? Wow, she’s remarkable already for simply getting her delicates to hang on a line using those – I sure as hell can’t get them to work. Though they need to go no further with this young lady there is a point to be made. As she turns to flash that blindingly white Crest fresh smile at the camera we see her caption…at this point I’m rolling on the floor and moaning, clutching my sides in longing…rocket scientist. I believe I passed out for a moment…though I briefly considered their use of the phrase “rocket scientist” and wonder why they didn’t use, say, “astrophysicist” instead. Oh right…that’s probably so the Typical Girls watching can understand.

I’m on my knees now, begging to be a part of the Not Typical Girl Club. Just tell me what I have to do! Already I’m making plans to learn the guitar, install a new toilet and…well, that rocket scientist thing is a bit out of my reach, so maybe I’ll just find an astronaut or something and sleep with him, thus achieving the Holy Trinity of Not Typical Girls. But there’s more, there must be…ah, here we are…”If you’re not a Typical Girl (which these women clearly are not) that’s alright, (whew!) because this is not a typical salad. So stop in and try one at McDonalds today!”

I ate five.

I am so happy that I had McDonalds show me the way to be a Not Typical Girl – I had no idea that a “typical” girl even existed. But I have to wonder…

I know what a typical girl isn’t but what about the “is”? What is a typical girl? That phrase evokes images of a surly preteen doodling her first name with her crush’s last name on a notebook while the teacher is trying to explain factorization of logarithmic functions. (You’d better pay attention, sweetie, if you want to grow up to be a rocket scientist!) But surely that’s not the Anti-Not Typical Girl – there’s hope for her yet.

Let’s see…typical girl…typical girl…a woman who bakes cookies? Nah, that’s no good – maybe she runs her own bakery or catering service. (Not Typical!) Perhaps a woman who cleans her house? That won’t work, either…maybe she runs a cleaning service that repairs flood or smoke damaged carpets – that takes some chemistry know-how. (Not Typical!) Sigh…okay, maybe…how about this…a single mom in a pink uniform, serving up coffee at the local greasy spoon? Yes! Wait, no – she’s working on a screenplay that will eventually explain in no uncertain terms what the phrase “post-modernist” really means. She’s going to turn Hollywood on it’s beautifully restructured and surgically pinned ear. Well, hell, she’s Not Typical!, too.

I guess, unless McDonalds produces another ad with a definitive explanation, that I’ll never know what a “typical” girl is. But as long as I know what a typical girl isn’t I’m gonna keep on eatin’ these salads. Cuz baby, that’s Not Typical!



Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Sweet lawdy in the sky with lemonade, can it be true?

Can my permalinks actually be doing what their name implies?

Well slap my ass and call me Buster - by Jove, I think I've fixed 'em. Without resorting to my usual hack. Fixed for real.

Who'da thunk it-ingly,


update: hmmm...maybe not. Double dog damn a bam banana.

update again: She shoots, she scores - and the crowd goes wild!....natalie! natalie! natalie!

That is to say that yes, they are working. Cough.

Well, it wasn't the end of the world after all, but there were some pretty fierce storms nonetheless. For the first time since I've moved to Minnesota we actually sought shelter in the basement - having grown up on the plains of Illinois means I'm not exactly a stranger to tornado threats but they simply don't happen as often up here. Maybe the tornadoes are Norwegian so they're embarassed..."Eh, Klaus the Tornado, why'd ya go an' peter out like that?" "Well, geez, Olaf the Stormfront, I got me a good start - you saw it - and then...well geez, I dunno, people started makin' a fuss and staring at me..."

I didn't expect the storm to get too bad but joked with Andy, "Hey, if you see a couple of guys on horses out there let me know so I can burn the porn before Jesus gets here." Zoe overheard and asked, "Who's coming?" and I said, "We're not sure, but Jesus might show up." She rolled her eyes and said, "Oh, great. Does he want my milkshake?" No, sweetie, I'm pretty sure Jesus will have already stopped for ice cream on the way.

Our area wasn't hit, thankfully - the winds managed to damage some planes at the airport, and there was much destruction in Buffalo...Grove? Plain? Buffalo something, anyway. Our esteemed Governor Pawlenty called out the reservists because, you know, the military can fix any problem, even an advancing tornado.

Nah, he said he called out the reservists to "secure the town". I can only assume that he was afraid that the booming metro of, what, 700 or so people was going to go berzerk and start looting or something. Because that's what you do, isn't it - a tornado is headed down mainstreet and you say to yourself, "Hmmm...I've had my eye on that seed cap down at Smitty' would be the perfect time to bust on into his shop and grab it."

Pawlenty likes to do things just to be doing things. If that were Jesse facing a tornado he'd don his feather boa and jump into the thing from the top of a silo and engage in some good old fashioned tornado ass-whipping. He'd win, too. Because that's the kind of psycho he is.

Here's a weird thing - our weatherperson up here is a guy called Karl Spring, who is the same guy who used to be our weatherperson in Illinois. (This was back when you could call him a "weatherman".) I was raised on this guy's tornado warnings - and he's still making the same lame jokes about how you can trust a weatherman with the last name Spring. I never understood driving instructor in high school was called Mr. Carr and he would make jokes about it, that you can't ask for much more than being taught to drive by someone called Carr. My dad's name is Dick but he never made jokes about it.

The upshot of having to hide out in the basement is that we realized that we need to do a lot of work down there. And we've decided to turn the basement into our own little apartment-type thing and give the kids the upstairs. They can't be trusted to have a whole basement to play in, as they leave too many messes and we're never down there to notice them. So that's our job for the weekend, to sort out the muck and nastiness of the basement and make it our room.

Or we'll do what we usually do on the weekends lately, which is make a token effort to keep up with the gardening but ultimately give up in order to catch up on our genealogy hunts and blog reading. Now, I'm not a betting type of gal, but if I had to put money on one or the other I'm thinking I'd lay my chips at the web surfing side of the table, but we'll see.



Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I've been mentally kicking around this idea for a post for some time now...certain things in the blogging world had pissed me off a while back and I was thinking of mentioning them and also throwing a few home-truths out there. You know, things like, "Your blog could disappear tomorrow and within a week everyone will have forgotten about it" - which is true. Anyone who thinks they're making some huge imact on the world through their blog needs to have that big head of theirs punctured and deflated. The ego going on around here is sickening, it really is. I don't usually deviate from my own little world here but every now and again I'll see a link on a blog and follow it, then another and another until I finally look around and realize that I'm not in Kansas anymore. Things are ugly out there, you know? People are pronouning themselves "A-List" bloggers and similar...I think the latest one circulating is something like, "The Most Influential Bloggers" or something like that...don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back, guys. What the hell is that all about? If every one of these people disappeared tomorrow they would register hardly a blip on the radar - the same goes for any of us, whether we get twelve or twelve thousand visits per day. If we quit all that would do is free up the bandwidth for someone else to step up and take our place - that's the fluid nature of the internet. Anyone who thinks otherwise is rather full of themselves. At the end of the day who is our biggest fan? Ourselves. Period.

And then there are blogs that are, simply put, over. Only the blogger doesn't understand this. "How can it be over? It's a diary of my life and thoughts, and my life isn't over so how can my blog be over?" I know, it's shocking but true. Yet they're hanging on out of some misguided sense of loyalty to readers (or something, I can't pretend to understand) but you just want to take them by the arm, gently lead them away and say, "You've go, live your life. The 'blogiverse' will be here when you have time for it again." I had this discussion with someone not too long ago and she said that she didn't want to totally quit her blog because she was afraid that when she came back to it that no one would read her. If they like you now they'll like you later and you'll be able to gain more readers when you come back. It's not like you've been disconnected from a video game and forgot to save're not losing points or lives or anything if you have to go back to square one on your blog. If anything, that would be an incentive, I should think.

Here's a little exercise...think about what you're blogging now and how you're blogging and compare that to why you started your blog in the first place and take note of how you've changed. I've been doing that a lot myself lately, reading my archives from the beginning and seeing how different I am now. The biggest difference I've found is that in the beginning nothing compelled me to blog beside myself. I wasn't writing crap for anyone but me...but in the past couple of months I've been thinking to myself, "Well, I'd better blog today...people are expecting it." That's stupid. Maybe people are expecting it (and I know how frustrated I get when some of my preferred bloggers don't post with as much frequency as I'd like) but that shouldn't be my motivation. What about people like Tom Clancy who keep churning out book after book, each one crappier than the one before it, because his "public" demands it of him? Wouldn't it be nice to read something that he felt strongly about writing, something that was filling a need in his life? (Tom Clancy is a bad example, I know, but you take the point.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, being pissed off. So anyway, one of the things that pissed me off a few weeks ago was the whole "Moxie vs. Moxie" thing that I spent, literally, hours reading about. It got so unbelievably ugly...basically the problem is that there's a well-established blogger that uses the name Moxie and a relative newcomer began a blog calling herself Moxie as well...not only that, but Moxie the Second read and posted on some of the same sites as Moxie the Former. Scandalous! So there's this stupid fight over who can use the name Moxie, blah blah blah, suddenly people are commenting things like, "I hope you get cancer". It got worse than that, too, but I don't want to think about it too much.

Fast forward to now...Jim Treacher has links to everything, by the way...Moxie the Second is fired when someone in this fiasco took it upon themselves to find her personal information and send a fax to her boss pretending to be a potential client whose business they'd lost on account of Moxie's behavior online. Or something. It's rather vague. There's some indication that the person who sent the fax is the same person who has been posting in comments under the name "np" know, since I think this whole thing is stupid I didn't get involved in it but it occured to me today that when someone says something like this:

Posted on June 13, 2003 @ 4:32 pm by moxie

np: Tech support is already working on getting your phone number. From there, it's pretty easy to get your name, your address, and probably your mommy's name and address too. If you EVER fuck with me again, there will be hell to pay.

that they just might be asking for something bad to happen. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Sure, she should be able to use the name "moxie", whatever, but this fight turned into something else in a quick hurry. If you want to read the whole thread that I took this comment from, feel free...and please do take note of how people posted np's IP address and threatened him/her with not only contacting his/her employer but also with bodily harm.

Lovely, eh?

It goes to my point that people are taking this stuff way, waaay too seriously. Imagine going home to your spouse and having to explain to them that you lost your job because of a flame war between bloggers. (I think, technically, she was fired over using the internet during company time, however, I don't believe her employer would have cared one way or another had the fax not been sent.)

I've been telling Andy for ages that this whole thing, the blogging "community" as it were, is preparing to implode on itself. What used to be quite a fun little diversion in the day has turned into, basically, a really huge newsgroup. I don't know if this is because of the kiddies being out of school for the summer or what the issue is...hell, I could babble on this forever.

And if no one read it? If every one of my readers disappeared right now and never again shadowed my proverbial doorstep? I'd keep on keeping on. That's not to say that I don't appreciate each and every person who reads me - that's just to say that my main motivation now, as it should be, is me. Nothing wrong with that.

Wow, am I all over the place with this or what? Bad night sleep and all that, I guess.



Monday, June 23, 2003

(I've resisted blogging about this but now I'm doing it, and it's my space so if you hate it then you can go. It's taken a lot for me to say this, and I'm saying it, so just...just respect that, okay?)

I don’t talk about my depression for the same reasons why I don’t talk about being robbed – if it’s never happened to you, you simply cannot relate, period. Also, even if you have experienced either it does no real good to talk about it because it’s always different for everyone so there’s not even a common ground to be found.

I’ve lived with depression for…well, as far back as I can remember, really, so I’m rather in-tune with my cycles. “Cycles” is probably the wrong word here, as there’s nothing cyclical about it. Maybe it’s more like I know when the depression is going to hit me the hardest – it’s always there, you see, not too far from the surface, but it will at times flare up…see, even “flare up” is the wrong way to view it, that makes it sound like I suffer from hemorrhoids or something. (Are you starting to understand why it’s so hard to put this into words?) I could say that I can feel when my darkest days are coming but even that sounds melodramatic and false. Again, you either “get it” or you don’t so I’m not going to berate myself too much here for using the wrong words.

The most interesting thing I’ve found about keeping a blog is that I can go back and read my entries and pinpoint exactly where my high manias and low depressions begin and end. To someone on the outside looking in it’s probably not quite as obvious but to me there might as well be scribbled notes in the margins saying, “See, right here is where you recognized what was happening…and here is when you finally came out of it.” There’s no one thing I can point to that is a definite indicator or warning that I’m about to hit a high or low but I know it when it happens. Walking down the hallway I’ll stop and swallow a bit harder than I need to and I can feel the depression sweep in, almost like it’s entering down my throat and flowing through my veins until I can feel it in my fingertips. Nothing sets it off; it just happens. And I know that for the next couple of weeks (if I’m lucky) I sort-of take leave of myself. Sometimes it lasts longer, sometimes it’s shorter, but I never think of it in terms of time – I’ve made that mistake in the past and it’s the absolute wrong thing to do. Imagine on Christmas Eve being told that Christmas Day has been suddenly moved to February and you have an idea of how crushing it can be if you think of depression in terms of time.

See, that right there will make no sense to you if you’ve never been where I am. Hell, maybe it only makes sense to me regardless, I don’t know.

I hate how people perceive depression as a whole and the casual way the word is bandied about, even by people who suffer themselves. I hate the commercial for whatever anti-depressant that is, the little purple pill? It has the cartoon of the badly drawn sad little orb walking along with a cloud above his head raining on him wherever he goes. The voice over gives you an indication of how you can tell if you’re depressed…something along the lines of, “If you feel sad or blue for a week or more at a time on a regular basis, talk to your doctor…you could have depression.” Cut to the sad little pill and guess what’s happened? He’s now being followed by a happy sun and a rainbow! Oh, thank you, little pill, for saving me from my “blues” – and I don’t think this medication is going to be over-prescribed at all, nosiree.

That’s not to say that I don’t think the pill can and does work for some people – I take issue with the delivery of the message. If you’re sad and it’s interfering with the rest of your life then sure, by all means get yourself a pill. But to medicate yourself because you have a tendency to feel sad on a regular basis smacks of escapism. People get sad, it happens.

When I’m in a depression one of the absolute last words I’d use to describe myself is “sad”. The opposite of depression is mania…would you describe a manic as “happy”? Hell no. In my depressions (and I’m only talking about myself here – want to get that disclaimer out there so as to avoid offending anyone else who suffers) I would probably describe myself as absent. I’m simply not here. Everything is gone – motivation, energy, perspective – it’s like living in a vacuum. There is just…nothing. I don’t notice anything; I can barely function. That’s not entirely accurate, as I can function but it’s almost robotic – in a hypnotic state, maybe? – and nothing really registers with me. I have to look, then look again, then look for a third time before it clicks.

Compare that to when I’m in an “up” state…I am hyper aware of everything around me. It’s almost as though if I were to concentrate hard enough I could see individual atoms vibrating and bouncing off one another.

The hardest times come when these two worlds try to collide – up and down, both fighting for control and attention. It can get so extreme that I can literally feel it in my gut like I’m on a roller coaster. Those are the only times when I truly feel afraid.

The fear is a normal part of it all for me…sometimes I’m afraid for myself and of myself. Not that I’ll do anything rash or stupid, mind, but afraid for what I’m feeling and how little control I have over my mind. I complained once that being pregnant made me feel like a hostage in my own body and this is a similar feeling, only with my mind instead. In times like these I fight for control but sometimes I have to ride the waves and make the best of where it takes me. Imagine it as ship on the ocean stuck in a hurricane, or hacking your way through a dense, unknown jungle with a machete. Compare that with depression being standing at the bottom of a lake…it’s still a frightening situation, yes, but it’s somehow such a different kind of fear.

I wrote this once when my two worlds were fighting each other:

Yesterday I woke up and everything about the world seemed sharper, somehow. I was acutely aware of the presence of the floor, of the faith that I place in the floor to just be. For a moment I had a wavering thought that if I, for one second, doubted the existence of the floor that I would fall through. Everything seemed to need an inordinate amount of attention that I otherwise don't afford such inanimate objects. From the moment I woke up I was working – before I even had my first cup of tea I had climbed a ladder and was cleaning the top of the fridge and long-neglected cabinets demanded my immediate attention. I was happy for the distraction, as every time I sat down to take a break I was inundated with thoughts of how false everything really is and how delicately woven our reality. I don't usually succumb to the Mode of Dangerous Thinking – it was just one of those days where you can see the cracks in the foundation, see inside those cracks at the spiders scurrying, at the ants burrowing, further and further into the earth until you realize that you're not looking into the crack but rather out from the crack. Life seems like a surveillance video that's been badly spliced to play an infinite loop and trick you into thinking the situation is calm, calm, calm when in fact everything's raging.

It’s a disjointed account, to say the least, but if you “get it” then you “get it”.

I think I wrote this more to understand where I’ve been for the last few weeks, and maybe to help Andy understand. For as long as we’ve been together I could never find the right words to describe it or to make him know what I mean when I say things like, “I’m afraid of reaching ‘that place’ and cannot let myself go there so I’m fighting with me, but when I hit it, you’ll know it for what it is.” See? Makes no sense. There’s no sign language, no facial expression, no real point of reference to adequately convey the emotion. Words are even a miserable substitute.

I know I’ll never be able to control this part of me but I think I’m at the age where I’m ready to own it. Unfortunately, that also means I have to own everything that goes along with it, from the “reasons” to the actions to the results. I think I can do it.

I’ll not pretend that this is very insightful nor will I be so arrogant as to believe I speak for anyone other than myself. I’m not trying to excuse any part of what I say or do and I don’t feel as though I’m particularly unique in this…I’m just sayin’ is all.



I can't be positive, but I'm pretty sure I used to date this guy.

(Flash download - if you don't do the Flash thing then hit the main page of the Dance Man. The file I linked to is "Episode XVI: Dancing Tiger Hidden Bling!" in which he dances in a towel to The Clash. Link ripped right off from the Madman.)



*** Betcha can't watch just one. I just watched "Hip Hop Bling Bling!" where he dances to "Hip To Be Square"...he jumps on a chair, smacks his own ass and sings into his mouse. Looks like an, um, pretty fun guy.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

My search referrals used to be a lot more interesting...

  • steppables
    The chamomile is coming along nicely - bit disappointed in the others...maybe I should stop treating them as though they're "stompables", I don't know. Maybe I'd have better luck and they wouldn't all look so mooshy.

  • pickle juice natalie
    This one is a bit on-the-nose for my liking. Maybe they weren't searching for me, specifically, but I've had Andy go ahead and block my whole family, just in case. Trouble is, they're all on dial-up connections so we had to make the block fairly general and sweeping but that's fine. I don't feel guilty, as I have been telling myself that - had they the know-how - that they'd hack me. Sure, they're primarily WebTV users, but still...hackers. All of 'em.

  • the remedy - jason mraz mp3
    Give it a while - you'll soon be tripping over this song. It's going to be this summers "Walking On The Sun"...thank jeebus I have the acoustic version - I watched the video the other day and am now so disillusioned with Mraz it's not even funny. Okay, so you have a crooked nose? Don't cock your hat to one side to try to make it look even. Oh, and the whole "driving around in a car to prove how carefree I am" thing in videos is lame. As is hanging out with chickens. Don't be that guy. Oh, and you look like the kid from "Even Stevens". Or maybe "Boy Meets World". Seeing you with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth is just weird - you'd be more at home, say, mowing your neighbor's lawn for a fiver.

  • a use for pickle juice
    I've covered this elsewhere, but permalinks aren't working...maybe I'll repeat it at some later date. People come to me for advice on their pickle juice needs - I'm the authority, you see, for I am results one through five for the phrase "pickle juice in your butt". It's an honor, yet also a burden.

  • blackpool sneaky peeking
    Funny story about Blackpool - I mentioned once before about going to Blackpool and it being the only place in England (besides London) where I saw street hookers. I'm talking mid-day here, too. Yet it's supposed to be this great place to take your family...there was an arcade whose storefront was a shop that sold cameras, batteries, cigs, saltwater taffy, postcards...normal gift-shop stuff, right. Just beyond that was an arcade filled with screaming kids. We popped in to buy a little disposable camera because we were going to take in Tussaud's Waxworks. I'm looking at the wall of trinkets and whatnot while Andy's paying this grizzled, nasty-looking old guy for the camera when what should I spy on the wall toys. Loads and loads of sex toys in every color, size and style imaginable. Some of which I couldn't even comprehend how they would be used...I asked the guy, "Is that a metal dildo?" and he turns and grabs one off the shelf and starts pointing out the features like he was trying to sell me a car. With a wink, he tells me that this particular model was designed in Amsterdam and that it's quite the favorite with American tourists. I thought to myself, "If I wanted something cold and metal inserted into my body I'd...nevermind, I'd never want something cold and metal inserted into my body." He assured me that he did a booming trade in spite of the arcade, which I couldn't understand. "Honey, would you take little Junior for me? I want to take a closer peek at that three-pronged thing that rotates like a sprinkler..." Nope, I couldn't do it.

I had a lot more but now I've gone and disturbed myself.



Finished Harry...Potter...all night...reading...tired. Very, very tired.

Good book, eh? Not as good as the last, I shouldn't think, but many questions answered. Many questions not.

I didn't cry until page 824, so that was good.

Gotta ahead. Gotta Whole book.



Friday, June 20, 2003

Since I've been down so long (and since you'll not be seeing hide nor hair of me this weekend - Harry Potter and all - and perhaps for some time beyond) I figured I'd slap another old entry up.

Just plucking at random here, folks.



Tuesday, October 29, 2002

As far as I’m concerned, yesterday did not happen. The day was a total non-event, a waste, a mauvais jour of the first order. I had to drive my eldest to school to return the classroom snails we’d been in charge of all weekend – you wouldn’t think that people could possibly fear snails but I discovered that I do. I fear them, loathe them and want to smash them into tiny pieces with a hammer. So it was with great relief that I was returning them, even if it meant going out into the cold with a hat shoved over my hair to hide my bed-head. I jabbered to the teacher for too long, of course, because I am so starved for real human interaction that I’ve developed a nasty habit of latching onto any person who makes the mistake of looking even vaguely interested in speaking to me. Honestly, I’ve become that pathetic. Once upon a time I was a very adept conversationalist but that skill is long gone – now I’m like a child. If there are people around I become Motor Mouth Mabel and get very, “Look at me, mom” in my attitude. It’s probably best that I stay out of public whenever possible – it’s pretty bad when you’re in the middle of a conversation and realize that you’re even boring yourself.

My task for the day was to weather-strip the doors and windows, which was a bit of a mistake to do by myself. There’s this caulk stuff that you can apply to the seals around your windows to make sure they don’t leak air and in the spring you simply peel it off. So this product is specifically designed to stop air flow, yet in huge red letters on the side it says, “Warning – use only in a well-ventilated room, fumes can cause nausea, vomiting and light-headedness.” Needless to say, my pregnant ass got stoned; but I don’t mean in a happy, “Let’s discuss the relative merits of ‘Fruit by the Foot’ versus ‘Fruit Roll-ups’” kind of way, I mean in a “is that clock upside down?” kind of way. I wasn’t sure if the inside of my mouth was bleeding or if I’d been sucking on pennies – I literally had to stop and think, “Did I just put money in my mouth? Did I swallow it?” It’s no fun being messed up by yourself, especially since there’s no one there to appreciate how funny it is to say, “Who’s your daddy…Hoosier daddy” over and over again. I mean, it amused the hell out of me and I think the dogs got a kick out of watching me laugh hysterically while waving a caulk gun around, but something about the whole experience left me feeling a bit empty.

I came down off my high in time to run some errands last night and thought I was fine until I started coming on to Andy – and not in a very subtle way, either. I think I was trying to be sexy (which isn’t so easy when you have a watermelon for a stomach) but he cringed and said, “Would you please stop? You’re creeping me out.” I can’t be positive but I’m pretty sure I actually used the phrase “baloney pony” at one point in my amorous advances – I would have rejected me, too.

So nothing good came out of yesterday and I’m not counting it as “a day in the life of”. The sad thing is, though, that today is well on its way to not being counted, either, even without getting stoned. Not that I would mind getting loopy again – that caulk could quickly become my equivalent of the typical housewife’s “ten o’clock vodka rock” if only I had any windows left to seal up. Then again, the stuff does peel right off, and I have a couple more tubes lying around…

Reluctantly sober-ly,


Blog Will Eat Itself

You may have noticed my absenteeism for the past few days. This is due partly to the fact that I have been severly pissed off by assholes, yet strangely drawn to them. I'm gnawing on my anger - it feels not unlike pressing a bruise or digging your fingers into a sore muscle.

So trust me when I say that there's nothing I can write now that you'd be interested in reading. More to the point, there's nothing I want to write about this, as all I will accomplish is starting one of those loathsome blog fights and alienating people. Rather than get all that going I will leave you with an entry pulled from my archives.

If anyone needs me I'll be hanging out over here, pissed off - don't say you haven't been warned.

(And thanks to everyone who checked in with me to make sure everything was fine.)



Thursday, September 26, 2002

So Andy was in Chicago for the past couple of days and there was a bit of an incident. Before he gets a chance to post about things from his side I thought I'd briefly outline what happened from my perspective. Of course, some of this is assumed and/or embellished but it's a very likely scenario. The friend who was with Andy shall remain nameless - because I can't remember who it was, exactly - and I won't say the name of the hotel where this altercation took place...let's just call it the Byatt.

Now I present to you, "A Drunken Englishman in Chicago" - enjoy!

(Andy and friend stumble into the hotel lobby after a night of strip clubs and "Wacker Drive" jokes and drunkenly approach the front desk. Not drunk in a sexy Marlon Brando "A Streetcar Named Desire" way, more like in an "I'm drunk because I'm in a different city than my wife" kind of way. The front desk clerk notices this and glances at the clock, wishing her shift would end before the pair made their way to the desk. Too bad; she still has a few hours to go so she pastes on a smile and asks how she can help them.)

Friend: My friend and I need to check in.
Clerk: (to friend) Very good, sir. Here is your room key; you can find the elevators around the corner. (Turning to Andy) I'm sorry, sir, but it appears we've oversold for the night and we don't have a room for you.

(Secretly she's pleased that she'll not have to deal with him but she tries to be professional about it as Andy tries to register what's just been said to him. An argument breaks out consisting of little more than Andy demanding a room and the girl refusing him a room. Then Andy resorts to threats.)

Andy: Fine, you don't want to give me a room? I'll just sit here in your lobby, smoking and singing - how would you like that?
Clerk: Sir, we'll have to call the police on you for being disruptive to our other guests and for loitering. We've offered you a room at Days Inn; I can call you a cab. Or if you like, you can double up with your friend for the evening.

(Andy and friend eye each other suspiciously, trying to assess the latent homosexual tendencies of the other and simultaneously blurt out, "No way!")

Clerk: Fine then, I'll call Days Inn to let them know you're coming.

(Friend exits - Andy plants himself on a couch in the lobby and lights up a cigarette.)

Clerk: (into phone) Yes, we have a guest here that we can't accommodate and we'd like to send him to you - do you have any rooms?
Andy: (at the top of his lungs) The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal!!!
Clerk: Yes, that's the guest you're hearing. I'm afraid he's a bit out of sorts at the moment but he's harmless.

(She must use tact and diplomacy, because if the Days Inn refuse him all she can offer Andy is a ride to the train station and she really doesn't want to have to do that - after all, Andy is foreign and she's not sure if these terrorists might have come from England as well. She's not keen on the idea of Andy declaring a jihad on her hotel lobby.)

Andy: (voice cracking a bit at the strain) Give me land, lots of land, and the starry sky above!!!
Clerk: Sir, while you're waiting for your taxi would you please keep your voice down?
Andy: NO! You know what? My wife used to run a hotel; I'm going to call her to see what she has to say about this.

(Interior of the Yates bedroom. Natalie is lying in bed seriously contemplating Harrison Ford. Her conclusion is that, despite his stature and talent, if you met him in real life he'd be just like the stroked-out uncle that you always get stuck with at family picnics. The phone rings so she stumbles out to answer it. Caller ID tells her it's Andy.)

Natalie: Hey, what's up?

(Andy relays his problem in a disjointed way - Natalie isn't sure exactly what he wants from her. She thinks that perhaps he's lost somewhere in Chicago and she'll have to guide him back but it seems like he just wants to use the phone call as an excuse to shout obscenities at the desk clerk.)

Andy: So this loser here oversold the hotel and I don't have a room!
Natalie: Audible sigh.
Andy: Why did you just say "audible sigh"?
Natalie: Well, we have a bad connection and I didn't think you could hear the actual sigh so I just wanted to let you know that I'd done it.
Andy: So what should I do?
Natalie: Just go to the other hotel and deal with it tomorrow. This girl can't help you.
Andy: But how can I make her give me a room?
Natalie: You can't - if the rooms are full you're not going to get one.
Andy: But how can I make her kick someone else out so I can have their room?
Natalie: Rolls eyes.
Andy: Did you just say "rolls eyes"?
Natalie: Nevermind. Just go to the other hotel.
Andy: No, I want someone kicked out of the hotel, and I want her job!
Clerk: Sir, you couldn't fit into my skirt.
Andy: What are you, about a nine? That skirt would fit me.
Clerk: Audible sigh.
Natalie: Andy, just go to the other hotel, okay?
Andy: No, I'll just sit here and sing songs. I'll call you back when this bitch gives me a room. (hangs up)

(Natalie runs to her purse to get the debit card and frantically tries to remember the name of that nice bail bondsman that helped her out a few years ago and hopes that he'll take a payment over the phone. She wonders what the Chicago PD are going to do with Andy and hopes that he'll at least make bail early enough for his conference in the morning. Phone rings again.)

Andy: I'm in a cab, going to Days Inn.
Natalie: Good, get some sleep. (hangs up)

(Natalie begins to worry that he may not actually make it to the Days Inn so she calls him back.)

Andy: (seriously overexcited) You wouldn't believe what happened! The cab driver was listening to me bitching about the other hotel and he said that Days Inn just sucked and that it wasn't acceptable for me to stay there and that it was wrong the way the other girl treated me so he got me sorted out at an even better hotel!
Natalie: Did he then put on a cape and fly away into the night to fight for truth, justice and the American way?
Andy: No, I think he was going to pick someone up from O'Hare.
Natalie: So it all worked out in the end?
Andy: Yeah, pretty good.
Natalie: Alright, good-night.

(The next day Andy calls)

Andy: Man, was I seriously pissed off last night. You know, I actually threatened to sit in the hotel lobby and sing bad country songs?
Natalie: Huh, you don't say?
Andy: (laughing) Glad I didn't make an ass of myself!
Natalie: Audible groan.
Andy: What?
Natalie: Nothing, dear. Happy it all worked out for you.


Monday, June 16, 2003

I'm in a horrendously bad mood.

Know any good jokes?

Wanting to laugh-ingly,


I'm such a slacker - here it is, ten o'clock, and I haven't done anything yet besides read blogs and surf. I'm trying to resist blogging about a bitchy post I read today...I think there's something in the air that's making bloggers want to snipe at other bloggers. If you've missed the fights consider yourself lucky because there have been some stupid ones going on lately and for some reason I'm inclined to take part - that's not usually my style to point out one person in particular and blog about why I think they're being stupid or why I don't like them, because that is an extremely assy thing to do. I don't know what's come over me but I have the urge to slap someone upside the head and give them a Cher "Snap out of it!" attitude.

I'm finding that many blogs I started reading for their scathing political commentary have turned quite benign without the war to fuel their content. I'm having a difficult time adapting myself to the fact that some blogs that used to scream about What Is Wrong In The World Today! are now revolving around Which Kind Of Facial Tissue Do You Prefer? That's not an indictment of the blog - it's just a commentary on the (natural and eventual) shift in content.

It's not like I'm lacking in blogs on my roll so it doesn't matter much, and in my surfing I'm finding more to add, so...speaking of surfing, I don't like the new analyst reporting on Blogshares. How, exactly, does this make sense?

Analysts Report
This is a growing blog (BUY)
This stock is overpriced (HOLD / SELL)

I'm overpriced at forty-some dollars? On my old url my price was up around $300! Stupid analysts.

I wish I could motivate myself to do something productive, but I think I have an idea as to why I am such a slacker:

Hey dude, you are the typical stoner kid. Put down
the bong and pick up a book once in a while.
Try the Yellow Pages --look up Rehab.

What kind of typical high school character from a movie are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(link ripped right off from snazzykat)



Monday Morning This and That (which isn't quite like "A Bulleted List With No Real Point" but it's pretty close)

I know I said I'd tell the story of my whirlwind visit to Illinois but that's just going to have to fact, I think I'm going to just write it as a short story, as I'm feeling a bit creative today. (I can hear Andy groaning now, "Great, creative - I wonder what half-baked project I'm going to come home to?") I dunno, maybe, maybe not. I may end up spending the day outside with my's summer vacation, dontcha know. Not that it makes an ounce of difference to my unemployed ass, but there ya go. I need a frickin job.

What the hell is wrong with this country that Scott Peterson is getting stacks and stacks of letters from women who are in love with him? I don't understand that - the guy is in jail for (allegedly...gotta make sure to throw that in) killing his wife and son, and these women are practically lining up at the prison gates to date him. They're just asking to be manipulated...I can see the talk show now, a few years down the road, with the panel full of these women, all sobbing that, "Scott said he loved me and when he got out of jail we'd be together...only he wasn't sure how he could afford his defense. He didn't ask me to sell my house for him, but how could I not?" I can almost understand, say, the women who write to Charles Manson - he's a bit of a generational icon and crazy as hell...if I didn't think it would get my name on some kind of list I wouldn't mind writing Manson just to get his crazy-ass response. And Charles Manson never killed anyone, remember. But to send love letters...especially to a guy who is accused of killing his wife...that defies all logic.

A little girl went missing yesterday up here in Minnesota (I think the town is called Chisholm or something like that?) and I heard a comment last night that pissed me off to no end...okay, this little girl, around five years old, went to her friend's house but left when there was no answer. She disappeared. The comment I heard on the news was that the Amber Alert wasn't utilized because...get this...there wasn't any evidence that she'd been abducted. Well so freaking what? She's five, she's gone - what's there to discuss? Is there really some high authority that reviews each missing child, case by case, and decides when the billboards are going to be lit up? I can see it, some pasty faced middle aged man sitting behind a desk like in a college admissions office reviewing each alleged abduction. He gets to this file and says, "Well, she's five...she probably went to a different friend's house. What? You say the entire town has been searching for her for hours and cannot find her? You say that bloodhounds have lost her scent when they reached a highway? Hmmm....well, maybe she just got into an accident and is lying dead somewhere...better not call an Amber Alert." Now, I can understand that they can't call an alert every time a child is missing, as I'm sure many of them turn up unscathed, injured or dead due to some other circumstance and to call an alert on every one would dilute the attention people paid when a "real" alert was raised, but damn. There's no evidence that she drowned in the lake but they still sent divers looking. There's no evidence that she walked into the woods but they're still beating bushes. I'd rather have the alert be overutilized than underutilized...every single week we get those, "Have you seen me?" pages in with our junk mail - which usually feature a parental abduction - but every time one arrives, regardless of where in the country the people are from, I have Samantha study it. Because you never know, do you?

I have mixed feelings about downloading music. I've been using Kazaa Lite lately and am not sure if I'm feeling guilty or not...I mean, I only download stuff I already have (but am too lazy to find on the cd), stuff I've lost (I think Andy uses my Soul Coughing and Guns N Roses cds as Frisbees), stuff you can't get anymore (has anyone else besides Andy even heard of the Macc Ladds?) and stuff that's not available for sale in the first place (Eddie Izzard was on Jay Leno and I missed it). Then, of course, there is the stuff I'd never buy but need to hear to get the song out of my head (think "X-French T-Shirt"). I don't download full albums, I don't I making excuses to justify what many people consider theft? Maybe the simple act of questioning myself has answered my own question, but damn it if I can find my Paul Weller cd and I'm really wanting to listen to that right now so back to Kazaa I go.

But before that I'm going to probably maybe hang out in my template for a while as it's rather stripped-down at the moment. I have some stuff to get plugged into this thing, and I need to fix my if I break anything let me know.

Whoo hoo hot doggy...boy oh boy, I'm interesting on a Monday, aren't I? Congrats to you if you've read this far.



UPDATE: I know this flies in the face of my previous justification for downloading music, but I've finally found the acoustic version of Jason Mraz's "The Remedy"...though I am planning on buying the whole cd, so I don't feel too bad about thieving the song. I'm happy I've found this live version, as I was having a hard time convincing Andy that Jason Mraz is worth a listen (the radio-friendly polished version of the song is...gaggy) but he shall see.

And something weird...there are tons of Gordon Lightfoot fans online right now. I'm just wanna grab "Sundown" or "If You Could Read My Mind" (both songs that have been covered, by the way) you probably want to get on now. I can download these, as I not only have owned Gordon Lightfoot cds but we have copies of everything he's done at my dad's house on vinyl. So he owes me mp3s, I guess.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

16 hours. 45 cigarettes. 3 liters of Mountain Dew. 2 burritos. $52 worth of gas. 860 miles.

I'm home.

There's a real post to come later (after my second gallon of tea) but in the meantime, I'll share with you a thought that has plagued me 'lo these past six hours:

If I headbang to jazz fusion and there's no one there to see it, is it still ironic?



Saturday, June 14, 2003

Just wondering there something wrong with this family that I'm reminding my daughter to pack her guitar and basketball while I'm searching for my son's necklace and baby doll? And do most mothers warn their husbands about what they can expect while watching their three-year-old? ("Now when she says she wants to walk the dog don't let her because that means she's planning on wrapping a belt around their necks and yanking them down the hall...")

I'm just asking, is all.

Gender blender-ingly,


Jack says it best...

There I was, all ready to wish y'all a Happy Bastille Day, but then I remembered- "Hey, dumbass, that's JULY 14th!!" HAPPY FLAG DAY, y'all!!

He's from Minnesota but he lives in Texas, so I guess he can get away with saying "y'all".

For all of my good intentions of doing this drive in one fell swoop it's not looking good for me...yet another beautiful Saturday of my life is wasted on the road.

Gee, I hope the Flag Day traffic isn't too bad.

Samantha's dad just called me to see where "on the road" I was, as I'd mentioned last night that I was considering leaving early enough that we'd arrive in the early morning. When I told him that we probably not arrive until four or five this afternoon he said, disappointed, "Oh, shoot...well, since I thought you'd be in earlier than that I'd made dinner big deal if you don't get here in time, I can always reschedule them for tomorrow."

Why would anyone's dumb ass change their plans according to what I say may happen? Seriously, people should count on me for exactly squat...I've known Sam's dad for nearly twelve years so you'd think that he's learned this by now. Expect nothing from me, that way you will never be disappointed.

There ya go, a little Saturday morning lesson for you to learn.

Now I'm off to shower and hit the road, despite Zoe's protests that Samantha doesn't need to see her dad.

You know, there's a lot to be said for those women who will only date men that they would like to have kids with. If you set that as your standard then you can never have to worry about having a kid with someone who you will later come to regret having in your life. Rather, you're less likely to regret them later. Whenever I hear people bitching about women who start talking about kids too early in the relationship I have to wonder if they know someone like me who's had to jump through hoops for some jerk guy who views his visitation time as a prize he's snatched away from mom at the expense of the kid.

Ooh, boy, I am just a small slice of sunshine today - it's probably better that I'm going to be trapped in a car for the next 15 hours away from all human contact.



Should I stay or should I go?

It's two in the morning, no one is out there, it's technically Saturday morning and I'm thinking about driving to Illinois. If I leave now, drop Samantha off at her dad's for the summer and get right back on the interstate I could be back home by four tomorrow afternoon.

But if I'm in town I almost certainly have to stop over at my mother's house, which will be awkward at best. Can I somehow get out of stopping by? Is there any good excuse I can give my mother for not popping in for a visit after driving the, what, 350 miles? Could I possibly get away with a, "Hey mom and dad, how are ya? Sure, I'd love a cup of coffee but then I really must hit the road...I have a lot of things to do this afternoon."

I can't handle her anymore, I really can't. Once upon a time she was literally on the brink of death, sick enough that all of the kids were called home, and we've had multiple scares in the past ten years - to the point where I am just...spent. I'm totally spent emotionally. I've heard all of her excuses, explanations, apologies...and I honestly don't feel any ill will toward her anymore - all of the hate is gone, which I guess means I've grown some. Though now that she's been given this new lease on life she's back to being a horrible, selfish person who views everyone else on the planet as tools for her to use.

There was one particularly long stint where I didn't visit - maybe five or six months? - and I'd no sooner walked through the door when I was ushered back to her computer to fix something. That visit was harsh, as I spent the entire time moving furniture, digging plants, shampooing carpets...all the while with her blathering on and on about what a rotten kid I was growing up, and how so much of my childhood misery was my own fault, how much she sacrificed for her family. When I dare to hint at suggesting that perhaps it was her family that she'd sacrificed she breaks out in waterworks and cries things like, "I guess I deserved that...maybe being sick is my karma..." The histronics are too much for me to bear and at the end of it all I feel repulsed by her, by her willingness and ability to so wholly manipulate her kids. (Don't even get me started on how she gossips to one daughter about the others...the woman has started more fights than I can count between my sisters and I. She plays a dangerous game.)

I've been curious about doing this round-trip without a visit...when I come home from Illinois I'm often exhausted to the point where I could easily fall asleep mid-sentence. I've always blamed the drive for this but I wonder if it's not my mother who sucks the life and energy out of me when I'm there. When friends or family are visiting (not immediate family) and talk turns to the whole, "My, how the kids have grown!" converation it's standard for my mother to say things like, "Ah, yeah, Boob Job studied French for a year, and taught herself Spanish...she had such an ear for foreign languages. She should have been an interpreter for the UN or something - she would have been good at that. She should have carried on with that. She's a waitress now, though, so her chance was wasted. Yeah, Natalie had quite a talent for writing when she was younger - she used to win awards. People were always surprised at how talented she was at such a young age...she should have done something with that. Of course, now she's just a housewife...even being a secretary is a step up from that." Everyone in the room is uncomfortable but she doesn't shut up - and worse than that, she doesn't think there's anything wrong with this running commentary of our failings.

The strangest part is that in public, with strangers, she is the epitome of tact and good grace.

I don't think I'm going to go tonight...I am foolish for putting it off, I know I am, but I just can't. If for no other reason that I have to revisit this entry in the harsh light of day and perhaps delete it...I don't like getting personal here because it shifts the balance, if that makes sense. I hope that if you've read this far that I haven't made you uncomfortable.

But, you know, you really could have been something instead of wasting your life doing what you're doing. I should know; my mother told me so.

Conflict avoidant-ingly,


Friday, June 13, 2003

WARNING: "Finding Nemo" spoiler ahead!!!

They find Nemo.

We just got back from Nic's very first movie - and he behaved better than Zoe did (which should come as no surprise to her father, but I was surprised. I think at one point Nic even shushed Zoe) and a fun time was had by all. How can you go wrong with a cinema with self serve artifically flavored melted butter substitute, eh? I had to fairly drown the popcorn in the stuff because I'm on an anti-white diet - no white food at all - but the yellow topping masked the white of the popcorn quite well.

It was a cute film though it reinforced my fear of the deep underbelly of the ocean - there is a whole lot of crazy, scary stuff that goes on down there that I'd rather not know about. I screamed at an animated pilot fish.

I'm surprised the PC Police isn't all over that film - Nemo has an underdeveloped fin and at one point in the movie it's referred to as "gimpy". There was this huge hooplah about poor Nemo, he can't do things like other fish can, he's not a good swimmer due to his "gimpy" fin and yet he manages some fish. Score one for the gimps, hooray! Let this be a lesson - if you are born with any type of shortcoming don't despair, for you can overcome your disability and free some stupid fish.

I hope the busload of kids in motorized wheelchairs in the front row were paying attention.

I do like Pixar, as they're responsible for this whole new generation of G-rated films that deliver to a much wider audience than the G-rated films of years past. There are a lot more jokes directed at adults that are slightly risque yet subtle enough to go over the heads of younger children. And then there are bizarre exchanges, like this one I saw in the trailer for a movie about some guy who magically becomes a bear - these moose have Canadian, that's not true, they have "Strange Brew" accents:

Moose 1: (directed toward the audience) So if you only see one movie all summer, eh, make it...
Moose 2: What's the point in that? It's a bit late for this crowd, eh?
Moose 1: What do you mean, eh?
Moose 2: Well, if they're only going to see one film all summer, it'll probably be the one that's starting in two minutes, eh?
Moose 1: Huh. You have a point, eh. I'm getting outta here, gonna go find that Canadian bear, eh? (A reference to the Molson's commercials but it fits in with the film's plot so they can get away with it)
Moose 2: Yeah, I'm with you. Hope you guys find that Nemo fella, eh?
Moose 1: Yeah, eh? Nemo, eh?
Moose 2: That's what I said, eh?
Moose 1: You don't say, eh?
Moose 2: (losing all accent) That's enough, Carl.

The only line I remember from the film is an exchange between some Australian sharks and Nemo's dad...the dad is explaining how Nemo was caught by a diver and you can hear the sharks in the background mumbling, "Pah, 'em humans, comin' down here like they own they were Americans, too."

Yeah, whatever, Australia - like we didn't save your ass in double yah double ya two...oh wait, nevermind.

Anyway, it was a cute film. But that was one creepy-ass pilot fish.



Huzzah! Template's done!




You know how this robot would rock? If it had some mad, flailing arms. If I had some animated arms I would so keep this template. And maybe some blinking eyes. And if I could make it say, "Danger Mrs. Robinson; danger Wil Smith". Now that's funny.

I'm actually making great progress on my template - just stick with me; it won't be much longer now. I woke up today thinking about "hunkering down" and "getting busy" - as if this is a job or something. "Well, I do have an obligation to people...people out there are counting on me..."

I'm not delusional in the slightest. Nope, not me.



Thursday, June 12, 2003

I just thought of something funny...


Well, it's funny to me, anyway.

That's right - I'm going Robot on your ass.

I am sick and tired of dealing with the other crap right now. Sick. And. Tired.

So robot it is for the time being. Cuz I'm getting just a tad too pissed over something as stupid as my template.

Did someone say template? Argh!!! (smashing plates, throwing dogs through windows, recklessly applying lipliner...) Templates! Damn you! (shaking fist at the sky) Bane of my existance - damn you!!!

Charlton Heston-ly,


Do you know what I hate? I hate Microsoft. I hate Microsoft with a passion. And...and I hate style sheets because I keep forgetting that I already have a property value for whatever, then I override it in my template - that's stupid. It makes it too easy for me to forget that I have that in my style sheet and then it screws me up because IE decided that whatever code is closest to the effected area is what's going to be implemented...and since my style sheet stuff is way up at the top it's ignored.

I hate "web friendly" versus "non-web friendly" colors - what the hell is that all about, anyway? I can see the color, it looks fine, but photoshop balks at it. What the hell? What's the point in having this huge palette of colors if it won't let you use any of the really cool ones? What's it gonna do, change it to grey instead if I use a non-web friendly color? Will it just not show up? NO! It shows up just fine, but it's Really Very Important that you realize the color you want isn't "web friendly". Shouldn't this warning be used elsewhere, where it may make a difference? Like a warning on a bottle of vodka, "Not whiskey friendly". That! That's a warning I could use.

I hate the stupid "error on line whatever, do you wish to debug?" thing, because you have to click it around fifty freaking times before the box goes away (this is usually the "ycso is undefined" error - my favorite of all the errors, damn yaccs). Like, "Hey, here's an error, you wanna debug? By the way, that error is still there, wanna do something about it? No? You sure? Hey, I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but there's an error...oh, did I already tell you about that? Well, what did you want to do about it? I forgot." Argh! Go the hell away, would ya? Oh, and then there's the "error on line whatever - this one's a bad one...see, I was expecting this little bracket thing, but it's gone" and then it never shows up again. If it's an error it should be an error every time you load the page, right? What, did the little open bracket thing just...I don't know, walk away for a second? Then IE goes, "Hey, where did the bracket go? Shoot, better warn Natalie - whoop, whoop - error alert, error alert, we are missing a bracket...repeat, missing a bracket. We've thrown together a search party...javascript, you go check the boggy marsh. Archive tag, you take the comment tag and look in that old barn over there. Footer date, you stay here in case the bracket comes back." Then you click refresh and everything's back in its usual place. You know, due to the fastidious searching of the rest of everything else in your code.

And I hate...I hate that browsers treat things can't be that hard to agree that whatever command means the same damn thing in every browser. I hate that you can use both the "< i >" and the "< em >" tags for italics - I hate html! Hate all of it...I'd rather do my stuff in crayon. That's what I'm going to do - I'm going to scrap everything, make my blog totally white and you can color a picture, tape it to your monitor and that will be my template. Skin the site yourself, ya bastard.

I hate that one of my blogrolls won't listen to the others - it resizes differently, won't let me override the text...and I hate layers! Yes, to death with layers, layers are useless! They don't even catch flies!

I hate that if this blog were a tangible thing, I mean if you could hold it in your hand, it wouldn't resemble anything. It'd be held together with so much damn duct tape and superglue layered on the thing that it would be rendered wholly unrecognizable for what it is. Yes, my code is ugly, it sucks, it's a double-wide trailer with a spider plant hanging on the porch and a sunflower pinwheel in the yard mish mash of crap, crap crap! Hate it - burn the place down.

And I hate hate hate that my being angry won't fit in with my color scheme. I need Mood Skins. When I'm pissed, I click a skin that's all grey, black and forest green. That's pretty angry. That's what I need now - screw lime! Screw purple! But most of all, screw orange. Yes, you heard me right - screw orange. Hate it!

One thing I do like is the reciprocal blogroll thing - that's pretty sweet.

But the rest of it - burn it down! Burn, burn, burn...I'll be over here playing my fiddle if anyone needs me.



Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Just changing my template around a bit. I've been staring at these colors for so long that I now hate them...which is unfortunate, as I've invested a fair bit of time in this thing. I don't think I like the inner scrollbar, as it's making me feel a bit claustrophobic - I keep tugging at my collar because I can't quite swallow or breathe. Ah well.

At any rate, I know there's some goofy stuff going on with the thing but I'm editing it back and forth on the Windows and Linux machines in different browsers...Netscape doesn't seem to like my scroll colors, but then again I don't think I do anymore, either.

In the meantime, I have a discussion topic for y', as you know, since I gave birth to Nic at home I was able to keep my placenta. Traditionally, this is used as a fertilizer for a tree that is typically planted in the child's honor. I have a lot of trees on our property and I don't want another one, and besides that, we'll most likely be moving in the next few years so I don't want to plant a Nic tree only to turn around and leave it. So my question is this: would it be gross to plant a raspberry bush instead? I'm not sure how I'd feel about eating berries from a bush that was fertilized with, you know, my guts. Then again, fertilizer is manure, right? I'm torn. I mean, I love milk but I'd never drink my own, you know? Icky acky.

So whaddya think? Placenta berries - is that gross? (Well, when I put it that way it does sound gross...)



Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I meant to mention this before...Greg at Geese Aplenty recently made himself up a mix cd and very graciously sent me a copy.

Greg's a runner (the title of the cd is "Run, Geese, Run") and he uses these songs to motivate himself to keep on keeping on. Personally, I don't run unless someone's chasing me...and even then I resist it. I mean, if I see someone chasing me and they're, oh, a block away and running I know I'm in for a world of hurt if they catch me. But if someone is, say, standing by as I snatch someone's purse and then they start chasing me I just stop. It's no big deal, as I only snatch purses to see if I can knock the person down - it's better if I don't run, as a matter of fact, as then the charges are reduced and all I have to do is pay a fine.

Having said that, this cd makes me want to run...for sport. I've never heard the majority of these songs - so I keep messing up the lyrics, for one (something about "keep up the pressure" reached my ears as "give Doug depression") but they have me rocking. I like how he didn't choose the songs for any kind of hipster, trendy value, nor did he seek out deliberately obscure songs...I hate when people try to out-cool and out-obscure one another with their music. Like, "The Antelope Nuns of Bangladesh are my favorite band...what, you've never heard of them? Have you been living under a rock? They're huge in Berlin!" There's a reason that the Top 40 are the Top 40; because people are buying and listening to it. Not just "other people", you arrogant bastard, it's you, too.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Greg's mix. As much as I can understand how these songs will keep up your rhythm and even inspire you to run, there's one major flaw in that at least once or twice during every song I stop and dance a bit. That's no good if you're running - you'll never hit "the wall" if you keep stopping to do a little James Brown move. So instead I'll call this one my "Kleening Kitchens Mix". (You have to do cutesy stuff like that - once upon a time some marketing guy decided it would be really clever and unique to misspell words on purpose. That's why, in Iowa, there is a chain of gas stations called "Kum N Go")

So thank you, Greg, and I only hope you can forgive me for using this cd for purposes other than what you'd originally intended. It helps to break up the monotony of cleaning out a very splattered microwave if I can stop and do a little "Get on up" move every once in a while. The rest of the cd is so good that I'll even forgive you for including a Moby song.

DJ Geese-ingly,


An Ode To Nic - On Reaching Your Seventh Month of Life (Almost)

A boy, a child, my last
Closer than two humans could ever hope to be
For seven [long] months
To one another we've been exclusive
Though, a truth I've come to realize
A fine line, there is
Between garnering sustenance from mother's milk
And simply gnawing a nipple
Out of boredom
I'm cuttin' ya off



This is a post dedicated to the OM - that's not yoga, that stands for Original Mopsa.

Mopsa is not a raging dork. She's a shrewd business woman with a firm grip on the ways of the world (hence the Bezos) and she's funny as hell with a flair for the dramatic (hence the Jack).

I was hard-pressed to find a way to accurately describe her...she has a little bit of Margaret Cho, a little bit Janeane Garofalo, a little bit Jack, a little bit Laura Kightlinger and a little bit a whole lot of other people. She's electric, baby, totally electric.

I spent a long time trying to find a way to accurately describe her and I came up short. I should have thought longer about it but my pop culture references were failing me. There is no obvious point of reference for her so let my previous comments be stricken from the record.

Oh, and she's great with kids - should have mentioned that before. Patience of a saint, she has.

The trouble I get into is when I listen to Andy - he suggested Bezos and I said, "No way!" But he knows the business, no-nonsense side of her and assured me that she'd take it as a compliment. So let's all go throw rocks at Andy, and throw rocks at me for taking the easy way out and listening to him when I should have thought about it myself.

What I said, I said out of love.



Tuesday, June 10, 2003

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have had so much to drink.

I probably should have had more to eat than a turkey bratwurst which, incidentally, tastes exactly like regular bratwurst only it doesn't make you feel all oogey from the grease.

And perhaps maybe I should have been wearing this shirt to give people fair warning - then again, how could I resist blogging about it?

I can't. Call me weak if you must, but I can't, dammit!

Saturday night we had a little impromptu gathering of bloggers at my house.

That's right - bloggers in my house. Jealous? Thought so.

But they all made fun of my hair so now I will gossip about them - that's not entirely true, really...a couple of them made fun of my hair but the rest of them laughed. Except Jeremy. Sweet, sweet Jeremy - you know, he's not surly in the slightest? He is, simply put, a really, really nice guy. But the rest of them a-holes laughed about my hair.

I think I was most surprised by Jeremy - he is not what you might expect. Or at least, not what I expected - I'd anticipated this really dark, brooding, serious uber artiste who would dryly mock my lack of a decent capuccino maker (I do have one, it's just not in the kitchen) but he is quite warm and engaging. Generally, a good egg the whole way around.

I've met mopsa before but I've never seen her in her theatrical element, I guess. The quippy zingers and the expressions - just class. She had quite the foil in Irish Girl as well...the two of them settin' 'em up and knockin' 'em down. The "Mopsa and Irish Girl" show was quite the entertainment...if they had been born a hundred years ago they would have knocked George Burns and Gracie Allen right out of the water...I don't know which would be which, but anyway.

It's funny because every time I imagined what Irish Girl was like in real life I pictured her wearing striped socks, which is what she was actually wearing. Striped socks. No fooling. I wanted to ask her if she knitted them herself (I didn't get close enough to her feet to tell if they even were knitted) but didn't because she kind of intimidated me. She has a real, "I'll cut ya" look in her eye - but in a nice, Minnesotan kinda way. Still...she'll cut ya.

Jack is one scary-smart guy. His brother has recently returned from, literally, the brink of death (I won't be so insulting as to try to explain what happened - read the post here; it's amazing) so, of course, I was interested in how that whole thing was shaping up...let me tell you, I've learned more about the human brain (and the faults of said organ) in a five-minute conversation with Jack than all of my human biology classes combined. Astounded, I complimented him on how well-versed he was with the terminology, fully expecting him to say that he was himself a medical professional but he brushed it off with an, "Eh, I've read a bit about it. It beats staring at the ceiling all night." Okay, I can understand the desire to want to learn everything there is to know about what nearly killed your brother but to not only retain that information but to also present it in an easily understood manner...astounding. Really, you have to hear the guy to appreciate it.

Which leaves MJ *swoon*. Oh my gawd - you don't even know. She is the most adorable little thing - and she really is little, shorter than I am - and just gorgeous and funny as hell. Yes, I am a bit smitten and yes, I flirted to the point where she could probably file sexual harassment charges against me, but I am infatuated (and was drunk) so I did stupid things. (And while the lap dance was, in fact, unsolicited I didn't see anyone trying to squirm out of my clutches...actually, I'm pretty sure I made a good $50 on the deal.) Man, I tell ya - if she weren't gay I'd be all over her. Or wait...if she..or no, it goes...okay, if I weren't, if she had a husband...crap, that's not the right way around either. Ah, who knows? Anyway, she's hot, that's all you need to know, really.

So let's recap - this is the cast of characters and while I've briefly touched upon what they're like in "real life" I will leave you with a reference point for each of them.

Jeremy - Has kind of a Ben Folds Five thing going on.
Irish Girl - Leaves a vague Sarah McLachlan aftertaste
Jack - Definite Sam Kinnison vibe about him, but it may just be his long hair...though he does do a spot-on impression of the guy. (I can only imagine what the neighbors thought.)
Mopsa - A cross between Jack on "Will & Grace" and Jeff Bezos (The Bezos thing was from Andy...she's not quite Jack but there's something else to her that I can't put my finger on, and this is in personality only here - don't want to give the impression that she looks like these all honesty, she's a dead-on mix of my friends Ed and Dusty but you don't know them so it's of little help.)
MJ - She has a look that's kind of a cross between Pink and Ed from Barenaked Ladies. Personality defies description.

That was my big socializing for the year...oh, and one more thing - this is a Tale of Destruction from the Homefront - if you ever get too drunk to figure out what's causing your ice maker to deny you service so you get pissed and tear the whole case out of the freezer make sure you put it back immediately. Cuz here's a funny little lesson I've learned...the ice machine doesn't care if there's a box in there to catch the ice; it'll keep on producing them and dumping them out until they fill your entire freezer. And heaven help you the next time you think, "Hmmm...a bit of vodka on the rocks sounds pretty good about now." Upon opening the freezer door you will be greeted with rocks and very little of the vodka.

So I guess I learned a lesson, too.



Just to recap:

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
You know what I want to do? I want to start something where, one day each week, people say something in the comments of every blog they visit. There are tons of silent visitors out there that you don't even know visit apart from their number being registered on a hit counter. But they're real people; people who should feel welcome to say hello if they want to.

Michele posted something a while back about being approachable - it primarily dealt with emails, but the same can be said of commenting. Sometimes people don't comment because they're intimidated by the clique on that particular site.

A trap that bloggers can fall in to is thinking that the people that comment are their main readership, which simply isn't true. The people who comment are a super-small smidge of a blog's overall readership. You only get one, two comments per entry? So what? There are a lot of people that are reading you - they're just not saying anything.

What a nice thing this would be, hopping around and unmasking yourself in everyone's comments. Just to say "hello" with an excuse.

Trouble is, I can't think of a quippy name for it. Tuesday....the Tuesday...Talking Tuesday? No, that sucks. Tuesday Testimonial? Nah, sounds preachy. Token Tuesday? Tag Tuesday

When did I start to suck so bad?

At any rate, I think I'm going to do this today. If you see me in your comments giving it a plain old "howdy" just know that I'm there because I've read you today - I don't necessarily have anything valid to say; it's just putting a name and face to an ordinary old hit on your counter.



And just a reminder that you can use any of the buttons below that Simon has so graciously provided. The plan is that you post on your blog saying what Tag Tuesday is all about, then link back to your own blog in every comment you "tag".

You're it-ingly,