Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back To Form

I spent the day cleaning my kitchen. I emptied out the cupboard that had blue raspberry jello mix spilled in it, cleaned it, and reorganized it. I cleaned out the junk drawer and only put very useful things in it:

  • Screwdrivers

  • pencils

  • paper

  • sewing kit

  • tattoos

  • band-aids

  • rubber bands
  • a Seven Mary Three tape (it's Doc's)

  • twisty ties

  • a map of St. Louis

  • an address book

  • a check book

There are other things I thought I might need in a pinch, but I can't remember them all (I suck at those parlour games where you get a brief glance at an array of things and have to write them all down). We have a mobile dishwasher that sits in the corner of the room and I set the printer up on top of it. That way, if we need to scan or print something, we have a flat surface at counter level to set the lap top. The memo board is right there on the wall, just in case you need to read/leave a note. The longer I worked at it, the more I realized that I needed to make the space functional. And I think it is now. Plus, everything sparkles.

I think I'm going to treat my kitchen like I would a desk. It's a workspace and I need order and a minimum of clutter. Doc's off for the next two days and I hope we can keep the momentum up with the rest of the house. We'll take a break for dinner tomorrow at the Stark County Fair and have some fair food. I'm hoping to pick up an Obama sticker in the politickin' barn. Thanks to Vikki for the push in the right direction with her dead on assessment (as usual) of John McCain's VP selection.

Did I tell you Riley lost a tooth?

She also started the first grade. She's a rock star.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Maybe I'll take a picture of my newly scrubbed refrigerater to make you jealous.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why not have some fun when you’re sick?

I’ve been trying to embrace my recent illness and I came up with an idea to exploit the entertaining aspects of the cold virus. Here are a few suggestions for turning this bug into a barrel of monkeys:
  • Create an independent film based on your fever dreams. For example, I dreamt that I was supposed to pick a friend up at the McDonald’s parking lot, but road raged idiots blocked my access to the driveway, so I had to park across the street at ramshackle strip mall that once housed a Gold Circle but now (in my dreams) it was a fly-by-night horror house. I parked Mr. Lawrence and got out. I wandered among the Goths who were there to view the scariest display in history. I got mixed up in the crowd and ended up in the lobby where this event was about to happen. The lobby had black walls and gray office carpeting. There were gray chairs with silver legs scattered about. Long black and white posters of Tor and Arte Johnson hung artfully around. I kept getting jostled to the entrance, but I was able to successfully avoid getting drawn in.

    Eventually, I got out of the horror place and back out into the parking lot. I tried to find my car, but it had been stolen. My phone was dead and I couldn’t take pictures of my uncle’s girlfriend because my camera wasn’t responding normally. I would push the button to snap the picture and the side of the camera would drop down and hang from a hinge. There was all of this impending doom with no pay off, all the ingredients for a critically acclaimed independent film.
  • Employ selective hearing tactics and only hear what you want to hear. Claim later that your ears were clogged
  • Drink NyQuil ‘til you see dwarves
  • Take advantage of your raspy voice to win the karaoke contest at the local Holiday Inn. Here are some song suggestions:
    o Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart
    o Old Time Rock and Roll
    o Black Velvet
    o You Are So Beautiful To Me
  • Create papier mache sculptures with used Kleenex
  • Take bets on how many hot peppers you can eat. Because you can’t taste anything, you’ll win. Also, your sinuses may start to clear up
  • Rest often, testing the sleepability of common surfaces like your keyboard, a park bench, a stranger on a bus, the various floors in your house. Create a report and present it to a liberal think tank and get grant funding for a sleep study.

Any other ideas?

Thursday, August 28, 2008


God dammit! I've got a cold. Why me? I guess I could take better care of myself. I could go to bed at 10:00 p.m. every night. I could have a balanced breakfast with cereal, toast, OJ, and bacon. I could start my day with Tai Chi and face the world with a smile.

I could exercise more and go to church. Perhaps if I joined the Republican Party, I would be less suceptible to the cold virus. I assume holding the moral high ground would lift me up above the hoi polloi and remove me from the cocktail of viruses they expell when crying for help.

Perhaps I could relocate to the Arctic. Is it a myth that the cold virus can't survive there? I could go and find out. I could bring Jamie and Adam...

But this is all spilled milk. The fact is, I've got a cold now and none of the above will help me in this moment. Harrumph. Maybe I could draw some inspiration from an internet quote site:

  • I could go passive aggressive with this one: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995
  • I could go uber-chipper with this one: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book
  • But I think these reflect my personal philosophy best:

    If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit and

    He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts. ~Samuel Johnson

So this cold I have? It's an opportunity for me to get off this crazy thing and spend some time looking after myself. I can soak in a long shower. I can watch some Melrose Place. I can put on fuzzy clothing and draw my family in close. I can let people take care of me and soak up some vitamans. I can beat this cold...I've done it before. But I'm not going to fight it this time. I'm going to revel in it.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Geeks Take St. Louis

My buddy, Jeff, and I went to St. Louis a few weeks ago and decided to document our search for kicks on Route 66. Watch as we get lost...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the road again...

I'm packed and ready to go to Staten Island, NY tomorrow morning. What did I forget? Here's what I have so far:

  • Clothes for Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Camera
  • Camera Charger
  • Itinerary
  • 2 books from the library: A Murder She Wrote mystery and Paid Companion by Amanda Quick (thanks for the recommendation, Raven!)
  • My iPod with pirate music and the Wiggles overwritten
  • Earbuds
  • Hairbrush
  • Travel sized toothpaste and deoderant in a travel zip lock
  • Make up and toothbrush to be packed in the morning
  • Comfortable shoes to train in
  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Wallet with driver's license
  • Band-aides
  • Business cards
  • Travel pack from work
  • Xanax

That about covers it. I will print my boarding pass from work and pack up my work laptop tomorrow morning. I should have everything I need and I don't have to check my bags because it all fits in my duffel.

Everytime I go on a trip via airplane, I always have this sensation of doom. I worry that I will sleep through the alarm and miss my flight. Or, that I will realize as I buckle my seat belt that I didn't bring any underwear. When it gets into the wee hours of the night, I will probably dream that I will be trapped on a plane between Lemmy and Carol Channing, worried about whether I packed underwear or not when the pilot announces we are on our way to Guantanamo Bay, where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

I think the trick to travel is imagination. I pretend that I'm just getting on a bus. When I look out the window, I imagine that it must be a NASA trick. I take my 2/3's cup of Diet Coke from the Attendant and use it to wash down the three fingernail sized pretzels in a ritualistic fashion. When I arrive in the Newark airport, I know I will feel disoriented but I will buck myself up and perservere, knowing that I can go through with this. I will do my job and enjoy my hotel room. I will cruise around Staten Island, looking for things that will be of interest to you.

Wish me luck as I step away from my lovely little home and my beautiful family so that I may see the world and help some people make heads or tails of their paperwork. Also, please let me know if you think I've forgotten anything.

Friday, August 15, 2008

For the Benefit of Skyler's Dad

Rick Ocasek was the lead singer of the band The Cars. They had many hits such as "Let the Good Times Roll," "Drive," and the song above. He married the famous supermodel Paulina at some point and seems to have drifted out of the public eye.

I was never a huge fan, so it's weird he ended up in my dreams. However, most celebrities that show up in my subconscious aren't ones I'm usually obsessed over. But they do carry a message. Perhaps Rick's is "Let the good times roll," which I am totally fine with.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Celebrities Who Have Appeared In My Dreams: Rick Ocasek

I walked out into my back yard. It was night time, but there were lights on and people were walking back and forth from Tiki. I saw Rick Ocasek standing in my back yard, looking kind of lost. I walked up to him and said, "Hello, Rick...I mean, Mr. Ocasek; welcome to my home."

He said thanks, shook my hand and made his way to the back door.

I was left with the feeling that all was well and he was happy to be here. And so was I.

What could it mean?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to School Scramble

It's that time of year again. It's time to start thinking about 9:00 bedtimes, school lunches and homework. In the spirit of hysteria that accompanies the return to the classroom, I decided yesterday to break up the bunk beds and give each of the girls a room of their own again.

Before we got the bunk beds, the girls begged and begged and begged to have a set of their own. So, with the help of Mom and Dad, we got them a nice pine set from a real furniture store. The beds were even delivered and installed for us. Well, the girls enjoyed them for a short time, then they spent most evenings worming their way into our bed. Now, both of them were raised as babies co-sleeping with us. You may or may not think it's a good idea, but it worked for us. Being a full-time working mom, it gave me bonus closeness time that we all needed. Eventually, we got them in their own rooms, but every now and again, the pendulum swings back to the "family bed."

This was ok when they were very little. But even though we have a king sized bed, the real estate is as dear as it would be on any waterfront now that the girls are considerably larger. Now I enjoy being close to my family, both literally and figuratively, but when you're close enough to be able to see each other's dreams, it's time to find a nice place in the suburbs for some of the tennants.

So, I spent most of the day yesterday while Doc was at work wrestling a ferociously heavy former pine tree to the ground. I also had to clear out Riley's old room, which had become the "play room," or the more aptly named "Baghdad." My God! The emense jumble of toys they have is incredible. I ended up putting a majority of them in plastic bins and taking them to the basement for sorting on a rainy day.

And so far, it is working. The girls slept happily in their own beds last night, though Lucy found her way into our bed again in the wee hours of the morning. While, this is ok on a weekend, it's got to stop during the week. It's going to take time; it's an adjustment for everyone concerned.

This evening, though, we were piled on the bed like puppies watching Mythbusters. The girls were starting to get manic, though, and thought it would be funny to start acting like puppies and were trying to lick me. This I find nasty. My only defense is to try to tickle them before they could do the deed. I was successful at holding them off and Lucy, undaunted, said, "You can tickle me but you can't tickle my spirit!"

Doc and I shared a smile, proud of her wit and cleverness. Closeness is a joy, but, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And we are both happy in the promise that tonight, our dreams will be our own.