Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Well, it's been a LONG time since I last posted. Yup.............a LONG-ASS TIME. So, here's a list of things that have happened to catch you up! (Not necessarily in order of importance.)

1. I sang 3 solos IN PUBLIC. I was the ONLY ONE singing. They all actually went well.

2. I got pregnant at the beginning of September with my first baby. So basically from October until now, I've been a walking mass of hormones and needing about twice as much sleep as I usually get. But things are going well and at week 17, I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did in the first trimester. I was pret-ty queasy. Like all of the time. So that's cool :)

3. We are about to go on a giant road trip to Albuquerque for the Holidays, and THEN we are stopping in Dallas on the way back to celebrate my Nana's 90th (!!!) birthday. We have some seriously good genes in our family.

4. Phil quit his job back in September (literally one DAY before I got knocked up - haha, after trying for a YEAR, we make a baby right when our income gets cut in half!) It was still totally the right thing to do, though. He has started his own business that is just starting to get off the ground. Plus babies are super cheap, right?!?!

5. We're still eating well. Phil makes all the food. I do all the dishes.

6. We still hate Midwest weather. It SUX. Time to move down South! (I wish)

Life is good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Something pretty cool happened last night. I was sitting outside having a snack and reading my book, and one of our new next door neighbors came home and offered me a giant bag of tomatoes from his garden. I thanked him profusely, mostly because I was a little surprised at his generosity (we don't live in the "richest" part of town, and he's a young dude who, like us, is probably living paycheck-to-paycheck.) He said he had a surplus and he would never be able to eat them all, so he'd been giving them away to everyone he could think of. He acted like it was no big deal. Then, not EVEN 5 mintues later, his roommate comes outside with his new puppy and offers us two tennis ball toys to give our dogs. He also said he'd bought a 20-pack of these, so he had two to spare. No big deal either.

I was really touched by this, and I've been trying to figure out why that was. I don't know. I think it's that I like how things like that bring us closer to people with whom we wouldn't otherwise connect. I also like the obvious joy people have when they give. It's nice. And we'll probably give back to them the next time we have a surplus. Pay it forward, man!

Friday, June 24, 2011


There is a summer music camp going on at my workplace right now, which is pretty much the only time of year I'm around high school-aged kids. This has caused me to make 4 observations:
  • They're not really sure how to talk yet. Most of them either talk way too loud, or they are so painfully shy that they don't talk at all. Also, the loud ones do a LOT of singing that sounds horrible! Today I heard about six of them (girls AND guys) singing a terrible song from a musical, and they had chosen a key that was out of all their ranges!*
  • High school kids have a smell. I wouldn't say it's necessarily bad...just kind of "musky." They bring it in here every Summer and it takes a couple of days after they've left for it to go away.
  • Every year, there's ALWAYS a kid that works to actively destroy some part of the building. A window will get shattered, or some graffiti will show up, or some other shenanigans will happen. EVERY YEAR.
  • There is always someone who barfs. Always gotta have some barf in there.
Wow, this totally makes me sound old and crotchety. It's not that these things really annoy me (except the terrible singing,) it's just interesting to see how these things stay the same year after year.

*OK, those *particular* kids were doing the musical theater camp, but I still think they fall into the I-don't-know-how-to-use-my-voice-yet category.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Got the Shakes!

So yesterday when I got home from work, I noticed that my right pointer finger and thumb (my mouse-clicking hand) were twitching involuntarily. Uh-oh...

This may be one of many signs that my desk job is getting old. Time for less work and more slacking!!!! Woo! Happy Summer, imaginary blog readers!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Poop Surprise

So one of our dogs, Beauty, has developed the weirdest phobia...grass. She's decided - only in the summer months - that she hates it and doesn't want to "hang out" on it at all. You can guess what happens when she does her business in backyard. Poop surprise! She's developed this complicated method of straddling the concrete walkway and the grass that doesn't always succeed in hitting the target...so that's cool. (Naat!)

The only explanation we can think of is that grass and summer brings bugs to our yard that seem to love biting her. They don't bite Fritz hardly at all. Beauty has the sweet blood. Another possible explanation is that she's always hated being wet or having any part of her body touch water,* and in summer, grass has a much greater chance of being wet than any other time of year. So she'd rather just avoid the wet feet.

Funny girl! She's got all kinds of personality quirks. We've only just grazed the surface.

*After she takes a drink of water, she literally dries her tongue by licking the first available soft surface -- every time. Usually it's a person's leg or shoe. Some of our guests get pretty confused by this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's funny

It's funny...

how quickly moods can fluctuate. when I'm moody.

how little things like certain smells and feelings can trigger the most vivid memories. 

how much getting a good night's sleep can improve my outlook on life.
(ha! I just typed "lice" instead of life. "outlook on lice" -- awesome. )

how time speeds up and then slows down, sometimes when I want it to and sometimes not. most of the time not.

how I take some things for granted. like music. what would the world be like without music? we are so lucky to have that.

how we all have dreams every night but rarely remember them. we have a whole different level of consciousness that we're totally unaware of. that's nuts.

how I get really anxious about meeting someone new or giving a presentation at work, but a week later, can hardly remember doing it at all. let alone care how it went.

farts. farts are just funny.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Radio at Work Can Read My Mind!

Dudes. I was TOTALLY just trying to remember the title and tune to a song I was humming last night, and it just came on the radio. I'm not making this up. This radio station has magical powers!

For anyone who cares, the song was "Summer Breeze" by Seals & Crofts (1972). Also, I totally love the toy piano in this song. Awesome.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bought Together, Part 1

Woo!! Just got back from our Spring vacation! Ten days on Padre Island, TX, baby!! I should be able to come up with some material to write about from that, but I'll need at least a week to let all my experiences get really absorbed into my brain... Lotta strands floating around in there now......Hm.

So, I decided to introduce a recurring theme called "Bought Together." Originally, this was a game we play sometimes at drinky-parties once everyone is good and sauced. The object was to come up with the two most outrageous / gross / freaky items one could buy at the same time at the Super Walmart (we always said "super" because then you get more choices of items. Like pretty much anything. You've got the full palette to choose from.) So, you'd start your turn by saying "Walked into the Super Walmart and picked me up some _____________ and a nice little _____________."

Dudes, the possibilities are endless. And with Walmart, you can also choose from all the services like the photographer, the beauty salon, the tax service...yup. It's hilarious!

So here's my first entry. I'm not using Walmart, I'm using Meijer (also a dept store,) but I totally get bonus points because I ACTUALLY went to Meijer and purchased these things. IN REAL LIFE.  

Here goes....

"I ran into the Meijer and snagged a value pack of pregnancy tests, a can of Metamucil, and some Advil Liqui-Gels!" TA-DAA!

Try it the next time you need a party game. It works best later in the evening, if you know what I mean. Heh. It also works better if said in a southern/hick type of accent. I don't know why.

Monday, April 11, 2011

On Musical Genres...

Well, I suppose I should say something here about music since it was my major in college and grad school and I guess I've put some thought into it...

I don't like many of the labels people assign to music. Mostly they're more limiting than helpful and what's worse is our tendency to use categories like "genres" as a way to reinforce arbitrary differences in us. Race is a big one. Really, there's not much difference between "rock" and "soul" other than the fact that "rock" = "white" and "soul" = "black" in most people's minds. Same thing with "blues" and "country." Today, blues and country sound pretty different, but in the 50s & 60s, there wasn't much difference at all.

I think genre labels also limit what people can do with music. Musicians are pressured to write songs that fit into certain structures like making sure there are "verses" and a clear "melody" and simple, danceable rhythms. Genres are also expected to adhere to many other conventions, like a band's overall "sound quality" (ex: distorted, bass-heavy, twangy, subdued, over-produced, under-produced, heavily synthesized, etc.)

In this country there's a lot of pressure for songs to have both vocals and lyrics. Frankly, I don't think there are enough competent vocalists to cover this! In fact, a song's "melody" doesn't always have to be the most interesting thing about it. Rhythm can be interesting too! Syncopation is great! So are really complex rhythms like duples-against-triples, and all kinds of variations. Really, "sound quality" and "energy factor" are probably two things that I consider more interesting than what the singer is doing.

There's also pressure to assign a genre to yourself in order to get gigs and do successful marketing. Even if you just want to play gigs at bars and upload some of your tunes on itunes, most of the time you have to choose a "genre" from a drop-down menu and have that define what you do.

This whole set-up doesn't allow for much creativity or originality. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of musicians who ARE actively pushing the limits,* and I think their stuff is pretty sweet. I just think more of it would be better.

*Prince, Rage Against the Machine, P-Funk, That1Guy, Sufjan Stevens, Primus, Tree Thump, Balkan Beat Box, White Stripes, Hazmat Modine, and many more!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

word weirdness...

Have you ever typed or written a word so many times that it starts to look really strange and not like that word at all anymore? This happened to me today with a really common word, "like." Go me!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Two posts in the same month! A new record!! No, really, I'm making an attempt to post more since this whole thing is supposed to be about me practicing my writing.

I used to be in an intensive reading/writing/researching grad program. For three years, I had lots of experience writing, though none of it even remotely became what anyone would consider "interesting reading." I think this is true of most academic writing. There's an unspoken rule that this style of writing must adhere to a rigid structure. Like, the introduction has to hit you right off the bat with the main "thesis statement," followed by a comprehensive literature review (boring!), and then a summary of what's coming in the future chapters. Repetitive much? Next comes the chapters, which then must follow their own micro intro-body-conclusion structures. And FINALLY you reach a conclusion that summarizes everything you've read, which most people actually need because the piece itself was so freaking boring that you had to have six cups of coffee and you're sitting there wondering why anyone cares about [insert boring, obscure topic here.] You admit to yourself that you sure as shit don't, but you've got to read this thing in order to get an "advanced" degree or satisfy some other kind of bureaucratic, soul-sucking requirement. Jesus, that is SO FREAKING BORING! Why do that??

Of course there are exceptions to this, so I don't mean to dump on ALL of academia. Just most of it. When started my degree, *I* was planning on being an exception. I was optimistic. But I quickly found out how much the system was stacked against original thought. It was a career changing realization.

So that's how I'm trained to write. Like an academic. Recently I've realized that if I want to get better at writing, I'm going to have to unlearn all of the stupid academic writing conventions, and then LEARN how to actually write! The whole thing is kind of daunting. I'm reading a book right now that discusses how much our "internal editor" holds us back. Yeah, mine's like a power hungry drill sergeant on steroids.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Always Take a Piece of Meat...

In an effort to actually write posts more often, I've decided to use fewer complete sentences and more of a bullet point format. This blog-maintenance thing is turning out to be a little more work than I had planned. (If "little more work" means ANY work at all....) HA! 

So, anyway, here's some total randomness:

  • Indian music, particularly when played by Steve Gorn's bansuri, is mind-blowingly great.
  • I can smell Spring. And that is awesome.
  • Our dog Fritz has recently started sitting up on his haunches for long periods of time and looking at us quizzically. I have no idea what he's getting at. Maybe he's just sick of always being so low to the ground (he's part mini-daschund).
  • Sometimes I wish people wouldn't let their insecurities cause them to act like assholes.
  • Grilled vegetable kabobs are the only way anyone should eat veggies (especially when you also strategically put pieces of bacon all over said kabob)
  • Whoever invented the 8 hour work day should have their hands mutilated and then be subjected to a thorough tooth cleaning from a dental hygienist on PMS.
  • The radio station at work is playing the 80s hit "Every Time You Go Away" right now. When I was 7, I thought the lyrics were "Every time you go away, you take a piece of MEAT with you." But every time I heard it, I would also always think "Wow, that's kind of a strange song. Why in the heck would anyone carry a piece of meat around?"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Christmas Vacation 2010

Well, so far I have one follower, which could be due to the fact that I only told one person (my husband) that I started a blog. Wooo!
I've been told my blog needs a few things before people will come, like perhaps a cool design. Uh-oh. I'm not the most tech-saavy when it comes to creating and implementing computer graphics, so I've been putting that off.

I've also been putting off actually writing a description of the blog for two reasons. I'm not sure yet what I want it to be about, AND I found out it needs some kind of sub-heading. I had a hard enough time coming up with the title! Geez! But it seems these things are necessary if Google is going to recognize or acknowledge my existence.


In other news, P & I made it through the holidays! But only barely. This year, that was no easy task. First we had to drive north to Kenosha, WI through a medium-sized snow storm, then on Christmas morning as we were nearing the end of the present-opening, someone in my family (they'll remain unnamed here...) accidentally *stepped on* Fritz (our little boy, a mini-daschund mix), who was napping under a pile of blankets by the fireplace. OOPS. Poor guy! He literally had the piss scared out of him! Other than peeing all over the living room, he was fine. Glad we didn't have to cart him over to the small animal ER on Christmas. It's a Christmas Miracle!

After family time, we had planned a nice little 3-day getaway in Brown County, IN. The place was absolutely GORGEOUS. A hilly, tree-ey winter wonderland! Our little cabin was PERFECT. Fire pit, stream and foot bridge in the backyard. SO CUTE. The night we got there, we had a grand ol' time eating beef jerky, and drinking holiday beers. There was a gas-powered stove in the living room, which was wonderful and provided extra heat. Maybe I will put a picture up if I can find our camera. The trip took a slight turn for suckage at around 4:30am the first morning when I woke up with terrible stomach pains - harbinger of two days of misery. On top of the standard "stomach flu," I also managed to forget to keep myself hydrated a day or two before the attack due to extra holiday-inspired alcohol intake. Needless to say, I was reduced to a miserable, self-loathing, semi-conscious lump on the couch. The only upside was raiding the cabin's old VHS* (!) collection to find and watch My Girl. CLASSIC. That movie kicks ass. I boo-hoo'ed like a champ at the end.

Poor P also came down with a monster of a sinus infection that pretty much laid him out too. We were a sad picture. On the third day we managed to get out and ride to the state park and walk around, which was nice.

So that was Christmas Vacation 2010. WOO!

*As much as I complain about DVDs, they sure provide a better image than the VHS cassette tape. For real.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hair of the Dog

Hi world, welcome to my blog! Rather than provide any info, I'm just going to jump right in there and dump out some of my "brain goo" (as my husband P so fondly calls most people's blog/fb content...

So here are some random things:

-After lunch at work today, I noticed something pricking the bottom of my foot inside my boot every time I got up to walk around. It was an itchy, painful feeling - kinda like when a miniscule shard of glass lodges itself in your skin. So I sat down, took off my boot and sock and found a tiny, white DOG HAIR sticking out of the ball of my foot!* I swear, my dog Beauty's hairs are like frickin' NEEDLES. Porcupine spines. AND I'm allergic to them. They don't make me sneeze, but they give me itchy red bumps when they end up vertically lodged in my skin. So there's that.

-My coworkers and I have a Friday afternoon ritual where we pull an old rusty scale out from under the UPS label machine (I spend my afternoons at a loading dock of a concert hall) and weigh ourselves. So today, I discover that despite having had a terrible case of food poisoning last week, I have gained TWELVE pounds! Jesus. Maybe the illness weight-loss hasn't caught up to me yet. Perhaps next week? I don't know how that works. Who would I even ask about that?

-P has a knack for cooking things that taste really, really good. I mean really, REALLY FREAKING GOOD. He made a chili this week that gave me a full on buzz after I ate just one bowl. The stuff was like crack. Seriously. How lucky am I? Obviously, this is why I'm gaining weight. Oh well. It's for a good cause. Somebody's got to enjoy his cooking.

*This isn't the first time this has happened...