31 August 2005

The Plug has been Pulled

Well, Bill officially yanked my Katrina coverage watching. I was on CNN.com and getting worked up, and I've pretty much just been obsessed & depressed about it since Sunday night. So Bill pulled the visual plug. Too many images. He knows what that does to me.

I will take a carload of teddy bears to the shelter where some refugees are staying, though. At least I could do something, even if it's little bitty.

On a complete side note, but one that I've been thinking about since the hurricane hit, I had a good friend from college named Katrina, and she was always very proud of her name (she loved going to N'Awlins for Mardis Gras, too, but that's even further beside the point). Knowing her personality, she's probably very sad right now to have it associated with such devestation. And as this dear friend used to say, "It's true--it's not a farce." She got me saying it, too. You should start saying it, also. It would make her happy from afar. She's one of those people that I have on my "oh, crap, I wish I hadn't fallen out of contact with her" list.

30 August 2005

Floods of Tears

Well, the damage from Katrina is just horrific. On Good Morning, America this morning, Robin (forgot her last name) was reporting from Gulfport, MS where she's from, and she started crying on air. Her family's all right, but I think that they lost everything (as most people did along the coast). I just started bawling. For her. For New Orleans, 80% under water. For friends I have in MS who I assume are all right but I'm not sure. For the millions of people whose lives are forever altered.

27 August 2005


Yesterday, on Good Morning, America, I saw that apparently at press conferences in Thailand, the prime minister holds a little buzzer that makes a pleasant bell-like sound, and anytime a person asks a question that he doesn't want to answer, he dings it and says, "not productive." Then all the reporters have to move on to the next question.

I would like a bell like that.

25 August 2005

27, almost

I turn 27 in less than a month. I don’t feel almost 27. Growing up, 27 always seemed so old. The official birthday that moves me from mid-twenties to late twenties. Now, it feel surprisingly young and normal. Just another year. I still even get carded at restaurants.

This just isn’t how I planned on 27 going down. At 27, I was going to have been married at least 4 years, have one small child, know how to cook (and do so on a semi-regular basis), and have traveled to Europe.

The real 27 is being married for almost one year, no child (although a bit of a pregnancy scare over Christmas), a highly spoiled and untrustworthy dog who likes to pee in my closet, a “fend for yourself” dinner mentality which I constantly feel guilty about, and no trip to Europe in the old scrapbooks (my little sister’s been twice now, so if she schedules another trip over there, I’ve decided I’m going to book a weekend trip just to avoid a “three times a bridesmaid…” mentality)

It’s not that I would change any of my life experiences so far. It just seems a little surreal how quickly my 20’s have passed. Blip. There they go

24 August 2005

Would you like an insult with that pedicure?

Whenever I leave my hairstylist’s salon, I always feel so inadequate. Basically like I just fell off the back of the ugly truck. I realize that it really shouldn’t be this way. Quite the opposite, I should feel my most pretty. And my feelings of repulsiveness have absolutely nothing to do with the haircut. To be honest, the only reason that I still go there is strictly because of the haircuts.

The salon is the newest, trendiest salon in my town. Complete with industrial, stained-concrete floors, flambouyantly gay men, and half the stylists wearing hats at a jaunty angle. I went to go get my first cut there because they were down the trendy street that my husband and I used to live on and one of his friends had done some design work for them. The second that I walked in I just knew that they were not my style (i.e. none). Apart from the industrial edge, they had all of 2 (uncomfortable) seats in the waiting area (not the smooshy old couches I’m used to from my old salon). The only magazine subscriptions they carry are Vogue and some bizarre architectural mag (although thank heavens someone’s been leaving their old Real Simples). So I’m already feeling like a fish out of water just stepping foot in the place.

But here’s why I leave feeling like Princess Toadstool: The place is swarming with jellyfishers. Perhaps you are not familiar with this phrase from Bridget Jones Diary, let me explain. Jellyfishers are those people (usually women, but I have discovered that gay male hairdressers are also fairly skilled at this) who will say something that at first seems like an innocuous comment (the really good ones can even make it seem like an initial compliment), but then…sting. You realize that it was a snarky jab the whole time. At the salon, it typically comes in the form of an offer for further services or misguessing what services I’m there for. (“And you’re here for highlights?” “No. A haircut.” “Ohhhh.”)

Why do I keep going back? Why? Why? Because that dang Kelli cuts my hair better than any other person I’ve ever gone to. I swear her scissors are made of magical metal. So I’ll return again and again, like a moth to an insulting flame.

23 August 2005

What's a Celebrity to Do?

Bill always chides me when I say things like, “Oh, poor thing!” when I hear disturbing celebrity news like Katie Holmes being brainwashed, Sienna Miller getting cheated on by Jude Law, and whatever latest horrible white trash thing Britney Spears has done. I think that he views it as his mission in life to bring me back to reality and follow my sympathetic outburst up with an incredulous “Really?”

And of course, when I stop to think about it, no, they are not deserving of my sympathy. If someone was holding a gun up to each of their heads and forcing them to live a posh, pampered lifestyle and make poor relationship choices, then perhaps, they might earn a “Well, that’s disturbing.” But none of them should ever get a full-fledged “Poor thing!”

I do find one exception to this, though. I do feel bad for actors typecast as creepy, snarky people. Christopher Walken and Alan Rickman come immediately to mind. Oh, and that disturbing Steve Buscemi. Granted, they’re well-paid for it, but I would not like people to immediately think “evil” when my name came into casual conversation. And how would YOU like to know that when producers see you walk in the door, they see “evil”? But again, not a full-fledged “Poor thing!” More like… “What an unfortunate career turn.”

22 August 2005

I Hate Cancer

One of my good friends has cancer, the bad, yucky pancreatic kind (she's a lovely person with lovely things to say, you should go visit her page and pray for her).

It was a shock for her and her family and everyone who knows them. She's very healthy and vibrant, and that still shines through the yucky cancer. Her first round of chemo went well, and the cancer is responding well to it (isn't that an odd way of saying it? It makes me picture the little cancer cells poking their heads out of their little hiding holes like evil prairie dogs listening for cars going by.) I know that her body is hurting and exhaustion is constantly lurking, but I'm constantly amazed by the hope and faith that has poured out of her since the beginning of this yucky ordeal.

And that's just the only word for it, yucky.


There are too many kids in this tub.
There are too many elbows to scrub.
I just washed a behind
That I’m sure wasn’t mine.
There are too many kids in this tub.
-Shel Silverstein

That’s kind of how I feel right now. A little out of control. Getting things done because I know that they need to be done. Scrubbing on auto-pilot, but who knows whose tushy I’m scrubbing? And the only certainty is that I’m never going to catch up.

Every morning, I pass by this park on my way to work. Right after I graduated from college, there were a couple months when my older sister got really sick with pneumonia. As I had found out earlier that term that I had enough credits to graduate early, I had finished right before spring break, packed up all my stuff, and come home to a sister who was living by herself, and (I thought) was just a little under the weather. Turns out she was very ill with this awful pneumonia, and long story short—almost died, and I ended up spending the next few months living with her, working at a sucky job, pooling our money to eat (she had to quit working with children after she got out of the hospital).

Point of the story: It was a yucky time in my life, for obvious reasons, but I lived right by this park and went on almost daily walks. Every time I drive by that park now, I find myself getting extremely jealous of the college students and stay-at-home moms out walking and jogging. It’s not that I have any desire to go back to that time of my life in college when I could go walking in the middle of the day (well, maybe a little, but only if I could keep my husband and home ownership). Nor am I clamoring to get pregnant as soon as possible (although I am a little baby crazy after spending the weekend with my exceptionally cute niece). I certainly have no desire to go back to those post-college months working for the smarmiest doctor in this neck of the woods. I guess that the grass is always just greener on the other side. But I still think that a 40+ hour work week in a one-person office sucks.

18 August 2005

I'm going to the nut shop! Where it's FUN!

I have been accused of being an infrequent blogger. It’s true…it’s true. I won’t try to hide from it. I guess that when I sit down to write a post, this “little sister” mentality in me comes out, and I think, “Well, Ellen has the better blog. She’s the writer in the family! Why bother?” And the truth is, that’s not the point. She and I have different strengths. Always have. Always will. She sucks at math. I’m a math whiz. I couldn’t doodle my way out of a box. She’s a cartoonist. And our little sister got all the musical talent, bar none.

And the really horrible thing about it is that I prefer her blog to my own! It’s like Steve Zahn’s character in “You’ve Got Mail” when he gets sick of all the moping around at the slow bookshop where he works (i.e. my blog) and storms out saying, “I’m going to the nut shop! Where it’s FUN!”

So, oh, so sadly enough, that is how I feel about my blog. It’s not a bad little place. It’s just funner at Ellen’s. Maybe I need to establish a niche for myself. The blog for tall girls or the blog for new wives who think of their dogs as their children or the blog for people who consistently get 2 hours less sleep than they need and it’s their own dang fault.

15 August 2005

and a good time was had by all

so washington d.c. was fun. rode the metro. had a flashback to band trip in high school during which the chaperones had to make sure our entire band (i believe it was 130+ sr. high students, many of them surly or idiots) onto the metro and make sure they got off at the right stop. good grief, were they insane? i remember the pep talk for it: "the doors will open! you will get on and sit down in the available seats! if there are no seats, you will stand and grasp the handle immediately in front of you! do not grab the next person's handle! you will get off at arlington! not before! not after! arlington!"

contrast this with my little adventure with shelli and sarah: "were we at east paces ferry or west paces ferry? east. no. west. no. definitely east (it was east). if we go too far, we'll just go one stop up, not find our car and ride back."

and the thing i most associate with our nation's glorious capitol, shining beacon of freedom and democracy? tired feet.

and a really cute pair of pants that i bought that fit me really well.

but seriously, it was super-fun.

11 August 2005

Free those associations!

I can’t believe that August is almost half over. This year has flown by. Part of me wants everything to slow down so I can savor every moment. The other (bigger) part is thinking, “whatever!” It’s hot as hades, and I want the fall and winter to come so I can get all those warm-fuzzy (big difference from hot-sweltering) feelings about the start of school (even though I haven’t been in school for a number of years) and next thing you know it’s Christmas…yippee! I’m not usually one of the “Pollyanna” types to see sunshine and rainbows wherever I go, but I do love the autumn weather.

In the spirit of free association, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen is a rainbow from the top in an airplane. It really was like flying “somewhere over the rainbow”. Although, I was flying into Atlanta, so the only thing over that particular rainbow was soggy luggage and a traffic jam at spaghetti junction. Again with the not-exactly-Pollyanna.

Final thought: I am leaving this evening for Washington D.C. for some whirlwind girl-time fun in our nation’s capitol. I am looking forward to it immensely and have been humming “D.C., D.C., it’s a wonderful town, where the mall is up and the capitol’s down, the people ride in the metro in town…D.C., D.C., it’s a wonderful town” with visions of Sarah, Shelli, and I dancing around wearing smart little sailorette outfits singing. Of course, they're the singers, so they'd be Sinatra and Kelly, and I'd end up being that third guy who know one remembers the name of. I think the thing I’m most looking forward to (other than re-creating old golden era musicals) is purging out some old band trip memories, not that they were all bad, just time to wash away the images of lugging my snare until my arm was about to fall off my band director yelling at the top of his lungs at us at every national monument.

09 August 2005

The Things We Do for Love, part 2

As I swiftly approach the end of my first year of marriage to my wonderful husband, I find myself yet again looking around me and chuckling at the things we both do for love. For any of you that have met me husband, you know that he is a bit more organized and detail-oriented than I am (no comments from the peanut gallery, Ellen and Shelli!). And for those of you that can claim an acquaintanceship with me, you know that I perhaps tend to procrastinate a bit and am a wee bit messy at times.

But, ahh, love! That is why when Bill walked in the bedroom this morning and saw the bed looking like a pack of wild badgers had made it, he just smiled and fought the urge to tuck like mad. And when I came home on Sunday to find my husband had proudly come up with a basket system from Lowe’s for me to “file” my panties in vertically to utilize the under sink storage space, I just smiled and commented on how much I like the baskets.

And of course, by next week, he will again be tucking in stray corners and I will be heaping my panties in the old Rubbermaid drawers that I’ve had since college. But I will continue to clean the bathrooms because I know that he hates it, and he will mow the lawn because he knows that I don’t know how, but leave the weeds for me to pluck because he knows that I like to pull up weeds. And I’ll take Sunny out in the morning because Bill’s always in a rush to get out the door. And he’ll take Sunny out at bedtime because he knows that I’m afraid of raccoons. Ah, compromise!

08 August 2005

that darn dog

just when i want to be angry at my dog (this being the same dog who has twice peed all over the floor of the entryway after having a special "doggy garage corral" built for him, complete with partial carpetting and a king-sized litter box...don't get me started on the box), he does something extremely adorable like go and stand with half his body out the dog door and half of it in just to see if something cool is going on in the garage that he should know about.

and he's certainly the only dog i know who will chew on the same old dingey pipe that the house's prior owner's dog did one minute, then turn up his nose if a hair gets in his water dish the next.

05 August 2005

Random, random things about me

-I can remember where I was sitting when I first heard of Mariah Carey and heard her song “Vision of Love”. I was not impressed and still hate that song.

-I think my dog’s “pooping stance” is so cute.

-In my 27 years, I have never mowed a lawn, but I love pulling weeds.

-I wasn’t allowed to eat Lucky Charms until age 16 because my mom said it would “stunt my growth”. When I hit 5’10”, I went out and bought my own box, and then my mom started buying it in bulk at Sam’s Club.

-I’m horrible at keeping secrets.

-Sweeping and vacuuming gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

-I once ate a carrot out of a kid’s nose to try to get him to laugh.

-I touched my snotty friend Suzanne’s “American Girl” antique, minted penny in 3rd grade, just for spite.

-My favorite place to pet my dog is on his ears. I like to pull on them—they feel like silk.

-I keep a list of things that make me happy in my desk drawer, and when I start getting down in the dumps, I pull it out and make myself do one of them.

-I love it when I misjudge a book or movie and “discover” it at a later time (i.e. Harry Potter, Shawshank Redemption, Orange County, Count of Monte Cristo).

-I have more shoes than I need.

-My all-time favorite bath product was the (now discontinued) Avon roll-on colored bath soap, and I frequently look for the equivalent at Wal-Mart, but they don’t make it.

(And a special shout-out to my brother-in-law for enabling me to have subject headings on my posts!)

04 August 2005

Well, sometimes my symptoms just mask themselves for a few days before gelling into a discernible illness. I've pinpointed it...a sinus infection. One would think after a lifetime of sinus infections, all with the same basic symptoms, I would recognize it immediately. So I called my ENT this morning, could he call me in antibiotics? No, it's been too long since I've been in. Could he see me? No, not until Monday. What about the other doctor? Nay-no as well. So there's nothing he could do for me? Nope. Sinus infection does not agree with that answer.

Call general practitioner that I saw with the last sinus infection because family doctor wasn't in that day. She is out...until Monday. Leave desperate call for family doctor's nurse. Please, Jeanne! This is Karen...sinus infection...same symptoms as every sinus infection...even rationed one of the medicines from last time so only need antibiotic. Please!

Haven't heard back. Sneaking suspicion I will be toughing this one out in pain. Wish I could call friend in Mexico on her honeymoon to ask her to sneak back a ration of antibiotics.

03 August 2005

I am officially one of the world’s worst hypochondriacs. I got a tick bite yesterday. When I was ten, I would get them all the time (we lived on a large, wooded lot) and I didn’t think a thing about it, but now that I know all the horrible diseases those little vermin carry, I find myself researching the symptoms of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever because I have a headache, my forehead’s warm, I feel sick to my stomach, and I have gas.

Unfortunately, I was also raised with this German Protestant work ethic that if my temperature is under 100 degrees and I am able to keep solid food in me, then I am "fine" and can carry on with normal daily routine. Albeit very whinily.