Friday, March 28, 2008

A Haiku of Thanks

I don't know why, but I'm always surprised by my friends. Not that they're not fantastic - they are, after all, my friends - but that they deem me worthy of being fantastic towards.

A few weeks ago during the Edict of Pain that was my back, whose limitations included being distinctively less able to help with my mother's never-ending bronchitis and asthma attacks along with her own back difficulties, my friend Jenn Schmidt made us a meal of her famous crock-pot meatloaf. She called us the night she was cooking it to solicit side-dish requests and then unexpectedly included a peach cobbler for dessert. I was duly informed that she had to get up at 3:30 in the morning to turn on the pot or stir it or some other sort of cooking thing, no doubt barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways! This Great Effort was all to help spare me one evening of the (at the time) painful task of being upright long enough to prepare and cook a meal for Mom and I, as pathetic as my meals may be.

Now Jenn (two Ns please) and her husband Phil are the best kind of people. Funny, sharp, musical, insightful, down-to-earth, faithful, inspiring, and just a really good time. They have five kids - FIVE - stretching from 16 to 3 and had the inspired brilliance to name their eldest, Keyrsten.

Jenn also doesn't run screaming at some of my more zany antics, like randomly calling out names at Kerysten's high school Christmas concert, which went along the lines of "All right LaKeisha! You go!" (I maintain that I was simply blending in with the natives who were similarly encouraging their schoolmates.) She's sneaky, is our Jenn, because she seems this shy and introverted person, but get to know her and she will have you in stitches.

I decided I had to do homage to Jenn for her fabulously tasty and intimidatingly dense crock-pot meatloaf (no vegetables too!!) and the friendship and kindness that drove her to offer and cook it. Being me, I can't just do it simply, but have to add a little pizazz, so I've decided to praise her in haiku because, well, why not?

Ergo - A Haiku of Thanks

Meatloaf cooked for us
Great help when back was painful
Tasty blessed relief

Added sweet dessert
The domestic goddess Jenn
Wicked funny too

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Getting There One Way or Another

WILD JINX by Sandra Hill is a mass-market novel for which I wrote the back cover descriptive copy. Last week it hit the New York Times bestseller list at #26.


It may not be my novel, but it's certainly my words that helped sell it. This is her third book in the Jinx Inc. series and I've written the cover copy for all three. It's very cool to see it all pay off! WILD JINX is cute and funny if you're looking for a quick read and don't mind some sexy encounters.

Harbinger of things to come? I hope so!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Lefts Nearly Made a Right

This is The Shoe Story.

It was the summer of 1996 and I was wasting away in Beverly, MA spending my days working telephone customer service at Sears Credit Central and my nights vegetating in front of the television. My sister Nanje would make me dinner in the evenings and often a bagged lunch the next day because otherwise, I probably wouldn't have eaten at all. I was so miserable. The three of us - Mom , Nanje, and I - were living in this four room apartment, Mom and I sharing the bedroom and Nanje making what should have been the dining room work for her own bedroom. I felt like that line from Princess Bride - wallowing in freakish misery, forever. I remembering just feeling useless and demoralized on so many levels. It wasn't a very good time for any of us.

It didn't help that I was terrible at the job. Right or wrong, I certainly saw it as beneath me and, with typical melodrama, was convinced that I'd be trapped there forever. I broke all kinds of minor rules. I'd fill my black sports water bottle with Coke when it was declared that we could only have water at our stations. I'd write scenes for a new novel in the steno book in between phone calls or read a book when it was slow, sometimes hanging up on incoming customers if I didn't feel like answering the phone or felt they were interrupting a particularly interesting part in my book or writing. My numbers always posted well and somehow all the calls that my supervisor observed were stellar - I even managed to win a fraud prevention reward - so I skated through about 9 months of this third ring of hell.

I had only just graduated Gordon College the summer before, having utilized the five-year college plan, basically because my double major and minor required more credits to complete than what were necessary to graduate. My visions of grandeur had been squashed pretty quickly. I'd been working at a regional theatre internship through the summer and into the fall, but had my contract terminated at the end of October because my mother insisted on making the traditional trip down to PA for Thanksgiving for a long weekend that stretched from Wednesday to Monday; an eternity in a theatre's schedule. Eh - they didn't like me anyways. So Sears it was.

I had started to look at publishing opportunities, an option the less-than-well-informed academic advisers at Gordon had never mentioned as a career opportunity. If Moyra hadn't spent a summer interning at the now defunct Mirabella magazine, I probably would have never thought of it myself. Through various connections and inquiries, I'd had a few informational interviews in the Boston area. Some church contacts back home in New Jersey netted me at least one Friday with my dad shepherding me through NYC to a series of informational interviews. I'd take my 3o minute unpaid lunch hour at Sears and stretch it into an hour, made my 15 minute breaks stretch towards the 40 minute mark, spending all that time on the pay phone in the vestibule, calling people, leaving messages, trying to find a future. My poor mother's calling card bill must have been out of control.

Turned out that a fellow bass in my dad's church choir was the vice-president or CFO or something big (it was 12 years ago, give me a break!) in the advertising department at a trade and commerce newspaper called The Journal of Commerce, which, at the time, was housed on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center. First he got me an assignment to write a freelance article for the advertorial section, which was a COMPLETE disaster on many levels, and then eventually an interview for an assistant's position in that same department, basically guaranteeing me a job provided I clicked with everyone else.

I could not have been more earnest, I promise you. Mom and I drove down to Jersey on a Thursday after a full day of work for both of us for a Friday interview; I stayed at Dad's apartment and Mom stayed with some friends from our old church. I believe that I was planning on wearing a turquoise suit I had at the time with buttons that ran down the front from nape to waist. I know I had off white/bone colored shoes to go with it. So there I was, super earnest, wearing my suit, waiting for my mother to arrive, anxious, looking at working in Manhattan, trying to figure out how I was going to live with my dad and sleep on a pull-out sofa for months on end (although my dad really stepped up and rearranged his entire one-bedroom, basement apartment to accommodate me and give me the chance to start my career) when I realized I had one, eensy weensy problem.

I had two left shoes.

Having the same 8 wide foot size, Mom and I had two sets of the same shoes, sort of like buying the same sweater in multiple colors because it fits so well. There were times when we wore them at the same time too, so sharing one pair wasn't feasible. Somehow in the last-minute fury that always precedes a major trip, I'd packed the two lefts of the two pairs and left the rights in Massachusetts. So there I was, preciously earnest, contemplating the fact that I was going to wind up wearing two left shoes to my first big New York interview. I couldn't think of any other alternative; we were using every spare dollar we had to make the trip so it never would have occurred to me to buy a new pair of shoes. I think I just figured if I brazened it out, no one would notice.

Needless to say, I was very wrong.

Mom was incredulous when she arrived and found out that I planned to wear both lefts. I think it ran something along the lines of "Don't be ridiculous. We will get you another pair of shoes." And we did, shopping in the mall of stores that decorated the first floor of Tower Two, eventually finding me a pair of bone shoes with a pointed toe whose three-inch heels were striped in bone and brown colors. They were an 8 1/2 regular, so they pinched in the heel and stretched out in the toe, but they were a left and a right, so I was good to go. I think my mother probably spent her food money on those shoes.

Well I had the interview, got the job (in case you're reading this - thanks Babs!) and, flush with success, found myself wandering the Wall Street area (in search of the office to get my drug test taken, a job prerequisite) cocky and proud in my new, tight, high-for-me-at-the-time shoes. Needless to say, I wound up bleeding all over Lower Manhattan when the blister on my heel broke. But at least I had the right shoes on the right feet.

This is my life in a nutshell. I'm the woman who will not only pack two left shoes, but be prepared to wear them.

It only gets nuttier from here on in.

P.S. A kickier version of this story helped get me into graduate school, which 1) proves the whole lemonade out of lemons idea or 2) only goes to show that the ridiculous mistakes of your youth resonate forever.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moving On Up

I delayed starting a blog for several reasons, one of them being a lull in creativity regarding the name. My best friend Moyra finally said to me, long distance from Colorado, "Just start it, you can always change the name later." So I came up with Khaotic Kapers and got started, but was never really happy with the name.

While the title "Khaotic Kapers" reflected me well with the dual Ks and described my life accurately and succinctly, because few things are as chaotic as the life I seem to lead, it just seemed a tad...wonky. Also, not an easily remembered title either, an all-important quality in the blogosphere.

Then I found myself thinking recently about New York City and working there and shoes, which makes sense if you're living in my head, and remembered my first interview for an actual job in New York City. Which led me to think of a new title for the blog.

I solicited the all-important opinion of my posse (because, for an independent, incredibly opinionated woman, I find myself needing validation for the strangest things), which consists of the most important woman in my life and yes, my mother made the cut. With a 5 to 2 result, I made the decision to rename the site even though my sister may never speak to me again.

So if you're looking for the blog of Kiersten Hallie Krum, aka ksquard, you can now find me here at Two Left Shoes.

Why I was wearing two left shoes is a story for another day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bad Start to a Good Day

It's Good Friday today, a misnomer for sure because I'd lay money that the people watching Christ walk to the cross didn't think it was a very good day. It's possible that our Lord thought it was good in an "I'm saving all people from eternal death from sin forever because I love them just that much" sort of way. But I've never really gotten the whole "Good" label. Of course the schedules for Good Friday and Easter are lunar based, if I remember correctly (and if I don't, allow me the bliss of ignorance), plus the early church established dates for the Christian calendar with an eye on the pagan one so that the heathens could just convert without loosing their holiday schedules. So perhaps the "good " tag has similar antecedents.

Whatever the case, I am not having a good day so far. It began at the nagging hour of 6:15 when I had to wake up to move the car out of the temporary parking in the school lot across the street from my building. Of course the school is closed today, but that may or may not have bearing on the elusive gate keeper who may or may not chose to close and lock the gates, potentially locking my car inside. On a normal day, if there are cars left in the lot after the appointed 6:30am hour, a police cruiser will show up and kindly turn on the loudest siren in the known universe to alert the neighborhood that some jackass had neglected to get their car out of the way. When that doesn't work, the same sadistic police officer in charge of the siren will then scan license plates and knock on doors.

Being a champion sleeper, I have, in the past, slept through my alarm and been roused by the dulcet clang of my doorbell (courtesy of the cops) inspiring me to spring up from bed (tossing cats left and right in the process), grab my keys, and sprint down three flights of stairs to move my car. One memorable September day a few years ago when I was out of work, I'd come back late from my mother's apartment in Philadelphia and parked in the lot, because in those halcyon days, the lot was open for parking all summer long. Two years ago, they built a new wing on the school, repaved the lot, and became suddenly pristine with the parking rules 365 days/year. Fascists.

On that particular early September morning, when my doorbell rang at around 7am I was so sleepy that I did my spring - sprint thing, but missed the grab portion and wound up downstairs answering the door in my summer pajamas sans car keys. The paternal looking cop stared at me oddly and requested that I move my car. I blinked at him and said that the school didn't open till September 7th. He just continued to stare at me, waiting for me to catch on. That's when I realized: "You're going to tell me today's Sept 7th, right?" He nodded.

Either I was really in bad shape or he just like my legs in my shorty pajamas (yeah, I'm betting that I was in really bad shape) because he waited while I went back upstairs for my keys, then followed me as I drove around the block looking for a parking spot, before insisting on driving me back around to my house as somewhere in my sleep haze, I'd totally forgotten to wear shoes. Not really so unusual as I rarely wear shoes when I don't have to from about April to October, but apparently enough of a concern that it warranted police protection. Eh - maybe it was my legs.

So I have issues with parking in the school lot and have sat outside for upwards of an hour waiting for someone to pull out to avoid parking there. Last night though, I was at rehearsal for Good Friday & Easter services until 9:30 pm, which meant I didn't get home till 10pm. I still had to unload the car, set up the communion tableau on the dining room table so there'd be some semblance of holiness in our lives for this important (if misnamed) day, do some prep stuff for Friday (today) and about 12,000 other tasks I had on my mental list. Well, I got the communion tableau done, (complete with the ceremonial draining of the alternative cup. Can't waste sacramental wine you know) and then just packed it in.

Which brings up back to this morning when I slept through my alarm clock, internalizing the buzzing into my dream so that I woke up 20 minutes late, slammed on clothes in the dark while the cats looked on curiously from their respective sleepy perches on bed and radiator, and bundled into my wool coat cause it's bloody windy and cold out there today. I grabbed the recyclables on my way down the stairs, and dumped them into the bin before going to the car, only to realize I couldn't find my keys. The keys that were in my coat pocket minutes before.

Glad that I had the foresight to leave the front door open, I climbed back up the stairs and still couldn't find the keys. So there I am, tearing my bedroom apart looking for my spare car key because I'm figuring that I must have thrown the keys out with the recyclables because there's nowhere else they could be, but I don't want to go back down three flights and be wrong, so I want my spare key to be sure I can move the stinking car before they close (or don't close) the gate. Well, by now I've woken Mom up and I'm yelling and swearing and the cats take off when I dump the basket of sunglasses and state quarters all over the bed as Tornado Kiersten spews through the room.

Of course, the keys were in fact in the recyclable bin. By now, I've shed my wool coat in the frenzy of searching for my keys, I'm brewing a headache from last night's (cough) ceremonial wine, and am going round and round the rosie with my car searching for a spot that I'm pretty sure I don't need but if I leave my car in the lot, I'm certain it'll be the one day the gate gets locked on the holiday, so I'm searching. I appear, however, to be the only sap in the neighborhood actually going to work, because the streets are nearly exactly the same as they were the night before - same cars taking up the same two or three spaces with the same out-of-state license plates (Oi, don't even get me started). After 2o minutes, I found one car on my street with lights and engine on warming itself up. So I sat there for another 20 minutes waiting for the fool to come out of his apartment and move the car, praying that someone steals the car in the meantime so that the idiot will learn not to turn his car on and walk away, when that same idiot comes out, TURNS THE CAR OFF, and goes back inside.

I. Was. Not. A. Happy. Camper.

It's 7 bloody 30 when I finally get a spot and traipse back upstairs. Mom, in the meantime, put my drawer and basket back together, cleaning up the mess left behind by Tornado Kiersten amidst a creaky morning back and her own sleepy fog. Needless to say, we were nearly an hour behind schedule this morning.

A less than auspicious start to a marathon Holy weekend. I think I've got 30 minutes of reverence and holiness schedule somewhere this evening and another 20 penciled in for Sunday. I'm always amazed that participating in worship and facilitating a holiday service for other people can so drain you of any opportunity for reflection and worship yourself. Sometimes, when I feel the Holy Spirit in the middle of a song, I believe it's worth it. The rest of the time is spent working towards that moment. A lot of it's spent moving forward without that moment, trusting that the Spirit moves with you even then too.

It was Eddie Izzard who perked me up this morning, and now I share that perk with you. For those of you not in know (which may be all of you) Eddie Izzard is a gut-bustingly funny British comedian (currently staring on the FX channel's show, The Riches) who began as a stand-up transvestite comedian. Weird, but very funny. I found this clip this morning of his schtick about the Death Star cafeteria as dramatized by Legos, a double pleasure for me as I am a Star Wars nut. A nut in the I have the movies (several versions, on VHS and DVD), the Trivial Pursuit (where I kick some serious butt) and Monopoly games, and the wealth of action figures, set pieces, and a priceless Millenium Falcon still reign as the best Christmas presents ever way. But not in the dress up and attend conventions way.

Which makes Death Star Canteen doubly special for me. Fair play: the language can get a little blue, so don't click if you offend easily. And, for the curious, yes, I can talk earnestly about the Holy Spirit and link to a slightly off-color Eddie Izzard clip in the same electronic breath. I'm a complicated woman - it's part of my charm.

Wishing all of you a blessed and joyous Easter day rejoicing that the tomb stands open wide.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Wonda Where the Burdie Is

Spring is sprung and welcome to it!

I switched out my seasonal office decorations today. They're minor; a snowman here, a snowman there, and a change in (empty) candy dishes. Most of my holiday decor is thanks to my boss whose Christmas gifts for the last few years have always managed to be seasonally related. Okay by me.

My spring stuff is a lime green bucket that says "Easter joys be yours!" and an aluminum rabbit that should stick up in my garden but as I haven't got a garden (or a house to go with it either) I stick it in my bucket and perched them on the wall next to my nameplate. Last year, my mother's Easter card had a huge black and white cat on the cover surrounded by Easter eggs with the tag line "What bunny?!" I post that on the wall too.

We're having cocktail hour (cheese and wine) in our department today (all 5 of us) and as the wine is chilling in my mini-fridge, I am being called with ever increasing intensity. I've been working my tail off all day both in and out of the office, so I'm pretty sure I've earned some cheap wine and sharp Irish cheese - Yummy!

Enjoy the first day of spring! Hope arises again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Firsts of the Day

There's something satisfying about opening a new package of Post-it® Notes. The initial frustration of trying to get the plastic off, the pleasure in pealing it from the notes, the faint zing of writing on the first page. It's as if these notes are a wealth of opportunity unwrapping before me. Maybe they'll be reminders to take my prescriptions. Maybe they'll hold titles of movies or books that I'd like to get/read/watch someday. Maybe it'll be a quick jot of flight information for my next trip. Maybe they'll keep stray thoughts or scraps of dialogue for my newest attempt at a novel. Maybe they'll just sit in a drawer on my desk indefinitely, exercising the right not to comply.

Other "firsts" that I enjoy:

The first dig into a new jar of peanut butter. I'm always careful how I puncture the foil covering on the jar that's underneath the lid because I want to be sure not to disturb the top layer of peanut butter to better preserve that initial rush as I scoop out the gooey bits and smear it on my toast. Yum.

The first words out of a new pen. I love soft pens; pens that feel good in your hand and write in a soft and flowing manner. Pens that make writing a craft, a joy, and not just rote. Once I find a pen I like I use it till it dies, but those first few words with a new one are awesome.

The first glimpse of snow. I almost hate shoveling the stuff. Almost. I've always been fascinated by the clear, clean blanket of snow after a good storm has passed. There's something so still about it, hushed even, like it's just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. I used to stand outside at Gordon College when it was snowing and just listen to the snowflakes fall and the trees waver in the wind. I like making snow angels in the virgin drifts, always striving to stand up out of my angel without adding footprints, but I've yet to be able to do it. During one snow-heavy winter, I would walk to the train station in Beverly, MA to catch a train to Salem where I was working and then walk from one end of Salem to the other to get to the office, only to repeat the whole thing in reverse to get home because the snow was too bad to drive in. But I could sit, waiting for the train, and hear the mute winter settle in around me.

The first sign of dawn. I'm as far from a morning person as you can get, but I so love watching dawn creep up on the world. I was reminded of it on our Daylight Savings Sunday when I was dressing for church in the dark at the crack of oh my God it's early. But then I drove up the NJ Turnpike and watched the sun inching over the edge of New York City and could feel the air change as the world woke up. Fabulous. I once watched dawn emerge over the Grand Canyon, easing the stars and darkness out to make way for the sun. There's just nothing like it.

Enjoy all your firsts today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Éire Go Brách!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's cold and windy today, but the sun is bright and the sky is blue for the day when everyone is Irish, including English/German/Polish Jersey Girls. Today I am wearing my favorite purple off-the-shoulder shirt accessorized with silver and purple Mardi Gras beads, a green Mardi Gras bead complete with Shamrock, a headband with Shamrock antennas, and my green feathered boa. So I am fully decked out for the day, although since the boa sheds dreadfully (and is stinkin' hot to wear) it currently adorns the screen at my office's entrance and not my neck. My shirt thanks me for it.

Enjoy your favorite Irish tradition today. Mine usually involves some Jameson's, some more Baily's Irish Cream, bangers and mash if I'm out somewhere, and a viewing of Darby O'Gill and the Little People featuring an exceptionally young and charming Sean Connery pretending to be Irish with a Scot's brogue, complete with a family sing-a-long as follows.

Oh, he is my dear, my darling one,
His eyes are sparkling full of fun,
No other, no other,
Can match the likes of him

Oh, he is my dear, my darling one,
My smiling and beguiling one,
I love the ground he walks upon,
My darlin' Irish boy


In honor of St. Pat's Day, I thought I'd recount a story from my trip to Ireland in '99. It was my first year of graduate school at NYU and I celebrated my renewed student status by booking tickets to Ireland for Spring Break to fulfill a long-held dream. After the first few days in Dublin, which included fireworks to kick-off the St. Patrick's Day week ( the last one of the 20th century), a literary pub crawl, and a fall in the mud at Trinity College Dublin, I rented a car and headed westward to The Connemara and County Clare and then down into The Burren and County Galway and then into County Kerry and onto the Dingle Peninsula, then into
County Cork to start heading east, back towards Dublin.

I wound up in Cork City one night, looking for a hostel that my Let's Go! book had recommended while weaving through rush hour traffic, complete with construction, in a stick shift car, sans the passenger side mirror thanks to a narrow road and an 18-wheeler in County Clare.

Such was the crazy trip I was having.

Finding myself on the far side of the Cork City- again - without finding the hostel - again - I pulled into a petrol station and called the place from the pay phone (cell phones weren't yet the end all and be all). A very friendly voice on the other end said to look for the purple door, but when I went back to the city and missed it for the fourth time, I pulled into the rail station and decided to hoof it.

A few blocks from the rail station, I found the purple door and rang the bell. While I'm waiting in the March wind for an answer, a man walks by behind me - late 30s, jean jacket, about 5'7", hands shot deep in his pockets, fairly non-threatening - and suddenly stops.
"Are you waitin' for Purple Door?" he says. (I can't remember the actual name of the hostel. "Purple Door" will have to do.)
"Yeah," says I.
"You're not plannin' on stayin' here?" Well, I thought. This is going to be interesting.
"That was the plan." His brow furrowed.
"Oh, I wouldn't, were I you."
"Oh really?"
I was skeptical, but not worried.
"Aye. "
"Why not?" His nose wrinkled.
"It's a bit smelly."
"Is it." He nodded, though I wasn't asking a question.

That's when the door opened and I turned to see a tall, blond 20-something, complete with various piercings, and said hello. When I turned back, my self styled travel agent had disappeared.

The blond was an American and when I asked for the guy I'd spoken to on the phone and he said, that's the manager, come on in and I'll get him for you. So I followed him into the common room where he introduced me to some Goths girls who were hanging out. Now, I was about 24 at this time and still feeling my way in some things, and so this hit my squee factor a bit, but I sat down and spoke with them and all was good while blond boy went to get the manager.

Well who should walk in from the other end of the common room but my on-the-street travel agent who, as it turned out, was the manager of the smelly place (not actually smelly, if you didn't count the incense). So we had a laugh and he offered me tea, which I remember as being really lovely, and I sat with him and the Goths for about half an hour drinking tea from a teapot in a cup, things not even Goth clientele can abolish in Ireland. Then he offered me the tour where he showed me the room I'd be in, complete with a sleeping lump who I was told rarely awakened. The manager said that he just went in every day and just slipped eight pound out of his pockets. This, I thought, was more true than not.

Well, it was a cold damp place with lots of "atmosphere" - scarves draped on the wall and raggedy sofas with deep, plush cushions - and not such great facilities. Plus, I felt hinky about co-ed rooms in those days. When I tried to expedite myself from the place, he insisted on knowing why, and when I told him, he got a bit bent and I couldn't tell if he was kidding again or not, so I left under full sail of pride, which left me on the streets of Cork in the dark at 6:30pm with no place to stay.

I headed back to the rail station, because by now I really had to pee, thanks to all the tea, and I figured I could do that and make some calls for a place to stay. As I was walking back to the rail station, I saw an elderly gentleman complete with vest and blazer and cap coming towards me and filed it back in my brain as a colorful note before I made to pass by him.

Which is when he reached out and grabbed my left boob.

Apparently, despite working in NYC for two years by then and another four after that, I had to go to Ireland to be felt up by some stranger on the street.

Not that that was a particular goal of mine.

I swatted him away and said something like, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? and kept walking. No harm, no foul I guess.

Once back at the rail station, I made some calls, but most places had co-ed rooms. I finally found a place that suited my needs with what turned out to be a very warm, narrow room with two bunks set end to end. The other women were great though, two were German as I remember, but it wound up being my worst night in Ireland as the hostel was home to many of the public (read private) school kids from the area who were up all night screaming and yelling. Plus I was working on a stellar cold and was already congested and what not. I spent most of the night sitting on the floor, reading Leon Uris' Trinity by flashlight, waiting for a reasonable hour to shower and high-foot it out of there. I left early enough in the morning that I ended up at Blarney Castle
when they opened at 9am on the dot where I was sacrificed on an ancient ceremonial stone table, which wound up being absolutely perfect.

But that's another story.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I came across a few things that made me happy this week, so I thought I'd share.

Erin Go Bragh
St Patrick's Day is right around the corner and while ranking as one of my favorite non-holiday holidays of the the year, I'm greeting it rather tamely this year due to scheduling stuff, responsibilities elsewhere, and my still-not-up-
to-snuff bad back. It's also a little weird having it merely 4 days before Good Friday and 6 days before Easter.

sidebar: How frickin' early is Easter this year?! At this rate,
we'll have it in February next year. I mean, Good Friday is only the day after the First Day of Spring. That's weird. I've hardly had any time to get into the Easter swing, though I have been indulging in more than a few Cadbury Eggs and Mini Eggs, cause Easter candy is the ultimate. end of sidebar.

While my lack of St. Patrick's Day plans may be pitiful (though my green feather boa will be prominent that day), I have had a good laugh while on the Get Irish Now Web site, where the Irish Spring people let you create your own Irish personae - you can even upload a picture of yourself to include in the image. I avoid all pictures of myself these days, but had fun with their substitute images. I even came up with a limerick to go along with it, included here for your own Irish guffaw (and with the caveat that I am a lousy limerick writer.)

There once was a girl from New Jersey
Who knew just enough to be nervy
She went down the pub
To seduce some poor schlub
And learned that most men are just pervy

I did warn you about my limerick flaws.
You should see me attempt haiku. It's not pretty.
I invite your superior limerick attempts in the comments.

Not Really in Distress
Have you ever been watching a film or TV show and moaned over the idiocy of the hero, heroine, or villain? Ever screamed at the screen "Pick up the gun you fool!" or "Call the damn cops already," or "Dude, haven't you read your own press? Wooden stake!!" or "Why are you still talking? Would you please just shoot that bastard?!"

No? Just me? Weird.

So I enjoyed the Things I Will Do If I Am Ever the Vampire link via the Smart Bitches. What kind of movie/story would it be if the vampires caught on and just figured it all out already? No wooden furniture, check. Well stocked gun rack, check. Shoot first; do not engage in hand-to-hand combat, check.

Eh - it'd probably be pretty short and boring.

Favorites? #30: A Kevlar vest with a ceramic trauma plate located over the heart is a rather trendy fashion accessory. Like, duh. And #31: I will take seriously anyone who approaches me with a water pistol and a confident expression. Because my mother used to use water pistols as a conflict resolution tool in our house. And not just on the cats.

I've been wondering what other THINGS I WILL DO lists I can come up with. I don't seem to be getting very far...

1. Always wear panties.
2. Always carry spare panties, just in case I forget rule #1
3. Require 10 day waiting period on all potential boyfriends.
4. Refuse to let my mother share my closet.

1. Make sure I always get a gun
2. Realize that surgeons have God/Saviour complexes and aren't worth the effort. Plus they usually stray to the nearest blond.
3. Accept that con men can make you think they might be a god (which could be worth it), and are much more fun than surgeons anyway.
4. Never push any buttons
5. Always go on the hikes

Lame, I know. But diverting.

Not too long ago, an e-mail went the rounds that included the animated Wake up cat. I got it from at least three people and loved it every time. Well, the same animator is at it again with Let Me In!, which is awesome. If you've ever had a cat (or child) that begged you for something and then deigned to comply when you finally got it for them, you can relate.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rainy Days and Pain Days Always Get Me Down

I've been flat on my back since Saturday afternoon (and not in a good way) during which you'd think I would have set my overactive brain to formulating a more interesting post than what this is going to turn out to be. But as I spent those days in a prescription narcotic haze thanks to the pulled muscles in my back, instead I turned my sluggish, soggy brain towards the DVR and programs archived there that needed to be viewed and deleted to free up memory. Not terribly interesting, I'm afraid. (Though some really good shows. Lost is coming back!)

On my (painful) drive into work today:
  • Following a pick-up truck, complete with cab, up Wyckoff Ave this morning, I saw written on the left side of the back window in Sharpie black "Free air bag test" and then on the right side "Keep tailgating." Ha. 'Specially since I'd just left the auto body shop.
  • Driving south on Rt. 287, another commercial pick-up truck, this time for a welding company whose tag line on the back was "We weld everything but a broken heart." Aw. (And also, then what good are you?)
And that's it for my Tuesday morning Monday. Above? Me after a muscle relaxer and Percocet. Except more pain-filled.