so, will i grow a penis if i order this?

really, i wish i would stop getting so much spam...


nostalgia punched me in the face today...

I've spent the better part of the day so far going through old pictures, and what was left after that browsing through my old livejournal and deadjournal entries (yes, I know...what can I say? I was a sad little emo motherfucker for a while).

A couple of things:
a) I can't believe how everything seemed so important. Thank God I got over that.
b) How come no one ever slapped me for being so whiny?
c) The comments left on some entries by friends have been making me cry...especially the friends I've lost along the way...I miss having so many people who cared so much about me. I know I have plenty of people now who love me and care about me, but the number of those who are seriously invested in my well-being has gone down exponentially over the years.
d) I had so much more optimism and romanticism then. When did I become such a cynic?

Maybe it has something to do with hitting legal drinking age? Along with easier-to-come-by vodka, there's pessimism and doubt? I don't know that I believe that.

Even in my epic ramblings about heartbreak and pain and fate and whatever the hell else I was trying to sound intelligent about, I still managed to find a bright spot. No matter what the subject, I turned it around to make it a little bit better.

I don't know if I can do that anymore. It certainly doesn't seem like it.

Maybe I don't need that crutch anymore. Maybe after living a little more, experiencing more, I realize that there isn't always a bright spot. Maybe the fact that I'm more emotionally healthy now lets me accept the world as it is, without the rose-colored glasses.

My little revisit of the past today? It's given me much to think about.


i'm not the same one, look what the time's done....is that why you have let me go?

Once upon a time, I used to LOVE Christmas. Everything about it - the shopping, the crowds, the scents, the sounds. I loved driving around looking at Christmas lights, going to Christmas parties, I even went caroling a couple of times (which I'm sure the world has thanked me for stopping....). Several years of working retail at Christmas? Yea, didn't phase me. Wrapping 200 shoe shine kits at one of my jobs for a corporate Christmas present? Bring it on.
My favorite thing was always finding the perfect present for someone. I always put weeks of thought into it, and truly tried to think of something unique that I knew the other person would love and use. Over the years, I know I've come up with some pretty good things.

The last few years though, Christmas has lost its magic for me.

I still try to get in the spirit....I put up the tree, I listen to as much Christmas music as I can stand, I watch my usual Christmas movies....I decorate at work, and participate in anything holiday-related that I can. I do everything I know how to do, yet still come up short.

The gifts I buy are off a list, and now my goal is to just be done with it. The songs I'm listening to? 'Yule Shoot Your Eye Out', 'Green Christmas', 'Where are You Christmas?', 'Blue Christmas' (check out Low's version - infinitely superior to The King)...along with every other melancholy, tear-inducing song I have, and god only knows there are plenty...

Maybe it's just because I'm getting older. Maybe it's because so much of my family is a day away, and it's just not the holidays without them. Maybe it's because December has burned itself into my memory the last several years as a time of heartbreak and loss....

I'm sure it's a combination of all those things. How could it not be?

I miss the way things were...I miss being young and excited about the surprises Christmas morning would hold. I miss pancakes for breakfast after opening presents, and helping my mom with dinner. I miss spending time with my grandparents, and wish I had treasured that time more than I had when we had it.

All the silly traditions, all the stupid arguments...I miss them all. Those are infinitely preferable to how I'm spending my second Christmas in a row - at home, alone.
True, it's mostly by choice. I couldn't make it down to Tennessee to see my parents/sister/grandpa, and I turned down every invitation to Christmas dinner I received - I don't really want to spread my grinchiness around. I prefer to wallow alone, thank you very much.

Next year maybe it'll be different. Maybe I'll find a good memory to replace the bad ones. Maybe the hole that's been in my heart the last four years will start to heal itself over.

God, I hope so.

While I may be in no mood for this holiday, I still want to wish you and yours a very happy Christmas. I hope you all are safe, healthy, happy, and surrounded by those you love. Happy Holidays.


another crazy dream....

So, last night I dreamt that I was at my work Christmas party. It was at someone's house, which was pretty small - not much bigger than my apartment. Everyone brought their dogs, since there was a yard for them to run around in.

I happened to look through the sliding door out into the backyard, and noticed there was a pen with a big yellow python in it. I started freaking out, saying that the dogs were going to get in there and the snake was going to eat them.
First I was ignored, and then everyone told me not to worry, the dogs would be fine.
Suddenly, the python jumped over the fencing around its pen, and started chasing after the dogs. We managed to open the door and get all the dogs inside, and everyone was cheering and celebrating that they were safe, until once again, I suddenly realized that no one had closed the door again, and the snake was already halfway through it, and starting to charge at someone.

That's when I woke up.
Really, I think I'm on drugs without knowing it.

Anyways, I looked up the symbols: Dream Moods Dream Dictionary

To see a python in your dream, represents danger, sin, and overt sexuality. Alternatively, it may symbolize your determination.

To see a python suffocate and kill its prey, suggests that you are feeling emotionally stressed and anxious.

To dream that you are at a party, suggests that you need to get out more and enjoy yourself. If the party is bad, then it indicates that you are unsure of your social skills.

To see your coworkers in your dream, highlights aspects of your waking relationship with them, including difficulties/support. It signifies your ambition, struggles and competitive nature. If the coworkers in your dream are not your actual coworkers, then they may pertain to some psychological business that you need to work on. Work-related dreams can also often be linked to stress at work.

To dream that you are training someone to take your place, suggests that you are moving toward deeper inner development. You are leaving behind old attitudes and are looking toward the future.

To see a dog in your dream, symbolizes intuition, loyalty, generosity, protection, and fidelity. The dream suggests that your strong values and good intentions will enable you to go forward in the world and bring you success. Alternatively, it indicates a skill that you have ignored or forgotten. If the dog is vicious and/or growling, then it signifies some inner conflict within yourself. It may indicate betrayal and untrustworthiness.�If the dog is dead or dying, then it indicates a loss of a good friend. Alternatively, it represents a deterioration of your instincts. Also consider common notions associated with the word dog, such as loyalty ("man's best friend") and to be "treated like a dog".

To see a happily barking dog in your dream, symbolizes pleasures and much social activity. If the dog is barking ferociously, then it represents your habit of unnecessary barking at people and the situations around you. It could also mean unfriendly companions. To dream that a dog bites your on the leg, suggests that you have lost your ability to balance aspects of your life. You may be hesitant in approaching a new situation or have no desire to move forward with your goals. Alternatively, it symbolizes disloyalty.

To dream that you are buying a dog, indicates your tendency to buy your friends or buy compliments and favors. Alternatively, it suggest a need for you to find companionship. If you are being guided by a dog, suggests that you are having difficulties in navigating out of a situation or problem.

To dream that you are dressing up your dog, signifies your attempts to cover up your own character flaws and habits.

To dream that you are ignoring someone or being ignored, represents some aspect of yourself which you are not paying enough attention to. Alternatively, it may reflect your real waking experiences of being ignored by that person.

In conclusion? I have no damn idea what any of that meant. And dream interpretation is bullshit. But I'm going to send that in to them anyways and see what the "experts" say. I'll update if I get a response


attention bloggers - andrea has gone awol....

Dear friends:

This is Andrea's computer speaking. I have to tell you, I'm worried about her. She has been ignoring me so much these last couple of weeks. She gets home from work, late, as usual, and barely says two words to me. She ignores the lovely blog posts and twitter updates I have helped supply her with, and only seems interested in checking her email, updating her facebook status, and then going to bed. I know she's been working hard, but I work hard all day too! Why can't she just appreciate me? Always going to sleep at 8pm, telling me she had a rough day, or she has a headache. Doesn't she know that I need -- nay, that I DESERVE -- love and attention as well? Do I not have needs? Do I not have feelings? Am I not human?
Wait...don't answer that.

Well, friends...I just wanted to see if you miss her dry wit and sudden sweetness as much as I do. Her use of rhythm and meter to drive home a point, her understanding of metaphor and hyperbole to illustrate a thought....Her incredible talent that goes sadly unnoticed by the powers that be....

I wanted to let you know that you aren't alone...and that I will do everything in my considerable power to get her up and blogging again...

Until then,


violet, you're turning violet!

from middle-aged woman over at unmitigated. check her blog out, she's fantastic!
Your rainbow is strongly shaded green and violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

yea, that sounds about right.
also, it resembles the bruises i generally have, being a klutz. sweet.



I got my first award on Sunday from Middle-Aged Woman at Unmitigated. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside, but unfortunately I have been either too hungover or too tired to do anything about it til now. So here it is!

Da rules:

1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then "add image" it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the "picture" widget. Also, don't forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.


1 - Chapstick. Burt's Bees. Blistex. This very fun Little Miss Sunshine banana flavored kind I have. I NEED IT. Especially in the winter in the cold that is Michigan. I'm a big fan of lip gloss as well.

2 - Aveda Comforting Tea. I'm fairly certain there is crack in my teabags, but I don't care. It's delicious. Also, within the last year I discovered that I love tea, which I never thought would happen. I think I am up to 13 kinds at work now...maybe more.

3 - Books. I love to read as much as possible. I love spending hours in a bookstore. I love the smell of libraries.

4 - Scarves and gloves/mittens. I have, at last count, 17 scarves, after donating an additional 10 or so. Probably about the same amount of gloves. I like cozy things that keep me warm - this extends to blankets, socks, sweatpants, hoodies, etc. I guess I'm really just addicted to comfort.

5 - The West Wing. I DVR all the episodes that Bravo has on every weekday from 8-10am. Eventually I'll buy the box set, but I keep having setbacks on spare funds. I love the writing (although 5th season leaves much to be desired....I missed Aaron Sorkin so much), I love the characters. It was a great show. Too bad it wasn't reflective of reality....

I had planned on being more thorough, but I'm tired, so that won't happen. Instead, I will just tag:

- Sal - because she is full of great tips for both looking and feeling beautiful. and i always love the shoes she is wearing in pictures

- h31n0us - cause he makes me laugh so hard i almost pee myself at least three times a week (usually while i'm at work, naturally), and he's man enough to repost an award that looks like this one :-)

- Amy - seems to always be going through similar things to what i am going through or have recently - and we're both pretty strong chicks, i think!

- Rachel - the fact that her blog name is from 'Sabrina' which is one of my favorite movies ever is enough to qualify her.

- Sister - she already got this as well but i don't care. she's my big sister and she's a hundred kinds of fabulous. even if she lives in tennessee. which is stupid.

enjoy, dearies!


Ooooh, shiny....

I had the best idea for a blog last night. I should have written it then, but I'm fairly certain, given my state at the time, that it would have consisted of "Yummmmy RUM is good.......I LiKE piZZaaa!!!111!!@ Slepe is tops. Ok bye!"

I love vacation.

The point of this is that I forgot what my brilliant idea was.
Suffice to say, it was amazing, and everyone would be in awe of my genius, and I would become Blogger of the Year, and be invited on Oprah, and the world would revel in my glory.

Or, alternatively, I would start writing, and then get distracted, and go make a sandwich, and watch some TV, and three hours later, I would come back to my computer and wonder what the hell I was doing.

Does anyone else have blogging ADD like I do?
It's annoying.


wow. twilight was even worse than i expected it to be.

thank god it was a matinée so i only wasted 5 dollars.
of course, that is 2 hours of my life i'll never get back...


My car hurts :-(

So, on my way home from work today, I got in an accident.

I'm okay, just shook up. My legs wouldn't work when I had to get out of the car. They were shaking so bad I thought I was going to pass out.

This puts a serious damper on my vacation to see the family next week....although if I win the lottery tonight, I will be buying a new car, and plane tickets. Actually, maybe I'll hire a chauffeur. That might be better.

I'll have better pictures tomorrow. In the daylight.

:-( I hate today.


I've lost hope for any more sleep tonight....

I hate waking up crying.

Not just a few spare tears that managed to sneak out, but full on sobbing, trying hard to muffle it as to not wake up my roommate at 4am. Gasping and fighting for air, eyes burning, nose running. Curled up in a tiny ball, as if that'll keep any more awful images from forcing their way into my subconscious.

I've had many dreams where I lose people I love. Plane crashes and heart attacks and car accidents and zombie takeovers....I've seen it all in the hours I'm sleeping. Everytime something hits a little too close to home, I find myself on edge the rest of the day.

But I don't think any dream has ever effected me this much...has ever forced me out of bed at 4 in the morning, terrified to fall back asleep because the images might come back.

What is the difference now? Was it the utter insanity of it? Usually, the loss comes by some random but plausible means that I know comes from a real fear - or by something so completely impossible that I don't allow myself time to consider it (because, seriously, I'm not actually concerned that my sister may find herself eaten by a velociraptor anytime soon)? Was it because this was something that had never even entered my realm of conscious thought that it has my heart still pounding, twenty minutes later?

Was it more? Was it the sense of hopelessness I had, as I watched someone's life slip away from them, literally between my fingers? Was it anger at anyone who would commit such an act? Was it fear - not that the circumstances of the dream were likely to happen, but that the revelations made were more based in reality?

I don't know. I don't know. All I do know is that it's 4:24am, and I will not be able to fall back asleep. And my long day ahead just got longer, now that I know I'll be jumping ten feet in the air with every sudden noise I hear.


This is only because I'm not quite tired enough yet...

Who'​s the bigge​st douch​e bag you know?
Well, I'm fairly certain that even if I had an answer for that, I wouldn't divulge that information so easily on the interweb.

Have you ever liked​ someo​ne on your top frien​ds?​
No, I don't really like anyone. Ever.

Someo​ne asks you on a date,​ where​ do you wanna​ go?
Somewhere with alcohol. I won't lie, I'm easier to know when I have a drink in me.

You have to get a facia​l pierc​ing,​ what do you get?
Been down that route, I'll pass.

Are you mad about​ anyth​ing?​
Not at the moment, but the wine helped.

Are you plann​ing on going​ to colle​ge?​
Yes! I start up again January 5!

Do you smoke​ weed every​day?​
I do not. Nor have I ever. That just doesn't appeal to me.

Would​ you go a month​ witho​ut cursi​ng?​
Am I getting paid to do so? Even then, probably not. I curse like a sailor. I blame my mother's side of the family :-)

Are you curre​ntly readi​ng a book?

Have you ever ridde​n a horse​?​
Yes, but not in years.

Are you scare​d of shark​s?​
In theory, no. However, I'm sure if a shark and I entered into a battle of wits, I would simultaneously defecate and pass out.

You get arres​ted,​ what for?
Something ridiculous. So far-fetched that there probably isn't even a law prohibiting it, because what person in their right mind would do something so idiotic?

What are you weari​ng?​

When did you cry last?
About 17 minutes ago, watching Grey's Anatomy. I'm a sap. And you better love it. Because it comes with the package.

Plans​ for tomor​row?​
Work. Beyond that, who can know?

Do you like seafo​od?​

Do you remem​ber your dream​s?
Quite often, which isn't generally good, as I have extremely vivid and realistic dreams a lot.

I say Shotg​un,​ you say:
Already called it, bee-yotch.

Who was the last perso​n in your bed?

What'​s one thing​ you'​ve learn​ed this year?
Don't glue your ear to the table.

Who would​ you like to see right​ now?
There are many people I would like to see SOON, but right now, I would like to see the inside of my eyelids.

Are you afrai​d of falli​ng in love?
We'll find out if it happens....

Do you consi​der yours​elf a study​ freak​?
Not yet, but come January I intend to be.

Name some thing​s you did yeste​rday?
Worked. Chatted. Slept.

If you are being​ extre​mely quiet​ what does that mean?
I'm either sad about something, or EXTREMELY pissed off, and I know myself well enough to know that I shouldn't speak at those times.

What is the weath​er like today​?​
There was weather? I didn't realize, as I was at work for ten and a half hours.

If someo​ne looke​d ON your bed, what would​ they find?
Pillows, sheets, comforter. The best blanket in all the land, aka, the blanket my momma made for me.

Where​ did you sleep​ last night​ and with who?
In my bed, alone. As most other nights.

Are you afrai​d of rolle​r coast​ers?​
Not at all. Luckily, I did not inherit my mother's fear of heights.

Can you play guita​r hero?
No. I have tried, but I really have a mind-body disconnect and I definitely lack the coordination.

What is the last thing​ you did befor​e you went to bed last night​?​
Turned off the light

What are you doing​ right​ now?
This, and then going to bed.

How late did you stay up last night​ and why?
Close to midnight, and probably because I was trying to prove to myself that it is possible for me to stay up past 7pm

Do you belie​ve ex's can be frien​ds?​
Yes. It's not always easy, but it can be accomplished.

Ever been swimm​ing in a lake or river​?​
Yes, I prefer that over a pool. Not over the ocean, though.

Is it cute when a boy/​girl calls​ you baby?
No, it's annoying.

Is this year the best year of your life?

Do you have any stran​ge phobi​a?​
Revolving doors.

Is it easie​r to forgi​ve or to forge​t?​

What woke you up today​?​
My alarm clock.

What kind of shirt​ are you weari​ng?​
A tshirt

Are you excit​ed for the futur​e?​
Of course. My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

When was the last time you yelle​d at someo​ne?
Probably sometime when my sister and I still saw each other on a regular basis, and likely when we shared a roof. I'm not a big yeller.

Is there​ someo​ne you liked​ so much and nothi​ng ever happe​ned?​
Who hasn't had that happen?

Have you done anyth​ing you regre​t in 2008 so far?
No, I learn from all my stupid mistakes.

Is ther​e any emoti​on you'​re tryin​g to avoid​ right​ now?
Nope, I embrace the lethargy.


Crawling in the dark...(Life with RA)

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2005, when I was 22. I had gone into my primary physician complaining of lethargy and body aches, figuring I had some kind of virus, and after a course of antibiotics I’d be back to my old self. My doctor did some blood work, and found that my sedimentation rate was high, which suggested inflammation. She referred me to a rheumatologist, concerned that my symptoms could be a sign of either Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Lupus, and I set up an appointment for a few weeks later.
My initial appointment was spent answering A LOT of questions about when I had the most pain, what different conditions, when I felt most tired, where the pain was worst, and on and on. I also got a lot of blood work done, and had x-rays taken of my chest, wrists, fingers, and knees. By the end of the appointment, my doctor thought that I showed symptoms of RA, and started me on 200mg daily of Celebrex, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). I scheduled a follow-up for a month later, a few days after my 23rd birthday.
In the three years since then, I have been to the doctor more times than I care to count. I have had more blood drawn than seems humanly possible, and spent far too much money on medication and Icy-Hot. Not quite what I imagined my life would be like at 26.
I have been lucky.
My RA doesn’t seem to be progressing all that rapidly. I have been able to stay with Celebrex, and last year added Plaquenil to my daily oral dosings. Plaquenil is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that has been shown to prevent swelling and pain in arthritis sufferers, although, from my research, it’s not known quite how it works. With these two drugs, I have been extremely happy to discover I don’t have any major side effects.
However, in the last year, I was forced to switch from Celebrex to Aleve when my insurance no longer covered Celebrex. Painwise, the Aleve was successful. Unfortunately, taking it at the dosage I required caused me to have stomach pain, and after an endoscopy in August, I discovered that I have pre-ulcers. Now I am on a Tylenol regimen that isn’t nearly as effective, until my preauthorization to get Celebrex covered again comes through.
Occasionally I will go on a course of Prednisone, a steroid that reduces inflammation. This drug affects me in many ways, and I prefer to stay away from it. I become a different person when I am using it, prone to sudden mood swings, going from lethargic and mellow to bouncing off the walls. It also can cause weight gain, and sure enough, every time I use prednisone, I suddenly seem to have an extra 5-10 pounds or more that appears as if by magic, no matter what I do to prevent that. That in itself is an oxymoron, as I know that if I lose weight, my RA symptoms will ease, but every time I get into that groove, I end up on steroids again and balloon back up.
Even though my RA isn’t always that bad, there are times I have flare ups that make the simplest task seem impossible. There have been days where I’ve had to literally roll myself out of bed, and crawl to the shower, because I know hot water is the only thing that will help with my morning stiffness. Those mornings I thank God and my roommate that I got the room with the attached bathroom. Sometimes when my wrists and fingers are acting up, I find myself fighting tears at work because not only can I not type, and do my job, I can’t even focus enough to try. I’ve had many restless nights, unable to sleep because of pain in my hips, or knees, or shoulders, or ankles. And there have been too many times where I wanted to do something, but after having to drag myself around all day, I’m simply too exhausted to do more than collapse on the couch and stare into space.
Cold weather is difficult as well – it makes the swelling of my fingers worse, and they actually turn purple. This is something called Raynaud's, and it is common in patients with RA. It’s not unusual to see me wearing gloves a lot once the weather turns cooler, in an attempt to keep my joints warm enough to function. Flying is especially bad – something about the cabin pressure and the cooler temperature – and I’ve been known to don gloves on flights in the middle of summer.
Living with RA is difficult, and not necessarily because of the symptoms of the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is not an illness with visibility. You can’t see someone suffering from RA and know what they’re living with. People who don’t know my situation probably think I’m lazy on my bad days, when I take the elevator up one floor at work, or when I mention that I’m going right home from work and sleeping. It’s not an image I want coworkers to have of me, but the sad truth is, RA has affected my life more than I thought possible when I was diagnosed.
There is no rheumatoid arthritis in my family that I know of. RA isn’t necessarily a genetic disease, although it can be passed down. Doctors don’t know why some people get RA and some don’t. RA doesn’t only hit senior citizens. There is no age restriction for arthritis. However, from what I’ve found in research, my age at diagnosis was slightly more unusual, as most people develop RA between the ages of 25 and 50. Women are affected by RA three times more often than men.
Being a 26 year old woman with rheumatoid arthritis is an experience, and since diagnosis, a new set of fears. I face day to day challenges on some of the most routine tasks that I’ve been doing for years. Tying my shoes, walking up stairs, brushing my hair...all things I’ve done without issue since I was a child, but now have problems with. And new fears? I’m scared that the things that I’ve always counted on in my life will never happen. I’m afraid that by the time I’m ready to have children, my disease will have progressed to the point where I won’t be able to, or I won’t have the energy to play with them if I am able to have them. I’m scared that I will lose my independence at a much younger age that I ever could have guessed, and my freedom is something I value more than most things.
I do try to be more active to help keep me mobile and energized. I bounce back and forth on Weight Watchers – again, it’s hard to stay motivated when a part of me knows that the next time I’m back on certain medications, I’ll just fail again. But I press on – trying to change my lifestyle to keep myself from requiring hip replacement surgery in my thirties.
I have to say that not everything has been bad since being diagnosed. I’ve really learned how many people care about me in the last few years. My family has pulled around me, and my friends have been a huge support. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people, and it’s paying off. There are days when I don’t want to go to work, don’t want to leave my apartment, don’t even want to get out of bed, but I know I have people I can reach for, or call, and they’ll put some motivation back into me.
I’ve also learned how strong I am. How I can work through pain and fear and confusion and get things done. How I can inspire others, and inspire myself.
I have been lucky. On so many levels.
However, I know luck changes. But I also know that if and when it does, I have the strength of my family, and my friends to get me through it. More than that, I know that I have the strength within myself to push through whatever this life throws at me.

This December I will be participating in the Arthritis Foundation's Annual Jingle Bell 5K. December 7th marks my 4th year walking, and I am eager to once again face the challenge - 3.2 miles that start with a fairly intimidating hill, usually tromping through ice and snow. I've done it 3 times before, and I can do it again.

I'm asking for support doing this - my hope is that even if there is no cure found in time to help me, maybe research will develop new treatments with less side effects, or even a cure by the time my future children may have to deal with this.
If you have the ability, please sponsor me in the Jingle Bell Walk. I truly appreciate every donation, no matter the size. If you can't donate, please keep me in your thoughts on December 7th!

Thank you all for the support and encouragement!

To donate: My Fundraising Page

November 2005 Article about me in Oakland Press



My coworkers and I were all zombies.

During our lunch hour, we went downstairs, to the zombie-tailored food court. There we found such establishments as ‘Brain Bonanza’, ‘International House of Innards’, and a vegan zombie joint, which I unfortunately can’t remember the name of.

It wasn’t scary....it was just...normal. As if we had always been zombies. As if cannibalism was the thing. As if my giant hamburger of ground up intestine was standard fare on a Monday afternoon.

I have had some weird dreams in my life, and this one was right up there. I am hoping that these vivid dreams stop soon – because I am definitely not getting any good sleep.

I think the worst thing about this dream was how mundane it seemed...til I woke up, and grossed myself out over my subconscious self eating ground up human.....ick.


Another music meme.....

This is basically the one I just did, but I get to choose answers now. Which is a bonus, since music is pretty much everything to me. Got this one off of Middle-Aged Woman

The Song Which:

Reminds you of an ex-lover:
"Yellow" by Coldplay....maybe because it was the most overplayed song in the world when it first came out, but when I was with him, we always seemed to hear that song, or see the video. Just the first few notes of that song, and it all comes back....that was the first (probably only) guy I've ever come close to really falling for, and it doesn't help that we're still close and still talk often. People always say a first love never really leaves you, and I suppose that's the case here, even though it was never really love. At least not that kind of love...

Reminds you of an ex-friend:
"To Be With You" by Mr. Big. It's not so much an ex-friend as a friend that was taken long before his time. Someone who still crosses my mind to this day, even though he was killed over six and a half years ago. He was the one who renewed my love of 80s music. I could use almost any 80s song for this, really, but that was has a different kind of significance, as we always seemed to be a week off track with each other, although I know we both wanted the other at some point or another. I'm sure that for the rest of my life, anytime I hear the Scorpions or Great White, he'll be fresh on my mind.

Makes you cry:
"Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World. That song reminds me of everyone I've ever loved and lost. Actually, one of the lines from it will be one of my next tattoos ("so lucky so strong so proud" in case you're interested)

The only time I've heard that song and not cried was when I went to their concert this past July. And that was probably because I was actively trying not to.

Makes you laugh:
"If I Had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies. That song will forever remind me of youth group and long car rides and overnight retreats and singing along as loud as possible with my best friends. Guaranteed way to cheer me up is to either play that or start singing random lines from it.

You never want to hear again:
"100 Years" by Five for Fighting. A song so awful that I actually had a nightmare about it. If you don't remember it from the ten minutes when it was everywhere, here are the lyrics: This song makes me want to stab my ears out

Sums up your teenage years:
"Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum. Still one of my favorite songs, definitely was then.

You want to get married to:
First dance? Or walk down the aisle to? I'll choose one that would work for either, and I would use for at least one of those - the acoustic version I have of "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. It's an absolutely beautiful rendition. It would definitely be a little less traditional than the standards, because I imagine if I ever get married, it'll be fairly unconventional.

Songs that make you want to "get it on":
"Come a Little Closer" by Dierks Bentley. His voice is just....yum. Anyways. "Green Eyes" by Coldplay...one of my absolute favorite songs. Maroon 5 "Secret." "Crush" by Dave Matthews. Although, obviously, I don't know about any of this from experience. Hi Mom.

You like to wake up to:
I wake up every morning to "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer, as it's my ringtone and therefore my alarm. That works for me.

You like out of your parents' collection:
Anything from the Beatles.

Wouldn't know about if it weren't for a friend:
"Sunday" by Bloc Party. One of my newest favorite lyrics is from here - "When I'm with you, I am calm, I'm a pearl in your oyster...Head on my chest, a silent smile, a private kind of happiness. You see giant proclamations are all very well, but our love is louder than words." Sigh. Why don't men that write lyrics like that exist in my world? The lovely accent doesn't hurt either.

You want at your funeral:
"Let it Be." The Beatles.


Closer....(iTunes meme)

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

(great song. <3 jimmy. lyrics sorta make sense for this)

Any Way You Want It
(so I want to be spoiled? or I just want Steve Perry? (80’s style...not so much now))

Why Worry?
(ok, this is maybe exactly what I needed.)


(well, yea...)

The Luckiest
(hope not, cause if I’m the luckiest, everyone else must be screwed....)

(well, I like to be outside..)

Look After You
(I don’t know if that’s in a good, got-your-back way, or in a creepers stalker way...)

(HA! I just almost spit out coffee. This is waaaaay too appropriate)

Heaven Forbid
(heh, yea, kinda, I guess)

Satan is My Master
(oh, ben folds. you and your crazy songs)

Hate Me
(that makes me a little blue)

Never There
(well, yea, I suppose that’s true, since they live 600 miles away....)

Don’t Waste Your Heart On Me
(heh, that’s a divorce waiting to happen, methinks)

Keep Breathing
(heh. that seems a little inappropriate)

Gathering Dust
(HA! Again, almost spit out coffee)

Love Ain’t Worth Making
(so true....)

Wreck of the Day

Lay Me Down
(that’s probably inappropriate...)

(does that mean I’ll be having a baby? or just a beat down car?)

Brace Yourself
(not so encouraging)

When the Heartache Ends
(true but sad.....)

Let It Be
(weird how that came up....it’s the true. on bad days I listen to that on repeat for hours. especially at work)

Perfect Girl

Never Leave Your Heart Alone
(I’ll run with that)

You Could Be Happy
(I hope they are!)

Runaway Train
(well, that could be interesting...)

(haha. yea, I think I’ve proven that with my wide assortment of injuries...)

Gotta Go My Own Way
(don’t laugh...it’s from High School Musical. 2.)

Sorry About That

(god, I hope not. I prefer a painless death...)

Kiss the Rain
(um. yes. definitely)


(yea, Damien Rice does that to me)

Just Watch the Fireworks
(no, not really)

Wise Up
(HA!! Coffee on the monitor again....)

Let Go
(eh, nothing funny there)

(not NIN version, thank you)


Too tired to do more than this...

From Middle-Aged Woman

What Your Cute Monster Says About You

You are a vibrant, vivacious person. When you live, you live as wildly and loudly as possible.

You are very bold. You are willing to stand up and be a leader.

Your inner demon is intensity. You have a tendency to let your passions take over.

People think you're cute because you're fiery. When you get worked up, it's charming.

Yea...more or less.


Tonight I carved a pumpkin...

...with minimal help from my work BFF, and with minimal hindrance from a half bottle of wine.

here's how it turned out-

It's supposed to be Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I did it freehand, and slightly tipsy, so if you didn't get that right away, no worries.


Seven random facts....seven deadly sins...coincedence?

I got tagged by my lovely aunt, middle-aged-woman for this one.

Seven random things about me....hmmmm.

1 - I can sign my name with my toes. But only on my right foot. I have ridiculously long toes. Here, I'll even show you a picture:

I know, I know. I'm a circus freak.

2 - I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember my best friend's phone number from first grade. It's a curse - my head is filled with useless information, but I forget where I'm going in the five seconds it takes me to walk from my desk at work to the end of my aisle.

3 - If I had the money (and the space), I would build a darkroom. I miss photography classes. The darkroom is definitely my relaxation place. Forget massages. I need developer and fixer. Mmmm. It's perfection.

4 - The older I get, the more I love and appreciate my family. Even though they're mostly insane. Not that I'm excluded from that....

5 - I curse like a sailor. Actually, I probably make sailors blush. I try to curb myself on here, but if you're around when I get aggravated, cover your ears. Or when I've been drinking....If I'm drinking and pissed off? That's another story entirely.

6 - I'm going to write a book with my Auntie M. (see link at top of page. And enjoy!) Her and I need to talk about that sometime soon (wink wink nudge nudge!) I have many ideas.

7 - I can fall asleep anywhere. In any position. Standing up. Sitting at my computer. Sitting up in bed reading. Curled up on a couple of stairs. Under a table. On a table. Wherever. This is less useful now than it used to be, when I went to many more house parties.

Ok. That was harder than it should have been, I think.

I tag whoever hasn't done this and wants to. I'm tired.


For the best man I know.

I tend to get a little wild.

Not dangerously so, but always on that fine line between “spontaneous and spunky” and “wild card circus freak”.

That’s from my mom...anyone who knows us knows that. We share the same sarcastic, sometimes biting, sense of humor. The same outgoing craziness. The same quick laughter, the same pouty face, the same smile. The same quick temper, although mine quickly slips into silent, seething anger.

My dad is, on the surface, our polar opposite. At first meeting, he is quiet and serious. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and to be honest, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen my father tear up more than my mother. Someday, when he walks me down the aisle, I have a feeling we’ll be holding each other up, tears welling behind our eyes – that’s just our nature.

This...this, we share. Heartfelt compassion, even for strangers. A gentle nature. The ability to go from serious to silly to serious in the span of a few seconds. Quiet disappointment in people and things that let us down. Freakishly long toes (mine more so than his, if we’re being honest).

I have my mother’s mind, and my father’s heart. And I am incredibly blessed in both regards.

My father is the type to email financial articles to my sister and I, with the preface “You probably won’t read this, but....”. He knows us too well. Someday all of the things he’s been telling us since we were in utero will hopefully sink in. That’s a piece of his mind I wish I had gotten – I’m hoping it develops with age.

When I was younger, I remember seeing some of my friends with their big, brawny, car-fixing, treehouse-building, hunt-fish-camp-ing dads, and being jealous that their fathers took them to baseball games weekly, and coached their soccer teams.
My dad was more of a quiet leader – in his intelligent and nurturing way, he taught me more than I ever could have learned with the “manliest” of fathers. From him I learned how to trust, how to show you care even when you’re angry, and what love is.
I remember a time when I was probably about 10 or 12, when my room was ridiculously messy, and I was grounded until I cleaned it. My dad came and helped me, forcing me to get rid of the things I didn’t need, figure out what I really wanted to save, and sort out all the “junk” in my life. I remember being so upset at the time, not wanting his help, hating that he thought he knew better.

Turns out, things don’t change. Now, however, the expert guidance my father gives me is held in the highest regard (well, not those financial articles...sorry Daddy!) and I find myself storing his thoughts and facts away for a later time, so I can revisit and give them all the attention they deserve. He encourages me, fights for me, believes in me, and has, for all my 26 years, pushed me to be the best person I can be.

I hope I’m doing you proud, Daddy.
Happy birthday.


The Groomsman with Ovaries - Part 2

First of all, I would like to say that my lovely aunt is correct – I am NOT a 7-foot tall Amazon woman, although the picture on the original post (found here!) may seem to prove otherwise. However, I think it would be pretty fantastic to be an Amazon, at least for a day or two. Maybe a few years – I’m sure I could translate that into somehow making a lot of money (Basketball, perhaps? Or would I still require some degree of coordination for that?) In reality, I’m only about 5’8”, so sorry if that upsets you.

Anyway – groomsman. Ovaries. I expect you, my faithful readers (all three and a half of you?), have been eagerly anticipating the explanation post.

I’ll try to not disappoint.

This story begins one November weekend, many many years ago, in the twilight of my youth – otherwise known as 1996. I was attending a youth retreat at my church, with high school students from across metro Detroit. This retreat, and the effect it had on my life, and how it forever changed me, is something I could go on about for hours. In fact, I may do that at some point in the near future.
Moving on...
So, this lovely fall weekend in my freshman year of high school, I went on a retreat and made many new friends. Some of them were four year friends, and after graduation I never spoke to again. Some I keep in constant contact with to this day. Unfortunately, most of these people fall into the former catergory. But Phil...Phil was never one of those.

To be honest, I don’t have many memories of Phil from that first retreat. I assume that we met, and were friendly, but as I recall, we didn’t make the effort to stay in touch after the weekend. The next May, however, we both returned as staff, and instantly clicked. I’ll admit, I had a crush on him for quite some time afterwards, but the dynamic between us was almost always more brother-sister.
Phil and I became close friends-best friends. We were each others’ sounding boards, security blankets, guard dogs. His family quickly became my family, and to this day, I still call his mother Ma, and his little brother my own little bro. There weren’t a lot of people I trusted in my life in those days, but he was one of them. We were fiercely protective of each other (Phil still is – more than once he has offered to “take care of that @$$ for you, if ya catch my drift”) and I’m sure somewhere along the lines we probably made the vow that many opposite sex friends make – if we’re both single at age___, we marry each other, blah blah blah.
After graduation, I went off to college, and Phil ended up deciding to join the Navy. At the time, I was in a writing class at Western Mich., and our assignment was to use a song as a basis for a personal memory. I wrote about Phil leaving, and how scared I was, and how I was worried that our friendship would change, with the lyrics to “Standing At the Edge of the Earth” by Blessid Union of Souls as the backdrop. I found that paper a few months ago while cleaning and couldn’t believe the rush of emotion I felt when reading over it. Insane that something that happened almost eight years ago now, after I know the outcome, can still hit me.

Phil graduated from boot camp, and I went, and sometime around then, our dynamic started to change. Maybe it was not seeing each other for so long, maybe it was distance...who really knows? Things change, people change, and all the other applicable cliches that somewhere along the line were based in fact.

Then, September of that year. Just an average day, after I had managed to not get invited back to Western for a second year (again, story some other time), opening up the music store I used to manage at. Suddenly, a friend from another store in the mall runs inside and asks if we’ve been listening to the radio or watching the TV. After the initial shock and horror, my first thought was, “Oh my god, where’s Phil? And where will he be going?” I remember not sleeping well for weeks after that, not knowing what was going to happen, and if he’d be sent somewhere he may not come back from.

When I found out he was safe and well, I breathed easier. But still...dynamic was different. Something was off. And something would continue to be off for a long time...to be honest, I’m not sure that things have ever been the same since before the Navy. I could attribute a lot of it to growing up, I suppose....Being older, wiser, and more life experiences, etc. Still, we’ve remained close, and Phil has stayed someone that I know I can count on.

We’ve seen each other through so much – love, loss, heartbreak, judgment errors, triumphs, failures, everything. There’s not a single significant event in my life that I can remember where Phil hasn’t played an integral part in either the achieving of it, or the getting over it. And so a couple of years ago, when Phil met Lisa, and I met her, and liked her, and they started talking about maybe someday getting married, I was thrilled. And a year and a half ago, when Phil proposed, and he asked me to stand up in his wedding, I was honored.

Phil and ITrue, the last few years we’ve had our differences. We haven’t been as close in the day-to-day way we once were. But our friendship has strong roots, and we’re tied together. And I am touched that Phil and Lisa chose me as a person to share their special day with them, in a role as unorthodox as our friendship has always been.

Phil, Lisa...I wish you guys much love and happiness. Beautiful, healthy children, and a home filled with laughter. You guys are amazing, and I love you both!
Cheers to my best friend and his lovely wife!

Phil and Lisa


Good reads?

I know, I know...I owe you all a post explaining the ovary-owning groomsman. It'll happen when I have more than 5 minutes free at a time...

But until then - I need some good book ideas, as my mother is already bugging me to get her a Christmas list.

I'm not picky about subject - so suggest away!


the groomsman with ovaries...

More on this later, perhaps.


i made a promise to my heart to never let a soul inside....

the thing about me is that i'm not a forward person. i find it very difficult to just come out and say things face-to-face. i need a computer screen or a cell phone or a piece of paper to get anything out in a semi-eloquent way.

this factor of my personality is generally what leads to heartache for me. i've grown accustomed to coming in second place. i live life well as a runner-up on so many things, and the last couple years have really shown that to me.

in my head i know that i should just take the bull by the horns, jump in head first, etc. but the rest of me is terrified of the result. i fear making things awkward, and getting hurt more in the process. but is it easier to stand idly by and watch what i want slip through my fingers, or actually take the leap, get shot down, but at least know?

the awful part of me - the wildly insecure and still slightly timid part of me - expected something like this to happen. i've never known anything close to a happy ending before, so why would i think that all of a sudden life and love would just fall perfectly into place? it's a road i've been down many, many times, and maybe part of the problem is that i never fully invest myself in something, because a giant piece of me remains convinced it'll end badly.

i've been an optimist for years. glass half-full, see the rainbow through the rain, sunshine is only a cloudy day away.....but somehow, the positive outlook never gets around to my love life. in that area, i am a cynical, realistic pessimist. with the soul of a romantic. no wonder i always am disappointed so badly.

it's getting late and i'm getting no comfort out of words tonight, which is a change from the norm. i'm going to finish my glass of wine and go to bed, and hope that when i wake up tomorrow i'll have magically gained some perspective.

but i'm not counting on it.


Reading is Ravishing.

From Heinous


1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random bookish things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. One of my favorite blogger-turned-writers in Jen Lancaster. Perfect reading for business flights, although one of the VPs I tend to travel with has looked at me oddly waiting in the airport before as I sit there trying not to giggle too loudly while I read stories about Barbie heads and Ambien. Or White Russians, new neighbors, and the effects of too many of the former.

2. I have 53 first chapters saved on my computer. Some to the same story, some to different. I have at least a dozen endings. And a few chapters here in there in the middle. Sometimes I feel that I should just throw them all together and see what happens.

3. Bookstores are my crack. I could, and have, easily spend several hours wandering around. My favorite trips are those where I just skim the shelves til I see a cover or title that strikes me for some reason, and I end up discovering a new favorite.

4. I will never understand why I had to read Shakespeare and Dickens so often in school. I'm sorry, I know they wrote classic literature that millions of people respect and appreciate, but I'm not one of them.

5. At any one time I'm probably reading four books. I've started this to force myself to read slower, and pay a little more attention...Otherwise, I tend to devour a good book in a couple of hours, and then I am disappointed that it's over. I'm trying to drag it out more.
(and it's not working....I bought 'Lucky' by Alice Sebold today, and was done within two hours of getting home. damnit)

6. My secret shame is trashy romance novels. Not many, but there are a few that I will read and reread, and daydream about my own happy ending.

7. But actually, I much prefer the stories where a woman makes it on her own. Where the ending isn't all so tied up. Where it keeps you guessing what happened next. Because that's real, and that's what I love.

Okay, so that was seven. Whatever. Tag. You're all it.

another rainy morning....

I just want to stay in bed all day...wrapped up in comfy blankets, curled up with a good book (or, let's face it, a good man) (ignore that, mom).
It's raining and gray and oh-so-dreary out. This is the kind of day that begs me to grab the warmest blanket in the world (thanks mom, for making it!), plop down on my sofa, and watch Casablanca for the thousandth time, escaping from my own life, just for a little while.

My mind has been working overtime lately.



Inside the corn maze at Erwin Orchards in South Lyon.

The color was absolutely beautiful today. I took lots of pictures. These are just two of my favorites.


But I know I'll be a law someday...at least I hope and pray that I will....

I bought this DVD today:

Now I can't wait to get home. Suburban Chicago has gotten old quickly this time around...

The Big Read...

Stolen from Unmitigated.

There are many books on here that I haven’t heard of. For many, that’s the only reason they aren’t italicized. I’ll read pretty much anything, to be honest. It’s what I do.

"The Big Read is a USA National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2. Italicize those you intend to read.

3. Underline (or color) the books you LOVE .

Share this list in your blog, too, if you like."

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I half bolded cause I’ve read quite a lot. Unfortunately. Pretty tall order for all, I think. Especially as I find them mind-numbingly boring)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (? I think I did)

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Umm..this is part of the Narnia Chronicles)

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (Loved Saturday, hated the movie of this one)

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (actually just bought this, and forgot to throw it in my bag to bring here like I meant to)

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Another double-mention)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (en Francais!)

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Five best

Grabbed this idea from the always lovely Sal over at Already Pretty

In the interest of acknowledgment and gratitude, try thinking of the five things your body does best. Five things you are proud that you can physically accomplish, five things that make you feel present in your own lovely, womanly bod.

1 - My hands are one of my favorite features - even with countless scars and arthritic everything - each part of them tells a story. They have strength to give great back rubs, and softness to comfort a friend, a child, a stranger. I love the motions of my muscles moving on the backs of my hands - I think it's beautiful. They have memory - these hands will never forget how to hold a camera and adjust the aperture, how to spool film and develop it, how to burn and dodge in parts of prints that would otherwise remain a mystery.

2 - I have ridiculously strong legs. If it wasn't so hard on my knees, I would be able to leg press the max at the gym I was going to, so instead I go with half the weight and twice the reps. They have the endurance to carry me through a 5K in winter, in snow and ice, up and down hills, which is not easily accomplished when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

3 - My stride is long. Whether relaxed and enjoying a walk in the autumn, or hurrying at work, I always feel like my walk is confident and says that I know what I'm doing and where I'm going (even when that's not necessarily true).

4 - Curves and softness that make me undeniably feminine. It took years but I'm finally embracing that, and feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin. This makes me feel more secure in any kind of situation.

5 - An extremely expressive face - sometimes it seems made of elastic. A raised eyebrow, a smirk, or god's gift to the world, a smile....every part of those is definitely me.

We all spend so much time picking apart our bodies and faces - so what makes you happy or proud about yours? I'm tagging EVERYONE.


Go ahead - ask me anything...

Missed me lately?

Work's been busy, and I've been tired. However, this week I will be in the suburban Chicago area for work, and should have some free time....so if you all of a sudden start seeing many many posts per day, it's because I'm bored and not motivated enough to change out of my pajamas and go to the fitness center in my hotel.

So, as a precaution against me running out of rants, ramblings, and weird random stories that could really only happen to me (Magnum-XLs, I'm talking to you), I am inviting all of you, my lovely readers, to ask me any kind of question you desire. I will do my best to answer all things truthfully, bearing in mind that my mother reads this and I don't want to shock her too much....(Who am I kidding, I am totally her daughter...she's probably already done it all. Twice.)

With that, I'm off to bed, in preparation for waking up early and getting ready, and hopefully not putting my clothes on backwards (you'd be shocked how many times this has happened....). As long as I can fumble my way to some coffee, I should be able to make it through the drive...


It's like crack to me....

More Bloons

I am officially addicted.


My own little corner of the world..

Since I spend so much time at work, and I'm sure will soon be blogging more about it, I figured I would give you all a tour of my cubicle...

All the necessities are within arms reach...chapstick, COFFEE, pain medication. Lots of hand sanitizer, I'm kind of OCD about it. Burt's Bees lotion (!) which is wonderful and everyone should buy. My calendar is hilarious - Dumb Dares for the Office. I've done more than one of them. Fiber One bar so the excessive amounts of coffee I drink don't tear any more holes in my stomach.

I love my Wonder Woman mug - it was a Christmas present several years ago, and until recently sat on my desk at home. I decided I would get more use out of it at work. Many multi-colored Sharpies and hi-liters. Ctrl-Z (that's Undo, for the uneducated in computer frustrations and screwups) stress ball which has seen better days. The Little Miss Chatterbox is a recent addition - was given to me today by the coworker who left (see previous blog). My red fan is super powerful for the size and a good white noise to block out office sounds. And of course, a Magic 8 Ball for when I have tough decisions.

I believe you have my stapler....Any office drone should own one. Lots of post-its - I'm obsessed with office supplies. Apparently, it's a family thing.
More Sharpies. You can sort of see on the right side my vase that's full of Lifesavers. The little green and purple round cases are Icebreaker Sours, which are amazing.

My computer really gives away my personality, I think - the elephant roars. My big sis gave him to me. The little origami flower was made by a good friend of mine years ago and has somehow managed to survive. Somewhere there's a purple monkey he made as well. Pink pony, of course. Pieces of flair (!) which are again, from my big sis. I love the flower - it plays 'You Are My Sunshine'. And of course, 'Smush Bush', my favorite stress ball. His head is about to fall off. I think 01-20-09 I might rip it off in joy. Not kidding. He was also a gift from big sister. Many fortunes taped to the top of my monitor - My favorite is the one on the far right, which says 'Your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far.' I think it fits with my personality EXTREMELY well.

Horoscope taped to the side of the CPU is very fitting, although I can't remember what it says right now. Office Space Box of Flair. Yes, that is a cootie catcher on the left - filled with such fortunes as 'Watch out for falling trees' and 'Beware a woman with green eyes'. A string of raffle tickets, although I have absolutely no idea what they are from.

Pictures of some of my favorites! Always good to have on bad days at work. One of them is blocked and it's the best one - my fam and I at a relative's wedding last November.

Yes, I basically do have my own personal coffee shop. 7 kinds of tea, spiced cider, Crystal Light to-go. I had hot chocolate but I drank it all.
Yes, that is an Initech mug. Also from big sister. She gives me many fun things.

And finally, my locker. I have more magnets than probably everyone else in the office combined. It's ridiculous, but I love them. Also, do you love the My Little Pony poster? That was a thank you gift for a job well done from a project director. Goes well with my big box of crayons.

What's in your office?


Sometimes I just have so much to say...

One of my two work BFFs has her last day tomorrow.
I'm very sad. She was the first friend I made at the job, and tied for best.
She's going to be staying home with her almost 6 month old now, and it's definitely a great thing and I'm super happy for her. But I'm gonna miss her a ton.

It's blurred, cause you all don't need to know what I wrote, but here is the card she is getting from me tomorrow...

Yes. I do tend to be a bit wordy....

With the bad comes the good, I guess - because in other news, my best friend in the world is home from California this weekend, and I am SO excited to see her!


yay for sundays!


i feel loved.


Getting a little political...

Petition to Commute Sentence of Troy Davis

I have always been opposed to the death penalty, and this is one of the cases that may end up showing why. I don't believe it's a deterrent, I don't believe it helps a victim's family move on from what happened. I don't believe the government should sanction the taking of a human life, regardless of what that life was like.

Interesting reading - John Grisham 'The Innocent Man', his forray into nonfiction. It's an excellent book, and absolutely gripping. As a novel, it would be horrific to think about, and knowing that it's a true story makes it a thousand times worse.

I could go on for hours about my thoughts on capital punishment, but I'm on my lunch break so it'll have to hold for another time. Just wanted to get this story out there, and hopefully help to save an innocent life.


Because I need another way to waste time on the internet....

I have a new addiction: Blogtations

Here are just a few of my favorites (and new blogs to check out - I'm reading through and loving):

People think I'm drunk even when I'm dead sober because I'm filterless and stupid and fall a lot and so I basically have what I call "the three-drink handicap". Everyone else in the world after 3 cocktails = me just waking up.

-The Bloggess

(oh, so true)

Have you ever been at work, enjoying a nice snack of animal crackers while returning emails, finishing super fun reports, etc when you drop one of the crackers down into your cleavage? And then you push back your head to see how deep the little monkey has fallen, then pull your shirt from your chest and reach into to the depths to retrieve it? And then a new faculty member pops into your office to learn about health insurance options while your hand is very conspicuously rooting around between your boobs? Awesome.


(this has happened to me (not necessarily with animal crackers) more times than i care to remember)

As a teen, I dreamed of being a bodiless brain in a jar. A smart, artistically inclined, physically awkward young woman, I shied away from anything that made me think about myself in terms of body. I hid in my loose, formless clothes, refused makeup, and let my hair remain unruly. I looked a little like a hobo, albeit one with excellent oral hygiene.

-Already Pretty

Have you noticed that the things we want to take notice of are almost always yellow (like school buses and post-it notes)? Single women should wear more yellow shirts.

-Pickled Beef

(duly noted)

I have a feeling I'll be visiting there again...a lot.


'No, those are NOT my Magnum condoms' (or, why I will never use U-Scan again)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the girl to get easily embarrassed.
Fall off a table while dancing? Check. (and I was sober!)
Puke on a fire hydrant while hungover? Check. (no, I'm not proud)
Accidentally tell a [ex]co-worker about the sex dream they played a large role in? Double check. (alcohol was possibly involved)
Fart in mixed company? Many, many, many checks.
Sing inappropriate songs of the 90s in front of coworkers? Too many times to count. (and sadly, no, alcohol was not ALWAYS involved)

So yes, been there. Done that. Laughed about it afterwards. Sometimes for years, because some of those stories just won't die....

But until tonight, I have never know true mortification.

It starts out simply, and innocently, enough. I stopped at Meijer on the way home to pick up some fruit, a few Lean Cuisines, diet soda, some hair smoothing crap.

Looking at the two lanes that were actually open, and twelve people deep each, I decided to just skip to the U-Scan. This isn't unusual, as unless I am doing one of my semi-annual large shopping trips, I usually opt for the 'quicker' route.

Today though...oh no. Not today.

I waited patiently in line, and when the man in front of me had grabbed his bags and left, I moseyed on up to the scanner, and proceeded to scan my eleven or so items, bagging them as I went. I was impressed with myself because at this point, my trip had only taken me 15 minutes, and $30, and this is very unusual for me. Anywhere.

After I signed the little card reader that would make John Hancock's signature look like it was scrawled by a monkey with no thumb, I loaded my few bags into my tiny cart (yes, I know, I had four bags, but anytime I don't use one, I inevitably rip at least two bags, and end up losing a jar of pickles or a gallon of milk to the parking lot) and headed for the door.

Nothing spectacular, right?

As soon as I pushed my cart through the exit, the alarm goes off. Naturally, I stopped right in the middle of the door, confused as to what this loud noise was, and why a man in a red shirt was waving at me to come back.

Figuring the only interesting thing they would find would be that I had already scarfed down a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the time I waited in line (read: 2 seconds), I turned around, and when man in red shirt asked if I minded waiting for the manager, I assured him that was fine. And when said manager (let's call him Steve - that's a bad name for me, and this was NOT a fun experience) came up to the front, and asked if I minded him looking through my grocery bags, I agreed once again. I handed him my receipt and stood back, assuming it was my MP3 player or cell phone that set off the alarm, as they are wont to do.

So imagine my complete and utter surprise when Steve pulls out a box of Trojan Magnum-XL condoms, and asks if I was planning on paying for them.....

I'm pretty sure my jaw is still recovering from hitting itself on the floor.

Confused, but still trying not to laugh, I told Steve that I hadn't been down that aisle - to be honest, I don't even know which aisle that is. In my nervousness, I am sure I gave that poor man waaaay too much information about my lack of the sex. In turn, I maybe just gave all you readers too much information as well, but that's neither here nor there.

At this point, Steve has turned as red as red shirt guy's red shirt. I'm pretty sure I had totally slipped into nervous laughter and stuttering, as I tried to explain that I definitely did not 'accidentally' throw those in my bag.

Red shirt guy is standing to the side, continuing to help the inept people trying to scan their groceries, and comes up with the brilliant (seriously, he was smarter than Steve - someone needs a raise and promotion) idea of looking at the receipt log, to see if maybe a customer before me had paid for them, bagged them, and accidentally left them.

Turns out, it was the guy before me.

Many many years back, I dated a boy (we were young, back then) who was well over 6 feet tall, and probably 120 pounds soaking wet.

The guy in front of me? Could have been his double. If you subtracted about a foot, leaving him a few inches shorter than myself. Add in a soul patch and a creepy thin mustache, take off about 10 pounds. Douse in Polo Sport (delicious smell, but really guys? Moderation? Is key.)

Manager Steve now feels bad for essentially accusing me of shoplifting enormous condoms. They've been paid for. Creepy little man has probably left the parking lot at this point. So what is the natural course of action?

Obviously, offer the tomato-faced girl who has just bemoaned her lack of a man-friend a free pack of Magnum-XLs. That'll make her feel SO much better. And definitely less humiliated.

I politely declined, but it seemed like Steve was insisting. For one crazy moment, I figured I could just hand them off to a friend that might find them useful.

Then I realized -- I can easily live the rest of my life without knowing which of my friends (or their lovahs) require extra-large condoms. I'm pretty sure it would always be creeping up in the back of my mind - 'Hi Jane, this is my friend John Doe. He needs MAGNUM-XLs! Lucky you!! Woot woot!'

No thanks. That's just information I should never encounter.

Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, before I could once again refuse, Creepy Little Guy from before ran in, sweating, and blew right past Steve and I, checked the empty scanner/bagging area that we had previously shared, and then turned to Red Shirt: 'Um, I think...I mean, I know...I left a bag...I bought some things...and forgot them. And I really need...my things. Did someone find them?'

Red Shirt pointed him in our direction, and Steve quietly said to me 'Sorry for the hassle...have a nice night' as he swiftly grabbed the box out of my bag, ran it over the sensor deactivator, put it in an empty bag, and handed it over to CLG.

At this point, I was already hightailing it out of the store so I wouldn't start laughing so hysterically that I peed myself, but had to step aside as CLG ran past me yet again, then proceeded to stop, turn, and say 'Hate to run outta these!' followed by a wink.

I got in my car and laughed for a good ten minutes before I felt sane enough to drive home.

So, summary?

Groceries - $30
Time shopping/in line - 16 minutes
Time spent with a rogue box of condoms - 20 minutes
Leaving your dignity somewhere between the 1 penny pony rides, and bags of charcoal - Priceless

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