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Bad choice

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I talk to people on the phone all day at work, walking them through various Computer Things.  Yesterday, while the customer’s internet connection was moving slowly and we were waiting for the page to pull up, she decided to make small talk.  She asked me if I’d seen the pictures of the coyote that got hit by the racecar and stuck in the grill – apparently, it’s some amazing “It” email forward out in circulation.

I told her that no, I am out of touch these days.  I don’t even know important things – like if the Taylors are dating – let alone the fate of would-be road-kill.  I am the least “in the know” person around.

So she told me to Google it – to Google “coyote hit by car” – because the pictures are incredible.

Perhaps this goes without saying, and should have been obvious from the start, but THAT WAS THE WORST IDEA EVER AND DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

News to me

Monday, December 7th, 2009

I don’t watch the news anymore – ever.  I don’t have time in the morning, I don’t have time at night, and so I just don’t do it.  I mean, I hear things – but I don’t know the stories.  I catch snippets – but don’t know the details.

Currently, I have no idea what the deal with Tiger Woods is – that is, I know that he got in a car crash and then that somehow translated to him being accused of being a total sleazoid, but…  Wait.  Is that the whole story?  That might be the whole story.

Amanda Knox got 26 years in an Italian prison – but honestly, I only learned that because I ran across a picture of her online and liked her jacket.

I have no idea why the blonde Obama Crasher was wearing a sari.

I am embarrassingly out of touch.

Which is why I was shocked to recognize a Zhu Zhu hamster in the hand of a small child yesterday as the one that has recently been recalled.  This little toddler was walking around Marché with – yes! – the light brown version!  Gripped in his grubby little hand!  His parents were calmly eating their eggs, oblivious to the fact that their child was CLUTCHING POISON.  I had a flash of me jumping to my feet, knocking over tables, running in slow motion with my face contorted into that warped “NOOOOOOOO,” with outstretched hands to knock the infected rodent away.

But his parents looked kind of mean.  So I didn’t do anything.

And it’s too bad – if I had, I bet I could have made the news.

Steered in a positive direction

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For as much as I love cheese – which, trust me, my devotion is infinite and everlasting – I rarely eat grilled cheese.  Chalk it up to just another childhood overdose – I never eat peanut butter & jelly, either.  Grilled cheese lost its appeal before Clinton took office.

Which is why it was shocking that yesterday, I had the chance to eat a grilled cheese for lunch – and I jumped at it.  Like, I literally sprung out of my chair and made a beeline for the kitchen.  See, my co-worker Delaney is a dazzling maker-of-all-foods, and she brought a griddle!  To work!  To make grilled cheeses!  And if this woman makes something, it is a guaran-freaking-tee that I will love it.

I’m serious.  Remember how Ritz Cracker Cheese Sandwiches are my secret shame?  Delaney has actually taken these bite-sized wonders and made them into a gourmet snack.  She shakes some sort of herby goodness all over them, and I swear, they could be served to the Queen of England.

After experiencing this woman’s brilliance yesterday, I can positively say that I am back in the saddle when it comes to grilled cheese.  She has renewed my hope, my faith, my confidence in the sandwich.  Thank you, Delaney, for pointing me toward the truth.

Now, to make my own.  I’m looking for grilled cheese tips, if anyone has any…

Life lessons from hiking

Monday, August 24th, 2009

As inspired by a solo-hiking trip in East Tennessee on Saturday.

When you come to a fork in the road, and one sign points to “scenic overlook” and the other points to “short cut,” take the short cut.  There’s a chance that the scenic overlook will be spectacular – but then again, it may just result in losing the path altogether and wandering around the woods completely discombobulated.

Being alone may sound like a great idea, but when the going gets tough, you will be thankful to run across other people – even if they are burly, camo-clad men named Frank and Jackie.

Double-check.  When the trail is called a “loop,” it might actually be a straight path in for miles, with a small loop at the end – like a balloon.  Or, in my case, a noose.

A white tank top is either wet or dry – there is no in between.  If it looks like it might rain, err on the side of caution.

There will be spiders.  There will be cuss words.  And sometimes you will face-plant.

Nobody’s perfect

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I tout myself as a thrifty person – one who hates to waste anything – and will find a use for every half-used jar of marmalade, every discarded ribbon from a birthday present, every unloved piece of furniture.

However, I am a fraud – no better than a snake oil salesman.

My parents recently visited me in Nashville, and my dad bought a 2-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi.  I don’t drink pop, but I couldn’t bring myself to dump out the still half-full bottle when he left.  So rather than tossing the $1’s worth of leftovers down the drain, I went out and spent $20 on a bottle of rum.

Rum and Diet Pepsi isn’t even an awesome drink.

But I tell you what: every drop of that Diet Pepsi was utilized.

Still, that was really stupid financial reasoning.

I suppose even angels fall.

Adventures in Airports

Monday, June 1st, 2009

A notorious over-packer, I recently flew back from a 2-day trip to Seattle with a suitcase weighing in at 49.5 lbs. – one shoe away from the overweight charge.  And that’s not to mention anything of my second suitcase.

Travel this weekend, I was determined, would be different.

Flying to Kansas City on Friday night, I did something I have never done before – I ONLY CARRIED ON.  One small roller suitcase in the overhead bin – and no waiting at the baggage claim!  Brilliant!

But on the way back, things were a little different.

Remember how my mom is especially fond of sending me away with a suitcase of frozen food?  This time, it was a pork tenderloin – a large, cylindrical, vacuum-sealed piece of meat.  I am not entirely sure how to cook a pork tenderloin, but still: lucky me!

Until I got to security.

Wouldn’t you know, the guards saw something a little “suspicious” in the x-ray of my suitcase.

And there, in front of God and everyone, they unzipped my bag to find the culprit.

“Uh, Ron, we’re gonna need to run this through again.”

“What is it?”

“Looks like a piece of meat.”

I stood by, compliant and taciturn, as my precious hog was passed from hand to hand, back to the beginning of the machine.  Everyone in line behind me looked at me with a collective, “Seriously?”

Seriously.

A recent IM conversation I had at work

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Me: “Don’t you want to roll your eyes at people who don’t know the difference between stationary and stationery?”

Him: “It’s an easy mistake – the only way I remember it is that e goes with envelope.”

Me: “I remember it because e goes with letter… which, now that I think about it, is a completely useless mnemonic device.”

Misread, misheard, misspelled

Monday, February 9th, 2009

On Facebook, sometimes users are required to type in a word to verify that one is indeed a human and not a cyborg or a hacker. It’s called a “captcha” – get it, like, “capture,” but all loosey-goosey and free-style? Say it with attitude – move your shoulders with each syllable. “Captcha.”

(You totally whispered it out loud, didn’t you? You sassy little devil.)

But I only just now realized that it’s pronounced “captcha”; when you read something over and over, but are never required to say it out loud, your brain can play tricks on you. And this whole time, in my head, I’ve been calling it a “captchka.” “Captchka” makes absolutely no sense PLUS, with 5 consonants in a row, it’s almost impossible to pronounce. What was I thinking?

I have a little electronic key on my key-ring that unlocks certain doors at the office. When I included it in Friday’s video, I realized that I did not, in fact, know what it was called; you see my slight hesitation at 1:33. In my head, I have been calling it a “pre-farb,” which is quite possibly the ugliest word in the made-up English language*. But today I was set straight: it’s a “key fob.”

There’s an old Patty Loveless song with the line, “It gets melancholy.” Until very recently, I thought she was singing about “a kid-smellin’ collie” – which could have been right…?

There are words that slide comfortably into my written lexicon that I’ve discovered that I have to pause before pronouncing out loud: archetype, posthumous, banal, wan.

I have a new goal of being able to spell, with no hesitation, the following:
- coup d’état
- hors d’oeuvres
- onomatopoeia

*The ugliest word in the ACTUAL English language is “crotch.”

Paging Doctor Parsons

Friday, November 14th, 2008

There is a client who frequents the office. I know his name, and respectfully call him “Doctor _________.” Because he is a doctor.

Except no. No he isn’t. Today, my co-worker said, “Why do you call him ‘doctor’? He’s not a doctor.”

Why did I think he was? What did I mis-hear, or mis-interpret, or just make up? I HAVE NO IDEA. I am completely delusional. I stopped him today and said, red-faced, “I’m really sorry – it’s been brought to my attention that you are not, in fact, a doctor. And I don’t know why, but I’ve been calling you ‘doctor’ for so long… I feel silly.”

And so he told me the story of a woman he once met years ago, and how she insisted upon being called “doctor,” even though she just had an online education certifying her with a “Doctorate of Transcendental Meditation.”

If that works, then I declare myself to have a “Doctorate of Cheese.”

- – – – – – – -

What are your weekend plans? I want to know. From ALL of you.

Another question answered

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I am an introvert through and through. I love silence and solitude and being totally reclusive, blocking out the world and screening my phone calls and reading and writing and thinking, nesting and organizing and never saying a word. If I’ve had a week in which I’ve had too much going on or too many people to interact with, I start to wither and fold inward and shut down.

I love being alone. To an almost alarming degree.

But – and this is a big but – I love my friends. I mean, I really, really love my friends. For someone who, as a general rule, doesn’t like people, I sure LOVE a lot of people. I sure do.

Last night, after seeing one of my new favorites play a show (along with these two, who are also completely darling), I stood outside Café Coco in a circle of friends. It was cold, and I didn’t have a coat on (because I am a dimwit), and it was late. But we all stood there and talked, girls and guys, a small slice of the wonderful people I have met here, laughing and looking each other in the eye and I felt happy in my heart, and I didn’t let a single one get away without a hug.

And that moment – those goodbyes, those hugs with friends that I’ll surely see within the next 48 hours, those smiles and waves – is burned into my brain. When I moved to Nashville, I wondered who I would love. Now I know.