short but sweet

Hug attack was entirely too short. But they were quality hugs. So it's okay. Besides, I'm now safely snuggled into my new wool scarf. There is indeed a warm fuzzy hug in every wrap.


impending hug attaaaaaack

I'm trying not brag here, but I've got an awesome Hug Attaaaaaack in my immediate future. I head on down to the Land of Strip Malls this afternoon for some work Big Doings and as a result, I get hugs on the corporate dime. Yay! In other news, Christmas shopping is moving in fits and starts. I'm still without migraine (yay! 3 weeks!) and hope to continue that trend. And I cut my hair. Which I'm sure all 5 of you wanted to know. Hope your Tuesday is going well!

Over and out.


sitting in an apple tree

I'm not really sitting in an apple tree, but I kinda feel like I am. Sitting in an apple tree in an old orchard, a haven from the glare of the sun, a place to sit and think, or plot, or just lose track of time. My apple tree is two weeks without migraines. Now I feel like I have to explore the frontier, figure out how to step into blazing sun. I haven't worked this hard at being good to myself for myself in a long time, maybe ever. There are winners and losers in this effort. While it was good to hit the reset button and not drink anything, that's not a direct cause of migraines for me. So I'm back on the sauce, as it were. Sleep! Blessed sleep is a biggy for me. I don't know how insomniacs function. I certainly couldn't do it. I'm gonna knock on some wood as I have experienced a bout of insomnia in a couple of years. Exercise is excellent, so long as you're not one of those compulsive exerciser types (and I've known my fair share). Massage is excellent! Ask around and find a good one. Your body will thank you. Acupuncture is good! Follow the same rules as when finding a massage therapist. Ummm, other smaller recommendations: dance in your kitchen, sing front of someone (even when you're terrible) as you'll be braver for the effort (it's a life-skill I suppose), give some hugs (and be a squeezer, no one appreciates a dainty hug), and tell someone something you appreciate about them. These smaller recommendations just make you feel better overall.

That's it from the apple tree. Over and out.


because you must know brandi carlile

updates on clean living

In a comment that struck close to my heart, young Dolce Vita expressed concern over the welfare of my shoes in the rolfing process. For the uninitiated, individuals who are rolfed are generally instructed to Adios their shoes because their bodies, specifically their feet, have changed so much. To keep wearing the old shoes would only be a detriment to the overall process. The process, for your edification, essentially focuses on the fascia in an attempt to open up bound up muscles thereby bringing your body in proper alignment with gravity, or some such junk. Some people find this to be very painful. I've been fine with it most of the time. I will say that there have been a few points where it hurt so much I just started sweating. Profusely, even. Those points of sweaty pain generally center on the time where my massage therapist (who is a massage therapist rock star) says something like, "okay, I'm going to scrape your bone a bit here. So just let me know if it's too much." We have a safe word.

I'm coming up on my fifth appointment which means I've passed the point where I had to get rid of all my shoes. Except I didn't have to get rid of them. My feet, particularly my heels, didn't change to the extent that keeping newer shoes would become an issue. I did, however, git rid of a whole bunch of old shoes. Needed to be done.

Where are we at with the migraines? Ummm, I've been relatively good. I've had a couple migraines in the last two weeks, one of which was connected to the weather. So that doesn't really count because I can't control the weather. It's been over two weeks with no alcohol (writing that just makes me feel like an alcoholic... It's been 17 days sober, where's my chip?) And I've been good on the exercise. So the big, giant reset of my system appears to be moving along swimmingly. Keep your good thoughts coming.


clean living, or something

We are only 13 days into November and the month has not been kind. Methinks it is most fitting that today is Friday the 13th and I'm finally writing about the horror that has been my head over the last month. Things have been tenuously okay at best and downright mean at worst with regard to my migraines, a month of waiting for the other shoe to drop. That's not really fun. What's a girl to do? Hit the reset button. Thinking back over my years as a migraineur I've tried to tease out periods when things weren't bad, at least insofar as anyone who lives with migraines can claim. As a result I'm going back in time. Reset button = time travel, or something like that. Destination 1999: Clean Living. Lots and lots of exercise, no drinking, a concerted effort at good nutrition, regular sleep, etc. Along with this reset button is the tag-team of acupuncture and massage (rolfing, to be more specific). That's right, people, I'm not fucking around with this. I'm not saying I've given up on delicious beer & wine or tasty cocktails. Alcohol in moderation has never been a trigger for me. But perhaps regular alcohol in moderation doesn't exactly help, ya know? Yeah. It's been over a week sans booze and I have had a migraine in that time. It's not an exact science. And I don't know when I might break the fast. Maybe not until thanksgiving. Maybe not until after. Maybe before. Ultimately I'm just trying to get a handle on things to break whatever cycle I seem to be in. All of my actions encompass what I'm calling The Kitchen Sink method, because I'm really throwing everything I can at it. Keep you fingers crossed.


Happy Anniversary Sesame Street

40 years of fun and learning.


No Diggity

Ain't no party like a West Coast party cause a West Coast party don't stop. Okay, you're right. That wasn't from No Diggity. It was, in fact, from "1, 2, 3, 4, Sumpin' New" by Coolio. My apologies. I recently acquired a great deal of music from the 1990s. I've spent some time this morning organizing the tunes and reminiscing. I can honestly say Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, the Backstreet Boys, and New Edition have never factored into a Saturday morning before. Certainly not with anything that I had control over. Somehow this connects back to the ringer selection process for my sister. She had all sorts of great requests for songs to indicate she was calling. But no, she got "I want it that way" by the Backsteet Boys, the result of some serious car singing/dancing when the song came on from an old CD she found. When I say old, I mean the kind that took some time to burn with the songs most likely stolen with the help of Napster. Anyway, it was an epic performance from both of us. And now it's her ringer when she calls. In my defense, I couldn't get "Return of the Mac" by Mark Morrison, which was her request and mine. The world is cruel to Mr. Morrison. "Return of the Mac," I'm told by Wikipedia, was kept out of the number 1 slot of the Billboard charts in 1997 by the hideous "MMMBop." Tragedy. Ah, "Don't Let Go (Love)" by EnVogue just came up. 1996. Featured in the movie Set It Off, I believe. So good.

Don't judge, people. Embrace it.


San to the Fricso

beef carpaccio office walk
manhattan empty resting for a moment


new old hats and new old tricks

new hat shot

New old hats: So, the Euge has an awesome new vintage store which is entirely too cool for the town. Seriously. I procured the featured hat there last night for a mere 6 clams. Sometime soon I'll feature the jacket I also picked up. Ski Levi's. Just try to wrap your mind around that one.

New old tricks: Okay, not really any new old tricks or even old new tricks. But I am down in San Francisco for work staying in a old (new) hotel. You know, the nicely remodeled and well appointed places that you'd never think of to stay if you were actually paying? One issue that has cropped up is the new toilet on old pipes doesn't always flush. I feel the need to practice because that's just not something one wants to mess with. I've tried to develop some technique without much success.

Tonight it's the Mission and Burritos with a homie from work. Should be most excellent. One final bendiction... May your toilets easily flush.


oh time, where do you go?

So, I feel as if I've been doing nothing but running around all month. I was busy getting ready for a trip down to Cali for work and work decided to be much more demanding than normal. Spent time in Cali in meetings and meetings, thus normal stuff I needed to get done were delayed for work later. It's funny how even though you're someplace for work the actual work you need to do doesn't adjust. One might say, "Hey! I've got this big stuff going on, I need to pay attention to that!" Then your normal work slaps you across the face and cries, "you don't pay attention to me anymore!" Meanwhile, the marriage counselor "tut-tut"s you into working extra super-duper hard because of course it's your fault. Okay, that doesn't make a lot of sense. But I've been busy. And I'm down to Cali again next week for more stuff. Just 3 days this time though.

Luckily, I was able to see some awesome people. The ever fashionable KFR, Beetlegirl, and Ms. A, respectively. No less than two awesome hug attack opportunities filled with chats, wigs, and beer. Most excellent. Then, when I returned home the bro came down and we had a splendid time hanging out, walking around, takin' in the sights, etc. Even better, we went to a Hell's Belle's concert. In case you're not in the loop, they're an all-female AC/DC tribute band*. If you ever get the chance, I heartily recommend them. And that musical event leads me to my evening tonight. I'm up to the big city to see one Ms. Brandi Carlile and then some general hanging about in PDX on Friday. That's right! I'm neglecting the work! Oh, what would the marriage counselor say?

* not to be confused with a cover band, which are just generally bad.


October Fun

I love October. Seriously, I could break into verse at any point because I love it so much. Rather than bore you with that, I'll bore you with a list. Why I love October:
  • yellow, orange, and red leaves
  • sweaters without coats
  • the fun angle of your shadow on the ground
  • the idea of baseball playoffs
  • transition
  • running through leaves
  • the crisp smell in the air
  • gourds
  • corn maze
  • halloween
  • apple cider
  • brown liquor
I could go on. But I'll leave it at that. And as a party favor, also leave you with this picture I snapped with my cell phone yesterday. Oh, I'd also like to offer up some excellent Hug Attttaaaaaack warm-fuzzies to everyone. I'll get to see the Cool Kids of Cali this week and my homie M's fiancee comes back from Iraq on Monday.

interesting beer rest


I lost my shoe.

Welcome back, kiddies! School is starting up again and even though I haven't been a student in more years than I'd like to admit, it's still an easy way to track time. Students are back in town, which means a few things: going near the university for anything is a bear; shouts of "woo!" will rise exponentially as will the hem of skirts; you won't be able to go out to breakfast on a weekend and not wait an hour if you show up after 10:00AM... hangovers are, after all, a slow process; and finally, fights.

Friend M. observed the last item this last weekend in a town about 50 miles up the road. She sent me a Captain's Log of events in poetry form. I told her I must share. The second is particularly good.

From MQH~
Here's my weekend in coffee house poetry form:

Just Another Testosterone Saturday Night
Huge fist fight broke out right in front of my house. Horrible.
25 to 30 skinny white boys in hoodies.
I had to call 911. The cops chased them down just like on TV.
Handcuffed face down in the grass.
There were injuries. A circle of blood left on my lawn.

Recite with bongos and black beret for maximum effect.

Stab Wound to the Neck

He's bleeding out. Said the cop.
I lost my shoe. Said the boy.
You're injured. Said the cop.
I lost my shoe. Said the boy.
Get something to tie it off. Said the cop.


an anwanted guest lingers

dill weed love note.

Well, I finally managed to give myself some form of food poisoning. Those are the breaks, I guess. This happened late last week. I wasn't nice to my stomach over the weekend, thus I'm getting my ass kicked (yet again). And this is a really, really bad time to be sidelined from good food. Because it's everywhere. Good food is everywhere and applesauce makes my stomach feel like the end of Spaceballs when they spoof Alien. Not nice. So, let this be a lesson to you: check dates, smell, reheat, don't drink cream or milk if it curdles on hot beverages, etc. etc. etc. I've prepared a haiku in honor of the occasion:

in the House of Nerd
an unwanted guest lingers
flush summer away



a trophy on the line

mill at dusk 2

Here's an image for the approaching end of summer. This weekend marks the end of summer kickball with the playoffs and a BBQ. Should be quite entertaining. As the one piece of competitiveness allowed in an adult co-ed city kickball league, everyone is gunning for the ONE annoying team that took everything way too seriously the entire season. I'm anticipating a few attempts to bean one particular dude in the head (a no-no in the rule book).

Wish us luck, people. There is a trophy on the line and it does travel from winner to winner over the seasons.

On a side note, the lovely J made a quick trip last weekend and shared his plans to take over the world. You'll all be informed of your roles in due time. Until then, my friends, fight the power with booze, bunnies, and kickball.


The Game of Life

I had quite the exciting weekend: big trip to Costco, high school reunion, David Gray concert, kickball. Now I know that those four things may sound like the Seventh Level of Hell to many of you, and quite frankly Costco almost achieved that for me, but the rest was grand. Well, it was an interesting version of The Game of Life, writ large. People married just out of college? Check! People with lots of kids? Check! Doctors? Check! Lawyers? Check! Let's get to the lists:

High School Reunion, how time was spent:
  1. ignoring the asshats
  2. "I'm doing well! How are you? You look fantastic!" (rinse and repeat)
  3. find more interesting people on fringe
  4. talk with German exchange student (yes, he came specifically for the reunion)
  5. convo breakthroughs! after you slog through the initial ritual conversation, you move on to other, more entertaining and interesting, topics. hold the phone, people, a real conversation is possible!
  6. talk about kids
  7. win award for "most unusual job" because you're the only one who entered... who am I kidding, they saw my title and walked away with their heads in their hands because they knew they couldn't win
  8. gauge everyone's level of drunkenness and determine how that correlates to their born-again christian ethos

David Gray, in all his awesomeness:
  1. nicely cut 60s style suit
  2. fantastic new songs (he's so awesome he can pull off new songs in concert)
  3. my own personal greatest hits as the set-list
  4. piano & guitar, nothing else needed
  5. le sigh, David Gray


hot pants

This song has been in my head as of late. No real explanation. I was first introduced to "Hot Pants" waiting for a graduate seminar to start when I was a young, enterprising undergraduate. The fellow who told me about it had long gray hair and played in a band that occasionally covered Jimmy Buffet songs (just to give you a mental picture). He had a deep and abiding love of James Brown, going so far as to burn me a copy of James Brown Live at the Apollo just so I could experience a bit of the joy. There's no footage of the 1962 concert, only audio. And that, my friends, is almost a sad fact. Because, soup to nuts, that recording is an amazing listen. I wonder if seeing him jumping around on stage, falling down on his knees, and whatnot would distract from the music. Mayhaps it's more powerful because you're forced to work out what's going on when the crowd SCREAMS and HOLLERS. And believe me, they scream and holler. So, be content with this bit of Hot Pants.

And, if you know your way around the interweb and love music, give this article a read. Then go here and sign up. If you are musically inclined but not web savvy, bookmark the site and wait for it to be available in the US.


tough. or something.


From my cousin's wedding last weekend.


heat wave.

heat wave

Ummmmm, I like to think I can be tough. I certainly feel like I'm better prepared to take on the heat today than I was yesterday (yesterday we broke the century mark as well). But this is just ridiculous. It's 88F in my apartment. It was 85F at 11:00PM last night. And the above screen shot was captured at 3:30 this afternoon. There are two days left in this heat wave as well.

Trying to enter zen water mode... I can't even imagine how the elderly without AC are coping.


summer things.


  1. When I got back to the States I went to an establishment that serves delicious Rogue Brewery beer. This was my order, "I'd like a beer with so many hops they'll punch me in the face. Thank you." I got my wish. And things have remained much the same.
  2. Am currently experience weird heat-induced dreams. I won't bore you with the dreams. But let me just add that last night I actually punched someone and connected. Usually when I punch someone in dreams it results in lame, little glancing blows that don't do anything. Last night, however, was a different story. Perhaps I should question why I'm punching people in dreams rather than worrying about whether or not I'm doing it well?
  3. Kickball. Outside. Brilliant. The only downside I can see is a No Adult Beverages rule where we're currently playing. On Sunday we were short a few people, so I played outfield with one other person. There was a lot of sprinting. I'm a little ashamed to say that I'm sore.
  4. Was kicked out of the office. No complaints though. Am now officially a remote employee. Wait. Only one complaint that is offset by every other positive thing.... I don't have air conditioning like they do in the office. It's a good thing I'm tough. And I have survival skills from my desert youth.
  5. It wouldn't be summer without weddings. I'm off to the north this weekend for just such an event. Should be a good time. Oh, and yesterday I got the official day for friend M's wedding in Germany. It's in the spring. Must start scheming and watching the price of flights. Europe in April is lovely and delightfully free of tourists.


driving gloves

First, I've made contact with Matt-O. A bear did not eat him. An elk did not gore him with a giant antler. An eagle, however, thought about swooping him off somewhere to poke his eyes out. But rest assured, he is safe and sound, still handing out JR. Ranger certificates and taking slow hikers around to look at wildflowers.

Next up on the docket, driving gloves! I may have mentioned before that my apartment complex is much like the Golden Girls tv show. Except it's not Miami. And the place isn't as nice, nor as entertaining. So I guess that just leaves me with old people. I think I discovered an appropriate Stan last night. There is a little sporty car (I swear it's nothing more than a Honda Prelude) that parks a little bit down from where I park. Though the car is parked under the protection of covered parking, it always wears a cloth car cover. I only recently found out what color it was (a weird light purple-blue). Anyway, last night I was heading out after work to help some friends when said car and owner stopped to ask me a question...

"Excuse me, was it you who left...."

I could hardly concentrate on making it to the end of the question because all I could see were driving gloves and Poncherello sun-glasses. Driving. Gloves. Driving gloves and Poncherello sun-glasses. Quite serious driving gloves. Stan driving gloves.

Snapping out of my driving glove fog, I politely answered in the negative to his question, smiled, then got into my car (easy to do as it's not protected with a cloth car cover) and left. One thing is clear from this moment last night: I need to find an appropriate Sophia in the complex so we can say snarky things about Stan and tell stories that begin with, "Picture it! Scicily, 1942."


green porno educational video: bees

Must. Watch. Video. Starring the wonderful Isabella Rossellini.


back around.

The Dingle Pub, outside shot escape from Blarney, pt. 2
a perfect pint? trinity college

I'm back home now, mostly over the jet-lag. I say "mostly" because I just happened to wake up at 6:30 this morning. Not a normal time for a Saturday morning wake-up in my world. Friends gathered at the BCC last night for a little welcome back meet-and-greet, which was absolutely lovely.

I'll head out and explore some of the local wonders later this morning. One big lesson/reminder from my trip was that it's not hard to just get off your ass and go have fun. Now, I realize we don't have multiple castles within short car rides or even within walking distance (if you're into that kind of thing). But there's all other sorts of things out there. Go explore. Find a spot and hang out. Take your friends along. Eat cake before you have dinner. What's not fun about that?


my bags are packed.... not quite yet

Ireland was grand. That about sums it up. I'll have more pictures once I get back to the states, so this little bit of M. documenting me documenting myself outside The Temple Bar in Dublin will have to do. We managed to fit in a lot of stuff by getting rid of our tentative schedule and branching out. There were many highlights, but one that really sticks out was a woman in her 70s (with red hair, I may add) dancing a jig while the local musicians played at a pub in Doolin. Fantastic.

Now it's time to think about packing up all the bits I've acquired over my month here as I fly back to the States on Monday.... sigh.

Have a great weekend!


off to the emerald isle

Today I depart for some days to Ireland. I am, to say the least, quite excited. Quite. Some time will be spent in Dublin where I know some locals, then it's off to the west and the Dingle Peninsula. Quite excited. Quite. I'm also looking forward to unplugging, as it were. One town we're staying in (the only reservation we made) is so small that has no ATM in it. Anywhere. Quite excited. Quite.

I've been watching this video as the time to my trip ticked by from when I first booked the tickets. I laugh out loud every single time. Enjoy.


wicked storms

Bodensee storm

Today has been particularly stormy here in Deutschland. Lots of wind. Some rain. Spots of sunshine followed by more clouds. I have to say, though, the storm last weekend in Meersberg was the best so far. We watched it come down out of the mountains and move quickly across the Bodensee. Here's a picture I took about 5 minutes before it forced us inside. Rad.




Last weekend was one for exploring local sites, such as they were. Saturday we headed down to Meersburg on the Bodensee and watched a wicked storm roll down out of the Alps. It was an altogether successful low-key day. Most excellent.

Sunday I hitched a ride with some folks heading up to Heidelberg so I could explore. Heidelberg is a delightful spot. I mean, it can boast to being the place where the Bunsen Burner was invented. And they've got a great Schloss (that's a castle to you and me).

One bit of my day there that particularly struck me was the Philosophenweg, the Philosopher's Walk. There's this path that goes from across the Old Bridge of Heidelberg, up the big big hill, then gently slopes down towards the University (of Bunsen fame). I started out on the Philosophenweg by the University, hoping to walk up on a gentle slope, then down all the really steep bits. Well, that didn't really work out. I apparently missed a turn somewhere along the way and the path was much shorter than I'd anticipated. Such is life. I will say this though, I noticed my mistake while standing on the Old Bridge. I had no agenda. I had no one else to consult. So I fixed my mistake. I started up the steep steep part of the Philosophenweg. The entire path up is laid with stone and has a few spots with stairs, made necessary by the incline. Not only is it a steep steep path, but it's also walled in on the sides a good portion of the way (please see the above photo).

The Philosopher's Walk did not make me want to ponder the deeper meaning of life in general. I was not overcome by the beauty of Heidelberg (though it is quite stunningly beautiful). It made me think about my homies plugging away at their PhDs. I mean, think about it, you've got this arduous path up where you don't have any guide beyond what you can see in front of you. There are giant walls on both sides, keeping you in, limiting your view of the outside world around you. Only occasionally do they let you move off the path for a quick look around and maybe take a picture so you can see where you've been and perhaps get an idea as to where you're going. And the thing about that look when you get it is you see how everyone is carrying on down below. Anyway, I salute you, my homies in PhD-land. Keep on keepin' on, because you're almost to another outlook.


döner kebab

I <3 döner kebab

Ahhhh, yesterday I was able to cross one food agenda item off my list, the döner kebab. Such meaty deliciousness in a handy little bread pouch. And all for the low low cost of 2-3 Euro. I know they're bad for me... with all the salt and the fat. But I can't help it. So good.

In other news, the work-week goes well here and the weekend plans are much closer to home, such as it is. There will be a quick trip down to the Bodensee (between Germany and Switzerland). Tomorrow I think I'll head out during the late morning to downtown Stuttgart. Explore things a bit. I like exploring.



bratislava grafitti

stupid man suit


Pivo and Pork!

Pork Fat and Onion: a snack
Ventured to Slovakia this last weekend. Most excellent. Most most excellent. First, let me say I stayed with a friend of mine who was there on vacation with her family. I should also add that she's from Slovakia. That completely changed the experience from what it could have been at some hotel in the Old Town area. I got out into the suburbs (1960s Soviet era GIANT housing complexes), she took me to meet her family and friends, and was an all-around excellent host.

Two words: pivo and pork. Pivo = beer. Pork = (for our purposes) pork fat. Saturday night I went with my friend and her fam to visit her cousin. They started things off with a delicate aperitif which was, in fact, a gin-like drink that had only been distilled once and was 52% alcohol. It could put some hair on your chest (if you're after that kind of thing) if you drank too much of it. Pivo was, of course, on hand as a chaser. But it was all worth it when we got to the food: stuffed cabbage leaves in this this soup-like paprika broth. Delicious. So so good. Real stick-to-your-ribs peasant food (Hungarian peasant food, more specifically). After dinner we gathered in the living room to chat more, drink more pivo, and hang out. The pork fat (a specialty of sorts) was mentioned earlier in the evening, as my friend's husband had told me all about it earlier in the day. The cousin's husband disappeared for a spell, then poked his head in the room and told us to come with him........ sitting at the table was a plate of delicately sliced pork fat. Like bacon fat without any of the meat. Accompanying this delicacy was thinly-sliced onion, and bread. When in Rome... well, I'd like to say I hesitated at the thought of stuffing straight-up pork fat into my mouth, but that would be a lie. I ate freely. And enjoyed every minute of it. Slovakia is not a place for vegetarians. I'm also pleased to report that the combined aspects of the not-quite gin drinking, pivo drinking, and pork fat eating meant I made a favorable impression on the family.

Ah, the pork fat.

My visit really was wonderful. Aside from the great food I was able to really see little glimpses of life there, not just your typical tourist stuff.

old town alley


to Slovakia for Swedish Meatballs!

IKEA! Swedish Meetballs!

Just kidding. I am off to Slovakia for the weekend in about 30 minutes. But not for Swedish meatballs. I had those at the local IKEA earlier this week (please see the above picture). Yes yes, Bratislava. This will be my second trip past *gasp* The Iron Curtain. . Should be fun. I'll be staying with a friend and her family. I've just got to get to the appropriate place on time. Don't worry, I made sure to put my big-girl pants on this morning.

Have a good weekend, all.


everyone speaks english!

I managed to get out of the flat today to do a walkabout of the town I'm in. I went off in search of the market, not knowing whether or not today was, in fact, the second market day of the week. After wandering too far down, making some course corrections, and a few leaps of faith, I found the market! Woohoo! Despite my indirect course, I think I could find my way back without too much difficulty. I've also learned a fairly obvious lesson: just because someone says, "oh, they all speak english... you'd be surprised." does not make it so. No problem. I managed to get the veggies I was after without much difficulty. The cheese, however, was something else altogether. I ended up buying 13 euro (pronounced oy-row)worth of goat cheese. Now, it is a delicious cheese. But that's a lot of money for a hunk of cheese.

On my way back I encountered an old man walking down the street. I had been looking in the storefront windows, etc. and didn't see him coming. By the time I looked up, we were heading directly for each other and thus started the whole stutter-step-I'll-go-this-way-you-go-that-way-wait-I'll-go-that-way-no-I-was-going-to-go-that-way dance. It was a good time. We laughed. I smiled. He said, "English?" I said, "yes." And he nodded his head in understanding. It was a good-natured understanding.

Now the vegetables are roasting in the oven and I've got some spargel in some water in the fridge. Most excellent.


in the moment

look!  the Alps!

Went to the Alps this weekend. You know. As you do. I struggled back and forth between sitting (or hiking) and just taking everything in or reaching for my camera. I like to tell myself I struck a nice balance, but I think it depended on the day. The short trip, however, allowed for both. Living in the moment is something I'm trying to work on... and I found myself exclaiming some interesting things because of it: "Holy Shit, that's pretty!"; "Seriously?" (because half of it looks like it cannot possibly be real); and of course ... "Beautiful. Gorgeous. Wish you were here." So, what did I see? I saw cows with bells around their necks. I'm here to tell you that you can hear them up while hiking, even if you can't see them. I saw lots of men in lederhosen and women in dirndls. I heard accordion music (did not purchase the dude's albums). Drank lots of beer. Ate some excellent wurst. Wrap your mind around the deliciousness of Spätzle with sourkraut and bacon. Had a migraine (not beer related), but who cares when you're in the Alps (okay, I did a little). And finally, I laughed a lot with some fantastic people. I cannot complain about anything for a long time.



to the Alps!

I like to say "To the Alps!" like I say, "To the Batcave!" More of an exclamation with a finger thrust into the air.... And I'm still with the jet lag, so I can't tell if that's really as entertaining as I think it is or if I'm just punchy from the lack of sleep. Anyway, we shall depart to the Alps here shortly, to Garmisch-Partenkirchen if you're at all curious. There promises to be good German food, a trailer, beautiful mountains, picturesque lakes, and relaxing hikes. Most excellent.

Got a holiday?
Good Sir, Drive On! To the Alps!
Watch out for the goats.


in deutschland

I arrived safe and sound at my friend's house yesterday. We promptly left her flat, took her dog for a walk, and then got a beer. With the dog. On the restaurant's patio. Because Germans love dogs. Most excellent.

As I sit here at the kitchen table there's a nice thunderstorm rolling on through. We've seen some lightening, heard the thunder, and now the pooch is hanging out by my side. I'll have some pictures soon enough.

Anyway, in the spirit of KFR's last post, here's a haiku I put together before I left on Tuesday for my homies at work:

Say "bitte ein Bit"
And squint your eyes a little;
An Alpenhorn blows


quick visits and travel

it's just what you do with leopard print robes

Apologies for the lack of blogging. I'm currently in travel mode, even though I'm now at home. Last week was an amazing combination of 730 miles driven and a flight from Seattle to San Jose and then back again. I don't know what those miles are, but rest assured it was enough. But the travel was good. Very good. I was able to visit the fabulous A. and then KFR and Beetlegirl ventured over the hill to see me. There was some hanging out in my hotel room complete with leopard print robes. Really, they came to see the robes. If only we'd had a bubble pipe or two.

Anyway, I'm still in travel mode because I'm getting all my crap lined up and ready to go for Germany. One month away means I better not leave any fruit on the counter or milk in the fridge. That and I'm one of those crazies who cleans like mad before they go on a trip. So yeah, have much of what I need packed, but I've also got an expanding list of things to take care of before I go. I don't mind, though. Because if you look at the picture below, that's where I hope to be over Memorial Day weekend. Woot!

tadpole lake


for anyone contemplating a job change

A friend of mine from work sent me this and I just have to share it. I think we could wind up in a situation where certain bands of superheroes start fighting with eachother... like those that prefer Star Trek to Star Wars, D & D people vs LARPers, etc etc etc. Anyway, watch the video. You won't be sorry. I promise.


the matrix?

A friend of mine from work sent me this lovely window into an untapped culinary world the other day. It proved to be an entertaining distraction and we both agreed that the hotdog bits with spaghetti through them looked like those machines that attacked Neo in The Matrix. Anyway, I suppose you could make an adult version of Spaghetti-Os with this? Scary.

In the realm of updates, I've got a few to make:
  • am currently slightly obsessed with the new Neko Case album.
  • am currently residing on the outskirts of migraine land.
  • am currently annoyed at the travel part of work travel... just air plane annoyance.
  • am currently overjoyed with visions of a Hug Atttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack in the Bay area.
  • am currently trying not to squeal every 5 minutes with Big Travel plans which are rapidly approaching.
I think that's a pretty good list. I had an excellent time lazing about last weekend and look forward to making some Chili for friends this weekend. That's right people. THE Chili.

Neko Case: This Tornado Loves you ... a song explanation: this is a love song from a tornado to someone. The album, Middle Cyclone, is just fantastic.


some moments from last weekend.

alley Sports Center
obligatory orchard introduction


Squirrel Guns

I loaded on up and went home last Thursday for Easter weekend. I had plenty of snacks, water, space blankets, etc for the late-night trip that sent me over a mountain pass... but I did not have a squirrel gun. This, I soon learned, was a shortcoming given my family's Okie roots. Our unofficial bunny day dinner was Saturday night and believe you me it was a good one. Not only was the chow delicious, the conversation was quite lively. All I can say is that the trip down memory lane involved a distant male relative dubbed Penny the Pervert (his name was, in fact, Penny) and Grannies with squirrel guns. That's right people... grannies with squirrel guns. And you need those special guns because if you don't get the squirrel just the right spot than you can't use the meat. I suppose in the grand scheme of things that a squirrel gun would have been useless on Thursday had I needed it, given the fact that it was dark. But still. I'm sure I could rig some sort of gun rack in my car, start a new trend. Get myself a squirrel gun and ride around listening to country and western music. Its a pretty short leap for me when you think about it....


scheming update

The Ultra Hip

With the travel restrictions in place for work, I haven't been down to see the Cool Kids since last September. Luckily some have managed to head north for family visits (which means I get to see them as well), but I'm itching for more visit time. For the entire Hug Atttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaack gang.

Just so y'all know, I'm in proper scheming mode. And if scheming mode doesn't work out, there's always cheap airline tickets and comfy floors with bunnies.

Over and out.


those wacky germans

Ummmm, I'm providing a nice dance video for your friday. I plan on learning this particular dance as I shall travel to Germany next month. I'm quite excited about it and that excitement needs to come out some how. This dance is as good as any other... I mean, I've got the snoopy dance down already. Have a great weekend and learn a new dance!


why I have class: reason #31

Last night I had some foie gras and watched Point Break.


lambs or goats and dames or divas

I had a very entertaining end to my week last week. So entertaining that its keepin' me goin' through this Monday morning of jacked-up WiFi (which means I can't have a change of scenery when working). Let's see here... saw the stylish and amazingly rad couple KFR and B. There was wine, hug atttttaaaaaaaaaaacks, shootin' the shit, catchin' up, and generally a very enjoyable time. THEN we got to do it again (minus the wine) the next morning at breakfast. Most excellent.

Saturday was adventure time. Went on a back road adventure to the outlet mall with an upstanding member of the BCC. We had 3 goals to accomplish: see baby lambs, stop at the menonite lady's home bakery, and return some pants/hunt for socks. While trying to make conversation with the bakery lady I mentioned the cute cute cute lambs we'd seen. "You mean the goats.".... Ummmm no, I mean the lambs. Miscommunication miscommunication miscommunication... "They're goats." I hadn't seen any goats yet and told her as much. "Those are goats outside." Ah. I finally caught up. I told her we saw lambs on the drive, but hadn't seen HER goats yet. I don't think she actually believed I knew the difference between sheep and goats. Later that evening I went to a drag show. Very entertaining. I wonder if she would have known the difference between dames and divas.

Yesterday was a lovely day of lounging, mucking about on the computer, and playing kickball. I'll just add that I kicked in the winning run. Woot!


sign of the apoalypse

Okay okay okay. I know I've been out of the loop for a while now. So I'll try to give a quick update and then be much better about tending to the blog. Ummm, because I only have a few minutes before a meeting I'll utilize The List:
  • We almost won a game in dodgeball. It was so close. The match was epic. EPIC.
  • St. Patrick's Day wasn't nearly as exciting as the Muppets song listed below. It happens.
  • Spring is in the air.... travel shall be in the air soon enough as well.
  • I had a delightful potato doughnut. With cinnamon and sugar. I highly recommend them.
  • Went to cousin's wedding last weekend. It was outside. In a forest. And cold. Despite the cold, it turned out really well.
  • I get to see KFR and Re-B this week! Huzzah!
  • I happened to be at a mall the other day and came across the outfit featured below. I threw up a little in my mouth at the sight.
sign of the apocalypse


one must always be prepared


luck of the draw

my fortune

So last weekend I had my fortune told at a bar for the price of a beer. It seemed like a fair enough price. I was told The World was my future... cool. Anyway, the last couple days I've been meditating on what it means to send good thoughts out into the world in general and the trickiness of judgment. Sean "P Diddy" Combs was on the Ellen show the other day. Ellen pressed him for letting the punk Chris Brown (a correct judgment, I think) use his house in Florida as a place for him and Rhianna to make up or whatever. P Diddy was all, "I just want to send positive vibes, goodness into the world. blah blah blah." And Ellen's response was basically, "I get that, but I don't want girls thinking its okay for men to hit them."

Here's my question, do good vibes count when they're laced with righteous violence? For example, my good vibes come in the form of a small legion of microscopic warriors that know karate and battle things like wife beaters and cancer cells alike. Who am I kidding.... I'm okay with this combination of good and bad. I guess its all luck of the draw, initially anyway, and then how you move forward.

I should also add that I went to see Watchmen last night, which is probably influencing my good/bad vibes thought.... The movie was good, but entirely too long and with the most ridiculous sex scene. Ridiculous.


YES to style!

Okay, I admit a certain amount of ridiculous self-satisfaction at owning a SIGG canteen since 2004. Yes, it was a tad odd when people's first comments were, "ummmmm, isn't that a liquid fuel bottle for cooktops and stuff?" They had no idea the veritable fashion STORM of SIGG bottes was on the way. I just needed something that would fit neatly into my bag as I travelled around Europe. Setting aside the pretentiousness of that last sentence (and what follows), I noticed this add on nytimes.com yesterday as I scoped out the latest headlines and read Maureen Dowd....

"Say NO to plastic -- YES to style! Invest in Yourself & A Greener Earth."

I sort of love the fact that they're so clearly targeting city hipsters. I bet you could actually see some of these when walking around Portland, hipster-central. Methinks it takes a very specific type of individual to walk around with a GIANT canteen slung over their shoulder. But once that very specific individual does it, I wonder how long it will take others to do it?

Meh. Environmental Fashion. Add it to the list.


Album MeMe; or, a Follower

Following in the footsteps of KFR and the venerable Count Fosco, I present my album cover. I was quite tickled by the both the band and album name, though I admit I stretched the band name a bit. A long latin name for a trout found in Croatia just wouldn't cut it. Meh. I also must admit I was hoping for something a bit more metal in terms of imagert to go with the names. Whatev.

If you're after your own album cover, please refer to this lovely "Not (yet) on iTunes" post from Count Fosco.

And just to give a bit of credit, the image was from Dyrk.Wyst on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dyrkwyst/3302855961/
Full quote: "Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once." -- Tallulah Bankhead
Random Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmothymus_obtusirostris_salonitana


Its peanut butter jelly time!; or A product endorsement.

Peanut Butter mixer...

I make no secret of my love affair with Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter and all the wondrous things you can pair it with. Hell, Elvis even put it with pickles. I bring this up because I go through a lot of peanut butter and I prefer Adams, organic please. Anyone who has ever purchased this particular type of peanut butter (old fashioned) knows that you have to work for it. You've got to mix mix mix it up the first time you open it because the naturally occurring oil separates. I've always hated the mix mix mixing because it takes 5 minutes of attempts at stirring with oil slopping over the edge. Plus your hand can cramp. Its not fun. Anyhoo, for a while I wanted a peanut butter mixer. I know, I know. Its not very smart to buy kitchen appliances that only do one thing. But I had to.

I found my treasure at a kitchen store in downtown Seattle. I have warm feelings for this kitchen store because every time I purchased something there they always have information about using it. And if they don't, they say as much. The skeptical looking woman who helped me stated, "I can't vouch for this... but I would bet it works because it looks like it functions on the same principle as a dough hook." Good enough! I'm sold!

Now, I've only used the mixer once, but it handled everything beautifully. It will get used again this week I'm sure. If you are at all a lover of Adams peanut butter but hate the mixing, go get yourself one of these.

Peanut Butter RULES!

Old Fashioned PB Mixer



Bosco the WunderDog no dogs, cats or pot bellied pigs
the Bubble Gum Wall post alley graffiti?
the Lusty Lady Sully's

I made it up to Seattle last weekend for the first time in way too long. It was fantastic to hang out, play some pool, see the sights, and just be. Unfortunately I missed two kickball games, but it was well worth it. Please enjoy some of the pictures from the weekend. Among my faves is the brick wall... if you go to my flickr site and see the large version of the image you'll be able to pick out the thousands of pieces of gum that decorate wall of the building.


Respect my Author-i-tay!

That's right people! Its all about RESPECT! Last night I had to officiate a dodgeball game before my own games started. Fine, no problem. We're all adults who look silly playing dodgeball for fun. The rules are fairly simple, follow them and don't be an ass about it.

Not so simple last night.

There was some serious gorilla chest pounding over dodgeball. Apparently some words were exchanged (which I did not hear) between Short Gorilla and Tall Gorilla. Next thing I know, Short Gorilla runs over and gets up in Tall Gorilla's face! I'm talkin' chest to chest, Short Gorilla almost on his tiptoes to make himself bigger... Bah! Nobody on either team was doing anything to stop the escalating situation so I had to go over and stop the staring-content-chest-pounding riff-raff. Are you kidding me? For dodgeball?

Short Gorilla (who obviously had some sort of experience with this before) knew to flee the scene. He started to walk away quite quickly. UNACCEPTABLE!

My response: Hey! Stop! Look at me.
Short Gorilla: walk walk walk, stop turn, continue to walk on...
Me: Stop. Now. Look at me. You can't do that.
Short Gorilla: moves like he's going to walk away again....
Me: I mean it. Look at me. You cannot do that.
Short Gorilla: Am I out?
Me: You're done. For the game.

BAM! Take that! Luckily dude was shamed into apologizing after the game was over. I don't actually believe that means he'll change his behavior in the future, unfortunately. And the people around him didn't seem all that concerned either. What a bunch of wing nuts.

Anyway, let this be a lesson to you. Respect my Author-i-tay!


mr roboto

mr roboto

Ummmmm, Mr. Roboto. Terrible song. On so many levels. Terrible. One thing I will say for it, though, is that its quite fun to say.


Lost in the Queen's Handbag

I called up KFR the other night before the latest episode of Lost. You see, KFR and his lovely wife Re-B got me hooked on the show. I'd roll over to their house about an hour before the show started with an acceptable beer and we'd shoot the breeze, eat delicious cookies, and ponder John Locke. The John Locke of Lost... not the philosopher. Anyway, I called KFR to talk Lost as we used to do and we ended it by agreeing to blog about it. At some point. If one felt compelled. Kinda.


So! Was I so thrown by Wednesday's episode that I felt compelled to write about it? No! I feel compelled to write about Queen Elizabeth's handbag! You see, before lost started a program on PBS covered the Queen's last state visit in 2007 (commemorating 400 years of settlement at Jamestown, yadda yadda yadda). Catching only snippets of this (as I talked with KFR), I could only wonder what the Queen kept in her handbag.... I figured it out in a dream Wednesday night. All the Secrets of Lost are in the Queen's handbag. She's carting around a polar bear, the weird smoke (to smite down all who get in her way), directions off the island, Jacob's direct phone number, the meaning of the number, as well as the Charter document of the Dharma Initiative.

Some say dreams have the unique ability to provide powerful insights if we only know how to interpret them. Well, I'm listening.

Check the Queen's handbag.


working girl

I saw bits and pieces of Working Girl on TV yesterday and was drawn in by the out-of-date exercise equipment. There she is, Tess, just trying to get her work done in her inexpensive shoulder pads and tennies (with heels safely tucked away in a secondary bag) when she spots the high tech exercise bike sitting in the corner. As you can see by the picture, she proceeds to jump on the bike and exercise whilst working. Is this too much to ask?

The weather has been right over the last week or so to actually get out and run some. Well, its been long enough that the running is interrupted by intervals of walking. Gotta start somewhere. Anyway, I bring up Working Girl because I like exercising during the day. I don't do well early in the morning and I'm not consistent in the evenings. This leaves lunch time. The noonish hour. Now, I work from home quite a bit so this isn't a problem. A luxury, I know.

Anyway, I'm wondering if I should troll Goodwill or St. Vinny's for an exercise bike like the one above? Cross-training,anyone? Woohoo!