terribleturnip: (Goat)
You go to get out of your chair at work, pulling your headphones off and they get caught up in your reading glasses cord and you almost strangle yourself.

Seriously, it's a like a clown car of indignities. I somehow thought that would age would come some grace, some measure of skill at navigating the world. Payback for the knees and thumbs that remind me constantly that in my profligate youth, I tore through some cartilage.

But no, I'm just clumsy AND creaky. Expletive.

And while I'm beginning to struggle with some memory issues (or maybe now I just notice them), I still have a visceral memories of what it felt like to be a teenager and have adults heap contempt on the things I wore, listened to, said, did. There is no expletive way I'm doing that to the kids of today. I may not LIKE a thing, but that doesn't mean I think it's stupid. And even if I DO think it's stupid, I will keep that opinion to myself. I've got plenty of old age cranky to throw down on in other areas.

Like my Rolodex. They've stopped making refill cards in the size I like. 4x6, big enough to tape a business card to and then still have room for notes. I know, I know, an actual, physical rolodex? Yeah, yeah. It's not like I don't have contacts on my computer. But when I've got fourteen different things opened up on my screen and I have to call someone...it's eaiser to slightly turn to my right, finger flick and boom, there's the phone number. Or maybe the little post it note attached that tells me that person is on maternity leave. Plus the name of her other kids. And the dog. Sorry, but it's way easier to just jot that expletive down on her card over time than it is to open Contacts and type stuff into the appropriate blank.

Plus, once you're in my electronic contacts, you're probably in there for good. When the hell am I going to open that up and page through looking for dead people...or even people who've left that company. Whereas I'll be flicking through the Rolodex, see a name and go "oh, he's gone" and pull out that card and bam, cleaned out. Mind you, I only do this for business contacts, not personal -- that's all electronic.

I'm sure it's just resistance to change, and if I embraced my electronic overlords, I'd find that managing contacts that way is easier or more effective. But like the Oxford comma, I still catch a whiff of "I dunno, I think this way is still useful"

I could be fooling myself. On the other hand, when our systems went down this morning, who do you suppose was still able to make progress because she could still access phone numbers...like being able to make change, we old dogs still have some tricks left in us.
terribleturnip: (Goat)
This is the least angsty Valentine's Day I've had a while. Not that it's ever angsty for me, but I usually have to duck a couple of "Valentine's Day is such commercial expletive" and "Thanks for making all of the single people feel bad" windstorms. But life (if defined by conversations and work and Facebook feeds...which is a sad commentary that I'll weep over later) has been relatively free of that this season. Which is great, because I have no time or patience for that. At all.

Oh, sure you can rail against the commerciality of it all. The uptick in diamond commercials alone make me shy away from commercial radio for a few weeks, playing CD's in the car, dinosaur that I am. So, whatever, make a card by hand, pen a special note or poem on fancy stationery, make your gift something sweet, thoughtful and free. Do you feel trapped into having to behave a certain way -- schedule an expensive dinner? Buy overpriced flowers, come up with something more creative/impressive than her last boyfriend? I'm being sexist here, because I think the spotlight gets thrown on men awfully hard for this holiday...which may have been, historically speaking, appropriate. But expletive that. Women, you need to stand up and deliver for Valentine's Day as well, if you're going to expect the same from your partner. The whole trading flowers and chocolate for a BJ trope makes my skin crawl...unless of course, for each of you, that's actually what would make you happy.

Personally, I love getting flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day because that's the one damn day a year when I can have both guilt-free. I HAVE to eat these chocolates; it's a goddamned tradition. How could I let America down like that? And yeah, flowers that didn't come from my garden are a frivolous treat that I find it hard to talk myself into, even though I love them. So, in the cold, hard month of February when my garden is barren of life, hey, my desk blooms with a harbinger of spring.

But here's the thing. I am not shy about telling my partners about what makes me happy on Valentine's Day. Admittedly, managing my own joy is a skill at which I excel. Consider this: have a talk (preferably not the week before Valentine's Day because that's going to just come off as poor planning) with your partner about what, if anything, Valentine's Day means to them. I'm all "no way am I going to go out to a restaurant on V-Day itself where it's all about turning tables and often having the B Team on duty in the kitchen" whereas I have friends who are all "Expletive overpriced flowers that are just going to die". Maybe it's just having breakfast in bed. Or a long walk in the woods. Or sex on the dining room table. Or as I said to a former partner "I just want to know that you set aside a little block of time and thought about me and what would make me happy, what would show that you do love me and wanted to do something special. Not an hour, I mean fifteen minutes, including the time typing in your VISA card number on the FTD website, that's all. (I've been accused of not being very romantic.)

"Oh, but why THAT day. I don't like feeling compelled to celebrate on a day someone picked out for me. We should celebrate our love all year long!" Do you and your partner celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah on random days, just because you refuse to be tied to a calendar? Well, then okay. Otherwise, suck it up buttercup. What the hell is wrong with an annual reminder to check and see if you're phoning it in? Hey, if you are, throughout the year, firing off random celebrations of your love, then carry on! Ignoring Valentine's Day seems sort of silly, if you're good at doing that kind of thing year round. Oh, here's one more opportunity, and your love can reflect on how for her/him, it feels like Valentine's Day year round!

Now don't get me wrong -- when you're poly, celebrating Valentine's Day ON Valentine's Day can be problematic. I mean some poly folks treat it like Thanksgiving -- let's everyone do a thing together and celebrate all our love! Others deliberately don't do anything with anyone on the day itself and just scatter the celebrations with each partner around the date. Growing up, our family was always all about celebrating when it was convenient and made sense for everyone - your birthday party was always the Saturday before or after your actual birthday. So, that comes in handy if you have a partner who really likes to celebrate the thing on the day of the thing and another partner who just finds the hole in the Google calendar and slots the celebration somewhere within a 30 day window.

And then there are the people who are underpartnered or single. Sigh, I'm all alone on Valentine's Day. sniff. This is the day when I realize that everyone in the world has someone special except for me. sniff, sniff.

Oh, please. It was such a revelation to me, the first Valentine's Day I was single. Wait, I can have exactly what I want for dinner? I can have the whole bottle of expensive wine? A dessert that makes me happy and no one else? I can watch the movie I want? Buy the really good chocolates that I like? My favorite flowers? BRING IT. Valentine's Day when you're single is awesome -- a big giant wallow in self indulgence and self love!

While I'm not technically single...I've chosen to be single this night. Ostensibly to give my metamours time with our partners, but really so that I can revel in being completely self-absorbed and self-indulgent. I've got a lovely steak, a wine more expensive than I would usually allow myself to get for just me, some pistachio gelato, a smooth seductive sipping rye for after dinner...and I'm still pondering my movie choice. And I'll break out the crystal because I deserve it, but wear pajamas because I deserve it.

I feel very strongly that you cannot begin to understand how to make someone else truly happy if you do not first understand how to make yourself happy...all by yourself.

So celebrate yourselves, my friends, and have a Happy Valentine's Day!
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, last week I was talking to a friend about a writer and we’re talking about how this author writes a lot of stuff, but it’s sort of formulaic, same story, over and over again, just with different circumstances and locations. I allowed that I’m much more tolerant of that in a movie than I am in a book and that conversations been mulling around in my brain in case I want to develop a writing on what amuses me, where my standards for entertainment lie, etc.

And then on Friday, a colleague asked me what I was doing this weekend and I said “well, Friday night I’ll relax a bit and decorate the Christmas tree. Saturday is some last minute shopping, making cookie doughs, beginning to wrap presents and then a lovely date with the Consort. Sunday will be cookie baking and more present wrapping, packing suitcases, cleaning out the car and then packing it for the holiday trip. Then quiet sobbing on the couch as I realize that it’s 4pm on Sunday and haven’t gotten half of that done. Followed by saying “Expletive it” and cracking open a bottle of wine.”

That would be the moment when I realized: I am living a formulaic life.
terribleturnip: (percy)
I'm trying to enjoy Adele's music. And I'll admit that I'm only hearing what comes on when I'm driving and stuck with whatever's on the radio, assuming that once again, I didn't retrieve the CD's from the backseat before putting the damn car in drive and now I can't reach them and am not willing to pull over, get them and then start up again. (For the record, that happens 2-8 times a day and has been going on for weeks. I'm not sure whether it's forgetfulness or a deliberate attempt to try my mental stamina.)

But seriously, every time a song of hers comes on the radio I try to just listen and not be all judgy, but then my forebrain, who can be a little pushy, shoves aside brainparts grooving on the music and thinks "Oh, honey. We need to hang out. You need some lessons in closure, sweetpea. It's producing some very beautiful songs, but seriously, hold my hand and I'm going to show you how to move on."
terribleturnip: (percy)
When thinking about some of my friends, several fellow chefs and serious cooks. It's funny how we each have our different style. Not style in terms of foods we like to cook (the number one question I always get when people find out I used to cook for a living is "What kind of food did you cook". Um, edible? All of them? As if a chef is a restaurant and will specialize in a cuisine) but style in terms of what's our modus operandi when it comes to creating/cooking a dish. One is all about classical technique, another about combining familiar ingredients in new ways, adding new flavors to familiar dishes, another about cutting edge technique. Which tends to make me feel both sloppy and uncreative. I have vast holes in my repetoire of classical dishes, resist buying an obscure ingredient I'm only going to use this once, and while I often like thinking about flipping a dish in a different direction, when it's time to actually make something, sometimes that sounds like an awful lot of work.

My skills lie in two different areas. One, terribly non-sexy, is efficiency. Trust me, you rarely win adulation by being efficient in the kitchen. But, hey, I used to have to cook a ton of food in people's homes in a very limited time span, which included hauling my own equipment and tools into their kitchen. I got really good at "I can make this menu with two pots, a bowl and a spoon." Because every thing I used had to be carried in and carried out. And I didn't have anyone cleaning up after me. I needed to get in, cook a bunch of meals, clean up and get out, all in a couple of hours. So, I got good at not using a lot of tools/pans, not having much room to spread out, not making a mess. Figuring out how to get things to cook quickly and in tandem. How to cut and prep things in an order that minimized cutting board and knife washing.

My other skill/interest is in making flavors pop. What can I do to make this ingredient, this dish, taste the biggest. Because I was often cooking for people who were trying to eat more healthily, I couldn't just turn to fat and salt. Plus, they were going freeze most of what I cooked for them, or at least reheat it, so delicate and subtle was going to get lost.
Now for the actual cooking part )
Recently I had to depart from my usual mac & cheese recipe because my oven igniter broke. I was committed to making it, but was now going to have to make it in a crockpot. I was suspicious. Was it going to be okay? The same? I didn't know and I had a tight deadline with lots to do, so when I saw a recipe for Mac & Cheese in a crockpot with bacon and caramelized onions, I thought oh, well, bacon and onions will cover up for a lot of sins, just in case the crockpot thing makes it weird. (Wait, you were a chef and you're looking at someone else's recipe? Yeah. Wanna make something of it? It's called inspiration, priming the pump, getting your head in the right place. Especially since that's not my day job anymore, I need help getting my brain in the right place. And I've come to crockpots very late in life and still don't have a visceral feel for liquid ratios yet.)

Anyway, so here's what my brain did to the recipe:

It called for 16 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked in a skillet until crisp and then crumbled. Okay, look, you're going to put a pound of bacon in the middle of 2.5 pounds of pasta and two pounds of cheese, no one is going to be able to tell what expletive wood was used to smoke that bacon. Seriously. A good bacon, that's what's important. It was my freezer, so it was probably Nodine's or Nueske's, but I may have been slumming it with Niman. And yeah, it was in the freezer -- because if your goal is to crumble the bacon at the end...why start with slices? That's dumb. You wind up with that alternating crisp and fat, which is great for eating bacon, but not for bacon bits. Freeze the bacon, dice it and THEN saute it. Every expletive little bit will then be coated evenly in bacon fat and be brilliantly crispy and browned. So, let's do that and then save your bacon fat.

Then it told me to caramelize 4 large sweet onions, diced. AND add sugar to help with the caramelization. No, no, no. Don't waste a sweet onion on caramelization. Use regular onions (which are smaller, so it was was more like 6) saute them down long and slow, and yes, a little sugar helps. You probably thought I was going to use the bacon fat to saute the onions. You certainly could, oh, onions and bacon fat love each other! But think about the dish. I'm already dropping bacon flavor bacon bits randomly throughout the dish. Dropping bacon flavored onion bits...well, it's redundant, isn't it? Your palate is going to like the contrast between the bacon bits and the onion bits. It's like a good dinner party -- if everyone has the same opinion on everything, it's going to be boring.

Then make the white sauce. A stick of butter, 6 tbs flour, 3 cups each milk and chicken broth. That's all well and good and I support the mix of chicken broth and milk to make things less cloying than six cups of straight dairy. Here's where the bacon fat comes into play, though, because I'm going to add, it's probably about 2 Tbs of bacon fat leftover and another Tbs of flour to make that white sauce. It then wants me to flavor it with 8 drops of Tabasco. Well, that's cool...but seriously, let's pump that up a bit. You also need a good teaspoon or two of Worcestershire sauce to add depth, and then a tablespoon or more of dry mustard (or 1-2 tsp of wet smooth mustard) to give it tang.

It calls for 10 cups of shredded cheese, mixed mild and sharp. Back away from the pre-shredded cheese. Please. It's got all sorts of crap in there to keep it from sticking together. If you don't have a food processor to shred your cheese, then find a ten year old you can pay in Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Use that as an excuse to sit on your keister and watch television while you shred the cheese on a grater. And I don't understand why you'd even bother with mild unless you're cooking for small children. Sharp all the way, my friend.

Then make the pasta (for the record, the recipe wants me to put the dry pasta, along with all of the other ingredients, into the crockpot together and let them cook together for 4-5 hours on low. My gut doesn't like what that may do to the texture of the pasta. I could well be wrong, but I don't have time...nor the desire to waste 2 pounds of cheese on sub-par. So, I'm going to indulge my inner control freak and cook it to the underdone side of al dente) which calls for 2 boxes of elbows. You can certainly use elbows, although it's going to make me think that secretly you're wishing for Kraft Mac & Cheese and that makes me cry inside. My nostalgic favorite is shells, but rotini or gobetti are best. Elbows. Feh. You want something with nooks that can hold the cheese sauce and deliver little pockets of flavor to your mouth. Plus, I've got a ton of people to feed, so I'm going to cook 3 boxes, which, depending on the pasta and the crockpot is enough to fill it or a little extra. And the ratio of stuff to pasta is still fine.

And then it wants me to alternate layers of pasta with the cheese, sauce, bacon and onions. Which I do, because this is a ton of food -- but the recipe then wants me to just sprinkle some more cheese on top and then walk away. Pah. I set aside some cheese and sauce to top it with and then I dig in with a wooden spoon and mix it all up to make sure every bite of it will be splendid. I'm not making lasagna here, make sure that pasta's well coated. And then pour the remaining sauce over top to make sure the noodles are coated and then the cheese on top. And cook it on low for maybe 3-4 hours since the pasta's already cooked.

Now, this hurts the part of my brain that craves efficiency -- that was a lot of separate steps and more pots and pans than I'd normally like to use. But, oh, my, it was worth it.
terribleturnip: (percy)
While I've spend a lot of time over the past couple of years honing my communication skills, self-examination and personal development, I wanted to let you know that while I'm all ninja-skilled in some directions, I remain an idiot and danger to myself in others.

This morning, after carefully filling the tall recycle bin with all of the recyclables from both home and Faire, I promptly backed into and spilled it all over the road. That was me, dressed up, late for work and running down the road chasing cider cans and pickle jars.

Just a half an hour ago, I said to colleague "Dude, ass off the plant". He was leaning against one of the potted plants that I adopted. And I struggle a bit with professional language on Mondays. Sigh.

Out to lunch with a friend and she pulls out her phone, says "hang on, let me check the mirror" and starts fiddling with her hair. And I say, "oh, I've been wondering if there was a mirror app, that would be really handy" and she says "wait, what? Just use your camera." Oh, right. But they didn't used to...never mind. Yes, phone cameras work both ways now.

Pulling a rose out of my hat so that I could put it in the vase, it got hung up on the pin that keeps the side of the hat upright. So, I pulled harder. And punched myself in the eye with a flower. A flower.
terribleturnip: (percy)
There are definitely some things I regret. Like not putting down new carpeting and flooring before I moved into the house. Because now that seems like such a daunting task with all of the furniture and other crap that every time I think about it I panic and pull out paint chips because repainting seems more manageable.

I regret that every damn week, I fail to spray down my bodice with vodka at the beginning of the week because that means I had to do it this morning so that it would dry in time to be packed this afternoon. And while I’m fond of alcohol, aspirating vodka spray at 5am on a Friday morning is…intense.

Like having fallen down on my box elder bug massacre maintenance this spring, because now the little bastards are EVERYWHERE. In EVERYTHING. And they’re all going to come inside with the Halloween props.

And speaking of Halloween props, I regret, once again, not having carved more tombstones in June when I had time and could do it outside on the deck. Because now I don’t…and the neighborhood needs more. Which means a living room filled with Styrofoam dust.
And I definitely regret letting my clear nail polish dry up. Because yesterday while getting dressed, I got a run in the foot of my stockings and had to use red polish to stop the run. Which meant later that afternoon, laying on the table at the gynecologist, feet up in stirrups, I had to explain why there was red all over my foot. Like it’s not ALREADY an uncomfortable situation.

But that’s about it, I think.

Because I tend not to have regrets. I suppose I’ve got some oh, I wish that’s – although those are usually just wishing that I’d been better at something, or made a better decision. But that’s pretty fleeting. After all, all of the things that I’ve done, all of the things that have happened to me, have made me, ME. Every hurt, every scar, every tear, every sleepless night… every laugh, every hug, every tear of joy, every moment of beauty has built the woman I am.

This morning I was thinking, ah, if only, when I was teaching myself to jump off a running horse and land running next to them, if only someone had said to me then “Hey, you’re a sturdy girl, landing that hard and fast on your right knee that many times, you’re going to feel that every damn morning once you get to be fifty years old” maybe I would have given that up. Because they’d have been right, I hammered that cartilage into oblivion. On the other hand, I could jump off of a horse in motion and most of the time, land running right beside them, or worst case, land and let a forward roll take my momentum and then come up. Which saved, if not my life, at least my spine, because I had to do a controlled bail-out on several occasions. So, yeah, I gimp around now – but seriously, I made some jaws drop leaping off crazy two year old thoroughbreds having temper tantrums and landing on my feel holding the reins still. Saved my neck when the stirrup leather broke on a cross country course.

If only…would I be richer, would I be less achey, would I be living near the ocean, would I have a horse still, would I…maybe. But I probably wouldn’t be any happier. It would just be different stuff I’d be worrying about. You can second guess yourself to death. Ugh. Who’s to say that thing you should’ve done would have made your life any better. Who’s to say it wouldn’t have brought you just as much misery, just dressed in different clothes?

Happy and no regrets? I’ll take that.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Dear people who freak out when a movie is remade,
So don't expletive watch it.

It's actually THAT simple. "It's going to be ruined!" Um, I'm pretty sure that the distribution contract for the new one doesn't actually specify that they have to destroy all copies of the old one. "It'll never be as good as the first one!" Well, you're often right. Although that's mostly because the first one wasn't actually as good as you remember, but it struck a particular chord for you, your friends, segment of society, AT THE TIME. Let the people who are watching it now just freaking enjoy it without you going all geezery "things were better in my day". "They're going to change it!" Please see previous comment. The world's moved on, perhaps you should as well. The damn thing is dated now. You can be nostalgic about it, but for crying out loud, remember that the teenagers (or whatever market segment it's aimed at) have had different experiences than you did at that age, so it's got to be updated in order to not seem hokey as hell. You want to go on a fan board and debate merits of new cast vs old, etc., then you go right ahead. But whine about it on Facebook and know that I'm clicking on the secret "Contempt" button that Zuckerberg keeps promising me but still hasn't delivered.

Dear Women's Clothing Catalogs,

Those of you whose premise is clearly clothing that is flattering/forgiving to the less than wasp-waisted -- I'm looking at you, Soft Surroundings -- maybe you should show the clothing on the people that I'm pretty sure it was designed to flatter. I'm looking at that top and thinking "oh, that'd hide the fat rolls" but maybe only if I were six feet tall with legs up to my armpits and thin from top to bottom. Even worse, if that dress/shirt/top/whatever makes your wafer thin model look fat...I've got to figure that I'm going to look like my own personal circus in it. Now there's a possibility that it will actually look flattering on my stumpy-legged more curves than a mountain switchback, broadshouldered body. So maybe show it on a body that it flatters. Maybe just have that option on your website. Instead of "click to see a back view" you could have "click to see it on some other body types". Just a thought.


Dear Pro-life Demonstrators/Spokespeople,

Why aren't you picketing fertility clinics? If this is all about the sanctity of a fertlized egg, then you should have your panties in a wad over the businesses that flush hundreds of "babies" down the drain on a daily basis. Either you're fundamentally okay with dead babies as long as they're killed in pursuit of an actual live one...which means you should be okay with fetal tissue research since that's using a dead baby to perhaps save already living babies' lives. Or, this really IS all about punishing women like me who want to have sex free of consequences but get tripped up from time to time due to the failure of birth control or human nature.

Dear People who put on their turn signal AFTER they've dramatically slowed down or stopped,

THIS IS NOT HELPFUL. Just skip the expletive turn signal if you're going to do that. Then I just think you're a self-absorbed expletive who was never taught to use turn signals. Stopping suddenly or slowing dramatically with no warning and THEN putting on your turn signal, when I'm already halfway up your trunk...now I KNOW you know what they're for and were just too much of a dipexpletive to use them. Don't rub my face in your failure, my friend. That's a special kind of rage you're firing up.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, yes, the physical bullshit of becoming more than middle aged is a huge pain in the keister. But I sort of expected it...albeit in a neater, tidier, shorter duration kind of way. And because I'm me, it fits in with the whole modern day Job without the God kind of theme that is my life.
What I did not expect was this whole "ceasing to exist as a woman" thing. Seriously. I mean, I'm the last person to suggest that you should judge your self worth by how men (or whomever you're attracted to) pay attention to you. And right, all expletive the patriarchy and goddamn men who size up any available women as a potential conquest. Rawr! Except that I do believe that it's completely normal to appreciate anyone's attractiveness and who cares if you've reduced a total stranger to nothing more than an object for your fantasies? Assuming that you're capable of tossing that objectification aside once you actually talk to, or work with, or otherwise interact with that person, I personally think that's harmless and normal.
So, yeah, I take pleasure in knowing that someone else finds me sexually attractive. I know, not everyone does. But I do. And if the only interaction we have is sitting at the same bar, or walking by each other in the street, then whatever, objectify away. I do the same to men, so I can't very well get my girlbits in a wad over them doing the same in return. Until we start talking...well, then. Admittedly, I don't have a lot of fear of continued objectification at that point, mostly because I'm pretty good at conversationally grabbing someone by the septum and laying their head down on the bar if on the off chance they still think I'm nothing but a walking vagina just waiting for a man's attention.
Read more... )
Used to be, I'd go into a bar and men in my age range would give me the up and down. There'd be some appreciative glances, some smiles. Some days I couldn't care less; I've got other stuff on my mind. But when it's respectful, I enjoyed the compliment.
Just a couple of years ago, we'd hit the bar next door after work and I could be assured of getting some glances. Hey, all of my workfriends are younger than I am, so I'm totally used to them getting more attention. But I'd get my little share...and plenty of guys who were interested in my friends, but would at least include me in the conversation, whether it was the hey, be nice to the friend or the back-up plan in case I can't get the young, hot one strategy. Traveling alone, when I was on business travel, I couldn't sit at the bar and get through a drink without someone hitting on me.
But lately? It's as if I don't even exist. Same bar, same friends, same businessmen-on-travel crowd. The only guy that's checked me out in the last year in a bar was in his early seventies. And now, when guys are hitting on my friends, they'll actually shoulder in between me and my friends, cutting me right out of the conversation. If I try to participate, they'll look at me like "oh, did you say something?" and then turn right back to my friends.
Sort of makes me want to turn Full Imperial Dragon on them, grab them by the septum and make them hear me. Remind them that the closest way to a woman's...ahem, heart...is to be nice to her friends. But then I'd just fit the stereotype of that mouthy older woman at the bar.
Although now I'm beginning to see why that stereotype exists. Mother of Pearl! Sometimes I feel as if I could have a heart attack and I'm not sure anyone would notice. It makes me sort of want to be completely outrageous. Which I often am, admittedly but I want to be doing that because it's fun and feels good, or maybe it just leaked out, not because I had an attack of self-esteem and am looking to salve that with some shallow meaningless attention.
Scientists continue to maintain that there is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that humans have kept their ability to smell pheremones...but I dunno, I'm pretty sure that at least subconsciously, men can smell menopause. I have no other explanation. I don't look that different than I did two years ago. Just with less estrogen stank, apparently.
Note to friends who actually know me -- this isn't a plaintive "why does no one find me attractive" cry for assurance. I can still own a room, especially if it's filled with people who find confident, smart women attractive. Trust me, you guys do a fabulous job of making me feel desirable. And right now I'm debating the merits of dating a 30 year old who's flirting with me, so I'm not exactly bereft. It's just that conceptually it pisses me off.
Data backs me up -- you want to know what's disheartening, as a woman? Reading the data collected on by a data site, Dataclysm by Christian Rudder (fascinating book) that clearly plots out both men and women's (hetero, at least) attraction to the opposite sex as they age. For women, on average when we're younger, we prefer men our age and older...and then at some point in middle age, we gradually swith over to prefer men our age and younger.
On the other hand, men, on average, when they're younger, prefer women who are 29. And when they're older, yep, 29. As a matter of fact, at all ages, that's what men prefer. 29 year olds. So, those of you women who are approaching 29, live it up! Because it's all downhill from there.
Not really, of course. There's way more to life, and certainly relationships, than shallow first glance attraction. But still, for a single woman in her fifties, trying to date men...well, it's understandable why so many women say "Expletive it, I'm done!" And either just stop trying to date or turn to female companionship.

Or cats.

Standards

Aug. 26th, 2015 03:45 pm
terribleturnip: (percy)
One of my colleagues has a beautifully printed sign in her cube that reads:

Today, Practice Excellence.

I have a post-it note slapped across my calendar that says:

Today, (although then I scratched it out and wrote "This Week" because by Tuesday morning I could tell how the week was going to go down.)

Finish RFP analysis
Send out Customer notification
Don't swear out loud
Tell Supplier the product can't ship yet, they have to store it.
Don't kill anyone
Draft laundry bag contract
Take a walk instead of buying Cheez-Its.
Order samples for Customer to-go program
Draft plastic and paper cost forecasts
Buy case of wine; don't forget coupon.

She's fairly new. I like to think that after eight years, she'll be worn down, too.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Dear Restaurant Name Redacted,

I don’t often order salads unless I’m at a decent restaurant…I struggle conceptually with going through the whole process of ordering and paying for what is essentially a bowl of lettuce, with some stuff on it. Often stuff like croutons, tortilla strips, fried chicken and creamy dressings that make the damn thing almost as high calorie as a burger, but much, much less satisfying. Something I could easily make at home for much less money. After all, a mediocre burger is still a burger. Romaine lettuce, plastic tomatoes, giant ass croutons, some shredded carrot and overcooked strips of fried chicken is a travesty of vegetable.

But okay, sometimes you make it interesting – oooh, a little grilled chicken (that I know you grilled yourself, recently), avocado, black beans, corn, red cabbage? And I can dress it with salsa instead of whatever you might be calling dressing? Cool!

And I’ll freely admit, now that I’ve eaten it, it wasn’t bad. But a few things. When I said “no onions, no tortilla chips”, what I meant by that was well, no onions or tortilla chips. That’s why I said it. So they wouldn’t be in there. And seriously, you could be a little more generous with the avocado…after all, fat delivers flavor. But maybe that’s my fault for not using your dressing, but mango salsa instead.

But dudes and dudettes…the lettuce. Look, okay, the jicama, the peppers, the chicken, I get the aesthetics of leaving them in long strips that require a knife to cut up. But seriously, the size of these lettuce pieces! When you make a salad, you want to look down and think, hmm, could I get these pieces in my mouth easily, without leaving dressing (or salsa) all over the sides of my face?

I think the answer is “no, no, I can’t, so I should be making them smaller.”

Unless, of course, Restaurant Name Redacted hires a lot of line cooks with jaws that unhinge.
 
terribleturnip: (The Boys)

Ponders the irony of an executive summary that is half the length of the original document.

"Executive Summary" You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

terribleturnip: (percy)
So, there are a lot of things I didn’t expect when I passed the half century mark. One of them was a sudden and clear realization why so many over-fifty women can be perceived as difficult, challenging, whatever. For me, it tends to boil down to “all out of expletives to give”.  Plus, while there are some great things about being this age? There also a lot of things that make me want to walk around, grabbing twenty-year olds by the throat and shake them, screeching “Enjoy it while you have it, you expletive!”

Part I:
For starters, this menopause thing is utter bullexpletive. I mean, yay, okay, enough with the whole menstruation thing, the supplies, the accidents, the piggery jiggery of trying to schedule romantic weekends around your useless uterus who, in her dotage, is firing off complete random bowshots, screw that lunar schedule thing, there’d be nothing, nothing, nothing, then I’ve got something special planned and then she’s all “whoo-hoo”, looky what I found, another egg that’d rolled underneath the sofa. It’s got a little cat hair on it, but booyah, let’s fire that puppy off and see if it’s still good!

Dear Uterus, knock that expletive off. They are NOT good. You know what a blueberry looks like? One that rolled under the fridge in July and now it’s January and you’re cleaning out the kitchen and pull out the fridge to clean off the coils and there’s that sad little shriveled up blue bead that used to be a blueberry, but is now a hard, crinkled calcified ex-blueberry? That’s what our eggs look like now. And what the hell? I should have run out of them long before now! Where are they coming from?

It’s not comforting to me to know that my uterus keeps house as well as I do. Seriously, I’ve been, or nearly been through menopause twice already – once blessed freedom for a year and then “oh, hey, I totally found this box of eggs in the attic – now that you no longer carry feminine hygiene products around with you, I’m going to make your bio-resin conference in Chicago more interesting by playing Carrie-at-the-Prom in the middle of the plenary session.  Let’s be all fertile again for a year or so! Oh, and now that you’re too old to take birth control pills….fancy a game of Russian roulette?”

Then another blissful stretch of peace and quiet for nine months, hey, maybe this time it’s menopause for real, except “oh, look what I found in the junk drawer, underneath the eyeglass repair kit – another couple of eggs!”  Seriously, I’m surprised I couldn’t hear the sound of my dessicated eggs rolling down my fallopian tubes like some kind of internal rainstick, only less melodic.
I’m two months shy of a year without any eggshots (like a rim shot, but less amusing), and although I’ve been there before, and might be tempting fate to even THINK this, I think this time I might actually be done.

Mostly because this time, the hot flashes are MEAN. Oh, yeah, that’s right -  balancing the joy of not having to worry about getting pregnant or menstruating, is the whole bursting into flames thing several times a day. And night. The last two times we (my doctor and I) thought this was seriously the end, the hot flashes were a creeping sensation of warmth and flush. I’d get hot, maybe break out in a light forehead sweat, crank up the AC or fan, and a minute or two later, I’d be back to normal. Not this time. This is my junkie of a hypothalamus – that’s right, that’s what’s going on. Your hypothalamus which regulates your temperature is an expletive estrogen junkie. So, when it goes through withdrawal, so do you.  And oh, lordy, this is no 48 hour detox! Six to twelve times a day, I break out in a sweat. Oh, not just a sweat….it’s like I’m carrying my own personal sauna around and someone’s cranked to the red danger line. I will get so hot that sweat runs down the side of my face…down my arms and drips off my elbows. Even if it’s 50 effing degrees.

(When I bought a car recently, the salesman kept emphasizing the heated seats, the heated seats…even as I was signing the paperwork in the business office. Me being me, I finally said “dude, enough of the heated seats! Look at me – I’m 51 years old. You know what I want? I want a button the dash that I can just slap when I’m having a hot flash and it will automatically roll down all the windows, put the AC on full blast and CHILL the seats.” The woman doing the paperwork, similarly aged, said “Say it, sister! Now you’re talking!” )

This is really expletive annoying during the day – go to put your make-up on and….son of a biscuit, let me go stick my face in the freezer first. Oh, pardon me, Important Client, while I burst into flames and drip sweat all over your conference table in the middle of a presentation. At night, all cozy, snugged up against the Consort, sound asleep and then GAH, roll away, throw off all the covers and turn the fan on, lay there on the now damp sheets until I fall asleep again…only to wake up 20 minutes later, expletive FREEZING. Try that two or three times a night! I’ve been sleep deprived for two years now.

My doctor says “try to find out what triggers it and avoid the triggers”. Great. You know what triggers it? Being hot or being irritated/annoyed. Awesome. That’s like my default state.
For the record, I’m having one right now, since writing about it has reminded me of how irritating it is… you see the conundrum. Pardon me while I head downstairs to the fridge and crawl inside. 
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, right, 52 years old now. (There seems to be a disconnect between my actual birthday and when the Facebook universe thinks my birthday is, so if you’re confused because you thought it happened before the internet did, that just means you remembered correctly.)

I remember when my father was this old and thinking “wow, that’s really old”. It’s not…certainly not when  you’re the one who’s 52, but I think it’s important to remember that to the vast majority of twenty somethings you are, indeed, at least a preliminary geezer.

It was awful at the office that day, with everyone wishing me happy birthday. Ugh. Not that I’m one of those “I don’t celebrate my birthday because I don’t want to think about getting older” people.  Really, it just seems silly to me to be celebrating an event that you basically just showed up for. Although I suppose at this age, I could look at it as an achievement – hey, I’m still here! I made it this far without doing anything so stupid it killed me. Even though I may have pushed that limit from time to time…..
For me, a birthday is mostly an excuse to be self-indulgent – I’m going to do what I want, eat what I want, buy some small things that aren’t critical, or splurge on something I was going to get anyway, but now I’ll get the upgraded version because Birthday!

But what I hate about it, honestly is all of the people wishing me happy birthday. Third person – e-mail, cards, that’s fine. But in person? Ugh.  And FB seems to be right on the edge of third person and in person, as there’s always someone wishing me happy birthday that I don’t actually know all that well. Seriously, I could die in front of you on the street and you might not recognize me, but you’re going to wish me happy birthday because you saw it on the internet? I don’t even remember who the hell you are! (Which also makes me feel guilty and like a bad person….like I need more of that!)

But all of that focus. On me. For something that I can’t take credit for or be proud of. It gets right under my Extrovert outer coating and scrapes up all against my inner Introvert. That’s a thinner shell than most people realize. It’s just really, really shiny.

I think it’s because I just don’t know what to say beyond “oh, thanks!”  And by the 15th time I’ve had that exchange, my essential Curmudgeon (I’m a Smith Island cake…more layers than any person or pastry should have) is all “jeebus, this is a lot of wasted time and conversation”.  (For the record, birthday wishes from actual friends are very sweet and appreciated!)

And at work it’s the worst – I have all sorts of accomplishments here at work – saved the client an extra 15%, fixed a compliance issue and bam, another $300K in volume,  found a suspicious void in the reporting, oh, hey, there’s another $40K to our bottom line. And mostly I get a “oh, hey, that’s great!” and we move on, maybe I’ve got one more piece of evidence for my annual review. But a birthday and whoo-hoo, congratulatory e-mails, birthday wishes from half the office, my team gets together to give me a cake. It’s ludicrous! And sort of sums up what’s wrong with most organizations – rewarding the wrong damn things. Sigh. 
terribleturnip: (percy)
Whew, that was a close call. I thought they’d discontinued my mascara. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but that would have been on top of my pantyhose brand being discontinued just two weeks ago.
Which is a HUGE HAIRY EXPLETIVE deal.

See, my life is a bit overfull. I don’t just burn the candle at both ends. It’s also on fire in the middle. And I have a ton of friends telling me to slow the hell down, relax more. While I would agree that perhaps a 10-15% reduction would be wise, I haven’t figured out where to cut that yet.
Speaking of cuts... )
In the meantime, you need to remember this about the overfull: it’s mostly filled with awesome and that makes it hard to cut…and even the hard parts are inseparably attached to the awesomeness. And, secondly, there’s something wrong with me, something we can’t figure out, that sometimes makes it really painful to just move. Hey, maybe we’ll figure it out, or maybe it will be just at this level for the rest of my life, which sucks but is bearable. But if it gets worse as I age, there may come a time, sooner for me than for others, where I CAN’T do any of these awesome things. So, really, expletive you and your “you need to slow down”. No, not really, you mean well and it’s out of love and care. I get that. But seriously, I have Reasons. I’m only listening to people who are really close and understand the equation I’m working with.

Anyway, in order to cram in that much stuff, there are behaviors I’ve adopted to manage the chaos and strip time out of little things. Color coded folders to help me find stuff faster. Always cooking for four people or more, so that I can have a freezer full of single servings that I can mix and match. Carrying a box of office supplies in the car – binder clips, envelopes, stamps, sharpies, etc., so that I can manage paperwork anywhere. Always having a couple of extra twenties in the car so that I never have to detour to an ATM or keep driving to another station because I’ve landed at the one gas station that only takes cash. Once a year, buying a case of my favorite Provencal soap. Buying a case of 3M toilet scrubs at a time. And being fiercely, obsessively, brand loyal.

I find the brand that works best/is best/tastes best and that is the brand I buy. Always. I don’t give a rat’s ass whether it’s on sale or not, or whether there’s a coupon or sale on a different brand. Scott Towels, Charmin Basic Toilet Paper, Muir Glen or Red Pack tomatoes, etc. Whatever brand I’ve landed on, if it’s on sale, I buy a ton of it, as much as I can store, assuming it’s non-perishable. If it’s not, I buy just what I need.

My goal is to waste less time thinking/deciding/running out to the store. I buy that case of soap and then don’t have to think about soap until next year. Never have to remember to buy it, think about what scents, I’m done until I get down to the second to last bar, when I log on and cause more to show up. Oh, sure, if see a fancy, schmancy soap that’s appealing, I’ll certainly pick it up and give it a try. But I don’t HAVE to. Back when I bought soap once at a time, it was always “oh, do I want rose or lavender, what does this grapefruit one smell like?” Is that a lot of time for each thought “transaction”? No, of course, not. But it adds up. 12 a year, on just soap bars. If I think of my time as being worth money, a habit I got into when running my own business, then if it took me a minute to think through soaps each time, let’s say my free time is worth $20/hour – you may say “oh, hey, it should be worth more than that!” – but I say if I value it too high, then watching a movie on television starts to sound like a very expensive waste of time, so that’s just where I landed. Anyway, that’s $4 a year thinking about soap. Big deal? Nope. But if I invested that kind of time in thinking about whether with the coupon that brand was cheaper, or well that one’s more expensive but it does a better job and I’ll use less…Shudder.

Do NOT have that kind of time. Or, have way better things to do with my time. Mind you, you may enjoy that process – have at it! There are far stupider things I ditz around on, but the ditzing there makes me happy. Having to find a new brand/type of sneaker, or bra, or pantyhose, or paper towel, makes me crazy.

Which is why a product discontinuation unglues me so. Augh, I have to THINK about it again? Not only were these the first comfortable pantyhose I’d ever worn in my entire life, but I’d even fallen into a pattern where about every two months, about when I’d be doing the wash and notice that I was now down to six pairs (although not really a pair since that’s stockings, but “a pantyhose” just sounds wrong) and BINK, sit down at the computer, three minutes later, another six pairs would be on the way. I could have gone on like that FOREVER, my friends. But nooooooooooo, Spanx decided to stop making Assets brand pantyhose.

And now I have to start from scratch – buying other brands, guessing at what size I wear, trying to decide if they’re uncomfortable because I’ve got the wrong size, or if they’re inherently uncomfortable.

I know, you’re thinking, okay, really, you’re being a bit whiny. If you’re thinking that, you’re either a man or a woman who never wears them. Or maybe you’re just one of those women who falls perfectly within a size. Well, lemme tell ya, brothers and sisters, it ain’t that easy when you’re only 5’5” and weigh 200+ pounds, which means you fall on the borderline of every sizing chart in pantyhose land. Regular size, if they’re not quite long enough, in trying to pull them up, I’m totally going to spike a hole in them with a thumbnail. Oh, let me get the next size up, for taller girls. Oh, now I’ve got yards of fabric all bunched up around my thighs. Oh, THAT’S comfy!

So, off to Queen-Size I go. The problem is, those suckers stretch in all directions. While my thighs are indeed significant, apparently not as significant as you would expect on someone my height and weight. So, with Queen size, I tend to wind up with not only bunches of fabric on my thighs sometimes also my ankles. And you can’t try these suckers on ahead of time – nope, you just have to plop down your dough and give them a whirl. Grrrr.

It’s almost enough to make me wear pants all of the time. But then I’d have to find pants that fit me….
terribleturnip: (percy)
#1. What stops me from writing is that I think I don't have time to get all the way into something interesting and after NOT writing for so long, I feel compelled to make a serious effort and deliver something fabulous. This is also what keeps me from exercising and cleaning the house. I need to knock it the hell off; it's really a stupid way of dealing with things. And being prideful about my procrastination being driven by high standards is even dumber. This is me, running after that thinking with a sword and pummeling it to death.

#2. I should stop throwing things. Forever. I use rocks at the bottom of my garden pots to faciliate draining. I wound up with extra ones, so I tossed them into the driveway, which is gravel. And pretty much nailed my car with the entire handful. Seriously, you have only gotten worse in a whole lifetime of throwing things...just give up and let other people throw things. (And yes, of COURSE there were witnesses to me pelting a fistful of rocks at my own vehicle. "It was pissing me off" I said.)

#3. I need to slow down when I read things. I don't know what kind of crazy lunatic taught me to read, but I don't really read left to right...it's more of a bouncing back and forth that somehow my brain turns into coherence. (Perhaps by robbing the "ability to throw" part of my brain of all of its resources.) On the one hand I read very quickly. And manage to have excellent comprehension. However, now that my eyes aren't what they're used to, I'm making more mistakes than usual. And the patterns in my brain are beginning to take over and fill in the meaning THEY want, rather than the meaning that's there. Which is especially troublesome when I'm scanning the web. So, when I read a headline: "Are atheletes getting faster, stronger, better?", I see "Are atheletes getting tastier?" which, at the time, makes perfect sense. But four clicks later, the rest of my brain catches up and says, wait, what? And I have to scroll back to find that much more mundane, rational headline. Maybe I can rent my head to The Onion.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Dear Work, I've been here for six and a half years now. I'm really grateful for the award, really, I am. But that you spelled my name wrong on the award...I dunno, kind of takes some of the shine off of it.

Dear Fluorescent bulb above my head, Hey, could you blink while I'm looking at you and not wait until I've finally lowered my head to get back to work? You're making me nuts. And my neck hurts from trying to catch you. Although blinking when I blink? Clever bulb.

Dear Facebook, in the however many years I've been on you, have I ever played a game? No, no, I haven't. As a matter of fact, I've spent a significant amount of time blocking other people and their games from my feed. Refusing invitations. Yet daily, you suggest games I might like. I don't expletive LIKE games (unless they're in person and face to face), so put that in your damn algorithm and smoke it! Also, seriously, remember that I would PAY to be able to tweak my feed to block the ten thousand so-and-so just wished you-know-who "Happy Birthday" messages that show up on my feed every day. Your stocks are falling...I'm just saying you should think about that.

Dear Montgomery County, I'm pleased to tell you that despite all of this rain, my basement is bone dry. No more water seeping up from the foundation, no water just shooting out of the sides of the walls like some kind of crazy concealed jet spray. Ever since you fixed the storm drain and put curbs on the street one over, not a single flood! But now I'm pretty damn bitter about the days I've spent shop-vac'cing the basement, the mold remediation, the ruined possessions, the need to invest in plastic shelving and ten thousand plastic bins to keep everything in. Because if you'd just fixed it when it needed it...

Alternatively, there's actually a nascent sinkhole underneath my house, and THAT'S where all the water is going. Which might explain last night's nightmares.

Although those nightmares might also be explained by having three cats that insist on sleeping on the bed with me, one who randomly sneezes on me, one who sneaks up to lie on my head, which would be fine, if only he didn't keep sticking his foot in my eye, and another one that looms over me and purrs HARD, inches from my face. It's like sleeping with the low rent version of the Seven Dwarves.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Ah, it's that time of year when I once again remind myself that I shouldn't be so cavalier about being attacked by ants while working in the garden. It's sort of fun, in a way, trying to rearrange the rock border and having them swarm all over me, mostly ignoring them, sometimes brushing them off, yelping a little "ow!" when one of them sinks its tiny mandibles into me. It only hurts a little, and I'm always impressed with their bravery and determination.

And this time, feeling an occasional pinching around my lower belly, I had a great giggle, when finally I resolved to explore, and yep, there was a little ant, crawling around giving me a nip now and then. I had ants in my pants! (Sorry, but my inner eight year old was giddy with it. If you didn't at least smile at thinking of it, then maybe you should pull your inner eight year old out of the attic, clear the cobwebs off of him/her and let out to play.)

Of course, two days later, covered with big crazy-itchy welts that will last for two weeks or more, I thought "Why can't you remember that now you're allergic to this stuff?" Clearly the formic acid also messes with short term memory.
terribleturnip: (percy)
How's my day going? Well, to give you an idea, I just looked down at the time on my computer monitor and thought "ooh, I only have to hold on for another 37 minutes!" as there's a happy hour for a departing co-worker tonight. And I may work late from time to time, but not when sunshine and alcohol abound.

How sad was I, when I came back from asking a colleague a question, to find that it was still 37 minutes from quitting time? Or, in other words, to find out that I'm such a moron...or SOOOOO looking forward to the end of this day, that I hopefully mistook the date for the time.

More proof that the only reason they haven't taken away my Girl Card is because they just haven't gotten to me yet:

Shopping recently in Chico's, my Garanimals for adult women store, I picked up a couple of pieces in a new material, black of course, and the sales manager said "oh, and we have it in navy as well." I failed to edit, and said "oh, no, then I'd have to start up with navy shoes." He looked at me quizzically, and then with slight horror as I explained that I only buy work clothes that go with black shoes so that I can just always buy black shoes because that's easier. I tried to save with "oh, but I do have like ten pairs of black shoes" but pretty much rolled a 1 on a d20 on that.

(That, children, is a reference to Dungeons and Dragons, where rolling that 1 is a critical fail at whatever you were trying to do. I was legendary at my ability to roll ones. Thus the whole werewolf thing. But that's another story.)

I'm trying harder to do real grown up make-up. I mean, MistressFetch looks at me putting on my make-up and I can see the reflectionin her eyes of a monkey with fingerpaints, and I feel so sad to let her down, but my life just doesn't have room for more than a couple of products and about 2 minutes worth of effort, and my fingers don't have the coordination to do paint by numbers or anything at all artistic. But I'm trying to address the Danish pores and grease slick that is my T-zone (that's your chin, nose and forehead, for those of you still following along with the make up talk, where teenagers and young women, and middle aged Danes, apparently) that cause me to go through packs of blotting paper, dabbing up the oil that accumulates across my nose, chin and forehead. So, I got this stuff that's supposed to "prime" those areas and shrink pores, which is fine and easy. And then, also, a "finishing/setting" spray, which I started using for stage/halloween make up and realized that it really does help with the XL pipeline that is my face. Why now I can wait until 10:30 before I have to pull out the blotting paper, instead of as soon as I get to work!

But it's a spray. I have to put on the make-up and then spritz this stuff over my face.

My, my, I have awesome reflexes! It took two weeks before I settled down and stopped jerking away from the spray. Then another two weeks until I mastered the art of pointing it at me, closing my eyes, and then still have it point at my face. That was four weeks of a lot of finishing spray in my ears, let me tell you.

Finally, I'm all attuned. Although I may have gone too far, because now sometimes I forget to close my eyes, which means the sound of me putting on make-up ends with "spritz, ow, expletive, god damn it, spritz, augh, christ!" with a little bit of staggering around the bathroom. I'm pretty sure it's a great imitation of Ozzy Osbourne.

In other news, I jotted down this phrase from Sirbombalot's tumblr: Fill your heart with bees. If someone breaks your heart, then they have to deal with the bees. Some jackexpletive commented "No, fill it with wasps, because they're meaner and then the bitch will have to deal with angry wasps." And this angry WASP wanted to hunt that guy down and plunge his head into a wasp nest because, well, okay, I was having a bad day, so maybe I was overreacting. But seriously, dude, chill. And you're missing the damn point. Heart filled with bees. Who wouldn't want a heart filled with bees? All working together, industriously, in harmony, all downy and polleny, doing their happy bee work, building wax, making honey...

And if no one breaks your heart, you've spent your whole life with a heart full of happy bees! I aspire to have a heart full of bees. That's a great metaphor! Don't expletive it up just because you're still bitter about being dumped.

(Admittedly, I probably DO have a heart full of wasps, but seriously, they also create crazy things from mundane materials, and are very keen on taking care of their kith and kin. And yeah, okay, if you really provoke them, they will sting the daylights out of you. And unlike a bee that stings and dies, I will keep coming at you until the problem is solved. But really, we'd rather just buzz and scare you off.)

Finally, In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here's a guy who does Duke of Clarence's speech as spoken by different celebrities. I don't normally like impressions, but this guy's ability to transition is amazing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk

Now I want to spritz makeup finisher in my eyes and see if I can extend my range beyond Ozzy.
terribleturnip: (percy)
I do a lot of self-study. Not navel gazing, really, and certainly not any kind of soul-searching or angsty XXXX. But I like to throw a little thought against why I think certain things, react certain ways, follow my thought processes through to see why I’m behaving a certain way. So, when I judge someone’s character because they’re driving a pick-up truck with a gun rack in the back, who cuts me off in traffic, I can self-check – hey, that’s jumping a bit to conclusions, unfair, and sort of classist of you, maybe he didn’t even see you, it’s not like you haven’t done that by mistake. On the other hand, when I judge someone’s character because they’re driving a pick-up truck, have a gun rack in the back, cut me off in traffic and have a confederate flag decal in their window, then my self-check says “yep, you can totally judge him, carry on.” Of course, in addition to sometimes course-correcting my thinking about things, learning a bit about how I mentally got to certain places, there are certain realizations that I don’t particularly feel a need to change…AND are not terribly useful or inspiring in terms of personal growth and self-knowledge. They’re pilling up. So, I thought I’d get some of them out of my head.

Things I know about myself:

I would never go on a tour bus that had Kewl Tours written on the side, no matter where it was going, because I just couldn’t support the word “Kewl”.

I will never be called a fashionista. I consider shopping for clothes and shoes a painful chore. I don’t understand why, when I find something I like, the company can’t keep making that same thing for the rest of my life so that I never again have to think about sneakers or jeans. It’s just as well, though, since every time I hear the word fashionista, I’m nearly overcome with the urge to punch someone in the face.

My ability to forget things is amazing. It took me from November to mid-January to bring in a blanket to throw over my legs at work -- the cold air rolls off the window and down to my legs…so cold air on my legs, warm air blowing on my head, I constantly felt like I was being gripped by some sudden onset influenza. I felt like that day after day after day for 2 and a half months before I FINALLY remembered to bring a throw in. So, I suppose I should feel better about the library books that I’ve now forgotten to put in my car for three days running, right? (Please don’t try and be helpful by suggesting tips here. I am impervious to reminders/notes and other techno hints. For a while, I thought I’d latched onto having Google calendar send me reminders. But I am amazingly good at ignoring them, not logging on, swiping them away and instantly forgetting. I’d invite you into my memory palace, but the roof keeps caving in.

I will never answer a message from someone on a dating site if they do not capitalize the letter “I” when it’s being used as a personal pronoun. Seriously. You are either incredibly sloppy, terribly lazy, or a teenager. And I’m not dating any combination of that.

I get frustrated with myself because there are piles of crap everywhere – bedroom, kitchen, office, at work. I resolved to get my act together this year – and I’ve been ruthless at offloading stuff to the trash, thrift stores, etc. Organizing and putting all the things in their places. It now takes me twice as long to get dressed because I don’t know where anything is. It’s all in drawers and hanging up, so now I have to find the right drawer. In taking all of Christmas and all-season ribbons and giftwrap downstairs, I somehow managed to lose my entire bin of non-Christmas gift wrap. Seriously. A long bin, holding maybe a dozen rolls of wrapping paper, has disappeared somewhere between the office, where it was, and the basement, where it was going. I’ve looked everywhere. Gone. I mean, not gone. Clearly, at some point in looking through the entire house, I’ve looked right at it. And instead of thinking “oh, there’s a long, clear, shallow, rectangular bin holding the wrapping paper, THERE it is” I’ve looked right at it and thought “gee, another bin of sweaters”. Because I will become delusional just to prove to myself that being organized is a stupid waste of time. I’m only hoping that once I’ve gone through the whole house, there will be some kind of ouroborosing of the space time continuum and all of the “hidden” things will be flushed out.

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April 2017

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