frogg files

"She could never be a saint, but she thought she could be a martyr if they killed her quick." --Flannery O' Connor

Friday, September 30, 2005

LA Fires

Just a brief note to reassure friends and family, if any were wondering, that we are ok and not threatened by the wildfires that are burning up rather a large section of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in California. My town is about 40 miles away; however, as I drove around doing errands this morning, I could see a huge cloud of smoke covering most of the western horizon.

I do have family that lives much closer to the fires, specifically relatives in Canoga Park and my brother in Thousand Oaks. So far they are all fine. My brother emailed this morning and said that yesterday the air was full of ash and smoke, and he could see flames on the hills, but the fire was not close enough to his house to be a danger. Some people in his company had to evacuate their homes, but where he lives seems to be fine. He said things are a little better today, except for the air quality.

According to the latest update on cnn.com, about 1,500 people were evacuated, and three homes and a few other structures have been destroyed, along with over 20,000 acres.

Firefighters are doing a valiant job, as usual under tough conditions--it has been extremely hot (yesterday hit 100 degrees easily) and very dry, not to mention that we had the Santa Ana winds through here a couple days ago. Thankfully the winds have died down, and today is starting to cool off (still in the 90s though!!). I think they are starting to get things under control. Still, it's a little weird to go outside and see the massive smoke-cloud hanging over the sky!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Torturous Beauty

First of all, GREAT JOB YARDLEY at the Knitting Factory last night! Don't know yet if they scored one of the nominations for the LA Music Awards, but if they didn't, well, there is something very wrong with the judges, like maybe they are deaf. LB, Stephen, Tommy, Mel--you guys sounded great! Best wishes...

Ok, so in other totally unrelated and yet somehow equally important news (to me): I got my eyebrows done the other day, and I think the lady messed up. It hurts me to say so, because this is the lady I've been going to regularly (and by "regularly" I mean, "regularly for me," which equates to about once every two months or so, instead of once every three weeks). Also, she is a very nice lady, and she always remembers things like my birthday, and asking after my sister (the cowgirl used to go to her too). She also usually gushes over the beauty of my eyebrows, which is probably not good for my ego, but is still very nice to hear.

She did not gush over them the other day, probably because she was horrified at the state I let them get into, and the fact that I, in my attempt at keeping them in some sort of shape on my own (terrible idea), had actually plucked out too much and left one of them shorter than the other. Apparently this was very bad, even though I hadn't noticed it. But I do notice that now, after getting them done, my eyebrows are kind of crooked. No one else has said anything, but I think they are just trying to be tactful.

All this brings me (finally) to my real topic of the day, which is: beauty routines. Specifically, my beauty routines. And since I have none, this ought to be a very short post, but since it's me writing it, it already isn't.

Not too long ago, I visited a Mary Kay consultant for some reason that I can't quite recall. Perhaps I have blocked it out of my mind. Anyway, we sat down at her dining room table and she said, "Ok, now tell me a little about your beauty routine," and I burst out laughing. Um, I brush my teeth every day--does that count? Well, no, apparently it doesn't. For one thing, to have a beauty routine, you kind of have to have beauty essentials, like makeup and the tools to apply it. I have very little of either. In fact, during my Mary Kay visit, the poor woman handed me a brush or something and I had to ask her what it was and how to use it.

"Um, that's for putting on eyeshadow."

"Of course! I knew that. I was just, uh, testing you. Yeah! Now what about this?"

"That's a fork."

"Oh. Right."

Ahem.

Some of these makeup tools, by the way, bear a frightening resemblance to torture devices. I went to a beauty store in the mall yesterday with a friend whose wife had asked him to pick up some tweezers, and we found, not just tweezers, but a whole tweezer section, with lots of different types. There was one particular set that contained a pair of tweezers so sharp that I nearly drew blood just touching their tips with my finger. And this is something that I am supposed to put in the vicinity of my eye!

But my "favorite" tool was this strange, surgically-silver implement that I can't quite remember the exact name of now, but which I definitely remember involved the words "extractor" and "lance." It was long and thin and looked like something the Ancient Egyptians might have used in their embalming processes, like maybe the thing they stuck up the nose of the corpse in order to yank out the brains. Again, not something that I would personally choose, on purpose, to be anywhere near the region of my face, or even my body in general.

As we looked at the sparkling array of tools, my friend observed, "Beauty hurts." I had to agree. Even though I don't have a beauty routine, I still do get my eyebrows done whenever the weather changes, and it's no picnic, unless it's a picnic under attack by a vast army of innumerable Fire Ants, each one carrying extractor lances and pointy tweezers like little daggers.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Top Five Pet Peeves

My creativity is at an all-time low (again--I have a lot of those, which I acknowledge as being logically impossible, but I don't care), so I thought I would write something completely and utterly frivolous. You know, for a change.

So without more ado, I submit to you, my gentle and oh-so-forbearing readers, the following list: The Frogg's Top Five Pet Peeves.

(Please understand that I'm not saying I only have five pet peeves. I'm saying these are the top five. Which is weird, because that's kind of like saying they are my favorite, but since pet peeves are things that bother you, it's hard to qualify any of them as one you like better than others. Hmmm. Oh well--again, I don't care.)

These are not in any particular order, because a pet peeve of mine is putting things in order (just kidding).

1) People who don't turn off their signal on the freeway, and spend 1-2 miles indicating that they are going to change lines in front of you, but then don't because they simply forgot to turn off the signal.

As a corollary to that particular pet peeve are the people who, when you finally decide they have forgotten to turn off their signal and then accelerate to speed past them, suddenly remember that they did, in fact, want to change lanes, and do so without bothering to check their mirrors or blind spots, prompting your sudden swerving into the next lane over to avoid hitting or getting hit by them, and narrowly being hit by the person in that.

2) People who tap me on the shoulder when they want to get my attention.

Do not ever do this. I'm not even going to say please. Just don't. Yes, I might bite.

3) Used books that have other people's notes in the margins, and their highlighted passages. (Especially if their highlighting or underlining didn't come out straight.)

I hated this in college: I would buy used textbooks to save some money, but when I opened them up and found that someone else had marked them, it would annoy me, making me breathe hard through my nose and press my lips together tight. Why did they underline/highlight that bit of text? I wouldn't have! Now I'm stuck with seeing this utterly unremarkable (to me) passage always brought to the forefront of my attention, by virtue of someone else's marking. Gah! Hate that.

4) When someone comes into the room where you are watching a movie and starts asking all these questions about it, that they would have known the answer to if they had just come in and watched it from the beginning, but now they expect a summary of everything that's happened and who all the characters are, while you are still watching and missing valuable pieces of plot.

(Okay, I have to confess I actually do that last one, sometimes. It's still a pet peeve when other people do it.)

And number five, which is probably one of my biggest pet peeves ever:

5) Complete disregard for cell phone etiquette.

For example: When you are driving somewhere with someone, and they get a call on their cell phone and answer it, and proceed to have this long conversation with someone who is somewhere else, even though you are right there with them in the car, and hey, you aren't being paid to be a chauffeur all of a sudden, are you? Sheesh.

And then there was the other day when I was at work, and a customer was on the phone (grr) and gesturing to me to come over and help him, only I didn't know that because he was one the phone, and I thought he was just gesturing along with his conversation. So I went and stood a little ways away from him, and then finally he catches my eye again and says (rudely), "What, are you on a break?" And oh, how I wish I had said, "Well, I wasn't, but I sure am now! See ya." (The other thing I wanted to say was, "GET OFF THE PHONE IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO ME, JERK" but I thought that might be too antagonistic, given that he was already mad and was also a lot bigger than me.)

Here is the frogg's tip of the day: Just because a phone rings, doesn't mean you have to answer it. Whoa. I know that is a huge revelation for some of you. But that's what VOICE MAIL is for, people. So people can LEAVE A MESSAGE and then you can CALL THEM BACK LATER at a more CONVENIENT TIME. Like, when you are not driving around with your friend who really doesn't want to get stuck listening to your half of a conversation with someone they probably don't know or care about. Or when you are not in a store where you are preparing to lay out a good bit of money for a computer and peripherals and expecting someone like me to help you out with said purchase.

*deep breath*

Okay, enough about me. What are some of your pet peeves? Here's your chance to vent them all!

(Hopefully one of yours isn't "girls who write long--way too long--lists about their pet peeves" or I'll feel sad.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Music Lovers in Los Angeles, Read This!



Well, I don't know how many of you, my dear readers, are actually in the Los Angeles area. However, if you are, you might want to check out a great gig at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood this coming Wednesday night--my friends' band Yardley will rock the house! They have a shot at being nominated for the LA Music Awards, so we're trying to round up as many people as we can to go and cheer them on!

I'm planning on going, so maybe I'll see you there! Bring friends...I guarantee you won't be disappointed. If you want to hear samples of their music, go to yardleyband.com and check 'em out. Some cool new stuff too--"Beautiful" and "Try Me" are two of my personal favorites!

Come on, guys, what else are you going to do on a Wednesday night for only $8.00 in LA??

Here's a link to a larger image of the flier I pasted above.

Hope to run into you on the Hollywood side...

What: Yardley, showcasing for the LA Music Awards!
Where: Alterknit Lounge, The Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
When: Wednesday, September 28, 9:00pm
Cover: $8
ALL AGES WELCOME!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Happy Life Day!

I am awfully excited because I had a rare opportunity this past weekend. I learned for the first time in my life of the existence of a rare precious gem of "comic gold" (if Pepper will excuse me for lifting her expression, which I love), in the form of a bootlegged DVD. And that DVD was...The Star Wars Holiday Special!

Aired in 1978, this show is the big embarrassment of the George Lucas empire, and believe me, it more than deserves its pride of place. I don't know when I've ever seen anything so incredibly bad (and thus hysterically funny).

Oh wait! There was this really dreadul monster movie I saw once, with partners in crime Mark and Steve. We were flipping channels on TV one night, and I will be forever grateful for the fact that we stumbled across Reptilicus, which I can only describe as Godzilla on a budget. Er, yeah. It's basically about a monster that bears a kind of resemblance to the Japanese lizard, except that instead of being electrifying and breathing fire (wait, did Godzilla breathe fire? I forget), Reptilicus...well, I'm sure this isn't what the filmmaker intended, but it looks like he vomits on people. Green cartoon slime came out of his mouth as he stomped through the towns, which looked rather like King Friday's papier-mache kingdom on "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." Also, instead of Japan, the movie takes place in some Netherlandish location.

But no, I think the Star Wars Holiday Special is actually worse than Reptilicus. At least the monster movie had a fairly coherent story and plot outline--monster terrorizes Denmark, people try to kill it, monster spits or vomits its green slime on people, chaos ensues for awhile, the monster is vanquished, and people are happy again in their Lego-like village. I mean, that's a story we can all understand and appreciate, if not entirely relate to.

In the case of the Star Wars Holiday Special, the word "coherent" was banned from the set, apparently considered in incredibly bad taste by whoever filmed it. It begins epically, with a deep-voiced voice-over guy mentioning the characters--Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and then introducing "Chewie's family," one of which (this is where I nearly fell off the couch) was actually named--LUMPY.

Another one was Itchy. And no, I am not making any of this up.

The opening scene could take the place of Chinese water torture; it has much the same effect. The viewer finds himself in the home of Chewie's sort of endearing, but not exactly English-speaking, family. After 20 minutes of listening to Wookie-speak (which, as you all know from watching the Star Wars movies, consists solely of emitting strange, strangled growls and yells), the family becomes much less endearing and much more annoying. Subtitles might have helped, but then again, I doubt it.

During the opening, there is this one obscure and slightly disturbing (to me anyway) sequence where Chewbacca's son (or daughter--I guess Lumpy could be a girl name too), turns on some sort of holograph-machine-table-thing, and all these little people suddenly appear, dancing, kind of like fairies or something. Lumpy watches, enthralled, as the improbably-colored fairies do little gymnastic routines and make music in an effort that I am sure is meant to entertain, but, if my reaction is any gauge, actually repels the viewer (but still makes them laugh at the sheer, mind-numbing ridiculousness of the whole thing).

At some point it becomes "clear" (and I use that word in the loosest possible sense) that the family is concerned because Chewie, out on some mission somewhere, has not come home in spite of the fact that a holiday is rapidly approaching. It being the future and all, "Christmas" has apparently become a bit jejeune, so that meant someone had to come up with a name for the holiday. Remember that whoever this someone was also came up with the names for Chewie's family--ahem, Lumpy, anyone? And once again we see that creativity did not abound in the scriptwriting department, as Luke assures the worried family that Chewbacca "hasn't missed a Life Day yet."

I'll never know for sure (mostly because I'm too lazy to find out), but I am fairly confident that whoever wrote this show never worked in Hollywood again ever, when it was done.

Other priceless moments include an appearance by the band Jefferson Starship inside a music box, and a very weird cartoon that introduces Boba Fett, who had my favorite line of the show: "You'll only get in the way. But if you must--come on."

Yeah, Boba Fett! You tell 'em!

I thought that perhaps the show was the result of someone (or many someones) doing too many drugs, but then I thought that people on drugs would probably have come up with something a lot more interesting. So perhaps the viewer is supposed to be taking drugs when they watch it. I for one wouldn't have minded taking something for the pain, at least.

I couldn't make it through the whole thing, I confess. But I do think it is a must-see for any Star Wars fan. In some sadistic sense, it will be worth it, I promise. (Laughter is only the best medicine til it kills you, but hey, there are worse ways to go.)

May the Force be with you--you'll need it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Break

I will be taking a break from the frogg files for a few days. Be back soon.

Hmmm, does anyone else think the word "break" looks really weird? It does!

Anyway. Be good, and miss me.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ack

Well, I had these grand plans of writing something very funny and witty today, but after (finally) getting off work, I feel like I've been hit by a truck, and I am not so sure I possess the ability to be even remotely humorous at the moment.

And I must say, if I hear--nay, if someone so much as mouthes--the words "4GB iPod Nano," I am going to...well, I don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm sure it will be something drastic.

Hmm. Is that how you spell "mouthes"? Or is it "mouths"? Oh who cares.

Catching My Breath

So I didn't go to a party tonight because I was tired and it was going to be too late, and I have work early in the morning. Now it is nearly 2am, and I am still up because I can't find my asthma inhaler and I sort of can't breathe at the moment. And on top of the discomfort of not breathing well, I am very irritated at myself because I just bought that stupid inhaler a couple weeks ago (and since I don't have health insurance it cost me nearly $30). How could I lose it so soon!!! Gah!

I am so good at losing things that I wish it were an Olympic sport, because I'd definitely win the gold. Then I'd be rich and famous and could afford to have servants who would lose my inhalers for me.

Well, one can dream, I suppose. But of course, it's much easier to dream when one is actually ASLEEP. Which I, in case you haven't noticed, am not. I am awake...at 1:45am!

I don't want to be awake! I want to be in bed, sleeping! AAARRRGGGGHHHH!

I can't believe I lost my inhaler. I can't believe I have to be up in less than six hours. I can't believe I'll have to work a full day on less than six hours' of sleep.

I can't believe I'm such a whiner.

Sigh...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My Kingdom for a...Corkscrew!

One of the difficult things about housesitting is you never know where anything is. In the kitchen, for instance. Like a corkscrew, for example. I mean, just as an illustration of sorts.

Imagine you are planning a nice quiet evening at home. You are going to watch a movie and have a glass of, say, Black Opal shiraz from Australia, which you'd bought at (naturally) Trader Joe's, with this very sort of evening in mind. A lovely idea, no? I thought so too.

Then last night I began looking for the corkscrew.

Now, I am not exactly what you'd call renowned at finding things. (I am what you'd call notorious for losing them, but that's another story--lots of other stories, actually.) But in this case I absolutely ransacked every imaginable drawer and cupboard and nook and cranny looking for that corkscrew, which I knew must exist because my friends had bottles of wine on the kitchen counter, and one of them was even open, proving the existence of the corkscrew! But where!! I couldn't have found it if my life depended on it, and to be honest, I am a person of such one-track mindedness that it began to seem like, in fact, my life did depend on it.

I looked everywhere, I really did. I even looked inside the coffee container, and while it isn't particularly surprising that I didn't find it there, I really did expect it to turn up somewhere. I mean, it had to be here! But after about a half hour of looking, I had to admit defeat (though not very graciously).

I considered trying to open the bottle with my teeth, but it seemed unlikely. Someone suggested breaking the neck of the bottle, but that sounded dangerous. Another suggestion involved somehow pressing the cork down into the bottle, but I didn't think I had the strength for that, at least not without breaking the cork into little pieces, and if I have a pet peeve (if! I just made myself laugh out loud), it's little pieces of cork floating around in my glass of wine. Yuck.

So in the end I was resigned to drinking from my friends' open bottle of some sort of red wine that turned my lips and teeth purple. Mmmmm!

But the experience did make me think. I mean, a corkscrew is absolutely irreplaceable among kitchen implements, for its purpose. If you don't have a corkscrew, you really have a problem. Other things you can improvise--you know, like use a knife if you can't find a bottle opener, or something like that. But no corkscrew! Oh, then you're...well, screwed. Ha.

Another friend suggested I get one of those little corkscrews you attach to your keychain. I think I will. "Hi, my name is grackyfrogg, and while I'm not an alcoholic, I like wine so much that I carry around this little corkscrew everywhere I go because I become an obsessively raging monster when I badly want a glass of wine and can't find a corkscrew. Not that it happens often or anything! Because it doesn't! I'm not an alcoholic, remember! I just like to know I have a corkscrew when I need it, ok!"

Hmmm.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Have Decided

I am not a cat person.

Today I was trying to work on my newspaper article (done! yes!), and Lulu the Dying Breather wanted to be in my lap and get some attention. That charmed me for awhile, until she started to get cat hair all over my keyboard. Also, she has really bad breath.

I am all itchy now, and my nose is stuffed up. Argh, allergies!

Oh well, it's worth it; I mean the cats are a very small price to pay for the chance to be in a different place for a little while, and I don't hate them. They are pretty well-behaved and keep to themselves mostly, except when they want to be petted (Lulu) or drink out of the bathtub faucet (Pould). Besides, just about any creature under the sun would be better than the insufferable Leo, whom I miss not at all.

Speaking of animals, I thought I might go to the zoo today, since I have the day off. Then I thought, maybe I should get my eyebrows done. Can't do both, which will it be? Education or beautification?

I leave it to your imagination. You should know me well enough by now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Housesitting

I am writing this from a nice little apartment in North Hollywood, where I am housesitting for a friend and taking care of cats. I don't know if I am a cat person or not. I think I would be if I weren't allergic to them, because honestly they are wonderful to cuddle with--when they are in the mood, that is.

My friends use some stuff called Allerpet on the cats, so I haven't had any trouble with allergies. What I have had a little trouble with is the fact that one of the cats wheezes worse than I do when my asthma kicks in, and I worry that any second she is going to die. My friends left a note for me with various instructions, including the injunction to not worry about her dying because that's just how she sounds, but I can't help it. She sneezes alot too, and I wonder if she's allergic to something. My lungs hurt just listening to her breathe!

But at least she is very friendly. I like cats that like to be petted, and that like to curl up on your lap and purr. That's what cats are for.

It's nice to have a place all to myself for awhile. There are lots of books here, and all sorts of guitars. I'm going to try my hand at the 12-string later, if I can figure out how to tune it!

My friends thoughtfully left me a gift certificate to Trader Joe's, my favorite grocery store in the world. Just walking into Trader Joe's makes you feel healthy and organic. They have all sorts of specialty foods, as well as wines and juice and soy milk. I like soy milk. They also have great dark chocolate. Trader Joe's was one of the things I missed most during my time in New Zealand.

The other thing, of course, was In-N-Out, which isn't healthy at all. Hmmm.

Well, I am rambling. I am also (shhhh!) procrastinating on finishing another newspaper article. Yikes! Better get back to it. But first I'm going to play with the cat, if I can find her. Oh wait, I'll just follow the sound of her breathing...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Movie Time

I have a strange relationship with the City of Angels. Born and bred here, I still know less about it that lots of people who come here from other places. I have never been one for the "scene"; in fact, I'm not entirely sure what the "scene" is, but if it involves going out to clubs in hopes of getting hit on by drunk, not-so-up-and-coming screenwriters with sleazy grins and over-developed senses of self-importance, not to mention spending the bulk of weekend nights just looking for parking on Sunset or Hollywood or wherever to avoid paying $10 or much more in a lot, so you can go to said club and get hit on by said guys, I can't say I'm particularly interested.

You can take for granted that anyone who says they are a writer in LA means they are a screenwriter. If you threw a rock in the store where I work, you would: a) probably break a few computers, but b) knock out a screenwriter or two. A big difference from the Bay Area, where everyone writes novels and short stories and obscure poetry about their inner children, or maybe the ghosts of those children, who sit in some lonely corner of the forgotten soul crying out with keening voices about being devoured by the black hole that is the universe. San Franciscans are progressive, you see, where Angelenos are progressing...it's just no one knows quite where they are progressing to. Which can be a little awkward, as you can imagine.

I admit I've considered screenwriting, if only out of a sense of curiosity. I like to write dialogue. How about this for a movie scene?

Boy: Hi there. My name is Joe.

Girl: Joe! No one's named Joe anymore, especially in the movies.

Boy [disconcerted]: Oh really? I had no idea! What should my name be then?

Girl: I don't know. But maybe we should kiss now. After all, a few minutes have gone by.

Boy: Well, alright. [Starts to lean in]

Girl [stopping him]: Wait! You have to say something romantic first.

Boy: Oh, of course. Sorry. [Thinks] You're pretty.

Girl: That's good enough. [They kiss]

Boy: Oh by the way, what's your name?

Girl: Why, I...don't know!

Boy: Oh well. Let's kiss again. [They do]

Boy: Now what?

Girl: Well, there's still a while til the movie ends. Why don't we hijack a car, rob a bank, and blow up a building or two? I'm sure the resulting chase scenes will be a good adrenaline rush for audiences, and we won't have to talk alot. Then we can have sex too. I'm sure by then we'll know each other's names and it won't seem quite so awkward.

Boy: That sounds cool! I like shooting things. Can I have a gun?

Girl: Sure. Let's go shopping. I want a shorter miniskirt.

[Exeunt]

Ok, so it needs a little work. I won't be quitting my day job or anything.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Prayer

In this world, I walk alone
With no place to call my home
But there's One who holds my hand,
the rugged road through barren lands...

In your love, I find release
A haven from my unbelief
Take my life and let me be
A living prayer, my God, to thee.


--Alison Krauss & Union Station, "A LIving Prayer"

Haunted

The level of my delight at finding this article today can only be imagined:

Landlord Sues Restaurateur Over Ghosts

I can die happy now.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Checking In

Ack! It's been--let's see--three days since my last post! I'm slipping terribly. My apologies to you all...

(Becca says that maybe I just wanted to leave my picture up longer for everyone to see. I said maybe she's right. Ah, vanity, vanity!)

I don't actually have much to say today, except this. Customers can be very frustrating people. I am utterly mystified by them at times. For example, they have this tendency to be aggrieved when you are out of stock on particular items that they want, as if they suspect you did it on purpose, to spite them. Or they act like they suspect you of not telling the truth, that in fact you have HUNDREDS of whatever it is they want in the back, and you are just telling them you don't have it so you can go into the breakroom later and laugh at them maniacally behind their backs with all your mean-spirited co-workers.

Let me assure everyone right now that this is not the case. If we don't have it, we don't have it, and all the moaning, groaning, questioning, and angry gesticulation will do absolutely nothing to make it appear. Trust me on this, ok? Please. if not for the sake of my sanity, then for the sake of your blood pressure. Your health is a precious thing; don't break it over not getting an iPod Nano or something like that before everyone else on your block does. For the love...!

On another note entirely: I noticed finally that the days are growing very short. It is dark already and only 7:30pm. I love the autumn, and am looking forward to it eagerly, even though I live in California where autumn doesn't happen in any sort of spectacular displays. But it does get cooler, and sometimes you smell woodsmoke on the air if you go for a walk in the evening, and that's good enough for me.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Alright, Just This Once!

A rare sighting indeed...I don't usually post pictures of myself here, but I did my hair again and thought you might like to see. And last time I posted a picture of my hair, but not my whole face, there was this to-do about how the picture was really all about my eyes, so to avoid that, here is the real deal!



Coloring my hair has almost always been more a result of boredom than anything else, really. This past weekend was very long, especially since all I did was sit around the house because I was sick. By last night I was feeling a bit stir crazy. I was also having a slight asthma attack and couldn't find my inhaler. I thought I'd go to the pharmacy and get a new one, and then I thought, "Hey while I'm there why don't I get some dye and color my hair! That'll give me something to do tonight!"

And it did!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hanging' On

I am still alive! I am not sure if that's a good thing, but I have every hope that it is, in spite of the fact that my cold has progressed to the "hacking cough" stage--my favorite. Woo-hoo.

I do hope I feel a thousand times better by tomorrow, though, because my good friend Ben is coming to town and visiting me on his way back to Minnesota from Germany. I don't know yet what we'll do, but I know it's going to be fun. Yay! Well, "yay" if I feel better, otherwise "boo" to lame illnesses that always come at a bad time.

One of the worst things about a cold, for me at least, is that I lose all interest in food (ok, Steve, you can stop looking so shocked!). I know the old adage: "Starve a fever, feed a cold," but I just can't be bothered to eat when everything I put in my mouth tastes like some version of cardboard.

I am a picky eater anyway, an aspect of myself I had never really faced up to until the other day when I was chatting with a friend online, and we started talking about food and what we like, and I kept thinking of all these things I don't like. For example, take pizza. I eat meat, but not on pizza at all, UNLESS it's ham, because I think ham and pineapple is great. But sausage and pepperoni--gross. Also I don't like olives, so if I get a veggie pizza (which I like), it has to not have olives, or I'll be picking them off, every one.

Or let's talk about eggs. I like hard-boiled eggs, and I like fried eggs. Scrambled I will eat occasionally, but it's very rare. I refuse to eat deviled eggs; the very thought is making me stick out my tongue and wrinkle my nose as I say "Bleah" right now. I also hate egg salad, and eggs IN salad (even though those would be hard-boiled which I actually do like, by themselves). During my time in New Zealand, I was horrified at the kiwi tendency to put eggs in--of all things--BURGERS. Absolute travesty. (They also put beets in burgers, which is equally horrible to me.)

Then there's guacamole: I must be the only living Californian who doesn't care for it, and actually makes a point of not eating the stuff. I don't like its nuclear-green color, which always makes me think of kryptonite, and we all know how bad that was for poor Superman. Anything that looks like something that could be the undoing of a Man of Steel superhero is a little suspect in my book.

Other things I won't eat, or only under duress: strawberries or any sort of strawberry-flavored concoction (due to the fact that a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's made me throw up when I was about 5); bananas (I can't even stand the smell of bananas), and cusheri (an Egyptian dish made of of elbow macaroni and lentils, and I am really not a fan).

So I guess I am a picky eater after all, although in my defense I did eat cow brains once. Granted, it was only because I didn't know they were cow brains, but still it has to count for something. I also tried a bite of alligator sausage several years ago. Hated it, but I did try.

All this talk of food is making me--well, not hungry because I still have the same cold I had ten minutes ago when I started writing and I still don't feel like eating. Sigh...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Possibly Dying

Ok, not really, at least I hope not. But I'm definitely sickest today. Death seems awfully attractive, if for no other reason than that at least my head wouldn't feel so cottony and my nose would stop running and I would stop feeling like I've forgotten how to walk.

Today my nose dripped without warning right in front of a customer. Talk about gross.

Now that I'm home, I am feeling a little more cheerful, but mostly because I'm listening to the Barenaked Ladies sing "If I Had A Million Dollars." That song really makes me laugh, and laughter, they say, is the best medicine. Although come to think of it, I don't know if anyone has ever specificied what, exactly, laughter is good medicine for. Maybe it's only good for cat allergies, or splinters, or stubbed toes. In which case, it won't actually be all that helpful for my current state. Hmm.

Oh well, I am too sick to try and figure it out. If you know, you can tell me. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a better weekend than I'm predicting I'm going to. Enjoy the holiday, and do something fun, and then tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you, because I'll tell you right now what I'm going to be doing: nothing. I am going to lie in front of the TV on the couch all day, feeling sorry for myself and blowing my stupid nose.

And if you don't write something, I will feel worse. You wouldn't want that, now, would you?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thinking

Red wine and Blarney cheese are probably not a recipe for health, especially late at night, but I am having some anyway. I am in a pensive sort of mood; I meant to go to bed early, but I couldn't, because I started thinking.

And what am I thinking about? Oh, the little things: God, life, me. Why I (and several of my close friends) feel hostile toward church lately. Why I haven't felt like reading my Bible in months, when there was a time that I couldn't get enough of it. Why I don't feel like praying--and yet can't help myself here and there, throughout the day, when I am thinking of certain things or people.

I think it was in June when I decided I wanted God out of my life for awhile. I don't know why. I was tired, I suppose. I'd been doing the "Christian thing" so long, it had all become meaningless. I was (and am) bored by church; bored and hostile toward the unending, apparently meaningless repeitions of songs, sermons, and programs. I began to hate the routine. And I was hurt, too, by a relationship that ended before it even began, when I had had hopes. That wouldn't have been so bad, except that it was just the last one in a long line of unrequited loves, and I just had had enough. Somehow I felt like it was God's fault, all of it, and I didn't want to deal with it, or Him, anymore.

So I tried to be someone else for awhile. I tried very hard. I thought it might be nice to be just like everyone, because then maybe I wouldn't have to think about everything so much. And I didn't want to feel guilty about anything, because I have always felt guilty about everything, and I was so tired of that most of all.

But I couldn't seem to manage the transformation, for some reason. Not really. I did my best to fake it, but I couldn't believe in myself as really being that other person I was trying to be. And besides, I started to see I was doing what I hated most: living two lives, and being hypocritical to both of them. It was a strange game that I had made, where I was the only player, and I was still losing!

I suppose I shouldn't talk about it like it's all in the distant past, because it isn't. I'm still caught in it, tangled. But I hope I'm finally starting to snap out of it.

I don't want to be like everyone else.

As I've thought about all this, it occurs to me that the problem with God is that He really does get inside you--under your skin, in a way that no one else does. I can't stop thinking about Him. I catch myself praying, and I make myself stop because it seems wrong when I have been so against Him lately, but at the same time I want to pray. I want to talk to HIm, very much. I miss that most of all.

Lately I hear myself when I talk to others about God, and it's like listening to an echo of myself. The sound is there, but the sense...something is lacking. There is a vague hollowness that haunts my words, and hurts my heart.

Do I mean what I say, anymore? Do I believe it?

I do. God help me, I do.

Set up signposts,
Make landmarks;
Set your heart toward the highway,
The way in which you went...
--Jeremiah 31:21

I have chosen the way of truth...
--Psalm 119: 30

And I am resolved to love you
With whatever means are mine.
--five o' clock people

Sicker

Well, the sore throat is nearly gone, but I am a little light-headed and now my ears are stopped up. I keep yawning to try and unstop them and it doesn't work.

I went to work today and spent the entire time wishing I hadn't, when I wasn't wandering around aimlessly, forgetting what I was meant to be doing because I was so out of it. If someone had asked me what my name was, I think I would have given them a blank look. In fact, I'm not sure I know now. Who am I?

I remember at one point asking a customer if the information on their zip code was current. Of course, I meant to say "driver's license." I also found myself trailing off and leaving sentences half-finished a lot. Well, I do that anyway, but today was certainly worse than usual.

I hate being sick.

Sick

Not feeling well today. Mostly I have a sore throat. I hate sore throats. They put me in a bad temper, especially when I have to talk to people a lot, as I do for my job. I don't want to talk to anyone when my throat hurts. I just want to curl up in my bed, with some Sprite or 7Up within easy reach on the side table, and ignore the world. I also crave ice cream.

Sigh.

(In the process of writing this, I seem to be developing a cough as well. That will not improve my mood.)

I'm tired. And I was going to straighten my hair before work, because yesterday I went in with it really wild (one of my co-workers was kind enough to call it the wind-blown look, which made me laugh--it was more like the I-just-jumped-out-of-an-airplane-and-fell-thousands-of-feet-at-high-speeds look), but I can't seem to get myself out of bed.

On the other hand, maybe I'll feel better if I make myself look really hot. Or not, come to think of it, because I'm reminded of a conversation I had with one of my guy friends last night, in which I was informed (not for the first time, mind you) that my looks probably intimidate guys. In other words, I'm so good-looking that I'm scary! If only I looked less good I'd get more dates!

Gah. l hate the world. It's stupid.

Did I mention I have a sore throat and feel miserable? I do.