Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fingers...stiffening...toes...losing...feeling

It is currently 6 degrees Fahrenheit in Minneapolis. With a high of 13 and low of 3 predicted for the day. That is before wind chill. This isn't actually that bad for January in Minnesota; at least we aren't in the negative integers. But the furnace in my office seems to be struggling to keep up in this cold snap. I'm currently typing this while wearing a parka, with a space heater propped up over our cubicles. I'm just putting this blog out here now in case anyone wonders why the admissions processing department seems to have ceased all output: it is because our bodies slowly shut down until we were in permanent hibernation mode.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Come Again?

"We were at 'A' bar when my friend got a dooey and had to go to cop shop."

My co-worker Becky is from a small town in Minnesota near "Roch" and sometimes us city mice have a hard time keeping up with her lingo. The above statement is an exact quote from her recap of a weekend spent at home.

After calling a time-out and requesti
ng a translation, we found out the following information:

"A" bar is short for "After Bar." After Bar is where you hang out after the bar closes. It is usually someone's house, but doesn't have to be. Becky once ended up in a hair salon owned by a friend, where some "A" Bar attendees made the ill-advised decision to wax their eyebrows after a few too many. I'm familiar with the phenomenon of After Bar, but had never called it that, let alone uttered it often enough to necessitate it being shortened to "A" Bar. My friends and I usually just say, "Let's go to so-and-so's place" or something akin to that. Becky wo
uld say "'A' Bar is at so-and-so's." Once, the Minneapolis International Hostel was where my "A" Bar was, but that is another story.

"Dooey" is the direct pronunciation of D.U.I.

"Cop Shop" is the holding cell where one is taken after caught driving drunk.

By the way, "Roch" is short for Rochester, MN - the nearest "big city" to Becky's hometown. I told her that "Rotch" sounds like slang for Crotch Rot. So sometimes I just whisper "herpes" under my breath when she talks about her hometown.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I think he was flirting!



I am working at the theatre tonight and an old man just walked up to my ticket window and said:

"What did the Mama Buffalo say to the Baby Buffalo as he walked away over the hill?"

"I don't know, what?"

"Bison."

That is just such an old guy joke to tell. You can just see him still telling it to his grandkids, even though they are probably as old me. It was really random, but kinda cute.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Willow Tree Stowaway

My freshman year of college, someone once taught me about a test women can use to determine whether or not we can go braless: put a pencil under a boob and if it falls, you can go braless; it you have enough flesh to hold it in place, you better haul ass to Vickie's Secret or risk being accused of being bouncy and obscene.

This helpful tip came from someone trying to tell me I was indeed bouncy and obscene. I had gone from a hip-hop listening, baggy pants wearing, pristine Nike sneaker sporting, wanna-be thug to an Ani difranco listening, hairy legged, going braless, budding feminist in the span of about 3 months. Despite this person's attempts to curtail my need for extreme stereotypes, at least when it came to my upper torso, I took the pencil test as a challenge instead of the not-so-subtle hint that it was intended.

As a college freshman, one breast could not only hold a pencil, I could hold a can of bathroon air freshner in nature's pocket. Which makes you think about Homeland Security and those measly 3 oz you are allowed to carry-on flights. I could easily smuggle way more than 3 oz under each melon without being detected. Not that I would, but I could!

Since then, I've gained weight in the chest and subsequently lost some (not all) of the weight. This situation is ideal for under-the-boob storage because there is still more than enough flesh to have the weight needed to grasp, but they are floppy from growing and shrinking, creating nice overlap. That is why breast implants aren't good for boob smuggling: too perky.

So I decided to try the pencil test again, 10 years later. One breast can hold about 7 pens/pencils loose. But that number is misleading because the pencils are slippery: bind the pencils together with a rubber band, and my capbilities are greatly increased. My right breast can hold 50, count em, 50 writing implements:



I was having so much fun that I got to wondering what other items my chest was capable of grasping. Here are a few of the highlights.

An amputee Willow Tree Angel:



A bag of shredded money:



A small ship-in-a-bottle:



Gallon-size container of vegetable oil (empty):



Box of Garden Herb Triscuits (full and unopened):



Betty Boop:



And the motherload, the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy (paperback):



And the one item my right breast couldn't get a good grip on? But damn if I didn't try!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

John Mayer is a Wannabe-Punk.

Does anyone else find the lyrics to John Mayer's new hit to be inane and stupid?

Waiting On The World To Change

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing
and there's no way we ever could
now we see everything
that's going wrong with the world
and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's hard to beat the system
when we're standing at a distance
so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change

now if we had the power
to bring our neighbors home from war
they would have never missed a Christmas
no more ribbons on their door
and when you trust your television
what you get is what you got
cause when they own the information, oh
they can bend it all they want

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

it's not that we don't care,
we just know that the fight ain't fair
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change
and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

Hey there poor little white boy, I understand how daunting it is to try to make a difference when faced with overwhelming forces like the Bush regime, patriarchy, institutionalized discrimination and so forth. Burn-out is common among activists. I myself used to be a queen of picket lines and grassroots organizing. Notice the "used to" part of that sentence. I'm the first to admit I'm not as politically active as I used to be, or probably should be (which isn't to say I do nothing - I vote and stay informed). But the last thing I would ever do is sit around and whine about how the world isn't changing fast enough if the only contribution I'm making is "waiting" it out!

"It's hard to beat the system/when we're standing at a distance." Really? No Kidding. Perhaps you'd like to, I don't know, stop standing there with your finger up your butt and do something.

"It's not that we don't care/ we just know that the fight ain't fair." Pwah, of course the opposition doesn't play fair. Boo hoo. Now do something about it!

And another thing that irritates me: John Mayer has those annoying "rock star" faces he makes during guitar solos. They seem so phony. Like something he saw a genuine musician do on stage as the product of creating music, then went home and practiced in front of his mirror.


UPDATE (03/08/2007): Mayer was on NPR this morning and has a very different take on "Waiting on the World to Change" than my initial interpretation. According to Mayer, the lyrics are a commentary on why our generation appears apathetic, as opposed to he himself being a lazybones. He claims that kids these days don't like to be told what to do in the 1960s-Bob-Dylan-protest-song-kind-of-way. If I understood him correctly, he instead presents an idea and allows listeners come to their own conclusions, rather than trying to shove politics down their throats. The problem with that is that listeners like me come to the completely wrong interpretation of his lyrics. But he says in the interview that he is okay with that. Even if his explanation is complete B.S., I have to give him credit for sounding pretty clever and witty in this interview. He still loses points for his rock star facial expressions (of which there is further evidence on the NPR site) and dating Jessica Simpson. Even though I suspect Jessica Simpson is actually much smarter than she lets on, the fact that she willingly perpetuates this dumb blonde image of herself in Pizza Hut ads and elsewhere is irritating and unfortunate.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Get well soon, we want you to get well!

If anyone was considering getting me a get well soon gift, forget the flowers and chip-in on a one-time only house cleaning service. I figure once the laundry, bathroom, dishes and vacuuming get done, I might be able to face another minute alone in my apartment. After spending three days festering in my bed/on my couch with just enough energy to recognize how much my apartment desperately needs a once-over, without enough energy to actually do anything about it, I'm about ready to lose it! And the cat hair, my gawd, the cat hair! How is an asthmatic with bronchitis supposed to get clear lungs with enough cat hair on the carpet to clone 10 more cats from the fur of just one fuzzy-pant wearing kitty?

And if you really want to go all-out, you can hire a gay cleaning service, a-la last season of The L Word, when Helena hires "Lez Clean Up" for Alice and her scary Dana shrine:

“Jesus, Bloody Christ, Alice! Have you completely lost your mind? It’s a fucking shrine, Alice! A bordering on psychotic serial killer obsessive type shrine.”

Good Times.

But I promise I have no scary shrines in my place, unless of course you count the Elvis-themed bathroom (Hey, he died on the shitter, what better place to pay homage?).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I done got the SARS, break out the Tussen!

Put a heaping spoonful of cold germs, Minneapolis' first generous helping of snow this year, and a dash of asthma and whatdoyaget? Bronchitis. I've decided we either need to install salad bar sneeze guards at work or my girlfriend needs to get a lot less sexier because I got the germs either from the girl who sits across from me at work or P-funk. Or both.

I went from hunky dory Saturday night when I had dinner and a movie with friends (I recommend "Children of Men," even if the ending left me wanting) to waking up Sunday without being able to take even the shallowest of breaths without horking something awful. I spent Sunday in bed.

Luckily, I had Monday off for MLK Day. Unfortunately, so did my primary care physician. Which sent me to the Minute Clinic where I told the RN I'm pretty sure I have bronchitis and she said "I agree, unfortunately, I can't prescribe the steroid inhaler you need, so you'll have to go to urgent care."

So I went to urgent care where Senile Old Doctor (SOD) told me my lungs sounded clear. Jigga what? I could hear myself wheezing without a stethoscope and SOD was trying to tell me he didn't hear anything? So I patiently informed SOD the only reason I ended up at urgent care was because of what the Minute clinic told me, so SOD prescribed the inhaler anyways. Which leaves me to believe SOD hadn't been too confident in his diagnosis in the first place.

I'm going back to bed now.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hip Hip Hooray!

Jack says "keep that scalpel away from my scalp Bee-atch!"

As some of you may know, there's been some concern that my nephew would have to have surgery. All babies are born with their skulls in multiple pieces so their head can expand as they grow. Sometimes one or more of the sutures fuse too soon, causing cranial pressure and abnormal head growth. You want to see a doting Aunt flip out? Have her do a Google image search of Craniosynostosis. And once she recovers from those visuals, have her research the treatments where she'll find such phrases as "a zigzag incision from ear to ear" and "Once the scalp is peeled back, pilot holes are drilled through the skull." That's when you'll find Auntie K passed out on the floor.


Well, I'm happy to report that all is well and Jack's precious noggin will remain pristine and untouched. His second scan came back clear today; the suture that was concerning the surgeon is fine. Which is a relief because I could barely handle the thought of him sedated for the scan, let alone being put under and operated on at the tender age of 6 months!


Besides, that warm fuzzy head is my life source! You know, usually I'd be the perfect candidate for seasonal affect disorder. The sun is barely up when I leave for work in the morning. Then I work all day in a windowless office, only to go home after dark. But I can actually feel my serotonin levels rising when I nuzzle my nephew's head against my cheek, or suds up his peach fuzz hair in the bath. Who needs sunlight when there is a baby head to sniff and kiss? If Proctor & Gamble could find a way to bottle up that baby head feeling, there would be no more suicides.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dreams and Sewing Machines

Our main database is shut down for the day for an upgrade so we played catch-up on non-data-entry duties. Which means I scanned documents for 4 straight hours. Luckily, I remembered that I had my iPod with me about 2 hours into the job, which made the last 2 tolerable. It is actually an iPod shuffle. I like to call it an "iShuffle" but my girlfriend, the Mac Geek Apple Store Employee, always corrects me: There is such a thing as iLife (which includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iWeb) but no such thing as an iShuffle. It is an iPod Shuffle. To which I respond, "bite me."
And my iShuffle is not one of the cool new ones, but the collector's item/vintage/retro/looks like a stick of gum iShuffle (see above). But it gets the job done and has a super-cool lanyard so, bite me. Something possessed me to write down all the different artists/bands I heard while working. And something further possessed me to share them here. I don't know why. Perhaps because the iShuffle lives up to its name and I heard a super random mix of music while imaging 1,634 documents into our work flow today.

David Gray x2
Kid Beyond x2
Dixie Chicks
Rufus Wainwright x2
Ember Swift
Kelly Clarkson x3 (who doesn't have a "t" in her last name despite my tendency to pronounce it "Clarkston")
Ellis x2
Gil Scott Heron
John Mayar x2
Patsy Cline
Moby
No Doubt
Neil Diamond
Indigo Girls x2
Enya (jigga what?!)
United States of Poetry (not sure which poet)
Gnarls Barkley
Ani Difranco x2
Sarah McLachlan (remix)
Levi Weaver
Imogen Heap x2
Patty Griffin
Hole
A remix of the Nutcracker Suite (don't ask)
Frou Frou
Harry and the Potters

And some group that sounded like Weezer, but I don't think I have any Weezer in my iTunes library, so I really can't say. That is the one drawback of the iShuffle - no handy screen to tell you what you are listening to.

Side Note: Rufus and Ember are two of the artists that P-funk and I will be seeing in the Ann Arbor Folk Fest later this month. Wah hoody!
You may mock my musical tastes if you choose, but be aware that my response will probably be, "bite me."