30 December 2008

Death Has a Blue Face

Any child of the digital age can probably figure out what my headline means. I fired up the old laptop this AM and sure enough, I got me a blue screen of death. Can I have a "boo"? Luckily, I don't need my laptop for much more than checking email and a couple of blogs. Well, there's the StumbleUpon addiction to contend with, but I am hopeful that the withdrawal symptoms will be minimal.

Huh, I was hoping that by logging into Blogger and writing about something, anything, I would be inspired to go off on some random tangent (who me?). I am aware that my posts have been few and far between, but rather than bore all 4 of you with tales of cookie baking, I decided that nothing was preferable to mundane. I also thought about doing a year-in-review post, or something about the holidays, but it all fills me with meh. For your sake, dear reader, I hope that the new year will bring fresh sources of inspiration.

22 December 2008

Keep Reading, I Eventually Have a Point

It's been just over a week since my last post and I'm sorry to say that the minutiae of my life has been even more boring than usual. Also, there hasn't really been anything that has raised my ire enough to pound out a couple hundred words. At least nothing that would require a whole lot of backstory that I don't feel like recounting. I'm currently baking cookies. Someone stop the excitement.

In case anyone was wondering, I am officially 30. I had an excellent time out with some friends but nothing super exciting happened. Well, JR managed to loudly announce that she thought I would need a book during my pooping adventure. As we were both reasonably drunk, I was content to let it slide. And there was only one dude around and he was on the phone. Otherwise, 30 feels pretty much like 29.

On the literature front, I have a new author. His name is Jonathan Carroll and he writes beautiful fantasy. But it's not too fantastical. He melds fantasy and reality in a lovely, scary, intriguing way. My dad got me The Ghost in Love for my birthday and I really enjoyed it.

As I was putting my next batch of sugar cookies in the oven, I remembered what I wanted to quasi-rant about - Facebook. A couple of days ago, I girl I used to be very close with found me on Facebook. Now pretty much everyone knows that FB is specifically for finding people you used to hang with. I can't even remember why I started the stupid thing. The reason this particular friend request matters is because my friendship with this girl was somewhat fraught. I'm fairly certain that she thought she was smarter than me (not a huge deal), but she also said that I should find something to do that doesn't involve school because I wasn't very good at it. Ouch, Ms. Ivy League. I let that slide. The friendship ended when I told her I didn't want her as a bridesmaid because I didn't feel we were close enough anymore. I still wanted her at the wedding, but we had drifted apart and there were girls I was closer with. She didn't like being booted and that was about the end of it.

Flash forward a couple of years and I'm in a bar in Fairless Hills. I ran into the older brother of another girl I used to be friends with back in high school. We got to chatting and the brother mentioned that he had called his sister to get my name. The brother knew he knew me (stay with me here) but my name was escaping him. OK, it's going to get more confusing. When the brother called his sister, she happened to be on the phone with the girl I ousted as bridesmaid. What was the first thing she asked him? She asked if I was still wearing my wedding ring. Double owie, bitch. Did you girls have a nice snicker over my divorced state? Did you feel all smug and superior to know that while I was the first to get married, it didn't last? Am I projecting?

So you can imagine how I felt when I saw that stupid friend request - or maybe you can't. Maybe shit doesn't bother you the way it bothers me. My dilemma was whether or not to approve the request. I won't describe the hemming and hawing, it's boring. Ultimately I decided that FB isn't really about becoming bestest friends again. It is about amassing a slew of pseudo-friends who you couldn't be bothered to keep in touch with, or had fallings out. The way it normally work is that I'll get the request, a few emails/wall posts are exchanged and that's the end of it. I've gotten fairly adept at summing the last ten years of my life in about 4 sentences:
Got married, moved to California. Got divorced, moved back to Phila. Got my degree, working in Warminster. Things are quiet.
I don't even care if it sounds boring. It isn't important to me for these people to think my life is super-awesome. The former BFF is married with two kids and I couldn't care less. I will admit that there is part of me that wonders if she added me because she wanted to she if her life was better than mine. From her perspective, of course. I was on guard for catty comments or backhanded compliments. Then again, it has been 10 years. I doubt that she thought about me at all until Facebook reminded her of my existence.

13 December 2008

Apparently, Stupid is Worse than Mean

I've earned a small degree of infamy on the 'net for an unintentionally stupid comment I made on a blog. This particular blog will periodically post photos of celebs and we are encouraged to make clever comments about the celeb's hair, outfit, facial expression, etc. The one thing that was always discouraged was body-snarking. I can understand this - most people have had some sort of self-esteem issues over the years. My last boyfriend was super skinny. I called him Stringbean. It took me a while to realize that it wasn't any less bad to tease him about being skinny as it would be to tease someone about being overweight.

Anyway, I did my level best to avoid any body comments. One day, a photo of Madonna was posted. Most of you are probably aware that Madonna is an exercise fiend. She has made no secret of her dedication to fitness. Another commenter said something about Madonna's lack of body fat. I said something about Madonna's visible veins. Veins that were visible because of her lack of body fat. Oy, I got flamed and I got voted worst comment of the day (which I covered in a previous post).

In my defense, I was not maligning Madonna's body. What do I care if you want to do lots of yoga or Pilates or eat a raw food diet? It's your life; live it how you want. I was merely voicing my amazement at her low body fat percentage. I mean, come on, the woman is RIPPED.

I went on the site today and there was a post about making comments about some of the super-skinny celebs. Many people feel that it is their bounden duty to offer this advice: Eat a cheeseburger. There were a couple of paragraphs about the unkindness of body-snarking and my stupid veiny Madonna comment was referred to. For fuck's sake people! I've read some seriously mean-spirited comments on that site and you drag out mine? At worst, it was poorly-worded. Did I say "Ewwwwwww! OMG Madonna is scary skinny? Get that chick a sammich STAT!!!1!!"? Nope, but somehow I got called out.

This stupid mess made me realize that internet relationships, regardless of how good they seem to be, are mostly nothing. I don't know if it is the anonominity or what, but people feel far more comfortable shitting on someone online. Who am I kidding? Of course it's the anonominity. There are no real consequences (the whole MySpace bullying issue notwithstanding). If I had made that comment about Madonna to any of my friends, they probably wouldn't have said anything at all. The certainly wouldn't have jumped all over me with comments like: "Oh yes, she has veins. How passe!" and the like. While I realize that tone is nearly impossible to convey online, give me a little credit people, hmmmm? Do you really think I am unfamiliar with the existence of the circulatory system? After all, it pumps the blood into my occasionally non-functioning brain.

So I will admit to stupidity but I WILL NOT admit to body-snarking. Sometimes people, stupid happens.

10 December 2008

Fucking Princess

Of all the presumptuous, high-handed piles of bullshit. You fucking bitch. I will rip out your crinkly, nasty, wannabe "I Dream of Genie" weave. Slowly. One strand at a time. And then I will feed it to you.

09 December 2008


The sickness is descending on me again.

I don't know if it is because my birthday and the holidays are so near, or if it is because I've been so good for so long. Either way, I can feel it creeping up on me, peering over my shoulder, blowing its sweet breath of temptation in my ear. It makes me itch and yearn and long and desire (OK, three of those are approx. the same thing). I don't know how much long I can hold back. I need the smells, the sights. I need to touch and covet and peruse. That's right, the addiction is pulling me under. I need my Barnes and Noble's fix.

Before you go writing the previous paragraph off as artistic license, it's actually a fairly accurate description of how I feel when the book covetousness sweeps over me. I walk into a B&N and can feel the tension fall away from me. I lovingly finger the books. Oh, that's right, I touch them. I open them up to my avidly hungry gaze. I breathe in their scent. Whew. OK, gimme a minute to collect myself.

Since it is almost my birthday and Christmas, I should hold myself in check. All of my friends and family know of my love for books. I KNOW I will get books, or gift cards for Borders/B&N, but I don't know if I can wait. The lust can sometimes be too persuasive. "Come," it says. "Want me, hold me, touch me, love me." It is a siren call I am all but powerless to resist.

08 December 2008


Heh, doody.

Pooping is one of those thing that we take for granted until it stops coming out right. Pooping can be mildly inconvenient, especially for those people who prefer not to poop in public places. Pooping can be loud, quiet, smelly, relatively odorless, uncomfortable, and a relief. If we don't poop, we die.

Ever since I returned from WI, my bowels had been...different. I learned many years ago to wait for the perfect poop. I discovered that forcing a poop usually leads to discomfort and a chapped ass. My guts and I had an understanding - they stayed reasonably regular and I didn't abuse them too often. Unfortunately, something changed.

At first I thought it was the large amount of raw veggies I ingested while in WI. However, the problem continued long past the time that I would have processed the vegetables. My diet was pretty much the same as it always was. Oh, I was pooping, but every session was a struggle and I never felt satisfied. I tried increasing my fiber intake, but that's kind of difficult when you don't have much fiber in the house. I ate more veggies, I drank lots of water. Still, I was dissatisfied.

I finally decided to try a laxative. I was gonna blow it all out and start fresh. JR offered to pick up some Epsom salts for me. I was told by B that Epsom works wonders on recalcitrant guts. I was willing to give it a go. Due to a lack of Epsom that didn't contain shea and/or menthol (its primary use is as a soak), JR got me good ole Correctol. It's a woman's laxative, or so it says on the box. Whatever. If it got the poop out I wouldn't care if it were elephant laxative. Also, in her very thoughtful way, JR provided me with some flushable wipes and a book of Kurt Vonnegut pieces. They both came in handy.

I took my first dose around 10 pm Friday night. The instructions said that a bowel movement would probably happen in 6-12 hours. I figured that I'd split the difference and I'd most likely be pooping aound 8 am. JR came over after work and we chilled for a bit. I decided to take another dose. Maybe risky, but I wanted to be cleared out. I wasn't fucking around anymore. I went to bed around 3 am.

I woke at 8 am and it was imperative that I get to the bathroom - rightstatnow. And then, oh my. Warning: I'm going to try not to be TOO gross, but I am talking about poop here people. You may want to skip ahead.


Everything I had packed into my bowels over the last month of so came right on out. I don't know if the fact that I was half-asleep was a factor, but I was feeling no pain. Once I was done with the evacuation (there was surprisingly little mess), I went back to bed for a couple of hours.

And woke up at 10am for an encore.

At this point I figured that I may as well get up for good. Sleep interrupted by frantic voiding of one's guts is no sleep at all. I managed to get some stuff done around the house and made sure to stay well hydrated. There were a couple more sessions, but nothing as spectacular as the first two. Thanks to Cottonelle and JR for saving my ass.

After about 5pm or so, I was done. There was still a bit of discomfort down below, but I think that was more about my uterus than about my guts. I went to a friend's house and did not blow up his bathroom. In fact, I didn't poop again until I got home from work today. It was solid and satisfying.

04 December 2008

Way to Tempt Fate, Asshole

OK, my Pollyana, look on the brightside moment is officially over.

My day only got busier. I will have to call 30+ reps to determine if they got their training materials. My favorite North Carolina coworker is being moved to another group, as is my 2nd favorite. Social workers are providing insufficient or incorrect information. When I call them to verify, I find out that I've been bypassed and they don't even NEED my help anymore. Thanks for the update. This isn't even addressing the issue of the social workers who don't call me back.

While it still isn't that bad; it's DEFINITELY worse than it was. I'll have wine now, please.

It Could So Be Worse

I was all set to post something about how annoying my day has been so far. Then I realized that it hasn't been so bad. It's just that when shit starts out not-great (no hot water in apt; had to shower at parents'), it seems that everything that follows after is verging on terrible.

Example: Tiberius (parents' cat) was at the vet last week for urination issues. He got the catheter, the prescription food, the meds, the obligatory "Well, there's this procedure we can do for him..." speech, and was shipped back home. It would seem that he's still having trouble with the peeing so my mom has to take him back to the vet. Not-great, right? But, not terrible either. Luckily my mom was able to rearrange her schedule enough to attend to the Emperor. It will suck if they have to chop the willy, but at least Ti will be healthy.

The other thing I was going to kvetch about was my workday. Boohoo, I have work to do. So sad that I'm not able to sit around playing spider solitaire and reading my book. I think the only valid complaint I have is that I am getting questions from my reps that I don't have clear answers for. They are asking me about things that the program leader should be telling them. It makes me sound like an idiot and I don't like that. Also, the reps aren't very good at framing their questions. I got into a snippy conversation with a rep a couple of weeks ago. When I finally got her to tell me what she meant, I had an answer, the right answer, all ready. Please drug reps, think about your question before you ask it.

As you can see, my day really hasn't been anything too awful bad. Annoying, yes, but not an epic fail. In my defense, it has been so long since I've had more than 15 minutes of work to do. I had forgotten what it feels like.

02 December 2008

"The science was sound."

WARNING: Fringe Spoilers ahead.

Fringe is my new guilty pleasure. In case you don't know anything about the show, here's a quick sum-up. There is this thing called "The Pattern" which involves bizarre science, the Dept. of Homeland Security, the FBI, a corporation called Massive Dynamic, a bland Special Agent named Olivia Dunham, a ne'er do well genius and his lovably crazy scientist dad (Peter and Dr. Walter Bishop respectively). The show is nominally about "fringe" science: teleportation, reading dead people's brain waves, super-awful super weapons, etc. What it actually is nonsense - wonderful, crazy, not-science nonsense.

Tonight's episode revolved around a series of seemingly impossible bank robberies. We the viewers get to see the robbers in action. There's some black curtains, a bunch of laptops, and some gobbledygook about having a grid. What this all amounts to is that these robbers can walk through walls. Did I mention that they are all spiffed out in scuba gear? And have to haul themselves into the vault using a rope attached to a super magnet? And one of the robbers gets stuck in the wall?

It turns out that the criminals are stealing safety deposit boxes that were stocked with funky camera-looking things. It also turns out that our very own Dr. Walter had opened those boxes 20-odd years ago (the boxes are based on Fibonacci numbers - go math!) to hide away a device he had made in an insane attempt to cure his son, Peter, of some rare bird flu. Walter created this device in order to reach back to the 1930s and retrieve the only doctor who had ever successfully treated this rare bird flu. Luckily for this bird flu doc, Peter got better all by himself and Walter secreted away his temporal lasso.

Do you see now why I love this show? It's completely preposterous. Walter spent almost 20 years in a mental institution but somehow a good percentage of his research is being used for nefarious purposes, Olivia is sharing her dead boyfriend's memories, the lady who runs Massive Dynamic has an arm that any Terminator would envy and there is a cow in their basement lab on Harvard's campus. The science, my friends, is anything but sound.