Thursday, July 26, 2007

LIfe for the Sort of Computerless

I had a glimmer of hope last weekend, ordering up a new hard drive, thinking that the kids' dad could install it for me and BAM! I would not longer be computerless. But it seems I am in possession of the Computer of a Million Tiny Screws, and he just didn't feel comfortable removing all those screws and then having to get them back in the right spots. Which means that I will not have a computer of my own again until I return to Kansas City August 12th. I am currently borrowing Frank's from time to time, but my use is fairly limited.

On the bright side, I'm getting a ton of non-blog type reading done. The cable in my room is also out (still), so that leaves even more time; this week alone I've read upwards of a thousand pages even though I'm still as busy as ever.

One good thing which has come of my computerlessness is that I stumbled across something on Frank's computer that might not have been discovered otherwise, and as shocking as it was to find it, I'm glad I did. I have much more to say on that subject, but I'd prefer to do it in a more thoughtful manner, so I will leave you wondering until I have the space to say what I want to say about it with tact and more grace than I can muster at the moment.

Except for the lack of technology, life goes on as usual. I am busy, I am tired, I want desperately to get much more sleep.

Goodnight, all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Entirely Filched from an E-Mail to Shiz, Who Asked If I'd Gone to the City Today

I went to the city. I ate a blueberry doughnut. I got blueberry lemonade, and dribbled a little down my shirt by tilting the cup too much, but I could totally cover it up by carrying my camera. But THEN my mom called and in my effort to answer the phone, I dribbled more down my shirt, which, combined with what I'd already gotten on there, was a lot. As in, splotches covered the entire front of the shirt. The WHITE shirt.

So I bought a Tide pen. Which totally worked! Score!

And then I went to Coney Island and did not go on any rides, even though the Wonder Wheel looked super tempting. But who goes to Coney Island and rides things alone? Pathetic people, that's who. The rest of us loners just drink lemonade that is so sweet that our teeth will probably all fall out tomorrow. And then we ride the subway back into Manhattan and have to run to catch the train home.

Also, we don't have time to stop for dinner and are pretty glad we put in those three packs of gum to keep our mouths busy for the hour it takes to get back to Connecticut.

Gum: It's What's For Dinner

Well, and an iceberg lettuce salad I dug up in the fridge. And maybe also chocolate chips directly from the bag.

Tomorrow is Monday. Only three Mondays left. Hooray!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Technology Hates Me

I might hate it back.

The past who-knows-how-many weeks have been a procession of work, visitors, work, packing, work, wedding planning, and still more work. From time to time I've had a moment with an iced coffee while the kids are still up to their activities, but mostly no. I haven't slept enough or well enough any night this week, and am awakened lately by the shock of my cell phone alarm, which really doesn't happen to me in normal times. I always wake up before the alarm and shut it off. Except not now. Now I work from seven to seven and then sometimes I work out and then it's either wedding planning or photo processing, and why am I using the word "or" when I always am doing more than one thing at a time? The only thing I do on its own is work out, as I find it's quite difficult to hold the boat pose and address envelopes or adjust levels on a histogram. It's not uncommon for me to have several applications open at once, doing a little bit of each thing and chatting about wedding details on iChat at the same time. Which is why it's so surprising that when my hard drive decided to let me know that it would no longer be working with me, not under any circumstances, I only had two applications open. I was all, "Come ON, you little twit, we've run six applications at once before and you didn't even sputter. Not once!" I think if my hard drive had not been so busy ignoring me, it would have been giving me the finger. Instead it just...died. Not another word. It took all the files I had not had time to back up yet and went off to curl up somewhere comfortable to breathe its last.

Those files included things such as the wedding shower invitee lists, including addresses and email, and also a very funny photo of these little fish that have teeth, one with its mouth open wide, comically so. There was also a photo of an angry crab who looked less angry and more like he was pointing to the number five on his sign. Like, "Look here, folks, I have a FIVE." The address lists I am just miffed about because it means re-doing the work I'd already done when I should have been sleeping. But the photos...well. I suppose I am just miffed at myself about that, because I ALWAYS keep my photo files in two places, and this one time, just this once, I erased some off my CF card before I'd backed them up on my external hard drive, and now they are gone. And I keep thinking of that picture of the fish and getting a little teary, which is silly, really, because come ON, Mary, it's just a picture of funny fish, and it's not even that good. But still.

So tonight I thought I'd watch a little What Not to Wear before my late night workout, which I need desperately, for tension relief as much as to burn off the ginormous muffin I ate yesterday, and the cable is not working. I have just four more Friday nights with free cable, and it's decided to bow out for the evening. Thanks a lot technology, for being so dependable.

I don't know. Maybe my technological devices are just tired, too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How Do You Define Unscrupulous?

Would it be posting photos of celebrities on your blog, thus ending up with traffic from all over the world? Because if so, I am completely unscrupulous and am about to be all unscrupulous again. If however, it means that I sell the photos to someone for actual money, well...wait, why didn't I do that? Now all of y'all got to see it FOR FREE when I could have been rolling in dollars. Or maybe euros. Or yen! Crap! Why can't I be more unscrupulous?

I would like to assert, before I post a photo where you can kinda sorta see Kate Winslet's head in the middle, that the guy who asked me to stop taking photos was really quite friendly about it, so kudos to him for being nice about the whole deal, but no kudos to Dreamworks for being all picky-like and difficult. I think the issue mainly is that the camera that I use is a digital SLR, so I could see how I could be mistaken for paparazzi. Except that I do not shoot very boldly, and I don't think that anyone could mistake the embarassed look on my face after the shutter click for the triumphant or perhaps sassy look someone unscrupulous might give. Anyway, without further ado, here we have a really terrible photo, which would have been better had I not been too busy staring in awe of Kate's beauty too remember that Hey! This thing around my neck! Is a camera!

if you look really closely, you can kind of see kate winslet

Also, one of a couple of guys on the crew. They were more than happy to have me take their photo, and no one came over and complained at all. I believe their names are Rick and Jeff, but I might be in error, so please forgive me if I'm remembering incorrectly.

crew

Aren't they fabulous?

Most of the folks I encountered who were working on the film were incredibly friendly and patient. I'm sure they'd been asked lots of stupid questions over and over again, but they gave great information about filming and what it's like to be on the crew. I had a particularly delightful conversation with one of the drivers of the old cars, and I wish I could remember his name so I could give him a proper mention. Most likely I'll end up back at the film set before they wrap in August, as Frank is quite interested in getting Leo's autograph, and perhaps I'll see that chap again then.

I hope I do.

I also hope I can keep myself from being unscrupulous. Perhaps this time I should just take a point and shoot?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Guess I'll Have to Put on Footwear Other Than Slippers if I'm Going to Leave the House

I'm packed. Four boxes sit directly opposite me, boxes I'll be heaving downstairs and shoving through the doors at FedEx/Kinko's once I get off my rear and put on some dang flip-flops or something. This will make ten boxes so far, with just one more to ship once I'm done working, as long as I don't go to any more sidewalk sales and get more holiday decorations. The remaining box will contain my printer, and I might just think about packing it up today except for this small problem I call The Wasps. And also that thing where I end up printing out a lot of forms for work and I really don't want the hassle of having to use shared printers on the ol' home network. (I'd explain why this is such a hassle, but you might fall asleep before you're done reading.) And really, the main reason is The Wasps. They have moved into the attic cubby, and my printer box is at the far corner of said cubby, and I really am not up to dealing with angry wasps in an attic cubby in the heat of the day.

I know I'm probably a little bit ahead on all this, what with not leaving for another four weeks, but I'd like to simplify those four weeks, so everything that won't be needed and won't fit into my luggage (and is also not something that needs to be put into a box that is currently residing with The Wasps) is going now. And by now, I mean later, once I put on my flip-flops.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ann Taylor Loft Thinks I am a Twee Little Twig

My butt disagrees, but really enjoyed the cream cheese brownie I fed it after I chose to purchase something that Ann and I don't disagree about the size on, which was shoes (which, I KNOW, but they were $8.98, and how could I help myself). I actually nearly bought the jeans in question, simply for the tiny number on the tag inside and also the fact that all clearance items were an additional 40% off the already reduced prices. I will confess that I also bought a pair of denim bermudas which will look very nice with the shoes and also with the designer shirt I bought a few doors down for 80% off. Which will go with the designer skirt I bought at the same store, also at 80% off. Which won't go with the tiny Christmas trees made of tinsel that I got down the street for $3 each because the clothing is spring/summer apparel and Christmas is in the winter. However, the Christmas trees will go with the weird ball ornament thingy I got for $1, probably because it is kind of weird (but adorably so) and also features figures made of pipe cleaner.

It's sidewalk sale weekend in my town. Clearly, someone should have locked me inside the house.

...

There's a film being shot here in town that stars both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and a few weeks ago I moseyed on down to take a look and maybe get some photos. I got some really fun shots of all the old cars they are using (most from the 1950s) and also one shot of Leo, which got me in a little bit of trouble. The guy was all, "Well, Dreamworks doesn't really like it when people take photos of the actors once they're in costume and they've hit their mark, so if you don't mind..." I told him I wouldn't take any more and he continued, "Not that you'd do anything unscrupulous with them or anything, but we find that it's hard to relax..." And then we just stood there, as it took me awhile to realize that what he really wanted was for me to put the camera away, but obviously didn't want to say that. I'm guessing it's because I am legally allowed to stand on a public street and take photos if I wish, but whatever. I put the camera away so that Leo could be more relaxed and focus. So if you go to see the movie Revolutionary Road next autumn, you may thank me for Leo's excellent, relaxed performance in the front yard. That part where he's digging and he says his lines with excellence? That was thanks to me, putting my camera in my backpack.

is that leonardo dicaprio?
Leo is not disturbed by me OR by the garbage can they put his chair next to. So professional, that one.

...

It's not like I haven't said it before, but I really don't like the puppy we have here. I've been trying, I truly have. I've been speaking kindly to him and letting him tug playfully on my skirt when he wants me to come out of the laundry room to play with him. I've been using my special animal voice to convey a spirit of goodwill. But the naughty dog just can't keep from being a total pain.

The family is out of town today and part of tomorrow, and they've asked me to look after the dogs while they're gone. This should be fairly simple and straightforward. I let them out every couple of hours, feed them their dinner, and settled everyone into their assigned sleeping places when it's bedtime. Easy! Except that, even though I let both dogs out for half an hour before I left today and was gone just two hours, I still came back to a puppy that got so excited when I returned that he peed on the leather sofa, and in my haste to get him (at arm's length) straight to the yard before he could do any more, I stepped in a large pile of his poo, which he left directly in front of the couch. On brown carpet. So you can't see it AT ALL. I got all the way to the door before I realized I'd stepped in it, thus leaving dog doo tracks all across the room. In addition, he'd also found a few tissues and torn them all to pieces, then decided he needed something else and came up with a leather glove. After all that, I could've easily left him by the side of the road in a box marked FREE! PLEASE TAKE!, but I didn't want to have to explain where he'd gone or why someone down the road has a dog that looks remarkably similar to him.

...

This weekend finds me up to my ears in wedding invitation addressing and photo processing. I'm also obsessed with packing, and now that I have four tiny Christmas trees to pack as well, I think I'll be busy enough that I won't even notice when I don't make it into the city tomorrow. Part of me feels like I should go, as my remaining weekends here are few, but the rational part of my brain recognizes that I have too much to do already. New York City will have to wait until next week.

...

For those keeping track at home, I have just four weeks of work left before I head home to get down to the business of sleeping in and finishing up wedding tasks. What a relief.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good Morning, Sunshine

One way in which summer is undeniably better than the school year is the quiet that morning brings. Except on Mondays, when the rush sets in as soon as my feet land on the first floor at seven, I generally enjoy an hour of quiet after my work hours have begun. I busy myself with work related tasks, but they are all done in relative silence. Even when the housekeeper arrives early, it is quiet, for on our own we are both quiet people. The children, having gone to bed late every single night, are tired enough to sleep soundly until I rouse them shortly after eight. The whole rest of the day is noisy and busy, but this hour is the magic hour. I think it is the best way to start the day.

Good morning, everyone.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If You're Wondering What Love Looks Like

It looks like a pair of really excellent Camper Twins.

i was wearing pajamas at the time

I think it's apparent to nearly everyone that I do not need as many shoes as I have, and also true that this pair of shoes carries the kind of price tag that makes me feel a little bit guilty about the purchase. Yet the man I love ponied up the cash to indulge my Camper Twins whims and bought me these, and then only laughed at me a little bit when I insisted on wearing them with my pajamas. While watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, by the way.

It's true I have no shame.

It's also true that you would miss the full glory of this pair of shoes if you could not see them properly aligned so that the pink snail design shows.

love in shoe form

You're squeeing inside right now, aren't you? It's okay. You can't help it.

Not So Fresh From the Weekend

I don't know if you've noticed this, but summertime is HOT. I've been steadily wilting now for a couple of weeks, and this weekend upped the ante, allowing me to cease wilting and instead melt into a pool of sticky discomfort. Jarod was in town, and we dragged ourselves all over New York City, having some fun but getting worn down by the heat at every turn. We managed salsa dancing outdoors at Lincoln Center until I leaned over to whisper in his ear something akin to sweet nothings, which went, "How about when this song is over, we go back and sit in the hotel in air conditioned comfort?" I'm not so sure it was as sweet when I suggested leaving the Yankee game early, but with the score at ten nothing in our team's favor halfway through the seventh inning, I figured they didn't need me to keep perspiring in the sun in order to win. And then there was yesterday, the extra day I got off, which we don't need to revisit because on a suckage scale of one to ten, in which one indicates that it didn't suck on little bit, and ten indicates that the suckage was mighty, I'd call the suckage an eleven. Possibly a twelve. In the end, it was me and a chocolate mousse cup and a commuter train home, nursing a strange throbbing sensation that turned out to be headache. I was more than happy to go to bed, and was even happier when, sometime after midnight, my air conditioner decided that it could actually cool the room, and I fell asleep.

Today is a day for hitting the reset button, for sure. And the reset button says that there's nothing wrong with a little workout and an early bedtime to get things rolling in the right direction.

There's also nothing wrong with having just one more month until I come home. I booked my flight today, so it's official: August 12th, I will be back in Kansas City. I can't wait.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Now With More Discovery Channel Type Action

This afternoon we were at the beach during high tide, and a great number of things had washed up on the shore. There was a tennis ball, plastic bottle caps, lumber, string, a....tomato?

along with all the litter, a tomato also washed ashore
Y'all need to stop throwing your fresh produce into the sea.

There were also a number of horseshoe crabs, all in various states of "Gee, where am I?" or "Hey, baby, you look fiiiiine." One was thrown onto its back by the surf, so I gently pushed it back over onto its belly. Daily kindness towards nature: complete! The horseshoe crabs and I are like this. Except when they're like this:

yes, that is a horseshoe crab...on top of another horseshoe crab

At first glance it may look like it is one lone barnacle-clad horseshoe crab, digging into the sand. On second look, however, hmmmm, there appears to be...oh! Well, don't let me interrupt.

Later some of the kids found the amorous couple and decided that they were in trouble and should be dug out and set free. There was some confusion as to why they were stuck together. Were they both alive? Why was one clinging to the other one? Wasn't it so terribly sad that the live horseshoe crab was so distraught about the death of the other horseshoe crab that it clung tightly to it, not letting go even when freed from the clutches of the beach at high tide? Al was visibly upset. I assured him that they were both, in fact, still alive. He seemed doubtful. Unwilling to disclose anything that might allude to intercourse between crustaceans, I offered up a lame, "Sometimes, they just like to hang out like that!"

I really think the exclamation point in my voice is what made it convincing.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

If You're Going to Put Your Feet Up, You May As Well Be Wearing Fabulous Shoes When You Do It

new shoooooooes

Of course I bought them. And of course they are ridiculously adorable. I can't wait to wear them salsa dancing this weekend.