Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oooh, RainBOWS!

Fashion dilemma: a co-worker who dresses like the grown-up version of Rainbow Brite just complimented my accessories. Do I pat myself on the back for my excellent taste in jewelry? Or do I consider the source and never, ever wear it again? In case you're wondering, it's fairly innocuous stuff -- just a beaded necklace and a gold bracelet. It's a little flashier than my usual fare. But it's not anything that I expected to catch the eye of a woman who looks like she's wearing a belly dancer's get-up to the office.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another Chapter in "What to Expect When You Are in Your Thirties"

At some point, technology will begin to escape you. You will no longer surf the tip of the wave of gadgetry. You will wipe out, and wipe out horribly.

I am the SLOWEST texter in the world. Little Bro texted me this morning, asking if I could provide him with mi madre's cell phone number. I had to pull my car over, park, and it took me five full minutes to text:

Yep: 410 XXX XXXX

I think it takes me forever because I refuse to use Avril Lavigne-ish abbreviations. And I use punctuation. And capital letters. My only defense for being so old school is that I find it difficult to read texting shorthand, so outta respect for the person receiving the text, I try to make it clear.

Ah well. Something had to give, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

'Cos You Were All Yellow

Over the weekend, I played a color quiz game with the Boy. I do this often to reinforce the names of colors that he has at his command. Once he's comfy with the basics, I'll introduce fun color names like vermilion and crimson and chartreuse. These are the ones to which I always gravitated during my oil painting days, and I want to share my palette love with him.

After a few minutes, we'd identified the colors of just about everything in the room, so I focused our little game on our own appearances. This game does double-duty in that identifying similarities in our coloring helps strengthen his identification with the family unit. Well, triple duty in that you can unintentionally discover some, ahem, physical flaws.

"What color are my eyes?" I asked.

"Blue," says he.

"That's right! And what color are your eyes?"


"What color is my hair?"


"That's exactly right! And what color is your hair?

"Brown too!"

"Right again! And what color are my," I fish around for something else that's easy, "teeth?"


Oof. Crushing pause.

"Good job. Let's, uh, let's go read a book now."

Vanity, thy name is MCV. Time to invest in some of these.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Super Ninja packed my lunch for me today, as he does pretty much every day, which is unassailably wonderful of him. So I fully acknowledge that I'm going to seem like the most ungrateful harridan in a moment.

My lunch today was leftover pad thai. My office doesn't stock disposable cutlery, because we are a nonprofit, and extras like sporks eat at the bottom line of all of our do-gooderiness. Knowing this, Super Ninja packed an eating implement in my lunch sack. Problem is, he packed a plastic spoon.

A spoon? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to eat pad thai with a spoon without flicking peanutty sauce and scallions all over yourself? Very, my friends. Very difficult indeed.

This Phrase Was Coined During Lunch with Super Ninja Yesterday

"Sometimes life hands you a lemon. Suck it."

I checked out the gubment internet site on trademarking, and it'd cost me a cool $325 to trademark this phrase for every iteration of how I wanted to use it. That's $325 that I need to use for fun things like diapers and pizza, so looks like I'm not going to enter the licensing fray yet. But trust, if you steal this, I will cut you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Netiquette Question

I have accepted three people as friends on Facebook. I am ignoring friend requests from five people with whom I am not really friends, though we did go to college together. One is CRX*, who is simply right out, and the others are people to whom I have not spoken since I waltzed through the front gates of Georgetown with my diploma and mortarboard.

So: is this disproportionate number a bad thing? Am I being a jerk?

Editorial: Don't laugh at my teeny circle of friends. For whatever reason, my particular clutch of gal pals leans Luddite, so no Facebooking for them. And, apparently, I'm also a jerk who doesn't accept friend requests from every joker who stumbles upon her profile.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shhh...Don't Tell Super Ninja* That the Boy Gets It from Me

BEHOLD! I have taken a "Which Superhero are You?" quiz, and my results are (tympany, please):

Aww, yeah. Thwip thwip, baby. Super Ninja, and possibly Super Ninja's brother, will be totally jealous**. I'd bet cash money that Super Ninja will totally take this quiz and turn out to be Black Canary or something.

Anyhoo, here's what the great online gods of superhero classification said about yours truly:

You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.

Man, it's like they know me.

UPDATE: Super Ninja turned out to be Superman. This will surprise no one who knows him. Goober. Here's the description: You are mild-mannered, good, strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

*Super Ninja = my husband
**Jealous = not really. He REALLY would've been annoyed if they poll determined that I most closely resembled the Hulk, but I think he'll be okay with Spidey.

Monday, August 20, 2007

We Can Blame the Government for Many Things, But I Don't Think This Is One of Them

Yesterday, if you'd asked me to name the most deluded person in Hollywood, I likely would have offered up some Britney-Nicole-Lindsay-Paris twiglet. But then I read this article, and I realize that the Delusion Crown belongs to none other than Steven Seagal.

Really, Steven? An FBI affadavit caused your career spiral? Not your film choices? Or that action stars (and I use that label grudgingly) score fewer roles as they age because audiences can't and won't suspend that much disbelief? Or the ponytail? I mean, my God, Steven, the ponytail alone could ground any soaring career.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Working from Home: Casual Observation

Perhaps, Bravo, "The Exorcist" isn't the best choice for your 9:00 a.m. programming. Of course, this will be what I watch while I work, but still, I find it odd that this broadcast is competing against Sesame Street.

: Ha ha ha ha! The first commercial during the first commericial break is for e-Harmony. Yup, 'cause Regan and Pazuzu were meant for each other.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

LtW Poll: Creepy or Not?

Creepy or Not?

I'm introducing a polling feature here at LtW for the three of you who read this regularly. Ready? Here we go:

Is it creepy to give someone sexy lingerie at a bridal shower?
Yes -- it's always creepy. Aunt Garnet doesn't need to see that!
Yes, if a family member gives it to you. Mom shouldn't think of you that way.
Yes, if a friend gives it to you. Is she trying to give you away the groom?
Nope, it's never creepy.

View Results

Create your own myspace poll

Monday, August 13, 2007

Huggy People Think They Are Soooooo Superior

I had lunch with a couple of girlfriends yesterday, and one of them mentioned that her sister-in-law was visiting. Women love, love, LOVE, to dissect the differences between their in-laws' and their blood relatives' modus operandi, and my friend was no exception. Bursting with confidence, she said of her husband and his sister, "They didn't hug each other when they said goodnight. Isn't that weird? In my family, we always hugged each other good night."

I expected the other ladies at the table testify in unison with me, "Uh, no. It's weird to hug people good night EVERY night. Especially adults."

Yeah, that's what I expected. Turns out I'm in the minority here. Ooh, the supercilious stares I got as I shared that I am, in fact, fatigued with the amount of hugging I am expected to do. Listen, I hug my children all the time. And my husband and I lean on each other after all the evening chores have been completed. Sometimes it's the only way we can stay standing after a long workday.

I hug family and friends that I haven't seen for a long time. But I see my immediate family all the freakin' time. Do I have to hug them on each occasion? There's like, twenty-three of us. I'd spend the whole visit embracing people. And my husband's college roomates...they are nice guys, and their wives are lovely women, but do I have to hug all of them hello and goodbye when we go to see a movie and spend all of two minutes chatting? I don't cringe when they're about to lay one on me or anything. I reciprocate. But I don't initiate.

Where do you draw the hug line? How do you discern when and where and whom to hug? Is it everyone? Or just everyone to whom you'd, say, send a Christmas card? Hugs are tender, reserved for those whom you'd like to comfort or boost for a moment. Should you lay one on your college roomate's new brother-in-law in her receiving line? I mean, are handshakes so crazy formal that they've become obsolete?

While lingering on the hug topic, one of my other girlfriends shared that her stepmother once said something like, "We don't hug each other often in my family, but that doesn't mean that we love each other any less." And, God love my friend, there was some snide riding on her voice when she said this. Meanwhile, I'm mentally high-fiving my friend's stepmother, thinking, "Yeah! Exactly! I love my siblings to pieces, but yeesh, there's a lot of us. I don't need to press the flesh to show them that I love them."

Ultimately, I sounded like a total cold fish when I declared that I am not a hug whore. Don't get me wrong. Hugs are nice. They really are. But people who dole them out like smiles just don't get non-huggy types like me. I've even heard an accusation or two about being an unfeeling robot. So after my initial, "Hey, I don't hug a lot," I kept a lid on it.

Man, it was like that time at the office when I hinted that we celebrated too many things in the office with cake. THAT did not go over well either.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Know that It's a Stereotype that the British Have Bad Teeth, But...

Someone from the United Kingdom stumbled upon LtW by Googling, "How to remove your own wisdom tooth." DON'T DO IT, DUDE!

I have to assume that 'twas someone of the male persuasion who searched this out. I don't know any women who would perform her own oral surgery (they may be out there, those hearty and hale females, but I've not made their acquaintances). Removal of wisdom teeth involves stitches and ugly terminology like "dry sockets," so please, fella, hie yourself to someone who gets paid to do this stuff.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gay Boyfriends and Politics

All the shows that I usually listen to in the morning are on vacation or have become phenomenally boring this week, so I've been exploring the stations on SIRIUS (yep, that's right, the man hasn't shut me down...yet). I've totally developed a crush on OutQ in the Morning with Larry Flick. In college, I had a couple of gay boyfriends, but those relationships are pretty dependent on proximity. Since all of my pals migrated to gay-friendlier towns, I haven't had a gay boyfriend for awhile. I didn't realize how much I missed their brand of conversation 'til I listened in on this show.

Case in point: this morning, Larry Flick was analyzing the Visible Vote '08, which aired on Logo last night. Now, this is a pretty big deal as the candidates that are considered to be the really major players -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards -- all participated. But Larry Flick expressed some concern that various news media outlets and, oh, say, the general public wouldn't take this not-really-a-debate and its participants very seriously for various reasons. Fair point, for a couple of reasons: Melissa Etheridge, not Tim Russert, for example, moderated. Also, no conservative candidates participated.

Another reason Larry cited? Several of the candidates were wearing ill-fitting suits -- some were too big, some were too small, and Larry pointed out that a person loses some of their gravitas if he doesn't allow tailors to work his magic on his political threads. And that, my friends, is the kind of thing you'd expect to hear from a gay boyfriend.

Just for fun, enjoy the Hazzards' "Gay Boyfriend":

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Dental Appointments Resemble a Möbius Strip

M.C. Escher, Möbius Strip II, 1963 Poster

Yeah, that's right. I used umlauts. Given the approximate 1,200 hours I spent in foreign language classes, I'm a bit of a stickler for using accents properly. Ooh, how I cringe when I see someone's used an accent grave instead of accent aigu on words like résumé.

But I digress.

After last night's dental appointment, I am the proud owner of a shiny new crown. Watch, it'll tumble outta my mouth in a week. You'd think this was the last I'd see of the pleather dental chair for a while, right? Yeah, you'd think that. Except I have a wicked decayed wisdom tooth that I have to have yanked. Not very wise of me to still have this thing at the age of 32. Ha ha! Ha. Ha...

Anyway, my dentist doesn't extract wisdom teeth, so he's referred me to a maxillofacial surgeon. Sounds scary, right? I had two wisdom teeth removed about seven years ago, and it wasn't the worst thing I've ever experienced. Why didn't I just have all four wisdom teeth pulled back then? My dental insurance wasn't so awesome, and cash was thin on the ground. But now I'm loaded for bear when it comes to dental insurance, so Mr. Maxillofacial Surgeon can have at it.

Of course, these means that I have three more dental appointments -- one at my regular guy for one of those full head x-ray thingamahoosits, a survey appointment with the surgeon, and then the blessed day when they remove the gnarly cratered thing and its stalagmite twin from my head.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Coffee Strong

(image from

I like my coffee strong. Motor oil strong. I know this. But some of the weenies I work with don't like it that way. They make it so weak, I think I lose muscle tone when I drink it. This is so unfair. I love coffee. LOVE IT. It's unhealthy, this love that I have for a beverage. And to smell this delicious aroma, morning after morning, that wafts off of a flavorless liquid, a shadowy pod-person of a real cuppa java, well, it's just torture.

Maybe I should swing by Starbucks on my lunch break.

Have I Told You About the New Neighbors?

They don't live next door to us. They're not even in our little townhouse development, or I'd see less humor in the situation. These folks live on the corner of the intersection of the road that leads to our community. Why write about them, you ask? Because they, Gentle Readers, are the reason that Homeowners Associations exist.

The first tip that they might be less-than-perfect neighbors was the flatbed tow truck. They park it on the shoulder of the road across the street from their home. Now, don't go thinking that I'm a snob. My second eldest brother, we'll call him Mech, is a mechanic, and I've nothing but respect for grease monkeydom as his thorough auto knowledge has helped me out of many a jam.
I'm actually in favor of this tow truck resting in this particular spot because it has stopped cars from illegally whizzing past me on the shoulder of the road while I turn onto my street. However, this isn't the only vehicle nestled 'twixt the white line and the trees lining the road. Four other cars in varying states of disrepair hang out there too. This, too, wouldn't be a big deal, except that this house has a four-car driveway which should be able to contain all of their cars. And there, dear friends, is where the indicators of hillbillyishness begin.

To wit:

1) Half of their carport collapsed, and it took about two months to move the debris. Note that I wrote "move" and not "remove." That's because the miscellaneous shingles, 4" x 4"'s, and bolts have been pushed to the side of the yard.

2) There's a junker of a pick-up truck under the remaining half of the carport. It hasn't been moved for at least a month. And the hood has been up the whole time.

3) A go-kart has recently joined the pick-up truck. This is one vehicle that is actually working, as it buzzed through my parking lot while I was packing the Family Truckster for vacation.

4) A 5' tall metal canister with scary looking stickers all over stands upright in the middle of the parking pad.

5) There's an empty inflatable kiddie pool flopped into the front yard.

6) The lawn is so overgrown that I think guerilla armies are hiding out there.

7) A hick pixie (perhaps teenaged?) has darted across the street, in front of oncoming traffic, to get to the cars parked on the shoulder. Did I mention that she was carrying an infant?

8) I have yet to see one of the men wearing shirts.

If you're a good ol' boy or gal, you might think that I'm hatin' on folks who are working so hard that they don't have time to worry about the homestead. Not so. The bone that I'm picking is with people who are CLEARLY not properly tending to things that need tending -- lawns, deritrus, babies -- in favor of leisurely activities, like drunk go-karting. Plus, now I have to explain to the Boy why we can't have a go-kart in which to zoom around.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Advice to Someone I Don't Talk to Anymore

Okay, I don't know if you read this blog, College-Roomate's-Ex (CRE, for brevity's sake). A couple of people in DC and Virgina show up in my site's stats (shout out to my readers!), but I can't go all SD6 and figure out if it's you. But you might, and if you do, there's something I wanted to bring up. I saw your MySpace page. Don't worry, I didn't cyberstalk you. Your avatar showed up on a mutual friend's MySpace page, and I'll admit it, I was curious. You and I spent much time together, so even though I can't really get past some of the things you said and did (or didn't do), I wanted to see where life is taking you.

A word of advice.

If you are going to go all Zoolander to beef up your online gallery, figure out how to use the timer on your digital camera. Or ask a friend to snap a few pics. Definitely don't stand in front of your bathroom mirror and take your own picture with your arm slightly out of frame so it (almost) doesn't look like you're holding the camera. (How do I know it's the bathroom mirror? The towel rack in back of you, tough guy.) It's the height of narcissistic toolishness.

Wedding Song Playlist

I'll admit that I had aspirations to be a DJ a long time ago. Anyone who's passionate about music has this fantasy that they can control the happiness of a roomful of people by spinning just the right tracks. For me, this took the form of many, many mixtapes in college. Very emo of me, eh?

All of this is to say that I might get a wee judgmental of music played during a wedding reception. The wedding we went to this past weekend was a lovely affair, and I've no critique of the ceremony, the organization, nor the first dance song choice. But there's a song that's been played at the last three weddings I've attended, and it's making me wonder...

Is "I Will Survive" an appropriate song to play at a wedding? A song about righteous singlehood? I know it's got a great beat and you can dance to it, but could we retire this one from events celebrating coupledom?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Her Name Is Rio and She Dances on the...Donation Pile

On my way from my front stoop to the Family Truckster this morning, I stumbled past a pile of garbage bags and sundry other objects in front of my neighbor's yard. Today isn't a trash day, though, so I took a closer look. Taped to one of the Heftys and two of the vacuum cleaners (yep, two) were notes that read, "Purple Heart." Oh, gotcha. Donations.

Something still didn't make sense, though...there were some framed lithographs in that heap. Since I came of age in the 1980's, I recognized the oeuvre of Patrick Nagel straightaway. I don't mean to stereotype, but...really? Patrick Nagel? For veterans? What's a veteran going to do with this:

Or this?
Even if Purple Heart merely sells the items and donates the proceeds to veterans, I still wonder if this 20-year-old fad is really going to bring home the bacon.
[UPDATE: Purple Heart didn't take the Nagel prints! They took everything else and left the Nagel to fester on the sidewalk. Ha! Charity organizations have standards, thank you very much.]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (or: Why Did I Arrive So Late to This Party?)

On Monday, I jaunted over to Starbucks for some curry chicken salad and parked myself at one of their diminutive tables to hork it. I hadn't really planned on eating there, or I would've brought some reading material. But I'm spontaneous and crazy, as well as easily bored. So I rifled through the castoff newspapers by the door, and found a section of the NY Times, which is where I found the summation of Albert Ellis' life's work in the area of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Man alive (or recently deceased, I guess), it was like someone had taken some of my long simmering thoughts and beliefs and turned them into a tasty and presentable meal. I'm not ego maniacal enough to claim that I coulda been a towering figure in the world of therapy or anything like that. But it's nice to see that my take on neuroses and such isn't a fringe perspective.

Small gripe to my alma mater: WHY wasn't Albert Ellis mentioned in Psychology 001 for goodness sakes? We spent most of the semester on William James, and then crammed in every other psych-ologist/iatrist since the dawn of the DSM in the final few weeks. Go ahead and argue that Ellis was a behaviorist and shouldn't be lumped into psychology. The behaviorism designation didn't stop my prof from including B.F. Skinner.

Ahem. Anyway, it was crazy to me that it was only upon his demise that I became aware of Albert Ellis. Here I am, thinking I'm all sorts of edumacated about incredibly influential people, and then I find out about him. Shows to go that Socrates was right about knowing that we know nothing, eh?

Every Little Bit Counts, Right?

Since I'm depressed that I wasn't able to secure a hybrid mini-van, I'm sharing all I can about the ways and means of reducing your carbon footprint. So, in case you haven't heard, Google has a new face available to those of you who care to save a few megawatts of energy: Blackle. There's a whole "About" section you can click on to see exactly how Blackle saves energy.


Bored Games

Whilst in Deep Creek, MD, there was very little external entertainment to be had, so our fellow vacationers suggested we play some games. Me, I'm all about the board games because I have a huge non-athletic competitive streak. Seriously, when dice or spinners are involved, you'd best keep one eye open when MCV is in the room. (Balls and goal posts, however, render me powerless). By night two of the gaming, though, we'd run through the options we'd brought with us. I thought about raiding the in-laws' rented pad, but they had the same variety of Milton Bradley escapades. With one exception:

Since none of us belong to Clan Flanders, this game would not have been our cuppa tea. But I had to share this with you because of the quotation marks around the world "Trivia." That's a subtle indicator that naught about the Bible is, in fact, trivial. 'Cause we all know how important the cubits and the dress codes and hair braiding are.

Aw, man, I've gone and blasphemed again, haven't I?