It could always be worse...

You know it's going to be a good day when you get home from making a Taco Cabana breakfast taco run to find that the Travel Channel is having a No Reservations mini-marathon. That means 4 hours of Anthony Bourdain and his lovable sarcasm.

And the first episode I caught? Anthony in Jamaica. Spelunking.

I kid you not: Anthony was stumbling underground through a soup of bat & roach feces and he was hating every moment of it in a way that only Anthony can.

Obviously, this is not an episode I would recommend anyone watch while they are eating above mentioned breakfast tacos, but listening to him being warned not to sit on the ground because of the danger of anal parasites definitely made up for the gross factor. I mean, how can you help but feel a little better about your own life? No matter how f$%*ed up it may be, it can't possibly be as bad as the poor guy who came back from his Jamaican vacation with a souvenir case of anal parasites.

That should be a mantra really. A daily affirmation a la Oprah: "I am thankful I do not have Jamaican anal parasites."

It's all about perspective.


Posted at 9:32 AM
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Why Leaf Blowers Should Be Outlawed

1. They are loud and obnoxious.
2. They do nothing that can't be done with a rake or even a good pair of hands, and therefore contribute to the growing obesity problem in this country.
3. Even if you use them, you still end up having to use a rake or a good set of hands to bag the leaves anyway.
4. Did I mention the part about them being obnoxiously loud?
5. They require either gas or electricity to run, so they are bad for the environment.
6. They are un-neighborly: Aside from the obnoxiously loud noise, they are also frequently used to blow leaves out of one yard and into the next in a pass-the-buck fashion.
7. They inhibit napping, which I firmly believe could be the key to world peace.
8. They require the user to look this ridiculous:9. See the ear muffs above? Those are not provided for innocent bystanders who may be trying to nap. Obnoxiously loud!



Posted at 11:09 AM
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Truth

The thing about truth is that it always wins. Always. Which is why honesty is the way to go. Always.

No decent human being wants to be responsible for someone else's pain. Nor do they want to have to look in the mirror and deal with the inevitable guilt that comes from having hurt someone, intentional or no. So, people spin elaborate webs of reasons why it is better not to be honest.

And it's all bullshit. Really.

Hem and haw all you want, but it really is just that simple. And most arguments about sparing people's feelings, and not wanting to hurt others, etc., etc. are usually never really about those other people at all. Because lies are always selfish.

Always.


Posted at 5:56 AM
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Moment of Illumination

Long day, and I'm apparently irritable, so I'm currently hiding in a corner of the hotel bar (the closest pub closed 30 minutes ago). Needed a little escape, so here I am, eavesdropping on a rather boring business meeting that 6 guys in complimentary-colored ties are having on my right.

More interestingly, I am watching a crew of four dismantle three crystal (o.k. glass) chandeliers in the hotel restaurant. One by one, the 200 or so star shaped cylinders are removed, and the inverted glass pyramids quickly dissolve into 8 bare light bulbs. I'm interested to see what the replacement construction will look like, but that revelation may have to wait until breakfast tomorrow, as I'm not sure I'll be able to stay here long enough to see the question resolved tonight.

I wonder if this is what these four people do for a living. Is there much demand for chandelier deconstruction in today's economy? What is a bad day at work like for them? Do they get hazard pay for especially high fixtures? Or perhaps for those that are particularly angular--danger of cuts, you know.

They are working with the lights on, so I guess electrocution could be a possibility, but they seem genuinely unconcerned, so I guess that's not a common source of work-related injuries in their field.

I bet they all sleep well. Peaceful, with few restless nights of unsettling dreams. Their work day sounds a lot like wind chimes, for goodness sake. What could be more relaxing?


Posted at 7:04 PM
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She sukced his eyeball out!

Yep. Sucked the eyeball straight out of the socket. Then she walked across the stage and spit it out into the metal water trough.

That was a few minutes before the dime store plastic sword fight. And a few minutes after the camouflaged, gas mask wearing French commandos invaded.

And this was Shakespeare, people. Shakespeare. King Lear to be exact, which I happen to like. A lot.

So why, I ask you, do people always have to ruin Shakespeare by re-interpreting his work?

Don't get me wrong, I am not a die-hard traditionalist. I laughed when the Shakespeare Festival had The Taming of the Shrew in gold lemme hot pants. But when the avant garde becomes flat out cheesy? Well, that's where I draw the line. I mean, they had the Jester singing show tunes. Ggaahh!

Edgar was good though, and he had a much better ass than the Jester (since both of them were showing their fanny's off for one reason or another throughout the show). But other than him, I could have done without the entire cast.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole eyeball thing was intended as a distraction...from the rest of the play...which was really nothing memorable anyway. :(


Posted at 8:15 PM
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Got in to Heathrow at 7:00am, dropped off our bags at the hotel, and almost immediately headed out on a double-decker bus to Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square to meet some friends of LS who live in Brussels and came into town to see her.

All of this was done in my sweats that I wore to be comfortable on the plane, thinking we would get to change before heading out for the day. Needless to say, I look the epitome of the American tourist. Fortunately, London is having a St. Patrick's Day parade/concert in Trafalgar Square, so I was surrounded by people who looked like this:


And this was actually at 11:30am, a good 30 minutes before the party was actually scheduled to begin, and the make-shift "pubs" in the square weren't even open yet.

Made me feel a lot less conspicuous to say the least.


Posted at 10:45 AM
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Procrastinate? Moi?

3 hours until I have to leave for the airport and I am still not done packing. I am rather pleased with the state of the suitcase, however, since I really only started packing 2 hours ago, and at least 45 minutes of that time was spent tracking down my travel power adapter. (I knew exactly where it was in my old apartment.)

The forecast for London this week is temperatures in the 40s and 50s...and no rain after Sunday. Not sure what no rain in London means. Do they only start to measure after an inch or two since it rains pretty much all the time there, or do they really mean no rain? Must pack umbrella, just in case because the last thing I need is another vacation umbrella purchase. I have 3 from New York already. (It rains there in June, for those thinking of visiting. Trust me: take an umbrella to NY in June.)

I am excited about everything about this trip...except the plane ride. I have no fear of flying, but 8 1/2 hours non-stop would make anyone cringe. And of course, there is the baby factor. I always end up next to the screaming baby. ALWAYS. Dallas to Tokyo: screaming 2-year-old girl. Bangkok to Tokyo: 4-year-old who insisted on using his seat as a trampoline and then screamed for 2 hours when the flight attendant made his father stop him. Dallas to Frankfurt: Infant who sqwaked every 45 minutes. Do you see the trend.

I am hoping that only British babies are on this flight to London, as the Brits tend to be more reserved, and perhaps genetics will lead to quieter babies. We shall see.


Posted at 11:12 AM
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Work?

I had to be at work at 6:45 this morning to teach a professional development course before school. Needless to say, by 8:30, I was ready for a little break, so I headed down to the Diva's office to show her the new messaging application our district has set up for the techs to talk to one another. Diva isn't exactly a tech, but we set her up anyway, as she is often in need of tech support, and she is key to my staying sane on the job, especially now that the Winged Monkey is no longer employed here and his presence was key to my sanity last year.

The following is the first exchange between the Diva and myself:

Daisy: Hi, Diva!
Diva: ola chica
Daisy: Now you can chat with me yet another way
Daisy: As if we don't talk enough
Diva: well, I do like to stay in touch
Diva: I get very nervooouusss when I can't reach you
Daisy: We are so nerdy typing to one another in the same room.
Diva: I know and talking at the same time
Daisy: And we wonder why we are single?
Diva: It makes me a little less funky
Diva: Cause we are too cool for the boys
Diva: duuhhh
Daisy: Good thing I'm interested in someone as nerdy.
Diva: good point
Diva: I just have those man whores on match
Daisy: Of course, he is texting you at 2:45am, not me. lol.

The texting then stopped because we were laughing at the fact that Winged Monkey was texting her way after acceptable hours of communication in the Diva's world (i.e. after 9:00pm or before 9:00am) and that he really has the most f$%*ed up sleep schedule of anyone we know and that if she'd been more awake the Diva would have chewed him out for being such a guy sometimes and saying that we are too sensitive.


And we get paid for this stuff...



Posted at 10:46 AM
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Writer's Almanac

For the uninitiated, the Writer's Almanac is a spot garrison Keillor does on Minnesota Public Radio every day. He reads a poem and them gives the run down of the day in terms of literary/cultural history.

I subscribe to the email every day, and it makes me feel all smart and bookish. :)

They have a podcast as well, and you get to hear Keillor read the poems, which is always a treat. The man may be slightly oafish looking, but he's got a great voice. Born for radio.

Anyway, check it out.

Subscription links are on the right.


Posted at 10:58 AM
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Change in the Air

This morning was grey. You would never know it from listening to all the birds outside. They are in full Spring mode, but the sky looks more like a November morning. The clouds roll steady and determined across the sky, the early sun dampened by the rain that's hanging in the air waiting for the right moment to splatter the sidewalks Pollack-style.

But beneath the melodrama, the trees have started to bloom, bright purple and fresh white buds bubbling out over the limbs. I passed a dazzling yellow daffodil declaring Spring's arrival all alone in an otherwise as-yet-unimpressive flower bed, and a few houses down the first hints of petals peeked out of the razorlike iris stalks lining a fence.

And you can smell the change from the brittle, dry air of winter to the damp, earthy scent of Spring.

It makes me want to go find a hammock to spend the afternoon in, rocked by the breeze that's fighting to keep the eventual humidity of summer at bay for just a few more months.


Posted at 7:05 AM
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Wednesday night my mom was out of town on business. Now, I don't know about other people's parents, but mine tend to get a little pathetic when the other is out of town. It's kind of like after 38 years of having dinner together, they forget how to eat when the other isn't there. Dad (who we all refer to as George, even though that isn't any part of his actually name) usually just resorts to Whataburger in front of the TV, but this week, I managed to talk him into taking me to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant (hehe...free food!).

So, while I'm working my way through half a dozen of the best garlic rolls on the planet, George and Daisy start talking, and it didn't take long to realize George was in an introspective mood, a fact made obvious when he asked me if I thought I'd had a happy childhood.

For those not in the know, my childhood was, in fact, pretty fabulous: two parents who loved me (and are still together no less), two siblings who loved me (even as they tortured my stuffed Snoopy doll), and an extended family that, if nothing else, knows how to have a good time. I had great friends, I got to travel, I had an unlimited supply of books, and I was never denied money for the snow cone man. What else could a kid have wanted?

Apparently, however, my dad feels he had to have done something wrong because, in his words: "I could have made you a Republican."

Hahahahahaha! I almost choked on my stromboli, I was laughing so hard at this thought. What was funnier is when I told him it wasn't for his lack of trying.

For the record, I, unlike my card-carrying-Republican-Party-member brother (imagine Alex. P. Keaton listening to George Jones and George Strait, and you've got a pretty accurate picture of Big Brother), I really have no party affiliation. I have, in fact, voted for number of Republicans in my voting life. There are several Republicans (living and dead) for which I have a great deal of respect. I admit that I am way more liberal on most matters than anyone else in my family, but I'm pretty sure that Democrats can be just as asinine as Republicans, so I try to listen to what politicians say and watch what they do instead of looking for a particular mascot on their shoulder. Seems logical, no? It never ceases to amaze me, though, how many political arguments around the dinner table stem from the simple fact that I won't fall in the party line.

Still, I figure that if my not being a Republican is the worst thing George did as a parent, he must have done a pretty good job. And, as he said once years ago: "Sometimes I think, "Dear God I raised a Democrat." But then I realize you're too independent and stubborn to join any party." Wonder how long it will take him to figure out where I get that stubborn streak from? :)


Posted at 6:46 AM
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Daisy's Tweets

My Momma Taught Me To Share

Tag, you're it!