Put the lime in the coconut

There are some movies that, while they may never have been in the running for any Oscars, are good in that special way that makes it nearly impossible to change the channel when you stumble across them as you scroll through your Tivo guide. You know the ones I'm talking about: Sixteen Candles, Rudy, Princess Bride, American President, Field of Dreams, etc. Tonight's winner: Practical Magic on ABC Family.

Why, you may ask, is Practical Magic so irresistible? How could you not get drawn in? Witches & magic. Great soundtrack. Strong female characters with great female actresses to portray them. Aidan Quinn. Yep. You read it. Aidan Quinn. Speaking with some kind of whacked out southern accent that you can't help but chuckle a little bit over. How could you expect me to possibly miss a chance to watch Aidan be adorable? I mean look at him:

Adorable, I tell you. Not so hot he overwhelms you, but definitely easy to look at. And he always seems so...nice. We like nice guys, don't we? I mean, sure, the bad boys are alluring with all their drama, but there is something to be said for a guy that opens doors for you and brings you take out when you don't feel well and makes sure your feet are under the woobie when you are watching movies on the couch together.

There is something sexy about a thoughtful guy, and how much more thoughtful can you get than a detective who is willing to plant evidence to hide your possible involvement in the disappearance of a wanted criminal?

And he makes pancakes!

Need I say more?

Posted at 6:35 PM
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"I like the quiet."

There is this strange time in the morning--after the street lights go out, but before the sun wakes up-- when the light glows blue through the window shades and the world seems to be whispering and walking around on its tippy-toes. The chirping of the birds outside is a little muffled, and even the wind seems more subdued.

I think it's my favorite time of day.

Even as a kid I would wake up around 4 or 5 on a Saturday morning, and lie in bed and read for an hour or so before padding down the hallway to the den to watch the really early morning cartoons. (Gummi Bears usually kicked off the marathon--"bouncing here and there and everywhere; high adventure that's beyond compare"-- around 5:30 if I remember correctly.)

I'm not sure what the attraction to early morning is for me. I don't set alarms that early, but I never fail to wake up within a few minutes of 4:50. Most days I can go back to sleep, but some days, like today, I can feel a slow, steady current pulsing through me, just enough to make me feel...peacefully energetic. Mornings like this, it's hard to feel anxious or overwhelmed, and I wonder sometimes if this is what people seek through meditation or prayer: that feeling of being alive and connected and at ease.

Maybe I should go on Oprah and tell everyone that they can throw out their "vision boards" and their "affirmation workbooks" and just get in the habit of waking up really early on Saturday mornings, when they don't have to immediately jump in the shower and get ready for work or get the kids up and ready for their day. Maybe all they really need is an hour or so, in the pre-dawn light, alone with the universe and their thoughts...and possibly the animated version of a popular sugary treat.

Posted at 6:53 AM
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The Writing on the Wall

Education is one of those fields that makes the wasting of time an art. I was reminded of this unfortunate fact Monday and Tuesday as I sat in "Assessment Training". Actually, it wasn't assessment training, but rather training on how to give assessment training. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. You would think they would first train you in assessment, then let you go practice it, and then train you to train others, but, once again, I am reminded of the words of wisdom shared with me by my mentor the first year I taught. In a moment of overwhelming frustration, I sat in her room after school, laid my head on one of the desks, and told her I just didn't understand the administration. Her response:
Now, now, now. You're thinking logically. We are in education. We don't do that here.
At the time, her statement made me laugh, but with each passing year, I find more and more truth beneath her sarcasm.

Fortunately, in the mist of the poorly received professional development, many of us trapped in the meat-locker-of-a-conference-room managed to find some relief by reading some of the student work posted on the walls. Apparently someone's classes were working on slam poetry, and it appeared that they had taken some of their best lines, written them on large sheets of butcher paper, and posted them around the room. In the midst of the somewhat overdone similes and metaphors, one short line stood out, and my eyes kept wondering back to it through the course of the day:
Live without excuses, love with no regrets.
--Emily F.

Oh, Emily. If only we could all be as wise as 6th-grade-you. If only we all could live our lives honestly and in such a way that excuses were not necessary when we fail to live up to our dreams. If only we all could remember what it was like to live our lives in excited anticipation of the future instead of the dread that comes from too frequently looking to the past. Imagine the freedom, to actually live life and know love...and not worry, not be afraid.

You, Emily, taught me more with your one line than the rest of those two days combined, of the previous 2 months, I think. I can't remember the name of our presenter. I can't remember 90% of what she felt was so important she typed it up in PowerPoint slides.

But I remember your imperative, Emily. And though I may stumble from time to time, I'm going to do my damnedest to follow your advice.

Posted at 6:54 AM
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The thing about a girl's friends

The thing about a girl's friends is that they have hear all the negative things she has ever thought about you in a fit of anger or saddness or confusion. They have listened to her bitch and cry and complain about you, and, if they are true friends. they have always taken her side, even if it switches from week to week.

A girl's friends take the brunt of the emotional deluge, so, in essence, they are your friends too because they keep you from having to deal with a lot of the emotional stuff that you, as a man, are genetically incapable of empathizing with, and, as a man, are usually annoyed with. Therefore, they are an essential part of your relationship, serving as te pressure release valve that keep a girl from flat out exploding everytime she gets frustrated with your maleness.

Trust me, gentlemen. You. Want. The. Girlfriends. Around.

Posted at 8:23 PM
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I can't believe I missed Sunday! This one I have to blame on the Winged Monkey, as we spent most of Sunday together and had a lovely time, even if the last movie we watched Sunday night was crappy (he agreed on this, so it shouldn't be an affront to his movie-choosing prowess) and went passed midnight, which contributed to my blogging oversight.

Of course, there was that 4 hour period where he was gone to visit his Wonderful Mother (No joke, that is what she programmed into his cell to show up when she calls. How hilarious is that?), and I decided to take a nap, and I guess I could have used it to blog something, but what good is having a WM if you can't use him as a scapegoat from time to time? ;)

Posted at 7:11 AM
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We have theories! Lots of theories!

On this episode of House: A team of doctors will try to diagnose what is causing Daisy to have been in pain for the past 3 1/2 weeks.
Doc 1: I think you have Pleural Malaria (pleurisy), or possibly a strained muscle. Let me take an x-ray and give you ineffective medicine.

Doc 2: I haven't got a clue what's wrong with you, let me walk down the hall and ask a colleague.

Colleague down the hall: I think it could be a Neural Compression Malaria (pinched nerve). Let us radiate you yet again for more pretty green pictures. Then we will make you wait a week to get an MRI while giving you nothing new to help with the semi-excruciating pain that is keeping you up at night at nagging you throughout you day and making you cranky and causing you to pick fights with your Winged Monkey.

Daisy: Before I spend all that money, let me email my real doc, who I haven't been able to see because he plays a lot of golf and see what his thoughts are. (He's a really good doc, and like House, he solves most cases when not actually in the exam room, or so I like to think.)

Real Doc: Dear Daisy, I'm going with the NCM, but instead of making you shell out a couple hundred dollars, because insurance usually sucks, and instead of exposing you to yet more cancer-inducing gamma rays that could potentially make your already fair skin really glow in the dark, why don't we try a $5 prescription steroid pack first and see if that fixes you?

Now I know why I like House so much. It reminds me of...me, only minus the "she'll be dead in 10 hours if we don't figure this out" part that inevitably pops up in every episode. I'm more of a "someone is gonna kill her if she doesn't stop bitching about how she doesn't feel good, so we better fix her for the sake of everyone's sanity" kind of crisis.

Of course, as I wrote the WM in an email earlier: "With my luck, the steroid pack will treat whatever it is that hurts but will cause me to grow a third eye. You like my eyes, yes? Would you like more of them to stare deeply into? With three, I could definitely wink at you a lot more. I don't think I wink enough, so this could be a good thing."

I haven't gotten a reply from him yet, because it's, you know, freakin' early and most people are still asleep, but those of us who may have NCM are awake because, you know, laying down hurts.

But I've been thinking about the winking thing, and I don't think it is just me. I really think the wink is underutilized in today's world. I may have to work on bringing it back. I did wink at the WM once last year, when we weren't dating and I had made some smart-assed remark, and he thought it was hilarious, as I recall.

You have to be careful though. There is a fine line between the right amount of winking and the appearance of a facial tic. According to the Diva, dates with facial tics are a wee bit distracting, so keep that in mind, people, if you are now considering trying the whole winking thing.

As with most things in life, moderation is key.

Posted at 6:31 AM
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I got a call from crazy landlady this afternoon. She wanted to talk about my renewing my lease.

She wants to raise my rent $200 a month.

Seriously? Has she not seen the news in say...the last six months? Does she not realize the state of our economy? Dos she seriously think I can afford that?

Looking for new apartment now. Not how I wanted to end my Friday night.

Posted at 9:27 PM

Fireside Chat

Fear is a sneaky little bastard. We imagine it lurking in dark corners of unkempt closets when in actuality it is often snuggled up in bed between two lovers.

And that, my friends, is where fear's power lies. It's the chameleon of emotions, often posing as one of its more forthright siblings...love or sadness, anger or indifference. And when in disguise, fear makes the average human...well...stupid. We lash out, push away, hold too tight, and sometimes shut down all together once fear takes control. All reason and rationality go out the window. The most even-keeled of women becomes a screaming banshee, the most chivalrous of men is suddenly a total jerk. At that point, communication is about as effective as flashing Morse code at a blind man. How do you fight an enemy you can't see?

Like most dangerous habits in life, admission is the first step to recovery. After all, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named can only be defeated by those brave enough to call him out.

There are many things in this world that frighten me: tornadoes, brown recluse spiders, cheesy guys in yellow corvettes, being wrong about people, appearing needy, not living up to my own ideals. All of these things will paralyze me, some longer than others. Tornadoes pass, spiders can be stepped on, and cheesy guys drive off leaving joke fodder in their wake. The others? Those are a little more enduring.

But at least I'm able to call them by their rightful name.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Posted at 11:07 PM
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I am usually a fairly peppy Daisy. The majority of the time I am pretty outgoing, and I kind of bounce my way through the day at work. Even when I'm really busy and a bit overwhelmed, I usually still manage to whirlwind my way through the building, crossing off items on my to-do list, complaining with gusto.

Not so much this month.

I don't want to be a whiny Daisy, because no one likes a whiny Daisy, but I still feel like complete crap, and it is really beginning to wear on my nerves, and the wearing is making me tired, and being tired all the time is making me grumpy.

And the worst part? Grumpy Daisy is not a person I would like to revert to being. I was Grumpy Daisy already in this lifetime (Ask Daisy's Big Sis...she'll tell you), and I much prefer Happy Daisy. Happy Daisy has stuff to write about, observations to make, funnies to share. Happy Daisy gets up in the morning to go running...and enjoys it. She likes to be helpful at work, even if she has a million things to do.

Grumpy Daisy? She sits on the couch, zoning out so frequently that she has to rewind the same segment of Bones three times to get plot points, and even then she can't manage even a giggle for Boothe and Bones and their banter. Grumpy Daisy hides in her closet/office at work because the people annoy her and medicine she is taking for the pain in her grumpy lung is making her very sleepy.

Grumpy Daisy also gets snippy with her Winged Monkey when he is trying to make her laugh when she says she feels cruddy. And that after having a wonderful time with him for practically the whole weekend previous! What kind of crappy Daisy does that to a perfectly pleasant Winged Monkey who is just trying to cheer her grumpy ass up? (Not very Daisy-like if you ask me.)

Here's to hoping that Happy Daisy returns from hiatus very very soon, because Grumpy Daisy just doesn't do it for me.

Posted at 7:55 PM

This is just to say...

...that I have had a margarita tonight,
and as anyone who knows me can tell you,
one is enough
to put out my lights.
Please forgive the short post,
but I've also just had
a hot bath,
and I can hear my heartbeat
in my ears,
lulling me to sleep.
And the sheets on my bed are waiting,
so soft
and so inviting.

(Check out Act 2 of this past weekend's This American Life for more plays on Williams' poem.)

Posted at 8:11 PM

One Monday down, five to go

I was trying to plan some equipment installations this morning when I realized that I only have 5 more Mondays of work until summer vacation. You would have thought I was 10 years old again, counting down the days to a family trip to Disney World. The realization made me down right giddy.

I admit, educators are spoiled in this way. There are few other careers that provide you with three months off during the year, and I'd be lying if I said that perk isn't one of the reasons I've stayed in an underpaying industry for so long. I value my time, and there's a lot in this world I want to see and do, and my job affords me the time to do some of it, even if it doesn't necessarily provide me the funds.

Don't get me wrong: teachers make up for that three months off by working essentially what amounts to 2 jobs the other 9 months out of the year. I don't think enough people realize that just because the students go home at 3:30, that doesn't mean the teachers do. Most of the men and women I work with spend at least 2-3 hours of their day, before or after hours, preparing lessons or grading papers or calling parents, etc. It doesn't occur to parents that these things can't be done during the regular 8 hours of the school day because that time is spent actually instructing their child. Every other part of the job is done on a teacher's personal time. I haven't been out of the classroom long enough to have forgotten the endless nights of essays, and the early morning faculty meetings, and the hours of prep time to build a really great project.

Even those like myself, outside of the classroom but still in the world of high school, spend quite a bit of time outside our contractual obligations to make sure the actual school day runs smoothly. I worked an extra 7o hours in one 2 week period this year, and there was no year end bonus for my efforts. Heck, there wasn't any pay of any kind.

So, while sometimes I feel a little silly marking off the days left in the school year, I also know that I am more exhausted with every passing Monday, and I need that summer vacation (much of which will be spent at conferences ...for work) to regroup and recharge. At the very least, a few Mondays where I don't have to crawl under someone's desk because their equipment quit working may help me hold on to the small shred of sanity I have left for just a little longer. :)

Posted at 8:10 PM

Happy Easter to All My Peeps

Posted at 10:07 PM

One for the Road

6 1/2 hours.  In the car.  With my mother.  

Let me just give you a brief glimpse into the depressing world that is my mother's brain by retelling one of the family stories she shared during our little outing today:

J was an amazing woman.  One time, our little cocker spaniel was having puppies, and she was having trouble, and I panicked, so I called J because I didn't know what to do.  "I'll be over in a minute," she said.  And she came over, and put on an apron, and went outside and delivered the puppies.  "We have to keep them warm," she said.  So she put them in the oven on low with the door open to try to save them, but they all died anyway.

(Big Sis and I look at one another in horror. Then I make the mistake of asking, "J was whose mother?")

A was J's daughter, and she was married to H before she died of the melanoma.  

(Big Sis makes the mistake of asking, "Was A an only child?")

No J had another daughter...N.  You remember N.  We ran into her at the movie theater once.  She was the exact opposite of A, and she married a man who blew his head off out in J's pasture.

(Big Sis and I again exchange disturbed look.)

He had been in the war, and he wasn't quite right when he came back, and one day he told her that he was going for a drive, and he drove out to J's pasture and shot himself.  It was so sad. She went on to become a city secretary...(wait for it)...but I bet she's dead now, too. *Sigh.*

Mom.  Starts out eulogizing a woman she admires... degenerates to dead puppies, suicidal veterans, and dead widows. 

And she wonders why I haven't brought the WM over to meet her yet?

Posted at 10:47 PM
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No School!

One of the major benefits (or drawbacks, depending on your perspective) of working in education is that you can be a woman in your 30s and still get excited over the idea of school holidays. (You also end up reading the entire Twilight series just to see what all the girls are obsessed about. I have yet to decide if this falls in the benefit or drawback category.)

Big Sis just called me to cancel our plans to meet up today. She is also in education, and decided that on her day off she wanted to sleep in as long as Little Niece would allow and the spend the morning in their pajamas together. I am not one to argue to get anyone out of their pajamas, as I am so partial to my own.

So today that leaves me to my own devices, which usually means I stay in my pajamas, read a book, catch up on what Truman has recorded for me this week, and only eat food that can be delivered (not that the delivery part is much different than any other day). While I fully intend on probably meting all of those requirements of a school holiday, I also must venture out at some point to Target to buy Easter basket stuff for my nieces and nephews.

I was in Target the other day, and I should have bought the stuff then, but it's not like I mind going to Target multiple times a week (or a day for that matter). Besides, I wasn't sure if I'd be seeing all the nieces or nephews this weekend, so I was waiting to buy Easter goodies until I knew if they had to be mailable or not.

Now it has been decided that my mother and I, and possibly Big Sis (if she is feeling at all merciful towards me) will be spending half the day in the car tomorrow making a round trip to Austin and back to go see my new nephew. That means Easter baskets... and 6 1/2 hours in the car with my mother. 6 1/2 hours of questions about my life, especially about the Winged Monkey, and I am not ready/willing to answer any of those right now, as my mother tends to live on the melodramatic side, and I am currently occasionally residing on the plain ol' dramatic side (Winged Monkey would probably argue "frequently residing", so I'm gonna nip that comment in the bud), and I do not need her influence to push me further over the line of rationality.

So tomorrow should be fun. And nerve racking. And shoudl provide plenty of material for posts!

Posted at 8:02 AM
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This is your morning email...

This blog actually got its start as a series of emails written daily to one Winged Monkey well over a year ago. Being the morning person that I am, I'm usually up by 5:30 all on my own. Checking the email is one of the first tasks in my morning routine.

When WM worked with me, he usually came in a couple of hours after I did, and more often than not, I was out in the building somewhere when he arrived. So, I got in the habit of sending him an email everyday with kind of a to-do list of techie issues that had come up that I needed his help with. But it's rude to just greet someone with a "Here's the crap I need you for today," so I always tried to start off with some little tidbit or other. A story about my family, or something I had read online or watched on TV the night before, or some randomness my brain spit out that day.

After a while, the morning emails were more just about starting a conversation with him and less about work, and when he no longer worked there, the emails didn't stop...at least for a while.

Then there was a period of darkness in the land of Oz, when the WM and the WWW weren't really talking. Lots of drama. So even though I didn't really think I should send the emails, that didn't mean I didn't want to write them, so I did...in my head.

Then the Diva stepped in with her bloggedy-bloggness and I got the idea that I could just blog what I would normally write the WM. It was a decent substitute, though not quite the same, and when the WM and I started talking again, he even started reading the blog, and he even made the comment one time about how it reminded him of his morning email.

So, this week, I was missing some of the banter that used to arise out of our old routine, so I thought I'd try to start it back up. One day. I made it one day, and then this morning--nothing. I couldn't think of anything witty or even interesting. Not for the WM's morning email or today's post.

I think the drugs have turned my brain to mush.t.

Posted at 6:58 AM
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You Know You Are Old...

When you come home from work, eat dinner, fall asleep on the couch, wake up 3 hours later, and you really don't feel like you missed anything.

That's what just happened to me, and I can't help picturing my mother, stretched out on her little love seat (she's short, you know), snoring by 8 o'clock at night every evening.

Tonight I had her beaten by a good hour, minus the snoring (I hope).

It's hard not to feel old...

Posted at 9:09 PM
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Better Living Through Chemistry

You know you are chemically dependent when you know exactly how long it will take your pain medication to fully kick in (42 minutes), and when your Winged Monkey says he likes you drugged up because you look all dreamy at him (or something like that that I can't remember exactly because I was, well, drugged up). I just like it because it lets me breathe normally without the urge to whimper.

I have developed a completely new understanding of House though. I've loved that show since it first came on, but now I'm thinking that when I go back to work tomorrow, I may just House it up a little and tell people what I really think and blame it on the drugs. Like Creepy Guy who keeps using my printer like a copier and prints 30 copies of 10 page reports when he thinks I'm not in there. I may just have to tell him what I really think of his balding smarmy ass. Or one of the many clueless teachers who send me emails with subjects like "HELP!!!!!!!!!MY COMPUTER DIED!", and then when I get there, I discover that the monitor is just turned off. I mean seriously: you have a Master's Degree and you didn't notice the power light on your monitor was turned off? I would have a few choice words for them as well.

Of course, unlike House, my drugs don't help me save lives by thinking outside the box. Mine mostly just make me really sleepy and I do pretty much everything in slow motion at the moment.

Which explains why this post has got to end now. This is the latest I've been awake in 5 days, and I passed tired about an hour back. :)

Posted at 10:13 PM
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Terminator 90210

One of the drawbacks to being in a lot of pain is that it's pretty difficult to sleep. That means that the sick day you take isn't spent snoozing on the couch, but rather watching an endless string of episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles online. One sick day and I am completely addicted to this show. And who wouldn't be? It's kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (strong female characters out to save the world) meets Battlestar Galactica (cyborgs out to take over said world) meets...Beverly Hills 90210?

O.K., so the last part has nothing to do with the style or the plot, but what do you expect me to say when 7 or 8 episodes in on walks Brian Austin Green? It took me a few minutes to place him because, while the voice is the same (even though, thankfully, it's not whining over Donna), Brian has definitely bulked up over the years. I don't mean fat, ladies, I mean broad-shouldered manliness.

It always kind of made me giggle when the younger Mr. Green tried to kiss anyone because, much like the young Leonardo DiCaprio, I always found him to weigh in on the scrawny side of the male category. Unlike poor Leo, though, Brian has managed to fill out quite nicely over the years.

Maybe it's the drugs, but I'm rather enjoying this new incarnation of the former heartthrob. At least, he was a cute distraction from an otherwise unenjoyable day.

Posted at 7:22 PM

Krispy Kreme Kanundrum

Yesterday, on my way home from my visit to the doc (and, no, the pleural malaria is really no better today, but thank you for your concern and your pity as I continue the painful necessity known as breathing), I decided to pass through the Krispy Kreme drive-thru and buy myself some "get well" donuts. I had actually been craving the super sugary treats since Monday, but when the Winged Monkey and I tried to pick some up for me that night, we missed the closing time by 10 minutes, and I had to go home disappointed. Anyway, the doc and the pharmacist had both told me to take my medicine with food, and Krispy Kremes are sorta like food...only better.

The thing about Krispy Kremes is that they really can't be eaten cold. If allowed to drop to room temperature, chemical reactions take place the transform the normally perfectly sweet and delightfully warm glaze into a hardened shell of nausea/cavity inducing saccharine substitute. To avoid such a tragedy, Krispy Kremes must be bought in small quantities so that they can be eaten within minutes of being boxed straight off the conveyor belt, or reheated in the microwave within the first 24 hours, after which, the hardening process is impossible to reverse with a normal kitchen microwave. Perhaps the government has some secret Krispy Kreme Restoration Apparatus (a KKRA, if you will) in development at Area 51 or something, but I'm not privy to that information, so I have to work with what's available to the general public.

That is why I only ordered half a dozen donuts: 2 to eat in the car on the way home, 2 to eat as my after dinner treat that night, and the last 2 for breakfast this morning. $5.34. Wait. $5.34 for 6 donuts? But a dozen is only $5.99. How does that math add up? The cashier even asked me if I was sure that I didn't want an entire dozen for $.65 more.

Now, I don't need a dozen donuts. I only need 6 donuts, and I told the man as much. But suddenly, I felt wasteful for not buying a full dozen, and that feeling really hindered my full enjoyment of the first two of my six now overpriced donuts. And then?

Then I started thinking that I should go into the donut business because the markup on those little round disks of doughy goodness has got to be, like, 300% or something if they can afford to give me an extra 6 donuts for $.65 more. It's almost as bad as popcorn at the movie theater: $.20 in supplies = $5.50 in sales.

So now I feel like I was economically irresponsible AND victimized at the same time. Forget the guilt over the calories and the fat content and such. We are in a recession, folks, and I got taken by the donut people!

I'd feel really guilty if I weren't still intoxicated by the smell of those last two donuts. ;) Weak. So weak...

Posted at 8:21 AM

Pain & Agnes & Pleural Malaria

My mother has this mostly amusing habit of purposely mispronouncing things: she pronounces the "l" sound in tortilla, she puts an extra "e" in parmesan and says par-mee-see-an, and instead of "pain and agony" she says "pain and Agnes".

Today, I figure Agnes is as good a name as any for the pain I currently have in my back and shoulder. After a week and a half of this fairly constant annoyance, I was pretty fed up this morning. Then I sneezed.

Now, for the record, I have a fairly high pain threshold. I really do. It takes a lot to make me cry over physical pain, and while I may complain about discomfort, I can handle it for long periods of time before I will take something for it or, even more rarely, drag my butt to the doctor about it. I have survived collapsed lungs, and broken bones, and even a kidney stone or two, so I am fairly well versed in extreme pain.

That's why when I sneezed this morning, and I found myself staggering to keep off of all fours and literally dizzy with the pain of it, I decided it was time to call in the pros.

And what did my good friends at the doctor's office decide? I have malaria. Again. Only this time, it has decided to take on the form of pleurisy.

Foe those who've never experienced the joy, pleurisy, or pleural malaria, as I like to call it (What can I say? I'm obsessed with the malaria thing. No one reads this blog for medical advice, so I can exercise my poetic license.), is an inflammation of the lining of your lung and chest cavity whose main symptom is fairly excruciating pain every time you breathe in or out. Since regular respiration is necessary in order to remain an active participant in this life, that means quite a bit of discomfort with pretty much every breath until you can get the inflammation under control.

I get this every now and then because one of my lungs has a history of being...um...contrary (that's putting it mildly). All the changes in the weather, the recent week of dampness, colds going around, etc. tend to set me up for some lung issue or other, but this one would be up there on my list of least favorite, as it hurts and it makes me cranky and it makes me feel way older than I should. And this weekend, it has left me pretty much couch ridden, which means I am not on my way to see my new nephew, which is a huge disappointment.

So, I will be entertaining Agnes for a week or so. I'm hoping that perhaps she will get bored with me on the couch and decide to go visit someone else sooner rather than later. If anyone would like to volunteer to host her, I'd be delighted to send her your way. ;)

Posted at 11:44 AM
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A Visit to Oz

The last couple of posts have mentioned the Winged Monkey (he actually prefers to be called the King of the Winged Monkeys, but that is just too long to type very frequently, and since he is the only winged monkey I talk about, his ego is just going to have to get over my abbreviation), so I figured I'd better give a little background for those uninitiated to the drama of my life that led me to declare 2009 drama-free, which, of course, has been a total failure, but which I still find a worthy goal.

The short story: The Winged Monkey used to work with me, and for many months we had a wonderful time doing our jobs better than most people ever believed possible. We make a great team, and we enjoy each other's company, and we usually get one another's jokes, and, consequently, we had a blast.

One day, I walked into my office (aka closet with windows) to find the W'Monkey in his usual spot on his computer. As per my habit, I was a little wound up (I get that way when I've got 50,000 things on my to-do list; o.k. fine, I'm that way with 3 things on my to-do list), so I proceeded to beg him to help me out on some computer thingy or other.

Now, the W'Monkey has this smirky thing he does when he has a little joke in his head, and that expression kinda crawled across his face, and he looked at me with those big brown W'Monkey eyes and said, very sweetly: "I don't know why you're begging me like that because you know I'm gonna do it. I'm like your winged monkey for cryin' out loud." (paraphrased)
Actual Winged Monkey is much taller and much less blue.

To which I smiled and laughed, until I realized that: "That would make me..."

Actual WWW is much cuter and, while pale, much less green.

He put one finger on his nose and pointed the other at me in that "on the nose" gesture, and he got that stupid w'monkey grin on his face. Shortly thereafter, he left the office...to go and do my bidding. :)

Thus he was christened the Winged Monkey, and I became the Wicked Witch of the West, or WWW for short, and the rest is history...in progress.

That was a year and a half ago. Winged Monkey doesn't work with me anymore, which has been a huge, and rather unpleasant, adjustment. But at least now, after much drama and a lot of time and a few virtual vacations, Winged Monkey and WWW are trying out this whole dating thing. And I have to tell you: dating someone you've known that long and that well but never dated? Is kinda weird, and kinda bumpy, and kinda great, all at the same time. Definitely not drama-free, but I am working on getting it down to at least drama-lite.

The rules change when you start dating someone you already know and really like because dating usually starts out with the whole "getting to know you" dates, and you've kinda already got all that info. So you have to skip a few steps, and that makes finding the right dating rhythm a little bit difficult, I think. The good part? You know this person is worth all the bumps and the missteps and the drama because unless the real Winged Monkey was abducted by aliens and this one is just a poor copy of a stand-in, you know him for the extraordinary Winged Monkey he is, and you like the fact that the WWW doesn't feel quite so wicked when she's around him, but actually feels...happy.

Sappy? Sure.

Hopeful? Always.

Delusional? Time will tell. ;)

Posted at 6:24 AM
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The Duchess

Keira Knightley...in period costumes...unhappily married...for 2 1/2 hours. And then, the titles at the end come up to tell you that she died that way, but, gee, she was popular.

This was not a feel good movie. This was a "here's another example of how people can be super crappy to one another" movie.

I read an article about 2 months ago that said that romantic comedies were bad for people because they caused us to form an unrealistic image of love and relationships that no real life scenarios could ever live up to, leaving us perpetually disappointed in our real life relationships. The same article went on to say that some psychologists disagree, believing that these same movies weren't completely bad because single people who were lonely needed that false image to give them hope and keep them from spiraling into depression.

I now believe that single people who are lonely should just watch The Duchess. Then they will never want to get married, and they will be glad they are not bearing children they have to give away, and they will be relieved they do not have to give up their true love and yet still see him from time to time at parties.

Seriously. 2 1/2 hours of that and I think most single people will be quite content to be alone for a little longer just to avoid the tragedy. Even your hair, according to this film, which will catch on fire when you are dancing drunk because you are so completely miserable.
I happen to like my hair, so if my relationship with the Winged Monkey ever results in a fiery updo, you can be assured that that will be the end of it. I can stand a lot of nonsense, but no one should have a bowl of punch thrown on my hair and expect me to stick around for the pigeon dinner.

I'm just sayin'...

Posted at 11:22 PM
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New Addition

Once again, my siblings have added another soul to the planet, furthering the chance that the species will not die out anytime in the next couple of decades.

The latest addition to our clan is my nephew Colten.

Winged Monkey (aka Token Male) refuses to admit that this little guy is pretty cute for only being in the world for about 18 hours. He says white babies are never cute because they all look like old, drunken Irishmen. I hate it when he makes a valid point about stuff like this, but at least I can say that Colten makes a cute drunken old Irishman.

In other news, it's April 1, and I'm not joking when I say that I'm planning to write every day this month, so get ready for...I don't know what.

Hold on tight folks. This might possibly be interesting. :)

Posted at 7:38 PM

Daisy's Tweets

My Momma Taught Me To Share

Tag, you're it!