Friday, March 29, 2013

In a Surprise Twist, I Actually Survived

And mostly intact!  WhirlyBall was pretty much more fun than ought to be legal, although I did end up with some bruising on the insides of my legs that might raise some eyebrows if I decide to sport my Daisy Dukes this weekend.  You know, if I had any.  Or thought that was a good look for me anyone me.

But what can I say?  A center steering column in a bumper car leads to suspicious bruising.

In other news, overnight my voice has subsided to a subauditory squeak.  I went to lunch with some friends, and they spent the entire meal pretending (sort of pretending) they couldn't hear me, and the entire ride back mocking me.

I'd write up a proper post, but I have Frutti di Bosco gelato to eat, so you're out of luck.

(True:  I am wearing a ponytail today.  One of our salespeople came up behind me and pulled it.  To be perfectly clear, my ponytail is not an invitation to touch me, no matter how often we talk on the phone.  Especially from behind, without announcing your presence.  Geez, people!  Haven't we moved past this yet?)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Been Nice Knowing You, But Now I'm Headed toward Certain Doom.

Pray for me.  If you are certified, please include Last Rites.  (That's something you have to be certified for, right?)

Tonight, I am learning how to play WhirlyBall

This can only end in tears.  The last time I was in a bumper anything, I was about seven.  My grandparents had taken my cousing, my sister, and me to Little Ammericka, and my sister conned me into going on the bumper boats with her, even though the engines were unhealthily (yes, that's a word, because I say so and so does Merriam-Webster) loud.  It was just the two of us, because my cousins chose that opportune moment to disappear.  My boat's engine cut out, and My Sister the Lawyer bumped my boat over and over while I was stranded until I cried.  It took the operator about six hours (okay, probably about fifteen minutes) to figure out how to retrieve me.

Ah, the memories.

Now, I'll be adding a sports element to an activity that's already cutthroat, and I'm not exactly the most coordinated person...

Take this morning.

This morning, I decided to wear a pencil skirt.  It's sort of sunny out, and I sometimes like to pretend it's spring.  Everything went swimmingly until I tripped on my skirt in the bathroom.  So naturally I tore the seam, which runs down the back of my skirt

And of course the hole is exactly ass-level.

If this is karma, I must have been Genghis Khan in a past life.

(True:  It's a good thing I'm wearing tights.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Some Things I Just Can't Wrap My Head Around

I like Geekologie.  It's pretty much the place to go for your science news spun raunchy--that is, if you like your geek with a side of alcoholism.  And let's be honest:  who doesn't?

Today I learned two things I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around.

First, the universe is 80 million years older than we'd thought.  Okay, in the grand scheme of the universe, that's not so hard to imagine.  The universe was already pretty frickin' old.  But the idea that it might have expanded from something smaller than an atom into, you know, the universe more-or-less as we know it?  In less than a second?


Because that means it expanded faster than the speed of light.  And that means time travel.  I know that because of movies.

And that's how you suddenly age 80 million years, Universe.  You've no one to blame but yourself.

And that brings a whole new meaning to A Wrinkle in Time.

I also learned Chuck Norris is a modern-day Samson.

The world gets weirder every day, yo.

(True:  I went to the Museum of Science and Industry this weekend.  So blame this post on the fact that I'm all smarted out.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Worst Pies in London

I made sort-of-home-made chicken potpie the other night.  I take a lot of shortcuts, but some chopping is required.

Don't worry, I found a BandAid before we had a Sweeney Todd moment.

(And no, it wasn't the worst pie.  It was actually kind of good.  Go me!)

(True:  I tend to get burned out on the soundtracks from musicals pretty quickly, but Johnny Depp's version of "My Friends" never gets old.  Any other recommendations?)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: Let's be Better.

Prada has a strong body.  Her front leg has centered since I adopted her, and proportionally, her core abdominal muscles pretty much make her Arnold Schwartzenegger.  Her hindquarters have enough power to launch her up onto the couch.  She can run fast enough to almost catch a rabbit.  (And if that fence hadn't been there, she might have done it, too.)

But the fact remains that I am stronger.  I walk in a perma-shuffle around my apartment so I don't accidentally step on her, because I could hurt her so very easily. 

It bears repeating:  I could hurt her.  Easily.

Obviously, I don't.  My strength and size does not give me the right to hurt those weaker and smaller than myself.  Rather, I was always taught, and fully believe, that it is my duty as a decent human not only not to hurt those I could, but also to act decently towards others

The lesson doesn't just apply to tiny, fluffy dogs that have been closer to euthanization than they ever deserved to be.

It applies to boys who play football who rape a girl.  It applies to their peers, who stood by and did nothing.  It applies to the adults in their lives, who either looked the other way or didn't teach these children what it means to be a decent, responsible human being.  It applies to the media, irresponsible with their reporting.  It applies to the people outside the situation who have used social media to harass and blame the victim.  It applies to me, because I haven't spoken out earlier, more frequently, louder.  It applies to you, because we are all part of this culture and society that allow this to happen, that allow some people to think any of the above behavior is acceptable.

We can do better.  We can provide a good example of how to treat those weaker than us and those who are vulnerable.  We can speak up when we see something that is wrong.  We can talk openly and honestly to the young people in our lives.  We can start difficult discussions.  Why can ask "Why?"  We can offer victims a safe place to talk, and we can listen.  We can hold ourselves and others accountable.  We can well and truly--each and every one of us--do something to create a different, better future, where we all are decent--and most importantly, safe.

Whether it's to the four-legged, three-legged, or two-legged, I challenge you this:  Let's be better.

(True:  If you don't think rape culture affects even the lucky people who haven't been assaulted, think again.  And as always, be safe.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Let Me Show You the Door

Not that I'm trying to get rid of you.  You people crazy enough to read this silly, self-absorbed little blog of mine are my favorite people of all.  (And the rest are hardly worth my time.)

What I mean by the title is rather more literal.  Though not completely literal, because I never remember to take photos of the wtf in my life.  So I'll have to tell you instead.

On Monday evening, it was windy.  Really windy.  Windy enough that it tore my storm door out.  Not off its hinges, mind you--well and truly out of the wall, frame and all. 

My landlord loves me.

(True:  I am a wimpy, wimpy weakling.  So I couldn't move the broken door out of the way.  So yesterday I took my trash out by removing the storm door window and climbing through.  I am a class act.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

This is the main difference between me and the rest of the world.

I came around the corner by my cubicle to overhear a co-worker mention a "Lucius."

"Are you talking about Harry Potter?" I asked excitedly.

"No.  Basketball."

Well, I'm sorry, but people aren't allowed to be named Lucius outside of Harry Potter.  It's not nice to raise my hopes like that.

In unrelated news, I think it's time for a good old-fashioned HP marathon.

(True:  These co-workers are now debating the best way to drag a water-logged mattress out of a public pool.  I'm starting to worry.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: Communication is Key (And a Key to Communication)

I talk to my dog.  A lot.  And yeah, I get it.  She doesn't understand English, and the talking is mostly for my benefit.  But she does understand my tone, facial expressions, and body language.

But that communication goes two ways--she "talks" to me, too.  I get the play bow when she wants to play fetch or tug; I get anxious eyes and a little squeak when she needs to go out.  Dogs (and cats!) have more subtle ways of communicating, as well.  Via Tails, Inc., the only email newsletter I have ever bothered to subscribe to (and actually look forward to receiving):

Click here to embiggen.
In any successful relationship, both parties need to have an open line of communication--and a cheat sheet helps!

(True:  Earlier this week, I mentioned Black Dog Syndrome.  As it turns out, experts disagree on whether it's a real thing or a myth.  Regardless, any establishment trying to help any pet  find a home is A-okay in my book!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Yesterday I scored two Lifesavers from HR.  Having a bit of a sweet-tooth as I do, I was a bit excited.  And so, when I ran into coworker M, I waved the candies in his direction.  And okay, maybe I was kind of exuberant about it.

But I swear I never meant for one of the candies to be hurled toward M's face, narrowly missing and exploding against the wall, scattering shard of the sweetest shrapnel all over the hallway.

The worst part is, the one that didn't explode/nearly brain my coworker?  Yeah, it was watermelon-flavored.  And if that isn't the saddest story you've ever heard, I just don't want to live in this world anymore.

(True:  The best Lifesaver flavor is, without a doubt, Butter Rum.  More candy should be booze-flavored and workplace-friendly.  But I guess pineapple is pretty good, too.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Eat This: Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

There are lots and lots of good restaurants in Chicago.  But, holy crap, it might be worth driving all the way down to Urbana just for Black Dog barbecue.

The building is right downtown, and the ambiance is casual/cool.  Be prepared for a bit of a wait--they don't accept reservations, but it's really, really worth it.  I ordered pulled pork and twice-baked potato casserole, and everything was mouthgasmic.  I understand the burnt ends are so good, they always sell out within a couple hours.  (Sounds like an excuse to go for lunch, right?)  And their home-made barbecue sauces are incredible.

Best of all?  The joint is named after the owner's two black mutts, and since studies show medium-sized black dogs are some of the last to be adopted (I know, I was surprised, too), they always have a flier in the entrance of an adoptable dog fitting that description.  Cool, huh?

You should probably eat there.  I'll even come down to meet you if you do!  (Yeah, I'm totally looking for excuses to head down again...  Help a girl out, would you?)

(True:  Don't expect too many restaurant reviews--I'm a lunchtime blogger, and it makes my bagged lunch disappointing.)

Friday, March 8, 2013


I went home last weekend to visit my folks.

I leave some clean clothes and a couple of pairs of shoes there (let's not talk about the books, okay?), because I pretty frequently forget to pack stuff. 

This last weekend, it worked the other way:  I forgot half my stuff there when I came back to Chicago.

Things I forgot:
  • Mascara
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
Things I did not forget:
  • The new book my mom is lending me

(True:  No need to worry.  SuperTarget and priority mail saved the day, and I don't believe I descended into smelly-kiddom.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hops in the Right Direction: It's Normal. Or Not, But That Doesn't Make It Abnormal--Just Confusing.

My dad and I talk dogs a lot.  He and his dog, Linka, are constantly training for the rally obediance trials they do, and of course Prada and I are always working toward new body confidence goals.  Needless to say, we never run out of things to talk about, and it's great to have someone to bounce ideas off of.

That's one of the best things about having a dog--I immediately have something in common with any other dog owner I meet.

And of course there's the pleasure and satisfaction anyone who has adopted a dog has.

But having a special needs dog changes things.  Not only do I have something to talk about with any other dog lover--which, as far as I'm concerned, is anyone worth talking to--I also have had a whole new world opened up to me.


That sounds way too sappy, even for me.

How about this?

You know, having a tripod, is like, cool and stuff, because I never really thought before about how, like, it would make me a nicer, more compassionate person.  Dude.

(Okay, let's pretend I never wrote that.  That's atrocious.)

In all seriousness, though, having a "different" pet has made me re-evaluate the importance, even the necessity, of being physically normal.  Normal is what is.  My normal, and my normal with Prada, is different than other people's normal.  That would still be the case if she had four legs.  Or if she were the size of a Pyrenees.  Or if she were blind, or petrified of squirrels.

So, I figure that makes Prada no less not-normal than any other dog.  And maybe, by extension (it's a stretch, I know), that makes me no less not-normal than any other person.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinterest, Don't Ever Change.

Pinterest is interesting.

In the last ten minutes, I've been introduced to a Batman Snuggie, a solar-powered bonsai tree, and someone in an absolutely ginormous panda costume being shoved through a too-small train car door by several police officers.


(True:  I may want two of those things.  Guess which?)

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Banjo of Science

I recently watched a documentary called The Science of Sex Appeal.  It was all right, I guess, though there was a lot more sex appeal than science, and it was completely heteronormative.  But, I'm going to assume what science there was wasn't wrong, just dramatized and a very small portion of the whole.

So, the smell of sweat happens when perspiration mixes with the bacteria growing on your skin.  Each person's immune system, which dictates what bacteria are allowed to grow, is different.  Ergo, each person's sweat smells a little different.

And if we are driven to procreate with the best possible match, that person would be one who has a very different immune system from our own, so that any offspring would be likely to have a strong immune system that can battle the most bad things.

Apparently, this is why siblings tend to smell really bad to each other--their immune systems are from the same gene pool, and it's a subconscious way for our brains to tell us, "Dear god, not that one!  Not that one!!!!"

Now, why the hell am I telling you this?

My family is extensive and convoluted, to say the least, and much of it is located in and around my hometown.  I have second and third cousins probably into the hundreds, and I don't know the bulk of them.  I went to a funeral in my hometown this weekend for someone who was not related to me, and I ended up sitting next to a man who was well-groomed and well-dressed--clearly hygiene was not an issue here.  And the way he smelled like to had my eyes watering.

Yep, probably a cousin.

(True:  This is why, when I lived at home, I had a "don't date within the county" rule.  Too many chances to accidentally turn up at the same family reunion.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Quick! I Need an Icepick!

I had a really clever idea for what to blog about today, but then the guys in my department started talking about the etymology of the Brazilian wax and I had to perform an emergency auto-lobotomy.

(True:  The word "I" comes from the Latin idem, which means "the same."  Because I'm unique.  Just like everyone else.)