Saturday, March 29, 2008

Today's Quote

Instituting a new, probably irregular feature here on Around the Subject is this quote from Our Friend Dennis:

"Voting for Hillary Clinton is like voting for a high school composition teacher who was weaned on a sour pickle."

(And if she wins the nomination, we'll all just pretend I never quoted that, 'kay?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Adding Things Up

If you've looked over to the right lately, you may have noticed that I've linked to a site called 101 Things in 1,001 Days.

(You haven't looked over there, have you? You just come in, read the post, and leave, with never a glance at what's over there, don't you? That's okay. I'll tell you if anything interesting pops up.)

Anyway, I stumbled on this while surfing around the ol' internets the other day, and it seemed like the perfect way to combine all my self-improvement projects into one, manageable task. The idea is, you make a list of 101 things you want to do or accomplish, and set a goal of doing them within 1,001 days. The site has a date calculator and everything. (That's almost three years, in case you don't want to calculate.)

The trouble is, I'm having a terrible time coming up with 101 things. I started off strong, #1 was "lose 100 pounds." Then I decided that was going to be waaay too much work to just mark off one thing, so I decided to break it up into #1, 2, 3, and 4.

So then, #5 was "write a novel." Also too much work for one item, so I broke it down into #5, 6, and 7.

From there, the list went downhill pretty fast. Last night, I got up to #75, but that was only by including things like "learn to use liquid eyeliner," and "rent a dumpster and fill it up with stuff from my house." I'm pretty serious about the one that is "wear black fingernail polish," but Todd says that the one "close the priest-stalker case" is too unrealistic, so I'm going to have to take it off.

I guess right now, I'm about 26 items short. Gah. If you have any brilliant ideas, I need 'em before April 1, which is when my 1,001 days starts.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Birthday Stretch-Out 2008, Part Three

Well, I knew it would happen. Birthday Stretch-Out 2008 has wound to a close.

This last stretch-out weekend was a good one. We only worked a half day on Friday, it being Good Friday and all. My friends and I turned to that traditional activity for a somber holiday such as this one -- margaritas! As it turns out, the Mexican restaurant also celebrates Good Friday -- by raising their margarita prices. Must be a cultural thing.

Saturday Todd and I had a good long, lazy, hanging out day. We went to the dive shop and poked around, nodding seriously to one another and not looking shocked at all when the store owner told us the cost of a diving "starter kit." (Boy howdy, one of us is going to have to pimp out the other in a serious way to get "started" on buying our own equipment. Sheesh.) We capped off the afternoon by getting in touch with our inner 12-year-olds with White Castles and an Imax movie.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and Todd WILL eat junk food. But only for serious holidays.

Saturday night I picked Maido for my birthday weekend dinner. This served two equally important purposes: I got to eat at Maido, which is totally cool and delish, and I got to confirm that Todd really does love me, seeing as how he's willing to eat sushi with me. I considered celebrating my thirty-some-odd years with a blowfish-infused sake, but really . . . a girl's got to draw the line somewhere.

Easter Sunday, we went to church (the early service, to avoid the random screaming children who invariably show up on Easter Sunday, hopped up on chocolate and jelly beans), then to my sister's for a triple celebration -- my birthday, Emily's birthday, and oh, yeah, the resurrection. We ate a ton, and STILL came home with an entire chocolate cake.

And tonight, Todd cooked me a fantastic actual-birthday dinner: grilled steaks, baked potato, white asparagus, shrimp cocktail, and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. I feel a bit like the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who blew up into a big, oversized blueberry because she was so gluttonous.

But I also feel cozy and loved, and satisfactorily celebrated-out. And that's exactly how you're supposed to feel at the end of Birthday Stretch-Out Month. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In re Snot

I think it's God's way of laughing and pointing at me like a 12-year-old boy that I got a cold two weeks after getting my nose pierced.

I have come to realize that I have, heretofore, taken some things for granted, like picking my nose and blowing it when necessary. (Oh, come ON! You know all those things are necessary, and you KNOW that sometimes a girl just needs a good nose pick.)

It's not IMPOSSIBLE to do those things soon after piercing your nose, but it is a tad bit more delicate. I won't lie, I was relieved to find that I could sneeze without launching a tiny, stainless steel nose stud missile across the room at unsuspecting passers-by. Sneezing? No problem.

But yesterday, I was sitting in my court conference room, surrounded by defense attorneys and police officers, all of whom were waiting for me to handle their case, and I swear, I could NOT think straight for all the snot that was threatening to trickle down my face

So, as politely as possible, I said, "Excuse me a second," and grabbed a tissue to blow.

And blow, I did. I blew really hard, in fact, because I wanted to get it over with in one blow so I could get on with the job at hand. I blew SO hard, however, that I managed to twist the nose ring so that instead of discreetly lying up against the inside, upper portion of my nose, it was poking out the front, making it appear that not only did I have buggers sticking out my nose, but that my buggers are made of STAINLESS STEEL.

Gah. I held the tissue up to my nose for a second or two, hoping that by a little bit of pressure, I could twist the dang thing back up into my nose -- keep in mind that all the while the afore-mentioned attorneys and cops are still staring at me -- until finally I gave up, choked out, "I'll be right back!", and bolted for the bathroom.

I tell you what, it's hard to be this hip.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Birthday Stretch-Out 2008, Part Two

Well, people, we have entered that difficult no-man's land of Birthday Stretch-Out Month, when Todd's birthday is past, and mine has not yet arrived. At this point in the month, there are those hapless souls who would give up and just declare it . . . well, March. You know, those less-celebratorially-inclined folks who celebrate their birthday on their birthday and that's it.

We, however, are not such people. We persevere when March threatens to creep into our Birthday Stretch-Out Month. This past weekend, being the weekend in between birthdays, was the perfect time to have a joint celebration with Todd's family. This year, my lovely mom and Hank joined us as well.

We ate loads of yummy food (I had to school the Northerners on the Southern definition of "salad," which can, and often does, include cream cheese and strawberry jello), and blew out candles on chocolate birthday cake -- blessedly only four candles in the shape of "35" and "38," rather than the 73 individual candles that would have been required. We spent the rest of the evening just hanging out. It was all lovely, very low key and fun.

Next weekend is what some might consider the last weekend of Birthday Stretch-Out Month. It's sure to be a good time, and THEN we'll have to start on the after-party, otherwise known as "April."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Belated, Not-So-Hypothetical Question

If, perhaps, One were a Democrat, and One was hoping that One's party would soon prevail over the "other" party and win the White House, and One had, oneself, been successfully elected to a high state position in One's own state . . .

. . . wouldn't One at least TRY to stay away from very expensive prostitution rings?!?

Seriously. And harumph. To think, we all made fun of Jerry Springer when he paid his hooker with a personal check.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Weekly Allotment of Boring Rambles

I fear that I am boring.

Seriously, I'm having trouble getting and staying in consistent blogging mode lately, and I'm afraid I don't have much that's very interesting to say.

For instance, tonight the main things on my mind are, in this order: how I wish I could breathe without being snotty, how I wish I didn't have a bench trial tomorrow, and how I wish I didn't love Bagel Bites so much.

Okay, so there's MORE on my mind than those three things, but those are in there. I mean, who doesn't love a good Bagel Bite?

Since finishing my tutoring gig, I've been trying to launch round two of my self-improvement goals. Actually, I should probably say the continuation of round one, since it ended with very little in the way of actual improvement.

Here are the things I want to do: lose weight, exercise, knit, learn to sew, sew a new wardrobe, learn to play the violin, play in the orchestra, play the piano more, write a novel, publish a novel, get a movie deal, start a non-profit organization, move to Seattle . . .

I guess you realize that if I were to do all those things, I would have to quit my job. Or don't you think I could fit them all in on evenings and weekends? It's not like there's much that's good on TV right now, anyway. (Although The Riches starts again next week. Woo!)

I have twice in the past week been informed that I have a tendency to focus TOO much on the big picture, that I set grandiose ideas for myself -- like, I'll do an hour of cardio five days a week and 45 minutes of weight training three days a week, and walk a dog every day for 30 minutes, and do ab exercises every morning -- and when I can't live up to them, I'm like, "screw it, let's eat cake."

So, I'm trying to keep that in mind. Today, although I didn't have time (or the energy) to do an hour of cardio, I did do some weight training. And that's enough.

AND, I blogged. It might be boring, but it's a blog.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Birthday Stretch-Out 2008, Part One

Today is Todd's birthday, and let me tell you, am I ever happy that he was born.

He remains the coolest, most exciting and totally hot guy I know. He is the best conversationalist I've ever met. I'm really proud that he decided to marry me.

This year, for his birthday, he got a foot of snow. (I'd love to post a picture of the snow, but unfortunately, I have been snowed in all weekend with two cameras and NOT A SINGLE WORKING BATTERY. Just trust me, it's white and fluffy and there's a foot of it.) We went for a walk Saturday morning and the whole neighborhood just looked surreal, what with not really being able to see the road and there being no cars out. There were, however, lots of people out, bundled up and unrecognizable, tromping through an increasingly rare Louisville snow day.

It was a nice day, with walks and naps and movies and dinner.

Today, Todd being Todd, he is back at the office, preparing for a trial next week. I guess that's the genius of Birthday Stretch-Out Month -- even though he's working today, I'm going to make him take some days off later on, because hey! It's still his birthday!

Snow being what it is, and my driving being what IT is, I can't even offer him a decadent night out tonight, but we're having birthday dinner, nonetheless: baked goat cheese appetizer with crusty bread, falling-apart pork ribs, pan-sauteed pierogies, roasted asparagus, and brownie sundaes for dessert.

It doesn't seem like much to offer in exchange for letting me celebrate Birthday Stretch-Out Month with him EVERY YEAR. But I guess there isn't really a good way to repay someone for something THAT monumental.

So this will have to do: Happy Birthday, sweetie! I love you!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

One to Mark off The List

I pierced my nose!

Woohoo! I pierced my nose!

Seriously, I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. I've been thinking and thinking and talking and talking about it, and finally did it as a birthday present to myself (yes, I know my birthday isn't until the end of the month, but we celebrate birthday-stretch-out-month around here).

Yeah, I know I promised pictures, but you would not believe how difficult it to photograph one's nose piercing. As it turns out, my nose is not very photogenic.

So you'll just have to trust me -- it is TOTALLY cool. I officially feel "too cool for school."

And because before I did this, I searched and searched for an intelligent account of a nose piercing, so I wouldn't be scared, and couldn't find such a thing, I'm going to give you an account of my own. So if you're squicked out by talk of needles and strange dudes sticking stuff up your nose, STOP READING NOW.

Anyway. The place I went was fantastic -- it was almost like going to the doctor; the guy wore a mask and I think he went through about five pairs of gloves during the whole procedure. Everything was totally sterilized. He cleaned my nose, both inside and out. Let me just say here, that having your nose cleaned on the inside is not that much fun. It doesn't hurt, but feels really weird.

He then made a little pen mark on the spot to be pierced, and talked to me about pain management and how your body reacts to pain. He told me that if you are calm, your body is like, "nothing's wrong here, everything's just normal, la, la, la" and stuff won't hurt as bad as if you're all revved up, and your body's going, "HOLY CRAP THAT DUDE IS COMING AT MY NOSE WITH A FREAKIN' NEEDLE, AAAAAAGH!"

So we did deep breathing for a few minutes, and while I was doing that, he held a little bundle of q-tips inside my nose (I guess so he didn't pierce right through the whole dang nose), told me he would go on my next exhale, and SQUOOSH, it was done. Seriously, I think it was less painful and traumatic than those scary guns they use on your ears.

And now, my nose, while not being very photogenic, is completely and totally the coolest thing on my body. I just love my nose right now.

I'm thinking when I turn 40, it's tattoo time!