Monday, February 23, 2009

Next I Might Experiment With Prison Tats

I'm coming back around to blogland after being in a funk most of last week. Why? Heck, I don't know. I just started feeling old and washed up on Tuesday night and stayed that way until sometime last night. Weird.

I'm hoping that Sephora has a lenient return policy, because I discovered that the worst thing to do when you're in a funk and feeling old is go to a makeup store. There were two choices: go the way of the expensive, anti-aging face creams, or toward the funky, gothy, makeup.

And if you know me at all, you won't be surprised that I came home with a so-purple-it's-almost-black lipstick and an eyeshadow combo with the catchy name of "Demon Lover."

Yeah. So, it turns out that Demon Lover eyeshadow and purply-black lipstick aren't the best look for going to play in your church orchestra. Luckily, I figured this out before I actually left the house.

Sigh. I blame it all on the fact that Eminence High School never had a goth set among the students. And now, at 35 (and no, I'm not even acknowledging that 36 is coming up in March) I yearn to be goth. I long for black makeup and combat boots the way other women covet those little blue boxes from Tiffany's. It's a heartbreak, I tell you.

Of course, I also long for red cowboy boots, and I came very close to buying a $12, pleather biker jacket the other day. And, many times since Halloween, I have fantasized about going to work wearing my snazzy blue wig.

Really, the courthouse is pretty dreary, visually speaking. A nice blue wig might cheer the place up a bit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do Not Despair

That last post down there? Kind of depressing, and I just had to pop back in to say I'm actually not depressed at all, because I LOST 2.4 POUNDS THIS WEEK! Woo-to-the-hoo!

From the Department of Making You Feel Better About Your Life

So, I handled a case today with a 19-year old defendant. As in, born in 1990. I was having a hearing on charges of Attempted Murder from an incident in which he (okay, allegedly) shot a guy "thrice" (and yes, that's what the officer put in the report) over a dice game.

Last week this dude was indicted on a Murder charge.

Some time ago, he was indicted on charges of Assault in the First Degree. Each incident was entirely separate, no relation between any of them.

Did I mention he's 19 years old?

Suddenly, I don't even feel guilty about the pile of laundry I'm ignoring.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ah, Memories

So, Valentine's Day is coming up, and I'm desperately trying to think of something besides chocolate, chocolate, CHOCOLATE. It would help if Tastespotting would do some pictures of a nice green salad, or some steamed broccoli, just every once in awhile.

Valentine's Day is weird. No one really LIKES it. Men feel forced to perform (I'm talking about flowers and chocolate here, so get your mind out of the gutter) and women feel pressured to have a man who does the "right" thing.

Me? I've got a husband who has pulled out some fantastic V-days. One year I got a piano. Seriously. And the next year I got an engagement ring. No kidding. Poor guy, I think I gave him a Literary Edition Trivial Pursuit game, or something lame like that.

But the Valentine's Day to beat all time had to be last year. I briefly posted about our trip to Key Largo, which happened to fall on V-day, but I don't think I really told the story of that actual day.

We got up early, kayaked eight miles off the coast of the Keys to a tiny little deserted island with only the teeniest strip of beach, just big enough for a tent. The weather was gorgeous; we splashed around in the Sound to cool off, and tramped through the mangroves on the island. We cooked our campfire dinner and carried it to the end of the little pier to eat it. We sat on the pier and leaned against each other to watch the sunset.

Then the sun went down. Then I said, "What was that noise?" Then Todd said, "It's a rat, over there." Then I said, "They're everywhere!" Because they totally were. They were everywhere. Tiny little nocturnal rats came swarming out of the mangroves we had walked through to our beach. Ballsy little suckers, they would walk right past the fire and sit down next to you, and I SHIT YOU NOT, ask if you were really going to eat that s'more, or if they could have just a taste.

I admit, I cried. At my insistance, we zipped ourselves up in the tent and huddled there all night. When we got back home, we discovered that the Key Largo Wood Rat had been deliberately placed on that island because it was endangered. They were trying to SAVE THE DAMN RAT. And Todd thought that was the coolest thing ever.

And somehow, that sums up why I think Todd is the coolest thing ever.

Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day, completely rat-free!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Think Someone Stole My Saturday

Oh, for pete's sake, it's Monday. I don't know how that happens so FAST! Here's some randomness for you and your own personal Monday . . .

1. At my Weight Watchers meeting tonight, I lost 1.2 pounds. Todd cannot understand the misery that comes with being told you have lost 1.2 pounds when you hoped for, at minimum, 2.2 pounds, which would put you into a "new" set of numbers, or, even better, 4 pounds, which would earn you another five pound gold sticker.

2. I have discovered that there is a strong inverse relationship between how hard I practice the violin and how happy I am with my playing during the week and how much I suck at my actual lesson. (Or is that a direct correlation? Anyway, if I do good during the week, I suck ass at the lesson.)

3. I have officially given up on finishing Todd's Christmas scarf this winter. Goodbye, poor beautiful, cable- and bobble-filled scarf, I will see you in the Fall and you will be ready for Christmas 2009, I swear.

4. Edgar Sawtelle never did start to suck. It was beautiful and heartbreaking right until the end. I balanced out all the heartbreak with the latest in a fabulous werecat series. Ah, trashy supernatural romance novels, how I love you.

5. In organizing some files at work this afternoon, I realized that I have been prosecuting the priest-stalker since August 2006. When I started her case, I wasn't even married yet. Sheesh, priest-stalker, can't you give me a break?

6. This Friday, the latest Joss Whedon show debuts on Fox. Who is Joss Whedon, you ask? He's ONLY the creator of the best TV show in the history of TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I am sure you can imagine my excitement.

7. Little and I went to a "Solve the Sherlock Holmes Mystery" event thingy at the Frazier Historical Museum a few weeks ago. We failed utterly at solving it. I felt so guilty about our performance that I'm reading some Sherlock Holmes stories for the first time ever. He was a wee bit pompous, wasn't he?

8. After making fun of them mercilessly on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, I am listen to The Ting Tings incessantly. They make me want to put on my blue wig and dance.

8. I have a new dress from Old Navy that I got for $9.99, and it's totally cool. (Told you this post was going to be random.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Maybe I Should Invest in a Nice Kazoo

I tell you what, if you want to learn to play a musical instrument, I hope you are still under the age of eight years old, because that will make it a heck of a lot easier.

I started learning to play the piano when I was, oh, maybe seven? And honestly, I don't remember those first little plunks on the keyboard. I'm sure they were horrid, but what I really remember is how after about ten years of lessons, at age seventeen, I was actually pretty good. The getting from horrid to pretty good is all a blur.

So being right back to horrid on a musical instrument, at age 35, is excrutiating. I just started violin lessons again in June, after taking a few years off (I got in a snit over learning third position, which everyone HAS to do, and quit), and I'm liking the whole process quite a bit.

Then my teacher said that not only do I really HAVE to learn third position, but I also have to learn VIBRATO, the really cool wah-wah sound that makes a violin sound like a REAL violin.

Well, I tell you what, my vibrato sucks ass. It's been sucking ass for weeks on end now. A few weeks ago, Hannah, my teacher, gave me a book to work on which has me do fun exercises called "wavy arms" and "sticky taps," and calls for me to put a drop of superglue -- the book stresses that it should be imaginary superglue -- on my fingers. And in the process of these exercises, I figured out a way to sort of do a fake vibrato, which sounds fantastic, and which I apparently have a natural talent for, but which isn't technically correct.

In fact, it's so technically incorrect, that I'm not allowed to do it anymore.

So I'm back to practicing wah-wahs with the metronome, and fighting the urge to wack myself over the head with the violin and take up macrame or something.

Ah, the indignity of it all. Isn't it bad enough that I am the only student at the WHOLE music school over the age of ten? And that every week, I discuss my progress with a few third-graders while their moms look on indulgently? I guess not.

To make matters worse, I recently finished the Suzuki Book Three, and the first day I showed up to a lesson with Book Four, I apologized for getting the wrong thing, as Book Four was OBVIOUSLY so much harder than Book Three that I had clearly missed Book Three-and-a-Half.

But you know what? There IS no Book Three-and-a-Half. Poor Todd, I should probably get him some nice ear plugs for his birthday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What's Making Me Cry More Than an Episode of Charmed

My name is Kara, and I am a compulsive book-club-joiner.

No, not the ones where you meet up with friends once a month and pretend to talk about a book while drinking wine from a box, but the ones where you get FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR and then have to buy two more to "fulfill your commitment." I've joined and gotten out of them several times, and they always get me back with that FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR promise. Seriously. Five books. For a dollar. Who could resist?

So the only problem with these book clubs is that you have to decline that "featured selection" every month or they send it to you automatically. I forget this sometimes. Okay, a LOT. And I get a LOT of books that I didn't mean to order; some are crap and some are pretty good.

Last month I got one such shipment of books and tossed them aside, but came back to them this week when I ran out of reading material. What I found was a book of such wonderful fabulousness that, even though I'm only halfway through it, I have to tell you about it.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. This is nothing I would have picked up on my own. I don't know if you've noticed, over there on the sidebar, but I tend to read a lot of books of the same type. A friend of mine told me that she was looking through the list one day and clicked on the one that sounded the least supernatural and sci-fi-ey, only to find that To Sail Beyond the Sunset is actually a sci-fi classic about time travel.

I don't think I can really tell you what Edgar Sawtelle is about. There's a boy who is normal in every single way except that he can't talk, can't make any sound at all. There's a dog-breeding farm that breeds dogs of no particular type that are all, every single one, extraordinary. There are dogs who can make murderers confess and dogs who can read sign language. There's a perfect little family, and each member has his or her own secrets.

This book is captivating. So much so, that a while ago, I was lying on the couch reading, and came to a scene so heartbreaking that I actually caught my breath, put the book down, sat up, reached for it, then decided I should do something else for awhile, because crying gives me migraines.

I've about reached the halfway point, so I suppose there's still time for the book to start to suck. But what I'm more afraid of is that it's not going to ever start sucking, and when I'm finished with it, I'm going to miss those damn characters like my best friend moved out of town. It's a perilous business, this reading of books, and you don't always come away unscathed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

101 Things -- Day 300-ish

Day 300 came and went last week during The Great Ice Storm/Power Outage of Louisville 2009, so I missed blogging about it. Not that I lost power and COULDN'T blog, I just didn't. Something about being snowed in makes me feel extraordinarily lazy. I spent the days wandering around the house, watching a little TV, reading a little, playing a few notes on the violin, then taking a nap to recover from the hardship of it all.


So, Day 300. I haven't been the most industrious 101 Thing-er lately, but chill out, dude, I still have 701 days. Here's what I DID do:

Work on a political campaign. Okay, so I didn't sit around at some candidate's headquarters for weeks on end lettering signs and scheduling stump speeches, like in the movies. What I did do was make two days' worth of phone calls at one of the Louisville Democratic Party offices for Bruce Lunsford, John Yarmuth and Barack Obama. It wasn't much, but that, combined with my teeny little financial contribution, t-shirt wearing, and yard sign-having, made me feel like I was invested in the campaign. And what a campaign it was! For the first time in a long time, I think people were voting FOR something, rather than just AGAINST something else. And DAMN, did it feel good.

Lose 10 pounds. For fuck's sake, I've only been working on this one since, oh, THE VERY FIRST DAY OF THE 1001, but I finally accomplished it. Back in the first week of January, I posted about my New Year's Weight Watchers Ritual. Believe it or not, I have stuck to it since then. That's four whole weeks! I'm not gonna lie, often I feel like a barely sober alcoholic who's scared to walk past a liquor store, but I'm hanging on. I would love, love, love, to be able to mark off the 20 and 30 pounds lost by Day 400.

Make a fleece blanket for myself. I should probably have a picture of this, but I don't. Just take my word for it that the blanket is quite pretty, all in shades of turquoise blue and brown, very snuggly, and very warm. It was fortuitously finished just before the above-mentioned Ice Storm of 2009, and was an integral part of all those snow-day naps.

I don't know about you, but I'm already looking forward to the next 100 days!