Archive | October, 2011

What an almost perfect day looks like…

31 Oct

This is going to be me in 40 years.

Today, in (an extended) celebration of my birthday, I played hookey was given the day off work because it’s our company’s policy to consider your birthday a holiday. (Yay!)

So what did I do, you ask?

Well… First, I woke at 6am. And listened to NPR lazily from the comfort of my soft sheets for an hour. Because that’s what taking a day off looks like, when you’re a nerd. (We nerds know how to party.)

Then I made myself a perfect mug of espresso, before hitting a yoga class. Probably not the best sequencing of diet/activity.

But also not the worst, it turns out.

Not to out-do myself, after yoga (practically starving from the exertion) I demolished a tub of bean soup — without thinking about the massage appointment I’d scheduled a mere two hours later. Um. As soon as I was pleasantly full and tipped back in my recliner, I realized what I’d done.

Slightly panicked, I chatted my sister. Her advice? Take an egg and peel it in the lobby. Why? To really stink up the joint. Helpful. Thanks.

I shouldn’t have worried. Everything turned out JUST FINE. (But I did hit the ATM on my way, lest compensation need to run more along the lines of “damages” than tip.)

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Another year older…

30 Oct

Today was my birthday. Before this year, I raced into each birthday, excited for the additional year’s experience that lay ahead of me, wrinkles be damned.

This year, however, my body started to crap out on me in drips and dribbles… a mysteriously inflating calf, migraines, vertigo, Baker’s Cysts… I suddenly understood why old people only ever talk about what’s broken. Because everything breaks.

Oh, don’t  get my wrong. I’m not depressed to be another year older (beats the alternative!), but as I head into this year, I’m appreciative for what my body still CAN do, and I’m determined to maintain it as best I can.

I hit yoga twice today and during savasana I found myself giving thanks – not only for my health in general, but also for these specific things:

  • For being able to walk 25+ miles per week without thinking about it.
  • For not needing to change my underwear every time I sneeze.
  • For still having only my own teeth in my mouth.
  • For not having mysterious moles (with hair sprouting out of them) popping up on my chin.
  • For still finding bras that fit me.
  • And for still having the sense to not consider my waistband a bra.
  • For not truly knowing what a hot flash is yet.
  • For still being years away from finding adult diapers anything but funny.

Whole new meaning to the expression “Feeling Stabby.”

28 Oct

I’m in Chicago for work this week, training a crop of new hires. We’re booked at a hotel I’ve stayed at half a dozen times before, a short walk from the office.

Only this time, after checking in, when I told someone where I was staying, they said, “Oh.”

You know, the sagging, “Oh” that leaves you wondering what the rest of the story is?

Turns out, someone was stabbed to death in my hotel two weeks ago. AWESOME.

I checked the BedBug Registry, but didn’t think to look at police reports. The good news? It doesn’t appear to be a random attack – of the variety in which some creeper is hiding under your bed. But that hasn’t stopped me from checking the shower every time I come in – just to be on the safe side.

It’s gotten me thinking about what happens in my hotel room before it becomes mine. While someone dying in my room is a pretty long shot (I hope), there are other situations that probably have occurred. A prostitute turning a trick? High school kids throwing a party? A drug deal going down? A marriage ending? A child conceived?

I’ve gotten you thinking now, haven’t I? It’s kind of hard to stop once you imagine other people in your hotel room.

I could try to be all deep and extrapolate some moral from this situation, like how interwoven our lives are or something… but instead I think I’ll just leave a juicy tip for housekeeping. Thanks to them, I can pretend I’m the only person who has ever used this room.

Touch my monkey.

27 Oct

With Halloween approaching, my sister and I were recently chatting on Facebook about costumes. She was planning to go as Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter.

Me: That’s a bit obscure. How would people know?
Alicia: Long wig. Flowy Mexican dress. Uni-brow. Mustache. Monkey.

Me: Got it.

Fortunately, she lives in Ann Arbor, so most of her (well-educated and artistic) friends would be able to put that together. If I tried to pull that off in DC, where things run a bit more political and less cerebral, I think people would just think I was aiming going as a transvestite with a monkey fetish.

A few days later, I chatted her again.

Me: How is the costume progressing?
Alicia: It’s not. Too expensive. I’m at $35 already and I don’t even have the wig or the monkey. Pulling the plug. Besides, I don’t know where I would get a monkey.
Me: What about that monkey you had when we were kids?
Alicia: ???
Me: The puppet. Where you velcroed its arms around your neck and stuck your hand up it?
Alicia: I had this monkey?
Me: Yes. It had a squeaker in its mouth you could squeeze.
Alicia: Sounds like you were jealous of my monkey. You remember it a little too well.
Me: I was. You wouldn’t let me play with it.
Alicia: Had I known, I would’ve worn it around constantly.

Me: No doubt.

And because older sisters never outgrow their urge to taunt and get a rise out of their younger siblings, the next day this is what she posted on my Facebook Wall:

In case you’re curious, her latest costume idea is even better than Frida and would play well anywhere. Any guesses?

That’s right – she’s going as a bad ventriloquist. We’ve already decided that has the potential for sheer comedy after a few glasses of wine.

The best part? She’s been practicing saying, “Who’s your daddy?” through gritted teeth all week, which – even without the puppet – is pretty awesome.

Revenge is best served in clogs.

24 Oct

I haven’t posted about my noisy upstairs neighbor for a while, not only because I didn’t have much fodder for a post, but also because I didn’t want to jinx things by telling you how good he’s been.

Oh, don’t get me wrong — I’d never mistake his unit for vacant. But he’s been pretty good about limiting his walk-abouts to more normal hours, quieting down by 11pm and not starting up (officially) until around 6am most day — unless it’s the weekend, in which case he’s pretty good until around 7am.

That’s a vast improvement over his previous schedule (during which I could only bank on silence from 1am – 4am each day).

This weekend my parents were visiting from Michigan. I always get a bit tense when I have guests, hoping Michael remains on good behavior so everyone can get a good night’s sleep. Before going to bed the first night, my mom asked how the noise situation had been lately.

“Great,” I told her. “It’s much better than it was. I can actually live with the pattern we’re in now.”

“That’s great,” she responded. “You know what you should do? Take him a bottle of wine or something and make a big deal out of how good he is – a little positive reinforcement.”

I nodded thinking, “No thanks — he’s not THAT good.”

Fast forward to the next morning. I was brewing coffee when my mom emerged from the bedroom around 8am, which is early for her vacation schedule. “Sleep well?” I asked.

“Until the last hour,” she commented. “Ever since Michael got up, I’ve been hearing him.”

“Well, at least it started around 7am,” I said. “That’s at least reasonable.”

The look on Mom’s face told me she didn’t find 7am reasonable. “You know what you should do?” she asked, oddly reminiscent of the previous evening’s conversation. Bracing for another lesson in positive reinforcement, I was halfway through an eye roll when she said, “Make friends with the people who live above him. Then you can go up there and stomp around to pay him back.”

There we go. Now that’s the kind of advice I expect from someone who once gift wrapped dog turds for a guy who let his dog crap in her yard. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the next time they visit, she brings along a pair of shoes that look like this: