Monthly Archives: October 2012

Just Jazzy 50

Eat, drink and be scary! Happy Hallowe’en.
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Ten Reasons Why Going Out For Coffee Tonight is Stupid

Coffee and Doughnut
Coffee and Doughnut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  It’s dark outside.

2.  The roads are slippery.

3.  Coffee contains caffeine.

4.  I got off work at 5:00.  The coffee place is across from work.  It will be like driving back to WORK.  Gawd.

5.  Of the six people supposedly going, only one that I know of actually WANTS to be there.  That would be the inviter.  There appears to be a contest going on amongst the invitees to see who can come up with the best excuse to skip out.

6.  I NEVER win this kind of contest.

7.  There might be something good on tv.

8.  We could all end up with speeding tickets in our mad rush to get the hell back home.

9.  The Starbucks people will probably get seriously grouchy about having to brew a fresh pot of coffee at this bizarre time of day.

10.  W will ask me why I’m doing something I don’t want to do, and I will shrug and roll my eyes and not be able to come up with a sane answer.  I hate it when that happens.

What W actually wanted to know in this case was whether or not this person could make my life any more miserable than she already has if I don’t show up tonight.  Well I guess I’m about to find out, because I’m not going.

If you never hear from me again, it will not be because I drank a bad cup of coffee after 8:00 p.m.  So cross that one off your list of clues.

A Grand Blue Funk

Hurricane Sandy & Marblehead [Front Street 9
Hurricane Sandy & Marblehead [Front Street 9 (Photo credit: The Birkes)
I’ve been in a state of ill-humor (does that sound more sophisticated than a funk?) for the better part of today.  I’m tired and cranky, and just need to take my crabby-ass self to bed and hope for a better day tomorrow.

This mood makes no sense when I consider how far removed we are from the hurricane on the east coast.  Really, what in the world do I have to be so grouchy about?  My head is above water.  Our winds are calm.

And yet I am irascible.  So good night nurse.  I’ll get out of the other side of the bed tomorrow.  How lucky am I to feel safe in the assumption that my bed will still be here in the morning, and that it won’t have floated off somewhere with me in it, during this long dark night.

The Genius of Gone Girl

Maybe genius is over the top for those of you who are much closer to being a genius than I am, so I’ll settle for saying it’s brilliant instead.  There is really no safe way to review this book without giving something away.  It’s one of those stories you have to read for yourself for the pure joy of finding out where it leads you.

It lead me in six different directions at once.  What’s true?  What’s pure fabrication and imagination and delusion?  A wife goes missing on the day of a couple’s fifth wedding anniversary, and the husband becomes the main suspect in her disappearance.  There are as many clues as there are bizarre things I didn’t see coming.  Gotta love a book with all kinds of twists and turns.  In other, better words….

I cannot say this urgently enough: you have to read Gone Girl. It’s as if Gillian Flynn has mixed us a martini using battery acid instead of vermouth and somehow managed to make it taste really, really good. Gone Girl is delicious and intoxicating and delightfully poisonous. It’s smart (brilliant, actually). It’s funny (in the darkest possible way). The writing is jarringly good, and the story is, well…amazing.  Read the book and you’ll discover—among many other treasures—just how much freight (and fright) that last adjective can bear. (Scott Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan)

So, yes!  Do read this brilliant book.  You can’t say now that nobody ever told you how brilliant it is.

Jane Fonda is Peace and Love

Yesterday it snowed and melted and snowed some more.  When I drove home from work the roads were icy, dry, and icy again.  Mostly the ice was at stop lights and around road curves of course, so the going was slow.  And it unnerved me just enough to decide venturing out again, even three or four blocks to go out for something to eat, just wasn’t worth it.  Never mind sliding into someones bumper from behind, I don’t want to slip and fall on my butt in a parking lot either.

So what to do with a quiet couple of after-work hours (before reading myself into oblivion) while W watches sports on tv?  By the way, I’m not totally out of the sports loop.  I’m cheering for the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.  And no, I haven’t watched a game yet, but when it’s closer to the end I’ll probably get sucked in like everybody else.  If there’s a contest for world’s worst sports fan, I’m a contender.  Meanwhile, time to check out new arrivals on Netflix.

And this is the delightful movie I decided to watch;  Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding, starring –


Chace Crawford (Cole), Elizabeth Olsen (Zoe), Jane Fonda (Grace), Catherine Keener (Diane), Jeffery Dean Morgan (Jude), Marissa O’Donnell (Tara) and Nat Wolff (Jake).  Do I pay attention, or what??

The story is predictable (not just somewhat contrived) fun, with great casting.  I cannot imagine anyone but Jane Fonda as the beautiful Grace, stuck in the ’60’s forever.  Diane is an uptight New York City lawyer whose equally uptight lawyer husband tells her he wants a divorce.  She packs up her teenage kids and goes off to visit her estranged (for 20 years) hippie mother at her farmhouse in the countryside near Woodstock.  It turns into a summer adventure of romance (for all three of them).  They attend a war protest and a music festival, participate in some moon howling, learn a few family secrets, and make some very clichéd self discoveries.

Perfect.  I wanted some mindless diversion, and this delivered. I don’t care that the movie got less than rave reviews – every movie doesn’t have to be some powerful statement about some controversial event.  Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding is harmless fun with a delightfully happy ending.  Good for the hippie soul.

Get a Flu Shot and Cheer the Hell Up

Production of influenza vaccine
Production of influenza vaccine (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

Yesterday W and I got flu shots, like we have been doing for the past several years.  The year I missed getting one I ended up with pneumonia, so now I’m a dedicated believer in them.  I’m in close contact at work with lots of people and breathing the same air, touching the same objects, wondering when the last time was they washed their hands, and why they can’t make themselves stay at home when they’re sick.

The influenza vaccine gives me some protection and makes me better able to fight off infections, and less likely to pass them on to other people.  I don’t really care if it’s all in my head, I believe they work.

Normally I don’t have any adverse reaction to the shot, but yesterday, OMG, the stupid needle hurt.  I gave the nurse the evil eye but she was not phased by it.  Maybe she enjoys her role of inflicting pain.  Or maybe she’s just not that good with needles.  Later in the day I could still feel the pain, although there was no redness or swelling, no matter how many times I checked.

I read over the information sheet she gave me, in particular the possible side effects section, and (no surprise for this paranoid hypochondriac personality type) realized I had every one of them.  Headache, muscle aches and pains, tiredness and irritability – the flu shot is a terrific excuse for all those things.  I should get them more often.  The fever and chills may have been caused by myself and W in our ongoing war of the thermostat.  He turns it up, I turn it down.  Somebody bakes, somebody freezes.  Temperature incompatibility helps to alleviate a lot of marital boredom.

And MAYBE the extremely stiff-neck pain I had later in the day was the result of reading my kindle for hours at a stretch, so involved in the story that it made my muscles tense up and my head hurt.  But of course today at work I won’t mention any of that, because this is my day to be out of sorts for a good reason.  Usually I don’t have one that’s even remotely believable.  So already the flu shot has made me feel better about myself and my moods.

There should be a section on their vaccine information paper about how long one can reasonably complain about the shot and how to fake a few of the anaphylaxis symptoms to garner sympathy without truly alarming anyone.  And how to recognize customers who have severely weakened immune systems so that you know who you can’t possibly offer to help because you might kill them.  I think two weeks of staying away from them sounds plausible.  Maybe I’ll call up Alberta Health Services and offer to write that up for them.  Lots more people would get the shot if I did.

J is for Jabberwocky

J is also for Johnny Depp, and his inspired version of Jabberwocky in the Alice in Wonderland movie.

Jabberwocky, the unedited version, by Lewis Carroll

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

I love the poem (most poems make exactly this much sense to me) and I love that movie, and what can I say about Johnny Depp that hasn’t already been said?  Probably by me?

We’ve had a perfectly beamish day, picking up a mimsy new filing cabinet at uffish old Wal-Mart and then galumphing back home to put it together.  My magical housekeeping fervor continues.  Callooh callay, this vorpal stack of papers is finally going to get filed!  I expect to feel quite brillig once it’s all done.

Magical De-Cluttering

Although it would be nice to just whip out my magic wand and zap about a hundred objects per room into oblivion, I haven’t perfected that method of de-cluttering yet.  I’m working on it.  In the meantime, I’m reading this book because I need help with housekeeping.  I’m sure recognizing that I have a problem is half the battle.

Sitting in the living room this morning enjoying my second (or maybe third – who counts) cup of coffee gave me a chance to look around with a critical eye.  I tried to be objective, and imagine how a stranger would view my collection of random things.

It might be a stretch for that person to believe I love, need, and use all this crap, or that it brings beauty to the atmosphere and joy to my heart.

Tess Whitehurst suggests several external clutter categories (paper, clothes, books, decorations, furniture, gifts, food, unfinished projects and broken things) but I think the decoration category is my biggest challenge.  I’m not ready to even think about my internal clutter yet.

In front of our living room fireplace there is a lovely stone shelf which I’m sure was bare when we moved in but has hardly seen the light of day since then.  It’s the perfect place to burn candles and put miscellaneous stuff that there’s no room for anywhere else.  It’s been looking more like a junk heap than even remotely decorative lately.

 

The book suggests starting small so this is where I decided to begin.  I got rid of my bowl full of rocks because I can’t remember whatever possessed me to have a bowl full of rocks in the first place.  Then it was easy to throw away a bunch of candles that were burned down to nothing or melted into ugly puddled blobs of wax.  Things that I couldn’t imagine parting with I moved somewhere else so that it looks like I threw them out.  I’m not telling you where they magically teleported themselves, but I will admit that I made several trips to other parts of the house and only one trip to the outside garbage bin.

I’m giving myself A for effort here.  It’s still a shelf load of junk, but it’s better organized.  I read to the end of the first chapter of this very helpful book only to learn that “clearing clutter is a lifetime pursuit”.  Perhaps the author has seen my house.  I wonder if I’ll live long enough to get to the rest of it so that my home will eventually become  “a powerful catalyst for personal transformation and manifestation.”  Huh.  I foresee a lot more trips to the black-bin or Good Will, or a colossal garage sale in my future.

But I’m going to completely ignore the book de-cluttering category.  The line has to be drawn somewhere and my books are sacred.  Even this one.  The good news is – the next chapter is about cleaning, and with all the de-cluttering still to do, I might never get to that part at all.