Showing posts from November, 2013

Walk right in, it's around the back...

When I was 10 or so, I took it upon myself to memorize all 26 minutes of the Arlo Guthrie Thanksgiving classic, Alice's Restaurant.  Why?  I don't know.  Even at a young age, I had a good ear for prime source material.

And let's face it, if you're Woody's kid, going rogue with a novelty song is probably a sound career choice.

All I know is this - something about the cadence and tone appealed to me, and eventually I listened to a cassette of it enough that I could perform it, word for word along with Guthrie fils. 

It would be a few years later that I saw him in concert for the first time - I've seen him either five or six times total, and he never disappoints.

The point is, he's a part of my Thanksgiving ritual, and I need as many rituals as I can get these days.

So, I rode down on the Megabus to Atlanta Tuesday AM because Matt couldn't leave til Wednesday night.

I got to the house, met up with Mom and we went to see Dad at his rehab facility:


Hold up, wait a minute...

So, I went to the grocery store today, which was a fool's errand.  The weekend before Thanksgiving is a notorious hot mess in the grocery world.

I made my way down the aisles, and kept seeing all this Christmas stuff, and I felt completely panicky because I haven't done anything about Christmas.

And then I remembered... it's NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET.

I mean, Halloween hadn't even cleared out of the stores before they were playing carols in the stores, so... I can't say I'm especially surprised or anything.

But can't we just take it a little slower?  Enjoy one holiday at a time.

I will say, I have bought one little Christmas present - a standing little something I give Mom, Matt and Dad on a yearly basis.

But this week, I'm going to get my desk packed up at the office for our move, I'm going to finish up my freaking expenses, and then I'll head to Atlanta, enjoy some Alice's Restaurant.

Eat some turkey, watch a little crap TV, pet some pugs…

Now, WHY are there...

I have kind of a hodgepodge of thoughts/rhetorical questions to throw out there - plus, I'm feeling a low-grade free-floating guilt/anxiety combo, so I'll get it out there and maybe get a little sleep.

1.  Although rental car companies like to think they're doing you a favor by renting you that red Ford Mustang, they're not gas efficient - they're speeding ticket magnets, and let's face it - they aren't all that comfortable.  Still - MUSTANG!!!

2.  Why is it that flight attendants wear heavy perfumes?  Is it that they feel the recycled air needs competition, or is it a passive-aggressive "fuck you" to passengers?

3.  If you don't serve peanuts on a flight due to allergies, what's to keep me from bringing on my own jar of Jif and eating it by the spoonful while the guy next to me breaks out in hives?  I'm not knocking a peanut-free flight, but your little tiny packets are the least of anyone's concern.

4.  I wish I could buy willpow…

How does one say?

I remember a fall afternoon of my senior year of High School, in French class, when I learned one of those critical pieces of vocab that stuck with me.

We were being asked by Madame Fritz to say a few sentences about ourselves; what we planned to do for the weekend, what we thought, what we felt.  Whatever.

Someone, I think a gal named Michelle, asked, "Comment dit-on 'I'm overwhelmed' en français?"  Translation:  How does one say "I'm overwhelmed" in French?

Je suis accablée.

And we used the hell out of that expression for the rest of the year.

Because, as over-privileged middle class suburban teens, we knew so much about being overwhelmed.

Here's the thing.  In our small area of life experience, I'm sure we did feel overwhelmed. 

I asked Mom once, about 15 years ago if life gets easier as you get older.  She said no.  No, but you get better prepared to handle it.

I think back to that time, and I'm sure that age 18, I felt overwhelmed. 

Six of one... a dozen of the other.

So there's this "thing" going on over on Facebook.  Is it a meme?  I guess - who can keep up with the kids and their fancy slang these days.

Anyhoo - someone assigns you a number and you post with that many things about you that most people don't know.

I got 12 today.  They're on Facebook.  Go have a look if you want. 

I'm going to split the difference and share with you a half dozen that are not for the masses:

1. I am worried that I'll have to continue to travel so much that I'll never get another dog.  I'm not ready, but I know I want one...eventually.

2. People have more power to hurt my feelings that they ever know, and I end up getting my feelings hurt a lot.

3. I would love to be really, knockout, drop-dead pretty just for one day to see what it feels like.

4. I would like to be a man for just one day to get to pee standing up (and to jerk off, to be completely honest).

5. I have no idea what Thanksgiving is going to be like this year.  I only kn…

Like a band of gypsies; only, I'm a solo act.

Tonight, I'm in Sheboygan, WI.

I actually kind of like it here.

I'm tired though.  And ready to go home... and by noon on Saturday, I'll be home.  For about 36 hours.

And then, Texas (again) and Louisiana.

Followed by Thanksgiving, which at the moment, is a little unplanned - and that's fine with me.

I want to read the paper, hang with people I care about, and maybe - just maybe eat a little nice nosh.

But honestly, mostly I just want to sleep in.

And with that, and since I'm good to go with being caught up for work, I think we'll call it a night.


Try a little tenderness.

The nice thing about rock bottom is this - once you hit it, there's nowhere to go but up.

The problem is, you may think you hit rock bottom, but realize you still have a ways to go.

I am now, no contest, the fattest I have ever been.  I could blame it on travel, or Dad's illness, or Lola's demise... but what it really comes down to is that I have been trying to solve life's problems with the almighty calorie.

Every single bad feeling I have, my inner voice says things like "Kill it!  Kill it with gravy!"

I am trying to bury all the crap in my life under a pile of carbs and fat.

So, I kind of had a meltdown/breakthrough about it earlier today, and I realized that hopefully *this* is, in fact, rock bottom, and I cannot go any further down the rabbit hole or up the scale than this.

Of course, I realized that on a full stomach.  As one will.

The fact that I'm coming off a stressful weekend  - a quick trip to Atlanta to see Dad in his new (hopefully super-temp…

Call a Waaaaahmbulance.

So, from time to time, I feel a little sorry for myself.

Or, you know - a lot sorry for myself.

I really, honestly do try to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude (or, PMA) as much as I can.

But I'm feeling a little run down today - didn't get enough sleep, feeling a little overwhelmed with work and a lot run down.

And I sent a note of encouragement to a colleague who appeared to be having a rough day, and I thought...motherfucker - where is my cheerleading section when I need it?

Well, the fact is, I have one - I'm just not good at acknowledging their cheers because I feel I don't deserve them.

And yet, I'm bitter because I don't feel appreciated...

Confused?  You won't be after this episode of... Soap.

 I frankly love this show.  A lot.

Anyway.  I'm just feeling kind of blech.  In part because I ate too much lunch, in part because I hate the way I look, and in part because I just do.

This too sha  (I was in the middle of typing, this too shall pass, whe…

Peoria at Dusk

I'm sitting at the airport in Peoria - and I would like to apologize for all the badmouthing I've done of this airport over the past two years.  They completely redid the places and it's super cute.  I'm sitting in an armchair with a tiny little desktop on it, and I just downed a nice Alka Seltzer cocktail as I watched the sunset.

Good trip, great customers.

The travel is starting to wear on me a little - I'm sure the Atlanta runs haven't helped that feeling - and we're heading down again this weekend.

I'm watching a flight full of people who got delayed deal with their problem - I can't help but wonder if I'll be flying with some of them to Chicago.

I'm contemplating getting a sandwich here.  The little bar/snack shoppe in the terminal doesn't look half bad.  Add to that, my flight has been delayed slightly, so I betcha I won't have a chance to get dinner at O'Hare.  More's the pity, they actually have good restaurants there…


Last night, I had a bad travel night. 

They happen.  About once a year or so, I'm reminded of weird shit that can happen when you travel.

Last night, I missed a connection because they gave away our gate and we sat on the runway interminably.

And I heard them paging me for my other flight as I left the plane - I had four minutes, it said, to get from C3 to F14.

It didn't happen.

I tried to get a gate agent to help me.  She shushed me while she finished a text and told me I was screwed.

I told her the "Customer Service" on her badge was a misnomer  and stormed off.

I ended up getting a room in Chicago overnight.  I attempted to get my bag, but apparently, even though I couldn't make the flight, my bag did.

They gave me a brown paper bag filled with toiletries and sent me on my way.

I washed my underwear, at the hotel, took a hot shower and went to bed.

I got maybe 5 hours sleep.  I slept fitfully and woke up a few times.  I ended up getting to the airport way ear…

When life hands you lemons...

I really didn't learn to cook until I got married.

And there are some things I do better than others, but I make a good pot of soup.

It's easy, it's generally healthy.  Soup is a perfect food.

I've also thought, for some time, that soup replaces lost tears.

I haven't been crying a lot recently, but year-to-date, I decided to make a little soup for dinner to even things out.

This is my most recent obsession  - I stumbled onto it when a friend on Facebook recommended it.

It's easy, it combines lemon, meatballs and rosemary, in a broth that would restore even the most lachrymose blogger.

Here's the recipe. Go, make it.

I cannot say enough good things about this soup.


Yesterday, I made a comment about putting the "NO" in my November.

I put it into practice for the first time yesterday.  Got that NOvember started right. 

The recipient of the no didn't much like it.

I wasn't mean about it.  Just firm.

It felt kind of good.  I need to keep up the good work, no?


Sorry I'm not sorry, and other assorted frenemies...

Apparently, I was a little too mouthy yesterday, being a detractor of the people who beat us and won best group for the Halloween Costume contest.

And I pissed off one of the kids in that group.   Awesome!

Which I found out when someone else wanted to be "nice" enough to give me a heads up.  In case the offended party decides to run it up the food chain (I shit you not - this is how my morning started).  Apparently, I work with 7th graders.  What would the powers that be do, anyway?  Call me in and remind me to keep my mouth shut?  Duly noted.  So, you gave me a heads up about something that won't even come to bear.

To which I say this:

Look - I'm under a lot of pressure.  My family is going through a lot with my father's illness, I'm traveling constantly, I'm not getting enough sleep or exercise, or healthy food or good warm fuzzies.

So the fact that I'm seeking warm fuzzies from an arbitrary Halloween contest should tell you that I'm not really …