Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Trying to Fill the Void In Your Life Left by the End of American Idol

It is over, right? Not that I know who won or anything, but I seem to recall hearing many "news" pieces about how the season finale was imminent. Like last week sometime?

Anyway, dear Internet, this is your chance to vote, right here on this blog, for the dress that shall be worn to my class reunion. First, this is because I cannot possibly decide on my own and I value your esteemed opinion. Second, I'm spreading Democracy! GWB would be so proud! Third, because a little public humiliation is good for you, and as I won't be singing/dancing/modeling on national television any time soon, this is as public as it gets. But mostly, because there's no way I'm giving up enough space in my suitcase for three entire outfits, so this decision will be made before I leave California.

What you need to know: I'm pegging the reunion as Wedding Reception Without the Wedding. It's being held in a banquet hall. There will be a cash bar (cheap bastards, do they not understand how much liquor I'm going to require?) and sit-down dinner, followed by a DJ and dancing. So, yeah, wedding reception. Five dollars says we do the Chicken Dance.

Your job is to select your favorite dress. Please keep in mind the occasion, the aura that I need to project, and the fact that I will actually iron the dress after pulling it out of my suitcase, contrary to what you may see below. (Also, please ignore the horrible lighting, the end-of-day makeup and the fact that my personal trainer hasn't focused on my triceps in a while. Damn it, I'm going to have to fire my entire staff!)

Option 1: Devil in a Blue Dress

  • This a great color on me. It matches my eyes. Or it makes my eyes match the dress. Either way, good stuff.
  • The style is classic and very "me."
  • I have all the appropriate accessories.

  • It's from Ann Taylor, which means it's ubiquitous. Someone else will be wearing this dress or owns this dress or the woman in her office that she hates owns this dress and just wore it last week.
  • It's "me," but on the conservative side of me. It's a little boring. It will shock no one.

Option 2: The Naked Dress (also, Option 2B: The Naked Dress, Sans Accessories)

  • The dress came from a boutique in LA. By which I mean a vintage clothing store in Hermosa Beach, and no, it's not vintage. At any rate, no one else will own this dress.
  • The style is very "me"...the fashion-forward, edgy me.
  • It will probably surprise some people, because it is very not-the-high-school-me.

  • It's, well, cream, and just waiting for someone to spill red wine on it. Probably that someone will be me.
  • This reception will likely be overly air conditioned to approximately 52 degrees. I foresee nipple issues. Though perhaps that's a pro, not a con. (Hey, just being honest here.)
  • Kind of a lot of jewelry. It makes for a more complete outfit, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Option 3: Pink Is the New Black

  • This is a $320 dress from BCBG. (No, I didn't pay nearly that much for it, but at one time, it was a $320 dress.) Highly unlikely that anyone else owns it.
  • I love this dress but rarely have occasion to wear it.
  • It is a surprisingly good color on me, and will compliment the fake tan well.

  • Will have to put some thought into jewelry, as nothing I own seems quite right.
  • It might be a little much for this outing. And by "little much" I mean, "please keep in mind that people in Janesville routinely wear jeans and Packer sweatshirts to church on Sunday mornings."
  • Again with the cleavage. The girls are held in by some sequins and that thingy that ties in the back.

So, which would you recommend, and why? As I am descended from Chicago Democrats, I have to say it: Vote early, vote often. Polls close at 5:00 PM PDT on Monday.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How to Waste Spend a Perfectly Good Tuesday Night. And Thirty Dollars.

1. Gather recommendations from your friend as to the best self-tanner to use.

2. Vaguely remember reading something about self-tanner recommendations and application tips on somebody's blog. Google it, unsuccessfully. Browse a few; fail to locate whatever it was you read.

3. Go to Target in search of recommended self-tanner. Fail to locate it.

4. Locate bronzer instead, as suggested by Amalah, completely unsure as to how it's going to look on you. Debate over whether "Baked Bronze" is lighter or darker than "Baked Tan." Buy the "Baked Bronze" and hope for the best.

5. Go to Rite Aid in search of recommended self-tanner. Locate and purchase it, along with the special oil-free self-tanner for faces.

6. Go for a run. (Yes, it's a vital part of the beauty regimen.)

7. Run water for a bath.

8. Remember you've needed to change your toenail polish for the past two weeks. Remove old toenail polish. Worry for the thousandth time that your toenail is actually going to fall off one day. Hope desperately that today's not the day. Note that it hurts like hell. Again. Wonder if medical attention would be wise. Again. Decide no. Again.

9. Bathe. Shave your legs well, as you're not going to want to shave after you've applied the self-tanner because it'll scrape the tan right off.

10. Exfoliate. Be sure to use an exfoliant that's sea salt-based. That way, you can literally rub salt into the wounds you've just created by shaving. You'll know you're on the right track when your skin turns pink. Continue exfoliating until the skin is red and raw.

11. After the exfoliating is done, wash off with soap and water. Because, of course, the sea salt-based exfoliating scrub contains glycerin, and the glycerin will reduce the efficacy of the self-tanner, in which case you'll be spending Wednesday night doing this all over again.

12. Dry completely.

13. Apply self-tanner. Try to avoid rough skin like knees and elbows and all fabric within fifty yards. Attempt to keep the amount of self-tanner you spill on the floor to a minimum. Be glad they're hardwood floors -- the self-tanner blends right in.

14. Wonder how to prevent your hands from being twice as dark as the rest of you. Have visions of baby wipes and suddenly remember on whose blog you read self-tanner tips. Make a mental note to review that post before the next time you apply self-tanner.

15. Dance around naked for five minutes, until which time the bottle tells you you can put clothes on.

16. Apply special oil-free self-tanner for faces to face.

17. Assume the five minutes is up, because, really, you've got to get on with your exciting life. Get dressed.

18. Skip dinner.

19. Paint your toenails instead. Lament again over the ugly toenail, but take solace in the fact that the nail polish covers it up. Does nothin' for the pain, though.

20. Blog about the nineteen-step process it takes to beautify oneself and desperately wish you'd been born male so you could've avoided this whole shenanigan. Wonder if you couldn't prep for the NYC Marathon in less time than this took.

Monday, May 29, 2006


This class reunion thing should be interesting. Of course I'm curious to know what some people are up to, but the people I care most about I'm still in touch with. More interesting will be people's reactions to me and what I'm doing.

High school is a strange place -- or maybe it was just mine -- but I always felt like there was a lot of pigeon-holing going on. You were an "athlete" or a "band geek" or one of "the smart kids." Me? I was all three. Plus I did other random extracurriculars like art and newspaper. Despite all these activities and potential labels, one of the most defining characteristics assigned to me was that of "Catholic school girl." It was entirely accurate, and entirely not.

Yes, I had attended a Catholic school for middle school, which was relatively unusual in Janesville. Of the 350 people in my freshman class, maybe 15 of them had come from Catholic schools. The rest of everyone else had attended public school together since kindergarten. Or it seemed that way. But, no, I did not wear my religion on my sleeve. Nor my church's morals, for that matter. (I was the girl who knew everything there was to know about safe sex. And counseled her friends on such topics. At age 13. It's a good thing my parents didn't monitor my phone calls like the NSA does.)

Due to the wide recognition of me as a "good girl," certain social invitations were not extended, primarily of the Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n Roll variety. (My parents would be beyond relieved to know this. We'll not tell them.) This was a role other people thrust upon me, because I sure wasn't the one turning down invitations. If I had a dollar for every time someone expressed surprise at seeing a drink in my hand at a graduation party, I could've paid cash for my first semester of college. Don't get me wrong, I could drink, swear, and lay on the sexual innuendo with the best of them. (Often better.) My friend Anthony and I had an on-going debate as to whether I was a good girl with a bad girl exterior, or vice versa. Four years and I don't think we ever settled it.

"High school was the best four years of my life." Oh, how I shudder when I hear people say that! High school was the best four years of my life, to date. And then I went to college. (My god, nothing could be worse than the hell that is middle school, and I actually had it pretty easy -- only one trip to the shrink!) The thing is, I knew high school would be great, I knew I would love it, and I also knew it was going to be quickly overtaken by other, more amazing events. Unlike some of my friends, I have many happy memories from high school, I met some of my best friends there, I had some really valuable learning experiences there (how to play soccer, the fact that silver chloride will turn certain organic materials brown when it interacts with them, like, say, your skin and how to send someone a fuck-you-gram with less than ten minutes' thought) and I still rely on facts and figures and ideas learned in my favorite classes. But at this point, there's no way I could claim high school to be the best four years of my life with a straight face.

If I'd outlined my life ten years from graduation, the picture I would have painted would look something like this: after having gone to a kick-ass law school, I'd be practicing environmental law in a major city, either for an instant-name-recognition firm or for a Fortune 100 company. Husband, maybe. Kids, definitely not -- I've gotta make partner before I can consider children. House, awesome. And huge. (Clearly I didn't know much about real estate prices in major cities, but the house I envisioned would totally have been possible on my projected salary, if only I lived in Janesville. In which case my projected salary wouldn't have been all that accurate.) Political involvement, likely. I wasn't sure if it would be limited to volunteering/fundraising, or if I'd be lobbying or actually running for office, but it was in there. (Also a possibility -- being married to the candidate.)

When we did senior mentions or whatever they were called (you know, you vote for "Class Clown" and "Best Dressed" and "Most Athletic") I was a little miffed that I wasn't selected for "Most Likely to Be President." The title went to our Salutatorian, who also took home "Most Likely to Succeed" honors. I honestly didn't care about "Most Likely to Succeed." I already knew that my own assessment of my success was far more important than that of my classmates (thanks, middle school, for that valuable lesson!) and I think the electorate confused "perceived smartest" with "likely to be President" and I would just like to say, um, clearly not, and hello, people, WHY AM I NOT MOST LIKELY TO BE PRESIDENT????

Ahem. Am not bitter at all. (Why do I even remember this crap? Oh yeah, cuz I probably did the layout for it in the newspaper.)

My life all seems so natural to me. Sure, I got some of the details wrong, but I haven't really strayed that much from my high school vision. Still, I think a lot of my classmates will be surprised. My work? Maybe not that surprising. Living in California will definitely be a shock to some and will generate a lot of conversation among others. Being single and childless? I would hope that's expected, but I'm sure it'll surprise many.

At some point in college my goal became bringing someone shocking to our class reunion. (I wasn't really counting on having the obligatory spouse.) Perhaps that someone is me.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Oh, the Wonders of a Pair of Good, Strong Hands

Mmmmm. I really wanted to write tonight, but my body is sending me straight to bed. My very relaxed, almost-knot-free body. You can blame Troy or Tyler or Trevor or whatever his name is...I forgot it approximately two seconds into the massage. (I can tell you, however, that he is quite the eye candy with his curly blond hair, 6-foot tall athletic build and fabulous smile. Not that I noticed or anything.)

Whoever he is, he seems to think I should visit him again. Soon. For a good long time. Something about the knots the size Texas that inhabit the muscles over my shoulder blades. Ok, sign me up! At this point, I feel so good I'd agree to just about anything.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Winey, Picturey Goodness

Ahh, California. By far one of the best things about Northern California has got to be one's proximity to wine country. And for all of the "out West" things I haven't done, I've taken full advantage of my wine-related opportunities.

Sonoma Valley


Um, these next ones I don't remember taking, but there they were on the camera! Must've been after the first winery. Or four.


I think I was trying to capture the rolling hillside idea. Instead, you get raindrops.


And traffic. Bet you don't see that every day!


Typically I keep a couple of bottles of wine around the house. Often they aren't consumed until I take them to someone else's place for dinner. Now, however? It's more like a couple of cases.

The spoils from Napa (when Mom & Dad were here).

My parents, for reasons I do not understand, actually drink -- and enjoy -- white wines. Typically French varietals. I turn my nose up at most of those, and wait patiently until we get to the red half of the tasting menu. Every time, Mom looks at me funny.

"What? I don't drink whites. I've never liked Chardonnay," I protest.

"If it were 1982, you'd be drinking Chardonnay (with the rest of the yuppies)," she retorts, with the obvious implication that what I profess to like depends largely on what's popular at the time.

Eh, maybe. I actually found a couple of white wines this weekend worth remembering...a Chardonnay from Sebastiani that I didn't hate and a Viognier from Castle that I rather enjoyed. But I still like reds better.

The take from Sonoma this weekend.

You know what I could really use these days? No, not the referral number to Alcoholics Anonymous. A wine rack!

Friday, May 19, 2006

It's Friday and I Don't Want to Tax Those Brain Cells Too Much

Ugh. Yes, I've been a tad busy this week. Not like a few weeks ago, but busy enough.

After hearing yet another newspiece on my way to work this morning, I thought, ARGH, FINE, YES, I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS. So, there's a real post coming. But it will be serious. And long. And serious.

But, here! Have some random thoughts for your Friday!

A couple of weeks ago, I drove this:

That would be a Mercedes-Benz CLK 320.
And yes, the one I drove was, in fact, a silver convertible.

So, will someone please alert the devil that my soul is now for sale? Or at least my time? Somewhere in the vicinity of $500/hour?

In a similar vein, if you've ever wondered what $15 million can get you in DC, wonder no more. I'm pretty sure my apartment is smaller than one of the eleven bathrooms. But clearly the real estate market is cooling -- the list price was another $5 mil.

Moving on to free things... Thanks to all of you for your technology feedback. While I still don't know what the problem is, I've decided to let sleeping blogs lie. I'd rather spend time writing actual posts than futsing with (swearing at) mediocre design tools from Microsoft. I am *this close* to purchasing a Mac. But I'd probably hate it for seventy different reasons than why I hate PCs. Sigh.

And, hooray! My friend Matt moved out from DC to San Francisco. You have NO IDEA how exciting it is to have (old) friends less than 100 miles away! Sure, I've made some great new friends, but it's just different. We're going to go drink the week's stress away in Sonoma this weekend. You'll have pictures if I manage to balance the camera in one hand and a glass of cabernet in the other.

Finally, birthday wishes go out to Alan, who is celebrating the first of many 29th birthdays today. Have a good one!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lil Help, Please?

Oh, Internet people, how I hope you will come through for me. It seems as though I have angered the Technology Gods mightily. I don't know what I did. Perhaps I forgot our anniversary or didn't notice someone's new haircut. Whatever it was, it's past the point of being funny -- we are firmly in Tragic Territory -- and now I am in need of your assistance.

But first, some highlights, for your bribery amusement:

I switched cell phone providers for my work phone. After a year of having to leave my desk, position myself next to the window (or all the way outside), stand very still when I stumble upon a signal, pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time, and still only hearing about 48% of what the person on the other end of the line said, I decided it was time to switch. Something about significantly increased productivity and no longer feeling like a dork every time I answer this phone. So now I have a new phone that I have no idea how to use. (Apparently I hang up on people when attempting to increase the earpiece volume. Not such a good habit.) And, naturally, the new phone has no one's phone number(s) in it. Soooo convenient.

That same week, while I was in DC, my (work) laptop decided to succumb to a localized power outage in the building. I called IT Support and left for a meeting. I came back to my office to discover that they managed to make things WORSE. (Hello, blue screen of death! So nice to see you!) Two days sans laptop (no, don't worry, I didn't want to get any work done this week) and a complete re-imaging of the hard drive later, we were back in business. Sort of. Except for that part about how they changed my password and didn't tell me the new one. And then the IT guy swore he could fix it by resetting my network password. (Hint: WRONG. I'm not on the network.) And then he swore he could fix it if I would just turn off the computer and turn it back on. (Hint: WRONG. AGAIN. The computer still wants a password and my old one still doesn't work and, no, you can't see my computer on the network because I'm not on the network.)

Anyway, once the password problem was resolved, I discovered the various other glitches with the re-imaged computer. For starters, I nearly had a meltdown when I saw that iTunes wasn't loaded. Ummmm, that's really not going to work for me. But that problem was easily resolved. Not so easily resolved? Some damn Adobe Acrobat update this thing keeps looking for. On the network. The network TO WHICH I AM NOT CONNECTED. EVER. Also, printing. Three days I spent trying to connect to the printers in my office in California, with more than a few calls to the IT Support Center.

My personal favorite moment? When the IT guy suggested I borrow an IT laptop for a few days until they fix mine. Hmmmm, interesting idea. Especially considering that the IT laptops are in DC and I'M IN CALIFORNIA.

(Can I just tell you how scary it is when I know more than the IT Support people? I know they're nice people, and I'm developing quite a telephone relationship with one of them, but REALLY. I should not be the one who figures out how to properly configure my printers. That's what I call YOU for.)

On the bright side, an e-mail from one IT guy to another described one of my programs as "FUBAR." And in my professional opinion, I have to say, YES. Now, please fix it.

At any rate, all of this pain was just background for you. Here's the real issue. Upon re-imaging of my computer, all the stuff on display is a different size. Like, the resolution of my screen is different and while I can change the resolution settings, none of the options match my old resolution. Annoying, but not as annoying as this:

This is what my site currently looks like in Internet Explorer. It did not used to look like this on my computer, at my previous resolution. Makes me wonder what things look like on your end.

(Sidenote: Ok, yes, in an attempt to be, in all ways possible, snobby, I switched to Firefox for my browser and there are not words to describe how much I ♥ Firefox right now, for the sole reason that my blog does not look like crap in it. The computer re-imaging has done nothing to alter the display of my blog. Also, that explains why it took several days for me to discover the ugliness in Internet Explorer. And, if it doesn't look ugly to you, I am not going to waste my time trying to prettify it. Bill Gates and his crappy browser can suck it.)

So here's where you come in:
  • What browser do you view this site in?
  • Does it look like crap?
  • No seriously, does it resemble the picture above, or does the title bar look normal? There should be only one tile of red tulips, not one-and-a-third, and the quote should be two lines, plus Mr. Wilde's name.
  • Is there any other blog-related feedback you would like to share? Length or frequency of posts? Content? Site design?
Please keep in mind that I am very good at taking criticism and often respond by telling people that they can suck it. But, you know, I'd love to hear from you.

Mother's Day

From the "Because in This Family We Just Make Fun of Everything Instead of Actually Talking About Our Feelings" Files

On the phone with my mother Sunday, shortly after she told Dad she didn't want to talk to me.

Me: Thanks for being my mom!

Mom: Uh, ok. Not like I had much choice in the matter. I mean, I guess it depends on how you define "choice."

Me: Well, you didn't leave me on someone else's doorstep or something!

Mom: *laughing* I suppose that's true.

Me: So, you know, thanks for that.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Next Time I'll Specify That My Preferred Mode of Transportation Is a Handbasket

Ok, so I have been duly called out for the complete opacity of that last post. Sorry. Sometimes I write things that aren't 100% about me (I know! Why would I do such a thing?!) and sometimes they're not 100% mine to talk about and sometimes you won't get 100% of the story. And I am 100% ok with that.

[Though I will say that if my writing is being compared to J. D. Salinger's, I must be doing something right. But I definitely don't talk about sex or say "for Chrissake" enough to be mistaken for Holden Caulfield.]

But! Today! Back to our narcissistic focus on me, me, me!

My vanity level has reached new heights this month, as I am struck with the realization that it's nearly summer and my class reunion is a mere four weeks away. This means there's been a concerted effort to spend plenty of time in the sun and at the gym. Both require a delicate balance between doing-enough-to-look-beautiful and not-killing-oneself-via-exertion-or-skin-cancer.

The sun exposure serves two purposes. First, I live in California. And while not all of Cali looks like what you see on TV (that would be LA, people, and it is a decidedly different world there), for heaven's sake, I should look like I live in California! Or at least make a credible argument (through my appearance) that occasionally I emerge from my office during daylight hours. Second, the natural highlights infiltrating my hair will save me gobs of money at the salon and I will not feel guilty turning down my stylist's offer to "just lighten things up a bit -- everyone gets a little darker during winter." Yes, thank you for pointing that out because I was actually trying to pretend that I hadn't noticed and it doesn't make me worry that I'm getting old and it doesn't bother me in the least, but I guess that bubble's burst today, huh?

(In all seriousness, I love my current stylist. But every stylist I've ever had spends our first session ooohing and ahhhing over my natural hair color and how great it is and some women pay gazillions of dollars to look like this. And then in our second session, that same stylist will suggest highlights. And then I have to politely say no to the highlights until they quit to have a baby or I move across the country. Despite my current aversion, however, at the first sign of gray, we will be getting out the chemicals faster than you can say "peroxide," no questions asked.)

On the gym front, I've decided to take full advantage of those monthly fees they peskily deduct from my checking account Every. Single. Month. Some people would be perfectly happy running every day for the rest of their lives. But some people's knees will not tolerate such abuse, so that means switching from an I-Go-When-It's-Convenient-
And-There's-A-Reasonble-Shot-At-Getting-A-Treadmill-Or-Stationary-Bike approach to the gym to one in which I Actually Take The Classes. And that is how I ended up in a yoga class the other night. It was hilarious, of course, because yoga is all about balance and flexibility and maybe some upper body strength, and I possess, um, none of the above. Right. Oh yes, and the calm, deep breathing thing. Definitely my strong suit. Ahem.

This morning's spin class, though...Wow. For starters, it begins at 5:00 am. For those of you keeping score at home, that means I had to be up and out of the house by 4:40. (I will freely admit that being able to brag to you lovely Internet people that I was at the gym by 5:00 was approximately 96.5% of my motivation for getting out of bed this morning. So I thank you.)

At my gym, the tradition is to do spin class in the dark. (Have other people experienced this or are they just freaks here in NorCal?) I have several theories as to how this began. Maybe somebody said, "Let's keep the lights off so it stays cooler in here" or maybe "Let's keep the lights off so nobody can see how slowly I'm pedaling" or maybe even "Let's keep the lights off so I don't have to watch the perfectly-toned instructor and hate her with every ounce of my being." My money is on, "Let's keep the lights off so nobody can SEE ME CRY."

So, I put my feet in the clips and sat down on the bike, and it was The Most Uncomfortable Thing Ever. Yes, even more uncomfortable than those trips to the gynecologist for one's "annual exam." Apparently the seats are not designed with women in mind. Though it would not surprise me to learn that they aren't designed with men in mind, either. Throughout the warm-up, I thought, "I don't know if I can do this for an hour, it is SO DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE."

Then we jacked up the tension and began a climb and the searing pain in my quads quickly shoved the "I'm uncomfortable" thought to the back of my mind, in favor of "Ow. Ow. Stupid sonofa... Ow." By 5:20 I was desperately looking out the windows for signs that the sun was coming up. Light outside = six o'clock = I can go pass out on the locker room floor now.

I personally think this is what Hell looks like: You and a couple hundred pour souls crammed into a room that's, well, hot as Hades, led by a perky instructor with a perfect body, spinning spinning spinning for all eternity. And to top it all off, you'll never lose an ounce. This vision alone is enough to keep me from cheating on my taxes. The IRS doesn't scare me. Spin class until the second coming? What sort of indulgences will keep me from that? I'm sure we can work out a deal here.

A few pointers, in case this review inspires you to try it for yourself:
  1. Always drink plenty of water. You will sweat out enough to soak your t-shirt through twice.
  2. Resist the urge to remove said t-shirt. Because, EW. Unless you look like the instructor, nobody wants to see that.
  3. Skip the hand towel and bring a full-sized one. To help with the buckets o' sweat. And the tears.
  4. A gel seat cushion thing works wonders. They're available at most sporting goods stores.
  5. Triceps and shoulder muscles are highly encouraged. The more weight they can bear, the more you can lean on those handlebars and give your legs a break. Which is definitely the point of taking a spin class.
  6. Don't forget to pack a small handgun in your gym bag. Be sure to check your state's concealed weapon laws -- you may need to brandish it openly and not tuck it inside your shoe. If you're looking for ways to avoid Hell by being nice to others, offer the gun to your classmates, too. They'll appreciate it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Inner Dialog

Calm, rational adult voice: You know what you have to do.

light-out-and-there's-plenty-of-basketball-to-be-played-voice: I don't wanna!

Yes, but, you have to.

But. I. Don't. Want. To.

That's just part of being a grown-up. We choose to do things that are in our best interest, even if we don't really want to.


You've been here before. And you know you need to leave. Sure, the streets have different names, but the signs are all the same.

*Pout.* Fine. But I don't have to like it.

No, none of us do.

Monday, May 08, 2006

How Do I Love Thee?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But I haven't been able to find a picture that adequately captures how I feel about this magical place.

How I get off the airplane and stand on the platform waiting for the Metro to take me downtown and am struck by an overwhelming urge to wrap my arms around the city and give it a great big hug, like reunited lovers reveling in their good fortune of once again being in the same zip code who can't bear the thought of ever letting go.

How I laugh at signs for the Verizon Center, because, duh, it's the MCI Center, and always will be to me. (Hey, the first pro basketball team I saw in DC went by the name of The Bullets and played at an arena most easily accessed by way of a rather frightening Cab Ride from Hell, so I think referring to it as the MCI Center is the least of my sins.)

How content I am walking out of the house at 5:15 am, headed to the gym, the comfortably humid air of DC in May wrapped around me with the same cozy feeling of flannel sheets in a Wisconsin winter.

How I gush like a proud parent over her kid's first tooth when I see an area that's been (re)developed and a new restaurant opened since the last time I was in town.

How perfection may be six in the morning, the sun up and the air just cool enough that I have to run to stay warm, iPod-less, with only the view of the Capitol, the Washington Monument and whatever event is being set up on the Mall this week to entertain me on my run.

How it gets easier each time to leave, not because I love the city less, but because I am filled with the knowledge that I will be back sooner than I think and confident that one of these days there won’t be a return flight.

You had me at hello.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cheaper Than Therapy

Oh, what a week! There were meetings and networking events and more meetings and plenty of funny/annoying/deep thought things to write about and some more meetings, but absolutely no time in which to write, unless I want to stop sleeping altogether, and while I'm sure I have access to enough caffeine to make a go of it, I don't think that would be a particularly pleasant experience for everyone else around me. (Also, the occasional use of actually ending a sentence might be nice, don'tcha think?)

I hadn't realized what a valuable tool this blog is, in terms of maintaining my tenuous grasp on sanity, until about halfway through the week when I thought my head was going to explode given the number of half-baked thoughts swirling and my inability to find any time to GET THEM THE HELL OUT. You know you're over the edge when half of your brain is busy making a tough decision and the other half is busy figuring out how, exactly, you're going to blog about it.

So I guess I'll spend this week catching up on work, laundry and this place -- Home of My Mental Stability and Emotional Well-Being, Even If It Doesn't Appear That Way To You. The voices, they tell me to Write!