Archive for February, 2008

marshmallows in the closet

I have a confession to make. It was really stupid of me to purchase those two bags of jumbo strawberry marshmallows. In my own defense they were pink, so my guess was they were a Valentine’s Day candy. That being the case I worried they would disappear from the store soon after the holiday, so if I didn’t buy them when I did, I would never get to try them. Maybe they were a holiday treat and maybe not, but at Target this weekend they were still on the shelf. They are not, however, still in my closet.

That’s right, the Sunday after Game Night I could resist the call no more. I tore into the bag of marshmallows and over the course of that day and the next, finished the whole bag. Wow. They were delicious!! Greenwald was right, man, they were delectable and fresh and soft and sweet… and wow, I felt like crap.

Decided not to beat myself up too much about it and move on. Not sure if you know this, but I read recently that dwelling on sad events, ruminating, can be very detrimental to your emotional health. It really is best to keep moving forward. Not to say you shouldn’t learn from your mistakes, just don’t dig yourself a big mire from which you cannot extricate yourself.

So I thought, no problem, I’ll just open the second bag on Easter.

This past Saturday I was overwhelmed by a craving for sweets. No way was I waiting for Easter. Tearing into the second bag, I maowed half of it in one sitting then felt my belly push out and my head begin to throb. Huhn, I thought, what the F am I doing? I did the only thing I could at that point, I threw the rest of the bag into the garbage. Grabbed the other candies I’d purchased, too, opened the bags and poured them into the trash as well. No more temptation. And yes, I really did open the bags and pour the contents in the garbage. Otherwise I would have dug in there later like a raccoon in the middle of the night…

Now, why did I think I could resist keeping this mother lode in my closet? I am not sure. I used to be able to hoard and squirrel things away when Todd and I were living together. I had to, because if he knew about it, he’d eat it. But now… now I’m like he was, actually. Last night I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie frozen yogurt. I thought I’d just eat some of it and put it away, but oh no, no no. It’s gone. The whole pint.

Not sure precisely when this change happened in me. I do know that I’ve never been a big ice cream person. When they told me that one of the drugs they were giving me in my chemo cocktail would make it so I couldn’t eat anything too cold, I thought, fine, no problem. A few days later all I wanted was ice cream. Psychology anyone? Right, I know… I know.

And in the interest of full disclosure, a sentence I believe I’ve used in here before, at Tony’s Oscar Party I had not one, not two, but THREE mini chocolate eclairs and helped destroy the bag of Kettle Corn I brought (OMG, Kettle Corn is so good, it’s devil corn. Even Tony was shocked by its addictive quality). Technically these sweets (and the first bout with the marshmallows) were allowed under the rules of Lent because Lent gives Sundays as a day off (otherwise it’d be 46 days instead of 40). But I have never followed those rules to T. Till now, I guess.

You can guess the outcome here. No more sweet treats for Roo till Easter. Hot chocolate is about my limit.

i’m pissed - beware!! bad, bad words abound

I am so fucking pissed.

I’ve lived in the same apartment for 4 and a half years and in that time the only thievery I experienced was my stone cat. Yeah, I had this cool stone kitty cat I got, wow, I think back in 1991 or 1992, and I sat him outside on the steps. Figures eventually someone stole him, especially considering this is collegetown, USA. I was hoping to maybe get polaroids of my kitty taken in different locations all over the Boston area mailed to me ala Amelie, but no such luck.

Anyway, even when UPS and FEDEX left packages on the porch there was no problem. They’d always be there when I got home. I began to feel a real sense of trust despite living in such an urban neighborhood.

No more. To wit:

December 2007 - A friend at work asks, “Hey, did you ever get a box from Sephora? I ordered it a few weeks ago.” “Awww… you sent me a gift from Sephora? Thanks! But, uh, no I haven’t received anything.” She tracks the package online and finds they left it on the porch. I never saw it. Fortunately Sephora re-shipped with no problem.

January 2008 - I ordered a second pair of snow pants from REI. I liked them at the store, but they didn’t have my size, so I ordered them online. Time passes and I don’t see them, so I track the package and find, as with the Sephora one, it was left on my porch, no signature required. Goddamn it. REI finds another pair and sends it to me without any hassle. Love REI.

Today was the last fucking straw. I created a calendar on iPhoto of Zack and Lucy photos just for me. I miss Zachary cat so terribly no words can possibly convey how much. Sometimes it’s physically painful, an ache I can’t soothe. I’d been meaning to make myself a calendar for a while, so I finally did it and got it ordered. Crossed that off my list. And though it was fun, it was hours of work. HOURS. I have lots of mini pics on actual dates and added in lots of my friend’s birthdays. Used a font I downloaded that looks like Edward Gorey writing. It’s awesome! But, again, took me a few hours to put together and was hard work.

The calendar was scheduled for delivery today, which was perfect timing as I created it to start in March. I came straight home after work, skipping Bosu, to be home for its arrival. Got home and waited and waited… and waited. Once again I go online to track the shipment only to find there was no signature required, so FEDEX left the package on the front porch at 1pm this afternoon. Just now I ran downstairs to find a box from Apple torn open and empty. (!!!!)

It’s a rare thing, truly, but you do not want to see me in a rage. Those who read this and know me, really know me, have seen it and brother it ain’t pretty. I go batshit motherfucking crazy. I haven’t looked in the mirror when I’m this pissed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d turned green like the Hulk. My clothes have never ripped into perfectly torn up shorts and shredded shirt, though, so at least I don’t ruin clothes, too.

What’s especially odd is that as a general rule I’m remarkably gentle. I do not slam doors, I pull them to. In class when we’re told to drop our Bosu or our weights, I do NOT drop them, I place them carefully on the studio floor. When I drop something I even startle myself - I loathe making loud surprising noises. With the marked exception of laughter, which can be explosive. My apologies for when I startle people with that. I have a habit of walking on the balls of my feet so I’m not heard downstairs. I’m almost too considerate.

But when I’m as enraged as I was fifteen minutes ago, you’d better get out of the way if you know what’s good for you. I slam, I throw, I throw, I slam, I yell many, many obscenities loudly. I am a kettle boiling over and I can’t think logically.   I am a runaway train and I need time to slow down or I’ll jump out the window. I think I literally become insane for a bit, even though I’m aware of it.

I think I have a right to be pissed. I didn’t tell Apple or FEDEX to leave the package without a signature, they didn’t give me an option. And you tell me, who the FUCK would do something like that? Rip open a box on someone’s porch and steal what was obviously a homemade calendar? WHY the fuck would someone want someone else’s calendar?!?!!! Jesus H. Christmas! I know that Zack’s cute, one of the cutest cats ever in existence, but come on!!!!

So, to the heartless, dickless, puke eating, raisin brained fuckstick who stole my calendar, whoever you are, you suck. I hope you’re claustrophobic and that you die after a week of being locked in an overrun, overturned port-a-potty.

taste the s**t rainbow

Skittles “Chocolate Mix”? Uh, by the way, Mars Candy Corp., last I checked vanilla was not chocolate. It is therefore asinine to include a vanilla flavor Skittle in your “chocolate mix.”

And Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper? Weird. Evidently this is a diet only flavour. I was dubious about Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper till I tried it because I always considered Dr. Pepper its own flavor. I was pleasantly surprised; CVDDP is quite good. But now I’m hooked on Cherry Coke Zero, so I only get CVDDP if there’s no CCZ to be had. Since CCDP is diet, I’ll give it a go.

But honestly, WTF up with this chocolate flavor craze? I remember chocolate bubble gum from when I was about 10 years old. I was 10, of course I wanted it. Is it still around, or back in a new form, and I’ve just not seen it? What is the world coming to? For my money, chocolate flavor is good in only one kind of candy - chocolate.

All that said, I always want to try the new candies, so I’m excited for Easter to come around so I can taste the shit rainbow.

working off the cupcakes

Yay, three days to myself, a nice long weekend to do whatever-the-hell I wanted. Took Friday off from the gym and spent the evening on the phone with K8 and watching my fave lame TV programs and reading. Joy.

Saturday was Bosu Bootcamp + with Joanne. Afterwards I met with Leslie, a fellow spinner and photographer, whose photos were up on display at HealthWorks for the month of February. It was time for her to take them down and I was meeting her to purchase one. I got one of the photos of Motambo, a lion she photographed in Africa. I love love love this shot, it’s just beautiful. Leslie is a great photographer - I’m including a link here to an index of her work. LeslieMacMillan.

Saturday night I was sad not to be able to attend Tim Gearan’s CD Release Party at the Lizard, but it did indeed sell out, just as I told him it would. He’s so modest, it’s nuts. ANYway, I couldn’t go because I’d already invited my friends Tony, Sean, Melissa G and Anais over for a game night. It was great, too. I didn’t know what kind of nibbles to buy, so I got tons of everything. Olives, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, veggie chips and hummus, mini-brownies for them, kettle corn (oh how I love kettle corn…) and once it was out on the table I thought for sure I’d gotten too much. But all that’s left is some veggies and olives.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that my evil friend Melissa G (she who recommended the pink strawberry marshmallows from Target) brought a number of Kick*Ass Cupcakes. And I ate one. No, that’s a lie. I ate two. TWO!! And believe me, they were KICK ASS. oh……..god. As I described to Jo in an email, the frosting on the lemon (yes, lemon of all flavors - who would have thought?!) cupcakes was so heavenly I thought I was being ushered into the light right then and there. “Hi, JLoHew, show me the way!!” But I jumped right back on the Lent track. That is after I finished off one of the bags of marshmallows I’d purchased. !!!! Oh how the mighty fall.

We didn’t play as many games as I’d hoped because we were talking most of the time, but it was so good we’re thinking to make it a monthly thing where we swap hosting duties. Another thing to make me happy. Although, of course, I doubt anyone will take me on at Boggle….

roo & zack 11-00Sunday I somehow dragged my sorry, tired butt to Advanced Step. Got my mojo back so I followed it up with Rebounding Express and some major stretching. I knew I needed some active recovery from the heavy duty pain incurred during Bosu Bootcamp on Saturday. There was not a little bit of guilt from the previous evening at work here, too. My week was certainly gym-ridden, though. Joanne told me to add up the number of hours I worked out from Monday to Sunday, so….10.5. That is, 10 and a half hours. Hey, at least this is a healthy activity I’m engaging in.

I spent most of Sunday working on putting together an iPhoto calendar of the cats and some other things. My guess is that my hard drive is being overworked by photos, so I want to print them out nicely and then store them on discs, like printing pictures and keeping the negatives. I re-discovered one of my favorite shots of Zack when Todd and I first got him in November 2000. So hard to believe this wee beauty turned into such a huge, cuddly monster (we often refer to him as the monster, as in, “I know you have to get home now and feed ze monster.”). So astoundingly cute, practically edible. Look at ‘im rubbin’ his little face on the guitar case. awww….

zack sniffinYeah, so, I got all nostalgic, watched most of 60 Minutes (coincidentally, to me, considering my recent post about happiness, they did a story on Denmark, determined to be the “Happiest Country”) and went over to the Burren. Got to sing w/Timmy and the gang, yet another happy thing. Timmy ran home to see Maggie and Paula for a minute and returned with his first disc (the one I didn’t have) as well as a handful of mini-marshmallows for me. Long story but they went great with my red wine. Over the course of the evening I hung out with at least a dozen people I know, as well as Todd, which was a nice surprise, and stayed with Danielle till close. Nice night.

Monday I actually slept pretty late and the best part of the day was getting to spend time with Joanne. She did double spin with me and giggled at me as I curled up into fetal position on a mat afterwards. I cannot even describe to you the deep bone-tired fatigue I was feeling. Utterly devastating and yet, somehow entertaining, Jo watching as I’d attempt to get up and allow myself to fall back into the mat and curl up on my other side or turn upwards and prone, with my arms and legs out in star formation.

But it passed and in the shower I realized I wanted sushi. Asked Joanne if she might like to get some with me and her eyes lit up and I swear she jumped up and down a couple of times. Her original plans for the evening were out, so we had a nice, impromptu yum-licious and healthy supper together. More joy and a great way to end the long weekend.

Then, Tuesday at work there were more unexpected flowers. Winstons! A fragrant, lovely bouquet including hyacinths. Ahhhh…. Thank you, Susan. You’re the best.

my new journal

Everyone has their little obsessions or things they collect, right? I’ve collected Krispy Kreme memorabilia for as long as I can remember, preferring the classic stuff, for which I comb farmer’s markets in the south, over the mass market stuff KK sells themselves. My brother found my favorite piece for me, a glass Krispy Kreme ashtray. I remember when we’d walk down the street for our doughnuts on Sunday mornings and there’d be old men sitting at the counter on the round chrome and green plastic spinning seats smoking. I even make my own Krispy Kreme magnets. And I’ve been collecting Edward Gorey items for a long time now. But in 1999 I started collecting something unusual, or perhaps strange. (Now that I think about it, I’ve yet to gather them together properly, but now I think I will.)

poop journalWhat is this odd collection? Pictures of clean up after your dog signs. My parents were living in Leeds, England again and I was visiting for Christmas. We all went to some Abbey and I was inspired by a sign on the grounds.

This sign was the first one I’d ever seen that that not only had a dog shape, a pile behind it with an X over it, but included squiggly lines above the pile, I suppose meant to indicate either stink or heat vapor. And underneath it said “Clean It Up.” I was in love, so to speak. I was laughing so hard I was compelled to call everyone over to check it out. This sign’s over descriptiveness struck me as hysterical. Were stink lines absolutely necessary? Who wouldn’t know what the pile behind the dog was?

My family obviously know me, love me, understand me or at least humor me because as my parents continue to traverse the globe when my mom sees a clean-up-after-your-dog sign she’ll take a photo and mail it to me. She does this a lot. Can you believe that? How awesome is she?

You can guess I thought I was alone in this possibly perverse picture pursuit. So imagine my surprise the other day while shopping for a new blank journal and finding this. GEAR….!

There I was innocently perusing the blank books and journals intending to purchase a new Moleskine. But Porter Square Books and their odd inventory got me. Why wouldn’t I buy this? PLUS, the inside is grid pages, so very European and my favorite.

The back is also pretty funny.back of journal

The front inside cover is, as Todd put it, “blunt” as it’s just a picture of poop. Heh. The best part, to me, is the inside back cover which has a numbered key to tell you what city and/or country each of the signs on the front is from. I cannot believe my luck in finding this gem!!

Of course, I sent the pics to Todd, who was there to see the first sign I mentioned, and of course to my parents. My dad, ever the professor, requested that I ask the bookstore how many of these they’ve sold and to whom. I agree, it is certainly a curious market. Who are my fellow freaks? What is my demographic?

I started doing a little research online. Searched “dog poop sign” in google images and came up with a lot of them, and not just places that sell the signs, but other pictures bloggers had posted of signs that cracked them up.

As I look again now, I can’t find the really funny ones I’d found on Friday, but I printed them up for my own enjoyment, so I suppose there’s no need to include them here. Just nice to know I’m not completely alone in this appreciation.

unexpected flowers

I was at work yesterday (Valentine’s Day) going about my daily routine, trying to make sure I got everything done so I could leave a little early and make it to 5PM hour ride at the gym. Suddenly noticed a msg on my mobile. Turned out someone had delivered flowers to my address and they had to leave them on the porch.

k8 flowerYAY, flowers!!! I thought. That’s awesome. But, dangit, I hope no one makes off with them. Since December I’ve had two deliveries lifted from my front porch, one from Sephora and one from REI. I’ve lived in the same apartment for over 4 years and had plenty of packages left on the porch with no incident. This is a brand new and incredibly unwelcome phenomenon. I mostly have things delivered to work now.

Then I wondered who would have sent me flowers. I had a few guesses, and my third guess was K8, honestly. So after double spin and weights and abs for hours with Joanne - we really do have fun doing this together - I went home hoping my flowers would still be there. And there they were!

k8 flowersAs soon as I saw them I knew it had to be a girl who sent them. And someone who knows me, because I love gerber daisies. They’re just so happy looking, even though they don’t smell much. Gerbers are great, peonies are plush and fragrant, lilies are grand, daffodils, lilacs and hyacinth smell like Spring. All good. I do not particularly like roses, the fall back Valentine flower. I wouldn’t turn down roses, but I do not prefer them. Girls know what flowers other girls like. That’s just how it is. Not that no boys understand about flowers, but for the most part I’ve found they’re fairly clueless about the esoteric things. I say, if your dude gets you flowers, just be happy about it. Good behavior should be reinforced, wouldn’t you agree?

I wanted to make sure I photographed my gorgeous flowers so that K8 could see for herself what a great job her florist did. I don’t know how she found them, but they are amazing. They delivered the bouquet she sent me last year after my surgery and it was my absolute hands-down favorite. It was stunning. So stunning I posted about it here.

So, again, thank you K8. It’s not just the flowers, it’s everything you said about them, too, about how Valentine’s Day is a very different holiday since last year. It meant a lot to me - made me cry, of course - and I love you dearly. I am a lucky, lucky girl to have you in my life.

what makes you happy?

Today is Valentine’s Day.

One year ago today we were getting a bit of a blizzard in Boston.

One year ago tonight I was having surgery to remove what turned out to be a cancerous tumor on my colon. Happy Anniversary to me!!

I feel a sense of real accomplishment that I made it through last year and feel so strong and healthy. And I’d like to extend a humongous THANK YOU to everyone who reached out to me and helped me in that difficult time. You know who you are, I hope. And a special thank you to Todd. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

In keeping with the name of this blog (and in staying true to myself), I’ve written a lot about the things that make me happy. Things that I enjoy doing, seeing, hearing, even smelling. The list is so long it makes me wonder what it is that makes me unhappy, actually. I find it curious to feel down or sad in general. This is different from being upset or pissed off about something specific, or feeling sad for a loss of some kind.

But sometimes I wake up and my mood is low. Maybe it’s so bad I don’t want to get out of bed. Do you have those days? Doesn’t everyone? So what do you do?

One of my ‘tricks’ is to try to focus on a goal for the day, something I wanted to accomplish and that will give me impetus to up and atom.

Other times the very idea that I have no obligations that day, that the next 12 hours or so are ALL MINE is enough. Of course, I’ll then get up, make my coffee, and make a list. Or check the list that’s already in play and see what I want to do next. I’m not much for lying idle. Which can be a handicap if all I really want to do is lie around reading. My mind will fight with itself saying that’s not actually doing anything, but it is. IT IS, dammit.

But I feel very fortunate. I am able to find enormous pleasure and joy in the smallest things. I feel that I somehow allow things to give me joy that might otherwise go unnoticed.

What do I mean? Well, there are the many various things I’ve mentioned before like singing, laughing (my top two favorite things to do ever), fun pens, stationery, perfume, hiking, riding my bike, riding my scooter, frisbee, bowling, reading, talking with friends, playing games, god the list goes on…. Those are all fairly normal, though, run-of-the-mill pleasures. What about the others?

Since lists also make me happy, I’ll make a list of other, less obvious and more specific things that make me happy:

  • That moment I notice it’s snowing out. My heart still skips a beat every single time.
  • When I witness a random act of kindness on the street or the subway or a restaurant. Warms my heart.
  • Watching birds fly in their flocks and shift direction. It must be so amazing to fly. I love it when they look like they’re dropping, or dive bombing, then swoop and fly upwards.
  • Feeling like I couldn’t possibly do one more rep of an exercise, but doing it anyway.
  • Looking at maps, whether or not I’m using them to find my way, maps can be absolutely enchanting to me.
  • Writing a song - there’s no feeling of accomplishment quite like it.
  • How when I’m walking or riding the bus, the way the scenery takes on the mood of the music I’m listening to, so it’s like I’m watching a movie with a soundtrack.
  • When I read a line or a paragraph in a book that’s so right on that I am compelled to read it aloud, whether I’m alone or not.
  • Certain specific songs, for sure, but also specific moments in songs that may only be 3 seconds long, but that I am excited for and can’t wait to hear and sing along or gesticulate with. (This one could be a blog entry all its own. Maybe it will be.)
  • The ability to fit everything into my freezer even when it seems there’s no way it’ll all get in there.
  • Managing to get everything done I wanted to in a day.
  • Playing along with Says You and The Will Shortz Game on NPR.
  • Walking home just as people are turning on the lights in their houses and I can see inside a little bit. Could be the voyeur in me, but I just love seeing how other people decorate.
  • Miniature versions of full-size products, all kinds. You name it.
  • Clean laundry - everything about it.
  • Crazy Japanese characters like Domokun and Mashimaro, mashimaro 1 toilet mashimaroamong many, many others. Domokun’s description is so hilarious, it says “Domokun is a big square of a monster who loves to watch TV, but can’t shut his mouth.” Does his mouth being open mean he can’t shut up so he can’t hear the TV? Otherwise why would they mention the two things that seemingly have nothing to do with each other? This tickles me like you can’t believe. domokun
  • Finding the perfect harmony part.
  • Watching the clouds as I do sit ups in class. I always try to get a spot by the window. Actually, clouds clouds clouds. I love them. A completely cloudless day bugs me. Seriously bugs me.
  • When Lucy sees a birdie outside the window and does that rat-a-tat-tat nyahk nyahk mrow-mrow thing. It’s so weird - I love it!
  • Storms and the smell of rain.

What makes you happy?

sugar sugar

I am not religious, but I have a sporadic habit of giving up candy for Lent. I do this to test my self-control and resolve. My bff Mel used to give up chocolate for Lent when we were little, so I adopted and altered the habit.

One year I gave up anything with sugar or corn syrup in it. That was the year I discovered alternative foodstuffs, healthy things with no corn syrup. Turned out great and I have continued to buy those products.

I still eat sugar, dur, but I eat it when it’s up front and center, not hidden in some nominally healthy product. For example, goodbye Nutri-Grain bars, whose first ingredient is corn syrup. Hello Juicy Juice brand juice, it has no corn syrup or sugar. And by the way, dates are nature’s candy, not raisins. They are stunningly sweet and fantastic.

This year I gave up candy and cakes and sugary desserts, meaning I can eat those single-serve sugar-free Jell-o treats, but no mini-snickers. No Hershey’s kisses.

Ever hear the quotation: “Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch”? That’s me. The minute I give something up it’s all I want. And, yes, I realize this is human nature.

The other day I had a piece of cinnamon gum and suddenly I was craving red hots, of all things. Then later my friend Melissa G told me about these delicious, soft and fresh strawberry marshmallows she got at Target. Her description got me all hyped up.

So yesterday, after an impressively hard Bosu Bootcamp class, I made my way to Target and stocked up. There is now a Target bag full of candy in my closet that I can’t eat until March 23rd. What’s that, candy bag? You want me to eat you now? But… but I can’t. I’ve made a pact with myself. You sit tight and be patient. You’ll be eaten in good time.

Some people might think this is crazy, one has already told me so. Tell me something I don’t know.

Did you give anything up for Lent?

old photos


When I was at home over Christmas I found a couple pictures I’d never seen from my childhood. I am DIGging that hair on my dad, hee hee. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting this.

Don’t we all look so content? It’s not obvious that I was adopted, right? If my brother, David, were in the photo (Maybe he took it? It’s very possible because David has always been able to crack Michael up like no one else…) and you knew one of us kids were adopted, but not which, you’d probably pick him. But only because he’s blonde.

This picture was taken in our back patio. Finding it made me happy. I am 11 years old here and clearly loving the barefoot bermuda jeans hot Nashville summertime feeling. Ahhh, the good old days.

boarding bruises


I did finally get that camera, as you may have surmised if you saw my entry about snowboarding last Sunday, since it included photos. They were taken with my new camera. Yay!

My knees no longer hurt, but my bruises have ripened like a delicious plum, so I thought I’d take a picture to memorialize my maiden voyage on the “slopes.” I put quotation marks around slopes because I’d hardly say I was on a real ski slope. This is not meant to diminish what I accomplished, merely keeping it real. Fo’ reals.

I’ll go again, with knee pads, and give it another shot. And since I’ve never skiied and K8 suggested how much she prefers skiing, I’ll try that, too. Seems silly not to give it all a shot, right?

People tell me I’d like snowshoeing as well. I agree because I love traipsing through the woods and there’s something so beautiful about the sound baffling that snow provides. Bet I’d get fewer bruises, too.