Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A mystery solved that I never knew needed solving

So I'm packing up my office, right? Cuz we're moving to new offices across the way, see? And so I'm packing up my desktop and minding my own business when POW! It hits me.

Actually, it spilled on me. Sand. From inside my stapler. The rubber stopper on the bottom of my stapler came off and sand spilled out all over the place. Apparently sand is what gives staplers their heft. Who knew? And how very Raiders of the Lost Ark of those sneaky Swingline folks.

Wait, does that mean that my stapler once contained a golden idol??

Martha Stewart I am not

Stupid me offered to host my book club meeting this month. The meeting commences in T-minus 27 hours.

Here is what I have NOT done in anticipation of the gathering: Confirmed the guest list, shopped, planned a dinner menu, cleaned the house, determined if I have enough silverware/glssware/stemware to serve my guests, determined if I have enough chairs to seat my guests.

Here is what I HAVE done: Read 53 pages of the assigned 454-page book.
Monday, April 25, 2005

This man is my hero

I think, however, that I would choose the gas chamber for my Miata.


Man Shoots Car, 'Putting It Out Of Its Misery'

(AP, April 20, 2005) — A man with car trouble is in trouble after shooting five rounds into the hood of his Chrysler "to put my car out of its misery."

John McGivney, 64, shot his 1994 LeBaron with a .380-caliber semiautomatic, Broward County sheriff's deputies said.

When the property manager at his apartment complex asked what he was doing, McGivney said, "I'm putting my car out of its misery." He tucked his gun in a pocket and went back inside.

He was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in public. He posted $100 bail Saturday.

McGivney said the car has been giving him trouble for years and had "outlived its usefulness." He called the shooting "dumb" and worries he will be evicted. But he doesn't regret it.

"I think every guy in the universe has wanted to do it," McGivney told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It was worth every damn minute in that jail."

Next up: a colonic

Pilates Saturday, health-food-store run yesterday, yoga today, acupuncture Thursday. Before I become too SoCal for anybody’s good, somebody, please, pin me down and force-feed me a hot dog.
Friday, April 22, 2005

Heh heh

Atop the communal microwave sits a tupperware container with a stern Post-it note attached: "Please discard today!" It's mine, a leftover relic from a pre-vacation lunch. As for its contents... it used to contain yogurt. Now it contains penicillin.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A white shadow of my former self

I hardly ever watch NBA basketball anymore, and that makes me really sad.

For most of my youth, playing and watching basketball meant more to me than almost anything. When it came to the watching, I was spoiled, of course, what with being a Celtics fan and all. But even if I was a somewhat fair-weather fan, I was an obsessed one. Every night I could, I listened to a Celtics game on the radio while doing my homework. I read box scores obsessively. I knew the lifetime stats of every player on the team. I adored Bird, D.J., McHale, Maxwell and Parish and was crushed out on Scott Wedman. I even had a soft spot for Greg Kite.

My youthful love for baseball was equally intense, maybe more so, but I felt a unique kinship with basketball, maybe because it was the only real sport a girl was allowed to play past the age of 11. (Apologies to all you former field-hockey and lacrosse players out there.)

And as for the playing, I mean, I dedicated myself to that sport more than any other. Basketball camp in the summer, endless shooting of hoops in the spring and fall, and of course, playing on my school team in the winter. I never got that great, and prep schools are breeding grounds for female point guards, so the competition was always intense. Still, I adored it.

Some of my best friends came to me via basketball. My oldest friend and I were competing point guards for years. I got to know one of my closest friends in college during the 1992 finals (she was a huge Bulls fan).

So what happened? M.L. Carr-as-interim-coach happened; the lousy draft picks happened; Rick Pitino happened. My waning athletic skills happened. My desire to disengage from the tomboy niche happened. The degeneration of the league happened.

Still, I miss it. Every time I do take in a game, I'm reminded of how much I used to love it. (You won't, however, be seeing me shooting hoops again anytime soon, because dear god I suck now.)

I'm thinking about this today because my oldest friend just wrote me out of the blue, lamenting that she rarely watches or plays basketball anymore and misses it. So in her honor, I think I'm going to watch as much of the playoffs as I can and see where it takes me.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Shimmy shimmy cocoa pope

So we have a new pope, and his chosen name is Bendict XVI. I would have gone with something jazzier, myself. Maybe something intuitive, like Popie McPope. Or maybe something counterintuitive, like Ari Lipshitz. Or maybe something spam-inspired, like Engages U. Incontinence. Or maybe something simple, like Fred.

If early reports are accurate, Benedict XVI sounds disturbingly conservative; I don't see how a fundamentalist bordering on a literalist will restore dignity, inclusion and relevance to the Church. I really hope this man loosens up in his new role, or at the very least understands that it is the Church's absolutism that has gotten it into so much trouble these last few years. Good thing I let my Catholic membership lapse decades ago.

Here's a question: When you're chosen as the new pope, how do you kick back and celebrate? A cold one is probably out of the question....
Monday, April 18, 2005

Bring in the funk

I'm experiencing the inevitable post-amazing-vacation letdown. Nothing ahead of me but job responsibilities, bills, and extra exercising to work off two weeks of English-style ("Would you like bacon with your sausage?") breakfasts. Boo.

I'm also experiencing post-travel inertia. The couch and TiVo duked it out to decide who was my very bestest friend this weekend. The couch won, but only because TiVo forgot to tape the Red Sox home opener.
Friday, April 15, 2005

Please don't leave me

Now don't forget, in the next day or two the permanent address of this blog becomes http://bloginthroat.blogspot.com. (I don't want to get fired anytime soon, so I'm trying to be a wee bit more anonymous.) Update your links, update your bookmarks, update your mindsets. My loyalists are precious few as is (Reader, where art thou?); I can't afford to lose any y'all.

When animals almost attack

At the end of our safari, we spent two nights in Victoria Falls in a proper hotel. Previously we'd slept in ecolodges where animals could come right up to our rooms if they so chose, so a hotel room felt like the lodging equivalent of a lockbox.

I had gone onto our second floor balcony for a glimpse of the view and then came back inside to lie on the bed, leaving the balcony door open. Suddenly I heard a loud grunt, looked over and saw a huge male baboon standing on our porch, eying the open door. I leapt across the room, lunged for the door and slammed it shut right before the baboon got there.

It scared me a bit, but then again, I wouldn't have completely minded going a couple of rounds with the guy. Short of a couple of tussles with my childhood dachsund and an unfortunate incident with a pelican at SeaWorld, I've never properly fought with a wild animal. And that's the true mark of adulthood, right?

Intraoffice language barrier

My office manager came over to me yesterday: "How is the air quality in your office?" Um, how would I know whether or not my air is infested with mold or asbestos particles or whatever? But it generally smells fine (save for when I forget to bring home an uneaten banana), so I took a guess and replied, "Fine, thanks."

Twenty-four hours later, shivering behind my desk, I realize she meant the air temperature. Stupid.

No news and good gnus

Two and a half weeks in the African bush meant no contact with the outside world. No TV, no newspapers, no email, no cellphone, no nothing. It was glorious. To dodge the information bombardment for a couple of weeks was so calming. Most notably, it meant that when we returned to society, we could digest the news on our own terms. No suffering through the immediate, reactionary media coverage given to the demises of Schiavo and the Pope.


Gnu is another word for wildebeest, far and away the ugliest animal we saw on our safari. Wildebeests look like shrunken, wrinkled, balding buffalo. Which got me to thinking: Why in hell did "The Great Space Coaster" choose a wildebeest, one Gary Gnu, to host its daily newscast? I can't think of a less appropriate newscaster to appeal to the 2-to-10-year-old demographic.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hippos are unbelievably fat

I'm back from southern Africa. It was an incredible trip from start to finish. At the moment, though, I'm recovering from 39 hours of travel and can't much wrap my head around anything. Sporadic recaps will be forthcoming....