Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter. Write five words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

Stolen from Sara-Halfelven at LiveJournal, who gave me the letter N.


Notebooks: Spiral bound, preferably at the top, college ruled, with green lines preferred over blue – those are my favorite notebooks. For as long as I’ve known how to form letters on paper, I’ve liked to have several sheets stacked beneath the point of my pen (I’m so not a pencil person) and I don’t like using both sides, unless forced. I know, I know, bad for the environment, but there you have it. In various boxes and shelves around my house I have notebooks dating back years, decades, filled with bad doodles (because I cannot draw) and half written stories, as well as any number of other notes. Sometimes, my choice of notebook is more sophisticated than the spiral bound sort – I bought a Moleskine a few months ago – but the problem with such things is that I feel like the writing in it has to be good, and first impressions, first drafts, rarely are. At other times, I use the technological solution, like now – sitting in bed typing all this on a notebook computer.

Normal: The word normal always feels very bland to me – it’s like those model homes where all the walls are off-white and all the carpets are cream, and they have them furnished with generic stuff from the Cort catalogue. While I understand that one must make some concessions to society’s norms in order to function in the real world, this sense of beigeness has made “normal” something I’ve never aspired to be. Give me my eccentricities, my quirks, my accent that is a total blend of every place I’ve ever lived for extensive amounts of time (New Jersey, Colorado, California, SoDak, Texas) and every person I’ve ever spoken to (especially if I liked their speech patterns). Let me revel in the fact that I’m just as happy child-free as I would be if I wasn’t, and don’t bug me about the way I pick and choose elements of various religions and make them work for me, about the stacks of books in the bathroom, the bedroom, my office, all in different genres, or the fact that I’m just not comfortable in large groups of people, and wil probably never be able to go to bed before one AM more than two nights in a row. Normal=average=boring.

Night: I’ve been fairly nocturnal since dirt, really. As a child, I would read under the covers long into the night, sometimes falling asleep, only to awake hours later with the lights on and my book open across my chest. The darkness wakes my mind, and sets it racing with stories, words, music, ideas. It is cool, soothing, and mysterious. It allows the watching of stars, the comfort of moonlight, and the chorus of critters I know I’d rather not see, but quite enjoy hearing. Oh, I like sunshine (no, really), and I go through phases of being a morning person, but I was born at three in the afternoon on a hot August day, and I think that caused an affinity for night time.

Nookie: Fuzzy was in the car with me, on the way to Cedar Hill the other day, when I said I’d committed to writing about five things that began with N and what they mean to me. He immediately mentioned nuzzling and necking, and I added nooners, and then said I might as well just write about nookie. Now, while nookie can mean the whole sex act, for me it means playful enounters, the kind that happen in stolen moments when you should be doing something else – like right after a shower, when you KNOW you need to leave for work in fifteen minutes, or when your parents are visiting and they’re watching television in the next room. That sort of thing. It’s a combination of frolic and a little bit of the illicit. And yes, there can still be nookie when you’ve been married for eleven years.

Neighborhood: While I don’t generally interact much with my actual neighbors, I like that our neighborhood is one in which people are generally aware of who belongs and who doesn’t, when it comes to the odd car parked on the street, or people approaching other people’s houses. More than the immediate though, neighborhoods for me are like small towns. My favorite neighborhoods, ever, are Willow Glen and the Rosegarden, both in San Jose, CA, but I like the Richmond district in San Francisco, too, and truly, I like my suburban neighborhood of Westchester, in Grand Prairie, TX, as much for the mature trees as for the fact that we have a couple of grocery stores, a cafe, Home Depot, Target, and a few neat restaurants, as well as a matching pair of movie theatres, all within a mile. As I told my mother on the phone yesterday, if you have to drive more than fifteen minutes to buy milk and toilet paper, you live too far from civilization. Also, I like that I live in a very dog-friendly neighborhood – almost every morning and evening you’ll see people taking their pets out for a stroll, and when the weather’s good, the kids and dogs play in the park, or there will be a congregation of kids and dogs on one of the corners, some on bikes, some with skateboards, others just walking. I like that our streets are safe enough, traffic-wise, for such things. I like that I feel at home here – we looked at other areas and they felt sterile, because there was no sense of neighborhood.

Happy Friday No. 3

Friday Five memes have been around almost since dirt. Or at least since blogging began. I’m not feeling meme-ish tonight, as much as list-y, so I offer what I hope will be a new tradition here: Happy Friday – Five Things That Made Me Smile Today. (As always, participation is welcome but not obligatory).

  1. The Dawn Chorus: Around 5:30 this morning, as I left the car to run into the local convenience store to use the ATM, I was greeted by a chorus of birds so loud and so beautiful that for a moment I was transfixed. Most of them were grackles, of course, but there were other voices in there as well – finches, jays, and even an owl – it was an amazing way to start the morning.
  2. The Overpass on Loop 12: There’s a stretch of road on loop 12 (or spur 408 – I’m never awake to pay attention) that is built on a very tall overpass that always reminds me of a Harry Potter-esque train trestle, except that it’s made of concrete, not brick or stone, and it’s part of a multilever interchange…still on foggy or misty mornings, driving across it feels like driving on a road through the clouds. It’s good to have a tiny bit of magic every day.
  3. Synchronicity: We heard the same song in the same place on the road going TO work this morning, as we did coming home.
  4. Kava: I added some to cranberry juice last night, and managed not only to fall asleep before eleven (a crucial thing when one plans to be at work by six) but to have restful sleep. Tonight, I added a half dose to more juice, because I’m loopy from lack of sleep and an intense day, but wired, and since I don’t want to be bouncing off the walls…well you get the idea. No, I’m not using it every night. Yes, I’m aware that there can be side effects.
  5. Piles of Pillows: I’m surrounded by dogs and pillows just now, and it’s exactly where I need to be. Not the most exciting Friday night, perhaps, but I’ve always preferred cozy comfort to chaos or the club scene, anyway.

Headaches and Henna

First, I want to thank a couple of well-meaning readers who suggested my headache issues are henna related. I may have posted about it all in one entry, but that’s because I’ve simply not had time to write much lately, not because there was any relation other than my love of alliteration.

I’ve been suffering from nausea-inducing headaches on and off since last summer. I thought they were sinus related, but lately they’ve been getting worse, so I’ve been analyzing, and consulting, and have concluded that a) they’re not sinus; b) they’re migraine; and c)they’re worse whenever I’ve ingested anything with aspartame or MSG. I’ve been really careful about avoiding both substances, since coming to this conclusion, and am having fewer headaches. Within the next week or two, I’ll be doing a seven-day quasi macrobiotic diet (I’m not cutting out coffee because that would be too cruel to the people I have to interact with), just to really detox, and I’ll take it from there. While I know that there are migraine drugs available, I’m really not that keen on being dependent on any chemical (except caffeine).

(In truth, even my caffeine addiction is a bit of an exaggeration. I CAN go without coffee if I have to, I just don’t like to.)

The only reaction I had due to the henna paste was the psychological need to wash my hands as soon as it was on. And a lot of cool reactions to the seahorse, which is now fading.

In other news, I’m enjoying the first half of series five of My Family on BBC America, as part of a lazy day of lounging and reading.


I spent the afternoon at Salon Worx having a manicure and pedicure. Despite suggestions, I opted for a sheersheersheer pink on my fingers (so that when it chips off in a day, as it inevitably will, it won’t show, and because I have small hands, so bold colors dwarf them further), and a sort of salmony pink OPI color called “Love Me Tender” on my toes, that would be insipid except it has subtle coppery glitter in it, so it shimmers, and it’s one of those shades that makes skin look tanner than it really is, and THAT, is never a bad thing.

Fuzzy met me when I was done, and we went to lunch at RockFish, partly because I wanted clam chowder, but mostly because it’s in the same parking lot as the salon. I had the Pacific snapper, and Fuzzy, who doesn’t like fish to taste fishy, had the cedar plank salmon, and we were both very happy.

From there, we stopped in at the local health food store, where I bought Ezekiel bread (which comes in Cinnamon Raisin – who knew?), Q10, and Kava, the latter of which I mixed with cranberry juice rather than water, because the taste of it in water is not unlike raw sewage. Or at least…the way that I imagine raw sewage might taste. Kava is helpful in relieving migraines AND menstrual cramps, and since I’m having both just now, I decided to try it. Four hours later, I’m pleasantly relaxed, a bit sleepy, and just woozy enough that I will not be shaving my legs til morning.

When we got home, I announced that I was going to nap while Fuzzy went grocery shopping, but instead I threw towels in the washer (We were out of clean washclothes. A tragedy.) and was suddenly inspired to clean all my makeup brushes, though the inspiration came in the form of the new makeup I brought home from the salon. My colors of the moment are “sunset” which is a warm brown, and “lemon spice” which is a pale neutral yellow perfect for the brow arch.

Fuzzy brought me flowers along with the groceries. He’s so sweet. And, yeah, I asked him to, but he had to remember, and choose a bouquet that I’d like. Go Fuzzy! Keep this up and I’ll forgive you for being right about the Mix 102.9 ear worm on Friday morning.

After the cold stuff was put away, we went to Blockbuster to use the April coupons, and then, because it was nearly nine and I hadn’t had ANY COFFEE ALL DAY, to Starbucks.

So, no Faire this weekend because Fuzzy’s on call, but a nice Saturday even so, and tomorrow after church, I might finally get brave enough to takle the flower box in the back yard. (I want it to look good but I’m terrified about what might be living in, on, or under it.)

I’m babbled out, and really muzzy, so it seems a good time to end this, and go curl up in bed with a book, and my dogs.

Happy Saturday!

Happy Friday – 21 April 2006

Friday Five memes have been around almost since dirt. Or at least since blogging began. I’m not feeling meme-ish tonight, as much as list-y, so I offer what I hope will be a new tradition here: Happy Friday – Five Things That Made Me Smile Today. (As always, participation is welcome but not obligatory).

  1. Picnic Basket: So, as I was walking along the corridor to the cafeteria today, there was a row of tables with interesting things and sheets of paper, which, once I was closer, I learned comprised a silent auction to benefit the March of Dimes. There was a basket of amazing candles, and there was a cheery yellow picnic basket stuffed with a beach towel, and two placesettings of neat picnicware. The color made me grin, so I bid on both, skipping merrily past the logo wear and mp3 players. I then went inside and got a freshly made cheesesteak sandwich and a huge fruit salad, and carried both back to my desk in the other building, because it’s month-end, and we were all working like insane ppl so we wouldn’t be called in tomorrow. Ten minutes later, I was informed I’d won the picnic basket with my $35 bid (an $80 value), so I trekked back across the building, down the stairs, across the breezeway, down the hall, and exchanged a pretty purple check for the basket…then got to carry it back through the halls while people stopped me and looked in it, and wanted to know where I got it, etc.
  2. Freedom: I do NOT have to work tomorrow. This may not seem like much, but it’s been something I’ve been threatened with all month.
  3. GirlStuff: I am spending tomorrow afternoon at the salon having a froufrou manicure and pedicure. Nail polish color suggestions are hereby requested. I tend to keep my fingers pale and go nuts with my toes.
  4. Words, Words, Words: We went to the bookstore on the way to dinner after work the other night, so I have new stuff to read, including this really interesting novel that takes place in the Aleutian Islands…I can feel the wind and smell the salty air as I read.
  5. Addictions: Green tea frappucinos laced with blackberry syrup and lemon pound cake are a lovely snack around four-thirty in the afternoon. I may be cooped up in an office, in body, but that combination puts my imagination in a sidewalk cafe.

Happy Friday – 14 April 06

Friday Five memes have been around almost since dirt. Or at least since blogging began. I’m not feeling meme-ish tonight, as much as list-y, so I offer what I hope will be a new tradition here: Happy Friday – Five Things That Made Me Smile Today. (I’ve been whining so much lately, it was time to kick myself in the pants, anyway).

  1. Green tea lattes: it should be no surprise that I’m starting with a $tarbucks product, but the fact that I’ve switched from jolty coffee to calmer (but still caffeinated) green tea may surprise some. I needed to ease into the morning, today, and this worked wonders. (As I write this, I’m drinking another, because it’s gentle enough to send me into sleep, really. It’s such a comforting flavor, too. Just enough sweet, just enough bitter, a little earthy, and I love the color…
  2. My coworkers. At previous jobs I returned from being sick with lists of things to catch up on, and half-done projects being returned to me. Today, I arrived after a day and a half of sleeping off a mild (thankfully) flu , to find one of my teammates on the phone with one of my brokers. “She’s back today,” she said into the phone, but staring at me. “And she shouldn’t be. She should be resting. But since I’ve got your file almost closed, I’m going to finish it.” When I asked her, afterward, if she wanted the closing credit she said, “No. You did most of the work. Don’t be silly.” Later, our supervisor told me that if I just come in at nine instead of ten three days next week, I won’t have to use TWO sick days (since we can’t break them in halves), and then said, “[Manager] said you were frustrated at the amount of fallout you’ve had this month. Don’t worry. SOme months are like that. Today, we’ll give you as many files as you can take, so that you can rebuild your pipeline.” I love that these women are so supportive. Tomorrow, many of us are going to Scarborough Faire and while we’re going separately, there are plans to meet for peach bellinis at some point. I’ve never had coworkers I was remotely interested in hanging out with, before. (Not including TechnoCowboy who was a friend FIRST.)
  3. New traditions. Over the last few weeks, in trying to find ways to make the Lenten “fish on Friday” ritual a bit easier for both of us (it is possible to get sick of salmon and tilapia, really), we’ve begun having Friday night sushi at a place in Irving called. Hanasho, which, for some reason, I keep wanting to call “Hanosha.” Yeah, I’m weird that way. In any case, the service is excellent, the sashimi is fresh, and they do an unagi donburi that is literally an entire barbecued eel over a bed of rice served on a rectangular glass dish (that is oddly reminiscent of an ashtray) for about $13. The best part though? The smoking section is in the way back behind a wall, so as not to taint the fish. As we were leaving today, I told Fuzzy I’d like to make eating there a Friday tradition even after Easter.
  4. An actual lunch hour. For the first time since January, we were all caught up enough that we got to take an entire hour for lunch, which meant one of my workmates and I ate IN the cafeteria for the first time since it opened, instead of merely buying food and carting it back upstairs.
  5. Not procrastinating. While many of our friends, family members and colleagues are glued to their computer screens this weekend, finishing (or starting) their tax returns, we’ve been finished since the end of January, when we received our w-2’s. And while we didn’t quite come out at zero (my goal), at least we didn’t owe this year. I think I”m entitled to a little smugness over that one.

As I said, this isn’t really a meme, but anyone who feels moved to share things that made them smile today, either here or in their own space, is more than welcome.

Albertsons, Allergies and Aggravation

I left work at one today because I was feeling nauseous and cranky and my head was about to explode. Fuzzy spent the last two days home sick with similar symptoms (minus the cranky), so it wasn’t a surprise, really, but I don’t like giving in to not feeling well. It’s one thing if I’m home already, and have nothing planned, but leaving work in the middle of the day is not a habit I really want to get into.

Fuzzy also left work at one, poor dear he’s sniffly and achy now, and okay, he bought a new game, but he’s not enjoying it as much as he should be.

On the way home, we stopped at Albertsons, not because we prefer it to Tom Thumb (we don’t), but because it was on the more convenient side of the street. I was the least sick to running into the store was my task, even though it meant trekking into the hated drugstore section.

Truthfully, I didn’t begin to hate the pharmacy section until Texas enacted legislation that required any over the counter drug containing pseudoephedrine to be put BEHIND the counter, and further require photo ID in order to buy it. This is an annoying and time consuming bit of legislation put in place to help prevent homemade crysal meth. Because really, that’s what we should worry about, and not things like immigration law, or reproductive choice (including the right to birth control), or the fact that we’re an oil state and our gas is still almost $3/gallon. So now, in order to get my Actifed (or it’s generic equivalent), I have to stand in line behind unwashed miscreants like the guy who was in front of me last Tuesday trying to use double coupons at the pharmacy aisle, with pharmacists who didn’t know how to process double coupons, and who, after they went and got the manual and figured it out, decided not to buy the ibuprofen (or whatever) because it was a total price of $2 instead of $1, and he was convinced they were overcharging him. And yeah, okay, there are other antihistamines out there, but Claritin makes me vomit, Allegra does nothing for me, and Benadryl makes me sleepy and makes my ears feel like someone is jabbing my eardrums with needles.

But I digress.
I went in for Nyquil and Dayquil.
I came out with just Nyquil, because apparently we have even newer legislation that limits the AMOUNT of drugs containing pseudoephedrine you can buy at one time, and apparently a bottle of each kind was over the limit. (Fuzzy, who had gone to Hollywood Video to buy me a DVD (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, if you must know) had to go back in and buy the DayQuil on a separate ticket, after yelling at me that I was making things up, and should have just made them sell me the dayquil when the self service thing locked my transaction and called for help.

So, a frustrating afternoon.
And all because of people who can’t live without crystal meth.
Which you can’t make from the LIQUID form of pseudoephedrine, anyway.
And now I’m panicked that they’ll decide I can’t buy 48 tablets of Actifed at once.

(Mind you, we use the store brands of the Dayquil/Nyquil stuff, as well as the Actifed, but if I called it by the generic name no one would know what I was talking about.)

I think I need to go back to bed now.

Henna, Hair, and Headaches

Fuzzy and I celebrated our eleventh anniversary on March 24th, and my gift to him (well, to us) was season passes to Scarborough Faire, the local renaissance festival, which opened on April 8th, which means that I got to have my hair braided (nothing hugely fancy, a pair of French braids, coiled, pinned, and decorated with a few twists), which I love because I tend to just stick my hair in ponytails because while I like it long, I have no talent or patience for styling, and I cannot stand having my hair in my face. The braids lasted from Saturday morning through Monday evening, with a light washing. I wish I could have someone braid my hair for me every morning – guess I’ll have to convince Fuzzy that he needs to learn how. He offered once, and I made the mistake of ignoring him.

Because I’ve been flirting with a tattoo, but have committment issues, I decided to try the henna tattoo services they offer just across the green from my braiders of choice (Twisted Sisters, just beyond the misting bridge, if you’re local). I’m now sporting a very cute seahorse (which I’m told is a symbol of luck and magic) on my right hand, and oddly, everyone at work was gushing over it. Probably this is merely because we’ve all been stuck in a training class half a day, every day, for the last two weeks, but whatever the reason, the attention’s been kind of fun.

Less fun are the horrible headaches I’ve been having, which I assumed were sinus, but now suspect may be migraines. Fuzzy pointed out that I always get really crabby the day before I wake up with my head pounding so hard I’m literally in tears, but I’ve yet to find the time to see my doctor and talk to her about it. (Somewhat ironically, I was headache free the entire time my hair was braided and pinned, and am only feeling a small pulsing sensation above my temples, tonight).

This weekend, we’ll go back to Scarborough to see shows, since all we did was shop last week. (I’m now the proud owner of a cool gryphon shoulder puppet, and a lovely necklace, bracelet, and earrings from the folks at LUCIA, among other things.

And on that note ( and on the arrival of Fuzzy and the dogs in the bedroom) I am going to sleep. More tomorrow.

The Meme of MissMelissMas

Taken from TechnoCowboy

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year). List three neat facts, three births, and three deaths in your journal, including the year. (Items in red took place on my ACTUAL birthday – August 17, 1970)


  1. 1427 – First band of gypsies visits Paris, according to an account of the citizen of Paris
  2. 1970 – Venera program: Venera 7 is launched. It will later becomes the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet, Venus.
  3. 1980 – Azaria Chamberlain disappears, likely taken by a dingo, leading to what was then the most publicised trial in Australian history.


  1. 1601 – Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician (d. 1665)
  2. 1786 – Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier (d. 1836)
  3. 1893 – Mae West, American actress and playwright (d. 1980)


  1. 1880 – Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist (b. 1810)
  2. 1983 – Ira Gershwin, American lyricist (b. 1896)
  3. 1990 – Pearl Bailey, American singer and actress (b. 1918)