Monday, Monday

It’s a dark, damp, dismal looking day outside. It’s the kind of day that makes health nuts storm into the kitchen, swallow whatever Orovo product is helping them get their groove on, eat some granola, and run three miles before breakfast, “so I can get it done before the rain starts.”

For me, however, it is a day in which I’ve already finished the article that was due, already posted a blog entry at All Things Girl, and am settling in to enjoy a day of reading, writing, and…I don’t know…rhythm I guess? It’s a weight day, exercise wise, and I always do a really energetic dance warm-up with music that even makes crunches fun.

No, really.

Meanwhile…I’m craving oatmeal, even though it’s already 73 degrees outside.


Excellent Blog

CajunVegan, who is pretty excellent herself, named me among the ten people she passed her own excellent blog award to, and I’m now sharing the love, and outing some excellence of my own, as per the rules which state I must:

  1. Identify and link the originator of this award: (That would be Kayla at Project Mommy)
  2. Pass on the award to at least ten other people.

    Here, then, are my picks, in alphabetical order by blog title:

    • Buck Naked Politics, because while I don’t talk politics in my own blog, I appreciate intelligent discourse among those who do.
    • The Daily Bitch, because not only is this woman incredibly cool about music and life, but she also encouraged my recent audio-drama audition, and her internet radio show kicks ass.
    • Fond of Snape. Not only is her blog Snape-a-licious, but Janet is an animal lover, and an amazing photographer, as well as all-round cool person.
    • The Fountain Pen. Catherine always shares these wonderful pieces of writing, helps us explore the Tao Te Ching, and is just a fascinating person.
    • Having Writ. Sister AE is an amazing, vivid writer. I found her through my writing prompt site, CafeWriting, and various other memes. Reading her stuff always blows my mind. In the best way.
    • Herb Urban. Quite possibly the funniest and most shameless blogger on the planet.
    • Incurable Insomniac. She’s away right now, but you should visit her, anyway. Trust me.
    • Matterings. I only “met” John tonight. He followed a link from elseblog, noticed I was pining for the ocean, and sent me a photo collage. How cool is that?
    • Notes from an Eclectic Mind. I met Rana through her blog, and then she became an offline friend, colleague, and so much more, when we moved to Texas. She completely rocks, albeit to an old-time country beat.
    • Richard INK. He found me on Twitter, and I fell in love with his pens and pencils. His email to answer a question showed we had tons in common – hats, and music, Sherlock Holmes and punky hair. Visit his site!.
    • Rooted. Gautami is an amazing poet. Amazing writer. Just amazing.
    • Utenzi Blog. Dave takes amazing photos, sometimes of whatever he’s cooking. He’s inspired me to make mac-n-cheese, among other things.
    • Writer’s Blog, “The Easywriter” is talented, generous of spirit, and just really cool. Read her stuff.
    • Written Inc. Carmi is an amazing photographer, and his blog, whether sporting snapshots in image or text, or a combination of the two, is always a fascinating place to hang for a while. Sort of like visiting the corner diner where you can have a great conversation, while also watching the two old guys in the corner playing a passionate game of chess.

    Now…go read stuff.

Beach House Fantasy

If I could afford it (it’s not just the cost of rent, it’s the kenneling of the dogs, and the paying of airfare, etc.), I’d be spending a week in one of those Outer Banks rentals that Anne Rivers Siddons writes so vibrantly about. I’ve got this longing to spend a week sitting by the shore reading and writing and drinking iced tea, and doing very little else.

The sea is in my blood. The tides call to me, even when I’m hundreds of miles inland. In my dreams I float on beds of soft kelp, carried atop waves of deep blue, and if sharks circle, they do so protectively, not out of malice or hunger.

I remember coming home from a day at the beach only to spend even more time swimming, or just soaking in the bath. I remember sand stuck everywhere – even in the part of my tightly-braided hair.

I remember the frosted iced tea glasses with the unfrosted leaves, like a reverse etching, and how my grandfather’s tea always tasted of cinnamon and lemon, and love.

I remember. and I miss it so.

And I want to wake up to the sound of shore birds, and go to sleep with the soft sound of the ocean lapping at the sand.

This summer, I will have my beach house fantasy.


Sometimes, no matter how bad for you it may be, no matter how much it makes you want to counteract it with seven miles of extra running and a handful of diet pills, you have to give in and eat comfort food.

Last night, post root canal, pizza was the most comforting thing I could think of. Fuzzy hadn’t managed to leave the house yesterday, so caught up was he in work, and I was in no condition to cook. At one point, while making the dog’s dinner, I think I spent five whole minutes contemplating the shiny metal of the knife I was using. It was pretty. (Vicodin haze.)

So we ordered pizza. Well, two, because leftovers are crucial, neither of us had eaten all day, and I generally freeze several slices for junk food emergencies. One was a stuffed crust pie. I’m not a fan of those. Too much cheese, and the crusts are never done enough for me.

We also ordered the “Rustico” pizza from Pizza Hut’s new “Naturals” line. Made on a multi-grain crust, with chicken sausage, fire-roasted red peppers, and slices of tomatos under the cheese, this was as close to a homemade pie as I’ve ever had from a commercial pizzeria. I liked it. It tasted like home.

Of course, this morning, I feel like I need to do penance in the form of a juice fast.
But whatever.

Thursday 13: The Letter O – Revisited

Thirteen Things about MISS MELISS
The Letter O, Revisited

Sara challenged me to list ten things that begin with the letter ‘O’ that are relevant to me, but since I hadn’t come up with a Thursday 13 in a long while, I’m giving her thirteen. Readers of my previous thirteen o-things from last summer will be pleased to know there are no repeats.

1) Overture: Whether it’s in the musical sense, as the preface or introduction to a larger work, or the social sense, the conversational dance we do at the beginning of a friendship, I like overtures.
2) Oceanography: If I was more math-inclined, I’d have wanted to be either a marine biologist or oceanography.
3) Opening Night: Whether I’m going to the theater to perform or to watch, nothing beats the magic of Opening Night. The anticipation, the tension, the release at the end when a show has been successful. It’s all bundled into two or three hours.
4) Observation: There’s a reason Harriet the Spy was one of my favorite books as a child. I never carried a notebook full of my friends’ secret habits, but I do tend to observe people, situations, things, before jumping in. I think it’s the writer-part of my brain that does this, because I often feel like I’m watching and participating at once.
5) Ozone: The taste of it in the air, just before a storm, just after a lightning strike, is something I can’t resist. One of the reason’s last year’s BPAL offering, “Thunder Moon” is among my favorites is the ozone note.
6) Onions: I still remember looking at onion skin under microscopes at school when I was a kid. I love the way green onions smell the morning after a rain – my grandfather’s lawn was rife with green onions and lemon grass and spring mornings always smelled like an amazing salad. I prefer onion rings to fries, and I love the marinated red onions that The Good Earth used to put on their salads. I do not, however, like onion breath.
7) Onomatopoeia: How can you not love a word that refers to other words? Specifically, of course, it refers to words that sound like what they are (Snap! Bang! Splash!)
8) Old: As a society we’re conditioned to discard old things, and, to a degree, old people, but old things can also be valuable antiques, or family heirlooms, old books hold ideas that are still relevant, and old people are the keepers of our oral histories, and warmest memories.
9) Oral History: Storytelling isn’t just for weaving entertainment, it’s for passing down knowledge, information, shared memories, legends, lore, and myths. There are nuances in the spoken word that text simply cannot translate, cannot preserve.
10) “Once upon a time”: Quite possibly the most magical phrase in the English language.
11) Olivia: A good friend of our family, writer, piano teacher, surrogate grandmother. She’s crazy as a loon, but also incredibly intelligent, vibrant, and generous.
12) Orion: The first constellation I learned to name. I still gaze at the stars, when I have the time, and the skies are clear.
13) Orders: I have a footlocker that belonged to my grandfather when he was serving in the Army in WWII. On it, with a box drawn around them in white spray paint, remain his stenciled orders – the address of his unit at the time. The rest of the footlocker has been repainted many, many times.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

This is only a drill

Well, actually, it’s about a drill.
A drill, some resin composite, several filings, and a post.

I broke a tooth last week you see. As tooth-breaks go, it wasn’t bad, a chip that didn’t cause pain, just grabbed my tongue’s attention all too often, but after having the extraction from hell last year, I knew better than to wait for pain, made a call last week, etc.

While I was in the waiting room this morning, I had a great chat with a guy in a Monkees t-shirt. Gotta love the way some people interpret men’s fashion. On the way out, the other patient, a cowboy named Dave, teased me about my hair, but it was good-natured.

My dentist, Dan Ferraro, is a very sweet, engaging guy, perhaps eight to fifteen years older than me, with the strawberry coloring typical of some Italians. My family has similar genes (I was strawberry blonde til I was fifteen), and refers to the blondest among it as “Golden Guineas,” but I didn’t mention that to him.

He was kind enough not to lecture me for not visiting the office in roughly eighteen months, and got a kick out of my pink hair and pink sneakers. He let me control the suction thingy, and used copious amounts of novocain because I’m resistant, and began what was supposed to be just an assessment, but quickly progressed to, “You’re here, I’m here, the next patient canceled, let’s do this now.”

I’d known since August 2006 that I’d likely need either a filling and crown or a root canal and crown, and the cool sonic root tester still put me at the borderline, but I was hoping for the former, rather than the latter, but it wasn’t to be. Happy Wednesday, MissMeliss. Here, have a root canal.

As root canals go, it wasn’t awful. Dr. Ferraro works quickly, with deft fingers. He’s funny, but focused, and he’s flexible. I don’t like the foam things that keep your mouth open for you, so he didn’t make me use it. “Ask if you need it,” he said. I prefer to have the ability to close my mouth when he isn’t sticking stuff in it, and didn’t need it. He’s also anti-dental dam. I asked about one, and he said, “Oh, those things that make you feel like there’s an umbrella stuck down your throat? They were just becoming popular when I finished dental school in ’86. I gave them up in ’87. There are better ways to keep stuff from going down people’s throats.”

“And this,” I said, “Is why I came back to you.”

The root canal wasn’t that bad. He filled it, but didn’t crown it. I have another $2500 worth of dental work left to do, and we’re doing it in $599 – $700 chunks over the next few months. The root canal already killed my dental insurance for the year because we have a limit on total dollar amounts, but the rest of the work is crowns and fillings, nothing hugely expensive.

I got a jamba juice on the way home, then stopped at Walgreens to fill the prescriptions for vicodin and amoxycillin. There was no pain earlier, but then the numbness went away, and the pain replaced it. I took two ibuprofen as soon as I got home, which helped the headache I’d developed, but I took a vicodin as soon as I finished the article I had to write, and will probably take a second one after dinner, to make sure I sleep, because it’s been about four hours and the pain is back in my consciousness.

In other news, my autographed copy of Dreamland, the new cd by Brent Spiner arrived yesterday. Head over to Bibliotica, and read my review.

Would You Like Free Wi-fi With That Latte?

As an AT&T user both at home and on my cell, and a frequenter of Starbucks, I was intrigued when a twitterbuddy mentioned that the former will be taking over the wi-fi presence in the latter, beginning in Q2 of 2008.

I mean, I have a cell card should I desperately need to work online from a cafe, but still…

I was a little dubious, however, so I did a quick search and found articles in MacWorld and the like all supporting this information, as well as this piece from Gizmodo.

Even better? Just having a Starbucks card gets you two free hours of access a day, no purchase required.

Q2 cannot come soon enough. (Oh, wait, we’re almost there.)