Sunday, September 30, 2007

Must be the full-ish moon

Many, many years ago, I read a book by Fay Weldon and was captivated by one paragraph. I remember fumbling around late at night by the weak light of the bedside lamp for a scrap of paper upon which to record the words. I knew I would want to read them again.

The scrap of paper ended up being the back of an envelope -- deep red, maybe a Valentine? -- and I wrote straight across the flap. A little less glue and I'd have half a profound thought. (Not the first time.) The paper was folded and tucked in my address book where it has remained to this day. I read it now and again. It still gives me pause that one writer's words can strike a reader like lightning, true and to the core. I want to write like that. I want to make someone stop, go back, read again, and feel a connection.

I pulled that scrap of paper out tonight on purpose. Because words can close the distance between writer and reader. Words can.

"...Erotic consciousness. Reader, what is etched in yours? What collar-bone, what little patch of textured skin, what dangling pendant? Think! Remember! Keep back the glacier of age by the sheer warmth, the sheer force of sexual recollections, wild imaginings! It can be done: it is worth the doing."

I'm amazed at the prescience that made me respond to those words. At the time, the glacier of age wasn't even visible on the horizon. Maybe I knew that many of my years would be spent remembering, rather than doing. Or maybe I was just glad to be in the midst of making those memories hand over breast.

I'm ready to make more.

Note: I think this quote was from The Shrapnel Academy, but really, you can't go wrong with any Fay Weldon.

Tell all your single friends -- books can amaze.

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I've Got Nothing offer tonight. 400 people were given their walking papers by the Man yesterday and I'm still processing all the turmoil.

So here are some pretty pictures from my last visit to the cottage. No Man there, I should have stayed.

Boom and his cousin Roxie, impatient to get in the lake

Ah. Just like old times. I had to take a picture.

Every sunset is a different color.


The cottage is in Canada and this picture rocks.

This picture is for Scott. Old school outhouse. Well, it was old school until my uncle hung a mirror in it to see who was coming up the hill behind him.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bad Seagull

Let's be clear: I like birds. I just don't like them near me. Yes, I did see The Birds without parental supervision and it scared the bejesus out of me. [Note: I watched it a few years ago and while it was still atmospherically creepy, I no longer fear birds pecking through house walls to get me. Much.] I just don't like them flying around my head because I don't know what they are going to do. As this Youtube video proves, they are capable of plotting. And I'm way tastier than a bag of chips.

Tell all your single friends to keep an eye on the sky -- and on their snack food!

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Grammy Said So

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother: every summer until I was 17, various holidays, and four years of university. When she died, I was completely bereft. But as with all wounds, time lessens the ache and you can remember without sadness.

Grammy had a way with words and I often find myself repeating some of her more memorable witticisms. Enjoy.

* * * * *

When I started university, Grammy carefully prepared me lunch every day. I was quite the talk of the room when I unwrapped an egg salad sandwich with a parsley garnish. People thought I stole food from a cafeteria. After a few days, I mentioned to Grammy that she could maybe lay off the parsley and she replied, "You should eat your parsley, you'll bleed less during childbirth." Childbirth being the last thing on my mind at the time, I respectfully stuck to my guns and the parsley garnish disappeared. The irony? Now I eat parsley every chance I get. Are you going to eat your parsley? Yep, you'll hear me say it if you don't chomp on it first.

* * * * *

Grammy made a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings every Sunday. Even after her children grew up and moved out, some or all would come back for Sunday dinner. Preferences were accommodated; a little dish of squash was produced for the daughter in law who didn't like mashed turnip. Desserts were homemade and not to be missed, so a second serving of beef and all the trimmings was folly. "Just finish this little bit up, it isn't enough to put away." Oh the many times we all heard Grammy say that as a healthy scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy was deposited on your plate. I had one uncle with a hearty appetite who routinely ate the equivalent of 2 + meals so Grammy wouldn't have to dirty some tupperware.

* * * * *

During summers spent at the cottage on Twelve Mile Lake, a trip into town was a big treat. Candy and comics from Stedman's and a walk down main street to see what we could see. One day, Grammy noticed a sign in front of the bakery advertising "Fresh Pie! $4.00!" She came to a dead stop and shook her head in disbelief. As we walked on, Grammy turned to me and said, "If I had four dollars for every pie I'd made, well, we wouldn't be walking down the street, that's for sure." And then we laughed. I imagined us riding in a horse drawn carriage like the queen on parade and I'm sure she was just picturing a new four door sedan. I don't buy a lot of pie, but you know what I'll be saying when I do.

* * * * *

Another phrase I heard regularly from childhood through adulthood was "Don't be saucy!" Grammy was never really mad at me, more concerned that a sharp tongue would get me in trouble. A little honey to catch that fly. I definitely didn't heed the warning and my resume reflects it. But sometimes saucy just feels good. Hearing Grammy in my mind feels even better.

Tell all your single friends, Don't be saucy! (and then giggle)

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Can Handle It!

I'm not handy. I long to be. I strive to be. But it doesn't come easily.

In my first apartment when confronted by water pouring out of the back of my toilet tank and flooding the bathroom and hallway, I sensibly made a call -- to my boyfriend who was 1,000 miles away. That's when I learned how to turn off the water.

Years later, while driving back from Florida in my mother's boyfriend's car, I dropped a gum wrapper into the cigarette lighter receptacle. My mother insisted I get it out immediately before it caught on fire. (Hmmmm, clearly the "handy and mechanical" trait was not inherited via the maternal line.) I dig around in my luggage and find some tweezers. Sadly, I didn't realize that I was playing Operation, moving vehicle version, and made contact with the metal side. Every light went out on the dashboard. To my mum's credit, she screamed, "what did you do!?!?!?" without the least bit of swerving. That's when I learned about fuses in cars.

For the past three years, I used binder clips to keep my roller blinds in the open position. Oh sure, when the first plastic roller thingie broke, I called customer service and asked what could be done. For 5 year old roller blinds? Nothing. "Although the newest version is now available for $120 each." So, I brought home binder clips from work and dealt with it. Until one night, I thought, maybe I can fix it. So, I disassembled the plastic roller thingie and found a manufacturer's name and found replacement parts on the internet. For less than $30 (including shipping!), I had brand new plasticware. Thirty minutes later, my roller blinds were rolling up and down with precision. Relatives and friends alike were amazed. "You fixed them yourself?" "So, you put the replacement parts together yourself?" To their credit, nobody said, "What took you so long?"

So I try to remember the roller blinds when something breaks. Maybe I don't have to live with it for three years. Maybe the solution is inexpensive and manageable. This new theory has led me to install a new deadbolt on my backdoor (less than $30, 1 hour), to assemble an elliptical exercise machine (I had help and it took a long time, but no assembly fee!), and last night, to unclog a sink.

I had felt the need for a real Sunday dinner -- or as close as I could get with what was in the fridge and expiring. We had turkey roast (Quorn, not real turkey), cauliflower with cheese sauce (white sauce with cheddar of course), fresh green beans steamed, and tomatoes from the farmer's market. It was tasty and in the postprandial haze, I washed a lot of green bean tips and cauliflower stems down the disposal. The disposal was having no part of it. Within seconds a greenish liquid started to churn busily in the drain. Sigh. Push the little button on the bottom of the disposal and try again. Ooohh! Now the greenish liquid has white foam. That can't be good. Call the plumber. No. I'm handy, I can do this. So I go upstairs and get the plunger. Works on toilets, must be the same principle. So I wrestle mightily with the plunger and finally with a last tug, there is a release of pressure and the drain begins to empty. Success!

I run some water and lean over the sink in pride as I turn on the disposal to clear up any remaining chunks. And then, I'm shot with green liquid square in the side of the face from the other side of the double sink. How the heck did that happen? I think, as I remove small bits of cauliflower from my hair.

How did I get to be so damn handy?

Tell your your single (plumber) friends.
XO, JamieSmitten

Friday, September 21, 2007

Things I Adore, Things I Abhor

[Yet another entry into an occasional series. Read how it has gone before here and here. Yes, I could just start using labels, but isn't that where trouble begins? With people using labels?]

5 Things I Adore Today:
  • Co-workers who share their i-pods (Surprisingly interesting collection, for a republican. Oh, excuse me, a libertarian)
  • Having tickets to an actual live music show (Dropkick Murphys! Tickets still available because this is Richmond)
  • Free Hugs! (O.K., so it was some college age Pentecostals handing out website cards, but it was still fun to hug a stranger. Just like the old days.......)
  • Pirate hats from Long John Silver (We wore them during a meeting. Who says people working for the Man don't know how to have fun? Me, that's who.)
  • Fuji Apples (It was big and juicy. Unlike my love life.)

5 Things I Abhor Today:

  • Yellow road stripe paint (Seriously, that stuff is now a permanent part of my car. They really ought to warn a girl.)
  • Limping (Boom is still getting up too slowly, although he isn't acting like he is sore. Sigh.)
  • Utter lack of ambition (In my next life, I will undoubtedly rule the world because in this life, I'm getting nowhere.)
  • My new jeans (They didn't feel like mommy jeans in the store, but I'm starting to get suspicious.....)
  • ..........

Well, I guess Adore wins for today since I could only come up with 4 Abhor. Although that is probably due to my above-referenced utter lack of ambition. See how that shit gets you? And I'm still upset about the limping.

Tell all your veterinarian single friends.

XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Teambuilding, Puppies, and Evil Dick -- Oh My!

I have no brain function left. Pity me, I spent the afternoon at a "fun" event. I have heard 12 people restate the same platitudes about what truth and respect mean. I have been forced to press shoulder to shoulder -- nearly cheek to jowl in some instances -- in the name of fostering a team spirit. I had to balance on small pieces of wood while co-workers clutched at me to keep from falling "into space." I may have pulled something. I definitely decimated my stockpile of caring statements. Working for the Man is degrading in so many ways.

But then, a bright spot! Neighbor John (who supports me in many important ways) is adopting a puppy and I got to have him all to myself tonight. His name is Zeus and he is a seven month old white bulldog/boxer/something mix with one blue eye and one brown eye. He is also deaf. Which is a challenge -- especially for me, the inventor of Pickle Talk.

[Note: I invented Pickle Talk, but I did not name it -- that honor belongs to Aimless in Oregon.]

Pickle Talk involves speaking to a dog and establishing a dialogue. Sometimes that dialogue sounds down right silly, but after countless repetitions, both you and the dog (or cat!) come to look forward to the exchange, no matter how inane. Frequently, there is even a song. Boom would be embarrassed as heck to know I'm sharing, but here is one of his: "I love Big Boom and I cannot lie, you other boys can't deny, when a Boom walks by, with a pickle and a sigh, everybody says my, my." I'm fairly certain you can guess the tune.

In any case, I instinctively and automatically started calling Zeus, my Zeus-y Papoose-y. (No, it doesn't make sense to you, but that's Pickle Talk.) And he can't hear me. So I held his sweet little face so he was looking at me and hoped that he would learn to read lips. Boom did fairly well, but was clearly relieved when Zeus was claimed by his dad. That may have had something to do with the smackdown Zeus laid on him in the backyard. Alas, my camera died and I can't find any more batteries -- but pictures of Zeus-y Papoose-y soon!

Which leads me to dick. Don't all roads? (Sorry, couldn't resist -- see above-referenced loss of brain function.) Evil Dick, that is, the winner of Big Brother 8. Yes, I watch Big Brother. I watch a lot of "lacking in redemptive value" television. That just makes me the fun person to talk to every morning by the coffee pot. Often, I'm annoyed by the winners of reality shows, but this time they got it right. Evil Dick is a foul-mouthed, slightly misogynistic, tattooed bad boy who reestablished a relationship with his daughter, outfoxed the competition, and won $500,000 without changing his personality one iota. Devil horns are raised high in your honor, E.D.!

Don't tell your single friends (until tomorrow, I need sleep)

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Queen's Roll Sushi and Plum Tart

What does my university crest have to do with this post? You'll see.

I'm an excellent dreamer. I generally remember my dreams in all their technicolor oddness for days, they are that good. I also like to take note of the previous night's meal, in case I ever need to reproduce the effect. Hence the title -- a Queen's roll from Carytown Sushi (shrimp tempura inside, spicy tuna outside) and a plum tart from Jean-Jacques. I felt like going multi-continental for dinner.

So, I went to bed around 1 a.m. and read a chapter of Stiff (there were no cadavers in my dream - YAY!). Turned off the lights and fell asleep without much to do. And this is what happened.....

* * * * *

I had just arrived at a hotel and was going to my room while a friend (female, but not recognizable) was explaining to me that my boyfriend (no name given) was already there and had been explaining how we had broken up on our trip. I was surprised and then saddened that he was telling people and wondered if I had made a mistake by going through with the break up. Suddenly, we were in the room with our other friends, and my ex-boyfriend (blond, not very tall, indistinct features) was chatting with some girl. Everybody froze when I came into the room. I said hello, hugged everybody and then we all sat/lay down on the beds to chat. I grabbed a single bed and motioned to my boyfriend to join me. He hesitated as the other girl was watching him, but he did lie down next to me while we talked.

We had been away for a week or so, it seems, and had a good time although it rained. After a decent interval of spooning, I asked my ex-boyfriend to come back to my room for a minute and we left. I told him that I wasn't sure that we had made the right decision and he said that yes, we had, and we could still be friends. At this point, as sometimes happens in my dreams, he began to morph into somebody else. He was still my boyfriend, but now he looked like Eric from Big Brother 8. This was not a happy turn of events as I find Eric really annoying. So, after taking a good look at the now non-appealing boyfriend, I said, I'm happy we broke up and he left.

Next, I'm on my way to the pool with same female friend as we have time for a dip before the big dinner party. We are wearing towels and pajama bottoms. My towel is yellow and my pajama bottoms are light blue, if it matters. There are two pools, one empty and one with some kids in it. The pool with the kids in it is warmer so we decide to get in that one. [Ewww -- in retrospect, it sounds mighty suspicious that the kid's pool is warmer.] Then, we realize that while everyone is topless, they are still wearing bathing suit bottoms -- of which we have none. My friend and I look at each other and grin -- we'll be in the water before anyone notices our total nakedness. Or so we think. She shucks her clothes and jumps in while I'm looking for a place to leave my clothes so they won't get splashed. I take off my towel and walk back to the pool and sit down at the edge to take off my pajama bottoms. Which is when I realize that Dustin Hoffman is sitting on a deck chair across the pool and is watching me with great interest. I give him a big smile, kick my legs up in the air, and pull off my pajama bottoms with flair. Only to find there is a white pair on underneath. I repeat the maneuver. Dustin is grinning happily by now. I slide into the water feeling slightly silly, but pleased that I gave Dustin a quick thrill.

I swim around until we realize that it is time to go get ready for dinner. I climb out of the pool and am toweling off when I notice that I have a tattoo of the University of Toronto crest on my upper right thigh and I don't know how it got there.

Conveniently, there is a tattoo parlour on the way back to my room so I stop in to ask if they can tell when I had it done. They look at it and determine it is about a week old -- which means that it happened on my vacation! I go to my ex-boyfriend's room and ask him, "How the hell did I get a tattoo of my university crest on my upper thigh?"

His eyes widen and he says, "You don't remember? I can't believe you don't remember!"

And that's when I wake up.

* * * * *

Which is the problem with dreams -- you don't get to choose the ending.

However, on the plus side, dream Jamie got to have a nice vacation with enough alcohol to forget she got a tattoo, flash Dustin Hoffman, and have a boyfriend, albeit briefly. Although frankly, a boyfriend who would let me get my university crest tattooed in a large 4" by 2" oval on my upper thigh clearly does not have my best interests at heart.

The Rev told me once that some people believe that if you tell your dreams out loud before you have breakfast, the dreams will come true. I chickened out and ate my rice krispies halfway though typing this post. As proud as I am of my alma mater, I'm not wearing the tree of knowledge on my thigh permanently. And the beaver just seems redundant.

Tell your single friends -- JamieSmitten's a dreamer!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Some Memories, Some Music, Some Me

When I moved to Richmond in 1995, I was moving in with the Rev (not yet even a GLIMMER of reverendosity in her eye!) and her boyfriend and his brother and another friend of the Rev's and two cats. I was told to come on down, bring your dog Caesar, and don't worry about paying rent until you get a job. You can't beat a friend like that.

So I came on down, still recovering from the loss of my beloved Grammy and from caring for my terminally ill stepmother. Caesar was himself recovering from having both cruciate ligaments replaced. So we hauled our bruised and battered selves up to the second floor to the largest apartment we'd ever seen and into the smallest bedroom we'd ever occupied. Once my futon was set up, the door only opened partially. My bottom dresser drawer was inaccessible unless I folded up the futon. We called it the Starter bedroom and joked about who would have to move out for me to move up to a room with a view.

Within a week I was employed by a temp agency doing all sorts of mind-numbing jobs, which fit beautifully into my schedule of staying up late. If we didn't go downtown to see a band at the Flood Zone or Moondance, we hung out on the front porch and drank and talked shit and just enjoyed being carefree. We were Friends without the tastefully decorated apartment and coffee shop.

One regular late night event was playing cards with Jon. We would sit at the dining room table smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and playing cards. Jon and I had a "hate/tolerate/hate" relationship. At that point, we were in the "tolerate" phase, and we talked as least as much smack, if not more, than we played cards. And we listened to music. I remember one long stretch (maybe a month?) when we played cards almost every night while the same three cd's played random tracks on the Rev's cd player. Mine: I Am an Elastic Firecracker by Tripping Daisy. [I was convinced that my soul mate would approach me singing, "I got a girl she loves her dog, I got a girl I love her dog too."] The Rev's: Wonderful by Adam & the Ants [Antmusic for Adults?] Jon's: Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette [This might actually have belonged to the Rev, but Jon was relating to it heavily that year and would violently declaim his right to go down on you in a theatre.]

As you can imagine, hearing tracks from these three albums randomly intermingled was jarring. After a few weeks, I don't think we even noticed we were singing along between drags and gulps and "play your card, bitch." But we were. Because when I put my newly acquired from eBay $0.99 Wonderful cd in my car stereo this morning, I remembered every word. And these are not words that really merit retention 12 years after the fact: push, push, because I like it like that, push, push, and then she pushed back. Or this nugget of wisdom: words are only words, said another way. But I knew them all.

And I remembered sitting at that dining room table, smoking cigarettes (which I don't do any more), with Jon (whom I don't see any more -- permanent hate phase), listening to a musical mash up (which I could now create on my Zen), and being happy.

Happy because I had friends and enough money for beer and my nominal rent. Happy because I was surrounded by life after being so close to death. $0.99 is a pretty decent price to pay for a reminder of how that happy felt.

Now if I could just remember the name of the card game we played. Seriously, it is driving me mad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Want to Live in Ulyanovsk!

Richmond is a not an exciting city. It has its charms, but thrills are not included. Sort of the anti-Las Vegas. I can state that with authority, having lived in both places.

But today, September 12, hands down the place to be for sheer enjoyment was Ulyanovsk, Russia. Don't believe me? Read here.

The governor of Ulyanovsk told couples to stay home and make love. Yep -- government mandated hump day. Don't even bother to call the boss with a lame excuse, because he's at home getting busy too.

Have a headache, think you won't participate? Then you won't be eligible for a prize if your baby is born nine months from today on Russia Day. This year, the lucky couple won a Jeep! And heck, even unwed mothers can win a little something. No discrimination there.

So, I've got $20.59 in my wallet. I only need $1,430 more to make a flight from Richmond on Tuesday. Although I'd have to work quickly. And how would I get the Jeep home?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Today and Every 56 Days

I should volunteer more. I used to walk dogs at the SPCA, but a work move made it nearly impossible to get across town before they closed for the evening. So, I stop by once a month and fill the treat jars with premium biscuits and provide some loving attention.

I've volunteered at the Central Virginia Food Bank and plan to do it again. It is kind of soothing for this Montessori child to pluck cans of vegetables from a big bin and then stack them with other like minded cans in the store area. Bringing order to the world on a small scale.

I've worked on three Habitat for Humanity houses sponsored by my employer, the Man. Working side by side with the homeowners, I've learned to apply siding, install insulation, table saw really big boards into slightly smaller boards, and move scaffolding to every side of a house. More importantly, I've helped to build homes.

But the easiest volunteer activity? I give blood. Every 56 days, give or take a day for scheduling. And please don't think I'm one of those super tough "it doesn't hurt" kind of people. It isn't the most fun part of my day, but it is easy and so, so necessary. Plus, you can sit at the little table afterwards and eat all the Fig Newtons and drink all the Donald Duck orange juice you want. They won't kick you out. Because you just saved three lives with your 1 donation.

Final incentive? According to the Virginia Blood Services website FAQ, since a pint of blood weighs 1 pound, you actually lose a pound every time you donate blood. So think how many more Fig Newtons you can eat!

Tell ALL your single (and married) friends...that you are a donor!

XO, Jamiesmitten

Monday, September 10, 2007

Some Little Known Facts About JamieSmitten

I think I'm pretty open and easy to read, albeit a tad quirky and unpredictable. Basically, I don't keep a lot of secrets about me. Now about other people, I've got secrets a plenty. But about me, not so much. So here are a few little known facts, just to be sure my self image of openness is correct.

  • I can't read the open/close door symbols in elevators. I never use those buttons unless they have the actual word. Believe me, I've tried to work on this one. Are the triangles supposed to be like ears that you pull apart? Or are the triangles pressing their hypotenuses together to symbolize closure? It just seems like too much to memorize at this stage of life.

  • I have 29 boxes of tea in my kitchen cupboard. 4 were gifts, 11 are non-caffeinated. My favorites are Harney & Sons Paris, Numi Monkey King Jasmine Green Tea, and Twinings Black Currant. I have spent more than $10 for a box of tea and thought it money well spent. It is probably a 12-step-worthy addiction, but it is legal. Lucky me!

  • I have written 2 complete poems. One when I was in high school and one last year. They will never be published here, but I am proud of them. Complete is to differentiate from the lyric fragments I compose regularly. They all sound very country tragic, which is odd, because that's not me. Not likely to be published here, but only because I forget them before I get to a pen.

  • I usually read 2 or 3 books at the same time. I just like variety, so there is a stack by the bed with bookmarks scattered throughout to ensure I have something that suits my mood for my bedtime read. Of course, some books can't be interrupted. Recent reads in that category: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

  • I have a scar on my left index finger from opening a bottle of salad dressing with a knife. Yep, I'm that coordinated. It is actually a pretty neat scar considering we didn't have any bandages handy so it was closed with duct tape overnight. MLA (My Last Alcoholic) was quite handy in an emergency. Sadly, I was working in Las Vegas at the time and you don't want to know how hard it is to shuffle 6 decks of cards with a finger immobilized. On the plus side, I got lots more tokes (tips) for a few shifts because all the players felt sorry for the dealer with the sore finger. They should have felt sorry for me for living with MLA, but that's another post.

Don't you just feel closer to me already?

Tell all your single friends.

XO, JamieSmitten

Boom Scores!

So, I already know the Boom is the best dog in the world with many talents. But last night he really earned his frosty paws!

So Boom is a pretty mellow dog -- honest -- don't confuse barking with actual activity. However, like many dogs, he occasionally has what I call a "puppy freak out." For no discernible (to me) reason, he grabs one of his many toys or more often, the tail end of a rawhide, and starts flinging it about the living room with abandon.

We play this game for awhile -- grab the rawhide and toss it into the dining room. I try to aim under the dining room table as that forces Boom to use his cognitive skills to determine how to get between the chairs to retrieve the bone. This activity is loud and causes all manner of distress to the wood floor. But that's a small price to participate in a puppy freak out, right?

Invariably during the puppy freak out, the bone is flung under the couch. Boom can't reach the bone, so he puts his head under the couch (the rest of him doesn't fit) and whines steadily until someone gets up and moves the couch to get the bone.

When I moved the couch yesterday, there was something else lying next to the bone. Those of you who have been to my house are thinking giant hairball and I won't lie, that was there too. But lying in dusty splendor next to Boom's bone was......
MY LOST EARRING! Eureka! Sure, you could say that was a lucky bone fling, but I know better. Or, you could just say lucky bone fling because that sounds way more exciting than finding an earring. But that's another post.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fruited Flight of Fancy

I love a full fruit bowl. Bananas begging to be slipped between two pieces of toast smothered with warm peanut butter. Nectarines needing to be eaten with gusto until the juice runs down your arms and stickifies your chin. Apples aspiring to transcend their bottom spot in the fruit bowl by hitching a ride in the lunchbox. Last but definitely not least, Mangoes mesmerizing the palate with the sweet flavors of a long ago place. The world is on my kitchen counter in a $2.99 bowl from Target.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things I Adore, Things I Abhor

The second in an admittedly short series (which started here)

5 Things I Adore Today:
  • 4 day work weeks! (an extra day away from the Man)
  • Friends who write checks in exchange for cash to help you out of a self-induced internet bank account deficit (Stephano -- 2 Adores in a row! In truth, I adore you every day)
  • Chunky peanut butter (I used to be a creamy girl!)
  • Purple Rain album (Baby, I'm a STAR!)
  • Monarch of the Glen, a BBC series (I'm going to Glenbogle before I die)

5 Things I Abhor Today:

  • Short sighted, narrow minded, just plain WRONG HEADED self-important middle management who don't hire the best, smartest, most wonderful woman for the job (Wombat -- you were robbed! Better opportunities are on the horizon)
  • Meetings in which people talk for over an hour and NOTHING gets decided (Sadly, this is a daily occurrence when you work for the Man)
  • Stepping off the elliptical before the time runs out (It isn't hard or painful, so why don't I just suck it up and do the full time? Slacker, thy name is JamieSmitten)
  • Dry, itchy dog fur (Boom is positively terrorizing his tail region with chewing. Clearly, the fish oil has not solved the problem)
  • Meeting friends while walking the Boom in a ratty t-shirt, shapeless shorts, and a post-elliptical "glow" (They didn't avoid me, but they were upwind)

Tough call. I'm going to declare it a draw today, mainly because of Wombat's job misfortune. However as the Rev reminded me on the phone today, it is all about finding the small joys in every day. The search begins anew tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, Then you suffer, Superstition ain't the way"

I'm superstitious. I truly believe the following:

  • If you say a person's name backwards three times in a row, it will make them think of you. So, no hard evidence to back this one up, but like the over the shoulder salt toss, it really can't hurt, eh? mooB mooB, mooB mooB, mooB mooB. My dog TOTALLY just came over and sat next to me on the couch. Try it, report back.

  • If I buy condoms, the sex gods will punish my hubris and I won't get any. This curse does not seem to be the full 7 year curse of the broken mirror, but it can last a staggeringly long time. Which made the condoms handed to me by multiple Trojan reps at Virgin Festival such an excellent sign. The universe was clearly telling me to get on with it! Sadly, said condoms were not retrieved from my friend's backpack, so I'm back to square one. If the Rev is reading, please send my (wear if you) care package ASAP!

  • If you declare a piece of jewelry to be your favorite, you will lose it. O.K., this may be more of a belief in Murphy's Law than a true superstition, but you really don't want to debate me, do you? Not with this compelling bit of evidence.

I bought a pair of earrings at a street fair in Melbourne, Australia in January, 1992. I don't remember the exact price, but it was my last day in Australia and I definitely didn't have much money left -- so $10 or less. Simple, whimsical, and predominantly yellow. That was odd, since I've owned about 3 yellow pieces of clothing in my entire life. But they spoke to me and wearing them never failed to make me happy.

So, although these earrings were special, I never said out loud that they were my favorite pair of earrings. Tougher task than it sounds because people always noticed them and asked where I bought them. So, I became complacent. I've had these earrings for 15 years -- a lifetime and then some for $10 jewelry. Can you see where this is going? I told a co-worker who complimented them that they were hands down, my favorite earrings ever. I wanted to take it back the minute I said it. However, I didn't want afore-mentioned co-worker to think I was truly nuts. So I hoped that the universe wasn't listening. Ha.

Two days later, I went down to the 17th Street Farmer's Market to buy a bracelet from Anna. [She's marvelous -- go buy something]. This was a special bracelet, my chosen color, made just for me. So I wear my bracelet home and realize that it is the exact same color as the decoration on my favorite earrings. Hooray -- TWO slices of matching happy. I don my earrings and head out for the day. Not much of day, to be sure, but sparklier because I am resplendent. Even my friend Flat Water Jodi (yes, I will explain that nickname in a later post) notes my uncharacteristically put together appearance. Then, it happens. My right earring falls off. Fortunately, it heads straight for my cleavage. [Second only to attracting attention is the jewelry catching function of cleavage.] I gasp, startling the other moviegoers who have become almost stupefied by the length and pointlessness of Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (it was $2, at least I wasn't robbed) and rehang my happy charm. The movie over, I take the Boom for a late night stroll and then settle in for some Blush archive reading. When I finally rouse myself to go to bed, I reach up to remove my earrings and find that one is gone. Oh cursed day! I retrace my walking steps twice, but to no avail and I know that as I scan the ground. Gone. Payment exacted for complacency.

So, if you see my wearing my brand new bracelet, please feel free to ask me where I got it, but don't expect any declarations of love. This is just a bracelet.

Ooh - you can see my square freckle! Way square-r in person!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

You Won eBay Item.....

I'm new to eBay. So new, I haven't even earned my first star. But I'm well on my way.

It all started with a commercial. Yep -- a happy, speedy song from an i-tunes commercial. I liked what I heard, I looked it up online, and quickly purchased my import copy of the Fratellis debut album. Sure, I could have waited a month for the U.S. release, but time's a-wasting when there is good music to be had.

So, I have my new cd and I play it constantly. Constant rotation in the car and on the Zen Micro (sorry, i-tunes, you didn't get my download or mp3 dollar). I'm in love. I even sign up for the newsletter. I'm a go the whole way kind of gal. Which is how I find out about the Fratellis playing Virgin Festival.

Hmmmmm. $100 for the day, 4 hours away, no viable companions to make the pilgrimage with me. Obstacle? Not even. I send an email, make a call, and lo and behold, I'm sitting online at 9:59 a.m. on a Saturday waiting to buy 3 single day tickets. The Police were playing as well, so my impassioned plea to see the BEST BAND EVER was happily misconstrued.

So, Virgin Festival was hot and hot if you know what I mean, but that's another blog. I loved, loved, loved the Fratellis' set. My joy being tempered only by the cancellation of their signing session and the dearth of t-shirts. How can I convert the masses if I can't emblazon FRATELLIS across my boobs?

So, I check eBay. Why not? Millions do it. My friend Wombat does it regularly. I can do it. A simple search and voila! No t-shirts but a cover song on the Hot Fuzz soundtrack! I bid. I'm a bidder. I can't look away or I WILL LOSE. Besides, I was at work and bored. Long blog short, I won the cd, liked a song on that cd, searched eBay for more from the same artist, ended up buying a 70s glam compilation, which led to the Breakfast from Pluto dvd, which reminded me that I only have the original, true Hairspray on vhs and should really get the dvd, and so on.

The good news is that it is a lot less expensive than buying all these items new. The bad news is that I really don't need any of it. But like I said, I'm a go the whole way kind of gal.

Tell your single friends.

XO, JamieSmitten

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another Saturday Night and I ain't got nobody.....

"I've got some money, 'cause I just got paid." But happily, I'm not in an awful way.

There's a song for every day, emotion, event, eh? And sometimes, they just leap into your head.

Whenever I hear "curiosity killed the cat," I immediately say, "but George don't go for that, ba-dabba dabba dabba." Then I spend a good 5 minutes trying to retrieve the next line of that Jo Boxers song and explaining to anyone in the immediate vicinity that the band that sang "Just Got Lucky" had this other song, and oh never mind.[Sadly, it appears the lyrics to "Curious George" are not available online, so I will add another cd to my eBay wish list.]

"Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick. The one that makes me scream, she said." I've certainly had that one go through my mind in the throes of passion.

"Ya got nothing to lose, you don't lose when you lose fake friends." Joan Jett didn't just love rock 'n roll, she made it clear that sometimes you are better off without the people in your life.

"What you see is what you get, nothing more, nothing less. I'm chillin' smokin' chronic while you're chokin' on stress." A good reminder on the way into work. On the way home from work, you can't go wrong with "I wanna be sedated."

My current blush, Scott from Oregon (see my confession here), had a post about singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" whenever he gets a song stuck in his head. Interesting, I thought, but I usually let the song linger for awhile before I try to move it along.

Great. Now I've got that freaking Cranberries song stuck in my head.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle....