Thursday, March 31, 2005

On eye strain and clarity

I've been wanting to do this thing for, oh, at least a year, but today I finally a) remembered and brought the supplies, and b) made myself follow through. This thing, this huge thing for me, is forcing myself to wear my "new" contact lenses I got just about a year ago and have only worn a handful of times. Cutting out a lot of history going back and forth and then wearing glasses for years, last year I made the "decision" to try hard lenses again. Sorry, not "hard" -- "gas permeable" (hard). I. Hate. Them. Just like I hated them when I first tried them about 6 years ago. BUT. And this is the real big BUT -- I can see so well out of them it's spooky. MUCH better than I ever saw in soft lenses or my glasses. But it's such an ordeal for me to put them in, wear them long enough to let my eyes get used to them, and then I can't take them out without a tiny plunger thingie -- it's all rather exhausting and requires, well, patience. And if I have learned one thing in 35 years, it's that I am not great with patience.

But lately I've noticed I can't see as well through my glasses, and it might be time to go get another pair (for a paltry $700). I made a pact w/myself that I would first try to wear the contacts again. So after weeks of "forgetting" them at home, today I brought them, and I just put them in. And. And. I can SEE. It's amazing, actually. Everything is crisp and has edges. Even though my eyes itch and want to reject the hard pieces of plastic adorning them, they are not straining to see. It's very surreal. I'm uncomfortable, but also excited. I can see!!!

Which brings me to the clarity part. Of course i'm not just referring to physically being able to see, that would be too simple, too obvious for an introspective creature like myself. I'm referring to how I've noticed, in just a few short minutes, that I feel somehow more connected with the world in my contacts. I know that by shedding the specs I've literally stripped a layer from between me and the world, but it's more than that. I feel like I'm really present. Really here, in the moment. I like it. This may be dorky or naive (or both), but I'm thinking this may be the little nudge that's going to start me on my path to a better me. Sometimes all it takes is one small change to get the ball rolling, I've found.

So, we'll see. Pun intended.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Shhh, do you hear that? That would be a 'Ding Dong' -- you hear it now, right?

Yes well, that's me.

So I've been upset that my new camera suddenly stopped working. I went out and bought the $25 fancy, expensive batteries -- nothing. I read the stupid useless manual from cover to cover -- nothing. I even searched online for at least an hour trying to find out if anyone else had this weird problem. Mostly, I just kept grimacing and pushing the ON button over and over and over again in helpless frustration. This has been going on for weeks now. Until tonight.

Tonight, when I casually picked up my camera while I was waiting for a web page to load, and pressed the POWER button. And it came on. Good as new. I sat there in shock and wonder until I figured it out. And I need to share it, my friends. I have outdone myself this time. The reason it hasn't been working, but tonight it did? Well that would be because tonight I actually pressed the POWER button, as opposed to the larger button right next to it, the TAKE A PICTURE button. Mistaken, for the past several weeks, for the ON button.
I want to give you ample time to absorb this new information. Take the time to re-evaluate your relationship with me and if you think it's going anywhere. I mean you too, mom.
So. Amazingly, the camera would not take pictures with the power off. And how I forgot, FOR WEEKS, which button was which, I do not know. However it has inspired me to go to bed right now. Right this minute. Right. Now.

Tomorrow I should receive by mail the receipt my mom dug up from before Christmas. Thank the Good Lord I didn't actually try to return the camera -- that would have made me *seem* like a big idiot. No, I only just did that myself, by sharing it on the Internet.

and that is all I have to say. and isn't that enough?

They will never know the bullet they dodged

I'm speaking of mis tres gatos largos. Today is the day the D's would have moved in, had they not come to their senses over the weekend :) Sometime between my last post and the weekend, my sister reevaluated the shortcomings of their plan to move into my little house with their family of five, which would have ended up being three adults, three little boys, and three cats in 1300 square feet of sheer FUN. Yeah, fun for ME because I would have continued to be gone 10 hours or so a day. It wasn't going to be fun for her to act as single mom so much during the week, and my BIL would have wanted to drive back and forth, and they would have gone broke paying for gas, and my nephews would have developed feline phobias, and my sister would have lost her mind, and...and... anyway, they rented an apartment in S.A., in between my BIL's work and my parents, which is a smart location for grandkids.

How do I feel? Well contrary to what may be popular belief, I did not feel instant and intense relief. In fact, I felt disappointment tinged with a sadness. And yes, a little bit of relief, but not at first. Nicolee and I had started making big plans for the summer, and I was fantasizing about having a "real family" waiting for me at home, and even having company more often than not. I was thinking it would be a great opportunity to jump-start myself out of my current slump. I was envisioning waking up earlier, maybe in time to take a walk or eat a real breakfast; having a reason to go home at night instead of hitting a restaurant or mall; going for walks around town lake with my nephews; etc etc.

And now? I guess I'm going to have to reach deep within myself and find enough personal motivation to do these things anyway. Because I definitely am ready for a change. I've had these epiphanies before, every few years, when I suddenly decide that I hate my body enough FOR REAL to do something about it. It has been way too long since I've had this motivation. Now is the time, I'm thinking. Not just for the sake of aesthetics, but for the sake of my health. If I start deteriorating now, in my 30s, it's only going to get worse -- and I would hate to finally get in shape in my 50s and then be pissed off that I "wasted" my younger years on the couch. I think about this a lot. As I lounge on the couch and watch Law & Order reruns. It troubles me.

The only way this will work is if I am accountable only to myself. I am doing it for me, not for all the cute boys in Austin who only date skinny girls, not for America's Top Model, the producers of which have incidentally been beating down my door. No, although those are good reasons, the most important reason has to be selfish. It has to be ME.

Important Hair Update: this is Day 4 of Mousse Hair... and I have to admit that it's growing on me. Is that weird?? I mean, the 80s rocked, right?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

80s hair

I got out of the shower this morning and realized, much to my dismay, that I'm completely out of my magic Aveda "finishing solution" -- a situation that sets two lifetime precedents for me. One, I have never, N-E-V-E-R, finished a hair product other than a can of hairspray. I get bored or it just doesn't work. So it is notable that I went through this whole container. It took me 2 years, but I did it!! The second precedent is that I'm going to RE-purchase said hair product. Yes, the SAME ONE. This has also never happened, except for the Aussie Scrunch Spray phase that defined my (and probably your) hair in the early 90s.... you know the one. Don't lie.

Anyway, I was totally not expecting this since it's never happened, and there I was, stuck, knowing my hair would look even worse than usual if I didn't put some kind of taming product in it. Well fortunately I inherited some of the O. Pack-Rat Genes, so rather than chucking all these rejected hair products, I have quite a selection of castoffs under my bathroom sink. Precisely for emergencies like today.

So I rummaged around and pulled out a can of Vavoom! mousse. Did I just say "mousse"? Do they even make mousse anymore? How old is this stuff?? What is mousse, anyway?? But I had no time to explore these ponderous questions, because as usual I was up against the clock. I quickly applied said mousse, did a quick hair-dry on High, and ran out the door. Ok, I got dressed and stuff, duh. Well, it wasn't until a few minutes ago, when I visited the ladies room, that I finally stopped and really looked at my hair. And. And. And I look like a cross between Pat Benetar and Debbie Gibson. Seriously. All I need is a lace bow. Now I remember just how old this mousse is, and what it was for. Holy moly. "Big hair" doesn't even begin to describe it.

I should be receiving my Aveda product re-order within 3-4 days through the mail. I wonder if I can go that long without washing my hair again...hmmmm.....

I feel like I should stop on the way home and get some chick at Super Cuts to give me some tall bangs to go with the floof.

One. More. Hour.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


This morning, I woke up a tad late so I was rushing around, as usual. The cats were being particularly mellow, maybe because we didn't go to bed til late last night? In any event, Jess remained burrowed under the covers when I got up and Piper continued to roll around and lazily bathe herself on the bed, and usually they're in my face at the sink as I prepare for work. Whatever. Meggie even stayed quiet, not croaking at me in her smoker's meow as per usual. The kits didn't even glance at me as I left, they were like "see ya" with a flick of their tails. I have perfected the 15-minute routine, so I was out the door and in my car before I realized I forgot my shoes. I ran back inside, and my delicate bare feet must have been silent because I caught the kitties off guard. And this is what I witnessed upon returning to my bedroom:

Jess and Piper sitting in identical poses, parellel to one another, in my bathroom doorway, with deer-in-the-headlights expresssions. Meggie sitting in the middle of my bed looking surprised and somewhat glazed. They all nervously glance at one another, and in a rare show of solidarity, Piper even met eyes with Megs without growling. Something was clearly up.

I ignored them, jumped over Jess/Piper (who didn't move) and grabbed my shoes, leaping back over the cats and running back out to my car. Now I don't know for sure, but here's what I think happened after that.

Jess: Well shit, that was a close one.
Piper: I know! What's up with her sneaking up on us?? We're CATS, we're supposed to have bionic HEARING.
Megs: Croak.
Piper: Shut up. You're no help, you old bat.
Jess: Ladies. Please.

And that was my morning. Followed by about a pound of Cadbury eggs (the mini eggs, with the hard candy shells). And some client drama. And a lot of fatigue. And a rather monumental sugar crash. And complete rejection of my Lean Cuisine in the fridge.

In other news, my sister and I are starting to let our imaginations take hold and romanticize the whole living situation that is fast approaching. We're tossing around visions of karate and tumbling classes for the boys; yoga or the gym for us; a sparkling house and warm supper on the table every evening when I come home :D; countless house projects for an enthusiastic and energetic BIL. Yes, all is well in the land of Fantasy, Hope, and Relative Naivete. My favorite land of all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Meme of the day

Note: I do not have any idea what "meme" means, but it appears to include questionnaires like this that people, like me, post on their blogs, like this. This is from Steph. Everyone else? Tag, you're it!

My name is: Lisa

I may seem: scattered. And I am.

People who know me think: I need to get out more.

If you knew me you'd probably: end up giving me diet/exercise advice.

Sometimes I feel: like I will never learn to fully love and accept myself. Therefore, I fear I will never find someone to love or accept me -- if I can't, who will?

My days are pretty: mundane during the week, broken up by the occasional dinner or HH.

Yesterday: I finally ran my dishwasher for the first time in 2 weeks (it's all about to change, eh Nicole? ;).

In the morning I: hit snooze for about an hour and then drag out of bed and try to be alert enough to get through the morning commute.

I like to sleep: a lot. Late. Naps. In the sun, in the rain. I. Like. to. Sleep.

If I could be doing anything right now I would be: traipsing through the streets of Paris. Or Italy. Or Germany. Heck, even Las Vegas.

Money: only becomes more complex the older you get and the more you make.

One thing I don't have that I wish I did is: a personal trainer.

One thing I have that I wish I didn't is: so much extra weight.

All you need is: a great friend you can count on.

All I need is: chocolate and bubble baths. (I mean, BESIDES my great friends I can count on ;)

If I had one wish it would be: to have unlimited funds forever and ever. This would allow me to do so many other things, like get healthy, write a novel, bestow moola on those I love, travel everywhere, and not stress out about debt anymore.

Love is: chocolate and bubble baths.

If I could see one person right now it would be: Rocco.

Something I want but I don't really need is: a bigger house with more windows.

I live for: the moment -- or at least, that is my ultimate goal, to live for today, not yesterday or tomorrow.

I am afraid of: being a failure.

It makes me angry when: people are dishonest and don't say what they really mean.

I dream about: people in my past, present and future; large houses with neverending hallways and rooms; being in my HS and not being able to find my locker; missing a final in college; getting to the airport just in time for a flight but realizing I forgot my passport; pastel, neon-colored kittens in the parking lot at Windsor Park Mall; flying; donuts; shall I continue?

I daydream about: the day when I am completely fulfilled by what I have that very moment. I want peace with myself, my body, my career, my family, my social life, everything. Peace.


Monday, March 21, 2005

A new week, a new life

Quote of the day so far: "Is the belly-band booger-glued?", asked an AE of a printer on the phone. Yes, it makes perfect sense in the publishing community, but it still caught me off guard to hear the actual words...

So. I know Nicole is probably checking this maniacally to see what I say about the Latest Development :) Wait no longer, sistah!

I've been wanting to shake things up a bit, right? Well I've outdone myself on this one! My sister and her family (5 total) are going to live with me for the next five months or so until their new house is built in San Antonio. They sold their current house already and need a place to stay, and it just made sense. And maybe i'm loopy from all the Cadbury eggs i've consumed this weekend, but I'm thinking it will be fun! So far, no stress! It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to REALLY bond with my nephews -- in fact, Cooper will learn to walk in my house, and that's way cool! Not only that, but my BIL is going to do some house projects for me, so I'm thinking by the time they move out I could feasibly put my house on the market right away -- assuming I still want to move by then. They may drive away, and I'll think "This house is HUGE-- WHAT was I THINKING??" And if so, so be it.

I'm not saying I think it's going to be all wine and roses -- I mean, three boys under the age of 5 will be living in my house along with three cats and three adults -- but I think we're all honest and sensitive enough that we'll be able to talk through any troubles. We've already agreed that Auntie Lisa will need some Alone Time and may lock herself in her room during those times :)

So. There's that! More updates and thoughts on this as it develops, of course.

The rest of my weekend I spent running errands and semi-working on my house. There are some things I need to do before the D's descend, and this is GREAT motivation to finally get off my butt and do them! I am trying to de-crappify my house, so we'll see how it goes.

In other news, it's official: Jess has reached that cat age where he's geriatric and drools anytime he relaxes. And he's a pretty laid-back cat. On my face, In my hair. In my ear. He is also aware that I'm not keen on this new behavior. Because I scream and flail around, scrubbing at my face with my sheets whenever it happens. But hey, it sucks to get old, we all do it -- what are you gonna do? ;)

that is all.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


I had a very vivid dream last night about my high-school sweetheart, Chris. It was so absorbing that I woke up even before my alarm clock went off just by opening my eyes suddenly, and realized I hadn't moved all night. This is highly unusual for me, i'm a tosser and turner. When I closed my eyes again I went right back into the dream.

Basically, the dream was about Chris and I rediscovering each other now. It was this weird morph between the present and how we were in high school. Like he still lived in his parents' house but he had his own "wing" so it was kind of private. His little brother still snooped around trying to spy on us. His mom and sister were still sugary sweet to me b/c somehow they sensed I was the best thing that was ever gonna happen to him. Sorry, but it's TRUE!!! Anyway, in the dream I spent the night with him in his "wing", just an innocent sleepover type of thing, nothing seedy. BUT I had stayed without telling my parents where I was and they had worried about me all night. And they were furious in the morning when they found out where I was. They called and told his mom they were coming to pick me up. Pick me up????? I felt all kinds of guilt and stress and then indignation, because I kept thinking "I'm 35 years old, how can you POSSIBLY tell me what to do??" They even grounded me in the dream, and I was yelling, "That's impossible! I have my own house. How are you gonna know??" Then the scene flips to my house, only it wasn't really my house -- you know how it is in dreams. I'm frantically trying to clean it up b/c Chris is coming to visit and I want to impress him. That's about the extent of the dream, but it's much more the feelings than the actions that have been haunting me today.

Being with him again felt very comfortable. We slipped right back into our relationship, where he was like my best friend again. Only somehow we were on a level playing field now. He was really grown-up and mature and "got" me. But I didn't want to tell anyone yet that we were back together because I knew I'd have to defend the decision (as I did over and over again back in the day...over...and over...........and......over........).

The reality? Last I heard, Chris had been re-deployed into the Air Force, and lives on a base in Florida with his 3rd wife and their 2 kids. And that was pretty recent. I'm pretty confident that if we really were to bump into each other now, the attraction would be minimal. I mean, if we were in different worlds in HIGH SCHOOL, we'd really be out of sync now.

I think the main thing that has been following me today is that "safe", familiar feeling. Which is wrong, because he cheated his ass off on me pretty much all through high school. But hey, he always came back so somehow it was ok - ??? So why do I still associate him with security? Is it because we grew up together? We learned about first love and all the hurt that goes with it at such a young age? I think it is. I think that because he knew me then, he really knew me, that he somehow holds some of me still, some of that "old" Lisa I can't find anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine the way things are -- but I guess I get a little nostalgic thinking about how untainted and trusting I was back then. I still believed that love could conquer everything, that love was all that mattered. In a way, Chris has been the only guy in my life to ever truly know me, the only one who got all of me, because after him I stopped trusting. After him I was always suspicious. I have always held back parts of myself since then.

It is possible, then, that he's the only guy to ever know the "real" me. Maybe that's the mystique and why he still shows up in my dreams every now and then. Maybe I imagine that if we met now, he would be able to give me a clue as to who I used to be. He might remind me of a more innocent time when I still had a lot of hope and faith in the future. (Not that I think of the future as a mind-numbing abyss now, but I no longer assume ANYTHING. It's all up for grabs.) Chris and I learned a LOT of life lessons together. He has profoundly affected me and all of my relationships since. Not in a bad way necessarily, but definitely in a way.

I wonder, is everyone's first love so intense? Does everyone pour everything they have into whoever they love first, unabashedly revelling in the pure joy of being "in love"? Holding nothing back? Foolishly believing they can feel that way forever, or that every love in the future will be as thrilling?

I wonder.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Things I Hate, the short list

Because I am now at home trying to think of golf headlines, and I'm procrastinating, I decided to make a short list of Things I Hate.

1. driving in a winter coat -- you might as well be in a strait jacket. I guess, I mean, how would I know?

2. body lotion that smells like coconut.

3. petting my cats as they shed heavily basically all year round except maybe a couple of weeks between December and January.

4. sleeping on a hairy pillow.

5. feeling obligated.

6. reruns of reruns i've already seen.

7. cleaning the cat box(es).

8. changing my sheets. I DO it, but I hate it, every single time.

9. anything that has been in my fridge for more than 2 days.

10. hospital smell.

11. nuts that are in things, e.g. cookies, brownies, etc. Nuts, IMHO, should stand alone.

I can make my list an uneven 11 because it's my blog and I can do what I want to. Do what I want to. Do what I want to.

It's just wrong

I have spent much of my work day trying to come up with headlines for ads about a new golf course. HOW did this ever get assigned to me?? I know less about golf than...well... lots of other stuff. Like lizards and cats -- I know a lot about lizards and cats. And ice cream. And beauty products. Just not golf. Unfortunately we do not have any clients that sell lizards, cats, ice cream, or beauty products. Dammit.

It is cold today, which is weird for mid-March. Although it amuses me, in a mean way, that it's 40 degrees during SPRING BREAK -- HA HA to all those people who are on VACATION this week while i'm here in my cube researching GOLF TERMS!

There are other things annoying me today, also. Nothing major, just a bunch of little things adding up. For one thing, there is something mysteriously wrong with my brand new shiny digital camera that I love. It seems like a battery issue, but I've changed the batteries and it still won't turn on. I am perplexed and irritated -- I just used it a week ago, what happened???

In addition, in a gross oversight I evidently forgot to pay my land-line phone bill last month, and I realized today it had been disconnected. SIGH. I am too old for this kind of shit to slip through the cracks. The problem is I feel like time is spinning by so fast these days that I honestly never know what month it is, let alone the day. I mean, come ON people, how are we in mid-March???? Anyway, I went online, paid it, and set up auto-payments from now on so they can just TAKE the money whenever they want to. I only have a couple more bills to set up and all of it will be automated from now on. I used to be distrustful about these auto-withdrawals from my bank, but hey -- this is 2005 and a girl shouldn't have to worry about forgetting to pay her phone bill, right? As I often tell my mom, paying for things online is not any more dangerous than handing your credit card to the pimply 16-year-old cashier at the HEB, as far as I can tell. The Internet probably makes less mistakes, in fact, than that pimply, 16-year old checker flirting with the quiet girl who works in the frozen food department. (Oh, I know that department WELL).

Oh, and starting two days ago? In a stoke of irony, the one smoke detector in my house I can't reach, on the apex of my kitchen ceiling, is low on batteries and has been beeping at me insistently. Yesterday I climbed my painting ladder, which of course was not tall enough, and poked at it with a broomstick, HARD, until it gave a giant beep and then stopped. I have no idea what I did, but it stopped and that is all that counts. Don't worry about me, there are about 12 more smoke detectors scattered throughout my modest 1300 sq. foot house. I suppose that also means that at some point, they will ALL get low on batteries and start beeping, DEAR GOD NO.

Ok, I just wanted to check in and spew forth some venom. Just kidding. I think it makes me feel better to get stuff out there -- today I'm not sure, but I'll keep you posted, don't touch that keyboard!

that is all for now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Top 10 klutziest moments

I read another blog today that was talking about being a clumsy child, and it made me realize that all my life I have been plagued with this issue. Why, I don't know. But I decided to make a list and see if I can narrow it down to a Top 10 list of these moments, the ones you wish you could just might be hard, but here goes:

1. Trip to Europe with Tam in 1997 — can't narrow it down to one incident; this whole trip was a physical disaster. I believe I fell a total of 5 times, one of those times severely injuring my poor, poor left ankle that has been through so much already... You'll have to ask Tam if you want details. I try very hard to block these out.

2. The inside stairs at my last job — I believe I fell down these two flights of stairs 3 times during my 18 months there. These concrete, sharp, LOUD stairs. No injuries were sustained.

3. The outside stairs at my last job — this time there were witnesses. There were about 4-5 steps leading from the building to the parking lot, and one day I was leaving for lunch and just, I dunno, missed one. I fell on my hip in front of a whole group of people, who rushed over to help -- but I had already bounced up, was balanced on my pulverized hip, saying "no, no, I'm FINE, it was no big deal [help me jesus] really, i'm ok..."

[All of these so far are about falling. Hm.]

4. Falling down the steps at Moonshine on a blind date — this was the ultimate humiliation, but at least I never saw or heard from the guy again. I met this guy at a trendy restaurant/bar downtown one afternoon when I was in a foul mood and wanted nothing more than to cancel. [This was partly due to the fact that i found a pic of him on the internet and he looked like a sasquatch]. But I went, because you never know, right??? After drinking 3 martinis to his 2 and no food, I had decided it may not be quite so bad. Well I guess it was, because we abruptly parted ways in front of the valet. He walked off and I turn to the valet and somehow -- you got it -- fell down the steps in front of this trendy restaurant, on my FACE people -- sending my huge purse flying, lipsticks and tampons whipping through the air, loose change clattering, compact shattering...again, I did the "pop up" and was swearing to the valet, with a bloody smile, that I was fine; I think I might have even hissed when he touched my arm to help, but I turned just in time to see the ex-blind date turn around on the sidewalk, see me fall, nod and smile, then turn around and walk away. Prince Charming? I DON'T THINK SO.

5. My "Yak" scar — yay, not about falling! well, not exactly; my friend Alysia will remember this one; during my "experimental" drinking phase in college, one night I began the yakking as soon as we got home. I spent the night in the bathroom, in a fog of nausea and misery, only to wake up at the crack of dawn still in my leather mini skirt, with a pillow under my head (bless you alysia), still in the bathroom. I got up and stared in the mirror for a while because I had blood all over my face. It was originating from this little cut caused from the toilet seat falling just as I leaned forward to yak again. It caught me, literally, right between the eyes. That one was hard to explain at work that day -- I believe I blamed my cat...yeah.

6. Roller-skate wheel — in 2nd grade my class from school went roller skating at the local rink. During the all-girl's skate, this boy I had a crush on, Butchie, was watching from the sidelines. I felt beautiful. I glided gracefully around the rink, feeling his eyes admiring my 2nd-grade self and my obvious skating genius...finally, I was skating right by him, RIGHT IN FRONT of him, when one of the wheels on my skates rolled away. I watched it for a moment, in shock, then ate it and caused a minor pile-up. Just in case you were wondering, Butchie became Butch in high school, which was ironic b/c he was SO gay. Did my failure as a woman contribute in some way? I'll never know...but I'll always wonder... ;)

7. Texas A&M shuttle bus — Rainy, humid day in College Station. De-boarding the un-air-conditioned shuttle bus right in front of Blocker, the then-business building (= cute boys). Wielding a heavy backpack and a stubborn umbrella, I missed a step and fell, BOOM BOOM BOOM, on my ass in a puddle of water. Nothing more needs to be said.

8. Canoe at Spring Canyon — Yet another ill-fated attempt to look cool for a boy. His name was Marshall. We had started out the summer as a couple at this Christian camp in CO where we "worked". A week into it we fell apart. I spent the next 7 weeks or whatever it was trying to make him sorry. So one afternoon, on my day off, I was down at the pond, about to get in a canoe (YES, well now I know, but I didn't then) with a couple of girlfriends. I spotted Marshall coming over the wooden bridge. Instead of clumsily climbing into the canoe, as was my practice, I attempted to step delicately from the ground into the canoe. Well I hadn't been able to do the splits in years, so when the canoe drifted away w/my other foot I ended up in the pond, with a twisted ankle to boot. I had to go to the emergency clinic in Puny Bueny (as we called Buena Vista) and was on crutches for the next week. Oh. So. Elegant.

[I wish I could say I'm running out of recollections, but they just keep on coming.]

9. "The Chair" In a creative meeting — this one was horrifyingly recent. I was in the kitchen at work with the other creatives having an informal brainstorming meeting about something. I went to sit down and (in a matter of seconds, you know) my chair rolled out from under me and I sat on the floor, hitting the back of my head on the chair. It was beautiful. But don't worry, by 35 I've perfected the "pop up".

10. Rollerblading with Babs and Melissa — At the Veloway, a 3-mile paved loop in "nature" where you can either rollerblade or ride your bike, I went 'blading with the girls. Both were better than me, but I knew that going in. So they're going slow, trying not to leave me in the dust, and we start to go down this hill -- ok BABS, very slight hill -- and I feel myself rolling faster, losing control. They reach the end of the hill (the end, not the BOTTOM, ok Babs? ;) and look back at me, just in time to see me realize I was going to bust ass, either on the pavement or in the brush. I decided, in an instant, that bushes would hurt less, so I literally FLUNG myself off the pavement right into the brush -- and Texas brush is not soft. In case you were wondering. I scraped up my arm pretty bad, but to be a good sport, I went home, bandaged myself up, and limped to Shady Grove to meet them for a late lunch.

I am emotionally drained.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Why is it...?

All night I have been cagily circling my computer; drawn to it, during a commercial I get up, drift towards it, maybe even check my email real quick -- then retreat back to the couch and a warm cat and a threadbare blanket. (why is it that I still use the same blanket I've had since I was a child? my mom probably got it when she got married -- it's ratty, bright orange, and as many trips as I've made to Pottery Barn over the years you'd think just ONCE I would've thought to replace it with maybe something neutral and fleecy. You'd think.)

So I finally turned off the television and just sat for a while, cat upon my shoulder, insistently purring in my ear, a grey cat arm slung possessively over my neck. Curled up under a 70s-orange blanket. On a couch that is all lopsided b/c while down filling is comfy, it's also lumpy and unattractive after about 6 months -- let alone 6 years. But I digress. I sit in the relative silence and watch the candles burn. I listen to my cat wheeze. Why won't I go near my computer. I think I know why, really; although I haven't looked directly AT these things today, in the background I have been working out all this...stuff. Deep stuff. But I haven't wanted to talk about it or even really think about it. It's just there, just underneath, threatening to come gushing out if I get ahold of a keyboard, and...well damn it all to hell. Things are bothering me, okay? My weekend bothered me -- after HH Friday night

[I have to interrupt here b/c my little kitty, Piper, just knocked down a tower of large plastic rubbermaid boxes stacked in my office closet, containing things like Christmas ornaments, papers, gift bags -- she has been trying to topple it for weeks and just succeeded. I look over and all I can see is a tail under all the rubble. She struggles a bit, backing herself out, all the while listening to my raised voice: "Dammit Piper, did we LEARN something? Huh? Did we? What have I been TELLING you?" She finally comes bouncing over to me proudly, chirping, mistaking my irritation for praise. sigh.]

after HH Friday night, I walked in the door at 9 and fell asleep on the couch. Woo-woo, wild party night. It bothers me that even though it was gorgeous all weekend long, I could not make myself leave the safety of my house. I ventured into the backyard for a few minutes, but then I saw a spiderweb on my porch and went back inside. I wanted to call Babs maybe, go walking around Town Lake. But I didn't. I wanted to call Hope or Tam and see if I could hang out that evening -- but I didn't. I wanted to call CJ and see what state he is in and if he's coming back -- but that's a whole other ball of wax. Tam even invited me to yoga with her and Hope Sunday, and up until 20 minutes before I needed to leave, I actually thought I could motivate myself to get off the couch and go. But I didn't.

It bothers me that while I look forward to these weekends of solitude, long, lovely weekends where I have no plans, that after doing nothing and having no plans for 2 days I end up depressed on Sunday night, wondering where the weekend went and why did I not accomplish ONE THING. Oh, I forgot, I did do one thing; in a burst of energy, I put all my gunky soap dishes in a sink of hot water and let them soak for several hours until the gunk came off. Yeah, that's it. Shut up.

Other things are swirling around too -- like
- why is it so impossible for me to get to work before 9 am? Some people, lots of people even, have to be at work by 8. This idea fills me with dread and disbelief.
- Why is it impossible for me to go to bed before midnight? no matter how tired I am? (barring the nights where I've had a margarita or a glass of wine, then I pass out on the couch early and move to the bed sometime around 2am.)
- why have I thought about exercising for years, even visualized it, even joined several gyms over my adulthood, and I still can't make myself do it? I know I will feel better. I do feel better on the rare occasions when I summon enough oomph to move about and work up a sweat. But I Hate Every Moment Of It. The only things I don't hate : hiking around Austin trails when it's not hot and rollerblading -- both things I don't feel comfortable doing alone for various reasons. So there you go.
- why is it so hard to change a routine?
- why couldn't I stick to my new plan for Eating Less at Restaurants for even one lousy day??? (if you must know, my Allure magazine suggests putting one of those vile Listerine breath strips on your tongue before you order, then you won't be hungry and everything will taste weird. Makes sense, right???)

Gosh, I could go on and on. Maybe I just have a bad case of the "mondays" or am PMSing- I don't know. But I feel sad and defeated and bloated and sluggish and now it's time to head to bed. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll summon the motivation to take a bubble bath -- or even -- sit down for this one -- shave my legs.

that is all and goodnight.

How my Monday is going so far...

Curious about my Monday? Decide for yourself; here's a snippet from an IM
conversation with Babs:

me: [My boss] is going to freak if he finds out I haven't made contact
w/these people yet
me: it has to go to client today, to Statesman, tomorrow
babs: what else can you do?
babs: can you start drafting anything?
me: I don't know
me: I already have. the skeleton is there
babs: thats good
me: I just hate going to him w/problems when I don't have solutions
me: I can't believe I just said that
babs: you sound like a branding manual!
bell_30: corporate america has stolen my soul

Friday, March 11, 2005

Love in the afternoon

(I'm hearing that to a tune -- wasn't it a soap opera jingle from the 70s? mom? ;)

I love my job today. It is almost 3:30 on a Friday; there is a pitcher of margaritas, with a little thingie of salt next to it, in the kitchen; the french doors in the kitchen are thrown open to allow in the wind; and people are on the deck with their laptops, "working" these last two hours. Did I mention our view looks out into the hill country? Hills and million-dollar homes, nothing like inspiration to make you work harder. Even better, I just finished my *hot* jobs for the day, so I can kinda coast, margarite in hand, until it's time to leave and go to HAPPY HOUR! (yes, it just keeps getting better, doesn't it?)

It's times like these when I'm really glad I live in Austin. Now, ask me again in August, under the same general circumstances? Not so much... I think the 70-degree weather is contributing to my light heart; I think in 100-degree weather my light heart would just melt, shrivel, and turn into a brown, smoking mass out thar on that purty deck. But not today. Noooooo, not today.................

That is all.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Just a thought...

...but if the crap from the cat box(es) doesn't all fit into one plastic grocery bag, then you've waited too long to scoop and you are a pig.

In my defense, it's more complicated now that I have discovered the Magic that is my Oust mini-fan. That's right, a gimmick from tv that WORKS! I put this sucka in the little space between the cat room and my room and completely forgot about the litterbox for ... well, a while ... because it didn't STINK!

You should try it. The Oust fan, not the gross cat box.


As tired as I was, I couldn't sleep last night. Part of the problem was I *needed* to finish this book I started over the weekend -- "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb. It's really good, if you haven't read it -- I read it years ago, but something made me hunt it down recently. Sure enough, when I started it again I couldn't stop til it was done. It's weird how I'm at such a different point in my life than the first time I read it, so I read it a lot differently. It's an epic story following the life of a complex female character, and the weird part is the book is written by a male -- and it's really eerie because he NAILS her thoughts and feelings. How did he do that?? How did he get inside a female's head? Anyway, it follows her until she's in her late 30s, and I guess I identify with that because I'm on my way. This post isn't meant to be a book review, so I'll just say that it was inspiring to me how the main character overcame all this shit in her life and ended up happy despite herself. It kind of made me hopeful. The key seems to be accepting yourself for who you are, not who you could be or who you want to be. Blahblahblah, the message of the century. Easier said than done, eh? But for some reason, this message resonated within me more than before.

So I've been thinking deep thoughts about overcoming my mortal fear of ... what? what is it I'm fearful of? I think I'm fearful of what people might think of me. I have all these specifics, but I think it really boils down to that. I'm obsessed with wanting to look and be a certain way, and be at a certain point at my age, because I "should" be or because I'm expected to be. I've come a long way in the past year or two as far as accepting that I may be single and independent for the rest of my life, which isn't that bad -- I have family and friends and I wouldn't be lonely. I also have surrogate kids -- my nephews. And most of my best friends all have babies too now, so anytime I need a baby fix I can get one. So the main thing I worry and get sad about is how I look. But I've realized it's not how I look to me, because when I'm at home I am not self conscious at all. It's how I must look to other people that plagues me. I live in mortal fear of running into my exes and having them think "wow, she's fat now." I hate going to parties where I don't know people for that reason, too -- why would anyone want to talk to me, I'm fat. Never mind that I might also be funny, smart, etc, I'm fat, therefore I'm worthless. Gosh, it's a wonder I'm not dating, eh??? (surprise surprise, weight is a big issue with the character in this book, too).

Wow, this is going deeper than I expected , but I gusss I'll go ahead and roll with it. So why is it that so much of my feeling of self worth is tied up in aesthetics? Why do I assume it doesn't matter how smart I am or how interesting, but surely no one would want to be with me because of how I look. And incidentally, I doubt I'm really as grossly overweight as I see myself in my head. But that's not really the point -- WHY does how I LOOK matter so much?? Is it because I've always been considered pretty? Why do I assume i'm ugly if I'm not thin? Because I look in the mirror and I don't think "pretty" anymore. I feel like I can put makeup on and wear nice clothes, but i'm still fat and there you go -- worthless. (I am exaggerating slightly to make my point, I'm really not so vain -- i'm taking it to the extreme for the sake of discussion). In fact, it doesn't matter how great other aspects of me might be, all I can focus on is my weight. And because that is so all-important in my head, because it seems to represent the "key" to my ability to be happy and enjoy life -- I am thus paralyzed to do anything about it. It has become a vicious cycle of self loathing and food addiction, interspersed with sadness and occasional spurts of weird confidence.

As I never had any weight issues at all until I was married, basically, I have to tie it to that. In fact, I paid a lot of money to figure that out. I was hiding from my ex, I wanted to be invisible to him, I wanted to repel him -- all subconsciously, of course. I knew he was disgusted by fat, because he said horrible things about his mother and sister who were overweight. So when I started shutting down to him, as some primal form of self preservation, I built up my "armor", my protection, my wall of fat, keeping him out. And it generally worked. And voila, as soon as we separated I lost 40 pounds in about 3 months without trying. It just melted off. I had new friends and a new boyfriend and my life finally looked promising, and I was so so so happy at that time. The world seemed just filled with possibilities, things I'd never even thought about until I was free of him. (I didn't intend to write this as a chronicle of my weight issues, but it's too late now...). So when things started going south with us after a couple of years, OMG, the weight started coming on again. There was medication involved with nasty side effects, but a lot of it was me -- the more I felt hopeless and scared, the more I ate. The more weight I gained, the more I felt distanced from my boyfriend. And eventually, of course, we broke up. Not because of my weight -- that was just a way I handled the death of the most important relationship I've ever had. Since then it's been many years, but I've been unable to be thin again.

Is it any mystery why I associate "thin" with "happy" and "attractive"? Is it any wonder I don't feel much like dating? That I don't think there's any way I could possibly attract anyone worthwhile as long as I'm fat??

Ok. So there's that. A mouthful, no pun intended. The funny thing is that I'm rarely hungry. I do not eat because I'm hungry. I eat when I'm sad or bored. But just because I've identified that doesn't mean I can just stop it. Just like someone who knows intellectually that smoking will kill them, that doesn't mean they can just stop smoking, just like that. Like someone with heart disease, it's not easy to just stop eating foods that are bad for you, to just switch to veggies, voila. I do think food is an addiction for some people. I think if it wasn't food, it might be alcohol in my case, I don't know. Maybe that's why I don't drink very often. I know it's why I've never ever even wanted to try drugs, because I fear I could become addicted. I seem to have a tendency to do that. Addicted to food, addicted to love, addicted to acceptance.

I'm not positive where I'm going with all this. I guess I just want to pose the questions that plague me, just for the record. Maybe by voicing them and getting them outside my body I can better see them and figure things out. I know I'm not the only person who feels this way. For me it is my weight, if only I could be thin again I could finally be happy. For some, it's if only they could get their nose fixed, or if only they could get a better job, or if only they could get married... there's always something, isn't there? Always excuses for not being quite happy enough. I perceive that this is a collective issue that is in fact a disease in itself. So what's the solution? Why do we let outside forces so affect our insides? Why should I care if I'm as thin as the person next to me? Does that make me a good or a bad person? Do I think all skinny people are deliriously happy? Do I think heavier people are not worthy of love? Of course not.

I do not have the answer. Today I am just asking the question.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The manic muttering of an overwhelmed writer

I have been pleasantly busy at work today, just one level below "slammed" -- it's a good pace and keeps me interested without stressing me out too much. However, I've been working on this paragraph for several hours now. Yes. One paragraph. Other copywriters will know what I mean (Babs) when I say sometimes three to five sentences are the hardest of all! Gosh, I can babble on for pages, given the opportunity, it's the "paring down" and making it "exciting" part of my job that gets me.

Those who know me know that I like to talk. Just a little bit. And I like to tell stories. Shoot, if you've been reading my blog for awhile -- well there you go. So the irony of my job is not lost on me -- that I spend most of my days cutting, cutting, cutting my brilliiant copy to fit a tiny space designated by an art director who doesn't even read it. Tech writing was somewhat like that, in that I edited everything to be more concise. The trouble w/advertising is you're trying to say something really impactful in as few words as possible. Not only must it be concise, but GRIPPING. Thus, one paragraph can indeed take several hours and I'm NOT retarded.
Here's an example:

Normal Sentence:
The dog decided to chase the cat through the living room, over the couch, around the chair, down the hallway and up onto the ledge by the staircase.

Tech Writing Edit:
The dog chased the cat around the house.

Marketing/Ad Edit:
The determined dog chased the crafty cat throughout the tiny house, over the shabby-chic furniture, and finally onto the only dangerous precipice he could find. He then waited patiently for the cat to plunge to her death. But after about 5 minutes of waiting and watching, the dog became distracted and wandered off to find a bone. The cat sighed and jumped delicately to safety, heading under the bed to nap for awhile before the antics could begin again. She called this pastime "Kitty Cardio" and swore it helped her stay svelte.

Ok, so forget "concise" in this case...

Anyway. So I'm sitting here busily working on my paragraph, cruising around and trying to find better words. But I suddenly realized that I was MUTTERING out loud for all to hear. It must have sounded much like this:
"Special.... hmm. Best? Different? Uh, no... AHA -- Distinguished! Perfect."
And onto the next adjective.
Then it occurred to me: do I always do this? Do I talk to myself when I don't even realize it? OMG. I am in a cube, with a mere two inches of fabric protection on three sides, and EVERYONE can hear me!!! They must think I'm crazy. The crazy copywriter who swears and mutters all day. Great.

I quickly messaged another writer, who sits diagonally from me, and asked him if he could hear me. He was like, "which time? just now? or earlier, when you dropped your lipstick?"

Whoa. I mean, I knew I talked in my sleep, because I often wake myself up and find 4 cat eyes staring at me with disdain, but muttering? at work? Gotta stop that.

Let's see... stop?...or end. No. Desist? Nah........................ Oh, I know:

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Grossest things ever - Frog kebob

If you'll recall, the first post in this series was about a shower in Italy. Well this one is even MORE scintillating; it is a story about my little sister's pet frog she had in 2-3rd grade.

His name was Sherman. She ordered a pint of frog eggs from some magazine ad (the days before the Internet, people), then from 2 zillion eggs maybe 7 turned into tadpoles, then only 3 of the tadpoles grew legs before croaking (har har), and she ended up finally with One Leopard Frog, Ah Ha Ha (think The Count on Sesame Street). This process took several weeks, but I do not remember most of it.

I do remember the drama when my dad was transitioning the tadpoles w/ legs into a different bowl and one fell into the kitchen sink and slipped down the disposal. It was horrifying and devastating to two little girls. The interesting thing is I can't remember if he was able to rescue that one or not -- all I remember is him fishing around in the disposal with a little tiny ketchup scraping instrument my mom had from Tupperware. Nicole, do you remember?

Anyway, finally Sherman, the only survivor, was moved into a tank with sand and a man-made pond (butter bowl) and rocks and things. Nicole had this on her dresser. That frog had personality, which is weird I guess. She was very attached to him. They had some kind of spiritual connection, as evidenced at night when he would make long, plaintive croaks and she would snore in response. They would talk to each other for hours. I think my mom and dad even have this on tape somewhere. I wonder if Nicole's husband has heard this? HA.

The frog ate bugs. So sometimes Nicole would catch bugs, like little grasshoppers or worms, and other times she'd feed him millworms(sp) and crickets from the petstore. Ok, we're getting into gross territory now, but still not THE grossest thing. Although watching Sherman hunt and eat live crickets was rather disturbing. The motionless worms, not so much.

ANYWAY. So this one time Nicole fed Sherman a large grasshopper. Now we lived in Kansas at the time, Land of the Giant Grasshoppers that actually SPIT TAR if you caught one and pissed it off. (is it really tar? I have no idea). The grasshopper was longer than Sherman. I think we put it in there more as a joke, to sort of taunt the frog, if you will. I mean, come on -- no way could that frog ingest that grasshopper, right?


The next morning we woke up and looked in the tank and OMG this image is forever emblazoned into my memory and to this day makes me squirm. Sherman HAD eaten the grasshopper. This was apparent because the grasshopper's head stuck out of his mouth and, and, and... the grasshopper's back end/legs were sticking out of Sherman's butt. It was as if the grasshopper had Sherman skewered; like the grasshopper was the stick and the frog was the... well, the shish kebob. It. Was. Gross. It was every bit as disturbing as your imagination can conjure. I have never, ever been the same.

The part that disturbed me so much was that Sherman had to be in pain, even dying. I mean, COME ON PEOPLE. A grasshopper was sticking out of both of his ends. I remember crying, having a stomachache, being traumatized -- and though I've never talked to Nicole about this before, I have to imagine she felt the same way, if not worse. We wanted my parents to take him to the vet, but ... well, there was no point. There was nothing a vet could have done. Sherman was about as long as a tube of lipstick so there wasn't a lot to work with. My dad kept telling us to just hang on and we'd see what happened.

Well I'll be damned if the next morning, Sherman wasn't back to his usual self. I am not making this up. I don't know what happened during the night, but the skewer was gone and Sherman seemed fine. This is one of the great mysteries of my childhood, and I've even wondered, in retrospect, if my dad somehow switched out the frogs during the night to prevent lifelong trauma to me and my sis? (Obviously it didn't work, did it). Nicole, I know you're a little busy with three little boys and packing to move in three weeks, but if you get a chance to comment, I'm curious to know what you remember about this incident...

So, there you go. Grossest thing #2. There's always more to come in this ongoing series... stay tuned.

Friday, March 04, 2005


Yesterday marked the opening of the brand new Whole Foods in downtown Austin. Bigger, better, more amazing than before, it is to be a mecca for foodies north and south of the river. I was only somewhat excited until my friend Dipu just shared a tidbit: the new Whole Foods boasts a "Chocolate Enrobing Station". What is that you ask? As I did? It is a trough of chocolate, people. A whole TROUGH of CHOCOLATE in which you can dip...well, anything I suppose. First I was thinking marshmallows, cookies, graham crackers, then my mind moved to strawberries, then...I wondered if I could get a certain someone to go over there with me. HA! Not really...well, maybe........... But the point is, can you even imagine such a thing??? I'm going to have to make a special trip down there this weekend just to wrap my brain around it.

So here's the question: if you had access to a chocolate trough, what would you dip? Oh, what an amusing way to pass a gloomy Friday afternoon... let's hear it, people!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

On another note, let's discuss cat ass

When I get really frustrated with the kitties, I say in a very stern, mean-sounding voice, "if I catch who did that i'm going to kick some major CAT-ASS." I'd like to say they all flee in terror and awe, but you know ... they're cats. They don't move. Well, maybe a tail flick, but that's it.

Well Jess's latest thing (and I know, every week he has another "latest thing" -- but he's a cat) is to push my head completely off my pillow while I sleep and then spread out his massive body over the entire thing and rest his paw/foot on my face. My face that is now flat on the mattress, with my nose rapidly stuffing up due to the lack of incline. That crafty cat. Well let's just say this phase is getting old, but I'm not sure how to stop it. I noticed my geriatric cat, Meggie, has also discovered the joy that is a down-filled pillow as of late. And if I start thinking about this too much, I get ooged out. Beyond the obvious cat ass, where have their feet been? Or their scratchy little tongues, for that matter? Ick. Best not to think of that, but it's hard not to when you wake up with a butt in your face.

So I brought this up at a recent happy hour (no comment please and yes this is part of the reason why i'm single) and a fellow cat-owner suggested propping the pillows up during the day so the cats cannot sleep on them at least while i'm not there. This works pretty well. Or it did, until Megs figured out how to flip them down again. SIGH.

My only other alternative is to ignore Jess and just put my head ON him, as if he IS the pillow -- and he doesn't seem to mind. It's not quite as comfortable, but eventually he moves. It's not like I can lock him out at night -- HA HA on the foolish person who tries that with MY cats. I'll never forget the first night my ex and I spent in our little shared house, and how he announced "The cats aren't allowed in the bedroom. We're going to close the door at night." And I was like "Uh, no we're not." And he said "Yes we are." and I just smiled and said "ooooo-kay..." Sure enough an hour and many hoarse cat screams later, he let Jess in and that was the end of that. Not only was Jess yeowlling, he was also throwing his rather abundant body against the old door, making the doorknob and even the hardwood floors rattle. So there you go. I also always secretly thought, hell, Jess was here first, just try and kick him off the bed -- and as I suspected, Jess outlasted that ex and all the others since then. All two of them. Yeah.

There really is no point to this. I just wanted to share my cat-ass dilemma. Although if anyone has a solution that has worked for them, please, do share. Otherwise i'm back to either a stiff neck or a stopped-up nose.

My roots in advertising

I have been pondering how I've always had a fascination with advertising, even before I was a bonafide copywriter. I was talking to another copywriter who works here and she was saying how it all seemed dumb to her and she didn't care about it at all, and I realized that I really do. To me, this is really ... well... fun. Then I wondered, why do I think that? When did this begin? I began to realize that my affinity for this biz began way before Melrose Place or Kramer vs. Kramer ( wasn't that the one w/Michael Douglas and Terry Garr? The tuna fish campaign? or was that Mr. Mom?).

I can remember being drawn to ads as a child. For instance, after watching a Cascade commercial popular in the late 70s/early 80s a million times, I remember asking my mom "what does 'virtually' mean? The ad says virtually spot free." And my mom answered "it means 'almost'". Even at that age, I recognized the cleverness of vocabulary. How using the fancy word "virtually" made it sound so much better than "almost." The funny thing is, there's an ad out right now for some new prescription drug; I believe the line is "virtually pain free". Or something like that... it never grows old, does it?

Another early advertising memory is when I took Marketing in high school. That's when I first learned the term "weasel words" -- words used in advertising that can say something not absolutely true without actually lying. I also remember looking at print ads and trying to discern the naked lady in the whisky and cigarette ads -- i never actually saw her, but everyone around me (mostly pre-pubescent boys, now that i think about it) attested to her presence.

In college I majored in Journalism and minored in English -- yes, I was a nerd who took lit classes as electives because I thought they were fun (well, one of them WAS called "Women and the Supernatural in Fiction" - how cool is that?). I also took several marketing classes not because I had to, but because it interested me. I even took an introductory Advertising class, and while I don't remember much that I learned in there, I do remember it was one of the few classes I didn't dread during my illustrious college career.

My first job out of college was as a Marketing Communications Specialist at a tech company called OI Analytical. I did their manuals as well as their brochures and ads. I remember how excited I was to be writing copy for a print ad for PIDs -- photo-ionization detectors. Yeah. I believe the ad ran in a publication called "Testing and Analysis" or something like that. I still have it, although I don't include it in my "book" anymore. Little did I know it would be a good 10 years after that job before I found my way back into anything remotely resembling advertising...

I was SO excited when I landed my first writing job at an advertising agency. Even though I didn't actually get to do ads yet, I was in a department called "Creative", and that was cool enough for me! So what if the clients were all technical? I was a "creative"! I was devastated when the tech market crashed in 2001 and I lost my job, along with dozens of others. It then took another 2 1/2 years to get back into ad writing, and here I am today as a "Senior Copywriter" at a bonafide advertising agency. I get a thrill just looking at my title on business cards, which, I know, is uber-geeky. But I can't help it! I really like my job! It was worth all the years in between when I was a Technical Writer, writing manuals for different instrumentation, software and hardware. I was SO not cut out for that, and I could never understand why I felt so unhappy and so stuck.

All that to say I feel so fortunate to be in this place, at this point in my career. I hope I continue to learn and grow and maybe graduate from ads to books someday -- that is my all-time dream, after all. Believe it or not, this Blog makes me feel like I'm making progress, even if just a tiny bit.

So none of that was really funny, and I think my funnier posts are more interesting. Hmm. I'll have to think about it and maybe post again later. Don't want to bore my audience of thousands.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Where I'm at

I am in an odd sort of mood today. Not happy, not sad, not hopeful, not I just finished my daily blog reading, and CrazyUs(.com) was intense today. I followed all the links in her blog entry and found several deep and introspective past entries that have put me in this strange emotional place.

It is a beautiful day -- blue sky, cool breeze -- the kind of day you just don't want to be sitting in a cubicle. I am very grateful, though, to have a cubicle in which to sit. I am feeling pretty productive at work the past week or so, which is good.

My dad is doing well, recovering day by day. He's having these strange hallucinations, which he and my mom attributed to the painkillers, but his Dr. said that actually, lots of people who have been on the heart/lung machine during bypass surgery seem to hallucinate for weeks afterwards. There doesn't seem to be a medical reason why, it's one of those spiritual mysteries -- but I think it's totally cool that his doctor warned him, it's THAT common. And that my dad seems cooled out by the whole thing -- vs. scared to death, which is how I imagine I'd feel if I woke up to see the King and Queen of England sitting by my bedside. But hey, that's me...

I guess what's notable about where I'm "at" today is I'm not in a good or a bad place; I' place, if that's possible. I am feeling content, pensive, sad, happy, hopeful and disappointed, all simultaneously, and for no good reason. Maybe I need to look at my calendar and see what time of the month it is...hmmmmm.......

That's all I got so far today. If anything comes to me in a flash of brilliance, I will surely update all you folks out there on The Internets. (heehee)

Ciao for now.