Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Keep in mind that everyone in and around this scenario is on the clock.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I, on the other hand, prefer to twist the hot water tap wide open, walk away to do something else until the tub threatens to overflow and steam is hanging visibly in the air, and then return, disrobe and unceremoniously plunge my foot into the scalding water. I do this every damn day.
There are also, as I understand, folks who are able to assess the various opportunities that come their way and to differentiate between those that comfortably fit within the scope of their real life, and those that represent too much of an additional commitment--either in time, effort, money--or some combination thereof.
So, as is my long-established pattern, I will now begin the bi-annual process of looking for bodies to throw overboard. Since I've found that this procedure goes so much more smoothly if someone volunteers, please drop me an email if I've recently said something to you along the lines of, "of course it's no trouble; I'm happy to do it."
I will, however, put you at the top of the list for the next time I decide to overextend myself. I expect the wait to be about six months.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I wasn't able to finish writing that novel this weekend. Do you think I will have to return the advance money?
The broken-hearted doggy-parents rushed right out and purchased a replacement--a lovely, similarly-colored pup of uncertain parentage they have named Clara. And while Clara may (for now) be in possession of all her appendages, she does lack her predecessor's calm reserve, his stoicism, his placability. I've been listening to her whine, moan, and howl from across the way all weekend.
As it turns out, if you're thumping around on three legs and have to cant your head a certain way to see all that there is to see, it just doesn't occur to you to lean back on your haunches and bitch all day because you've been left home alone.
Friday, October 26, 2007
photo, Pontus Edenberg
Thursday, October 25, 2007
As it turns out, physical attraction is not near as important to the success of a union as is having something you can talk about without coming to blows.
Ira, are you listening?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I'm beyond redemption. And I've been caught at it by the one person for whom I am supposed to be setting an example.
On the right--stacks and stacks and stacks of clean laundry.
"Yeah, I really did."
I've gone from sleeping in my clothes to sleeping with my clothes.
Please. Don't tell my mother.
photo, Fleur Suijten
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Can a girl get an A? One of the realities of the world o'work is that you seldom get an Atta-Girl for doing something with mere competence. Many times, in fact--even when you hit the ball completely out of the park, smashing the windshield of the opposing team's coach in the process--you aren't guaranteed positive feedback. You don't get good grades just for doing what you're supposed to do. Spend enough time on campus, though, and you start needing those grades. Some people who know me think of me as being inordinately competitive, but in reality, I'm still just trying to get that A.
Please make an appointment to speak with me during office hours. Just think of all the work I could finish if I only had to deal one-on-one with actual people between the hours of 2 and 4. My budget would be balanced, my expense reports filed, and all the writers who are currently lurking outside my door and hoping I will have time to scribble on their copy would have every good reason to assume I will get to it today. Or tomorrow at the latest.
Ohmygawd! I have the world's best schedule this semester! There are worse things than only having to report for duty every other day--or better yet--why not put Tuesday off until Tuesday night? I could be the world's very best busy and important publishing professional if my first class didn't meet until 9 and if I only had lab to go to on Thursdays.
Well, you might have to throw in a couple interesting guest lectures. Maybe a pizza line in the caf'.
*Sorry. I made a bunch of crap up. Sue me.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Why you should not trust me to watch your children, figure your taxes, sing backup in your band, or not tell your husband.
But some portion of the conversation in which I detailed my wishes sounded to her like, "Billy Ray Cyrus" and the resultant haircut was too short in the front and way-way-way too long in the back. By the time I realized her mistake and had driven back by to have it corrected, she was long gone and the salon was sealed up tight. Until Tuesday.
I sought out Muffin Uptown to see her reaction. The look on her face was anything but hopeful as she flooffed at and otherwise tried to manipulate what was left of my hair. "Maybe you can get an appointment with someone else to fix it on Monday," she said. But what do you think it means that her criticism was aimed entirely at that portion of the haircut I had actually paid for?
It was at that point that it dawned on me that I had, many times, paid money for worse. Every woman knows that some of the bitterest tears ever shed are those wept over an unfortunate haircut. But aside from having wasted one of the good curse words, I just haven't been able to work up that much of an I-care. It's just hair. I've got lots of it. Everywhere.
It looks like crying over having done a stupid thing may have gone the way of my good judgement. Which is good, I guess. It probably wouldn't do to have one without the other.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I'm sorry, could you step back just the teeniest bit? Maybe a leeettle bit more. Just a tad more? Just a--oh, okay. That's fine, then.
I've pretty much already decided not to resolve to give up anything that would negatively impact my blogging capabilities--like candy corn or beer. And while I did briefly entertain the notion of making an effort to bellyache less about how much work I have to do in relation to how little time I have, I think we all know I'm not going to do that, either.
As long as you stay over there where you are supposed to be, you should be none the wiser on those days when I slept just a bit too long to allow myself time to wash my hair, and the fact that my head smells like a week-old, wet bathing suit should not cause you any discomfort at all. From almost 6 feet away, you might not even be able to tell that I am wearing clothes that I slept in last night.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I don't even pretend to know where I'm going anymore--I just trust in Jesus and let whatever good-hearted soul who wants to rescue me lead me back to the right route. But I do, for the most part, know where I am supposed to be.
Or so I thought.
When Wednesday morning's three-legged race for the door was in full swing, I knew I had to complete three things before pulling out of the driveway. I had to make sure I was wearing all the clothes I meant to put on that morning; I needed to remember the items I had worked on the evening before and would be presenting in an 8:15 meeting, and I really wanted to finish up and publish that day's post. Neglecting the first carried with it the guarantee of ridicule from my coworkers. Failure to get to work with the proper materials would result in a serious loss of professional face. Being late with my post meant--well, I didn't really know what that might mean, since any deadline associated with my posting was self-imposed.
As it turns out, I have a very real deadline for posting. If my blog isn't right where it's supposed to be, my mother worries that I have again succumbed to a malicious corn dog, Tawana and my readers on the East Coast start jonesin' and calling my house for their fix, and my Fred-in-law sends scouts out to make sure I haven't succumbed to marauding savages.
Meanwhile, I'm dripping crunchy and delicious drive-through taco juice all over editorial copy or Composition II papers, or sleeping through CSI, or wondering how to make Ira Glass notice me. All the while, I'm wishing that someone within my sphere of influence would do something I could lie about and make sound funny.
I don't know what kind of powder keg you people are used to, but that's way too much pressure for a girl who can't find the conference room without Mapquest.
photo, Steve Woods
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
In fact, many of your favorite words are probably the direct result of a writer somewhere being too lazy or stoned to get out of the chair and fetch the thesaurus. The problem, of course, with making up your own words--especially if you are like me and have a hard time keeping the words you really do know corralled in your head--is that you are as likely as not to forget its made-up meaning the moment you hit the return key.
But when my self-imposed deadline looms large, Material World Girl hasn't posted anything from which I can steal, and my friend Tawana is phoning first thing in the am to say, "New post, please," I find myself wondering if I will again be able to come up with two good words (real or imagined) to string together. Those are the days when I'm waiting--along with everyone else--to see what words I'm going to say today.
And hope that today isn't one of those days when only a certain word will do.
photo, David Kirby
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We women really do have a love-hate relationship with our foundation garments. When they do what they are supposed to do and are easy to look at, we consider ourselves to be the luckiest women on earth. I know that I myself have never done anything to deserve my delicate little chocolate brown lace number that makes me feel secretly beautiful, protects me from the unwanted glances of strangers, and keeps my breasts at parade rest--no matter what tasks I've chosen to accomplish that day.
The world is full of bras that seem okay at the outset, but are, in reality, just a little too high and mighty--and a woman must be constantly on guard against bringing any of these into her home. Introduce enough of these into the rotation, and fairly soon you begin to look as though you are wearing someone else's bosoms to work.
If you think it's hard to judge a bra by its cover, consider how difficult it is to gauge its inner nature. I've had the unfortunate acquaintance of a great many mean-spirited brassieres that scratch, pinch, or itch--as well as those that perform as capably as any Chinese thumb-puzzle ever imported. Speaking just for myself, if there's any breast-heaving to be done during the course of the day, I prefer it to be the result of finding myself in the clutches of an unexpected burst of passion, and not because my büstenhalter has been slowly and methodically tightening its grip around my ribs as the day wears on. It's that boa constrictor effect that compels me to so often to shed my brassiere in the parking lot as I pull away from the office. By the end of the week I have to root around beneath the car seats and in the darkened recesses of my handbag, or go a capella to work on Friday.
So, yeah, I'm a little chapped. Granted, I did a little belly-aching when they stopped making a couple of my favorite fragrances, but come on. If a girl can't depend on her bra, ain't nothing in this whole, wide world worth counting on.
photo, Oliver Gruener
Monday, October 15, 2007
Really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree. Oh, Mama wait--ain't you got no tree without the plastic bag action?
And I was feeling pretty good about my plastic bag practices: I've found that they're good for cat box duties, and I've used them for years when I color my hair. (There's nothing in this world more attractive than a woman with a plastic bag wrapped 'round her head and clipped in place with a clothes pin.) I sometimes tote my lunch to work in a plastic bag, and after I've finished, hand them over to one of my writers, who then uses them when she walks her dogs.
Yup, I was pretty much feeling like a part of the global village. Until I read some of the stats. Thanks a lot, Al.
Plastic bags are cheaper to manufacture and way easier to tote than the old brown paper bag. So much so, in fact, that they're everywhere. People who make it their business to tally such things have estimated that the world uses roughly 1 million plastic bags per minute. A great many people use these bags once and then toss them into the landfills, where they photodegrade--break down into smaller toxic bits--and are then absorbed into our food chain. And then there are the millions that end up in the litter stream outside the landfills (National Geographic News), where they are tantalizingly appetizing to certain animals and virtually all the world's trees. So, even if you're reusing your bags, they still stand a very real chance of ending up someplace they don't belong.
The solution? Reuse, recycle, and rethink. I'm going to have to cut back on my bag habit. So, I'll be buying one of those adorable reusable bags to bring things home and tote things back.
I'm not sure yet what I'm going to wrap my head in, but I'll come up with something.
Save a tree or two. Get yourself a bag snagger.
Shop for reuseable bags and read statistics to make you want one.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Here it is--several hours before the official release. I just couldn't wait to scoop myself.
I'm going to stop talking now so you can watch it two or three times.
Watch the larger file (better quality) on YouTube.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Whatever else may be missing, I have a rich and fulfilling fretting life.
There's probably an entire tribe of us out there--confused, not-so-middle-aged women wandering the streets of the city, ardently searching for our grocery receipts, misplaced hairs, and concealer sticks. Please, if you spot one, send her home.
We are probably looking for her.
photo, Jan Willem Stad
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We're in post-production and you'll be able to see the finished product on the website by Monday; it'll hit You Tube and iTunes right after that. I thought you might enjoy a peek at some behind-the-scenes shots.
Item Number 4516
Yup, you can buy it now.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
And then, suddenly last week--there they were, and I was Navin Johnson on phone book day. I think the National Association of Apple People must be owing me a commission, I've been so strident about insisting that all my friends and coworkers try this fruit. I just can't help it. Next year, and the year after, and every year after that, when you truck home your first sack of the season of beautiful and delicious Honeycrisp, you'll say to yourself, "I'm so glad Jane told me about these apples. Reading her blog has really enriched my life." Or something like that.
When you write to thank me, just address your message to Jane Appleseed.
photo, Arjun Kartha
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Once you reach the point where you are receiving threats in the mail, you can safely assume that your practice has made perfect; you have attained procrastination nirvana.
As an inarguable expert in the field, I've compiled a list of the five main types of procrastination tactic. You may do whatever you wish with this list, or you may do nothing at all and thus practice your own fledgling procrastination skills. I myself am using the act of compiling this list as a means to avoid doing something else that I would rather not do.
I am calling this list the Jane Hierarchy of Not Now.
1. This other thing is much more urgent and so must be taken care of to the exclusion of damn near everything else. This is a very large and self-perpetuating category and is often the result of days or weeks of perfect procrastination of virtually all the tasks on your to-do list. Items that had previously been assigned low priority (such as my electric bill), are very often suddenly catapulted to this urgent status. The very nature of a good procrastination technique virtually assures that there will always be at least one item ready to accelerate to this status just when least expected. If your technique is really accomplished, items falling into this category may even require a personal or vacation day to resolve.
2. I just can’t deal with this crap now. Very similar to #1, but without the sense of urgency a shut-off notice produces.
3. I work so hard, no one could begrudge me one tiny little four-hour nap. Also known as the entitlement, or poor-me defense. One may also use this tactic to defend a day-long CSI marathon, 2 or more hours watching You Tube videos of singing, talking, or dancing cats and dogs, or surfing the web looking for naked pictures of Ira Glass. For the most part, pretty much any otherwise un-justifiable activity will work here--anything at all to keep your mind off that task you need to do but would really, really rather not.
4.Oh, baby, I’m so tired. Plans made at 5:00 pm become progressively less important as the evening wears on. Thus, by 11:00, virtually everything shifts to this category. In an average week, this tactic very often results in my being late for work, since so many of the tasks I meant to accomplish the evening before were shifted at the last moment until early the next morning. Caution: By week's end, this practice may result in the falling into bed while still in one's clothes phenomenon.
And there you have it. Those are, essentially, the main forms of procrastination available to you. If you find that you're having difficulty deciding on a form, don't fret. Just wait for another, more urgent time to think about it. That almost always works for me.
photo,© Jenny Rollo
Monday, October 8, 2007
Just for the record, this is me trying to coax my stitches onto the wrong needle--something my friend Mary tells me I must do to perfect the i-cord. At least that's what she says. Now that I've seen the picture, I think this was a conspiracy hatched up to capture me on film in my natural state--all knotted up and confused. (Do you think I should be concerned that the photographer of this shot is my boss?) The i-cord should have given me some clue, now that I think about it--it sounds like something you have to pull to make your chute open so you don't get CSI'ed all over the pavement.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wish it had sound.
Friday, October 5, 2007
The headrest is plucking the hairs out of my head as I roll down the highway. I’ve never even heard of this problem before.
Granted, if I hadn’t been so cheap and had sprung for the fancy leather upholstery, I would be blogging about something else right now. But I also would have been forced to take better care of the car.
Why, I don’t even have leather on my living room furniture.
For the longest time, I was waiting for Muffin Uptown to grow up–just until the age when she was no longer spring boarding from across the room before falling onto the furniture. She’s 21 years old now, but she still launches herself into low orbit before coming down for emergency landing on the couch. I’m probably not going to be comfortable with the idea of leather furniture until she’s leaning on a walker and is physically unable to accomplish lift-off.
Once again I’ve digressed all over the place. The real issue isn’t the leather furniture I don’t have, it’s the hairs I did have until a couple of hours ago and that are now poking up out of the upholstery of my car. By month end, the front seat is going to look like the Jungle Room at Graceland.
There are really only two things that provoke my ire: having my hair plucked and my teeth poked--both, unfortunately--necessary torture if I am to appear well-groomed. I can control my temper as long as these operations are being performed by properly trained and licensed professionals. But having my hairs arbitrarily and unexpectedly yanked out by the root as I speed along highway 10 is making me quite fractious. By the time I arrive at my destination, all I really want to do is hurt somebody the way I've been hurt.
It's a vicious cycle.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
He's a very nice dog and a pretty good neighbor, as far as the four-legged variety go. But I'm afraid I am going to have to insist that he stay in his own yard, from now on.
At least as long as bits of him keep falling off.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
If it's just absolutely necessary that we legislate the way we wear our clothing, maybe our lawmakers could be convinced to concentrate on forcing men over 22 years' old wear their shirts in public, even when--especially when jogging on a public thoroughfare?
That's a law I could really get behind.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
And nobody in my family raises hell and puts a block under it for Christmas anymore.