Archive for October, 2005

October 29th, 2005

» haunted

Though my friends all know me as slightly obsessive-compulsive (I like to think it’s at the ‘charming quirk’ level; it’s certainly not at the ‘raw bleeding hands of repeated feverish washing’ level or anything like that; I’m just anal), I have my staple issues and don’t often get stuck on thoughts that aren’t those.

The past few weeks, however, things keep cropping up that have been haunting me. Images I can’t shake from my head. Not compulsions or anything, so I guess that whole first paragraph? Just disregard that. I just can’t stop thinking about these things, and shivering a little every time I do.

First, the box elder bugs are out. They’ve been out for a few weeks now. I’ve been very brave about them, though; I am happy to report there have been no histrionics in the driveway, and I have managed to get inside the house unaided every afternoon. I will admit that some afternoons I approach the front door and shudder and hurriedly key in the garage code so I can go in that way instead, if I deem that they are either a) too close to the knob, or b) in danger of sneaking in the house while I’ve got the door open. There are about a thousand lady bugs too, and while I hate lady bugs in the house or near the front door, I have yet to have a nightmare about them.

Box elder bugs, on the other hand, had a starring role in one of the few recurring nightmares I had as a child. I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m too lazy to go back and check. I will compromise by sufficing with the short version, which is: I used to have repeated nightmares about box elder bugs, probably caused by the falls they blanketed our door and the side of our house and the electric stump thing out in the yard so thickly they were all red.

Second, a few weeks ago I was looking for crochet patterns for my Halloween costume (party’s tonight, woo!), and I found Sylphide’s site. I am going to give you the link, with the warning that the picture that will greet you upon the site loading has been haunting me for weeks now. Maybe I am overreacting, but I can’t shake it. It makes me slightly queasy. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me want to cry, a little.

It’s a little like a train wreck, the pull it all has. It’s all about a girl who wears corsets. If you have a tape measure handy, consider making a circle the size of her waist measurements; it added a new level of horror for me, to see it so visually.

Third, I caught an article about a woman’s suicide being mistaken for a Halloween stunt. Though it is on Yahoo news, which is notoriously unreliable. It led me, however, to Snopes, which was a mistake.

A big mistake.

I now cannot stop thinking about:

Accidental hangings resulting from Halloween stunts.

The two men who lost their arms in a tug-of-war contest. No joke. I made the bad, bad mistake of looking at the picture. I knew I shouldn’t and I did anyway, and now it’s slowly ascending toward Emmett Till level in my head. (In ninth grade we were learning about Jim Crow laws and that whole time period, and saw a video that talked about Emmett Till. He was a teenager who was beaten and killed and then dumped in a river by a bunch of white men, and famously had an open-casket funeral so everyone could see what had been done to him. Nine years later I can still picture his face clear as anything.) Well…come to think of it, no, it will not reach Emmett Till level. Thank. God.

A man vacationing in Yellowstone is burned to death attempting to rescue a dog from a hot spring. It’s the stupid detailed description on this one. The exact account of what he said, how he went in, how he came back out. The…things afterwards. I’m weirdly and unexpectedly pissed as hell at this guy for being so stupid and then having to spend a day dying, knowing just how unutterably idiotically infuriatingly stupid he had been. And I’m pissed at the other guy for letting his dog loose. He’s dead and I just want to slap him.

And wow. Looking at the clock, Jocey was supposed to be here an hour and a half ago. I’m off to call her and harrass her a bit.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Halloween weekend.

(Oh! And if you, like me, are trying to stay away from candy, you could try this snack I had last night. Though it’s not particularly candy-like, it is sweet and delicious and very satisfying. You need only slice an apple quite thin (into thick chips, essentially), place the slices on a sprayed baking sheet, and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and splenda (or other sugar substitute, or sugar if you like). Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 30-45 minutes. I would highly recommend watching it closely in those last minutes. I burnt part of mine and sorely wish I hadn’t, because it came out tasting lovely.

Another delicious fall treat is mock banana foster. Put a little fat free cool whip (I used 2T) in a dish and stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Slice a banana and sprinkle with cinnamon. Heat a bit of caramel topping (I used 1T) in the microwave. Put the chilled cool whip on the banana and drizzle with caramel. Mmm.)

October 28th, 2005

» to all the filthy dogooders

The Breast Cancer Site is behind this month. It’s one of those daily clicks, like the Hunger Site, and the Literacy Site, etc. And every click in October is tripled. So get your lazy (but cute!) butt over to the site and click. It’s totally free and they need all the help they can get right now. Tell everyone you know.

October 27th, 2005

» I give you: chocolate

Just a friendly little PSA about upcoming sampling events at Godiva. If you have a Godiva store near you, it’s worth noting in your calendar. They have sampling events most weekends, but they’re not advertised in-store, and you have to ask to get them.

And it is so worth it. When you do ask they will very graciously give you the most beautiful, lucious thing you will probably put in your mouth all day. Maybe all week. Whole pieces of it, not some teensy nibble. Last weekend was their pumpkin cheesecake chocolate. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. The sort of chocolate that makes you forget about the existence of everything that isn’t it. A creamy little piece of pure happiness.

Today through the 31st is a ‘Boutique Theatre Event’ — hand-dipped strawberry ghosts. I don’t know what that means, really; I suspect you can watch them make said ghost, and then purchase it. But perhaps it’s also a sample, you just get to watch it being made.

Sampling Events:

  • November 17-19: Platinum Collection
  • November 21-23 Candy Cane Bark
  • December 1-3: Pop Chocolates (these things look like they’re going to be Awesome)
  • December 8-10: Pop Chocolates

Boutique Theatre Events:

  • Nov 20-23; Nov 30-Dec 5; Dec 7-12: Candy Cane Bark

So go get yourself a free piece of joy.

October 26th, 2005

» complaints; attempted atonement

Every year my grandma gets pneumonia at least once. Often it’s right before a big holiday — usually Christmas, sometimes New Year’s. We hold our breath every time, hoping this won’t be the one that will send her into a nursing home. I don’t think we could get her back out again. And I’m pretty sure it will kill her.

For all the complaining she has a wonderful home right now. The facility is a pleasant place to be. It’s beautiful, and the grounds are pretty. There are little living room/sitting room areas on every floor full of big comfy furniture. There’s a homey kitchen for entertaining. An ice cream parlor. A beauty shop. They throw parties for the residents’ families a few times a year. They show films and organize bingo. She has a bridge group. She writes restaurant and movie reviews and sometimes stories for the monthly newsletter. She paints. She paints beautifully, better with one hand and half her vision than I could fully-abled.

She went into the hospital yesterday late afternoon. They’re talking colonoscopy on Thursday. I’m not even sure what that means, really. What the colon has to do with pneumonia, or what fresh hell this might be.

* * *

I finished Anansi Boys, and it was truly lovely; no surprises there. It went by utterly too fast. At least maybe now I’ll catch up on sleep at least a little, and not feel quite so much like keeling over at work. Though partly I guess it’s because it’s nearly lunchtime. Still, I hate & am tired of light-headedness.

I’m also tired of House not being on. Stupid — sports. Baseball? I feel like it’s baseball. I don’t even know what season sports are played in, other than hockey. That’s winter, for obvious reasons.

Several months ago, for a period of a few weeks, I got a rash of repeated phone calls from unfamiliar numbers, all at odd hours. While I was at work, in the middle of the night. I never managed to be by my phone when they called, and eventually they finally stopped. Well, they started back up again at the end of last week.

I’m not in the habit of calling up numbers I don’t recognize from my list of missed calls. I find it brazen and irritating when people return missed calls without knowing; it inevitably leads to an imperious demand of ‘Who is this?’ which I think is a rude way to begin a conversation you’ve initiated.

But Monday night I got ten calls between midnight and six, and a ‘page’, and a voicemail with a muttered ‘Fuck!’ before the phone was hung up. And I was fed up. Fed up with whatever drugged-out completely idiotic kid couldn’t put together that a voicemail clearly stating they’d reached *Rachel* would not take them to whoever they were trying to reach.

So yesterday morning I called the number and stressed quite urgently that while I didn’t know who had been calling me from that number I was very sorry but I absolutely could not help them, and was at wit’s end, and didn’t know what to do beyond contacting the police or the phone company to block their number, but that it was entirely inappropriate to call someone repeatedly all night long. And some very nice-sounded suburban mother quite agreed with me and promised that she would talk to her son. I like to imagine that he got in quite a lot of trouble. Possibly for prostitution or drug-dealing. I haven’t gotten another call yet, at least. Hopefully he’ll pass along the message to whoever’s been giving out the wrong number that they ought to learn their own phone number. And get more intelligent friends.

And, because I’ve been told I complain too much, here are a few random good things:

  • I’ve brought a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch. I’ve also got a package of hot chocolate mix for later.
  • I’ve joined a little crochet square-swapping community, which looks like wonderful fun.
  • We’re supposed to get one last nice-weather weekend, and Saturday is the Halloween party. Double-good as my costume is sleeveless.
  • Today’s A Gorey Year selection is from The Gashlycrumb Tinies.
  • My space heater is making my feet pleasantly toasty. I can slip them easily out of my little pink shoes for maximum luxuriance.
  • I’ve 74 solid minutes of exercising scheduled after work; I expect to finish feeling slightly wobbly & accomplished.
  • Though it’s not a particularly good hair day, it is also not a bad one.

October 24th, 2005

» waking up

I woke up this morning in love.

Everything aches today. My stomach, my legs, my head. My heart. Breathing seems like a lot of work. I’m not sad or anything, just tired.

I forgot to take out my contacts last night so I slept in them. First time ever, in — well, years of having them. Nearly a decade, I think. I was exhausted but when I laid down I couldn’t sleep. I finally curled up around Rupert Bear, which I haven’t done in a long time, and almost immediately passed out.

Jo and I have nearly finished our costumes; we’re down to accessories now. Little gold silk pouches. Jewel-encrusted cutlasses. Inertia has devoured the garters and the fake boots and any elaborate head gear or sashing. The important part (being more or less respectably clothed) is finished, and beyond that we will be too drunk to care. I am all gleeful anticipation. There is nothing like a Halloween party, and no party companion like Jo.

I gave in and ordered Movies in Fifteen Minutes from Amazon UK, since it looks like it won’t be distributed in the US till next fall, and I don’t want to wait that long. I oughtn’t've splurged like that, but — well. It’s done now and I can’t bring myself to regret it, despite the heaps and heaps of unread/un-listened-to things I have stacked all over the floor of my room. Especially the copy of Anansi Boys I’ve got out of the library, which I started this morning since I got ready for work too quickly. Perhaps because I skipped all makeup and put my hair up in a ponytail. I probably look every bit as tired as I feel.

I’m unbelievably thirsty but I can’t get more than a few sips of anything down. It’s a weird feeling.

Alex laughs now. I feel like I’ve mentioned that, but he and I had such a good time Friday. He gave me this big sort of goofy squeaky full haha Mel said she hadn’t heard before. He’s ticklish in a way he wasn’t before. When he was first born he was just angry about it; he’d flinch and kick and get red-faced if you tickled his feet. He hated clothes too, though; I think everything then was just so new and sensitive. Now when you tickle under his arms he squirms and twists and giggles.

There’s nothing like being looked at by a baby. The directness of that. Knowing every second they’re working on really figuring things out. Everything about them is exponential.