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Archive: March 2003

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

I was going to post about the evils of modern broadcast journalism and its alarming similarity to reality TV, but I have decided that I would be no better than those whom I mock, so instead, here’s a refreshing entry about nothing in particular for those of you who, like me, might need a little break from CNN.
I noticed the other day at work that I have a number of customers who come in every day. I’m not referring to the true “regulars” who come in for their coffee or their copy of the New York Times, or even the ones who come in every Saturday for the latest bestseller. I’m talking about the ones who have absolutely no life. Couple that with an incredible absence of social skills, and I think we have a pretty good canvas on which to paint to following picture. Now let me tell you a story…
Once upon a time, there were a happy bunch of retail clerks who truly loved their jobs. They got to talk to all sorts of interesting people and work in an environment that promoted literacy and the arts. Then one day, an evil old troll began besmirching their pristine landscape. The man was stooped and smelled of rancid Grecian Formula, and he scowled constantly. He wore the same baseball cap crookedly on his head and the same dirt-brown suspenders over the same pilled courduroy pants every day. He would grab the Financial Times, sit in a comfy chair, and immediately start picking his nose…..AND EATING IT!!!! This went on for hours at a time, until he eventually fell asleep. He was awoken from his noisy (he snores like a buzz saw) slumber by his new best friend: another crotchety old man in a red windbreaker who smelled of stale cigarette smoke and had a penchant for hawking disturbingly loud and lengthy loogies (pardon the mispelling; alas I am not familiar with the action, therefore I have never bothered to learn to spell it). Though the two never engaged in a conversation, it became evident over the course of several weeks that they were, in fact, fast companions. Eventually, the first old man started talking to himself (never mind that he had his buddy with whom to chat). This escalated to increasingly explosive expletives being shouted at no one in particular, which were, of course, punctuated by Geezer #2 serenading us with the sounds of phlegm. These antics would continue for the following 12 hours, with brief respites only when Geezer #1 snoozed or Geezer #2 went outside to smoke.
Now, for a good number of months, these two were largely ignored as harmless. We had ascertained that they were neither homeless nor vagrants, simply lonely old retired men with nothing better to do. We never received any complaints, so we basically let them be, with the exception of an occasional “That’s disgusting!” shouted in their general direction. Honestly, we were terrified that one day Geezer #1 would kick it, and we would just think he was sleeping. Hell, I’m pretty sure that’s still a possibility.
Then yesterday, as I was escorting a rather elegant lady to Cooking, Geezer #1, sadly without his faithful sidekick, got up to wander, all the while yelling “SHIT!!! SHIIIIIIIITTTTTTT!” at the top of his (I’m pretty sure) diseased lungs. The woman looked at me, and she was actually amused. I quickly ran over to the man and asked if he was in need of assistance, and he assured me that no, in fact, he was fine. He then said that people often assumed he had Turrett’s, when in fact, he just didn’t care what people thought of him. I aksed him to please refrain, and he sat quietly down with his paper, and we heard not a peep for the remainder of the day. Geezer #2 shortly joined him, and they sat scowling at each other in perfect harmony for 9 more hours.
I don’t get it. We are repulsed by these two men, and yet our other customers find them endearing (or perhaps they feel sorry for them, although trust me, they both have homes and money, and remember, at least Geezer #1 didn’t need food since he provided his own sustenance). They have woven themselves into the fabric of our days, though, a reassuring constant in uncertain days, and I know that one day (probably soon, gauging by the apparent slow decline in the health of both), they will simply not show up, and our joy will be somewhat tempered by our concern.
The moral of the story is the theme of the week: We should celebrate our differences no matter what, but refuse to put up with the SHIT!!!

Sometimes, Words Fail

Where do you even start on a day like today? Bear with me for a moment, or go read something else, because I’m about to take a page from Camille’s book and leave this as my personal chronicle of the past 48 hours, in much the same way as I have for all major life-altering events.
Back in 1991, a very close friend of mine was in Israel when the war broke out. US troops were stationed not far from her house, as they had yet to be called into Iraq. My mom actually let me get on the phone at 10:00 PM and call her in Tel Aviv. It took a while to get through, but eventually I did, and she assured me that although the situation was tense, everything was ok (you may or may not remember that there was a significant fear of Palestinian action against Israel in the event that war broke out).
Last night, sometime after we finished watching American Idol on Tivo, we flipped to live TV just in time to hear and see the reports of an early attack on Baghdad. Talk about shifting the paradigm! I called my mom, because I knew she wouldn’t be watching TV (she wasn’t), and we watched the President’s speech. Today, business was slow, traffic was light, and most people were never very far from the TV or a radio. I, however, feel relatively detached from the whole situation. It is my own defense mechanism for dealing with stress (a la Scarlett O’Hara—I’ll think about it tomorrow). Mostly, when I do force myself to look at the war now steadily unfolding, I am incredibly anxious, both for the safety of our soldiers as well as that of the Iraqi people. Most Americans only understand the differences between our culture and others in the broadest terms (and the most convenient definitions), and now more than ever, it’s time to broaden our own horizons before we force our beliefs on others.
Here’s how all this boils down. It no longer matters what your opinion is, or mine, or your neighbor’s. It is too late to stop the action, and while everyone is entitled to an opinion (that is, after all the right of every American), forcing that opinion on others will not change the situation or its outcome. The only thing that matters now is remembering others in their time of crisis, whether it be our men and women fighting or the Iraqi people they’re charged with liberating. It is my greatest hope that we remember to look at all points of view, and respect our ability and privelege to have dissenting opinions.
Sorry for the rambling. It appears that when I have something of consequence to discuss I lose all ability for rational, persuasive, and coherent speech. Alas, I am only eloquent in my levity. I had such a hard time explaining this to Kev last night that I just gave up. Mostly, though, I think it’s best put simply: Be nice to each other. Say “hi” to your neighbors. Smile at the clerk in the grocery store. Be thankful that you’re not in the desert fighting a war with which you may or may not agree. Be thankful that when the sun goes down tonight, you and your loved ones will be spared the sound of anti-aircraft fire and safe from stray bullets. Most of all, remember to celebrate each others’ differences. God bless America and her heroes.

Baptisms of Fire

Now that the excitement of yesterday has worn off, it’s back to reality, and let’s be frank: the real world is not a happy place to be right now. I would just like to take a moment to offer my prayers, along with those of so many others, for the men and women on the brink of fighting a war we can no longer avoid. Whether or not we agree with the reasons, the fact remains that these people are willing to lay down their lives. May God and His angels protect you all.
To do your part to bring a little light into their days, click here.
Pray for Peace

Somewhere Between…

Janet Maslin and Nelson DeMille. Above Nelson DeMille, actually. “What is she talking about?” you ponder aloud. Why, those words, right there, sandwiched between Ms. Maslin and Mr. DeMille! “Whose words?” you wonder, cocking your head quizzically to the right.

MY WORDS!!!!

Heeee Heeee Heeee! Right there in the New York Times, baby! Next stop, the bestseller lists!

Is It Morning?

Actually, even though I did not go to sleep until 5:30 this morning, I arose fairly early (well before noon), made breakfast, played with the dogs, and turned the Tivo on to CNN. Damn. Can’t a girl just tune out for 8 hours without the world coming to an end? So it looks like we’re going in, and while I’ve tried very hard to keep my views to myself (it’s not my place to force my opinions on others…That should give you some idea of where I stand), I have to say that at the very least, I’m relieved that there will at least finally be some resolution. If you really want to get into it, however, let me know, and I’ll be happy to treat you to my own personal diatribe. Someone asked me, in passing, last night about my thoughts on Natalie Maines’ recent remarks regarding our President, and it led to a two-hour discussion, so be forewarned.
Other than that, I’m just exteremely tired, and I think I have finally realized that I am not, in fact, 19 anymore, and it hurts to stay up all night, even when alcohol is not involved. I think I’ll go tune out the world for a little while, and maybe watch a little Trading Spaces (I’m thinking of painting the bedroom Cranberry! {Gaillardia Red, actually}). Kevin wants to go for something a tad more muted (pewter…..eeeww!), but I’ve always had that flair for the dramatic, and I think the room needs a little color, plus it’ll match our whole Pottery Barn theme! Did I mention that I want to paint the kitchen a butter yellow? The guest bath needs a different color, too…(Hey, anything that helps me escape from the real world for a while!)
Color, Color Everywhere

But It’s Sunday!

Ack. I have to work tonight, which goes against everything I hold sacred. No, I’m not talking about religious views. Sunday is my day with my husband. It is the only day we have just to ourselves. However, tonight, I must go and work all night re-arranging my entire store. As fun as that may be, I will still feel discombobulated (I love that word!) for the remainder of the day. Kev, meanwhile, is puttering about in the yard and “fixing” things around the house. Who knew things were broken? So now I’m left with the whole day to check up on the news (this is freaky), read a book, watch TV, and take a nap. I guess it’s not so bad to work on Sunday!

The Skin You’re In

So I think I’m tired of all my skins, which must mean it’s time to create a new one. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Eastern skin, I just think it might be time for something new and different. I’ll have to think on this for a little while and hope that inspiration strikes. Hmmmm.

Salmonella, Anyone?

Well, Kev is still down with the nastiest bout of food poisoning I’ve seen in a while, and although he is convinced that I pulled a “Goodbye Earl” move on him, rest assured that he will, in fact, survive. Last night was rough, as I was rousted from my peaceful slumber at 3:00 AM to go in search of Pepto and Gatorade. Lemme tell ya: Ain’t nuthin’ open at that ungodly hour in Flower Mound. I did manage to finally locate a gas station which fortunately stocked the necessary provisions; alas, they did nothing to alleviate the poor boy’s suffering. Morning dawned too early, but at least I had a fun day ahead! Mom and I ventured over to Frisco for gastronomical treats provided by the Cheesecake Factory, and then we continued our girlish day at Restoration Hardware, which is quite possibly my favorite store on the planet. A quick trip to the grocery store for Jell-O and chicken broth (and more Gatorade and Pepto), then it was home to make a chocolate cream pie to take to work. Kevin is once again in bed, trying desperately to recover from last night’s digestive pyrotechnics, which leaves me free to watch all the Tivo I can handle! Whoo-hooo! Girls night for me! (At least until 3:00 AM).
In Sickness & In Health

Hooray For The Day Off!

Some weeks just seem to drag by, and this was one of them. Sure, I missed work on Monday, but that doesn’t count because I was too sick to do anything productive. As a result, I have put in 14 hour days for three days straight, and I am tired! However, tomorrow is my day off, and I plan to enjoy tonight by kicking back, watching a movie , and maybe eating pancakes (oooohhhh!) for dinner. In answer to your inevitable question, no, it doesn’t take that much to make me happy, at least most days. Now, if I could just get real people to do what this does, then my life truly would be blissful!
In other news, I had my conference call with Dan Brown today, and it was very cool. He is an extremely nice man, and Good Lord, does he ever know his stuff. I also got the inside scoop on his next book, but you’ll have to wait for those details, at least until you read The Da Vinci Code.
Sorry I’m not feeling very deep (or coherent, apparently) this week, but it appears (hopefully) that our lives are once again back on an even keel (read: really boring because nothing ever happens to us. Ever.) Plus, I really am thinking about doing some actual writing in the near future, and the thought of that has occupied most of my brain lately!

Today–Publishers’ Weekly; Tomorrow–The World!

If you get, or have access to, Publishers’ Weekly, please feel free to check me out (or at least my words), since they are there today in all their technicolor glory. Sure, it may not seem like much to you, but it’s the beginning of my fifteen minutes, baby!
Baby, I'm A Star!

We Needed This

It’s about time that America got some good news, and this is it. Thank God she’s back home with her family, and maybe this means that the tide is turning, and we can expect better things in the coming months.

I Like Your Poetry, But I Hate Your Poems

Some days are like that. You know the ones: You talk and talk, but nobody really seems to listen? Maybe it’s because my sinuses are still mutinous (eeewww, that almost sounds gross!), maybe it’s because I’m tired, but today just did not feel very productive. No matter. American Idol is on tonight, and it’s Jerk Chicken on the grill for dinner. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to my ususal ass-kicking self. A girl can dream….

Because I Can

Yes, I freely admit it. Sometimes, I instigate just because I can, and this is a perfect example. While I support the theory 100%, you and I both know that Kevin will have a fit. It truly is good to be the Queen!
I'm Not Bad, I Just Blog That Way

Sniffle

I still feel like crap. Damn. And yes, I am the world’s biggest baby when I get sick, but it’s only because I’m sick so rarely. My husband, meanwhile, has come home from work early in order to nurse me back to some semblance of health, although I’m sure he’s secretly hoping that I’ll suddenly feel well enough to fix him dinner. That ain’t gonna happen as things stand now. Seriously, though, he has gone to the drug store twice to make sure I had stuff that I could take to make me feel better (or at least more human). It’s a pain in the ass, because there’s so much I can’t take due to my heart (read: Pretty much every cold medicine known to man is out). However, The Almighty Kevin has discovered Coricidin, and that will hopefully have me on the road to wellness in no time.
In other news, thanks so much for all the emails today. It’s given me something to focus on other than my exploding sinuses, and they’ve made me smile. Okay. I’ve been upright for long enough, and I must once again go lie down.

One More Reason

Why I refuse to take anitbiotics. Call it paranoia, but we should have seen this coming. I just thought I’d throw this one out there since it’s especially fitting today, as I am, indeed, home sick. Yes, it’s true. Normally, I have to be bleeding out of my eyes to take a sick day (the last full sick day I took was solely based on doctor’s orders, and that was when my heart was acting up last summer). Alas, I am truly ill today, and I was up all night feeling, quite frankly, like I wanted to die. However, I will not take antibiotics for this, because I have not taken antibiotics since I was 16. Here’s my theory: One day, I will actually depend on an antibiotic for something, and I don’t want to waste them on crap like this which will run its course with or without pharmaceutical aid. Sorry if none of this makes sense, but while I’m not taking something to rid my body of its evil bacteria, I am on plenty of over-the-counter sinus and flu medication. I still feel like crap, but I’m so high on NyQuil that I just don’t care.
I Don't Feel Well

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