Friday, November 30, 2007

A secret, a secret!!

Isn't it fun to have a crush?? Especially if you have some shared history with the person so it's not awkward even though you'd not talked for 15 years?



I've begun wearing makeup most days. Makeup as in moisturizer, foundation, powder, eyeshadow and mascara. Often lipstick. I feel like I look the better for it. It's a concession to age, though. I never used to have any need for evening out my skin. The foundation is both what seems to make the most difference and also is the saddest.

I might add more onto this entry in a bit, but for now I'm going out for breakfast with my Emily.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Troubleshoot for me, please?

Cause I'm kind of computer illiterate in some ways, and many of you are not.

I can't print PDF files to paper anymore at work. This is getting in the way of my job. We don't have a real IT person, considering how tiny we are. This is not the only computer issue I have here, but it's the most immediately annoying.

Here are some clues: I tell it to print, and it opens a printer dialog box with properties, options, etc. all normal so far. Everything is as it should be, including that it's pointing to my printer, not anywhere else. Then when I hit OK, another box comes up, which says: (Print to file) Output File Name, with a field that's meant to be typed in. If I put an name in, it seems to print, even going so far as to have a progress bar. But it's clearly printing to a file rather than to the printer. I have no idea where the file might be going, but if I try to name the file the same thing twice, it asks if I want to replace.

The only thing I know how to do in this situation is to make sure I'm telling it to print to the printer. Which I am. So I have no idea.

For what it's worth, I'm using Windows XP, Adobe reader 7.0, the printer is on, and other documents print just fine. And the files aren't corrupted, because my office mates can print them on their computers. It's some setting I must have accidentally changed and I have NO idea what I did.

Update: Searching for the name of the file I supposedly wrote doesn't return any results at all.

Update the dos: Thanks to SeanMeister, he of the bizarre dreams about fishing, for always willing to help out in a pinch and for figuring out what I was doing wrong!

Update the tres: Michele also pulled through for the win, with a voicemail I didn't get until after I schooled my co-worked about how to use formulas in Excel!

Two more days! Wait. One, after today.

I am so sick of NaNoPoMoBloFlo I can't even tell you. And it's not like it's hard for me to post. I post every day anyway. I am just that tied to the computer. But knowing that I have to post, well, that's a different thing entirely. It just adds to the recent anxiety. Boo.

Anyhoo, it just occurred to me to let y'all know that if you were to call me Stew or Stewie in real life I wouldn't even flinch. There are enough people in my world who actually do call me that, especially my sister and a couple of close friends. Stewie, Stewbrain, Stew...the name existed before the blog.

So that's my take on things.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007






No more no more just leave me alone.

For the record!

Here's a little workplace advice for the snarkier of you out there.

After leaving a seemingly professional voice mail, make sure you actually hang the phone up before going off on a tirade about how out-of-line/stupid/bad/horrible you think the person whose voice mail you're recording is, mmmkay?

NB: I was not the one leaving the message.

OH, and for the record? I have no idea what you had up your ass there, missy/mister, but I am now MUCH LESS interested in helping you out EVER. All I asked was whether we could talk about collaborating on a project.

Someone needs some people skills. Or else a course on operating cell phones.

Happy Birthday to Former (the good one) Roommate!

My friend whose name is not allowed on here is celebrating a milestone birthday today. Not the one I'll be at in a little more than 3 years--the one before that. I had a brainstorm yesterday about how to help make the day a little more fun for him, and I'm just hoping he doesn't hate me!

When I got up this morning I sent an email out to as many people as I know who either know Former Roommate the Good or who know of him, or who know me. Some of you who are reading got this email. I asked them to either call and wish him a Happy Birthday or to email him and do the same. So far my dad, stepmother, and two old friends have done it. (*Update--the total count is now at 5. Heh. **Update the second--many, many more calls/emails. He's not angry, thankfully!)


There's an outside chance that this will just piss him off (especially if he feels his privacy is being violated), but I did tell him that if something weird happened today that it would be my fault. So...

(If you didn't get the email but would like to participate, leave a comment and I'll get you the pertinent info.)

Here's the email I sent, info redacted


Today is my friend
Former Roommate the Good's 30th birthday. I had the brilliant (??) idea yesterday to get as many people as I can, the more random the better, to call and wish him a happy birthday. It's especially good if you don't know him very well. He probably won't even pick up the phone because he won't recognize your phone number anyway, but a quick message would be awesome.

I'm thinking just "Hey Former Roommate the Good, it's Jane Doe...I'm Stew's (friend, sister, mom, whatever), and I just wanted to say Happy 30th birthday!"

Obviously he'll know some of you; in that case just a Hey
Former Roommate the Good, it's _______! Happy birthday!

Anyway, his phone number is (Bla)-Bla-Blah.

If you'd rather email, it's
Former Roommate the

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Please bear with me. I'm looking at PSAs that are available online, to see if any of them could be used to spark discussion with my kids. I kind of liked this one. Basic translation: There are many different names for "nose"-- Honker, schnozz, beak, snout... But whatever kind of nose you have, or whatever name you use for it, if you use your nose to inhale chemicals to drug you up, you can cause brain damage...or even DIE. And the name for THAT is STUPID!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Big Lots Bonanza

Select Purchases
Good Strong Tea
Spray Cheese
Garlic Parmesan Panetini
Oooh! Beef Jerky! (forgot about this...and not just any brand. JEFF FOXWORTHY JERKY!)
Ginger Lemon Cremes
Pescado Pete's Coastal Style Olives

And not least, as part of tomorrow's New Roommate Birthday Celebration.....


Yeah, you heard me right. RAP SNACKS!

RAP SNACKS Boooooooooiiiizzzzzz!!

The kind New Roommate is getting is the Dirt McGirt version.

In good company.

Apparently I'm not alone in my bed/clothes situation. Others have admitted to it before me.

Thanks for the invite out last night, Phil.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I'm actively not looking forward to tomorrow, but at least I'll be out of the house. And it has to be better than my weekend has been.

Oh, and my roommate's birthday is on Tuesday. Any suggestions on what I should do? I feel bad that I've been being so solitary and messy of late.

Break on through

Yesterday was the suck. Friday (other than the evening, which was fun fun fun) was also the suck. Today is gearing up to be the suxxors even worse.

Anxiety about to-do items has me so worked up that even when I work on them I get overwhelmed. Normally when you tackle a project you feel better. For some reason that's not working for me this time. Eesh.

So instead, I'm planning a day trip to somewhere. I don't know where, and I don't know what I'll do, but I think it will do me good to get out of the house. I expect to leave by noon (it's 10 a.m. now) and be gone until dinner time or so.

I'm off to the shower and then to figure out what kind of mini-excursion I can take. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Over the last few weeks (months?) I've been really lax about keeping up with housework. The most egregious example of this is the 2-foot-high mound of clean clothes I sleep with each night. Somehow it's easier to motivate to finally load all the dishes or to clean the tub, toilet and sink than it is to tackle the clothes.

It's been making me feel really bad. I tell myself I'm going to do it, and then I don't. And then I get really angry with myself, and there's a lot of internal grumbling and self-directed pissy-ness. Rinse. Repeat.

Today will be different (Jeeze. I'm already feeling pangs of anxiety about this!) Today I will encourage, cajole and peptalk myself until I've put away the clothes. There are plenty of other things to be freaking out about, too, but today will be the clothes. They're wrinkly but clean. I will hang them up.

And when I'm done, I'll go to Big Lots and buy myself some mascara, if they have it.

UPDATE: I lasted 15 minutes. The clothes are now 1/2 organized on the bed by where they will eventually go. I stopped because I could no longer tolerate the ever-amping up freakout it was causing. WTF?

Hi C pulls through

I just got home from a night on the town with my gal Cristin. She snagged us a couple of single guys my age. REEL EM IN, MRS. PAUL! Was fun. Very fun! Naked Girl (and guy, omg how funny!!) Photo Hunt.


Sleepy time.

xxoo Stew

p.s. I believe there were many cleavage pictures taken.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm bored.

Give me some ideas.


Just because I love food traditions, I wanted to ask y'all to weigh in about what was on the table yesterday. Was there anything you didn't have that you wished to? Is there anything you make just because the meal wouldn't be the same without it but which you don't really enjoy?

I'm assuming here that there are four things that are the core of the US-ian Thanksgiving Experience: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Some would include cranberry relish as also being a must.

We had all of that. Also--beans, several varieties frozen during the summer and cooked southern style (until khaki colored with bacon). Corn pudding--it was a sweet, creamy custard with just enough red bell peppers to make it fun. Cranberry relish--freshly ground (raw) cranberries with orange and walnuts. David's fantastic no-knead bread. Green tomato chutney. Green tomato and lemon marmalade. White wine. Red wine. Pecan pie and also squash pie. Maria grew the squash. Everything but the corn (frozen), cranberries and citrus was local, I'm pretty sure. Maybe not the potatoes.

So, since that was my dinner, what did y'all have?

I'm going to go outside to rake here in a second.

Excuse me here as I shove some of these breakfast mashed potatoes and gravy-laden stuffing into my mouth, ok?

Maria and David's meal did not disappoint. Damn they're good. My contribution was wine (too much!) and a pecan pie. I'm not sure how this happened, but the filling ended up under the crust, which annoyed me. I like a bottom crust to be crunchy and most decidedly NOT soggy. When it floats in the pecan pie filling, though, the crust will necessarily be soggy. Sigh. Has anyone else ever seen that happen?

The most important part of a good turkey dinner is the gravy. Too often people make a gravy that's the color of a pair of Dockers. That is sad. A good turkey gravy is more this color.

Brown brown brown brown brown brown brown!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mmmmmm Pavo

So Full.

Did you think I'd miss a day? Well you were WRONG. Here I am!

Thanksgiving was wonderful; I'll wax sublime tomorrow when I feel more like slogging through details.

As I was leaving Maria's, I turned my phone back on, and immediately got a text message. From a number not saved in my phone, but which I recognized nonetheless (after a momentary internal 'huh?'). There's a reason the number is not in my phone, y'all.


If I had wanted to engage, I think the best return text message I could have sent would have looked about like this:

\ /

(Think about fingers)

I just didn't respond.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Net Neutrality

This video I've embedded has made my day. I actually have no idea what Net Neutrality is about (google! where are you??), but this issue apparently brings together all the happy oddness of the internets I've ever known. Check out We Are the Web. Watch this first:


Yesterday morning I got an organization-wide email suggesting we celebrate Thanksgiving by bringing in snack foods for everyone and noshing on them all day long today. Apparently nobody is expected to do anything tomorrow. Dammit. I had a whole slew of catch-up things to do, but now I guess I'll just be sitting around the conference room stuffing my face.

Then one of our employees told me that I'd be bringing the "Southern Sushi" that I made for our last thing like this. It's a pain in the ass to make, and I thought that was an eense presumptuous of her. And from further conversation, it seemed very clear that she just wanted food I made. She hadn't been planning on bringing anything herself (WTF?)

I mean, it's awesome that your coworkers like your food. But that was just bizarre.

Anyway, a bit later I nicely told her that she didn't have to think of anything to bring, because she could do the Southern Sushi! It's easy! It's just ham, cream cheese, and something pickled! Because I was bringing something different! YAY! I think I may have shamed her into bringing something.

(Cristin...I'm making layered taco dip, baby. Oh YEAH.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007



cash advance


There are 19 tomatoes in varying stages of ripeness on my kitchen table. There are as many as that again that are true green over on my counter. And then there are probably 10 or so more that are still hanging out on the vines. It's Thanksgiving week, and I still have garden tomatoes. I'd have never expected that. Looks like it's time for some creative green tomato uses! Maybe salsa...

I think this weekend (Long weekend! Celebrate!) I'll be spending some time outdoors tending to the garden and yard. We've finally gotten leaves falling, which will be perfect as a winter mulch for the new bed. I have tomato cages to put up, and chicken wire to roll.

Maria is taking me in for Thanksgiving. It will be a small get-together--Maria, David, Maria's sister in law Betsy, and me. I'm in charge of getting a kick-ass white wine. The rest (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, tomato apple chutney, various breads, creamed corn, squash pie) is up to them.

If I get *my* act together, I'll make my mom's pecan pie, as well. Can't have too much pie, you know? And besides, we'll walk it off. Right?

As an orphan this holiday, I appreciate all the people who have offered me a place at their table. Maria asked me if I knew anyone else who was alone this holiday, and I don't. But if you are, and if you live around here? Let me know. There's space with us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Maria

I've lost count of the times on here I've talked about my gardening muse, Maria. Maria and I worked together in a former life, but we really got to be good friends about 3-4 years ago, when I had some hard times, and she stepped up to help.

I love Maria.

It was through Maria that I first found an outlet for gardening. This whole local foods thing? It's not even an issue with Maria and her sweetie. They've always done it, and it's second nature. This summer I cheated with One Local Summer and just went over to their house for dinner, took a picture and called it a day. She and David (the sweetie) have a ginormo, fabulous garden. Before I had my own, I got to dig over there with her. Maria is my resource for troubleshooting garden issues. She found me the Dipel Dust that saved my brassicas and greens this fall. My research had actually pointed to a different substance, but it wasn't working for shit.

Argh. I'm running on at the mouth.

My point is that Maria has a blog. She's a wonderful writer, and I'm excited to see what she has to say. Please go visit, and know you now have access to one of the bestest peeps out there.

Now y'all are lucky like me!


OMG! Marco saved an eensy little girl Ethiopian puppy from being run over and/or dying of dehydration! She's living in his house with Toby Toberson, Dammit Janet and Bobo the Spider! She's only 6 weeks old! She's TINY!

Will she stay in Bole with the Marco Family? Will she come home with them to the US of A?

What's her NAME?


(Pardon me while I pick myself up off the ground from rolling around in ecstasy)

OH, and here are Toby, Janet and Boris, in solo pictures.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Mind you, it took almost 4 hours (!) to oil my change this morning, but I multitasked the waiting with a little hot, class-planning action. And some buying-a-USB cord craziness over at el Rey de la Comida*. And some guilt-reducing parental phone calls. And some fab hardware-setting-up goodness.

And now I have a scanner. I've never had one before. EVER.

So here's a 10-year-old picture of Stew Short Hair from the Barcelona era, as proof that I got my multipurpose print-type device all hooked up.

Now MAYBE I'll eventually put away the enormous and ever-growing pile of clean laundry that shares my bed.


(And tomorrow and tomorrow. For some reason I just remembered one of my fave soliloquies. I used to have it memorized)

*Who'd have guessed they'd carry USB cables??

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In case you forgot

Imperatrix was right. Photo Booth is addictive. It also feels self-absorption enabling, when I sit there and take pictures over and over, deleting until I get one that doesn't seem entirely heinous.

Not surprisingly (considering my recent state of being), I'm feeling old and battered. Looking at the picture I've posted, I just see the bags and lines. I'm glad that the turtleneck I've got on hides my the extra chin that's conspiring to wrap around my neck until it chokes me dead. It makes me want to get more of them.

(BTW, I'm slightly freaking out, because even though I want to explore these thoughts, I worry that it will make those of you who read and know me want to reassure me that no, no, no you really are cute, stew, and it's OK. I actually know that, though, and let me just make it clear that I'm not fishing. Heh. The logical part of me does accept that I'm not in the least ugly.)

These unfavorable thoughts didn't just stop me, though, from flashing a bright, honest smile at the cute, presumably unmarried* guy across from me who is absorbed in reading a huge stack of what looks to be research papers.

Oy, I still have a headache.

*Of course there's no telling if he a) has a girlfriend or even b) whether he'd ever have a girlfriend.

New addition, 12:45 p.m.
Deposited checks, and miraculously walked into a busy salon and snapped up a no-show's appointment. $50 later....


Yesterday was actually pretty much of a wash. I did not one thing on that list, dammit.

So at least now I'm out of the house having walked up to the local shopping district for breakfast, coffee and wireless.

Couple of observations:
1) Scrambled eggs taste really good with green onions in them.
2) One apple shouldn't cost $1.67.
3) My head hurts.
4) Sugar, if you've become accustomed, is hard to quit.
5) I have a headache.
6) I'm forgetful enough to have not realized that #3 and #5 are essentially identical.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day off?

I'm working tonight until about midnight, so I've got the daytime part off. I have a huge list of things I think I should do, and I hope I follow through.

Because I love you and know that your lives are incomplete without this kind of detailed information about my life, I think I'll go ahead and put that list up here now.

Get a USB cable.
Set up my printer.
Deposit checks.
Put clean clothes away. No, really.
Get a haircut if possible.
Gather things to send someone and go to the post office (sorry so vague. no, it's not you).
Oil change.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turn that frown upside down!! :-D

Again with the 7:30 a.m. start time 40 minutes from my house! And I almost got thrown up on to boot, by a kid who couldn't go home and yet wasn't allowed to lie down in the nurse's office, for liability reasons. I love my job. Wouldn't you?

Annual doctor's visit today, woo hoo. They did this horrible thing where you hold onto a contraption that looks like a videogame controller and it tells you JUST HOW FAT YOU in the percentage and total pounds of your weight that are fat.

I'm *really* fat. The quantitative felt worse than the qualitative. I cried. My lovely, holistic, empathetic and yet kind of weirdo doctor hugged me and told me to be a food snob (quality, not quantity) and to make sure I'm breathing. The phlebotomist promised not to lose my blood this time. I have a psuedo plan for increasing my exercise. I'm cutting out sugar and carbs, per doctor's request.

The fat didn't stop mustached waiter Gonzalo from asking probing and direct questions at lunch, though. All I wanted was my favorite tortilla soup*.

What's your name?
Are you married?
Why not?
Do you have a boyfriend?
How can that be?
Do you have kids?
How old are you? What? You look 8-10 years younger than that!
How do you say "bonita" in English?
Are you going to come back here?
Where do you live?
You're really pretty.

Jesus. NOT IN THE MOOD FOR THAT. I felt like someone had taken every single social skill out of my body and replaced it a mouth that can only say "I really like the soup here." "It's my favorite soup** in the whole Triangle"

I'm tired. I've been crying a lot--every day this week so far, in fact, and at the drop of a hat. I didn't sleep well last night.

*$3.99!!! A whole quart of tasty, rich broth, rice, small bits of mixed veggies, tortilla "noodles" fresh avocado, cilantro and pico de gallo. And a lime to squeeze in.
**I sing high praises as well for their chicken soup. Both hit the spot when you're sick. Ultimate comfort food.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Because I said I would

I know a couple of people who signed up for NANOBLOGPOMOFO have resorted to a post about nothing, just to say they did.

Even Me, as they'd say in kiswahili (according to a friend who did the Peace Corps in Kenya).

Looking forward to: dinner and a movie with Jeni and Cristin.

Annoyed at: having to teach 40 minutes away beginning at 7:15 a.m. tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


25-year-old piercings should not ooze.

What exactly are plug-ins, and why don't they just come with instead of having to download them*? And then when you do download them why don't they work??

You know you spend too much time online when you try to watch current public TV programming on the computer instead of walking into the other room and turning on the TV.

Stuffing doesn't have to be Stove Top brand to be made on a burner.

I don't like the little bumps I have on the outside/bottom of my forearms. (I suspect they're just Keratosis Pilaris, which, though not a big deal, sounds rather ominous and gross. I want to pick at them. I won't. )

I'm really sick of having to majorly conserve water. I want a bath. And I want to water my veggies and cover crop.

OOOOOOOH! I have ONE cute little Brussels sprout and one eensy broccoli floret!!!

And tomatoes. They've not yet succumb to frost, believe it or not. Must be a microclimate thing.

I feel like I can't leave my house during the week. Once I get home, I'm home. If I can make it out before going home, I'm golden. I need to just not come home.

The display on the new computer is too shiny and glassy.

I fail at figuring most things out computer-wise; however, did you know you can scroll on a trackpad by using two fingers? I stumbled onto that feature.

*NB--I'm not looking for an answer to this question. I just want it to work. Is that so hard? No.


I kind of think plating is stupid.

I think it's fuddy duddy and gets in the way of the actual tasting experience. Things get cold while you futz around with them.

At least at home I don't like it. I don't know. It's pretty in a restaurant, but I avoid things that are too complicated in general. Like specialized tools, for example.

Along with this anti-plating theme, my tastes also run to the proletariat. The tasty and fresh and lowbrow, that is. Not Twinkies.

However, as a concession to the plating practice, I made an homage to Cervantes. Tortilla española, made with local eggs and potatoes, accompanied by acelgas criadas con cariño en el jardín y saltadas con ajo y sus pencas.

(I'm really just jealous of people who plate well, I think. Therefore I fall back to my strengths--spanish and the absurd)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reprinted with Permission from the Watts Hillandale Neightborhood Association listserv

Dear citizens,

I have observed urban chickens standing on corners trying to push illegal corn feed to innocent visiting chickens from the country as well as leaving it in plain site of our children. It has also been observed that urban chickens violate traffic laws as I noticed them traveling the wrong way around traffic circles while fleeing from prosecution from the chicken police for chicken misdemeanors to chicken felonies. Urban Chickens are know for trespassing, public disturbances, public defecation, j-walking, fleeing and eluding, threatening behavior to smaller chicks, and public lewd and lascivious behavior, and other disturbing urban chicken behaviors best left in the country.

They set a bad example for our domesticated animals and thus should be incarcerated in a maximum security chicken pen-itentiary under strict supervision of correctional officers (the fox) of the pen-itentiaries and isolation from the public for the protection of public safety and innocent country chicken corruption. Most incarcerated chickens are hardened by their confinement and while in incarceration learn more criminal chicken activities. They pose a risk to innocent chickens being lured into a life of criminal chicken crimes and rampant chicken gang induced violations in our community.

Please help keep our streets safe from these gangs of chickens from infiltrating our peaceful community. I have noticed different varieties of chickens gathering into groups. We do not need more gang chicken violence spreading filth into our communities. It is a statistic that different chicken gangs are already having wars over the heinous and illegal habit of chicken feed distribution. Chickens are incarcerated in pen-itentiaries from the cities and other populated communities for a reason.

Parole of chickens has proven a high rate of crime in areas they flee. Reincarceration is inevitable after they flock to neighboring communities creating pandemonium and illegal distribution of chicken feed. These criminal chickens should all be fried!!!!!

Please help keep our streets quote Nancy Reagan "Just say no".

Dr. Cluck PHD.
The Domesticated Animal Rights Association of Durham

For Suzanne. It's so true.

One way to spend good time with friends while not biting into the time you need for your to-do list is going on errands together. So in addition to the pedicures and cashmere sweaters, we also went to the grocery store and the home despot.

I bought some cottage cheese, but Suze really ruined it for me. I had forgotten, see, about the wonders that are Michigan Brand Cottage Cheese In The Blue Container.

My breakfast cottage cheese is really lame in comparison, damn it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More than one way to skin a cat!

My dear Suzanne called me for a pick-me-up trip out to a strip mall. She seemed to know that a pedicure would be the way back on track.

And an eyebrow waxing.
And a new cashmere sweater.
And hot chocolate.
And fixings for green bean casserole.

And major, major silliness.

Silliness runs in my family. When my sister went through a really hard time a few years ago (Cheating, lying asshole!), she also turned to the absurd for a little help. In her case it was hairnets. She always felt better when she would put on a hairnet and go out in public. Mostly she used the "invisible" kind, but I think that was just because she couldn't find a heavy duty one. I took care of that for her--we've got heavy duty hairnets down here. Thanks USPS.

I didn't know I was going to be silly today. But when I got into Suze's car, I noticed she had in her console some clear glasses that almost looked like Paris Hilton might wear, if they were tinted. But...strangely...they were clear. And left over from her man's trip onto a job site where he had worn them for protection. Heh.

I decided that I needed to wear them around. Suze called me Helga, at my request. I told the lady at Kohl's that I couldn't tell her my zip code.

I leef oat oof cowntry

I think I'd mentioned that I've reconnected with some old friends from college. One of them, a guy I'd always adored, is single. And kind of nearby. And funny.

And says things like this:

How does a volcano sign-off a letter?




No good, very bad day

NB: It always passes. And it already has...HA! (9:30 a.m.)

How can I be feeling like this day is crap and all other days will be crap and crappity crappiness and that I'll never ever have what I want or need and that who cares?

It's only 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday!!!

The trigger was just now seeing that someone had looked at a profile I have up online. It was the someone I was so excited about going out with a while back who didn't work out in the least. I clicked back onto his profile after I saw he'd been by, and he's now "in a relationship" with this other woman who apparently I have friends in common with outside of Web 2.0 stuff.

Logically, I shouldn't give a rat's ass. We had a brief, crazy roller coaster ride and just about everything about him is wrong for me. He does occasionally read here (GO AWAY!), so I won't go into *all* the reasons why that is, but one major one is just a lack of values in common. Maybe I really mean priorities? Materialist-over-the-top vs. tending towards asceticism. Going out every night vs. wanting to be settled and putter around the house. (I left any judgment behind in this description. I do, however, have opinions that I'll go ahead and leave unspoken)

I don't even like or respect him all that much, for chrissake.

Emotionally, though, I'm feeling wrung out and hung to dry. It's not just this new information, which, remember, was only a trigger for this angst.

Been having bad that I suck (not true) and that I suck (not true) and that I'll never (fill in the blank with concern of the day/minute)and that I'll always (fill in the blank with things I'd like to change but haven't yet). That a, b or c aspect of life is just horrible and why bother trying to interact or change things?

I'm dealing with an extreme lack of optimism for the future, an inability to manage the present, and just overall feelings of hopelessness.

I spent all weekend with myself and only me; this lack of intimacy will eventually kill me, I fear--not physically.

I want to do something now to get rid of this horrible state, but can't think of anything I would be able to do.

I'm lonely.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nothing Ventured?

One of the things I'd like to work on, personal goal wise, is taking risks. I'm really conservative, accepting the less-than-ideal but known path over one whose outcome is less sure.

Today I cut my hair. My own hair. With scissors from the dollar store. And you know what? I didn't ruin it. It looks better than it did before. Let me show you the process. I'll leave any commentary out.

My love to Imperatrix's fave software, Photo Booth for the ease of taking pictures along the way.

Technology To-Do

I've been thinking that a new laptop is not the only thing on my horizon that needs replacing. My phone is even older (is that possible?) than my computer, I think. A year or so ago it was having some problems with turning itself off, but that stopped.

(Phil, do you want that phone back that you loaned me when my cell problems were happening? It's sitting in a drawer over here and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHAMP!)

I also have a PDA, of the Palm sort. It's total bottom of the line, about 2 years old, and fading. It doesn't always like to turn on.

Phone/PDA combos aren't new. Of course not. I, however, am new to them.

What I want:
• Ease of use
• Ability to keep backup data at home (mac) and at work (PC) and possibly even somewhere online--easily. Calendar AND contacts. And to sync them with my email at work. And understanding how to do all of this because I'm kind of clueless.
• Good reception and hearing quality
• Not too spendy. (<$150 if at all possible)
• Easy to input data. FWIW, I've gotten adept at Graffiti, and so that's not an obstacle. If you have to input it like you would sending text messages, well....

What I don't need/want:
• Top of the line
• Status
• Flip phone. Unless someone can convince me that they're not as annoying to use as they seem to me.

Other considerations:
• Palm software doesn't play nicely on a Mac. It works OK, but it doesn't let me put enough information (directions, etc) with the appointment slot. There's no "Note" field on the Mac version.
• I have no contract with my carrier, and so am free to migrate. I've been decently happy with my carrier (AT&T then Cingular and back to AT&T), as far as service goes, and the one work cell I had with Verizon service sucked. No reception. Ironic, no?
• At work: My work email sucks. We have to use Outlook. I get more spam than real email. We don't have an IT person to help set this up. I've downloaded other mail software, but I don't know how to set it up (slightly pathetic).

Ok. Running off to an auction now.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Five minutes!

Up and running people. The computer took a picture of me to match up with my stuff. I have no idea where the picture went, and the picture-taking process was terrifying. (The primping was kind of hilarious, though. I wasn't expecting a video camera.)

OK, off to play.

I'll update as issues arise. 

OMG Where did the open apple key go?

On the Peaceable Imperatrix's recommendation, I've opened Photo Booth. I have no idea what it's supposed to do. Fuck. It's that damn video camera again. I don't know what to do with it except take snapshots using the different effects. 

WTF? I set up iChat for my google email account, and as soon as it got set up, a bunch of you (and others) IMed me extremely random shit. 

From Watergirl: "the kentucky derby winner"
From Hrrrl: "okay"
From Pinky: "take the taser"
From Chopper Charles (host of Sin Noticias De Stew's former location) "layter"
From Nice Former Roommate: "Yes, but I could never prove it"

I can only imagine it's from previous conversations. 

Question: How can you tell what applications are open when you look at the doc? There's no immediately obvious marker that something's in use. What am I missing?


Guess what came this morning while I was out at a meeting?????


(I was expecting just the printer)

Look out weekend, here I come.

(Thanks, Mom and Pedro!)


I'm not one to challenge people's thoughts very often, especially people I don't know. I'm of the mind that people have some pretty strong opinions, and I'm willing to say what I think and why, but I'm not going to go all out to change their minds.

It's not worth it, typically, and it is pretty unpleasant to do. People can be assholes.

Especially on the internets. With this hen petition thingy, there's been quite a response on local Durham listservs. Local blogs have mentioned it, too. On the neighborhood listservs, people have strong opinions both ways, but haven't been too over the top in how they communicate their beliefs. Anonymous blog commenters are another story. Anonymous comments tend to be pretty obnoxious.

That's nothing new, though is it?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bok Bok--Durham Advocacy for Backyard Chickens!

Hey. I need your help.

I want good eggs and some cute chickens! Currently it's illegal in Durham to keep them. Would you please help me out? I'll share the wealth of eggs should I get me some chickies.

You're not obligated to be from Durham, I don't believe, but if you are, it would be great to indicate that. The names and addresses end up being visible, so if you'd prefer some privacy, just put City, ZIP.

If you'd like to talk to me a little bit more about the benefits of happy eggs and backyard chickens, please do comment here or email me directly. I've a gmail account name of lastewie.

See below, and spread the WORD!

Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:

"Chickens in Durham"

hosted on the web by, the free online petition
service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
signing yourself.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

By the numbers

Back to work with a vengeance. I am pausing to take a breath after a day-long training in planning and evaluating effective programs to prevent teen pregnancy. When I'm done with my mini-break, it's off to a dinner engagement to celebrate fabulous women who win awards for being kick-ass. I nominated the one who won in the Teen Woman category.

3 meals eaten out at work events today.
2 slinkies
8 mini Koosh
1 blue and green yin/yang symbol molded from Playdough.
2 suits tried on to find something to wear tonight.
0 clothes that fit AND are both weather and event appropriate.
1 pair of boots that won't zip over my calf.
10 minutes contemplating how mad boss would be if I didn't go tonight
2 cups of coffee
12 FOURTEEN hour long day.
2 shades of lipstick used.
15 30 minutes late ETA
12 hours I feel like I could sleep right this second.
1 cute guy at training.
1 cute guy at training about my age.
1 cute and single guy at training about my age.
1 cute, single and gay guy at training about my age.
1 female colleague who rooted that out of him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Getting this out of the way

I'm going to work today. Wish me Luck.

My MacBook shipped! YAY!

I'm finally making the meatballs I had planned to make on Saturday.

I'm cooking a spaghetti squash I bought sometime this summer. So it's been hanging around what, at least 2 months then? Nice shelf life. The seeds inside had sprouted. Heh.

Lunch will be all local today, unintentionally: meat from the market, sauce from the tomatoes in my garden and that spaghetti squash.

I don't know what to wear.

OK. Time for a shower.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Dead? I hope not!

New Roommate went camping this weekend, with family. New Roommate hasn't come home yet. New Roommate's car is in front of the house and hasn't moved.

Hrm. Mystery.

Mystery...SOLVED! 2-day camping trip. Not just an overnight. It smells like campfire inside here now. :-)


My blood tests got lost. Neither the doc's office nor the lab has any idea where they are. I'm too confused to make any sense of what to do about it.

Stupid Drought. Stupid bears.

This just made me cry. Damnit.

Possum Living

Do you want to get out of the rat race but not drop out? Do you want to live a life of leisure without worry or guilt? If your answer is yes, Dolly Freed will show you how to live well without a job and without working very hard.

In 1978, 19-year old Dolly Freed penned Possum Living: How to live well without a job and with (almost) no money, an irreverent, saucy how-to guide to simple living, urban style.

It's the most bizarre, yet captivating, thing I've read in years. I've been coming back to it every few months for the last year or so. I think that she's a certified whackjob. But I still like her.

She was in a movie at about the same time. Janet Maslin apparently reviewed it in her early days at the Times.

Fast forward thirty years, and Ms. Freed seems to have dropped off the planet.

I emailed the company in NY who sell the movie, to see if they've ever heard from or about her. I like a good mystery.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Status Update and (fever?) dreams.

So. I'm feeling a lot better than I was late last week. I didn't sleep during the day on Friday OR yesterday, for example.

But I'm not better.

Today I managed to get up early (didn't everyone?), take a walk to a new bakery, majorly clean the kitchen, do a load of laundry, make a really fantastic tomato sauce from the last few pounds of tomatoes I was hoarding, and then drop off the rent checks.

I picked up more Gatorade at el rey de la comida (It's been on sale. I've had about 10 liters of the stuff this week), and also bought some pantry essentials I was somehow lacking. I had meatballs to make! Cookies to bake!

By then it was noon. And I was shaky, in a cold sweat, and scared. I dropped all the groceries on the counter, and got in bed. I read for a bit, and then slept the sleep of the freezing cold and dead.

I've been having tummy issues today, so the Gatorade is more important than ever. Jesus this is annoying. It's now been a week.

I'm going to try to work from home tomorrow. Too much to do, and I feel good 1/2 the time. I just don't want to have to go in to work only to need to collapse.

I dreamed last night that I found Dave Neuhaus, living in GR. He had changed his name to something vaguely Arabic sounding (Abdul Auk, I believe), and had become concertmaster (despite not playing violin) of some orchestra. He was sharing offices with another guy I knew back in the day, named Carl Aronson*. Dave was wearing a turban, and for some reason I had to then watch a fancy slide show of his different looks.

*Carl was a Jew for Jesus, if I recall correctly, and played a mean trumpet. We were in a wind ensemble together once (Playing horn allows you to do elite things like this even when you kind of suck in comparison to the others. Nobody plays horn, so they're at your mercy.), and played something from Handel's Water Music. The ensemble kicked ass.

Gwen Frostic and Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, too.

Pinky, in addition to you being just, well, COOL, I love that we share roots. We have a bond that most people just will never understand, and I appreciate it.


You only WISH you had access to these fantastic lumps of hot, sweet, chewy bits of happiness.

From here:


(thing) by Lucy-S (5.4 hr) (print)
Fri Jun 21 2002 at 20:11:50

A fragel ("FRAY-gul") is a a bagel that, instead of being baked, is deep-fried in light oil and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon.

They are soft and sweet and densely chewy. They taste like a cross between a bagel and a doughnut, and have far more calories than the former but are healthier than the latter. They are probably at least as fattening as boardwalk fries, and they are deeply yummy.

As far as I know fragels are solely a regional Michigan delicacy. I first encountered fragels when I was in East Lansing, MI for the Clarion workshop. East Lansing is evidently an enormous market for all manner of exotic bagels due to the huge college student population. One of the Clarionites, a native Michiganer, came in one morning with a big brown paper grocery bag mottled with telltale grease spots. A delicious aroma filled the room the moment he opened the bag. He passed the fresh-fried goodness around the room, and five pounds of fragels disappeared in about as many minutes.

I have searched the Midwest for bagel shops that offer fragels, but I have been met with nothing but blank looks when I've asked about them. I'm amazed no one else makes them -- it's surely not out of bagel purism, because real water bagels are not what most bagel joints offer.

If you visit Michigan, your best bet for finding fragels is to seek out a regional chain called Bagel Fragel that has locations in Lansing/East Lansing and Ann Arbor.

Thank you Pinky!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Durham Pizza

I. Want. Good. Pizza. Now.

Where can I get it around here? I've been having crappity pizza the times I've had it of late*, and that's just no good at all.

I'm thinking that Pizza Palace is in my future. I had some of that with Elrond a couple of months ago, and mmmmmmmmmmmm it was good. But I'd have to wait until probably 5 p.m. tonight. I don't know if I have that kind of stamina.

Alternately, I've heard good things about Randy's. But I'm not sure the one near me has the same owners as the one I've been to before. That one, which I tried a few years ago when hanging with my boy Gee one day, was over in Woodcroft, kind of by City Beverage. It was fab, too.

Here are the qualities that are coming to mind that define a fantastic pizza as I would like to eat it right now.

1) Thin crust that is slimy under the sauce, but crunchy and slightly burned on the bottom. Not soggy.
2) Thin, almost watery sauce. Not sweet, savory. Even salty, perhaps.
3) Cheese that is gaggy it's so melted. And that is not very good once it's cool. And that tends to slip around a lot if you've tried to move the pizza while it's too hot.

Any suggestions?

p.s. I am JUST barely able to leave the house for an hour or so. However, I am still exhausted and BORED. BORED!!!! NOTHING TO READ!


*It's because it's been work-related CRAP.


My brain has been allowing about 1.5 thoughts before changing tack entirely. So here are some tidbits.

Doughnuts are good in the fall--especially when they're hot, cinnamon sugar cake doughnuts, with good apple cider from a local orchard.

Molding Mud reminds me of Spain.

Hot chocolate needs a squitch of salt in it.

I had weird dreams last night that involved a former boss--anxiety dreams.

When I was in middle school or maybe high school, some nearby business deep friend cinnamon raisin bagels and then dredged them in cinnamon sugar. Damn those were good.

I must be going through cinnamon withdrawal.

An unknown someone probably bought me a membership to the Audubon Society, because I got a fancy Audubon journal thingy in the mail last week. It has a beautiful Vermillion Flycatcher on the cover. I didn't get it for myself, and it also has my nickname on the mailing address. I only use my full first name on paperwork. I don't know who got it for me, though.

Actually, take that back. I have no idea why I have this journal. It seems to be affiliated only with the Christmas Bird Count.

Cobby-Cobberson is the talker/toucher, Bubbina is the surly loner* and LiLi is the aesthete/charmer.

I'm tired.

*in a good way

Friday, November 2, 2007


Oh. MY!

Itsy Bitsy Rant

So. I'm still going to order the MacBook, but I have a small bone to pick with them.

It's sweet that they have an education discount, right?

ONLY if you're on the payroll of a school. So, me? Educator? Check. Paid by a school? NOPE. NO DISCOUNT FOR YOU!

I feel guilty about thinking this way, but I can't help but be peeved that as one of the direct, in-the-trenches educators I can't access this small perk, when any Joe Schmo who works in a school district (or university), no matter their role, can.


It's all in how you frame it. I called back and got the discount, presumably because they had me in the computer already.

Here're the deets:

MB 13.3/2.2 CTO: WHITE


2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA @ 5400rpm
No iWork Preinstalled
No Final Cut Exp Preinstalled
No Aperture Preinstalled
No Logic Exp Preinstalled
Keyboard/Mac OS
Country Kit

Ships by: Nov 5 - Nov 7

Delivers by: Nov 7 - Nov 13

And then FREE BONUS!


I'm not the only one barely functioning in this house. My poor itsy bitsy 4 (maybe 5??) year old iBook has been on a sharp decline for the last year or so. Its CD drive doesn't let cds back out. You have to lube it with a q-tip and some water (going on at least 2 years that way, now). The keyboard was replaced about a year ago; the one Apple sent wasn't quite the right size, but despite a nice lump in the middle it does at least work. The memory is so insufficient for normal operations these days that I've become used to a 10 character lag when typing. The power cord (iteration 3) is cobbled together from a couple that had different malfunctioning parts. Battery #2 (3?) isn't holding much of a charge any more. Yesterday it had gotten down to 65% full, when suddenly it announced I was running on reserve backup power.

Yeah, it's time.

As a combined birthday-xmas-thankgodyoudon'thavechildrenforustospendon gift, my mom graciously offered to get me a new laptop. She made the offer a few weeks ago. I didn't act immediately.

Yesterday Apple brought out a whole new crop of MacBooks!

The order is going in today. Woot!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This is what I get...

i am 32 single white male in nc i lvoe to fish hunt camping garding. i lvoe country musice i good listern i was told. i love bubble baths candle light diner min golf scary movies. ok drop me line i send pic too hope you like and hope you write back

Don't kiss me!

Not strep. Probably not flu (they didn't have the tests in yet for this season).

It's either

a) Random Nasty Virus


b) Mono.

I tested negative for mono in a quick test today, but the doctor wasn't convinced. Apparently it won't show a positive test for at least a week after the beginning of symptoms. It's only been ~5-6 days so far for me.

So they did a much more in-depth blood screening and I've got an appointment next week to check in.

I had mono in high school, though, and not a mild case of it, either. You're not supposed to be able to get it twice, I thought. I told the doctor I'd had a bad case of mono before, but I didn't ask her more specifically about why she thought I could get it again.

My gut says mono.
My head says other virus.
My body says "Oops. you've been awake more than 3 hours. Not allowed."

Day one

So, thanks to the Peaceable Imperatrix, for this whole month of November you will be guaranteed!!! to have a stew experience here at the blog each and every day.

Um...I think the only practical difference is that guarantee.

I mean, here I am, Day Two of not going to work, Day Six of being progressively sicker, Day One of National Blog Posting Month and also Day one of Going. To. The. Doctor.

I've fulfilled my promise for the day.

Back to bed.