Wednesday, October 31, 2007

But I don't have a fever!

Happy Halloween, and Happy Birthday Jerry!

I'm laid up at home, barely functioning. I am able to be up out of bed for, oh, 10 minutes before feeling the need to crash back. I even walked up to town today, to pick up some soup at Whole Foods. I was hoping for chicken noodle. The choices were honey sweet potato (yuck) or chili. Not so much.

By the time I got up there I was a little panicked. I was woozy and in a cold sweat. I bought my goods,* ate the breakfast and took off for home, walking slowly and steadily, hoping not to pass out.

On the way home I made friends with Victor, a neighbor two streets down who was walking his 1.5 month old puppy named Pulgar. Pulgar's momma was a chihuahua, so this puppy, in addition to being too young to be out and about, was about 6 inches long. Victor was more comfortable speaking to me in Spanish than English. I just wanted to be home in bed.

The roommate is also sick, but his seems to be more of a cold. Mine is something different entirely. I mean, it fakes at being a cold--I'm coughing occasionally. But the extreme fatigue and dizziness make me wonder about the flu. No fever, but plenty of hot/cold flashes.

Another neighbor came by and dumped a ton of pills into a baggie to get roomie and I on the mend. They're some kind of vitamin/herb concoction, and you take, no shitting you, three enormous horse pills twice a day for three days. Quack Quack!

*one pack Tropical Emergen-C, tomato soup in tetrabrick, a roll, a can of Mango Fandango sparkling juice, and a hodgepodge of salad bar items I thought looked like they might be healthy. $9.33

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Overworked....(underpaid goes with the territory)

I wish I just didn't CARE about my job sometimes.

I'm on the edge these last couple of weeks. My schedule at work is really busy with normal responsibilities (October is apparently the crazy month for this position), and to top that off, I keep finding out about one-off activities (grant planning, fund raising events, receptions, day and night-long retreats, and homework for all of the above) that I'm required to do. It's hard to prioritize, since the regular work is what my performance review will be based on, but the other things are at the direct request of my boss, or else are really only things I have the particular expertise to do. I'm juggling all these things, and I'm sick. I feel like I can't skip out of anything even though I'm sick, because they're all. so. important. THE LIFE AND HEALTH OF THE ORGANIZATION AND MY CAREER DEPEND ON THESE THINGS!

Pardon me while I keel over, mmmkay? I've been on the verge of tears all day long.

I forget these things

Ya know, occasionally I get a comment on this blog from someone I don't expect to. And then I'm kind of embarrassed if I've been ranting. I always assume the people who bother to read this blog know me well enough to understand that I'm actually a happy, sane individual with the same hardships and worries as others. But looking at yesterday? I must come across as totally cuckoo sometimes. Maybe I should cut out the venting.

Hm. Food for thought.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wallowing so much I'm making myself laugh!

How is it that I'm both bored AND stressed out? Naw, don't bother answering.

:::shuffles back to bed:::


I just remembered there's a fucking FREEZE warning tonight. I took as many tomatoes off the vine as I think will actually ripen inside. The others will just have to fucking DIE.

Freeze Warning from 4:00 a.m., Oct 30 until 9:00 a.m., Oct 30

Damnit. I just remembered that I have some plants outside that need to come in.

I'm annoyed that when I type this computer is now so slow that there's about a 10-15 character lag. Pain in the ass for typos.

I don't even like the damn plants that are outside, so maybe I'll leave them out there to DIE MOTHERFUCKERS! KILL ALL THE PLANTS!

And WTF? none of the fall plants I have will even have reached any level of harvest. Oh. Except the radishes. The carrots are mere sproutlings that will be dead tomorrow because I don't give a shit. . I suppose the drought and high temperatures retarded first their germination and then their growth.

Grrrrrrrrr. Hot chocolate and a roommate who is increasingly charming (1st: cleaned the kitchen. 2nd: "Wow, I moved into the right place" when I feed him) doesn't even help all that much.

My bed is piled high with (clean) laundry. Tomorrow a.m. I'll be putting it away, provided I get up on time.

This entry deserves bad clip art.

Head falls forward onto the desk with a THUMP.

I guess I've been extremely lucky, but I've not had a cold knock me on my ass like this in at least a couple of years. I woke up yesterday morning at 8:30. I'd had ~8-9 hours of sleep. I went back to bed at 9 and slept until 11:30. Then at 1 p.m. I went to sleep again, until 5. Then I crashed out at about 9 p.m. last night and slept until 6 a.m. today. Ouch.

I'm feeling really, really ranty today. Part of it is because I'm sick.

I'm annoyed, though, too. Lemme try to tell you about it without incriminating/identifying any other people involved.

Saturday evening I walked out of a party after being reminded that DRAMA is something I avoid.

Background: I was looking forward to having a good time, having perfected my Lucy Van Pelt costume. But then I lost my keys. And getting to this party was a comedy of errors: First I got stuck on the grocery store line where people were writing checks and having to call the freaking manager every two seconds (twice on one order! And there were no other lanes open! 20 minutes to buy a bag of ice!) Then I got behind people going 20 mph in a 45, caught every single light, and was unable to stop sweating from the tizzy I had when I lost my keys. I arrived late, disheveled, frustrated and stressed. I was mad at myself, and also feeling like crap physically.

Here's the really bad part, the part I've not confessed to y'all. Some of you know this a little, and others have no idea. But for the last, oh, month or so, maybe longer, I've been slipping up on the "I don't smoke" part of my identity. Oops. No wait--that's not enough emphasis.



It began with alcohol, as these sorts of things often do, and I wasn't too terribly worried. But then it began to get worse. A couple of personal disappointments, and I'd bum a cig from the neighbor. A couple of beers out and I'd bum from a stranger. At one point I bought a pack, smoked a couple and gave it away. Then I bought two packs--BOGO. I smoked a couple, and figured I'd give the pack to the neighbor. But I didn't. Not immediately.

Do you see where this is going? Well this weekend I was bound and determined to make sure that I didn't continue let myself slip into a pattern that I really, really didn't want. So I said to myself that no matter what, I was not going to smoke Saturday night.

And then in that long line at the grocery store, after losing my keys and having to put up with asinine grocery staff, I bought a pack. And smoked a couple on the way to the party.

So add extremely disappointed in myself to the list of things I was feeling when I arrived.

I sat away from other people for a minute, hoping that I could just brush the pissyness off. I saw a friend, probably the only one there that I feel really close to, and called the friend over. The friend was getting their partner a beer but said they'd stop back in just a second. The friend returned, and a few seconds later the partner showed up. I explained a little bit about why I was frazzled, and then the partner looked at me and said:

"You realize you're a smoker again, don't you Stew? You might as well just admit it."

I was flabbergasted. That is the LAST thing I needed to hear--extremely hurtful. I just stared.

"I mean, you'd rather I straight up tell you the truth than lie to you, right?"

I just stared again. Then I walked into the other room. I sat there, seething. What the FUCK? Why did this person decide that was an appropriate thing to say? Did they think it would somehow be HELPFUL to kick me in the stomach? Within a few moments, the person came to find me.

"I'm sorry Stew, I didn't know that was a sore point." (Um....yes you did--I've known you for how many years?)

Drama Person tried to back out but none of the explanations were flying with me. It boiled down to Drama Person being hateful because of someone else not meeting Drama person's needs.

This isn't the first time I've dealt with similar issues. I've decided to avoid Drama Person as best I can.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Should be fun

From an email I just got from the DJ...

Greetings boils and ghouls,

Tune in to WXDU tonight (10/28) to be terrorized by the most
frightfully good mix of 50s and 60s monster rock this side of
Transylvania! Put on your costume and pot up your radio dial to hear
blood curdling songs about mummies, vampires, Hindus on Hondas and
more! Its gonna be a graveyard smash!

N. Carolinians: listen locally at 88.7 FM. Out of staters: freak out
over the internet at!

Who's Got the Cuckoo?
8:30-9:30 PM
WXDU 88.7 FM
Durham, NC



I'm sick. Pounding head, stuffy nose, alternately cold and hot (but no measurable fever), plugged ears, sore throat, achy...wanting nothing but to sleep. I put off a trip to Greensboro to meet Joyce and Laurie, which, BOO, because it's high time we met, dangnabit.

I'm supposed to make a yellow birthday cake with whipped cream icing for a coworker who avoids all cake except that kind. I just called my boss at home, though, and begged out. Whew. Saved by the bell.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


This weekend is one of parties. I've been quite social on weekends these days, and last night I just couldn't make it out to a pumpkin-carving party I was supposed to go to. I'm getting a cold, so I was all tickly-throated, sniffy, stuffy, hot-eyed and rather on the miserable side. Nix on the trip to Carrboro just to cut pumpkin guts out.

And besides, I have another pumpkin-carving party to go to this afternoon. And then a Halloween party tonight.

I hit the farmer's market this a.m. and picked up some smoked* farmer's cheese from the Creamery, and some ground beef. I hadn't been to the market in ages (fell off the wagon after One Local Summer), so it was kind of creepy to see how sparse the offerings had become.

I was with New Roommate, and he talked me into going to the fairgrounds for some hot flea market action. But there wasn't a flea market going on so we went to my fave thrift store instead.

One men's XL Patagonia cashmere sweater (all the better to shrink you with, my dear!)
One pair of black, high-heeled Mary Janes.
One large, plush football.

On the way back we stopped by El Rey de la Comida for some staples (beer, milk, bar soap) and some treats (sugar cereal, IBC rootbeer--diet). I started to get light headed, as I hadn't eaten anything yet. It was almost 1 p.m.

Today it feels like I'm telling my story to convince myself that I do exist.

New Roommate prepared some chicken sausages to share while I stuffed my gourd with fritos and salsa.

I made a pasta salad based on one my mom used to make all the time. Rotini, olive oil, black olives, tomatoes, tuna, and then capers and caper juice. As a finishing touch, I chunked up that 1/2 lb of smoked farmer's cheese and tossed that in once the pasta cooled. It's really tasty. Full of umami goodness. Maybe it's the still-from-my-garden tomato chunks?

Speaking of my tomatoes, this recent 4 inches of rain (still not enough) has really messed with their poor little hides. Any tomato that was in the process of ripening is now bursting with large, fresh cracks from too much too quickly.

My bathroom ceiling leaked last night. I was afraid it was going to fall in. It didn't.

Wow this is a boring entry.

So what do you think I'm going to be for Halloween? There's at least one hint in this entry.

Off to shower and then clip my toenails.

*They get it smoked at the BBQ Joint.

Friday, October 26, 2007

une lettre

From jounpaire (4268 miles)
To lastewie
Date 37 minutes ago
Subject une lettre
No picture found. Be suspicious.
32M, Paris, France
salut ca va bien je suis kader age de32 an j'aim parles avce toi ok je laiss mou mail pour parles moi

(I left off the poor guy's email address, but seriously, WTF? I'm thinking spam, only the language/spelling is so horrid...Imperatrix, can you tell if it seems native-languagey?)

Very superstitious

The rain gods have seen fit to bless us with their presence for the last three days. Continuously.

I've been thinking for a long while, more and more and more over the last few weeks, that if/when it rained next I'd rejoice in the good, drenching, happy soak and turn my face up to the skies. I even pledged to myself that I'd not wear rain gear, as an offering.

Praise the rain, and the good that you're sending us. The Little River is dry, as I witnessed last weekend, and most other creek beds are downright dusty. I will forgo minor protection from this gift, and instead celebrate it.

Little did I know I'd be walking a neighbor's dog twice a day when it happened! And that it would have gotten cold!

But it's OK. On balance I'd rather be cold and soaked to the bone with this drought somewhat mitigated.

(I'm a little weirded out by my strong need for this retroactive sacrifice...where the hell is this religious tone coming from?)

View from my office window, 9 a.m.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Someone standing outside our waiting room door keeps saying "meep meep" over and over again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Quick update

Because I KNOW you want to know the minutia of my life and die a little death* when I skip a day.

Most importantly:

Next: Overwhelmingly busy at work. College recs to write, grants to plan programming for (huge task), tons of community education programming, trainings to go to, meetings to go to, fund raisers to go to, paperwork backup to beat into submission....ARGH!

Also: Last night I went out with the boy who called a couple of days ago. I had major reservations, but it was a Good Thing in that I feel closure and a sense of peace. The "what ifs" I'd been mulling over are now satisfied--there would have been exactly no positive outcome. WOOT!

Finally: I met Mary Easley last night at a reception I went to at the Governor's Mansion. She was extremely personable, and I am SO fancy. We talked about the rufous hummingbird that over-wintered at their house last year. It's not yet shown its vibratey body this year, but a rare bird is always a fun thing.

*Not that kind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I pity men in some ways. The strong gender roles society put on them is just a bitch. The closest equivalents I can come up with for the non-offensive "tomboy" would be "nancy boy" or "sissy boy." Oh MY what a difference in connotation!

So, given that, here's a recommendation for those of you who are not constrained by societal norms for your gender identity: Go to Eckerds that are switching to Rite Aid and hunt around for a clearance section. There are tons of makeup products that, though occasionally beat-up looking on the outside, haven't been opened or used.

This was my haul today:

1 pack of eyebrow shaper wax strips
4 lipsticks
2 eyeshadow cremes
1 eyeshadow powder
1 mascara

Guess the total?

Heads up...

Message sent to the following recipients:
Senator Burr, R-NC
Senator Dole, R-NC

Stewie McStewbrain
Durham, NC

October 23, 2007

Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

As a health educator in North Carolina, I am writing to express my
opposition to the Brownback abstinence-only funding amendment to the FY08
Labor-Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill (S.

Abstinence-only education programs have been proven again and again to NOT
WORK. It's a waste of money and an extremely immoral and harmful practice
to fund programs that withhold vital medical information from our young
people. Comprehensive sex ed programs begin with a strong abstinence
message already. AND they provide our youth with information about HIV
prevention, STD prevention, contraception and risk reduction in general.
This is not a mixed message--clearly the best approach is abstinence and
then when a person becomes sexually active, to take preventative measures.

I urge you to vote NO on the Brownback Amendment, and any other
legislation that funds or promotes Abstinence Only Sex Education.

Young people's health and lives are at risk. They need the facts!!

- The United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the
developed world.

- Young people in the U.S. are also at high risk of contracting sexually
transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

- Abstinence-only programs are prohibited, by law, from talking about
contraceptives EXCEPT to discuss their failure rates.

- A 10-year congressionally mandated study of
abstinence-only-until-marriage programs proved once and for all that these
programs don't work.

Young people deserve the truth. Please vote NO on the Brownback
abstinence-only funding amendment.


Stewie McStewbrain, Health Educator


Contact them below. The websites ( and have email contact forms if you'd prefer to do it that way.

If you're not in NC, here's where you can find your senators.

Senator Burr

2000 West First Street
Suite 508
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: (800) 685-8916
Phone: (336) 631-5125
Fax: (336) 725-4493

Washington, DC
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981

Senator Dole

Washington DC Office
555 Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Ph: 202.224.6342
Fax: 202.224.1100

North Carolina Offices
Raleigh Office:
310 New Bern Avenue
Suite 122
Raleigh, NC 27601
Ph: 919.856.4630
Fax: 919.856.4053

Salisbury Office:
225 North Main Street
Suite 304
Salisbury, NC 28144
Ph: 704.633.5011
Fax: 704.633.2937

Western Office:
401 North Main Street
Suite 200
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Ph: 828.698.3747
Fax: 828.698.1267

Eastern Office:
306 South Evans Street
Greenville, NC 27835
Ph: 252.329.1093
Fax: 252.329.1097

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bluto? Jared? Dionysis? Hobble?

Some people worry about their heads getting photoshopped onto someone photographed in a compromising position.

This is what I have to be concerned about, it seems!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I'm lying abed, at noon on a Sunday. I've made coffee, eaten some quiche, noshed on some sesame sticks, and pondered my still-producing pink beefsteaks.

At 2, I'm meeting a friend to do a corn maze up in Rougemont. Then at 6, I'm heading to Cristin's for my first viewing of Labyrinth (her fave movie), along with our sweet JeniQ.

I dreamed last night, or maybe the night before, that I was hanging out with Martha Stewart. She was canning tomatoes and had the gall NOT to peel them. I read her the riot act.

Did I mention I'm still in bed? My feet are cold. I love it. Remind me come February that I appreciated having my feet need covering.

It's going to be in the mid-eighties today, and it's the end of October. Wow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Guess who called?

Guess who answered?

(rolling eyes at myself)

Saturday morning

Just a few things.

First, it's gorgeous out today. I slept in, because I stayed up until 1:30 (!!) last night, had a chat with the roommate about radio voices, and then headed outside to work on the garden.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned my new bed. Wait. I have talked about it, but not in a long while. It's been a work in progress since last February, when I began to rip out sod. On about half of the plot, I planted zinnias there this summer, a few sunflowers (that didn't do so well), and a raspberry bush that a neighbor gave me. The other half spent the summer covered with a big blue tarp, to kill off the grass.

A while ago I laid (lay?) cardboard boxes over the whole area, and dumped some sawdust that I'd been using as mulch on my veggie garden. Then it just stayed like that. For weeks. And weeks.

Today I finally lasagna'd it. Spread out the sawdust. Then a layer of dried grass clippings. Then a layer of non-decomposed leaves. Then a layer of partially decomposed leaves that had somehow retained moisture in them from god knows then. To top it off, I shoveled the entire pile of well-cooked, well-cured compost over the whole thing. The I took about 7 buckets full of water from my shower, the roomie's and our kitchen sink and got the whole thing wet.

I can't wait to plant it all up this spring!

I fed the worms, too. The roommate worked alongside me while I did all this, cutting the front lawn. I had to show him how, because somehow he'd gotten to this age without every having used a lawnmower. So cute.


Yesterday I took my passing angst to AskMetafilter, so that I could see if anyone over there had any ideas what I could do about my boy situation (lack thereof). Interesting responses. If y'all have any commentary on it, feel free to drop it off here.


Somehow I've lost 10 lbs or so. I thought my jeans were a little saggy in the ass last night. Sure enough!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Momentary Lapse

Am currently mourning the man who(m)* I've not been seeing for a few weeks now. It was truly a flash in the pan and caused more angst than anything, so this minor grief is annoying.

Actually, it's not the loss of the man that's got me down; it's the loss of the hope, promise and possibility that came along with him.

He wasn't the right guy, and now he seems to be unresponsive to any communication at all. That's probably for the best, but it hurts nonetheless. It's actually what I wanted. I deleted his phone number, de-friended him on social networking sites, and deleted him from my IM list. But...I put him back on the IM list. I've tried a couple of times to IM him a "hey, how's it going" IM, but he doesn't IM back to me.

Maybe I should be grateful for that?

I'm writing this down so that I can take note of how I react when disappointed about situations that don't resolve themselves the way I'd like--at least when it comes to the Dave Neuhauses of the world.

It's like I feel like I'll NEVER meet anyone. Damnit. I know that's not true. Y'all are sick of hearing it. I think it a lot. Often I don't. I'm feeling like I lost a little bit of hope and perhaps more importantly, confidence.


*I hate the word whom. It's so damn pretentious sounding, and yet I feel compelled to show the world I know how to use it. Grrrrrrrr.

Seriously Twisted FUN!

Fair food I consumed:
Ham and swiss crepe--ew. It was hefty, though. Four large slices of lunchmeat ham, a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese (?!), and non-sweet crepe.
Lumpy's (sound) chocolate ice cream, one scoop in a waffle cone.
Roast Corn, sans Whirl WHIRL?
Lotsa Diet Coke.
Total cost: $13. The soda was free, because I was volunteering.

Fair food I did NOT consume:
Barbecue sundae
Fried Oreos
Fried Twinkies
Fried...anything! Good Stew!

Fair Food I considered consuming but then thought better of:
Funnel Cake (I may make it sometime soon at home. It's easy!)
Corn Dog (What if it's RED?)
Amish Liquorish (Don't want to pull my tooth out)

Neat link of the day: Whole Paycheck profiles some of the farms around the area on a blog. Check it out.

Best t-shirt of the day: Front--Naked and Hungry. Back: Where would you be without your farmer?

Coolest New Experience:
Finding the area where they display the winners of the "Non-livestock" competitions. Muffins, quilts, cakes, canned beans, and the like were all lined up in florescent-lit display cases. I usually just go for fair food and looking around, so I was glad to get to this.

The volunteering part was a lot better than I expected it to be. The setup was extremely high tech, and I think it was organized by corporate Whole Foods. Nobody I know has the resources to gather a computer projector, create an interactive game about eating locally, and make a slide show and large photos showcasing our local NC farmers. There was a scavenger hunt where you'd go around to all of the booths to get stickers (based on completing a question about the info there). As a reward, you got a very bright, green and yellow tie-died 2007 North Carolina State Fair t-shirt. Of course I did this. It'll make a great gardening shirt.

We handed out a kick-ass newsprint booklet organized by region and then county that listed all of the CSAs, Businesses selling local and organic foods and the farms producing the food. Some of the farmers stopped by. That was neat.

Sponsors of my booth: The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Slow Food Triangle, NCChoices, Heifer Intl, Whole Foods, CCCC, and maybe others I can't remember.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

But will I be able to chew it?

My Emily emailed me about this hotdog, which I think goes beyond even fair food in its glory. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, in a way, but I'm also thinking my fair food experience may be tempered by the state of my mouth. And whether the painkiller works or not.

Pinky and I discovered last night that we had appointments with the same endodontist at the same time. That calls for breakfast! So we met up at Whole Paycheck for a little catching up before we submitted to torture. At least I did. I didn't hear any screams from the other room, or anything.

Pinky, stop reading NOW!

OK, so for the rest of you--

"I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."
"OK, good, because I am very nervous about the pain."

All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone

Shot #1--eh, just like any other numbing shot.
Shot #2--Oooooh. I didn't know my tongue had a funny bone.
Shot #3--ok, not so bad.

So noone told you life was gonna be this way
You're job's a joke you're broke, your love life's DOA



"We'll take care of you. Hang on. We'll fix that."

First I noticed the tears streaming out the sides of my eyes. That scared me, because it really, really hurt.

"Sometimes when there's a lot of inflammation, the anesthetic doesn't take well. We'll take care of you." (Pat pat on the shoulder pat pat)

Then the sobs started, and I was drawn to concentrating on how my belly was contracting involuntarily. When you're lying back with your mouth screwed open and a dental dam impeding your nose, there's no place for the snot to go but down your throat. And you can't swallow very well, either. It felt like I was choking.

"The ears seem to have been designed for catching tears, don't they, Stew?"

Mindfulness comes in handy in situations like this. I focused on a spot above my head and just felt my breathing.

"Will it hurt a lot in the next few days?"

"What did I prescribe you before? Lodine? Let me give you something stronger. Don't take these at the same time."

I made her give me a metric shit-ton of dental dams for my contraceptive teaching kit. I figured that's the least they could do for the $925 I had to pay for them to make me cry.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Drive By

Oh hai. I might say something a bit later on today if I can swing it.

But for now, I just wanted to share a moment today when I laughed out loud.

I went to pay the damn speeding ticket, since I can't go to court tomorrow because of my root canal. If I don't go to court, I get a freaking warrant out for my arrest, unless I can somehow file a continuance.

Wait. This entry is not going like I wanted it to. Ramble Ramble. Back up.


"DA Line" stands for District Attorney's Line.

NOT "Da line for Da Bearsssss"

Which is how I read it.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Thursday I'll be heading over to the NC State Fair to staff the Sustainable Agriculture booth for Slow Food Triangle. I'm not really that much of a fan of tabling (as we call it in the non-profit world), but hey, it's something I know how to do. I allowed myself to get roped into a 10-hour shift. Ouch.

But I'll get into and park for free at the fair.

I'm a little conflicted (ok, VERY little) about the fact that one of the reasons I go to the fair is for fair food. How much of it will be local? I'm guessing not all that much.

A couple of years (and 40 lbs) ago, when I was being super-conscious of my figure I ate roast corn, an apple and some grilled shrimp. Those shrimp were local. Maybe I can find that seafood booth again. I don't NEED funnel cakes, but I do need to eat.

(Not-so secretly I'm hoping that many cute men will come by and ogle my green Sustainable Agriculture shirt. That I get to give back and have someone else wear. (Eeesh)


Changing subjects a bit...

At some point you have to wonder what the point of insurance is if they won't pay for normal services, like the root canal I'll be getting on Wednesday.

Apparently as a new hire I'm not eligible for a long list of "major" dental work for a year. So, too bad if your tooth goes more than wonky, right?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Curiouser and Curiouser

I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!

I have to get back into sewing. I think I'm going to start tomorrow with a new project. I'm not sure what to do first, other than procure the fabric and notions.

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Easy enough, right? I dug through my fabric stash and found something that will work perfectly. And even though the project isn't exactly tough, I can't seem to visualize exactly how I want it.

I think I should understand that better, if I had it written down: but I can't quite follow it as you say it.

As is usual for me and my inability to concentrate much past the "Oooh! An APRON!!" stage, I'm planning on not trying to use a pattern. They scare me.

Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.

People have told me that it's really not that hard.

It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

No...the directions are too complicated. I have the same problem with crochet patterns.

Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is -- oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate!

I am not ready to deal with that mess. It's just an apron. A waistband, a pleated square for the bottom, a non-pleated square for the top, and some frilly touches--right?

Fan her head! She'll be feverish after so much thinking.

The things I sew rarely turn out as I want to them to. But I resist the damn PATTERN!

I have an excellent idea, LETS CHANGE THE SUBJECT.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday afternoon

Before I head over to my girl's house to watch some baseball and hopefully not wheeze, I have one small announcement.

This blog comes up on the first page of results when you google stew.

Only four of the entries on that page are about the food. A couple are bloggy sites that have the word stew tacked on the end of the topic they're about. One's a comment on a blog from a guy named Stew.

One is wack-job Ranty McRanterson Freakazoid.

Had anyone heard of that last guy before? My LORD. I can't make head nor tails of it, and I don't want to spend too much time on his site. My take is that he's some kind of conspiracy theorist? Dude.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


My time working our big fundraiser today has been pleasantly schmoozeful. There were several local "celebrities" in attendance, including the weather man (to whom I said "I feel like I've seen you before...?"), a very tall anchorwoman, a pro football player, and many, many socialites.

Since I'm nowhere near to running with that crowd, I didn't know any of them. I played along though. I'm a development director's best friend when it comes to the meet and greet. I also had the benefit of being in charge of the organization's camera, which made it easy to go up to people and make sure they were having fun.

I met a woman who is married to a friend's sister's ex-husband. (Follow that Nemoid?)

I saw a women I'd worked with before who encouraged me to apply for state funding from her office.

And I had a cute guy ask for my card. My coworkers were kind of jealous. See why?

p.s. Liberal cropping to minimize the appearance of my double chin left this photo slightly unbalanced. :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No good, very bad day


In addition to my tooth woes, which continue, I also had the honor of having my power cut off yesterday. No, that's not embarassing at ALL!

I've been having problems with the power company for about the last 6 months, since the transition from Evil Roommate. First they both didn't send me a bill AND wouldn't allow me to log in to my account. I tried several times without success, and as I am wont to do, didn't follow up. Until the phone call. The phone call threatening loss of service. I paid over the phone, and while on there managed to regain access to my account. I promptly forgot about it because...Problem solved, in theory.

The deeper problem, though, is my seeming inability to remember important things like paying this bill. Rent? No prob. Gas bill? No prob? Phone? No prob. Internet? No prob.

Water? Prob, occasionally, because it's city water and they bill at odd times--every other month. You can pay online, but you can't set up autopay.

Electricity? Obviously a problem, because I embarassed myself when my roommate called to ask why we didn't have power. I slept without airconditioning or a fan on. I got dressed and showered by candlelight. I went to bed pre-9:00 p.m.

Y' my defense, they have NOT BILLED ME.

I eventually figured out the second problem is that they've been sending bills to a defunct email address for the last 6 months. It's NO wonder I've not paid! I need, need, need a reminder. And getting a bill is the reminder I need. No paper bill, no e-bill, no phone, no knock on my door. Nothing.

Just...BOOM. No power.

I know part of this is my own fault. But damnit, work with me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

There's a first time for everything.

I'm sure it's bad form to say this, but I'm kind of glad that I'm working with visually impaired teens this afternoon; they won't see how badly I've drooled all over myself.

My follow-up dental appointment today, instead of being the tooth-saving, happy, pain-relieving godsend I had hoped for, has turned out to be the beginning of HELL.

I've never cried at the dentist's before today. I've never had the anesthetic completely numb me but still let through the pain. I had to leave without them even doing any work on me. The filling I was there to get fixed is apparently not the main cause of the pain. Just a stream of air on the next-door-neightooth was enough to elicit a full-body jerk away. A second shot farther back in the mouth made no difference. I called the endodonist's office from my dentist's chair. I've an appointment for evaluation Monday. They had an opening Thursday morning, but that corresponds with my organization's big fund raiser; I'm one of the speakers.

Let's hope my mouth un-numbs by then.

Meanwhile, both my tomato-zucchini soup AND my super-protein chocolate shake are mostly wiped from my right chin.

I didn't have a straw.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Oh, Hai.

Please pardon the posting post World Beer Festival. Cause 2 oz servings really add up. Jesus, am I blogging under the influence aGAIN?

Um, yeah.

So the best part, and there were many good parts, was that I found a brewery from the town where I grew up. Awesome, right?

Well, imagine on top of that the one of the booth people was actually a guy I went to fucking high school with. Almost 20 years ago, because YES, I'm that old. I didn't recognize him at first, but the second time I went back I just had to ask: "Is your name Dave?" "Maybe" "Dave Lastname? It's Stew! We went to high school together!"

He put a temporary tattoo on me. It runs; not so high of quality.

So bizarre. I had to call my friends Nemoid and JJ (both happy commenters) and tell them. I swear it's like the 20th reunion is at bay and I'm actually kind of interested in going back.

Right now, though, I've had too many 2 oz beers to make sense.

A man named Malu cabbed us home.

Oh, and my ex-boyfriend from college's brewery was there too. I called him when I found out. It was weird.

UPDATE: The picture, incidentally, was just some random guy I went up to, not the high school person. I met a lot of people yesterday.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Speaking of drought...

I just found this video timeline graphic. (What would you call it? A snapshot active time-lapsed map??)

Meanwhile, according to neighborhood listserv reports, the city is wasting tons of water.

For at least 2 days, the water department has been flushing water out
of the hydrant at Carolina and Pershing onto the street.

As I schlep big buckets of water out of my shower into the garden,
and our family refrains from flushing our toilets when appropriate to
conserve this precious resource, is it appropriate for the city to
dump water by the thousands of gallons at this time?

Another neighbor responded:

One other year when we were low on water, they were flushing the hydrant on
my block. I called the water department thinking that surely this was a
mistake. I was told that they are required by the State to flush the pipes at a
certain time each year.
I asked if they could do it at another time since we were low on water. I
was told that it had to be now since that is when the State told them to do it.

That really chaps my ass.

UPDATE: Another neighbor who's in the know checked out what was going on:

In this case, the hydrant was running due to sewer from the creek
getting into a broken sewer main. The maintenance crew has made the
repairs. As soon as the Stormwater team makes a check, they will give
the OK to stop the flushing. This was scheduled to happen around noon


I've got some renewed excitement going on here at the ranch. I've got the a.m. off today to make up for the crazy ride I've been on, and I'm taking good advantage of it. Ran some errands this a.m. and then went to my favorite place for breakfast around. Picked up some goodies there, too, and then on my way home stopped at Barnes Supply for some brown crowder peas (At less than 1/2 the price than that website, by the by).

This fucking drought has left me avoiding the garden as much as I can. Yesterday I noticed my swiss chard, prized specimen it was, is now flattened to the soil, wilted.

New Roommate and I continue to conserve water, and I toss whatever graywater we collect on various parts of the garden. But DAMN. I have so many things I want to do now that water would really help with. It's a pain in the ass to lug water from my bathroom out to the yard. (My veggies are ZESTFULLY clean!)

For instance, I'm revamping the zinnia/raspberry bed from last year. I've got a layer of cardboard down, and I would LOVE to start layering it up. I suppose I could do that without water, but those crowder peas would really be cute there.

And I need to get the garlic in. I'm not to sure where to put it.

Hm. Garden planning must happen.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

School Lunch again

I'm cracking myself up here with the school lunches. The middle school I'm in today had much more palatable and healthy options.

Here's the list. I've italicized my choices.


Chef Salad
Iceberg Salad
Green beans
Baked apples
Double Dogs (2 hotdogs)
Corn Dog Nuggets
Chocolate pie
Chocolate cake
Chocolate Milk
Strawberry Milk

Cost: $3.50

Notes: How could I not get me some corn dog nuggets? The green beans were canned but not fattied up. The salad was as expected: bland. The apples were good. Like having pie without the crisco. I knew I wanted chocolate milk, but I'd never had strawberry, so I tried it. Not bad, but not as good as the strawberry Quik I'd had as a child.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Because I've been working crazy hours

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

Assuming anyone regularly reads here at all, please just drop me a comment, lurker or not, so that I feel the love, mmmkay? It can be apropos of nothing; I certainly don't make much sense most days.

Oh, speaking of non-sequitors, I had school lunch today for the first time in a couple of years. It's bad.

Choices were:
Chicken Nuggets/biscuit
"Spicy" Cheese "Enchiladas" served with "salsa"
French Fries
Iceberg Lettuce (with dressing, presumably)
Pizza Hut
Grilled chicken breast on a salad
Apple Juice
Sports Drinks

I ended up with the one with the most quotes. I don't trust a lot of meat, so I tend to go for the veggie options, quite often.

School Lunch Review
Of all of the adjectives in Spicy Cheese Enchiladas with Salsa, only cheese was accurate. Call me impressed; it was actual cheddar cheese, with some very mild peppers and a couple of onion pieces, wrapped up in a flour tortilla. The accompanying sauce was a marinara. On the whole, it was a mild, perfectly pleasant (though oddly shaped) quesadilla. I could identify each and every ingredient.

I also got french fries, in part to see whether they were as bad as the ones we used to get. They were.

Chocolate milk, lowfat. YUM.
Diet Pepsi, purchased in the Teacher Workroom

Total Cost:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Barcelona, Society, Baking, and Men.

Last night I dreamed about being back in Barcelona again. I don't remember how I ended up there, but I had all sorts of adventures as soon as I realized I was there. I often dream about BCN. It's where I had the happiest period of my life. No worries, much friendship...I just FLOWED. When I was sad, I was sad. When I was happy, I was happy. I didn't have to think about things. They just were.

So I do. I dream about BCN. There's a recurring dream that's kind of boring, and then the one last night was new.

In fact, I went to a new section of BCN that hadn't existed before.

I liberated a fancy coat a woman had left hanging in an industrially-green room lined with cubbyholes. It was two parts. Leather and Cashmere. Oh, and fur. That makes 3, doesn't it? That coat led the women in the section of BCN I'd never explored to think I was part of this extremely highly-regarded (snooty) subset of society figures. A Wearer Of The Coat, perhaps. Then I met a young woman from the study abroad program at the private U near me, and she showed me the rock climbing wall/park. I climbed it a little bit. I didn't like her.

Then I noticed our Marianne and her Sprog had moved to BCN. Marianne was still holding down her job here in D-town, but worked from home. In her spare time, she had opened up a store. It's hard to explain the store. There was a LOT of detail I could tell. Basically it was this upscale, yet homey store that was filled with gorgeous food items Marianne had prepared. Among other things.

I especially remember mini-chocolate chip cookies tied with a green bow in sets of two. They were about the size of a quarter each, and my emotional response was "Oh, GOOD. Marianne is doing America proud," because the presentation was beautiful, and these were just the samples, people. She had also made cupcake-sized concoctions with mini-strawberries held together with some kind of pâte à choux, which somehow had left the strawberries raw AND the pastry crisp. Ah well, BCN is really a place that welcomes the surreal and modernist, so maybe that does make sense. The whole city was agog; it was by far the most fashionable store ever. It was a warm off-white/yellowish/greenish inside. It was more Foster's Market than Guglehupf in its design. (Sorry to those of you who aren't local--imagine warm and cozy and hip compared to glass and steel and hip)

Things have fallen apart with that boy situation I may have alluded to a few weeks ago. CRASH. It's the right call, but it still bums me out. Sigh. High highs create low lows. If anyone wants details, email me.