Saturday, February 26, 2011


I bought a bike today.

In case there's any question, I bought a bicycle, not a motorcycle.

I've been trying to decide whether to join a gym or get a bike, but the bare truth is that if I have to drive myself to it, I won't go.

"Walking" is recommending, but it takes forever and I hate walking around things for the hell of it, and there's really nothing to walk to in my neighborhood. I don't mind running, particularly, but I do mind getting up early enough to do it before it's too hot here to do it without passing out.

Biking is just more efficient.

And besides, I like riding bikes.

I went last year and looked at bikes, but the selection was just daunting, so I left.

This time I researched ahead of time. I spent a lot of time reading reviews and specs and figuring out what I need and want my bike to do.

I didn't want the bike itself to be too heavy, and I'd rather be somewhat upright than hunched forward on it. I want to wear sneakers, not cycling shoes. I'm not going to be going off-road with it (on purpose, anyway). I have no special need for speed. More than 10 speeds will be too many. It should not be pink.

After all that looking on the internet, I was still confused, so I looked on the website of my favorite bike shop (where I used to get my old bike tuned up, before an old roommate hocked it), and it said RIGHT THERE that if I had questions, I should ask Mike, so I called him up and asked him.

And now I'm the proud owner of an Electra Townie Original 7D. They're building it for me and I'm picking it up tomorrow. I'm also the somewhat reluctant owner of a shiny black helmet, which I won't enjoy wearing, but I will if I'm riding with the children or there's traffic.

So whee!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Once upon a long, long time ago...

...a gentleman I was having relations with sent me an email one morning that read, "I saw you at Kroger last night."

I responded, "You did? Why didn't you say something?"

He said, "I nodded."

He was confused when I responded, among other things, "Don't you ever nod at me again like I'm some common stranger."

"Gentleman" is what we say when it's not quite what we mean.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I knit. A lot.

I  used to pull out about as much as I had knitted, because I cannot stand a mistake.

I don't do that as much as I used to, because with much practice has come some small degree of expertise.

Last night I was knitting along and I came to a place where something was obviously wrong.

You wouldn't be able to tell when I'm finished with the piece that something is wrong, because it's as easy as knitting two together (K2tog) twice to fix it, which I did, and I went on for two more long rows before going to bed.

It has been sitting in my giant pocketbook all day, taunting me.

And now, just like that, I am pulling it back out.

Some things never change.

Things I have already thought today, in no particular order

That's a lot of tan for one person. I wonder if she gets her skin checked. Probably not.

Dark hose, light shoes: wrong.

I did not know that Liz and Evan were related.

I would like some quiche. Why is there no quiche?

Jimmy Baron must be high.

This is a really long red light.

I wonder where this street goes. Oops.

Viva la RevoluciĆ³n!

I wonder if Natalie Munroe has had that baby yet?

How do you pronounce Antener?

Why do I not have any saline solution?

Execute the turn, please.

Will there be swimming in Minnesota this summer?

Ooh! A Smart Car!

I need to go to bed earlier.


Should I get a bike?

Hmm. Orzo.

That tea really was very good.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I can't see.

I've worn glasses or contacts since third grade, so it's not like it's a surprise I can't see, but it's a surprise that I'm also far-sighted now.

Presbyopia, they call it. They tell me it's because of my age.

I'm told that soon I'll start having other symptoms of being middle-aged, like wearing double-knit stretch pants with matching tops and having my hair set. 

At my eye doctor appointment last year, the (very young and very pretty) eye doctor had the nerve to tell me that my corneas are aged. I told her to just write my damn prescription so I could go.

Now I go to a different eye doctor. He's older and has free parking.

But anyway.

About a year and a half ago, I started having to stand up to read things on my desk, and sit further back to work on the computer, and I'm only so tall. I panicked a little, because I have been near-sighted to the point that I can't see the features on the face of a person sitting on the couch beside me without corrective lenses my whole life.

My neurophthalmologist looked deep into my eyes and told me to get some reading glasses, so I did, and that fixed my reading problem. Now if I go to a restaurant without my readers, someone has to lend me some or read the menu to me. This is why I can only go to nice restaurants, because only nice restaurants usually keep spare readers around.

Only now my vision has changed again and I can't read street signs – I only know where I am, really, based on how long the sign is and what buildings are nearby.

I explained all this to my new eye doctor and he gave me new trial lenses which were even worse, except now I don't need my readers.

He also gave me a prescription for new glasses with progressive lenses (which I figured out several hours later meant bifocals), and the reader portion is too weak and I can't read at all with them, so either way, I'm screwed.

I picked up new sample lenses today and Thursday I have to go back and have my vision checked with my glasses on, so in the theoretical world, it'll all get fixed, but it's crazy making. 

It's like being crazy in outer space.

Monday, February 21, 2011

$15 a cup?!

Saturday I had to go to the mall to get my iPad looked at at the Genius Bar.

While on my way to the Genius Bar, I was waylaid at Teavana to sample some of their Delicious Tea. It was so delicious that I had the young lady write down the name of it so that I could come back and get it after my appointment; you never want to miss your appointment at the Genius Bar, because the good Lord only knows when you'll get another one.

I guess they get that a lot at Teavana, because she looked at me a little disappointedly and sent me on my way.

So I went to my appointment and then piddled around at Anthropologie and bought a birthday present, and then went to Macy's and looked at shoes for a minute. I was just about to walk out of the mall when I remembered I wanted some of that Delicious Tea (youthberry and orange something), so I turned around and went back, and the young lady was ecstatic.

She asked me if I would just be getting the tea, or if I also wanted a "method to make it." The "method to make it" appeared to be a Pyrex teapot, so I said no, I have a teapot, and she took me on up to the counter to the young man and told him I'd be the sucker buying the featured tea.

He gave me the schpiel about the canister ($7 each) and took two of them and started scooping the two types I'd be needing and telling me how to make it, and about the sweetener, which was "pure cane rock sugar," which he started to put in another canister ($5), until I told him to put it in a bag. He tried to sell me some green tea, but I told him no, I hate green tea, and I don't want any, but thanks.

He handed the whole thing off to the cash register woman, a very official looking woman with Serious Black Glasses and a Severe Black Dress, who rang it up and asked me, with a straight face, for $162.

Because I am past 40 and my filters are shot, I said, "Can I roll it up and smoke it?"

She did not smile. She merely repeated, "$162, please."

I told her I wasn't paying $162 for tea. She said she could shake some out. I told her to put it in bags and shake A LOT of it out. She did this and came back and said, "$99."

I did some quick figuring in my head and said, "So that's what? $15 a cup?"

She said, "Well, actually, it's $14.73 a cup."

I have no idea why I stood there and listened to her arguments for why it would be reasonable to pay $14.73 per cup for tea, or why I pointed out to her that I don't pay $14.73 for a drink in a bar (not that I buy my own drinks in bars) with liquor in it, or why I told her that for $14.73, a guaranteed permanently sober Robert Downey, Jr. would have to serve me that tea in the nude daily and tell me I'm pretty, besides.

Finally I realized what I was doing and stopped talking and told her thank you, that she had been very nice and all, but despite the fact that I can afford $15 a cup for tea, I'm not going to, and I had to leave. And I left.

When I got to my car and was about to pull out of my spot, I thought, "Where is my Anthropologie bag?"

I had left it in the damn Teavana, which of course I can never go in again.


I ran another errand or two and called them and told them I'd been in there just browsing earlier and had set it down, and asked had anyone found it. Once they located it, I gave them my name and told them I'd come get it the next day. It was all going fine until the guy turned out to be the one who'd packed up my $162 worth of tea and he'd be there again the next day. Argh.

I called my friend Ellie and asked her if she could go with me to the mall on Sunday and go in somewhere and get something I'd left, to which she responded, "Why? Did you make an ass of yourself in there and now you can't go back?"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sometimes I see things beside the road.

If I were to go to such a place, it would be because I was curious about the three ugly girls. 


My friend's dad died last night.

He had been dying for two years, and she had been with him the whole time, taking care of him, while we, her friends, stood by and watched.

It has not been an easy two years for my friend, nor for her dad, nor would it have been for her mom.

I have known my friend since college, back when the earth was cooling.

We were so very young then.

Sometimes we go for ten years without seeing each other, and when we do again, it's just like your parents said (and you thought they were being silly): you haven't changed a bit.

We run into each other's arms and hang on for dear life, and though the years have added tiny lines to the corners of our eyes and not-so-tiny pounds to our rear ends, we are still as young as we were then.

Today my heart aches for her, and I send up a little prayer, and in my mind's eye, she is traipsing around in sweat pants and pearls, organizing, a fuzzy navel in an opaque cup, too young still for such a job.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Surely there's a less obvious way to carry your dog's poop around with you than in a plastic grocery bag?

Road Rage

I do not have road rage.

I have parking lot rage.

If you get a little slip of paper under your windshield wiper that says, "Quit parking like an asshole," I probably put it there.

It makes me nuts when people park so close to my car that I can't get in it without getting my clothes dirty. And yes, I should get my car washed (or wash it my own self) more frequently, but that's not the point.

There are two lines right there on the pavement to park between, and you know that the car you're parking beside didn't get there by itself, so somebody's got to get back in it to move it. If your excuse is that it's So Big, then get a smaller car. What are you hauling in that thing, anyway? People who really haul things are capable of parking practically anything, you know.

I'm also infuriated by people who come out of the store or the doctor's office or the restaurant and get in their cars nothing. I don't know what they're doing in their cars, but they're not leaving in them. Once you've left the establishment and stowed things in the trunk and secured any children, animals, and elderly people in their seats, your business is concluded, and you need to come up off that spot. It should not take two minutes to vacate, and while you might not have anything else planned for the day, I sure do.

See how all those cars are parked on the diagonal going that way? That means you're only supposed to drive that way, right down the middle, not on either side, and when you see cars pulling out, you let them do it, because they can't see around the tails of the cars and trucks around them as well as you can see them. And if you're waiting for that person who's going to get out of that spot in a timely fashion, you turn your blinker on, see, and the people behind you know you're not just twiddling your thumbs.

If you're a pedestrian in the parking lot, you don't walk in the way of traffic, because you don't know those people – they don't give a rat's hiney about you and they are not paying attention and they have places to get to and they will run you right over, right before being all sorry about it.

I had a tiny little skin cancerette removed from under my nose, and it's a rich source of blood vessels there. I can feel the blood pulsing there right now, this has got me so het up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Where I grew up, in rural Georgia, it was a 15-minute trip to get to town. Town-town, where you'd get your hair cut or buy a pair of shoes or real groceries or underpants, not Rentz, where you might run if you needed to get a smallish check cashed, or you needed a dozen eggs to make a cake, or you were pining for a Coca-Cola or some Pet ice cream.

We lived with my grandmother (Grandmother or Grandmama, not Granny, heaven forbid), and I was with her constantly if I wasn't in school. My grandmother would have died before she'd have left the house without getting dressed, and she'd have sooner sprouted wings and flown before taking anybody to town with her who wasn't shined up, too.

To get to town, we drove up 441, and it was impossible not to drive past the home of a particular family of indeterminate means. I should say their means were indeterminate to me, just as ours were. I thought we were filthy rich because in every direction you could look from our house, it all belonged to relatives.

This particular home was sided with shingles of some description and was the type with steep-pitched tin roof with a deep front porch supported by a post at either end, and one on either side of the steps. Between the posts was a shelf made of 2x8 pieces of lumber, a place to set your drink down, were you to be outside cooling off, as you likely were to be, as air conditioning was not widespread in the 70s.

Living in this home was a woman my mother told me was a washerwoman. She didn't tell me anything else, though I constantly asked. This washerwoman had a penchant for sitting in her mean little rocker with the missing rockers, her feet thrown up on that shelf, her dress pulled up around her thighs.

When I went to town with Grandmother, as we passed by that house, she would hold her foot down hard on the gas, a death grip on the steering wheel, and stare straight ahead, saying, every time, "Just like a slattery."

I finally worked up the nerve to ask her what a slattery was, and she merely replied, "Something you will never be."