Sunday, August 30, 2009

Loratadine. NOW.

Forget images of a scaly-looking red guy wielding a pitchfork. I'm pretty certain this is what the devil looks like:

Thanks to my allergies--which have never hit me quite this hard-- I felt subhuman enough that I stayed home from church this morning. My brain was so foggy I couldn't read, so I ended up turning on TCM and staring at the TV, not comprehending anything except that Jean Arthur was throwing herself at Cary Grant. After taking a very (very, very) long shower, inhaling absurd amounts of melaleuca oil-laced steam, and drinking about a gallon of tea with honey, I finally feel alive enough to contemplate going to my god-brother's birthday party with the rest of the family....
...out in the country.... door to a ragweed farm.

Ok, I made that last part up. I hope.

And yes, respiratory ailments make me cranky.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I think I'm hungry.

Is there anything that doesn't go with bacon? Really?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yes, I was a nerd. Probably still am.

Last month I posted a story Rachael and I wrote way back in 2004. Today, I found more of our disastrous creativity on a piece of paper shoved inside a book that hadn't been read in a while. (I love it when that happens. I think that, from now on, I'm going to leave notes and newspaper clippings inside every book I return to the library just in case someone else loves silly things like that.)

For your amusement:

May 17, 2004: Obituaries.

Boromir, Son of Denethor, aged 41, died February 26, 3019, of wounds sustained in battle at the Fields of Rauros. The oldest son of Denethor II, he achieved fame through his military prowess. Preceding him in death are his mother Finduilas and his grandparents. Surviving are his father and younger, cooler, cuter, nicer brother Faramir. Services will be held Sunday at the White Tower. Memorials may be made to the Gondorian Restoration Fund or Poppies for Pelennor.

Smeagol/Gollum, age unknown, died March 25, 3019, of severe burns sustained at the Cracks of Doom. A long time resident of The Misty Mountains, his previous residences are unknown. Preceding him in death is his friend Deagol. There will be no services. Memorials may be made to the Ring Addiction Awareness Foundation.

The Ring of Power, born cir. 1600, the Second Age, at Orodruin, died March 25, 3019. It spent many years with Smeagol/Gollum, after being found by Deagol in the Gladden Fields in 2463, the Third Age. The Ring abandoned Gollum in 2941 to live with Mr. Bilbo Baggins, now of Rivendell. It was given to Frodo Baggins, a relative of Bilbo, in 3001, and it continued in his company to the end, at which point both the Ring and Gollum suffered severe burns and perished. No services will be held. Memorials may be made to the Barad-dur Reclamation Fund.

Arwen Undomiel, age 1300, died of unknown causes. Born in year 241 of the Third Age in Rivendell, to Elrond Half-Elven and the daughter of Celeborn, she lived in Lothlorien for many years before returning home. She married King Elessar in 3019 on Mid Year's Day. Surviving are her brothers, grandfather, a son, and several daughters. Preceding her in death is her husband. Gone to the Grey Havens without here are her father, grandmother, and mother. Services and burial will be held in Lothlorien on Sunday afternoon. Memorials may be made to the Hope Foundation for Underprivileged Hobbits.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I am not sure I've ever seen a stranger juxtaposition than that which I saw at a gas station in Columbia City this evening. Pulled up outside was a truck from "Suzy Q's Escort Service," occupied by two incredibly vapid-looking, overly made-up, silicone-adjusted "ladies." Standing a few feet away, waiting for their driver, were two Old Order Amish women and their children.

I just wish my camera had been along.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

While I was sitting at work today, trying desperately to forget how tired I was, I thought up the best idea for a blog post. It was funny, it was thoughtful, and it was way better than anything I've posted in a long time. I had it all planned out and was geared up to write it all out as soon as I got home.

Yeah. Whatever my brilliant idea was at 12:00, I don't remember it now. It's gone.

So, in place of the brilliant and striking piece of prose that is now forever lost in the ether, I'm going to say just how thrilled I was when I opened my September issue of InStyle this evening. "Thrilled?" you wonder. "What could Bethany possibly have found so exciting?" I'll tell you.

I am officially avant garde without making any effort. In fact, a positive lack of effort has led to me being at the forefront of fashion. According to that fount of knowledge, InStyle Magazine, paleness is officially attractive and smooth ponytails are the last word in hairdos.

This is fantastic news. Now, when I wake up in the morning, pasty white after yet another sunless week spent locked in an office like a vampire in a coffin, and too tired to do anything but throw my wet hair up into a severe pony tail, I can be confident that I do not look lazy or harried but chic and up-to-date.

I think I'll re-enable the snooze function on my alarm. This discovery merits an extra 15 minutes of sleep, at least.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I should do this more often!

My room wasn't really all the messy today, if you don't count the pile of clothing that had accumulated on my bench or the pile of pillows in the middle of the floor.  Even worse than just messy, it had gotten disorganized.  The books were on the bookshelves, just not in their proper places.  All of my purses and tote bags were put away, but with things in them.  Things I've been looking for.  Cleaning those bags out felt like Christmas .  My closet yielded up a missing hairbrush, Mambo Surf tote, a missing (and much needed) lint roller, my missing iPod, an unopened box of Rock'n'Roll magnetic poetry, and a bag of dark chocolate M&Ms.

None of these things had been missing very long, but I was still  very glad to see them.  Especially the chocolate.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Learning to. . . wait.

I decided a few days ago that I wanted to try sewing again. My last attempt was somewhat less than successful.  The apron I made as a Christmas present for my grandmother ended up being so large that it would have fit three of her.  (What's that phrase going around right now? Oh yeah. "Epic Fail.")  

Yesterday evening, I thought it would be fun to work on another apron while watching movies with my mother and brother.  We had picked out an old-fashioned half-apron pattern a while back and I had some sweet, equally old-fashioned fabric just waiting for me to get up the courage to make a second (or third, or fourth... I've lost count) attempt.  The pattern-pinning and fabric-cutting part went very well and I now have a nice, orderly little pile of apron parts waiting to be assembled.  That's splendid.  Now I just have to figure out what the heck the pattern is trying to tell me to do with them.  The packaging says "easy," but in this case, I believe they mean "easy if you have someone to translate seamstress-speak." (Jenny? Anna? Someone?) 

Even if I could read the instructions I would need to wait to put everything together.  Somehow, when we got the fabric, we failed to get the necessary finishing touches: bias tape and some sort of ruffly trim stuff.  For now, I just have another unfinished project (like my  paintings and my quilt and my scrapbooks, and my and my embroidery. . . .)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo taken today, just down the road from our house:

Isn't that special?

For some reason, this reminds me of the time my (Lutheran) kindergarten class baptized a clutch of newly hatched chicks.   

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wooohooo! Project Runway returns in one week! The new season (on Lifetime) starts on August 20.
Advertisement over.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

There are things one knows better than to leave in the car on a hot day.

Expensive electronics.
Car keys.
Somehow, leaving a book sitting on the dashboard did not strike me as risky or unusual when I went in to church this morning.  I take my books with me everywhere, in case of emergency.   One never knows when one may be stuck someplace and need entertainment or stimulation. In this case, I had brought along a fairly new library paperback that my mother had checked out last week. (We share our books... by which I mean my mother and I check out our own piles of books and I end up reading both piles.)

You may imagine my surprise when, upon getting back in the car and picking up my book, all the pages fell out, trailing wisps of melted glue across the dashboard, my hands, and my purse.

Wait....Books can MELT?!?!?!?

I attempted to replace the pages, squeezing the still-gluey inside edges against the still-gluey spine, but to no avail.  The pages stuck to each other (and me and my clothing and the car) but not to the spine.

Next up: the part where I throw myself on the mercy--and sense of humor--of whatever friendly-looking person is working at the library circulation desk.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My father and brothers are leaving early tomorrow morning for over a week at the fishing cabin in Canada.  I can understand the appeal, I suppose: peace and quiet, water, fresh air, trees, outdoorsy activities, time to read.... And they do have plumbing now.  Fishing might even be fun for an hour or so.  But a whole week dedicated to sitting in a smelly boat with five even smellier men? No thanks.

My mother and I make good use of our week.  This year, it will include an outing to see "The Producers" at the Civic Theater with our good friend Nancy, some really good food, at least one viewing of "Pride and Prejudice",  some more really good food, general goofy girlyness, and, oh yeah, some really good food.  

This year will be a little different because --shock-- Patrick will be staying at home.  He is hoping to find a job and thought that it would be a good idea to stay in the country in case someone decides they want him.  He'll get to share in the good, clean, non-smelly fun with us and I know he'll even a good enough sport to take part in some of it (especially the really good food).

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I don't watch American Idol anymore, so the make-up of the judging panel really could not matter less to me.  But Posh replacing Paula? That's just funny.

Monday, August 03, 2009

On a Lunch Break

Is it very strange that, as I review employment records, when I come across the word "receptionist" my first thought has nothing to do with the person who answers phones?

This is something like what happens in my mind:

Indianapolis bank....
$14/hour? Not bad....
Hey, that's a funny name....
Aw man, only 1:30? 4, no, 3 1/2 hours to go....
Works at a law firm....
Receptionist??? What does that have to do with anything? Why does her employer need to know her views on the Mass? Besides, isn't she, like, Baptist?
Oh. Yeah. That."

Saturday, August 01, 2009


As we drove through the grocery store parking lot this afternoon, my mother and grandmother and I saw the most peculiar sight.  Peculiar and disturbing.

As we drove past the entrance, a woman walked out.  The first thing I noticed was that she was wearing a black motorcycle helmet with the visor down.  She didn't walk out of the grocery and put the helmet on; she was wearing it inside the store.  And it wasn't a little helmet, either.  This woman was not very tall and she had a thin neck, so the helmet gave her roughly the proportions of a bobble-head.

The next thing I noticed was the roll of fat hanging out over the top of her shorts.  She wasn't that large, and had her stomach been covered, there wouldn't have been anything to notice (well, except for the helmet).  But no.  Her stomach was left free and open to the eyes of the world by her polo shirt which had been most inexpertly cropped away just above her navel.  

Then, I tried not to watch as she tried to figure out how to secure four plastic sacks of groceries on her motor scooter.