31 August 2008

Sunday Secret

Whenever I am alone, but in a group of people - on the train, grocery shopping, etc. - I spend my time making up stories about the people I see. One is a spy for the CIA and is living a false life. Another is cheating on her husband while he thinks she is at her son's soccer game. I wonder how many times I'm right?

30 August 2008



A 54 mile trip into the city in holiday weekend traffic?

1 hour and 57 minutes of complete aggravation and a $32 parking fee.

Great Belgian beer (Maredsous, Delirium Tremens and Oud Beersel)?

$7 per goblet

Steak Frites (grilled Dakota Beef organic NY Strip with maitre d’ butter or lemon-horseradish butter; and Belgian-style frites)

... and ...

Duck Reuben (on marble rye; Pekin duck breast, slow-roasted, w/cranberry cream cheese spread,
house-made sauerkraut, emmenthaler, and pommes frites)?

$34 dinner tab

Chocolate Lava Cake

... and ...

Apple Fritters?

$16 dessert tab

Watching the Neo-Futurists perform, "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind," the longest-running show in Chicago today? (In case you are wondering, "ars longa vita brevis" translates to "Life is short, [the] art long."

$7 plus the role of one die

Meeting yet another blogger?


This is Moose, also known as Nicolle. I first heard Moose's name when reading the archives over at Osbasso's place (Yes, I do read archives - I'm a geek like that). It was soon after that I started reading her blog.

She was in town this week for an annual work-related conference and had a Friday night to fill with activities. Fortunately, she is a social planner - even when in my neck of the woods - so much so that I feel like I should thank her for her hospitality!

A great time was had by all!!


29 August 2008

Friday Wrap-Up


First things first (I've always hated that phrase. What are we going to do? Talk about second things first??), I want to thank all of you who stopped by yesterday and left such wonderful comments. I told someone earlier in the week that I was going to do something different - I was going to try sensual. I really didn't think I had a snowball's chance in hell of making it happen. Showing tits is one thing - but showing emotion? Especially vulnerability? And in a photo? I just didn't know if I could do it - if I wanted to do it. I'm glad that I did!

A special thanks to Vixen who actually selected my HNT for her Friday Favorites. Her blog is a special place to land on Friday Mornings. Y'all should stop by - really - and not just on Friday's!


What is it with some bloggers and their stat counters? I got an IM from a blogger yesterday who had noticed I hadn't been on their blog for a few weeks (the blogger had been monitoring the visitor information). First, I know most of the blogs I read aren't commercial ventures - why the infatuation preoccupation with the stat counter? And this blogger isn't the only one who seems to share this obsession. Yes, I have looked at the details of visitors to my blog when there were issues with certain commentors, and I do peek to see the number of hits I have to the blog, but the details? Sure, I enjoy the posts that list odd search terms that led people to the blog, or strange visitor IP addresses, but c'mon, tracking people down just for the sake of being nosey? Maybe I'm missing something ...


I've got a "date" with a blogger tonight! This is exciting on several fronts. First, I am always thrilled to have the opportunity to meet someone I've read and heard much about. This blogger is in town for a convention and we've made plans for dinner and a show.

As much as I am looking forward to the "date," this is also a huge test on my social anxieties. Not only am I meeting a "stranger," *gasp* but I'm driving into Chicago, having dinner in an unfamiliar restaurant, and attending an interactive show. Even more impressive? I told (not asked) husband exactly what I am doing, and ignored his belittling protests concerns.

I hope to have pictures - maybe even a vlog - to share with all of you tomorrow!

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!


27 August 2008

HNT - Sensual


Lost in sensual thought
submitting to my wants,
my desires,
my fantasies.

Vulnerable to the touch
of my wayward hands
and arbitrary contemplation.

Longing for the pleasure
once promised
but never realized.

~ Dana

NOTE: It was actually one of Biscuit's HNTs that inspired this shot - the inspirational piece can be found [HERE]



26 August 2008

TMI Tuesday - When you wish upon a star edition


What is the one thing you would change about your body?

If I call it a "body lift" does it count as just one thing? Having lived many years of my life in the 300 lb range, and having lost (and maintained) a weight loss of over 100 lbs, I have some seriously stretched skin that at 44 years old, has lost much of it's elasticity. I know ... not the most appealing thought, but you (or TMI at least) asked!

What is the one personality trait you would change?

My fear of being less than perfect. There are many things I simply refuse to do because I know I won't do them "near perfectly" the first time. If I think it's likely that I am going to fail, I usually don't try at all. Unfortunately, I'm not always good at gauging when I'll fail and when I'll succeed, and my guess is that I've missed out on a TON of opportunities to succeed!

What is the one thing about your job you would change?

The gossip. I work for the largest employer (about 200 employees locally, 2000 nationally) in my small town of 3500 people. Most of my co-workers also live in my town. There are just too many people who I have to spend too much time with.

What is the one thing about your home you would change?

Its size - yes, size does matter! But I wouldn't make it bigger I'd make it smaller. It is much too pretentious for my sensibilities.

What is the one thing about your Significant Other you would change?

I only get one? Then let's make it a doosey! I'd take away his narcissistic (as I see them) tendencies.

Who is the one person you would poof out of your life and why?

Hmmmm ... I'm not sure I would *poof* anyone out! My philosophy is that there is something to learn from everyone we come in contact with, whether we "like" them or not. Even thinking beyond people I know, I'd still keep them all!

Who is the one person you would poof back in and why?

Another tricky one ... and again a similar answer. Whether they are in my life, or out of my life, their presence (or lack there of) is an opportunity to grow as an individual.

That being said, I'd really like to be able to get my son's father's medical history, so I'd *poof* him alive just long enough to get my hands on that!


TMI In A Different Way


Every once in a while I start a post and decide - for whatever reason - that I'm going to post something else. It's a good thing because TMI Tuesday seems to be missing today. So I dug from the depths of the despair drafts reviewed my drafts and came up with this nonsense.

Should TMI Tuesday magically appear during the day I'll post it, but until then, y'all can guffaw at my silly quiz results post!


So ... I'm browsing through the "Discover" feature on Google Reader (I find some great blogs that way) and I happen upon this quiz [HERE] Yes, I realize that all of these quizzes use generalities to be "accurate," but DAMN! This one was pretty darn accurate too!

ColorQuiz.comI took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Intense, vital, and animated, taking a delight in ..."

Your Existing Situation

    Insecure. Seeks roots, stability, emotional security, and an environment providing greater ease and fewer problems.

Your Stress Sources

    Feels that life has far more to offer and that there are still important things to be achieved--that life must be experienced to the fullest. As a result, she pursues her objectives with a fierce intensity that will not let go of things. Becomes deeply involved and runs the risk of being unable to view things with sufficient objectivity, or calmly enough; is therefore in danger of becoming agitated and of exhausting her nervous energy. Cannot leave things alone and feels she can only be at peace when she has finally reached her goal.

Your Restrained Characteristics

    Circumstances are forcing her to compromise, to restrain her demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things she wants.

    Feels rather isolated and alone, but is too reserved to allow herself to form deep attachments. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense.

Your Desired Objective

    Intense, vital, and animated, taking a delight in action. Activity is directed towards success or conquest and there is a desire to live life to the fullest.

Your Actual Problem

The fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants leads her to play her part with an urgent and hectic intensity.


25 August 2008

Road Trip Thoughts - The Return


It was noon on Friday. Although I had thoroughly enjoyed my visit with the family, despite the gossip, pettiness and dysfunction, I was ready to head out. After spending almost a week in a house full of enough people to field a football team - with substitutions available - I was looking forward to it being just Cam and me in the car again.

The first chunk of the drive would be a short one - just 5 hours to Helena - and both Cam and I were excited. The first visit with Os was a blast, there was no doubt the second visit would be equally fun. A night of the Helena Brewers, pizza and beer just added to the memories.

Saturday morning arrived, much to my protest. It was time to muddle through the hangover (and it was a nasty one) and really hit the road. I started feeling anxious. Was it just the remnants of the Belgian White - the throbbing head and tumultuous stomach - or was it more?

One of the things I learned while we were gone was that I really do miss mountains. I have said it many times, but returning after a 5 year absence cemented it. There is something quite comforting - a definite sense of security - when I am surrounded by the majesty of mountains. I feel protected, as if they wrap themselves around me to keep me safe. I knew the Saturday drive would take me away from that comfort. I tried to absorb as much of the mountains' strength and power as I could on Saturday, I knew I'd need it.

Sunday morning felt a bit melancholy. Cam and I really had a wonderful time and the reality of its abrupt end - the return to the life I have created for us both - was staring me in the face like a stack of dirty dishes. I knew what needed to be done, but I didn't want to do it.

It was when we hit Wisconsin that I really felt the impact of what it meant to travel back to Chicago. While Cam and I were gone, we were able to be genuine. There wasn't any pressure on either of us to try to keep peace in the house - we could wake up in the morning knowing what to expect.

You see, there is a great deal of uncertainty in our house. Yes, sometimes things run smoothly, but there is always this underlying fear of making some comment - of doing something "irritating" - and having husband go off. These aren't major infractions by any means, they can be things as simple as sitting "wrong" in the car making something squeak or rattle, or hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock rather than getting up the first time it sounds. And these "irritants" set him off daily, and sometimes multiple times in the same day. There is a need for constant and relentless awareness of what one might do that will cause some ridiculous outburst, always waiting - anticipating - disapproval. It is physically and emotionally draining.

By the time we reached Illinois, I had worked myself into somewhat of a frenzy, and Cam was reflecting that anxiety. An hour - 60 minutes - until I put us both back into that environment. My hope was that as our time away offered me time to reflect, husband would have taken advantage of that time to do the same. I hoped there would be a warm welcome - some indication that we had been missed - some attempt to make things better for all of us. But hope failed me.

When we walked into the house, husband didn't even get out of his chair to welcome us back, but rather turned up the volume on the TV because we were making too much noise bringing our things in and interrupting the program he was watching. Yes, we were "home," and nothing had changed. Hope has never gotten me very far - change requires action - hope just fills an idle brain.

Yes, I'm still fence sitting, but this time with a different plan. I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the marriage, but I am ready to make the changes needed to insure a more "normal" existence for Cam and I. I am ready to stop trying to please someone who will never be pleased and spend that energy on making a healthy home environment for Cam and me.

I have no doubt there will be significant repercussions for this "selfishness," but I can't help but believe the rewards will be immeasurable.


23 August 2008

Sunday Secret

It doesn't hurt to listen to you talk about how much you are physically attracted to other women, but it is gut wrenching that I never hear those same compliments - or any other compliments for that matter - from you.

I know that you know this - I've told you many times - and I think that's why you continue do it.

22 August 2008

Road Trip Thoughts - The "L" Word


No ... not lesbian (don't be too disappointed) ... LOVE. There! I said it! Are you happy now?

What am I talking about? Well, I am not one to use the "L" word very frequently. Just typing it gives me the heeber-jeebers. Quite honestly, it is a word that has brought me far more disappointment than happiness. How can that be? It's such a wonderful word - one that evokes deep emotion - one that is used to express the ultimate sentiment - and one that is often, in my experience, used carelessly.

My problems with the "L" word are many. It is a single, four-letter word used to convey a full spectrum of feelings, it rarely means the same thing to the person saying it as it does to the person hearing it, and it requires action - not just from the vocal chords, but from the person uttering it. It's not just a word.

One shared trait in my family (which fortunately, is not genetically transferred) is their ability to hold on to - and rehash - the past. During one of these many moments during my recent visit, there was a brief discussion between my mother and I that went like this:

Mom: You felt loved growing up, didn't you?! (not really a question, but rather a statement indicating how I should answer the question)
Me: No, I didn't. You may have said you loved me, but I didn't feel loved.
Mom: Yes you did! We did everything together!
Me: If you already knew the answer to this question, why did you bother asking?
Mom: I can't believe you are saying this, embarrassing me in front of the family, when you know it isn't true.
Me: *looks down*shakes head*

My mom just couldn't seem to grasp that just because she said she loved me - many, many times a day - it didn't necessarily follow that I felt loved. That actions really do speak louder than words. That doing something hurtful wasn't negated by simply uttering the "L" word. It was then that I realized why the "L" word is such a thorn in my side - it is an easy word to say, but an extremely difficult word to live.

Although I don't say it often, I strive daily to live the "L" word - to show those I care about how I feel - and I punctuate my actions with the verbal "L" word. I so hope I'm doing this right ... or at least better than it was done for me.


20 August 2008

HNT - Olympic Pride


“To give anything less than your best
is to sacrifice the gift.”

~ Steve Roland Prefontaine

*Click for the Olympic Rings



Road Trip - Thoughts on Friendships


Heading out west, my initial thoughts centered around relationships. Oddly enough, not my marriage, but friendships. Not to dredge up the past, but y'all might remember that right before we headed out on the road there had been a bit of a brew-ha-ha regarding my blog, an email list I used to be a member of and some responses I made to comments on a couple of my posts. These issues were still fresh in my mind, and I needed some internal resolution.

Try as I might, I have a difficult time letting things go when they aren't resolved, especially when I feel I've been mistreated, misunderstood or misrepresented. I know that I am a "good and honest" person, and when others imply (or come right out and say) that isn't the case, it bothers me. Why? Because, more than anything, I want to be valued as a person. I want to know that I matter. And trust me, the irony of that statement is not lost.

After thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more, it became clear that this wasn't about the way others treat me - this was about the fact that I
mistreat, misunderstand and misrepresent myself. I spend a great deal of time pretending that things don't bother me - that I am strong in my emotions and convictions - in hopes that I'll start believing the facade. It's what I want to be - shouldn't it follow that if I act in that manner long enough I will become that way? Even if I don't believe it, maybe if others do, it will rub off on me?

In reality, I'm a jumbled mess of goo inside, most often with little hope of ever managing a significant dose of self-esteem. I question everything I do and everything people do for me. I wonder if I'll ever be "good enough" - if people really do like me or if they are just being nice because it is the "right" thing to do. Logically, I know that people don't have the energy, nor the desire, to play nice for long and so I wait for the bottom to fall out, never allowing myself the opportunity to enjoy the good trying to get in. For someone (me) who usually maintains a fairly positive attitude in life, this is a very negative and self-defeating way live.

I know why I am this way - I know that I am a product of my life experiences - and I know that only I have the ability to change my future. What's worse is that I know what I need to do to alter the course of my life ... and it terrifies me. It requires that I trust my judgment and that I let go of what I've convinced myself is control of my emotions, but is really an attempt to control what emotions I allow myself to feel. It requires that I be a bit more empathetic and a bit less judgmental, both of others and more importantly, of myself. It requires that I give myself credit for my successes rather than beating myself up over my perceived failures. It requires that I believe that I deserve all of the good and wonderful things life has to offer.

How scary is that???


18 August 2008

Turnbaby and TMI


First things first! In case y'all forgot, I will be on Turnbaby Talks - tonight - at 8:00PM Eastern time. I still can't believe she asked me to be on her show. Just terrifies baffles me. Click on this link and it will take you directly to the show. Register with Blog Talk Radio (it's free and secure) and you can participate in the chat during the show!

Oh, and by the way, Turnbaby also has a blog, and if you're not reading it what the hell are you reading?? Oh, and not only is she beautiful, sexy and smart, she also does HNT ... just sayin'!


TMI Tuesday

1. Are you truly politically correct? Be honest.

Ummmmm, no! Nor do I want to be! Politically correct has become something that limits freedom of speech and causes people to lose all common sense (in my oh-so-humble opinion). What I am is conscientious and respectful (most of the time) of other people.

2. Will you ever streak in public during rush hour?

Not a chance in hell, unless it's rush hour in Tolna, North Dakota (population 193), and even then it would need to be a cold day in hell.

3. Would you ever do something sexual in public (more than 20 people around)?

Hmmm ... would "flashing" be considered sexual?? Actually, I have several public sex fantasies and have been known to whoop out a tit display a breast in a public place on occasion. Then there was Tequila in Korea - need I say more?

4. Do you ever not have good table manners?

With the exception of belching when I drink beer (and I'd argue that is good "beer" table manners), I'd say I have impeccable table manners. In fact, I'd also say that poor table manners (chewing with the mouth open, talking with food in the mouth, elbows on the table, etc.) are a pet peeve of mine!

5. Do you ever fantasize about a public sexual act? Describe.

Most definitely! I find the thought of public sex - the chance of getting caught - extremely erotic. A hand job under the table ... a little obvious groping at a bar ... all turn ons for me.

Bonus (as in optional): Have you ever gone through a true sexual fantasy? Describe.

This is one of those moments when I wish I were Ms. I, or at least that I could write like her *wink*. I am erotica challenged. That being said, I did have an opportunity to make my three-some (two women, one man) fantasy come to fruition ... more than once. However, there are a few more fantasies that I need to keep working on!


Road Trip Part VII - The End of the Road

  • 10 days
  • 3654 miles
  • Too many great memories to count
We're baaaack! We made it home safely - pulled in to the driveway at about 8:30 last night. Here is the final installment of "Road Trip 2008."

I know these vlogs were far too a bit long. I really do appreciate all of you who took the time to watch them and to leave comments, even when you knew it was likely that I wouldn't have time to respond. You guys really are the best!! Cam and I both had a great time vlogging - by the end of the trip he was asking if it was time to vlog again.

One highlight of yesterday's travels. Remember when I did that post on Bull Nutz? Guess what Cam and I saw in Minnesota yesterday? Yep! Here's the proof!

See if you notice anything about this final installment. I was actually a bit surprised when I watched it. I won't give any hints other than to say that it was eye-opening for me and a bit of a slap up along side the head.


17 August 2008

Road Trip Part VI

Thank goodness the day ended far better than it started! There will be no beer tonight ... at least not in this body!

See?? It's all his fault! What? You don't see him holding me down and pouring the beer down my throat?? Well, it happened - I swear on my life pinky swear!

I've been doing a lot of day dreaming soul searching while on this trip. Miles and miles of road kind of lends itself to that process. I think a few of those thoughts might actually be blog-worthy and will likely be shared in the upcoming days. Not to worry, the world according to Dana will return to it's regularly scheduled programing on Tuesday, although I am considering a weekly vlog. I had a TON of fun with this process and think it really adds a bit of personality that is lost when thoughts - at least mine - are expressed only in words.

Wish me luck on the final 730 miles, and thanks again for coming along with us!

16 August 2008

Road Trip Part V - The Video

YouTube seems to like Murdo, SD better than Helena, MT. Can't say that I agree, but here is the vlog from our travels yesterday!

Road Trip Part V

This is going to be a quickie today because I feel like I had a head-on collision with a semi-truck last night!

Cam and I made our way back to Helena yesterday. We had such a good time with Os on the way to Spokane that we decided to spend a little time with him again on the way home. We got into town at about 6PM, Os picked us up at 6:30 and took us to a Helena Brewers baseball game. We picked up our first beer before getting our seats. That was beginning of my idiotic plan to prove what a burly broad I am!

NOTE TO SELF: It's never a good idea to prove that you can drink beer for beer with anyone - especially Os - on the night before a long road trip.

Many beers and a bag of peanuts later, we head to Howard's for pizza and ... yes ... more beer. The pizza was fabulous - greasy sausage, pepperoni and cheese on a perfect crust - and the beer was cold and a tasty side dish. Cam was busy trying to win a stuffed animal from one of the arcade games and ended up with a Playboy Bunny ball cap and a Powerpuff Girl. I just hope those weren't what he was trying to win.

Although I successfully proved my burly broad status, and had a really great time, it was not without a price. My head hurts and my stomach is reminding me that it doesn't appreciate my indulgence. This should be an interesting drive today.

I do have another vlog for you, but YouTube isn't cooperating this morning. I'll try to upload it again when we get somewhere tonight. I thought we were going to take the southern route home, but Cam has decided he wants to go see the house we lived in while we were in Minnesota, so we'll take the northern route instead.

ARGH! Anyone have any aspirin???

14 August 2008

Road Trip Part IV


Finally! I never thought I'd say it but THANK GOODNESS FOR STARBUCKS! Seems a Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte (no foam) and the purchase of a $5 Starbucks card gets you a dependable wifi connection for 2 hours!!

This is another long vlog - just short of 10 minutes - the final miles of our trip to Spokane. It's been interesting, eye-opening and contemplative. I hope to give you more on our return trip - we'll be taking the southern route home, so a little different perspective.

My only complaint regarding this trip? The more I expand my options the more I expand my options. Sometimes, limiting possibilities allows you to think less about the possibilities.

Yes, I too, think my brain has gone on a road trip!


13 August 2008

HNT - Shadows


“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief -
But the pain of grief
Is only a shadow
When compared with the pain
Of never risking love.”

~ Hilary Stanton


NOTE: I likely won't be able to make the HNT rounds this week, but will stop by to visit y'all once I get back to the "real" world and "real" internet connections!


Road Trip - UPDATE!

Hey Everyone!

Having a bit of a challenge. Cam and I made it to Spokane just fine, but the aunt and uncle that Cam and I are staying with are the only people in the world still using dial-up. I've got a vlog for you, but no way to upload it. I'm thinking about heading to a Starbucks, but for now I've got a spotty connection that I'm hoping stays active long enough just to let y'all know that we are alive and well!

I promise to post something as soon as I can find a solid wifi connection!


10 August 2008

Road Trip Part III


No vlog today, but a slide show! Don't want y'all to get too bored with the mundane blog. Cam and I both had a WONDERFUL day - great fun, great food, great beer and most importantly, great friend! I'll be the first to admit, this part of the vacation was for me, but one of the best parts was knowing that Cam had a great time too!

Tomorrow we are having breakfast with Os, then it's on to Idaho and Washington. Yes, the vlog will be back tomorrow, hopefully with Idaho and Washington signs!

For the record, Os is "surprisingly normal", and overall just a great guy. I am so glad we made this stop!


Road Trip Part II - The Video

It's here! The video I promised from the previous post!

Road Trip Part II


NOTE: I've preempted the Sunday Secret today, but have no doubt that after 5 days with my family this week there will be a juicy one next week!

Saturday was a much shorter day. Having made half the distance in the first day, and having a planned stop today, we did 555 miles in 8 hours with one stop. The drive was beautiful! There were a few little bumps in the road - a fuel economy issue and an unexpected detour - but we made it "here" safe and sound!

Where is "here"? Well, Helena Montana! Remember when I said we had only one planned stop? It was time to meet another blogger. This one has quite a blogging history. Way back when, he started a silly little thing called Half-Nekkid Thursday - a silly little thing that has allowed me to see a bit of beauty in a forty-something body that is far from perfect - a silly little thing that has been the occasional source of discord on my blog - a silly little thing that has exposed my creative side. That's right, the one and only Os, and what a great host he's been!

Last night included a fabulous dinner and equally wonderful beer at The Brewhouse Pub & Grille (no, Cam didn't have beer, but he did have some Montana beef), a quick tour of Helena at night (the views from the mountain were amazing and Cam was thrilled to see several deer up close and personal) and, just because it seemed like the right thing to do, a visit to DQ for a Thin Mint Blizzard. This time nothing went to waste *wink*

Today's plans include a trip to the Gates of the Mountains (*warning* page is slow to load) and more food and libations, this time at York Bar.

Cam and I will make the final leg of our journey some time Monday morning/afternoon - a short 300 mile trip!

I hope you enjoy part II of the travel vlog. It's a long one today (just short of 10 minutes), but is, amazingly, Osbasso's vlog debut. Hmmmm ... does this mean I took his vlogging virginity??


YouTube was giving me grief. Vlog is uploaded in a newer post!


08 August 2008

Road Trip Part I


13 hours, 2 tanks of gas, 2 stops and 885 miles later, we are in Dickinson, ND! The trip has been great so far. I forgot how much I enjoy driving across country. In our travels today we crossed the Continental Divide [EDIT: This should read "A" Continental Divide - the Northern one - not the Great one that Osbasso mentions], saw "wild" buffalo and killed two birds *sobs* Well, actually they killed themselves using my car - flying into the windshield as I was traveling 80 mph!

Oh! One more thing, and then I'll show you the travel vlog. Did you know there were such a thing as sunflower farms? OK, yeah ... I know ... those sunflower seeds at the gas station convenience store have to come from somewhere, but never did I imagine miles and miles of sunflowers planted in fields. Really beautiful! Unfortunately, the pics didn't turn out too well, so I'm hoping we run in to some more tomorrow and I'll actually STOP to take a photo.

Thanks for all of the well wishes on our trip. I've read each and every comment but am just too damned tired just don't have the time to answer each of them. Can I have a slacker pass during vacation??

[EDIT: Wow! I was tired! I forgot to do a spell check before publishing. My apologies to those of you who read early!]

Friday Wrap-Up


Whew! What a week! So much to get done before I head out the door and so much procrastination little time to get it done. As I write this I still have not packed nor finished laundry. It's looking like our 5:30AM departure will be delayed until 7-ish. Not to worry - since I don't have a plan I'm still on schedule!


Speaking of plans, I did have one plan, and it was a reminder of why uber-planning really is highly over-rated. I reserved a rental car about 2 months ago. Got a great deal on a "standard" (Pontiac G6, Ford Fusion or similar) car - under $150/week and unlimited mileage. I rented it through Enterprise, so opted for the "We'll pick you up" option. They were due her at 5PM yesterday.

Like every good planner, I called on Tuesday to confirm. Yes, they had the reservation. Yes, they'd see me on Thursday at 5PM.

At 5PM yesterday, I call the office to make sure someone is on the way (Are you getting a feel for what a pain in the ass my normal mode of operation is here?). Stephanie tells me their driver had a final and had to leave at 4PM. They tried to call (they did, but didn't leave a message) to see if I was available earlier. Stephanie offered to shut the office down and pick me up by 5:30PM. Not a problem - I can live with that.

5:35 and no Stephanie. Hmmmm ... maybe I should call again. Guess who answers the phone? Stephanie! Seems she changed her mind and decided she would pick me up after she closed the office at 6PM. It would have been nice to have been let in on that information.

I've got a 7PM appointment with the family counselor (yes, we are still going), so throw a temper tantrum decide I had better go pick up the car myself and worry about getting my car back to the house later. Off we go, already an hour behind the plan.

Get to Enterprise and my "Pontiac G6, Ford Fusion or similar" turned out to be a friggin' PT cruiser. No offense to any of you who love this car, but it reminds me of the AARP set - seems any time I see someone driving one of these they also qualify for the senior citizens discount at Denny's! I got out of the car and said, "Please tell me you are NOT putting me in that PT Cruiser." Poor Stephanie - she looks at me clearly distressed. As a matter of fact, that is my car. Ummmm ... no it isn't.

She says they do have a 2008 Charger, but it hasn't been cleaned up since it was returned. Not a problem, give me the Charger *does the happy dance* I made my 7PM appointment, got a great vehicle to drive across country AND appreciated the opportunity to see the value of uber-planning (none)!


There have been many lessons this week. Much drama, some of it - if I'm honest - self-induced. I've had the unique opportunity to "see" people in a new light. A few stepped up to the plate, many stood by my side, a few stabbed me in the back, and one or two twisted the knife as it was going in (and no, not a SINGLE blogger falls into either of those last two categories). Kind of a microcosm of the "real" world, don't you think?

This week has been eye opening. My road time over the next few days will give me plenty of opportunity to reflect on changes that I need to consider - what I do to contribute to the drama in my life - what I can change to minimize that. People will do whatever people do. My reaction to what they do is what's really important, and I think there is opportunity for some positive change there.


August 19, 2008 - 8PM Eastern Time

In my continuing effort to expand my personal comfort zone -AACK!! - I have agreed to be a "Special Guest " on Blog Talk Radio's Turnbaby Talks show.

Remember, I am the woman who can sense a panic attack coming on when I have to pick up the telephone and order pizza! Yep! This is certainly a stretch for me, but I'm actually looking forward to it. Turnbaby is one of those people who can make you feel comfortable within seconds of inviting you into her "home."

Will y'all come play with me? What if I promise to be at least half-nekkid while on the show??


06 August 2008

HNT - Bicycle


Isn't she beautiful?! She's a brand spankin' new Specialized Crossroads Elite. She is riding luxury - a great-handling aluminum frame with laid-back, Ground Control comfort features for a back-friendly upright riding position. Add her suspension fork and shock-absorbing seatpost and you've got one velvety-smooth ride. Did I mention her Elite sports 700C wheels and a 24-speed Shimano drivetrain that allow for quick shifting?

Erotic?! Well, she gets me going every time she's between my legs!

Look! No Hands! *CLICK*

Don't miss Turnbaby's southern HNT charm - I'll be enjoying it a little more intimately as her special guest on Turnbaby Talks a week from Tuesday (August 19th). More on that later!


Fluff 'n' Stuff


Some days you just need a little fluff (No, Jay - I didn't say some day I'm going to be a fluffer) Between far too many silly dramas, and preparing for our road trip departure, I am feeling like a bowl of Cream of Wheat friggin' tired. Instead of looking for something substantive to post about, I perused the ever useful world wide web for some mindless insightful quizzes, both of which were obscenely long, indicating their flawless, scientific authority!

This first one is based on a 1939 marital rating scale.
The scales draws on the opinions of over 600 couples in the 1930s and what they most frequently voiced as flaws and virtues in their spouses. These are the critical elements in marriage if you want to make it both permanent and happy ... 70 years ago.

These results indicate one of two things - either I was born 50 years too early and missed my calling or, I'm a door mat. I think I'll go with being born 50 years too early!

I Scored 80

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!


I didn't want to get too obsessed with my red nail polish and the seams on my stockings (important qualities of a 30's wife) so decided to explore my brainy side. Chess. What could be more intellectual than that?

Honestly? These results were scary spot-on ...

Your result for Which Chess Piece are You Test?...

The Rook's Hawk

(Congrats! Only 12-16% of the population score this!)

The Rook’s Hawk is like a judge. They have a great sense of right and wrong especially in their area of interest or responsibility. They are devoted to duty. They are punctual. People who set their clocks on others are typically measuring their time with the Hawk. It is common to perceive that the Hawk is cold or aloof. They frequently protect their emotions via practicality.

They work systematically to get the job done. When a new procedure is proven, they can be depended upon to carry it out. The Rook’s Hawk is deeply frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when it comes to commitments. They will keep their feelings to themselves – but when asked expect truth over tact. They are quite able to make the tough call and carry it out. You will find the Rook’s Hawk at home in government, schools, military or any other organization which maintains strict hierarchy. They are the traditionalist and are perfect for balancing out the idealists of other types.

The Rook’s Hawk thrives on organization. They keep their lives and environments well-regulated. They bring painstaking attention to detail in their work and will not rest until satisfied with a job well done. They are obviously hard workers. They will sort through ideas and find the most practical ones, again revealing how common sense prevails in this type. This ‘Pawn’ is the cornerstone of an ethical working society. They are centered on dealing with the present and most practical affair. They observe life and promote consistency in society. They value loyalty and others are best to acquaint themselves with this type if they wish to gain a fruitful insight to what makes the world tick.

Take Which Chess Piece are You Test? at HelloQuizzy


05 August 2008

TMI Tuesday - Romance Edition


Before I get to TMI Tuesday, I want to post a short "plea" of sorts. It's been brought to my attention (bloggers really can be good friends) that a relatively anonymous commenter - someone who has posted a comment only once to only one of my posts - has been "harvesting" the email addresses from profiles of some of the people who comment on my site. This individual is sending, via email, bits of my personal financial information as well as making accusations regarding the treatment of my son - a commentary of half truths and opinions. There is no doubt where this person came from as there is only one place I've shared this information - the single moms email list I turned to for support 10 years ago and unsubbed from about 6 months ago.

I know that any time I put myself out here for all the world to see, there is a chance that I'll run into people like this, but I'm not willing to be "bullied" into shutting down this blog or making it private.

If you receive an email from Fivestrike@[insert service provider here].com, please delete it. Let's not allow this "drama generator" the satisfaction of creating any additional drama.


TMI Tuesday

1. What is your definition of romantic?

Hmmm ... romantic ...

Selfless acts of giving. Romantic can involve material things, but is more often time or attention related. In my world, romantic doesn't have to cost a penny. Washing the dishes without being asked, handing over the remote control, or calling me at work to let me know that you'll pick up dinner tonight so that I don't have to cook - those are all romantic.

2. Would you consider yourself to be romantic?

I pretend that I'm not a romantic. Why? Because it's easier to not be disappointed if you hide have no expectations.

3. Is your significant other romantic?

This answer may surprise all of you, but he does have his moments. Of course, they are few and far between (think annually), but in a way, that makes them even more of a surprise.

4. Have you ever chastised a SO for not being romantic enough or too romantic?

No. Being me, I make excuses for the SO instead (see answer above).

5. What do you consider a grand romantic gesture? Have you ever been the recipient or giver of one?

You know, this is a difficult question. I can certainly think of things I'd consider as grand romantic gestures, but they'd need to be done by someone I loved cared about. The gesture isn't enough on it's own - it needs to come from the right person.

6. If you have done something romantic to get laid, did it work? If not, why and how did that affect your romantic tendencies in the past.

I'm a woman, we aren't required to produce romantic gestures in exchange for sex - nor should men.

7. What is the most romantic thing you have ever done? Had done for you?

The most romantic thing I've ever done? I've got to use my own definition of romantic here, which means these are going to be silly things. Like the time I gave a massage, from head to toe, without being asked, or the time I snuck the kids out of the house for a family portrait because husband had mentioned, in passing, that he really wanted a pic of the kids together, or ... or ... or ...

You know, in a good relationship, I try to perform romantic gestures frequently. I want whomever I am with to know that they are special to me - that I think of them frequently - even when they might be away from me.

I've been the recipient of a handful of romantic gestures. Probably the most special was during my short relationship/marriage to A. He used to bring me a "Thursday" gift every week. Thursday gifts were often just silly little things presented in a grand way. It might be hand picked wild flowers, or a trip to the tattoo shop, but it was every Thursday - without fail - and no matter what our financial position - that was romantic.


04 August 2008

Signs of the Times


Ha! I finally read the directions figured out how to get pics from my cell phone to my computer, and am I ever glad I did! You see, I walked into the "rest"room (does anyone really rest there?) this morning at work and found this sign on the stall door:

First of all, could we get just a little more passive/aggressive? It bugs the hell out of me that people post idiotic things like this in the work place.

Second, does this person have any idea how many people walk out of said "rest"room without washing their hands after "resting"? I'd be far more tolerant of a sign that read:


And last but not least, can we please use some other term than "remains"? What? My "remains"? I didn't flush uncle Joe down the toilet! And if I did I would certainly make sure he was ALL the way down before leaving the stall! Maybe something a little more appropriate like:


Who needs fiction in a blog? Real life is so much more entertaining!


03 August 2008

Road Trip - Part Deux

Does this look like a fun road trip or what? Just under 1800 miles - 26 hours (estimated) - just Cam and I heading across the country! We leave Friday morning.

What's even more amazing about this trip is that, with one notable exception, I've not planned anything. My normal mode of operation would be to equally divide (within about 30 minutes) the driving time amongst 3 days, printed maps for each leg of the trip and hotel reservations in place for each stop. But I've decided to live dangerously.

Cam and I will head out sometime early Friday morning (5-ish) and we'll head west. I'll drive and drive and drive, until I'm too tired to go any farther and then we'll stop for the night. We'll get up the next morning, have a decent breakfast, and start driving again. I plan on being in Spokane, WA (our ultimate destination) early Monday afternoon. EDIT: Oops! I forgot to mention that 95% of my family lives in Eastern Washington. The purpose of this trip is to visit with them - it has been 5 years since they've seen either Cam or me.

The return trip? Same process - possibly a different route - I don't even have a map!

The planner doesn't have a plan! I think I better go hit Google Maps before I have a panic attack ...

02 August 2008

Sunday Secret

I often feel far more alone in a crowd of people than I do when I am actually alone. I'm just as afraid that people won't notice me as I am that they will.

It really is a Small World

I've been on a bit of a news bender lately - seems there's been a lot of intriguing stories to read - stories that wet my nerdy inquisitive need to learn more - stories that have touched my life in some way. The recent suicide of the scientist, Bruce Ivins, expected
to be charged in the 2001 anthrax mail scare, is one of the latter.

As many of you know, I served in the U.S. Army for 5 years as a Preventive
Medicine Specialist, and the last three years of my enlistment were spent at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Fort Detrick is home to U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a bioweapons laboratory that was once the center of America's biological warfare efforts. In addition to researching, and working on containment of, deadly diseases such as Lassa fever, SARS and human monkeypox, it was also an anthrax production facility during the years after WWII. Since shifting it's efforts to research in the late 60's, USAMRIID became the only laboratory within the Defense Department to study highly hazardous viruses requiring maximum containment.

As a preventive medicine specialist at Fort Detrick, my primary function was to insure the safety of both military and civilian workers. This included annual inspections of labs, their safety measures (fume hood operation, containment procedures, etc.) and protocols. I had the opportunity to work with Bruce Ivins during the inspection of his labs in the mid 90's.

Scientists are a quirky bunch. If you've never worked with them they are similar to engineers, or intellectual property attorneys (I just realize I've worked with a lot of quirky people ... hmmmm ...). Anyway, Bruce Ivins was no different. He's the kind of guy who wore khaki, polyester pants with white socks and tennis shoes, a button up shirt with a pair of safety goggles stuffed in his lab coat pocket. There was nothing distinguishing about him - nothing to indicate he was anything other than a phenomenal researcher - and in all fairness, that may be all that he was, but it definitely is a small world.