Thursday, December 28, 2006


It's that time of year again. Time to draw up that ultimate mother-in-law of all lists. (Why mother-in-law? Well, can you imagine anyone whose ritual appearance you dread more?) I do this not to punish you but to enlist your help in holding my feet to the coals. So without further ado, I hereby resolve to do the following in twenty aught seven:

1. Exercise
2. Floss

Now we've got the obligatory, obvious, hard-coded items out of the way we can get a little more interesting.

3. Remember those elevated triglycerides and cholesterol numbers? No, Coach, that's supposed to be a declarative statement. Remember them. Take them into consideration when planning meals and overbooking sedentary activities atop the "Excercise!!!" appointment in your Outlook calendar. Remember and reduce those bad boys.

4. Resume contact with the people who have fallen like so many crushed Cheerios into the sofa cushions of personal history.

5. Take all medications religiously, on schedule, and at proper doses. (I'm telling you right now team, this one will be the first to go.)

((But it gives me an excuse to go out and buy one of those ginormous pill sorter things on the rack next to the pharmacy pick-up counter at CVS that look like they'd kill you if one fell off the rack and hit your head, they're so big.))

(((In fact, I'm determined to see if I can find one that can handle the complication of meds and vitamins on my Supposed To regimen. I'm telling you right now, I sincerely doubt such a carbuncle of plastic compartments exists anywhere in the known universe.)))

6. Stop buying books!!! In fact, I think I shall swap books for yarn in the rules outlined for
Knit From Your Stash 2007. Since there's no such thing as sock books (except for the kind you stick down inside one should you need to swing something at a masked intruder to knock him out, as demonstrated in many cartoons and Home Alone films), in rule 2.a. I shall substitute Amy Lane's books.

((Disclaimer -- I am not actually aware of any Home Alone films in which a weighted sock was swung at a masked intruder's head but it just seems like the sort of gag they'd do.))

Come to think of it, it's not like you need to buy more books to finish reading a book you've already started so rule 2.c. shall be revised as follows:

2.c. If we are on vacation or otherwise away from home for at least 24 hours and run out of something to read, we may purchase enough books to complete our travels.

7. Keep a running, updated list of knitting WIPs and reading BIPs right on this here page which means figuring out the html necessary to make such lists possible. (Are you listening Coach? This means you!)

8. Do something that will move me one step closer to changing my career from one I can barely tolerate to something that floats my boat so well, it lifts all the other little boats in my harbor. If nobody's happy when Mama ain't happy, does it therefore follow that everybody's happy when Mama is? Let's try and find out, shall we?


There they are. For now, anyway. My resolutions. I'll let you know when I've broken all of them. hee hee hee!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Only 364 Shopping Days Left...

It's the day after. 2 Year Old is off at preschool even though Coach and the Englishman have the day off work. Hey, it's paid for already. Know what I mean? Englishman is watching two separate soccer games -- one on the laptop, the other on Fox Soccer Channel -- and pretending to be useful by supergluing broken toys. "Does this need gluing? How about this?" The pine needles and cookie crumbs have been vacuumed up, last languishing crystal goblets scrubbed of their wine rings and finger smudges, gift books stowed or stacked in appropriate shelves or piles. Yes folks, the post-Christmas funk has officially set in. I was tempted after dropping off 2 Year Old this morning to swing by Whole Foods on my way home to pick up that blue cheese I forgot to buy before Christmas and maybe some nice smelling hand lotion to lift my spirits. Can't whip up the enthusiasm to treat myself. This is, without a doubt, the roughest day of the year. Never fear. Your coach will be back in form soon. Probably tomorrow. Let's be optimistic. The day after Christmas calls for a good dose of the stuff.

That and some cod liver oil.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Eventful Blog Entries

Hello Team. Today I learned on my daily blog perusal about two upcoming events of some interest to your coach. The first is Global Orgasm Day. The second is Knit From Your Stash 2007. I'm not going to tell you which of these I find more compelling. I don't want you to get any ideas about me (as if mentioning these two events in the same paragraph doesn't already do that). What I will tell you is that the former takes place on December 22, 2006 and the latter every day between January 1 and September 30, 2007 which means the two are neither simultaneous nor mutually exclusive, though I rather imagine any discussion combining orgasming and knitting should carry a warning that the two activities are best enjoyed separately for the welfare of all involved.

I have made no firm commitments to participating in one of these two events. The other is a done deal. Come hell, high water, pestilence, or plague I WILL be... And here I shall leave your own fertile imaginations to complete this sentence.

Go forth and do ye the same. Wahoo!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Like all good Germanic folk, my family opened gifts on Christmas Eve. My parents had a particularly crafty way of getting the Santa booty under the tree that was pure magic for those of us who believed there was an old fat guy floating around the world on a sky sleigh one frigid winter night each year. They would bundle my brother, my sister and me into our winter coats and hustle us into the back of the Oldsmobile while one of them dragged the wrapped presents from goodness only knows what hiding place. To our receptive, innocent minds it was clear that Santa somehow always knew exactly when we were off to tour the Christmas light displays in our town.

One street was particularly impressive since it was a cul-de-sac (already it posessed some sort of caché for weirdly not leading anywhere). The residents had this extraordinarily neighborly practice of getting together and planning a collective lighting display. Each yard contained a painted sign and diorama which, when read and viewed sequentially, told a Christmas story (not necessarily THE Christmas story). It was simple for our parents. All they had to do was drive ALL THE WAY across our population 15,000 town to the north side, then drive slowly enough for one or the other of them to recite to us whatever was painted on the boards. There were years we had to beg for this to happen. Amazing, huh? It probably took, what, five minutes to drive from 14th Street Southeast to Weird And Wonderful Circle Northwest? The truly amazing thing to me now is that the piped Christmas music was loud enough to be heard through whatever sort of cast iron or carbon steel or hand forged titanium or whatnot from which the body a late 1960's Oldsmobile was constructed.

This was all wonderful and amazing enough to still impress me 35 years on but it barely touches the most miraculous Christmas Eve ever. My sister and I were in the bathtub. I don't remember my brother being there but he must have been because I was somewhere near the age of 5. Possibly 6. Definitely not 3 because that was the year brother was an infant and barfed all over the mink collar on Mom's wicked hip Jackie Kennedy-style winter coat during our Christmas light odyssey. Definitely not 4 either because that was the year Mom had walking pneumonia and we opened our presents Christmas morning; no light tour necessary.

Anyway, sis and I are in the bath. Mom is hunched over the side of the tub scrubbing one of us. Dad is standing in the doorway of the bathroom when we all hear a mighty CRASH! It was one hell of a mad scramble to get 3 wee ones dried and dressed in jammies before we could dash into the living room to find that Santa had made his annual visit right under our very noses. Actually, it's possible this happened when I was 7 because I seem to recall there being bicycles under the tree for me and my sister.

There is wonder-filled little girl still inside me who resolutely believes in Santa Claus. I know I'll be peering skyward in 11 days' time, just to see. Just in case.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jury Doody

During the sum total of 17 years' residence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I have been served with five summons for jury duty. That's right. Once every 3.4 years, someone in the Massachusetts Office of Jury Commissioner gets a Microsoft Outlook reminder to mail Coach Susan a summons. It comes every 3.4 years just to ensure that I can't invoke the "Nope, I've served within the last 3 years" escape clause. (Well, once I got to do that but they fixed up their reminder recurrence so they'll never make that mistake again, by golly!)

But I possess an escape clause that is rock solid, so long as a female judge is seated on the bench. I have much less faith in a male judge finding any sympathy for the situation. It's called The Crohn's Disease Plea. During the selection process when the judge asks whether anyone has any physical disabilities or limitations that might impede one's ability to serve (she's thinking things like: can't hear the exact degree of pompitude in the defense attorney's tone or can't see the accused murderer "struggle" to pull on a shrunken blood-soaked leather glove) you just wave your little white juror number card at her. Eventually, when the Court Officer nudges you awake because you're four hours into the impanelment proceedings and it's time for you, number 23, to have a private little tête-à-tête with the judge, 2 court reporters, 2 clerks of court, and 4 representing attorneys, you tell her "I need to go potty urgently and sometimes frequently." When she asks you how you've managed to endure the morning's grueling test to prove your fitness for the extreme boredom that qualifies you to serve as a juror, you inform her you haven't eaten in more than 16 hours. Have you ever heard a Personal Injury Attorney gasp? I have. It's precious. Not even Santa himself could have produced a better Christmas present.

OK, yeah, yeah, civic duty, only mandatory selective service we perform anymore, yada, yada, yada. The problem is this: to be an effective juror, you must possess the ability to remain unbiased and unopinionated and non-judgemental (three terms which have never been correctly used to describe your coach) despite the fact that you are staring in the face of the sort of parasites who sue poor, well-meaning, unsuspecting doctors for medical malpractice to benefit themselves, er... ahem, the "estate" of a deceased Old Guy who possessed the good judgement to check himself out within mere days of receiving aforementioned doctors' attentions.

Truthfully, the tiny little bit of information we were given in the overview of the case was hardly enough to determine whether an undiagnosed fractured vertebra caused the Old Guy's untimely demise but this particular granddaughter of a morphine-saturated 91 year old woman who has suffered multiple compression fractures of several vertebrae found it instantly implausible. I just felt sorry for the doctors. This does not an impartial juror make.

Plus, I had the Crohn's Disease Plea to test. Now that I know it has precedence, I shall cop it again in 3.4 years. Take that, Office of the Jury Commissioner and your dastardly Outlook Recurring Reminder!

Monday, December 04, 2006

And Another Thing

What kind of Universe is it that sees fit to put pimples and chin whiskers together on the same face?

Yeah, I know. This one.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I... uuuuhhhh... Forgot

I get ideas for this blog every morning while I'm in the bathroom smearing unguents, spraying potions, swallowing fists full of enteric-coated nutritional supplements plus the odd prescription drug because ideas, ipso facto, are most prolific when one is least able to act upon them. For instance, I have advocated many times for better pay, better working conditions, more respect and less workplace responsibility. In the shower. Nowhere near anyone who might be able to do a blessed thing to satisfy my demands. Why is it the brain drops little reminder bombs to buy Grandma a Christmas present this year while you are attempting to keep a Pontiac StateShip on all four wheels steering around renegade trash cans the Waste Management people fling into the middle of the road after emptying them?

So, I meant to write an expository essay this morning about which, for the love of Pete, I cannot even restore the hint of a gist of a feeling, let alone the subject matter itself. Sometimes, it's possible to recreate one's thoughts by placing oneself mentally back into the location and mood in which they originally occurred. The closest I can get to that today is remembering that I was actually staring at an open medicine cabinet. I must have been completely put off by the embedded chin whisker that stubbornly would... not... budge... from its little hidey-hole, no matter how doggedly I dug at it with my tweezers. Or perhaps it was the frustration that is mounting to the level of rage about my inability to put anything away on the shelves of the medicine cabinet and have it stay there. The second I set it down it leaps right back off the shelf and knocks over whatever toothpaste tube or paper cup it can detect with its Knock Crap On The Floor radar. Seriously, I take down the bottle of ZitZapXtraStrength, smear some on my face, recap the bottle, put it back on the shelf. Whammo! ZitZapKamikaze bounces off the vanity and flies into the sink. Next, the bottles of peppermint oil capsules, fish oil capsules, and Vitamin C tablets each take their turns in my hand then push off from the glass shelf and execute swan dive-bombs for 2 Year Old's Orajel toothpaste tube, with Vitamin C Bottle finally succeeding in knocking it on the floor where it spins like a bad memory from some long ago party game. Dove anti-perspirant rattles the cup full of toothbrushes. Disposable Contacts -- oh, let me just sing the praises of the box of disposable contacts! They don't even wait for their placement back on the shelf. They fling themselves from my hand into a bag of trash bags stacked perilously atop another bag of bags, littering wadded-up Market Basket-emblazoned #2 plastic sheeting over half the room. Now, that's just mean. Could they have landed in a clear spot on the floor? No. Huh-uh. They must choose the six inch space between vanity and wall, mounded with Costco-sized packages of bog roll and paper cups and the aforementioned trash-née-grocery bags.

Therefore, I come to you today with no news of which to write. Nothing new on the knitting front, except to say that I am on cap 8 which correlates to the Sand Stitch in Blue Barbara Walker. I have baked no Christmas cookies yet. The decorations are still in the attic. The cow manure is still in its plastic bag instead of cozily blanketing the heirloom rhubarb in my garden. The caramels made last weekend for Dad's Christmas present are still sitting in their pan, waiting to be cut and stowed neatly into a wrap-able and ship-worthy tin or box.

Did anyone see "The Office" last night? Bloody brilliant. Written by Gervais and Merchant themselves, their style shone through in the utter cringe-inducing quality of the episode. You can tell they've had a hand in it when you have to ask yourself, "Was that funny or so true I need to weep?" I love that show.