Thursday, February 28, 2008

State Quarters

Is anyone else collecting the USA State Quarters?

For those of you not in the USA: In 1999 the US mint started replacing our normal quarters with a different quarter for each state. We have 50 states, and each year 5 new quarters are released.
I'm not a coin collector, but since about ten to fifteen dollars worth of quarters pass through my hands every time I use the public laundromat, this seemed like a good hobby to try. It was unlikely I'd have any trouble finding the quarters I'd need. I'm also terrible at geography and I secretly hoped that by collecting state coins I might get better at this subject by osmosis. (For what it's worth, that hasn't happened!)

I've kept track of which quarters I have and which ones I still need, but I didn't have them in any kind of album until the other day when two albums I'd ordered arrived from I spent a couple of days sorting through my quarters and pressing them into the appropriate slots in my nice neat new little books, and I learned a few things from this experience:
  • Pressing coins into cardboard slots makes your thumbs hurt.
  • Pressing coins into cardboard slots makes your neck hurt.
  • I have a lot more Philadelphia minted coins than Denver minted coins (the coins in circulation are minted in those two cities. The collector's coins -never touched by human hands- are minted in San Francisco.)
  • Sometimes it's really hard to see if your coin has a P (for Philadelphia) or D (for Denver).
  • Albums are a lot heavier when they have quarters in them.
  • Filling in the last quarter of a row of previously empty round slots, results in a curious urge to yell "Bingo!"
It's kind of fun putting these into a book -despite the sore neck and thumbs. Kids have been getting into collecting these quarters, but I don't know any other adults doing it (Except professional collectors). Of course that might be because I haven't asked anyone. So I'm asking... Is anyone here collecting the state quarters "just because?"


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anyone In The Middle Of The Bar Exam Is Not Allowed To Read Here Right Now

I'm serious! If you are taking the bar exam, you are not allowed to read here right now. You know who you are! Come back Thursday night :) I want you focusing. You may call if you need me, or want to blow off nervousness, but you are not to read here until after your last test. If I find out that you read here before Thursday afternoon, I will go to your house and take back that book that I bought you! And you KNOW which one I mean! I'm serious. I'll do it! Come back Thursday. Not before. Ok? Promise? Promise on your final exam scores? ;) Good! Bye to all "bar exam takers!" Really. I'm dead serious. Go away now! Shooo! Bye! :)

Ok... is the coast clear? Everyone still reading is NOT in the middle of their bar exam right? Ok...

Let's put in some spoiler space just in case.

Ok then....

I just blacked out.

I'm ok. -Really I'm ok. I wouldn't be able to sit up to type if I wasn't ok. But I haven't blacked out fully since I was about 19 and had a high fever. And it was very different then. There have been times when I had a high fever and felt like I was going to black out and I lay down before it happened, which I kind of did this time too, (I didn't fall, I "sunk") but I really just blacked out.

As you may notice, my last post was from around 3am this morning. About 3-4 days a month (in sets of 2 and 2) I sometimes get insomnia. It's a hormone thing. No biggie. I'm used to it. I used to try to catch up on the 4 hours or so of sleep that I'd lost, but I've found that I often don't need that extra sleep on those days. My body is just "up." Not hyper, just "awake."

So, last night was one of those insomnia nights. Annoying, but again, I'm used to it and know it won't last for more than 2 days or so (and it's the right time of month for it too.). But instead of not sleeping well or not sleeping as much, I didn't sleep at all. That's the first time that's happened. I got up for a bit at one point, then lay down again. Still didn't fall asleep. Had some tea. Had warm milk.... nuttin.' I've never been awake the entire night from insomnia without sleeping even a few scattered hours here and there.

At around 8am I fell asleep. At about 9am there was a knock on my front door. I think I was half asleep at the time. I wasn't woken out of a deep sleep.

I got up and went to the door, and there was my neighbor cheerfully asking if I wanted to go to Costco. I felt groggy and headachey from no sleep and told her I wasn't sure if I could because I hadn't slept and should probably go back to bed. Then her phone rang (her ride to Costco) and she started talking to them. I tried to interrupt and say "I really need to go lie down again. If I'm up in an hour or two I'll let you know, if not, I think I need to sleep." but I couldn't get that in. She kept talking and I thought I should just wait and not be rude. I felt tired and headachey and I propped myself up against the door frame and waited. A few more times I tried to interrupt and say "I'm going to go lie down" but it didn't work. So again, I waited... Then things very quickly went black!

I remember sitting myself down, and as I did I knocked into the door and it slammed shut. I heard that. The next thing I heard was my neighbor knocking on the door and calling my name. I opened it, I was sitting on the ground and I could see again. She was crying and the phone was gone. Of course I then went into "take care of her mode!"

-This is why NOBODY is allowed to be around me if I'm not feeling well. I am great in a crisis. Even my own! Other people I know fall apart, and I then need to take care of them. That's fine when it's their crisis. It's really problematic if the crisis is MINE! ;) I would rather be alone than have to worry about, take care of, and possibly argue with someone who's freaking out when I'm the one who needs help! (Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?)

So anyway, I opened the door (I was sitting right next to it and hadn't closed it intentionally. I'd just knocked into it when I sunk to the floor!) I was still sitting on the floor and I could see her fine at this point. I told her "I'm sorry I scared you. I was trying to tell you I really need to go to bed. I just needed to sit down. I didn't sleep at all last night. I don't think I can go." She was still crying, but I was having a "normal conversation" with her (albeit sitting on the floor!) so she relaxed and said she'd call me later. I closed the door and stood up to get myself back into bed -which was about 6 steps away. The door to my room is adjacent to the front door of the apartment.

I stood up without any difficulty, took those few steps, felt a wave of nausea and thought "oh no... d*mn it!" I flopped down on the bed and the nausea came and went. But I figured "I'm lying down now. This is good. It's what I need." Then the hands and feet started to get clammy. In and out. I figured "Ok well that's residual. That'll stop." The nausea came and went a bit more then started settling down, but the hands and feet thing kept going in and out. Then my intestines started to "act funny." Like they were quitting on me. I thought "Seriously? Am I about to lose control of them?" then I heard a hissing sound. Like the steam had suddenly come on my radiator. But that didn't make sense. And it was getting louder. And I thought, "Is this sound coming from inside or outside my head?" because I couldn't tell. So I put my fingers in my ears to check and it was definitely coming from inside my head. It wasn't a "ringing" sound, and it wasn't a heartbeat sound. I swear it sounded like steam. Like a hissing sound, and it was getting louder (really loud!) and the intestines were kind of "going" on me and I thought "I'm lying down... what the heck else can I do?" -And I wasn't scared, because I wasn't in any pain, and I wasn't having any trouble breathing or anything like that. I was just basically, dispassionately observing my body going into SHOCK!

The only other thing I could do was raise my legs, so I put my pillow under them and folded a body pillow in half and put that under them too. Then I lay there and thought -again, really calmly and a bit incredulously- "That's all I can do! This should be getting better..." It took about 5 minutes, I think, until it started to settle down. The intestines stopped shutting down, the hissing eventually got quieter (but not for a while), the nausea went away, and though my hands and feet were still cool, they weren't clammy and weren't going "in and out" as much.

While I was lying there and not getting better, I thought "how far is this going to go from here, since I'm continuing to go into shock?.... am I going to die?" -Again, I wasn't afraid. Just kind of curious. I wasn't sad about it. I was fine with the idea. I checked my pulse and it wasn't noticeably problematic. Wasn't obviously racing or irregular. I thought about how nothing was in order for me to die (I've been trying to do all that for about a year or two now. Paperwork and stuff. -It's that "Adrian Monk" part of me ;) ) and I thought about whether or not that bothered me. I was surprised when I realized that it didn't. That if things didn't go to exactly this person or that person, or if it all ended up at a thrift store, in that moment, if I'd died right then, it was ok with me. -Talk about letting go of attachments! Now that I'm feeling better I'm back to thinking "I'd really want so and so to get this, and so and so to get that..." -but in that moment, I was really ok with whatever happened. I was at peace. It's nice. I've said that I don't think I'm afraid to die. That what I have always been afraid of was suffering. But I wasn't suffering.

Anyway, it took about 30 minutes for my body to calm down. After about 20, once I could sit up long enough to grab the phone, get a number, dial and lie back down, I called my neighbor and apologized again. I admitted to her that I actually had blacked out when she saw me on the floor (what I'm not sure about is how long. I think it was just seconds but her phone was gone when I opened the door to her so it might have been longer. I'll ask her later). I told her I hadn't just sat down because I was tired. I also told her I was ok now.

When I got off the phone with her I checked my blood pressure. I have a small battery operated BP cuff (and a "real" one but there was no way I was going to be able to use that in that moment) and I'd thought of checking my BP while I was going into shock but hadn't really seen the point. I knew it'd be screwy. But now that I was feeling better I was curious. The funny thing was that while I was taking my blood pressure I started hearing a hissing sound again, and I thought "OMFG... again???! Why? Is it being caused by the BP cuff???" -Then I realized, the hissing (this time) was the BP cuff -It hisses as it deflates (Doh! ;) )

My numbers were waaay close together. Something like 73/67. Not unusual for someone IN shock but not so great once you're supposedly doing better! I checked it 3 more times over the next 2 hours. Most of my symptoms were gone except I felt a little light headed, but not too bad, and my hands were still cold, but not clammy. The other symptoms were gone. The BP pretty much remained the same and only fluctuated by a few points and didn't normalize over the next few hours. (For you non-medical people, the 2nd number isn't so bad, but the first shouldn't drop below 90, and both numbers should never be within 10 digits of each other.) That shouldn't be happening 2 hours later. Especially since I'd been lying down and had tried to fall back to sleep -and found that I WASN'T TIRED!!! -Can you imagine?

I ate, and drank 2 cups of water to try to raise the blood/fluid volume in my body, to see if that would help. (Kind of the equivalent of putting in an IV except not as direct, and it would have been ineffective before the darned organs came back to full functionality.)

And that's where I am now.

WEIRD. I have no idea why it happened. I know I didn't sleep last night, and I know that I was tired, but.... so? Generally I sleep ok, but on nights where I haven't that's never happened. Ever. So why this time? I've been eating fine. I even had milk at around 3am to see if that'd help me sleep. As far as I know I wasn't dehydrated. I tend to get my 8-12 cups of water a day. I'm very good about that. I'm not sick... I'm not on any medications for anything in any way.

I'd like to go to sleep now (since that's the most likely cause of this) but I'm not tired. Plus I just ate, and with intestines that were trying to shut down a couple of hours ago I am SO staying upright for a bit to make sure everything stays IN and DOWN where it's supposed to! -So far it's fine.

I have a slight headache, but very slight. My hands are still a little cold which is unusual for me. I've had 2 cups of water but I have to wait for a bit before I have more.

I really don't feel that bad. I feel like I didn't get a full night's sleep, but if I hadn't passed out and started going into shock a few hours ago, I'd be going about my regular day. But now? Especially with my blood pressure not normalizing, I don't think I'll be going out and running any errands today! I'm going to try to go back to sleep whether my body thinks it's tired or not, drink and eat every hour or so (whether I feel like it or not), watch the blood pressure, and I'm TOTALLY NOT going to Costco! ;)

So... How's YOUR morning been so far? ;)

Update: 3 hours later (6 since it happened) my BP is good. Now it's actually a bit high! ;) But I just ate so that could be why. So basically, no more weird symptoms. Everything is pretty much where and how it should be. Oh, and I asked my neighbor how long I was unconscious for and she said about 10 seconds. So a little longer than I'd thought (I thought 2 or 3 seconds) but not super long. -Back to resting.
Update #2: It's almost 11pm now. This happened at around 9am this morning. I'm fine. My hands aren't cold anymore, I've been eating and drinking throughout the day and everything is "working" the way it should ;) No more weird symptoms, and I put the BP cuff away by around 6pm. I'm a little tired but not "worrisome" tired. Not exhausted. I slept for about 2 more hours this afternoon (not for lack of trying!) and I'm hoping I'll sleep more tonight. I still don't know what the heck caused that. That's never happened before. Whatever it was, it'd be really nice if that was the end of it! It seems to be. I'm going to try to sleep again. Good night.


Am I The Only Person Who Doesn't Hate This Winter?

Am I the ONLY person in the blogosphere who's not depressed by this winter? It seems like most blogs I read have posts about how people are hating the snow or hating the cold, can't wait until it's over, and are looking forward to spring and summer and sun etcetera, etcetera, and so forth. I mean REALLY hating the winter and suffering through it right now! Is it a Seasonal Affective Disorder thing? Because the days are getting longer now, so if that were it, wouldn't people be feeling better instead of worse?

Me? I'm not really phased by this winter (or any other that I remember.) I mean sure it's really cold sometimes, but guess what? In the summertime, sometimes it's too darned hot!

I thought maybe just people in certain states were having trouble with this, but I've seen it mentioned in some NY blogs too.

So...? Am I the only person on the planet who isn't phased by this winter?


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poll Results: Favorite Girl Scout Cookies

The results of the week-long poll are in. Here are everyone's favorites! (Remember, people could select more than one, which is why the percentages add up to more than 100%!)
(63%) Samoas/Caramel deLites
(63%) Thin Mints

(36%) Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties
(18%) Do-Si-Dos/Peanut Butter Sandwich
(18%) Lemon Chalet Creams/Lemonades
( 9%) Trefoils/Shortbread
( 0%) All Abouts/Thanks-A-Lot
( 0%) One of those other weird ones that pops up from time to time

FYI: My favorite Girl Scout Cookies Are:

I always get at least 4 boxes of Samoas, at least 3 boxes each of the Thin Mints and Tagalongs, and (even though I know there may be better shortbread cookies out there) I always get at least one box of Trefoils just because they're there!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Alien/Disabled Plot Discovered

disabled symbol with alien eyeThat's right. While everyone is busy trying to detect International espionage through the antiquated technology of numbers stations, aliens are using the blogosphere to plot with the disabled and take over the world. It's brilliant really. Who would ever suspect disabled people? Nobody takes disabled people seriously. They're invisible! Ignored! And blogs? Please. Like anyone pays attention to those!

What's that? You think I've finally lost my mind? Have I now....

Leave me a comment, but before you fill in the required "verification" letters, click the little handicapped symbol to the right of that field, and make sure you have your sound turned on.

(Was there something else you wanted to say? ;) )


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shocking Discovery

IF you are holding a cordless phone and
IF you have a corded earpiece that goes from the phone to your ear and
IF you remove your bathrobe while the phone is in your hand and the earpiece is in your ear and
IF your bathrobe creates static as you remove it


ALL the static electricity will go through your hand, into the phone, out your earpiece and will SHOCK the CRAP out of your ear!

I don't suggest you try this at home but if you do, don't say I didn't warn you!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Yeah, I know. I've got to get better at telling you guys stuff further in advance.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any protective eyewear. Because some sunlight is still refracted, even during a total lunar eclipse, the moon will not go 100% dark. Instead it is more likely to take on a reddish tone. The next total lunar eclipse should take place in approximately two years. More info on tonight's eclipse is here.

You can also see NASA's website for the exact times of tonight's eclipse for your location. FYI: My favorite part of that page is (emphasis mine):

...This web page allows you to calculate the viewing circumstances of all lunar eclipses visible from your city over a five-thosuand year period.
Because who doesn't need THAT information?

(By the way, did you notice the typo? That's not mine. That's theirs. That's right. The rocket scientists have a typo ;) )


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Because The Tree Wasn't Strange Enough...

What do you make of this?

Face on a building

Or maybe this guy...?

Creepy Burger King

(Not from the US or UK? Don't know who this guy is?
Oh, let me enlighten you. Please. Grab a bat, then see here and here ;) )


Monday, February 18, 2008

Why Do We Have To Get Girl Scout Cookies?

In the comments to my last post, Sid asked:

"From South Africa. Don't quite get it ... Why do you have to get Girl Scout cookies? Does the money go to charity?"

I'm going to answer this here instead of in the comments because I know there are a lot of Non-USA-ers who read this blog.

I'd like to give some kind of altruistic answer to this and say that I buy them because the money goes to the local Girl Scout troop, and that Girl Scouts is a time honored organization that has been doing great things for young girls all over America and some parts of the world for many many years.... But the real reason that I (and many people) get these, is because they are the best cookies in the world, they are highly addictive, and you can only buy them once a year and only if you know a little girl who's selling them! (-Until I discovered otherwise. Hence my last post!)

They start us on the Girl Scout cookie addiction when we're very young. In Elementary school I always had friends selling them. By Junior High I started buying more boxes so they'd last longer (3 or 4 boxes? I don't think so. Those would be gone in less than 2 weeks! I started buying between 12 and 20 boxes at a time, as money would permit.) I also started hiding them in the back of my closet so the rest of my family wouldn't eat them!

When I moved back to New York City it got harder to find Girl Scouts. In suburbia, once a year, the girls go door to door selling their cookies or they set up a table outside a large store (like a grocery store). In NYC they don't do this. You have to find them! They do sell them in some office buildings once a year, but only some. And if you did not find a Girl Scout in time? You did NOT get your cookie fix that year! (Oh the horror!) -Any time I saw someone with a box of Girl Scout cookies in their home I'd yell "Where did you get that??!! Give me that little girl's name and number!!!!" Lol!

If it were possible to get these cookies all year round, I wonder if the addictiveness would be as high, or if people would just get used to them and the demand would die down? I don't think that would happen, but you never know.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies

In the comments for one of my earlier posts, Grandy called me a "Girl Scout" and made a comment about cookies. This got me lamenting on the difficulties I've had acquiring said "Girl Scout cookies" over the past 10 years as each progressive set of Girl Scout aged children I knew grew up, left the Girl Scouts, and left me with NO SUPPLIER FOR MY GIRL SCOUT COOKIE FIX!!!

BUT.... Guess what?! I found out where I can get Girl Scout cookies near me without having to know any Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts are not supposed to sell cookies over the Internet (although some do), but you can still use the internet to find your local chapter and order cookies directly through them! Need your fix? Go here: enter your zip code, and click "find cookies." The page will then prompt you for your email address. Once you submit that, a coordinator for your area will contact you! (FYI, the "cookie finder" page didn't work in my Mac Safari browser, but it worked ok in others. Give it time to load.)

HOWEVER, I didn't need to use the cookie locater because, in my searches, I came across the website for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York and I found out that:

  1. If you live in the five boroughs of NYC you can submit an order form and have your cookies mailed to you. (They cannot mail them outside of NYC because they can only sell in their local area.)
  2. I took a shot at calling their offices and found out that I can go DIRECTLY to the offices and BUY them right there! Live! In person! No shipping!


  3. I can get them from that office through May/June!!!
Through MAY or JUNE! That means I don't have to buy gazillions of boxes all at once (because kids only sell theses once a year)! I can PACE MYSELF!


You have no idea how excited this has made me! You want to know who knows how excited I am? The woman who answered the phone at NYC's Girl Scout headquarters! She knows!
Some Girl Scout Cookie Trivia
  • The two companies that currently manufacture Girl Scout cookies are Little Brownie Bakers and ABC Bakers.
  • You can't buy Girl Scout cookies directly from the bakers. They are only sold through the Girl Scouts.
  • Ever notice how sometimes the cookies stay the same but their names change? That has to do with which baker supplies your local Girl Scout troop with their cookies.
  • Some Girl Scout chapters have a program where people can buy cookies to be sent to USA service personnel overseas. (NYC's chapter does this, for anyone who's interested.)
What Are Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookies?

I was going to tell you mine, but you go first! Choose your favorites from the poll in my sidebar. You can select more than one. (-Need a refresher on the different types of cookies? See
here and here.)

I'm SO happy!!! :) :) :) :) :)


Thursday, February 14, 2008



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And Then It Threw Apples

Tree stump that looks like a face
Anyone else think this tree is laughing at me?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pinto Akitas

Pinto Akitas
19 month old girls

I'd never seen a Pinto Akita before. From a distance they looked like they were wearing snowsuits.

Pinto Akitas

Pinto Akitas

Pinto Akitas


Monday, February 11, 2008

You Make My Day

You Make My Day awardLast week, in the middle of an incredibly hectic day, I saw that Kendra had given me the "you make my day" award. Timing is everything ;) and that random act of kindness, at just that moment, truly made my day.

The next day I had a few minutes to reply to some comments that I'd fallen behind on due to the craziness of the week, and some of you had said some really nice things. Again, the timing was perfect, and you all made my day.

So I'm passing this award on to all of you who regularly comment on this blog. You really do make my day. Sometimes more than you know. Thank you for taking time out of your lives to share a little of yourselves.

Since everyone should polish their awards once in a while, I cleaned this one up a bit. I tried to find its first incarnation so I could get the original graphics, but I didn't have a lot of success. I think I got back as far as 2006 and lost the trail. I didn't want to change it too much from the original, just "fix it" a bit. You're welcome to take the original version or the newer one.

OLD You Make My Day award NEW You Make My Day award
Original New

* To those of you who read here regularly but don't comment, I know you're here :) and I love that you come back time and time again. Please accept an award for yourselves as well.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Benefit Was A Huge Success

Last night's benefit concert for the friend of mine who passed away in December, was a huge success. We had a great crowd that was a mixture of friends, family, regulars from that venue, and diehard fans of the performer -who, by the way, ROCKED the house!

Some highlights for me (besides the performance itself):

  • I was sitting with his wife, and she cried at one point during a song that he dedicated to our friend. She told me she started remembering all the times she'd seen her and all the years they'd known her. I know the tears were for my friend, but anyone who can still be moved to tears by their husband's performance after over 20 years of marriage... What can I say... I'm in love with this couple!

  • Friends, friends, friends... always the highlight for me. People.

  • Watching fans squeal every time he played the first chord of a song, because they instantly knew which song those chords belonged to. -Also watching them play air guitar or keyboard when they thought no one was looking. Or when they knew people were looking but didn't care :)

  • I was hit on repeatedly that night! Lol! So much so that a friend of mine started telling people he was my husband! I think the reason I was getting hit on was because I sold the tickets for the autographed guitar raffle, and somewhere in these guys' minds I think they associated me with the wad of cash I was carrying around. So subconsciously, they either associated me with being super rich, or being a hooker. Or maybe a super rich hooker. (FWIW, I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt with a small rounded neck, and a long jacket. It's not like I was wearing a mini skirt with a low cut blouse and thinking [insert Valley Girl voice here] "What? I don't get it?" ;) )

  • A fan came over to me after the raffle and showed me that of the two tickets he'd purchased, he'd been given both copies of the same ticket.

    Each ticket has a duplicate. One goes in the pot and the purchaser keeps the duplicate ticket with the matching number. If his number gets picked from the pot, he shows that he's holding its matching ticket in order to claim the prize. Except that this guy had been given BOTH copies of the same ticket, and both copies of his second ticket had gone into the pot, but he had no copy of those himself to be able to claim the prize if he'd won. Though we would have figured it out. (His 2nd ticket would have been the next sequential number either immediately before or after the ticket he had. If one of those two numbers had been picked and no one had claimed it, we would have known it was his, and could have verified it by finding its pair in the pot.)

    He thought the mistake was funny and was a great sport about it. I apologized profusely. However, on my way home I remembered that he was one of the first people to buy a raffle ticket, and at that time I was only handling the money for the raffle. Someone else was distributing the tickets for the first 20 minutes! So I don't feel bad now! (It's VERY unlike me to make a mistake like that!) Regardless, about 5 minutes after he pointed out the error (while I was still feeling incredibly guilty, despite the fact that he thought it was funny, and the winning ticket wasn't anywhere near his number!) I tracked him down in the crowd and asked him to give me his tickets. I had them autographed for him and returned them to him ten minutes later. He should get good mileage out of his story and signed tickets for years.
I spent most of today tying up post concert stuff (going online to thank his fans for their generous support last night, updating the website, sending out a mailing...) I still have another couple of days' work to do for this and then things should be calmer on this front until the next event. -And there will be more. My friend and her husband were well known in the Rock industry, and so many bands have approached her husband, wanting to donate their time and talent to raise money for her fund, that an outdoor concert with multiple headliners is being planned for August.

My friend would have been so moved by this outpouring of support and by everyone coming together just for her. She would have been overwhelmed (and uncomfortable) with all the attention, but she also would have been deeply touched. I wish she were here to see it all. Her husband believes she is still around and that her spirit sees everything that's been going on. He's convinced of it. I hope he's right.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Crisis Averted (For Now)

For anyone behind in their reading, please make sure you read this post first. Then come back here for what I hope is the conclusion!

I think I found where they were entering the apartment. It looks like the floor around a pipe may have shifted over the years creating a gap that I hadn't noticed before. I plastered it closed yesterday morning and I'm hoping that will be the end of my uninvited visitors.

I considered etching a prayer against water bugs into the plaster, or possibly imbedding an image of an appropriate patron saint. My friend said I should have written a prayer on a piece of paper and plastered over that. I'm still considering her option (I can add another layer) but with my luck I'd discover that slips of paper attract water bugs. Or as my friend put it, I'd probably find out later that "Paper is like cake to roaches!" I still kind of like my patron saint idea, though I can just imagine future people in my bathroom looking down and saying "Is that.... Jesus?"

And MP... (Yes I'm calling you out here instead of in the comments! Lol!) I'm not sure you fully appreciate the far reaching monumental implications of an impending giant mutant alien roach invasion in a NYC apartment! ;) Two roaches don't scare me. I can "move on" from two roaches! Please... I eat roaches for breakfast! Ok no, I don't really do that, that would be gross... well... maybe not in some countries.... but... wait... what are we talking about? Oh... right! The POINT is, I don't have a problem with two roaches. Not even two "three-inch" roaches. I moved on from THREE giant mutant roaches with no problem. But when all evidence pointed to the most recent roaches being a scouting party that was gathering intelligence for what was to be a full scale home invasion...? THAT'S what freaked me out! That there were more, LOADS more on the way. Not one or two but dozens!!! -Not to mention the invitations that I'm sure had already been sent out to over 80 MILLION of their nearest and dearest friends! (Any New Yorkers who happen to read here today, please explain to people how an impending invasion by giant mutant nuclear-resistant cockroaches is practically grounds for a call to 911 in NYC! ;) )

Last night I slept much better (Though I still turned on every light whenever I walked around my apartment!) I really hope that was the source of their entry. I also really hope that nobody laid eggs while they were scoping out my apartment. I hate it when visitors spawn in my home. I don't spawn in theirs.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Water Bugs

Ok, I'm freaking out here folks! I have just seen my 2nd water bug in my apartment in two days! I've seen two others (one dead) in the past two weeks. Prior to that I'd only seen two during the entire thirteen years or so that I've lived here. So to see four this close together? There will be more! If you don't know what I'm talking about, think "cockroach the size of your thumb!" I won't post a picture because I don't want to give anyone nightmares! No, that's not entirely true. I don't want to give me nightmares. I've had enough images of them burnt into my retina over the past few days! These guys FREAK ME OUT!

No other roaches have appeared. The apartment is not dirty. Food is not left out, nor is water. Like I said, regular sized cockroaches have not suddenly shown up. Just the giant MUTANT ones from MARS!

I AM SO FREAKED OUT right now. (Have I used the phrase "freaked out" enough yet? Because I don't think it's possible for me to use it too much here!) I often walk around my apartment at night with no lights on if I just need to get from one room to another (bathroom, kitchen for a glass of water...) I'm afraid of my floors now. I'm afraid to lie down and go to bed! Though they weren't in my room, but they can walk! And fly! ACK!

And worse? I do NOT have time to take my home apart to figure out where they're coming from. I mean two in thirteen years? No biggie. But four in two weeks, and now two in two days!!!

I do not know WTF to do. Obviously I have to make time to find out what's happening but I don't know how or when, and I'm totally jumpy and wired right now. I'm afraid to put my earplugs in to go to sleep! I really am. You may think I'm kidding but I'm serious. I am jumpy and afraid to put my ear plugs in right now. Why? I don't know. Because then I can't hear them in those loud clunky shoes they wear right before they sneak up and into my bed?! (which has NEVER happened, and won't happen... OMG that can't happen!)

Ok, I'm going to try to breathe now... I realize that I'm freaking out (there's that phrase again!) over a small creature that is one gazillionth of my size, but do not underestimate the power of the giant mutant cockroach. Lest we forget, it can survive a nuclear war!

Having said all this, you'd never know I was afraid of them if you saw me in the same room with one. I am one of the calmest people on the planet during a crisis situation. I really am. I keep people calm, I keep people safe, and I get things done. If you're having a heart attack or an ax murderer just showed up at your door, I'm the person you want there with you. Really. Because I could probably get the ax murderer to give you CPR. -But once the crisis is over, if the ax murder's six legged relatives can still get into my apartment and scurry around on my floor, I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep that night!

So what do I do when I see the giant alien mutant cockroaches? I don't kill them, I don't smash them. I get my bug wand and try to safely capture them and carefully put them out the window. And by "carefully," I mean that I do everything humanly possible, while putting them out the window, to make sure that innocent pedestrians walking below do not suddenly have one of these things land on their head. I also try to explain to the cockroaches that they cannot come here, that this is unacceptable, and that they have to leave. -Again, you think I'm kidding? Sadly I'm not. The following conversation really took place about 8 years ago with a normal sized cockroach in my kitchen.

Man, you'd better get out of here, because if my roommate sees you, you are going to be one dead cockroach.

Seriously. You need to leave. And take your friends with you. Or at least just stay hidden and out of our way. No. Don't come closer to me. You need to go back! No don't... -You really can't be here.

(Yelling from the other room)

Quick! RUN RUN!!!

* Edit: Update is here.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rock Star/Album Cover Meme

With the benefit for my friend coming up this Saturday, I've had "Rock" on my mind. Making travel plans and helping to promote the concert has been taking up a good percentage of my time, so when I saw this meme on both MP's blog: My Second Journal and Karyn's blog: Vexed in the City, it looked like fun.

Here's how it works. Click on each link below:

    The title of the article on that page is the name of your band.
    The last four words of the very last quote on this page is the title of your album. (You might have to click the "new random quotes" button at the bottom, or the link in the sidebar.)
    The third picture on this page is your album cover. Please remember to give credit to the photographers for their photos.*
*Unfortunately, I originally got carried away while doing this and forgot to note the names of the photographers so I had to re-do all my albums. (Yes albums plural. I've had a very diverse and successful career! ;) )


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Meme #7: Breast Cakes

Two weeks ago, I was tagged with my first meme: "Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself." This is a further explanation of #7 on my list.

I once made a cake in the shape of two large breasts. (Also my friend's suggestion.)

I had a boss once who was very excited about her new boob job. She LOVED her new breasts. She was so proud of them that she wanted to show them off to everybody and routinely flashed people in the office. Every employee, every client, anybody who walked in the door. "Wanna see my new boobs!" -and up went the shirt!

For her birthday, I decided to make her a cake in the shape of two large breasts. I hoped this would not get me fired. I thought she would probably love the cake but this was my boss, and there was a slight chance that she might be offended by it. Still, I really thought this was unlikely from the woman who was flashing everybody.

I used metal mixing bowls for the cake molds and experimented with food coloring to get just the right flesh tone for the icing. Then came the nipples. These were the biggest challenge. If the nipples didn't look right, nobody would know what the cake was, and I was very clear in my mind that if I did this, I wanted it to be done right. I didn't want anyone thinking "Is that..? Nah.... couldn't be..." or "What are those? Hubcaps?"

In short, I totally obsessed over the nipples. Mixing the right shade of mauve/maroon/pink, getting the right shape... Unfortunately, the more I played with the nipples the softer they got so I had to keep putting my nipples in the freezer to harden. (No, there is no way to make that sound better! It didn't even sound right back then!) At one point I was so focused on getting the nipples right that I almost put them on a plate and walked next door to a neighbor to ask "Excuse me, do these look like nipples to you?" (Picture that scene for a moment, will you? -I'm so glad I came to my senses before I got out the door!)

The end result? Perfect. My boss squealed! She loved it! She went absolutely and totally berserk over the cake. Loved it, loved me, loved everything, told everybody! In fact, I think we may have even shot a photo of it for the magazine. I wonder what ever happened to that issue...


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Hillary!


Happy Groundhog Birthday Hillary!