Friday, August 31, 2007

About going to the quiet room

Remember in Blazing Saddles, when Madeleine Kahn sings, "I'm so tired...."?
My new theme song. Busy work, busy home, busy holiday weekend, "no rest for the wicked," as my mom would say.
Now, what I'm wondering is, just how tired does one have to be before one is officially, "exhausted," and, if one indeed has passed from "tiredness" into "exhaustion," who makes the call that one needs to be checked into the hospital for that condition? Is there an exhaustometer they test you on in the ER?
And, once one is admitted for "exhaustion," how in the world is one supposed to cure that in a hospital, of all places? Because hospitals are busy, noisy places, and on the few occasions I have been a patient in one, or even a visitor in one, they are NOT restful places. Is there really such a place in a hospital as The Quiet Room, maybe?
I've known a lot of tired, exhausted people (myself, new parents, people caring for very ill loved ones, people working 15-hour days, or weird shifts, medical residents, etc.) and not one of them has qualified for hospital admittance. Ever. Ever.
How could it work, then?
I mean, would I say to myself: I am exhausted. I'm too tired to think or move. I think I'll go to the hospital so I can resume my chaotic life asap.
Or, would one's spouse or other family member say: Huh, you are exhausted. You're not taking care of us like you should. Let us take you to the hospital so you can get back to cooking dinner.
Or, would my co-workers look at me and say: Wow, you look like crap, and you haven't completed any of the stuff we told you to do. Let's call 911 and get you in the hospital so you can get your work done.
And, how do so many celebrities end up "hospitalized for exhaustion"? Just for fun, I Googled that phrase, and immediately found half a dozen people who'd been stricken with the malady just this summer! Mariah Carey!? Jennifer Garner!? Ruben Studdard!? Lindsay-I-have-worse-problems-than-exhaustion-Lohan!? Isaac-Hayes-the-voice-of-Chef-on-South-Park!? All admitted! All exhausted!
I'm hopin' for a quiet hour and a glass of wine on the patio at my parents' over the weekend.
How about you? How are you thinkin' you'll get your quiet moment this weekend?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

About my bad day

The full moon is over, but its effects seem to linger.
Because yesterday at work, before 8:30 a.m., it was like bam! bam! bam!, one bad thing after another. No, you can't have this event in that meeting area. Have it here. Hey, I need these pages with all these graphics launched Sept. 1. Oh, we need this information added to those pages you finished last week, and then an enews alert sent out, yesterday. Here's another enewsletter to do in addition to those four you're working on. Oh and the intern just left and your other help is retiring...tomorrow. And it's not like I don't have this and this and this on my regular Wednesday to-do list.
How can people think that they can give you a ton of stuff to do, and you are going to drop everything you already have to do, and get their thing done? Do people really think you're sitting at your desk, staring at Outlook, waiting for their email informing you of their tasks? Because that's how they act. "Oh! I didn't know you needed two weeks to do this!" Well, I didn't need two weeks--I meant Monday of this week, and is that really so much to ask of something to be launched on the first?
Thank goodness for my part-time college student's help! I would be sunk without her.
I thought I was having a bad day, anyway, until evening. Angela had had a bad one, too -- worse than mine, actually ... hers had started out with the news that a former co-worker had passed away of breast cancer, leaving a teenage daughter.
That got me thinkin'.
You know, I had survived my day. We'd even accomplished more at work than I anticipated, and I left all that baggage in my cubicle. I was sitting at a fourth-grade football practice, watching the nuttiness that only little boys can bring to football, a last sweet, hot day of August, with the sun slanting behind me, my own daughter nearby. I had a sticky two-year-old in my lap, who wanted nothing more than to smile at me and play with my bracelets and share her (damp) crackers. After practice, I would leave with some of the people I love most in this world, and we would run an errand, and then go home, and I would finally crash. I'd sit on the couch, my laptop warm on my legs, the Cubs on TV, and I would never feel so alive, nor so happy for another bad day.

Well, what are you thinkin'? How was your day?

About my fashion

Of course you know this is the week before Labor Day, and of course you know what that means.
No, not a day off on Monday. It's the day you put those white fashions away, after carefully laundering them, of course. Because I know how much you care about fashion guidelines.
Of course there are rebels who defy the rules but we here at I Woke Up Thinkin' believe breaking rules such as this could lead to fashion chaos, like the '70s.
I like pretty clothes. I like shopping for them and I like wearing them. I like saving money on them. And as much as I hate winter, I like having two wardrobes, one for winter, one for summer. My changeover days are flexibly April 1 and October 1. Labor Day is a little early to bring the entire fall wardrobe out--early September can be pretty hot.
You know theme weeks? Like on TV, they'll show all the Christmas shows of Friends during the holiday season? Or Shark Week on Discovery Channel? Or during Homecoming Week at high school, every day has a different theme?
I have Fashion Theme Weeks. I don't announce them--although sometimes fashion-conscious friends will notice.
Sometimes my theme weeks are color-based, and sometimes they are type-based.
Like, when I went to NYC for work in May, I did a color theme--all white and red. I am sorry to report, I did wear white before Memorial Day. Just the very week before. My bad, Etiquette Grrils.
Sometimes, I get in a mood to wear skirts all week. Or pants. Or black and white. Or pastel tops. Or dresses.
My theme this week seemed so obvious. I'm sure you've guessed it. I'm wearing all my white stuff. For the last time this summer. Maybe. Unless I get in a white mood sometime in September.
The fashion rules, I only want to follow when I want to follow them. They're not the 10 Commandments, ya know. I'm not fearing eternal damnation if I decide on September 10 that I need to wear my white pants just one more time before the snow flies.
So, how about you? What fashion are you thinkin' about today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

About sleeping with the enemy

Okay, most of the time our pets aren't our enemies, but I couldn't resist that header.

Although when your cat wakes you up at a 5 a.m. by repeatedly banging his head against your hand, wanting to be petted, his allegiances can be questioned.

And when he settles on your feet, like a breathing fur carpet, and refuses to budge, making you feel guilty for wanting to move your feet even though they have entirely lost all feeling, and you end up kicking him off, well, that seems like a passive-aggressive kind of attack to me.

And the gift that keeps on giving--that beautiful, long, white fur that everyone exclaims over. What a beautiful cat! they say. What a walking hair-ball! you think. Because the very attribute that makes ole Sammy both stunningly attractive and imminently pet-able, makes him a housekeeping nightmare. (He looks just like this»)

Because the spot he really like to nap on, at the end of my bed ... is the same place I sit to put my shoes on. Consequently, my butt and Sammy end up looking like twins. And I'm the ugly one.

Speaking of butts, friend Beth told the story yesterday of sleeping with their new dog. Who's not supposed to be on the bed at all. But who is getting spoiled big-time by her new people. And who started out the night in her OWN bed on the floor...but who was back on the Posturepedic by 2 a.m...and by wake-up time, was right at pillow level. Only it wasn't her head on the pillow. It was her...tail end. Good morning, family!

Well, that's the tail end of that. What are you thinkin' about our furry bedfellows?

Monday, August 27, 2007

About hummingbirds and Star Wars

Because the hummingbirds in Indiana seem to be going crazy, and I think it's because they've all watched Star Wars (the New Hope one).

One night a month or so ago, we were having dinner at my boss's home, and they have a hummingbird feeder near the big window in their dining area. And that thing was hoppin'. I'd never seen so much activity at a hummingbird feeder in Indiana. My boss lives in the country, and I chalked it up to that: "Oh we see 'em all the time." But, I sensed a disturbance in the force....

Then it was at Angela's .. she was getting amazing pictures of the hummingbirds coming to her feeder. She lives in an addition of hundreds of houses. And has a yard full of kids playing all the time. Plus, few trees. But the hummingbirds were buzzing around her feeder like the bees usually do. Aggressive little hummers--and Ang's feeder is the Death Star.

Then, to the lake. A bucolic setting for sure, but the hummingbird feeder hangs on the new playset, and the hummingbirds don't care. They were dive-bombing the thing--flying at each other, flying around the playing kids, flying up by the deck where we were sitting, perching on the feeder and in the trees, then dive-bombing again. "They're very territorial," said our host. Or, Alliance rebels and Imperial starfighters defending their corner of the universe?

Last night, near my house: Yet another dog fight. My neighbor has two feeders, one in the back of her house, and one in the front. Both had pairs of hummingbirds engaged in mortal combat around them. In the front yard, the mad bombers would attack the feeder, then retreat to our crab apple tree, perch, then attack each other. Was that the battle of Battle of Yavin?

I can only conclude that, during their yearly migration to places south, they watched Star Wars one too many times, learned some x-wing fighter tactics, and applied them to their territorial battles in Indiana.
May the force be with them.

So, what are you thinkin' about? Witness any tactical battles last weekend?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

About the lottery

Because we bought three tickets each for the Hoosier Lotto and the Powerball, and proceeded to imagine our new life after we won both of them.
Imagine our excitement this morning when we head the Powerball winner is from Indiana.
Imagine our return to reality after checking the numbers and knowing it wasn't us.
Oh well, it's Sunday. Take a day off...quit thinkin'!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

About roadkill

And how's THAT for a segue from yesterday's canine inspired post!?
Because, on my way up to Ang's on Thursday later afternoon, I came across rather odd roadkill, which is saying something for me.
I think it was a goose, and it was right in the middle of the lane, and somehow in its demise, its wings were sticking straight up in the air. It made such a large hunk of roadkill, everyone was actually slowing down to go around it. And on Hilegas Road, that's quite a concession from the NASCAR-lovin' crowd.
Remember, you're reading the blog of someone who drives to work everyday on U.S. 24 West, mostly in Huntington County. I believe that certain segments of this highway are designated as "Highway of Vice Presidents" [Thank you, Dan Quayle]. [Ed.note: I was incorrect. S.R. 9 has the V.P. designation.] I think there is a much more appropriate moniker for the byway:
Roadkill Road. [I suspect some would say: vice presidents=roadkill, but no politics on a Saturday.]
Because U.S. 24 is a roadkill zoo for animals, of such great quantity and variety I believe it really should be written up in travel books as a "must-see" ride for car-vacationing tourists.
The dead things I've seen on my 15-mile stretch! Everything from the expected puppies, kittens, cats and dogs, viewed with sadness because someone either should of loved them...or did.
So many raccoons, opossums, woodchucks and squirrels you'd need that googol number to count 'em.
Worst, and biggest of all, the deer. The carnage a deer makes by the side of the road, or in the median, just shouldn't have to be viewed at 7:30 a.m. In certain seasons of the year, maybe three dead deer along the way.
Most unusual: a dead fox. Reddish brown fur. Fluffy tail. I've seen an alive one too--now that was cool.
I think the state police or the county sheriff have folks they call to pick up the bigger specimens. And that fox--I wouldn't be surprised if someone with an interest in taxidermy claimed that one. They are pretty rare to see.
But the little things--oh no. They stay put for our viewing enjoyment, and we get to witness the spectrum of disintegration.
No, I have never seen anyone picking up the roadkill whom I thought was going to eat it.
No I have never taken pictures of roadkill.
Yes I find it almost impossible to look away from the roadkill as I pass it.
The worst: skunk. Because their impression lingers on.
Well, how about you? How do you avoid roadkill?

Friday, August 24, 2007

About people with poop bags*

[*Dog-walkers, not people with colostomies.]
They were out in a pack last night, as I took a walk at dusk: the dog-walkers.
Some of them were familiar to me -- the man who walks the dog that looks like Cousin Itt on four legs; the lady with the little terrier; the young woman whose looks as if her dog walks her.
Some, I'd never seen before--two ample ladies who must be related; they had the same oddly stiff walk; they were both dressed rather formally for an evening stroll; they said "hi" to me with the same tight smile.
But only one of them held the object that connected them to the rest of the dog-walked population, yes, indeed, NOT the leash, but rather:
The poop bag.
All those dog-walkers, strolling the neighborhoods, just waiting for the moment their pets pause and sniff the grass, the moment even the coolest canines dread, when they must assume ... the pooping position. What self-respecting dogs looks anything BUT embarrassed during this most vulnerable moment? And what human doesn't just stand and stare, knowing that the next embarrassing moments belongs to them:
The moment the human whips out the poop bag, and attempts the bag-as-a-glove, turn-it-inside-out-and-flip-the-poop-inside, heaven-forbid-the-dog-has-had-indigestion moment. Don't miss. Or squeeze.
The remainder of the walk is spent in relief (the pooping moment having passed) and chagrin: There's no chucking that poop bag until you get back home. [Why don't additions put waste baskets at corners? Just wondering.]
Last admission: I don't miss our former pet, the long-suffering cockapoo, Buffy the Wonder Dog, one bit. A big reason: No desire to ever carry her poop bag around.
Buffy herself would have hated poop bags for a very selfish reason: no poop in the neighborhood to roll around in. Her favorite activity was to escape from the house, tear around the addition, and roll in any old dog poop she could find. Oh, good times, good times.
So, now, what'd you wake up thinkin' about? Cause I hope it was better than poop.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

About Dr. Dental Dementor

Because when you have a teeth-cleaning appointment for 8:30 a.m., what else is going to be on your mind?
I know this isn't fair, but: I hate the dentist. Not personally. No. Really nice guy. Young. Went to IU. Have some mutual friends. Has a TV in "the hygiene room" for which they'll give you the remote during your "procedure."
I'm not fond of the dental hygienist either--again, really nice, but: Where is Madame Promfey when you need her?
For in these dental professionals' hands is held the instrument of torture -- the dental probe. My heart rate goes out the window just catching a glimpse of it, and the thought of it touching my tender teeth and gums....
On a bad day, when The Probe is put down, Dr. Dental Dementor picks up the ultimate instrument of death -- the needle of Novocaine. And what comes after that, I black out. Can't handle it.
Okay, so I've got lousy teeth: I'm prone to cavities, I love sugar, and I've got a mouth of metal that makes Metallica look tame.
I try to take really, REALLY good care of them: I've flossed for 20 years or more, I brush two or more times a day, I swish with complete care mouthwash, etc.
But still, twice a year, under the lights, here they come: the Dental Dementors. Right at me, ready to suck my soul outta me. Welcome to Azkaban in Aboite.
However, like Sirius Black, I survived this morning's imprisonment. However, I have an appointment for October for...a crown replacement. Think there are any tickets available for the Space Shuttle? When's that mission to Mars? about you? Do you fear the Dental Dementor's kiss?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

About the Little League World Series

I hate watching the Little League World Series. I live in fear that some year, the male family members are going to say,"Hey, for vacation this year, let's go to Williamsport to the LLWS!" As if it would be funner in person.
Do I hate baseball? No. Do I hate young boys? No. Do I hate Little League? No. Do I hate that Harold Reynolds is gone from ESPN? Yea.
Wait, that's a different post.
I hate watching the LLWS because it just hits too close to home. When the kids screw up, make an error, throw a bad pitch, lose--they cry. And I've seen young boys cry over baseball.
And when you've had a kid play baseball for too many years, from age five to age 22, t-ball though college, and win tournaments and lose tournaments and win big games and lose big games, and seen him and his friends celebrate or try not to cry--there's just too much empathy there, and it makes the games no fun to watch.
Because you know a little of what these people have gone through to get where they are. You know they've lost a few, won a lot, you know somebody's mad, somebody's not, and everyone's stressed. They've been away from home for weeks, they're juggling family needs, they're next to broke from traveling so much, the kids should be in school, and, as much as they want to win the LLWS, they mostly just want it to be over.
You know the coaches are skating on the edge of stress out and exhaustion.
And it's all on national TV.
But there's one more thing I remember, that makes it just a little easier when the guys have (yet another) game on: The kids who lose, the ones crying in the dugout and on each other's shoulder, in a half-hour or so, they're going to be...
Just fine.
Yep. The parents will still be sniveling, they will always nurse a little broken heart for their kids, and they will worry about "how the boys are doing."
But the boys are just fine. In half an hour, they are out of their unis, they are starving, they are starting to joke around and smile again, and they ask if they can go swimming.
And that's what I try to remember when I see the losing team after the game. The resilience of the human spirit, in microcosm.
So, what are you thinkin'? What childhood disappointment sticks with you today--or have you gotten over?

About just how many pairs of socks two people can own

Because I was catching on up laundry last night, during an evening actually spent in the home, otherwise known as the check-in station.
The male family member's socks seem to fall into two categories: white and black. Each of those two categories has two subcategories: dress black (rarely worn) and fuzzy black everyday work socks. The white also has two subcategories: everyday tennis shoe crew socks, and short footies (often worn while playing golf). That's it. Four kinds.
The female family member's socks -- that is to say, mine -- seem to have a infinite varieties. I think I may have become an unintentional collector of them, too.
Oh, I have the white crew, and the white footies. I also have the white, black and beige slide (or half) socks and the tube versions. These partial socks cause a lot of conversation with people who have never heard or seen them; I love them. Perfect summer socks.
I also have the smaller nylon or cotton footies, in beige, white, or black, for certain shoes; I have patterned footies, for making fashion statements; I have thicker ones, for walking; I have old ones, new ones; high, medium, and low ones; single ones.
I have dark trouser socks (in black and navy), and beige (light and dark) trouser socks, in nylon, microfiber, and cotton. I have them in knee-sock length, and in crew length. I have them in thicker weaver and in thinner. I have plain ones, and patterned ones.
I have holiday socks for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Halloween. I might even have a pair for the Fourth of July.
I've not mentioned the panty hose (regular and control top) and the tights (microfiber) in various colors.
Have you ever counted your socks? I have not, because I cannot count to a googol.
I have a whole drawer of mystery socks, whose mates have vanished. I must be unconsciously waiting for the pairs to become whole once again, for I fail every time I organize my dresser to just THROW THIS DRAWER OF ODD SOCKS OUT.
I might know why. I think part of our history is hidden in our sock drawer. The pair we bought when our feet got wet at the amusement park one summer...the argyles we wore to work during our years at an old job...the pair our child gave us for Christmas that might vie for the title of "ugliest sock ever." We've logged miles in these socks: heard good news and bad, gone to work, come home, taken walks, talked on the phone, paced with babies, ran after little kids, trailed after teenagers, ran to catch up with friends, laughed and cried, ate and drank, loved and hated.
IF one's bodily toxins can be removed through the feet...maybe our whole life history has been leeched into our socks, and that is why we are so loath to part with them.
Well, how about you? What are you thinkin' about what's hidden in your sock drawer?

Monday, August 20, 2007

About my regrets about not sampling the Big Red Pecker

Disclosure: I'm close to a wine illiterate. In the last two or three years I've taken little baby steps to learning to enjoy anything beyond grape juice. And I have to credit that interest to my dad, who discovered the booming northern Ohio regional wines (for medicinal purposes, he claims), and my boss, who really does know wine on a more international scale, thanks to a few years spent in Rome (also, he's from California).
Since I've spent too many years in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, you can see my problem.
Right now, above my head on the bookcase headboard, is the book Wine for Dummies. I've read some of it three times, but would probably retain more from this resource if it fell off the shaky stack and hit me in the noggin. I remember Deathly Hallows better than I remember what wine is made from what grape, and what region of France that grape is grown in. Not even mentioning the year.
Being a simple person, my palate is sadly unsophisticated. The more complicated the wine, the more I feel the need to just spit it out.
I was thinkin' about wine this morning because I went to the Toast of Ohio wine festival in Sandusky on Saturday, and a fine gathering it was. A circle of local eateries offering samples for a few tickets, so lunch was covered...and a big white tent full of local wineries, so all afternoon because happy hour. And all eight I sampled were great, and a few went right to the top of my head (my test of a good wine). The Red Kiss from Viking Vineyards, the chocolate wine--wow. What a perfect mix of flavors.
The most popular wine sampled, according to a Sunday story in the Sandusky Register, was a wine from Maize Valley Winery called Big Red Pecker. No way I was going to sample that, then be asked, what was your favorite?, and have to answer, oh, I liked that Big Red Pecker. But after thinkin' about it, I wish I had. Next year. (I tried the Red Neck Red instead.)
So anyway, what about you? What beverage were you thinkin' about this morning?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

About I should take Sundays off

I'm not sure I'm succeeding at being creative all week, so I better take one day off to refuel. You should too. Quit thinkin'!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

About it being Saturday

And all that implies. Mainly, that I don't usually have to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn.
Because I hate getting up early, and always have. I remember hating it even as a kindergartener, five years old. How many parents have (to me) horror stories of their kids who jump out bed at 5 a.m., ready to go? I've known a lot. I was not one of them, nor, thankfully, either of my kids.
Now, I work with people who are joyful early risers. These people, my friends, seem to thrive on awaking at 4:30 a.m.--or even earlier! -- and actually accomplishing things! They pray, write, exercise, do laundry, and God knows what BEFORE THEY GO TO WORK. Oh, the humanity.
Me? I calculate to the exact minute what I absolutely must do in the morning (1 minute, brush teeth. 10 minutes, wash and dry hair. 30 seconds, remember who I am). And walk out the door with just enough time to get to work in time to not be fired.
There's probably several things about myself I'd change if I could (more interest in my finances, less interest in shopping) but I always say that number one on my list is, I'd become an early riser.
Because, I feel guilty about wanting, or even needing to sleep in a little (and I do need seven hours). I don't know how people make it on 5 hours every night. Or less. And I also don't know how grownups go to bed at 8 p.m. (and I know some who do).
I think our national sleep patterns are really messed up, which might explain a lot of road rage and customer service nastiness.
Hey, wake up! What are you thinkin' about your nighty-night time?

Friday, August 17, 2007

About our United Way Campaign

Our company is a "Pacesetter" company. I am not entirely sure what this officially means, so I can only share my observations of a Pacesetter company in action.
It means that our campaign begins in August instead of September (that may be a big clue as to what "Pacesetter" means).
It means that we have a big red sign in the office front yard that says, "Pacesetter."
It means that we have a month of frenzied United Way promotional activity targeted at us, the employees in the seats. So far this month, we've had car-wash day, school-supply-donation day, buy-a-Nelson-chicken day, and, best of all, corn-hole-game competition day.
It means that we are offered extensive and imaginative opportunities to give above and beyond the "fair share" that gets taken out of my pay check automatically anyway. It means I can give $5 to have my car washed, spend $10 or more on school supplies, buy a ticket for a half a chicken for $6, and I don't know what the corn-hole game cost, that activity scaring me a little.
But there is a little donation I am more than happy to make. (On the record: I'm happy to make them all, and do, with the exception of any corn-hole involvement, see above.)
That donation is the $3 for a single Friday, or a mere $8 for the entire month of August, for the priviledge of Wearing Jeans on Friday.
Oh to enter the way-back machine, when I worked for a bunch of people who didn't care if I wore jeans every day! And when I had that freedom, I didn't do it! I'd actually wear OTHER fashion.
And even here ... for the first several years of my employment, we had Jeans Friday every Friday. For free. How I loved that one day a week when I could chuck the demands of business casual for the comfort of business denim.
Then controls tightened, and Friday became just another business casual day.
But not in August. No, for the support of UW, and a mere $8, we once again enjoy the the Jeans Life.
OH, the irony: I hate wearing jeans in hot weather. And it has been hot. And then I was on vacation, and missed the first Jeans Friday. And last Friday, in 90 degree heat and humidity, I went for the ever flexible Jeans Skirt.
But today: Cooler. And it's Jeans Friday. And I'm here. My fashion statement: White Jeans.
It takes so little to make grownups happy. I don't know why more efforts aren't made more often.
Well, how about you? What little work thing makes you happy?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

About the cast of characters

Greg: husband, age 51
Angela, Ang: daughter, age 29
Tony: son, age 28
Matt: husband of Angela, age 31
Jayme: wife of Tony, age 24
Julian: grandson, age 10
Caroline: granddaughter, age 3
Taylor: granddaughter, age 2
McKenna: granddaughter, age 1

About Windows Vista and my frustration

I love my Sony Vaio laptop, I really do. The 17-inch screen is just the right size for viewing and lugging around, the graphics are great, and I'm getting used to the operating system: Windows Vista Premium Edition.
But there, I've left out the operative word: Microsoft, and all that implies. Control-alt-delete. Blue screen of death. Non-release of the captured program memory. et al.
Last night's quest: screensaver hot corners.
A real geek would not care about the screensaver, okay, so I'm not real. My ethereal self has been addicted to screensavers since Flying Toasters. And in the past I've messed up a workstation more than once with various free-ware, mal-ware and other vicious downloadables I should never have installed.
But one function that I just don't understand why Microsoft doesn't include, is screensaver hot corners. You know--so you can move your cursor to one corner, and the screensaver instantly comes on, or to another corner, and it never comes on. I've had a couple screensavers and little programs on other computers that included them--I miss them.
Back in the day, before security concerns, I just wanted to do this for convenience. But now, I want to be able to leave the machine on, and lock it fast: the screensaver will do this. IF I only had a hot corner to use.
So I did some searching last night. I though maybe there was a Vista gadget that would do it...none there. I found some shareware programs that would do it, but found myself loath to spend $12 for it. I found some freeware, and was loath to download for the malware/spyware issues.
It seems that Macs may have this feature, but it might not work well. When I Googled "screensaver hot corners," I got several returns about Mac users hot corners NOT working. Interesting. Since I work with a bunch of Mac-lovers who talk as if Macs were the perfect solution to the world's problems, I felt just a little comforted by this bit of malfunctioning.
So anyway: What are you thinkin' about what little thing you want your computer to do, that it doesn't?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

About a song called Blue Moon

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold

Blue Moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

I heard this song last night, performed by local Kim Durr, at the Community Band Concert, and can't get it out of my head. Which is not bad, because usually the songs I get stuck in my head are, like, "Sexy Back," or, maybe, "Beautiful Girl." Or some oldie we've mentioned at work.

As an added entertainment bonus, the dancing troupe of Caroline (age 3), and Taylor, (age 2, just today), performed.

The highlights of that impromptu performance were Taylor's signature move of relentless twirling, which always results in her getting dizzy and falling to the ground, only to jump up, undaunted, and twirl the other way; and Caroline's gracious recognition of the applause after each tune, with a little curtsy and bow.

Did you think the song Blue Moon was from the WWII era, as I did? Wrong. 1934. Interesting note: the melody went through three set of lyrics, over several years, before settling on the words above.

Anyway, in my head, I was left with a beautiful melody, romantic words, and the images of two graceful little girls dancing in a world all their own.

Well, what are you thinkin'? What song is playing in YOUR head?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

About being petrifed

Because that's what was wrong with that frozen dead burglar guy in my dream of Sunday night.
After finishing The Deathly Hallows (three times), I've started rereading the Harry Potter series from book one. Remember in The Sorcerer's Stone where Hermione petrifies Neville? And how Hermione herself is petrified in The Chamber of Secrets? That burglar in my dream--in my head, I called him frozen, but the idea--all HP.
The more I beat this dream up, the more sense it makes, and it's all rooted in my everyday reality. And, no diss to Freud, it seems less and less likely this dream has any deep psychological meaning.
It was just a weird dream where my subconscious regurgitated what I'd been doing, reading, and thinking about.
How often do we try to attach too much meaning to stuff that what it is? I know I have friends and relatives who try to read hidden and deep meaning into what seems to me totally explainable and sometimes even superficial comments and actions. (Or, just as commonly, lack of comments and inaction.)
My modus operandi does tend to to non-analysis of stuff. Yet, how interesting: in putting together these posts, I've analyzed this dream way beyond what I normally would, only to discover it's rooted in good old reality.
Well, what are you thinkin'? Are you a "take it as it is" kind of person, or are you always looking for the hidden agenda?

Monday, August 13, 2007

About a frozen dead guy and malfunctioning 911

About the dream I'd just had. In the dream we had just gotten home from a trip. But the house we came home to was a weird combination of my childhood home and my present home. I went to the door in the walkout had three locks on it. The first two locks had been opened, but the third one was okay. I looked out the door window, to see a guy frozen just aside, like he'd been quick-frozen, as he'd been trying to break in.
There's a dead guy in our backyard! I hollered and ran upstairs. I started trying to call 911, feeling horrified that this dead man was just outside our door, and relieved that he had not broken in. I had no luck trying to get 911--either I got no answer, or I got a voice mail, or I got a wrong number.
I woke up frustrated!
Do you have weird dreams like this? Do you wonder just where in the world-inside-your-head they come from?
The 911 thing, I suspect. I called 911 early in the summer, on my way home from work, after almost running over two stray dogs. I got the wrong 911 system because I was very close to the county line, and my call had to get routed around to the right county.
But why dream of my old house? And why a frozen dead guy? And why the attempted break-in?Someone told me once that everyone in your dreams But how would I be that frozen dead guy?
Don't you wonder, why don't we dream of things we really want to happen? Like, I won the lottery and bought a vacation house on Lake Erie, or in Ft. Myers? Or, I wrote a best-seller and it's on display at B&N?
Oh no. I'm dreaming of Frozen Dead Guys in my old backyard.
Well, how about you? What dream did you wake up thinkin' about?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I woke up thinkin'

I went to bed thinking about some new blogs I found to read, which got me to thinking about what makes a good blog (because I had found several), and resulted in me waking up thinking about a new blog I wanted to start.
It would be a different type blog from my messy journal of seven years, Common Sensibilities. It would be more focused, more reliable, and more tightly written.
Oh, and if it could be at once funnier and more informative, well, that would be an improvement also. Also shorter, because I am busy like you, with about as much time to write as you have to read. Also, I'd be better about putting links in all the stuff I reference.
Because the blogs I read that I really enjoy, those were the qualities they shared: they were funny, or thoughtful, or provoking, or shared information on a specific topic (parenting, cooking, working at Wal-Mart). Now, they weren't all shorter, but now that is asking a lot of a writer with a lot to say. Or who loves words.
Good writing is hard: cliche for a reason. Some people have the gift--my sister, not a trained writer, is one of the few people I know who can "write funny" consistently. The guy I knew when I worked for Bowhunter Magazine--also not a trained writer, but also, indeed, funny.
I don't think you need to be a "trained writer" (whatever that is--maybe having a writing degree, or an English degree, or making a lot of lists?) to be a good writer. But being patient, open to learning, open to changing, learning how to edit ones' self -- lots of ways to learn to be "good."
So here's what I'm going to do now: I'm always thinkin' when I wake up in the morning. I'm going to write it, then think about it some more, and edit what I've written.
Then I'm going to quit and post the darn thing, because it's the Internet, not the Bible, for cryin' out loud.
So, hey, what are you thinkin'? Writers: made or born?