Thursday, February 26, 2009


I heard on the radio the other day that the BBC has compiled a list of 100 beloved books. They suggest that most people have read six of them. Turns out that I've read 52 of them, but then, I don't exercise at all, so that gives me plenty of free time.

How about you?

One, please

I go to movies alone all but constantly. I like it. Plus, I don't have to share the Red Vines.

Still, I have to admit that walking up to the dude in the box office and saying, "One for He's Just Not That Into You" was a wee bit humiliating.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Massages and pedicures are apparently meant to be the height of luxurious relaxation. Huh. Add them to the list of things I'm supposed to like but don't really enjoy. For me, massages are crazy painful. During one, the thought came to me unbidden: "I wonder if they do this to prisoners in Iraq." That kind of painful. I sometimes get one in order to try to fix my broken self, but this is a choice like realizing, yes, you really do need to suck it up and get that uncomfortable medical procedure. It's not a choice I'd make during a weekend getaway or girls' weekend or whatever. I mean do you and your beloved or your gaggle of giggling companions get together for colonoscopies? No.

Similarly, I very much enjoy my post-pedicure foot, but the majority of the actual pedicure, not so much. First of all, I'm extremely ticklish, so the exfoliating interlude involves my exerting Jedi mind strength to overcome the reflex that urges me to kick the tickler in the face. Then there's the poking and scraping with metal implements part. Ouch. And then, the crazy painful massage of legs and feet (see above). The sensible thing, obviously, would be to tell the lady that I would like her to skip that part but A) I am a coward and B) there is a significant language barrier. Instead, I hold my breath and grip the arms of the chair until it's over. Still, unlike the body massage where you know the torture will continue for the full 90 minutes, because, freakishly, that's what you've paid for, the pedicure eventually becomes just about painting and drying (read: sitting and reading). Not bad. Plus, I have ten little tidy red-polished toes to show for it.

Incidentally, another bewildering thing about the nail salon is the colors of polish chosen by other ladies. The woman next to me had her toenails pained a shade that was like a slightly oranger version of the Crayola crayon they used to call something like "flesh tone." (Presumably, in the new world of multicultural awareness, they've changed the name. Turns out, not everyone's flesh is the same tone. Go figure.) Anyway, does this color, whatever you choose to call it, make an attractive nail polish? I assure you it does not. I didn't tell her, though. Hopefully, someone who knows and loves her will break it to her gently.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

I don't eat a lot of candy, but I do have a profound weakness for Red Vines. (Not Twizzlers. NOT Twizzlers. Seriously. They are nothing alike. Red Vines are delicious; Twizzers are repellent. See how those are not the same?) I only eat them in movie theatres(Hot tip: buy them for $1 at Walgreens and smuggle them in. Shhhh.) so it's not like I'm a total junkie or anything. However, I will consume the entire box, alone, in the course of 90-120 minutes. Yum. The package says "No preservatives. Fat Free. Very Low Sodium." So really, they're practically health food.

Except. The package also describes them as "Original Red Twists." Huh. That is certainly accurate. They are red twists, for sure. But as far as something you would eat, is that really enough of a description? Recently, I looked at the ingredients for the first time:
Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor, Red 40.

Um...but they're fat free. And sodium? So low.

Which, now that I think about it, I guess is often the case for food that is not made of food.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hotmail is once again making changes to itself. Something to do with storage? Something to do with networks? Mostly I ignore whatever they do, as long as I can get to my messages (refresh, refresh, refresh). I am a glutton for correspondence. However, Hotmail really wants me to pay attention to its new personal network capabilities. Every time I access my account, it pulls random people from my contact list and suggests that these people would be a good base for my new network. The thing is, it uncannily selects people whom I don't even remember being in my contact list. Today, it brightly offers under the heading of "Suggestions for Your Network" a former colleague whom I last spoke to in 1998, and a man I used to know in Paris with whom I last corresponded in June of 2000. Huh. Great idea, Hotmail. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The cool kids

For three days, I have been working at a high school other than the one where I actually work. This one has a cafeteria. Every day I have chosen the same seat: at the end of the far table next to a window. Having been given the hot tip, I have been eating at noon, between the seatings for the the middle school girls and the high school girls. Although I arrive in a nearly empty room, I am nevertheless still there when the high school girls arrive. The tables are designed to seat approximately 12 people, but the girls find room for as many of their friends as possible. At the table next to mine, they just keep coming. Each newcomer takes a chair from my table and wedges it into the rapidly diminishing space at the other one. Eventually, there are 18 girls at the next table. At my table, there is just me, and three empty chairs.

Although A) I am 38 years old and B) I know not one student at this school, this still makes me feel like a total loser.

Tomorrow I'll be back home where I have friends who will eat with me. Really. I totally do have friends.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wow. That is talented.

There is a list of links under the header
Also on MSN

These are the first two:
Dolphins are talented chefs
32 tasty cookie recipes

Now, I could click on these links and spoil everything, but I prefer to think the second link leads to 32 cookie recipes developed by dolphins. In fact, I'm not even making the links available to you, so that you may share in this delightful fantasy. See how good I am to you?

Monday, February 02, 2009

In fairness, she did ask

As I was gathering my belongings in preparation to leave a party on Friday night, I heard part of a conversation among a group of people. One woman was telling a sad tale about how she'd wanted to wear camouflage capri pants on a trip to the Middle East, but had been persuaded not to by her friend who asked her to consider the state of the world and the unpopularity of Americans in the region. She was disappointed because, as she said, "But camouflage is fashionable. And I hate not being fashionable." (Considering the ensemble she'd put together for the party, I wouldn't have thought that was strictly true, but that's another story.) A man turned to the sensible friend and said:

Man: And you? Did you wear camouflage?

Sensible Friend: Ha. Right. Can you see me in camouflage?

Me: No. That's actually the point of camouflage.