Friday, September 28, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Ains

It's been a while since I did one of these; I guess Ainsley just hasn't said a lot of funny things here lately (of course she has; I'm just getting old and can't remember them the next morning.) I remember this one, though.

Last night in the tub, Ains told me how the "bossy" girls at the "red table" told her that they weren't her friends because she wasn't in the red table group. (Ahh, kindergarten politics.) I told her that was fine, and that she has other friends, and that she didn't really need to be friends with a bunch of bossy girls, anyway.

"I told one girl she was bossy," said Ains. "And then she told me my mommy and daddy were bossy."

So, the whole "Yo' mama" series of comebacks starts at age 5 now? Lovely.

She continued. "But I told her you're not bossy at all. I think you're really nice, mommy."


And here I am thinking the world in general sees me as a bitch on wheels. Good to know someone thinks I'm nice (though I know the first time I put her in time out for something this weekend, she's going to sign a different tune.) It was a sweet moment, and I had to give her a big ol' hug for saying that.

So for today, think of me as...The Nice Librarian.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It Starts.

So long, life. It was fun having you while it lasted. We had a good summer together, reading, writing, and accomplishing things around the house. But we both knew it couldn't last. Your after-summer competition is just too strong.

Now that the new T.V. season is underway, I no longer have a life. I have been sucked into the black hole of the LCD. My DVR is already backing up, and it's only Thursday. And we all know Thursday is the best night for T.V. viewing, so I won't be able to hack away at my back log. I guess Bionic Woman will have to wait until the weekend.

So far, I have enjoyed Chuck and Reaper among the new shows I have checked out. Unfortunately, they are both hour-long shows, so each pretty much sucks up the dollop of down time I get between Ainsley's bedtime and mine. If I add Bionic Woman and Pushing Daisies to the mix, and stick with last year's formula of Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, My Name is Earl, Scrubs, 30 Rock, and later this year, American Idol and (can't wait!) Lost, then I am...pretty much a T.V. stoner.

I know something will have to go, just like last year when I sacrificed The Nine and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to keep my sanity. I was almost glad when those shows were cancelled when episode after episode had clogged up my DVR; I purged them from my TV's electric memory with no regrets. Why watch all those old episodes and risk really liking them only to have the network pull the rug out?

I know the odds are that one of the new shows I like will suffer in the ratings and die an early death (the smart money seems to be on Pushing Daisies, even though it hasn't premired yet; it's a favorite among critics, which never bodes well.) That's why I hate it when I really like a new show. That, and the fact that these new shows are life-suckers.

For now, I will keep on keeping on and try to find a precarious balance between live-viewing and DVR-playback, and stick to my tight after-8 schedule to keep up with everything. But I want to apologize in advance to any of the above-mentioned new shows that I might be axing later. After all, Cranky can't live on T.V. alone. I've gotta have some book time, some clean-the-house time, and some watch-the-Netflix-movies-that-we've-had-for-two-weeks time. If I let one of you all go, just know it wasn't you. It was me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Sky is Falling!

The weirdest thing happened during dinner last night.

The sky got kinda gray, and I heard this strange rumbling sound, and this stuff starting falling from the sky. I can't be sure, 'cause it's been so long since I last saw it, but I think it might have been...rain!

By the look of it, more of the wet stuff may be on the way. Hooray! There's hope for our grass after all.

Of course, today's sprinkles aren't going to make a dent in our 13-inch rainfall deficit, but I'll take what we can get. I've never seen my little corner of the world look so apocalyptic. One of the best things about living in Kentucky (when it's not the height of allergy season) is how green it is. When we flew back from our Vegas adventure summer before last, I was actually comforted to be back in a verdant world. These last few months, Kentucky has looked liked that brown Vegas landscape, just without all the neon and mountains to keep in interesting. I want my Kentucky bluegrass to be blue again.

I've lived through a flood, so I know to be careful what I wish for, but...I wish for more rain.
(Distant rumble of thunder)

Ahh...I love it when wishes come true.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Price We Pay for Neat Eyebrows

It's tough being a woman.

In order to meet society's standards of feminine aesthetics, we must bleach, wax, pluck, exfoliate, blow-dry, condition, moisturize, curl, spray, lacquer, conceal, highlight, and for those of us that use mineral makeup, let us not forget swirl, tap, and buff. We do this mostly without thinking about it. Until our own beauty regimens come back to bite us in the butt.

For years, I've read scary articles about the millions of bacteria that thrive in our face brushes, clippers, razors, and tweezers, and how careful we're supposed to be about keeping things clean and sterile. As with many things in life, though, I figured it could never happen to me. So when I saw a stray eyebrow hair, I just plucked it. No alcohol. No sterilizing. Just pluck and run.

No more.

Yesterday afternoon found me sitting in the doctor's office, feeling like an idiot, nursing an extremely red and sore upper left eyelid. The diagnosis? Cellulitis, a skin infection, caused by bacteria entering a hair follicle after a rushed eyebrow-plucking session last week. The cure? Ten days of strong antibiotics.

I am a compulsive plucker. You have to when you have eyebrows like mine, which on a good day are Brooke Shields-ish and on a bad day are more Alf-ish. If I didn't pluck the strays on an almost daily basis they would get out of control and form their own ecosystem. When I see an errant hair, I immediately reach for my trusty tweezers that stay out in our bathroom. I don't take time to use alcohol. More often than not, I do this after a workout while I still have gym germs on my face. I see the folly in that now.

My infection is pretty mild, and already has responded to the antibiotics, so I guess I am pretty lucky. Even though it's mild, it still caused me a lot of discomfort for a couple of days and it made me look like I was a fan of red eyeshadow, but only had the urge to apply it to one eye. My doctor said they've seen a lot of multiple antibiotic-resistant staph skin infections in the office lately, and I can't imagine stressing through that right now simply because I couldn't take a few extra seconds to run some alcohol over my tweezers.

I've learned my lesson. Ladies, please learn from me. Don't pay for your good looks with a course of Bactrim.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I presented my little Movie Maker workshop, and it went well, methinks. They laughed. They cried (really, some of them did when I showed a sample video of Ains as a babe. Weird.) It was better than Cats.

Some of the sessions I wanted to attend this afternoon have been cancelled, so I may head home here soon. Thanks for the fun, Louisville. It's been real, it's been fun...yada yada yada.

(Can you tell I haven't really slept? The toilet in my room ran ALL NIGHT LONG and occasionally made loud swishing noises that woke me up every two hours.

Friday, September 21, 2007

River City

Greetings from Looavul, KY! I'm here for a school media conference, and after trolling for a parking spot for 30 minutes, and going to my first session at 10:45 this morning and not having another one until 2:45, and hauling my laptop and projector around because my room isn't available yet, I am in a FINE mood. Oh, yeah.

I am stressed out about the parking thing because the attendant in the hotel garage said it was full and directed me to a lot across the street where there are these big, "Monthly Parking Only: Violators Will Be Towed" signs. She assured me it was fine, and would even be cheaper, and I put the "After 4pm" fare into the correct slot for my car, but I am trotting out to that lot every half an hour to make sure I'm not being towed. And I sure as hell wasn't leaving the laptop and projector for my presentation tomorrow morning out in the car in that lot. It looks downright seedy. I am going to move it to the hotel garage as soon as the crowd here starts to thin a little later in the day, and until then, I'm just gonna sweat bullets and pray that the garage managers don't start looking too closely at the cars parked there.

The good thing about being so stressed about my car is that I am not feeling remotely panicked about presenting a session in front of my colleagues from across the state tomorrow morning.

The other good news? I am a short walk away from many nice bars at "4th Street Live", and at 5:30 when today's final session wraps up, I am going to have a cold one. I am, after all, sans kid and responsibility tonight. I can be that librarian who looks and acts all stodgy during the day, but rips the glasses off and takes her hair out of the bun at night and becomes a wild woman.

Look out, Looavul! Here come the librarians!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who's On Your List?

Have you all heard about my big celebrity crush, Viggo Mortensen, and his nude fight scene in the new movie Eastern Promises? I read an interview with him where he admits that the scene in the steam room where he brutally fends off attackers wearing nothing but skin will make for popular DVD-pausing moments when the movie goes to disc. If I didn't respect him so much as an actor, I would be trying as we speak to make a super-advance Netflix cue for that movie. Oh, who am I kidding. Respect him or not, my own morbid curiosity combined with his standing on my "List" demands that this movie eventually be rented and paused. Over. And over. Again.

We all have a "List", right? Remember the episode of Friends when the gang discussed their Lists, which was each person's fantasy listing of the 5 celebrities they would most like to fling with, and by putting them on the "List", their spouse/significant other had to forgive and forget should some miracle happen and the opportunity to fling with said celebrity ever present itself? In the episode, Ross wanted to put Isabella Rossellini on his list, which he went through the trouble of laminating, but chose not to waste a spot on her because she was out of the country or something. Later in the episode, he actually ran into her in the coffee shop, and tried to explain to her that she was on his list, so their flirtation was OK, but when he pulled out his little laminated card, she saw that she wasn't on there. Classic Friends.

For years now, hubby and I occasionally joke around about our own Lists. We know that we would be more likely to get struck by lightning, win the Powerball, and hit nothing but green lights all the way to work all in the same day than to ever actually meet any of these people, let alone have said person be so desperate as to want to make out with a complete stranger. But it's fun, and you can learn a lot about someone by who he chooses. Does he go straight for looks, or do personality and something close to a brain matter? Brunettes, or blondes? How thin is too thin, really? Do his crushes age as he ages, or will it always be the sweet young thangs?

The two I know for sure on Jason's current List are:
1. Halle Berry (She's held that spot for a loooong time, so that shows loyalty and, in my opinion, good taste.)
2. Beyonce (I have no idea what that shows.)

My List changes every so often, but the overwhelming type on my List looks something like this: thin, dark hair, strong jaw, funny. Not different at all from my husband, really, except that these people are famous. I definitely married my type.

Here is my most current group:

1. Jon Stewart
2. Bono (Though if he tried to woo me with "With or Without You", it would be more than my heart could take and I would pass out cold, and that would be the end of that.)
3. Viggo Mortensen (Preferably dressed as Aragorn, and with the Aragorn hair, but, ya know, I'm not picky.)
4. Jim Carrey (Don't judge me; this is my list, not yours.)
5. Christian Bale (A newcomer!)

Mr. Bale knocks off former perennial favorite Bruce Campbell, who I still love dearly but, because I have actually seen him in person twice at book signings, seems much more "real" than the others and thus not a good candidate for a fantasy list. David Duchovny also held a top spot for many years during the Mulder era, but I haven't seen him in anything for so long, and for something like this out of sight really is out of mind. Show me a rerun of an X-Files episode, though, and I feel a little blush coming on.

Whew. Is it hot in here?

OK, so I've had a lot of fun with this this morning. 'Fess up: who's on your list? Don't be shy! So many of you are friends of mine, and I'm dying to know. And, you know, drool.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Get Thee Behind Me, Synthetic Silk-Like Fabric

Seen on the marquee of a local Baptist church:

When Satin knocks
Let Jesus answer.

Wow. I mean, I've been tempted by Denim, and Microfiber drunk-dialed me once, but I didn't even think about Satin. Thanks, Freewill Baptist!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

I don't do it often. Maybe once or twice a month. But it's not something I'm proud of. It's not something I would confess to in polite conversation. I only do it when I am alone; mostly, I do it in the car coming home from an evening meeting or an after-dinner, child-free workout. That's my favorite time, really; there's something relaxing about doing it at twilight, completely alone in my car, in the afterglow of cardiovascular stimulation. I would never, ever, do it when I thought I could get caught, though I guess someone would suspect me easily enough by looking at the presets on my car radio.

I, my friends, am a closet "Delilah" listener. What did you think I was talking about?

We all know who Delilah is, right? No, not the "Delilah" in that song that got endless airplay on pop stations this summer. I actually wouldn't be ashamed to admit I listen to that Delilah. I am talking about the one with the syndicated radio show that usually airs from 7pm to midnight on soft rock stations across the country. Her show is kinda like the old American Top 40 shows with Casey Kasem, except that there is no countdown and the whole thing is one long series of long-distance dedications.

I first started listening to Delilah in high school. It seemed cooler then. I have always been a bit of an insomniac, and for a month or so in the fall of my sophomore year when it got worse than usual, I became determined to stop the cycle by getting myself into a regular homework and bedtime routine that had me settling down into bed around 10 every night. I would still find myself keyed up and unable to relax, so I started trying to find music that would knock me out. Delilah's "all ballads, all the time" format was easy listening for my sleep-deprived brain, and it usually helped me sleep. Sometimes, though, it just depressed the hell out of me because I hadn't yet had a serious relationship, though my best girlfriend at the time had had several, and I was wondering what the heck was so wrong with me. Sometimes the relentless onslaught of 70s and 80s over-produced love songs got to me and caused me to stay awake feeling sorry for myself and my loveless state (I was all of 15 at the time.) But mostly it was a nice way to ease into sleep.

Years later, it's still my go-to station those rare evenings I find myself alone in the car between the hours of 7 and 12. Maybe it's because of the cheese factor; there's something amusing about those people who want to impress that special someone they've been on three whole dates with by calling them out on a campy radio call-in show. Maybe it's because of Delilah's song choices; I crack up every time someone tells their sob story, and tearfully asks if Delilah can play a very special song, and she comes up with something horrifying like "Crimson and Clover." Other than that, I don't really know why I can't stop listening to this show.

Yes, I do. I just wish I didn't have to write it out loud.

Here's the thing: deep down, in places I don't like to talk about at dinner parties, I like cheesy, overwrought love songs. There. I said it. Are we all happy now?

I actually don't want to change the channel when "My Heart Will Go On" comes on. I have been known to sing along to "Wind Beneath My Wings." I get a little misty-eyed when I hear a Linda Ronstadt/Aaron Neville duet. Faith Hill singing "Cry"? Sure! The Bangles' "Eternal Flame"? Certainly! Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up"? Definitely, but pass the Kleenex. "Precious and Few"? No way. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

I realized how ashamed I am of my Delilah problem last night. Because of Ainsley' concussion, she can't go to Silverlake with me to play while I work out. So I had to wait until the family was fed and the hubby was fully in charge of the kid's bedtime rituals before I could try to squeeze in my last workout of the week. It was a nice bit of "me" time, and with no kid to pick up, I could get a shower up there and unwind a bit. I got finished at dusk, and walked out to a gorgeous night. I rolled down the windows, turned up the radio, starting surfing my presets...and landed on Delilah (on Wa-arm Ninetyyyyyy-Eiiiiiiight!) As soon as I started listening, I found myself cranking up the windows and not singing along when I hit stoplights to avoid discovery. I had to laugh at myself. It's not like I was in there smoking crack or anything. Why was I so ashamed?

After all, I am a person who went into labor after cracking up over Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. I know that 90% of the crap I am going to hear on Delilah is flat-out bad music. I don't listen to schmaltz all the time. But goshdarnit, I occasionally do like to fill my brain with cliched and hackneyed crap. There's something very comfortable and predictable about Delilah's playlists; while I'm listening to those songs, I don't have to think very hard. You know where the song is going by the end of the first verse. And there is something cathartic about the completely over-the-top emotionality of pop ballads. It's cheap emotion, sure, but emotion never the less. Just like sometimes I need a good, easy cry (cue Steel Magnolias), sometimes I need a love song.

In the 15-minute drive home last night, I pretty much got my fill for a month or so. I won't be tempted to tune in again for a while. I'll be able to stay on the straight and narrow path of acceptable music listening. It will be weeks before I hit the soft rock station again. I promise.

Though if I need a fix, there's always the "Night Music" playlist I made on my iPod.

I can't believe I just admitted to that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's All in Her Head

It didn't take long.

I've been waiting to get that first call from Ainsley's school; the "your kid is sick and please come get her before she covers the entire school with vomit" call. I didn't even have to wait a month.

Oh, but as always in Cranky Land, things were not as they seemed.

My phone at school rang yesterday right after lunch; we have caller ID, so I knew before I picked up that it was Ainsley's school. The first words out of the secretary's mouth were what no parent wants to hear:

"Ainsley had an accident at school."

It wasn't THAT kind of accident where a simple change of clothes would have sufficed. She fell at morning recess and came down hard on the concrete on her elbow. It took a long time for them to calm her down, and not too long after the accident, she threw up. They thought it was because she had gotten so worked up. After eating nothing at lunch, she burst into tears and threw up again. At that point, they figured either she had a stomach virus on top of everything that had happened, or that her elbow injury was worse than the usual bump and bruise.

I made arrangements to leave and raced to her school. As soon as I saw her, I knew something was up. She was almost gray she was so pale, and she had dark circles under her eyes. When I touched her forehead, she felt cold and clammy. Uh oh.

I ruled out the stomach virus on the way home when she started asking for a snack. I wasn't about to let her eat, in case she had to throw up again, but I figured anyone asking for an ice cream sandwich probably wasn't too queasy. Judging by the hard knot and swelling I found on the bone just below her elbow, I really thought she had some sort of fracture.

I changed her out of her puke clothes, sponged her off, and called her pediatrician. While I was waiting for a doctor to return my call, she started nodding off in the middle of our living room floor. She had been so lethargic and sleepy-eyed that I wasn't surprised.

Her doctor's office got back to us, and after the nurse asking, "Are you sure she didn't bump her head?", we were advised to go directly to the ER at Children's Hospital.

We hadn't been on the road 2 minutes when Ainsley threw up again. Not a good sign. It seemed my argument for a fracture was becoming more sound; she was fine until we had put her in the car and jostled her arm around. I was already picturing a cast from wrist to shoulder.

We got to the hospital, and every nurse that looked at her while we were waiting for a doctor asked the same thing after hearing her symptoms: "Are you sure she didn't hit her head?" Ainsley kept saying she didn't, and I didn't see any bumps or bruises. I would know if she had hit her head, right?

Wrong. The first thing the doctor did when he came into our room was to push back a little of her hair. And there it was: a bloody scrape and small bump, just above her temple on the same side as the elbow wound. She DID hit her head. Darnit.

The doctor explained that vomiting and chills after a fall were warning signs of a concussion, and motion worsened the vomiting (thus the throwing-up in the car). It also explained her lethargy and how quickly she fell asleep after we got home (and don't I feel like a horse's ass for letting her go to sleep with a concussion.) He seemed relieved to find the bump, because after a quick look at her arm he could rule out a fracture and thought a concussion made the most sense. He said even if he hadn't found the bump, he would have been thinking she had a head injury based on how closely her symptoms seemed to match.

It was pretty scary. The doctor told us that we might notice some cognitive deficits for the next 3 or 4 days, things like forgetfulness and an inability to do things or remember things she normally has no problem with. He also said she would be very tired and need more sleep.

She's home with her Mamaw today so that she can get some rest. I have felt the need to pamper her since we got the diagnosis, and it kills me a little that I couldn't be off today to be with her (my assitant is out all week, so it's just me in the library.) But I am sure Mamaw is doing an adequate job of spoiling her with donuts and kids' TV.

In a few days her little brain bruise will be just a memory and things will be back to normal in the Cranky house. As normal as they ever are, anyway.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Revelations at a Football Game

Friday night, Ainsley and I went to a home football game at my high school. I am ashamed to confess that this was the first sporting event I've been to in my seven years at this school. I'm a bad teacher, I know. It was Ainsley's idea; she saw a local restaurant commercial that featured clips from a high-school football game, and said she wanted to go to one. We stayed through the marching band's halftime show and had a great time. I also learned some things.

I learned that:

1. Kettle corn rocks. Our band boosters pop it and sell it during home games, and it ranks pretty highly on my list of best snacks ever. Crispy, fluffy, and the perfect blend of salty and sweet...mmmm. I found myself wanting to strap the bag on like a sack of feed and just bury my head in the bag. It was that good.

2. My daughter really, really, really wants to be a cheerleader. More than anything in this world, she says. Which has me thinking: is she really my kid, or did aliens snatch her soul and replace it with some other little girl's?

She's already asked to go to another football game so she can see the cheerleaders and listen to the band (I kept trying to get her to see the merits of being in the marching band, since that's more in her genetic makeup, but she couldn't get past being a cheerleader), so I guess we're becoming regulars. We don't pay much attention to the game, but at least we're there wearing our blue and white. And supporting the band boosters by eating our weight in kettle corn.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Little 80s Nostalgia has a great Pop Watch Confessional today asking about the pop-culture items from our youth we wish we still had. Reading the comments has been like taking a walk through my childhood; I've been reminded of Snoopy Sno Cone machines (wanted, but never got), Cher dolls, Fashion Plates (LOVED those), Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and the like. Gosh, we had a lot of crap in the 80s.

It got me thinking about my favorite toys from he 70s and 80s. And all the campy jingles we listened to for these toys during Saturday morning cartoons ("You put some ice cubes in, you get a snow cone out...Yum Yum fun is what it's all about!")

Here are some things I really wish I had kept from my childhood:

1. My Bionic Woman doll. Now that the new series is coming out, it would be soooo cool. She had little flaps that popped up on her arms and legs to let you see the bionics at work, and I think she hooked up to some kind of machine that spat out a fake EKG or something. Until the paper ran out, and then you were SOL.

2. This one game that I think was called Perfection. You wound up the timer on the side, and then you had to race against the clock to put all these differently-shaped pieces on this tray before it popped up, spraying plastic parts everywhere. As it got closer to the time of the pop-up, the timer started clicking faster, and you knew you were in for it. I startled even easier as a kid than I do now, and I would get really worked up and nervous about not having all the pieces in before this thing would catch me all unawares and pop up in my face. If you got all the pieces in before the timer went off, you could at least prepare for the big jump. It was truly frightening and exhilarating for me, and is probably the reason why I've had to be treated for anxiety more than once in my life.

3. My own Michael Jackson Thriller jacket, which looked just like the one he wore in the video, but was made of some plastic material only slightly thicker than a Hefty bag, and which I had torn the arms off of inside of a week. But man, it was fun while it lasted.

4. My Star Wars figures.

5. My "Gizmo" stuffed animal, which said, "Mogwai!" just like the one in the Gremlins movie when you pressed his belly, and squeaked adorably when you shook him.

6. My E.T. lamp. If I still had it, I really think I could make some serious money off of eBay for it. It was truly wonderful and tacky and terrifying all at the same time. My mom's friend was into ceramics and had her own workshop where she painted her own stuff and taught lessons and fired everthing herself. She made me this lamp that was an 18-inch tall E.T. with a lightbulb inside of him to highlight the transparent red stomach, blue glass eyes, and, of course, red jewel finger. Then you could a put regular light bulb and shade on top of his head. He was my bedside lamp for a couple of years until I repainted and redecorated my room and outgrew him. I can still remember listening to the radio in my room, and when Neil Diamond's "Heartlight" would come on, turning on his inside bulb and singing to my very own glowing E.T. Good times, good times.

7. And the kicker: Though not a toy, I most wish I had a copy of the Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians' Special that aired on HBO in the mid-80s and which my parents let me watch even though I was probably too young for the adult language. There was a comedian on there named Bob Nelson, and he did this hee-larious football player sketch that used to make me cry and that I can quote in full to this day ("I never play without my protective my helmet, and them shoulder-m-pads.") Not having a VCR at that point, I held a tape recorder up to that show and taped it and shared it with all my friends. Sam Kinison and Bob Saget were on there too, I believe. Years later, I say something that is a quote from the Bob Nelson sketch while hanging out with my friend Cindy in college, and she gasps and starts quoting back, and before long we've recited the whole dang thing. She tells me she has a VHS copy of that show at her house, and she asks her mom to find it and mail to her. A few days later, the tape has arrived, and I've just turned 21, so we gather in her dorm room to knock back my first legal purchase and laugh our asses off. But her brother has taped over the show with something called, "Live From Death Row." We could have cried. One of the biggest disappointments of my entire life.

But I digress. What toys or pop-culture items from your childhood would you most like to find at a garage sale? What treasures are still lurking in your attics and basements?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bright, Bright Sun-Shiny Day

I think things are turning around. Yesterday, I:

1. Found my watch, which had been missing since Saturday morning, and which I was convinced I had thrown away on accident;

2. Got a happy note home from Ainsley's teacher, who said she is trying very hard to improve her classroom habits and had a great day yesterday.

Those two little things just made my day. Maybe there's something to this positive-thinking bullcrap after all.

But never fear. After one more workday of shiny, happy posts, Cranky will allow herself to go back to being, well, cranky, as long as the situation calls for it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Breaking News From the World Of Amateur Theatre

Cranky is going to be taking to the stage for the first time in a dozen years! I have been cast in our faculty murder mystery dinner theater to raise money for our drama department. I didn't even have to audition! Granted, it's not like teachers were knocking down doors or anything to get a part, but still. Let me have my moment.

My thing in high school was to play roles that really were supposed to go to males. I was the Artful Dodger in Oliver, and the John the Baptist/Judas role in Godspell. Following in that great theater tradition of not having enough guys wanting to take part, I have been cast in a male role yet again.

My character's name is Ronald Shifty, and he is a shifty bloke, indeed. I have to adopt a thick cockney accent for the part (I'm thinking Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins) and hit on one of my female co-workers. It's not a very big part, but it's one that provides comic relief. Am I the murderer? You'll just have to see it to find out.

For those interested, I'll have performance information posted soon. We have a great cast, and it's a really fun script. It should be a fun night for a good cause.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

White Chicken Chili: It'll Cure What Ails You

It's days like today, when I'm coming down with a cold and can almost feel the germs settling in and making babies in the back of my throat, that I thank God for the Rosses' white chicken chili recipe. It has antiseptic and decongestant properties that are nothing short of magical.

The first time I had it, I was pregnant and our college friends made it for us for dinner. I thought several times during that dinner that I was going to die. It was just about the hottest thing I had ever eaten, and I am a big fan of spicy food. It made me sweat, it made my eyes water, it burned the whole way down (and I do mean the whole way.) And yet, I had a second bowl. And asked for the recipe. And fixed it at home the first time about a week later. It was that good.

Since then, I've burned enough taste buds off at Chipotle so that I don't notice the heat of the Ross Chili too much. It's the dish my mom most requests when she comes over for dinner, though she sometimes asks me to turn the heat down on it a little. It's a staple, even if it is a little too hot for Ains, requiring me to make a second meal for her.

I always have it when I feel a cold coming on. I swear, there have been times it's nipped the virus in the bud. If I have a sore throat, it kinda numbs it. Numbs it, or does nerve damage, but either way, you don't feel the sore throat as much. And I think it creates such an inhospitable environment in your mouth and throat that nothing can survive. The germs get wiped out much as they would if you could gargle Lysol. Have you ever read Dave Barry's "Flaming Toilet" column, where he visits with a microbiologist who says the only way to really get a toilet 100% bacteria-free is to pour gasoline on it and set it afire? I am pretty sure a dousing with this chili would have the same effect. But it's far too valuable to waste that way (and I doubt it holds on to its antiseptic properties after it, you know, passes into the toilet by its own means, though the first time I ever ate it it still felt pretty potent on its way out.)

So in a week where I am trying to find the positives, this one's an easy one. The Rosses' white chicken chili definitely brightens my day and cures what ails me. The heartburn will be soooo worth it tonight.

Monday, September 3, 2007

For a Limited Time Only--The Happy Librarian!

I've started this post 3 times. I had something to gripe about (2 somethings, actually), something I was very fired-up about, but couldn't seem to get into it. I looked back over my posts from the last week for inspiration and had an epiphany: I have become dangerously bitter. Even for a blog that calls itself "The Cranky Librarian", there's been a little too much acid coming from this pen.

You know how as a kid, you would unknowingly step in dog poo while playing in the yard, and you would think for a while, "Gosh, what is that smell?" It would kinda follow you around, and your friends would notice and start accusing everyone else of farting, and then you would walk into your house to get a popsicle and your mom would scream, "AAAAGH! You're tracking dog crap on the carpet!' and then you would realize you'd been carrying that on your shoe for hours. I feel like my last 7 days have been like that, except instead of real doggy droppings, I've stepped in a big pile of Karmic offal.

I'm tired of this bad luck. I'm tired of picking foul-smelling experiences out of the treads of my shoes. I need an Extreme Makeover: World View Edition.

So here's the deal: to try to make something positive happen for me, I am going to surround myself with good thoughts this week. No, really. Stop laughing. I promise that, for an entire week, I will only post good comments about people. Kind of a "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" mentality. If I can't think of a compliment to give another human being or group, I won't post that day. If something bad has happened, I will put a positive spin on it. You know, turn the beat around. Turn it up, turn it up, turn it upside down.

Ooh, boy. I'm gonna need some help.

Help me put some good back into my life. Build a wall of positive energy around this blog. Just for one week! If you're one of my lurkers who read and don't post, try to post an anonymous and positive comment this week. If you're having some crap-tacular luck, too, spin it. Become a "Spin Doctor", if you will.

I'll start. I am going to take today's bad experiences and try to find the good in it. Here goes nothing:

1. The waitresses at my favorite Cincinnati-chili chain (for the sake of anonymity, let's call it, "Charming Silhouette of a City's Buildings" Chili) almost never get my order wrong, overcharge me, and argue with me over the price of a "substitution" all on the same visit.

2. The teenage girl who was supposed to work a booth at Ainsley's school's festival with me today gave me an hour of solid help before she up and left for parts unknown leaving me to work two games in the last hour in the hot sun by myself.

Whew! That was hard, but I feel a little better already. It's either the positive thinking, or the Dos Equis.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Here's A Thought...

If you're sick, stay the frick out of swimming pools.

Silverlake is closing its pool this weekend because someone with a confirmed case of the very nasty intestinal infection Cryptosporidiosis swam there last weekend. Guess who else swam there last weekend? My entire family! And guess who had swim lessons there Thursday night? Ainsley! Hooray! I am counting the days until we start throwing up violently.

Of course, we may be lucky and escape it, but it's a highly contagious bug. All it takes is for you to accidentally swallow infected pool water. I am pretty sure I didn't, but I can just about promise you Ainsley did. And if she gets it, as primary poop-cleaner-upper, I will probably get it, too. Grrrr.

As nasty as this thing is, why in God's green earth would anyone with this illness in any of its stages get in a pool? How do people not know that you don't let your kid swim when they have diarrhea? Or have had it recently? Chances are, that infected person got it from another infected swimming pool, and that parent is probably ticked that that happened, but still thought it would be OK to bring Junior ro Silverlake to get a break from the heat. Grrrrr.

I've said it before, and will say it again: I love people!