“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Why Ibuprofen Is My Friend Today

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Before I get on with the podcast series, I just have to jump in here with a bit of a news break. I have finally done something that it seems everyone else in the world had done before me. Something painful but necessary, scary but it had to be done. Yesterday, I had my first tooth pulled.

It started about 2 months ago I think, when I stuck my finger in the back of my mouth to get out a bit of food that got stuck between my cheek and my tooth (oh c'mon, don't tell me you don't do that when you're alone), and thought, "Hmmmm. I don't think that edge is supposed to be jagged."

Thus began Operation Putting off the Search for a Dentist, since I didn't have a dentist yet in this new town. I'll skip all the long boring stuff that led to me yesterday's adventure and just say that the dentist who told me when I was seventeen that I had a big mouth?

Wrong. Very, very wrong.

My new dentist – who by the way is a woman, which surprised me at first because I had never met a woman dentist, until the surprise turned into relief because there's something about a woman dentist that is more comfortable even though I don't know why exactly – kept telling me how small my mouth was, how difficult it was to get in there to reach the wisdom tooth that had broken in half, and kept apologizing for having to stretch my mouth open so far in order to reach it.

Before it started, I really didn't think I was scared, but at the moment she told me she was about to start and explained to me calmly just what she was going to do, I just about jumped out of the chair and ran home bawling and screaming, "Don't do it!"

But I didn't. I stayed in my chair, not crying, and saying the alphabet over and over in my head in order to distract myself because the TV hanging over my head wasn't good enough. And soon (after about 10 shots of novacaine) it was over.

Now, I'm home, with a slightly puffy mouth, but mostly okay with ibuprofen as my friend. And hoping I never have to do that again.



Sharing My Addiction

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A while ago, I wrote about my new obsession with podcasts. I am still enamoured with them and I am continuously updating them, adding new ones, deleting the boring ones, and listening to them whenever possible: at work, while I walk the dog, while I clean the house, etc. It's a sickness, really.

For those of you who may not yet have contracted this auditory ailment, I’ll attempt to explain it. It’s hard to capture in words what exactly is the allure of podcasts. In a way they are like old-time radio shows, or current radio shows for that matter. In fact, some of the podcasts I listen to are actually radio shows that are offered on iTunes as podcasts as well.
But while not everyone can get (or even wants) their own radio show, anyone can have their own podcast. I suppose in that way it’s like a blog; it’s not easy to get your own newspaper column for example, but the wonder of the WWW makes it simple for anyone to publish their thoughts for the world to see on their very own blog.

That still does not tell you why I have fallen head over heels for podcasts, does it? Maybe it’s the freedom they offer to absorb information and entertainment at my leisure. With my iPod I can listen to a podcast of my choice anytime I want. I don’t have to wait until the scheduled time and make sure that I have a radio available in order to listen to a podcast. My iPod goes with me almost everywhere, so, for instance, if I get bored while executing a particularly mundane task at work, I can pop in my earbuds and feed my addiction be entertained while my fingers keep working apart from my brain.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite podcasts. As I mentioned above, I listen to some radio shows that are “podcasted” as well as broadcasted, and some independent podcasts by plain old folks just like you and me. I’m fairly picky about the quality of the podcasts I listen to, so if you are interested in finding some for yourself, I would say you are probably safe in trying out the ones I’ll be recommending.

That said, this post is getting a bit lengthy, and I want to give each podcast the recognition it deserves, so expect a short series coming up with reviews of my favorite podcasts. They range from gardening and general DIYing, to grammar obsessions and writing tips.
In the meantime, if you have a favorite podcast (or 2 or 3) to recommend, drop me a line in the comments or write a review on your own blog and leave me a link. I’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts too. Because if this is a sickness, I just don't want to get well.

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Back In The 21st Century

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I have news of epic proportions. This is big, people. Really, really big. There are only a handful of things that could possibly happen in my life right now that could be bigger than this.

If you’ve read my blog in the past 10 months or so, you may have picked up on the fact that we have only had dial-up access to the internet since we moved out to the boonies. It was an acceptable sacrifice in exchange for the glorious benefits of leaving the hood to live in the country, but it was so hard to live without it.

Even as I type those words, I cringe a little. Shouldn’t I be able to live without high-speed internet? Didn’t I live quite well for the first 20+ years of my life without any access to the internet at all?

Wait a minute. Breathe.

Okay, I’m better now. Kindly ignore that moment of insanity. Really, I’m okay. And do you know why I’m okay? Because we now have broadband internet again! Did you hear that? I’ll repeat it just in case you missed it.

We have broadband internet!!! Woo hoo!!!

I feel like I’ve been trying to breathe under water since November and I finally got my head above the water and am taking a deep, satisfying breath of fresh clean air. Ah, dear me, it’s good to be back.

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First Kiss

Friday, August 08, 2008

This is my submission to Scribbit's August Write-Away contest. I've been searching unsuccessfully for blogging inspiration, but when I saw her topic for this month's contest I knew I had found it. The story is true, but the names have been changed.


I was ten years old and standing in a closet with a boy. It was dark; so dark I couldn’t see his face, or the clothes that hung by my head, or even the door. I stood there waiting, but for what I didn’t know. After all, I was only ten.

“Did you do it yet?” His little sister’s voice carried excitedly from the other side of the closet door in a world where light still shone and one could see the clothes – or the boy – before them.

“Geez, Jenny!” Kevin replied. We stood there silent for a few more seconds that seemed like hours. He didn’t seem to be moving toward me, not that I would know in the dark. Did I want him to kiss me? I wasn’t sure. He was a boy after all, and even though he was a nice boy, every ten-year-old girl knows that boys are icky.

A sliver of light appeared where Jenny cracked open the sliding door, immediately followed by her left eye peering into the darkness. Apparently she couldn’t see well enough to satisfy her impatient curiosity, so she slid the door open wide. “I thought you two were going to kiss,” she said. She was irritated. We had failed to live up to her expectation.

Kevin exited and I was right behind him. People called us “boyfriend and girlfriend” – mostly our moms with winks and goofy grins – but I wasn’t sure why. I mean, I liked him and all, and it was nice to hang out with him sometimes, like the time I got invited to go horseback riding with him and his mom and her friend on his birthday. It was fun. Was that what being a boy’s girlfriend was all about? Jenny seemed to think it involved kissing too, which kind of made sense, but was still icky.

We never did kiss. Kevin and Jenny went home with their parents that night and I quickly forgot about the whole kissing thing; a favorite book was a quick and easy distraction. It wasn’t long after that night that Kevin and I “broke up”, which I figured out meant that we didn’t get to hang out together anymore. Apparently I said something that made him mad. I still got to be friends with Jenny though, which was nice because with her no one used silly words like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” and no one expected any kissing.

It was over ten years before the kissing issue came up again. Boys never paid much attention to me in that time since my best friend was gorgeous and vivacious – oh yeah, and blonde. That was fine with me – mostly – because it meant I didn’t have to talk much and risk making a fool of myself which I invariably did whenever I opened my mouth. On the other hand, I was sometimes jealous of her because she always had a boyfriend and I never did. Boys didn’t seem so icky as they used to.

And then I met him. He was just past being a boy, at least on the outside. He was playful and silly, a little geeky and still a bit boyish, but just serious and smart enough to be attractive to the young woman I had become. He asked me to marry him, and though we had never been on a date I knew I would be happy with him for the rest of my life. We could sit and talk for hours on end, and I hardly ever made a fool of myself, and if I did, for the first time in my life it didn’t really matter – because he loved me. He loved me. Maybe it was time to finally kiss a boy.

He wanted to wait until our wedding day. We were going to be married in about four months, but he wanted to play it safe, to not take any chances by doing things that might “lead us into temptation”, like kissing. So we didn’t kiss, even though he loved me and I loved him back. We smiled and laughed and talked and planned and loved each other, but we did not kiss.

As our wedding day approached, I began to get nervous. Soon we would be standing in front of two hundred of our friends and family, and I, who had never kissed anyone before, would have my first kiss on display before them all. My heart pounded in trepidation at the thought of it.

So, not having any superstitions about my groom seeing me before the wedding, I requested one practice kiss. Shortly before the ceremony, when all the preparations were complete and we were both dressed in our wedding day finery, he, at my request, came to my dressing room. We chased out bridesmaids and mothers and attendants for just a few minutes.

He came close to me, put his hands on my shoulders and drew me toward him. I closed my eyes and let all the world fade away. It was our wedding day and for this moment all that remained were the two of us. “Tilt your head like this,” he said quietly, and the man I loved, who would soon call me his “wif”, gently tilted my head to the side, and kissed me.

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