December 30, 2004

 beyond the sneeze

been sick. another damn head cold. scratchy throat, sinus congestion. bleah. i think i exhausted myself into it. i feel like i've been riding an emotional roller coaster these last few days.

i'm feeling better today than i was yesterday, but still pretty snotty.

regardless, i'm planning an outing to see "beyond the sea" at the carolina theatre saturday night. the 7:10pm show. come sing along with us... hopefully we'll have a good divaville turnout.

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December 28, 2004

 what if...

it's been difficult getting back into the swing of things. that trip to colorado was so joyous... it was very difficult to leave. so difficult, in fact, that i've been really mulling over the feasibility of moving out there.

as i said goodbye to rob, roxi & lulu with tears streaming down my face, i wondered why, exactly, i was leaving. i have a nice job in north carolina, sure. i have wonderful, amazing friends, too. but, you know... as much as i love and value those things, i don't cry when i leave them.

once when i was younger i was asked to rank --in order of importance to my life-- these three concepts: family, work, and friends. back then i put friends first, followed by work, and then family. but as i get older i find that order is shifting. right now, family definitely feels like it should be first.

1,500 miles separate me from important moments in the lives of people i love and cherish deeply. people who know me better than anyone else on earth. i think about the fact that i'm 35 years old, and though i don't want to be morbid i know that i am only given a certain amount of time on earth with these people. i want to be with them as much as i can.

the fact that i'm crying as i type this makes me believe that i really need to consider this seriously.

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December 26, 2004

 my last roxi post... for a little while, anyway.


i've decided that i should really make a point to see this child every, oh, 3 months or so. in the 3 months since i last saw her she really grew up a lot. she used to be a baby, but now she's a tiny person. she's full of joy and giggles and slobbery smiles... and i don't want another 3 months to go by without experiencing more of that. she's amazing.

so, anyway, today we had our christmas celebration at the tusselwupper's, and joining us was lulu's brother, lee. we all ate and unwrapped and played with ridiculous toys, and wore silly hats... and it was a fantastically great day.

but sadly, we leave town tomorrow. mom and i are heading back to lives distinctly lacking in the US RDA of roxi, rob and lulu.

family vacations can be so bittersweet.

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December 25, 2004

 roxi visits the pool


sorry for the overabundance of baby photos, but roxi is the most exciting news this week. (aside from the fact i got stinking drunk last night. rob mixes a mean cocktail.)

today roxi experienced a pool for the first time. rob & lulu are starting to think about enrolling her in infant swimming lessons, but before doing so they wanted to see how she'd react to being in that much water. having a pool here at the hotel was a great opportunity to find out. and she did amazingly well.

but before she could get in the water, though, she had to put on her swimming diapers.

but then we headed down to the pool and she took to the water like a fish frog. her swimming technique looks like it is going to be, um, interesting. (1.2 MB .mov)

there was also a hot tub to try out, and she really loved splashing around. (3.2 MB .mov)

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December 24, 2004

 a day in the life of roxi

roxi likes avocado:

but she's a messy eater:

roxi is learning how to eat with a spoon:

roxi is learning how to drink out of a cup:

roxi giggles when her feet touch her ears:

roxi is going to be a computer programmer:

roxi wants gamma to be a computer programmer, too. (3.6 MB .mov)

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December 23, 2004

 my darling little niece


damn, she's cute. here she is bouncing in her swing and playing with my sock.

she's gotten so strong since i last saw her september. she uses her legs to bounce not only in the swing, but on your lap, too. she's starting to get the idea of crawling, but only if you put your hands behind her feet to give her something to push off of.

she's way more interactive, too. she grabs for things, she smiles when you smile, and that laugh... oh, that laugh!! it just melts my soul.

here's a little quicktime movie of roxi bouncing in her swing.

this visit is about more than just the baby, of course. (yeah, right.) i LOVE seeing rob & lulu... they're the best. my mom is here, too; she flew in from new mexico yesterday. she & i are staying in a hotel, so as to give the tusselwupper's more space.

it snowed here yesterday. there are probably 4 inches on the ground. very powdery snow... at least it looks that way from our third-story window here at the hotel. i'm a bit scared to go downstairs to check it out in person, because the forecast today calls for a high of 11 degrees.


i mean, who's in charge of this kind of thing? 11 is so stupid.

anyway, we don't have much scheduled... tomorrow is christmas eve, and mom will probably go to church while her heathen spawn will likely consume a bottle of wine and curse at things. saturday is christmas, and there are a ridiculous number of presents under the tree... so we'll probably be busy ripping things open all day long. then sunday we fly back.

a short trip, but totally worth it.

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December 20, 2004

 christmas gifts

so, i'm done with the christmas crafts. i finished everything on sunday afternoon.

i've delivered a few of the gifts already (and sent a few others across the country) and so far the reaction has been really good! i'm pleased with myself.

the bad thing is that there were quite a few projects that involved knitting, and i aggrivated the tendonitis in my wrist. i don't think it's carpal tunnel, thank god, but my wrist is still sore and a little tingly when held in certain positions.

anyway, i'm hopping on a plane to colorado early tomorrow morning and am looking SO forward to spending a few days with the tusselwuppers. i feel like my heart is going to explode into a million pieces just thinking about it!

it's supposed to be damn cold while i'm there, which bums me out slightly (i'm used to spending christmas in the desert at my mom's house in new mexico), but maybe we'll all just spend the whole week inside, telling stories and drinking hot cocoa.

that would be great.

happy holidays!!

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December 19, 2004


lisa has noticed the absence of activity here, i think.

it's due entirely to the fact that i am knitting my fingers to the bone, finishing an astonishing number of christmas presents before i have to get on a plane on tuesday.

nothing exciting is happening here, believe me. it's simply the final crunch before the holidays.

in fact, i've only sat down at the computer twice this whole weekend. that's practically a christmas gift to myself!

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December 17, 2004

 my boobs are grateful that i'm in radio

we keep the tv in the on-air studio tuned to the weather channel.

yesterday during my shift a fellow announcer stepped into the studio to discuss a work-related matter with me. he managed to get a few sentences out before he stopped cold and stared, slack-jawed, at the female meteorologist on the screen.

not only was this woman wearing an inappropriately tight sweater, but her ample bosom looked like it had been torpedoed directly from the 1950s. it was quite high and pointy. remarkably so.

this was not a glamorous woman. she wasn't trying to be provocative, i'm sure. i think she just made a bad fashion choice.

we tore our eyes away and tried to finish our conversation, but it was no use. we couldn't keep from staring her boobs. we finally had to just turn the tv off.


oh my gosh, i just clicked the link on poor kristin's page that says "local forecast music." i'm glad that we keep the tv muted!

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December 15, 2004

 me so sleepy

i seem totally incapable of getting to bed before 1am.

i've tried. believe me, i've tried. i'll be in my pj's and the clock reads "11:00" and i'll think, "hey, it would be really nice to go to bed right now."

but then jon stewart comes on the TV and i'm rendered immobile (and drooling) for a half-hour.

then the next thing you know letterman is on.

all the while i'll be working on christmas presents, of course (crafty, crafty), being impressively productive, but then suddenly it's 12:30 in the morning. what the...?!? every night i'm equally stunned when i realize how late it's gotten.

so then i'll get up and wash my face and brush my teeth... but these are sounds that trigger sherpa into a biscuit-making frenzy. she mews and stalks me --aggressively-- until i lie down. then she hops on my tummy and kneads and kneads and kneads... sometimes for 20 minutes. (she's an expert biscuit-maker.)

so, next thing you know it's 1am.

or sometimes it's 2am --as it was last night-- if i'm stressed out about the fact that i'm leaving for colorado in 5 days. i'll lie there and create to-do lists in my mind. i'll also read, trying to distract myself into sleep. and finally i drift off.

but then the alarm goes off at 8am, and i'll do it all over again.

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December 13, 2004

 if ($fields{'outputfile'} ne "")
{ print OUT_FILE "GEAH!";}

i have been knee-deep in javascript and perl.

not that i know anything about these things. but i've been knee-deep in 'em nonetheless.

actually, since i'm WAY out of my league on this stuff, i feel like i've been nose-deep... and drowning. flailing about for something solid to grab on to. daily.

this means that for the last week or so i have had very little time to read anyone's blogs. this makes me sad. if you've blogged something exceptionally revelatory, would you email me directly and tell me about it?

i know it's an old-fashioned mode of communication, but humor me, will you? for some reason, if information is sitting in my inbox i feel absolutely compelled to consume it. if the news is out there in blogland it seems less compulsory.

hrm... at least my vocabluary has improved during the course of this coding spree...

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December 10, 2004

 cornwallis' new home

i've been totally remiss in posting this. many apologies to those of you who were waiting on the edge of your seats.

cornwallis has a new home in moncure, north carolina. he is happy and doing well. you can read charlotte's final post here.

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 about 28 would be nice

there are just not enough hours in the day.

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December 6, 2004

 left... left... left, right, left


listen to this! talking heads songs as interpreted by the university of arizona marching band.

this gets me right there.

by now you know that i adore talking heads. what you might not know is that i also spent a number of years immersed in marching band, both in high school and in college. those are years that i wouldn't trade for anything.

marching band is hard work. thankless work, too, at times. (halftime routines are generally ignored as drunk spectators make for concession stands so they can get even more drunk.) band members always looked more forward to competitions than football games, as everyone at those events wanted to see the band, and always recognized the skill it required.

but it wasn't the performances i enjoyed as much as the rehearsals. for some reason i absolutely thrived on the tedium of learning the drills... "trombones, take eight counts to move to three steps inside the 30 yard line; clarinets, take 8 counts and mark time in place. now run it. again. good. again." it could take a full day to learn the steps to one song, then two more days to perfect it, making sure we all lifted our feet to the same height and held our instruments at the same angle.

it was repetitve, exhausting and tedious. yet for some reason i loved it. it was totally extracurricular (i don't think anyone earned any academic credits for it) and hogged up a lot of time. it was physically draining, too. wearing those heavy canvas uniforms while hauling ass down a football field is difficult enough, but doing so while actually playing --and playing well-- requires an immense amount of physical control. but the experience was always challenging and i always considered my fellow band members to be among my closest friends. marching band was, in a word, invigorating.

i can still get a taste of the band from time to time. sometimes i hear the duke marching band practicing on the field near WXDU. i can feel those drum cadences, close my eyes, and remember wiggling my uniformed butt to those beats. and whenever i stumble across the drum corps competition on PBS i stop and watch, slack-jawed. those groups have perfected the art of marching. everything is tight, tight, tight and they put on a fantastic show.

man, talking about this makes me wish there was an amateur local marching band i could participate in. i would probably give up my spot in the durham symphony to do it.

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December 5, 2004

 rock-n-roll weekend

this has been such a rock-n-roll weekend!

very atypical for me, i must say.

friday night i went to "the great cover-up" (one of three evenings chock-full of goofy cover bands), which has been written up by observers far more competent than i. suffice it to say, i enjoyed myself immensely... though the overabundance of cigarette smoke caused me to lose my mind after the talking heads' set. mary ran up to me to see how i liked it, and all i could say was, "i have to get out of here! I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!"

what i wasn't able to communicate to her then was that i thought the talking heads cover band was pretty good. of course, whoever attempts to imitate david byrne has a difficult task ahead of them, but this dude did a nice job. they played "psycho killer", "stay hungry" (a lesser-known song that i really enjoyed hearing), "drugs", "crosseyed and painless" and "burning down the house" (a performance which caused everyone to hoot and holler).

as nice as it was to see a talking heads cover band, it also made me a little sad. i never had the good fortune to see the actual band in a live performance (though believe me, i've seen more than my fair share of documentaries, videos and rare footage of the group) so seeing an imitator forced me to consider once again how i'd never seen the real thing.


anyway, back to my rock-n-roll weekend:

on saturday night i saw the magnetic fields at the carolina theatre in durham. actually, this show had a decidedly non-rock-n-roll vibe, so it seems a little disingenuous to say it was a rock-n-roll weekend. this magnetic fields concert was more like a two-hour sedative than a rock show.

yet it was still entertaining. in a sleepy kind of way. i don't know why they chose to perform the most mellow of their songs, but the hammy choreographed routine near the end of the show (to "yeah! oh yeah!") was a welcome change of pace. it was an almost jarring burst of energy in a rather low-key concert.

but i liked the show! i really liked it! the songs were beautiful, and i could just listen to stephin merritt's voice forever. (though the incessant drone of it actually caused ray to flee the auditorium at one point.)

i think i've always had a thing for odd singing voices. david byrne, sure... weird and yelpy. stephin merritt's sad, quirky bass. tom waits' chain-smoking rasp. willie nelson's nasal crooning. and let's not forget about my newfound love of morrissey with his whiny-ass whiner-voice. heh.

maybe that's the hurdle i have to overcome with most bands i hear these days... not a lot of groups (at least in my perception) have outstanding, unique vocalists. it could be that i'm not paying close enough attention; i feel like only lately am i really starting to listen again.

oh god, i almost forgot the flaming lips' wayne coyne! what a weird warbler he is. and i love it!

anyway, where was i? oh yeah... my rock-n-roll weekend. the best thing about it was seeing lots and lots (and lots) of old friends. it seemed that at both of these shows there was a friendly face at every turn. that's such a wonderful feeling... a sense of belonging.

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December 3, 2004


when i got to work this morning the whole office smelled like a fireplace.

the office has been known to smell like a lot of things (popcorn, B.O.) but never a fireplace. probably because we don't, like, even have a fireplace.

it turns out someone was burning incense.

and perhaps i'm being over-sensitive, but how rude is that?? it's difficult for me to tolerate perfumy smells at all, and this was particuarly powerful. sandalwood + ash + fire smells. and it was pungent.

i go out of my way to buy scent-free laundry soap and stuff like that. i avoid the perfume aisle of department stores like the plague. and i didn't want to appear uptight about this, but about 10 minutes after i sat down at my desk i thought i was going to go crazy. i seriously felt like i couldn't take a breath. i got up and ran around the office, "who's got the incense? who's got the incense???"

i finally located it and beat the hell out of it. (that's the only way i know to put out incense.) i threw it in the garbage can and ran outside and took a deep breath.

i wish i could have stayed out there and worked on my laptop or something, because coming back inside was terrible. the fireplace smell again, extra strong now because I COULDN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.


i think i need to step outside again. right now.

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December 1, 2004

 crafty mcgee

i am making all of my christmas presents this year.

i didn't realize what an ambitious project it was going to be. i started last night and was shocked when i looked at the clock and it was midnight. it took up so much time! what's more, i can see myself spending 3 or 4 nights a week on this stuff until christmas.

am i crazy? it's probably easier to just buy presents.

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