January 31, 2006

 locopops reopens wednesday

Locopops Gourmet Frozen Pops
Reopens Wednesday, 2/1/06!

Yes, we're back from vacation and reopening with flair! We've got a great menu with lots of favorites and some new twists. See below for the nitty-gritty (* indicates a new flavor).

Paletas de Agua (water-based):
Momo (a french mojito with lime, mint and Chambord)*
Plum Black Currant*
Spicy Apple Hazelnut (with black and white peppercorns)*
Guava Mint
Very Berry
Pomegranate Tangerine
Mango with Chile

Paletas de Crema (cream-based):
White Chocolate Almond Kirsch*
Clementine Thyme Mint*
Lemon Curd*
Thai Rice Pudding (with vanilla, cinnamon, coconut milk & lemongrass)*
Chocolate Brownie
Strawberries & Cream
Mexican Chocolate
Cookies & Cream
Nana & Nilla
Chocolate Malted Milkball Crunch

Also, if anyone knows a school art teacher interested in a place to display students' work, let us know. Displaying kids' art at the shop is the brain child of Nancy Hamilton, who brought the Japanese scrolls of her students at Club Blvd Magnet School to Locopops. The show was quite a hit with lots of customer comments, and we'd like to make rotating kids' art a tradition, if possible.

Hope to see you soon!

Locopops Gourmet Frozen Pops
2600 Hillsborough Rd
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-3500

Posted by xta at 11:30 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

 analyze this

dreamt ray i were going to go to paris.

we got to the airport and i discovered i had forgotten my passport. i had 45 mintues until departure and since we'd been dropped off i couldn't go back and get it myself. i called friend after friend to see if someone could go by the house and bring it to me. no one was home. i was on the phone constantly, watching time pass, getting nervous. it finally occurred to me, with just 10 minutes until boarding, that i could have taken a cab back home and gotten it myself. but lisa came through in the end. she showed up and saved the day. we got to the gate just as the final boarding call was announced.

while we were madly checking in, i realized that we had forgotten to bring our luggage. it was still in the trunk of my car, which we hadn't even brought to the airport. i figured that this was a sign that we shouldn't go to paris after all. but ray said we should. we'd already spent the money on the tickets, and solved the last-minute problem with the passport... he said we could buy everything we needed once we got to paris. i thought that was such a non-ray thing to say --spur of the moment, living large-- that i agreed and we got on the plane.

once we arrived in paris, luggageless, we tried to figure out the best way to cheaply sustain ourselves. we knew we'd have to buy some clothes, so we wanted to spend as little money elsewhere as possible. we walked by a big cathedral that was having a free dinner, so we walked towards it. as we were entering, though, we saw iman. bystanders were a-buzz. we also spotted gwenyth paltrow and decided, on a whim, to follow her. she walked down a quaint little alley and ended up at a modelling session. when she saw us arrive right behind her she graciously let us sit in on the photo shoot. it was a high-ceilinged room with dim lighting and an old parisian vibe. we watched gwenyth languidly swing around a pole and look amazing while the photographer clicked off roll after roll of film. gwenyth told us that iman had just had a similar shoot in the same room.

after that ray & i decided we were hungry. we said goodbye to gwenyth and found a cafe nearby. people in front of us in line were choosing very specific items -- decadent ice creams from one menu, elaborate sandwiches from another. when i got to the front of the line i asked questions about how much things cost, and the cashier told me, in english, that the best deal was a to-go package that came with a sandwich, chips, drink and about a dozen cookies. i ordered that, then reached for the money in my wallet, only to realize that i hadn't converted my currency yet. i only had american dollars. i was close to tears, thinking that thing after thing had gone wrong on this trip, and all i wanted to do was eat. but then ray said, "just use your debit card. that will automatically do the conversion for you."

it was a big relief. it worked. and the food was delicious.

Posted by xta at 7:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

 all dressed up with someplace to go

saturday night ray & i went to the durham symphony gala fundraising thingy. it's an annual event, but this year was special because it was the DSO's 30th anniversay. the theme was "pearls", the traditional gift for the 30th. all the ladies wore pearls, of course. i had to borrow some from a friend.

i'd spent several days trying to figure out what to wear to this fancy event... something worthy of pearls. since i'm still losing weight, i really haven't spent a lot of money on investment wardrobe pieces. literally, this (and a few pair of jeans) is all i have in my closet. so, on monday i tried on a dress at talbots that was on super-duper sale, but ended up buying a super-duper on-sale 100% silk skirt instead. i then spent friday evening shopping for a top to go with it.

which leads me to a tangential spiel on the burlington coat factory. good lord, have you ever been to this store?? there's one just a few miles from my house, but i never thought of going clothes-shopping there until i saw a cute dress in the pages of budget living whose caption said it came from the burlington coat factory. so off i went, and i was amazed --AMAZED, I TELL YOU-- at the selection. they have a stunning array of designer stuff at ridiculously low prices. i made about a dozen trips to the fitting room, i found so much to try on.

i ended up buying a embellished frilly silk top for $12.99 to go with my talbots silk skirt, bringing the grand total for my whole outfit to a little over $40. woo hoo! with the borrowed pearl earrings and shoes i already owned, it was a smashing,cheap outfit even if i do say so myself.

anyway, back to the event. stepping across the threshold of the country club's banquet hall the first thing we encountered was a huge ice sculpture of a clam shell and pearl. we checked in, got our drink tickets and "funny money" (there were some gaming tables in the back) and browsed the silent auction items. i bid on a one-hour massage, but lost at the last minute (d'oh!), but ray won a nice photo book on the history of american musicals. he also won, during the live auction, a basketball autographed by the duke women's team.

there was a also nice buffet dinner, of which i slightly overindulged, and a killer dessert bar. i got a piece of ultra-decadent chocolate cake to share with the table, but i had a hard time limiting myself to just 5 or 6 bites. that was the best damn thing i've eaten in 6 months.

it was a very nice evening, with pleasant conversation and laughs with friends. i even learned how to play roulette. it was fun getting dressed up and hobnobbing with city councilmen and other durham movers and shakers. and if that weren't enough, the minute you walked into the bathroom you were certain it was a glitzy event. not only were there an array of complementary toiletries, but a mouthwash dispenser, too. classy, classy stuff.

Posted by xta at 11:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

 today i made my house ugly


i got to thinking that maybe some of my water issues in the crawlspace could be caused by my downspouts. they currently feed into a system of terra cotta pipes which run underground, away from the house and further into the yard. i have heard horror stories from neighbors about these pipes getting clogged with roots and causing water to back up into the downspouts. so today i decided to see if that was the case at my house, too.

i took a sledgehammer, crushed the terra cotta and freed the downspouts. 2 of the 3 them were clear, but the third was packed with roots, at least 8 inches up. i couldn't believe it. there's no way any water was getting through that downspout.

one trip to the home depot later i had replaced the terra cotta receptacles with the black plastic drainage tubes. if it works (and it's supposed to rain, so i'll be able to check soon) then i guess i can dig a trench for the tubes and bury them.

Posted by xta at 2:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

 a nonplural parade

last week my compilation of bathroom wisdom got listed on a "link of the day" site. the page got a lot of traffic and i received a large number of submissions from people wanting to contribute to the list. i added a few dozen entries in just a few days... which is exciting stuff if you're the kind of person who enjoys a little entertainment while you're peeing.

among those email submissions was a solitary complaint:

i loved your collection and have copied some to start my permanent collection - may even check to see if google has more to add. but i must make a request. please remove the mexican/indian/texas/bear.  it is the only really racist one in the collection so i presume you consciously chose to avoid this regular part of bathroom humor otherwise.  perhaps you stumbled into the all too easy habit that others in my part of the country have - thinking jokes using indians aren't really racist since they are nominally integrated into white society 
thanks for your collecting efforts and hopefully for this small bit of editing as suggested by someone you don't even know.

i have never edited the contents of that page. i consider it a sort of documentary: i post exactly what i see (or i post what others see and report to me). should i deny the very existence of the offensive writings just because they aren't PC?

Posted by xta at 12:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

 when does a wall become a wall?


progress on the wall continues! this is so exciting. those rebar posts will eventually, somehow, become 20 feet tall. or something like that.

here's a view of the construction from the next street over. (the brick wall i'm getting will look just like the one on the far side of the highway in this photo.)

the process is terribly ugly. but progress is beautiful.

Posted by xta at 10:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

 and here i thought i was making progress on the to-do list

ray recently noticed a number of new cracks in the walls of his room, so i called brackett (who did some foundation repair --at the seller's expense-- when i bought this house back in 2003) in the hopes that they could give me a diagnosis on the cause of this cracking. they came out this morning.

using a laser level, we quickly found that the problem was rooted in the area of my front porch, a good 4 or 5 feet from where their original work had been done. roger (the dude from brackett) pointed out how the settling was occuring not only along the north-south plane, but also along the east-west plane. in a sense, it looked like the porch was moving in on the house.

he got on his hands and knees and slithered into the crawlspace, only to emerge looking confused. "it's bone dry down there," he said, "except for one area --around the foundation footing near the porch-- where there is a massive pool of water." he said he'd never seen anything like it: totally dry conditions except for one localized area of standing water. even more flummoxing is the fact that there are no plumbing lines in that area of the house, so the water isn't coming from a leak. he actually posited that the source could be an underground spring.

it sounded preposterous to me. a spring? under my house? i clearly have some googling ahead of me.

in the meantime, i'm going to try to pump some of that water out of there myself and see if/how quickly water returns to the area. if it remains dry, all the better. (the source of the water would remain a mystery in that case, but at least we can move ahead with the repair to the footing.) if the water comes back, we've got some more thinking to do.

maybe i should have held off on the purchase of the replacement windows. <sigh>

Posted by xta at 11:29 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

January 23, 2006

 parlez vous?


perhaps i'm spending too much time in my bathroom, but i've suddenly noticed that many of my toiletries have french packaging.

i can understand why lancôme would use french -- they've got that very exotic circumflex.

but why on earth do you think my new origins products have french packaging? from that label, it looks like the company has headquarters in the US, UK, paris and munich. so maybe they save some money by putting two languages on one label? (but where's the german?)

now, i'm not an MBA or anything, but how much extra could it possibly cost to print french labels for french people and english labels for american consumers? it can't cost that much, can it? i'm wondering if there's some less tangible reason to put french on the labels. like, do you think maybe the french text is a complete ruse? like maybe it's used to promote some sort of image? "i use a product that women worldwide use! and the french! they are so beautiful!"

the tampon packaging (pictured above) i feel more certain about. there are three languages on that box. that's efficiency. besides, there's not a whole lot of glam you can give a box of tampons. i'm not sure the whole french mystique thing would work so well with that product.

but supposing for an instant that the french text IS intended only for glamorous effect... well, i have to wonder why the manufacturers of my toilet paper opted for spanish. tp needs all the help it can get, image-wise.

Posted by xta at 2:18 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

 i think i need more sleep

in the last couple of days i:

went to knitting group and made large strides on my current project, a scarf with an intricate pattern (intricate for my skill level, that is).

signed the contract for replacement windows.

saw "walk the line", which --i am honestly surprised to admit-- i enjoyed more than "brokeback mountain".

scheduled appointments to get my teeth cleaned, my eyes examined, and my body checked-up.

contacted the company who did my original foundation repair to see if they'd come check out the new cracks in the house.

considered buying one of these to aid our progress through a giant bowl of pecans, given to me by a co-worker, from his yard.

performed the magic that is divaville.

loaded CDs i received for christmas onto my ipod.

returned the featherbed. i think it was hurting my back more than the mattress alone.

arranged for my dishwasher to have its one-year preventative maintence check-up. (a true test of whether i did a good job installing it myself.)

yet to do:

dinner with jill & jamie; a/v geeks.

sort the durham symphony music for tuesday's rehearsal.

take lisa out for drinks for her birthday.

book a flight to denver for march (?) to visit roxi. (10 MB .mpg)

take my ibook to the apple store and have them figure out why the issue they supposedly resolved last april is happening again.

get my hair cut.

pay bills.

go mattress shopping.

Posted by xta at 9:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

 got an itch on my brain

well, i bit the bullet and ordered my replacement windows from kingsford. i feel good about the decision. (well, as good as i possibly can about spending more than $6,000 of my equity line of credit.) someone will be out in the next couple of days to take precise measurements of the windows, and they should be installed within three weeks.

this process has caused me a good deal of anxiety. (as it should, i suppose... anyone who spends that much money without batting an eye is probably loony. or rich. or both.) there are a few other house-related things that are causing me anxiety, too -- though none as weighty as windows.

after sleeping on a featherbed over the christmas holidays i recently decided to order one for myself. the featherbed i slept on during vacation was so luxurious. i felt like i was sleeping in a cloud. my back pain stopped and i felt like i was getting a really good night's sleep. so i comparison-shopped and found a good price at overstock.com. it arrived last week. i had high hopes.

it's nice, but it doesn't do as much to negate the firmness of my mattress as i'd hoped. i debate whether to send it back or not. this decision causes me anxiety. sleeping on the featherbed is better than sleeping directly on my mattress, but it's not as good as what i slept on over christmas. is it worth saving the $XX in shipping costs to send it back to overstock.com? should i perhaps try a tempur-pedic thingy instead?

stupid worries, i know. in the end, i bet i'll just need to buy a whole new, softer mattress. it's been probably 10 years since i bought this one, which is how long they say you should own a mattress. this one is in good shape, but it's now too firm for me and my aging bones.

then there's the stupid anxiety over my files. i own a couple of attractive wicker file boxes, which have been next to my desk, one on top of the other, for as long as i've been keeping files. they're in good shape and have held up well over the years. the problem with them (which finally drove me to madness) was that there was no way to easily file anything. if the file i needed to access was in the bottom box (and i could never be sure), i'd have to remove the top box, go digging through the files, find what i wanted, then re-stack the boxes when i was done. i hated that process so much that i just let my papers stack up on top of the boxes (thereby prohibiting access to the top box) and i would wait months and months before filing anything at all. which, of course, made the process even more dreadful.

so last weekend, fed up, i made the rounds of the thrift stores looking for a used filing cabinet. you don't know how hard this is. i was hoping for something attractive-looking. wood, maybe. even some sturdy wicker could be nice. but everything at the thrift stores (including duke surplus, which is the KING of used filing cabinets) are ugly, beat-up metal cabinets. bleah.

i gave up on thrift stores and resigned myself to the notion that i'd probably have to buy something new. i went to target, to costco, TO WAL-MART, PEOPLE, and i could find absolutely NO FILING CABINETS. not even ugly metal ones. in a fit of desperation, i stumbled into k-mart, where i finally found one. it was black and metal (and therefore far from spectacular), but by that point i didn't care. i had brief thoughts of painting cute little abstract stencils on it to liven it up, but in an anxiety-ridden state like that such ideas generally remain un-acted upon. i bought it and have spent the last three nights sorting through and transferring my files from one container to another.

so yes, stupid anxiety over filing cabinets, featherbeds and windows. i don't know what's going on with me. i need to chill out.

Posted by xta at 12:12 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 16, 2006

 if you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding

you may remember that i live very, VERY close to the interstate. when i bought this house in the summer of 2003 i was told that the sound wall would be built within a few months.

that was the most inaccurate piece of information i have ever received. we have lived with the noise and the ugliness for 2 1/2 years. i personally don't mind the traffic sounds anymore; i've gotten used to it. but i can see 18-wheelers and traffic jams from my living room, and that's really not very inviting. i've looked forward to the construction of the sound wall for visual reasons. i've longed for it. my heart aches for it.

well, lookee what's happening! actual machinery!


you can't see it? look closer! there are even a couple of real, live construction workers!

saints be praised! this actually might be happening. finally.

i told jill (who lives across the road from me) that when this wall is finished i'm going to run up & down our street, stark naked, doing a dance of joy. and commuters on I-85 won't be able to see it.

Posted by xta at 12:58 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 13, 2006

 the window saga finally continues

i had a local window replacement company come over this morning to give an estimate on what it would cost to replace all the windows in this house.

you may recall that i had a ridiculously high estimate from the home depot during the summer... i've been thinking about doing this for a while. the cold weather has finally fully convinced me, though. i HAVE to do something about this. even with the storm windows up, i can still feel cold air coming into the house. these single-paned crank-windows may be cool-looking, but they just don't serve their function properly anymore.

one of the demonstrations the salesman did was impressive. he set a BTU meter across from a heat lamp. we put a single-pane window between the lamp and the meter and watched how much heat was blocked. it wasn't a lot. (i think the meter went down to maybe 310 or something.) we progressed through several other window configurations and watched the BTU drop each time. to 274, to 237. i could feel a slight difference with my hand, too. but when he put the next-to-last window up the BTU dropped to 47. i could feel no heat on the other side of the glass. it was astounding. (he had one other window to demonstrate beyond that one, but i didn't care about it.)

we walked through the house and took measurements, then he sat down and did some number-crunching. this estimate was MUCH more agreeable: just a little over $5000 for the entire house. though i have a really good feeling about these guys i'm still going to solicit a few more bids. it's good to have lots of information.

after this morning's meeting, though, i find my head is reeling over the design possibilities. there are a couple of windows in this house that will be best served by big "sliders". these sound fine to me -- it seems like they'll let in lots of light and won't block the view horizontally, the way regular double-hung windows do.

but as i drove through the neighborhood after this meeting was over, i looked at everyone else's windows. and everyone else seems to have windows with the "grids" (which make one big window look like many smaller panes). and i wonder if i should get these, too? i can add them to the sliders (and all of the other double-hung windows i'll also get), but i don't know if i want to.

i guess there's a charm about the grids that the plain pane doesn't have. but it also blocks a lot of the view. (granted, i'm not living in a scenic vista or anything, but still... i like to look outside.)


here's a photo of the front of the house if you want to help me envision it. to be honest, what i have right now is almost gridular, though in the ugliest manner possible. grids on the new windows would be white, and much cuter.

but i don't know if i want them.

Posted by xta at 3:05 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

 you don't think they mean guns, do you?


can someone explain this one to me?

Posted by xta at 10:23 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

 it ain't got nothin' to do with sandwiches

i would like you to cordially welcome my friend alex to the blogosphere.

alex has been a wonderful writer since i met him (maybe a decade ago?), but he only started blogging very recently. he's going to be great at this, too, i just know it.

in fact, his most recent post on his job as a medical transcriptionist is so fascinating that it will certainly make you want to bookmark his site and visit frequently.

and it will also cause you to add "breadloafing" to your daily vocabulary.

Posted by xta at 11:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006

 yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead

with my 37th birthday coming up next month i've started worrying about looking 37.

hell, to be honest, i'm not really sure what 37 looks like, but i suspect it's a little wrinkly... because i have started to notice some definite crow's feet around my eyes. which scares the bejeezus outta me. i never thought i'd be so concerned about this. i'm always poo-pooing plastic surgery and stuff, but now that i see the signs of age on my own face i guess my tune has changed. not that i'm into plastic surgery. i'm just starting to adjust my understanding about why someone would want to go under the knife.

anyway, i've complained about my wrinkles to several friends (all in the same age range) who are ALSO noticing similar facial lines, and we're all determined to do something about it. and our dark circles under the eyes, and our crow's feet. let's get rid of them.

but how? they don't teach you this kind of stuff in health class, that's for sure. and if i were to believe the shit i see on tv i'd probably go broke and have little to show for it. that's just a gut feeling.

so i mentioned my little wrinkles to a co-worker who happens to have a flawless complexion. she immediately whisked me off to the bathroom to show me some eye exercises in the big mirror. did you know you have actual, flexible muscles right under your eye? i didn't. she has been doing these bizarre little exercises for decades and it shows -- she's got no bags, no dark circles. it's amazing.

however, i cannot seem to make those muscles work. they must have atrophied over the years, and now barely exist to keep my eyeball in the socket. i'm not holding out much hope for these exercises. so, on to the next step: finding a magical cream.

this is harder than you might think. there are ZILLIONS of eye creams out there, all promising to lift, tone, firm and lighten your skin. my co-worker suggested i not even torture myself by reviewing all of the options, but that i go straight to origins, where she gets the bulk of her skin products. (and have i mentioned how amazing her complexion is?)

still, believing the solution could never be that easy, i googled and read and resesarched (ack!, jezus!) and looked over my bank balance, hoping that there would be some consensus on the best, most cost-effective eye-wrinkle-remover on the market. i should be so lucky. i was tempted (through frustration and exhaustion) into buying one of these magical creams, but then thought the best of it -- i didn't know anyone who could vouch for these products the way that my co-worker could vouch for the stuff at origins.

yet i knew a trip to origins would likely result in a whole new, comprehensive skin-care plan ($$$) so i made a last-ditch, desperate attempt to find a solution at the drugstore. i bought a bottle of olay regenerist serum.

that night i put it on my face before bed, and i swear... i felt an immediate difference. my skin became impossibly soft. (at least compared to how my face used to feel, following my previous skin-care regimen. regimen... HA!) the next night, same thing but even better. i fantasized that my wrinkles were already disappearing as i looked in the mirror. (wishful thinking, i'm sure.)

i still didn't have any decent cleansers, though. and the regenerist stuff i bought wasn't specifically for eyes. i started doing more research and, cross-eyed, finally came to the conclusion that i was going to have to make a trip to origins. i couldn't trust myself to piece this stuff together on my own.

so i headed off to the mall and threw myself at the feet of the skin goddesses in the origins shop. they showed me cleansers (i had been using a bar of dial soap to clean my face in the mornings, which made my co-worker gasp in horror), toners, eye creams, serums, lotions, and even makeup. there is even some new mushroom goo that is endorsed by dr. andrew weil, which could be a big selling point if you're into that kind of thing.

anyway, at the end of their demonstration my skin felt AMAZING. softer than i could have ever imagined. i was stunned silly. (evidenced by the fact that they managed to sell me a lot of product --and take A LOT of my money-- without me hardly even noticing.)

i've been using these origins products for a couple of days, and i find myself smiling into the mirror each morning and night, checking the wrinkles and hoping to see the crow's feet diminishing. of couse they're not. YET. call me naive, but i can only hope that by the time these bottles are empty (and i'm 37) i'll be able to tell a difference.

Posted by xta at 12:07 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

January 7, 2006


i was wandering around in the mall and found myself inexplicably drawn into payless shoe store.

now, i've been doing the opposite of paying less for some time now... spending up to $100 on a pair of shoes, all because i thought i had to. i mean, with wide feet, it ain't easy to find inexpensive footwear.

but as i mentioned earlier, it seems like one of the surprise benefits of losing weight is that my feet have become narrower.

so, while in payless, i found two pairs of adorable flats --CHEAP!-- that i was happy to bring home with me:

(siide view)
these were $8! $8!! i couldn't believe it. they are mauve faux suede and o-so cute.

(side view)
these were $14. i am still surprised at how much i like these shoes. my wardrobe is entirely tweedless, but these feel right at home on my feet.

Posted by xta at 12:08 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 5, 2006

 what to do when you can't do anything


i had a medical procedure this morning that required me to stay off my feet for the rest of the day.

knowing that i would be looking for things to do after i'd plowed through the "now playing" list on my tivo, i had cleverly picked up a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors at the dollar store last night. and today, after i'd finished my backlog of survivor reruns, i set to work organizing my recipes.

very few of my recipes are actually kept on proper recipe cards. the vast majority are emails, newspaper clippings and photocopies. this storage method is perfect.

now i feel like cooking something.

Posted by xta at 8:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 4, 2006


extracinnamon.gifon that long, painful drive from fort collins to santa teresa, desperate for any kind of relief from my itchy throat and snotty nose, i stole a piece of my brother's gum. cinnamon "extra".

aside from a brief period of time in middle school where all the cool kids were chewing grape bubble yum, i don't think i've ever been a gum-chewer. so i don't really know what made me yoink the stick of cinnamon "extra" from rob. it was a whim. utter desperation.

but thank god i did, because it almost INSTANTLY relieved the worst of my cold symptoms. i can't begin to explain the medicine of it, but my nose was cleared and my throat was soothed. i was happy! joyful respite! a miracle!

so i found myself, throughout our time together in new mexico, 'borrowing' lots of my brother's gum. and though my jaw got quite exhausted from near-constant chewing i didn't care. i became addicted to the relief it provided me. i was hooked.

when i arrived back home, already well on my way to recovery (thanks, probably, to a z-pack and not necessarily the gum) i found myself throwing a pack of orbit cinnamon gum in my shopping cart. (i had looked, unsuccessfully, at several stores for "extra".) as i was tossing it in the basket i remember thinking, "what the...? i'm buying gum?!?!", but i found myself wholly incapable of putting the pack back on the rack. (ack.)

in the last 5 days i've chewed myself through the entire 14 sticks. my jaw is tired. i think i'm addicted, and i don't know how to quit.

one thing that keeps running through my mind is a co-worker who noticed my chewing. she looked at me funny, and i launched into the story of cinnamon gum's therapeutic qualities. she was sympathetic, but said, "many years ago i caught a reflection of myself chewing gum. i haven't chewed since."

that haunts me. the idea that she was so horrified by her gaping mandible that she swore off of gum forever.

i need to quit.

Posted by xta at 12:29 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 2, 2006

 ok, ok

eh, fuck it. i'll keep blogging.

i may choose to edit the content a little more carefully than i previously did, but i'll keep doing this, right here, for a while longer.

i feel exposed, see. it's a little too easy for strangers to google my name and be one click away loads of personal information about me.

i'm sure i was, like, aware of how the internet works when i set this thing up, but i guess i never thought this far ahead. i mean, who knows who reads this? i'm discovering that there are more eyeballs here than i was previously aware of. it feels frighteningly one-sided at times.

so, hello strangers. feel free to introduce yourself. please... i wish you would.

that said, thanks to the commenting non-strangers for your encouragement and concern. you make me feel good.

i had a groovy holiday. i am so in love with my niece that the mere act of typing those words reduces me to tears. i sobbed while tearing myself away from that family at the airport. this little girl is so cute, and she dances like nothing you've ever seen, even when there's no music playing. (5 MB .mov) then there's my brother... one of the finest, funniest, smartest humans on this planet. and his wife -- one phenomenally amazing woman. i envy her spirit, her mind, her creativity... her proximity to my brother and niece.

do you ever feel like you're stuck? like you want to be somewhere else, but you don't know how to get there? i desperately yearn to live closer to my brother's family, but i don't know how to make it happen.

correction: i don't know how to make it happen while retaining what i currently have.


i got sick a couple of days before we left north carolina and carried my germs with me, infecting little roxi and my brother upon arrival. then my cousin joy showed up, sick. i have a feeling i probably left some of my virus behind in my wake, too -- i'll bet there are others that probably started sneezing after i left, and i just don't know about it. so, uh, sorry about that, family. and apologies to all of the people on the planes, too. sorry you had to breathe that recirculated, germ-filled air. i tried to hold my breath.

i'm still blowing up a lot of snot, but it's not as bad as it was on christmas eve. i think that was the worst day. 6 of us had just travelled 13 hours, packed together in a minivan, from northern colorado to southern new mexico. we were all initially worried about how 18-month-old roxi would handle the trip, but in the end i was the one who complained the loudest. my head was stuffed up, my throat was dry, i couldn't sleep. i had hoped that the road trip would be a fun, bonding thing for all of us, but for me personally it was miserable. (i do have fond memories of doing a silly little jig for roxi in a disgusting truck stop, but other than that the trip is a blur.)

i'm rambling. you wanted me to keep blogging, you fools!

Posted by xta at 11:04 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack