Here she is, Miss Webcamica

America

At least you have the comfort of knowing there aren't a lot more special effects for me to be obsessed with on my webcam.

I read an interesting article in Allure today, because I'm deep. It was about diet myths, and they said exercise alone will not bring weight loss. You also have to eat less.

I guess this explains why I have been running all year with relatively little weight loss. Also, since I stole this dog, there has not been a day that I have not walked at least 20 minutes, and now with my at-work walks, I am walking an hour five days a week. At yet? Weight's the same.

Speaking of which, the dog and I took our trek to the dog park today even though it had been thundering for hours. In fact, I kept putting it off, and then I got sick of the thunder who cried wolf, so we went anyway.

Well. It is about a 10-minute walk through the woods to get to the park, and obviously a 10-minute walk back. And could the skies have gotten more ominous and we trekked through that park? Did I feel at all like Hansel and Gretel in those woods?

So now I am typing you from my very rainy house — we somehow managed to make it to the dog park, sniff Retriever butts for 15 minutes, chase a Doberman and get back to the car before it actually rained. But we looked like mimes walking against the wind on the way back to the car.

I like the South for its drama queen weather. It doesn't just incessantly drizzle like it did in Seattle, nor does it do nothing like it did in California. No, when the weather gets in a mood, it really gets into it. The trees are swaying right now, and the lightning is lightning-ing.

My photo boxes came today, so I have spent several hours taking photos out of their '80s albums already, and getting depressed that I used to be so cute. Why is it you're cute in your 20s but you're miserable, and then once you get happy you've jumped the looks shark? Couldn't I have had a few years of cute + happy?

Also, I am finding lots of photos of old boyfriends, and I am astonished that I feel absolutely… nothing for most of them. I wish I could go back to my sad self when I broke up with them all, and tell myself, "Honey? Someday you will (a) look like Charlie in Willy Wonka with your mom hairdo and (b) you will be totally, totally over this guy. Also? Appreciate your ankles now, cause you will not always have them."

WOOOOO! Big thunder! Is it dangerous to be on the computer now? Geez, this weather is letting all the bugs in.

Bug

Someone needs to put down the web cam.

When I was in high school, I had a regular column in our paper called I'm Irked. The three people from high school who actually read this will be sad to be reminded of that journalistic endeavor.

In my I'm Irked column there was a photo of me pulling out my hair irkedly, and I was trying to emulate that tonight, but then I just got carried away playing with my webcam.

Lips

Really, I wasn't all that irked. Well, I was, but it wasn't major. The first thing I wanted to complain about was how someone in my office makes tea every day. This is no big deal, as I make tea every day, too. And can I just mention that it turns out I only drink tea at work if I have a real job, and then at no other time? For years I have had green tea — which is good for you and makes you never die — after lunch. But if I work from home? Forget it.

I think this is cause making tea is a good time waster.

Look

I was trying to look irked here but instead Tallulah just makes me look fairly ridiculous. Plus, her paw is kind of saying, "Do go on. You can't mean it."

So, anyway, this poor person at work makes tea every day, and in my office I can hear said person SHAKING THEIR SUGAR PACKET. It happens every day, sometimes twice a day. I mean, I guess they could be shaking a salt packet, but why would you ?

But similarly? WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO SHAKE YOUR SUGAR PACKET? You don't need to mix it up! It's all sugar all the time! STOP WITH THE SUGAR SHAKING!

And yes, tea-maker wants to ensure the sugar moves to the bottom of the packet. But you know what, Drama Queen? YOU DON'T HAVE TO MOVE IT AROUND LIKE A MARACA! IT'S NOT A THERMOMETER! STOP!

Win

Guess who else is irked? With his spready feets?

Also, someone wrote a comment the other day that they would help me proofread because they love to read. Bless your heart. Now I have to direct us all back to my last year's blog, where I address this very issue. Please do not get mad at me, commenter. I do not want to pour cement into your particular nose. You did not know.

Here's what I said on Monday, April 9, 2007:

If you are now thinking, "Oh a proofreader. How fun. I love to read," please let me take this opportunity to fill your nasal cavities with a fast-hardening cement. You do not love to PROOFread. You love to read a nice novel. You like to catch up on that Miss Marple, see what shenanigans she is up to now. So do I. That, however, is not PROOFREADING. Unless you read like this: "Y (capital Y? Yes.)ou caaann copyyy saaaved (saved past tense? Yeah. Okay.) dataaaa (data? Are they using data as a plural? Are they using data as a plural in the rest of this thing? Okay.) (Wait. Didn't it say 10 pages ago that you CAN'T copy saved data? Hang on.)…"

I just know that commenter is gonna get mad at me now.

Lipscare

I know you were just trying to help me, nice commenter. Don't go away. See how funny I am?

We were tired

Sorry that I did not blob yesterday. Everyone here was exhausted.

Tallulah goes to day care on Wednesdays — she finally loves it. When we pulled up yesterday, she walked across me in the car to get out the door faster. At the end of the day, she comes tearing out of that day care room like a fiend. "Oh hi! Oh hi! SomuchhappenedIsawaBeaglehihihihihi!"

Then we get in the car, she heaves a giant sigh, and is asleep before I leave the parking lot.

Needless to say, she is a lump on Wednesday nights. I had to wake her up to go for a walk. Her evening constitutional, as it were. Her chance to poop on a neighbor's lawn. Yes, I clean it up.

One woman in our neighborhood never cleaned up after her dog, and one night a little old lady ran after her and said "I have something for you!" It was a bag of all the poop the woman's dog had left in the old lady's yard over the weeks. I love that old lady.

Also too, Winston ran out into the back yard when I let Lula out yesterday morning and then he wouldn't come back, so he was in the yard in the rain all day. I knew he'd find a place to hide, and he did, cause he was dry when I got home, but he was nonetheless annoyed at being out all day.

And I was working on a giant project at work and it was the kind of thing where you never look up, except to notice the rain.

I had opened my window to enjoy said rain, and I noticed when I got back from lunch that my boss had closed it. Oh, calm down. The rain wasn't coming IN. Why must people interfere with my happiness? And why are you paying so much attention to my window?

Anyway, we all went to bed at 9:30. I had popcorn for dinner. Plain popcorn. I was too tired to go somewhere for food.

Lula did manage her daily torment of Winston before bed. But it was halfhearted.

Torture

Why so tense?

Could I be feeling any more overwhelmed right now?

First there is my job, which even though the real estate agent and human resources told me would take 20 minutes to drive to, actually takes 40. So I am gone 10 hours and 20 minutes a day.

Then I have a dog, who has a noon walker and also day care once a week, but I still have to feed her and pay attention to her and walk her when I get home. And we have dog obedience once a week now, too.

Then there is poor Winston, who just wants Tallulah to stop biting his neck and also to be petted by me once in awhile.

And now I have these two kitties from next door, who are at my doorstep every second now. The poor babies. Mottled This was the best shot I could get of one of them. Kittens are not easy to photograph. They roll around a lot.

Plus also too, I have kept this one client, because I do not want them to hate me and because it's an extra $10,000 a year and because I want a backup should I get fired or quit this job that leaves me gone 10 hours and 20 minutes a day. But they are using me a lot, and tonight I called to tell them I am Fed Exing something back and they said they have a 428-page book to send me.

That is about 40 hours of intense work, on top of my 51 hours a week I am gone at my actual job.

And Marvin's parents are coming to visit right when I am going to be working on this book.

And did I mention I'm training for a half marathon?

And that I have this blog and also Chic Critique, which I have to write right after this?

Will somebody shoot me?

So, I think  this is a fine time to reorganize my photos.

Albums_3

Albumspartdeux_2

When I was unpacking, cause I need more to do, nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnjhnuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (sorry. Winston just walked across the computer) (does anyone speak cat? What is he saying?) I noticed the great surge of photo albums in my life. I particularly like all the "Hello '80s" colored-pencil-flower-design albums.

So, I went online, cause I need more to do, and I ordered photo boxes. Six of them. For $4.25 apiece. They each supposedly hold 1,100 photos, and if I have more than 6,600 photos, I will scream. Who am I, Princess Diana? Why do I need all these photos of myself?

Anyway, I will keep you abreast of my photo organizing situation. And also of the nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnjhnuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

(Oh! I almost forgot! I got a free tensiony thing from the nurse today at work. What's it called? That large rubber band thing and you use it as a resistance type thing. Oh, you know what I mean, right?)

In which I mention many things. A myriad. Did you know it’s acceptable to say “a myriad of” and just “myriad”?

No, really. You can say, "Here's a myriad of crap for you to read" or "Here's myriad crap for ya."

The English language. It's not for everyone. Ooo, hang on. That reminds me, I wrote a terse email to People Mag online, and I want to see if they responded.

Crap. They didn't.

For the record, People Magazine, who I'm sure checks in with my blog all the time, here is how to determine whether to use "everyday" or "every day":

"I wear my everyday clothes every day." Got it?

"Every day" is when something happens daily. You are talking about WHEN something happens.

"Everyday" is when you are talking about something not so special. It is an everyday occurrence that happens every day.

Please do not make a lowly copy editor such as myself have to teach you these things.

Yeesch.

Anyway, can you tell me what this tree is, and why it's trying to kill me?

Allergyfluers

These trees are everywhere. Especially in my back yard, which is where I took this photo. They are bloom bloom blooming. And guess what? When I get within 17 feet of them, my throat closes up to the width of a pinhole. I want to take a toilet scrubber and rotate it in my nostrils, they itch so bad.

The verklempt me. WHAT ARE THEY, THESE ENEMY TREES?

Also, too, we have continued on doing things to our house, which is apparently what you must do when you buy a house, cause you're not poor enough already. We took out the brown carpeting from the back room, and we were gonna paint the concrete, as we did in our computer room. But my brother-in-law, who is visual, suggested we tile back there instead. So he and Marvin went to Lowe's, which at this point they should just rename Gardensalad's, and picked out tile together, which in retrospect strikes me as a little fey.

Anyway, Marvin got out of bed and started tiling. Cause our brother-in-law skipped town after the tiles were selected. Who will help me tile the floor? Not I, said the brother-in-law.

Happycat

Who's in a good mood? Who's in his pajamas at 4 p.m.?

And speaking of "Not I," said the wife, I am actually late for a dog park date with my new friend. So I leave you and Marvin in the middle of everything. Smell ya.

The Voracious Knee

Well.

One way to be sure to eat well is to have out-of-town guests come in. Yeesch.

My stepsister and her husband came to visit us. Normally they live in LA. We took them to IHOP, cause we're classy. We took them to a minor league baseball game, because they have a black Lab who brings the balls out with her teefs. We took them to a fancy dinner tonight. Actually, we split the check. So "we took them" is an exaggeration.

At any rate, you can imagine the fine food we consumed.

Are blackened green tomatoes bad for you? Cause I had that tonight as an appetizer and man, it was good.

I do not need to ask you if smores are bad. We had those too, in our back yard.

And by the way. Do you remember how my insane dog walker stole the neighbor cat because she convinced herself it was a stray? And then I made her give it back because it BELONGS to someone and she is a NUTBAR who makes animal lovers look like zealots?

Well, that cat is outside ALL THE TIME, and so her is stripey orange sister. And I am forever petting them and giving them food and water. Now, I know the woman next door loves her cats, I really do. But now whenever I open my door, they come inside and sit with me in my house like it's normal. They are just little, like maybe six months.

Do not let me steal these cats. Please stop me.

Have I mentioned how pretty they are?

Oh. And another thing. I have taken back up with the running, and it was all going well until the other day when my KNEE started feeling like it was full of molten lava. It's very unsettling.

Why do people always describe lava as "molten"? Is that an actual scientific term, or does it just mean really hot and people always say it like they say voracious reader and not, you know, greedy reader?

So, has anyone experienced the molten knee before? The voracious knee? What does it mean? Am I dying? Should I not run 7.5 miles tomorrow? Sleeping Beauty, my half-marathon partner, said I should ice it and not run. Is she full of crap? Am I full of Lava Soap or actual lava? Can I make a lava lamp out of whatever is in there?

Do you wish I'd stop now?

I totally heart this ridiculous creature

I was unpacking, putting our board games in the attic. Because Marvin and I are among the most boring people on earth, we love Monopoly. Not only do we have the traditional game, we also have Millennium Monopoly.

It has updated money, a fancy board, and they made all the game pieces up-to-date: a computer, a cell phone, etc.

Well, contents must have shifted during flight, because Millennium Monopoly opened up and all the pieces scattered everywhere, including down the stairs.

I just knew Tallulah would see this as a smorgasbord, so I hobbled down the attic steps and quickly as I could. There she was, sittin’ in her cone, looking smug.

DROP IT, I said.

You know what she spit out? The yellow Lab game piece. She chose her own self to eat.

Is this narcissistic, or does she want to destroy herself? Discuss.