Monday, February 15, 2010

40 Days

Lent begins this week. Am I Catholic? No. Do I do Lent? Yes. Why? Because I believe in the concept of slowly removing bad things from your life, and during Lent is a good time because a lot of people are removing things from their lives, and during that adjustment period, misery loves company. Or safety in numbers, pick your cliche.

This year my plan is to give up beef. It started out as ground beef, because I recently ate a dish with ground beef that had a bone in it about the size of a grain of rice. It put me right the hell off beef, so I thought the timing was good. I've been wanting to stop eating so much meat again, and I figured this would be a good gradual transition. I'm also trying to lose weight (what else is new) and I figure no beef=less fast food. I'm not a huge fan of fast food chicken, but the whole fish sandwich thing could threaten to be my downfall.

I used to be a vegetarian. Well, no, I wasn't. I didn't eat fleshy bits, but I did eat soups and such made with chicken or beef stock. And honestly, I felt a lot better. I ate a lot of cheese, but I still felt better. I didn't get sick as much, and I didn't eat nearly as much fast food. Because really, what fast food is there for a non-meat eater? Fries, salad with the chicken picked off, or Taco Bell. And let's be honest, Taco Bell is mean to me now that I am in my 30s.

I'd like to get back to this fast foodless life. I find myself thinking about fast food as a net, like no matter how busy or late it gets, I can always hit the 24 hour McDonalds. It's so funny how McDonalds used to be the best thing in the world to me (Quarter Pounder w/cheese, fries and an orange drink) and now I can barely stand up after I eat it.

So anyway, Lent. No beef. Here's hoping it will last past Easter.

Worlds Colliding

I work in the corporate world. As such, the real me does not get nearly as much of chance to come out as it had while managing a music department, even though this particular music department was in a large corporate big box store. One of my coworkers commented recently that "you don't find a lot of people like me in corporate America", and either a) he's right, or b) no one finds the opportunity to show their true selves at work. Which honestly, is probably a good thing. The workplace is often full of traitors.

Today I went to lunch with 2 of my coworkers, and while we were there Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" came on the stereo system. When I heard this, I felt very comfortable, as if an old friend just came up to the table and sat down, but also uneasy because since I was with work people, I wasn't able to focus any attention on this old friend. I work with great people, but I don't exactly feel like mentioning that one of my fondest memories is being in a bar in New York on my 21st birthday with 2 dear friends, listening to the band play mostly covers, including this very song. I also wasn't going to tell the story of seeing Joe Jackson on my birthday in Pittsburgh, then spending the following day shopping in book and record stores before the drive home, during which I ate a Sheetz hamburger on pretzel bread and found a Nittany Lions Pez dispenser.

Sometimes I try to tell stories at work, and it's obvious by their faces that no one cares. No one cares about how nice Ray Park is, or how Lou Ferrigno shoved me, or how well Dirk Benedict plays the piano, or how I was able to find a new Pez dispenser over the weekend, or what shows I'm planning on seeing. I think this is why I love conventions so much-I feel very comfortable there since people understand me. Once at a convention, a friend asked me and Chris "Hey, I've been meaning to ask you guys, is your cat named after that one Twilight Zone episode?" I almost cried. It was so nice to be understood.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I hate it when they're right.....

Many years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I had a boyfriend. Well, I THOUGHT he was a boyfriend, but Chris Rock later explained to me that I was in fact, not his girlfriend. Anyway, I dated this guy before I could drive, as I didn't drive until I was in college that winter.

One night I was talking to him on the phone, and I expressed excitement at the fact that snow had been predicted for that evening. Even though I had long outgrown playing in the snow and sledding (fun activities, but unless you can guarantee me a completely waterproof outfit and that i won't sled over a rock, I'll just hang back and watch you do it), but I loved to just watch snow. I still find watching falling snow extremely calming, as the change in barometric pressure tends to make things very still and quiet.

After I expressed my excitement, he said to me "Do you know WHY you like snow? Because you don't drive. Once you start to drive, you'll hate it as much as I do"

He expressed his interest to not ever see me again in September, so he was long gone by the next snow. I drove in the snow for the first time in the winter of 1994, in my first car, a 1988 Dodge Omni, which were small little cars. And as I dug my way out of the white blocks of frozen precipitation and drove on the roads lined with boulders of blackened slush and snow, and slid on the bridges and pumped my brakes, watched daredevils swerve around as they passed others as if the roads were as dry as the Sahara, and squinted to see out of the thin strip of clear glass on my windshield which was so small due to my frozen and warped windshield wipers, I got very angry.

I was angry because I forced to admit that he was right. I was beginning to hate the snow. Dammit.

As an adult, snow becomes and obstacle - something you have to shovel rather than something you get to play in. And I've yet to have a job that offers snow days. Once I worked for a store that closed during a level 2 snow emergency, but I'd already driven there by the time this was decided, so that doesn't count.

But I will say this. If I remember to buy bread, milk, toilet paper and cat food before the snow hits, and all I have to do is be at home staying warm, I will open my front curtains and watch the snow fall, and I'll still find it very peaceful. And I still love that.