Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Of floots and fashion victims

Have I mentioned before that I love clothes? Since I love clothes, but I do not have the budget of, say, Sarah Jessica Parker, I spend a lot of time looking at catalogs, reading magazines like InStyle, and dreaming of the wardrobe I would have if I was a bajillionaire. I was happily perusing one of my catalogs recently when I saw what could possibly be one of the dumbest clothing/footwear ideas of all time. I would describe the item, but it kind of defies description:

It’s a flip flop…in an unholy union with the cuff part of a boot. What the heck? What is the purpose of this ridiculous shoe? Is this for women with hot feet but cold ankles?  Are they specifically created to show off your pedi? I think the designers are running out of ideas, frankly. They’ve come to the point where they’re just taking things that already exist, cutting them apart, and rearranging the pieces, and this is the result. I call it the “floot.” Part flip flop, part boot, all absurd.

When I first saw the floot in the catalog, I thought it must be one of those things that Paris Hilton types would wear, but no normal woman would ever put on as part of everyday life. Imagine my surprise when I walked into my favorite shoe store last weekend, and there was a big display of floots right inside the door. Since my little corner of Kentucky is hardly a fashion mecca, it appears that normal women must be wearing them, too. It is to those ladies that I would like to direct a word of warning: No matter how cool floots seem right now, it will not be worth the shame in the long run. Trust me. Since I was a shameless trend-jumper for many years, I wore a lot of things that I deeply regret--and that make me very thankful that my family is not big on taking photos. (No evidence of my crimes.) Here are a few examples:

I wore a Mork outfit, fourth grade. Exactly like this, except my pants were khaki.

Jams shorts, similar to the ones I wore in high school. With a knit sweater vest. Oh, and I was chunky. It was a great look for me.

MC Hammer pants, late 80s. I couldn't even blame my foolishness on youth anymore; I was an adult when I wore these. Tragic.
Talk about tragic! I had about 10 pairs of stirrup pants in the early 90s. Picture these pants, a heavily crocheted sweater, lots of chub, and flats. Aw, yeah.

Having seen these horrors, you must be convinced that I have some serious regrets about my fashion past.  Surely you understand why I'm recommending that you leave the trendy, goofy shoes behind and settle on a more conventional pair of sandals. The floots might make you feel really hip for a weeks, but the regrets could last a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's time for Doodle-palooza 2010!

Last week, I was hanging out over at Cardiogirl's place, commenting on her post about sidewalk chalk. If you're not reading Cardiogirl...well, why not? She has a lot of funny, insightful, interesting things to say on a wide variety of topics. She posts every day, for cryin' out loud, even though she has three young kids, and several of the terms in her glossary are Seinfeld-based. Anyway, back to the sidewalk chalk post. In my comment, I noted that I am a doodler; Cardiogirl agreed that she, too, loves a good doodle. Since we live a few hundred miles apart and don't have the opportunity to doodle together, CG challenged me to scan and post some of my doodles, which she will replicate on her sidewalk in chalk form, photograph, and post to her blog. How awesome is that?

I should note that all of my doodles are the same shape because I drew them on the blank Saturday and Sunday squares of the division calendar, during my weekly staff meetings at work. Since my boss reads my blog sometimes, I should note that studies have shown that doodling helps you pay attention. So, it may appear that I'm zoning out, but I am actually totally focused on the meeting AND exercising my creative side. Back to the purpose of this post...Cardiogirl, here are some of my doodles. I can't wait to see your chalk interpretations!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Warning: This post could be even less coherent than usual

A few months ago, I made a promise to my blog readers to update more regularly and, for the most part, I've stuck to it. So, I'm going to beg off tonight, because I'm not sure I can string more than two sentences together. Here's a brief recap of my day--for extra fun, see if you can spot the parts that left me in this wrecked, depleted state:

  • Arise at 4:45 am, as usual on weekdays, even though I won't be working
  • Deprive Sebastian dog of food and water, in preparation for his tooth cleaning and other procedures
  • Drive hungry, thirsty, confused animal to the vet; gently console while navigating through morning rush-hour traffic
  • Pick husband up; drop off at work
  • Embark on a 45-mile round-trip errand extravaganza
  • Arrive back at home; immediately head outside to mow the yard (front and back)--it was hot
  • Talk to vet about Sebastian's procedures while in the shower, cleaning up from lawn-mowing (sorry, Dr. Rauth!)
  • A break! Lunch, check email, take a blessed half-hour nap
  • Leave to pick up Sebastian dog; note, with dismay, how heavy the traffic is already at 4 pm
  • Spend over an hour in crawling, brake-every-ten-feet rush hour traffic with a wigged-out, post-op, hungry/thirsty/whiny dog
  • Contemplate several acts of bodily harm
  • Arrive at home, finally; feed dogs, feed self; hello, wine bottle my old friend!
And now I'm just knackered, which is why there's no post tonight. I will leave you with one treat, though:

Sigh. His name is Laurence Fox, and he plays the enigmatic Detective Sergeant Hathaway on the BBC detective series Lewis. It's a great show, Mr. Fox is absolutely yummy, and I intend to spend the rest of the evening enjoying it. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My name is absepa, and I am a STATS sufferer

Severe Tick-Associated Trauma Syndrome (STATS)

Severe Tick-Associated Trauma Syndrome, or STATS, is a short-lived but deeply distressing condition directly attributable to a variety of the family Ixodoidea, more commonly known as a tick. It typically affects individuals who are predisposed to moderate to severe entomophobia (or fear of insects), but anyone can be affected. There is no known cure for STATS, although the severity of the condition typically lessens as time passes following the initial contact with the tick.

Although each individual presents differently when affected with STATS, one or more of the following symptoms may be observed:

- an overall “freaked-out” appearance
- sobbing
- whimpering
- trembling
- bouts of swearing (directed toward those @#$* bugs)
- nausea (typically observed during the process of removing the tick)
- an intense need for chocolate and/or a glass of wine (following tick removal)

Following the removal of the tick, the STATS patient may suffer from episodes of skin-crawling sensations (also known as the “heebie-jeebies”). A more violent form of the heebie-jeebies, known as the “willies,” might cause the patient to leap suddenly from a seated position and begin tearing at their clothing, in fear that there is another tick somewhere on their body. Also, do not be surprised if the patient desires to immediately launder (or perhaps burn) any garments, bedding, pets, relatives, etc., that could possibly be housing another tick. This is normal behavior following such an experience.

There is no formal treatment for STATS, but caregivers of patients are advised to be gentle with sufferers following an attack. Mocking, teasing, or accusations that the patient is being “too much of a drama queen” generally will not aid the patient in their recovery, and might cause feelings of bitterness in the patient. Caregivers are advised to be kind to the patient; offer supportive words and a tender hug; and provide the patient with a “treat” such as chocolate, ice cream, or cake, and perhaps an alcoholic beverage. This type of offering will typically go a long way toward improving the patient’s overall disposition. The treatment phase of STATS can be expected to last a few hours, but patients may continue to exhibit some symptoms of this illness for a few days up to a couple of weeks. In rare cases, patients who were severely traumatized might continue to suffer the willies and/or the heebie-jeebies throughout the summer months, when STATS is most common.

(Editor’s note: The neutrality of this article cannot be confirmed. It should be noted that the author is a multiple-episode STATS sufferer, with the most recent incident occurring only two days ago. It should also be noted that the author’s spouse not only refrained from mocking, but actually performed the removal of the tick, since the author was far too wigged out to do it herself. He’s a real gem.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Carrie Underwood and dog food made my day

This is not something I would normally do, but I’m going to use my little part of the bloggy world to promote a cause that means a lot to me. I recently saw an interview with Carrie Underwood on the CBS Early Show. I've always liked her music, but after seeing that interview, I think I love her. Carrie Underwood is partnering with Pedigree dog food to benefit homeless animals. For every person who becomes a fan of Pedigree on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Pedigree), the company will donate one bowl of food to feed shelter dogs. That is awesome, in my book.

Anyone who’s read this blog more than once or twice knows that I dote on my three dogs. They were all rescues, but only one of them actually came from a shelter. When we saw Abby’s listing on Petfinder and contacted the shelter, she had already been there for more than six weeks--the shelter director was frantically searching for a foster family to take her in, so she wouldn't have to be euthanized. Mr. Nerd and I have had the pleasure of Abby's company for nearly six years, and she is a great dog. We are so grateful that she had a place to stay for those six weeks. The director of the shelter is a wonderful person who tries her best to save as many animals as possible, under very difficult conditions. The shelter is run solely by volunteers, is severely cash-strapped, and often makes appeals to the community for donations of food and supplies. Without caring people like these, and donations from companies, so many dogs and cats would not be able to stay in shelters long enough to find good homes. And Mr. Nerd and I wouldn't have this:

(Abby's pretty big on giving kisses. I don't really mind, even though I'm making a face.)

If you’re on Facebook, would you please consider becoming a fan of Pedigree to help provide food to shelters? She may not look very excited, but I know that Abby would really appreciate it.