Friday, March 31, 2006

 

In Vitriol Veritas

Sometimes, what you think you read or hear is more entertaining (and perhaps more appropriate) than what is actually written or spoken. On my computer desktop was an icon for a pdf file that I glanced at and saw "In vitriol". I thought, "Wow, that sounds interesting, but I don't remember downloading that". So I opened it up for some bitchy enjoyment. It was actually "In Vitro Investigation of the Effect of Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction and Medial Tibial Tuberosity Transfer on Lateral Patellar Stability." Oh, yeah. Now I remember. I had to get up at 530am Wednesday so I could pick up a cup of coffee and sit around with colleagues and discuss the merits of this article. That's right. I'm living the dream.

To make up for this, I decided to look up "vitriol/vitriolic" on the internet.

I found a band called My Vitriol. According to their website, their last album in 2002 was a big hit and they seem to have a huge dedicated fanbase. The old album in available on imusic. They are currently working on a new album. Who cares? Apparently I do - probably because they were initially formed by a guy from Sri Lanka. I have had a fascination with Sri Lanka ever since third grade when I made a model of the country out of paste and did a presentation for my class. That was during my "I'm going to be an archaeologist" phase and I loved that Sri Lanka was thought to be one of the sites of earliest civilization. Also, being from Alabama, that was the most exotic word to date that I'd learned to spell. Shortly after that, I got into Sri Chimnoy and yoga (I was a very weird kid) and became a social outcast with no hope of being a debutante. Oh well.

Segue...So I decided to google "Sri Lanka and found this, which I found disturbing on soooo many levels. First of all, what is a "top secret" organization doing with a website? And who died and made the CIA editor of "The World Factbook"? O.K. Back to vitriol...

So then I was going to look up the true definition of "vitriol" on the OED online (because, yes, someone did die and make the OED the final arbiter of all definitions) but I no longer have a subscription. So I checked out Wikipedia instead. Found the following definitions...

"Vitriol is the name that alchemists gave to sulfuric acid. The name was also used for various sulfate salts: copper(II) sulfate (blue vitriol, or rarely Roman vitriol) zinc sulfate (white vitriol), iron(II) sulfate, or ferrous sulfate (green vitriol) iron(III) sulfate, or ferric sulfate (vitriol of Mars) cobalt(II) sulfate (red vitriol).

Oil of vitriol is concentrated sulfuric acid so named due to its oily appearance.

Vitriol is also a quality of abusive or malicious forms of speech or feelings."

Isn't etymology fun? If you don't agree, don't spew your vitriol at me. That stuff burns.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

 

Fortune Cookies

FORTUNE COOKIE ETIQUETTE
1. In order for a fortune to come true, you must actually eat the cookie.
2. A fortune cookie that does not contain a fortune is bad luck (like you are marked for death or something)
3. Real fortune cookies should have actual "fortunes" - no character assessments or happy thoughts.
4. If there are a pile of fortune cookies, either pick first or let everyone else take one and take what's left. This gives FATE the best chance of getting you "YOUR" correct fortune.

MY FORTUNE FROM RANDOM CHINESE FOOD TONIGHT
"Hilltop and seaside resorts are where you'll live for life."
Now that is what I call a fortune.

FAVORITE FORTUNE COOKIE RELATED STORY
In my old apartment, I was washing dishes one night when Hooch walked up to me and sat down. I looked down at him and realized he had a piece of paper stuck in his jowls. I pulled it out and it was a fortune reading "You will be deeply loved." When I looked back down at him, his top lip was stuck and I swear it looked like he was smiling. After a big smile and a hearty chuckle, I called him "FortunePuppy" for a week (o.k. - sometimes I called him Hong Kong Phooey, too)

WHAT THE HELL PROMPTED THIS?
Work today was busy (Community Sports Journal Club this AM, grand rounds, 2 operative cases, meetings) and I didn't get enough sleep last night. Also a bit emotionally drained. My mom is in town visiting. I picked her up at my Aunt's after work and said, "We are going out to dinner. I don't want to cook. I don't want to do dishes. I don't want to watch or listen to you do either. I want to go somewhere and sit in a booth. I want someone to take my order and bring me my food. I don't want to order at the counter. I don't want my number or my name called. And I want to go somewhere with parking." Wow, "I" am a pushy, demanding bitch. But I got what I wanted - red vinyl booth, old fashioned americanized chinese food including deep fried egg rolls, an off-street parking lot, and inspiration.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

My So Called "New" Life - The Photo Version

So, I finally found the camera cable...Here goes...

Hooch on the front porch (his new roost to watch all that happens in his domain)



The new kitchen with lots of counter space and, most importantly, a gas stove



The new (tiny) dining area...complete with wine fridge (currently almost empty)



The downstairs built-in bookshelf and the water rower (I know it's rather incongruous, but it doesn't fit anywhere else)...



The also small seating area. There are some photos which still need to be hung over the couch. It won't look this barren once I unpack the hammer and picture hangers.



And, finally, a very blurry picture of the stained glass front door. I tried to get a photo at night with it backlit. Apparently, if you don't want the flash to go off, you need to stand really still. Note to self: No espresso after 6pm if you're going to be taking pictures at night



Thus finishes the StampyDurst CRIBS tour of the downstairs. Stay tuned for upstairs pictures, outside pictures, and an explanation of why I'm spending another year in San Diego instead of moving to North Carolina like I was planning.

In other news...I just have to say that I am very happy that a dear friend (who happens to be the husband of a very dear friend) arrived home safely Sunday evening from 7 months in Iraq. Just after he left, she found out she was preggers. He returned to find her happy and healthy. And he is happy and healthy. We had a dinner party for them tonight. Although there are many things I am sad about, this is something that makes me smile. Yea for them!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

 

My So Called "New" Life - The Text Version

Pictures you asked for, and pictures you will get. Just as soon as I figure out where I packed the camera cord that allows me to download pictures. In the meantime, you'll have to stop over and look at them on the little tiny screen on the back of the camera. Then again, if you were here you could skip the pictures and just look at the real thing.

In the meantime, here is a brief description. The house I moved into is a Victorian which was built in 1897 - rumor has it that it functioned as overflow housing for the Hotel Del Coronado. I have the smaller left side of the house which used to access the main house via a bookcase that swung open (children's wing? servants quarters? secret hideout for Al Capone?). Due to the house's age, there are wonderful little details like a hand carved front door with a large inset of stained glass, high beamed ceilings upstairs, and a claw footed bathtub.

There is a little side porch with a small fenced in area all for Hooch and me. The downstairs is small but the kitchen has lots of cabinets, plenty of counter space, and a gas stove. I love to cook, but, due to an electric stove and NO counter space at the loft, only cooked for big parties for the last year. I am so excited. Everyone has a standing invitation to dinner - you just have to let me know of any dietary restrictions. If they're not life threatening, I'll mock you appropriately. Especially if you've tried to serve me salmon steaks despite knowing me for more than 6 months. Payback's a bitch. The other awesome feature is built in bookshelves...those of you who know me personally know this is HUGE.

More on the structural house later, let's talk location. I am a little over 2 blocks from the beach (just near the main lifeguard station which is currently under construction). It is a very easy walk to dog beach (yea for Hooch!). It is also about 3 blocks to downtown Coronado (aka Orange Avenue) and striking distance of Danny's Palm Bar (Home of "The SLAMBURGER") and McP's (yea for Stampy!) In order to navigate the island without spending too much time sweet-talking the local PD, I purchased a brand spankin' new beach cruiser. it is an Electra Beach Cruiser. It's the red "Betty" model with flames, a leopard print seat and handlebars, and black leather tassles from the grips. Coaster brakes, of course. I'm hell on pedal-driven wheels. Rebel without a clue.

O.K. Now I'm just rambling. It's just that I feel very happy (and relatively calm for me) in the new place. Tomorrow, I'll do my best to find the camera cord and post some pictures before I try to describe Hooch's cuteness with his new toy "Suspicious Chicken". Sleep well.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

There's No Place Like Home

Picture me in my sparkly red shoes clicking my heels over and over. I've never really been sure where to find "home". Some say it's where the heart is...then home is often a very dark place. For years, I thought it was Sweet Home Alabama. That is, after all, where I grew up. But it's now been more than a decade since I've been home, and I've only been in touch with old friends via the occasional phone call or e-mail. My parents moved to North Carolina. While they often ask me to come home and visit, again, I'm visiting them - not home. For a very brief time, I thought home was in North County San Diego. During one of our snowboarding trips, I said "I can't wait to get HOME." And I realized I meant it. At that point in my life, that was home. That home disappeared with Discount Movers and a low-rent breakup.

I tried to find home where I used to - downtown. I moved into a hip urban loft with awesome views of the harbor. The wine fridge was stocked with awesome reds and rare ports. The furniture was carefully selected during walks through the local galleries. And all the regulars at the bar downstairs knew Hooch by name. But, as they say, you can't go home again. It just wasn't the same as the REAL warehouse space I had - the unfinished 2000sqft next to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia. I tried to drink my way home, yoga my way home, smoke my way home, run my way home, sleep (as in Zzzzz) my way home...It just felt too hard to get anywhere.

Hooch and I moved today. We moved out to what locals refer to as "The Island". Coronado isn't really an island - at least not "unto itself". Keep driving south and you'll hit Imperial Beach. But in another way, it is. I lived here when I was an intern (many island moons ago). At the time, I found it creepy. It was so green and friendly and swell - it was the Truman Show. At that time, I'd just moved from the East Coast. Kids riding their beach cruisers to soccer practice, moms with baby joggers smiling as they ran by, retired gentleman watering their rose bushes...they all waved and said "Howdy, neighbor." Okay, not really. But at that time, It represented everything I feared.

After two years of living downtown...hearing trains, trolleys, planes, garbage trucks...hearing drunks and the local nuts screaming...being threatened, chased, and generally creeped out...having 2 beach cruisers and two mountain bikes stolen from my "security building"...chiseling soot off every surface of my house despite regular dusting...Well, you get the picture. I hereby say, "Howdy, neighbor."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

 

When You Wish Upon A Star

Apropos of nothing, I find myself thinking of luck. I tend to not be a very superstitious sort. I bet the number 13, I open umbrellas indoors (if it furthers the visual joke), and I am not scared of black cats that cross my path (although one day my path was crossed by four black cats over a short span of time and I was pretty sure it was some twisted conspiracy of evil). When I was younger, it was different. I studiously stepped over cracks, held my breath past graveyards, and lifted my feet while going over railroad tracks. The reasons escape me now. But I have outgrown all that.

But that is a partial lie. I still pick up lucky pennies, ask the magic 8 ball for advice (over and over until I get the answer I want), and wish on the first star I see every night. Not only do I wish, but I carefully select my wish (i.e. “I wish I was thinner” is qualified with “in a healthy way, of course, and not due to some horrible disease"). And no, my wishes aren’t always selfish and vain. Sometimes when I wish for a pony I wish all the poor little girls and boys could have a pony, too.

I guess I am a fair-weather believer. Four leaf clover? Bring it on. Broken mirror? Oh well. Perhaps this is because I figure evil and badness doesn’t need any help. If it wants to find me, it’ll find me. But good luck and happiness might just need a little reminder.

That being said, here is a little story about a time I was certain wishing made it so…

When we first started dating, Ah-sweep-ay bought us tickets to a circus. It was one of those low-rent “big tops” that sets up in a parking lot on the edge of town. Nonetheless, in these sorts of things, I am like a three-year-old all gakked out on cotton candy and shaking with excitement. It was all he could do to get me to our seats without having to buy me a headband with glow-in-the-dark bouncy antennae. About half way through, Ah-sweep-ay expressed some displeasure about the lameness of the circus. I said, “Well, It’s not Barnum and Bailey…What do you expect? A giant metal ball with some guy riding his motorcycle upside down in it?” The lights suddenly lowered…”LADIES AND GENTLEMAN”…a giant metal ball was brought to center ring…”PREPARE TO BE AMAZED”…not one but two guys on motorcycles rode into it…”PREPARE TO BE AWED”…and a girl in a horrible sequined leotard stepped into the ball…”THE FABULOUS BLAH-BLAH-BLAH BROTHERS”. We went crazy. After discussing which one of the brother’s the leotard was most likely sleeping with, I spent the rest of the circus going, “What did you expect? Midgets on unicycles playing basketball?”

Alas, lightening only strikes once. Unless, of course, it’s zapping my ass.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

 

My Dog Pees Like a Girl


Well, some of you might remember that during The Great Boxer Asian Pear Heist, I threatened Hooch that if he misbehaved, I'd tell the internet he peed like a girl. Here's the deal. While I was in Seattle, he ate the arm off my very expensive deco couch. I was willing to let him off on that one for separation anxiety. Since I have been home, he has had several borderline personality-type episodes. But last night, he went over the edge. I was on call (during which I never sleep well) and went to bed early. At around 1am, I woke up to the sounds of paper rustling. So tired, rolled over and went back to sleep. At 1:30 am, I woke up and he was drinking heartily out of the toilet (something he never does). When I woke up very early this AM, i found out why I had slept so poorly. The wrapper from a very stale half baguette was on the floor and a large amount of crumbs were on the no-longer-suitable for company couch. Both water bowls were empty (remember, the baguette was VERY stale). That was the final straw.

So here is Hooch's dirty little secret. Since the day I adopted him, he has squatted to pee. Several friends with more puppy experience than me assured me that he would grow out of it. Well, he hasn't. I walk this 65 pound ball of muscle that makes people step aside. Then, he walks up to a tree, sniffs it, walks past it to a nice patch of green grass, and squats. Just after I returned from Seattle, he actually lifted his leg for the very first time. I cheered! I told him what a very good boy he was. He looked at me understandingly, smiled his crooked little smile, and squatted to finish. Since then, he has half-heartedly half-hiked a leg, squatted with his pelvis pushed to the side, or simply gone back to his old ways. And I've come to realize that it is sheer laziness.

The dog will launch himself off the back of the couch 8 million times in a row, run laps on the deck which get going so fast he banks of the wall, and take my legs out form under me on the steps to beat me downstairs, but he is too lazy to lift a leg.

Must be nice to be a very spoiled dog.

Friday, March 10, 2006

 

Reasons I'm Glad I'm Not Famous

1. Will never have to watch myself in an ex-boyfriend’s video (especially doing front walkovers and crawling on the hood of a car Tawny Kitaen)

2. Did not go through the awkward teenage years on national television (with braces and unfashionable haircuts Chelsea Clinton)

3. Hooch will never be kidnapped for money or publicity (Paris Hilton’s toy rat with a necklace)

4. Can gain weight and lose it without it being chronicled in People, In-Style, The National Enquirer (Too many starlets to mention – but let’s be honest and say there would be more speculation over whether I was pregnant than whether I was anorexic)

5. Will never appear on The Surreal Life, Dancing/Skating With the Stars, VH1’s What Ever Happened To…, or an infomercial for exercise equipment or acne treatment (I wonder which really let’s you know you “jumped the shark”)

6. If I ever decide to knock over a convenience store, pick up a transvestite hooker, or marry a Brady, it will only make the local news

7. When my ex-boyfriends meet someone new, get engaged, or are in a video with Christian rockers getting blowjobs, I’ll hear about it from my friends…not Entertainment Tonight.

8. That video I made with the swing chair, Tommy Lee, and the German Shepard will never be sold on the internet. (Totally kidding.)

9. Will never inflict my fashion sense (or utter lack thereof) on the world (especially at k-mart, walmart, sears, or the Grammys)

10. My frequent affairs with Greek heirs and hoteliers will be my secret alone. But you can bet your ass that when Keanu finally realizes that I’m the woman he’s been waiting for, I’ll rub your noses in it. (Eat your hearts out, ladies.)

I reserve the right to get bad hair extensions, apply bad fake-tans, and date a dancer who tours with me. But I promise you I won't let him rap in public. Oh yeah, and set your DVR or Tivo recorder for “America’s Next Miserable Surgical Resident” and “Farting with the Boxers”. Maybe I’ll enjoy being famous after all.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

 

The Sweet Smell of Puppy

While we were getting ready to either go to bed or pour another glass of Chateau Neuf du Pape, I caught a whiff of Hooch. This time, fortunately for me, it wasn't a boxer fart. It was the sweet, warm smell of puppy. And here are some pictures of his odoriderous self...





I'm not a big fan of perfumes and colognes. There was one cologne that I can no longer remember the name of which, during a brief post-adolescent phase, I would hornily spot miles away. But if anyone ever bottles the smell of sweet, warm puppydog - well, I'll be the first to invest.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

 

Stampy Cracker

So, since I'm on this lyric kick, I have to post some lyrics from one of my favorite Uncle Cracker songs.

...I might stagger and I might sway
I might stutter just a bit but that's ok
I'm not walkin' too good that's true
I got a broke ass limp that'll pull me though
I might appear to be a pile of rags
But I'm a stack of hundreds in a paper bag
I've been around this world and back
I made a million bucks and put it all on black

So if you see me stumble you don't have to look away
It's not the first time, not the last
You can leave me where I lay, because...

(chorus)
I'm no stranger to shame
I've got little to blame
You sent for me and so I came
I'll come runnin' when you call my name
Cuz I'm no stranger, I'm no stranger to shame

I've been known to wake up in some dirty places
The sun only shines on deserving faces
The mind erases, forgets the stars
See each and every city has corner bar
That's where I am in a world so grim
The lights are as bright as the day is dim
See I'm priceless in a class of my own
I used to stay out late but now I don't go home

So if you see me stumble you don't have to look away
It's not the first time, not the last
You can leave me where I lay, because...

(chorus)

How do you feel when the birds are chirpin'
When your in bed and everybody is workin'
Are you down with the non believers
Make the slackers look like over achievers
The dogs scratchin' on the door again
The cat's out but he don't wanna come in
You got a bed and you got a floor
But the couch is closer to your front door

So if you see me stumble you don't have to look away
It's not the first time, not the last
You can leave me where I lay, because...

[REPEAT CHORUS]

I have come to look at this as an anthem of sorts. See, I've done some dumb ass things in my life. I've also done some very embarassing things. Frequently (but not always) they overlap. In the past, I would fester over my past mistakes - less to learn from them and more to beat myself up senselessly. Well - no more. Hell, if I can write about some of my more embarrassing moments on the internet, it's time to laugh it up and let it go.

Same for you. Laugh about it. Hell, post it in the comments or leave a link to your site. I'll start posting some embarrassing memories this week and I encourage you to do the same. By laughing about it, I figure we take away its power over us. If not, at least we can all laugh together.

And I promise I'm laughing near you...not at you.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

 

Weddings, Parties, Anything

WEDDINGS PARTIES ANYTHING is one of my favorite bands of all times. They are an Australian band that I first encountered via a very poorly made cassette that the brother of an Australian boyfriend sent to us (sorry for the ridiculous run-on sentence). I haven't listened to them in quite a while. Tonight, I was hanging out with an Australian friend of mine who we henceforth will refer to as Waltzing Matilda (Is that okay, honey?). Anyway, we reminisced about younger, wilder days, and I played my favorite melancholy song of all times. This is the song I want sung at my funeral (no, I'm not planning on it being anytime soon). I imagine people swilling guiness and jamesons with a tear in their eye as they listen to it. I went on line to look for the lyrics and found this...

Sometimes you can say more, in a drunken hour or so
Than some people get across, in a life of lying low.
And sometimes you can feel more, for someone you've barely kissed,
but you don't see it at the time, and the moment that you've missed.

(chorus)
For a short time, she was standing there,
and you saw her, she saw you and you recall the colour of her hair.
For a long time, you never thought of her,
Then you heard she was gone for good,
You might have cried then if you could,
Would have looked foolish if you did, somewhere
The tears are falling in your mind,
For a short time.

There's a photo of your gang, on the night she hung about,
and you're looking like a wag, you've got your fat tongue poking out.
But she's no-where to be seen, you won't spot her anywhere.
It was her who took the picture, you were looking straight at her.

(chorus)

Tell me how long is a short time, is it longer than two hours,
Or a bit less than a weekend. Is it shorter than a year?
Is it the time it takes to not complete your business with a person,
With a friend you make in transit,
to a daughter held so dear.

That was the total of the lyrics on the internet. However, there is one final verse on their final live cd "...they were better live..."

Faces come and faces go, in the ragged life you lead
And you just file them all away, and recall them as you need
But when a face just disappears, you report it as a crime
Against yourself, against teh world
For a short time.

It draws a tear to my eye. And I'm drinking a Moretti.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

 

Parents Say The Darndest Things

So, last year my mom called me hysterically laughing to report a conversation she and my father had while watching primetime television one night. There was a commercial break, and the network showed a commercial for Cialis (an erectile dysfunction drug).

Commercial: "Effects last for up to 36 hours."

Dad: "Wow, that must be really uncomfortable."

Mom: "WHAT?"

Dad: "They said you'd be aroused for 36 hours. Ouch!"

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