Thursday, April 27, 2006


Addicted to crack.

So I must admit that this running business isn't the bain I thought it might be. As a former competitive swimmer, I appreciate a sport with so little 'equipment'. I find that I excell at sports that don't have props. When you put mits, balls and protective gear in the mix, I'm at a loss.

I need so little in the way of 'gear' to do this whole thing, that I hardly have an excuse not to. Shorts, shoes, coushy socks, sports bra, pedometer, iPod and the open road. (P.S. How did anyone ever run before without an iPod or some portable music device? Besides, I think the on-coming drivers appreciate my lip synch and muted choreography.)

The one thing, however, that has put a moneywrench into this is: my undies. Who knew that making your legs go back and forth faster than a normal walk makes your otherwise sedentary skivvies beat a hasty retreat into your asscrack? While the aforementioned on-coming drivers get to see my sweet dance-moves-while-running, the drivers approaching from the rear get to see me gracefully attempt to remove the offending article of clothing from its crevase. Seriously, I feel like I'm breaking up a budding friendship between my underwear and my small intestines. (Was that too much information? Did I go too far?)

I figure I could go to a desigated running store and inquire about some runner's unders, but that may constitute 'gear'. And I find those places so intimidating to me, the newest member of the athletic community. But they have to sell something for this, right? I can't be the only one with Chronic Runner's Wedgie, can I? I shudder to think that runners have been going commando all this time.

Maybe I should beat the undies at their own game and wear a thong. A-HA!! You got no where to creep to now, underwear!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


To be added to the DSM-V

I was recently MySpace-tagged to compose a piece on the six most obsessive features of my personality. I feel blessed that I was limited to a mere six, when thirty or eighty-hundred would come to me just as easily. Since "ranking things in order of importance" would constitute #7, they appear here at random.

Welcome to 1/2357th of my psyche. Make yourself at home.

1) The cleanliness of the kitchen counters (and every other horizontal surface in the house). I have been considering buying stock in Clorox Clean-Up because I use it more than deodorant. In a bind I may even consider using it AS deodorant. This magic potion of epic proportions not only takes EVERY.STAIN.IMAGINABLE out of the garishly white countertops we have, but it gives the whole room a very light, sterilized bleach smell (maybe that appeals to the nurse in me). And in a kitchen, what could be more appetizing? And even though it already does so much for me, Clorox Clean-Up has managed to give me one other gift that just keeps giving. Small, discolored bleach stains on about 50% of the clothing that I own. Sure, it's more noticeable on some items than others, but it serves as a constant reminder that the staining-power of any item on earth is no match for me with a holster of my favorite cleaning agent.

2) I believe in snacks. Don't let this just be a humorous shout-out to the 8 year old in you. I believe that more so than a Coke or star studded anthems, "snacks" just might be the answer to world peace. What would happen if we dropped handi-snacks, snack-pack puddings, fun-sized Snickers or lunch-sized Cheeto bags over the war-torn areas of the world. Maybe they'd stop for a minute to see how many ploids they had. Snacks -- and the term is loose enough to let you conjure up your favorite, it's probably my favorite too, I have many -- give everyone a new lease on life. Did you ever disappoint a co worker or classmate when you brought in snacks? Did that presentation ever totally just bomb because you brought a tasty treat for your audience to munch on? And was that party the lamest thing since the War of 1812 because you put out some delectables in a fancy bowl? No. Snacks add pizzazz to life. They stand alone from "meals" because they are better than that. Snacks refuse to be pigeon-holed into square entrees and consumption for nourishment. I think snacks are for more than our metabolic needs. Snacks are nourishment for the soul.

3) My pores. And I know better. Mom always said it was rude to stare. I don't bother them; I'm just a harmless voyeur. But I know they're there. And they know I'm close to naming them. I still think they're boycotting me since Biore' came on the market. Sorry, guys.

4) Crosswords. I think this may be a lingering side effect of having graduated from William & Mary. I have fond memories of groups of my friends all printing off the daily crossword and working it throughout the day until completion. We'd, of course, taunt each other with emails and voicemails like "Ha, you'll NEVER get 36 down, SUCKAH". First one done won the most important thing at W&M: respect. This is probably a main reason why W&M has never held a spot on Playboy's list of top ten party schools. I distinctly remember coming home around 9PM on a Saturday to change and get my swerve on. Upon entering my dorm I saw close to 10 students working Finite Calculus equations on the (strangely located) chalkboard in the dorm lobby. Hell of a way to spend a Saturday night. They were probably breaking loose and not showing their work. Right, crosswords. So thankfully, the Washington Post publishes a little red-headed-step-child of a daily paper everyday called "The Express". It's available all over campus and it's free. I benefit from a few pages of world news, skip the sports, move to the classifieds to see how many Prince George County strip clubs are still looking for dancers "no experience necessary", get a page or two of celebrity gossip and then I can feast on their crossword. And if I've got room, I might have a forkful or two of the Suduku. The avid student that I am, I will usually keep one in my notebook to work on when the complications of pediatric Kawasaki's Disease is not quite doing it for me. Bah, I'll read about that later. In the back of my head I'm still racing to finish.

5) Christmas music before Thanksgiving and/or after January 2nd. More than an obsession, I feel someone must lobby congress about this being a crime. Please. We don't sing "This is the day that the Lord has made" on the 4th of July, why is Christmas music acceptable any other time?! Yeah, yeah, it cheers people up and it gives them the Christmas spirit in August. I get that. But it's like telling me that you've got the most wonderful surprise for me and I can open it in 4 months. Why do that to yourself? Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas as much as the next guy. Hell, even with the way I get jipped by Christmas every year by having a birthday in the same month I still hold it no ill will. This may stem from long family vacations as a child when I was subjected to my mother singing Christmas carols to make the time pass and my brother crooning along because he knew it pissed me off. All of my Christmas music is kept together and on the Black Friday after Thanksgiving, I will remove it and listen, surely filled with the love of Jesus and Christmas. And once "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" (by the delicious slice of man, Mr. Connick, Jr.) is no longer valid, it all gets packed up and sent back to the CD stand. [but I will say this, I do look forward to the first "All I Want For Christmas Is You" a la Mariah Carey of the year. Don't judge me. I know you sing along too.]

6) My need for a David Bowie/Bono sandwich with a side helping of Bernini. These men are geniuses. While Bono has a lot of people on his appreciation train, I feel that D.B. and especially B (maybe because he's been dead for over 400 years...) are rarely given their due credit. He was Ziggy Stardust, man. He WAS and IS the embodiment of Brit Pop. And Labyrinth?! Why that was just silver screen magic. When other artists are crying like little girls that their music is being hijacked by college students all the world over, David Bowie steps up and puts a contest on his website. A brand new sports car to the fan who can do the best remix of any D. Bowie piece. And hell, what a pal, he put all of his music and the software to mix it on his site, free of charge. Something tells me that man's packing a little more self-confidence and hey, maybe more man than sock down there, if you know what I mean, than say, Metallica. Bernini, other than being BFF with the POPE for most of his 16th century life (which did secure him some pretty sweet commissions in his time), pretty much shaped art as we know it today. Were you aware of art today? If not, trust me, he did. I hold this man in such high regard that I lovingly named my cat after him. Unfortunately, my cat appears to suffer from mild retardation, though he is high functioning (don't pity us, he is as God made him). Maybe he couldn't handle the pressure of bearing such an important name. Bernini got a sweet shout-out in Brown's Angels and Demons, even if I was the only reader cheering on the art-action rather than the worse-than-an-English-101-narrative storytelling that Brown was spewing. And generally speaking, if you assembled them and permitted me to be squashed in between them for a spell, I wouldn't make a peep of complaint.
Now, let's see. After all that, do I have any friends left?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Army 10-miler or bust.... literally.

A few short months ago, much to my chagrin, a dear friend of mine (not to be confused with the one who can produce convincing fist-phalluses at a moment's notice) was shipped to Iraq, Army-style. Whatever your opinion on the matter, our commander in chief has asked that my pal set aside 12 months of his life to splash around in the sand of Mesopotamia and generally deliver the good word of freedom and democracy to the natives. And he's ok with this. Elated, in fact.

Since my idea of "war time" has been generally shaped by my secret obsession with the battles, philosophies and the movers and shakers of the American CIVIL War, imagine MY surprise when my soldier boy is able to email and IM (and make humorous blog comments) from his middle eastern sandbox. (Ah, if only General Stonewall Jackson had had text messaging... ((I'm digressing to a mental image of Robert E. Lee using those damned annoying Nextel walkie-talkie chirps while he strategized Gettysburg))).

The benefits of his war-time service for me, indeed if there are any, include the possibility of a souvenir (which I'm all about.. the tackiest Iraqi magnet ever..make it happen.. MREs and sand don't count) and the new found friendship with said pal's state-side girlfriend. She's the perfect vision of a war-time woman. She sends care packages, girlscout cookies, love notes, and puts real thought into gifts and other reminders of home. Generally, she's a good woman who's waiting for her man. I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if she's stock piling yellow ribbon and oak trees at home. In short, she's a delight, and I've found my 'missing my best pal' pains kept to a minimum with her emails and phonecalls (geez, you'd almost think I was the one with a boyfriend on the front..).

As if to be meant as a bonus to her already feminine ways, the girl is as perky and bouncy as they come. She's reved up with energy -- and apparently, as of late, has found her outlet. She called me recently to invite me to join her in October for DC's Army 10-mile race. We'd make wacky t-shirts sporting our pal/bf, eat pasta the night before and generally have a good time. Except for one miniscule problem. I don't run. The most I run is to my car in the rain and even that's more of a jog. Sure, I'm quite the regular at the gym, but I hardly run between the machines. But I decided, hell, I like the girl and the Army man. And I'm pretty confident I can con some other people into this with me. And I'm praying the girlfriend is strong enough to piggyback me the last few miles.

I began my training almost immediately -- I have a lot of ground to cover, literally and figuratively. And nursing a sprained foot from one of my first runs, it was a rocky start.

Now, a few weeks in and mostly healed, I am running further (read: 2 miles, don't judge me) than I ever have before and I'm keeping a decent pace. Without sounding like a Wheaties ad, I have amazed myself. Surely 10 miles is achievable.

Besides, if he can sacrifice 12 months away from two pretty amazing women to risk his life daily for the benefit of a needy nation, then I'm pretty sure I can eek out 10 miles on one day through lovely downtown DC in the fall. Just doing my part. I think of it as my athletic victory garden.

I know, I'm such a patriot.

Come home safely and soon!! I just may be able to run over there and get you... eventually.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


So THAT'S what friends are for

Tomorrow I am meant to "test out" of the practical aspects of my future nursing career. You know, prove to my professors that I'm good for more than "... the doctor will be in shortly", "...keep this under your tongue" and a leggy walk in a naughty nurses outfit (that's next semester, for SURE).

Because I get so very little feedback (read: none) from the plastic nursing school manequins that are delightfully littered with staples, gashes, holes of every size, shape, location and patency, I spent the better part of my evening with a dear friend who agreed to help with the studying (indeed, after she was promised "I swear I will not be inserting anything into YOU."). Like the amigo that she is, I was changing wound dressings on her sweatpants and hanging IV bags from her lampshades in no time. Truly, though, she pulled out all the stops and gave her most oscar-worthy performance when she created for me, in her fist, a faux phallus that I might practice catheter insertion on. What a pal!

I think we both gained something tonight. Mine was two-fold, perhaps. 1) Confidence in my practical skills so I can rock the party tomorrow. 2) Knowledge that I have a friend who willingly pantomimes genitalia for my educational benefit.

And her profit? She gets a good "weekend" story for the office tomorrow. In my head it goes something like this : "My weekend?.. nothing special... Cathy gloved up and put a catheter into my fake penis... you?"

With friends like these, who needs patients?

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