Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a difference 2,007 miles makes...

On Sunday evening, after an event that will take too long to blog right now, I found myself driving to the grocery store to replace groceries. When I came out, got into my car and started to drive away, I noticed people flashing their high beams at me. Startled, I checked my headlight dial which was on and chalked it up to my missing headlight. You see, my car had a headlight out and had begun telling me this Monday of last week. But when I turned onto the residential side streets, I noticed that both my headlights must be out. I go to work at 6AM. It is dark then. I knew Monday was about to become a day off.

On Thursday evening (Christmas Eve) of last week, the check engine light came on. On Saturday morning (the day after Christmas), my windshield washer fluid light came on. Now I am all for Holiday lightshows, but this was ridiculous!

Knowing that we have a trip to Boston planned, I decided to try to get the two things fixed at once and managed to schedule an appointment for Monday afternoon when I called on Monday morning.

Why, you might ask, did I not change my light bulbs myself? The answer is part bc you basically have to remove part of the engine to replace them in a Passat. (google it- you get 91,000 results) So $80 for headlights that cost around $8 a pop coupled with the check engine light automatic $98 "finder's fee" for figuring out what was wrong started off the trip to the repair shop. But when they checked the engine light and came up with a PCV Valve problem and the bill went up to $440, I thought great! I have a warranty! ONLY....

My warranty ends at 50K- my car has 52,007. I am almost certain that Karma is out there laughing hysterically right now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Operation Agua

I began my attempts to install the waterline from my basement to my in-fridge ice and water dispenser about two months ago. By begin, I mean I made my dad hole saw thru the floor and then I randomly purchased accoutrements when I remembered in various trips to the store. Last Thursday, I decided enough is enough and in anticipation of Halloween and potential ice needs, I began anew with a trip to Home Depot. (Normally I am Lowe's but we have a gift card.) Operation Agua commence!

My home has a water manifold system and all I wanted on Thursday was:
1) A plastic connector to make the 1/2" pex pipe ($16) that I bought on one of my previous trips for Halloween supplies in order to attach the pex to the port.
2) A reducer/connector to go from 1/2" pex pipe to 1/4" line on the back of my fridge.

Instead, twenty minutes later, I came home with standard plumbing items of the following:
1) 5/8" compression nut with insert $2.77
2) 1/4" compression nut with insert $1.52
3) 5/8" compression nut x 3/8" compression nut both with inserts $4.70
4) 25' of 1/4" poly pipe $6-something

Now, I blame myself partially for not having rechecked the sizes but when he hands me each package after a detailed discussion of what I needed, I left the store and came home full of vim and vigor. Only 3/8" inserts don't fit in 1/4" tubing.

So, I proceed to spend Sunday with the plumbing apprentice aka BS, my boyfriend and every tool we have in the house. Turns out the standard size 5/8" compression nut doesn't actually screw on to the port when you insert the pex into the compression fitting and as we realized this we proceeded to drop it onto the floor and break the nut so I find myself taking a trip to Home Depot to replace the two headed nut and we take the $2.77 loss plus our time plus more gas from my already low tank.

At Home Depot, I return my 5/8"x 3/8" part for store credit and head back to the plumbing aisle. I stare into the boxes of PEX related parts until the man using the threading station notices my bewilderment and proceeds to come to my rescue. Standing there with hands full of all the appropriate parts, I couldn't figure out how I was going to crimp the pipe back at the house..

And lo and behold, Rich, the Home Depot savior, pulls out the crimper..to "show me how it works in theory" and with a wink, continues to make the above, a 1/2" PEX compression fitting (the one on the left) crimped copper ring, PEX pipe link, crimped copper ring to 1/2" male adaptor... swipe the bags and grab a bag of Sour Patch Kids for my mental stress and I am out $9.30 less the $4.70 credit but am a solid hour ahead in work.
We chisel out the wood to fit our new reducer onto the manifold and turn the water on... LEAK! Guess who forgot pipe tape?? So out to Sears Hardware for $1.05 and back to re-connect the pipes and turn the water on.... LEAK! Turns out the 1/4" compression fitting has some sort of issue in the nut that is allowing water thru coupled with my shrinking patience and I find myself holding three pieces for what is a two piece component. Off I go again, back to Sears for a new compression nut and nylon sleeve with insert ($2.63).
It is now 4:00. I have missed the Steelers game, I have installed a new compression fitting and we turn the water back on....

Total Spent:
6 hours including driving time and $39.37 not counting gas but I will never need a Brita again.

Nightmare on ELM AVE..

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bike Accident

My friend GB of stolen bag fame has had yet another run in with bad karma...
Yesterday while riding in DC, GB was hit by a woman who the cops referred to as "ancient". He was riding in Washington Circle and thus had the right of way. The ancient (and potentially blind) woman failed to yield and instead hit him, knocking the bike and GB several yards away skipping across the pavement like a stone across a lake.

He emerged unscathed due to proper helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and other bike accessories. The bike, however, did not.

handlebars- check the handlebars..

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is Maggie, not Dana... aka the Mix-up

If you have ever had surgery, you know that they repeatedly ask which body part they are to be cutting and mark it several times with indelible ink. I assume it is to make sure that there are no screw-ups in the surgery process. They also confirm and re-confirm your name and other items about you.
I have come to believe this is common practice among all health related trades.

See my most recent trip to the eye doctor..

Receptionist: "Maggie, Could you come to the window?"
Me: walks to window "Yes?"
Receptionist: "Ok, just making sure. The doctor will be with you shortly."
Me: sits back down
A few minutes elapse..
Doctor: "Maggie?"
Me: looking up hesistantly
Doctor: "Are you Maggie Reed? Ok, come on back."

So on to the topic at hand...

On Monday, I went to work like any other day only to remember at 7AM as I was unlocking the trailer door that I had a dentist appointment at 10AM in the city. So... I was supposed to be in the city today. And it was for a dentist appointment. When I go to the dentist, I make a good show of it. I blame my mom and her tablets..

that show plaque where you missed it when brushing. Having done a poor imitation of brushing that morning, I found myself searching for a drugstore open at 7 AM near my jobsite. I wound up driving to a supermarket I knew was open, purchasing a toothbrush and toothpaste and brushing my teeth in the ACME bathroom.

I then traveled into the city where there was no traffic (IMPOSSIBLE on any other day when I didnt have nearly 3 hours to kill!!) and found myself next to my old apartment listening to my audiobook and creeping out the families taking their kids to school by sitting in my warm car waiting for the next thirty-two minutes. In an effort to avoid raising uneccessary alarm in people, I wandered to a nearby coffeeshop in an effort to waste the remaining 1 hour and 53 minutes left until my appointment.

It took me 57 minutes to drink one cup of tea. I thoroughly creeped out the guy working beside me as I sat listening to Sookie Stackhouse on my ipod and watching the people as they walked on past. It took another 15 minutes to throw my cup away and leave the shop and another 10 to walk back to my car because I took the long way. I sat in my car again for another 20 odd minutes and then walked to the dentist who was a half a block away.

When I arrived, the xray machine was in pieces and standing in the receptionists area. The receptionist looked like people had been bothering her and when she asked if I was Dana upon being given a chance to talk to someone who wasn't the phone, the dentist or the technicians, I told her no. I was Maggie. She commented that I was really early (22 minutes... ) and to have a seat.

Given my ability to wait at this point, I put on my ipod and flipped thru a people magazine. I became aware about 12 minutes later that a technician was trying to get my attention. I stood up, took out my headphones, and followed her back. She would proceed to say nothing to me while I sat in the chair until after she had put the bib on at which point she asked me if I had any health changes. I responded that I was on new medication and that was the last word we would say to each other for the next couple of minutes.

She was a butcher.

Let me say: I like getting my teeth cleaned. I like the scraping and the smooth feeling you have for the next couple of days without really trying. But I do not like feeling like someone has jammed stuff in between your teeth and that someone has done needlepoint on my gums. Normally, also, when you cringe or tighten fists or go tense, people stop and ask if you are ok. Not the "Meat Chopper".... I had to talk with utensils in mouth to get her to notice that I was wildly uncomfortable to which she responded she would floss them and then it would feel better.

At about this point, I became aware of footsteps and the receptionist said to "Miss pokey sticks":

"Just so you know, you are working on Maggie. (audible pause during which I am guessing the butcher made some sort of gesture or face) Dana didn't show. So you are working on Maggie. It's been that kind of a morning."

I would like to know what kind of a morning makes it ok to confuse one patient with another and not figure it out until the cleaning was almost finished. Obviously one worthy of this blog.

Buttonless Remote

Manny spent an awful lot of time sitting under the bed the other night... Here's why...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

DC Revenge

In retailiation for my office, I ordered this kit for the assailant roughly two months ago. It arrived today... I can't wait for him to start getting the David cassidy Newsletter!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Personal Health Ass-essment

Today I took my company's mandated Personal Health Assessment. I must take this in order to receive the "discounted" health insurance rate. What they failed to tell me was that I might also have to take a mental health day when I get the report back due to my BMI results.

**Editor's note: This bears a striking resemblance to a report I received in college from a nutrionist who told me the bod pod measuring my body fat percentage must be off because if my BMI is 25 (which made me overweight), then my body fat couldn't be less than 20%. (It was.)

At the time, my coach was trying to convince me to gain ten pounds of muscle bc it would make me a better athlete. That would have made my BMI 26.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hendrika and the House

No, this isn't the title of my new children's book.

This is the story of my friend MC who sent me an email about his recently lost house:

"Ms. Reed,
Do you remember back when you had some issues closing on the house because you're 'people' had screwed up and it caused some delays and some headaches, but ultimately it worked out because you got the house? And I told you that I thought I was good that my guys had already covered some of the issues you had. I felt confident that I would have a smooth settlement. You should be thankful. At least you got the house. At least your 'owner' (I assume this was the builder) was in the same zip code. Hell, at least they were in the same area code. Shit! At least you knew where they were! I cannot claim to know any information as it relates to the location of my seller except to say I don't know where she is. That's right. My seller has been AWOL since Friday, June 26. There was no settlement. There is no house in Prospect Park. I am waiting to receive my deposit back but I can't expect to get my appraisal fee and home inspection money back. Oh yeah. I'm not sure if you'll consider this happening blog-worthy, but at the very least it should be considered for two reasons. The first is that as far as closing on houses go, you have a better track record than someone else you know. The second is that there could be an argument that the reason for my bad luck closing on a house is similar to the bad luck experienced by so many of your friends: my association with you. While I really believe it has more to do with some crazy, Dutch woman whose name may be Hendrika*, I cannot eliminate the obvious connection between my recent bad luck and your usually . . . challenging (right word?) karma.

*On a humorous note, instead of moping around yesterday we went out and looked at 16 houses. Yes, 16 in one day. And we spoke with one realtor and our issue came up. We said, "We had a bad experience with a deal in Prospect that fell through today when the seller left town." She responded, "By chance, was this person's name Hendrika?" We answered, "Yes! How do you know her?" She replied, "I was her agent when she bought that house." Funny how small of a world it is.

Getting back to business, we have decided not to tell anyone (except the absolute must knows like our realtor, mortgage guy, and parents) when the next house will close. We've decided that there's a possibility that someone else's bad karma jinxed us. (And that is not a jab at you. Please note, I have had nothing but generally good luck since I've known you so I think your bad karma thing is a load of hogwash.) In the future, we will send out a note, call, whatever, when we are physically standing in the house with all papers signed and checks cashed. Only then will I feel confident enough to say "I am a homeowner."

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! I'm off to Alaska to get my head clear and start my future.

MC, we wish you the best of luck. Buon viaggio!

David Cassidy and my daily life

My coworkers stayed an extra 30-60 minutes on Tuesday night just to decorate my office, hardhat, laptop and files with pictures of David Cassidy all because I requested very loudly in what might be considered an angry voice that they stop signing "I think I love you" for the fortieth time in two days.

david flowers- scientific name davidus cassidius

my hard hat

even my desk drawers..

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stealing is the new black- Updated!

GB corrections are noted in red. They really add a level of flair that the post alone was missing. Thanks for the additions..

So apparently there has been a rash of stolen cars recently. My friend GB lives a horrifying similiar cell phone life to my friend DB (no relation). While DB once lost three phones in three seperate but contigious trips to chicago all in taxi cabs, GB once lost three phones in puddles and also drove over a cell phone in what I swear was a weeks worth of time .

Most recently, however, GB lost his cellphone, along with all other worldly possessions in a car in a yacht club parking lot. Like most people, the words yacht and yacht club enspire visions of granduer and exclusivity, or at least of security cameras. However, there are apparently a myriad of empty yacht club parking lots around, since my google search turned up photos like this. But he was in Anapolis, home of the Naval Academy and fancy houses so you would think at least someone would be looking out for Yacht Crime. Keep in mind being so close to Baltimore, Annapolis does have a burgeoning crime scene.

But still the car was taken in the thirty minutes it took to walk back into the clubhouse get a drink and head back out. And so was a bookbag (actually an advanced trans alpine biking backpack allowing for air circulation during quick descents from extreme altitudes - epitome of German engineering. this pack does not compare to a bookbag which will dump your lunch while riding sending apples rolling down the street) and keys and mp3 players and wallets. Unfortunate you might say, but unlucky? It's just a little car theft.

Only his roommate had just left for a week in Florida. So no back-up keys were to be found. Only a locksmith and two week's worth of new card acquistions and mp3 mourning was to be had.

The car was found, top down, windows open after our most recent bout with six weeks straight of rain with nothing inside. I think you might need a carfax before you buy this one.

To prove all is not lost and to end on a positive note, good fortune did shine on GB during a recent and related lapse of his intelligence. A bundle of important stuff including all new credit cards, id cards, new mailbox keys, and passport (only form of id he had at the time), was placed on the roof rack of his vehicle to free up his hands to load in his bike which had a flat tire due to Obama's motorcade - but thats a different story. He was lucky because there was traffic and he was not driving very fast. He was lucky to have realized in a tunnel under Washington Circle that the important stuff was left on the roof. Shouting obscenities, he stopped, got out of the car in a sea of road-rage induced honking and exhaust fumes, and safely retrieved my important stuff... he could only imagine driving over the bridge, looking out the rear view mirror, seeing everything flying out into the river...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Really Robbed Co-worker

So I have learned thru our unseen co-blogger MK that there is a co-worker of ours who deserves an unlucky and upsetting shout out...

Turns out, LF, might have worse break-in luck than I. In the last six months, LF has had:
1. Her apartment broken into and only her camera and laptop stolen. Nothing was taken that belonged to her roommate. Can anyone spell "Inside Job?"

2. Her boyfriend who lives in NYC was down for the weekend and managed to get his car stolen from right outside her apartment.

and if that's not enough,

3. Apparently, when her family was out at her own father's FUNERAL(!!), their house was broken into!!

That, my friends, is truly unlucky and upsetting.

LF, my heart and any good karma I have built up goes out to you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Manny on a leash

So this post is mostly upsetting for Manny and mostly funny for me, but KM recently wrote about Manny's most recent harness experience.

Guinea pig on a leash!

Please note this is a pig on a leash, not a guinea pig. I just thought the picture was funny.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My guinea pig bit my hair off

On Sunday, after running in the Komen Race for the Cure with my friend SM, I decided to shower and hang out with Manny. I recently changed shampoo and apparently it must smell like strawberries, Manny's favorite food.

Manny is sitting on my shoulder while my hair is down and chirping away when all of a sudden I see a chunk of hair fall onto my t-shirt. Turns out, Manny was chirping while nibbling through my hair.

(Me with my new "face framing layer")

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spilled plants

Today, each time I type in my number keypad, my phone keypad or move my mouse, something goes crunch. When I lift my radio to call someone in the field, tiny rocks fall out. I just took a sip of water out of my mug and got a gritty feeling in my mouth. I guess that is the price you pay when you try to save a little green space by keeping a plant in your office and trying to open your window one handed. It makes the plant take a nosedive onto your desk and cover everything with a fine layer of green roof dirt.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Hampster Coupon

Two weeks ago, I bought a guinea pig. I have been a hampster owner since I was 3 so the switch to a slightly larger fuzzy creature isn't a huge leap. He was so cute and reminded me of Manny the Mammoth from Ice Age so I bought him.

( I know you see the resemblance)

However, in contemplating my new edition to our family, I was reminded of all the hampsters gone past.

Hampsters live short little lives, in comparison to other pets, so I have had opportunities to have more of them than, let's say, dogs.
It all started with Peaches, a pinkish orange and creme hampster who ate onions when I was 6 but managed to survive and lived at least 3 years despite having her(?) paws put in paint and being forced to run on my mom's casio keyboard to write music.

**I don't think there was anyone between Peaches and Cinnamon. Please note that I have always had cute little dwarf hampsters not those big long rat looking hampsters. Fat hampsters are always acceptable. Long hampsters are wierd looking.**

Cinnamon was the mousiest of the bunch and had less tolerance for being caged. Cinnamon escaped several times, along with two hermit crabs who were never recovered. Cinnamon also lived for a solid three years at a minimum. Cinnamon also ate plastic like nobody's business. He(?) chewed the crap out of his ball lid connection and it was often a source of his escapes.

I went hampsterless for a solid period of time, having school and dogs to take up my time, but in college, my mom decided to bring me a surprise.

It was a warm day, in late fall and she had come to watch me play rugby. I was still the proud owner of a 1973 SuperBeetle which was parked at the field and she had brought along a little gift for me. Leaving it in the car as she left after the first half, the little gift in a cage with some water, proceeded to die.
As SG, my aussie friend put it, "Oh, Mag! You have a hampster puddle!" (read that in an aussie accent and you will laugh for days!)

In tears over my new but dead pet, SG and I drove, in a dramatic fashion, back to the pet store where my mom had purchased said hampster.

When we walked in, the owner clearly had never encountered a sobbing American and a peeved Australian with a puddle of hampster before and in minutes found himself handing over, written on a cash receipt slip, a coupon for a free hampster as this one had been one of the last ones in the store and he was officially out.

Two weeks later, I received a call that hampsters had arrived and purchased Dirk Digger*, a legend in the architecture school and a true pocket hampster. The best hampster coupon story EVER!

*Dirk would one year later be killed by a few children responsible for keeping him while I was away in the summer. He was survived by a hampster whose name shall remain unsaid who bit, a lot, like I had canvas gloves for people to pick him up. I think my roommates fed him vodka before I moved to Rome.

** Author's note: Mom, if this is the first time you have ever heard of this story, don't worry. Dirk ended up being the best hampster a college architecture class could ever ask for.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I got stuck in an elevator- at Christmas time

So I found this started blog post that I apparently got distracted and never finished (surprised anyone?)... and thought, "Why not share this doozy with the world?" Merry Christmas in April, folks.

This is not a big deal. I kind of like the thought of wasting a day or two in an elevator. But the elevator at our downtown office has never broken on me before. I am not personally claustrophobic so when the woman approached myself and MC, my co-worker, our reaction to her seemingly crazy question of "Does this elevator get stuck often?" was one of almost incredulous, "No... never happened to either of us and we ride it all the time."

**Please note that this was our company's Operation Santa Claus day and that MC was dressed as Santa and I as a too-tall elf (If I can find the picture, I will attach it..)

No sooner did we pack Santa, myself and our new claustrophobic friend into our elevator, than four more ladies joined us. Now, this elevator is rather large and while I run the risk of sounding prejuidiced against the jolly, I have seen many large men pack into this elevator at closing time having apparently eaten their desks before entering. Note that I had not been stuck during these trips with the un-famished. So the 7 of us, ladies chattering away about the luncheon they were heading to, MC and I trying to not sweat to death and our claustrophobic friend headed upward. But between P1 (parking level one) and L (lobby for office), we skipped S (Store level). Dramatically panicking because it had skipped her level, our new friend pounded the buttons as the elevator came to a stop and the doors did not open.

MC has recently been in charge of an elevator contract and tried to begin to explain that it was not a big deal, that we deal with elevators all the time (althought I can see after our first incorrect statement that the elevator never gets stuck, why she might not believe us) and BAM! Claustrophia starts slamming buttons and pounding the door and shouting.

In true time elapse, we might have been stopped for three and a half whole minutes. The ladies all tried to calm her down while MC stood watch over the buttons so she couldn't do anymore damage and I spoke into the speaker. Thirty-five percieved minutes later, we were returning to the parking level where we explained to everyone to follow us and wandered out and around and up the stairs from P1 to S and then where they could find (insert place they were planning to go here).

Lesson learned: Don't allow the claustrophobic lady in the elevator with the bad-luck elf.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Medical History

My friend O (aka KS) has been complaining recently of shortness of breath after athletic activity. Purely joking, her roommate LR suggested that O get herself checked for asthma. A high level collegiate athlete, O has been playing rugby for 5 years at the fastest pace in the women's collegiate game with little issue. However, last weekend, after playing against a women's clubside, O found herself almost vomiting due to her lungs hurting so much.

Three hours later, while talking to her mom, O commented that her lungs had only just started to feel ok again. Her mom, very lovingly, responded that maybe O should start taking her inhaler again because of her excerise-induced asthma.
O:"My what?"
Her mom:"Your inhaler. All three of you kids had asthma..."
O:"But only my brother and sister have inhalers!!"
Her mom: "Well, they needed them."

She is now the proud owner of her brother's inhaler until after the national championship playoffs.

Maybe someone should have filled out her medical history form before she left for college five years ago.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Twins seperated at birth, only 11 years apart...

My cousin Brian was bar mitzvah'd on Saturday. The youngest of the three cousins in that family, Brian is probably the coolest kid of anyone I know. Who else would pose for the nine thousandth picture that day making the same face I would??

But the big story of the day is that my cousin Lauren (same family..stick with me here) and I ended up at the same event in the same dress.
Lauren has been compared physically to me since her birth and most people would agree that it is easy to see that we are cousins. In fact, some of our photos of us at the same age are a toss-up as to which belongs to who (unless someone made a note on the back or the fashions in the photos give it away). But when Lauren walked towards me in the middle of the Fellowship Hall wearing the EXACT SAME DRESS, complete with matching shrug, we knew we had made everyone's dream of a face to face comparison a reality. Unplanned and purchased seperately and never before discussed, our matching outfits meant I was often refered to as Lauren's age (11 years my junior may I note?).

Judge for yourself.

*at least we're both girls...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

inside out and upside down

Monday, at my company's regional dinner, I wore a new and fascinating piece of apparel. Formerly known as the sports bra, it became the arb strops when, due to forgetting a "real bra", I had to turn it upside down and wear it as sort of a halter. It was bright orange and typical of a sport bra and the shirt I brought to change into was a boatneck in blue and white which would just really not allow for faking that I wore a tank underneath my shirt on purpose....So basically, for about four hours, I had a shelf of boobs.

What not to wear, Here I come.

Monday, March 23, 2009


(these are not actually my knees but they look close.)

This past weekend I suffered several injuries. Anyone who has been around me for any length of time knows that graceful or agile is not exactly the words which quickly come tot he tongue when asked to describe me. Instead, in a National Championship game broadcast, I was once described as "rumbling, bumbling, stumbling". Nice.

So why I was suprised that I would suffer injury trying to be lithe and athletic on Sunday is a little beyond my own understanding of myself but the whole event was rather hilarious, so I thought it should be shared...

It all started Saturday when in a fit of fake rage, I threw a punch thru a doorway with my elbow. I honestly wasn't sure I didn't break it until Sunday morning. I failed to recognize my surroundings and was much closer to edge of the closet than I realizes. When I threw said punch, I slammed my elbow into the reinforced edge of the closet causing my elbow to give since the reinforcing wouldn't and I collapsed in pain that didn't relent until I fell asleep that night. When I woke up, I still couldn't use it too well in terms of putting pressure on that arm but I was obviously not broken.*

It was a sunny Sunday so we decided to go running seperately (see above for descriptive terms of my athleticism and you'll understand why I often run with myself). I was enjoying the sunshine, listening to Sookie, and running amongst the throngs of people in town for the regatta on Boathouse row, when I found myself suddenly airborne. With reaction time close to a blind deaf slug, it was helpless to try to react and instead I allowed myself to come to a heavy stop on my hands and knees. A man doing step-ups on a bench stopped and stared. No one managed to snicker until after I stood up, an event that made me look like a lop-sided tripod due to my elbow injury from the previous night not allowing me to put weight on that arm. When the man recognized that I was able to walk, he went back to his step-ups on the bench. I wanted to throw a rock at him, but the pain streaming thru my hands was stopping me from doing anything besides blinking back tears of embarassment. I quickly started to run, toughing it out when I realized the blood streaming down my knee was probably pretty disgusting.

(I should take this moment to comment on my running attire for the day. I choose to wear bright red shorts and an almost hot yellow t-shirt. So assuming your friend missed my theatrics, you could quite easily remember and point out the girl you just totally saw bite it in the biggest way.)

I managed to tough it out another half mile or so when I saw a bench and stopped to check out the damage. A man walked past my obvious attempt to stop the bleeding and then doubled back, asking if I was ok, if I needed a ride anywhere or if not, that he had a bandaid in the car. Feeling a bit like a five-year old at the playground being asked if I would like some candy, I released my yellow shirt now stained with blood and told him I was fine and continued on my run. I made it home and washed the rocks out my knee and spent the rest of the day trying to not run into things or fall anywhere else.

*(My elbow is currently the size of two elbows and rather blue in color, in case you were wondering).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cats crossing my path

Last night I was watching "House" for a brief moment and the patient was sure he was cursed. He talked of being the most unlucky kid in the world (for full synopsis click here). I was intrigued by what he might have, being highly unlucky myself, until the first real diagnosis was Anthrax and Chase commented that Gabe might be the most unlucky kid ever. Off went the tv.

This morning two black cats crossed my path, narrowly missing my tires as I drove to work. I sure hope I don't have Anthrax....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cops and Jury Duty

Question of the Day: "Would you be more likely to believe a police officer testimony because of their job?"

I recently (Tuesday) served my civic duty of jury duty for the City of Brotherly Love. Don't get me wrong here... I enjoyed having the valuable time of my day dedicated to reading magazines I was smart enough to bring while I was shuffled back and forth between uncomfortable wooden pews.

Following a friend's advice, I arrived approximately five minutes late. Apparently, my friend gave this advice to everyone on jury duty that day as there were a plethora of people who had chosen to not quite be on time. I passed thru security with little to no issues and entered Room 101. Finding myself with little understanding of just exactly what was going on here, I grabbed my mini-golf pencil and form 1 & 2 and hustled back to the theatre chairs all the way at the back that meant a little extra leg room. I filled in the information at the top of both sheets, listening for my name to be associated with a juror number (secretly wishing for juror #4)...

Peter Bartlett: I didn't bribe anyone.

Casey Novak: (sarcastically) Nooo... that fifty thousand dollar payment to juror number four was charity.

But alas, just as I began my filling in my answers to the questions on page #1 and #2, I was given the number 6. I had made it all the way to the question with which I started my blog and a flashback started to occur...

***Enter whispy dry ice fumes....

Monday, I am driving thru downtown Philadelphia and find myself at 16th and Chestnut at 1:38PM. I must go approximately 4 city blocks until I enter a covered garage and proceed upstairs to a meeting being held at 2PM. As I pass 16th, the two cars in front of me turn left leaving me the solo driver in my lane for the next block as several cars deep are waiting to turn right on 15th. As I approach the intersection of Chestnut and 15th, three youths streak across the intersection across traffic. Please note I had a green light.

Due to the actions of these fine young men, I now find myself slamming on the brakes. Since they clear the street before I even have the chance to hit them, I now clear the intersection as it turns yellow out of the corner of my eye. I am now stuck at the next light, as lights inevitably change in unison. When the cars behind me advance, I see a cop car pull up behind me and then flash its lights.

Now. The following things are true:

1. I drive a bright red passat.

2. My age is sometimes mistaken and I have been asked unreasonable questions about my age in multiple locations (example: at 22, I was asked if I would be driving soon. True story.)

3. I believe that I am a good driver.

So when I see the lights, I think, "They should have turned at 15th. There is a lot of traffic here and a bus on my right. How are they going to get past?" Naivety.

Folks, they stopped that cop car right there, got out and approached my vehicle. Having had my car broken into twice last year, I actually did not know where my registration and insurance was at first and the lady cop to my left was very curt when she informed me to stop freaking out because I hadn't gotten a ticket yet so my attitude could go a long way towards helping that. Also, I needed to "turn my radio down!" (Note to cops out there: Please do not speak to humans in a tone used for a naughty dog. It tends to bring out the b*tch in all of us). She asked me my age (check the license lady) and asked me if I knew why I was stopped (obviously not given my surprise at your tapping on my window as I sat in traffic) and then I then sat in the left lane blocking traffic until 2:02 when they brought my papers back and told me to have a safe day.

...smoky fog clears****

Do I have any bias towards the Philly Police department who has not shown up to my car break-in and then wasted twenty minutes of my day not writing me a ticket but warning me not to try to hit people who are jaywalking while I have a green light? I think I have done enough jury duty for this city for a while.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wardrobe malfunction

My friend ON is a successfully highly motivated business woman. While relatively few unlucky things happen to her as she is the consummate planner of all things, she does have some upsetting items that have recently taken place due to her planning failing her*.

On a recent trip to DC for work to host lunch and meetings, she found herself standing at the train station at 6:57AM waiting for the train here and noticed that she had two right shoes of different black heels.

Let that sink in folks. Two black right heels. Nice. Luckily she was wearing semi-acceptable (although not for a suit) black casual shoes and not uggs.

The text I received at 6:33 PM sealed the deal on the day, however:
"I have just discovered that I have been wearing my undies inside out all day."

7 am waiting for the Acela and realized the shoes were wrong... Not to mention the incessant wedgies all day long... That is quite the upsetting day.

*Planning, I have noticed, eliminates the room for some unlucky things to happen to people. Not necessarily me as the unlucky things that happen to me often have no rhyme or reason behind them. But I am trying to take on planning as a concept to avoid some everyday mishaps and will soon have to post about my first step towards elimination of strife: the day I matched my sock drawer... Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ET, Phone Home

Today I expect to receive my replacement phone. Replacement because two days ago my phone (bought 8/21/08) turned on and got stuck on the verizon logo. It flashed it actually, as if taunting my every attempt to reset and restart. I am not super abusive to my phones... ok this is sort of a lie. I once threw a phone off the roof I was standing on to the lower roof about 14 feet below in an arching dramatic toss of aggravation but this was after it malfunctioned in the middle of an irate call to a missing contractor. I am abusive but have good intentions and treat phones relatively nicely until they start to malfunction. This is when the throwing kicks in.
This makes the first LG chocolate 3 I have replaced but brought to mind my other cellular devices and the way in which they were replaced....

LG Chocolate Version 1.0:

I have owned three of these bad boys, one getting stuck in the open position...because there is nothing better than buying a phone for its small stylish design and then carrying a double sized bulge in your pocket. "Is that a banana in your....." You get the idea.

One got caught spinning randomly when the wheel was touched or not touched thru any number of screens, options, numbers, messages, pictures.. you name it, it scrolled... Made it awful hard to text or call or answer or well, in general use the phone at all.

And then there was the last straw. The one that pushed me to the Chocolate 3.
I had a demon phone that called people. It called people when it was shut. It called people upon opening it. When you tried to answer an incoming call, it became normal for people to wait up to 15 seconds to listen for answer because I would be maniacally hitting clear in order to stop the new call that was happening over the incoming call. I learned quickly that hitting end hung up both calls. It took over calling people about a month or so before I could update my phone for "free". About one week before the update, it also learned how to text. I owned "The Turk" of cellphones and gave it all away for functionality. Plus, I was worried about Sarah Connor coming after me to destroy it before it could become Skynet....

I don't remember much about the specific name of the phone before the Chocolate Escapades but I do remember it almost breaking in half, causing me to believe a slider phone was much more resilient. This was from overuse, claimed the insurance people. (This was a replacement I received only a month prior.) I dropped one of these in a parking lot. I left one on a train I was riding from Philadelphia to NYC that was headed on to Boston. I lost one in a bar one night. (i love the insurance program Verizon puts out. I always max out. Always.)

At the same time, I had a durable Nextel for work. At a fitness expo we were working to give Keystone Rugby a little greater Philadelphia exposure, I accidentally snapped my phone into its holster a little too strongly. It skittered across the parking lot and slide under a car, falling into the only storm water sewer basin in the entire parking lot. One hour later, a soaked KM, a non-wet RH (who had gone for help or supplies but had found kittens if I remember correctly and sort of forgot to come back for a while) and myself had rescued the phone mostly thru KM's genius, a coat hanger, some string, a pair of plyers and a couple of sticks. It never turned back on and I was told I should have just reported it stolen. The sim card was bad too.

Ah, the memories of phones gone past....

Monday, February 2, 2009

My face is getting better

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time is drawing near when my skin will be clear....

This will close the facial disaster unless these last few items don't go away and I scar for life. Then we will have a whole new topic to discuss....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aspiring to be a Proactiv Model

It appears that the tides may have turned. I promise as soon as most clusters disappear, I will stop posting daily photos of my disgusting face that will need to be burned upon my healing.

A tid bit nippley

Another good friend, JN aka B, shared this little gem yesterday about her recent email escapades:

"So I’ve been tanning for my friend’s wedding on Saturday. I went topless b/c I don’t want the lines. So I said to my friend that I didn’t want to burn my.... Nips... :) so she told me her fiancĂ© said to put chapstick on them. Which to me- makes perfect sense. So I have been. Then last night, I forgot. OOPS! Well... They hurt a little. So I go to email my friend and her fiancĂ© – who I’ve never emailed, but know he works for the state – as does she. So I take her email address: and put in his initials: .ONLY to get an email saying ‘Brian’s email is There are a lot of Bells that work for the State – you’ve now told some weirdo that you burnt your nips... B/c you forgot chapstick."

Your day could always start out like this, people...and bbell, if you are out there, we hope you at least got a smile at 7AM yesterday morning!

Un-glamour shots

Last night, my sister lovingly took photos which she emailed to me under the auspicious email title of "Glamour Shots". Glamorous they are not.

Please note that as itchy as they may look, they are actually worse.

Today, however, my forehead appears to have lost all redness and one whole half of my face no longer looks like I was held under duress on a red ant hill and bitten half to death.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Facial schmacial

I have googled bad facial, facial reaction, facial horror stories, and none of these things have shown me that anyone gets reactions that last for days on end...

My doctor, however, informed me of the the two following outcomes that I might experience due to my new cremes:
1. 2-3 days to go away- best case
2. 2-3 weeks to go away- not so best case

Then, like all good medical professionals, he shared the worst case scenario.

***Eerie music... enter fog....

This one time, I had a lady who had beautiful, flawless skin and went and had a bad facial experience...


And she had such bad acne from the facial that I had to put her on Accutane and she even had some facial scarring....

......fade to black******

Alright, listen up medical community. When you have a patient who has as highly active of an imagination as me, please do not tell us we could end up scarred due to one day of pampering in our measly little lives. And if you can't tell if we are highly imaginative, assume the worst.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Allergic to relaxation

This weekend I joined 6 others in a spa weekend. It was more of a spa gluttony as the man in charge of the retreat called us "the group who came to OD on spa treatments". In fact, we had sooo many spa treatments that the scrapbooking retreat happening at the same location couldn't book treatments.

We enjoyed such luxuries as hot stone massages and ionizing foot baths.
And when it came time to choose facials, I was so relaxed that I allowed the lady to assist me in choosing. I had never had a facial and informed her that I did have sensitive skin. She gave a list and I chose deep cleansing ($75 when bought seperately as opposed to our package deal) as cleansing and purifying seemed to be theme.

This is my face Sunday morning.

This is my face now.

I have just returned from the dermitologist ($20 copay) who informed me that this may be
A) an allergic reaction ($25 medicine)

2) an acne flare ($30 medicine)

I have also bought a non-irritating soap to be sure my face is clean before my three applications of face creams a day ($10), so I have now paid $75 facial + $ 85 to fix the facial to end up with worse skin than I have ever had in my life. Plus, I am itchy.
I think this means I am allergic to relaxation

Thursday, January 8, 2009


We have a friend, DB, who occassionally befalls bad luck. Only to us, instead of it being horrific and tragic, it always seems to lean towards the comedic.

On Monday, at work, DB visited the bathroom only to learn that her underwear had broke. That's right, folks. Broke.

The above represents the type of underwear I think she was wearing. Apparently, these being her favorite brand and style, she had worn them to the point of becoming brittle and when she pulled on them, the side piece tore.

Knowing she had little options, sitting there as she was, she proceeded to tie the broken pieces together. I think the resulting scenario would look something like this MS Paint sketch:

As you can see in the repaired sketch, it appears that approximately 1/2 of one buttcheek would be "free" for the rest of the day. Also, due to the quantity of material needed to "tie" them back together, the resultant panties were a little bit small. In fact, fearing she would never be able to get them back down or up, this trip was the last to the bathroom for the entire day until she returned home.

Obviously, feeling uncomfortable, sure that someone could tell and needing some resolve from outside herself, she emailed her sister to get some feedback. The response:

"Sometimes things happen. I just saw a cow mounting an alpaca and the alpaca looked very uncomfortable."

So ladies and gentleman, I guess that your mom was right. Always wear a good clean pair of underwear when you leave the house.