Here's our lovely host Jen. I'm determined to keep my takes short this week:
1) I've learned to make iPod ad silhouette people. Can any of my real-life friends identify this person?
2) My German co-worker has hair like Sideshow Bob. Once at a party a friend's baby caught sight of him and cried until he covered his dreadlocks with a beanie. True story.
Also, unborn babies can tweet now.
3) How do you feel about birthdays? I always used to be a little sad; I remember turning sixteen and feeling sorry that fifteen was gone forever. But then I found a strategy to get the disappointment out of the way early. It goes like this: around the six-month mark between birthdays, I begin to think of myself as a year older than I am. Right now I'm telling myself I'm 32, though I don't actually turn 32 till June. It's just a silly mental trick, but it means there's no longer a single day when I suddenly think, "Oh no, my age just changed!" The only problem is that sometimes I forget whether I've added the extra year or not, and I find myself momentarily unsure of how old I am. At least once I actually had to recall my birth date and do the math.
4) How about Valentine's Day? Trufax: I've never had a date on Valentine's Day, and I've always enjoyed it. C'mon, people-- CANDY! What's not to like? I usually think people who hate V-Day are overreacting or too emotionally fragile or something. But I sat next to a girl on an airplane recently who said that one year in high school, she was really looking forward to what her boyfriend would do for Valentine's Day. She waited for him in the quad after school for a long, long time. And finally she saw him-- with another girl. He'd dumped her and moved on to someone else without even telling her.
So I can understand feeling a bit down on V-Day if you've got a memory like that.
5) Rain's gone. It's very warm again here in Southern California. My cousin (once removed) back East was actually stranded in snow on the freeway a few days ago, and she called both AAA and 911, but everyone said they couldn't come out and rescue her because the blizzard was so bad. She waited all night in the sub-zero weather, and if she'd run out of gas she'd have run out of heat. I can't imagine living like that!
Finally a snowplow came through the next morning. "We followed that plow like the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud," says she.
6) Heart-shaped cookies. I must make some.
7) We've been looking after the neighbor's dog for three weeks while the neighbor's on vacation, and today is supposed to be the last day. The dog's a tiny, scraggly, white-haired creature with a funny-looking underbite. She has loads of personality-- goes crazy greeting me when I get home each day-- but unfortunately she also poops on the family room rug with regularity in spite of being walked twice a day. Furthermore our cat is terrified of dogs, even dogs that weigh less than she does, and consequently she's afraid to go downstairs where the dog is and ask to be let out of the house. The result is that she's taken to peeing in my closet. Anyway, we'll all be glad when the dog goes home.
8) The family room rug is scheduled to be replaced a few days after the dog leaves. That timing is deliberate.