Saturday, January 26, 2008

I know the devil

And she's a little woman, who's really, really good at yoga.

We've (me & husband) have started going to "partner yoga."
I haven't mentioned this before, but it's time. We both like yoga, have taken it before and decided to go together, & lo & behold - of course hippie, earth-loving Ann Arbor has something as cheesy as partner yoga. It's cheaper than couples therapy and probably more beneficial.
So, anyway it starts out weird... with a loooong hug. Then next thing I know, I'm doing downward facing dog and he's standing behind me and we're like oookay.... where is this going?
Then it goes normal, just regular poses and such, but this woman has forced me to discover new and exciting muscle groups and torture them. She turns my muscles to pudding. The crazy things she asks me to do with my limbs leave me quivering and she's over there demonstrating in pure perfection. Put your body in the up position of a "push-up," only instead of being on your palms, do it on your forearms, and just hold in the "up" position. Hold it. Hold it. Lift your hips so you don't hurt your lower back. Hold it. Hurts doesn't it?

I want to be good, but this shit is hard. I'm about as flexible as a barbie. I wake up every Saturday whining with every motion. How can entire new areas hurt so much? Every week? And combine that with the volleyball I've been playing on Mondays... by Tuesday I'm a sack of aching, moldy pudding.
I'm going to keep at it. Soon I'll be able to do a handstand while my leg is twisted around my body with my elbow in my ear.
It will be great.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bedtime Story

So my friend Rich recently bought a new mattress and therefore decided to sell the old one. Where else would one internet savvy person go, but Craigslist?
Hilarity enuses... here's his story.


Here's a nominee for dumbest email slip-up in 2008.
I recently placed an Ad on Craig's List to sell an old mattress, what
follows are the messages I received in response to that Ad...

(bear in mind, "massage" is something of a code word in Craig's List)

--Message 1
I offer a full body nude massage with a hand release. Incall is $150
and outcall is $100.

Incall is limited for me because of the lack of furniture at the
apartment I use. I ask if incall is needed that you give me an hour in
advance so I can go over there and heat up the room for a while before
you show up. Then I put a clean sheet over the carpet and that's where
I give my massages.

Outcall is somewhat limited for me because I don't have a car, so
usually I get picked up which is why outcall is less (gas or cab would
make up the difference).

If you don't have a problem with that then give me a call at
734-XXX-XXXX. However if this is not what you're looking for then have
a nice day.

Thanks, Jade

--Message 2 (Sent about 9 seconds later):

Oops sorry sent you the wrong email a minute ago.

I can't pick the mattress up around 7pm today. I'll see if I can
another day.

Thanks, Nicole

"Jade" called me earlier, and couldn't keep her own name straight! I
was giving my mattress away for free, but I decided it deserved a
better fate than as a springboard in some Den-Of-Inequity.

Last thing I need is for my bed to have more interesting adventures
than I do.


Thursday, January 24, 2008


This past Tuesday Shelly and I were working late and she starts talking about food and I'm busy so I'm half listening and I hear her address me and I say, "What? Did you just say typhoid?"
She starts laughing and says, no.. I think I'm gonna get some Thai food. And then I start laughing at how Thai food turned into typhoid.
Here come the jokes. And lots of laughter from both of us.
"Yeah, you know you've had good typhoid if you're mouth is burning."
"You can get typhoid in several places in Ann Arbor."
"I'd really love to get me some typhoid."
Oh my we're so funny, we wish we had company.

Anyway, moving on...
Today, I go outside to go to work today and right off the bat I'm making displeased faces. As I walk out the door I'm carrying last night's pizza box(yeah, I'm freakin lazy and wanted some pizza for dinner) and I go to throw it out, but no, the bin is at the end of the road. I scowl at this realization in the same instant I notice it's absolutely FREEZING again. Then I see there's snow on my car. Ugh. More scowling. I huddle to the end of the road, retrieve the bin, add pizza box, put it in it's rightful place, hurry to the car, brush off the snow (so I can see!) Get in, start car. A dashboard light appears with a ding.
More scowling.
I don't even know what this light means. I grab the frigid VW manual and flip to the "warning light" section. This particular light is indicating my brake pads are worn and I will need new ones. Great, just what my bank account needs. New brakes.
I pull out to head to work and opt for Geddes, it's a much more pleasant ride than the havoc that exists on I-94. Pop in the iPod and I'm good.
It's frigid and sunny which means the layers of salt they've been dumping on the roads from last night's frosty dusting have created a film on the windshield.
I hit the spray wand and hear the satisfying "whirr" noise that indicates the washer fluid spray is coming. No spray.
I hit the wand again and get the same whirr, and no happy liquid.
I have heated washer nozzles. This is BS. I stop at the first gas station I come to and take a peek under the hood at the washer fluid level.
I give the side of the tank a knock.
It's frozen fuckin solid.
You crappy shit cheap fluid.
More scowling faces.

I'm seriously going to need some typhoid for lunch today. Because next week I have to get new brakes and drain and replace my washer fluid (when it finally warms up!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

27 dresses and Hawaii

So another friend of mine named Heather is moving away. She's recently divorced and going off to Maui on Tuesday for a completely non-committal move. No job, no apartment, no plans. Just her.. and Hawaii. I went to the salsa club on Stadium to see her one last time before she takes off, and she's dancing with everyone and she's all saucy and flirty and happy.
I'm happy for her, but at the same time I'm envious. It's got to be exciting to be that free, though I know it's scary for her.
I used to 'run away' when things got overwhelming, but it was always only temporary. That's why I saved my money, that's why I traveled. Partly because I liked to see the world, and partly because I loved to escape. I still get the craving to escape every now and again, but I know with my current set of responsibilities I can't operate the way in which I used to. Oh well. Time to grow up, right?
So, anyway I had a few strange short men try to dance with me, but I'm awkward and clumsy and uncomfortable and really not in the mood today so I took off and went to the good old Q16 for some enjoyment. I've got a short list of female friends and know that none of them would have gone out with me on short notice (or perhaps even long notice) so I went solo on this vag fest. I have been running seriously short on chick flicks lately - methinks I see too many movies with Husband and all the guys.
I went for the most chick flick they had, 27 dresses. I actually wanted to see it, and it was funny and lighthearted and cute and entertaining and exactly what I needed. It had a few awesome laugh-out-loud jokes in there, too. Even though it contained a story line which had been told before (guy secretly writing story about girl behind her back, guy falling for girl, girl finds out about story and gets angry, guy and girl make up and of course... get married. Because every good fairy tale ends in marriage, right? Anyway, it was a great night, and way better than staying home with the guys to watch UFC. Too much screaming for me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


So, I get to work yesterday and decide I need some coffee. It's only Tuesday and has been a long week. It's been so long, that yesterday was actually Wednesday and not Tuesday. Good grief.
Anyway, I go into good old Stadium Liquor Beer & Junk and forgo the Maxwell House crap for some tasty Starbucks. I don't care if you hate them, I like their coffee.
I get in line and I smell this guy from a few feet away looking at beef jerky and fake nasty clove cigarettes. He sees me and slithers over and I can really smell the booze oozing from his pores. It isn't 10am yet but this guy is sloshed. He starts in with, "Hey, you're pretty tall you know that?"
(oh boy.. here we go)
Yep, I've been told that.
"How tall are you?"
"You, you, you're like 18 inches taller than me." I go to the counter and pay for my coffee and creepy drunk guy keeps yapping and begins talking to the guy behind the counter.
"Hey, hey hey, you know she's 18 inches taller than me? That's tall!"
And then the guy behind the counter gets in on the fun, Oh Yeah? You play basketball?
No. No I do not. Please just let me go.
I start to leave and then drunk guy says to guy behind counter, "She's real pretty too huh?" and then yells at me "Hey, hey, hey, you're pretty."
I'm out the door by that point. Did I point at you and tell you how drunk you are. Stop with stating the obvious. You weren't the first person to come to this omniscient conclusion and won't be the last.
Come on dude. I just wanted some coffee. Leave me alone, ok?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Volleyball volleyball volleyball

So, I signed up for this 4-week volleyball clinic with Mark Rosen, head coach of UM women's volleyball. And it rocks.
ROCKS! I've gotten to practice bumping, setting, spiking, digging and serving... and next week? Blocking. Oh how I love a good block. I haven't gotten to play in a long time, and coaching the Rec & Ed kiddies has got me eager for more.

And I suspected for once I was not the tallest chick in the room. Technically I'm not. I am taller than everyone else in the clinic (well, the chicks anyway). I am not taller than a couple of the UM volleyball players (that'd be Megan and Beth, I'm actually the same height).
Kinda nice to look another female in the eyes from time to time.

I'm soooo super excited for next Monday. I cannot wait to play more.
So excited!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Feeling shy today

I worked well over 50 hours last week, including a new record of staying until 1am.
But still, it could be worse.

I could have this guy's job:


Then again, he does look awfully happy...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Just in case anybody was interested...

If you've been reading, you know that on January 3 the hard drive in my work computer failed. And here's the final outcome:

Dear Ms Becker,

I sincerely regret that we were unable to recover any data from your drive.

The drive sustained internal mechanical failure
causing the heads to collapse and creating severe media damage.

Please reply to this e-mail to confirm disposal of your unit.

Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your consideration.

With Best Regards,
Johan Huygens
Case Manager
Seagate Recovery Services

Turns out the hard drive was nearly 8 years old and failing. I did nothing wrong, it just plain died. If I had known it was that old I would have been much more careful about backing up. Oh, and the backup I made was corrupt because the hard drive was failing and wrote a corrupt backup. I know, right?!

So, this is really quite bad. I'm scrounging around for anyone I may have emailed the database (of nearly 11,000 names) to at any point. I recovered some emails (about 2,000 were still located on the server) and supposedly I burned a copy of my documents folder and gave it to my boss about 2 months ago. I'm waiting to receive those files to confirm that is true.
My job is not going to be fun for awhile. Many many hours to spend on recovery/rebuilding. So far I'm not a big fan of 2008. No, not at all.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

No country for old women

So, I saw No Country for Old Men tonight. Good movie... not what I expected but certainly enjoyed.

Been preoccupied this week. I was sick, etc etc... whatever.

Some rants and raves...

I'm REALLY fucking tired of having music/sound blasted at me all the time. I go to Meijer, Target, Starbucks... everywhere I go has a friggin' soundtrack. The gas station with the talking pumps. And new at Meijer - the hideously annoying computer screen ads at the checkout that blare their crap at you. I fight the urge to beat the shit out of those every time I see them. Can't I just have some silence, please?

I'm also really damn tired of the stupid chronicle movies. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter hit it big with this fantasy threequel (or more) stuff. Then there was Narnia, and now there's some Chronicles of something else coming out. Big fat hairy deal. Give me a real movie, please. Stop with the fantasy chronicles and stop with the stupid sequels. Did we really need Saw IV? Do we need Harold and Kumar 2? How about Cheaper by the Dozen 2? STOP IT. PLEASE.

I found out today my camera can accessorize. I can buy filters and lenses and adapters and I'm so excited I already have a $175 wish list. I can get telephoto or fisheye or wide angle or macro lenses, and UV filters and more neat stuff. Oh boy! Soon I'll be ordering more toys.

I got the most amazing headphones. While the sound that comes from them is so beautiful it invokes emotion, they squeeze my head like a mother fucker. Any solutions/tips to loosen up a pair of headphones? They hurt me so. Please help.

In other news, the hard drive to my work computer is in a box on my kitchen table to be shipped Monday morning to the foremost data recovery specialists in the U.S. Today, I scolded a woman at Best Buy for attempting to touch the hard drive (I was buying a new one, and so had the old one with me). How did I get to this point? Do crazy homeless people stop to question themselves? Like, they're sitting there with phone parts in their hair, and mismatching shoes and a robe from the trash, are they still with it enough to wonder how they got there? Did the downhill to crazy town start by scolding cashiers for touching stupid things that we give artificial meaning to?
Anyway, the recovery specialists give free quotes so it's worth it to send it out and see what they can do. I'm relieved to find out I didn't cause the hard drive failure, but it doesn't stop the snippets of panic I get all day long about the amount of work it will take to correct this, should no data be recoverable. The computer guys in Ann Arbor have my external hard drive containing the last backup I made and I should find out Monday if that backup actually is a functioning backup... as the hard drive was failing as the backup was being created.... apparently.
Now... I just have to share the news with my boss.

And my cat has been sick. Sneezing and sleeping all week. I'm hoping he'll get better soon. At least he's sleeping.

2008 is starting out to be really great. I can't wait to see what the remaining 359 days have in store.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I don't normally make them. I don't think I've ever made one. Not since grade school when your teacher made you pick a resolution and so you came up with one, though you never really intended to do it at all.
I didn't believe in resolutions. The time to make a change is anytime. There's no rhyme or reason to doing it on January 1. Do it now. However, I thought it would be good to make goals for once. Not liking the idea of resolutions is an easy excuse to being lazy. I just muddle around from day to day without a clear plan. I don't know where I'm going because I don't know where I want to go. I don't want to plan my life out, I let things happen as they happen. Go with the flow.

But I was inspired.

I helped my brother Joe move to New York in September and we stayed at his friend Nicole's place. In her bedroom taped to her closet door was a list scrawled on notebook paper:

"New Year's Resolutions 2007"
1. Run a marathon
2. Start the process of getting into law school
3. Learn a new language

And below the paper, hanging on the doorknob of her closet, were medals for completing half-marathons. It was September and she was planning to run the Chicago marathon later that fall. But the thing that got me was the simple fact that she set goals, and was working toward attaining them. She was running. She was starting the process of getting into law school, I know now she passed her LSAT. I don't know a lot of people that do these kinds of things. My family is the world champion of saying they will do something and then never doing it.
So, in inspiration, I'm making resolutions. A simple list, a simple plan.

New Year's Resolutions 2008
1. Recycle
2. Get back into shape
3. Learn to play the piano.

Something environmental, (I've been so lazy about recycling - it's responsible and ethical and geeky, but it's my goal and I'm gonna do it) something physical (I don't have far to go, I just enjoyed the holidays too much and have been super lazy since my treadmill broke), and something educational. I've always wanted to learn to play the piano. Why not do something about it?

So, there it is. I'm setting goals. It's not like I'm plotting my life, just writing down and doing things I want to do. I've been told I have to chart progress and have a clearly defined goal and deadline in mind so I know when I've attained it, and I may work on clarifying my plan but for now, I've got my simple list. It's taped to my wall so I don't forget about it and hopefully soon I'll have something to show for it.