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Writing Tripe Since 2004
BlogYear in Review 2005

BlogYear in Review 2006
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Friday, September 30, 2005
I Can't Get No Sterlization

It's heading toward that time of year again. I hear sniffling. I hear coughing. One of our administrative assistants was out for two days and still doesn't have her voice back. It's time once again to pull out the hand sanitizer. It's time to pinch myself hard everytime I think about rubbing my tired eyes. It's time to superdose on the vitamin C. And have you seen this? Brilliant. This year I'm going to dodge it! I don't care if I have to wear a surgical mask. This season I'm not getting sick. Word of advice: if you can't speak a whole sentence without hacking up a lung: STAY. HOME.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Up Up and Away

I have returned from my mini-break. The balloon festival was lovely. The weather on Saturday was just perfect, and most of the balloons went up. It was crisp and cold as we traipsed across the wet grass of the airfield at around 6am on Saturday morning. The crews were laying their balloons out and starting to inflate and the sun wasn't even up yet.

We were looking for photo opportunities and we certainly came to the right place. So many beautiful shots that you had to remind yourself to look at the world through both your eyes sometimes too.

There were balloons of all shapes and sizes, but my favorites were the two "Little Bees." Not so little really at 110 feet high. I took lots of pictures of them, but somehow I missed getting any of them in the air. At least I did on Saturday. I haven't gotten Sunday's developed yet.

But we got some other really cool shots as well:

So I had a lovely, colorful weekend. I got terribly spoiled. Lot's of "I said put your money back in your pocket." Even the drive up and back seemed to go fast because we listened to an audiobook. I have to admit, I am looking forward to this weekend, which will contain no hustle and absolutely no bustle. The past month has been crazy! If, by any chance, you'd like to see the rest of the photos, let me know and I'll share my Snapfish album with you.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Things to Look Foward to
Excuse the dangling preposition, folks.

Today is the last day of my work week and I shall not return until Tuesday. This weekend I'm headed back up to upstate New York for a planned trip to the 33rd Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival.

Excuse their crappy website, folks.

I've been looking forward to this for months now. It seems like kind of a froofy thing to do, but it's good fun. The air will be much more crisp and fall-like up there and apple-cider donuts will abound. And I'll be with family, with whom I never have to pretend to be anything but what I am. Good times.


Not only is November my birthday month, (Gah, the big 29, how did this happen?) but I'm also going to be hosting a special visitor from across the pond. My friend Paul, whom I've known for approximately 10 years (!) but have never met (!) will be coming to visit for 10 days on the 11th. I'm already making my list of all the things I want to show him. I live in an ideal spot for daytrips to both NYC and D.C. He is an extremely talented photographer (see self-portrait below) and I have to make sure to take him places where he can get goot photos. Any suggestions? I'm so stoked! Get here fast, Paul!

posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
A Year in Review

Today is the anniversary of my first post--the day I entered the blogosphere. I've posted some good stuff. I've posted some crap. I've met a few fellow bloggers and made quite a few friends. I won a battle with Huyndai and one with I lost a battle with I partied in Boston, Austin, and New York City. I drove across the country. I almost got promoted. I whined about my ex. I numerically rated a date. I had a brief but blazing love affair with mountain biking. I made numerous lists. I got shingles. I even wrote a sonnet.

And, since blogs are nothing if not self-indulgent, I've decided that for my anniversary I'd re-post excerpts from what I consider are some of my shining moments (either in the subject matter or the writing). Kind of like what all the news and entertainment review shows do at the end of the year, you know? Thanks to those of you who drop in frequently, it makes me feel important!

So without further ado:

"When I got home I sorted the books into piles according to genre and how much I want to read them. Then I sort of just sat on the couch and looked at the piles lovingly, and inhaled that wonderful old paper smell for a while. Then I re-arranged them according to length and if I'd read anything by that author before. More piles, but smaller. I looked at those for a while too, and pondered how good it is to be able to read any book I want to. Then I thought about how I actually miss dissecting the books with my classmates, doing research, and writing papers. I also thought about how much I detested it when I was doing it, and wondered if that was a real example of irony or just another Alanis Morrissette song. I pondered leaving all my books in piles on the floor since I'm running out of shelf space and I can't bear to get rid of any of them. Went to kitchen, got a drink, came back, tripped on pile of books."

"He made everything that I thought about my sensuality seem false. My appeal, I had always thought, was a certain gentle sweetness, a soft vulnerability that was not put on. I could be the aggressor though, and when I was, the fact that the night before I had sat next to him, closed my eyes, and tried to memorize his face with my hands made it even more exciting.In 'leaving' the way he did, he somehow stripped me of that sense of myself. And because I cannot stand naked in the mirror assured of any physical draw, that knowledge of which he robbed me was my most cherished possession--like a pearl I could hold in my hand and use to smooth away the roughness of my body."

"I arrived late, breathlessand wet, and was handed a clipboard with the exact same questions as were on the online survey that I took in order to qualify for the taste test. "How often would you say you buy potato salad?" "How do you feel about potato salad in general?" "If you were a potato, how many eyes would you have?" We were reminded that we could not taste the potatoes if we had on perfume, scented lipgloss, too much fabric softener, or deer pheromones."

"Left the club and went for a late night pizza. Dropped fishnets and peed behind the SUV in Fenway Park's parking lot next to a pimp, also peeing. Fell asleep HARD in the car, drooling all over the pimp. Somehow got up apartment stairs. Crashed. As you can see, this night is a bit less clear in my memory."

"As I exited my car and strode confidently across the parking lot, I garnered an admiring glance from a cable guy or a telephone repairman. As I approached the outer door to Dunkin' Donuts, two men vied to hold open the door for me. "Damn," I thought, "I'm good." So I gave them my best movie star smile and said "Good Morning, thanks so much!" Brilliant, Lori, brilliant. I proceeded to head toward the inner door, stepped off the mat, slid the 3 feet across the lobby, smashed my knuckle against the glass door, and ended with my face smeared across the plate glass, gripping the door handle like a drowning woman holds onto a life buoy. My vain hope that nobody saw my acrobatics was quashed when I hauled myself upright and noticed that everyone inside the store had turned their heads my way at the sound of flesh hitting glass at high a velocity."

"Oh, it's you. For the love of Howard, YES, I'm still bringing in the Deviled Eggs for the St. Patrick's Day Luncheon and of course I'm going to bring my own dish. What did you think I was going to do? Bring them in the chicken? Warned you."

"I wish I could make you feel that was pretty intense, but I can't seem to get the right words down to convey it right now. It wasn't like an out-of-body experience, or anything that dramatic. It was just a certain clarity about where and how I fit into this big world, based on all the little things that make me Lori. Of course, I thought all this, then rolled out of bed and, in typical fashion, whacked my shin really hard on my vanity table, stumbled into the shower, and eventually wandered out into the 5-inches of snow to clear off my car, ending up at work with wet cuffs and a great need for coffee. So much for the moment of utter clarity."

"[Lori] 9.23 MT 'There's nothing like poking your cats to see if their [sic, ahhhh!] dead because they haven't peed in 24 hours.'"

"I see the world everyday through these eyes, filter it through this sarcastic, optimistic, idealistic brain. I automatically and immediately gauge how an event will effect me. I continuously, and often subconsciously, take steps to protect myself, improve myself, shelter myself, put myself forward. Of course we feel for people, love people, cry for someone else's pain, share in someone else's joy. Of course we care if an action we take will hurt someone else and try to avoid that situation if we can. But behind it all, aren't we doing all these things at least partly because they have consequences for us? Perhaps I'm simply revealing myself as an utterly selfish woman."

"The only bad thing is that being up there is a reminder of how--regardless of my intent and moderate success at trying to concentrate on living a good life and letting love find me--there's a deep spot of loneliness in my life. Staying up late at night to watch a movie snuggled next to Brad on the couch--I can realize all I want that Brad isn't the person who is going to be there for me, but there really is nothing to compare to that warm, safe, sleepy, loved feeling. There just isn't."

"**First I'd like to warn you all that I've been reading Henry James. Hence sentences like the ones from the previous post: 'Because it isn't, joyously, me anymore.' and 'Oh, it's nothing horrible; but it does, I hope, prove that I've come a long way in the past four years of my life.'"

"So I'm sitting at my desk at 4.30 trying to figure out if I want to be with people or by myself tonight. Somehow that train of thought leads to this: 'Maybe I should start keeping a journal again to write in and express those really personal feelings.' Then I thought, 'But what for, who would see it?'

Blogging has done this to me."

posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
When you care enough to give the very best...excuse
There have been have been some unbloggable events going on in my life in the past couple of months. However, I have decided to post on what, I assume, is the end result of one of these events. Now, if you knew me before the blog and you don't know who I'm talking about, don't ask because I'm still not telling.

The extremely condensed version is that I developed a crush on someone. After enduring various agonies, some of which were actually quite pleasurable at the time, I finally got up the courage to say something:

Me: "I like you. I like hanging out with you. I want to hang out more with you."

Him: *insert completely unrelated and slightly inappropriate comment here*

Me: "Did you hear me? I said I like you."

Him: "I don't know how to respond to that."

Me: *silence* *realization that it's all downhill from here*

Him: "Until I get all this stuff with *insert legitimate and completely truthful extremely complicated issue going on in his life* sorted out, I really don't want anyone to 'like' me. *insert more open and honest excuses with more information to trouble me here*"

Now I left this conversation disappointed yet confident it wouldn't be the end of our friendship, and understanding that his situation really is kind of complicated at the moment. After chewing on it for a few days obsessively, as I am wont to do, I came to the unflattering conclusion that one's life is never too complicated if you really want to share it with someone. And while I still appreciated being let down gently, I ceased to buy it. But I guess it does say nice things about his personality that he cared enough to be nice about it.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Monday, September 19, 2005
The Healing
Mom and I arrived safely back from Hudson Falls, NY yesterday afternoon. It wasn't a pleasure outing, but it did have its moments. I'm sure all of you who have been to a viewing/wake/funeral/burial have experienced the way, after the initial shock and tears are spent, people start telling stories. First people only smile sadly, but then the someone laughs at the time Aunt Sandy accidentally shoplifted when a hanger with a training bra on it got caught on her purse at J.C. Penny and she walked out of the store with it. And we couldn't figure out why everyone was staring at her. One memory leads to another and soon there is a whole group of people laughing and talking and just remembering. This can only be healthy. Life has to win. Life will go on.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Thursday, September 15, 2005
What can you find if you really search?
Well, I'm leaving work in about 3 minutes to prepare for the 5 hour drive to upstate New York tomorrow. I think mom and I will both feel much better when we are around the rest of the family. Most of that side lives within a 10 mile radius of each other, so we feel quite out of reach.

I probably won't post again until Monday, but then I usually don't post on the weekends.

Play with this while I'm gone:

Google Blogsearch Beta
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Remember a few posts ago when I blogged about the telephone ringing at night? And how since receiving that late night call when my father died, I can't think "drunk dial" anymore when I hear that ringing late at night? And how it's mainly because I'm not sure how I'd hold my mother together again? I suppose I was slightly more ambiguous than that, but that's what it boiled down to.

You see, my mother is stronger than she knows, but still somehow very small and fragile. And despite being the baby of the family, and the only girl, I am the designated mom keeper. Please don't think I'm being crass. I love her, and when something happens to my family, my first thought is, and will always be, I have to get to my mother. It was when my dad died, it was when her oldest sister died at the end of June, and it was yesterday at 2.35pm when she called me crying to tell me that the next sister in line had died: my Aunt Sandy.

I have two older brothers. One lives in Oregon and one lives in Texas. They have their own lives their own families, and that great, and seemingly insurmountable, excuse of distance between them and us. So it's me. I don't get to grieve, I don't get to cry. I make sure my mother doesn't fall apart. I make sure she eats. I make sure she sleeps. I field phone calls. I intercept and deliver condolences.

I know that people are going to read this post and think "what a selfish little bitch." But the thing is, sometimes, and especially at times like this, I still feel like a stumbling, bumbling, sad little girl. I feel like this is what the rest of my life is going to be as an adult, just waiting for the next person to die. I feel like I'm the one who needs just a little bit of the consoling I give to my mother. I feel angry, because this is what my father is supposed to be doing right now. And I don't have anywhere to go with all this, certainly my mother will never see it.

So I'm blogging it. Which I'll probably regret, especially after my brother reads it. But there you go. You can hate me now.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What is your reaction when someone wants to tell you something, but says you can't tell anyone else? Are you eager and curious, or do you hastily back away, because last time you had to keep a secret it nearly killed you? What about your own secrets? Are you a private person with all kinds of things going on that nobody knows about? Or do you tell the person standing next to you in a long line your life's history? Secrets are funny things. Maybe, the more you have, the more you want to tell, like your mind can only hold a certain cache of them before it needs to dump them on the next person that comes in your office. Or sometimes a secret can be so overwhelming that you need to share it with one other trusted person, just to lessen the burden.

For myself, I'm great with other people's secrets. Tell me anything and ask me to keep it quiet, and it'll stay quiet. My own secrets, however, are a different story. In fact, I can't think of one thing about me that no one knows. I know how to keep certain things quiet in certain circles, but I've probably told someone outside of the affected party (or effected party, that's one of my grammatical stumbling blocks). Why this is I'm not quite sure. Maybe to prove that I have things going on? Maybe I just want some advice on how to handle the situations? Or do I just want some attention?

How do you handle secrets--your own or those of others?
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Monday, September 12, 2005
The Cult
It was quite hard to come up with a title for this post. I think every possible way to say that I visited New York City has already been turned into a cliche. I "took a bite of the Big Apple," etc. So I decided on something a friend said to me this morning, "so this was the weekend you met up with your cult, isn't it?"

Not exactly. As far as I know we don't have a charismatic blogger-leader, nor are there any plans to buy Nikes and wait for the comet to take us away. But I did meet up with some blogger friends on Friday night. Namely Becky, Sarah, Wes, TAB, and Joel (who is a blog reader). Here's a picture (Becky, Me, Sarah, Wes, Joel) taken by TAB with Sarah's sexy new camera. My pictures shall follow in a bit.

Saturday (as Becky had kindly allowed me to stay in her hotel room) Becky, Wes, and I wandered around the Village and ate at Shake Shack before Wes had to take a bus all the way back to Maryland. I do believe a great story about our time at Shake Shack will appear on Becky's blog as soon as she gets online again, and I don't want to steal her thunder. Then Becky and I got ourselves primped and beautiful and went to see Phantom of the Opera. My first Broadway show, and I'm in love. It was amazing to think that those people up on the stage were singing in real time, no cuts or do-overs, and that they do it twice a day. And seemingly with the same amount of emotion as if it were their opening night. There were some rude people behind us who talked all through the first act, but after intermission, Becky got fed up and told them to shut up (more politely) and, thankfully, they did. It struck me how lately it has seemed to me that people seem to have no awareness of their surroundings, that they are surrounded by people who are trying to enjoy themselves, too. What has happened to basic courtesy?

Sunday, Becky and I went for brunch and then headed towards Penn Station where I had to catch my train. When I stepped off the train at Hamilton Station in New Jersey, where I had parked my car, the first thing I noticed was the silence. After the passengers got picked up or got in their cars, there was really nobody around as I made the long trek to the overnight parking lot..and the glorious silence. I've had my dreams of living in the big city, where there's always someone awake with you, always some place to get food or get it delivered, where there is always something going on. But, really, at heart, I think of the cities in general as places to visit, not places to live. I was overwhelmed by the masses and masses of people all going in different directions so fast. People don't just brush by you on the street, they slam into you and then don't say excuse me. There were as many people on the street after our after-show dinner at 1am as there was at 1pm. How can so many people live in such a small space?

There are absolutely parts of New York City that are completely charming, and certainly all of the New York bloggers that I met were (as were the non-New Yorkers), but I don't know how they do it every day. This morning, as I sat down in my office the rooster from the farm across the street was crowing (he must have woken up late), and today on my drive home I'll probably have to pass a tractor. I like that.

Thanks guys for taking the time to hang out. I had a great time!

posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Children of the Corn
Stolen Format

Shopping for a dress to wear when I see Phantom of the Opera on Saturday with Becky.

Me: Ooh I like this one *twirl*

Meg: That's great! It's so New York City

Me: We have no idea what's 'so New York City', we're from the farm.

Meg: . . .

Me to Sales lady: I'll take it!

To Becky, TAB, Sarah, and Wes and anyone else I missed: See you all on Friday!

As a special bonus:

Darren, the trusty IT guy at work always has the best phones and gadgets. He was showing off his new Motorola Razr or Razor or however they are spelling it and snapped this lovely picture of my patented "Office Glare" (tm).

posted by LoRi~fLoWer
Friday, September 02, 2005
When do you have to give it to me?

The other day my roommate got in an argument with the guy she has been seeing for the past, oh, two months or so, maybe? She had gone to a conference for almost a week and he didn't call her the whole time. Because he didn't call her, she didn't call him. And when she got back, she ripped him a new one. He got mad, too, but the next night he was there, right next to her where she wanted him.

Did she do the right thing? Was she overreacting? Maybe. But she was definitely sticking up for herself. Something that I have trouble doing under any circumstances. And something that I certainly wouldn't attempt with a guy I'd only been seeing for weeks.

When do you have the right to demand that sort of respect? Is it immediately after a person shows an interest in you? What if you're in a place where you're just feeling things out and the person suggests that maybe you could get together on Saturday and then never calls you one way or the other. Then, when they see you next, still act interested but fail to mention Saturday . . .do you have the right to say something? "Hey man, I thought we had tentative plans for Saturday. You didn't call." I wouldn't. I'd just stay silent and seethe.

What about after 3 months? You're seeing each other one night a week and almost every weekend. He knows that you had plans for going to a nice dinner for weeks, but at the last minute he cancels them for a pick-up poker game with some friends he hasn't seen in a while. Can you be visibly pissed then?

I think I have problems with the scale of things. Like, if it's not a big
enough deal to break up over, well then, you should probably just keep your mouth shut because you're lucky to be with someone. Or that you don't really have a right to claim that sort of a hold on someone that you aren't officially going out with.

But I wonder, shouldn't you always demand the same level of respect, regardless of what the person's relationship with you is? When does it cross the line from demanding simple common courtesy to being a bitch?
posted by LoRi~fLoWer

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