Monthly Archives: January 2006


My face will not stop breaking out. Seriously, it’s out of control.

You may hate me for saying this, but for most of my life I’ve been lucky to have excellent skin. I’ve never really had bad breakouts. On the rare occasions when I did have a breakout, it would usually consist of a single pimple right on the end of my nose. That’s God saying “ha,” right there. I’ve been through phases where I wore tons of makeup, and I’ve been through phases where I wore none at all. Sometimes I was diligent about washing my face every day, and sometimes I just wasn’t. I never went to a dermatologist. I never had to use anything more serious than a basic everyday facial cleanser.

Over the last several years, through makeup and allergic reactions and weird medications and climate changes and stress and grief and love and all kinds of things, I’ve never had a phase of breakouts like I’ve had for the last few weeks.

Currently, in addition to the blotchiness, itchy red spots, dry flaky spots, and other general plague theme props, I have a herd of pimples near the corner of my mouth. They’re the kind of pimples that made both my mother and my grandmother ask me “what was all over my face,” which instantly transformed me into a thirteen-year-old all, “GOD, they’re PIMPLES, do you have to TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT THEM?”

I’ve even gotten fever blisters. What the hell? I never get fever blisters. My face is quite seriously pissed off about something.

I’d been alternating Cetaphil’s normal-to-oily and Aveeno Calming something-or-other and that just isn’t working. The Aveeno, which I liked for about a day, says it contains something called “feverfew” for calming properties. I’ve heard, though, that feverfew is related to ragweed, to which I am hellaciously allergic, so this may explain the blotchiness. I don’t know.

I’m wearing almost no makeup in an attempt to help my face clear up faster, but I look like hell and I’m too damn old to be going to work looking like I just hit puberty. So what now? Do I go to a dermatologist? Do I wait it out? What do dermatologists do, anyway? This sucks.

Four On The Floor

When I decided to do this post, I thought immediately that I’d use “four on the floor” at the post title, but then all of a sudden I got paranoid and worried that it was some kind of dirty slang that I didn’t understand, so I Googled it, and it seemed safe, so it’s the post title. And if it’s also a euphemism for dirty gang sex or something, I’m sorry. I tried.

Anyway, I think I was tagged for this at least once before and forgot to follow up on it, but in any case, Erin posted hers today and I thought I’d follow suit.

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:

  • Burger King drive-thru/cashier girl
  • Library assistant
  • “Clerical assistant” (aka Girl Who Files Papers All The Time Every Day)
  • Telephone fundraiser (like telemarketing, but not)

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  • High Fidelity
  • Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead
  • Clueless
  • Empire Records

Four places I have lived:

  • Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Evanston, Illinois
  • Windsor, Colorado
  • Ceiba, Puerto Rico

Four TV shows I love to watch:

  • The Office (US)
  • Without a Trace
  • Lost
  • American Idol

Four places I’ve been on vacation:

  • New Orleans (Spring 2005)
  • Myrtle Beach (Summer 1997)
  • Disney World (Summer 1992)
  • Disneyland (Summer 1986, I think)

Four (non-blog) websites I visit daily:

  • Bank of America
  • Television Without Pity
  • Google
  • Myspace

Four of my favorite foods:

  • Pad Thai with chicken or shrimp
  • Spanish rice (my mother’s recipe)
  • Quesadillas texanas at my favorite Mexican restaurant
  • Chicken paprikas (a new favorite)

Four places I would rather be right now:

    • Somewhere really warm with a swimming pool
    • Chicago
    • At the movies
    • In bed

    The last thing was about tagging people, but I won’t do it and you can’t make me. But feel free to do it if you want to.

    Go Get A Monkey Kidney

    I. Love. The Office.

    Seriously, it just keeps getting better. And it just got picked up for a third season! And all the secondary characters got promotions! Here’s a really great article about that.

    Jim’s glances at the camera are quite possibly my favorite thing about Thursdays.

    Zip It, Katie

    I watch the Today show every morning while I’m procrastinating on getting ready for work, and lately I’ve been distinctly relieved on the days when Katie Couric isn’t there. I’ve been finding her increasingly annoying to the point that I can barely stand to listen to her.

    I wasn’t always this way. I used to love Katie Couric. I used to want to BE Katie Couric. But then, I also used to like babydoll dresses with platform Mary Janes and/or baggy flannel shirts over bodysuits and baggy jeans and boots.

    Here’s why I don’t like Katie Couric anymore:

    • Ever-weirder hair and fashion choices (although I can’t really talk; see above). I guess it’s no reason to dislike someone, but when you add this up with everything else, it matters.
    • Obnoxious tendency to play dumb with her coworkers and to play smart with her interview subjects. Neither tactic works.
    • Poor interview techniques that are driving me BATSHIT effin’ CRAZY.

    Wait. Bullet list over, because this is serious. This is the thing that’s really getting to me.

    It doesn’t matter if Katie’s interviewing someone about a pair of shoes, or about heart disease, or about criminal corporate lobbyists (thanks, Mike) – I can pretty much bet my morning Diet Coke that she’s going to do any or all of the following:

    a) Interrupt/talk over the guest;
    b) Ask questions and then feed the guest the answers she wants;
    c) Interject her personal opinion, sometimes supporting it with bullshit “facts,” sometimes to the point that the interview heads into yet ANOTHER All About Katie kind of direction;
    d) After completely hijacking the interview, interrupt the guest again for running over the allotted segment length, and get all impatient when the guest tries to finish his/her damn sentence.

    Maybe Katie should just have a show where she’s the star and everyone pays attention to her and we get to sit for hours on end and listen to whatever Katie thinks is important. Oh, wait. We already have that. It’s called THE TODAY SHOW.

    And also, did anyone see that episode a few weeks ago when they brought Richard Simmons on the show and Katie took him down to the control room and tried to make all the staff members in the control room drop what they were doing and work out on the spot, and THEN proceeded to begin singling out staff members who needed to get into better shape? On the air?

    I wish I could make this shit up. You know you’re in trouble when Richard freakin’ Simmons has to steer your segment back to a place where it’s in good taste.

    I used to think that Katie was very smart and with-it and really respected how hard she’d worked to make it so far in her field. I also used to think that she had some kind of extra-special intelligence because she went to UVA, but as it turns out, I know plenty of dumbasses with degrees from The University (as they call themselves). I don’t know if she’s changed, or if I’ve just learned more, but I don’t think she’s the kind of “journalist” who’s a good example for anyone these days.

    I might have to find something else to listen to while I’m getting ready for work in the morning. As it is, I realized recently that I’m watching approximately four hours of television news coverage a day – or, at least I have it on – and since I also read news on the internet, maybe I need to find something more useful to do with my time. Like knit a damn sweater or something.

    The Bicycle Girl

    Once upon a time, for Christmas or a birthday, Santa or my parents got me a brand-new shiny blue ten-speed bike. It would replace the red bike with the banana seat that my parents had lovingly restored (and that I wish I still had) and that I had ridden since it had training wheels. This new bike was a grown-up bike and I loved it with all my heart. I rode it to and from school every day and I rode it around town and I rode it to the park and I rode it up and down our cul-de-sac.

    One day I forgot to lock it up at school and when I came out for the afternoon, it was gone. I was absolutely devastated and sure I wouldn’t live through the night once my parents learned of my negligence.

    I’m sure I got in trouble, but I don’t remember the terms exactly. I do know that we filed a police report, and that I regularly made my parents take me to the Park Building to check out the bike room for a long time after that. Every time we saw a bike that looked a little like mine, we’d go check it out to see if it had any telltale marks on it, and every once in a while, the police would call and say they had a bike that might be mine, and we’d drop everything and rush over and it was never quite right. It wasn’t a ten-speed, or it was the wrong shade of blue, or it was the wrong brand.

    When Bike 1.0 was stolen, it had a chain lock wrapped around the post under the seat, since I’d been too lazy to actually use the thing. It was the old-school chain kind wrapped in pinkish-red plastic, and the combination was 2-4-6-1. I remember this because I set it to the opening notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and sang it to myself to memorize it. (Tangent: I often still set numbers to music to memorize them to this very day.)

    Some time after Bike 1.0 was stolen, my parents gave me Bike 2.0. I actually think they still have Bike 2.0 stored under their house with the other bikes. Bike 2.0 was the same kind of bike as Bike 1.0, and I think the same brand, but it was a different shade of blue. And I logged many, many miles on Bike 2.0, especially once I started riding two miles each way to my middle school in Colorado every day, but I secretly never loved it the way I’d loved Bike 1.0.

    Bike 1.0 and I had a history, a shared checkered past. Because, see, one time I ran away from home for two hours, and it was Bike 1.0 that aided and abetted me.

    It was fifth grade. If memory serves, Ginny and I got in a fight over the Sears catalog, and I think I was grounded. I probably hit her and then mouthed off to my parents, which was my go-to brat move in those days, so I’m sure I deserved being grounded. But I don’t think Ginny was grounded, and I was pissed about it, and so I decided that I’d just run away from home that afternoon and that would teach everyone to get mad at me about a stupid Sears catalog.

    I was so dedicated to my run-away-from-home plan that I told every single person I knew about it, including Ms. Romshek, my awesome fifth grade teacher. I don’t remember exactly what she said about it, but she did think it was generally a bad idea, and I was sure that if she understood my family circumstances a little better then she wouldn’t be so down on my great plan.

    School ended. Ms. Romshek asked me if I was still set on running away, and I told her I was. She said she hoped I wouldn’t miss too much school and I assured her that I’d find a way to show up sometimes, and that even if I missed some school I was sure I’d stay caught up in my classes. I was a good student, after all.

    Melissa McCoy agreed to be my partner in crime, and we rode our bikes to the lake. We hung out on the playground for a while, and then she worried that she’d get in trouble with her parents if she didn’t go home soon. She invited me to come to her house for a while but I didn’t want to drag her down into my life of crime if she wasn’t willing to go balls-out and run away with me, so I thanked her for staying as long as she had, and I got on Bike 1.0 and we went our separate ways.

    I rode around town for awhile, avoiding First Street because I knew my parents would come looking for me that way. I thought about going to the five and dime but decided against it. I decided to stay off Walnut Street too, and to stay away from Tozer and Mountain View schools even though their playgrounds seemed like good places to chill for a while. Finally, at a loss, I rode to Chimney Park to watch my friend Cody’s soccer practice.

    I was sitting on the grass with Bike 1.0 beside me when I saw a cop car cruise by, and I was convinced that they were going to arrest me. I started to freak out and began to rethink my strategy. I was about to give up the ghost and ride on home when my dad pulled into the parking lot. Secretly, I was kind of relieved. Running away, as it turned out, was hard work. You had to figure out where to GO.

    I got in major super duper trouble, much more trouble than I’d have gotten into if I had just sucked it up over the Sears catalog incident. My mother was pregnant with Jamie, see, which caused her extra emotional distress over her wayward eldest daughter’s disappearance, which caused my dad the disciplinarian to come down extra hard. I was grounded for like ten years. Bike 1.0 was taken away for an unspecified length of time. And, worst of all, I had to go to school the next day and tell everyone that my running away plan hadn’t exactly worked out as planned.

    The most exciting thing that happened in my relationship with Bike 2.0 was when its front brake came loose while I was racing it, causing me to fly over the handlebars and pass out in the middle of the street with the bike on top of me. It hurt like hell, and I had to watch the freakin’ Ten Commandments on TV while I was all banged up, and I always secretly thought that Bike 1.0 would NEVER have thrown me off the way Bike 2.0 did.