Fine then.

Well, I've jumped on the meme bandwagon with this random little collection of bits concerning yours truly. May attempt Kath's proposed topic next.

Five Things You Probably Never Knew About Me:

1. My nose is plastic. Well, for the most part. (Never sass someone who is 4 times your size and has anger management issues.)

2. I was just two belts away from black belt status in taekwondo when my partying ways got me the boot. Something about lack of sleep/food contributing to a visible decrease in performance ability/dedication...

3. I spent the first couple years of my life on a depressing-ass wheat farm in NoDak. An orange tabby cat "taught" me to walk before getting run over by a tractor (the cat, not me, although at the time I probably would have given at least a limb for that kitty to keep on keepin' on, for I loved him so. yeah, it was like that...we were on a FARM in NORTH DAKOTA...my closest companions were a cat and some cows...what do you want from me?).

4. I studied at the University of London for a bit as an undergrad. Fell in love with that city. Waiting for someone to emerge from the shadows and offer me a job that pays enough to allow me to set up camp there permanently. Some of the people I lived with couldn't wait to return to the U.S. and bitched endlessly about *inconveniences* like the lack of iceberg lettuce, ranch dressing and a brand of humor that they could understand. I, on the other hand, swore off any allegiances I may have possessed with my first step off the plane at Heathrow. I actually cried, a lot, when I had to come back "home."

5. I have trouble writing concisely, but I'm getting better. Which is funny because I write for a living. My first "real" paper in college was 29 pages long. My professor (understandably) refused to deal with this onslaught of freshman-grade prose and sent me back to the library, tail between my legs, to start anew. I emerged several hours later with the abridged version of said paper and a profound sense of pride in its refreshing new length of a mere 15 pages.


Slip sliding away.

So yeah, we're snowed in. 3 days and counting. I realize how much I love living in an old, walkable neighborhood at times like this. Need a shovel? Just walk a couple blocks to the ACE. Need milk? Well, hop on down to Papa's Grocery. I can't imagine what the suburbanites are doing now....probably suffering from a major case of cabin fever. That, or desperately trying to maneuver their SUVs over 2 feet of snow to the local Walmart.

Anywho. If I were a good little blogger, I'd have been dutifully documenting the "blizzard of 2006" for y'all. But alas, I am no such thing (hence the 10 day lapse in posts). Instead, I'm hanging with the H and the kitties on the couch, all cozy and warm, watching shitty television and eating way too much cheese. We did venture out a few times (beer runs), and here's some proof:

There has been many a time when I've thought about closing the proverbial doors on In the Swim. It has kind of become a source of stress for me and there's no real reason it should be. When I've gotten discouraged, I've told myself that this whole blogging thing is a good exercise in self-discipline. A good way to make myself "produce" little tidbits of writing here and there, and that even if they're pointless and cobbled together, I'm at least writing something. The problem is that I write all day long - I "produce" all day long...for The Man. And I'm burnt out, or at least burning.

So, anyway, I'm alive and well and shit. Just not feelin' like a "blogger" and a little disenchanted with all the contests and categorizations and such. I can't really figure out why I started doing this in the first place, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't an attempt for any modicum of intArweb fame, or even readership. So, really, what's the point?

I'm blabbing, so I shall go fix myself my 43rd Captain & Coke of the last couple days and watch some Dr. Phil or something.

Hope all is well wherever you, my loyal half-dozen readers, may be and that your holidays are filled with food, friends and copious amounts of the adult beverage of your choice.


From whence they came.

Ha Ha! I just checked my traffic stats at sitemeter and learned that someone happened across my blog by searching for "communal shower women."

I have a feeling this eager little seeker of hot shower action wasn't too thrilled to arrive instead at these oh-so-important rules of gym etiquette (which I hope you will all take to heart).

Of course, maybe I just have a dirty mind and someone out there really wanted to learn the ins and outs of gym shower maintenance, or perhaps the vocal dynamics of singing in multiple showers simultaneously, or maybe how women who live on communes design their showers from an architectural standpoint?


Udderly odd.

Last weekend the H and I went on a little trip to the animal shelter just to "take a look-see" at the potential kitty friends for ol' Willy. We told ourselves we'd just go have a look around, chat with the shelter people and then take what we'd learned home with us to make a rational decision about when and where to best acquire Willy's playmate.

Well, then we met Oscar (who, at the time was named Moo because of the resemblance of his spots to those of a dairy cow) - please see photo below:

He was perfect for Willy! A match made in kitty heaven! And home with us he went.

He and Willy absolutely love each other. So much so that they sleep together in a little pile of fur on one of their 37 cat beds and groom each other and wildly chase each other around the house. Willy's favorite move is the "bitchslap from above," while Oscar generally relies on the "bite the ear and neck repeatedly" tactic.

The thing about Oscar (Or, Mr. TwiggleMoo, as I've taken to calling him,... What? What's that you say? You're thinking I'm a little crazy, right...that I'm dangerously close to "cat lady" status? Well, there's a perfectly good reason for calling him TwiggleMoo, I'll have you know - thematically, it jives well with Willy's nickname - Mr. ChunkerNoodle).

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the *thing about Oscar* is that he was weaned a little early. He has therefore become A Suckler. That's right - Oscar suckles things...as in he sucks intently on any number of household items and/or body parts as if they were his own mama's welcoming teat!

Disgusting, you ask? Yes. Yes, indeed.

Kind of endearing though? Well, at first, but not really. So no.

Of course, the H and I are working on this little issue to ensure that house guests won't be subjected to a snotty Oscar suckling upon arrival. Just yesterday, the H was awoken by a gentle suction feeling and a strange mouthy/swallowy kind of sound. I kid you not, Oscar had gone in, full force, for the H's left nipple (the one that's a little enlarged permanently from a nipple piercing he had in the college days). It's hard to get that little sucker (no pun intended) off whatever body part he has chosen as his pacifier. And, I mean, the nipple? That's just taking it entirely too far.

I woke up today with an eerie feeling and Oscar perched on the pillow right above my head. It was then that I felt a cool sensation on one of my earlobes and realized it was a little wet. And then I noticed that my earring was gone. Front and back - entirely gone.


All up in my space.

So, I've been slackin' this week ya'll. Sorry. I shall return from this weekend fresh and full of new, tantalizing blog material. If I'm lucky. For now, however, I am virtually consumed with myspace. I was alerted to the fact that some old friends had pages, which of course link to other pages, which link to other pages... Apparently, my notion that myspace was only for tweens was mistaken.

Memories (good, painful, heartbreaking, wonderful, warm, dark) are flooding me today and I'm on an emotional rollercoaster (for lack of a better term). Can't pin any one thought down long enough to write about it.


Hot for Caesar.

Is this as repulsive to you as it is to me?

What's next Lil' Sleaze? "Wet -N- Tasty" hotwings?


Snot rockets.

About 10am yesterday that whole creeping ache thing started in my knees and elbows. By 11, I was feeling a little delirious, my throat was on fire and my repeated attempts at swallowing were largely unsuccessful. I magically drove myself home, arrived unscathed, promptly put on my warmest sweats and my ski socks, and spent the rest of the night splayed out on the couch. So yeah, I'm sick.

I used to never get sick, ever. The entire population of my college dorm could be crawling weakly through the halls, puking, coughing, hacking...begging for mercy from the flu gods, even praying for death. And I'd be cheerily heading off to class in tip-top shape. In fact, I was sick so few times as a youngster that I have very clear memories of my ailments. One in particular is totally unforgettable. I was 5 or 6. It was right around Christmas time and I had the flu. I was wearing Strawberry Shortcake jammies and laying on the red beanbag my brother and I shared. For the first day in the three I'd been sick, my dad decided he'd try and get me to eat something other than Zesta's, in the hopes that it would remain in my stomach for more than 60 seconds. I was down with the plan and ate some noodle soup, followed with a Pepto-Bismol chaser just for good measure. Proud of myself for this feat, I laid back on the beanbag in a post-soup glow.

My joyous relief lasted approximately 2 minutes before the rumblings from below began and I yelled for my dad to bring "the puke bowl" (a stainless steel mixing bowl that my mother designated solely for this purpose, the faint metallic scent of which I now smell every time I feel nauseous). In a flash, my dad was at my side and the puke bowl was in my lap. What ensued was extremely violent and seemingly never-ending. Once the vile eruptions finally subsided, I took a look at the contents of the bowl, a little amazed at the quantity of its contents but more than a little awe-struck by the pattern of said contents. (If I haven't disgusted you already, I might just succeed in doing so now.)

The Pepto and the Noodle/Snot components had split themselves down color lines - pink on one side; yellow on the other. There was no cross-over, no mingling of colors. It was pure pink and pure yellow. But it wasn't only the color pattern that I found so fascinating - the two sides had morphed themselves into a perfectly symmetrical pastel yin-yang. It was truly a Christmas miracle.