Friday, December 16, 2005

Photo Friday: Battling Dinosaurs Edition

Photo of the Day (12-16)
Dinosaurs in the Southern California desert (taken from a car). August 2005.

I have bets on the T-Rex.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why I'll Never Have Children: Part 2

I was late to work this morning and ended up forgetting both my iPod and my book for the metro. I did the WaPo crossword on the way there, but it was difficult and like an unintellectual wimp, I gave up and left it at work instead of blindly staring at it all the way home. God, I wish I had brought it with me.

I transferred at L'Enfant onto the Green Line and sat behind a woman with a toddler in a stroller. The kid, first of all, looked like he was going to grow up to be the spitting image of Alfred Molina. Just as I sit down, little Alfred sticks his wet, chubby little hands into the cupholder on his stroller and pulls out...what seems to be...oh god, give me a minute.

Particles from a wet Cheerio. He takes his pinched fingers and sticks them in his mouth as he leans his head back, so as not to miss any morsel of this delicious snack. His lower lip is glistening with unswallowed saliva, which is dripping down his chin in an array of green and red. How festive.

His mother looks dully at him while he's doing all of this. But happens to look away just as he's reaching for the Gatorade Endurance Formula (Orange flavor) that she's holding. He responds to her lack of instant response with:


Holy mother of god. Please, the last thing this kid needs is more Endurance. He could blow an elephant across the universe. Mom hands it over and when he's done he throws it on the floor behind him. At this point, some Bleach Blonde Middle-Aged Woman starts to walk up towards them from behind me, apparently to disembark. But she sees this behavior and has a flashback from those painful years cleaning up kiddie pee while teaching the first grade. She gives the kid the Teacher Stare and shakes her head and wags her finger. The mother continues to look on dully. Blonde Teacher then walks over and picks up the Gatorade and gives Alfred some admonishment I couldn't overhear. She begins to hand the bottle back to Mom but Al reaches out to take it. Mom puts her hand back as if to let Al take the reigns on this one, but Blondie will have nothing of it. She moves the bottle out of Al's reach and insists that Mom take it.

The Gatorade issue is resolved and Blondie gets off the train. Mom thinks Alfred deserves some kind of reward for dealing with her without screaming his bloody head off, so she gives him a Skittle from an open package I didn't realize she was holding. Good. Endurance and Sugar. Is this kid about to run a marathon or something? But, now the red and green stripes down his chin make sense.

I recently had a conversation with someone about feeding babies hot dogs. I don't remember how it came up, but I do remember being vehemently against it. I don't have the data on-hand to back me up, but I'm pretty sure that children very easily choke on hot dog bits, even though they seem to be a favorite snack for parents to feed their kids. Anyway, the theory is that they "seem" soft, so the kids don't chew them very well and swallow them almost whole. Skittles strike me as being somewhat in this neighborhood. They're small and smooth, but even worse, when you chew them they don't break apart. They just keep getting mushier and mushier until you decide to just swallow them. So, I'm thinking, not a great kiddie treat, especially while riding on the metro.

Anyway, I guess it was just me, because the kid had obviously eaten most of the pack already. Then it starts to get gross. Grosser. Since he can't swallow the Skittle, it also means he can't swallow his spit. Which starts to build up. And turn green. And slide down his chin.....

Alfred gets tired of chewing and I'm sickly mesmorized as he keeps putting it on his lips as if to spit it out, but changes his mind and sucks it back in, along with the ten liters of saliva covering it. I start counting the square patterns on my purse in my lap, but the kid is directly in front of me, and I'm paralyzed with nauseating fascination. Alfred reaches back in for more soggy Cheerio particles. I think about vomiting into my purse. Alfred picks up the Gatorade bottle and throws it on the guy standing against the wall, who looks down and immediately looks back up. Mom slowly reaches down puts it right back in his reach. Al throws it again. Mom apathetically picks it up. Al starts to throw it, but this time Mom finds some reserve of energy and makes a pre-emptive strike to block his path.


The masticated Skittle comes flying out of his mouth onto his eating tray, in all its chewed-up glory. The train pulls up at U Street and I leap to my feet and stand as close to the door as I can, trying to wipe images of saliva covered, sticky, hyper, wide-set-eyed children from my head. The train is stalled, the doors won't open. I use my Jedi powers to force them apart. It's not working.


The train doors open and I mentally make plans to get my ovaries removed.

Photo Thursday: Wild Animal Edition

Photo of the Day (12-15)
The Wildlife of Palm Desert, California. August 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Inadvertent Discovery of the Day

It takes me exactly four and a half minutes to go from the fridge, upstairs, change from sweats to outside winter clothes, walk to 7-11, wait in line, purchase milk, walk back home, and get to the stove.

Because that's exactly how much time I had left on the macaroni timer when I realized the milk expired over a week ago.

A Rip in Time Saves Thine...Marriages. Or, a review of SciFi's "The Triangle."

If you've got the three-part mini-series "The Triangle" sitting on your TiVo still or you're holding out for the dvd release, you'll want to skip this post. Oh...nobody? That means you all saw it right? ...You didn't? Alright, well I'm going to discuss it anyway, because there's nothing we here at TTtC like better than disaster movies. Giddy-up.

The first time I saw a commercial for this mini-series "event," I thought nothing of it; I don't usually like made-for-tv disaster movies unless they're awesomely bad, and this didn't look like one of those, so six hours sounded like a lot to devote. The second time I saw the commercial, I realized it was produced by Bryan Singer. I set the TiVo.

Okay, I kind of lied. I'm not really going to review it, because I just wrote like 1000 words on the movie and realized I was going to end up writing a thesis instead of a movie review. The one detail I'll give you is this:

At the end of the movie, when the tear in the fabric of time (created by the Navy. The Navy!) sealed itself - so that the Bermuda Triangle was never created in the first place - our five protagonists reawaken in the new reality created (since all of the people taken by the Triangle were never taken).

Protag #1: Divorced, obsessed-with-the-triangle-reporter - Wakes up next to his wife and gets another chance to make it right.
Protag #2: Death-defying, thrill-loving, boobie-peeping, no-one-can-hold-me-down Aussie - Wakes up with a wife, three kids, and a bum leg.
Protag #3: Uber-intellectual, I'm-too-smart-to-be-married woman - Wakes up to a brand-new boyfriend calling her cell phone.
Protag #4: Greenpeace activist going crazy from traumatic events in the Triangle who eventually pushed his family away - Wakes up with his wife and son and another new son.

Four out of five marriages (or relationships) saved by Space-Time. The administration would be proud.

Photo Wednesday: Needle in Your Eye Edition

Photo of the Day (12-14)
A Cactus in Palm Desert, California

(For every photo, I recommend clicking on it to see it in full size. Because of the template I'm using, I can't post it here larger than the "small" Flickr size or else the entire sidebar gets flushed to the bottom of the page.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Peas in a pod.

If you ever wondered how my roommate and I ended up living together, I think this telephone conversation we had yesterday, when C called from Miami for the first time since he left a week ago, says it all:

Me: "Hello?"
C: "Hey."
Me: "...hey."
C: "What's up? How are you?"
Me: ""
C: " don't know who this is, do you."

Photo of the Day: Tuesday

Real Greek Art
View from the roof of Hotel Attalos, Athens, Greece. March 2005.

These paintings on the buildings are actually of someone famous, but I've totally forgotten who...I want to say some artist. I could see at least four or five from our roof.

If you ever go to Athens, I highly recommend this hotel. If I did a 180 from where I was facing to take this photo, I could see the Parthenon larger than life right ahead of me (which is beautifully lit at night, despite the scaffolding). I did a lot of research before we went on this trip and found that this hotel is just off one of the main squares and less than a mile from nearly everything you'd want to see. It's also a good "budget" hotel if you go during the right time of year. I was there in March, about three weeks before the heavy tourist season, and the per day rate was around 90 euro (I think...maybe it was dollars), but that increases steadily over the summer until it quadruples in August. Ridiculous. But the roofdeck and location are worth it. Of course, the roofdeck bar isn't open until summer, but you can still go up and catch the view anytime.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The command is: snap and point far, far away. Learn it, live it, love it.

If there's one thing I've learned in the past seven days, it's that I'm so not ready for children. Not that I'm exactly turning down offers, mind you, so I'm not worried one will just show up one day and expect me to take care of it. I'm just saying.

My roommate had to take a last-minute work trip to Miami and left the pooch with me. At first it seems like good timing, because Chase's other daddy was visiting for the weekend and was going to take him up to NYC for a little vacay, but that fell through, so here we are.

Introductions first. This is Chase:
He gives me this look often. It can mean, "Seriously, it's time to go outside." Or it can mean, "Please, stop pointing that thing at me. I know it's a camera even when you don't look through the viewfinder. I'm not dumb." I think here it means, "Jesus, Heather, could you put your clothes away like, every other day at least? It's getting crowded in here."

Anyway. Dogs need attention. Usually there is a house full of people just waiting for Chase to shove his butt in their lap, asking oh-so-nonchalantly for a rub. But as my roommate goes, so goes his boyfriend, which leaves me. Let me tell you, I do not have the energy of three people, but Chase seems to insist I delve down deep and find it. He's so needy. Pet me! Feed me! Give me the middle of the bed!'s a wonder my roommate can function at all with the attention his pup requires.

Then at other times, Chase totally disappears. I thought maybe he was engrossed in a thrilling Tom Clancy novel, or building a model airplane upstairs. I look around the house and find this:
Chase lounging.
Wtf? Here he is, lounging around, when he knows full well there is work to be done. Sweaters to knit for the children and such. But instead: lounging. Like a dog.

Unless someone comes to the door. Then, with an energetic leap into the sky, he transforms into Evil Dog of Hell-Death. I've had more than one heart attack when Chase thought he heard something at the door and did his Evil Dog of Hell-Death Bark of a Thousand Rabid Wolves. The mailman is a frequent subject of these attentions. And god forbid any of these strangers should have to come inside the house. I still have a mark on my knee where I got between Chase and a boy who came over to ask me out. (Though, I realize now Chase was just trying to warn me to steer clear. Thanks, boy, here's a treat.)

I had the "children" realization sometime around Friday night. I had ordered pizza and was looking forward to a quiet night in with some grease and Cindarella Man (sexy Russell Crow, yes please). Chase has this thing with pizza, because his dad always gives him the crusts, so he knows he's guaranteed to get people food if he lays in wait long enough. Not with me though. I cut him off from people food early on in our relationship. Partly because he's not my dog, so I always worry he'll get sick from something I gave him. Mostly, however, it's because if he knows there is a chance of getting a morsel from you, he will sit rigidly two inches from your plate and stare predator needles of death as you finish your meal. Maybe I'm weird, but I find that there is no humanly way possible to enjoy your meal when someone is staring at you take every bite. I spent two grueling weeks teaching Chase the command to "go the fuck away and let me eat," which works pretty well now. But not so much with the pizza. I'd finally get him to go sit on the other side of the living room, then he would slyly stare at me. I mean, his body wouldn't even be facing me, he'd just turn his head all the way around, like I wouldn't notice. I nearly lost it. Why can't he understand English! Seriously. Auntie Heather needed alone-time with the pepperoni, but someone couldn't go two minutes with attention.

The point is, this is just a dog. And it's only a couple of weeks. Kids are for life. Life. And they need a lot more attention then a couple of rubs and a "good boy" and a treat every couple of hours. They're, like, a serious responsibility, man.

So, count me out; I am way too selfish.

Photo of the Day

While I continue to reinvent TTtC, I thought I'd add a new Photo of the Day segment. I was going through my photos this weekend, looking for a new banner for the site, and realized I have a virtual ton of pictures that are just sitting on my hard drive collecting virtual dust. Some of them are quirky or funny; some are travel shots I love but for some reason or another aren't quality enough to go on HGP (which is my next redesign/update project; TTtC is the warm-up). I have enough to do it everyday for three or four years, but I know better than to make that kind of commitment (just ask my exes!). The plan is to post one every weekday for as long as I can keep up the stamina, but best case scenario, it gets me writing more (by forcing me to pay attention to my blog) and clicking the shutter more (by forcing me to pay attention to the dwindling pile of pictures and their quality, or lack thereof).

So to kick it off, a bird with a murderous glint in his eye:
Ventura County Fair - August, 2005.

He was looking at me like that because he heard of that rooster I killed back in my rooster-killing days. Remind me to tell you that story sometime.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Reveal

Well, whaddya think? I wanted to make my blog a little more unique, with a personal touch. As you might notice, I just altered one of the blogger templates, but I realized about half-way through that it would have been a lot smarter to just make one from scratch. I'm not totally in love with the background color, but I wanted something that went with the photograph in the header, and it turns out that matching real-life colors and RBG colors is near-impossible. Who knew? If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Update: Slight tweaking. I like the background color better itself, but I think it clashes with the banner. I'll have to work on it later, I mean, that's what work hours are for, right??

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