they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

He speaks.

Though "Woodstein" has refused to confirm or deny the identity until the "real" Deep Throat dies, this is pretty interesting. Here is the supposed advanced copy of the Vanity Fair article revealing Deep Throat's identity.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

It's not about me.

I always thought faith was something I did for me. I needed to be saved, my soul needed eternal rest and I needed to believe in the resurrection and the cross because it is true and because it is what has worked for my mom and my friends. And I thought that by believing I would be somehow better. But, I didn’t feel better. I still sinned, only then, I noticed it more because, for the first time, I felt guilty. And I wanted to explain to people why I believed and I wanted to believe my words myself, but I hadn’t lived it, I hadn’t become like Christ. I wasn’t even sure how until I realized that faith is not about me.

It’s about love and compassion and vision and caring and it’s about hope and peace and purpose. Faith needs to be something I do for others. Something I do for God because he loved me enough to save me. It should be something I do because it is the only way to truly be good. Because we are dirty — all of us. Deep inside us live crevices that are inhabited by cobwebs and dust and things that take the shine off of the good — making selfless selfish and faith a farce. And so I want to be real. I want to understand everything, politics, humanities, religion, people. And I never want to make a decision, to take a stand, without truly understanding the issue. I’m tired of leaning one way because that’s the way I’m supposed to lean. I’m tired of religious people who go to church every Sunday and talk to their church friends but who don’t care about taking care of things like the environment and the poverty-stricken nations that could use some of the love they save for Sundays. I’m tired of people thinking of little more than America. Because in the grand scheme of things, America is but a speck on the globe, a fortunate, wealthy, freckle that has too many religious people with too many resources who aren’t getting the big picture. I want my faith to be a faith of action and education and truth. And I will never again sit back and let the pulpit decide for me who to vote for and who to be friends with. Because, to truly be like Christ, my agenda needs to be to love like Christ, which is an all-embracing, supernatural love that transcends theology and rhetoric.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I can't always be poetic

Tom Cruise loves Katie Holmes. Great. Did anyone see him on Oprah? Wow.

One Tree Hill on the WB had a two-hour season finale last night and instead of suffering through the worst American Idol finale ever, I watched it. Constantine, you should have made it. Not sure what America is thinking but, you’re my idol.

For two consecutive days, I’ve caught myself actually semi-enjoying a Creed song. I’m ashamed. Twice, I turned the volume in my car up to pulsing levels, rolled down my windows and sang along. I thought I hated Creed. Don’t tell anyone.

Made brussel sprouts again. Didn’t cook them long enough. It makes all the difference in the world.

And finally, my friend Jess sent me this link yesterday :
It made me think. Only my J-school diploma is more like an $80,000 diploma, which I am still paying off. Love it or hate it, it raises some good points and interestingly enough, the vice-publisher of my company is a Harvard grad with a degree in economics, not journalism.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Not eating brussel sprouts

Sometimes, I realize exactly where I am in life and for a second, I stand back, take a good, hard look and wonder what in the heck I’m doing here.

This happened last night. And I blame it on the brussel sprout. I always assumed I hated brussel sprouts. I’m not a picky eater but I distinctly remember my great grandmother Tyler making them one time, when I was 7, and they were mushy and stinky and gross. I spit them into my napkin at the dinner table and never attempted to eat them again. But this weekend, they caught my eye in the produce section at the grocery store and they looked really healthy and fresh, so I bought some and steamed them and then sautéed them in some butter and salt and pepper and fell in love. They were crisp and perfectly nutty and filling and I really think I could eat them every day. And that’s when I realized that I wasted 18 years not eating brussel sprouts.

This brings me to my cube at work. How much good am I really doing for 40 hours a week as I sit in front of my computer and write about baking and industry things and people? I drive home for lunch and see mothers with babies and they look really happy and fulfilled. Or I read The NewYorker or a really great creative nonfiction essay and I think, one day that will be me. I clip the piece out for inspiration but then I put it in a folder that I rarely look through because it’s just too hard to realize what my dreams are when I don’t seem to have the time to get there. One day, I will write my memoir. I will take 6 months off and write my heart out until it bleeds and hurts and until I’ve picked it apart and shared its innermost cavities with the world. And while I’m writing for myself, I’ll volunteer in the community and start a family and finally run a marathon. If only it were as easy as eating brussel sprouts again for the first time

Sunday, May 22, 2005

An open apology

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much I sucked in grade school. Really sucked. It’s hard enough trying to get good grades while staying cool and fun and popular. That, alone, is more than most kids can handle. So why then did I have to take it upon myself to make some other kids’ lives a living hell? Maybe I’m projecting a bit. Because in fifth grade, I was the class loser. But then, as soon as I regained my cool status, it became my objective to stay there. And in the process, I walked all over people. So Tara and Cantrell and Angie, I’m sorry.

I feel horrible for the times I laughed under my breath at your clothing choices, your lunch food choices and your hairstyles. I’m sorry for going along with all the other kids when they laughed at you and made you feel small and undesired and unworthy. I’m sorry for how wrong that was and if I could, I’d apologize for all of the kids. Not just for me. But, this will have to suffice for now.

I’m sure that an apology can’t take away the scars we caused. You probably had to deal with those for a long time. Everyone has scars and bleeding and places that are just a bit more tender than others, but we caused your scars. And for that, I am deeply sorry.

I pray, and I mean pray, that you have been able to get past the damage we did and that you have found true friends and acceptance and grace and love. And I hope to see you all again one day and to apologize again, in person. Because no kid, no matter how awkward and uncool deserves to be bullied and laughed at and made an outcast. You didn’t deserve that. You are worth more than that. I hope that life has been kinder to you than we were.


Friday, May 20, 2005

Getting it.

Every summer has its song. When I was 6, I recorded "Time After Time" by Cindi Lauper off the radio. And when I went outside to play with my friends, I carried my red Casio tape player with me and sung along. I bought the "She’s So Unusual" album later with my allowance money and spent hours staring at the picture in the jacket of Cindi’s shoes. I wanted a pair of shoes just like hers — shoes that were wild and colorful and fun. Instead, I settled for a pink pair of Jelly shoes from Osco. They were more appropriate for my age and they were cheap but everyone had them, which made them cool. And when your 6, being cool is key. I guess.

I don’t know what I thought the lyrics meant then. I always pictured two people singing to each other in a room made of windows and I knew they were singing about something important and life-changing, but the most important thing to me at 6 was making sure my glasses didn’t slip off my nose from being outside too long in humid and hot Kansas City. That summer, I perfected the scrunched up face that pushed my glasses back up my sweaty nose. That way, I could walk around the block with my Casio in one hand and my Barbie in the other and was still able to make sure my glasses rested, snug on the bridge of my nose that I thought was too freckled and flat.

When I was 13, I bought a puffy neon skirt and a hyper color shirt. I also wore slap bracelets until the threat of tetanus became to scary for my mom and I wasn’t allowed to wear them anymore. That’s when I found the old tape I made when I was 6. I was putting the slap bracelt away for good and the tape was in a drawer, hidden under T-shirts and old diaries. "Time After Time" became my song, again. Only this time, I had experienced a little bit of life and loss and I felt, deep in my core, the lyrics:
After my picture fades a darkness has turned to gray watching through windows - you're wondering if I’m OK secrets stolen from deep insidethe drum beats out of time.

I felt deep and mysterious and so smart that I finally got the depth that was Cindi Lauper. And all this while the kids in my class were listening to Snoop Doggy Dog and Doctor Dre sing about gin and juice and things that I had no comprehension of anyway. But, I did "get" Cindi Lauper and from that point on, realized that if she was comfortable being unusual, then I would be, too.

I’ve had lots of summers since then and lots of songs. But none that I remember as vividly as "Time After Time" and the way, at such a young age, I tried so hard to wrap my mind around what it meant. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around a lot of things today and it doesn’t get easier, just more familiar, I think.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Laughing at myself

It’s tornado season in Kansas and I don’t have a basement. For most people, this wouldn’t be a big deal. An inconvenience, maybe, but not something that they would worry about. Constantly. That is absolutely not the case here.

Let’s just say that I’ve been known to go into a complete stranger’s apartment during a tornado warning, climb into their bathtub and place their couch cushions between my body and the ceiling. It only happened once, but it still happened. And though it’s something I’m ashamed of, and it’s the brunt of the joke that was my life in college and my friends still bring it up, I’m getting better. Stronger, you could say. Like yesterday, during a tornado watch, I actually ventured out in my car, several miles from my home, to get a haircut. This task, this driving beneath wall clouds and lightening, might seem simple. But for me, it’s not. And yesterday was groundbreaking.
I’m not sure where my fear of tornadoes stems from. I’m not scared of thunder or lightening or rain or wind. But when the clouds form a funnel and become bent on destroying anything in their path, the fear sets in. And when it sets in, it settles deep. There is a pit in my stomach that is tornado-shaped. And until the tornado watch or warning is over and the all-clear has been given, I feel weak and dizzy and vulnerable. And it doesn’t help that I don’t even have an interior room to hide in. There is no acceptable tornado-type shelter in my smallish cottage of a house.

When I was a little girl, my mom would race to my bedroom at the first sound of the tornado sirens. She would yank me out of bed and drag me to our old, unfinished basement — a basement I was terrified of in general. I was sure there were strangers down there and mice and maybe even a lion. I hated it. And during tornado warnings, I hated it even more. I would walk around in circles, my bare feet getting dusty from the floor while we listened to the voice in the radio report on the funnel clouds and where they were touching down and how much damage was being done. I was sure I wasn’t safe in my basement, which was only partially underground. And my feet were cold from the concrete floor and I was tired and wanted my pillow. It wasn’t pretty.

The feeling in my stomach back then is the same feeling I get today when the sirens sound. But, now, it’s up to me to seek shelter. My mom isn’t going to wake me up and drag me to the basement. I just want to make sure I’m prepared. So, for my birthday, I would like a weather radio, please and a basement. Thanks.

Playing the fool

There is nothing like rummaging through garbage to start your day off right. Really. Because once you’ve started at the bottom, can’t it only get better?

I hope so because I was elbow deep in candy wrappers and spilled coffee this morning after I successfully made a fool out of myself by throwing my car keys into the trashcan at Quick Trip. It’s like I knew it was going to happen. On my way inside to buy a coffee, I grabbed the empty soda can from my car’s cup holder and sauntered by the trashcan with my keys in one hand and the empty can in the other. A little voice inside my head said, "You’re going to throw the keys away." I thought that was so wrong. I may be clumsy, but I would never do that, I thought. How silly. But it wasn’t silly when I heard the keys hit the bottom of the trash can and I was still holding the empty soda can in my other hand. I had a situation then and I wanted to cuss under my breath and I had no idea how to gracefully dig the keys out of the garbage so I went inside to ask the clerk for help.

I pictured some sort of long, poll-like tool that I could use to retrieve my keys. I thought for sure when I asked if there is any easy way to rummage through the garbage, the clerk would say, "Yes, here, use this long poll with a hook at the end, you won’t even have to smell the trash, let alone touch it. This happens all the time." He didn’t say that. Instead he took me outside, took the lid off the can and said "There you go." Great.

Good thing I wore short sleeves. He stood there and watched as I, freshly showered and ready for work, dug through the filth to find my car keys. I thanked him for holding the lid and said I had been having quite the morning. I tried to laugh, but he just looked at me like I was crazy, which is quite possibly true. And then, I surprised myself. Instead of running to my car, keys in hand, and leaving as quickly as possible, I went in, bought my coffee and decided that the key incident would not dictate the outcome of the rest of my day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Dead bird morning

I yelled at my dog today. And it was so loud that it startled me and the dog and all of my neighbors. I yelled at him because I found him behind some trees trying to eat a dead bird. And it scared me and grossed me out and my gag reflex took full effect and then I yelled because I didn’t know what else to do. He stopped licking the bird then.

He looked at me, with his huge, pug eyes and started to cower. To him, the bird was no different than any other toy or stick or leaf he might find in the yard. But to me, it was a dead animal that could have been filled with disease or worms or whatever else could cause a bird to keel over and die right in the middle of the yard.

I kept yelling, telling him to get inside and that he was a very bad, bad dog. He ran to the backdoor and straight into the house. He knew he was in trouble because he didn’t wait for me to bribe him with a treat before he came inside. The rest of the morning, he just sat and looked at me and chewed on his red Kong that is supposed to be great for helping dogs with anxiety. And for the rest of the morning, I felt like a monster.

On the way to work, it’s all I could think about - how he had emerged from the trees when he heard me come into the yard. The way he ran up to me, wagging his tail and then took me back behind the trees to the bird, his bird. How, maybe, he was showing it off, he was proud. He had found a new toy and he was not eating the grass, which is something that always causes him to get in trouble anyway. He probably thought he was being a good boy, a good dog and now, I’ve probably scarred him for life.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Acquainted with the night

It’s 10:30 p.m. and I’m getting ready for bed the way girls do. I wash my face brush my teeth take out my contacts and let the dog out one last time. I’m tired and I have a little bit of a headache. I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. and climb under the covers. I should fall asleep quickly, I think.

I get upset when it’s 11 p.m. and I’m still awake and then I close my eyes again and try to sleep but conversations from the night before keep invading my peace of mind. I think about them and about the people I saw and the things I did and then I think about planting grass seed and how that dirt patch in the yard really needs some attention. It’s midnight now.
Frustrated, I turn over, re-fluff my pillows and push the dog out of my way. Maybe if I adjust my neck differently or switch from my right side to my left, maybe that will lull my body into sleep. I turn to my other side, curl my legs into a sideways ball and close my eyes again. But instead of drifting to dreamland I realize my face is dry and I’m thirsty. I get out of bed and apply moisturizer and then drink orange juice from the carton and flip on a few extra lights because maybe if the whole house is lighter, I won’t be as afraid of sleeping. I get back into bed, push the dog out of the way again and turn the fan on, pointing it right at my face because it’s hot and I’m uncomfortable and maybe I just won’t sleep under the covers tonight after all. It’s 1:30 a.m.

I’m really tired now. Exhausted. But I can’t stop thinking, worrying, going over my list of things to do, reviewing conversations and glances and thoughts and motives and making sure mine are pure always and then, I remember that I’m not supposed to be worrying anyway. It’s 2 a.m. now, and it’s dark in my house and my dog is snoring louder than my husband who has been asleep since 10:35 p.m. I’m jealous. How can he sleep when I’m so awake? Why doesn’t his mind race like mine, keeping him up until only a few hours before dawn. And why does my dog have such an easy life. Sleeping and eating and playing and do dogs have worries or anxieties or anything really? What do they dream about anyway? It’s 2:30 a.m. now and I’ve had enough.

I get out of bed and pace the house. I check the doors, making sure each lock is secure. I turn on the weather channel, check my email and yawn. I’m sleepy. Really sleepy and I’m ready to try again. I take a look in the mirror and hope the bags under my eyes will be gone by morning. I contemplate calling in sick to work, sleeping until noon and then cleaning all day or running or planting grass seed. But, I know I won’t do that. I’ll wake up when the alarm goes off, get in the shower, get ready and get a huge cup of coffee on my way to work. I will sit in my cube all day and pretend to be awake and alert when really, I’m tired and all I want to do is to go home and crawl under the covers with the fan blowing on my face. The last time I check the clock, it’s 3:30 a.m. Three hours later, I’m jolted out of the most wonderful dream by the alarm clock buzzer. I get up, let the dog out and take a shower and I’m off, to fool the world that this girl is rested and ready to tackle anything.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Happy half birthday to me

Today is my half birthday. Pathetic that I realize this? Yes. But as with everything I celebrate, there is a reason.

I am now 25 and 1/2 but I still look like I'm 12. No joke. I get carded everywhere I go including Blockbuster. I tried renting a rated R movie with my husband and my best friend, ages 26 and 28 respectively, and the cashier carded me. This means that I don't even look 17.

Two years ago, I was covering a story at a grade school and being the diligent reporter that I am, had my reporter's notebook out and my pen ready. And still, the superintendent of the school had the nerve to ask me if I was an eighth grader. That means, I don't even look 14.

And just yesterday at work in the break room, this man was looking at me funny for a long time, which made me horribly uncomfortable. And then he said, "I just can't get over it, you look just like Dan's daughter. Have you met her yet?"

I haven't met her. But I hear she's 13, which means, I look to be somewhere between the ages of 12 and 13.

Hopefully I'll enjoy looking 13 and 1/2 years younger than I really am when I'm 40 or 50. But right now, I'd give anything for someone to guess me at 21. Because my driver's license picture is less than flattering and I am really sick of having to show it to people just to prove I can watch The Matrix or order a glass of wine.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

In summary

I couldn't have written it better.
Enjoy song lyrics by The Robbie Seay Band.

You have stirred my soul
I am overwhelmed
How this came to be
That I would know such love
You have stirred my soul
Not by my own doing
But your sacrifice
Has made me whole
And love, more beautiful today
Offerings of grace
Calling me away
And love, more beautiful today
I am not the same
Calling me away
To you.
Our voices rise to you
Our spirits cry to you
This love, we’re giving back
To you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Letting go

I hold on to things. With clenched fists and a throbbing chest, I hold so tightly that I often forget to let go. I’d rather hold on than do just about anything. I hold on to memories and people and clothes. Old cards, notes and pictures. I’ve even held on to old food. I think this is because it’s much easier to let a Tupperware full of chili sit in the fridge than to work at cleaning it out. It’s not symbolic, but perhaps it's a mirror of how I hold on, how I cling, to life.

I enjoy things for awhile. On spring days, I stop to drink in the breeze. After the first snowfall, I gaze out my window with wonder. When I get new shoes and sweaters, I admire them before I wear them knowing they will never again look as good as they do brand new. But after the first few weeks of spring have passed, I long for summer. I hate snow after it’s been grounded long enough to turn brown and yellow and slushy. And usually after I wear shoes and sweaters for one season, they sit for years unworn, untouched and unadmired.
This is just the way I am. I never thought much about it until the day I realized that all of the things I loved once seem to stick around much longer than normal.

Going through my old drawers at my parent’s house is like treasure hunting. Little bits and pieces of myself are strewn about like buoys on an unsettled sea. It’s perfectly rational to assume that in one journey through an old drawer I might find a hall pass from first grade, some homework from middle school, pictures of friends from eighth grade, a diary, notes from boyfriends and every single pair of glasses I’ve ever worn. And that’s just the beginning. I’ll be able to recall every outfit I was wearing as each memory was made. I’ll know what I ate that day and what I felt like inside. I’ll remember the first time I went to school with the Holly Hobby glasses on. I’ll remember the way I felt when the kids laughed at me. I’ll always remember that.

And I hold on to memories the same way I hold onto shards of what was once my childhood. I cling to them actually- as if they are life preservers or time machines. I cry sometimes because I want to go back, back to when the memory happened. If only I could live it one more time. I think it’s because I feel like it’s up to me to remember them forever. Like if I don’t, they will disappear into some abyss where all of the old memories go. A place where no one will ever think of them any more. And because it's my job to keep them out of that abyss forever, forever has become my curse.

Forever is as long as I think I’ll remember what it was like to say goodbye. The chill in the air. The feeling that something great was ending. I’ll remember sitting in my car, fighting back tears on my way home. I’ll remember the day I packed that car up and moved home from college. And I’ll remember the ache I get every time I drive back through that town. I just don’t know what I’m aching for.

I remember the way certain words could make me sing or tear me in two in a second. I remember glances and emails and walks. I know I’m still holding on, I just don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to let go. At least, I haven’t yet. Let go, I mean. I guess I’m afraid that if I let go, I won’t remember.

I want to know the required holding on time before we can release some attachment to a memory without completely forgetting the people and places that make it up. Trees release their leaves in autumn, after the color has been perfected and admired. They let their leaves go and then, grow new ones that are just as beautiful and colorful and crisp and perfect. New leaves for shade, new colors for photographs and paintings and decorating lawns.
But when the leaves have fallen and the branches are streched naked toward the sky, no one forgets the splendor of autumn. Instead, we wait, anxiously, for another vibrant season. For that maple that sets our yard on brick red fire.

Monday, May 09, 2005

A word about the comma

Lately I’ve been thinking about grammar and spelling and commas and about breaking all of the rules. Because I can. And about how it’s freeing to write in fragments. To use commas too often and to not place them where they should be. About how I like to write run-on sentences to make a point, followed by short and slapping ones. About how there are five books about grammar on the shelves above my computer and only one of them has a chapter about breaking the rules. Because, usually, it’s not okay to break the rules. Not when writing for publications that adhere strictly to AP Style and to rules about comma placement and indirect clauses. And that have a strict, no exclamation point rule, which I stick to no matter what. And though during the day, I write for one of those publications and I stick to style and to my understanding of direct clauses and semicolons, at night, I write for myself. And for whomever else might find something about my thoughts interesting. And with thoughts, there are no rules. They come, fleeting from somewhere in the corner of my mind and then, I capture them, in my memory and on paper. I’ll break the rules for my thoughts, but it’s important that I understood the rules first. Because, you can’t break the rules if you don’t know what they are. And today, as I head outside after work under a sky that is wearing its finest blue jacket, I will continue to think and to write and to wax poetic about nothing and everything and the way the cardinal in my backyard made my heart sing...

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I cried today. I was driving with my windows down and sunroof open and it was humid and sunny and rainy and windy. Really windy. My hair started to break loose from its pigtails, which I had fashioned to look funky and sleek and funny and nice and the real point of the tails was to hide the fact that my hair needs to be cut. Badly. The free hairs began to curl, as they often do when it's humid and windy and about to storm. My own weather channel, right atop my head. The storm wasn't far away. I could see it. I could hear it. I could smell it even. But, I couldn't feel it. Not yet. So, the tears substituted for the raindrops that were too far to taste, but close enough to crave. I wanted to feel each cleansing drop, drenching me, through to my soul. A metaphor of sorts. I wanted to leave my sunroof open, let the down pour in. Forget about keeping my car clean and dry. Forget about keeping my hairs neatly fastened on each side of my head in black rubberbands and bobby pins. Forget about the stresses of the weekend and the week ahead and life and forget about the pain that He has taken away already. I wanted to remember the cleansing, the fact that the dark spots are gone, removed, forgotten. I am clean, renewed, forgiven. And it's a gift and it's beautiful and lovely and perfect and something that I take for granted too often. So, the storm reminded me of the furry and wrath and grace and perfection and of the blood and the cross and the bread of life, which sustains me. And I cried. Because there is nothing more beautiful.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bills, babies and hamburger buns

My stomach hurts. I’m going on my first business trip today and I’m a baby. A big baby who is scared to do things like fly and sleep in strange hotels and wear hairnets. I don’t like being uncomfortable, which is what I am certainly going to be on this trip. It’s new, and I like old. It’s change, and I like constants. And, it’s thousands of miles from home, and I like home. Sometimes, it’s funny to remember that I am an adult. I’ve got a real job and real responsibilities and real bills to pay. I have a real husband and a real dog and very real mortgage. And, I have friends with babies. So, no matter how hard I try to pretend – to fling myself back to Columbia where I could hide my head in my studies and friends and college issues – I’m not in college anymore. I am a coffee-drinking, issue-driven adult who has a business trip and I need to be okay with it. It’s short, really. An in and out trip. I’m touring a plant where McDonald’s hamburger buns are made, which is where the hairnet fits in, and then, I’m writing a story about it. I can handle this because I have to make it, I have a baby shower to attend back home on Saturday for yet another of my girlfriends who is pregnant. Thirteen total just this year, no joke. Had to add baby gifts into this year’s budget, which is another reason I need to go on this trip. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. It’s that simple. I leave in three hours. I’ll fill everyone in on how McDonald’s hamburger buns are processed when I get back. Then again, maybe you should just read the story.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Living in a fluorescent hell.

There is something wrong here. Most mornings when I leave the house, I think I look fine - cute even. But as soon as I get to work and take one look in the bathroom mirror, my looks have gone to crap and my clothes are beyond wrinkled. Every pimple and hiding blackhead on my face is screaming for attention in the mirror and each hair that looked perfectly placed at home is laughing back at me as it clings strangely to the next. And that's all it takes. My day is suddenly ruined and all I want to do is go back home and start over. One glance in the mirror does me in. But, I'm not going to blame it on my looks anymore - or on my inability to notice stray hairs and wrinkles at home - I'm blaming it on fluorescent lights.

It's the same phenomenon in dressing rooms, really. It's an age-old problem. No woman likes to try clothes on in poorly-lit JC Penny-style dressing rooms. Because the mirrors and the lighting adds 20 pounds right to the hips and craters of cellulite all over - even on the forehead. Dressing rooms are torture. Many women have learned to avoid them, especially while bloated. Well, now I've learned something else. Avoid looking in the mirror at work - ever. Rear view mirrors on the way to work are OK, since faces lit naturally look softer and less scary. But quick makeup checks in the ladies room is strictly off limits. Period. Especially when on your period.

The Irony of the Elevator

I work in a corporate office building. There are several stairwells, but still, I insist upon taking the elevator. Even though the elevators are old and bumpy and usually smell like cashew chicken from the restaurant on the first floor. I take them every day and usually, flinch at least three times on the turbulent trip from the ground to the fourth floor. I really should start walking more. Because one of my greatest fears is being trapped in an old elevator for hours while really having to pee. Is it ironic that every time I'm riding in the old thing, my bladder is full? Maybe. It doesn't help that the elevators in my building are silent. Tunnels of silent travel, no music, hardly any riders - an abyss of sorts. But the hallways are another story. I'm always amazed at the music that pipes through invisible hallway speakers, beckoning tired workers back to the office. Just yesterday, I caught myself singing along to Snow Patrol as I walked from the bathroom back to the office (after I had just gotten off the elevator, of course.) And I wondered, do any of the older people I work with really even know who is singing and where in the heck can I get this soundtrack - it's incredible.