Friday, February 29

Don't go into the light!

Here are a few words you NEVER want to see on your work schedule: MANDATORY - Competition Law Program, 2:00 - 4:00 (after lunch on a Friday). Ugh!

Everyone had to go to this 2 hour ordeal and listen to some of ( as I affectionately call them) "the biggest, meanest lawyers money can buy". My boss and I were in a meeting right before this meeting so we showed up 5 minutes late. The only free seats were in the front row. Bummer. Not only would I have to really stay awake, I'd actually have to appear engaged. I had a good lunch so I was reasonably alert. Almost immediately I began leaning over to my boss and whispering "You better get a lawyer for that project." She started to get sort of rattled within an hour. It was mean but helped keep me awake. I also entertained myself by hearing Ethel Merman in my head singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" (because of next week).

"Dry" does not begin to describe the pace and subject matter of this meeting. It...was...torturous. You know you're in trouble when you walk in and, up on a screen, even the company logo is in black and white. I can't remember the last time I sat through a black and white Powerpoint presentation. I didn't even know you could do that! At one point, I actually thought 'this is as close to death as I ever want to get'. Then I thought 'Don't go into the light! Don't go into the light!'. Then I thought 'If a gunman walked into this room and started shooting, nobody would mind.' It was THAT BAD.

I later heard how other people got through it. One woman sat in the back and plucked her eyebrows. She later claimed that if the speaker hadn't stopped she would "have walked out of there looking like a real chola". A designer sketched a remarkably detailed drawing of the audio/video console at the front of the room. I mean this thing was a work of art. Somebody else claimed to have been "crushing hard" on the 60ish year old speaker because he was so smart. There were reports of heads dropping from sleep, quick desperate glances as people realized they may have been doing something illegal and subtle, quality time was had with Blackberries all while I sat up front looking completely into it.

About 1% of my job is spent in training on how not to get sued or, more importantly, how not to get my company sued. This wouldn't be so bad but the deadlines for special training comes about twice a year. At those time I have to spend anywhere from 4 - 10 hours in online training. It feels like a ton of time. This week we had to finish up more training. They use the word "compliance" so as I walked through the office this week there were notes on cubicles pleading "Quiet please, I'm becoming compliant". The sexual harassment training has long been my favorite because it features a highly improbable, and therefore amusing, scenario with really bad actors saying ludicrous things to each other. This training season brought a new favorite theme: workplace violence. How exciting! It does not yet have an accompanying video but I'm sure somebody is working on one and I can't wait! It asks things like "What should you do if a co-worker shows you a gun?" Umm, burst into tears?

Today, in yet another meeting, I asked a male co-worker if he was yet "complied". I told him how fond I was of the sexual harassment training but it had been eclipsed buy the arrival of workplace violence. He said he would like to agree except:

"Have you noticed that the woman in the sexual harassment video has erect nipples?"
Lucy: Shut up!
Co-worker: I SWEAR!
Lucy: Shut UP!
CW: I'm just saying it keeps my attention.
Lucy: You can't say that to me!
CW: (coquettishly placing two fingers to his pursed lips) Oops!
Lucy: Well,what do the ladies get?
CW: Maybe you just need to be paying more attention.

Dammit. Now I'll have to wait another year to check for myself.

Our lawyers would have simultaneous heart attacks if they knew how we all spoke to each other.

Thursday, February 28

Here she is, boys!

*doing the pee pee dance*

Guess who's going to see Patti Lupone in Gypsy next week?! ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm SO excited. I'll be in NYC next week for work and a group of us wanted to get together for dinner and a show. Trouble is, how do you decide when you only have one free night? We heard In the Heights was pretty good. Maybe Young Frankenstein isn't really all that bad, even though we'd all heard it stunk. How about Legally Blond? That's supposed to be a fun show. Yeah, but the star loves herself too much. Hmm... Eventually I mentioned I'd LUUUUUUUUUV to see Patti in Gypsy but that it would probably be impossible to get tix for the preview. Then a friend came back and said that she could not only get Gypsy tix, but that she could get them for half price. Of course, half of $250 ticket is still steep but, COME ON, Patti Lupone as Mama!? I am so there.

One co-worker, and a perfectly likeable guy, couldn't decide if he wanted to join us. He couldn't quite place Gypsy. *sigh* What?

Lucy: You, know GYPSY... Gypsy Rose Lee...stripper...Everything's Coming up Roses...Ethel Merman?!
Co-worker: Ethel Merman was a stripper?
Lucy: Dude, you're killing me.

Later, someone said "She wasn't a stripper." Oh, excuse me... burlesque dancer. Whatever! It's all about Mama anyway.

Monday, February 25

It's official

I heart Javier Bardem. I heart him so much that I may just hop a flight to Spain and grab one just like him. *sigh* Maybe I should just ditch the whole "I'm saving for my condo down payment", quit my job and move to Europe. They grow them so much better in Spain and Italy. Who needs a condo anyway?

Saturday, February 23

New on the Blog Roll

I've updated my Blog Roll. I've listed some blogs I've been test driving for a few weeks and really like. Many are mostly pretty and foreign. Some are great for crafty inspiration while others just make me laugh.

One of the most fascinating is The Sartorialist. It features pictures of incredibly chic people on the streets of France. It almost makes me afraid to go to France. I could never be that fashionable!

Oh, and check out The Dares. It's a group of rather of irreverent scrappers (aka anti-scrappers). They seem to have taken a slight hiatus because one of them won a scrapping award from some big scrap magazine. It was later discovered that she didn't take the pictures featured on the winning entry *gasp* and the whole scrapping world went bonkers. I mean these women went completely feral on the winner. I read about the scandal here and was so annoyed I actually wrote the poor woman/victim to offer my support. I mean come on! With all that's happening in the world it seems there must be something more important to revolt against. Unbelievable!

Take a look at the new blogs listed and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 20

I hear ya loud and clear!

I hit the wall around noon today. Several annoying things happened in a row that all made me feel taken advantage of. On top of this, my blood sugar was sinking fast and that makes me damn cranky. A few unfortunate souls crossed my path in those few minutes. I later apologized for being a psycho Betty. Soon after those run-ins, I grabbed my keys and took off for lunch, before there was a homicide. I just had to get out of the building. On top of all this, I was still fuming from my morning commute. I recently had my car serviced and asked that my wind shield wipers be replaced. This morning was the first time I needed wipers since their installation. I heard a scratching noise but figured it was a twig or random oak leaf stuck under the rubber blade (beacuse that happens all the time). Once at work I got out to move the offending twig and realized the scratchy noise was in fact being caused by the metal clasp meant to hold the rubber blade. The wipers had not been installed properly and were SCRATCHING A GROOVE into my windshield. What the... ?! Man, was I mad!

As busy as I was at work, I realized I'd have to leave early to get to the auto repair shop before they closed tonight (5:30 pm) so they could fix it. That meant leaving work at 4:45. Way too early considering my current work load. The good news was that traffic was a dream at 4:45. I was whizzing along the 210 for most of my drive when suddenly traffic slammed to a halt. Typical!! I was instantly annoyed until I realized why everyone was braking. They were all trying to get a good look at this magnificent site:

Yup, a brilliant double rainbow. I immediately forgave all drivers for slowing down. It sort of restored my faith in humanity to know that cynical LA drivers are occasionally prone to stop and stare at a rainbow.

I got my wipers replaced (and it looks like I'll really be needing them this week). Then made my way home. On the way, I saw this:

It was like having karma police step in and say "listen little lady, in case you didn't get our rather obvious rainbow hint, here's another sight to help you calm the hell down." I also happened to be listening to this song followed by this one. It's just really hard to be crabby when your drive home includes beautiful rainbows, deer grazing on your neighbor's lawn and groovy music on the radio.

It's safe to say, I got the karmic hint. I'm feeling much better and I promise to lighten up in the, inevitably busy, weeks to come.

Tuesday, February 19

Comfort and Joy

Well, I'm finally down to one pill a day and I'm feeling MUCH better. Most folks at work refuse to see a doctor about this flu. Meanwhile, I smugly sit, breathing easy and feelin' fine. he best part is that I've found that a nice side effect of the antibiotics, rest and lots of water is that my skin looks great!

The only trouble now is that I'm sort of addicted to lounging in bed. I've spent so many days in bed, nursing my flu, that I've come to like it. Well, I like it now that I'm feeling better. Ever since my first 'bout with this bug I've pretty much rushed home from work just so I could throw on my pjs, wash my face and have a quick dinner. I then spend the evening on the phone, online, watching bad tv (or sometimes good PBS) and flipping through pretty magazines. I can tell you life is pretty good with a stack of pretty mags, a Tivo remote and some cough syrup with Codeine. *heaven* I'm seriously considering getting something like this to additionally feed my addiction.

The only hiccup comes when disturbing news sneaks across the tv screen. A few weeks back Tony insisted I watch Life After People. It was well done and certainly interesting but it completely freaked me out. When I told Tony about my reaction he just couldn't understand my problem. I told him it was spooky and that I'd be sticking to Jane Austen and TCM from now on.

Yesterday, my brother told us my poor nephew wandered into his office with tears streaming down his sweet cheeks. He had been in the next room watching Life After People and apparently had the same reaction I'd had. He just said "Dad, that show is freaking me out. I think I need to watch Garfield or something to take my mind off it." Awww, poor kid. While I was sad to hear he'd been so upset, it was somehow comforting to learn I wasn't the only one freaked out by that damn show. I'm sorry, I enjoy NYC and I don't need to see it deserted but for the wild pack of wolves roaming the streets. *shudder*

More than anything, I'm proud that my nephew knows exactly how to shake off the demons of the day. My poison may be Jane Austen and PBS while his is Garfield and Star Wars. He already understands the value of a good comfort film and I'm glad to know that knowledge is being passed down to the next generation. I like those kind of smarts in a kid.

Wednesday, February 13

Still wired

Well, I was wired and wide awake until 5:00 am when I finally fell asleep. I had to get up at 6:45 am to get ready for my annual OB appt. I tried to call ahead, to ask if my mega drugs might interfere with any test results, but the my appt was set before 9:00 am when they start taking calls. I just got ready and hoped for the best.

When I saw my doc, and she asked how I was, I told her about my "cold". She then corrected me buy saying "No, that's officially a flu." She listened to my lungs and did her thing. Afterwards she said words that you really never want to hear from your girlie doc. No not the dreaded "C" word, but still, something you just never want to hear. She said "It's amazing that you're fine now but *deep inhalation of air*... between your Z-pacs and all that Prednisone... you're looking a a MEAN yeast infection. I'm just going to write you a prescription now 'cause... it's coming." Oh great. She continued with "Go fill this now and the second you feel ANYTHING, start taking it. You'll be fine." Good grief (and apologies to Norman). We then discussed diet and exercise. I told her I'd been losing weight since the new year. I handed her a list of foods I'd been eating and said "It's probably just the way you eat." She confirmed my suspicion. We then discussed recipes and food prep short cuts for about 15 minutes. I love my doctor. She must schedule time to chat with her patients because she never rushes and we always end up talking for at least 10-15 minutes after my exam. In fact, the exam never takes more than 5 minutes. It's the catching up that takes all the time. The very first time I met her, we talked for 30 minutes before she ever laid a hand on me. I'd NEVER had a doctor spend so much time just getting to know me. She's usually interested in my lifestyle and the stress in my life. She's such a great doctor.

I told her about that damn Prednisone keeping me up all night. She said brightly "Now you know how it feels to be bi-polar... or to have a giant caffeine drip!" I agreed. She went on to say "But isn't it amazing stuff?" I told her that, yes, I felt remarkably better but that the lack of sleep was going to be a problem. Assuming I can make it to the weekend I should be good to go though.

On the way home I dropped off her prescription (some things you just don't procrastinate) and asked the Pharmacist about the no sleeping thing. I was hoping I could move my "take at bedtime dosage" to the dinner time frame. He nodded and said "Yeah, the first couple of days are very high dosages so those first nights are rough. The dosage lessens as you go on. It gets better. You'll be good for the weekend!" He was so optimistic. How I'm supposed to get to Friday with no sleep I'm not exactly sure. Also, after a week of no appetite these drugs are making me hungry. The party's over. :(


WHAT THE HELL IS IN THAT STERIOD THEY GAVE ME? It's almost 2:00 am and I'm wide awake! Awake after taking my beloved cough syrup with codeine. I'm like a meth addict kicking off a week long bender. What's in that damn drug? Caffeine? Speed? What?

I've now lowered myself to watching the Polish Stoneware Anniversary on QVC (it's really quite charming). Anything more exciting might send me to an early grave. My foot hasn't stopped tapping for hours. Even my Spring Showers CD hasn't helped. I've been composing future blog entires in my head while I've tossed and turned. Too bad I'm not a real writer working on the great American novel... I'd be all set on this crank. God, now I know how our moms lost weight in the 70's. I feel like starting a yoga class or running laps or taking up pottery or macrame! What the hell? I wouldn't be so annoyed if I didn't have to wake up in four hours. How am I supposed to take these meds for over a week? I'll be dead by then. And why didn't anyone tell me about this rather unfortunate side effect? They all know I have trouble sleeping.

I finally decided to just get up and read the side effects of these drugs. For your enjoyment, here is a list of the potential side effects (always my favorite portion of the information packet):
  • Stomach upset (I'm already lactose intolerant and very familiar with this fun side effect thank you very much)
  • Headache (um, I'm already suffering from a 48-hour-old blinding sinus headache)
  • Dizziness (I did actually tip over this earlier this evening, thank God there isn't video of it)
  • Menstural period changes (fine, make me think I'm menopausal)
  • TROUBLE SLEEPING (SO not cool!)
  • Weight gain (also, not interested!)

Great! It also mentions that I should be on the lookout for persistent fever/cough/sore throat (Hello! That's why I'm taking this horse in the first place!!!) I'm apparently supposed to inform my doctor if any of these side effect occur. Looks like I'll be making that call tomorrow.
Check out the some of the other fun signs I'm supposed to immediately tell my doctor about:
  • Black stools (lovely)
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds (WHAT?!)
  • Persistent weight gain (just how fast will I be piling on the pounds anyway?!)
  • Unusual hair growth (WTF?)
  • Thinning skin (what does that even look like?)
  • Unusual growth spurts (where exactly?!)
As if they have to tell us to call our doctors if any of those symptoms pop up. Can you imagine NOT telling your doctor about any of those side effects?

I'm apparently going to turn into a man overnight. God help me. But don't worry, I promise to post pix if that happens. I know you'd all be terribly interested.

Ok, I'm off to clean my closet or the garage... but wait, now they're showing Irish Porcelin on QVC (also, quite charming.) Maybe I need a nice mug... Or wait! I wonder where I could find a Wii at this hour?! Hmmm.

Tuesday, February 12

On the mend

So, the doc walked in the room, took one look at me and said "So, I guess we need the big guns, huh?". I just nodded. She poked around and looked in in my mouth then said that since the Z-pac wasn't working I'd need steroids but "not the muscle kind". (Well that's a relief since I'm not excactly trying to gain weight.) Then some other girl came in and gave me a shot of prednisone (I think it's called... I've been sort of dingy so I'm not so sure what the heck they gave me). I said what I always say in that scenario "I'm sure you're great at this, but I just can't watch." My mom never let me watch a shot coming and it's a tradition I've stuck with as an adult.

I later spoke with my boss. She got a steroid shot when she recently had sinusitis. She told me "You'll feel better by 6:00 pm." I was skeptical, but the woman was right. I've gone from not being able to swallow to barely having a scratchy throat. It's a miracle! I still have a pretty bad sinus headache but I'm afraid to take any over the counter drugs with my prescribed drugs because of Heath Ledger. He ruined it for everyone. NO more free-for-all Excedrin PM popping me for me! I'm just hoping that I can take my cough syrup, get some sleep and wake up without the headache. I've got my annual girlie doctor appointment tomorrow but I'm a little worried all these hard core drugs will mess up and tests they run on me. Guess I'll have to call and ask first thing tomorrow morning.

Hope you're all hanging in there. My doc said that she's never seen anything like this flu. It just isn't going away. She's had dozens and dozens of patients come in two, three and four times with the same bug. I admit, it made me feel better. I was beginning to think I had some sort of sub par immunity system. Somehow it's good to know others are going through the same thing.

Monday, February 11

Here we go again

I'm sick, again, for the third time in about six weeks. It first crept up on me, again, on a Friday night. I had a touch of a sore throat on Saturday but it didn't really knock me out until Saturday afternoon. I started to feel very tired and achy. Sunday was worse. I can't remember ever feeling that achy all over. I even tried taking Tylenol only to come to the sad conclusion that Tylenol is for wimps. It didn't do a damn thing for me. I still had a headache, sore throat, sore ears, sore eyes, sore hair (you heard me) and no appetite. I know, imagine me with no appetite. I felt so awful it finally occurred to me that I might want to check my temperature. It was 101 degrees last night. I rarely have a fever. In fact, my normal temperature is lower than the average bear's. My "normal' temperature is 98 degrees. Not 98.6, but 98. I don't know why that is or what it says about me but it's one of those weird Lucy facts that only a mother would know. Well, a mother and now you. So what does a chronic sicky do with her shut-in weekend? I chose to spend my time with a few good friends: Joan Crawford (Mildred Pierce), Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight) and Oliva de Havilland (The Heiress). I may not be able to swallow but I can still appreciate a good film thanks to Tivo and TCM's 31 Days of Oscars. (Each day of the week features a different decade of Oscar winning films... aka ...a slice of heaven!)

After such a restful Sunday I figured I'd give going to work a shot. I got up this morning thinking I'd go through my normal work day routine and see how I felt and how far I'd get. I was back in bed immediately after my shower. You know you're in trouble when a shower is too much of a workout for you. I later called my boss to tell her I'd be out. We've been extraordinarily busy and I realize the timing isn't great but there wasn't much I could do about it. She didn't sound thrilled but I didn't think she'd want me and my fever anywhere near her office today.

I've got another doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. I'm not sure why I bother. I doubt they'll give me anything. I've already burned through two rounds of antibiotics. I just want to be able to swallow without pain again. It hurts so bad it reminds me of my numerous bouts with strep throat as a kid. I always thought it was cruel to tell a kid they have strep then tell them you expect them to swallow a gigantor pink penicillin pill a couple of times a day for a week. Sadists! The only good to come of those bouts with strep was my ability to swallow lima beans whole which really came in handy when my parents were on one of their frequent "eat your vegetables" kicks.

Wish me luck at the doctor's office. The last couple of times I've been there I've about bit the doc's head off when she poked at my tonsils and innocently asked "Does that hurt?" A very loud (well, really more of a barked) "OWW!" followed by a terribly annoyed look seems to be becoming a nice tradition for us.

Saturday, February 9

She's trying to kill us

I'm beginning to think Paula Deen is the devil and I'm certain she's trying to kill us.

I'm conflicted because she looks a bit like my Mom, but then I see what she's making and I'm convinced Paula is trying to kill us. Think about it, if the devil decided to walk the earth, he wouldn't be dumb enough to actually look like himself, he'd look like a sweet, Southern mama. The devil would work hard to blend in and be charming. He'd want us to trust him and what better why to gain access to the masses then to become a successful, likable, Southern cook with a tv show and a pair of cute sons?

I first started developing this theory while watching Paula make a bread pudding. Of course Paula's bread pudding is like no other. Paula's bread pudding is made of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk AND Krispy Kreme donuts. (Take it easy Paula, you're scales are beginning to show, I thought to myself.)

The thought reappeared after reading Shandon's recent post about Paula's deep fried cheesecake. (Did I mentioned that that recipe was featured on a show titled Fry Me To the Moon?) My theory was cemented this morning after watching her make peanut butter cups in a blanket and a bruleed banana split. I'm sorry, but it's official, the woman is out to kill us all and her poor husband is bound to be her first victim. The man doesn't stand a chance! Imagine Paula cooking for you all the time? I don't know a soul on earth who could say "no thank you, Paula" when faced with her food.

Of course my theory does not lessen my love for Paula. I adore her blatant disregard for health. The woman throws caution to the wind and I love her for it. Keep up the ballsy cooking Paula. Nobody does it better.

Wednesday, February 6

Imagine my disappointment

Yesterday I voted at a new polling place. They've been changing my polling place annually lately. It's sort of annoying because until recently I'd been going to the same sweet old lady's house for years. Now, of course, I'm worried about the little old lady. Why aren't we voting at her house anymore? Is she just sick of the responsibility and retired or worse? I can't stand thinking about it. There used to be a dapper old man who walked past our house every day. And let's be clear, I live in a hilly area. This old guy was in remarkable shape and well into his 90's. One day we realized we hadn't seen him in a while. We learned he'd died and it makes me sad to this day. We also had a nice man named Dick who used to sit on the curb and wave to every car as it passed. Dick had Down Syndrome and was the friendliest person I've ever seen. One day Dick too disappeared. We never found out what happened to him. His parents were old so we assume he had to move elsewhere. I hope Dick is still sitting on the curb waving to passersby. You couldn't help but adore him for trying to make your day.

But I digress, while I remain worried about my elderly poll place worker, there was some happy news. My new polling place was at a fire station. Why is this good news? Well duh. My first thought, when learning the location of my polling place, was "Ooh, firemen!". As I walked up the path to vote, I noticed I'd have to pass through a weight room. My internal voice squealed "Ooh, pumped firemen!" Somehow I thought this guy might be casually hanging out with the volunteer polling place ladies:

He wasn't there. In fact I didn't see a single fireman the entire time I was there. Imagine my bitter disappointment when I walked only to see a gaggle of senior citizens? *sigh* The real good news was that there were three Democrat booths at my polling place. I think 3 dem booths is a record for my city. I was very excited to learn that Dad and I are no longer the only ones. Happy days!

And the best news of all? The guilt trip worked. AR voted right after work yesterday. Woo hoo!!

Monday, February 4

Get your votin' panties on!

Lucy: Ya got your votin' panties ready for tomorrow?
Co-worker: Well, err... I know I'm gonna catch crap for this, but I'm not voting. I don't vote in primaries.
Lucy: Oh, you just let everyone else decide for you? And what do you mean you "don't vote in primaries?"
CW: Well, you know... I just... I haven't had a chance to get to know the issues and I don't want to cast an uninformed vote.
Lucy: What, you can't go home tonight and do a little homework?
CW: I know. I just...
Lucy: You know women died for the right your throwing away.
CW: You're not seriously saying this to me.
Lucy: Yup. Some women died for the right to vote. Lots of people have died to vote and continue to die to this day. I'm just saying you might want to put that in your pipe and smoke it.
CW: OK! (Exasperated) Maybe I'll vote tomorrow.
Lucy: Good.
Lucy: ... and I wanna see your sticker!

I have this conversation pretty much every big election. Somebody tells me they're too busy to vote and I throw guilt like crazy. I have no shame. I don't care. I just want people to remember that the right to vote is a big deal and that it's worth doing.

Sunday, February 3


So, while the rest of the world hunkers down to watch (and eat through) the Super Bowl, I'm busying myself with other distractions. My original plan was to make some Valentine's Day cards for my niece and nephew, but then I found an great distraction from that. Did you know about the Library of Congress partnering with Flickr? I can't believe nobody told me! Apparently it's a little experiment that's proving to be remarkably successful. The LOC wanted to make it's archives more accessible to the public and decided to upload over 1,500 photos to Flickr just to see how folks would react. Well, people went gaga over the idea. Every photo has been viewed multiple times and comments have been left like crazy. I think it's safe to say we can expect more of this from the LOC and I, for one, can't wait.

Now, if you're thinking this is a rather highbrow alternative to the Superbowl, you may be right. But just when you start to take yourself too seriously, you find comments like this one and can't stop laughing in agreement:

This photo is titled "Sailor and Girl at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier". Pretty obvious, but somebody was good enough to leave one of those little boxed comment over the couple's hands and note what we're all thinking: "Worst marriage proposal location... ever." Ha!

I'm a big fan of both history and photography so this is, naturally, a thrilling find for me. The down side is that I feel a bit like a voyeur. Some of the photos seem to have been given from personal collections. I can't help but wonder how many people out there have relative's photos at the LOC and don't even know it. Most do not list names. Of course, that could be a privacy issue that the LOC has but has chosen not to include online. Still, I look at all of these faces and wonder if their great grandkids, nieces, nephews, daughters and sons know they are here in all of their glorious youth and often in full color. Wouldn't it be amazing to be skimming through these and see a familiar face? Other shots are well lit and obviously posed but I've never seen anything like them. Especially the WWII era color photos. Amazing!

For instance, check out Elibia. She wears an expression that, I'm guessing, was more frequently worn than that made famous by Rosie the Riveter.

And check out this guy's job:

I think it's safe to say I'd be terrible as a railway inspector. If someone could actually make me crawl down there between the rail wheels, all they'd get out of me would be a rapid fire "Yeah, yeah, everything looks fine down here! Ship shape sir. Can I go home now?" Ugh. What a terrible responsibility. I may have nightmares about it.

Maybe it's just me, but I simply don't recall ever seeing pictures like this (in color) ever before.

That's Washington D.C circa 1941. I love it!

If you're intersted in seeing the photos for yourself, here is the link. Enjoy!

Friday, February 1

Delightful Discovery

A few weeks ago I was perusing some blogs and came across a familiar name: Katherine Mansfield. This is a name familiar only to the very outer reaches of my memory. I couldn't recall how I knew the name but I definitely knew it. (Maybe Mrs. Hyde's class from High School?) Anyway, it's familiarity piqued my interest but, rather than rushing out to buy one of her books, I found an available copy through Bookmooch. Someone was offering a book of short stories by KM called, simply, Stories. Cool! I promptly mooched it. About a week later I received my nice old copy of Stories in the mail. (I happen to really like older books as long as they are in good shape. It may be the dated artwork on the covers, I'm not sure, but this cover really made me happy.)

That night, before going to sleep, I picked up my "new" copy of Stories and flipped through it for a good story to try. I chose one called Bliss. It was FAB-U-LOUS. Why haven't I been reading Katherine Mansfield my whole life? She's wonderful. Bliss sort of reminded me of Fitzgerald but with a lovely feminine touch. I realize that's a big comparison but there you have it. I'm suddenly quite a short story fan. They're so perfect for my weary nightstand.

I've had Ms. Mansfield on my mind all week but it wasn't until this evening that I had a moment to look her up. Let's just say that any Wikipedia entry that includes words like "bohemian/bisexual, met, married and divorced in three weeks, pregnant from a family friend, miscarriage, gonnerhorea, depression, WWI, DH Lawrence, pleurisy and tuberculosis" will hook me like nobody's business. I am SOLD. I now heart Ms. Mansfield and am on a mission to learn more about her. She's exactly the kind of auntie I'd love to have. As if all of that isn't impressive enough, Virginia Woolf is said to have once claimed that Mansfield's writing was 'The only writing I have ever been jealous of'. Nice going Katherine! Well except for that unfortunate death. That's SO something I'd die of.

I guess more than anything I'm excited that I'm still capable of recognizing good writing. It's been years since school so, you know, you sometimes wonder if you've lost your touch. It was a bit of a relief.

So, my question to y'all is what other great writing am I missing out on? Any suggestions? Do tell!