Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This is Your Brain on Grants

Tonight when I left work I swung by Festival Foods for "a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, and a stick of butter." I have officially become an old Sesame Street sketch.

My life lately is like this: workworkworkworkworkworkworkeatworksleepworkworkworkeat BUT I am escaping this weekend to attend Chilifest. We haven't attended since 2006 (really?!), and this year I'll be bringing "Chili Sin Carne" from Vegan with a Vengeance. Photos and recipe and debauchery to follow. I sincerely hope we skip the "vomit on the gnomes" sequence, but I wouldn't mind if the Green Ghost showed up again.

Seriously, grants have eaten my brain, which now feels like a bowl of chili sin carne minus the spices, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. So basically my brain feels like a bowl of smashed, overcooked beans. I'll blame my bean-brain for the following:

I recently paid $78 for an oil change, tire rotation, and car wash. They also topped off the fluids. Was I ripped off, or is that a reasonable sum to pay for these services in total? I'm still confused.

Last weekend, J and I had a long, spirited conversation about "things we remember about our neighborhood roller rinks, circa 1982." I found it entertaining enough to make a note: Blog about this later! And later came, and I couldn't remember a damn thing about the conversation other than neon-dyed fur skate covers. And giant dice. Wait...wait....it's coming back to me....didn't the air smell like popcorn and sweaty Dr. Scholl's inserts? And the blisters...dear God, I almost forgot about the blisters...

My sister has convinced my two and a half year-old nephew that fig newtons are "candy bars." I find this absolutely brilliant and hilarious. I'm hoping I can adopt this technique with J. "Mmmm, this tof--I mean STEAK is delicious! Want some more kale--ifornia style tacos?"

It's now possible for me to get drunk on three beers consumed in a five hour timeframe. When the hell did this happen? Oh, right. Probably when I got my compost tumbler, installed my bird feeding station, and started taking a quarter cup of vitamins and supplements per day in an effort to stave off age-related degeneration. Like Bean Brain.

Also, I forgot to tell you I'm (intentionally) growing mushrooms in our spare room! I got one of those spiffy mushroom kits for Christmas, and there are currently cute lil' teeny fungal pinheads poking from the planting medium. My brain-on-grants finds this very entertaining.

I keep forgetting to schedule my next hair appointment. I haven't been to the salon since July. Think I'm overdue? Let's ask my roots. They have a very strong opinion on the matter.

Oh God, I just need to go to bed. One needs at least eight hours of sleep if one is to avoid accidentally replacing the word "public" with "pubic" in a Federal grant proposal.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Not a Resolution

Updating my blog regularly, that is. Why? Because I am about to write ten grant proposals between now and May 28. This will come to roughly 1,000 pages of narrative, budget wordsmithery and number crunching, and assorted attachments. Not including meetings with clients to plan for, develop, and revise the drafts, plus more revisions and editing, plus the actual preparation for submission.

I do this because I like to eat, and I like my health insurance policy. It also supports the occasional weekend binge, which has developed as a result of my work schedule. (That's a nifty little circular firing squad of a habit right there.) I'm at the office so much that I eat lunch and dinner there, come in again on the weekends, and believe it or not, I just did a twenty minute workout online, in front of my desk, via Exercise TV.

I still can't figure out if this is a pinnacle or new depth for me.

Somewhere in all of this, I miraculously found time to catch an episode of what could quite possibly be the worst reality show ever. We suffered through Rock of Love (the ones in the house and the one on the bus) and Daisy of Love ... I endured I Love New York and even a few episodes of that horrid Tila Tequila dating show (that didn't work out so well for her, I guess) AND whatever the hell that show was about becoming less of an asshole. Which could really be almost any of them, I guess.

But. BUT: there is a new contender for worst reality show ever!! Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair. 31 year-old living in his parents' basement weeds through 15 girls IN said basement on that good old quest for true love. (Because if you can't find it in your parents' basement, where can you find it?) I don't think I can bring myself to watch this again, as I'd like to perhaps reserve that portion of my brain that may be suffocated by this show for future needs. Like, remembering to put my shoes on over my socks.

And in the middle of all of this there are NEW and WONDERFUL television events I'm missing, like Blood, Sweat, and Takeaways (okay, so I'm a total nerd and this probably won't appeal to most normal people), and Big Love's new season, and the return of all of my little lovelies on NBC Thursday nights, and Chopped, and Flight of the Conchords, and on and on. Many of the shows I enjoy are likely signs of civiliation's imminent collapse, but they sure are nice little thirty or sixty minute vacations from reality.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's finally time to leave the office.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Eileen Cook can Spin A Yarn

One of my dearest author pals, Eileen Cook, has a new book out, and I am tickled to announce the news here! Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood hit bookstores yesterday. If you have any bookstore gift cards burning a hole in your pocket, what are you waiting for? Get thee to the book vendor and pick up this book!

About the Book: Popularity is the best revenge. In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
Does that not sound like a fantastic read? Eileen and I were part of the Debs (Class of 2008), and she is one of the funniest, kindest, and smartest people I know. Good luck with the new release, E!

PS: She's posted the first chapter on her website...