"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Saturday, September 13, 2003


So not only did I pop my right front tire and bend my rim this Tuesday, not only did Josh's game papers all blow away yesterday, not only have I been accidentally damaging myself in my sleep somehow ( I could have sworn I didn't have that scratch/bruise/chunk missing yesterday), not only all of that, but yesterday afternoon I confirmed it. This is the week of the klutz.

I went outside in between pours of much-needed rain to take out some garbage. I had my apartment key in one hand, along with the bag of garbage, and a much-needed cigarette in the other (anyone who wants to lecture me about that had better save it).

The weather lately has been conducive to the activities of yellowjackets - those fierce, nasty hymenopterids that congregate over spilled soda, fallen apples and dumpsters. I am rather skittish of these, having had a mild anaphylactic reaction last time I was stung, and not having an EpiPen. So I'm in such a hurry to get the trash in there and get the hell out, I flip the lid open, drop the contents of my left hand in, and dash away before I remember what else I have in my left hand.

Oh. Shit.

I just threw my apartment key in the dumpster.

So shocked was I by this realization, I dropped my cigarette, which continued to burn, until it started to pour rain again.

I had to take cautious peeks back in the dumpster, waving away yellowjackets every 5 seconds, to see if my key was even in a reachable spot. After about 2 minutes of this, whew, it is. Right on top of a half-empty bag. I can get that out, no problem.

Morgan buzzes me back in to my place, and I grab the longest implement I have - a broom.

It's still pouring rain, by the way.

In the time it took for me to go in and get the broom, someone else had this bright idea to take out a hell of a lot of THEIR garbage, and throw it right on top of where my key was lying.

So imagine if you will, little me with a big broom, digging in a half-full dumpster in the pouring rain, intermittently dashing away to escape flying hordes of killer (well killer to ME) insects...it was quite a spectacle. And Josh was coming over for dinner any minute.

I finally managed to get my key out. My hands by then were covered in yuck, I was nearly soaked and the broom was a total loss. BUT...in my triumph, in the rain, I raised the broom to the heavens and let out a primal cry of victory.

I thought of it in RPG terms, most particularly in HQ skills terms. I have a flaw of "allergic to stinging insects" at maybe 1W, and "urban survival" at also perhaps 1W for the dumpster diving, with an augments with "persistent" 17 and "dexterous" 17 and "goddamn it no fucking dumpster is going to eat MY only key!" at 3W (this is how we know I am as much of a geek as I claim to be, and also how we know I'm a puzzle-piece match for Josh - always thinking in game terms, especially those parodied game terms).

And so concludes Week of the Klutzes, brought to you by the letter Z and the number 0.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/13/2003 08:59:00 AM

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


No doctor quote of the day today - BUT - a nurse pracitioner was dictating a gastroenterology clinic report and, dig this, she had hiccups. It went thusly:

"The patient (hic) excuse me was seen in the (hic) excuse me clinic on (hic) excuse me September 9, 2003 (hic) excuse me..."

And so on. I wanted to tell her to try some of those oft-touted home remedies. Get a drink. Hold your breath. Eat a spoon of peanut butter. For the love of Hippocrates, quit saying excuse me!

Hiccups are most fun when someone makes you laugh while you're hiccuping, and the laughter is interrupted by a pronounced HIC! which is even funnier, and so you laugh more, and the hiccups get even more pronounced.

The diaphragm - it's not just for breathing anymore.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/10/2003 09:30:00 PM


Josh, Mo and I had an adventure last night involving a flat tire. My very first flat and they were all there to witness it.

Here's a thing: If your tires were put on with an air wrench, don't try to loosen them by hand. Don't get mad at yourself for not being strong enough to loosen the lug nuts by hand. You'll never do it, especially if the tire iron doesn't fit the nuts in the first place, also especially if you're short and can't get the proper leverage, or if you weigh less than, say 150 pounds (which I think we both do) and can't use gravity to your advantage by jumping on the iron.

Here's another thing: When you're trying to park, and your kid is causing a ruckus and being annoying, wait until AFTER you've parked to holler at him/her. Don't turn around and holler while you're still aiming for the curb. Don't mistake the gas for the brake and run full-tilt into the curb while you're doing this, either.

So, the upshot of all this was I borrowed the Echo to get Mo home at a decent hour and to bed, then drove back into Milwaukee in rush-hour traffic where my poor car was waiting. Josh led me to a garage where some nice grease monkey put my spare on for me with his air wrench (such a useful thing), and advised me not to go on the freeway. I whiled away a pleasant 1-1/2 hours taking the grand tour of downtown Milwaukee, aiming for National Avenue/Highway 59, going around in circles as is my wont in civilization (buildings and such just disorient me, I have a notoriously bad sense of direction in cities), then through West Milwaukee, West Allis, Hales Corners, New Berlin, Vernon and FINALLY to Mukwonago. Taking I-43 out of the options for driving home really gives me a sense of how far away Josh lives from me. It also gives me a sense of how attached I am to my car.

Now I'm in the market for a right front tire for a '98 Metro. Damn and blast.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/10/2003 11:56:00 AM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Ichi - "That one with wisdom"

What would your Japanese name be? (female)
brought to you by Quizilla

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/09/2003 11:24:00 AM

Monday, September 08, 2003


I just got the bill for my car insurance premium in the mail. It was exactly how much I expected it to be, $300 for 6 months. I mailed it off this very evening.

I took a closer look and noted that "endorsement 6102KK" had been added. Hm...what on earth is endorsement 6102KK and why am I paying for it?

In the little pamphlet that came with the bill, there are details of endorsement 6102KK; it seems that my insurance company will not cover claims of bodily injury caused by fungi or radioactive materials.

I can just imagine the lawsuits that brought this clause into being.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/08/2003 05:45:00 PM


Any librarians out there, now and future, care to comment about this so-called action figure?

I wonder what a transcriptionist action figure would look like...oooh, get ready for Julie to get bitchy. Note: I'm not the average MT, but I'm cobbling together a bunch of cliches from everyone with whom I've ever worked.

It'd come with carpal tunnel splints, a bag of Doritos, a 2-liter of Pepsi, size 22W sweats and a sanctimonious know-it-all expression on its little plastic face. Amazing push button fibromyalgia action. Little mail-order diploma. A little copy of "Chicken Soup for the Christian Mother's Soul." Again, these are tropes of the same magnitude as the frumpy shushing librarian.

Let's hear it for breaking stereotypes! Let's hear it for liberal pagan sex-kitten role-playing trail-blazing transcriptionists who are in good shape! Let's hear it for librarians with blue hair who like to watch cartoons, read comics and get their girlfriends drunk and spank them...er. Oops. Sorry bout that.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/08/2003 02:05:00 PM

Sunday, September 07, 2003


Here are a few things that need to be documented and organized.

1. I am going to go back to school soon (within a year or so, maybe year and a half) to study environmental science and wildlife management. So those of you who wonder when my formal education will continue, as it must...there you go.

2. I find I have a tendency to abandon formal study of things at which I show talent. I should have kept with fencing and staff and other combat training offered to me. I was good. I should never have dropped that Biology section. I should have stayed in contact with the Wild Woman/Shaman types I've encountered...

3. I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for this first time this weekend. That was what inspired the thought above. And damn that is one hell of a sad, poignant ending.

4. It's all right for a mom and kid to have only chocolate chip cookies and milk of various sorts for supper every once in a while.

5. Josh has blue anime hair, and I helped it get that way. I should never try to be a beautician.

6. Apparently Mo has caught the attention of two boys in her class. They do everything they can to make her laugh, but she says they don't do it so much if she's not looking. Aaaawww....

7. I went back over the segment of the Ice Age Trail that I Wild Hunted in 1993. Technically, the effect of the Wild Hunt run wears off at the next Samhain, but it seemed so...friendly. Like the landscape recognized me somehow.

8. If I were ever to have a horde or swarm of animals at my behest, it'd have to grasshoppers. Or locusts. Biblical quantities. I just like 'em.

9. Mo has another loose tooth, and this one is giving her hell. It hurts more than the last one, and she's wiggling it ferociously in the hopes of getting it out sooner. I'm saying it goes this week.

10. I had a dream in which I spoke with a 10-year-old version of Josh. I didn't say anything like, "Hey, you'll grow up to be a world traveler, a great librarian, the love of my life, etc." I said something to the effect of, "Can you tell me where Morgan went? She went over across the street, and I see you over there..." Hm. Probably best not to attribute meaning to that one.

11. Walking around in any landscape is so much more gratifying and powerful than just driving through it, no matter what the terrain is like. When you can feel the combined sentience of all the life in a place while you're walking through it, zooming by in a car seems like a gyp.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/07/2003 10:47:00 PM


I don't know why, no one knows why, but Homestar Runner is about the damn funniest thing I've seen on the web in a long long time. I'm aware of the fact that it's not a new thing, not even new to me, but introducing Josh and Mo to it has reinforced its humor.

'Everybody to the limit, everybody to the limit, come on fhqwhgads'...we're playing that at our wedding.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/07/2003 12:35:00 PM


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