Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Pie For Nicole

And I can't really describe to you how it pains me to give her only a virtual pie because:

A) the last time I saw her was a couple of years ago in Chicago even though before that I hadn't seen her for

2) at least 10 years when we were in France for her wedding and

3) she's one of my dearest friends even though she lives so damn far away and

4) I love her very much and would really prefer to give her a pie in person, for real.

But that said, she correctly named the movie ("My Best Friend's Wedding") and the actress (Cameron Diaz) which I quoted in italicized form in this morning's post and therefore she wins this virtual pie.Love you, Nic.

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Up and At 'Em

Our family has fallen into some weird space-time mashup that has rendered mornings in this house completely topsy-turvy. It's a little too easy to blame it on DST but that's part of it. And also the fact that for whatever unholy reason, The Child's school starts earlier in the last quarter of the year.

Here's what used to happen:

1) The Spouse's alarm would go off and he would listen for a few moments to the dulcet tones of Steve Inskeep (hubba hubba) and Renee Montagne.
2) Spouse would get up, make coffee, feed the pets, shower and get ready for his day.
3) He'd kiss me goodbye.

I regarded his getting up as my own snooze alarm and the kiss as the final beep. I would rise and shine and give God the glory, glory. The animals would usually get up with me but other than their kerfuffling, I would have a quiet hour for coffee, browsing headlines, blogging etc. The Child (who completely ignores her alarm at any and all costs) would be roused at the quite decent hour of 7am, we'd get ready for the day and I'd drop her at the bus stop on my way to work.

(Please note: following Christmas there was some amendment to this schedule relative to play time on the Wii Fit but in all other respects the morning was unchanged).

But now it's all wrong.

The Spouse claims to be getting up the same time as always but I don't believe it. He is leaving much later than he used to. ("No, I'm not," he'll say. "Yes, yes you are", I'll say. "Your not the boss of me!" he'll shout. "Yes, yes I are", I'll say. Then I'll giggle because I'm not and then he will snort because he can't stay mad at me when I'm so adorable).

Add to this that The Child must be awoken much earlier because, among other things, she has to get herself to the bus stop since it comes so much earlier and I can't drop her. Oh, and I completely forgot to mention that I'm currently Driving Miss Neighbor to work and back and such because she had foot surgery and can't walk on her foot forever. (The timing of this is really good because my car has officially turned into a POS and the less I have to drive it the less my adrenal system has to constantly switch into high gear because of the tendency of the car to now stall out randomly but quite completely when at a full stop).

After a couple of weeks of this madness, of feeling squeezed by time, I made a command decision that changed my life (if you can name the movie from whence that(italicized) line came I will give you a pie. It will be a virtual pie but still. If you name the actress who says the line I will put virtual whipped cream on your virtual pie).

I'm getting up earlier. At 5am. Which is, admittedly, a time that not too many years ago was so early it would literally make me nauseous. But staying up after everyone went to bed doesn't work, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which that a late night house feels different than an early morning house. An early morning house has promise and bird song and a kind of quiet that isn't present late at night. A late night house is creaking and settling, animals are still stirring because you are and there's still traffic outside and it just doesn't feel the same so there.

I'm one day in to this 'getting up before everyone else thing.

We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One of Those Days

The manager from one of the other houses is visiting us for a few days. MAB is her mentor so she came to see how we do things. It's been fun. And kind of awesome because until we started sharing all the stuff we do I'd forgotten how much we have created since opening.

But yesterday, oy. MAB had already told me she and Rachael were going to come in late. I made some coffee and settled in to get some paperwork done (because when you're showing someone how you do things you're not really actually doing things). Then MAB called to tell me they are a few train stations away but she's been thinking. (This elicited an unspoken "Uh oh"). She asks how many check-ins we have. (Only 2 and one is a returning guest). Then she says,

"I have that big project to get done but it's such a nice day"...I think you should take Rachael down to the Market and show her around town".

Ever have one of those days? You have your plans and your to-do list and then your boss outta nowhere drops a whole other agenda on you? It was totally like that. Only not. Because my boss is composed of 100% pure unadulterated Awesome.

So that's what we did. Drove Rachael through Pioneer Square - the origins of the city- and took her to the Market, where we bought beautiful glass hearts, admired the many, many vivid bouquets of tulips and photographed the original Starbucks. Then the guys who fling the fish weren't flinging so I asked them to do it for my friend from a place where there is no fish and they set her up and flung fish over her head for her to videotape and one of the guys made the fish kiss her which made her scream like a little girl.

I took her up to Kerry Park to get the money shot of downtown and then up to Capitol Hill to see the old mansions and the cemetery where Bruce Lee is buried and for a Deluxe burger at Dick's Drive In. We drove past the spot where Kurt Kobain offed himself, cruised along the shore of Lake Washington and then went back to the office to share the lovely Red Anjou pear we'd bought at the Market.

Sometimes my job is soooooooo hard.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something to Get Off My Chest

There is a list bouncing around in my head. Items from that list wake me up at night. Sometimes, during the day, they make my stomach fluttery. Most of the items are small, very small. They fall under the "to do" category of life and if I would (if I could) take just a few minutes for myself I could probably dispatch most of them with a fair amount of ease. Others of the items have a little more heft and they have similar biological effects on me but they are harder to sort out, harder to dismiss. These range from figuring out who is sending me hate mail at work (a task in which I'm not alone because the police are helping) to ponder The Child's future.

OK, I already feel better having achieved one objective, which was telling you about the hate mail. It's part of the reason I haven't blogged lately (because some have theorized that it is someone who reads my blog...although for a couple of reasons I think that's a stretch. Although the hater does bear two similarities to the 2 (or is it 3) people who have hated on the blog over the years. Those characteristics are a) a deep and abiding love and loyalty to George W. Bush and 2) a complete inability to own their own stuff, thus sending the letters anonymously.

There have been 2 letters so far, purporting to be from former guests. But they are postmarked locally, they are always signed with different names - first name only - and there is no return address. So if MAB were inclined to contact the disgruntled individual and give them some sort of satisfaction she wouldn't be able to. Because they don't want to be contacted. Or known. They just want to, at best, be hurtful and at worst, I suppose, see me fired. Since MAB is not a knee jerk reactionary and since the accusations of the individual are so far-fetched and since there is a good body of evidence as to my ability to do my job well, this scenario is unlikely. Although stranger things have happened in the world.

But it does make you just wonder, doesn't it? About haters? About the depth of hatred that is resident is some of our citizenry these days? Because these aren't people who are unhappy with policy decisions. These are people who are angry at and bear significant ill will toward other people.

And yes. It is very fair to say that when I have formerly criticized the decisions of the previous administration, I was not always politic in doing so. I'm pretty sure I never said I hated GWB but I know I was less reserved relative to some of his cronies. And I must say, that between the rabid lunacies of certain FAUX News commentators, the unvarnished racism and loathing exhibited by the so call "Tea Party" movement and my own private brush up with conservative ideology run amok, I have done my share of soul searching. Because I do rather wish there were again such a thing as civil discourse in this country and I am sorry for the times when I contributed to the opposite.

On the other hand, what kind of person sends mean, anonymous letters to another person without giving her the opportunity for questioning or dialogue or even for apology or clarification? It's certainly not a person secure enough in her/his convictions to face me. And I think, though this may sound judgemental, he/she is not a very nice person. Hopefully the police will figure that out for me pretty soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It Takes Two, Baby

As we begin tonight's episode, Amy feels lost and Mila similarly needs to find herself again. Maya is frustrated that she hasn't yet won a challenge. I feel that.

Heidi tells the designers that she wishes to put them in "A New York state of mind". Designing a concert look for Billy Joel? No, they meet with Tim (and makeup guy, Collier, who we will now promptly ignore) who tells them that the "City is the point of departure for your designs". They will be sent to 4 distinct NY neighborhoods and challenged to create looks inspired by the spirit, people and architecture of those 'hoods. Emilio, the snarky New Yorker, tells us he wants to win one for "his people" but when Tim reveals that they will be working in teams he prays to the little baby Jesus that he won't be paired with Mila. (What? Mila herself told us a few weeks ago that everyone loves her). Team captains are picked then the teams are formed. Anthony chooses Maya, Amy picks Jonathan. Emilio, very happily, selects Seth Aaron which leaves Jay no choice but to be paired with Mila. (They both say "Oh, s!*t"). No love lost there. They will have 30 minutes to explore and sketch.

Emilio and Seth Aaron go to Harlem, a neighborhood full of ""churches, soul food and chicken joints". It is also full of denim and the boys know that will be a signature for them. In Chinatown, Anthony and Maya are impressed by the structure, all the red and gold and the liveliness of the narrow streets. Anthony is freaked out by the ducks hanging in a restaurant window. (He later tells us, "We don't do that in Georgia,").

On the Upper East side, Amy and Jonathan note the "high end, luxury" feel of the place and remark that it is grey and static, with "almost no movement". Wrought iron designs inspire the evening look. Jay and Mila go to the East Village, which is "rock 'n roll" and "gritty". They are inspired by graffiti and the industrial feel. They both try to be professionals, given their deep and abiding loathing of each other, and Mila is frustrated that she can't read Jay's vision.

After a trip to Mood Tim tells them "The creme de la creme is here - make no assumptions that the team leader will go home".

Anthony grows tense about Maya's strength of character and commitment to her artistic vision. Emilio worries about controlling Seth Aaron, who rarely sketches and seems all over the map. Jay and Mila intently focus on not focusing on their mutual hatred and Jay is afraid that both he and Amy are so detail oriented and ambitious that they will fail to finish.

Tim's Walk Around
He likes what Emilio and Seth Aaron are doing but suggests to Maya and Anthony that one of their colors is weak and should be discarded. (They listen). Jay is working on a pant that has a jodphurs feel to it and Tim suggests they will have "Heidi and Nina saying, 'What woman wants more fullness there?'". Jay insists it won't be that bad. Mila is working on a dress and jacket. Tim asks if they've determined the neckline and silhouette of same and she says, with a cold look toward Jay, "We're still debating that". Tim sternly says, "Someone is going home".

"Don't look at me!" says Jay.
"I'm not looking at any of you," says Tim.
"That was abrupt," says The Neighbor.

Tim also cautions Jonathan and Amy about being at risk of "overdesigning"....a point they are all too concerned about themselves.

There are fittings, Emilio is getting entirely too much pleasure out of the Jay/Mila drama and we suddenly want them to win just to piss him off. Jonathan surveys the amount of work he and Amy have to do and declares their team "f*$#ed". (Jonathan, we note, is a drama queen. Every challenge ends up being called "the most horrendous experience of my life").

Tim returns before the runway to urge the designers to "style those looks so they are each "wow" moments and has to call Jonathan and Amy more than once to get them to put down their needles and come along.

Filling in for Kors this week is Francisco Costa from Calvin Klein. He joins Nina and guest judge, Molly Sims.

The Runway

Anthony's day look is very cute and Maya's gown has an amazing origami-like detail but we think it should have had more red.

Jay's tank top is, in his own words, "problematic" and the pants are just awful. Mila's evening look is very severe and, in our view, unattractive.

Amy made a pretty, flowing top in an unfortunate color and Jonathan's evening gown has some beautiful cutout work but hangs a little heavily at the skirt.

Emilio & Seth Aaron present a very cute denim day look, very Flygirl, and a zippered gown which does not evoke, to me anyway, the Cotton Club vibe that inspired it. Plus it is entirely too stiff.

The Judging

Heidi is in love with both Emilio and Seth Aaron's pieces. Francisco says that he first questioned the gown, thinking it could be sexier. Nina said Emilio was very smart to use prints and vivid accessories to lighten the looks but thinks the looks could have benefitted from a little less detail detail (read, zippers). Molly, on the other hand, loves the zippers.

Nina remarks that Anthony and Maya clearly had a really great collaboration. She likes the subtlety of their looks, how they clearly reference Chinatown without being too literal although she wishes there'd been "more color" in the detail of Maya's gown. Francisco adds that the looks are "very urban and well made".

Heidi asks Jonathan and Amy how they liked working together and Jonathan coos that he "loved working with Amy". That's the good news. Neither Nina or Molly found the day look to be "polished". Heidi flat out called it "an eyesore". Francisco notes that the evening look is "more successful" but Nina thinks that the side panels make it look "too heavy and cheap".

As for Jay and Mila, Nina loves the "fantastic styling" of the night-time look but is "very disappointed" with the day look. Heidi says, "Her boobs are floating around in there" and Nina sniffs that the pants "weren't successful". Molly says the "tank tanked" but Francisco likes the 'synergy". (Which must mean he likes boobs floating around in there). When given the opportunity to throw each other under the bus, Jay notes only that they "worked professionally" together. Very politic. But then, since they like Mila's look and not his, he pretty much had to do that.

Both The Neighbor and I, sadly, pick Amy to be out. I pick Maya for the win and The Neighbor thinks it will be Seth Aaron. But no, it is Emilio for the win. Oh. Wait. And Seth Aaron, too! Another PR first! The judges appreciated the maturity of the designs and how well the designers worked together. And little Amy is "auf" for a look that was "from cut to color a bad retro idea". Amy was accused of "getting lost in the concept without executing it well".

Backstage, as Jonathan weeps, Tim holds Amy by the shoulders, looks right into her little pierced face and "you are an incredibly talented designer".

And she is. She tells us that she wants to stay true to herself and not be afraid to try something. She took risks. Unfortunately, she took too many in too many consecutive episodes.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


PR Recap:

Jonathan won, Ben was aufed. Yeah, I don't really care today.

Last month we poured $1000 into my stoopid car in hopes of keeping it running for another year. It's going back to the mechanic tomorrow. I am extremely annoyed.

I need a serious attitude adjustment right now.

Maybe a bagel would help.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Help Wanted

Alrighty, you creative, clever Blogtopians. I have a friend who wants to start a car wash/detailing business. It's something he really loves to do, he needs work and he's going to attempt the old "do what you love and the money will follow" trick. I told him I'd help him come up with a mailer and business cards but I'm really not much good at naming companies. Remember when I was starting my little organizing business and I needed a name? Yeah, it's like that. You guys came up with "Sorted Home" so I'm coming back to the well to see if any of you have any fantastic ideas. Get on it, people.

OH! And after we have a name, if one of you has some graphic ability and wants to put together a little something for us (JP) let me know.

PR recap later, for those who care. Like Sling. Sling Shot loves his PR.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Soupcon of Joy

I am still lumbering under the February fog that was so full of heavy things. I was chewing off God's ear this morning with my list of "please helps" and "please heals" and "please comforts" and it just wore me out.

So I need a list of happy things.

Mine includes The Child getting 96% on an English project (on which she worked very hard), the cuteness of The Dog when he cocks his head, the beautiful Boeuf Bourguignon The Spouse made for dinner on Oscar night (still thinking about it, it was that good. Man, that Julia Child knew what she was up to) and, as always, the glory that is my morning cup of coffee.

What do you have?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Traffic Circles are a Good Thing

It is an absolutely glorious spring day outside. Alright, it isn't technically spring, but you wouldn't know it to be outside in the sunshine with the bulbs bursting all over, the scent of fragrant blooms everywhere and the very busy birds.

But I'm not out in it preparing garden beds or checking the progress of the lilac. I'm feeling kinda drained. So far this weekend has been a bit fraught.


Yesterday I had a little accident. I'd picked up The Child and her Best Friend from rehearsal and I was giving a ride to another kid. We were entering an uncontrolled intersection only blocks from his house when I saw another car barrelling down the street toward us. I slammed on my brakes and frankly, closed my eyes and braced for impact. Dude was totally going to T-bone us. But my car angels - who happen to be really, really good car angels - saw to it that the other driver just hit me on the driver's side fender. (They also shoved him up over the curb and blew out one of his tires).

After checking that everyone was OK, I got out to exchange information with the dude. Who was totally belligerent and accused me of running a stop sign. I pointed out that there was no stop sign, that he was doing 30 on a neighborhood street and that he, in fact, was supposed to yield to me. He got on the phone to the cops and I heard him saying that I'd run a stop sign. Dude hands me his phone with a gruff, "They want to talk to you" and the cop asked me what was going on. I told her my version, gave her out license plate numbers and such and handed the phone back.

While we waited for the cops to arrive I called The Spouse to tell him we'd be a little late. After a concerned, "Oh, no! Is everyone OK?" he asked "Whose fault was it?" Later that evening I pointed out to him that, really, one shouldn't go straight there in a situation like that. Sheesh.

Anyway, the cop shows up and dude is all, "she ran a stop sign" and the cop pointed out there was no stop sign. He got my story and dude's and then very matter-of-factly said, "She had the right of way. It's your fault". Then he asked if we'd like him to facilitate our exchange of information and while he was doing that dude suddenly became all, "I'm glad no one was hurt, I'm glad I didn't hit your door", like that. Yeah. I was frakking glad he hadn't hit my frakking door either. Idiot. And, btw, he never actually apologized for hitting my frakking car. Whatever. He got a ticket and a flat so there is justice in the world.

Now my car, which already had a dented driver's door from another little altercation several years ago, has been officially declared, by MAB, as a hooptie. Given that it is 10 years old and has a leaking manifold which causes it to frequently rumble like an active volcano, I think that's fair. Good thing a new car purchase has already been a topic of familial discussion.


I got to visit with Suzanne, mother of my god-daughter Kiki. She is recovering from surgery, following her recent diagnosis of stage iv ovarian cancer. She'll start chemo next week. She's bearing up well, all things considered, and she gave me a little job to do for her which makes me feel like I'm being useful (besides praying, of course). And, of course, I got to spend time with the gorgeous Kiki, most-beautiful-god-baby-in-all-the-land. When I left I told her that I was going to give her a kiss and she lifted up her little blossom of a face and pursed her lips. Ad.or.a.ble.

But it is hard. I love this little family so much and the road ahead is going to be very difficult. I believe in miracles because they happen every day. But that doesn't negate the reality of just how hard the coming months are going to be. Thank heaven we only have to take one day at a time.

So now all that is said, I'm now going to motivate myself. I'm going to clear away piles of paper and sweep things and put clean sheets on the bed. I'm going to start pizza dough ( and I'm going to take my camera outside and make pictures of buds. Because buds are one of the most hopeful things I can think of. Then I think I'll make myself some sort of old fashioned sort of cocktail, like an Old Fashioned maybe, and read something uplifting. That sounds like a good idea, doesn't it?

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Hammer and Tongs

With only 10 designers left in the pool, it's time for the but-that's-not-fabric! challenge. Heidi scoots the designers off to meet Tim and "America's favorite designer", which I find to be a completely subjective statement given that I'm quite sure she means Michael Kors and not, say, oh, just about anyone else. And sure enough, there are Tim and the Orange One in the latter's Soho store. Kors lectures the designers on the importance of creating head-to-toe looks and the power of a single dazzling accessory, then sends them off to find the materials to create same in a hardware store. Whoot!

I personally cannot get enough of hardware stores. I think they are just superfantastic, especially the little, old ones that still hang on in these days of big box stores. Some of the designers appear to share my enthusiasm and find all sorts of fun bits on which to spend their $150. Except, uh oh, Emilio, who has a notion to do something with washers and cord and can't begin to get enough material for the money he has. What will he do? (I mean, besides spend all his time snarking about the other designers?)

There are lots of heavy metals in play, except for Jay, who is going to make pants out of a trash bag. We've seen trash bag clothes before. That's a could-go-either-way choice. Emilio lays out all his little washers and ponders them.

The work room sounds more like a smithy than a design space with most of the designers banging away on their metal sheets and screens and gutters and awnings. Jonathan makes a brilliant joke about the periodic table. He's kinda brainy. Emilio rearranges his washers.
And also, he gets bitchy when some of the other designers kid him about his situation. "He has no sense of humor," says The Neighbor. And he also gets to bitch about the noise of all the hammers. It makes it very hard for him to innovate with six washers and 2 feet of cord.

During his Walk About Tim tells Mila that her mod inspired (and color blocked) look is "very exciting". Jesse describes his look as "Elizabethan". "An Elizabethan mini?" Tim asks incredulously. He adds, "It looks like a costume for a school play...and not even a high school play, more like elementary school". Ouch. Tim immediately assesses that Emilio is in the weeds due to a lack of material. "Your innovation can be the first PR presentation of the bottomless dress," he says.

Anthony confesses that he is not "officially impressed" with his design and Tim concurs that it looks "tortured". On the other hand, he declares Jay's pants "spectacular" and marvels that he made trash bags look like leather. Tim is "intrigued" by Maya's ensemble, particularly her massive necklace of keys, which he calls "stunning". "If you can pull this off it will be phenomenal!"

During the fitting, Jay's model cannot get into the pants so he has to re-engineer them. Meanwhile, Emilio has finally figured out that he can make a bathing suit out of washers. The bottoms won't stay up. Gravity is a bitch. And could someone please speak to Jonathan about his
Tin Tin hair? Dippity Do is so last century. As we approach the runway show, Anthony comments that many of the looks (including his own) look tortured. But Emilio now tries to suggest that his pathetic hardware bikini is a "full on" look - as if there were intention, design and planning involved. This strains credulity.

We have 2 guest judges: the fabulous Isabel Toledo (who designed Michelle Obama's fantastic Inauguration Day ensemble) and jewelry designer Stephen Webster.

The Runway
Mila's look is very 60's mod and cute. Jesse's outfit is a mesh marshmallow. (Say that 3 times fast). We like Jonathan's look and Anthony's is no more than OK but Ben's is stiff and quite hideous. Emilio calls his look "strong" but I think it would work best on the girl serving drinks at a craps table in Vegas. Jay's look is terrific, Seth Aaron is lucky he has immunity, Amy did fantastic things with sandpaper and we absolutely love Maya's look.

The Judging
Nina tells Mila that her use of paint tray liners is "extraordinary" and Stephen calls it "wicked brilliant".

Nina asks Emilio why his model has no clothing, Kors dismisses it as "really cheesy" and Heidi says it looks "thrown on". I snort with derision when Emilio actually tries to justify his mess by saying that he "knew everyone else was going to make a dress" and wanted to do something different. Bull.

Kors tells Anthony he's created a "bad prom dress" and Nina dismisses it as "too boring".
Maya, however, is praised by Kors for truly creating a "head to toe look", Nina applauds her restraint and Heidi marvels, saying "you wouldn't think it came from a hardware store".

Jesse is bashed by Nina for a look that "feels like the Tin Man". Kors likes the accessory hair band but says the dress looks like a Hershey Kiss and Heidi says it looks like "a dirty vacuum bag".

She is much kinder to Jay, calling his ensemble "amazing" and Kors gushes "in a million years I wouldn't think this was plastic trash bags".

I pick Maya for the win and believe with all my heart that Emilio should go. The Neighb picks Jay for the win and Jesse to be auf.

And so it went. Jay won for a being "truly amazing" and praised for taking a material that has been seen on PR many times before "but never like this".

Photo courtesy of

And while Emilio is dismissed for something that was "pure Vegas show girl",

Montage created by the clever folks at Blogging Project Runway, from the original photo at

it was Jesse who was aufed for a look that was "disappointing, uninspired and looked like a costume, not fashion". So off he goes, returning to his life as a Johnny Depp impersonator while whiny, bitchy, "no, really, I meant it to look that way" Emilio survives to snark another day.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I Statements

I am ever so grateful for the kind wishes of all y'all yesterday. My impending root canal will be next week. I have to take good medicine first. But I am already much improved and very much grateful to Alexander Fleming, the dude who first scraped mold off some bread and said, "This will make Rainey's tooth feel better".

I am, however, very tired today. And work was emotionally exhausting. Hardest part of the job is hugging a grieving, fresh made widow and saying "I'm so sorry for your loss". Because you really are but there's nothing else you can do to heal the pain and you have to just let them sob and hope that hugging them and letting them cry will somehow be, well, not enough but at least a help.

I would like to have a nickel for every time The Child slams a door, yells "Come on!" (and/or "You know what?) as a preface to some injustice being committed by her parents or says, "One second" when she doesn't have any intention of coming in 1 second or even 60 of them.

I suspect that there won't be much talk in the press about the special election that was won tonight by a Democrat. Because that will mess up most folks' punditry. I can guarantee there won't be a word of it on FAUX "News".


Monday, March 01, 2010

March On

Let's just pretend February never happened.

It's the first day of March and even though it's a frosty morning here in the Emerald City, there was plenty of bird song. Sure, the birds were no doubt saying things like, "Leonard, we should never have closed up the summer house so early" and "What did I tell you, Shirley? What? Another week or two in Miami woulda killed you?" but there was bird song nonetheless. And there are also blooming things. Of course, that owes largely to our nearly dry and completely snow-free El Nino of a winter but things are blooming and they are carrying spring in all their little green cells.

My sails were slack in February. (It's a stupid month. The only things it has to recommend it are Groundhog Day and my sister Audrey Hepburn's birthday. That's not much to go on). I am glad to see the backside of it and even if you don't join me, I'm going to ignore it completely.

Disclaimer: There are people all over the world who are in a really bad way right now. There are people in my life who are dealing with very difficult and scary circumstances. There are people in serious pain and I am very sensible of that when I tell you: ow ow ow ow ow.

I have been experiencing hideous pain from a tooth. I haven't had a lot of physical pain in my life. I had kidney stones once and THAT was a killer. I actually did think I was dying. Worst. Pain. Ever. Even more than childbirth, which is also on my list. But a couple of other times I've had reallyreally bad toothaches. You go around, minding your own business, brushing and flossing religiously and taking your calcium and avoiding the gummi bears and doing all that other stuff you're supposed to do and then one day a tooth just randomly decides that you haven't suffered enough in life; you need a root canal. Which is likely what is going on right now.

I have a call in to my dentist and hopefully she will call first thing this morning and she will fix me up. Or she won't call and I will go down to her office and sit outside the door and whimper until she pays attention to me. Either way, I'd better be feeling better tomorrow or it'll get ugly. (Although, on Sling's recommendation, I was applying whiskey to the affected area with a Q-tip and it numbed the pain enough that I could sleep. For which I was extremely thankful. But I can't walk around with a flask of Crown Royal at work all day so something more substantial must be done. Still, that was really good advice).

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