Rock Star

“Place settings (not plastic; all forks must have four prongs).”
Van Halen 1982 tour rider, via The Smoking Gun

Today’s Writing Group prompt: Name 5 items you’d demand to have everywhere you went if you were famous enough to do so.

How fun is this?  I love to read the stars’ riders and I wonder if it’s really true that, for example, Jennifer Lopez demands an all-white dressing room, right down to the flowers, or whether there’s any truth to the “only ___ colored M&Ms” rumors I’ve heard about any number of people.  So, let’s see – what would I demand?

1. Cheese, obviously.  Lots of cheese (I’m a simple girl – cheddar, smoked Gouda, Swiss – nothing too smelly or soft) and assorted crackers.

2. Champagne.  Ever drink champagne straight from the bottle?  Try it – it’s SO fun.

3. Chocolate fountain with assorted things for dipping – pretzel rods, strawberries, marshmallows, graham crackers, etc.  I once went to a conference with one of these and a huge buffet of stuff to dip.  It was, uh, not my finest moment.

4. Massage table with warming device and a massage therapist on call.

5. Game room – ping pong, pool, air hockey, puzzles, board games, cards, etc. – fun for all ages!

(I write each day’s post without looking to see what others in the group have said so far so as to avoid any undue influence.  This was the first day I was sorely tempted to look first.  I didn’t, though, and so I suspect my list is a bit pedestrian, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else came up with!)



Why can’t somebody give us a list of things that everybody thinks and nobody says, and another list of things that everybody says and nobody thinks.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s been a while.  Busy, busy, blah, blah, apathy, blah, blah.  Here’s what’s on my mind lately:

1. In Bermuda, the drivers never ran red lights and they always stopped at crosswalks to let pedestrians cross.  It was such a nice change of pace from D.C.

2. I’ve been off my medication for two months.  I’m clearly less stable without it (read: way more tears), but I prefer to be unmedicated, so I’m working on it.  It sort of feels like I’m having to deal with everything that the medication let me ignore.  I don’t like it, but to move on to the next stage of my life, it’s necessary.

3. I wonder if I’ll ever learn to stop comparing my insides to other people’s outsides.  I read blog posts about people who seem so insanely happy with every little thing in their lives–their spouses, their jobs, their goddamn organic lifestyle–and I get scared that something’s wrong with my life because I don’t feel that way all the time.  More on this in another post.

4. My Fitness Pal.  I love it.  For some reason, counting calories is working for me in a way that counting points doesn’t (and hasn’t for a long, long time).  Maybe it’s the social aspect, sharing my daily food diary with other people, but since being accountable to myself was clearly not enough, being accountable to other people, even just in theory, seems to be helping me make better choices (No, you shut up, fettucine alfredo and cheesecake I had for dinner last night).  I haven’t been perfect tracking, but if I’m 90%, that’s 90% better than the last year or more, so there you go.

5. I ordered photobooks for David’s and my parents to finally fulfill the promise we made to get them wedding albums.  I ordered from My Publisher, on the recommendation of Young House Love (who I love and who have never steered me wrong before), but when they arrived, I was so, so disappointed.  The cover pictures look like they were printed on an ink jet, the colors inside are comically saturated, and probably half the pictures are grainy and just  not sharp. If you were a business, you’d be embarrassed to have sent out a product that looks like these do.  I have already contacted customer service – they have a satisfaction guarantee – and I bet they will offer to redo them, but I’m not inclined to try.  Three albums, three misses.  I’ll just take my money back, thanks.

What have you been up to?


The Greek word for “return” is nostos.  Algos means “suffering.”  So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.
— from Ignorance, by Milan Kundera

We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of my hearing loss at the end of this month, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my life has changed as a result.  I expect a series of posts on the topic over the next couple of weeks.

Things I miss:

falling asleep to the sound of the rain on the roof

the sound of my arms sluicing through the water when I swim

listening to the radio on a long night car trip, hearing it slowly start to fade out as you head out of range

being able to tell whether a baby is laughing or crying just from the noise (without seeing the baby)


watching TV while doing anything else at the same time (needing captions means I have to be looking at the TV to follow what’s going on)

hearing and differentiating between many different languages while walking in a diverse area

listening to ball games on the radio

talking on the phone for hours

eavesdropping – not in any nefarious way, but just on the Metro or walking down the street

easily understanding children, who never want to look you in the face when they talk, and who do some of their best talking from the backseat

New Rules

Rules are not necessarily sacred; principles are.
–Franklin D. Roosevelt

For 30 days, starting tomorrow, I commit to doing the following things to feel better about myself and be healthier:

  • In bed by 11, lights out at 11:30
  • One dessert a week (and candy bars after lunch and Slurpees after WW on Tuesdays are desserts, Mel) – choose carefully
  • Floss (I got out of this habit some time ago, and it’s time to get back into it)
  • Four workouts a week, minimum, including at least one weight training session
  • Wash my face nightly (I never do this, and I’ve never really needed to, but I suspect as I get older, it will pay off)
  • Track everything, no excuses – if I can’t figure out the points BEFOREhand, I can’t eat it

Obviously, the hope is that these things become permanent habits, but I’m not going to look that far down the road.  One month.  That’s totally doable.

Three Things Thursday

“I’m very brave generally,” he went on in a low voice: “only today I happen to have a headache.”
— Tweedledum, from Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

This week’s list of things I’m happy about/grateful for:

1. the moment you realize your headache is gone – I’ve been battling daily migraines since Sunday, when I decided to really give up caffeine, like I am supposed to.  Last night, I went to bed at 7:30, nearly incapacitated by the pain.  I woke up at nearly 3 in the morning to pee, and I was so, so relieved to be pain-free.  It was like a huge weight had been lifted.

2. Girl Scout Cookies!  Samoas have always been my favorite, but this year I’ve found them much too sweet.  But Tagalongs and Thin Mints have saved the day.

3. Morning workouts – it’s so simple, but on the days I manage to get up and run or go to the gym before work, I feel great all day knowing that it’s already out of the way, and I get so excited when I remember during the day that I don’t have to go to the gym after work!