Thursday, August 31, 2006


I am filled with rage! I just drove home like a crazy person to watch the women's rugby match against England and I opened my trusty laptop and logged in to the site and that was the ONE game that had technical difficulties. They are offering me a refund. Well that's great! But I want to watch the match!!!!! Should I cheat and see the score? What do I do here? How do I proactively channel my rage?

A is for Adventure

Many things happened this week on the 71A. Schools around Oakland are back in session at all levels, so overcrowded buses mean delays and added fun. Yesterday, I stood for 21 minutes on Stanton and Negley waiting for the 71A to cart me away to class. A young boy repeatedly defied his mother, asking all passersby for candy and water.

A nice young family sat outside the Union Cafe drinking coffee. The people of the neighborhood walked by, some stopping to smoke and chat. It was lovely. Communal. I smiled into the setting sun.

And then came the sty guy. This dude had a pulsing pimple on his eyelid the size of an M&M. I was impressed with his ability to blink. The lid must have weighed a ton. He leaned against the bus shelter for awhile, chatting and smoking with the other folks. And then the bus came. He leaned a hand on the handrail, dropped change in the machine and walked back to an empty seat, swinging along the handrails as if they were monkey bars.

I crouched in the front of the bus in horror. He had touched every possible thing there was to touch on that bus. And now I had to touch it as I swayed with the jerking bus. My choices were to touch his sty germs or fall on my face, touching the spaces where his dirty boots had walked. I recoiled into a corner seat, horrified that I ever judged that man from last fall who wore latex gloves and carried a hanky for touching parts of the bus. How smart he was! A barrier between his flesh and the creepies that swirl on eyelids to form disgusting pustules.

I dwelled on the sty guy and his germs the rest of the week, maniacally washing my hands every hour and certainly every time I stepped off that bus. I was thinking of him still this afternoon on my ride home when an overpowering stench wafted into my face.

Standing in the aisle was a very hot guy. He had muscles, appropriate and tasteful jewelry, well-cut flat front pants, and ginormous yellow pit stains. He stood between the seats as if he were crucified, gripping the rails on opposite sides of the aisle. And from this iron cross soared the most foul stench imaginable. Right into my face.

I was left with two options. I could suffer the odor by thinking of delicious smells like garlic or buttery toast or I could hold my nose with my contaminated fingers, risking an eye sty but able to breathe. I pondered long and hard, gagging and miserable, and decided neither of those options would do. I got off the bus and walked home instead.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh, God

Patti LaBelle is on Martha Stewart right now cookin' collard greens. She's trying to get Martha to add more pepper and gnaw on the turkey leg straight from the pot. Meanwhile, Martha is suggesting roasted parsnips as a sidedish. She's using a melon baller to take out the pits as Patti says "Let's just call this a scooper."

I feel so amused by someone trying to cook food like a normal person butting heads with Martha, who wants to insert individual almond slices into cakes to make them look like pinecones. While Martha steams root vegetables, Patti picks at her spicy greens and asks Martha about prison. I love it.

"Now we sprinkle a little bit of chopped chive on the parsnips," says Martha, grasping for control of her show. Patti dishes into the parsnips and says "It's excellent!" while making the most horrified face, as if she has just filled her mouth with paste.

Why would Martha invite this particular guest on her show? The whole point of Martha Stewart is to be as unlike normal people with jobs and budgets as possible. A woman who tiles her pool with pieces of credit cards is as far removed from cooked collard greens as they come.

Patti just lays it all out there. She says Martha's show is boring, she dumps salt and pepper on all the food. She laughs out loud when Martha claims to be a ghetto expert. But yet, I think I would get tired of watching her. I love to watch Martha as I fold laundry, cursing the socks that won't come clean and my inability to just throw them away and buy new ones. I love to hate her when I make Pasta Roni for dinner in between class and work and rugby, wishing I were shredding parsnips by hand into a pot of boiling water.

It's nice to see Patti LaBelle on the show in stark contrast, reminding the world once again that the things we are seeing are abnormal and the recipes coming forth are shockingly complicated. This will, of course, not stop me from tuning in tomorrow to learn how else I am not perfect. Hopefully, Patti will come back to slap Martha in the face and tell me I shouldn't try to be.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I'm very excited and full of energy after a long Penn State rugby weekend. The whole event just makes me that much more excited to go to the women's world cup in Canada. How amazing is it that the shindig is so close to me? least on my hemisphere! All weekend long, people chatted about how excited they were that two PSU scrumhalves are representing the US in Edmonton. It gave the weekend an even more festive air.

I spend the majority of my free time these days refreshing and the world cup site waiting for news updates on the tournament. I've even arranged to leave practice early on Thursday so I get back home in time to watch the first match against England on my computer.

What excites me so very much about rugby is that the best players in the country and in the world are so accessible to me. I have PLAYED with a bunch of Eagles and done one scrumming practice with Phaidra Knight at which I performed terribly due to being star struck. I love that my heroes and inspirations are going to win the World Cup and tell everyone in the whole world how USA Rugby women are the best ruggers out there.

I sound like a commercial. Not the most interesting writing, but my brain is too preoccupied to think about other things. Agh!! I can't wait!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Packin Pickles

My Penn State teammate flew in from LA to visit the Burgh before we head to State College for rugby alumni weekend. Since I'm not workin anymore, I've been showing her around town the past few days. I have always wanted to visit the Pittsburgh History Center and Sports Museum, so that's where we went after lunch.

We ended up staying for almost 4 hours. They in fact had to kick us out when it closed and we still barely saw anything...because we spent far too much time in the Heinz discovery room packing pickles.

After you walk through the area and learn all about the 57 varieties of far reaching products, including the Japanese packaging on their line of canned fishes, there is an active learning area. Back in the day, the factory ladies had to pack pickles from metal bowls into jars using just wooden spoons.

The display had two metal tubs full of plastic pickles, separated by a divider. Each station had an apron, a wooden spoon, and a plastic pickle jar. The instructions said to race your friends to pack pickles, and that's what we did. While families watched and children waited their turn impatiently, Baby Goat and I furiously scooped those pickles. She beat me pretty soundly because I had trouble screwing the lid on the jar. Drat!

I was not as upset at being the worst pickle packer as I was by the faact that the ladies had to use spoons to pack pickles. Surely that is not the most efficient packing device. I know tongs must have been invented before the industrial revolution. Why didn't the ladies get tongs? I consulted my Asian friend about the pickle packing and she pointed out that Asian pickle packers would have used chopsticks with great success.

My theory is that those ladies would use their assigned work spoon and secret in a wooden spoon from home to use as makeshift tongs or quasi-chopsticks. Think how much faster it would be to grasp the pickles rather than scoop them with a damn spoon!

If I had another implement, I feel certain that I would have packed the pants off those pickles and left Baby Goat eating my dust.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Boom, boom, boom

Did you ever drive down the street with a car full of nephews or cousins, windows down, singing "The Ants Go Marching One by One" or "Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?" at the top of your lungs? If so, did you ever pause at a stop sign and wonder if passersby could actually hear your performance? If anyone but you got to see the tone deaf bellowing of your cousin, head thrown back, lips smooshed forward during the booms in the chorus?

The answer is yes. People can hear you. They see your cousin, too. And they laugh.

I was walking home from the bus stop yesterday when a minivan with the back bungeed down drove by. It was filled with plants and a small child whose father was rocking out to the Wiggles like you wouldn't believe. Right there, at the stop sign on Highland and Stanton, was the cutest ever performance of the Pumpernickel Bread song, complete with steering wheel percussion and finger pointing on the off-beat.

I wish I had jogged down the road after them to listen in. I wonder if he, like me, uses small children as a buffer so he can sing fun songs as loud as he can. Does he, too, pretend the Veggietales Silly Songs cds he has are for relative entertainment, when in reality he sings "I Love My Lips" on the turnpike?

I think I don't want to be a writer anymore. Instead, I want a career as a kiddie song performer. I'll wear a red sequined unitard (I have one already) and dance around singing about pirates and delicious cereals. And someday, fathers in minivans will jam to my music and wonder if others can hear them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Moving On

Today is freshman orientation day. At Pitt, the freshmen live in tall cannisters called "The Towers," where, much like on The Wire, thousands of people cram into pie-shaped rooms and smoke drugs. While moms push bright yellow carts brimming with socks and microwaves, students stand around looking mortified and wishing they could just leave their parents behind and get wasted already. There are about 4 elevators to haul 8,000 people up and down 30+ floors. Tempers flare.

Among all this madness, the marching band is playing fight songs and the cheerleaders are doing a little show. (They've already had a few outfit changes to show off the gold and navy pompons)

When grad students arrive at Pitt, the university is much more sensible in dealing with all this life-change stress. We get no marching band or scantily-clad welcome committee. We get three Fridays in a row of free, unlimited booze and food. No clue what your thesis will be about? Who cares! Have another Pilsner! They don't cost nuthin. Have you tried the cheese platter? It goes great with the wings.

I believe these three weeks of department-sponsored bounty are training for future scavenging missions in the Student Union. Perhaps I learned my hunter/gatherer skills last year while I staggered around the inflatable football helmet laughing at the new freshmen who wished they were drunk like me.

This year, there is no orientation for me. No fanfare or complementary fruit salad purchased with my student activity fee. I am a mere second-year grad student, an aged model of last year's spongelike academia newbie.

HOWEVER! Today, with Hey Baby blaring in through the open window, I oriented my replacement for my gig with Dr. N. This funded graduate student is leaving the gerontology department (!!!) for an assistantship more in line with my educational that doesn't require me to provide metaphors explaining the difference between a Microsoft Word file and a folder. For five hours this afternoon, I guided another bright woman with a Master's Degree through the fine art of email opening and double-clicking lessons. I showed this new girl exactly how many times she would have to rename files saved as "Dear Dr. P."

If I were a cheerleader, I would have done costume changes. I would have worn red to talk about printing Excel charts five times, each sorted by a different category, on the same piece of paper. I would have worn blue to talk about alphabetizing filing cabinets and then black to discuss mourning the notion that the research position was not actually you teaching computer class.

In real life, I ended the orientation session with a little dance while the band played Brown Eyed Girl. I tossed my office-key-pompon and met the other bitter grad students at the Squirrel Cage, where beers are a dollar. Best damn orientation of my life.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When did this happen?

A few years ago, I listened to my friend Stacey Foley discuss her rugby closet. She casually mentioned it as if everyone had one. "I grabbed blank jersey from my rugby closet." I thought she was a crazy person. I know she was an Eagle, but who the hell lets themselves get so out of control they need a whole closet to contain their rugby crap? I do. That's who.

When I moved to New Jersey, I finally separated my rugby gear from my normal clothing into a big purple plastic tub. I quickly discovered that only my jerseys fit in there. Actually, only the short sleeved ones. Then I got a new USA jersey for Christmas and knew I needed a linen chest for my gear so it would all fit in one place.

I got the shorts and all the jerseys in there, along with a few of my various team windbreakers, but there isn't one cubic inch of space for my tall socks. And while I'm combining things into one location, I really should store my practice sweatpants, ear warmers, and cold weather gear in the same storage unit.

Now that we have a ginormous apartment in Pittsburgh, I have my very own closet in my office where I intended to store files and other doodads in addition to my cleats and balls and rugby stuff. Only it doesn't fit in there anymore. I have overflowed a closet and still have the chest full of shorts and socks. Where am I going to put my Under Armor?

Do normal people have problems like this? Only when new people come over to visit do I find myself shocked by the choices Corey and I have made to pursue our passions. Obviously he has to keep two bikes in the living room. They would never all fit in his office. Where would he store his rollers and bike tools? We each have a second chest of drawers for sport-specific attire in addition to "normal" athletic clothes like mesh shorts and plain t-shirts for everyday wear.

We are one kayak away from looking like a Dick's Sporting Goods nestled in Highland Park. Some day very soon we are going to die in one of two ways: we will either strangle ourselves on the bike tires dangling from the ceiling or puncture an artery stepping on the spare cleat studs sprinkling the apartment floor.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Planning a wedding is taking everything I enjoy in life and twisting it into a stressful and upsetting practice full of slamming doors and elastic pants.

Take eating for example. It might be my most favorite of all things in life. This weekend, we ate two enormous meals prepared by two excellent caterers....on Saturday. After two hours of manging through appetizers and thinly sliced meats and fabulous pastas cooked to protection, we had to eat another version of the same thing. Though the thyme and cheese stuffed chicken and wild mushroom pastas smelled and looked amazing, though the scallops seemed succulent, though the cake was delightfully sweet seeming, I could do nothing but pat my bloated belly and pray for poop. I had to wait until this morning to fully enjoy the crab cakes. They just didn't fit inside.

Talking is probably my second favorite thing. I'll talk about anything at length with anyone. But our new rabbi is also a talker and courtesy dictates that I let her go first in conversations. As Corey and I sat examining the sample ceremony, tearing up over possible readings at our WEDDING, I found myself with a million things to say and no opportunity to do so. Why did I have to find another talker? Doesn't everyone know that Corey is my soul mate because he listens when I talk? If only there were another rabbi in the world who will do an interfaith ceremony for an affordable price, I would seek out a less yacky alternative.

Trips home to visit my family have morphed from relaxing evenings on porches listening to cicadas into bug-eyed romps through contracts, confusing discussions, and extended conversations weighing the merits of buffets versus live-action food stations.

Perhaps I could register for and win one of those pre-planned weddings from TLC. Or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Or maybe someone could put me in a coma for eight months and wake me up in time to sveltly walk down the aisle in a tastefully designed ceremony with low key decorations and fun dancing. I will never again attend a wedding with the same perspective.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Last night I saw Tom Petty live with my sister Booper and Corey. He (Tom, not Corey) played all my favorite songs and sprinkled in new stuff and was generally amazing and fabulous. What made the concert an all-around enjoyable experience, however, was the drunk-ass flower child in front of us on the lawn. She stumbled in during the opening act, blue thong riding high above her mauve hippie skirt and below the hemp faerie shirt she had on.

It quickly became obvious that the slope of the hill combined with her intoxicated state would cause her to fall down any minute. "I want her to fall forward and roll. Which way do you want her to fall?" I asked my neighbor, a stranger laughing louder than I was at Stumbly.

"TIMBER!" Corey shouted, as she collapsed onto his feet, nearly spilling Booper's beer. Stumbly's friends hoisted her back up and scowled at us as we tried to decide which way we wanted her to fall next.

There was a brief interval (during "It's Good to be King") when I was quite concerned for her health and safety, as she completely passed out on the ground and passersby kicked her in the head repeatedly as they wound through the crowd. This feeling quickly passed as she shot upright and grabbed the ankles of her drunk boyfriend, pulling him down with her.

Then, during "American Girl," she woke from the dead and danced a crazy jig until she had wiggled kind of far away from her friends. Poor Stumbly was lost among the crowd ten feet to the right of her crew and it took her forever to weave her way back.

On an ordinary Wednesday evening, I would listen to Tom Petty music and watch boring things happen, like Corey washing dishes or trashy people having arguments in the street, or perhaps listen to my neighbors fight. Last night was so special to me because I got to spend quality time with my family listening to Tom Petty and mocking unfortunate others. As Stumbly backed her thongy bottom toward Booper, I could barely resist the urge to give her a little shove. One wicked grin from my sister told me she was on the same wavelength.

I wish we had pushed her. That would have been a far better finale than the crazed search for the car we got instead.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Yes, I love Technology. Always and Forever!

Throughout the past year, I have tried with my whole heart to get my 77 year old boss to embrace such things as double clicking and saving to a folder. In recent months, I have preached the wonders of the "My Contacts" feature in Office. While Dr. N was in Japan, I dutifully entered all of her 84,322,685 contacts from her rolodex into My Contacts, arranging them by category and setting it up so that she merely has to type the hint of the person's name in the To field and the email address pops in automatically. In the My Contacts view, I arranged the window so that she sees the category and phone number and email address and nothing more if she happens to wander in there a-searchin' for someone.

Today was implementation day. "Take a seat! Click at will! Your world is at your fingertips!" I even had a whip to beat off the lions thrilling the audience.

Wouldn't you know it, the very first name that came up was not in alphabetical order. "Why is Dr. D at the very top?" I put down my silk top-hat and leaned in closer. I had and have no freaking idea why Dr. D was at the top, where she clearly did not belong. Why, oh why was she up there??? Can't she just deal with being a D like the others and nestle in the top third of the alphabet? What is her deal? She ruined everything.

"Well, this doesn't work. I can't use a program I can't rely on. Can I have my rolodex back, please?"

I hid it behind my back, contemplating whether to feed it or myself to the lions. How could this happen? One person out of order and my brilliantly bragged about solution to the pushpin corkboard and scribbled cards is a flop. Crickets chirped.

A person younger than 77 would just shrug upon seeing Elza at the top, and continue to scroll down in search of the desired contact. Dr. N is still learning right clicking. A person out of order means the whole thing is no-go. Hours of work, trying to bring her into the light, wasted.

On another and far more shameful note, my 20-something Pittsburgh rugby teammates are not digitally equipped photographically. We will all have to wait to see tutu pictures until the little disposable camera at Ferko's house gets used up and developed. Can you imagine? WAITING to see photos?

When did I become such a techno-snob? It must have happened around the time I bought my new Mac.

Someday, I will make the world a faster, more efficient place.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ferko's Fun Party

Tricia, Lust, and I sneaked upstairs to Ferko's room in the middle of her party to prepare a surprise activity. In the midst of our loud and giggly operations, we heard a knock at the door.

"What are you girls doing in there? Let me in!"

It was a non-rugby guest at the party, a tattooed man with big baggy pants. Tricia took control of the door. "You can only come in here if you promise to do what we're doing!" Teehee. We snickered.

"Yeah, man, whatever. Let me in the room."

We swung the door wide. His face contorted in horror.

"Jesus! Yinz are f*@!ing insane! Let me out of here!" He fought for the door. Tricia held fast.

"You thought we had weed in here, didn't you! You did!"

He laughed hysterically.

"You promised to do what we are doing. Now put it on!"

And, so, we forced this stranger to squeeze his adult body into tiny little purple sequined shorts and a matching purple sequined tube top with feather trim. There, hiding in Ferko's bedroom, we crammed ourselves into my collection of elementary school dance recital outfits, complete with elbow gloves and frilly hats.

Lust chose the blue tutu getup while Tricia picked the opaque lavender leotard and flowy tunic. I strained the seams of the red sequined monotard with mesh stomach panel while the stranger pouted in my cousin's tap outfit from when she was seven. We almost had enough participants. Almost...

With three costumes to go, we bided our time until Dr. Parker and Jessie E and the men's team captain let their curiosity get the better of them. (Never again will they investigate the strange laughter from the upstairs room!)

Our cast complete, we took our pathetic parade of crushed velvet and neon spandex on tour through the house to announce the activity, finally succeeding in my lifelong dream.

We played Dance Dance Revolution in proper dancing attire. And we looked damn good.

House Huntin'

We spent hours yesterday climbing through people's green shag carpeting monstrosities. I am truly amazed that the wonders of digital photography are able to make such homes appear charming and cute on the internet. A soft little halo glow here to hide some paint cracks and crumbling brick, a nice little side angle or throw rug to cover the ginormous holes in the floor, completely neglecting to mention the mothball stench, and you've got yourself a cute home online.

Some of them were actually cute in some places, but then terrible in others. We went into absolutely fabulous Victorian homes that had COVERED their original woodwork and hardwood floors with wallpaper, brown paint, and green squishy carpet. If you want to live in a seventies style Brady Bunch house, just buy one of those! Don't ruin a perfectly gorgeous home by slapping fake linoleum and flowered wallpaper in the kitchen. Sheesh!

I found myself actually saying the words "Yes, but envision it with twenty thousand dollars' worth of work! This built in book case could sine again!" As we climbed through strangely fabricated walls and left dazzling remodeled kitchens to stand in plywood bedrooms, I decided there is no reason for me to settle for less than my current apartment.

I must find a home that has not covered up it's secret petals with ugly thorns. No KM covering the bricks with vinyl siding! No carpets on the dazzling hardwood floors! For God's sake, leave the stained glass alone in the bedrooms and do NOT wallpaper over the oak wood detail. Let your beauty shine, house! That seems to be my motto with everything. I hate makeup and, thus, hate wallpaper and carpet in old homes. What I need to find is a person like myself and then convince him or her to sell me his/her unremodeled home that has been tastefully updated throughout the years and includes an off-street parking space.

Hope is not lost. We have another marathon visit on Monday evening. This time, at the first glimpse of carpeting I'm going to stop on the porch and refuse to enter.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I flipped open the trash can lid a minute ago to throw out some aluminum foil. Yes, I throw it in the trash can instead of the recycle bin. I feel ok with that choice, since it was dripping with ooze and pieces of lasagna. So anyway, I noticed that the garbage in there is emanating heat. A lot of heat.

There is only one thing that can cause heat to seep from garbage sitting in my kitchen beneath the South-facing windows: rot. Decomposition. A chemical breakdown of food producing gases and heat energy.

This could potentially be a maggot luxury resort! What do I do??? I can't take the trash out every day. That would waste bags and be annoying and gross. But I can't leave the trashcan in the kitchen to generate even more heat in the apartment...or breed more maggots.

The worst thing is that Corey isn't home from riding his bike, so I might have to take that bag out myself. I already touched the maggot den. I don't think I should have to take out the hot bag. What if it gets so hot in there the bag melts??? I could have garbage spewing onto the floors as I run screaming through the apartment with the bag.

I feel as though I am being punished for not composting and creating my own fertilizer from the natural processes going on with my raw meat scraps and zucchini stems in my trashcan. As soon as I have a yard, I swear I will compost! Just please stop decomposing in my kitchen. Please, garbage, just remain cool and odor free until Corey takes you to the dumpster. Keep the maggots at bay for one more month and then it's nice autumn weather.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I forgot how delicious and wonderful large salt crystals can be. I've been grinding my sea salt in my new salt grinder from my mom. Today, however, when the organic produce arrived and I made my delicious salad, I dressed it with EVOO and salt. Sea salt. From the little jar with the tiny wooden spoon inside. It was amazing!

I love how the crystals melted on my tongue and filled my mouth with flavor. I love how the salt crystals made a small bubble in the olive oil on the plate or as they floated on top of the lettuce. They were marvelous.

How, oh, how could I be grinding up all my salt and not appreciating this chunky goodness? Ground salt is so out. In this household, we are now returning to the world of large chunky sea salt.

I wonder if the salt would taste as excellent on the new batch of blueberries as it tasted on the new tomatoes?

Here We Go Again

Three entire weeks of non-work. How is it that I consider my three weeks of built-in time to write non work? I suppose one answer could be that I'm not writing. I am instead sitting on the sofa in my underpants watching Deadwood and MTV reality series marathons.

Could someone please come over here and shake me until a 200 page graduate thesis falls out of my head into my laptop?

I think this summer during my time of non work I shall tackle peach pies. I did apple last summer and, really, to repeat fruits is very boring.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rugby Season

Today is my first practice. I feel so nervous about my fitness. Even though I've been rowing all summer, this past weekend I couldn't make it through 80 minutes of rugby. I eked out 60, just barely, on Saturday, but was lucky to bumble through 40 on Sunday.

My main concerns for this evening are as follows:
1. The blisters on my feet will make me miserable. Damn high heels!!!
2. The fat on the upper thighs will rub together in the humidity and I will get real bad chub rub from all the sprinting like last season and I'll be miserable.
3. I won't bring enough water along and I'll be thirsty and miserable in addition to dead and tired and drained of energy.

At least I'm not nervous about contact. The 53 year old grandmas knocked that timidity right on out of me this weekend. Lactic ladders here I come!

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Achin' Back

This weekend, the Lost Lady Lions of Penn State attempted to win the Saranac rugby tournament in the beautiful Adirondacks (with no humidity and temperatures in the low seventies). It was so amazing to play for Penn State again! With Lions on our shirts, we fought our way to the championship round Sunday morning. After a rousing "We ARE!!!" cheer, we piled into the stadium where the rest of the 112 teams were watching. (Ok, they were mostly waiting for the men's final...but at least they were there while we played...)

The TV crews (!!!!) asked for our roster, we got good and nervous, and then contemplated our opposition: The Olde Girls. These ladies, many of whom are 50+, freaking rock. I hate playing them because it is dreadfully humiliating when someone your grandmother's age throws a huge dummy pass, sidesteps your tackle, and sprints forty meters to score with her gray ponytail flapping in the breeze behind her scarily muscled legs. I love playing them because I see things I've never seen before on the rugby field. They are the Harlem Globetrotters of women's rugby.

These broads know all the tricks. They have all the skills. They are amazing. They beat us like 70 to 0. Now the Lost Lady Lions feature a number of current and former select side players, U19 and U23 national team players, and All Americans, all of whom are still playing competitively. We are a force to be reckoned with. We have NOTHING against these old ladies. These grandmas. These fabulous women with Soloflex bodies and rugby skills honed over 30+ years of playing.

As terrifying as it is to be humiliated in a loss like that (on front of spectators) it is equally thrilling to be on the field with them. You would think the crowd would laugh at you as your grandma dump tackles you and then rips the ball from your aching hands, but they do not. They just want to watch them pass the ball behind their backs and twirl around and play the most beautiful rugby in the entire world.

When I am 53 years old, I want to have muscles like K.O. I want 2 long, white Willie Nelson braids, and I want to fool people into further thinking I am a weak grandma by wearing a knee brace. When I win the game, I want to stand in my sports bra flexing my washboard stomach muscles and dance in a circle with my teammates to the "Ring of Fire" song, hand in the air, head back, eyes closed, rugby ball in my left arm.

Then, I want to drop over dead because life does not get any better than that.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Q&A With the Hygiene Queen

Inquiring Minds: So, Katy, how is it that a cleanly girl like yourself has such a terrible odor in her kitchen?
Katy: You know, I've been wondering that for weeks! But I finally discovered the source of the stench as I squatted to retrieve a bag of taco mix from the pantry. It seems I had forgotten the bag of red skinned potatoes purchased several months ago. As you all know, Corey doesn't eat those starchy beauties. It's hard for a girl to eat a whole bag alone!
IM: So the potatoes sat there unattended in this heat? They must have been rotten!
K: Oh yes they were! And boy, did they stink. In fact, when I went to lift and dispose of the stinky bag, I then discovered the true source of all the putrescence.
IM: Surely you don't mean....
K: Yes. Maggots.
IM: They weren't really maggots! How on earth could you recognize maggots if you never saw them before? I'm sure you are mistaken.
K: Trust me. When you see what I saw and smell what I smelled, you know. You know.
IM: So what did you do at this point? Move out?
K: I called my cookie-pie at work to force him to return home and clean the maggot den like a man should. He, of course, was not interested in this proposition, despite multiple promises of ice cream sandwiches.
IM: Did you hire help? Obviously you weren't forced to touch the maggots???
K: I dumped a bottle of Clorox disenfectant bathroom cleaner on the colony and rubber-banded paper towels and lunch baggies on my hand to form a barrier. I then dropped paper towels on the pile and gingerly applied downward pressure. I slid the dustpan under the heap, held my breath, and dumped it all into the trash can, ran through the apartment screaming and climbed down the fire escape with the foul bag so I could throw it in the dumpster.
IM: Was this bag difficult for you to touch or be near?
K: I believe that bag and everything in it represents the worst thing that has ever happened to me, including the fungus.
IM: What was your sanitization process for your body and the evil zone?
K: I of course had to mop with Mr. Clean and scalding water and dunk the dustpan in the same mixture (though I would have liked to just fill the kitchen with bleach). My person was slightly more difficult to cleanse. Despite repeated washings, my hands retained the foul stench of death. I soaked in various types of vinegar and lemon juice but still felt the presence of maggot on my skin.
IM: So what did you do about it? Drink Miller Light?
K: I left for the boathouse certain I would row furiously. My blistered, ruined feet carried me down the river and the stinky Allegheny replaced the odor in my nose. Also, we rowed by a garbage barge. That helped get rid of the maggot smell.
IM: You are simultaneously brave and repulsive.
K: I know. I don't deserve to live around normal people.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Raw Feet

Today is my second-last day at my internship. To celebrate my leaving, the editors are taking me out to lunch. Hurrah! I wore my cute black skirt with a light, summery white top for this wretched 95 degree smarmy day and decided to wear cute shoes instead of rubber flip-flops. I felt so classy, walking to the bus stop and trekking along 5th Avenue...until I realized the cute little strappy straps were digging gouges into my foot flesh.

It took me a half hour to walk from the post office to my office on Craig Street four blocks away. Each step sent knives of pain through my now-bleeding feet and, to top it all off, I kept falling out of the shoes because I was walking weird to try and ease the pain. People were staring!!!! And not because I looked dashing with my updo and classy business casual clothes. Because I was staggering down the street moaning and pumping my arms to propel me along.

All I wanted to do was leave a lasting impression of me as a together, professional diva in addition to being a top-notch writer. Instead, I hobbled out of the elevator almost crying and rushed to the medicine chest to slap four Band-Aid brand bandages on each foot. And since everyone was in the fridge room getting cream, I told them all about it. So now they know.

Alas, try as I might to seem calm and collected, I am always that girl things happen to...strange things involving crazy people and stalkers and toothless rednecks. If only my desk would collapse again this week, I could be the intern who broke all the computers and furniture instead of the girl who can't walk in fancy shoes.