Sunday, March 25, 2007

Age and the Manah Manah Song

I'm sore today. I mean, REALLY sore. My back hurts like a mofo, and my right arm and shoulder are throbbing. I realized this morning that while I can run a half marathon without any huge problems, I can't spend an hour at a driving range without showing my age.

Yesterday, I took the 13-year old to the driving range, attempting to do some sort of maternal'esque duty while S.O. was buying a new car for his teenage daughter. I think maternal'esque may be even too kind, really, as I allowed him to have a venti Starbucks frappe as a pre-dinner snack. As he filled up on it, I realized that this is probably why I have not yet given birth and mothered any children of my own. I'd more than likely feed them ice cream for dinner. I fully admit this.

We ventured to the golf club, and I held my own. I even managed to smack-talk back when smack-talked to. I mean, I don't think he was expecting me to be able to whack it 200 yards, but I still can, despite my own reservations. It's been a while, but I proved to myself that I still got it. It just hurts a hell of a lot more the next day.

I woke up this morning in excruciating pain and soreness, which reminded me that I am indeed getting up there in age whether I like it or not. Additionally, I had to work. And, even on top of that, it was 80 degrees here in the cornfield today. The first 80-degree day in God knows how long. I can't even remember. Needless to say, I was a little bummed that I couldn't enjoy it fully. So, I tried to be positive and remember what made me laugh as a kid. I laughed a lot as a kid. Mainly because I was really a goofy-ass kid.

While perusing You Tube for old Muppet Show bits and 70's and 80's sitcom theme songs, I came across this fabulous clip from Sesame Street. It's the "Manah Manah" song - perhaps the best Sesame Street skit of all time. It made me laugh then, and it almost made me pee my pants today (no, I'm not old enough to even think about being incontinent yet, so shut it):

Watch it all the way through without cracking some semblance of a smile. I dare you. If you can, then I don't even want to know you. need help.

Pass the Ben-Gay.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Getting in touch with my inner Gwen.

I was watching one of those cheesy entertainment shows the other night and avoided changing it mainly because Gwen Stefani was on. If I could be anyone in the entertainment business for the day, it would be her. When asked about a reunion with No Doubt, she said that they were probably going to get back together after her current tour. I'll be first in line for tickets.

For all the die-hard No Doubt fans, this is a pretty cool "evolution" video:

And of course, one of my many recent life mantra songs:

It's Thursday. Let's all get in touch with our inner Gwen...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Green Beer Day.

It's St. Patty's Day here in Indy. Well, it's actually tomorrow, but today is the big parade here in town. The bagpipes are warming up, and the loudspeakers are already going. My office is in the center of downtown, on the eighth floor of an old building on a very pivotal street for the annual St. Patty's Day parade. The green and white beer tent is right outside my window, and I'm sure my coworkers and I will walk downstairs and partake a bit at lunch. It's one of the perks of working downtown. History and festive events galore. It's cold and windy out there, but that won't keep us from watching and enjoying it from our view from the top.

I was once married to an Irish dude, and one of the fond memories I have of the institution was the great shepherd's pie he made. I also gained a true love for Guinness during those years. Partly to drown him out, but also because I just like the stuff. It's good for you, you know. I suppose a lot of that could be because of the fact that I, myself, am a quarter Irish, so I have a penchant for good beer running through my veins. I'm a strawberry blonde, green-eyed chick with pretty pale skin. Let's just say I'd fit in at a bar in Dublin if I kept my mouth shut. My Dad's side of the family was raised across the street from the almighty Notre Dame, so that was crammed down my throat a lot as a kid. And, even though I'll root for Tennessee every time they play the Irish, I'll always have a soft spot for the tailgates in South Bend. It's a family thing, after all.

In the spirit of the fact that it's both Friday and the day before St. Patty's Day, I'll have my obligatory green beer and try to keep it light today. No major things to spew. No worries. Nothing but cheer and some Cranberries lyrics to top off my entry. Here's one of my favorite songs from Ms. Dolores O'Riordan and the Cranberries.

Top of the afternoon to ya.

oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
It's never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems

I know i felt like this before
But now i'm feeling it even more
Because it came from you
Then i open up and see
The person falling here is me
A different way to be

I want more,
impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
And they'll come true
Impossible not to do
Impossible not to do

And now i tell you openly
You have my heart so don't hurt me
You're what i couldn't find
A totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You're everything to me

Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
It's never quite as it seems
'cause you're a dream to me
Dream to me

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tess tasting freedom...

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security."
~Gail Sheehy

From Chivalry to Jong-il to Generation Me...

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Same excuses, different day. In fact, I have another deadline today. And, I’m working on getting permits for my new home. In light of these facts, my time crunch, but my yearning to spew the many things floating around in my head, I shall do this blog in another list format. Life is about learning, after all, and I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. What have I learned? Well, here’s my list:

Chivalry is not quite dead yet.
I learned this when I had a meeting with a man, about 60’ish, who my company was wooing for a position in New Orleans to assist in rebuilding the city with the Corps of Engineers. He was your typical, old-school, flat-top sporting man's man. Complete with Marlboro-stained teeth and vocal chords to go with the flat top. I resisted my urge to complain about the temperature in my cushy little office; after all, this guy probably crawled inside a dead cow once or twice to stay warm while in the fields of 'Nam. He had a handshake that only a Marine should have. Our meeting included him, myself, and two of my male coworkers. I was the first to greet him. And, when I entered the room, he stood up at attention, shook my hand, called me ma’am (keep in mind that I’m about half his age – O.K., almost), and then showed me singlehandedly that chivalry isn’t dead. He waited. The man would not sit until I was seated. Totally old school. I have to admit…I loved it. In fact, I'm contemplating going on a one-woman campaign to bring that shit back. S.O.’s 13-year old son has started to occasionally open a door for me here and there, so maybe there’s hope yet…one male at a time.

The Amish aren’t taxed.
Maybe my head has been in a hole. I don’t know. But, I just learned that the Amish don’t pay ANY taxes. Maybe sales tax - that hasn't been confirmed yet - but I'm still irritated. This came up in a conversation at work yesterday where one of my coworkers was comparing them to a non-profit organization. Here’s my take on that. April 15th is approaching, I’m taking it up the proverbial ass again in many respects, I’ve never gotten a break on taxes, I work my tush off, and I don’t think they should be exempt just because they have different religious beliefs than I do. No one should be exempt from taxes in this country. OK, maybe just the Native Americans, but that’s it. Amish kids go to public schools until the 8th grade, they shop in our stores, and I’ve even seen them using cell phones. Nice scam, people. Now how can I get in on this action? I refuse to wear the bonnet, but if it keeps me from getting screwed every April 15th, I need to know how I can get a slice of that homemade-from-scratch-but-not-from-electricity pie.

If you’re a skanky ex-stripper that sleeps around shamelessly, peddles diet drugs, and then perishes due to your reckless lifestyle, you are worthy of Presidential funeral coverage.
Welcome to America. Someone pinch me, because I’m in slight disbelief. I know Anna Nicole has passed away and we should have respect for the dead, but come on. Honestly. I can't stop shaking my head.

"Generation ME."
I read this article the other day about how kids nowadays are complete narcissists. The current generation of teens and 20-somethings are called “Generation Me”. I’ve seen it first hand, actually. Now, I know teenagers are by nature somewhat self-centered, but the article’s argument was that this generation is the worst ever. They have been told that they are “special and can have anything” from birth. And this has proven both dangerous and unhealthy. Now we have a bunch of spoiled brats walking around expecting life to hand them everything on a platter encased in bling. It’s an epidemic. It’s nauseating. It makes me either want to not have a kid at all or it presents a true challenge to me to make any kid I ever do have more sensitive to others. I've actually heard a kid say, "If you can't buy nice things for your kids, then you shouldn't have them." Another head-shaker. Our media doesn’t help, either. The other day, I overheard S.O.’s 13-year old watching a show on MTV called My Super Sweet 16. These girls are getting Range Rovers for their birthdays, acting like they’re celebrities. It wasn’t a joke. This is the new generation. Mark my words - basements all over the country are going to be filled with disgruntled “Generation Me” kids in the next 5-10 years because the real world - with its credit card bills (you mean I have to PAY for the stuff I charge?) and that dirty word "work" was just too much to bear. All those child psychologists who invented “you are special no matter what” and “time out” should be shot. Bring back spankings and the fear of your parent's smackdown if you don't shut up and behave, I say. It worked for my generation. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Kim Jong-il. Satan’s new bitch.
This dude scares me. I’ll admit it. Not his stature or his little smirk I want to smack off his nasty little beady-eyed face. But the evil that sums up who he is. The dude is evil personified, and I suppose it’s scary for anyone that has half a heart to see this guy in action. I watched a documentary on the National Geographic channel about North Korea a week ago, and cameras showed just a portion of what goes on over there. A very passive and secluded country, Jong-il keeps what he does there under wraps. People there are prisoners, plain and simple. Half are starving, most never receive medical care, and none will ever know what freedom is as the country stands right now. It’s a place of brainwashing and concentration camps. The only religion – the only faith these people have – is the religion that is Kim Jong-il. I just can’t believe this crap still occurs in the year 2007. We've been overly concerned about the Middle East, but we really need to pay a bit more attention to this freak. I’ve been saying that for a while now, but that documentary solidified it for me. He’s Hitler all over again – but worse.

Size 00.
I was on the other day, perusing the new spring and summer fashions, and lo and behold, there’s a new friggin’ size. As if being a size 0 just wasn’t thin enough, there is now a DOUBLE size zero. A 00. Yep. Something more for all those wannabe anorexics to aspire to. How many celery sticks do I have to forfeit now to get into a size 00? I really WANT to look like a heroin addicted 9-year old boy. Pleease? Wow. Pass the size 4 skirt and the pudding, please. Real boys like curves, ladies...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Running Mix

It's Thursday. And, I count it as the end of the week, even though it isn't. Tomorrow will be a coaster. The past few hours have been the first time I've really breathed non-panic stricken air for four days. A $17 million proposal does that to me. But it was finally Fedexed and out the door at 3 pm, my wrap-up meeting was at 4, and I was home by 5:30. Ready to run.

When I'm stressed, I need to walk, run, or lift really heavy weights. It's just as good as meditation (although I'm working on learning how to sit for five whole minutes and do that, too). And, when I got on the treadmill tonight to finally expel some energy, I listened to my newest Running Mix on my IPod. You know, those songs that really get you going, and in my case, sometimes take me across finish lines. Case in point: Unchained (Van Halen) took me across the Disney Half Marathon finish line. The Foo Fighters got me across the Country Music Half Marathon finish, and I honestly can't remember what got me across the Chicago (whole) Marathon finish line. I think I was half looped and begging someone to kill me with a blunt stick.

I haven't made a list for a while, so I'm sharing my all-time favorite kick ass running mix songs. Many come and go, but these have always made the rotation in some way or another.

Top 20 Kick Ass Running Mix Songs, in no particular order:

  • Unchained - Van Halen
  • Cold Hard Bitch - Jet
  • Baby I'm a Star - Prince
  • In God's Country - U2
  • All My Life - Foo Fighters
  • Panama - Van Halen
  • Crosstown Traffic - Jimi Hendrix
  • Livin' Thing - ELO
  • Just a Girl - No Doubt
  • Alright - Janet Jackson
  • Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters
  • Rock and Roll - Led Zepplin
  • Here it Goes Again - OK Go
  • Never There - Cake
  • Carry On - Crosby, Stills, and Nash
  • Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
  • Synchronicity II - The Police
  • Highway to Hell - AC/DC
  • Shambala - Three Dog Night
  • She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult

At least these are the 20 I pick today. Ask me again in 10 years.