the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Boobies and the Omniscient WWW/FSM

The breastalist has assigned me to get an ultrasound and a mammogram. She thinks I might have a blocked duct. This is odd, because I am not, nor have ever been, pregnant; but the All-Seeing World Wide Web (it's like God!) tells me that plugged ducts, like shit, happen.

Speaking of All-Seeing God, the Gospel is here at last. RA-men.

The Circus

I'd like a vacation, and not for the usual reasons. Yes, there are the regular culprits--the stress and tedium of office life--but I'm rather inured by now. Rather, I crave a vacation from the strong personalities. You know them. The person who needs everything done exactly to her specification, however silly, anal, or time-wasting, because she actually does have obsessive-compulsive disorder. The grouchy manager who snaps at you whenever you make a request, then forgets your request for a few months, such that it becomes a rush job when you remind him. The boss who speculates at a meeting whether your friend who's missed a few days of work might be pregnant. The hyperactive, chatty gossip. The loud, over-caffeinated editor. And the assistant. I'm afraid I might physically harm the assistant, help me God. She does everything wrong, necessitating that large amounts of work be redone by other people because of things she "didn't notice" in the first place. She always has an excuse. She's the best, you see, but everyone's out to get her. We just don't understand. Then she had the gall to say, "kStyle, you need to tell your copyeditors that..." She's not my assistant, you see, and I'm one of the few who deigns to be nice to her, so perhaps she doesn't understand just how far I outrank her (miles and miles). I took the opportunity to remind her that I have been working at the company for 4 years and damn well knew what I was doing. She apologized, of course with an excuse. Then proceeded to do more stuff wrong.

I'm done with elephants and clowns
I want to
Run away and join the office
--Mike Doughty, again

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday Questionnaire
you know, just because

1. What would you like your next fortune cookie to say?

2. Name your favorite fruit.

3. What televison program can you absolutely not stomach watching?

Lines Stuck in My Head

Sunken-eyed girl in DeLancey Street
Bulletproof glass in the KFC to
Keep the man safe in his paper hat
Keep the wrong hands off the biscuit fortune

--Mike Doughty

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Conversation

I called the bridal registry place. Monique asked for my name. As is my habit, I prefaced spelling my last name by warning her that it's tricky. Otherwise, the person jotting down my name doesn't pay attention and I have to spell it 3 or 4 times. (Really.) After saying and spelling my name, Monique said: Well, you'll get rid of that name soon, anyway!

I replied, No, I won't.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Boobies and Caffeine
an unusual PSA

My nipples have been sore. They started off merely tender and a bit chafed, so I applied Vaseline liberally. The greasy stuff offered some relief, but soon it wasn't enough to apply it only before bed. Before long the girls were so itchy and pained that I began applying morning and night.

The morning applications had an unfortunate side effect: leakage. Yes, the grease would run on through my bra and, if my shirt were a nice, breathable fabric, such as cotton, right on through the shirt, leaving me with stylish grease marks over my nipples. I was mortified upon seeing myself in this state in the bathroom mirror at work. For a second, I wondered how I could be lactating. Then I realized that I was "lactating" petrolatum. I scurried back across the building, arms folded awkwardly over chest, to my desk and blessed sweater. During my lunch break, I ran out to TJ Maxx for a few new shirts--it was too warm to wear my sweater all day--then changed when I returned to work. (Turns out I look very good in cocoa brown, by the way.)

Thursday night the pain morphed into a burning, searing torment, radiating outward from the nipples through the breast tissue; I woke throughout the night, pained by the weight of a light sheet across my chest. As soon as morning broke, I called my gynecologist.

She had room to see me at noon. She examined the girls and pronounced them fine, and then (somewhat to my surprise) forbade me ever to have caffeine again. It made sense that caffeine is the culprit: normally I'm an herbal tea devotee, but with all the stress and busy-ness lately I've been imbibing the hard stuff, black tea, and the extra-hard stuff: coffee. It turns out my boobies are very sensitive to that bitter stimulant compound, but I never knew, because I've never had enough of it to affect them.

My gyn also gently suggested that with all the stress I'm under, I really don't need a stimulant. She has a point.

Then it was off to CVS for some super-emollient, non-leaky lotion for my poor breasts. Scanning the shelves and contemplating the choices, my eyes fell on tub decorated with cow print. It was udder cream, formulated to soothe chafed cow teats. I thought, hell, if it's good enough for bovine udders, why not mine? Ladies, this stuff is wonderful. I can't say enough good things about it.

Then I went shopping for a bra with a cotton cup. Why aren't more bras made with cotton cups? Nylon chafes the sensitive nipple. I found one, and so far, I like it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday Writing Assignment
because I'm always too busy on Wednesdays

My post about The Dudes seems to have tapped into a collective Bad-Neighbor Wrath. Go on, tell us about your nightmare neighbors.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Spring

Today is the Vernal Equinox. Feel free to do something witchy, maybe a nice spell.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Why must people be this way?

I'm sweet. I really am. I'm friendly and pleasant, and I'd really like to be cordial with you. And you. You, too. Everyone, really.

But then folks have to go and be motherfuckers. Why do these motherfuckers have to act like motherfuckers? I'll be very polite but direct about it for a few times, but once I reach the end of my rope, which I believe to be longer than most people's...It's not good for anyone. I don't like being bitchy. You don't want me to be bitchy. We'll both feel badly about it afterwards, but if I must be bitchy to get what I need--such as basic courtesy--I will.

Take The Dudes. The Dudes live below me. Some nights, they make a hell of a lot of noise. On many occasions, they've woken me from a dead sleep at about 3 AM with blaring video games and excited, video-game-related yelling. A few times, they've woken me around 1:30 with a boisterous party. The Dudes have angered me many times, but I've usually taken the following course of action:

1. Grit teeth.
2. Bury head under pillow.
3. Will it away.
4. Focus on my breath.
5. After half an hour, tiptoe downstairs in PJs and knock on the door. "Excuse me," I say with a wan smile and the miraculous bedhead only thick, curly hair can produce, "But you've woken me. Could you please quiet down?" Usually Luna, the little cat, follows me downstairs for the adventure. At this point, she races past me into Apartment of the Dudes.
Dude: "Oh, OK. Sorry. I didn't realize we were being loud."
Me: "Thanks. I'll take my cat back now."

This approach served me well for a few months. Then, the noise became more regular on weekends. I developed a new approach:

1. Grit teeth.
2. Bury head under pillow.
3. Will it away.
4. Focus on my breath.
5. After half an hour, grow incredibly resentful that I work every weekday and most weekends, but The Dudes apparently have no concern for employment.
6. Rise from my bed.
7. Jump on the floor above them like a vengeance demon straight from the Hellmouth.
8. They get the idea and stop.

This second approach has served me well for several weeks now. However, the employment resentment has been augmented and fueled by twin resentment that enjoyment of our hard-earned condo (not to mention my precious, precious sleep) is being noisily ripped to shreds by some Dudes who live for free in their sister's condo.

Dude. Dudes. Not cool.

Add to this picture some work frustrations of late, specifically that, while we're all terribly overworked, a few people seem to think it means they can be divas...and no one stops them. I verbally check them from time to time, but it's a bigger battle than I can wage alone.

So tonight, as a fatigued little moi cleaned the kitchen very quietly at 10 PM, she/I was not pleased to hear strains of hyena-like laughter emanating from the floor below. No mistaking it: a Dude party was in effect.

I waited until 10:15. I asked G to remind me exactly what the condo rules say. I marched downstairs. I knocked. Loudly.

A cute young gal with red pigtails answered the door, wide-eyed. I looked past her at the Head Dude standing behind. I maintained a civil tone, but in that sort of haughty, clipped, prissy-pissy way I can get when I'm pissed. My eyes lasered holes through The Dude's baby face.

"The condo rules say that noise is not aloud after 10 PM."
"I've had to ask you many times now."
"Okay," he replied, pleasantly.
"You need. To. Stop. Please."
"Okay," he sang sweetly.

I returned upstairs. Sure enough, The Dudes quieted right down, as they have every time I've asked. I felt bad about being pissy for a moment, but then I remembered I shouldn't have to ask.

I was also, I admit, pissy with G. Why am I always the one who has to go downstairs and be the bitch? I might have...sorta...told him to be more of a man. I was feeling exasperrated, okay? He promised to write the official letter of complaint tomorrow: This is the First Warning; next time you get fined. But I would rather write the damn letter than do the confrontation--who wouldn't? Doesn't seem freakin' fair.


Friday Questionnaire
because why the hell not?

In honor of St Patty's Day and Lent, two great Catholic traditions, let’s talk about a third great Catholic tradition: sin. Confess and we shall absolve you.

1. Have you ever stolen anything? What?

2. That little devil that sits on your shoulder—what does he tell you to do? Have you done it?

3. Defend or refute the dualistic worldview as exemplified in notions of Heaven and Hell. Be sure to compare/contrast moral relativism with a holistic worldview. 30 points.
3a. Or, see if you can name all 7 Deadlies. If you were writing a theological text, what would be your 7?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I know you're all dying with anticipation as to hearing my opinions on the Top Model Cycle 6. I apologize for keeping you waiting.

I adore Nenna; she's the best contestant they've ever had. I also see something special in Mollie Sue--even though the judges aren't sure about her--and Brooke.

Jade's a bitch, but we need a good villain, and I want to shake Gina.

More interesting than the contestants, however, are the judges. This cycle, we can see the fruits of their greater comfort in front of a television camera. For the first time, Jay Manuel is sassy without feeling forced; Nigel Barker is hilariously witty rather than his usual stiff/mysterious persona; Twiggy is ever-more charming; and Miss J Alexander has a new depth of sweetness and humor. Ms Tyra looks like she's really having fun this time around, letting her hair down now that the show's a hit. Speaking of which, her hair looks fabulous these days. It was a little...strange....in past cycles.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Business Philosophy
Not that I'm any Donald Trump...yet.

First and foremost, I'm keeping in the forefront (or trying to) that I'm building my practice to be of service. I was feeling frustrated by the whole affair, and my general level of overwork between Day Job and Shiatsu Practice and Oh Yeah, There's a Wedding to Plan. I stopped enjoying any of it, and a nagging voice in the back of my noggin told me to give up on the shiatsu practice, it's all child's-play nonsense anyway, and even if it weren't, I'm not cut out for it. In a fair amount of existential despair, I consulted the venerable I Ching, which, eerily astute as always, chided me for operating from my ego rather than in accordance with the greater good and my higher self.

Between the sagacious I Ching and a most refreshing tai chi class yesterday--during the meditation, my teacher actually said, "Let the qi restore your trust in this form of healing"*--I restored my focus and had a fantastic shiatsu practice day. Two people arrived for my new, free!, Sunday morning meditation/qi gong group. The loved it and said they would come back next week with more people. It felt great to be of service, and all the extra qi I gathered with the exercises strengthened my afternoon shiatsu session, which my regular client said was the best I'd given her. I rejoiced (as Biblical a word as that is, it's entirely fitting).

Right after be of service, and tied into it, is point 2 of my business philosophy: If I like something, other people will, too. It seems some companies get neurotic about market testing, worrying what "the consumer" wants. Instead, I assume that other people will like and want what I like and want. I wish that a practitioner would give me a half-hour "tune-up" treatment for about $30, as I'm relatively healthy, quite busy, and a pinch strapped for cash. So, I'm offering that service. I'd love a free Sunday morning meditation, and so I'm offering one. I'd like a tee shirt with my logo printed on it, so when I get one made, I'll get many more to sell.

Point 3: Don't be a dumbass. I plan eventually to own whatever building I'm practicing in. I plan to ensure that I have several sources of income, not just giving shiatsu. I plan to have a business savings account with plenty of money in it.

*This is not the first instance of her being calmly, casually, mind-blowingly intuitive.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Wow. WOW. It's been busy lately. Here are some highlights.

1. Work is really, really busy, all of a sudden. I'm having trouble keeping up with the schedule that I myself made for a particular book, but I made the schedule so tight so that I can complete the project in plenty of time before my wedding. So--onward!
1a. We hired a new person to cover certain titles. First, my boss (also her boss) gave her all such titles. Then, my boss decided that was a bad idea and redistributed the titles, thus effectively doubling my workload in the course of one meeting yesterday. I spent 3/4 of today undoing work that had been done incorrectly because no one had taught the new person how to do it properly, and because the editorial assistant on the list, who should have caught the errors, is a flake.

2. Has anyone else noticed that exercising is a full-time job? Just getting all the exercise one's supposed to pretty much kills all free time. Then add on the post-exercise showering!

3. Then there's planning a wedding. This has cranked into high gear, as we've noticed that--hey!--it's only four months away!
3a. I'm happy to report that the food tasting went wonderfully this weekend. I was afraid the food would be bad, but it was scrumptious. We'll be serving filet mignon with roasted red bliss potatoes, "chicken supreme" (grilled chicken in a delicious, creamy mushroom sauce) with rice pilaf, mixed veggies, and a dull pasta option for the vegetarians. At least they get a real meal.

4. Right, so then, I realized on Sunday that I have a HUGE list of shiatsu-practice errands, as well. I've ticked off most of them by squeezing one or two in here or there over the last couple of days.

5. The little cat has hairballs and keeps puking and making demonic noises. G's been feeding her tuna-flavored hairball medicine procured from the vet after a 10-minute, $50 appointment.

6. Now that I'm studying capoeira again, I have to juggle practicing capoeira movement and tai chi. I wonder of it's possible to do both at once, just in terms of practice time. Plus: I'm TIRED.

7. My left front tire kept deflating over the last 2 weeks (or so). I finally brought the car to my mechanic today. He extracted a gigantic NAIL from the tire, patched the poor thing up, and, when I asked how much I owed, told me not to worry, he'll get it next time. He's very kind.

8. TAXES! Must start TAXES!!!

9. Nine's a lucky Taoist number, so I thought I'd end with it.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


No wonder I'm tired. A few things I've endured while sleeping this week:

*I learned that capoeira causes cancer and I was likely to be next.
*My boss told me I don't do anything useful and I'm lucky I still have a job.
*I was forced to go to AA meetings because I was on my way to becoming an alcoholic. This dream also involved some sort of getting lost/dark rainy night/tire falls off/neighborhood full off gangs.
*I seem to recall some sort of evil hex on me, as well.