Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well, like that's a surprise

One of the current headlines on CNN.com:

CNNMoney:
GM exec: We need more Hummers...

Other GM employees heard to exclaim, "Me, too! Me, too!"

Ahem...

The Washington Times has a wee HR problem...

But I give them credit for running the story themselves. I'm trying to imagine this weasel running a sexual harrassment seminar...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Laurel, Maryland, 8:15 p.m., Tuesday...

Spotted in a strip mall on Route 1:

Little Bunny Foo Foo's worst nightmare...


Gruppenf├╝hrer, that lederhosen is gorgeous on you!
Du bist hottt!


Time for bed. G'night, y'all!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Screw the dreaming, how about perchance to sleep?

Can't sleep. I keep trying. This is the fourth night this week I haven't been able to sleep because of the pain from the pressure behind my eye. The eye hurts, it makes my body hurt, I get nauseated, and then I end up with acid reflux-ish results.

I just can't hack this. The sleep deprivation is making me a rather unpleasant soul. I'm trying to remain perky and happy, but being up at 3:15 in the morning causes me to then ponder the late bills, the unpaid bills, uncertainty... I start to worry about upcoming projects at work. Did I finish this? Did I turn in that?

All those cable channels and there's nothing on at this hour. Nada. Nix.

I would kill for some solid sleep. Seriously.

I fell asleep around 11 tonight, but at 11:45, Mr. College-Sports-Luvin' Doctor Dude upstairs got into a fight with his girlfriend/fiancee/live-in shrew (she is fairly vile and humorless when you run into her in the hallway.) The volume kept rising and rising, and she became massively shrill and freaky at a speed I didn't think humans could speak. By the time he got to screaming "Don't you EVER fucking tell me what to do!" and throwing things on the floor, I took the broom and pounded it so hard on the ceiling, I actually chipped my paint. That was the one and only warning I was willing to give before calling the cops. Fortunately, there was total silence upstairs after I finished pounding. Absolute silence. It was blissful.

Maybe the demonic duo continued to fight by furiously writing notes back and forth. Maybe they were repeatedly giving me the silent finger from upstairs. I don't really give a damn. I was just happy to not have to hear the Fishwife of Bethesda and Dr. Sportz Dude bellowing anymore.

These two remind me rather unpleasantly of my former next-door neighbors who used to fight loudly, but then engage in odd makeup rituals. Really odd makeup rituals... like genital shaving in their kitchen. (Even if you won't admit it, you probably want to know how I know this. Ooooh, these walls are thin. Really, really thin.) Remind me to tell y'all about the naked, shaved, keyless Indian woman in the hallway sometime...

Helluva building I live in, I tell ya.

Okay, it's time to try for a little sleep again. Here's hoping...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Morning

I took a friend to the airport at what he describes as "oh dark thirty" this morning. I felt like death warmed over when the alarm went off at 4:30. I hit the snooze until 4:55. I'd taken a shower at midnight, so I wouldn't have to go out with damp hair into a chilly autumn morning. Clothes thrown on, glasses on fuzzy eyes (even the good one), I headed out to Mickey D's to grab my buddy some breakfast. He was taking one of those sad trips home. The kind most of us have been on before, where there is little joy in the homecoming, and farewells no one wants to grant.

The least I could do was provide the craptacular carbs to carry him through TSA and down the liquidless jetway.

By 6 a.m., the traffic to Baltimore looked the same as a midday trek to Charm City. Too many cars and too many people making dangerous choices. We hit BWI at 6:30 and couldn't find the door for United. One more trip around the airport and a polite request to a surly cop, and we'd found the right spot. (Of course, United is the one airline without an illuminated sign right now. Go figure.)

Travel safely.

Be well.

You'll be okay.

See you on Tuesday.

And I headed in to Baltimore.

It's been a long time since I spent more than a few minutes in Baltimore. Back in the Homicide days, I hovered and watched and envied the folks involved in that creative TV process down in Fells Point. But those days are over, and Baltimore isn't a regular destination anymore. I decided to take my camera down to Fells Point and snap some early morning pictures.

The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous. I kept thinking, as I drove in toward downtown and the Inner Harbor, that it was a "Hollywood sunrise." So good as to seem manufactured. I drove past Camden Yards and cruised along the Inner Harbor with its beautiful views on the water and overpriced food and goods. I drove through Little Italy, skirting the housing projects that played such a large role in Homicide. Usually, I drive down Pratt Street, right through the projects to Fells Point, but I got in the wrong lane and passed under the twinkle light sign reading "Little Italy", still lit up in the fading dark.

In two or three minutes, I was in Fells Point, still silent at 7 a.m., except for two street cleaners having a loud argument at the corner of Thames and Broadway. I parked, took some pictures of the Fells Point Recreational Pier (former production office and set of Homicide) and headed to the Daily Grind for a cup of the Key Brother's fine coffee before heading back home to Bethesda in the middle of Friday rush hour traffic...


Sunrise over Pratt Street, Inner Harbor, Baltimore.



The waterfront, Thames Street, Fells Point.



The "Murder Poh-leece" still haunt the rec pier.



But the TV paint - and the memories - are fading away.



An effective way to keep folks from climbing out on the water's edge and falling in.



The "macro" feature on my camera works well. If only my skills could match what the camera has going for it!



I love the utilitarian design of things like this. Somewhere I have a great photo of a similar access point in Rome, where the manhole covers are still marked "SPQR" for "Senatus Populusque Romanus." Neat, huh?



The bricks of Thames Street, Fells Point. I love the sound of driving over them.



Inside the Daily Grind. Some of the best damn coffee. Ever.



I have no idea how they make their cafe mocha so smooth. It's like drinking supercharged silk. They mix it with hot cocoa powder, which gives it a taste reminiscent of childhood. On crack. (Of course I managed to snap this photo just as the old guy at the back table picked his nose. I have a gift, eh?)



Still Life: Ma Bell with Broken Beer Bottle Glass



I love the contrast of the sidewalk pavers with the manhole cover. Coolness.



Street car tracks, Fells Point. I bet it was cool when they still had street cars. My hometown once had 'em, too.



Baltimore row house, Little Italy. This is the stereotypical Bal'mer row house front. The fake stone cladding is a Baltimore peculiarity that became THE thing to do in the 1960s. Apparently, if you rent the DVD of Tin Men, one of the extras is a John Waters' documentary on Baltimore's fake stone phenomenon. Weird, but you've gotta love it.



The Power Station, Inner Harbor. Former power station, now money sucking center of chain shopping and food.



On the road home. Just a wee bit of patriotic overkill, no?



The woodpecker-devastated tree in front of my building



It's about to be cut down by the county...



At this point, it looks a little like a toothless old man, ready for the end...


Happy Friday, y'all.

And to my friend, by now back down on the ground, a peaceful weekend. I'll be thinking of you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Before the day ends...

Yarrrr!

And if I'm looking a wee bit off, it's simply one of my fabulous waves of intense nausea. It simply does wonder for one's appearance.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Yarrrrr! Arrrrrg! Peter Sarrrrrsgaarrrrrrd!

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I had a great photo to go with this post, but bastard Blogspot wouldn't let me add any photos.

Grrrrr.

Sorry, that should have been "arrrrrg!"

Cheers,

Your resident eyepatch-wearing, devil-horned correspondent

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'd like to thank Amazon.com...

...for making me laugh today.

I have no freaking idea how, but my old 1988 undergraduate honors thesis is listed on Amazon. What a hoot!

As far as I know, there are precisely two copies of that in existence - one on my bookshelf and one collecting dust in the stacks at Macalester College. I wonder if my honors committee folks ever really tortured themselves by reading it. I know I never read it. Hell, I don't think I even proofread it, honestly. That was before Word. I wrote it in some homemade word processing program on some stranger's Zenith home computer (it was barely more than a typewriter.) And it's all in Courier font.

But, truth be told, I did graduate with highest honors thanks to that sucker. Of course, that meant I drank far too much coffee, gained a ton of weight just sitting in front of that Zenith, and had no social life whatsoever my final semester in college. In retrospect, I would have traded those honors distinctions for a boyfriend and fewer caffeine jitters. Live and learn, eh?

Thank you, Amazon, for reminding me that I once wrote academic theses instead of posting photos of semi-obscene Burger King signs. Frankly, I'm having more fun with the Burger King signs.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'd pass on the chicken sandwich, if I were you...

I snapped this today at the Damascus, Maryland Burger King:


I'd find the local Wendy's myself, but if you must eat here, for the love of god, ask them to hold the mayo.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Outside my apartment, 11:15 p.m.

These guys were very gutsy and stood their ground. I eventually had to walk past them to get in the door...



Sorry the quality is so poor - I couldn't see well enough in the dark to find the "nighttime" setting. (Although I like the freaky "alien" effect with the eyes.) I saw some of these guys grazing in a park across the street from the British Embassy on Mass Ave this morning during rush hour. Amazing to see them just casually munching on the lawn while a stream of cars just zip by...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Death on a Cracker, Revisited

Holy crapola, kids. Boy, do I ever feel sick.

My body has not reacted well to my most recent eyeball shot. My head hurts like a sonufabitch, I'm horribly nauseated, and, well, let's just say my eye is its own gunk factory. Not good.

Everything around my eye hurts - I feel like I've gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Ali, all at the same time. I touched my nose tonight and just about jumped out of my skin.

I'm going to brew some ginger tea and see if that will help with the nausea. I have to remind myself, this is a funky-ass cancer drug I had injected in my head. I should not be surprised by any surprises that pop up...

Ugh... I have a funny feeling I will not be at work in the morning, unless a miracle occurs in the next seven or eight hours.

Feh!

In other news, some wonderful person spent $53 on my Soviet pay phone sign. Gawd bless him and gawd bless eBay.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!

Nothing says "late summer glamour" like a face full of betadine and the fiery pain from a needle in the eye:

So *not* Paris Hilton's DUI mugshot...

But ya know what? The doc says I'm doing great with the treatment. I didn't hyperventilate this time, and if I can keep on seeing anything out of that baby, it's all worth it. I'll be Train Wreck Monthly's cover girl and love every minute of it.

Off to the sofa. Catch up with y'all a couple of days from now... You guys have a GREAT weekend!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

DC Commuters: You've been punk'd!


=



this is an audio post - click to play

Gawd bless America and our celebrity-driven culture, eh?

Random Things for Thursday...

Random Things, in no particular order:

The world premiere of the new Kevin Costner/Ashton Kutcher movie is taking place tonight at The Uptown. I wonder if they called in the exterminators to shoo away the rats for this evening. (I haven't been back to The Uptown since I found a rat eating my popcorn and another at my feet during a matinee of "Return of the King"...) One of my colleagues suggested that the world premiere is happening in DC because New York and L.A. crowds would have laughed their asses off at a Costner/Kutcher red carpet extravanganza. I think she has a point. A very good one.

This morning, in the lobby at work, I encountered an actor/director I knew briefly in college (we overlapped one year and hung out in the theater department, being drama geeks.) I could not remember his first name for the life of me. Pathetically, I remembered the name of a character he played on a hospital drama back in the 90s. Lame. I need to eat more fish. (Omega-3 brainpower, kids - don't underestimate it!) I had to go look up his first name on the IMDB afterwards. In scrolling through, I found out his college roommate is the basis for one of characters on HBO's "Entourage." After scratching my head a while, I vaguely remember him. I probably I went out underage drinking with him back in the day in Minnesota.

I have to leave work early today to fetch the vial of eye drugs for tomorrow's injection. It's at a specialized pharmacy that handles all sorts of "exotic" medications. Wow, I'm "exotic." Or, at least, my retina is. I'll be glad to depart early today, as there is a huge immigration rights rally planned on the Mall. 500,000+ people anticipated. I will hopefully miss the traffic jams. That may sound very shallow, but it's a matter of needing to get to this apothecary shop (yeah, it's actually called an "apothecary" rather than a pharmacy) before it closes. Otherwise, I'm SOL for tomorrow morning's inject-a-rama.

I've sold two of my very favorite Dolby posters on eBay so far. I'm delighted that they've both gone to very good homes, where they will be enjoyed and admired. My poster from Dolby's 1984 concert at the Greek Theatre in L.A. goes up tonight. I'll also be adding my Soviet submarine clock and this utterly retro 1980s Czech espresso set I bought in Prague back in the day. It's never felt the joyful touch of coffee, so I hope it goes to a nice java junkie household where it will see much service.

Soon, I'll have my CafePress store up and running. The Sasquatch has been helping me with design issues, cleaning up my sketches in Illustrator and colorizing them. Can't wait to show them to y'all! I have to copyright my images first. It's $45 a pop to copyright stuff. Yikes! Ah well! It's worth it in the end. After all, I'd be heartbroken to discover someone stealing my sex weasel designs... (heh)

David Simon, creator of Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, will be at Politics & Prose on Saturday night. I'll be going to listen to him talk and have him sign a book for my boss. Homicide is still the best damn show on television, even if it's been off the air for years. Man, I miss Frank Pembleton. I miss hanging out in Fells Point, watching them film. Ah, the old days...

I won't be posting again for a couple of days. Nothing like an eyeball injection to reduce the allure of the glowing computer screen...

Have a good weekend, folks!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I knew it

First comment this morning from a colleague:

"You dyed your hair... red... well, reddish..."


Errrrg. Hey, you pay $4.99 on sale for Nice 'n' Easy 114a, you gets what you pays for...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Adios, Croc Hunter

You know it's never good when you see a big photo of a young celebrity-ish person topping the page on CNN.com first thing in the morning. It means someone's been arrested.

Or killed.

I should not be astounded, considering what he chose to do for a living. But he seemed to live a charmed life, albeit one with bites and cuts, for certain. And he wasn't was insane like Timothy Treadwell.

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, is dead. Killed by a stingray barb that punctured his heart. According to witnesses and a doctor who tried to save his life, he never had a chance. According to a Reuters piece I just read, it wasn't the venom of the stingray that killed him (although that would have been horrifically painful), it was the sharp barb on the tail, which rips flesh apart on the way out.

Weird. And sad.

A few years ago, I took a trip to Mexico with my sister the Shopaholic. We spent Christmas on a Caribbean beach in Tulum, down on the Yucatan Peninsula. The hotel was lovely, the beach was lovely, the pool was lovely, the Mayan ruins were lovely... only problem? Freakishly unseasonably cold weather settled in just as our plane landed. What should have been lounging and snorkeling days in the upper 80s and low 90s became chilly days in the 60s and 70s. Brrrr. I slept with furry socks on.

But I am an avid snorkeler, and nothing was going to keep me out of the water. Only two other vacationers were venturing out that first morning, and they were in an inflatable boat. My intention was to stay right by them, inside the coral wall that kept the surf from hitting the shore with any force. I stepped into the shockingly cold water (wishing I had some sort of insulated body suit and not just your basic swimsuit) and walked out a few inches. Immediately, I saw a sea turtle move out of my path. I was so excited, I got my body down into the water, even though it was just a bit over a foot deep. I wanted my prescription snorkel mask in the water, so I could see everything.

And, boy, did I ever see everything. I had plopped down into a foot and a half of water directly on top of an enormous stingray. Fucking huge. Just chilling out directly at the shoreline. Its body was stretched out under my face and chest, and I knew its long, barbed tail was trailing out under my legs. And my belly was hovering mere inches above this creature.

And I panicked. Quietly. My heart was just about pounding out of my chest. I couldn't figure out which direction to swim. The water was so shallow, I was afraid if I went backward, I'd run my feet and legs directly into the tail as I hit the bottom a couple of inches away. I was afraid if I went forward and brushed its "face" it might freak out and instinctively strike out with that damn barbed tail.

I did this ridiculous panicky hand paddle sideways, all the while gurgling "oooomigod, ooooofuck" into my snorkel. I'd love to know what that sounded like from the beach, where my sister, blissfully ignorant of my distress, smoked a cigarette by the frigid pool, shooing away the tiny black flies that had arrived in an infestation, along with the strange freezing weather.

The ray never moved. (Thank god.) I feel very fortunate. I know that they will only attack and lash out with those tails when they feel the need to defend themselves. I think I'm very lucky - it's just chance that I didn't step on it when I got into the water in the first place.

I actually have a photo of the stingray. I managed to snap one after I'd gotten far enough away to feel safe. I'll dig through the Mexico photos and post it. It's not a good photo - taken with unsteady hands and a throwaway camera - but it shows how big this damn thing was. That almost ended my snorkeling for that that trip. I was shaking like a leaf and pretty freaked out. But the sighting of another sea turtle and gorgeous coral and fish - with no other swimmers to disturb it all - kept me in for another hour. (And then, I was almost blue when I got out. Next time: buy a body suit, just in case freak weather sets in again.)

But all of this is to say that when you step in the water with wild critters, you're always taking a chance. And when you have a cameraman with you and you're getting really close to wild critters, you're taking an even bigger chance. Like Steve Irwin took.

And this time, the critter won.

Steve Irwin was over the top (sometimes embarrassingly so), and he took a lot of risks. But I think he had a very good heart and really wanted to share his knowledge and love of odd creatures with the world. He genuinely cared about the critters he worked with. (If you ever saw the episodes of "Crocodile Hunter Diary" where he was sheparding his dog through cancer treatments, you'd have no doubt of that.) He was, I think, a pretty good guy.

G'bye, Steve. Rest well. Hard days ahead for your wife and kids. I hope they weather this well.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hair Terror

It has been months since I had my hair cut or colored. I have toyed with the the possibility of cutting my hair to its old 1980s length, which is to say, almost no hair at all. No fuss! No muss! Ready in seconds!

But the truth is, at my current weight, I would look even more freakish than I already do. The longer length hair is here to stay. But the color?

Well, I have been going grey since I was 20-ish. And now, under layers of hair color, my hair is almost all salt and pepper - not a cool bright white, but that sickly grey that simply washes you out. For a few years, I colored my own hair (always with slightly reddish results), but then turned to a professional for help. He's done a bang-up job on my hair - blonder and blonder, with great highlights. But the days of being able to afford a DC hair stylist's fees for color? They be over, mah friends.

I called my stylist to explain about the eye thing and how much it costs to go for the treatments. I just wanted to tell him how sorry I was I wouldn't be able to be his client anymore. He's done such a great job. Let's just say, I got the cold shoulder. A little awkward, since his salon is one block from my office. And he's the friend of a friend.

Ah well! Remember when I had that idea about celebrities adopting "real people" to cover their cosmetic needs last year?

"Actually, what I'd really like to do is institute a Hollywood Star/Regular Joe adoption program. A Hollywood celebrity applies to "adopt" a regular American - they can request a male or female sponsoree and designate a specific region of the country for the "adoption". The celebrity gets a photo of his/her regular joe/joanne and a monthly letter (or personalized blog entry). The regular dude/ette agrees to watch the celeb's show/movies and make glowing comments about his/her sponsor.

In exchange, the celebrity covers the cost of a haircut/color touch-up every six weeks, a facial and waxing once a month, and sends a "You are super, thanx 4 your support!" note (prepared by an assistant, of course). The celebrity is not required to make any direct contact with the sponsoree, unless a shooting location or press junket brings them within 10 miles of the sponsoree's home. It could be totally tax-deductible for the celebrities, and they get the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that they're doing their part to beautify America, one two-process color and depilated chin at a time."

C'mon, Hollywood! This is your chance! Come do your own makeover extravaganza! Seriously, I'd be an amazing challenge. I'm the Mt. Everest of makeovers! (In fact, there may be dead estheticians buried under newspapers in my living room who just gave up on the way to the summit.)

Alas, I fear it is not to be. Jennifer Aniston isn't calling. Angelina Jolie is busy doing makeovers in Africa, one designer baby t-shirt at a time. And Jessica Simpson is too busy selling Proactiv Solution and trying to figure out who that plastic surgery victim is, following her around, claiming to be her sister...

So, since the celebrities have foresaken me, it's time for me to return to my CVS drug store hair coloring days. But I'm not even sure where to begin anymore. I've been blonde for so long, any move I make will be dramatic and won't look as good. And I can guarantee, it'll be reddish, no matter what. So, which brand? Demi-permanent? Semi-permanent? Permanent all the way?

Yeesh.

Guess it's time to take the leap.

And then have a good two weeks of people asking what I did to my hair...

Here goes nuthin'!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cool Down

Tonight was the first cool evening of the season. Ernesto brought rain and wind, and a brief cold front has settled on us for one night only. Tomorrow, Washington September will return, with temperatures in the 80s and, most likely, swampish humidity.

But tonight? Aaaaah, it was glorious. I took my sketchbook and my laptop and hunkered down at the coffee shop for a few hours, eye patch on, chatting with distant friends on Messenger, drawing out t-shirt ideas (long live the sex weasel!), and slowly nursing a giant cafe mocha bought with the last of the points on my "customer loyalty" card.

And I had a jacket on. A jacket!

Layers! Warmth!

And hot coffee.

Life was good.

There were two kids playing electric guitar tonight. They were pretty good, playing Beatles and Oasis and Pink Floyd (although they occasionally forgot the words.) They were Russian kids, and halfway through one Beatles number, I realized they were singing po russky. I suddenly felt a little homesick for Moscow, where the Beatles were still topping the charts when I moved there back in 1989. It was good.

The Sasquatch came up for an hour tonight, right before the shop closed down for the night. I showed him some of my t-shirt ideas, and we read Fark. I realized how lucky I was to have a friend who was willing to drive 10 miles just to hang out for an hour.

When we left, the temperature had dropped even more. The Sasquatch headed back home in his car, and I drove the Crapmobile slowly down the Pike, trying to figure out where to grab a quick bite, since I'd failed to eat dinner, and my head was throbbing from a caffeine overdose. I rode with the windows open, enjoying the cold night air. I briefly considered a stop at IHOP, but opted out when I saw it was filled to capacity with Rockville nighthawks at 10:30 at night. Down the block, Dunkin Donuts was doing a brisk trade, too, with people spilling out onto the sidewalk. I ended up at the McDonald's drive-thru, grabbing a McChicken and a bottle of water.

The McChicken sandwich should be considered "food" only under circumstances of dire, imminent starvation, and, even then, that's questionable. Two bites into the compressed bird - the fast food equivalent of IKEA particle board - I tossed it back into the bag. Dinner was over. It didn't help that I had parked directly in front of an enormous rat bait station... and it had a visitor...

Home. Just go home.

Down the Pike, strip mall after strip mall... Mostly empty, save for the lots by TGI Fridays and Bennigans and Ruby Tuesdays, all serving up virtually identical fare with cutesy names... The lot outside "the Fast & the Furious Barnes & Noble" was, as usual, half-filled with a clutch of young Asian and Latino gearheads, comparing notes on their street racer Hondas. Across the street, the smell of barbeque hung in the air outside Houston's, filling my car with a scent at once both unbearably appetizing and nauseating, post-McDonald's.

All the neon signs I love were glistening in the rain, but my double vision makes it all less pleasant these days. I find myself squinting the bad eye shut more and more often, which worries me. I'm afraid one of these days, my brain is simply going to stop accepting signals altogether. Right now, the text I'm typing is a jumble - a multiplicity of letters and lines that frustrates and exhausts me.

I'm home now. In from the chill. The McDonald's bag has had a Christian burial in the kitchen trash can (better than that crap deserves, frankly.) And it's almost silent outside, except for a few hearty crickets. I guess the frat boys across the street are gone for the holiday weekend. (Thank god.) So are most of the folks in my building, it seems, from the empty street and dark windows. It should be a good night for sleeping.

In the morning, I'll start sorting more things for eBay, doing laundry, and attempting to dig out my apartment, which is an utter mess. It will be therapeutic.

Tomorrow would have been my mother's 85th birthday. What I wouldn't give to celebrate that with her.

I'll have milk toast for breakfast in her honor.

Good night, sleep tight, and to the U.S. and Canadian folks, have a very good Labor Day holiday, indeed. The last gasp of summer is upon us.

The Checklist

Well, since I don't have an original bone in my body today, I will be a total copycat and take the meme that the Sasquatch snarfed from Dariush. Put it on you blog and bold all the stuff that you've done. It would appear I have a lot of stuff yet to do...

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins (but I have with sharks...)
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid (climbed up the outside a few blocks, but didn't want to go inside - as my traveling companion said, "Uh, that was supposed to be a one-way trip...")
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it (just wish someone would say it to me, other than my siblings...)
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (Key West - that was amazing)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (hockey + Muscovites = fun)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (me and some Norwegian nuns in an Armenian restaurant in Moscow...)

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (almost!)
41. Taken care of someone who was wasted
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe (does the UK count?)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing (old school rock climbing - and I have the huge knee scar to prove it!)
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan (okay, just the Tokyo airport - four times)
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke (and won $500 from ABC TV)
59. Lounged around in bed all day (but all alone - and that's so sad)
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving (but I've snorkeled a bunch of times!)
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River - or was it the Colorado River?
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone (Abkhazia)
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari (Egypt's in Africa, so that counts, right?)
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse

119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (I've eaten them)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read something they wrote
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head (pretty damn close)
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

I know someone who has done #150, although he would be too modest to admit it. He saved my life last year when things became very dark, indeed, and I will always be in his debt. (And whether or not he ever highlights that on his blog list, I'll know the truth of it.) :-)