If I could stage any musical number in my library…. I think I would have to go for a re-enactment of the opening number of Newsies, somehow incorporating historic newspapers from the archive… I’d love to show off my high heel kicks!

The question: should I welcome caffeine addiction back into my life?

Ever since January, I’ve been living life sans regular coffee. I’ve had the very occasional latte (which doesn’t have the same physical downsides as regular coffee, b/c the caffeine goes through your system much more quickly) and a few cups of decaf. Other than that, it’s been all black tea, which has caffeine but not as much as coffee. Or if it does, it’s a much smoother up and down. As a result, I’ve been better rested and had no heart palpitations this semester. What’s not to love?

This past week, though, I’ve felt coffee sneaking insidiously back into my life. Well, I guess I can’t really call it insidious if I go into a Starbucks and order it, but I was splitting w/ D and he wanted iced coffee, and they don’t make that decaf, so… there is an increasing trend toward iced coffee in our household, plus, Starbucks just sent me a pound of espresso beans as an “I’m sorry” gift for the one day last month that my card didn’t work. Am I just supposed to let those go bad, unbrewed b/c I’m on a no caffeine kick? With a food shortage on?

Of course, using it would mean replacing my broken French press carafe, and once I’ve done that, I’m certainly going to want to get my money’s worth. Come to think of it, that broken carafe is the main reason I managed to get off the bean in the first place. That and a whole bottle of ibuprofen and a long term cold.

Then, Dunkin Donuts announced free iced coffee on Thursdays for the next month.

So now, I feel that I have a choice. I can either stay blissfully unaddicted, able to sleep and breathe without fear, or I can give in to that craving for delightfully bitter rollercoaster of being a coffee drinker.

The weird thing is, having been off it for so long, I can feel the difference every time I drink regular coffee. I get moodier and more distractable and have a harder time going to sleep at night. So, staying off seems like a no brainer, but it just tastes so good…

if any SoFla peeps reading this want a pound of S-bucks espresso beans, feel free to step in and save me from myself!

I mostly just love

March 27, 2008

That this is news.  That the Guardian felt it important to reveal that sometimes, British people watch the movie instead of reading the book, even when the book is classic that all Britons look to as a source of national pride.  This would be a non-survey in our fair nation, I think.

Palm Sunday, early

March 16, 2008

Went to the airport at 6am to drop off a friend. It was muggy and hot then, but now an hour later it is cool and misty. Perfect going back to bed weather.

Random tornado advice

March 5, 2008

We’ve had at least two tornado warnings in south Florida since the start of 2008, and it occurs to me that much of my calm in the face of such possibilities has to do with my Midwestern education about what to do, what not to do, and how to know when it’s serious. Today, I got to put some of that knowledge to use. And I’m going to share, mostly b/c I love to talk about tornadoes. Also, b/c I once found my Florida in-law’s strolling merrily outdoors while tornado sirens were going off. They were all like “what is that strange noise? I wish it would stop.”

So, I was driving home around 3:45pm, and I turned toward the west, and  I saw a very odd horizon that was black on top and yellow on the bottom. That was sign 1, which didn’t freak me out because nothing else made me think, hmmm, tornado. There was a slight thunderstorm, but no discernible temperature change or trees bent halfway over in freak wind gusts. But I took note.

Then, it started raining really really hard. When I pulled into the Publix to get my weekly fix of frozen pizza and Corona, it was raining so hard I did not went to get out of the car, so I pulled out a book and waited for the rain to lighten up. Then, I started hearing a pinging sound that definitely wasn’t rain. I opened my door a crack to check, and sure enough, in came little ice pellets. Hail. That was sign 2, and a sign that I never ignore. I immediately got out of the car into the pouring rain and ran into the Publix as fast as I could without getting hit by a car. It was worth getting completely soaked.

Why? Well, my third grade teacher once explained to me that the moment before a squall produces a tornado, there will usually be hail. Hail is a sign that serious s*** is going on in the sky.  If you see hail, it is not a good time to be sitting in your car. I’m sure there have been tornadoes not preceded by hail, but in my experience, it’s been a pretty good indicator.

Nothing happened while I was in the store, but when I got back to my car, I learned that a tornado warning had been declared for northeastern Broward and southeastern Palm Beach… right where I was. So, that means that something could definitely have happened.

So, to summarize:

Signs that a severe storm that could produce a tornado is in progress include a rapid change in temperature, an unnaturally dark sky with other weird colors in it, and often heavy thunder and lightning ongoing. After you’ve seen it once, you’ll know.

Hail = get inside.

Tornado watch = conditions are somewhat favorable for a tornado to occur. Cancel the picnic, but don’t skip your dinner date. Usually, nothing happens.

Tornado warning = a funnel cloud or something very very close to it has been sighted. It is real. You must take cover immediately.

Random sirens = tornado warning.

Hopefully, no one who reads this blog will ever have to know these things.

Hmm, should I zip off a resume?

Posted 1/7/2008: Researcher / Information Specialist, Fox News Channel, New York, New York

Fox News Channel is seeking an experienced, enthusiastic research professional for its New York City information center. Candidates must be willing, able and excited to work on a flexible schedule — including evenings, overnights, and weekend shifts. Only candidates with experience using several online databases (Lexis-Nexis, Factiva, AutoTrack, etc.) and the Internet for research purposes will be considered. Qualified individuals must be able to handle multiple and varied research assignments, in fields ranging from politics to business to entertainment. They should have a nose for retrieving and analyzing information, be able to meet tight deadlines, and work well in a team atmosphere. Candidates must be able to work in an extremely fast-paced environment. Excellent communication skills are also required. Attention to detail is a must. A strong knowledge of current events is a key to success. A bachelor’s degree is required and an advanced degree is a plus.

NO PHONE CALLS!

Please fax your cover letter and resume along with SALARY REQUIREMENTS to (212) 301-8583

or

E-mail your resume to foxnewsjob@aol.com

ZIPPED FILES WILL NOT BE OPENED! Send cover letters and resumes as a single document.

Fox News Channel is an equal opportunity employer.

I’m just having a hard time believing that a job finding actual information and facts exists at Fox News. They must think of information as something different than I do.

Ignorance of the crowds

December 20, 2007

The Explainer’s top unanswered questions of the year.

It’s really hard to pick a favorite:

Why are some cats softer to the touch than others? Is it possible I have the softest cat in the world?

Why do male ice skaters have routines that are so feminine in execution? After all these years, there should be some kind of movements on ice that would be more masculine-looking. The gymnastics shows have them.

Wouldn’t we all like an answer to these ones?

Hello. I am an editor and writer and I would like for everyone to change some letters that are now in lowercase to uppercase. An example would be the 18th century to the 18th Century. Where does one go about starting to do this?

I have been looking for an old movie from about the late ’60s. I was born in 1960 and watched it as a little kid. It was a Santa movie and it had the Devil in it. It was like the Devil was trying to stop Christmas. I remember the Devil was wearing red PJs. Santa has a magic powder that would make people sleep. It was a cute movie. Please help.

Is it possible in any way to prove that someone was on crack cocaine nine to 10 years ago?

And one I can answer right now:

Mitt Romney is running for president. His father, George Romney, a former governor of Michigan, ran for president in 1968. Is “Mitt” named for the mitten-shape of Michigan?

NO! Mitt Romney is not allowed to be named after my beloved hand state.