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Tornado Ali's "FastFacts!"

2003-05-15 - 12:05 p.m.

Number of days it�s been since I updated Tornado Ali: 20.

Number of severe head/chest colds I�ve had in the past 20 days: 1.

Number of Kleenexes I�ve used in the past two weeks: 697. (Not counting wads of TP).

Number of FREE Wilco concerts I missed due to said head/chest cold: 1. (Not to mention a friend�s birthday and a Hayseed Dixie performance to boot.)

Number of times this week I�ve said �hello,� (loudly), to a person I passed in the hallway at work and gotten absolutely no response: 4. (And I�m not joking.)

Number of times I�ve made it to work on time this week: 0

Number of times I have made it to work on time in the past six months: 0

Number of times anyone has ever seemed to care what time I make it in to work: 0.

Number of years it�s been since I graduated from college, as of last weekend: 4.

Number of years I�ve spent wishing I was still in college: 4.

Number of places I�ve worked since I got out of college: 3.

Number of statewide journalism awards I won while in college: 3.

Number of worst-in-the-state newspapers I�ve worked for since graduating from college: 2.

Number of times last week my hometown newspaper actually included the word �butt-chewing� in a quote from a city alderman, as in �I got a real butt-chewing over that deal:� 1.

Number of times I�ve dreamed about moving back home and becoming the editor of my hometown newspaper: 1.

Number of times I�d probably want to off myself if I really was the editor of my hometown newspaper: googol. (Or should I say �infinity?� I�m never sure.)

Number of times this week I�ve used a bathroom at a grade school, with my head poking up over the tiny stall, making me feel like a severely mushroomed-out Alice in Wonderland: 1.

Number of times I have actually taken mushrooms: 1.

Number of times this spring my father has given away bags of morel mushrooms that grow on his farm: 10.

Number of dollars it takes to buy a half-pound of morel mushrooms in Seattle�s Pike Street Market (according to a picture of a sign I took in 1999): 20.

Number of dollars required to fix the weird burning-antifreeze smell in my car: 398.

Number of dollars required to fix the window on my car when it stopped rolling down: 150.

Number of times I had to go back to the car place because they put the door on wrong after fixing my window: 2.

Number of times this spring I�ve said I�m going to start walking to work: 25+

Number of times I�ve actually done it: 0.

Number of times this week I have been told by someone at work that I �need to get a tan:� 2.

Number of people who said that to me who I actually like or respect: 0.

Number of times my skin has ever actually tanned, versus burning to a crisp: 0.

Number of my family members who have had skin cancer: 2.

Number of times I will allow myself to roast in a fake-bake machine: 0.

Number of times I have considered buying some bronze-in-a-bottle: 1.

Number of times this week I have had horrible dreams about being forced to go back to the prom: 3.

Number of times I actually went to the prom by myself in high school: 2.

Number of times my parents forcibly made me go to the prom: 2.

Number of times I�ve ever really fought with my parents: 2. (Can you guess what it was about?)

Number of little kids I used to baby-sit for who�ll soon be competing in the national spelling bee, televised on ESPN: 1.

Number of times in my life I�ve ever watched ESPN: 0.

Number of times my sister missed�by one letter�making it to the national spelling bee, back in the day: 1.

Number of spelling bee documentaries I really want to see: 1. (It�s called

�Spellbound,� and I just heard about it on NPR this morning.)

Number of freaky music-related coincidences I�ve had this week: 2. (The first: Having �My Cherie Amor� stuck in my head all night while I slept�hearing it in my dreams�and then waking up to the NPR lady saying it was Stevie Wonder�s birthday. The second: Walking in the house singing that Paula Cole song, �I don�t wanna wait/til our lives will be over�.,� because I�d just heard it on the car radio, and then turning to see her on the TV screen, singing it on an old �SNL� episode.)

Number of times this week I�ve had to edit the clutter-y phrase �to that end� out of someone�s writing, including that of my boss, The Superior: 3.

To that end, I�ll stop doing random numbering now.

that was then - this is now

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