I find it fascinating that certain phrases can drive certain individuals nuts.

Some of them are grammatically incorrect phrases that a person may have been taught was wrong, causing the person to want to correct people who use the phrase. I certainly fall into this category with "Where's it at?" As a common Midwestern phrase, I hear, "Where's it at?" or "Where you at" all the time. If you expand the contraction, the speaker is saying "Where is it at?". The "at" is redundant and unnecessary. "Where is it?" is a perfectly valid question. "Where is it at?" is not.

Another phrase that annoys the piss out of me is "drill down" or "drilling down". Often used in information gathering terms: "We'll drill down into the data and extract general user preferences to set the defaults." The phrase was first used publically by some Microsoft executive in some presentation at some conference some six to eight years ago. The phrase has always annoyed me because it is a Microsoftism being foisted into American vernacular. I'm probably the only one that hates that phrase.

Ariel recently commented to me that the word "pardon" annoys him. Much the same way "Where's it at?" grates on my nerves, "Pardon?" used to request a speaker repeat what he just said annoys him.

I use "Pardon?" because many (or was it many, many?) years ago, I decided "Huh?" didn't sound good. I chose "Pardon?" because it was short, simple and conveyed "Could you repeat yourself, please?" in a courteous manner.

According to Ariel, both Bharat and I both use the word "Pardon?" in the same way. And it annoys him.

Does it annoy the piss out of him the way "drill down" and "Where's it at" annoy me? Unclear. But if I can annoy a friend less, then "Excuse me?" works just fine.



By decree of the One True Mother, I will hereby have no more migraines. For as the Mother has spoken, thus shall it be. And to indicate the words of the Mother, so shall the phrase "NMM!" be said. And as thus said, no migraine shall I have.

Big metal objects hurtling toward me.


Today was not a good day for random reasons.

The morning started out with my highly anticipated strawberry-peach smoothie receiving a high-fiber boost from a wooden spoon (which should have clued me in that this was going to be a long, long day). Making two smoothies is not a good way to start a day.

Later in the day, after our run, Richard, Priyanka and I were almost run over by a small silver SUV (5ELM748, if you'd like to know the license plate). We were waiting at the south west corner of the Gateway-Bayside intersection when the SUV of note came whizzing up and stopped just before the crosswalk (about a foot away from it) as the light turned green for us. The light changing included the walk sign for us.

Figuring the guy was waiting for us (and saw us since he stopped just outside the crosswalk), we started crossing the street. Priyanka was at the driver side headlight, I was right in front of the car and Richard was at the passenger headlight, when the car started accelerating. It was a real acceleration - the "accelerate fast to get in front of the car coming through the intersection" type of acceleration.

Priyanka shrieked and jumped out of the way. Richard jumped back. And I cried out, twisted, and threw my arms up. The driver hit the brakes and stopped. I looked up at him - he had a look of terror on his face. He never saw us.

That look stayed my anger. Any other look and I would have launched a fury at the car.

Priyanka started laughing. Richard was shaken. I was relieved we were okay.

Later as I was driving home, the car in front of me stopped at the metering light at the 880 south onramp from Gateway. I had no idea why it stopped. Several times I could have passed the car on the way to the onramp, but I didn't (I wanted to drive home calmly - what was I thinking?). Perhaps needless to say, I drove around the stopped car on the onramp and took off.

What is it with big metal object rushing me today?

On a Roll!


I'm on a roll! Migraine number two in two weeks!

Woke up this morning with a migraine. Fortunately, I wasn't blind, or I would have been completely upset, instead of just mostly upset.

I woke up at 9:30 (having gone to bed at 3:30) with my hand numb and my mouth numb. At first, I thought it might just be from sleeping on my arm. Until the numbness started moving up my arm in the oh-so-migraine way it likes to do. Following the numbness spreading across my face and I knew it was another one.

Priyanka had some tylenol, so I downed two and tried to go back to sleep. I wasn't very successful, unfortunately.

The day ended up being a lazy, sit around and avoid the light sort of day. I ended up sleeping at 6:30 and awake again at 9:30, so my sleep is _all_ messed up.

Rediscovering frailty.


I had another migraine last night.

I was driving Jamie and his family back from the airport when I realized I couldn't see half of the car in front of me. I can probably not express fully how sickening it feels to discover, once again, I'm going to be blind in fifteen minutes and there is nothing I can do about it. Worse, that if I hadn't noticed it when I did, I could have caused a serious accident because I couldn't see a car one lane over and didn't know I couldn't see it.

I was fortunate last night that I could pull over. I was fortunate last night that Jamie could drive us the rest of the way home. I was fortunate that Kris could take care of me.

I was less fortunate with the severity of this migraine, though. I was in bed by 9:45, asleep by 9:50 and awake at 12:30am crying (screaming?) in pain. This was the worst headache I've had in years. The pain was so bad I was nauseous - something I hadn't been in years, if not decades. (Hey, I can say that! Whoo!)

Kris gave me two tylenol at 12:45 and rubbed my head. He also agreed to take me to the hospital if the pain didn't drop by 3:00 am. Thankfully, I feel asleep with thoughts of, "The tylenol is working... the tylenol is working..." drifting through my head.

So, two days before my vacation is over, my day is shot. No playing ultimate today. No heading off to track practice today. No loud noises. No bright lights. No walking the dogs. Just another lazy, dark room day, where I rediscover my frailty.

Quotes from my Aunt Mary


Every once in a while, a person's email system can become, um, confused. When this happens, email sent out can end up places you don't mean it to.

Take for example, my wedding site. The domain name has "kris" in it. When my Aunt Mary received an email from me from that domain, her email program replaced her daughter Kristin's email address (think "Kris", her nickname) with my email address. I then started receiving emails from my aunt that were clearly intended for my cousin.

Not a problem, really. I informed my aunt of the issue, she updated her email address book, and all was good.

But not before I received this email from Aunt Mary. I liked it, so I kept it.

Date:    Fri, 2 Jan 2004 14:03:38 -0500
From:  	 Magnut Mary
To:  	 Kitt Hodsden, Michael Mendez
Subject: Notable Quotes to live by!

I would like to share with you some thoughts on Success, written by 
Brian Tracy:

"I found every single successful person I've ever spoken to had a
turning point.  The turning point was when they made a clear, specific
unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this 
anymore; they were going to achieve success.  Some people make that
decision at 15 and some people make it at 50, and most people never 
make it at all.

The single common denominator of men and women who achieve great 
things is a sense of destiny.

The establishment of a clear, central purpose or goal in life is 
the starting point of all success.

Make a decision to be successful right now.  Most people never 
decide to be wealthy and that is why they retire poor.

Every study of high achieving men and women proves that greatness
in life is only possible when you become outstanding at your chosen

Resolve to pay any price or make any sacrifice to get into the top 
ten percent of your field.  The payoff is incredible!

Whatever you believe with emotion becomes your reality.  You always
act in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs and 

If you could find out what the most successful people did in any 
area and then you did the same thing over and over, you'd eventually 
get the same results they do.

Develop a benevolent world view; look for the good in the people
and circumstances around you.

Every great success is an accumulation of thousands of ordinary 
efforts that no one sees or appreciates.

The future belongs to the competent.  It belongs to those who are
very, very good at what they do.  It does not belong to the well

The great breakthrough in your life comes when you realize that you
can learn anything you need to learn to accomplish any goal that 
you set for yourself.  This means there are no limits on what you 
can be, have or do.

Ask for what you want.  Ask for help, ask for input, ask for advice
and ideas - but never be afraid to ask.

Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what
you are doing, and love what you are doing." 

BRIAN TRACY (excerpts from The Treasury of Quotes).