I cannot tell you why but I just googled "is Ryan Seacrest Ryan Seacrest's real name?" (Spoiler alert: yes.) I have no idea why I did this---I have no interest whatsoever in Ryan Seacrest, other than a passing query about whether "Seacrest" was a real name or a made-up one---but I have been kind of spacy and dazed all day, which is probably one part Dayquil, one part grogginess from the Nyquil (is it normal to have such vivid dreams or did the spirit of Jim Morrison slip a tab of acid inside my half-closed mouth as I was drifting off?), and one part disorientation from the fact that my left ear blocked up a couple of hours ago and has yet to unblock, no matter how many hold-your-nose-and-breathe-out-forcibly maneuvers I do. Those get you some funny looks in traffic, by the way. There are many San Francisco motorists who were probably under the impression tonight that my car smelled really, really awful. Look at her, honey, she's holding her nose! Must have left a pint of milk to go bad in the backseat again!
I have nothing to say, so I'm not sure why I'm typing, but it was either this or get sucked into Ryan Seacrest's Wikipedia page, so here I am. And excitingly enough---for me, not you---I'm sitting on my new couch! We went with the darker fabric called Geo Raven, if you can even cast your mind back three weeks to remember that I was all fraught about it, and I would like to offer a hearty high-five to all Geo Raven proponents, because it's perfect. (Actually, let's just nod warmly at each other instead. Wouldn't want you to catch my germs.) Yesterday also brought the delivery of the rug I'd been visiting for months on Overstock---the morning I woke up to find the email that it was back in stock again was AKIN TO CHRISTMAS, I tell you---and it is, if I do say so myself, beyond my wildest dreams. Actually, it's not beyond my wildest dreams, because I had my wildest dreams last night on Nyquil and they were pretty wild---I took my cat on a road trip through Vietnam in a big open-top jeep with various people I used to go to school with in England and haven't thought about for years---but it's still pretty awesome all the same. The house is finally, finally starting to come together a little bit, and I am very excited to have my parents coming up this weekend so they can see the progress.
(Also because they are bringing my turquoise bicycle! Hallelujah! I must find a basket and a baguette posthaste!)
Anyway, let's talk about "just about," shall we? You know what, I categorically refuse to believe that I was wrong, despite the fact that 1,106 people said I was. The 554 who said I wasn't were overwhelmingly English (or Canadian or Australian or Irish, or raised by someone who is) and so we are just going to have to agree that the use of "just about"---in the sense of being just about able to do something---is a particularly British construction, the sort of subtle language quirk that divides our two fair nations. Commenter Saucepan Man said it best, I think, with his assertation that:
"...both the English and the Americans use 'just about' in the context of time to mean something that is about to happen but hasn't happened yet. 'I was just about to brush my teeth' was a good example somebody gave. Both sides of the pond would have no disagreement with that; we'd both assume the action hadn't yet been attained or completed.
When 'just about' is used outside the context of time and as a statement of, or as a response to, a question about achievement, then the English have a separate construct which gives it the meaning of being achievable. ("I can just about reach it" or "Can you reach it? - Just about")
Interestingly the Americans, by and large, seem to continue to adopt the same construct as the time-related usage in this situation. The action can't be attained or achieved."
This is the kind of thing that makes me want to buy a white lab coat on ebay and set up some socio-anthropological language experiments, because it turns out that even when our vocabulary is the same, the meaning of that vocabulary can differ wildly.
I have always long been fascinated, for instance, with how harmless and cutesy the word "bugger" seems to be in the U.S. "Awww, look at that little bugger!" cooed my (very conservative, buttoned-up) boss at my first job out of college, while tickling a client's toddler under the chin. I, meanwhile, just about fell out of my chair---actually, off my stool: I was a receptionist so I had to sit on a stool---because calling a client's toddler a little bugger in the UK is....well, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the client wouldn't be your client for very long. Back me up here, British people. I don't even need a poll for this one.
Wow, for being about nothing, this blog post is turning into the longest blog post in the entire world, so I guess I will wrap it up by telling you briefly about my 31st birthday, which happened last Tuesday, when I still had full functioning access to my throat and both ears. Entre nous, I was just the slightest bit melancholy about turning 31, but only because 30 had been such an excellent year, filled with fabulous new things and opportunities, probably my favorite year since nineteen, if not my favorite year altogether.
I find you can pretty easily fend off the melancholy if you eat and drink enough naughty things, however, so I started the day with a pain au chocolat in bed, marked the middle with a picnic of Sentinel sandwiches in the park, and ended with the most enormous smorgasbord of cheese you've ever seen in your life, because that is what I chose for my birthday dinner. Sure, we could have gone out, but I had this nostalgic recollection of my first birthday in San Francisco four years ago (four years ago!) wherein I ran wild in the cheese store, and so we did that again, stopping at both Cowgirl Creamery and the Whole Foods cheese counter where I made pleasant banter with the on-duty cheese enthusiasts---on-duty cheese enthusiasts always make pleasant banter; it must be a requirement of the job---and bought (along with some salami and olives and marcona almonds) no fewer than six different varieties, one of which, I kid you not, sold us solely with its promise of "a barnyard funk."
A BARNYARD FUNK! I'll take it!
It was really, really, really, really, really strong and stinky, but my god, was it delicious, particularly with some fig jam to balance it out a little, and I only wish I could remember the name of it, but it probably doesn't matter because I can just walk into Whole Foods and follow the barnyard funk when I want to buy it again, which I realize doesn't make it sound particularly appealing, but OH IT WAS.
There are lots more pictures of my birthday, most of them food-related (like you're surprised), but for now I shall have to bid you adieu and swallow my magic green Nyquil pills and catch you on the flipside after a night of sweat-soaked hallucinating. That's normal, right? Tell me that's normal.