Archive for March, 2006
Really, I have so much to write about, but dude, this is what I get to come home to every day. EVERY. DAY.
It’s okay to be jealous, and yes, you can come to visit. She’s perfect. I drive home a little faster to smell her little neck folds, get doggie kisses and watch her roll around the living room. When I get home, she’s so excited to see me that she wiggles all over with joy and whimpers until I pick her up, then licks me until I want to swallow her whole with love. This is my first dog, really – I had a few when I was a small child, but I never really had a dog that I was responsible for, and I never really knew how much they love you back. At the vet’s office today, she was so ridiculously happy to see me after being weighed, I thought I might love bomb her to death.
Is this anything like having a baby? Anything at all? Because if this is how much you love your child, and then some, I might want 11. Because I already want 30 dogs, and Adam just lamented that pugs only live up to 14 years because, “I want her around for the rest of my life. FOREVER.”
Because Sunny? My little dog? Is really awesome. As awesome as she looks and then some.
*Erasure. From Chorus, which was a fabulous album, and I don’t care how uncool it is.
March 28th, 2006
Bela tagged me, and because she is lovely, and I haven’t talked to her lately and I miss her, I will oblige, quite happily. The idea, you see, is to post five weird quirks about yourself. I have more weird quirks than anyone I know, so while this should be easy, I find myself drawing a pathetic, dull blank.
But here goes anyway:
1: When I’m walking next to someone, I have to be on the right side. I HATE being on the left side of anyone. I like the left side of everything – from my face, to the way I look, to the way my neck bends, and if I’m on the left, then I don’t get to LOOK left, and I hate that. If you and I are walking down the street together, I will do anything and everything in my power to swing myself over to the right. 90% of the time, people don’t notice that I’ve done it, but once they do, they stare at me oddly and say nothing. But that will never stop me.
2: I am obsessed with pickled/brined things. If it’s in vinegar, I’ll eat it. Pickled eggs, pickled beets, pickled brussels sprouts and pickled peppers are all favorites, along with the old standby, pickled cucumbers. Olives are a perpetual staple, and if they come in brine, even better! Capers! I must have capers! Any roommate or mate who has ever lived with me for any length of time figures this out pretty quickly. I buy STACKS of jars of pickled items, and I cannot be stopped. Adam recently put a limit on my pickled goods purchases, and I swear, we’ve saved $20 per each grocery store visit. The rule is, I’m not allowed to buy any new pickled items until I’ve eaten at least one of what’s in the fridge. It’s heartbreaking, but effective. But man, I miss my smorgasboard of pickled items
3: I’m obsessed with bath products. Yes, yes, there is the perfume thing too, but my bath supplies terrify most people who come to visit. My sister recently spent a full hour digging through the shelf in the guest bathroom, trying to discern what each potion could possibly be used for. I rarely finish anything, because I’m almost always moving on to the next item, sniffing obsessively and analyzing the ingredients. I live for baths, if for no other reason than to smell and obsess over whatever bath product I happen to be testing. Mmm…baths…. I am disgustingly obsessed with removing any sort of hair or debris out of the tub before using it, and even if I’ve scrubbed the tub that morning, I MUST thoroughly scrub it again to make sure it’s free of hair, which brings me to my next point…
4: I hate hair. I would rather someone spit in my food than leave a hair in it, and I promise you, that is no exaggeration. Hair repulses me when it’s not attached to someone’s body, and even then, it can go either way. If I like you and think you probably have clean hair, then you’re fine. If I suspect for EVEN ONE SECOND that your hair is less than squeaky-clean, forget it. I will not go near your hair. I would never and could never date a hairy man. My sister’s husband, for example, is downright furry, leaving large swaths of hair behind, particularly in the bathroom. Shortly after they departed, it looked like a yeti had just spent the weekend showering in our tub, pulling out large chunks of hair in agony. I vaccuumed the bathroom six times in two days just to make sure it was all gone. But while that is an extreme case, I still hate hair, even my own. I keep it short for not only aesthetic reasons (you’ve seen my jawline), but because I cannot bear the thought of having any sort of hair ANYWHERE near me or my face or my neck (ick! the neck!). I should probably seek professional help for this, but alas, there are too many other pressing issues.
5: Perhaps my most unglamorous quality is that I snore. Loudly. I always have, since I was an infant, or so I’m told, but it’s progressed to a point where I’m frightened of myself. I wake myself up quite often, and identify with those sleep apnea things on TV. Yes, yes, I’m going to an ENT, but MAN, it would be funny if it wasn’t me. I mean, I SNORE. How gross is that?
Since I’ve already dosed myself with Benadryl for the night, I am blanking on my tag subjects, so I’m going to start with two I knew might be up for it right out of the gate: I suspect Jamie might be up for it, so that shall be where I start. And then, of course, because she knew she would have to do this: Yesrie.
*Paula Cole. God, she had such potential when she toured with Peter Gabriel, but since then…a dud. A hairy dud, and you know where that stands in my book.
March 23rd, 2006
Blogging is a funny thing. People often ask me why I started doing it, or what I expected to gain by keeping a blog. I think the expectation is often that bloggers are striving to gain notoriety or become Internet rock stars, a la Heather Armstrong or Wonkette, and I think a lot of bloggers live up to that expectation, disappointingly. They write and blog, day in, day out, hoping for that moment – that post, that comment – that will propel them into Internet fame. *yawn*
Dude, I just wanted to write. My whole life, I’ve wanted to be a writer, or write about something, but I never really had a reason to do it every day. Keeping an actual journal was futile, as I found myself recording the mundane details of my day, such as how many times I went to the bathroom, or where we went to dinner – I looked at it as little more than a record of my life, sans editorial content. Blogging let me write about things a little differently, and forced me to think about the way I really look at the world – it helped me find my voice. I didn’t think anyone would read it, but the sheer chance that one person might stumble on it gave me the motivation to write as often as I could.
Then someone did. I was kind of clueless as to how blogging worked – I didn’t know if you commented, people clicked through to your name and found your blog. I mean, DUH, that’s how the wanna-be rockstars make their way in the world, I guess. I had absolutely positively no freaking idea how it actually went down, or why. In fact, only just recently did I figure that part out. I comment on others’ blogs because I’m moved to, and because it feels like the right thing to do. But I’m digressing.
I’d been enjoying Carol’s posts for a little while after seeing her linked a few places – I liked how real and unpretentious she was (and is) as a writer, and her voice is honest, clear and kind. She didn’t put on a single air as to who she was or what she was trying to accomplish, but instead recorded her life with a grace and unique wit that made my early diaries look about as exciting as grocery lists. A post she’d written struck a chord with me, and prompted me to not only comment, but started an email exchange.
She was the first stranger to post a comment on my site, and I nearly fainted, frankly, for it meant that someone actually read it and – oh no. Someone ACTUALLY READ IT OH MY GOD OH NO. But, miraculously, a friendship was born. Her dad lives down here – a fact I realized shortly after we started talking, and after we moved here, the specter of her maybe-visit has always dangled over us like a cherry we might be able to reach if we were good girls.
That week was this past week. We met! WE MET! And she is everything I thought she would be, and is, in fact, exactly how she appears on her blog: beautiful, smart, funny, graceful and refreshingly open in that way that only Midwestern people can really be. And her family is just gorgeous, and just as nice as she is. Her husband Chris is a doll, and her children, Ella and Harrison, are perfect: Harrison is a near-replica of Chris, while Ella mirrors Carol to a startling, and beautiful, degree.
I must add that I was not nearly as graceful. Within a few moments of meeting them for the first time, I realized that my zipper was down, and continued to FALL DOWN, which prompted repeated trips to the restroom to figure out how in God’s name to prop my zipper up without causing undue attention to my crotch. And on our second meeting, when Adam and I had a wonderful night out with Carol and Chris, I actually found myself, after one too many Tanqueray and tonics, expounding on the virtues and life changing qualities of buying a new mattress.
A mattress. I’m amazed they stayed awake. It was one of those moments where my head was screeching, “YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT MATTRESSES. STOP. STOP. STOP.” But I didn’t stop! No! I had to be saved by Adam with a swift under the table kick and, “Yes, yes, mattresses. Tell us more about Utah!”
The point is, meeting Carol was an unexpected gift that restored my faith in people. Because blogging has accidentally become a little more than I thought it would be – I’m still not pining for Internet Rock Star status, but I’m no longer looking at it simply as a mechanism to puke out some writing. Instead, it has become a way to connect with people and understand a little more about the world we live in. I’m not about to abandon all cynicism and get a MySpace account and offer to meet men for sex in back alleys or anything, but I’ve made friends here – actual, live friends that extend far beyond the computer and into a real place where Internet friends are no longer those mouthbreathing freaks in polyester turtlenecks with chunks of eraser in their hair.
And now, we have friends in Utah. What an unexpected joy.
*Howie Day. And if I could get my husband to upload to Flickr, I, too, have a picture. But if you want actual evidence of our meeting, wander on over to Carol. And try – TRY – not to make fun of my double chin. Because I can’t stop. I look HEFTY. That is a hefty, substantial woman standing there. The diet. It starts tonight.
March 21st, 2006
When you’re on anxiety medication, a certain level of credibility is lost. Suddenly, to some people, you appear weak, fragile or otherwise compromised, and every legitimate frustration, gripe or momentary flash of anger is chalked up to a simple question, “Did you take your meds today?”
Abe has gotten away with asking this question once, somewhat jokingly, but I don’t think he’ll try again. However, while no one else has asked this question directly, I know they’re thinking it. My father in law sidestepped a stressful conversation last night as he watched me shake out my pill just before dinner. It wasn’t that stressful of a conversation, but I guess the reminder that I am medicated was enough to quell his desire to talk about the housing market. Feh.
As much as I want to be open about this, it’s both amusing and disheartening to see how people perceive any kind of psychotropic medication other than the occasional Valium or Xanax for a one-off condition such as flying or a haul to the dentist’s office.
Everyone is a little frightened of medicated people. Recently, a man at the office openly lamented that his insurance company was no longer covering his Prozac, so he was going without for the time being, and there was a flurry of looks exchanged throughout the room. Granted, that statement might have been more warmly accepted had it not followed a diatribe detailing how he was forced to take the job in customer service because he was recently fired from a teaching job for looking at “nudie pictures” on the Internet.* BUT STILL. He’s not on Prozac because he’s a pervmonster, he’s JUST A PERV. Lots of people who ARE NOT on Prozac are pervy. Prozac does not = perviness.
My sister was recently here to visit and it was a wonderful, fabulous time full of funny stories and statements by my nephews, who are 7 and 9, such as, “I love dairy products. Cheetos, I think, are my favorite dairy product. Auntie, why didn’t you move to Wisconsin, where the dairy products are superior? I’d move to Wisconsin. I hear their Cheetos are fabulous.”
His little earnest face was entirely serious. I miss them so much.
Anyway, despite my sister’s perpetual protests that they were “imposing” on us and taking too much of our time/resources/whatever, I love having houseguests, and I was tickled beyond all belief to spend so much time with the whole family. It was actually more quality time than we’d had in years, for we took their presence for granted when they were a half mile from us in Swampscott.
All of the warm fuzzies aside, her husband doesn’t vacation well, and typically spends the first few hours/days/WEEKS of a trip away from home whining about his new surroundings and complaining that everything, “sucks,” from the amount of time it takes to drive to dinner, to the quality of pillows at Chez Jonniker.
During dinner, when he lamented that it had taken too long to get our food and that “This place sucks!” (for the millionth time), I finally exploded, “ENOUGH. If you don’t like it, GO FUCKING HOOOOOOOOOME!”
It was one of those moments you see in movies where a scratching sound is heard as if on a record and then…stunned silence. For my part, the tension was off my chest, and I was prepared to dig into my crab cakes with gusto. Before I ate, however, it was time to take my pill. Because my dose is 1/4 pill, I’ve got to pour out nearly the entire contents of the bottle to get to the bits on the bottom. When I did so, the silence was broken by sister screeching:
“NOOOOOOOOOOO! JONNIKER! It’s not that BAD! IT’S NOT THAT BAD! IT WILL BE OKAY! THIS KIND OF STRESS IS NOT RATIONAL AND IT IS NOOOOOT WORTH TAKING TOO MUCH MEDICATION!”
I procured the teeny pill, popped it, and stared at her. She thought, I can only assume, that I was distraught with her husband and was about to commit suicide on a grand scale during dinner. Because that’s what medicated people do, when we’re not looking at nudie pics on the Interweb.
*Nudie. That’s what he said. Who says nudie? NUDIE? It’s inherently gross.
**and INXS, of course.
**And I’m working on the tagging Bela! I have to think about this one a little more
March 13th, 2006
In lieu of an actual post, as I am too damn TIRED from the constant tiredness of a neverending energetic massively full of energy hot diggity dawg, whom I love all ridiculousness of ridiculous loving belief, I give you what half of you probably wanted anyway.
Behold the Sunny McSnarfpants and her Magic Frog
And a certain snarfer adores her crate.
And thank God, she loves her mama too. And her mama? Has a GIANT belly here. Wonderful. Post giant belly to universe, along with terrible, pathetic pedicure.
*Peter Gabriel, again. I’m recycling, tired and desperate. And I KNOW the photos aren’t perfect in the way they’re uploaded, but I’m too tired to fix it. Maybe tomorrow.
March 9th, 2006
…appears to belong to everyone but me. I am comically exhausted to the point of hilarious horror with horrible spelling and giant bags under my eyes. Bags large enough to carry all of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts furniture and an extra special space under my left eye for his trunk. Hedwig can ride in the eyelid.
I volunteered to take the night shift, since I have easier job with the awesome boss and the lax dress code and the flexible hours. And because Adam is home with her ALL DAY LONG and being a single parent isn’t fair, especially since I didn’t get home until 9 p.m. tonight. And yes, because Adam is the breadwinner and I am the mommy. The glass ceiling starts at home, people.
I didn’t sleep last night. I mean, not a minute. As my dear friend Yesrie, can attest, as she was getting frenetic and completely sleep-deprived “WHAT IS SHE DOING?” emails at 3 a.m. I laid here, listening to Sunny’s breathing, afraid if I didn’t hear EVERY BREATH that she would stop. As if. She wheezed her way through the night. She’s a PUG, for chrissake. She even snored for good measure, as she is doing now.
I need to point out that in the last 24 hours I have met more neighbors than I even knew existed. And of course, having a dog puts you in the collective consciousness, or as Amalah would say, wide open and vulnerable for the piles and piles of assvice. And not only am I now known as the neighbor who flashes her boobs and screams at her husband, but I am known as the lunatic who screams at little girls who let their chihuahuas run at my dog, nipping, yapping and screaming all the while. I was so shrill I’m surprised they haven’t lynched me.
Give me a break. It was 7 a.m. and I hadn’t slept more than 11 minutes. Adam already laid into me for grumping out on a 10 year old kid, who now thinks I’m an asshole. In fact, as Adam walked Sunny earlier today, a woman stopped him and said, “I hear this dog isn’t that nice and doesn’t get along with other dogs! The chihuahua’s owner told me.”
And this is how Adam discovered that I am an asshole who is mean to kids at 7 a.m. And it is also how I solidified my reign as the Asshole Nutty Wife in the neighborhood with the quasi-normal husband. And PLEASE, lady. She’s three fucking pounds. A real terror.
And can I just add that I need to realize that this is a small neighborhood? And, um, maybe I should put some actual clothes on to walk the dog in the morning, instead of a random, ancient, near see-through Victoria’s Secret nightshirt over jeans, with my hair wild? Maybe I could at least put a real shirt on. I was humiliated, standing there in my sweaty nightshirt, barely-there boobs threatening to break free at any moment while I scooped up Sunny from the dangerous threat of the chihuahua’s jaws.
But the worst part is that right now I’m wearing a kelly green tank top and pink striped pants. And in the middle of the night, and in the morning, this is what I’ll have on. And it will be sweaty. Oh yes, it will.
*Patti Smith. Or 10,000 Maniacs. Or, if you’re under the age of 30, that godawful not-as-pretty-as-they-make-her-out-to-be-and-no-I’m-not-jealous-well-maybe-of-her-ass-but-that’s-it-I-swear chick on American Idol. Becky? Was it Becky? The twin?
March 6th, 2006
That’s my arm. That’s our dog. She’s finally here. And she’s perfect. And we’re clueless.
*Shawn Colvin. And her name really is Sunny.
March 5th, 2006