Archive for November, 2006

Drama!

You know, I’m still a little on the dramatic side when it comes to retelling every day events, and I can get really…overexcited…when it comes to little things, and holy lord, I am the master of snowball thinking. I mean, it’s no secret that I spend a lot (A LOT) of time thinking up potential future scenarios and, as Lawyerish and I discuss almost daily (no, actually, it is daily. More like 11 times daily), I am constantly torturing myself with the ever-present, “WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?” question. You know, the baby that I do not now have, and likely will have, but I do not NOW HAVE, is the point.

In fact, Adam is often correcting me on this line of thinking with the words, “Jimmy doesn’t have asthma!” because before we decided to move an airplane ride away from home, I spent an entire night in hysterics because not only did we suddenly have a toddler the second we moved away from home, but (in my mind, you understand), we had a toddler that got motion sickness, did not fly well and also (also!) was allergic to the air circulating on planes, and broke out in near-deadly hives from synthetic plane seats.

All of these issues with little Jimmy meant that we had to drive back to Boston every time we wanted to have a family get-together, and what, just WHAT would we do then? I would never get to work again, I would never write a book or write…ANYTHING (woe!) and we would go broke on gas money and a lifetime worth of screaming and torture from little Jimmy’s motion sickness and polyester allergy, because the car is also fraught with polyester and moves, just like a plane does! So we will be housebound until he is old enough to take a special dose of prescription-strength Dramamine, oh my God.

But really, it’s better now, and while I do torture myself with massive what-if scenarios, it’s no longer quite so…dramatic, but when I do get dramatic, that’s the kind of drama I embark upon. I mean, it’s no picnic, but it beats the pants off of the existential drama I endured/inflicted for much of the college years and my early 20s. God, I do not miss lying about on cheap cushions next to someone’s bong asking in a husky voice what it all MEANS, what it REALLY, REALLY MEANS and pondering life, the universe and every bloody thing in it, because we could be heroes! Even if it’s only for one day!

I’ve grown out of this. We all grow out of this.

Unless you are my hairdresser. As a random aside, I feel compelled to let you know that apparently my hairdresser is famous in my uh, town, for when I told someone at my office who did my hair, her response was, “Wait wait wait…THE [hairdresser’s name]. The one I can’t get an appointment with? THE FAMOUS [hairdresser’s name]?” And then I pretty much laughed in her face, because really, uh, famous? We live in a small town. There is no FAMOUS. However, at least three more people chimed in that yes, fine, he is hard to get an appointment with, so I’d better tread lightly because he is temperamental and also FAMOUS, you know, like Ken Paves. I might add when I told Squiggs that this scenario played out at work, he insisted that yes, he WAS indeed famous, and what did Adam say when I told him I had a famous hairdresser? Adam, for the record, couldn’t give a shit if my hairdresser is Libby down the street at Sport Clips, and frankly, I’m with Adam, because being “famous” in a town of 11 people really isn’t saying much, honestly. Perspective, Squiggs!

Needless to say, I’m not buying a lick of it, but it does mean that I am stupidly paranoid enough to change his name to Squiggy, transparent as it is. Because, seriously, good hair is basically all I have going for me right now, and I while I’m all haughty about blogging nicely about friends and family, apparently it’s my hairdresser I need to be most concerned about. I mean, what would that be called if I lost my hairdresser because of my blog? Somehow I don’t think the term ‘Jonnikerd’ would really catch on, nor would the phenomenon be that widespread. But whatever.

I spent last night getting my hair done, which meant I spent last night in a world fraught with drama! death! destruction! Squiggs recently suffered a death in his partner’s family, and I got to hear – in excruciating detail – all about how he was the deceased’s “guide to God – shaman, sherpa, whatever, if you will” throughout the “death process,” and how he really “felt the presence of God, enter into him.” He said this as he dipped to the floor in some sort of Elvis-like trance, hand over his face, down on one knee.

And also, Squiggy, ever the clairvoyant, knows that this death? This horrible, horrible death? Is just the beginning of a holiday season of death and devastation. There are a few potential death scenarios that could play themselves out before the end of the year, and one of them is very likely to be his own death, or that of his partner, so perhaps I should have a backup hairdresser just in case, and also rethink my 2007 appointments (which yes, I already have scheduled)? Granted, he also acknowledges that “the spirits are never specific” and he could be getting a vibe not of his own death, or of his partner’s “but of maybe his great aunt or distant cousin or even a client!” [insert creepy music here, and also, shifty eyes] Which, if you think about it, is quite the departure from his own death. Distant cousin, client, own death. Same dramatics, different impact, unless you happen to be a client, although I have been assured repeatedly that my energy is very strong, and I will be around for a “long, long while,” even if it means I’ll be heading over to the Aveda concept salon up the street, because Squiggs bit the dust.

And of course, no hair appointment would be complete without some sort of gross, completely inappropriate genital reference, and last night’s came when the subject of personal waxing came up (afreakingGAIN), and this time, he warned me against a waxer a few doors down who used the same stick on a client’s eyebrows that she’d used on a different client’s vagina, resulting in – my worst nightmare – herpes of the eyebrow. Which means I’m never waxing anything again, like, ever, even though it smacks of urban legend. However, he was sure to recommend his own waxer for his Brazilians, yet again, which is always a pleasing image. And one I will leave you with as you kick off your Friday.

Have a great weekend.

*Erasure

18 comments November 30th, 2006

Bedbugs and Ballyhoo

My neighborhood is under some sort of poop siege. Three of my neighbors are in this ridiculous war over whose dog is pooping in everyone’s yard. Or rather, which neighbor isn’t picking up after their dog, and honestly, who the hell cares? It’s the pit bull, and we all know it, for we see him relieving himself all over the neighborhood on a daily basis. Can we all move on?

Except no, we cannot move on. Someone is picking up a bunch of dog poop in the neighborhood and randomly leaving it on doorsteps overnight with a note that says, “Is this your poop, asshole?” Because nothing says “Good morning!” like a giant Publix bag full of someone else’s dog’s poop, asshole! It would be better if they at least had the creativity and drive to light it on fire or something, like a poop bomb, but no! It’s just a bag of poop with a note. And I think I know who it is, but everyone thinks it’s a different person, and so the bag, it has been passed around angrily, and filled on top of the old poop, and by now the poop just has to be gross, just GROSS. I mean, even grosser than it was the first time. Because it’s old. Old dog poop in a bag, what a wonder of delight!

I have yet to receive the Asshole Bag, because I’m pretty diligent about picking up the poop. However, Sunny pooped three times on one walk tonight – TWICE – and I ran out of bags after poop two – BOTH TIMES – and really, I wouldn’t be surprised if the steaming Asshole Bag appears on my doorstep tomorrow, because even though I tried to run like hell (the first time) and mask the event by shouting loudly (the second time): “Sunny, it looks like you pooped, but you DID NOT ACTUALLY POOP! What’s going on with that? Why didn’t you poop? Why did you squat and not poop, silly girl?” Meanwhile, she totally pooped, but maybe the yelling distracted someone into thinking it was innocent? Maybe? Or maybe I’ll just get a steamy bag in the morning. No one is sure.

Honestly, other people’s dog poop really doesn’t faze me, but I do get my knickers in a wad when I’m strolling down the sidewalk, only to be greeted by a giant pile of steaming dog poop in the middle of where my precious feets touch down, because really? They can’t pick it up off the sidewalk? And whose dog doesn’t prefer to poop on grass? Kick it to the side! Get it out of the way! MOVE THE POOP.

I actually can’t believe when this is over that I am actually going to hit ‘publish’ because my God, we have resorted to dog poop, and general rambling with absolutely no common theme and/or purpose, but the Asshole Bag, it looms large.

The lack of activity, common theme or continuity is because we’re still sick and extremely drugged. Sick, extremely drugged and breathing through our mouths, which is just about the most unattractive thing a person can do. Mouthbreathers wear polyester turtlenecks and forget to shower and usually have pencil erasers hanging in their hair, but today, I am a mouthbreather, except I am not wearing polyester, although my pants do have a certain synthetic quality to them. But – BUT! – I am on lots and lots of Robitussin (well, Wal-Tussin, if I’m being honest, because I am apparently cheap) and tomorrow I can almost guarantee that I will forget to shower and I might have hunks of Kleenex hanging in my hair, which might count and also resemble eraser bits.

Incidentally, I woke myself up approximately 11 times this morning with my incredibly loud Snores of Honk – I kept hearing this loud, horrible horking sort of honky noise and I assumed (oh God) that there was a piece of construction equipment digging into the bathroom. And of course, I ran in there to find out if someone was excavating our bathtub, because why else would there be some sort of warning horn in our bed? They were ripping out the bathtub, and I need that bathtub, if only for the precious steam it gives off to bring forth the snot to its rightful place outside my body. And when I discovered the bathtub wholly intact, my relief was indescribable! Just indescribable joy at the sight of a whole bathtub! My excitement was short-lived, however, given that I had awakened Adam, who heard the honking, and asked me to leave the room in the form of prodding elbows, heavy sighs and loving pillow-punching in an attempt to get me to roll over and quell the honking.

And so I slept in the guest room, where I will likely begin my evening tonight. But I will be in fancy pajamas, honking my pants off.

And uh, oh my God, I actually hit ‘publish’ and this is just so, so awful. I’m so sorry. I should have thought better of this, but I am on drugs and cannot be held responsible for my actions.

*Echo and the Bunnymen

**We changed her food and she had a little bit of an issue. And I TOTALLY would go back and pick it up, except that it’s dark and I can’t find it, honest. I deserve the steaming bag. I do. ::hangs head::

21 comments November 28th, 2006

Hot Hot Hot

When the Thanksgiving relatives departed, they left behind a gift. Some might call it the gift of germs; others, the gift of sickness, but really it’s the Gift of Snore.

Adam has a sore throat and a snotmaker resting in the center of his face, and so far, I am merely producing snot at enviable rates, but really, this isn’t about the fact that we’re sick, it’s about the fact that we’re snoring to the point that we’re waking each other approximately once every 15 minutes, and between the neverending honking, horking and wild boar-worthy snoring, no one is sleeping. And I haven’t even covered the fact that our dog snorfs, snorts, and snores, and really, there is no bedroom sexier than ours right now.

This means that basically all we’ve done is lie about like bumps on pickles, a pile of Kleenex between us, our sad little unwashed sheets bringing us to tears. And yet… we cannot bring ourselves to wash them, because that would require getting out of the bed, which we can’t do, just no. The sheets shall fester as long as we can stay in them until we feel better, even if there is a pizza stain from the dinner we totally ate in it tonight, and I can’t believe I just admitted that.

Change of subject! Sort of!

Adam’s family does Hanukah at Thanksgiving, which meant that we were supposed to shop our faces off pre-Thanksgiving, in addition to hosty duties, although actually, we had to, but didn’t. It was a gift card Hanukah from us this year, and if that doesn’t scream Festival of Lights and Eternal Oil, Except Not Really Because It’s 80 Degrees and Also November, I don’t know what does. However, everyone else did not gift card us, which would have made me feel horribly guilty, if not for the fact that I got flannel pajamas, and if I’ve never mentioned it before, I love pajamas. There is no greater joy in this world than fresh pajamas, unless it’s fresh sheets, and since we all know there’s not a snowball’s chance in Death Valley that clean sheets will grace the snarf bed anytime soon, they are the next best thing. Except, did I mention it’s 80 degrees? And despite the fact that I keep trying to crank up the AC to resemble something close to November in the rest of the world, it is still 80 degrees, and in addition to producing vast amounts of snot, I am sweating enough to break liquid-producing records. I’m having trouble caring, however, because if I didn’t bring home the point earlier, fresh pajamas rock the pants off of anything else, even if they can’t be properly utilized due to excessive snoring, and also, blazing hot temperatures.

I hope sleepytime is going better in your part of the world and that you have fresh sheets AND pajamas and maybe even cool temperatures! oooh!

*The Cure

11 comments November 27th, 2006

Burning Down the House

Honestly, in retrospect, I’m pretty impressed that no one punched me at any point during Thanksgiving. If I could, I’d go back and smack myself right in the face and scream “Snap out of it!” like Loretta did to Johnny, because dude, it wasn’t worth the agony, and also, I was a bit…overly dramatic, and a slap might have been good for me.

Let me back up. For starters, I went to the grocery store on Thursday morning around 7:30 a.m., and honestly, it was shocking the number of people I saw tooling around the store buying all of their Thanksgiving fare – including frozen turkeys, stuffing and potatoes – that morning, as in, this was the first time they considered that maybe they should cook. Look, I am a lazy procrastinator when it comes to matters of the home, but even I couldn’t dillydally until that moment, and besides, weren’t those people just completely hosed? Doesn’t a turkey have to defrost for something like two whole months in the fridge before you can actually cook it or you will get salmonella and die a vomitous death that may or may not include cold sweats and devastating stomach cramps? Amateurs.

Anyway, I didn’t have that much to do before everyone arrived except for making a kugel, whipping together some lemon bars (Krusteaz to the rescue!) and throwing a couple of random frozen appetizers into the oven (Think cocktail weiners. Frozen latkes. We’re classy.) And of course, reheat the dinner I paid someone else to cook. Oh oh oh, and smearing shit on bread. My life was hard.

Seriously, I behaved as though I was preparing a 19-course feast for the original pilgrims who were going to be resurrected from the dead for one final Thanksgiving meal and it was all on my shoulders or they would burn in some sort of culinary hell. Because WOE WAS ME, it was so painfully challenging and NO ONE UNDERSTOOD what it was like, those ungrateful bastards. I even dressed the part, wearing an apron with a festive little harvest turkey on it, as if I was going to do anything that stood the remotest chance of sullying it, especially given that I was still wearing my pajamas. I’m cringing as I remember how I fluttered about the house with a self-important air while I shooed people – who came innocently looking for coffee – out of the kitchen with waving hands while I furrowed my little brow over the noodle pudding like it was the only noodle pudding that would ever be made ever so help us God, Amen. There may or may not have been some loud, heavy sighing involved like the weight of the civilized Thanksgivinged world rested on my sad little shoulders, because I was cooking noodles.

Don’t you want to pummel me with a thousand tiny fists? Go ahead. I deserve it. I mean, dude, I made a noodle pudding and reheated cocktail weiners in puff pastry and I acted like I had to run out and figure out a way to slaughter a wild turkey using nothing but a blunt spear followed by a solo feather-plucking session using my big toes. I was out of control.

What’s more pathetic is that I managed to completely screw it up by dropping the phone into the oven during the final moments of the kugel and lemon bars (I had to coordinate two items at once! Two items that had to cook at the exact same temperature, but STILL. There was TIME COORDINATION OH MY GOD.) I stood by, helpless, as I watched the phone melt into the oven element, the thick syrupy plastic dripping onto the bottom of the oven and (oh my God), the horrid reek of burnt plastic (which smells alarmingly like burning hair) spread through the house like an angry toxic cloud. And worse, I dropped the phone while I was screaming at Adam because he did not understand (DID NOT) how hard this was for me, because THANKSGIVING IS HARD, YOU JERK, and all he could hear was “SHIT OH MY GOD FUCK THE PHONE IS MELTING,” except he didn’t hear the words, just the screaming, and thought that I was being abducted and held hostage until I spilled my noodle pudding secrets.

When meanwhile, the poor guy was out picking up the turkey dinner for me because I was clearly incapable of driving or cooking, or even, I don’t know, breathing, without creating some sort of wild disaster. And if you’re keeping score, this brought my Thanksgiving duties to something like two things, both of which were completely expendable, but try telling that to a crazy girl weilding a turkey apron, JUST TRY.

Miraculously, everything turned out okay, if a bit…plasticky, you know. Except for the phone, which is completely ruined, which seems to upset Adam greatly, because apparently, that was his favorite phone (of course), even though we have something like 11 others. But phone woes aside, I am insanely happy that it’s over. I’m happy to lay around and watch movies, and I’m happy to go back to work without having to rush home to a frillion people.

And I’m never, ever actually cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal ever, because no one is really sure what would happen then. And also, I think it’s important to note that I find the crinoline at the top of Katie Holmes’ dress to be very upsetting.

*Talking Heads

18 comments November 26th, 2006

Happy

This hosting gig is hard, y’all. In fact, if I had any inkling that it would be this…consuming, I might have just said a blanket “Happy Thanksgiving! Woot!” on Sunday night and talked to you sometime next week, because, really, who knew? Well, everyone probably knew except for me, because that’s just the way things go, mostly.

And honestly, I’d love nothing more than to vent my everloving face off, as I’m sure our guests would like to about us. Because that’s the thing with family – no matter how much you love each other, there are moments when face-ripping sounds infinitely preferable to sucking it up and smiling. But smile I do, and for the most part, it’s genuine, and I think it is on their end too, and we’ve had fun. And did you know there is a BABY in my house? A damn fine cute baby that I want to eat up right next to the sage roast tom turkey the caterers will deliver on Thursday morning, along with some buttered yams.

So anyway, venting – here or anywhere publicly – would be close to the most unfair thing I could do to them or anyone else in our families, not to mention unspeakably selfish. I don’t know how to say this without sounding like I’m passing judgment – because honestly, I’m not, and I’m not trying to – but I’ve always been fascinated with those who can freely tear their familes and/or friends a new asshole online with utter abandon – using their real name – without a single thought for what the consequences might be. In a way, I understand it, for in a lot of ways, this doesn’t seem real. I think people forget when they’re reading blogs that they’re reading real people, and when bloggers write, I think it’s easy to forget that real people read them, too. In the last year or so, I have tried (‘tried’ being the operative word) to adopt the policy that if I wouldn’t want my coworkers, friends or family reading something – even if they don’t currently read it – then I won’t write it. The fact that people from each of those categories already do read it keeps me honest, to some degree.

And it’s been hard, and I think sometimes I’ve straddled the line, and hells no, I haven’t been perfect, not even close. But I think that to some degree, it’s my responsibility as a friend, family member and employee, to act in a manner that would be as acceptable in the real world as it is online. I’m not saying there aren’t things that could bite me in the ass without me even realizing what those things are – it’s happened to people I know recently in situations that genuinely take me by surprise. But you never know what people’s hot buttons are, and I suppose it’s a case of weighing the risks against the benefits, and I’ve gotten far more out of this than I ever expected, so yes, the relative risks, however small, are worth it for me.

It makes me nervous for people sometimes when I hear the excuse that bloggers’ families don’t know about their blog, or don’t know what Google is, or don’t think about that sort of thing, because God, how many times have people found my site from the most random of searches, the most unexpected of paths? I know it’s shocked the pants off of me, and sent me into ass-clenching panic of who who WHO OH MY GOD is that strange person from my parents’ hometown who got here looking for the lyrics to a Barney song? COULD IT BE? And you know, if it is, it is. Frankly, I don’t think they’d care, and the only reason I haven’t said anything to them myself is that the Internet freaks out my mom, and I’m genuinely scared that every time I got a troll she’d call the police and/or try to find out where they live so she could beat them to a bloody pulp with a quilt rack. And now if she finds this, she’ll be mad that I said she’d hurt someone with her quilt rack, when we all know she loves her quilt rack more than anything, so maybe she’d grab something else. Who knows.

And I totally think their families could end up finding their blog, even if they live in a cave in the middle of Uzbekistan, because what about family friends? Neighbors? Siblings? Ugh, the possibilities are endless. There are some writers who I happen to like very much, but actually cannot read, because it ties my intestines in little knots, thinking of the day that their families find their blogs and the shit hits the fan, causing me to die a slow, sympathetic death and mourn for the loss of their wonderful writing. So, you know, I just cut myself off now, on my own terms.

But regardless of that tangent that really served no purpose than to vent about venting, which is pretty obnoxious and not just a little ironic, I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving, if I don’t get to update before then. I know I’m thankful for roughly nine frillion truckloads of pretty amazing things in my life, not the least of which is the aforementioned family and friends, even though they’re massively far away, a certain redhead found in the most unexpected of ways, and most definitely my wickedly fantastic husband.

And frankly, I’m thankful for this little space, and for all of the wonderful little notes, comments and e-mails so many people have left me over this past year. Because of this, in a strange sort of twisted way, I’m little bit of a better person – a better friend, a better wife, and a better writer, all because of the things people have written and the experiences shared and sometimes, in the kick in the pants I’ve gotten from seeing when I’ve just been dead wrong about something. And that doesn’t even cover the time-sucking joy I get out of reading other people’s blogs which beats the pants off of anything I could come up with.

Now stop throwing up, because I know that it sounds like it could rot your teeth out with gooey sugary sweetness and it sounds…well, it sounds a little crazy. But you can bet your sweet turkey’d bellies that I’ll be having some boxed Target wine in your honor on Thursday.

*Brandi Carlile

12 comments November 21st, 2006

Hands Open

I almost didn’t write anything tonight, as I’m desperately trying to enjoy the last few precious moments of peace before the family begins arriving tomorrow in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. And yet, I can’t, because I’m gripped with anxiety for no good reason, and the most ridiculous thoughts are running through my head about their impending visit. Things like, will they have enough soap, even though there are 9,345 bars in there? What if there is a washing emergency? What if the bed is uncomfortable? Omigod, is there toothpaste in their bathroom?

I never remember toothpaste when I travel. Ever. Or a toothbrush, actually. And there’s nothing worse than finally arriving to your destination, your mossy teeth crying out for a toothbrush, even if it’s a quick, minty once-over, and you’ve got nothing, which means you’re stuck all bleary-eyed and pissed off at 1 a.m. jamming a washcloth over your gums in an attempt to freshen up. Or worse, have you ever stayed at one of those hotels that gives you an individual tooth kit that involves a miniature, ineffectual toothbrush and enough toothpaste for half (HALF) a toothbrushing? Honestly, I’d rather not brush my teeth at all. A minty tease, that’s what that is.

(I’m a bit of a tooth hygiene freak, and that definitely includes flossing. Lots of flossing. However, it does not explain why I haven’t been to the dentist in longer than I am actually willing to publicly admit.)

Speaking of hygiene and cleanliness, we spent the weekend cleaning. Cleaning up the remnants of the paint I spilled, cleaning the floors, scrubbing the counters, hosing down the toilets, and I can now say with confidence that any one of you are more than welcome to come over and eat off of any visible surface in our home. Would you like to eat a hot dog with kraut off of the carpet? Be my guest, for Stanley Steemer was here with their magic….Steemerizers, or whatever, and they Steemed the living hell out of those carpets, so they SPARKLE. Couches, too, which is a good thing, because we think the dog did something unsavory to the love seat, for when you sat on it a certain way…it smelled like sour milk and…puke. And neither one of us has tossed our cookies on the couch that we know of, nor do we recall spilling anything, so the pukiness was a bit of an eternal mystery. But it’s puke-free now, and smells just delightful, hooray! And this means you can now eat olives and cornichons and maybe some cheddar off of the cushions if you’re so inclined.

Would you care to make a giant batch of polenta on the kitchen floor and scoop it up with your bare hands? Welcome! Be my guest. You will not ingest any dirt on my watch. Actually, speaking of polenta, back when I worked from home and watched Martha Stewart while I worked, some random guest came on and made her family’s polenta and meatball recipe, which required that the polenta be prepared, then spread thin across the kitchen table, sans serving dishes and/or plates, as in, this giant….blob of pasty polenta was just laid out on the table with tomato sauce and big hulking meatballs and eaten family style with forks right off of the table. Which is just…well, it’s gross, is what it is. I do not like sharing food with other people, and although I don’t mind a bite here and there, just knowing that my polenta could be contaminated by Aunt Edna’s backwash polenta is enough to send me into a germ-driven tailspin, and actually could guarantee that I’ll never eat polenta again. And for the record, Martha clearly felt the same way, for she kept repeating “Isn’t this fun!” over and over again in a strained voice, her face so contorted with bald horror that clearly, she would rather be knitting ponchos atop a bucking bronco in Alcatraz than sharing polenta with her frumpy suburban guest.

By the way, I’m not a freak about sharing food because I’m selfish, it’s that I’m grossed out, which is almost as bad. I will totally have a bite of whatever it is you’re having, and I will definitely share whatever it is I’m having, provided there are no dairy products involved and that means none whatsoever, including a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. And if your lips touch my ice cream and/or glass of milk, well, not only will I never touch that specific dish again, it’s highly likely that I will gag in grand fashion and refuse all things dairy for a long, long time. Dairy is not meant to be shared under any circumstances, period, and that includes sundaes.

I have no explanation for this, just like I have no real earthly explanation for why I find long nails completely and totally repugnant, and by “long,” I mean “anything that extends beyond the nail bed,” i.e., no longer than .00000003 inch. I bite my nails to the quick and keep my toenails painfully short, not because it’s a bad habit, but because if I see a sliver of a half-moon, I start to imagine festering bacteria dancing around the crevice, not unlike the fungus-men in those Lamisil commercials. Because really, let’s face it, no matter how many times we wash our hands, it’s not like restrooms provide nail brushes, right? So who knows what foul creatures lurk beneath those pretty Essified (or perhaps you prefer OPI?) fingernails? Painted nails actually upset me more: you can’t see the dirt and what then? What then, I ask you? Fungus, that’s what. Fungus and bacteria.

And don’t, just don’t, get me started on fake nails, because every time I see a clerk and/or waitress using the unnaturally hardened tips of her acrylic monstrosities to hit the buttons on a cash register, I die a little inside. I saw a waitress the other day with Sailor Jerry pinup girls on each of her gigantically terrifying fingernails, and while I appreciate the gesture, I was thisclose to demanding that someone – anyone – else serve me, but considered that maybe that was a little… compulsive. But I won’t lie: I ordered soup to minimize FesterFinger contact with my food, and even then, I didn’t enjoy it, I’ll tell you that.

For the record, I realize this is my own completely incongruous OCD-ism, and no one else’s. If this doesn’t bother you, or if you have long nails, I swear, I won’t judge you. These rules rarely apply to people I love, honest. Well, except for the fake nail thing, unless you’re Paul McCartney and are using it to play guitar better, and in that case, down with Macca!

Well. This ended up nowhere near where I started, and really, I’m not sure how I arrived here. Also, apropos of nothing but Friday’s paint incident, Adam came home, took one look at the garage and announced, “You did a great job! It’s so clean!” And I beamed. BEAMED, because finally, the whole thing seemed worth it. And then I asked, to be sure: “Are you serious?” To which he replied, “Not even a little. In fact, it may be the worst mess I’ve ever seen. I think we have to paint the floor.”

(Edited to add that he did have a smile on his face as he said this, lest you think he’s one of those menacing controlling types who actually gets mad at this kind of thing and threatens to take me out back and whip me good to teach me a lesson. Living with me, you cannot get mad at this kind of thing, for it happens…well, hourly. But still, as Yez pointed out, it was a cruel tease! Cruel!)

So there’s that. Good times. Happy Monday.

*Snow Patrol

18 comments November 19th, 2006

November Spawned a Monster

I’m supposedly really smart. You know, on paper and stuff. And while I can say that I have managed to wing my way through life with a relative degree of competence, I need to inform you, in the immortal words of Schnozz, that being supposedly really smart isn’t worth as much as you might think. In fact, in most cases, it’s worth absolutely positively nothing, and most days, like today, I actually wonder if I am in some way severely mentally challenged, and that my medical file had been mixed up with someone else’s at birth, because God, just GOD, I am just so… unevolved. Stunted. Dumb.

And it’s just…well, there are days that I can just walk right by that big box of Target wine in the refrigerator, and there are days that I think that four bottles’ worth of cheap wine in a box just isn’t enough.

My actual work day was ridiculous in that typical workday ridiculousness we all deal with. There were miscommunications, broken-down machinery, non-stop phone calls, a five-minute period where no fewer than seven people made time-consuming demands on an already-packed timeframe, and a dog that wouldn’t stop farting. I brought the dog to work with me, as I always do when my husband is gone, and today she ate everything in sight, including three blobs of pre-chewed gum she found in the grass and an entire pile of newspapers next to my desk and then she proceeded to fart fart FART for nine consecutive hours, resulting in an embarrassing cloud of dog fart stench. I suppose I should be thankful she didn’t snatch up a juicy condom again, but for crying out loud, someone else’s chewing gum again. And dog farts are gross.

God I was just so ignorantly happy to be going home when the moment finally arrived. And then I got into the garage, and a strange twist of completely bizarre and stupid motions rendered a full can of paint emptied on the floor of the garage in the end closest to the house and oh God, there was just PAINT. PAINT EVERYWHERE. And I just didn’t even think, I just started – oh God – just cleaning up the paint with my bare hands in large sweeping scooping motions like I had somehow replaced my regular hands with flexible ladels – spatulas, if you will. I was scooping it up like pudding and dribbling it back into the can, my hands, rings and arms covered in white like some kind of fool.

And then I thought it would be brilliant, just BRILLIANT, if I brought the garden hose inside the garage and started, you know, hosing it all down, sending giant, wild streaks of white paint all over the garage in this big white potent BLOB streaming down to the paver driveway and all over the garage, and all over…electrical supplies. Electrical supplies that were plugged in, which presented an entirely new set of electrocutionary potential, but more importantly, there was white paint everywhere. Everywhere! Like some kind of giant white …paint monster threw up all over the garage.

And oddly, it gets worse. I was wearing my work clothes, and not just any work clothes, I was wearing my favorite work clothes, with the comfy-yet-fancy black pants and cute little shirt and oh, there was paint all over me, and I had to act fast – FAST! – while it was still wet. And I decided to…to… ugh…power wash myself with the water pressure of the hose right then and there. Yeah. I was going to power wash my pants while I was still wearing them. In the garage. Which I totally did with such wild fervor, it was as if I’d just stepped out of a hazmat site.

Odd segue, but my neighbor across the street is…a strong woman, I suppose is a nice way of saying it, and if I may say so, she’s manlier than my husband. A stocky woman in her early 40s, she sports a mullet, drives a gigantic Ford F150, regularly uses power tools and drives a truck for a living, in addition to delivering for FedEx part-time. And her nature is…blunt, to say the least. But I have no business making fun of her, as I am a Darwinian failure who should not procreate, as this will demonstrate.

She busted me with the hose down my pants – my whole body, really – while I was trying to power wash the white paint off of them, the thick glue-like streaks dribbling into the driveway and street. And she wasn’t impressed, she who could power tool me into oblivion.

“Um, what are you doing?” She was incredulous. I made some lame attempt at explaining that I spilled paint, you see, white paint, and I was simply trying to rinse!

“If you keep rinsing, you are going to PAINT YOUR DRIVEWAY WHITE. STOP. STOP, OH MY GOD, THIS IS NOT SMART. But wait…is the hose in your pants? What the hell are you doing?” Her tone was so snotty, I wanted to punch her.

It totally was the hose in my pants, in fact. I then tried to explain the whole thing, and I said things like, “yes, you’re right, I’m reevaluating my paint-removal strategy” and ” I’m really taking a hard look at the potential solutions and powerwashing my pants” like applying corporate-speak would change anything, or if I used words like “proactive” I could distract her from the horror laid out before us. (I actually said these things. Just kill me now.)

And yet I kept digging. I finished up as best I could and then – to stop gawking truck drivers from asking me questions – I closed the garage door. And then I took off my pants and put them in the washing machine inside. After I fired up the machine, I came back out into the garage in my (oh my God) thong, and finished picking stuff up and tried to sandpaper the paint off the floor, when I realized hey! I need the hose! Which is right outside the garage! And so I opened the garage door, you know, to get the hose! And I left it open, and stood in the blaring white of the garage, happily hosing down the final bits of the paint, listening to the neighbors across the street chattering away, and looking up only when my other neighbor walked by with her dog.

“Hi!” I said brightly, trying to conceal the paint, so she wouldn’t think I was polluting. You know, with the paint.

“Uh, hi.” Her head was kind of down, and it was strangely awkward. This really isn’t that unusual, for she’s not that friendly, and I didn’t think anything of it until I realized I wasn’t wearing any pants. Let me say that again: I wasn’t wearing any pants. And in fact, I was sporting a navy polka-dotted thong and a T-shirt, and not much else. I wasn’t wearing any freaking pants in a brightly lit garage on a dark night in front of all of my neighbors and just…well, after all that, what can I really say? However, I am not sure, really, that she saw the pantlessness, because she’s not that observant, and I was also behind the car for part of the time, as the picture illustrates. And maybe the other neighbors thought I was in a bathing suit? Maybe? It is warm here, you know.

(I tend to think of the garage as an extension of our house, hence the pantlessness, I can only guess. I yell too much in there, swear a lot and talk to myself, forgetting that people can see me.)

It’s all so awful. So awful. So awful that I’m really stretching to find it funny, because the humiliation factor is through the roof. I have to live with these people, and not only did I flash my boobs to one of my neighbors already, but tonight I wasn’t wearing any PANTS and I painted the whole neighborhood white. And the worst part? It’s not even the pantlessness that bothers me, it’s the inane conversation with the neigbor, who clearly thinks I am stunted and a colossal idiot. Oh God, and the thick white blobs of paint all over the driveway and the frogs, I’ve killed SO MANY FROGS with that paint, I’m sure. Tomorrow, the carcasses will pop up everywhere, without a doubt.

So really, I am not smart, just not smart at all. 12 more hours until A. gets back, and please, just please, it cannot come soon enough, because I am incapable of taking care of myself.

Edited to add: Say what you will about the powerwashing efforts but my pants are PAINT-FREE, SUCKERS!

And after all that, it’s not even clean, but at least it’s not all over the neighborhood.

*Morrissey

42 comments November 16th, 2006

A Big Hunk O’ Love

A. is away this week, which means, as usual, I get to eat whatever I want. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say – it’s not like he controls anything I eat, or that his very manly presence makes me want to nibble on celery and watercress to keep my stick-thin figure to please him. Au contraire, for that old adage that married people get heavier after they tie the knot? There is absolutely a ring of truth to it, despite the fact that I thought it was a whole lot of crust, not unlike the Freshman 15 (mine was the Senior 15. Or 40.) I eat more when he’s around, probably because not a night goes by that I don’t see him in front of the television with a giant bowl of Halloween candy in front of him, the carnage of a thousand Willy Wonka confections strewn around him like litter.

It’s hard not to be simultaneously sabotaged and inspired by a nicely built man who maintains his physique despite a steady diet of Runts, Snickers and peanut butter cups. I guess that means I should get in line behind hundreds of women who feel like punching their husbands every time they suggest dinner at Cheeburger! Cheeburger! instead of Lettuce! Lettuce! Tomatoes!

But anyway, his eating habits aside, when we’re together, we eat full meals. Actual, full meals that include a main dish and a side or two, and sadly, because I cannot cook and he works from home and my God, he has to leave the house, those meals are usually out. Plus, we like to spend time together, and between work commitments and general busy-ness, it’s not hard for dinner to be the only time we’re only focused on each other. But when I’m at home, I am happiest when I graze in a manner that closely resembles a Lean Cuisine commercial. For example, last night I had almost an entire pound of homemade pickled Chinese radishes that smell like foot cheese (but oh, they are delicious!) and an Eggo waffle that I just remembered has been in the freezer for a little over a year – the Walt Disney of Eggo waffles.

Tonight, however, I had a grilled peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich, after a recent conversation with a friend about Elvis and whether or not his death on the toilet had anything to do with straining due to the extreme difficulty in passing peanut butter and bacon turds, and I can’t recommend it enough. I mean, despite the turd association and Elvis talk. Oddly, it’s delicious with an hour-later chaser of footie radishes, which makes this quite possibly the grossest paragraph ever, and yet it’s strangely appetizing. (Recipes on request. Don’t fear the feet. Or the poop.)

The King and I diverge on the addition of bacon and/or bacon grease, mostly because bacon grease reminds me of rotting peanuts, and while I will eat radishes that smell like feet, I draw the line at rancid nuts. Bacon as a standalone, however, is an utter delight, and there isn’t enough of it in the world. But that doesn’t change the fact that it does not belong with peanut butter, and it certainly has no place touching the edges of any kind of jelly.

I used to eat like this all the time. Honestly, I was at my thinnest was when I was singlish, or at least not eating with a partner (I’ve been with A. since I was 23) and whipping together random meals that included copious amounts of fat free hot dogs, mashed potatoes from a box and the occasional meal of sauerkraut straight out of a can. Barely-thawed veggie burgers in tomato sauce were a favorite, now that I think about it, and my biggest splurge was the occasional burrito from Anna’s Taqueria. I miss those days, though I will admit that’s about the only thing I miss about being single. And it’s funny how little life changes – changes that have more to do with your daily existence than you even realize – seep into your life when you get married without the slightest awareness that things aren’t quite what they used to be. And while I plan to have a meal of boxed mashed potatoes, hot dogs and sauerkraut with mustard tomorrow, along with a side of mushy snow peas and cottage cheese, those kind of habits are ones that I’m more than willing to leave behind for what I get in return.

(This is, incidentally, my favorite meal ever, and exactly what I would order if I were on death row. I know.)

Eating is the only benefit to his business trips, for I miss him terribly, and, as I’ve discussed ad nauseam, I just don’t feel safe when he’s not here, despite a house that resembles an armored vehicle and a house alarm panic button inches from my head. Oh, oh, and a dog, albeit the tinest pug ever, who barks menacingly every time someone in the neighborhood farts and also won’t stop throwing up since we changed her food. It’s amazing I’m eating at all.

*Elvis. With bacon grease.

19 comments November 14th, 2006

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

At the end of last week, I distinctly recall being all…boasty about how my work was done, and I was going to relax! And sleep! And, I don’t know, knit a sweater or something. Well, except that I can’t knit, and actually don’t even like it, as it’s a colossal waste of time, since I’ve only really ever made scarves, and how many people need 300 extra-long scarves? Exactly zero. And I already have fifteen bajillion from my last knitting bender that, coincidentally, exactly no one wears, including me, even when we lived in a freezing cold climate.

Anyway, around 7 p.m. tonight, I was still finishing up and my eyes started turning into little glazed ceramic balls of dryness, instead of actual eyes that can do nice things like see, which is what happens when those little eyes have been staring at a computer screen for a sickening amount of time. I thought it would be really convenient if I could just remove my eyes, rinse them off, and put them back in. Refreshing! Except that didn’t happen, and now I’m having trouble seeing when my eyes are not glued to the computer screen, and dammit, here I am again.

I was the last one to leave my office tonight, and I happened to be there when the cleaning people arrived. The cleaning folks are a young couple in their early 20s, and are always very smiley and happy, cheerfully calling “Hiiiii!” in a singsong voice when they walk in, whether they know someone is in the office or not. Usually I sing “hiii!” back as I walk out the door, for I don’t work late that often, and so I had absolutely no idea that they do not speak any English whatsoever, so communicating beyond “Hiiii!” was pretty much out.

After playing an elaborate game of charades to work with them to figure out how to work the electrical outlets in the back room, which were switched to some crazy obscure circuit (the game of charades, P.S., involved me jumping towards the sky and throwing my arms out over my head in manner of what I thought could be a star? As in, a star that gives out light? Power? Circuit? It was met with blank stares and a few arm waves of their own, that probably meant, “Up yours, you crazy fool! You think we want to see you dance around like a demented ass? Just TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND THROW US A BONE.”), I went back to my desk to finish up some work when I felt like someone or something was licking my leg, and after I screamed one of those horrible strangled screams that happen when you think – no, you KNOW – that you are going to die, I looked underneath my desk to find a small boy – who I later figured out is their son – sitting on top of a pile of papers. He screamed “HOLA! HELLO! HOLA!” over and over again in a sweet little voice (he’s no more than two) when I discovered him, but basically, I’m never working late again, ever, because I’m now afraid of things under my desk, even if they turn out to be small children.

In other news, our dining room table arrived today after we found someplace that rents actual ones made out of wood for a reasonable price, instead of freakish early ’80s enamel for a kidney, and for the next week or so, we will have a furnished dining room, courtesy of our friends at RentWay. Unfortunately, when it was delivered, it came with an extra helping of personal humiliation for my husband, who now knows what it’s like to be me, and be missing that essential process of thinking something through before speaking. The conversation between my husband and the delivery man went something like this (names have been changed, clearly):

DeliveryMan: I have a table… Wochack?

Husband: Yes, yes, it’s ours, but it’s ROCHACK, not Wochack.

DM: Yes, WOCHACK.

Husband: ROCHACK

[this played itself out at least one more time, for to everyone’s horror, he DID NOT LET IT DIE]

DM: Wight Wight, WOCHACK. That’s what I said! Look, I’m Joe fwom WentWay, and I have that table you wented, so can I come in, or not? Didn’t you WENT THE TABLE?

And that, my friends, was the moment my husband actually died from the horrifiying realization that he had just been a big dumbass who can’t pick up on subtle cues and insulted a man with a speech impediment by correcting him – repeatedly – on something that not only should have been obvious from the get-go, but has no doubt been the source of a lifetime’s worth of agony.

We are a classy family.

*David Gray

16 comments November 13th, 2006

Block of Wood

I saw Lawyerish this weekend, and for any of you who may have been jealous, even a little bit, I feel a little compelled to let you know that your jealousy is completely and utterly justified, for I am now just a little bit more in love with her than I thought possible. In fact, I’ve been trying to restrain myself in our follow up conversations not to say things like, “But…But… I LOVE YOU” and “THIS IS AN EPIC FRIENDSHIP, YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. It’s like Beaches, man.” (And indeed it is, and her mom seems to agree with me on that last bit, though, so I’ve got some familial support. ) She’s funny, she’s so, so pretty and tall and willowy and dammit, she’s actually graceful, despite having an entire category dedicated to the adventures of Klutzy McGee. In fact, we spent a great deal of time afterwards correcting one another on the ridiculous physical flaws we warned each other about, in true embarrassing girl fashion (“You are not fat!” “What are you talking about? You have great feet!!”)

I’m basically sounding like I’m bringing a special kind of stalker-crazy, which could potentially bring an untimely end to our friendship, so I will stop. Suffice it to say that she’s actually way more wonderful that you can imagine from reading her, her husband is laugh-out-loud hilarious and adorable, and yes, I hugged her mom, met her dad and may be meeting her grandfather. And I think I freaked out her husband because I kept touching his arm, but he was so damn funny and cute, I didn’t know what else to do. So I hugged him, too, although in fairness, she hugged mine. (It should come as no surprise that we married versions of the same person. One came pre-programmed a Yankee fan, one a Sox fan, and no fisticuffs were exchanged. In fact, they liked each other as much as we did.)

This is probably annoying for you, and I think if I were reading this and it didn’t happen to me, I would be annoyed, because how many hugs and squees can you read about without wanting to throw up? I know, believe me, I know. But she really is that great, I can’t help it, honestly, and I wish we lived closer. Commence vomiting at any time. (Incidentally, she was here visiting her 90-year-old grandfather, who lives here. This is the second blogger I’ve met because an elderly relative lives here, which speaks volumes about where I live, non?)

Anyway, Friday night, we hit up our local Pizza Hut for dinner. Say what you will about Pizza Hut, but it remains one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Something about the 11 pounds of deliciously awful grease that basically deep fries the crust of the pizza is wholly irresistible to me. And, unlike 99% of pizza places, even of the mom and pop variety, they actually have a sauce with taste, even if it’s full of more preservatives than I want to know about, and is likely made in the halls of IFF, along with that manufactured McDonald’s french fry smell and the molecules that make up the trademarked flame-broiledness of Burger King.

Anyhow, while we were there, some guy walked into Pizza Hut with knives in his wristbands. Shiny knives as an accessory, basically, along with a menacing glare that let me know that hell yes, he has used them, probably on someone’s throat. Big, giant metal knives in fold-out blades tucked into black bandanas around each of his wrists and little daggers for earrings. I was panicked the entire meal, as I was facing him while he devoured his personal Meat Lover’s, and A. couldn’t see him. I was terrified to say anything about it, because he could STAB ME in the Pizza Hut for some sort of gang-related activity, like I ordered a Supreme, which is a Crip pizza, and he’s a Blood or something, and they only eat Meat Lover’s, because really, who displays actual blades as a fashion accessory? Except my husband told me that he thinks black is a neutral gang color, so that theory may be moot, but still, I am quite sure he wasn’t, as A. jokingly suggested, some sort of woodcarver or spontaneous whittler who can’t fight the urge to make a wooden duck out of restaurant benches.

And other than the fact that we bought a mattress, I watched How to Steal a Million with a young Peter O’Toole, which means I have yet another crush on a man who is either dead or exists in very pickled and not at all well-preserved form, that’s all I got, and really, I think that’s plenty for now.

*Carbon Leaf

12 comments November 12th, 2006

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