Archive for December, 2006
We’re back, and we’re not just back, we’re back with pink eye. Well, I am, anyway, as Ad has eyes that are white as snow, as normal eyes should be, unlike my own rosy-pinky-crusty variety that also have the added bonus of itching like the dickens. Further, have you honestly heard of anyone getting pink eye since the third grade, when the first epidemic ripped through language arts class with Mrs. Santee? Pink eye! PINK EYE! It’s so humiliating.
Also, my pants don’t fit. As in, I am forced to wear my one pair of X-Treme Fat Pants 2006 until I can shed some of this holiday weight that I squarely blame on my sister’s Mexican wedding cakes, which are also known as the greatest cookies known to man. Frump and fat are taking us into the new year at Chez Jonniker.
Mmm, crusty eye and elastic waistbands. We’ve got your sexy right here. Do you want to make out and maybe rub eyeballs?
All is not lost, however, for we’ve also got your meme! Linda posted this, and because I am against posting my own resolutions and yet, it seems wrong to just let the year go by without an instant of reflection, this seems appropriate. In short, however, despite a remarkable amount of unforeseen challenges, this was our best year ever. Feel free to steal!
1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before? Got a dog and a job that I absolutely love that involves writing – two of the best things I’ve ever done.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Let’s see…I don’t think I made any, so I don’t think I kept them. I’m not sure about this year. I have resolutions, certainly, but I don’t want to think of them as new year-ish, since those are never kept.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! My younger brother had a baby boy, Ayden, and Ad’s brother had a baby boy, Nathan. This brings my nephew total to seven, which means, statistically, it’s not looking good for us for another boy, should we opt to procreate. Someone’s got to break this cycle, to Ad’s disappointment.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank God.
5. What countries did you visit? Sadly, none, unless you count the Everglades.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? A finished manuscript.
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t know about dates, but I’ll certainly remember the first time something I wrote was printed on actual paper that other people read, and I will always remember the day we brought Sunny home.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my shit together and becoming a happier person – I had no idea what an anxious mess I was before. And changing careers was huge for me, and a big adjustment. Truthfully, I’m still adjusting to it – a lot of times I look at my salary, which is greatly diminished from its former glory in my old career, and I feel guilty, and sometimes it makes me a little upset. But the truth is, without making that change, I am not sure if I’d still be married, and I would have missed out on so much of my life. I am a completely different, happier person, albeit one who still can’t remember to mail out thank you notes, birthday cards and bills out on time.
9. What was your biggest failure? Hrm. Not working on my book enough, maybe?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I don’t think so. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease at the end of 2005, to my enormous relief.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Sunny!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I hate to say this, as everyone else does, but my husband’s. Shit, I love the spit out of that guy. We had our best year yet, in large part because we had to rely on each other more than we ever had to before. Having no friends in a new place will do that to you, and I think that kind of stress either makes or breaks a relationship, and I’m happy to say that it made ours. I’ve spent more time with him than I’d ever spent with anyone, and and I’ve never been bored or exceedingly sick of him. That’s pretty cool.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Mel Gibson. And yet, Braveheart is one of my favorite movies.
14. Where did most of your money go? Uh, the mortgage, maybe? Barring that, I’d have to say my hair, which is possibly the most annoying thing I’ve ever said.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Work, for the first time in 10 years.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006? SexyBack.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? Happier, happier, happier. So freaking happy. Fatter! Oh yes, we are fatter, as I was at my thinnest-ever this time last year. We are also poorer, but happier, because I took a paycut.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Written my book. I’ve started working more on it recently, and when I re-read the stuff I’ve done, I actually like it. I wish I’d been more consistent. I also should have worked on more freelance projects, and I wish I’d read more.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Staring into space, idly surfing the Internet. Puttering around doing nothing.
20. How will you be spending Christmas? We spent it with my family.
21. Did you fall in love in 2006? Oh yes. With a small pug.
22. How many one-night stands? How about none?
23. What was your favorite TV program? I became sickeningly enthralled with Heroes.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? My strong dislike for Sarah Jessica Parker has been reignited. Someone, for the love of God, tell me why she’s so revered. She’s a truly terrible actress.
25. What was the best book you read? Oh God, I can’t remember. I can tell you the last book I finished: Alice Hoffman’s Here on Earth, and hoo boy, I did not like it at all. Overwritten, trite and painfully predictable. It was a real disappointment, because I usually like her a lot. The River King is one of my favorite books, and I keep wanting her other novels to measure up and to date, none have come close, with the exception of Turtle Moon.
The book I’m currently reading is shockingly good. I’m a huge fan of magical realism (hence the Hoffman attraction), and I’ve read Salman Rushdie before and figured if I was going to continue, I should pick up The Satanic Verses to get to the bottom of this fatwa shit. I can say with total certainty, given my piss-poor knowledge of Islam and Indian-Muslim culture, that I am fully comprehending approximately 1/200th of the book, but holy hell on a ski slope, who cares? It’s magically good, and I’m getting a kick out of it. It’s one of the most wildly enjoyable rides I’ve been on in a long, long time, and I highly recommend it.
Other than that, I do remember reading and really loving The Time Traveler’s Wife. And I finally read To Kill A Mockingbird.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Ack! I don’ t know again with the memory shit, but I’ll tell you, I recently whipped out my old copies of Book of Love, which was a blast. If you’ve never heard of them before, Planes, Trains and Automobiles is on heavy rotation on Encore right now, and “Modigliani: Lost in Your Eyes” is featured prominently throughout.
27. What did you want and get? A dog.
28. What did you want and not get? An agent and maybe a book deal. Again, that pesky fact that I need to finish the book first keeps coming up. Shut up, I know.
29. What was your favorite film of this year? Oh hell, I don’t know. I’d seen it before, but I spent a lot of time in 2006 re-watching Harold and Maude, and I think it’s reached the pinnacle as my all-time favorite movie.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 31 a few days ago, and I ate enough Indian food to kill me, hence the fat pants.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Friends nearby. More progress on my non-day job writing projects.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? Flip flops for everyone!
33. What kept you sane? My friends. My husband. My job. Writing a whole lot.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have an unreasonable crush on Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes, followed closely by Sendhil Ramamurthy. And Masi Oka. Basically, I would like to make out with the entire cast of Heroes, and that definitely includes Ali Larter.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Oh hell, I don’t know. Lots of them. I’m really uncomfortable talking about politics, as it’s so divisive.
36. Who did you miss? My friends and my mother.
37. Who was the best new person you met? Oh that’s easy.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. Shut the hell up and relax? Also: being happy is basically a choice you have to make, every day.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Oh crikey, I can’t. Lyrics give me hives.
Happy New Year!
*Pet Shop Boys
December 30th, 2006
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I can say with total truth that ours was wonderful, even if it did involve the horrible realization that my 10 year-old nephew no longer believes in Santa, as evidenced by his 2 a.m. bedtime Christmas Eve. He kept us all awake and miserable, desperate to put out the gifts so we could finally, for the love of God, go to bed already, after we realized he was going to bed, faking it, then hiding behind the bathroom door, awake and suspicious. At 11:30, we slipped him some Benadryl out of desperation, and at midnight, he was weeping the sad tears of the overtired, and by 1 a.m., we were all weeping with the pathetic tears of misery and terror that Santa wouldn’t ever be able to come because he’d never sleep again, which meant that we would never sleep, and Christmas would be spent face down in a pile of pancakes.
At 1:30 a.m., I was sent to the top of the stairs for a Christmas vigil of sorts, and finally, at 2:15, he relented and agreed to go to sleep, but not before peeking down the stairs to see the mysteriously full stockings, despite the fact that my parents were still toddling around the kitchen. Toddling grandparents, of course, meant that Santa didn’t come, because everyone knows he doesn’t come when people are wandering the house, and the full stockings were the final confirmation of what he already knew, but didn’t want to admit.
Le sigh. The heartbreak of shattered Santa dreams. I actually have no recollection of ever believing in Santa, since I figured out the whole ruse by the time I was 6. My parents somehow believe that it was the by-product of my parents’ divorce – that somehow, that first Christmas, someone – though no one will say who – forgot to follow through on an important tactic to maintain the illusion.
At any rate, Christmas was lovely and full of delight, and things like new pajamas, stuffed clams and good times. I hope yours were as lovely. And, sadly, it’s all been a little on the downhill side since I realized that by the time most of you read this, I will be entering my 32nd year by way of turning 31, which is no good, no good AT ALL. I plan to spend the day lying about on large cushions and demanding that people bring me Indian food.
And finally, Christmas: A SuperBrief and Pointless Photo Essay, well not really an essay, as it only includes two photos and everyone is asleep.
Sleep. Sleep is good on a holiday.
The true sign of a successful Christmas. Or maybe it was the 2 a.m. bedtime?
*Guns ‘n Roses
December 26th, 2006
There was a snake in my garage this morning. A big black one with a white chin that looked something like this. I tried to pick it up, thinking it was a stray rope of Christmas lights and then it jerked into a coil and rattled, you know, like a rattlesnake, also known as The Kind That Can Bite You. And then I died. The end.
Well, not really. Actually, I screamed, ran around to the passenger side of the car, climbed over the seat to get into the driver’s seat (which was dangerously close to the giant reptile) and drove away, shutting the garage door behind me. God. I just left it there and ran away, trucking off to work like there wasn’t a giant snake in my garage and everything was fine! Totally fine! I see snakes in my garage all the time! When I came back a few hours later, it was gone. Where, you ask? Let’s hope far, far away.
Everyone I know has a different theory. One promptly announced that it was a water moccasin, and if I were smart, I would run home and evacuate and save the pets while I could before it came into the laundry room and swallowed us all whole. Another revealed the time a few weeks prior that a stray python made its way into her yard and strangled a few rats it had found beneath their deck. Yet another insisted that 90% of snakes here are non-poisonous, so I could have – and should have – gingerly picked it up with my bare hands and placed it lovingly in the kalanchoe whispering promises of a life of freedom. Final determination, by the way, is that it was a completely harmless black racer. Which, while horrible, is not the end of the world and won’t eat us whole, although that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t ever want to see it, ever, and may actually kill myself if I see it one more time.
Incidentally, I’ve been informed by Ad that I am on my own when it comes to snakes. Which means that if it does come back, I’ll be stuck beating the bag out of it with a stray garage broom solo, sans burly husband. However, given that he’s taken care of just about every other creature we’ve encountered in our long history together, from centipedes to mice to that awful time we thought a raccoon was on our deck, he’s more than earned his keep. Or so I keep telling myself. Although this is the same person who kept telling me not to move the Amazon box in the garage because we had a frog living in there and he wanted him to have a happy home. Last week, a closer look in the box revealed that it was actually a dead frog, thus ending any dreams he had of a pet amphibian named Stanley who ate bugs and hopped off happily into the sunset.
We leave tomorrow for a delightful holiday with family. As usual, I’m dreading the flight, but when all is said and done, there will be eggnog! Christmas Eve! My family!
I will be back sometime next week to answer more of your questions, but in the meantime, have a very happy holiday, whatever you celebrate. And if you don’t celebrate anything, have a wonderful weekend.
(A snake! IN MY GARAGE! A freaking SNAKE!)
December 21st, 2006
Remember when I wrote about wanting to dress up like a prostitute for Halloween because of the Golden Girls? Dude. Apparently the Golden Girls are some kind of evil smutty empire, because tonight when I asked my mom if she remembered that story, she grimly replied, “Uh, yes. You wanted to wear a bustier and were extremely angry when I said no because I wouldn’t even discuss it.” Apparently I begged and cajoled and then ran off because she wouldn’t have an open dialog about whether or not fishnets and a feather boa were appropriate for an 11 year-old at Halloween so that I could dress up as a “lady of the night,” which we can all only assume (hope?) I thought meant was a more fun version of a night owl. She also kindly reminded me that around the same time I was swimming with her at the local YMCA and she accidentally splashed me and I announced, “MOM! Why do you have to be such a SLUT?”
Right. I called my mom a slut. Needless to say she wasn’t pleased and had a bit of an explosive reaction and I wailed and cried. She was unmoved until I sniveled, “But Dorothy calls Blanche that all the time!”
Ah, the Golden Girls. Bringing sexual innuendo to young girls everywhere. The irony is almost too much to take, isn’t it?
I talked to my mom three times today. I don’t know what it is lately, but I can’t get enough of my mom. I’ve called her enough that it’s probably immensely irritating, and I’ll admit, I’m a little embarrassed when my stepdad asks me if I called for a reason and I reply, “Uh. Not really. I mean, I had something that happened since I talked to her at lunchtime, but now I can’t remember what it is.” My mom is just so good to talk to – she’s so soothing and relaxed and she always makes you feel good, even if you didn’t think you could possibly feel any better.
If I am at all screwed up, I cannot blame it on my mother, because she was nothing short of awesome. In fact, much of my desire to become a parent stems from my memories of how wonderful she was with me. The paradigm of the child-obsessed stay-at-home mom did not originate with my mother. I mean, she stayed home with me while I was growing up, but not for one second, even in retrospect, was she overly focused on me. She paid attention to me and we spent a lot of time together, sure, but she always had her own thing going on – she was always having lunch with one friend or another, always working on some new project, new art, new quilt. She was (and still is) into everything, and is a brilliant artist who still shows and sells pieces at home in Pennsylvania. She taught me that you can be a parent and still be a whole person, and that by having a child, you don’t have to give up who you are. She is exactly as she’s always been – exactly who she was before her kids, and exactly who she is afterwards.
She keeps in touch with my high school friends, even the ones I haven’t talked to or thought of in years. They call her when they need help or advice, and whenever they come into town, they make a point to have dinner with her, even when they don’t have time to see other friends. I’ve been there when some of them call or stop by, and it’s always awkward, because while they’re happy to see me, I wasn’t remotely the reason they came over – she was. Half of my male friends had a crush on her growing up, and I’m not sure some of them aren’t still harboring those crushes, even though she is 65. It’s not just that she’s attractive – although she is, in fact, extremely pretty – it’s that she makes people feel good, and she’s comfortable with herself in a way that makes you feel comfortable and at ease just being around her. She is exactly who she says she is, and loves herself enough to be able to freely love other people in an entirely un-jealous way.
She wasn’t perfect, of course. There were things about her that irritated me, such as the fact that I wasn’t allowed to listen to Prince, as she believed he would cause me to do something overtly sexual, like spontaneous orgasm while listening to ‘Raspberry Beret’ or something (She called him ‘filthy’ on a near-daily basis). I also wasn’t allowed to see half the movies my friends could – I think I was the last person on earth to see Pretty Woman, because it involved prostitutes. A sad irony, when you think about it, because apparently it was the Golden Girls she should have been concerned about, for I learned more about sex from Dorothy and Blanche than I did from Vivian, and that included condoms! Yes, the Golden Girls used condoms, and doesn’t everyone remember when Rose had a brush with HIV and had a man die in her bed after having sex? And Blanche thought she was pregnant, then went through menopause? Sex ran amok on the Golden Girls! And you know, it’s highly likely that the ban on Pretty Woman was in part because of my youthful interest in prostitution and bustiers, courtesy of Rose Nylund.
H asked me what my biggest fear is, and though I am afraid of a lot of things, most of them are irrational and/or preventable, and I have medication and therapy for that. My biggest fear – other than losing my husband, which is too horrible to fathom – is actually the inevitable fact that I am going to lose my mother, if nature takes the course it’s supposed to. I know she’s not going to live forever, as much as I would like her to, and I know that one day, she’s not going to be here anymore, and I’m going to have to go on without her. I hate this fact. I go through phases sometimes when I try to wean myself off of the regular phone calls, off of needing to bounce something off of her, or just to hear a joke she picked up with her church friends. But that would really be stupid, I remind myself, because when she is gone one day, I would sorely regret not picking up the phone and hearing her laugh when I had the opportunity. And so, I call her every day, sometimes twice a day, and I will for as long as I can.
I can’t wait to see her on Saturday. Hug your moms this holiday season, either in person or phone, or if they’re already gone, by just thinking about them.
December 19th, 2006
While I was at the gym tonight, I happened to catch a glimpse of some movie or another starring Mo’Nique and a bunch of other people I recognized, but didn’t know their names. I’m not sure what the movie was, but I do know it wasn’t Phat Girlz and it certainly wasn’t Soul Plane (Never let it be said that Mo’Nique doesn’t do quality films). The identity of the movie remains a mystery, and it really doesn’t matter, because what struck me was the oddity of the scene that involved a co-star (that was not, mercifully, Mo’Nique) and a hot dude in some sort of sexual situation that involved corn on the cob – I mean eating corn on the cob, that is, and thank God I cleared that up, because I can think of a few naughty things to do with corn on the cob, and none of them I really want to do, or even talk about here. Actually, I don’t really want to think about corn on the cob and sex in any context except to say that I don’t really find eating corn on the cob even the slightest bit sexy, what with the corn casing kernel things getting jammed in your teeth and giant chunks of corn innards smearing all over everything, and we haven’t even covered the necessary butter and salt, which would make things vomitously messy. The whole thing was just so weird.
Honestly, what the hell am I saying? The point is, while I’ll never tell you what actually goes on in our bedroom, nor would you ever be interested, I would hope, I will assure you that there is not now, nor will there ever will be any eating of corn on the cob, and neither is there any butter or salt. No food, really, except when we eat pizza or Chinese food in front of the television.
Nor is there any dancing or mustard-eating. What? That’s not a beautifully smooth segue, you say? I’m trying to make it through your glorious questions, and Jamie asked a few non-sequiturs, including what my favorite condiment is, and what we danced to at our wedding. For starters, I have a passion for mustard. Mayonnaise certainly has its role in our society, not the least of which is to bind things like chicken salad and maybe a nice can of tuna. But it’s really foul, don’t you think? I mean, if you pull out a spoonful, it just kind of sits there, quivering like a bad bit of Jello, only the creamy kind that kind of resembles not-so-nice things that I don’t want to think about. Mayonnaise is gross. Ketchup is the poor man’s tomato sauce, and its bland sugary tomato-ness only works for me on burgers and French fries, and other than that, I have no use for ketchup, and that definitely includes hot dogs, which should be void of all things tomato, including tomatoes, which is why I find Chicago hot dogs so absolutely disgusting. Tomatoes on a hot dog? Seriously?
And then there is mustard, the most gloriously versatile condiment of all. It’s got flavor, for crying out loud! Pizazz! It can be spicy! Sweet! Smooth! Grainy! God, there is no end to the glory that is mustard, and I can think of very few savory foods that aren’t improved with a dash of mustard of some kind – salads, veggies, sandwiches, meats! Mustard makes the world go round. Incidentally, Ad and I differ greatly on our mustard choices – he is strictly a yellow kind of guy, you know, that neon baby poop mustard that tastes like nothing but vinegar and acrid powder? No, thank you. Give me cranberry mustard, spicy mustard, spicy and sweet mustard, Dijon mustard! Mustard, incidentally, doesn’t go well with corn on the cob. An exception to the rule! And it seems, by the way, that corn on the cob, is losing out at every turn. Will it ever regain its original sparkle? I think not.
Anyway, Jamie also asked what song we danced to at our wedding for our first dance. The truth is, I have no idea. I’ve mentioned it before, but I really hated everything about planning my wedding, and since I don’t dance, I put little to no thought into our wedding music or really, our entire wedding. Because towards the end (and music so came at the end, contrary to all the advice I received), we were becoming a little more budget-conscious, and also because we had an afternoon wedding, we went with a DJ vs. a band. I believe his name was DJ Bob Katzen, which never fails to crack me up, as he was this short little mild-mannered Jewish dude with a penchant for playing whatever anyone told him to, which pleased me greatly, as I was just petrified of having some loud entertainer-type whooping up our wedding.
I first met him in a Starbucks in Back Bay and I believe I was quite specific about the type of people we are (lame and self-conscious, non-dancing and weird) and that I did not, under any circumstances want anything wild and crazy like gangsta rap or thrash metal burning the precious ears of my beloved relatives. Apparently I failed to be specific when it came to sound effects, however, for when the best man finished up his speech, there were (oh my God) cymbal crashes and “ba dum BOMP!” punctuating every joke. I was furious, and in fact, told every single attendee at the wedding how pissed I was, so I’m told (I’d had a lot of Bloody Marys, honestly, to help me push past the introverted urges, which apparently were cured, as I was so damn chatty). I met a few people whose only memory of me is ranting in my wedding dress about the goddamn DJ and the goddamn sound effects and oh my God, did you hear the CYMBAL CRASH after Jeff made that joke?
I also recall quite distinctly, despite the vodka, being outside talking to my boss (who later found my shoes and a random piece of lingerie outside and uh, had to bring them inside for me and ask, was this bra-looking thing mine and how about these shoes? Shoes yes, bra no. I have no idea incidentally, whose that was) and walking back into the reception to the blaring sounds of Nelly’s Hot in Herre and thinking really, was this my wedding? With the cymbals and the sound effects and Nelly? Yeah. One of my bridesmaids requested the Nelly song, and to this day apologizes, for I was apparently tooling through the dance floor on my way to the bathroom shouting, “HOT IN HERRE? OH MY GOD. HOT. IN. HERRE. JESUS CHRIST. I’LL GIVE YOU HOT IN HERRE, ASSHOLE.” I guess I was still bitter about the ba dump BOMPs, because honestly, I wasn’t mad about Nelly really. I mean, people were dancing at 2 p.m. Nelly must have some kind of magical draw! (I still cringe when I think about that song, though)
Point being, I don’t remember what our first dance song was, but I do remember how we did it, and we would have no idea how perfect it would turn out to be. Because neither of us could dance, despite a variety of half-assed attempts at learning via a wedding dance DVD, and oh, how I wish I was kidding with that statement, we opted for a reverse wedding dance where all married couples got on the dance floor and year by year, DJ Bob asked those who had been married less than a certain number of years leave the dance floor. As we’d been married all of three seconds, we were off first, hence avoiding any dancing at all, and one by one, the couples peeled off, leaving Ad’s grandparents left to finish out the majority of our first dance, as they’d been married more than 50 years. I’ve talked about them before, so I’ll spare you the schmaltz, but they were/are some of the best people I’d ever known, and seeing them dance is one of my favorite memories ever. And about two weeks after our wedding, his grandma got cancer, and it was, sadly, the beginning of the end. And so our wedding was the last time they actually ever danced together, and we have a ton of pictures to prove it. She died two years later (he still lives in their house). I just have no earthly idea what song it was, but it doesn’t really matter, because it was perfect just the way it was. I hated having a wedding so very much, but that memory alone was worth every single second of misery.
December 18th, 2006
My biggest fear/hope would be that I would ask you all for questions, and then have this super-exciting weekend to report on, thus keeping the questions for later. But, alas…no. In fact, it was another ridiculously relaxed weekend (though we did knock out some Christmas shopping), unless you count five minutes ago when Sunny ate a hotel bottle of shampoo and came running at me with a foaming mouth and a panicked look in her eyes. Foam is an instantly panicky thing for me to see, since the last time her mouth foamed like that, she’d just eaten a deadly hallucinogenic toad and we half expected her to trip her face off for the next 12 hours, provided she didn’t die first. I guess you could say I was terrified until the moment I found the half-chewed “Ocean Breeze Quali-T” shampoo bottle we got at some high-class establishment or another and kept on hand in a basket in the guest bathroom. I am not, however, looking forward to the “potentially explosive” diarrhea the emergency vet warned me about.
I’ve opted to take the easy questions first, as some of them (H’s, Lawyerish‘s, Andrea‘s, Alexa‘s, and many others) require a standalone post, because my God, I could go on for days and days on those topics, but for now, let’s go with easy! Peasy! And in paragraph form!
Dee Dee, sans blog, asked why I name every post after a song title. The truth is, I don’t have a good reason, other than I’m too lazy to come up with my own title. The first time was an accident, back when I got a really bad haircut and couldn’t think of anything other than “Bang and Blame” by REM, because this total bitch gave me gigantic bangs and a Joan Jett mullet, and hell yes, there was blame. Bangs and blame, and the song played on repeat throughout the entire time I grew out that damn haircut. And from there, it just turned out to be the way my mind worked. Sometimes I choose a song based on a theme of the post, which will only be obvious if you know the song’s lyrics (Bring on the Dancing Horses, Little Plastic Castle), and sometimes, like today, I’ll choose it simply because the title fits. I own every single song I use, though, which is perhaps the only requirement I have, and if I want to use it and don’t have it, I buy it, although I think that’s happened maybe once. The only exception is Barney’s “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” because I do have limits, even though they don’t seem to extend to New Kids on the Block or Celine Dion, both of which I had well before I used them as titles. Personally, however, I’ve had a lot of fun with it, because it makes me think of music every day, and it reminds me to search through my catalog for something I might not have remembered I had, or to take a closer at the lyrics I’ve been listening to for years without really hearing.
Moving on to even more random things, Sans-Blog Sadie asked a few bits of strange trivia, not the least of which was how much arm hair I have. This is actually a tough question to answer, which is such a scary statement. The truth is, I have copious amounts of arm hair, and it pains me to admit it. I’m told it’s not that bad, for while there is quite a bit of it, it’s blond and each hair is rather longish, so it’s more in length than amount, I guess, which sounds even worse, like I could braid it or pet it like a dog during meetings or something. I suppose it goes without saying that I hate it. The boyfriend I had before Ad actually admitted that he saw my arms and was (oh my God) frightened that the amount of hair was portentous for what was to come, uh, everywhere. And I’m happy to say that it is not, for I do not have hair in any inappropriate places, and the little hair that I do have is easily managed and quickly whisked away. In fact, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, I am a freak about body hair, and hair in general. I don’t like it, I don’t like having it, and I wish – with the exception of heads, eyebrows and eyelashes – that all hair everywhere could be completely eradicated on both men and women. I hate it that much. And so, with trimming, shaving and waxing I am a generally well-groomed, relatively hairless person, except for my damn arms. And because the hair is already blond, short of waxing them – which I am completely unwilling to do because of the stubble/ingrown hair factor on my ARMS, not to mention the cost, PLUS, I did it once and lo, it was very bad, and it did actually include ingrown hairs, which was the grossest thing ever – I’m stuck with Neanderthal Arms, which I hate.
My thoughts, by the way, on spray salad dressing, since you asked, Sadie, are that I am firmly FOR spray salad dressing, and use it quite a bit at the office. I actually loathe all bottled salad dressings, and only eat oil and vinegar with a truckload of salt and pepper on my salads, and spray dressings are, in my limited experience, almost pure vinegar and water. And since I’m not about to bring a cruet set to the office, the spray dressing rocks my world. And, completely unrelated, but also since you asked, Sunny only licks my legs when I’ve just put lotion on them, and I do not find McSteamy attractive at all. McDreamy, however is, well, pretty dreamy.
Claire asked what I was getting my parents for Christmas, and also if, where and when we’re moving, not to mention where I got my degree, and in what. Since the latter are bigger questions, and today is light stuff, as my weekend was taxing and full of movie-watching, and not move-thinking, I will say that my dad is getting something from Williams Sonoma, though I have no idea what, my stepmom is getting an exotic collection of teas of the world, along with a fancypants teapot (she’s a tea freak), and the other set of parents are getting a night out at their favorite restaurant, followed by a movie (all via the magic of gift certificates). And so help me God, don’t let this be the day they find out I have a blog, because Christmas would be a little ruined. Having divorced parents comes with an entire set of wonderful perks, not the least of which is twice as many parents as other people have, and I am so very lucky. It sucked for a very, very long time, and I didn’t always get along with both sets of parents (I lived with my mom and stepdad mostly, and visits with the other set were sporadic at best), in recent years, we’ve all become extremely close, which has been better than I ever expected. However, I could do without the double shopping and staggering amount of siblings (five brothers and a sister, not to mention a seemingly-endless string of nephews) to manage every holiday season.
And finally, I’ll knock out a few food-related questions, not the least of which are my thoughts on Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas (for Heather) which: love, and also, a big hell yes to the stuffed crust, as I don’t eat the crusts otherwise. I am actually not a huge fan of bread unless it’s filled/covered with something, and I don’t even like sandwiches that much, so the crust part of the pizza is completely unappealing to me. I also don’t like the crusts of sandwiches and would gladly cut them off if it was remotely socially acceptable. I am actually only 7 years-old in terms of bread consumption. And herein ends the most boring paragraph ever, and one that I actually can’t believe I just typed, because: my thoughts on BREAD? Seriously? Did I just write that?
And with that, more answers tomorrow, hopefully of the deeper variety, and maybe a little less random and snore-inducing. It’s just that gah, I’m so RELAXED and have zero interest in stringing together a coherent sentence, and it shows. I hope y’all had a great weekend, and thanks for asking.
December 17th, 2006
I went to work this morning as I would any other day. I was meeting-free, and had a whole day of cruising through the work I had on my plate, and ducking out early to go to the mall to get some Christmas shopping done. Until a meeting was scheduled, but whatever, I could totally roll with it, and fine, yay, meeting! Until I went to pee before leaving for said meeting, and spied the outline of a black bra underneath my white shirt, and realized I looked like a fatter, sluttier Avril Lavigne and it was time to hit the Target pre-meeting, because dude, I am not sexy enough to rock the black bra/white T-shirt look, and that realization might actually suck more than having to brave Target in December. And also, I might add that I had to change in the Target parking lot, and it was only when I couldn’t get the shirt on properly that I realized that I was parked next to a man that I am convinced was only pretending to be asleep, but was in fact, enjoying a not-so-hot show of a frantic shirt-changer.
Anyway. The day was somewhat doomed from the get-go, because Ad and I both had dreams that we cheated on one another, and woke up feeling rather damaged, crushed and pissy. However, I contend that I had the infinitely worst end of the deal, dreaming that there was an ex-girlfriend-type named Sunday who wanted a piece of him, and was willing to camp out on our front porch for it, while he dreamed that I’d been carrying on a torrid sexual affair with…the checkout boy at the supermarket. Sexy Sunday vs. Supermarket Checkout Boy. And yet he’s entirely convinced that his dream pain was so much worse, because at least the checkout boy is local, and it could totally happen every time I hit up Hannaford for some applesauce and muffins (sexy!). And honestly, whatever, just whatever, because that’s just crust, and I’m sure you agree with me. Or someone does, I hope, because the last supermarket checkout boy I conversed with had a head the size of a watermelon because he hadn’t yet gone through puberty and his body hadn’t caught up. Hott.
Uh, an important edit I just made is that I wrote that section of the entry last week, and where was I going with it? Was it really that bad of a day? I do not know! I barely remember it, honestly, but I distinctly remember hanging up on my husband when he teased me about Sunday, because I was PISSED. And, uh, that’s all I’ve got.
So look, there are several things going on here, not the least of which is extreme inertia. Something about being completely overwhelmed with the holidays and a host of other personal items that just keep piling up like a pile of presents, only not the fun kind, but the kind that you open and you’re all, “Wow! A confusing letter from the IRS! Thank you, U.S. Government, THANK YOU!” leaves me completely paralyzed, unable to think of anything worthwhile other than “cupcakes!” and also, “Bacardi! Oooh ooh, and ginger ale!” (Incidentally, both are alongside me right now, and I’m pretty excited. Also, herein ends the Cupcake Period, as they are finished. Hooray!)
Annyway, the point of mentioning the inertia is twofold. I haven’t done an ‘About’ section for this site, and I’ve been intending to for months, and this weekend, lo, I think I will finally do so, because there are a lot of things I assume people know, but then, why would you? And every time I visit a new site, I always want to hit the ‘About’ section, and when they don’t have one, I am often confused. But more importantly, because I am in a period of laziness in the writing department, can I make an open request for questions? Any questions at all from the peanut gallery? Is there anything you want to know that you don’t already know? You can ask me anything within reason, and I’ll do my best to answer you, and truthfully, if I can’t do it here, I’ll respond via e-mail (I loves the e-mail). I realize this is a cop-out, kind of obnoxious and also a bit on the side of something a lazy sow would do, but given that I am a bit of a lazy sow who also eats cupcakes, it seems appropriate. I won’t, for obvious reasons, disclose in a public forum exactly where I live, exactly where I work or you know, my last name. But everything else is fair game, and I will do my best to answer! Because I am a lazy sow! But I love answering questions, and I actually want to know what I’ve left out that would be helpful. Helpful in what sense, I don’t know, because I am, as a rule, unhelpful, especially in the blog department, but that also seems to apply to life.
And if no one asks anything, I might cry. Alone and unloved. And also lazy, and eating cupcakes. Upside!
(But other comments are also welcome if you can think of nothing. I can never think of anything when people ask me this, so I usually bust out with, “What is your favorite food?” because I am original! And thoughtful!)
Have a great weekend.
December 14th, 2006
Three times today, people complimented me on my perfume, telling me each time how lovely I smelled, and my goodness, what beguiling fragrance was I wearing? Dude, an elderly lady said “beguiling” in reference to something about me. Which is perhaps the most awesomely hilarious thing ever, given that the wondrous elixir I was wearing was, indeed, vanilla lavender Downy fabric softener. (The very same kind that Sundry famously used to wash her clothes with, thinking it was detergent, which is just one of a frillion reasons why I love her). And I have to say, I agree with them. I’ve been a Clean Breeze gal for years now, but this lavender vanilla shit is causing a bit of a fracas, what with the unsolicited compliments, and it’s making me want to do more laundry, as it fills my entire house with delightful fragrance, and how wonderful is that? Wonderful! It’s wonderful! Let’s all go wash our clothes!
(Also, I would like to add that I strongly disagree with commenter Erin on that entry, because I use fabric softener on all of my towels, and while they might lose absorbency, I haven’t noticed. They are fluffy and soft and fresh-smelling and still work just fine, and it’s not like I’m using them as a maxipad or anything, where absorbency is critical. But to each their own!)
In exciting pet-related news, I went into Sunny’s spare crate this afternoon and discovered, lovingly placed and barely chewed, a single shoe of at least six pairs of my shoes and nine pairs of underwear from the laundry, all thongs, all chewed to bits in the uh, crotch. (Jenifer warned me of this phenomenon back at the juicy condom incident, and I did not heed her warning. Fool.) I didn’t even realize I had nine pairs of thongs, to be honest, and yet, there they were, chewed-crotch thongs, resting like some sort of secret pirate stash of excitement while she sat staring at me with a pink nylon number dangling from her lips. Pervy little pug. There were some dirty socks in there, too. And the UTI-excitement continues in the cat department, for we’ve had to change the cat’s antibiotics twice now, because – and this is so fun – in addition to peeing blood everywhere, the antibiotics didn’t agree with him, so we were waking up every morning to bloody pee and vomit everywhere. Yay! All of this means that I am down a few pairs of shoes, some thongs and I’ve gone through three cans of Resolve. And at this moment, the little pugleted darling is farting up a cloud of dogfart that could be used as a weapon. Pets are awesome.
Look, it’s time for me to be honest: I have a touch of the PMS, a fact I just realized late this afternoon when I started getting worked up (and sending dramatic emails, you know who you are) and reaching into my desk drawer for my emergency stash of chocolate, which officially makes me a miserable walking cliche, not to mention a bit of a drama queen. Today at work, a man came in to update our fire extinguishers and…well, he was just so earnestly concerned about it, so worried about our well being, so HORRIFIED that those fire extinguishers were four months past their deadline. And he was so nice about it. So nice! Calling us ‘kind people,’ and ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ and saying things like, “No! You cannot work under these conditions! What if there’s a FIRE? I cannot believe your employers failed to notice this!” And then I got choked up, because he cared about us! He CARED whether we perished in a fire as we hunkered down over our work projects! HE CARED WHEN NO ONE ELSE DID.
The PMS also manifests itself in a bit of, uh, an eating binge, and while there is avid gym-going happening, there is also avid cupcake-eating. Shoveling, actually. There is cupcake shoveling. They’re totally still good, right? I made them Saturday night, and it’s Wednesday and I have them in an airtight container and PLEASE tell me they are still good, because I just licked the frosting off of a plate just now. Strawberry frosting. With yellow cake. God.
There are also mood swings. For example, I was listening to the radio today on my way to work and Jewel’s “Foolish Games” came on, which inexplicably set me off. Off like a rocket, I tell you, because all I could think of – and in fact, all I could say and/or scream to the radio – was how obnoxious the whole song is and how, God, that guy she’s singing about? The one who talks about baroque moving him and loving Mozart? He sounds like a pretentious asshonker. If you love Mozart and baroque moves you, and you speak of your loved ones in hushed tones while wearing hemp? I’m not a fan, even if you are fictitious, and in fact, if I have PMS, you could annoy me so much I can’t concentrate for an entire morning, because honestly, all morning I was preoccupied with the stupidity of Jewel for writing about a dude who talks about his love for baroque, like he’s SPECIAL or something. Maybe a man whose interests lean more towards math and science would be a better choice? And maybe I should calm down over this.
While we’re on the subject of songs, the Pussycat Dolls’ ‘Buttons’ also upsets me, because my God, they’re talking about LOOSENING BUTTONS and backing up the talk of dirty things on the radio and what if I have a daughter who decides it’s her goal in life to get her buttons loosened because some slutty little whorebag in a garter belt sang in a convincing way that it was a good idea? And I can’t even talk about Fergie or Nelly Furtado and their promiscuous talk without wanting to hang my head in my hands and cry. Because while I’m all for sexual freedom, WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
Jimmy totally has asthma, only this time, it’s Janie who has asthma and also, the sluttskies. The PMS-induced sluttskies and suddenly my daughter is asking to be a “hooker” for Halloween, as I did my mother at age 11, after watching a particularly risque Golden Girls episode (please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers the time they got arrested for prostitution? Anyone? And can I just say I DID NOT GET IT, particularly because a) I had no idea what a hooker was, and b) Would anyone honestly pay to have sex with Bea Arthur? Seriously? I mean, she rocks, don’t get me wrong, but…well, she’s always struck me as more Arthur than Bea, no matter how many fancypants pantsuits they tried to pour her into. ) And if you missed it the first time, when I was 11, I actually asked my mother if I could be a prostitute for Halloween and cried for an hour because she said no, because I was excited about shopping for fishnets, for crying out loud. Fishnets! And maybe a bustier. I was 11. Dear God, and thank sweet Jesus for rational parenting, and if that’s not proof that my mother was always right, I’m not sure what is.
Steam. I’m out of it, and I think that’s enough excitement for one day, because after all there was drama! Disease! Dessert! Sluts! Hookers!
December 13th, 2006
Adonymous called me at work today to let me know that my laptop was fixed – yes, fixed! OMG! I must have thanked him about a bazillion times and I almost wept with joy at seeing my baby again. Oh, iTunes, I’ve missed you! Music! Podcasts! My own store! MY DOCUMENTS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And then…I fired it up. And, uh, the motherboard fried with this giant, sweeping black screen of death. Ad assured me that he was able to boot it before, and it’s just so…so…TYPICAL that it fried the first time I turned it on. I miss her, and now I am afraid she’s gone forever. RIP, Rosebud.
A random housekeeping issue: I’m not pregnant, and I’m not planning to become pregnant, you know, at this exact moment. Although I have a relatively small readership, apparently something I said accidentally set off the pregnancy alert button, for I got a few emails, including some from people I know in real life, which made me feel terrible, for dude, if I were pregnant, I would TOTALLY TELL YOU FIRST, before making a half-assed announcement on some blog.
So! Moving on! To what, I’m not sure, but we’re moving on! My mind is completely blown by the fact that it’s mid-December, by the way, and Christmas is mere weeks away. I’m….well, I’m a little horrified, if I am to be honest, because not only does it continue to be hot and humid (festive!), but I have done absolutely no shopping for anyone in my life, as in, if you missed it: none. I am also having a few issues with turning 31 (on Dec. 27), and I’m not sure why that is, given that I turned 30 without really noticing. I mean, it’s not like I think it’s old or anything, really. It just seems THAT MUCH OLDER THAN 30, and I don’t know why, because it isn’t, and if I were having this conversation with someone other than myself, I’d tell her to shut up. It’s been an odd sort of adjustment as I’ve grown up, if I may use such a juvenile word, to see what my life has actually turned out to be vs. longtime expectations. Certainly in areas, I’ve far surpassed any expectations, but in others, well, I continue to be surprised at how quickly the years fly by. Like many little kids, back when I thought that 22 was the pinnacle of OLD, I assumed that by 25, I would be married with a house full of children, and would be well on my way to some fabulous career with an assload of scrapbook-worthy accomplishments. Because 25 was practically DEAD, God. I wonder what my 12-year-old self would have thought of 31.
It’s not that I’m unhappy – quite the opposite, in fact, for it’s been a great year. I’ve done a lot of things I never would have expected, and I feel pretty good with where we’ve ended up. Not that there isn’t more that I want to do – certainly not – but I no longer feel this overwhelming drive to accomplish my face off, for I learned that’s the quickest way to completely miss out on your life. Not to bring it back to the initial topic of kids, but it surprises me even today that I’ve reached this age so quickly without having kids – not that I would change it, really. And the truth is, I still don’t feel old enough to be this age, or any age other than 17. I remember when I got married at 27, I felt so shockingly young to be getting married. I almost laughed through my wedding vows because I couldn’t believe someone was actually allowing me to get married, and shouldn’t someone take my parents aside and remind them that I am far too young for this, and maybe STOP ME?
I am not sure where I’m going with this. I guess to say simply that I feel far too young for my age, which completely shocks me, since I’ve spent the vast majority of my life feeling old and introverted and partied out. I don’t feel young in the sense that I still have to get my shit together, because, shockingly, my shit is extraordinarily together, but young in the sense that God, life is coming at me so fast and I can’t figure out where the years went. And also, it doesn’t really help that I have an almost primal need to call my mother every time I get sick or feel overwhelmed with something and if she lived close by, I would have to be restrained from crawling into her lap.
Finally, and shockingly unrelated, I collect old housekeeping/self-help/cook books from the ’50s and ’60s. I find them hilarious on so many levels, from the complete chapter in a vintage copy of Hints from Heloise that tells women what to do when their man comes home from work (“Smile! Put on lipstick! Make sure ashtrays are empty! Fluff your skirt!) to the transformation of cookbooks everywhere with the advent of prepared convenience foods. Nothing makes me smile more than countless recipes for the new-fangled Ritz cracker mock-apple pie (Why use real apples, when Ritz taste the same?) or entire chapters devoted to figuring out how to work with this new thing called “cheese food” also known as Cheez Whiz. I recently came into an old copy of the Joy of Cooking, and really, given a recent conversation about peanut butter sandwiches (and also given that there were some of you, oh my God, who were way into peanut butter and bacon because you are gross), I feel oddly compelled to share this little number which seriously, makes me want to throw up. This is the recipe exactly as it appears in the 1962 printing of the JoC. Frankly, it’s the random commentary after the ‘preheat broiler’ statement that kills me.:
Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches
Virtue, however admirable, is frequently dull. Peanut butter needs enlivening! Try this mixture on the unconverted.
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pickle relish or chili sauce
1/4 cup cooked minced bacon
Toast on one side:
4 slices white bread
Spread the untoasted side with the mixture. Broil the sandwiches until the tops are brown and slice diagonally. Enjoy! [Ed. note: Vomit! VOMIT! CHILI SAUCE AND PEANUT BUTTER.]
*Peter Gabriel. My ghost likes to travel.
December 11th, 2006
I used to get Sunday Night Syndrome almost every weekend. You know, that sinking, miserable feeling that Monday is coming, and you can’t stop it, even if you squint your eyes as hard as you can to see if just once, just this BLOODY ONCE, you can transcend time and space to make it Sunday for one more day? I used to get it so bad that I couldn’t enjoy Sunday at all. Weekends consisted of Friday night and Saturday, and by Sunday morning, a full-fledged depression had sunk in, and just thinking about the misery that would befall me on Monday mornings would be enough to send my stomach into lurching misery. I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night, not only from the shift in schedule by sleeping a bit later, but from paralyzing anxiety because I had to go back to work. Truthfully, Mondays were never as bad as I made them out to be in my anxious mind, but it didn’t matter, because I’d already made myself so incredibly sick over the possibilities. In retrospect, I could have stood for some serious medication, therapy and maybe a new job, my God.
Anyway, I don’t get that anymore, and in fact, in recent years, I’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy the entire weekend, right down to the bittersweet end. Most of this has to do with the fact that I genuinely love what I do every day, and while I dread the sound of the alarm every morning, I don’t dread what follows. God, I had no idea what a difference enjoying what I do could make on my life, even impacting how I enjoy my time off. And while this is all well and good, I cannot deny that when I have a weekend like this one, I am still a little sad to see it go. It was, in a word, delicious, and I could use seven more days exactly as these, laid out like a big plushy mattress for me to roll around in.
I finally succumbed to the neverending craving and made cupcakes this weekend, but I am shamed to admit, I chickened out. Hello, Duncan Hines, nice to meet you! Oh, your cousin Betty Crocker makes whipped frosting? I’ll call her, thanks! And that’s exactly what I did, because at the end of the day, actually having cupcakes that were edible were the single most important thing that was to happen this weekend. I needed those cupcakes in a way I can’t properly explain – God, I was dreaming about them, lying awake at night plotting to fill my day with cupcakes. At least three nights this past week, I went to the gym with a wallet full of fresh dollar bills with the intent of hitting the grocery store to buy some fluffy cupcakes with plasticky frosting, negating the calories I’d just burned off, of course. Incidentally, I have been pro-cupcake even before they came back into vogue. The fact is, there’s nothing better than a perfectly-portioned piece of cake in a handy little wrapper just for you. You are not expected to share the cake, there is no need to jockey for a bigger slice, and the frosting is always perfect. Fact is, cupcakes are pretty generous in size, and though it pains me to admit it, a single cupcake really is quite satisfying (although that doesn’t mean that I don’t crave uh, nine or 10 at a time. I do. But I don’t do it. Sigh.).
Anyway, the cupcakes were really just the beginning of one of the laziest, most decadent weekends ever, and man, it was awesome. Fact is, I’m not a particularly active person, hence, the gym-going, because if I didn’t do that, I am pretty sure my muscles would atrophy and I might die. I find nothing greater than lounging around reading, watching movies, baking cupcakes and napping, and that’s exactly what we did all glorious weekend long. Both mornings, I stayed in my pajamas well past 1 p.m., preferring instead to loll about downstairs with the dog, watching old movies while she snored in the crook of my neck. Eventually, I would rise and dress for an absurdly leisurely lunch with Adonymous, then resume my position on the couch, dog in arms, cat at feet, book in hand or movie on the television. Sometimes the rhythm of her breath would be enough to lull me back to sleep for a few minutes, and God, did I mention how wonderful it was? I think I left the house for a grand total of two hours the entire weekend, and I really don’t think I was awake for 12 hours out of either day. The fact that I know weekends like these will be fewer and, uh, farther between (non-existent, I know, I know) when we have kids, makes them that much sweeter.
I am just so sad to see it end.
Anyway. One of the movies I watched on Saturday was an old favorite, Harold and Maude. Say what you will about the cheese factor of this little number, but I never tire of sitting down and getting completely lost in Maude’s zest for life, and in Harold’s hilariously cold indifference (until of course, he meets Maude). If by chance you’ve never seen it nor heard of it, the film is about a young rich kid of about 20 who is, on some level, obsessed with death and suicide, regularly attending strangers’ funerals for fun and enjoyment. At a funeral, he meets Maude, a 79-year-old senior citizen (and Holocaust survivor) who teaches him how to live and, uh, love, in every sense, including the one you might not imagine between a 20-year-old and a near-octogenarian. And if it sounds overly earnest, dude, it IS, it really is, but it’s a delightful ride all the same, and boasts a killer soundtrack from Cat Stevens. It’s in the regular rotation on TMC, should you be looking for something to TiVo this week, and in fact, I’m urging anyone who hasn’t seen it to run out and do so as soon as possible. As lame and twee as it sounds, this is one of those films that changes how I see the world, even if only for a little while.
I hope your weekend was as delightful. Happy, uh, Monday. Boo.
*Cat Stevens, the theme from Harold and Maude. Happy sigh.
December 10th, 2006