Saturday, December 27, 2008

So that was Christmas

Its over.
So, here's what happened. Christmas Eve, I let Leila watch five Christmas shows, totaling 6 hours of television, in her pajamas. She was in complete vapor-lock with the TV. I don't normally let her watch a lot of TV, usually one or two shows a week, so she was in hog heaven. As a special Christmas treat for Rob, I made banana oat bread which I wrapped in parchment with a red ribbon around it.
Now, for those of you who have been reading this blog since the beginning, you might remember that I mentioned the pink mildew in the shower grout on September 16, 2008. Well, put on your seat belts, because on Christmas Eve, I SCRUBBED THE SHOWER. I took vinegar and water and scrubbed the grout with a toothbrush, and followed that with a thick coating of scrubbing bubbles that I left on there for five minutes and then rinsed off. Can you believe it?
I did not scrub the bathtub because my foot still hurts and I can't kneel, but mostly because I was already so pleased with myself about the grout that I felt like I deserved a metal. The only disappointing thing about this is that it was a horrible grout job to begin with, and I can say this without feeling bad because Rob and I did it ourselves and had no idea what we were doing. Here and there, in the pristine white grout, mortar shows through, and if you don't know its mortar, it looks like dirt. But I know its clean, and I made Rob go in and admire it, too. He was not as flabbergasted and impressed as I wanted him to be. He was probably thinking "Its about freakin' time, lady." and I can't really find fault with that.
Rob macguivered Leila's fancy shoe with some string and scotch tape, but it only held until we got to my parents house, where he borrowed a black shoelace from my dad and wrapped it around her foot and tied it in a bow. It kept the shoe in place and everyone was happy. Dinner was delicious, although my mother started clearing my salad plate before I was done, and considering that is the healthiest thing I've eaten in days, it was kind of important for me to finish it. I don't know what the rush was. I then at my delicious crab, and I was sa - tis- fied.
Then, we opened presents. My family has a strange custom where we sometimes give each other odd food gifts. It just sort of happens. It started one year when my dad gave everyone some kind of meat: I got liverwurst, Rob got a ham, my brother's girlfriend got some canadian bacon. I don't know what he was thinking, but ever since, meat seems to be exchanged on Christmas Eve. Last year I gave my dad twenty jars of herring, and he loved it. This year, my dad got bockwurst, Rob got some obscure German cookies that no one likes, and, from my brother, three pounds of pineapple party sausages. My brother gave me some of those Lindt chocolate balls, which was terrific because I was trying to get my mom to open a box of Sees Candies nuts and chews she had in the cabinet, but she refused on the grounds that a) she was saving them for the next time she needed a hostess present, and b) that she had made me lovely almond crescent cookies that I supposedly love. Problem is, I don't like almonds, or anything almond flavored, so now that information will be filed away in the furthest reaches of her mind where she will never retrieve it, and it will continue with "I thought you liked tomatoes/red cabbage/kale!" Then she wanted one of my truffles and I told her, "no way, lady, since you're bogarting the Sees Candies!" Of course, now, I am so full and bloated from all the stuff I've been eating, she can have them all.
My brother gave Leila a bigwheel, which she is already a little to big for. She was really excited about it, though, so he put it together on the spot, and she went outside in the rain, in her fancy shoe-laced shoes and her rain coat and road it around the back yard. She was excited about everything she opened, and she put all the ribbons around her head, and, except for the shots of jaeger, it reminded me of my grandmother.
We got home, and set out cookies, carrots and milk for Santa and his reindeer, and went to bed. In the morning, I heard Leila get up, go to the bathroom, and go into the living room where Santa had left all the goodies, and eaten the cookies and milk. I expected her to come running into our room, but instead she just hung out in the living room, and I heard her making excited noises, like squeals and giggles, and I couldn't wait anymore. I whistled, she whistled back, and finally she came in to tell us that Santa had come, and he had eaten the cookies. She goes for this stuff 100%. She's about to be seven years old, so its one of the last years for total faith in Santa, and I am relishing it while it lasts. I totally use Santa to my advantage, too. In the weeks before Christmas, if she gets out of line, I always say, "Santa is watching, better shape up." and it works every time.
She loved everything we got, she loved everything she got, and she got a lot. The last two things she opened were tights, and two pair of socks, but she was happy. She got a keyboard from my mother-in-law, and is in her room right now plinking away. She's figured out how to play rudolph, rockin' around the Christmas tree, and is working on something else. Pretty awesome.
Then, we went to Rob's mom's house, and the most wonderful thing happened. There were tons of presents under the tree, but the three cousins, ages 7, 6, and 5, just played for half an hour or more, and didn't seem to notice the bounty that was awaiting them. Finally, the five year-old said "Can we open pwesents?" and it was about time! They all got a sack filled with the fifty state quarters and a map of the United States to put them all in. I thought it was a cool idea when I thought it was all bought together, but then I found out that Rob's mom's boyfriend had been collecting these quarters for years, presumably for the children, and that made it even cooler. Leila had to put all her quarters in the correct slots all at once (she hates to stop something in the middle) and the other kids just waited for her to finish before opening more presents.
My mother-in-law was a superstar this year. I got everything on my list, and I didn't even know she knew what was on my list. It was so fun, and it just kept on going. I would think I was done, and that there couldn't possibly be any more for me, and BAM! a roasting pan. BAM! a cardigan. Better than pineapple party sausages, and who knew there could be something better than that?
So now its over. All that food I bought? We hardly ate any of it. There are still boxes and bags all over the house, and now its time to plan Leila's seventh birthday party. I asked Leila what her favorite present was, and she listed twenty of them (what riches, really) and one of her favorites was "being all together." Now, maybe she's been prompted to say stuff like that by her teacher or one of the five Christmas shows she watched, but I loved hearing it nonetheless, and it really was the best gift. Except for the roasting pan, which I love, but after that, being together was the best gift of all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shots of Jaeger

The Christmas Spirit is sneaking up on me. I don't know anyone who's really into it this year, so now I don't feel so bad. I had to go to two Christmas parties yesterday, and I was completely dreading them. So much so, that Rob brought me breakfast in bed for the first time in a decade because he knew I wanted to hide under the covers and not deal with Christmas pleasantries. But, as it turns out, the parties were not that bad at all. That is the upside of dread; usually the deeper the dread, the more delightful it is when what you're dreading doesn't completely suck, or you make it through without wanting to kill yourself.
Today and tomorrow I'm making my final preparations for the big day. I have a friend's kid over here this morning, and later they will go to my friend's house so I can wrap the last presents and get them all organized. Tomorrow morning, I'll go to the grocery store and buy all the yummy goodies we'll eat. We always have cinnamon challah french toast on Christmas morning, with bacon and orange juice (and maybe a splash of champagne...) So delicious. Then, I have bowls of things to munch on throughout the day, like chexmix (out of the bag, good and salty) m&ms (delicious when you mix them with chexmix) clementines, cold cuts, yum yum yum. I'm feeling more and more Christmasy just by thinking about all the food. Typical me.
I grew up celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve since my family is German, so Christmas Eve we'll go to my parent's house with all their gifts. My mom used to make a goose for dinner, and then we'd have to wait while she cleaned the kitchen to open presents. It was excruciating as kids. I guess it never occurred to us to help her clean the kitchen to speed things up... Now she makes rolladen, which is thinly sliced beef wrapped around a pickle and an onion braised and cooked to within an inch of its flavorful life. It is served with boiled potatoes, red cabbage and green beans. This is not a meal I relish. Starting in my late teens, I decided that I should have a meal I could really look forward to rather than suffering through German food that I can't stand, so I started getting myself take out chinese food, or pizza, and I was happy as a clam. This year, I'm going to get myself a crab, mix some mayonnaise and curry powder to dip the crab in, and eat up. I'm salivating just thinking about it. Again with the food. God, I'm predictable.
While the kitchen is being cleaned, Leila and I will cut up little pieces of paper and write numbers 1 -5 on them, fold them up, and the family will pick numbers out of my dad's santa hat, and this will decide in what order presents are opened. It is all very orderly and civilized; we are German, after all. Once the dishwasher is running, and we all have a drink in our hands (my dad cannot rest of someone doesn't have a glass in hand) we start opening presents. Leila usually bargains with whoever picked the number one out of the hat and gets to go first. The dogs get gifts too, and we all go in order, and my dad jumps up every ten minutes asking if anyone wants some port wine/acquavite/champagne/ and is disappointed when you ask for water. Also, whenever its his turn to open a gift, he picks at the scotch tape and the ribbon for an eternity, and then says, "Maybe I'll open this tomorrow." He thinks he's hilarious, and Leila goes for it every time.
I love Christmas Eve. I like it better than my birthday. My grandmother used to come from Germany over Christmas and she was such a kick. You could wrap up a dog turd for her, and she would think it was the best thing she ever got. She would put all the ribbon around her neck and on her head, and do Jaeger shots with my brother. Makes her sound like a lunatic, but she just loved to party. I don't remember the last time she had Christmas with us, but the last time she came to visit was in 1996 for my wedding. She was already old as the hills, and she didn't really know who was getting married, but she still loved to party. She died in February of this year, at 104. I hadn't seen her since my wedding, and she wouldn't have known me if I had, but I did think she'd live forever.
Then, on Christmas morning, we wait for Leila to wake us up. In past years, she has gotten up, walked right past the presents under the tree to the bathroom, and then gone back into her room and played with whatever she opened on Christmas Eve. I have decided to continue the tradition of torturing her by making her wait to open presents until we've eaten our delicious breakfast, but so far she hasn't minded. I think this year will be different though. She's already checking her stocking. I will put a bra on under my pajamas and throw a little make up on so I don't look like a total mutant in photos, and we will take turns opening stuff.
In the afternoon, we'll get dressed (or not) and drive over to my mother-in-law's and hang with her and my brother-in-law and the little cousins. I am inexplicably looking forward to this. We haven't hung out with the cousins on Christmas for five years, and I think it will be fun. We'll get chinese food (well, I'm getting chinese food, they can get whatever they want) and that then its all over but the thank you notes.
I'm more in the spirit after writing this, and I can't put off cleaning the kitchen and throwing a dark load in the washer any longer. Merry Merry!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Is it too early for a cocktail?

I started this day in a perfectly fine mood. Its the last day of school before winter break, it poured down rain over night, but its clear now, the kids are having a holiday party at one o'clock, all was right with the world. And then...
The other day, Leila went to the Nutcracker with my mom, and wore her fancy shoes. I bought her these shoes for a wedding she was in in the summer. Now, I don't know why, but it is so hard to find simple, classic patent leather maryjanes, like the ones I use to wear. They all have sequins, or lace, or a clunky heal, or velcro, and you just can't find them. So I went online and searched long and hard and found some: $42, more than I've ever paid for a pair of Leila shoes. I had to exchange them and get the right size, but finally she had the classiest pair of shoes a kid could have (according to her mother, and we all know no child has ever complained about how their parents dressed them...) So, she wore them the other day, and took them off in the living room. I told her, "Put your shoes in your room." and didn't think anything of it because they disappeared. Little did I know that rather than putting them away, she hid them under the Christmas tree. I guess the the ten foot walk into her room, where she was probably going anyway, was just more than she could bear.
So far, not a huge infraction. She's six, she's supposed to pull little things like this. Now add to this another ingredient: the dog. You know where I'm going with this, don't you? I finally spied her shoes under the tree and put them in her room, but later I found a little piece of patent leather, and I must have known deep down, but I refused to acknowledge the truth.
This morning, I was getting L out of bed, and we were excited for the last day of school, and its pajama day today, so we were extra celebratory, and on my way out of her room I picked up one of her fancy shoes, and the strap that goes across the foot, the very thing that makes it a maryjane was severed by dog teeth.
I hate starting the day with my blood boiling. I got out of bed at 7:03, and I was ready to yell and throw things by 7:07. So, shoes that were beautiful and fancy are now trash. It kills me that I will have to throw them away. I don't throw anything away if I can help it, I always try to find a second life for things, but no one can wear one good shoe. Mark my words, though: she will wear the broken shoe on Christmas Eve if I have to strap it to her shoe with duct tape.
I also feel like a heel (no pun intended) because I got really mad, not even at Leila directly, but just mad in general, and she started to whimper and say she wasn't going to have any fun at the class party now. She felt so bad, and I instantly felt like a turd because she didn't really do anything that bad, she just got caught in a perfect storm, and it looked like her day was going to be ruined. Luckily, she snaps back pretty quickly and was all smiles when she got to school, singing her weiner dog song. I, however, am sitting here craving a mimosa and a crack pipe.
I can't find the Christmas spirit this year. I really like being filled with Christmas spirit. The holidays are so fun when you're in the mood for them, and when you're not in the mood for them, its doubly bad because you have to do all the stuff anyway (I wrapped presents for three hours yesterday) and you feel sad and guilty that you're not enjoying yourself. I think its a combination of things: First, my stupid foot still hurts; four weeks, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. Second, all you hear is about the doom and gloom in the economy, and every time Rob calls me from his cell phone in the middle of the day, I'm sure he's sitting on the steps of city hall (where he works) with a cardboard box of his stuff and his final paycheck. That is not likely to happen, but its hard not to be jumpy these days.
So, I have six days to start enjoying myself, or else. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No Wonder I Wear Elastic Waistbands!

I am such a pig. I was an eating machine today. I couldn't stop. How can something that feels so good and natural be soooooo bad?
Here is what I ate: I started the day with the cold second half of the shrimp, tomato, guacamole burrito I had for dinner last night. Then, I ate some scraps of home made caramel off its wax paper. Then, I was thirsty, so I had a coke (one of the small ones, but still) Then I went on errands and picked up a little grocery store sushi for lunch. Then, there was leftover cake in the fridge, about a third of a small cake, maybe more, and I powered that, one forkfull at a time until it was gone. Then, a friend called and said he was taking his kids to our local burger joint and did we want to join him, and of course we did! Rob said he wasn't that hungry and asked if I wanted to split something, but, inexplicably, I was hungry so I got my own cheeseburger with fries, and washed that down with 2/3 of a chocolate shake. I also had a cup of tea in there somewhere.
This is not a typical day. I usually don't have cake and sushi and cheeseburgers all in one day, and I don't know what got in to me. But it was all so good! And so easy! In my design of the after life, I am going to eat as much as I want of whatever I want, whenever I want, and it will all be free, delicious, and have no impact on my weight. I will look fabulous and never work out, and be completely sated all the time.
I'm full now. That last sip of chocolate milk shake did the trick. I will still have a little wine, though, because at this point, who cares?
It all started with hurting my foot. I stopped cooking, so we're not eating all the vegetables we were eating a few short weeks ago, and I couldn't do the eliptical anymore. I can do the bike, only hit hurts my butt after ten minutes. You'd think with all the padding I have back there I wouldn't feel a thing, but its excruciating. So, I'm up to my old tricks; buying myself little treats whenever I'm at the grocery store, not drinking water, not eating green things (although the frosting on the cake was green) and not exercising. I think I pretty much cover all the deadly sins by myself. "Why, oh why does living healthy have to be so hard??" she whimpered.
I was not a complete turd today, though. I have been having this problem lately where I do laundry, fold most of it, but don't put any of it away. It is all sorted neatly in various laundry baskets, so we just fish around in there for what we're looking for, but, frankly, my house is just too small for this kind of laziness. So today I did four loads of laundry, folded ALL of it, and put ALL of it away (except for Rob's, which I did fold and put on his pillow so he can file it away in his closet.) Not a total loss! I went to the post office, I walked the dog twice, I scanned the Newsweek, I obsessively checked my e-mail and now its time to watch a little garbage on TV, drink a little zinfandel, and hit the hay. Oh! I almost forgot! I almost took the most delicious nap! I was playing computer solitaire on the couch while Leila was playing with a friend in her room, and my eyes got heavy, so I put the computer down, rearranged the dog so we were spooning, and fell into the most wonderful sleep. Only to be awakened after ten minutes by a pair of six year olds demanding hot cocoa. It was perfect while it lasted...

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Secret is the Guacamole

This morning on the radio, the radio-guy read a report that said the courts are expecting a very busy day for divorce filings on January 12. Apparently, this happened last year, too, lots of divorce filings on the second or third Monday of the month. They discussed that maybe people make new year's resolutions to dump their spouses, or that they gave their marriage one more year to work out, they've slogged through the holidays for the kids, and now its over. One more possibility that I will add is the one spouse has just had to spend her holidays trapped in her in law's house and she just can't take it any more. Then the radio-people started talking about divorces where one of the partners thinks everything is ok, and the other spouse takes them completely by surprise. A couple of women called in and said that this had happened to them; that their husbands had just gotten up one day after 17, 18, 20 years of marriage and told their wives it was over and filed for divorce. Then, some contrary Mary called in to say that if a woman is completely blindsided by her husbands hasty exit, she hasn't been paying attention, and they haven't been checking in with each other, which kicked off the husband's boltage in the first place. Let's not go into why it is all the wife's responsibility to check in to see if her marriage is okay, because that's just BS.
So, I got to thinking about my marriage, and how I would totally hate to be married to me, and thought, "I'd better check in." I called Rob at work and told him about what I'd heard on the radio, and said, "So I'm just checking in to make sure you're not planning on filing for divorce on January 12th or any other day in 2009." First, he responded in his regular my-wife's-a-nutjob tone of voice, and told me that, no, he hadn't planned on divorcing me next month. Then he adopted his favored smart-ass tone of voice and said that even if he was planning on divorcing me in January, he'd want it to be a surprise.
So, phew! I'm not getting divorced any time soon. What a relief. In my case, "its cheaper to keep 'er" since we totally could not afford to get divorced anyway. Even if we wanted to gouge each other's eyes out, we'd have to stay together just to say solvent. Oh yeah, and for the kid, right?
I honestly don't know what this man sees in me, but I'm just glad he sees something. I felt like eating guacamole tonight, and he went out and got us some, and its, like, forty degrees outside! What a guy.
While I sit on the couch writing this, he is watching the Artistic Pool Championship on ESPN2. What do I see in him again? Oh yeah, the guacamole...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Don't Bother

I am so thirsty, I could drink 5 cokes. I never think of water when I'm thirsty, just cokes, and if I drink water instead, my coke craving goes away. Mysterious, no? (no.)
We had a lovely dinner with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Pork loin, zucchini gratin and rice pilaf. Potato chips and onion dip for hors d'oeuvres (trashy, but always a crowd pleaser) and Katie and Mike brought the most tacky cake they could find at the super market. I am so full, and so thirsty! I just know I'm going to dream about waterfalls and flushing toilets all night long.
My house is decorated for the holidays, but I'm just not in the mood. I usually get in the mood when I'm decorating the tree, but this year it just seems like one long to-do list. Tomorrow, the dog goes to the vet to check out his limp, and when I get home I will finish packing up the candy I made, mail off the one box I need to mail, and by that time it will be time to pick up Leila from school and I will spend the afternoon farting around.
Tuesday, I will wrap presents, Thursday I will make cookies (or maybe Saturday, I'm not sure) and Friday is Leila's holiday party at school. Next Sunday, I have to go to my mother-in-law's for a little holiday wine and cheese that my parents are invited to, and which I find totally excruciating. She means well, but I dread it every year.
This is a good way to get my mind set for the week, so thanks for your patience during that description of my calendar of events.
I need to go have some experiences. This blog is getting a little dry, and I need to go do something so I will have something to write about. The vet is always good for a laugh. He is a lunatic, but he's thorough and he's reasonably priced, so there you go.
I've only gotten two Christmas cards so far. I'm wondering if people are cutting expenses by not sending cards. I only sent half of what I usually send, and I saved a lot of money.
I'm going to bed. I was hoping the act of typing would inspire something, but we're all out of luck. Nighty night.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Last Word on the Subject

     The following paragraph appeared in the Twin Cities Times police report section.  It should be noted here that the Twin Cities Times is about four pages long, and contains movie reviews written by children and profiles of actors in community theatre.  The police report is usually filled with things like "neighbor reported loud music" and "cell phone lost in mall parking lot." you know, the usual hard-hitting stuff.  But this time there was something that really sparked my interest: "We received a call reporting two stuffed wolverines on the field at Redwood High School.  It was determined the school is using them to scare away the geese."
     Someone called the police!  About the snarly dogs!  Is having stuffed wolverines a crime?  What were the police supposed to do, arrest the dogs?  What is wrong with the people in this town?  I know that I have been entirely too obsessed with the goose abatement programs around here, and this will be my last word on it, but, really?  Calling the police?  Our town just passed a bond to rebuild the police station, and it really needs to happen, but I wonder what they will use all this high tech police equipment for?  Stuffed wolverines?
     Well, now that we're done with that, I am off to make some buttermilk pancakes and then decorate the Christmas tree.  Rob just told Leila to not, under any circumstances, put socks or slippers on and it totally worked, she is now flaunting her socks.  Sucker.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Spirit

I'm sitting here in the living room while Leila is watching the original Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Its a classic, but its really bad. "She thinks I'm cuuuuuute!" That's the best part, and Rudolph's voice is really annoying. There were only, like, two or three Christmas specials when I was a kid. That's what we called them, specials. Remember on ABC the word "special" went around and around in a circle before the show started? I bet if I saw that right now, I would pee my pants. It was always so exciting. I looked through the Tivo Guide under the holiday category, and there are hundreds of Christmas shows. Lots of them are Nancy McKeon, Lifetime pieces of poo, but there are so many for kids, too. I picked out a few for Leila to watch, mostly the old ones. Clarice is now scamming on Rudolph at reindeer take off practice; what a little slut.
You know what else there wasn't when I was a kid? Prizes for walking to school. I say this because the other morning was the last Walk and Roll morning until 2009, and I actually had an experience that I never get to have: I had exactly the right come-back to a whiny mom who was griping at me. I was telling all the kids who were getting their cards stamped (long story, you don't want to know) that this was the last check in of the year and they should look for us in the spring. So, this mom says to me, "What about the kids who ride to school all winter?" and even though I wanted to ask her if anyone had ever given her a prize for getting herself to school, I said, totally politely, "I know, I walk to school rain or shine, too, so if you want to get here at 7:30 in the morning to stamp kids' cards, I'm all for it!" That shut her up. All those years of co-op preschool taught me a very valuable lesson: if I have a complaint about something volunteers are doing, or I have a great idea for something volunteers could do, I shut my pie hole. Unless I'm willing to do it, I keep it to myself. Or maybe kvetch about it with some friends.
I was thinking today about all the extra crap Leila's school does. Its kind of exhausting. It seems like every week there's an "opportunity" to volunteer or donate money or something. Here is an example of this week and last week: Walk and Roll, Cool the Earth, popcorn sales, PTA Staff appreciation luncheon, canned food drive, and holiday store. That does not include anything that is going on in the classroom; there was bulb planting and a walking field trip in Leila's class, and that was just today. Its too much, if you ask me, though no one is. What ever happened to just going to school, learning stuff, goofing around with your friends, and going home? Those days are long gone. All this stuff really gets in the way of all the important sitting-on-my-ass I have planned. And, of course, the kids hear about all the stuff, and they want to participate in everything, and there are prizes coming out of their ears. Do you know how many pencils Leila has? Hundreds! Okay, dozens, but all acquired from school programs and fire station open houses, and birthday parties etc. etc. There is no end to the crap that rolls in to this house.
And there you have the spirit of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why Make a Fuss?

I'm downloading a bunch of podcasts, so I thought I'd use this time to say hi. Rob is making sugared pecans for an office party, and it smells pretty good in here. For my part, I actually got my you-know-what together and made chicken enchiladas for dinner. Normally, I am a strict recipe follower, but lately I've been "going rogue" and making stuff up that seems good to me, or combining ideas from difference recipes. They were completely edible, if not a little heavy on the enchilada sauce. I can actually make enchilada sauce from scratch, and I've done it a couple of times. The stuff in the can tastes just as good, as it turns out, so screw that. Its like pie crust: I've proven to myself and those around me that I can make a good pie crust, so now I just go buy the pillsbury ones. Why make a fuss?
Today was the staff appreciation luncheon at school and the PTA board traditionally makes the desserts. I made an orange pound cake from one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and it was yummalish. Actually, I kind of effed it up. The list of ingredients calls for 3/4 cup of fresh orange juice, and 1/4 cut of buttermilk; I had already added all the juice and the buttermilk when I read on in the recipe that 1/2 a cup of the juice was meant for a simple syrup that you're supposed to pour over the cake when its done. I don't do the simple syrup; the cake is fine as it is. But mine had three times the amount of orange juice the recipe called for. I don't think anyone noticed, and my cake plate was empty when I took it home. I laid it all out with hydrangea leaves underneath, a la Barefoot Contessa, and then wondered how on earth I was going to get this raised cake stand with perfectly fanned out pieces of pound cake to the school. I put it on the floor of the car, drove really slowly, and all was well.
Is this the most boring thing you've ever read? I'm bored writing it, and that's bad.
Yesterday, I watched the Sex and the City movie for the fourth time. I love that thing. I could watch it again today. Not a bad moment in the movie. And I was not a super-fan of the show, in fact, I've only seen the edited-for-TV version, but I love the movie.
Alright, enough is enough.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Little Drunk

I've had a little wine. Okay, I've had a lot of wine. Let's see how this goes. Apologies in advance for typos and spelling mistakes, but... I've had some wine.
Rob went to a football game today (49ers, dude) and I do not get this at all. Forget about the fact that I have no understanding of football, despite my scant effort over the years to figure out what a "down" is. Rob has only a passing interest in football, and usually only when it has to do with the OSU Buckeyes, and most of his instinct to watch televised sporting events has been beaten out of him by his wife (its true, and I'm not ashamed) but when he has a chance at free tickets to a 49er game, he goes for it. This is fine with me. He needs to be a man and do manly things once in a while, so I'm all for it. But I don't get why its fun.
He went out last night and bought a sixpack of beer, a bag of Cheetos, and a box of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. My idea of culinary heaven, swapping the sixpack for a bottle of chardonnay. Rob and his football buddy drive our little Honda Civic fifty miles away to pick up the tickets, and then another fifty miles to the stadium where they pay a kings ransom to park. Then, they get out of the car and stand next to it eating Cheetos and chocolate chip cookies in the cold, wearing hats, and drink the whole sixpack. Then they throw a football around in the parking lot until its time to find their seats. If Rob ever wants to eat Cheetos and throw a ball around a parking lot, there's one at the grocery store I'm sure he could use.
They take their little Citibank stadium cushions that Rob borrowed from my dad so their tushies don't get cold, and they sit bundled up (its not, like, Michigan, but it was cold today) and watch the game. I'll have to plead ignorance on what might make football entertaining, but the 49ers won, and the game was good, so whatever. They didn't eat any of the junk food offerings or beer at the game since they had their fill of junk food and beer standing next to the car (before noon, I might add.) The promise of stadium food would be the only way you would get me to waste an afternoon freezing my ass off at a football game. Cheap dates.
Then they spend, I don't know how long, waiting to get out of the parking lot. What are they talking about in the car? The passes? The interceptions? The "downs?" They're not talking about what my girlfriends and I would be talking about at a time like that, of that much I'm sure, and I know I would have sprained my face rolling my eyes listening to them. So, he left at 9:30 this morning, and he got home 9 hours later. Really? I mean, I'm sure I have watched the Oscar telecast, including the red carpet and Barbara Walters' Special for nine hours, but that only happens once a year!
Well, he had fun, doing man things, and that's what's important. Whenever he has a chance to do man things, I encourage it since I probably emasculate him by watching him do dishes and color in coloring books with Leila most of the time. He is now taking a shower because, apparently, he worked up a sweat throwing a football around the parking lot near our Honda civic. So, I guess he wont smell like Cheetos, which is kind of too bad, since I'll take my junk food any way I can get it.
So, readers, how'd I do while on the sauce?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sometimes its Hard to Live Inside my Head

My dog just dug another hole. Fantastic.
Here's what I've been thinking about for the last few days: When I was working, and decided to play hookie and call in sick (not often, but it happened) I had no qualms about it, and would call in, not even make the sick voice, and just do it. I would go to the mall, see a movie, or just stay home and hang out. When I was actually sick, however, I agonized over the decision to call in sick. At 6 a.m. you don't really know how you feel, or if you'll feel okay with just a few more hours of sleep, and unless I had a fever or was barfing, I would hem and haw before I decided to take a sick day. Now, I was thinking that when I played hookie, I would pick a day where I knew I had nothing important on the schedule; I wasn't missing any meetings and no one would miss me. And, honestly, I was an HR director for a second rate video game company, it wasn't like we were curing cancer or teaching inner city kids to read, so nothing I did there was all that important anyway.
So, here I am now, three, almost four years in to stay-at-home mom-dome, and I am experiencing the same thing. I talk a lot about how I sit on the sofa and watch Oprah, and read magazines and take naps, and don't even get me started on the solitaire game that runs my new ipod's batteries out every day. When I decide that this is how I'm going to spend an hour (or, say, a day) I am unapologetic about it. I feel like I deserve to put my feet up for a while, even if the bathroom isn't clean and we have frozen food again for dinner, and once I've made up my mind to sit on my ass, I feel mostly great about it, and only a little bit loserish.
But when I'm actually sick, or, like now, when my foot hurts and I need to put it up for a while, I feel like a total loser. I second guess myself about whether I'm really sick enough to justify taking a nap or watching TV, and I wonder if I'm faking it. So I get up and walk around, and, sure enough, my foot hurts, so I believe myself and sit back down.
And am I the only one who gets a little annoyed at how helpful my husband is being? My friend says that maybe I feel like I don't deserve the help, and I think she's right, since I'd have to be crazy to be annoyed at a man who does dishes, makes dinner and helps his daughter floss. Why is it that, when I'm feeling fine, I don't have any trouble channel surfing between Zs, but when I'm not feeling fine, its so hard for me to relax and accept the help that is offered?
One thing I always wanted to do while I was working, but never did, was say I had some meeting at a location outside the office, and go to a movie by myself. I totally should have done that, but I'm such a goodie-goodie. No one would have asked any questions, especially when you consider how much golf went on during office hours at that place. I could have seen a movie once a week and no one would have noticed. They might have wondered why I had popcorn breath and pieces of redvines stuck in my teeth all the time, but I doubt they would have made a connection. If only...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All I need now is the laughing Monkey

Have you ever done the tearless sob? Kind of like the silent scream, but here you sob without tears, out of total frustration. It is often accompanied by the desire to get in your car and drive in any direction until you run out of gas, and just set up camp there and hope no one will ever find you.
I was feeling good today. My foot was feeling better, I was ready to put some clean dishes away, wash some dirty ones, maybe even make dinner for the first time since I hurt my foot. Leila was outside playing with the dog, and I knew she was also playing with the hose and sprayer. I had my misgivings; its not warm out, the sun was going down, but I thought, what the hell, a little hose action never hurt anyone. This is where the wheels came off the wagon.
I was just getting ready to put away my first dish, and I heard Leila saying, "No! NO!" to the dog, and normally I wouldn't rush to see what was going on because usually the dog is doing something perfectly acceptable, and Leila is just being bossy. But I went outside to find that there had somehow appeared a large hole in a bed that had been neatly covered with weed cloth and wood chips (this is what passes for "gardening" in our yard) and this hole was full of very wet dirt with a puddle at the bottom. One might even call it a mud puddle since that is exactly what it was. The dog was gleefully digging in the the mud and water without any regard for my sanity, and was covered, head to toes, in the stuff. Leila was standing over him with a look that seemed to combine disbelief, fear, jealousy, amusement and guilt. She was clean, which I found somewhat shocking, but Leila is much easier to bathe than the dog so I would have preferred that she dig in the mud and the dog regard her with awe.
I swore. I said the D word (dammit.) I said the SH word (shit) and I went back into the house and closed the door. In the kitchen, I took an innocent dish towel and beat it repeatedly and with as much force as I could muster, against the edge of the sink. In retrospect, I am actually surprised and a little proud that I managed to rally given that I wanted to kill myself. I turned the faucet in the bathtub to warm, got a few towels, and another really old one and went outside in my socks and picked up the mud soaked pain in the ass in the towel, thus saving my floor and walls from the mud (I learned from the first mud hole, I'm not stupid.) I put him in the tub and started to wash him.
It should be stated, at this point, that a) we have very poor water pressure and no hand-held sprayer in our tub or shower, and b) my foot is still hurt, and the injury is on the top of my foot so kneeling is not especially comfortable.
The tub was dark brown with mud, mud was getting on the shower tiles, and the dog really wasn't getting any cleaner. Meanwhile, Leila is behind me, wiggling in the way that children do every moment that they are not in deep sleep, and asking me inane questions. My back started to hurt and she offered me a massage. I told her to leave the room. It would have been easy if the dog had been rolling in the mud since his back is easy to wash, but the mud was on his belly and legs and chin, the three places that are the most difficult to wash when you don't have a sprayer. Mercifully, my dog does not mind getting bathed because I don't know what I would have done if he had been trying to jump out of the tub. He just hung out while I picked him up under the arm pits and tried to clean his little chest. This is when the tearless sobbing started. The word frustrated simply does not convey what I was feeling; try frustrated times a thousand, at least.
I did my best to rinse out the tub, I wrapped Perry up in a towel and sat down in the big chair in the living room and turned on Gilmore Girls. Once I was seated, it was too hard to make a cocktail or get the cyanide tablets, so I called Rob and told him a brief version of what happened, and warned him that I was a woman on the edge who would be needing a drink and a pizza, stat.
The dog was shivering, so I got up and blow dried him for a few minutes. This has to happen right next to the closed bathroom door since he doesn't much care for it. He is mostly clean now, and while he was in the the post bath catatonic state that seems to occur any time I wrap his little wet, pitiful self in a big towel, I trimmed the hair around his eyes, and then started cutting tufts of his hair at random. He is now curled up on my shins behind the computer on my lap, and I sort of like him again.
The hardest part here is that there's really no one to get mad at, and if I weren't already having so much trouble jump starting my life after spraining my foot, I might have been able to laugh at sight of a dog in mud heaven and a girl completely aghast. She didn't mean for anything bad to happen, and he is a dog. People think Perry is a girly foof dog, and they call him She, even though he's a boy, but he likes to play in the mud and hump things and bark like a bad-ass just like any frisby-catching, ball-chasing, head-out-the-window, macho dog you can think of.
I'm on my third drink (but who's counting?) and I've had my pizza (my husband is a saint) and I think I'll be able to move on with my life now.
But no guarantees.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stupid Geese

Remember a few posts ago when I told you about the Canada geese in the park that were being scared off by a professional goose-scaring border collie, and I said that they go to the high school athletic fields? Well, I have an update. My town can't afford to release the hounds every week, so the border collie comes around every few weeks and that seems to keep the geese away for a couple of days, but then they slowly come back until the park is filled with them and their poop once again. I was driving near the high school today, and across from the athletic fields is another park with lots of grass and a creek, and the geese were all there, chillin', and I thought, "hm." So I shifted my gaze to the high school fields (all while driving, of course) and saw what looked like a very mad coyote-like animal, crouched and ready to pounce, only there was nothing to pounce at, and 20 yards or so behind him was his twin, another vicious animal, in the exact same position. They were fake angry goose-scaring dogs! They looked very real (from far away, in a moving car) and I almost pulled over to get a closer look, but there was no parking.
Geese must be really stupid. I can understand flying away from the border collie, as he could, if he were rabid and trained to attack, pose an actual threat. But don't they wonder what the fake dogs are snarling at? Its an empty field! And don't they think its weird that there are two identical snarling dogs in the same field? They're just not thinking critically.
I totally want to go back there and see what those dogs are made of. There must be a goose abatement factory somewhere, just churning out snarling dogs. In this economy, though, maybe they'll have to diversify their market. You could give a Snarling Dog to your elderly neighbor along with an accompanying CD of snarly sounds to scare away would be intruders. You could give a Snarly Dog to your kid instead of going through the hassle of a real dog (very lifelike!) You could use it as a centerpiece at a picnic and hope that bees are just as stupid as geese (not likely.) I could give one to my mom just to freak her out, and give her something else to judge. Now all we need is a jingle for Snarly Dog.
I went Christmas shopping this morning, after being amazed and delighted by the Snarly Dogs, and saw some cocktail napkins that had one of those fifties mom-like women on them with a caption that read, "Life's too short to cook for you people." I thought they made them just for me, and almost felt bad when I didn't buy them, but I realized the only time I might use them is when I have company, and I don't want to be rude. Now, a refrigerator magnet with the same slogan would be perfect. I already have tea towel that says "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life" and together they would make the perfect set.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Saint Rob

Its the day after Thanksgiving, and the stuffing was awesome. It was just stovetop stuffing, but we added some apples and made three boxes of it so there was plenty. The food was good, the kids and dogs were well behaved, and we had some laughs. My dad seems to be losing his hearing. We've been thinking that he just pretends not to hear my mom, which would be a brilliant strategy, one that I would like to master, but last night we were discussing Kentucky Fried Chicken, for reasons passing understanding, and Roy said there was a KFC near the house where he grew up, and my dad said, "You grew up in Kentucky?" He is convinced his hearing loss is due to earwax build up, and puts these drops in his ears, but I think he's just getting to be an old dude. Does anyone know where I can get one of those ear-horn things as a gag gift for Christmas? Is that cruel?
I floated a test balloon, and confronted my brother about saying "Poor Rob" when hearing about my foot, and, in true Norman fashion, he stuck to his guns and said it again, adding something about me being a pain in the ass. I had asked Rob to stick up for me a little bit, but he can't seem to do that, ever, and I should really stop expecting that he'll figure out how to say something like, "hey, now, Bored Housewife is a wonderful wife and mother has been nothing but stoic and low-maintenance during her injury." Frankly, though, my family probably would have pelted him with cocktail shrimp if he had said anything like that. So they continued to sing Rob's praises, and I started comparing Rob to Jesus and saying how they would totally push me in front of a bus for Rob, and they just laughed and didn't disagree. Rob just smiled smugly, basking in the warm glow of their affection, and totally left me out to dry.
Then I got the little kids to go around and smell the grown ups socks to see who had the stinkiest feet, and Tommy, the three and half year old, declared my brother to have the smelliest feet. Take that, Stinker!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hear Me Roar!

So, I have a bone to pick. I know that I perpetuate this image of myself, through this blog and hanging out with friends, that I am lazy and let my husband do everything. I have gotten a couple of comments lately, that make me feel the need to set the record straight.
I don't joke about my slothiness around my parents or my brother, and they don't even know this blog exists (they wouldn't know how to find it if they did) so they don't necessarily know that I put myself down in this way, but they reveal to me why I do it. My mother told my brother that I had injured my foot and spent the morning in the emergency room, and do you know what my dear brother said? "Poor Rob." Poor who? I spend the entire weekend with my foot bandaged, swapping out ice packs and throwing back the advil, and he says Poor Rob? My mom says Poor Rob too when we're all in Hawaii together and he spends most of the day playing with Leila in the pool while I read magazines and drink mai tais; What about the fact that he loves to goof around in the pool, doing handstands, and playing shark, and throwing Leila in the air, and I love to watch from a reclined position? What about the fact that Leila and I spend all week together and we may need a break from each other, hence the vacation? What about the fact that when Rob decides he's done and wants to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere off his white chest, I take over, no questions asked? Poor Rob indeed.
Then, last night, I called my mom on the phone and had to kill time talking to my dad, on whom the art of telephone conversation is lost, and when my mom finally came to the phone, I asked her what took so long and she says, "I don't have a husband who does all the dishes, I have to do them myself." Hold on, old woman: I have a man who helps raise his kid and helps maintain his home, and helps his wife with dishes from time to time, and guess what? that's the way it should be for every wife and every mother, and if my mom didn't insist on this during her marriage, and if other women don't insist on this during theirs, that is not my problem, and I refuse to apologize or be made to feel like the lesser partner in my marriage because my husband has been well-trained. As Roseanne said, he did not come out of a box like this. And, by the way, Mom, who raised me to feel so entitled, hmmmm?
So let me be clear about a few things before I continue to brag about what a loser I am most of the time: I do, on average, 90% of everything having to do with this family and this home. I do 95% of the grocery shopping, 90% of the cooking, 85% of the dishes, 97% of the laundry, 90% of the cleaning, 100% of the school-related duties, 97% of the social calendar, 97% of the Christmas preparations, including cards, shopping, wrapping, shipping, cooking, decorating, 95% of dog-related jobs, and most of the cocktail drinking, so that leaves him with roughly 10% helping out. We have agreed that when we are both in the house, chores should be split 50/50, and, accounting for time spent asleep, he is in the house, awake, 44% of the time. Not a bad ratio for him. I did not account for the yard; we ripped almost everything out back there, though, but throw in another 5% on top of his 10% and he's still sitting pretty. Also, I have pointed out to my husband, that a) he spends most of his day seated, while I spend most of my working hours standing; b) he gets a lunch hour and two hours on the bus every day to sit quietly, read, nap, pick his cuticles, whatever he wants; and c) I am in my office on the weekends, and am surrounded by deadlines and to-do lists even when I go to sleep. Not that he complains, he never does, but I felt the need to point this out to him.
I feel better getting that off my chest. Unfortunately, I can't ever win an argument with my mother by proving I have it better than she did, so its no use trying. She grew up with an outhouse and had to make her own maxipads, so she can pretty much shut me up every time. Next time, I'll go back to whining about something, not to worry.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Clutz: Emphasis on Lutz

So here's what happened: I was in the rink, trying to nail my triple lutz, and I crashed down on the ice and hurt my foot. No, not really. What really happened was that I was rock climbing near Donner Pass and there was an earthquake and I slammed my foot into the side of the rock. Heroically, I still climbed all the way to the top and rappelled down. No, not really. What really happened is that I was I was on top of a ladder picking a basket of my prize-winning pomegranates and I fell into a pile of leaves on my foot. Nah, all lies.
I tripped over my own enormous foot and fell off a curb, resulting in a torn ligament on top of my foot. Totally not elegant. I went to the ER to make sure nothing was broken, and I don't think the tear is that serious because now, on Sunday, I can kind of slide-limp around the house, but I wont be able to walk Leila to school for a while, and no eliptical for me either.
Can you believe that? I finally get into a work out routine, I'm finally seeing some results, and now my stupid foot is bandaged and I'm going to have to start all over again. The universe is f***ing with me.
The hospital sent me home with crutches, and those are true instruments of torture. On Friday night I took the ice pack off my foot and put it in my arm pits. My whole body is sore, probably from the impact of the fall. Luckily, it happened on a Friday, so Rob was home all weekend and I could just sit with my foot up. I guess its better than being sick. I get to stay in bed all weekend (its the only place I'm truly out off the way) without having to feel miserable and bored. Just bored. I think my dog thinks I'm snubbing him. When I venture out into the house, he kind of glares at me like I've deserted him. I made Rob put him on my lap last night so I could love him up and he wouldn't take it so personally. My foot has gotten a lot better, and hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll be able to stand well enough to make stuffing.
That's my job this year, stuffing. I was thinking of making some barefoot contessa BS where I cut the bread cubes myself and add apples and sausage and sage, but it is Stovetop city instead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is She Serious?

So, in one of my coupon searches, I got an offer for 90 days of free subscription for a bunch of different magazines, and I got my first one yesterday. It was Martha Stewart Living. I have one question: Is she serious?
I flipped through it, and it is very lovely, but I hardly have what it takes to flip through it again, let alone attempt any of the projects held in its pages. I will now flip to a page at random... Okay, this is an advertisement for Advair on one side, paint on the other. Let's try this again: Right: Glittered faux lemons. This is under the instructions for velvet leaves, and all of this is meant for a new year's eve table setting. I am confused. Why do I need a fancy table setting setting so I can watch New Year's Rockin' Eve and fall asleep on the couch? Do lemons represent something special about new year's eve? Years ago, Martha made centerpieces out of real lemons; are they out of vogue? Can I not use real lemons that I can later squeeze into a cocktail or over a piece of fish?
Let's do another one. (This is another version of the bible flip, only its a Martha flip and doesn't solve any quandaries whatsoever.) Okay, here's a menu for a Savory Buffet: It starts with Champagne, and, so far, I'm in. Then we move on to white crudites with buttermilk dip; I was fine with this until I realized it says "white" crudite. Without actually looking at the recipe, I envision cauliflower and white asparagus and she's lost me. Then there's oysters with mignonette gelee: really? I could probably manage mignonette sauce, but why does it need to be geleed? And am I really shucking my own oysters while I make rice stuffed cabbage and individual pork pot pies? Who has this kind of drive?
Now I'm looking at instructions on how to make body scrub. This seems easy enough to do, but by the time you buy all the ingredients, including essential oils, and special jars and label-sticker stuff, you're better off buying a gold brick as a gift. This is the kind of gift you would give you're neighbors or your kid's teacher, and they would say "wow! thanks!" and then wonder what the hell they're suppose to do with it.
Sorry, Martha. There is a recipe for a delicious looking chocolate bundt cake that I can get behind, but I am reminded why I stopped getting her magazine all those years ago. I feel a lot of pressure when I look at it. I read something once that said even Mrs. Cleaver could not have lived up to Martha Stewart Living. Oh, she might make a lemon pie for dessert, wearing pearls and heels, but were they meyer lemons? Did she grow them herself? Did she churn the butter for the crust and did her own chickens lay the eggs for the custard? Did she build the hen house?
Pass the chardonnay, I'm exhausted.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saved by a Pot Sticker

Today, the focus has been on Christmas. Its not even Thanksgiving, but I know Christmas will sneak up soon, and I don't want to be caught with my pants down. I've made a list of people I need to shop for, I've poured over cookbooks trying to decide what treats to make, and I'm trying to nip the Christmas day planning bafoonery in the bud.
I haven't talked a lot about my in laws in this blog. One of them is on facebook and can thus read this whenever he so chooses, and the other one, well, I wont even go there. Suffice it to say that holidays, if we celebrate them together at all, are not based on tradition or even familial obligation, but whether or not there is a boyfriend in the picture, who is not speaking to whom, which parent the children will be with this year and whether those parents are speaking to each other, in addition to the regular family dynamics and subtle manipulations that we all experience to some degree. A plan is made around mid-November, and then the plan changes at least half a dozen times, and I don't trust that any plan is set in stone until the whole event is over.
I am not, by nature, a spontaneous or flexible person, and plan changes drive me insane. I want to know where I'm going, what I'm supposed to bring, how I'm getting there and what time I can leave, well in advance. I know I should loosen up, I know I should "break out!" as my friend says, but I'm comfortable with my rigidity and analness, and I feel like I have enough challenges in this lifetime, what with the dinner making and the working out, that I don't need to tackle my very character right now. Rob and I usually let the more neurotic members of the family take over the planning. We watch them push timing up or back in fifteen minute intervals, or see the menu and locale change, and we just go along. I am slowly learning, though, that I can actually exert some amount of influence over these events by either A) inviting everyone to my house where I can make the rules, or B) have Rob initiate the plan-making and head off some of the insanity at the pass.
Or, I could try to "break out" and roll with it. But that just never gets me anywhere. I really don't want to spend Christmas swilling wine to make my blood stop boiling, counting the minutes until I can get in my car and go home. Actually, I will swill wine either way, but I'd rather drink joyfully than in total irritation. I would venture to guess, though, that this is how many Americans spend their holidays, with fists clenched. And they have to travel on airplanes for the pleasure of gritting their teeth and wanting to kill themselves. That is no way to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Last year, I actually did start a new tradition. We usually spend a bunch of money on some elaborate dinner for Christmas day, usually just for the two of us since Leila wont eat anything, but we end up eating m&ms and ChexMix all day, and drinking mimosas and mulled cider, and by the time dinnertime rolls around I (surprise) have no interest in standing in the kitchen cooking and then cleaning up, or even watching Rob do it. So last year, we did what the ancient Hebrews did: we ordered chinese food. It was fabulous, and I'll do it every year if I get to be in charge. No pesky ham or turkey, no standing rib roast with mashed potatoes. General's chicken! Walnut prawns! Pot stickers, two orders! That is the way to celebrate the birth of Christ, my friend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fifteen Cheeseburgers

So, I've been to the gym again today, and I'm beginning to appreciate the subtle messages of the locker room. I don't mean that people actually talk to each other, and, frankly, they look at me like I'm yelling in a library when I say something to them, or even acknowledge that they're there, but there are some valuable lessons to be learned in there.
Firstly, I've been so surprised by these women's lack of social response, not only in the locker room, but in the gym at all, that I've been seeing it as kind of creepy. But today I started to wonder if they all feel as bulgy and droopy and sloppy and stinky and hairy and sweaty and unworthy as I do, and that this is why they try to be as invisible as they can. There are the exceptions; As you walk in to the locker room, you turn a corner into the blow-dry, primping area, and sometimes there is a woman there, all thin and perky, naked as the day she was born, blow drying her hair like she's in some kind of naked hair commercial. And there are those who stride, nude and purposeful, to and from the shower. These are probably the same woman who weigh themselves on the scale that's right in the middle of the locker room; I cannot do this. If I'm going to weigh myself at all, I have to be completely alone, except for my demons. Mostly though, women scuttle around the locker room like shy little mice, in and out with minimum fuss. Like me.
Then, there are all the cautionary tales walking around the gym. I walk past the pool area, and there's a window along the hallway looking onto the hot tub and the indoor pool, and I often see people getting in and out. There are many older women who labor to pull themselves out of the hot tub and get to their walkers, and they're bent forward at the waist, and I think, "that could be me in thirty years." Then there are the naked chicks, and they are all shapes and sizes. The first couple of times I went, all I could see were the perfect ones, but now they are the exception, and there are droopy butts and hangy boobs, and pasty white skin every where I look, and I am feeling much more at home. There are two kinds of older women in the locker room: the ones who are fit and thin and sparky, and the ones who are there because their doctor is making them go. I can clearly see which kind I want to be when I grow up.
I'm still in my thirties, and its not too late. I don't have genetics on my side, and I don't have any natural disposition toward exercise or health food, but I can choose it.
Here's another thing, though. I go to the gym, I work out, I sweat like a pig (incidentally, do pigs sweat at all? Or do they pant, like dogs?) then I shower, then I get dressed and then I blow dry my hair. While I'm blow drying, my head and neck and face get all sweaty again! I put the blower on cold when I'm done just to dry to dry the sweat on my scalp. This is annoying. I want to be completely sweat-free when I leave the gym. I want to feel clean and dry and fresh. God, I'm so middle aged. I never used to sweat. In fact, one day about 10 years ago, I was having what I realize now is a totally inappropriate conversation with a co-worker about the fact that I didn't ever sweat. He didn't believe me, so I told him to call Rob at work and ask him, which he did, and Rob confirmed to him that I didn't sweat or ever have B.O. Of course, I was usually dehydrated and tried to move as little as possible, but it was still true. Later, I asserted that I could eat fifteen McDonalds cheeseburgers, and my co-worker had to call Rob again, but this time Rob said there was no way I could eat fifteen McDonalds cheeseburgers, and that I'd probably be puking after three.
But now I sweat. I still don't have B.O. but my I sweat right under my lower lip all the time.
I have to go clean up now. Again. Always.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vive La Bug

Second post today, but I had just had to tell you that I made the most disgusting thing for dinner tonight. I was kind of in a hurry, and I threw some Trader Joes risotto into a pan (that had defrosted in my car, and then been re-frozen in the freezer, making it a big frozen block of risotto) and then I threw in some broccolini, thinking that the heat and steam from the risotto would cook the broccolini. I was wrong, and grossed out. I am not the world's best chef, but I rarely make something that is so gross, I don't want to eat it, and I give permission to throw it out. It was pasty, it was tasteless, the broccolini wasn't all the way cooked, and, to top it off, I had completely forgotten to rinse the broccolini, so there were little flecks of what was most likely dirt, but what looked like little bugs. It could have been slightly burned risotto, but it also could have been bugs. Rob just ate a fork full and said, "Well, they're cooked." and then added to his reasoning that if the bugs had started out in the risotto (which they didn't, if they were bugs at all,) they would have been frozen. I think he was getting a bug confused with a bacteria, because I told him that a previously frozen dead bug, now heated up, was not more appetizing than any other kind of bug preparation. I have to hand it to him, though, he had another serving, and ate all the broccolini. He must have been really hungry.
Let's see if I can't screw up frozen corn dogs tomorrow...

I've been Oprahed

I just watched Oprah, and I'm all motivated to clean my house. Not my bathroom, of course, but I really want to get my desk space organized and working well, and maybe even put clean laundry and dishes away. I might just be that crazy.
Oprah really is a force. She says read this book, millions of people read it. She says clean your fridge, fridges are cleaned all over the nation. She says lose weight, and people all over America consider eating less and working out while they're staring at the TV snacking on pieces of cheese. The one thing that gets on my nerves about Orpah, is that one day she'll have on Suze Orman, talking about debt and responsible money management, and the next day she's talking about how cool the Kindle is and makes you want to be totally irresponsible and go out and buy one. She talks about how she couldn't handle living in a messy house, but I can't imagine she's personally cleaned out her own fridge in the last twenty years. Her magazine is the same; there's Suze Orman's column, and a few pages later there's "Oprah's favorite things" where she makes you want to buy things that you can't afford that will clutter up your house, like wine stoppers made out of doorknobs, and smelly candles and designer chocolate. Then, there is all the health and beauty info in the magazine, with articles on weight loss etc, followed by the recipe section with pictures of delicious foods.
Still, I love her. I want her to discover this blog and make me famous. I can assure my readers, and Oprah, that this is no "Million Little Pieces" where I've lied about my experiences to make my blog a best seller. When I say I hate making dinner, that's the truth. When I say my bathroom is disgusting and biological, I'm not making that up. You can trust me when I say I'm sloth-like and traumatized by the gym locker room. Its all true, people, I wouldn't lie to you.
I think I'm going to make a little pilgrimage to the Container Store this afternoon and get some ideas for my desk area. I recently moved my desk from my bedroom to the living room, and it is, of course, a mess. I have not yet moved my printer, or my files, or my shredder, so I'm running back and forth when I conduct my important business (like printing out coupons) and that has to change. Also, I still have my magnetic office stuff attached to the wall in the bedroom and it looks kind of strange out of context. There's a little basket with checkbooks and property tax documents attached to the wall right above the new hamper (which, incidentally, has been life changing) and it doesn't make any sense. I don't really have time for this today, but you have to take action when the spirit moves you.
Let's go!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cereal Liar

I just came back from the gym. I don't feel whole anymore without a good workout. I feel so cleansed and refreshed and happy after exercising, I love the endorphins and stretching after 45 minutes on the eliptical is just the icing on the non-fat cake.
RIGHT! Don't worry, its still me. I did just come back from the gym, though. My husband and kid are hanging around my house today because its Veteran's day and I had to get away from them for a while. The gym was an act of desperation. I did 45 minutes, burned 563 calories and elipted five miles. Then I took a long shower and even blow dried my hair there. I challenged myself to stand naked for a few seconds in the locker room, and I made it through.
I'm in a mood. It has something to do with these new birth control pills. The third week is great; I have lots of energy and motivation, but I feel like I'm sleepwalking through the first two weeks. This hormone cocktail is a constant struggle, and no doctor will believe me when I tell them what I think I need. So, I did a little research online, and found that the third week of the pill has a higher amount of progesterone than the rest of the month. Now my question is: is it the ratio of progesterone to estrogen that makes the difference, or can I have the same amount of progesterone and up the estrogen and get the same result? Didn't know you'd be in for a pharmacology lesson today, did you? You just never know what you're gonna get.
I also made chicken stock, but its a little bland. I really don't have anything inspiring or entertaining to talk about. Rob just left to go running (copy cat) and I think I'll watch some Oprah.
I'm going to be part of a focus group tonight, talking about healthy cereals. I'll get paid $110 to talk about cereal, and probably look at cereal advertising (they told me to bring my reading glasses and asked me if I'm color blind.) I feel a little bad because I kind of lied about what kind of cereal I eat. I figured out what they were after, and pretended I eat the cereal that Leila eats. If I had told them about my fondness for Kellog's raisin bran, I would have missed out on the $110, so I stretched the truth, just a little bit. Afterwards, I'm meeting my gay-guy friend in a quasi gay bar so we can catch up and he can look at men. I can look at the men, too, but not with the same criteria.

Monday, November 10, 2008


My dog just ate my brand new Ipod headphones. God dammit. They were just sitting on the coffee table, minding their own business, and now they're in pieces. Brand new. I think I'm going to have to kill him. The power of his cuteness isn't what it used to be. I've built up an immunity to his cuteness, and now I just want to kill him. He looks so innocent. The really bad part is that its my own fault. Dogs get obnoxious when they are bored and don't have enough exercise, and today I went to the gym and didn't walk the dog. Seriously, though, if I go to the gym, which I have to make a priority, and then I take the dog for a walk, there goes my whole morning! My husband wanted a dog. I wanted a dog eventually, but he wanted one now. He talked me in to this. He should get up extra early and walk the dog, and he should buy me new headphones, and he should wash and brush the dog, and train the dog. I wash my hands of this dog.
Except that I can't because he lives in my house, and my house is where I am most of the time. I keep trying to convince Rob that its Take Your Dog to Work Day, but he's not buying it. I bought the dog a little dog bed, and he's chewing on it like its one of his stuffed animals. So ungrateful. Little shit.
Leila wrote all over our fence with chalk. She did this once when she was really little and it took years to wear off. I turned my head, I took a nap, I read a chapter in my book, and now I have no headphones and a graffitied fence. I am done with this day, people, and tomorrow is veterans day so these people who live with me will be here all damn day.
Mother is not amused...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bible flip Birthday Bash

Today is my birthday. So far, so good. I bought myself a book last night, and I've spent the entire morning, and now part of the afternoon, in bed reading it. 95% of the time, I really hate my bedroom. It is not the sanctuary that Oprah says its supposed to be. It is very small and crowded, with piles of laundry and animal fur everywhere, and it is not insulated at all so it is either very hot or very cold. But this was one of those mornings where all the cat hair in the world could not detract from the sun streaming in the window, bright and happy, or the quiet of no dog barking, no leaf blowers blowing, no lawn mowers mowing. I just stayed in bed and read my book by myself and it was perfect and peaceful and lovely.
I read a sentence that made it even better: the author, Anne Lamott, quotes someone named David Roche who says "Eighty percent sincerity is about as good as its going to get. So is eighty percent compassion... So twenty percent of the time, you just get to be yourself." She follows the quote by saying, "Its such subversive material, so contrary to what society leads us to believe - that if you look good, you'll be happy, and have it all together, and you'll be successful and nothing will go wrong and you wont have to die, and the rot wont get in."
I felt such relief when I read that. I only really have to be "good" eighty percent of the time, and the rest of the time I can just be a sloth and be wrong and bad and lazy and all the things I tell myself I am, like, sixty percent of the time. I like rules, I like to know what I am supposed to do, but I find living by all the rules every day a struggle. You have to eat healthy, you have to exercise, you have to be productive, you have to volunteer, you have to floss, you have to take good care of your money and be financially responsible, you have to reduce reuse recycle, you have to cut your toe nails and wash your hair, you have to get your car serviced, you have to walk your dog, you have to be kind to people, you have to try to not yell at your kid, you have to try to look good, you have to find time for yourself, you have to reconnect with your mate, you have to get enough sleep so you can do all of these things all over again tomorrow. Its relentless and exhausting and tedious, and I am relieved to read a rule that says I only have to do all of these things eighty percent of the time in order to qualify.
Last night, instead of going out to a fancy birthday dinner like we usually do, we went to Berkeley with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend and had a really good burrito and browsed in a bookstore. I was in the Religion section where I was looking for the Anne Lamott book I've been reading this morning, and Rob handed me a small thick book called The Daily Bible. Now, I preface this by saying that I mean no offense to any readers who are bible people or are religious in any way, so keep your shirts on. I told my companions that I read in some book about bible flips: this is where you ask a question that's nagging at you, and then flip to a random page in the bible, point to a random passage, and that passage will hold the answer to your particular problem. Sort of like a magic 8 ball. So I asked Katie what her particular problem was and she said "My boyfriend is really gassy." So I did the flip and landed on a passage that said something like, "And he sat on his throne and held his golden scepter..." and we are, of course, picturing a different kind of throne and a different kind of scepter, and I laughed so hard I cried, right in the middle of the religion section of the bookstore. So there we were, in hysterics, and Rob told us we were all going to hell. Then I asked the magic 8 ball, I mean, The Daily Bible, what to do about my misbehaving dog, and I landed on a passage that said Jerusalem had burned down and would be rebuilt. I guess that means that, eventually, I'll get a new sofa.
Finding out that you can be a cretin twenty percent of the time and having a really good burrito and laughing your head off are the best birthday gifts, so, happy birthday to me!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Little Chickens

So, yesterday I decided to roast a chicken. It may not seem like a big deal, but I've never roasted a chicken before, and it should be noted that I am disgusted by touching raw meat, especially when that meat still resembles the animal that it started out as. Cooking shows are really like propaganda; I see Barefoot Contessa do something and I think it looks so good and easy, I forget that I am repulsed by raw chicken skin and giblets. My mom once made cornish game hens, and I really tried to eat one, but I just couldn't get past the fact the I could imagine where the hen's little head and feet had been. I just couldn't do it. I like my meat cooked, on a plate, and in no way reminding me of its former life.
I decided to prep the chicken, and place it on a bunch of cut up vegetables so they could roast along with the bird. It was time to remove the giblets. This was the part I was dreading, and I decided to just hold the bird over the sink and shake it vigorously and hope that they would drop out. Nothing dropped out. I looked inside and didn't see any giblets, so I swallowed hard and reached into the bird and felt around for the blubbery grossness and there was nothing. I thought the universe had smiled on me by giving me a giblet free bird, but I started to wonder if I had actually bought the wrong kind of bird. Then I stuffed things into the cavity; a quartered lemon, a bunch of thyme, some garlic, and I realized that I had forgotten to rinse the bird like the recipe says. So I had to reach into the bird AGAIN and get everything out and rinse the bird. I had also forgotten to salt and pepper the inside, so I did that, and re-stuffed it.
Now I had to tie the legs together, so I foraged around for something to tie them with, found some string, and tied them together. It didn't look like it did in the picture, so I tried it a couple more time and then just gave up and tied them together any old way. I place the bird on the vegetables, patted it dry with paper towels, and brushed melted butter on the skin. Very Silence of the Lambs. I put the bird into the oven, and scrubbed my hands with hot soapy water. I was feeling proud that I had touched flabby chicken skin and put my hand in a bird without puking or fainting, and after a while my kitchen started smelling good, and by the time Rob came home dinner was almost ready, but my moment had passed and I let him take over. He took the chicken out of the oven and let it rest under some foil, and when it was time to carve, my kitchen juices kicked back in and I tried to re-enact what Barefoot Contessa had done on TV. It just wasn't making any sense, though, and I couldn't bring myself to rip a leg of the poor thing, and then I realized that I had cooked the whole thing upside down. The breast skin, which was supposed to be all nice and crispy from the butter, was white and flabby (not unlike my own), but the underside of the bird looked great. I felt stupid, but the meat was actually very tasty and juicy. I think that's why it wasn't coming out right when I tried to tie the legs together; once I turned the bird over, it all made more sense.
The ironic thing about the timing of this meal is that earlier in the day I was at a friend's house and she lives on somewhat of a farm, and they just got two dozen baby chicks that they will raise and slaughter and eat. (Apparently, there is a traveling slaughter guy who comes to your house with a truck full of instruments of chicken torture, and coaxes the chickens into the truck and takes care of business. Would you want that job?) So, I went to see the chicks, and I held one, and they were all so cute and fuzzy and peeping, and then later that day I was shaking one of its brethren over the sink to try and get its guts out. Nice.
All of this was really just a way to be able to make more chicken stock since I got such a kick out of that. This was not my last chicken roasting, I will try again and emerge victorious. The one thing I wont do, though, is pick all the meat off the chicken. I really am not a fan of meat-on-the-bone; I don't like ribs, or chops with bones, or bar-b-qued or fried chicken that you eat with your hands. Which makes it all the more weird that I would want to roast a chicken in the first place. But, as long as I have Rob, I have someone who will pick the meat off the bones for me. I am still grossed out by raw chicken, but I've faced my fear and learned to deal with it. That's enough for now, there's no way I'm picking the meat off the chicken.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dog Day

I hate my dog today. I know I should be ashamed to say it, I know I should feel like a horrible, inhumane person for saying it, but I don't care. I hate my dog today, and I think I made a big mistake getting a dog, and I wish someone would come and take my dog away. Okay, that last part is probably overstating, but I do want to strangle the little beast. He was so cute when he was little; two and a half pounds of snuggly goodness. And we were such good puppy owners; we kept things out of reach, we played with him all the time, it was lovely and nice. Now, he's hit puppy adolescence where all the training goes out the window. I tell him to sit, he looks at me with defiance. I tell him to go in his bed, he walks out of the room. I turn my back for two minutes, he's on the kitchen table licking syrup off a plate. He steels socks, he tortures the cat and steels his food. He wont leave my daughter's slippers alone so she either has to have cold feet or put her feet up on a chair while she's eating breakfast, and I spend all morning yelling at the dog. There are not words strong enough to express how sick and tired I am of saying, "Perry! Off!" "Perry! No!" and I'm sure my neighbors can hear me screaming at him. My screaming is supposed to startle him into dropping the sock, jumping down off the table, but he just keeps on doing what he's doing, and I'm screaming like a banshee.
He's been limping lately, I don't know why, so I haven't been walking him as much. I had been walking him almost two miles every morning, but I wanted to rest his little leg. So I walked him this morning in an attempt to quell his hyperactivity and bad behavior, and the first thing he did when we got home was steel a sock and run into the backyard with it. Its really hard to hold out a treat and act all sweet and nice, saying "drop it!" when you're blood is boiling. I'm not Andersen Cooper, I can't afford to be replacing socks once a week. Nor do I want to go broke buying the dog stuffed animals so he can rip them apart in five minutes. I have some booby traps set up so that the next time he feels like jumping on a table, he will be startled by loud clanging. I'll get him in line if it kills us both.
This dog is costing me a fortune. I knew he would have to be groomed, but I had no idea what grooming costs. I'm here to tell you, it costs a lot. He needs his hair cut every 10 weeks or so, and it costs almost as much as my hair cuts and I get my hair cut twice a year. There's the food, the vet, the shots, the license, etc. He should shit solid gold.
When I'm in a really bad mood like this, the universe always mocks me in some way. I always get a little sign that my bad mood is meaningless and stupid and I should just get over myself. Right now, that sign is coming in the form of a monkey in Leila's room that is laughing all on its own. It must be under something, or shorting out because every few seconds since I started writing is goes, "boing!HAHAHAHA!" Alright, I get it.
I'm hungry. I'm going to make some yummy breakfast and hold off on killing the dog for a little while.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lies, all Lies!

What an exciting night, huh? Everyone seems to be walking on air today. Moral is high, people are hopeful, strangers are hugging each other. Of course, in my county, Barack (or, Brock, as Leila calls him) won by 80%, so we're pretty confident that we can share our relief and happiness with total strangers without the risk of getting into a fist fight. California also voted, however, to change its constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman only, so one step forward, two steps back. Okay, one GIANT LEAP forward... and two steps back.
But enough about the election. We voted, a winner was decided, and you can't get away from it today, so I will be your respite from election mania.
Yesterday, Leila flushed her vitamin down the toilet. I found out she's been doing this for a little while, and when I asked her about it, she lied to my face. Can you believe that? Little shit. When I said to her, "You are lying to me right now." She looked at the floor and said, "Shoot." She got a talking-to, and I had to try not to laugh and keep the Disappointed Mom look on my face (much more useful and guilt producing than the crazy, angry mom face) and she was very obedient for the rest of the morning. I guess kids have to lie to see what will happen when they do, to see if they can get away with it. She's such a bad liar, though. I can see right through her little rouses. First of all, when I asked her, "What did you with your vitamin?" She said "Nothing!": If she had actually eaten her vitamin, she would have said, "I ate it." Her first mistake. Then there's her face. She cannot not smile when she is lying, and this is a curse for her because sometimes when she's telling the truth, but knows I'm trying to suss out a lie, she smiles, too. It takes all my cleverness and guile to tell the difference. I was a great liar. I could lie about anything, any time, and my mom would believe me. Although, its entirely possible that she knew I was lying all along, but just didn't feel like dealing with it. Its tedious to give the same lecture again and again, and also more work for me to sit at the table every morning watching Leila chew her vitamin, so sometimes you know they're lying, and you just go, whatever.
Sometimes I would lie to my mom because I knew I could. My brother could never lie. To this day he can't lie without his face turning beat red and jittery. Maybe it was because he's blonde and fair skinned, and I'm olive skinned and don't blush easily, but that wouldn't explain the give- away grinning. I can't lie anymore, though. I think I peaked in high school, and now I can't lie without smiling and feeling like my whole body is going to turn inside out. On one hand, you could say that I'm blessed with honesty and integrity, but, seriously, I can't even lie about someone's bad haircut or awful shoes. Its a burden.
In other news, I did 45 minutes on the eliptical this morning. The machine said I burned 500 calories, so I ate at least that much at lunch. Rob says I don't need to do 45 minutes, I can just do 30, but I say I'm a fat cow and that extra fifteen minutes is the difference between losing one pound and one and a half pounds this week. I'm getting better about the nakedness thing. I'm still breaking the club rules and using two towels instead of one to cover myself, but I'm freaking a little less if someone walks by while I happen to be exposed. I started out being grateful for the anonymity that people seem to respect at the gym, but now I think its a little weird. If you know someone from school, isn't it weird to pretend you don't see them? To not say hi? Am I just that starved for interaction? And just when I was starting to feel slightly less pathetic. One step forward, two steps back.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    What a great night.  I made Leila watch Obama on TV, and she was more excited to see Oprah in the crowd.  
     Now, he'd better not screw it up...

Election Night! Finally!

I'm writing this while listening to CNN, and my election night party starts in a few minutes. I don't think I've ever had so much fun voting. It went by too fast! I mean the actual voting at the poll, not the campaign. I asked Rob what he's going to talk about now that its going to be over, and he assured me he'll be reading and obsessing about the post-game. He'll probably be in withdrawal for a while; be all crabby and listless. He'll have to find a new hobby. Maybe he'll start reading old newspapers and magazines and relive the whole thing starting with Obama's speech at the convention four years ago. If that happens, I'm going to have to kill myself. I need a break from pretending to listen and care about the minutiae of the campaigns. My feeling is, even though I'm a registered independent, I was never going to vote republican, so what do I care about little details? If something really big had happened, like someone had had an affair, or there had been a scandal, I would have heard about it.
La la la la, I'm excited! Wine time!! More tomorrow...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Go Vote

The weekend is almost over, and it was a good one. There were the Halloween trick-or-treating shenanigans (lots of fun, and lots of candy left over) and Leila spent the night at her grandparents house on Saturday so mom and dad had a date. It wasn't the traditional dinner-and-a-movie date that so many couples engage in. It was the, "come over to my house and I'll cook for you" kind of date, only without the coming over part because Rob already lives at my house. It was rainy (finally) and at around 4:30 I decided I'd make a hearty stew, so I went to grocery store and we ate dinner at 9:20. We had cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and watched three or four episodes of The West Wing on DVD. We stayed up to watch John McCain on SNL, and then our date ended the way all my high school dates ended: with no sex.
I didn't have dates in high school, actually. I had long suffering crushes on foreign exchange students and seniors, and pined away like a puppy asking stupid questions like "what's your favorite color?" and stuff like that. I guess I had a date for my eighth grade graduation, but after that, I didn't have a proper date, where you get taken out to dinner, until college. I was out of the country for my junior prom, and I didn't get asked to my senior prom. I asked a guy to take me, and he did, sort of. We drove to event together with some of my friends, and at some point we ate something, but other than that we didn't actually hang out at all. Not the dream we all dream of, but I think proms are supposed to suck. So, I didn't have dates, I had crushes that sometimes ended up in drunken making out, followed by me obsessing about every word and gesture. Not a fun way to live. I once said, "I wouldn't go through high school again if you paid me." To which someone responded, "Why not? You did it for free the first time." That's very true. I'd be really good at high school, now, though. What the hell am I talking about?
I don't know how I got on that topic. Oh yeah, sexless date. Anyway, we had a nice evening, and woke up and walked the dog and got a scone, had lunch with my parents, and then I went to the mall with my mom and we poked around there for a while. She bought me my birthday present (new Ipod) but I'm not allowed to have it until my birthday. Why does my birthday bring out the most immature side of me? Does everyone feel this way? Am I just a spoiled brat? Well, whatever it is, I'm enjoying it this year. I'm one of my few friends who is still firmly in her thirties, so I'm going to rejoice.
By the way, in case you read my post about eating cow tongue, and the question of whether people still eat it has been nagging at you, its been nagging at me, too. So, when I went to the meat counter to get my stew meat yesterday I asked the guy if anyone still eats tongue, and he said, no. He said he's had maybe three people special order it since he's been there (and it was insinuated that this meant it was a rare thing) and I asked if all those people were old folks, and he confirmed that, yes, they were all old folks. Maybe those people were nostalgic about the depression and wanted to roast up some cow tongue for old time's sake. So, there you have it, no one eats cow tongue anymore, and you can now rest easier.
I made the mistake of buying my dog another stuffed dog toy, and there's white, fluffy dog-toy innards all over the floor. This is a problem only because he doesn't let me sweep the floor; he wants to eat the broom. I also bought him a rain slicker.
Go vote.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yeah, we've got some game...

The Turd is Back

I went back to the gym this morning, and it was a little harrowing. I dressed more appropriately, I had a water bottle, headphones, the whole bit, but I went earlier than last time and this was my mistake. There were probably half a dozen moms from my school there, all fit and fabulous. The working out part wasn't so bad, just the regular amount of torture, and everyone seemed to respect everyone else's anonymity, but I was a little self conscious about my channel surfing and kept looking at other people's screens to see what they were watching. I watched Regis and Kelly, and Roseanne, and flipped channels a little bit. Most people were watching CNN, a couple of people were watching the morning shows, no one else was watching Roseanne (which has to be one of the best shows, ever.) The horrifying part came after the workout when I went to the locker room.
I kind of prepared myself for this, but, really, I wasn't at all prepared. I brought clean clothes along and stuff, but I kind of forgot about the whole being-naked-in-front-of-other-people thing. I got in the shower as quickly as I could, I dried off in the shower, but the gym towels were not quite big enough to cover everything I wanted to cover, and I was terrified that I would run in to one of the fit school moms with all my bulges hanging out, and, even worse, that they would be able to see my total lack of confidence and elegance while nude, (because if you're going to be overweight, you should own it) and I'd have to change schools. Now, I am not a prude. I have been naked in public more than your average person; nude beaches, hot tubbing etc. but that was about 50 or 60 pounds ago. I don't want to see myself naked, let alone make anyone on the PTA see me naked. Really, no one deserves that kind of trauma, and the fact that my husband actually wants to see me naked from time to time is a testament to his strong stomach.
There was a woman there, easily in her fifties, walking around naked, and she had the cutest little rig you ever saw. If I looked like her, I be naked so much I'd get a arrested. I glanced at her getting dressed, and she had put on a thong. I can't wear those, I find them uncomfortable and my ass is way to big. But here she was, all svelt and perky in her little thong; rock on sister!
Luckily, I found a dark corner of the locker room and dressed quickly, and no one from school had to see me naked. I went to my car, and felt like a turd. But, on the way home, I talked myself out of the turdishness: All of these hot little mamas at the gym work their cute little asses off to look the way they do, and I can do that, too, if I want. I'm going to force myself to go back there again and again, until I can walk around naked without feeling like a complete loser! I lost another pound this week! I made a Halloween costume! I am not a turd!