Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bored Housewife Year in Review

I follow this other blog called Dooce (maybe you've heard of it) and she did an end of year post that I am unabashedly stealing. (and its a cleaver little way of sending you through the back catalog if you're so inclined.) Here goes.

Here is a synopsis of Bored Housewife's 2009:

1) I got sick as a dog. A dying dog, in fact. I went to bed on January second and effectively didn't get up until mid-March. Then I got sick again, and recovered more quickly, but the way I see it, the first half of the year was pretty much shot to hell.

2) I had the one year anniversary of this blog! I have a band of loyal followers who make me feel like a super star.

3) I went camping three times.

4) I lost 2o pounds, and then found them again.

5) I redecorated my living room.

6) I had thrush.

7) My husband got to keep his job, our house is not worth less than what we owe on it, I didn't have any major car trouble, all my appliances (besides the water heater) made it another year, and no one in our house got the swine flu.

8) I went to Hawaii and Washington.

9) I made a whole batch of new friends

10) My house got all new pipes and a new water heater.

11) No one died. (Although, considering the year isn't actually over yet, I probably shouldn't jinx this. I am crossing my fingers and toes.)

12) I purged 12 bags of crap out of Leila's room and she's only asked for one thing back. Success!

13) I did a little dance, made a little love.

All in all, not a very eventful year, except for the near death experience. Bored Housewife indeed. Love you guys!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I'm back, my lovelies, BACK! The holidays are over, or almost over. We still have to get through New Year's Eve and the New Year's day traditional packing up of the Christmas stuff in time for Leila's birthday on the 3rd. I'm always in a funk on December 31st. In fact, in the notes I write to myself every year, reminding myself not to buy any more wrapping paper and that I need new mulling spices, I have a note that says, "You will be in a bad mood on New Years Eve. Deal with it." I plan to vedge, and eat and read and hibernate until its time to go bowling.

We had a nice Christmas. I will do a post mortem on Holiday Season 2009 and decide what parts I love and what parts I don't so I can minimize some of the stress next year. I think those six dozen bicotti really set a bad tone for the rest of the month. I feel like I spent the whole month in the kitchen, and we still don't have anything to eat. All we have in this house is m&ms and Trader Joes peppermint cookies. Even I can't live off that. And what a mess, huh? I cannot believe the clean up from Christmas day; the boxes, the paper, the packaging, the receipts the food the returns, blah blah etc. etc.

Last year, I told you that my family always exchanges meat products, for reasons passing understanding. This year, the only meat that was given was a can of fish from my dad to me. I gave it back to him, but kept the Safeway gift card that was taped to it. Rob gave my dad a jar of white asparagus, but that doesn't count as a meat product. I also told you last year that my mom is so stingy with the See's candies, so this year I ignored her protests, and told her that a) nobody likes these leftover cookies she puts out for dessert, and b) I ate saurbraten whithout complaining and I deserved some goddam bridge mix. I ripped open the package and ate them while looking into her pleading face. How can someone who is usually so generous be so stingy with candy? I don't understand it. She had kind of a sour puss on all evening. I don't know what her problem was. Maybe next time I'll bring my own bridge mix and write the gift tag out to myself. That way she can still regift hers. She also gave Leila a 30 year old travel alarm clock; you know, one of those old things that folds down into a little box? Leila was over the moon. You would have though she got Rock Band for the Wii.

The hamster is still alive. She has a new ball, but there's no space in Leila's room too roll around what with all her new crap from Santa. Her bedding is starting to stink a little, but its cool, we can hang with a stinky hamster. I tell you: if I had a bigger house, I would totally get a hamster. Even though I have sworn that I will never acquire another animal, I think a hamster is a really great pet. Yes, they are a little stinky, and you have to clean their cages, and some of them bite, but you don't have to walk them or bathe them or pay $70 every 10 weeks to have them groomed. They don't sleep with you and hog the covers and shed on your pillow, they don't get in fights with other neighborhood hamsters, and it doesn't matter if your kid is bored with them, hamsters don't care. They are perfectly happy to sleep all day and run on a wheel. AND! They only live, like, a year and a half, unlike the seemingly endless lives of my cats. You can still snuggle them, and pet them, but then you can get on with your life and you don't have to trick them by throwing a treat into the kitchen so that you can get out the front door unmolested. You don't have to take them camping, because they are fine being left alone for a few days. All in all, the perfect pet.

I mentioned Wii Rock Band, so I will leave you with this video of Leila singing a Beatles song. If I don't write again before New Year's, Happy New Year, and if you're in a funk, just deal with it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Beasties

This is Pancetta.
We are hamster sitting for the holidays. Oddly, Pancetta's mommy is not a second grader or even a second grade teacher, but a full fledged adult, with a job and everything. Frustrated that she has neither the time nor the space to satisfy her dream of having a dog (and naming it Bacon,) she settled for a she-hamster and named her... Pancetta. You with me? Alright.

Pancetta came with her own coordinated accessories including the strawberry you see above that serves as her refuge from the world. The hamster version of a calgon bath and 500 thread-count sheets. She has a matching wheel, and a big vitamin lick shaped like an ice cream cone. Everything a girl needs. Pancetta also arrived with a clear purple ball that she likes to be placed in so that she may roam the rest of Leila's room. I wonder if she's drunk, the way she bangs into things, but I know that she has some sense because she paused for a while on the warm heater vent.

Perry the dog is not amused.

He sits at Leila's door and whines. He knows there's something in there that is smelly and alive, and he cannot stand not knowing what it is and what it would feel like to lick it all over. Also, he loves (and is submissive to) all animals, even animals that can't stand him. (This is absolutely true: he once rolled over for a duck that was crossing our path.)

Pancetta spent a little time bumping into things in her ball today, and made a little pee pee in there. I put her back in her home, and took the ball to the kitchen sink to wash it out. I set it to dry on the counter, and Perry just about had a conniption. I decided it would be a good idea to let him see and smell and lick and touch the ball - WITHOUT THE HAMSTER IN IT - so he could see that it was nothing to worry about, and get on with his life.

I was wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong. Perry is now the proud owner of a hamster ball, and I must now go out and buy Pancetta a new one. Within minutes, the opening to the ball was gnawed to a pulp. A little miscalculation on my part, but my intentions were pure. Pancetta has been very generous and forgiving about the whole thing. At least I assume so, but I can't really talk to her about it because she's barricaded in her strawberry. Maybe I'll write her a nice note.

Perry and his ball. Note the frayed edge of the hole.

In other unrelated animal news, there were 6 bird craps on my car today, and one big, white sloppy one on my back deck. What has gotten into these birds? And don't say that its pinecone bird feeders, because I haven't put mine up yet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Visions of Sugar Plumbs and Pam

Okay, I'm back. This is what this blog would be like if I had a life. I've been busy making cookies, and throwing parties, and eating crab, and wrapping stuff, and shopping for stuff, and getting the dog his Christmas do done, blah blah etc etc.

None of that is at all interesting, so let me tell you about the dream I had last night. Its a little horror movie-ish, but oddly it wasn't a nightmare even though it sounds like one. Okay: I went to a clinic to give blood with Pam from The Office. (I had a little Tivo Office marathon yesterday) and she was giving her blood the regular way, but they told me they were going to take mine a different way; they were going to take it through my feet. I was not panicked at all. I wish my actual blood giving experiences were as panic free as my dream blood giving experiences. So I'm all, okay, and the next thing I know I'm sitting in the clinic wondering why I don't have a bag of blood next to me, so I look down and my feet - with shoes - are in bags that are tied around my ankles and filled with blood. Still no panic. I'm waiting for someone to take the bloody bags off, so I interrupt a meeting that's going on and I say, I'm really sorry for the interruption, but could someone take these bags of blood off my feet? And all the people look at me really weird, and then someone asks me who took my blood, so I describe the guy and they say, Oh, he's not from our clinic, he's from the mental hospital next door. I really think my brain was trying to construct a nightmare for me, but it just wouldn't stick; I was serenely calm. So I start walking around - yes walking, with blood bags sloshing around on my feet - and I'm looking for someone to take them off. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just take them off myself. I suppose I was hoping that there was a procedural way that wouldn't make my blood donation a big waste. Finally, I find some guy from the clinic who seems like he'll help me, but he bends down and starts licking the floor. Also from the mental hospital next door, I guess. I follow him anyway, and he picks up some plastic orchids and starts shaking them at me screaming "REGRET! REGRET! REGRET!" At this point I woke up and started laughing. I thought it was just hilarious.

That had nothing to do with anything. Sorry. Leila had a sleep over the other night and the girls got up at 6:30 in the morning and put all her stuffed animals under the Christmas tree and played Christmas morning. Isn't that cute? Yeah, whatever, real cute.

I just don't have anything interesting to tell you. I'm going into the city for dinner tonight. I'm doing a load of laundry. You know what I need? I need a drying rack. I have no room for such a thing in my house, but in the winter I have so many things that need to be line dried, and they end up hanging all over everything in my house. I have socks in the bathroom, sweaters flat drying in the bedroom, tights on all the kitchen chairs, its annoying. Alright, enough is enough. REGRET!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


So Leila got up to go to the bathroom at 1:45 in the morning, decided she wasn't sleepy, and turned on the light and read for the rest of the night. Rob found her awake when he got up at 6:30. Freak. She's cruising on five hours of sleep. The odd thing is, she's been fine all day, and I've been a wreck. I am so sleepy! I set aside some in my busy schedule for a nap, and I'm still tired. I can't actually believe I've typed this much, to tell you the truth. I must be a good typist because in my mind my fingers are going a;powne;tlktda;sdlitnads;lktosntoiasnt. This could get dangerous.

Tomorrow, I have to break the week-long boycott and go to the grocery store. I'm having company on Saturday night, and I suppose I have to feed them. Also, Leila's class holiday party is tomorrow, and I'm on the hook for that. We're making pinecone bird feeders, and tonight, in my zombie-like state, I will hot glue gun twine hangers to twenty pinecones. Exciting, right? I got an email from a friend who just spent a month in a buddhist retreat in Rio and did and saw all these amazing things, and I wanted to email him back and say Oh yeah? Well, I went to the farmer's market and found little gem lettuce, and I walked the dog, and yesterday I wrapped some presents. So there.

I just overheard Leila say to Rob, Today we are going to put on a play called Mess with the Bulls. This is a game where she pokes Rob until he wrestles her to the ground. As long as they're out of my hair...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mother of the Year?

Okay, I totally get the Mother of the Year award. All you other bitches, back off, because I win.

This afternoon, L and I are making Christmas cookies. Side note: I love sugar cookies with icing. I think they're my favorites. I don't make them very often because, frankly, they're a pain in the ass. You have to make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, use the cookie cutters, roll out the dough again, ice the suckers, and then you feel like puking because you ate your weight in dough scraps. Another side note: The other day I was bitching and squawking about how all the Christmas decorations and baking and cards and general messiness of the holidays is a big fat drag (using language much more appropriate for a seven year-old, and much less cynical) and L asks me, So then, what's your favorite holiday? Um, Christmas.

Anyway, so we're baking cookies today, and Leila was already dreading the hour that the dough has to chill in the fridge, because that hour may as well be a decade when you're seven, and I said No problem, I have some leftover dough in the fridge, we'll use that while we wait for the new stuff to chill. So we make the new dough and I wrap it up, and get the old dough out, and it dawns on me that this dough is really old. I look at the recipe and it says "store wrapped dough in the refrigerator for two days or in the freezer for one month." The last time we made cookies was... Halloween. This dough has been in the refrigerator for two months, and it has raw egg in it. This isn't the part where I win Mother of the Year, this is just the part where I'm a lame housewife who falsely believes that the refrigerator is capable of doing magic tricks. The part where I win The Big One, is when Leila, in denial about the wait for the new dough, says Why don't I taste it, to be sure its bad? And I go... Okay!

I let her eat a piece of two month old refrigerated cookie dough, and she just about ripped her tongue out. I thanked her for taking one for the team. What kind of person does this to a child? I console myself with the fact that she had already licked the beater and the bowl, and is on her way to an icing and sprinkle induced fit where her eyeballs will turn into psychedelic swirls like in cartoons. Right now she's in her room playing the roll of the kid practicing piano AND the mom, saying Great job, honey! I guess that's what I sound like when I praise her skills while really reading about Jon Gosselin on TMZ. Is this better or worse than catching her playing with a broken beer bottle at the park when she was four? Hard to say.

You know what else? I went to the effing super market five times last week, which is five more times that I'd like, so this week I decided I'm not going. We will eat what is already in this house, we will ration, we will subsist on two month-old cookie dough, but I am not setting foot in a grocery store. Maybe Friday I'll have to, but that's it. I got so desperate, I ate leftover nasty casserole that had been in the fridge for a few days. It was still okay, and it didn't kill me, obviously, but it was risky.

I think the dough is done chilling now, and we can get this show on the road. I have to steel myself for lip biting that must be done while L is making the cookie cutter shapes on the rolled-out dough too far apart. I'm breathing. In. Out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Decking the Halls with Balls

Decorating a Christmas tree with an almost-8-year old is havoc for a control freak. I have been saying to myself silently, in my head, Calm down, you can move it after she goes to bed. Just calm the eff down. And of all the fragile things that she took out of the box, I was the one who broke an ornament. It was a good one, too. Oh well, easy come, easy go. Usually, the Christmas tree and all the house decorations and outside lights go up all in the same day, but this year things got spread out, so it seems like a never-ending process. I have been tree-decorating for over and hour, and I still have more to do, but I need a break. Is there a law that says I need to put every ornament I own in the tree? Even the ugly ones? And why -WHY? - do I have so many damned heavy ornaments that need just the right branch? I have vowed never to buy a heavy ornament ever again. In fact, I haven't gotten any new ornaments, heavy or light, in a long time. I think the ones I have now are the ones I'll have forever. That's depressing. The same Crate and Barrel sparkly balls: forever.

Here are my faves, in no particular order:

One of the afore-mentioned Crate and Barrel sparkly balls, circa 1996. We had credit at C&B left over from wedding gifts, and got 6 of them, all with different designs.

This is a dragon fly made out of panty-hose, some kind of coloring, wire, with plastic jewels stuck on it. Leila made it in preschool. Usually most of the crap she makes in school gets thrown out when she's not looking, but I love this panty-ho dragon fly, and I'm sure there must have been dragon flies in the barn where Jesus was born, so it is Christmasy, no matter what you say.

This is the last ornament I bought myself. It was from The Container Store, and I thought it was the cutest little moose, until someone, weeks later, pointed out that, duh, its a reindeer. Sometimes, I'm really stupid.

I took this fake bird off a wreath at my old work. I love this bird, but I think I'm the only one in my family who does. If I remember correctly, one of our Christmas traditions is for Rob to say, Do we have to put that fucking bird in the tree again? and, of course, I insist that it be front and center because I love it. Its a pretty life-sized bird, about seven or so inches from the tips of its wings to the end of its tail. Its no small feat to find a good spot for it. I also have a small bird house and a small bird nest with a little cardinal in it (probably also lifted from wreaths from the same office party,) that get set in the tree. Its a tree! Birds go in trees! I just don't see the problem.

This might be my favorite. The picture makes it look like its just an average yellow ball, but its actually a GIANT yellow ball, about five inches in diameter, and the bright yellow paint was swirled around the inside and makes a cool, swirly pattern. Swirly is a very good word. It perfectly describes my religious beliefs: Swirly. Its like a big, bright sun, right in the middle of the tree. The birds need sunlight.

I wish I had a picture of the ugliest ornament I ever had, but I finally threw it out a few years ago. It was a plastic Santa head with clear plastic icicle coming out of the bottom. It looked like Santa's head on a pike. It was disturbing. It occurs to me now that this would have been an appropriate place to put a picture of the whole tree, but I didn't take one so its too late. Maybe tomorrow, when the boxes and the tissue are put away, and the needles are swept up, and my camera batteries are recharged.

I was going to follow up on my post the other day about thinking of one thing Rob could do to improve my experience of our marriage and I came up with something. Only, he doesn't want me to tell you what it is. That's what I get for being considerate and asking first. Suffice it to say that he has made the change, and my life has been improved by a fraction of a percentage point, so that's something. Sometimes I think he just says no to random stuff to prove that he can, that I only get my way most of the time and not all of the time, so I asked him if this was one of those random times, and he said that it wasn't, and that he just didn't need my readers to know what it was I asked him to change. So, the fact that he doesn't want me to tell you can lead you to infer that it is either gross, embarrassing, or both. Let your imagination run wild!

He did give me an early Christmas gift, though: we went to see Brandi Carlile live on Saturday night and sat in the fourth row! It was awesome, and a great present. Someone is getting extra starch in his panties this week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Moment of Fame

Today was the opposite of yesterday. I did exactly what I told you I was going to do, and added a little something special.

I made the biscotti (but I still have to chocolate dip them) and I went to the super market - AGAIN - to get the ingredients for L's class' snazzy snack tomorrow (don't ask, you don't really want to know) and while I was there, I bought myself some crab. Rob doesn't really care for crab. He'll eat it, but he is somehow immune to the sheer pleasure of picking the meat and drinking wine and making a evening of it. Maybe its because wine gives him an unbearable headache, but having crab for dinner is one of my favorite things, and he always pees on my parade. And cheese fondue; that's another one of my favorites that he poo-poos. So I bought two crabs, one for lunch, one for later, and I sat at my kitchen table, listened to the radio, and picked crab meat. I dipped it in my favorite mayonnaise/curry sauce, and saved a crab's worth of meat for a snack. Rob is not allowed to have any. He can eat the damn sweet potatoes that are still in the fridge from Thanksgiving. I also bought myself the Vanity Fair magazine with Meryl Streep on the cover. I tried to read it while picking my crab, but that is really ill advised.

When I was done with my crab, I sat down on the couch and started the article, but I fell asleep in the middle and took one delicious nap. When I woke up, I finished the article, and started in on the new Oprah magazine that came today (on time, I might add.) Now I'm feeling frustrated and dark. Oprah is just so much pressure. In every magazine, its LOSE WEIGHT! SECURE YOUR FINANCES! BUY THESE CLOTHES! LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE! NOW, BITCH!!!!! This is not a best life kind of day. I'm in a mood. In a funk. I need to get out of here. I need to stop making biscotti and melting chocolate. I need to find some new energy, some outside influence, I need to jack up my chi.

But here is another thing that I was WAY too excited about. I listen to this podcast almost every day. I'd like to tell you that I'm learning spanish or listening to Eckhart Tolle tell my how to live without fear or whatever, but its a podcast of the morning radio people let off the FCC leash a little bit, talking about sex and porn and coffee enemas, and I am sort of, I guess, addicted to it. So the other day, they were going on and on about this one topic, and I felt compelled to email them with my point of view. Yes, for a few minutes, I was that person, carefully crafting an email to the radio people about a topic that could not be less important. Well: while I was picking my crab, THEY READ MY EMAIL ON THE AIR. That's not even the best part: one of the guys interrupted the girl while she was reading it and she said, wait for it, Hold on, the way this is written is really funny. A SEMI FAMOUS PERSON THOUGHT I WAS FUNNY! That's all I ever really want in this life, just to be funny. I'm not going to be thin, or a genius inventor, or a big philanthropist, or cure cancer, so I may as well be funny. The stupid part is that I should have signed the email with my blog address, but I didn't. Stupid. If you want to hear it, although, really, why would you, listen to the 12/9 podcast on this link, its 13 minutes and 19 seconds in. God, I'm pitiful.

Off to melt chocolate for these goddam effing biscotti.

***ADDENDUM*** I'm done okay? Now get off my back!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Walking in a Shredded Coconut Wonderland

I bet the kitchen in this house is clean...

I need a glass of wine and to not listen to the goddam Nutcracker anymore. Its been Nutcracker central here since L went on that field trip, and now she wants a leotard for Christmas. I just can't listen to it ONE MORE TIME. I am sure I'll turn violent if I do.

Check out what I did today: I was Susie Homemaker on 'roids. I stripped the beds and washed the sheets, I returned some rainboots, went to the supermarket, decorated a gingerbread house with L and my mom, made two batches of orange/almond biscotti, and a casserole. Its a god-awful casserole too, but I love it; broccoli, left over turkey from Thanksgiving, and a can of Campbells cream of mushroom soup mixed with mayonnaise and curry powder. Awesome. Rob hates it, and I don't care. He'll eat it and like it, and then he'll clean the kitchen.

My kitchen is now a mess. I've complained before that my house is small, but the size of the kitchen doesn't really bother me unless I've got a couple of things going on in there like I do right now. The biscotti are cooling on a wire rack right next to a pan of water that was used to steam the broccoli, my to-do list is sitting on the toaster next to a damp dish towel and an advent calendar, Leila's lunchbox is in the mix, next to a zested orange and my sunglasses, and the kitchen table is covered with dry gingerbread house "glue" and grated coconut. This is the time of day when I just want to turn my back on the whole mess and go to bed early. The sheets are not back on the bed yet, though, and I still have to melt some chocolate and dip the biscotti in it.

I honestly don't understand how the alpha moms do it. In the immortal words of Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter, one of the best movies ever made, I'm about ready to die. I am reading a really good book right now, not a vampire book (although I'm fairly certain I had a sexy vampire dream last night which may or may not have included Daniel Day Lewis) and tomorrow I'm going to sit on my ass and read it. Bored Housewife has done enough. I do need to make one more batch of biscotti tomorrow, though, but after that, its all ass-sitting, all the time.

But now, I have to leave you kind people and return to the kitchen, where I've been all goddam day, and create some order where there currently is none. Leila's teacher wants all the parents to make two dozen cookies for the holiday party so the kids can have a cookie exchange, and if I can't change her mind on that I may have to kill myself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

She Got the Blues

And if the first movie I posted doesn't get nominated, I'm sure this one will win a VMA.

Oscar Contender, For Sure, Yo

Okay! I finished! Leila's room was finished a little while ago, and I didn't get around to finishing my movie, so it got messy again (but not as messy as before!) and so I've cleaned it up again, and here we are! My MASTERPIECE! My crazy iMovie skills!

Monday, December 7, 2009

How the New York Times has Almost Ruined my Day

I have a long list of silly little things to do, and when the list is long I get housewife paralysis and can't seem to do anything at all. I've already been shopping, and I've been back to the dentist to have him look at my filling and tell me that the pain will indeed go away, and now I'm home, strangled by what to do next. I've made phone calls, refreshed the facebook, pet the dog, and now here I sit.

I read a great NYT article this morning (here it is, its long, but its worth it) and, before I read it, Rob had been telling me about it, and I was going to write about how there are ten things I could think of to improve Rob's experience of our marriage, but I can't think of a single thing he could do to improve my experience of our marriage. Of course there are things that, were I painting the perfect man, I would change, like making him George Clooney, but I can't think of a single thing that he actually has control over that I'd want him to change. I told him I would work on it today and get back to him. I don't actually want to ask him to change anything, because then, to be fair, I would have to commit to changing something and God knows I don't want to do that. Let me just get through the holidays, and I'll consider making a bigger effort in the new year. No, my challenge is to think of one thing today that I would want him to do differently if we were at the bargaining table... and I got nothin'. Last night, he was bitching about me not hanging up the jackets or whatever, and he said, in his smart-alecky way, You know, if you only made a little effort... and I said, I do; I make a very little effort. Ha Ha, I'm so funny.

So I read the whole article, while not doing the five nagging things on my to-do list, and it was very engaging reading, but instead of being inspired to write about what I thought the article would make me want to write about, I got caught up in the serious, all-too-relatable parts, and now I'm worrying on my marriage. Not worried about my marriage, just fixating on those few little areas that, if I pay too much attention to them inside my head, I will lose a whole day to them and wind up in a funk, and later, when Rob gets home, he'll be all What's with you? and I'll be all, Six years ago, you did this thing that really hurt my feelings, and we now have to rehash the whole thing all night long. And he'll be all, Someone, please kill me. I will invite drama into my life, all because I spent too much alone time ruminating on the one or two issues, that will never - NEVER - be resolved in this relationship. And they're not even deal-breakers!

Every relationship has those couple of things that are never going to be solved to anyone's satisfaction. If you think you don't have those couple of things, you do, you just haven't poked them with a stick in a while. At this point, Rob and I only fight about one thing, and its the same fight every time, and it ends the same way every time. Its about who is the better parallel parker. I say its me, and he thinks its him, and he is wrong and will always be, forever and ever, amen.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Guess what I did last night? Its pretty amazing and special, and you'll never guess; I woke up in the middle of the night, and my mouth was closed. I was breathing through the two holes in my head that have been useless for the last however many days! Isn't that exciting? I haven't had to brush my teeth (and tongue and lips and roof of my mouth) and swirl listerine around in there first thing when I get up to cleanse the mouth-breathing scum! I never appreciate breathing more than when a cold is almost over. The universe has smiled on me, and now its saying, Okay, quit your whining and put up your damn Christmas lights.

So let me tell you what happened yesterday, during the day, while my nose was still filled with cement. We are dog sitting Mosely, a little sweetheart of a dog. After I had taken the kid to school and walked the dogs, I came home and said, eff it, and went back to bed. I slept off the nyquil haze until around 10:30, then got up and started puttering around. I had to drive on a field trip for Leila's class, The Nutcracker, and I had to be at the school at 11:40. So I'm sitting at the computer, obsessively refreshing facebook, and I hear Mose make the most horrendous sound you've ever heard come out of a dog. It was like a the sound you really want to make when you have post nasal drip, but you don't because its too disgusting and your throat might fall out. He makes this sound for a while, then he stops. Then he starts again, and this episode is followed by him standing stock-still in them middle of the living room for five minutes, moving nothing but his eyes, and trembling. I start mildly freaking out that he is going to hork something up while Rob is at work, because I do not deal well with animal by products, so I call Rob at work, and he says, What's the worst that can happen: you'll come back from the field trip and he'll be dead. Thanks, dude, you're awesome. Mose starts making the sound again, and standing still and shivering some more, so I call my friend who I unfairly think knows all answers to all medical questions, man or beast. I hold the phone to Mose so she can hear the sound, and tell her about the still-standing and the shaking, and she says, It sounds like he's having a stroke, and he needs attention right away. Holy shitballs, this dog is going to die on my watch, and his mom is in Michigan, and I have to go to the Nutcracker, and HE'S GOING TO DIE!

I jump into hysterical action. I call Leila's teacher and make sure there are enough drivers that she can stuff the kids assigned to me in another car, and she can. I didn't really want to see the Nutcracker, anyway. Then I start calling local vets until someone says I can bring him down right away. So I get his leash, and Mose looks sprightly for a moment, bounding over to me because he thinks its walky time, but then he starts honking like a goose, and we're back to square one. I drive to the vet, all the while saying soothing things to him, calling him every term of doggy endearment you can think of so he wont die in my car. I fill out forms, I bring him into the exam room and... he's fine. $93 dollars later, we think he has a piece of grass stuck in his throat. He may have kennel cough or a sinus thing, so we'll put him on antibiotics just in case, but he's a healthy dog. And the vet cleaned his eye-boogers since I can only bring myself to clean the eye-boogers of my own animals.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm super glad he's not dying. The last thing his owner needs this week is a dead dog, and I have a cold so obviously I'm in no mood, and if any animal is going to die it really should be my old, cranky cat. But now I'm all keyed up, my adrenaline is pumping, I've missed the field trip, and Mose is climbing on my lap while I'm sitting in the parked car, looking at me like, I like your car! Your hair looks awesome! I call my friend back, and she's all, Oh, sorry I freaked you out by telling you he was having a stroke, and I'm all, yeah, whatever, thats the last time I call you for medical advice about anything, (only that's completely untrue, and I'll probably call her today about this annoying bump on the inside of my cheek.)

Still, all's well that ends well. Mose was till honking last night before we went to bed, and I was thinking, c'mon, man! Hork it up! Rob is home! Hork on, my brother! but there's no evidence of horkage this morning. He's quiet and happy, laying in front of our bedroom door, waiting for Rob to get up. I take him to the vet while he's dying, but he still likes Rob best. Jeez.

Perry and Mosely, after the ordeal

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I've got a Cold in my Nose

I have a cold, god dammit. So annoying. Don't you hate it when you have a cold, you take some cold medicine to make it through the night, and because the raw throat, scummy lips and drooling from all the mouth breathing aren't enough, some time in the middle of the night your nose starts to leak? You're completely congested, so there's no real movement in or out, and any amount of blowing doesn't seem to make any difference, but somewhere around three in the morning, you feel something wet dripping from your nose. You don't want to blow, because the first blow after a few hours of not blowing is accompanied by a little cough, and you don't want to wake up the man, or the dogs. So you grab some kleenex and dab at your nose, and now that you are awake, you are aware of how raw your throat feels, and how your mouth tastes like ass, and you have to fall asleep all over again, praying that the nyquil has not worn off.

When the alarm goes off at 6:30, you feel like there's extra gravity under your bed and you don't want to get up more than you have not wanted to get up ever, but you kind of do want to get up so you can go brush your teeth, and tongue and lips and the roof of your mouth. But you know that if you get up, the dogs will be awake and start making their needs known, so you just lay there and try to ignore all the gross little things that have happened to your face over night.

You know what makes this scenario even better? Is when you're seven year old daughter decides to wake up super early, and read OUT LOUD in her room. It was just after 6, with a half hour left to go until the alarm went off, and she's in her bed, lights on, reading Ivy and Bean, full voice, with feeling and probably gesticulation. And now the dogs are up. Waking up at 3 a.m. with leaky nose is one thing, but waking up in the sweet half hour before the alarm goes off is another altogether. So I'm laying there, not wanting to get up (see previous paragraph) but now I'm getting mad, and there's no way you can go back to sleep when you're mad. So I get out of bed, stomp into her room, and tell her to shut the fuck up. Of course I didn't really say that, but that was the sentiment. She apologized up and down this morning, but that don't get mommy her half hour of precious sleep back, does it, little girl?

I have to say, though, as annoying as having a cold may be, compared to the Big Sick of 2009, its no big deal. I figure, if I could handle a crisis feeling the way I do, then I'm not that sick, and for that I am grateful. You know what else is awesome? I only have to leave the house one more time today, and I can stay in the rest of the day and sleep or watch TV or whatever. The kid has been walked to school, the doggies have both been walked and were both business men (meaning they both pooped) a dark load is in the washer, and I am free and clear for a few hours. I'm almost out of kleenex, and that may be a problem, but other than that, this will be a good day for a cold.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is Wrong with People?

Okay, I have two things I want to talk about today, and neither one of them include vampires. At least I don't think so.

1) Have you watched the show Hoarders? Oh my God. Its so compelling, but so revolting. I can't not watch it. Just like its predecessor, Intervention, about addiction, its these people who are, frankly (and I don't think I'm being uncharitable here,) effing train wrecks. I joke about how I'm a pig with my pink mildew in the shower, and how I sleep under stacks of clothes at the foot of my bed while inhaling cat hair in my sleep, but these people are not pigs. I mean, they are, for sure, but they're also sad, sick people who need so much help. Its most heartbreaking when there are children involved like last night, and you see a little tiny kid picking his way into a room with a foot of trash on the floor. I can't stop watching it. Apparently, 3 million Americans are afflicted with compulsive hoarding, and I am so glad I am not one of them. Its good TV, though, I'll tell you that much. A double dose of Intervention and Hoarders right before you go to sleep is enough to give you nightmares. This one woman on the show last night had an armchair under so much garbage that it decomposed and broke in pieces when the cleaners (people with stomachs of steel, I don't know how they do it) touched it. Ugh.

2) I went to the playground today (I know, that's shocking as I NEVER go to playground. Bo-ring) and I had nothing to do while L ran around, and I noticed the woman on the next bench was reading the new People magazine, the one with Oprah on the cover. I thought to myself, Hey, maybe when she's clearly done and puts it down, I'll ask if I can borrow it. So I start looking at L's library books (all about sharks and dolphins and other marine life; I'm so over it) and then I notice the People magazine woman get up, with the magazine, and start walking toward the trash can. This time, I am saying to myself, out loud but not loud enough that people could hear me and think I was a psychopath, No. No no no. Don't do it! NO!

Bitch threw the People magazine in the trash. Its still on news stands! Its brand new! How does someone DO THAT? I had half a mind to go over and dig it out of the trash, but its not like the trash can at the library or something, its the playground, and its filled with dirty diapers and melted popsicles and bags of dog poop (hopefully its in bags) and all other kinds of nasty-ass things that kids create and parents throw away at the playground. When L was tiny and still learning to use the toilet, she crapped her pants at the playground and I threw her underpants with the poo still in them right into the trash can. I did not have a bag. This is what parents have to resort to sometimes, okay? I wasn't going to walk around with a poo-filled panty until I found a more suitable receptacle. Anyway, I was shocked. Who throws People magazine away? You can always find someone who is more than happy to take it off your hands, and then they'll pass it on to someone else until it ends up in a doctors office a year from now with the cross word done and the coupons ripped out, and you still enjoy looking at it. Crazy. Oh, and don't even get me started on how she didn't save it for recycling. Honestly.