Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am so damn tired. I have no good reason to be, except that I'm feeling a little off and have a huge, infectious boil on my face, and I got a swine flu shot yesterday, but other than that, I'm just draggin'. And I have to make dinner in two and a half hours! Ugh! I got a coupon for a free hamburger today, and I have a can of chili in the cabinet, and some about-to-turn baby spinach, so maybe that's what's for dinner. You know, its weird: The last two things I've cooked (curry and shrimp fried rice) have just turned me right off. Rob ate them up and thought they were delicious, but the thought of eating the leftovers just turns my stomach. Do you think I'm going through take-out withdrawals? Do you think that my body is rebelling against home-cooked food? Remember I told you I got that burrito the other night? That didn't turn my stomach, just the stuff I'm cooking myself. Huh.

Hey, I have a bone to pick with you readers. I checked, and 47 people hit this blog yesterday, and NO ONE answered the question I posed in the last post! Wassamatta? Shy? I need answers, people!

I gotta go. I fell asleep during the President's speech yesterday and I want to watch the rest. Actually, I'm expecting to turn it on and fall asleep again, and that's just fine with me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Remember how proud I was yesterday? How kick-ass? How on top of it? Well, it all went in the crapper. Not really, but a little bit.

I lost my will to do anything but sit on the couch yesterday, so I did not make dinner, could not bring myself to eat the left over curry, was whiny and loser-like, so Rob went and got me a burrito. Then today I took my mother to lunch, but, believe me: with the free two-week trip to Hawaii coming up next month, lunch is a wise, dividend-paying investment. It was never going to last, we had to have known that, right? I'm not giving up, though! I'm right back on the wagon today! Except I'm not really.

I'm just not feeling that great. I've been sleeping like the dead, which is wonderful, but unusual for me. I am often woken by a cat crawling on me, or by heavy rain, and I'm usually awake and coherent by the time the alarm goes off, but the last two nights have been like black holes of sleep, and I am alarmed by the alarm, and confused and exhausted.

Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with Michael C Hall from Dexter and he was wearing the knit cap he wore to the Golden Globes and the SAG awards (yes, I watched both, and I'm not the least bit ashamed) and he has a big lesion type thing on his face. Just then, Rob woke me up to kiss me goodbye, and he was wearing a knit cap, and I was flummoxed for a sec'.

I am very fearful of getting sick, so every feeling I have that isn't typical is a sure sign of my oncoming demise. I have a big cyst on my face (its gnarly, you don't want to know about it) and its infected right now, and I'm sure this means that I will somehow end up in the hospital with IVs. I have to calm down. I have to make dinner! (Rob is grossed out by my cyst, and says that if he touches it, the baby spiders will come pouring out. Its so nasty.)

On another topic all together, if you are a stay-at-home parent, or even a parent working part-time but still the primary caregiver to your children (or you were at some point) tell me: did you perceive an image of the perfect Stay-at-Home-Parent? I'd really like to know, so please leave your answer in the comments. I'm curious to see if its just me. My whole blog depends on this myth existing, so I can continue to write about how I will never live up to it, but no pressure...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

I have two projects going on right now, and I thought I would update you on my progress. I know you've been chewing your nails to the quick anticipating this.

1) Level two cleaning: Blah. So far, I have cleaned the stove top (yesterday,) vacuumed, and Rob cleaned the floor, but not completely. That makes two of five projects, completed (almost) in two weeks instead of two days. Pretty pathetic, but totally typical of yours truly. I tried to get my mom to take me to lunch today, but she said she couldn't because it had been three weeks since she cleaned her bathroom and dusted her bedroom and she just couldn't take it anymore. I laughed out loud, and told her if I had cleaned my bathroom three weeks ago, I would be telling people I had "just" cleaned my bathroom, not cleaning it AGAIN! So, the level two cleaning thing is not going too well, and I suck out loud.

2) Spending Strike: I have to separate this into two categories, restaurant spending and "other." Let's start with Other: We made it through the January credit card statement, and if it weren't for my golden-assed cat, and the broken thing under the car, we would have been okay. There was some spending for Leila's birthday, some Christmas stuff, and we hadn't started our strike at the beginning of the statement period, so the bill is a little higher than we'd like. We're on to the next statement period though, the strike is on, and we're doing much better. We have had some issues: Leila needed clothes (she really did, not like when I "need" to go to lunch.) We went to a piano lesson and there was another mother there and I was so embarrassed because everything L was wearing was at least a size too small, maybe more. She looked ridiculous. And she's been complaining that she's cold and that could be because her turtle necks don't go past her belly button. So I had to shell out for some new duds. Everything I bought was on sale, and every thing was necessary, except for a pair of shoes that were really cute. Believe it or not, that was almost $150 right there. (I have a pseudo-relative who has designer bags and clothes, gets mani pedis, plays tennis and does yoga, and complains that she can't afford to see a doctor about some complaint or another. She's in her early twenties, so I just smile and nod, but what I really want to tell her is that, of course you would rather spend your money on cool stuff instead of co-payments or deductibles, but just wait until you're the stay-at-home mom you are looking forward to being: then you'll have to spend your cool-stuff money on doctor's appointments and turtle necks and piano lessons and there wont be anything left for you. I figure she'll find that out on her own, all in due time.) Also, I had to pay the balance on a chair I bought during the big redecoration of the living room, and L's birthday party is coming up so that will cost a little bit...

Here's the thing, though. We are KICKING ASS on the not eating out thing. Sure, I want to go out to lunch right now more than just about anything else in the world, but generally I've stopped thinking about getting take out for dinner, and craving things that can only be found in restaurants. Here's proof: During the November statement period, we charged $475.61 eating out 13 times. I would like to say that that is above normal for us, but I really can't. I know I took a couple of people out to lunch in that period, but its probably more typical than I'm comfortable with and $275.61 over budget. So far in the current statement period we have charged $0 eating out 0 times. YEAH BABY! I have been a cooking fool! And you wanna know what else? I am still pantry eating! I haven't bought any meat! I'm still using what has been in the freezer, and I am making whole dinners out of what I find in the cupboards. I am AWESOME! I am a MACHINE! I have bought fresh vegetables and milk and stuff, so there has been some grocery shopping, but I have made soups and salads and curry and tacos and I have done most of it on a shoestring. During the November statement, in the same number of days as where I am now on the February statement, I spent $276.50 on groceries, compared to $246.93 now... I guess that's not so incredible, but considering I'm cooking in instead of ordering out, its not too shabby. Tonight I'm making shrimp fried rice using frozen Trader Joes prawns that have been waiting for their turn, and then tomorrow it will be mystery meat night where I will defrost and unwrap something that's been in the freezer for a while and I have no idea what it is. Last time it was pork loin, this time, who knows?

The goal now is to make it to Valentine's day (a.k.a. the day L and I leave for Maui and my parents start paying for everything) without eating out, or going to the ATM. The ATM will be the hard part. See, I have actually gone to lunch twice, and Rob and I did go to Red Lobster, but we had sold the old sofa for $100 so we paid in cash. But now the cash is running out. Can I make it another 18 days folks? No take out? No cash? Stay tuned...

So, anyone out there want to take me to lunch?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Midnight Rambler

I have been very parenty today. Very mothery. And when I say today, I mean all day, starting at midnight when L started moaning Owwwwww! in her room. Taking care of a sick kid in the middle of the night feels like something a mother would do. Most of the time, I'm just getting us through the day with food in our bellies and weather appropriate clothing. I teach table manners, make sure homework and piano practice are done, try to get her to clean her own room and hang up her own backpack. But when they feel like puking in the middle of the night, that's when the real mothering chops come out. That's when we rise to the occasion. Literally.

Here's the other thing, though: no matter how empathetic you actually feel toward your kid when they're sick, you still want to strangle them for waking you up. In L's case, I wish she would just yell Mommy! instead of moaning and groaning so she gets me in there but can deny that that was what she was trying to do. Owwwww! Oh, sorry I woke you. Do you think that could be from me stomping in there and hissing, What is it!? Also, I know this kid. She generally does not fake it (not like I did EVERY DAY) and I can tell when she is trying to fake it so she can watch more TV. She definitely does not fake it in the middle of the night. If she has a fever or pukes, my good mommy behavior is called up a little sooner, but when there is no physical evidence of illness, I get annoyed. Much like my own mother, who, when I told her I was afraid something was really wrong with me last year and I was really scared said, Oh, relax, don't be so dramatic. She didn't say that while she was sitting in the ICU with me, though, did she?

Anyway, while I'm sitting there with L in the middle of the night because that's all I can think of to do for her besides give her some tylenol, I get this huge wave of nausea, unlike anything I've ever felt, and all I can think is, Shit. We're getting the stomach flu, and it will be nothing but barf and diarrhea all weekend long, and then Rob will get it and he'll be a big baby. Luckily, that has not happened, although L did puke in my bed about an hour later. We were prepared, we had The Bowl, and she fell into a deep sleep right after. I am now a fan of having kids puke in the dark.

I sent Rob to sleep in L's bed, and she and I were up periodically throughout the night. I took her to the doctor this morning and she has an ear infection. Here's a question: how can a child be perfectly fine when she goes to bed, after a good dinner and a rousing game of Yahtzee, and wake up a few hours later with an ear infection? Little warning might be nice. She is currently asleep in my bed after assuring me that she wasn't tired and that it would be too hard for her to close her eyes. Ok, dude, whatever you say.

To top off the extra mothery feelings I am experiencing today, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Want one?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Keeping up with the Scallops

Oh my gosh! I haven't posted in a whole WEEK! Where has the time gone? There is so much to update you on, I just don't know where to start. How about at Red Lobster?

To be funny, Rob gave me a $25 gift card to Red Lobster for Christmas. Only, he forgot to actually give it to me at Christmas, so he gave it to me -wrapped in Christmas paper - last week. I know I am not the only one who has salivated over the Red Lobster commercials on TV, and dreamed about diving into a vat of all-you-can-eat shrimp and eating my way out. Admit it! Don't be ashamed, its ok to dream. We figured we'd save the gift card until some later date, but the thought of the buttery scampi and the scallops were too much for us to bear, so Friday night I dropped L off with my parents, picked Rob up from work, and we drove the 36 miles to the closest Red Lobster.

We had an appetizer while we waited for our table, and I made the mistake of looking in the little booklet where they keep all the nutritional information. Our appetizer was 1200 calories. Twelve. Hundred. For dinner I had the broiled seafood platter with stuffed soul, shrimp scampi, and bay scallops and mashed potatoes. Basically, a plate of melted butter with a little seafood thrown in. It in no way resembled the deliciousness that they sell you in the commercial, but it was still heavenly. There was no way I could finish it (not after that appetizer) so I got to enjoy it again the next day for lunch. I felt gross, but it was totally worth it.

We had a rainy weekend, my favorite kind of weekend, and here is what I did on Sunday: Rob watched football, I sat on the couch and watched sitcoms on hulu with my headphones. When they were over, I read my Oprah magazine and fell asleep on the couch. When the football game ended, Rob went to the gym, and I continued my nap on the couch. I got up eventually, felt sick because I had slept too hard and long, waddled around the house for a while, then sat back on the couch and watched the Golden Globes pre-show on E. I watched it on fast forward because if I have to hear Seacrest speak I will die. I watched the whole, long, endless Golden Globes telecast, watched the after party on E, still on the couch, and then something strange happened; I looked up from the computer solitaire I was playing, while watching TV, and I noticed that Keeping up with the Kardashians was on. I've never seen an episode of this show, but Sunday night they had a marathon and Rob and I watched it for more than two hours. We were strangely compelled. Not only were we watching it, but we were discussing it, like, That khloe is really not being fair to the other one's boyfriend. and Kim really shouldn't lie like that; what is she teaching her little sisters? and She seems dead inside but look at her ass! Then, we started looking them up online to find out more about them, like who's the oldest (Kourtney) who's the tallest (Khloe.) It took me two hours of watching the show to realize all their names start with K. (I'm slow like that.)

I went to bed feeling much like I had after my dinner at Red Lobster: It was bad for me, I was disgusted with myself, I felt fat, I needed to sleep it off, and I was looking forward to the next time I could abuse myself like that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Old Dog, New Trick

I think we can give up on the Level Two Clean Up project for this week. It aint happening. Which is probably better for you since you don't really want to hear the detailed play-by-play of me vacuuming rugs, right?

I picked up Sunny from the vet yesterday, and she doesn't look too good. If I could find her, I'd take a picture of her butt for you, but I can't, and you are, again, spared. I am assured by the vet that, even though she looks like she got shot in the but-tock with a hunting rifle, she is fine, she's healing well, and she can go outside and reclaim her rightful place as benevolent queen of the neighborhood. I decided, though, in a fit of concern and guilt because it was I who, years ago, booted her ass out of the house in the first place, that I would try to keep her inside as much as possible. I spread out an old blanket on the bed, and I brought her in her cat carrier into the bedroom, thinking she would slink out, tired and slothlike, and curl up for the rest of the day. Nope. The minute I opened the carrier, she was out and yowling at the front door. (The dog, on the other hand, got into the cat carrier and wouldn't come out, so I closed the door and carried him out of the bedroom in it.)

I had prepared for this eventuality, and I was determined that I would not give in to her wails and moans, and I was going to keep her inside if it killed us both. This lasted about a half an hour. With the already annoyed, bald-butted cat, and the dog, and now the other cat coming out of hiding to see what was going on, it was like a Blood, a Crip, and a Latin King in a cage match with only their fingernails as weapons. There was barking, hissing, growling, hiding, jumping whining, whimpering, and finally I couldn't take it anymore. So long, Sunny!

She slept on her bed on the front porch last night, and before I went to bed I gave her lots of loves and tried to get her to come inside. Nope. Oh well. I tried. For a whole half hour.

Here's a whole other thing: For years, possibly even decades, or however long I have been making tacos, it has plagued me that, when browning ground meet in a pan, I cannot get it really crumbly like they do in restaurants and on TV commercials. I would try with a fork to get it as crumbly as possible, and my wrist would be killing me, and fat would be splattering up into my face, and I swear I have eaten fewer tacos in my life because of this, and that is a real shame. So, the other night, I'm watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the food network, and the dude is at some whatever restaurant, and the chef is going to brown ground meet for some sauce. A potato masher. A POTATO MASHER! I almost leapt out of my seat! So this morning I am making my famous (not really) pasta sauce for dinner tonight, and I get out my potato masher for the italian sausage and it is a revelation! A poem! Its like the best day of my life! Do you even know how often I'm going to make tacos, now? I know I'm way too excited about this, but I can't help it. Its the little things. Huh. Potato masher. Who knew?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day One

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not so Sunny

Sunny, in less miserable days.
Now picture her with her butt shaved.

Well, the spending strike just got screwed with its pants on.

Remember my miserable black cat who had a chunk taken out of her butt by some other cat? (I know who it was, too, little bastard.) She is costing me $450. Can you believe that shit? So, even though I have been so good about not spending any money on anything that is unnecessary to our lives, and I've been making dinner at home, and eating random things that were stuck in the back of the food cabinet, and having my friend cut my hair for free, I still managed to spend a bunch of dough. Plus! We had to get the car fixed to the tune of $245. Shit.

But rather than deciding that its all over, so who cares, lets go buy something neat, I'm sticking to the rest of the strike. I really have to now, too, so I can pay off my cat. Do you think that if I refuse to pay the vet for a while they'll keep her like a mechanic will keep your car? We actually have to board her at the vet's for three days because her abscess has to drain and she has to wear and elizabethan collar (which is a ridiculous name for what the thing is. How about just calling it a cone? We all know what we're talking about.) and stay inside. She can't really stay inside at my house because there will be be no peace. For anyone, including the cat. Poor thing. She has a bald heiny.

Checks can be made out to Bored Housewife...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday, People. FRIDAY!

Hey y'all. Leila is in her room listening to the Electric Slide on repeat. Its starting to embed itself into my brain. Like a too tight leash on a junk yard dog.

I don't have a whole lot to write about today except to report that we are doing great on our money spending strike. We have eaten in every night this week, and I have not used my credit card even one time, or spent any other money since Monday. That's not entirely true; I asked for a back yard composter for Christmas and my mom gave me a check in a box of Harry and David fruit (the fruit was a regift.) Along with the fruit and the check, dampened from the fruit, she proclaimed that my wanting a composter was "stupid" and "ridiculous." She is not a native English speaker, so her vocabulary for describing things is limited. Everything that does not seem to her to have any practical purpose, anything that she doesn't understand, be it a movie, a religion or a recipe, and anything that she can not imagnine applying to her own life is deemed to be "stupid" and/or "ridiculous". My wanting a composter may in fact be stupid and ridiculous; I don't garden and I don't really cook that often, so I'm not sure what's going to go in there. I also don't really like going down into my back yard, or bad smells, or coffee grounds, so I really don't know what's come over me, but I really want to start composting. Ever since that field trip to the recycling center, where I learned all about the ever growing landfill just 15 miles north of my house, I've been convinced that all my kitchen scraps should serve a greater purpose. Anyway, my point is that I bought a composter, so I did spend some money, but it was cash from the check that was earmarked for this purchase, so it doesn't count.

This eating at home thing is getting really old, though. It just goes to show how much take-out we actually eat. I drove past the Chinese place and started drooling, and the same thing happened with the Mexican place. And there's a new Thai place opening around the corner, too, just to torture me. My friend asked me today if we wanted to go out to dinner with him and his kids, and it pained me to say no. Friday night is party night! I love to go out and have some wine and not cook, but nope, we are going to stay on the straight and narrow. The real measure will be to make it to the 16th (the last day of the credit card statement period) without another purchase. If we can do that, then I know we'll make the Valentine's day goal. Tonight, leftovers, tomorrow, the world!

Here's something totally else. Last night Leila and Rob were having Daddy Play Time where Rob, God love him, sits on the floor of her room and plays Littlest Petshop with her. Leila has what seems like 500 Littlest Petshop animals, and three Littlest Petshop buildings including the tail waggin' fitness center and the pets only clubhouse. Talk about landfill. No wonder I want to compost, I'm filled with ennui over all the plastic animals that will eventually reside in the landfill for 10,000 years. Anyway, they were playing and it was reported to me later that a milestone has been crossed: Leila was coupling up the pets and calling them boyfriend and girlfriend. This is completely new. Turn eight, enter a new era. Maybe my old Donny Osmond doll who lives in a box with all her Barbies will start getting some play again one of these days, too. Its been a long time for Donny, and he's surrounded by virgins. The Bratz dolls (otherwise known as Whore dolls) are in a whole separate box, and are definitely little sluts. If he goes anywhere near them, he better wear a rubber on his plastic man parts.

What the hell am I talking about?

I just figured out what Leila is doing listening to the Electric slide repeatedly: her littlest petshop animals are doing the dance, and she is running a contest or an aerobics class of some sort. She has now turned the song off, and is praising their performance, and handing out awards.

While I was at school this morning, checking kids heads for Lice (Class C4 is lice-free, I'm happy to report) a woman, who I didn't recognize right away walked by and said, 'I love your blog!" and made me feel like a total rock star, so this one is for you, L!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Level Two

There is a zen proverb that says "After enlightenment, the laundry." and that is where we are today, my friends. After all the wonderfulness of Christmas and New Years and Leila's Birthday, I'm on my third load, the dishes are done, the shopping was done yesterday, I have dinner planned for the next three days, the credit card bills are being paid by the skin of our teeth, the PTA board is in full swing, and winter recess is very very OVER.

It has been a lot of work getting this house back to the base level and, frankly, our base level is not that impressive. If the laundry is mostly done, the dishes are done, the house is picked up, clothes are put away, the floor is swept and there is food in the house for people and animals, that is the base level. It doesn't sound too terrible, but if you look closer you'll see that the wood blinds are disgusting, the kitchen floor is disgusting, the carpets haven't been vacuumed in months, and lets not even talk about those haunting shower tiles. So, I have decided that I will make a list of these level two house chores, limiting the list to five, and do one of them every day for a week. I will start this next week (along with my diet and my work out regimen. Right!) and I will get this place to a level where I can feel at least a little bit prouder than I do right now. My mother will still find all kinds of things for me to clean (what about the base boards? What about the front porch? What about your car? What about the chimney?) but she will just have to can it. She was a very good housekeeper. She is still 1000 times better than me even though she thinks she has gotten lazy. She's the kind of person that says on a Saturday morning, "Its 9:30 and I'm still my robe reading the paper! This is awful!" and I'm thinking, you're 71 years old and semi retired; what on earth do you need to get to that is so damn important? I think laziness is an art form, and I have almost perfected it. So, stay tuned next week to see if I actually follow through. Its as much a mystery to me as it is to you.

Hold on, I have to put in the fourth load... Okay, I'm back

I kicked off my personal challenge with a little project, a little launch party of my own, if you will. When the first load was in, I decided to detail the washer and dryer. You know how all the lint and the moisture just makes for gunk in all the knobs and crevices, and the detergent dispenser gets nasty? Well, add to that that one of the bottles of detergent that sits on top of the dryer (the machines are stacked) either leaked or seeped and there was liquid detergent all over the top of the dryer, meaning that it was also on everything else that is stored on top of there, and had dripped down and around, and had combined with the lint and the moisture to form extra gunk, and most of it had accumulated in the leak-pan that the machines sit in. So I took a rag and some 409 and started cleaning it all. I took a flat head screw driver and wrapped the rag around it and cleaned all the little spaces, and wiped every thing down, and cleaned the bottoms of all the detergent bottles and what ever else is up there, and it is a thing of beauty. It took three rags, actually, but I think my washer and dryer are really happy and pleased with themselves. They seem perkier.

I am now going to pick up the kid and take her to the bike shop to exchange her new helmet, and then to the hardware store to look for a composter. Then I will come home and rest because two to three hours of work a day is plenty.

Speaking of the child, Leila is participating in the schools spellathon, so if you any of you would like to sponsor her, minimum ten cents for every word spelled correctly, or a flat amount (no maximum) let me know how to reach you in the comments section. (I'll delete your personal information from the comments.) The winning class gets an ice cream party!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bedtime Stories with Condoleezza Rice

So, there are a couple of things to write about but they don't really go together. Lets give it a try anyway.

1) Leila turned 8. EIGHT!! I can't believe it. By the time I get used to it, she'll be turning 9. You would think that in 2010, along with the hover crafts and space living we were supposed to have, that they would have figured out a way to bottle kids at certain ages, or make holograms of them, or figure out some way that we can have them back the way they were for just a little while. I would love to experience L again as a toddler, and a baby, just until she shits herself and then she can be 8 again. Someone get on this, ok?

2) My big, fat, miserable black cat got a chunk taken out of her busheek by some animal and she has a raw, bald, weepy wound. My moms all, "Just put her to sleep." Yeah, mom, and the next time you need a mole removed, we'll put you to sleep. I can't imagine trying to get her in the cat carrier (the cat, not my mom) so I haven't taken her to the vet yet. I really have to get on this. Also in the wide world of animals, I hit a squirrel with my car. I didn't feel a thing, but Rob yelped in the passenger seat and when I looked in the rearview mirror there was furry thing flopping around on the ground. It wasn't there the next time I drove past that spot, so maybe it just has a massive head injury. Sorry, squirrel. But, honestly, I think you hit me, not the other way around.

3) I've decided that I am A) broke, and B) enormous. I still have red and green m&ms all over this house, and persimmon pudding, and we have been eating things like fondu and it must stop. So in an effort to save some money and ease off the cheese and cream and chocolate, I decided that 1) we are not eating out or getting take out until valentine's day, 2) I will use all the meat and food that I have collected in the freezer before I buy any more, and 3) I will try to cook healthy, nourishing, things that make us feel light and airy and regular.

I started yesterday with a $75 trip to the grocery store. I decided to make a chicken chile recipe that I've never tried before. I defrosted the chicken, I bought the peppers and the beans etc. and here's what happened. I'm not a Great Chef, but I can follow a recipe as well as any Food Network-trained home cook. I cut up three poblano chiles, three anaheim chiles and 2 onions, sauteed the chicken, added the spices, etc. etc. and, frankly, it looks nasty. I'm afraid to taste it. I planned to serve it for dinner tomorrow night since chile is always better the second day, but I'm going to make Rob try it first and if he likes it, I'll try some. Its just so green and soupy! Anyway, I've never worked with peppers like these before so it wasn't long before my eyes were burning from sticking my pepper-fingers in them. I washed my hands over and over again, but it was no use.

Later, I picked my mom up to go see Condi Rice talk (more on this later) and she says, "You smell like Chinese food. Gawd! I have to roll down the window!" and I'm thinking, I didn't eat anything! I didn't even taste the nasty looking chile! But it turns out that when you are standing around a kitchen while onions and peppers are swimming in chicken broth and steaming up the whole house for two hours, the smell gets in your clothes and your skin and you stink. Awesome.

Now we're sitting in a dark auditorium and I decide, for reasons I can't fathom, that I'm not going to play with the fringe on my purse like I usually do. (My current purse has seven inch-long fringe on it and I usually spend my listening time rolling it up, then down, then rolling it up the other way, then down again, and it helps me concentrate. For someone who naps so much, I sometimes have a hard time sitting still.) So I put my purse on the floor, and without a cigarette or a pen to click or anything at all to do with my hands, I start picking at and chewing my fingers, a la Leila, which I haven't done in decades. Its winter, so the skin around my nails is kind of hard and dry, and I went to town. Of course, every time I put my finger in my mouth to chew off a snaggy piece, my tongue started to burn from the peppers, and then I went too far on my thumb and its all raw.

What is wrong with me? Did I just turn eight? I got home and tried to clean my hands again and nothing helped. I got up this morning and took a shower to get the Chinese food smell off me, and I googled how to get pepper essence off one's fingers, and the google machine tells me to pour rubbing alcohol on my fingers and let it sit there for a few minutes before I rinse it off. So I go to do this and I realized that my fingers are chewed raw and the thought of pouring alcohol on them is too much. So I just lived with pepper fingers all day. I just stuck my finger in my eye to see if my fingers are still peppery an they are. Why oh why am I such a loser?

4) Condi Rice: I know that she is a controversial figure and my fellow lefties probably have all kinds of policy disputes with her and all kinds of mean things to say about her meeting-of-the-souls with W, but let me tell you this: I understand why our former president, who dare not be named, liked her. She speaks like she's telling you a bedtime story. She can be saying very scary, serious things about terrorism and biological weapons, but she makes you feel so calm and loved while she's doing it. She was wonderful to listen to, and she does not like that Dick Cheney at all, that was clear. Also, you can't tell me that these boots aren't fierce.

***Addendum: I was frightened of the weird green soupy chile, but it doesn't suck! Its actually pretty good. I wont make it again because of the pepper fingers, but its good enough to freeze and eat again in a few weeks. Thought you'd want to know.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty Ten

Here is how Bored Housewife and family rocked in the new year like freakin' super stars. We were set to go bowling with our good friends and their kids, so we got all gussied up to go to the schlocky bowling alley, drink cheap wine, eat some mediocre pizza and wear shoes of dubious origin. I was totally looking forward to it. Its a great way to have fun with adults and kids, and the jalepino poppers are particularly nice. So we're on the way, and the car makes a weird thunk noise, like someone has hit the under carriage with a hammer, but we decide its nothing and drive on. You can see where this is going, right? The night before, I had gone to dinner with my friend E. and while making a three point turn in someone's driveway, we had heard a similar thunk. We rationalized it by saying that it was just the passenger seat adjusting, like it sometimes does.

Apropos of nothing, over dinner, E and I talked about periods (its funny that the last time I talked about periods was at this same restaurant) and puberty and stuff, and she thinks I should tell you all that when I was fifteen, I went to a prom with a Junior and my mother was in China with the elecrtic razor that we shared. (Is is gross to share an electric razor with your mom? I really have no idea.) Anyway, I asked my friend to pick up a disposable razer at the drugstore and come over to show me how to use it (years later, I had to teach my mom how to use a disposable razor. Ironic.) and she brought me a Personal Touch razor with replaceable blades. The reason E thought this was a story I should tell is that I still use the same Personal Touch razor 24 years later. I can't find blades for it in my local drug store anymore, so I have to go to to order them. Talk about reduce reuse recycle.

Anyway, back to the bowling alley. So we get there first, and the car has made these thunking noises, and when we made a tight turn to get into a parking space, it makes another weird noise, and the jig is up. Rob gets out of the car, and looks underneath it and says "Holy Crap! Oh my God!" He tells me there is a huge piece of something metal that has broken off and is hanging out from under the car, like the car has grown a metallic weiner or something. My thought is that this is a bummer, but its New Year's Eve, its raining, and I want to get inside and secure some lanes. I say we should just go bowling and drive the thing home afterwards and deal with it on Monday. I figure we drove all the way to the bowling alley and we were fine, right? May as well bowl and eat pizza and have a good time. While Rob is muttering that he isn't going to drive this car this way, and starts crazy talking about taking it to the dealership (its a ten year-old car, man) I walk up to the door and the place is closed. My friend, A, had actually called to ask if we needed a reservation on New Year's Eve, and was told that, no, it was first come first served and we shouldn't have any problem if we got there early, like around 2. A didn't know what the lady meant by 2, so she ignored it, and interpreted it to mean that if we got there at six we would be fine. Turns out, that was not the case, they had closed at four.

So we get back in the car, except for Rob who is laying on his back in the bowling alley parking lot, under the car, in the rain, and consider our options. Our friends show up, and M, A's husband, throws himself under the car with the flashlight app on his iPhone and tells us its no big deal, that its just the wiggledy-flidget dealy-bob and we should be able to drive the car home just fine and deal with it on Monday. Sound familiar? My husband is a good guy. He once took the clothes dryer apart when it wasn't working and put it back together and magically made it work again, and he recently fixed my internet access when I broke it, but he has a Master's degree in public administration, and I don't rely heavily on his mechanical prowess. So we all go to our house and decide to go out to dinner with the kids, and maybe play Wii bowling after. The restaurant was pretty empty, and you could tell the servers wanted to be anywhere but there, but it was a good dinner, and the kids had fun. Then our friends had to go home and relive the babysitter (they only brought the kid who would annoy them least; the two and the four year-old aren't good bowlers.)

Then we stopped by another friend's house for little wine. All the kids came out and watched the ball drop for the east coast new year's and I was left to wonder whether I should pass this off to Leila as the real new years. See, I had promised her that she could stay up and watch the ball drop in times square like she did last year, but now I could just lie and tell her that was it. Happy New Year! But as we were leaving, she got wise, and I was now forced to stay up and watch parent-censored television in a queen sized bed with a man, a tall seven year-old, a dog and a cat. By the time we piled in the bed, it was only 10:30; we had a long way to go. Leila did fine, and didn't mind the boring T.V. but Rob was a grumpy-pants and kept trying to go to sleep. If I had to stay up, so did he, and he shouldn't be an ass about it. The ball dropped, we all hugged, we muted the T.V. to listen to the far away fireworks and the nearby neighbors who were whooping it up, then my mom called, like she always does right after midnight on new years, and then we all went to sleep, kid and dog in their own beds.

I don't know what Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton did last night, but I bet it didn't hold a candle to chillin' in a bowling alley parking lot in the rain, having sliders at a surf themed restaurant, and then watching Carson Daily shill some A-hole's new record in Times Square. Beat that.

Then, today, I was going to go see a movie, but I wasn't really in the mood to go to a movie, I just wanted some popcorn. So E brought me some microwave popcorn in exchange for some ear medecine and I popped the champagne I bought for last night and made mimosas and watched Adventureland on Comcast. Awesome. Not the movie, but the drinking alone in the afternoon.

Happy New Year!