Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year in Review: So long, 2011!

2011 has been a pretty good year. In fact, no truly terrible things happened this year, and some truly unexpected wonderful things did happen, or are in the process of happening. I've just reviewed my 2011 calendar to remind myself of how I spent this year, and really nothing, besides the year-long, monumental remodeling of our house, happened.

I put on two school variety shows this year, along with some great and talented adults (and children) I frosted my mom's hair, I saw some movies, went to lunch, went to Disneyland, read lots of trashy books, and lived with my parents again after 2o or so years of not doing that. My weight has found a plateau, and I am getting older, even though I still eat the marshmallow pieces out of the box of Lucky Charms. None of my relatives or animals died, and my little Reed-man arrived on the scene, even though he was nothing but a dream just a year ago. I have drunk gallons of wine, most of it in the last three months. I haven't eaten nearly enough dungeness crab or crab related dips, but I did discover the best curry soup I've ever had in my life. I fell in love, and then out of love, with Philly cheesesteaks.

I made my television debut on the Oprah Winfrey show, and I watched enough Candice Olson design shows to make a saner person pluck out their own eyeballs. I have learned more than I ever needed to know about marmoleum and direct venting.

I took some seriously good naps.

Leila had a good year. She always has a good year. Hopefully its that way for a long, long time. She went to camp and made a dozen movies about rubber chickens. She grew about a foot. She started eating tacos. She got her ears pierced.

All in all, a non-eventful year for our family, but a very eventful year for our house, and I don't know if those are separable. Want a little sneak peek? Okay, twist my arm...

Taken from exactly the same place...



Happy 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Christmas Wish for you Involves Tori Spelling

I want to thank my parents for going to Tahoe today. Without their absence, I would not be able to sit in the middle of Christmas mess, with dirty dishes in the kitchen, eating McDonalds, letting my kid watch TV in her pajamas all day with her new fairy dolls, while I'm watching a Tori and Dean marathon. I have napped, I have eaten salted caramels and cold, leftover McNuggets, and I haven't burned one calorie all day. If my parents had been here, I would have had to clean up things, go for a walk, and eaten fruit. I would have not been able to be the slothlike lazy-ass that you all know I am.

God, I love Tori Spelling. She cried three times in the first five minutes of the show. This is a very Merry Christmas! Hope you have had as nice a holiday as I am having! Bring on the Chinese food! Walnut prawns for everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I really hope I didn't make a judgy Face

So the other day, I decided to take myself to breakfast. I just couldn't take the thought of sitting in this cold, dark house under the watchful eye of my mom, and I wanted some french toast. I was sitting at a table where there is a long banquette on one side, and chairs on the other. I was on the banquette side, reading a book on my kindle, stuffing my face, but when I glance to my right, the woman sitting next to me had her shoe off, and had her bare foot up on her knee. Like the way guys sometimes sit. The tables were kind of close together, so her bare foot was, like, 18 inches away from my food. This kind of grossed me out. Its 40 degrees outside, I'm eating, PUT ON YOUR SHOE.

The next time I glanced over, her foot was on the table, just resting there, like it was completely normal to have your bare foot on the table at a restaurant. I should mention that this woman was with what I presume was her husband, and they were, except for the bare foot on the table, a perfectly boring looking couple.

So I'm staring at her foot out of the corner of my eye. I'm trying not to stare, but I'm failing, and suddenly she picks up her fork with her toes and starts eating her scrambled eggs. It was at this point that I noticed that SHE HAD NO ARMS. She then put down her fork, and picked up her english muffin between her first and second toe, and brought it effortlessly to her mouth and took a bite.

I now looked away quickly, because its one thing to stare at someone's bad manners and judge them, its another thing to stare at the accommodation someone has for their disability. That's just rude. So I put my book in my right hand, and looked away, even though what I wanted to do was stare openly, with my mouth hanging open and full of french toast, and ask her 100 questions.

How long has she been doing this? What else can she do with her toes? Does she play Angry Birds with them? Does she carry anti bacterial gel or wipes to clean off her foot after she takes it out of her shoe and before she eats with it? And if she does, how does she do it? With the other foot? Does she do lots of bendy yoga, or is it just the feet?

That is just a sampling of the questions that came into my mind. There were some sex questions in there, too (of course.) But I just read my book. Correction: I looked at my book and thought of everything I wanted to ask. Eventually, I did go back to reading. I was mostly over it. Well, that's not true at all, but without being able to stare and ask questions, I had to move on.

As I was kind of congratulating myself for letting them have their breakfast in peace without me stealing glances, a hippy-ish annoying lady walked by them and stopped to tell her how "cool" and "awesome" it was that she could eat with he toes. I rolled my eyes, thinking, Yes, I'm sure she thinks its awesome that she has no arms. Did you read Tina Fey's book? To paraphrase Ms, Fey, this dipshit woman was being amazing at her. The couple just kind of stared at her, and she went away. Then they finished their breakfast, paid their check and when she got up, her husband put her bag over her shoulder, and they split.

So many questions!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A sign of the Apocolypse

I've written about my friend, J, before. She is the one who is my eco conscience. Whenever I'm about to not recycle something, I hear her in my ear, berating me. She collects rain water, even though she lives in Seattle and there aren't enough barrels in the world to collect all that water, and she only flushes for number two. I could go on and on, but I will spare you the details of her feminine hygiene products.

Every year, we have a small, non-dramatic spat about Christmas trees. She thinks it is an abomination to cut down a tree to have in your house and decorate, only to put it out on the curb after a few weeks. Christmas lights will end up in a landfill for 10,000 years, etc. etc. I argue that by her logic, she should never by cut flowers, and we go round and round for 5 minutes and then we move on to talk about me.

J has hated Christmas since I've known her, and that's more than 20 years. She has always volunteered to work on Christmas, and with very good reasons that I wont go into here.

Over the past few years, a few things have finally fallen into place, like a having family nearby, getting hitched to her cool girlfriend, and, this spring, the piece of resistance, they adopted a baby boy. (Tangentially, I love this baby. He is the coolest, cutest baby that ever lived in the Pacific Northwest, not counting California where my baby was the coolest, cutest baby.)

Today they appeared in court, surrounded by family and friends, and it was made legally officially for realsies, that this baby is theirs and theirs alone, and can no man put asunder. (Tangentially, I really wanted to go, but there was no way. Not only could I have been there for this great event, but I could have eaten a killer carnitas burrito.)

The other day, J and I had the following text exchange:

J: Listened to xmas hits all the way to work today and loved it. Who am I?

BH: Maybe you should see a doctor. Next thing you know, you'll be putting up a xmas tree.

J: Ummmmmm, plan on doing that this year too!

BH: Greenpeace is going to have your head! The EPA will have to disband! The World Wildlife Fund will have to stop saving Panda Bears!

J: Yep, I've lost my mind. As well as my Kyoto agreement card.

Now she likes Christmas. She has ornaments. She's singing carols. She has her girl and her boy. This is a very good sign...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It is very unfair that the posts I write about living with my mom make her sound like the most annoying person in California. She is not, in fact, that annoying, and we've had a remarkably good time living together. But who wants to read about how great it is living with my parents? First of all, I think that makes boring reading, and second of all, you all are going to want to move in with them and I GOT HERE FIRST.

I have had a bunch of very tedious, paperworky types of things to do this week, and I've been putting them off for four days now. I'm writing this post as an attempt to put them off some more, if you must know. I have learned that putting off these irritating little tasks ruins the week, because they hang over my head the whole time, and I should just knock them out Monday morning and not think about them any more. But that would take discipline, and I'm running very low on that.

I promised myself I would do the stuff this morning and get it over with, but instead I have taken a shower, cleaned up Leila's room, cleaned up my room, done some remodel business, and then I called my friend, Ann, and chatted with her on the phone for a half hour even though I'm seeing her tomorrow and we can chat then.

I feel the need to point out here that, since moving in with my parents and being overloaded with work, variety show, and remodel, I spend little to no time on the phone chatting with friends. This is compared to my regular life where I spend part of every day chatting on the phone with friends. I used to lose whole mornings to the phone, running the batteries down completely, on a regular basis. Now, I think I talk to a friend on the phone maybe once or twice a week. That's it, and its usually while one of us is in the car, so the conversation is cut short by arriving at our destination, which is usually fine because my conversational skills are in as short supply as my discipline. Its all remodel, all the time, and I'm sure this is very tiresome to the friends I have left who let me bend their ears on the phone.

This is where my mom comes in. I'm sitting on my bed, in by bathrobe, talking to Ann, and when I hang up, my mom pokes her head in and says "Boy, you can talk non-stop!"

WHY DOES SHE SAY THIS TO ME? Why do I have to have all my characteristics, annoying or charming, pointed out to me at all times? She has told me I talk too much, I talk to fast, I complain to much, I'm tired too often, I'm a slob, I don't take good enough care of my dog, etc. etc. etc. and all I can think is, "I'M 41 YEARS OLD! THIS IS ME! GOOD, BAD AND UGLY! AND MY DOG IS STILL ALIVE!" I have good friends, the best friends, awesome friends, and they seem to like me anyway regardless of how much I talk! I have had successful careers and endeavors, regardless of the fact that I talk too fast and I'm tired! My dog loves me even though I wait until 6 p.m. to feed him! I know how to park my car in the Costco parking lot!!!!!

And all these characteristics are made to seem like flaws when she points them out. Like she's not quite done molding me into the person she thinks I can be, which is more like her, or what she thinks she could be.

Its like having a 24/7 performance review of my life!

It comes from love. It comes from love. It comes from love. If I keep saying that over and over, I'll feel okay, right? Honestly, I feel pretty good, just a little irritated. I'm even more irritated that I can't blink my eyes real hard and have all this paperwork done. But you'd better believe I'm going to save my phone calls for the car...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The post is for the Birds

I had such a fun little day yesterday. I haggled! I'm a terrible haggler, but I haggled!

I went to the Alameda Antique Market with a good friend, and I was looking for an antique picture frame and a few chairs for my non-existent dining room table. I got 4 old pub-type chairs for $120 (expertly haggled down by me from $150) and a picture frame for $25 (down from the MSRP of $30.) I was told by another vendor that the frame I just bought was worth $100. She may just have been shining me on, making me feel good about myself, but I'm okay with that. And I ate a falafel sandwich (delicious) and I bought some iron birds that I will use for door stops, although I'm not sure how I feel about using the heads of little birdies to stop my doors.

This is a little extension of my love of bird Christmas ornaments. You may remember that I have a whole, complicated thing going about bird ornaments. I love them, but Rob thinks I put them on the tree as an act of hostility. I don't, I just like birds. I'm not sure we'll have a Christmas tree this year. I may not have a place to put it. Actually, even if we are back in our house by Christmas, I still don't know where I will put a Christmas tree in this place. I am so not in the Christmas mood. Shopping? Cards? Cookies? WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS???

So, I bought incredibly heavy iron birds. I didn't haggle on those. Birdies are too tender-hearted, and I didn't want them to feel bad, so I paid the full asking price. I will probably have these birds 'till I die.

What the hell am I talking about?