Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sometimes I'm so nice I surprise myself. Actually, no, not really.

Most of you probably assume I'm pretty cold hearted. Which would be mostly right. Because I mostly subscribe to the God gave you arms and legs so you could use them school of thought. This means I say do it yourself a lot.

But then sometimes people actually do stuff by themselves. But I don't like it. Because the way they do it is stupid.

Like when Big V makes macaroni and cheese every single blasted time he makes dinner. What's worse is it's a watered down version. I'm not sure what one actually does to make it watered down because I've made macaroni and cheese a lot and there's no water in the recipe, except what you use when you boil the noodles, so maybe he just has never read the drain noodles portion of the directions.

Anyway, in those cases, when he does things himself I think we'd all be better off if I just handled it myself.

And so I do.

Like, with lunches. Since Big V tends to have champagne taste on a third world public well budget, I've finally taken matters into my own hands and started packing him a healthy, filling daily lunch. More so because otherwise we'd have to take out a mortgage to support his daily eating habits and less so because I actually feel like doing something nice because I am pretty lazy. Also, God gave him arms and legs so he could make his own damn lunch, you know?

You could probably catch me being nice and thoughtful one out of every seven days, therefore, I've devised a system in which I do the majority of the work in one day. A I Pack My Honey's Lunch Because I Love Him So Much System.

And it starts with two of my most favorite things in the entire world: Sharpies and Ziploc bags.

Because who doesn't love Sharpies?

Then I buy a bunch of food that is (1) somewhat healthy and (2) somewhat fun and (3) provides variety. Because I know I wouldn't want to eat the same thing every single day. That would make me want to go out and spend fifteen dollars on a good lunch, you know? Then how would I ever pay off our credit card debt or save up for the kids' orthodontal decorations?

And then I start throwing things in the marked Ziploc bags making sure no two days in a row have the same fruit or the same flavored granola bar. For the chips I always combine two different kinds in a smaller baggie which I put in the daily big bag because that's just what I do.

And I make sure everything is in there (including a fork for the fruit) so that all I have to do is put the completed bags on a shelf in the pantry and wait.... The night before I pull a bag off the shelf and transfer into his lunch box in a most loving fashion.

Then it's time to deal with the sandwich. I feel the sandwich makes or breaks the lunch program so it has got to be good. No wimpy peanut butter on cheapo bread. Splurge for the good bread. It is so worth it.

And also, get good lunch meat. Nothing says my life sucks more than crappy lunch meat. In my case, Big V has very immature taste buds so his favorite bread isn't even very expensive and he actually loves bologna. Winning!

I gather everything I need for his sandwiches and throw them in a giant Ziploc bag to be stored in the fridge.

Everyone knows this is do not even think about touching this or Mom might rip your hands entirely off of your arms territory because I do not have time to go searching through the fridge trying to locate the cheese slices when Real Housewives of New Jersey is about to start.

It needs to be quick. It needs to be ready. It needs to all be located in less than seven seconds from start to finish 'cause I gots things to do, people!

Note I also use the bag of ready lettuce. Because, again, I'm lazy. Don't bother telling me I could get a whole head of lettuce for 27 cents because I know that... I just don't want to deal with that. It's already enough that I'm making his lunch, don't drag it out longer than it has to.

Believe it or not, since I started packing his lunches we've saved about $40 a week. That's $160 a month! (Totally worth the price of pre-torn lettuce.)

In other completely unrelated news, I've got this totally awesome idea to have a meeting at work in slow motion. How cool would that be?

But everyone has to be in on it except for one person because how funny would it be if the entire room started moving and talking in slow motion? Can you imagine the confusion of the person who had no idea what the heck was going on?

Unfortunately I work with a bunch of people who clearly do not share my same sense of humor. Except for the guy work works in the desk across from me because he, too, thinks this is a novel idea, but I'm afraid it just won't have the same effect if only two people slow-mo it.

So then I thought maybe I should try to find a job where I could randomly hold slow motion meetings on unsuspecting innocents, but had nothing. So now I'll probably never see my goal of a Neo Matrix Meeting come into fruition. Thanks for nothing, Monster.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

If you don't have a sister to send you random emails at 1:53am you should go get one right now!

I have a sister. She is 16 months older than me and the oldest of us four siblings. In stereotypical First Child form, she has spent the majority of her life over succeeding at everything. She doesn't just join the college sorority: she becomes the president. She doesn't just learn how to clog: she starts her own clogging studio and teaches clogging to youth. And then she starts a business on the side catering to the clogging shoe world.

In short, her general over-achievement makes me look like much more of a slacker than I actually am. And trust me, I can slack quite well on my own, thankyouverymuch.

But we are alike, her and I. We actually do share some of the same qualities (although she'd probably deny this to her death)... humor and wit being one of them. In a way, I think that if I tried harder I could be more successful like her. Or, if she would just stop putting forth effort she, too, could be as lazy and unsuccessful as me. It's a very precarious balance.

Anyway. Super Sister decided she didn't have enough on her plate what with the farm they live on, the dance studio she runs, the shoe business she owns, the kids she raises, the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group she belongs to.... so she decided to go back to college. I'm not sure what she is exactly, but I know she can add a whole bunch of capital letters at the end of her name and whatever class she's taking this summer is probably going to allow her to add even more letters. (I, however, have no letters I can add at the end of my name. My name just stops.)

This morning I woke up and checked my email like I do every morning... and found this little note from my sister (which she sent at 1:53am) who had been busy working on a paper that is due today:


Things I did that made writing my first paper take a REALLY, REALLY long time:

A few legitimate things that I just stretched out – like make dinner and wipe off the table and counters and do dishes and start the laundry and vacuum the floor. Things I (usually) do each night but tonight I did them extra special good.

Read to the kids. Again another thing I did just a bit LONGER than usual.

Then I needed to go on Facebook and make sure to check with someone about ordering some Scentsy stuff.

Because my house needs to have a fun summer scent.

And I had to repost the info about the Delta Zeta reunion in July.

Next I had to send out an email to my instructors about my new adult instructors-in-training. (Oh, and earlier I had to talk to C----on the phone for awhile about that, too.)

Then I had an idea for my new instructors in training so I sent them an email.

Because now would be a good time to start bombarding them with my random ideas.

Then I had to send an email to M---- about teaching a few girls in a special class when we start classes.

On July 10th. But she needed that info tonight for sure.

Then I looked up KLOVEto find the artist for the song MOVE.

And then look up the Mercy Me website (because they happen to be the artist) to find the info on the fun thing they are doing for their new song MOVE.

And then I did an email to my instructors about that and sent them the link.

Then since I was on google chrome I thought I should see if they really didn’t sell Leinenkugal in Arkansas and I discovered that they did indeed sell it so I sent that information to my in-laws so they too could experience the new Summer Shandy. I also spent some time checking out the Leine’s apparel because who couldn’t use another beer shirt?

And then I noticed I didn’t close my facebook page out when I went on my beer run, so I checked facebook again and saw C---’s funny link about the chicken and had to check out The Bloggess blog and then make sure I sent a message to you to make sure you saw it. I spent a few more minutes laughing at the blog and wishing I hadn’t accepted friend requests from anyone under 18 because I would SO be sharing a link to this chicken story if I could!!

So I shared a link I was going to share the other day on my MOPS group page. Something without swear words.

And I sent a few friend requests to some MOPS moms from my bible study that I was thinking were pretty cool.

And they are.

After I did some Facebook stalking I found out the one is married to the dentist that did my root canal and he was super cool about dealing with my freaky dental anxiety.

The other is married to some guy that does something in animation because he was working on the 3-2-1 Penguins! show a few years ago (which I discovered when I clicked on the link to her blog and tried to figure out a bit about her) and I love that little show.

Which made me remember that I wanted to get more of those DVDs so I went on the library website and searched for the library that had them and then placed a hold for them. (And renewed my overdue item.)

Then my phone blinked to tell me that friend requests were accepted.

So I had to quick check the wall of new friend in case my previous Facebook stalking didn’t reveal enough relevant information at the time.

Then I thought perhaps a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy might help me finish my paper.

So I got up and got one.

And I thought that recapping my terrible procrastinating habits would be funny so I started an email to you.

And will continue to come back and add to it until I finish my paper.

Observation… Leinenkugel does have an effect on my writing process: my grammar and spell check are working very hard right now.

Thought I saw the light blinking on my phone. Stopped to check. Nope – not one of my emails or Facebook posts have been replied to.

Another Facebook check lets me know a friend from college posted pics called “Fontana 2011” of course I must check this out. Why was she in Fontana? I cannot discern this from said photos and most peek at her page for a moment. Hmmmm…lives in Richfield, WI. Where is that? better google it. Washington County. Hmmmm… wonder what it’s like there. Suppose I better check out the municipality website for pics and school info. Because at quarter to midnight I must take time away from my paper to research a town I will most likely never even visit, much less live there.

Damn, I suck at this paper crap.

Maybe a google search of Tony Dungy inspirational quotes will inspire me.

Must share favorite Tony Dungy quote on Facebook.

Another Facebook time waster.

Paper is done.

And saved.

But not printed because it will need to be reread in the morning.

But I still went on Facebook and made sure everyone knew about the Great American Backyard Campout.


And this email is exactly why people must procreate properly and provide sisters to their siblings. If you don't have one and your mom and dad tell you they're done having kids, and you really want a sister, you can apply to share mine. Note: you must be able to quote virtually the entire Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. If you can't, don't bother applying. I would suggest renting the movie and practicing first.

(Also, I think she's way better at procrastinating than me, too....)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's all in the name...

I sent Big V a text asking him if he was working tonight. Because he works a lot at night in order to avoid the chaos of our home help financially provide for his family. He currently is working on building a custom shower and tiling a tub surround for some guy's basement bathroom and has been going over there every night this past week for a couple hours. He usually returns home as soon as I put the toddler to bed. (I've been told this is purely coincidental.)

Big V sent me this text back:

                    I told horse I would.

The guy's name is Horace.

It's close, right?

What ever happened to HIPPA?

A couple days ago I started experiencing heart palpitations and tingliness in my arms and legs and it kept getting worse to the point I wrote a goodbye letter to my children because I was certain I was going to die.

On Monday morning I thought the end was near and I didn't want to spend my last moments at my cramped desk area mostly because I was afraid that if I did die at work I would soil myself because I heard that happens when you die, and it's bad enough being known eternally as the chick who kicked the bucket at her desk and there was no way I wanted to add and she crapped her pants so I called the doctor and made an appointment for 2:00pm.

But then the doctor turned out to be a hater and cancelled my appointment because I'm technically a new patient because I don't have a primary care physician picked out at their 200 doctors clinic. I used to. But that doctor left. Probably because they suck. Anyway, since I have a blank where my primary physician is supposed to be listed they told me they couldn't see me at the 2:00 open spot. Then I pick this doctor to be my primary care physician! "That would be great! We have availability this Friday afternoon." But what about today? I know you have an open spot today at two! "Oh, that slot is for patient emergencies." Like me! I have an emergency! "But we realize that your insurance with us will cover absolutely everything for your regular appointment; however, if you are required to go to the Emergency Room located in the same damn building you would have had you regular appointment in, then you have a $60 co-pay and we all know sixty is more than zero, right?"

Okay, so she didn't say that... but it felt like she wanted to.

So, I went to the Emergency Room.

And it was filled to the top with crazy people. Some guy kept complaining because his kid needed to go to work by 4:00 and so someone should see about his wrist to see if it's broken, because if it is broken then the kid should just call in for work and if it wasn't then they could leave and the kid could get to work. There was an elderly woman who kept asking everyone if they were next. Are you next? Are you before me or after me? He was here before me. Is he next? Her elderly husband was busy watching the waiting room TV, repeating every word he heard, just like a parrot. But with less wing flutter. Then there was some girl, regardless of the  in a heavy hooded sweatshirt, thick pajama pants and a purse full of Dr. Pepper who kept muttering to herself. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure the entire room is about to witness my heart exploding from my chest and it's gonna be messy. I kind of felt bad for the old lady in her white pants.

All I wanted was to be saved. And to be away from all these loud, crazy people.

One by one they were all called in. The waiting room cleared out and I felt like I could focus on my breathing in private.

Then they called me back.

And because they hate me they put me in a "shared" exam room. A woman lay on the other side of the flimsy, drawn curtain moaning. Next to her sat Dr. Pepper Mutterer.

Avoiding eye contact I moved to my side of the curtain and hopped on my bed, ready to lay my head down.

Suddenly the curtain flew open: "Are you here all by yourself?"  Uh... yeah.... I closed my eyes.

And thus began a lively one-sided conversation between Andrea, the bed moaner, Kathryn (with a "y" - not "ine") the Dr. Pepper Mutter and myself.

See, Andrea has been on disability for most of her life (mental disabilities) although she does have health problems. She had a complete hysterectomy when she was 18 and has two siblings and 5 nieces and nephews (the oldest being 13, the youngest being 1). She also has a hernia which is the size of a softball. She like Fruity Pebbles and Nerds candy. Kathryn is a recovering alcohol and drug addict, has a 4-year old named Addison and was in a coma for about a month. (I even got to see the tracheotomy scar.) She has a husband who is now 24 and just got out of jail but he's trying to get his life in order but no one will hire him because of his criminal record. He's six years younger than she is and they've been together for forever and contrary to what people say she did too wait until he turned 18 before they had sex.

No amount of closing my eyes, ignoring, telling them I didn't feel good and wanted to rest would convince them to cease talking. Every time a nurse would come in to check on the Bed Moaner she would close the curtain. As soon as the nurse walked out they'd open the curtain back up again. It made fearing death for a week until a Friday afternoon appointment seem not so bad after all.

Thankfully, I was saved by the doctor who closed the curtain divider and diagnosed me with Allergy Medication Overdose. He adjusted my med levels, and told me that in about 24 hours I'd feel more like myself. And, since he was there I also pointed out a dry patch rash thing I had on my arm. He suggested staying away from perfumed soap.... and from the other side of the curtain we hear, "Phisoderm! She should try Phisoderm!"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just One Thing

Once upon a time I had this job with a really cool company except I was way too young to appreciate all its coolness - like the matching 401k and the lunch hour learning sessions and the fact that I was totally treated like a valuable asset. It's the little things, you know? Anyway, I had this super cool boss who also happened to be super hot AND intelligent. That was like bonus, bonus, BONUS! And made me really thankful I didn't work in accounting because the guy in charge over there was a total dweeb.

So my hot, smart, cool boss was a big fan of things like "if you're happy in your personal life you won't have much to worry you and get in the way of doing a fine job for me" and "if you feel good about your personal achievements it'll show in your professional achievements." It was all new to me but I did what he asked me to do and made a list of Personal and Professional Goals I wanted to accomplish, along with deadlines. Things like own my own house by the time I'm 25. And take a Spanish for Business Professional class within the next year.

And you know what? I accomplished everything on that list except for one thing.

Fast forward what feels to be a hundred years and my list is much more realistic: get to work kind of on time once in a while. Shower, preferably every day. Shave once a month during the winter months and once a week during summer. Nevermind: just don't ever wear shorts.

I started thinking that maybe I needed to add a few things to my list. A few goals to get my juices flowing, you know? So I don't end up one of those people that haven't left their house in over six weeks even though they haven't given birth.

I thought about what I might regret not doing on my death bed.... and I realized I am either an incredibly crafty person who can talk myself out of anything or an incredibly boring and lazy person who doesn't want to do much in life.

Sure, there's a lot of stuff I'd love to experience: for instance, if Countess de Lesseps wished to invite me to Morocco on her dime, of course I'd say yes, but that doesn't mean I want to carve out that path for myself. (Camels spit, you know.) 

I would love to learn how to crochet but I won't be crushed if I don't. I'll just buy my afghans ready made.

Really, there is just one thing on my list. The one I didn't accomplish before: become a published by the time I'm 30. And I need to get working on that. Especially since I'm over 30. By kind of several years. Know of anyone that needs a sarcastic writer for hire?

So, what's on YOUR list?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Domestic Goddess Is Not Listed On My Resume. Apparently for very good reason.

The problem with having more and more people I know read blog is that I'm becoming more and more limited with who I can write about. Since I'm surrounded by crazy people I find myself surrounded by tons of blogworthy anecdotes. But then I remember they're crazy in the obviously I'm talking about you; who else do you know on the planet that thinks it's a good idea to wear chaps with nothing under them to work? kind of way. And that means they're pretty recognizable. And so then they'll obviously recognize themselves and know I'm blogging about them. And, again, they're crazy. Which means unstable. And I like living.

So, instead, I'll tell you about how I baked bread.

Or thought it would be a good idea to try to bake bread. Because my kids started going away for visits to their dads' every other weekend and I was actually finding myself lonely and depressed and thinking no one would want me because I was a single mom with two kids from two different fathers and did I really want to risk someone introducing me to their mother as 'a good Jerry Springer candidate I met at the bar'? I think not. So I decided to improve my situation by improving myself. And, to me, that meant I should learn a new hobby.

I first tried to decorate cakes. Except I don't like cake. It's too crumbly and gritty - all those little cake granules bugging my taste buds. I would bake a cake, decorate it and then try to find someone to hand the cake off to. But people think you're crazy when you jump out and shove a lopsided cake with splotchy wannabe flowers piped on it in their face.

Then I tried to embroider a pillowcase. I found a white pillowcase with a light blue design stamped on its edge and thought how quaint would that be if I embroidered those fancy little motifs? But it wasn't quaint at all because my eyes kept crossing and I kept pricking my damn fingers on the stupid needle and I really only knew one stitch anyway so it kind of was a visual letdown.

After two failures I decided what I needed was to get back to the basics. Stay away from all this fancy, frilly stuff. What's more basic than baking bread? People have been doing it successfully for centuries!

I google searched "homemade bread easy I'm just a beginner" and found a recipe that looked like a 4-year old could do it. I eagerly shopped for my ingrediants and got to work. My plan was to mix the dough. Wash laundry and clean the house while it was rising. Enjoy the whole punch it down factor (which honestly seemed like the only fun part about making bread) and let it rise again before baking. I was intent on following the recipe to a T and promised not to get impatient.

But the sucker wouldn't rise.

At all.

In fact, it wouldn't even budge.

All day long I waited. And fumed. My house was spotless, but there would be no freshly baked bread to enjoy. I finally got so mad that around eleven o'clock that night I threw the sticky mess into the garbage can, slammed the lid, and chalked it up to yet another domestic failure.

And in the morning, when I went to throw the wrapper of my morning pop-tart away, I saw the dough had risen to consume the entire 13 gallon trash can. And yes, I actually did consider pulling it out and baking it. But I didn't. Because I have boundaries in blogging and in bread.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cutting For Stone

I stayed up way too late last night finishing the book Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. I liked it. But I wouldn't actually recommend it to anyone I personally knew because they might be all why did she want me to read THIS book? There's a lot of gross descriptive surgery scenes. And whores. A lot of sex with whores. But not a whole lot. Just a little bit, you know? But someone who might be a tad uptight might think that's just three whores too many, you know?

I had to finish it because I have to start our next book club book called The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom (no relation to CSI's Dr. Gil Grissom) before Book Club actually meets. And also because I just bought seven books from the library sale for a dollar. I may have to take a week off of work just to catch up on my reading.

As you can see I was being practically forced to stay up late reading - and it totally worked out because Big V was not even home. This is important for pleasant reading experience achievement because sometimes he likes to purposely interrupt my reading by attempting to draw me into conversations by saying stupid things like did you remember to make my lunch? You don't have to; I just thought it would be nice if you did or I can't believe [insert sports player name I've never heard of] just [insert sports related action which basically means the guy missed whatever he was supposed to do].

Meanwhile I'm fighting the urge to snap you never want to talk to me when we're having sex so why should I talk to you now when I'm reading?

Anyway. I read. And I read. And I read. And just when I thought I got to the part where they all live happily ever after I turned the page and realized the author had kept writing. As I thumbed through the remaining pages I thought how many chapters does this guy need to write 'and they all lived happily ever after'?

Except guess what?

[spoiler alert]


They don't live happily ever after at all. And I start crying. Like really crying. Tears streaming down my cheeks because I did not see that coming! And also, I do have a sense of compassion even though the majority of the people in the world would bet their paycheck that I didn't. And tears are dripping off my face and I'm sniffling and snorting (don't judge; like you've never ugly-cried before) and Big V comes bopping into the bedroom and starts yapping about how he just got home and he's probably going to take a shower because he's covered in grout and - hey, are you crying?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am crying! What's it to you?


Why what?

Why are you crying? Is something the matter? What happened?

It's the book!

The book? The one you're reading?


That book is making you cry?


See, this is why I don't read. Literature can hurt.

(Oh, yes, but I wouldn't want it any other way.)

"You are an instrument of God. Don't leave the instrument sitting in its case, my son. Play! Leave no part of your instrument unexplored. Why settle for 'Three Blind Mice' when you can play the 'Gloria'?"  - Cutting For Stone

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Flag Day and I Totally Forgot My Flag

Today is Flag Day, except I don't even know what that means even though I'm pretty sure I should. I just know that it says Flag Day on my calendar like it's a holiday but it must be a holiday nobody likes because (1) I still have to go to work and (2) Yahoo doesn't even have any clip art on their home page. I was expecting some little dude walking across the header to raise his flag. But there's nothing.

Had I noticed the un-holiday earlier I could've totally dressed up like Betsy Ross. I think she sewed a flag or two back in the day. Or I could've gathered flags and decorated my office. I can't now, though, because it's not like I have a bunch of flag fabric lying around the house. I do have some bed sheets. Maybe I could put those up in the office.

Anyway, I was curious as to what Flag Day is all about and why we don't celebrate it by having the day off, so I looked it up on Wikipedia... and was instantly reminded of my high school history class which totally explains why I have no idea what Flag Day actually is. (Sorry, Mr. Patterson, I know you tried.)

Anyway, there was a whole lot of information written but it didn't even mention Betsy Ross so thank goodness I didn't make a fool out of myself by dressing like her. Instead I should have worn a suit and tweeted a photo of my underwear because Flag Day is all about an act of congress.

Oh, and also the fact that Teddy Roosevelt was a complete bully. Thank you, Wikipedia, for sharing the truth about that 'carry a big stick' belief system he had:

1908, Theodore Roosevelt: Oral tradition passed on through multiple generations holds that on June 14, Theodore Roosevelt was dining outside Philadelphia, when he noticed a man wiping his nose with what he thought was the American Flag. In outrage, Roosevelt picked up a small wooden rod and began to whip the man for "defacing the symbol of America." After about five or six strong whacks, he noticed that the man was not wiping his nose with a flag, but with a blue handkerchief with white stars. Upon realization of this, he apologized to the man, but hit him once more for making him "riled up with national pride."

This act of national pride might just explain why in 1908 Teddy Roosevelt also declined to run for re-election. Coincidence? Perhaps not...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Next Stop: The Boston Marathon! Or maybe just some Slimfast.

Once upon a time I looked like this:

Which is to say, in shape and thin. (I had better pictures, but they just kinda sorta just made me look like a bar whore - no matter how hard I tried to photoshop the shot glasses out of the pictures and replace them with bible clip art.)

Then I met Big V and we got engaged. And pregnant. Except, by we I mean just I got pregnant and ended up looking like this:

Now, 21 months after I gave birth I look like this:

Like I'm going to show you my stomach. Not. A. Chance.

And now THIS has happened:

What is this, you ask? This is 65 of my used-to-fit-me shirts that are now being asked to leave my closet. Yes, sixty five. Including my super-duper all time favorite Woods Tree Farm long sleeved t-shirt. If I had a dollar for each shirt that no longer fits me due to girth restraints I could go out and buy me something like this:

Also, I just want you to know that so far today I have had one can of Diet Dr. Pepper, one Kit-Kat bar, one Twix bar, one Snickers bar, one Milky Way bar, one Crunch bar and one Oreo Dipped Delight Bar. I think I may have a problem.

Also, my teeth hurt.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Your Un-American Ways Shouldn't Make Me A Murderer. Just sayin'.

Big V always leaves the microwave door open just a crack.

I have no idea why.

I've asked.

He has no idea why. At one point he tried to reason, "That way it's ready for when you want to put your food in."

Except then I pointed out that you still had to use one hand to swing the door all the way open since it is not left open wide enough to squeeze a whole plate through so it's technically not ready at all. I also pointed out that it drives me absolutely crazy to walk into the kitchen and see the door to the microwave open just a crack like someone wasn't strong enough to shut the dang thing.

Then he pointed out that it doesn't seem to bother anyone except me and he's pretty sure there are other families across America who leave their microwave doors open and perhaps I'm just un-American.

And I took those to be fighting words because I am most certainly not un-American. I joined the Army, remember? And then I pointed out how he has never served in the military so maybe he's the un-American one in this relationship and then he asked me if I remembered whether or not to pay Lawnmower Timmy which had nothing at all to do with the fact he un-American-ly leaves the microwave door open so I scowled at him. And he is getting really good at masking his fear because it seemed like he didn't even notice.

So, I decided to take the high road. Now every time I walk into the kitchen and see the microwave door open a crack I sigh in an obnoxiously loud and exaggerated fashion, walk over, snap the door shut and then shake my head slowly as if to say why must my life partner hate his country so much?

As if things couldn't get worse, last night the door was open again. Someone is obviously not very skilled at picking up non-verbal hints, are they? But since no one was home to sigh-snap-shake to, I simply grabbed a frozen burrito, tossed in on a plate and nuked that sucker for 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

And then I removed my plate with the wonderfully cooked burrito on it that I was actually looking forward to eating and had to BRUSH OFF A DEAD SPIDER that I apparently murdered after it had wandered innocently into the microwave. I was left with an empty stomach and a guilty conscious. And a scowl.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

and the HOW TO DO IT winner is....

Since I had such an enormous a manageable response,
I printed the names of all
the commenter's on a slip of paper.
(I also made note of the books I will never, ever
read because they were so bad they traumatized all of you.)

I asked Dotter to assist. Which she was super excited to do.
I directed her to fold each slip of paper exactly the same way.
Then she got a phone call from her friend and decided to multi-task.

Still on the phone, and occasionally telling me to shush,
I had her draw one single slip of paper.....

The winner of the HOW TO DO IT Attic Journals Giveaway!

Tina: Please message your mailing address to me at

Thank you all for playing along! I hope to have more giveaways in the future. And if you haven't already, take a minute to check out the Attic Journals website. Their stock is ever-changing and FUN! Great gifts for those who love to write and even those who don't. I think it would be neat to give these to that person who seems to have everything or someone who is older as a reminder of "books of our past."

Attic Journals are fun, unique, great conversation starters and a wonderful way to pay homage to books that otherwise would end up in the dumpster, discarded and forgotten.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sometimes it's just easier to do the killing yourself.

Every year we get ants. Little ants. Lots of them. And they travel up through the earth and onto my kitchen counter and it is gross. And every morning there are two or three ants zipping around my counter waiting for me to smush them. Which I do. But then their buddies come back to search for the missing bodies. And I have to smush them. As you can see, it's a violent cycle.

So every year I buy ant poison. The liquid kind that looks like Karo Syrup. And I put dollops on tore up pieces of wax paper and hide them from the baby place them strategically around the kitchen. And then I also buy these Kill Sticks that you put in your garden or, if you're like me, in the area around your home where you might have a garden if you knew how to grow things.

And in a couple days the ants disappear.

At least that's the way it works when I handle things.

Except I was busy watching a Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon exhausted after a hard day of work and sent Big V to the store instead. I handed him twenty dollars and said, "Please purchase the Kill Sticks and the Karo Syrup Poison and all will be well."

Except all is not well. Because he returned all giddy and proud after making an executive decision, deciding to purchase some super-duper ant trap instead. "This was the most expensive thing they had so it's got to work!" There is so much to teach him.

Three days later and I had twelve ants greeting me in the morning and the recovery squad showed up wearing berets.

I decided enough is enough. It was time to take matters into my own hands and buy the stuff I know actually works.

But then I had to watch the last episode of Real Housewives of Orange County research bone marrow donation last night and wasn't able to get to the store.

This morning I woke up and went into the kitchen. The moment I laid eyes on the bowl I knew there would be trouble....

.... and then I called Big V who was already at work:

Hey. Um. Did you happen to have ice cream last night?

Uh..... maybe.  (It's like he doesn't trust me.)

Did you, um, happen to leave the bowl full of sweet, sticky ice cream residue on the counter?

Uh..... maybe.  (It's like he knows I'm on to him.)

Did you happen to leave it on the counter where we have the ant problem?

Uh..... maybe.  (It's like he knows I already know the answer.)

Don't worry; I took the bowl over to the sink and commenced drowning the thousand ants that were feasting on your leftovers. I don't think they suffered. They were in a sugar coma and had no idea what was happening."

Uh..... thanks?  (It's like he doesn't appreciate my sarcasm.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fabulous Friday Giveaway: The Gift of HOW TO DO IT

I promised a giveaway and today is that day! And no, my dear snarky Readershippers, I am not giving away the last of my matching stemware.  Although that was a fantabulous idea and I'm kind of bummed I didn't think of it myself. I must be slipping.

Here's a hint:
I bet you're wondering what exactly that man is peering at...
and how he's going to help you DO IT.

As you may or may not know, I love to write. Ever since I won our 3rd grade Grandparent's Essay Contest on some bogus story I wrote about how my grandmother and I spent precious time together baking cookies and going out for lunch. It never happened people. I lied. Yet I won. Talk about an ego trip.

Since then I've filled countless pages of countless journals with real life reflections so that I'd have good material to use should I ever enter another essay contest. I have never thrown these journals out. In fact, they've continued to move with me during each of my 23 moves in the past twenty years. I have commitment issues.

I also love to read. As evidenced by my plethora of books piled high on shelves and on tables and in closets and under the stairs. I cannot bring myself to ever throw a book away. Blame the Nazi book burnings of Jewish literature and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (although I never actually read that book, but I did see the movie and woah - creepy). Suffice it to say, I do not have book commitment issues.

And so, imagine my giddiness when I stumbled upon the new love of my life (and not just because they're located in Portland): Attic Journals, who, in their undeniable awesomeness, take hardcover books that were bound for the dumpster and recycle them into a journal that you could write in! They save books! They make journals! It's like freaking chocolate and peanut butter, people!

And then, just when I thought life couldn't get much better, they were all hey, do you want to have a giveaway? and I was like, duh! Yes! because this needs to be shared with the world.

And so, I give to you: The Fabulous Friday Giveaway, courtesy of Attic Journals:

I bet your mind was in the gutter.
It's a journal from a book on how to FIX things and MAKE things.
But you can write dirty if you want. It's your journal.

Included in the HOW TO DO IT Fabulous Friday Giveaway:

(1) Fantastic journal (so you can track how you do it)
(1) Alpha Pack (contains 3 of each letter in the alphabet; perfect for scrapbooking, posters, etc.)
(1) Garland (50 hearts and 6' of string; can you say too cute?)
(1) Card Pack (send a note on recycled pages - awesome!)

So, what do you need to do?


(1) "Like" my Facebook Page. Because large numbers make me feel loved.

(2) "Like" Attic Journals Facebook Page. They like to feel loved, too.

(3) Leave a comment on this here post telling me what the absolute worst book you ever read was.

I was going to have you comment about how old you were when you first discovered any hidden HOW TO DO IT books in your house but I figured that would be kind of pervy.

But in case you were wondering, I was about 10 and my siblings and I found a stack of Australian girlie magazines hidden in the back of my parent's closet. It was troubling.

It still is.

** I'll pick the random winner Monday, June 6th.  I know, the suspense over the weekend will probably kill you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I may have failed as a parent, but wait til you see my sausage!

I don't know what to write about because I'm entirely too old to pull emo off yet I'm incredibly emotional, angry and angst-ridden because I'm an obvious failure as a parent, and not just in the my son is going to be two in October but he's not potty trained yet... oh wait, he was actually born in September kind of way but more of in the my daughter will be facing the harsh realities of the world in two short years and I have taught her nothing kind of way.

Instead of analyzing what I have done wrong and what I could do right I'm just going to pray a lot and drink a bunch of wine at book club tonight even though I haven't actually finished the book. (Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese; have you read it? What do you think? Maybe if you post something in the comments I'll repeat it at book club so people think I read the book. But I might be slurring my words so don't use intense vocab, okay?)

In the wake of my blogger's block I'll leave you with photos of racing sausages because who doesn't feel better after watching a sausage race? Enjoy!

I totally had my money on the hot dog.

Everyone's focused on the race, no one sees the player
fighting with the ump.

People love their sausages!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Matching Stemware is SO before I had a family.

We drink from jars.

Not because I'm ultra-farmhouse-y in my stemware.

Not because I'm trying out shabby-chic drinking systems.

But because every single blasted time someone takes a glass out of the cabinet they break it.

For real.

And if they don't break it then, well, Big V will break it when it's his turn to do the dishes.

(Don't think I'm foolish; I know he does it on purpose... break the glass so that way he doesn't have to wash it. I know what he's up to.)

I'm down to two actual, real glasses. From a used-to-be set.

So now I just buy food products in jars.

And we drink out of used canning jars, jelly jars, pickle jars, fruit jars... you name it! If it's a jar we'll drink from it.

It's all about recycling.

And finding a way not to get totally ticked off that these cave people I live with break all my freaking glasses.

On a totally seperate note: I have something FUN planned for you... it's called a giveaway! Stay tuned for more details...

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...