Sunday, January 25, 2015

My achievement of womanhood via Bed Bath and Beyond

I heard table saw man at various points in the day on Saturday and Sunday. That was a nice touch to a magnificent weekend. I love sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, birds singing, breeze blowRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRR. RRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRR. So, so wonderful. I love how it punctuated my thoughts and pierced my soul. I looked out our back window to see if I could see him down the alley but it was all for naught. Is he a mystery? Does he wear a cloak of invisibility? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make that up, right? I can definitely hear it outside of my head.

I became a real boy this weekend and bought a trifle bowl. I schlepped it down to Bed Bath and Beyond because I still had a gift card from my birthday. I love free money. So if there's any store that makes me feel the absolute most inadequate, it's Bed Bath and Beyond. It's an assault on my womanhood as soon as I walk in. They should just put a sign out that says, "You'll never measure up. Why do you even have a uterus? Fat lot of good that's doing you." The kitchen section alone is an exercise in sensory overload. I couldn't process everything on display or even begin to figure out how I would use 95% of it.

Sadie and I snaked our way back to the trifle bowl section and chose from the vast selection of two. We picked the one with the prettier pedestal. As I was taking it from the shelf, I was overcome with estrogen and thought, This is it! I'm finally a woman! This is what it feels like! I also purchased a flour sifter. Not just a strainer/sieve that I bang against my hand and with which I just "make do." No. Making do days are over. I got the old school kind that has the squeeze handle and pushes it through the sieve at the bottom, leaving me to ponder other womanly endeavors. I'm a real woman now. I deserve squeeze handles for my flour. Here is the trifle in all its glory.
Look out, high society. I'm coming in.

Me (feeling guilty): "Is it okay if I use the dogs as pillows? I have one under my leg and one under my arm."

Chris (always trying to find their worth): "They should be useful for something."

Since I don't have a great zero sense of fashion, sometimes I'll save pictures of outfits that I think represent what "classy" or "dignified" women wear and that I can emulate through thrift store and eBay purchases. I saw a picture of a woman in a purple dress and nude wedge sandals. Super cute. I started searching on eBay for nude sandals in an effort to make my ascent in high society/womanhood complete. I clicked the appropriate boxes:  > Size 7 > Sandals > Wedges/Platforms. Since they didn't have a Nude/Emperor's New Clothes color choice, I typed in "nude" in the search bar at the top. It returned this message.
Me (WHAT??): "No, I did not want the Adults Only section."

Chris (trying to decipher the logic of eBay): "Maybe they thought you meant 'Nudes in Sandals.'"

Me (gross): "eBay is a perv."

I didn't find any I liked. I created a daily search for it. Should be interesting.

I just knocked over my coffee cup spilled coffee down the side of the nightstand, onto the bedspread, and onto my tennis shoes. Looks like I'm back at square one for All Things Pertaining to Graceful Adults Who Have Moved Past Awkward Teenage Phases of Life.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Like running my brain through a table saw

One of the neighbors down the alley has been working on a very loud sawing project for the last 700 years. He likes to pick it up any time I try to lay down for a nap or enjoy a quiet Saturday morning. I don't even know what he's doing. Constructing the world's largest gazebo? Recreating the Washington Monument? A scale model of the Statue of Liberty? It sounds like he's running sheets of metal through a table saw. It has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks. Wouldn't he run out of metal objects to saw at some point? And why the bloody hell aren't you finished with your stupid project by now? He's run my sanity through the saw at this point.

Sadie's school had career day today. Yet again, I was left off the invite list to come talk about my lucrative blogging career hobby that earns exactly $0 a year and has earned two readers over the last 7 years, my penchant for wine while cooking dinner, or my anticipation of The Bachelor episodes on Monday nights. Perhaps I've not made it clear that I'm available for speaking engagements? I am. Just ask. I'll probably tell you no, though, and send you a blog the audience could read to themselves in lieu of my presence. See what I did? Because it will be just like reading this blog in your head, only killing trees in the process. As school was dismissing, I heard one of the teachers admonish a student that it was fine it he wanted to use "those words," but he needed to wait until he got off school grounds to use the words he was choosing to use. I'm guessing "those words" aren't school appropriate. Maybe I'm not the best candidate to speak at a school because, well, I think we all know.

Sadie said they had a guy come and talk about the pros and cons of foam roofs. She said he mentioned all the pros but surreptitiously failed to mention the cons. Interesting that she picked up on his sales pitch. "It's all pros, kids! Not a single con in there! It's amazing!" I asked her if she told him that 5th graders were the wrong target audience and trends in roofing materials aren't really on their radar. Foam roofs. Huh. Maybe I should pitch the idea to him of using rubber roofs. Then all the inclement weather would just bounce right off!

They had someone who works in some type of network security. Maybe. Sadie was a little sketchy on the details most likely because she tuned him out. Word has it that she was more interested in fixing another girl's hair. Sounds about right. He was probably speaking in binary, and Sadie doesn't understand binary. Maybe if he tried using beeps and boops like how a computer talks to other computers, she would have been more captivated. That would have been cool.

They had a bank manager, but, again, she failed to mention what exactly he did. She probably lost interest when he said he didn't bring any stacks of money as door prizes. I could probably compete with that, right? Those sound like regular dude jobs. But then she said someone's dad talked to them about how he moves houses for his job. MOVES HOUSES. Internet, I can't compete with that. That kicks ass. That's like feats of engineering and awesome rolled into one testosterone-fueled party. I don't move houses for a living. I did move a printer from one room to another today. That doesn't seem like it's the same. Probably not something kids want to hear about. I also connected it to a laptop for scanning. I'm really just grasping at straws.

The movie Saw is still going strong outside. I suddenly need to buy a trifle bowl. I hope table saw man doesn't follow me to Bed Bath and Beyond. I should also try to make something for dinner.  Turns out no one wants to eat random stuff from the pantry. Why not?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My life couldn't be more ghetto if I tried

Sadie just informed me that the Sharpie she was using on her school project has bled through the paper and onto my beautifully refinished coffee table. Well, that might be a stretch. It was moderately almost just shy of beautiful about 18 months ago when I first did it and even then it was sketchy at best. Now it has some mystery stains (coffee? tea? it might be red?), dirt stains, some gray spots where there were paint bubbles and now it's been covered in dirty shoes. NOW it has black Sharpie. My life can't get any more ghetto if I even tried.

Chris (Doomsday is nigh): "You should go look at it."

Me (surely it can't be that bad): "Will I say a cuss word?"

Chris (no, Doomsday is happening in our living room): "Yes. You should go look so you're not surprised."

Me (no, be serious): "Is it bad?"

Chris (being serious): "Yes. Everything she outlined is now on our coffee table. We could take our coffee table up to her school and turn it in for her project."

Hrm. Perhaps it's time to invest in something along the lines of a coffee table book collection, a large ornamental design piece, doilies, tablecloths, contact paper, patio furniture, or beer goggles. I refuse to either paint it again or buy anything new or used. You'd think I'd be excited about the prospect of forced purchases of new furniture, but you would be wrong. I'm so tired of buying things. Wait. Was that out loud?
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

I bet that doesn't happen to Giada De Laurentiis

While trying to make brussel sprout chips tonight, I was doing my best to clean up as I went along. I went to throw away the scraps and lifted the lid of the trash can only to have it fall back a split second before I dumped it all. It all ended up in the opposite of the trash.
Seriously? And one time as I was taking a package of chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, the entire contents of the bag spilled all over the kitchen floor (not long after the Bacon Grease Incident). I thought I was doing good by putting it in a protective bag at Aldi because I've learned from experience that chicken packages can get messy. This time, however, the bag just supplied a handy collection device for all the bloody chicken juice to splash onto the floor. I definitely wanted to take time to clean up a large raw chicken mess in the middle of trying to make dinner. It's like the Swedish Chef has taken over my kitchen and he's not from IKEA. 

While standing in Sadie’s room talking to her, it was brought to my attention that Penny was humping Nickels’ face. First, that’s not even how it’s done. Second, that has to be the ultimate show of blatant aggression to be to humping another dog’s FACE. That's your doggy friend. Third, why did Nickels just take it? She was all, “Oh, okay. Hump my face. That’s cool. I’ll just stand here.” I don’t understand the animal kingdom.

I got the lab results back from the doctor's office. Everything was normal except for the vitamin D3 levels, which I suppose could be rectified were I to spend any reasonable amount of time in the sun. I rival any sparkly vampire with my shade of skin. According to the test results, I was below normal range. She recommended a supplement of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3. The high today is supposed to be in the 60s, and I briefly contemplated wearing shorts in an effort to get some vitamin D3 and skin cancer. I wonder if I could get her to recommend 5,000 IU of Ritz crackers and Nutella. That seems safer. And tastier. I bet Giada De Laurentiis splurges on real Nutella and not the Aldi knock-off brand which tastes exactly the same.

I bought two pairs of shoes this weekend. I wonder at what point I'll think I have enough. Does that point even exist? I didn't think so either.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I wonder if Pavlov's dog was named Pavlova

If there is any place on earth equivalent to hell, it has to be the dentist's office. Now before you get all up in my grill like, "What about puppy mills? What about bathrooms with no toilet paper? What about Starbucks when they've sold out of vanilla scones?" I have five words for you: Den. Tist. St's. Off. Ice. A veritable torture chamber. I dreaded the whole day, thinking that surely I would be on the other side of 6 p.m., I just had to actually make it through the hour of 5 p.m. I made it. Barely. The dental hygienist was very eager with her tools. Very jabby in her craft. I'm pretty sure she delighted in my discomfort.

I finished another book. It was The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. So good. See how much I can get done without the facebooks? I also cleaned the bathroom last night. I still haven't gotten around to mending a shirt and Sadie's skirt, but you can't overcome slackerdom just by cutting out a huge time waster. True slackers will always find another way to waste time. 

All this reading has introduced me to new ideas for food. In The Husband's Secret, one of the characters makes a dessert called a pavlova. Thinking it was made up because the author is from Australia and I have no idea what goes on there, I used the google and sure enough. It's a real thing. Ina Garten even made one. Now I have to make one. Is this not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
Why isn't it in my mouth? Life is very, very unfair. I'm not sure how you say it. Pavlov like Pavlov's dog? Or like pav-loave? I wonder if God hears my thoughts sometimes and shakes His head.

I also learned about macarons. Turns out she didn't misspell macaroon. No. They're actually a type of cookie. Crazy Australians with their sugary confections from France. Now I need one of these, too.
It's like my life keeps getting worse and worse the longer I go without eating six of these in a row and washing it down with a hot cup of coffee. I think I saw some at Market Street one time. Why aren't they open 24 hours so I can go look? Stupid selfish gourmet grocery store.

Perhaps I should try to socialize. Oh. With cookies. I need adult conversation apparently.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Do you want to build a snowman?

No. But I do need a snow day. A whole string of them. Remember when I was complaining about being stuck at home with nothing to do and how I wanted to get out? Strike that from the record. I want those days back. This winter I'm going to stock up on toilet paper beginning in October and enough supplies to make 7 loaves of breakfast breads and untold pots of coffee. We won't have to leave the house for months! I have a stack of 7 books next to my bed just waiting for their lovely pages to be turned. I also need to clean the bathroom, take in a shirt, and mend a ripped skirt. It looks like I'm going to need three snow days. 

I did manage to read three books this week. I'm not sure if that's a testament to my superb reading ability or a sad commentary on my state of being. Books are so delicious. I read:

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes and

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I'd most highly recommend One Plus One. That was a good story. I would not recommend Confessions just because it's embarrassing to even admit I read it. It's schlocky chick lit in every sense of the word(s). It's like admitting you regularly watch The Bachelor AND eagerly await its January return. If you're going to read one of Kinsella's books, you should read Undomestic Goddess. I liked the characters better even though it still followed the contrived plot pattern and character development of all of her books. Tonight I'm starting The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. I've been looking forward to reading this for a couple of weeks. You should try What Alice Forgot. So, so good. I could give you a whole list of books you should read. They're not hard hitting but they're good stories and loads better than sitting on the Facebooks.

All right. The coughing has to stop. It's taken off the crazypants and gone full commando. All day long I can feel my lungs squeezing fluid onto my bronchial tubes and making them irritated so that I hack and wheeze all FREAKING DAY. Earlier I had a horrific headache thanks to this body function that's a by product of a sore throat. I thought my head was going to explode just sitting still, so when I was trying to put the back of a computer on over all the cords, I very nearly had an aneurysm from all the pressure in my head. I took my 634th pill in the past 3 days, and now -- YAY! -- my headache has gone away, although now it's been replaced by the feeling I'm about to bust through my carotid artery. Perhaps I've just pulled all the muscles in my neck. Or my jugular vein is about to blow. It's a three way tie of probabilities. A trifecta of possibilities. A lottery of statistics. I'm not sure what that last one is. I just made it up. It's probably not even a real thing.

What else is there? I'm sure I'll think of something. Hopefully I won't die from all the coughing. That would definitely be something.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interacting in the real world and not behind a computer screen

My first day Facebook free started to be a productive one. I'm not saying FB is bad or evil or of the devil, but it is definitely implied. I also recognize my own failings in relying upon it for social interaction and passing time.

I cleaned up the kitchen and went through my recipe binder. For years and years I've been hoarding collecting recipes for a day when...I don't know. I suppose I wanted to be prepared for any situation, much like the Boy Scouts if they hosted impromptu dinner parties. I took clothes upstairs that were hanging in the laundry room for weeks. Turns out all the time I wasted on the computer was time I should have spent cleaning. Ahem.

I cleaned out a tube of lip balm that had melted in the car. Now it's good as new. I showered and shaved my legs to go to a cross country booster club meeting. Maybe they're not a booster club yet. Perhaps I'll find out at the meeting. I normally wouldn't go to anything like a booster club meeting with people I didn't know, but my lack of reliance on Facebook has forced me to seek alternatives for seeing actual, live human beings. I met one of the moms at a parent meeting the other day, and she was so lovely and I thought, hey! I'm interacting! 

We ran errands and ate lunch at Sam's because I'm incredibly cheap frugal. Yes, let's go with frugal. That sounds way less stigmatizing. Chris, Sadie and I wandered the aisles of Sam's and the library and...I think we went somewhere else. I was really tired so it's all slightly fuzzy.

I took a nap because Saturday afternoons were made for napping. Then we went to visit Chris' parents for dinner and football. The whole time I was present and engaged in the moment and with the people whose company I was keeping because I knew I couldn't run home and hop on the computer to interact with online personas. I had to make the most of my time with people because, I'm telling you, THIS IS IT. This was real life.

The whole day I felt heady and so alive, practically giddy that my time felt like my own. I wondered if this is what it was like for smokers after they quit smoking and can taste real flavors again. My senses were heightened in that I was no longer in bondage to a virtual reality. I had zero desire to return to my previous state. My desire for such things had been conquered by an all-consuming Savior.

That sounds like such a dramatic thing to say, but there are only two states in life that matter: Dead and alive. And I'm not talking about whether you're alive and breathing or dead in the ground. It's whether you're dead or alive in Christ. Nothing in this world matters more than whether you are conducting yourself with the knowledge and grace of Jesus or whether you're pursuing things of this world and the flesh.

I am chief of the latter. I am ashamed to admit how much time I wasted on Facebook. Ashamed. I want to fall on my face on the floor and weep for the beautiful moments I threw in the trash because I was a slave to my own sin. I have deliberately neglected tallying the amount of time I've spent on FB because I don't know how I would live with myself knowing that number. I'm already ashamed of my gluttony, numbers add nothing but more remorse.

Today we went to church and I had to consciously think to myself, Make this time count. This is your interaction with people. THIS IS IT. I loved it. People matter. Relationships matter. Relationships on the other side of a computer screen are empty and unsatisfying. It's looking like I'm on my way to becoming a hugger.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Big bowl of word salad

Sadie: "One time when I was in 4th grade and we were sitting on the carpet, I farted in front of the group. I started laughing, and it smelled SO BAD."

Me: "Sadie! I would have been mortified if I farted in front of anyone in 4th grade!"

Sadie: "Well, luckily, it was a group of boys, so they didn't know any different from them. If it had been a group of girls, they would have been, 'Ewwww....gross! Stinky!'"

Me: "If a girl farted would you have been like --"

Sadie [raising her fist for girl power unity]: "I would be like, 'YAY TEAM!'"

Ben is at the point where he has expressed a vague interest in dating.Ugh. Dating. What a horrid thought. Well, really just the asking out part. What a wretched rite of passage for anyone of any age. I do not envy them at all.

Well, sometimes I do. I wish Chris and I could go back to our dating days and have that excitement of getting ready and riding in someone else's car. The excitement of a new person, no idea where you're going to go or what you're going to do. You know, when described like that, it almost sounds like an abduction. Now we're all old and married and have a kid who's interested in dating and we're just old brown shoes.

It's almost dinnertime and I've yet to start making dinner. It sounds so very, very hard. I had the brilliant idea that I should make chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. Chicken nuggets are homemade but the mac and cheese is Pirate's Booty, so it's from a box if you didn't make that connection. It all sounds like so much work with the cutting and breading and zzzzzzzzzz. I'm over it.

We have a date night coming up. We go on approximately 1 date night every 6 years. We don't even have little kids or babies that need to be sat upon. Somehow we just never find the time? Maybe we're waiting until the kids move out and every day is a date night all. day. long. I'm sure Chris is looking forward to that and all the talking that has the potential to occur. There's a Greek restaurant I've been wanting to try and then I want to go to Half Price Books. I'm telling you, old brown shoe dating.

Me: "I need another baby so I can have some more writing material. What if I run out of things to say?" 

Chris: "I don't know if having kids for writing material is a sustainable model."

Me: "You don't like that? How could I improve my pitch?"

But seriously. What if I run out of things to say? That why I keep this running commentary of a blog so that the words keep flowing. I tried using alcohol once to keep the words flowing but that lead to just wanting to go to bed after one glass of wine and then a wicked upset stomach the next day. Hemingway I am not.

I want to start a new dating site. It will be Old Brown Shoe Dating and will focus on people who just want to get married and settle down into blissful yet predictable married life. Your house, your cars, your job, your chicken nugget dinners. None of that flashy Match[es to Burn All Your Hopes for Finding Compatible Mates] or eHarmony [was the Name of My 10th Shelter Cat] or BeautifulPeople [don't Put Their Profiles on This Site]. A quick Google search returned a list of dating web sites. Sounds like the market is open to new ideas.

I pulled it together and made dinner. Then I helped Sadie clean out her crayon/colored pencil/marker box. I like sharpening pencils. Nothing is happier than a big cup of sharpened pencils. There's so much potential.  

I took the dogs for a 4-mile walk to offset the cracker weight I put on today. Now I smell like one of the dogs.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

I should talk to more people (outside of my head) on a daily basis

I have this fantasy where a small town newspaper editor runs across this here blog. Think Texas or Iowa or Arkansas. Or the east coast or New England. Small town. He sends me an email or certified letter if they don't have internet inviting me to write a daily column for their small town newspaper. Like a day-in-the life feature of small town living. Then I get to write about small town living and I will know that I have officially made it in life. This fantasy is really sad. It's also very real.

I can hear the dogs breathing outside the closed bedroom door. Their noses are pressed up against the door, and I can hear, "Hsssssshhhhh" through the crack. Is that exasperation? Desperation? Hopelessness? Sometimes I hear soft pawing. Now that I think about it, I really hope it's the dogs and not monsters, vampires, zombies, aliens, small dinosaurs, centaurs, or minotaurs. When I open the door, they're always there, just waiting like big stalkers. I try to tell them that there are other live humans in the house and to go stalk them, but they don't understand because they lack the ability to reason with logic, understand higher math concepts, love conditionally, and open cans with opposable thumbs. After all, they're dogs.

Swype has to be the most ridiculous texting invention ever. It never ever ever ever gets it correct.  It's not even trying 159% of the time. It's like trying to get a lazy teenager to run errands for me.

Me (to Swype): "Pretty please text Ben to get some beef fajitas."

Swype (lazy ass): "Get neef Fayyad."

Me (for the 6,000,000,000 time): "No, beef fajitas."

Swype (going to his room): "Gah! Neef, beef. Close enough. You're such a buzz kill. I HATE YOU! YOU ALWAYS RUIN MY LIFE!"

Maybe I should switch the translation language to English.

I think there's only so much staying home I can do. Every time I turn around there's yet another basket of laundry to be folded or load of dishes to be loaded in the dishwasher for washing. Seriously? Didn't I just do all this two weeks ago? Being a productive member of the workforce is a good way to avoid doing everyday chores every day. Why do today what you can put off until two weekends from now when you haven't had clean underwear for three days and you're eating pot roast off party napkins because you still haven't started the dishwasher?

Sadie and I got out today. Wheeeee! We went to the thrift store for the 50% off sale, but the dressing rooms were closed during the sale. While I normally wouldn't mind whipping it all out in public to try on clothes outside of the confines of a dressing room, I wore old granny panties so my options for killing it at the thrift store were severely limited.  I saw Person I Know No. 1 there as well. Then we went to Target where I saw Persons I Know No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4. I talked to three of my four encounters. Is this what it's like out in public? I forget that people are out there. I should go out there more often. That was nice. Humans = good.

I'm pretty sure I ruined dinner. I made what was supposed to be vegetarian stuffed zucchini, but I took out the corn element and replaced it with sausage. I tasted it a little while ago and it tastes a lot like dookie. Even I'm not sure I can convince everyone that it's delicious. We might have to resort to hard boiled eggs and smoothies.

The two baskets of laundry have still not been folded all day. I should probably fold them before Chris gets home to dispel any rumor he might have heard as to my daily productivity. We'll see. Pretty sure I'm not fooling anyone.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm going to talk about pants

I left the neighborhood today. My hermitude was shattered by actually having an official place to be on Thursday night. Otherwise, I'm not sure I would have seen the light of day. I saw the crack of the light of day this morning when I took the dogs for a walk. I scurried inside before the sun rose over the rooftops.

Two pairs of my pants have officially died, both khakis. I've had them both for well over 10 years now, so clearly they've been good pants. Faithful even. Probably not very classic because who am I to recognize and/or afford a classic piece of clothing. The khaki pants developed some mysterious stains down the front that I could probably get away with wearing in sketchy lighting. Maybe the General Public would wonder if they had spots in their eyes and not that I retrieved my pants from the dumpster behind Big Lots.

The khaki capris, however, were marred by the errant avocado that slipped out of my hand the other night while making dinner. Said avocado also ruined a perfectly lovely turquoise and white polka dot Old Navy blouse. I treated the stains several times with Super Clean and washed them but to no avail. There were still faint stains down the front. Sure, I could have made them my Avocado Pants and worn them when a festive mood struck or I hosted Fiesta Night and served nachos and claimed, "I'm wearing my Avocado Pants! Let's party!" Avocado Pants had the potential to join the ranks of my Saturday Pants and Painting Pants, but the reality is they would have been the What the Hell is Wrong With You, Why Can't You Just Buy New Pants? Pants.

Now I'm on the search for new khaki pants in varying lengths. I like having things for which I need to go shopping. It really gives my life meaning. Tomorrow there's a 50% off sale at one of the thrift stores, so it sounds like I could score some bargains. That's college level thinking right there.

I made Eggplant Parmesan for dinner. I thought it was delicious, but I'm afraid to ask everyone what they thought of it because they'll invariably make retching sounds. I like eggplant. No one else does. I keep making it though because I like to beat a dead horse. You've seen my wardrobe, right? This blog? All horses.

Two people to whom I didn't pay any money at all said it looked like I lost weight. I don't know about that. Perhaps. I haven't stepped on the scale in months because I'm scared. I do try to eat less and move more, always a magical combination. So is not stuffing yourself like a Thanksgiving turkey at any given opportunity. 

I hope this blog has given your life meaning. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I haven't left the neighborhood all day

Why don't introverts have a social club? Well, I guess I answered my own question. But why don't they have at least a gathering? We could just meet at Starbucks, nod a cursory hello, and read our books by ourselves. We'll agree to meet again next week. Maybe by week 26 we'll be almost acquaintances.

I'm savoring my last couple of week and a half of being home before I have to go back to work. It has been mostly uneventful for the summer. Deliciously uneventful. We took a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas last week. It was all levels of magnificent. So much fun and so pretty. 

You know how you visit a city/town on vacation and loudly think to yourself and then holler at your husband when you can no longer contain it, "WHY AREN'T WE LIVING HERE?" I didn't think that once on the whole trip. I entertained the idea, but never fully committed to actually speaking those words. I think my actual words to Chris were, "I could never live here. How do you survive? What do you do? Where do you live?" 

The area by the bathhouses was really, really pretty. Quaint even. Like walking around on a movie set but in real life. Other than that...I'm not sure what you do for a living. Walmart, tourist shop, or...and I'm out. I would offer national park ranger as an option, but those are hard to get according to the park ranger.  The architecture was cool to look at, and the web site Abandoned Arkansas offers a peek into some of the buildings around Hot Springs that stand in disrepair.

We did a lot of walking. No, like A LOT. Miles and miles and miles each day. That's my favorite thing to do on a vacation. Walking/hiking, looking at things, eating, and drinking coffee. My first biggest fear was being eaten by a mountain lion, but it turns out there aren't mountain lions in that area of the US. Then I shifted my fear to being consumed by ticks and contracting Lyme disease, but it turns out that Lyme disease is only in a handful of states, and Arkansas isn't one of them. All my worrying was for naught. I hate wasted efforts.

The best part of the trip was the breakfast at the hotel. I love hotel breakfast buffets. It's like a surprise every morning that someone lovingly set out for me. It was a little disappointing to get back home and not have an entire spread of cereal, belgian waffles, pastries/bagels, eggs, breakfast meats, french toast, a vat of oatmeal, a selection of juices, milk, and coffee sitting out for me. Talk about a let down.

I swiped several bars of hotel soap and a couple extra bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Each day I would ask for two additional bars of soap on top of what was already put in our room. It was the best soap ever -- Neutrogena French Milled bath soap. Why can't they sell hospitality items to the general public? 

There you have it. A month's absence and this is all I can offer. You deserve better than this. Only slightly better, though, so as not to inflate your ego and give you a sense of entitlement.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Posty McPostykins

Me: "I think I would like another baby."

Chris: "You just told me you were too old."

Me: "That's just what I say to make myself feel better. I could do it."

Chris: "Let's just get another dog at the pound."

I do want another dog (a buddy for Penny) but I'm leaning to wanting another baby. I just need to convince Chris that at this stage in our lives (I'm 36...ugh) that starting all over is what I want. Gladly. Baaaaabyyyyyy feeeeeveeeerrrr. The kids are 16 and 9. 16 and 9. This baby fever needs to be replaced with someone more productive like shopping or movies or anything that gets my uterus' mind off of procreating.

Chris is currently helping Ben with his Algebra II homework. They were just discussing a program that Chris wrote for one of his classes on how to find a prime number. I stayed out of that conversation out of respect for math and science. I might hurt its feelings that despite being an older college student, I cannot participate in discussions such as these. I do remember the quadratic equation. Small victory.

I took Penny for a walk by myself tonight. The children didn't want to come with me. They wasted a perfectly beautiful evening staying inside. See? I need smaller children who actually want to spend time with me. We did play Scrabble Slam when I got home, so family values were restored. Ben informed me that I smelled like I went for a walk. I asked for clarification later, and he said I smelled like BO. I guess that better than saying I smelled like a dirty diaper. Small victory? Probably not.

I've given up on cooking dinner. I used to make 16 course meals that took several hours to make and were lovingly prepared with wholesome ingredients. Tonight, though, I dumped out tater tots and mini corn dogs on baking sheets and heated them up. I used the oven, so that's almost like homemade. I rounded it out with some peas and carrots.

Me: "How can I get rid of this baby fever? What can I do?"

Chris: "Look at how much it costs to buy a minivan. Look at the cost of daycare."

It would only be $5000 per school year. That sounds doable, right?

This post was pointless and I've solved none of the world's problems. I've failed humanity. Par for the course.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When crap spills out of my head it becomes words

Yesterday was the millionth snow day of this school year. By 11:50 a.m. I'd achieved a grand total of zero things. A whole lotta nothing. I consumed most of my daily calories in pretzel rolls and hazelnut spread. At one point I was calculating when Chris would leave for work so I could eat more rolls and spread. It was quite the balancing act to enjoy mere bites at a time yet not so much to horrify Chris but still leave enough to fully engage in the gorging later.

You know when people say, "What's your biggest fear in life?" and they mean it all deep and philosophical like you're going to say, "I want to be a good role model." That's not even close to mine. I'm sure I'll disappoint legions of people. You'll survive. No, my biggest fear (or within the top 3) is slipping and falling directly on my face in the cold icy weather. Why wouldn't I land on my ass or use my hands to break my fall? I don't know. I have a face? My fear is I'll use my mouth and/or teeth to cushion the fall. (In case you were wondering fears No. 1 and No. 2 are driving off the side of the road into a construction zone and coming out of the bathroom with my skirt tucked in my underwear.)

The TV in our bedroom has a big green glowing spot on it at various times. There's no rhyme or reason as to when it will appear. Tonight it looked like Bobby Flay had encountered Slimer from Ghostbusters (RIP Harold Ramis -- you were my first movie star crush when I was a kid). Our last TV died so we walked around Sam's for DAYS and DAYS trying to convince ourselves that -- as adults in our 30s -- we were worthy of spending $200 on a semi-decent TV for our room. After hours of deliberations and price comparison, we talked ourselves out of it and put the TV back on the shelf. A friend from work knew a friend who wanted to make a quick $25 selling their old school TV to frugal schmoes. It's very beasty. Nothing sleek or modern about it. But it was cheap, so that pretty much fits our MO.

I would like to go on the show Worst Cooks in America. Surely I can make something atrocious. Once I made a chicken paprikash dish that most closely resembled chicken vomit. I could fumble my way through a couple of challenges and then by challenge three just start nailing it and be all, "I don't know what happened. It just...clicked [26 years ago when I started cooking because I was bored staying home all day during the summer]!" I could use $25,000. I wouldn't even gloat. Much.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I ate today

It should be known that I never get complimented on my outfit of choice. I usually dress like a lumpy potato so any positive feedback is generally not forthcoming. Today I chose my best thrift store jeans and a purple plaid shirt because nothing says "I'm ready for manual labor" than "Lumberjacking it today seems wise." It was single handedly the most favorably complimented item I've worn. Much like all of fashion, I do not know the magical combination that struck such haute couture gold. Turns out that was the best $.79 I've ever spent at the thrift store. For a purple plaid shirt. That had paint on it. That I did not even put there. And still bought the shirt with the paint. I wonder if I can buy stock in purple plaid.

I made poor food choices today. Today was a physically exhausting day, which usually necessitates eating overly processed and chemically altered foods. I'm pretty sure an alchemist was behind many of the choices today. There was:

Breakfast (banana with peanut butter and jelly, hard boiled egg)
3 cups of coffee
Grocery store vanilla cupcake
Homemade lunch (bbq chicken, macaroni and cheese, salad, yogurt)
Grocery store chocolate cupcake
Can of coke
Homemade dinner (chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, broccoli)
Frozen vanilla yogurt with shaved chocolate
Two cups of coffee

Good grief. Looking at that is abysmal. How have I not died at this point?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A la peanut butter sandwiches: Valentine's Edition

While I'm ahead on planning Ben's birthday party, I suck at remembering or even caring about Valentine's Day. It usually sneaks up on me every year when Chris says, "What do you want to do for Valentine's Day?" Usually, I want to do as close to nothing as possible. Strike that. I always want to do as little as possible for Valentine's Day. So much pressure.

We agreed that this year we could go for pizza because, well, it's pizza. I don't need any other excuse for not having to cook for a night. It could be as simple as losing a left shoe.

Chris (hypothetically): "Have you seen my left shoe? The brown one?"

Me (in reality): "Have you looked at Papa John's? While you're there, could you pick up dinner?"

So our gift to each other was going to be dinner out and Chris would discreetly look away while I tried to stuff two whole pieces at a time into my mouth. The agreement was ironclad. Pizza. No gifts. Dinner would be the present. But then he threw me a curve ball.

Chris (covering all the bases): "What do you want for Valentine's Day?"

Me (because I was thinking about it): "Ben & Jerry's Greek Frozen Yogurt."

Chris (is he just messing with me?): "I thought dinner out was going to be our present to each other."

Me (I don't understand the rules of this game): "Then why did you ask?"

Chris: "I was just checking."

Since he already bought cards for me AND the kids days and days and days ago just to prove what a worthless Valentine I am, I stopped on the way home from food pantry to get a card from the "Someone Special" special edition kiosk. Hey, I know someone special and need to buy some overpriced card stock to prove I love them. I put back the card that had a dissertation about love on both inside flaps. Gah. BOTH SIDES. That's excessive. No one loves anyone that much. I chose something with four lines so that Chris wouldn't have to take a nap during the Declaration Of Love Day.

I also bought each child (count 'em: 2) a carton of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I also bought me Chris a carton of Ben & Jerry's Greek frozen yogurt. Frozen love in a tub. We all win.