Thursday, March 31, 2005

Buster's Revenge

When it is cold in our house the dogs tend to burrow under the covers and huddle under our legs and into our stomachs. At some point last night Buster flung himself onto my feet and legs. When my alarm went off this morning and I managed to drag my ass out of bed I immediately fell on my face. A thirty pound dog pinned to your appendages can make them numb. Who knew?

I wonder if this his way of getting even with me for laughing at him yesterday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm Going To Hell But I Am Laughing As I Go

I will never forgive myself.

Buster just had his head stuck in a hanger and I couldn't find my camera.

I didn't rescue him for a couple minutes while I looked though.

The Nibbler

One of the side effects of having a controlling personality is that I have a particular style of doing most things. My most bizarre behavioral tic is how I eat.

I nibble** everything.

For some reason I just cannot take large bites. And if no one is watching (because my mother is not a wolverine and would disembowel me if I didn't have manners) I will disassemble my meal and each component separately. Nibble nibble nibble. I am saying that potato chips are three to four bite affairs for me.

I have no idea why I do this. Or why I have to force myself to eat any other way (which is actually easy in most eating situations, but if it just me and a piece of pizza I am picking that sucker apart). I have seen toddlers eat this way so I know others do it. They are just in the pre-school set.

This is how it took me fifty full minutes to eat my grilled cheese sandwich at lunch today.

I know.

But! I! Can! Explain!

I have to eat the entire crust off first (nibble nibble nibble) before I could move onto the cheesy middle. I like the crust, but to me it is a separate thing entirely from the rest of the sandwich. Only after I eat it all can I start on the middle. Which I eat by pulling small chunks off (and sadly, often eating those in several bites).

Everyone who thought that I was a saint for putting up with J's Star Wars addiction owes him a big apology.

**To make this even weirder, as a child I insisted that people call me Nibbler. Not because of my food issues, but because I was a bunny. There really is no medication that can deal with me. I have the FDA on speed dial.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Dream Love with Hulkamania

So this weekend I was watching the Inferno II and who is on it but Jon from Real World LA. I loved that show when it was on. My best friend and I would watch while we were on the phone and talk shit about everyone. It seems bizarre that this guy who was 18 when that was filmed is now 30. Made me feel a little old to be honest. But interesting, like some sort of freaky high school reunion.

So he is the same as ever. Still Christian. Still soft spoken but very convinced in his beliefs. And is a youth minister. So Inferno II is the same shit talking drama-fest that is standard fare on MTV these days.

Long after the show I cannot stop thinking about Jon though. Because it strikes me that he would be perfect for my sister. They have similar beliefs (I think, I have to confess since converting my grasp on sects in Christianity is pretty weak). He just seems so nice and like he has a lot of integrity. I don't know, I just got a feeling.

So, that night, admittedly while hopped up on cold meds, I dreamt that Jon and my sister got together. Oh, my GOD they were adorable. Even though it was a little surreal to have my sister date a man I have seen stroll on the beach in a Hulkamania t-shirt and cowboy boots. But the best part? My sister was just so happy.

I believe that anyone can be happy on their own. I do. My sister is a great woman who has a full life with a lot of interests and friends. However, I know that she would like to get married and have a family of her own. And, of course, I love my sister so I want that for her. Even if it comes wrapped up in a cowboy hat.

And it was in a gesture of love that I spent part of Saturday googling around trying to find his email address online. Sadly, it was unavailable. Though if anyone knows him pass that information along please. My sister is the hottest Christian babe around. Who is probably going to kick my ass for dream-marrying her off to a reality show contestant.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Clown with Pitchforks

I know that other people have complained about this. I know that they have done it in fresher, funnier and more interesting ways. And I. Do. Not. CARE. Bring me the motherfuckers head that came up with the ad for "Tender Crisp Chicken Bacon Cheddar Ranch."

That jingle, actually just that line from the jingle has been playing on repeat in my head for days now. Days. It is my mental response for everything. "Honey, do you want some pie?" Tendercrispchickenbaconcheddarranch "Sweetie, how is your headache?" itstendercrispbaconcheddarra-NCH "What do you think of the situation in Israel?" ITSTENDERCRISPCHICKENBACONCHEDDARRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-NCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCH!!!!!!!!!

It doesn't stop. It is the most horrifying jingle in the history of the known universe and it comes with equally alarming visuals. Hootie! As a cowboy! And the big GIANT BK HEAD! Streets paved with cheese! That shit is way scarier than clowns and clowns are scary I am just saying.

I am glad I don't believe in hell because I no longer think it consists of clowns poking your thighs with pitchforks. Its that song playing over and over as you have to dance with the big giant BK head. While clown poke your thighs with pitchforks.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Spring Dinner

Our dishwasher is not draining. It smells like a bog. J is trying to fix it and I am up here pretending that there is nothing wrong. This is possible because I am good with denial and because I don't actually do dishes. This means that there is no way that this could be my fault.

We had a nice Spring Dinner today. We ate a lot of ham, and brought a whole crapload of it home with us. Hopefully, this will settle the whole Jewish does not equal no ham issue for good. Easter is a much more fun holiday when you are not Christian. We slept in and felt no pressure to go to a sunrise service. And then we watched the NCAA tournament. A nice relaxing day is what we called it. Though I know my parents were celebrating the resurrection of a diety that I do not believe in. Lovely for everyone really.

We missed Purim on Friday. And the party last night. We are so pissed about this we could scream. Since we started going to our temple they have told us how fun Purim is and how its the best party of the year. Friday and Saturday night we were both asleep early, our heads full of snot and fog.

On Purim we are supposed to get so drunk that we cannot tell our friends from our enemies. Somehow I do not think that cough syrup with a chaser of Tylenol PM counts.

Friday, March 25, 2005

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Sick Day

Apparently, I too am succumbing to the flesh-eating plague/bird flu that is going around. Anything that requires more energy than getting up to fix a bowl of cereal is just not going to happen today. The dogs and I are spending the day playing online poker and watching episodes of Craft Corner Deathmatch on the DVR. Here is the scene at my house.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

His Foot Drags Just a Little

My husband stayed home from work today with that ugly bird flu/plague that is going around. I drove in alone and with the control freak of the radio not in the car I could play whatever I wanted.

An old slow country song came on and I could just barely stay on the road.

It just took me back a few years ago, when I was visiting my dad's parents. My Grandpa Ted and I have never been close. When I was small they lived two hours away and when we moved here of course they were across the country. But even without much time together I have some incredible memories.

He is tall and thin. With black hair (ok salt and pepper) that he still combs back with water--the same way he did in the thirties and forties. His back hurts him and so when he walks he drags his foot behind him just a bit. He doesn't just laugh, he throws his head back and roars. I remember falling asleep while he would play cards with my parents and hearing his laugh fill the entire house. He swears using words that are allowed by my controlling grandmother--words that may or may not be actual German curse words. He is a vicious competitor who cannot stand to lose under any circumstances.

He is a life-long Cubs fan. Each summer we would watch the games and he would tell me how they were going to break his heart forever.

He and my grandmother have fought every moment of their marriage. He has a dry and sarcastic sense of humor. She has no sense of humor. When he built their home, he made the doorways narrow. Now that she is in a wheelchair he uses those narrow doorways to hide from her in rooms she can't get to.

He is an insomniac. And has the most amazing metabolism in the world. He sleeps just two or three hours a night, and at about one in the morning he eats a peanut butter and butter sandwich and a bowl of ice cream.

On this visit he was getting that snack and took me into his basement to look at his workshop. He is a gifted woodworker--some of most treasured positions are the pieces that he has made for me. We were down in his shop, he was showing me the rocking horse he was making for a charity auction, and a country song came on the radio.

I had told him about trying to learn to two-step earlier that night. I had no idea that he knew how to two-step at all. But we danced in his basement, to a slow song full of steel guitar, his foot dragging just a little.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Father Did Know Best

My dad and I have always a tumultuous relationship. We have alarmingly similar personalities--at least in our negative qualities. Unfortunately, we are both stubborn and have the uncanny ability to say the meanest thing possible at any given moment. You can imagine how lovely our arguments can get. I like to think that I am a kinder, gentler version of him but this may be true or may not be true.

We went through a time when I was a teenager when I didn't speak to him for more than a year. Other than pass the salt and I will be home by ten.

Since then we have worked very hard to repair our relationship. There has been a lot of two steps forward, two steps back (damn it I know have Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" stuck in my head) but we just keep plugging away. It has been a considerable commitment on both of our parts. And we have been largely successful. We are friends and get along very well if we avoid some big topics (politics). But I have learned that he is not the person I should go when I am have a rough time. He is just a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-god-will-provide kind of guy. And honestly, there are about zero situations when that is helpful.

But he knows I have been struggling. And he has been at a loss as to how to help. Actually, I am fairly sure that everyone has been at a lost of what to do with me. He and my mom went on vacation and he brought back a gift for me. An Eeyore doll that is a little different than this one, a little softer and more worn looking. He told me that he thought that I needed something to be sad with.

And you know? He was 100% right. I took that doll to work today (today was a day that really reminded me of Gladys) and every time I started to feel overwhelmed by it I would just look at that doll. I even loaned it out a bit to the other girls that were having a hard time today. It seems weird and stupid to me that such a thing would make a difference. But somehow it did.

Just when I feel like my dad and I have not moved forward at all, he does something that reminds me why it is worth every effort.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Let Me Tell You a Story About a Man Named Jed

Do you remember that girl in elementary school? The one that smelled a little weird, like wall paper paste and possibly an older person and her parents definately chain-smoked? The girl that sat in the back, wearing an awful lot of poo brown clothes? The one with the greasy hair that was parted down the center--oily as hell at the roots but somehow dry and stringy at the ends? That girl had a very hard time trading at lunch time--because she was just wrong somehow.

Well I know a woman that is creeping up on being the grown up version of that girl. Because y'all, her hair is GREASY. She is a perfectly lovely woman, and its not like she smells or anything. But her hair is just the flattest, oiliest, weirdest thing I have ever seen on an adult that is not in a home of some kind. Today we were talking about showers, and how she has to take one every day, but that sometimes she just doesn't feel like she has time to wash her hair. I don't think its any big deal not to wash your hair every day, but I couldn't help but staring at her roots--which looked a lot like Jed Clampett was about to put up an oil derrick. Everyone has had a day when they thought they could get by and then their hair looks nasty by noon--but this happens to her about once or twice a week. And she has blond hair which means it is painfully obvious.

So I can't stop staring and I can't think of anything to say to her that isn't really offensive. So I assume she doesn't know. But I didn't trade desserts with her at lunch. Maybe she will take the hint.

PS. To whomever sent me the email about Iowa, I would love to respond but you didn't leave a valid email address.

PPS. Somebody leave a damn comment. I feel like such a loser.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Ritual Suicide

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It was just like any other day. I wore boots, because I always wear boots. And suddenly, I felt a little wobbly. And then I noticed why. Are you seeing how the heel is pretty much completely off? RIP Boots. You were faithful friends, until you committed ritual suicide when I needed you.


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Look what happened at work today. A complete betrayal. By my footwear.

Did You Find Your Thong

Have you ever seen some one that you used to know years ago, just out and about in a random place? Do you say hi to that person? Is that being presumptuous? Maybe they don't remember you. Maybe you will make them feel bad if they don't remember your name.

What if that person was in the shipping department for a job you had four years ago? And you saw her every day for a year but not at all since. And you are in Victoria's Secret. And this woman, who once told you about her grandchildren starting junior high, is asking if they have any red mesh thongs in XL. Do you say hi then?

Hypothetically speaking**, of course.

**EEEEEK. Then I saw her at Bartell's and had to restrain myself from yelling, "HI BERNICE! DID YOU FIND YOUR RED MESH THONG?!?!?!?!"

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Would Prefer Fiction

There was a commercial on The Simpsons tonight that shows a couple enjoying their lifestyle. They were racking up debts and then the husband fell over dead from a heart attack. Leaving the wife with no life insurance. And his family was homeless. It was a parody of a lot of commericals that are actually on TV right now. My husband came in to tell me about it because he just thought it was so funny.

He forgot about Gladys. And how she died of a heart attack. With no life insurance.

Fortunately, her husband and baby are not homeless. And they were smart about money so the only debt they had was their house so he should be just fine.

I just can't see the humor in it, even though I am sure The Simpsons did it perfectly.

Its still a little too raw.

Needs a Bibbity Bobbity Boo

J and I are planning to sell our house this summer. People in our neighborhood are selling their houses for incredible prices and we are eager to get the hell out of Dodge.

I have been checking out what we can get in the area where we want to live. We want an older house, one that doesn't need anything but cosmetic repairs. We don't want to live anywhere with a home owners' association. We want a yard.

I love looking at houses so this is actually a fun project for me. I haunt the real estate websites and have been to a number of open houses. There are some amazing homes in our price range and I just want to have a feel for what we can get.

Today we went out to lunch with my parents and I bullied J into taking me for a ride on the way home. We saw that one of the houses I had seen online was having an open house. I just had to go.

I just wanted to cry when I saw the inside. The layout was beautiful. Built in bookcases, a built in china cabinet. High ceilings. And some of the biggest crimes against home decor ever conceived.

I am not a big fan of the faux finish trend. I am really not a fan when it is down in lavender like it was in the powder room. There was stenciling everywhere. In awful colors. All of the woodwork was painted, usually in colors that didn't even make sense with one another. One of the bedrooms had cheap and ugly laminate floors. Also an odd accordion pocket door.

You can tell that this house has been a rental. The only furniture were mattresses in a couple of the bedrooms. The clothes are being stored in milk crates. The whole place needed to be cleaned and possibly fumigated.

But under that grime was a fabulous house. You would need some money to put new floors and fixtures in. It just makes me sad because I am sure that no one will ever be willing to go through all of that. That house needs a fairy godmother.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sap Fan

My favorite part of the NCAA tournament is the reaction shots of the parents. Every time anything happens on the floor the camera immediately pans to that player's family. The dads all look dazed--like they just cannot believe that there son is out there. And the moms are all jumping up and down like psychopath on crack. The moms know all of the cheers and are practically doing the arm movements. Both parents are dressed head to toe in school swag. They are flushed and smiling and their eyes are dilated like dinner plates.

For the most part these kids are just normal kids. They are not going to play in the NBA. They are going to move on and be accountants or English teachers. This will be their crowning athletic achievement. The story that will be told every holiday, on every job interview with a basketball fan, the story they will tell their kids until their ears bleed.

I just love seeing how happy they are, how they could not be more excited, that they are enjoying every second.

Sometimes I cry at the end of the games, ok? SHUT UP.

Am such a damn sap.

Gender Bending

The husband is out eating lunch with friends. I just finished my lunch of hot wings, popcorn and a can of oranges while lying in bed watching the tournament.

Which one of us is supposed to be the girl here exactly?

Radio Authority

Growing up Iowa you take a lot of road trips. Really, you have no choice. You lack imagination enough to imagine going some place interesting. Why go to Hawaii when you can see the world's largest ball of twine? My parents were no exception. Usually we went to a fishing cabin or to see family. We have been to Paul Bunyan Land many many times (how sad is it that I almost cried when I saw that it is closed? I need to double up on anti-depressants stat). We went to Boot Hill Days in Dodge City, Kansas. In other words, we racked up a lot of mileage in the back of my parents' station wagon and then a van.

My father becomes a fascist dictator in the car. He expected his giggly daughters to somehow be quiet and get along (dear GOD was he on crack). Also, he never wanted to stop. Y'all I still can't walk past a bathroom without using it. How on earth did he think I was going to go seven hours in the car without peeing?

And we definitely did not get control of the radio. I can turn on the oldies station today and sing along to every fucking song. When the stupid Time Life comes on I have to sing along. I feel compelled by something much deeper than DNA. I think I regress back into childhood and become a first grader poking her sister in the stomach when her mom wasn't looking.

We learned every song in my parents' Song of Sixties collection tapes. We learned the entire catalog for the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

Did we listen even once to something my sister and I wanted? HELL NO. Our pleas for Bon Jovi were ignored. Our polite requests for Madonna brutally rebuffed. My dad guarded the radio with a billy club and a smile and after a while we learned to like it. Out of self defense I suppose.

This is why I do not understand why parents are bitching about children's music. Don't they control the radios in their cars? Obviously I do not have kids and perhaps people are willing to listen to the Wiggles on repeat just to shut their kids up. But I have to admit, my dad's strategy of forcing us to listen to his music essentially until we liked it was effective. I mean you only have to hear a family of four singing along to Lou Christie's "Lightning Striking" once to understand that.

Maybe the solution is to just not play children's music at all? Screw "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and put on the Ramones? I would rather have to meeting at the preschool because my kid was signing "I Wanna Be Sedated" than listen to Barney.

Actually I think I would feel accomplished.

There are many things in fashion that I do not understand. I do not understand bermuda shorts. I do not understand sequined shrugs. I do not understand the woman I saw on Thursday wearing denim bermuda shorts with a polo shirt, a tweed jacket and a pair of knee high boots. Was it "wear every trend you can think of" day and I just didn't get the memo?

But my biggest fashion pet peeve is the seasonally inappropriate bullshit people pull. I see women downtown all the time wearing sandals and cropped pants with fucking parkas. If it is cold enough for a parka than you need to wear full length pants.

Also, confidential to the stupid girl I saw in the juniors department at my local department store: your skirt is too fucking short. If I can see cheek than you need to wear shorts or something underneath it. The city of Seattle can function just fine without seeing your vagina. I felt like a child molester just being within fifty feet of you.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Cable Guy

Today a couple of guys from our cable company came to install their faux DVR system for us (side note: I do feel a little guilty for not using TIVO since they invented the technology but not guilty enough to pay more for the service and for the equipment). The tall guy with a thick southern accent chatted me up about my dogs, Buster in particular, he was training the little guy. The little guy was a little creepy with his exact recitation of the company script. Once we were upstairs in our bedroom I had this mini panic attack. What if the really aren't from our cable company? What if they are crazy serial rapists? I locked my dogs on the deck, they are busy peeing on the deck furniture--they will not save me!

Then I realized that serial rapists probably not have bothered to install the downstairs DVR before slitting my throat.

Or maybe that was just what they wanted me to think.

A Rep to Protect

I was starting to feel a little paranoid. Starting to worry about getting Dooced from the old site. Shockingly enough, there are people who know me who still do not know what a raving bitch I am. And since I have managed to pull it off this long I should at least try to keep it up. As Johnny from Grease 2 would say, I have a rep to protect.