Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Laundry Room Raider

Not able to sleep again tonight. M and I talked in the dark for an hour, and then I decided to be kind and go downstairs. Actually, I went all the way downstairs to the laundry room, got out the ironing board and a pile of wrinkled work shirts, and set out to be a model of insomnia-induced productivity. I hate ironing, especially since we have a really cheap iron that doesn't work too well, but there's something soothing about the smell of lemon-scented starch in the wee hours of the morning.

As I ironed I was mildly ashamed to find myself watching Room Raiders on MTV. It was the Texas edition, y'all! Have you seen this show? Three young people (late teens to early twenties) of the same sex are "kidnapped" and thrown into the back of a van. While they watch the action remotely, a member of the opposite sex goes into all three bedrooms and chooses someone for a date based on what he/she finds in the room. It's full of "Oh my God, dude!" and sexual innuendo.

Hot Texan Room-Raiding Woman: Oh, I see you have a surfboard. It's long.

Dude: Hell yeah, it's long! (looks at other two guys) Oh my God, dude! Get it? I'm talking about my GENITALS! (all three guys high-five)

Hot Texan Room-Raiding Woman: Well, I don't know how to surf, but maybe you can teach me one day. (bats eyelashes)

Dude: Hell yeah, I'll teach you! (looks at other two guys) Get it? I'm talking about SEX! (all three guys thump their chests and howl at the moon)

Inevitably, a box of condoms or an underwear drawer is discovered and revealed to the camera. Sometimes something really embarrassing is unearthed, like a high school band uniform, or a love poem written in sixth grade.


Please be my love
You were sent from above
And when I say "above", I mean HEAVEN
Let's meet at the 7-11


(wait, are those actually lyrics to a NKOTB song?)

Anyhow, Alex kept coming down to check on me, as he is disturbed by any interruption in the household routines. After I loved him up and reassured him, he went to the kitchen and stared up at the treat cabinet. I agreed to give him a Snausage if he let me take some pictures first.

Again with the camera? Okay, I know enough not to fight it.
Just sit. Stay. Wait it out. She'll go back to ironing eventually.


This is Frog. Frog would love to see you, except that
his eyes have been ripped off.

Yup-- first the eyes, then the rear end. There's a
method to my madness.

M bought him a new toy last week. It's a dog wearing a purple leisure suit and sunglasses that says, "Fugeddaboutit!" when squeezed. We named it Uncle Vito. Alex promptly broke its kneecaps.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Recipe for a Happy Couple

Take one girl who has made training horses her whole life and has faced some very tough hurdles.

Take one boy who was raised in the country and helped her get over them.

Introduce one beautiful diamond ring.

Ask her mom to be the matron of honor.

Ask his dad to be the best man.

Liz will buy her bridesmaid’s dress and get shoes dyed to match.

M will get his tux and wonder how his little sister grew up so fast.

Neither believes that this glowing woman is the same girl who used to tag along on their dates years ago.

Neither believes they will make it through the ceremony without losing it completely.

Host one engagement dinner at our house.

We meet his family, his family meets ours.

For better or for worse,

In sickness and in health,

In times of feasting and times of famine.

Tonight, it was a feast.



ALSO, A RECIPE FOR MAKING YOUR KITCHEN LOOK LIKE A MUSHROOM-RUM BOMB EXPLODED IN IT:


(click to enlarge)



Okay, I had more pictures to post but Blogger is not cooperating and I must go kill it now. Cheers!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 26, 2006

And just to beat the Frey thing to a bloody pulp...

Oprah speaks: http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=213584&GT1=7538
(there's a video clip and everything!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TOUCH MY DOG AND DIE, BIZZITCH- and that goes for the kid, too

Here is a reason why maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be a mother.

Last night I was reading the February issue of Washingtonian magazine, which has a large spread on all things pets— best veterinarians, dog walkers, and kennels in the area, great places to go with your dog, etc. And there is a friendly-looking blue circle on the cover that draws your attention to the question: “How much is too much to spend on your pet?”

I really thought this part of the spread was going to be about the costs associated with fancy grooming, toys, premium pet food, and the like. Because let’s face it—I live in a very wealthy area, and there are plenty of rich pet owners who can afford to buy gourmet dog treats and send their pups to an honest-to-God pet resort, where the “suites” have skylights, top-of-the-line beds, and automatic drinking-water fountains, and where “play sessions” and “daily housekeeping” are included. Which, goddammit, if I could afford to send my dog there I would get myself some housekeeping.

(But also? I would totally send my dog there every day if I could afford it. I feel guilty about leaving him home alone for 8 hours every day.)

So I was surprised when I got to that page and discovered that the article wasn’t discussing the fluffy, extravagant side of companion animal spending. Rather, it posed the question: How much would you spend to save your pet’s life if he or she were seriously injured or sick? How much is too much?

And wham! I was back at the emergency vet hospital, holding my Goldie as they placed a needle in her leg to euthanize her.

And oh my God, you would think that this had just happened, because suddenly I was weeping. But it didn’t just happen. That was almost five years ago.

Alex heard me and ran in to see what was wrong. I put my nose to his and told him that he wasn’t allowed to get sick or die, ever. I just simply won’t allow it. And Alex stared at me like, Jeezus-- I’m only three. Not planning to bite the dust anytime soon, mmmkay?

But I started to wonder. Already I feel like I could easily maim or kill anyone who hurt my dog. If I am this emotional over my pets, how could I ever survive being the parent of a child? How could I resist the urge to put my kid in a full suit of armor and lock him in his room forever? How could I ignore the impulse to wrap my fingers around the neck of any playground bully and slowly squeeze the life out of him?

I’ve heard that parenting is not for the faint-of-heart. What about us weepy, homicidal types?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Commuting Fun!

The traffic was bad this morning, so I started scribbling down interesting license plates and pondering their meanings. Now you will be subjected to them. Sorry.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts on the following license plate stumpers:


HAR CAR

  • What do you think? It could be HAR as in laughter, like “har har har!”. Maybe this lady is just really funny. And so is her car. But if she was laughing in that traffic jam this morning, she is a freak of nature. Har!


  • Could it be that she is from another part of the country, and HAR means HER? Someone tell me where “her” would be pronounced “har” and I will build my theory around that. In this case, the woman is stating the obvious, that the vehicle she is driving is indeed HER CAR.


  • Maybe the woman is a hair stylist, and this is supposed to mean HAIR CARE. Except I stole a peek at her hair, and it wasn’t that impressive. However, this would be like people expecting me, a librarian, to be reading War and Peace, when actually I am planning to read People magazine during lunch. Are hair stylists required to be fabulously done-up every single day?

  • Maybe it’s an acronym. One of my favorite games is to make acronyms out of short phrases or sentences. For example, one that I coined way back is TIL, which means “Teens In Love”. You sometimes spot TILs walking with their hands in each other’s back pockets, French kissing in line at the movies and swapping bubble gum (See also: PTIL, or “Pre-Teens In Love”). HAR could be an acronym for “Hot-Ass Racing”, as in, “Hot-Ass Racing Car.” But since our maximum speed was about 12 mph, I didn’t get to observe racing of any kind. Other acronymical ideas?

CAPS FAN

My first thought was that this woman is a Washington Capitals fan, which would make sense. But that’s too easy and boring!

Instead, I have come up with these very likely acronym possibilities:

  • Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms Fan
    Gads! This car could belong to Washington’s own Bob Ryan!


  • Command Action Planning Supervisor Fan
    Hmm... maybe someone who works here?


  • Coastal Area Protection Snafus Fan
    Mr. Brown, is that you?

And lastly,

CSKT CRW

Okay, you tell me. I am praying this driver works for a funeral home. Because according to acronymfinder.com, the only other possibility on file is "Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes".

Now the question is: do you want a funeral home that has a sense of humor?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I can remember lots of WHMS quotes, but not much else

As I was leaving the house in a rush this morning I realized that I had forgotten my coat. I was too lazy to get out of my car and go back into the house for it. No big deal, I thought, since today I would be parking in a parking garage and walking just a few feet into the building.

My last thought before I pulled out of the garage: This is probably stupid of me. What if there’s a fire drill or something?

Ha. Ha ha ha.

So guess what happened at work?

Ding ding ding! You win!

So I stood outside shivering and cursing myself until they gave us the all-clear. Then I went back into the office and closed the door.

And my coat fell off the back hook and landed in a pile at my feet.

Sometimes I think it is a miracle that I am allowed to hold a job. Especially one that involves teaching.

In other news, we are having a When Harry Met Sally quote-off over at Bearette’s. Come join the fun! No coats required.

Edited to add:
2:43 p.m.
Locked wallet and car keys in office cabinet. Cannot find key to cabinet. Am stupid. PLEASE HELP.

Edited again to add:
3:39 p.m.
Found key. Liberated wallet and car keys. Forgot to eat lunch today. Am starving. Even so, will not have to spend night at office. That's good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This is what I do when I have too much time on my hands...

M had an unexpected band rehearsal last night, so when I got home from my step class I had the whole evening and house to myself. So what did I do?

Play with the camera!

And take blurry pictures of many random things!

(Photo tip: Merlot might make you think that you are a professional photographer, but do not listen to Merlot. You are not.)

First I decided that any beverage I consumed should match the red couches in the living room.



Hey! Funny! Merlot is red.




After the merlot I took pictures of my flannel I Love Lucy pajamas. While I was wearing them.


The white part under the heart is the conveyor belt from the famous candy factory episode.

Then I noticed that Alex had stolen one of my fuzzy socks. Stealing socks and scrunchies (yes, I will admit that I still own a couple of scrunchies) is one of his favorite passtimes.


Mmm... socks are so tasty!


Yes, I know I'm naughty. But frankly, I don't care.


And lastly, the pictures of the ring.



I also took picturs of the television, my slippers, and the black bean enchiladas that M made for dinner, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Black-Out and Bling-Bling

The long weekend was nice and mostly quiet. I got some cleaning and a lot of cooking done. You see, I bought a new food processor last month and I have been a slicing, shredding, chopping, emulsifying fool ever since. I am in Love. I will try to post pictures of her this week. Yes, it's a she, and her name is Mammy.

On Saturday night M's band was supposed to perform at a club. They were the headliners, so two bands went on before them. I stood with my cousin and friends in too-high heels for a couple of hours, shouting over the music and drinking vodka and cranberry to kill the pain in my feet.

Finally, it was their turn. They got on stage, got all their equipment set up, and moved to the front of the stage to address the crowd. And then...

The power went out.

The wind had been extremely high over the past day or two, and lots of people lost power, including the club. Actually, the entire block was out. Now, as an INFJ, I am not especially fond of big crowds, and "not fond" escalates to "afraid" when the lights have gone out and most of the people in said crowd have been drinking. I stood with my back against the wall and was thankful that my bouncer-looking cousin was right next to me in case a riot broke out. Luckily everyone was well-behaved and in high spirits, even though we were in the dark for almost 45 minutes before the management made a decision to close the club.

Oh well.

(And Bearette, I did tell your barbiturate joke during the black out. Everyone laughed.)

On another note, I got a surprise from my husband this weekend for no apparent reason. Or maybe it was in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day. It begins and ends with D, and there are five of them on a gold band, and I've named it Bling. Thank you, honey. Mammy and I will make you some delicious soup tonight!

And very soon I shall be fired, because I can't stop staring at my finger.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Nice to meet you, I'm INFJ

I never truly knew what my psychological type was, even though taking Myers-Briggs-type tests was a common requirement throughout my social work education and training. The tests themselves used to stress me out, because I felt like there could be more than one answer for many of the questions (aha! What does that say about me??). I'd sit there, skip questions, come back to them, and finally randomly select an answer out of sheer exasperation. When I got the results I was dubious, wondering how accurate they could really be. The only thing I knew for sure was that I tended to be introverted.

But recently I took another test, and I came out as INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging). When I read more about this type I felt, overall, like I was reading about myself. So I think I've found myself. And since I believe that your psychological type can change over time, maybe I'll find myself a few more times down the road.

How do you all feel about about the Myers-Briggs instrument? Do you know what "type" you are?

Self: Hi Liz, nice to meet you!

Self: Thank you, Liz.

Self: Stop pretending that you're Laura Ingalls.

Self: Okay.

Self: Wacko.

Self: Bitch.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A million little embellishments?

For those of you who read James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, what do you think of this?

Edited to add: Here's another point of view from slate.com... and from the Christian Science Monitor...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Two Memes-- one to read, and one to try

This is a two-parter. First, I was tagged by Bearette for a meme, which is below. Also, I decided to make up a meme of my own. I had dinner with my dad last night, who was in town on business, and I think it made me nostalgic for childhood. And I'm tagging.... ALL OF YOU! Mwah ha ha!!!


Meme Time:

7 things I’d like to do before I die:

Do more traveling with my husband
Have a family
Learn how to make my own furniture
Raise a goat
Own and fix up an old house
Go hang gliding
Feed a bottle to a baby tiger

7 things I (currently) cannot do:

Ride a skateboard
Lay a hardwood floor
Tame lions
Paint my fingernails without goofing
Watch Extreme Home Makeover without crying
Read cards in the Hallmark store without crying
Go a week without crying

7 things that attract me to blogging:

Making new friends
Acquiring new perspectives
Having a creative outlet
Comments from readers
The inevitable laughter
Feeling in touch with other parts of the country and world
Allowing people I already know a glimpse into my life that they might not have had otherwise.

7 things I say most often:

Good Lord.
Wha?
My little Boo is the sweetest dog in the world, aren’t you, Boo?
Dammit!
I love you.
The bathroom is down the hall to the right…
We don’t actually have a “card catalog” anymore…

7 books I love

East of Eden
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Anne of Green Gables
Little House on the Prairie
The Amateur Marriage
Charlotte’s Web
Grapes of Wrath

7 movies I watch over and over again:

When Harry Met Sally
Sleepless in Seattle
Private Parts
Anne of Green Gables
Life Is Beautiful
Dead Poets Society
Lean on Me


Kid n' Play meme (don't you love the name?):

1. What is one of your earliest childhood memories?

My mom used to dry the clothes outside when the weather was nice. I used to love pulling down the fitted sheets and putting my head in one of the corner pockets, then running through the yard with the sheet flying out behind me.


2. What was your favorite toy?

Probably my teddy bear, Wilbur (named after the pig in Charlotte's Web, of course)


3. Was there something you always wanted for a birthday or holiday, but didn’t get?

I longed for an EZ-Bake Oven, but alas, 'twas not meant to be.


4. What did your parents always say or do that drove you crazy?

My brother and sister and I used to say, hey! There's Mother's Day and Father's Day, but no Kid's Day! No fair! And my dad would retort, "Every day is kid's day."

Also, anytime we said we wanted something that we weren't going to get, my mom would sing the Dream, Dream, Dream song by the Everly Brothers. To this day I don't like that song very much, and that's a shame.


5. What did you do as a little kid that would give you a heart attack if your own kids did it?

We used to play a game on the swing set that we called "Danger Crossing". Two of us would swing, pumping at opposite times, and the third sibling would have to run between the swings without getting clocked on the head. Brutal.


6. Was there a moment in your childhood that seemed mortifying at the time, but which seems kinda silly now?

Once in first grade my teacher asked how we could tell which way the wind was blowing when we looked outside. Other kids said things like, "By looking at the trees", or "By looking at the flag on the flag pole." I thought she wanted to know literally how we could tell if the wind was blowing north, south, east, or west, so I raised my hand and said that you could tell by looking at the sun.

The teacher asked me what I meant. I wanted to explain that if the wind was blowing the flag towards the rising sun, you knew the wind was blowing east. Except I couldn't remember the directions in which the sun rose and set, and I didn't want to say the wrong thing, so I froze and said nothing.

"No, Liz," the teacher said, "You can't tell which way the wind is blowing by looking at the sun."

I was a shy and sensitive kid. I don't think I volunteered another answer for the rest of the school year.

Oh, the DRAMA!


7. Okay, admit it—tell us who you thought you were going to marry when you were in the under-twelve set.

Davy Jones from the Monkees
Pa from Little House on the Prairie
And there was one other that I can't think of right now...



Tagging: everyone! You know you want to...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Offending God's People (but not on purpose)

(Disclaimer: I am not anti-Mormon. I am not even anti-religion. I just suffer from extreme awkwardness when I am approached evangelistically.)

(Plus, I sometimes open my big mouth without thinking first)


On the way home from Florida last month, after twelve long hours in the car, we had finally, FINALLY reached our neighborhood. All we wanted to do was unload the car and get to sleep as soon as possible. In true dork fashion, we were observing our little homecoming tradition of blasting AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and letting our (black) dog hang out the window. Because we like to pretend like we’re badasses. Or something.

Anyhow, my window was down, Alex had his head stuck out the window with his ears flying back, and M and I were belting out the lyrics to Back in Black. Meanwhile, people two states over were feeling the bass thump and wondering if King Kong had escaped from the movie theater.

Just as we’re approaching our house I see two Mormon missionary kids on their bikes, riding slowly past our building in the darkness.

“OH NO,” I yell to my husband, “IT’S THE MORMONS.”

Yelling is good when you want to be heard over loud music. It’s bad when your window is down and you happen to be saying something offensive.

I’m sure those two boys took in the thumping music, our badass dog, and my obvious preference for Satan worship and thought, “These people need saving, STAT!”

We pulled the car up, turned the engine off, and huddled together like two ninnies.

“Where are they?” I whispered.

“I lost them!”

Finally we saw that the kids had gone to our neighbor’s house. We decided to make a break for it and try to get everything in the house before they were done with our neighbor.

Go, go, GO!

As we jumped out of the car I saw my neighbor open his door. “Are you Mike?” one of the boys asked him. Holy shit, I thought. How do they know his name? Do they know our names?

M and I made two trips each, lugging suitcases and the cooler and a bag full of Christmas presents up the stairs and into the house. We slammed the door. We stood there panting. I looked out the window and saw that the boys were still talking to our neighbor.

“Crap! I left all the dog’s stuff in the back seat!”

M shook his head. “Just leave it.”

“No! I can do it!” And I was off.

As I was lunging into the back seat, gathering blankets and toys and abandoned rawhide chews, I heard the unmistakable whirrrr of bicycle tires approaching from behind. I was busted, so very busted, but I thought maybe they hadn’t seen me, so I half crawled into the back seat and curled into a ball with my butt in the air, my eyes screwed shut. Because, you know, people can’t see me if I have my eyes closed.

“Um, hello, ma’am…”

Miserably I started waving my arms around to make it seem as though I had been looking for something.

“Oh,” I laughed weakly, “Here’s the seatbelt!”

Mercifully my husband chose that moment to come through the front door.

“Hello, sir,” the other boy said, glancing over at me. “We would like to share God’s word with you and your family.”

“Thanks, guys,” my husband said kindly, “But we kind of have our hands full right now.”

I fell backwards out of the car with the blankets and toys and rawhide in my arms as if to say, see? Very full! This is why I was crawling into the backseat! Not to show off my ass, or hide, for God’s sake!

“Oh, all right,” the boy said. He and his friend looked disappointed. It must have felt like they were standing before a virtual goldmine of sin without a single pickaxe.

M and I smiled at them and waved. The boys pedaled away into the cold, dark night.


I am definitely going to hell.

Friday, January 06, 2006

SuperWife on the Prairie

(**Edited to correct the spelling of "prairie" in the entry title. Don't be too hard on me. After all, I only get to attend school when I live within 5 miles of town, and sometimes it can be hard to make it when there's a blizzard...)

The other day I was feeling very wifely and I decided to mend the cuff of one of my husband's shirts. Not that I am a master seamstress, but I can do some basic sewing. Plus, he asked me about it almost two months ago, so I figured there was no time like the two-month-overdue present.

I seized the shirt and a spool of thread and settled down to pretend that I was Laura Ingalls in the town shirt store. As I pricked my fingers and lost the thread, I muttered bad words and told myself, "Mary must go to college! MARY MUST GO TO COLLEGE!"

I did a fairly good job, if I do say so myself. I hung his shirt on the hanger and gave it a brisk shake shake. Perfect.

I was feeling ambitious. My eyes fell on my wool coat, which was missing one button and had several loose buttons. I grabbed the coat, an extra button, and a spool of black thread and went at it like a maniac. Mary's blind! Mary must go to college!

I almost convinced myself that I was going to collect 25 cents at the end of the day and head home for some salt pork and soda bread. Those who claim that imagination diminishes with age have never met me.

So I finished my coat, Mary got 25 cents closer to college, and all was well. Until this morning, that is. I went to put on my wool coat and discovered that I had sewn the buttons on so tightly, I couldn't get them through the button holes. Apparently I was so rabid over the lack of financial support for the education of blind women, I was sewing with superhuman strength.

As I was walking outside this morning with my coat flapping open I felt the biting chill and fixed my face in what I hoped was a look of grim determination. You see, it was the long winter, and I was lost on the open prarie. My muffler was driven full of ice and I could barely see, but I was determined to make it to my presentation on time...

Tune in tomorrow when I will sew lace trim for a petticoat and help Pa with the haying.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Don't YOU want to move to Florida?

So asketh my parents.

Since building their dream home on Florida's East coast and moving into it in May, they have been full of helpful comparisons between D.C. and the Sunshine State.

First of all, did you know that we would enjoy warmer weather if we moved there? No, seriously! The weather gets warmer as you go South! Who knew?

And apparently we could buy a mansion there that would rival Cinderella's Disney World castle for what we pay for our smaller home in the DC area. And heating costs would be lower! Because it's warmer there!

And M and I would not have to worry about finding jobs there. Did you know that besides being warm, Florida has both social workers and librarians? And bands that M could join? Presto!

Florida can also make tons of julienne fries in seconds!

My parents really want us to move to Florida. Although FL wasn't one of the places I lived in growing up, we always went for visits and vacations because both of my parents grew up in Daytona Beach. Oddly enough, it does feel like home.

But also, they have alligators there. Seriously, one lives in the pond across the street from my parents' house. I had a nightmare that it ate the dog, and now we will speak of alligators no more. I mean it. I think I may now be officially "scared" of them.

Anyhow, there are no plans to move to Florida, but I was feeling nostalgic for it when we were heading north on the way home. As soon as we hit North Carolina we suddenly had other northbound DC'ers, Virginians, and Marylanders tailing us and zooming past us like kooks. In Florida? People are actually polite for the most part! People don't tail you or cut you off! And maybe it's because most of them are too old to have road rage, but still. The lovely traveling experiences there were almost enough to make me trade it all in for palm trees.



Alex at sea.


Here's me pretending that I have a real child.



Sunrise in my parents' back yard.



Don't you want to move to Florida?