Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Um... [insert topic changer here!]

Comments on the last post reminded me of how many people still don't get it. Not the commenters-- you all get it just fine! I'm talking about those other people. Yeah, we see you there in the back row. All talking and passing notes during manners class- no wonder you turned out this way!

Let's have a quick refresher.


QUESTIONS THAT ARE OKAY TO ASK:

1) Wow! Who cuts your hair?

2) Where did you get those fabulous shoes?

3) Do you have any kids?


QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD NOT ASK:

1) Why don't you have any kids?

2) Don't you want kids?

3) Don't you like kids?

4) Do you have (lowers voice) infertility issues?


STATEMENTS YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE:

1) All the risks go up after 35, you know.

2) Not everyone is cut out for parenthood.

3) Well, lots of women choose to focus on their careers these days. Very trendy.


JUST PLEASE DON'T:

1) It's a shame. You two would be great parents.

2) Don't worry. You just need to relax.

3) Plenty of people are able to have children after a miscarriage!

4) What are you waiting for?


I've heard all of the above. Yes.

But now I have a great idea for my expansive forehead! A tattoo which will surely silence all those who would pry and give unsolicited advice:


James Frey and I go way back. It's so me, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I could get used to nothingness...

This holiday weekend, we did nothing of importance. It was heavenly.

We took Alex swimming yesterday, which he loves. There’s a place by our house with a nice, big rock that slopes gradually into the water. It makes a perfect doggy launching pad. After his first dip he became quite excited and started running in crazy circles. What is it with dogs and water? All the kayakers and canoers paddling by got a big kick out of him. When a small motorboat passed by Alex jumped at the waves that lapped against the rock, puzzled when they vanished from between his paws.


It was awfully cute.

Yesterday evening our street had a rockin’ Memorial Day picnic. Anyone can do it! Here’s how:

1) Debate endlessly about which day to have it. Recall Bob Ryan’s weather forecast for the weekend.

2) Call Bob Ryan names for a while.

3) Get tired of discussion and pick Monday, since maybe the neighborhood association will have CUT THE DAMN GRASS by then.

4) Make flyers and distribute to neighbors.

5) Notice later that the flyers announce a neighborhood picnic for Monday, Mey 29.

6) Wonder if anyone else will notice.

7) Yes. Everyone will notice.

8) Make new flyers and distribute to neighbors.

9) Make homemade empanadillas stuffed with spinach, raisins, and pine nuts.

10) Haul grill through house to sidewalk.

11) Fill cooler with ice and cans of Yuengling.

12) Set up one folding table, which will quickly get buried under empanadillas, stuffed grape leaves, potato salad, blueberry pies and huge bottles of red wine.

13) Set up two more tables, also destined for food landslides.

14) Neighbor Bill will bring out his lawnmower since the neighborhood association has not CUT THE DAMN GRASS and it’s taller than your average toddler.

15) Praise Bill and crown him Memorial Day King.

16) Fire up the grill.

17) Chat with neighbors. Realize that we live with families from Korea, Peru, Egypt, and Iran.

18) Marvel at the diversity.

19) Hold neighbor’s adorable baby. Field 20 simultaneous questions about when you’re planning to have your own!

20) Laugh weakly as you tell everyone that you do have a baby. It's just that he's a dog.

21) Watch nervously as Jorge, your South American neighbor, tries one of your homemade empanadillas.

22) Blush and hide your face in your wine glass as he praises your cooking.

23) Share recipe with Internet:


Spinach Empanadillas:

Ingredients:

3 T. raisins
2 T. olive oil
1 lb fresh baby spinach, washed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped pine nuts
12 oz. puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Salt & pepper to taste

Soak raisins in warm water for 10 minutes. Chop roughly.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the spinach, stir, then cover and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Uncover, turn up the heat and let any liquid evaporate. Add the garlic and salt & pepper, stir 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the raisins and pine nuts. Stir and cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 1/8 inch thickness.

Using a pastry cutter, cut out 20 circles, 3-inches across, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of each circle, then brush the edges with a little water. Fold over each circle, forming a half-moon shape and seal well, pressing the edges together with the back of a fork (do a good job with this so they don’t burst open as they’re baking).

Brush tops with egg. Place the empanadillas on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Serve warm, or eat one right out of the oven and burn the roof of your mouth like I did.

Can YOUR baby fetch sticks in the water?
Didn't think so.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Can't Buy Me Love

Yesterday I ordered these new heels for work as a replacement for the infamous (and… er…fragrant) problem shoes. The shoe powder isn’t working and they just kind of gross me out. Especially when I get home from work and slip them off, only to have Alex run over and bury his face in them because he’s looking for the decomposing rodent that must be hiding in one of the toes.

You can always count on man’s best friend to draw attention to an embarrassing issue.

So yes, I love the shoes, but it took five days of staring at them online, all stealthy and stalker-like, before I could bring myself to hit the Add to Cart! button. Three days later, I clicked Proceed to Checkout!

My husband and I are careful with our money. For many years, we had little. Dates were making pasta and watching whatever movie was on TV, because even a video from Blockbuster was a little too pricey. God, what would we have done if gas cost $3.20 a gallon back then?

I’d have been riding my bike on the beltway, that’s what.

When it came to pulling together a wardrobe for work, it was tough. I became an expert at mix-n-match. I had three pairs of shoes: brown, black, and navy. The black and navy shoes were exactly the same style, which led to a very embarrassing day in my life when I wore one of each color to work. At the time I worked at an adolescent day treatment center, so I tried to pretend like it was Crazy Shoes Day.

No one believed me, so I shortened it to Crazy Day.

Everyone was down with that one!

Growing up, I was very aware of money. My parents weren’t the kind of folks who would cheerfully hand over ten bucks when I wanted to go to the mall. For most things we wanted, we had to come up with the cash ourselves. We did chores to earn our allowances, of which we had to save half. Any lawn mowing or babysitting money I earned also had to be divided equally between spending and savings.

I had a mutual fund by the time I was 7 years old, which was where my paltry savings went each month. My parents did not contribute to this account. I was not allowed to touch the money in it. As a result, it grew over the years.

When I was 16 and got my first job, I got a checking account, a checkbook, and a credit card. I already knew what a FICO credit score was and I lived in terror of not paying my credit card bill on time. I usually sent the payment in two weeks early. To this day I have never, ever carried a balance on my card.

I’m thankful to my parents, especially my pop, for giving me a healthy respect for money and savings. It’s served me well thus far. (I also think it's why I'm somewhat obsessed with My Super Sweet 16. You mean these parents just give their kids $300,000? For a birthday party? I couldn't even get two bucks for pizza!)

To be honest-- thankful though we are today, my brother and sister and I had unlimited jokes about dad's frugal ways when we were kids. Once in Florida we passed a cheesy little discount store named Don Cheapo's and it was all over. We almost peed our pants over that one, laughing and howling ten miles down the road. Dad is still known to this day as Don Cheapo, and mom, of course, is Donna Cheapo.

(This is why you have children, right? So they can mock you and throw your careful teachings back in your face.)

Being so fixated on frugality and saving, I’ve often been afraid to have any fun with my money. This became clear when we bought our house three years ago. We worked our asses off to save for it, fought the crazy DC area market to win a bid, went to closing and got the keys. As we stood exclaiming in the empty living room that was ours, all ours!, our voices echoed throughout the house.

“You know,” M said, “We’re going to have a lot of shopping to do.”

Fearfully, my eyes scanned the room. Mentally I calculated how many couches and rugs and tables and lamps we would need. And a lawnmower! Oh my God, WE HAD A LAWN THAT NEEDED MOWING.

I moaned, imagining all the dollars that would be spent.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve let the dollars flow a bit more freely, as evidenced by this and this and this. Oh, and maybe these. Wheeee! Spending [no more than half of my] money is fun!

Last night I told my husband about the new heels I'd ordered online.

"Awesome!" he said. "They'll look cute on you."

I studied him. "You know, most husbands wouldn't have that response."

He laughed. "I know."

"How come?"

"The last thing I'll ever have to worry about is you spending too much money."

It was my turn to laugh. "Thank you. I think."

"Besides," he said, "You never used to buy nice things for yourself. You deserve it."

And I wanted to marry him all over again, right that minute, but there wasn't time. So I went into the kitchen and made him some homemade baked ziti, which is every Italian boy's dream come true.

(yes, I used a coupon when I bought the ziti. Are you crazy?)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

RENT THIS SPACE


Are there things I don't like about my body? Sure. But I try not to dwell on them. Overall, I see my body as my friend, and I try treat it right. I hope that if I'm nice to it, it'll be nice to me.

BUT WHAT IS UP WITH THE HUGE FOREHEAD?

Surely there is a poor child somewhere in the world who could have benefitted from some of that acreage.

Besides the fact that my hairline is approximately ten yards above my eyebrows, I also have a widow's peak and a cowlick. Remember in 1990 when everyone wanted Brenda Walsh's thick, straight fringe? That hairstyle movement left me way behind. Even when I duct-taped my bangs to my forehead all night, they'd creep back to their natural state when I wasn't looking.

Bangs: Screw you!

Widow's Peak: Yeah, screw you! There's nothing you can do to stop us, nothing!

Bangs: It's genetic. Nyah, nyah!

Cowlick: Screw all of you! I'm the HHPIC!*


Now my eyebrows have joined in the fun. I have a zit sitting there next to my right eyebrow. What, you didn't see it in the first picture?



When I saw it this morning I wondered how in the world I could get a zit there. And then I winced approximately 62 times today as I put my thumb right on it, which is apparently something I do quite a lot when I'm thinking.

The good news: I think!

The bad news: Fine lines and zits should not be co-habitating on large foreheads. It's just immensely unfair.


* Head Hair Problem In Charge

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mary Jane on the Flag Pole: Our Proud History

Sometimes I work weekends at a local public library when they’re short-staffed. In public libraries you tend to get all kinds of people at the reference desk. The majority of them are wonderful people, and I love helping them. But every so often you get one that causes your right eye to twitch and bulge out in an unflattering way.

Yesterday I had a woman who told me that she wanted to do some research on the city’s flag.

Me: What would you like to know about the flag?

Her: The history of the picture on it.

(seems normal!)

Me: Okay. Let’s go to the local history section. We should be able to find something there.

Her: Because I read an article once that said it has marijuana leaves on it!

Me: Oh?

Her: MARIJUANA LEAVES.

(crap)

Me: Really. Well, let’s head on over to the local history section…

Her: WHY would they put MARIJUANA LEAVES on the CITY FLAG?

Me: (using extra-soft voice) You know, I’ve never studied the history of the flag, so I couldn’t tell you what’s on it. But if you’ll follow me…

Her: MARIJUANA!

Me: If—

Her: They must be CRAZY to put MARIJUANA on the CITY FLAG! MY GOD!

Me: (firmly) I’ll show you the local history section if you’re interested, but otherwise I have to stop chatting and get back to work.

Her: Well tell me this— I don’t have my library card! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHECK OUT BOOKS?

Me: If you have a picture ID, you can use that instead.

Her: I have my medicine! (pulls out a fistful of prescription pill bottles) You can see my name on here!

Me: That’s okay; please don’t show me your medications. They’ll need something with your picture on it.

Her: (disgusted) What did I just tell you? NO LIBRARY CARD!

Me: We’d be happy to hold your books for you until you can come back with either a picture ID or your library card.

Her: YOU'VE BEEN NO HELP AT ALL!

And off she stalked. The dull thud heard throughout the library was my head making repeated contact with the reference desk.

Twenty minutes later, I heard a voice somewhere behind me.

"MARIJUANA!"

Like a gazelle, I froze in place.

There was silence. Then a bird cried out: Caw, caw!

I sniffed the air.

My body trembled, sensing that the enemy was nigh. Knowing she could out-run me, there was nothing to do but remain still and hope that my surroundings would provide life-saving camouflage.

Alas, my shirt was fuchsia.

I gave her the phone number for city hall and told her that the city government takes all citizens’ concerns very seriously. She put the slip of paper in her medication bag and vowed to call them on Monday morning.

I’m going to hell.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Breathe in, breathe out

I'm more controlling than I like to admit. I was faced with this ugly truth after my car’s unfortunate oil incident, in which my two-year old car lost its essential fluids one night as I drove home after work. On the highway. In the dark.

Just that morning I’d had a routine oil change at a local shop.

Did I mention that this pissed me off in an extreme kind of way?

My husband is nice and calm in most stressful situations, and I remember trying to pretend I was him that night.

“What would M do?” I asked myself.

Would he be filled with rage at the mechanic who changed the oil that morning? No. He would just think, “Mistakes happen. We’ll work it out.”

Would he throw the cell phone across the car because he’d tried to reach five different people and none of them were answering? No. He would say, “There’s no point in getting upset. I’ll keep dialing.”

Would he get a spooky feeling that a serial killer was lurking behind those shadowy trees over there, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting break-down victim?

I’m the one with the overactive imagination.

So I played at being M for a while. This helped me get through the night and the adventures at the shop the next day with a modicum of poise.

But even greater than my anger was the undeniable hurt inside. It was personal to me. If I drove my last car faithfully for 12 years, then thoroughly researched my choices before buying a new one, took the new car in for every single oil change and maintenance requirement, and was only ONCE busted for flipping the bird at an undercover cop (which is really nothing in this area), then DING DING DING!

You've done everything right! You may advance to GO! And on the way, you will encounter zero problems because you are such an OUSTANDING HUMAN BEING.

That night, as I lay sprawled on the couch in alternating fits of anger and self-pity, M said simply: “These are just the problems of life. Everyone has them, every single day. No one is immune. It’s just the problems of life.”

Just the problems of life.

I rolled this around in my head for a moment, studying it from every angle.

Holy cow. Light bulbs shot on in every room of the house, even the ones that weren't screwed into any sockets!

Suddenly I felt free, emancipated from the lessons that had been unconsciously passed on to me as I grew up, those which decreed that if I worked hard enough, and planned enough, and was vigilant enough, bad things would not happen to me.

Imagine! There are things I can’t control! And if I don't get that, one could conclude that I think I'm smarter and more powerful than all my fellow humans. And nothing would make me feel worse than to be a person who would have those thoughts.

I can breathe so much easier now.

I generally consider myself to be a happy, optimistic person. But now I can be a happy, optimistic person who repeats her new mantra when her mother is hospitalized, when the sewage line backs up into her garage, when she puts the car in DRIVE instead of REVERSE, or spills salad dressing on her pants at work.

Say it with me: It’s just the problems of life.

And if this is all it is, it ain’t so bad.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yo Mama

Last night M and I took Alex on a walk and ran into a neighbor, Jill, and her dog, Lacie. We were all briskly strolling along the sidewalk together when up ahead we spotted a harried-looking woman struggling with two dogs. Let’s call her Ms. Nasty-Pants. The biggest of her dogs, a German Shepherd, growled and barked at us as we approached. Since the woman was smack in the middle of the sidewalk, M and I kept Alex on a short leash and stepped into the street to pass her, while Jill did the same on the other side.

Apparently the manner in which we passed her and her menacing dog was not to her liking. Just as I was shooting her a sympathetic smile, one which would convey a message of, “Unruly dogs… it happens to the best of us!”, Ms. Nasty-Pants snarled, “Okay, guys, you’re gonna have to help me out here!”

We were all momentarily confused. Poor M even started toward her, thinking she really needed assistance. Then she gestured rudely like we should START SPRINTING ALREADY, what the hell were we thinking, walking past her rabid animal when clearly he was ready to tear into our meaty calves.

I gave her an incredulous look as we walked away, turning to see that M and Jill were wearing matching expressions.

“Huh?” Jill said. “What exactly did she want us to do? We walked as far around her as we possibly could.”

Social Worker Husband kindly guessed that maybe she was just having a bad day. My contribution: “What a bitch!”

Later I decided that a good response would have been, “What do you need help with? TRAINING YOUR DOG?”

Oh yeah, good one! Can't you just picture me on MTV’s Yo Mama, talkin' trash?

Dude: Yo mama so old, she was a waitress at the Last Supper!

Liz: Oh, yeah? Well, your mother is so below-average, she doesn’t even know how to train her own dog!

Crowd: (awkward silence)

Dude: (accepts trophy)

I’m like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, always longing to deliver the perfect, cutting response at exactly the right moment, only to cry with remorse when it actually happens.

I remember calling a red-headed boy named Brandon a jerk in second grade, and I still feel bad when I think about it. And this was a kid who tormented everyone in the class! And I didn’t even know what “jerk” meant! It just SOUNDED mean. Just like knick-knack sounded like a weapon you might use to hit someone, and Cuisinart was surely a racy, red sports car.

But I’m over it. Ms. Nasty-Pants, that is. She just better hope I don’t see her and Cujo again, because I’ll be ready this time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who CARES that my skin burns within 1.5 seconds of being in the sun?

To answer questions that popped up in the comments on the last post:


So, are we really moving?

There’s a distinct possibility that it could happen. We’ve been investigating job and housing options there. Knowing us, we’ll continue to ponder the possibility and have nightly four-hour discussions about it until we resort to raking salad forks across our wrists to end the misery. M is a social worker, and I used to be one. We LOVE to talk about our feelings ad nauseam.


Are we originally from the DC area?

No, but we’ve both lived here for the last decade and a half. M grew up on Long Island, and I…. well, I am a former Air Force brat who suffers from total fear that people at cocktail parties will ask me where I’m from.


At party, meeting new people:

New Person: Hey, my name is Marsha!

Liz: Hi, Marsha. I’m Liz.

Marsha: So where are you—

Liz: So how do you feel about abortion?


What’s the worst thing that can happen if we move?

One day we go out for a walk and forget to take a water bottle with us. In the 150 degree heat, we find the strength to crawl home but collapse on the driveway due to dehydration. An alligator dismembers our bodies. A fisherman kills the alligator two weeks later and finds my diamond rings in its stomach. He puts them up for auction on eBay. No one bids on them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

We can live beside the ocean

So… hey there. I thought you might like to know why it feels like there’s rusted metal behind my eyeballs.

It could be because I was out clubbing all night. Oh, yeah.

Or it could be because I stayed up all night reading War and Peace. Double yeah.

Or maybe it’s because my husband and I were having a four-hour conversation about moving to Florida. Last night. When I should have been drooling on my pillow and dreaming about Kid Rock.

Remember this? And remember how M and I laughed uproariously and said NO WAY IN HELL ARE WE MOVING TO FLORIDA.

Because what does Florida have to offer? Palm trees, that’s what. Beaches in every direction. Less traffic. Lower cost of living. Ridiculously, reasonably-priced real estate.

How absurd!

So our brilliant plan went something like this:

1. Sell current house for fifty billion dollars, even though it is totally not really worth that much, but some fool will pay it.

2. Dance around in glee.

3. Buy bigger, better house in Florida for ten dollars.

4. Sell snow shovels, mittens, parkas, and Alex’s dog sweater on eBay.

5. Invest net profit.

6. Retire by 35.

7. Travel and drink champagne. Also, buy matching iPods.


Who wants to hire us as financial planners? We’re open! Call me!

So after we got serious and really crunched the numbers, the picture was not quite as rosy as all that. But still, it was something to think about. I’ve also been thinking about what I'll miss about the DC area if we move.

1.

2.

3.

4. ???????


I’m sure I’ll think of something, but all I can come up with is the fact that I would be really whole-heartedly, couch-hoppingly happy to get away from all this goddamn traffic.


I’m still thinking.


5.

6.

7.

8. The Smithsonian?

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm making a lei today, just in case I win the lottery

Last night I couldn’t sleep. So around midnight I gave up, got out of bed, and went downstairs to watch TV.

As I descended the stairs it occurred to me that if I were in a movie about a woman with insomnia, I would no doubt be dressed in some cute, matching pajamas. Maybe something like this, and some of those little slippers with the fluffy fur balls on the toes. You know, the kind of attractive and flattering outfit that a woman wears every night, just in case she happens to find herself in a feature film.

But no, not me. I was wearing a t-shit that features a monkey winding up for a baseball pitch with the words, “Who Flung Poo?” above it. And also my favorite red plaid boxers.

Sexy, no? At least I had recently painted my toenails ‘Wine With Everything’. I like it when my polish name matches my personal motto.

I ended up watching a VH1 Behind the Music special on Kid Rock. Would it surprise you to know that I have Kid Rock CDs in my (our) collection? Yup, right in between the Jethro Tull and Kiss. I’m the librarian in the family, but my husband is kind of freaky about keeping the CDs organized. This morning we had a debate about whether Kid Rock CDs should go in the K section or the R section. We finally agreed that since “Rock” isn’t a legal last name, they should remain in the K’s.

This is why our marriage endures. We agree on all the truly important things.

I fell asleep soon after Kid Rock became a gazillionaire and proposed to Pamela Anderson, and then I proceeded to dream about him all night. The two of us ran some kind of housekeeping service, and I kept getting mad at Kid Rock because he liked to snoop through people’s things. Once he was going through a drawer full of massage oils when the homeowner came home unexpectedly. He should have been busted, but he snuck out the bedroom window. The Kid is sneaky like that.

My mom had to go into the hospital on Monday. She got food poisoning, which caused complications with a rare disease she has. Since she can’t keep anything down, including her vital, daily medication, she has to stay hooked up to the IVs for a while. When my dad called me at work to tell me, he broke down crying. Have I mentioned that my dad is a retired Air Force colonel who used to be able to carry all three of his kids at the same time? After I hung up a co-worker asked if I was okay. I said I thought my eyes were getting blurry from working on the computer all day.

I guess this wasn’t the best year to send her a box of Harry & David gourmet brownies for Mother’s Day, huh?

You know what I would do if I had millions of dollars like Kid Rock? I'd fly my mom and me to Hawaii today, even if the place tickets were insanely expensive, and we’d swing in hammocks and read and sleep and eat fresh pineapple until our tongues tingled. And maybe dream about celebrities. My mom would dream about Richard Chamberlain, who she still loves even though he turned out to be gay. And I’ll try to dream about Colin Firth this time. I have a feeling he wouldn’t snoop in people’s drawers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Everyone has to buy Elsa and Suzy ice cream

Elsa and Suzy won the latest round of Pictionary. They have chosen their titles! Congratulations.

Pictionary has been a hit! And you all really make me laugh. Thanks for playing my little game so enthusiastically. I might continue with a once-a-week game, so long as people want to play. To those who have not yet won a title: it's not too late! Cuddle up with your dictionary tonight (unless your dog would be too jealous, like mine is).

(er, he would be jealous, if I ever curled up with a dictionary. WHICH I DON'T. Because that might be sad.)

(right?)

(Private note to self: beautiful, leather-bound dictionaries are no substitute for human interaction. Even the ones with gilt-edged pages.)



Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dammit

How did you guys get so smart? I was sure, so sure, that I had chosen the word that would never be guessed.

SILENCE.

Silence! The perfect Pictionary stumper! Because it's invisible, see? There's nothing to draw!

(at first I was going to say that my nearly 4-day blogging absence was an abstract clue that should have led you all to guess SILENCE simultaneously, but while I am not religious I still have morals and could not in good conscience tell a lie).

I had to draw on my professional librarian skillz, for 'silence' is something we specialize in.

Shhhhh.

That's right. Hush now, or Librarian Liz will have to take you down. Quietly, of course.

The winners shall be crowned tomorrow, as soon as they tell me what titles they would like to claim. (YES, you can take Stupid Motherfucker Trip-Ass Ho if you must.)

(Wait, sorry. That's what a rabid teenager once called me when I was a social worker. She also tried to throw a desk at me.)

(But hey- if you like it, it's yours. I wouldn't mind passing on my title.)

But real quick, I have to tell you about this wedding I attended over the weekend. My husband was the best man, but we didn't know a single person in attendance except for the groom's parents. As the best man, M got to ride around in a limo after the ceremony and drink peppermint Schnapps, while I clutched my Xeroxed map in one hand and drove myself to the reception site, arriving one hour before the cocktail hour, which means TWO HOURS before the actual reception.

Remember: am introvert. Do not enjoy parties full of strangers.

But I had a mission! One of the groomsmen had left a plastic bag containing Mysterious Bows in my car. When I discovered them in my back seat I bravely entered the cocktail party to find their proper place. Because what if they were supposed to go on the backs of the bride and groom's chairs, for God's sake? WHAT THEN?

So it took all of 10 minutes to make my way through the drunken crowd, asking Anyone Who Looked Like They Knew Anything where these bows were supposed to go.

After a while I felt as though I may as well have been wearing white Keds and telling everyone, "I carried a watermelon."

I spotted a single guy sitting at the bar, and in a moment of extreme courage I took the seat next to him and struck up a conversation.

(squeeee!)

His name was John and he was in marketing. I stated that my HUSBAND was the best man, just so he wouldn't think I was trying to pick him up. His GIRLFRIEND was in attendance but was mingling in the other room, and he was a bit introverted so here he was at the bar.

Introvert meets Introvert! Cocktail hour heaven.

Later I was seated at the reception, where the bride had thoughtfully placed me next to her oldest friends. Who were drunk already. Across the table were their awesome neighbors, Abby and Garret. They were kind, funny, and great conversationalists. And Abby was 8 months pregnant, which provided all sorts of conversation fodder. So how did I reward them for their awesomeness?

I spilled a full glass of Pinot Grigio all over Abby's side of the table, narrowly missing her swollen belly.

The bride's drunk friends drunkenly proclaimed, "You're cut off!"

And of course I had to explain that I'd only had one glass of wine over the past TWO HOURS, so of course I wasn't drunk. And I apologized profusely.

Not that the drunk friends heard me.

But it was okay. Abby really didn't mind, because it wasn't merlot, after all, and I think she was thankful that I didn't chastise her for drinking half a glass of champagne.

Which I never would. Introverted bow-carriers are very non-judgmental.

No, really! Pictionary is still on!

Sorry, all. I've been away from my computer since Friday morning. First I have a quick story to share, and then it's back to Pictionary. I SWEAR.

M and I were watching Jamie’s School Lunch Project last night on TLC. Have you seen this show? Jamie Oliver, a.k.a. The Naked Chef, sets out on a mission to make London’s school lunches more delicious and nutritious. Jamie is British, and since my husband once lived in London he thought I needed a translator during the show.


Jamie Oliver: All these children eat for lunch, five days a week, is pizza and chips!

M: ‘Chips’ are French fries.

Liz: (smiles) I know, thanks.



Jamie Oliver: (upon spotting some of the lunch ladies smoking) I can’t believe it! If we had cooks smokin’ fags in my restaurant, they’d be sacked. We don’t allow that.

M: ‘Fags’ are cigarettes.

Liz: I know.

M: And when someone gets ‘sacked’, it means they’re fired.

Liz: You know, I may not have lived there, but I have been to London. And I’ve even read books that take place there!

M: I just wanted to make sure you understood everything he was saying.

Liz: (sighs tiredly)



Jamie Oliver: I mean, look at this food. It’s complete rubbish!

M: ‘Rubbish’ is trash.

Liz: PLEASE DON’T TALK TO ME ANYMORE.


So bloody hell, let's get on with the game before I get really cheesed off.



Second picture:





















Third: (5/9, 1:40 pm)





















Fourth: (5/9, 4:45 p.m.)
(will be updated again tomorrow!)







Friday, May 05, 2006

I find it quite in-ter-est-ing!

I haven't blogged much because:

I'm wearing my super-high gold heels to a wedding this weekend and I've been too busy practicing the Electric Slide in them.

M and I will be out of town for most of the weekend, but I desperately want to give Carolyn a chance to win her crown. Let's play one more game of Pictionary.


Clue: noun

(Remember: A noun's a special kind of word! It's any name you ever heard! I find it quite in-ter-est-ing! A noun's a person, place, or thing!)





















Edited to add:
And I just have to share... I bought this at Ann Taylor yesterday and I am in LOVE. Now I just need some super-high, strappy navy heels to go with it...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Everyone with a dog has to give Bearette 100 pats

Bearette won our second round of Pictionary! Man, you guys are too smart for me. I'm trying to think of another word that will take at least 24 hours to guess.

"Allergy attack" was inspired by my real life allergy attack last Friday night, which struck when M and I were out walking the dog. I told M, "Hmm... I'm feeling a little sneezy..." and minutes later my right eye was swollen shut and my tear ducts looked like they were about to burst out from under my skin, a la Alien. There was also lots of wheezing and mucus.

TMI. I know.

Anyhow. All hail Bearette!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pictionary... now with more difficulty!

Or maybe not.

In order to avoid everyone having to guess "butt crack" or "crack head" again, I'm just going to tell you that it's two words. Have at it.





















Posted 5/2 at 12:16:





















Posted 5/2 at 2:35:

So which one is the winning guess?
Complete picture: