Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Alex and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Annoying Booties


I know, I know, that these short, poorly-lit videos will never convey the hilariousness that is my dog wearing a pair of snow booties. You'll just have to believe me. Actual tears leaked from our eyes from all the laughing!

We first attempted booties last winter, with the intention of protecting his paws from ice and road chemicals.

Can I just say that it didn't go over very well?

We went in for a second attempt, because... well, we felt stupid. No dog of ours is going to make the rules! If we want to be pathetic yuppies and make our sweet dog wear snow booties, THEN HE SHALL WEAR THEM AND HE SHALL LIKE IT.

It took us a good ten minutes and a bit of profanity just to get them on his front paws. He wasn't exactly a willing participant. But we must have learned something from last year, because this time he wasn't able to kick them clear across the room. They stayed on!

But they must have felt pretty weird.

Liz: Come here, Boo!

Alex: (lurches across the floor, looking intoxicated)


M: HO HO HO! Haaaaaaaaaa!

Liz: Wait, let me get the camera!

Alex: (flails about in confusion. Looks not unlike an injured deer.)

Liz: (thinks about Bambi's father*. feels like shit.)

Liz: (keeps recording, but orders M to stop laughing)

M: (keeps laughing)

I'm going to rip these things to shreds.
Bootie that, bitches.


The booties were returned to the store.

*Thanks to Bearette for reminding me that it was Bambi's mother that died. Yes, now I remember. I can hear that low voice saying, "Your mother can't be with you anymore."


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Friday, December 15, 2006

Are you an electrician, by chance?

I'm taking the day off. Partly because I have to work tomorrow, and also because I got some lovely Williams Sonoma and Ann Taylor gift cards for my birthday that are crying out for some attention, and there's no way that I'm going shopping on a Saturday in December.

(See, I told you my life was terrible!)

So everyone, pull up a chair while I kvetch about our annoying microwave. Every winter (and only in the winter) we have a little problem that usually unfolds like this:

1) Liz puts bowl of oatmeal in microwave, sets it for 2 minutes and presses START.

2) As soon as microwave starts up, the circuit breaker trips and microwave shuts down.

3) Liz goes downstairs to the fuse box, resets it, and climbs back upstairs.

4) Liz resets the clocks on the microwave and the gas stove.

5) Liz sets microwave for 2 minutes and presses START. Again.

6) Micowave shuts down. Again.

7) Oatmeal feels rejected. Starts to engage in attention-getting behaviors, like sex and drugs.

8) Liz feels frustrated. Is hungry. Starts to say bad words.

Used to be that this would only happen once or twice, and then things would run smoothly. Not anymore. I find myself talking soothingly to the microwave, begging it to run this time because while I'm not a picky eater I DON'T LIKE RAW, COLD OATMEAL and I don't want to walk up and down the stairs all day and I was supposed to leave for work ten minutes ago.

Lately I've been making oatmeal and hot beverages on the stovetop, which makes me feel very Laura Ingalls.

Liz: Charles, I'm almost done heating the breakfast.

M: Why are you wearing a bonnet?

Liz: When will this drought end? The heat! THE HEAT!

M: It's December.

Liz: A plague of grasshoppers would be preferable! At least we could eat grasshoppers!

M: Oh, wait. Are we playing Little House on the Prairie again?

I know. You're going to tell me that we need to hire an electrician before the house burns down, right?


Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm doing my best, Jane.

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can."
Jane Austen

I’m generally a happy person, but I wonder sometimes if that’s because my life has been relatively easy in recent years. I have everything I need, and a lot of what I want. I’m lucky, and I know it.

Yesterday I was sifting through some evaluations for some classes I taught. I think I’m a good teacher, and I look forward to reading my evaluations because… well, everyone likes to be complimented, right? It’s nice to be rewarded for hard work.

I was soaking up the positive comments, even laughing out loud at one (totally irrelevant one) that said, “The librarian is hot!!!” Then I saw this one, scrawled angrily on the page:

“This librarian talks to us like we’re in elementary school. If this is college, teach like it’s college!!”

It was the only negative, unconstructive comment out of hundreds. But suddenly it was the only one I could think about.

Immediately, I was embarrassed that I cared so much. But it stung. I replayed my classes in my mind, my every movement and intonation, trying to see myself as this student had. I let it ruin the rest of my afternoon. On the way home I felt rather babyish when I realized that I wanted to cry.

But I didn’t. I do what I always do, which is to tell myself, "Get some goddamned perspective. Think of all the people around you who have real problems, and shut up."

Life has a way of slapping you across the face just when you need it most.

M had a home visit with a family last night. A family that is struggling to make ends meet. Their daughter goes to school in clothes that don’t fit. She barely sees her parents because they work long hours, which is causing some serious behavioral problems. She doesn’t have a winter coat. There is no money for Christmas presents.

We’re already anonymously buying presents, winter clothing, and grocery store gift cards for two other families at his schools. There are lots of others who need the same.

I hang my wool coat on the coat rack, put my lunch in the refrigerator, and sit down in my comfortable office chair.

Perspective has been restored.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dammit, I really wanted to pay down our mortgage by $100,000 today.

I was just checking our accounts on our bank's website when I saw a link for FAQs. So I clicked on it, even though I didn't have any questions. Mostly because I'm a nosy librarian and I like to know stuff.

Toward the bottom was this Frequently Asked Question:

Why can't I make a payment for more than $999,999?

Man. I wish I frequently had questions like that.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

It's my favorite color, and I love it. Thanks to my husband, I have joined the 21st century.

Seriously, you don't know how happy this makes me. I no longer have to embarrass myself by carrying my AM/FM cassette Walkman to the gym. He even gave me an armband thingy so I can wear my music on my arm like all the cool kids, instead of stuffing my Walkman down the back of my shorts.

I am HIP! And maybe my shorts won't fall down anymore!

Here's what he had engraved on the back:

So, have you all heard of these iPods? It's amazing! There's this thing called iTunes, where you can find almost any song you can think of! Then you just click Buy and it magically goes through a wire and lands on your iPod!

Internet: (rolls eyes)

I'm smitten, to say the least.

Behold, a very random selection of songs that represents my very first iPod playlist. You are not allowed to laugh or make rude comments, unless it's behind my back.

Kiss Off- Violent Femmes
Hot in Herre- Nelly
All You Wanted- Michelle Branch
Build Me Up Buttercup- The Foundations
How You Remind Me- Nickelback
Hung Up- Madonna
Life Less Ordinary- Carbon Leaf
In da Club- 50 Cent
Shake Ya Tailfeather- Murphy Lee
Give it Away- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Toxic- Britney Spears
U and UR Hand- Pink
Shame on You- Indigo Girls
Independence Day- Martina McBride
Iris- Live

M also bought me a tree skirt, which he found on sale for $13. Normally you don't tell people how much gifts cost, but he knew I'd be proud of his mad shopping skillz.

It looks a lot better than the wrinkled sheet. Trust me.

Okay. Might as well move on up the tree and show you some ornaments, since I know you're dying to see them.

I have an impressive collection of I Love Lucy ornaments, thanks to my mom. Here are my two favorites:

From the candy factory episode.

This one lights up and plays the famous
"Vitameatavegamin" commercial.

Shoot. I totally shouldn't have advertised my stash online! That was risky.

Y'all don't know my address, right?

We also have lots of White House ornaments, because you can legally be beaten and thrown onto the Beltway during rush hour if you live in the DC area and do not buy a White House ornament every year.

I think this is supposed to be Dubya
on his rocking horse.

And yes, we have ornaments for the rocker in the family, too. It's okay if you want to steal these:

Nothing says Christmas like platform boots and
scary, long-tounged men in makeup.

Jim Morrison says, "Light my fire, baby.
And also, happy holidays."

We went to a scrumptious dinner at Evening Star on Saturday night. If you live in the area, I highly recommend it. Cozy, hip, and a wine list as thick as my arm. Okay, my lower arm.

Now, if you'll excuse me-- Nelly's waiting for me. It's getting hot in here and I have to take off all my clothes.

Friday, December 08, 2006


This morning, as I'm getting dressed for work:

M: If we're able to have a kid, I think you'll be a MILF.

Liz: What?

M: You know, a Mother I'd Like to--

Liz: I know what it means.

M: I meant it as a compliment.

Liz: I'm sure I wouldn't be dressing like this if I were going to the playground.

M: It's not the clothes they'll be interested in.



Liz: Can I have some privacy, please?



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Law and Order

In the wine system the people are represented
by two separate, yet equally important groups.
The wine experts, and the people who fuck it up.
These are their stories.

Hello, fellow idiots! After repeatedly working my corkscrew through the same "cork" and repeatedly muttering, "What the HELL? Why does it feel like it's not screwing into ANYTHING? STUPID CORKSCREW!", and then trying to stab said "cork" with a paring knife, I finally realize that I'm attempting to use my corkscrew on a SCREW TOP.

However, justice prevailed:

Please don't hold this against me- I'm really tired.


Monday, December 04, 2006

If a woman pees in the forest and no one sees her, does she make a sound?

Okay, what if two people see her?

M and I took Alex hiking on Saturday. It was a great day for a hike- the sun was bright, the air was crisp and cool. We hiked a lovely trail that followed a river, with waterfalls and little rapids and everything.

We’d been hiking for about two hours when I needed to pee. This is typical, because my need is pretty much constant. All day. Once or twice each night. On flights! During movies! In the middle of my own wedding ceremony! And we won't even mention how I suffered for two weeks in Italy.

When you're hiking, though, nature is your bathroom. And there's nothing I love more than miles and miles of unrestricted bathroom access.

If you’re a woman, you probably know that winter hiking excursions pose a special problem. All that lush foliage that normally provides such wonderful coverage is gone, leaving miles of naked trees and very high visibility.

Men don't have to worry about this. It takes very little effort to hide their business. They can pretty much pee in the middle of a busy shopping mall and no one will see. For women it's a bit more awkward.

(I totally should have asked for a Whizzy for Christmas)

As my need grew more urgent, M and I stopped to consider my options.

M: What about that spot, over there?

Liz: No! That’s visible from the trail in both directions!

M: Oh. Well, what about there, in that thicket?

Liz: Where all the thorny vines are? Um, no.

M: How about right there- behind that big tree.

Liz: It takes more than a single tree to provide cover for a woman who’s squatting with her pants around her knees.

M: Look, the only other people we've seen was that troop of Boy Scouts, and they’re long gone. I’ll keep an eye out and tell you if anyone’s coming.

Liz: Well… okay.

So I go behind the tree, get into position, and am about halfway done when suddenly a male voice THAT IS NOT MY HUSBAND'S makes my heart stop dead. I look up to see a man and a woman headed straight for me, 20 feet away and closing in.

“AAAIIIIIIEEEEEE!” I shriek. The couple seems surprised and a little frightened to see a half-naked woman leaping into view. I yank my pants up and tear down the trail, clutching the waistband in my fist. M jumps in surprise.

“What?” he gasps, thinking that I saw a bear.

“PEOPLE!” I screech. “THEY SAW ME!”

So we race down the trail, M cracking up and Alex jumping repeatedly to nip at my waistband, so happy that we’re playing this new, exciting game! When the trail forks, we head to the left. I actually make M hide behind a tree with me until we can see if the other hikers are going to follow us.

They go to the right.

“Thank GOD,” I breathe.

M is still laughing. "If you'd just kept still, they probably wouldn't have seen you."

“You were watching, huh?” I huff, buttoning my pants. “You were going to TELL ME IF ANYONE WAS COMING, huh?”

“I'm sorry! They just came out of nowhere.”

“Well! I’m sure they enjoyed seeing my blinding white ass.”

“I’m sure they did,” M says, grinning.

"Great. So what do I get out of it? I flash both of them and I still have to pee!"

"I charged them five dollars to peek."

"That's it?"


"That's better."

To make it up to me he stopped at our local wine shop on the way home and bought a bottle of Sangiovese to go with dinner.

All is forgiven.

Story that has nothing to do with the rest of this post:

Early this morning I dreamed that I was trying to outrun a tornado. I was sprinting across a field as the funnel cloud twisted and howled, closing in on me. And when I say that I was "sprinting" I mean that I was really just jogging and flailing my arms (like this) because I’ve never been a sprinter and never will be and even in my dreams I’m completely honest. Just as my shirt was getting sucked off my back and my toes were leaving the ground, M’s alarm went off and KEPT GOING OFF, and I groggily punched him on the arm because I really wanted to find out what it’s like to twirl around in a tornado. You know, in the safety of a dream.

Napoleon Dynamite: Gosh.

Liz: I know! And then he pushed SNOOZE, too.

Napoleon Dynamite: Gosh!

Liz: I knew you'd understand.

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