Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Questions

Today I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed and so I did what any normal person would do: I went out to a bakery and bought an apple tart. The clerk asked, “Would you like it warm, with whipped cream on top?” I said, “DEFINITELY YES.”

I so rarely leave my place of work during the day, I forget how healthy it can be to get out every once in a while. Breathing in the brisk, damp air and an apple tart worked wonders on my attitude. Would I feel as good if I’d told her to hold the whipped cream?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last night Mike and I ventured into what is usually dangerous territory… politics. We agree on lots of things, but cast the same votes in only a few elections. Last night we took this Select a Candidate quiz online and then compared our results. Amazingly, we ended up with the same top candidate. Anyone care to venture a guess as to who it was?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Miley Cyrus. I swear to god, before Christmas I'd never even heard of this girl and now I cannot escape her. WTF?

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I forgot to tell you that Mike and I saw a movie a few days after Christmas. This is big news, because it’s the only one we saw in a theater in 2007. It was Juno, and I loved it. I have no idea if it’s even still in the theaters, but I highly recommend it. So go ahead and see it, unless you’re feeling weird about taking recommendations from someone who visits movie theaters an average of once a year. In that case, I will totally understand if you ignore me. Or have you already seen it? If so, what did you think?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a plethora of leftovers in my fridge, mainly due to my recent inability to like a food for more than ten minutes. I’ve got quinoa salad with spinach and dried cherries, vegetarian shepherd’s pie with mashed garlic-basil sweet potatoes on top, a bit of sloppy joe topping (but no avocados), half a pan of veggie lasagna, and if you hurry, Mike may have left some of the butternut squash-red pepper casserole. It’s all homemade and tastes really good, I promise, but I can’t even look at most of it. Tonight I plan to eat an Amy’s Organic frozen burrito, if I still want it by the time I get home. So, do you want to come over for dinner?

Maybe I’ll skip dinner, actually. All I can think about is that apple tart, which (sadly) is no more.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

De-pommed



Remember that great hat that Bearette made for me? The warm, fuzzy one with a pompom on top? Alex really liked it, too. As soon as I removed it from the package, he rolled on it and kicked his fuzzy legs in the air (a move he reserves only for things he truly loves).

I've been meaning to tell you this for a while. The ugly carpet in the pictures belies the fact that this happened a while ago, but it's been hard to find a way to break the news.

My hat. It has been de-pommed.









I took it off one day after a walk with Alex, and he jumped up to bury his nose in it. So I put it on the floor for him while I went to the bathroom.

When I came back not three minutes later, I found him busily and quite happily deconstucting the hat. I guess I should have anticipated this, since the first thing he does with new toys (Chicky is exempt) is zestfully rip off any appendages.

"NOOOOOO!" I shrieked. "BAD!" Alex leapt away from it like it was on fire.

Just call me the Dog Whisperer.



He looks pretty remorseful, if you ask me.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The un-weekend

To celebrate the holiday weekend, we turned our house into a construction zone. Yes, new carpet is on the stairs, and the second floor is beautiful new hardwoods. You know how I stress about stuff like this, right? Remember the time I freaked out because Mike hired an unknown handyman to install new handles on our kitchen cabinets? Yeah. The anxiety gets jacked up just a few notches when the home improvement involves ripping up my floors.

But I needn't have worried, as usual. And if you think this valuable lesson will prevent me from worrying about the next project, you are dead wrong.

The company we hired was completely great. I researched it all very carefully, natch. The guys who did the hardwoods came on time and worked like mad all day. They didn't even take a lunch break! I was horrified and ran out to the store to buy some food and drinks, which they only consumed while they were working. Seriously, Coke in one hand, nail gun in the other.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't anticipate the terrific noise of this event. I was downstairs trying to watch the second season of Weeds with the volume on max, keeping one fearful eye on the ceiling fan. I was pretty sure that it was only a matter of time before it crashed to the floor. Alex was pretty sure that it was Armageddon.

(Speaking of Weeds, have you seen it? What do you think? I'm not sure it's all that believable. I mean, would a suburban mom with two young kids really take those kinds of risks when she's brand-new to widowhood? But I love Mary-Louise Parker, so there you have it.)

Man, I love that the carpet is gone. Mike said I was laughing maniacally as they carried the nasty rolls out the front door.

Revenge. It is sweet.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Riddle me this

So you've probably heard of Jeb Corliss, right? He's a professional parachuter who tried to jump off the Empire State Building back in April 2006. Corliss made it over the top of the curved fence that surrounds the top of the observation deck, but security guards reached through the fence and grabbed him before he could jump. He's back in the news because he recently filed a $30 million dollar lawsuit against the Empire State Building, alleging that guards unlawfully imprisoned him on the deck and caused him emotional distress (among other things). Read the whole story here, or see a video of the incident.

Corliss says that he had carefully planned the stunt so that the jump would be safe for him and pose no danger to the pedestrians below.

Here's my question: did anyone else on the observation deck know that? No.

If you like to jump off skyscrapers, that's cool. I've seen some of his stunts before, and they're really fun to watch. But if I were a guard on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and I saw someone attempting to jump, call me crazy-- I'd probably try to stop him. How are they supposed to know that he's a professional?

Here's my advice: if any of you want to jump off a skyscraper this weekend, call ahead and make an appointment first.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Murphy's Law

The day when you have 5,000 projects to finish and not a second to spare is precisely when the following will happen:

1) The IT department will commandeer every computer in the place for some Very Important Maintenance.

2) You will have to explain 32,000 times in a row that the computers are temporarily down.

3) You will get your computer back, but have no Internet connection.

4) Your Internet connection will be restored, but ten people will call you with urgent matters, because WHY WEREN'T YOU CHECKING YOUR EMAIL?

5) You will realize that you are so completely, desperately hungry that you must RUN to the vending machine for a bag of peanuts.

6) The vending machine will not take your tired dollar bill.

7) You will stagger to the copier room two hours after you should have left work, only to find that all five paper trays are completely empty and there is not a single ream of paper in the vicinity.

8) When you get home, your dog will curl up with you on the couch and gently lick your hand, and you'll stroke his soft fur and think, Okay, I'll try again tomorrow.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Clueless

Yesterday I was looking for some mind-rotting entertainment as I folded four loads of laundry, so I took a look at the TV schedule. In a few minutes, A&E would be showing one of their Biography programs on someone (something?) called “NSYNC”.

Huh? I sat there for a while, trying to figure out what the acronym meant. New Styles of the Young N’ Cheeky? Not So Yummy: Naomi Campbell? Naughty Sexy Young North Carolinians?

Finally, I turned on the TV.

N’SYNC! Oh.

What a difference an apostrophe makes.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uh... take that!

I think I upset a taxi driver on my way home from the grocery store today. I didn't do anything wrong (as far as I know), but after he pulled up behind me I happened to glance at the rearview mirror and he was making faces at me.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, perhaps his antics had nothing to do with me, but I'm almost positive I was meant to see it. The weirdest part was this fish face that he kept making, pursing his lips and flapping his hands on the sides of his face like they were fins.

Is this some new insult? Has the good old-fashioned bird-flip gone the way of the dinosaurs? Or do I just look like a Subaru-driving fish?

Anyway, if this is a move I should consider adding to my repertoire, please inform soonest. Thanks.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

On carpet and stuff

So obviously I haven’t posted my iTunes selections yet. My slow progress has something to do with avoiding my home computer like the plague. It’s such a massive time suck, that thing. I swear that I’ll get on for only a few minutes, and the next thing I know, two hours have passed. I spend enough time on computers at work. I need do more healthy things like, I don’t know, get outside every once in a while to absorb some actual sunlight (while wearing SPF 25 sunblock, of course). (I have to say that in case my dermatologist is reading.) But anyway, I really am working through the song suggestions, albeit slowly.

In two weeks all the carpet on the second floor of our house will be ripped out and the long-awaited hardwood floors will be installed, which means that we have to carry everything that is not Large Furniture Items down two flights of stairs to the rec room. We’ve been taking a few things down every day until D-Day, in hopes of avoiding a last-minute 24-hour marathon of sprinting up and down the stairs.

You know, I always think that Mike and I don’t have a lot of stuff, but we really do. It’s true- your possessions multiply and expand to fill the available space. I think of how empty our house seemed for months after we bought it, as the items we moved from our small apartment were barely enough to fill a couple of rooms. We aren’t pack rats by any means, but definitely have more than we need.

As we were clearing out the office, Mike decided that we didn’t need our utility bills from 2005. I said, are you sure? He said, Very sure. I said, What if we need them? He said, I promise we won't need them. I agreed to shred them, but only after suggesting that we create a line graph to show how the amounts have fluctuated over the past two years. Mike said that would be a strange way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Right! I was totally joking. Ha ha.

I decided that I don’t really need my wedding dress anymore, so we shredded that, too. Just kidding! We didn’t shred it, but I really do wonder why I didn’t just rent a dress, rather than buying one. I wore it for one night, and then it was sent to the cleaners and packed into some specially sealed, air-tight box so it wouldn’t yellow over time. Except that I promptly opened a corner of the box to take a peek, because how could I be sure that it was really my dress in there? So now it’s probably yellow and ruined anyway. What the hell am I going to do with a yellow wedding dress for the rest of my life? It’s been over seven years since my wedding and I haven’t worn it once.

~~~~~

Speaking of dresses, I also have a couple of bridesmaid dresses and- gulp- my prom dress. I've thought about getting rid of them so many times, but as fate would have it, one of them might come in handy!

Mike has been filling in at a high school for the past couple of months because their social worker had to leave abruptly. Recently he was asked to be a chaperone at this year’s prom. I got this email from him:


Liz,

Will you go to Prom with me?

___ Yes ___ No


Mike



I wrote:

Mike,

OMG! 2kewl! I wud luv 2go 2prom w/u. LOL!


Liz


My co-worker said I should hold out a while longer. It's never a good idea to accept a date too early. What if someone better comes along?

~~~~~

Gross confession: Alex vomited on the stairs the other day and for a few minutes I seriously contemplated NOT cleaning it up. Eh, I thought, this carpet will be gone soon. But then I realized that I was a completely disgusting person for even thinking about living with vomit-covered stairs, and I mentally flogged my disgusting self as I went to get a washcloth and the Nature’s Miracle.

Even after I scrubbing for several minutes, I wondered how much vomit remained, lurking there in the fibers. And this is why I hate carpet: it’s like permanent clothing that never goes through the washing machine. I know it feels soft and comfy, I know it’s much easier on the feet than wood or tile. I know you can steam clean it. And yet, I hate it. Especially when it’s carpet that was owned and walked upon by the previous owners. Who knows what potty training souvenirs remain? Who knows if they had a penchant for having sex on the bedroom floor? Who knows if they were the type to leave vomit on the stairs?

I mean, that's disgusting.

Goodbye, carpet. Good riddance.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year! This is about shit and such.

I'm back! I know, you thought I was dead, huh? But no, I was just off eating cookies and being lazy.

Our travels to Georgia and Florida went flawlessly and honestly, we could not have asked for better traffic conditions. We just zipped along I-95 for hours without a care in the world! It was markedly different from the last time we went to Georgia at Christmastime, when we hit a snow storm and it took us some SIX HOURS just to get through North Carolina. Boy, that was fun!

Alex was pretty good this time. He still trembles almost non-stop, but it varies from wee shivers to full-on, car-rattling shakes. We tried giving him sedatives once, but all they seemed to do was make his eyes glaze over while he continued to tremble and pant. So- no more sedatives.

He only escaped from his seat belt a couple of times. We wedged a stadium seat cushion between the two front seats, thereby creating a barrier (albeit a flimsy one) to his desired front seat location. This visual was usually enough to keep him in his place. Is it a sign that your life is lacking something when you and your husband exchange enthusiastic high-fives because you're managed to outsmart a 25-pound dog?

Something to think about.





I stepped in dog shit twice, once at a rest stop and once at a gas station. IS PICKING UP A DOG'S POOP TOO DIFFICULT FOR YOU? Then don't get a dog. This is why I whip out my plastic baggie the instant my dog squats-- I do not for one second want anyone to think that I am that dog owner who thinks it's fine to leave feces all over the place.

The first time I didn't notice I had stepped in it and we were on the highway for several minutes before the smell wafted up. I refused to stop again (once I am on my way, I do not like to be deterred) and instead used most of the Starbucks napkin stash I'd squirrelled away in the glove box to scrape it out of the treads of my Nike. I'm not saying this was pleasant for anyone in the car, but sometimes we must endure. Mike was most impressed that I had both Purell and scented body spray on hand. I was a Girl Scout, natch.


The second time I noticed before we got back in the car, and I sat on a filthy curb next to a puddle that smelled suspiciously like regurgitated beer as I used a stick to gouge the poop out. God. I hate people sometimes.


The "shit" theme continued once we arrived at Mike's brother's house in Georgia on Friday evening. We were standing on the driveway chatting with everyone, and decided to let Alex off his leash so he could expend some of his pent-up energy. He was doing a good job of staying on the property, but all of a sudden, he took off across the street. I saw the car's headlights. Mike frantically called to him and sprinted for the street, and all I saw was the big, happy grin on Alex's face as he raced back to us, completely oblivious to the fact that a SUV was about flatten him.


"SHIT!" I screamed, in front of my young niece and nephews.


Luckily, Mike is a fast runner. Luckily, the driver saw him and slammed on the brakes. Disaster was narrowly averted. My heart did not beat again for 24 hours.


Guess what my nephew's new favorite word is? God, but I'm a great aunt.


Even though he almost gave me a heart attack, Alex got a new Chicky for Christmas. Why would we get him a duplicate toy? Well, you tell me:

New, Fresh, Fluffy Chicky:





Old, Stinky, Loved-to-Death Chicky:





If only you could smell that thing through your computer. And yet, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to.

Thankfully, Alex loves New, Fresh, Fluffy Chicky and hasn't noticed that Old Chicky now lives on a beautiful country farm known as The Landfill.






So anyway, aside from all the shit, the trip was actually very nice. There were some really wonderful highlights that I'll tell you about another time.

How was your New Year's? You got drunk, didn't you? That's okay, no judgement from me. I'm just jealous because we got Indian take-out and watched an America's Next Top Model marathon until I passed out on the couch at 9:00. Exciting, no?

So let me live vicariously through you- tell me what you did. Or better yet, make something up. I love a good story.

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