Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide the fact that he possesses one

“If you have something to say about me, say it to my face!” I don’t know that I agree with that (anymore).

In some situations, ignorance is bliss. Sure, there are instances that warrant head-on confrontation. “Get that lettuce out of your teeth,” or “that bra does nothing to support you,” are criticisms that, no matter how rudely stated, are helpful. But there are situations where you don’t like someone or you disagree with their taste or their choices that are better left alone. If people always told you how they felt about you (solicited or unsolicited), imagine how much self-esteem would bottom out. Therapists’ offices would be filled day and night, with lines wrapping around the block.

After 26 years, I have finally learned a thing or two about tact and diplomacy. I have always said what’s on my mind, but I am finally realizing there is a time, a place, and an audience in which it’s best to keep my mouth shut. I let some things come in one ear and stay there, rather than exiting through my mouth.

The other day someone walked into my cubicle and asked, “are you a gossip girl?” My head was spinning with images of Blake Lively and Chace Crawford, so I really had no idea how to answer that. She could sense from my dreamy look (I was imagining being young, attractive, and rich in New York City) that I had no idea what she was asking. “Do you gossip?” she rephrased. “Oh,” I sputtered, returning to the mundane moment that it was from my fantasy world. “No, of course not. Do you think anyone talks to me?” The answer was apparently satisfactory, but only because it was true.

And I’ve found a joy in being told secrets. I love the power of knowing something that everyone else is exempt from. I only don’t like that I didn’t discover this years ago.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not a girl; not yet a woman

In sixth grade, all the other girls at church were already shaving their legs, so I looked like Chewbacca in comparison. The girls started calling me “Chicken Legs” as a result. I had enough and decided even though my parents thought I was too young to shave, clearly I was too old not to. I excused myself early from dinner and snuck into mom and dad’s bathroom. I grabbed dad’s dull Bic razor from the counter and scathed it up and down my dry legs. When I finished, I noticed the razor was filled with long blond hairs (which greatly contrasted my dad’s stubby black ones). Knowing I would be discovered, I quickly ran my finger across the blades to wipe them off. My finger gushed blood. I put on a band-aid; even though I could feel the pain, at least I wouldn’t have to see it. I bled through that band-aid. And another one. My finger continued squirting blood all throughout church that evening. That Christmas, my mom bought me my first razor: an electric one.

Knowing me now, you would hardly believe there was ever a period in my life where I didn’t have boobs. But there was. Try high school. I wore a bra, not out of necessity, but because I felt at my age I should. Then, summer before my senior year I went to Texas for ten days. I remember buying a souvenir T-shirt and thinking it made my body look good. I kept wearing that damn shirt (the Lone star state) as a result. As soon as I got home, my mom said, “where did those come from?” she wasn’t talking about the T-shirt, but my set of boobs which had finally grown onto me. Everything is bigger in Texas.

They say you become a woman when your body is able to procreate. In that case, I didn’t become a woman until I had almost graduated from high school. My little sister beat me, kids I babysat even beat me. Once you reach 18 and you’re still in a little girl’s body, your mom begins to worry. The doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound. I had to drink 32 ounces of water in gym class for my appointment two hours later. Driving to the doctor from school was pure hell. I sat halfway Indian-style the entire way, thinking my body would explode like a dam does when it can’t handle all that water. At the doctor’s office, they made me sit in the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity until I could no longer take the pain of retaining all that water and I started to cry. Not because I was upset, but because it was the only way to release liquid without wetting myself. The week after my appointment, I found out nothing was wrong with me and, sure enough, my body remembered it was supposed to be changing and reacted.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

shoulda, coulda, woulda

I found an amazing website tonight: www.notstarring.com. You absolutely must visit it. If you are anything like me, you like to know roles that actors turned down. This website is dedicated to it and is so much fun. You can see what actors are always competing with each other for the same roles (brad pitt, johnny depp, leonardo dicaprio). I just spent the last two hours there and only left it to blog about how great it is.

I'm painting my bathroom tomorrow. I thought I had everything I needed: roller brush, long metal thing to pour the paint into, paint brush, paint. Only after returning home did I realize I needed masking tape. Unfortunately, our new house is a few miles away from the center of all commercialization. The only place around us that might have masking tape was Walgreens. Well, they did have it. And it only cost $6.29. I refused to buy it. I can't believe tape costs that much. So instead I bought a six pack of Smirnoff from the grocery store and pocketed the extra thirty cents.

I do miss living on 144th/Center where Dairy Queen was a quarter a mile away as was the mall, three grocery stores, and everything else was within a mile or two. Today I had to google where the closest Arby's is. I traded in living in the restaurant/stores neighborhood to suburbia. Every where that would have a drive thru is a park over here. Sure it's quiet and scenic and all, but when I need a hot meal, my only options are Sonic and Taco Johns. And even Sonic is out after 7pm. All the high schoolers hang out in the parking lot blaring their music and comparing sneakers. I need to stop eating that greasy food and start working out more anyway, perhaps the inconvience will motivate me.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

blog blurb

I had a dream in which I saw something funny and thought to myself, I have to blog about that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

crazy beadcraft

My favorite store to go to as a child was the fabric store. Mom used to sew a lot of our dresses for us, so she would spend hours looking at patterns, picking out fabrics, and getting just the right amount cut for her. in the mean time, amber and i entertained ourselves by going down the craft aisles. i began saving my money for little things in these aisles. My favorite was the beads.



I still have them. I have seed beads in pretty much every color imaginable. I also have gaudy baubles. I have fishing wire and elastic. I have earring hooks and clasps. We had a neighbor named Correna whom we called Cruella (101 Dalmatians was still popular during my childhood). She loved to act like your friend one day just to shut you out the next. On the day she acted like my friend, she gave me a pill bottle full of beads. The next day she demanded them back and claimed I had stolen them. I didn't give them back. Suddenly, I wanted to make bracelets and necklaces, earrings and rings.



I made these stupid bead creations for everyone. for my uncle who went to WSU, I made a gray and burgundy ring. I had to guess on finger sizes, so the rings all turned out closer to the size of a bracelet (when I was 11, I thought all adult sizes were gigantic). For my Sunday school teacher, i made a lapel pin. yes, i said a pin. It wasn't long until I thought I had mastered the art of beadery and could start my own business. I made a price list and told the neighbor girls they could pick any colors they wanted and i would make jewelry for them.



A couple years ago, I was a bit tipsy and decided what better than to pull out the old bead collection. I thought I would be able to whip up some bracelet in no time. I got the other girl equally giddy about the idea as only two drunk girls can be and we excitedly picked out our colors and cut our elastic. Unfortunately, I realized that without a needle, I couldn't made a bracelet anymore. I no longer have tiny hands. They have morphed into gigantic man-hands. you think I exaggerate because women supposedly have dainty features, but I don't even know if one of those old rings I had made would fit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

one bad apple spoils the bunch

My first three semesters of college I attended Grace University here in Omaha on 10th/William. I also lived in the campus dorms. Grace had rules such as no tvs in the dorms, a guy can not be in a girl's room, and midnight curfew. I hated all the rules, but if I were to have to pick a most hated, it would be curfew. I hated it because I liked to make out with Steve for hours on end (yes, hours), and those always ran past midnight.

Once I had racked up my allowed infractions and was being threatened with being kicked out, I had to get creative. I put a brick in the door of the fire escape so I could come back to my room without my swipe card proving me guilty. I would call a friend and have them open the door from the inside, until, of course, they all got in trouble for aiding and abetting (yeah, because it's that serious of an offense). If neither of those worked, there was always the option of staying out until six a.m. when curfew was finally null and void.

The night of the meteor shower, me, Steve, Anni, and Jon decided we would make a night of it. We had absolutely no intentions of returning to the dorms before six a.m. So sometime after midnight, we crept to the car in the parking lot. Grace did have one security guard. One very only, partially blind and mostly deaf security guard. With that description, you can imagine how humiliating it would be to get caught. Once he caught me kissing Steve in the parking lot and asked my name and I said I didn't go to school there. This time, we claimed we were going camping. Somehow camping prevails all evil, because the security guard disappeared.

I smile now thinking of us sitting in the middle of some overgrown field, techno music blaring out of the Audi. I smile to think of what a badass I thought I was then: a private schooled kid staying out late, not drinking, not fornicating, just catching a thrill from not being tucked into my bunk bed and watching some rocks plummet from the sky.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"it's ok...i'm married"

There are varying views on marriage. I'm under the impression that once you're married, you 'got em,' so now you can relax and rest assured that no other wily woman is going to get her paws on your man. However, there are also the type that are jealous and worried, and not necessarily because they don't trust their partners (or maybe for exactly that reason), but because humans are fickle and not always creatures of habit, but sometimes creatures craving change and spontaneity.

My parents had a rule that one could never be alone with a member of the opposite sex. As a result, I got dragged along in the Buick for some road trips to Olympia, listening to dull politics talk while I stared out the window, kicking my feet at the front seat. I can't imagine how I would have ever reacted if the grown-ups decided they were attracted to each other and who cares about that girl in the back seat, she's just a kid, we can accuse her of making it all up with her vivid imagination.

Me? I wouldn't say I'm jealous per se. I don't go out a lot of times when Steve does because I'm a homebody and I don't like bars. I don't like watching frat boys play flip cup, or listening to terrible juke box tunes. I don't like hearing people puke in bathrooms and I don't like watching sloshed girls go home with creepy, ugly, pathetic guys. I also don't like concerts. So Steve goes out, and I ask him for a run-down of the events when he gets home. Just the highlights. Who got in a fight? Who won poker? Who passed out drunk?

But if Steve were to go out with anyone other than the normal crew, I'm sure I would become a bit more suspicious and possessive. So what behavior is ok and what is forbidden amongst married couples? Is the man going out to lunch with another woman ok? What if that woman has long legs, a short skirt, and implants? Or what if that woman has bifocals, headgear, and a mole sprouting hair? If I'm ever faced with that question, I would say, "what does she look like?" But should that matter? Sure, humankind is fickle, but isn't there somewhere that trust and precaution meet? Like a railroad track meeting the road: a pain in the ass for the drivers, but serves a purpose and saves a lot of wrecks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

August 26th, 27th, or 28th, 2006

My anniversary is either August 26th, 27th, or 28th. Whichever date, I know it's 2006, so that's something. I know most women know this, but there is a reason I'm unsure. We set a date, then changed it to get the Joslyn castle at half price (Sundays are cheaper for weddings, everyone). I know people laugh and it's only the biggest day of your life, spare no expense, yadda yadda, but not in our case. I guess I'm not the most girlish woman in the world. I would've preferred to elope. I'm almost positive it's August 27th, now that I think about it.

Not only did we change the date to save a few hundred bucks, I also decided we didn't need our cake delivered. So we pulled out all of the shelves in my refrigerator (moved the beer cans to the produce drawers) and placed it inside. The day of the wedding, I held it (unwrapped, of course - otherwise it wouldn't have fit in the fridge) on my lap while Steve drove us to the castle. On the way there, we saw Bob running. I couldn't even roll down the window, so he came around to Steve's side to chat ("I'll see you there;" the usual bullshit).

We did one day go to look at dresses, but only at rental dresses because I have no idea what women want with it after the ceremony. We skipped the rentals (I'm not picky, but I do have SOME standards) and went to the pet store next door (yes, this is the day we bought Tucker instead of a wedding dress). I ended up buying a wedding dress online while I was supposed to be faxing six BNSF permits. When the wedding dress arrived, it didn't fit (apparently wedding dresses are a size larger than you are or I was in denial to my actual size). Whatever the case, my mom spent the evening before my wedding ripping out the seams and taking out fabric to squeeze my I-think-I'm-a-size-six body into. (This dress is in a landfill in Illinois now, if you are wondering).

Midnight the night before my wedding, my sister informed me I needed flowers. We went to Baker's on 120th and Center and bought all the roses and lilies they had. Amber crafted them into centerpieces and a bouquet. The day of the wedding, my maid of honor told me I really should have someone do something with my hair. So after her urging, I decided that is what women should do (but I wasn't going to get a manicure or pedicure: I've been avoiding both of those my entire life).

After the wedding, Steve and I filled our cars up with sound equipment, presents, leftover champagne (who am I kidding - there was none of that), etc. We drove back to my apartment to drop everything off, but not before stopping at Walgreen's one-hour photo. "Did you really just get married?" the photo developer asked incredulously. It certainly wasn't Halloween, and I do not wear dresses for any occasion other than this one day. If you know the answer to a question, don't ask it. "Check out the pictures," I offered.

After the presents were opened and I was securely back in pants, my new parents took us out to eat at Red Robin where we laughed over the pictures and plotted out our lives as husband and wife (the same life as boyfriend and girlfriend). And people find this wedding stuff stressful.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

vacuuming, travelling, befriending

I decided our house is too big. I decided this, of course, when I was cleaning and had to change the outlet the vacuum was plugged into several times. At the apartment I never had to switch the outlet. Perhaps that is why I've only vacuumed here once. Today I try again.

Steve and I bought airlines tickets to Seattle in September. We are going to watch my little brother turn 21, go the Mount Rainier, show Steve the Pacific Ocean for the first time. We are going to go to the Puyallup fair where we will watch a concert from the grandstands, buy homemade taffy, see the pig races, and maybe Steve will even win me some stupid stuffed animal. I am so excited to be home again. Every time I go home though, I want to move back more and more.

Facebook has so many applications, bells, and whistles now that I can barely understand it. What are these friend suggestions? Someone sends me the link to add someone else as a friend? If they want to be my friend, grow a pair and ask me yourself! It reminds me of fifth grade when my mom would try to force me to befriend Colleen Gillespie even though I couldn't stand her with her knee-high socks and kiss ass personality. If someone suggested you to be my friend, I will not. I do not like being bullied into anything.

Friday, July 17, 2009

cashiers, 401K, Chipotle woman

I wish I understood how to make my ideas materialize. I saw a new reality show where you give your idea to some sort of wizards who make them happen. That's what I want to do, because I have tons of great ideas, but don't know anything about patenting or making protocols. Most of my ideas are awesome inventions I can't live without. Some, however, are just common sense.

I know the people in Washington won't understand this, but us Midwesterners have a nice convenience of being able to buy booze at the grocery store. It's convenient until the check out line. Steve and I spend a minute or two checking out the cashiers and seeing which one might be of legal age to sell us said adult products. I am always wrong. The other day I saw wooden earrings and automatically thought "old." However, we came closer and saw braces. Once we get in line, she flicks on her light and waits for the one person over age 16 to waddle over and check our IDs (suspiciously, I might add). My idea is to have a checkout lane or two for alcohol and cigarette purchases only. It's not rocket science, just a social convenience.

I have a 401K now. I love to watch money grow, even if it is now just seeing digits change on a computer screen rather than counting out large quantities of bills. $81 stashed away for my retirement, I'll have you know. I guess this isn't my first retirement fund as the Sheraton did send me $26 from some nest egg I didn't know I had. Sorry old version of myself, but I spent all your retirement on a twelve pack of Bud Light and a fast food dinner. Hopefully this one will make it a bit farther. Although if I keep up with the booze and fast food, I won't have to worry about a retirement.

I went to Chipotle yesterday and somehow got stuck behind some woman taking an order over her cell phone and regurgitating it back to the burrito maker (not sure of the official job title on this one, just a shot in the dark). It went like this:

BM: "Beans?"
SW: "Do you want beans baby? Yes."
BM: "Black or pinto?"
SW: "Black or pinto? I don't know, the black ones are black and the pinto ones look like rabbit turds. Black."
BM: "What kind of salsa?"
SW: "Do you want salsa? The kind with the tomatoes, the kind with corn, or the green stuff?"

I was so annoyed that I was one question and one assault charge away from ripping that cell phone off her ear and shoving it into her gaping mouth. Don't go to Chipotle and order for more than yourself unless the other person is a kid that wastes too much time deciding and can't see over the counter anyway. Social indecencies swirl all around me and there is no one trying to stop them except myself and my humble blog. And please don't post about how there are much greater injustices in the world. We're talking about my world, not the entire world here. Don't be so damn literal. Now THAT'S annoying.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stevey-Steve

Yesterday Steve took me to drop off and pick up the saturn from the shop. On the way home, I stole a glance at him in the rearview mirror and smiled. I find him to be so attractive between his hair, his freckles, his crooked smile and the way he acts like he doesn't notice people noticing him. I smiled because he is all mine and he has been for years now.

After dinner, he made me laugh so hard that tears streamed down my cheeks by singing in his best voice while trying not to squint. He twists the top off my beverages for me and carries me to bed when I fall asleep on the couch. I guess it's not really fair all he does for me, but I'm not complaining. I know people who knew me before I was married would never guess I would stay married for over a month, but here we are, nearing three years and each month I like him more and more. I think I've realized I can not live without him.

Some people aren't lucky like us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

retail insanity

I went to Target today and bought (among a few other things) a pack of gum. "Would you like this with you or in the bag?" the cashier asked me. Seriously? I bought five things. If I can't find a pack of gum amongst four other things, I have no business handling the money it cost to buy it in the first place. I know they really just tacked this question on to their fifteen others to annoy the absolute hell out of me. Now it's:

"Did you find everything you were looking for?"
"Except the machete, yes."
"Excuse me?"
"Just not bruschetta."
"Oh, that's on aisle 12."
"I just changed my mind. I found everything just fine."
"Would you like to open a Target card and save 10% today?"
"No."
"But if you do it'll save you $1.82."
"Tempting to accrue $2000 in debt for $1.82, but again: no."
"OK, paper or plastic?"
"Give me a damn bag, I don't care. Whatever is not recyclable."
"Oh, on your receipt you received a survey...just go online within 48 hours an-"

And here is about where I snap, grab the bag, leave her holding the receipt, and take my gum out of the bag and put it in my purse.
Checking out has as many questions as a family reunion, and it's all more than I can take. There is a reason some of us buy everything possible online.

Target is no longer a thrill for me. I used to go and spend $146 on nonsense. I would buy a couple DVDs I'd never seen before, but they were on sale. I bought hair rubber bands, frames, stationary. I would buy a CD because I liked one single on it (hello, iTunes). Times have changed. I'm more cynical or Target is less cool. Either way, I'd rather be at home on my computer where life is balanced again.

P.S. I also hate it when people call it "Tarrr-jhay." I hate it so much. It makes me red with anger. I have to stop typing about it now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

email hater, styrofoam, recycle bin

Checking my email is a chore now. I hate to do it. I remember when Marie told me she hated checking her voicemail and I totally get it now. I used to be excited to see "Inbox (5)" and now I just cringe. It's five things I have to either open and respond to or delete or risk opening and pulling out a virus. I have five pages on my inbox of emails I need to respond to or do something with. It's ridiculous. I now take refuge in other web pages instead. Goodbye, hotmail.

I am earth unfriendly. I realized this when Steve's uncle was asking my mother-in-law if she recycles. I smiled because my five pop cans were on the deck, in the basement, on the desk, etc. At work I love to use Styrofoam cups whether or not my beverage is hot. I love biting the foam off and spitting it into the remaining cup portion. I use a new plastic spoon every day for my cereal. This is odd, because when I was about 11, I put flyers in all of our neighbors' paperboxes urging them to recycle, thinking I would single-handedly prevent our earth from the evils of trash. I am now much too cynical to believe anything I do will ever make a difference.

Do you find it odd that when you delete something on your computer it goes into a recycle bin? I think it should be a trash can like it used to be when computers were just starting out. Realistically, are our documents getting recycled? I certainly hope not. If so, there is some hacker out there laughing hysterically at my old documents. That hacker is probably the same person who bought Chip for $30 off eBay. I've always wondered what I left on that old computer.

I dragged Steve to the mall yesterday (yes, on a Saturday). Can you believe we spent ten times as much on him as we did on me? I love to spend money, and I really don't care who it's spent on. As long as I have a receipt and a bag, I'm a happy woman. I'm even pleasant after a trip to the hardware store these days. I would write on, but I've got a book to work on these days, not to mention a pending voicemail.

Friday, July 10, 2009

my first (real) job

Before having a real job, I worked teen jobs. I babysat, was a counselor at summer camp, and ran an after-school tutoring program for Bancroft elementary from a church basement. But I didn't really enter the work force until my job at Knapp's. This is it:



and for a flavor of the inside:



When I needed a job, I knew it would have to be in a restaurant. I had always wanted to be a waitress. Frankly, I'm not sure where I even got the idea since as a kid the places we ate out didn't have servers. When Amber and I were younger and mom had moved her gargantuan Ethan Allen dresser (which looks like this:)



into Amber's room, we used it to play restaurant. We set cups and decorations on the dresser. We set up a table with a tablecloth (which, conveniently, was hanging on a hanger in Amber's closet - as you can probably already tell, every room in our home doubled as a storage room). We added some chairs and shoved all the bedroomy items into the closet. We named our restaurant "Mousies" (you don't need to know the origin of the name, I'll save that for another blog). We begged Joel to be our first customer and pretended to wait on him and cook him anything he wanted and asked him for his patronage again soon (although I'm sure we didn't use the word "patronage" [if you couldn't already tell from this blog, we were homeschooled]).

Back to Knapp's: my mom knew a woman who worked there and got me a job working Saturdays and Sundays. I went out and bought khaki pants and white shirts. I came to work hoping by the end of the week to be more than a hostess/cashier - perhaps I could fast-track my way into waitressing. It was at Knapp's that I met the sweetest German woman who always tipped me twice as much as the other grumpy server. I made her salads for her, cleared her tables, and made the milkshakes (after a couple instances of splattering it all over the walls first). I emptied ash trays (for that was the good old days when you could smoke in diners if you pleased. This was before people were herded outside like cattle just for fancying nicotine). When the German woman got flustered, she started speaking in some sort of yiddish, which made me skittish. I ran around with the coffee pot and water jug making sure all of her customers were hydrated.

Neither the German woman (non-smoking section) or the old grumpy waitress (smoking section) were looking to leave their posts anytime soon, so I knew I would remain a lowly hostess/cashier (any job title which includes a slash is awful) for the entirety of the summer. So I passed my time eating their mint sticks covered in chocolate, refilling the toothpick holder, marrying ketchups and wiping menus. I worked extra hard for the German woman since she was nearly my sole source of income. She had me running back and barking orders at the cook. For some reason, he must have found it endearing, for one day when I took my free food home, I saw he had cut my garlic bread into the shape of a heart: the two slices joined by toothpicks.



Soon it wasn't long until the cook with the missing teeth and rat's tail was asking me to run errands. "We ran out of whipping cream, Holly, could you run to the grocery store and get me four cartons?" So I headed out to the store. I discovered that whipping cream is not made by Cool Whip or ReddiWip after about thirty minutes of trying to find a carton of either brand.

And just when I was beginning to think I was all grown up, what with having not only a job, but cash in my pockets, minty fresh breath, and knowing a fact about the culinary arts...just when I was about to believe I could be considered an adult...that's when my dad pulled up in the Dodge Aspen to pick me up and drive me back home.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

starts and hopefully someday a finish

A day of beginnings. And I'm not just talking about Big Brother. I ran again tonight. My thirty miles a week days are so far behind me that it's hard to believe I was ever an exerciseoholic. If I'm ever going to run this half marathon, it's going to take a lot more dedication than I've been able to muster in the last year.

I also began writing a book. I've been wanting to write a book for years now. Since about age seven I've wanted to. I finally had a bookworthy idea, so yesterday I sketched it out and today I wrote my first page. We'll see how long this lasts. Perhaps by the time the half marathon rolls around I'll have a plot.

Before running on Satan's conveyor belt (more commonly known as a treadmill), I ran around Wehrspann lake last week. On the drive home, I saw a personalized license plate (which are usually reserved for the self-obsorbed). This one read "ILVPZLS." I love plazas? I wondered. Then it hit me, I love puzzles. My soulmate lives here in Omaha, drives a gray Hyundai Santa Fe, and is most likely a 72-year old woman.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

trampoline, dried candy, croquet

I’ve lived in Nebraska for a few years now, but my home is still Washington. I spent my entire adolescence there, and even still, I miss so much about it. Such as:

• My brothers

• Mild weather

• The words “freeway,” and “dinner” (I still cringe when I hear “supper”)

• Good (and fresh) seafood

• The Meeker Mansion and the fact I thought we were important for owning his rocking chair

• The Sumner Arts festival and its all-you-could-eat free watermelon on Friday night

• The Narrows bridge

• Ruston Way

• Using Mt. Rainier to gauge the weather (if I could see it through the clouds, it was going to be a nice day)

• Jumping on the trampoline

• Seeing mom’s mugs full of dried up candy on the kitchen counters

• The Old Spaghetti factory

• An airport that offered direct flights to somewhere other than Denver

• The stores to shop in (oh, the stores! I long for a Nordstrom’s)

• Proximity to the ocean (even though every time I’ve gone I’ve been nearly eaten alive by sand fleas)

• Casinos that aren’t on a river

• Playing croquet with my dad

• Running to the convenience store with Joel for scratch tickets and candy

• The Puyallup fair

• Being dragged to the major life events of people I don’t necessarily like, but have known forever

• Not needing to pick out a doctor, dentist or mechanic – I’ll just use whoever my parents use

• Those cups with vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet and the wooden spoons

• Smartfood white cheddar popcorn

• I even miss that stupid maroon afghan mom kept over the couch to shield it from the sun.


And I never thought I’d say that. At heart, I will always be a Pacific Northwesterner.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wanted: normal couple of pals

Other than the fact that Steve is quite the opposite of fat, some days our life together is all too much like an episode of "King of Queens." Just today we were planning on what kind of couple we'd like to find to befriend, and how we would even go about befriending them. I suggested going through the neighbors trash: looking for beer bottles (him), tags from new clothes (me), bills which reflect minimal debt (so we can all go do things together). Our ideal couple to double date with:

1. In their late 20s to early 30s
2. Do not yet have children
3. Are not embarrassing to be seen in public with (no hideous wardrobe choices or unsightly growths need apply)
4. Like to eat out
5. Will pay for themselves and never steal, beg, or borrow money
6. Will play ridiculous games
7. Laugh at themselves and others
8. Don't fight often in front of us (save that for home)
9. Have jobs but also have interests outside of their jobs
10. Aren't trying to solicit anything (we are not shopping for new religions, business ventures, or political stances, thank you)

The man must:
1. Like sports
2. Like beer
3. Play poker
4. Listen to music other than pop
5. Also talk about other topics on occassion

The woman must:
1. Like reality tv (preferrably Big Brother so we can talk about alliances and the treachery that is the human race)
2. Enjoy buying things
3. Be genuinely interesting
4. Have an opinion (nothing I hate more than, "sure" or "what do you want?")
5. Make me laugh

If you know of any couples who fit the bill, we are currently looking. We can offer a nice home to hang out at, a dog that will love you, my own blender concoctions, Steve's original raps, and some fierce competition in any game we play. As a bonus, you will also get to hear Steve's genuine guffaw when he watches a comedy, which is a comedy in itself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

couch surfing

I'm feeling pretty technologically advanced blogging from my couch. I've always been at the desktop until now, so I can no longer say, "this is where the magic happens," about our office. Steve calls it an office, I call it a den. Apparently that is confusing. I guess dens are more like rec rooms, but for some reason, growing up, my parents called dad's office "the den," so I have picked up the incorrect meaning of the word.

Anyway, about being more mobile in my internet surfing, it's not as if I haven't had a laptop before. I believe this is our third. My first (R.I.P.) was Chip. I had Chip for four years of college where I mercilessly beat him to his grave between instant messaging for hours a day and downloading illegal songs from the undiscovered music sharing site du jour. I wrote all my papers in college on him, saved them to a floppy (yet hard - ironic) disc, and printed them out at the library. How retro.

We got another laptop before we got married (yet buying expensive appliances together - what difference does that marriage license really make?) before our eight hour drive to Denver. I'm never driving (or even passengering, for that matter) to Denver again. Why bother, when we can buy airline tickets for $125 anyway? So I spent at least ten minutes of that road trip on the computer, acting like I was about to write the next great American novel, but in reality, confessing my deepest sins to a journal entry.

My washer is spinning at the speed of sound, and I'm afraid our new house is about to blow to smithareens. In my head I just contemplated running outside with Tucker while we watch it blow up and collect the insurance money in 3-4 months. And I tell myself I don't have enough of an imagination to write a novel. I definitely don't have writer's block: I'll write blogs or poems, I'm just not up for any challenges that take perserverance.

Friday, July 3, 2009

dream with me

I dreamt (is that a word? dreamed?) that I babysat and afterward my mom told me I got ripped off. And not just for that instance, but every time I had babysat for the family in the past, too. I started doing the math in my head and realized that they had only paid me a quarter per kid an hour that whole time and I felt gypped. You can now see the quality of sleep I'm getting: dreams become arithmetic and emotions of anger and anxiety. Perhaps I need to find a new way to recharge my body.

The real ironic thing of this dream was that in real life, things were the opposite. I once got paid $6 (one kid, two hours) and my mom said I was overpaid and made me walk over to my neighbor's house and give her back $2. $1/kid/hour was standard in my day, but some people were generous enough to give $2/kid/hour. This case of $3/kid/hour was pure outrage to my mother, so I did the walk of shame at age 12, pissed off because I had already decided how I would spend it (Trolli sour worms, ranch pringles, fun size snicker bars, hologram stickers).

Today Steve and I were walking through one of the many adjoining neighborhoods where we saw kids lighting firecrackers, then throwing them in the air. "My parents would never have allowed that," I said. "Kids get away with anything these days," he retorted, and I knew he was right. I'm so glad I don't babysit anymore. I would probably pull my cat trick, but on the kids. I hate cats, always have. Anytime I had to babysit for a family who owned a cat, I locked the cat outside until the parents came home. This usually worked except for one time when the cat clawed its way up the screen door and I got freaked out, let it back inside, and locked it into the bathroom instead.

I'm off to bed again, this time in hopes of better dreams. If I don't dream of work, running into people I don't like while running errands, or animals attacking me, this night will be a success.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

bloodwork, HIPAA, baby fever

I was at the doctor today for my yearly appointment. The nurse seemed to think I needed bloodwork done. I love how they call it "bloodwork," by the way. I think that's great. We should add "work" (or "job") to the end of all that we hate to describe just how horrible it really is. Anyway, the nurse shoved her giant needle in me and let it sit there for a few minutes. Either her vile came in a size XXL or she is a vampire, because I thought she took a bit more than she was entitled to.

Then came the worst part: sitting naked on a piece of paper, waiting for the door handle to move. If I'm to get naked, I don't want it to be for someone with sterile gloves on. I must have sat there for a half hour. I can't be sure, because doctor's offices are tricky and they don't keep any timekeeping devices around (that way you don't know exactly how much of the day has expired with making you wait). I had plenty of time to think about if improving my posture would make my backless robe stay on my shoulders (it did help, actually).

The door handle finally tilted, but at the same time that a secretary or nurse or receptionist called out the doctor's name and began bitching about some patient. I listened through the thin walls to what this woman's problem was. I wondered if the nurses ever talk about me behind my back. Perhaps they discuss what I look like naked? Do they talk about weight and patients' family history of illness? I know there are HIPAA laws, but I also know no one gives a shit about them.

Finally the doctor was in to see me. His jokes were the exact same as twelve months ago ("there is a side effect to this birth control - you can't get pregnant"). Perhaps he thinks us annuals have forgotten our last appointment by the time the next one rolls around, but he obviously doesn't know me. I might not know when my anniversary is, but people's idiosyncrasies I never forget.

We made idle chatter. He said I had a small cervix, but that was a good thing, right? (He was asking me? I don't even know what it is). I told him I was the only person in the waiting room who wasn't pregnant other than that one teenager's mom. He laughed, but perhaps was disturbed by my barren womb. After all, us annuals don't keep him in business (the Catholics do). I told him to notify me if I can ever get my prescription renewed over the phone, but in the meantime I'll see him next year.

I have been losing any baby fever I once had as each day passes. Yesterday I suggested to Steve that we get a second dog. I quickly realized that a second dog family means a no kids family, and just how close we are getting to becoming that. We have already sent out a photo Christmas card which included our dog, so now we're only one step away from buying him a Santa hat and sticking a red nose on him and making believe he is our offspring.

So, long story short: no, I didn't drink the water at the doctor's office (yes, of course he said that - he's all about the recycled jokes). But yes, I did consider what we would do with these empty rooms if we weren't to have kids. More than one guest room would turn this place into a bed and breakfast, more than one office would mean I would need a matching important job. I refuse to make a junk room because we have a basement and I hate junk. I don't play instruments or do crafts. I already got my library. There's really only one logical explanation to why we bought a four bedroom house (and that explanation doesn't have paws). In the meantime, I will have to put up with a few more years of hearing the same jokes.