Monday, August 31, 2009

posers, moochers, besties

The friendship that can cease has never been real
-Saint Jerome
(whoever the hell that is)

I have this theory about friends. In my head, I can hear people scoffing at my use of the word, so let me rephrase. (It is no secret that I am friendless). I will use the term "friends" loosely in this post to mean "people I would go out of my way to say 'hello' to." Anyway, my theory is this:

We are friends with people who somehow benefit us. Once they are no longer of use, voicemails go unreturned. For example, there is this girl who I go out of my way to say hello to only because she laughs at my jokes. I'd like to think she genuinely thinks I'm funny, but I'm a little smarter than to believe that. Even if she is just laughing to please me and get me to leave her alone, it works. I get my ego boost for the day and leave her alone.

When I was in high school, a jock pretended to be my friend in Algebra class only so he could cheat off my tests and believe I condoned it. I didn't. I wrote all the wrong answers, watched him turn in his version, than erased the wrongs and replaced them with correct ones. But I was no better: I also pretended to be friends with people to gain something for myself -- mostly loose change to buy Snickers and chocolate muffins, but that did vary a little into other food groups.

People pretend to be friends with you only to avoid being your enemy, or to sponge gossip from you, or to use your connections for a better job. People are friends with you for your season tickets or your killer parties. But where does everyone go once the party ends? They crawl back to their hovels, one at a time, until you're the only one left cleaning the glasses and wiping booze off of the new coffee table.

If you have a friend who is selfless -- who listens to you and lets you finish your sentence before they pipe in; who helps you move even when you don't offer a BBQ in return; or who goes to the funeral of one of your family members -- hang on to that person. Because people like them are hard to come by, but the selfish, thoughtless moochers are a dime a dozen.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

less is more

My dad used to tell me that the more you have, the more you need to spend as a result. I think this was a convenient catch phrase for him to use around Christmas and birthdays, and somehow always made me feel guilty about asking for things. Now that I buy everything with my own hard-earned money, I realize nothing could be further from the truth.

We bought a new bedroom set so that our old one can become a guest room. With the new furniture I also had to buy:

1. A set of sheets
2. An 8-piece comforter set
3. A mattress pad
4. Pillows
5. A mattress and box spring

And those are just the items directly related. I will also have to buy some art to hang on the walls, a tv for the armoire, etc. etc. You get the point. All I can say is somebody (anybody) better come over to our house and sleep in this guest room. I might start forcing it upon people. I will lure them over to my house and then force feed them enough booze that they can not go anywhere. Or I could go recruit homeless people and offer them a bed, a shower, and a hot breakfast for free in hopes that they spread good word and I can turn my place into a Bed & Breakfast.

I've got to start paying off all the things I've bought recently somehow, and I give any idea fair consideration.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3rd anniversery

My husband sent a dozen roses to my work.

Here are a dozen reasons I love my husband:

1. He doesn’t complain if I don’t make the bed one day

2. When I tell him I plan to buy clothes, he rationalizes it away by saying, “I buy booze.”

3. He is passionate about everything he loves (his family, football, me)

4. He calls me various terms of endearment even though they annoy me, because he actually means it

5. He is low maintenance, but doesn’t mind that sometimes I’m not

6. He makes me laugh so hard I cry by customizing songs and raps to fit the mood

7. Even though he wishes I could, he doesn’t mention the fact that I can’t cook and faithfully caters to my picky eating.

8. He calms me down when I become irrational

9. He leaves me alone when he knows there is no calming me down

10. He gives incredibly thoughtful presents by remembering things I mentioned casually in conversation months ago.

11. He reads my writing and tells me that he likes it.

12. He kisses me every day, hugs me gently in public, and still holds my hand in the car.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

bottle, Leo, baby

I was driving home today listening to my ipod on shuffle, and what are the odds that two songs in a row had the word, "bottle" in them? But you could hardly know it, because Kate Nash says it like "bah-ohl," and Julie Roberts says it like "bawwddle." I found myself pronouncing the word over and over in the car, in different ways until I nearly drove myself insane.

I got my William Rasts today and they are everything I have ever wanted in a pair of jeans. OK, they could be an inch longer, but other than that, they are perfect in every way. I am never taking them off until they get too tight, and even then I will continue to wear them but unbuttoned the way poor, pregnant, and people in denial do. Shamelessly. Hell, they're William Rasts, I can wear them any way I want and still hold my head high.

We were watching "This Boy's Life" the other day and I realized I have never seen a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in it that I didn't like. OK, hold up. I just imdb'd Leo to get that link for your convenience, and saw that he has a movie in development called, "Aquaman." I thought that whole idea was made up for Entourage. This makes me wonder how many of their other pitched shows or movies are floating around Hollywood, waiting to be picked up. Perhaps Mark Wahlberg has some ulterior motives and is using his show to make big bucks of these scripts.

Steve and I have been doing chores around the house this week and finally touched up my terrible paint job in the bathroom. It looks much better now, Matt even says like a professional. That is a stretch, but I liked to hear it. I would like to one day be handy around the house, able to fix and fix up on my own. Next, we tackle painting the pink bedroom a (any!) different color.

I have the cutest little niece who I like to hold and coo at and hold the bottle for as she devours it in record time. She was the cutest thing until last week when she spit up pretty much her entire bottle all over my shirt. The shirt is in the dryer, I still haven't checked to see if spit-up stains come out for fear that they don't. Today, she began biting on my fingers with her hard gums with such strength it made me squirm in discomfort. How can a five month old baby hurt me, you ask? Alright, well I never claimed to be the toughest sonofabitch alive, geez, give it a rest. The point being, her cuteness is beginning to wear thin a bit. Perhaps waiting a few more years before reproducing is our best idea yet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

out with the old, in with the new

Last night, while I was washing the cars and Steve was mowing the lawn, our next door neighbor came and extended his hand across the fence. Nice gesture after two months of playing a game of hide-and-pretend-you-didn't-see-me-just-dash-inside. Our neighbor had a friend with him, who he introduced as Mike, the previous owner of our house. "No he isn't," I replied, as if the idea was so far-fetched. I'm not sure why I didn't believe it, our house didn't previously belong to Lou Ferrigno. But I soon realized that Mike really was the previous owner of our house and wasn't amused by me calling him a liar.

Mike had made small talk about the bush we ripped out, how he used to be constantly trimming it. He mourned the loss of those ugly, droopy flowers in the corner which he called "pretty." When I couldn't stand anymore of that prattle, I uttered some pleasantry and returned to my chores. They sat at the patio table, chatting amongst each other and observing us. Mike watched Steve mow the lawn which used to be his. He watched me suds up the driveway which used to be his.

Mike had mentioned (OK, I had asked in my very intrusive way) that he was now living with a buddy since he had just gone through a divorce (did he say messy? Or was I thinking of the state of the house when we received it as he was talking?). I imagined him wishing he still lived in this house. Ours now, no longer his. No longer mowing his lawn or chatting over the fence with his neighbor. I wondered if he was jealous of these punk kids who took over the place where so many of his memories were created.

I thought I should do something. Perhaps go offer him that stone I found while weeding that his son wrote on with a Sharpie marker. Perhaps offer him some of his old 2x4s as a peace offering. A "thank you for your home," of sorts while doubling as a way to finally get rid of those monstrosities (everything is a monstrosity when you own a tiny car). Perhaps I should invite him in?

But I thought against it. I thought maybe it would be best to let things be. Things change, and I'm afraid Mike didn't want to be reminded of that. Gauging from his reaction to those flowers, I'm sure he would have had a panic attack when he saw I painted his old bathroom eggplant purple.

Although perhaps I should have just said, "thank you for your house." Then again, I wouldn't know the first thing about etiquette. I couldn't differentiate myself from any other Joe Schmo without some odd comments, awkward silences and and complimentary smirks. So Mike, in retrospect, I should have been more polite. Thank you for your home and the best of luck to you. And feel free to swing by and pick up all this crap you left in our basement.

Monday, August 24, 2009

garage sale

Things I’ve got rid of that I wish I still had:

A set of books my grandma bought me and inscribed; rollerblades; bike with its attached speedometer; my educational reports I made purely for fun when I was homeschooled; my track sweats (although these were stolen – I refuse to believe I lost them or tossed them out); Lite Brite; KerPlunk; spirograph.

Things I’ve got rid of that I don’t miss:

My myspace account; Birkenstocks; that piano keys afghan throw; stirrup pants; oversized t-shirts; my Sylvester collection; Tucker #1; stuffed animal hammock; green khakis; various mood jewelry; Sandi Patty (or is it Sandy Patti) cassettes; that tan corduroy men’s zip up shirt/jacket; Easter hats; Avon popsicle suspenders; “whatever” keychain; easy bake oven (those little cakes took forever!); crimping iron; scrunchies.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my spending vice

I have a problem with buying designer jeans on eBay. It's not yet to the point of needing an intervention, but I'm afraid I'm only a few pairs away. Currently, I'm waiting for the auction to get below two minutes so I can swoop in and bid (yes, I'm that buyer) on a great pair of William Rasts. OK, that is old news. I won them. Now I will instantly pay with Paypal in hopes that the seller will ship them sooner as a result.

Steve does not understand my slight obsession with jeans. He cringes when he sees the dent in our checking account over yet another pair of pants. I am getting better. Now I ask him if it's alright to buy jeans online before bidding, and he's getting better in that now he doesn't ask how much they'll cost. Or how much shipping adds to the total amount. Or why no matter how many pairs I accrue, I always seem to be wearing the same few pairs anyway. Or maybe he doesn't ask that last question because he knows the answer has to do with my fluctuating weight, and some questions are better left unasked and unanswered.

I determined today, however, that next summer I will start wearing shorts. I don't wear shorts now because (a) I'm not always smoothly shaven (ok, I'm not ever, who am I kidding?); (b) I'm translucent white (once asked at a bar if they have the sun where I'm from); (c) I insist on wearing socks at all times and I think flip flops look best with shorts. I also think tennis shoes don't look right with anything but a tennis skirt or shorts, but that's my own problem I need to sort out with tennis shoes. I'm getting off track.

What does this have to do with jeans? This means that I won't be wearing them as often. Perhaps I will get rid of a few pairs. The only problem with that is, when I have given them away, the recipients weren't appreciative of the status of the jeans. To them, they could have been Wranglers or Lee's (I'm cringing). If I try to sell them to someone I know, they'll offer me some low-ball number that I scoff at. I then tell them to hit up Old Navy, but not to bother bartering with me again. This is not the Oregon Trail computer game: I will not give you clothing for a rabbit; these are my most valuable possessions. The only place I can sell my jeans to people who appreciate their status and value is back on eBay.

Problem with this is this is where my obsession began in the first place. When I sell something, the amount in my Paypal account increases, which I rationale should be used back on eBay. It's a vicious cycle that takes up most of my closet, most of my budget, and most of my magazine browsing time. We all have our vices. What is your's? If you don't have one, perhaps I can tempt you into my sinful den of denim. Here are some pictures of must-have jeans. And no, all jeans do not look the same. This is a reason each brand has their own pocket design. No one wants to be mistaken as Lee's.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Washington weather makes me feel at home

Something there is that doesn't love the rain.

Something in everyone, that is, but me, apparently. Every time it rains, without fail, someone gripes about how gloomy and depressing the weather is. Grow a mind of your own. If your happiness is dictated by clouds, perhaps you need to see a shrink.

I love the rain.

I love watching the clouds in their various hues of gray travel through the skies in packs. I love driving with my windows down smelling the air, now freshly cleaned of exhaust. I love seeing the roads wet everywhere except for the tire tracks in front of me. I love watching the sidewalks dry: the cracks first, then the dryness slowly creeps inward.

I love running outside, knowing the rain is coming, and racing against it to get back home. I love those first few drops as they fall on me; always, without fail, I look upwards to decide whether it's sweat or rain. I love seeing my car finally shiny, even if it does have tear tracks down the sides. When it rains, my dead plants are given a second chance at life.

One of my first purchases at the hardware store upon buying our house was a rain gauge. No, there is absolutely no reason why I would need one. We aren't plowing crops or even growing herbs. The only thing we're trying to grow is our lawn, and we're failing even at that. But regardless of it's lack of purpose, I run excitedly to it, as if it were Christmas morning after each rain to see how many quarter inches we received.

The rain always reminds me of home. It reminds me of staring out the front window, not wanting the rain to stop or to continue, just watching, content.

I love how the rain makes me think in black and white.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

witchy woman

If you don't already, after reading this blog you will think I am an asshole. Either quit reading now, or prepare to have your optimistic presuppositions bashed against a rock. I am no saint.

On this morning's commute, rain was flooding the streets in a torrential downpour. My windshield wipers were back-and-forthing with such gusto that the slapping noise they made was making me insane. I had already woke up late, subsequently missing my morning coffee and egg. I was cut off, I flipped off, and the streets were such a mess that snow would have seemed a welcome relief. I was going to be late for work, and only one thing makes me more upset than being late (losing things).

After fifteen minutes (three miles), there was finally a break in traffic. There is this curve of I-80 Eastbound right after the 680 interchange where you can go whatever speed you want at anytime. There are never any cops because there is no exits or entrances where they can sneak in or out. It is its own little Neverland of road. Upon reaching this clearing, my mood sweetened ever so slightly. I pushed down my gas pedal and whipped around the curve much too quickly. There, on the left, I saw a stranded car. Well, not a car. A minivan. A red minivan. A red minivan with a large bike rack protruding from the rear.

There is only one person in all of Omaha whose vehicle matches this description, and she happens to be my co-worker. I cast a prolonged sideways look as I kept driving, my speedometer needle not wussing out for even the slightest second. That was Kathy, I mused. Then turned up the tunes. I arrived at work and quickly noticed the red minivan with the bike rack was no where to be seen. Kathy's chair sat abandoned. Must have been her. Couldn't have been anyone else, I confirmed to my undoubtful mind.

Kathy showed up awhile later and I stopped in her office to confirm my suspicion. "Hey, was that you stranded on the interstate this morning?" I asked as casually as asking if there were any glazed donuts left. "You saw me?" she asked, incredulously. "Yeah, right after the 680 interchange," I confirmed. She stared at my blankly. "Why didn't you stop, you asshole?"

"What am I going to do? I don't know how to fix anything," I offered weakly.
"You could have offered her a ride to work," a third party chimed in from over the cubicle wall.

Truthfully, I hadn't thought of that.
"I was in the right lane," I offered lamely, "and it was raining and slippery..." You probably don't believe in real life that voices can trail off, but mine did. This happens when someone realizes what they're saying is worth nothing and they have already been disregarded.

What surprises me (but shouldn't) is that I didn't even realize it was an asshole move until it was pointed out to me. Who ignores a stranded co-worker in a torrential downpour? I was still trying to justify my actions when I returned home this evening. "But realistically, would you pull over if you saw Richard stalled on the side of the road?" I asked Steve, waiting for him to blurt out, "hell no."
"Of course," he answered. "I'm not a complete asshole."

OK, well, you got me there. But I hear the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well here goes, blogosphere: "My name is Holly and I'm an asshole."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past

In hypothetical situations, I'm a forgiving person. I would realize people make mistakes, forgive, forget, and move forward. If only we could build our character on hypothetical situations: on scenarios where we can carefully think out the consequences of our actions and choose the best option accordingly.

But real life isn't quite so contrived. Reality is messy, eventful and unexpected. It is chaotic and unorganized and rapid. We get caught up in the moment and think with our hearts, not our heads. Our hearts don't tend to be as open-minded and even-keeled. Our hearts know what they want and cling to it with fierce resolve. Our heads try to talk us out of that very obstinateness.

There is a person I have never forgiven. Years have passed, and my stubborn heart hasn't melted one degree. I will not even think about this person with an open-mind, nor her actions with an interested curiosity. I cling to my original feeling of betrayal and refuse to rethink it. I still smile at the way I snubbed her when she tried to approach me and discuss the treason like adults would. Just imagine the wide-spread evil grin of the Grinch when I smile in remembrance.

I don't think I will ever forgive her. She is not a part of my life any longer, and I don't know if it even matters to her whether I forgive her or not. She could have moved past this event as just another Monday, nothing out of the ordinary. But whether or not it matters to her, it will always matter to me. I seek no vengeance, the way I originally did (if you checked internet history, there would be "how to punch people" as a Google search), but I still ooze resentment. I reak of that repugnant mindset and wish I could unset my mind.

For now, I can't; but that's not to say I won't. Time will elapse and perhaps my bitterness will ebb back to that evil abyss it came from. I would like to see only the good in people, but at the same time I am very aware that evil exists in us, too. It is lurking in the darkest parts of us: in our secrets and faults and vulnerabilities. It will find what makes us weak and strong arm it into submission. Only the powerful will cling to virtue with fierce resolve.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Love circa 1861

You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since--on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. You cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm.

I read this in Great Expectations last night, then shivered. I've never known how to describe love, but Charles Dickens certainly does. When you love somebody, lyrics of songs remind you of them. You see something that reminds you of them and want to buy it as a just-because gift, even if you're not the gift-giving type. They become a part of your being, a part of your interpretation of life. Some see glimpses, but never get to experience it. Us lucky ones know exactly what Charles Dickens was writing about.

Perhaps infatuation is love and we'll never know it.

The best life partner might, I think, be the one who sees you as you are and loves that person - the person who is boring and anxious or blotchy from a weekly scrub mask - not the imaginary one who is poetic and broodingly smart and sexy and ecstatic all the time. - Catherine Newman

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Do you ever wish you lived somewhere else? Anywhere other than Omaha, NE (or, insert your city's name here)? When I was little, my sister and I used to say we wanted to still live in the states, just in different states. She wanted to live in Montana, and I wanted to live in Louisiana. Until I found out about scorpions and being force fed crawdads, and then I quickly changed my mind.

Now, where I would really love to live is New York City. Every time I watch "You've Got Mail" or an episode of "Sex and the City," I sigh in desire of the bustling city. I would love to never have to drive again. I would love to just walk for forty blocks when I needed to clear my head. I would love to jog in Central Park. I would love to have an option of hot food at 3 a.m. from somewhere other than the McDonald's on 84th Street. I would love to see all four seasons again.

I would walk down fifth avenue and lust after clothes and accessories that are much too expensive for me. I would buy scarves, gloves, and maybe even a hat or two and stroll around at Christmas time, not to buy anything, but just to watch every body else shopping for presents. Later that evening, I would order everyone's presents online and have them conveniently delivered through Amazon. I would watch the ice skaters at Central Park and consider joining them, but probably never would.

On Thanksgiving day, I would watch the Macy's parade. I would go see the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller center. On New Year's eve, I would cram next to other sweaty bodies blocks away from Times Square, wishing I was closer to the action and farther away from this couple sloppily grabbing each other and occasionally me on accident.

I would get a little apartment in Greenwich village, if possible. It wouldn't be possible, so if I ever did move to New York, I would end up in Hell's Kitchen hoping that "Sleepers" was just a fictional movie and praying, pleading every day that my kids would grow up differently. I would people watch for hours, make up stories about them, and maybe even write those stories down and hope for them to one day be published.

Hoping...aren't we always wishing and hoping for something -anything- else?

I'm leaving you with some dreamy pictures of New York City. Even if I never do get to move there, I will hope that my husband will at least take me to visit one cold winter's day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to

It's odd having my own house. Sometimes, I look around and can't believe it's our's. Not our parents, but our's. We're old enough to own a home. We're old enough to have kids. I am becoming more and more like my parents, and less and less like a child each year. It's hard to imagine our house will one day be a home to our kids the way my parent's house was a home to me. What will make it a home to them?

Here are a couple things that made my parents' house a home to me:

Our neighbor worked for some food company and would give us surplus from time to time. She gave us a few boxes of Pop secret microwave popcorn that sat in our garage for years since we didn't have a microwave. If we ever wanted popcorn, we used this:

My favorite furniture in my parents' house is their grafanola. I used to put records on (Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Nat King Cole Christmas) and dance around until I was so dizzy that I collapsed.

We were the only ones on the block with a rope swing. It only caused a couple injuries.

Our marble board. Joel and I still haven't finished our contest to 100 wins. I think I'm up to 83 though and Joel is in the sixties. It's only a matter of time until I win that DVD we bet on four years ago (woo hoo! Huge prize).

My mom decks out our living room for Christmas. December first, we would spend half the day pulling boxes down from the attic, and the other half of the day testing Christmas lights and unboxing Avon decorations. I loved it, because it always got me into the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

big wheels, big toys, big hair

Here is what I remember from the first five years of my life:

My dad's awesome hairstyle. It's hard to forget since he still has the same one to this day.

My mom perpetually telling me to scrub my face. I broke out in a rash anytime I ate tomatoes. I still get a small one occasionally in the corner underneath my lip.

So I don't actually remember this day, but the back of the picture says 6/3/85. That is the day my little sister Amber was born. That means Chad was seriously dressed like a four-year old doctor while at the hospital. I love the galoshes, Dr. Pelesky.

Have you ever tried to think back to the beginning of time as you know it? I have. Many times. And every time, this memory is the oldest one I have. We were at Mud Mountain dam and I remember being afraid of getting slivers on the massive big toys.

Before moving into our house in Puyallup, Mom, dad, Chad, Amber and I lived in a little house in Sumner. It was just two blocks away from the park, and I would beg to go there every day. Chad and I would race our big wheels there while mom and dad pulled the wagon with Amber and our chicken dinner in it.

Wild Waves/Enchanted Village
is like a poor man's equivalent to Six Flags. They still have this little wading pool for all the little kids to splash around in. Back then, I always thought the best day ever would be spent there.

In actuality, this was the best day I remember as my younger self. I had wanted a Popple so bad, and for Christmas my dad got me one. I still have her, her name is Lisa. Now, I would prefer to have Amber's hat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why reading TIME could piss you off

Last night I ran five miles. And I did 400 crunches. Plus I did two times my normal amount of reps of weights. And then, after all that, while walking through the kitchen to grab a glass of water, I saw Steve's discarded Time Magazine, lying face-up in the trash can with a cover that read: "The myth about exercise." Of course, I knew this myth would not be pleasant to read after my last two hours of pure torture, but I'm curious by nature. Too curious. I grabbed it out of the trash (so what? there are much worse things I could have salvaged) and thumbed to the article, titled, "Why Exercise won't make you thin."

The article pretty much said that if you really want to lose weight, diet. Well here's my dilemma: I would like to weigh a few pounds less, but I don't diet. I don't think my body is physically strong enough to last five hours without a carb. I love all things carbs. Pasta, rice, bread, cookies, and muffins. Ah, muffins. I would eat a double chocolate chip one every single day if I could without ballooning to 400 pounds within four months.

While I'm being honest, I might as well tell you my weight. I know most women cringe at this, but what the hell. I'm 150 lbs. OK, I'm 150.2 pounds. In the morning. I'm not huge, I'm not tiny, I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't need to lose that much weight and I don't even need to drop sizes. I just need to fit into the size I already own. The pants are getting snug. It's been a very gradual weight climb. Maybe a pound a month over the past year and a half.

You see, I used to be an avid exerciser. That's why this article disturbed me. It wasn't written by some exercise hater, but rather a man who exercises for at least four hours a week and isn't overly large, but still has a gut. So, pretty much the epitome of me except without the large cup size. Well who knows, they didn't show a picture, so the writer could have that too, I'm not one to judge. So pretty much, he and I are both teetering between "healthy" and "overweight" on the BMI chart.

Although he had scientific studies and real life cases to back up his point of view, I disagree. I think losing and maintaining weight is all a matter of self-discipline. And whether you discipline yourself to work out or discipline what it is you let into your body, as long as more calories are going out than coming in, you will lose weight. Most of us might be able to muster up the self-discipline for one of the two. The only people who can do both are freaks of nature, like Lance Armstrong (yes, I'm still not over the Livestrong bracelets).

So tonight, Steve and I ran six miles. If I keep this up and don't fit into my jeans by October, I will reconsider my immediate disagreement with this article. But in the meantime, I'm hoping self-discipline will prove me right.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lust is all GET—Love is all GIVE

Everything is replaceable except the people you love.

I think we all tend to forget in this rat race we call life that we're not running the hamster wheel to make money. We are, of course, making money, and probably not enough, but that isn't the reason we work. We work so we can have families and a place to call home. We work so we have a few bucks on the weekends to go out with friends. We work to have health benefits in case we get sick. We work to have 401Ks that will eventually allow us not to work at all.

I see myself coveting, just lightly, but coveting none the less, and I worry that I myself am susceptible to the greed of money. And that's when I have to remind myself that there are worse things in life than driving a car without air conditioning - I can't think of any right now, but there must be. There has to be. Sure, I'd love a magic bullet (they look like they could blend a steak in two seconds flat), an elliptical machine, and a deck. But no things in life are so important that they can't wait. Except maybe tampons.

What good is a million dollar home with no company to entertain there? And what good is a $30K wedding (apparently that's the average cost of a wedding these days?!?) without your family in attendance?

I might not have a garage door opener that works, or a car that doesn't perpetually have the "check engine light" on. But I do have the most selfless mother in the world. I have the most loving, silly, kind husband. I have in-laws that treat me like I am their own: that I can laugh with and also talk to like old friends. I have a niece who falls asleep on my chest after her bottle. I have a few good friends I can confide in. These are the things we live for: and they aren't things at all: they're the people I love. Every possession I own can be replaced, but not a single one of the people I love could ever be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A few of my favorite things:

My Nike + ipod sports kit that tracks my stats on my ipod while I work out. This could quite possibly be the greatest invention ever. Ever.

This book has everything I would ever need to know in it. Everything. I have spent hours curled up with this book, and hope for many more hours to come.

My Charles Wysocki jigsaw puzzles. And my one Gary Patterson.

My sex and the city DVDs. All of them. But especially season six (part one).

My hooker boots (but they aren't used for hookin')

This picture of mine that I will one day find a way to bring from Washington to Nebraska, frame and all.

A must for my clammy hands when lifting weights.

My DVR: to watch TV on my own time, not the networks'.

No better way to spend four hours than the best computer game ever: Caesar III.

Oh yes, I'm still into sweater vests.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

stolen moment

Usually married couples don't go on too many dates, but today Steve and I had a dual date. We went to a matinee movie, then tonight went out to dinner and to the Pete Yorn concert. I've never loved concerts. I have the CD already, what difference does it make to me? But Steve really wanted to go and I was one of the only people who even knew who Pete Yorn is. That coupled with the fact that I'm his wife made me a shoo-in for his second ticket.

Zee Avi opened. If you like Adele, Tristan Prettyman and Missy Higgins, like I do, you will love her.

Then, we stood up and joined the crazy fans crowding the stage and waited for Pete Yorn to come out. The second I saw him open his slightly crooked mouth and begin to sing, I understood groupies. I might have even considered being one, but only for Pete Yorn and only if he wooed me publicly, during his concert, and begged me to come on stage and sing "the Man" with him. I would, of course. I would smile like a buffoon and sing in the wrong key, but I wouldn't even notice. Everyone else would, but I wouldn't. Even so, it would be a bigger high than any drugs could ever achieve. Let's face it, no one else in the world could ever make a harmonica look cool.

Every day I spend with my husband, I am more in love with him. Why else would I go on two dates with him in a day? Today in the car, my eye watered. Not both of them, just one eye. This formed a tear which slowly crept it's way down my cheek. Steve leaned over and thumbed it off my face. He missed the green light as a result, and was upset that he missed it. I never do that, he muttered. I smiled because he and I had a moment where time stood still. The world around us ceased to exist and it was only him and me. Him taking care of me. No matter how sexy Pete Yorn looked tonight, he has nothing on my husband.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Vehicle flirting, Nalgene, Friday!

Driving to work today, I saw a few other people with their windows down. I always feel a connection with those drivers, because I know it means they also don't have air conditioning. There is no other explanation in 98º weather. I will let those drivers cut me off and I will smile because they're survivors like I am. This morning, I saw a sight similar to this:

Now I am a sucker for a buff, tan arm with some badass tattoos on it. Plus we both had our windows rolled down...I was feeling a good vibe here. In my single days, I just might have written my phone number down on an old receipt and plastered it against the window. Well, that wouldn't have worked since my window was down. Regardless, I am not single, so I did nothing but look innocently in his direction. I thought it was sly, but nothing I do is ever sly or subtle. It was obvious, as is my specialty. But it wasn't unwanted, because I saw Mr. Tats looking back in my direction. I was feeling high on vehicle flirting when I got to work.

My Nalgene bottle broke right before I entered the door. How does that happen? you ask. I thought they were indestructible. Well so did I. Apparently they are destructible but only if you chew the loop-top lid incessantly as I do. Oh well, I have three others. I knew there was a reason I bought so many.

There is a small woman at my job who works downstairs so I have never talked to (I work upstairs), but every Friday without fail she says, "Happy Friday!" With an exclamation point. And today I grinned after hearing it knowing that she too - this woman who is always smiling and seems nothing could ever be wrong - lives looking forward to the weekend. She also counts down days, then hours, then minutes, and finally seconds until she can Ctrl+Alt+Delete her computer up, grab her keys, and sprint to her car.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jacksons, Hamiltons, and Lincolns

What ever happened to cash?

Remember this stuff? You used to receive it as a form of payment in birthday cards and after babysitting? Yeah, I used to love cash. I would make little envelopes and divide my meager earnings into them: presents, savings, my made-up club du jour's fund, etc. I saved fives and tens all year long to have enough money to spend a week at camp. I would hide it in my dad's safe and he would occasionally add a couple bucks (as "interest" he said).

I haven't had cash since college. I remember when cash was still encouraged as a form of payment, but debit and credit cards were catching on. McDonald's charged 75¢ as a surcharge to let you pay in debit card. It was so inconvenient to go get cash out of the ATM that I would rack up the 75¢ charges, even if I was only buying a $1 double cheeseburger. One time, we were leaving Cowgirls, Inc. in Seattle and I was stumbling around drunk on the sidewalk. Some bum asked me to spare him some money. "Do you take credit cards?" I asked, and laughed. He probably just thought to piss on my shoe, but if he was really innovative, he would have saved his quarters and singles to buy a credit card machine and would be making tons of money today as the only beggar who accepts Visa.

But there really are occasions where only cash will do. These are the times I curse technology and magnetic strips and wish my wallet actually contained money.

When only cash will do:

-garage sales
-buying illegal drugs
-paying your cover to get into a club/bar
-leaving the restaurant early instead of waiting 20 minutes for your waitress to run your credit card
-any act that will land you in jail
-King Kong
-swapping cash with your sister so you can take advantage of "buy one get one half off" sales

Only problem is, if you have cash, you have to worry about these freaky men with goatees and a fetish for women's accessories. But you're always suspicious of them anyway, right?


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

my little man

Meet Tucker:

Tucker is my (ok, our - whatever) 19-pound wriggly body of hair and tongue that most consider a dog. Sure, he looks like a dog, but he's more like a little human. He's like a ten month old child that understands certain words in conversation and is dying to interject, he just can't speak.

Every time Steve and I are talking about him, his ears perk up and he cocks his head at us - the most unsubtle eavesdropper ever. Even if he's not the topic, but maybe just a subtext or a tangent, he knows. He also knows to stay away from me when I'm upset, not that I'd hurt him, but because he doesn't like to hear my voice's screechy, unreasonable octave. He hides under the table or sits on Steve's lap as to protect him. Then he also protects me when he thinks I'm in trouble. We have tested him multiple times: Steve will fake punch me and I will wail for help and Tucker will stand between us and growl at Steve.

If I'm sad, he lies on my lap and licks my face for way longer than is necessary. He comes to bed with us and either curls up at our feet or noses his way under the covers. In the morning, I awake to seeing him right next to me: his head on my pillow, his body under the covers, lying on his side: copying my sleep pose. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Tucker loves the weekend, but hates Monday through Friday at 8 am. He knows we're about to leave for work, so he tries to convince us to call in and stay at home with him. On Monday he cuddle up right next to me in bed, begging me to scratch his ears. It was so cozy and comfortable and we were both so happy that I felt like a terrible mother when I had to pull myself away. He will also trying biting my pants on my way to the door. I'm not sure if he's trying to pull me back inside or rip my pants off so I can't go out in public.

Every day I come home and see him through the window, lying on his favorite chair, the leather one in the library. As soon as he sees me, he jumps up and runs to the door. The other day, while I was wet swiffering, he heard Steve's car pull into the garage and ran across the wet floor. He just couldn't keep his four legs coordinated. He looked up at me as if to ask why I had done that, then remembered his mission and ran to the garage door.

He loves to play. He will make you tug at the toy in his mouth for hours before he will give it up. He likes you to throw him a ball outside, but he can't catch it in his mouth. Instead, he traps it like a cat would with his two front paws. If you buy him a new toy, he will have the stuffing out of it within a day. There's only one toy still intact, and that is "Ralph" the indestructible stuffed dog that looks very similiar to Tucker himself.

Don't even try to pick Tucker up while you're standing: fully extended. He is afraid of heights and will jump right out of your arms. Don't try to spray him with the hose or give him a bath because he's scared of water, too. But he acts tough and barks and growls at dogs even three times his size. He is never mean to a person, but avoids the ones he can tell don't like dogs. Maybe he's considerate, or maybe he's just greedy for attention from those who will give it to him.

I can't imagine life without our hairy little mutt. Even though I originally picked his sister out from the litter. But she didn't do, because I had his name picked out even before him, so he had to be a boy. Call it destiny.