Thursday, December 30, 2010

Previously salvaged

Today could be the first time I have ever looked at my car title.
Maybe it's because I'm working too much and my brain has turned to mush, but I thought it was poetic.

It says, "previously salvaged."

I thought that was beautiful.

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
~W.H. Auden

Salvaged is to be saved from some disaster. To be saved and remain useful. I thought of how not only my piece of shit car was salvaged, but how we are. How we live through our rock bottoms and are able to continue on as someone better. The only reason I still have hope in this bleak world is because I know people can change.

Over Christmas, my siblings and I went to the theater and watched "How Do You Know." The movie is somewhere between fantastic and terrible, but probably closer to the latter. Regardless, there was a part at the end where Paul Rudd tells Reese Witherspoon about Play-Doh.

He tells her that it was made to be cleaner to remove soot off of wallpaper. But when people switched from using coal burning furnaces to oil fueled ones in the '40s and '50s, demand for the product evaporated. The company was in danger of going under when a family member discovered kids liked to play with it. It was remarketed as putty for children and the family business was saved.

The point of the story was that we're all just a tweak away from our full potential. That although now we may be shitty assholes, we can still be salvaged. That one difference would make all the difference.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
~Robert Frost

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

mattress situation, greener grass, Christmas bow

I just finished up a week with my family and two days back at work.

I am exhuasted.

My mom tried to make Steve and I feel at home by putting us in a bed we can share.
This is difficult in a house that doesn't have mattresses larger than full sized.
So she and my little brother shoved two twin beds together.
The mattresses are older than I am.

Now I need to go to the chiropractor.

But it was thoughtful of her all the same.

I was jealous that my sister got an air mattress until she woke up on the hard basement floor with no air left in it.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side, just usually.

* * *

Having siblings teaches you to compare yourself to everyone else.

And Christmas presents are no different.
I now see why most parents are very careful to spend the same amount on each of their children; because if they don't, the kids notice.

It seems very stressful to be a parent.
You're always trying to make your kids happy or at least keep them from hating you.
How do you do it? It's realizations like this that scare me off the idea.

That and even more stretch marks and not sleeping through the night and toys that make noise and premature piercings and deadbeat boyfriends and...

But there must be some good in it, too.
An overanalyzer can't even tell what color the grass is anymore.
I'm talking about myself, of course.

My mind is so unraveled that I forgot how I wanted to end this.
That is unusual for me because all the time when I am writing I am thinking how I can sum it all up and tie a nice bow around it on the last sentence; how I can accentuate what I was trying to say. But honestly, I don't know what I want to say today. I just know I want to say something because I am having blogging withdrawls. Sorry I couldn't tie a nice bow on my thoughts today. Just imagine this blog is like the last present under the tree where there was a bow on it at one time but now it's in a gift bag stuck to some tissue paper because of all the jostling. Yeah, I like that.

Monday, December 20, 2010

most worthless words

On the radio they were taking calls for the most annoying words of 2010. "Whatever" won in a poll. To me, that's not that bad.

That got me thinking...

Most annoying words:
1. Sure
As in an answer to a question. Answer the god damn question!
2. Fruition
It's one of those words I think people say just to sound smart (like "plethora"). I hate the sound of it. It makes me cringe, actually.
3. Ya'll
I had never heard it used in excess until this season of "the Apprentice," and now I can't stand it. It sounds lazy and purposefully hickish.
4. Proactive
I never want to hear that word again! It is overused in the workplace and relatively meaningless in my line of work.
5. Vaca (vay-cay)
How lazy have we become that we have to shorten everything?
6. Just
When meaning "only" or "merely." As in, "I just spent $300 on this pointless piece of crap."
Just is used to justify something stupid.
7. Irregardless
I absolutely hate words without meaning
8. Abhor
It sounds filthy
9. Pacific
(when it is supposed to mean "specific")
10. Heighth
and any other words with added letters or subtracted syllables.

And some favorites:
1. Suburbia
2. Tinsel
3. Moron
4. Audacity
5. Carny

Sunday, December 19, 2010

letters from home

Today I have a to do list longer than I am tall. Only two more days until we board that plane, and two days doesn't seem like enough time for everything I have to wrap up at home (literally and figuratively). I was looking for these photo holder stickers so I could send off a book, and couldn't find them anywhere. I went down to the basement to see if they ended up in a box in a tub somewhere.

In a tub was a box and in that box was a bunch of letters I've saved. Letters from the people I love the most: the people who love me back. There were letters from my sister and my dad, from my college roommate Karen, from my best friend Patrick. There were letters from Stephen before we got married, scribbled on the backs of receipts or on scrap paper from the company we worked at together. I found a letter from my Grandpa dated 1998 which meant so much more to me now that I've lived more and can understand what he meant. There were letters from Gracie's parents and grandparents. Letters thanking me and letters telling me they loved me.

I found myself sitting on the cold concrete floor, tears streaming down my cheeks and snot dripping out my nose. A biography of my life in letters people have written me. Feelings and conversations that I have since forgotten are there in that box, written on bright stationery or dingy receipts. Why is it that the parts of life so easy to forget are the times you felt loved and the times easiest to remember are the times you felt pain? Despite my feelings, I have never been alone. There are people who love me and care for me even though I'm a Superbitch most of the time. And when they can't say it outloud, or when they can and know that it would mean more to me in writing, they write it down so I can keep it always. It is there in the basement: this burning warmth in the cool dampness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pounds on board

I did something stupid.

Reeeeeeal stupid.

I stepped on the scale.

I noticed my love handles expanding a few days ago, but then later I had one of those mornings where I hadn't put on my glasses yet and thought I don't look that fat today. So that's where the scale came in.

I thought maybe it had overlooked that I am working out less and eating more. I thought maybe it was forgiving me for not stepping on it much recently and was going to reward me with a nice number under 150. I didn't think. The reality hit me like a sack of potatoes to the back of the head.

I am a chubster.

You all know by now that over five years ago I had a baby. Well, once I returned home from the hospital, I stepped on the scale. What I weighed then is what I weigh now. Eeks. This time I don't have a child growing inside of me to blame.

So I will continue to blame having a baby for forever ruining a woman's figure. It does. Well, it did mine, at least. That coupled with my aversion for dieting and my lack of self-control around anything from the baked goods category. But we can blame lack of control on pregnancy too, right? (I hear all these stories about bladder control going out the window after child #2).

I know Denise Richards and Kelly Ripa and Heidi Klum and all these other skinny blond bitches had no problem going back to washboard abs and perky tits. Well, I live in reality - you know, that place separate from personal trainers and catered meals under a daily calorie count of 2,000 (gasp). So hello, 155. Welcome you couple extra straggling LBs that just made it on board. We've been expecting you. After all, I live in reality.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bitch naked on a trampoline

I know my blog posts have become a bit sporadic. I hate myself for it. But I'm working a lot and working out when I can to prevent the second chin that is trying to arrive in time for Christmas. My page came up in some more interesting Google searches, so since that's easy, that will be my post today. The shit people Google, I tell ya. Oh, and I'm glad you can't see what I've Googled because some of it is pretty embarrassing.

1. 2010 boy scout popcorn overpriced
Oh, so it isn't just me?
2. Can you have no reflection in a mirror
If you're a ghost or invisible
3. I hate the word foodie
So do I. And "prego" and other kidsie sounding words (save for "carny")
4. Bitchlust
Who doesn't want a good bitch?
5. I worried about bitching me at work
Maybe you should start doing your job properly then
6. These donut bitches used to believe they were grown up bitches
I'm just proud that I appear if you Google "donut" "bitches" and "grown up"
7. Announcement of Rich Brown being named CFO of Garden Ridge
I imagine Rich's disappointment when he Googled his achievement and found nothing but my blog.
8. Bitch naked on a trampoline
Sorry to disappoint in my lack of nude photos here, but trust me, you don't want to see this.
9. Sweaty women
Some people have weird fetishes.
10. Stepbrothers sweater vest
I have made it on Google! I come up in sweater vest searches!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

separation anxiety

Just as children, step by step, must separate from their parents, we will have to separate from them. And we will probably suffer...from some degree of separation anxiety: because separation ends sweet symbiosis. Because separation reduces our power and control. Because separation makes us feel less needed, less important.
~Judith Viorst

It's been six years since that Christmas I was pregnant: when the morning sickness was just about to begin along with the emotional tornado that has become me. Over five years have passed since Gracie was born. While those years have passed somewhat uneventfully for me, this whole time, she has been growing taller and smarter and more personality.

Without me.

I gave life to her, but her parents gave her the life she has. They are doing a spectacular job. Much better than I could.

Girls who get pregnant unexpectedly sometimes feel they're the only candidate for the job of mothering. Responsibility should go to someone responsible. And six years ago, I was not. I am glad I recognized that then.

Although the separation will always be an emotional choice, I can still watch her grow up; with the pictures, emails and Facebook messages her parents send me. Today they sent me her letter to Santa and I smiled to know a little about her.

She is a daughter apart from me, but always a part of me. I will never let go of that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sexiest Man Alive

After yesterday's post about creeps, did anyone catch Millionaire Matchmaker? Creepiest guy ever. I wasn't sure if he is a serial killer or a cannibal, but either way, I'm having nightmares tonight.

So onto a lighter topic: People magazine recently released their 2010 Sexiest Man Alive issue. Some of the men were ugly, some of them were OK, and a couple actually were sexy. Since I disagreed with some of the picks, I figured I would chronicle my own (very subjective) Sexiest Men Alive list:

It doesn't get hotter than Beckham. Period.

Not physically perfect like Beckham, but there's no denying his sexual magnetism.

John Stamos! (I am the uncast third brother on "Stepbrothers")

What can I say? I hate to be cliche' but he's the All-American guy. Sometimes what is popular is popular for a damn good reason.

Overlooked and underrated. It's a shame he never made it too far out of the OC.

It's next to impossible to find a picture of this one without Kardashian. Did people know who he was before? (also, why doesn't People ever make an athlete their Sexiest Man Alive?)

I have to agree with People's winner for the year. He's in peak physical condition. If humans were judged like dogs in shows, Ryan would win the blue ribbon (Beckham would lose out because of the tats - those judges are stuffy traditionals).

I like to round off my lists in even tens, but no one else came to mind. I called in my husband for help and he said, "aren't you forgetting someone?"

Oh yeah...

Monday, December 6, 2010

creeps on the loose

Remember the list of all the shit you can't write on a personalized license plate? Some of those were merely the mention of anything religious. So that's not allowed, but this is?


I imagine the inside is stocked with Boone's Farm and those Camel cigarettes in the pink boxes which are supposedly marketed for children.

Never let your teenage daughters near Hobby Lobby where we found this man. He must have been loitering in the bead aisle before hopping in his ride to go look for young blood at the skating rink, where with any luck Chris Hansen will be waiting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the pitter-patter is a rabbit in the front yard

Sometimes, I feel my life is somewhat trivial and meaningless. It's been over four years since I got married and five years since my daughter was born. And since that time, I feel like I've done nothing. I've had a hundred jobs and paid my rent and kept Furniture Row afloat, but have I really done anything?

Is it selfish to say having someone to depend on me would make me feel like there was a purpose to my life? Because that's how I feel. I don't mean people without children don't live fulfilling lives, I just mean that I don't. There is nothing special about me and my daily comings and goings. I am not shaping anyone's life or influencing anyone. I am existing.

I don't particularly like babies. I don't like how they can't talk and are always screaming. I don't like changing diapers or sucking boogers out of noses with a baster. But babies grow up to be cute little boys who play little league games and cute little girls who want to dress themselves in mismatched clothes.

That part doesn't sound half bad. I have already thought up traditions we would keep. I have thought of names and smiled at the thought of furnishing another room. I know what books I would buy them and where I would put the playhouse in the backyard. I know where I would lock Steve's booze up at and where I would hide their Christmas presents from Santa. I am playing house, but with only the house.

Monday, November 29, 2010

a little coast left in me

In a conversation, I heard myself refer to I-80 as "the interstate." Oh God, I thought, it's happening. After five years of my waning resistance, Nebraska is eking it's way into my personality. I've always been proud of the geographical location of my upbringing, but I'm afraid regardless of it, I'm turning into a Midwesterner. That scares the hell out of me. So I've compiled a list of things that sets me apart from my neighbors to make myself feel better. It's all I have left now besides the occasional, "you're not from around here, are you?"

1. I still haven't worn tennis shoes with jeans
2. I've managed to remain under 180 lbs
3. I don't eat any food made of corn except popcorn which doesn't count because it's a snack
4. I hate Runza
5. I don't wear red on game days and in fact I don't own any red clothing save for one sweater vest I bought in a sweater vest frenzy.
6. Lake Okoboji is not "the beach"
7. Bad teeth are still a turn off
8. "Supper" is "super" misspelled to me
9. I don't own a John Deere, Harley, or a pickup truck
10. Neither me nor my dog hunts
11. I still can't cook
12. I've never ordered from Omaha Steaks
13. My outdoor grill is tiny
14. I don't have a quilt on my bed
15. All my silverware matches
16. I don't own wind pants
17. My hair is not brown
18. I don't consider Plato's Closet to be high fashion
19. I didn't go to the Olive Garden after prom
20. Both my car headlights work

Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Tannenbaum

Over the weekend, Steve's grandpa told me about the first outdoor Christmas tree. I thought about it today while I trimmed my indoor one. Before these lights that are such a hassle, they had candles on the trees. Just when I think modern conveniences aren't convenient, I realize the alternative is a fire waiting to happen. Read this story; it's fascinating.

was Christmas Eve 1914. On a quiet street in snowy Denver, a young boy lay in his upstairs bedroom, too ill even to be carried downstairs to join family members around the Christmas tree. According to the attending physician, this would be 10-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon's last Christmas.

The boy's grandfather, D.D. Sturgeon, one of Denver's pioneer electricians, could not bear to see his grandson completely miss out on the holiday festivities. Saddened and desperately wanting to brighten the small lad's holidays, he took some ordinary light bulbs, dipped them in red and green paint, connected them to electrical wire and proceeded to string the glowing baubles onto the branches of a pine tree outside David's bedroom window, within easy view of the boy's appreciative gaze.

News of Sturgeon's efforts to please his grandson spread throughout the city and, night after night, folks came by horse and carriage to see the wondrous sight of an outdoor lighted Christmas tree. And it's no surprise that they were so fascinated, considering the fact that David Jonathan Sturgeon's Christmas tree holds the record for the world's first outdoor electric lighted Christmas display.

Complete story here
By Doris Kennedy
with special thanks to the Denver Post

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DDs without a bra: must be fake

Apparently there is a new gym in town. We have tons of gyms around here which is surprising because most everyone in the midwest is fat. Although I'm sure that's how gyms make their money: off the fat people who buy memberships and don't use them. The skinny marathon runners that are damaging the gym cardio machines are losing them money. Anyway, I received this ad in the mail today:

Is this what you look like when you work out? Do you put your giant hoop earrings on and wear your necklace that dangles right into your DD cleavage that doesn't need a a sports bra during all that jiggling? That is what I call false advertising. I have DDs and I work out and I look a bit more like this:

With my honesty, I could never hold a job in marketing. I wouldn't be able to sell water to a millionaire dying of thirst. He would take one look at my sweaty middle and say, "no thanks, I'd rather die."

And with my post-workout look, you best believe I stay in the comfort of my own home. No one wants to see my tomato face. While I was running on the treadmill in my basement tonight, the neighbors pulled into their driveway and their headlights were shining into our basement window. I thought, oh no, I hope they can't see me. They're three times my age and probably can't see ten feet but the thought occurred to me nonetheless.

So no, Aspen Active, thanks for the VIP offer, but I will be staying in my basement away from your flying boobs and sweat-destroyed silver jewelry. Nothing personal (or maybe it is since your ad says, "finally...a health club that cares about it's members" - maybe they do need me in marketing after all).

P.S. For those of you who have never met me, the second picture is not me. It's some girl named Staci from Google images. I would never be caught dead in those rubber band contraptions that are giving her knees a Spanx boob effect: even in my own basement.

Monday, November 22, 2010

dreams uninterrupted by an alarm clock

I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from working. But the enjoyment stops there. I do not like feeling stressed and anxious and worried. Nothing can do that to me quite like work can. I dream about work when I'm not there. I worry about about getting behind. I feel stressed if I don't execute everything flawlessly. I have impossible expectations for myself which makes me feel like there is no option but to quit and try something else: until the exact same feelings build up and I start over: an endless cycle of quitting while I'm ahead and then starting again. I always want to be ahead, never behind.

I dream of the day I can pack working an 8-to-5 in. But I know it's not realistic. Steve and I bought this house as a dual-income couple with expectation of remaining a dual-income family. I bought my desk on credit that I have to pay off by working. It all seems so convoluted: working so I can enjoy my hobbies but not enjoying my hobbies because I'm working. Steve tells me I don't know what I want, which is true. He tells me I would be bored if I didn't work and that the novelty would quickly wear off like it does for everything else.

I'm afraid he knows me better than I know myself. So then the only solution is to be a writer. To work in my home at my desk, with no one to answer to but myself. My only Excel spreadsheet is the log of poems submitted to literary journals. I would type a nonsense blog until I got my creative juices flowing enough to write something else. I would go to Starbucks when I had writer's block and if that didn't cure it, I would shop for home decor among the clocks and framed art and vases of Garden Ridge, Marshall's, and JCPenney.

I would read on our chair with matching ottoman in the corner by the fireplace with Tucker snuggled up next to me under a blanket. And somehow, checks would come. I would get rejection letters, sure, but few and far between. For the most part, I would submit my writing and an editor somewhere would think it was brilliant and needed to be shared. That is my dream. Lofty, sure: but aim high. I heard on the Apprentice that "genius is perseverance in disguise." Who says the perserverance has to be at my 8-to-5? Maybe, just maybe, if I persevere at my hobby, I can turn that into my career. I think someone somewhere has done it before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the big tearjerker

I've praised the Big C before. It's only been one season, but it has to be one of the most thoughtful shows ever made. I know a lot of people don't have premium tv channels and haven't seen it, so if that's you, watch this final scene in the finale episode.

This scene and this song ("Lullaby" by Sia) have been on my mind all week.

Laura Linney's teenage son was just told his mom has cancer and while she is at the hospital, he finds an envelope in her purse which says, "don't open until I'm gone." He opens it and finds a key to a storage unit. This scene is what he discovers in that storage unit.

I cried my eyes: it was almost to the extreme of needing frozen spoons to depuff them before work the next morning. If you know someone with a life-threatening disease, think of them; think of how it would feel to lose them. Life is sacred. It could be all we have. Enjoy all of it you get.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

piling up treasure

So I did it. I read those five library books within my three week time frame to show the bitchy librarian I could. Sure, I finished the last one in the parking lot next to the book drop today; I need a deadline so I can push right up against it. I think this is my first time to check out books and not renew them in three years. It took some sacrificing tv shows and even a workout, but I read those books.

In the J.D. Salinger book I read, Franny and Zooey, Franny says that everyone is "piling up treasure on earth. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money or property, or even culture or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me if you take off the wrapping."

I love that. Often we measure success just by the amount of money someone has and the possessions they own. But treasure is treasure: to one man it is money, to the next it is knowledge, to the next it is happiness. Anyone can be successful, not just the rich. Anyone can be rich, not just the wealthy. The definition of the word lies in your definition.

Sometimes I think that anyone can be happy who will be content. But then I think can someone with goals outside of who they currently are be content? And then I think if someone is content, how can they be happy without dreams to motivate them? No one has the answers; if we did, we would not continually seek knowledge. Perhaps happiness does not lie in contentment but the constant pursuit of it. Perhaps happiness is constantly evolving into someone better than your current self, piling up treasure all along the way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

vote veto

Around here, there is a petition going around to recall our mayor. People aren't happy with his tax hikes and general weaselness. It's on the radio, it's on signs in the neighborhoods, and worst of all, it's harassing me. I can't go anywhere without being asked, "are you a registered Omaha voter?" by some crazy granola-eating mom with frizzy brown hair and a purple jacket. You would think a simple "no" would be an easy out. I've got news for you: it opens a whole new can of worms.

The last time (before today) that I was accosted was downtown by a boyish man (or is it manish boy?) who still wears ski sweaters like it's ninth grade all over again. When I told him I'm not a registered voter, he responded, "that's a shame." Oh that's a shame? No, what's really a shame is your god awful wardrobe and the fact that you still live in mommy's basement on a moth-eaten couch, not the fact that I don't don one of those side oval stickers on my lapel the first Tuesday of every November.

Today, it was at the post office. I was picking up mail from my employer's P.O. Box. I was dressed in work attire, not in sweatpants that the people running errands were in. Obviously I'm on a mission, not a casual errand. Tell that to the frizzy-haired woman (who has asked me three times in a week) who again asked if I'm a registered voter. She apparently had ate one too many mushrooms in her hippie days, because she asks me on my way in and on my way out of the post office every time. So I told her firmly, "no, I'm not a voter," and she said, "well we've got sign ups inside." Well I'll be. I had forty unemployment claims in today's mail, that doesn't mean I expect her to help me protest them all.

People think it's a god damn civic duty to vote when really it's a right I choose not to exercise. So what do you care if I don't vote? It's none of your god damn business but since you're asking, I don't vote in political elections for the same reason I don't pick up trash on the highways or participate in fund-raising walks for the cure; because it doesn't make a lick of difference whether I do or don't: the outcome will be the same with or without me. People get so god damn preachy about the whole issue like I'm personally offending them because I don't give a shit about which weasel is in office.

You wouldn't like it if someone tried to shove their religion up your ass, so don't mind me if I'm not enamored by your attempts to convert me into your world of watching too much Fox News and thinking that voting is the answer to the world's problems. We've been voting for centuries and as far as I can see, the great US of A has discriminated against blacks (slavery), gays (marriage and the benefits of it), and legal immigrants (Japanese, German and Italian) under this democracy, so I'm not seeing the whole system as much of a solution. Call me unpatriotic or whatever you want, just don't badger me to vote.

P.S. I apologize for the excessive use of "god damn" - I've been reading a lot of J.D. Salinger lately.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

read someone else

Last night it snowed. Steve and I watched out the window together as the snow swirled under the streetlights. We ordered Jimmy John's because I don't drive in snow (instead, I force other people to). I finished a book in bed while Steve watched comedies downstairs. I wrote a poem inspired by the children playing outside. It was the perfect winter day.

This morning my aunt and cousin are coming to visit. I must exercise and tidy up and I don't have nearly as much time as I would like to write a blog. So instead of reading my prattle, read this. It is my friend Melinda's blog. She is my age, but much wiser than her years. I am very lucky to know her and to call her my friend.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

save me from myself

People get married for all sorts of different reasons.

The most common reasons I've come across are:

1. Dual income/benefits (this includes marrying for U.S. citizenship)
2. Already have a child together
3. Come from an ultra religious family and think a marriage certificate is the only way to have sex without rotting in hell
4. Want to start a family
5. Believe in true love

The best way to sum up the reason I'm married is in the lyrics of a Christina Aguilera song (because I'm deep like that):

Save me from myself

It's not so easy loving me
It gets so complicated
All the things you've gotta be
Everything's changin'
But you're the truth
I'm amazed by all your patience
Everything I put you through.

When I'm about to fall
Somehow you're always waitin'
With your open arms to catch me
You always save me from myself.

Don't ask me why I'm cryin'
'Cause when I start to crumble
You know how to keep me smilin'
You always save me from myself.

I know it's hard, it's hard
But you've broken all my walls
You've been my strength so strong

And don't ask me why I love you
It's obvious your tenderness
Is what I need to make me
A better woman to myself
You're gonna save me from myself.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

my nook

I covet furniture. My perfect date would be browsing Ethan Allen, eating some pasta, then finishing the night off with a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. I want to shove rich brown wood furniture into every crevice of my house; I want a place to sit against every wall. A nice desk has been on my dream list for years. And finally, my dream came true. This arrived on Saturday:

Yes, I know it's not in perfectly presentable shape. I don't have nice bookends or pictures on it yet. I don't have the big chair to go with it. But I've learned you don't wait to show something off when it's perfect, because perfection never comes. An old co-worker of mine said she decided to have two house warming parties: one for when they just moved in, and one for when they had everything as they wanted it. It's been twenty years, and she still hasn't had the second party.

That was a tangent: back to the furniture. The problem with buying new furniture is once you start, you don't know how to stop. Seriously, just ask the credit department of Furniture Row. Now that my desk is in, I realized the leather chair in the den that Tucker loves to lay on is much too bulky and raggedy; I need some sleek decorative chairs instead to match. I could use a lamp on the desk. A smaller computer tower that I could put below would be nice. Wanting is a real problem for me.

But all my wants aside, I am a very happy girl, sitting at my very own desk, playing FreeCell every night. This room belongs to me. It is my little nook full of the things I love most: books and the internet. Now put a tv with DVR box and the pantry full of cookies in here and I'm all set. And, of course, the new chairs and lamp.

Monday, November 8, 2010

no reflection: just the mirror

I'm constantly surprised by how little we know ourselves.

I thought about it yesterday when I ordered my Jimmy John's sandwich: the Bootlegger Club with no tomatoes, add cheese. The funny thing is, I used to get a Turkey Tom with no mayonnaise add sprouts. Until I tasted mayonnaise; then I kept the mayonnaise on it. And then at work the orders got messed up and I ended up with a Bootlegger club instead. And I liked it better. And then one of my Facebook friends posted about her favorite sandwich being the Bootlegger club without tomatoes add cheese and I thought I should give that variation a try. I've just been discovering lately that I'm not all that thrilled about tomatoes. And now, instead of kind of liking Jimmy John's, I crave it. Because now I've found what I love. I didn't know before.

Before I ever having a boyfriend, I thought I liked blonds. Now I can spot "my type" (how I hate that phrase!) from a mile away: crooked smile, dark hair, scruffy face, dimple a plus. Before buying a car, I thought I'd want a yellow one. I know people are always changing and evolving, but we don't know what kind of car we will want until we have a driver's license and the money it costs to buy one. We don't know how we will react to a situation until it arises. And each time something new happens, we learn a little more about ourselves: that elusive mystery we live with every day.

You would think knowing yourself would be the easiest person to understand, when in fact, it's the most complex. You can not see yourself objectively or judge yourself on one simple distinguishing characteristic; that is reserved for other people. For ourselves, we assume we have the answers even though the questions were never asked. There is this book that I own that I have bought for a few people who share my love of lists:

It asks questions that would seem so basic, but many of them I had never thought of since I hadn't been asked. My favorite part about it is picking it up each year and adding to the lists and laughing at what I wrote before. And somewhere between all the lines, there is who I am.

Today, I read the page entitled, "my character flaws." My answers read: impatient, quick to become irrational, judgmental. There are many more lines to go, but the day I wrote these, I was being kind to myself. And looking back years later, I realize some things I do know about myself. The glaringly obvious facts that people are always pointing out to me. But I wonder if I hadn't heard it from so many people if I would even recognize these in myself.

Probably not. Like I said, I'm constantly surprised by how little I know myself.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

one bedroom apartment

Being alone doesn't have to equal loneliness.

I know plenty of people who are married who are unhappy. I also know quite a few people who are single who are happy. If there's one thing I've learned in my 27 years of life, it's that the strong people do not need someone else to complete them. Because they are complete all on their own. They are not half a person or in any way worth less than a couple is. All the joy and shit that life brings, single people can do it all on their own, and that's something most couples can't say.

Us couples depend on each other to make it through a day. I, for one, can't open a bottle of Raspberry Smirnoff without Steve. I can't clean the house without him vacuuming. I do like having someone to listen to me vent after a long day at work. I like to have someone to watch movies with: I am not ungrateful for my relationship. But seeing movies, you would think someone who is not in a relationship is half a person; you would think snuggling under a blanket with someone while sharing a bowl of popcorn equals bliss. In all reality, some of us in couples have our own recliners with our own blankets.

I love my husband very much. He gets me and doesn't bother me too much. But if anything were to happen to our relationship, I think I would try it on my own. I do love my alone time. When you are separated from influences, that is when you are yourself. Tonight, I sang at the top of my lungs after having a few beers: that's something only single people like Bridget Jones can do. Only single people can buy whatever they want and control the remote and not do the laundry without repercussions.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, I'm saying both are wonderful: enjoy whichever one you're in. The road more traveled is paved with cement and populated with cities while the road less traveled is rural with fantastic scenery.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book it

I still go to the library. I know, it's very 1991 of me. I buy any books I can get my hands on from the $2 rack at Half Price books, but that doesn't include many good ones. So when I want to read something worthwhile, I hit up the library.

I checked out five books. The librarian gave me a judgmental once over as if to say, "no way in hell you're reading all these in the three week time frame." So what if I had One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest checked out for six weeks and still only finished 80 pages? That book was awful. She thinks she knows me and that I will have to renew these. So now I'm on a personal quest to prove her wrong.

Five books in three weeks. Well, 2 1/2 now. And yes, three of them are children's chapter books so it should be pretty damn easy. But perhaps you're forgetting that I work a full-time job where I don't take lunch breaks and each night I spend an hour walking and I have to watch my tv shows, too. There just isn't enough time in my life to read books. But for the next 2 1/2 weeks, I'm going to make some damn time. I'll show that bitch with her glare what I think about snobs.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I know I'm not that old, but seeing kids these days, I feel older than I am. My nephew is four and can navigate an iTouch better than I can. Seeing how much has changed since I've been alive makes me wonder how different things will be ten years from now. I mean, remember:

1. When your phone was only used for calling people
2. When your computer was two colors: black and green
3. Typewriters
4. Sending mail through the post office
5. Walkmans
6. Winding those god damn cassette tapes because the tape was always coming out
7. Your first cell phone that didn't even flip open
8. Blowing on video games to unfreeze them
9. Literally recording tv shows with your VHS player
10. Records
11. Buying an entire CD just for that one song you liked
12. Computer paper with perforation and holes on the sides
13. When eBay was actual people selling their old shit
14. Sending checks to pay for things you bought on eBay
15. Radio shows as entertainment (Fibber McGee & Molly, Suspense, Dragnet et al.)
16. Take and bake pizza
17. Books
18. Bikes and scooters without motors
19. Disney movies before Pixar
20. Developing film to see your pictures

We've come a long way, baby. Every thing is faster and more convenient. It scares me to think of what could be next (although Steve mentioned cars that drive themselves - that's one modern marvel I am not afraid of).

Tell me what you miss that I missed. Or maybe you don't miss it, but you laugh now at what a pain in the ass it was then.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

before i hate it...

Winter blew in yesterday. Tucker and I were on our daily walk because neither of us is ready to let it go yet. The wind blew his beard like he was on the cover of Glamour. I gloved up for the occasion. At the post office today, the distinctive smell of a heater just-turned-on-for-the-first-time-after-the-summer-months filled the air.

I put the down comforter on our bed. We slept in later because we didn't want to get out from under the covers. The skin on my nose is already getting dry the way it does in the winter. The trees are naked and I saw birds flying south in a V on my drive home today.

I went to the library and borrowed some books. I laughed out loud while reading today at lunch. This weekend I will buy some Swiss Miss hot chocolate and some marshmallows that I will rarely use and leave in the pantry too long as happens to most all marshmallows.

I like winter. Other than the driving in the snow part and the shoveling the driveway part. If vehicles weren't involved at all, I would love winter. I like listening to Christmas music. I like scarves and hats and snuggling under blankets and reading books. I like coveting all the shiny things in ads and buying a couple things for myself even though it's not the reason for the season.

I like hanging stockings and the idea of firing up the ol' fireplace, although I haven't done it yet. I like addressing Christmas cards and getting them in return. I like to have a New Years' Party where we all get too drunk and try to piece the night together afterward.

And this year, I'm going home for the holidays. I like to see my brothers and my little niece who can say my name now. My mom makes fudge and candies and cookies which is my heaven. My dad has a Christmas ritual of pointing out all the houses with Christmas lights on them like we've done since as long as I can remember and every year he still says, "I see some lights!" to me in excitement as if he forgot that I've grown up. He wants to still think of me as his little girl.

I like to go shopping the day after Christmas where the crowds are insane with teens who got the cash they asked for and can't wait to spend it. I like to come home after vacation and sink blissfully back into normality. I like it all a lot. Not quite love, since I reserve that for fall, but a close second.

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.
~Henry Beston, Northern Farm

Monday, October 25, 2010

wedding hells bells

On Saturday, pre-glass-slinging, my recently-engaged sister and I went shopping for wedding dresses part II. We drove to some fancy place in Lincoln where they told her they don't make appointments, just come on in. We got there and had to take off our shoes. Strike one for me. I hate being brought down to my normal unshoed height. And don't even get me started on the shit that is on people's carpet that is way worse than whatever was on my sole.

The front desk girl told her it would be 2 1/2 hours until a room opened up. So we sat outside on the curb and zipped our knee-high boots back up. "What snobs! Making me take off my shoes then telling you it'll take two and a half hours!" one of us complained. Amber's friend was along as well, and her GPS told us of a bridal outlet within ten miles. We got excited thinking of a clean and organized outlet with Vera Wang and Monique Lhuiller dresses priced at $200 in perfect condition except for a gold line through the tag.

Yes, we dream unrealistically. Instead, we were greeted with this:
"Atleast they won't make us take our shoes off in here," I muttered. I was wrong. We had to take off our shoes and let our socks soak into the church fellowship hall carpet sweat-stained by countless discount shoppers in a place where wedding dresses were covered in face makeup and pit stains and kids' jam hands. I snapped a bootleg photo of the inside because I know a blog op when I see one:

After laughing manically at the selection, we left for some lunch and waited for the normal place to call us. The snobby ones with a 2 1/2 hour wait. Neither one is our people, we're somewhere in between. But given the choice, we both prefer a place without hypodermic needles under the racks. But Amber couldn't leave until she tried on a dress:

And I couldn't leave without this photo:

The whole escapade made me realize that buying my wedding dress online might not have been such a stupid idea after all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

shattered glass

Being a birth mother is not easy. It is emotionally exhausting enough on its own already. Every day you think about it and try to push it away. But always, it's there. It's a part of you that never remains in the past as some other things do. Then you throw a couple people who sling hateful comments at you into the mix and it becomes even more draining. Last night was my second instance of some drunk girl saying, "why don't you go give another baby away?" I lost it. Steve had to escort me to the car to prevent me from going to jail for assault.

When I was pregnant, the adoption agency I went through had me fill out a booklet that went through my decision making process. I found it the other day and I had answered this question: Are you thinking of making that decision based on other people's feelings? with: I want to make the decision based on what I think is best for me and my baby, but it's hard when I'm surrounded by people who don't support my decision and think I'm selfish. The woman who works at the agency wrote back, "I just can't understand that line of thinking!"

Neither can I. But it's out there. It's out there representing itself in cold stares and whispers and a few people that say exactly what they feel about it to my face. It's out there beating me down and making me feel worthless over and over again. I know I did the right thing, but it's hard to know something is right when so many people think it is wrong. I guess what's right is all relative. So you might say it was wrong when I hurled my glass at this hateful drunk girl, but I say it's all relative.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spider kids

As a kid, I was one of the lucky Christian homeschoolers that could observe Halloween without rotting in hell. Well, we'll see about the consequences later, I guess. Anyway, we didn't have a lot of money, so every year we made a costume out of things around the house (see picture from last year's Halloween post). In that post, I alluded to our T-shirts with spiders glued on them. Here's the picture:

Please note my older brother is wearing a headband with two spiders on it. And yes, those are spider rings on our fingers. It's amazing what you can find at the dollar store.

I read a blog post today where the author dressed like a pack of her mom's favorite cigarettes back when she was eight years old. I thought that was hysterical. Can you imagine that coming to your front door and asking for candy? I would say that all this sugar really wasn't good for a kid, but what would it mean talking to nicotine? I wonder what will come to my door this year. Do you think parents would mind if I snapped pictures of their kids for my blog? I can already imagine authorities being called to my house...

Holidays make me nostalgic. They make me miss being a kid and make me regret growing into an overwhelmed and stressed-out adult. It's really the little trinkets and decorations that remind me most of my childhood. Every time I'm at a garage sale, I see something that my mom owns and miss home. Look at those trick or treat buckets hanging on our stocking hooks: did you know McDonald's still makes those? Some things improve, some things die out, but most things just change colors with each new generation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I tried to google this bitch and ended up here

I'm not feeling inspired by anything lately, just overwhelmed. So we'll count on the anonymous Googlers to provide us with entertainment today (not that I'm all that entertaining, but just go with it):

The latest phrases Googled that ended someone up at my blog (pretty much just put the word "bitch" in front of anything and my blog will end up in your search results):

1. Best evolution personalized plate
I don't know anything about that- maybe "Fsh2Frg"?
2. Live for yourself not society
Preach it
3. Just bitchin translate
Translate it into what language? Some things get lost in translation.
4. Bitchin pain
Google says that's me
5. Mother using masking tape on son pictures washington
This is so demented
6. "People tell us who they are" we choose not to listen
That's from Mad Men, but I'll take credit because it's effing brilliant
7. Bring it back bitch
Yeah, bitch!
8. Bitchworlds
A video game? I think I could ace that one in thirty minutes flat.
9. Puzzle pieces falling from the sky
What are you smoking?
10. Bithcin root beer {sic}
Apparently I attract people who can't spell which has never been my intention

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Leaf me be

Today, while raking up six yard waste bags and three trash cans worth of leaves, I wondered what apartment rent prices were running these days. Having a house can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. So I forced myself to think of a happier memory: like the day we first came and saw this house.

I had poured over internet listings for weeks. Steve and I picked our ten favorite houses. Our realtor told us to meet her at our favorite house. "But I do have some bad news: it was sold yesterday." For some insane reason, she still wanted us to come look at it; to compare to other houses and because, you never know, it could fall through. Right.

So we pulled up to what is now our driveway and waited. We looked at the perfect yard and mourned that someone beat us to it. We waited and waited. Finally, Steve called her. "I'm at the house, where are you guys?" she asked. We were already at our favorite house. She thought our favorite was a different one. She hadn't met me yet and didn't know I would want the house that was the most expensive biggest newest best. She probably thought we'd be picking on charm and affordability and other bull shit like that.

So we went and met her at our second favorite house and toured house upon house until we finally ended up right where we started: at our favorite one. And now it is our's in all it's glory: the millions of leaves, the leaky water heater, the air ducts with dead mice in them (we got those sucked out last week). But I don't think I would trade it for anything, because despite all that, it's Home Sweet Home. Because we couldn't afford a brand new mansion and for that reason only. We had to settle for one that was affordable and had charm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time ain't on your side

On Saturday night, on our way home from Worlds of Fun not two miles from our house, Steve and I saw the wreckage of a terrible accident that had just happened. "Drunk driver," I had muttered. That's a real problem around here. I don't like to drive anywhere past 10 pm for that very reason.

Yesterday, I read the article: a drunk driver hit a newlywed couple. The woman, 26, died. That could have been me. Had we been at that intersection three minutes earlier, had I not insisted we stop at Dairy Queen for that Blizzard since my throat hurt from screaming, we would have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I've been thinking about time lately: how there's never enough of it. I hear people say, "I haven't found the time for ___" (working out, reading books, taking a vacation). News flash: you won't ever find time. There aren't these minutes and hours that you don't know about lurking around somewhere between your regular scheduled programming. The lurking minutes and hours are in the activities you already have.

You make time for what is a priority for you by shuffling around some of the activities that are currently sucking your time away from you. You stop watching a TV show (preferably Biggest Loser or something else that is 2 hours long). You quit sleeping in. You use your lunch break productively. I'm saying all this to myself, really. My one goal in life has always been to write a book. And thinking of death without notice reminds me that I haven't done it yet.

I've been putting off writing this book because I can always find other things to spend my time on: puttering around the house, watching premium cable, surfing the internet. Without a definitive deadline, I always think I'll find time later. But I haven't so far. So here's to making time for it now: here's to turning ambitions from dreams into goals.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

guilt cookies

In an effort to lose one of these chins by the time I fly back home for Christmas, on Saturday I decided I would change. I decided I would work out more and eat less sweets. Sunday I went for a long run. Yesterday, I didn't drink a root beer float and I didn't eat any chocolate (except where mixed with granola which doesn't count for shit since granola is healthy). I felt pretty damn good. And I didn't feel like I would wake up this morning with four new zits breaking out across my face (post-pubescent acne is a slight problem for me).

I was going to keep a journal: day 1, day 2, etc. to post for you on this blog. Well, there it is. Because today, I order four fried taquitos for lunch from this fantastic Mexican place the payroll girls order from. I had two root beer floats with dinner. And I topped it all off with two double stuffed E.L. Fudges smushed together. And I do feel like I will have four new zits breaking across my face tomorrow morning. But I'm OK with it; that's the reason I bought the face wash after all.

I felt horrible most of the night which is the reason I binged on the E.L. Fudges; our doorbell rang and since it gets dark so early now people can tell we're home with the lights on and all. That is really killing our avoid-them-and-they'll-leave tactic. It was a small boy who couldn't have been older than seven and as socially adapted as six. He was shy and had the blushing cheeks like I do. His parents stood on the sidewalk with a wagon full of popcorn; it was obvious they made him join the boy scouts to interact with other children. He asked me if I wanted to buy some popcorn. I asked him how much and he said, "different prices for different sizes," in a hurry as if he was being timed. He showed me a brochure from afar which doesn't work on a woman who was recently diagnosed with needing glasses.

I could only read one price, which was $20. I thought that rather steep for some microwave popcorn. I did a quick inventory of our pantry and realized that we really didn't need it (who ever needs something that is sold door-to-door?). I didn't have any cash (these are all excuses, I'm sure you're aware). Kids don't hear excuses, they hear only 'yes' or 'no.' So I told him 'no' and sent him on his way.

No sooner had I closed the door than I felt a wave of guilt rush over me. I made a terrible mistake. I could picture this mom muttering, "what a bitch! Who can say 'no' to a boy in a kerchief?" But I couldn't take it back. So I asked Steve to buy some popcorn from his boss' son so I can do right by at least one boy scout. I mean really, what did they ever do to me but make me scarf down E.L. Fudges out of guilt?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

worlds of thrill seekers

Two years ago, my sister and I had the perfect day: we got Starbucks and Winchell's for breakfast, then drove to Kansas City. We went to this giant outdoor mall complete with a Banana Republic and Gap outlet. We found clothes for each other and went over the allowed items limit in the dressing rooms. Then we went to Worlds of Fun for a few hours where there we no lines and we could get right back on the same roller coaster we got off of within three minutes. There was that definite fall nip in the air and everyone else was at home raking leaves or watching football. We talked and laughed on the way back home: it was carefree and adventurous.

Recently (ok, always) I've been wanting to get away. I'm a person who feels a definite need to separate myself from my daily routine every so often. I need to get out of the house, get out of the city, not think about work or chores. It is when I do something different that I feel alive. That is when I think and am inspired to write. All of my writing was written on airplanes, a weekend, or on a weekday off of work. On any normal day, I work and workout and eat dinner and read and go to bed at a reasonable time so I can do it again tomorrow.

I've been dying to have that perfect day back. In an attempt to recreate it, Steve and I drove to Kansas City yesterday after stopping at Winchell's and Starbucks. We got to the mall and Steve sat in the bar while I hurried through Gap and Banana Republic so he wouldn't have to wait too long. We arrived at Worlds of Fun where the perfect weather had brought out what seemed to be all the residents of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. Your thirty second thrill ride would cost you an hour of standing in line.

The first ride, we finally made it through the line and were harnessed into the car when the ride operator told us they needed to shut it down and we wouldn't be able to ride it. I got thirsty, but stepped out of the concession line after fifteen minutes of not moving a step and being talked to by some lonely old man with a copious amount of nose hair.We only went on three rides. We decided the third one would be our last because battling crowds was the last thing two crotchety homebodies want to deal with.

The final ride was the thrill I had been waiting for all day. I was literally drooling while we whipped around the loops and turns in the front row with only the air beneath my feet. It whipped us so quickly that Steve lost a contact. Not ten miles into the drive home, he ran over something in the road and I demanded he pull over and let me drive.

The whole ordeal wore us out. We came home and jumped in our giant bed and slept. We could have slept forever if football didn't exist. I did get away yesterday: I bought some usually overpriced clothes at somewhat reasonable prices. I got my thrill, although this time only one and it took four hours. But the memorable part of yesterday will not lie in it being carefree and adventurous: rather, it will be that yesterday I learned you can never recreate a memory.

Friday, October 8, 2010


When I was a kid, I had pen pals. Loads of them: camp counselors, kids from church that I saw weekly anyway, aunts and uncles, strangers from chain letters. If I knew their address, I wrote them letters on the personalized Looney Tunes stationery I spent my birthday money on. I ran to the mailbox each day the second I heard the mail truck coming down the hill. The mailman would tell me before handing me the mail, "you got one today," and leave it on top for me.

Now that I'm older and too grown up for frivolous niceties like sending letters to people, I don't go through the mail. I retrieve it from the mailbox and set it on the counter and Steve rifles through it: bills, ads, Val-pak coupons. Shit, shit, shittier shit (in no particular order). My glossy weekly celebrity rag is the only mail I ever end up looking at.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this:

I haven't seen a hand-written envelope in ages. But who would be writing me? Oh look - it's my neighbor right across the street from me. The one with the mailbox right next to mine. How does he know my name? I've never talked to him save to borrow his snowblower last Christmas, and I don't remember being polite enough to introduce myself. It was more like, "It must be nice to have a snow blower. Seeing I'm the only one on the street that doesn't have one, and I nearly broke my back shoveling a couple days ago, can I use your's?" The old pity routine is how women get what they want after their youthful beauty fades away.

The mail itself was junk mail. It was probably just hand-written because his printer was on the fritz: what a tease. It was something about leukemia, I don't know, Steve threw it away. I guess men get what they want by faking hand-written letters once their youthful charm dissolves into grumpiness. Didn't work on me.

Here's my contribution: hand me all those letters you are sending all around the neighborhood and I will hand deliver them. Add up the 44¢ x 100 and contribute that $44 from Holly Carter: the good neighbor who doesn't make postmen work harder for no reason. I can not believe this letter went from his home right across the street from mine, to the mailbox right next to mine, onto a mail truck, to the post office, back onto a mail truck to end up right back where it started except about six inches to the right. I'm going to go put an unstamped envelope in his mailbox with my blog URL to give him a subtle hint of what I think of his hand-written envelope.

P.S. If you knew what this title meant, you are my favorite reader.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Famous women who annoy me

Worst 4 female celebrities edition:

Most annoying actresses:
1. Katherine Heigl
2. Drew Barrymore (she is growing on me, but I will never forget E.T.)
3. Kirsten Dunst
4. Meryl Streep (I know she wins awards, I just don't get the appeal)

Singers that make me want to scratch my ears off:
1. Taylor Swift
2. Lady Gaga (talented, sure, but not for me)
3. Katy Perry live
4. Girl from Evanescence

Worst fashion sense:
1. Jessica Simpson
2. Diane Keaton
3. Britney Spears
4. Jennifer Gardner (can you say "slubby"?)

Are Look the most strung out:
1. Courtney Love
2. Lindsay Lohan
3. Amy Winehouse
4. Fergie (sure it was years ago: it settles in the face)

Should have been born male:
1. Jamie Lee Curtis
2. Hilary Swank
3. Madonna
4. Kathy Bates

Get off my TV:
1. Kathy Griffin
2. Heidi Pratt-Spencer
3. Kirstie Alley
4. Tila Tequila

I don't want to read news about you so get out of my celebrity rags:
1. Angelina Jolie
2. Snooki
3. Vienna from the Bachelor
4. Bristol Palin

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book lovers only

A blog friend of mine introduced me to a fantastic website for book lovers: Shelfari.

You have a profile and you keep a log of books you read and your rating and review of each book. You also can keep track of the books you own and want to own and befriend people with similiar taste to get ideas of what to read next. There is not enough time in this life to read every book you've been told about, so you have to pick and choose and not waste time on the ones that suck.

If you befriend me on Shelfari, rest assured you will get an earful if I waste my time on a book that sucks. Nothing pisses me off more than wasting time I could have spent watching tv reading a book. Except maybe losing things.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hicksville, USA

Those of you who read my blog from some urban location probably imagine I live in Hicksville, USA. After all, I live in Nebraska. Although I live in the state's main city, the mere mention of the name "Nebraska" or any other state that ends in "A" probably suggests to you that I live on a street like this:

With a backyard that looks like this:

And when people come to visit, their only option is to stay in a place like this:

Quite to the contrary: I live in a suburban housing development like everyone else. But my sister and I enjoyed driving through rural Nebraska to get to the apple orchards yesterday. It was a lovely fall day to be surrounded by cornfields and windmills.

We bought Amish candy and popcorn balls and taffy. We picked up some gourds and pumpkins to later decorate my "puzzle table" with (it's really the formal dining room table but it hasn't been used for anything but puzzles). Later, we went to the Omaha Nighthawks UFL game. I love fall for the few weeks we get it. I love everything about it from the falling leaves to the crisp air to the football games. And fall is absolutely gorgeous on a rural drive.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

chub reasons

I told you that I've logged over 100 miles every month now since April. But I'm still chubby. And you know what? I always will be. Here's why:

1. I always eat dessert. I mean always. After every meal and snack
2. Steve said I was tweaking the other day before my root beer float fix
3. I won't eat anything green. White is the best color for food
4. My diet can be summed up in three categories: carbs, sugar, Qdoba
5. I don't vary my workout routine. I'd rather just log miles
6. Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
7. In my work drawer next to the envelopes is a Zinger, marshmallow supreme, and a Nature Valley® Dark Chocolate Granola Thin
8. Saturday mornings were made for a Starbucks drink and a Winchell's donut
9. Steve says he likes my body, so I pretend to believe him
10. You think I'm a bitch now? Imagine how much bitchier a skinnier me would be!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Big C

Steve has been watching The Big C and telling me I'd probably like it. "No I won't," I reply. "I won't like a show about Cancer." I can think of a few other words (some expletives) that start with "C" that I would watch a show about, but Cancer is definitely not one of them. Too depressing. If I want to be depressed, I'll just log into my online banking, thank you very much.

But once I sink into that recliner, there's no getting up. So if Steve just happens to turn on The Big C, I guess I'm watching it. What the hell, we're already paying for these premium channels that only serious TV watchers would be stupid enough to pay for anyway, might as well get my money's worth.

Contrary to my premature judgments, Laura Linney is not depressed about cancer. Rather, she decides she's not going to be dull and boring anymore, but do and say what she wants. She doesn't give a shit about social niceties anymore. She starts to do things for herself. Like wake up one morning and put a pool in her backyard.

Of course, I liked it. I am a sucker for shows on premium channels. They aren't filled with commercials and they have actual story lines, not just laugh tracks. The characters are usually complex and both the dialogue and narrative is realistic yet thought-provoking. And Laura Linney? She is the perfect blend of bitchy and nonchalant. I think I am her, yet without Cancer as an excuse for my actions. Damn it, what can my excuse be?

Oh well, who needs an excuse? The Big C can mean many different things. So what if the one that relates to me is an expletive?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

retail me

I got a Banana Republic credit card the other day. I love Banana Republic. And Gap. Besides those two places, I only buy clothes online and occasionally at JCPenney (I know it's for old women, but I park there so while walking through the store I stop and buy something). Steve told me I could spend a bit over my usual allotment this weekend (don't swoon over him, ladies: I came into some extra money completely on my own and he was allowing me to spend it).

So between the extra money and now having this credit card, I feel the need to buy things. After I spend $800 I get free shipping on online orders all the time. This is what my sister would call a "marketing scheme." She loves to say that. She's always trying to talk me out of buying things as if it's going to work. But I'm OK w/being part of the very influenceable consumer public. What my sister doesn't understand is I like to buy things.

So I was online looking for something I could buy to work my way up to my $800. Problem is, Banana Republic only employs ugly models. Seriously. Take a look for yourself:
I was about to buy this cardigan and then I realized it would make me look like a middle-aged librarian who is in desperate need of a root touch-up.
Her face says: "Let me guess: you're surprised I'm a model? Well so am I!"

Needless to say, I didn't find anything online. At the mall last night I tried on some pants that I really liked but I thought, no, I could get those cheaper online with some coupon code off retailmenot. But it turns out I couldn't. So I dreamt about the pants that got away, woke up this morning and made it to the store in time for the last pair in my size. Something about not seeing them on a hideous model made me like them.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

good hammock gone bad

What do you think, should we switch lawn care services?

This is today's aerating job gone south (well, actually north).

In addition to hating Heartland Lawns, I hate how it gets dark so early. This picture was taken before I had even eaten dinner. I guess it's time to hop back on the treadmill after logging 500 miles outside these last five months.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

birthday, wax, boycott

Today my husband is 29 years old. This means that I have known him for over 8 years. I remember spending his 21st birthday with him in the Old Market Lofts at a tenant roof party we weren't invited to. Steve won an accent wall that we later gave to an actual tenant. Next, we were invited to a balding man's loft for some celebratory spiced rum (celebrating Steve's birthday, not the accent wall).

I like birthday traditions. We don't have many yet, but every year I buy him an ice cream cake. I buy the big one usually used for actual birthday parties because we've been known to eat this as a meal.
I finished running the birthday present errands of picking up booze and cigars on time this year, so over lunch I stopped to get my eyebrows waxed. Steve had just asked the other day how long it had been since my last wax; he told me he doesn't usually notice but I had definite traces of a unibrow this time. Say no more, I get it.

I love the efficiency of the eyebrow wax: two minutes of quick follicle ripping and you're done. However, there is always that one minute of tweezing the strays afterward. I laid there thinking about how painful each tweezer pull was, my eyes watering. And then I reminded myself that I've had a baby so I need to stop being a pussy about some eyebrow tweezing. But do keep in mind that if I wanted to tweeze, I wouldn't go in and get my eyebrows waxed in the first place.

Do you know what was on tonight? The season 10 premier of the Biggest Loser. And remember when I said I was boycotting it? Well my smart little DVR box remember to record it from last season's settings. But when I saw it was recording, I deleted it. I held my ground. I don't need to watch another season of hour-long weigh-ins with people crying when they drop double digits in a week saying, "I used to eat 12 ding dongs a day, I never thought I could do it!" (that very concise summary of the show is courtesy of the Birthday Boy).

Monday, September 20, 2010

If Facebook were around back then

My friend Tracey forwarded this email to me and it is too good not to post on my blog. We may not have the same political or religious beliefs, but as long as you have a sense of humor you should enjoy this. Quit being so uptight and politically correct and let go a little.

If you like this, there are two more here at Cool Material.

If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

moving past first impressions

"People tell us who they are but we ignore it; because we want them to be who we want them to be." - Don Draper on Mad Men

And people say you don't learn anything by watching tv.

For any of us who have ever summed up a person before getting to know them. For any of us who never stopped listening to someone only because we never started. For any of us who pretend to listen but are really only waiting for our turn to talk. We're assholes.

Everyone has a story; no one is one-dimensional. We choose who we want to align ourselves with in life, but if we don't give people a chance, how do we know we're picking the right people?

I was telling my mom the other day that I was giving someone I judged too quickly a chance at last. Something I should have done long ago. What people often don't realize about me I often glaze over about them: that there's more there than meets the eye. Who am I to judge a person's character? The only power I have is how I choose to react.

Monday, September 13, 2010

starting school

Can you believe that Gracie started Kindergarten today? Neither can I.

What did it feel like to first start school? I still remember, of course, since it happened in tenth grade. But before that, I did have elementary school memories with my two classmates; Chad, Amber and I all had desks packed in tightly together against the wall. It was like the table setup at The Cheesecake Factory. We each wrote our names on paper bags and used them as our "mailboxes" for passing notes to each other. We would taunt each other for having crushes on a neighbor or a kid at church since we didn't know anyone else.

When I was their age, I sat in my dad's fifth grade public school class for a day. It was Flag Day, and I was wearing a pink and blue tie-dye hand-me-down Mickey Mouse t-shirt. A piece of attire with that many hyphens can only mean style disaster. I was mocked mercilessly for being the weird homeschooler, but I kicked some ass in the field games which got them to shut up. One good thing about being the awkward skinny girl was that I could outrun all the kids who grew up on Twinkies and Coca-Cola.

In high school I was shy and introverted. In college, I broke out of it. And now, people never believe me when I tell them I was homeschooled for ten years. Probably the fact that I don't wear braids or denim skirts throws them off. And the cursing - that confuses the hell out of everybody.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Having a sitemeter on my blog allows me to see who is reading my blog. Well, names of the computer owners don't actually come up (but it would be pretty sweet if they did), but I can see from what part of the world my viewers are from and how they found my page. Usually my readers are regulars, but once in awhile I'll get a hit from a foreign country and I can pretty much bet on the fact that they weren't looking for my blog.

I've been collecting some of the phrases people have typed into Google before ending up at my site. Here are a few. I'll keep collecting for future posts because I find it hilarious.

1. shoes that look bitchin' for a night out
2. how do you remove coritsone cream from microfiber couch pillows
3. meeker mansion wedding alcohol
4. koli got screwed
5. amber pelesky piano lessons
at this point I bought her business cards since I don't want to drive business away from my sister with my potty mouth
6. firework shells
7. neighborhood bible time versus {sic} 2010
Since you might not know what that is: it's a national summer church camp that is very competition-driven. I won in seventh grade for memorizing 132 verses in four days, so knowing that people cheat by googling the verses to memorize beforehand miffed me a bit, even now
8. sarah church backpack
have no idea what this person was trying to find: did Sarah at church have a cool backpack and they thought if they googled it a picture would magically appear? Bizarre...
9. leaving wad the wurst thing you ever done alone poems
??? Was this a child with a speech and typing impediment?
10. "sober to drunk"

And saving the best for last: my absolute favorite - someone from Broken Arrow, OK googled:
i was screaming at a bitch in the parking lot in a little gray car
Again, I'm not quite sure what they were hoping to find online about that - maybe the owner of the gray car? Either way, it made my day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

vanity plates

The idiocy that is vanity plates

I was behind a red car yesterday with a vanity plate of "STMP LDY." I was imagining the driver: a short woman without feet. What else could that mean but "Stump Lady"? While trying to imagine how she pushed the accelerator and brake pedals, I read her license plate frame: "Stampin' it up!" Oh, so I guess there is another thing it could mean. That made me curious about misinterpreted personal plates. I found this article:

May 10, 2009|DeeDee Correll, Correll writes for The Times.

DENVER — All Kelley Coffman-Lee wanted to do was broadcast her love of tofu to the driving public.

So the Colorado vegan applied to the state's Department of Revenue for a vanity license plate for her Suzuki SL7 carrying the message: ILVTOFU.

Application denied.

Not only that, but Coffman-Lee's pithy ode to soy went straight onto the department's list of letter combinations banned under a state law that permits authorities to weed out those applications deemed "offensive to good taste or decency."

Wait, what? There's a list? I want to see that. So my research found that's it's not a national list, but rather each state has it's own "blue list." I fully intended on publishing a few selections from NY's blue list, but found all 9 pages to be filled with hilarious filth contained in 8 characters or less. The only choices I found that I didn't think were that bad are probably over my head and way dirtier than I could imagine. So just in case my mom reads this blog, I won't force you to read any selections by putting them in giant font bold on here. But please note I left the link for any one like me who just can't resist.

P.S. Does anyone else find it funny that we're cracking down on vanity plates? I'm sure the six-year-olds on the sidewalk with the filthy mouths learned their vocabulary somewhere other than a license plate.