Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)



Saturday, May 29, 2010

home sweet tucker

Four years ago, I came home from my second job to see this wriggly little puppy whining in a kennel. He quickly became mine and Steve's baby. We spoil him. Every morning, he gets part of Steve's egg. Every evening, he gets a couple pieces of the meat du jour. We take him on a walk six times a week.

He runs figure eights around the two trees in our backyard when Steve mows and I weed. He has his own chair: the leather one in the library. He lies there when we're gone and watches what happens out the window. Then as soon as he hears a Hyundai or a Saturn, he jets to the door leading to the garage.
He lies next to my feet every night. Sometimes I wake up and see his head next to mine on the pillow. When Steve and I watch a movie together, he eats popcorn with us, then lies on Steve's lap.
We bought him this bed, but this photo op was the only time I actually saw him in it. He much prefers our body heat. He is attached to us. We don't think he'd ever run away because he would miss us too much. We are his everything.
I was at the pet store today, picking him up tether so he can hang out in the front yard with us, too. I don't know if it was the smell of dog hair or the cooing over puppies, but I wanted another one. A brother for Tucker. Perhaps this is similar to the moments when moms of humans decide it's time to start trying again.

But a puppy wouldn't be a brother to Tucker anymore. It would be more like a nephew or a second cousin. Four years for a dog makes him 28 according to human standards. He outgrew me. He is now older than me, lazier than me, and I imagine even more cynical than me. Maybe when he lays his head on my stomach, it's because he knows I'm sad and he's comforting me. Stupid me: I had always thought I was mothering him.

In these last four years, he has become a fixture in our household. He knows all our friends and has his favorites. I concur I'm safe if I hear a noise and Tucker doesn't deem it worthy of his barking. He has moved with us three times, and finally found home with us. He has shoved his way into pictures when he wasn't invited

And acted aloof on the occasions when he was

He has grown with us and given us life inside our home: a life to come home to. He is our excuse (albeit pathetic) to leave social gatherings we don't want to be at since we can't use the kids one. And although I still want a little puppy, I don't need one. I've got my sweet little man right here at home, wagging his tail when he hears my car pull into the driveway with his tether and stake.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

no offense

My blog is no big deal: my viewing public isn't so huge that my website is going to crash from all the traffic I get anytime soon. But the few blog followers I do have happen to be the people I see frequently in real life. Which is really limiting my blogging options. I can't vent or celebrate the events in my life without hearing about it from someone who I just discovered also reads my blog. Damn it. I wanted to be read, but I guess I imagined being read by strangers who live at least a state away.

My ability to write a post without offending someone has gone from slim to anorexic and seeing a nutritionist.

I've always offended people. Not usually intentionally (but sometimes: and I won't apologize for it, either, Scarface). I say what I'm feeling without thinking about how others will receive it. And I'm OK with it. It's a part of me and I've given up changing myself because I'm too stubborn to allow that. But other people aren't OK with it. I consider brushing it off a character trait everyone has and forget that being overly sensitive still exists in this harsh world of botox injections, heroin, and WWE. Or maybe those are exactly the reasons we have become so sensitive. I don't know, I'm not a psychiatrist (or a "psychagist" as the insane person on today's unemployment hearing said).

So I've got some options here: (a) Stop offending people, or (b) create another blog and only send the URL to strangers. I would think the latter option is the most logical here, but that's because I don't change, so (a) is a non-option. But then, how could I do that? I mean seriously, how am I going to get email addresses to strangers? Even if I could figure that out, then I wouldn't have any blog readers at all. And my readers are why I blog. That and because I can't afford a psychiatrist.

So I'll go w/option (c): who cares! And I'll keep blogging. Because I love it and how dull would life be w/o a little drama thrown in? Life is too short to agonize over that which you can't control. And life is best spent not worrying about what other people are thinking.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

boycott

Yesterday I told you how I'm boycotting the Biggest Loser. If only that was all I was boycotting. I'm also boycotting the following:

1. Gin
2. Drew Barrymore movies
3. The new Katy Perry single ("sun-kissed skin so hot it'll melt your popsicle")
4. Wal-mart
5. Yoplait yogurt
6. Made-up holidays like Secretary's Day
7. Ruby Tuesdays
8. Spencer & Heidi Pratt
9. Bing.com
10. Proflowers
11. Bret Michaels all over TV (get some rest, damn it!)
12. University of Phoenix
13. Nicholas Sparks' books & movies
14. Lady Gaga
15. Clothes made of fine wool
16. All websites with songs on them
17. "surreal"
18. Double meanings in punctuation that some of us don't understand ((**))
19. Ploughshares (after they rejected me twice)
20. Dingos

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Koli got screwed on Biggest Loser 9

I'm boycotting the Biggest Loser. I know they're really going to feel that loss when their ratings drop from 11.7 million viewers to 11,699,999 viewers. They might even have to start over with a new concept: like anorexic people putting ON weight.

If any of you watch the show, you know what happened so I don't have to rehash it. Pretty much, I'm miffed because the person who lost the highest percentage of weight did not win the title of "Biggest Loser" and $250K. All because of this stupid "America's Vote" most reality shows have now that I hate. America voted out the one person who has never fallen below the yellow line and has lost more than half his original weight. They voted out the champion for an athletic overeater who didn't have a chance.

Koli was always there to win, and the viewing public doesn't want a winner to win: they want an underdog. The moral of this story is it's really not about weight loss; it's about giving the people what they want. That person just doesn't happen to be me. NBC's loss - I'm an avid reality TV watcher. I'm moving to CBS for all reality shows from now on. Speaking of, Big Brother starts July 8. Now there's something I can really focus all my reality tv passion on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

i dream of the perfect plaza

Do you remember when I said I'd love to pick around 12 business or so to stick in a plaza near my home so I'd never have to leave this mile radius? Well, I had some extra time on my hands.




If you could stick this on the NE corner of 156th/Harrison, I'd be very grateful. Thanks Better Business Bureau. Is that the kind of thing you do? Make dreams come true? I sure hope so.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Misinterpretations

At Matt and Emily's wedding reception two weeks ago, my youngest suitor, 4-year-old Mason, went onto the dance floor, grabbed the microphone and dedicated Owl City's "Fireflies" to me. But instead of singing, "I'd like to make myself believe" he belts out "bleed" and makes the juvenille ditty sound like a song about suicide.

Here are some of my own misinterpretations that I discovered later:

I still think "Sex and the City" should actually be called "Sex in the City." I thought that's what it was until I started seeing the SATC acronym and realized I must have something wrong or I'm really that stupid that I can't spell a conjunction.

Last time we watched "Houseguest," I was singing along to "she's a brick house." Well, apparently those are the lyrics. I only found that out when Steve started laughing at me belting "she's a break out." I still think my way makes more sense.

It's a "rum & coke"? Because I thought it was a "Roman coke." Like a centurion came up with the drink and it was named after his descent. I apparently have some real problems with one of the smallest and easiest words in the English language: "and."

I just found out today that Manfred Mann's song actually says, "Come all without, come all within/You'll not see nothing like the Mighty Quinn." I thought it was "the Mighty Wind," so obviously I have no idea what this song is about.

Now in my defense on this one, Kanye West is hard to understand correctly. But apparently I've been doubly wrong when I belt out "Gold digger."
It's: "My psychic told me she gonna have a ass like Serena," not "the essence of Rena." and it's "if you f***in' with this girl then you betta' be paid" not "get laid."

And can I just say to the Doobie Brothers, what the hell is "China Grove?" I think we all think you were saying, "Charlie, go." But then again, what am I expecting from a name like "Doobie Brothers"?

Have you ever seen that Friends episode where Pheobe mistakes Elton John's "Hold me closer, tiny dancer" for: "Hold me close, young Tony Danza"? I thought that was hilarious. Don't we all love to laugh at other people's mistakes? Now fess up: what were you always saying incorrectly?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

top 5s

Cities I'd like to live in:
Denver
London
Cannon Beach, OR
Heidelberg
NYC

People who I love to hang out with:
Steve
Melinda
Tracey
Patrick
Joel

Famous people I'd like to meet:
Sylvia Plath (brilliant)
Augusten Burroughs (funny, smart, moody)
Adam Brody (eye candy)
Cameron Diaz (I think we'd be friends)
Aziz Ansari (too hilarious to describe in parentheses)

Old person hobbies:
Puzzles
Weeding
Reading
Walking
Book sales

Young person hobbies:
eBay
blogging
reality tv
running
spending too much money

Dreams:
To write books
To teach English
To make this house our home
To travel
To make a family

Monday, May 17, 2010

eyes of the beholder

This is going to sound like a really cheesy after-school special. Well give me a break: I was home schooled and we didn't own a TV, so we didn't get to watch them. Plus, there is no such thing as "after school" when your desk is the dining room table. So maybe I have to learn the sentimental lessons you already know a little later than most. Don't even do it: criticize homeschoolers and you'll end up in hell. Even you couldn't be that heartless.

Anyway, I'm self-conscious. I have some major body issues. Stretch marks, too big of torso, pasty skin, hyperhydrosis. I know no one wants to hear me gripe and complain and list all my insecurities, so I'm sorry I had to sneak up on you like that. Ever since having a baby, I've been trying desperately to get my college body back. I've learned I have to work 150% as hard to weigh 150% as much. I try to log 30 miles a week, whether it be walking or running. At first, it was all in vain the name of weight loss. But each night after dinner, my husband walks with me and we talk about our days at work, our plans for the house, our next vacation, maybe one day having babies. Our walks have become about something other than weight loss that was never going to happen.

So I'm not a ten, or even a nine or eight. Not to most people, anyway; but I am to Steve (probably an eight, but anywhere in the top three numbers will do for me). And when he tells me I'm so pretty, who am I to question him? So yeah, I'm not perfect. Who is? I don't want my insecurities to lead me into some plastic surgery marathon like Heidi Pratt, anyway. What I want is what I already have: a man who thinks I'm beautiful right now. And sure, I'll still rub some stretch mark cream on my stomach when I finally find it again in the bottom of our cupboard (that shit doesn't work anyway), and I'll still get off my lazy behind and step onto that treadmill, but even if I didn't, he'd love me.

I don't need everyone to think I'm beautiful, just the one guy who I think is.

She likes me for me
Not because I look like Tyson Beckford
With the charm of Robert Redford
Oozing out my ears
But what she sees
Are my faults and indecisions
My insecure conditions
And the tears upon the pillow that I shed
-"Hey Leonardo" by Blessid Union of Souls.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

weekend update

That is the only part about Saturday Night Live that I think is hilarious. However, don't get your hopes up. Today's blog will not be that funny. Or even funny at all. Sorry, but I'm not one dimensional. You might not like the other sides to my personality, but since you're already here, you might as well read my post anyway.

My sister and I went garage saleing. We were by far the youngest ones hitting the pavement. We were asked many times what school we go to. Note to self: buy a shirt that says, "I'm an adult" to prove how mature you are. At garage sales, I look for books. Books in good condition without anyone's name written inside. Memoirs and novels that won awards or at least have Oprah's "O" on them. And in one woman's garage, I found my book soulmate: she was selling all the books you read in high school English classes, which are exactly the type of books I like. She overheard me gushing about her to Amber and told us, "you guessed what I do: I'm a retired high school English teacher."

So I told her that was my dream job: to teach reading and writing. Then, when she was giving me change, I noticed the book at her feet: she is reading the same book I am! I realized I was staring into the face of Future Me. We even looked a bit a like. And Amber chimed in that we were wearing nearly identical clothes. Future Me has style: black sweat pants - I like where I'm going. We drove off and I waved goodbye to her (rather enthusiastically). Yet she was too engrossed in her book to notice. That only confirmed my suspicion: I have met my future.

Friday, May 14, 2010

lightweight

I got a big girl drink at dinner tonight. A blue lemonade with crushed ice (how adult of me). It apparently had a lot of alcohol in it. By the time the main course came, I forgot we were eating dinner. At HyVee, I pointed out a grill that only cost $1.42 per the sign on it for hamburger buns. I went from sober to drunk in 10 minutes flat. Steve said my old drinking buddies would be ashamed of me. He's right.

Insults would be swirling around me and I would be too tipsy to notice. I would think everyone was talking about wrestling whenever they said, "lightweight." Those days of taking six shots in a row and then grabbing the microphone at karaoke night are over (but I'm still up for karaoke anytime: drunk or sober - doesn't matter). Gone is the party girl, replaced with the homebody.

That reminds me of a night of heavy drinking about a year ago: I was keeping up with everyone and their tens of shots. I thought I was, at least. Until the next day when I was told my shots of what I believed to be Captain Morgan were actually just Pepsi. I am an embarrassment to drinkers everywhere. And to think I used to be a pro. Let this be a lesson to everyone: use it or lose it. I'd love to stay and impart more of nuggets of wisdom, but I feel my hangover coming on.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

match profiles

Not that I think it's going to happen, but in the spirit of preparedness, I have asked Steve what would happen if I suddenly dropped dead. Would he date, then propose to, then marry someone else? He would definitely be a catch. I have written him a match.com profile to use in the event that he's too busy mourning my departure.

Number cruncher who hates to meet new people. Enjoys spending nights with a cocktail in hand: company is optional. Watches the same movies repitively: you have your daily devotions, I have "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Spends August-February watching football, reading web pages about football, or watching Sportscenter about football. In the off months, I will complain about missing football and count down the days until the draft. Be prepard to wipe piss off the floor, and wipe shot glass stains off the counter. Thin and in shape, beard must stay. Looking for a woman who puts up with me and doesn't notice that I'm not listening when she's bitching. Unemployed, hairy arms, and butter faces need not apply.

If Steve ever left me, the jury is still out on whether or not I would attempt to date someone else. But because these are fun, I've made a match.com profile for myself, as well:

Bitchy woman seeking a man that doesn't notice. Enjoys puzzles, books, blogs, and walks. But if you're into adventure, I have rip corded once. You don't have to love what I love, but you must hate what I hate. I will embarrass you when we're in public and I put my foot in my mouth: inadvertedly offending everyone at the table. I only eat pasta, Qdoba burritos and ice cream. You must be stable and know what you want, since I don't. No shorties, felons, or prudes. Send picture or I won't respond: I am shallow and judgemental.

Monday, May 10, 2010

photoshop

Photobucket.com is a necessity for me. It seems anytime someone takes a picture, they don't zoom in to what the subject, and I end up getting a picture of some strangers taking a whiz on the side of the building, while Steve and tiny blurbs in the corner of the shot.

Not only that, but I'm constantly trying to get rid of red eyes. Back in the day, I used a fine Sharpie, but now technology has changed all that. Although no matter how you do it, everyone ends up with demon eyes. So I just change it to black and white. That's also handy for covering up the fact that Steve's shirt is hideous pale yellow. I hate yellow. All of us with fair skin hate yellow.

I like the magic of photo editing, but what I really want is some airbrushing options. Or hell, just a brush would be fine. Can I get a brush feature that smooths down my hair? How about a foundation feature that turns my drunk red cheeks miraculously skin-toned? Again, that's why my fall-back is black and white.
OK, I knew you were curious now about how hideous this shirt was. These are the groomsmen in all their piss yellow glory. I'm just thankful I didn't have to wear it. I only wear four colors: black, white, gray, and blue.
Steve's grandpa stayed with us. We loved having him. We love him. And I got lucky getting a shot in without a suspender in sight.

There was a moment at the reception when I fell in love with Steve all over again. That's what happens when I see a different side of him. I remember one of the other things I love about him and a smile spreads across my face and my heart quickens. When no one was dancing, he came from his elitist Wedding Party table and asked me to dance. Even though we can't. At all. But it was romantic just the same. Then, when I saw his aerobic workout routine to YMCA, I fell in love with him all over again.

Before scrolling down, please note my sister's sweet dance moves on the right. It just might make your night.
If that picture didn't do it for you, you can't go wrong with this one. It's hilarious on so many levels. I think I should submit it to the New Yorker so they can have people send in captions to go with it. Or because they only do that with cartoons, why don't you put your captions in the comments? The winner can wish they were in the New Yorker, but really maybe I'll just photoshop a conversation bubble into the picture with the winning caption. Hey, I do what I can. Don't blame me you haven't made it big yet - I haven't either. In the meantime, we have the internet.

Friday, May 7, 2010

anchors away

I've never been on a cruise. I'd like to, but I haven't. Regardless, I feel like I know what it's like to be on one: it's like when there is a family wedding. I hear on cruises there's always something to do: different activities going on that you flit from one to the next. This weekend, every day is packed-full of family gatherings. I feel like I need an itinerary, a clipboard, and a pen.

Before the festivities, we cleaned the house. I fully intended on weeding the yard as well, but in frantic situations, I must prioritize. That and because Thursday nights are chock-full of TV that requires my immediate attention (have I mentioned before how much I love Aziz Ansari? Oh yes, I have. He's on the NBC show "Parks and Recreation" that only Steve and I watch. No matter what he says, I laugh hysterically. He just has that effect on me).

Family has come to town for the event. It's good to see them again. It's odd the way families seem to get scattered, but most of the people still live in the original place. Most of the family is in Denver, so having them travel to see us, when it obviously should be the other way around, is a treat. And let me say about this extended family Steve's brought me into: I love it. I love Steve's cousins and his aunts and uncles. I love his grandparents. And whether or not they really do, this family acts like they love me. And I feel very blessed to have met all of them. To have heard their incredible stories and to be invited into their lives.

But enough with the warm and fuzzies: air mattresses suck. I think they are the direct cause for impatience. Yes, the whole character trait: air mattresses are responsible. See, mom and dad, I told you you're not to blame for all my character flaws. I developed them myself or received them after a rotten memory that will never escape my mind. Forget the air mattresses: they're not comfortable anyway, they make too much noise, and are much too low to the ground. We decided to stick with the old fashioned way: the couch.

I know it's only 10:13, but I'm off to bed because there's breakfast tomorrow at 8:30. I actually have to set an alarm on a Saturday morning. On this cruise ship, instead of not sleeping enough because of the tossing waves, it's because our itinerary begins at sunrise. Please don't blame me if I'm crabby family, I need my 10 hours on Friday nights. Although you probably wouldn't even notice if I'm crabby because sometimes it's a bit difficult to tell the difference.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

modern marvels

There are a few modern marvels that never cease to amaze me. They put a little pep in my step and remind me there is some surprise left in our mundane lives. Some of those wonders are:

1. When I'm on a slope just so and the car is in drive and I neither have to push the brake or the gas pedal to keep the car from moving.

2. When my total at the grocery store ends up on an even dollar amount

3. Getting my 10th burrito for free at Qdoba

4. I hear the song I'm in the mood for on the radio (although it's no longer much of a novelty since I like "Rude Boy" by Rihanna)

5. Someone brings donuts or Eileen's cookies to the office and isn't reimbursed for it (but I'm not so into the Panera Bread bagels obsession: I want frosting!)

6. Returning to my parked car to see the time hasn't expired yet on the meter. It makes me feel like an overachiever.

7. Receiving any service for under $20 (today I got an eyebrow wax for only $7 and I felt like I was robbing this poor woman)

8. A solicitor comes up to the door, but rather than ringing your doorbell, he just drops a flyer and runs. Sure, this is usually the little 12-year-old kids helping out their paps, but I sigh relief regardless.

9. Discovering a shirt somewhere deep in my closet I forget I had. And it still fits! (although that was really just good planning on Past Holly's part: I never buy clothes that are too tight at the time expecting to be thinner later on: I'm a realist)

10. Surpassing my daily goals. Today I told myself I was fine with just doing four miles, but when I saw Daris on Biggest Loser working so hard, I decided to tack on an extra three. If he can do it, I can (although that's not true, last week he ran a 5K in 21 min and I could never do that).

Monday, May 3, 2010

normal

Steve and I were on our nightly walk (yes, we act like 70-year olds, we know) when we heard some preteen screeching. Some girl was sniffling and whining about the injustices of her brother shoving a hockey stick in her stomach. The dad pretended to be listening, but quickly shushed her as he saw Steve and I walk past. We both laughed out loud, which probably made this girl sob harder, being laughed at. But we weren't laughing at her, rather at her dad. Shushing a faux-injured daughter so strangers don't overhear. God forbid the neighbors hear, we want them to think we're normal.

Really, nobody is normal. To me, normal is the absence of personality, of differentiation.

There is something I wrote once long ago, and I still think of it every once in awhile:

Being "weird" means nothing other than being different from the person who said it.

Let your freak flag fly.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

tabloid



"Did Brad Pitt diss Jennifer Aniston?"


Asked my husband completely unsarcastically while I read my Us Weekly. It's little things like this that prevent our marriage from being dull. Just when I think I've figured him out, he goes and does something like this and totally redeems himself. He keeps me guessing. And once in awhile, I'll do something nice for him like buy him Sour Patch kids to munch on while watching his movie and that surprises him (that I'm not totally selfish). Maybe, hopefully, we'll never have each other completely figured out. And that would be alright with me: being married to a man of mystery. Kind of like a dream come true.