Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby Fever scare

My friend Melinda had a baby today (and Matt - he's my friend too. It's easy to forget about the dads in these situations since they're off buying root beer floats and don't get any of the pregnancy attention) . Little Asher was born this afternoon. I'm hoping to go to the hospital tomorrow at lunch see him. This is the most anticipated baby. Even my family members who have only met Melinda a few times are asking me about Melinda and her baby.

For the first time ever, I almost came down with a case of Baby Fever. Almost. Luckily, my body has built up a pretty strong immunity. Now if Toddler Fever were a contagious disease, I'd probably have that. I like them when they can walk and talk and wipe their own ass.

In anticipation of this baby, every time we're at a store Steve has to drag me away from the baby boy clothes. They're just so cute. I love the little striped polos and dress shirts and onesies covered in footballs. He rolled his eyes when he saw me approaching the cart with my arsenal of Carter's and Gerber. I did manage to slip the onesie covered in footballs by him, though.

Tonight on our walk, we saw young boys playing football at the park. They were just so cute in their shoulder pads and helmets. They were past the stage where you can call them "cute," but this fever scare had symptoms: one of which is calling everything "cute."

Steve said, "I hope my son likes football." I told him he will. Any son of his will like football. If for some reason he didn't, he would at least know enough to fake it. I responded to him about football, but I know the real subject of his statement was "son." My God, he's caught the fever.

The only way to stop it once it starts is a quick trip to Wal-mart or Chuck E Cheese's.

Monday, August 30, 2010

learn to live with yourself and be at peace



I saw this poem video over on simply freckles' charming little blog and had to repost it.

I am a huge believer in people who can exist on their own. People who are independent and can take care of themselves. People who can define themselves without anyone else's help. People who can go out to dinner or to a movie theater by themselves and be at peace. My favorite part of this is when Tanya Davis says, "If you're happy in your head, solitude is blessed and alone is OK."

And after you watch the video, read the verse. "Society is afraid of alone, but lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it."

How to be Alone

If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo dessert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, were tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relived, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

~Tanya Davis

Thursday, August 26, 2010

reality bites

I watch a lot of reality tv. Tonight, while catching up on Project Runway, I thought of how much more interesting my life would be if it were set up like a reality show. I mean, it's called reality because it's just like life, right? I was thinking of an office Big Brother where we voted each other off based on how much we couldn't stand the smell of their lunches or their horrible small talk about those damn cats.

Our competitions could be real office skills: whipping up something edible out of the contents of the shared refrigerator; making it to the post office and back in time to sign for the UPS package; getting the copier to copy 2 sided to 2 sided; avoiding the boss the longest. One competition I know I could win is being blindfolded and sending 100 faxes accurately.

I think people would find work a lot more interesting if they could control who got fired around them. But alas, reality shows are for after work: when I'm vegging with my diet Dr. Pepper and Pop Secret Homestyle popcorn, wishing for something more exciting to come find me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

unemployment

I don't talk about my job much on here out of paranoia that anyone I work with actually cares enough to look me up online. But today's conversation was just too priceless to pass up.

A little background: I work to keep unemployment costs down for my company. You know, unemployment insurance: something that started out as a good idea but now is given to about 20% people who actually deserve it and about 80% moochers. Not that I'm passionate about it or anything.

Every now and again (OK, it's every day now) an ex-employee of ours calls and harasses me about why they aren't getting unemployment. So I explain unemployment is set up for people who are laid off and genuinely looking for work, not them.

My conversation today went a little like this:

Her: "I was getting unemployment, then I went to work for you guys, and you fought my unemployment claim so I never should have gone back to work in the first place. I live in Section 8 Housing and I depend on my unemployment checks to pay my rent!"
Me: "Well if you're strapped for cash, you could always consider working."
Her: "That's not an option, I don't have daycare."
Me: "If you're not able to work, that could be a problem trying to receive unemployment benefits."
Her: "I just never should have gone back to work in the first place and then I'd still be getting my unemployment checks."

Now do you see why I'm so cynical about the people trying to collect unemployment? Because I'm in the office eight hours a day making an honest living by making sure other people don't make a dishonest one. Not that I can single-handedly change the world, but I figure I'll give it the ol' college try.

swimsuit

I haven't bought a swimsuit since before becoming pregnant 6 years ago. I still have my tiny little string bikini that hugged my taut 135 pound frame. I don't know why. Did I really think I'd ever fit in it again? I've finally come to the realization that I won't. So after six years of avoiding pools and beaches, I bought a new swimsuit. One that's not skimpy: that covers my belly and all of its extra-skin-and-stretch-mark glory.

Scantily-clad larger women say, "I'm a thin girl in a fat girl's body." Not me: I'm the opposite: I'm a 250-pound girl in a 150-pound body. I am not overly large, but I feel like I am. I anticipate getting winded walking up stairs although it doesn't happen. I have the insecurities of a much larger woman: covering up my body, wearing black to hide its many curves and dips. I'm the girl that much larger women hate if I ever so much as mention a literal muffin top.

But that's because I still remember six years ago how hot I looked. And I just need to let it go. I went swimming in a pool in my one-piece last Saturday. It felt good. I only tugged at it and readjusted a few times.

I'm wearing shorts again this summer. My legs even got a little color on them. Steve told me he's never seen my skin this dark before. That is like compliment gold for a woman of my complexion.

Life is too short to always be worried about what other people see of you. Because you're never going to get everyone to like the way you look no matter what. I need to embrace what I've got, even if it's not what it once was. If I'm OK with it and my husband is OK with it, what do I care about other worthless opinions? And I'm learning: six years later, I made a huge leap by buying this damn old lady one piece swimsuit.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

weekend update

5 random anecdotes from over the weekend:

1. Our neighbors' 100+ lb dog came barreling into our house yesterday. Steve shooed him out right before Tucker had a heart attack.

2. My stack of sweat pants in the closet were all soaked yesterday. So of course, I smelled them. They all smelled like piss. Human piss.

3. It's pretty pathetic when the most logical explanation you can think of for something is "sleepwalking."

4. I hate shitty white plywood furniture

5. Having a pool in your backyard free of kids and band-aids and pee must be the greatest house amenity. I want one.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the awkward one

My mom and my sister look alike. They both have complexions with hues other than red. My sister and I used to look alike. People would ask if we were twins. Then she grew up and started to look like mom. Amber told me that I only look like mom when neither her or I are wearing makeup. Ouch.

A bum pointed out to us that I am much paler than them. Thanks bum, I know. And that's why I didn't give him sixty cents.

There's always that one person: in every family, the one that never did quite fit in. Being different isn't all bad: for all I know, the one with the great hair and the one with the better tan are envying the awkward girl with the great height.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

don't say these currents are still killing me

Today it rained. All day. I love it when it rains. What I love more is going for a walk after the rain stops. Steve and I walked and caught up from our time apart. If you're married to someone you don't want to divorce, you want to tell them everything: even the most minute details of a conversation that no one else would give a shit about. He let me hold his hand when no one was watching.

It was just what I needed. In Salt Lake City, my sister and I jumped into a hurricane simulator after my mom generously put up the $2 we refused to pay. The fake wind kept getting faster and faster: it blew so hard that it took me an entire day to be able to run a brush through my hair again (but who knows if those two situations are at all related).

That hurricane wind is in my daily life: pressuring me, pushing me every which way. And the thing is, I don't have a hard life. I work 40 hours a week: never more, never less. I have a fairly low-maintenance husband (only booze is required). I don't have kids, just a dog that lives on real and artificial bacon. I know people who actually have it rough: they listen to kids scream all day, they work more hours than I do, they hate their spouses. But even though my life is so ordinary, it's hard for me to keep up.

Finishing the day is a sigh of relief, a sense of accomplishment. Rather than relishing in my days, I watch weeks tick by, weekends fly by, and seasons change. I'm always counting: days until...
Until anything; anything else. I am waiting for the hurricane to end.

What I don't think about is that it is continuous: life passes in days, in hours, in minutes. It is these little minute daily tasks of taking a walk each night and reading books in bed that are relief from all the shitty parts. There isn't some time when all of people's bullshit and life's hardships is going to leave me alone. I have to find a way to deal with them in my daily coming and going.

I can keep up. I just need prescription pills to live each day by itself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SLC

Don't fret over me, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. I'm just taking a much needed mini-break with my sister and my mom. I'll be back to complain about the person seated next to me on the airplane (yes, it will be my sister) and tell you about my new-found faith of Mormonism. That last part is a joke. The only way I'd be swayed is if it was the women that had all the husbands.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

king-sized pain

I don't think it's natural for two humans to share a bed. Or even a room, for that matter. As a kid, I shared a room with my sister. My two brothers shared a room, as well. We would dream of the day we each got our own room. And eventually, it happened: dad hired a contractor to put up a wall and split our toy room/school room into two bedrooms.

We each moved into our own tiny space. The only place in the house you could go for solitude; the only room you had the authority to kick someone out of (and that happened frequently, in my case). It doesn't make sense that we grow up and finally get our own rooms, just to grow up even more and devolve back to sharing one when we get married.

Steve and I had a queen-sized bed up until last year. Neither of us are any bigger than average (OK, admittedly I'm a tiny bit heavier than average but it's mostly in my chest), but between us and the dog, it always seemed crammed. I would smack Tucker with my foot and he, in turn, would growl at me. Or I would whap Steve with my arm. It was enough to make me want my own twin-sized bed again. I'm not a great sharer.

Then we got a king-sized bed. Now I have no idea if Steve is in bed with me or not. We could fit two other average-sized people between us. Tucker's got mad hops being able to jump up onto this monster. Embarrassing to admit, but we bought him those puppy stairs. He is much too prideful to use them though: he'd rather have bad legs in old age than be seen using that prissy contraption.

Steve and I have completely different bedtimes. I like to be on my side of the bed reading at 10:30 so I can fall asleep a couple chapters later. Steve comes up to bed around midnight: a drink in one hand and the remote in the other. This infuriates me. If I'm asleep, I don't want to be awoken. If I'm reading, I want to read without the blare of the TV. This is why I'm seriously considering getting my own room again. We've got extras. And I'm a creature who hates to devolve.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Worst 4

Sometimes I do Top 5 posts. But sometimes that just won't do. Sometimes I want to bitch about things that suck. Like always. So I've invented Worst 4 posts. This is my sensory edition.

Worst 4 smells:
1. wet dog
2. The Body Shop
3. burnt popcorn
4. dying flowers

Worst 4 tastes (that I've tried so far):
1. corn bread
2. broccoli
3. cantaloupe
4. scallop potatoes

Worst 4 touches:
1. microfiber couches
2. the crunch of a bug between your fingers and the kleenex
3. carpet when hands are sweaty
4. shaking hands when yours are sweaty (OK, any touch with sweaty hands)

Worst 4 sights:
1. unsightly body hair
2. Lady Gaga not in costume
3. Rotted teeth
4. Roadkill

Worst 4 sounds:
1. alarm clock
2. sirens
3. kids that won't stop whining/crying/screaming
4. dogs that won't stop barking

Saturday, August 7, 2010

home ec

I started going to school in tenth grade. I know, I'm a late bloomer. As you all know, prior to that, I spent my childhood being homeschooled. My first semester in school, I received a 4.0. I found it to be extremely easy. My second semester, I signed up for home ec. "An easy 'A,'" everyone would say. I was sure that was right: all As were easy for me then.

In home ec, I had to make a quilt. And then pajama pants and then a pillow. I spent the whole semester on that damn quilt, and when it was finished, it was half the size of everyone else's. It was a crib size quilt. I rushed through the pajama pants and never made it onto the pillow. For the dinner I was required to make the class, I made banquet chicken out of the box.

Our school had grade check every six weeks. Grade check ensured you could stay enrolled in your extra-curricular activities. Grade check came around and I received an "F" in home ec. An "F." Much to my teammates excitement, I was kicked off the tennis team. I had to spend my afternoons after school in that home ec room, finishing my damn quilt.

I love homemade things. I wish I could whip up a nice quilt to use in the basement. I saw the most adorable first baby book made like twenty different quilt squares and then embroidered and I wanted to make one for my friend Melinda's baby Asher. I saw a stocking with a dog and I wanted to make it for Tucker. But anytime the creative mood strikes me, I think of home ec and how it just ain't happening. I'm not a domestic woman. Even if I was homeschooled for 10 years.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the burbs

When you walk as much as Steve and I do, you see some pretty strange sights around the old neighborhood. Even in a neighborhood which is seemingly uneventful to the naked eye.

There is a woman who lives in the white house on the corner who I think is a witch. She walks around covered head-to-toe in linens: patterned sheets from the 80s. She stares at her feet (which are of course gray old woman shoes) and mutters to herself. I tell Steve she is cursing us/her other neighbors/her husband. Even her grass doesn't have a chance. Every lawn in the neighborhood is at least greenish, and her's is eerily brown. The only green is dandelions. It doesn't even make sense because she has built-in sprinklers. Steve thinks I'm paranoid, but I'm just thinking logically.

There is a crazy kid that lives in the cul-de-sac. He has no friends and plays by himself. A few weeks ago, we caught him yelling at a rodent. He screamed, "get out of my parents' garage, you squirrel!" I think it's sad that he doesn't think the garage belongs to himself, as well. There I go again, overanalyzing our neighbors.

There is a Catholic family that doesn't believe in birth control or emitting carbon dioxide, apparently. They walk home from church, all eight children trailing like two ducks and their ducklings. They are the Duggars in training.

Yesterday, an unfortunate-looking teenager stopped me and Steve and asked if either of us would climb this tree to get his ball. "Climb a tree?" I said in the slow-down-repeat fashion that Patrick coined. It's a sure way to make anything someone said sound incredibly stupid. Of course we didn't climb the tree. Where I come from, adults ask kids for help, not the other way around. We've had enough birthdays to earn our way to paying bills, we're certainly not going to start climbing trees. We're evolving for God's sake.

Monday, August 2, 2010

sahara

I have a problem with shaking hands and not wearing socks and thinking about carpet fibers. With wearing bright colors on a day when I have a presentation at work. My wardrobe, my mannerisms, my personability are all affected by a condition called hyperhidrosis. It means nothing other than I sweat. More than most. Damn genetics.

I've always had it. I remember the summer before 12th grade, I went to Texas and it was so bad that the my knee pits sweated upwards onto my bermuda shorts. My feet got so hot being stuffed into socks all the time that they broke out in some scary, itchy rash and had to rub cortisone cream on them continuously. In high school I would wait until everyone left the bathroom so I could turn the hand dryer upwards and dry out my pits. I probably shouldn't be admitting all this, should I? I mean, aren't you embarrassed for me just reading it?

I went to the doctor in high school and was given some prescription deodorant that was supposed to do something. All it did was give me itchy bumps so I threw it away and never used it again. But recently, they've come out with all sorts of antiperspirants that boast "clinical" strength which are made for the 2-3% of us with hyperhidrosis. I wore it today to work and didn't sweat a drop. It was probably a fluke, because I'm sweating right now, but it was a nice change nonetheless. Would this be safe to rub on my hands and feet? That might scare people off if everything I touched became covered in a slime of residue. Oh wait...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

our little jock

Tucker tears his stuffed toys to shreds, partially because that's what dogs do, but mostly because he knows I will buy him new toys. I just can't resist that face of his. I give this football 7-10 days until he moves onto soccer.