Thursday, November 29, 2007

Like graduation, but without the crappy speeches.

So, 30 days of posting for National Blog Posting Month have been good for my soul. I've had a few almost-not-quite posts, of which this is one, but I count them all. Thirty posts in 30 days was what I was striving for, and I'm pleased with the outcome.

Today's an almost-not-quite, as I'm getting up at the crack of dawn to drive three hours to go Christmas shopping with my mom. I'm so excited - we're getting a hotel room and everything. I imagine we will spend at least two hours in Target. And she told me, "I don't really care what we do, but I'm bringing a bottle of wine."

I love my mama.

So, I don't care to get up 20 minutes before the crack of dawn to post before heading out the door, so this late-evening post will suffice.

What I've learned from NaPoBloMo:
1. You've got to produce lots of gunk to produce a few things that are good.
2. The hassle of #1 is totally worth it, and if you're lucky, your gunk to good ratio improves as you go.
3. Writing is something that I need to do to be me. I've tried to deny this, but let's be honest: I am at my best - and my most creatively lubricated, if you will - when I create for myself on a regular basis. I feel more limber and relaxed.
4. Having a partner who is supportive of your creative endeavors to the point of lugging his laptop home for you every night and telling you to take your time is an absolutely priceless gift.
5. Everybody loves Journey.

I will definitely be posting much more that I was before NaBloPoMo, although I doubt I'll drive to a Panera parking lot to steal wireless signal to do it. And I feel better able to share more of myself. Perhaps I'll even post a picture of my short haircut, per Mrs. G.'s request. You just never know.

I'm having a bad day.

So, I'm posting this video, which always makes me deliriously happy.

I *heart* Journey.

I *heart* any video with gratuitous use of an empty warehouse.

I *heart* songs that involve making a fist as a form of enhancing your vocal stylings.

C'mon - what's not to love?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Looking for an excuse to post this photo.

So, it’s Wednesday, which means that it’s the traditional point of the week to start fighting the urge to cry at work.

Today is sooooo that day.

It’s 5:25 and I’ve put in a long and frustrating day. And any normal human would know that it’s now time to go home and continue the good fight in the morning.

But it just occurred to me that I don’t want to go home.

I have book club tonight, but it doesn’t start until 7. If I go home now, I’ll be faced with an hour of having to entertain myself, all alone, in my house. Just like every evening pre-Mr. Wonderful.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like some alone time. It’s not like I’m filled with such self-loathing that I can’t stand to be alone. I’m actually pretty entertaining. And I’m not some freak in need of Ritalin who needs constant entertainment. Dance for me, boy, dance!

No. It’s that sitting alone on my couch in a dark house makes me think of this time last year, when I purposely worked late every night because I was too scared to actually, you know, have a life. Working to the point of exhaustion was so much easier. And socially acceptable.

Mr. Wonderful is a wide-open book. He’s the most emotionally available person I think I’ve ever met. Mostly, this is good. Sometimes, I think, “You’re such a girl. WTF?” But mostly it pushes me to open up the dark little creases and crevices that had started to form in my slightly under-inflated heart.

As our courtship started to get more serious, I worried that I was literally incapable of matching him – his ability to communicate about his feelings and to give a shit. I had turned very much inward, and while it was great fun to be challenged by a handsome smartass, it was quite another thing to truly let him in.

I didn’t know if I could do it. I knew I wanted to. But finally, the idea of not being able to let him in was way scarier than actually letting him in.

I still have moments of stretching, but like a yoga class, it’s all good in the end.

And if I can accept his crimson and blue heritage into my black-and-gold, ranked-number-one heart, surely that means something, right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why I've gained weight.

Mr. Wonderful has a bit of a problem. And I'm totally co-dependent.

Ice cream. Lots of ice cream. Every night.

There are never fewer than six varieties in his freezer. And while some suitors would bring over a bottle of wine when coming to call, Mr. Wonderful regularly shows up on my doorstep with two containers of Breyer's.

Hell yeah. That's my man.

Now, he is sort of a freak about it all. He pours milk into his ice cream and then stirs it all up until it's the consistency of soft serve. However, he hates soft serve.

Umm ... ok?

And his favorite ice cream receptacle is a Gladware plastic container.

He's making us ice cream as I write. Sadly, there were brownies left over from this weekend's tailgating. Brownies that, when heated, work nicely with mint chocolate chip ice cream to create a gooey nirvana.

You understand why this post is short, right?

30 Posts in 30 days.

NaBloPoMo, this does not necessarily mean posting every day. It means I'm still on the wagon, despite the fact that I lost my mind and just didn't blog on Monday.

I think it's the fact that I'm still fighting the remnants of The Cold of Death. And somehow, I have poison ivy on my face. Again. And now, Mr. Wonderful has a sinus infection that caused him to keep talking in his sleep.

"I feel soooooo baaaaaad."


"I love you. I'm so sick!"

I sort of like the last one, as it at least tries to pretend that he's not waking me up just so he can complain. And I'm a horrible sick person, so I really have no room to talk. He never made fun of me the whole time I was sick. So, basically, I'm a horrible girlfriend. But at least it gives me something to blog about.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An old dog learning new tricks.

Geriatric Poodle had Day of Beauty this weekend. After a loooong overdue haircut, all of his fluff is gone. Now, I can see how tiny his little legs are and how very, very thin his fur is.

Pooh on me for waiting a bit too long to get him a haircut. But at least the extra three inches (ok, I jest) of hair kept him warm. It also allowed him to keep it real, as his rapper name is Lil Fluff.

When I picked him up from the groomer's, there were a few little girls there. They oohed and ahhed over Geriatric Poodle, and their mom said, "Oh, look! He's old."

And part of me sort of died. This dog and I have been through so much. He has to live forever. And that's just all there is to it.

So, now he's cold, so he's wearing his little grey sweatshirt with the navy sleeves. It's pretty damn cute. And he's also staying young.

Lil Fluff has discovered the Sit 'n' Spin.

Remember those plastic disks from when we were little? There was a handle in the middle of it, and you sit on it, and it spins? Hence the name?

Mr. Wonderful's daughter has one, and Geriatric Poodle has discovered it. He likes to walk on it, and it spins and sends him flying across the room, or it makes him do the splits.

I must say, it's damn funny.

So, we're respecting the elderly and embracing our inner children. It's all good.

This still counts as a Saturday post.

It's 12:28. I've just spent nine hours outside.

It's 29 degrees out.

My alma mater just beat its biggest rival.

We may be ranked number one.

I sort of want to cry. Because I'm a girl. And a frickin' love college football.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I cannot forget from where it is that I come from.

Sara has a great post about our hometown, about the realizations that you don’t make until you’re far, far removed.

Yes. There are only two-story buildings. This never occurred to me.

And it is mostly blue collar. Again, this didn’t occur to me, either. It was a given that I was going to college. But it was also a given and a non-issue that many of my classmates would go right to the farm or the foundry. No fuss about it – that’s just the deal.

On the country radio station in town, they read obituaries at 6 a.m. and noon. Trust me: when your clock radio goes off to a dark, cold Iowa winter morning and the first thing you hear is an obituary, it’s hard to get out of bed.

I could walk downtown. And the air has never smelled as sweet as those first warm spring days when the teachers make recess extra long. I’ve never seen a sky as clear as the view from my parents’ backyard.

But, like Sara, I knew I wouldn’t stay there. I make fun of my hometown, but will come to blows with an outsider who dares to do the same. And I doubt that I’ll ever move back.

Maybe we left because somewhere along the way, we were lured by the ideas of More and Different.

Our families traveled. Like visiting? What would it be like to live there?

We read a lot of books. For a while, I fantasized about living in a boxcar, thanks to The Boxcar Children. I was in second grade and couldn’t fathom anything more glamorous.

And, we imagined. Which is a nice way to say we were suckered into small town Iowa community theatre. And we both wore body makeup in fifth grade to portray Siamese princesses in The King & I.

And because I have no shame, and because I’m feeling charitable, here’s some photographic proof.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Amen, indeed.

Today I celebrated Thanksgiving with Mr. Wonderful and his family. There was turkey and pie and inappropriate stories told around the dinner table. Who doesn't love a tale of farting on a sibling's cupcake, then getting knocked unconscious for it? Life is good.

I miss being away from my parents and brother today, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be, and I'm happy.

As I sat at the table, waiting for grace to be said, I thought of the countless dinners my grandpa presided over and the blessing he always said. I'd forgotten about it until a few months ago. Now, I find it running through my mind at the most random times.

Heavenly Father
Thank you for this day
And for the privilege of being together.
Bless this food to the use of our bodies
And us to thy service.
In Jesus' name,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What is wrong with me?

No, wait - don't answer that.

It's crazybusytime at Corporate Behemoth. I'm working like a dog, but I'm somewhat mellow.

That's right. I'm mellow.

So mellow, in fact, that I'm taking a day off to drive three hours to go Christmas shopping with my mom. Because what's the point of working my tail off if I don't ever do anything outrageous?

We have it all scheduled for next week. We both agreed that we don't even care what we do - it will just be fun to hang out.

And now, it's 4:42, the afternoon before Thanksgiving. I've been the only one left in the office for the better part of an hour. And now, I'm going to go home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You make me so very happy.

I have about 27 reasons to be grumpy right now, but I keep finding things that please me today. Happy: 7; Grumpy: 0

Things that pleased me today:

Talking to my Lunch Crush and his helper about the big game this weekend. Lunch Crush's wife won tickets to her company's suite and they are very excited. This pleases me, as Lunch Crush deserves random happiness. Yay for Lunch Crush and karma!

My latest book on CD. I've been spending a lot of time in the car lately, and I've enjoyed every second of it, thanks to Uncle Garrison. I'm listening to Garrison Keillor read his latest novel, Pontoon. It's like an extended News From Lake Wobegon from his radio show. I love his voice, so soothing and honest. And of course, I'm a sucker for unsentimental stories from a small town.

Foxie Doxie and Geriatric Poodle. The kids seem to know that it's the season for being thankful. And don't you dare suggest that I'm anthropomorphizing, here, either. Geriatric Poodle jumps around like a puppy every time he comes out of his kennel. And Foxie Doxie just looks so pleased lately, like the human has finally succumbed to his will. This pleases me.

The miracle of not-so-modern pharmaceuticals. Thanks to the cheap, store-brand versions of NyQuil, Robitussin and Pepto-Bismol, I'm starting to feel human again. And, I got the added bonus of arguing with Mr. Wonderful about NyQuil. He was certain that Alka-Seltzer was the sniffling-sneezing-coughing-aching-stuffy-head-fever-so-you-can-rest medicine. Not that I'm mocking him in a public forum, but this was one of the few highlights of my recent Cold of Death.

My new haircut. Same style, but since it's shortshortshort and my hair grows approximately 27 inches every month, I need a cut every four weeks. I always feel refreshed and youthful after a trim. Very satisfying.

Chatting with newly-discovered sarcastic coworker. He seemed normal. And then I realized that he wasn't - he was one of us. Most excellent. Another reason not to jump off the roof of Corporate Behemoth.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Walk on.

In all of my sickness-induced television viewing, I stumbled upon a bunch of U2 videos being played on some music station that I'm not cool enough to frequent. They played a few videos from All That You Can't Leave Behind. Many of the songs on that album reflect the loss of Bono's father, and because of the timing of the album, they also coincided with my grandma's decline and death.

So, like, there are some U2 songs that make me cry.

My grandma died five and a half years ago, which seems impossible. I think about her everyday. I was lucky enough to grow up five minutes from my grandparents' house, and my brother and I spent so much time there. It wasn't perfect - they bickered, my brother and I often wanted to be somewhere else as we got older - but all the imperfect stuff falls away.

I remember witnessing my grandpa sneaking a macaroon out of the cookie jar at about 4:30, knowing that my grandma would be furious if she caught him. That cookie jar is now on my kitchen counter, and it always makes me think about that first realization that grown-ups could be naughty, too.

I remember hulling strawberries with my grandma, watching as she sliced them with a silver knife, plopping them in a green FireKing dish and covering them with sugar.

My grandma taught us every card game under the sun. One of my greatest joys is the discovery that Mr. Wonderful loves games, too, and that I inherited my grandma's sweet ability to kick the shit out of an opponent with absolutely no remorse. She played to win, even against a 5-year-old, and I respect that. All of us grandkids used to gang up on her in Uno - so much so that we renamed it Beat Grandma. She still won, but all of her grandkids are card sharks with a proud heritage.

Grandma died on a Friday night, the week before my brother was set to go to Wales for a semester. The funeral was Wednesday, and he flew out Thursday.

I told one of the church ladies who prepared the funeral luncheon that it was almost like she knew what she was doing. The church lady, who also happened to my 7th grade algebra teacher, looked me square in the eye and said, "Your grandma always knew what she was doing."

So true.

We knew that she was holding on for all of us - for the boy she'd been married to for 69 years, for the son who got stranded in the Denver airport and got to the hospital an hour too late. I think letting go was really difficult because she loved us all so much. But I believe in my heart of hearts that the last thing she heard was laughter.

My mom was fanning her, and my brother and I sat with our grandpa. My aunt, dad and cousin were in the hall.

I got my brother to tell grandpa about his trip preparations. My parents' dog is a bit of an ass, and he gets really bent out of shape when luggage comes out. He hates being left behind.

When my brother got his suitcase out to pack for Wales, the dog went ape. So, my brother made a big show of "Oh, I changed my mind! I'm putting the suitcase away!" And the dog was pleased.

The suitcase came out again later under the cover of a giant blanket, but the dog was clueless and happy. My grandpa gave his deep belly laugh that could fill a room - he threw his head back, it was glorious, really - and that's when the machines started making noise.

I'd never been present when someone left this world, and it's something I'll never forget as long as I live. It was very quiet, and still.

It has taken me a long time to move past the actual moment, the machines, the guttural noise my dad made, the flurry of activity after. It's taken me a while to let the imperfect stuff fall away.

But I still love this song, in spite of and because of how I associate it to that time. Stay safe tonight.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I hope he sells his house.

I left the house again today. Cha Cha: 2. Cold of Death: 1. I think going to work tomorrow will put the final nail in Cold of Death's coffin. Bwa ha!

A few recent cold evenings have made all of the leaves in my very wooded neighborhood drop with a giant thud. One afternoon, the sidewalks are totally clear. The next morning, you can't even tell there's a sidewalk, or even a driveway. Leaves, leaves, everywhere.

I love it. And today was a brisk fall day perfect for raking. I saw families raking, little kids eager to help mom. Teenagers going after leaves, trying to pretend that it isn't fun. And lots of men doing battle against errant leaves - some with rakes, and others not putting up with any shit, leaf blowers in hand.

My favorite was a man in a suit, leaf blower in hand. I was stopped at a light and I thought, "That man has lost his mind!" Then I realized that the house had an open house sign in the yard. He was the realtor. The realtor in a down market, desperate to have a good showing.

It made me think of Annette Benning's character in American Beauty, stripping to her slip and cleaning like a woman possessed before showing a dated and unappealing - though clean - property.

But the man in the suit with the leaf blower? Well, at least he had a demonic look in his eye that admitted that yes, leaf blowing is darn good fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All dressed up.

Ok, all dressed, anyway.

After two days of laying about in my pale green pajamas, I'm going to get dressed and leave my house. It's been approximately 45 minutes since I last hacked something nasty into a kleenex and tried to pretend that I was being ladylike about it.

I'm going to meet Mr. Wonderful and his daughter for dinner. It's our six-month anniversary. And I'm just immature enough to celebrate things like six-month dating anniversaries.

For our four-month dating anniversary, I made a cake with canned frosting that was so sweet that neither one of us could eat an entire slice. It was a disgusting way to show my appreciation.

I think that hacking up all over myself and my pockets full of tissue in a public place will also qualify as a disgusting way to show my appreciation. At least I'm consistent?

Really, at least I'm clothed. Trust me - the green pajamas? Starting to get a bit ripe.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Can it still be called chicken noodle soup?

Being sick sucks. And yet, it is delightful.

I took a sick day today. The entire day. I slept until 10:30, then spent the rest of the day camped out on the couch. I don't think I ever got around to brushing my teeth, which I am not proud of, but it's ok.

I'm hacking like a TB patient. I now have what could be termed "a productive cough." I talked to my mom and she was all, "Honey, that's great! That means your body is getting rid of the bad stuff!"

Is it wrong the the gunk I cough up interests me just a teensy bit?


Mr. Wonderful has been a great caregiver and has shown that he still has that special flair for knocking my socks off. The first time he ever came over to my house - on our third date - I had poison ivy on my face, which my dogs had so graciously shared by rubbing up against me.

Mr. Wonderful ran to Wal-Mart, bought some toxic chemicals and then sprayed the yard. And then he kissed me.

When I got a flat tire, Mr. Wonderful took my car and bought me tires.

And now that I'm sicker than a dog?

Mr. Wonderful bought me chicken noodle soup. He heated it up. And, because he knows that canned meat of any sort heebs me out, he picked all the chicken out of the soup.

Every last piece.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What I want for Christmas

What I really want for Christmas is my sense of smell back.

And to celebrate that, I want a set of those markers that we had as kids - you know, the ones that smell like the color. The orange one smelled like orange and the blue one smelled like blueberry.

I distinctly remember the day in kindergarten when we had been deemed responsible enough to color with markers. And one of my tablemates turned to me ... with a giant blue marker spot on the tip of her nose.

But mostly, what I want for Christmas is not to feel like death on a stick. Perhaps magic markers would help with that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sweet November

And no, I'm not talking about that crappy Keanu Reeves/Charlize Theron movie where she wears 17 sweaters simultaneously and then dies.


I'm talking about the hectic, why-do-I-do-this-every-year time at Corporate Behemoth. Ah, Sweet November, the month when corporate panic coincides with that first rash of late fall colds and flu.

I always get a cold in November. Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner to not sound appetizing and to taste like cardboard.

I promised I wouldn't get a cold this year. I take enough vitamins (under a doctor's care, thank you) to nourish a village that has no food. I figured mind over matter.

And yet? And yet, it's 7:14 p.m., I'm going on hour 12 of work today, and I have a fever because my cold is morphing into something ugly.

Hurray for November!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pain don't hurt.

Last night, Mr. Wonderful and I watched one of the classics of American cinema: Roadhouse.

This gem stars Patrick Swayze as Dalton, a cooler hired to clean up a rowdy bar in a Missouri town that’s run by an evil rich dude.

And that’s basically it. Yes, I’m happy to answer your questions about Roadhouse:

A cooler isn’t a bouncer. He’s the mastermind behind the bouncing philosophy. In fact, Dalton has a PhD in philosophy from NYU. He also does tai chi, so you know he’s deep.

The evil rich dude is evil. And rich. And he has lots of buff goons who try to kill Dalton for no apparent reason other than to show off their late 80s feathered hair.

Evidently, Missouri is very, very dusty. And there are mountains. Methinks Roadhouse was filmed outside of LA, but whatevs.

Mr. Wonderful and I watched as Dalton beat the crap out of people and the thin plot basically disappeared into vapor. We then developed a fun game.

Dalton versus Darth Vader?

Which led to …

Dalton versus Yoda?

Which led to …

Yoda versus Jesus?

You can see where this is going. Basically, we determined that Yoda and Jesus are the supreme beings and could never fight each other. Clint Eastwood and Rocky Balboa would try to kick Dalton’s ass but would be unsuccessful against his significant tai chi mastery. And Dalton and Chuck Norris would be BFF.

Because, really? Who doesn’t want to be Chuck Norris’ BFF? He’s totally got your back.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Still on the wagon

National Blog Posting Month has presented a few challenges. Namely, Mr. Wonderful doesn't have Internet access at his crib.

Yes, I was shacking up with him this weekend. No, I'm not a shameless hussy. Yes, I will mind if you tell my mother. No, she wouldn't be shocked. But yes, I'd like to avoid the conversation altogether.

Mr. Wonderful has a sweet wireless card on his work laptop and therefore has no need for an Internet connection at his house. Yesterday, his work laptop was at his office. So, I drafted my blog post on my sad little laptop with no wireless card and set out in search of a little conductivity.

First up: Starbucks. One overpriced tall decaf house blend and I discover that no, their wireless doesn't have a password ... but it requires you to have a T Mobile account. Uh, next?

Then I drove to McDonald's. In a move of stunning brilliance, I ask about the wireless before purchasing my second cup of coffee in 10 minutes. Mac Shack has wireless ... but it's five bucks. Seriously? Yes. The manager with the molester 'stache suggests I try Panera.

So, third time's a charm, right? I drive to Panera. And by this point, I'm plenty pissed off. Panera has a little bit of signal creep, so I access their signal from the parking lot. The question of ordering a cup of coffee is, mercifully, moot.

I connect. Life is glorious. Except ... Panera filters out all Blogger content. I can't open I can't even get to the sign-in link at the top of my own blog screen.

So, I posted yesterday's post when I got into the office today. And if anybody says I'm no longer on the NaBloPoMo wagon? I will share this here tale of my dedication to blogging.

And then? And then I'll kick them in the skull.

The post I tried in vain to post on Sunday

Mrs. G posts a poem every Thursday with a recipe for a slow cooker. We *heart* Mrs. G, although her Thursday posts make me feel slightly white trash, as I have never in my life used the term “slow cooker.” In my neck of the woods, we all have crockpots.

In fact, my mom’s avocado green crockpot is one of two items that my brother has said he wants from my parents’ estate. No furniture, no cars, nothing like that. He wants a quilt and the crockpot.

I found an identical avocado green crockpot at an auction last summer. I stood guard over it and bought it for one whole dollar, fully intending to give it to my brother – not so much to be kind, but to get him off of the idea of getting our mom’s.

Sadly, he had absolutely no interest in the pseudo crockpot. He only wants the real deal. Maybe this Christmas I’ll wrap up the pseudo crockpot and plop a tag on it like it’s from our mom. Then the real crock pot will be mine, all mine!

I know. Siblings fighting over a crockpot is pretty much a sure sign that somewhere in my lineage, somebody appeared on Cops. Without a shirt.

Trashy or no, I do still enjoy some of the finer things in life. This is one of my favorite poems of all time. I have it permanently bookmarked in a collection of ars poetica with a photo of me with David Cassidy, circa 1992. I can think of no greater compliment to a poem.

The Poem You Asked For

My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,

worrying me.
Day after day,
I held it up to the light,

turning it over,
but it only pressed its lips
more tightly together.

It grew sullen, like a toad
through with being teased.
I offered it money,

my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in

my hands, and carried it gently
out into the soft air, into the
evening traffic, wondering how

to end things between us.
For now it had begun breathing,
putting on more and

more hard rings of flesh.
And the poem demanded the food,
it drank up all the water,

beat me and took my money,
tore the faded clothes
off my back,

said Shit,
and walked slowly away,
slicking its hair down.

Said it was going
over to your place.

Larry Levis

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We are the champions, my friends!

When I bought my house 18 months ago, the lady who moved out left all kinds of crap in the garage. She left two big plastic trash cans, which was nice. She also left three trash bags full of beer bottles, which was not so nice ... and also explained her erratic behavior as the closing date neared. But mostly, she left stuff ... hangers, crates, junk.

I got rid of a lot of her junk, but once I got to the messy stage of moving, the garage became my personal dumping ground. Dunno where to stash that box of dog stuff mixed in with photo albums? Why, the garage is a perfect place!

Soon, the garage consisted of a pathway around my crap. Meanwhile, my Honda sat in the driveway. And wept.

Mr. Wonderful challenged me to get my car in the garage by November 1. I hated him openly for this, but took him up on the challenge.

A few weeks ago, I cleaned out all the crap - including moving a sweet 1930s love seat that I picked up at a garage sale for a mere $20 - which included delivery, thank you. The love seat is now in the laundry room. The random crates and a desk top that were left by the previous owner were configured into an exciting new garage storage solution. All that was left was some random shit - like seven bags of stuff and two microwaves to go to Goodwill.

Well, I dropped the stuff off at Goodwill last week. And today, Mr. Wonderful helped me move the last of the random shit. And then?

And then, I pulled my car into the garage.

The angels sang. My parents probably felt the sudden urge to weep and didn't know why. Foxie Doxie and Geriatric Poodle were very impressed.

It's a tight squeeze, and thanks to Mr. Wonderful, I now have one of those old lady tennis ball contraptions to tell me when to fucking brake already. But the car? She is in. And the world is my oyster.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Because it's all about me. And my chest.

In a Bold and Daring Experiment, I added one whole Google ad to my sidebar.

You love it, don’t you?

I’m sure I will make exactly zero dollars from this Bold and Daring Experiment, but it has brought me hours and hours of enjoyment.

When I flew into a blind rage over hearing Christmas music on November 1, our friends at Google provided me with days and days of ads for Christmas music. Thanks, Google! You’re swell!

And now?

Now, after my tale of discovering that my boobs – unlike the rest of my petite frame – could shop at the Hefty Hideaway, I now have a new Google ad friend.

Plus Size Playtex Bras.

The Internets have discovered that I’m one of their big-boobed brethren.

Umm, ok?

I wonder if Blogher has a special section of blogs for and by otherwise petite women who – through no plastic surgery – lug around giant tatas. It's important that our voices are heard.

Surely we are a group that warrants our own presidential debate, don’t you think? I mean, which candidate best understands and represents the needs and concerns of the short, not big-boned but big-chested 30-something woman?

It’s probably Dennis Kucinich.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Well, I made it to Thursday.

Lately, I’ve been letting the rain roll off my back at work. Not entirely, but pretty effectively. Everybody’s snappish right now, and I’ve been maintaining a fairly detached attitude about it all. Called out in a meeting for not doing something? I explain calmly and with compassion that yes, yes I did do that … and you sat through an hour-long presentation about it two months ago, remember?

I have been flexible. I haven’t been hiding in the ladies’ room. Much.

In the past, I’ve had a balanced, focused view of my stressful job situation until about Wednesday. Wednesday was typically the day the shit hit the fan. The last week or two, this hasn’t been an issue, as I have been channeling my inner saint.

Saint Cha Cha evidently went out for a smoke break and never came back. There are now cracks in my shiny, nonplussed veneer. I’m starting to stress. Just a teensy bit. But instead of leaving meetings to go cry in the ladies’, I’m sitting in meetings and making the decision whether or not to get upset.

Let’s just put it this way: I am still kind to children and animals. But if you work in IT at Corporate Behemoth, you might want to stay out of the crosswalk if you see me behind the wheel. Like I said, I’m no saint.

Do I still qualify as balanced if I spend the evening wrapped up in blanket on my couch because I can’t muster the strength to do anything else? Is that still, like, emotionally healthy and shit?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I have a lunch crush.

One of the chefs in Corporate Behemoth’s mammothly overpriced cafeteria is crazy happy – but in a good way. His station serves up home-style food, so I usually hit it because they let you skip the meat and just get three veggies for a mere $3.29.

Sometimes, it’s that crappy frozen California medley. Other days, you hit the jackpot and its collard greens made with ham drippings. That’s still healthy because it’s a veggie, right?

Lunch Crush is always smiling, even at grouchy corporate drones. How these people cannot smile at him is beyond my comprehension. It’s contagious. And he always hands you your plate with a smile and “Enjoy your meal, and come back and see me!”

Today, I asked him how he was doing. He smiled and responded, “Blessed!”

Oh, Lunch Crush. Bless you. And keep making those greens. It was totally worth it the day I walked around all afternoon with a big green thing in my teeth.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm a pretty big deal.

Today, I'm hopped up on Skittles, PMS and job stress. Look out, world, here I come!

Heading out to the parking garage at Corporate Behemoth, I was squished in an elevator with approximately 47 other people. Not cool. But then I realized: I ride an elevator a minimum of four times a day. Minimum.

Growing up, there were exactly two elevators in my hometown. One was in the bank (booring!) and the other was in the department store (thrilling!).

When my mom had errands to run, she would bribe me by saying that if I was a good girl, we could ride the elevator when we were done. Of course, I got to push the buttons. This was a thrill beyond all thrills.

I remember the department store as being quite large and cosmopolitan. Of course, I now see that it was tiny. And as an adult, I would be claustrophobic in the elevator all alone. But as a three-year-old toting along an old purse of my mother's that I had crammed full of poker chips and Old Maid cards? Well, it was uptown nirvana.

If it was a really big outing, we'd head to the hotel restaurant and have cottage cheese. They served it with an ice cream scoop, so it came in a perfect little mound.

I'm not 80 years old. I just grew up in a small town where we only had to dial five numbers instead of seven until I was in high school. I think I was lucky to grow up in that environment, although I always knew I wasn't meant to stay there. Good thing - my hometown is much different now.

When I was on the elevator today, I felt a jolt of excitement.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pop culture round up

So, it’s been a week and I’m still sad about Robert Goulet’s passing. I had not one but two friends contact me to ask if I was ok. No, no sir. No I am not. But I still love how good ol’ Bob was always in on the joke. We should all be so lucky and humble.

I must admit that my love of Dog the Bounty Hunter isn’t affected by the release of a private phone conversation his son sold to The Enquirer. Methinks people talk differently in the privacy of their own families and that people make mistakes. But mostly, methinks sonny won’t be invited to Christmas at Dog’s house. Aloha, bra.

Finally, I just experienced a dramatic surge of hormones.


Bon Jovi tickets go on sale this Saturday.

My inner eighth-grade girl is absolutely sick with anticipation. I just walked down the hall at Corporate Behemoth to get some tea, and en route to the break room I actually caught myself thinking, “OMG! What will I wear to the concert?”

Seriously. I am So. Excited.

In my mind, it will be 1988. Only I won’t have glasses and braces. And my hair will be permed, but not the nightmare perm I sported. No, I will sport Dream Perm, with bangs that are big but not too big. And my dreamy, mulleted boyfriend will pick me up in his Camaro. He’ll lift me up on his shoulders during the show, so Bon Jovi himself can see my Dream Perm, concert t-shirt and stone-washed jeans. And I’ll probably end up being in a Bon Jovi concert video, which I will surely list on my resume until I retire.

As an eighth-grade girl, that’s what I imagined teenaged nirvana to be like. As a 32-year-old woman, I’m embarrassed to say that it still doesn’t sound half bad.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Falling up

I *heart* daylight savings time. Well, in the fall, anyway. Spring forward sucks. Fall back? Oh, yeah, baby!

This year's extra hour is especially welcome since my brother is visiting. Ok, well, crashing is more like it. We hung out yesterday, and then he got up at 3:30 this morning (yes, I said it: 3:30 AM!) to drive to and compete in a rowing event.

Yes, I am related to a jock. No, I don't know how it happened, either.

I woke up to my alarm at 3:30, heard him already in the bathroom, and figured I'd roll out of bed to wish him good luck. Except the next time I rolled over, I heard the key in the lock and he was off. Yeah, I'm totally a supportive sibling.

So, I woke up again around 9 to find the fall sunlight dancing across my bedroom wall in a most pleasing way. My bed felt squishy and warm and wonderful. All was right with the world.

I thought about the hand lotion I'd bought last night (don't ask - I don't know why, either) and how I used to work at that store two - no, it was three! - years ago. Three years ago when I was convinced that I had ruined my life irreparably. Three years ago when I was struggling to make my way as a freelance writer, struggling to keep a shitty relationship together, and struggling to keep my pants up as I continued to drop weight for no apparent reason.

Ah, good times.

I was a broken little bird who moved out of my cozy house with the arts and crafts tiled fireplace into a shitty apartment with noisy, lotsa-sex-havin' neighbors. I cried for an entire month.

And then, it started to get a teensy bit better.

If I close my eyes, I can still feel the raw sense of having all of my skin peeled off my body. There was no hiding - I was in a world of hurt. But now? Now, I have to close my eyes and remember hard to get the feeling. Now, it's not an ongoing reality, but a point for gauging movement.

Now, I'm in love with a wonderful man who is in love with me. I want to marry him and he wants to marry me right back.

Now, I'm successful in my chosen field and I own my own home.

Now, I've gained back the weight and then some ... but I have a boobtacular rack to show for it.

So, really, three years ago seems like a minor lifetime ago.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My mother is a saint: Reason 9,472

So, Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away.

Yeah, I know.

I asked my mom about her plans.

"Well, I went online and ordered my secret family recipe stuffing and gravy from Williams Sonoma. You know, the usual."

I hope she doesn't mind me giving away the secret family recipe right here, for all the Internets to see.

Mr. Wonderful has his daughter on Thanksgiving, which also happens to be his mom's 60th birthday. My work has a huge deadline the week after Turkey Day. Last year, I drove four hours to my folks' house for Thanksgiving, only to sleep the entire time I was there.

Yes, I'm totally Daughter of Shame. You can see where this is going.

My sainted mother's response?

"I have spent too many holidays making appearances at places where I didn't want to be to impose those sort of expectations on you."

I felt like I lost 20 pounds.

"Now, Christmas is another story."

Excellent. I was afraid aliens had taken over my mom's body, but the last joking/serious comment told me not to worry. Excellent.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Not a girl, not yet a woman - oh, no, wait!

In the last few weeks – ok, months – I’ve come to the conclusion that, uh, my bras don’t fit. At all. I had worn them until they looked like hobo bras. And then there was the little detail of how they cut into my boobage, giving me quadraboob. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

I took my shabby-bra-ed self down to Nordstrom last night. This store both intimidates and thrills me. I love it, yet I never buy anything there because it’s a little more expensive than, say, Marshall’s. But I knew that desperate times call for desperate measures. So, I marched up to the cute woman in the lingerie section and told her I needed to be measured.

Her response? “Oh, good! I’m bored.”

Having worked retail, I totally respect that.

Lingerie girl and I then spent a very intimate 40 minutes wrangling my cleavage into various and sundry brassieres. And guess what?

I was wearing the totalllllly wrong size. Like, wrong band size. And super, super wrong cup size.

Let’s put it this way: pretend that my old bra was a size S. The two $70 (!!!) bras that I walked out with are both size XL.

I’m still in shock. Having been mocked by my friends and, oh yes, my family for being small-chested, I’m still not accustomed to the fact that sometime between ages 30 and 32, I finally hit puberty. Seriously. The fitting was a confirmation of what I sort of already knew, but DAMN!

I walked around all night asking Mr. Wonderful, “Have you seen these giant knockers? My boobs are HUGE! I mean, have you looked at these giant gazongas?”

And, of course, he’s all, “Uh, I’m a guy? They’re all I look at? Please don’t ask me to pick your face out of a line-up?”

So, I was feeling all sassy this morning because I’m wearing a new bra and for once my sweater doesn’t scream, “Lady! Cross your arms and get thee to a Vicky’s Secret, stat!” It’s Friday. I was feeling good.

And I had a very in-depth conversation with my boss about strategic planning and my department’s workload – you know, my department, of which I am the manager, like a grown-up. And at the end of the meeting, he said,

“Great. Thanks, kiddo.”

My chest swelled with indignation.

It took all of my inner reserve and strength not to say, “Haven’t you seen these enormous boobies? I’m sooo not a kid anymore!”

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome to November!

November is National Blog Posting Month. For some crazyass reason, I signed up to post every single day for the month. Just a warning to all of my three readers: I might resort to posting grocery lists. I just want you to be emotionally prepared that the pickins may be slim at times.

But mostly, I’m excited about the challenge – especially since it hits at a super busy time at work. I started this blog as part of my Get a Life challenge, and if I can write for myself in the midst of work insanity, it will be further proof that I have, indeed, managed to patch together – and hold on to – a life outside of work.

So. We shall see.

Hopefully, I will be able to blog from prison, as I may be incarcerated for hurting a handful of radio executives. Because it’s November 1, and not one, but TWO radio stations in town have started playing non-stop Christmas music.

Christmas. The sale Halloween candy isn’t even down to the crappy stuff nobody likes yet and you’re stuffing Christmas music down our throats? Are you kidding?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love all kinds of music. And I love Christmas music. But I love it at Christmastime. Not the day after Halloween.

I love me some Perry Como and even The Chipmunks, because that’s what we listened to when I was growing up. Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album? I could probably sing it all, side A to the end of side B. Andy Williams? John Denver and the Muppets? Hell yeah.

However, I have a problem with the Christmas radio stations passing off shitty music by every random idiot with a recording contract as classic holiday fare. Happy holidays do not include anyone remotely associated with American Idol.

I have, however, found one album of, umm, “non-traditional” holiday tuneage that might be welcomed into the fold. Monster Ballads Christmas features such goodies as Nelson singing “Jingle Bell Rock” and Lita Ford teaming up with Twisted Sister for “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” And really, who doesn’t love a train wreck in a jewel case?