Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boobs and jobs. But not boob jobs, because that isn't how I roll.

I start my new contract gig tomorrow. This weekend has been like a giant Sunday-night-before-school ball of ick. Because I am a spoiled brat and don't want to go back to work.

Many of my friends are all, "Ooh, congrats on your new job! Aren't you excited?" And then I just sort of look at them.

Maybe tomorrow, I will wake up, excited to dress like a grown-up. And this will translate into being excited to start my new contract. I kind of expected that this week, I'd get excited. But mostly, I got freaked the fuck out.

See, I found a lump.

Yep. In my boob. In the same place as my 2 previous fibroadenomas, Ramon and Antoine. So, I knew from the get-go that I'd need a mammogram and sonogram, then to see the boob surgeon, then to hopefully schedule a vacuum-assisted biopsy and not a surgical biopsy. Hopefully.

I know from experience that I am down for the count for several days after any sort of biopsy. Because I am Queen of Boob Mishaps. So, I was thinking about the timing of all of this, and wondering if I shouldn't just push my job back a week or 2, because God knows I was not looking forward to a "So, let's talk about my boob!" conversation with my new, male boss.

I had a mammogram and sonogram on Friday, at the same breast clinic where I always go. The woman checking me in took a look at my face and said, "This is your first mammogram." She didn't ask - she assumed because I look like I'm 12. So then I was all, "Bitch, please."

OK, maybe I was more like, "Uh, no, look at my extensive records. They are in your computer."

And then the mammogram tech argued with me that I didn't actually have a fibroadenoma vacuumed out - that it would have to have been done surgically. Again, I was all, "Bitch, please."

OK, maybe I was more like, "Uh, yeah I did, and I had it done here. Look at my chart." What is with people not reading the effing chart?

But when it came time for the sonogram, my sweet, favoritest tech in the entire universe was there. And she remembered me, and we reminisced about the giganto cysts I had last year. We joked about how the radio in her room was playing Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," which is probably the least-appropriate soundtrack for a breast sonogram. And then, she told me that the hard little lump I was feeling was yet another cyst, feeling all hard because it was pressed up against glandular tissue - like a skinny little white kid, acting all hard on account of puberty and general suburban angst.

I have never loved the term "glandular" more in my life. Ever.

So, no surgery, no vacuuming, no cyst aspirations for now. I go back in 6 months. The sweet tech found 2 other spots that are most likely small fibroadenomas, but we will watch them. I can live with this.

I'm so relieved. And that's totally an understatement.

I'm relieved and I'm so glad that I don't have to tell my hi-I've-met-you-once new boss about my boobular adventures. But I'm also so fucking mad.

I am so careful. I eat right. I exercise. I gave up caffeine in 1998, for crying out loud. And still I get all these cysts and bumps and shit. It's so not fair.

However, if My Guy and I ever for once doubted our decision not to move forward with the gajillion drugs and hormones and hideous procedures in The Infertility Olympics, we have a sign that we made the right call. All those hormones that I was all jacked up on this summer more than probably contributed to my new harvest of cysts and lumps and crap. So, sayonara, reproductive endocrinologist!

It's a lot to process.

So, I'm not quite ready to start my new job. But I will, and it will be fine. Or, it will be terrible and provide lots of great blog fodder. Either way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slightly unhinged.

I have a bit of a headache today. I guess that's what happens when you drink half a bottle of Moscato.

I needed the Moscato because I was putting away groceries late yesterday afternoon. And when I got ready to load canned goods into my lazy susan, I noticed spilled coffee grounds. Coffee grounds that had spilled out of the side of the bag because the bag had been chewed open.

Yes. The mice had gotten into my lazy susan. This, after 3 days of constant cleaning, steel wool placing, mousetrap setting and general profanity. When they couldn't get into my silverware drawer, the mice expanded their horizons.

I needed the Moscato. I needed it so badly that I was not thwarted by my malfunctioning corkscrew. I was not thwarted by the fact that I ended up with half the cork in the bottle. And I certainly wasn't thwarted by the fact that Moscato is traditionally a dessert wine. No, I was completely comfortable drinking it out of a juice glass at 5 p.m., long before any sort of food.

I don't drink a lot. But holy crap, I needed something to take the edge off. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or just move. Why do the mice hate me so much? What sort of karmic debt am I paying here? I like Jacques and Gus Gus from Cinderella. But I'm pretty sure that the mice in our house are less Disney and more al qaeda.

It's hard to concentrate on much of anything when all you can smell is Pine-Sol, all of your canned goods are stacked in a lovely pyramid on your kitchen counter, and your silverware drawer - yes, the drawer and all of its contents - has been on the kitchen counter for 3 days. Like you're a hillbilly. With some can't-put-stuff-away version of Tourette's.

I'm starting to feel like Chuck Norris: I don't sleep. I wait. I wait for the mice to come and bust their way through the steel wool and aluminum foil fortress that I have crafted in my kitchen cabinetry. I will be waiting, armed with a surly attitude and a half-empty bottle of wine.

I guess I come by this vermin vendetta honestly.

My dad's pride and joy is his yard. When I was growing up, there was a mole that tunneled all over the yard - definitely without my dad's permission. My poor papa tried everything - bait, traps, all of it. But you know how he got finally rid of the mole? One morning, my sweet daddy was starting off on his morning constitutional, and he noticed 1 of the mole tunnels ... moving.

And then you know what my mild-mannered daddy did? He ran over and stomped the shit out of that tunnel. Dad + vexation at vermin + Adidas = a mole that tunneled no more.

That's how I feel about the mice.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yeah, I'm rewriting the dictionary.

hubris [hyoo-bris], noun
1. excessive pride or feeling like a bad-ass mobster, especially in cases where one believes they have triumphed over rodents when, in fact, 1 dead rodent does not mean the end of an infestation
2. arrogance ultimately leading to the karmic fall of rodent-fighters; see also Cha Cha thought 1 dead mouse meant there were no more mice in her house except that for 2 days after that, she woke to find mouse shit in her silverware drawer and so had to hardcore clean her kitchen multiple times and come up with innovative ways to fight mice and should probably just give up and move because c'mon - mice in the silverware drawer

Related terms
mouse-poo-blindness [are-yoo-freaking-kidding-meeee], noun - inability to see mouse shit in silverware drawer, resulting in using poo-infested silverware for breakfast 3 days in a row; infamously practiced by Cha Cha's husband, who gets up before she does

nuclear warfare [noo-klee-ur-warfair-muthafuckah], noun - combination of peppermint oil, steel wool and snap-your-head-off-you-dirty-rodent-skank mouse traps; infamously practiced by Cha Cha; often used in conjunction with liquor consumption

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ah, autumn. Or, do not cross me, you poo-spewing piece of filth.

The weather has been lovely. The days are warm and sunny, and the nights are getting cool. Today, I actually considered wearing pants - an option that hasn't really been an option during the last 3 months of hades-like temps.

Fall brings other changes, too. Squirrels are super busy building their hoards. And mice? Mice are busy trying to find warm shelter. And also ruining my life.

This morning, I came down to the kitchen and grabbed my usual Greek yogurt. When I opened the silverware drawer to grab a spoon, there was a little black nugget of awesomeness sitting right in the middle of the spoon, where the yogurt is supposed to sit as it is transported to my mouth. And there were other little nuggets all throughout the drawer.

Yes. There had been a mouse. In my silverware drawer. In my kitchen. Where I prepare our food. Which I assume to be shit-free.

The mouse had also mingled with my kitchen towels and had camped out in my bread drawer.

I will leave my profanity-laden rant to your imagination. But needless to say, it was a doozy. And, needless to say, I spent all day sanitizing my kitchen.

I washed towels and ran the dishwasher about 27 times. I vacuumed and Clorox wiped and Pine-Sol-ed my way around my cupboards. I wiped the insides of cabinets with peppermint oil and left cotton balls soaked in the oil in the back of the cabinet that houses the infiltrated drawers.

I have dishpan hands and a nasty attitude.

We had a mouse in our garage last winter, so I did the peppermint oil business out there, too. Wiping an oil-doused cotton ball along the door to our house felt very biblical. No mice are welcome here! You and your pooping-in-silverware-drawer ilk best keep movin' on, buddy.

After the garage, I moved on to the basement to do the same treatment. Last week, I'd seen what I optimistically hoped was old evidence of a long-gone mouse in our basement. Today, I realized that I was probably just a fool. But, a fool armed with peppermint oil.


When I went to put an oil-doused cotton ball along what I assumed would be a mouse superhighway next to our hot water heater? There was a giant hairball. A hairball with a tail. A dead mouse!

I have to admit - I suddenly felt super smug. This is what happens when you cross me! Do me wrong and you will not live to tell the tale - or tail! It was like I was a mafia boss - my foe was dead and I didn't even have to do anything!

I even asked My Guy to pick up the carcass, because that's what mob bosses do. Also, because carcass removal is why I got married. I felt sort of guilty, because I totally could have quadruple-wrapped my hand in Target bags and disposed of the mouse. I even asked My Guy if asking him to do it meant that I'm not a feminist. But really? I think Gloria Steinem would agree that smart women get things done. And if I just flashed a boob at my husband to entice him to do the dirty work, isn't that a smart way to get things done?

I guess it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the mouse that crossed me is dead, and surely this is lesson to all other mice. And it was a lot easier than a horse head in a bed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm never going to be a spokesmodel at this rate.

My Guy and I had a date tonight. High rollers that we are, we went to Pei Wei and then a movie.

Well, we also went to Home Depot, because we had time before the movie. Because you know you're married with a fixer-upper when, instead of grabbing a drink before the movie, you grab a dimmer switch.

We saw Sleepwalk With Me, which was quite good.

But the point of all of this is ... it was date night. Today, I walked the dogs and worked around the house. Notice that I did not actually bathe.

So, in preparation for date night, I decided to go all out. At about 5 p.m., I showered. I slapped on some pretty-smelling lotion. And I decided to dress like a girl.

Now, in the time I've been unemployed, I've basically been wearing workout clothes 24/7. Not because I'm working out, but because I am lazy. The only times I've worn mascara since the beginning of August were the handful of times I met with recruiters. Otherwise? So not worth the effort.

But for date night, on a night when my legs hurt from running about and we were headed to fancypants places like Pei Wei and the fine-arts theatre? I attempted to pull out all the stops.

I tried. I really did.

I ended up wearing a feminine, navy skirt (good start!). And a gold Iowa Hawkeyes t-shirt (umm ... OK?). And a green cardigan that I got off the Target clearance rack in 2005 (really?).

I wore earrings. And a little lip gloss. And that was as dressed up as I could manage.

My Guy told me I looked pretty. I believe this is code for, "My prayers are answered! You changed out of those running shorts! Hallelujah!"

Now, part of me likes to believe that I'm getting back to basics, and getting comfortable in my own skin, and that my new habit of going, well, everywhere without brushing my hair is just me being free.

The other part of me thinks that I'm going to be in a world of hurt in a week when I have to go back to work ... in an office where jeans aren't allowed, for God's sake. I'm also sort of wondering what happened to me liking to wear jewelry and dress like a girl. It used to be fun. Now, it just seems like work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Corrections and addendums.

I try to be as thorough and accurate as possible in my blogging. However, the fact checkers at Noodleroux World Headquarters do occasionally - much like the fact checkers of the RNC - make mistakes. Like not doing their jobs at all.
  • Remember when I was all, "My friend Brent broke his leg on the first day of kindergarten. I talked about it for weeks?"

    Yeah. About that?

    BFF cheerily corrected me. "Dude," she said. "We're still talking about it now. It shouldn't be, 'I talked about it for weeks.' It should be, 'We talked about it for decades!'"

    It's true. I apologize for the inaccuracy. Keep in mind that BFF and I weren't even in the same elementary school, and yet she, too, still talks about Brent breaking his leg on the first day of kindergarten. Because it was the first day of kindergarten! And then he got to wear a cast! Which was awesome!

  • I was remiss in posting an incomplete list of things that made me feel old while on vacation. Missing from that list? I plucked an inch-long hair from my jawline.

    Yeah. Just go ahead and let that sink in for a moment. An inch.

    It's 1 of those things where you are mostly amazed and think, "OMG, I must show this to my husband! It's incredible!" And then you remember that your husband is the person you try to trick into having relations with you, and so if he doesn't like to acknowledge that you use the bathroom, perhaps he would also like to not know about the freakish hair that occasionally spouts up in unexpected places.

    But seriously. It was an inch long. So cool. And so gross.

  • You may have noticed that the sidebar of this here blog is looking a little different. That's because I'm awesome. And, by "awesome," I mean "inadvertently deleted my blogroll because I have spent the last several weeks putzing around my house instead of interacting with any sort of computer and therefore have obviously let any computer skillz I may have ever had atrophy horribly to the point that I will do dumb stuff like delete my blogroll."


    So ... if you'd like to be listed on the new and improved Blogroll 2.0: Now With Actual Blogs, leave the name and complete URL of your blog in the comments. Be a pal and list me on yours. And we'll see if I can figure out this new-fangled Internet business without deleting, oh, 5 years of blog posts.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vacation hangover.

We are back from the beach. It's good to be home.

I have SARS.

Well, or I have pneumonia. Or bronchitis. Or a chest cold. Or invisible weights in my bra that are causing my chest to feel all smooshed.

The lady next to me on the plane yesterday was really nice, so surely she didn't get me sick. I mean, I gave her my magazine and everything. I think my lung malaise must be due to my sudden fall from pampered grace. So far today, no one has offered me a perfect bloody mary. And while it's nice to see my own backyard, said backyard does not feature a beautiful beach.

Obviously, there's an adjustment period.

I'm also trying to come to terms with the fact that there were a few things about my vacation that made me feel like an old biddy.

1. I missed my dogs. Like, really, really missed my dogs. I did not call the dogsitter and insist on speaking to the dogs. This is positive. Also, I managed to stay married. This is also positive. And, since I hoard dogs, not cats, and own no housecoats? No worries. Right?

2. One of the waiters around the pool recognized me from years past. He was welcoming. However, my gut reaction upon seeing him was, "Dave? You still work here after 4 years? What are you doing with your life? Do you have any retirement savings at all?"

Luckily, I had this conversation in my mind, not out loud. But when your first impulse upon seeing a cute, tan pool waiter is to question his 401k or lack thereof, you are well on your way to middle age. And being the buzzkill at the few social events to which you manage to get invited.

3. An adult beverage or 2 no longer means blissfully falling into a peaceful slumber. No. It means that Old Lady Cha Cha has a bloody mary at lunch, a beer at dinner, and then is wide awake until 2 a.m., reading Wikipedia and wondering if her husband's snoring is a sign that he needs a sleep mask and, if so, if she could borrow it and go as Darth Vader for Halloween. Or Arbor Day. Or any day she felt like dressing as the dark lord. Or maybe she could take the Darth Vader mask and call or sneak up on Dave the Pool Waiter and terrorize / coerce him into saving for retirement. You know, like how Marty McFly used his Walkman and hazmat suit to scare his dad into asking his mom to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gift from the sea.

Today at the pool, I was completely taken with a particular kid. He was 8 or 9 and horsing around and playing catch with his older brother / cousin.

I nudged My Guy. "Babe, I've totally found your spirit animal," I said. "Look at that little boy! You guys are obviously bonded on a spiritual plane!"

Spirit Animal was a solid, energetic kid with dark brown hair. He was a bit squirrelly, and his joy at playing catch in the pool was just intoxicating.

He wasn't loud or obnoxious. He was just ebullient.

He reminded me so much of my sweet husband, who loves nothing more than playing ball, who can be so squirrelly-yet-sweet that I refer to this common state as "monkey on a trampoline."

Our kid might have looked like this boy. Except we aren't going to have a kid.

This made me momentarily sad. Oh, woe is me! Lounging around a pool at a posh, beach-side resort! My poor barren self is so tiiiiiired after reading a book a day and having bloody marys delivered to my chaise louuuuuuunge! Bloody marys I can down with abandon because I'm baaaaaaarren!


I love the beach. There's something about the ocean that's so soothing and centering. And all the walks on the sand and pool time has helped my brain - and My Guy's - clear a bit.

Yesterday, he turned to me out of the blue and said, "This summer has really sucked."

Boy howdy. You speak the truth.

But we've also had many conversations about how blessed we are to be here, and how wonderful our life together is. As 2 people who had each, individually decided that we were destined to be alone forever, the blessing of a best friend spousal unit is especially sweet.

We don't know what's next. But we know it's all OK.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How we're paying for our new HVAC system.

Last week, between heat-induced crazy dreams, I had an epiphany.

Actually, "epiphany" is too strong a word. How about "acknowledgement of something super obvious?"

I had this, erm, acknowledgement at about 2:15 in the morning as I laid drenched in sweat in our sweltering, broken-HVAC-having house. The acknowledgement was that I damned well better get - and accept - the job for which I was interviewing in a few hours.

I did and I did. And so, I will go back to the corporate grind on October 1.

I have mixed feelings about this.

Superficially, it makes that giant check we just wrote to the HVAC folks hurt a little less. It's a lot easier to do stuff like, oh, replace your entire HVAC system when you aren't going to be living off of 1 income soon.

Big picture?

Well ...

I liked the manager, and he offered me the job on the spot - breaking the rules of the contractor (me) / contracting company (my new pimp) / end manager (this new boss guy) etiquette. The work sounds interesting. And it's a 6-month contract, so if it's really horrid, I can bail. And really? It could be working with a pack of rabid hyenas and still be better than my last contract.

It does, however, somewhat inhibit my dream of being a housewife, stay-at-home lady who lunches, or whatever you want to call it.

We have new neighbors, and during our initial meet-and-greet in the the driveway, the woman of the couple sheepishly admitted that she currently stays home ... and they have no kids.

I was all, "Me too! And I love it!" Because there's something embarrassing about not really wanting to work, to be rather jazzed about getting yourself and your household in order. A generation ago, it would be normal. Now? Not so much. You better have an excuse for your lazy-bum ways.

I feel like I'm still detoxing from my burnout at Corporate Behemoth, and my emotionally scarring stint at Mega Corporate Behemoth. But I was surprised that I felt energized after my interview - it was refreshing to use that part of my brain again. And that gives me hope.

I haven't quite figured out the part of my brain that's itching to start something creative and bold.

For now, My Guy and I are on vacation, at the beach. It's been a full day of sitting by the pool and walking along the water. We just returned from lounging in a hammock and debating the finer (and not-so-fine) points about Rebecca Black's "Friday" video. Obviously, the days are just packed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The object of my affection.

All of the comments about dream jobs made me laugh and laugh. Folks, if you need a fact checker? Rainbow Motel is your gal. Looking for spot-on ear piercing? Kelley will hook you up. Gift wrapping? Dorrie. Fair barker? Oh, Jessie. Oh, yes. Spanish-language annnnnnnnnnnnnnouncer? Ilyannaaaaaaaah! And friendly critiques about beachwear? Little Miss Sunshine State. Yes.

These dreams of ideal jobs got me to thinking.

First of all ... when I was young and adorable? I told my dad I wanted to drive a street sweeper. Being the supportive pop he is, my sweet daddy said, "Well, whatever you want to do, we'll go along with it."

Except that I was a 3-year-old firecracker. "No, dad," I said. "You can't. It only has 1 seat."

Bwah ha ha. But as an adult, this makes perfect sense to me. I love interesting tools and appliances, and I adore tangible, immediate results.

This is why I love power washers.


Need your deck powerwashed? Call me! Tough mildew on brick? Got it.

So, this affinity leads me to be insanely jealous of guys who work for GumBusters. They use special power washers to blast dried gum off of sidewalks. I saw it on Dirty Jobs, and I actually saw it in action in New York City. Uh-mazing.

Look at this thing. How kick-ass is it?
Some folks dream of ruling the streets with a souped-up ride, or watching the game on a ginormous, fancy-pants teevee. I fantasize about randomly busting gum off the sidewalk with this bit o' awesomeness.

Yes, I need to get out more. No, I have not transferred this desire to clean sidewalks to cleaning my own house. Don't judge me.

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Awesome things I've learned this week.

1. I should not be allowed to use super glue. 
Being the high-maintenance doxie about town that he is, Lil' Frankfurter cannot use a plastic food dish. He demands a ceramic dish because anything else is just uncouth. And Lil' Frank shows his displeasure by chewing any and all plastic dishes that might disgrace his kennel.

So, when his ceramic dish broke, it was a dire situation. But, being a DIY diva, I can fix this, right?

I washed the 2 pieces of the bowl ... and sliced my hand open on the jagged edge. Then, after some serious blood loss, I bandaged the carnage and opened my new tube of super glue ... which promptly exploded all over my hand and the kitchen counter.

I managed to glue the dish, realizing as I pieced it together that 2 of my fingers were glue to each other, and the side of my hand was glued to the counter top.

I am a winner. I also should not be a spokes model for super glue - unless the super glue people have a sense of humor and would welcome me saying stuff like, "Super glue? That shit sets fast" while I was glued to, you know, my kitchen.

2. Lack of air conditioning causes insane dreams. 
You know what's neat? When it's still 90-some degrees on a daily basis, and your gajillion-year-old HVAC system completely dies. Like, gonna-replace-the-furnace-and-the-AC-and-some-duct-work kinda neat. Like, gonna-eat-ramen-for-years kinda neat.

But in my feverish attempts to sleep in the heat, I have had some amazing dreams.

Evidently, I am auditioning for American Idol.

And, evidently, My Guy and I went on a cruise, but didn't actually have a cabin on the ship. And so he abandoned me for a family that had a big cabin.

He refuses to apologize for this. He keeps saying something about dreams not being real, or some such nonsense.

3. SNL has rotted my brain.
All through the PBS coverage of the Democratic National Convention, I look at Gwen Ifill ...
... but I see Queen Latifah.

I blame Tina Fey.

Images courtesy of google.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Showin' some skin, granny style.

Since it's the very last day of summer, I went to da poo (or, "the pool" for those of you who are unfamiliar with my brother's nekkid Barbie behest).

It was lovely. I lounged in the zero-entry area with my friend and chatted it up as we watched her twins swim themselves into exhaustion.

The first time I went to this pool, I was nervous. I was just sure that it would be packed with moms who spend half their lives at the gym and have the rockin' bodies to prove it. Sure, there are some of those. But mostly, this city pool provides a nice representation of all body types. I'm a little sad for the moms who feel the need to wear those little bikini skirts when really, they have nothing to hide. But other than that? It's kewl.

Today, though, I found myself absolutely confounded. There was a grandma there, playing with her grandkids and donning a rather chaste, almost knee-length grandma swim dress.

Except Chaste Grandma? Had giant tattoos on her back and upper arms. Giant. Tattoos.

Now, I am down with some skin art. But what killed me was the thought that people have grandmas with big ol' tattoos ... and I cannot imagine my own grandma with a tat.

My sweet grandma was of the June Cleaver ilk. She could prepare a huge meal for her extended family and never need an apron, because she never spilled or splattered. She wore pearls. She never cussed or drank or was anything besides in control.

So, if my grandma had a tattoo ... what would it be?

My imagination has been running wild on this one. Some options:
  • A heart with my grandpa's name in a banner across it. They were married for 69 years, so I think a tattoo would be OK - none of this "you know that's permanent, right?" business. Yeah, they knew it was permanent.
  • Her best dog, Skipper. I am crazy about dogs, but Grandma totally was, too. And Skipper was the dog to beat all dogs, and is still spoken of reverently. If Grandma wanted to go all ASPCA with her tat, Skipper might be a good skin-art choice.
  • A family photo. This would be more of a full-back tat, not just an arm piece. In honor of my grandparents' 50th anniversary, we had a giant family portrait with them, all the kids, and all the grandkids - 16 people total. And nothing was more important to Grandma than family. This would be a big tattoo. However, I'm not sure how I feel about her showing it off - as you might imagine, I did not have a grandma who wore tube tops.
Do you have a tattooed granny? What's her ink? Or what would be the most appropriate tat if your grandma were to get some skin art?