Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In which I sound like an old biddy.

I am offended by e-mail thank yous.

There! I said it!

It's true. If I go to the trouble to do something noble and generous and three-dimensional, I don't think it's too much to ask that you spend two minutes and a stamp and send me a damn note. In the mail. Via the U.S. Postal Service.

Now, like all good biddies, I have exceptions. Like, if you're dead. Or if I was there when you opened the gift.

But other than that? If my grandma continued to hand write thank yous well after she was completely blind, I think you can manage, too.

In other news ... I'm starting to feel better, but this fever has obviously gone to my brain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The cuteness will sear your retinas.

I'm still sick. But feeling better. But not enough better to do more than be mad that Foxie Doxie keeps rolling in some sort of yuck in the yard. Seriously. He smells soooooo bad. So bad that I gave him a bath at midnight on Saturday night rather than subject my parents to his funk.

However, I know that if I give him a bath right now, he'll just go out and roll in the funk next time he goes outside. And I still feel cruddy. So, I'm ignoring him.

Let's hear it for Mama of the Year! Woo-hoo!

While I'm generally disheartened that the interwebnets have not yet embraced scratch and sniff technology, this is probably a good thing right at this moment. So now, you can just embrace the cuteness and forget about the funktastic stench.

Behold! Foxie Doxie!

And his darling, soulful brother, Geriatric Poodle!

In making my peace with Geriatric Poodle's future, I took the very necessary step of having professional portraits done. They are obviously worth every penny.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy birthday, mom.

Today? Today, I am sick. And not even my usual sick and tired. I am sick. Sick of the "The NyQuil might make me throw up but it's worth a shot" variety.

And Mr. Wonderful? He is traveling for business. Away. Away from the sickness. And it's just not quite the same when I actually have to call him to moan about how crappy I feel.

My parents were here this weekend. It was the first time I'd seen them since Christmas. They left, and then Mr. Wonderful left for the airport an hour later. And I felt horrible. And so? And so, I cried and cried. And then I fell asleep. And then I woke up and watched the last hour of Stepmom and cried some more.

I called in sick today and even that didn't make me feel better. I must truly be sick. Dammit.

At least I felt ok for most of the weekend. It was my mom's 60th birthday. And believe it or not, Mr. Barry Manilow performed here on her very birthday. And I won suite tickets through Corporate Behemoth. My mama and I sat in the front row of a suite to see Barry.

It was awesome. I love me some Manilow, and I don't care who knows. Cha Cha + Barry 4-Evah!

My mom's birthday is a funny thing. Her gift from me was an impromptu shopping spree at a fabric shop. And her gift from my dad was a shopping spree at a jewelry store. It's almost like the non-gift-wrapped atmosphere is an attempt to make her birthday Not A Big Deal.

But, it's a big deal. A huge, gigantic deal.

Two months before her 50th birthday, my mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I won't go into all the gory details, but suffice to say, the next year and a half were tough. Really, really tough. But my mom? Even tougher.

And so, when she celebrates 60 years of life, she's also celebrating 10 years of kicking cancer's sorry little ass.

I am so very proud of her. And also painfully aware of how precious every day is, and how big of a deal all birthdays are, even the ones that don't involve a zero.

My mom has always been very supportive of my writing. She is the one who always tells me that when I'm ready, the world will be welcoming of what I have to say. And yet? I've been writing this blog for more than a year and never breathed a word about it.

At first, I didn't tell anyone. The blog was about me, and if some randoms found it, great. But then a few writing-type friends were welcomed into the fold. And then I found blogging friends. And now it seems the blog is a part of my life and an important one, too. Important enough to feel like an omission when I don't mention it. And me and my mom? We're not like that.

So, this is my mom's real birthday present. Welcome to my blog, mom.

And yes, I know I shouldn't drop the f-bomb so much. Maybe I'll work on that when I stop praying for death.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jon Bon Jovi works hard for his money.

So you better treat him right.

Mr. Wonderful and I saw Bon Jovi last night. It was a great show. JBJ is a heck of a performer and almost made me forget that there was evidently no air conditioning in the arena. Because why would air circulation be important when you’re having 17,000 people over to sing and dance and drink within close proximity to each other?

But I digress.

The people watching was incredible. We spotted many folks reliving their younger days. We also sighted many packs of cougars. Actually, do they travel in prides? Gaggles?

Anyway. Lots of older-than-me women with big hair, lots of make-up, notable sun damage and an endless array of fruity drinks. And the clothes – oh gawd. Zebra prints. Leopard prints. Sequined everything.

Now, I was a sorority girl. I have been a girly girl. But the cougar lifestyle? It scares me. Probably because it screams of desperation. These women seem fake and uncomfortable with themselves, and I find that unsettling.

But also? Also, I see the folly in wearing four-inch heels to a concert.

However, I also see the joy in being completely comfortable in your own skin. Case in point: Mr. Wonderful.

I wrote several months ago that in preparation for the Bon Jovi show, I needed to score a Camaro and get a perm.

Mr. Wonderful tried to find a Camaro, but he ultimately settled on this Tina Turner wig paired with his circa-1993 Van Halen t-shirt.

When he showed up in this get-up, I had to sit down. He wore it during our tour of bar and restaurants prior to the show, during the show, and during our let-the-garage-clear post-concert drink.

Here’s the thing about the hair: people are drawn to it. He had his photo taken by at least a dozen folks. People were high-fiving him everywhere we went. They were fascinated by the hair and asked if it was real. He was the belle of the ball, and it was a great sociological experiment.

So many people came up to us, we decided, because they assume that someone ballsy and comfortable enough to sport a Sebastian Bach-esque wig at a Bon Jovi concert is friendly. Friendly, and somebody you want to know.

Mr. Wonderful is friendly, and he is somebody you want to know. He had a great time, which delighted me. His willingness to go all out taught me yet again what it means to let go and have fun. And it made me fall in love with him just a teensy bit more.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Respect the peeler.

I have a blister from my stripper shoes.

Let me back up a bit.

Last night was Big Stoopid Gala, the one and only black tie event that I attend each year. This was the first year that I attended as an innocent bystander instead of a volunteer. It was great - all I had to do was show up and enjoy the bounty of the open bar.

Well, that, and buy my very first ever bit of shapewear. You know, to keep the loose and breezy looking dress loose and breezy instead of lumpy and semi-disfiguring.

The shapeware? Not as effective as losing 10 pounds. But ok.

But while I was wrangling into the shapeware and begging my pedicure to dry, I made the mistake of watching the finale of Rock of Love II.

Yes. I was glued to the tube watching new-to-me trash TV. Would Bret choose Daisy, the stripper with the collagen lips? Or Ambre, the TV presenter?

What amazes me? Well, besides everything about this show? They keep talking about Ambre as being so driven and such a career woman. She's a TV presenter! She makes me look like Diane Keaton from the beginning of Baby Boom. Well, minus the shoulder pads.

And also? What woman really thinks that neck tattoos are a good, long-term decision? Because Daisy, you're rockin' that look at 25. But at 40? Well, you're gonna be wearing a lot of scarves. And turtlenecks. And you will be described as looking "hard."

Not hatin', just saying.

So, anyway. Gentle reader, heed my warning. Do not choose your footwear for a night out on the town while you're watching a show where women try to out-whore each other.

Rock of Love made me think that of course I should wear the four-inch heels! They are sassy and elongate my legs! And will help me avoid looking lumpy and disfigured!

All was well until about 11:30 last night, when I decided that I had a rock in my shoe. I decided to tough it out.

Once in the car, post-party, I discovered the awful truth. That ain't no rock. That's a blister. A blister the size of Cleveland, smack in the middle of the ball of my left foot.

I figured it would feel fine this morning. Alas, no! I can feel it throbbing, even as I sit on my couch. I wore my very favorite Mizuno running shoes to run errands today, in the hopes that my aching foot would be soothed by their superior arch support. These are, after all, the most expensive shoes I've ever owned and worth every penny.

Alas, no. I actually considered taking my shoe off in the middle of Goodwill because the throbbing was so intense. I considered going sock-footed in a thrift store, people. Does that express the order of magnitude of this blister?

Let's just say that I have a new-found respect for the girls who work the pole. I figure there's no room for insoles in those clear plastic heels, yet they keep struttin'. More power to you, ladies.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Like I don't feel inadequate enough already.

Now I have to worry about Martha-ing-up the Geriatric Poodle’s last days and final resting place.

And I’m sure Geriatric Poodle is bitter that I didn’t offer him the same opportunities as Martha’s beloved Paw Paw:

In addition to taking part in television commercials and several national print ads, he has been part of numerous photo shoots and is a familiar face on my television show, in my magazine, and on this blog.

Sigh. I feed him. And I did post his photo – does that count for anything?

Do I get any credit for the fact that as of yesterday, I’m now an expert on how to get nine-hour-old, crusty dog barf out of handmade, not-washer-safe quilts made with love and care by my mom? Do I earn some sort of Marthascout merit badge?

Yeah. I didn’t think so either. Maybe if I had scented the quilt with French lavender instead of just being happy it didn’t smell like Science Diet.

It's easy being green.

I was amazed and delighted how my book club talked at length last month about recycling.

Yeah, I know. Evidently, we’re in between rounds of babies and get to talk about something besides lactation. Hurray!

It seems that everybody at the table is doing something. It was a given that everyone recycles. Our area municipal recycling doesn’t take glass, so we discussed the wheres and hows of getting all those wine bottles someplace besides the landfill. Even the most harried of the mamas was talking about her new reusable shopping bags.

People, we even talked about how to set up a compost pile. Really. It was amazing.

It causes me physical pain when I see plastic or cans in the trash – I just can’t believe that folks are still throwing recyclables away! But just when I think I’m the only human in the whole entire world who is recycling, I’m blown away by somebody else. Like my book club. Or Mr. Wonderful’s 4-year-old.

When I first started dating Mr. Wonderful, I confided in my friend Alice that while he was superfine and a heck of a catch, he didn’t recycle. She raised her eyebrows but didn’t pass judgment.

Mr. Wonderful started recycling at my house. And then he started bringing his recyclables to my house. And then he let me sign him up for curbside recycling. Yahoo!

His daughter, The Ladybug, has gotten really into what she refers to as “cycling.” If there is cycling to be tossed into the green bin, she has to be the one to do it. Cans, paper, whatever – she is queen of the cycling bin.

I don’t know that she necessarily gets the global significance of what she’s doing. She’s 4. I think it’s more about the sorting aspect of it. But they usually have a full bin of cycling at the end of the week.

I take a teensy bit of pride in this. But wait! It gets better!

Turns out that the old owners of Mr. Wonderful’s house left a recycling bin in the shed. With The Ladybug being so enthusiastic about cycling, the extra bin went with her to her mother’s house.

Yes. I indirectly got my boyfriend’s ex-wife to recycle. Bwah-ha!

What have we learned here? Manipulating children is easy and fun. And every little bit helps.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ballad of the geriatric poodle.

I'm one of three people on the planet who don't own a digital camera. I understand the other two are in refugee camps, awaiting their Red Cross-issued digital cameras.

As a techno loser, I don't have a lot of photos of, well, anything. I realized that I have no photographic proof of my existence between October 2001 and December 2004. But, I remember some stuff from that time, so I guess I'm ok.

I think I need to get on the stick or I'm going to end up wishing I had photos. Photos of my dogs. Because I am that lady.

The gold-plated anti-senility drugs aren't really helping the Geriatric Poodle. I talked to the vet today and for the first time, he admitted that there's really nothing else they can do for the little guy. He suggested an acupuncturist. And he told me that we might be looking at the end of the road.

I managed not to cry during our conversation - I saved my mental breakdown for describing the conversation to Mr. Wonderful.

I might try the acupuncture. I don't know. Right now, it seems that's all that's really wrong with Geriatric Poodle is that he's old. And aging isn't a disease - it just is what it is.

Right now, he's cuddled up against my chest. One of my wonderful friends dropped off an oft-passed-around Baby Bjorn this afternoon. It promises to give me scoliosis, but my little ball of fluff seems rather pleased with the whole thing.

The idea of doing nothing seems morally wrong. But Mr. Wonderful pointed out that I'm not doing nothing - I'm loving him and petting him and feeding him and giving him all the things he didn't have at the beginning of his life.

I used to work in a very large park. People would dump their dogs in the park, so we had packs of wild dogs roaming around.

One morning, I heard a hullabaloo at the front desk of my office, but seeing as how I am not a morning person, I didn't investigate. Later, I saw a coworker with blood all over her shirt.

She had found a dog right next to our front walk. He was covered in mange and was literally bleeding to death. He'd been beaten up by some other dogs in the park. He weighed 11 pounds.

I didn't see him that day, but I saw him the day after. The vet had shaved him, and he had a giant, purple hernia that distracted attention from his multiple stitches.

He wouldn't look anyone in the eye. I didn't realize he had a tail.

When he was found, he was wearing a collar that was way too tight. He'd been abused and then dumped in the park.

The third day I visited him at the vet, he cried when I left. He was my dog.

He lived at the vet for several weeks. I would go and just sit with him. I brought him toys after I had slept with them, so they smelled like me. And then, after my coworkers took up a collection and the vet wrote off hundreds and hundreds of dollars in fees, I took him home.

I felt like a new parent - I couldn't believe they just let me walk out of the vet with him. Sure, I'd had dogs growing up, but I had no clue what I was doing! And, he was still in a cone. And, I was in a no-pets apartment. What was I doing?

He trained me well. We got into a routine. A smarter dog I have never known. Seriously. Intuitive, ornery, and smart as hell.

We've been through impacted anal glands (his, not mine); four moves; the mother of all break-ups; a spleen that just ripped in half for no reason and was almost lethal (again, his); and joy and celebration. This dog wore a golf towel as a cape and let me carry him around in a backpack because he knew he was adorable. And his best friend in the entire universe is a fleece camel named, of course, Camelia.

He is the best dog anyone could ever, ever ask for.

My heart breaks at the idea of parting, but I know this isn't about me. It's about life. This is how it works.

And it sucks.

Maybe we have lots of time left - me, poodle and Baby Bjorn. Or maybe tomorrow will be the day I go to get him out of his kennel and he doesn't wake up. I don't know.

But it's been really great.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


The latest Google ad to grace my blog?

I cured my gum disease.

I am truly fascinated by the magic gnomes employed by Google. Truly.

I bet they used to be baristas. Baristas who gave people regular instead of decaf just for the hell of it.

In other news, Mr. Wonderful made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Mr. Wonderful: (something stupid).

Me: That's fine. That's just fine.


Mr. Wonderful: I speak Woman, so I know that what you just said actually means 'I will cut you, bitch.'

Me: Wow - you're right! You are fluent. Watch your back!

Friday, April 4, 2008

An open letter to the barista who served me regular instead of decaf.


I rilly like your coffee shop and you guys are all rilly rilly nice and you have free wireless and I rilly rilly like that?

And you? Were so crazy nice when I bought my coffee? And even told me that if I buy a pastry, I can get the coffee for just 49 cents? Because it’s Friday and that’s your special? That was rilly rilly nice?

And you know what else is rilly rilly nice? Realizing after downing my beverage that I can feel my pulse in my face? Like I could that one time I drank two margaritas made with Everclear? I gave up caffeine 10 years ago and only occasionally allow myself a decaf because I know they have teensy bit o’ caffeine, you know? And now, how do you think fully-caffeinated coffee feels coursing through my veins?


Have a great weekend! I’ll be cleaning my house. And editing a client’s entire dissertation. And cleaning my gutters. And peeling the skin off my body. And NOT SLEEPING EVER, EVER AGAIN.

Oh, and praying for the sweet release of death.


Cha Cha

P.S. Mr. Wonderful loves you. He says I’m now far more entertaining than cable TV. He is, however, a little concerned by my wide-eyed, unblinking stare.

I *heart* my gambling problem.

It’s time to come clean.

I have a problem.

It’s not that I play the lotto, or that I spend countless hours fritterin’ away my babies’ kibble funds at the casino. No.

I make stupid bets with Mr. Wonderful.

Case in point: The Barf Bet.

Our gym is next door to a bar. And on New Year’s Eve, a bar patron evidently had too much fun. And barfed on the side of the building.

It was gross. And chunky. And we walked past it every time we visited the gym.

When, after about a week, it became obvious that no one was going to clean it up, we started talking about the half-life of vomit. Just how long would it take for the barf to break down?

A wager was made. I figured that with the western-facing building, the vomit would be washed away well before April 1. On the line? Dinner. Because what’s more fitting for a bet about barf?

And so, my gambling problem is only a problem because I lost the bet.

I know. It’s been three months and there is still chunky barf residue on the building and the sidewalk. Three months! Who knew? I thought this wager was a sure thing. But now? Now, I’m stuck taking Mr. Wonderful out to dinner. And stuck listening to him singing “We are The Barf Bet champions, my friends” over and over and over again.

And did I mention that there’s a dance that goes along with the song? Yeah. It’s great. It involves a lot of raised arms and then pointing. Martha Graham, eat your heart out.

Of course, we had an impromptu dance-off the other night and I totally handed him his ass with my Jennifer Beals-inspired performance. But still. Even my superior gloating abilities are no match for Mr. Wonderful. And that, in a nutshell, is the core of my gambling problem.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Proof that all is well.

Mr. Wonderful made this comment while I was fixing dinner last night:

"You're a really good cook. And you have a great ass. My girlfriend is awesome!"

Well. Ok, then. Never underestimate the power of Newman's Own marinara and hand-me-down jeans.