Monday, August 31, 2009

All I ever wanted.

This week is the culmination of the gigantic project that has devoured my life for the last six months. Corporate Behemoth? You are a cruel and cunning mistress. Which is a fancy-pants way of saying "high-maintenance beyotch."

The good news is that success is within our reach and it will all come together and be marvelous. The not-so-good news is that I am exhausted. The really, really good news is that on Saturday, my mom and I are flying to Florida, where we will sit on the beach for seven days.

Yes. Sitting. On the beach. There will be fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. And trashy novels. And lots of seafood. And no rental car. And lots of walking on the sand and not giving myself carpal tunnel by working at a computer 37 hours a day.

Did I mention the beach?

I am so ready. So, so ready. I'm hoping that it will be an excellent way to zone out, recharge and get some perspective on recent events. And you know I'm not talking about the health care town halls or Michael Jackson's unfortunate demise.


I still have the double-bagged bunny carcass swinging next to my wind chimes. And today, after work? I discovered yet another dead varmint in the backyard. I didn't get close enough to see what flavor of varmint, and Foxie Doxie is under close supervision. I should have just womaned up, grabbed my trowel and more Target bags and addressed the situation.

But really? Really, after getting home at 7, knowing full well that I would log back on after eating my nightly peanut butter, tomato and onion sandwich? Really, when I found yet another carcass, it was all I could do not to raise my hands up to the heavens and scream, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!"


Four days til vacation. I'm assuming I won't be called upon to dispose of any bodies while on holiday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


We've been talking a lot about our Miss Universe-esque cultural heritage costumes. Don't forget to leave a comment describing the costume that best represents your peoples. You could win fabulous prizes!

Lil' Frankfurter initially thought he would wear a black and white striped prison uniform for his costume. It would reflect both his puppy prison background and the tyrannical rule of yours truly. However, he has since decided that he doesn't want to be negative, so he would just wear a costume made entirely of tennis balls.

Foxie Doxie was adamant from the get-go about his costume. He would proudly represent the doxie peoples by wearing a possum pelt. The skanky, hairless tail would be curled up on his head like a crown. And Foxie's chest would be puffed out like the great hunter he is.

As for me? Well, my costume of 21-year-old t-shirt and dog-hair-encrusted sweatpants has had a few additions.

First? I will be carrying my new life partner, Ione the iPhone. Yes. I got an iPhone. I don't know how to use it at all, but she has a pink case and is lovely. She's named after my great-aunt.

Secondly, I will have to hike up the left pant leg of those nasty sweatpants to show off a little home maintenance experiment gone awry.

If you are power washing the 17 layers of paint off of your front stoop, because it's stupid to paint a front stoop because the paint just peels anyway? And you end up with dirt and paint flakes all over your body?

Umm? Fight the temptation to take the water-shooting device in your hand and use it to rinse off your legs. Remember: you are holding a power washer. And yeah, it's powerful. And yeah, it will hurt.
Yeah, I got your sexy right here.

The third addition to my cultural heritage costume is courtesy of Foxie Doxie, who has been spending a lot of time in the backyard this weekend. Tonight, I finally figured out what was so interesting along the back fence line.

Foxie came in and ran past me, ignoring my demands to wipe his paws. From across the room, he shot me a look that said, "Oh, damn. I'm not going to get away with this, am I?"

It was then that I noticed the grey fur sticking out of the side of his mouth.

Now, the swell thing about having small dogs is that you can just pick them up and force them to do your bidding. This is how I managed to get Foxie and a roll of paper towels out on the deck in a matter of seconds. However, the entire time I was yelling, "I can't believe you brought that into MY HOUSE! What the FUCK were you thinking? Oh, HELL no!"

Because I was channeling the trailer from that Beyonce movie where she's all, "Oh, Ali Larter, you did NOT come into my house and touch my CHILD!"

Me and Beyonce? That's how we roll.

So, I took a paper towel and used it to fish the treasure out of Foxie's mouth. It was a tiny baby bunny ... well, half a baby bunny. Let's just leave it at that.

I promptly dumped Foxie into his kennel. And I wrapped the carcass in the paper towel, then double bagged it in two Target bags. Having learned my lesson last time about how rotting varmint can pretty much ruin your garage, and also thinking about a show I saw about bears recently, I hung the double-bagged bunny from a hook on my deck, next to the wind chime.

I'll take it to a dumpster tomorrow. But for tonight? My cultural heritage costume includes a Target bag swinging about saucily.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In which I am culturally illiterate. And catty.

One thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that Miss America is The Best Pageant. It's actually not a pageant at all, but a scholarship competition. With swimsuits. But there's a talent competition. And all the contestants have to be in, like, you know, college.

The one thing Miss America lacks is any sort of state costume competition. And in that way, Donald Trump's Miss Universe has the upper hand.

Now, to be Miss USA and Miss Universe, you don't have to be literate. You have to be pretty and want to be a spokesmodel. There is no talent competition. For some reason, the top five finalists have to answer questions about health care reform or Apartheid, which is totally unfair. They should be questioned about stuff they know, like laser hair removal versus waxing. It's not like Miss Universe will serve next to Yoda in some sort of intergalactic United Nations.


The questions are stupid. But the national costumes? Divine. Let's review some of the noteworthy submissions from Sunday's pageant.

Miss Honduras
Now, this is a nice example of your traditional national costume. She's displaying the cultural heritage of her people. She looks feminine and fresh.

Miss USA
Ah. I'm proud that our git-r-dun heritage was well-represented for the whole world - nay, the whole universe - to see. Miss USA is neither fresh nor feminine. She looks like a waitress at a NASCAR-themed Hooters.

Miss Ukraine
Feminine. And graceful. I just didn't realize half-bird, half-mermaids lived in the Ukraine.

Miss Germany
A for effort, Miss Germany! Any national costume that requires you to walk sideways through doorways is a winner in my book. But, let's be honest: the poor girl looks miserable.

Miss Albania
Umm ... I'm sort of scared to comment on this one. I'm afraid that Miss Albania will come for me. In the night. Sort of like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

Miss Panama
I'd actually like to know the cultural significance of this one because it's ... wow. I know she's representing Panama, but our friend is obviously part Vegas. Or at least has a future career there.

Miss Montenegro
It's a strong statement to represent the people of Montenegro's rich cultural heritage of ... wearing bows.

If I had to design a costume representing my cultural heritage, I think it would be jeans. No, wait - sweatpants. And covered in dog hair. Yeah. And an orange t-shirt my parents got me in St. Maarten in 1988 that is the softest t-shirt in the whole universe but that I only wear when I really need it because I now consider it a frail antique. And more dog hair. Because dog hair? The new feathers. So suck on that, Miss Panama.

What about you? What's your cultural heritage costume? Best comment wins a fabulous prize pack. Seriously. Because I feel like giving some cool shit away. And I'm hoping it will atone for this post.

Send your costume descriptions by August 31. In the event the winner is unable to fulfill her duties as Miss Noodleroux Cultural Heritage Costume Queen, the first-runner-up will assume those duties. You know the drill.

All photos courtesy of

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Attempting-to-be-cool-but-kind-of-serious dad to Catholic school uniform-wearing teenage daughter juggling wallet, water bottle, keys and sunglasses: How can you carry all that stuff? You need a pocket. Or a purse. Or a camel.

Husband to brave-to-show-a-bad-junior-high-photo-of-herself wife: Your parents were cruel. Maybe that perm was their way of preventing teenage pregnancy.

And really? That's all I've got tonight. But! Up next? Hard-hitting journalism as Cha Cha reviews the national costumes of the Miss Universe pageant contestants. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comedy, tragedy, or farce?

I feel like I have a Greek chorus following me around.

Typically, this Greek chorus would chant, "Lil' Frankfurter peed somewhere in the house! And you just haven't found it yet!"

But lately, it feels like the chant is more like, "Don't! Don't feel that way! Don't want that! Don't open yourself up to hurt again! What is wrong with you, you crazy bitch?"

It's got a really lyrical cadence, don't you think?

Basically, I'm processing the torrential emotional downpour that was my meeting with Ex-Wonderful last week. I'm just trying to feel my way through it. I'm not contacting him. I'm adding to my stack of letters written with zero intention of ever, ever sending them. And I'm trying to be still and listen.

But it's hard. And it's hard to tune out the "Ohmigod, that guy is such an ass! If you ever talk to him again, I will kill you!" diatribes. My favorite was, "Why'd you talk to him? That guy's got real problems."

I know I'm smart. I know I deserve good things. And I've gone through all the very-worst-case-scenario-ever scenarios, and they aren't that bad. As in, I'm going to be fine no matter what - no matter if I never see him again or if we get married and have 17 kids. I. Will. Be. Fine.

Because I just am.

But in the meantime? It's tricky to tune down the din of the chorus. But it makes me all the more appreciative of the kind, gentle folks who offer their love and support ... and don't try to stage an intervention.

Yeah, I appreciate that. Because I'm fine.

So, thanks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't worry; he's fine.

So, I've been waiting for the dental floss to work its way through Lil' Frankfurter's system.

And waiting.

And waiting.

I think maybe his body actually digested it. I use the woven kind - not the plastic tape - on account of my freakish, you-have-the-gums-of-an-80-year-old-smoker periodontal issues. I'm starting to think that this just provided a little more fiber in his body.

I'm both relieved and a bit disappointed. However, I caught everyone's favorite mini doxie carrying an almost-empty box of tampons around the house. Because once you've fought dental floss and won? Well, it's time to take on more substantial opponents.

He seemed really disappointed when I confiscated the tampons. I can picture aiding in the digestion of floss. But digesting a tampon? No. And you know that would involve some expensive emergency veterinary care.

But Lil' Frank did require a little emergency care this weekend. My mom and I kept finding blood on our legs, but we couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Finally, I realized that the carpeted stairs in my folks' house had caused Lil' Frank to get carpet burn on the pads behind his ankles.

My sweet mama worked her magic with gauze and tape.
Yes, this is the most pathetic doxie photo ever taken. Ever. In the history of doxies.

But isn't there part of you want wants to sing, "He's a maniac! Maniac! On the floor! And he's dancing like he's never danced before?" Let's face it: Lil' Frank rocks those legwarmers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Do you take this spinster?

I went to Iowa this weekend for a wedding. The groom was a friend of my family, and a childhood friend of Poochie. Poochie was a super-handsome groomsman.

Now, it was a lovely wedding. The pastor acknowledged that the bride and groom are as different as night and day. The ceremony was filled with laughter and the whole deal was very ebullient.

I have two qualms.

One: the second song at the reception - the bride / daddy dance? Was the live band singing The Eagles' "Desperado." Umm ... is it just me, or is that song about isolating yourself and shutting out love? Now, is that appropriate for a wedding? Methinks perhaps not.

Two: the younger brother of the groom, who has been married for about three years, came up to me and said exactly one sentence: "You used to babysit me!" Then he walked away.

Just a hint, kids: this is not the thing to say to a woman who is already feeling like a spinster at a wedding with her parents, a woman who has just had the emotional turmoil of having the man who crushed her heart and her will to live announce that he was still in love with her. This is not the most effective way to tell her that you're glad she's come to celebrate with your family.

And yes, the only person who danced with me was my sweet daddy. And yes, my parents had me drive them home.

But the cupcakes were good. And the hot pink frosting dyed my tongue, which I really enjoyed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And now for something completely differ ... err ... the same.

My sweet friends, I cannot begin to tell you how much your kind words have impacted me and made my week. Thank you. Truly.

The dispatch from Cha Cha World Headquarters? Well, my heart is tender, but knowing that I need to focus on me. And while I'm harboring some fantasies about a certain, unnamed person getting his shit together and becoming the man that he can be? Well, I'm also realizing that any sort of development in that department is completely out of my control.

Besides, I have other things to worry about.

Last night, while I was getting ready for bed, Lil' Frankfurter pillaged the trashcan. The problem with having a seven-pound dog is that he is fast and he is difficult to catch. Therefore, I saw him steal the dental floss. I saw him begin to suck it down, like the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. I saw all of this ... and yet I was unable to corner him and fish the floss out of his tiny mouth before he ingested it.

You know what this means. Poop Watch 2009 has commenced.

Nothing will make you feel more alive and in the moment than the prospect of having to pull dental floss out of your dachshund's ass.

Am I right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The end of the beginning.

It's hard to tell a story when you know at least part of your audience has very strong feelings about it.

So, I'm going to try my best to just be completely, painfully honest.

I met The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful at Starbucks. At first, he didn't recognize me, on account of my hair being longer than he's ever seen. He sat down and basically vomited out this apology: he'd been thinking about it for months, and he just wanted me to know how very sorry he was for how he acted in our last months together. He wanted me to know that I didn't deserve the way he treated me, and he had nothing but great things to say about me.


I asked what caused this revelation, and he didn't know - he just needed to tell me. He was vibrating with nervous energy, and he looked smaller than I remembered.

And then, we commenced upon The World's Most Uncomfortable Small Talk. How are your parents? How is your family? How is your house? How is your job? Seen many concerts this year?

There were long pauses.

Finally, I asked, "How's the Ladybug?"

Ex-Wonderful laughed. "Actually, the other day, she was playing with those magnets you gave her and she asked me, "Daddy, what were the names of Cha Cha's dogs again?"

At this point, I started pinching my hand under the table so that I didn't start sobbing.

I mentioned that the Geriatric Poodle passed away. Then, I asked, "So, does it bother Lisa when Ladybug talks about me?"

Ex-Wonderful flinched. He hemmed and hawed, and asked if he could consider his response and answer later. I said he'd better answer it quick, and I picked up my purse. He asked if we could go for a walk because he didn't want to get emotional in front of all of the coffee shop patrons.

I agreed.

Lisa doesn't mind when Ladybug talks about me in the context of dogs or magnets or whatever. But Lisa gets upset when Ex-Wonderful talks about me, because it makes her feel like he's not over me.

"Well, are you over me?"

"No ... no, I'm not. I'm still in love with you."

And then I dropped dead from a shock-induced heart attack, in the middle of the parking lot outside of Starbucks. I'm actually writing this from purgatory. The wi-fi isn't bad here, actually.

Actually ... I didn't drop dead. I ran my mouth. "Not over me? You weren't done with me when you started up with Lisa!"

"No! I wasn't with Lisa when we were still together ..."

"My experience was that you were having an emotional affair with her. That devastated me. I deserved better than that."

"Well ... it was ... it was inappropriate. You're right. That wasn't fair to you, it wasn't fair to Lisa, and it wasn't fair to me."

"I don't feel sorry for you."

"I deserve that. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

And we sat on a bench. And it was quiet. Then he said, "You know, we stood in a parking lot towards the end of our relationship, and you told me you'd do anything to make it work. I realize now I should have paid attention to that. I should have listened."

"Yeah, and instead you left me sobbing in my car in the parking lot of a fucking Duds 'n' Suds. I didn't deserve that."

"It was a Duds 'n' Suds?"


"Wow - you're right. But only college students go there. And ... Mexicans."

"You shouldn't have left me there."

"I know. Duds 'n' Suds."

"Duds 'n' Suds. I hate that fucking place."

"Yeah, it should have at least been a dry cleaners."

"Yeah. Even a $1.99 Cleaners. Anything would have been better than a Duds 'n' Suds."

So we joked. And I realized that my arms were crossed, protecting myself, but it was also so odd for him to be sitting at the opposite end of the bench. There was silence, and at one point he said, "You know, I don't mind sitting here in silence with you at all. It's comfortable."

Which led him into a soliloquy about how he could always be himself with me, and how he missed that, and basically how ideal and perfect his life was when we were together. He was confident and felt loved and felt like a good friend and partner and was good at his job. "I was happy," he said. "We had so much fun, and I was really happy."

"So what happened?"

"I got greedy. The grass is always greener."

And we sat in silence some more.

Later, he said, "When I broke up with you, my dad told me, 'you might very well regret this for the rest of your life.'"

Then he nodded ruefully.

I looked at the clear night sky and tried not to cry.

He told me he doesn't love Lisa; that he's seeing a counselor; that he's realizing how much I gave and how it nearly killed me; how he can't look to another person for his confidence and self-love and how that has to come from himself; how he needs to learn how to be happy alone; and about a million other things.

And I mostly kept my mouth shut, mostly for fear of what would come out. However, I did tell him that my wish for him was perspective.

I couldn't stop the tears when I realized that I had once memorized his entire face, and it was so odd for that visage to be there in front of me, the same.

Once the initial nerves wore off, it was easy to be together. We talked - and sat in silence - for about two hours. Finally, he walked me to my car.

There, he hugged me. And the Earth ceased to spin and the stars stopped shining and we couldn't get close enough. We always fit together so perfectly, and that had not changed. My head fit into the crook of his neck, and his arm circled my waist and his hand smoothed my hair, and we stood like that for a very long time, trying to memorize it. In a fucking Starbucks parking lot.

He thanked me for the "gift" of meeting with him, and said he didn't know if we wouldn't talk for years or what, but he'd always be thankful for the time I'd granted so he could say what he needed to say.

We hugged some more. I never told him I accepted his apology - I don't know that I do. I never told him I loved him, too. I guarded my words and my heart.

Then, when I drove off? I sobbed like a wounded animal. I'm not quite sure how I got home.

And today? Today, I've been crying in my cube a good portion of the day, confused and angry and so sad and lonely. I don't think he fully understands the damage he inflicted on me. I don't know if he is wired to ever understand it, or if he's supposed to. I guess that's not my concern.

However, I have been fighting an urge to e-mail him and say, "Get yourself straightened out. Then come home to me."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Take the phone off the hook.

I met The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful.

It's a lot to process. I'll tell you all about it. But not right now. Tomorrow.

I will say, however, that I did forget to mention that after we broke up, his uncle e-mailed me, asking for naked photos.

That didn't come up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My life as a dog.

Yesterday, I drove alllll the way to Iowa and alllll the way back to see my friend Jen. It was worth it. But I guess it tired me out a bit more than I anticipated.

I slept until 10:30 this morning. Then, I got up, fed the dogs, and had a bowl of Cheerios. I read a little bit, and both Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter cuddled up on the couch with me.

And then?

Then? It was 3:00. Yes. I slept on my couch for at least three, probably more like four, hours. This, after 10 hours of sleep the night before. When I woke up, I looked at my packmates and thought, "So. This is how you do it."

I think I might need to find more, uh, balance. Like, this whole getting-your-sleep-for-the-week-all-in-one-day thing isn't probably the best idea. Then there's also the business of me feeling like my entire body is atrophied.

So I was a bit out of it when I finally got around today. I took a shower, putzed around the house a bit, and checked e-mail. Coming off the whole "And good luck ever getting married" e-mail, I'm still a bit apprehensive about visiting my inbox.

Today, I had good reason. There was a message from The Ex-Boyfriend Formerly Known as Mr. Wonderful - his first communication since October.

Basically, he wants to come over to my house to tell me some things - including how sorry he is about his "large part" in the stuff that went wrong between us.

I slept 27 hours today, but this makes me weary.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Creepy Stalker Guy strikes back!

Umm … I need a little reassurance on this one.

So, last we heard from Creepy Stalker Guy, he was all texting and texting and bein’ all creepy-like. Last Friday, I received a three-part text that went a little something like this:

Cha Cha, you know drunk dialing? This is drunk texting. Stick with me here. I have been on so many bad match dates. The 1 with U was the one I looked forward to the most and had the most fun.

Just when you thought it was safe. Damn.

And then yesterday? This bit of magic:

Here is my weekly text to say hi. Why don’t you tell me to beat and leave you alone?

Freudian slip, anyone?

This text was followed up five minutes later with:

Tell me never to contact you again OR go out with me again. One or the other.

Now, for some reason, this got to me. Could he really be so dense that he considers all of this unrequited texting not as harassment, but as – gulp – courting?

I took a chance. I e-mailed him via match.

Subject: Please don’t contact me again

It’s been three and a half months. You went from friendly to creepy quite some time ago.

I hemmed and hawed before I clicked Send, but figured at the very least, I could say that I told him in no uncertain terms where I stood.

I woke up this morning to find this gem in my inbox:

WHOA! I’m offended by your comments. You said that if I called you, then you would pick up … that you still thought we could be friends. (1) Whenever your attitude changed, you should have let me know. (2) The just ignoring thing is rude … and I didn’t think you were a rude person. But I guess you are. Between the rudeness and the “bitchiest e-mail ever,” the because has come clear. You won’t hear from me again. Good luck ever getting married.

Now, I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I first read this. But I also have to admit that the last line, while obviously deflecting some hurt, does sting a little bit – in spite of the assumption that I, of course, want nothing more in this life than to get married.


Intellectually, I realize that his outburst is his way of saving face ... he's not creepy; I'm a bitch. But what bothers me is the idea that someone so unbalanced hates me.

(1) I said this to get him to not shiv me in the parking garage after I told him I didn’t think we were a match. I thought this was the standard “I don’t want to date you” comment. Am I mistaken?
(2) He’s kind of got a point, but don’t three and a half months of unanswered texts and e-mails speak for themselves?

So, don’t mind me. I’m just sitting around, being bitchy and not getting married, you know, ever. Sigh.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In which I out myself as a giant dork.

I've often daydreamed about Foxie Doxie having his own public-access cable TV show. It would be called The Foxie Show and would be a Charlie Rose-esque talk show. Except Foxie would wear a beret, chain smoke, and talk about French existentialism.
My friend G. can riff on this for hours. He does a great pissed-off Foxie French accent and will say things like, "Where is your God now, you shameless infidels?"

This? Makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

I've been stressed for quite some time because Lil' Frankfurter didn't have his own TV show. No concept seemed like the appropriate vehicle to showcase his talents and je nais se quoi. However, the long wait is over. The answer came to me, as if in a dream.

Lil' Frankfurter's Good Time Variety Hour - starring Lil' Frank!
The show would feature all of the things that constitute a good time to Lil' Frank. The basic format would look like this:

Segment 1: Lil' Frank welcomes the live studio audience by shedding copious amounts of fur. This is also considered a take-home item, like when Oprah gives away cars.

Segment 2: Lil' Frank licks something. This can be a person, toy, or his own paw. Because this is a variety show, the item to be licked varies. This adds to the drama and excitement of the show.

Segment 3: Lil' Frank's dance of destruction. This is when our charismatic host runs laps around the house. Get out of the way and enjoy.

Segment 4: Lil' Frank licks a celebrity guest. Because humans are on this planet to do nothing but open stuff and act as human salt licks, Lil' Frank welcomes a guest every week. Instead of hard-hitting journalistic interviews, Lil' Frank gets to know his guest via licking. The audience will be enraptured by the grunts of satisfaction coming from America's newest doxie TV host. Celebrity guests scheduled to appear include Dog the Bounty Hunter, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Andy Dick.

Segment 5: Lil' Frank makes a nontraditional lifestyle choice. Every episode, this choice is always urinating in the house and then running away. Later, Lil' Frank innocently sidles up to his mama as she cleans up his mess and wonders what she is doing. He then gives the audience one of his famous "Humans! What is their deal?" head tilts.

Segment 6: Lil' Frank destroys some shit. In the finale of every episode, our fearless doxie host takes on a plush toy and rips it to shreds. One lucky audience member then gets to play "Throw my toy, you useless human" while Lil' Frank's high-pitched bark deafens all within a two-mile radius of the studio. This intense action continues as the credits roll.
If Spencer and Heidi are TV stars, surely Lil' Frank's a shoo-in, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I totally need to get out more.

Today, I got locked out of one of the 287 online tools I use everyday at Corporate Behemoth. I e-mailed the tool's support and asked them to reset my access.

The response was prompt. Score one for Crazy Online Tool.

The response indicated that my access - and my password - had been reset. Score two for Crazy Online Tool.

The response also stated that my new, temporary password was duh067.

This made me laugh in cubeland. I replied that I assumed the "duh" was just a coincidence. In return, I received a very earnest response:

Ms. Noodleroux, I assure you that the passwords are generated automatically. I assure you that it was, indeed, just a coincidence.

Dude. I assure you I wasn't upset.

However, it did make me think back to the two whole days that one of my coworkers lost to reviewing thousands of customer-facing codes. This was after someone realized that since we hadn't excluded any letters, many of the codes included profanity.

Your new password is sob469.

Your new password is wtf666.

Your new password is fuk411.

Yes. This is what it's really like to work for a software company. Glamour. All the time.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Almost five years ago, when I broke up with Ex-Ex, I moved into a shithole apartment. Actually, it wasn't a shithole - it was big. And it had nice windows. And wood floors. But it wasn't my house with the arts and crafts tile fireplace, and I didn't have a yard for my dogs, and the walls were very thin. The walls were very thin and my next-door neighbor got a booty call every night at 4 a.m. and it never sounded like it felt good.

The maintenance supervisor for the apartment complex had a pretty open crush on me - like, he brought me chocolates for Valentine's Day. This made me sort of uncomfortable, but, if there was anything that needed to be done around my apartment, you better believe it was done in a hurry.

Because I walked the dogs around the parking lot three times a day, I got to know the maintenance guys, one of whom was kind enough to pull a live baby bird out of Foxie Doxie's mouth on my 31st birthday. Best birthday gift ever.

I also go to know Barbara, the very rough woman who cleaned the empty apartments. Barbara loved her some Foxie Doxie, and, in the midst of loving on him in 2-minute increments, told me bits and pieces about her life - about how her husband had cancer and she was afraid he was giving up; about how her father used to beat her and she once told him to go ahead and kill her; and about how she couldn't get through the day without Pepsi.

I felt so alone in that apartment, but really, I just had to step out the door. I became friends with people in my building. And I got to know the other dog owners in the complex.

One woman had a problem and when Foxie ran up to her dog and sniffed at him, she lost her shit. She screamed, "Don't DO that to MY DOG!" And meanwhile, the dog just stood there, totally nonplussed. I wonder how long it took for that dog to become neurotic like his mama.

Then there was the elderly woman two buildings down. I can't remember her name to save my life, so let's call her Vera. Vera had a Scottie dog, and that dog was mean as hell. He had pulled on the leash and caused Vera to fall and break her shoulder. This happened before I moved in. She had rehabbed the shoulder and got her dog back, but every time she saw me and my dogs, her face contorted into a most terrified expression - terrified that her mean little dog would get crazy over Foxie and try to pull her arm off again. I can't say that I blamed her.

Vera was the only person to have ever lived in her apartment. The complex was built in 1949. She moved in when it was brand new and had lived in the same unit ever since. This made me wonder if she would get her deposit back when she moved out.

I drove by the apartments the other day and there were tarps and black plastic in the windows of Vera's apartment - all the symptoms of heavy-duty painting and apartment cleaning.

It made me sad - sad that Vera either died or could no longer stay in her home. And I felt a little guilty, too. I couldn't wait to get out of that apartment complex. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't where I wanted to be, and felt like a giant step back in my adult life. But there were good people there, and I'm sure Vera didn't want to leave at all.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday recap.

After all of the dog vomit and dog pee and general laundry-producing activities of the last few days, Lil' Frankfurter, Foxie Doxie, and I needed a break. And, blissfully, we got one.

We slept until 8:12 this morning, with no barfing and no peeing. After going outside and getting a morning snack, we went back to bed until 10:58.

Then? We snacked. And read magazines. And did a little knitting. As you might imagine, this was exhausting. We lounged back in bed for about half an hour before getting dressed. Then? I made Kraft mac n' cheese.

Obviously, such strenuous culinary feats really drain a girl. So, after eating lunch at 3 p.m.? The pack took a three-hour nap!

So, in the last 24 hours, we've slept approximately 37 hours. I feel like a bum, but I also feel like tomorrow might have a bit of balance and calm.

Now, if you'll excuse me? We have to go to bed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Things that are awesome.

Have a migraine. Take an Advil PM. As this wonder drug kicks in, realize that Lil' Frankfurter has peed on the bed. For a split second, consider just ignoring it. But, instead, gather what bleary-eyed strength you can manage and strip the blankets off the bed. Kneel next to the bathtub, handwashing the quilt your mom made you while Lil' Frank blissfully looks on. Grab a back-up blanket out of the linen closet and collapse into bed. Dream that you are competing in the Miss America pageant on a platform of "I heard Gladys Knight was going to perform, so I'm just going to keep talking so I can stay on stage and meet her." Oversleep.

Have a migraine. Take an Advil PM. Pass out blissfully. Wake up at 2:52 a.m. to Lil' Frank licking the bed maniacally. Shift a bit and realize your foot is in something wet. Turn on the light and realize that Foxie Doxie has barfed on the bed. Consider just ignoring it. Then realize that the vomit is in two spots on the bed. Realize, too, that your brain is seriously not awake. Get up anyway. Begin to strip the bed and discover that Foxie threw up a little at your foot and a whole lot down the side of the bed - hitting every bit of bedding - sheets, blanket, mattress pad, dust ruffle, and - oh yes - pillow. Throw the mattress pad in the wash and begin rinsing the chunks off your very favorite set of sheets. Realize that you'll be going to Target to buy a new pillow and Foxie Doxie's collection of pillows that have his name written on them in Sharpie now numbers five. Be annoyed but very drugged up.

Wait for the wash to finish. Be surprised when you realize you're hungry. Eat a bowl of Cheerios while watching Reno: 911. Throw the mattress pad in the dryer and the sheets and dust ruffle in the wash. Kennel Foxie. Grab your one non-barfy pillow and sleep on the couch with Lil' Frank. Dream about having to recreate some kid's paper mache 4-H project because Foxie barfed on it.

Wake to Lil' Frank licking your armpit. Realize you're on the couch and your back hurts. Let dogs out and feed them a teensy bit of kibble. Retreat to the couch and sleep a bit more. Wake up when you realize Foxie is on the couch, hurling chunks in between the couch cushions and down the front of the couch. Grab Lil' Frank by the neck in a fit of rage as he attempts to eat the vomit. Spend half an hour cleaning the couch and realize you should never buy a new couch. Discover a cache of anti-nausea drugs from the last time Foxie was barfy and take two attempts to get him to eat it. Feel sort of sorry for him, even though you know his delicate doxie system is upset because he ate rabbit droppings in the first place.

Consider drinking before 9 a.m. Continue living the dream.

Friday, August 7, 2009

We shall call her Marjorie.

The Migraine? She is still here.


But I did go to work today. And I went to Chipotle with some coworkers, which was the highlight of the day. We chatted about The Migraine, and my sweet friends stated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, that it is stress-related.

Because it is the most obvious thing in the world - to everyone but me.

I'm not taking care of myself. It's Friday night, I've had a headache for three days, and I've wanted to go to bed since 6 p.m. tonight. But instead, I've been watching TV. I can't even let myself go to bed ... obviously, I'm not sleeping enough. Obviously, I'm stressed out.

I'm a smart woman. I have my act together. I only eat meat once a week but still have the city's best barbecue joint on speed dial because I have all of my bases covered. Or so I would like to have you believe.

But really? Really, I am just really fucking tired. Too tired to even write a coherent blog post.

So, umm ... get some rest this weekend, ok? For me?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flames ... shooting out of my head ...

I woke up yesterday with a bit of a headache. And I woke up late. So, I took a sick day.

It was fabulous.

I napped and knitted and got a massage. Then, Guy With Two Dogs and I went to the movies. We ended up going to the theatre right by Corporate Behemoth ... so, I parked in the Corporate Behemoth garage. And walked across Corporate Behemoth property wearing my "I *heart* caulk" t-shirt.

I felt dirty.

We saw Funny People. This movie? Is neither funny nor about people you give two shits about. I did not enjoy it. In fact, it gave me a migraine. A lovely, throbbing migraine that started around my right eyesocket and radiated throughout my entire being.

For reals. Guy With Two Dogs had to drive me home while I tried not to turn my Honda into a vomit comet. So, instead? I cried. I had a migraine caused by a shitty movie and a super nice guy drove me home and took care of my dogs and I cried and had mascara running down my migrained face.

And Guy With Two Dogs wanted to stay for a bit but I made him leave because I knew I was going to barf. So he left and I worshipped the porcelain god. As I was sitting on the edge of the tub, hurling into the john, I looked up and realized that Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter we sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. They were studying me, then studying the toilet, then looking at each other. Their glances said without a doubt, "She's not doing that right. Should we tell her? Should we tell her that it's supposed to come out the other end?"

And that is how I learned how to vomit and laugh simultaneously. I plan on putting that skill on my resume. Obviously.

And God punished me for taking a mental health day yesterday. Obviously.

But mostly? Mostly, it was difficult letting Guy With Two Dogs be nice to me. Really, really nice to me. While I was crying, he put his arms around me and said, "Cha Cha, I really care about you. I hate seeing you not feeling well, and I want to do whatever I can to make it better."

And that just made me cry more. I don't need help. Don't be nice to me. If you're nice to me, you'll just turn into an ass later. Don't make me let down my guard. Don't make me truly be myself so that you can then figure out that you hate me, make me crazy, then dump me for either your high school girlfriend or some skank you work with. Don't tell me I'm wonderful just so you can take it back later. Just don't.

And that's the real pain in my head and my heart. Rationally, I know it's insane and unfair. But emotionally? Well, just don't.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun with photography.

Tonight, I was one of those dorky people who tries to take photos outside in the dark.

I couldn't help it. On the newell post off of my stoop were two slugs. They had climbed to the top of this great height like Sir Edmund Hilaslug and Some Other Famous Mountain Climber Guyslug.
I know that a lot of folks think slugs are gross. And yeah, they eat stuff you might not want them to eat. But really? They are fascinating.
Ok, this pic looks sort of gross.
But how the frig did they climb up the post? And why?

And while I had my camera out, I thought I'd capture some of the magic that is ... The Electrolux.
Oh, yeah, baby.
Work it. Own it.
And yes, this will undoubtedly end up being my Christmas card. Feliz Navidad.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yes, I do have a future as a spokesmodel.

I have been touched by the hundreds - nay, thousands - of you who have reached out to me and admitted that you, too, believed in the magic of Jillian Michaels' I Will Kill You workout DVD - also known as Shred. My research has shown that only 2 percent of all users have completed Shred more than three times.

Mine is, uh, on top of the DVD player. It has never actually been inside of the DVD player. But it used to be on the coffee table, so we're making progress. I can feel the pounds melting off already.

Actually, it occurred to me tonight that I totally wasted my money. I already own the most perfect workout equipment in the universe.

Yes. I have an Electrolux vacuum.

Now, before you think I'm all dissing the Electrolux, let me stop you right now. I love my Electrolux. But I have to be honest about the situation.

If you have wood floors, there is nothing better than an old-school Electrolux with all the 97 attachments. There are special brushes and such just for wood floors, and they will become your best friends.

My grandma had an Electrolux. It was turquoise and I think it came from the Spring '63 collection. She used it until 2001. It's now in my parents' basement. Yes, it still works. She's a beaute.

My mom had an Electrolux, which she was kind enough to give me when I bought my house. It's brown, probably from the Fall '79 or Winter '80 collections. I think she gave it to me because at a certain point, she decided that vacuuming didn't also have to be a weightlifting event.

The Electrolux weighs a lot. Like, about 37 pounds.

And it puts off heat. It get sort of hot to the touch. This probably isn't good.

But it cleans! And it tells you when the bag is full! And not only does it de-dog-hair my floors, but it also gives me a great workout. Screw the Shred cardio / weight / abs formula. My vacuum cleaner gives me weight training, an aerobic workout, and the added bonus of pore cleansing from the heat - like my own personal sauna while I'm cleaning my house. It scares the crap out of my dogs, too, which solidifies my position as alpha of our pack.

Evidently, Electrolux makes these hip new vacuums now. I can't speak to any model that's not at least 30 years old. They're Johnny-come-latelys, really.

I'm a little embarrassed that my Electrolux doesn't have a name. Before the Electrolux, my parents had a powder blue upright vac with a blue and white plaid bag. His name was Irving. But I don't think we ever named the brown bomber that's currently kicking ass and taking names at my house.

Any suggestions?

Oh, and yes, I realize I do need to get out more. Thanks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Off and on.

It's been an interesting weekend.

Friday night, against my better judgment, I went out with Mr. I Want You To Want Me. He had texted me earlier in the week, telling me all about his new favorite TV show, More to Love. It's basically The Bachelor for plus-sized people. I think this is fine, and a pleasant change from all the size-2 dating shows - except it's incredibly exploitive to list a woman's height and weight along with her name every time she's on camera.

Turns out, Mr. I Want You To Want Me has a thing for women who are a bit larger. He wanted to take me to the art museum and then? Out for pancakes. Evidently, being a size 6 just doesn't quite cut it.

Again, I found myself wishing I was headed to Target instead of headed out for the evening. But I donned a cute dress with polka-dot shoes and off we went to the art museum. As we were walking in, we passed a quartet with a snooty air about them. And in the midst of this quartet? Ex-Ex.

He waived at me. I waived at him and kept walking. Mr. I Want You To Want Me was shocked that THAT was Ex-Ex. My date just kept saying, "I can't believe you went out with that guy. What a pretentious ass! You aren't like that at all! I can't believe you went out with him."

Which I decided to take as a compliment.

So, score one for Mr. I Want You To Want Me. But he lost all his points and street cred later when - after lots of wine on his part - he kissed me ... in sort of a dental death vice. I could feel his teeth smooshing up against mine. Not sexy. Then he pulled my hair and bit my lip. When I protested, he was all, "You don't like that? You're missing out."

And ... exit Cha Cha, stage right.

I know. I can't believe I'm here, either.

But Saturday night, I went out with Mr. Guy With Two Dogs, which cleansed my palate significantly. He's so nice. And he's so funny. And he blasted Journey from his Jeep stereo so that we could sing at the top of our lungs while driving down the interstate with the top down, pretending we sound just as good as - nay, better than - Steve Perry. And I can almost forgive him for hardly kissing me at all despite the fact that my boobs were pretty much falling out of my dress. Not on purpose, just ... well, they're hard to control sometimes.

Today? Today I read an entire book from cover to cover - all 404 pages of the excellent The Last Time I Was Me. I should have cleaned my house, or done something about the disaster area that is my office, or even worked. I'm so tired. I'm tired of working. And so? I lounged about and read. And it was grand. And now, I feel like I might be able to face Corporate Behemoth tomorrow without sobbing hysterically upon entering the parking garage at the start of another week.

Because it's good to have goals.