Friday, December 30, 2011

Stuff I liked in 2011.

You know I love a good year-end list. So, here are a few of my favorites from 2011. Keep in mind that this isn't necessarily stuff that's new ... it was just new-to-me this year.

Best show you're probably not watching
Up All Night. You know, that one with Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph, and Will Arnett? It's funny. Like, they made a tribute video to a dead coworker and all they had was his W-4 ... so the tribute video was just zooming in on his W-4.

Favorite movie that transported me back to childhood
The Muppets. I found myself smiling like a freak for the duration of this movie - I totally felt like a 7-year-old again. Plus, I about jumped out of my skin when My Boyfriend Dave Grohl made a surprise cameo.

Favorite new album
Wasting Light by Foo Fighters. I know, I know - I'm a sucka for anything by My Boyfriend Dave Grohl. But seriously? This album is uh-MAZ-ing. And it's one of those albums where your favorite song changes because they are all so good. This here is good ol' fashioned, rock-your-face-off rock and roll, bitches.

New surprise artist that I dig
So, I'm only about 5 years behind here, but I discovered Lady Gaga this year. Typically, I view pop musicians with great disdain, because they are rarely serious musicians. But Gaga? Girl can sing! And how she sings is interesting, and catchy. Nevermind the fact that when My Guy and I first saw her on SNL this year, we were both like, "WTF was that?" But then we bought the album and fell in love. And this summer, he was all, "You know I only bought more Gaga for you. In no way was that for me, because I am a straight man and of course prefer much more manly music."

Best book I'm the last person on Earth to read
The Help. Hell yeah. Loved it. Still haven't seen the movie, but loved, loved, loved the audio book. It had several different actresses reading the different narrators. Very effective.

Best book I actually read for Wine Club. I mean Book Club.
The Happiness Project. Not really a self-help book, but a fun read that also prompts self reflection.

Best serious-like novel that will make your shrink sing and dance with analytic joyThe Condition. I typically shy away from serious novels, but the characters in this one were just amazing - so fully fleshed-out and authentic. Highly recommended.

Best book I didn't want to read and then actually made me cold while sitting by the pool
Into Thin Air. My Guy read it while we were on vacation in Florida, then insisted that I take a look. I have zero interest in mountaineering, but this was fascinating. Also? I'm still terrified by the thought of seeing people freezing to death and leaving them there just so you can reach the summit. I would not call this a feel-good tale. Cautionary? Yes. Feel-good? Fuck no.

My Guy's favorite book, because he reads a ton
Into Thin Air. My husband had this to say about this bestseller: "It's a freakin' great book, man. It was real good. I like the words. Can I go back to watching the game now?"

Someone does not take being interviewed for this blog very seriously. That, and I think he's out of practice when it comes to book reports.

So, what did you enjoy this year? What should I check out as I devour more media in 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cha Cha, this is your year!

Over Mexican food tonight, My Guy and I had a little 2011 recap.

We (partially) rehabbed our house.
We moved.
We got married.
We sold a house.
We became landlords on a third house.
I survived The Boobtacular, a stress fracture, and the shingles.
He survived me whining about The Boobtacular, a stress fracture, and the shingles.

All in all, 2012 has its work cut out for it if it's going to be crazier than 2011. Just sayin'.

Here are some personal favorites from 2011.

Best realization about my authentic, true self
I am good at The Bed. Not good in bed, necessarily (oh, OK, who are we kidding?), but good at sleeping. And lounging. And making the bed properly - yes, with hospital corners. If there were Sleep Olympics, I would totally be in there, representing the U.S. And Bob Costas would talk about how on my first night home from the hospital as a newborn, my parents thought I was dead because I slept through the night. Training for the Sleep Olympics already! So, this realization is helping me come to terms with the fact that it's OK if I prefer to sleep 9 hours a night and stay in bed til 10 on the weekends. It's OK.

Best realization about my authentic, true spouse
I asked My Guy why he didn't ever make the bed. He looked me in the eye, and without a hint of malice said, "I won't ever make the bed. It's just not important to me."

At first I was horrified. And then I had to respect that level of self-awareness and the wherewithal to make that statement - especially in the face of such a bed-centric partner. There are things that aren't important to him, and they can be important to me. And it's all just OK.

Best realization we've made as a couple
Cha Cha gets angry when she does the dishes any time after 8 p.m. Keep Cha Cha out of the kitchen at all costs or she will just be pissed off.

Best purchase as a married couple
A new dishwasher. The day it was installed, My Guy texted me a photo of our new favorite appliance with the tag, "Marriage saved!"

Best thing about being married
Taunting my spouse with some variation of "You have to (fill in the blank) because you're married to me and Jesus decreed you (fill in the blank)!" Typically, this takes the form of either "you have to love me even though I'm a twit," "you have to have sex with me," or "you have to be seen in public with me." Huzzah!

Best thing about our blended family of 4 dogs
It's not the endless hairballs, nor the vet bills, nor the deafening noise when all 4 snore simultaneously. It's the wiggle booty. All those tails wagging often make me exclaim, "We are rich! Rich with puppy!"

And now, at the end of December, I've finally broken the 10 posts in a month mark for the first time all year. Thanks for sticking around. My blog friends are the best thing about blogging.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home sweet home.

Today is our houseiversary. One year ago today, My Guy and I took on our 1938 stone cottage.

Sounds quaint, right? Except that it was a repo. That had been owned by a druggie who trashed it before losing it to the bank.

Now, we live in a historic district. But our history with this house includes finding a petrified bowl of rice and beans in a bathroom drawer. And causing water damage by assuming the water line to the where a fridge once stood was, you know, actually turned off by the former owner. Ha ha ha!

We've cleaned like we've never cleaned before. We've painted pretty much every surface. And yet, I still feel the need to apologize to our neighbors for the state of our house, like we're causing home values to go down. Some of our shrubs are dead. We still don't have use of the second floor.

But I stinkin' love this house.

It's going to be our home for a very long time. I see the potential here, and I'm thankful that this house feels like our home. Even the stuff that I thought would drive me crazy - like the broken granite counter top - feels pretty OK. This house is teaching me that life doesn't have to be perfect to be ... perfect.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And to all, a good night. With no more barfing.

We made it to Iowa - healthy-ish and safe. It's a Christmas miracle!

In celebration, I offer you a holiday tradition, with a new twist this year. Enjoy, my friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

All I want for Christmas is not to barf.

My Guy woke up in the middle of the night with what is either food poisoning or the flu. He's been down for the count all day. Like, "I don't feel well enough to sit up" down for the count.

It's December 23.

We're supposed to go to Iowa tomorrow.

I don't want to sleep in our bed because I sure as hell don't want to get sick.

I don't want to miss Christmas with my family.

I don't want my husband to be sick.

I want my husband to take a shower. For the love of all that is holy.

I don't ask much.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From our house to yours.

This year, I'm proud to continue my tradition of not sending out Christmas cards.

I know, I know. But this is a hectic time at Corporate Behemoth and the idea of one more thing to do makes me crazy.

I've noticed that fewer folks send them out. I blame Facebook. Or maybe I'm just not getting cards anymore because I don't send cards.

But don't worry - just because I don't send cards doesn't mean that I don't criticize cards.

I'm just gonna get right down to it. My Aunt Talbot has sent cards for the last three years that feature a picture of her house on the front. No people, just a house.

It's a big house. A big, fancy house that could easily pass for a sorority house. The first year, it was just, you know, the house. The second year, it was the house with a light dusting of snow - obviously taken before that dust burned off with the sun of the day. But this year? This year, it's a pic from last Christmas, where the house is covered in snow, swathed in Christmas greenery and lit from within by every light in the place. This year's photo also features a photo credit.

I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be impressed, or at least warmed in a Norman Rockwell sort of way. But mostly, I'm just annoyed. Seriously, lady. Show me your adorable and numerous grandkids. I'm not impressed by your big ol' house. So quit trying.

I guess it's not quite as egregious as the cards that used to come from my mom's stepsister. She'd always misspell my mom's name on a letter that told of skiing in Aspen and flying to Gstaad as her husband received some hoity-toity cardiologist award.

Gstaad. I'm not even exaggerating.

At least I can be certain that my noncard isn't misspelling people's names or coming off as too showy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Know your limits. And when to go home and have a drink.

There are a lot of Indian guys who work in my area at Corporate Behemoth. Most of them are contractors who come over from India for a year or 18 months, then go back home. These are smart guys who know a minimum of 3 languages and then immerse themselves in this weird culture away from their families. I have a lot of respect for them.

That said, there are some cultural differences that are funny, annoying, or supremely horrific.

Horrific? The thinly veiled contempt for women.

Annoying? The tendency to send an e-mail, then come over to my desk to announce you've sent me an e-mail. Or, the tendency to skip sending me an e-mail, but instead come over to my desk and expect me to drop everything and edit something for them on the fly. Because, after all, I am only a woman.

But the funny?

Oh, sister.

There's this one guy who is so young and clean-cut and adorable. He makes me feel old because instead of wanting to get on him, I have an overwhelming desire to make him a sandwich.
I guess this is what middle age feels like.

Anyway, today? Today, Young and Clean-Cut mentioned that he and some of his cohorts are planning a road trip for the long Christmas weekend. They are generally really excited to see everything they can in America - so, they've seen more of the country than many natives. Their Christmas destination? Mount Rushmore.

Oh, Young and Clean-Cut. You're gonna need more than a sandwich.

A bunch of folks were trying to convince Young and Clean-Cut and his posse that there are other, more suitable destinations for the end of December. His initial response was, "But, the Internet says it's sunny right now!"

The guys were being redirected to maybe San Antonio or maybe New Orleans. But then, Fannypack Bruce stepped in.

Maybe you know Fannypack Bruce. He's the older guy who does testing but asks 27 questions an hour. He keeps two Igloo coolers on his desk and wears a fannypack 24-7. And the fannypack strap has a phone clipped to it. You know, to complete the look.

Fannypack Bruce always has something to add. In detail. And today? His addition was a long diatribe about "a swell KOA near Mount Rushmore."

Camping? Most of these guys don't own winter coats but consider anything colder than 50 degrees arctic conditions. Focus, Fannypack Bruce! Stay on message!

That was about the time I left. I can only do so much.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The sun ain't gonna shine anymore.

Life as I know it is over. Oh-ver.

When I was in third grade, my dad gave me a clock radio for Christmas. It has two alarms, buttons I know by feel, and SIMULATED WOOD GRAIN.

The best part? It has a label on the top that says "SIMULATED WOOD GRAIN." You know, lest someone mistake it for real wood and try to use it as kindling.

We've been together for, umm, 28 years.

And now? My clock radio is ailing.

A few months ago, the clock gained about 20 minutes a day. I unplugged it, said a little prayer, and plugged it back in. All better.

But this weekend? This weekend, it was keeping double time. As in, it gained 12 hours a day.
As someone who likes to be places sort of on time and who is also in no way a morning person, this is a problem.

I did the ol' unplug / prayer combo again, and so far, it seems to be working. However, I can't deny it: my simulated wood grain pal is in hospice care. Our time is growing thin.

I am devastated. Did I mention that I can program this sucka by feel? And that we've been together longer than most marriages?

I was willing to be brave and look for a new clock radio. Except ... they are all horrible. I'm willing to forgo SIMULATED WOOD GRAIN, but I need a radio because a straight-up alarm freaks me out. I need a digital display because I'm blind. And I need buttons that I can aspire to operate by feel. I do not need to dock the iPod that I don't have. And I don't need to project the time onto the wall in giganto size.

So, there are some OK alarm clocks out there. But none of them are Just Right. None of them are my alarm clock. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm truly sad about this. I guess you don't just break up with someone after 28 years without some sort of angst.

Do you have an alarm clock you love? What's it like? I'm taking suggestions.

And yes, I realize this is totally a first-world problem.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Calling Dr. Atkins. And Cesar Milan.

So, My guy is back from his work trip - and not a moment too soon.

I don't mean to be all old-school patriarchal and "Just wait until your father gets home!" But duuuuuuude.

I stayed up late one night making My Guy a birthday cake. He wanted a caramel cake with canned caramel frosting. I could do so much better, but if the birthday boy wants boxed cake with canned frosting, that's what he's gonna get.

The next day when he got home, he sent me a few really random texts:

"I'm so sorry."

"Like 3 inches of cake left."

I thought he got home and ate the cake. But no. The labradoodles had catapulted onto the kitchen counter and scored the birthday cake. The 2-layer birthday cake that was at the very way-back of the counter.

All gone.

It had been a really, really long day, but I stopped at the store on my way home. They had another caramel cake mix, but not caramel frosting. I guessed German chocolate frosting was as close as I could get, and I ran to the express lane.

There was one lady in front of me. She wrote a check.

By the time I got home, I threw the cake mix at My Guy. "It's not the cake you want, but I did just beat an old lady to death with this box."

We went out for dinner and delayed the cake redux.

The next day, the labradoodles got into the bread drawer. They ate an entire loaf of 8-grain bread, 3 hamburger buns, half a bag of pretzels, and half a bag of Tostitos.

There was vomit. And wrapping. Everywhere.

So, we've got some dogs that need to cut out the carbs. And the assholery.

Yeah, it's a word.

The 1 upside? We didn't have a star on our Christmas tree. Now, there's a lovely Tostitos bag shard adorning the top of the tree.

We have the only house on the block that doesn't have Christmas lights. If our neighbors only knew the level of classiness inside ...

Monday, December 5, 2011

My earth-shattering pronouncement about the state of television today. Also? You kids, get off of my lawn!

I have purposely avoided the Kardashian fray. Even before Kim's over-the-top wedding and subsequent 15-second marriage, I've just found that family ... icky.

But now? Now, I think I've figured it out.

See, I sort of half-watched an episode of "Kim and Whats-Her-Name Take New York." Or "Khloe Visits Kim and Whats-Her-Name in New York." Or "Some Other Sister Whose Name Starts With a K Does Stuff in New York." Whatever.

But I watched it with the sound off, which was actually a really interesting sociological experiment.

You know what I saw?

I some some body language that completely spilled the beans.

These people are not nice. They don't listen to each other and they don't give a rat's ass about the other person's wants. There was absolutely nothing authentic about any of it. And really? Kim, we don't believe that you wake up with a full face of make-up, including falsies.

Sorry. And Kim & Ko.? Shame on you for adding to the cacophony telling impressionable young women to aspire to all things superficial. I'm pretty sure thick eyelashes and a ball-player husband don't ensure happiness. So, can you guys please just do the world a favor and go away?

In a striking contrast, I ran across a great article today about someone who devoted their life to using television to spread grace. Not promoting themselves - promoting grace and acceptance.

For a shock to the system, might I suggest this lovely article about The Greatest Person Ever, on TV or Not on TV, Mr. Fred Rogers? It's long-ish, but so worth it. It's a great way to purge that Kardashian aftertaste from your system and to focus on what we should really all aspire to - not bootyliciousness, or having a big effing wedding, but being a decent human being.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I've turned into a softie.

My Guy left yesterday for a convention. He has to go every year, and every year, it's over his birthday. Ick. He'll be gone until Thursday.

I was really sad to see him go. I was surprised at how sad I was.

Let's be honest: My Guy is a kind, funny, wonderful man. But sometimes he makes me crazy. Like how our bathroom mirror is in a constant state of greasy smudgetasticness because he wipes condensation off with his dirty t-shirts. Because boys are dumb.

So, I should be excited to have almost a week of clean bathroom mirrors and time to do whatever I want.

However ...

While I was tooling around Target yesterday, I realized I was in no rush to get home ... and no one was waiting for me. And then I remembered that it used to be like this all the time.

I lived alone, and I was alone a lot. That sort of solitude helps you figure yourself out. But it's also really, well, lonely.

I miss my husband. Which, I guess, means that I've overcome one of my fears about getting married: being dependent upon someone else.

Don't get me wrong: I am managing to function in My Guy's absence. So, like, when Lady Doodle decided that the alpha was gone and so she'd make a play for the position, and growled and barked and was mean to the other dogs, prompting Foxie Doxie to conveniently and oh-so-logically stake his claim by peeing on my bed a 12:45 this morning? I was able to deal with it. And by "deal," I of course mean "go completely ballistic."

But really? Things are just easier when the entire pack is together. That means Mr. Wiping-the-Mirror-With-T-Shirt Guy, too.

Plus? I just miss my friend.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why yes, my husband is clean-shaven.

When I was little, I was scared of facial hair. Maybe I watched too many westerns. I was convinced that any man with a beard or mustache was A Bad Guy.

Bret Maverick?
Totally A Good Guy.

Creedence Clearwater Revival?
Haunted my dreams.

I still don't like their music. There. I admitted it.

Let's blame my parents, their TV habits, their record collection, and their ability to remember theme song lyrics. I can sing the Maverick theme song. But I still hate CCR's music.

Images courtesy of Google.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A few words about speedbumps. And snot.

I had a horrible cold all holiday weekend. But Monday? Monday, I got my sorry ass out of bed, put on a bra, and announced that it was a new day! And I went into work.

Corporate Behemoth is in an 18-story tower with a 5-level parking garage underneath. From the garage entrance to the very bottom level, it's a mile of driving. Since I am not what you'd call "an early bird" or "punctual in any way," I typically park on 1 of the 2 lowest levels.

There's been a problem with speeding in the garage, so, in their infinite wisdom, Facilities put in speedbumps. A whole lotta speedbumps. But they went all out and put in these speedbumps that were not really speedbumps at all, but parking stops.

Like, this is a normal speedbump: o
And this is the flavor of speedbump they put in: ^

So, people were driving around the speedbumps and hitting parked cars, and low-riders where getting damaged. And people came to a complete stop before traversing the speedbumps. It was bad.

But now we have some normal-ish speedbumps that are more o than ^. But the people? They still drive like morons! They do not appreciate the new flavor of speedbump!

And so Monday, when I was wearing a bra for the first time in 3 days and trying to pretend that my body composition wasn't still 87% mucus? I did not have the time nor the inclination to get behind somebody who was shy about crossing speedbumps. I needed to be behind a speed demon, not The White Explorer.

Can we all just agree that if you drive an Explorer, it's not necessary for you to come to a complete stop before before inching over a speedbump?

Complete. Stop. Seriously.

Some people just can't handle power tools or 4-wheel drive. Lady in The White Explorer? I'm talking to you. I drive an 8-year-old Honda with messed up rotors and I drive it like I'm outrunning a tribe of angry natives who have never seen an outsider compared to you in your 876,234-horsepower vehicle.

Plus, if we're being honest?

I really, really, really needed to blow my nose. And you were so slow that I ended up with a mucus situation. As in, I wiped my nose on an old Wendy's napkin that had been in my glove box for 3 years. You know, those emergency napkins that are partially degraded because they're so old? The ones you keep only for true emergencies? The ones I had plenty of time to rummage around and find while you were coming to a complete stop at yet another speedbump? After I'd memorized your license plate and put a voodoo curse on you?


But I'm feeling much better now.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful it's only once a year.

Remember when my father-in-law reprimanded me because My Guy wrote the wrong house number on a note he sent him?


This is what went down on Thanksgiving.

FIL: So, did your parents ever make it to Superfarawaysuburb?

Me: Umm ... what?

FIL: Did your parents ever make it to Superfarawaysuburb - to your house?

Me: Our house is in Tinysuburbwood.

FIL: Oh, right. Tinysuburbway. Anyway, did your parents ever see your house?

Me: It's Tinysuburbwood.

FIL: Well, I call it Superfarawaysuburb.

Me: I think the post office would disagree with you.

FIL: Well. Did your parents ever see your house?

Me: Umm ... yeah.

FIL: Well! Next time they come down, call me! I could drive up and meet them for lunch! I didn't get to talk to them much at the wedding.

Me: That's because they avoided you because they think you're batshit crazy.

OK, maybe that last comment was my internal dialogue.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I ain't hatin' on no fruit.

But here’s yet another reason why I love my husband.

Me: I have to meet with this crotchety VP who hates some copy that I didn’t even write. I have to meet with him and act all gracious and shit and fix something that I didn’t even break in the first place. And this guy is infamous for being a real jerk. He’s “the idea guy” and so he can get away with being a total ass. He cusses people out and makes people cry all the time – everybody knows it, and he gets away with it! Also? I was waiting for the elevators the other day, and I heard this horrible slurping from someone behind me. It was like an alien vivisection or something – totally gooey and noisy and gross. And it was this VP, devouring a pear!

My Guy: Who the fuck eats pears?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Allow me to brag.

My brother Poochie is brilliant.

This week, he successfully defended his master's thesis and his GIS certificate. I edited his thesis, and if you ask me? His research is going to revolutionize railroad planning and logistics.

This is also a nice way of saying that I didn't understand a good part of it.

Lest you think that Poochie is a flash in the academic pan? Let me tell you about the revolutionary theory that really put him on the smart-guy map. It's called The George Strait Test.

The gist? No man can punch George Strait in the face. It just can't be done - George is too nice! Everybody loves George! Therefore, no man can punch George in the face.

Even if you're not a country music fan, you gotta admit - Poochie's on to something.

Image courtesy of

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

So, My Guy and I bought a house this time last year ... a 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house.

The house was a foreclosure. We got a hella deal. We work on the house every weekend. We still don't have use of the second story. That means we only have 1 bathroom.

Now, kudos to me for mentioning this when the county assessor guy stopped by a few weeks ago. Guess whose tax bill dropped by $700?

But not-so-awesome is the fact that our 1 bathroom has not-so-hot lighting. And the mirror is really high, so I have to stand on my tip-toes to get a good look at my sorry face.

I've never thought much about it ... until the other day when I was in my car. I had something in my eye, so I pulled the visor down and took advantage of the lighted mirror. What I saw was terrifying.

I had eyebrows everywhere. I looked like a yeti.

So, that night, I girded my loins and got out my tweezers. But when I looked at my face in the bathroom mirror, I saw none of the offending yeti brows.

You know what had to be done.

I put the tweezers in my car. But with the sun glaring into my car, I still couldn't quite discern all the rebel brows. Now, you could argue that if I can't see them, they aren't exactly visible. But it's the principle of the thing.

I had no choice but to tweeze my brows in my car, someplace dark with no glare. Someplace like ... the parking garage at Corporate Behemoth.

Yes. I tweezed my eyebrows in my car in the garage at work. While I was gettin' it done, I thought about how wrong it would be to be known as the woman who tweezes in the garage. But frankly? I don't give a shit.

This is perhaps a statement both on the condition of my brows and my burned-out brain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tell it like it is.

Nobody asks my advice. And I have a lot of good advice to give. If I’m feeling this way at 36, just imagine what it will be like when I’m 86. Oh, Lord help us all.

So, it occurred to me the other day that I should have taken many, many things in my dating life as signs. Signs that OMG, this is totally not the man for me. For example:

Ex-Ex thought nothing about using the afghan that his grandma knitted as a moving blanket, wrapping it around a washing machine as he and a pal maneuvered that machine up four flights of stairs, destroying said afghan in the process.

I didn’t heed that sign. And I didn’t pay attention a few weeks later when I caught him using my grandma’s tablecloth as a rag while replumbing the bathroom sink. Sure, I grabbed the tablecloth and asked him WTF he was doing. But I didn’t see it as a sign of narcissism or stupidity.

Pay. Attention. Ladies. This shit is important.

Also? I don’t know what sort of vendetta Ex-Ex had against linens derived from grandmas. He needs counseling. Obviously.

Now, I did pay attention in college, when a suitor asked me to either call him or walk over to his fraternity house to wake him up so we could go to the movies. Even my young brain knew that this was a bad sign and most likely a ploy to get me into the vicinity of his bed. If you wanna go to the movies with me, you should also be able to set your alarm.

I asked another guy to the movies instead. We saw Tommy Boy and it was fine. It was fine even though that suitor wore the ugliest sweaters ever on each of our 3 dates. But I guess I get props for knowing that ugly sweaters were fixable. Expecting to be babysat was not.

My Guy does stuff that makes me crazy. I could write a year’s worth of blogs about his kitchen cleanliness or lack thereof. However … I’m a list-maker. And the other day, it was Monday, and I just needed a different flavor of list.

Things I like about My GuyGives excellent hugs
Very funny
Kind and supportive of my crazy ideas
Super smart but not in an asshole sort of way
Always has the right tool
Reads and learns stuff and is always an interesting conversationalist
Gives me sips of his beer even when I should probably just get my own
Is silly
Puts up with the 27 dogs
Makes delicious food
Loves blue … because such allegiance to 1 color is admirable
Is both pro-pancake and pro-cake
Acts like I’m pretty even when I’m not and I appreciate that very much
Teaches me stuff all the time, like how to throw a spiral or how to calm the fuck down
Plans carefully but also takes stuff in stride
Keeps secrets
Tells jokes
Has the best laugh EVER

Again, pay attention. This is the important stuff.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I try to have good manners. Impeccable manners, really. But sometimes? Sometimes, I am at a loss. I just don't know the proper etiquette.

Case in point: I breezed into the ladies' room at Corporate Behemoth the other day. I was wearing dress shoes that clanked on the tile floor, and I was walking fast. I was on a mission. You know, that lady-plumbing-maintenance sort of monthly mission.

So, I breezed into the ladies room, and there were 2 women huddled together near the sinks. As I walked past and got into a stall, I realized that they were praying. One woman was teary, and the other was praying with her.

That is awesome. We should all be so lucky to have friend / coworkers who will comfort us in the ladies' room.

But then I got into my stall, and I dug my ladyparts plumbing maintenance supplies out of my purse. And then I stopped.

They were still praying. How could I possibly pee during a prayer? It would be like saying, "I piss on your higher power!" And I am not about that at all.

So I stood in the stall. And started to feel like I was intruding. And being really creepy for just standing in a stall, listening to these women pray. I couldn't really leave - I had business to attend to. But this was the longest prayer ever in the history of Corporate Behemoth ladies' room prayers! And all that standing in the stall made me realize that I totally had to pee. I was so close, and yet so far from my salvation!

Finally, the prayer was over and I did my business and everybody lived happily ever after. But did I do the right thing? I want to ask what Emily Post would have done ... but I'm pretty sure she is so elegant and correct that such lowly concerns as peeing and monthly ladyparts maintenance are not her concern at all.

Think about it. Can you picture Emily Post farting?

Didn't think so.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mute no more.

Hi friends. It's been a while. I've missed you!

I am so humbled and thankful for blog friends who've asked where I've been or just kept checking to see when I'm going to get off my ass and write something already. Thank you.

The long and the short of it? All is well. There's just been stuff going down that I didn't feel like I could write about.

Case in point?

I was required to participate in a moandatory - oops, I mean mandatory - corporate flash mob.

Yes. My team at Corporate Behemoth was required to perform like Solid Gold dancers at an all-hands meeting. In front of a couple thousand coworkers.

It was a big secret, and we had to attend 7 hours of rehearsals for a 1-minute dance. Ever showed up for a meeting in the middle of the day all sweaty and gross and unable to offer an explanation, other than "I'm gross?" I have! Because secret rehearsals were in the midst of the regular work day.

Now, I will admit that the flash mob acted as a team-building activity, because we were working together to avoid public humiliation. I actually ended up kind of enjoying the dancing. And it was nice to be praised for being a good dancer, even though as a high school sophomore, I didn't make the show choir. So, my old vocal teacher can suck it.

Buuut ... it was mandatory. During a super-busy time of year. And I don't know about your workplace, but a quick glance around mine shows some really obese people. And a guy with a severe spine problem. And contractors who are expected to work just as hard as the full-time employees but who aren't included in stuff like, oh, say, mandatory corporate flash mobs. This activity did not take into account the interests and needs of these individuals.

And it made me mad. And being praised for being one of the best dancers and having folks request to stand behind me in the formation so they could follow my lead was sort of like pouring salt in the wound. Yay - you're super good at selling your soul! At 1 rehearsal, I actually thought, "Oh. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be stripper." But with name badges instead of body glitter.

And have I mentioned that the performance of this little flash mob was a week after I had to confront a very sexist coworker? A coworker to whom I actually yelled, "I'm not your secretary!"

Yeah. So, droppin' it like it's hot was just what my career and my minor case of burnout needed. Yee-haw!

But it went OK and now it's over, and now we can move on to other things.

So ... what have you been up to?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun with household appliances.

So, the other day, when I was all, "reading trashy books is so much more virtuous than watching trashy teevee?"

Yeah. Umm ... I've been watching a lot of trashy teevee.

My Guy and I lived without TV for 6 months. It was a time of self discovery. It also coincided with the 6 months we lived without a dishwasher. Needless to say ... the beginning of our marriage was rough. Really rough.

But we bought a dishwasher. And the day it was installed, My Guy texted me a photo of the shiny new appliance with the caption, "Marriage saved!"

And it was so.

And since we agreed we couldn't possibly live without cable during football season, we got cable. So much has changed in the 6 months we didn't have cable - I feel so behind the times! Did you know there's an entire show about people who get, like, $500 worth of groceries for $5 because they spend 40 hours a week clipping coupons?

Not to be all mean about it, but ... considering that those groceries include 89 bags of croutons, and it works out to "earning" $12.50 per hour of coupon clipping? I'm not so sure the extreme couponing is worth it.

I've also discovered That Metal Show. It's 3 music geeks arguing over the merits of various heavy metal albums and interviewing hard rock musicians. The stories are great, and I can relate to wanting a forum to talk about random music trivia.

Side note: Did you know Toni Tennille from The Captain & Tennille performed on Pink Floyd's The Wall?


I'm taking requests - what other shows should we add to our DVR? The trashier, the better. Obviously.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All the news that's fit to print.

I should have something witty to talk about.

I could write about hosting Poochie's university railroading club at our house last weekend, and how My Guy confided that he had no idea how to properly host and relate to a bunch of train enthusiasts. "You're a computer programmer," I said. "Are you telling me you don't speak Nerd?"

"I do!" he clarified. "But theirs is a different dialect!"

So, I could write about that. Or I could bitch and mooooaaaaan about the fact that Miss Universe spent a whole 60 seconds displaying not all the national heritage costumes, but only the top 10. Like there's any other reason to watch the pageant. Shame, SHAME on you, Miss Universe!

Side note: you can see fantastic national heritage costume recaps at Tom and Lorenzo. They're fabulous and opinionated.

Or I could write about my mighty triumph at Corporate Behemoth, wherein I convinced a senior VP that no, we don't need more videos (thereby creating a shit-ton of work for yours truly), but rather, we need to leverage the other content we already have.

You can call me a savvy content strategist if you like.


I don't feel savvy. I don't feel like strategizing anything. I don't feel entertaining or even remotely interesting. I feel ... depleted.

I guess unbalance in your day-to-day life doesn't go away just because you go on vacation and come up with a long-term plan. You still need those little baby steps to improve your quality of life along the way.

Also? I think we can all agree that vacationing with your in laws is not a vacation at all. It is a tour of duty.

Now, I'm going to retire to bed with my Grover Cleveland biography. And before you're all, "Pshaw ... Grover Cleveland - whatevs," let me just tell you this: Ol' Grover (known as Big Steve to his friends) looked after his BFF's widow and daughter, treating the daughter almost as his own child. Until ... her married her. The daughter. Not the widow. He married his BFF's kid.

Reading trashy things about dead people: It feels more virtuous than watching trash teevee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am an equestrienne.

I just got back from a 5-day Colorado vacation extravaganza with My Guy's family. As you might expect, my brain is swimming.

Let's just put it this way - I have a new life motto: You can't change people. But you can write about them.

But I need to ease into that, lest my brain explode, ka-pow style. So, let's start with the basics: I rode a horse. For the very first time ever.

Now, my grandparents were the sort that clambered upon 1 horse with 7 siblings to head to school, sans adult supervision, starting at the age of 5. Somehow, the fact that I made it to the age of 36 without ever riding a horse feels like I have failed my ancestors.

But I tried to make up for it. A group of us family vacationing fools went for a trail ride in Rocky Mountain National Park. The ride was 2 hours and involved tourism horses. You know, the horses that have been doing this same damned trail all summer and are just over it? You know, those rides that require absolutely no skill on the part of the human passenger?


My horse's name was Bravo. He was not pleased being the second horse. He wanted to be the first horse and so spent 2 whole hours attempting to pass the horse in front of him. Each time I corrected him with my meager horsewoman skills, he "accidentally" brushed me up against something. Like a boulder.

My common refrain during the ride: "Dude. Give me a break."

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My Guy and I compared notes and had many similar experiences during our first riding experiences. I was not alone. In fact, maybe my experience was even ... universal!

And so, I determined The 8 Stages of New Equestrianism:

1. Apprehension.
OK, I've never been on a horse. I was never one of those little girls who fantasize about ponies. I never even had a My Little Pony. But this will be a great life experience! And this horse is really pretty.

2. Terror.
This horse is pretty, but it didn't seem pleased when I stroked his nose. And he's really, really tall and the guide had to hoist my ass up to get me on the horse and now I'm sitting here and the horse is supposed to be standing still but he's moving. He's moving under my crotchal region and ohmigod I don't think I remember what I'm supposed to do with the reigns and WEAREALLGOINGTODIE!

3. Resignation.
Oh. The horse knows what to do. I just have to sit here and make peace with the fact that there's a moving animal under my crotchal region. Look how cute the guide girl is in front of us. She is so darling. Maybe I could be an outdoorsy girl.

4. Hallucination.
I'm on a horse! Outside! On a trail! In nature! Maybe I have missed my calling. Maybe I'm meant to be an outdoorsy girl, an outdoorsy girl on a horse. Maybe I'll start taking riding lessons. Maybe we'll start taking vacations where we ride horses.

5. Realization.
Fuck that shit. My knees hurt.

6. Impatience.
This is the longest 2 hours of my life. I'm covered in dust and have no feeling below my waist. The trail has a crappy view and my horse is flatulent and keeps trying to cut in line. The guide actually fwapped him in the head because he kept trying to pass her. I guess he's bored, too. I'm pretty sick of looking at the guide's back. At least she isn't farting as much as my horse.

7. Relief.
I see the barn. The end is in sight! And I almost don't even care that it takes me 3 minutes to dismount Bravo the Asshole Flatulent Horse because I'm numb and my knee is totally torqued and I can barely stand on my own. I will gladly take my place along the fence with my other wounded compatriots.

8. Sanity.
That was an interesting life experience. Let us never speak of it again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Social media confounds me.

Or maybe I understand social media and people confound me. That's more likely.

Remember the Mean Girl who dissed me, pointedly asking my friend - but not me - to accompany her to a gathering where "all the cute and fun girls" would be?

She just asked to join my network on LinkedIn.

You won't talk to me but you want me to help you find a job? Seriously?

I also received a LinkedIn invite from a rather shy but crazy-smart analytics guy at Corporate Behemoth. He's so nice but so quiet. But so good at his job. Will I social network with you, Shy Guy? Hell yeah! I will help you find whatever job your heart desires.

But Mean Girl? Go to hell.

In other social media news, I've discovered the joys of diagnosing high school classmates with random psychological disorders based on their Facebook posts.

Case in point? One of my classmates posted about the craptasticness of her local public schools. Like, posted a lot. To the point she announced that she would be home-schooling her daughter.

OK, that's cool. Do what is best for your family.

But! But then my classmate saw Matt Damon speak about the necessity paying public school teachers better. She responded in the most effective way possible: via Facebook. And so, she posted this gem for all the world to see:

I wanted to jump through the TV screen and strangle Matt Damon for talking about giving teachers 10 year. What a load of crap!

It took me a long, long time to figure out what she was talking about: tenure.

I'm thinking borderline personality disorder with a side of anger-management issues. Thoughts?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Miss Congeniality lives here.

We are back from the beach.

Sigh. It was great.

We walked on the beach every morning. This was relaxing and exfoliated the crap out of my feet. It also meant that even though I had a bloody mary every late morning and some sort of fried fish every night, I only gained a pound.

I read four books while lounging in the shade by the pool:

There was a bar on the main drag in Clearwater that had a sign that read "Tuesday ladys nite / Weds Karaoke / $3 flu shots."

I think everybody could get a flu shot, not just "the ladys."

I renewed my love for and utter devotion to fish tacos.

We got back last night to find that Puppy Love Lisa had overfed the doxies all week. They are visibly larger. Last night, Lil' Frankfurter yakked in the bed at about 4 a.m. I caught it with my hand. Because I'm an excellent mama.

But now we're back to a house where somebody's limited potty-training skillz took a hit from a change in schedule. And there's no room service. And we have to go back to work tomorrow ... but only for 3 days. Then, we're off on a family vaca with My Guy's siblings.

I have been in a horrendous mood all day.

Lil' Frank has peed all over the house, none of which My Guy has noticed. So, I've been cleaning up pee all day. And doing laundry all day. And trying to get a jump start on my overflowing inbox at Corporate Behemoth. And dear Lord, what does a girl have to do to get some help around here?

This seems like the dark underbelly of vacation: the reentry sucks.

*Thanks Patti!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book reporting it up.

Thanks for all of the book recommendations. Ordering books has been a nice respite from the canine oozing wounds / doggie diarrhea around my house as of late. And oh, yes, I'm blogging at 6:30 a.m. because Lil' Frankfurter jumped off the bed at 5:45 and I just *knew* something was afoot. Let's just say he tried but didn't make it all the way to the door before dropping trou.

So, because turnaround is fair play (talking books here, not pooping on the floor), here's what I've read or, more likely, listened to lately.

Role Models by John Waters
I thought this would be a book where somebody famous (yeah, it's that John Waters) interviews other famous people. But not so much. While Waters does talk about his run-ins with awesomeness like Johnny Mathis, he also tracks down folks like an overweight pothead lesbian stripper who was infamous in Baltimore in the 60s. I love the idea of finding role models in unexpected places, but I will admit I got a bit bored at the end of the book with the graphic descriptions of gay porn. I'm guessing not every reader would find that dull.

by Tina Fey
Oooh, shocker! I loved this book! I tried to read it in bed, but my laughter kept waking My Guy up. Now, he's reading it, and laughing like a hyena. It makes me happy.

The one thing that wasn't so much a shock but more of a surprise was Fey's no-BS approach to the whole women-in-comedy / feminism thing. She's pretty much like, "Yeah, it's stupid but it's still an issue, so get over it and quit whining and just do what you're gonna do but for god's sake, don't cry at work." Which, since I've felt like crying at work lately, is a bit of tough love.

Say Her Name by Francisco Goldman
Goldman's young wife was killed in a freak accident, and this is his rumination on grief and loss. Not exactly a pick-me-up, but authentic. However, I must admit that if you're looking for first-person grief lit, I much prefer Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking. However, Say Her Name is more from an analytical standpoint, and is honest about, oh, fucking women who remind you of your late wife. And calling it "fucking."

Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me by a bunch of people who know Chelsea Handler
My one-word review: Ehh.

In a nutshell, Chelsea Handler is evidently a bit of a nutjob who loves to play very involved practical jokes and to mess with the heads of her family, friends, and coworkers. Working for her would stress me out - I'd always be afraid that she was going to send some e-mail from my computer to the CEO of Corporate Behemoth, telling him that I have hemorrhoids or something.

The interesting string that connects all of the tales in this book is that despite the embarrassment, shame, and general inconvenience that Chelsea's hijinks cause, every writer loves her and swears she's loyal, generous and kind. Hmm.

In addition, I'm still working my way through Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. However, I'm a bit off ... last one I got from the library, I had this exchange at check-out:

Librarian: Have you read other books in this series?

Me: Yeah.

Librarian: Oh, so you want me to remove the last disk from this audio book?

Me: Huh?

Librarian: Well, you know how it ends, right?

Now, I like this exchange because I like my librarians with a little bit o' sass. However, it means that my worst nightmares are true: Librarians are judging me based on the crap I check out! Which brings me to another book I recently read:

This Book Is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
This mostly entertaining but sometimes mind-numbing book talks about modern library science - it ain't just about moving the card catalog to computer, baby. Different sections of the book cover topics ranging from librarian bloggers to librarians fighting the government to protect the privacy of our library records. Also? I had no idea that people poop in libraries. Like, in the stacks. Librarians don't get paid enough. Seriously.

And that's my book report. I'd like my Pizza Hut personal pan pizza now. Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A mean mom. And broke, too.

Lil' Frankfurter typically smells like fish. This is mostly due to his nasty-ass teeth.

So, being the unreasonable mama I am, I took him to have his teeth cleaned on Thursday.

They had to pull one of his front teeth.

I'm trying to convince him that he looks like he was in a bar fight and is therefore a total bad ass. I don't think he's buying it. At least he wasn't Thursday night.

He kept listing to the side. He wouldn't just give up and go to sleep, because admitting defeat is for wusses. Instead, he kept leaning at about a 45-degree angle.Yes, it was adorable.

Cut to Friday night. I refused to give up and go to sleep, and so was barely with-it when I finally got up off the couch. As I stepped over Big Doodle, I noticed that the usual fatty tumor thing on his side was replaced by this bloody monstrosity that looks all red and veiny, like the planet Jupiter. Except where the storm is? There's a hole with gunk coming out of it.

We were back at the vet Saturday morning. Poor guy is doped up and scheduled for surgery on Thursday. But meanwhile? Meanwhile, I can hardly look at Jupiter, but I'm enthralled by it. It's so completely and utterly disgusting. We're calling our dog "Massive Side Wound Doodle." He has an open wound and is leaving blood all over our baseboards, because he keeps laying against them, applying pressure to Jupiter and causing it to goo all over.

So, just another weekend in paradise. You know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paper + sand = awesome.

I just realized that I have perfectly symmetrical chest and back zits. Disgusting in the front! Disgusting in the back!

Did I mention that we're getting ready to go to the beach?

In 10 days, My Guy and I will be enjoying the sands of lovely Florida. I am already trying to decide if I should start out with a mojito or break out all my calorie-busting moves and start with a margarita. Did you know that the hotel lounge chairs have these little flags on them, and when you want a waiter, you just put the little flag up? And your waiter walks over and takes your order and brings you the tropical drink of your choice and you never have to get up off your probably sunburned ass?

Yes, it is my idea of heaven.

But I do need some help. I need books! Got any recommendations for good beach reads?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where's Oprah when you need her?

I haven't been writing about the shingles because dear God in heaven, I am sick of hearing myself talk about how I have a headache or I can't sleep or blah blah blah.

I'm not contagious. The rash is gone, replaced by pain. I'm back at work. I'm exhausted.

And things at work are amped up. We need stuff and we need it now and we're all freaking out. Basically, I was met at the door with several coworkers saying, "Hope you're feeling better. I need you to do this project for me right now."

OK, then.

So, the stress is at a higher level than when I got stress-related shingles. Gotcha.

I'm not quite doing my regular "pretend it never happened and go back to life as usual" schtick. There's a voice whispering in my brain, telling me to get this shit straightened out or next time it won't be shingles. It will be worse, whatever that means.

My Guy was scared of me when I got home from work tonight. "You slammed the crap out of the door," he said. "Why don't you have some wine?"

I'm back on Weight Watchers. Wine is, like, 7 points.

"I give you permission to not track a glass of wine," he said.

"Am I that big of a stressed-out bitch?"

He hugged me and opened the fridge. "Look - here's an open bottle!"

Is a day at Corporate Behemoth followed by a run to the grocery really that stressful? Am I a wuss if I don't want to do this anymore, whatever "this" is?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why I will never watch Hoarders again.

I used to like that show, I really did. The lack of accountability occasionally made me crazy, but for the most part, it was a satisfying viewing experience.

No more. That guilty pleasure was snatched away from me.

See, my father-in-law reprimanded me for the fact that My Guy wrote the wrong house number on a letter he sent his dad.

Reprimanded me!

I told him I don't keep My Guy's address book and he needed to take it up with his son.

He kept talking. To me. About the address.

I looked out the window.

He informed me that he didn't receive his Father's Day Lowe's gift card in the mail because My Guy probably mailed it to the wrong address.

I looked out the window some more.

My sister-in-law asked her dad if he'd opened all of his mail. He had not. He produced two tubs full of unopened mail.

Two tubs!

While my sister-in-law looked for the envelope from Lowe's, my father-in-law regaled me with tales about how he is too tired after working in the garden every day to open his mail. His sister spent an entire day opening a years' worth of his mail for him a few months ago.

I looked out the window even more and attempted not to levitate with frustration. Finally, I couldn't take it. I turned my head, scanning the 3 family members digging through the mail, across the dusty living room with the piles of stuff, to look my father-in-law in the eye. "Since we're looking through the mail now, can we throw some if it out? Some of the old grocery store ads, maybe?

My father-in-law gave me what I'm sure he considered a winning smile. "I would, but I'm too lazy."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Separated at birth. Obviously.

Me: I will only go to Branson if we can see Dolly Parton.

My Guy: She’s not usually there.

Me: Well, nevermind then.

My Guy, thinking, but smartly not verbally expressing: You are insane.

Me: Have you ever seen 9 to 5?
My Guy: I don’t think so.

Me: It’s a fantastic movie! She’s so funny!

My Guy: Is that the one where she dresses like a man?

Me, thinking but also verbally expressing: What? No! You’re insane!

My Guy: Oh, right. That’s Yentl.
Me, dead on floor from laughter-induced heart attack: Noooooo!

My Guy: Oh, right.

Me: Bwah ha ha!

My Guy: I’m your husband! You’re so lucky! Jesus decrees that you love me even though I get my 80s movies confused!

Me: How could you confuse Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand?


Me: Well, you’re obviously straight.

And … scene!

Images courtesy of Google Images. Which rocks.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Forget flashcards. Shingles are way more educational.

The world is ending. I took another sick day today. Surely this is a sign of the apocalypse.

So, here's what I am trying to figure out: What is it that I'm supposed to learn from having shingles?

Possible answers:

a) Nothing. Shit goes down and that's just how it is. Quit trying to analyze the universe. You should have realized this when your efforts to psychoanalyze your in-laws for fun and profit didn't work. Just leave it be.

b) Your body just *might* be reacting to an accumulation of stress and big goings on this year. This *might* be a sign that you need to respect the changes and respect the stress and *possibly* make a few tweaks in your lifestyle and how you deal with and view stress.

c) Everything is bad! Much like the story of Job, this is just the latest in a series of holy tests from above! You are being smitten and must change everything right now! Quit your job, go vegan and organic, make your own clothes, and stop drinking purple Kool-Aid RIGHT NOW.

So, yeah. Possible answers. Am I missing any? What do you think?

I just feel like if I rearrange the furniture or make some little tweak that everything will be OK. I'll stop getting these weird maladies and miraculously the stabbing, I'ma-gonna-kill-somebody pain of the shingles will magically cease.

My self-medicating has now grown to include making gazpacho (not so healing, but it sounded good at the time), showering (really? everybody wins), and Internet shopping (I have high hopes for the medicinal value of this one).

Boden and Garnet Hill are both having huge end-of-season sales. Shopping for clothes made me feel like I really will leave my house again and will require non-pajama clothes to do it in. So, really? I was shopping for the future. For America. For you and me. If I don't shop, the terrorists (and the shingles) win.

But help a girl out. What the eff am I supposed to be learning from all of this?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Self medicating.

I'm miserable. The shingles? They sucketh.

I'm finding comfort in some small things.

If I lie on my right side with the side of my face part-way leaning against a pillow, the throbbing in my torso subsides. Good to know.

And My Guy has been making lots of purple Kool-Aid, which, for whatever reason, tastes really, really good. I can't bring myself to call it grape, even though My Guy assures me that it's made from the finest grape powder. It's purple. My Guy says this is the Iowa in me, coming out loud and proud.

And if I lie on my right side with my head just so and drink purple Kool-Aid while watching Maury? Well, right now? That's about as good as it gets.

The Maury quote of the day comes courtesy of a woman who found out that the father of her three children had lied about everything - including his first name. Backstage, this is what she had to say to him.

When we get home? You get your bags and you get out. Get your bags, cuz that's all you're taking with you. I'll give you some lunch meat, but that's it.

I really, really hope she gave it to him by throwing slices of unwrapped lunch meat at him as he walked out the door. Maybe bologna, or maybe pimento loaf, because it's especially gross.

This mental image just makes me feel better.

Monday, July 11, 2011

When I say “shingles,” I’m not talking about your roof.

I have joked that since I got married, I can officially commence letting myself go.

I thought I was joking. Maybe I wasn’t.

First? I had a stress fracture in my foot. Then? Allergic reaction to gunk on stitches. Now?

Oh, Lord. I have shingles.


Yes, I have the chicken pox virus-induced magic that is shingles. Me, and a whole bunch of elderly people.

Perhaps this is a sign that I am worn down, since it typically strikes folks with compromised immune systems. Like cancer or AIDS patients, or the elderly. Or, you know, otherwise healthy 36-year-old women who recently had a stress fracture and some gross rashes.

To the uninitiated, shingles is a rash that’s crazily only on one side of your body. And, it’s in a line. And it itches like poison ivy but, because shingles is a crazy bitch, also hurts. Hurts like you are being stabbed with multiple pencils.

Today, I actually wondered if I could just cut the rash off of my body, because that surely wouldn’t be this crappy.

But the crappiest part of all? I can’t be around pregnant people until this shit goes away. Which, even with drugs and such, could be weeks.

There are 2 women at work who are pregnant.

I can’t go to work.

I called my boss, practically delirious. “I don’t know what to do! I’m so gross! And I would die if something happened because I was all around the pregnant ladies! I’m so gross!”

Like having chicken pox at age 4 made me gross and not just, you know, like the rest of the adult population.

So, I’m working from home until, like, further notice.


I practically attacked My Guy when he got home from work today, and it’s only been 1 day. “How are you doing? How was work? What did you have for lunch?” Between that and my recent rash of oozing rashes? I am totally Dream Spouse.


There are just some times when you are out of sorts, you know? And now would definitely be one of those times.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The fine art of the written word, Part 2. Now with less cussing and fewer bitches!

Thanks for rallying ‘round the little mental breakdown in my last post. I so appreciate the kind words, and the offers of offing the editor who doesn’t know what a hyperlink is.

Today is a good day. I got a nice e-mail from a coworker. I got a raise – because people appreciate proper tone, style guide implementation and hyperlinks, dammit. And I got the most awesome e-mail from my most awesome dad:

Subject: Cute and fun girls

Just read your blog. You are a cute and fun girl.


Thank God for kind, fun, brilliant parents who have a high tolerance for dropping the f-bomb.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The fine art of the written word. Also? Cussing. And some bitches.

I might be a bit hypersentive to criticism at the moment.

Over the last few months, I've started blogging for Corporate Behemoth. Not about dogs and getting married and dog poo and living with a boy and dog pee, but about Corporate Behemoth-type stuff. It's been an adjustment.

At first, the marketing lady was all, "You're Cha Cha. You're senior editorial manager. Do whatever you want. Thanks for blogging!" And that was cool.

And then the marketing lady left, and the new marketing lady was all, "You're Cha Cha. You're senior editorial manager. Have your blog reviewed and approved by these 17 people before you post. Thanks for blogging!" And that's ... different.

Considering that most of what I write here is completely made up as I go along and (surprise, I know) gets very little forethought? This whole Corporate Behemoth blogging plan is a bit of a shock.

But I'm down. I'm a team player. I work really, really hard not to drop the f-bomb in my corporate posts. And I've been successful.

So far.

One of the 96 people who have to approve my blog is a contractor who writes press releases.

I'm sure she's really good at what she does and is a lovely person.

But first, she edited my stuff for tone. Dude. It was my directive to write in my personal voice. As long as I don't drop the f-bomb, get off my back.

Then? Then, she quite helpfully removed all the "underlines" in my post.

I had to explain to her that they weren't underlines ... they were hyperlinks. As are commonly found on the Internet.


In other news, I was at a party this weekend, talking to two of my very best friends in the whole world. And a mutual acquaintance came up to our little group, and addressed only one of us.

"You HAVE to come out with us after the party!" the evil woman said to my one friend - and only to my one friend. Completely ignoring me and friend numero dos. "All of the cute and fun girls will be there!"

So, I guess I'm not a cute and fun girl. I'm a woman, and a writer. And we're better. We're smarter. And funnier. And we can insult you with words you don't understand and you won't even know it.

But let me put this in words you will understand: Don't fuck with my tone, and don't fuck with my hyperlinks. I have shit to say and I'm going to say it the way I need to say it. So back the fuck off.

Also? I would be delighted to tell you where you may place your cute-and-fun-girl afterparty.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fun with words.

tinklepotty walkabout (n.)

Origin: American Midwest c. 2010; combination of words meaning "urination" and "nomadic excursion;" attributed to the family of urination-location visionary Lil' Frankfurter
1. activity undertaken by miniature dachshund Lil' Frankfurter at approximately 8:45 every evening; characterized by jumping off the couch and nonchalantly wandering the house in search of a place to urinate; often immediately followed by his human mother herding him away from fabrics and furniture and toward the outdoors, the traditional location for dog urination

2. squeal-like exclamation made by Lil' Frankfurter's mother while rushing him to the door to facilitate urination outside

Monday, June 27, 2011

In case you were wondering.

The rumors true. I am bringing sexy back.

While my stress-fracture-induced limp is mostly gone, I've added a new weapon to my arsenal. It involves oozing.

See, I had two moles removed on Friday. Because even though I stay away from the sun and wear SPF 20,000, I still have questionable skin issues. These questionable skin issues left me with stitches on my arm and leg.

Yesterday, the wound on my arm started to really hurt. And I was up for three freakin' hours in the middle of the night, unable to sleep due to the heat and pain from my arm.

Oh, and the oozing blisters. Did I mention those?

I went back to the dermatologist and got in for a wound check with a different doc than the one I usually see. This new doc had a picture of some sort of maharishi-looking dude on the wall of his exam room and had this horrific Muzak piped in. Now, I know pretty much every song ever. But even I couldn't identify this music. It was sort of like Glen Campbell, if Glen Campbell a) weren't cool; and b) were a dying egret.

I spent 90 seconds with the doc. I'm having an allergic reaction to ointment. The blisters are fantastic.

I feel disgusting and defective. Also, depressed. And itchy.

However, today is the greatest day of Lil' Frankfurter's life. I fell asleep while watching The Price Is Right, and he cuddled with me all the way through Maury. I do believe in the healing power of dachshund love.

Also? I believe there's nothing like Jerry Springer to put things in perspective. Today, a very southern mama admonished her physically violent daughter. "Don't you swat my hand away! You know I was a wrestler and I will take you out!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who's the damned fool now?

My Guy was married before. I've never met his ex, and it sounds like she just wasn't ready to be married. She was young. She didn't know herself.

Lookit me, all Mother Teresa and shit.

So, I'm sorry that she crushed My Guy's soul, but I also don't lose sight of the fact that I'm the big winner here. And sooooo emotionally healthy.


So, when My Guy and I merged households (coming soon to a Hoarders episode near you), I came into some wedding gifts that weren't from our wedding. They were from his first wedding.

Hmm. Since this means we don't have to write thank-you notes for them, I'm cool with it.

So, yesterday, I had to take a salad to a party. And I was running late. But I figured I could be the belle of the potluck ball by taking my salad not in my hoboesque Tupperware, but in a fancy wooden salad bowl. It was part of the not-my-wedding bounty.

As I prepped the salad - running late, of course - My Guy passed through the kitchen. "Wow - if you're using that bowl, that's the first time it's ever been used. My ex hated it, even though she registered for it."

My inner Mother Teresa gave way to my typical snark. Why, it would be a cryin' shame to have such a lovely wooden salad bowl and hate it! And not even use it once? Well, that girl was a fool. A damned fool.

I finished the salad and began covering it with self-satisfaction and Saran Wrap. And that's when I noticed. That the bowl. Was leaking.

My homemade salad dressing was pooling on the counter, running off the edge and drooling down the cabinets. It was coming to a final rest on the floor, in front of a thrilled Lil' Frankfurter, who was lapping it up and probably getting instant diabetes.

I stepped away from the kitchen.

I stood in the doorway to the family room.

"Just FYI," I told my husband. "If I smoked, I would totally light up right now."

It just seemed like the best course of action. Giving myself emphysema was far better than admitting that maybe there was a reason why My Guy's ex left him the salad bowl.

I'm trying to figure out a way to give it to my exes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I don't work at Hallmark.

I've been writing thank-you notes for wedding gifts. As one lady working the bridal registry at a big-box retailer pointed out to me, "You have to write thank yous after your wedding or nobody will give you baby gifts!"


I'm a writer. And I am a huge fan of the hand-written thank-you note. So, this should be easy for me. However, it's getting really old. I've written about 40 notes. I have 21 to go ... not that I'm counting. And My Guy? He's written 4.

I refuse to write the cards to his family. Just on general principle.

Writing so many thank yous has me getting a bit slap happy. While there are certain people who will appreciate receiving a note with a touch of delirium in it, most of these cards need to be fairly straight.

I've started fantasizing about what I'd really like to say.

Oh, yeah.

Dear My Friend's Lunatic Boyfriend,

We had a nice wedding even though you were there. However, we will never understand why you refused to leave your gift at the gift table and instead insisted on interrupting My Guy moments before the ceremony to hand him the gift personally. Considering the gift was a photo of us standing in a parking lot? We are not impressed.

I'm glad my friend is happy but, for a myriad of reasons, the girls kind of wish you'd drop dead.


Cha Cha

Whoo! That felt good!

Dear Cheap-Ass Coworker,

It's totally a cute idea to give cake pans and a cake mix together as a gift. And your handmade card had a cake on it, too. Cute! But considering that the cake mix is for two cake rounds and you only gave us one round cake pan that was not at all expensive? Now, I just think you suck.

Cha Cha

Totally on a roll ...

Dear My Guy's Aunt and Uncle,

You gave us paper mache orbs that have sayings on them like "Peace" and "Harmony." I'm so glad you were able to take advantage of that clearance sale at Kirklands. My Guy and I refer to your gift as "Jesus Bocce Ball."


Cha Cha

Whew. Like a refreshing sorbet, that totally just cleansed my palate.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Livin' the dream.

Many of you have asked for a doggie update. Just how is my own personal Brady Bunch-style blended family getting along?

If you asked me this yesterday, I would have said that everybody is great. Big Doodle and Lady Doodle are all mellow-like. Foxie Doxie is busy securing the perimeter of our new backyard. And Lil' Frankfurter? Well, he's still the devil. But he's cute.

So, you know, we're working through it all. Everybody is getting along.

But ask me today how the pups are doing? And I will tell you this:

I have a stress fracture in my foot. This means that I have only four - yes, four - pairs of shoes that don't cause excruciating pain. Of my extensive shoe collection, I have FOUR pairs of shoes that I can wear. And only three of those pairs are suitable for Corporate Behemoth.

Four pairs of shoes. Got it?

So, this morning, when I was getting ready for work, I noticed something shiny on the floor in front of my closet. And inside my closet.

Dog pee.

I figured Lil' Frank had peed. But no such luck.

Lady Doodle - she of the ginormous bladder - peed in my closet.

Now, we're afraid she might have a UTI, and we're taking her to the vet. I am a compassionate person.

However. She peed in my closet. Oceans of pee. And those four pairs of shoes that I can currently wear? One and a half of those pairs are now in the garage, awaiting some sort of dog urine stink purification ceremony. This ceremony might involve being pitched in the trash. But whatever.

My Guy was obviously handling me with kid gloves. "Babe," he said, "we can totally buy you new shoes. You need shoes."

This is a kind offer. But it's the principle of the thing. You just don't go peeing in a girl's closet, especially not on a Monday morning. Seriously.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Facebook is crazy and so am I, episode 5287.

This week, one of my FB friends has been posting like crazee. The perpetrator? My first love, the college boy who broke my heart into a gazillion pieces.

The posts in question? Photos of his newborn daughter. Comments gushing about how he didn’t think it was possible, but in the first 4 hours of her life, she got even more beautiful. Photos of them snuggling. He was lit up like a Christmas tree.

It was really sweet. My heart was glad for him.

And then it occurred to me: he had sex with someone else!

My Guy’s response?

“Yeah, but he was thinking about you the whole time.”

Bwah ha ha!

When I thought the world was ending when that college boy broke up with me 17 years ago? I had no idea just how worth it the wait for My Guy would be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A grouchy bride by any other name ...

So. I did not change my name when I got married. No new last name. No hyphen. Still the same old Cha Cha.

My last name is super, super common, so it wasn't about keeping the name alive. It was more about keeping me alive. Everything is changing ... my name didn't need to.

My Guy? Not super thrilled. But supportive. I can dig that.

My parents? A bit befuddled. They asked me a few weeks after the wedding if I'd really kept my name. When I answered yes? Complete and total silence.

Umm ... thanks?

But for the most part? It's been no big deal. The worst of it?

Let's say you're a huge big-box retailer who makes a pretty penny on bridal registries. You were already on my list because you sent me an e-mail at 4 p.m. the day of my wedding, telling me to hurry up and buy stuff from my registry that wasn't purchased for us. The day of the wedding!

But I digress.

So, let's say you throw a gigantic Fulfill Your Registry You Crazy Bridal Bitches Event. And the store is closed and only brides and their bored husbands can get in.

As a very generous gift to my husband, I attended this insanity alone. I checked in so I could trade in my nasty, dog-molested comforter. The guy at the door smiled at me. "What's your married name?"

So I told him. And then I ... umm ... got what is for me a little snotty, but for normal humans is probably still insanely polite. "I didn't change my name."

He couldn't find me. The other lady walked over. She couldn't find me, either. They asked My Guy's name. They looked for him ... and found him.

They'd filed my registration - for which I had RSVPed, with my name - under my husband's name.

Bed Bath and Beyond? While I'm thrilled you replaced the comforter that my dogs destroyed? I sort of hate your guts for being so fucking stupid. It's 2011. I am not the first woman who kept her name. And if I personally RSVP for your stupid event? The name I give you is probably the name I'm going to give you again when I show up. Just a heads-up.

You make millions of dollars every year from weddings, which are an etiquette minefield. You might consider brushing up on your Emily Post.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some things? Just not meant to be.

My Guy and I were slumming it for a good long while. Really slumming it. You know what I mean.

Yes. We were using his Bachelor Linens.

I think we can all agree that any bedding - sheets, blankets, what have you - purchased and used by an unmarried man are a bit ... lacking. Lacking in everything except dog hair.

We have a queen-sized bed, and all of my not-as-slummy bedding is for a full-sized bed. So, we used the pilled sheets and blankets of My Guy's single past. And, of course, the comforter with a giant hole, courtesy of his dogs. All of this bedding was blue - but varying shades of not-going-together blue. Bachelor blue.

The great thing about getting married is that people give you stuff. And you get to tell them what you'd like. As you might imagine, what we really liked was bedding.

We were thrilled when we received a down comforter, a sheet set, and a duvet cover for our wedding. I carefully washed the duvet and the sheets, and was so thrilled to pull the bed together. We slept like royalty!

For three whole nights!

And on the fourth night? Foxie Doxie peed in the middle of the bed. It was evidently important for him to mark his territory. We were, after all, still getting used to being a 4-dog household.

Funny thing about a down comforter: when you rinse it free of urine in your bathtub at 11 p.m. when you're really super tired? It turns pink. And you wonder if you're hallucinating. But the next morning, when you remove the comforter from your shower rod and drape it over the back of your couch because you don't know what else to do with it? It's still pink.

So, we could get the comforter cleaned. But we didn't have the opportunity.

No. Because the day we left the comforter draped over the back of the couch? The labradoodles decided it was a dog bed. They slept on the comforter, and dragged it around the house, and finally ripped a giant hole in it.

The house was filled with goose down.

And yes, we just can't have nice things.

I gathered down in Ziploc baggies, figuring I'd restuff the comforter. My baggies of down were tinged grey, thanks to black dog hair - a painful reminder.

So, the wounded comforter sat, safety-pinned together, in a locked, dog-proof room. Finally, this weekend, I got out my iron-on patches and my baggies of down and dog hair, and patched the formerly fine linen. But a funny thing happened when I was getting ready to force the comforter back into its plastic packaging for summer storage.

The packaging said "15-year warranty."

I think you share my "no fucking way" response.


Except I called Bed Bath and Beyond at 10:30 on a Saturday night. And the nice lady agreed that of course, they would replace the comforter. Really? Really!

So yesterday? At the madhouse Fulfill Your Registry You Crazy Bridal Bitches Event? They replaced the comforter!


But ... it's summer, right? So, I also bought a lightweight coverlet that's not so warm. A lovely coverlet in a pale champagne color.

It was on the bed less than an hour before I found blood on it.

Foxie Doxie had a bloody lip.

Which I did not give him.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Like a birthday, but better.

I have been delightfully, thankfully downgraded today.

Remember when I was Super Champion of the Universe and Queen of Growing Huge Breast Cysts?

Uh-huh. No more! Instead of being a gold-medal winner, I'm now the pleased owner of a lowly participant ribbon in the boob cyst Olympics. I might even be picked last if somebody was putting together a team for competitive cyst growing.

It's boobtacular!

At any rate, today was my scheduled recheck. Two ultrasounds, coming right up.

I tried to act like it wasn't any big deal. But really? Really, I was terrified. And pissed as all hell. I've been short-tempered most of the week, but I think we all know that I wasn't really mad about the dishes or that bad driver. I was angry about this interruption to my life, this evil little reminder that holy crap, I just might be mortal. This is sooooo unfair!

My Guy took the afternoon off to take me to The Breast Center. And, per usual, we were totally the youngest people there by, like, a gajillion years. People treat you extra special kindly when it seems like you might be A Really Sad Case.

But I'm not really sad. I'm really thankful. Because my fibroadenoma hasn't come back. And the formerly huge cysts are now teeny tiny. The tech remembered me, and called me "honey," and remembered how she'd had to grab a special wand to get an accurate image of the three-inch cyst before it was aspirated. And today? She celebrated with me, and assured me that 2:30 wasn't too early to get a drink, and told me that the restaurant across the street serves great margaritas.

Once My Guy and I got back to the car, I wasn't sure whether to cry or throw up. So we got ice cream instead.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Umm ... hi.

I’ve been looking for signs that it’s time to start writing again. Evidently, I am not the sharpest crayon in the box – the average signs didn’t faze me.

First? I broke my foot.

OK, sort of. I have a stress fracture that makes me gimp around and moan about how much my foot hurts. Also, I have been directed to sit on my ass and put ice on my foot. This makes me moan about how my entire body is atrophying and I’m getting fat. I’m depressed.

And yes, My Guy is one lucky, lucky fellow.

You might think that sitting around doing nothing would propel me to sit around and do something – something like blogging. You would be mistaken.

Tuesday? I sort of forgot to brush my teeth. Luckily, I realized my mistake before leaving the house. However, I then managed to get toothpaste all up in my hair.

I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought, “I would totally blog about this if I were blogging.” But then I went about my day, actively not blogging.

And yesterday, when My Guy got up at 5 a.m., and he managed to go back to sleep but I didn’t? And then I played outside with the dogs for a while, and then I realized that I should water the plants in the front yard?

I took a calculated risk and decided that given the time of day, I’d be safe in my front yard in my super fancy sleepwear – a t-shirt and pajama pants.

I did not count on the hose exploding, soaking me and my very pale-colored pants. Nor did I count on my next-door neighbor watering the same time I was.

As I attempted to hide my braless, pantyless, possibly transparent fashion misstep, I thought, “Dude. I should totally blog about this.”

But I didn’t.

Until now. I’m getting back on the horse. I’ll bore you with tales of stuff that’s happened in the last 6 weeks. And I’m taking requests – what do you want to read about? Help a sister out – I need to get back in the blogging swing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's happenin', hot stuff?

Not blogging. That's what's happening.

I think I crammed a few month's worth of conversations and general social interactions into one weekend: our wedding. Since then, I've been pretty hermit-like. And while I'm sure there are whispers that newlyweds sequester themselves away for sexytime? I'm here to tell you that it's because they are damned well tired of talking.

Also? They are starting to feel sheepish about not having started writing thank-you notes. Or even ordering said notes. Ugh.

But today? Today, I have an excuse for not writing thank yous. Today is my birthday. Today, I am 36 years old.

Yep. I guess I can no longer claim to be in my early 30s. But I did get carded last week, so that's totally a bonus.

This is sort of a crappy birthday - I will be honest. My Guy, Poochie and I painted the exterior of our house this weekend. It was cold. I wore three t-shirts, a sweatshirt and a parka. Oh, and pants. I was wearing pants, too. But it was shit-ass cold. And in the middle of it? Well, God has a funny sense of humor. Somebody rented My Guy's house - totally out of the blue. A total blessing! But the funny part? The renters want to move in on Friday. And My Guy is in lovely Sandusky, Ohio, all this week.

Ha ha ha.

So in the midst of painting? The three of us dropped our drop cloths, rented a truck, and packed up and moved the rest of My Guy's stuff out of his house.

Why yes, he had had several months to pack up that stuff and move it out.


I'm exhausted, but at least I didn't have to catch a plane to Cleveland at 7 a.m. Instead, I just have to sit around and sulk about my pooooooor birthday all alone in my dirty-as-sin house.

Which, if we're being honest? Since I'm still sort of hiding from the world? Isn't that bad.

But I did have a moment of introspection in a stall of the ladies' room today at Corporate Behemoth. The year I was 35? I got engaged, bought a house, moved, had boobie problems, sold a house, got married, and assumed parenting of two additional dogs.

What in the world could 36 possibly hold to beat that?

And if you mention a baby, I will beat you with a stick.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sound it out. It spells just the way it sounds, honey.

My parents took a road trip. To Arkansas.

My dad is a huge railroading fan, and so they went into a model railroad shop.

The shop was having a sale.

Photo courtesy of my mama. I'm impressed she could stop laughing long enough to hold the camera steady.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The royal wedding: a primer.

Kate? You and I have a lot in common, both being April brides and all. Honestly? I’m really glad that it’s been more than two weeks since my wedding. It’s only fair that the hubbub around my day has worn off a bit so that you can have your own day in the sun. I hope you don’t think this is presumptuous, but I thought I’d share what I learned during my wedding. You know, so you can make the most of your big day.

Wear flats. Seriously. I wore these Borns and my feet felt happy all night.
Take a nap. I snoozed for about an hour before I started getting my hair and make-up done. It was cool. Otherwise? My parents and I would just have been sitting around looking at each other and being nervous. While I slept, my dad watched Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark. Everybody wins.

Try to talk to everyone. They got dressed up and got babysitters and bought a gift for you.

Try to thank everyone, especially the waitstaff and DJ and all those other folks that often get overlooked but are critical to a successful wedding. One of the best hugs I got all night was from the woman who waited on us during dinner. I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home.

Make peace with the crazy. I don’t mean to make assumptions about your family or the royal clan, buuuuuut … let’s say you’re me. And a fair number of your extended family has outed themselves as batshit crazy in the last, oh, 10 years. These people will be at your wedding. And batshit crazy generally doesn’t take a holiday, even for important events like weddings. Leave it be. Smile graciously in the face of the batshit crazy, and know that you will have lots to laugh about later with your groom.

Be prepared for the bridal suite. No, I’m not talking about sexytime. I’m talking about snacks and slippers and utensils. Because you will be starving. And even if you’ve been wearing flats, you’ll be delighted to be reunited with your slippers.

Admit defeat early. Know that you cannot host a freakin’ brunch the day after the wedding. Luckily, many wise women advised me that I was smoking crack if I attempted such a thing, and they were right. The day after the wedding, My Guy and I lounged about in the hotel room, eating wedding cake and watching Major League on cable TV. It was perfect. And I had zero desire to see anyone or talk to anyone or smile at anyone except my new husband.

Have fun. When everybody says it goes so fast? Dude. They are so, so right. So be in the moment. And make it fun. We made our grand entrance to Neil Diamond’s “America.” And one of my favorite moments was hearing the low intro build and build … and then hearing my brother cackle in recognition and approval. Was it perfect by magazine standards? Hell no. Was it perfect for us?

Well, my auntie drew an X on my ring finger with a ballpoint pen so that My Guy would know which finger the ring went on.

My Guy flubbed his vows, and so tagged on that he promised to trip over words during important public speeches.

I held my dad’s hand so tightly that he’s just now regaining feeling.

Our sweet officiant got emotional and lost his place in the ceremony.

We were absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support and joy of the people who came out to support us.
So, yes. Yes, it was perfect for us.
Kate? May you also be so lucky.