Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be true to your school.

My 20-year high school reunion is coming up in September.

September used to be in the far-distant future. Now, it is, like, tomorrow. This is not a big deal except that I am supposedly helping plan my class reunion and nothing has been finalized. My mom asked me about the schedule for the reunion weekend and I just laughed a maniacal, serial-killer laugh.

I'm from a small town. Class reunions are a huge deal.

There are 5 of us who are (in theory) on the planning committee. Only 1 person actually still lives in our hometown. The rest of us are spread anywhere from an hour away to actually living on a different continent. A different continent! We are kind of the shittiest reunion committee ever - at best, we have a rough outline of events. Details? Pshaw!

I helped plan the last 2 reunions. I feel like I've done my time. I live 4 hours away. I just want to show up. I'll give some money, and I'll even bring name tags or extra pop. But I just don't have it in me to worry about what our vegan classmates are going to eat at the class picnic, or whether or not we can reserve rows of bleachers at the homecoming game.

I don't care. I just don't care. It just doesn't matter to me.

Truthfully? I'm more interested in who got fat. And Facebook is pretty good for that.

Plus? In my fantasy, I will show up at this reunion and not be the prettiest or smartest or most successful (actually, this part isn't fantasy - this is all going to be true). But I will be the most ME. And I won't be worried that I got fat or that I'm wearing the wrong thing, or that so-and-so won't like me just like they didn't like me in junior high.

No, in my fantasy, I face this milestone with grace, and with love for the people who shared my childhood.

And nowhere in this fantasy am I parsing out name tags or ensuring that the tour of the new high school starts on time.

But, because I am still practiced in the ways of obligation, I can't quite muster the gumption to say, "Fuck it. You people figure it out. I'll bring a case of beer." But at least I can admit that this is my dream, so that's a start.

Did you go to your high school reunion? How was it?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Every gig has its perks.

So, a few weeks ago, an angel from above directed an email to me.

OK, not really. Well, sort of. I got an email from an acquaintance looking for copywriting help at her marketing agency, just a few hours a week.

Kids? I got me a real, live J-O-B. I started today.

Yes. I'm doing copywriting for a small marketing firm, 5-10 hours a week. It's a nice complement to my freelance writing and still enables me to spend most of my time in yoga pants. Actually, I could wear yoga pants to this new gig, but I'm trying to view it as an opportunity to practice not looking like a hobo.

Speaking of being fancy ... the building that houses my new office is a mixed-use development. Basically, it's a high rise with some offices and a bunch of condos. And if you've ever watched "House Hunters," you know that high-rise condo buildings come with a bunch of stuff. So, with my 5-10 hour a week gig, I now have access to a movie theatre, a big ol' gym, and ... an indoor penthouse-level pool overlooking the downtown skyline.

I've never had a job that had a pool. Not even the summer I was a nanny ... we didn't have a kiddie pool, but just ran through the sprinkler.

During the building tour today, I tried to act all, "Oh, sure, every place I've ever worked or lived has had a hot tub - whatevs." But really, it just made me laugh - especially since I've been back on baseboard patrol at home. "Home" does not mean "community spray tan facility in the basement" to me. No, to me, home means "that place where you are slowly but surely repainting every surface and starting to consider trim painting as your number 1 hobby, or possibly even a religion."

I guess there are parallels with the spray tan and painting baseboards. Folk tend to be pretty hardcore about them both.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nighttime is not the right time.

I've been having trouble sleeping.

Either I can't fall asleep, or I wake up mega-super-awake at, like, 3 a.m. This whole business is really putting a damper on my energy level.

I am, however, having some truly magnificent late-night brainstorms.

Last night, for example, I worked through this series of brilliant thoughts, observations, and plans:
  • I'm awake.
  • Well, at least I don't have anywhere I have to be first-thing in the morning. I don't work in an office anymore.
  • I miss my friend Leesa. It was fun to work with her. I should send her a text that just says, "You're awesome!" Except if I did it right now, she would find out that I'm insane.
  • She probably already knows.
  • Tomorrow, I'm going to caulk the kitchen door and the window above the sink. Then, I'll paint them. And I'll caulk the doorways in the upstairs hallway, and paint those, too.
  • I'm awake. I should just go caulk right now. Then, it would have time to dry and I could paint at, like, 6 a.m. That wouldn't be that disruptive, right?
  • I might be mentally unstable. Or just have unrealistic expectations. If I get out of bed, there will be mass dog chaos and I will wake my poor, exhausted husband.
  • I'll just lie here like a dead body. Maybe that will make me sleepy.
  • Ohmygod. How creepy would it be to sleep next to a dead body? That would be terrible. I must save My Guy from such horror. I would be doing him a favor by rolling over, just so that his subconscious knows that he's not sleeping with a corpse.
  • I'm a giver.
  • But maybe I'm just a doormat. After all, I've been so nice to him, listening to freakin' Flight of the Conchords while playing that crazy-complicated board game that he's obsessed with. My husband is turning me into a geek. And, I always lose that damned game.
  • I hate losing. My Guy must pay. I'm going to lie here like a dead body.
  • Except that I'm a dead body that has the Flight of the Conchords song about male prostitution stuck in my head. "You can put away your tool. You don't have to beeeeeee ... a prostitute! No no no no no! You don't have to beeeee ... a man ho; a male gigolo!"
  • Maybe that's why Lil' Frankfurter is doing all the humping. Like the guy in the song, he thinks male prostitution is his only option.
  • Once I get out of bed, I'm totally going to make a meme with Lil' Frank and the lyrics from that song.
And ... I did.

I guess insomnia isn't all bad.

What goes through your head when you can't sleep?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I married well, part 964.

When we were registering for wedding gifts, I knew that we wouldn't register for china or for a toaster. I have my grandma's china ... and her toaster.

When I had my very first apartment, Grandma gave me a toaster that she just had around. It was new in the box, and had obviously been a gift. She kept it on-hand just in case her "real" toaster crapped out - which it never did.

The real toaster was from the 50s and made the best toast ever. My uncle could never get it to work and threatened to throw it down the driveway and run over it with his car. Maybe he's the one who gave her the extra toaster. At any rate, she kept the real toaster safe from his clutches and used it for 50 years.

So, the toaster she gave me, the new-in-box model? Yeah. In 1996, that box contained coupons that expired in 1979. They were for, like, 5 cents off a loaf of bread.

I've had this toaster ever since. It's a General Electric model, shiny metal with black plastic ends. This brave little toaster makes excellent toast and is a total champ. Much like my clock radio, I want no other toaster. My heart belongs to this toaster alone.

Today, I got the toaster out to - what else? - make some toast. Except! My toasting pal had basically become biodegradable overnight.

The metal had popped out and was hanging onto the plastic at cattywampus angle. While my favorite appliance was still capable of toasting a mean piece of bread, it looked falling-down-drunk doing it. I hoped I wouldn't burn the house down just for a piece of toast.

I spent 20 minutes trying to manipulate the metal back into its proper configuration, all while not breaking what I figured must be very brittle plastic.

I was not successful. I left the toaster out, thinking it might just realign itself and we could go back to our formerly happy lives.

Then, I remembered that I am married. Huzzah!

My Guy spent about 20 seconds popping the toaster back together. I promised him many favors of a sexual nature in return.

He just shrugged. "I get that a lot."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Grandpas and coffee shops.

I'm working at a coffee shop this afternoon. The Internet is out at my house, and it's nice to take a break from the non-stop dog humping.

Side note: My sweet friend Mo asked if Lil' Frankfurter had a good Hump Day. The answer? Every day is hump day to Lil' Frank!

So, I'm at a coffee shop, where no one is currently humping anyone else ... at least within my line of sight. It's rather refreshing.

My heart is a little bit broken.

A grandpa came in with his teenage grandson. The grandpa was probably pushing 80; his grandson was maybe 18. They got a cookie and iced coffees, and sat briefly while they shared the cookie.

The grandson gave off a vibe not of embarrassment, but of ... hurried resignation.

When you're 18, you're in a hurry. And your parents aren't cool. Your grandparents are even more hopeless. You hang out with them out of obligation. It's what you do between the important stuff, like soccer practice and chilling with friends.

Friends, I would give my eye teeth to have coffee with my grandpa. I don't even like coffee. I'd drink it black, scalding hot on this heat-indexed day, to chat with my grandpa.

One thing you don't realize when you're 18 is that your grandparents get it. They were 18 once. They knew what it was like to have someplace more important to be. They are smarter than you can even fathom.

If you're lucky, they act like they don't see your impatience. They pretend they don't know you think you're doing them some huge favor. They love you anyway. And they know that this will pass.

If you're lucky, you pay attention to what they are trying to tell you, of how they show you what they've learned.

I'm embarrassed that I was once the hurried 18-year-old, that I didn't always pay attention. I'm ashamed at the sense that I wasted even a tiny opportunity.

My brother and I were so blessed to have grandparents who lived just minutes away, kind people who were involved in our lives. Good people who lived well - they loved their family. They were thankful for everything they had. They had fun. They served their community.

I guess we learned all of this not in big, flashy moments, but in the quiet everyday. We laughed at "The Golden Girls" and savored homegrown tomatoes.

And so, when we had moments of being 18, it was OK.

But I still wanted to shake the kid in the coffee shop. Pay attention. Don't miss this. It won't always be available, and then you'll really want it, and your heart will break.

My husband always gives me the heel of the bread, because he knows it's my favorite. My grandparents used to play cards to see who got the heel - they both loved it. And they loved each other - and us. I hope that I carry that with me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Now showing: Stayin' Erect.

Try not to be jealous of my mad design skillz.
So, it's day 2 of Humpalooza. Lil' Frankfurter continues to assert his dominance over his labradoodle brother. Poor Big Doodle just tries to ignore him, but I can tell that he's getting more and more annoyed.

I, on the other hand, have started to completely tune out the mini-dachshund-on-labradoodle crime. Mostly because I have been on the phone a good part of the day and have had no choice.

I'd be on the phone, trying to interview some guy for a newsletter for Bob's Mattress Shack, and my potential interviewee clearly doesn't want to talk to me but told Bob that he would just to make ol' Bob go away. And so I'm on the phone, trying to coerce this guy into talking to me for 5 whole minutes, and right next to me, a 7-pound dachshund is mounting and humping an 88-pound beast of a dog.

And I'm all, "Bob asked that I call you to get your thoughts on marketing mattresses."

And Lil' Frank is all, "Thrust, thrust, thrust. Lookit me. I'm a man!"

And Big Doodle is all, "Maybe if I just pretend to be asleep, he'll roll off me and leave me in peace."

I started closing my eyes while on the phone.

I live in fear that tomorrow will bring more of the same - but maybe even worse. Like, Lil' Frank could show up all greased and in a loincloth, maybe in a headband with "I am the alpha" embroidered on it.

If he has matching wristbands on all 4 paws, that's it. I'm calling the vet.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Follow your dreams, kids. Follow 'em!

I have a 7-pound dachshund.

I also have an 88-pound labradoodle.
This is a picture of said doxie molesting said doodle.

This has been going on all day. All day.

Seriously. I pull Lil' Frank off Big Doodle, roll him on his back to show that I'm the alpha, then let him go once he looks appropriately contrite. Then, Frank hops back up on Big Doodle all over again.

At first, they were under a table and I thought they were cuddling. Then I discovered that it was a very special kind of cuddling. Big Doodle is so chill that he doesn't even care. That, and given Lil' Frank's size, the doodle probably thinks it's just a piece of paper, or maybe a fly.

I would feel sorry for Big Doodle, except that he keeps walking over, getting right in my face, and burping. Burping the juicy burps that only come when one has been dining in the yard.
Nothing to see here. Just some dudes, chillin'.

Phrases I've uttered multiple times today:
  • Put your penis away!
  • Get off your brother! Get off!
  • You're bigger than him - you can make him get off you.
  • I said, put your penis away!
  • I can tell you ate poop from your poopy breath!
The truth is that young Frank just will not be deterred. Much like Starship, nothin's gonna stop him now.

Big Doodle feels the same way about eating poo. I guess I've raised strong-willed kids. Umm? Yay me?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Does creativity burn fat?

After ingesting approximately 97,351 calories over the July 4th holiday, I determined it was time to go to the gym.

Umm ... I hadn't been to the gym in ... uh ... 4 or 5 weeks. Maybe you've noticed that new layer of rippled stuff on my legs?


So, My Guy and I go to a really, really small gym. We know all the attendants, and so when I show up alone, someone will ask where my "workout buddy" is. The answer is that he's playing softball. Or disc golf. Or basketball. Or football. Or some uber-athletic sport that I've never even heard of.

When they ask him where his workout buddy is, he can honestly say, "Oh, she's sitting somewhere."

So, as we approached the gym today, I realized that someone might ask where I've been lo these 4 or 5 or 6 weeks. Not to be mean, but to be friendly.

The truth, that I've been sitting? Was just too much. So, I came up with some on-the-fly responses.
  • I got a kidney transplant. - OK, not necessarily true, but a pretty solid reason not to be on a treadmill.
  • I donated a kidney. - Even better! I couldn't be on a treadmill, AND I am above reproach. Not unlike Mother Teresa.
  • I was in Africa ... - Which is really far from the gym.
  • ... working with orphans ... - Because Mother Teresa would approve.
  • ... orphans who were blind ... - And therefore couldn't see the new layer of cellulite on my quads.
  • ... and I cured them of their blindness. - Because if you're gonna go, go all out.
Sadly, no one asked where I had been. So, I was free to watch HGTV and have a coronary on the treadmill, then go home to die.