Friday, August 30, 2013

I don't even care that they aren't double-stuffed. I DON'T CARE!

First off, I acknowledge that there's nothing worse than hearing someone talk about their diet or their bunions or weird rash or whatever. Keep that shit to yourself, man.


Ohmygod, I gave up dairy a few months ago and it's made me feel so much better and I'm eating clean-ish, with very few processed and packaged foods and it's wonderful and I feel great and feel like I'm fueling my body instead of eating crap.

But, you guys?

I want Oreos right now so badly. Just a big ol' bag of Double Stuf Oreos. No milk. No friends or greedy spousal unit to "help" eat said Oreos. I need to be alone with the Oreos, to commune with the Oreos. I must be one with the Oreos!

I am even willing to overlook the egregious misspelling of "Stuf" in the Double Stuf Oreo. If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

I keep expecting the cravings for sweets to pass, but so far, they haven't. Obviously. I guess when you could eat brownies for every meal, every day, that shit takes a while to wear off.

What bad-for-you foodstuff do you crave like a starving, rabid, and poorly groomed wild dog?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Alan Thicke, soon-to-be superstar.

I recently came across this video and, well, I'm not exaggerating when I say it changed my life.

Listen, we're all thinking it, so I'm just gonna come out and say it: If Robin Thicke can have the song of the summer, then Alan Thicke should have the song of the fall.

People, we can make this happen.

I hear your questions, and I have answers.
  • Yes, the Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship was a thing. And it was awesome.
  • While I would like to say that I believe in Crystal Light because I believe in me, mostly I believe I learned the hard way that Crystal Light and vodka taste terrible together.
  • Yes, it's possible for a song to become a big hit decades after it was first released. See also: "Bohemian Rhapsody."
  • Yes, the Thickes are Canadian. So yes, another number 1 hit in the U.S. would further enhance otherwise precarious U.S. - Canadian relations. I'm sure the State Department would totally be behind another Thicke clan number 1.
  • Like you, I'm concerned about the Canadian music mafia. However, I'm confident that we can get the likes of Bryan Adams and Randy Bachman behind another big international hit from Canada. Truthfully, I'm not 100% sure that we can get the nod of approval from Gordon Lightfoot, but I don't think he would stand in the way. After all, he's on a carefree highway.
  • Yes, I recognize that Alan Thicke used to be married to Gloria Loring of "Days of Our Lives." I'm not sure how their relationship ended, so it would be possible that the large "Days" lobby could oppose a successful hit song by Ms. Loring's ex. However, I think the "How I Met Your Mother" lobby would more than make up for any "Days" bitterness.
  • Yes, I'm totally thinking what you're thinking: The name of the song is "Sweaty and Hot," and it's about the benefits of working out. Michelle Obama will be all over this!  
  • No, there's just really nothing left to say.
So, let's make this happen. The song is catchy in that "I started out laughing but I can't get it out of my head and now I'm really into it" sort of way. Isn't that what all good pop music is?

Go to iTunes. Go to Amazon. But just go forth and spread the words: "Sweaty and Hot!"

Monday, August 26, 2013

Entertainment visionary or white trash?

This weekend, My Guy and I went to the drive-in. It was just like in "Grease," except I didn't see anybody climb out of a trunk once their car was inside.

We are so lucky that we live near a completely kick-ass drive-in theatre. The pre-show entertainment is a live stream of little kids dancing in front of the concession stand. Families are everywhere, the playground in front of the screen is always busy, and the old-school ads for sno cones and hot dogs make me smile.

Keep in mind, though, that I've never actually visited the concession stand. I'm a firm believer in BYOB movie going. Or, as was the case Saturday night, BYOB, BYOF, and BYOC.

That would be bring your own beverage, food, and cake.

My Guy and I shelled out $20 for a triple feature, and parked towards the back - not by choice, but because 20 minutes before showtime, the rest of the lot was full. We did not, however, make out. (Not for lack of trying, though - my husband kept saying something about public displays of affection being inappropriate around so many kids. Whatever.)

We had brought a sack of hamburgers and a couple of beers. Yes, the beer was against the rules, but  long as we weren't blatant about it, we figured it was fine. Rebels!

We ate burgers. We drank beer. We watched "Grown Ups 2," which was entertaining but has pretty much zero plot.

The second movie was "We're the Millers," which was funny but also not earth-shattering. One of the problems with movie going in your vehicle is that you're pretty dependent upon the weather. By the middle of "We're the Millers," the breeze that was pleasant during the first feature was completely gone, and we started to stick to the leather seats in My Guy's truckasaurus. It was hot.

To ease our discomfort, we ate cake.

I had made a cake a few days earlier. The leftover cake was still in the metal cake pan ... which I just threw in the truckasaurus along with the beer. No plates, no spatula - just cake in a cake pan, and a community fork.

We sweated, watched a movie, and devoured cake right out of the pan, all from the humid, somewhat sticky comfort of the truckasaurus.

It felt a teensy bit trashy, but mostly awesome. I felt like such a rebel. A fat rebel with high cholesterol.

We didn't stay for the third feature, which was "Children of the Corn Part 27," or some such thing. But still, we didn't get home until almost 1 a.m. It was craziness!

And then, just to solidify my standing as a rebel, I went to bed without flossing.

I know. I know!

What bit of culinary rebellion would you love to sneak into the movie?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The care and feeding of squirrels.

Last night, I visited with some girlfriends under the stunning red moon. The restaurant patio was pleasant and the wine flowed.

We talked kids.

I love my friends. I want to hear about their lives. I am empathetic to the challenges of motherhood.


We talked about kids and parenthood and marriage as parents for 2 hours. As a childfree person, this was kind of like talking about squirrels for 2 hours.

Yes, I am very familiar with squirrels. There are lots of squirrels around. I have provided short-term sustenance and care for squirrels. I happen to like squirrels.

But I don't have squirrels of my own, and am unfamiliar with the day-to-day challenges of squirrel care. I know squirrelhood can be difficult and the keepers of squirrels need to vent and compare notes.

I have no squirrels. Instead, last night, I had a wandering mind. I'm ashamed to admit that I committed that greatest of all social faux pas: I checked my phone.

I try to channel my childfree, perennially single, and quite fabulous friend Liza during these times. What would Liza do?

I have no idea. Maybe she'd go to the ladies' room and call a friend with benefits. Except I'm married and I'm pretty sure my friend with benefits would be at our shared home anyway.

So I smiled and tried to be engaged. I do not want to diminish anyone's experience. Except ... by doing so, am I denying my own experience as someone gets sick of talking about other people's kids all the damned time?

I think it's just a pitfall of being a woman in your 30s. Raising kids is what all of my peers are doing right now, while I'm painting baseboards and trying to find myself.

This summer, I ran into an acquaintance who, upon figuring out where I live, rattled off a list of neighbors that surely I knew. I knew none of them. Finally, exasperated, the acquaintance said, "Do you go to Grant?"

Grant is the elementary school in my hood.

I graciously replied that I don't have children, but I'm sure the mothers on my street are lovely people.

But really, I wanted to say, "Actually, I graduated from elementary school several years ago. Clearly, you've lost yourself and are identifying yourself in terms of your children. Dude, that's messed up. So don't be all looking down at me. I know who I am."

So, that last part is maybe a stretch. I'm figuring out who I am. And I'm someone who gets tired of talking about squirrels.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sadness and despair!

Last weekend, I helped my brother and his wife with some last-minute home-improvement projects before their baby arrives. Mrs. Poochie is a glowing 34 weeks, and Poochie is, well, a little freaked out.

"Did you know the baby could come early?" he asked, honestly surprised. It's so sweet and wonderful to see my baby brother nervous and giddy, yet more prepared to be a dad than he realizes. I love them both.

I have to admit, though, that I have a few problems with these people.

First of all, they don't seem to be taking my name suggestions very seriously. Currently, I'm pushing for "Vonjelica," and don't seem to be getting a lot of traction. You can't tell me that "Vonjelica von Noodleroux" isn't an awesome name. Or maybe the name of a burlesque dancer. But memorable nonetheless.

Secondly, my freakishly tall brother and his lithe wife looked at me like I had horns when I asked where they kept their ladder. I was painting their kitchen, and the stepstool I was perched on just wasn't going to make cutting in the ceiling an easy task.

They own a stepstool and a 14-foot extension ladder. Because they don't need anything else. Because they are tall and can reach stuff.

I'm a foot shorter than my brother. We look enough alike that I'm pretty sure we're related, but DUDE.

So, I cut in the ceiling by standing on my tippy toes on a woefully deficient stepstool. The painted kitchen looks gooooood, but my calves are still burning.

I'm short, and no one likes my ideas for naming their baby (See also: my friends who declined to name their son "Ferdinand.").

Woe is me.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Maintaining morale: A guide for losers.

I spent a few hours this week sorting through old CDs. I had a bad habit of saving files to disks and then not labeling the disks at all. It always made me feel like I was living dangerously.

I can honestly say that searching unmarked disks for files doesn't feel like living dangerously. It feels dumb.

However, I did find some random stuff I had no idea that I had - like some documents from Corporate Behemoth. Lest you think I'm a corporate spy, I will tell you that these documents were about people taking a trip. In a fit of I-don't-know-what, I had saved documentation about my coworkers taking a trip in honor of their personal achievement on behalf of Corporate Behemoth.

Basically, several years ago, Corporate Behemoth laid off a gajillion people, then identified 100 of the still-employed folks to take on an all-expenses-paid, week-long boondoggle to Mexico.

It was incredibly hush-hush. Something about it being bad for morale, what with hundreds of people just having been laid off.

Ya think?

The "top performers" were the kiss-ups, the teacher's pets, the sharks. They - and a guest - enjoyed a week at a Mexican resort. They were required to attend daily "company breakfasts" so that Corporate Behemoth could still write off the trip as a business meeting.

And the rest of us underachievers? Well, we were supposed to work away and not realize that 100 people were on vacation. Together.

Also, we were supposed to be glad that we still had jobs and hadn't fallen prey to the layoffs. Oh, and we were also doing the work once tended by our now-laid-off colleagues.

Man, it just sucked.

Anytime you hear a story about the insanity of Corporate America, and you have trouble believing that it's true? Honey, I'm here to tell you: it's true. It just is.

So, my new job, the few-hours-a-week gig in an office in a fancy condo building? Well, it's got challenges, too. Namely, the grand piano in the lobby is a player piano. And the other day, it was playing Toto's "Rosanna." On repeat.

I know this because it was really, really quiet in our office, and I could hear the faint tinkling of ivories down the hall. The sound would fade from my consciousness, and then all of the sudden I'd hear, "MEET YOU ALL THE WAY! do-do-do! ROSANNA OH YEAAAAAH!"

That part of the song is really forceful on keyboard.

Like I said, no workplace is perfect. But some are less Imma-kill-somebody than others.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A slight product design flaw.

I came across something awesome today.

Yeah, it's a dachshund watering can. Cute. Except! The water comes out of the dachshund's mouth.

People. Come on.

Any accurate dachshund watering can would erratically spray water out of the crotchal region. Why? Because that's what dachshunds do!

Foxie Doxie? I'm looking at you, you militant jerk.
I know you feel no guilt, because you're a dachshund, and the give-a-damn was evidently bred out of you. But seriously.  


In addition to an accurate dachshund watering can, my future line of honestly designed goods will also include:
  • A flowerpot featuring a picture of me, gardening - Only coleus will grow in the pot, but you just go ahead and keep trying other plants, too.
  • A series of Ken dolls made to look like various and sundry ex-boyfriends - Anytime Barbie needs anything - a ride to the Dream House, emotional support - the dolls literally disappear.
  • A candle in Lil' Frankfurter's adorable likeness - Who doesn't love a tiny miniature dachshund with huge eyes? The candle will be scented with Johnson's Baby Shampoo and a hint of urine. It will also shed.
What accurately designed goods would you love to see?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How to fail miserably as an adult.

I recently hung out with my favorite soon-to-be 2nd grade twins. They are all about animals and trivia and whatnot.

The boy looked at me very seriously. "You're a grown-up, so you probably know this," he said. "But did you know that the harpy eagle has talons that are longer than a bear's claws?"

Uh, no. No, I didn't know that. My young friend was both delighted at his own intelligence and shocked at my ineptitude. He was too nice to say so, but clearly, I am shitty at being an adult.

I kind of want to start every single sentence with, "You're a grown-up, so you probably know this." It would be so awesome! Just think: "You're a grown-up, so you probably already know this, but when you don't put your dishes in the dishwasher, it makes the baby Jesus cry." Or even, "You're a grown-up, so you probably already know this, but the labradoodle ate poop today."

Like being an adult is a form of omniscience. But as a kid, that's totally what being a grown-up was all about! Those tall people knew everything! And yet, they managed to be pretty dull.

I noticed that my kid friends were reading a Beverly Cleary book. In an effort not to be the dullard adult, I mentioned that I, too, was reading a Beverly Cleary book: the second of her autobiographies. The first book is about her childhood, and the second covers college through getting her first book published.

Instead of being heralded as a literary genius, I faced contempt.

"Eww! The school one is probably way better. College and being a grown-up is so boring!"

So, that's probably a healthy attitude for a 2nd grader. But Beverly Cleary's autobiographies - A Girl From Yamhill and My Own Two Feet - are equally enthralling.

Plus, if we're being honest?

I devoured all of Mrs. Cleary's books as a kid, and finding these books aimed at adults was a thrill. I thought I'd read all the Cleary that's there to be read, but I was mistaken! She wrote these 2 lovely little autobiographies for me to find as an inept adult.

Mrs. Cleary is 97 years old. I bet she knew all about the harpy eagle's talons.

As a youngun', my favorite books were those about Ramona - Ramona the Pest, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. The publication of Ramona Forever was the first time I ever anticipated a new book. I could hardly stand it until that light-blue paperback was available. Instead of going to the library, we bought it. It was a big deal. I tore through that book.

I don't know crap about the harpy eagle, but I do love to read. And I think Mrs. Cleary helped me there, for sure.

What was your favorite Beverly Cleary book? And did you know about the harpy eagle?

Disclaimer: When you purchase a book through my links, Amazon throws some spare change my way. This enables me to pay my library fines, stay out of library jail, and keep entertaining you with my hard-hitting literary criticism.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The dog peed on the wedding invitations.

This is Foxie Doxie.
He has a problem with marking his territory.
That's why he has to wear this man belt. His newest manccessory is pirate-themed for an extra touch of masculinity.

This is my office.
It may be somewhat cluttery.
Don't judge.

Just because I have stuff piled on the floor doesn't mean that young dachshunds are free to urinate where they please.

Foxie, I'm talking to you.

So, there's a box of stuff that I have intended to do something with for lo the 2 years that My Guy and I have been married.

Today, I moved said box. This left a bit of a sheen on the floor.

I examined the box. I examined the sheen. Long, long ago, Foxie had marked the box. The box that held my wedding invitations, guest book, and cards.

I like to believe that this marking was so long ago that it was during the early days of our blended family, the days when an immature Foxie was acting out and wanted the world to know how he felt about our Brady Bunch-esque situation.

This is not the case. The box hadn't been in this particular location for more than a few weeks.

He peed on all of our wedding ephemera. Recently. As a statement on my marriage.

Now, while I'm looking for a family counselor who will take us on, I must give mad props to the United States Postal Service, and to my mama. The USPS box is thick, made of manly cardboard. And my mama, well-known for her steadfast belief that if a little bit o' tape is good, then a whole roll of tape is better? Well, Mama and the USPS basically made the box waterproof.

No pee on the wedding ephemera.

Foxie Doxie, you have been thwarted. However, I do respect that this is a sign that maybe I should get on the stick and go ahead and make whatever wedding scrapbook I'm going to make with all this leftover stuff. I know, I get it.

Also? I can't help but think of the movie "Vacation" when Beverly D'Angelo is all, "The DOG PEED on the picnic basket!" Imogene Coca just shrugs and eats her sandwich.

Foxie Doxie would be good friends with Aunt Edna.