Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bonus Sunday Post: My Happy Place

I had a riding lesson last Tuesday, and I totally kicked ass and took names.

Having come back to lessons after a 10-year hiatus, I was feeling decidedly rusty and disconnected. To be honest, I've been kind of all over the place during the past few lessons.

It hasn't been pretty.

But this Tuesday, I got on and was like, aahhh, NOW I remember.
It all came flooding back to me, and I was suddenly the capable, confident rider I used to be.

This is me taking a few jumps. These jumps are tiny compared to the 5-foot monsters I USED to go over, but I'm still pleased that I managed to pull it off as well as I did.

(Pay no attention to my obnoxious trainer and the country music blairing in the background. He's a little...uh...UNTRADITIONAL compared to other trainers)

video


Man, there's something about horseback riding that always, ALWAYS puts me in my happy place.


Plus, if society ever ends as we know it and there's no gas for cars, I figure I'll be ahead of the game. I'll be all like, hahah, you suckas can walk and I'll meet you there.

BURN!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

You know those moments in your mid- to late-twenties when you have a startling realization that time is flying by and there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop it?

I’ve been having a series of these OMGWTF moments over the past few months.

Namely because my grandmother is losing her GD mind.

She’s always been quirky, ever since I was a little kid. As a result, my sister and I were conditioned from an early age hold everything she said at arm’s length. My parents used to tell us to “take everything Grandmom says with a grain of salt,” and “let everything Grandmom says go in one ear and out the other,” which was good advice, otherwise I would have grown up believing that men are the devil and all they want to do is get in your pants, so every time they’re nice to you, you should punch them in the balls and run away screaming.

Surprisingly, that was excellent advice on how I SHOULD have dealt with my Ex. If only I had known…

Vaguely traumatizing advice notwithstanding, Grandmom was then and still is today one of my favorite octogenarians. If you’re not easily offended, she’s hilarious. She’ll tell you exactly how it is at all times. She’ll tell you that your ass looks great, getting old sucks balls, and the “PRs” are ruining this country (don’t get your panties in a twist, I’m just repeating what she says). She knows that what she says isn’t politically correct, or even accurate half the time, but she says what’s on her mind and makes no apologies for it. Beyond that, she has always had these amazing moments of clarity where her wisdom and life experience really shine through. In one heart-to-heart talk we had, she accurately diagnosed the emotional source of my longstanding feud with my father, and explained to me in perfectly clear terms why I probably married the Ex, despite how bad he was for me.

My grandmother: What Freud would have been if he was a short, Italian racist.

Unfortunately, these moments of clarity are getting few and far between. Moreover, she’s developing dementia, paranoia, and the inability to regulate her emotions properly. As a result, my grandmother and grandfather recently moved from the assisted-living community they were staying at and bought a house—at the ages of 85 and 87—because she was convinced that the nurses were trying to kill her, or at least drug her to steal her Medicare money.

Oh yeah, she’s definitely on the one-stop train to Crazy-Town.

It could be Alzheimers, although lord knows she’d never submit to a psychological exam. The way I figure it, diagnosis or not, she’s just friggin’ OLD, and as a result, her brain isn’t working the way it used to. It’s sad, but honestly, what can I expect? Sure, there are people out there in their nineties who are still completely independent and as sharp as a tack…but not many. My grandmother has had 85 years of relative cognizance, and I am grateful for every coherent conversation we have had.

However, I’m happy to report that, even in her declining mental health, her personality is shining through. Take the other day, for example:

My mother told me that earlier this week she was driving my grandmother home from the hospital (she had been admitted for a panic attack), and they stopped at WalMart to pick up her newest list of prescriptions. When my mom came out of the store, my grandmother, who had been waiting in the car, was giggling almost uncontrollably.

“Do you see that?” she asked, and pointed to another car in the parking lot.
“No,” my mother said. “See what?”
“That dog. He’s taking a shit on top of that car over there.”

Of course, there was no dog on the car, let alone one who was taking a shit, but try telling that to my grandmother. I guess the thing is that, while I’m sad for my grandmother that she’s losing her marbles, at the same time, she’ll always be Grandmom. She may be hallucinating, but at least she’s hallucinating in a manner that’s consistent with her personality. She’s not seeing elephants walking by, and she doesn’t think she’s the queen of England (yet), but she sure as hell managed to conjure up a totally inappropriate image of a dog taking a shit on a car.

If that doesn’t say “Grandmom,” I don’t know what does.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Baptism Blues

So I have this problem…

A few weeks ago, I was having brunch with Brian, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and their parents.
Yeah, I know, that’s so classy of me.

Brunch: making drinking before noon socially acceptable since 1896*

* I Wikipedia-ed that shit.

So we somehow got on the topic of religion, and Brian’s brother started talking about all that bullsh ... stuff that Catholic kids do while growing up. You know…CCD, communion, etc. The thing is, Brian’s mom is Catholic. And not the “go to church on Christmas and Easter or when you’re feeling especially sinful” Catholic. She’s, like, “go every week and volunteer for the church fundraising committee” Catholic.

So Brian’s brother is going on and on about the different things he had to do, being a child of a Catholic woman and all, and at one point I interjected, “Thank god I didn’t have to do any of that stuff in MY church while I was a kid. Man, that would have sucked”

Because Tact is my middle name.

But I said it because I was practically raised in a Presbyterian church. No joke. My dad was the choir director, and my mom was, like, the secretary or some shit. We totally ran that joint. We were like the popular kids in highschool who walk down the hallway in slow motion to rock music while the crowds part in a wave of awe and envy – well, except, replace rock music with hymns, I guess. I mean, we practically OWNED the church, except we couldn’t put it like that, because God would have probably struck us down.

Being a false idol is SUPER fun, BTW.

Ironically, through a series of random events (read: church scandal and appropriate fall-out), my entire family is now either atheist or agnostic. We’ve seen the light of a different kind, as it were. Card-carrying God haters, the lot of us. Isn’t life funny? One minute you’re praising the lord, the next minute you’re driving around with a Darwin fish on your bumper and rolling your eyes because NPR is talking about the Pope visiting Israel, or some shit.

Anyway, after I tactfully pointed out that I had not been a Catholic growing up, Brian’s mom turned to me and said, “Oh, that’s right, you’re Presbyterian, aren’t you?”

****

Commence first awkward pause of the day.

****

I have no idea what I said in response, but I think it was something like, “Yeahcanyoupassmethesalt?”

Later, driving home, I had a little talk with Brian:

“Does your mom think I’m religious?”
“I dunno. I might have told her that you were a Presbyterian when we first started dating.”
“But…does she think that I WAS Presbyterian…or… AM STILL Presbyterian?”

****

Commence second awkward pause of the day

****

So, in this way, I found out that not only does Brian’s mom think I believe in God, she actually has me sub-categorized as Presbyterian.

Now this in itself is not such a bad thing. I’m like George Costanza when it comes to lying. I can maintain a lie for upwards of 20 years if I have to. There are people I went to elementary school with who TO THIS DAY still believe that I have Tourette Syndrome, all because I used to curse like a sailor in 3rd grade and didn’t want to be called out on it.

BUT….here is the potential issue:

Brian and I are pretty serious. There is a theoretical marriage and theoretical children in our near future. Which is all fine and good, until Brian mentioned that we’re probably going to have to get the kid baptized.

Yes.
Baptized.
As in: unless we dunk this kid’s head in water, certain theoretical mother-in-laws are going to believe that this kid is going to roast for eternity in the fiery pits of hell.

The way I see it, like mother, like child, you know? But seeing as she’s hardcore into “God with a capital G” and I’m apathetically amused by this whole Christianity shtik, at best, it’s looking like I’m going to have to go through with it, rather than put her through years of suffering believing that this kid is going to hell because it’s sinful, sinful mother is an atheist.

I said to Brian, “You know, I’m going to have to seriously lie my ASS off when we do this. It’s going to take all my willpower not to roll my eyes through the whole thing.”

He was horrified. “You can’t LIE in church! That’s, like, the first rule they teach you in Catholic school!”

So I said to him, “Well, it’s either lie in church, or denounce god in front of the ENTIRE CONGREGATION, including your mother. Which would you rather have me do?”

Apparently, there are levels at which you can sin.

FYI, lying is pretty low on the list.

Denouncing God? In a CHURCH?
...that’s on a whole other level.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bloggin' on the West Side

Yo, yo, yo, what up, dawgs?

Today I’m over at My Blog Doesn’t Suck flexin’ my nuts ‘n shit.* Y’all need to pop over to that joint real quick to peep my mad writing skillz while I rap about some crazy shit that went down in college. For REALZ.

Just don’t playa hate, cause I’ll be all up in yo’ shit gettin’ mine, fool.** Word.

Peace out.


*And by nuts, I mean ovaries. Because I’m a girl.

** I don’t even know what I just said. Sometimes I confuse myself…

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shenandoah Park Part II: Less Bears, More Ass Kicking

Hey there, campers!
I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday partaking in general Memorial Day merriment – Because nothing says thank you to our fallen troops like gorging on BBQ and singeing your eyebrows off while playing with sparklers.

For me, this weekend turned out to be an ass-kicking, back-to-nature getting bonanza! Brian, Jericho and I headed off for the second time to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia early early EARLY on Saturday morning to get a head-start on the day (did I mention early?). We got to the park around 9:30 and were hitting the trail by 11:00am. We would have been hiking sooner, but there’s only one road through the park, and it’s populated by douchebags from various in-bred states who have no problem driving the entire length of Skyline Drive at 25 mph.

Hey assholes, some of us are actually trying to hike INTO the park instead of driving through it and pulling over once in a while so that you can get a picture of your obese wife and ill-raised child standing next to a park deer who’s waiting for a hand-out.
Ergo, pull over you fat, lazy, SOB so that we can get to the trailhead while there’s still enough light to hike down to our campsite. I hope that deer kicks you in the face.


Not surprisingly, we had 5 mullet sightings while in the park.

Shenandoah National Park: Land of the people who are all business in the front and all party in the back.

Road rage aside, it was a great trip. The trail was beautiful, and we had some incredible views. This was Jericho’s first overnight backpacking trip, and he totally ROCKED IT. I think he might actually be the best dog in the world. And he gets mad props for carrying about 10 lbs over what turned out to be a pretty strenuous 2 days. GO JERICHO, GO! This trip also turned out to be surprisingly bear-free, which was great because I didn't have to worry about becoming a snack, but dropped the excitement level down a couple of notches. Am I crazy for wanting to mingle with bears? Perhaps...

The boys

Jericho enjoying the view

View from Bear Church Rock

Me and Jericho on Bear Church Rock, looking squinty


At any rate, we made it to camp by 3:30, which meant that we had been moving at a pretty strenuous pace, and also explains why we were POOPED by the time we stopped. The campsite wasn’t as established as others we’ve stayed at in the park (which is why we initially walked by it and had to backtrack about a mile. SUCK.), but we were close to water and had a flat space to pitch our tent on, so I was happy enough. We made dinner while Jericho had a good swim, and were asleep before dark.

View from our campsite - awww, it's purdy!

Camp (why does Jericho have "save me" eyes?)


The next day was an uphill battle - literally. We climbed THE ENTIRE DAY.
SIX FULL HOURS OF CLIMBING.
Think about it...
It was rough, but sometimes in life, you just need to give yourself a good ass kicking, you know? Plus, the trail was really varied, taking us through different types of woods and fern fields, and even included a fire road that opened up some fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.

Stream crossing


Jericho and I making our way along the trail

We had to hustle for the last 2 miles because it started getting cloudy and looked like it might rain. By the time we got back to the car, all of our energy had been spent. Jericho hopped directly into the back seat and was out like a light. Brian and I shared a Monster on the ride home to keep us awake and out of danger. It kind of backfired, though, because I’ve only had an energy drink once or twice in my life. Apparently, they really charge me up. Poor Brian spent the entire car ride listening to me talk REALLY FAST and REALLY LOUD. It’s a wonder I didn’t get booted out on the side of the road – I really don’t know how he puts up with me!

Weird sky as we were leaving the park

Brian pointing out the weird sky in an authoritative manner (action shot!)


More weird sky - at this point I'm thinking the aliens are coming

We also took a photo of this truck-stop action whilst en-route:
Take from it what you will, but if you have a sick mind like Brian and me, this should make you snicker a little


Truck-stop action

Yeah, we’re immature like that. You LOVE IT!

And now I’m back in the office. It’s sad to say that I’d rather spend my time heaving 40 lbs uphill in the heat for hours on end than sit in my climate-controlled cubicle and type on the computer. But it’s the truth. Sometimes I just get so sick of being mentally tired instead of physically tired. I swear, it sucks the life out of you. Luckily, there’s always weekend backpacking trips. And running. And horseback riding. And kayaking. And other fun-type activities, which is why I’m infinitely grateful that I have my health and the ability to enjoy physical activities.

Which also brings me to my final question:
Why would there be a designated handicapped parking space at the head of a trail that is clearly not wheelchair-accessible?

Discuss...

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Inane Ramblings of a Woman In Need of a Vacation


I’ve got nothing today.

I’ve been writing a 5,000 word monograph on glioblastoma, which has sucked out all of my desire to write creatively and left me thinking that every headache and eyelash twitch is a malignant brain tumors and HOLY CRAP I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Not to mention the fact that it’s the Friday before a holiday weekend and it’s hot as balls in here because we’ve had 3 electricians in the office and none of them can figure out why the a/c isn’t working. Not to mention the fact that I’ve got trekker brain (along with my tumor), and all I can think about is being outside with my boyfriend and my dog in the fresh air far away from this office where the only things that are important are food, water, and shelter, instead of filling out some asinine service request because our printer says “toner supply low” and I keep getting emails from the GD System Administrator saying:

Your mailbox has exceeded one or more size limits set by your administrator.
Your mailbox size is 234609 KB.
Mailbox size limits:
You will receive a warning when your mailbox reaches 225000 KB.You may not be able to send or receive new mail until you reduce your mailbox size.
To make more space available, delete any items that you are no longer using or move them to your personal folder file (.pst).
Items in all of your mailbox folders including the Deleted Items and Sent Items folders count against your size limit.
You must empty the Deleted Items folder after deleting items or the space will not be freed.
See client Help for more information
.

YEA, THANKS FOR THAT....NOW WTF AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT?!?

So this needs to be addressed, but in the meantime, I have a haircut at 12:00 because the woman who usually cuts my hair pretty much butchered it last Monday for no apparent reason, so I have a serious case of “pyramid hair” going on and a lingering sense of “ugly” (ladies, you know what I’m talking about). And then we get out at 3:45 today because summer hours have officially started, which is DA BOMB (did I just say “da bomb?” What is it, 1994?), but then I have to go home and clean the house because we have one of Brian’s friends staying to watch that little hellhound known as Milo, and I’m going to have to stop on the way home and buy extra cleaning supplies, because lord knows that little POS thinks nothing of relieving himself on our hardwood floors, which are in turn rotting away because his piss is eating through the protective clear coat.

And then finally, FINALLY we’ll get to leave for Virginia at that magical hour of the morning I call “too efffing early” to go hiking. Why is it that all outdoor activities require that you get up in the middle of the night to do them? First it was horseback riding, then skiing, and now this. Honestly, all I want to do is sleep in until noon like I used to do in college, but now that I’ve graduated from “wake the f*ck up, you’re an adult now and you’ll never have fun again” school, every time I sleep past 8:00 I get this horrible sense of guilt that won’t go away until I’ve paid my penance by getting down on my hands and knees to scrub the entire living room floor with a sponge and a bucket of water, because we don’t own a mop and that swiffer wet-jet is no match for dog piss and crushed bugs.

But on a positive note, I got a pedicure on Wednesday and honestly, is there anything better in life than sitting in an automatic massage chair while my feet get soaked and scrubbed and exfoliated and my toes get do-daded up in pretty red polish?

If there is, then I don’t want to know about it.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everybody!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Moment On The Soapbox, If You Will...

Ahem...
Ladies and Gentlemen, can I get real wit’ y’all for a second?

I understand that underdog Kris Allen knocked Adam Lambert out of the Winner’s Circle in a vocal fight to the death of epic proportions to take the 8th American Idol Title. I understand that there is trouble a’brewing on John and Kate Plus 8 involving a possible marital affair, which is SO CRAZY because who would have thought that a man with a Nazi wife and 8 little mouths to feed would be unhappy with his Reality TV life and look elsewhere for a little lovin’? And no doubt, I get that NOT tuning in to Desperate Housewives to get the latest scoop on Katherine Mayfair's puzzling return to Wisteria Lane and the true identity of her suspiciously amnesia-prone daughter, Dylan would be synonymous with waterboarding the 8 Gosselin kids while giving a beej to John Gosselin himself, but for the love of god people

TURN OFF YOUR DAMN TELEVISIONS!

There is a whole, big world out there that’s just waiting to be explored and experienced. Granted, the people are fatter and uglier and the dialogue is generally slower and involves a lot of monosyllabic grunting, but it’s there, none the less. It has fresh air. And plants and animals. It even has live, real-time interaction with people in your immediate vicinity – and no subscription to Verizon is necessary. It’s FREE, people. FREE!

All it requires is that you turn the TV off, get off the couch, open the door, and walk outside. (Don’t be afraid of the bright light: it’s just the Sun. It won’t hurt you)

Look, we all know how good it feels use as energy as possible. There are many times when all of us, myself included, feel the need to slow every physical and mental process down to a near-hibernatory state, save for the movement of your appendages to deliver delicious chips from the bag to your mouth. I’ll be the first to admit; vegetative states are AWESOME.

BUT…I think it’s safe to say that a vegetative state does not constitute as actually living your life. If it did, this whole “pulling the plug” debate would not be such a hot topic in hospitals:

“Mr. and Mrs. Jones, I have some wonderful news. We managed to save your son. He is now being kept alive on a ventilator and feeding tubes, so it looks like he’s going to go on and live a full and productive life.”

“Oh, thank you doctor! Thank you for giving my son his life back!”

“Don’t thank me. Thank the wonderful men and women who create invaluable medical education materials on topics such as hospital-associated diarrhea and cytomegalovirus. I couldn’t have done it without them”

/scene

It’s not that I hate television. How else would I know what an exploding watermelon looks like in slow motion without the quality programming of the Discovery Channel? What I hate is this whole culture that has sprung up around it. Watching TV has morphed from a past-time into a lifestyle. I can’t tell you how many of my coworkers come to work each and every day to discuss the shows that were aired the night before. I even heard a radio announcer comment, between songs, that he was happy that American Idol was finished because he now had “his life back” after devoting 2 hours, 2-3 nights a week to the show.

Uh, dude. Get a life, indeed.

Call me old-fashioned, but I simply can’t justify spending the few hours I have between working and sleeping killing brain cells with mindless television (unless I’m hung-over, at which point watching TV and vomiting is exactly what the doctor ordered). Sure, I have laundry to do and a house to clean and a puppy to wrangle, but even if I didn’t, you can be sure that the majority of my time would be filled with other things. Like exercising. And gardening. And painting. And reading.

The thing is, when I’m old and crazy, I want to have a million memories to sift through when I’m not busy throwing a bed-pan at my nurse or telling my family that the nurses drug me to steal my money. And I don’t want those memories to be about the various goings-on of a thousand TV shows. To make memories, you have to go out and experience life in the flesh and not on a screen. I think people are forgetting this. They’re not investing in their life by going out and living it. Instead, they are content to get through the day expending as little energy (physical AND mental) as possible with the mindset that “free time means TV time.”

Crikey, I think I just developed a slogan. Better copyright that bad boy before Comcast takes it

And then we wonder why our children have problems like ADD and autism. Now, I am in no way, shape, or form suggesting that these conditions aren’t serious, medical diseases. Nor am I suggesting that television is the direct cause of these disorders. BUT…when it’s been shown that autism is associated with uninhibited firing of neurons, how can you not think that perhaps television, with its overstimulatory output of flashing lights and colors, is maybe not the best thing for children when taken in large quantities? Just food for thought…

I guess the bottom line is that people seem to be substituting their own lives for the lives shown on TV. They are living in a world that is project on a screen, where too often the masses pick the programming and the lowest common denominator wins every time.

So, on that note, I leave you with the sage commentary of Calvin and Hobbes author Bill Watterson:






Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Art of Forgiveness

I've done a lot of stupid things in my day (I know, you're surprised, right?):

There was that time in Middle School when mistook the Boys' room for the Girls' room by accident and got caught taking a pee in the stall with no door.

There was that time in High School that I drank so much I woke up on the bathroom floor of my friend's house lying next to her golden retriever in a puddle of my own vomit.

There was that time in College when I got a D in Women's Studies because I simply refused to go to the class OR read the text book. How I passed at all is still a mystery...

And of course, there was that little, itty-bitty mistake of marrying The Ex, which resulted in 3 years of hell and possibly a restraining order against him.

Whoops. Can a sistah get a re-do?

But among all of those times in my life when my behavior was less-than-stellar, one time that's left a particularly bitter taste in my mouth was the time when I "dumped" my closest college friend shortly after graduating.

If anyone is wondering, regret tastes like brussel sprouts and asthma inhaler.

I won't delve too deeply into the circumstances surrounding my heinous act of de-friendship, but needless to say, I was completely in the wrong, and the "dump" had everything to do with my own stupid issues and nothing to do with how this girl treated me. We had met freshman year and instantly became like sisters. We lived in tight quarters, sharing every aspect of our lives, for 4 years. We studied together, drank together, nursed our hangovers together...everything. And then I met THE STUPID EX, who convinced me that she wasn't a good friend, and EVEN-MORE-STUPID ME fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

Some call it brainwashing. I call it a 22-year-old who didn't (and still pretty much doesn't) have the good sense god gave a doorknob.

Either way...

Commence lingering sense of shame

Now, skip ahead 5 years:

As luck would have it, I came across this woman on facebook. After seeing her comments on some silly college pictures posted by a mutual friend, suddenly all that shame and regret that I had been trying hard to forget came boiling to the surface like liquid hot MAG-MAH. I thought about the good times we had together. And then I though about my last words to her. And then I got nauseus, because I had been, quite frankly, a bitch of epic proportions to her.

So finally, after all this time, I did what I should have done back in 2004.

I apologized.
As whole-heartedly and sincerely as I could.

For the first time in a long time, I was 100% honest with this woman, and with myself. I confessed that the real reason for my bitch-fest had nothing to do with her. I acknowledged that she had been a true friend and I totally stabbed her in the back. I admitted that I had been a complete scum-bag and I asked to be forgiven.

I've heard that saying "I'm sorry" is a difficult thing to do, and maybe it is, if deep-down you feel even minutely vindicated by your actions. But for me, saying "I'm Sorry" was easy; it came tumbling out after years of bottling it up, and pushing it aside. All the things I ever wanted to say came flowing out of me before I even had a chance to question what I saying.

Was I embarassed to be groveling and admitting that I had been an ass-hat all those years ago? Hell yes. But I deserved it. More importantly, she deserved to hear me admit that I had been in the wrong. Like, WAY in the wrong. Very far from the right.

Amazingly, she's written it off as water under the bridge and is ready to start repairing our relationship. To be sure, she's a way bigger person than I could ever hope to be. But self-forgiveness isn't as easily obtained. That incident has been a persistent blight on my over-all self image. Despite her generousness, I can't help but feel that I owe her a debt that demands be repaid before I can truly count this incident as "over". I can only hope to make it up to her in the years ahead by once again proving myself to be a loyal, trustworthy, and deserving friend.

N___, thanks for accepting my apology. You're still as kick-ass cool as you were in college, and I promise I'll never DeBo you like that again.

You have my word.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trekker Brain

Call me a masochist (you know you want to).
I like to spend my hard-earned vacations traipsing around the woods with the weight-equivalent of a dead baby cow strapped to my back.

Granted, once I'm out there, I spend about a third of the time bemoaning my decision to voluntarily propel myself up a mountian (with the other two-thirds of the time being devoted to being ready to instantly run from bears and keeping an eye out for the perfect place to pee), but when I'm in the office, all I can do is think about the next time I get to strap on a pack and head off into the woods.

I guess I'm hard to please. When I'm inside I want to be outside, and when I'm outside I want to be inside.

Kind of reminds me of my dog. (Wouldn't be the first time we had thing in common. The other night I was watching him lick his crotch and...well...nevermind)

Needless to say, I'm psyched for my upcoming weekend backpacking trip in Virginia. Shenandoah National Park is the HOTNESS for hiking, namely because we live on the east coast and mountains are hard to come by 'round these ways. And don't even THINK about calling the Delaware Water Gap a mountain or I will smack the face off your head

*cricket

Sorry...I have a little pent-up west-coast envy. I'm working my way through it in Group.


Not that the mountians in Shenandoah Nat'l Park are real mountains, but it's as close as I can get without a plane ticket or 6 days' worth of gas. Brian and I went there last summer and had a phenominal time. Mountains were summitted, booze was drank, and although we came very close on several occasions, the Bear Mace was never used. I'd consider that trip a success.

And this time we are determined to bring Jericho. Last time, he developed a mysterious injury the day before we left, so we had to leave him behind. This time, hopefully, he'll be able to come. Milo will be staying at home because he's too young and frankly, he's going through this defiant phase that makes me not trust him as far as I can throw him (which isn't very far).

He currently thinks his name is MiloNoBadDog.

And now it looks like another couple will be accompanying us on this trip, which is awesome, because there's nothing I enjoy more than introducing other people to the great outdoors
Plus, should we get stranded, that's just more bodies to feed off of. Survival of the fittest, and all...



Nothing says "vacation" like cannibalism



However, the last time I tried to introduce a novice hiker to the joys of trekking, I was in Brazil, and things did not go so well. At one point she looked me dead in the face, panting and sweating, with the look of murder in her eyes, and said slowly "you people are F*CKING CRAZY."
But then again, she sucked balls, so I'm kind of glad she had a miserable experience. Anyone who is lucky enough to travel to Brazil to go hiking in the Amazon Rainforest and spends the whole time complaining and/or crying (yes, crying) can suck a big one. What a loser...

So, 4 days from now I'll be on the side of a mountain, dodging bears and trying not to fall down, because my balance is off to begin with, not to mention when there's a 50lb pack on my back. Prepare to spend the rest of the week barraged with rambling nonesense related to the doors (typo, but I'm leaving it), because I have a serious case of "trekker brain"

or at least, that's my excuse for this week.
Next week, I'll have to go back to the ole, "I was raised by a gay father" excuse. Works every time...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Bad For A Monday

Well, despite the unpleasant basement discovery on Saturday evening, this weekend shaped up to be…uh, not as bad as it could have been?

Allow me to explain.

At first, when I found out that the majority of our basement was underwater because our 5-month-old sump pump punked out like a little b*tch for no GD reason, I was all:


But once I settled down, snarfed some delicious ColdStone’s ice-cream, and got a good night’s sleep, things were looking better for the following reasons:

1. Purchasing a brand new BIG MAMBA-JAMBA sump pump with bells and alarms and a back-up battery system didn’t hurt our pockets quite as much as it could have, thanks to a store credit received by Loews when we stormed in there at 9:00 pm on Saturday night with a still-dripping, broke-ass sump pump and demanded our money back in no uncertain terms.

2. Installation of the new BIG MAMBA-JAMBA sump pump was a breeze (or so I heard. I was upstairs drinking a beer when Brian installed it)

3. For once in our lives, Brian and I had the foresight to keep everything in storage up off the ground after the last flood, so none of it got wet. Foresight is not something easily come by in our household. The planets must have been in alignment that night or something.

4. The carpet tiles that we used on the basement floor are mold- and water-resistant (once again, someone used foresight when purchasing these bad boys. And by someone, I mean Brian). The glue that we used to keep the tiles down is also water-resistant. Finally, the carpet tiles were also extremely cheap, and therefore had almost no pile to them. What does this all mean? Water resistant + mold resistant + almost zero absorption capability = SUCK THAT WATER OUT WITH THE WET-VAC AND CALL IT A DAY.

So, yes, lots to be grateful for. And with minimal work required in the basement, I was able to spend Sunday planting the rest of my flowers, having brunch with friends, and even cleaning up the kitchen a bit. All in all a productive, if only slightly exhausting, weekend was had.

And now it’s Monday.



A bummer, yes, but the good karma is hanging around. First, I managed to get up at 6:15 and go to the gym this morning.

WOOT!

Granted, I’ve been running most evenings (up to 4 miles thankyouverymuch), but running does very little to alleviate floppy arms and flubby tummies. So I’m trying this new routine where I go to the gym in the morning to do weights and strength-training, and run in the evenings after work. A lot of time spent working out, yes, but I absolutely cannot do cardio in the morning. And I don’t have the time to go to the gym PLUS run outside with the dogs and Brian at night (not to mention the fact that the gym is SUPER crowded between 5:00 and 8:00pm). So…this might work, yes?

I’m feeling better about myself already…

ALSO.

Check out this bad boy I have for lunch:

(note the pen at the top, for perspective)


This, ladies and gentleman, is a PB&J made with cherry jelly and chunky peanut-butter on home-made bread that has GOT to weight about 2 lbs (give or take).

If heaven had a sandwich, it would probably look and taste like this. You know it’s true. Don’t deny it.

How can I NOT have a good day if I have a sandwich like this? It’s impossible!

So in recap, I have a manageable basement, an awesome new work-out schedule, and a lunch that’s bringing tears of joy to my eyes.

Not bad for a Monday.

Not bad at all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bonus Saturday Post: Why My Sump Pump Is A WHORE

Q: What's the only thing worse than having your basement flood?

A: Emptying it out, drying it out, repainting it, and recarpeting it only so it can flood again when the %&#%#@^$**(#^@%%^@^&@@*(*(^#@$%&^@#*@#^* - ing sump pump decides that 5 months is too long to work and breaks down like a #$&*^&$#%*&$#&&*&@*($^#%#@*(.

Somebody kill me.

After a lovely day of sleeping in, buying flowers, and working in the yard, I went downstairs to grab...something (I don't even remember)...and I heard the unmistakable "splish" as my foot stepped into a big ole' puddle of water. In the basement. That flooded last December in what we now refer to as the Soggy Basement Massacre of '08. That we went to great lengths (and inhaled many toxic fumes) to repaint and recarpet. All that hard work and hard-earned money spent fixing it up? Lost. The whole basement is wet. ALL OF IT.

The only thing Brian and I managed to do tonight after discovering that that son-of-a-whore sump pump totally shafted us was buy a new sump pump (goodbye, $300) and get ColdStone's ice-cream.

Because when you're this close to wanting to kill yourself, sometimes ColdStone's is the only thing that can bring you back from the edge.

And now Brian just came up from the basement to report that the sump pump is working fine (yeah, they all do at first), but we forgot to buy battery fluid for the $94 battery back-up system.

WTF IS BATTER FLUID?!?!?

IS OWNING A HOME SUPPOSED TO BE THIS HARD?!?!?!

DID I SERIOUSLY JUST EAT ICE-CREAM FOR DINNER?!?!?!

Well, these questions are going to have to go unanswered, because it's almost 10:30 at night and all I want to do is take a shower, watch some Southpark on Netflicks (no commercials, beeyatch), and pray for a quick death tomorrrow when we officially assess the damage.

GAH

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Ole' Baby-Maker

Mating season must have happened in my office, oh, say, about 9 months ago, give or take.
Why didn't anybody tell me???
We’ve had two babies born within 3 days of each other, and 3 more are expected in the next 3 months.

WTF
Should I stop drinking the water here or something?

Prior to this point, I haven’t had much experience with pregnant women and babies. None of my high-school friends have procreated yet, and while Brian has a friend who popped out a kid last summer, I didn’t really know her all that well back then, so I was spared most of the goings-on.

Well, spared no more am I. Since this week has been a veritable Baby Bonanza, the women in the office (who comprise about 90% of the office, btw) have been swapping pregnancy, delivery, and child rearing stories all week. Now, normally this would be about the point where I throw up my hands and take a long lunch involving several margaritas, but to be honest, I find myself sucking this information up faster than a fat kid sucking up a double-malt milkshake.

The truth is that my own biological clock has been ticking in a not-so-subtle way. My uterus is collaborating with my brain and my hormones on a stealth mission to convince me that the only reason I’ve been put on this planet is to make babies. Not to travel. Not to advance my career. Not to experience life and love and wring every last iota out of life. No. According to my uterus, my only job is to be born, squeeze out an infant, and die.

So much for 4 years of advanced education.

And while my intellect has been fighting the good fight, telling my brain/hormones/uterus that there is plenty of time for a kid, and I have a lot left in life that I want to accomplish before being saddled down with a rug-rat for the next 18 years, I find myself losing the battle. I’m 27. I have a good job. I’ve already traveled quite a bit, and my clubbing/partying days are happily behind me. Hell, I’ve already been engaged, married, and divorced, which is more than a lot of mid-twenty-something-year-olds can attest to. So maybe…just maybe…I’m ready to start thinking about a family.

Of course, being pregnant is no walk in the park. Over the course of 9 months, most women gain between 20 and 40 pounds, only 8 of which are designated to the actual little person growing inside of you. So, yeah, you get fat. And sweaty. And hormonal. And you get up every 2 hours to pee, because that little person is invariably going to be digging his or her elbow into your bladder on the regular tip.

And let’s not even talk about the actual birthing process. I’m hearing stories around the office so frightening they make you want to run home and hide under the blankets.
The phrase “grade-4 rectal tear” was used today.

***

Allow me to give you a moment to let that phrase sink in.

***

I swear I almost simultaneously passed out and threw up. I'm never going to look at that woman the same way again.

And once it’s over, and you’re – *gulp – stitched up and ready to go home (and no, I’m not referring to C-section stitches. Use your imagination), you’re responsible for this child who is guaranteed to make your life a living hell for the next 18 years, if not forever. You will be sleep deprived until the point that you cry. You will be vomited on and pissed on and shat on and drooled on. And when they get older you will be tested and argued with and generally despised until they go to college, at which point all you can do is hope that they can support themselves and maybe drop you a Mother’s Day card once a year.

And yet…I want one. Well, my uterus, a master of persuasion, wants one.

What. The. F*ck.

I guess my massive intellect (*snicker) is no match for 2 million years of evolutionary instinct. Despite a B.A. in English and a crap-ton of world experience, when it comes down to it, I’m really nothing more than a walking, talking baby machine.

HOT!

So who knows what the next year will bring? Excitement? Travel? Marriage? A career switch to become a titty dancer in a skeevy south-Jersey strip club?

The world is my oyster.

The only thing I do know is that, in the meantime, I'm going to start drinking bottled water here at the office...just in case ;-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Read All About It

One of my coworkers recently sent out an email to a few of us here at the office:

Does anyone have any magazines I can borrow for my awesome allergist appointment tonight? I’m going to be there until 8 and forgot all my stuff at home :-( plus, I like to be distracted when I get 50 needles of allergens YESSS

(she's a sarcastic girl, that one)

After looking around my desk, my response was this:

I have a cosmology book on the structure of the finite universe, and the ICanHazCheeseburger book you got me for my birthday.


After I sent the email, I realized how utterly random it was.

I'll admit, my choice in reading is a little unpredictible. Some have even called it schizophrenic. One day I'll be reading a book on the social interactions of capuchin monkeys, and the next day I'll be reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (a great book, btw, and another reason to avoid strokes at all cost - as if you needed one). I've read books on global warming and the Mir Space Station and the various presentations of traumatic brain injury. I even went on a quantum physics kick once and read a book discussing the movement of particles in a vaccuum.

[Aside: Quantum physics is some crazy shit. At one point, I briefly understood exactly what electricity was. And then I lost it. My head hurt for 3 days afterward. And then I read a book on traumatic brain injury and got freaked out thinking I had a TMI until my sister pointed out that I had just figured out electricity, which is some pretty heavy stuff, and I probably pulled a brain muscle. Good call on that one- saved me from an unnecessary MRI.]

And that's just the nonfiction. Luckily, having obtained an english degree from a prestegous (yeah right) university, the literature snob in me filters out a lot of today's pop fiction, so my tastes are a little more cohesive. Still, even when it comes to novels, sometimes I find myself wanting to read a book out of sheer appreciation for the art of writing, and other times I just want a beach read
[Another aside: one summer my parents rented a shore house and I spent the entire week sitting on the beach completely engulfed in a book about the (theoretical) impact of syphilis on various historically figures. The cover had the word "syphilis" on it so large that you could read it a mile a way. Needless to say, I wasn't hit on once that week.]
Out of all the books I've read, some have stood out more than others. Below, I've listed some of my favorites. It's a motley crew, but all of them have something special about them that I think you'll enjoy...



1. Life of Pi
This book has everything: A great plot, solid writing, and excellent discussions on theology and zoology. Although the story line is a bit far-fetched, the excellent writing of Yann Martel carries it through while weaving in undertones of spiritual debate and the human condition. Read it on the beach! (unless you're in to syphilis, and then man, have I got a book for you...)
also is a great "how to" book in case you're ever stuck in a boat in the middle of the ocean with a tiger. And no, I'm not ruining the story because it's right there on the cover. Duh!








1. Memoirs of a Geisha
Not only is the story of this book absolutely riviting, it's based on a true story. Memoirs of a Geisha reveals vivid charcters that are caught in a battle between the old-world and new-world cultures. It's an epic tale, and you're bound to get caught up in the riviting struggles of the main character. I've read this book at least 3 times, and plan on reading it more. [the movie is okay, but as always, the book is way better]







3. Head cases
Michael Paul Mason gets a serious thumbs up (and possibly a beej - I love a man who knows his way around the alphabet) for writing this book. He takes a relatively unknown subject, traumatic brain injury (TMI) and brings it to light with eloquent grace and stunning emotion. Now, as a medical writer, I've seen many experts strip medical conditions of their humanity and present data so dry that it could put a coke-head to sleep. But through portrayal of individual stories of TMI, Michael Paul Mason connects the reader with the subjectmatter in a very intimate way. But a warning: after reading this book, I was pretty convinced that I needed to wear a football helmet 24/7, just in case. This book kind of makes you scared to leave the house..


4. 1984
First of all, if you haven't read George Orwell's 1984, I need you to do me a solid and give yourself a round-house kick to the face . Once you've recovered from your broken nose, go out and read this book. It's incredible. Orwell's frightening portrayal of a future in which the government routinely rewrites history and brainwashes its people is disturbingly accurate. This book touches on some of the most current issues of our generation.
Also, Mr. T PITIES THE FOO' who hasn't read this book yet.






5. 100 Years of Solitude
This is one of those books that you read as much for the words as you do for the story. Gabriel Garcia Mirquez is a true storyteller who ties his novel together in dancing, lyrical sentences. Unfortunately, he also likes to give all of his 6 million characters similar (even identical) names. [You're going to have to write that shit down if you want to keep it straight]. BUT...names aside, this author strings together a generational tale that is full of humor, tragedy, and more than a little magic.





Of course, there are many more that I'd recommend, and probably will in an upcoming blog, But time is short and I'm having trouble remembering the names of some of the books I love (which I'm pretty sure is a symptom of Alzheimer's).
But I guarentee if you read any of these books and aren't 100% satisfied, you can sucker-punch me when I least expect it.
Peace out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Special Olympics, Dick Cheney, and an Old Chinese Proverb

I had a riding lesson last night. It went pretty well, despite the fact that I still feel like my body is not doing what my brain tells it to do. Consequently, I managed to knock a 2’9’’ rail down while jumping a horse who is 18.3 hands (6’4’’) high at the shoulder. This horse could literally walk over the jump, and I found a way to make him knock it down while jumping it from a canter.

Oh, there was a whole lot of Special Olympics action going on in that ring. [Sidenote: do they have horseback riding in the Special Olympics? If so, where do I sign up?]

Anywaytoknocktheraildown, between rounds of jumping chaos, my instructor and I were shooting the shit. He’s always good for a joke or a story, I’ve been known to deliver a zinger or two as well. I may be a 27 year old woman and he may be a 50-some-odd year old man, but we both have the sense of humor of a 10 year old, so it works. So during one of my breaks, I was telling him about some dinner that Obama attended that was covered by NPR, and I repeated a line our president delivered that had me laughing out loud on my way to work (which never happens, as my commute typically entails death, destruction, and many “flippings of the bird”).

The Line:….Dick Cheney couldn’t be here tonight because he’s finishing his new book, How To Shoot Friends In The Face And Interrogate People

Hilarious, right?

My trainer didn’t agree. He admitted that it was a little funny, but then said, “Remember, I’m a Dick Cheney fan.”

*cricket

Of course, I immediately assumed I had heard him wrong, because Dick Cheney fans are a rare, almost nonexistent breed. Sure, I’ve heard of them, but never met one in person. It was like that time last summer when I met a man who said he was “still for the war in Iraq.” I had immediately tried to sedate and tag him for research purposes, but I was out of ruffies and when I tried to punch a tag through his ear, he got belligerent and ran away.

Stupid redneck.

So, anyway, yeah, when my trainer said he was a Dick Cheney fan, I just about hit the floor (which would have been a long fall off a 6’4’’ horse). I mean…c’mon! This guy was (is?) the CEO of Halliburton. He was a staunch supporter of “Dub-yah” Bush’s policies. He shot his friend in the face, for crying out loud!

And, I’m pretty sure he’s either a cyborg or a half-man, half-lizard alien from the planet Xeon-5. How else can you explain the fact that the man DOES NOT BLINK:


Go ahead and try to watch the entire clip without blinking. IMPOSSIBLE (if you're human)

Never have I been more creeped out by a person/robot/lizard king of the underworld, let alone one who would have been running the country if Bush had been assassinated (and lord knows we all thought about it).

In retrospect, I don’t think I even responded to my trainer. I think I just stared at him in disbelief until things got uncomfortable and he told me to take the jump again.
AWK-ward.

After giving this some serious thought, I’ve decided that I won’t let this new-found information interfere with my relationship with my trainer. After all, Cheney fan or not, he’s a hell of a rider who owns some of the best jumpers this side of the Mississippi.

But I’ll definitely be sure to avoid the Bush-slamming, right-wing jokes from now on when I’m with him – god forbid I find out he’s “still for the war in Iraq,” and then I’ll have no choice but to flying tackle him, knock him out and send him to a lab to be tested extensively.

All in the name of science, of course, but it might make things uncomfortable between us.

As the old chinese proverb goes:
Best to let sleeping Cheneys lie (or you might just end up shot in the face)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inappropriate Texting

Oh my god, dudes, it's 1:23 in the afternoon and I've barely gotten any work done here at the office, which is on par for me on any given day, but today is different because I actually have work that needs to get done, oh, this century maybe. So it's going to have to be a short post, because I can't rationalize taking an hour to blog about whatever BS I usually come up with while I've taken up at LEAST an hour during the morning just chatting and generally being a lazy whore.

[Sidenote: wow, that was a long two sentences. I think I've had too much coffee this morning]

So, allow me to present you with my own personal texts from last night moment that occurred yesterday:

___________________________________________________________

Me: Hey Babe. I got my hair did and my brows waxed during my lunch break, so I'll be looking smokin' hot and way less hairy when I get home. You'll probably want to do me, FYI

Brian: You just sent this to my work cell

Me: Do they monitor your work cell?

Brian: If they haven't before, they certainly are going to now

____________________________________________________________

So there you have it.

Lily: Broadcasting embarassing sexual information since 1982.

I'm a keeper, aren't I?

Monday, May 11, 2009

For Best Results, Add Sunshine

Good morning, cruel, cruel world.
Monday, AGAIN?
Looks like another weekend has come and gone. Makes me want to curl up in a ball and quit life for the next 5 days. BUT…bills need to be paid and the dogs need to be fed, so I guess I’ll keep my job (god forbid the dogs not get fed)

Speaking of pups, have you ever seen a happier lab/dalmatian mix in your life?



Or a cuter little [insert breed here – your guess is as good as mine]?



Brian and I took a break from working on our little 3-bedroom money pit on Saturday to go hiking. Boy, was that necessary! I’m pretty sure that my crappy mood all week was the direct result of incessant rain and never-ending “to do” lists.

All work and no play make Lily an angry, ANGRY woman.

So, yes, hiking was just what the doctor ordered. It was a great day! Milo took to the trails like a champ, trotting along off-leash like a perfect little man. Good Boy Milo! And Jericho was awesome as usual, except he was noticeably slower than previous years and quite content to amble along at a reasonable pace. Stop getting old, Jericho! Of course, this is the same dog that decided to go into retirement at the ripe old age of 3, and has been acting like a crotchety, wizened old man ever since. You’re not dead yet, silly dog! And Brian and I were definitely in our happy place, which got us psyched for the trekking season and had us eagerly planning our first overnight trip of the year (probably back to Virginia, you nosy bastards).

More pics of the hike to come - as soon as I pull them off the camera. Maybe tomorrow?

Brian also purchased this bad boy over the weekend:


Behold the Argon 85, in all it's 5100-cubic-inches of glory (there's a penis joke in here somewhere). Now personally, I'd rather buy a pack that can't possibly fit more than 50 lbs of crap in it, but Brian is an ambitious SOB. We'll see if he's still psyched about the pack when he's carrying all of my stuff PLUS all of his stuff in that bohemoth...

So it was all I could do to convince him that packing for a Memorial Day trip on May 10th is probably not necessary, and our camping gear should stay in the basement instead of all over the living room for the next 2 weeks. Still, HOORAY for backpacking! CAN’T FRIGGIN’ WAIT to get back outside!

And of course Sunday was mother’s day which was…nice? Long? A little of both, and also weird because my mom was up in Syracuse watching my sister graduate with a Master’s Degree in “bad-ass opera singing”.

I was sorry to miss it, because apparently VP Joe Biden was the speaker and my sister sung the national anthem for a stadium full of people, which meant that at some point her face was up on the giant screen, and she said that she was so nervous that she practically peed herself.

I love watching her squirm bwahahahah

But I would be remiss if I didn’t give her a big ole’ Tapdancing in the Dark shout-out. CONGRATS, EM! You did it! (now go get a job)

With my mother up Syracuse, I spent Sunday visiting with Brian’s Nanna and having a cook-out with his family.
Love his fam.
Don’t love spending a perfectly good Sunday driving all over PA and NJ to see them.

But what can you do? Mother’s day only comes once a year.

BUT…that said, the weekend went by without getting anything done around the house. Dishes are piling up, floors are covered in pet hair, and the basement is still in purgatory (yes, still). So this week we need to seriously step up our game and pull the house back together, all the while trying to exercise and spend time with the animals and maybe…just maybe…manage to watch an entire movie without falling asleep half-way through.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Allright, Monday, It's Go-Time!!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Well, once again, it’s Friday [insert mariachi band music here].

I’ve got a lot going on emotionally today–a couple of big ups and downs that have me confused, overwhelmed, and all and all a hot moody mess wrapped up in a big ball of emotion. I feel like a pregnant lady. It probably doesn’t help that the temperature of my office is a balmy 85 degrees today, or the fact that once again I’m wearing pants that don’t fit (oh, are you tired of hearing about my tight pants? Well I’m tired of wearing tight pants, so everybody loses today). So, yeah…emotional, sweaty, and uncomfortable? Check, check, and check. All I’m missing is the baby and the pregnant-lady waddle. Of course, give me a filling lunch, and I’ll throw in the pregnant-lady waddle in for free.

Which is why my pants don’t fit. And the circle of life continues…

But once again, I’m getting off on a pants tangent when I should be talking about my innermost feelings, because blogging is cheaper than therapy (says the cheap-skate who is currently wearing only one contact because she’s doesn’t want to drop $250 on a new 6-month supply. Guess which eye and win a prize!*).

*you will win nothing

First off, I’ve had to say goodbye to a very dear coworker today, which is always kind of traumatic. When you work in an office 5 days a week for 8 hours a day, the people who work there with you have a profound impact on your life. Like it or not, you’re spending more waking time with these people than anyone who might be waiting for you at home. So, no matter how dysfunctional things get around the office, at the end of the day, these people are your second family. Yes, even the creepy guy who wears the Cosby sweaters and talks about his cats. Yes, even the two-faced office gossip queen who smiles to your face but says god-knows-what about you behind your back. Even though these people may drive you to a drinking problem, they’re still your family, so you’re obligated to put up with them.

Of course, among all the delinquents and creep-oids there are (usually) a handful of truly wonderful people who restore your faith in humanity a scosh. My coworker was one of these individuals. When we got thrown together in a room last winter, we really didn’t know a thing about each other. But as the months went on I came to discover that she was a woman of infinite depth and refreshing humor. We joked, lamented, cheered, and rolled our eyes through a year and a half of office flubs and personal obstacles, establishing an atmosphere of warm, professional good-humor.

This coworker is now moving on to a bigger and better job – one where she will be challenged but undoubtedly succeed, one where she will be better equipped to meet her unlimited potential. I am infinitely happy for her, but I’m not lying when I say I am distressed to see her go. And now, having wished her luck and sent her on her way with a hug and a smile, there is a noticeable absence in our room. She was a great colleague and a wonderful roommate, and her presence will be missed. GOOD LUCK, E___!

And in the other corner, I’m saying a big ole’ hello to Brian. HEY THERE, GUY! I’m saying hello to him because, as I mentioned the other day, tomorrow is our 1-year anniversary. Well, I guess technically it’s the 1-year anniversary of our first date, but from the minute we met we were on each other like white on rice (mostly because I’m easy), so I can honestly say that the instant we locked eyes we were in a long-term relationship and I was already planning a family and trips to the beach with his inlaws, and getting into fights with him while driving to the beach because he forgot to call that woman about refinancing our house, and it’s really not fair that I have to pick up the slack while he only works 4 days a week. At which point he reminds me about how he stayed home last weekend and finished painting the basement while I went out drinking with my friends and had the nerve to drunk-text him and who was that guy in the picture, btw?? And then I tell him that I’m not his property and I’m allowed to talk to other men, and then things escalate until I begin to cry, at which point we drive the rest of the way to the beach in uncomfortable silence…

In other words…pure magic.

But all joking aside, this guy puts up with a LOT of crap from me. Hell, just last night I tried to make muffins (because I didn’t learn from the LAST time I tried to make muffins), and, of course, I burned them. And then I cried. And then I decided that I was incapable of doing anything right. And then I decided I was a fat ass, and stormed out of the kitchen yelling something about it’s fine because I’m never eating again.

And that was all in a 2-minute period.

In a nutshell, this guy deals with my mood swings and PMS-spurred rages like a champ. And what do I get in return? Well, just about the best boyfriend that I could ever want. This wonderful man rubs my shoulders when I’m upset and buys me cards just because, and cooks me healthy dinners because he wants me to feel good about myself. He lets the dogs out first thing in the morning just so I can stay in bed. He drops everything when I just need to talk. He compliments me and supports me and is always there with a shoulder to cry on. He is everything I could ever want in a partner times ten, and he’s wrapped in a smokin’ hot fireman package that makes me weak in the knees.

He’s just about perfect and – more importantly - absolutely perfect for me. So he and I will be saying hello to year number 2 together tomorrow, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

TO YOU, Brian, I say thank you for being my best friend, my partner in crime, and the love of my life. We are sure to have many, MANY more years together, but there is only one “first year.” Thank you for making it the best year of my life.

Sniff….Snob…*grabs tissue, blows nose, realizes that some of the snot missed the tissue has been blown into her palms, wipes palms on jeans and looks around to see if anybody saw what she just did

Okay, I’m done. For those of you who haven’t thrown up, I salute you.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Horoscope Comparison Shopping


Today’s horoscope for Capricorns:

Thanks to undependable, fickle Mercury, you’re on course for a rather erratic day. In terms of work or school you’re likely to experience the feeling that you have hit a brick wall; it may even be that it’s not as simple as a right solution and a wrong one. If so, then don’t be afraid to seek advice!

Once again, it’s totally off target. Every day I check my horoscope (because it's easier than doing my job), and every day I roll my eyes because it couldn't be more wrong. I thought that horoscopes were supposed to be so universally applicable that you could chose any sign, be it Leo or Aquarius, and the horoscope would be in synch with what’s going on in your life.


Something smells fishy (and for once, it's not me. gross.)...

So, I did an experiment. I just searched out 3 different horoscopes for my sign: Capricorn (aka, the Goat… you know it's sexy!)

From http://horoscopes.astrology.com/

It's easier than ever to maintain a sense of objectivity today -- your ability to see all sides of all questions is peaking, and while it might drive a few friends crazy, you can be relied on to be fair to all.

From http://www.dailyhoroscopes.com/

Your mind seems full of the desire to heal and make happy. This is what you teach and you may have the opportunity for teaching positive thinking. There are opportunities today to plot your path to a good financial future. For investments you might check out the companies that make paper goods . . . there are stock improvements along this line. If you are unattached, you may want to scan the horizon for someone new. It is a good time to think about improving your surroundings.

From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

Today, whether you like it or not, you might have to let go of a few things that you thought were 'must haves' to keep the peace between you and your peers or teammates. Making a compromise is not what your ego wants to do, but your brain understands that it's the best thing to do. Letting go of something you really want can be an empowering experience -- you are keeping your desires from overpowering your common sense.
Houston, we have a problem.

Soooo, let me get this straight. Today I’m supposed to feel erratic, unmotivated, objective, and optimistic. I’m supposed to be confused, yet see all sides of an issue. I’m supposed to forge a new path while compromising my needs.

Well, only one of those descriptors is accurate: I'm DEFINTELY confused.

More importanlty, I’ve officially stopped believing in horoscopes – not that I ever really did believe in them, but let’s be honest, life is a crapshoot and I could use all the help I can get to survive another day without spontaneously combusting in the futility of it all.

So, to those of you who are really into this horoscope, I truly apologize for revealing the man behind the curtain. Sure it’d be great if there was some path we were supposed to follow that is guided by celestial objects floating high above, but a little “horoscope comparison shopping” has proven otherwise, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Yep. As much as I hate to say it...
Horoscopes are a bunch of taurus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Corporate Shaft

Hey there, sluts! Happy Hump Day! (Bow-chicka-bow-wow)

First off:
Wow, man, sorry for dumping that BIG BUCKET OF HATE all over your parade yesterday. I was in an especially dreadful mood yesterday, what with the rain and lack of sleep and the stench of corporate conformity all around me. Kind of a bummer. But today it’s not raining (although it IS cloudy grrrrrrrrrr grumble grrrrrrrr), and I got more sleep last night (because I let the pup out at 6:30 and went back to bed for an hour), and although the stench of corporate conformity is still wafting through the air, it is partially negated by the fact that day-old pastries still abound in the kitchen.

So, thankfully, today I’m back to my only moderately hateful demeanor. Lucky you

And speaking of corporate conformity…

We had our monthly office meeting today. For once I remembered ahead of time and got the BIG MAMBA JAMBA coffee from Wawa, which ultimately backfired and I spent the entire meeting doing the pee-pee dance. But that’s beside the point…

For starters, I wanna say that these people either need to get out more often, or get a better list of descriptors, because switching from our current time-keeping software to new time-keeping software is not "exciting". Neither is the newly updated flowchart on virtual lecture processes or the fact that new signs outlining our emergency exit route were posted. STOP SAYING THIS CRAP IS EXCITING. It’s not. Period. And if you call it exciting again, I’m going to start taking hostages and then you’ll see what REAL excitement feels like.

Nothing gets the ole’ adrenaline pumping like a room full of hostages and vest full of dynamite

(I kid.)
(Or do I?)

And then there’s this dress-code thing. Look, I get that you don’t want us walking around the office in hot-pants and shirts that say “My other car is a moustache ride.” Neutralizing sexuality at the office is hard enough without the ladies serving up their bits and pieces on a big ole’ platter of low-cut, spandex-ensconced inappropriateness. But insisting that jeans can only be worn on Fridays and that capris cannot be higher than calve-length crosses the line from gender equality into Wardrobe-Nazi territory. Banning me from wearing flip-flops will not make me write any better or waste less time. Trust me. And considering the fact that I spent the vast majority of my day yesterday worrying about my uncomfortable pants rather than finishing up my most recent project, I’d think that making your employees MORE comfortable would be a priority. But what do I know? I’m just a lowly writer. Who spends more time thinking about her 3-inch heels and underwire than doing her job. Hey, you reap what you sew…

But the best part of these little meetings is the end, where monthly birthdays are announced [Everybody look at Jill – she’s one year closer to dying today!!], and the obligatory “Happy Birthday” is sung. If you’re looking for a visual and oral reference for this event (did I just say ‘oral’?), watch the scene in Office Space where they celebrate the boss’s birthday. The monotone, unenthusiastic singing, everybody eyeing of cake with a look of panic and vengefulness…yeah, we have all of it.



Of course, since we’re in a recession, no cake was provided by the company this time. Luckily, a few of the employees realized that the only thing more pathetic than our company rendition of “Happy Birthday” would be to sing the song sanz cake finale. So a few brave souls took one for the team and brought in treats, which was totally clutch and I need to give them each a big smackaroo. Or…I would, if it wasn’t forbidden by HR. They have a policy for everything these days.

And when the meeting is over, we all shuffle off to our cubicle dungeons of despair to work away the best years of our lives.

Can you see why I dig these meeting so much?

Later on this morning, my coworker pointed out that I have a lot of anger regarding this whole corporate lifestyle, and I had to agree with her. I totally resent the misguided priorities of Corporate America, from the dress-codes to the inflexible company policies to standardized emails…I loathe the whole shebang. After all, I spent the better part of my youth trying to figure out who I really was, only to have my identity stripped from me the minute I entered the workforce. Shafted

BUT…

To prove that I’m more than a proverbial “bitcher and moaner,” I’ll end things on a good note.

This Saturday is Brian and my 1-year anniversary. A year ago I was confused and bewildered, reeling from a divorce and convinced that real love was a giant crock of sh*t dreamed up by Hallmark to sell cards. And then I met Brian and I realized that real, lasting love not only exists, but only gets better with each passing year. I’m sure I’ll write a whole sappy, nauseating, puke-your-guts out blog later this week, but suffice to say, I’m a happy camper. Despite the ranting and raving that comprises about 90% of my blogs.

So there you have it; happy, sappy, optimistic words, straight from the horse’s mouth. Sunshine and lollipops this life ain’t, but when you have someone to stand by your side, it certainly makes things better.

/scene.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Suck It

Oh, man, I just spent the last 40 minutes writing a blog that sucked big time. Days like this are the worst. It’s gotta be my mood, which is looking about as dark and evil as ...something. I suck at similes, so kiss my ass.

I get up every day earlier that I’d like by a good 3 hours so that I can let Milo out, only for him to decide that rain is LIQUID DEATH that is sure to destroy him. So back inside he goes, usually to take a big fat dump on the floor and then eat something that was never intended to be ingested.

And then I’m getting ready for work and nothing fits right because I’ve been spending my nights making sweet, sweet love to a pile of Easter candy that is 4-times bigger than it should be because I have two divorced parents, a boyfriend, and a boyfriend’s family that are all collaborating on ways to make my ass so big it needs its own zipcode.

And then I drive to work among these animals who have either road-rage or are in commute-induced comas because we all hate our jobs and we all hate each other and it’s raining AGAIN which adds a suicidal overtone to the whole thing and to be quite honest, I’m drifting a little closer to the edge every day, and it’s probably a good thing that I don’t have a semi-automatic weapon at home.

And work is always the same and I sit here and use about 2% of my brain to educate healthcare professionals on non-life-threatening conditions like edema and diarrhea and pump out sentences like: “Angioedema is caused by a complex system of histamine- and bradykinin-mediated physical responses” when inside I’m all “maybe I can throw myself down the stairs and get another 6 weeks of disability, because that was pretty sweet last time.”

And finally I get home after flipping off some [insert racial/sexist slur here] driver who doesn’t understand the “right on red” concept and delayed my drive by 2 minutes (which should be punishable by the death penalty). And I’m SO FRIGGIN HAPPY that I’m home with Brian, but at the same time I have laundry to fold and a puppy to wrangle and only a precious few hours until I have to get up and do it all over again.

So I’m thinking I either need a vacation or a bottle of Prozac, like, yesterday. Or maybe the rain just needs to stop for ONE GODDAM DAY so I can get some sunlight and fresh air and remember why life isn’t just one seamless commute of ass-hat drivers and cubicles and endless housework.

And all in all I love my life, I really do, but on days where it’s been raining for a week and my creativity is in the toilet and my pants are so tight that I’m losing circulation in my bottom half, I just want to go medieval on someone’s ass.

LIFE FAIL.
Try again tomorrow...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bonus Monday Post: An Open Letter to Tastykake

Dear Tastykake

Let me start by saying I love your products. I really do. In fact, when I got an easter basket full of Butterscotch Krimpets lovingly arranged by my boyfriend, I was so excited, I peed myself. Not "practically" peed myself. Actually peed myself.

Seriously, you got the good sh*t.

But, in case you didn’t get the memo, it’s 2009. That means we’re almost a decade into the 21st century. We have a vaccine for chickenpox. We can clone farm animals that glow in the dark. We have blankets with SLEEVES for crying out loud!



So why, for the love of Pete, have you been unable to develop an icing for your Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes that doesn’t stick to the wrapper?

An icing that doesn’t force me to lick it from the wrapper like a Neanderthal while hiding in my cubicle at work?

An icing that doesn’t force me to lick it from the wrapper while my boss walks up behind me to discuss some work-related issue?

An icing that doesn’t force her to stop, mid sentence, while taking in the spectacle of me, wrapper to lips, face covered in icing and crumbs of chocolate cake, making noises that are uncannily similar to those made during sexy times?

Again, let me remind you that it’s 2009. If scientists have found a way to grow organs from stem cells, then you can certainly figure out how to keep your icing on the cupcake and off of the wrapper. Get it together, please, before I lose my job.

Sincerely,
A MotherF*cker Who Loves Her Icing

I Have A Fever, and the Only Cure is NPH

I’m suffering from severe writers block brought on by a super-fun-awesome Monday hangover. That’s what happens when my friend Jamie from Island of Reality comes over.
We drink.
A lot.
ESPECIALLY when she comes to my house, because Brian has this “No TV In The Living Room” policy which is really great because not only does it encourage the long-lost art of conversation, but it has also probably decreased my TV intake by about 80%, which means more brain cells for me, so…bonus.
BUT
Sometimes you don’t want to just talk and talk and talk for 4 hours straight because it’s exhausting. And because it’s been raining for 40 days and 40 nights, outdoor activities like canoeing are not an option (but may become a necessity if this fersniggin’ rain doesn’t stop).

So, sometimes on a rainy Sunday afternoon the best thing to do is open up a bottle (or three) of wine and let the drunk do the talking for you. So that’s exactly what we did for about…oh…say, 7 hours. We also managed to cook ourselves up a tasty pork tenderloin, Caribbean rice, and grilled asparagus, which I consider to be an accomplishment considering that we were 2 bottles in the hole with no sign of stopping. As a result, the asparagus was overcooked and I may or may not have melted a critical (plastic) component of our rotisserie set by placing it on top of what is, essentially, a tiny oven. I tried to blame the company by saying that there should have been a warning on the top of the rotisserie, at which point Brian pointed out that there IS a warning on the top of the rotisserie, and removed the wine glass from my hand. He is a patient, patient man.

And it’s probably for the best, because come to think of it, I kind of went on a bender this weekend. Friday marked the end of a pretty long week, so Brian and I celebrated our two-day liberation by promptly driving to the liquor store to buy two six-packs of summer-appropriate beer. Unfortunately Milo had been in his jail cell...erm...crate all day and interrupted our plans for relaxing by spending the evening trying to eat everything in sight including (but not limited to) the cat, a cord of wood, the wicker furniture in the sunroom, and my foot.

And then Saturday night we had to sit through a performance of Carmina Burana, a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff that would have been more aptly named “The Longest 90 Minutes Of Your Life.” [Note to self: Raise Carl Orff from the dead so that you can kill him for composing a cantata that contains no less than 25 individual movements]. Sweet Jesus it was a long night. And when it was finally over (at 10:15pm, which is 15 minutes past that magical time of the night I like to call bed-time), there was a reception. And then my dad wanted to out for drinks.


Despite the fact that I had given him just about all that I could give by sitting through that long-ass concert.

Despite the fact that I had a giardia-filled puppy at home whose ass-hole was a ticking timebomb of projectile pandemonium.

Despite the fact that my pants were too tight and were MUCHO uncomfortable (don’t even get me started on that).

So, yeah, one could say that more drinks were had than fun. And after all was said and done, both Carl Orff and the pair of pants that I was wearing were officially put ON NOTICE. Yeah, that's right. Carl Orff and Express Size 6 Trouser Jeans...you'd better watch your step.

So Friday Fun-Beer + Saturday Drinks of Desperation + Sunday Wine-Fest 2009 = Monday Hangover and Writer’s Block.

And to make matters worse, I’ve been invited by My Blog Doesn’t Suck to contribute a guest-post while she’s off having fun in Disneyworld (hate). So I’m wracking my brain for something funny to write that will make her proud AND perhaps draw a visitor or two to my little bloggio because, let’s be honest, I’m a power-mongering famewhore. Admitting it is the first step.

So, I’m going to need some decent coffee, some Tylenol Extra Strength, a sugary breakfast treat, and possibly some crack-cocaine STAT to get through this morning. I’m also going to need a double-dose of Neil Patrick Harris because it's just been one of those mornings. NPH, give me strength.