Monday, August 31, 2009

An Emotional Cocktail

I’m having a scatter-brained, over-caffeinated, roller-coaster type of day.

First off, HOORAY for Brian’s divorce which was declared at approximately 9:00 a.m. this morning! Man, What. A. Relief. After going through my own divorce woes, I know first-hand how awful it can be going in to the court house thinking you’re getting a divorce and leaving the court house farther from your divorce than when you started. Thank god everything went smoothly, and CONGRATS, BABE! IT’S OVER!!!

But BOO the fact that we’re no longer engaging in a (technically) adulterous relationship. Not gonna lie – it was kind of fun. But I guess all good things must come to an end. Too bad, though. I was enjoying being the “other woman,” if only as far as the state of NJ was concerned…

In other news, HOORAY that Brian’s thumb isn’t broken! He was messing around with the dog last night, and he tripped and jammed his thumb into the wall. Ouch! He could barely move it, and I was seriously worried that it was fractured. But after a quick trip to the ER today, everything looks okay [and BTW, getting a text that says “I’m divorced…and heading to the ER” brings about mixed emotions, to say the least]. But still, BOO that it’s badly sprained and he’s going to be out of work for a week or two. Poor guy…

And BOO to me for stupidly posting our full names on the invitations on Friday while not realizing that the town I live in is listed in my information section. Holy god, that was dumb. Now I’m freaking out, not so much because I think we’re going to adopt a stalker (there are far more interesting people out there than us), but because there are certain people out there who SHOULD NOT KNOW where I live. So now my stomach is in a knot and it’ll probably come to nothing, but I have that sinking feeling that you get when you’ve messed up big time, and I’m hoping that this information didn’t get into the wrong hands.
I’m a retard – Lesson Learned.

But HOORAY for Sunday, because we made some major headway in the yard. You see, we have this yard – this beautiful 1.3-acre piece of property - that is absolutely, positively overgrown. Lacking the expertise to tame it, I’ve spent the past year kind of looking at it and shaking my head, not knowing where to start. But my wonderful mother and her fiancĂ© have been dedicating their weekends to helping us get it in order, and I’ll be damned if we aren’t starting to see some serious results. THANK YOU MOM AND KENT!!!! We couldn’t do it without you!!

So I guess that sums it up. I’m all excited/grateful/puking my guts out thinking about who might have our address now.
So I guess that makes me about two-thirds happy and one-third vomitous.

In other words, I’m drunk.

HAH!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wedding Wedding Thursday

Well, I guess I’m having a wedding!
(Yes, it’s a wedding post. Get over it.)

Yesterday turned out to be Wedding Wedding Thursday for the following reasons:
1. I ordered the wedding cake
2. My invitations came in the mail
3. My dress came in the mail too

Wow. That’s a big day, and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to check things off on the GINORMOUS to-do list.

The Cake
You already know what it looks like (pic here), but I’m happy to announce that Red Carpet Cakes was able to cut the price practically in half. I’m also happy to announce that the tastes (and smells) coming from that bakery were enough to make me want to cry with joy, and my wedding cake is guaranteed to be THE BEST TASTING CAKE you’ve ever eaten in your life.
That’s a bold statement – I know. But if there’s one thing I know, its cake. And Red Carpet Cakes does cake like Monet does an impressionist painting.
Thanks, Carrie, for referring me to them! (BTW, they say your mom is in there, like, all the time, so either you guys are having parties that I’m not being invited to, or your mom has a serious cake addiction, and maybe she needs some help)

The Invitations
Love them.
Kind of want to marry Lauren Lowe at LaurenLoweDesign for making them for me.



[took pic out. Yeah, probably shouldn't have posted full names. I'm an idiot.]





Lauren Lowe did a stellar job creating these gorgeous invitations at a price that was more than reasonable. The invitations are wonderfully earthy yet refined and, dare I say, sophisticated? Elegant? And did I mention they’re printed on recycled paper? What’s not to love?!? And as far as customer service goes, Lauren Lowe is a pro. She was polite and efficient and 100% dedicated to making the invitations exactly how I wanted them. She even alerted me ASAP when Fed-Ex said that my address – the one printed on the invitations and RSVP cards – didn’t exist (which, btw, it does. Clearly I don’t live in some hollowed-out tree in the middle of the woods. But her alarm was evidence enough that she truly cares about her customers, which is always a good thing in my book).

So, mad props to Lauren Lowe. If you need invitations, go check her out. You won’t be disappointed (and you'll be doing the environment a solid).

The Dress
No, I’m not going to show a picture of the dress. Brian is having this raging battle going on inside him where he wants to see the dress now, but at the same time, he wants to wait until I’m walking down the aisle.


Cute, if not slightly schizophrenic.

So, just in case his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts snooping on my blog, I can’t in good conscience post pics of the dress.

But how about pics of me opening the box that CONTAINS the dress? Ooooohhhh!


I know – it’s not really the same. But check out that face I’m making in the first pic. If that isn’t just creepy, then I don’t know what is.

In summary, I have a cake, a dress, and invitations.
Huh, I guess we’re really doing this thing.
:-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Blog, Perchance To Dream

Another one of those blog titles that has nothing to do with the post, but for some reason my fingers typed it out anyway.

They kind of run the show, so there’s not a lot I can do about it.

Thoughts:
1. Why does Google Blogger suddenly decide to ignore my spacing?
I hit *enter, Yo! Why you gotta mess up my game?!?!?!
The spacing of this post is fucked up, but it doesn't seem like there's anything I can do about it. My apologies.

2. Sometimes I wonder how much food, in crumb form, is trapped beneath the keys on my keyboard. I know for a fact that somewhere down there is the better portion of a cupcake, copious amounts of granola, and about half a tablespoon of feta cheese from a botched attempt to stir my Wawa chicken cherry walnut salad earlier this week. I’ve also noticed that my office chair is smudged with various food stuffs that have been dropped from my desk, onto my lap, and eventually onto the chair, where I’ve sat on them and essentially decoupaged them into the pleather.
And I wonder why the cleaning people hate me…
[Editor’s note: I just spilled yogurt on my pants. I’m a hot mess]
3. Curly hair and summer humidity DO NOT MIX. I know everybody already knows this, but it begs to be reiterated, considering the current state of my hair.
4. I seriously need to start working out again. I was doing SO GOOD and then *BAM* we decide to get married and I’m all “gotta plan the wedding” and before you know it, two weeks have gone by and I’ve barely broken a sweat. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what brides are supposed to do? At this rate, I’m destined to be a fatty-fat-fat bride. What I need is a Ghost of Weddings Yet To Come to swoop in and show me a wedding where I can’t zip up my dress because I’ve gained 15 lbs and to say “if you continue at your present course, this is what will happen to you.” And then I wake up screaming into my pillow, fall out of bed, ask the 19th century street urchin outside my window what day it is, rejoice that there is time to undo this horrible future, and run to the gym post-haste. Yeah, that’s exactly what I need.
5. Why is “caramel color” in the ingredients of my nonfat vanilla yogurt?
6. Milo ate my favorite bra last night. The women who read this blog can surely sympathize with me – it’s like losing your best friend in a horribly unexpected way, like a hit-and-run or a brain aneurysm. Tragic. I’m considering using duct tape to put it back together, but Brian has assured me that this could potentially take a little magic out of the bedroom. I’m weighing the pros and cons of this predicament as we speak.
7. People I’d like to shank:
Michael Vick
Rachael Ray
Sarah Jessica Parker
Various coworkers
Brian’s ex
The people who are pushing “skinny jeans” (I’m just not ready yet).
8. Sometimes I feel like man, by his very nature as a self-aware being, was destined to fail. And if that’s the case, then are we really set on some path that was predetermined the minute this universe was formed? And if that’s the case, is the future really predictable? And what role does "free will" play in this whole equation? I'd totally pay, like, $500 to know the answer right now.
9. I have a complicated relationship with tacos. For some reason, I associate ground beef and cheese with heartburn. I think when I was just a little kid, I ate tacos and then got a raging case of gastric reflux. Now, every time I see a taco, the rational part of me is like “you LIKE tacos, stupid” and the emotional part of me is going through some sort of post-traumatic stress-type event. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about them, which is a shame, because I'm sure we could have had a beautiful relationship.
10. I’m pretty sure that we have a number of yet-to-be-discovered species of insects in our yard. As far as I can tell, the Amazon basin has NOTHING on our little 1.3 acre jungle. We don’t just have bugs. We have BUGZ. Holy god, you should see some of the things that come flying/scuttling/inching/crawling/slithering by. Spend 5 minutes in our yard, and you’ll have seen at least three bugs that make you doubt the existence of god. Truly horrifying. Oh, and that giant spider from Lord of the Rings? Yeah. She lives in the drainage pipe under our driveway. You’ve been warned.

One hour ‘till lunchtime.
Sweet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cake and Anger (but not related)

Day 3 of copy *click* paste [repeat] and I’m ready to blow my fucking brains out.

This morning, I had to file an official complaint with HR about the condescending emails that get sent out (marked as “high priority,” of course) on a daily goddamn basis, complete with pom-poms and “rah rah rahs” and I know you have a B.A. and are a relatively intelligent individual, but here…let me help you manage your time and give you a fun tidbit about today’s search results.

Infuriating.

Am I overreacting? Perhaps. But seeing as I have nothing better to do with my time, I might as well open an HR complaint and see if maybe, just maybe, the emails will stop and there can be one less thing in my life that is making me want to walk out of this building and never come back.

Moving on…

I’d once again, like to talk to you about cake.
Specifically, wedding cake.
MY wedding cake.

Because I may not have invitations mailed, a dress purchased, or a catering menu set, but LORD KNOWS I’ve already picked out a wedding cake.

It’s all about priorities.

Last night Brian, Crystal and I headed over to Classic Cake Co. to eat free cake…er…sample the cakes and decided on a design.

We decided on something like this:



Which, in my humble opinion, is pretty kick-ass and is GUARENTEED to taste 100% smack-yo-mamma good. I won’t say what’s inside, but I will say that if you like fudge, raspberry moose, and/or mocha buttercream you’ll be a happy camper come October 10th (if you’re invited, that is. And if your not? Don’t be upset - the guest list is paired down, to say the least).

What’s not so good though? The price that they quoted me at, which was exactly 100 dead babies
I kid, but that’s kind of what it felt like

Actually, it worked out to be $9 per person (plus delivery).
And I’m thinking that unless this cake is dipped in gold and covered in precious stones (or at least bedazzled), it’s not worth the price.

Call me crazy, but if my cake costs more than my caterer, official, and photographer combined, then something is wrong with this picture. Granted, thanks to wonderful friends, my caterer, official, and photographer are going to cost nearly nothing, but still – the proportions are way off.

I mean, I love me some cake, but I don’t love me some $9-per-slice cake.
Not even at my own wedding.

So we’re off to a second bakery on Thursday to see if we can’t just find a price that is a bit more reasonable.
...And maybe eat some free cake in the process…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Middle Path



When it comes for food, I am a strict Buddhist. Turns out that the “Middle Path,” the Buddhist practice of non-extremism, is highly applicable to my daily dietary consumption (and life, in general, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic).

I find that balance is not only desirable when trying to incorporate the basic food groups (btw, there are 7 now – when I was a kid there were only 4), but also when consuming my “discretionary calories.” And yes, “discretionary calories” now appear on the food pyramid. My how times have changed…

I don’t diet. Never have, never will. It’s just not my style (hey, if I was into guilt and self-denial, I’d become a Catholic). But at the same time, I rarely eat whatever I want, whenever I want, with the exception of vacations and occasional bout of PMS, natch. For me, it’s easiest to eat “mostly” healthy “most” of the time. Granted, if there’s a cupcake in the office kitchen, I’m on it like stink on a monkey (or like a shark on a seal?). BUT, after eating the cupcake, I’ll make an extra effort to have a sensible dinner that’s low on the sugar and empty carbs and high on the protein and other nutrient-like substances.

And exercise? Always essential, not only to maintain my weight, but my emotional sanity as well.

For me, it just works. And I’m happy to say that while I am about 5 lbs heavier than I was a few years ago, overall, I’m pretty fit and trim (don’t hate on the ba-donk-a-donk).

BUT…
Like desire is to a Buddhist monk, process foods are to a Buddhist eater. The pure, unadulterated shit that they hide in processed foods is beyond unbelievable; it’s despicable. The amount of fat, sodium, and processed sugars that are hidden in supposedly “nutritious” foods is enough to make me want to scream (and I’m not even talking about the foods that are blatantly un-nutritious; those that are laden with so much crap that they’re practically poisonous).

Ever read the back of a Lean Cuisine? I did once, and I was so disgusted with the 9 grams of fat, 650 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of sugar (I’m not making this up) that I pointed it out to the woman next to me in a vain attempt to orchestrate an impromptu rebellion agains the man. (Sad to say, she was unaffected and bought the product anyway, dumb beeyatch).



Sometimes I ask myself, “How can these companies get away with marketing such blatantly un-nutritious food?”

And as far as I can tell, the answer is that most people just don’t know any better. Stating that a meal contains 650 milligrams of sodium is useless information to somebody who doesn’t understand that this represents about a third of your daily recommended intake.

What we need here is an "Eating for Dummies," and I am SO gonna write that bitch (as soon as I finish my novel, of which I have a whopping 7 pages written).

I came across this article today, and I was thrilled about the writer’s attempt to put the average person's sugar consumption in perspective:
With about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, a regular 12-ounce soft drink will put most women over the recommended daily limit.”

I also like how they incorporate exercise into the equation:
A man in his early 20s who walks more than three miles a day could consume about 288 calories, or about 18 teaspoons, of added sugar.”

The article is eye-opening (in my humble opinion), and I think it’s high time that the media make more of an effort to educate the average American on exactly what they’re putting into their own system.

Of course, being a dietary Buddhist, I don’t expect myself or anyone else to cut out sugar, salt, or fat entirely. After all, is life really worth living if we can’t enjoy baked goods? But I think that knowing exactly what we’re putting into our bodies and – hopefully – modifying future actions to compensate for these decisions, is a big step towards a healthier lifestyle.

As for me? You can still find me walking down the middle path, trying desperately to ignore the chocolate cake on the side of the road.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Going Postal in 3...2...1...

Oh, I KNOW I am not spending the next 5 work days coping and pasting medical information into an Excel Spreadsheet…
Because there is NO FREAKING WAY that I spent my hard-earned dollars on a college degree only to perform a task that any trained monkey (with a rudimentary grasp on the English language) could perform.



This?
Is me seething with rage and pent-up frustration.

Okay, I totally admit it:
I’m a snob.
I’m a writer-snob with an English degree and a disdain for menial tasks.
But isn’t that why I went to college in the first place? To ensure that I wouldn’t be stuck doing menial tasks for the rest of my life?

So somebody PLEASE explain to me why I’m going to be spending the next 36.25 work hours researching doctors on Google!

Not even half-a-day in to this project, and I’m seriously torn between falling asleep and wanting to punch myself in the face.

It’s like this:
Copy *click* paste (resist urge to punch self in face)
Copy *click* paste
Copy *click* paste
Copy *click* paste (catch self dozing off)
Copy *click* paste
Copy *click* paste (resist urge to punch self in face)

Etc….

And I know what you’re going to say.
You’re going to say that instead of complaining (once again), I should just be grateful that I even have a job, considering the current economic crisis.

But you know what?
I’m thinking that you need to shut your whore mouth.

Because if THIS is what my job is going to entail, I’d rather get laid off, collect some unemployment, and spend my days doing productive and/or relaxing than waste the better part of my waking life doing this shit-work.

The worst part is, I know I shouldn’t be writing about this, because if I know anything, it’s that information spreads, and possibly the worst thing you can do is air your work grievances online.
But you know what? I’m sick and fucking tired of not being challenged, not having enough work to do, and not utilizing my hard-earned skill sets.

This data entry?
Is just the icing on the cake that depression baked.

mmmm…cake.
(did I also mention that brainless busy work makes me hungry like a gutter child?)

And I won’t even mention, CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU about the obnoxious emails that get sent on a daily basis, summarizing everybody’s efforts with the most insulting, offensive tone imaginable.

Or maybe I can.

Observe:

*******************************************************

Impressive job today!!!!

2965 records completed (70% of total database) – an increase of 234 records completed from yesterday’s count; of those, 958 have e-mail addresses (23% of total database).

Please keep in mind that we have Business Communications training Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. We still need to hit our 5% each day, so this means that those of us who are not in class will have to work a little harder to get our 214 records those days.

The group effort has been terrific. Thanks, and keep it up.

PS – Have you been finding that you are learning “very interesting” facts about the docs you are researching? Kitty Kelley, the “author” of celebrity biographies, married one of the docs I was researching … Who says this research task isn’t fun????

***********************************************************

Where do I start with this email?
Do I start with the insinuation that everybody isn’t working hard already? Do I discuss the brown-nosing, cheerleader-esque tone that is taken ONLY because the company owner and VP are copied on each and every email (I can only hope they are filled with as much distain as I am upon reading these monstrosities)? Do I cite the horrendous “fun fact” that is enclosed at the bottom of each email? Do I even touch on the fact that our company is currently participating in Business Communications Training?!?!?!?

AARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there you have it.
Rule # 1 of blogging: don’t talk about your job.
BROKEN.

Do I care?
Not really.

At this point, they should just be glad that I don’t own a semi-automatic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Conspirancy

The cleaning people are fucking with me.
I’m convinced.

It started when I tried to pick up my glass jar ‘o paper-clips sometime earlier this year.
It didn’t move.

I pulled harder.
No dice.

I huffed and puffed tried to pry that sucker off with all my might, until I feared that I’d break the glass and cut my hand (although I did consider the bright side of having to leave work early).

It was beyond stuck to my desk.

It stayed that way for the better part of 3 months. It became a novelty; a funny story spread around the office about how the cleaning people must have super-glued it to my desk.

And then, one day, after showing my novelty paper-clip holder to someone from the IT department and daring her to try to move it…

….she did.

And I was all, “well, I must have loosened it for you”
It was a good time, but it had come to an end.

And then the bag.
The same free shoulder bag, obtained at a medical conference, that has happily lived under my desk since March of 2008:

Two weeks ago?
The cleaning people tried to kill me with it.

The strap from the bag – the same strap that has been in the same position since March of 2008, was suddenly relocated in such a way as to grab the toe of my shoe as I tried to get up one day.

Guys, I seriously almost died
(thank god for my ninja-like reflexes).

The strap, that sumbitch, was violently replaced in a less dangerous location while I muttered “Jesus fucking Christ” and angrily kicked the bag.

But they weren’t finished with me.

Later that week, they threw out my cup.
Granted, it was a red solo cup, but I used it each and every day to take my lunchtime doxycycline.
So I replaced it, cursing the cleaning people under my breath because really, is that necessary?!?!
Yeah…they threw that cup out too.

At my wits end, I got a third cup, and taped a note to it:

PLEASE do not throw out
(and a smiley face for diplomacy)

The cup was there in the morning; I was victorious. But then…I think the cleaning people declared an all-out war.
I came to work last week and things on my desk were out of place.
Seriously out of place.
My screen and keyboard were pushed back, my papers were reshuffled, and my little chotchkeys – tiny representatives of the personality I once had before becoming a corporate zombie – were awry.

You see, a corporate environment is like a zoo, and our little cubicles, our enclosures, must be maintained in their current state, or we balk like gazelles at the first whiff of a predator. We encounter the smallest hint of rearrangement or disorder, and we lose our shit.

So I lost my shit.

An email to the proper individual ensured that this snaffoo would never happen again, but I was…for lack of a better term…all out of wack for the rest of the day.

And somewhere, a cleaning person is getting chewed out by his/her boss about an email sent from my company.

I dread to see what they have in store for me next.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Credit Card Abuse

You know what feels great?
When your credit card company does you up the bum without lube.

And you thought this would be another wedding post…

The other night, I called my credit card company (without dropping names, it rhymes with Shmamerican Shmexpress) to find out when my APR would increase from 0% (as promised for the first 12 billing cycles) to 9.99% (the guaranteed rate after the first 12 billing cycles).

So you can imagine my horror when the Shamerican Shmexpress representative, with his heavily accented voice, informed me with all the outsourced authority that he could muster that my APR rate was currently 17.99%.

Okay.

I know I don’t go over my credit card bill with a fine-toothed comb, mostly because A) I use my debit card for just about everything, and B) I’m a lazy POS.
But I DO know that I’ve never missed a payment or even come close to reaching my maximum credit line.
I also know that my credit score is excellent, and I have almost no outstanding debt attached to my name.

So, Mr. Shamerican Shmexpress representative, could you please explain how the fuck my APR increased from 0%, where it should be, past 9.99%, where it was promised to be capped, to 17.99-god-damn-percent?!?

His speech began with,
In November 2008, certain legislature was passed…”
Or, at least I think that’s what he said, because let’s face it, he lives in India and his grasp on English is rudimentary, at best.

So he went on for about 10 seconds, and I was all “Wait, wait, wait. So you’re telling me that because some law was passed in 2008, your company just arbitrarily increased my APR rate?!?”

*pause

“You were informed of this change via mail” (I think)
Well, I never got anything
It was included with your statement” (or…it was incubated in your data mint?)
But I haven’t DONE anything wrong. I’ve never missed a payment!”
Deejay what you never saw”(Read: This change was universal”)
So...what you’re saying is that they changed everybody’s rate, regardless or their credit score or payment history or anything else…just because they felt like it?!?!”
In November 2008, certain legislature was passed…”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was when I realized that I had just been anally raped by Shamerican Shmexpress.

So I told him, “You know, your company is just about the most soulless, money grubbing, evil organization that I’ve ever encountered. And that’s saying a lot.”

Which it is, considering WalMart and AIG and all those other scandalous jit-bag companies out there.

*pause
Is there anything else I can help you with, ma’am?”

I wanted to say to him, “Yes, you can help me by giving me the name of the sumbitch who decided to increase my APR for no god-damn reason so I can hunt him down and butcher his wife and children in front of him

But all I said was, “No, thanks.”
However, I DID sigh heavily for emphasis, if that counts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Re-Run

Today's equation:

Lyme disease + Chatty boss + Wedding brain = Zero Productivity.

I know.
I've been really dropping the ball lately, and I feel terrible about it.
But I also feel terrible about the fact that I've been shopping for dresses and chatting with my boss instead of doing work.
And...well, I feel terrible in general, which doesn't really help anything.

As a result, I'm rerunning an old post (one of my sister's favorites, if I recall correctly).
So, enjoy...

Intro to Wine Tasting: Developing your Palate,While Trying to Hide the Fact That You're Piss-Ass Drunk

I like to consider myself a somewhat cultured person.

Sure, I can recite most of the lines of Caddyshack, and occasionally go to work without underwear (hey, all rules are off on laundry day), but I also like to think that having a grasp on the comprehensive works of Mozart and passing two semesters of Art History with straight A’s has left me with an appreciation for the finer things in life. So when Brian started taking me with him to wine tastings, a hobby that he is as passionate about as he is knowledgeable, I was all up for learning something new that might "put a little class in dat ass".
Wine tasting is a funny thing. I have yet to determine whether it is a cultivated, methodically developed skill or shot-in-the-dark, this-is-what-I’m-tasting rollercoaster of brand hype and personal opinion. Brian, along with several other well-versed wine connoisseurs, has assured me that it is a combination of both. Personally, I can tell a really great wine from a really crappy wine, and that’s about as far as it goes. But there are people out there who can supposedly pick a Willamette Valley pinot-noir out of a selection of 20 Oregon region pinots without blinking, and can determine the type of barrel used to age the wine from smell alone. In fact, I was on hand when a “mystery” bottle of wine was poured and Brian, without even taking a sip, confidently proclaimed the origin of the wine to be German based on the color alone.
The color for christsakes! WTF is that about?!
But on the other hand, I’ve heard stories of people claiming to taste, among other things, white truffles in the wine, but when asked, point blank, if they’ve ever even had a white truffle, they admitted that they had never tasted one. I mean, c’mon. We’ve all seen the movie Sideways (or, at least some of us had). Holding your ear to taste rosemary and Belgium chocolate in your Merlot is just silly. And there are a LOT of silly people like that in the business of wine tasting.

Having had two “warm-up” sessions at a winery near Pennington (excellent) and a wine festival in Shamong (not so excellent), I went to my first real wine tasting event this past Tuesday in Princeton.
It consisted of about 25 to 30 pinot-noirs, separated by region. So what you do is you take your wine glass, go up to a table, and ask to try this or that wine. They pour a few mouthfuls in your glass, and then you’re supposed to swirl it to aerate the liquid. The swirling is hard, I’m not going to lie. It seems easy, until you’re at a fancy schmancy event and you need to be absolutely sure that you don’t make a mess; enthusiastic swirling is a disaster waiting to happen in my book, but I did my best to keep the wine contained IN the glass and not ON me and the people around me. You then put your nose to the glass and breathe deeply (or not, if you don’t want to, but I like to think of the smell as the ‘prologue’ to the wine; you get a hint of the style without necessarily understanding the context). Finally, you take a sip. You hold it in your mouth for a bit, and swallow.

Easy, right?

Sure, it was easy. And pretty interesting. The first table displayed pinots primarily from the west coast. I could tell the ones that I liked. I could tell the ones I liked a little less. I tasted chocolate in this one and oak in that one. Very cool. We moved to the second table and it was there that I lost my stride. To be honest, I can’t even remember the regions the wines were from. Maybe the west coast still? Maybe not…There was one that was big and dark, and I kind of liked that one. There was another one that just tasted flat to me, so I decided I didn’t like that one. The rest tasted the same.
I listened closely to the people around me commenting on the different “bouquets” and “varietals,” suddenly realizing to my embarrassment that I was actually LEANING IN to catch what they were saying.

Whoops.

The wine was definitely getting to me. I righted myself, suppressed a hiccup, and followed Brian to the hour d’oeuvres table to absorb some of that alcohol making its way through my system. There was a lot of grilled veggies and cheeses, and not a lot of bread, which was pretty stupid in my mind, but I nibbled, hoping I would lose that giggly edge that wine is notorious for giving me.

On to the next table, where we sampled pinots from Germany and Italy…I think. The German one was swill, I decided immediately (did I mention that too much wine gives me an inflamed sense of…uh…being right no matter what?). The Italian wines were okay, but nothing special. I heartily agreed with a random wine taster who described one brand as “earthy,” and corrected a second wine-tasting stranger, saying that the wine was “not full bodied, exactly, but had a modest degree of oak paired with cherry and apple overtures.”

And then I looked at Brian...who was looking at me like I had two heads, and remembered that this was my first wine tasting and I had less than a clue as to what I was talking about.

Being drunk was getting fun, but I decided it was time to shut up. I was eager to move on to the next table, which featured wines from New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania (freaking cool!). By the time we reached the table from “down under,” I noticed that I was starting to like everything. And I mean everything. I liked the Australian wines. I liked the New Zealand wines. I liked the wine labels, especially that one with the cute sheep on it. I liked the person who was pouring the wine, I liked Brian, I liked Brian’s dad, who had accompanied us to the tasting, and I even liked the table cloth.

I was drunk.

By the time we hit up the French pinot-noirs, my face had a pleasant numbness and my pronunciation of words was getting noticeably slurred. Thankfully, I noticed by then that the room had gotten much louder, and the crowd much “warmer” (as Brian politely put it). Thank god I wasn’t the only one experiencing the unfortunate side effects of fermented fruit. I was sober enough, however, to realize that as far as pinot-noir goes, the French have it down to a science. In fact, I (a little too loudly) declared my number one favorite to be one of the wines from the French table. I’ll be damned if I can remember the name of it now, but I do remember that it had this lovely taste of cranberry, followed by about a million other flavors, all pleasant, progressing seamlessly across my tongue.

It was amazing.

And then I finally got why wine tasting is such an interesting hobby. It challenges you in a way that many other tasks don’t. It forces you to focus intensely on your least-developed sense – your sense of taste. And the more you concentrate, the more you pick up. That wine that was once described as “good” now overwhelms you with oak and spice and fruit, and maybe a little honey or chocolate or coffee, or even white truffle (just kidding). It’s a profoundly personal experience. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the brand is well known or the price is high. All that matters is if you like it or not. In the end, it’s just about you and your preferences, and how much you want to develop them.

And then my revelation was gone. It was replaced by a sense of woozyness and warmth and tingling and the sense that my hands were “so far away from my body!” Yep, I was definitely drunk. But along with being an outlet for public drunkenness (and don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely an appeal in that), wine tasting is a really, really interesting and educational pastime. I learned a lot, met some great people, drank some great wine, and even made friends with a table cloth. The evening was a success, and I look forward to many more. If Brian will ever take me out in public again, that is :-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Panic At The Disco

Panic? Yes
At the Disco? Not so much (although I would imagine that a disco would be a marvelous place to have a panic attack, what with all the bright flashing lights and people on rollerskates. Trippy.)

I don't even know why I titled this post Panic At The Disco, other than the fact that it's 1:37 in the morning and at this time of night, I tend to make the rules up as I go along.

It's my blog, so whatever. Deal.

Why am I up at 1:37 in the morning, you ask?
Because my close friend Carrie, the woman who threw the most beautiful wedding for 300-some-odd guests in 2007, said to me while we were G-chatting yesterday afternoon, "We need to talk about invitations"

"Oh, yeah," I said, "I've kind of got that figured out."
"Kind of?"
After knowing me for 26 years, she has the good sense to be suspicious of that phrase.

"Well, I saw some cute invitations on Etsy, and Brian said that Staples has wedding stationary kits that we're going to check out after work."

After the word Staples was mentioned, she went kind of quiet, in a way that screamed You are a cheap, cheap bastard! Then she tactfully implied that the "quality of paper" of those Staples stationary packages was not so hot.

You mean there's more than one kind of paper out there?

So I sent her Etsy links to some invitations that my friend Crystal found for me.
She replied, "These are just search results. You haven't narrowed it down yet?"

Was I supposed to? I mean, so soon?

And then she started talking about paper stock and burlap envelopes and fonts and "How do you want them to RSVP?" and I glazed over and my heart started beating way fast.

It wasn't a Panic at the Disco, but it was definitely a Near-Hyperventilation at the Office.

And now at..well...1:54 in the morning (if you want to get technical), I can't help thinking that if the parts of this wedding that were supposed to be easy are difficult, then, holy shit, what are the difficult part gonna be like?

But the good news?
I've narrowed down my color and decorating scheme so that my wedding, according to Carrie, won't look like a craft store or hoe-down.

So...yeah...there's that.

The Secret

Okay, after much, MUCH deliberation, I’ve decided to spill the beans. I’ve been trying to keep it on the DL for numerous reasons, but I had to be honest with myself:
You see, The Secret has been taking up so much hard drive in my little brain that to try and blog about any other subject would result in horrendously flat, boring, un-entertaining content.

And since I’m ALL about the quality blog content, I’ve decided to come clean (which does not necessarily mean that the quality will be maintained, but it’s my best shot)

[Sidenote: see what I’m doing here? I’m stalling]

I just need to come out with it; like ripping off a band-aid.
Okay…here goes.
Deep breath…

I’m getting married *flinch
…In two months
(well, 7 weeks and 5 days, but whose counting?)

This? Is crazy.
No, I take it back.
It’s Krazy with a K. THAT is how crazy..oops…krazy this is.

It’s Krazy because we only started planning it last week.
It’s Krazy because I’m not even sporting an engagement ring yet.
It’s Krazy because Brian won’t be officially divorced from his Ex until August 31 (if everything goes smoothly, and it better or so help me god….).

And my blogging about it is borderline Krazy, mostly because Brian, the dark and mysterious man that he is, wants to keep things as hush hush as possible until he’s officially divorced.

“That way,” he said “We won’t have to tell a million people that we’re delaying the wedding if the divorce gets flubbed.”
Flubbed? Is that a possibility? Ugh, I get nauseous even thinking about it.

Not to mention the fact that he’s just not comfortable telling anyone, anything of significance. Ever.
I’m surprised he’s willing to send out invitations; if it were up to him, he’d just tell a few people that we were having a party, and they’d show up to a surprise wedding.

He and I? Are not similar in this regard. Consequently, if it were up to me, I’d have a plane with a banner flying as we speak.
Because what fun is a secret if you cant tell everyone and their mom, right?

So…there you have it.
I’m getting married, and all that jazz.

I can promise that I won’t turn all bridezilla on your ass, but I can’t promise that wedding planning won’t occasionally rear it’s ugly head over the next two months, because let’s be honest; with only 2 months (well, 7 weeks and 5 days) until the big day, I’m gonna have a lot of wedding-type stuff on my plate

*Hear that sound? It was the sound of my 3 male readers hitting the “UnFollow” button.

Sorry guys. If I give a detailed account of the wedding night, will that make up for it?

Yeah...that's not gonna happen.

Or is it?!?

At any rate, I have a lot to do. Even though I’m planning the tiniest of tiny wedding ceremonies (read: a ceremony at the house with 40 guests), I'm quickly learning that even the smallest of wedding requires a LOT of preparation.

So hang in there, readers.
Because things are about to get a little rough.

But the good news?
At least I’ll be talking about cake.
aaaand possibly my wedding night. (Bow-chicka-bow-wow)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lame

I’ve barely slept for two nights in a row, people.

TWO FREAKING NIGHTS!
Two nights in a row with less than 4 hours of sleep each.
Two days in a row where I’ve been a walking, talking zombie, only more cranky, and with worse hair, if you can imagine. But the desire to eat brains? Yeah, it's there and no, I have no idea what that means.

Also, I kind of want to punch myself in the face.

You see, I have all this stuff going on.
I wish I could tell you what it was about - I really do. But I can’t.

Not yet.
Damn Brian and his secretive, squirrely ways.

Rest assured that it’s all good stuff; stuff that I will be revealing when the time is right.

But until then….I can’t sleep.
I watch the clock.
I change positions again, and again, and again, and again.
I breathe deeply, in and out.
I watch boring TV, like the History channel.

[Sidenote: Did you know that the USS Thresher, a nuclear submarine constructed in 1958, was unable to blow her emergency ballast tanks and surface due to ice blocking the flow of air through the hoses?]

[Do you care? Yeah, I still don’t]

And my brain? Is acting like I plugged it directly into an electrical socket.
And I’m all, “Shut off, you stupid brain!”
And my brain is all “Make me,” and then makes that ttthhhbbbbbtttttt noise.

My brain, I’ve come to learn, is very, VERY childish.
And prone to activity at 3:00 in the morning, apparently.

So I regret to inform you that today’s post will consist of…well…the above, admittedly lame, content.

Because I’m tired.
And slow.
And lacking inspiration.

But the good news?
It’s Friday, people!
And I have a bottle of Tylenol PM waiting at home with my name all over it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just....No

Oh my god, I have neither the energy nor the brain activity suitable for blogging today. This MIGHT be due to the fact that I went to a kickboxing class last night that would have been more aptly named “Cry For Your Momma” class, considering that’s exactly what I did about 10 minutes in.

Was kickboxing always this hard? I remember attending it in my pre-Lyme and pre-plate-and-7-screws-wrist-fracture days, and while I recall being challenged physically, I don’t recall ever getting down on my hands and knees and begging for a swift death.

Hmmm.

At any rate, I’m exhausted. My muscles haven’t even begun to hurt, only because they’re still in the “overused and cramping up” mode. I expect to be in pain sometime over the weekend.

That is ridiculous.

So in the meantime, please enjoy this hilarious translation of a rap contest or rap battle or rap-off or whatever it’s called by the crazy kids these days…

If you need me, I'll be taking a nap in my car (don't judge).



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Silence Of The Hounds

Remember this guy?



In case you were wondering, yes, he’s still a bad dog. A VERY bad dog.

My friend Pam came to visit over the weekend, and after spending an hour at our house, she swiftly concluded, “I mean, he’s cute and everything, but that dog is WILD.”

And he is.
While she was visiting, he spent the first 5 minutes barking at us from the top of the basement stairs, which he is too afraid to climb down. Brian tried carrying him downstairs and he go so scared he peed on Brian’s shirt. We brought him back upstairs and gave him a toy, only to listen to him gallop back and forth above our heads for the next 15 minutes. I went upstairs to check on him and found the stuffed animal headless, mutilated, and eviscerated, stuffing everywhere, and Milo starting to “tenderize” a cabinet door by licking it (which, we have learned, is his preamble to an outright chew-fest). So we put him in his crate to prevent damage to our cabinets, and lo and behold, he starts to bark incessantly. A few minutes later, his non-stop barking is accompanied by a rhythmic BANG BANG BANG as he hops/scoots his crate across the floor in a desperate attempt to breach the doorway.

As Pam so aptly put it, “I feel like I’m in Jurassic Park.”

(And in case you were wondering, this is as far as he’s gotten to date. Thank god the turn radius for a 36'' crate is lousy)

Pam will not be coming back to our house, and she told me she’s pretty sure she’s developed a case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from witnessing such animal mayhem.

Unlike Pam, Brian and I are confident beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’ve developed PTSD and a handful of other psychological disorders since acquiring our own little hell-hound.

Let’s take a tour of the damage, shall we?

Grandma's Chest


Custom-Made Bowed Window




Door Frame



Not included: 1 book, borrowed from a coworker, titled Life of Pi, that he destroyed on Sunday while I was taking a 5 minute shower.

And the most recent damage? We bought a steel cable long-leash and erected a line between two trees so that Milo could be let outside without running away (because nothing ruins your morning – and your 3-inch heels – faster than having to chase a wild puppy around your neighbor’s yard). We also bought a harness for him, because if we attached the leash to his collar, he could easily pull out of it.
5 minutes after putting the harness on him, I look over and he’s managed to get his mouth through the chest piece (don’t ask me how).

This was the result:

Apparently, Milo can chew through a thick nylon harness, designed to support the weight of a 130lb dog, in approximately 10 seconds.


They say that desperate times call for desperate measures, and after viewing the above photos, I feel confident that you’d agree that we are, in fact, in desperate times.

So, I’d like you to witness our newest desperate measure.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to our own little Hannibal Lecter.


Before you jump on the animal cruelty bandwagon, I’d like to point out that it’s only on when we can’t directly supervise him, and we’re sure to take it off frequently for him to eat and drink. But yes, we’ve been reduced to muzzling our little darling boy in a desperate attempt to salvage what’s left of the house.

Still think we’re cruel? Well, it’s either this, or put him back out on the streets.

Although I’m not sure what would be crueler in this situation:
Exposing Milo to the streets, or exposing the streets to Milo.

I’ll have to get back to you on that one…

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What's So Great About An Opinion, Anyway?

No funny-ha-ha's here today; I’m about to go all political up in yo’ ass, because I’m salty as hell right now.

Don't say you haven't been warned…

********************************************************
So, I’m on Facebook this morning (like I am all day, every day), and one of my “friends” starts posting political updates.

Now, I for one believe that Facebook is not the forum to discuss politics. This “friend” has posted political content before – typically aggressive posts slinging mud at the Obama presidency and insulting those who voted for him.

I recall a particular post saying “So, how’s that hopey, changey thing working out for you?” that still makes my blood boil.

But to date, I’ve managed to stay quiet because, again, Facebook is not the appropriate forum for political debate.

Today, for better or for worse, I broke my silence. This guy posted 3 updates within a 30-minute period quoting sections of the Obama healthcare plan in an effort to criticize it.

He posted:

OBAMACARE and You.... • Sect. 163, Pg 58-59 beginning at line 5 of HC Bill - Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID Health care card will be issued! • Sect. 163, Pg 59, lines 21-24 of HC Bill—Government will have direct access to your banks accounts for electronic funds transfer

Then:

More OBAMACARE - • Sect. 123, Pg 30 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get. • Sect. 142, Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice! • Sect. 152, Pg 50-51 in HC bill - HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

And, last but not least:

Sect. 401.59B, Pg 167, Lines 18-23—ANY individual who does not have acceptable HC, according to Government, will be taxed 2.5% of income. • Sect.59B, Pg 170 Lines, 1—Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay for alien healthcare.)



Now, it would be easy to point out that A) the government already has direct access to your bank accounts (hello IRS), B) An electronic ID card (with tracking technology) has been in the works for the past 8 years, and C) we already pay for the healthcare of illegal immigrants (and everyone else and their brother who does not have healthcare yet shows up to an emergency room).

In fact, I believe I did point these facts out, for posterity’s sake.

But, as alarmingly ignorant as these posts are, that’s not really the point I'm trying to make.

The point is that I’m willing to bet that this guy knows little-to-nothing about our healthcare system and the problems that are contributing to our current healthcare crisis. Even if he’s done his research (which, judging from his other posts, is probably limited to Fox News), I think it's safe to bet that he's largely uninformed when it comes to this topic.

I say this not to offend him, but because the problems within our healthcare system are so vast and numerous, the average person can’t possibly comprehend all of the factors that play into this conundrum.
Look; I work on the fringe of the healthcare system, and I can barely keep track of a fraction of all of the issues surrounding this debate. My manager, an ex-ER doctor, has a handle on some of the factors, most of which relate directly to practicing medicine. I’m sure people in the medical malpractice, pharmaceutical, and health insurance industries could also come up with a million problems that are contributing to our current healthcare debacle.

In short, our healthcare system is a giant cluster-fuck.

And this guy thinks he has a firm enough grasp on the issue to criticize the current proposed solution?

Give me a break.

As the great Socrates once said, “The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing at all.”

And on that note, since when is it such a bad thing to not have an opinion on something?

When Bush was pushing the immigration bill, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t have the time to fully educate myself on this issue. My life was hectic, and my emotional state was strained to the limit; I simply didn’t have the time, energy, or resources to research the issue on both sides of the fence (no pun intended, but it was totally awesome, none the less)

Therefore, when people wanted to know what my opinion was on the issue, I felt justified in saying that I wasn’t educated enough to have an opinion.

And that was okay.

When it comes to healthcare, I know our current system is a disaster. I also know that if we keep going at this rate, our country will be bankrupt and there will be millions of people who are unable to get basic medical care.

Since I know that this is most decidedly NOT a good thing, I’m in support of a change. Do I think President Obama’s plan is flawless? Certainly not. Do I think that there might be a better solution? It’s entirely possible.

What I DO know is that criticizing the hell out of this plan, without A) fully comprehending it and B) proposing a better solution is ignorant, immature, and entirely asinine.

I feel like the majority people these days would rather jump on somebody else’s bandwagon than create a bandwagon of their own. Lacking the time, initiative, and/or intelligence to research a topic, they’d rather take up the flag of whatever group catches their fancy, thereby circumventing all the work and getting straight to what Americans like to do most: Have an opinion. ANY opinion.

I, for one, will not be judging Obama’s healthcare plan until I have the time and energy to do the research.

Am I a lesser person for failing to have an opinion? Perhaps.

But in my humble opinion, it’s better to know that I know nothing, rather than to pretend that I know something.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bonus Monday Post: Involuntary Blog Shout-Out

Jesus Freaking Christ, my sister is riding my ass to shout out her blog, so I'd better do it before she drives to New Jersey and kicks my ass.
Seriously. She can actually lift me up over her head and throw me.

It's a sight to behold.

So, anyway, even though I JUST tagged her for an award, I'm also forced to give her her own little blog post too. See what happens when you can't play nice growing up? Let this be a lesson to you all...

So yeah, there's my sister, Em. She's an opera singer. Well, she went to school for an unbelieveably long time to be an opera singer. Now she's done with school, and is currently trying to figure out how to be an opera singer while paying the bills. It's like a reality TV show, except if she fails, I'll have to support her financially.

Fantastic.

Welcome to the Real World, Em. Please leave your sense of identity and lust for life at the door, lest you soil the carpet.

So, go check her out, or she'll beat the crap out of me, and I'll have to start telling people how I "fell down the stairs" to explain the scrapes and bruises.

Good times, good times.

Jugs



So, my good blogging buddy PorkStar, in all his wisdom, gave me the J.U.G.S. award on Friday.


At first I was surprised, because this B-cup here ain’t exactly known for her ample bosom, if you get my drift. (As I like to tell people, “hey, I’m proportional, dammit!”)

But upon closer inspection, apparently the J.U.G.S. award stands for Just Us GuyS. I’ll forgive the use of an end-letter in this acronym, just this once, because of the references to breasteses. And I loves me some boobies.

Was that a bi-curious reference? I’ll never tell…

So, Tapdancing In The Dark would like to give a big ole’ shout-out to PorkStar.
Much love. Much love.

Unfortunately, this award doesn’t come with rules, like most of the others do. There’s no “Share 10 things people don’t know about you,” or “post the 8th pic in your folder” action going on here.

In other words, I’m gonna need some filler.

I thought about posting a picture of my JUGS (in all their B-cup glory) in honor of this award, but let’s be honest; I’m a crazy Mo-Fo and all, but even I have my standards (I saw that! Don’t you roll your eyes at me!).

And then I thought about posting pictures of random JUGS found on the interwebz, but I suspect that my IT department may have some issues with me trolling the web for images of fun-bags.

They’re SUCH party poopers over there.

So, to fill out this post a little bit (and kill an hour of time), I’ll create a new rule for the J.U.G.S. award.
Can I do that?
Anyway, in honor of this award, I’ll post the Top 10 Reasons why I’m Just One of the GuyS.
Seems appropriate, right?
Right.

Here goes…

1. I drink beer.
This was clearly evidenced by my “You Had Me At Beer” post, where I detailed some of my favorite brewed beverages. Unlike a lot of women, I like beer. I take that back; I LOVE beer. I almost never turn down a cold one if it’s offered to me. And then guys always look at me like I’m awesome, because, well, I am. Likewise, if you ever find me with a Smirnoff Ice in my hand, you have my permission to break the bottle over my head, because I clearly need the sense knocked back into me.

2. I’m not easily offended.
I’ll be honest, it takes a lot to offend me. Go ahead and talk about the waitress’s attributes. Discuss masturbating techniques. Imply that you’ve slept with my mother. You’ll barely get an eyebrow raise from me. In fact, I’ll just as soon join you as be offended by you. I’ll praise the waitress’s ass, tell a funny masturbating story, and call my mom a street-walker (love you, mom). It’s all good here.

3. I’m low maintenance
I don’t need to wear gobs of makeup. I’m not afraid of getting my hair messed up. I don’t need a lobster dinner, a Gucci bag, or to be dropped off at the door. I’m also not afraid to sweat, work, or go dutch on dinner. Hell, if I like you, I might even cover the check. Apparently, there are a lot of, overly made up, helpless women out there who don’t feel the same way. These women do not deserve the J.U.G.S. award. They do, however, deserve to be left on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. [sidenote: That would be an awesome reality TV show. TELL me you wouldn't watch that shit...]

4. I love the outdoors
As a result of being low maintenance, I enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, and any other outdoor activity you can throw at me. If I have to pee in the woods, then all the better. I’m happiest when I’m dirty, smelly, and physically exhausted (the people who have to smell me, however…not so much).

5. I have a potty mouth
Obviously.

6. I’ll go to a strip club
I have no problem accompanying a group of guys to a sleezy stip club. Hey, I’m as pro-feminism as the next gal, but if a woman is okay with shaking her booty for a little cash, then who am I to judge? So sure I’ll go along. Just don’t expect me to slip dollar bills into her thong or anything, because I’d rather spend my hard-earned dollars on other things (like beer).

7. I’ll kick your ass
It’s true! 20 years of horseback riding and 5 years of gym memberships have left me quite the little powerhouse. Don’t challenge me to a shoving contest, because I’ll take you down. I’ll take you down to China town.

8. I talk about my bodily functions
If I have to pee, I’ll tell you. Then, I’ll do the pee-pee dance until we find the appropriate venue for me to relieve myself. If you don’t like it, then don’t hang out with me. That’s all I’m sayin’…

9. I eat anything
When somebody says, “Oh I don’t eat [insert delicious food here],” I tend to look at them like they’re a science experiment gone horribly awry. I honestly can’t name a single thing I don’t eat. I don’t care what your excuse is – I don’t care if it’s unhealthy or has a funny texture or is against your religion. If you don’t eat it, then I feel bad for you. Trust me, you’re missing out. You need to either get over the texture, find a new religion, or start hitting the treadmill, because life is too short to not eat stuff. Period.

10. I hate women
Not all women. But I tend to dislike easily-offended, high-maintenance women, of which, it seems, there are plenty. Any women who isn’t capable of looking after herself while keeping an open mind to new ideas and people isn’t worth her weight in elephant dung, as far as I’m concerned. Call me a bitch if you want, but if you’re a woman with zero intellect who is more concerned with displaying the brand of her purse than pursuing higher aims, we are probably not going to be friends. In fact, I might make fun of you to your face. Go home and cry to your chihuahua . I don’t give a fuck.

So there you have it. 10 reasons why I’m worthy of the J.U.G.S. award.

Now I’m going to tag Carrie, Laura, Erin, Jeanette, and Emily with the J.U.G.S. award.
Have at it, ladies!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little Birthday Love Comin' Your Way

[Warning: this post might make you throw up; proceed with caution]

Yesterday was Brian’s birthday.

I was going to write a post on him, but there was that whole feeling like donkey poop thing, which really wasn’t conducive to writing (or doing anything else other than sitting with my forehead on my desk).

But today I’m feeling relatively better for reasons largely unbeknownst to me, so I’ll do a belated Birthday Post thang today instead.

So…

As I stated before, yesterday was Brian’s birthday.

I’ll refrain from revealing exactly how old he is, mostly because I like to discourage people from thinking about the fact that there was a time in our lives when our dating would have classified him as a pedophile.

Hot.

However, I will say that we had a smashing time last night eating about as much red meat as one typically ingests in the average year (I heart Brazilian Steakhouses) and drinking a bottle of wine that probably cost more than my car is worth.

After all, isn’t that how Jesus would spend HIS birthday?


Rriiigghhhttt
(2 posts in a row that mention Jesus? Plate Of Shrimp Theory!!!!)

Anyhoodle, this is Brian (Ladies, how cute is this guy? Am I right?).

As far as I’m concerned, Brian is the most awesome person I’ve ever met in my freaking life, and I’m not just saying that because I let him put his P in my V.

First off, he’s a firefighter. I mean…really? A real, live, firefighter? As in, running into burning buildings? Saving peoples’ lives?! Backdraft?!?
Yup.
That’s my man.
Say what you will, but this guy knows how to handle pressure.
He also is a pro at picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder (swoon) and lets me try on his gear, for which I will be forever in his debt.



Brian is also the most adventurous, diverse, open minded man that ever walked the planet. His various hobbies include (but are not limited to):
Mountain Biking
Skiing
Wine/beer tasting
Softball
Rock climbing
Cooking
Soccer
Backpacking
Hockey (street and ice)
Golf
Walking on water

Okay, I might have lied about that last one, but seriously, is there anything this guy can’t do? I feel like if I gave him a spork and a rubber band, he’d go all MacGyver on my ass and diffuse a bomb or something.
Plus, he's cute. Again, can I talk about how cute he is?

Sorry, I got off topic....
Anyway, he’s also an animal lover, which is great because we both love animals, but is not so great in that we now have two dogs, two cats, and a beta fish. There’s really nobody in the relationship to say “I think we have enough animals,” which is bound to cause some problems when the household pet-to-human ratio is 54439533865295 : 1, but the important thing is that we won’t fight about it.

Or…anything, for that matter. Strangely enough, Brian and I have never even gotten in a fight in the 15 months that we’ve been dating. We haven’t even come CLOSE to getting into a fight. And it’s certainly not because we hold back or act differently around each other; I think we’re just two lucky people who found partners with very similar tastes, values, and habits.
Here we are, sharing our love of animals and backpacking (not to mention peeing outdoors). Awwwww....

But seriously, we never fight. In fact, I have yet to reach a point with him where I just need some alone time. Truth is, I can’t get enough of the guy. I’m totally and utterly addicted to him. He’s my best friend, my partner in crime, my confidant, and my soulmate. He’s the whole package, and I’m a very, very lucky woman to be loved by someone as amazing as him.

And the icing on the cake? He treats me like gold. He takes the dogs out at night when I’m tired. He rubs my shoulders when I’m stressed. He leaves cards in my car to remind me how much he loves me. He cooks for me and cleans for me and, most amazing of all, actually puts up with my shit (which is a job in itself, let me tell you). I’ve never felt so pampered, so valued, or so loved.
See this pic (which we didn't even know was being taken, BTW)?

This is how he looks at me all the freaking time, even first thing in the morning when my hair is all wild and my breath is like woah.
Pinch me, because I must be dreaming.

So there you have it.
Brian, my firefighting, animal loving, mountain climbing, meal cooking, booze tasting, sports playing, me-loving boyfriend.

In a word? He’s awesome.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABE! We didn’t go to an Ice Hotel or anything, but I hope you still had a great day!

*Smooch!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Homework Assignment

So…
Um…
Yeah.

Today’s lack of content is brought to you by Feeling Like Donkey Shit.

Feeling Like Donkey Shit: Not enough of a reason to stop drinking since 1543.

I kid.
I’m not hungover.

I’m being ravaged by Zombie Lyme Disease (duh).

So, I'm going to need someone to read this article and translate it into a method of killing my Zombie Lyme.

Click to enlarge

I'd do it, but quite frankly, I'm just too lazy.

So if you could be a bucket of peaches and get on that, that'd be ggrreeaaatttt.

And in the meantime, there’s this:

If you don't find this at least a little humerous, then we probably shouldn't be friends.

I'm just sayin'....

So, let's recap:
1) Find a way to kill my Zombie Lyme Disease
2) Figure out if we should be friends or not (based on your reaction to the above cartoon).

We'll reconvene tomorrow.
Peace out, bitches.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brraaiinnsss

So, the good news is that I’ve finished my 3 weeks of high-dose antibiotic therapy for my Lyme Disease.

The bad news is that my Lyme symptoms have made a triumphant return.

After 3 weeks of doxycycline, I shouldn’t have a living organism left in my body (or in a 3-foot radius). I should be the most sterile mother-f*cker in the world right now, bitches!

And yet…36 hours after discontinuing my antibiotics, I was already getting the Lyme Ick again. I tried to write it off on a bad nights’ sleep. Then I tried to write it off on the massive hangover I received after our Saturday night Pirate Adventure. But as I was trying (and failing) to jump a 3.5-foot course on a 2,000-pound horse last night, I had to recognize that I was, in fact, just not feeling well.

Again.

As in, Lyme treatment FAIL.

Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me?!?

So, I did some research.

As it turns out, some people believe that Lyme can easily become a chronic, debilitating disease capable of neurologic and cardiac destruction of massive proportions. There are research articles to back this up.

Other people believe that Lyme is an easily treated bacterial infection, and that “Chronic Lyme” is a phantom disease made up by hypochondriacs. There are also research articles to back this up.

In other words, nobody really knows A) if Chronic Lyme really exists, and B) if it is a legitimate illness, how the hell to treat it.

Personally, I think this situation is re-goddamn-diculous. How, in the year of our lord 2009, can it be that we’re still debating the presence of an illness?
Where are the tests, people?!? What the heck have the scientists been doing all this time?!?

As my mother pointed out, since there is no treatment that is approved specifically for Lyme, other than generic antibiotics, there are therefore no big pharmaceutical companies to fund research.

Whatever (stop trying to be a know-it-all, mom, and get back to doing what you do best: buying me presents).

All I know is I feel like shit, which makes me either an innocent victim of an insidious bacterial infection or a raving lunatic, depending on who you talk to.

Look. If I’m a psycho hypochondriac and this is all in my head, I’m okay with it. I’m also equally okay with having a chronic bacterial infection that likely to have significant impact on my quality of life henceforward. I’d just like to know for sure what my deal is so I can come to terms with my illness, be it mental or physical, and get on with my life.

Is that really so much to ask?

In the meantime, I think I have a theory as to why this issue is so hotly debated. I mean, they have a Lyme test, but do they have a Zombie Lyme test?

Having taken such massive doses of antibiotics, I have no doubt that the Lyme bacteria in my system were killed (along with half of my organs).

Since I am now experiencing symptoms again, isn’t it possible, just possible, that these bacteria have come rejuvenated into some sort of un-dead zombie-like form?

And if this is the case, that I am in fact infested with Zombie Lyme bacteria, should I be concerned about some sort of migration of these Zombie bacteria up through my cerebrospinal fluid and into my brain?

Because if zombies eat brains, then wouldn’t Zombie Bacteria eat brains too?

Discuss...

And in the meantime...
Scientists: I’m going to need you to look in to developing some sort of Zombie Lyme enzyme immunoassay of immunoglobulin G testing method. And then I'm gonna need you to find a way to re-kill these fuckers. Because if I’m right, then as we’re speaking, millions of Zombie Bacteria are staggering to my brain in true un-dead fashion to feast on my frontal lobe.

And this concerns me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Be The Shark


Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware that it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, aka, the most wonderful time of the year.

I’m not gonna lie; I look forward to the bloodbath that is Shark Week each and every year.

Learn about the newest shark repellant technology?
Yes, please.

See footage of a great white charging up from the briny depths to attack a decoy seal with a camera in the belly?
Oh HELL yes.

Watch a bad movie on the 1916 Matawan River shark attacks?
Bring it on, bitch (NJ be representin’).

Ever since I watched Jaws at the tender age of 7, I’ve been fascinated with sharks (once I realized that they’re incapable of getting through the bathtub drain, that is).
Sharks are prehistoric. They’re lean, mean, eating machines that finished their evolutionary journey millions of years ago due to their highly efficient nature. They are what humans failed to ever achieve: perfect function living in perfect balance with their ecosystem (until Homo Sapiens arrived in the scene and started fucking their shit up with the fishing and whatnot. But then again, that’s kind of how we roll. Players be hatin’).

Tracy Morgan, in his wisdom, once said, “Live every week like it’s shark week!”

So, in honor of the occasion, I will take his advice to heart and spend this week living like a shark.
Ooh, this is gonna be fun.

Sharks have excellent eyesight, but they also rely on a battery of electrical signals to locate their prey. These sensors usually are located on the tip of their face; their nose, if you will. Since they have a nose, and I have a nose, I think it’s safe to assume that I have the same sensors, likely dormant from lack of use. This week, I will blindfold myself so that these sensors have an opportunity to avail themselves in the search of prey. I will roam the office, blindfolded, using my nose to locate a suitable meal. And if my nose should happen to lead me to the nearest cupcake…well…all the better.

Should I find an appropriate meal, I will then approach it in the manner of a shark. I will first circle it suspiciously, slowly closing in to get a better sense of what I am about to eat. I might even bump it a few times with my elbow to test the waters (pun absolutely intended). Once I decide that my target is edible, I will approach it head on and sink my teeth into it, give it a few lateral shakes (to allow my serrated teeth to cut through flesh and bone or, in this case, vanilla cake and buttercream icing), and swallow whatever I can bite off without chewing. However, if my target is clearly identifiable from a long distance and swiftly moving, I will increase my speed and charge it head-on with no warning. Mouth open, I will collide with my target and bite down whatever happens to be between my teeth. I will devour the rest as soon as I am capable.

I am aware that this experiment is likely to be messy, and could potentially result in asphyxiation. Therefore, I will need to be outfitted with a poncho (or at least a bib), and will require a “shark buddy” to perform the Heimlich maneuver should I begin to choke (as chewing isn’t really an option). This buddy will also need to assist me in navigating my terrain, should the electrical sensors in my nose fail to direct me in the proper direction.

Any volunteers?

Payment will be all the fish/squid/seal/sea turtle you can eat, and this beautiful T-shirt featuring 3 sharks howling at the moon.

Please note that there is no guarantee that I will not to bite you (because after all, I am a shark). However, once I realize that you are not “food,” I will release you, so you probably won’t die*

So, if you think of you're up to the task of helping me "live this week like it's shark week," please email me. I'll be waiting to hear from (and possibly eat) you.

*All volunteers are recommended to receive a tetanus shot.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Maiden Voyage of The Salty Wench: A Pirate Adventure

My friend Crystal moved in this weekend, and as part of her inauguration into our household, she was required to partake in a drunken canoe ride, which is the official pastime of our residence.

Of course, having just recently settled upon a name for the canoe – The Salty Wench – we felt that it would be appropriate to upgrade our trip from Drunken Canoe Ride to Pirate Adventure, the difference being in our liberal use of funny hats and pirate expressions such as “avast ye matey” and “hoist the longboat.”


Funny hat #1 (adventure hat plus headlamp for nighttime fun):


Funny hat #2: (bicycle helmet)


Oh, and don’t forget the Pirate Juice. No Pirate Adventure is complete without Pirate Juice.


So without further ado, allow me to present to you:

The Landlubber’s Guide to Pirate Adventureship on the High Seas: Codes of Conduct and Ethical Obligations (aarrggghhhh)

1. Beware strange ships that approach in the dark. But, if friendly they be, bring them along on yer Pirate Adventure.

As we stumbled onto the dock to begin our Pirate Adventure, there was a boat already in the water (even though it was 12:30am on Sunday morning). Turns out, it was the amicable young fellows who sometimes fish off of our dock. When they found out we were going on a Pirate Adventure, they happily joined (they had been “knocking back a few” as well, it turns out). They have names, but I prefer to think of them as “The Dudes.”


Here’s one Dude, holding their awesome “anchor”





Here’s the other Dude. I let him wear my hat, which is now long gone (but I’ll get to that later).




2. Long voyages are best weathered when you have a bit of the hair o’ the dog running through your veins.

I think the pictures speak for themselves.




3. Never hesitate to recruit new members.

We weren’t the only ones in a festive mood that night. We passed a log cabin that had several tents pitched out front and a lone man staggering around with a red solo cup in hand. We invited him on our Pirate Adventure but he declined, stating:

I don’t have my sea legs. I have drunk legs.”


Another day, perhaps.

4. When yuh spot an island, it be best to come ashore and search for buried treasure (or to tinkle).

When it’s nighttime on the creek, the whole world is your bathroom. The guys had it easy, but us girls had to come ashore to pee. Obviously, I thought that was a fabulous idea.




5. When pillaging and plundering, take care not to flip yer vessle.

It’s possible that the boys might have pillaged a daycamp at 3:00 in the morning. Of course, to do this, one has to get out of the canoe. The Dudes found this difficult to do. One of them fell in, much to our enjoyment. And then, having run through the camp, The Dudes flipped their canoe entirely over trying to make a speedy get away (losing two fishing rods, a flashlight, and my hat). So The Dudes are in the water trying to flip the canoe right-side up and the camp counselors come out and start yelling at us. Not one of our finest moments, but pretty damn funny, regardless.

6. Flipping yer vessel is bad luck, for sure.

Making a hasty retreat from the disgruntled camp counselors, we underestimated our speed a bit. We hit The Dudes' canoe and it flipped.
Again.
Yes, it was still funny the second time ‘round. We don't have pictures; we were laughing too hard.

So, at 3:30 in the morning, we limped back to port with half our equipment gone and two very wet Dudes. It was agreed upon that despite these obstacles, the Pirate Adventure was a complete success. We let loose a triumphant “Huzzah” and agreed that this would be only the first of many voyages to come for The Salty Wench and her crew. We parted ways, vowing to avenge our honor at the camp at a future date.

The night ended with this classic Texts From Last Night moment when I drunk-texted my sister,
“Best drunk canoe nite ever! Made 2 friends and might have disrupted 300 kids at a daycamp!”

So yeah, as far as Pirate Adventures go, this was one for the record books.

Yo ho ho and a bottle o' rum!