Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions or whatever

I don't know why this picture was on their site, but I figure they can use the traffic.
Do you set New Year's resolutions? Sometimes I do, but usually I don't bother because they just make me feel crappy when I don't meet them. This is most often because the goals I tend to set are not measurable: things like "be more assertive at work" or "be less judgmental of strangers" or "lose some weight" make it impossible to know when they've been achieved. So this year, I am trying something new.

Have you all seen those "[number of things] before [age]" lists going on around these internets? Most of the time I've seen them as "30 before 30" lists, but there are other examples and stuff - search "30 before 30" or whatever in google if you're interested. My list this year is a combination of that idea and a list of resolutions. I was going to make it "11 things in 2011," but then I got carried away, so the list has 14 things so far. All of these are things that will be great to look back at and say, "Man, I'm glad I got that taken care of."

So without further ado, here are the things I plan to accomplish in 2011. (They are broken into three categories for your convenience, but in no particular order within those categories.)

House and home
1. Redo upstairs bathroom (this is being made possible by some extra money from Christmas; "redo" for us means repaint and maybe redecorate, not renovate or anything).
2. Finally attach headboard to bedframe, as it has just been leaned against the wall behind the bed for about TWO YEARS.
3. Get new nightstands, as ours are about six inches too short for our tall bed, which pisses me off on a near-daily basis.
4. Repaint the crappy job we did with cut-in in the living room.
5. Get our kitchen knives professionally sharpened.
6. Host a fancy dinner party (dress-up clothes [costumes?] required).
7. Take at least two weekend trips with Andy.
8. Visit friends in NYC and Boston at least once each (can be combined with #7!).
9. Go camping and enjoy it (my current feelings on camping will no doubt be revealed here at length; I'm sure there are ways to do it that are not awful, and #9 is about finding one of those ways). 
10. Relearn to drive standard (I learned to drive on a standard ten years ago, then promptly forgot how).
11. See a dermatologist and learn how to better care for my specific skin.
12. Somewhat related to #11: Investigate laser hair removal (because bikini-area maintenance is absolutely my least favorite beauty-thing, and I have sensitive skin so I don't know if laser shit is okay with that).
13. Complete Couch to 5K (I've started three times and quit, for various reasons, after Week Four each time).
14. With Andy's help, nail down the design of my next tattoo, then get said tattoo.

What about you? Do you have a life-list or a 25-before-25 or a 50-before-50 or even a single resolution? I'd love to hear 'em all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planning big.

Delicious image via
What are you all up to for New Year's Eve? We committed to hanging out with about five different sets of people, so then we were going to have a party, but then some of the people made other plans, so maybe we won't have a party. Or something.

What I'm trying to say is, I have no idea what we're doing on Friday night, but it's looking likely that we'll be at my parents' house with our friends. My parents like to host and their house is clean, so it's a way better option than having a party here, but I feel a little odd about spending New Year's Eve watching Dick Clark look robotic and heartbreaking with my mom.

When I was in college, my friend Chris's parents went out of town for New Year's a few years in a row, and Chris hosted some of the best parties I've ever been to. There was the year that Todd ran into the packed living room three minutes early and started the countdown, which we all participated in, only to realize that we had wasted the good countdown. There was the year many people saw Bob doing some girl. There was the year with the pancakes. And I'm pretty sure an evening at my parents' house, while fun, won't be as epic as those nights were.

Do any of you go out for the night? I know most New Yorkers avoid Times Square, but what about hotels and bars and stuff in your city? I think this year I want an excuse to get all dolled up, wear a sequined dress and some fancy shoes (p.s. LAUGHING OUT LOUD about the idea of paying those prices for dresses and shoes), and get buzzed on the best drink ever. Instead, I'll probably put on a little extra eyeliner, paint my nails with sparkly polish and bring the dog and Andy to my mom's. Not exactly as awesome, but good nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What I'm loving and not loving

Awesome image via
Today I love:
  • That my sister's still around to hang out with.
  • Eating dinner with family and friends every night - with the bonus that it means I haven't cooked a meal in two weeks!
  • Planning to use money we were given for Christmas to (finally) redo the upstairs bathroom that I've hated since we moved in [note: "redo" here means "scrape the peeling paint off the wall, repaint the walls and the whore's-lipstick-red trim, and maybe, if we're feeling flush, re-enamel our 1950s bathtub"].
  • Homemade guacamole. I haven't had any this week or anything; I just really like the stuff.
  • That this weekend is another three-day weekend that I get to spend hanging out with Andy.
Today I'm not loving:
  • That the Kid leaves soon.
  • How freaking cold my toes are (I need to get some of these or one of these).
  • People who get in front of me and then go three miles under the speed limit.
  • That champagne isn't an every-day drink on my budget. It's pretty much my favorite.
  • That I haven't done laundry in almost three weeks. This has an awfulness triple-whammy: I am almost out of clean underwear, and when I finally get around to doing laundry it will take all goddamn day, and that means it will probably have to happen this weekend.
What are you loving and loathing lately?

Monday, December 27, 2010

So busy!

My most annoying coworker - the one who wears noisy flip-flops year round, who hums loudly to herself in our almost-silent office, who tries to convince me I did my job wrong so she has to do less work - came to my desk six times today to ask me questions about my work that she should have been able to figure out herself. So I'm extra-glad my best friend is home from Boston for an extra day and that she's on her way to my house right now so we can make this delicious mess before I have to head to Andy's parents' house for Christmas #4.

I truly love the holiday season, but damn, I'm pooped!

How are y'all holding up? Ready to throw in the towel, or ready for another viewing of Home Alone?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

How was your Christmas?

Bizarre image via
 I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm not a teacher anymore, which means I have to work during the week between Christmas and New Year's. It sucks. But I aim to have an awesome day today to squeeze in as much vacation as I can!

We had a great Christmas yesterday. There was one incident when Andy's sister's dog misinterpreted "shake" to mean "rear up on your hind legs and scratch me on the face," and we didn't start opening presents until ten p.m. at his folks' house, but other than that things were pretty smooth and calm.

Weirdest present I received: the Jell-o recipe book pictured above. I don't like Jell-o, pretty much at all, so that's fun.

Christmas-related anecdote: When I was a kid, I was sure that the word 'certain' could sometimes be used as a verb. This knowledge was based on the Christmas Carol "The First Noel," in which the angels sang the first noel to "certain poor shepherds." To nine-year-old me, this meant they sang it to the shepherds to reassure them and tell them that Jesus was coming - you know, to certain them.

How was your Christmas? Do you have to work tomorrow too?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gus Polinski? Polka King of the Midwest?

Image via
I hope you all are having a splendid Christmas (if you celebrate)! We had a nice quiet morning with the Kid and Brian, and we're heading out to hang with family and be joyful.

I hope you all got everything you wished for, and that the rest of your weekend is 100% awesome.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Almost Christmas!

Image via
Yes! I have the day off, and I'm starting it with Italian cookies and some Earl Grey tea while my hair is being dyed (it was black a few months ago, but my roots are pretty crazy, so I'm dying it brown. We'll see what happens). I have three more presents to wrap, and then I'm done!

Today we're hanging out at home all morning (Andy's going to make his famous scrambled eggs), then going to Mass at 4, then a lovely party at my friend Stevie's parents' house. Stevie's mom hand-spins yarn, and I never leave the house without her handing me a whole bunch of lovely handspun, and Stevie's dad makes an amazing lobster bisque. It's a great time.

I hope you're having a lovely day! Watch this video and let it add to your enjoyment of the season:
This is me when I'm in my fifties and living in Boca Raton.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On family and names

Pirate Lego captain via
So I might have mentioned that my little sister is knocked up. Naturally, we've spent lots of time discussing what the child will be called. Most of this involves suggestions like "Beaufort" and "Lurleen" and - my suggestion - "Megatron." The Kid and Brian have a few names for each gender (they are planning to find out, but can't for a few more weeks), but won't narrow it down too far until much closer to the due date. This means we refer to the fetus as "the fetus" or, lately, "Megatron." Do you all do this? I feel like it's not terribly unusual to nickname the thing.

There's a fun situation developing regarding grandparent names, too. My mom's mom died before I was born, but had expressed a wish to be called "Nana" by her eventual grandchildren. As such, it was sort of assumed my mom would end up being Nana in her stead. And I've always called my dad "Pop," so Andy and I at least figured our not-yet-existent kids would call him that too. The Kid and I were discussing names, and she decided she liked these options. She told Brian's parents this. Brian's mom insisted that she and her husband be called Nana and Papa, "because that's the Italian thing." The Kid, who is very stubborn, insisted that a) it wasn't, and b) the Polish names would mean just as much, since his family is 50/50.

Brian, who is quite diplomatic, suggested the baby could have a set called Nana and Pop and a set called Nana and Papa. This was vetoed by his mother, who thought it would be too confusing. At this point Brian's dad (who is, besides Brian, as close as it gets to sane in his family) chimed in and said he'd rather be called "The Captain." We approve of this. So it's looking like the baby might end up with Nana/Pop and Nana/The Captain.

Nothing like arguing about something that won't be relevant for years, until the kid starts talking, at which point it will make up new names anyway. Right??

Monday, December 20, 2010

The common cold and its effect on my brain

Something like one of these has made its home in my face.

Andy and I have both managed to catch a cold. The two main symptoms of this strain are an inability to do anything useful with one's brain and a constant tickle or scratch in the throat.

To demonstrate the first symptom, here are some examples from today:
  • Andy sent me a text that read "I feel a fever coming on" followed by a smiley face. The cold has somehow led him to believe that emoticons are okay (THEY ARE NOT) and also to mistype the most common one. [I wrote back "Cowbell? Or are you feeling worse?"]
  • I put my boots on the wrong feet. I am not four years old, so this is not endearing so much as asinine.
  • I haven't yet wrapped a single present. I got home from work, took presents out, looked at them for a long minute, and then put them away again, even though I have the house to myself for a while and not much time for wrapping.
  • Went against my self-imposed "don't volunteer opinions at meetings at work" rule to argue, passionately but with almost no voice, about the importance of a particular comma.
  • I have misspelled at least 45% of the words in this post.
  • I have hit capslock instead of shift like six times in the last four minutes.
My mom sent over some chicken soup, so I want to lay on the couch and catch up on 30 Rock and have soup. The other option for plans includes going out for garbage plates with the Kid and Brian and then to a bar for drinks to celebrate the birthday of a friend of Andy's who died this summer. I'm trying to talk myself into doing that.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Sunday plans ever

Image via

The Kid and Brian are off visiting his family today, so instead of wrapping presents or cleaning the mess that is my house, I'm planning to read the paper, watch football, take a nap, and do some baking. I'm supposed to be baking something fancy for work tomorrow so I can participate in a fake showdown with my friend, but instead I'm probably going to make some Yuletide nipples and then call it a day.

I'm also probably going to start kitting a baby blanket for the Kid's fetus! I got some awesome cotton yarn in off-white and green. It's going to look lovely.

Any exciting plans for you today? Or are you just vegging out like me?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Yes. We made it, weekend!

Ridiculous image via
Tonight we're going out to dinner and hanging out with siblings. Tomorrow we are hitting the #1 public market in the country, then a beer-tasting hosted by our friend and her girlfriend-the-chef, then to an ugly Christmas sweater party! Anyone have awesome plans??

If you're just sitting at home and hanging out, spend some time reading this thread on Reddit answering the question "What's the nicest thing you've ever done that no one knows about?" Keep some tissues nearby, though, because it's so sweet. It'll fill you with holiday spirit for sure!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On having houseguests

The pine paneling is right, but the rest of the room is nowhere near this nice.

My sister (who will henceforth be referred to as the Kid, as that's what I call her) and her husband, dog, and tortoise are staying with us for approximately two weeks. We have only ever really had overnight guests before (and none of them were reptiles), so this will be an interesting experience for all involved.

As soon as we knew they were coming, we started making plans. Where would they stay? What would they do while we were at work all day? What about their dog, who is a master at finding and eating food that you were certain was safely out of reach?

Not only that, but I wanted to be a gracious hostess. I wanted the Kid and Brian to feel comfortable and welcome. How to make all this happen? Here are some tips I've found helpful: some from a surprisingly-not-terrible Yahoo Shine article, some from the Guru herself, and some just common sense.
  • Think about what your guest might need. The Kid and Brian are in the middle of a cross-country move with three months' worth of possessions, so we rearranged the guest room to include some additional shelving so they wouldn't have to leave all their stuff in the living room or their car.
  • Be clear about expectations. Is the default prospect that they will or won't be joining us for dinner? Do we feed their dog if they aren't home in the evening? Will they be here Christmas morning? Will they be having friends over?
  • ...But don't try to make them commit to a rigid schedule because it makes you more comfortable. Our guests are home to visit all the family in the area, and it was a surprise to everyone but me and Andy. They don't have the whole visit mapped out. Build in some flexibility.
  • Be accommodating without driving yourself crazy. Originally Andy and I had planned to switch to using the downstairs bathroom so our guests could have the one closer to their bedroom, but this would mean a hassle for us every morning. Instead we're all sharing the upstairs bathroom and their tortoise is living in the downstairs bathtub.
    • Similarly, those guys are used to California temperatures, so our house (at 65 degrees) feels REALLY FUCKING COLD to them. Well, we have lots of blankets around, offered them the use of sweaters and slippers, and encouraged them to use a space-heater in their bedroom, rather than pay the upcharge in heating the house to 72 all the time.
  • Make it easy for them. Make sure they know where to find garbage cans, extra toilet paper, Q-tips, the plunger, toothpaste, and so on. What might they need while they're staying? Either keep it out in plain sight, label the cupboard it's in, or include an "instruction manual" on the nightstand with that info.
  • Be sure to set boundaries. This one, to me, is the most situation-specific. We trust my sister and Brian to make sure their dog isn't acting a fool. However, we've had other guests with pets who shit on the carpet after we reminded the guest about keeping an eye on said pet. That pet is no longer welcome to stay with us, because the owner doesn't respect that boundary.
  • Make sure you're having a good time too. You can be gracious without being a servant, and be fun without exhausting your guests.
What tips do you have when hosting? Have you ever had guests for two weeks?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking advantage of the quiet

Image via
My sister and brother-in-law are off surprising his family for the evening, so I'm at home, watching The Santa Clause and starting my Christmas cards. Our dogs (Andy and I have one, and Nikki and Brian have one) are hanging out seeing who can be the first to lose a tooth by chomping too hard on a bone. It's a cozy little picture. I think it's funny to send out weird, sentimental, sappy cards that would be appropriate coming from your maiden aunt, so this year I scored a giant box of weird ones from Dollar General. I pretty much write all the cards, because Andy doesn't care even a little if we don't send them. I think it's fair that if I care if we send them, I get to do the work.

As soon as Andy gets home I'm going to have some Italian lemon cookies for dessert. That's the same general idea pictured above, but putting sprinkles on them is some bullshit for sure and we always tinted our frosting red and green. Man, are they good. We've had these every single year since I was a kid, despite being 0% Italian on either side, and I nicked a whole bunch when we were at my mom's house last night. They are especially good with a cup of tea. Do yourself a favor and try that recipe. And don't put any sprinkles on.

What's your favorite childhood Christmas cookie? What's a lovely more recent find?


Google-image-search "excuses" sometime. This is one of the many bizarre and wonderful things that shows up.

Here are the lame-o reasons I haven't posted on this mofo since Friday:
  • I was in NYC for four of those days, and I can't figure out how to post from my phone. If any of you can help, it would mean NO POST DROUGHT when I'm away. 
  •  Since I got home Monday night, my Google Reader has hovered around 70 unread blog entries. I'm a little behind on all blogs, not just my own. I don't know if that's supposed to make you feel better or just understand how lazy I am.
  • We have gotten 42.7 inches of snow so far this month in my city. This means my usual sixteen-minute commute has taken more than an hour on some days. This means less time blogging.
  • My little sister, who is one of my favorite people ever and who happens to be knocked up, finally made it to our city last night! She's been in CA for the last year and a half where her husband was stationed (Air Force linguist, yeah!) and they didn't think they'd be able to make it home, so they kept it a surprise from everyone but me and Andy! They're staying with us for two weeks. This will likely mean lots of shorter posts in the coming fortnight.
  • I am a lazy asshole.
  • I had to take advantage of the time I had on Monday (before my houseguests arrived) for some alone time with the hubs, if you get my meaning. Which is that we did it. Because my sister and her husband will be sleeping in the next room for fourteen days, and I'd be pissed if I had to hear them doing it. I'm a considerate host, y'all.
So a big thanks to those of you who checked back, and tell your loved ones IT'S BACK ON AROUND HERE.

Friday, December 10, 2010

In the spirit of the season

Do you all love toothpaste for dinner too?
Here is a list of things I will always hate:
  1. The dust at the end of a bag of cereal.
  2. Drying off with a cold, clammy towel.
  3. Bell peppers (but this is because I have a sensitivity to them).
  4. Sausage (because it is the most disgusting food ever).
  5. The feeling of sand between my toes.
  6. Having to walk through slush (happens for five months a year where I live).
  7. Movie adaptations that are unfaithful to the book.
  8. Cars that cut out in front of me and then slow down, especially when there's plenty of room behind me.
  9. The fact that I repeat myself, often, because I have a shitty memory when it comes to interactions with other human beings, but that I can memorize chunks of dialogue the first time I see a movie.
  10. Genocide.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Procrastinating is so much easier than doing stuff.

My train to New York leaves in less than 12 hours. I'll be gone till Monday afternoon. I'm working regular hours Tuesday and Wednesday, and then houseguests are arriving Wednesday night and staying for ten days. Here are some things I should be doing to get ready for my trip or my guests:

  • Folding the laundry I washed yesterday so I could have clean undies all weekend.
  • Cleaning either bathroom, or better yet both bathrooms.
  • Rearranging furniture in the guest room to make room for their stuff.
  • Packing (I have precisely four things packed: a book, two magazines, and my knitting).
  • Putting away some of the clutter than has accumulated in the living room in the last two weeks.
  • Working on the scarf I started with the sole intent of wearing in on this trip that is currently six inches long.
  • Looking up what taking a train is like these days (I haven't been on one since I took one in France in 2005).
  • Figuring out how to schedule posts on this thing, so as not to disappoint my THREE regular readers (Hi, Chicago, Springfield, and Huntington Beach!) (Is that creepy? I use StatCounter (which allows you to map your readers) because I don't trust Blogger's stat feature, and I'm a narcissist at heart so I want to see how many people read this shit.)
Instead, I am:
  • Drinking a beer (Sam Adams Winter Lager for the win!).
  • Blogging, but not bothering to look up that other part about scheduling.
  • Watching Seinfield, which I hate anyway.
  • Texting my sister.
  • ...That's it.

P.S. I looked up the scheduling thing. I now have another reason to procrastinate for a few hours! Yay!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On superpowers

Image via

I had an important conversation with my coworkers today, a conversation I'm sure many of you have participated in: what superpower would you pick? Usually the focus is a choice between flight and invisibility (NPR has asked the question; Facebook has a group dedicated to arguing the point; I've heard it suggested that people who choose invisibility are less trustworthy, because most of the shit you would choose to do while invisible would be frowned upon if you were to do it while visible).

But eff flight and invisibility. I had a vision today while driving back to work from my lunch break. I was going to be late, AGAIN, through no fault of my own, AGAIN, because every year everyone forgets how to drive in the snow. I'm 0-for-3 on being on time to work this week. And it struck me: I want to be able to pause time.

I'm actually kind of pissed that I haven't been working on this in a secret lab for years. It would make my life so much better. Not ready to get up when the alarm goes off? PAUSE. Two more hours of sleep. Running too late to even wolf down a bowl of Lucky Charms over the sink? Pause! Hello, lovely bowl of oatmeal! Other drivers acting like this is the first time it's ever snowed in upstate New York? PAUSE. Zip around them and roll in to work on time.

I've thought about some possible problems that could arise. Yes, I've seen that Adam Sandler movie, and it's the fast-forwarding that gets him in trouble, not the pausing. And I'm not planning to use it so much that I would inexplicably be ten years older than everyone else, but just in case I'm going to start using anti-aging face cream. And the Simpsons episode where Bart and Millhouse mess with everyone? A cautionary tale that I will carry with me. Seriously, I don't think I'd be much of a threat, as my biggest wishes for this superpower are to eat oatmeal and get to work on time.

Someone call SCIENCE and see what you can do to make this happen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wal-Mart is a bizarre place.

From the always-awful People of WalMart
I work around the corner from what they call a "Super Wal-Mart." I'm not 100% clear on what makes this Wal-Mart so superior to other ones, but it's certainly quite large. I try not to go there very often, but it's less than three minutes from work, so I've been known to stop there for things like shampoo or cough drops or whatever on my way to or from work.

Today my WBF (work best friend, duh) Sarah emailed me that she had to run an errand to Wal-Mart on her afternoon break and did I want to come? I was like, YES: I will approach this like I'm a sociologist and I am going to learn everything I can about these people. Turns out it's hard to form a coherent thought about mankind while in a Wal-Mart.

Have you ever been in a Super Wal-Mart less than three weeks before Christmas? It was wild. We were there at 1 pm on a Tuesday and the place was jammed. And the people. The man who looked like Skeletor but with a patchy beard. The woman in the electric cart who waited until I was even with the basket to start driving directly at me like we were bitter enemies. The well-dressed guy in front of us buying a 30-rack of malt liquor and some Dayquil. The mom with a cart full of toys who told her toddler, loudly, to shut up when he started to cry. The cheerful black man dressed as Santa (who I'm 90% sure was not an employee). The surprisingly high number of school-aged kids in the store. The employee who rattled off, Rain-Man style, all the possible places in the store they might keep boot trays (which, it turns out, they were out of).

Ever want to feel pretty good about where you are in life? Spend some time at the Super Wal-Mart this time of year. Suddenly things don't seem so bad.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We have dinner with Andy's parents sometimes.

I did not get him this mug  for Christmas.

Here are possible topics of conversation with Rodger, Andy's dad, with notes as to where he typically is located when raising these topics:
  • Help yourself to a drink if you're thirsty (from his recliner in the living room, to anyone who has entered the house, no matter how far they are from his recliner)
  • How much I paid for the food you are currently eating and how great a deal it was (at the dinner table, every single time we eat there)
  • Have you seen this movie? It's such a good movie (from his recliner, regarding either Gangs of New York or Goodfellas, no matter how many times I inform him that, yes, I've seen them)
  • Did you see that part where [horribly bloody thing happens with lots of detail] (at the dinner table)
  • So-and-so is a nice guy, for a [black man/Jewish man/Puerto Rican man/Catholic/gay/whatever] (from his recliner; he doesn't typically notice when I leave the room when he says shit like this - in his mind, all nice people who don't look and think like him are exceptions to the rule)
  • (Christmas season only) I don't know why you bother with all that futzing around with shopping and stuff. You know what always fits? Cash. And if you don't like it, you can return it to me, HAHAHA. (dinner table/recliner/around the Christmas tree on Christmas day)
  • You thirsty? Grab a drink from the fridge there.
  • Soda. It's in the fridge. Help yourself.
  • Want something to drink? 
  • (Back when I was a vegetarian for the first six years he knew me) Want some ham? HAHAHAHA (from his recliner or the dinner table, whenever he happened to remember I didn't eat meat)
  • Idiots who drive and what I think about them (dinner table, typically)
  • Bowling scores of friends of his I've never met (dinner table)
  • Weather/road conditions he has recently experienced (dinner table or recliner)
I have a game where sometimes I try to see how often I can change the subject without him noticing. I just throw in a sentence or two like we were already talking about it. So far my record is six subjects in fourteen minutes. The only problem with this game is that if I'm engaging and responding, he takes a lot longer to talk himself out and fall asleep in his recliner.

P.S. I feel obliged to note that my husband is absolutely nothing like his father. If he were, he wouldn't be my husband.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I've had enough of this bullshit, Facebook.

I was late to joining the Facebook party. I didn't have an account until last summer, when I joined because my coworkers and I could goof off through it all day (never mind that my boss created an account two months after I did). I don't really like it, but I do like being able to see what out-of-town friends' lives are like.

One of my biggest problems with Facebook is that people think the things they post matter somehow. I first saw it last October when ladies were encouraged to post the color of the bra they were wearing "for breast cancer awareness!!" Of course, this makes no sense, but whatever. Then again this October: "Post the phrase 'I like it' then the place you keep your purse! It will confuse all the guys and raise awareness of breast cancer!"

The thing is, this does absolutely nothing to fight cancer. I'm pretty sure everyone is aware of breast cancer. Reading slightly suggestive posts from people my mom's age is creepy and it doesn't raise a penny for research, or give hope to a woman with cancer, or do anything useful.

So I do my best to ignore that shit when it happens. However, this morning, I see that a dozen or so of my contacts have changed their pictures to cartoon characters "to join the fight against child abuse!" This is not cool. Child abuse prevention is too important to mess around with, and I'm certain that people who buy into this crap on Facebook are less likely to actually give their time or money to agencies desperate for resources.

If you want to actually help fight child abuse, here are some agencies that can give you useful information:
1. New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
2. Bivona Child Advocacy Center. This is a local agency that allows provides counseling and child-friendly spaces for interrogations and examinations. Really, they do amazing things.
3. Child Abuse Prevention Association. Pretty succinct name, no?
4.  Information on becoming a foster parent. Many states have policies that let the parents approve someone they already know as a foster parent. This is especially helpful if you know a kid in a bad situation.

Sorry to get all preachy, y'all, but the victims at that shelter I keep talking about weren't just adults, so this is an issue I'm pretty passionate about.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Five on Friday

Have you ever Google-image-searched the word "weekend"? This is among the results.

Any of you have awesome plans this weekend? Because my inner child is fifty-two years old, I'm planning to finish knitting Andy's sweater and to start a neckwarmer for myself. Maybe I will also have a few beers.

To keep you amused if your weekend is not as exciting as mine, here are some lovely things:
 1. Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares. It's a blog that is awesome and funny and also grammar-related. I love it.
2. Great guy-focused gift guide via A Cup of Jo. My husband would dig most of the things on this list.
3. Subversive cross-stitch kits. My favorite is "Shut your piehole." Almost worth learning cross-stitch for!
4. Fosterhood in NYC. As I mentioned, I worked (for eight years) at a shelter for victims of domestic violence; many of the women I worked with had experiences with foster care. This is a blog written by a girl in her twenties who is a foster-parent in NYC. It's pretty amazing. You should read it.
5. I'm not Jewish, but I'm planning to eat plenty of sufganiyot and latkes anyway. 

Exciting weekend plans? Share them, so I can live vicariously through you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm a delicate flower.

I look just like this, except the "looking like this" part. Image via
  • I have not shaved my legs in just over two weeks.
  • I picked at an ingrown hair in my calf a little while ago until the hair inside shot out like an alien being.
  • I have a huge zit under my lower lip, and, improbably, another on on the back of my goddamn neck. The neck one is big enough that it made wearing a necklace uncomfortable yesterday.
  • I have onion breath and gas from eating Chipotle for lunch.
  • Got home from work and changed from a dress, stockings, and heels into an old college t-shirt, yoga pants, and ridiculous, knee-high, felt-lined Christmas socks.
  • Gonna get half-sloppy on wooly mittens before my husband gets home from his super-shitty day at work, and see if he wants to do it.
  • Chances of success: pretty low.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the season for passive-aggression!

 Note: not my real grandma. Image via

I got my first Christmas card in the mail today, from my paternal grandparents. Here's what my grandma wrote in it:

Like I said to [your brother], I'm sorry you haven't had a chance to visit us. I do know you're both real busy. [Grandpa] is slowing down but we're both doing fine! The years are sure flying by. "Love you," Merry Christmas, [grandma and grandpa].

Really makes me want to hop in the car for the twelve-hour drive it takes to get to her house!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They fired someone at work today.

This is the third person in my department to be fired since I started there less than two years ago. Each time, the reason given was "It wasn't the right fit."

So I spent my day trying to buckle down and work, but instead I posted some videos on my blog about Alec Baldwin and Wegmans. Oops.

Unrelated: I know it's not a new thing or anything, but leggings without long shirts are still not cute. I saw a girl at the mall wearing super-tight leggings and a short-ish coat, and I could see every lump in her butt flesh. Not appealing.

Why I love Alec Baldwin and also Wegmans.

How do you all feel about grocery shopping? I am lucky enough to have been raised near Wegmans. Everyone loves Wegmans. I'm not kidding. When my grandparents come visit from Maine, they go to Wegmans to stock up; friends who have moved away request that visitors bring Wegmans-brand cereal and pasta sauce. Even Alec Baldwin's mom loves Wegmans (the relevant store stuff starts at 2:00):

So Wegmans, of course, contacted Baldwin, who agreed to do a series of commercials for Wegmans! It's pretty great.

How do you feel about your grocery store? Are you passionate about Stop-and-Shop or Meijer or whatever?
P.S. I have no idea why the videos seem extra wide. Any blog-nerds want to tell me how to make them the right size? Thanks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

What the Chief Enthusiasm Officer taught me

This could be my office if we were made into legos. Image via

In order, here are the jobs I've held:
1. Babysitter. Regular gig for two kids, plus lots of occasional jobs.
2. Receptionist at a gym (this is hysterically funny for people who know me). The gym was owned by the father of the two kids I regularly sat for. It was a very small, shitty gym. One of our regular customers often used our phone to order pizza to pick up on her way home.
3. Receptionist at a hair salon. Owned by a client at the gym. I wasn't old enough to drive, so I rode with her the forty minutes each way. This was a bad idea. I also once had to pick out an anniversary card for her husband, whom she did not like. Also a bad idea. Benefit: free haircuts and dyes.
4. Playgroup facilitator at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. "Playgroup facilitator" is a fancy way of saying I made decent money (I was paid out of a grant) to play with kids. The facility was chronically understaffed, which led to a lot of burnout, but kids are pretty great no matter what they've been through. Benefits: I left each day appreciating that, no matter how shitty things were going, I was not in fear of my life at any point during my day; I got to play with a lot of babies.
5. English teacher for high school, then middle school (the move to middle school was not voluntary). Overall exactly what you'd expect. The district I worked in is on its sixth superintendent in six years. The principal had a habit of "making an example" of teachers who didn't toe the line she wanted them to. Guess who her "example" was my last year there? I quit. Benefits: I got to talk about metaphors and Oxford commas; I discovered that middle schoolers are in fact human, mostly. [Note: yes, I write like this, and yes, I taught English. I know.]
6. Editor. Basically, I edit laws to get them ready for publication. It is not an exciting job, at all, but I'm pretty good at it and we have internet access, so that's nice. Benefits: pretty decent salary; no real dress code; I'm paid to read stuff all day, even if it's stuff I wouldn't read by choice.

So on my way home every day, I pass a Little Ceasars pizza place on a busy intersection. They pay some teenage dude to stand at the intersection and act like a maniac to get attention for the business. We refer to this kid as the Chief Enthusiasm Officer, because he seriously seems like he has never had more fun in his life than standing in the cold with a boombox and a pizza sign. In the summer, he played a cardboard guitar with their slogan on it, and I once watched him pause in rocking out really hard to pretend to tune the cardboard guitar. Genius. Sometimes he wears a mullet wig; once he wore a werewolf costume. Today he was wearing a Santa hat and beard, and gesticulating, opera-singer-style, to Christmas carols. And I thought, I have not been that excited about my job since I quit teaching.

I guess it's time to start looking into getting another teaching gig, huh?

What jobs have you loved? Hated? Been really enthusiastic about?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On holiday shopping

Image via

How do you handle holiday shopping? I've already talked about the great deals I got yesterday, but I wonder how other people go about giving and getting gifts.

What do you do about getting gifts you don't like? Do you keep them, in case the giver ever asks about them? Or do you regift unabashedly? I have gotten some doozies of weird gifts - like last year's kitty stationary (I'm SO not a cat person), or the jello-for-every-holiday cookbook I know I'm getting this year - that just begged to be regifted.

I'm trying a new thing this year: asking specifically for particular items. It's a little weird at first, and it will mean fewer surprises on Christmas morning, but I think perhaps it's worth it if I end up getting presents I won't either donate or be confused about.

For the record, the kitty stationary was a top gift at last year's white elephant gift exchange. And the jello book is looking like a strong contender for this year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Do you all do the Black Friday thing? We do. If I am willing to get my butt out of bed early enough, I can get twice as much awesome stuff for people I love! It seems worth it to me, but then, I am one of those people who actually love the mall this time of year, so your mileage may vary on this one.

I spent a total of $207.96 and got:
  • A Samsung Fascinate for myself (it's a $500 phone, and I paid $0.96 for it. That is not a typo.)
  • New sheets and pillows for our bed (I napped with these after I got home)
  • The sweater my sister-in-law asked for at 60% off
  • Two baby-bump-friendly shirts for my sister at 50% off (The whole Gap was 50% off! Everything!)
  • Smart-touch gloves for my brother
  • Two shirts and a sweater for my mom at 50% off
  • A few nice things for Andy on sale
  • Several pine-scented candles to help me pretend our fake tree (which goes up on Wednesday!) is real
  • And a wool-blend and two wool v-neck sweaters and a silver belt for myself!
I mean, it's obviously about me a little bit, too.

Did you hit the stores this morning? Any great finds??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Obligatory Holiday Post

I really like roasted marshmallows. Always have. So about seven years ago, Andy's grandma made sweet potatoes with pineapple and other stuff, topped with marshmallows, especially for me at Thanksgiving. The thing is, I hate sweet potatoes. They are the worst. And to me, pineapple is not a food that belongs on the holiday table. But Grandma was old, and it was nice of her to remember I liked marshmallows, so I pretended I loved 'em, and always thanked her and everything.

Every year for the last seven years, there have been fucking sweet potatoes with marshmallows and pineapple on the table for EVERY HOLIDAY. Easter. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year's. And every year, I've pretended to like them. My trick is to take a big scoop that's mostly marshmallow, with a thin layer of sweet potato, then flip it onto my plate so it looks like a big scoop of potato, then eat from the bottom and get mostly mallow.

So Andy's grandma passed away last year, and I thought I'd finally be free of the sweet potatoes.

We went to Andy's uncle's house for Thanksgiving dinner today, and his uncle's girlfriend made me sweet potatoes, because she knew how much I loved them when Grandma made them. She even spent half an hour at the store trying to find the mini-marshmallows for the top.

So this year, I'm thankful for being honest and admitting that I hate sweet potatoes, and for hopefully never having to pretend to like another sweet potato.

Although it did mean that I had Andy's mom and his uncle's girlfriend razz me ALL EVENING about the goddamn sweet potatoes. If I don't have to see them next month, it'll all be worth it.

What're you grateful for this year?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-holiday festivites

Image via

So yesterday I had a nice, quiet evening of pie-baking and sweater-knitting planned. Instead, I got the pies made then went to a bar to hear my friend's band play (I didn't know about the show until very last minute). I brought my knitting with me and made the bouncer* hold it while I looked for my ID, which was terrific. While we were there, a whole bunch of my "group" from high school** arrived from out of town. They were too late for the band, but not too late for beers and catching up! It was great, despite being very unexpected.

 Tonight we're going to a dessert party at Andy's cousin's new house***, then probably stopping at the bars in my hometown on the way back to our house. So Andy's sweater isn't going to be done to wear to dinner tomorrow, but we are going to have fun and see people we don't see very often. I guess it's a satisfactory trade-off!

*Picture a skinny Hells Angel. He just looked at it, confused, while I dug through my purse.
**Full disclosure: I was not an integral member of said group, really.
***I baked a coconut cream pie!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday travel

Warning: This post is probably pretty boring.

I'm planning a trip to New York City next month, so I can pretend I'm in Home Alone 2, and I'm wondering about this whole new scanning/pat-down thing. The airports I'll be flying in AND out of have the new machines, and I'm pretty sure I'm not cool signing off on the government seeing me naked. (Find out if your airport has a backscatter full-body scanner here.)

I do have the option of taking a train for slightly less money, but that takes six hours or more, and I'm only going for a few days, so I can't decide if it's the trade-off in time.

The options, as far as I can tell, are:
A. Fly ($158 round trip if I buy right now). Take three hours each way, at most, not including airport time. Either let someone see an image of my naked body or have an invasive physical pat-down.
B. Take a train ($138 round trip). Take seven hours each way, at least.
C. Take a Greyhound bus ($100 round trip). Take eight hours or leave before 5am.

UGH. Anyone have to get one of those pat-downs? Do you think it's a violation of your right to avoid unreasonable search, or are people just making a big fuss over nothing?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2010 gift guides

The husband and I like to spend Sunday mornings in our pjs eating pancakes and reading the paper. This week we started trying to figure out Christmas presents for family: his parents, my parents, my siblings and their spouses, his sister, his other sister and her boyfriend. So far, we have all of one present purchased! Andy hates going to the mall and wandering around without specific items in mind, so I'm spending some time looking at gift guides online today for inspiration. Here are a few I've found helpful:

1. Karmaloop Women's Holiday 2010 Gift Guide. Really, this one's for me. None of the ladies I'm related to are overly girly, so I'm left coveting the Triangle Ring from the "Jingle Bell Rock" guide and half the stuff on the pink one.

2. Treehugger's 2010 Guides. Ten different guides to choose from with at least ten items per list - that's over 100 ideas! I'm thinking I'll find something appropriate for almost everyone on my list, and every item is earth-friendly.

3. 8 Etsy Shops With Great Gift Ideas. One of Real Simple's holiday guides. Hooray for supporting independent artisans!

4. Design Mom's Gift Guide: Cozy. Two of our sets of recipients have moved or will move recently, so what better to give than a nice, cozy make-it-feel-like home gift? (I can't wait for the rest of Gabrielle's guides!)

What gift guides do you get inspired by? Please share, so I can start crossing names off this list!

Friday, November 19, 2010


 Image via

This was a weird week for me. Monday and Tuesday were grumpy, Wednesday was great, yesterday and today were somewhere in between. Most of it boils down to a situation at work that I'm stressing over: it seems a customer was taken to task by her supervisor and tried to blame mistakes she made on me (when my work was 100% accurate). This means I've spent lots of time explaining the situation to senior employees in my department and my boss, and I'll be "sitting in on" a meeting with the customer (and the person who did the taking-to-task) in a few weeks. But I'm a worrier, to put it very mildly, so every I email I send about this stupid thing makes me more and more anxious.

So! Super glad to be done with that nonsense for a few days, and that next week is a short week with a lovely holiday.

Tonight we're going out to dinner with good friends, and Google has me pretty well convinced that the restaurant we're planning to go to is closed. So it looks like we'll be having an adventure this evening!

What are your tricks to defeat a week like that? How do you handle stress at work?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A list for Thursday

I've been knitting like a maniac on a sweater for my husband, because I've decided that if I can finish the sweater by Thanksgiving, I can knit the pair of socks he's requested by Christmas. Never mind that I have a week to do most of both sleeves, all the blocking, and all the seaming, or that I've never knit a sock before, or that he has size 13 feet. If I believe, anything can happen, right??

So here's a list of books that I currently have checked out of the library, which will be languishing in neglect for at least another week:
1. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand. Borrowed entirely on the strength of an interview with brand that was surprisingly funny, and which mentioned that he's in two projects with Helen Mirren. Turns out Brand is funny and intelligent. Whether he is a good writer remains to be seen.
2. Classy by Derek Blasberg. I'm a huge fan of etiquette (my bridesmaids wore tea-length dresses because the wedding was before noon) and etiquette books, and this looked like it might be an amusing rehashing or reimagining of etiquette for modern-day issues. From the little I've read, it's also an excuse for the author to name-drop all the famous people he's ever met, ever, in his famous-person-filled life.
3. Knitting 24/7 by Veronik Avery, who is one of my favorite knitwear designers. I have flipped through this book, picked out about a dozen patterns I'd love to start, and added it to my Christmas list. There's no way I'll just be able to check this out whenever I want to: I was ninth in the holds list when I first tried to get it.
4. Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. I didn't realize this was all sewing patterns, and some of the projects are far too granola-earth-mother-nonsense for me (there are patterns for both cloth diapers and a "women's cloth," which is a reusable, washable pad. Not my style), but the styling and photography are lovely.
5. Greetings from Knit Cafe by Suzan Mischer. Another one added to the Christmas list! I like that it includes little side-note things, like recipes and tips on proper technique, mixed in with the patterns. I must add, though, that I am certain that the world didn't need yet another pattern for a knitted bikini.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

True Life episodes in which I could star

True Life: My Husband Gets Annoyed When I Don't Wear Pants But Leave the Blinds Open
True Life: I'm a Middle Child 
True Life: I'm Not Very Good At Loading the Dishwasher

True Life: I Have a Boring Job But It's Okay, I Guess
True Life: I Pay a Mortgage
True Life: I Am a Female Who Typically Prefers Beer to Wine, As Long As It's Not an IPA
True Life: I'm More Than a Foot Shorter Than My Husband
True Life: I Read Really Fast, But Not Like Speedreaders Or Whatever
True Life: I'm In a Really Happy Marriage
True Life: I Could Stand To Lose Some Weight, But Come On, Who Couldn't?
True Life: I Use My Local Library So Much, I Have My Card Number Memorized
True Life: I Really Like Christmas Movies
True Life: My Dog Keeps Sniffing the Same Spot on the Garage Floor In A Way That Makes Me Suspicious
True Life: I Watched Six Episodes of 30 Rock Online Today

Pretty much just waiting for the call to make one or all of these.

What True Life episodes could you star in?

P.S. Just read the Wikipedia page for this show, and it turns out pretty much any of these could legitimately be a topic. How strange.

Monday, November 15, 2010

If looks could really kill, then my profession would be staring

I'm grumpy today. I guess it's somewhere between the mean reds and a no-good, very bad day, except that my day wasn't really all that bad.

Annoying things that happened today:
1. Someone entered my husband's unlocked car and stole his iPod.
2. A customer responded to my "Ok, it's past the deadline and you haven't responded in four months!" email WITHIN TEN MINUTES to point out a typo and also to send me more materials.
3. I had a long, boring meeting. Maybe 3% of what we talked about applied to me.
4. I was informed that I made the same careless mistake in four places over the last week. Not really a huge deal, but irritating nonetheless.
5. Some jerk on a cellphone cut me off in order to slam on his brakes and then turn into a church. Seriously.
6. It was dark when I left work at 4:42.

Usually, I'd laugh this stuff off (okay, maybe not #1) but today I just stayed grumpy all day. But I've thought up some possible cures:
A. Stay home, eat some of my mom's homemade beef stew, watch a movie, and knit.
B. Go to the mall and window-shop (or actually shop). I am one of a select group of people who actually love the mall when it's full of Christmas hustle and bustle. I'm not kidding, and it's in a completely non-ironic way.
C. Go see The Other Guys, which we didn't see the other night.
D. Talk Andy into going for a walk with the dog, because it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week.

Any thoughts? What about you - do you have a sure-fire way to cheer yourself up?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Awkward and awesome: text messages

Original message from me to three friends: Plans tonight? Cancel them. We're having a bonfire.

Awesome reply from Friend #1: I'm in NYC. Be there in 8 hours. Keep my burger warm.

Reply from Friend #2: What time? I'm going out to dinner and that play I told you about, but I'll call you after.

My very awkward reply: We're going to dinner then lighting shit on fire afterward. Not sure of an exact time but maybe 8ish. Have fun slash see you later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Five on Friday

I'm looking forward to this evening, as it will involve a trip to a bookstore and a second-run movie (do you all have a second-run theater? I think we're going to see The Other Guys.). It is unusual that we're doing anything on a Friday night. I think, in spite appearances to the contrary, we are in fact homebodies at heart.

For fun, here are five blogs I never miss:
1. Yes and Yes
2. Smaggle Style
3. Not That Kind of Girl
4. Hyperbole and a Half
5. KnittyBlog

Summary: I like funny, well-written blogs, mostly about being awesome in general. I can assure you that I do, in fact, read blogs by dudes, too - it's just that these five blogs always get it right.

Enjoy your Friday night!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The only appropriate way to wear clogs

Until about four minutes ago, I was 100% anti-the return of clogs. Now I'm only 99% anti.

Via Kierstendarling, via 24 Free Dinners

First CD purchase in about two years.

Have you all been listening to Cee-Lo Green? His new CD came out yesterday, and it lives up to the hype created by his single "Fuck You." But my new favorite is the oh-so-subtle "Love Gun."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two dilemmas

1. On my lunch break today I ran errands: specifically, I had to get gas and go to the library. On my way to get gas, I passed a truck on the side of the road. About a quarter-mile further, I passed its owner, a 60-something-year-old man, trudging along with a gas can on a busy road, thumb stuck out hopefully.

I didn't stop for him. I still feel awful about this. The poor old guy. And I was literally on my way to a gas station, less than two miles down the road. I did see a cop heading his direction, and the truck wasn't there on my way back to work, so I hope everything worked out fine.

2. Everyone on my "team" at work has a goal of editing ten pages an hour on a good day. Obviously this doesn't always happen. Today I realized that I had already edited 80 pages for the day and still had 42 minutes. Should I have started a new task, raising the bar perhaps uncomfortably high? Or should I have spent the 42 minutes looking at the Talbots Holiday Look Book?

I guess only one of these stories had a happy ending. Since when does Talbots look really awesome? I would wear 70% of the stuff in there.


I've been commenting on other blogs lately more than ever before, and linking them back to this thing, because that's what the internets told me to do if I want people to read this thing.

I don't usually comment because I never feel like my comments will get read by the person who posted, or nothing I say is going to make any difference, or I'm too shy (which, if you know me in real life, is a giant joke). So I commented on a post over at Design Mom today, and GABRIELLE COMMENTED BACK AND USED MY NAME.

I know this is the most ridiculous post in the world, but for four seconds, someone famous read something I wrote and responded to it, nicely.

If you want to see it, I'm Commenter No. 2.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why I stay inside on Halloween

Husband: I'm surprised you want a bedskirt so much. [Pause] Don't you know that'll hide the boogeyman?

Me: Psh. You're assuming I'd be brave enough to look under the bed, ever, instead of jumping in from several feet away. So I guess the joke's on you, isn't it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

"I know it's not Hoover Dam. The Puritans made that."

I just saw Due Date, and let me tell you, I have so much to learn about being awkward.

I wonder if Zach Galifianakis is taking apprentices.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hello there, weekend!

Pretty psyched about this evening: going to an awesome Mexican restaurant with my best friend, who is home from Boston, and my husband while my car - a super-sweet, no-power-anything 2002 Corolla - gets its windows tinted. So I can roll up on thirteens with some super-dark tint, blasting soft rock classics like "Tiny Dancer." Impresses the hell out of other drivers at red lights.

This'll make my cassette deck a little more gangster, no?

Well, probably not, but it does make it a little less obvious when I pick my nose while I'm driving.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pro tip for bakers

Don't grind up whole cloves in your mortar and pestle unless you want your kitchen to smell like Lilith Fair for several hours.

Things I am good at and also not so good at.

Things I am good at:
Eating more junk food than is appropriate
Telling long stories that sometimes have a point, but mostly don't
Memorizing chunks of  movie dialogue the first time I see a movie
Hanging out with kids - seriously, any gathering where there are children, they will find me and be ready to hang out within four minutes of my arrival.

Things I am not so good at:
Giving a shit if my lawn is 90% covered in leaves
Eating a balanced diet for more than three days in a row
Remembering that I've already told you that story. Twice. Since yesterday.

It's rainy outside, so my evening will be spent knitting and baking pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies and watching Season 5 of The Office on DVD, instead of using a snow shovel to clear up some of the leaves in my backyard like I did yesterday.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween highlights.

My husband's family gets really, really into Halloween. I don't. Neither does my father-in-law, Rodger, so instead of helping create a haunted house in the garage, I stayed inside. With Rodger. Here are my observations, as recorded by a series of real-time text messages I sent to my sister.
5:14. I've decided not to spend Halloween outdoors in the 40° weather, which means I'm spending it indoors with Rodger instead. New low: he just tried to talk to me from the bathroom. Important message that couldn't wait fifty seconds: There's some pumpkin pie by the stove there. It's pretty good.
5:25. He just literally tossed my birthday card at me.
5:30. He is eating chili in his recliner in the living room, and has newspaper spread across his lap. For the spills. It's like watching grandpa eat towards the end.
5:33. It is barely five thirty and he has already suggested twice that I can help myself to chili. He was very surprised when I suggested that people might not be hungry yet.
6:07. Reassuring fact: Rodger firmly believes that second-hand smoke is "a real thing".
6:35. Laughing out loud at [a text from my sister]. Which is convenient, as it downs out Rodger's "List of foods and drinks you can help yourself to". This is recitation number six.
6:43. And for the third time, he is listing all the recent vehicular deaths in the area, with speculation as to cause and/or the involvement of alcohol.
7:34. Rodger is now explaining to me how Rochester used to be a mini-Manhattan. I am fairly sure he's never seen Manhattan.
7:47. He just told me the dog, who is sleeping, knows we're talking about him (we weren't), then asked him if he did. The dog, obviously, said nothing.
8:26. Just treated to a second description of some big house he delivered to, including wild guesses as to cost and full description of the multiple garages. Theorized cost of a big house in [small upstate town]: "At least four million."
8:37. Now he's explaining how it's not worth "all the mess" to have Thanksgiving when the kids aren't home, but that Kathy wants to so he lets her have her way.
8:50. Kathy told him to "shove it" when he wouldn't stop talking about how much of a hassle Thanksgiving is. Very awkward for the six other people in the room.
9:29. Rodger: You should take that costume of the dog. You're taking away his manhood. Katie [Andy's little sister, who flew home for Halloween], loudly: You were in here watching figure skating! You can't talk about manhood. [Note: did not tell either of them that "manhood" often refers to anatomy.]
10:04. Home. THANK GOD.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hello, blog world.

Well, I just got the memo that it is 2010 and everyone who's anyone (hello, Kid Sister) has a blog. So here's mine. Why "Making It Awkward"? 

If you have to ask, you've clearly never seen me dance.