Sunday, February 27, 2011

Super Effin' Fabulous Academy Awards Party *Tonight*

In my dreams, this is what I am saying/writing:

So sorry my dear, I wish I could write a longer post, but I am much, much too busy working with the caterer to make sure my edible gold Academy award statuettes and Crudités are ready to be placed upon the buffet for my spectacular Academy Awards party tonight. Sorry, I wish there were more openings for you to attend, but I am certain, absolutely certain you would find such a high brow soiree a complete and total bore, dahling.



In reality, I will probably lay on the couch in my see-no-yoga yoga pants half asnooze, hoping to come to life to wipe the slobber off of my couch pillow to see Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Movie, etc.




Unfortunately, my timing will be off so I will probably be jarred to life just in time to see the award presented for Best Sound Mixing. Or that time when they talk about how the Academy ballot system works. Time for some more Thin Mints out of the freezer, methinks! (Hey, who slobbered on this pillow? Kids are so gross)

Sadly, I haven't even seen but one of the major movies nominated this year. I HAVE seen a shitload of 5th grade basketball games however. So while I can speak in detail about the Orange Crush whipping ass and having said ass whipped by other throngs of 5th graders, I've got nothing on the movies, for the  most part.

I considered spending this entire weekend going to movie after movie, since some of the Academy movies were/are here, but A) what am I, childless? and B) what am I, a millionaire? C) what am I, paying close enough attention to realize only the King's Speech is still here?

I was able to catch The Social Network last night, and while I am not sure it was as life changing as Facebook itself, it was a compelling story and the acting was as expected.

The actor playing an almost Asperger-like Zuckerberg did a great job of portraying a lonesome kid who has a tough time making connections with people, but no trouble making computer connections. I was reminded of my Engineer post, and the often heard joke

"Engineers: they know 1,000 ways to fuck, but don't know any women" (sorry, Mom).

I thought the Winklevoss brothers Zuckerberg is accused of stealing the Facebook idea from were are a little bit contrived, and make me think of  every John Hughes rich pretty boy character from the 80's. However, after looking them up, they do in fact, look like the preppy douches portrayed. Good work, casting!
Special Agent actually walked by this photo and asked "are those girls??"

Justin T. does a good (but nothing spectacular job) of being the coattail riding sleaze Ryan Parker of Napster fame. I definitely felt bad for the one true friend of Zuckerberg, who truly gets screwed in the movie. I hope his unpublished settlement was worth being cut out.

I can't help but wonder how accurate the story is. While the settlements were factual, there is no telling how much of the rest of the movie is, especially since Mark Zuckerberg hasn't spoken about what isn't true in the movie, just that it isn't a true representation. In any case, it is completely interesting to me, as a current Facebook addict.

Still, it doesn't seem that it is worth a gold statue. Of course, what would I know? Its the only movie in the bunch that I've seen.

Enjoy the Academy Awards tonight, Dahlingzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

**By the way, my pal JS actually got to go to the awards with her Techie-amazing husband, and got to walk on the red carpet. She rocks. Me and my socks, not so much. ***

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Repel Engineers


An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, safety and cost. The word engineer is derived from the Latin root ingenium, meaning "cleverness".
Engineers are grounded in applied sciences, and their work in research and development is distinct from the basic research focus of scientists. The work of engineers forms the link between scientific discoveries and the applications that meet the needs of society.

(This makes them sound much easier to work with than they are.)

Dear Engineers,


When you are speaking to me, do I look slightly terrified?
Because I am.


Do I look as if I am considering running away?
Because I am.


Please don't take it personally, I feel this way whenever I talk to someone who thinks on such a different level than I do. And. I am afraid you will ask me a lot of questions I don't know the answer to, confirming that I am as big of a bullshit artist as you supposed I was. I'd hate to confirm that.






I don't TRY to avoid Engineers. OK, that's a lie. Sometimes I do. They make me NERVOUS, and I feel that there is always going to be a test at the end, or I am going to be asked to formulate my blabbering into a six page report, complete with proof. And while I luuurve research, I dislike technical data. I like to think big picture, and those detail guys drive me to drink.


I used to have a boss who said "don't tell me about the labor pains, girl. Just SHOW ME THE BABY..".  Exactly, Bob.


Until recently, i have been up to my eyebrows in Engineers and their lack of soft skills. When I try to crack wise to ease the tension, they look at me quizzically. They do not smile. They do not laugh. They do not speak sarcasm, my native tongue. They take my joking seriously, and ask "do you really think so?" Um...no.


For several years, I worked in Public Affairs,  which included working with employee volunteers, community outreach, engaging elected officials and event planning. These are things that engineers disliked and thought was a huge waste of time. It did not factor into production directly. In fact, it was seen as a waste. I was wasteful. I was a waste. I was forced to meet with them regularly and waste more of their time giving them a peppy update while they looked at the clock behind my head and tried to ignore their ringing phone instead of me, overusing the word "SUPER!".




:-|


I don't blame them. They can't see how our giving away donations to local charities and glad-handing the local elected officials paves the way for their upcoming projects. There is no way to measure it. It doesn't calculate. It does not compute.




Several of my friends are married to engineers and I know they see me giving them the chicken eye when we are in a group setting. I am just WAITING for them to catch onto one minute detail of my yap-yap-yap and call me on it. They are listening MUCH to intently to whatever I am yammering on about and I am terrified they will say "what is your basis for that theory, Onion?" and I will literally, truly, turn and sprint away.

Or do that Twix commercial thing, where they shove both pieces of the candy bar in their gob and then stand there helplessly.




Traveling and working with them, I also learned some other basic differences, including:


1. Engineers figure out how to split the bill, including the tip (standard 15%) to the PENNY.


The Onion guesses by taking the total bill, roughly calculating 10% and then roughly doubling that number (waitresses like to see me coming)


Carry the sugar...
www.educationalflashcards.com




2. Engineers explain locations using GPS, maps, or saying travel due North 13.6 miles before turning west and traveling 7.5 miles and then taking the left fork and traveling back east 3 miles...


The Onion needs immobile landmarks (cow herds travel about and can't be trusted) like "turn at the broken green gate and travel until you see the water tank with the giant penis spray-painted on the side. Turn there and go a long way until you go over the big hill with the Dr. Seuss tree at the top.




Where my sister's ex lives. Feel free to TP his house.

 This is not to say that I didn't like some of the crazy engineers I worked with. All were good guys, and committed to trying to help me, if they could only figure out exactly what the hell I wanted from them. I felt the same way, so often we were at an impasse. They said "Onion, just let us know exactly what we can do to help you guys out..(looking at watch)" and I said stupid things like  "we just want to support the field operations, Jim! (note peppy PR smile). 






One thing I am enjoying thus far in my consulting career is that I am no longer feeling tortured or making engineers feel tortured by my ramblings. Instead, I torture you guys.


what?...I don't mean anything by that.
..it isn't really a theory...just my..
No...it was...well, it was just a joke...
No, I mean it was just for cracking wise on the blog...
What's a blog? oh, um...its just this silly thing.
No, it isn't related to the project.
Really, just forg...
Sigh.


((running away))

Random Thought of the Day

Watching episodes of Hoarders makes me feel very tidy and organized.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

I like soup. A lot.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sick Day

My sweet Baboo is home sick today.

She was up and raring to go to open gym this morning when....nope, she decided to throw up instead.

Open gym out.
Throwing up in.

So here we are, couched up, watching back episodes of Glee, Top Chef and other shows we like. We are sharing a blankie and she is rocking the IPOD touch while I do a little work, and a little blog'n. It's cold outside, so I can certainly think of worse places to be right now.

I remember staying home sick back in the day. My Mom didn't work outside of our home when I was small and I remember wanting to stay with her. Continuously. My teacher's name was Mrs. Klein, and I loved her so much, but she was no match for having my Mom all to myself.

I learned quickly that if I went to the nurse THREE times, she would call my Mom to come and get me. It was tough to keep asking Mrs. Klein to go to the nurse, but she was so nice that she let me. The nurse would ask what was wrong and I would explain a generalized malaise. When she asked "do you want to call your Mom?", I tried not to smile when I nodded.

My status was a Platinum level user


My Mother didn't let us have soda and one thing I remember so clearly about staying home was having 7 Up. And processed saltine crackers (I still think of them as a comfort food. Love. Them. ). This was the rule of stomachache, and I reveled in it. Laying on the couch with a blanket, watching game shows, my Mom doing her thing around the house, and occasionally checking on me. She was mine. Allllll mine. My siblings were at boring old school ((sticking tongue out))

But ol' Sandy was no dummy. If too many sick days occurred, she started throwing out the doctor threat. Subtly at first, and then with gusto. She knew this would break me. Amped up on 7 up and white flour, I would sort of FORGET that I was supposed to be sick, and give myself away.

Me:                Jumping up and down on the couch while watching "Let's Make                          A Deal"
Sandy:            Oh...I see you are feeling better..
Me:                ((Slumping down immediately with the big eyes)) uhhh, a little                              bit..
Sandy:            Oh Good, because if you don't get well, we will have to go see                           Dr. Pat.
Me:                I think I just need to rest
Sandy:            I'm SURE you will be well enough for school tomorrow                                      ((staring pointedly with the big eyes))
Me:                I hope so. (Clutching crackers and jelly jar of 7Up)

Dammit! The Dr. Pat card....mean. She knew I knew that Dr. Pat would would know I wasn't sick, or might think I WAS and give me a big shot or something. Sigh. Back to school. I am trading in my 7Up for a lukewarm milk carton. Sigh, sigh, sigh. At least Mrs. Klein would be there.

My sweet Baboo is wolfing down raviolis , so suffice to say I think she will make it. I am also peeling myself off of the couch and trading in my DVR remote for a community meeting. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Sick day is OVER.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dammit People! Now, I'm Injured...

I think I am injured.
Yes, really.
No, it isn't from exercising. Duh.I don't work that hard.

It's crackenberry-itis. Yes, it is.













No relation to Frankenberry-itis.














And CERTAINLY not dingleberry-itis.










Two years of 50+ emails a day, travel to hell and back, lap-topping in every podunk airport chair and cramped plane seat, riddled with constant anxiety.... and nothing. My wrists felt dreamy.  Five months of consulting (much of that time spent cooking) and I am benched.

At first I thought I must have done something acute to my arm. I felt pain with I lifted plates from the cabinet and whisking eggs, butter and sugar together was a real chore! I thought for sure it was a truffle rolling injury, or carrying the grocery bags full of butter up the stairs to the kitchen. But, it remained. Nagging. Fleeting.

I decided to blame it on the whisking (WhiskING, not WhisKEY, people - pay attention). But the pain came and went. I knew enough about repetitive trauma to know that this was a swelling of the carpal tunnel of my wrist . I didn't tell anyone that I suspected the crackberry addiction had finally done me in. And I continued to crack away...allll dayyyy long.

My arm hurts from my elbow down, yet I used my limp arm and hand to google my condition and I found this

Are You Suffering From Blackberry Syndrome??

I sent the info to Special Agent (on my blackberry) and came clean as to my suspicions for my injury. As you could imagine, he was terribly worried, and wrote back:


As per the article I suggest you massage and stretch thoroughly before you your daily crackberry addiction. Possibly consider waiting until after you fully open your eyes while laying in bed before you start facebooking, texting, blogging, "researching", tweeting and twating. ...

Blackberry yoga might be another possible solution..















I can't tell you what I wrote back to Special Agent.













I have been trying to crack with my left hand, but it just isn't panning out (insert many masturbation jokes here). I am even trying to lay off the crack (Insert more masturbation jokes here), but to no avail. I need that thing. More than masturbation, even. (Sorry, even i couldn't resist).

I am too cheap to see a Doctor who will tell me that I need to lay off the crack. For now, I am pretending I have tennis elbow, from my extensive tennis career.

I am also considering an IPOD Touch, or a Droid. Next up, touch pad-itis. (Insert mas...oh, never mind.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"That's Today for Ya!" (A Thanksgiving story and #3 of 3 trips down memory lane)


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2006

I worked at a grocery store through high school. It was a good job for a student; it didn't require a hairnet, or saying the phrase "you want fries with that?" The only downside was that grocery stores bring on all kids of freaks. Everyone has to eat, right? 

Need fruits and vegetables, cans of Spam; Normal people? Yes. 

Freaks? Hell yes.

One particular guy visited regularly and scared the crap out of me. He was a big guy that dressed like a logger, or the guy from movies you see that "works on the docks" (In Wyoming?); he even wore the cap for it.


Add some scraggly stubble, a plaid shirt
and the crazy eyes, and....this is his mug shot
after my murder.

 He always came stomping through the door, with the look of mental illness on his face. He had that crazy-wild-eyed thing going on, eyes going in different directions or something. And, this guy was continually PISSED OFF. He seemed to be particularly angry at the young, gorgeous (okay, average looking) high school girl working the register. I tried to go on break when this guy would storm in, but the best I could do usually was the primo distraction of cleaning the bathrooms. Every time I was in the bathroom, (cleaning the mirror instead of the toilets for 35 minutes) I would expect to hear the shooting of my co-worker that was not as wise as me to hide out.

On Thanksgiving, all of the students had to work the holiday shifts instead of the adults. It was relatively quiet in the store, since most people were home enjoying their families. I didn't mind working, since a day with the family for a high school kid is kind of like a trip to Shady Acres Retirement Home. 

The store on holiday watch was an escape; almost no one came in, the supervisors were mostly absent, and you could read all of the magazines without paying for them. This is what I was accomplishing when the automatic door whooshed open and "crazy eyes" came in. Oh crap. I looked for an escape route, but I was the only one around. My counterparts in grocery checking were already hiding out somewhere. I was stuck. 

I watched him storm down the aisle. He seemed particularly fired up that day, his boots were really stomping around. He was wearing this dirty coat and I imagined him later throwing it over my dead, crumpled grocery uniform-wearing corpse.

I could hear the stomping and grumbling above the muzak over the loud speakers, as crazy was getting items. I was staring at my ugly uniform pants when he seemed to pop up out of nowhere.... grimacing. Eeeeek.  He was in my line, inches away from me! His dirty coat arms were filled with cans of corn - he must have had 20 of them! I scooted behind my register and waited for the onslaught of gunfire. 

The cans of corn were losing their seating in his arms and began to fall onto the scanner area. When one fell, he would yell "WELL, THAT'S TODAY FOR YA!!!" and set it upright. This would cause another can to fall, and then another. This wasn't that freaky, except that HE KEPT SAYING IT. And the cans kept falling. I just stood there, frozen:

"WELL, THAT'S TODAY FOR YA!" (thunk.) 
"WELL, THAT'S TODAY FOR YA!! (thunk.) 
"WELL, THAT'S TODAY FOR YA!!" (hesitation while cans stabilized) (thunk.). 

It seemed to go on for 20 seconds or 20 minutes. My fight or flight mechanism was telling me to haul ass, but instead I scanned the 20 cans of corn at lightening speed, crammed them in a bag and took the money from Captain Crazy, who was still muttering about the cans. I gave him the change, trying to avoid any skin to skin contact. I swallowed hard and meekly said "Happy Thanksgiving...". 

He stopped muttering abruptly, and stared hard at me. 

I swear, I think I felt pee. 

He turned and stormed off out the door with a whoosh of leaves blowing in as he left. 

I laid on the dog food bags, and that year I was truly thankful.....

Emotional Larry and Over-Wilma (#2 of 3 Trips down Memory Lane)


Nov. 2006 - From The Freaks I Meet blog oblivion...

Emotional Larry is one of my favorite freaks.
You can guarantee that no matter what the situation is you will wish like hell Larry WON'T show up for, he is always there - EARLY. He has limited capacities, which does not partner nicely with his anger control issues. He is his own study in frustration. Even his attire shouts at his complete and utter lack of personal balance. Most times, I see him wearing a tuxedo waiter's uniform with a fire department like coat over the top. As if he is going to a fire... to serve dinner.


If there is a group meeting, Larry is the first to light the torches, and create a riotous atmosphere. The boy loves an audience, even if only a conference call. Most meetings he attends are with retirees, potential volunteers or under-paid staff (me). Suffice to say, "adios potential volunteers!"; Larry scares them off the first 10 minutes. He brings up issues long past, wrongs that were never righted, and probably some things that occurred as a child, in a past life, or something he saw on an old episode of 60 Minutes. He is pretty torn up over these issues, and will utilize a full on 45 minutes of what COULD have been productive time to reassess loudly, "j-j-just what the HECK is going on here??", complete with wiping his nose after said statement.
His anger peaks about 25 minutes in, until he is spitting and occasionally swearing and can not calm down. He is so upset that he loses track of his already scattered thoughts. Just when you think he might physically attack someone, or throw a chair through the window, he crumples. You heard me people: Larry CRIES. The first time this happened it was very off putting, and I felt sorry for this entirely frustrated person, so wanting to help that he would be driven to tears. However, after the 10th meeting I learned the routine, so I knew to just wait it out - like a case of food poisoning.
After his tears subside, his gratitude starts. He is like your worst drunk girlfriend. He would hug you if you got close enough, which you won't.
This is definitely freaky behavior, but not as funny until you see it sprung on an unsuspecting member of your group. Most are used to Emotional Larry's outbursts, and will even try to shut him down. A new person will think you are a mean asshole (like I did), and pretend to be open to listening to the speech, the tears, and the gratitude - having no idea where it is all going. Watching their face is completely amusing to me as the spitting and cursing starts, then transforms into crying, and eventually, hugging. You can't buy this kind of entertainment.


Emotional Larry's less obvious and elderly sidekick is someone I like to called "Over-Wilma". She is completely overwhelmed and overcome by all of the drama, all of the time and just sits there wringing her hands, waiting for Larry to get done with his tirade. She is just as destructive to volunteers as he is, but is just more subtle. She appears as though her perfectly adorned facade of seasonal sweater, bobbed hair and eastern accent is just a thin, thin shell over the anxiety lurking beneath. She will calmly, yet anxiously wait Larry out, trying to break in once in a while to calm him, or add a supporting comment. Larry's ranting drowns her out, so she shuts up, perturbed, but her eyes are bloodshot, and slightly bugging out..there are several times when I was afraid she was having chest pains.
When the meeting is over, and you are gathering your things hurriedly to get the hell out of Dodge, she will approach you and quietly give the same speech as Larry, but more in a 20 minute complaint, rather than the ranting, that seems like one long sentence, as in iknowyouarebusyandyouarethebestpersonwehavehadyetbutwearejustsofrustraedandwhycan'twefindouthowmuchourbandannafundraiserbroughtinand................. You try to listen to this supercalifragilistic sentence structure while you rush to your car, because 10 more minutes in the room, and someone could get hurt. Seriously.
Looking back, this onelongsentence combined with chasing you to your vehicle could have been the cause of the chest pain. hmmmm...now I kind of feel bad.


This duo could go on the road, if only they could get it together. I think they have a career in interrogations, using their act to break down even the toughest wills of international spies. The crying, the ranting, the onesentence complaining (don't forget the spitting and hugging), and the most steel faced secret holder would be putty in an interrogators hands. It could really be a useful tool.... except that the secret weapons have the attention span of gnats.


Oddly enough, I miss Emotional Larry and Over-Wilma. Though freaks, they have good hearts, and in their own screwed up way, really want to help. If only WE would let them ((cue Larry crying)).

I'm Allergic to Sunshine!! (#1 0f 3 Trips Down Memory Lane)

((Cue Narrator)) Once upon a time The Onion had a short span of free time, so she started a blog (Sound familiar?).  The Onion wrote several posts and when it wasn't picked up immediately for a book contract (or she got an actual job which required work) the blog was forgotten about. It was a mean spirited blog called, The Freaks I Meet. Amazingly, The Onion found it tonight in the Blogspot archives, but has no clue how to get access to it again, since it was 5 years of passwords ago.  Please enjoy the blogging stylings of The Onion, circa 2006...because she did the work, dammit. She wants someone to read it.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 01, 2006

I'M ALLERGIC TO SUNSHINE!

In my limited life experience, I have had the pleasure and displeasure of working with volunteers. A lot of them. And, I have come to believe that most are volunteering because NO ONE WILL HIRE THEM.

At one such recent encounter, I was exposed to a plethora of "freaks I meet" types, all locked in one room for several days of volunteer training. Since all of the lodging and meals were paid for, you can imagine who came out of the woodwork. It was like an alternate universe, or a Star Trek convention. I have seen a similar audience at the annual free hunter feed, held at our town's American Legion. (At least they had booze.)

* It must be said that the true low point of this trip for most attendees (blogger excluded) was that the hotel developed a case of BEDBUGS in several areas of the hotel (thankfully not mine). Yep. WAAAAY too much talking about it the next day. And visuals of supposed bites. 





The LOUD TALKER
This rather large, mannish-voiced woman was the one who preferred to sit in the very front, center seat, arms crossed and legs splayed out like a trucker - the first hint of a potential freak. She wore glasses that made her eyes seem 6 times their size, which made you open YOUR eyes even wider, as if to compete. She talked several decibels above what is considered normal, not quite yelling, but definitely like she had worked artillery in the Army. I immediately avoided the loud talker since her voice made my eyes squint, but I couldn't help but overhear her conversation EVERYWHERE, but only snippets.  This only increased the laugh factor. Imagine, if you will, this swirling dialogue in a voice just loud and low enough to break the din of any other conversation:

".........BEDBUGS - MUSTA BEEN 7 OF 'EM!..." (Lifting her shirt to expose bites - yep, she sure did)

".......FROM SOUTHERN SOUTH DAKOTA 'RIGINALLY, MOVED BACK IN oH-2.."

"...........HEAD INJURY IN '84.......".  (not making this up. Nope.)

Just to compete with her man voice, she had the biggest boobs in creation on her 6'4 frame, which she covered in the thinnest of white t-shirts. (Remember the Donger's girlfriend in Sixteen Candles?? She was the loud talker's prettier sister). She wore the low ponytail, which she put in and out throughout the day, whenever the exertion of our mundane classroom training called for it, I guess.





I was a leader in this group (like being Queen of the idiots), so I wanted to make sure to be friendly and make contact with everyone.  As we walked outside of what felt like a zoo holding pen, I smiled at the nice day and said enthusiastically;

"wow, it really is a beautiful day today, isn't it?? It's nice to get out of that room and into the sun!!"

In her loud talker voice and gigantic eyes, Bedbugs barked:

"I'M ALLERGIC TO SUNSHINE!"..
turned on her heel and marched to the shade. Stunned by the loudness, as well as the remark, I just skittered away.

Being friendly is overrated sometimes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm Glowing..

((whispering)) Iwonanaward


What? 


((louder hushed whisper)) I. won. an. award.


Huh?


I WON AN AWARD! I WON AN AWARD! You love me, you really, really LURRRRVE me....


Double stick tape, anyone?


OK ((smoothing shirt)) ..well, my Mom and one OTHER person like my blog. My new lovely Midwestern neighbor Hannah from 




was kind enough to list me as an award winner on her blog. Here is the award (I think)

Not to BRAG, but I was listed first on the list..just sayin'.

Since this is my first award (wiping tear), and so unexpected... I do not have an acceptance speech ready. 


Really, no bullshit.. I got nothin'.  


Just thanks to "THE ACADAMAY...." (just kidding).  Seriously, thank you to Hannah and the rest of you crazy cats who read my weird ideas, embarrassing stories and other generalized nonsense. I am cracked.

The responsibilities of this award are that I share 7 things about myself that will surprise and delight you. Hmmm. Or maybe disgust you. We'll see. I am listing them quick, before I come off of the high of my win. And, because I have to pick up the apes in about 15 minutes. 


 1.  I have a twin sister who looks nothing like me. She used to hide her head under the covers so if a murderer came in, he would get me first. I confess, I slept closest to the door for the very same reason. 


What were our parents letting us watch on TV?



A not very flattering picture, but who
can resist a skull bowling ball shot?

Sister and her sweet Baboos
Next time, she won't share her
 Shutterfly password..
Photo Credit to the talented Scott Mooney


2. I suspect I have a repetitive motion injury in my wrist known as "blackberry syndrome" (STOP LAUGHING - I'm serious), which is from my crack-a-lackin' addiction to the berry.  When folks about town hear this, there will be a rousing chorus of "no sh*t!"  ..Rude. 

3.  Although I am a Wyoming native, I am not homophobic or racist. Neither are most of us. I do tend to discriminate against idiots, but I feel badly about it.

4.  I have not completed my college degree (the horror!) I am within spitting distance, but suddenly it just became less important. It will always be there. I have always had good jobs, so no complaints.

5. I wanted to be a writer when I was young. I imagined myself in Mary Tyler Moore boots, living in a city, writing for a magazine like Sassy, and later, Jane. I idolized Jane Pratt.

6. I don't like ketchup. On anything. Don't judge.

Blech.


7. When I eat foods that there are a quantity of (like M&M's, etc), I have to eat them "evenly". As in, two on one side of my mouth, chew, swallow. Then, two on the other side. It is my own little dash of OCD. It's a layer.





Now, I am supposed to list 10 blogs I feel are award-worthy. I am a new blogger, so I come across new things I like everyday, and may not even have 10?  However, these are my go-to's, in the order they were in on my follow list (I am on a TIME LIMIT people!) 




  • Hyperbole and a Half - Me (and 10 zillion others) love Hyperbole's zany humor and accompanying illustrations. It looks like kid stuff, but then slaps you on the ass with the writing. Don't read this in a business meeting. You won't be able to keep from snorting. 

  • Dangerous Leanings - I am a little new to this one, but it has that thing: that quirky thing that I dig. 

  • Erratic Questions About A Simple Life - My new homegirl. We have these weird musings running around in our heads and those suckers just have to get out. 

  • Helen of Wichita - A great concept and great photos of a friend from high school's baby - taken EVERY DAY of the first year of her life. This is so smart. Quick and Fun to check in and see what's shaking with Helen today. 

  • Jumble Mash - She's smart and funny, and obviously knows what she is doing as a blogger. I also think she is a lot younger than me. She could teach this old dog a few new tricks. 

  • Monday Night Manners - A friend of a friend writes this blog and I love it! I need more etiquette in my life and MNM gives you a weekly dose of something to teach your youngsters, whether it is setting the table, or that you MUST always pass the salt and pepper TOGETHER (they are married). I am learning a lot!

  • Nerdy Apple Bottom - Another wife of a cop, like moi. She wrote a famous entry about her son's love of Scooby Doo, and his corresponding Daphne Halloween costume. Many judged, but NAB said "shut it", and is still saying it on behalf of her sweet baboo and all persons who are being their genuine selves. 

  • Reptiles in the Ice Cream - This girl is nuts and I love her guts! She scares me a little, tiny bit. And I hope I get invited to one of dinner parties one of these days. They seem epic.

  • Simple Dude in a Complex World - More random musings, my favorite thing. Simple Guy is getting hosed on the description, because I have GOT TO GO! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Long Road to Roundish and the Battle Back to Hopelessly Average

I used to be a skinny kid.

Growing up, I was a picky eater. My mother laid awake nights, worried about how little I would eat. She tried tough love, and made me sit in the kitchen until my dinner was finished. I sat. And sat some more. Missing Lawrence Welk.  Missing Hee Haw (If I strained from my seat, I could hear the last of the lyrics "you met another and pffft..you was GONE.."). My Mom tried MAKING me eat my dinner, but I wouldn't and the results of making me eat goulash were unsightly. So I subsisted on bread. Which is why I have such issues with carbs to this very day (I love you bread!)  My mom fretted that I was going to get Rickets. She pointed at my then-skinny bruised kid legs as evidence. I had no idea what Rickets were, so I hid my bony legs under the tablecloth and hoped that the jelly I put on the bread would combat whatever they were.

Meatloaf...gross.

Meatloaf...gross.


I lived to fight another few years and my skinny became average. I got married much too young and still ate whatever i wanted, which included a lot of bread and soda. My new Mother in Law (MIL) told me that i wouldn't be any good at being picky as I grew up and she was right. My husband's plate always looked more interesting than mine. Soon, i tried some of his dinner. Then, more food items were opened up to me. It was glorious -  and a curse. Gravy? I don't like gravy... or peanut butter AND syrup on my pancakes. Dang! I do...

The walls crashed in after I got pregnant with my first child. NEVER in my life have I been so hungry. I would get up in the night to eat. I would call and screech in the phone at my sister to hurry up and meet me for lunch at 10:45 am. This ravenous hunger was unheard of for me, and was a dead giveaway to people I hadn't yet told I had an alien on board. Our daughter"s DNA is probably made of cheeseburgers.

If the dots were cheeseburgers,
this would be accurate


I slimmed back down relatively quickly after she was born, but I noticed my portion selection seemed to increase. It didn't get any better with our son. I swam and walked a lot, and I had healthy pregnancies. It was the post-partum of the second pregnancy that took a knife and murdered my metabolism.

I tried the South Beach diet, which is just what a new mother needs. No energy giving carbs, just a lot of meat and eggs. One cracker or a handful of cereal felt like a shot of heroin. I made spaghetti squash and tried to tell myself it was pasta. That was the low point. I celebrated by eating a sleeve of saltines. Ok, two. With a Coke.

Processed, white-flour goodness...


Now, years later, I am just...meh. Not terrible, but never where I want to be. I like to cook and I like to eat. I like to eat after 8 pm, and I like bread and Starbucks Chai Tea. I try to eat whole grains. With butter.

Problem #1:
I have a serious problem with butter (and starch, but who's counting?).  Being home more has expanded my desire to cook and well, it is starting to show.

Problem #2:
I dislike exercise. Special Agent says I have a chip on my shoulder about it, and he may have a point. See My Running Program for exhibit A. Exhibit B is my physique, and please don't look. I camouflage as best i can. I wish I had a dress like Mrs. Roper's. That would solve a lot of problems for me, and leg shaving would be optional.

Come and knock on our door...

Did I mention i don't like exercise? Among my my similarities to a jackass is my ability to walk 20 miles.... but can't run one. It just isn't in my brontosaurus makeup. I like to move slowly and chomp the leaves (or dinner rolls) as I go. I do not like to chase around, getting my heart rate up and such. This makes cardio a difficult concept for me.

But...I have to. I JUST HAVE TO.  Fate and my increasing age and waistline demand it. My children see a sedentary mother with a workout superstar for a father. I am losing the race at cool. And...i am terrified of summer clothes and winter weight.

In My Running Program, I talk about the Couch to 5k Program, a walk/run program designed for couch potatoes. I did it for a bit, but mostly perfected the couch portion of the program. I really excelled in that area.

But I am back again and I have gone 6 whole times. It hasn't been too bad, except for when I let my 10 year old daughter join me. I would have died from embarrassment if I werent' bursting with pride at how badly she kicked ass on her decrepit ol' mother. She is not considered to be a fast runner on her sports teams, but compared to me she looked like a gazelle. She yelled "C'mon Mom" over her shoulder as her ponytail bounced. If I could have caught her, I might have hugged her. And then, pushed her down.

When I am alone, I run on a treadmill and adjust the speed up and down. I try to read the lips of the Kardashians on the elevated row of TVs and it helps pass the time. Some days, I am lucky enough to get the treadmill next to a Kelly Ripa look-alike in a tiny sports bra and shorty running shorts. I've considered suicide. I was trying to act cool at first, but accidentally stepped off of the side of the treadmill belt, making it squeal loud enough to illicit stares from the rest of the normal looking people in the room, including Kelly Ripa2. I yelled "is everybody awake now??" to break the tension.  Kelly2 smiled at me sadly. Harrumph.

This looks a lot like her, but this
Kelly is wearing a larger top 
It is obvious to she and the rest of the group that I am a newbie. I don't have my own water bottle and I almost killed myself on the treadmill belt. I can't be trusted. I probably won't last. Instead of looking fit and tan in my sports bra and running shorts, I am wearing mismatched gear and I keep having to pull my running pants up. My Ipod headphones won't stay on my ears. I am hot (hot and sweaty, that is). No one wants to be me. Even me. I want to be someone laying on the couch, eating bread and butter and watching Regis and Kelly - not huffing and puffing next to her twin.

But I am doing it people. Now, get off my back.  Or get me the number for Mrs. Roper's stylist. And pass the saltines.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Was Tagged! (Well, Sort Of...)

 I was tagged in a round-about way by the very clever Dangerous Leanings, who was tagged by Jumble Mash to answer: What 5 things do you not leave home without? I will follow DL's lead and not tag anyone since A) I don't know how exactly; and B) only my Mom reads my blog. If you want to list your items in the comments (Mom), I'd love to read 'em. 

I am somewhat scattered, so there are times when I leave whatever I needed behind, which sucks. However, I NEVER (OK, rarely) leave the house without the following.



He might. You don't know...
1) The Crackberry -  I am no longer important to ANYONE, yet I am still carrying that thing like my third child. On the rare occasion that I don't, someone always asks me to look something up, or tries to call to tell me I have won something grand (OK, not that last part). The same people who enjoy making fun of my crackberry addiction are always the same ones who are sad and blue when my addiction is not available to help them. 




Supercalifragilistic bag, Mary!
 2) The Mary Poppins Purse - This item feels like the flirting with the UPS man kind of cheating. It is really a catch all for 10,000 random items so it doesn't seem right to list it as one item. But, I am going to list it anyway, big boy.. (coy wink). The MPP is so vast that to find most items, one has to literally stick their arm in up to the bicep and fish in a counter-clockwise pattern until they feel what seems like it might be the item they are looking for. I have tried to write many times with the travel hand sanitizer, and no matter how many times I feel the cold hard steel of the business card holder (gotcha), I think it is the mirror compact.  TSA loves the MPP and uses it as a training aid. The MPP has no real shape, so at times it is hanging half open like a gutted dinosaur. It isn't elegant. My elegant and sleek bag is just too damn small.  It won't hold a coat rack.

See that little baby purse laying down?
That's it! Shh, you'll scare it away...
3) The Purselet - Those who know me know that within the realm of the MPP resides the purselet. A 6 x 6 inch wonder that holds credit cards, punch cards for the unknown, change, business cards (mine and those I am supposed to call), random things I don't want to lose, etc.  The purselet can go out without the MPP, but the MPP does not travel without the purselet, since it holds all of the legal tender. The most beautiful and functional aspect of the purselet is the short shoulder strap. It allows me to wear this tiny little wallet where i can hold it close to me and will not lay it down while I am digging through the half-off Christmas candy bin. It's beautiful. It's wonderful. It's magical. It's the PURSELET.




Hint: Solo cups make great arm bands.
4)  A Notebook - Not THE NOTEBOOK, Ryan Gosling fans. My Notebook. Not chock full of details of a life forgotten, but moreso, details I better not forget. Anyone who finds it will think a schizophrenic wrote the notes, since it includes everything from random food item lists to website concepts to tic tac toe games, X'ed out by my children. There are phone numbers scribbled in the margins, some upside down. There are papers hanging out of the notebook that I am certain should have been attended to by now. The current notebook has Wonder Woman on it, and its my favorite. It's nicer looking replacement is a lovely patterned portfolio with a magnetic clasp. It's fancy with no guts hanging out, but its not Wonder Woman.






The top pair are the ones I wear, me and Jenny. Bend them up
a little...toss them across the parking lot a few times...
Yes, it's them!!
5) My J-Lo's - Since I hit 30, I have been addicted to sunglasses. Although it is not helping me in my anti aging process one bit, I seem to be turning into a vampire that can't stand the light (Too bad I am team Jacob). No matter how late I am, or how many times I have screeched like a howler monkey at the kids to hurry up, I will go back in for the glasses. The J-Lo's were born from losing my other glasses while on a long road to trip to nowhere, MT. I left before the sun came up, so by the time I realized the glasses were MIA, so was I...and the sun was like FIRE as I headed down the road. I happened to find a Walmart that had an Optical center, and hence the J-Lo line of sunglasses. They are sort of purple, which is not me, but options were limited. I liked them so well that when I lost THAT pair, I went right back to the Walmarket for another. I will forever think of sunglasses as J-Lo's from this point on. 


Ok folks, nothing exciting or scandalous....that I know of anyway. I feel nervous when i dig too deep. Even the purse has a lot of layers.