Tag Archives: bitch/moan

Jan
31
2013
2012: Year in Review

The 2013 calendar on my wall suggests another year is over. I marked the end of 2010 and 2011 by answering the following set of questions. The questions annoyed me this year. I hope that means the dying embers of my “I have to track everything” fire cannot be stoked back to flame. I’m cultivating a new mellow vibe. Next year I will sum up 2013 by how I feel at the end of the year, not by how many boxes I can tick off a list. I don’t plan on doing this quiz again, so let’s send it out with a bang (or a whimper).

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Enrolled in some adult education, started making ice cream, created an ice cream blog, published a memoir piece, gave up trying to de-link my name and this blog (note to co-workers: while I mutter profanity under my breath at the office, I write it out loud here), “won” a craft contest, and had a tarot card reading.

The tarot reader was kind, but these cards basically said, “get off your ass and make a decision already.”

 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes and no, and not really. The monster in my head set 30 goals for 2012. You can see them here. I have a different mind-set about goals right now (stay tuned). I have no desire to paste my 2012 goals here and painstakingly document which I met and which I did not. Does it matter that I didn’t run a 5K in under 30 minutes when I trained really hard, completed two races, and ran faster at the end of training than at the beginning? Does it matter that I went to bed an average of 20 minutes earlier in 2012 than 2011 or that I got 33 minutes extra sleep per night on average when I’m still tired a lot? Isn’t it disturbing that I can tell you those figures?

Looking at last year’s goals cracks me up now. How did I get to a point in life where I could suggest “scheduling weekly unstructured time” without irony? How did I type “go cold turkey on perfectionism” as one of 30 goals with a straight face?

One of my goals was to “locate my inner voice.” Wait…shh! What’s that? I think I hear something…

“ENOUGH WITH THE GOALS…TAKE A FUCKING NAP ALREADY.”

I like my inner voice.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I’ve been meeting quite a few childfree people lately. And I’m getting old. So I’d be really shocked if anyone close to me got pregnant/gave birth.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I spent several horrible days believing one of my in-laws was not going to make it, but thankfully (and possibly miraculously?), he did not die.

5. What countries did you visit?
If the U.S. doesn’t count, then 0.0.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Enough money to retire. Not kidding.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I could talk smack about the ice cream class or some other happy event, but the only day from 2012 that “will remain etched in my memory” (which I interpret to mean “never going to forget the date of the event”) is November 6. That was the day my Mom told me she had cancer.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I guess I’d say making new friends. I had really started to worry I wasn’t capable of doing that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Negativity? Not being a good-enough listener?? Not getting enough sleep??? Tracking my failures so vigorously???? Fuck this question.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Ice cream machine!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Seriously? Mortgage. It will always be mortgage (or rent), won’t it?

13. What did you get really excited about?
Ice cream!

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
A whopping 9.5 percent of my music collection came out in the last ten years. Here is the only new music I bought all year even though I’ll almost certainly not associate it with 2012 long-term.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?
Both. The more I know, the harder it is. The closer I get, the farther away it seems. You know?

b) thinner or fatter?
Fatter.

c) richer or poorer?
Richer, bitches (it’s all about retirement, baby).

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
What I wanted to do.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
What I didn’t want to do.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Erie with my family. Spent the first few days of my vacation frantically trying to finish my first cross stitch ever. I won a Subversive Cross Stitch in the Craft Whores contest and selected the bad boy below for my brother, only to be surprised (and horrified) that it was a kit I had to make myself. This was one of my brother’s favorite phrases in our misguided youth. By the time I got this in the frame, it also turned out to crystallize my thoughts about cross stitching eloquently.

peace on earth

peace on earth

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I’m addicted to watching House Hunters International while saying “fuck you” with jealous venom. You guys need a vacation home in Belize? Of course you do. Fuck you. Accountants can easily find work on Grand Cayman? Fuck you. You’re really going to complain about the lack of double sinks in a vacation home? Fuck you. Special shout out to the guy with a 2 million dollar budget who expressed disappointment that there were no windows in the closet: OMFG, FUCK YOU!

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
If I wanted to read, I’d go to school.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Holy repetitive quiz, Batman. See #14.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Jesus, I don’t get out much, do I? We streamed Moonrise Kingdom for our 2nd annual pajama night and were not amused (we have a 0% success rate for avoiding movies in which a dog bites the big one on our “happy family PJ movie night”).

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I guess I’m too old to remember what I did on my birthday. I know I ate cake, but that’s only because I have a blog. I turned 39, and I don’t plan on aging further.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Errr! How does this question differ from #6? 

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Not naked

26. What kept you sane?
Fear of anti-depressant side effects.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
A lot of the stuff I thought was important (or at least devoted a lot of time to) is really, really not. Like tracking every last detail of my life…ahem…like end of the year surveys such as these.

Jun
7
2012
If I Wanted to Read, I’d Go to School

Yesterday, I was the featured writer on the Studio30 Plus community blog. It’s a great community of writers that used to be for people 30 and older, but now is open to anyone who wants to connect with other writers. As promised, here is my featured post.

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

Writing advice often includes a recommendation to read more. But these days…

It wasn’t always this way. I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. In kindergarten my classmates and I sat in a circle on the floor. We took turns reading aloud from a Dick and Jane book.  When some students struggled to sound out the words, I blinked in confusion. The words somehow made sense to me already.

I read so quickly I had to rifle through my Mom’s bookshelves for reading material. As an innocent 12-year old attending Catholic school, reading The Thorn Birds was an ironic way to learn about sex.

So what happened to my love of reading? I’d like to take a moment to thank my high school. They took my youthful love of reading and stomped it into the ground, set it on fire, pissed on it, then buried it while it still had a slight pulse so it could suffocate and die a more painful death.

Here’s a helpful hint for any educators out there: there is such a thing as too much required reading. Maybe I shouldn’t complain about the volume of reading I had to do in high school. It exposed me to so many classic books I probably would not have chosen to read on my own.

But my teachers were more interested in trying to verify we’d read every word in the books than whether we understood them. That is the only way I can explain the bizarre questions on our tests.

Take this question about The Red Badge of Courage, for example: “How many pairs of socks did Henry have in his bag?”

Dude, seriously? Presumably the teacher asked us this question because we couldn’t answer it having read only the Cliffs Notes. But no one needs to know this detail. I resent the space the answer (eight) takes up in my brain.

In addition to random details, they also liked asking us to reproduce entire quotes. One teacher tested us on the number of lines we could remember from The Merchant of Venice. I still laugh over trying to get her to count “My daughter!” “O my ducats!” as two quotes.

This type of testing required committing as much of the text to memory as possible. In response, I forced my eyes to stop racing ahead, sometimes using a sheet of paper to isolate the lines as I read. If I thought I hadn’t really absorbed something, I’d go back and read it out loud. My speed plummeted, but I aced the tests.

Soon I could read no other way. Whether I read Moby-Dick or an article in Cosmo, I read it laboriously.

If high school killed my love of reading, my job hammers nails into its coffin. I get paid to read and edit a lot of stiff research writing, which doesn’t motivate me to look at more words in my free time. Other people seek me out to read yet still more technical writing because of my attention to detail…ironically, the same attention to detail that made reading so maddening for me in high school.

I’ve tried several things to reignite my love of reading. Years ago, I joined several book clubs. Now I have one rule about book clubs:  I don’t like book clubs. Reading books that other people select (does any book club use a democratic process?) is too much like school, thank you very much.

I’ve tried carrying books with me everywhere I go, including taking seven to the beach last year. During my week-long vacation, I read about seven percent of them. I had trouble absorbing the words. Watching the waves crash onto the shore was much more soothing.

Starting my blog has helped me more than anything else I’ve tried. Through writing, I’ve pinpointed what I’m most interested in reading. I’m giving myself permission to read what I want.

There’s nothing wrong with my preference for non-fiction (take that high school and ex-book clubs!). Not everything I read has to be “literary,” or even a book. I love reading blogs. I’ve found exquisite examples of memoir, poetry, and fiction, as well as writing that makes me laugh out loud. Blogs are worth reading.

So much of what I’ve read during my life has been chosen for me. Now it’s my turn.

By the way, I do still occasionally finish a book. Sometimes I even read fiction…taking it back full circle to my childhood days…

Yes, I read this. Shockingly, it wasn't very good.

How have your reading habits changed throughout your life?

Jun
1
2012
Merry Berry Month of May

I’ve never been a big fan of strawberry ice cream, especially when it includes pieces of strawberry. They freeze and provide a grating, icy mouth feel to something that’s supposed to be smooth and creamy.

My Ice Cream 101 professor mentioned the difficulty of adding fruit to ice cream due to its high water content, and my mind started racing about ways to tackle the problem. Ever since the class, I waited for strawberry season. For the past two weeks, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in strawberries. After washing, hulling, and eating many quarts of strawberries, I’m over strawberry season.

The recipe I used as a starting point (Jeni’s Splendid Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream) used only one half-cup of roasted strawberry puree per quart of finished ice cream. Two weeks ago, I made that recipe as well as two variations. Why did I make the variations? Because I like to make things difficult and I want to create something of my own. Irritatingly, we liked Jeni’s recipe the best of the three. But none of them (all made with just a half-cup of strawberry puree) bowled us over with strawberry flavor.

In case you didn’t believe I made three versions of strawberry ice cream in one weekend.

I’m a bit on the lazy (logy!) side. So given all the work involved in this endeavor (hauling our asses to a farm in Maryland to get the strawberries, then washing, hulling, slicing, roasting, and pureeing them), I wanted more berry flavor. I’m demanding like that. The ice cream sort of tasted like a strawberry yogurt popsicle. 

Not being such a huge strawberry ice cream fan to begin with, I decided to try making one of my favorite strawberry desserts into an ice cream flavor. Enter strawberry pretzel salad ice cream:

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Ice Cream

I took some of the leftover roasted strawberry puree and boiled it with more sugar until it became syrupy and thick (so it wouldn’t freeze). Then I swirled the strawberry sauce into cream cheese ice cream. I baked up a small amount of sweetened crushed pretzel crust and threw that in as well.

I loved it. It tasted almost exactly like strawberry pretzel salad and the strawberry swirl had much more berry flavor than any of the dedicated strawberry ice creams. The pretzels started getting soggy after a couple of days though. And Dave didn’t like it, totally bursting my “I’m a brilliant ice cream flavor creator” bubble.

Over Memorial Day, I tested another variation of strawberry ice cream, doubling the amount of strawberry puree. We liked it marginally better than the original three versions. Economically speaking, I’m not sure the flavor boost was worth adding an extra half-cup of puree. The dairy just seems to dilute the flavor either way.

Gold star for anyone who correctly guesses which of these contains double the amount of strawberry.

I don’t know if I have a future in the ice cream business, or food service more generally. It seems that “artisan” and fresh, local ingredients are all the rage. That’s all well and good, and I would want to make homemade ice cream with high-quality ingredients if I opened a store, but some of the effort (and more importantly, expense) seems silly. Maybe I’m just disgruntled from all that washing and hulling and slicing and roasting, but I find it really hard to believe that most people would notice a difference between fresh farm strawberries and store-bought frozen strawberries after adding sugar, pureeing the crap out of them, and then diluting the puree with more than 3 cups of dairy. I see a test of this in my future, but not anytime soon, because I’m sick with this.

After all of this, we simply hadn’t eaten enough strawberry dessert. So I did what anyone who had already made five batches of ice cream in two weeks would do…I made another dessert. A testament to the lack of excitement in my life, this extra dessert-making was due in large part because I wanted to take a picture of a piece of actual strawberry pretzel salad next to my ice cream version.

Variations on a theme of strawberry pretzel salad.

Since strawberry season is almost over here, I also made extra strawberry puree to freeze so that I have it on hand to make strawberry ice cream for my summer ice cream social. I didn’t make quite as much puree as I’d hoped since I overfilled the food processor, causing puree to ooze out everywhere, but that’s a bitch-fest for another day.

NOTE: Photo of the puree made with my blood, sweat, and tears from $5.49/quart strawberries running all over my kitchen counter and down my kitchen sink drain is not available.

Please to enjoy one of my favorite commercial ear worms ever, from my hometown joint Eat’n Park. I make better strawberry pie, by the way.

May
11
2012
Supermoon, My Ass

Last year, I missed the supermoon. Meaning I had no idea what a supermoon was or why I should give a shit. Then in the days that followed, I saw the pictures. And regretted missing it. 

This time, I was ready. I planned my whole day around seeing the supermoon in its rising glory and getting a great picture. Of course, with my photo shoot luck, the weather had other plans. Clouds completely covered the sky all evening. But we stuck with the original plan, to head into the city (to get a photo of the supermoon with D.C. stuff in the foreground), in case the sky cleared.

We arrived early and headed to the WWII Memorial to wait. This was one of the earlier photos of the evening, but already Dave was losing patience with having his picture taken.

No supermoon for you.

The clouds were stubborn but so was I. While I waited for supermoon rising time, I messed around taking fountain pictures.

Every so often, we’d check the sky for the supermoon, but nada. But the weather was pleasant, so we sat at the Memorial even after giving up on the fucking supermoon (not that I was bitter or anything). We sat and talked and watched the fountains. It felt indulgent and relaxing to just hang out there, like we were on vacation and visiting the Trevi Fountain. I guess when a boring old suburban married couple like us bothers to trek 6 long miles into the big bad city and actually finds good parking, well, let’s just say I wanted to make an evening out of it. So we visited my favorite statue before going home.

F.D.R., ShmF.D.R., I’m here for the dog.

When we went out for Chuck’s late night walk, the clouds finally moved enough for us to catch a glimpse of the now-too-high-in-the-sky-to-be-noticeably-super moon. Before I could finish saying, “should I go get the camera,” another cloud blocked it again. Maybe next year.

How was supermoon viewing where you live? Did you get any pictures? I think I’m finally over my disappointment and ready to see some supermoon photos. 

Mar
29
2012
I Have An Excuse This Week

Shhh! Do not disturb. I’m tapering. The “taper” is the period before a race (in my case, a ten-miler this Sunday), during which a runner reduces mileage and rests in preparation for the big day.

Tapering is the only part of my training that comes naturally to me, probably because it’s my normal state of being. Resting is one of my favorite activities, but I usually feel guilty about it. But this week, I’m not being lazy. Oh no. I am tapering.

When Dave saw me lying on the chaise after my last pre-race long run, watching TV while half asleep, he said, “Oh, you’re tapering now, eh?”

All week, baby.

Runners World would likely not approve of my tapering procedures, which consist of expending as little energy, physical or mental, as possible.

You guys, I am tapering so hard, I’m skirting the edge of coma.

Have you ever noticed how heavy your eyelids are? I have. Holding them up is about all the energy expenditure I can handle right now. Since I’m expected to keep my eyes open at work, I’ve made sure to hit snooze many extra times each morning. Sure, I’ve been late every day, but it’s only because I’m doing my necessary tapering.

The taper got off to a rough start due to the dance group who has decided that the parking lot for the park near my house is a good practice site. They practice for HOURS, loudly (with whistles!), every Sunday. The noise has been slowly eroding my will to live, but this week the walk to the phone to call the police also broke my taper, damn it.

Unfortunately, work also interrupts my taper. Since I have to be lucid during meetings, I make sure I recover from the mental exertion by staring blankly at my computer screen or out the window to rest my mind and body until my next meeting or I need to use the bathroom, whichever comes first.

I’ve let some writing ideas slosh around aimlessly in my head, but can’t expend the energy to translate my thoughts into a coherent post. I’ve only been publishing a post per week recently, but this week it’s intentional, because, I think you know where I’m going with this by now…I’m tapering.

Interrupting the flow of grinding, circular thoughts and staring out the window, an overdue notice for my credit card arrived this week. Huh. I guess they didn’t get the memo about my taper. 

My pre-race taper couldn’t have come at a better time. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. I have added a lot to my life without giving anything up. I’m reaching new lows in low energy.

In the evenings after work, I have had to do some extra tapering to catch up on the tapering I missed while commuting and working. This involves falling asleep while upright and walking home after work (a bizarre new experience, really), eating dinner in front of the TV, and then mindlessly watching “30 Going on 13″ while eating ice cream, all while Dave does everything else.

Tuesday night, I sacrificed my taper to get up and hug him as he got ready to walk Chuck before bed and he said with about as much frustration as he’s capable of mustering, “It’s hard to work all evening while you get to sit on the couch and watch a movie.”

No, no, no. Dave, I’m tapering.

At least that’s my excuse for this week. Sorry, sweetie. And Tom Ridge didn’t believe me when I told him I was lazy!
someecards.com - When I die, I hope I'll be doing nothing, so people could say that at least I died doing what I love.

Mar
26
2012
Basic Needs of a Husband

I will spare you my rationalizations about why I watch the Duggars’ reality show,  “19 Kids and Counting,” and simply say: I am repulsed yet strangely fascinated. Also, I have always enjoyed learning about foreign cultures.

I didn’t think their beliefs could shock me anymore, but the season premiere proved me wrong. The camera scanned ever so briefly across one of Michelle’s public speaking handouts and the title, “Seven Basic Needs of a Husband,” jumped off the page. 

I paused the DVR so I could study up on my husband’s needs.  And so I could take a picture of the screen. Here you go.

Squirming with discomfort, I read about the ways in which I am destroying my husband’s (apparently ridiculously weak) manliness.

For example: wives, did you know that we destroy our husbands’ manliness when we “resist his decisions in our spirit.” That’s interesting, because I don’t stop with resisting in spirit. I say that shit out loud.

Most entertaining were the handout’s practical tips. For example, instead of “resisting his decisions,” you should “learn to wisely appeal to your husband.” Even fundamentalists understand the need to be realistic about who really makes the decisions. Fear not, wives! We need not accept our husband’s decisions, we just need to learn how to be more subtle in our resistance.

These “needs” were so over-the-top ridiculous it was hard to be as pissed as maybe I should have been. When I noticed the “love is killed by self-sufficiency” line, I dissolved into giggles.

But wait a minute…

If you’ve been reading here awhile, you may be aware of my early retirement fantasy

Why is it just a fantasy? A.) our mortgage, 2.) I imagine replacing the time currently spent working and commuting with things I want to do, not what I’d actually be doing (learning to cook, cleaning the house, doing Dave’s laundry, etc…), and c.) as grumpy and depleted as work makes me, my self-worth is largely tied up in how well I perform there and in my ability to earn a living. It would make me (not to mention Dave) uncomfortable to expect Dave to earn all our income.

But the Duggars (actually the “Institute in Basic Life Principles”) were telling me that God wants me to be financially dependent on Dave. My self-sufficiency is killing our love. That doesn’t sound good.

Could Dave really need me to quit my job? Could this really be so simple and easy? I thought I’d consult an actual husband about the accuracy of these needs.

“Dave, I need to show you something. Can you come in here for a minute?”

I played the scene in slow motion so he could peruse his basic needs.

“So, what do you think? Do you need me to quit my job? Because I’m willing to make that sacrifice to support your manliness,” I looked at him hopefully.

Unfortunately, Dave fixated on a different basic need.

“No, but I agree you shouldn’t resist my physical affection.”

“Crap, I hadn’t even noticed that one. I brought you in here to discuss how my self-sufficiency is killing our love.”

“But God wants you to stop crushing my spirit.”

“I don’t think God understands how often you want to have sex. Look, if we worked on meeting your need to have a financially dependent wife first, I’d have so much more time to, uh, stroke your manliness in other ways as well.”

I think he’s starting to warm up to my early retirement. I think it will be more difficult to convince myself.

I joked that God didn’t understand how often men want to have sex, but apparently he does. The only practical tip the handout provides for wives to help them meet this need is: “learn the power of prayer.” Yep, that sounds about right.

——

If you wonder how I know the “Institute in Basic Life Principles” published this document, that’s because my perfectionism commitment to my blogging craft made me research the source. I may also have ordered my own copy. Hey, there are six more needs the show didn’t even cover, and I’m nothing if not thorough.

Feb
17
2012
Photo Friday: It’s Always Better on Holiday

Every day for the past few weeks, I have walked by this advertisement.

Part of a set of ads with “humor” customized for DC, they miss the mark for me in that they resonate just enough to remind me how annoying DC can be (it’s an election year, so I’m extra cranky) but not so much that they are funny.

Another example of the hilarity: “It took an act of Congress to get you out of bed this morning.” HA! Get it? Mornings are hard…and this is DC, so like Congress makes laws here and shit. So yeah. That’s hysterical. It’s not as if I get out of bed every morning so I can continue to receive a paycheck.

A quick internet search yielded the news that others find these ads charming. Oops. Apparently they also ran ads in New York, and the NYC ads are a little more clever, like maybe they were written by people who actually live in New York. They inexplicably used the dumbest ad in both markets: “A text-walker ran into you while you were text-walking.” Is this thing on?

But back to the holiday ad, which really fries my ass.

You see, this Monday is a holiday. Indeed, my calendar most certainly does mention that fact and I’m sure yours does too. And I’m not likely to forget a paid day off, whether it’s on the calendar or not.

So you can imagine how charmed I was when some people I’m working with who don’t get the day off kindly scheduled a meeting I need to attend on the holiday.

The splash or 12 of vodka I plan to add to my OJ will be the only good part of that particular DC morning. Thanks for the daily reminder of my missed holiday, Tropicana!

Happy President’s Day. If you have the day off, enjoy! If you don’t, grab a mini bottle of Tropicana on your way into work. Tell ‘em Congress sent you!

Feb
16
2012
Free Birth Control on the Subway

Remember that made for TV movie, the Boy in the Plastic Bubble? If I could commute in such a contraption I would. Instead, I create my own protective bubble: listening to music and playing a game on my iPod or reading prevents me from inadvertently encouraging conversation. Talking on my commute makes my brain hurt.

Having spent most of my day watching the spinning blue circle on my computer go round and round, during my commute tonight, I transformed into “Captain Introvert” on the train platform and used the “you are invisible to me” cloak to pretend I didn’t notice “talkopotamus” next to me. Entering the train, I turned the opposite way and plopped into the last available seat. Crisis averted…until!

One stop later, the man sitting next to me got up to offer his seat to someone. He stood in front of the seat, blocking my view, and then two small children squeezed past him and climbed into the seat next to me.

Crap.

I wanted to get up, but there was nowhere to go on the packed train and the man blocked my view of whoever accompanied the kids. I leaned over until I could see around the man. I caught the attention of a young woman clutching a large stuffed penguin and offered her my seat. She smiled and shrugged and said a little too brightly, “Oh no, that’s OK!”

So I would be sitting with Taylor and Tristan.

Like Bill Cosby’s comedy bit about the annoying 4-year old boy “Jeffrey,” I remember their names, because the woman they were with used them incessantly in a futile attempt to get them to behave.

Taylor and Tristan jostled for position in the seat they were supposed to share. While they encroached on my personal space, that wasn’t the worst thing. You see, children don’t respect the protective commuting bubble.

They peppered the air with very loud questions. Then they started directing their questions at me, interrogation style.

T&T: “Why did the train get broken? Why did the train get broken? Why did the train get broken?”

Their decibel level combined with their awkward grammar made me cringe. I had no idea what they were asking.

Then Taylor screamed: “Tristan bit me!” She turned on the annoying fake cry kids like to perform.

Woman: “Tristan, don’t bite.”

I shot a sidelong glance at Tristan. I wondered if he was up to date with his rabies shots.

Tentatively, I leaned over Tristan the biter and asked the woman again, “Are you sure you don’t want to sit down?” OMG, let’s please figure out how we can both climb over this man and trade positions. Of all the people on this train, I had to be the least well-equipped to interact with Tristan and Taylor.

Tristan: “What’s your name?”

Ugh. I didn’t answer. Just didn’t seem like a good idea to give Tristan my name. But they would not stop asking me questions. I started to feel the eyes of dozens of adults on me. They wanted Taylor and Tristan entertained. I pushed my headphones back so I could hear.

Taylor (pointing to my headphones): “Why do you have those music things?”

Me: “To drown out the sound of your piercing voice. Uh, because I like music.” Duh! Kids ask dumb questions.

Taylor reached her little germ-infested hand for my iPod, “What’s that game?”

Me: “Collapse.” How jerky will it look if I snatch my iPod away from her hand?

Then she pointed at the post-it note on the back of my iPod. “What’s that?”

Me: “My list of things to do tonight.” Get the hell out of this seat needs to be added. 

Taylor: “Oh yeah? What did you do today?”

Some of the other passengers snickered.

Me: “Not a whole lot, actually.” I started to feel self-conscious about how deep and flat my voice sounded. Aren’t you supposed to speak in a higher pitch and add fake excitement when speaking to children?

Then Tristan rejoined the conversation: “What’s your name?”

Feeling ever so slightly more comfortable, I answered this time: “Tracy.”

Tristan (smiling): “afdl5$%k!”

Woman: “Tristan! That’s not nice!”

Wait, what? I needn’t have worried about not understanding what he said, because the admonishment egged him on.

Tristan: “Yucky! That’s yucky! Yucky!”

What’s yucky? My name? Me? Being such an annoying kid? I started to fantasize about elbowing Tristan hard enough to show him who was boss.

Tristan edged a little closer. “I want to sit there. Can I sit there?”

Hell to the no. 

Me: “I think you’re good right there.”

Tristan: “No, I’m not good.”

This brought more snickering from the crowd. No disagreement from me, kid.

During a break in the action, I tried to go back to playing Collapse. That lasted about two seconds before their hands were all up in my iPod’s business. So I let them play Collapse. My iPod has some sanitizing wipes in its future. Both Taylor and Tristan were sniffling, so I’m certain to have small pox tomorrow.

After a few more minutes, their mother/nanny/zookeeper told them to get ready, they had just one more stop.

And finally I found my excited voice: “One more stop!”

Feb
5
2012
Time Nadal Stole From Me

My favorite sport is…tennis. Yeah, I realize that puts me in the company of…me. I find it considerably more interesting than other sports. The average intellect of tennis commentators seems greater than for most other sports. The ESPN2 commentators (for the most part) entertain me. And the sport itself is unique. It’s just two (I’m talking singles here) people on the court, trying to figure out how to win. There’s no coaching, there’s no teammate to pick up the slack. There’s no building up a lead and running out the clock.

Speaking of the clock…I have spent large chunks of my time eight weeks out of the year watching Grand Slam coverage for years. But I’m getting over it. I don’t have a favorite on the men’s side anymore. Nadal seems like a nice enough kid and he’s obviously super talented, but watching him play drives me insane. The jumping bean warm ups (dude, watching you do that is sapping all of the stamina I’ll need to sit on my couch and watch this match), the anal-retentive beverage set up, the purposeful pokiness getting up after change overs, and the worst…the ridiculously long time he takes between service points.

I was at the Ice Cream course the weekend of the finals. Even though I knew the result, I was excited to watch the men’s final I recorded. But sitting down to watch it was another matter. Nadal and Djokovic are the two pokiest mother fuckers in men’s tennis.

Yes, many of the points were breathtaking, and required more recovery time, but come on. Time is money. I don’t have 6 hours to watch tennis, especially when over half of it is between-serve hair arranging, ball bouncing, and underwear wedgie grabbing. I found myself fast-forwarding through large segments of the match, because the between-serve time was lulling me to sleep.

How do I know how much time was spent between points, you ask? Early in the second set, ESPN2 showed a graphic with the average time between service points for both men. In my frustration, I calculated from those averages and the number of service points each men played that over half of the time was spent not playing tennis. But that’s not really fair, because the rules allow 20 seconds between points. Taking that into account, the match would have been 1 hour and 20 minutes shorter had they followed the rule. That’s a long time.

My favorite part of the coverage was watching them both squirm in agony (eventually officials brought them chairs so they wouldn’t pass out) during the very long speeches given at the trophy ceremony. See, how do you like being made to wait for the good stuff?

God bless the person who created this video:

Dec
9
2011
Photo Friday: Glitter Moose!

It rained all day Wednesday. I had to walk home from the metro with only my useless umbrella to protect me. I shouldn’t be alive.

The first time I ever used my umbrella a light breeze blew it inside out and snapped one of the spokes. I’ve been walking around with a 1/8 limp umbrella ever since.

Wednesday night, the zippier-than-usual wind flipped my useless umbrella every few feet. I spent more time trying to fix it than standing under its protection. My pants were soaked up to my hip, the wind blew my hair into my eyes, and I didn’t have enough hands for the umbrella and hair wrangling. I noticed the broken spoke hanging down in front of my face, ominously waiting to take my eye out so I turned the umbrella to get the spoke away from my eyes. At the next gust of wind, I felt a sharp pain on my scalp. Mother fucker punctured my brain.

I held the umbrella over my head like an axe and started slamming it into the pavement as hard as I could. Repeatedly. Umbrella had it coming. I arrived home drenched, dragging a flattened umbrella behind me.

I thought about taking a picture of my sad, smashed, useless umbrella, and using it for Photo Friday, but in lieu of therapy and/or anger management class, I’d like to lighten the mood by sharing a picture of my favorite Christmas tree ornament, Glitter Moose! I found him during college in one of those specialty shops (Natural Surroundings? Nature’s Elements?) selling useful things like stuffed birds that make authentic chirping noises when squeezed, gold-coated pine cones, and adorable Glitter Moose Christmas ornaments.

Worship Glitter Moose before he destroys you. Glitter Moose is awesome. Glitter Moose is plump. Glitter Moose was made in China. Glitter Moose is dead serious about helping you celebrate Christmas, look at those imploring eyes. Glitter Moose is the last thing to go on the tree and I always place him near the top center so I can easily spot him. Glitter Moose gets doubly wrapped in tissue paper and then bubble wrap and put away separately from the other ornaments.

Glitter Moose was on our custom-made Christmas card once:

Glitter Moose ages well. Still glittery, after all these years.

Several years ago Dave made my life complete by finding this member of the Glitter Moose family. I may have squealed when I opened mega Glitter Moose. 

Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration? How about an umbrella recommendation? Anger management strategy?

I’m linking up with Mama Kat this week. The prompt I chose was to share a favorite Christmas ornament (the rage against my useless umbrella is a bonus!).
Mama’s Losin’ It