Thursday, July 30, 2009

that thin line between ignorance and enlightenment is the most treacherous place of all

b and i might be the most technologically challenged people you'll ever know. our computer is practically an ancient relic, which is probably why it's so riddled with demons.

of course we need to upgrade to wireless, but there's a few things holding us back. there's the whole issue of needing to force our evil computer to do as much work as possible in it's golden years. no early retirement for you, you bastard (talking to my computer, not you dear reader). b and i are determined to feel like we've won even a small token battle in the war mr. hp-suck-my-ass-desktop has waged with us. and if that means robbing an old withering soul of living its final days in a sublime and peaceful existence, so be it.

another factor preventing us from living in laptop bliss is the fact that we don't know shit about shit when it comes to any type of electronic appliance or device. last night b asked me what a router was. i had heard this word before. and only because i'm good at making up stuff when i don't know the answers, i told him it was a thing you need for the internet. when he asked me how the internet gets in there if there's no wires attached i knew i would be exposed for the fraud that i am.

but b saw the shame in my face and being the sweet and kind husband that he is, he cheered me up with 'hey, don't worry about it. all those people that know all that shit about technology can go have sex with technology and make little robot-people hybrid babies. then we can unplug all the wires and be left alone and the world will be all ours and we won't even care about the internet.'

i love him so much.

i didn't want to spoil the moment by asking 'what if they're all wireless hybrid babies?'

much of this technology talk was spawned by a new addition in our household. yesterday we welcomed a bouncing new baby dishwasher. and yes it really bounces and technically might be a baby version of a real dishwasher because our cheap-ass apartment complex would never spring for anything of real value. the single solitary knob on its blank front is the only means of operating the machine.

while it does look like a sorry excuse for a home appliance, it is easy enough so that i can figure out how to turn it on. i was shocked, however, when b stated that he doesn't want to get confused and break it, so he doesn't want me to teach him how to use it. any other wife might suspect that their husband was trying to avoid dish duty, but no friends, not me. i could see it in his eyes, the feeling that this was just one more thing for him to have to figure out and get angry with for making him feel like a dumbass when he can't make it work.

don't worry b, i won't let that dishwasher get the better of you. shhhhhh honey, it's ok. thaaaaat's it, deeeeeep breaths. relax. i'm here, and i'll make sure there's no wires or batteries or any other electrical source around for ever and ever, as long as we both shall live.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

choose wisely

today i have a little story to share that's funny, gross, and sad all at the same time. i can't say it's inspired by my dad, because that's not really accurate. but suffice it to say that there is a connection to him, even though it only began with a name.

when i was a little girl, about nine or ten years old, i was taught that rodents would make perfect pets. my mother was strictly against dogs or cats for a few years, and during that time she educated myself and my brother about the wonderful joys that small furry creatures can bring into one's life. i still don't know if she immediately regretted doing so, or if that feeling of making a horrible mistake overcame her slowly, like a chill creeping up her spine and finally piercing her brain in a way that only a ghastly revelation can.

we had a gerbil named fluffy. maybe she didn't like her name so much, or maybe she just didn't like when my brother would force her to run in his greyskull castle like a maze. either way, she definitely did love to claw the shit out of our delicate children's hands.

after my mom decided that she was allergic to fluffy, spontaneously, then came the hamsters. they were ok, i guess. until they started breeding. i'm not prepared to relive that nightmare just yet. i can still smell the cedar chips if i close my eyes and think long enough about it, and not in a good way. besides, the real story comes after the evil sex-addict hamsters, so i'm just going to keep moving here.

next was a mouse. somehow i managed to convince my mom that mice make outstanding pets. we brought home a little grey fellow with a white spot on his head. i named him louis, which is my father's middle name. i can't explain why i was compelled to give the innocent mouse this name. even today, it makes me wonder if i knew he was doomed from the moment he entered out house, paralleling my father's life in so many ways.

in the beginning, things went great. louis was as happy as a mouse could be. he was fed and cleaned and loved. he was doing so well, in fact, that he was getting noticeably stronger. it wasn't long before he escaped his little cage and ventured forth into our house on his own.

i absolutely forbade my mother from trapping him. i wanted louis to be able to enjoy his freedom and flourish among us, rather than be captured and set outside where who knows what could harm him. i think my mom set traps for him anyway. but we went almost two months with louis scurrying around throughout the house, our shy little roommate.

he grew to the size of a small rat, the white patch on his head the only identifying mark of his former semblance.

then one day my mom decided to bake some cupcakes.

do you remember as a child, smelling the chocolaty cakey goodness of cupcakes warming in the oven, the scent wafting through your home as if on a mission to distract you?

i've lost that memory. for on that fateful day, as the cupcake batter rose and thickened in the little paper cups, the odor coming from our oven was nothing short of nauseating. a foul stench clouded our kitchen and grew more intense by the minute. my young mind had no imagery yet disturbing enough to associate with the mystery smell.

it was bad enough for my mom to call the appliance repair man. as he disassembled the oven, he discovered louis' nest. the clever guy had built his home inside the wall of our oven. it kept him warm and cozy for the few winter months he had spent there. unfortunately, it was his bad luck to wake up from a nap and venture out at the exact time that my mother had turned on the oven.

at first, i was so angry at my mother for cooking my beloved pet. although, with time, i eventually accepted that louis' life was somehow destined to meet a volatile end. what good could possibly come of overindulging and living in an environment that is in no way natural to your species? no, louis probably would have been much better off out in the wilderness of our backyard, using his innate instincts to guide him through the perils of a normal mouse's existence.

for that i am sorry louis.

i can only hope my father doesn't end up cooked, figuratively, as a result of his poor choices. but only time will tell what his fate is destined to be.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

you wish you were here

welcome to hell on earth. or just my house. whichever you want to call it.

mr. c invited himself over for a gawker's gander at my surroundings, and because we're practically neighbors (live in the same state) i couldn't possibly refuse him a tour. so come on in, if you want, no pressure. oh, and don't mind that smell, monster's ass sometimes emits a fishy odor when he gets nervous.

i guess the best place to start would be my bookshelves, a.k.a. toy storage.

here you can see we have our dear doggie's bed nestled in between the two bookshelves. this is precisely where he will remain for the duration of your visit, as he has a tendency to rip houseguests to shreds for the mere offense of walking through the front door. oh, and the painting above his bed might look a little familiar. it's an original oil piece done by my nana of myself and my brother. there's a freaky anecdote that goes with it, if you're interested.

mr. c is curious about my favorite bookshelf and what books it holds. it's so hard to choose only one favorite shelf when you can find any number of randomly interesting things. for example:

a: the toga iced tea bottle that my friend got for me from the dollar store when we were in eleventh grade (k do you still have yours? i don't think t does.)

b: my servsafe manual that proves i really do know how to make food without transmitting any parasites or bacteria

c: baby touch and feel animals

the technical analysis of financial markets is b's book.

mr. c also wants to know about what dvds are on my favorite shelf. i think i might only own about a dozen dvds so this one won't be too hard to answer. i find that most movies or shows i like are on one of the 800 or so tv channels we get, and if not, can be easily ordered through the cable box. as a result, the dvds that we do own are from at least six years ago and were dated even then. but here are some samples:

moving right along, the next stop on the tour is my favorite cookbooks. which again, i'm going to half answer because although i'm a professional chef, and have a jewish grandmother to unload her cookbook stash on me one piece at a time, i pretty much never use cookbooks. my favorite food books are more reference type. you can see them here:

the herb bible and herbs and spices are both excellent resource guides for almost every herb or spice you can think of. i usually don't have the patience to follow a recipe and often will read cookbooks like you would skim a boring magazine article, just enough to get the idea. although, this method frequently bites me in the ass when i make something i love and then try to make it again and have forgotten whatever it was that i did to make myself love it in the first place.

what's that, all that cookbook talk has made you hungry? well, if you're expecting me to cook dinner you have another thing coming. i usually don't like to cook big meals at home for a couple of reasons. one of them is named modesto, or something else similar, and his absence in my house pretty much means that either we're going out to eat or ordering in. we can go to the lovely mexican spot overlooking the river with killer burritos, or if you're daring, i could order one of those naked chicks to come over and let us eat sushi off her body:

on second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.

ok, so maybe i can throw a few things together. i've been wanting to recreate this seafood ragout that i've seen at work. it's basically some shrimp, scallops, and mussels cooked with rosemary, thyme, white beans, and a saffron tomato broth.

but i'm also a huge fan of duck. so if i were planning a special 'i'm only cooking to impress you' dinner, i'd probably include some duck breasts with a pomegranate sauce.

or maybe a lamb roast with a mint and papaya slaw.

or i could make osso bucco served stew-like style over rice. i can buy the shanks with the bone marrow still inside for an extra treat.

or i could stop rambling already.

yeah, i need a beer too after all that mess.

lucky for you b and i drink beer like it's our job. i tend to prefer an ipa or lager, middle of the road i guess. nothing dark dark like a stout, but not light like that crap that comes in a can that changes color just so the morons who drink it can tell if it's ice-fucking-cold so that their taste buds will be numbed and not notice the obscene lack of flavor.

b's going to pick up a sixer tonight on his way home from work. the beer store down the road keeps dogfish head cold so that's definitely a favorite.

i hope you enjoyed my tour, or at least didn't hate it. and if you did hate it, maybe i'll send my monster after you to convince you how warm and welcoming my home can be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

eyeshadow and boobies live happily ever after

of all the many wonderful things in this world to be addicted to, i might be the only one who needs a support group for over-use of glittery eyeshadow. i've known about my weakness for years. yet somehow, i cannot manage to 'just say no' when i open my blue and green flowery make-up bag, search deep in its dark corners, and my happy hand closes upon a round silvery case of sparkly joy.

i really do need help.

(don't worry coffee, you're still my number one addiction. now and always.)

then again, maybe it's not so bad because the sparklies usually fall off pretty quick. then it just looks like i'm not wearing any makeup at all. either way, my huge tatas will almost always capture someone's gaze long before the bad taste in eyeshadow does.

for example, in this pic where i showered and put on clothes that don't have elastic waistbands, you can barely see the aforementioned sparklies:

kristine and i had a lovely night out at a concert this weekend. no husbands and no kiddies. it was the definition of amazing. conor oberst, if you're out there somewhere, you're genius is mindblowing. and the guy at your merch table has a very weird haircut.

as we navigated our way through the field of fellow concertgoers, closer and closer to the stage, i also realized that glittery eyeshadow is way better than that gross patchouli smell. i might have stuck out like a shiny beacon amongst the throngs of hippies, but at least i didn't have that musky stink radiating from my body, like an olfactory needle piercing the brains of innocent music lovers.

i also immensely enjoyed dancing like a mime/mexican jumping bean hybrid, despite repeatedly and unintentionally hitting the ass of the man standing in front of me. thankfully, enormous boobies are great cover. the guy said if it was someone with a big beer gut slamming into him he'd have to wreck shit, but because it was me with a nice smile (low-cut shirt) he'd let it go. joke's on you guy, because i have both a beer gut and a nice smile.

and now i'll stop, before i give you any more reason to believe i'm that person you'd love to hate at a concert. but if it's already too late, i can tell you that i will most definitely be the girl wooo-woooing loudly in your ear at the end of each song.

you're welcome for that.


if you were at all interested in seeing some great pics from the show, you could go here to kristine's blog. she posted some great shots that encapsulated the whole night. and as usual, her paint skills can be rivaled by no one.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

i have an endless supply of bullshit in my catalog

i usually despise lying. the whole moral objection part is one reason, but also because i'm a horrible liar. i get all sweaty and flushed in the face. this ridiculous nervous giggle erupts from me in spasms, like a bad twitch that i have no control over, accompanied by the cheesedick grin that only looks more awkward as i try to straighten my uncooperative lips out.

once in a while, under extreme circumstances, i can pull off a lie. but usually only if it's for a really good reason, like for example, a dumbass practical joke.

now, i'm by no means what you'd call a prankster. i generally think that stuff is pretty annoying. the whole 'salt in your coffee' thing needs to stop, it's not funny people!

that was for my co-workers. i got it off my chest and now i feel better.

right, back to my point. i was about to tell you the story of my most successful prank/joke of all time. which, you might find slightly immature, but i was thoroughly impressed with myself about.

it was about 2002ish, and i was out of college but still young enough to go to college bars and not be the creepy old-er lady getting her drink on. i was living at my mom's house with her and her lame bf and three motherfuckingdisgusting cats. one was named ass. he had a leaky pooper.

one day my little eye spied a catalog lying amidst the mail for mom's bf. it was international male. i think they've change the name since then, but they sell things like this:

and this:

oh, and also this:

because you don't have the pleasure of reading the lovely captions for these pics i'll tell you that the middle one is called mansilk and the last one is called pistol pete.

as you can imagine, the first idea that came into my head was 'how can i share this comedy genius with other people?'

naturally, myself and my friend amanda, who looked incredibly mature and not at all like a skanky 22-year old, brought it out to the bar with us that night. you know the place, you've been there. two hundred people squished into an old house-come-bar, spilling out onto the patio. the floor permanently sticky from who knows how many years of spilled alcohol seeping into the hardwood, and every frat boy in town wearing his white hat with some logo on it to match his uniform of khaki cargo shorts and fitted t-shirt.

i folded the international male and stuck it in the back pocket of my calvins, waiting for someone to take the bait.

it wasn't long. a chipper fellow approached me with a twisted grin, 'so what's that in your back pocket?'

my first victim.

i casually informed him that i worked as an intern for the company. the less i talked the more intriguied he became. finally, i gave him what he was waiting for.

'well, to be honest, it's really stressful right now. the underwear model that we wanted to use just cancelled for another job and now we're stuck with this massive photo shoot for the new season and no model. my boss wanted me to find someone who would be willing to drop everything and go to the bahamas for four days on less than 24 hour's notice. she just doesn't get it, people have lives. they can't just up and leave to prance around in a thong for four days, even if it is all paid for.'

his eyes lit up like the griswold's house at christmas.

playing right into my game, he offered to be the model for me. he'd probably be able to talk to his teachers and get out of class for a few days...

i told him we'd (me and my colleague) have to talk about it for a minute.

(cut to half an hour later)

almost every guy in the bar is now standing in a line next to our table, some holding offerings of beer and shots of every variety. they are, in turn, pulling up their shirts to show us their abs, hoping that we might choose them to work as the international male underwear model.

we were professional, no touching or flirting. simply taking fake notes next to bad nicknames written on a bar napkin.

by the end of the night, we had had our fill of drinks and amusement. we left the bar, having stayed in charater the whole time.

i guess maybe it's only a real practical joke when you clue the victim in on the fact that it's a joke. but i'm not claiming to be the joke master over here, so we bailed and left a few dozen frat boys with false hopes of making it big in thong modeling.

or maybe the joke was on me after all. did the drunken boys really buy my load of crap? or were they just trying to talk to two chicks in a bar who weren't in their art history class?

who cares, i had fun. and it was also fun to reminisce about this story with kristine last night at her house. as she perused the website, i walked out of the room to talk to b. he was calling to make sure we weren't getting into any trouble, and i had to get away from the junk pics to be able to have a conversation. 'talk' might not be the best word. i probably should say snorted/laughed hysterically when i heard kristine scream 'ewwww, i see penis!!' from the other room.

nearly a decade later, and i still crack up at junk holders. and that, unfortunately, is not a lie.

Friday, July 10, 2009

not me, no way, no how, not ever

last night b and i went to a reception dinner to welcome the new regional managing co-operative district chief financial directing big boss. so what i made up that title, not like anyone ever really knows what those guys do anyway. the guy seems nice enough though, despite what i initially thought of him based purely on a picture.

the funny part was that the dinner was held at the estate where i work. so there we were, all dressed up in a room of 200 plus white collar, conservative, finance people, and i was busy bullshitting with the waitstaff. although i have to say that many of them didn't recognize me with my hair down and no chef whites on, so i had to have that awkward 'oh yeah it's me, i showered' conversation a few times.

but more importantly, i have to say that last night taught me a very, very valuable lesson. i learned exactly what type of old lady i do not want to become.

to be fair, this lesson actually started on tuesday morning when i was in traffic court. the sweet little old gal sitting next to me, someone's grandmother, seemed so helpless and scared about how to talk to the officer about her ticket. she kept leaning in to ask me what to do next, because i look like the kind of criminal who's seen the inside of a courtroom a few times yet is still reasonably approachable.

maybe she's psychic, but i was happy to answer her questions, hoping to make her experience a little less intimidating.

that is, until she began her relentless onslaught of fart bombs. i think she may have been having flashbacks to the first world war, and her subconscious released her own version of lethal gas to protect herself from any possible attackers.

she shrouded me with her clouds of stink, and still looked me in the eye to ask about when to stand up and talk to the cop.

devious as a black widow, masterful in her craft of luring you in just to poison you while you innocently offer advice, she was a rattlesnake in the grass, coiled and ready to strike. no granny, i do not want to be like you when i get old. it seems you have cornered the market on sweet and deadly, i could never dream of following in your footsteps.

she wasn't even the worst of the old lady gang.

last night i had the pleasure of sitting next to old secretary lady, who's biggest offense was the pearl-sized orange ball of ear wax perilously nestled inside her ear, ready to make its escape at the very slightest of head turns.

i tried not to stare.

it was incredibly hard to make small talk with b's other co-workers while at the same time keeping one eye on the crystallized ball of nasty just waiting to roll out onto my miso glazed chilean sea bass and blend right in with the papaya chutney. it was a cruel game. i knew if i wasn't vigilant i would end up eating the wax and be none the wiser.

so naturally i shoveled my food into my gaping mouth as fast as i possibly could so that i could retreat to the ladies room and wrestle with my spanx for about twenty minutes. i figured in that time old secretary lady would have finished her dinner and maybe gotten up to mingle.

i didn't know what i had inadvertently set myself up for.

in the bathroom stall next to me, as i struggled to get my spandexy undies back in place, i had to listen to oversharing old lady making vag farts and ugghhhhh noises. as i barely managed to keep my dinner in my stomach, she proclaimed 'that's how you know the food was goooood!!'

i tried to wash up and exit the restroom before she emerged from the stall, but alas, that was not my fate. no, oversharing lady had to reach right in front of my face to grab a hand towel while i retched silently.

'even these towels are nice here!!' she said with a grin.

i hung my head and ran out the door, never looking back.

and so, with these fine examples laid before my feet, i now know that i will make the effort to become a very different type of old lady. i will smell perpetually of fresh mint leaves and sit in a rocking chair knitting ceaselessly, even in the summers. i will not threaten innocent people with my bodily excretions in any state of matter.

i hereby do declare that i will be a truly harmless old lady. unless of course you try to talk shit about my driving, then i'll be forced to beat you with my cane.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

and the winner is... (there's nothing to win, but nothing to lose either)

i was watching this tv show the other day about a loser. this man is broke, divorced, and lives in a tent in his own backyard. so naturally he attends a seminar on how to employ his natural talents in a profitable way. except that the only innate 'winning tool' this guy could come up with about himself was the fact that he's hung.

right. because the only direction this show can go is for him to become a hooker.

so it got me thinking about what my winning tool was and how i could put it to work for me, without involving prostitution in any way.

the first thing that came to mind is that i'm a decent cook. but then i realized that a million other people can also do that as well. not to mention that i'm lacking both the massive start-up capital and spare hundred hours or so a week needed to ensure that your culinary skills will ultimately become profitable.

i can also knit pretty well. but again, a trillion other people can do that. and i'm way too lazy to maintain an etsy account. besides, i'm also learning that yes, you can have too many throw blankets. and then, maybe i can't knit so well because i can only make things that are square or rectangular. this is what happened when i tried to make a hat for the fuss:

it was a little big.

so what the fuck else am i good at? (besides throwing unnecessary sweary words into sentences)

my moment of clarity has arrived.

i am an awesome negotiator. or i guess you could say i make good bribes. but i like negotiator better, it just sounds slightly more badass.

this is a skill i've had to hone over the years. it wasn't always so sublimely refined as it is today. when i was in college, the power of my skills used to even blow my own mind. like, for example, when i would go out to the bar with a fiver in my pocket and come home wasted and with about thirteen bucks stuffed into my pack of marlboro reds.

there was also the time that my piece of shit nissan sentra exploded on a major interstate, at 11:00 at night, on my birthday, in those dark days before cell phones. somehow i managed to convince the state trooper, who found me crying in a ball fifty feet from my smoldering vehicle, to drive me the forty plus miles to my house instead of following his orders to drop me at the place where they were going to tow my car to. he even let me use the radar thing to clock speeders. it looked like a tv remote from the eighties.

as i matured, so did my ability to reign in my power.

just this morning i successfully convinced the fuss that playing with the maraca i made out of plastic cups, hot pink duct tape, and quinoa is way more entertaining than chewing the nest of wires underneath the desk.

as anyone who's ever had the pleasure of a teething nine-month-old's company can tell you, this is not an easy thing to accomplish.

and if you wanted even more evidence of my winning tool at work, i will now predict that i will become, literally, a winning tool over at yo mama's blog. i'm pretty sure i can convince miss yvonne to send me a care package of insult gum, a handmade card, and maybe some cookies by spreading linky love for all you out there in blogland. i know you want to be a winner too, and you just may be if you head over and check out her contest.

whew. all this talking about myself has tired me out. what about you, dear reader, what's your winning tool*? i ask in part because i care about you and want to get to know you a little better, but also because i want to get some ideas for different ways i can exploit things to make bags of money. alright then, let's hear it.

*please don't creep me out by being perverted. i may be using a dirty pun, but i'm hoping for clean answers.