Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ew. Oogy. Gross.

This morning I killed the fourth black widow in my house in less than a year. Seriously, what is up with these bitches? What makes them think they’re welcome? Because they’re most definitely not.

This one was a fatty. Big and plump, her red hourglass shining like a beacon in the morning sun. She had built quite the web for herself, I don’t know why I didn’t notice it before. Other than it was in a corner of the garage I don’t normally look at. I must have left at just the right time this morning because as I was backing out of my garage on my way to work, the sun shone just so on her gigantic web and her big, black body was smack dab in the middle of it.

The only bug killing spray I have left is wasp killer, but it did the trick - knocked her out of her web and stunned her long enough for me to get a shovel to crush her with. She must have been sleeping too, because she didn’t see it coming. Ha! I left her body there as a warning to others. They’re evil little bitches though, so the next one will probably just eat her remains before finding another corner of my house to take up residence.

My skin is crawling just thinking about it. And did you know I have a bite on my butt? Yeah, one of her little relatives probably did it while I was sleeping. That’s a disturbing thought. Spiders are creepy little fuckers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Neurosis is Showing

Yes, I've been feeling quite neurotic lately. Yes, even more than normal. But only about one thing in particular, not life in general. Mostly. Anyhoo.....

My company sponsors its own Toastmasters club and, a few months ago, my manager suggested I join. Ha. Right. Public speaking? That means people watch me while I try to sound clever and look like I know what I'm doing. Which I never do. The thought alone makes me want to run home and crawl under a blanket until my heart stops pounding like it wants to escape from my chest.

So I must have been in an ass-kissing mood the day he invited me to a meeting because I went, under the strict condition that I wouldn't get up and speak that day. And I didn't. I did sit there getting hot flashes and sweaty armpits just from watching other people speak. Fear of public speaking? I'd say I have it. Which turned out to be the exact reason why I decided to join Toastmasters. Lately I've had this crazy idea to conquer my fears and this is a big one to get over. Big. Huge.

The first speech is called the ice-breaker and it's basically a way of introducing yourself to the group. Usually, I am my favorite subject to talk about but this was difficult. What about me did I want to share with my coworkers? My manager? I couldn't think of anything that was interesting enough to talk about for five minutes and yet wasn't over sharing or inappropriate. I finally settled on my role as a mom. It's pretty easy to talk about my kid and I "cheated" by stitching together a speech with some of the things I have written here.

When speech time came, I pretty much wanted to puke my guts out. I thought puking on the floor in front of everyone would be preferable to standing in front of everyone talking. At least it wouldn't last as long. I was afraid I'd forget a part, or freeze up completely and forget the whole thing. I imagined I'd pass out, or sweat pools under my armpits. All really unappealing, unattractive images.

Then something else happened. Yes, my voice shook like I knew it would. I almost cried three separate times. I did forget a couple of small parts, just sentences really. I was pretty much frozen in one spot, probably looking as awkward as I felt. But I got through it. I remembered the important parts, the clever phrases and witty descriptions. People laughed in the right places and I wasn't the only one with tears in my eyes at the end. I shocked the hell out of myself. That rarely happens to me.

The other members of the group give the speaker written comments at the end, feedback on what was good, what can be done better the next time. Mine said things like "You made me cry", "poignant", "Thank you for sharing so much with us", "amazing". Some people told me they couldn't believe it was my first speech, another told me that I set the bar high for myself. Wow. Shocking, definitely.

This is where my neurosis comes in. I'm not done giving speeches. I have nine more to do in this first series. I just put a ton of pressure on myself. Now I have new fear of being a one hit wonder, along with having to get up and do it all over again.

I decided almost immediately the topic for my next speech but it has taken me over a month to write it. I finally wrote it today. I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm an expert in the subject matter so that should help. A little. I hope.

Yeah, I'm just going to take the next week and a half to memorize it and psych myself up for it. The nausea is already setting in.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Oh, Monday. I hate Monday. Monday is not my friend. Monday means working, being inside, going back to normal eating and, worst of all, the end to my perfect weekend. Seriously. This weekend was the best ever. This weekend totally kicks all other weekends’ ass this year. Really. Here’s a quick recap. I might be forgetting a few details, but this should give you an idea of how much my weekend rocked. Try not to be too jealous.

Thursday –
What I did -
Played hooky from work to give myself a four-day weekend and went floating. D actually had a float she could carry herself and decided she loves floating now. Shopped for BBQ food. Had relaxing evening watching a movie with her after my ballet taxi duties. Snuggled with dogs.

What I ate –
CafĂ© Yumm’s Smoky in a wrap with added jalapeno-sesame salsa. Yumm…..

What I drank –
Water. (weekend prep)

Friday –
What I did –
Woke up early to see D off for the weekend. Went to the lake with M for lots of sun. Used my new cooler. Killed annoying bee-fly things. Realized I love summer so much that I would totally marry it. Really, I love it that much. Went to first Friday with M and had free wine and free jello shots. Went to 900 Wall, flirted with boys and had free Manhattans.

What I ate –
Leftover peanut chicken and noodles, Doritos, an apple, jello shots, potato fritters at 900 Wall (which are nowhere near as good as the risotto fritters that Merenda had. Boo.), the cherries in my Manhattans.

What I drank –
Water, diet coke, white wine, red wine, Manhattans (three of them. I think.)

Saturday –
What I did –
Woke up hung-over. Went to the pet parade with J and squealed over cute dogs. Walked around the park squealing over more cute dogs while giving a recap of the night before. Went floating. Laughed my butt off. Realized I was having the Most Perfect Weekend Ever. Felt the need to tell strangers how great it was. Went with J to her new boy’s parents’ house. They are like a movie family – crazy, loud and totally fun. This was a real conversation there –

New Boy’s Dad: Would you like some wine?
Me: No thank you, I brought my own for later.
New Boy’s Dad: Do you want some wine?
Me: No thank you, not right now.
New Boy’s Dad: What kind of wine do you want?
Me: Really, I’m okay right now.
New Boy’s Dad: Do you want red or white?
Me: I’ll take white. (I love people who force alcohol on me!)

Played bocce ball. I swear these people said my name at least 50 times during the game and were not at all shy about forcing me to play. “Hey, it’s your turn.” “Come on muscles!” “It’s totally up to you. No pressure though.” I did at least get the award for Most Improved During the Game. Even if I had to award it to myself. Oh, and the grandma lady? I was informed that she is “Nana” to me. I want to adopt them. I freaking love these people and I want to be them when I grow up.

Went to M’s for BBQ. Went back to J’s new boy’s place to set off fireworks. Drove to watch the butte fireworks at the crazy family’s office. Snuggled with the new boy’s dog in the back of his BMW. (Yeah, the only action I got all weekend was with dogs. But I’m totally okay with that. Dogs rock.)

What I ate –
Crackers, cheese, salami, olives, artichoke dip, seven-layer dip, mango salsa (which I could have bathed in, it was so good!), chips, veggies, ribs, corn on the cob in a tortilla, grilled pineapple, homemade cherry pie and vanilla ice cream.

What I drank –
Caramel frappuccino, white wine, vanilla whiskey and diet coke, water and a sip of a V-8.

Sunday –
Slept in, read in bed. Felt guilty about leaving my dogs all weekend and stayed home to be with them for a bit and laid out in the sun with them. Went to the Sunday concert with both Jens, met the other one’s new boy. Felt slightly jealous over my friends’ happiness but know they both totally deserve it. Hoped some of it would rub off on me. Sweated like crazy, ended up burning my new skin that had peeled. Went to another BBQ that was not the funnest part of my weekend but gave me something to laugh about. J read her sickly sweet texts from her new boy to me. Ooh’d and ah’d and felt nauseous at the same time. Drank water, sat on my couch for the first time all weekend to watch a movie, snuggled with dogs.

What I ate –
Grapes, cherries, bread with artichoke dip, wasabi peas, “intense” almonds, hot dog, cheese, Greek salad, chicken kabob, a pickle slice and a cupcake.

What I drank -
Water, rose' wine, coconut rum and coke, spiced rum and coke, water.

There is no way that next year’s 4th of July weekend can be better than this, but I’ll sure try. I love everyone who was a part of it and it was the perfect kick-off to a real summer.
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