Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Fun Teenage Conversation

Last night D had a short performance with Youth Choir for a cancer survivor's group. Appropriately, she was completely focused on the teenage boy in the leather jacket.

D: He is so hot, he is so gorgeous!! Don't you think he's hot, Mom?
Me: He's a child.
D (to her friends): My mom thinks he's hot!!!
Me: That is NOT what I said. I said he's a CHILD.
Other teenage girl: That's okay, my mom says stuff like that too.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Losing It

Lately I've found out what being unemployed for ten months will do to you. It will drive you crazy. Or make you really, really stupid. I think I'm both now. For example, this morning I was yelling for my dog to come in and getting really irritated that she wasn't listening to me because I didn't want to let cold air in the house. The poor thing was lying innocently by the fire. Inside the house. When I left to go meet a friend, I searched frantically for my car keys. Which were on the table next to my purse. Right in front of me.

And if that's not enough, my emotions are all over the freaking map. Two days ago I woke up grumpy. General grumpiness turned to anger. Like raging anger and hatred of everything in the world. For no apparent reason. I just hated everything. I wanted to hide out at home, but I also wanted to go out somewhere. But then I knew that I shouldn't be out in public with a very real chance of killing someone for doing something stupid like existing. This morning I was so restless I couldn't sit still. But I didn't really want to do anything other than sit on the couch. So I paced from room to room for a while.

I don't remember what day it is most of the time and I've started forgetting to do things I say I'm going to do. Like meet a friend for yoga. When I don't forget, I change plans in my head but I don't communicate them to anyone else. Which makes me feel so self-absorbed I can't stand myself. I think I'm going to start losing friends soon. I wouldn't be able to put up with me for long.

It's getting really pathetic. I'm predicting the next stage will be learning to knit sweaters for my dogs. And the invisible cats that I was talking to while decorating my tree alone.

Seriously. I need a job.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

My Favorite

So I've been complaining a lot lately about Nutcracker weekend and how much it sucks. And it does. I'm tired. D is tired. I have to have extra energy to get her through the times that she's tired and grumpy and sore and hungry. Which isn't fair, because she's younger than me and is supposed to have more energy. I spend more money than I want to on last-minute supplies and spend my time catering to her needs. Or wants. Or whines.

I'm dead tired right now and I think pajamas are the best thing ever invented and I'm about to sleep like the dead (with Nutcracker music stuck in my head), but I have to say one thing. I love my bugabooga more than anything in the world. I'm a mom so I know I'm supposed to say stuff like that, only I'm not that kind of mom. I don't like most kids. Some days I can hardly stand the one I have. But I love her to pieces anyway and tonight she outdid herself.

She had her first solo tonight and there really aren't words for how I felt. My heart nearly burst when she came out on stage. Doll has always been one of my favorite parts and she made the Best Doll Ever. She was beautiful and radiant and she floated across the stage and she looked so grown up and the only reason I didn't pass out from holding my breath the whole time was because I was concentrating on trying not to cry so that I could see her without my eyes getting all blurry.

Am I proud of her? Yeah, sure. But that's just too generic a term. She astonishes me. She surprises me in the best possible ways. I don't know how she got to be the person that she is. But I'm glad she is. And I'm glad she's mine.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Life Lessons from Mothers to Daughters

Sitting behind a gigantic, lifted truck today, D and I had this conversation:

D: He must have a really small penis. You taught me that.
Me: Yes I did. He must have a snail-sized penis.
D: Snails are cute. I like snails.
Me: Snails might be cute, but snail-sized penises are not. You should run from those.

I'm always looking out for her.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm So Smart Sometimes

Alright you guys, I have the most brilliant idea like ever in the history of my great ideas. Possibly even the world's ideas. It is that good. And if it actually gets done, remember it is my idea and I want the billion dollars that it will make.

So yesterday, I had to call unemployment. Which is the biggest waste of time because they put you on hold for precious hours of your life that you will never get back. I did it twice yesterday. The first time I was told my wait time would be 120 minutes. Really. 120. It takes me less time to count that high and even that is too long to wait for anything. After an hour I think someone picked up but then they disconnected me. Fuck me. Like an idiot, I called back. This time it was a 153 minute wait. Because they had to add in that extra 3 minutes. It couldn't just be 150. I waited another hour and gave up. Yeah, I need money but at this point my sanity is more valuable.

I got up early this morning specifically to call in hopes that less people would be calling at 8 a.m. This time I was told between 25 and 35 minutes. It ended up being 45, but whatever. At least she didn't hang up on me this time.

While listening to the same, repetitive music and messages over and over and over and over, I got my brilliant idea. Most of us have smart phones now, right? We can watch videos on them. So instead of playing stupid music that makes you suicidal, why don't they play videos to watch? Right? It's totally entertaining! And totally mindless, but so what. Waiting on hold for days on end is a mindless task anyway. I vote for cartoons. But only the good ones, the classics. Tom and Jerry. The Jetsons. Pink Panther. Mr. Magoo. None of these new retarded cartoons that must be made by monkeys. I would have to put my head in the microwave if Spongebob Squarepants came on. (Even spell check doesn't like Spongebob. Or Squarepants.)

I know, it's a totally rad idea. And it's mine. Steal it and you are dead to me. Not your money though, money is never dead to me. Plus it's my money in the first place because it's my idea.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Little Apple

Last night's conversation:

D: I'm going to text my man candy.
Me: Man candy? What did you say to him?
D: "What's up dog?"
Me: You say that to your boyfriend?
D: I'm not going to be all, "Hi honey." Gross.

She's also "training" him to be weird like her. Gotta love that kid.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weird Moments For Moms

Here's a good one: My kid just posted on her Facebook wall that she's in a relationship. Apparently the big moment in the life of teenage dating is making one's relationship "Facebook-official." And then your friends post things like, "I think I just peed out of happiness."

Two weeks ago she wasn't sure she was ready to date, now she's Facebook-official. Have I mentioned she's a Gemini? I can't even keep up with her moods, let alone her "relationship" status. And of course anything I would dare to post would be immediately deleted.

I really don't even know what to say. Or how to feel. I think something lame like weird works here. So, yeah. It's weird.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ode To the Sweet Man at the Liquor Store

You, my friend, as you know, made my day. And week. Quite possibly, my month.

Winter is not kind. All I've wanted to do this week is eat and sleep. Eat and sleep. Go back to bed to sleep. Eat some more. I think I'm really a bear stuck in a person's body. I would give anything to hibernate. As a result of this sleeping and eating, I'm already getting fluffy. Putting on my jeans this morning was a harsh reminder of this fact. Like, really depressing. I like to eat mushrooms, I don't like to look like them.

I decide to treat myself to a martini so I visit your store. You greet me in such a friendly way. Which is nice, because liquor stores can feel really skeezy. I prefer to be treated like a productive and functioning alcoholic, not a homeless boozer.

While ringing me up, you said you would flatter me by checking my ID. I always love when that happens, but I didn't expect your reaction, "DAMN, you're doing good baby!!" Apologizing for the "baby" wasn't necessary, it added the extra oomph that I appreciated. Really, someone buy this man a drink!

Thank you for giving me bragging rights and making me forget about my winter marshmallow belly for a few minutes.

You remarked at the end that "this is going to get around." My friend, you have no idea.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Then and Now

When I was in college, I thought that the older women, the "moms" that went back to school after 20 years were laughable. Why bother going back to school when their lives were half over? School was for young people. These women were supposed to be at home helping their kids with their homework, not doing their own. But, secretly, underneath my smirks, I was jealous of them for one thing. They got the better grades. I assumed it was because their lives were so pathetic they had nothing better to do, but I envied them that. Even if I hadn't been so painfully shy back then, I wouldn't have befriended them.

Well, guess what? I turned into that mom going back to school 20 years later.

For years I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I knew what I wanted when I was 19. What a joke. I don't think I would want any of those things now. Including the boyfriend. And then I just sort of fell into every job I've ever had, aside from the ones I thought I wanted to do but soon discovered that I would have to be crazy to continue in that vein. Getting laid off this year provided me with the opportunity to revisit the broke feeling of my college days (daily spaghetti and the occasional Taco Bell). But it also became a wake-up call. Do I really want to go back to the same thing I've been doing? Not really. Do I want to just fall into another job? Nope. So I took some time to think about the things I've enjoyed doing over the last few years. The parts of my jobs that I did really like. And after some soul-searching and months of researching master's programs, I chose and enrolled in a school. Ta-da!!!!

College is an interesting concept now. I'm old. Or at least I feel old when I compare the differences between Then and Now. When I was in college, there was no internet. The one computer class I took taught DOS and we used floppy disks. I know, some of you don't even know what those are. Fuck you for being young. Now all of my classes are online. I don't buy books in a bookstore, Amazon sends them to me. I share classes with people from Alabama, Indiana and India. Only they actually, physically, live there. In college I wrote my papers on a word processor. I took notes on paper. On a desk without a computer. I actually had a callous on my finger from writing so much. I don't think people even get those anymore.

The other big difference? Yeah, it goes back to those better grades. Part of it is that I'm paying for it this time around, but that doesn't really factor into the day-to-day of class. Honestly, I've just gotten really competitive. Including with myself. And I think I'm smarter. I have "life experience" or some shit. So I can't accept less. My first class spoiled me; I aced it. I was lulled into a false sense of geniusness. My second class started easily enough - I got a 99%. Yes! Go me!! And then the second assignment brought an 88%. What? The fuck? That is NOT an A. This can't happen. I am an A student now. I kicked my ass on the next paper and am now checking for my grade roughly every 45 minutes. It has to be an A. Has. to. be.

Here's another little twist on the Now. I do have a kid in school still doing homework. I ride her little tush constantly to get better grades. I have high expectations of her. I push her and don't accept excuses. So now I have to set an example or something stupid like that. Honestly? I think I'm competing with my own kid now. Hey, whatever gets us that elusive 4.0....

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Warning: Emotional Vomiting

You might not want to read this one. I'm not about to be charming or witty or even amusingly sarcastic. I'm about to dive into self-pity so deep that I can barely stand to be me today. It's about to get ugly.

I've been unemployed for nine months now. The first couple of months were "whatever, I can do this, there's something better out there." Then I started to panic. And then it was summer and I got the best tan of my life. But now it's winter and I'm already prone to depression. As in, I'm already on medication. But this is bad. Unemployed, broke, depressed with no end in sight.

It's not for lack of trying. I've sent in tons of resumes. I've applied to the same places over and over. I just sent one in yesterday to a company I applied to last month. I did some contract work for a few weeks and had hoped that would turn into more. Nope. Bupkis. Crickets. Oh hell, even the crickets are gone.

If you've gotten this far, I really urge you to stop. I'm just about to get utterly pathetic. Ugh. Here it is. I'm alone. I have wonderful friends and I don't actually live alone. There's a teenager here. And a couple of dogs. But I don't have someone to hug me at the end of the day. There's no love in my life and right now it just feels lonely and magnifies my situation that much more. I don't have that person to fall back on. I am unemployed, broke and alone. Living the fucking dream.

And as soon as I break down, like I did today, crying my eyes out before I even got out of bed, I remind myself that it could be worse. That it is worse for a lot of people. I don't have cancer or chronic pain. My daughter is healthy and beautiful and blossoming. I have friends that mean the world to me. I have a home and sweet puppies and my car is paid off. Thus begins the joy of the cycle of guilt and self-hatred.

But I can't help it. This is just one of those days. I feel helpless and hopeless and trapped. I'm tired of being positive and strong because I'm not. I'm exhausted and out of energy. I'm tired of "hanging in there." It doesn't pay the bills. I can't even snuggle with one of my cute puppies because she ate poop first thing this morning.

Something needs to change for the better soon. I hate feeling like this and I hate being like this. And I could blame it on the cramps and hormones, but today I just give up.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Joy of Flying

Remember when flying used to be fun? When they gave you actual food and the flight attendants were really nice and would bring you pillows and blankets to help you feel cozy? When you didn't have to take your shoes off and you could carry a pair of tweezers or a bottle of shampoo? When I was little, they gave out those little wings pins and your dinner plate came with tiny glass salt and paper shakers. Which, incidentally, my mom "collected" but when I stole a piece of candy once she came unglued. Seems a bit hypocritical if you ask me, but whatever....

I used to love flying. Now I hate it. Even flying with my best friend didn't make it better.

To fly to Disneyland, we had to go Redmond-Portland-Seattle-Orange County. Do you see the problem here? We had to go north before going south. Yeah, it made a lot of sense to us. In Portland we changed planes. Or thought we did. We really just went in and out the same gate and back onto the same plane. Same flight attendants and everything. I even asked the guy, "Is this the same plane?" He asked where we were going and when we told him he gave us a weird look. J said "Yeah, apparently we have to fly to Canada before we can get to California." He believed her. Then he told us that there is a direct flight from Redmond to Seattle, which was completely missing the point. We don't want to go north at all, we wanted to go south. The really crazy part? We met a family on the shuttle to our hotel from Alaska. Their flight from Alaska was shorter than ours from Oregon. Makes total sense, right?

We annoyed everyone on all three flights. Except the one guy who was amused by our interpretation of the safety card. And the one flight attendant when I almost blew water out of my nose. On accident.

On the flight back, we didn't have seats together. We each had a middle seat in the same row. As we were boarding, we noticed an old man and woman in the aisle seats across from each other in our row. Assuming they were together, we asked if they'd mind switching seats so that we could be together. They said, "No. We want to sit together." Um, but you would be together. You'd be closer together. "No. No. We don't want to. No." Oh, well thank you for being such assholes about it. And, really. Who purposely buys their tickets like that? They wanted to sit together, but not actually next to each other. And they didn't say one word to each other the whole flight. In fact, when the old lady couldn't open her little bag of snacks, she asked J to help her. Not her husband who she had to sit next to. Wtf??

The only thing I was grateful for was not having to sit next to the asshole in the pirate hat who kept yelling at his kid when we were waiting at the gate. It was like he had to announce to everyone what a shitty parent he was. Obviously one of those dicks who hits his kid and probably his wife too. I would have stabbed him if I got stuck next to him. I don't know what I would have used since I wasn't allowed to have my tweezers. I would have figured something out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Total Cute Overload

Tonight was D's first real date. That one back in the summer doesn't count because she wasn't into him. She is very much into E. They went to homecoming last week, but that's not really a date either. It's a dance, it's sponsored by the school, there are a thousand other kids around.

My rule is that there are no couple dates until 16; she's supposed to go out with a group. But I kinda like this boy and I haven't liked anyone else she has before. I met E last week when I took pictures of them for the dance. He was quiet and shy, but looked me in the eye when I talked to him. His mom was there too and she was adorable and also shy and quiet. I was the loud mom in the room. Great. E also seems smart. He's in the advanced classes and he plays violin and guitar. He's also the same age and isn't driving yet so there was no danger of involving a car. So I said okay.

I just realized why I'm so tired tonight. Watching your child grow up before your very eyes is emotionally exhausting. First there was the uber cuteness. I dropped her off in front of the restaurant where she had asked him to meet her. He walked over to the car to greet her and I watched to see if he would acknowledge me. He did. He did a little wave in that relaxed way that guys have. It's what I love about them, when they seem so easygoing and comfortable with themselves. And then they turned to walk in together. I could tell he likes her. He walked as close to her as he could without actually touching her.

When I picked her up, his parents were there at the same time. The kids stood on the curb for a second before It happened. I witnessed my child's first kiss. It was just a small hug with a quick peck, but it was on the lips. I looked away quickly so they wouldn't see me watching. I did ask her if that was the first one and she said yes and asked if I was going to cry. Even in the dark she could see my face contorting. But I didn't. Not until now, as I'm sitting in my room telling you this and she's in the living room giggling with a girlfriend.

She's in love. It's puppy love, but she's getting there. She was giggly and goofy in the car. I know she didn't want to tell me everything and that was okay. She was also just living in the moment. In that first little rush that doesn't feel the same when we get older.

My heart is full and yet breaking at the same time. She's growing up and from this moment it's just going to go faster. I don't think I'd change it either. Yes, I'd like to lock her up and keep her safe, keep her with me. But I also like the person (young woman?) that she's becoming and I'd like to learn more about her. Mostly I'm just grateful that I get to be a part of her life.

Friday, October 28, 2011

An Original Douchebag

The following excerpt is from a conversation that was unwelcome to begin with.

Random guy in a bar: Is that your real eye color?
Me: Um. What kind of question is that?

RGIB: You really need to change your eye color.
Me: Why?
RGIB: So that I'll stop staring into them.

I give him one point for originality but minus ten for the attempt.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Protecting the Sexy

J has this cat name Yuki. He is black and best described as Sex on a Stick. He totally knows it too, which just makes him sexier. Yeah, somehow it's okay for a cat to know that he's the shit, but the same quality in a human is gross.

Anyway, we're going to Disneyland next week and she was worried about leaving him at home. Black cats and Halloween don't mix. At all. She was concerned that her roommates would get stoned and let Yuki get outside so that he could end up being catnapped and used in some disgusting satanic ritual. (Yes, there are some really sick fuckers out there.) So I volunteered my house since J2 will be taking excellent care of my animals. (And this way I'll know there's something sexy on my bed while I'm gone. Because it's certainly not there when I'm home.)

The whole point of this was to post this little exchange J and I had yesterday.

J: Cool. Gotta protect my sexy boy.
Me: Yes. He is too sexy for outside.
J: Yes he is. He is for our eyes only.

Our New Additions

If you've been to Leapin' Lizards downtown, you may have seen some cute little water frogs. D has wanted one for a while, so I stopped by yesterday to pick one up for her. Just because. Because I'm an awesome mom like that.

She named them Won Ton Pizazz and Potato Beans. Teenagers are so weird. I heard her laughing in her room and I thought she was talking to a friend, but she was laughing at the frogs. One of them likes to sit on top of the other one. I don't think this is laugh-out-loud funny, but I think we have just established the fact that teenagers are weird.

Oh shit, you guys. I just went to look online for a picture of them to show you and I found this instead. Great. I just gave my kid pets that will make her sick. Mom of the Year, right here. Fuck me.

On the bright side? That picture is exactly what Won Ton Pizazz looks like.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Collette and the Dead Guy

When the Wife (best friend, for those of you who are new here) and I went to Hood River last week, we took along our new friend Collette and the wife's dad. Or at least we took his ashes. And Collette is a stuffed, leopard-print dog. She's a very easy-going travel companion, we didn't even have to stop for her to pee and she didn't bark at strangers when we left her in the car.

Collette went along because we needed a mascot. Obviously. All road trips should have a mascot. Collette had her own photo shoot with pumpkins and pears and a tiny tractor. She had a little too much wine but since her mouth is sewn shut she didn't embarrass us too much.

J's dad went along because she thought there might be a nice place to leave him along the way. Part of him. Some of him. On the way up, we passed something called Pioneer Woman Grave, which seemed like it might be a nice place. Yeah, not so much. It's on this tiny, creepy little road. We missed the grave the first time and drove to a sign that informed us that the original wagon trail from point A to point B passed through here. "Here" is now a creepy forest. When we found the grave, marked with a plaque on a large rock, it was even creepier. There was some kind of memorial shrine set up next to it with little stick figures like from the Blair Witch Project. Plus some beads and sticks and rocks and coins. Of course we felt like we had to leave something. J put down a penny and then thought twice about leaving her "gold" dollar. "But it's a dollar!" "Is it worth your soul??" Because at this point I was seriously getting creeped out. It felt like we were being watched. And of course I had to pee. Collette was very brave during the forest part of her photo shoot, but I couldn't put her anywhere near the grave. I thought she might get possessed.

My skin was crawling for about half an hour after we'd left our Watcher In the Woods experience. Really, I don't recommend it as a great tourist spot. Go have some bad wine instead.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Excuse Me, Your Pony's an Asshole

I stopped buying my pumpkins at the grocery store a few years ago when I learned about pumpkin patches. It's a little cheaper, but it's mostly the experience. It's like a little mini (I mean super tiny) amusement park. My favorite part is the petting zoo. The one I went to today had chickens, goats, bunnies, a giant pig and a lone little pony.

I wanted to pet the pony. I love ponies. I always wanted my own pony. So I pet the pony. I walked up to it and said "Hi, Pony!" as I reached out to pet its back. The pony whipped its head around and bit my leg. I got bit by a pony. I screamed more from shock, but it did hurt. Kind of a lot. J thought it was because I was wearing a skirt and it didn't like my naked legs. Well, fuck you pony. Don't you know ponies aren't supposed to bite? You're supposed to be cute and eat grass and let me pet you. Cute animals biting is just wrong. Pony, it's your job to be fucking cute! How hard is that? Seriously, pony.

Pony bites hurt. Even when they don't break the skin. I have a red welt on my leg and I'm sure it will bruise. I didn't tell on the pony. I mean, maybe it just had a bad day. Maybe it didn't get the right hay that morning. Maybe the chickens were calling it names. Or maybe it's alone in its pen because it's just an asshole. All I know is, I'm not petting anymore stupid ponies. Sorry ponies, blame me not petting you on the black and white jerk at the pumpkin patch.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do's and Dont's in Hood River

The wife and I decided to get out of town for a night and experience fall in Hood River, taking in the Fruit Loop and some wine tasting. It was lovely and beautiful and we had a fantastic time. However, we had a couple of pauses and decided that we should be in charge of travel reviews. Because we will totally tell you how it is.

Wine tasting. All trips should include wine tasting. Because it's fun! But not at the wrong place. Our first stop was Mt. Hood Winery. It was a gorgeous building, very fancy! We were the only people when we walked in, aside from the woman behind the bar who was on the phone. She was obviously taking some kind of order, it was business and not personal, so we didn't mind waiting. Until she turned her back on us. Without so much as a greeting or friendly eye contact or a quick "I'll be with you in a minute." And then she walked out of the room. So we walked out of the room. Back to the car.

After visiting a few fruit stands and working up an appetite, we headed downtown for some lunch. Travelocity said that Crazy Pepper was really good. Again, we were the only people in there. I guess nobody goes to Hood River on a Wednesday, so if you hate crowds and people in general, go on a Wednesday. You'll have plenty of time to yourself. Our waiter acted like the room was packed and he was the only server. The food was really good and the chips were my favorite kind, but we waited forever for our check. While we stared at remnants of our plates. Yuck.

At this point we were pinning all of our hopes for some kind of satisfying interaction with other people on Naked Winery. They did not disappoint. Shelly poured for us, immediately greeting us with some Foreplay. She taught us about the Tease and let us experiment with going Gay after playing with our Cougar side. We got Naked, had a little Penetration, and then two different Orgasmic experiences. Before you start thinking this was some kind of dirty sex we paid for, these are all names of their wines. Shelly was not shy about it either. The best part was when the timid older couple came in and she asked if they wanted Foreplay before declaring, "No, I think you should just go straight to Penetration!" Seriously a priceless moment.

She took our picture (they actually have signs for this. One said "girls gone wine" and the other, "I just got Naked."), then took one with us. She gave us seconds and thirds to help us narrow down our choice of wine to buy, although I would have bought them all. We had some of their picnic wine, which comes in a plastic bottle. How clever is that?? I came up with a little dirty slogan of my own, "Shove it in your box", which I'm hoping will get me a job there. Then we got another glass to drink while we shopped. Because how can you pass up buying a shirt that says "We aim to Tease"? I also had to get the booty panties. Duh.

After this experience, we really pushed our luck on the next one. Which probably isn't fair, but the differences ended up being pretty comical. We went to Cascade Cliffs' tasting room. I kinda wish we hadn't. Again, we were the only people there. And the guy pouring appeared to be completely stoned and put out that we even existed. Until he started talking. And told us things we never should have heard. Like things about the business, seriously wrong things. I won't embarrass the winery by telling you everything here. It just shocked me that anyone could be that stupid, especially in the age of social media. And then he got creepy. "Where are you girls staying so I can come stalk you later?" Um. It's a good thing we were staying out in the boonies. Even if he had gotten the energy to try to find it, he never would.

Which brings me to our hotel. Lodge. Room. The place where we slept. Cooper Spur Mountain Resort looked cute on the website. The Fruit Loop's website listed it as a place to stay. Neither one of them said anything about how it was out in the sticks and we might as well have just driven back home. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was out in BFE. The room was cute though, the bed covers were soft and fleecy and fluffy. There were lots of tiny shampoos and lotions in the bathroom. And our dinner was free with our room.

Oh yeah, the dinner. This is where it gets really weird. It wasn't really a restaurant as much as a room with a fireplace. With creepy pictures of dead people all over the walls. Well, not dead bodies, but they were really old so you know that they're dead now. Our waitress was this young girl who was nice, but it seemed like she was really new there. My steak was delicious. However, the wife's fettuccini alfredo was the worst alfredo in the History of Pasta. And they forgot the chicken on it. The "cook" himself came out to apologize. He was a child. He appeared to be a child who is beaten on a regular basis. I swear he was shaking when he came out to apologize and ask if she still wanted him to bring the chicken out when it was done. I seriously wanted to take him home and make him a grilled cheese and some cookies and tuck him in bed with some warm milk. There was no way we could have told him how bad the pasta was, I think he would have peed his pants.

In the morning, the woman at the front desk repeatedly asked us how our dinner was and how the servers were. We couldn't tell her anything bad because we kept picturing those poor kids locked up in a cellar for a week without food while being whipped with chains every hour. By the ghosts of the dead people on the wall. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. Not that much.

What we learned is that next time we will stay somewhere in town and spend all of our money and brain cells at Naked Winery. We're going to Disneyland in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for more amazing travel reviews then.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Black Sheep

D is sitting here doing a family tree for her French homework and asked if I ever feel left out of my family. I wouldn't say I'm left out, but I do think I'm the black sheep. There are good and bad things about this. One of the good things is that I got the good hair. My mom and my sister have thin, fine hair that takes years to grow, while I can cut mine to an inch and it will be down the middle of my back in six months. I also got my mom's boobs and my sister didn't. Yay me! The bad part is that I did feel left out when I was younger. My sister and brother are actually only halfs. They have the same parents and are whole siblings, while I grew up with half siblings and a stepdad. Don't worry, my therapist is fully aware of this.

Then there are some quirky things. I have always been a Coke drinker while my parents are Pepsi drinkers. I don't know how I ever learned to like Coke since there never was any in our house. I'm the non-athlete out of my siblings. Even my mom was a tomboy growing up. My dad must have have instilled some girly-girliness in me early on.

Here's the really crazy thing. The really crazy thing that makes me normal. A few years ago, my parents moved back to Mississippi (M-I-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-I-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-I-humpack-humpback-I). I was born there and my mom's family still lives there so when my stepdad got tired of the cold weather here, they decided to move to be near my mom's family. That part makes sense. My parents are homebodies anyway so it doesn't really matter so much where they live. But my sister and my brother, who are both still young, also moved. To Mississippi. Who throws away their youth to move to a place like that? I swear it's like time has stopped still there. The only new building they've gotten in over 30 years is a Walmart. What young person born on the west coast moves from The Land of Plenty to the Land of the Lost?

I love them all to death, but I'm okay with being the black sheep. It's made me more independent. Less insane, obviously. With better taste in soda.

Oh yeah, I have way better shoes too! I win!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Asshole In My Shower

No, it wasn't a man. Not that I would know what one looked like if it were. Non-self-imposed celibacy is for the birds.

So, can you guess what I might possibly have found in my shower? Not a million dollars. Not the fountain of youth. A spider! Crazy, right? Because I haven't seen 50 bajillion of those in my house. Guess what else? It was a baby black widow! Awesome, right? Not really. Because of course I didn't see it until I was in the shower. Soaking wet. And guess where it was? Right over my head!! It just gets awesomer, right? (Awesomer is a word. Shut up, spell check.)

So, yeah. This bitch wasn't content to just sit upside down on the ceiling over my head. No, she enjoyed lowering herself up and down on her little yo-yo web, wiggling her legs at me. I almost got shampoo in my eyes trying to keep one on her. Up and down, up and down. I'm sure she thought it was hilarious.

Well, guess who got the last laugh? Yeah, that's right. Did she think I'd never leave the shower? That I was her prisoner? Dumb ass. And even dumber for not hiding while I went to go get the bug spray. Bwa ha ha.....

I swear I should change the name of this fucking blog to The Spider Chronicles.

Friday, September 30, 2011

How I Got A Dead Guy On Me

Yesterday was a gorgeous, beautiful fall, cloud-free-blue-sky day. J and I decided to take advantage of it to go hiking at Smith Rock. She decided to take further advantage by bringing along the ashes of her recently deceased father, reasoning that she'd like for him to be in places where she can best remember him. I didn't have a problem with this. First of all, I'd be an asshole if I did. Second, I want to be cremated myself but I've been thoughtful enough to let people know where I want my ashes scattered. J wasn't so lucky with her dad and had to come up with her own locations. Smith Rock is as good a place as any.

I didn't even get creeped out by the sight of his ashes in the little plastic baggy she carried. My parents had their stupid dog cremated and I saw her ashes. That fucking dog. There are no pictures of me in my parents' house, but the dog had her portrait painted and a freaking shrine set up after she died. Not that I'm bitter. Bygones.

So I didn't even think twice when she dropped the first set under a tree next to the river. And neither one of us thought to pay attention to which way the wind was blowing. Yep. She turned her little baggy over and I was standing right in their little wind-blown path. I've never met the man but I feel that we are intimately acquainted now. I think part of him got into a few of my pores. I hope he was a leg man, because that's where he went. And that's when I got completely, utterly, creepily ooged out. Dead guy. On my body. I kind of wanted to throw up. And scream. And jump into the river to wash him off. And sweat profusely to push him back out of my pores.

For the second scattering, I made sure to stay far away from any ash spray. And there's really nothing more to say about that.

I just hope he stays put and enjoys the view and doesn't haunt me for being grossed out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Things I Did This Weekend. For Anyone Who Remotely Gives a Shit.

I went to a friend's house and drank Bloody Marys while watching trash TV and using her dryer because my POS is broken. It got borked. I got a little borked because I'm a baby drinker now after having vertigo and barely drinking for a month. The corn nuts made up for it. So did the bacon pizza.

I watched my Bugabooga sing at the Roots Festival. I was so nervous for her because this was her first real public performance (because a school choir in front of a bunch of other parents doesn't really count) but then she said she didn't care because only "old people" showed up, her friends weren't there and she had a cold so she didn't feel like it. She did mess up one part of the first song, but it wasn't a big deal and she kept playing. I thought she sounded so beautiful and, if I wasn't so focused on trying to record her on my little camera without shaking all over the place, I would have been a heap of tears and kleenex on the floor. She just fit up there. Like she'd just been doing it forever. She had instant groupies.

Drove to Portland and back in a day to take the Singing Diva clothes shopping. She agreed to try on more of what I showed her than completely rejecting my suggestions so I feel we have made progress. Also, her style is more Bohemian/Classic Hepburn than anything resembling Jersey Shore Skank, so I feel I've done my job in that department. We ate crab fondue, which was the most sensually satisfying experience I've had in months except I had to contain myself with Sesame Street words like "oh, this is yummy" instead of taking the bowl into a back room and rolling around in it. It was a close call with the mashed potatoes too.

The drive back was anything but orgasmic. It was dark and raining and I was stuck behind a trailer. Seriously, Oregon drivers are the biggest dumbasses. There are turnouts every quarter mile for a reason, fuck puppet!! He was just lucky I still had some of my chocolate shake left to tame my road rage.

I bought a pair of Dr. Seuss Converse for me and Halloween pajamas for my dogs. And I wasn't embarrassed to do either. Just a typical walk on the wild side.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Most Hated Question

I'm working on the first assignment in my first graduate class. One of the questions, I am not kidding you, is "Where do you see yourself five years from now?" I hate this question. The person who invented it should be made to die a slow and painful death.

I don't even know what this means. And why five years? Why is five the magic number? Is that when goals are supposed to be suddenly realized? Why not two years? 3.5? And where do I see myself? Sheesh, I hardly know what I'm doing six months from now, let alone five years. The plans I made last week for this week have already changed. Life isn't static, there's no guarantee that my five-year plan will pan out. If I had one. Hell, five years ago I didn't imagine I'd be in the situation I am now. And five years before that? Nothing has ever turned out the way I thought or hoped.

You know what else? This question just makes me feel like a failure before I even start. Because I don't have a five-year plan, I feel like there's something wrong with me. The fact that it's even asked implies that there are people out there who have their shit together with five-year plans followed by ten and fifteen and twenty-year plans. I hate those people. I won't be friends with them. If you are one of those people, don't introduce yourself to me. I will shun you. Openly.

Here are the only things I know for sure. I will have more gray hair. The bastards are multiplying as I speak. I'll have a dog because I can't and don't want to live without one. My kid will be in college. At least she better be. I will still love food. I will still be trying to lose weight. I will still wish I had more money and hate paying bills. My moisturizer will be my best friend.

I don't think this is exactly what the instructor is looking for, however. I also don't think she wants me to fantasize about winning the lottery and quitting whatever job I have to travel the world. Or how my dream is to have a huge kitchen with a double oven, a sub-zero refrigerator and a pizza oven. Or that I wonder if I'll still be single or get cancer. It's more entertaining and much more interesting to me, but not very academic.

This is definitely going to take some creative writing. Lying. Finessing. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missed Connections

I got a text from the wife last week telling me I was in Missed Connections. For those of you who don't know, it's a section in the personal ads on Craigslist. It's along the lines of "You were in line at McDonald's ordering extra cheese on your Quarter Pounder and wearing capris that showed off your cankles. Call me if you see this, I'd like to buy you a Big Mac." Some of them are romantic, some of them are just downright pervy.

I didn't believe it at first but when I went to check it out, he had pretty much described me AND the wife to a T. I was the "cute girl on the trail". I didn't know if I should be really excited and flattered or totally creeped out. These things can really only go one of two ways.

Out of sheer curiosity, and at the urging of almost all of my girlfriends, I wrote him back. And then I waited. With a few dozen thoughts bouncing around in my head. "What if he's super hot?" (Wife said he wasn't.) Maybe he's The One. This would make the greatest story ever. Wait, what if he's a total psycho and starts cyber-stalking me? I should have used a fake name. What if he's really short? What if we fall in love? What if we don't? Maybe he said cute "girl" because he's a child molester." Yeah, I know, I sound totally crazy and neurotic but I'm a girl. This is what we do.

After a few emails (most confirming that I was in fact the "cute girl" he had seen), he got right down to it. He's looking for a partner. (Which, personally, I hate. Partner? What does that even mean? Golf partner? Dance partner? Business partner? Gay is what usually comes up for me when I hear "partner".) Okay, so it's good to be upfront about these things. I guess. He has kids. Okay. Not unusual. He likes to run and mountain bike. Uh huh, totally normal for Central Oregon. And - ladies and gentlemen - he's a Sunday school teacher.

Um. Hold the fucking phone.

I am not Church Girl. I formerly lived with the King of Swearing. I now regularly hang out with the Queen of Swearing. I have a huge potty mouth. I kind of just have a big mouth. I'm the mom that plays the music in the car really loud. The music that's unedited. With the kid in the car. I drink. Like a fish. I smoke cigars. Does any of this fit into the image of a Sunday school teacher's "partner"? Yeah, not so much.

We did talk on the phone. Because I'd had a couple of martinis and thought why the hell not? I think he brought up sex at one point. Hmmm, presumptuous much? Also, something I said was "stupid." Well then.

I emailed him to let him down and tell him that I just didn't feel a connection (missed or otherwise). His response was that I've been on my own for too long. Which really = too independent. Maybe I am. Too independent. But maybe I'm not. And maybe if I weren't I wouldn't be the person that I am. Which may not be Church Girl, but I think is pretty awesome anyway.

At any rate, I'm not apologizing for who I am. And I'll stay independent for now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nature Is Gross

Yesterday, while walking the river trail, the Wife pointed out a group of male ducks chasing a female and informed me that they were gang raping her. Yeah. Like that's how they mate or something gross. Personally, I don't equate gang rape with mating; I'd rather call it some horrible, disgusting form of impregnating.

Of course I had to Google this phenomenon when I got home. Not that I didn't believe the wife, she knows some shit about birds and animals. It just sounded too horrific. I wish I wouldn't have done that. There were videos. It's definitely rape. Then there was some science-y stuff about how duck penises have evolved to better force entry into duck vaginas and how duck vaginas have in turn evolutionized to better thwart the attempts of the penises. It's all so violent.

Seriously, this is so upsetting that I can't even think that little ducklings are cute anymore now that I know they're really rape babies. Next spring I'll be all, "Oh, look at that duck with her little rape babies." I won't even feel bad about eating duck. As long as it's a male duck.

So then this morning I was noticing the spider webs in my garage. At least a quarter of my blogs are written about my issues with spiders so it's no wonder that I am always on the lookout for them. Specifically black widows. One of the webs in the corner had six or seven egg sacs on it. Ew! Doesn't each sac hold like hundreds of babies? I do not need that in any part of my house. Ever. I looked on the other side of the garage door and the mother bitch was hanging out over there. With three more egg sacs and some recently hatched babies. I sprayed them all with Raid. All of the little motherfucking cocksucking assholes. Every. last. one. And then I swept them out next to the garbage can. And before you ask, the spraying of toxic poisons was not overkill. I wanted to make sure they were dead. Like I need a gazillion baby spiders growing up and taking over my house. No fucking thank you.

Yep. I think I'm done with nature for a while. Cute things are getting creepy and the creepy things are just getting creepier. Mother Nature is a twisted bitch.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Memory of Today

I'm not sure I want to write this, even as I'm doing it. There's already so much about today and its history. Websites, blogs, television shows, news stories are being dedicated to what happened 10 years ago. I don't have anything profound to add. I know it changed me somehow, but I don't know in what way. Not for sure. I was thousands of miles away. It's less concrete for me than the people that were there, who lost loved ones, who have scars and holes in their lives. Those who mourn for real. But it did mean something and it does mean something. For what it's worth, this is my memory of September 11, 2001.

My boyfriend at the time had spent the night on the 10th, we were leaving in two days for a friend's wedding in Hawaii. He had gone home that morning to get ready for work and I went back to sleep, only to be woken by him calling me ten minutes later. "Turn on the TV." Why? "Just do it. DO IT!!" By the time the west coast was awake and aware of what was happening, both towers had fallen. We knew it was a terrorist attack. We woke up in fear. And shock.

D was in kindergarten. The other parents and I stood around in silence. We didn't know how to talk about it. Or how to tell our kids. If to tell them. She found out shortly that planes had crashed. But to her, blissfully, New York might as well have been another country. And the planes toy planes. I didn't watch the news when she was in the room. She didn't know that there was horror or evil. She didn't understand any of it until it was taught as part of a history class in seventh grade. We've only recently talked about it.

I think the eeriest part for me was the silence. I don't live in a large city, I don't even think about planes flying over me daily. I hardly notice them. But I noticed then. The silence was deafening. It was like the world stopped.

There was no trip to Hawaii so we decided to take advantage of the days we had off to go to Victoria, B.C. I'd never been and I would have fallen in love with it anyway, it's a beautiful city, but I especially love it because I was there in the days after. There were signs everywhere - theater marquees, restaurant signs, church boards. "God bless our US neighbors." "Keep America in your prayers." There was a memorial set up in front of the Parliament Building with flowers, cards and candles and we stopped by there every day to pay our own tribute. We felt loved and accepted, part of a new community and something bigger than ourselves. I will never forget how I felt that weekend. If there was a perfect place to be during a time filled with fear and sadness, Victoria was it. I would never do it any differently.

Coming home was not fun. We waited in a line of cars for three hours to cross the border. They asked us where we'd been and why. What had we done. Where specifically had we gone? They went through our suitcases, looked under the seats of the car. This was home? This is who we are? We don't trust each other now? Canada had waved us in so friendly. We weren't welcomed home.

Maybe that's what I miss the most. Trust. That we've become divided more than ever. An event that should have united us more than ever has had the opposite effect, in the long run. That's the saddest part. I still love us though. U.S. We're damaged. Still. We're hurt and that's why we act like we do. We need to remember that we're better than this. We can do better. Right?

I hope so. And I can't be the only one.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

My Summer List

My biggest tantrum won't stop it. Fall is coming. I can tell by the location of the sun in the sky and the faint smell in the air. The biggest indicator is that school is starting this week, but I'm going to stay in denial about that one for a couple more days. It's not completely gone, we still have temps in the 80's so I'm going to squeeze out the last drops of sun while I can.

This has been a busy summer though, so I just want to take a second to recap all that I have learned. In list form, of course. It's how I roll.

1. My friends have my back. In an "I'ma cut you!" kind of way. The feeling is mutual. Don't mess with my posse.

2. My kid is really awesome when I'm not wanting to kill her. And smarter than I give her credit for.

3. My dog is allergic to insects. Benadryl must be purchased.

4. Beer is better than I thought, but it still makes me pee like a racehorse.

5. Vertigo sucks.

6. Being unemployed in the summer isn't half bad.

7. Life is short and scary, but being scared isn't living.

8. Rafting is totally fun. Even if I didn't get the Princess Cruise.

9. Tomato pie is freaking delicious.

10. I'm not in shape.

11. I'm done having babies.

12. Men are camping accessories but booze is not.

13. Making out is as fun as I remembered.

14. Certain species of humans shouldn't breed.

15. Old friends stay friends.

16. I really don't like weddings.

17. Funerals are sad, but I'm lucky that I've only been to a handful in my life.

18. It can always get worse.

19. It can also get better.

20. I'm a very lucky girl and new adventures make me a better person.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

In Remembrance

He was a programmer. Tall, soft-spoken, kept to himself. He frightened me a little. Especially when I had to pester him about looming deadlines.

And then I sat next to him for a year. We talked about our mutual California backgrounds, our kids, trips to Mexico, my cruise, his sailing and diving. We complained about work and made fun of co-workers. He went on a weight-loss plan with another co-worker. Every Friday they got out a scale and weighed themselves at his desk. He won most of the weeks' weigh-ins and he won overall. On our company river float I saw this guy on his paddle board. Tall, toned, muscular arms. Tan. Oh crap! That's my co-worker! Highly inappropriate. But, oh my.... He got bashful when I flirted with him.

I found out two weeks ago that he was in hospice. I was in complete disbelief. What? Who? What the hell are you talking about? He got sick soon after I was laid off, she said. She'd seen him, she said, and he was okay. He had accepted it. I did my bucket list, he told her. I heard the word "hospice" but it didn't register. It couldn't. I pictured him tall and tan on his paddle board. Is he going to be okay? No. That's what hospice means. He's dying.

I cried when I got home. I don't know why. We weren't that close, merely co-workers for a while. But he was a really great guy. And he was too young. 51 is not the time to die. Maybe it was the bucket list and being reminded to Live Life and Be Less Afraid.

His funeral was today. People said things like Quiet Dignity. Protective. Competitive. "Evil" Steve. I didn't know him that well, but as they talked I thought, yeah. That's him. His daughter spoke about how he lived life to the fullest and how she will take advantage of every opportunity because of him. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I'm glad I was there.

To Steve's family, I'm sorry. And that is a gross understatement. There aren't enough words or flowers or casseroles to fill the void that he has left. Just know that he has touched countless lives and that his spirit will live on through each of these encounters.

To Steve, thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your life for a little while. You will not be forgotten.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Not Spinning Because I'm Drunk

Ohmygod, you guys! This week has sucked!!

As part of my Summer of Firsts, I got to experience my first case of vertigo. Yes, vertigo. It's not as cool as that Hitchcock movie and I didn't just climb up a ladder and get a little freaked out. This is some serious shit, ya'll Serious. Like I could have lived my whole life without experiencing it and been blissfully, ignorantly, joyfully happy.

The doctor wasn't much help. Apparently it's an "inner ear irritation" that will go away on its own. Apparently in its own fucking sweet time.

Here's what else I learned:

1. Vertigo is stupid. Awful. Extremely uncomfortable. It's like being drunk without the benefit of being able to pass out. I couldn't trust myself to walk to the bathroom. Let alone pee.

2. Vertigo is kind of like the stomach flu. You throw up lots. Water, half a pancake, Sprite, whatever small amount is in your stomach. And then you dry-heave. Repeat.

3. I couldn't see with both eyes because nothing would stay still. One eye at least made things only double or triple and not like a hundred.

4. Reading is a privilege. Watching a movie is a privilege. Showering is a privilege. Driving is a privilege.

5. Also a privilege? Getting up at six in the morning to go run. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. Not that I won't still complain about it and want to sleep in, but I will appreciate it more now.

6. Laying in bed for two days is fucking boring.

7. Being chronically ill or in chronic pain has to be intensely, unimaginably awful and I totally feel for those people. Seriously. All those privileges I have? Those people don't. If you know someone who is chronically ill, do something nice for them today. Right now.

8. I already knew this, but I'll say it again. I have the best friends in the world. The Wife drove me around, got me food and watched me puke (not for the first time, either). JW withstood the People of Walmart to get me a prescription to make the room stop spinning. I'm not even kidding. If you don't have friends like mine, your life is empty.

I'll be back when the ride stops and I can get off.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Embracing It

I decided to embrace my Bendness this summer and I have done it successfully and then some. I have hiked, camped, "run" a 5K, drank beer, gone to Brewfest (twice, even!) and biked around town. So when my friend Jan from Book Club suggested we go rafting as a group, how could I say no? Especially when she and her husband had all of the equipment and are actual guides. And super especially since Jan said we could do a Princess Cruise-type trip that wouldn't involve any paddling. Bonus!!!

We started setting up at our point on the McKenzie river. While the raft was being inflated, Michele asked to have a little pow wow with Jan. A little talk on where and how to fit her special chair into the raft. True, she has real back problems and needs to protect herself, but this wasn't good news for me. My Princess Cruise went right out the door. She stole it right out from under me! I had to paddle. And if you know me at all, you know I punished her at least twice a mile for the whole trip.

I halfway forgave her for bringing a delicious Asian noodle salad. Our chief guide, Greg, was obviously impressed with how well we eat. Yeah, it's a picnic but that's no reason to lower ourselves to potato chips and peanut butter sandwiches. As if.

And then I unforgave her for suggesting that our winter adventure consist of cross-country skiing to the spot where her husband proposed. Oh, sure. Two reasons to kill myself. Sign me up.

Overall, rafting was awesome and super fun and I can't wait to do it again. Really. I totally get why people do it.

And the best part? Ya'll, get this. On my way home I was speeding. Which is like, whatever. What's new? And then I saw a cop turn around to follow me. Shit. I waited for him to turn his damn lights on, which he did, and I pulled over. As I'm sitting there waiting for him to get it over with already, he pulled up next to me with his window rolled down and said, "I gotta go. You're free to go." What? I got away without the ticket that I always-always-no-matter-what get?

This Bend lifestyle might not be so bad after all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last night D's friend came for a sleepover. M hadn't been over before, it's sort of a new friendship. We introduced her to the glorious trash that is The Bachelor Pad. I hoped it wasn't corrupting her too badly.

At 3:30 in the morning D came in my room and woke me up. "Mom? I need to talk to you." She sounded panicked and laid down on my bed with me. She started crying so I curled her into me.

"We had shots of vodka."
Why would you do that?
"M wanted to. I'm sorry. Are you mad?"
I'm disappointed. And concerned. But not mad.
"She got drunk and started saying crazy things. I hate it when people get drunk."
That's why alcohol is for adults.
"It scared me. I'm sorry. Will I throw up?"
How do you feel?
You won't throw up.
"Don't tell my dad."
"Don't tell her dad. Please."
Everyone gets one hall pass.
"I'm sorry. I don't ever want to do it again. I love you."
I love you too.

She slept in my bed with me. I checked on M to make sure she didn't need any sort of medical attention. And then I lay there. Trying to decide the Right Thing To Do.

D asked me not to tell. Trust between us is Paramount. I need for her to feel safe. To tell me things. But I like M's dad and I respect him and I think he should know what his daughter is doing. Everyone can make a mistake but I get the feeling this isn't her first time.

Being the adult isn't fun. Being a parent is hard. I think the jury is still out on this one.

Right now the only thing I Know is how much I Love My Kid. I fail as a parent on a daily basis but at least I'm doing one thing right. It might be just one, but it's a big one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My First Race

I'd been using the excuse of having bad shoes to run much less this summer, so last weekend the wife and I went out and bought ourselves some new shoes. We were feeling all sporty and sassy and our friend K was there encouraging us to try a race. The Twilight 5K was described as a run/walk so we, in a moment of over-achievement, signed ourselves and our new shoes up for our first race. The fact that it was a mere four days away didn't even deter us.

Continuing our temporary insanity, we tried a new six-mile trail that evening. It was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the damn mosquitoes were out in full force spurring us on. I felt great, minus the mosquito attacks, until I got to the pavement. My perfect new shoes are trail shoes and they felt much different on pavement. I got a blister to prove it.

On the day of the race I perused the map and found that the whole race was on pavement. Not wanting to ruin it with blisters, I decided to wear my old gross shoes. Yeah, the ones that kept me from running all summer because they were hurting so much.

Wife and I got our numbers (I was 7) and cute new shorts for her and a (running) skirt for me. We felt sassy again. We drank water. We stretched. We were ready. At least as ready as we were going to be.

Those stupid old shoes I wore? Yeah. I got a serious shin splint in the first three minutes. I was whiny. It hurt. I walked. I jogged a little. Wife made me sprint a couple of times, which informed me of muscles I didn't know I had. On top of it all and at the risk of TMI, I had... well, let's just say female problems. I never run well on those days.

My original goal was just not to finish last and I didn't. But afterward I was so disappointed with myself and my time (40:25, even though it was reported incorrectly in the results). I felt like I could have done so much better. I guess I had more to prove to myself than I thought.

There's another 5K in a month and I'm considering it. I'm considering killing myself to get ready for it. At the very least, I have a time to beat now.

And something to prove to myself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Never Know....

Waiter: What are you girls up to tonight?
Us: Um. This is it. Eating.
Waiter: Girls' night out, huh?
Us: Um. Yeah. Sure. (Dude, it's Red Robin. It's food, not a wild night out.)

Waiter: Can I get you anything else? Maybe roll you out the door?
Us: ha ha ha....
Waiter: I'm off in a few minutes.
Us: ha ha ha.... (Wait. Did he just call us fat or hit on us?)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The First Date

Right now, as I speak, D is getting ready for her first date. She's going to an afternoon movie with a boy she's known since elementary school. To her, this is a long time ago. To me, it is yesterday. Her friend C is here helping her pick out her outfit and what perfume to wear. I'm sure she shaved her legs, but I'm not going to ask.

It's an odd feeling for me. I'm excited for her, but I'm not excited that it's happening. Already. So soon. I'm not ready and I know she thinks she is, but she's 15. She doesn't know how to turn the washing machine on, what does she know about boys? Ideally, I would lock her in her room until she's 30 but I don't suppose that's realistic. Even if every judge in the country with a teenage daughter would understand and be on my side.

Yesterday we went to the lake for the afternoon, friend C in tow. C and I wanted only to lie in the sun, soaking up all the warmth that our limited summer offers us. D wanted to be in the water, on her float. I could see her little five-year-old self, full of enthusiasm and childish wonder. I was grateful that it's still there.

She finally convinced C to go out with her; she was just bursting to talk to her friend about the upcoming date, with all of the cringe-inducing details that I don't want to hear. They floated to the other side of the cove and sat there, legs dangling in the water, for a couple of hours. (Which made my day much more peaceful than the woman's next to me. The one with the three and five-year-old boys who were constantly bickering and whining.)

They came back for a snack and we discussed whether or not this is a real date. Being the mom (and the woman) that I am, I told her it's not a real date unless he pays for her. I don't care what the cost, even a token $7 for an afternoon movie shows that he is interested and wants to make a good impression. A real gentleman always pays for the first date.

On the way home, we were stopped for road construction. We were the first car in the line and the road crew guy got the biggest kick out of it. Windows rolled down, music turned up, all of us singing. The girls were in the back seat were bouncing up and down, rocking the car. I think it made his day, he laughed several times and waved as we drove by. Silly teenagers have a way of doing that.

Halfway home, both girls started screaming something incomprehensible. I turned the music down, afraid I had hit a small animal or one of the girls had gotten stung by a bee. They finally calmed down enough that I could make out, "HE'S PAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Ah. So it's a real date after all.

I'm suddenly nervous for her. I want to tell her a hundred things about boys and how they can't be trusted (after all, this is a teenage boy we're talking about) and start counting down to the first time this boy breaks her heart. But I can't do that to her. She'll find all that out soon enough but right now she's excited and giddy and those are good feelings to have. We should all feel like that more often. This is her moment and I'm just lucky that I get to share it with her.

I've promised myself that I won't embarrass her when I drop her off. I won't stare lovingly at her or glare at the boy. Really. But I can't promise that a tear or two won't escape as I drive off.

Ready or not, my little girl is growing up.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Princess Puppy Goes Camping

Last week I went camping. Don't ask me why. I hate camping. Truly. But I thought the dogs would enjoy it. Remy had the chance to be Sailor Dog the week before and he was so cute, I suppose my fantasy extended to camping. I'm a very, very foolish girl.

As I said in my previous post, there were hordes of mosquitoes. Fucking hordes. We sprayed the dogs the best we could, but these were Evil Mosquitoes. There were still clouds of them around all of the dogs.

We built a fire and then went on the search for more firewood. Remy and Ruby were in dog heaven. The smells!! The places to pee!! The lack of a leash!!! Oh, heavenly day!!

I turned around to see Ruby several feet away with her face in the dirt. "What disgusting shit are you eating now?" Because this is what my Ruby Tuesday does. She eats shit, for Pete's sake! I called her, but she just looked at me and stuck her face back in the ground. I walked over to scold her, only to find that she had vomited and her face had blown up to grotesque proportions. Bumps all over her head. Her eyes were nearly swollen shut. Feeling her throat, I found bumps all along her neck. She looked like the Elephant Man in canine form. I was first horrified and then terrified.

Boston Terriers are brachycephalic dogs, which means that their airways are much shorter than other dogs. Their palates are softer and they are much more susceptible to breathing problems on a normal day. Add in a bad reaction from insect bites and it's a recipe for disaster. I called for Wife, trying to hide the panic in my voice.

Wife is an animal trainer and has worked in veterinarian's offices. I trust her judgment and asked what I should do, all the while cradling my Princess Puppy in my arms and begging God, the Universe, Whoever not to take her from me. I had brought ibuprofen for us, anticipating headaches from our night of drinking. She suggested I give her one to help with the swelling. I wrapped it in cheese, pushing the other dogs away. They hadn't properly earned a treat, being far from death.

We put Ruby in the car, to keep her from any more bites while we went to the three camp sites close to us to see if they had any Benadryl. Me with tears in my eyes, trying not to completely lose my shit. "We have Advil. " "We have ibuprofen." That is not what I asked for. Benadryl is not Ibuprofen. If I ask you for meth, are you going to offer me marijuana? Of course not.

I checked on her obsessively. At first, she laid on the car seat. Two minutes later, she was in the back seat. She perked up her ears when she saw me peering at her through the tinted window. I figured if she were alert enough to be curious about me, she'd be okay.

I left her in the car until we went to bed. She'd never been camping and had no idea what to do in a tent. She looked at me with her swollen face and an expectant look. Finally, she figured it out. She spooned into me. With her ass towards my face. And farted. I didn't care. I breathed that fart in like it was air freshener. It meant that my puppy was with me. Alive. I didn't sleep that night. I kept waking up to make sure she was breathing. If I couldn't feel her breath, I'd shake her until she stirred or snorted. She didn't get much sleep either.

In the morning, her swelling was reduced to one odd eye and a goiter on her neck. We had to leave our campsite for one without zombie mosquitoes and ended up at Sparks Lake. When she fought Candy for food, I was pissed. Bitches always fight over the dumbest stuff. And they got dirt in my macaroni salad. But I also breathed a sigh of relief.

I think my Princess Puppy has more in common with me than I thought. She's a city girl. She likes hotels and pillows. Ice water and fresh vegetables.

And, apparently, Benadryl.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Only Reason I'll Ever Need To Hate Camping

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I'm turning into Nature Girl. I think it's because I'm Unemployed Girl and nature is mostly free. Shoes and cocktails are not. So I suggested to the wife the other day that I'd like to go camping, which she jumped on immediately. I love Wife, but she's not the most motivated person that she or I know. Say the word "camping", though, and she immediately texted back that she had just bought a tent and when did I want to go?

We chose (Where's) Waldo Lake for the name and because the guide book touted it as having the Bluest Water In the World or something like that. We packed the good camping food, the dogs and the booze and headed out with the slogan "chips and dips and s'mores and whores."

It was beautiful. The trees were beautiful. The sun setting over the lake was heartbreakingly beautiful. The camping spots were charming and we found one near the water. The dogs finally realized they had been taken somewhere Fun and got excited. I opened the car door to get out and look at something and that's when the nightmare began.

Hoards of mosquitoes were awaiting our arrival. They must have followed the car or our scent through the car because they were right outside the door flying in as soon as it was opened. I closed it immediately so we could plan our next move. We had bug spray. We were confident. First, we'd spray ourselves and then let the dogs out one by one to spray them. Done and done. We walked down to pay for our spot, clouds of mosquitoes following us. The poor dogs were walking in their own little clouds of buzzing. A mosquito flew into my mouth and stuck to the back of my throat. Ew. I coughed so hard I almost threw up.

We hurried back to start our campfire, thinking that would help diminish them. No. It didn't. These were like zombie mosquitoes, they just kept coming. Nothing stopped them. They turned into tiny little flying honey badgers. "We don't give a shit you're wearing a shirt, we'll bite you through it. Bug spray? Honey badger mosquitoes don't care. We don't give a fuck. We'll bite your head through your hair and fly down into your shirt." They were relentless and they fucking hurt when they bit. It was like being stabbed with syringes.

I've heard there is something that you can eat or drink to make the blood less appealing to them. I don't remember what it is right now, but I would have drank my own pee to get them to leave me alone. It was miserable.

By the time we gave up and went to our tent to sleep, they had died down quite a bit. Probably because they were just full from their evening buffet, not because they decided to leave us alone. We were sure that we could enjoy our breakfast next to the beautiful lake and float out to the Bluest Water In the World the next day.

When I woke up in the morning to go to the bathroom, the little fuckers were already out there. Waiting. At 8:00 in the morning! The cloud followed me to the bathroom and back. They flew into the tent so that we had to zip back up as fast as we could and spent the next couple of minutes killing the ones that had made it in.

We lay there trying not to panic. It was starting to get quite warm in the tent. We saw mosquitoes sitting on the screens of the tent, just waiting to get at us. Just. Waiting. Patiently.

We started to imagine we were stuck in an insect horror film. That our bodies would be found days later, completely drained of blood. The coroner would be completely baffled as to why two women and three dogs all died of the same cause.

Breakfast by the lake was obviously not an option. Staying for five more minutes was out of the question. We threw everything into the car as quickly as we could, frantically, shoving the dogs in first. As we were driving back through the campground, we saw a couple of people wearing mosquito net hats. That is not something I should see during my leisure time. Driving away, we were swatting at mosquitoes on the windows, the windshield, our bodies, the dogs, the dashboard. The inside of the car looked like a crime scene with blood smears and carcasses scattered everywhere.

Since my return home I have found bites on my legs, ankle, the arch of my foot, near my eyebrow, along my hairline, in my hair, on my back, stomach, chest, side, basically any skin surface on my body. Motherfuckers!!!

Obviously this does not bode well for future camping trips. As if there will be another one. I'm not good at being Nature Girl.

Shoes and cocktails are just so much easier to enjoy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Edible Memories

When I was a snotty teenager, I insisted that I would never cook my own food. I hated cooking and swore I would have my own personal chef. I seriously don't even know who that girl was now. Sure, some days I'm totally lazy and eat Cheez-Its for dinner, but most of the time I love to cook. I pore over recipes online for hours and take at least a week to plan holiday meals. I talk about food endlessly with my friends who are as equally obsessed as I am.

It's not just the food or the taste or showing off at a party. I love the memories that go with the food. Certain smells evoke the memories in the strongest and most poignant way, but food memories are my favorites.

When I was really little, I'd hang out in the kitchen with my mom, handing her the items she needed. I sliced off a little taste of butter whenever I pulled it out of the fridge for her. I learned how to make chicken and dumplings watching her. I mean real southern chicken and dumplings, not those pathetic biscuit imposters. This was my grandmother's recipe. And probably her grandmother's. When I grew up, I only needed the ingredient amounts, but no instruction. For years D hated them, which made me sad. I had imagined this would be the one recipe passed down to my daughter and her daughter after that. She finally learned to love them like I do in the last year and my legacy is again alive.

As a kid, my mom made us whatever we wanted for dinner on our birthdays. I don't know why this was such a big deal to me, probably because it was the one day of the year I could reject less appetizing fare like liver and okra and lima beans. I always chose tacos. Every year. My sister always chose spaghetti.

I think visiting my grandparents in Mississippi is where I learned to equate food with love. We had dinner and supper, same-sized meals at different times of the day at a crowded, very full table. My mom said that my grandpa used to say that a meal wasn't complete without bread. He made the best biscuits and, for a while, my mom tried to replicate the recipe when we returned home. She never could and gave up after a few near-disasters. I'm still too afraid to try.

When we ate at seafood restaurants, I would get popcorn shrimp and hush puppies. I loved the name more than the actual food and hush puppies were one of the first comfort foods I attempted to make in college. I'm super snobby about them now. Yes, snobby about fried corn meal. It has to be done just right.

A trip to Disneyland isn't complete without a churro or two or three. I don't eat them anywhere else. D loves to go to the Mexican restaurant in Frontierland, not so much for the food, but for the view of Thunder Mountain at night.

In-N-Out. Oh, In-N-Out. I don't even care to debate this. It is just hands-down my favorite burger place in all the world. There are restaurants all over California and they have branched out to other states (but not Oregon, ahem. I'm looking at YOU, In-N-Out Corporate!). It wasn't always like that though. We used to go rarely, mostly when we went to the beach because we'd pass by one on those occasions. I had In-N-Out the day I bought my first car. It is probably the one thing I crave most often. Oh, In-N-Out. I love you so.

My favorite candy? Abba Zabba. If you've never had this delicious treat, it's like a bar of taffy with peanut butter in the middle. It's best frozen, but it also reminds me of going to the beach. I lost a tooth in one once.

Vacations are always about the food. In Victoria, it's afternoon tea at Butchart Gardens. Little finger sandwiches and scones and tarts and truffles and fancy tea! My summer cruise offered endless amounts of food but nothing on the ship compared to what I found in port. The Mexican resort provided freshly made tortillas and things I could never name, but couldn't get enough of. And fish tacos on a Mexican beach? There's nothing else like it. In Hawaii I had pineapple juice every morning and vowed to never eat mahi mahi anywhere else.

I love crepes and risotto and lobster, sushi and lamb and pretty plates of delicate pasta. But I also love fried chicken and fried catfish, bad, trashy food full of grease and fat and everything else that gives it a bad reputation. My favorite white trash food is Easy Cheese. You know, stuff that comes in a can that isn't really any kind of cheese at all. Easy Cheese and Pringles are the best snack to take for a day at the lake. It's good on celery if you want to pretend to be healthy. Last night I tried it on a hot dog. Omg, you guys. Try it tonight. Seriously.

Food. Memories of food. So many of them. College means popcorn and rice and fresh strawberries from roadside stands. After 52 hours of childbirth, I rewarded myself with french fries, ranch dressing and a chocolate shake. My ex and I went out for sushi the day our divorce was finalized. I taught D how to crack crab legs the day she got her first pair of pointe shoes and we had pizza when she got her braces off.

Food is family, love, birthdays, drunken Friday nights, beginnings, endings, celebrations, compromise, sometimes regret, more often pure joy. I've loved people with food. I've laughed over food. I've been comforted by it and had invaluable conversations during delicious meals. The best thing about all of this? There is just more to come.

Friday, July 15, 2011

World Fucking Domination, Ya'll

So I was talking to my friend A about zombies. I guess I had zombies on the brain. What? It's totally normal to discuss zombies on a leisurely summer day.

Okay, so actually it stemmed from a conversation about dead squirrels and spiders and spiders who eat birds and the number of black widows I've found in my house. But that's just kinda grossly boring.

What isn't boring? Zombie. fucking. spiders. Right? A asked if zombies in general aren't worse. Um, no. We all know what to do with regular zombies that just start out as dumb people. Especially the redneck ones. He then suggested zombie birds, but I said no way. Birds start out cute. Spiders are never cute. They are creepy and sneaky and crafty to begin with. Imagine that with zombie added in. Fucking scary, right? They can hide in your shoes and behind the tv and jump out when you walk by. Even their webs would be fucking creepy. Fucking seriously.

Dude - if I was going to take over the world, I would totally do it with zombie spiders. Watch out, ya'll.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Because He's Like Us

D decided today that she wants another frog. She had one a few years ago for a few months. Phoebe/Jade/Jasmine (her name was progressive) was a cute little green tree frog. I managed to keep her alive while D was gone for a week and then she promptly killed her when she got home. What is it called when you dehydrate a frog? Frogslaughter? Involuntary by a minor? It was sad. I cried and couldn't even look at her.

Anyhoo, we went to the pet stores today to scope out the amphibians. Wandering down the rodent aisle, we came across a "fancy" hamster running on his wheel. He was noticeably retarded. As he was running, he'd lean his head over to the side, but the crossbar would bump into him every rotation. It was like he was trying to decapitate himself. Run, bump, pull back, run, bump, pull back, over and over. Then he got off and we thought he had figured it out, but no. He jumped right back on. Run, bump, pull back, run, bump, pull back. D practically shrieked, "Can we have HIM?!?" Because he obviously is one of us. He would totally fit into our household. I could even put some vodka in his little drippy bottle and then he'd be just like me. Drunk and not learning from his mistakes.

I was seriously considering it until D pointed out his balls. Giant, elephantitis, dragging-on-the-ground balls. I just can't have that in my house. I think he even tried to high-five me through the glass when I saw what he had.

There were no frogs, but we tried to think of a name for the future frog. D thinks that Penis is a good name. "Do you want to see my Penis?" "I have a little Penis." She thinks that she might want two so they can be named Penis and Balls.

You know, there are some things I just never said in front of my mom.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Children of the Corn

I hate my neighbors. Most people know this and anyone who has ever been to my house agrees that they are redneck trash. I know, that's not nice. But you would agree if you saw them smoking on their front porch, or noticed the car that has been sitting in the driveway for months with a flat tire or ever heard them beat their kids.

Speaking of the kids, they are even worse. Last summer their thing was to throw their toys over the fence into my yard. At first I threw them back, but I quickly tired of that game and started throwing them in the trash.

This year their thing is to come over any time we're outside and try to talk to us. I ignore them but they repeatedly chatter, "Hi. Hi. Hello!! What's your name? What are you doing?" They accost anyone who comes to the house.

Last week they started breaking into cars. Or just letting themselves in. The Wife caught her the first time. It was the girl, trying to get into her back seat. What kind of kid just helps herself into a stranger's car? Obviously her parents haven't properly scared her.

A couple of days later, my car was in the garage. Stupid me, I left the garage open for half an hour. I found my car's back door open. How creepy is that? Some little imp is crawling around in my car? While it's in my garage?

Yeah, I'm not trusting them. They're giving me the creeps. Sure, they're three feet tall, but I've seen the movies. That kid in Pet Sematary was like two feet tall, and he was fucking creepy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Explaining the Concept

I got bored today and turned on something I haven't seen in years, Days of Our Lives. D asked what it was and I told her I used to watch it all the time. In fact, I first started watching it with my mom when I was three. Her eyes grew big, "It's THAT old?" Oh, children have the most delightful way of making one feel older than Egyptian dirt. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

D: Oh, that's Ali from Biggest Loser!
Me: Yeah, she's been on here a long time.
D: Really? She's that old?
Me: Well, she started as a teenager.
D: What's a soap opera?
Me: It's a show that was made when women stayed home so they'd have something to do while their husbands were at work.
D: It's on every day? What if you miss one?
Me: Too bad. There aren't reruns, it's new every day.
D: WHAT is the point of that?? Is there someplace you can BUY old shows?
Me: No.
D: What? What is the point?? I don't get it! That's so dumb!! That is the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Followed by peals of laughter.

Oh fuck, I am old.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cheesy Tourist "Fun"

Two years ago I went along on a bike ride with Bend Cruiser Ride.
We started at Riverside Market, rode over to Old Mill and ended up at the top of the parking garage. That last part was the only miserable part. I am not a bike rider and not in shape for it. Still, it was a lot of fun and reminded me of a college party.

So last Thursday, The Wife said it's time we go again. The theme for the week was "cheesy tourist" so off we went in search of the appropriate costumery. Wifey ended up with a fanny pack, Mickey Mouse trucker hat and a Betty Boop camo t-shirt that spelled out "Major Hottie." Yes. However, I found The Perfect, Bestest Shirt Ever. One wedge of cheese is taking a picture of another wedge of cheese. The cheese with the camera says, "Saaay people!" Get it? Cheese? Camera? CHEESY TOURISTS!!! Am I only amusing myself here?

We show up at Riverside Market to meet the rest of the riders. We feel ridiculous. Wife wants to immediately bolt and go back home. Stupidly, I convince her that we are going to Do This. We meet Josh, who is hard to look at in neon pink and yellow, but he's a nice guy. A couple of other people introduce themselves to us, we approve of the Hawaiian shirts and black socks with sandals. The argyle socks with sandals are my favorite.

Starting out is fun. We cross the bridge over the river, and ride around over to the west side. Yay, fun. There's music, I'm not the only one dressed like a dork, riding is fun! And then we're going uphill. Up Mt. Washington. This was not part of the deal. I am dead last. I can no longer pedal without feeling like barfing. I am afraid I am going to puke, and fall off my bike into a pool of my own vomit. I get off and walk my bike. Cars drive by and I feel more pathetic by the second. In my faded-denim (so out of style!) shorts and socks with shoes that shouldn't be worn with socks. Walking my bike like a total wimp.

Of course we lost the rest of the group. C came back to get us and adjusted my bike seat. Which wasn't the point by then. I didn't want to die so much as cut my thighs off from the rest of my body. And throw up. We finally made it to the resting point, at the top of yet another hill. Someone commented that we should have warmed up for a ride like that. Really? No shit.

I did have some alcohol before we left but it was obviously metabolized on my hellish ride. I didn't feel it at all. And by that point, it was just too late. I was sober, exhausted and feeling very old. Remember that college party feeling I had the last time? Yeah, not so much anymore. I'm too fucking old for college parties.

I made it back down the hill because it was downhill. I made it almost to the Wife's house before I had to get off and walk again. So. Lame. I did not make it downtown with the rest of the group and I certainly wouldn't have made it to the top of the parking garage. I could barely walk down the front steps without feeling like my legs were going to give out. Fuck me.

Wife and I decided we must go again. We can't be "those really slow girls that never showed up again because they were obviously too wimpy and not cool enough to be here." But looking at the schedule, the next time that I can go is scheduled as lycra/spandex night. Somehow I don't see that happening.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Favorite Weekend of the Year

July 4th weekend is the Best Weekend of the Year. It's summer and it's all about food and drinking and hanging out. I was going to say that this was the most disappointing weekend, but then I reread last year's post. At any rate, here's the low-down for this year.

Friday -
What I did -
It really has to start with Friday night. Daytime is boring. I went to First Friday with the Wife. We meant to go see ESO, but missed them because they actually played at 6:00. Wtf? When does anything happen at 6:00 and when is a band ever on time? Off to Silver Moon we went where a cute boy said he "knew" me because I had spanked him at a birthday party. Only I didn't. Not that I wouldn't have, that just wasn't me. Later I wondered if he thought I was a stripper. Should I be horrified or take it as a compliment? That one is still up for debate.

I ate, I drank a beer, I walked The Pug home. The end.

What I ate -
A slice of pizza, gorgonzola cheesy fries.

What I drank -
Vodka and soda, a beer

Saturday -
What I did -
I spent the day in the sun and it was glorious. I finished a book, read magazines. The Wife came over to bbq and we watched The Bachelorette. It was mellow and cheesy and perfect.

What I ate -
Chicken nugget happy meal, grilled corn and artichokes, roasted garlic bread, artichoke dip.

What I drank -
Gallons of water, two bottles of champagne

Sunday -
What I did -
I got up early to go to the dog show in Redmond. This could have been awesome. I say could have been, because making out with strange dogs is one of my favorite activities. It's like a hobby. It's easy. You don't even have to introduce yourself and dogs just go for it. But show dogs and show dog people are a different breed. Like, literally. I own purebreds (well, at least one of them is) and I'm not good enough for this crowd. I'm like the riff-raff that got in through the hole in the screen. The only dog I made out with was an Afghan Hound. Not my favorite. My favorite was the fawn Frenchie with the cute little round butt.

I went shopping. I can't afford shopping at my current three-figure salary but I can't say no to shoes. Shoes and dogs. Good day so far.

I went to a friend's birthday bbq. I thought it was a birthday, but her birthday isn't until next month. So apparently the band was an early birthday present and an excuse to have a party. Fine. But bluegrass bands should not sing The Clash. That is just wrong. Just don't.

Bbq number two was next. I was pleasantly buzzed by this point. Also? The first thing anyone said when I walked in was, "Hey - I have some pills for you!" It wasn't what I hoped for, but a nice offer. Oh well.

Next we went to Riverside Market so the Wife could play with her boy toy. Some douche-puppet tried talking to me. He made sure to tell me that he had a girlfriend and wasn't hitting on me. He was offended when I shooed him away. Yes. As in, "Shoo fly, don't bother me." Buzz kill.

What I ate -
Gross Sonic breakfast (as much as I could stomach), chocolate goldfish, guacamole, chips, potato salad, chicken salad, hamburger, a bite of a rib, strawberry-rhubarb pie, half of a cookie.

What I drank -
Copious amounts of water, a Coke, vodka and Gatorade, watermelon mojito, a beer.

Monday -
What I did -
Oh, glorious 4th! You are here!
Going to the Pet Parade is one of my favorite things of the year. Watching cute little canines strut their stuff is just Happiness. Actually being in the parade is pure torture. I am not even kidding. Not one little bit. The wife had to be in it because of her job and, by default, that meant I had to be in it. Because I love her or some stupid shit like that. It was completely unorganized and I wanted a drink five minutes after putting Remy on his leash. Why did I not fill my bottle with vodka? Because I'm stupid. Because I thought of hydrating my fucking dog first. I'm a good dog mom or something lame like that. The parade was humiliating. And lasted forever. Remy loved it. It was like a butt parade for him. Yippy skippy.

The wife and I went to lunch because we badly needed a Bloody Mary. Badly. We went to Olive Garden and I know, it's commercial and horrible and whatever. I didn't care. It was quiet paradise after the fucking parade. And they had alcohol. And our waiter, Shane, was the cutest thing ever. He told us he has a duck and a goose and takes them floating. I really need to see this because I can't imagine it. Are they on a leash? Why wouldn't they just swim away? We loved him for this and because he gave us extra bread sticks with our leftovers.

It was time to float but when I got home, Ruby looked so cute sleeping on my bed that I had to lie next to her and then I fell asleep. Because I'm old like that. And because I hadn't slept for two nights. And because I'm just old. By the time we finally did float, it was just a comedy of errors. I forgot my float, it was late in the day and not very warm. Actually, I was freezing. My ass was in water the whole way and was frozen along with my thighs. Why was I in water? Because my fucking float died. The armrest was the only thing holding me afloat. I got out of the water and it was just limp. Limp is not my favorite way for anything to be.

The rest of the evening continued this way.

We went to the wife's ex-boyfriend's house. Mistake. Awkward. Worst of all, they had already eaten. We left after a polite, tortuous hour.

Went to 10 Barrel to meet some friends. Who were already drunk and I was disappointingly sober. Drastically sober. Loved on The Pug and promised to make dinner for my drunk friend. When a guy in a dress suggested a leather belt, I remarked that it was the second time in the weekend that someone had brought up spanking to me. He said, "Oh, sure, if you want to be spanked. But I was talking about choking." Holy fuck, seriously? How do these things even happen to me?

It was after nine and we were hungry and still hadn't figured out where to watch fireworks from. I wanted a french dip so we went to Deschutes. Which no longer has french dips, what?? Luckily, we had our second awesome waiter of the day, Moshe (?). He said the beef brisket just makes him happy so we got that and we were happy too. Especially when my first bite was the most perfect, juicy piece of fat I have ever had. The fireworks started so we asked for to-go cups for our beer. Because that should totally be a thing, right? Awesome Waiter said no, but he would watch our beers while we went outside. So yeah, we watched the fireworks on the street with cars driving by. At least the beers were safe. He even covered them so "we wouldn't be roofied. By him."

What I ate -
Bad pastries, portobello ravioli, salad, breadsticks, alfredo sauce, an olive, beef brisket sandwich, salad number two.

What I drank -
Vodka (before it was ruined by nasty river water), two beers, a glass of water.

In summary, I didn't drink nearly enough and I'm not sure why. But I think I laughed enough to make up for it and I made out with the sun, if not dogs.

Until next year....

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Loving My Life

I woke up this morning to sunshine and warm summer weather and the realization that this is my favorite weekend of the year. I said that if I had any money I would totally love my life. The famous (and obviously wise) ML told me to "Love it anyway". So I will.

Here are the things I love about my life. Not in order (so my kid can't take anything personally.)

I have choices. Even when it doesn't seem like it.
I eat ice cream for dinner whenever I want. Or cheese and crackers. Or vodka.
My friends love me and let me be me and don't judge, even when I think they should.
My daughter feels comfortable enough and trusts me enough to tell me things I don't always want to hear.
I live with puppies.
I can order my pizza without meat.
Making mistakes isn't as scary as it used to be.
Booze exists, is delicious, legal and I'm not allergic to it.
I'm a food whore and will therefore never die of anorexia.
I know that knowing what I want isn't wrong.
My kid is really awesome when she's not annoying me.
I can be alone or with a girlfriend or a room full of people and I'm okay with all of it. Most of the time.
My sadness is temporary.
I can keep the covers to myself.
I can let the dogs on the couch or on the bed because it's all mine.
Laughter is usually just a text away.
I'm still surprised. Often.

And now I'm going to go continue loving my life in the sunshine. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Consequences of Safe Sex

Last week when Birth Control was here he drooled on himself, me, my couch, my dogs and basically any other surface he was standing near. He wet through his diaper and got pee on me. His hands were always sticky and I wiped a booger off of his face and changed his poopy diaper. I was starting to think that my dogs are super clean in comparison.

The other day I was sitting outside and noticed Ruby scooting her butt across the grass. I thought it was weird, because dogs usually save this nasty habit for carpet. When she turned around, I saw the reason for the butt-scoot. There was a condom hanging from her butt. Yes. My dog pooped out a condom. Only not completely. She needed help and guess who got that lovely job? Yep, I got to pull a condom out of my dog's butt. Gross.

I would like to think that this would be a lesson in not eating my bathroom garbage, but I know it won't stop her. Both of my dogs think my bathroom garbage is a treasure trove of treats. They're gross.

The damn thing is that I'm pretty sure there were two condoms in there that day. So I'm kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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