Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hallo-weenies

So Halloween is a bust for us this year. We were hoping something would turn up, but nobody said anything. Until yesterday. Our friend, H---, sent us an evite to a Halloween party. I was elated, then quickly deflated.
Who would burst my bubble this way, you ask? Those of you who know me know it was Joe.
Let me back up a little. H--- sent the evite. It was a Halloween party. Yay! I thought. I love--absolutely love--Halloween!! Let's face it...I've always longed to have a husband I could dress up with in coordinating clever little outfits. Who could ever forget us as Juno and Bleeker? I know I can't.
How short are those shorts?!
I read the invitation. An 80's themed party! I knew just what to do....

I immediately told Joe my idea. It would be super cheap to pull off, and classic! I mentally went through our list in order to make his costume happen:

1) button down shirt--check!
2) athletic tube socks-- check! (sadly, he wears these anyway)

3) tighty whities--- er...um...ugh....what?!



Oh yes, Joe. Oh yes.

And I had visions of myself looking like this:


except my boobs didn't look like that. And I don't have bangs. Or straight hair. And I'd have to buy that little suity/sweater thingy.

Joe said absolutely not. He was not going to some party in front of strangers with no pants on. I pouted. I cajoled. I told him I'd settle for him as Ferris Bueller and I could be his bitchy sister, formerly played by pre-rhinoplasty Jennifer Grey. Again, nixed.



So we are staying in on Halloween. All because Joe is afraid of judgement and censure. I say OWN IT! Flaunt those delicious gams, baby!






Or are ya chicken?



Friday, October 1, 2010

The Genuine Article

In case you didn't know, I'm a bona fide writer now. Yep. I have weilded the pen at the people, and the people have determined me worthy. I'm actually getting paid, which is a huge deal in the writing world.
Not only was it published online at http://sasee.com/2010/10/01/petticoats-parrots-and-other-tales/, but it will also be in the pages of their deliciously glossy local magazine. I have never seen my work in print that didn't come from my own inkjet, so I'm anticipating this moment.
I truly feel that my work will be innately better with a glossy magazine-y sheen.
Even if they did edit out the word "asshole" (which I was kind of committed to, but will deal with because I really don't have that much artistic integrity--I'm just happy to get paid). So send positive vibes my way. Maybe with this kind of highly regionalized exposure I'll be lucky enough to gain three or four more followers.
A girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eavesdroppings...

So I was driving into the alley behind our townhomes to pull into our driveway when I noticed two of our illustrious board members skulking about. I say this because, quite frankly, that's what they do.


I'll admit it, I fought the urge to duck. Normally I would be afraid they might be running reconnaisance on us since Joe has made it his mission to be the proverbial thorn in the board's side. Ever since they approved increasing the very reasonable HOA dues (that runs us hundreds of dollars a month as it is) by $20 a month, Joe has been ineffectually attempting to wage war on them. Every time there is a meeting, my hubs beats the pavement campaigning for every owner's by proxy vote only to be told he does not have enough of them to do anything. Let's not forget the time we were cited for our solar screen being on backwards--after having it up for three years. Joe crafted a very strongly worded letter for that one! And what about the time we were notified at 8:00 pm that our alley would be closed for 3 weeks to repair a sinkhole, thereby trapping half our neighbors' vehicles in their garages. They really screwed the pooch on that one (not to mention incurring the wrath of the drunk next door, which was absolutely hilarious and a story for another time).


Needless to say, we are not very popular with the powers that be. Which is sad because we have have an enemy in common.


The Joneses.




Remember them?

Well, as I fought the urge to just end it all and run them over, I realized that finally--finally!--they had bigger fish to fry. Big Jones-y looking fish!

I parked the car as quickly as possible, and loitered around with the garage door open. All I could hear was, "Is this your unit?" Music to my ears! I craned to listen; I even considered poking my head out, but figured that would be rude.

I decided maybe I could hear better from somewhere else. I ran upstairs and pressed my ear to the window directly above them. Just murmurs. I was missing everything!

As I re-opened the garage door to go "get the mail" five minutes later, I could hear one of the board members saying, "...well, and you should quit cigarettes all together anyway." Finally! I can only assume that they were referring to the cigarette butts in the drainage grates.

So when are they getting the boot? That's what I wanna know.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Page Punishment

One of my first professional jobs out of school was at a small publishing house in Charlottesville, Virginia. I was an editorial assistant, which is an official sounding way to say you have the most boring job in the world. To make matters worse, we edited medical textbooks. And to make matters even worse than that, it paid a whopping $23,000 a year.

I won't bore you with the details. The long and the short of it is, I was awful at this job. It wasn't a good fit for me in the slightest. It did not benefit at all from my skill set (of which I had no understanding at all), and I was basically told after six grueling months (and an incident where I accidentally deleted a ten page section of text from an online textbook I was working on) that I would have no future in the publishing world. I remember feeling devastated, albeit not entirely surprised.

In all honesty, that was never the side of publishing I truly believed I should be on--I always wanted to be the one getting published. So, after tearfully allowing myself to be consoled by my parents, I decided to find my new path. And it's worked out for the best.

However, lately I have been haunted by people who apparently are just as shitty as I was at that job. Recently I read a memoir published by a rather large press. In 348 pages, I found eight unforgivable typos. Is it just me, or is this ridiculous? I kept thinking I would be so angry if I had poured my blood, sweat, and tears into a publishable piece to have it accepted, only to have some twit editorial assistant crap all over it with incompetence.

Hello, pot? This is the kettle calling....I know, I know. It would be karmic.

And then I had to take pause. I mean, if I were lucky enough to ever be published, should I just be happy it's happening and not look a gift horse in the mouth? Nope. It would piss me off.

Speaking of pissing me off...I recently checked a book out at the public library, and someone who apparently thinks he is an editor has been kind enough to make corrections with a pencil all throughout the book. Except this idiot is correcting things that are already correct, therefore highlighting why he (or she) should also never go into the publishing field.

The thing is, I understand grammar and spelling. I just can't handle the idiosyncracies outside of those things in the publishing biz. The deadlines, the solitude, the unnerving quietude. The fact that you use certain fonts and types for this and for that. There is minutiae that I can't force myself to care about.

Until some idiot with a pencil goes rogue in a library book.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Splintzville

So my right middle finger is sprained. Apparently pretty severely. At least that's the current theory as proposed by a hand specialist, so I'm willing to have faith in his expert opinion. The solution? A splint on it for two whole weeks and steroids.



As many of you know, my finger has been swollen and painful for the better part of seven months. Totally ridiculous. Not only does it interfere with my ability to drive effectively in our neighborhood (the finger and the horn are universally recognized signs around our neck of the woods), but it huuuurts.



Sprained, I scoffed at the doctor initially. It couldn't be sprained. However, after an extensive and exhaustive look at my history, the good doctor seemed satisfied with his diagnosis in light of the fact that I biked hundreds of miles last season in preparation of the MS 150, and then participated in the ride. The whole time I was complaining about my back and my butt, my middle finger was, well, giving me the finger.



Even though I hung up my bike in April and haven't touched it since, I have always envisioned getting back into the saddle once we settled into the cooler weather. The irony is that I even bought Joe a bike for a wedding present.



I pictured this.



And for now those dreams are crushed.


Thanks to my new status of "Splintzville," my couples skate equivalent of biking with Joe is now splitsville.


Of all the rotten luck.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Privacy Please?!

Okay. The nitty gritty, people.

Nothing--absolutely NOTHING--is sacred after marriage. At this point all of my married friends and family are undoubtedly either sagely nodding in agreement or simply laughing their butts off at me, but I have to put it out there for the benefit of everyone else. You see, you thought you were raised to be modest. You thought you would be able to maintain a modicum of what's "your" time and "my" time. Oh, how wrong you were!

This occurred to me yesterday as Joe and I were getting ready to go over to a friend's house for barbeque, beer, and pool time. We had just showered. I was in the guest room; Joe was in the master bedroom. He was dressed and watching television. Correction: He was watching television in every room of the house. The show was echoing from upstairs to downstairs, which is always a little annoying (but I digress). I ran to the master bedroom in my towel to put on my swimsuit, and was about to start tugging that sucker on, when it occurred to me that no one--not even my husband--should ever see me stuffing myself into a bathing suit. It involves too much of all that converts "good nudity" into "bad nudity".

Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry has the girlfriend who enjoys sitting around the apartment in the buff? That was good nudity. Remember how she sneezed naked, and he broke up with her because he couldn't get the image of what it made her figure look like out of his head? Bad nudity. That Seinfeld episode has resonated with me for years.

So as I began to pull (um, tug) my one piece over my hips (red-faced, huffing and puffing), I became irrationally irritated that Joe was even in there watching t.v. (and my discomfort). I found myself saying, "Could you go downstairs, please, so I can do this without an audience?" To which he expressed that he felt I was being ridiculous and left.

Here's the thing, though. The lines have started to blur. We pee with the door open. We have conversations through the bathroom door. We walk in on one another while we're showering. Absolutely nothing is sacred anymore. But I draw the line on "bad nudity". I refuse to allow anyone to witness the horror of me squeezing into a swimsuit, Spanx, or panty hose. Even my husband.

At this point I feel that I should own up to my culpability in this regard. I may have started it all, and it's all my friend ****'s fault. You see, at one point about a year ago, she told me this funny story about how she had pranked her live-in boyfriend. He was in the shower, sudsing away. She crept stealthily into the bathroom, and flung the curtain open, screaming "A-HAAAAA!!!!" Her boyfriend proceeded to hit the deck. He screamed (a manly scream, I'm sure), and assumed the fetal position. It was hilarious. I felt inspired.

So I, too, waited until Joe was in the shower. I crept into the bathroom, and I flung open the curtain screaming like a banshee. Joe continued shampooing his hair and looked at me like I was a nutcase. "What the hell is wrong with you?" was all he asked. Oh, Joe. So many things, really. Needless to say, Operation Scare-the-Poop-Outta-Joe was a complete failure. It was also the moment. The moment I inadvertently gave the signal that it was okay to totally ignore each other's right to privacy.

Can I please have a do-over?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Dog Ate My Homework

In my case, it would be much more likely to be a stout little Tazmanian devil who goes by the name of Shakes, but nevertheless I'm as full of excuses as the kiddos I teach. Since school has started I have been a very bad blogger.

And honestly, kind of a hypocrite.

Every day I tell my students I'm not interested in their excuses. Just do your work seems to be my never-ceasing mantra. Don't have your homework because milk spilled on it? Just do your work. Ink out on your printer? Just do your work. Dare to complain to me about the heat (like I can even fix that? Really?) Just. Do. Your. Work.

And here I squat. Like the toad I am. Don't get me wrong--I do my work--that is, I work hard while I'm on the clock. Then, by the time I get home I just want to curl up and figure out the crossword puzzles that the librarians ever-so-kindly print off for me. I am actually so lazy that I bark out commands to Joe--my designated Google captain.

Poor Joe. Never a cross word over my crosswords, though I know he gets tired of providing me with all of the answers that involve sports or the armed forces. And when absolutely necessary, he searches the answers for me so I don't even have to leave his recliner that I've taken to hijacking. It's so comforting.

Well, it was comforting. Until Joe gave me a sidelong look tonight when I asked him if there was any other trio famous for their beards besides ZZ Top because it wasn't fitting in my puzzle. Then I realized that the sadistic bastards who created the NY Times crossword (ahem, Will Shortz) were counting two ZZ's as one space. During my squeal of triumph Joe pooped on my parade.

"You know," he said frankly (for Joe does not say anything any other way), "Your crosswords are really cutting into your blog time."

"Blog time/shmog time," I responded maturely (for I do not say anything any other way).

And then I had an epiphany. I am as bad as the kids I teach. Except instead of my parents hollering at me to get off the video games and do my homework, I have my husband telling me I need to get out from under my puzzles. He was then ever-so-kind enough to comandeer my puZZle so I could refocus on my writing.

Helpful? Definitely. A diabolical attempt to get at my puzzle? Perhaps.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...

She had so many children, she didn't know what to do!

The story of my life this week, it seems. Except for the "old" part. And the living in a shoe thing. Does living for shoes count? And while we are on the subject of shoes...Can anyone please explain this to me:


barf!



I mean, really? Really?! Some poor people out there believe that after years of blatant cheeseburger eating, combined with never stepping into a gym, that these shoes are going to miraculously make them "shape up". Shame on you, sneaker companies!

And shame on you lazy consumers. I know you've bought into the ridiculous claims these manufacturers are making because why else would you ever, ever wear these? Someone had the audacity to tell me, "Oh, they engage your core. I know it's working because my butt and calves hurt."

Of course they work, you idiot. It's called adjusting your gait.

Wow. Where did that come from? Joe would be so proud of me for taking such a stand (ha ha...get it? Stand...)

But I've digressed. I meant to talk about the children. And believe me, there are many. This week has been an embarrassing blur of kids' faces as they entered my classroom. I'm usually good at the name game, but my 6th and 7th period are HUGE. There are thirty-six kids in my largest class, which is the largest class I have ever taught.

I feel like I'll never learn their names. And with my listening issue I've mentioned before, that makes it doubly hard. This motivates me to attempt to name everyone as they walk through my door despite the fact that it highlights how inept I've been this year with this initial bit of memorization.

Example:

I look at a young man confidently. "Paul?"
He shakes his head with a smile. "Guess."
I crinkle up my nose. "No."
"It's Isaiah," Isaiah tells me. "Way off, miss." (sidenote: it took Joe and me 3 tries and a google cheat to spell this name.)
"They're both Biblical, aren't they?"

This is a typical interaction. The following is another way I've decided to deal with my issues:

I shake a student's hand, and say, "Paul."
Not-Paul looks at me, smiling, "Chris."
I shake my head decisively. "Nope. You obviously look like a Paul."
Paul-Chris walks in giving kids the look that says, Whatever, I'm a teenager. She'll never have an identity beyond the word "miss" anyway.

And when all else fails:

"Hey, Blue Shirt! Yes, you! Stop messing around with my scissors!"

Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

I am not the old woman who lived in a shoe, but apparently I have her memory. And if Joe ever tosses me out of the house (and he'd better not), I hope to reside in something a little more like this:




These'll kill your calves, too. And you won't have to look like Herman Munster, ladies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Loneliest Treadmill

There is a treadmill out there that is lonely. I keep meaning to visit it at the gym, but it hasn't happened once this week. I come up with lame excuses like, "It's too rainy to go to the gym. My sneakers will get too wet!" There's nothing worse than squishy sneakers and wet socks.

I've also managed to pull off the tried and true, "I'm getting back into the swing of things at work." This is not a complete lie.

But the poor little treadmill still remains unvisited.

Meanwhile, I've also neglected the Cuckoo's Nest. I realized it when Joe came home from work. I had dinner ready, and was reclining in his favorite chair (kindly keeping it warm for him). Joe sat down in front of the laptop and began to surf the net. This has become a habit--he is on the laptop constantly, looking up minute details and facts. For example, when I tied him down and forced him to watch the "Pride & Prejudice" mini series, he felt compelled to look up whether Pemberly was real or fictional. And to think this whole time I just accepted it as part of the setting and allowed myself to watch and enjoy the show!

I actually am going somewhere with this.

Joe sits down tonight, starts typing on the laptop (big surprise), and all of a sudden says, "You're behind on your blog, lady."

To which I reply, sighing, "I know. I'm just so busy this week." I look down at my crossword puzzle and say, "While you're on there, could you look up the last name of a baseball player named 'Rusty'?"

And Joe can't stop himself. "Oh, yeah...you're reeeeaaaal busy there."

You mean that cooking dinner, warming his recliner, and working crossword puzzles while listening to thunderstorms doesn't sound like a lot to do? I've been thinking about this. A lot. The first week back to school is tough. I've spent so much time trying to engage my students that I haven't been actively engaged in anything I want to do for myself. Things will settle, I'm sure, but I do worry that these gym sabbaticals I keep taking are getting progressively longer and longer.

And the poor little treadmill gets lonelier and lonelier.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

House Husband

Joe claims I have immasculated him.


In the World According to Joe, while I was "traipsing about town" today and "partying it up", he was stuck with the grocery shopping and house cleaning in anticipation of having a couple of esteemed dinner guests over. Needless to say, he was not overjoyed with me when I came home today and hollered, "Honey, I'm home!" Which I think is poop.

I was not traipsing. I know you were wondering. After all, I don't even know what traipsing technically looks like. I also didn't know that people honestly used the word "traipsed" anymore. It's a nearly extinct word, hobnobbing with the likes of "boudoir" and, well, "hobnobbing". I was actually sitting in a Weight Watchers meeting, secretly repenting for the dinner I was already planning on cooking for the aforementioned guests. I lost 1.4 pounds. I also used just as much butter in cooking dinner tonight, so I feel fairly confident today was a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of day.

As for the "partying it up", the party I went to involved a cake made of diapers, baby shower games, and fabulous gourmet cupcake--so if he was talking about the party in my mouth, he was correct. How I love thee, butter cream icing and sprinkles! And now that I realize that I ate a huge cupcake, a stuffed pepper, butter-saturated potatoes, French bread, and a butter-coated concoction disgustingly named a "Dump Cake", I'm actually filled with self-loathing for my lack of self-control.

Isn't that enough for you, Joe?

But noooo. He complained. With his eyes. With his grimace. With the sweat rolling off of his nose into the toilet he was cleaning. And he was pissed. Not because he was doing it, but because he was doing it all alone. Whatever did we do before we had eachother to share such misery with?

Oh, he got me back. He had a John Wayne movie on for what seemed like forever. When it was over, he put on yet another decades-old treasure featuring Paul Newman (*rawr*). It was payback. If the movie wasn't at least 50 years old, it wasn't going to play on our t.v. He kicked his feet up, cracked the whip, and said, "Cook for us, woman, now!"

And I did it like the little housewife I am. What goes around definitely comes around.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, the Shame!

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when my mother has to inform me about my mistakes in pop culture referencing on this blog.

Back when I gasped (sarcastically, mind you) at the fact that the Bachelor might not propose, Mom was kind enough to leave a voice mail for me telling me it was actually the Bachelorette. I sneered, oh excuuuuuse me at her as if I was too good to watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. There was definite attitude there, I'll admit it.

When I ask who the people from People and In Touch are, she is always the one to pipe in with the latest news. I usually shrug and give a social commentary on how I don't believe people should be famous for just existing (ahem, Heidi Montag, anyone?)

Then it happened again. Today I received a text message from my mother informing me that David Hasselhoff is no longer on America's Got Talent, and if I'm going to write about this sort of thing in my blog, I should get it right or run the risk of looking like a complete fool.

And she's right.

Even though I feel like I am in touch with music and movies, my television watching (specifically in the reality tv sector) has taken a direct hit since meeting Joe. Not that we don't watch television. I believe we watch too much, but the luxury of Hulu and Netflix have undermined our pop culture agendas. Err, my pop culture agenda, that is. Joe's isse has always been TCM.

For those of you not in the know (that would have been me before I met my hubs), TCM stands for Turner Classic Movies. They give John Wayne a lotta love. And Joe loves him some John Wayne. Since Joe met me, John Wayne has been curtailed quite a bit. This is not so much because of any distaste for the Duke, but really I can't stand the tinny background music, and the horrible child actors that seem to play a part of it all. It makes me crazy.

Reality tv, with the awesome exception of Jersey Shore, has also been all but been banned in this house, and frankly it's ruining my street cred.

So what do I do? I mean, when I mention stuff, I actually think I know what I'm talking about. But then my own mother has to bring me up to date on the state of the world, which is just sad. I envision myself furtively watching American Idol in the bedroom upstairs while I'm supposedly "taking a shower" or "on the phone", finger pressed on the channel button to switch to something less embarrassing at the mere sound of a floorboard creaking.

Oh, the shame of it all!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a Hassel!

The roast of David Hasselhoff was last night. I almost missed the whole thing, but I'm so glad I didn't miss the last half. As big a joke that Hasselhoff as seemingly become, I have to give him credit for hours of entertainment throughout my years.

Who can forget him as Michael Knight in Nightrider? I can't. Who can ignore what he did for the image of lifeguards and breast implants? Not me! And this final hour...oh, man...it rarely gets better than that. What an awesome career. I'm not even being facetious. I mean, the man is still kickin' on "America's Got Talent." It never ceases to amaze me.

Speaking of hassles, school resumes tomorrow. At least for the teachers. Part of me is ready; the rest of me is trying to suppress a low whine of protest. When I stopped by school today, it was great to see people from my department. It was really great to see a few of my kiddos wandering the halls, even though I think they are crazy for willingly returning to school a week ahead of schedule. They seem to be on top of things.

I, however, am not on top of things. I have not accomplished many little home projects that I had promised myself (and Joe) that I would tackle. I have not yet crawled into the frightening caverns we like to call closets to organize them. That was supposed to be one of the first things I did. I have not worked out consistently. I have not read everything I was planning on reading. Apparently, this summer, I was all talk and no action.

Or was I?

Instead, I honeymooned in the Bahamas (admittedly, a high point). I spied on our ridiculous, toilet-toting neighbors. I watched the Food Network all day long, and watched my butt grow larger as a result. I joined Weight Watchers to fight the battle of the bulge (I'm still waiting to tell you about my success or lack thereof after next Saturday).

I went to classes to improve myself as an educator. I started to love writing again. I started a blog.

So, looking back on it, while this was not the most physical of summers, mentally it was a summer of first starts and fresh starts. Not too shabby, huh?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Say What?

I'm bad at listening. It's a problem, I know. While some people believe my issues are in the hearing department, I have decided tonight that the real issue lies somewhere between hearing and listening. And then, of course, it totally messes with repeating and telling.

For example, during my formative years, I honestly believed that I could coast through the "L-M-N-O-P" part of the alphabet song without anyone being the wiser that I was actually singing "elelomopee". Like I said, it's a problem.

Not only did I flub the ABC song (much to my present dismay), I actually got in an argument with a friend in eighth grade over the lyrics of the Vanilla Ice classic "Ice Ice Baby". I insisted that he was saying, "Ice ice baby, to hold, to hold" and that he "Flowed like a heartbeat daily and nightly." I still feel shame.

As an adult, I often find myself in auditory limbo. I make people repeat themselves on the phone two and three times even though I swear I'm trying to listen. I will often find myself saying things like "I can't hear your pitch" and asking them "was that even in English?"

The sad thing is, as I was complaining to Joe that he was in the middle of the bed tonight (and therefore in the path of my flailing right arm that has been punching him in the face lately), I found myself jokingly singing "I'm talking to the man in the middle" before I realized that I actually thought those were the words to the song!

Pathetic.

Even more pathetic is the fact that my lyrical ineptitude in conjunction with the retardation of my hearing can only work against me from this point on.

First of all, Joe is in the music business. This means that he can know--with a great degree of certainty--when I'm messing up a song. What's worse, thanks to my tendency to overcorrect his grammar, he will definitely call me on it, and laugh at my expense. Which is what happened tonight.

Secondly, I could potentially mess up listening to something really important. For example, when I think I'm hearing Joe say "turn on Fox news now" what he could really be saying is "turn off Fox news now." Or when I hear him tell me "please don't buy any more shoes this month", he's probably really saying "please buy yourself shoes every month."

I shudder to think what I could have allowed to slip by me.

So now the cat's out of the bag, in a manner of speaking. Joe is probably going to read this, and then he will tell me "You even admitted you never hear things right", which I will inevitably hear as "I have to admit you're always right." This reinterpretation will clearly work to his advantage, making me glow, thereby loving him all the more.

And I will live blissfully on.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bereft of Bread...

Many weeks ago, while we were visiting Joe's parents, his father smugly passed a book across the kitchen table to Joe. I say "smugly" because I know that even though his father loves me, he knowingly gave Joe a book that would brainwash him into believing bread to be an evil thing.

I love bread. Let me put this more succintly: I love bread as much as I love Joe. Just as my life would never be fulfilled without Joe, it would never be satisfactory without bread. Or butter, for that matter. Or cheese. But mostly bread. And Joe.

I think you know what I mean.

It is for this very reason that Dr. Atkins and I have never really seen eye to eye. And now I have another diet guru to contend with. For about a month, Joe absorbed the tenets for Dr. Deny-Reagan-Bread's teachings. He would interrupt my own reading to tell me interesting tidbits from the book. For example, sardines are an excellent snack (barf), soy gives men breasts (very crucial to know and, in turn, avoid if you're a dude), and nuts and seeds are delicious and nutritious (hurray for good fats!). I actually have no issues with complying to a fair bit of the diet. Except the banishment of bread. Oh, and eating sardines.

So we stopped buying bread. We began speaking a new language, where we talked in tongues about buying organic and free-range and eschewing "Frankenfoods" and loaves of bread (sniff). And things were going well. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself sneaking back to the grocery store for crusty loaves of French bread to go with our soup. And, like the sinner he is, Joe ate it.

So imagine my dismay when he walked into the house today, smelled the butter browning on our bread, and declared that he would not be eating bread during the week anymore! I felt like the serpent offering the apple. I guess that would make Joe Eve.

The thing that kills me is that Joe is slim. He's got a kickin' metabolism and he works out all the time. If anyone should be able to have their cake and eat it, too, it should be him. And he squanders his powers! Meanwhile, I am likely to cave over a crouton. A crappy, store-bought one at that.

Let's face it. I'm not likely to ever give up bread. But the sardines you can have.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Other Woman

And so it begins again. This time of year that my husband feels the need--the compulsion--to fill a void that I apparently can't fulfill. No amount of wheedling or crying or tantrum throwing deters him.

I fling myself in front of the door, yelling, "No, not again! I can't take it anymore!" To which he laughs, and coldly replies, "You knew this was part of the deal from the beginning."

Can our relationship withstand this "other woman" with her witchy ways? She brings him satisfaction that I can't hold a candle to. He thinks about her when she's not not around, and looks past me to get a better glimpse of her when she's there. He blatantly worships the ground she walks on.

But how can I compete with a pro?





Football player, that is.


Yes, people, it's football season again. And it's stealing my man away. For the entire season, unless I have stats written across my forehead, I stand no chance whatsoever of getting Joe's attention Saturday through Monday. Unless I slather myself with hot sauce and pretend to be a hot wing, I won't even be on the radar.

I've decided it's good cardio for Joe, though. He jumps up and fist pumps Jersey Shore-style whenever his team makes a play he likes. He jumps up and down like an angry gorilla with his mad face on for plays he doesn't like. He becomes a walking emoticon all season long.

True, it is a nice diversion from Fox News. For a while. However, usually by Monday nights I find the sound of the cheering, screaming, paint-clad crowds (turned up to maximum volume, of course) to be as annoying as the vuvuzelas during the World Cup. And yes, all of my soccer (ahem...futbol) friends, the vuvuzelas are super annoying to the unindoctrinated. They sound like a hive of bees.

I do realize I'm in the minority here on all counts.
So, it seems if I'm going to see Joe at all this season, I'm going to having to get more comfortable with football. I'm going to have to agree to a menage a trois with Joe and football and I'm going to have to pretend to enjoy every last tawdry, beer-saturated, television-screaming minute of it.
For the sake of my marriage.





Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Joneses

So we have these neighbors. I'll call them the "Jones" family. It's tough to keep up with them.

Joe literally turns purple trying to keep up with what they're up to because every time we come home, we are faced with a new surprise. Whether it's the flatbed trailer blocking half the driveway, or the poor little homeless-looking dog they like to allow roam around our busy cul-de-sac, the Joneses like to keep us on our toes (not to mention our property values down).

Do you smell garbage? It's the Joneses, kindly depositing their reeking trash bags out two days early.

Do you smell smoke? Perhaps it's the used barbecue coals they've been depositing down the weather drain.



Wait a minute....I think I smell something new...








Seriously?


The only thing that could possibly make this better for me is if I had a picture of one of us sitting on it and giving them the finger.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Attack of the Fluff

Hair. Everywhere.


This is not an unusual sentiment for me. After all, I have so much hair I look like I should be yearning for Zion. I get whipped in the face with my own hair on a daily basis. It deters me from braving windstorms (oh, so common in Houston) and even sadder, it makes me a liability in a convertible (actually more common in Houston).
I deal with my own hair very well. I don't strangle myself in the bath tub. I don't freak out about it while I'm sleeping. I'm at peace with my hair.

So here's what happened.

I decided I was feeling kinda fluffy today, so I decided to work out in our upstairs room. I put on the Kettle Bell DVD, and laced up my sneaks real tight. I meant business. I flailed around awkwardly, yet triumphantly for about 40 minutes. I looked something like this:

Don't be jealous.


Then I went down to the carpet for ab work. I was feeling victorious. And then I felt it. Fluff all over my face...My sweat was a veritable magnet for it. I wiped my face to get the fluff out of my right nostril, but I had more fluff on my hand and only made it worse! I turned red. I snorted. I coughed and sneezed. I made it five whole minutes before I cried mercy and hit the showers. And the whole time I knew who the culprit was, and it wasn't me!





Observe the face of true evil.


It actually felt as if she had rolled around all over the floor. Since I don't have a picture of that, I have doubled this image for effect. Please imagine her shedding all of her pelt--twice--onto our carpet.









I went from a happy Reagan to an itchy, dismayed Reagan.




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer Bummer

It's bumming me out that summer is almost over. The irony is, I keep wishing that summer would end so it wouldn't be so hot. It makes my brain melt--not unlike the dubbed copy of Jon Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" tape I carelessly (irreverently) left baking in the car when I was sixteen. I'm clearly warped.

Aside from the debilitating heat, I truly am a bit despondent over the demise of summer '10. It was too short for being such a momentous summer. After all, in the history of my life, this summer is a whole chapter--the summer I got married. This summer has been a pretty big deal for me as a result.

For that reason I want to hang on to this humid, dehumanizing season for just a little longer. What can I say?--I'm masochistic that way. This summer is like a tangible learning curve. Not only do I get to use it as an opportunity to recharge and refresh for the school year, but this particular summer I was supposed to find out the "rules of engagement", so to speak. And since I'm not even close, I find myself acting like the kids I teach. I cry out to the powers that be, "I'm not ready yet!" or "I just need a little more time to figure it out!"

Which is exactly the reason I need to chronicle this adjustment--er...journey. There's no way I'm going to figure out the dynamics of this new role--this relationship--in a summer, a year, or even a decade. It's like a secret of the universe that we need to figure out for ourselves.

So, as the seasons trudge past me, it feels as though summer has elbowed me in the gut. It's the bullying season. It flirted with me around June, winking and smiling. Now, come August, it's laughing at me and showing me its backside.

This summer was the best summer of my life. It was also the fastest. Poo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Two Budgeteers

Ah the dreaded sit down. The moment of truth. Er...moments. The night you actually, finally, sit down as a couple and work the budget. I remember this guy I used to work with, Andre. Andre was a cool guy, and singlemindedly focused on getting a financial leg up in the world. He was a newlywed, and a devotee of Dave Ramsey. During our thirty minute lunch break he would adjourn to his car, kick back the seat, and munch on a sack lunch as he listened to Dave Ramsey on the radio. At the time, I had a significant amount of debt, and I wanted to be as disciplined as he was. He was almost out of the woods. When I asked him about his path to financial perfection, he enthusiastically regurgitated Ramseyisms. I was impressed, not just with the fact that he was doing this, but that his wife was handling it so well. The thought of being told I couldn't go shopping by a husband was enough to make my armpits sweat a little and my heart palpitate.

"Oh, there were tears," Andre chuckled a bit ruefully. "She was reeeeaaal upset about cutting her shoe shopping money off, but she got with the program." I chafed at the thought.

Let's face it. For my entire adult life, these size seven and a halfs have never felt the pinch as far as budgeting goes. I've never, ever considered not shopping. It's a sad thought, indeed.

And so far, Joe has been understanding of the fact that girls tend to cost more than boys. He seems to let it go without saying that I'll blow through some back to school dough, and then again at Christmas, and well, AGAIN at the beginning of summer. However, as we fill in our expenses on the budget spreadsheet, it becomes glaringly obvious that I am the big spender in this relationship. I cringe as I tell him how much a haircut costs. I wince as I concede that I don't need pedicures. I groan audibly when I add up the miscellaneous $2 Starbucks charges to find out that I have literally drunk $14 dollars a week--and they aren't even alcoholic!

The thing is, I have always been a "yes" person. Yes, I want to go out. Yes, I want a cute new skirt I don't need. Yes, I want to go to the Lady Gaga concert even though I can't stand her. Yes, yes, yes....I love the sound of the word. I like new experiences and doing fun things. I believe in the power of "yes".

Joe is a "no" man. The reality check. While some people might find this to be confining, I need that system of checks and balances. It's important we keep our goals in mind. It's important to realize that Starbucks doesn't grow on trees. He and I work toward a common goal, and I know that if I continue to buy whatever I want, we may never get into a house.

And I want a house! I want one badly enough that I now have to think before I spend, and that sucks a little bit. However, I also feel a sense of freedom in being able to say "no" to myself a little more. While I squirm at the idea of asking someone else if they're okay with me purchasing something, it also speaks to the fact that I'm not in this alone anymore. Consideration for my teammate, and vice versa, is part of this deal I signed up for.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Proposal?

So I'm getting ready this morning, making myself beautiful for countless more hours of professional development before the school year actually begins when, on Channel 13, I hear something about "The Bachelor", and a promised "shocking conclusion". *gasp*

Mind you, I do not watch "The Bachelor" because I believe it to be a complete waste of time, not to mention just a bunch of grasping young woman who are either a) totally naive and believe they will fall in love in a mere couple of months, or b) hookers. Just my opinion.

However, I found my ears pricking up a little at the story because what could actually be more shocking or scandalous than what is generally on the show? Apparently--hang on to your hats, people--THE BACHELOR MIGHT NOT PROPOSE! Is this really that shocking? I know that he's supposed to follow through with a proposal according to his contract, but don't the vast majority of these couplings not end up working out anyway? Why is it a bad thing that he could possibly want to date a little longer? When did it become the thing to rush into something like marriage? And how is this show even still on??

Well, thinking about the bachelor's promised non-proposal led me to think about my own proposal, and that made me smile because Joe really did it well. He kept it relatively private (just the two of us at the top of the Ferris wheel). He set the stage (rushing me--a bit conspicuously, maybe--to said Ferris wheel before we could even order food). He told me he loved me (that part went much faster than I had envisioned). He put the ring on my finger (I snatched it out of the box before he could lift it out himself, and slid it on so I could watch the light beam off of it). We were ready.

The point, you ask? Good question. The bachelor sucks, and my hubs rocks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Confession

All right. Some of the dishes in the sink were mine.

Not that I was told to post this. Not at all...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Disaster!

Disaster. Everywhere!

Disaster struck in the sink, where dishes and cups that hid out in their cupboards leapt into my sink as if they had always been there. According to Joe, it is not his doing. Since I know it is not my doing, it must be the fault of our cutlery and dishware. I keep imagining my stemware dancing around like Mrs. Potts and Chip the cup from Beauty and the Beast, and while it puts a much needed smile on my face, I have to admit that something's rotten on Regency Square. And its the insane amount of dishes we continue to pile up despite our efforts to "clean as we go".

Disaster then struck my best laid food plans, too, on the very first day of Weight Watchers. I weighed in (1.5 pounds down from the last time I weighed in there) and left feeling renewed and ready to begin my new and healthy life. Then something unbelievable happened. We went to Brio for mom's birthday, where I was forcefed artichoke spinach dip on crusty flatbread and fried tomatoes nestled under buttery mouthfuls of salmon against my will. Against my will, I tell you!

When I say "against my will" I mean it. Joe asked me what I was going to get, and when I told him, he said, "Yeah, that sounds really good." Utterly diabolical. It's like he knew. Anyway, since I screwed dinner up so badly, I barely had any fight in me left by the time dessert came. Molten chocolate cake with vanilla bean gelato. Seriously, are the stars just totally aligned against me?!

I ate it. Every juicy, delicious, rich, buttery, creamy delightful bite. God help me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Challenges

Okay, so today I re-started weight watchers. I need to look sexy for my man, if ya know what I mean (wink, wink...nudge, nudge...). But beyond that, I'm tired of the yo-yo. Tired of the "fat days" we girls so often wrestle with. There was a time I was over 200 pounds, and I vowed to myself after losing 50 pounds three years ago that I would never let myself go there again. And not because I don't believe you can be larger AND sexy AND look really really great. It's just that, for me, my lifestyle just became so much more active when I shed a good bit of the weight. My life felt...well...fuller than when I was fuller-figured. So here I am. Again,

Now, about eight months before the wedding, I did join Weight Watchers with one of my bridesmaids and my bridesman. They were both very successful. I gained and lost the same three pounds the entire time. Clearly my head wasn't entirely in the game.

Joe doesn't push me to lose weight at all, and for that I am eternally grateful. However, I strongly suspect that he might mind a teensy little bit if I let myself get totally out of hand. And let's face it, with all of the cheese and bread and yummy cream sauces out there, I run a very realistic risk of hurdling out of control. I mean, fettucine alfredo makes me literally want to weep in ecstasy. The mere thought of a bagel broiled with butter and loaded with garlicky cream cheese will elicit Pavlovian slobber almost immediately.

So, with that in mind (and the fact that I have gained fifteen pounds since meeting Joe), I am really going to try to work this program. Send skinny success vibes my way. Pretty please, with Splenda and flax seed on top?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Big Idea

So welcome to the Cuckoo's Nest!



This is a big year for me. After years of dating and dating and DATING, I finally found the right guy for me--Joe. And he's an awesome guy. I have been assured by many that I feel this way because I'm a newlywed, and being "newly wed" is supposed to be a huge experience. Sometimes I can gain perspective on the magnitude of the situation, but I have to be honest here. Married life feels a whole lot like Living Together Life. Except now he's legally bound to stay with me.



We tied the knot on June 5th, 2010. It was a gorgeous ceremony, but then again, I might be biased.



When I try to imagine what this blog could potentially be, it encompasses a lot more than just marriage. It will most likely cover everything topical to my life, which in turn, will undoubtedly impact my relationship. It could be a ripple effect, or it could very well be a relationship tsunami. Needless to say, Joe and I are ready to "hunker down" throughout it all.



I can't promise ridiculous shenanigans, farces, or fireworks, but I do know that if people are willing to watch "The Housewives of [Name Your City]" and "Bethany Getting Married", I might just stand a chance in hell of finding someone actually willing to follow me.



So tonight is a Thursday. If anyone knows us, you know that Thursday night is Joe's "Scotch Night". It's a very exciting time. He makes himself wait until after some designated time in his head, and then he cracks open the Scotch. He drinks two. Three if he's feeling spunky. I, of course, feel it absolutely necessary to have a glass or two of wine along with him. What can I say? It makes me jovial.

For example, while watching "The Policewomen of Memphis", my hubs makes the astute observation that one of the women "runs like a girl". Duh. Nevertheless, I feel it necessary to bring up the fact that he has ugly things to say about women who "walk like men". Hrmmm.

What an oxymoron.