29 July 2010


So I’m at lunch today getting my daily fix of overpriced iced coffee. While I was at the sugar and cream station there was this other woman there and I had to kind of reach in front of her to grab a couple packets of Splenda. Seeing what I was reaching for the woman says, “You know those are bad for you, right?”

This brings up a huge annoyance of mine, which is to say that I loathe people who feel the need to inform you that whatever it is that you may be doing at the time is “horrible for your health” or “causes cancer” or “will give you a bunion the size of Topeka”. Who are these people and who assigned them the job of Uber Supreme Ruler of Health Related Dangers to the World and Universe except Pluto which May or May Not Still be a Planet? As a smoker, I actually get these people coming up to me all the time. “Oh, smoking is so bad for you.” Like I didn’t know. Like I am so unaware of the things I put in my body that I’d pick up dog shit and have a lovely dog shit sandwich with lettuce and mayo if there wasn’t someone there reminding me that mayo is really really bad for me.

But back to the Splenda. I really like Splenda. For years the only options for zero calorie sugar substitutes were NutraSweet, Sweet n Low and Equal. Both NutraSweet and Equal contain aspartame which is found to cause cancer. I don’t care if they cause a third arm to grow out of my spine (handy for those hard to reach spots), they make my coffee taste like battery acid. Splenda thankfully does not. I don’t believe the crap that it “tastes like sugar because it’s made from sugar”. Honestly, I don’t care if it was made from the sweat of horse balls (I eat hot dogs for fuck’s sake, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me) – it’s good, it’s zero calorie, I’m going to use it. By the way, Splenda uses sucralose in case you were wondering. I’m telling you all this so you know (I’m looking at you lady at the Coffee Bean) that I do in fact know what I am putting in my body.

Reaching for the Splenda....
Health Expert Lady: You know those are bad for you, right?
Me: (giggle) But I like them so muuuuuuuuuch.
Health Expert Lady: Yeah, they contain aspartame which is really really bad for you.
Me: Well actually, those two (pointing to the Equal and NutraSweet) contain aspartame. Splenda does not. There is no data that sucralose, which is what Splenda has in it, is bad for you.
Idiot Lady who hopefully has learned to keep her frickin’ trap shut: Oh. Well I knew one of them… uh, sorry.
Me: No problem. Now go out into the world and live a little lady.

This blog post was brought to you by the makers of Whining, Ranting, and Bitching, Inc. This blog post was also brought to you by the letter ‘S’, for Splenda.

28 July 2010

There's something about the wedding in there somewhere

I spent the first 17 years of my life in a place well loved by Hollywood when they have a character in their script that has the description of “clueless ignorant farmer type, most likely overweight” and that character needs to hail from somewhere. That somewhere is Wisconsin, a lovely green place close to Canada that does have its share of overweight farmer types – like the majority of the Midwest. I don’t know why Hollywood prefers Wisconsin over other farm-like states such as Kansas or Minnesota but they do. Keep an eye out for it; you’ll start noticing Wisconsin cropping up in films and TV. Hell, even ‘Nardo’s character in ‘Titanic’ was from Wisconsin.

While technically I grew up in a parental divorce situation where my weekdays were spent in New Berlin with my mother and in Waukesha on the weekends with my dad, I still to this day call neither cities home. When I moved back to Wisconsin for a few years starting in 1997, I moved to the biggest city in the state – Milwaukee. With its tattoo parlors and local punk bands I kind of found myself there and have thus considered Milwaukee my home town ever since. Truth be known, even though both New Berlin and Waukesha are only 20 some miles outside of Milwaukee, I still die a bit inside when I have to go through them. Maybe somewhere inside I still see that slightly overweight buck-toothed girl dipping French fries in a chocolate Frosty because Wendy’s was the closest thing to civilization there was there at the time.

All that was to explain the reason why when I do go back to Wisconsin for a visit I never stay in a free room in my parent’s house out in Waukesha, no matter how convenient (and cheap) it might be. Which is why we didn’t when Andy and I went out to Wisconsin for my brother’s wedding last week. We stayed at the Comfort Inn Downtown with its elevator doors that tried to eat you and the maid service that didn’t care if you were taking a shower at the time; they were going to make those beds dammit.

Where was I going with this? I lost track somewhere. Fuck it, I’m forging ahead.

ANYHOW, this is about my brother’s wedding. My brother (and sister for that matter) are technically my half siblings (we share a father, though unsuccessfully so since Dad still refuses to be cut into thirds no matter how sharp the hack saw may be) but they are the only siblings I have and I have never once considered them “half”. They’re both significantly younger than me – 9 and 11 years younger to be precise – so by default I’ve always played the older sister role with great success. When I was a teenager I’d make sure to slam my bedroom door in their faces when they wanted to play because they JUST DIDN’T UNDERSTAND the angst of having a HUGE CRUSH on Paul So-n-So and he just wouldn’t look at me and OH GOD I can’t handle the way my pants fit me today and WHY DO I HAVE TO TAKE HISTORY CLASSES when I’m never going to be a dictator or the Princess of America? Of course later, when they were the angsty teenagers, I was then old enough to buy them beer (which I only did once to be fair – or maybe twice, I can’t remember), take them out to underage clubs, and give them plenty of helpful “grown-up” advice (the most of which was complete crap – like a 26 year old is ever “worldly”), and give them cash for their birthdays which is all a teenager wants anyhow.

Because of this age difference, I will always consider both of them “kids”. Even though my brother is now 27, owns his own landscaping business and can buy his own damn booze, I still sometimes think of him as that kid that shoved a “I HAT YU!” note under my door and who once believed me when I told him that the STOP signs with the white borders were optional.

Adam, not yet a year old.   Me, at 9.   Yeah, I thought I was so cool.

But my brother is older now, and he got married this past Friday to a lovely girl and they had a fantastic wedding. Well, everything was fantastic but the weather which absolutely refused to play along.

On Thursday before the wedding, the rains started and they refused to stop. We had the rehearsal at the War Memorial and by the time we were done there was flooding all over the city. It was a bitch to navigate through to get to Conejitos for the rehearsal dinner – there was even a spot (mini lake) that Andy and I drove through where a tow truck was just sitting there waiting to pull anyone out that happened to get stuck. While I know that driving through mini lakes isn’t the best thing for a car, it was my brother’s car that he never used and had crappy A\C so screw it! I bought him beer once! Of course this daring car swimming ended up removing half of a somewhat important bracket, but that’s the price you have to pay sometimes for decent tacos.

Dave, Maggie, Karen and Andy survive the storms for some tacos.

The Groom's Men protective rain gear.

That same night there was so much flooding that a water main broke which creating a huge sink hole in the city. What got sucked into the giant sink hole? Why a brand new Cadillac Escalade of course. I wasn’t the only person who expressed their desire for all Cadillac Escalades to fall into sink holes.

Ha ha!   Oops....

The next day, the actual wedding day, was held outside at the War Memorial. Because of all the rains and the fact that it was 90 degrees anyhow, it was incredibly uncomfortable with all the humidity. One thing heat and humidity do is melt Brits:

"We're melllllllltttttttttttinnnnnnng"

The ceremony was nice (and thankfully short) and my brother had me come up and do a short Irish blessing. I got through the first couple of sentences before I started choking up (since I’m a bit ole emotional shit head). I will personally strangle anyone who attempts to show me a video of my performance. As well, the dress that I had custom ordered I failed to put on after it was dry cleaned so I didn’t realize until it was too late that the fabric bunched and I looked like I had 80 year old saggy tits. I refuse to show you a picture of Saggy Tits Moe though I’m sure there is some photographic evidence circling the Web of my Personal Shame.

After the ceremony there was a 3 hour gap until the reception. My relatives and I took it upon ourselves to go get cocktails and be obnoxious at Mo’s (no relation).

My family is cool.  

 Andy and Aunt Kenna.  This is going to be blown up and hung up on the wall with all it's awesomeness.

Around 5 PM we headed to the Milwaukee County Zoo for the reception. Adam and his new bride, Shannon, set up the food tailgate style. I’m assuming this contribution to the reception comes from my brother who is a sports fanatic and even went so far as to wear a Brewer’s tie.

The rest, well, the rest was a reception. Food, drink, dancing. Adam and Shannon had previously told the DJ that the ‘Chicken Dance’ would not be allowed to be played but I managed to pout enough to convince them otherwise. I might have also said, “My brother is dead to me if the ‘Chicken Dance’ is not played tonight.” I bought him beer when he was underage dammit! The ‘Chicken Dance’ of course led into other banned items such as the ‘Hokey Pokey’ and a pretty awesome Congo line.

Dad and Karen in the Congo line.   My dad is just pissed there's evidence of his participation.

NO SAGGY TITS in this photo!

Adam and Cousin Sean singing....something...out of key

I could go on but this is already too long and I’ve strayed too much at the beginning that I might be forced to do it again. All I have to say is congrats to Adam and Shannon. May your life together be filled with free beer, laughs that make your stomach hurt, and a winning lottery ticket that you will of course share with your big sister who bought you booze when you were underage.


Quick thanks to the Vegemite Wife who made me lose a day of work yesterday screwing around with photos.  And check out her blog because she's funny and makes me laugh.

27 July 2010

The one where I get distracted by everyday household dangers

So I’m currently laid up on the couch with a pulled back. I have been sitting here in this same spot for the last 30 hours as any attempt to move causes me to shout out a barrage of curse words, obscenities and general Jesus related profanities. Basically not only do I have a pulled back, but I have also developed tourettes because of it. There was a point sometime last night when I decided to take my sister’s advice (a native to back related injuries) and took to lying on the floor. The problem was that unlike the couch which gives me some height leverage to moving again, I could not get up from the floor. I was stuck. I was like a flipped over turtle. There was some moaning and arm flailing and more obscenities and even some tears before finally (with an extreme amount of help from Andy) I was able to get upright again. It took around 20 minutes of effort. I have since taken the stance of a 7 year old who imagines the floor as a hot cavern of flaming lava. I have special shoes to walk on said lava. That’s a lie – I just use the cat to get about – when she holds still enough for me to get the saddle on.

You really have no idea how hard it is to get one of these strapped on the cat.

If you are wondering just how I pulled my back out (which I can’t imagine that you would really care, but it’s my blog dammit) I will have to mutter incoherently under my breath that yesterday morning when I bent over to dry the underside of my luxurious locks, it went out. That’s right – I pulled my back out drying my hair. Andy laughed at me when I first told him about it and told me to tell everyone that I really pulled it out by saving kittens from a burning fire – which I tried doing yesterday at work before it became too painful walk around and went home – but then they laughed at me too. Rude bastards, the whole lot of ‘em.
Not to be used in bath tubs or in or around actual hair.

Pulling out my back from drying my hair just adds to the list of stupid injuries I have accrued over the years. Not one of my injuries is from something cool, like a rabid tiger attack or tobogganing off of Mount Everest. Seriously, you’re going to love this list. If nothing else, it might make you feel a bit smarter.

----I broke my left toe while drying off a cutting board. The board slipped out of my hands and landed on my barefooted toe. I had a stick shift car at the time.

Cutting Board vs. Toe.   Winner: Cutting Board

----I broke my left handed “fuck you” finger catching a football. When I told people about it, they seemed happy for me, “Oh! I didn’t know you were playing sports.” Which I then had to mumble incoherently under my breath that I was drunk and tailgating outside of a Chargers game and it was dark and thank god my finger got in the way as I almost caught the football with my face.

Football vs. Finger.   Winner: Football

----I sprained my right ankle walking to a Mexican restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day two years back. The concrete was even. There were no stones or rabid tigers. I tripped over my own shoe.

Shoe vs. Ankle.    Winner: Shoe

----I developed tendinitis in my left foot walking on a slight downhill street in Leeds. I remember the exact moment it happened. I was walking. My foot went PING! I was WALKING. That’s seriously one of the lamest injuries ever. It’s the equivalent of saying, “Well you see, I was sleeping and suddenly my left leg went missing. I have no idea.”

Leeds vs. Capacity of my walking ability     Winner: Leeds

----My all time favorite stupid injury though was back in 1995 when I was working as a waitress at this Italian restaurant. I went to the Ladies Room to wash my hands. This particular restaurant had one of those huge cloth towel things – you know the ones - where you pull on the cloth a bit, dry your hands, then pull more so there is more fresh towel? Yeah, so I was pulling on the cloth bit and it might have been a bit stuck so I pulled a bit harder but I had muscles of fucking super steel back then (I was a waitress after all) and the force of my tug pulled the ENTIRE towel dispenser off the wall and onto my face, specifically my nose. To say I broke my nose is an understatement but what was even more pleasant was waitressing over the next week looking like I went three rounds with a pimp.

Towel Dispenser vs. Nose    Winner by a country mile: Towel Dispenser

I would like to say (because I like to give credit where credit is due) that Andy has been a complete and utter sweetheart while I’ve been laid up. I’m a horrible patient, I really am. I have a constant feeling like I have to do something at any point in time (“That coffee cup needs to be closer. I have an itch on my foot. This is a stupid movie; I’m going to change it. My arm is cold, I have to get the blanket. Oh, my coffee is empty I need to make more. GOD MY FOOT ITCHES! I should put cream on that. Gah, my arm is too warm, get this blanket off. Now that I think of it, I’m hungry. I have to pee. That cat toy shouldn’t be on the table, it must be removed…” the list goes on) so having to stay still is the closest thing to torture I can imagine. It’s a challenge for Andy to make sure I stay put too. And then there’s also the guilt involved in having someone do everything for you. I always feel like I’m walking this thin line of having someone taking care of me because I really should rest and feeling like I’m a slave driver. What usually ends up happening is that if I need three things done, I’ll ask Andy to do one of them and then when he’s off doing it I will stealthily get up and try to do the other two things myself before he catches me. It’s a bit of a dance really.

Geez, this was supposed to be about my brother’s wedding….what the hell happened there? Looks like you all are getting a few more posts than normal this week.

25 July 2010

My little 6'5" brother got married...

He'll always be my baby brother to me.  

More on the wedding and trip to WI later on this week.  Currently wringing myself out from all the fucking humidity of the last four days.

19 July 2010

The one where Step One is killing me

So as many of you already know, Andy and I have been trying to move out of the country for awhile now. We are both a bit nomadic in nature and we both feel like we’ve been in California for way too long. You know all this sun and ocean and palm trees and shiny happy happy is just a bit too much and we simply Can’t Take It Any Longer. It’s time to move on!

When we first talked about moving, we set our sights on Singapore. It’s clean, it’s friendly, English is spoken there, and it’s different – it’s Asia after all. But the more we thought about it, the more we thought that Singapore wouldn’t be that good of a fit for us, mainly because of the humidity (we both hail from cold weather climates and sweat the moment the mercury climbs past 75 degrees)(well, Andy sweats. I’m a woman so I simply glisten). I was also a bit put off that Singapore banned chewing gum. Who bans chewing gum?! That’s just not right. I can’t live on breath mints alone to combat smoker’s\beer\morning\stress breath. Singapore was out.

Sorry kid, not in Singapore.

As time went on, we started thinking about New Zealand. New Zealand is pretty, they have lots of sheep to chase, and they speak primarily English. Andy brought home this photo journalistic book of New Zealand and we spent an evening looking over the pretty scenery. Oh the mountains! Oh the waterfalls! Oh, the green valleys and rolling hills! Oh, the quaint little towns! Oh, the sheep – the wonderful fuzzy furry sheep! I think it was a few weeks after that I brought it up to Andy, “Um, there seems to be a lot of nature in New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest city and it’s still pretty small. Are you saying that if we want to travel away from Auckland, we’d have to get in an airplane to get to another big city?” “Hmm…looks like it.” “Andy, I’m sorry, I can’t do Auckland. I like my driving vacations, and I don’t really care for nature.” And with a few hems and haws, Auckland was right out.

Sure, it's pretty...but when you are done looking at it, you may want to ask yourself, "Where's the pub?"

We finally decided on Melbourne, Australia sometime last summer. Melbourne had a lot of things we both were looking for- which if you boil it down mainly means: lots of pubs and weird animals (sometimes in the same place – roar!). We have, in some manner, been doing the slow crawl to migration for a year now. It’s not a fun process. Word to the wise out there, try not to fulfill your deepest desire of foreign soil during a recession. You might as well try to walk backwards in a mound of pointy nails with a shark attached to your nose. And not one of those small sharks either, I’m talking about a big mother fucking shark. Basically, we are no further to moving to Melbourne then we were a year ago. Well, that’s not true. We have our fingers in a few things that we’re hoping might pan out, and not one of them is a profitable mango pie business (sorry, that was a random joke…anytime I hear “fingers in a few things” I immediately think of Little Jack Horner and am thus forced to make a bad pie reference).

C'mere and give me a kiss.   I don't mind chewing gum one bit.

So yes! Where does that leave us now? Andy and I still desperately want to move (“The sun! The palms! The sweet ocean breezes! MY GOD MAN! IT’S TOO MUCH!”) (Yes, I realize Melbourne has all those things…it’s a joke…let it go) so we’ve been investigating Secret Plan B Option. Secret Plan B Option isn’t really all that secret and it’s pretty obvious if you think about it but I don’t think Andy and I are willing to reveal SPBO until we are fairly certain that all our pie fingers have been officially lobbed off by the angry pie maker. But because SPBO (and our pie fingers if it comes to pass) does require some Official Paperwork to be completed, I’ve started the process known to expats everywhere as the Official Paper Work From The Devil’s Lair Where Verbiage Will Confuse and Mystify the Weak and Unprepared, Meaning You.

First off, Chloe. No matter where we end up, to get Chloe to where we’re going means that we have to start the process….well, yesterday. Before I even go into this, let me tell all those out there who have met Chloe and hate Chloe (she’s a really difficult cat) that Chloe is coming with us. It will be expensive and annoyingly tedious, but we’re doing it. Because Chloe is difficult, no one who has met her will take her. Taking her to a shelter would mean a certain death sentence. I haven’t spent 7 years with this creature only to send her to die. I’ve seriously invested way too much in cat toys to do so. Oh yeah, and I love her to bits even if she is a bitchy kitty. The first step to get her out of the country (either or) is to get her micro-chipped. Oh sure, you might think, no problem. She’s already micro-chipped. But yes, dear friends, she’s not ISO brand micro-chipped. The US uses its own micro-chipping system. Did you know that? I didn’t. Now I have to call around to the different vets in this area to see if anyone micro-chips and if they do, do they happen to have the ISO version. Then I have find a way to sedate Chloe long enough to get her into the vet (have I mentioned she’s been banned from a couple vets already?). For anyone who is counting, that is 3 things I have to do to get past STEP ONE in an 8 step list to get Chloe ready for travel.

"You are NOT shipping me in this stupid box.  NOT.  NOOOOOOOT.  Mew.  Give me tuna."

Fuck, I’m tired already and that’s just the cat. I was thinking about starting on my paperwork today (which in total is the equivalent of getting a giraffe to write a referral for me stating that I did indeed make potato chips in World War II and was very happy to do so for $1.20 an hour) but got stuck on STEP FUCKING ONE – which is to say that I’ve forgotten to get a new passport with my new married name on it.

DAY ONE of Attempted Migration: -2 days due to efforts needed to comply with qualifications for multiple STEP ONE’s. Clear Winner: Official Paper Work From The Devil’s Lair Where Verbiage Will Confuse and Mystify the Weak and Unprepared, Meaning You.

16 July 2010

Oh Friday, your day is so long....

Andy's hair is a bit off...they didn't have anything between almost completely bald and full head of luxurious locks.  Otherwise, I think it's pretty spot on.

You can get your own here.

14 July 2010


So this is a post about my hair. The men who might be reading can stop reading because I promise you that this is going to bore you to bits. Patrick, however, must read this so he understands exactly why when he described my hair as being like “pelts of fur” that I did not take it as the compliment he swears it was meant to be.

Before I begin, I want to show you what I would want my hair to look like, every day, if I could wish on a magical fairy, lucky leprechaun, or generous genie. This is how it looks when I pay someone $50 to style my hair (for a wedding) and there’s no humidity:

See?  Pretty pretty precious hair.  I need a stylist on retainer.

My hair is thick. Like abnormally thick - deceivingly thick. Thick enough that every single time I go to the hair dressers (and I do mean EVERY time, even though I can go to the same stylist for years) someone in the salon will say, “Oh my god, you have thick hair.” The way it was described to me was that not only is the physical width of the hair strands itself thick, I just also happen to have just that much more hair than the normal person. Ask anyone who has had to clean the bathroom after I’ve been in there – there’s a lot of hair and a lot of that hair commits suicide every day after deciding that it is no longer fit for this world and the life it lives on my scalp.

A lot of people will say that they are jealous of me and my uber thick hair. I like to smile weakly at these people and then generously offer to donate as much of my hair as they want if they decide that a hair transplant is somehow in their future. Sadly, my offer is genuine. Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful that I will never be bald. I am grateful that as I get into my seventies that I will never have to investigate the cost of Rogaine for Women. But right now? The here and now when I’m not collecting Social Security and wondering how music got so damn loud – it’s a pain in the fucking ass.

Let me ask you this, ladies of the world – Not including the washing and conditioning of the hair, how long does your hair take you to do? 10 minutes? 15 minutes? A whole half an hour? After my hair is washed, it takes a full hour to dry and straighten. Oh sure, I could not straighten it. I could let those odd curls and manic nonsensical waves take over so I look like a sad homeless woman. A picture is greater than words. Below is a picture of me and my hair (it is an alter ego of mine – my hair – I should name it but I’m afraid it will get a big head – pun intended). This picture was taken after I straightened it but the humidity got to it so it ended up looking only slightly better from before the straightening process.

I obviously hate this picture with a passion.  I'm only showing it to world for the sake of science.  Notice that my hair appears to be eating my face.

I’m bringing all this up because this past weekend I decided to spend the hour and do my hair. I consider doing my hair as a special occasion type of thing reserved for weekends out and job interviews. The rest of the time I throw my hair in a pony tail, which looks awful on my odd shaped head, and call it a day. It’s actually amazing how different I look with my hair up vs. when it’s down. Andy used to make jokes about his Hair Down girlfriend finally coming out so don’t tell the Hair Up girlfriend. I’m getting off track here.

Yes! So this weekend we’re out at the pub watching the World Cup Final. The World Cup Final brought out a lot of people that I don’t think go out that much and which ultimately means that I normally don’t see them. The entire day I had people coming up to me telling me that they loved the way my hair looked down and that they’ve never seen it that way. Basically I had people come up to me all day to let me know that Hair Down is the way to go and that Hair Up sucks monkey balls and how do I ever consider leaving the house that way? Thanks everyone. I know how bad Hair Up is.

Hair Up?  Sucking Monkey Balls.

I could write a novel about my hair but for the sake of keeping my readers, I’ll stop now. But before I do I have to say again, if you ever want any hair donations - I’ve got my hair clippers right here.

07 July 2010

Laid off, having an affair, dead grandma, OH MY.

I have a pretty active imagination. I am also inclined to think the worst. When my dad calls me up and leaves a message that says, “Hey, can you call me as soon as you get this?” I will immediately think, “Oh my god, someone has died, or fallen ill, or got hit by a commuter train even though there are no commuter trains in Wisconsin” and not the “I can’t print my invoice” that my dad is actually calling me about. When my boss calls me into his office I will immediately think, “Oh fuck, I’m getting laid off” when really he just wants me to take on a new project. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if I always think the worst – as I can think of many situations where someone has said to me, “I hope I get to see you soon, I have a surprise present for you” and I will immediately think that this person has gotten me the lost treasure of Blackbeard the pirate or at least a really nice 100x zoom digital camera when really it’s just a fridge magnet from their most recent vacation. I can’t help my brain for thinking this way, my brain thinks big.

Anyway, this brings us to last Tuesday when Andy and I were sitting on the couch. I was watching TV and Andy was playing on Facebook. I did an exaggerated move to let him know I was planning on sneaking a look over his shoulder and HE MOVED THE SCREEN AWAY FROM ME. My brain immediately thought, “Oh my god, he is having an affair”. Of course my brain thought about this further and thought itself ridiculous but decided to force random paranoid accusations out of my mouth in an effort to verify my brain’s habit of jumping to conclusions.

“Whatcha doing?” (Notice the casualness in my paranoia)

“Nothing. Playing on Facebook.”

“Can I see?” (Still trying to be playful)


“What is it? What are you doing? Will I see later?” (Getting a bit desperate here)


So of course I jump on Facebook the minute he left the room and I didn’t see anything. What the hell was Andy doing on Facebook that he wouldn’t let me see?? Was he hiding pictures from me? Was he UN-FRIENDING ME???? I went outside for a cigarette and thought about it. “It’s no big deal” I thought to myself, “we don’t have to share everything. It’s fine. I’m cool.” And I was, mostly. By the morning I had magically let it go and went on with my week without even remembering it.

On Friday before the 4th of July weekend, my boss had taken the day off. Normally my boss lets us out a bit early but since he was gone and no one else was in charge meant that we’d have to work a full shift. I have a bit of a problem working Fridays. That is to say, I’m tired from working all week, I’m usually pretty bored (Fridays are dead), and I really just want to get the hell out of work and get to the pub for a beer. Compound that with a Friday before a 3 day weekend (even more dead) and I can get pretty impossible. I had trouble sitting at my desk. The hours dragged and dragged on. I came overcome with an infliction for sighing. I smoked more cigarettes than my lungs could handle. I just wanted to leeeeeaaaaavvvvvveeeee. Emailing back and forth with Andy I found that he was in the same predicament – his boss was out of the country. I felt little solace with him being stuck at work too, but was a bit grateful he wasn’t let out early where he would of course text me to tell me how lovely the pub was and how cold his beer was. By 3:30 PM , my co-worker had just about enough of me sighing and whining and general complainery about it being dead and having no one to let us out early. My co-worker generously said that if I wanted, I could leave and work from home for the rest of the afternoon. HELL YEAH! While it’s still work, working from home is miles better than working in the office.

When I got home, I booted up the computer, logged into work, and emailed Andy to let him know what was going on. His response?

“Bugger. I could have left already. The office is pretty empty. I was only staying to cheer you up. I feel rather silly now!”

15 minutes after the email, Andy was through the door – happy to be home but looking incredibly stressed out. I asked him if he wanted a beer. No. Did he want something to eat? No. Did he want to talk about it? No. He was really stressed and I didn’t know what to do. I hugged him for a bit but it didn’t really seem to matter – the man was stressed. My mind immediately went into tragedy mode. “Oh god, he’s been laid off. Maybe he doesn’t have any money for the rest of time. Did someone die? IS HE HAVING AN AFFAIR?” What made it worse is when I asked him if he wanted to talk about it he just responded, “No, I don’t. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” OH SURE, pull the trust card! I was a bit put off but I kept it to myself. He eventually ate a bit and at 5 PM, we headed out. I wanted to go to the Harp but Andy said that he was too stressed to deal with everyone right now and took us to the Little Knight instead.

So we sat there, at the Little Knight, making random small talk about things that didn’t matter. He was still stressed and I was still put off and it was an awkward time sitting there. A little after 6 PM we decide to leave and head down to the Harp.

At the Harp, I run to the Ladies while Andy gets us a couple drinks and heads outside to the patio. When I get to the patio, Mari and Marilyn were there and there was a big mylar balloon attached to one of the chairs.

“Oh! Who’s birthday is it?” (thinking to myself, ‘shit! I don’t have time to get this person a card!’)

Which they respond, “It’s YOURS!”

It was a goddamn surprise party. The Tuesday Facebook incident? That was Andy sending out the invites to everyone. The stress getting home on Friday? That was Andy being freaked that since I got out of work early I would have headed to the Harp right away instead of going home first. Maggie, my very awesome sister, had arranged the party and Andy helped. It was the first surprise party I’ve ever had and truthfully, if it means that in the week(s) leading up to the party I think horrible things about my love one(s), I never want to have one again. But I have to admit, it was a blast.

Below are the pictures. I realize now that I have a smudge on my iPhone camera that I have since taken care of. Regarding the My Pretty Ponies, Andy put in the Facebook invite, “If you are looking to give a gift, she’s always ragging on about ponies. They don’t have to be real and they don’t have to be life-like.” People took that message pretty seriously even though I really don’t like ponies and I just always say I want one to be annoying. I will never ask for a pony again.

Andy, being smug as he just pulled one over on me.

Joe and Vicki show off their pony gift

American Dave tries to burn my pony.  Boo!
Susan, Andrea, Roland and little Oliver

This is the littlest pony, Chet.  Chet is my favorite and is still in my purse...somewhere.  He's really tiny.

Gu gets attacked by the sun while I get attacked by Andy and an awesome balloon.

The ponies did come in handy as we had My Little Pony races (Marilyn is surprising good at toy pony races) and I later made a My Little Pony Lei. After the Lei was constructed and the tiara placed, I had sat in the bar waiting for a drink. This woman comes up to me and says, “Happy Birthday!” which I thought, “How does she know it’s my birthday?” – like I dress in a pink tiara and pony necklace every day.  My brain had obviously reached the breaking point of logical thought.

 Seriously, I like, wear this EVERY DAY.

Many thanks to my bestest, awesomest sister and my "I know when he's lying now" husband!

01 July 2010

Catalina Birthday Weekend

So today is officially the last day of my birthday week. I have always put way too much importance on birthdays, and affliction I blame 100% entirely on my mom and her need to make a big ta-do about my birthday every year growing up. I am her only child and my mom loves parties, so this makes sense, but this big fanfare regarding my birthday has damaged me greatly. I’ve had to go through life being sorely disappointed that not many people take birthdays all that seriously and they most definitely don’t take mine with the high importance I put upon it. What do you mean June 28th isn’t a national holiday?

Anyhow, this gets us to the birthday week. Because I put such stress on celebrating my birthday properly, it’s always a bit of a bummer when my birthday doesn’t fall on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If my birthday falls on a Monday or Thursday, I suppose I could encompass it into a birthday weekend but screw that! Might as well go whole hog and get the whole week! If you are wondering what birthday week entails, it’s really not all that exciting. Basically if I feel like being unreasonable or more demanding than usual, I can announce, “Birthday Week!” and the person I’m being unreasonable or demanding to isn’t allowed to complain any more than an eye roll. I suppose it’s not much, but I so love being unreasonable and demanding that not getting any flack for it is pretty damn cool.

For the weekend part of Birthday Week, Andy got me a mini-break out to Catalina Island. It was a last minute decision because while he had planned to take me to Denver for the weekend (I still crave Spicy Pickle Gobbler panini and hanging out at Red Rocks) the plane flights out never went down in price. Catalina isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t cost $500 to just get there. Also, because it was a local trip, Maggie and Dave were able to come out and join us for a couple of the days.

Andy and I left on Saturday morning from the Balboa Pier. It was a nice ride out to the island, though the waves were a bit choppy and half of the boat was either throwing up or just generally looking green. Neither Andy nor I suffer from motion sickness, so we just sipped our spicy bloody marys and watched the view – the ocean view, not the people getting sick view, because that’s kind of gross. After getting on the island, we checked into our hotel on the world’s steepest hill, the Zane Gray Pueblo, and walked back down to the Locker Room…to watch the World Cup…which we did a surprising amount of. World Cup watching that is.

Andy and Dave both made jokes about the Germans leaving their towels out.

The entire weekend was really nice. There’s not too much to tell really. A lot of eating. A lot of drinking. There was the Christmas Tree dancing at Catalina’s only dance club where some girl slapped Maggie’s ass while she was dancing (yes, I was a bit put off that my ass never got slapped – it was my birthday weekend after all). We rented a golf cart and cruised around. We got our Wicky Wacked. There was a really nice Sunday evening where Andy and I just went back to the hotel lobby – a big living room really – and watched ‘Cheers’ re-runs and Andy had to convince me not to play ‘Joy to the World’ on the hotel piano. It was all a really nice time. Sorry that the photos are all repeats from the posted Facebook ones – I never got around to uploading the pictures from the camera.

Andy points to the spot on his nose that is bruised from me playing "Gotcher-Nose" earlier.  No seriously, I broke a capillary in his nose.   Instead of apologizing, I just called him Rudolph.

He's still angry about the 'Rudolph' thing.

I will have to mention my favorite moment in the entire trip. We were back at the Locker Room on Monday afternoon watching the Brazil vs. Portugal match. A commercial came on for the new Neutrogena SPF 100+ sunscreen. Andy turns to me and exclaims, “Who the hell is SPF 100 sunscreen for? Albinos? ….or gingers, I suppose.” I went out for a cigarette to kind of hide my shame before I came back and whispered in Andy’s ear, “You do know that there is an albino sitting three stools away from you, right?” And there was! I had seen him come in about an hour earlier. Walking out later Andy said, “…I mean really. You make an albino comment once every 5 years, what are the chances that there’s one sitting Right There.”

Downtown Avalon

I was planning on telling you about our hotel – which really was like glorified camping – or the 10 AM hotel shuttle that came at 10:15 only after we called him 3 times to come and get us (damn island time) - or the horrible, if not greatly amusing, karaoke we saw – but it’s the last day of my birthday week and I just don’t feel like it. I will not, however, turn down any cake you feel like sending my way.

 Oh yes, I definitely got my wicki-wacked.