Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Home and Cranky

I finally made it home from Florida. The trip was lovely. The flight home was not. I'm too tired to work myself up into a lather with a proper bitching, but here's a brief summary:

Time I was scheduled to arrive home: 4:30pm, Monday, February 26

Time I actually arrived home: 11:45pm, Tuesday, February 27

No, it wasn't weather related. Mechanical problems only. Needless to say, American Airlines is on my shit list for the foreseeable future. They suck.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Public Service Announcement is having their after-Valentine's Day sale!

P.S. I'm off to Florida for the weekend. Slag will likely spend the weekend pining for me and crying himself to sleep every night. Stop by and console him if you have a chance. Toodles!

Monday, February 19, 2007

And a Pestilence Rained Down Upon the Land

My schedule yesterday:

7:30am: Arise. Pull on yesterday’s jeans. Subdue bed-head hair in a ponytail.

7:45am: Eat bowl of cereal.

8am: Leave for grocery store in the hopes of arriving before the thundering hordes of Sunday shoppers.

9am: Return from grocery store. Unload groceries.

9:15am: Plan day. Mentally schedule a run for later in the afternoon.

9:20am: Notice a slight queasy feeling in stomach.

9:30am: Listen to stomach rumble. Hear husband point out that I look a little pale.

10am to 12pm: Barf up every molecule of food that I’ve swallowed in the last six months. Lie on bathroom floor and feel the delightful coolness of the floor tiles. Receive attentive and adoring, yet ineffective, ministering of devoted husband. Sweat. Shiver. Pray for own death.

12:05pm: Cancel previously scheduled run.

12:10pm: Swallow anti-nausea medication and Gatorade provided by aforementioned devoted husband.

12:15pm: Puke up aforementioned anti-nausea medication and Gatorade.

12:20pm: Consider writing letter to Santa Claus, asking for own death, since the Almighty isn’t coming through for me.

12:30pm to 6pm: Lie on couch, sip Gatorade, and watch 7 TiVo’d episodes of the 2005 season of Project Runway.

6pm: Shower.

6:20pm: Return to couch. Try not to take offense as husband seals TiVo remote in Ziploc bag so he can use it without touching it and possibly infecting himself with the plague.

6:30pm: Demand that devoted husband provide chocolate milkshake.

6:35pm: Allow devoted husband to talk me out of milkshake idea.

6:40pm: Resign self to drinking more Gatorade, which has become extremely unappealing.

6:45pm to 10pm: Lie on couch. Watch backlog of TiVo’d Daily Shows and Colbert Reports with devoted husband. Sip more Gatorade. Doze.

10pm: Retire for the evening.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sweet Nothings

There’s just nothing that says “I love you” like an enormous 4ft. heart-shaped Mylar balloon that says “Be mine” on one side and has a picture of a rose on the other, is there? Somebody must think so, because the local grocery store is filled with them. It’s like a tacky haunted Mylar forest in there. I was afraid flying monkeys were going to swoop down and carry me off to the witch’s castle or something.

Who buys those things? Probably the same people who buy lighted heart-shaped lawn ornaments and heart-shaped rose wreaths and kissing balls. And what the hell is a kissing ball? The mind reels at the possibilities….

Whoever invented the Valentine tree probably has a house full of those Mylar Valentine balloons. I bet the Christmas people are going to be mighty pissed when they find out that yet other holiday is trying to move in on their tree decorating action. First there were Easter trees and Halloween trees, and now Valentine trees? Next year I’ll make a Groundhog Day tree. I’ll drape it with groundhogs and groundhog accessories. Let me know if you know what groundhogs use for accessories. I promise to give you credit.

Slag and I agreed we weren’t going to be exploited by the Valentine Industrial Complex this year, but then I came home yesterday to find a big beautiful bouquet of roses in one of his latest pots. Isn’t he a sweetie? No Mylar balloons though, so he wasn’t completely beguiled with all the available merchandise.

I love you, Sweetie, roses or not.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weird Meme

Holy crap! I just got tagged for my first meme by em! I sooo feel like Steve Martin in “The Jerk,” when he found his name in the phonebook. I’m SOMEBODY!

(And if you’re never seen that movie, you must go watch it right now.)

So, six weird things about me? This will have to be just a sampling.

- I hate flying, but not because I’m afraid of it. I hate not being in control of my own schedule.

- I grew up in a place so rural that we only got two of the three major television networks, NBC and CBS, until the mid-70’s. So, there’s a whole group of ABC shows from early 1970’s popular culture that I never knew anything about until they went into syndication: “The Partridge Family,” “The Brady Bunch,” “The Mod Squad,” “Love, American Style,” etc.

- I don’t do my husband’s laundry and he doesn’t do mine. We were both single too long and set in our ways, I guess. On the rare occasion that one of us finishes up a load of the other’s clothes, something always ends up in the dryer that shouldn’t have, and then we both resolve never to do that favor again.

- When I’m alone in the house, I frequently turn on really loud music and dance like a lunatic, a la Tom Cruise in “Risky Business.” I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever reach an age when I don’t feel like doing it anymore. I hope not.

- I didn’t kiss a guy for the first time until I was almost 18. But the first guy I kissed was also the first guy I slept with, albeit a few months after the first kiss. (I forget who reads this blog. Apologies if you’re getting more information that you wanted.)

- When I get a bag of M&Ms, I dump the whole bag out and line them up in rows by color, in the order of the spectrum, with brown at the end. Then I eat the extras until all the rows have the same number of M&Ms. Then I eat all the brown ones. After that it varies, but I always eat the blue and green ones last, in pairs, because I think they’re the prettiest together. Oh, and I absolutely hate it when I get a bag with only one or two of a particular color. It totally ruins phase 2 (eating the extras until all the rows are even).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I am not now, nor have I ever been, a talented runner. I am a persistent runner. I am a determined runner. But I am not a good runner, nor even an average runner. I wasn’t a runner at all until my 20’s when I fell in with a group of friends who exercised, get this, for FUN. It’s true. Even on vacation, they would get up early in the morning and run, because they wanted to. They liked exercising. I was totally baffled. And uninterested.

Then I got back the results of my first ever cholesterol test.


Yeah, not good, especially considering that I was 26 years old and 35 pounds lighter than I am now. OK, so my diet was bad. It's still bad. But it wasn't bad enough to generate that kind of number. Medication was promptly prescribed, which got the number down to the low 200’s. Still not optimal. In between bites of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, I started wondering about the possibility of keeling over from a heart attack at the age of 45. So I considered the whole exercise thing. And then I talked about it with my health-conscious, running friends, who had cholesterol numbers around 150.

If I were ever going to exercise, running met the main requirements:

a. It didn’t require any skill or coordination. I can usually handle the whole left-foot-right-foot-left-foot thing, with a couple of amusing exceptions that we don’t have to go into right now.

b. It didn’t require me to go anywhere except out my front door. I didn’t have to join a gym or a team or wear a uniform.

c. It didn’t require me to interact with other people except for an occasional eyebrow waggle at other pedestrians I might pass on the street.

And so I bought my first pair of running shoes.

It was freaking hilarious. At first, just wiggling my knees for a few seconds caused me to gasp and sputter. I ran slower than most people could walk. Hell, I ran slower than *I* could walk. It would have been pathetic if it weren't so funny. I kept at it mostly because my friends were so encouraging. And peer pressure, of course. There’s nothing like peer pressure to motivate.

Things got a little better eventually. I remember the first time I ran a mile without stopping to walk. The next day I pranced into my friend’s office and announced it as if I had just won an Olympic medal or cured cancer. She, who has run several marathons and ran her first mile when she was 6 years old, praised me lavishly for running that mile. Obviously, she was a very kind person. She was a good friend too.

I’ve been running ever since. Still slowly. Very slowly. Glacially even.

For example, there is a half-marathon (13.1 mile) race in town every year. I’ve finished it four times. That sounds mighty impressive until I tell you my times, which I’m not going to do because it’s embarrassing. Let’s just say that in the first one I did, a power walker beat me. Specifically, a chubby male power walker, clad in purple lycra running pants. He stayed just about 100 feet ahead of me for the entire race. I got to watch his fat rolls undulate under the purple lycra for at least 10 miles. But I finished that stupid race without passing out or throwing up and that was my definition of success.

Eventually, I reached a level of fitness where I could run and fall into that state of mind where you forget that you’re running. It’s a great feeling, part relaxation, part exhilaration. I’ve done some of my best thinking during those runs. The fourth and final time I ran the half-marathon, in 2000 I think, I actually enjoyed it. I was still extremely slow, but I finished with people who were actually running, well ahead of the power walkers wearing purple lycra. Plus, at no point during the race did I feel that I was about to go into cardiac arrest. It was fun, and I’d love to do it again.

But alas, it’s been a really really long time since I’ve felt like that while running. Lately my runs end with me sprawled on the living room floor, yelling “I SUCK!” at the ceiling. If I yell loud enough, Slag will come downstairs to see if the house is being burgled or I'm being assaulted. That's kind of fun, but not enough to make up for the blow to my self-esteem that each bad run brings. I don’t remember the last time I ran a mile without stopping to walk and catch my breath. My knees hurt. Those extra 20 pounds probably aren’t helping either. I’m sick of this. It’s pissing me off. I want to enjoy running again, and I’m starting to think I never will. Getting old sucks.

So why do I keep trying to do it? At the moment, I have no idea. Just felt like whining about it. Thank you. That is all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Self Abuse

Is there such a thing as a chocolate hangover? Yesterday I accidentally ate the bottom layer of a Godiva 36-piece Gold Ballotin for lunch. Today I feel like crap. Could there be a connection?

In my defense, I didn’t mean to eat it all. But now I have nothing. :(

It was the remainder of my windfall from the post-Christmas half-price sale at I had been slowly eating away at the box, a piece or two at a time, for the previous week. I can eat chocolate with moderation if I keep it in some relatively inaccessible place that’s out of sight. That way, I don’t see it and grab a piece (or three) every time I walk by.

My usual, preferred, out-of-sight location is the freezer, but I just couldn’t do that to the lovely golden box of Godiva chocolates, with each piece nestled down into an individually sized and shaped cup. The freezer environment was too hostile. Godiva chocolates have to be kept at room temperature, so as not to bruise the ganache.

This box stayed upstairs in the extra bedroom with the door shut, rendering it extremely out of sight. It worked! I could eat just a couple of pieces a day with no problem. And I got a little exclamation point of ecstasy in my day every time I remembered the box was up there. It was a repetitive bonanza, if you will.

So then I got cocky and brought the box to work. I thought I could continue the strategy, if I only put the box out of sight in a desk drawer. Ha! Double Ha! I am dumb. The box was completely empty within three hours. I started eating as soon as I got to work, so I guess it wasn’t technically lunch. It was more of a breakfast dessert brunch that extended into lunch. But the result was the same. It was all gone by 12pm.

When will I learn that I cannot be trusted with chocolate while at my desk?? I should know myself better after 41 years. The chocolate must be out of sight AND out of reach for this strategy to work and there’s no place in my office that is sufficiently out of reach. And I’m including the top of the dropped ceiling tiles.

This also might explain why my run yesterday afternoon sucked with the force of a thousand vacuum cleaners. That’s a lot.