Saturday, December 25, 2010

Don't Try To Eat Them

I'm all about the thoughtful gift, as opposed to the expensive, showy gift. Don't get me wrong - I'm still okay with lavish displays of affection and welcome it wholeheartedly (see http://www.bluenile.com/pearl-bracelet-freshwater_13196). But the gifts that speak to who you are and show that the giver has really been paying attention to who you are? Those are the gifts that really mean something!

I'm sure anyone who has read at least one of these posts can attest to my mild fascination (shut up) with donuts. Okay.........

I loooooooooove those tasty little confections of fried, doughy goodness.

And what better way to keep them in my life than a gratuitous display of them? This was a Christmas present from one of my biggest fans, Smudgie. She's been very supportive and is one of the most sincere, wonderful human beings on this planet. And I don't say this just because she gave me this:


FAKE DONUTS!

Trust me, you can't eat them. I have them purposefully turned around so you can't see the bite marks on the back side.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

King Me

I'm doing the quarterback dance in the in-zone and I'm not even afraid of getting fined. I'm gloating so much that nearly nothing could bring me down off this victory high.

Remember the Christmas Crustacean that Nurse Betty just gifted me? And the "shellabration" I had the moment I received the esteemed pleasure of adorning my tree with that monstrosity? Yeah, Nurse Betty thought she could out-do me. She thought she could make me afraid to buy one more disgusting ornament. She thought she could stop my antics.

She thought wrong.

Hee hee....

Say hello to my little friend, Billy Bob Joe, the clarinet-playing, silver antler-having, red sequined coat-wearing, REINDEER! Billy Bob Joe will soon come to reside on Nurse Betty's tree. I'm sure he'll be very happy there, next to the sparkly green fishy, the Christmas pig (complete with fuzzy red Rudolf nose) and thanks to my hijinks this year, Edna the Christmas frog.

Silver Antlers!

And a Santa hat!

So Sparkly!


A shiny gold clarinet!
And just in case Nurse Betty thought that she was going to escape with just one nasty ornament, I've got a check mate on this little chess match.

Queen is playing in the background. "...you got mud on your face, you big disgrace..." Boom, boom, clap. Boom, boom, clap. "Weeee will, weeee will, ROCK YOU!"

Meet Shroomie!

Like, totally psychedelic, dude.

A sparkly mushroom cap.

And a mossy base.


Even comes with a clip for ease of decorating!
Check, and mate, bitch.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Penalty Flags

Get that shocked look off your face. This is, in fact, another post just one day after yesterday's. Seems I have a lot to talk about.

So a few posts back, I mentioned that my gut was telling me that things were too good to be true with The Single Boy. I went on and on about how great he is - at which point some of you vomited in disgust - and that my gut kept telling me to run. Since I couldn't grasp that it could be true, that I'd been blessed with a wonderful man in my life, I chalked it up to nerves and fear. Turns out, I should've trusted my gut.

You've been there, right? You've dated the great guy with everything going for him. He's dynamic, adorable, and incredibly funny. He's never rude to anyone and he sticks up for you when you're down. Okay, so on paper he sounds great. But actions and words have to work hand in hand. How is he when you need him because your world is crashing down? How is he when you don't need him? How is he when you're cramming for a big promotion? And does he really hear - and really listen - when you talk?

In short, I realized over Thanksgiving that this fantasy that I was trying to be at ease with was just that - a fantasy. The Single Boy kept reminding me of a character in one of my favorite chick movies, The Holiday. He reminded me of Jasper Bloom. The only issue in this equation is that I happened to be Iris Simpkins. She held on to her relationship with Jasper even after he'd cheated on her because she couldn't let him go. He stuck around because she was a good ego boost for him and when he needed her, she would come trotting along behind him. Uber pathetic, and yet vaguely familiar. The trouble is, that Iris is so adorable and so like us that we root for her to realize how wonderful and deserving she is.

She says something in this movie to the effect that we're supposed to be the leading lady of our own lives and that she was acting more like the affable best friend. Can this be true? Could I have been living my life like the best friend instead of the leading lady? Nurse Betty just about beat that fact into my head for two nights straight. But, no amount of BFF or Bestie or wine can convince you that you are better than how you've been treated. You're the one who needs to realize it for yourself.

So, like my last post, the fear ends now. It's time to let it go...and this time I'm letting him go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nothing Says Christmas Like...

Oh how people (Nurse Betty) try to outdo the master of all (me) but oh, how they come up short.

This was an early Christmas present from my BFF. She claims that nothing says Christmas like a salmon colored glass lobster ornament. I respectfully decline that claim but in the spirit of all things BFF, I gladly hung this new ornament on my tree.

Crap Really Does Grow On Trees

I'm sure that this year we'll have quite the....wait for it....wait for it...SHELLABRATION!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In Keeping With Tradition...

It wouldn't be Christmas - or the start of the season - without my annual pilgrimage to Home Goods for Princess 2's traditional hideous ornament gift. Yes, I am just such a godmother that buys disgusting, bottom of the shelf, atrocious holiday ornaments for my goddaughter just to see the look of joy on Princess 2's face and the look of absolute horror on her mother's as she's forced to adorn the tree with said ornament. I'm evil and wicked and conniving, and I freakin' love it! Oh get those looks of distaste off your faces. Would you rather me buy the child a drum set or one of those pop-pop-pop toys? At least this way Princess 2 stays quiet, which is no small feat, given that she has this loud, booming voice that loves to spill out the most inappropriate information at the most inopportune times. Plus, this gives me something to hang over Nurse Betty's head when she's behaving badly. It's kind of like when we parents ruefully pull the Santa card when our kids are behaving badly - only with an adult twist.

It all started two years ago when we were all out shopping at Target. (My mecca, especially the ones that have Starbucks in them... Shhh! I'm having a Target-meets-Starbucks moment. Okay, all good.) It was Christmastime, and we were walking the isles of Christmas wares when Princess 2 stumbles upon the most appalling green sequined fish ornament and falls madly in love with it. It was....charming. (Snickering...) Yes, charming is a great adjective. But Nurse Betty would not have anything to do with it. She was finally starting to acquire all the ornaments she wanted to have on her tree in her post-mortem divorcee life, and she'd be deaf, dumb, and blind before that green sequined fish ornament ended up on her tree.

Enter The Single Girl and cue the evil witch cackle...

The next day I happened to be in Target (shocker, I know) and I happened to be in the Christmas isle, looking at the very same ornament. And oddly enough, that fishy ornament ended up being the only thing that landed in my basket that day. Hmmm....strange.

When the time came to open presents, I made sure that Princess 2 opened her ornament present first. She was so excited to see that fish, and Nurse Betty was, well, happy on the outside. But that sideways look of "I'll get you for this, my pretty" was haunting. (She's never really been able to top that, by the way.) And that very night, Princess 2 proudly displayed her fishy ornament dead-center on her Christmas tree.

Last year I knew I needed to top the year before, so Princess and I went out to Home Goods this time to locate something even more heinous, since Home Goods has no shortage of....well, crap. She and I rummaged through the boxes and laughed hysterically at all the possibilities. That is, until two ladies beside us caught on to all the mischief. They soon became our partners in crime and helped us locate one of the most atrocious ornaments known to mankind: The Christmas Pig.

This was no ordinary Christmas Pig. No....this was a Rudolf Christmas Pig, complete with fuzzy red nose and antlers. Princess and I knew that it was the ornament for Princess 2 the moment we laid eyes on it. We giggled ourselves silly all the way home and then sent Nurse Betty taunting texts about our find. And when we opened presents, Princess 2 just about feinted at the beautiful ornament that she had received. She vowed to place this newest gem next to her green fishy. Two points for Godmommy.

This brings us to this year. I've purchased a sequined fish and Rudolf the Christmas Pig, but how can those be topped? Well, boys and girls, I'd like to introduce you to Edna, the Christmas Frog:

Edna, The Christmas Frog

Edna stands 4" tall and is glass. She has sparkly ruby red shoes, a ruby ring, and real eyelashes, as all Christmas Frogs do. Oh, and don't forget her gorgeous pearl necklace.

Edna's Ruby Red High Heels


Edna's Ruby Ring

Look Mom! Real Eyelashes!

It might be safe to say that after this I'll be impeached from Godmotherhood and be forced to live an abstinent life somewhere in Guatemala as a waitress in a seedy bar. Nice knowin' ya!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let It Go

It's been a long time since we've last talked. Sigh.... I know. I'm a horrible friend. You've been neglected; cast aside like a half-read paperback not worth reading in its entirety. Dare I say that you've been left to sit out and stale away on the counter like a half-eaten bagel? (We all knew I wouldn't say "donut" in place of "bagel", because let's face it - donuts never make it much further than the car once purchased. They scream tiny sprinkles of screams at their impending fate as I callously walk them to the car and taunt them as I open the bag with calculated intention.) Yes, I've tossed all of you to the side. All the while, I've been gallivanting around to different parts of the country, experiencing joys, experiencing fear, experiencing life. But I'm here now, and it's time to play catch up.

First off, I passed the Big Poppa interview for a promotion. It feels so liberating to finally have this conquered and out of the way. But the real test is to put this all into action. It's one thing to talk the talk - clearly I can talk - but an entirely different thing to walk the walk - even in leopard print peep toes. I've been on that proverbial path taking that walk for three years, but now that I can officially lead the race, there seems to be so much more at stake. It's gonna take time, but time I've got. And although I'm looking at my options now that I'm here, I'm not exactly looking to leap into something new just yet.

Next, when we last left each other, The Single Girl and The Single Boy were having a bit of a power struggle and the heroic, stunningly beautiful Single Girl - shut up, this is my story - was winning. In this ball game, I had hit a home run. We've had a few phenomenal dates in the past few weeks and The Single Girl is wondering how she's gotten so very lucky. There's just one glitch: fear.

Before you start rolling your eyes thinking that this guy is an idiot and he's gonna let a little fear get in the way of something wonderful - which is totally sweet that you're coming to my defense so quickly - let's just clear the air and call a spade a spade. I'm the one to blame here. Yep, I'm the one who's scurrrrrred. Stupid, right? Well, when you're presented with something good after so many times of being disappointed, your mind plays tricks on you. Feel free to throw hard objects my way. My sister will join you - she threw wooden trucks at my head as a baby because she didn't like me.

For years I've experienced a gamut of disappointment. And I shouldn't let these past experiences dictate how I respond in the here and now, but it's the unfortunate truth that our past paves way for our future. It's not so simple to just let go and experience. I instead analyze, I question, and in this case, I almost sabotage. And why? Because past experiences tell me that this isn't real. He can't be real. What he says can't be real. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Stupid, I know.

It's time for a change, though. And tonight is the perfect night to do just that. After a good cardio session and a pep talk with Nurse Betty, my mind is in the right place. It's time to just let it go and let it be. I've met someone great who makes me laugh. If it lasts through tomorrow or the next day, great. If it lasts beyond that, even better. But by letting go of the pressure I've needlessly placed on the relationship, I can instead just focus on having fun and living in the moment. Time to let it go.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Batter Up!

Alex Guarnaschelli said today on her show Alex's Day Off that a cupcake is merely the vessel by which we have the latitude to ingest an obscene amount of frosting, and I'd have to say I'd agree. I've learned several nuggets of wisdom in my life, but Alex's justification for doing naughty things like eating obscene amounts of frosting seemed to speak to my hungry brain. It's not that I've never thought about simply eating cream cheese frosting right out of the mixing bowl - I've done it one finger at a time and giggled as the sugar rush hit my blood - but the way she put it out there makes me feel so much less guilty about doing it. (I said less guilty, not completely guiltless. You're talking to a girl who has no qualms eating dessert before dinner, much less instead of dinner.)

Where's she going with this, you ask? Well, the concept of justification for playing a game to get what you want stuck with me. If I justified eating an inordinate amount of frosting by placing it atop a tiny cupcake confection, and by doing so I could feel less guilty, then could I easily play other games to justify my actions? (Right about now, Nurse Betty's antennae went up because she totally knows where I'm going with this.)

Okay boys and girls, let's meander off the super food expressway and talk luuuuuuuve. No, I'm not in it. Nowhere even close. But, recently I found that the Single Boy was not taking his knight and shining armor role very seriously and started to pull back. I've seen How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, and I know better than to be the clingy "Oh You're So Perfect Lets Move In Together And Have A Million Babies" girl, so I know it wasn't anything I was doing. Even still, it's hard to stomach someone you really like pulling their efforts back without any notice. I was perfectly fine before I met him, enjoying my life, happy as a clam. And then boom! Imagine someone dangling a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting in front of your face, letting you smell it, giving you a nibble, and then swiping it away from you unexpectedly...and eating the entire thing right in front of you. Yeah, I was ready to get all Mike Tyson up in the cupcake heezy and bite someone's ear off, too.

I brought in the big guns - just Nurse Betty - since Mama Bestie is upside down on sleep caring for her precious new baby and could really care less about my man woes. She told me I needed to play "the game". I hate games. They are, like, so kindergarten recess. (You must say this with a valley girl accent, a flick of the hair, and a wrinkle of your nose.) But normal human psychology shows that in any relationship, there's always going to be a give and a take of power. And as soon as one party starts to pull back, the other party usually responds by chasing. Playing "the game" means that you don't react and chase, you simply remain stationary. If the other person realizes that you aren't reacting, they'll react by glomming on.

I was just going to cut and run, and to remain a cat lady for the rest of my life. I had it all mapped out. I could grow chin hair, get fat, and cackle when small children ran from me in terror. I'd wear this long cape made of old potato sacks and wear black shirts and mom jeans and crocs. I'd perm my hair and then straighten it so that it looks horrendous. And then I'd pluck my eyebrows.... oh wait. I'm describing someone else. Potato, potahhhhto I guess. Nurse Betty didn't find this option appealing, and cautioned me against shutting down because of someone else's disjointed actions, although she did like the idea of not ever needing to buy another Halloween costume. I prefer my plan since this means I get to make lots of little cupcake vessels for my cream cheese frosting to happily be ingested without guilt or need for justification. And in a world where the man is simply supposed to be the icing on my cake, I figure that I'd better be making my own damn frosting, since that was the only way I was going to get it.

My idea seemed so much better. I've got a promotion interview coming up this week and then beyond that, work is going to kick up in intensity by a few gadzillion notches. Stupid man behaviors are not in the plan, much less trying to play a game of cat and mouse to keep some man interested, when I'm not sure that it's worth it in the first place if I can't just be myself. And by "myself", I don't mean that I called him eleventy thousand times a day or sent him pictures of what our kids would look like. (I learned that from How To Lose A Guy..., not that common sense didn't play a huge part in that decision. I mean, come on! What girl does that crap?) By "myself", I mean someone who answers a call when the phone rings or - shocker! - is available to help a friend out when they need it. Evidently these are two mortal sins in the dating world.

How is a girl supposed to follow all these rules and games if she's simply trying to stick to the most basic rule of life: The Golden Rule? I've had the stupid games played on me, and let me just say that the karma bus took care of those nimrods. The last thing I want to do is see that bus coming for me. Nonetheless, I tried my hand at "the game", and let me tell you, it worked. Didn't feel very good, but it worked. I can justify lots of things in my life - shoes, clothes, cats (hee hee). But this one isn't sitting very well with me.

Maybe I need to just remember what Alex said...the cupcake is merely the vessel. So, if I look at the game as the vessel by which I get my frosting, I have my justification. If you need me, I'll be having a chat with Betty Crocker and my cupcake pan. Batter up!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ima Be Me

It's 1:30 am, and despite needing to be up in just a few hours to catch a flight out for a business trip, my body has decided that it is wakie wakie time. I thought I was getting a sore throat, which inevitably leads to a cold, and to prevent this whole mess, I took Nyquil. I refuse to get sick. Yes, I know it has Tylenol in it, and yes, I know I'm allergic. But I figured the side effects outweighed the possibility of sitting in a conference room wishing I were dead. And yet, sadly, now I'm wide awake blogging about being wide awake. And for some reason, The Black Eyed Peas started playing in my head.

Ima be, Ima be, Ima be me-e-e.

Oh hush. You don't see me mocking you because Right Said Fred talks to you in your dreams and taunts you to sing "I'm Too Sexy" in your fedora.

It's odd how certain songs pop into your head when you need a pep talk from a higher power. Today has been no different. Have you ever noticed that when you start or try anything new, deprecating, self-destructive, self-doubt starts to crop up? Confidence has always been a problem for me. Deep inside, I still see an awkward, clumsy girl with a crooked front tooth and a double chin. I'm usually able to keep that girl away, tucked nicely away in Pandora's box, but given time and a little bit of added anxiety - and apparently a couple swigs of Nyquil - and she comes out. Ima be me, and convincing myself I'm good enough has always been a problem. So here's where it ends. Time for a self-imposed Single Girl pep talk. Here goes. No laughing.

Ima be the girl who doesn't eat vegetables. I can't stand leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and a whole range of other veggies. And I'm not the least bit sorry. I am who I am and I'm not going to change that.

Ima be clumsy. I've always been this way, and if tripping over thin air were an Olympic sport, I'd be a three-time gold medalist. You can suck it, Kerri Strug. It doesn't mean that I won't try new activities, it just means that I might not be good at them. I am who I am and I'm working on this.

Ima be artistic, and not necessarily sporty. Yes, Sir Kicks My Ass and Laughs About It says I'm tough and capable of a lot more than what I give myself credit for, but deep down inside self-doubt interferes with that ability. I am a creator rather than a conquerer. I am who I am and I create art through cooking, photography, gardening, and being a loving mother.

Ima be the Single Girl who owns three cats and lives in an apartment, blogging, scrapbooking, cooking, and gardening. This does not make me a cliche. This does not make me pathetic. This makes me....me. If you have a problem with it, kiss off. I am who I am and I'm happy with my life.

Ima be the one who has fluctuating weight. As much as I fantasize about food, it isn't the problem. Working out and staying active is my problem. The problem is that if I don't purposefully make time to get to the gym then I simply find excuses not to go. I know I shouldn't let myself get that way because it's my health that will eventually pay the price, but living is so much more important than working out sometimes. I'd rather live, experience, and interact than go work out. I am who I am and although I just made it back into my skinny jeans, I still see a fat girl in the mirror.

I am who I am.

I am who I am.

I am me.

I am good enough.

I am high on Nyquil.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Loafing Around

Let's just preface this post with a small fact:

I make the bombdiggity of meatloafs. (Holla!)

Yes, I can just hear The Single Girl's sister out there chiming in that it's not really my recipe, but our mother's, but since I'm the one who's writing this post, I could give a tiny rat's ass. And as for the rest of you that turn your nose up at the thought of a loaf-shaped piece of meat, let me once again strap on your leash and take you for a walk down this fabulously juicy road of meatloaf heaven.

Don't worry - I'll stop for water breaks.

Meatloaf is, for all intents and purposes, a loaf of ground beef with any number of ingredients that your Mom had a knack for sneaking in. I've heard of bell pepper, tomatoes, onion soup, tomato soup, and even (gag me with a blunt and/or sharp object!) a hard boiled egg being added. For the record, my meatloaf (that's right, Sis, I said MY!) has nothing strange whatsoever. If anything, you could take these same ingredients and make the most awesome hamburgers - or hamingers as Princess 2 calls them - and die right there in your dining room chair having just ingested a heavenly piece of meat. Who knew that some eggs, crackers, ketchup, and spices could turn a dull, lifeless block of meat into something fabulous?

Several years ago when Nurse Betty was going through her divorce, she spent most every night at my kitchen table talking herself in circles about how wretched her ex was. I would call her around 4 pm each night to let her know what was on the menu and invite her over for dinner. One night, I called to let her know I was making meatloaf, and that she was more than welcome to come over. She was immediately hesitant because meatloaf has such a bad rap. (Also because her mom makes something called Scotch Eggs - see hard boiled egg reference above. The Single Girl shudders at the thought.) I assured her this was something she definitely had to try, and that if she didn't like it, I'd gladly make her something else. She came over and took one look at the bubbly, carmelized loaf and dug in.

Two slices later she was hooked.

Meatloaf is now one of the foods that we use in my house to provide comfort and warmth. Paired with baby red potatoes and some fresh green beans, this meal is hearty and is dripping with love. Both Princess and Princess 2 request this meal on a weekly basis, and although try as she might to follow the letter of the recipe, Nurse Betty feels that her meatloaf can never measure up. I have a feeling that this has to do with the pan that I cook mine in.

Don't get ahead of me, now. It's my story. Stay with me.

I said stay!

This pan is old, well used, and only used to cook meatloaf. It's Pyrex, and not a rectangle loaf pan, but oval. And I've learned that in order to avoid scrubbing it for two days straight after meatloaf night, I need to wipe down the inside edges with a paper towel before cooking and then put the empty pan in the fridge overnight after cooking. Somehow the refrigerator moistens up all the carmelized liquid and allows quick, easy cleaning the next day. It's my baby and I treasure it.

It's even got a name: Meatloaf Pan.

Original, I know. That's how I roll.

And here's where the suspenseful music starts. Ba dum.... Ba dum.... Ba dum....

I said don't get ahead of me.

This last Monday was meatloaf night. It's been a tradition through the years that once the youngest child is old enough and strong enough, they become the official meatloaf squisher. So, when Princess came of age - 5 years old - I taught her how to squish the meatloaf. She's done it ever since and relishes the privilege.

As usual on Monday night, I added all the ingredients to the pan and Princess squished the loaf while I talked on the phone to my mom. I was in the other room talking to her when I heard CRASH! BREAK! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! coming from the kitchen.

"Uh oh, gotta go", I yelled to my mom and went running into the kitchen, only to find an uncooked meatloaf and my precious glass pan splayed all over my clean kitchen floor. And Princess was in tears. The pan had slipped out of her hands as she was putting it into the oven to cook.

"I've ruined dinner! I've wasted money! The meatloaf pan is broken! What are we gonna do now?!?", she wailed. I tried to comfort her as much as I could and shuffle her out of the shards of glass mixed with raw ketchup-cracker-egg-meat.

Glass was everywhere. My precious pan! What was I going to do without that pan?

It took 30 minutes and a canister of Clorox wipes to clean up the shards of meat glass. In the end, we ate scrambled eggs and toast, enjoyed a peaceful evening together, and laughed about the pile of meatloaf on the kitchen floor. I've yet to find another pan that will suit my meatloaf recipe, and the search continues. Until then, boys and girls, I leave you with the recipe for "This Will Change Your Life Meatloaf", also known as "Bombdiggity Meatloaf" and "OMFG This Meatloaf Rocks The Kasbah".

The Single Girl's Mother's Meatloaf
1 1/2 lbs 80% Lean Ground Beef
About 1/3 c Ketchup (or more, if you like your loaf juicy)
2 eggs
About 15 (or so) Saltine or Ritz Crackers (any buttery, salty cracker will do)
Garlic Salt (ummm....about a tsp?)
Salt (who the heck knows...enough to make it salty?)
Pepper (see above)
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (optional for wusses)

Mix all together in loaf pan with hands, since they are the best tools that God ever gave you. Form into loaf and wipe down inside of pan where meat mixture has smeared the pan. Put into preheated oven at 400 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes. (I'm not entirely sure of the exact time, since I base this entire recipe on "a dash of this, a dash of that" haphazardness.)

Simply look for three characteristics of the meatloaf which tell you that the sucker is done:

First, there should be a dark carmelization and crust on the top of the loaf. (I don't mean charred.)

Second, you should see that the loaf is bubbling away in its own juices. It's not gross, really. I swear.

Third, if you're still not sure, pull your meat out (Ha! You knew I was going to go there.) and slice into the center. If you still see pink like a raw hamburger, it's not done. Put it back in the oven and go sit your happy ass back down. If it isn't pink, then it's done.

Now here's the important part: don't eat it right away after pulling it out of the oven. Let those juices redistribute back into the loaf, which they will do magically. Give it 10 minutes or so to undergo this process. When the 10 minutes are up, slice into that bad boy. We eat our loaf with a gallon of ketchup for dipping.

Trust me, it's stupid-good.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

You Need To See A Doctor

Oh Nurse Betty! How you zing me with your poignant one-liners. Yes, boys and girls, the wry Hallmark card writer is back at it again. If you remember back a few posts, Nurse Betty and I were having a tiff over some comment she made, and to diffuse the situation, she said "I'm sorry you're pissed". It was so blunt, so off the cuff simple that it made me laugh myself into hysterics. And today she was back at it again.

For the past two weeks or so, I've been wound up tighter than an eight day clock. Stress has been building and building in me until it finally metastasized in full blown insomnia, lack of appetite, nausea, hot flashes, and racing heart. In short, The Single Girl has been a hot mess. But yay! I lost 5 pounds! Oh, quit discounting my weight loss and rejoice in it with me, you big hater. 5 pounds is 5 pounds!

I let life and all its struggles get to me and let my faith fly out the window. Bad move, apparently.

Stress from work, from family, from Princess' dwindling grades at school, from money, and from love - all crashing down at once - can really wreak havoc. And you'd be so proud of me. I didn't resort to eating one gosh forsaken donut to soothe myself. But through all this, Nurse Betty has been telling me that I need to get myself checked out. I've been shushing her, waving it off because I know it will pass. She disagreed, considering that last night I was finally able to get some sleep - 11 hours worth - and that after my hair appointment I tacked on another 2.5.

She seems to think I'm over-anxious. What makes you think that? Huh? Huh? Huh? What, Nurse Betty? What makes you say that? Did I miss your point? Did ya have one? Did you say it and I missed it because I was talking too much and asking too many questions and oh look what a happy white cloud that is in the sky and why are you not listening to me now when I'm talking to you and carrying on about the cloud that you can clearly see over there in the sky but are choosing not to look and won't give me your point even though I asked you for one which I think is totally bitchy and rude and obnoxious but these are all the things I love about you but not "love" that way because I like boys and not girls and why are you laughing at me now and I'm not happy because you are ignoring the fact that I haven't stopped for a breath in two minutes and are now turning blue?

And here's where she dropped the Nurse Betty-ism. "You need to see a doctor", she tells me over text. Rude, much? Yeah, I agree, but I died laughing. That's like telling someone they need medical intervention of one form or another, and most people automatically jump to the conclusion that this "doctor" has a whole closet of lovely white coats that allow you to constantly hug yourself. He he ha ha ho ho...to the funny farm we go. I'm almost certain she wasn't referring to this sort of doctor.

Almost.

... Hmph.

Maybe?

Let's just do some recapping and see. Was it me who decided to eat a wax birthday candle? No....that was her. Was it me who thought it would be cute to put lily buds up my nostrils when I posed for a picture? Nope, nope. Her again. And was it me who showed a friend's husband her boobs to get her third drink? Nuh uh...that was lovely Nurse Betty. So, I'm pretty sure she meant that I need to see a regular medical doctor, and not one who will decorate my house in pretty padded white walls. Glad we got that cleared up. Although, upon further review of things, we should probably have Nurse Betty checked out.

All this stress and nervous knots in the tummy hasn't been bad, though. Some of it has been delicious buttery popcorn dipped in nacho cheese delicious. I'm talking decadent chocolate cake with a glass of ice cold milk delicious. No wait...even better! I'm talking rainbow sprinkled donuts delicious. Now you're feeling me, right? You see, boys and girls, The Single Girl has met a Single Boy.

Before you start getting carried away, let's just remind ourselves that new relationships are fragile and easily susceptible to malevolent forces, and this newly blossoming relationship is no different. Does he have a way of melting me to drippy butter each time he looks at me and smiles? Yes. Does he have a wit and sarcasm only tantamount to mine? Fo shizzle. And has he been through the love wringer just as I have? You betcha. Right now we are both trying to see where this goes. We've gotten this off the ground but are still trying to see how we like navigating through the air. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the ride.

Stay tuned, my pretties. All this stress may just cause me to add a few pretty white jackets to my wardrobe. Can you still eat donuts in the mental ward?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kicking It Old School

It's never a good situation when your personal cell phone requires duct tape, fishing line, and crazy glue to keep working properly. Unfortunately, that's my current situation. I could go get a new one, but I'd have to pay full price and I don't exactly have $300 lying around waiting to be spent on anything I want. If that were the case, I'd be flashing some hot as hell leopard print peep toe pumps.

Nurse Betty was very concerned about the grim possibility that I might be without a phone soon, but not because this would leave me without the means of sending or receiving a call in a time of emergency. More so because she would have no way of sending and receiving texts with me. Ahhhh, how sweet....sort of?

I can see her point. Just about the only time Nurse Betty and I have a real conversation is in person - not over the phone. Anytime we're conversing over the phone it is through text, and we both have plans with unlimited text capabilities, so we're quite adept at making rapid responses on our keyboards. I'm sure that if you looked at our bills, you'd see more than 500 texts per month to each other. It's insane really.

I mentioned that we could go old school and write letters to one another. She didn't think it was a good idea, though. Since we spend most every waking hour either together or glued to our phones texting one another, I'm sure that some people must suspect we've begun batting for the other team. Sending snail mail to one another would send those people over the edge. Of course, I'd send her love letters just to see their reaction. Oh Nurse Betty, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

But really? Could our relationship - or any current relationship - survive if we had to remove a cell phone from the equation? Most of us depend on them for our whole life's existence. We conduct business, catch up with cross country friends and family members, and some of us even use it to surf the web. Most friendly flirting is done over text these days, just as a precursor to what may lie ahead. I believe life as we know it would cease to exist without a cell phone.

I, for one, always write in those "20 things you didn't know about me" surveys that the one thing I'd take with me to a deserted island would be a cell phone. Yeah, yeah. 10 points to the stupid geniuses who'd take a yacht so they could chug, chug, chug away to civilization. Hello? I get 20 points for having a phone to call in some cute National Guardsmen to come rescue me. And bonus! I get a date, too. (This is my delusion, so don't go bursting my bubble and pfft'ing the thought of me getting a date. It could happen.)

Nonetheless, the fishing line and duct tape can only hold up for so long. If anyone wants to send donations my way, including a cute National Guardsman or leopard print peep toe heels, or a winning lottery ticket, I'll gladly accept your benevolence. I'm sure Nurse Betty would find a way to thank you as well. There'll be a donut in it for ya!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Just a Girl

I drove to work on Thursday in the downpour of a summer Kansas storm and stopped off for a time-zone buster of a caffeine jolt to keep me wide awake for the next two centuries - or at least provide me enough caffeine to keep from careening off the side of the road in the deluge of rain and hail. On the radio was a morning show for some Midwest wanna-be top 40 station and the DJs were doing their best to be considered “with it”, although they were seriously lacking in my judgmental, holier-than-thou, I-live-in-CA-so-I’m-better-than-you frame of view. I was a bit tired and therefore a bit – a lot, really – cranky and so The Single Girl stepped up on her high horse and judged these land-locked Ryan Seacrest hopefuls only up to the point when a steaming hot cup of quad-grande skinny vanilla latte was secured neatly in her hand. I’m like that guy in the McDonald’s commercial that refuses to engage in conversation unless coffee has been consumed.

The DJs were talking about pick up lines, and specifically what lines women could use to approach a guy and strike up a conversation. Now, The Single Girl isn’t up on the club scene and she doesn’t troll around the downtown bars dancing and drinking every Friday and Saturday night away. I have my fair share of fun. But, ultimately, I’m a mom and my fun generally ends around 9:30 pm. So when these DJs were talking about picking up hot guys at a club, I can’t really relate. But the technique is what had me intrigued.

These DJs had trouble coming up with catchy, original lines to open up dialogue and make a woman seem appealing while others strike out. What is a woman to do when she sees a guy who catches her eye but also catches the eye of all the other women in the room? How can she stand out in the herd and get this one guy to talk to her instead of anyone else? What they came up with astounded me.

These girls said that a woman who approaches a hot guy needs to go for the gender stereotypical topics, like asking for directions or help with a flat tire. They also suggested that the guy give advice on her outfit. Um...really? Are we really all that helpless and immature that we need to go the route of big, strong man versus damsel in distress to get a guy to talk to us? How about trying that age old introduction called…

Wait for it…

Hi.

Hi is the distant cousin of “hello” and is so close in resemblance that it can pass for a “hello” when the user of said word is in a rush. But are we women all so scared to actually try to start up a decent conversation between humans that we have to forego a simple introduction for some opener that might catch someone’s attention? Here’s a thought: try being yourself. And by “yourself”, I mean an intelligent, interesting woman who has enough going for her to catch the eye of any worthy guy. Not one who is immature and needs a guy to comment on the sluttiness of her outfit in order to feel like she has a shot in the dark with some member of the opposite sex.

You see, ladies, its all about attitude and confidence. If you are confident in who you are, you are confident enough to stand on your own, even if that means that you stand without a partner by your side. And here’s where some of you will take a crack at the fact that I’ve been on my own for the last eight years and that I haven’t always taken this “be confident on your own” approach. I'll admit to the occassional irrational outbreak of tears, hysteria, and binge chocolate eating. (Here’s where The Single Girl sulks and calls each of those dissenters a biotch.)

Okay. (Rolling my eyes.)

It’s true. (I say this very quietly so those dissenting biotches have to strain to hear me.)

But in my old age, I’ve become a crotchety old bag a la Shirley McLaine’s character, Wheezer, in Steel Magnolias. And when you’re an old crotchety bag of stink like Wheezer, you can stand up and say crazy things like, “hi”, and (O.M.G!) “hello”. Crazy, right?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shhh! They'll Hear You

Did you ever notice how the moment you get yourself on a new plan to get healthier (i.e. lose gelatinous goo surrounding the "boom! boom! fire power!" muscles) that all these voices start creeping up? I have two sets, and neither one is really making me happy.

The first set guilts you into pushing harder, going longer, and avoiding donuts, hamburgers, pizza, coke...and did I mention donuts? One of these voices sounds like Jillian Michaels - a bit butch, a bit bitchy, but has your best interests at heart. I don't care much for this one, because it's the one that makes the sugary, oh so yummy fried donut sting in my pudgy hand. Then there's another one that is a dead ringer for Kerri Strug - helium voice, happy kittens and puppies and shiny rainbows telling me that I am superfantastic and that I can achieve anything I want. This voice encourages me to go longer when all I really want to do is go home and watch SATC reruns. Kind of makes me want to remove her voice box or dislodge the grape from her nasal passages.

There's also the voices that get loud, obnoxious and somewhat condescending about this new plan to get happy. They incessantly shout how much you've missed cheese and bread...since yesterday. And they're really good at making you see all the benefits of drowning your popcorn in melty butter and washing it down with a slushy coke. Ahhh! My people! I love these voices. Imagine Rosie O'Donnell and Gabriel Iglesias playing havoc on your willpower. If I listen to them, though, I'll enter one of the five stages of fatness, and I refuse to achieve "DAMN!" status.

I think one voice in my head is that of a Yiddish grandmother. Bubbie says that I don't need any buttah on my popcown otherwise I'll be forced to wear a schmatta for the rest of my life. She's not very nice, actually. Nudnik.

This makes me very ferklempt. How can I get on the path to detesting all things covered in mayonnaise and butter (sorry, Bubbie - buttah) and cream when I have visions of dancing cupcakes floating about in my mind? Should I give in to these urges every once in awhile to prevent those cupcakes from turning into dancing schmattas? I think I'm fercockt.

I really want to push harder but the food porn is winning out. And this is only week 2, people. We're in for a long haul. On the bright side, I'll be here to retell all the mishegoss.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fourteen Steps

Fourteen steps.

That's how many steps I have to get up to and back down from my apartment. Know why I know this? Because I did my usual leg workout on Wednesday. Voluntarily. Without someone holding a gun to my head. The only problem was that I haven't done it in four months, so when I was done with my short, 30-minute rotation and decided to head down to the elliptical machine to do my 30 minutes of cardio, my legs were like jelly. I couldn't muster up enough energy to push the thing forward for more than 10 minutes at a time. And while getting up those fourteen steps after my workout was humorous, getting back down them an hour later to pick up Princess from school was downright funny. Good thing I haven't pissed off any of my neighbors lately. Otherwise, you'd find a wincing Single Girl You Tube video. I had to hold onto the stairwell rail just to keep from going head-first down the run.

Mamma Bestie laughed her butt off when I told her about this. Don't worry. I'll totally laugh my butt off when she's in labor. But she did tell me that I needed to at least walk on Thursday to avoid "even worse pain". Worse pain, my ass! And Nurse Betty called me an idiot, then told me to stretch. Pfft! I have to brace myself just to sit down on the bed...among other things. I ain't stretching! It's amazing how much being in pain can turn me into a three-year-old.

So as I was stretching before Princess and I went on our walk last night, I decided to text my old trainer. Sir Kicks My Ass And Laughs About It reprimanded me for my lack of consistency, but gave me a few pointers and did a good job of encouraging me. Once I get back into my workout regime again he will give me a plan for each workout. And bonus! No trainer fees. Is good since I'm broke.

Believe it or not, the walk actually did me some good, successfully hitting my second-day soreness with a one-two punch. I'm still going to count the stairs on the way down to the car this morning. If you listen closely, you can hear me serenading you with the post-hellacious-workout song called "Ow". It's an original composition. I'm planning on releasing it soon. It goes like this:

"Owwwwwwwwww. Ow. Ow. Ow. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Fuck that hurts. Ow. Ow. Ow. Owwwwwwwww. I must be crazy. Ow. Ow. Ow."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vocational Therapy

I’m writing this blog entry some 35,000 feet above God’s green earth, somewhere between California and Arizona, partaking of the company jet’s lovely peanuts and refreshments – free, yay! Since I have about an hour before we’re on the ground, I thought I’d take the opportunity to retell a story that Nurse Betty told me over text today.

I’ve been in the fantastically brown and hot Phoenix for the last two days. While I’ve been gone, Nurse Betty has been taking care of my dear, sweet Princess. She’s pretty wonderful like that and has gladly taken care of my Princess each time I go out of town for work.

Princess calls her "Grandma" - albeit lovingly and somewhat sarcastically, and it isn't because she’s like another mother, only older. Try something a little more sinister. Sit in a circle, boys and girls. The Single Girl is going to tell you a story.

At one point Princess needed some help dealing with some of her feelings about her dad, so I took her to a therapist. We’ll call her therapist "Cookoo for Coco Puffs", because although her medical specialty was Psychology, Cookoo for Coco Puffs was herself somewhat off the metaphorical reservation.

Case in point: we travelled to Napa for Princess’ bimonthly visit, and Nurse Betty came with us, just so all three of us could take our monthly pilgrimage to the Buckhorn Grill. Mmmm....Roadhouse Buck, oh how I've missed your salty, crunchy, bbq goodness. I could get a donut on the way there, too! Nurse Betty and I were sitting with Princess out in the waiting room when out walks Cookoo for Coco Puffs, crazy hair and all - think Albert Einstein - to greet Princess and take her back for the session. Cookoo for Coco Puffs greets us, and I introduce Nurse Betty. On the way back to her office, Cookoo for Coco Puffs asks poor Princess if Nurse Betty IS HER GRANDMA.

No shit.

Let's just clear one thing up. Nurse Betty wasn’t looking bad that day. She hadn’t just pulled a double shift at work, nor was she un-showered or wearing any sort of grandma attire like bifocals, Bend-over pants with elastic band, or even orthopedic grandma shoes. She looked pretty good, actually. She would've had to be about 6 when she had me, so Cookoo must have been off her happy meds that day. Princess really rubbed it in that poor Nurse Betty was mistaken for her Grandma. I had a little piece of that fun, too, given that this meant Nurse Betty would be my mother in this equation.

But, getting back to the story Nurse Betty told me today. Evidently Princess 2 wasn’t happy about going to school this morning and was whining about being forced to go. Nurse Betty tried to explain all the different reasons why she needed to go to school, but Princess 2 wasn’t having any of it.

My darling, sweet, innocent daughter decided to pitch in and help Nurse Betty cajole Princess 2 into getting herself ready for school…by asking Princess 2 one simple question:

“DO YOU WANT TO BE A TRUCK DRIVER?”, she bust out suddenly. “Because I have a family member who is a truck driver. He never went to school, has no teeth and a big tattoo on his belly. Do you want to be like him?”

***Side Note: The toothless, tatted-up truck driver is from her dad’s side. Her dad is not the toothless, tatted-up truck driver. The Single Girl might have made some mistakes in her life, but I never chose THAT to marry.***

Princess 2 was really quiet, as was Nurse Betty, until Nurse Betty couldn’t take it any longer and started laughing so hard she almost peed her pants. However, within the next 5 minutes, Princess 2 was up, brushing her teeth and combing her hair. I guess the image of becoming something so horrible in her mind was enough of a motivation. Yay for vocational therapy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hair of the Dog Anyone?

Setting: Last night, on the phone with Mama Bestie.

MB:
(Huffing and puffing and breathing hard in the phone. Is kind of a turn on.) "Hello?"

Me: 
(I'm the one who calls her, incidentally.) "What do you want?" I ask with an extra special syrupy whining voice. You know, just to get her used to the joys of motherhood.

MB:
"You're the one who called me. Shouldn't you be asking that question to yourself?" She's continuing to breathe hard and now I'm hearing some crazy noises in the background.

Me: 
"What the hell are you doing over there?" I have to hold the phone away from my ear because of the noise.

MB:
"I'm opening up this deshedding tool I just bought." So. Many. Jokes.

Me: 
"Deshedding tool? Hpmh. Is that what you kids are calling it these days? I used to call it a razor, but maybe with all those pregnancy hormones you have going on, you need an actual deshedding tool."

MB:
Is breathing even louder now. "You are so not funny. And I'm not the one with hair growing on my knuckles."

Me: 
"Did Nurse Betty tell you about that? She didn't tell you about the whole 'knuckle dragger' conversation, did she? And really, what's with the breathing? Are you deshedding something good?"

MB:
"Well, I do want to look good for the birth."

Me: 
"....." She's rendered me speechless.

MB:
"I'm kidding, you nut. It's for the dogs. They needed a good brushing."

Me: 
"I need one for my cats. The hair is outrageous."

MB:
"Riiiiiight. The cats. Is that what you kids are calling it these days?"

Me: 
Ignoring her comment. Mostly because I don't have something witty to say back. "Again, what's with the breathing? If you're gonna breathe like that at least follow it up with some dirty talk."

MB:
"I've got a giant belly that's in my way every time I do anything. You'd be breathing hard, too. Besides, I'm sitting on the chair bending over to brush the dog."

Me: 
"Right. And why is it that I hear this bzzzzzz sound?"

MB:
"It's the deshedding tool. Works better if it vibrates."

Me: 
"Riiiiiight. Maybe I need to get one, too. You know, for the cats. And so I can look good for the birth, too."

MB:
"....." Awesome. I shut her up.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Sorry You're Pissed

Nurse Betty needs to start her own line of greeting cards. It would be a Happy Bunny meets Barbie meets brutally honest biotch. And every card would end with a "K! Buh bye!" just to piss you off even more. I'm not mad at her or anything, it's just that in the last two years or so, she's become....honest. And by honest I mean no-holds-barred honest, which in the Single Girl land of happy kittens and puppies means that she's become a bitch.

The thing is, though, that if you tell her this, she revels in it. She laughs at your compliment and thanks you! Which makes her a bigger bitch! And the fact that I'm pointing this out may run me the risk of being one, too, but since she and I are practically joined at the hip, there's a good chance that her behaviors have rubbed off on me.

You see, once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was once a bowl-stacking, watch-wearing, never-be-late-or-I-shall-perish sort of girl. I might as well been called Drill Sargent - Nurse Betty did once - and it wasn't because I was donning a cute Halloween costume for a party at The Hef's. If I had to be someplace, I was there 5 minutes early come hell or high water, or even Princess' tears of agony. This annoying need to be on time and have every dish in its place stems from my divorce. If I couldn't control anything going on with my life, I could damn well control how I existed. Enter Nurse Betty.

I'm not sure if the theme music to my life at the moment Nurse Betty and I began being friends would be some sappy Dionne Warwick song about friends or something more like Let It Be by the Beatles. My life definitely changed when I met her, though. Imagine being a tough, rough and ready New Yorker with places to go and people to see...like, yestehday already, eh? And enter in the Alabaman, complete with sweet tea, sweet disposition, no concept of time, on the eternal Sunday drive of her life. Take those two polar opposite personalities and meld them together. Did you see hell freeze over? Yep. There...it just happened.

I stack the bowls. She haphazardly throws them in the cupboard, devil may care or be beheaded by a flailing ceramic bowl toppling down upon you. I like to be 5 minutes early to my destination. She's just getting into the shower 5 minutes before we have to be there. At the checkout line, I literally sprout grey hairs and exude steam from my ears like Frankenstein at his boiling point when the checker wads up my newly purchased clothes and throws them into a shopping bag. She helps the checker wad them up and throw them in the bag. Notice a pattern here? She just does, because these little things that get my panties in a bunch she finds useless to her overall life. No drama, no fakeness, no unnecessary.

All this lack of drama, fakeness, and unnecessary allows her to live her life as she sees fit, which includes telling it like it is. So it's no surprise that in the "I'm Brutally Honest" department, Nurse Betty's mug is right there, smiling at you. I've been told that if you look really hard, you can see her horns coming through her angelic blonde hair.

Saturday started off like any other glorious weekend day. I stayed in my PJs until I was damned well and ready to get out of them. I drank coffee on the couch and watched anything and everything I damned well wanted to. And just about the time I was texting Nurse Betty to nag her into waking up, she texted me. We have this sixth sense that way. It's ESPN.

We got to texting back and forth, and eventually got on a subject that hit a nerve. It wasn't so much the subject, but what Brutally Honest had to say about it that hit the nerve. And since I had my PMS gun cocked and loaded, I let her know that she had irritated me. Several times. And I fired some really bad bullets.

But that was short lived, because she sent me the funniest damn text I've ever gotten. It was shit your pants and giggle til you pee funny. Four words: "I'm sorry you're pissed." I laughed so hard I cried. And then I sent her a text apologizing for being mean, explaining my temper, and told her that I respected her opinion and that just because I got pissed doesn't mean I don't still care for her. And I commended her for her Hallmark-esque approach to diffusing the situation. We laughed about it and got through our little tizzy. That wasn't the best of it, though.

My PMS gun had a few remaining bullets and they were aimed at all the unfortunate stupid people that I encountered the rest of the day. I can't remember how long it's been since people pissed me off so badly. If I hadn't had Princess in the car, I'd have been using each middle finger - and Nurse Betty's - at the idiots on the road driving 20 mph in a 45. Who cares if I have to steer with my toes? Middle finger pointing at stupid people is more important when your PMS gun is cocked and ready to fire!! And all day long I had to do Lamaze to keep from hyperventilating at the sheer magnitude of frustration. Damn Nurse Betty had to sit next to me the entire time saying four little words to salt the wound. She smiled her angelic smile, the one that makes her horns pop up just a little bit more through her golden locks, and said it...

"I'm sorry you're pissed."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Top Ten Reasons OK Sucks!

I wrote this post almost a year ago and never published it. And since I laughed at my own experiences, I thought you might, too.

From August 2009:

I promise I don't have a bad attitude. I am simply currently locationally-challenged. Because I have such a strong distaste of my whereabouts, I have created a "Top Ten Reasons OK Sucks" list. Here goes...

10. Mapquest doesn't even recognize this place I'm in as a real town.

9. The two hour time difference is causing my eyes to look like I've been crying for days on end. (Memo to self...no amount of mascara can shield the crimson shade that the whites of my eyes have become.)

8. For a town that has more churches than Starbucks, there are no other radio choices than Black Sabbath and Li'l Wayne...and country music.

7. Day 2: I look like Diana Ross, or Monica Gellar when they all went to Bermuda. Am thinking of getting braids and beads so that I can make music, too.

6. I have the choice of fast food, fried fast food, or barbeque to eat.

5. Tornados. Or at least storms that look like they could produce tornados.

4. Torrential rain, oppressive humidty, lightning, and thunder. AT 2 AM!

3. Being called ma'am. Don't make me bitch-slap y'all.

2. Freeway offramps go for 3 miles and then make an abrupt U-turn without notice. Fun times in the rental car.

1. It's freakin' Oklahoma. And since there's nothing worse, I'm going to stop right here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Do, New Day

Over the past week, Princess and I have been settling back in to the norms of our existence here in Single Land. We've practiced getting up at our usual time when she's actually in school, and she's practiced being a full-fledged middle-school-er by complaining about it and falling back asleep. Something tells me that Mamma is gonna have to get a little creative with getting this little girl up for school come next Wednesday. I'm thinking foghorns and buckets of ice and maybe a worm on her nose? And she's been so clingy that I'm thinking about forging a small crowbar that I can hang from a large gold chain like some sort of rapper. I'd be pretty hot, too. All I'd need is a grill with my name in it. And a cool gangsta name. ...Yo!

The past week hasn't been without its own drama, sans moody pre-teen angst. I found out just this morning that my dear brother is heading to the other side of the world to be a contract fireman for a year. And my parents are relocating out of state so that they can have a steady income before their layoffs become finalized. All the world is in this persistent state of change, and despite appearances, my first inclination is to: A) eat an inordinate amount of donuts; B) drink Vodka and drunk text; or C) sob like a baby under the covers holding my teddy bear (i.e. a bottle of vodka and box of donuts). I promise I did none of these. Really, I swear I didn't. Okay, I might've fantasized about donuts. And I might've purchased the ingredients to make a funfetti cake but didn't follow through. And I might've barraged Nurse Betty's Facebook page with a multitude of puns and one liners in a futile cry for help, but it was all done completely sober!

It's no surprise that when I awoke this morning, upon realizing that I have a hair appointment, the prospect of a little pampering lifted my spirits. Plus, my hair is the one thing that I have the power to change and manipulate at my every whim, so the devious person inside of me was getting more inspired as each minute wore down to my appointment time. My mind raced with all the possibilities. Would I get some deceptive blue streaks underneath all my chocolate brown? How about getting all over blond highlights for some pizazz? Or maybe I should just cut it off? I toyed with each of these options, and as for color I decided a lighter shade with some highlights. Still gotta look professional for work, you know?

It wasn't until I got that fated text from my brother this morning detailing his urgent departure to elsewhere that I decided I needed to remember I was an adult. Life is going to change every day at varying degrees for the rest of my life. How I deal with it is up to me. I can choose to comfort myself with fried pastries of yummy goodness and an alcoholic beverage, but in the end, I'm only going to feel worse about myself. I need to remember that I am strong, I have a solid family, faith in God, and friends that kick ass in helping me get through the sticky stuff. I may be scared for what is in store, and I may shed a tear in response to that fear, but ultimately my friends, my faith, and my God will get me through it. So, resigned to be a kick-ass adult who faces change with optimism, I decided I needed a cut to go with it. I went for a blunt bang and lopped off a good 5" from my length a la Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. These feet aren't wearing anything Prada-based, and I'm not carrying any Fendi bag complete with bad attitude - in fact it's more like BCBG and Nine West on a good day - but the renewed sense of self is definitely worth the transformation.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In My Life

My baby girl came home yesterday after three weeks of being with her dad. She shared laughter, love, and good bonding time with him like never before. And when it was time to leave him she said it would be very hard to let him go. I can understand all of this and my heart aches for her.

Princess had not seen Princess 2 for a whole month, and for them that might as well have been eternity. Their reunion last night brought tears to both my eyes and Nurse Betty's. Princess hugged her non-sister as if they had been separated at birth and finally met again. She cried and although felt embarrassed at her reaction, she was elated to be back in Princess 2's company.

I couldn't blame her, for I felt the same way. Princess is like my little side kick. My mini-me. My other half. And being gone from her for three weeks was like having a piece of me missing. I was restless and mopey. Now that she's back I can't help but kiss and hug her every second.

For some reason, I started singing the Beatles song, "In My Life", and thinking of the line "In my life, I've loved you more". Each line of that song holds special meaning for me, and every time I hear it, I think of her. Although I have many people that have passed through my life and brought me memories, and although some remain to this day, none compare to her.

So here's the full song in written lyric form. Feel free to sing along in your head. I'm sure you can hear the piano now.

The Beatles, "In My Life"

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dangerous Hygeine...Or Adding Insult To Injury

"I really need to clean the floor in here." I giggled as it dawned on me that I must be crack-brained. Who critiques the cleanliness of their bathroom floor as they lay on it, incapacitated and suffering excruciating pain? My laughing leads me to hurt more, but Nurse Betty finds the whole scene quite funny as well, and so she starts to giggle. And I giggle again, and start to cry because I'm in such pain. It was this whole mess of giggles and pain, giggles and pain. She tells me to stop, but try as I might, I can't. And so I continue, and cry, and she laughs because the whole scene is quite hilarious.

Her BFF is on the floor, can't move, and yet she's bellyaching that the floor could be a tad more clean. Leave it to me.

I guess I should back up 20, no 25, minutes and get you up to speed on the whole scene.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning just one week ago. Yes, birds were chirping and the sun was shining and big puffy white clouds with happy faces were in the sky...or some shit like that. I was sitting on my couch, coffee cup in hand, watching HGTV and the Food Network. Princess was at her dad's, so I didn't have any 11 year old voice in my ear asking me what we were going to do that day or bugging me about any other 11 year old problem she could generate to take my attention away from the TV and place it on her. I was finally starting to feel better after a brief bout of a stress-related illness and thought it was best to get back on the working out wagon of doom. Here's where the suspenseful music would begin to play in the movie of my life, warning of the impending danger. Da dum, da dum, da dum.... (Who would play me? Maybe someone fabulous like Drew Barrymore? Of course she does have that whole stroke-victim mannerism in the way she talks and I don't, so maybe not. I do look similar to Tiffany Amber-Theissen, but the entire time I watched the movie, I'd be thinking "Why is Kelley Kapowski playing me? Shouldn't she be worried if Zack and Slater are going to be getting into trouble with Mr. Belding?")

Ahem...moving on.

I was texting back and forth with Nurse Betty and had decided to be lazy and not go jogging, despite the fact that I swore to myself that I would. Enter self-deprecating guilt. One minute I was vowing to sit on the couch until 12, drink another pot of coffee, and then maybe get up when I was damn well inclined to do so, the next I was up, getting into workout attire, texting Nurse Betty that I changed my mind, and was in the bathroom brushing my teeth. (Suspense music becomes louder. "Da dum, da dum, da dum" goes the Jaws music.)

Once I decide that I'm going to work out I can't put it off even five minutes otherwise I'll talk myself out of it. So I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth and suddenly I hear a POP! and I was down on my knees. In pain. Excruciating pain. I'm holding onto the counter and sink like I'm hanging off the side of the Titanic. My back. Is it there still? I think it's become detached. Am I suddenly Mr. Potato Head and someone simply pulled it off? I feel, but it's still there. Damn! It must be that nun chuck-wielding tooth fairy of hatred again, out to inflict pain on innocent people! Get the flyswatter! I grab the phone that I had brought into the bathroom and slither to the ground, kind of like when a cartoon character gets flattened and slinks down to the floor like paint drippings.

I'm scared. I can't move. Legs won't move because my back won't support them. My mind raced. And I called Nurse Betty in tears while clutching the base of the Titanic-esque toilet for support. I ask her to come over as soon as possible because I can't move. She races over in her jammies and stands over me trying to assess my vitals. Should we call 911? Should we let me just take a few moments and try to get up myself once the spasms subside? We decide on the latter option, but more so because my stupid pride wouldn't have any part of me being carried out on a stretcher for all my nosey neighbors to see.

The entire time I was on the floor waiting for Nurse Betty to get to my house, I was thanking myself for having an annoying, OCD-like need to carry my phone everywhere. Had I not had my phone, I might've spent hours on that floor. It was bad enough that the Stupid Baby Cat - she's literally stupid, but oh so cute! - was positioned on the seat of the toilet with her white paws, pink nose and fat face hanging over the side, staring at me as if to ask "why you no get up and plays with me?"

                                                                I's dead to world
No phone equals no lifeline. Would I be stuck there until someone figures out that I've been awfully quiet for two days? It's not as if the cats can exactly warn people of my predicament, and I don't own Lassie. It's like that one episode of SATC where Miranda chokes on her dinner in her newly purchased apartment and she goes into freakout mode, worrying that she'd die and her cat would feast on her remains, thus leading her to overfeed said cat. The phrase "I've fallen and I can't get up" suddenly came to mind, and I was scared.

And this brings us to the giggles, pain, tears, and more giggles. In my time of need, Nurse Betty was there to take care of me. She got me to the ER, harassed my nurse into giving me pain meds after 30 minutes in a bed with no attention, turned off that stupid blood pressure machine that chooses to squeeze my arm off every 10 minutes, and picked me up in my clouded haze of pain meds 3 hours later when I was discharged. She filled my prescription, brought me back to her house to sleep and tucked me in her bed. That night, she roasted a chicken for me. Who does this? Who takes their Saturday plans and throws them out the window for you when you're in need? Your BFF.

We all have them. They have been with you through thick and thin - ah, thin - and they know things about you that no one else does. They know. And they don't just know, they know know. They know without telling anyone. They laugh with you, fight with you, and stand by you and your decisions. They push you to do better, push you to succeed, push you to become your better self. But along the way, they are there. There congratulating you, there consoling you, and there to laugh.

I have to look at my life after this event and realize how lucky I am. Nurse Betty is a kindred spirit; a sister. And when I have to use it, I have insurance to pay for emergency services. The fact that these emergency services lead to some outstanding pain meds that make you dream of happy puppies and kittens is simply a bonus! I'm also lucky enough to own a broom and Pine Sol to mop my bathroom floor, which I promptly did on Sunday night in a drug-laden fit of insomnia and hyper-reaction to Benadryl.

At least the next time that the nun chuck-wielding tooth fairy of hatred decides to club my back, I'll have a clean floor to land on. It's all about priorities, superficial and crack-brained as they may be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'll Have What She's Having

Today the Princess left for three weeks with her dad. Yeah, I cried. Yeah, I wallowed. Yeah, I'm sitting here in bed, in sweats, eating cake, watching When Harry Met Sally dwelling on the fact that it is quiet in this apartment and I can't stand it. I might just be sad enough to go get another cat. What's one more when I've already reached creepy cat lady status? They're just so cute!

Nurse Betty will be out of work in three short hours and she's promised that we're gonna barbecue hamburgers and get liquored up on cranberry vodkas. I might be able to convince her to play some dominoes with me so I can give her a good ol' fashioned ass whoopin' and perform the "subsequent dance". It's all in the name of making the BFF feel better. Want to know more about the "subsequent dance"? See below!

Definition of "subsequent dance":
Player stands up with legs shoulder-width apart and squats slightly. Elbows are bent slightly at hips. One hand is brought toward the front of the body palm-down as if to push something down (your opponent's ass). The other hand is waved back and forth following the rhythm of whatever music is currently playing in a fashion likened to spanking. Facial expressions may resemble exuberance, satisfaction, or glee. Feel the rhythm. Laugh like a villian. Gloat. Tell your opponent they're going down in the next round.

Anywho....

Every time Princess leaves for her trips down to her dad's, I get this way. I mope. I cry. I reminisce. So, as I'm sitting here finishing off some cake - hello, luvvah -I'm watching that part of WHMS where she fakes the...uh...you know. And when she's done, the lady across the room says "I'll have what she's having." Classic part of the movie, and so many parts of it have been immortalized in my brain. ("You made a woman meow?") I'm like Sally in so many ways. I order my food the way I want it, don't want the man I dumped but still don't want him to be happy with anyone else, and I believe that men and women can be friends. But so many of us women epitomize the phrase "I'll have what she's having."

We look at each other and based on a 5 second glance decide whether we are envious. Sure, some of us may have more money (hate those bitches), some may be skinnier (really hate those bitches), and some may have THE guy (gonna feed those bitches some of my cake so they'll get fat and he'll dump their asses). But what we don't realize is that appearances can be deceiving. We always want what we can't have, and when we can't have it, we find ways to knock each other down.

Why must we do this? One word: insecurity. If we were strong enough to stand up and admit that we are envious of someone else because they possess something we don't, we would actually have to face our fears of inadequacy. (Insert "bom bom bom!" music when a character in a movie comes to a realization.) I, for example, am envious of lots of people. I am envious of Nurse Betty's ability to talk to anyone and forge friendships easily. I am envious of Mamma Bestie's ability to keep running despite the fact that she's growing a 10 lb balloon at her midsection. Okay, so I can't look at these women and see anything faulty about them on second glance. Let's face it - they're damned perfect. Bitches.

Sorry...my envy got the best of me.

Ultimately it's up to us to police our envy. I see no wrong in wanting more for yourself and if you find it in someone else, consider that envy a challenge to create a better you. I, for one, find it a challenge when Nurse Betty tells me that "it's on like Donkey Kong" before our game of Mexican Train dominoes. She can't help it if she's envious of my excellent, impressive dominoes skills. Bring on "subsequent dance"!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Come Along For The Ride

These days, most of my friends are out discovering America while their kids are on summer break. Because I travel with my job, I have staycations. Yesterday I chose to drive into Napa and partake of the world's most blissful version of serendipity: The Roadhouse Buck Tri Tip Sandwich from the Buckhorn Grill. No, this isn't the famous Buckhorn Steakhouse in Winters, CA that I'm praising. (So great, but not as great as this place!!) This is the Buckhorn Grill. For all you friends out their discovering the Seven Wonders of the World, let me just tell you - this is the only wonder there is, besides of course, the donut. (Don't get me started on that roller coaster ride. Before I know it, I'll be three dozen in, one gallon of milk down, and twitching while Nurse Betty talks me down from my donut-crazed addiction. Donut places all over town have my picture up and are warned not to sell to me.)

The Roadhouse Buck Tri Tip Sandwich is not like any sandwich you have had the pleasure of ingesting yet in your life. I had to perfect Guy Fieri's Triple-D hunch-over method just to eat this mammoth of a sandwich. Allow me to strap on your leash and take you for a walk down the road of meaty-goodness-meets-fried-food-meets-snobby-cheese-heaven. (I'll let you stop for potty breaks along the way.)

Start with a roll. Easy now, before you start snorting that a roll is so elementary, and how could this make such a special sandwich, because I'll go all Roadhouse Buck up in the heezy and...sorry, the sandwich made me do it. This roll is special because it is soft on the inside, but the crust is so very crusty on the outside that it can easily hold the most insane contents - of which I'm about to ooze out into seductively suggestive words like some hot sex scene in a romance novel. Food is my porn these days.

Inside the roll, you get something I can only describe as nirvana in a sauce: Red Ranch. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh....(the Single Girl makes that sound that the creepy restaurant owner made when he asked Monica if she was going to slice the carrots, and she said that she was going to do them julienne.) The sauce is essentially ranch dressing and barbecue sauce mixed together to form the epitome of an orgasm. But wait - it totally gets better. As if it could, right? Keep your leash on. We've still got a few blocks to walk.

From here, they add tri tip. Ask for it sliced thin unless you want the meat to come sliding out of the bun each time you try to bite into the sucker. (And we all know how horrible THAT is when that happens.) But what happens next is nothing more than a foodie's wet dreams come true. Add the thinnest, most deliciously battered and crispy-fried onion straws (which totally don't taste good burping up, unlike donuts, which taste like heaven!) AND sweet, tangy crumblings of bleu cheese strewn about over the whole package. What you have left here, my friends, is a sandwich so good that it should be illegal. It will truly be the best meat you've ever had your lips around. (Yes, I went there.)

Never mind the piddly offering of fries that come with the sandwich. It's almost an afterthought, really. Like asking if you want a corn on the cob with your bacon-wrapped, garlic herb butter reduction sauced filet mignon. No thanks - I'll pass. So anti-climatic.

How could this get any better, you ask? Well, well, well mon cherie! If you want to take this whole thing up a few thousand notches, ask for a bowl of the au jus. But be careful. Dunking your sandwich in this elixir just might send you over the edge. If I smoked, I'd offer you a cigarette after you were done eating. There are simply no metaphors that could explain how beautiful the whole experience is.

If you're ever in my neck of the woods and have a hankering for this sandwich, let me know. And I won't say a word if you make me stop at a donut shop on the way there! I get my own box, though.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting Over Myself

Princess voluntold me to take her to the pool, so we trudged down with her Neighbor Friend, me with book in hand, and her with goggles and towel. I sat under the shade of the umbrella while the girls squealed and splashed, finally getting through my Julie and Julia book.

When Julie got to the part when she had to cook a lobster (or "lomster" as Princess 2 affectionately calls it, all the while freaking out - literally freaking out - over the distant prospect of ever ingesting one, even though I've yet to see a piece of food she didn't call friend) she got through it with perseverance and lots of vodka, which is pretty much how I tend to get through life. I, for one, have yet to find an alcoholic drink I did not call friend. The realization that Julie was able to conquer one of the hardest things she had yet to do in her life made her decree through a New Year's Resolution that she was going to "Get Over Herself". This got me thinking. (I had brought the motrin and cold compress down to the pool with me, so I was prepared to formulate a thought or two.)

Maybe I should get over myself. This all started about three years ago when I took a trip to Target before Secretly Gay Rollerskater Ex Boyfriend came for a visit. I purchased a bottle of wine, plus a few odds and ends (read: supercute cardigan for $10. Score!) and made my way up to the checkout counter. I was lucky customer #238 who wound up with Happy As Kittens New Checker Girl who was being trained by Rolled Hard and Put Away Wet Senior Customer Service Rep. Yay! So RHAPAW (awesome acronym, by the way) explained what the HAKNCG needed to do to ring up my purchases. She goes through each purchase and gets to the wine. She has the HAKNCG pass the bottle through the scanner and then explains that if the customer is over 35, there is no need to card them. The RHAPAW then looks me up and down and says, and I quote, "And I'm sorry, but you look over 35, so there's no need to card you." If I were 75, this would be understandable. However, at the time I was 31.

Thirty fucking one. Yes, that's three-one. You heard me right.

I mentioned this small nugget of truth to RHAPAW but she seemed unfazed. However, HAKNCG seemed to be coughing up kittens of apologies. It was lost on me. Yes, a quart of Ben and Jerrys was involved. As was the bottle of wine. By noon.

But this has affected me to this day. I've got my doubts about my figure, but now I became uber-obsessed with wrinkles and skin firmness. Most of entire paychecks were spent on oodles of Olay Regenerist and Lancome this and Estee Lauder that. I was in crisis-control and refused to let any wrinkles show up on my 30-some-odd-year-old face. Call it vanity if you want. I refused to ever hear that I looked older than what I actually was.

But in my cocoon-esque pilgrimage to the fountain of youth, I became a little pretentious and almost body-obsessed. You saw it on my last post - it's the first freakin' resolution - and most of the past three years has been this up and down yo-yo of weight loss and gain, feeling good about myself and not. All along, I really needed to just get over myself.

I understand getting morally and ethically upright, and I think for the most part I am. But I still hold back. And for what? Fear. Stupid, stupid fear. I should try new things. I should get out and see and do. Instead I watch Friends re-runs, HGTV, and Food Network and read Nicholas Sparks and Jen Lancaster books. I cook when it's not 400 degrees outside. But shouldn't I be going through my own renaissance a la Ms. Lancaster? Should I not take a tip from my brave, brave friends like my one friend who took on Dr. Phil and Jillian Michaels? Or my other friend who is venturing out on her own, going to law school, and bravely trying to figure things out? Or Mamma Bestie, who is a first-time mom. Or Nurse Betty, who bravely allowed me to help her clean her garage. That took some chutzpah, folks.

I can sit on my high-horse of experience and tell them to quit looking to the future and simply carpe diem! But what happens when I don't listen to my own advice? Hello, kettle, remember me, pot?

So, the mid-year resolutions are getting a small lunchtime lipo sort-of facelift.

I'm going to vow to do the following things:
1. Stop obsessing about every wrinkle on my face. If wrinkles are to wisdom that hair loss is to my dad, I'm a freakin' genius!

2. Begin looking on the bright side of cellulite. I now have places to hold my grapes!

3. Try something new each month. It might involve a gastro-intestinal dilemma-inducing vegetable that my body has never seen, but I think I might survive.

4. Stop calling every driver that pisses me off an Asschole. That's Yiddish for "asshole". It requires an inordinate amount of phlegm and emphasis at the phlegm-y part. Makes me feel all puppies and kittens inside, and it makes Princess giggle til she pees, but it is still bad adult behavior to have around Princess. I still use crapweasel and fucktard with abandon when Princess isn't around, though. No Yiddish accent needed. They're funny all on their own.

Okay, so cellulite is still not sexy and I might still call namby-pamby drivers Asscholes. I'm jell-o. Mold me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Mid-Year Resolutions

We are just about to that halfway point in the year when all our New Years Resolutions seem to have become a thing of the past. Resolutions? What resolutions? I don't need no stinkin' resolutions! (I say this as I purchase another pound of that silky french brie that I will inhale in one sitting.) Well, guess again. It's time to get back to business.

1. Get my gubbledy-goo'd up arse a little less gubbledy-goo by year end. If I drop 10 lbs I'll be happy. 15 and I'll be on top of the world. 20 and I'll start getting all Ms. Banks-y up in the heezy complete with cat-walk strut and telling everyone to kiss her fat ass.

2. Participate in another 5k, preferably one where Mamma B and I don't have to taser the princess into at least jogging 500 yards. (I'm officially the Ms. B, which stands for Ms. Bitch, in case any of you were confused. It goes back to my teenage angst years, and my dad continues to call me that to this day. So does Mamma Bestie, though. In a couple of months her preggo hormones will get the best of her, and I'll simply exchange "Bestie" for "Biotch". I mean this with all the lacy, ribbon-y, buckets of kittens and puppies love, though.) I hope to at least jog part of the way, so I'll need to start jogging again to get my endurance up. Mamma B took the taser away from me because I was getting too drunk with power, so now I can't use it volunteer the princess into participating too. Guess I got too greedy.

3. Pass the dreadful interview I need to pass in order to keep my job and get Big Poppa raise. That's right. I'll be big pimpin', spending cheese. (That was a nod to the ex, since he was so flat stupid he actually thought Jay-Z was saying cheese instead of Gs. I mean this with all due respect, but - and I say this with my best NJ/NY accent - what are you's retahded or sumpthin'?)

4. Finish the princess's baby book. Considering she's hardly a baby anymore and has morphed into the hormonal gremlin of hate, I think it's time. Plus, when I'm done I can pass on all my scrapbooking gear to Mamma B so that she can begin to chronicle the new baby's every step.

5. Save, save, save. Let's face it: money doesn't grow on trees. Wait...where have I heard that one before? Oh yes, the parents. Funny how suddenly you turn into them when you get older. I promise not to start spouting off anything about jumping off a bridge if my friends told me to or that there are starving people in Ethiopia. (I've used both those lines on the princess already!)

And for now, that's all I've got. I'm sure there are more things I could be doing better. What are your mid-year resolutions?