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.


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 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. 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.