Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Usually my life is so exhilarating I have to pick and choose what to write about.  It’s not because I have that much going on that it’s hard to make that decision – but rather, there are just some things that are personal and private and as much as I want to write about them, I can’t.  I have to be diplomatic and all that fun stuff.  Yet, I don’t want to be that person that turns into a bitter cynical bitch where every time you click on this blog you get blasted with ugliness and a Debbie Downer vibe.  No one likes ugly.

So I’ve been struggling lately on what to write about.  Originally this was supposed to be my safe-haven where I could whine and complain about the job-market (or lack thereof).  Then it turned into “Forest Gump meets Lucy Ricardo” with an occasional tirade on the Neander-fucks who roam Wal-Mart. 

I convinced my friend to start a blog because he is genuinely a witty guy – and he opted to blog about blogs – go figure.  That’s ingenious!  I think.  You can read it here if you want a good chuckle.

But where does that leave me?  There are millions of blogs out there where the authors find anything and everything to write about; cooking, scrapbooking, kids, parenting, taxes, school, movies.  I even found a blog where this gal writes about nothing.  Literally. Nothing.  I was so intrigued by her ability to not only babble on and on about complete nonsense but also build a fan base of over 300 followers that I found myself secretly stalking her blog just to see if she would have anything intelligent to say, then the other day, I clicked on her blog and I can no longer view her psycho babble.  You have to be an “invited reader”.  Really?  I didn’t know you could do that!  I’m sitting here struggling to keep my 12 readers entertained and yet her 300 readers are all now part of some elite uppity up club where they have been cordially invited to read her powerful words of “Today I wore white shoes with yellow pants.”  (Applause)

Ok, I’ll slow the catty wagon down and calm myself a bit.  I’ve thought about stirring the pot up and writing about different pop-culture items like fashion, for one.  But if you know me, personally, you know that I don’t follow the secret fashion code.  Tattered sweatshirts and jeans hardly makes me the ‘know all’ on stilettos and lipstick.

I then tossed around the idea of writing about school, since I have a 4th grader who is apparently learning Algebra 3 years before I did.  I can’t even grade my son’s homework without looking up N.A.S.A. and asking them for their help.  So I figured writing about that would make me look even less intelligent than my ‘non friend’ (above) so I figured I would stay away from that topic.

So I guess for now I’m stuck doing what I do best.  Ranting. Bitching. Continuing down the slippery slope of the workout world and Wal-Mart dwellers.  It’s what I do best.  I’ll keep trying to find interesting things to vent about, but it’s pretty slim-pickings right now.

Stay tuned . . . 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bright Idea #37

Everyday I am reminding myself that I am not 24 and I am not a cute young thing like I used to be.  That’s not to say that I can’t be a cute 30-something woman in my own right, but it’s ridiculous how much you forget (or maybe block out) when you get older.  Like, sit ups are way harder when you do them correctly.

My workout buddy asked me if was ready to go to the gym today and work on abs.  And of course, me and my big mouth said “Well if you want to work on abs, do I have a deal for you! I just happen to have a Tae Bo Boot camp video geared specifically towards abs.” (Insert weird light bulb blinking on sound.)  She agreed to do the video with me and so it was a date; me, my BFF and Billy Blanks – and his annoying 6-pack ab crew. 

It’s a 44-minute long video and let me tell you, I never knew ab muscles were in your back.  I mean I’m pretty sure I noticed every muscle from my neck down hurting about 20 minutes in, but as I sit here any type this, my upper and lower back, along with my ass, thighs, knees and ears all are screaming obscenities at me.  I have to admit, I did feel like I could go and squeeze on a size 6 jeans immediately afterwards, but I’m pretty sure that was the lack of brain cells lost during our 44 minutes of pure stupidity.  Let me just clarify, if you cannot complete 5 minutes on an elliptical machine due to a chest cold – three-quarters of an hour spent kicking and crunching and doing 8-count “God kill me now” tummy busters is not exactly brilliancy on my part. 

I spent the latter part of my day fighting back the urge to vomit and pass out. 

I am, however, grateful for my workout partner as she motivated me to finish and not let Billy or his posse get the best of me.  She is a huge inspiration to me and it is because of her that I even attempted to get out the crane and move my lethargic butt. 

I am kind of regretting opening my big mouth – but I do have to admit it is oddly addictive.  I can tell you that Icy-Hot and I will be forming a tight bond before this week is over – as I have vowed to myself that I will accomplish that video without stopping and slobbering all over myself.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well There Went That Idea

So I did a workout yesterday with my over-zealous workout buddy that is just way too chipper to be at the gym.  You kind of want to not like her, but it’s hard.  It was a mistake on my part since my chest cold doesn’t seem to be getting any better and the whopping 5 minutes I spent on the elliptical machine gave me a one-way pass to the ladies room to cough up my lungs.  We did a short circuit routine and ended up leaving before our workout was over because we didn’t realize she had to be at work within in the hour.  I was ready to go after walking up the flight of stairs.

I came home, cleaned up the house a little bit and fought the urge to face-plant on my couch.  I did feel better, having done a short, yet hard workout and as I laid in my bed last night, I planned out my day ahead.  I gave myself a great pep talk on how “enough is enough” and its time I tackle this cold head on and my lack of motivation. 

I’ll wake up, pack my son’s lunch, send him off to school, eat a healthy breakfast and go tackle my workout.  Excellent plan! 

It’s now after 2 o’clock in the afternoon and the only thing productive I have done today is load my dishwasher and make a pot of coffee.  Somehow I managed to fall back asleep on my couch after sending my son off to school. 

I think this cold is getting in the way of me doing anything remotely constructive.  My energy has been completely zapped.  I’m now on my 3rd episode of Little House on the Prairie (no, this isn’t the one where “Mary goes blind”.)  And my ass hasn’t moved any further than my back patio.  It’s absolutely beautiful outside and yet it is a struggle to move one foot in front of the other.  My head feels like it’s detached and I’m wading through this thick fog.  And my ears, well I have this permanent echo in my head when I talk.  My sister called me earlier and as I was saying “OH NOTHING JUST WOKE UP”, she asked me why I was yelling. 

I took an energy-booster pill, which is technically only supposed to be used prior to a workout, hoping it would fuel me to at least go on a walk.  Now I’m just a jacked up sick person who is shaking uncontrollably and can’t focus.

I’m almost as good at being sick as I am at exercising.  I detest it actually.  Not that most people enjoy being sick, I don’t know of anyone any one that actually says “Oh thank God!  I thought I was never going to feel like shit!”  I’ve been taking anything and everything under the sun to try to nip it.  I’ve even tried sticking to the adage “Feed a cold, starve a fever”.  But when I eat, everything tastes like I’ve placed large metal objects in my mouth.

I guess I’m going to have to suck it up and make a donation to the local Doc in the Box.  I prefer to say I’m donating since forking out $175 to some schmuck in a white coat that only spends less than 5 minutes in the room with me to tell me “Yep, you have a cold, drink some fluids and get some rest” hardly seems like my money was well spent.  This way, if I’m donating, I’d like to think it’s going to a good cause – like maybe purchasing him a clue.

I’m crabby. 

I really should find something to occupy myself.  I thought about going to Wally World to purchase some pork chops for dinner, but I’m afraid that in my state of mind I might accidentally slap someone.  I should wear my special made “Please don’t piss off the Mommy” sign.  I wonder if I could fit my sons pellet gun in my purse just as a precaution?

I need another nap.  Pork chops will have to wait.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Look Out, Crazy Lady Coming Through

Two falls ago I was sitting in my rig with my girlfriend watching our sons at their football practice.  She has a teenage daughter and my friend said to me,

“So I’ve been thinking about getting those Twilight books for Jamie*, have you heard about them?”

“No, what is it?”

“They’re really popular, all the girls are going crazy over them, they’re making a movie about it too and Jamie* wants to read them, but they’re about Vampires.”

Caring less about this topic, I said “Hmm, nope, haven’t heard of them – Wow! Did you see that throw?” Hoping I could sway the conversation towards football practice.

“No. I didn’t – anyway, my bosses daughter is reading them, and he’s Mormon, and his wife said that their daughter loves the book and I was thinking since their Mormon and they’re letting their daughter read them, I should let Jaime read them.”

Having not paid one iota of attention to her I said, “Wait, what? A Mormon wrote about Vampires? What?”

“No! My boss is Mormon and he let his daughter read these books, they’re like the newest thing – you haven’t heard about it?”

Annoyed, “No, I don’t have an over-dramatic teenaged girl living in my house.  I have an 8 year-old boy and a fiancé who eat, sleep and breath Playstation 2, Nerf guns and football.”

The conversation ended and a couple weeks later all I heard about was “Bella this and Edward that”.  Jaime* would talk, at nauseam, about this stupid Twilight series. 

While braving Wal-Mart one evening I ventured over to the book aisle.  I could not believe the hype that this book series was getting.  Why hadn’t I ever heard of it?  Oh, that’s right, because at that time, I was studying on "How to be a Hermit".  

Everywhere!  The whole wall was plastered with Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  Thick books too!  Really?  Teenagers everywhere are reading this crap?  So I did what any judgmental self-righteous person would do, I picked up the Twilight book and read the back of it.  Flipped it over, scanned the price, and opened the book to see how many pages it was (as if I was going to be tested on my ability to read past 100 pages).

I looked down the aisle at my fiancé who was checking out the Dirk Pitt novels, did a quick glance over my shoulder to see if I was being watched, and tucked the book underneath my groceries.  Right, because an alarm is going to sound if I’m caught purchasing this book.  Weirdo. 

Pushing the cart to my fiancé he asks me “What did ya get?” 

“Oh just this stupid Twilight book that apparently is all the craze right now.  It’s a teenage book, but they’re supposed to be making a movie out of it and I wanted to read the book before the movie came out.” I lied.

“Cool.”  He didn’t care.  He wouldn’t have cared.  I think he was just impressed that I actually picked up a book since I don’t think he’s ever seen me read in the 3 years we had been together.

We went home and from there the next 5 days were a complete blur to me.  I opened the book and started reading and I could – not – put – it – down.  That book went everywhere with me.  It was my own little personal sample of crack!  I finished the book and immediately salivated to the idea of buying the next book.  I made my fiancé drive all over the greater Treasure Valley area to look for New Moon.  I finally found a used copy at the Hastings in Boise and again, I managed to breeze through that one in less than 2 days.  I was a teenage smut novel whore!  I needed more.  Give me more!  I stalked Wal-Marts, Targets, ShopKo’s, Fred Meyer’s anywhere that sold books and I could not find the last 2 novels.  I couldn’t be stopped.  I finally found the last 2 at K-Mart and snatched them off the shelves. 

Yes, in less than 5 days I read over 2000 pages of total fiction vampire vs. werewolves smut.  It’s an illness.  I finished the last book and entered this total state of depression and denial.  That can’t be it! Are you serious?  I want more.  There has to be more.  I Googled the author, Stephanie Meyer, and scanned her website for more novels.  There has to be more. 

When Twilight came out in theatres I vowed to stay away.  It was bad enough that I de-matured overnight with the books; I wasn’t about to step one foot into the theatres to be inundated with “Oh my God, Edward is soooo hot, I mean like, I would totally die to be Bella!” Gag.  I’m not that bad.  So I waited.  For 5 months I waited for it to come out on DVD.  When it finally did, my fiancé and I drove around to every Red Box DVD rental from here to the borders trying to rent this ridiculous movie.  Always out.  So I finally convinced him to purchase it – something we vowed we wouldn’t do anymore since our guest bedroom is filled with over 700 DVDs that we have watched once – or in some cases, not at all.

I got my fix though.  We watched it together and I have to say, I love my fiancé for putting up with my obsession of this book series. 

Last night, the Sequel to Twilight came out on DVD.  I had been laying hints down all week to my fiancé about this – prepping him.  “I don’t want to rent it – I want to buy it – and I want to watch it, THIS WEEKEND.” 

Fed up and slightly sick of hearing about it for the 47th time he said “Well, lets stay up and go to Wal-Mart at Midnight to buy it.  You do know that it will be sold out if we wait until tomorrow morning right?”

“Whatever.  It’s Wal-Mart!  They were completely stocked up on Twilight last year; they aren’t going to sell out.  But yeah, we can go at Midnight.”

We threw our shoes on and jumped in the truck to venture down to Wally World.  There were teenage girls and parents and pimple-faced kids everywhere!  Are you serious?  Why aren’t these kids in bed?  Girly girls and squeaky voiced boys were walking out of Wal-Mart with tiny little bags and the DVD tucked inside.

At this point you may as well have strapped a training bra on me and colored me adolescent because I immediately channeled my inner 14 year-old. “Oooohmigod, please don’t be sold out, please don’t be sold out.”  I bolted inside, not waiting for my fiancé and followed the crowd.  The only time Wal-Mart is this busy after Midnight is on Thanksgiving Eve.  There were teenagers everywhere!  I actually think I got dumber the further into the store I went.  I went to the New Moon kiosk and . . . GONE!  Nothing! 

Without even a second thought I marched straight to the electronics section in the back.  I can see the “New Releases” DVD sign right ahead of me and half the of the kiosk there was empty.  I approached it and . . . GONE.  “NO!, They can’t be sold out!  It’s only 12:22!”  UGH.  I could feel my impatience building and soon my feet were going to start stomping and random words of “This isn’t fair, this isn’t fair” were going to fly out of my mouth.  I saw my fiancé and in pure disgust I said, “Out.  All out.  They’re sold out!”  He suggested we try another Wal-Mart.  So after walking around the front of the store looking frantically for any sign of another kiosk I gave in and said “OK, lets go to the other one.”

We walked around to the front and there were ropes, and tables, and people, lots of people – ok, not lots but enough to make me not want to be there.  I saw Wal-Mart workers lifting box after box of DVDs.  “HONEY! They’re here! Right here!.”  Doing a little cheerleader clap to myself (“Gimme a B! Gimme an E! …. Goooooo BELLA!”) I slid into line.  A lady held out two DVD’s and said “Basic or Blu Ray, basic or Blu Ray.”  I stepped out of line and walked up to her and said “Blu Ray please.” 

“You got the last Blu Ray hun.”

Elated with myself, I replied, “Thanks! Woot – Woot!”

I found my fiancé and bragged about how I got the last Blu Ray of New Moon.  My night was complete.  I had officially fallen off the mature wagon and almost threw a fit all over a cult-fiction series of novels made into movies specifically geared towards under-developed teenagers.  Oh yeah, I completely surrendered my “Adult” card last night and it was awesome! 

My fiancé and I watched the movie, drank a pot of coffee and stayed up until 4:30 a.m. talking about the ending and wandering if they are going to go through with filming the last 2 in the series.

I am a self-admitted Twilight Series­ addict and I think I have turned my fiancé into a closet fan as well. 

The hype is over.  Excitement gone.  I was comatose and crashed off of my New Moon “high”.  I psyched myself up over a movie and could not possibly take any more exhilaration.  I need to get out more.  

It’s a sad, sad day when your “thrill” for the week comes from thrashing through a Wal-Mart looking for a DVD release; while hissing and clawing your way through un-suspecting 12 year-olds. 

*Names from parties mentioned in this blog have been changed to protect them from any embarrassment they may have by knowing me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Colds Suck! But Compliments Are Always Nice.

My Dad paid me a nice compliment this morning.  I might have been more appreciative if I didn’t get the text message at ‘0:crack of dawn – thirty’ but it was still a nice compliment.  He sent me a message saying “You need to send this blog address to everyone you know.  It should be required reading”.  See!  That’s nice isn’t it?  I didn’t even have to pay or bribe him.  Of course he knows I haven’t been feeling well. 

I’m practicing to be the ‘girl with the worst immune system’.  Anyone with a cold or flu virus within a 50-mile radius of me will inevitably infect me with their creepy crawlies and snotty-ness.  I first became a recipient of this ‘bug’ at the beginning of this month.  I thought it was just stress and lack of sleep so I did the appropriate thing and ventured down to my local Wal-Mart and proceeded to buy them out of any and every cold/flu medicine they had. 

In addition to my self-medicating I paid the pharmacy for my Vitamin D caps that I have to take.  Side note – they cost more than the narcotics that were prescribed to me when I gave myself whiplash.  What is that?  So I can go throw myself down a snowy hill and get pain meds for $4, but if my body is lacking a vital nutrient, I have to pay $51?  How does that work?  Sorry – off topic. 

Anyhow, I loaded up on Actifed, Tylenol Sinus, Airborne, Echinacea, NyQuil and OJ.  Another side note – NONE of these things work.  I ended up letting the cold ride its course and I started feeling better.  Well on Monday my sore throat surfaced again.  I didn’t do my workout because I thought if I took a day off and let my body rest, I would feel better. 

By Thursday, I woke up to my already large tonsils swollen and raw and I could feel this tightness in my chest.  My fiancé asked me what was wrong – only because I was whining and caring on like a baby – and I said, “This isn’t good, my throat hurts worse and I feel like I’m getting a chest cold.”  He says to me “Well have you been taking the Actifed to dry you up?  It sounds like what you had previously may have drained and is now in your chest.”  I coughed and cleared my throat and said “No. I took some Tylenol Sinus when I woke up and I took some Echinacea – I should probably take some Airborne too.”  He gave me this dumbfounded look and said “Tylenol Sinus?  Why are you taking Tylenol Sinus?  It says Sinus on it when you have sinus pain.  That’s not going to help you.  That’s like taking Tylenol Ass for sore boobs!”  I love him. 

I’m worse this morning.  I can’t hear, it feels like I have earplugs in my ears, I’m losing my voice and I swear there is a golf ball stuck in my throat.  (Insert pathetic cough and moaning). 

So back to my original statement of my Dad paying me a compliment, it’s the small things that make me feel like I’m doing something right.  I may not be able to kick this colds ass, but I can write about it, and feel good knowing that someone is enjoying my whiny, and sometimes-monotonous rants.   

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Having No Idea IS the New "Cool".

“Please keep your arms and hands inside this contraption at all times!”

That’s what the treadmill machines at my gym should put as a disclaimer – right across the front so you can’t miss it. 

You know that I’m good at performing “hard to look cool” stunts, on a daily basis.  I don’t know why I do these things.  It must be hard-wired in me somewhere because as hard as I try to be careful and not fart around too much, I inevitably either end up getting hurt – physically, or I succumb to total embarrassment. 

I vowed to myself yesterday that I was going to cardio it up at my gym.  No more ‘Lazy Lucy’ activity.  I was going to hit it and hit it hard.  There was a group of ‘gym pros’ standing at the front counter when I walked in, I acknowledge them and smiled as I swiped my membership card and tossed my keys into the key bucket. 

“Hi there!” says Mr. Brick Shithouse.

“Hi.” I said back, thinking please don’t look at me.

“Have a good workout.” He says back to me.

“Thanks, I think these stairs are going to be my first challenge.” I said back half-jokingly.

I tripped on them half way up.

After I recovered from the “Oh god I hope he didn’t see that” moment I scoped out the upper level to make sure no other witnesses saw my flub. 

I jumped on the elliptical machine and decided that my tooshy needed some serious one on one time with this bad boy.  I selected my weight, duration of time I wanted to interact with the elliptical, and the desired program – which was the “Glute Blaster” workout.  Yay! I am going to have one fine ass once this all said and done.

Level 1.  That’s a good start.  Set my iPod on shuffle and started grooving to my music.  All of sudden my screen starts doing this blinking thing and this little light is going in a clockwise pattern.  I’m looking at this and thinking “Oh this is fun, a light show while I workout”.   It stopped at ‘REVERSE’.  Shit. Already?  I just barely was starting to go forward.  I stopped going forward and shifted my legs to start carrying me backwards.  Again, getting into the backwards groove and my timer says “10,9,8, … 1” and the light show began again.  “Round and round and round we go, where we stop, no one kno-“ Shit. Forward.  Are you kidding me?  I did this for about 5 minutes and de-selected the “Glute Blaster” button.  Stupid machine. 

I completed 30 minutes on the elliptical and jumped off to head to the bicycles.  I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure if your legs are numb, that’s not a good thing. 

I sat down on the machine and, again, having no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, I selected the “Fat Burn” button.  I like buttons.

I de-selected the “Fat Burn” button about 10 minutes in. 

I can’t be climbing hills.  I just wanted a leisurely ride. 

I finished my bike ride (5 miles) and headed towards the treadmills.  I selected the last treadmill up against the window – away from all the other gym-goers.  Again, not knowing what these buttons do I selected “Quick start” this time.  I’ll manually select my speed and incline as the last 2 machines did me no favors.   I set my Nike® Coach on my iPod up and decided a 3-mile walk/run was going to be all that my pillars for legs could take.

I struggled, immensely with trying to walk a straight line.  My legs were still numb from the elliptical and without even trying I kept walking into the handlebars (that were obviously designed for morons like me). 

I held on the remaining time.

In addition to handlebars, the treadmills also had a T.V. attached to them so that you could watch your favorite show while walking.  I say that because apparently my favorite show is Dharma & Greg since I couldn’t figure out how to work the damn thing nor could I figure out how to change the channel.  I left the T.V. alone and opted for my iPod music instead. 

I would randomly select the “+” button to increase my incline throughout my work out, feeling a bit egotistic because every time I adjusted it, it didn’t seem to get any harder.  I chalked that up to my superb walking skills. 

My 3 miles ended and I felt great!  2 miles on the elliptical, 5 on the bike and 3 on the treadmill.  So proud! 

I stopped the machine and took my earplugs out and this insanely loud obnoxious noise was coming from my machine.  I looked around the gym to see if anyone else was noticing this and took note of the glances I was getting.  OH MY GOD!  The volume was insanely loud!  I gave the machine the once-over and figured out how to turn the volume down.  How in the hell did that happen?  I wasn’t even watching T.V.

Never mind. 

It’s no wander I did so great on my damn workout.  This whole time I was selecting the volume button in the attempt to up my incline.  Are you serious?

It’s one of the moments that you WISH you could take back.  I could just hear people now “Hey lady, you mind turning that shit down?” 

I did an about-face and forced my jello-y legs to carry me down the stairs.  Grabbed my keys out of the key bucket and bailed out of there.  Once I was in my safe zone (my car, with the doors locked) I started giggling.  I cannot go anywhere or do anything without making an ass out of myself.  It’s this large black cloud that looms over me. 

So that’s it in a nutshell.  I cardio blasted my thighs yesterday and I now have to hold onto my towel bar when sitting down in my bathroom. 

Today’s word of the day is: Moderation.  

Monday, March 15, 2010

This post is long. An Ode to Puter.

I’m going to venture outside of my comfort zone, yes, that would be "venting" and touch on something that happened to my family and me over the weekend.  You’ll have to bear with me as I usually try to hide my sappy-sapness underneath all my fluff and portray this hard crunchy shell exterior – otherwise known as – ‘bad-ass’.  But this weekend, we had to put our beloved Siamese cat to sleep. 

Puter, our 24 pound Siamese dog trapped in a cats body.

My fiancé and I swore up and down that he was more of a “best friend” to us than he was a cat.  He was our ‘Welcoming Committee’ anytime anyone, friend or foe, would walk through our door.  He was not prejudiced, he was not stuck up, and he was very trusting, loving and charismatic.  If he had thumbs, he would have probably welcomed you with a hug and a fresh baked tuna pie. 

I first met Puter five years ago when my fiancé and I started dating.  I was a ‘non-cat lover as my ex husband was very allergic to cats and in the 12 years we were together, his odium towards cats rubbed off on me. 

I walked through the front door of my fiancés house and within seconds, Puter was weaving in and out of my legs as if I was a new obstacle course for the testing.  He threw his body up against my shins and in one, rather impressive move; he curled his body up, positioned his head towards the floor and sort of flipped his body and slid down my feet.  Landing on the floor, he spread his legs and if he could talk, his Antonio Banderas voice would say “Everybody look at me”. 

It took me a while to warm up to the idea that Puter and I were going to have to see eye to eye.   Before sitting down on anything, I would take the cat hair roller and vigorously roll everything!  Everything.  The couches, chairs, bed, clothes, anything. It was rather rude and obsessive on my part, but I had this thing with cat hair.  I was like one of those crazed out germ-a-phobes that you see on the “WTF” channel.

It wasn’t long though that Puter had me completely wrapped around his nub (he had no front claws) and we came to an understanding.  He would randomly make me laugh by doing the things he was known for, and I wouldn’t run around rolling the furniture in front of him. 

On Saturday, we lost Puter to old age.  His system was starting to shut down and we made the choice to put him to sleep.  This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In reality, he was a staple in our family, and I am about to tell you why.  In honor of Puter I have elected to compile a “Top Five Favorite Memories” list.  A list of activities that were a part of his daily routine or, more often than not, randomness that made us laugh – hard.

5)  “Da cat cannot hold da moke – dat’s what it is”: I don’t know of a cat that doesn’t like catnip, or simply referred to as “kitty pot” in our house.  However, there was one particular evening that we gave Puter a fairly healthy dose of it.  He inhaled his share and sprawled out on the floor in his usual manner.  We poked fun at him and when he passed out, we went to bed.  However we forgot to put the bag up (out of reach).  We woke up the next morning to an O.D. of sorts.  Puter was sprawled out on his back in the middle of the living room and there was catnip all over the living room and kitchen.  Flakes of it were embedded into his fur and his eyes were rolled back into the back of his head.  The catnip bag had teeth marks in it and was completely empty.  Gone.  I think we actually heard the words “Just one more hit” come out of his mouth.

4)  “Nothing to see here”:  Our cat experienced more embarrassing moments than not.    If he pooted and you acknowledge it, he would curl up into a ball and hide his eyes.  If he fell off of something (which was often), he would act as if he meant to do it.  But the best blooper that he pulled involved the chair that he called his ‘home away from home’.  This chair was his favorite chair since he was a kitten.  It was one of those rolling dining chairs with the soft cushions that appeared in every mobile home from here to Kansas.  He would take a running jump onto the back of the chair, use his nubs to knead the back of the chair, then straddle the seatback and flop while purring up a storm.  On more than one occasion his own brute strength would get the best of him.  He would run, cheetah style, leap onto the back of the chair and in one intrepid motion the chair would flip over – tossing Puter across the room.  Of course we would feel bad for him, but only after we almost peed ourselves from laughing and carrying on like children.  We tried telling him, "Puter we're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you".  But he wasn't buying it.

3)  “So…when you said ‘no’, did you mean ‘NO’? Or just not right now?”:  Puter was forever challenging our decision to not let him eat people food.  Any meal, especially pizza or French fries, Puter felt it was his own personal invitation to join the party.  My fiancé would use his pack-leader voice to inform Puter that he needed to go to his spot (our loveseat) and mind his manners.  We would be eating and all of sudden you would see this stealth maneuver of his, tiptoeing nonchalantly past the food, stopping for a brief, yet satisfying, sniff.  “P-u-t-e-r” with dominant force coming from my fiancés mouth would signal panic into Puter and he would scatter from the scene.  Not even a minute later, here he would come again, tiptoeing across the room, and before he could even get near the goods – “PUTER!” this time more forceful and boisterous.  Like a cartoon, feet leaving puffs of smoke – he was gone.  And…again, a minute later…he came in a 3rd time in an army crawl, yes a cat army crawled.  Belly to the ground with his hind legs sprawled out behind him.  I’m not sure if he was just that much of a go-getter, or if he was experiencing short-term memory loss. 

2)  “Puter’s on one”: Every morning at 10:00 a.m. on the nose, and every evening around 9:00 p.m. Puter would do this random spastic licking/cleaning regimen followed along with this burst of energy that sent him through the house like a maggot on a hot skillet.  This usually started from the top of his kitty tower and in the blink of an eye he was off.  He would Superman through the cat door to the garage, barging through again, skidding across the kitchen entangling himself up in our vertical blinds.  Then it was off through the living room; pouncing from couch to loveseat, back to couch, back to the cat tower – into my son’s bedroom.  With hardwood floors, you could hear his back claws skidding to a stop but not in enough time before knocking over all the toys – thus spooking him back into the living room.  All followed by this animated ‘meow’.  One morning, his routine remained the same; except for some reason he opted to introduce the bathroom into his regimen.  I was sitting on my couch, observing the comical behavior when he took off towards the bathroom.  Instead of coming to a screeching halt before hitting the bathtub, he hurdled the bathtub and flew face-first into the shower curtain, bringing down the entire bathroom with him.  Shower rod ripped from the walls, soaps and soap dishes crashing to the bottom of the tub and the shower curtain plummeting down and burying him.  Either from embarrassment or from being scared out of his fur, he disappeared into the garage for some counseling and momentary reflection time.

1)  “Please pass me a tissue”:  This memory comes from my fiance.  I did not witness this but I wish I could have.  My fiancé had been away for a couple of days and upon returning home, he was welcomed with open paws and miles and miles of paper towels sporadically torn apart everywhere.  The ‘chair’ was strategically placed underneath the paper-towel dispenser and the roll was empty.  Puter and his accomplice (Baby) had partied it up while ‘Dad’ was away.  Paper towels were everywhere, ripped from the perforated edges and then mutilated into tiny bits.  Under the furniture, in the sink, across the floor – little micro-bits of paper towel in every nook and cranny.  I asked my fiancé if he was pissed when he saw the mess and he said “No, how could I be?  Puter and Baby had so much fun, and it was so funny, all I could do was laugh”.

Honerable Mentions: 1) Puter’s favorite jeans – by laying a pair of men’s jeans flat on the ground, this became a group activity for all to enjoy.  My fiancé would crouch at the leg opening and I would hold open the waist.  Puter would position himself by me and anxiously await the arrival of my fiancés finger.  My fiancé would wiggle his finger by the pant leg and Puter would hoist his hinny up, shake it and bolt through the pant leg – lodging his entire 24lb frame at the bottom of the leg – with just his head poking through.  2) Paper or plastic – Every cat is a fan of bags, or at least ours was.  Any bag really, paper, plastic, duffel – it didn’t matter.  If Puter could squeeze into it, it was perfect.  However plastic grocery bags were his preference.  During one of his love affairs with a WalMart bag, Puter managed to poke his head through the handle, while leaving the rest of his body cocooned in the bag.  Upon enticing him with a kitty treat, he popped up off of the floor and came running into the kitchen with the bag in tow, wearing it like a cape.  It bothered him at first, especially since we were laughing so hard it embarrassed him, but he eventually became accustomed to his attire and preferred to wear it.  3) Casual Friday Tie – While at Target® one afternoon, my fiancé and I ventured down the kitty aisle.  We were discouraged at the overabundance of doggy toys, treats, apparel and beds, while the cat aisle had only one or two goodies that we could make good use of.  We found these ties that were just for cats.  Really?  A tie?  We’ll take 3.  We giggled all the way home and couldn’t wait to dress Puter in his new digs.  After placing the tie on him we chortled and gawked as he sat there – pouting and grimacing at us.  “Are you fricking serious?  I’m a cat! You dressed me in a tie?”  He never meowed, he never attempted to take it off, he just sat there and took the abuse like a champ.  He was a very good sport, in our efforts to entertain ourselves at his expense.

As with any owner of a pet, everyone has stories, memories, and fond moments with their little companion.  And I’m sure that my memories weren’t all that significant, after all, cats are known to do some crazy stunts.  But Puter made it very entertaining for us.  He will be greatly missed, as he was a huge part of our lives. 

We love you ‘Bubba’!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

STOP SAYING THAT!!! My head hurts.

People who know me, know that I get frequent headaches.  I’m not sure why I get them so often – it could be a variety of reasons.  I did attempt to throw myself through a windshield once.  Ok well not on purpose, I wasn’t even driving.  My ex-sister in law (slash) now dear friend of mine was driving.  And it wasn’t even her fault either, but the Readers Digest condensed version of this is – we were in a car accident together and the numb-nuts Neurologist that I went to later on told me that if I didn’t put hot chili peppers (not even kidding) on my shoulder/neck that I would experience headaches the rest of my life. 

I did flip over backwards off of my neighbor’s porch too, as a child.  No, not voluntarily.   I landed on my head.  Oh!  And there was the time that I was knocked unconscious by a 6th grader when I was ten.  At any rate, like I said, there are a variety of reasons why I get headaches.  Regardless.  It’s early – way too early for my lazy ass to be up, but I am and I cannot sleep because I was awakened at 2 am with a flippen headache.  So, naturally, I logged onto Facebook and decided that it was time to address the issue that I have. 

I cannot STAND the phrase – “I KNOW! RIGHT?” 

Did I miss something on this?  Is it the new "like" in pop-culture?  It’s amazing to me how perfectly respectable adults can revert back to pre-adolescent, hormone raging, 16 year olds when using that phrase.  I don’t know who started it, but it’s an exclamation or a sentence (depending on how you use it) AND a question – all in one.  Really?  It’s totally caught on too.  It’s everywhere. 

Me (to a friend of mine): “Oh my gosh, I love these shoes!” (OK, right there I’m kind of setting myself up for disappointment, but they were really cute shoes.)

Friend: (very excited) “I know! Right?”

Me: “Ok you just ruined the moment”

Friend (total mood change): “I know, right?”

Me: “No really, don’t say that.  It doesn’t mean anything.  Are you agreeing with me? Or are you asking me if I’m right?  Or if you’re right?  There’s no right or wrong.”

Friend: “I know, right! Because people say it all the time and I have no idea what it means but it’s so addicting!”

Me: “Then don’t say it around me -  please.  Not trying to be a bitch, but it reminds me of annoying Paris Hilton-esc ditzy girls who aren’t intelligent enough to say anything else”

Friend: “OMIGOD I know! Righ- er, totally!”

It’s everywhere!  Commercials, T.V. shows, movies, Facebook.  Where in the hell did it come from?  English teachers everywhere are having conniption fits as they hear this in their classrooms and hallways.  Or at least I would be if I were an English teacher.  Obviously I don’t stand a chance of that since my writing skills are far from par. 

Moving on.

The second phrase that I cannot stand:  “GIT-R-DONE”

Really?  Thank you Larry the Cable Guy for proving that men of your stature cannot form complete sentences.  What is that? I’ll admit.  The first sketch I saw him in that he used that phrase, I chuckled.  I didn’t fall all over myself laughing nor did I rush out and airbrush my Ford Taurus in “Git-r-done” garble like every other red-blooded American did hearing it for the first time.  But after the 4,557th time of hearing it in a 3-hour period – it got old.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox for now.  Just wanted to throw that out there in case you ever wanted to know how to get completely under my skin.  Please don’t though.  Really. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

No Sugar Added

In a recent conversation with my sister we reminisced about our childhood.  No, this didn’t involve sappy stories about how loving we were towards each other, or about how she was my older, more sophisticated, adoring sibling – that’s another blog.  There isn’t enough time or space to write about her tormenting ways.  However, we did agree on one thing and that was the odd and downright nearly obsessive compulsive eating regimen that our mother had us on.  Let me just be clear on one thing, I love my Mom.  I love her for who she is and what she has inspired me to be.  That being said, her earlier years of motherhood and food choices were a bit questionable.

I was 6 or 7 I believe, and my sister was nearing 10 or 11, and my Mom got this bright idea that eating “organic” was going to be our new way of life.  I’m all for home-grown veggies and fruits, and for trimming the fat off of a slab of beef – but for the love of all things living, I cannot condone shunning a gallon of milk and being excited for powdered milk and carob chips.  Our pantry dissolved into this co-op of spinach noodles, powdered milk, puffed wheat cereal and a massive dehydrator that was used for our “snacks”.  Home Pride bread was replaced with homemade wheat bread and cookies and sugar snacks were a thing of the past.

I’m not sure what prompted my parents to splurge and purchase a bag of Keebler Grasshopper Cookies®, but they did.  My sister and I were elated with this new arrival of lard and chocolate all wrapped up into one yummy minty goodness and the eyes said it all. Mom immediately set ground rules for the cookies (to which I cannot recall what they were, but they were serious rules probably involving a lashing of some sorts if the cookies were touched) I’m actually surprised that she didn’t secure the pantry door with a siren alarm.  My sister, being the ridiculously mischievous little girl that she was already had a plan conjured up in her head on how we were going to enjoy the forbidden chocolate goodness.

That night my sister and I went to bed all giddy and excited that tomorrow could be the day that we get to experience all the rave that our friends were accustomed to.  Yes, we were sheltered children.  We shared a bed, except I cannot remember why because I distinctly remember having my own bed at one point.  At any rate she whispered to me “You want a cookie?”  My little ears perked up and my mouth spit out something like “We aren’t allowed and Mom will get mad and how will you get the cookie and I don’t want to get caught and Mom will get mad and ….” Before I could finish my 1st grade thought she was gone and back with the whole package of cookies. 

We sat in our bed and ate the entire package of Grasshopper cookies.  Twenty something cookies and a major sugar – my head won’t stop spinning and why do I have diarrhea of the mouth – episode later and we were officially in a diabetic coma. 

My sister must have put the empty cookie package back in the pantry, yeah because that’s not obvious or anything; because I woke up to “Who in the BEEP ate the BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEP cookies??!!!”  My sister and I jolted out of bed and immediately ran into the kitchen to investigate the cookie hijacking.  My Dad entered in as nonchalant as usual, and both my parents stared directly at my sister.  Forgetting I was an accomplice to this horrific act of betrayal I blurted out “Oooooh you’re in trouble!!”.  My Mom shot a glare at my Dad, back to my sister, over to me and off in one giant leap for mankind she was in our bedroom.  She ripped the covers down and in one regrettable moment I realized “Oooooh I’m in trouble….”  Now, as children often do when they’re busted, we both immediately started crying.  My sister was tap-dancing around trying to come up with one lame excuse after another and I followed along. 

Mom:  “What were you thinking?”

My Sister (crying and babbling):  “I don’t know”

Me: (following my sisters routine): “I don’t know”

Mom: (madder than a hen) “You ate the WHOLE PACKAGE OF COOKIES!!!”

My Sister (still crying and babbling): “I know”

Me: (sobbing at this point): “She made me do it!”

It was that little remark right there that got us both a one-way ticket to the “Choose Your Punishment” game.  I can’t remember what I chose, or what my sister chose, but I definitely remember the disappointment in my Mom’s voice when she spoke the words “I will never buy cookies again, you girls have proven to me that you can’t handle it.”  We were doomed to carob chips and dehydrated banana’s for the rest of our lives, along with the occasional uneventful trip to the local Co-Op for all natural liquorice – mmmmm.

After my parents divorced my Mom took a job with a local grocery chain doing some advertising bits.  The whole organic phase fizzled out.  However my sister and I were still somewhat deprived of sweets.  A vendor gave my Mom a box full of Ghirardelli baking chips complete with bags and bags of White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate – anything chocolate chips.  Bags of them!  In the course of a day – yes, a day, my sister and I managed to polish off 8 bags of baking chips.  We stuffed the chair with our spoons and empty wrappers and proceeded to run around the house like striped ass monkeys on crack until Mom came home. 

Mom couldn’t figure out what we got into but she knew something was up.  I’m not sure but I think the fact that we were swinging from the ceiling fan.  It gave her a pretty big clue that our usual after school snack of cheese and tortillas was not a key factor. 

Later that night my Mom went to the cabinets to make some chocolate chip cookies and there was that oh so familiar tone – “I cannot BELIEVE you ate ALL the chocolate chips!!  How do you eat 8 BEEPING bags of chocolate chips!?” Déjà-vu all over again.  My sister started balling, I started crying and there we were tap-dancing around trying to come up with excuses as to what possessed us to be so indulgent and inhale all those chocolate chips. 

As a parent of a sugar-deprived child myself, I now know that my Mom was only trying to be more cautious of what toxins we put into our bodies.  I see that glazed over saliva forming look that my son gets when a donut enters our house.  This momentary manipulation kicks in and random shit like “Oh, I’ve never had a glazed donut before” comes out of his ingenious little mouth.  In hopes that I would say “Really? You poor thing, well who am I to stand in your way of sugar and carbs, please, enjoy all twelve of them!” 

It’s no wonder my hips are the size of Oklahoma with all the crap that I vowed I would eat as an adult because my Mom wouldn’t let me enjoy it as a child.  I actually remember telling her “Well when I’m grown up I’m going to buy all the candy bars I want!”  As if I was crushing her dreams of making me a sugar-free kid.  I’m learning how to control my Grasshopper cookie and Ghirardelli fantasies.  And in the interim, it’s good conversation for my sister and I.  I find it – therapeutic.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Well it’s been almost a year since I started my attempts at running and, well, I’m still at the same place I was a year ago.  Although I must say, my couch appreciates my loyalty.  I struggle.  It’s my own fault really.  I’m clumsy, un-motivated at times, accident prone, and I am the queen of procrastination.  If I were to be in a “Bet You Can’t Complete That Task” competition I would so win!  I took 1st place in not eating 6 meals a day, not following through with tracking my caloric intake, not monitoring what I eat, giving up totally when I felt sick (instead of going to the doctor) and quitting altogether.  Yep, those were my arms flailing aimlessly into a mini-tyrant followed by foot stomping and pouty lips while whining, “Why can’t I lose 10 friggen pounds!”    

Now, I am motivated and ready to go – more than I’ve ever been, but because I chose to hibernate rather than embrace the local gym, I’m back at square one – and worse off.  In December I managed to give myself whiplash and a herniated disc and I’m still paying for that little stunt.  I found out at a recent doctors visit that I’m deficient in Vitamin D (Hello! I live in Idaho!!  There’s no sun here in the flippen winter!!) Which explains the serious fatigue I had been feeling.  And then I realized through trial and tribulation that I am lactose intolerant.  So, yes, half and half and cheese is not my friend.  Fortunately for me, there is currently no shortage in powdered coffee creamer. 

So it’s back to the drawing board.  I’ll start over again and see what I’m able to accomplish.  I really don’t have much of a choice, I can keep going on this path of self-destruction and eventually burst out of my non-skinny jeans; or I can start slow and work my way up to eventually feeling somewhat accomplished as a 30+ female.  I have many family members and friends whom are entering half marathons, full marathons, boot camps and yoga sessions, and while all those things could potentially be a goal for me, I’m embarrassed to say that the only “a-thon” I’ll be contributing to this month is the “don’t fall on my ass a-thon”.  I have to convince myself, daily, that I am not those people.  I simply come from a non-athletic gene pool and I’m OK with that.  However, I need to not be a quitter and focus on the bigger picture here – I’m too broke to buy bigger pants.  So my choices have been laid out before me.  Walk off the winter-goodies that have attached themselves to my thunderous thighs, or become a regular at the local Goodwill, trading in my not-so-skinny jeans for the less fashionable “I’m 33 going on 72 polyester was so last year” pants.

I’m opting for walking.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's All In Your Head

I think I need to be hypnotized.  I mean, there’s hypnosis centers out there that will brain wash you into thinking you don’t need cigarettes, or you can change your eating habits.  How about you just don’t shove in the whole pack of chocolate in your mouth, let’s start there.  If you can stop at 22 candy bars, then surely you can make your way down to, oh I don’t know, 10 or so a day right?  Well my issue(s) are far more dramatic than smoking or chocolate.  I have this weird thing with my neck being touched and my stomach is, quite honestly, the world’s weakest stomach. 

I’m pretty sure my stomach issues started when my older sister and I would be eating peas at dinner and when Mom wasn’t looking she would say “Psst…Sande.  Look! (Followed by a horrific display of food mutilation, she would then smash the peas with her fingers) DEAD SQUIRREL!”  It would then be at that point that what mouthful of dead squirrel guts I did have in my mouth would be impossible to swallow.  I would spit it out right there, onto my plate and my Mom would get so incredibly pissed off.  Instead of laughing and carrying on like a 5 year old should, and realize that it was mind over matter, I would take her words literally.  “Really? You mean these aren’t PEAS?!!? EWWWWWW!!!”  It’s completely uncontrollable.  Now, 28 years later, I’m still struggling with what’s real, and what isn’t.  There is nothing worse than being hungry – starving for that matter – and seeing or hearing something that even remotely references, animals, blood, guts, hair, spit, vomit or bugs. 

My fiancé keeps insisting that it is mind over matter, but it’s anything I eat.  Not just peas.  The other night I was eating a cold-cut sandwich, complete with mayo, mustard and pickles – the works and we were watching the movie Angels and Demons.  We got to the part where one of the victims was being burned alive and all that I could think of was the meat I was eating was human flesh.  What is that???  Really?  I choked down my 5th or 6th bite and had to throw it away. Gross!

I know what you’re thinking, “well dumbass, why don’t you NOT watch a movie while you eat”?  Well, either that or watch something less traumatic, like the Smurfs or something.    I hold my older sister, largely responsible for this.

My neck issue – well that’s just weird.  Ever since I can remember I’ve cut the necks out of my shirts.  So that could be one of two things.  One: I’m stuck in the 80’s and I’m a secret Flashdance meets Fame wannabe, or Two:  I was a witch in a past life and I was hanged.  I get this unnerving feeling that I’m suffocating and can’t breath if I even attempt a turtleneck and scarves are absolutely out of the question.  So, all of my t-shirts have to have a built-in ‘V’ neck, or out come the scissors. 

I truly think hypnotism is something I should look into.  It would be much easier if I had a problem with chocolate or donuts and it was a simple case of willpower.  Or if my fear was heights, I could just load up in a twin propjet and jump out, but I’m also not about to eat a tarantula while wearing a turtleneck to ‘face my fears’ either. 

I did do some research on the Internet of some hypnotists in the area, but quite frankly, I don’t have $200 per session (6, to be accurate) to drop.   I could use my weak stomach as motivation to lose weight as well though.  I’ve thought about turning on National Geographic right before sitting down to eat a bowl of spaghetti and viola – guess what, not hungry anymore!

I guess for now, I’ll just not watch television while eating (I know, how un-American); and I’ll probably continue to cut out my shirts.  That’s just too embarrassing to go to a hypnotist for.  I’d rather lie and say I have a chocolate problem. 
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