Archive for January, 2008




Last night I dreamed that David Cross had a late-night talk show, and David Koechner was his sidekick. They had Pres. Bush on as a guest, and they hilariously eviscerated him in exactly the way you would hope John Stewart would but know he really wouldn’t have the balls.

Then I dreamed that Rocco and I were sharing a bed — my bed. (But sharing it in only a two-people-sleeping-in-the-same-bed way, okay?) And I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking, “When did we decide to do this?” and “Where the hell are my cats, because they always sleep with me and there’s no way that’s good for his allergies?” and “How come he’s snoring peacefully while I’m lying here worrying about this?” Then my mother got loose in the warehouse that was attached to our house in the dream, so I had to go find her before she fell and hurt herself or ran away or whatever. And then some Orcs came in and I had to get a battle axe.

Then I woke up. And I knew before I even opened my eyes that I was sick, sick, sick.





10:41 pm · category: Body of Mine, The Whole Fam Damnly

Panicked, pitiful voicemail I left for one of my sisters tonight:

“I waxed my face and OH MY GOD that shit hurts like hell and I think I might have pulled some skin off. I’m gonna have to wear a little half-mask like the Phantom of the Opera and probably start singing in a vibrato all the time and I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in the tenor section instead of just when I’m in community choir.”



What the Hell?

8:31 pm · category: House Calls

Yesterday the recycling guy carried off the old laundry basket we put the glass items in.




Okay, Maybe I DO Have a Touch of OCD

I’d never lived in a town that had a recycling program until last year. And, as with most things, I embraced it whole-heartedly.

The problem is that I. Cannot. Stop. I take home the dozens of extra copies of USA Today that are shipped to my work.  I dig through the hotel garbage cans and remove discarded items from my friends’ vehicles. I pick up trash in parking lots to take home with me just because it’s recyclable.

My city provides only one small recycling bin per household, but Rocco and I have supplemented it with other containers. We use the city-issued bin for plastics and paper, an old laundry basket for glass, and an old trash can for cans/metal.

I like to think the recycling guy appreciates our pre-separating items for him, but he’s probably just wondering why two people have so many beer/soda cans.



For the Sake of Convenience

9:04 pm · category: Uncategorized

I established long ago that I suck at personal money management. The Aunt Doodie System has worked wonderfully for me:  she pays my bills (rent, water, electricity, car insurance) and lets me make withdrawals from my account whenever I need to. It’s worked so well that I even had enough money saved to buy the new-to-me car and didn’t have to borrow or get a loan. (I cannot save money without help.)

I’ve been slowly venturing out in the financial world, though. I must have a cell phone for work because I’m on call 24 hours a day. But I don’t have a real bank account and my credit’s not so good, so I opted for a prepaid phone. That’s worked out wonderfully, because I got a pay-as-you-go plan with the same service provider my entire family uses, so I get free mobile-to-mobile with them and pay only for the calls from (predominantly) work.

A couple of months ago I got a Green Dot Wal-Mart Money Card, which is basically a pre-paid Visa debit card. I load part of my paycheck on it every two weeks so I can have access to the money immediately, and I “deposit” the remainder of the check in my Aunt Doodie Account. Having a debit card really is a major convenience. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed being able to pay at the pump instead of prepaying for gas until I got the card. And now I can order things online, which is just way beyond awesome.

The best part is that I never spend money I don’t have. Overdraft protection (And, admittedly, some creative check kiting.) contributed to my financial downfalls in the past, but that’s not even an option any more.

This new revelation makes me want to have children so I can teach them how to manage their finances without screwing up their credit.

Oh, my God. Did I just type that I want to reproduce so I can teach my offspring fiscal responsibility?

Yeah, looks like I did.



Product Performance

These are the things I’m crazy about right now.

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant I sweat. A lot. This is the first deodorant I’ve ever used that really keeps me dry and non-smelly, and I therefore highly recommend it.
Lee Pace Rocco and I fought over who gets to have him as a pretend boyfriend. But it ended just like our fight over the pretend boyfriend at our favorite Chinese restaurant, and Rocco finally won.
Reusable Grocery Bags Very handy and environmentally friendly. Plus, Kroger takes three cents off my final bill for every bag of my own that I provide. (This, of course, made my total roll backward even more, and I almost had an orgasm in the check-out line.)
Honey I used it as a hair mask in the shower the other day, and my mop was half as frizzy as usual, even though I let it dry naturally and didn’t put any product on it.
Nathan Fillion Clips I don’t know what it is about him, but he seems awfully funny and unassuming. Of course, he is an actor.
Medicine Aisle Standoff This is my favorite post on any blog by any person ever ever ever.



Dirty, Dirty Dish War

Tonight Rocco and I had a few friends over for dinner, and they were all kind enough to help with the clean up afterwards. Of course, after they’d gone home, I had to totally reload the dishwasher.

This happens more often than you might think. Like, every single day. Luckily, I don’t have a problem like That Girl has. Rocco and I are both neat freaks to an extent, and he’s very good about putting things in the dishwasher as soon as he’s done with them. The problem is how he puts them in. I have very specific ideas about how to load a dishwasher. I guess these ideas are my own, because my family never had an automatic dishwasher when I was growing up. But boy-howdy, the dishwasher must be loaded a certain way.

Issue One: Plastic
Rocco puts plastic in the dishwasher, so I have to take those items out and hand wash them when he’s not around. I don’t care if the Rubbermaid/Ziploc/Gladware containers say they’re dishwasher safe; they always seem to shrink and then the lids don’t fit and then I get supremely pissed off.

Issue Two: Utensils
Our dishwasher has six compartments for utensils. That’s one compartment for each type of flatware (fork, spoon, knife), which leaves three available compartments. One gets steak knives and related items, one gets the items that are in the same drawer as the standard utensils (can opener, peeler, garlic press, etc.) and one gets the items that are in the “catch-all” drawer (measuring cups and spoons, apple corer, etc.). All of our big utensils (mostly wooden and stainless steel items used while cooking like spoons, spatulas, masher, etc.) have to lie flat on the left side of the dishwasher because they’re too tall to put in the utensil compartments.

Utensils should not be tossed in all willy-nilly. If they’re in their individual compartments, you can grab the whole handful and put them in the drawer or container right away instead of wasting time sorting them. This seems entirely logical to me.

Issue Three: Glasses and Cups
These go on the far right of the top shelf, and if it’s at all possible you put like items together. The far right top shelf is nearest to the cabinet that holds the glasses. That was a whole other battle in the dish war, because I want the cups and glasses beside the refrigerator because that’s where I get the ice and the drinks, right? Rocco wants them stored above the dishwasher because they’re easier to put away. Since the dishwasher is opposite the refrigerator, this led to a minor skirmish. Thank God I moved in three days before Rocco, having thereby set a precedent.

Issue Four: Bowls
We use a lot of bowls because we eat a lot of cereal and soup. Again with the willy-nilly. These should be placed in the middle of the top rack, where those pokey-up-close-together dividers are. They fit perfectly in there. Plus, you can grab four of the eight bowls in one grasp, making it quicker to unload the dishwasher.

Issue Five: Dishes
This is the part where one might decide I’ve taken this dishwasher-loading method too far. I have this set of patterned dinnerware. I think it’s completely understandable that I want the two different plate sizes on different rows on the bottom shelf, again because you can grab them all at once and put them in the cabinet above. The part where I might be crazy is that the pattern has to match. That is, the tiny red flower has to be in the exact same position (say, upper right) all the way down both rows. I cannot physically bring myself to start the dishwasher if the plates aren’t lined up just so.

I don’t think I’m OCD, but I’ve been this way about weird things all my life. Of course all of my (money) bills have to be in order by denomination and facing the same direction, but lots of people are like that. But other people don’t, apparently, have to have their CDs alphabetized first by artist, then by album title. Their clothes don’t have to hang by type then length then color and all face the same direction on identical white plastic hangers. They don’t alphabetize their spices, fruit cups, Lean Cuisines or every single canned good in the pantry.

It’s just easier my way, okay?



Pussy Whipped

When I got home from work (even later than usual, around 7:30 p.m.) tonight, Rocco was waiting for me with a mixed drink in hand and a terrified look on his face.

He wanted to know if I’d been home before just then. The answer was, predictably, no; one does not drive 30 miles home in the middle of the day from a job that requires one to be on site for, like, a gozillion consecutive hours.

And then Rocco’s face sort of crumbled.


I have two wonderful-but-very-demanding cats — Nigel and Quentin — neither of whom much match the stereotype of the independent, aloof feline; in fact, the pair sort of typify the term “pussies.” And because Rocco has many allergies — cat allergy being one of his worst — Nigel and Quentin are always shut away in my bedroom. (This is not horrible. My bedroom/bathroom/closets are sort of embarrassingly big; the entire square footage is probably 3/4 the size of the breadbox.)

We also have two dogs in the house. It’s worth knowing that I would never, ever, ever describe myself as a dog lover. Horrible as it may sound, it’s true; I can’t stand being licked or yapped or sniffed at inappropriately.

But it’s even more true that I’m sortofkindofreally afraid of dogs. We never had dogs when I was growing up, and I wasn’t otherwise around them very often. And I’m pretty sure that being within a couple of feet of a cousin and a sister who were both bitten by dogs when I was very young didn’t help. So mostly I’ve just learned to tolerate dogs when I must do so, and otherwise avoid them.

But, anyway: two dogs. Kelly, a Doberman Pinscher, is Rocco’s dog. He got her when he was part of the Kansas City Doberman Rescue. Rocco fostered the dog before he became so attached to Kelly that he adopted her.

It should come as no surprise that I was initially terrified of Kelly: the lean body, pert ears and long muzzle — I could envision nothing beyond every campy action-adventure movie I’d ever seen in which vicious Dobermans guarding the antagonist’s lair were distracted by huge hunks of prime rib. But Kelly is a well-behaved, almost docile dog who exhibits none of the aforementioned doggy don’ts, and I’ve grown quite attached to her.

And then there’s Lou. Lou is a boxer with a tiger-stripe pattern who sort of….. came with the house. Lou is one of the few dogs with whom I’ve ever interacted who has never caused me one moment of anxiety. She’s very gentle and unassuming, and I’m always yearning to hug and otherwise comfort Lou because her expressions and body language are so very familiar and human-like.

Kelly and Lou like to think they have the run of the house. Kelly is free to roam most everywhere, as is Lou — to an extent. Lou kind of has an obsession with polyfiber fill, and we’ve lost one too many pillows to leave her alone with anything resembling fake cotton; as a result, she is kept in a separate room when there’s not an “adult” in the house. According to Rocco, Kelly has a similar issue with squeaky chew toys, so those are forbidden except for special occasions.

And, apropos of nothing, Rocco has mentioned in passing that Kelly tends to think of cats as “playthings.”

Rocco and I are both pretty adamant that my bedroom door remain shut at all times.


Rocco’s expression was enough to crack me up. It was clear he felt terribly guilty about something. Emmy-worthy theatrics, preemptive groveling, and genuine sheepishness followed as he spilled the story.

It appears that Rocco entered my room for something, and then inadvertently failed to pull my bedroom door to all the way on exit. He then left the house, securing Lou away but leaving Kelly (as is normal) to roam free.

At some point, Kelly nosed her way into my bedroom via the cracked door, and havoc apparently ensued. When Rocco got home, he found what he initially described as a crime scene.

Rocco smelled the fresh excrement as soon as he walked in the door. And then he saw the physical evidence: patches of carpet were now missing; the most recent EW and TV Guide issues stashed under my nightstand were shredded; couch cushions were strewn about the room; tufts of animal fur wafted through the air as the ceiling fan slowly turned.

Blood covered everything: my bed linens, carpet, night stand. The chair was stained a completely different color. One wall was splattered half-way up in a crimson bath.

And, of course, the requisite pile of shit was right in the middle of the room, exactly as you’d expect it to be.

Rocco found Kelly, all bloodied and broken, burrowed into her bed. Her nose was pretty much shredded, and she was still bleeding rather a lot.

Nigel and Quentin were later found hiding in my room, tense and slightly more skittish — but also injury-free.




9:30 pm · category: Uncategorized

A couple of weeks ago, my four-year-old niece came to visit. She asked for a snack, and I gave her string cheese. She proceeded to peel the cheese away in little strips.

“What are you doing?” I asked, thinking she was playing with her food.

“I’m stringing my cheese!” she exclaimed joyfully.

I was dumbfounded. I eat a piece of string cheese almost every day as my mid-morning snack. But I always just bite a piece off. I seriously did not know that you could actually string string cheese.

Hang on, though. It gets worse.

Yesterday Daddy took me out to eat, and I got the plate lunch: one entree and two vegetables. I chose chicken and noodles, creamed potatoes and turnips.

I was confused when my meal was served. Instead of turnips, there were these chunks of white stuff on my plate.

“Daddy,” I whispered. “Is your order right? They screwed up mine.”

“Mine’s fine,” he replied. Peering at my plate, he asked, “What’s wrong with yours?”

“I got creamed potatoes and fried potatoes. I was supposed to have turnips.”

Daddy cracked up. Then he explained that my fried potatoes were actually turnips. It appears that I thought turnips were the same thing as turnip greens; clearly, they’re not.

Why yes, I did fall off the turnip truck yesterday.



What the Bleep Do THEY Know?*

Tonight Rocco and I watched What the Bleep Do We Know? The film is far too convoluted for me to explain here, so this is what you need to know for this post:

In the film, Marlee Matlin plays a woman (Amanda) whose marriage fell apart when she caught her husband with another woman. Near the end of the film there is a scene in which the husband calls Amanda and leaves a message on her answering machine asking her to meet him.

Did you catch that? He left a message on the answering machine. For Marlee Matlin.

Unless that scene was supposed to illustrate something about manifesting your own reality — a reality in which Marlee Matlin is not deaf — I just totally don’t get what they were thinking.

*Alternate title for this post: “Dumb.” This is the latest reason that I’m probably going to hell.