Words….Witticisms…Whimsy…Whatever!

A post about nothing

Um. I haven’t written anything in a while.

Correction. I haven’t posted anything in a while.

And now, so much time has passed that the voice in my head is saying, “Oh my god, are you kidding me, your next post has to be something really awesome to have made it worth taking this long to come into being, like having had a dragon land in your yard or something.”

A dragon has not landed in my yard. Just FYI.

What I need to do is post something, so I can get back into a rhythm without obsessing (which I do, but we’ll get to that later). So this post is about nothing. (Call it my Seinfeld post.) In fact, you probably shouldn’t even read this. It might be boring.

I don’t even have writer’s block, really. I have started writing about a number of things.  There are no fewer than five open Word docs on my laptop right now, in addition to this one. I have about 20 or so other starts in a folder. Some of them you may see someday.  Some will languish forever. Maybe because they aren’t fully formed ideas, but also maybe because I’m wayyyyyy better at starting things than I am at finishing them. Someday we can talk about Narnia, which, funnily enough, is what I call my Spare Oom. (Which probably isn’t funny at all if you haven’t read the first book.) Why Narnia, you ask? Well, in addition to the normal way to enter a room (through its doorway), you can also get to this room through a closet. Hence…yeah. Anyway, Narnia is filled with unfinished projects. The dollhouse I bought when I was 13 (which is currently disassembled because it kind of fell apart when I moved). A large bag of yarn that I bought to crochet an afghan for my ex-husband, which for obvious reasons I lost interest in when I got divorced, and also I no longer work with my Crochet Mentor who could teach me how to make things even though I can’t read patterns and do everything backwards because I’m left-handed. A big box of clippings and mementos for a nonexistent scrapbook. A box of mason jars for when I, you know, take up canning. (WTF.) And those are just the things I know off the top of my head. There are boxes in there. And bags. And piles of stuff. It’s not pretty in Narnia. It’s an uncompleted project wasteland.

Maybe it’s because I get distracted easily. I’m now mulling over the words “incomplete” versus “uncompleted”. I’m not actually sure uncompleted is a word, but it doesn’t have a red squiggly line under it, so it must be.

It’s officially autumn now, which we know not because the temperature is cooler (I had my air-conditioning on over the weekend), or because the leaves are turning, but because my TV is exploding with new television shows. As a pop culture junky who is also a little obsessive, I watch way too much TV in the fall. I used to limit myself to one new show a year. Now I identify every show I might be interested in and set my DVR to record the first episode or two, in addition to all the other shows I already watch. Because the slightly obsessive part of me can’t just watch a show from time to time. I have to watch all or nothing.  I started watching Scandal midway through last season, and over the summer I had to binge watch everything that came before. Same thing with Good Wife the year before, except I had three seasons to catch up on. So when new shows start, it feels like my opportunity to get in from the start and not be forever playing catch-up. Yes, I watch too much TV. I recognize this. It’s kind of sad how liberating I find it when summer gets here and my DVR can go back to storing movies for me to delete unwatched at a later date when it gets too full. But too much TV is another one of the lame reasons I haven’t been blogging.  Although some TV makes for good blogging background noise. Dancing with the Stars is the perfect companion for writing. No intricate plotlines to keep track of. At the moment I’m writing while attempting to watch new show Hostages, which is far too complicated for me to follow while doing something else. This suggests to me that I will be cutting it loose soon, if I don’t care that I’m not giving it full attention.

Speaking of yarn (well, you know, I said the word “yarn” a while ago), I was walking through Michael’s over the weekend while on a quest to find inspiration to fashion my own tie-backs for my living room curtains. Which was a failed mission. But I did get kind of swoony over all the pretty yarn. Way too swoony for someone who doesn’t actually know how to knit (at all) or crochet (without major guidance). It made me want to work on a project. WAIT, OMIGOD, I CAN TIE THIS ALL RAMBLING NONSENSE TOGETHER (sort of)! Because when I’m crocheting while watching copious amounts of television, it makes me feel productive, and like I’m not being a totally useless human. Plus, when it gets cold out, having a pile of yarn on your lap is warm and snuggly. Anyway, I’m thinking of attempting to figure out how to make something on my own. Eons ago, I bought a teach-yourself-to-crochet book. Even though I’m inept and left-handed, I’m not a complete idiot. Surely I can figure out how to do this. If I can find the book. It’s probably buried somewhere in Narnia.

And if a dragon ever does land in my yard, I hope it looks like this. I like how in this picture, Ruby and the dragon aren’t being confrontational with each other. (See tiny Ruby on the patio?)

Wendys Yard Dragon

(Thanks, 3Names.)

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Ok, so y’all remember about my crazycakes interaction with the not-a-nun, right?

 

I went to the post office today to check my PO box again.

 

And.

 

I saw a man, wearing a clerical collar, wrestling a HUGE box out of his car.

 

Needless to say, I RAN in the other direction.

 

Shew….

 

A while back I posted a list of things that drive me crazy. Lest you think I’m a supercrab who only focuses on the negative, I thought perhaps we should have an equally obscure list of things that I adore beyond reason.  Let’s call it….

Things that make me unreasonably happy and sometimes I go on at great length about how much I love them:

  • Priority Mail prepaid flat-rate forever envelopes. Delivered to my home, for free. Or maybe they charge $1 to deliver, I’ve lost track, but still totally worth it for my work-from-home set up.  All I have to do is stuff them full, address them, and leave them outside my house for Mailman to pick up. Postage never expires. No waiting in lines. No fake nuns.  Woot!
  • Dropbox – It’s perfect for file sharing for work, since we’re in different locations. It’s perfect for volunteer work where people need access to the same documents. It’s perfect for accessing random crap from my phone, when I’m nowhere near my computer, like the list I made of movies that I used to own but no longer do but would like to again, in case I see one in a bargain bin somewhere. It’s perfect for everything. And it’s the easiest thing in the world to use. My mom was telling my about a medical emergency her husband had a few weeks ago (he’s fine, I promise) and in the story she had to leave the hospital to go home to email someone a document. My immediate reaction was, “I need to show you how to use Dropbox”.
  • Self-sealing envelopes. I know it probably seems that I’m obsessed with mail. I’m not. But I do like mail, and I do NOT like the taste of envelope glue. Plus, you know, George Costanza’s fiancée Susan. But mostly I can’t believe it took so long for someone to come up with these and now that they exist I appreciate the crap out of them.
  • Shazam. An app on my phone can listen to a few seconds of music and tell me what song it is and who sings it? THAT SHIT IS AMAZING! For this reason alone I consider my smartphone a worthwhile investment.
  • My scarf from Ireland. 3Names and I spent a marvelous week traipsing around and all I knew was I wanted to bring home some piece of knit something. I looked at loads of sweaters, but they were all big, bulky-looking affairs that aren’t my style and probably would have made me spontaneously combust. One day we were in a little shop on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, where it’s literally like going back in time. In amongst some of the more typical souvenir-type items, I found a lovely, soft, colorful knit scarf, long enough to wrap around my neck twice when it’s really cold. The tag said it was hand-made in Ireland. Was this a trap for a gullible tourist? Ha! When I took it to the clerk to pay she said, “Oh, my neighbor Maggie made this.” I wear the crap out of it, but gently, so as to extend its lifespan, and when someone comments on it, I get all happy-like.
  • Fuzzy Blankie, capitalized because that’s its name, not just a description. Fuzzy Blankie was a gift from Sunshine a few years ago and it turned me into Linus. It’s warm. It’s soft. It’s fluffy. It’s comforting. It’s soft. (It’s so soft it deserves to be mentioned twice.) It’s white, and somehow, miraculously, the Queen of Spill (that would be me) has managed to keep it remarkably clean. Dogs are not allowed to lie on it.  Fuzzy Blankie is always there for me when I need it.
  • Compliments from strangers. No explanation required.
  • When Ruby Dogwonkafonka sticks her face right up in mine and burps. I know that sounds disgusting. Ok, it is disgusting. But it makes me laugh every time. Partly because it seems so deliberate, and she never looks sorry. And her timing is impeccable.
  • This one set of hand-me-down sheets that my dad gave me. I have no idea why he didn’t want them anymore. (I know exactly why he didn’t want them anymore; they didn’t match his décor.) They are so soft and comfy that they have made all other sheets completely inferior. I am on a quest to find something that will be their equal, but so far I haven’t found anything. Or anything that I can afford. But. I. Will.
  • This video. I am not sure how many times I have watched it, but I would guess it’s in the neighborhood of 36,284 times. I think it’s hilarious. (FYI, you’re only committing to a minute and thirty-eight seconds of your life if you click the link.)
  • The infamous rainbow shower head.  
  • This blog post. It makes me laugh my ass off. After Beyoncé, it’s the thing I’m most committed to getting the entire world to read.

    He totally goes with the chair with the missing leg, no?

    He totally goes with the chair with the missing leg, no?

  • Tomás, the colorful metal t-rex Klondike gave me for Christmas. Whose boyfriend is better than mine? Come ON, I have a t-rex in my freakin’ living room.  (My style is, um,eclectic.)
  • My next door neighbors, Jim & Phyllis. They give me vegetables from their garden and chili and baked goods from their kitchen. They let me borrow tools and ladders and a power washer. They keep an eye on me. And my house. And my dog. In a nice, neighborly fashion, not a Gladys Kravitz way.
  • Crack cookies. They don’t actually call them that at The Fresh Market, but they should. They actually call them something like Heath bar cookies, and they are stupid delicious. I make people eat them so I can get them to concede that they are, in fact, freaking amazing.

As said when the other, negative list concluded, this is not all-encompassing at all. It’s just my version of Maria von Trapp’s raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. (When did this blog become so full of nuns??)  Personally I think my list is a little better than hers, but she had to deal with Nazis so I’ll cut her some slack.

Sometimes I have random thoughts like, “I wonder what would happen if I got in the laundry basket and rode it down the stairs like a sled”.  And then I remember how lame my health insurance is and I decide perhaps that wouldn’t be the best way to test it.

Klondike also just reminded me that the stairs are pretty steep and the landing zone at the bottom is small and full of walls and corners and things.

Never Trust a Fake Nun

I just went to the post office to check my PO Box. I noticed that the car next to me had a number of religious-themed bumper stickers on the back, including one that said, “Thank you, Jesus.” At first I thought the woman in the car was a nun, and I thought “huh, I didn’t realize nuns were bumper sticker people.” I guess I figured being a nun spoke more loudly than a strip of vinyl on the back of the car ever would.

The woman got out of her car the same time I did.

“Excuse me, could you please help me carry this box?”

Drat. I was hoping just to dash in and out. But fine, I would help carry the box.

As I walked around to her side of the car, I noticed several more decals, including some very strongly-worded pro-choice anti-choice* messages. Obviously this woman and I had some philosophical differences, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t help her.

So now that I was next to her, watching her wrestle to get the box out of the car (which p.s., was not heavy at all) I no longer thought she was a nun; now I thought she wanted to resemble a nun. WTF, right? Long skirt, enormous cross, head covering, but not an actual habit.

I picked up the open box, which contained another open box and some lumpy stuff in a trash bag, none of which was contained by the outermost box. No clue how she was going to get this thing closed, because presumably that’s what she was doing, right? Shipping the box to someone?

And because this is how my brain works, I was now convinced I was helping this lady mail a bomb to an abortion clinic.

Perhaps it wasn’t fair to leap to such an outlandish conclusion. Just because a woman was dressed like a fake nun and had lots of propaganda on her car was no reason to judge her in that fashion, right?

I had taken two steps towards the building when she said, “I would really like to invite you to come to church with me.”

Goddammit.

“Well,” I said, “thank you, but I’m not interested.”

That did not deter her. She proceeded to talk about Jesus and I don’t know what because honestly, all I could think about was how to make this entire thing end. And holy CRAP, she was walking slowly.

“I’m Jewish,” I told her. That usually shuts down someone trying to sell me their religion; I don’t share their faith, but at least I’m not a total heathen (ha).

“Oh, we LOVE Jewish people,” she exclaimed. A monologue commenced about all the benefits the Jews provided, like, you know, the Old Testament.  I quickened my pace.

We made it to the line inside and I put her probably-a-bomb box on the table, bade her goodbye, and fled. This is what you get for being nice to people.

I really hate that shit. And I really hate that I felt the need to be polite even when she was completely unconcerned that she was making me uncomfortable and totally taking advantage of my helping her.

I could go on at great length about this topic, but it can be summarized pretty easily:

It’s never appropriate to strike up a conversation with a stranger about religion. Especially a stranger who is doing you a favor. But after said stranger has expressed her lack of interest in the topic, SHUT YOUR FUCKING PIE-HOLE.  Seriously.  

____________________________________________________________________

*Holy crap, I typed the wrong thing. Thanks, Brian L!

Bats are assholes.

Warning: this post contains a lot of f-bombs.

So. It’s that time of year again, apparently.

What time is that, you ask?

Bat season.

Sigh.

Many of you remember my prior episode with an uninvited house guest.

This one began in very similar fashion. I was awakened around 3 a.m. on a random August night (morning) to see the intruder flying into my bedroom, causing instant panic. I once again fled to the backyard to regroup.  My traitor dog hadn’t even waited for me to wake up and assess – she was already downstairs in the kitchen waiting by the back door when I got there.  Jerk.

A raccoon was hanging out on the fence in my yard when we got outside.

“No,” I yelled at it, shining my flashlight (and by “flashlight” I mean flashlight app on my phone) into his face. “No, I cannot even deal with you right now. Get the fuck out of here.” He acquiesced.

So there I was, once again pacing in my back yard in the middle of the night, thinking if there is ever anything that’s going to motivate me to get married again, this would be it.

I got super brave this time. My panic sweats led me to turn on the a/c, which meant I had to close the windows, which meant I had to walk through the entire house. Which I did. Clutching the tennis racquet that has lived next to my bed since the last encounter two years ago. I didn’t want to hurt it (mostly because the idea of having to then deal with a dead or wounded bat stressed me even more the fuck out), but I needed to have some defense just in case. The tennis racquet was useful for things like pulling back the curtains to check for Batfucker (yep, I named him) before leaning in to close the window. It was useful for things like reaching into a room and flipping a light switch. I went room by room through the entire house. I closed all the windows. And I didn’t see Batfucker anywhere. I left a couple of lights on and settled onto the couch, figuring out what to do next. And it occurred to me that I had only actually seen Batfucker once, when I first woke up. Was it possible that I had dreamt the entire thing? That there was no bat?

No. Ruby had fled the scene. She has never once left my room in the middle of the night, until now. Clearly she had seen it too.  And after about an hour of sitting on the couch feeling like I was going to cry or puke from nerves, Batfucker flew into and then out of the living room. I tried not to freak out. I have learned way more than I want to know about bats, and I know that all it wants is to get out. I scurried to the front door and opened it, and opened the screen door, hoping for a repeat performance from last time when the bat showed itself in somewhat timely fashion. Sadly, however, Batfucker had gone into hiding and refused to take advantage of the exit strategy I had prepared. I was a wreck. And moths were coming inside to have a party.  I closed the door and sat paralyzed, no clue what to do next.

Morning finally came. My friend Leonard suggested that Animal Care & Control would come if I called; this was news to me! I dialed, and yep, sure enough, they would send a team. An awesome team, who did a very thorough search, and were super apologetic that they weren’t able to find Batfucker. (On a side note, there are a lot of jobs that would suck. Having to go into someone’s house and look in every nook and cranny for a live bat would be the death of me. I just had a full-body tremor just thinking about it.) It was possible the bat had found a way out of the house. It was also possible the bat was in some tiny spot where they hadn’t located him.

Goddammit.

So now I’ve had three hours of sleep, significant emotional trauma, and no closure. (Sounds like most relationship breakups I’ve been through…)

I spent the day walking around my house like some kind of demented tennis junkie, clutching my racquet.  I knew it was unlikely Batfucker would make a daytime appearance, but it was my bat security blanket. I poked curtains, towels, clothes in my closet. I held the racquet in front of me, looking up, down, around corners before entering rooms. I was literally scared of my own shadow.

I tried to be rational. Batfucker wasn’t lying in wait for me. He wasn’t trying to sneak up behind me. He wasn’t flying around the house during the day. He might even have been gone.

Except he wasn’t.

I had gone to tap, even though I was so exhausted, both mentally and physically, that I had no idea how I was going to make it through class.  I got home just before dusk, trying to psych myself up to behave like a normal human in my own home. I was pissed that I didn’t have a certain resolution. My home is my haven, my favorite place to be, so to be scared of being there was crushing.  I took a shower (with the tennis racquet sitting by the tub). I got some dinner ready (with the tennis racquet sitting on the kitchen table). Dinner was in the microwave and I was taking a glass of water into the living room when Batfucker swooped into the room.  I am sure this will come as a tremendous shock when I tell you that I freaked the fuck out. However, I did try to keep my head screwed on in the midst of the freak out, and I ran for the front door, shouting at the bat what the plan was: open door wide, go away.

I stood, shaking, on my front porch, when I realized the gravity of the situation: I had gotten separated from both my tennis racquet (kitchen table) and my phone (living room couch). I was completely unarmed, and I couldn’t call for help.  But surely it wouldn’t be long before Batfucker would take advantage of the lovely egress I had provided, right?

Ha.

The Dumbest Bat Ever had infiltrated my house. I sat on my porch swing for half an hour watching through the window, as it flew laps around living room, totally missing the WIDE OPEN DOOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM. Surely Animal Control would be able to get it, if only I could call them.

And then he disappeared. Crap. Now my fear became what if Animal Control came and he had gone into hiding again. I crept to the door. I peered inside. I saw nothing. I dashed in, grabbed my phone, and ran back to the porch. I waited a few minutes in hopes that he would return to his circles around the front room. Nothing. No bat. Grr.

I called Animal Control. I explained the situation. They said they would send a team. I sat back on the porch swing. Moments later, an apparent miracle happened: the dumb bastard found the door, and flew out into the night. Batradication complete.

I ran inside and slammed the door behind me. I called Animal Control and said never mind, thanks anyway. I told myself over and over again that there had only been one, it was gone, and there was no reason to be shaking like a leaf, or scared of the dark, or still clutching my tennis racquet (which I had retrieved from the kitchen). Logically I knew it was over, but the heeby jeebies weren’t so quick to relinquish their grip.

I have had three bats during my 3.5 years in the house (y’all didn’t hear about the first one, it wasn’t much of a story, although it’s on the list of reasons why Mourtney is such a great friend).  So now I will pay a Large Chunk of Money to have my house professionally bat-proofed. And it will be worth every penny. And it better work, goddammit. (They guarantee it will, so there’s that.)

As I write this, 24-ish hours have passed, and I am about 98% back to normal. Normal, of course, means sleeping with a tennis racquet next to my bed.

Things I have learned/observed/gleaned this week:

  • I am not a shrieker. You know how Carrie Bradshaw screams all the freakin’ time, usually over nothing? That’s not me. I’m a yeller. When I saw the bat fly into my bedroom, I did not scream. I shouted, “MOTHERFUCKER!” (Of course I did.)
  • If you live in the city and you have a live (wild) animal in your home, Animal Control will send someone any time of the day or night. They’re staffed from 6 a.m. to midnight, but someone is on call those remaining six hours. I had no idea. I hope I never need to call again.
  • There is nothing on tv at 4 in the morning. (Just kidding, I already knew that.)
  • You can have your house professionally bat-proofed (thank fucking god).
  • My friend Leonard is a wealth of information about bat resources.
  • Bats are assholes. (I already knew that, too.)

Please, for the love of god, let this be my last post ever about bats.

 

Note: If you ever have a middle-of-the-night trauma and need someone to talk to, you can call me. I won’t come help you remove a bat, but I will offer moral support over the phone like nobody’s business.

To: Management

From: The interior house plants

Re: Blatant discrimination

It has come to our attention that there are some serious discrepancies in how plants are being treated in and around Wendy’s House of Whimsy, and we are not going to stand for this gross injustice. It can no longer be ignored that the outdoor plants are being watered almost every single day, sometimes TWICE a day, whereas we, the indoor plants, are being forced to survive on one watering a week, maybe, if we’re lucky.

To which we say, What the Fuck? 

Those outdoor plants are here for just a fleeting moment. Even with your constant babying, they frequently  turn in a day’s time from something pretty and thriving-ish into a dry, shriveled, mess that you then spend weeks nursing back to health – maybe. You don’t have the greatest success rate with that, you know. Not like with us. We stick with you throughout the abuse you heap upon us, the feast or famine phases where you don’t water us for weeks and then you flood the crap out of us. That poor lonely guy in your office who got all weird and dead looking – didn’t he grow a brand new, healthy base so you could whack off the dead stuff and start over and doesn’t he look fabulous now? And the one in the living room, who got stupidly tall and spindly and couldn’t stand up by himself – same thing – didn’t you chop him down and didn’t he grow back better than ever, through basically no effort on your part? Yes. Yes, they did.

We get it. The outdoor plants are pretty. They have flowers, and we don’t (except for the Christmas cactus, once a year, which didn’t actually start happening until you started WATERING IT ON A QUASI-REGULAR BASIS).  

We don’t begrudge you your sensitive little flowering bastards for the patio and the porch. That’s fine. All we want is equal treatment: watering on a regular basis, and maybe pulling the dead leaves off so we look as attractive as possible. Because hi, we will still be here in the winter when those hyper-sensitive outdoor pretty-boys are nothing but distant memories. 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Best regards,

 

The spider plant on top of the bookshelf

(On behalf of everyone else in the living room – we know you water the plants in the kitchen more often. Grr.)

Note: Feel free to skip this post if you’re not a dog person.  

Also note: I am human. I recognize the title might suggest otherwise.

One more note: I’m assuming you already know I’m one of those people who is freakishly attached to her dog. Or I guess I’m not assuming it, since I just spelled it out for you. She’s my best pal and I pity my friends for the aftermath when she goes to doggie heaven someday.  

A few weeks ago Ruby Dogwonkafonka got her teeth cleaned, and while they had her knocked out the vet removed a little wart on her side. I was angsty – I get angsty anytime my dog has a procedure requiring general anesthesia – but everything went well. Growth was nothing to worry about, dog came through just fine, improved breath – all good. All we had to do was make it through the healing process and we’d be rocking and rolling.

The first couple of days went great – I could tell a few times she wanted to scratch or nip at the stitches, I could literally see the internal conflict, but catching my eye always brought about the right reaction of leaving the incision alone.  Saturday morning I left her alone for the first time. Not unattended for the first time – she’d had plenty of solitude hanging outside in the yard. First time fully alone.

A few hours later when I returned….gack. Stitches were gone. And for the Queen of Squeamish, I thought I was going to pass out when I saw the hole in my dog’s side. (There wasn’t really a hole, exactly. But definitely an open wound.)  Gah. I was also terrified of what kind of hideous pools of blood must have been waiting for me inside the house.

I. FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.

Like, really, a lot.

The dog was all, “I know I did something bad but I could not be less concerned about the hole in my side can I go out and play and get away from your crazy?”

Further investigation throughout the house revealed….nothing. I don’t know how she did it, but my dog opened up her wound without getting any blood anywhere in my house. Either that, or she did some serious cleaning. Whichever, good dog.

When I called the vet, they didn’t seem nearly as wigged out – apparently this kind of thing happens. This had a calming effect on me. What did not have a calming effect was taking the dog back to get replacement staples. I had to exit the exam room and rock in the lobby covering my ears while they did it, and I still almost melted down when the sound of Ruby yelping made it past the less-than-effective earhandmuffs.  

We left the vet’s office and went straight to PetSmart so we could implement the Zero Freedom Act of 2013, aka the Cone of Shame. Fortunately, my friend Liz had mentioned an alternative to the satellite dish version and I quickly ponied up 3x the money for a more comfy looking style. It basically looks like a neck pillow you would wear on a transatlantic flight, and it was totally worth it.

See how happy she looks? yeah, reality had not set in yet.

See how happy she looks? Yeah, reality had not set in yet.

 

Definitely less amused now.

Definitely less amused now.

I have to say, the dog was a trooper, but I was a pretty big stress case for the better part of a week while we established our groove. Week two was better. Then the staples came out (another horrific experience that left me shaking after they made me hold her while they removed them – I mentioned I’m squeamish, right?), we kept the collar on for a few extra days, and then the first time she got the chance, she went for the wound, the little shit. Now almost a month later, we seem to be in the clear. The incision has almost completely healed and fur is growing back. 

Phew.

Which brings me to my original thought. How do you people with actual little humans do this shit? Kids must get hurt and/or require medical attention roughly 92 billion times more often than dogs. I don’t want to get so used to blood and grossness that it doesn’t make me freak out, because that means I would be seeing A LOT of blood and grossness and omg just no. But also the watching of the misery and suffering when your wee one is sick or hurt. Gah. I don’t think I could deal.

Please note, this is not to suggest this is the only reason it’s good that I’m not a parent. There are many, and I’m sure we’ll revisit the topic in the future. And there are also maybe four reasons I would have been a rockin’ mom. For now, though, I’m just going to breathe a sigh of relief that this episode is behind us and my fur baby is almost whole again. 🙂

ruby after

“My bald patch needs to grow back but at least I’m FREE!!!! Except holy crap, why does it look like I have no legs in this picture??”

Summer Lovin’

Here we are mere days into the season, and I am already in the throes of a passionate summer affair. We’re committing all the classic blunders: intense declarations of love, blowing off friends to be together every day, staying up way too late at night for just a few minutes more basking in the glow, dreaming about each other at night, talking incessantly about it to others. And in typical fashion, I’m pretty sure I’m more into it. Sigh…

We’ve flirted before, sure. People whose opinions matter to me have sung your praises. I’ve caught glimpses of you here and there. But it wasn’t until earlier this spring that the time was finally right and good friends brought you to my house. We spent an hour together, then another, and another. Could this intense attraction sustain? But you have it all: wit, charm, intelligent discourse, snappy banter; instantly, I was smitten.

The West Wing, where have you been all my life?

Yep, I’m spending my summer binge-watching a TV show that first came on the air at the end of the last millennium. And it’s soooooooo gooooooood.

It’s not surprising that it I love it. I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan. Sports Night, love. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, canceled just as it was about to find its stride. A Few Good Men is one of the most quotable movies of our time. The American President is one of my very favorite movies ever, and The West Wing is cut from the same cloth. In fact, I think I’ve been driving my dad crazy telling him about the many examples of dialogue in The West Wing that are straight out of the movie. I just learned that Sorkin left the show after season four or five, so apparently I need to relish the early seasons, and time will tell where my affections lie later on.

Here’s how much I dote on Aaron Sorkin and The West Wing. I can make a list of flaws, both with the series and with his work in general (um, hi, ALL the people talk exactly the same, pelting each other with rapid-fire word assaults) and I don’t even care. Blinded by love, I am.

(With one exception. Omigod, I fucking hate Donna. She’s so annoying, and her character is implausibly unprofessional and meddling and generally irksome. She never would have made it to that level of employment.)

I have laughed out loud in every episode. Some have left me in tears. It’s kind of soul crushing how relevant the stories still are. They’re wrestling with legislation about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, gun control, fuel emissions, marriage equality.

Oh, and I want to marry Sam Seaborn. (It’s the first time I’ve ever found Rob Lowe attractive.)

I borrowed season one from the Sunshines and on a Saturday afternoon I was watching a very intense episode, thinking it felt like a cliffhanger finale, but knowing I still had another disc to watch. On the edge of my seat, I popped the final disc in to see what happened next, and IT WAS NOTHING BUT SPECIAL FEATURES – I WAS TRICKED!

I was also in a pickle. Where to get season two? Where to get season two RIGHT THAT SECOND??? I am the one person who doesn’t have Netflix. I started looking for deals on Amazon. But that would take (two) days to arrive. Then I remembered the library! The library had it, and it was, according to their website, available. The only problem was time – I had about an hour and a half to shower, dress, primp and get to a wedding, and the library was closed the next day. Could I squeeze in a quick dash through the library to check out season two, discs 1 & 2?

Answer: Hell yes, I could. And when I got home from the wedding that night I started watching.

I may need a better solution than the library, though – a total of six days (3-day rental plus one renewal max) is not enough time to watch and enjoy sixteen episodes, even for a junkie. The fines are beyond reasonable, but it feels wrong to go into it knowing I have no intention of returning it on time….maybe.  Or maybe I just need to look at it as a donation to a community resource versus paying a subscription fee to a corporate entity. We’ll see.  😀

Butter Wrestling

Alternate title: This is why I have parties

Ok, you now have totally the wrong idea about what’s going to follow, and you are going to be thoroughly disappointed. But a while back I told you I would have a post called ‘’Butter Wrestling’’ and I felt like I owed it to you. Plus, it is part of the story. And if I called this post, ‘’I had a dinner party’’ there’s no way you would read it, nor would I blame you.

So hey, I had a dinner party!  😀

I like to entertain, just in general. Life is too short not to make your own fun, so when things get boring I throw a party or have a cookout.  (Someday when my lottery consortium wins big and I have all the money in the world, I’m going to throw the most ridiculous theme parties. You will wear costumes.) And a major benefit of hosting a little fete is it causes my house to become not just clean, but TIDY! I have clutter. I just always do. But I like to pretend to the world that I don’t, so it goes away when I’m having company. This is great for the appearance of my house. It’s bad, however, for my secret hiding spaces. And it’s even worse a few days post-party when I realize I can’t find An Important Thing that I really need. But the moment of the event, my house will look lovely and presentable.  So if things are ever getting too cluttery, I invite people over so I’ll have to address it.

Back in the olden days when I was married, my (ex)husband* and I created a holiday. He got a turkey from work for Thanksgiving, and we didn’t know what to do with it, because we were already juggling more Thanksgivings than we could stomach (my mom’s side, my dad’s side, his family). Who wanted to eat another turkey? So we stuck it in the freezer.

Eventually, though, we needed to do something with it. And it occurred to us that Thanksgiving dinner is a pretty awesome meal, and one that you should eat more often than once a year. And that Thanksgiving is generally a family holiday, so you never get to spend it with your friends. And lo, Fakesgiving was born, and it was good.

Fakesgiving noun A holiday occurring in March or April (far removed from actual Thanksgiving to allow for sufficient anticipation), involving the consumption of a traditional Thanksgiving meal (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc.), celebrated exclusively with one’s friends (and not one’s family).

Sorry, Mom. I know you’ve always been a little miffed by the ‘’no family’’ rule.  😉

So after the Great War, Fakesgiving went into hibernation for a while, at least at my end. (Our divorce decree didn’t specify who got custody of our made up holiday.) But this year I decided it was time to swallow my fear and bring it back.

Fear, you ask? Well…my ex always made the turkey. Remember my prior chicken victory? That was just for me. Making a turkey and being responsible for a table full of guests? Gulp. But people always say cooking a turkey is easy, so I decided it was time to step up and give it a whirl. I had to stick my hand inside the chicken, how much worse could it be to stick it inside a turkey?

Here’s the problem with that whole ‘’cooking a turkey is easy’’ thing, though. All my research was completely contradictory!

‘’You definitely should cook it in a bag.’’
‘’Just don’t cook it in a bag and you’ll be fine.’’

‘’You should put the stuffing IN the bird.’’
‘’For the love of god, whatever you do, do not put the stuffing in the bird!’’

Brine. No brine. Baste. Don’t baste.

AGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! My friends and the oh-so-helpful internet were making me FREAK THE FUCK OUT!! Everybody was so adamant that the other way was WRONG!

Here is how I finally decided what to do: the guy I bought the turkey from, who is also a casual friend (and runs an actual meat shop, because now it sounds like I just bought a turkey from some guy on a street corner) said that he uses a bag. Sold.

EEP!!!! Yep, I'm still afraid of raw poultry.

EEP!!!! Yep, I’m still afraid of raw poultry.

I bought a bag and settled on some websites that gave me simple seasoning instructions. I sprinkled salt & pepper inside the cavity. I cut a lemon in half, and an onion, and put them inside the bird along with some fresh rosemary and sage. I chopped up more of the rosemary & sage and smooshed them into some butter, which I stuffed under the skin, and then I liberally buttered the entire outside of the turkey, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.

Now, attentive readers, you are probably wondering why the hell this post is called butter wrestling. You came here for a reason, right?

Here is the biggest lesson I learned while cooking my first turkey: putting the turkey into the bag is really a two-person job. And yet, there I was, just one person. This was a twenty-pound turkey; it’s not as though I could just balance it in the palm of my hand and slide it into the bag. Oh, and I mentioned I had slathered the entire thing with butter, right? I had visions of the damn thing skittering out of my arms and crashing to the floor. But that turkey. Was going. In the bag.

I’m not sure if it was good for the turkey, but I definitely needed a shower when we were done.

The good news is, it turns out cooking a turkey IS really easy! Once you get the bastard into the bag, you stick it in the oven and leave it the eff alone. H let me borrow this fab meat thermometer where you stick the probe in and it connects to a display that sits outside the oven and you just wait till it hits the right temperature. Presto, dinner is served! Well, first you let the turkey rest, and then you beg someone to carve it for you, but seriously, piece of cake. 😀

I forgot to take a glamour shot - this is the best "I'm ready to be eaten!" pic.

I forgot to take a glamour shot – this is the best “I’m ready to be eaten!” pic.

And Fakesgiving was super fun, and my guests brought all sorts of yummy side dishes and desserts and Mourtney brought a pistachio baklava that gave me a foodgasm. And I don’t like pistachios OR baklava. We are totally doing this again next year; I need a bigger dining room table so I can invite more people.

I even made my own cranberry sauce, also super-easy. And so pretty!

I even made my own cranberry sauce, also super-easy. And so pretty!

Oh, and ps, the turkey was delicious!!!

*I never know how to refer to him in stories from the past. (You forgot what this was about, didn’t you? And now you have to scroll back up to find the asterisk?) I struggle with this all the time. He was my husband when the story happened. It doesn’t make sense to say that my ex-husband and I had a party. But referring to him as ‘’my husband’’ no longer seems right either. “My then husband” seems weird and awkward. It always seems to require explanation anytime I’m telling a story to someone outside the inner circle. Someone help me out here. Surely one of you has figured this out by now? How do you refer to a former spouse? Spouse tenses….I can see a whole blog post spinning out of this. Future wife. Former husband. Diagramming relationship tenses. I need a word to describe my ex-husband for when we were married. Hmm….Pandi coined the term ‘’wusband’’ but she uses it to describe her ex-husband now, in ex status….I want something specifically for ‘when he was my husband’ but I think her word is the right word….I wonder if I can steal it…