Friday, July 31, 2009


Today I am:

Enjoying replying to everyone's comments on yesterday's delurking post.

Resentful of centipedes and the men who refuse to kill them. *ahem*

Thankful for payday but still not sure how I'm going to pay off this impressive credit card balance.

Giddy to make my third Craigslist purchase tomorrow. (Photos for all three to come!)

On a similar note, I'm trying to come up with some items of my own to sell on CL.

Looking forward to finishing putting together our office in the spare room this weekend. (Again, photos to come.)

Hoping it stops raining in time for the farmers' market.

Pleased with my progress on my 101 in 1001 days list.

(Not sure to whom I should attribute the above image--but isn't it gorgeous?)
EDIT: Using nothing but my ninja skills and Internet cunning, I tracked down the origination of this graphic. It is available for free at How awesome is that?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Come out little fella... I won't hurt you: Delurk!

Lately I have felt like the momentum of this blog has really taken a nose dive. So I was surprised to see that there are 500 of you reading this blog each week. Who are all of you people? Is it you, God?

There are a handful of new commenters around these here parts, and I'd like officially welcome you. Hi. Come on in. Watch out for that part of the rug... that's Luke's "pee spot." Yeah, you're going to want to leave your shoes on. Can I get you something to drink? Did you have anything to eat? I could whip you up a grilled cheese. Just say the word. It will only take five minutes. So don't worry about it. It's no trouble at all. Oh, I love your hair! Are you sure you don't want something to drink? I'm going to have something to drink. Do you like red or white wine? Oh, no... it's not to early to start drinking. It's almost 10 a.m.!

If you are just tuning in, there are a few things you should know in order to truly appreciate Cusp of Normal:

I am an apple-bobbing champion.

My fiance has many alter-egos. One of which resembles Popeye.

Sometimes I look like a creature.

My guilty pleasures include eating greasy fish soaked in malt vinegar at Long John Silver's, cutting coupons and forgetting to use them at the checkout, torturing Andrew with my mix CDs from my music pirating years at college (if you can't appreciate Dashboard Confessional's "Vindicated" from the Spiderman Soundtrack, just leave... NOW!), delighting in the piles of dust, dirt, and doghair I sweep up from the floor each week--carrying my full dustpan around like it is a trophy, and eating my weight in salt.

Tell me a little about you. ESPECIALLY you little creeps who read my blog and refuse to join in the fun via commenting. Who are you?! Were you allowed to watch 90210 in the early 90s? I wasn't. I wasn't even allowed to have the 90210 bedding from Kmart. My mom was very strict about that. Even though I told her it wasn't like Brenda and Dylan were going to pop out of the comforter and do scenes from the show in my bedroom. (But that would have been pretty cool, right?) Though one time I did bring home from a bookfair one of those doorknob hanger things that say something like "STAY OUT!" or "The princess is in" but this one in particular just had a picture of Dylan and Luke looking all fly and stuff. (*EDIT: I just realized Dylan = Luke. I meant to say Brandon and Dylan. Now you can see I was not bluffing about not being allowed to watch them. Though I do admit to watching it a few times at my friend's house. Man did I feel uncool back then. So out of the loop. What the heck is a Peach Pit?) My mom was not happy about that. Yet this is the same woman who raised me to watch The Young and the Restless and Ricki Lake. I don't get you, mom. But I love you. You nut.

Sorry, where were we? Oh, yes. You. Tell me about you. Delurk, if you will. I promise I won't bite. Okay, that's not entirely true. I can never promise that.


Monday, July 27, 2009

A sign of the times

We all have heard--and most of us are probably aware first hand--that the economy is kind of in the toilet.

What you might not have known is that people are STRIKING IT RICH on Craigslist. You can too. And the best part is that you probably already have laying around what you need to get started in making your fortune on CL:

2 partial rolls of garbage bags
20 post-it pads (Steal 'em from work. No one will know. KIDDING! Never do that.)
7 pens
a doily
another doily
yet another doily
one more doily
okay just kidding... this is the last doily
an assortment of vacuum cleaner bags
a box of rocks

And viola! You are the proud owner of $62. That's enough for a lavish meal of sushi, several pieces of costume jewelry, or five pizzas. Now don't you feel smart?

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Floofy Boy

Luke has a million nicknames already. Among my favorite are Floofy, Floofus, Schmoofy, Schmoof, Weasel, and ... well... I could go on forever, to be honest. I'm sure it's terribly confusing for him because it is rare that we actually call him Luke or Lucas.

I haven't really told you much about him since the great escape of 2009--so let me give you an update. He enjoys squeaking his lobster, octopus, and merdog. He has absolutely no clue what to do with a ball--and will just watch it roll past his feet if it is tossed in his direction. He is constantly under my feet--which I find endearing and not at all annoying. I swear. And boy does that pup love him some peanut butter, cuddles, and, who can forget... naps. (He gets that from me.)

Despite the fact that his entire family tree is on record dating back to the 1800s, I suspect Luke shares his ancestry with cats (he grooms himself and rubs himself against our legs... or thighs... he's tall). His long nose also hints at anteater lineage. And also, I'm pretty sure his mom was a deer.

For the most part he is one of the best behaved dogs I have ever seen. He does has his moments of mischief, though. Like when he scavenges for washcloths from the hamper (turns out that mutilated washcloths make pretty nifty hats, see below), goes through my closet and emerges with the single most expensive dry clean only item within said closet, and is a little too interested in our meals. (So far we have no dinner casualties. But there has been lots of sniffing. Lots. Of. Sniffing.)

Luke is such a mommy and daddy's boy. His tail wags so hard when we come home that I think one day he's going to buzz away like a helicopter. Of course, Andrew and I are as equally happy to see him after a long day's work. We spend our evenings lavishing him with kisses, chin rubs, and praise. (WHO IS THE NICEST DOGGIE IN THE WHOLE WORLD? YOU ARE! YOUUUUUU ARREEEEEE! AREN'T YOU!? YES YOU ARE!)

Also, I need to tell you something very important. Greyhounds do this thing when they are very happy. This very weird looking thing. It's called "cockroaching." I could try to explain it... but I think it would be much more effective if I could just show you. Ready?

Yep. That's about as good as it gets in the life of a greyhound. Now someone rub my belly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Repeating myself

I have been wanting to highlight some of my favorite posts from Cusp of Normal for anyone who wasn't around to enjoy them the first time. Also, I'm at a loss for some good blogging material as of late. Maybe this will tide you over.

What do you mean I have critters in my head, mom?

We sat on the big round shaggy brown rug, singing about grey squirrels waving their bushy tails, farmers in the dell, and a particularly frightening song about an old woman who swallowed a fly. I sat between the smelly kid and the only kindergartener who thought himself to be Romeo. Times were tough in Miss Wilkie's A.M. Kindergarten.

My cascading brown hair barely swept the rug as I later sat in the same place for story time and show and tell.

The school nurse appeared in the doorway and asked to speak with Miss Wilkie in the hallway. Soon after, the entire classroom was sent to the nurse's office. We stood in line excitedly waiting to have the nurse go through our hair with chop-sticks. "How weird!" we all giggled.

One by one my tiny peers were led back up to the classroom.

"Amanda, your mom is coming to pick you up," the nurse explained softly.

I burst into tears. Why wasn't I allowed to join my friends upstairs? Why wasn't I allowed to make puppets out of lunch bags?

My mom arrived at the school a few minutes later. I ran to her crying, "I don't want to go home, mommy!" I begged her to let me stay and return to my "studies".

The rest of the day was spent quarantined in my pink bedroom while my mom washed all the stuffed animals, pieces of clothing, and bedding that I owned. Crying bloody-murder when she threw away all of my barretts and hair bows, I asked why she was doing this to me.

"Honey, you have some critters in your head."

"Critters?" I asked between sobs.

"Yes. Just some critters."

Later, my whole family was shampooed with a special critter-killing formula.

In time I got some new barrettes and went back to school--blaming the critters on the smelly kid.

Now, had I known the critter she spoke of looked more like this...

Rather than, oh say... this...

I might have had bigger concerns than my big floppy pink hair accessory being tossed in the garbage.

I'm not sure these toys are such a good idea... and why is Herpes smiling? What message are we sending here?

(Found these funny plushes on Rae's blog. Check it out.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Plan: Wedding Flopper

For those of you who haven't caught on, in Mermanda's world:

flopper = mermaid tail

Now that you have that vital piece of information, I can continue.

I purchased my wedding dress in December... but I think I made a whale of a mistake. That frock is going to be slapped up on Craigslist immediately. (Maybe I can trade it for a hammock. I've always wanted a hammock.) Because I won't be walking down the aisle. No. I'll be FLOPPING down the aisle.

Check it out.

Actual text from the Mermagica web site: Be a mermaid and impress your friends and family with your very own transformation!

Oh, you can bet I will!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The joys of cohabitation

The other night, Luke was whining in the dark--probably voicing his unhappiness with our decision to not let him sleep in our bed anymore. (That boy is big!) His incessant whining provoked a groan of annoyance from me--apparently startling Andrew's slumber.

Andrew: Hahaha! That's so weird over there!

Me: What? What where?!

Andrew: (Pointing towards my closet in the dark room--lit only by moonlight) Over there!

Me: (Not understanding what he's talking about) What is so weird?!

Andrew: Just look at it! It's a BIRD and a PIG! IT'S WEIRD!

And that's about the exact moment I realized that he was talking in his sleep.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Early onset, anyone?

A few weeks ago, I realized I don't know if I'm 25 or 26-years-old. I'm not sure how one loses track of her own age, but I finally took some time this afternoon to get to the bottom of this mystery.

And I am not above telling you that I had to use an online age calculator to determine that I am 25. I don't trust my own math skills when it comes to important things such as figuring out if I'm going to be 27 in a few months... or in a lot of months.

A lot of months it is!

Feeling young and spry. Woot.

Rainbow Bridge

The past two weeks with Luke has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us. From the bliss of our cuddle time to the surge of panic Andrew and I felt when we came home to find him missing... there has not been a boring moment.

Finally having a dog to call my own feels as satisfying and rewarding as I thought it would be. I love my "little" boy.

There is one side effect to having a dog that I was not anticipating, however. I find myself morphing into a giant sap who cries easily when I read a heart-warming pet reunion story... or stumble upon two poems about a greyhound who wanted a family for Christmas. (I'm not kidding.)

Yesterday, while researching something or other about greyhounds online, I stumbled across this on a memorial page for the greys no longer with us:

Just this side of Heaven, is a place called Rainbow Bridge...
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to The Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. YOU have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.


Okay, so I will admit that after reading that I threw myself on Luke, who was laying comfortably in his bed at my feet, and asked him to please wait for me at the rainbow bridge. I really did. Is that okay?

Anyhow, already clearly emotional, I pulled myself together when my friend from the greyhound adoption group returned my call from earlier that afternoon. She told me some things that brought those tears back to my eyes.

Doc, the greyhound we first considered for adoption, has been having more seizures--poor pup. He won't be able to be adopted until they can stabilize him with meds.

Ensoul, the greyhound we were supposed to meet following our play date with Isaiah (now known as LUKE!) ended up almost killing her foster family's pet dog. The poor pup survived, but only after $1,600 worth of vet bills. I'd say we did pretty well adopting our Lukey.

It was after discussing the turn of unfortunate events for these other hounds that the woman from the adoption group told me something very hard to swallow. Luke was next on the list at the race track to be euthanized. The adoption group rescued him just in time. I can't imagine taking the life of the bundle of love that is this dog. For the second time that night, I threw myself on Luke--telling him how happy I am to be his "mommy" and ...maybe... shedding a few tears into his soft fur.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Knot: Friend or Foe?

You probably know is a web site with tools for brides-to-be to get a handle on the wedding planning process. What you might not know is that The Knot masquerades itself as a helpful friend--when it is really pure evil. Do you really have to remind me that there are only 93 days until the wedding and 100 things still to do on my checklist? This just seems plain mean, you bully.

I really have no desire to "experiment with my beauty routine, self-tanners, and facials." Nor do I need you to remind me to "take a moment to thank your parents and tell them you love them"--thanks.

Fellow brides-to-be tell me, "you don't need to worry about everything on the checklist. Everyone is different. You don't have to do it all."

Oh yeah? Well if I'm not the one who is going to finalize the menu with the caterer, confirm reservations for out-of-town guests, write the ceremony program, write thank you notes, attend bridal gown fittings, wrap the bridesmaids' gifts, and confirm deliveries with vendors--who exactly is going to make sure all that crap gets done? Are you volunteering? How bout you, over there, The Knot? Huh? I don't hear you offering to have my dress preserved after the wedding. You bitch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Just accidentally visited a porn site on my coworker's computer.

Does anyone else feel extremely shady when clearing the history on a computer at work?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Q. How stupid is Andrew?

A. He took Nyquil and THEN decided to turn on the oven to fix himself some dinner. He saw nothing wrong with this.


Friday, July 3, 2009

A new low

Earlier this week, I got a blood blister. From a fanny pack.

That is all.

(And no, it wasn't even a stylish fanny pack. It was just a boring gray one that I borrowed from Andrew to keep Luke's treats in on our adventures.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Deadly safety precaution

To build upon yesterday's stick-on earring nostalgia, today I will tell you one of my favorite stories from my childhood.

At the height of the slap bracelet craze, my parents took mine away from me after reading reports about their possible dangers. Kids were cutting themselves when the metal insert slipped out of the cloth exterior. I was not pleased. My hot-pink slap bracelet bespeckled with smiley faces was at that point my favorite accessory. It was then that I learned an important lesson: parents are lame.

One evening my parents dropped me and my sister off at my grandparents' house so they could enjoy an evening out on the town. When they returned to pick us up that night, they came bearing a surprise for me.

"Honey, look what we got you! It's a slap bracelet. But it's safe because it's covered in this thick stitching!"

Thinking back on it, it was ugly. It resembled a hideous sweater. But! It was a slap bracelet. And with it around my wrist, I was back to being "a cool kid." It was a giant win for my parents.

That is... until my dad "demonstrated" the slap bracelet's precautionary design.

Attaching it around his wrist with a satisfying "slap," my dad let out a yelp.

"Oh! Oh my God! I'm bleeding!"

My dad, always a kidder.

We laughed.

He ran from my grandma's living room to the kitchen--so as to not get blood all over the furniture. (Grandma's wrath is a MUCH bigger problem than a slit wrist... trust me.)

Wow, dad is really putting on a show! Okay, dad. Ha-ha. Good one. Now can we please go home so I can watch Nick at Night?
(No cable at the grandparents' house.)

That's when we all realized he was gushing blood into the kitchen sink. The "safe" slap bracelet had ripped him apart. Off to the emergency room he went for stitches.

In the waiting room, a man asked my dad what had happened to him. When he explained the situation, the man was appalled.

"For God's sakes, man! At least lie and say it was a power tool injury--or something else manly!"

As you can guess, I never was allowed to wear another slap bracelet. Which is kind of unfortunate... because even Jesus loves slap bracelets.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another reason the 80s were hotttt

While Ben and I were discussing this BBC article that chronicles a thirteen year-old-boy's experience of trading his ipod for an old school walkman--we both grew nostalgic for our own walkmans... er... walkmen?

I recalled putting sticker earrings on my black Sony walkman to make it "sparkly." And then it hit me. Sticker Earrings! What the heck!? How awesome were those?!

I had my ears pierced in kindergarten... but I still retained my deep appreciation for those funky, colorful, geometric sticker earrings.

Let's hear it for sticker earrings! WOOOOOOT!

(This is probably the best post I have ever written.)