Tuesday, November 24, 2009

General Advice

If you aren't absolutely sure you should get another pet, don't "browse" available pet profiles at the local shelters. This will only end in fits of "WE HAVE TO SAVE HER!" This isn't fun for anyone. Especially your husband.

When playing Scrabble, don't pass seven turns, waiting for the chance to play your bingo. Learn from my mistake. This is not a good strategic move.

Water your plants.

Don't leave your slippers laying around. Especially if you have a weasel of a dog.

Drink V-8 juice. (2 full servings of vegetables per can!)

Bake your pumpkin pie the night before. (courtesy of my grandma)

Don't ask the store clerk which boxed red wine is best. (Really? Franzia? Really??)

Eat pancakes.

What else do you need to know?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Andrew has a flavor: Episode 3

Things got a little intense around here yesterday, so let's lighten the mood with a much overdue installment of a Cusp of Normal favorite, Andrew Has a Flavor.

Rae, the talented makeup/beauty enthusiast at The Notice recently posted a photo her friend took in Switzerland of a frightful bird at the zoo. (Rae, if you need me to take this photo down, I totally understand. Just say the word.)

Hmmm. Yeah. That bird is a total creep, am I right?

The following is a conversation that took place after I shared this creepy bird photo with the husband:

Andrew: that bird sucks. it looks reeeeeeeal mean

me: like it's waiting to mess you up

Andrew: so bad

me: like, "oh hi, can i tell you about a great opportunity to save money on your car insuran.....”*BAM*


Andrew: dead. yep. sounds about right… “Hi can I see your baby for a magic trick for just like a second or two. . . “



me: wow. yeah.


me: That's pretty believable

Andrew: and. . . scene

But do you know what is the most disturbing part of this conversation? He wasn’t really that far from the truth...

And in case you are wondering, this thing is called an African Shoebill Stork. NEVER entrust your baby to one of these things. Promise me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What they should know

I have these friends...

Friends that are now little more than strangers. But still, I call them friends.

See, growing up, we were inseparable. We practically lived at each others' houses. We had most of the same classes with the same teachers. We were the kind of friends who could laugh and cry together. The kinds of friends who supported each other in our happiest and saddest of times. We were sisters. Each others' strengths complimented each others' weaknesses. Where one was shy, another was outgoing. Where one was falling behind, another was pulling us forward. Not everyone is so lucky to have had friends like these.

And you might ask, with friendships like those--how did you ever lose touch? Aren't those the makings of friendship for life?

I think so. But some things got in between the friendship. And with college separating us physically while we were already divided, I guess we didn't stand a chance.

It has been seven and a half years since I called them my best friends. And to say a lot has happened in seven and a half years would be a grotesque understatement. Between the four of us we hold six degrees. We have one husband and two fiances--one deployed overseas. We have promising futures and jobs that drive us crazy (for different reasons). We have families with their own unique problems. And we have our history.

But do we still have anything in common? Do the ties that drew us together in high school still remain? I'm not sure. *NSync is no longer my favorite band and I don't cry over boys. I have no curfew and don't fight with my parents. My happiness doesn't entirely depend upon whether or not my crush makes small talk with me in biology class. I no longer order the caramel macchiato at Starbucks. And if I stay in on the weekend, it doesn't utterly depress me. I actually kind of enjoy it.

I'm not the person who I was in high school. But you know what? Neither are they. Could it be possible that we've all grown up--together--yet apart?

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of reuniting with these ladies after seven and a half years of nearly complete silence. They've all kept in touch, but not with me. And that is a burden that we all share. But that is history, and today is the present. And before I keep talking like a Hallmark card or some weird inspirational office poster, let me cut to the chase.

I looked forward to our dinner for weeks, with butterflies in my stomach--wondering how it would all unfold. Would we pick up where we left off? Or would we find that we no longer have anything in common--eager for the check to come and return to our current lives?

Instead of awkward silence, laughter filled the air. Instead of uncomfortably counting down the minutes until we could make our respective escapes, we lingered at the table until we received death glares from the waitstaff, long after our plates were cleared. It was everything my 17-year-old self would have wanted it to be. And the nearly 26-year-old current self? She had fun too.

There's no way we could have made up for seven and a half years of lost time in one evening. So I wonder, what do I want these ladies to know about me? The grown up me? Well, in a perfect world, I guess I would want them to know everything there is to know... just like they did in high school. That's probably not possible. So in the meantime, here's a good start:
  • Unlike the high school version of myself, I can't stomach top 40 music. (You kids call that "music"?!) Music is a huge part of my life and I love recommending artists to friends. I've seen more than 60 bands/artists live, and yes, that does include *Nsync. (3 times. Thankyouverymuch.)

  • I don't go out on school nights. In order to be a functioning adult, I like to be in bed by 11 p.m. And as I did in concert chorale in high school, I still like to belt it out. On the weekends, I can sometimes be found at a local watering hole, singing karaoke along side some of the city's finest hipsters. (I do not consider myself to be a hipster, though I do have a quite fancy fanny pack.) And you know what I said about hating top 40 music, earlier? Yeah, that definitely DOES NOT apply at karaoke. Bring on the Britney Spears, baby!

  • I still do not have one athletic bone in my body... and have given up trying. Though, I am in a bowling league. And I'm not THE worst player in the league. But pretty damn close. Pretty damn close.

  • I like to put my inner most thoughts on this thing called a blog. (Ohai!) Some people think that's weird. But at least it's moderately more entertaining than what I used to write in my diary. And through blogging I have met (yes, some in the flesh) some of the most wonderful, thoughtful, entertaining, and quirky people across the globe. It is what I declare to be my one and only hobby. And I can't imagine a better use of my free time...

  • Except maybe for getting back into volunteering. I was with Children's Hospital for more than a year, and it was something I loved. But when I started feeling like the volunteers outnumbered the children (a good problem!) I hung up my red smock. I am holding out for my next opportunity to make a difference. I would love to have our greyhound Lucas certified to become a therapy dog and visit senior care homes together. Everyone loves Lucas. I would be honored to share him with anyone and everyone in need of a little cuddle.

  • Oh, yeah. And I married someone who makes me laugh more than I ever thought possible. On our first date, he made hot chocolate shoot out of my nose. No one else has ever been able to do that. So yeah, he's a keeper.
You ladies have kept your places in my heart for seven and a half years. It's been a source of sadness for seven and a half years, no longer being part of your lives. I'm not sure if what we started on Saturday is the beginning of a new friendship, a continuation of the old, or maybe just closure. But I'll tell you one thing, I'm not going to let another seven and a half years of silence go by again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanks, I've had enough Thursday... can we please move on?

You know those tiny little things that happen to you now and then that make you momentarily frowny? Like when you have to pee all morning, finally have a chance to run to the office bathroom when the second you sit on the toilet the janitor begins violently knocking on the door? WHY ARE YOU INTERRUPTING ME? CAN A PERSON PLEASE PEE IN PEACE?!

Or when you are beyond ready for lunch and go to the office kitchen only to find that the microwave hog is microwaving his frozen dinner on the setting that takes 15 minutes? How is the universe so precise that no matter what time I want to eat my lunch, this guy is monkeying around with the microwave? Hungry at noon? Hello, microwave hog. 12:30 sound good? MICROWAVE HOG. Holding out for 1:00? It doesn't matter. He knows. And he's in ur microwaves delayin' ur noms.

Or when you are driving down an otherwise vacant street, when a pedestrian decides to step on to the road RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR CAR without even so much as thinking about looking before crossing the street. You ever kill a guy on your way to work? It's not a good way to start the morning. (Just kidding, he's fine. For now. Survival of the fittest says he is living on borrowed time.)

That is just a taste of my Thursday. And I wish to spit it out. And get the bad taste out of my mouth with some chocolate. And gold. And ponies. (Kidding. I hate ponies.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Happy Birthday, Maddie. You would have been two-years-old today.

The world misses your sunny smile.

I also want to acknowledge Veterans Day. Thank you to the soldiers who have fought and continued to fight for the country. Though I do not always support the war, I continue to support the troops.

The good, the bad, and the beautiful

Andrew and I adore our greyhound Lucas to a sickening degree. He is definitely beyond spoiled. But sometimes we harbor some seriously mixed feelings towards our boy.

Don't get me wrong. He can be a total sweetheart--patient and kind. He's not at all a kissy dog, but he is more than willing to accept any love you throw his way.

Luke accepting my drunken hugs as I return home from my bachelorette party.

Just this weekend, we were at the vet when we met Charlie, a small three-legged dog with a big personality. I walked Luke over to Charlie to say hi, and that's when Charlie was shot by Cupid's arrow. Charlie was smitten. Even though he was missing a leg, he jumped all over Luke, slathering him in big wet doggy kisses. What did Luke do? He stood there like a perfect gentleman--accepting this brilliant display of affection--though I don't think he returned Charlie's strong feelings. I thought it was adorable that Luke let this tiny eccentric thing jump all over him--never batting an eye.

His patience is abundant. He is accepting of all mild forms of torture inflicted upon him...

A not amused Luke wearing my bachelorette sash and bow.

But he's not always so angelic. No, sir. See, Luke is battling an addiction of sorts. A filthy addiction. Phew... this is hard to say. I'll just blurt it out and get it over with. Luke eats trash. If it's in his presence, he's eating it. It doesn't matter what it is. Old towels, coffee grounds, styrofoam, animal fat (yum!), empty bottles of drain cleaner (yikes!)--his palate is quite undiscerning.

There's no photo of this--but believe me, we have had plenty of opportunities to capture the scene of the trash can on its side, days' worth of garbage trailed through the house. We just aren't in a very photogenic mood when we return home from work to find this disgusting surprise awaiting us. Usually, instead of running for the camera, we simply curse for a few minutes. We eventually realize that swearing does not make the mess magically go away. So we move on to the final phase--acceptance--and call on the arsenal of cleaning machines at our disposal--the mighty Dyson, the Bissel Spot-Bot, and the Bissel Steam Mop. Because there's really nothing I'd rather do after a full day of work than come home and give my house a deep clean. LIES! I JUST WANT TO RELAX, DAMMIT! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME, LUKE? WHYYYYYYYY?!

I'd like to mention that we even bought a supposedly pet-proof trash can with a lock to prevent curious snouts from exploring discarded food stuffs. Either that lock is a piece of junk, or Luke is Doggy MacGuyver. (Fun Fact: Richard Dean Anderson, MacGuyver himself, went to my alma mater, Ohio University.) I have a hard time opening that blasted trash can lock, so let's just go with the Doggy MacGuyver theory, shall we?

But as annoying as cleaning up the trash is, it's very hard to stay mad at him. I mean, just look at this face...

I tried to fix his flash-induced demon blue eyes, but they still look rather creepy, no? Oh, well. He's still a very pretty princess.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Honeymoon Riviera Maya Style

Instead of captioning each photo, let me provide a quick summary of what you are about to see. Andrew and I spent our honeymoon in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Our week was spent relaxing in the pool and on the beautiful beach, visiting Mayan ruins, and snorkeling in the reef (not pictured).

While on our adventure, we became acquainted with several creatures that made a home for themselves on the resort. One was a peacock, and I'm sure you know how much this pleased me. And the others were long-snouted long-tailed furballs called coatis. Much of our trip was spent seeking out these critters and trying to touch them, to their dismay. I did finally get to scratch a few of their ears. That was pretty much the best day ever. Oh, and don't you think the coatis seriously resemble Luke? Snouts galore!

P.S. Don't mind the giant Star Wars Storm Trooper. That was from the resort's nightclub, Galaxy. We never stayed up late enough to make it to the club (that sun really tuckers you out!) but we snuck in once before it opened for a photo session.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Now what? The afterlife of a wedding gown...

Ladies and Gents, I need your advice. My wedding gown has been hanging in our bedroom since the wedding night, and it's getting kind of sad. It has fulfilled its purpose and now I'm not quite sure what to do with the little guy. There are some purple spots on it from the flowers in my bouquet, so no matter what it will need to be cleaned. But then what?

Do I have it preserved in the off chance that I one day have a tiny daughter with the same taste as her momma? Or do I donate it to a good cause? Or try to sell it in a consignment shop or Craigslist?

My dress by Essense of Australia

I love my dress but I know I will never wear it again. What is the best way for this sentimental packrat to give my gown an afterlife? To my married ladies out there, what did you do with your wedding dress after your wedding?