Morning Commute

I left for work early yesterday because sometimes the traffic is unpredictable. Yesterday was one of those times.

I got to the main road, and traffic was backed up bumper-to-bumper as far as the eye could see. I knew something was up. Sure enough, I saw a sign.

*Sigh* But it's okay. I needed to be in that lane, anyway.

*Sigh* But it’s okay. I needed to be in that lane, anyway.

So I, along with many other cars, patiently merged into the left lane. Because we’re obedient like that. A tenth of a mile later, we saw another sign.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Fine. Whatever. We all merged back into the right lane. Because that’s what you do when the sign tells you to. I drove another 1/10 of a mile and saw this:

For those who can't read my line-drawings, let me interpret. "Dear Bozo who has now changed lanes twice, time to get back where you started from. Love, Public Works."

For those who can’t read my line-drawings, let me interpret. “Dear Bozo who has now changed lanes twice, time to get back where you started from. Love, Public Works.”

Yep. Right lane closed. So I changed lanes. For the third time in 3/10 of a mile. Now, I don’t blame Public Works. At 7am on a frosty polar vortex January morning, I’m not sure I would know my left from my right. But I do know one thing. Next time, I’ll be looking for this sign before I pull a lane change:

I saw the sign

How To Meet A Fellow Blogger In Real Life

A few weeks ago, I got the most exciting email from Emily at The Waiting. Maybe you know her. She’s been Freshly Pressed a time or three. Anyway, she said she was coming to my town and wondered if we could meet. Um, yeah! So exciting. I’ve never met up with a fellow blogger in person before. So many feelings! Would she like me? Would we find lots to talk about? Would she murder me with chopsticks and stuff me in the trunk of her car? Like being in high school all over again.

Anyway, the lead up was pretty eventful for me.

2 weeks out: Awaken in the middle of the night with the sudden notion that I am actually scheduled to work the night she is in town. It was just a dream, little champ. You work the week before. Go back to sleep.

Ten days out: Where to eat? In this mid-sized town, there are surprisingly few good, local eateries that are easy for a non-native to find. Do we go for small-chain Indian food, or the hipster sandwich joint?

One week out:  Awaken in the middle of the night and ponder what to wear. Something classy, of course. So, Cookie Monster T-shirt or Slytherin Quidditch? This is a question to be settled closer to the event, after consulting a star chart, the Psychic Friends network, and the dirty clothes hamper.

Two days out: Awaken in the middle of the night and remember that one reason I blog is because I am socially awkward and not so good with humans.

The Big Day: 

10am – I have a few hours. With artfully applied sunscreen and a bit of luck, I can even up this farmer’s tan.

11am – I’ve never posted a picture with my regular face before.How will Emily recognize me if I’m not doing this:

Or if I’m dressed as anyone other than Professor Trelawney?

trelawney

 

The answer? MoonPies.

4:30 PM : The tire is flat. This is not good. It’s just flat on the bottom, though, the rest of it is still nice and round. Maybe it’s not the worst.

5:00 PM - Tire is going to take two hours to fix. There is no wi-fi here, and therefore no way to contact Emily to tell her I may be late.

5:05 PM - Minor melt-down in the Wal-mart automotive department. People snap a couple of pictures for the People of Wal-Mart website but otherwise just step over me and go on about their business.

6:00 PM – Car is rolled out of the bay. And around the store. And up the block. And I think possibly to the next town over.

6:15 PM - Keys are dumped on the counter and I pay for my two new tires. Because husband likes to buy them in twos. They’re best in twos. I try to use the same logic whenever I buy snakes, but he doesn’t fall for it.

6:45 PM – I’m on my way! I’m on my way! I’m on my way! The restaurant serves hipster with a side of pretension, which is great because I’m starving.

6:46 PM – Crap. I forgot to brush my teeth. Oh, well. I eat a pile of mints. I also forgot to brush my hair. I hope keys work okay in a pinch.

7:00 PM – Butterflies are apparently carniverous and are consuming me from the inside out. Will I be interesting enough? Will I find something to talk about besides the mating habits of Dwarf Malagasy tortoise species? Will I be in the right place? Will she recognize me? Is there toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe? Is my skirt tucked into my waistband? I’m not wearing a skirt. Why am I not wearing a skirt? I look like I’ve been sitting in a Wal-mart automotive department.

7:15 PM - There she is! I would recognize her anywhere! And she’s smiling. And not in the laughing-at-me-on-the-inside kind of way!

And it was great. We met, we talked, we ate, we talked. The food was good, the company even better. I’m happy to say that Emily is just as wonderful, open, gracious and witty as she is on her blog. It’s always wonderful when art imitates life. If you ever get a chance to meet her, I recommend it.

And if you’re in my neck of the woods, look me up. I’m relatively harmless, and I’ll bring Moonpies!

It was the best!

It was the best!

It’s A Phase, Right?

I am exhausted. Right now, every tiny thing turns into a senseless argument, even stuff that’s been part of the regular routine for the entire year. It’s a constant struggle to get things done. I don’t understand. My conversations go like this:

“Time to get up!”

“I don’t wanna!”

“Get up. Now”.

*screaming tantrum commences*

Or this:

“Here’s your lunch!”

“I’m not eating that.”

“You like carrots and broccoli. You love salad.”

“No. I want McDonald’s.”

“Forget it.”

*screaming tantrum commences*

Or even this:

“Time for walkies!”

“NO! I don’t wanna go!”

“C’mon! You love to go for walks!”

“No! I won’t!”

“Get up now!”

“NO! You can’t make me! I’m gonna sit here aaaallllll day long!”

“We’re going. Get up.”

*screaming tantrum commences*

I know logically that this phase will pass. One day, I will grow up and do the things that I know are good for me. One day.  But for now, don’t you tell me what to do Because I don’t wanna! You can’t make me!

I think I may need a time out, or a nap. They tell you about the Terrible Twos, but no one thinks to warn us about the Terrible Forties.

This Message Brought To You By Low Self Esteem

I was hoping that today would be the day I’d make a big, exciting announcement. Excited? Don’t be. I’m not quite there yet. Soon. Instead, I bring you this:

Do you have low self-esteem? Is your confidence at low ebb? Do you have trouble believing that you have the power to make your dreams come true? That used to be me. I was the 98 lb weakling getting sand kicked in my face. Okay, not entirely true. The last time I weight 98 pounds, I was in the fourth grade. Just go with it.

I have the cure. Don’t spend thousands on self-help books and seminars. Don’t waste your time with years of costly therapy. Here’s exactly what you need, and for under three bucks.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you (insert drum roll here):

Sold!

Don’t see it?

Because if you don't, who will?

Because if you don’t, who will?

I found this magic talisman at Target, and my whole life turned around.I now believe, friends. I believe in my smellf. I believe I can fly. *** I can do anything. Because my husband’s deodorant says I can. And you can, too.

Now get out there and change the world, or at least change your socks. There’s more than one way to help your smellf.

I believe. I believe. I believe that I’ll not tell my husband that his deodorant is laying in the yard where I knocked it off the deck. He’ll figure that out for himself soon enough.

*** This statement is merely figurative. Laws of physics still apply.

Post-Apocalyptic Confessions

It’s Saturday. Turns out the Mayans were wrong. The world did not end yesterday. Stupid Mayans. Now I have to wrap all these Christmas gifts.

At least I think the Mayans were wrong. I had a disturbing experience this morning. I went to a shopping mall, and we found the place nearly deserted. Only one small section of the parking lot actually had any cars in it. We wondered if perhaps the Rapture had occurred and we were left behind. I’m still not totally sure. My Twitter feed is kind of quiet. Anybody left out there?

I really meant to post my confessions for the End of Times before the world was scheduled to end, but what with one thing and another, I never actually got around to it. So here goes:

1) I have lost the ability to wrap gifts. Blame it on age, cheap wrapping paper, whatever. They appear to have been wrapped by a drunken elf. Here’s the actual confession part. With the worst ones, I’m telling people that Squish helped.

2) I went to Trader Joe’s and bought sea salt caramels. And I have subsequently hidden them.

3) In the fall, bears need to consume about 20,000 calories a day to prepare for winter. After yesterday, you can go ahead and call me Winnie the Pooh.

4) I ate a McRibAnd I liked it. I don’t actually need the Mayans. I’m pretty sure the trans-fat and preservatives will bring about my demise on their own.

5) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer confused me. Until I was an adult, I thought the misfit elf yanked the Abominable Snowman’s teeth through his behind. As a result, I have refused to visit an elf dentist all my life.

6) I saw Breaking Dawn 2 at the 10pm showing on opening night. Here’s part of the reason. I owe my sister big. Explained here.

7) I liked Breaking Dawn 2  the movie better than Peter Jackson’s The HobbitLike, way better. That’s not as much confession as saddest thing ever. One of these movies realized the potential of a book whose ideas were creative but whose execution was poor. The other  took a well-written book and squandered its potential.

8) I could live a happy, full life wearing pants with elastic waistbands. See number 3.

9) Christmas is about carbs and corn syrup. Not solely, of course. But all those unhealthy Good Housekeeping recipes from the 1950’s will find their way to my table on Tuesday. Which brings us back to number 3. 

I should aim for 10 things, I know. But I’m afraid that I’ve already shocked my readership beyond recovery as it is.

Anybody want to share their post-apocalyptic confessions?

Maybe this is what Christmas is about?

Maybe this is what Christmas is about?

 

My daily joy: My kids worked together to clean my house last night while I was out finishing my shopping. I am blessed.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Pest Control

We found ants in our kitchen. We’ve tried everything to get rid of them. Finally, I set up a Facebook account for the queen ant. If social networking is going to lead to the end of our society, maybe it will take care of theirs, too. I may have gone too far. But there are no longer ants in our kitchen. I think they’re all updating their timelines.

Obviously, she is a party ant.

Mea Culpa

It’s my fault, and I’ll just go ahead and throw that out there right now. All you good folks who are wondering wondering what happened to that fine spring weather, it was me. I happened, and I am sorry.

As you may be aware, I’m warm-natured. The last three weeks, I’ve been engaged in mortal combat with my dear husband for control of the ceiling fan remote. It has been almost too hot to sleep, and in my desperation, I did something I knew I shouldn’t. I removed the electric mattress cover and all of the quilts from my bed. And stored them.  I know. Again, I am so sorry.

As I could have predicted, within two days of the Great Removal, the weather took a turn for the weird. Daily storms and incremental drops in temperature. Yesterday, it was so cold that even I had to eschew shorts and wear jeans, and I spent the entire night shivering under inadequate coverage, too cold to sleep, and too lazy to get up and get more blankets. It was a tough place to be.

If I ever question impact in this world whatsoever, I need only remember this week. Be glad I am lazy and stopped where I did. If I had gone the extra mile and swapped out the winter clothes, we’d be in the middle of an ice age right now.

Can You Ever Really Know Me?

Friends, I have been issued a challenge this weekend by The Hobbler. Ever play the game “Two Truths And A Lie?” We’re taking it to the next level. Which of the following are true, and which are only wishes?

1) The dance troupe I toured with did a performance in Japan. For the wife of the chairman of the board of Toyota motors.

2) I was once bitten by a baby  caiman. When I was using it in an education program.  Its teeth only broke the skin, but I gained a new respect for crocodilians.

3) I once swallowed a live goldfish on a bet. And I promptly threw it up. The victim, however, did not survive. I still feel really guilty, and it hurts my heart to even think about it.

4) I nearly missed my high school graduation to go to a dog show. My mom bribed me into collecting my diploma at the last second.

5) I am turning a walk-in closet into a reptile room. So I will finally have a place to breed woma pythons. The closet is already outfitted with wire shelving and two electrical outlets. Just waiting for my income tax refund to finish the work and buy the snakes.

6) I once used the “f” word in a paper for high school English. And still got an “A.”

7) I have a potted fern with a history. I started it from a spore that came from one of the flower arrangements at my grandmother’s funeral.

8) My most prized possession is a hard-cover first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was an accidental find at a used book store, and I only paid $30 for it! It’s one of only three things in our safe deposit box.

9) Despite my number of posts on passive aggression, like this one, this one, and this  one, I am not actually passive aggressive. I am pretty direct. With a devious imagination.

10)  When I visited Los Angeles, the only celebrity I saw was Judy Tenuta. And she was drunk. Without her accordion.

11) I once bottle-fed a litter of deer mice. They eat every 45 minutes, so I had to sneak them into work in a cooler.

12) I hatched a clutch of garter snake eggs that were found in a pile of mulch. Seven of the nine eggs hatched, and the babies were released at the site where the eggs were found.

Any guesses? I’m not even telling you how many truths there are. How well do you know me? Even better, how well do I know YOU? I challenge you to do a fib post of your own. If you do, send me the link so I can make my guesses!

Truth or wish? This blog is ghost-written by Kisses the Cat

 

Update: If you want to find the truth without having to dig around too much, click here. Because I’m a giver.

The Journal of Fairly Predictable Results

I’m taking my resolutions seriously this year. My biggest desire is to take better care of myself, so when a fellow blogger started a blogging group dedicated to getting in shape in the New Year, I signed up with no hesitation. Or my husband signed me up. Or Phoebe gave me that look that clearly said “Your bum is closer to the ground than mine, and I’m a basset hound.” Or whatever. I was inspired.

See this face? Totally judging you for stuffing your pie hole with treats. Can I have some of that?

.

I don’t want to set myself up to fail, so I chose one goal to start with. Drink more water. It’s good for me in all kinds of ways. It’s good for my asthma, great for the porphyria, helps facilitate weight-loss, and it will keep my kidneys from getting bored. Win-win-win. Win.

Drinking more water sounds simple. And simple is my middle name. Well, my middle-middle name, right after Trouble, which is my actual middle name. Speaks trippingly, don’t you think? So I am drinking water. Lots of it. Like, 10-12 glasses of it. And now I have a problem.

When a human being consumes a large quantity of liquid, there’s a fairly obvious result, and I am not referring to  the clear skin and increased energy.  I’m referring to the fact that I am now trapped in my home because I cannot be more than three steps from a bathroom.

Keeping this one little resolution has taken a toll on my other goals for the year. One was to be more environmentally friendly. Which sounds great, but there are forests currently meeting their end in the name of my water intake. And forget exercise. I can’t do anything that involves jumping or sudden movements of any kind. I can’t even go for a walk unless it’s in a heavily wooded area with no other people around and lots of hiding places, just in case nature calls. Right now I don’t have call-waiting.

I am trying to adapt to this disruption in my life. To balance out the natural resources I am burning through, I now leave the bathroom light off. And I have taken to carrying a backpack loaded with an unabridged dictionary. The additional weight is building my quads with every pit stop.

I can do this thing. And to make it worth my while, I’ve decided to reward myself. Each day that I am successful with my goal, I get to eat a Big Mac and a chocolate milk shake. I can practically feel the pounds just melting away. I will power through. Who’s with me?