July 31, 2007
By this afternoon, I was so totally sick of being cooped up in the house. I still didn't feel 100%, but I really had to get out. So right after nap time James and I headed for the YMCA, since that's the only place in Texas that will watch my kid for free. I didn't care if I sat in a shower stall for two hours and listened to the little day-camp girls make armpit farts, I just had to do something.
I dropped James in the kid care center and I was feeling surprisingly good, so I decided to go for the gusto and lift some weights. As I got off the leg press machine, I noticed that the guy with the Penn State tattoo was at the gym today. I've seen him a zillion times, but I have no idea who he is--all I know is that he's not ugly and he does appear to be completely normal.
After my leg presses were finished, ambition got the best of me, and I headed for the most intimidating machine in the joint--the crossover machine. That's a picture of it. Scary, huh?
Just as I went to adjust the settings, I noticed the Penn State tattoo guy standing on the other side. I turned down my Salt n' Peppa, took the headphones out of my ears and asked, "Oh were you gonna us this machine?"
He replied, "Oh no, that's ok. You go first."
I smiled and said "Thanks."
Much to my surprise, the conversation wasn't over. He followed up with, "So, you come here a lot, huh?"
And I thought to myself...'Oh my cow. I think I'm being flirted with. No one has flirted with me since my glory days in '01.'
But I casually said, "About as much as you do I guess."
Then, obviously not realizing that the child on the other side of the plate glass window who was gnawing on the rubber-slice-of-pizza belonged to me, he said something like, "Well I'm glad I finally got an excuse to talk to you. You're getting pretty fast on the treadmill."
Knowing full well that I'm a married woman, I felt completely befuddled and awkward. I thought to myself... 'Dude, you have no freaking clue that the stretch marks on my stomach make me look remarkably similar to a road atlas.' Then I giggled like a schoolgirl, tried to make my 2 inch long pony tail do a sexy little flip, and said, "Oh....thanks....hehehe."
Now here's where it gets interesting. Take a look at that picture up there. If you check out the top right corner you can see a little black rope thing hanging down. Do you see it? Well, those are hand grips and they're interchangeable. Instead of the rope thingy, the machine at the Y had a big metal grip bar attached to it.
Can you see where this is going?
Much to my relief, he turned to walk away. Just as I was about to say something cool like "see you around" I pulled the pin out of the weight stack and the big metal bar came crashing down...right on my big fat head. I'm guessing that the tattoo guy turned around to see what the clanging sound was, but I never looked up so I don't know for sure.
It was one of the more embarrassing moments of this month, but praise the good Lord for cutting that conversation short. Afterall, I'm a happily married woman and I really didn't want to crush that poor man's heart.
It sure is a bummer when you buy a rotten watermelon from the grocery store, isn't it? Well, not for Jared. Right now, as I type, Jared is putting the entire ten pound watermelon down our circa 1970 garbage disposal. Jared is convinced that this method of watermelon disposal is far easier than the conventional method I like to call the 'trash can.'
Obviously, the garbage disposal is Jared's very favorite kitchen appliance in the whole, wide world.
July 27, 2007
Congratulations to my good friend Beth. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy sometime last night. Please don't get too excited about the picture of that baby over there. That's not him. I have no clue who that baby even is. I got him off of Google, and I think he might be of Asian decent.
Beth called last night around 8 o'clock to give me an update, and called again around 11 to let me know that the baby had been born. She woke me up from a dead sleep, and I wish you could have heard our conversation--it was awesome. She was totally groggy from pushing out a baby, and I was all groggy from sleeping. The phone rang and I knew it was Beth from the caller ID, so I picked it up and this is what happened:
Beth: I had the baby.
Me: Oh, that's good Beth.
Beth: Seven seven.
Me: Seven is a lucky number. Guess you have a lucky baby.
Beth: Yeah, and he was born in July of '07. That's another seven seven.
Me: Whoa. Very, very cool.
Beth: Ok, bye.
Me: What does he look like?
Beth: He's light. Light brown hair. You should see him.
Me: Yeah, I want to.
Beth: Ok. Bye.
-dial tone-When I woke up this morning I realized that I failed to find out a few of the details--like the child's name. Luckily I walked by Beth's house this morning and there was an "It's a Boy!" sign telling me everything that I needed to know, so here's the scoop...Caleb John weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and is a perfectly proportioned 20.5" long. Most importantly, Beth and Caleb are both doing well.
July 27, 2007
I took the boys to the Frontiers of Flight Museum today. Aside from the fact that James has started sitting on top of Garfield* in an effort to get his way, it was a lot of fun.
The boys were off playing in a little airplane, when I heard them both start to scream. Garfield was all, "Off! Off! Off!" And James was shrieking, "Nooooooooooo!" I was going to let it slide, but every mother, nanny, and senior citizen was looking at me, so I decided to handle it. I peeked into the porthole to see what was going on, and sure enough Garfield was sitting in the pilot's seat and big old 36 pound James was sitting on his lap.
I walked up the mini stairs to the mini aircraft and squeezed my size 10 ass through the size 5T door. Then I crawled up to the mini cockpit to try and reason with two mini humans. Guess who won?
My attempts to explain the benefits and joys of taking turns fell upon deaf ears, so I decided to give up, let them work it out, and vacate the aircraft. Unfortunately the stairs were jammed full of toddlers who don't understand words like 'move' or 'now' or 'please,' so I had to use the rear exit, which happened to be a slide. Fantastic. My day was just getting better and better.
A whole bunch of mothers were waiting at the bottom of the slide with their camera phones ready, wanting to catch the look of rapture on their child's face as they slid out of an airplane for the very first time. Most of them were surprised/disappointed when I came bumping out instead.
But one of the moms was completely frantic. As I stood up she rushed over, put one of her hands on each of my shoulders and closely demanded, "HAVE YOU SEEN WALLET?!"
I backed away a few inches and said, "No, but I wasn't looking for one. What does it look like?"
Then she backed away from me (thank goodness) and addressed the whole group of camera toting moms, saying, "He has brown hair, blue eyes, he's three years old, and he's wearing a shirt with a pirate on it."
"Well..." she exclaimed like a crazy woman..."HAS ANYONE SEEN WALLET?!?!"
Then she let out a frustrated huff and ran off yelling, "Wallet!!! Wallet!!! GET OVER HERE NOW!!"
Who, you might wonder, would ever dream of naming their child something like Wallet? A 30-something Dallas mother, with blond hair, high heels, and designer jeans...that's who.
We all stood, with mouths hanging open, as Wallet's mom ran from security guard to security guard. Then a European nanny took it upon herself to break the silence. She turned to the group of statuesque moms and in her very German accent said, "Vat in da hell do you suppose is her name? Pocketbook? Heh heh heh."
I love this city.
*That's the boy I babysit for--not his real name, thank heavens.
Ok, that's an ouchie.
July 26, 2007
A few weeks ago I noticed that James didn't have a word in his vocaulary like 'ouchie' or 'boo boo.' We have no kid themed band-aids in the house, because James has never actually used a band-aid. It's not that I have a problem with ouchies, we just don't play into it so much in our family. If he falls, he gets up and keeps on going. If he bumps his head, I give him a quick pat and off he goes.
But yesterday I had a lot of sympathy for James. This little gash is actually how we started our day from down under. We were getting ready for our babysitting job, and James was climbing into his stroller as usual. Somehow he slipped and banged his eye on the stroller's metal foot rest. And this is the result.
Don't worry [Mom], James is fine. The dad of the family I babysit for is a doctor, so he took a look and gave James a clean bill of health. And today, he seems totally ok. As I type, James is sitting on the couch feeding chocolate milk to his stuffed dog and to his garbage truck--like usual. And every time I metion his cut, he squints his eyes and clenches his teeth, points to the other eye and says, "ow. it uts."
Try again, ya little faker!
July 23, 2007
I totally hate to admit it, but I like daytime TV. I especially like the small-claims court shows like Judge Mathis, Judge Joe Brown, and most recently, Judge Maria Lopez. Dang y'all, that little lady is as tough as nails...and a fellow New Englander I might add. She can barely see above the bench, but she has this low, raspy voice and I would never want to meet up with her in a dark alley because she could totally kick my trash.
I don't know how it's happened, but in recent weeks I've been planning my days off around this shiz. When I'm watching Judge Lopez I make sure not to multitask at all--I don't eat, I don't fold laundry, I don't paint my toenails, and I definitely don't answer the phone--I focus. I've even been known to decline a play date or two so I can spend some quality couch time with my girl in black.
I've learned so much from this show, and the commercials, too. I've learned everything you need to know about bail bonds, I've learned all about the educational programs available at Remington College, and I've learned which lawyer to call if I ever get in a car wreck--1-800-the-dawgs (very easy to remember). Oh, and the suspense today with the certified gemologist was something else...my armpits are still sweaty from the tension of it all.
I'd really love to be able to say that I spend my days immersed in the classics, listening to orchestra music, and forming opinions based on NPR's political snippets, but that would be a total bold faced lie. I spend my days off listening to Aerosmith CDs, watching Judge Lopez, and snacking on store brand oreos.
I do like the art museum and I take James there from time to time, but I'd really rather chill in the gerbil section at Petco. I think I could sit through the ballet, and it would probably be really good for James, but I daydream about taking my kid to the next monster truck rally.
I guess I'd like to be more sophisticated, but I just can't help these behaviors. This is the real me, there's no denying the real me, and I love the real me.
But I've got to admit, if I had known how much I'd be outing the 'real me' on this blog, I would have thought twice about starting it.
I'm serious you guys, I don't have my parent's kitchen table from the 1970's because we can't afford a new one. I have that table because I think it looks good.
July 19, 2007
Please note that I really do know how to format a blog and I know when to start new paragraphs. Blogger just won't let me. Much like my two year old, Blogger likes to make me look kind of dumb and often leaves me helplessly exasperated.
July 17, 2007
Jared and I are getting there. What I mean is that he's less than six months away from graduation, and we're officially in the planning stages of his practice. We've settled on a few areas that seem viable for a chiropractic office, and we've started investigating available properties. So far, there are three promising places: a farmhouse on a main road in a small town, an empty storefront in a strip mall, and space in a professional building. We're true-blue New Englanders, so of course, we're leaning towards the farmhouse.
The cool (or uncool, depending on the way you look at it) thing about the farmhouse is that we would live and work out of the same building. It's zoned for a business and there's plenty of living space upstairs. The very cool (or strange, depending on the way you look at it) thing about the farmhouse is that it's actually nice. Not just decent, but really nice. It's a circa-1900 building that's been updated with a gorgeous kitchen, new walls, new ceilings, and we'd even get to pick the floors. Unbe-fricking-leivable.
You see, Jared and I have always lived in what some might refer to as 'substandard housing.' The possibility of living somewhere, ahem--nice, really has me reminiscing about our past homes. If I ever have access to a scanner I'll post some pictures--you'll probably poop yourself laughing.
When we met, I was living in an apartment with some college roommates, Sarah and Kristina. We had an enormous three bedroom apartment with more square footage than Donald Trump's daughter, and I swear to you we thought we were royalty. Looking back, I'm not sure why.
You had to walk up a two foot wide, winding staircase to get up to our place, so we never invited hefty folks over. It's not that we had anything against bigger-sized people, they just simply couldn't fit. That staircase was so narrow that when you'd buy a new pair of shoes you'd have to haul the shoebox up though a second story window with a rope. Ok, not really, but it was almost that skinny.
We had sweet plywood counter tops, and one of those smooshy toilet seats that let out an airy sigh of relief whenever you sat down to take a whiz. But I think the best part of that apartment was our insane-o downstairs neighbor, Allen. Allen was one angry fool. He came up our staircase one night at 2:30 and banged on our door. He was all, "That person has got to stop jumping!"
We were like, "What?"
And he was like "It sounds like a 200 pound person is doing jazzersize right above my bedroom!"
My roommate was like, "You're nuts," and shut the door right on him.
He was nuts. Sarah, the roommate who lived above Allen weighed about 92 pounds, soaking wet with boots on, and I never once saw her do aerobics, or jumping jacks, or anything of that nature. And besides, judging from the sweet nothings that we could hear being whispered into Allen's ear as he got it on with his girl (and other sounds that I'm trying hard not to remember), those apartments weren't very soundproof.
After we got married, Jared and I moved into an old house that had been divided into apartments--seventeen of them. We had no kitchen cabinets, the oven was too small to hold a cookie sheet (literally), and the floor was so sloped that the computer chair would roll away backwards as you typed. One set of neighbors smoked dope around the clock and the guy under us had some sort of note attached to his door about how much he didn't like Mormons (or J-dubs, or vacuum cleaner salesmen). What can I say? It was home!
After that we bought a house--for less money that we could have bought a mini-van. Literally. It was 800 square feet and two stories. I'm still not sure how that worked. Our master bedroom was 7x11, a previous owner had insulated the laundry room walls with men's clothing (seriously), and somehow it cost $500 a month to heat this smurf sized house in the winter. My favorite feature of this place, besides the 1985 rusted out Cutlass Sierra that our neighbor perched on some blocks, was the triangle room. The triangle room was the biggest room in the upstairs of the house. The walls weren't straight at all, the shape of the room followed the pitch of the roof and the whole thing was shaped, well, like a triangle--almost like being inside of an army tent. If I stood up very straight my head touched the 90 degree angle that I will loosely refer to as the ceiling.
I actually loved this house and cried like a baby when we moved from it. But we sold it 'by owner' for the price of a tricked out Lincoln Navigator--so I think we made out like bandits in the end. We took the profits from that place and moved to Texas. With the exception of a flaming air conditioner and some poopy smelling water, our apartments in Texas have actually been fine, so I won't go into detail about those.
It just blows my mind that we might actually move in to somewhere nice...it may or may not work out. But really, if it does, I worry that I might get a little bored with it. Going in and out of a convenient front door seems so, I dunno, regular. I might just build a fire escape to use as our primary entrance--just to mix things up a little bit. I'm also considering using an outhouse in the winter instead of indoor plumbing--it could be fun! Or maybe, just maybe, we'll finally start to feel like the hardworking grownups that we are, sit back, kick our feet up and say,"You know? We've worked really hard and we deserve to live somewhere just like this."
Every single weekend we see a new U-Haul pull into the parking lot and few guys unload the truck. Usually within three or so months, the new tenant gets dumped and/or deported and/or evicted and/or arrested and/or just realizes how yuck-o these apartments really are and hastily moves out. Go ahead, call me a flaming biz-natch, but most of the time I feel like it's just not worth the energy to learn most of my neighbor's names.
July 11, 2007
People often ask me what it's like to live thousands of miles away from my family. My parents live in Connecticut and Jared's parents live in Maine, so it's far.
You know, most of the time it kind of stinks. It's not because we don't have free babysitters at our every beckon call, and it's not because our spontaneous visits are planned half a year in advance. It's mostly because we miss out on so many of the little things.
We miss the birthday parties, we miss the baby blessings, and unfortunately we miss out on various family members' impulse buys. And speak of the devil--my father-in-law just made one this week.
For the last little while, my father-in-law Robb has been wanting to be more active. Over the past year we've heard talk of Robb starting a walking program, buying a treadmill, or joining a gym. But I suppose that none of those options were quite inspiring enough for my dad-in-law. Finally though, after a year of imagination and careful consideration, the inspiration bolt finally struck--in the form of 350 horsepower.
A few days ago Robb was driving down the road when he quickly pulled over to check out a boat. Thirty minutes and a few thousand dollars later, Robb drove away with a 1988 twenty-three foot cabin cruiser attached to the back of his truck. A similar vessel is pictured above.
Who cares if he's not a nautical man!? Why should it matter that he doesn't know how to turn the engine on?! So what if the whole family is prone to motion sickness? I say 'GO BIG OR GO HOME!' And Robb went big--because let's face it, reasonably sized boats are for sissies.
My poor little heart is just bleeding. How can I possibly stand to miss out on this new chapter of my family's life?
- I want to be there to hear my sweet, Mormon dad-in-law compose his first-ever string of swear words.
- I want to be there to experience Robb's reaction after plowing into a dock full of innocent vacationers.
- I want to be there to hear my 5 year old nephew, Nathan, scream in unadulterated fear because Grampy is driving all crazy.
- I want to be there when Robb hurls his toolbox off the port bow in a moment of mechanical frustration.
- And I reallly want to be there to see my mother-in-law take a stab at water skiing.
This is so not fair. I want to go home.
July 8, 2007
Geeze louise...I'm trying to be funny, but my dang husband won't stop talking about fly fishing. I'm glad he has a hobby, but in my opinion, the only thing on this planet that's less funny than fly fishing is a puppy dying of heatstroke.
But I shall persevere, and try to think of something amusing while Jared clammers on about bugs made out of feathers and other junk like that.
This is my Unce Bill. And that is his favorite lawn chair. Depending upon your point of view, it can be classified in one of two ways--vintage or white-trashish. We all remember these chairs from the 1980's--when they were already old. They make that alarming crackling sound when your ass hits the mesh, the metal armrests either singe or freeze the skin off your forearms (depending on the weather), they take up half the trunk space in a Crown Victoria, and they look particularly nice in front of a 30 year old trailer home.
When I arrived at the Fourth of July parade last Wednesday, my Uncle Bill was happily planted in his beloved chair sipping on a coffee.
I was like, "Uncle Bill...you still have that chair?!?!"
He said, "Oh yeah. This is a good, strong chair Amy. And I wrote my name on it with permanent marker. I've never lost it after all these years."
So I took out my camera and said, "Ok. Well, sit right there, I want to get a picture."
As you can see, he happily obliged.
Then I said, "Now stand up, I want a close up of the chair all by itself."
Uncle Bill deeply chuckled and asked, "Why?"
And I answered, "Because I want the world to know that ESPN's Vice President of Productions, sits in a chair like this. I think they'll be surprised."
Yes, you read that right. My Uncle Bill has one of the most rockin' jobs in the universe. He was one of the very first employees at ESPN, and has grown with the company ever since. I'm assuming he's broken the $25,000 mark by now--so you can see by his chair that he is quite humble...and thrifty, too!
No, he won't get you a job.
But if you're interested, here's a very fitting quote of my uncle's that I found online:
"The Holy Grail for TV facilities [or lawn furniture] has always been reuse," says Bill Lamb, ESPN’s VP of systems engineering and electronic maintenance. "You make [or buy] it once and you reuse it as many times as effective."
**the words in the brackets we're added by me, but I'm quite sure that Uncle Bill would endorse them wholeheartedly**
July 6, 2007
Geesh, those baby boomers are so unreasonable I'll tell ya!
Anywho, wireless connections do exist Cape Cod, so I don't think that's the primary reason behind my recent blogger dropout behavior. Most of all, I haven't blogged because I'm suffering from a major lack of material this week—in other words, my life is great. Family members are fighting each other to change James's poopy diapers, my mom can't help but buy me all sorts of fabulous gifties, I've eaten at least one donut every day, and I've gained two pounds of pure flab. This, my friends, is the good life.
I kind of miss being funny, I really do. Seriously guys, I miss my material—Like my downstairs neighbor who speaks no English, but tries to lure me into her apartment to measure me for a new bra every afternoon (at least I hope that's what she's implying when she uses her hands to cup her boobies like that). Or my other crrrazy neighbor who has a professionally diagnosed home shopping addiction—I should know, the UPS man drops by my place every afternoon so I can sign for her packages from QVC (note of caution: the collectible dolls must not look as nice in person, because my neighbor is pretty much a biz-natch). And somehow, I even miss the guy who lets his dog take a doo-doo on my staircase from time to time.
I'm surprised to say that I'm actually looking forward to getting back to Dallas. It's just so much easier to write about tripping over a homeless man on my run than it is to write about untouched beaches, smiling wildlife, and clear blue skies. Give me my smog. Give me my traffic. Give me my Botoxed grandmas. Give me back my mild case of clinical depression.
Give me the Big D!
And when we moved back to Maine in a few months, I guess I'll just have to take up needlepoint or pie-baking, because I know I’ll be happy…damnit. I'll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
July 2, 2007
On Saturday we went to the fanciest wedding that I've ever been to in my life--it was my cousin Kelly's. If you're a bride-to-be, I kindly suggest that you stop looking at these pictures right now--because chances are that you're not going to have a wedding half as nice as this one, and it will just make you sad and/or jealous. Everyone else....enjoy!
Here is a picture of my hair. This is the very best that my hair has ever looked. It took 65 minutes and 48 dollars to make it look that way. Oh, and a tip too. No wonder I'm usually quite happy to look homeless.
Here we are walking into the church. I hope you enjoy my shapely caboose and rock hard calves. Can you see James's crocs?
This is a picture of Jared and James playing at the reception. I realize that I failed to include any pictures of the ceremony. It was quite nice, you can take my word for it. Anyway, this blog is about me, not the happy couple!
Here are Jared and James on the dock. That's some scenery, huh? Views like this are the reason that a two bedroom ranch costs $450,000 on Cape Cod. I know that the Texans think those prices are insane, but that's fine--you're more than welcome to stay in Texas.
Here's James happily eating a shrimp. He's a New Englander at heart. I was so proud that James knew enough to take advantage of the free food--that's my boy!
You know you're at a fancy event when there are baskets full of free stuff in the bathroom. I was so relieved to find this little perk--I was able to give Kelly and Shawn a nice wedding gift after all--a basket full of assorted toiletries.
My sister thought that the extra-tiny-mini-screw-driver was the coolest item in the complimentary toiletry basket.
I disagree. I think it was the Vagisil. I mean if you're tearing it up on the dance floor and your vajango starts to feel like it's on fire, a mini-screw-driver isn't going to do you one bit of good. But this trial sized Vagisil will set you back in motion faster than you can say 'feminine itch.'
These cute little flower shaped thingies are butter, not white chocolate. I learned that lesson the hard way. Deceiving, huh?
This is an oyster with a lovely dollop of cocktail sauce. It's raw. I ate it shortly after taking this picture. It was so awesome that I ate three.
Here was my seat at the table. Fancy place settings, huh? Have you ever seen that many glasses on one table? Me neither. Jared and I had a Mormon soda fest. Oh, and every time someone got up, the waitress would run over to fold their napkin into a nice, neat rectangle. I was like "Move over Paris Hilton...Jessica just folded my napkin!"