Where in the World?

March 31, 2009

I'll be back in a week! In the mean time, you can read the post about changing the doorknobs over and over again, each time focusing on how grateful you are for not being married to me.

I'll post pictures of the cruise when I get back into town next week. Now where'd I put that passport?

(The whole vacation thing is a total and complete lie to myself...Such a lie. But I really will be gone.)

The Invitation

March 27, 2009

Okay, no more hanging tight. I promised that you'd get a post about the country club yesterday afternoon and you're getting the post 24-hours later. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

On Wednesday afternoon, I got a call on my cell phone from a gentleman whose name I've heard around town.

"Hello Mrs. Lawson," he asked?

"Um yeah. This is Amy," I said.

"My name is Tom McDonnough, and I'm the chairman of the membership committee at the local country club. I'm calling to find out if you and Dr. Lawson might be interested in joining this year."

Obviously, when they decided to extend the invitation, the membership committee had no idea that Dr. Lawson and I drive a rusted out 1989 Blazer with a smoking tailpipe problem. And our good car? Yeah, it's got one hubcap.

"You know," I replied, "Dr. Lawson isn't much for golfing, but thank you for the invitation."

"Well then," Tom continued, "perhaps you might be interested in purchasing a social membership to the country club this season?"

At this point I'm thinking, 'Well I can fart on command...I wonder if the other members might like to get to know me a little bit better.'

"And I think you'll find the membership fee quite reasonable," he offered.

By now I'm thinking, 'Well, if your country club has some sort of a sliding fee scale, then maybe it will fit our budget after all!'

"The social membership," he continued, "will entitle you and the doctor to unlimited use of our private beach, tennis, and use of our restaurant."

And then, in 100% seriousness I asked, "Does your country club have an all-you-can-eat buffet?" Dude. What? I wanted to know.

My question was followed by silence. So I asked again. "Tom? Does the country club have an all-you-can-eat buffet?"

"I'm sorry Mrs. Lawson," he said. "It doesn't."

"Then we're really not interested, but thank you for calling."

And just like that the conversation was over. I didn't even have the chance to ask if the restaurant accepts food stamps...or if dogs are allowed on the beach...or if the dress code would prohibit me from wearing my ass-shorts.

Honestly, I think Tom has a better chance of getting Ferdinand the Giant to join his country club that Dr. and Mrs. Lawson. Hell, Dr. and Mrs. Lawson aren't even classy enough to rake their own yard. Or give their kid regular baths. Or wear pants to the grocery store.

(If you're really feeling like a slacker today, there's another new post down there...)

A Little Bit of Crazy

March 27, 2009

According to my cousin Bonnie, Jared and I have conflicting astrological signs. Aside from my daily horoscope in the Maine Times, I have to admit that I know almost nothing about astrology, but based on my daily marital interactions, I'd have to say that Bonnie hit the nail right on the head.

Conflicting astrological signs, conflicting personalities, conflicting priorities--I'm not sure exactly which one causes the root of our household craziness, but rest assured my friends, something is conflicting.

Bonnie claims that I am a fire sign and Jared is a water sign. Bottom line is this...when you put the two of us together, he really knows how to steam me and I have dreams of sticking his skinny little backside right into our flaming toaster oven. I shouldn't be surprised if Jared ever breaks down and gives me a swirly in the guest toilet, and he might think about investing in some flame retardant pajamas.

Yup. That's us.

Well let me tell you, our suns and moons must have been all lined up yesterday because dude, for twelve or so hours, our marriage was straight up insane. For your guilty reading pleasure, I will recount the events of the day in the most respectful way that I know how.

7:24 am: Jared and Amy have a fight.

7:57 am: Jared and Amy go to their respective places of employment.

9:00 am: Amy texts Jared--DON'T BOTHER COMING HOME TONIGHT. I MEAN IT.

10:01 am: Amy texts Jared--WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR DINNER TONIGHT?

10:03 am: Amy texts Jared--I TAKE THAT BACK. WHAT I MEANT TO SAY WAS DON'T COME HOME TONIGHT. I STILL MEAN IT.

1:15 pm: Due to Jared's lack of response, Amy gets frustrated. As a result, Amy decides to change all of the locks on the doors so Jared will never come home again.

Yes, you read that last entry correctly. Around 1:15 pm, I squealed into the parking lot of Ace Hardware with the full intention of changing every last darn lock on our house. I mean seriously, if that doesn't send the message of "I'm mad at you," then what does?

So I marched into Ace Hardware and the owner, 84-year-old Ernie says, "Hello, de-ah. May I help ya?"

"Yes Ernie," I replied. "I need to know where your doorknobs are. Point me in the right direction."

Ernie waved his hand, giving me the international symbol for "follow me," and led me toward aisle 4.

"So de-ah," he asked. "Is ya lockin' yo-ah husbin out da house?"

"Yes I am," I offered back. "He can go live with his mother and father, Ernie."

Since Ernie's daughter happens to live on my street, he was all too aware of the exterior layout of my home. Without any discussion whatsoever, Ernie handed me a three pack of knobs and said, "That'll do de-ah."

And just like that, I was headed home, down the hill on Main Street, more than ready to show my husband that this time, I absolutely meant business. I pulled Jared's tool bag out of the workshop and promptly proceeded to remove every door handle on the first floor. And then, feeling like a bit of a cross between Gloria Steinem and Handy Manny, I attempted to replace the first doorknob.

The key word in that last sentence was 'attempted.'

Ladies and gentlemen, at this moment, I would like to make something very, very clear...changing a doorknob is far more complicated than it might seem. Like basically verging on impossible. For the next twenty minutes I wiggled and I hammered, I drilled and I yanked. And you know what? That stupid freaking doorknob refused to be installed.

There I was, sitting on my kitchen floor, three gaping holes to the outdoors, utterly and completely defeated. So, I did the only logical thing that a girl like me could do. I called my friend Jen and talked her into getting some fried chicken and ice cream.

And just like that, after a few bites of french fries and ketchup, I could barely remember what Jared and I had been fighting about. Jared, on the other hand, had forgotten about the fight sometime around 8:15 that morning. That's why he was so confused when came home to an empty house, with no door handles, and a kitchen table piled high with all sorts of assorted non-sensical hardware.

He called me at the restaurant and was like, "Hey, I'm gonna go hang out with my mom for a while tonight. What'd you do to the doors?"

I was like, "Okay. Bye hon!" But when I hung up and closed my phone, I was all, "THAT'S RIGHT! YOU CAN GO TO YOUR MOM BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT WELCOME IN MY HOUSE ANYMORE. SUCKER!"

My friend Jen was like, "Dude. You're crazy. Do you know that?"

And I was like, "I know. Sometimes I get so mad at myself for being who I am."

And Jared? When Jared came home last night he kissed me on the forehead and said, "Amy, you keep my life exciting..."

He's right. I do.

Two years ago, our marriage counselor told us that he wasn't at all worried about the long term viability of our marriage--after all, Jared and I are extraordinarily passionate toward one another. It's the couples who describe themselves as 'content' that need to be worried. So what if we want to hurl each other off a bridge 12% of the time? The other 88% of the time is spent being madly and passionately happy--and those are the times that count.

"And if I do throw him off of a bridge," I said, "my next husband will be deaf and I swear on all things holy that I will never even try to learn sign language."

"And I," Jared continued, "will just be happy to be in heaven."

I believe that was the day that our marriage counselor released us from his care.

A few months later, our Bishop signed us up for a strengthening marriage class at the church building. Well let me tell you, we got into a rousing fight about a pencil holder during the very first thirty minutes of the very first class.

By the end of the Strengthening Marriage series, Jared and I came to one mutual conclusion...Eternal marriage (a concept that is more than stressed in our religion), is far too overwhelming of an idea for us to handle at this point in time. For now, we'll just do our best to swallow the urge to key one another's cars.

Hang Tight

March 26, 2009

Hang tight you guys...I have a post for this afternoon. All I have to do is get through a couple of meetings first. And just so you know, my day is off to a pooptastic start.

Work hard, everyone!

Out of the Rotation

March 24, 2009

Today I've stumbled across some unexpected free time in between two meetings. And really now, what's better to do with my spare minutes than make myself a peanut butter and bacon sandwich, a tall glass of chocolate milk, and write a load of flaming crapola for the world to read?

I've said it once and I'll say it again--life is good.

I really don't have much to write bout this fine Tuesday morning. My dog is having bowel trouble, my husband is in a major funk due to his brother leaving, and James? Well, James is just a big, happy boy.

I took him to the pediatrician last week who flatly informed me that James is still in the 95th percentile for height and weight. "Now what about looks," I asked casually? "Is he also in the 95th percentile for looks?"

Blank stare.

"Well," I continued on, "with that poofy hair and his super skinny arms, I just assumed he'd be at the top of the charts for good looks, too."

Blank stare.

"That was called a joke," I wanted to say. "We're you hatched from an egg or something?"

But I didn't, because I have social skills.

After the pediatrician, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and six or seven apples. When I got to the check out, I was greeted by an overly giggly lady who was bagging the goods. She looked at James and asked, "How old are you?"

"I'm fwee," he responded.

The bagger looked at me and laughed the words, "Wow? He's only three? That's one big boy you've got there!"

And at that moment, before I really had the chance to think it through, I heard myself say, "Oh yeah--95th percentile for height, weight, and good looks." Why the hell not, right?

The bagger looked up at me with wide eyes and pursed lips in silence. Then, just as though she had packed one too many canned goods inside of a plastic bag, causing the bottom to give out and oranges to spill all over the linoleum, this woman lost her cool.

There she was, head leaned against the rack of plastic bags, left foot stomping, laughing like a hyena on ecstasy, holding up the palm of her hand as if to say, "Stop! Stop! I can't take it for another second!"

"Okay," I thought. "I'll stop! You're crazy! Every one's looking at me! I'm stopping!"

But she wasn't. This lady went on, and on, and on with the up-cracking until I finally pocketed my change, grabbed James by the hand, and broke into a light jog to escape through the automatic doors.

And it's official, that joke sucks and I vow never to tell it again.

Coming Soon to a Door Near You

March 23, 2009

Watch out Everett, Washington, because that handsome devil to the right? The one with the nice new suit, the finely combed hair, and the sensible walking shoes? He's headed your way.

That's my brother-in-law Bryan, and tomorrow morning he'll get on an airplane, fly to the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah, and swear off girls, skiing, TV, movies, phone calls, popular music, and all other manners of fun for two entire years. He will also get anywhere between 200 and 200,000 doors slammed in that innocent, smiling face.

Oh yes, the sweet life.

Bryan and I go way back. I first met him when he was in fifth grade, weighed in at 65 pounds, and if I remember correctly, he was required by law to sit in a 5-point harness car seat. Fine fine, that was a total exaggeration--it was just a booster.

Still, to this day, Bryan remains one of the skinniest people I know. Legs like angel hair pasta, people. The boy's got legs like angel hair pasta.

When I think about Bryan leaving for two whole years, with communication that's limited to letter-writing, I have a real mixed bag of feelings.

On one hand, I'm really happy to have one less Lawson boy farting into my living room couch cushions. But on the other hand, I'm totally sad that Jared's best friend is taking off for 24-months. That means, in an effort to fill the void, I'm going to have to learn how to fly-fish and shoot things. Take cover friends, take cover.

You know, part of me is thrilled that I now have a higher purpose for the overflow of my three-year-old's art projects. From this point forward, they shall avoid the trash and go airmail to Washington instead--Hallelujah, I have finally been freed from my guilt. But the other part of me is sad. Who will I mercilessly boss around? (e.g. Bryan, you're babysitting tonight for $2.50 and hour, and I don't want to hear any disrespectful back talk about it.)

I'm happy because Bryan is doing something difficult and challenging and important with his time. But I'm sad because now I can't mouth the word "LOSER" to my brother-in-law while we're sitting across the chapel from each other at church.

So yeah, I'm really not sure how to feel.

But, in conclusion, I'd like to leave Bryan with these words of encouragement...

Yes Bryan, the other missionaries will think you're funny--because you are. Yes Bryan, attractive looking Western girls will develop crushes on you--because, every girl thinks you're cute. Yes Bryan, you will be a great missionary--because you're a great person. And yes Bryan, these will be the best two years of your life to date (at least that's what the movie says).

So good luck, little brother! I love you, I'm proud of you, and James I promise to send you lots and lots of mail. No promises from Jared.

For the Love of a Towel

March 21, 2009

We don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I really wouldn't say we live in the middle of somewhere either. Given our geographic location, you could almost guess that trash pickup is not provided by our little town of 4,000. As such, this leaves families like mine with two options. You can either a) haul your trash to the dump yourself, or b) hire someone to haul your trash to the dump for you.

When we first moved into our house and heard about option b, it sounded completely extravagant to ears like mine. "Hire someone to haul our trash? That sounds expensive," I thought.

And then the trash man knocked on our door. His name is Bruce, he drives a pickup truck with homemade plywood sides, and he charges $3 a week. On the other hand, maybe we could afford a little extravagance in our lives. I hired him on the spot. We sealed the deal with a handshake (no credit check required), and he took our trash that day.

For the price he charges, I've got to say that Bruce provides exemplary customer service. He doesn't ask me to put our trashcans on the curb, or even in the driveway. As long as I open the garage door , Bruce is more than happy to empty my cans one by one, and return them to their designated spots. Then he sorts my recycling and leaves the bin by my door--you know, so I don't forget to put it back into my kitchen.

He takes carpet, he take scrap metal. He'd probably take a live, rabid wolf to the SPCA and never charge an extra cent for it.

I love Bruce. And so does James. Wouldn't you, too?

Trash day is Saturday, and when I forget to open the garage door, Bruce rings the doorbell, waits, and happily provides a reminder. "Up n' at 'em," he kids, admiring my weekend bedhead.

But of course, since the Good Lord tells us that there's opposition in all things, there are many Saturday mornings when I plain old wish that Bruce wasn't so damn devoted to the art of picking up trash.

Like today.

As usual, I forgot to open the garage door, and it's plainly obvious that someone is home this morning. I think the clear view of the three-year-old watching inappropriate cartoons through the storm door gives it away.

So there I am, singing some J-Lo and lathering up my lady parts in the shower when I heard to doorbell ring.

"Sh*t," I thought. And the doorbell rang again.

"Super sh*t," I said out loud. And the mother lovin' doorbell rang again.

I knew, full well, that Bruce's superior customer service skills would not allow him to give up until my son's urine-soaked nighttime pull-ups were resting securely in the bed of his truck.

I stepped out of the shower and heard James saying, "My mom is in da shower. I will go and get her for you." And just like that, James whipped open the bathroom door, exposing my condition to the entire neighborhood through two picture windows and the sidedoor. One false move and the trash man would see me in all of nature's glory, and unfortunately, closing the door fell into the "false move" category.

"James," I said, "get Mommy a towel and close the door." Being the obedient, well-mannered child that he is, James ran away, screaming like a banshee, ignoring my request.

Excellent.

I scanned the bathroom, and thanks to my chronic lack of prior preparation, the only thing in reach that even resembled a towel was a bathmat--certainly not substantial enough to cover my ass, which has expanded to the size of Idaho in recent months.

"JAMES! YOU WILL GET YOUR MOTHER A TOWEL IMMEDIATELY," I howled. Following it up with, "Be right there, Bruce," int the sweetest voice I could muster.

So I did what any right minded woman in my situation would do. I tore down the vinyl shower curtain liner, wrapped it around my naked self five or six times, and casually and confidently walked out to answer the door--curtain rings and all.

"Hi Bruce," I said, looking like some kind of giant ecru burrito with soap on top. "Let me get the garage door for you." And I shuffled through the mudroom out into the garage.

I pressed the button, and the garage door opened to reveal Bruce, snickering like a school girl. "Sorry," he said. "I knew you was home cause of the little guy. But I had no idea that you was in the showah."

"Oh that's no problem," I replied, dismissing the situation with a little flick of my hand. "No problem at all," and a shower curtain hook pinged against the tile. "Have a nice day!"

I shut the door and shuffled back to the bathroom, completely humiliated. During my walk of shame, I firmly locked eyes with my son and said, "You will sit in timeout until you're a grownup!"

He looked at his feet, said, "I know Mommy," and collapsed onto the floor in a raging fit of toddler giggles.

So far, I'd have to say that this weekend is off to an excellent start.

My Distaste for Drama...Friends, Family, Internet, or Otherwise

March 21, 2009

Disclaimer: I, Amy Lawson, take full and complete responsibility for the contents of this post. Any comments, questions, or concerns should be directly addressed to me, where I will reply, delete, or make fun of you at my own discretion.

Sometimes I kick myself for starting this blog--not because it's a lot of work, or any pressure whatsoever. Sometimes I kick myself for making my life so darn vulnerable to a complete group of faceless (and occasionally spineless) strangers.

But, rest assured, 99.9% of the time, I love this whole blogging thing. It's mind boggling how much support and inspiration I've gained from a complete group of faceless (and huge hearted) strangers. I have a lot of friends out there.

Just so you know, I write this blog for three reasons and three reasons only:

1) I love to write, it's my hobby. And if I do say so myself, it's one of my talents.

2) Making fun of myself--which is the theme of the vast majority of my posts--makes a sometimes challenging life a whole lot more palatable. For example, when I come home on a Monday thinking, "Wow, I might lose my job," I almost want to curl up and seep into the floor. But when I use my blog to translate that news into, "Actually, I think I'd love working at Rite Aid. Something about knowing who suffers with anal itching in my town would make me feel very powerful," I'm somehow able to go on with my day and not let the worst case scenario swallow me up. In other words, this blog helps me gain some measure of personal perspective.

3) Apparently, and not purposefully, this blog makes other people happy. Once or twice a week I get an email from a virtual stranger that says something like, "I print up my favorite posts and put them in my purse for when I have my chemo treatments. Then I give them to the nurses so they can give them to them to the other cancer patients." Or, "My mother is terminally ill, and your stories are one of the only thing that make me smile these days." Or, plain and simply, "You make me laugh." Well okay then, if my asinine tales of talking into a wallet can do that, then I will continue to make fun of myself until the day I die.

Recently I took part in an internet media project apart from this blog. Some of you might know about it, but for those of you who don't, it will remain unnamed. And recently, I got ripped up and down by a handful of people who "are disappointed by my judgement," and claim that "people like [me] are the problem with America today." And so on and so forth. There was too much tattling for a group of grown adults, and far too much drama for a group of people who have all, as far as I know, graduated from junior high.

Are my feelings hurt? No.

Do I feel bad about hurting feelings? Obviously, yes.

Am I embarrassed by all of the negative attention? Yes.

Am I annoyed by all of the useless hoopla? You have no idea.

The purpose of this post is twofold. First, I process things through writing--and I know darn well that I won't move on from this event until I've written it all the way through. And second, if you are the key player who inflated this event, I'll kindly invite you to kiss my rear. And yes, you can forward that line to anyone you'd like--because I've thought it through, and from the bottom of my heart, I mean it.

And most of all, most of all, I detest when little events are blown out of proportion--so obviously, this entire situation is not what I classify as fun.

So, with that said, I can safely assume that I'm fired.

Phew, now that's a relief.

You may commence the throwing of tomatoes in the comments section.

Looking on the Bright Side

March 20, 2009

Well happy Friday everyone. I for one, am more than ready to have this week stuffed into an envelope, sealed up, and mailed off to Siberia--never to be seen or heard from again. And if at all possible, I'd probably squeeze a few people in there, too.

Yes, my week has been that good.

In honor of my thoroughly shiztastic five days, I'm going to write about something totally and completely unrelated. Like, ummm, let's see...this isn't going so well. I'll just tell you about five good things that happened this week.

1. James seems to have kicked his chronic nose picking problem once and for all. As soon as I came up with a strategy, it worked like a charm. Basically it went like this: The first time I saw James put his thumb up his nostril (I know, the kid uses his thumb! Who does that?!) I casually said, "Ooooh, that's too bad. Santa doesn't bring presents to little boys who pick their noses." Let me tell you, it stopped my kid right in his tracks. Now, whenever I see that fat little thumb headed toward that fat little nose, all I have to do is raise my eyebrows, purse my lips, and mouth the word "Santa." Works like a charm. Every time.

2. I hit my friend's car with my car, buuuuttt, drumroll please........Ta da! No damage! That, you guys, is a really good thing.

3. Call me crazy, but I really think that spring is here to stay in Maine! The snowbanks are only up to my waist, the ice fishing shacks are coming off the lake, the temperatures are up near 50, and I can see the sun! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that James found a little flower fighting its way up in one of our beds. Spring is great.

4. On Tuesday there was a random and unexpected $50 check in the mailbox. It was an insurance reimbursement from a million-and-a-half months ago. I used it to buy dog food. My dog loves dog food.

5. (Just so you know, I'm really stretching it here.) My husband is a really nice person who looks great in a pair of slim trousers from Banana Republic. He also looks insanely good in expensive shoes, and he had a great hair day yesterday.

Wow. That made me feel like a million-trillion bucks.

So. What was great about your week?

A Letter Dealing with Taxes

March 19, 2009

Dear Everyone,

We're having a bad day in our necks of the woods, and it has every thing to do with taxes. Taxes steal my creativity and inspiration--period. Therefore, there will be no blog entry today. I will be tied up. Sobbing into a 3-inch stack of paper.

If you see a news story this evening, highlighting the moment when an insane woman overturned the desk of a not-so-honest accountant, that was me.

Love,

Amy

Happy St. Patty's Day

March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Personally, I don't get very excited about these random little holidays--but my mother? Now she's another story...

video

Now you know where I get it from.

If you thought that was funny, you should see my mother at a wedding. I distinctly remember when my mom was "cut off" by the concerned bar tender at my cousin Nick's reception. I've never seen her so offended in my life--after all, she hadn't had a single drop of liquor. Come now, must everyone persecute an innocent woman for her natural zest for life?

But if you really want to laugh, you should see my mother, at a wedding, after a glass of wine or two--sometimes, if you play your cards right, she'll do a little bit of stand-up.

Why I Hate Shrimp

March 16, 2009

A few weeks ago, as I was driving to Jared's office, I noticed a pick-up truck parked on the side of the road. There was large hand-painted sign propped on its hood that read: SHRIMP $1 lb.

"Wow," I thought. "Shrimp for a dollar a pound? That's a great deal! I'll have to stop and get some on my way back."

Now you might think it's odd to buy food off the side of the road, but in this neck of the woods it's totally, completely normal. The abnormal thing is when there's an actual human being present to accept your payment--usually you just drop your cash into an empty coffee can, verbally remind God how honest you are, and go on your way.

Since we've moved back to Maine, I've bought all kind of things out of the back of peoples' vehicles. You know...pies, biscuits, lobster, stereo speakers, blueberries, vegetables, my laptop. It's very reminiscent of yesteryear--so damn charming that I can hardly stand it.

On my way back from Jared's, I pulled into the parking lot and was met by a real life fisherman. He seemed to be my age, possibly a little bit intoxicated, and had black rubber boots that went past his knees and up to his thighs. Again, so frickin' picturesque I had to consciously stop myself from singing my order while I preformed a little softshoe.

I rolled down my window, greeted the young man and said, "So, where did the shrimp come from?"

And the fisherman said, "Ehhh, Bristol. Caught'm jus this mahnin."

"Excellent," I replied. "I'll take ten pounds." I know, I know, ten pounds probably seems a bit excessive, but 1) I had a ten dollar bill in my wallet, 2) I was extraordinarily proud of myself for supporting my local economy, and 3) I'm a Mormon--we rarely resist the urge to buy in bulk.

Three minutes later I was smiling like a goon and pulling back onto the state highway with two enormous shopping bags of shrimp. When I got home, I could barely contain myself. I hauled the drippy, muddy bags onto my kitchen table, untied the knots, and found this:
Not exactly what you buy in a convenient ziploc package at WalMart. Not only did those nasty little bastards have eyes, they also had pulses. They were wriggling all over the place.

I picked one up by the tail, examined him closer, and couldn't resist the strong and sudden urge to dry heave. He turned his ugly little head in my direction and had the nerve to touch me with his antennae. "That's it," I announced, "you're going in the garage." So I re-knotted the bag and waited for my husband to get home.

Don't tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing. See the black stuff in its stomach? Yeah, those are eggs.
Jared came home a few hours later and was equally nastified. In fact, if I remember correctly, he dry heaved as well. But we persevered, removed approximately 2,000 heads, and two hours later we had roughly one handful of shrimp to speak of.

I officially hate shrimp.

Just in Case

Friday the 13th of March, 2009

It's official. Like 87% of my fellow countrymen, my job is officially on very shaky ground. Luckily I'm under contract until the end of next month, but after that, who knows.

Some people would look at the situation and say, "Darn, in a few months I might get laid off. I could be out of a job!"

But not me. I view the situation and think to myself, "Wow, in a few months the sky could be my limit!" or "Wow, in two months I might have a supermodel body from a forced starvation diet!" or "Wow, it's about damn time I live like a doctor's wife. I need my free time. And where's my Lexus?"

Okay fine, I'm not that optimistic. I'm just acting that way.

So today my fine readers, I'm coming to you, looking for some career advice. What in the crap should I do with my life?

Here are a few ideas that I've been bouncing around:

1) I could work for my husband as his super sexy front desk lady. Honestly now, if I was sitting in his front window who wouldn't come in for some routine spinal care? The only problem is as of now, Jared can afford to pay me somewhere in the range of $1.49 an hour. I'm not sure if I'm willing to take a 50% pay cut. We'll see.

2) I could be a stay-at-home mom again. Remember when I used to be a stay-at-home mom? There were lots of blog posts back in those days! But of course there are some issues with this arrangement, too. First, no pay. Second, James is school aged now--I've been working while he's gone in the mornings. I'm afraid I'll become grossly obese if I don't have any work responsibilities to tend to.

3) I could become a police officer. Yeah no, I'm not kidding. Something about the high-waisted pants and the flat-brimmed hat have always appealed to me. I could pass the physical fitness test in a snap, I'm a very responsible driver, and I have a consuming passion for bakery goods. I have a squeaky clean record, but heaven help me if they decide to Google my name. One liners about my ass are all over the internet.

4) I could work for the State of Maine in a cubicle and love every minute of it. (That was just in case they Google me, too.)

5) I could open up my very own cupcake bakery across from Jared's office.

And after that, I'm officially out of ideas. If you have any suggestions, you can leave them in the comments.

And please, share your ideas...my the brightness of my future depends upon your suggestions.

Once in a Lifetime

March 12, 2009

Have you ever cooked something so completely fabulous that you felt the immediate and overwhelming need to whip out your camera and document it on film? To capture the moment for the sake of your posterity? And for the sake of their posterity, too?

No? Oh.

Well last night, it happened to me.

Here's a self-portrait of me, thrilled out of my gourd with what's about to emerge from the oven. Can you see my cell phone in the foreground of the photo? It's covered in flour--and plenty of sweat and toil, too. Please note the orange vest and the green striped sweater. See? I'm not a liar you no good bunch of doubting bastards:

And BAM! There she blows! It's a stromboli. A beautifully breathtaking stromboli. Two hours earlier it was nothing more than a bag of flour, a ball of mozzarella, and a few random pepperonis I found in the bottom of our produce drawer. But look at it now--an object of true beauty.
(Aw shiz. It would have looked better if I had wrapped it in a red and while checked towel and tucked it gently inside of a basket.)

Here was Jared's reaction when he walked in from the office. He was like, "You're telling me it has no whole wheat flour or lentils or squash in it?! Good heavens, Amy! This might very well be the best day of my life!"
And it was.
So there you have it, just another Wednesday in the life of an above average wife, working-mother, and homemaker.
Oh, and by the way, don't expect any spectacular pictures of tonight's meal. According to my plans we're eating frozen mini-eggrolls with Oreos and Coke.

Have a great day everyone!

Cautiously Fashionable

March 11, 2009

One of the strangest things about living in rural Maine has to do with the guns. From September through December, everywhere you look, people are casually toting their firearms around.

In Texas I found that upstanding citizens generally prefer to obtain a permit and conceal their weapons. Welp, not so much in Maine. We like to waggle 'em all over the dern place. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the size of firearms in Maine. I mean, come on, if you try to conceal a .22 caliber long rifle anywhere on your body you're going to walk like a pirate--trust me, the turkeys will see you coming from a mile away.

Mainers don't pack heat for self-protection or illegal activity, we pack heat for the simple purpose of feeding our homemade jerky habits. If you haven't tried it, you should, because one little strip of turkey jerky will provide you with more than enough energy to stand in line at the WalMart for many, many minutes.

It will also pull you through mile 23 of a grueling, full-length marathon. Trust me, I know. I've run two.

It's March, long past hunting season, and honestly, I haven't seen a rifle strapped to some guy's back, or some guy's bike, or the roof of some guy's Geo Prism in months--yet here I sit, going on and on and on about our statewide fascination with taggin' vermin.

It has everything to do with today's clothing choice.

I like to run, you see. And when I run, in an effort to distinguish myself from the ass end of a deer, I wear a crap load of orange. Bright orange hat, electric orange vest, blaze orange socks hiked up to my knees, and of course, and orange sports bra. You know, in case my clothes fall off.

You can never be too cautious.

Anywho, when I got out of bed this morning I came face-to-face with a five foot laundry pile (five feet tall--not walking around on five feet). I was like, "Screw you dirty clothes!"

They didn't respond.

So I was like, "I said SCREW YOU DIRTY CLOTHES!!! I HATE YOU!!! WASH YOUR DAMN SELVES."

Jared was all, "Amy. Shut up."

So I did. I shut up and I casually shuffled to my closet, head hanging, hoping in my heart that some really cute shirts had sprouted over night. No luck. So, due to a complete lack of alternatives, I grabbed my green striped sweater and my bright orange fleece running vest.

Usually I'd only wear the sweater, but I'm having a bra crisis. One of the underwires was poking the holy heck out of my hooter, so I pulled it out and threw it in the trashcan at The Blue Canoe (I was buying some Combos). Unfortunately, it's my only clean bra, and due to the lack of equitable support, it appears that one boob is normal and one boob is looking to the left, so I had to cover the whole scene with my vest. My blaze orange vest.

When I walked out of the bedroom this morning, Jared was like, "Gosh Amy, I don't know what it is, but you look nice!"

"Uh? Thank you?"

Then I went to The Blue Canoe (you know, to buy some Combos), and Darlene was like, "Don't you look cute today! I like your vest." I complimented the clerk on her smock and went on my way.

Then the plow guy gave me a semi-flirty smile and the raging pervert down the hall told me that I "look lovely this morning." I don't know, I'm baffled. Maybe I look less like a moose than I usually do? Or maybe orange takes the attention away from my ass flab? I have no idea. But I'm definitely wearing this vest again tomorrow.

A girl can never be too sexy...or too safe.

Straight Up Busted

March 10, 2009

I have no idea what's happened to me, but I spent the whole of yesterday skiing my brains out, and now, all I can think about is napping. I honestly don't know what it is about sliding down a hill on a pair of waxed sticks that zaps every last ounce of energy from my soul, but let me promise you, it really, truly does.

Maybe it's the constant, unwavering focus on trying to stay alive. I've heard that can burn a lot of calories.

Anywho, I had one hell of a time getting out of bed this morning. When my alarm went off, I took the situation very seriously and unplugged that silly waste-of-a-thing. Snooze, you see, is for ambitious people. But unplugging? Unplugging is reserved for those of us who have achieved an advanced stage of complacency in life. If you do it too, then congratulations, welcome to the underachievers club--don't worry, we never have any meetings.

It took a urine-soaked three-year-old to rouse me from me slumber. He shook me awake and I sat up with a start. I was like, "Dude! Don't mug me! You can have my purse!" I know, kind of a strange reaction...but I was sleeping hard...and he smelled exactly like a New York City subway station.

By the time I was up n' at em, I had no time for my regular morning routine--toss in a load of laundry, pray, read my scriptures (I know, you're impressed), feed the dog, take a shower, etc--and as usual, the scripture reading and prayer were the first and second things to get cut (I know, not very impressive).

I decided to make up for my missed prayer after I dropped James off at daycare. Once he was securely inside, boots backwards, and toy tools in hand, I got in my car, shut the door, took a deep breath and started to pray.

By the time I reached my office, I had yet to finish my plea. I had asked The Lord to fix the failing economy, but I hadn't yet gotten to the part where I would ask God to help 1,000 people hurt their backs in central Maine, mysteriously slip one of Jared's cards into each of their pockets, and help his female patients develop unrelenting crushes on my husband, leading to routine, long-term chiropractic care.

What? A girl has a right to her prayers.

I like to pray out loud, but come now, I was sitting in my parking lot at work. I was genuinely worried that people passing by my car in the early morning rush would think I was insane if I was seen talking to myself--and clearly, I am not.

So, in a moment of personal revelation and spiritual clarity, I found a solution to my predicament. I would continue my prayer but pretend was I was talking on my cell phone.

Pure freaking genius.

Except for one thing: I forgot my cell phone in the bathroom this morning. (So what? I like to chat n' poo. Sue me.)

So, in a fervent effort to continue my conversation with God, I picked up my wallet, placed it next to my left ear, pretended it was a cell phone, and prayed my brains out. I even used exasperated hand motions in an effort to increase the authenticity.

Genius restored.

When I was all done I straightened up my credit cards and headed inside. As I stepped though the front double-door, I was intercepted by a nice woman who works down the hall. As coincidence would have it, we use the same daycare provider.

"Amy," she said. "Thank goodness you're here! I need to call Miss Nancy about Jane's medication, but my cell phone is completely dead and that's the only place I have her number."

"Oh gosh," I said. "What do you need?"

"You must have Nancy's number in your cell phone, right? Can I borrow it for a second to call her?

"Oh crap," I replied. "I accidentally left my cell phone at home this morning."

"What? No you didn't," she insisted. "I saw you talking on your phone in the parking lot."

Busted.

Jared's Secret Twin

March 5, 2009

It's no secret. I'll even shout it from the rooftops if you'd like me to. I'm a huge American Idol fan.

There's nothing, and I mean nothing, that I love more than sitting down on a Tuesday night, clicking over to Fox, and railing on some super skinny girl for singing like a sick goat who's high on cocaine. The ones with the flabby arms are even better--even when they can carry a tune.

I'll say it again...I love American Idol, and so far this season, I haven't missed one single episode.

Early on, during the first round of auditions, I very clearly remember this kid, Alex Wagner-Trugman:

As soon as his image popped onto my 19" television, I turned to my husband (pictured below) and said, "Gosh Jared, that kid reminds me of someone." My husband (still pictured below) nodded his head in agreement and said, "Me too, but I can't put my finger on it."

We continued to talk about this Alex character every time he appeared on the show. When his professional photo graced the screen two weeks ago, I had become more than frustrated. "Jared! Look at this picture! Who does he remind me of? I just can't place it!" And my husband (two pictures down) was like, "I don't know. But it a strange way, I think that kid is kind of good looking." And he shrugged and walked away.

Alex's supermodel face:

Jared's supermodel face:

Last night, when I logged onto facebook, I was really surprised to see quite a few wall conversations that chattered on about my husband.

They were like:

Nathan wrote on Ben's Wall
Dude, I know! Give that kid a Red Sox hat and a chiropractic table and Amy would never know the difference!

and

Molly wrote on Courtney's Wall
Spitting image of Jared! I mean, it's kind of freaky!

And then, I finally realized who they were all referring to when I can across this facebook post:

Berta wrote on Jared's Wall
Look Jared! You have a twin!

And she posted a picture of Alex Wagner-Trugman from American Idol.

So I looked at my husband:

And I looked at Alex:

And hot bananas! They were right! My husband looks a lot like Alex from American Idol...but with much better taste in shoes.

And then, when I was browsing around for photos of Alex this morning and came across the picture posted below, the deal was officially sealed--because Jared has an exceptionally weak bladder and is doing that exact same dance 99% of the time:

Twin

March 5, 2009

It's official. My husband has a semi-famous twin.

More details to come...

In the mean time--and for the sake of my husband's reputation--please throw me a bone and answer this question in the comment section:

Is it cool to wear a hat that comes as a free gift with a magazine membership? Yes or no?

A Very Special Conference Call

March 4, 2009

The vast majority of the time, I feel like I'm a really great mother. So what if my kid only graces the bathtub once a week? He has an excellent sense of self esteem, and that my friends, tells me everything I need to know about myself. Basically, that I'm awesome.

If you stop by our house any time between noon and 7pm, I swear you'll witness an all out self-esteem fest. It's like this:

ME: James, you have the greatest hair in the world.
JAMES: Sanks Mom. I know.
JAMES: Mom? You have da gweatest hayo in da wood!
ME: Oh thanks, buddy! I think so, too!

JAMES: Mom? I yike yer pants.
ME: I like your pants!
JAMES: Wow. We got good pants!

And so on and so forth. Seriously, you should come over. We'll totally let you in on it.

But every now and again, I can't shake the feeling that I'm royally screwing up that sweet little three year old. Take this past Sunday for example...

On Sunday morning, James and I were standing in my bedroom getting ready for church. I helped him into his corduroy pants, selected a blue and white checkered button-down, and quickly realized that my kid would need to wear an undershirt, too. You know, since the temperature in our church building tends to hover somewhere around 52 degrees--on a good day.

Since all of the plain white undershirts were dirty, I grabbed a clean pajama shirt and slipped it over James's head--smiling brontosaurus and all.

"Mommy," James scolded! "Dat is a pajamee shirt! I cannot wear a pajamee shirt to church!"

"Oh sure you can, buddy! Your blue shirt will go over it. No one will see the dinosaur."

"No Mom. No pajamees at church."

"Well, actually James, it's totally okay to wear pajamas to church today," I replied, still not knowing what would come out of my mouth next. "I had a conference call with God and Jesus this morning at 6:30. They want you to wear a secret dinosaur shirt to church today. They were really excited about it."

"What?!"

So I repeated myself. "I talked to God this morning before you woke up..."

"And Desus, too" he interrupted?

"And Jesus, too. They're both hoping that you'll wear a secret dinosaur shirt to church today. And this is the only dinosaur shirt that I could find."

"Oh. Wow. Den I will wear da pajamee shirt, Mom. I will wear it."

And he did. The battle was done, and I was feeling pretty darn victorious until I had a very startling realization--I was scrambling the heck out my child's innocent little brain.

God?! Promoting the theory of evolution?! And dinosaurs?! On a Sunday?! At church?! That's pure insanity!!

"Damn it," I muttered to myself out loud. "I should have picked the shirt with the motorcycle on the front. Absolutely no conflict there!"

See? Sometimes even the best moms are just plain careless.

Writing Prompt Links

March 3, 3009

Had enough of that repulsive Chinese buffet story? Yeah, me too. It's utterly and completely wretched. In an effort to divert from that barfolicious tale, I will go ahead and provide links to the six smokin' hot ladies who took part in last Monday's writing prompt challenge.

The writing prompt had something to do with saying I love you. I think. I really don't know. I suck with leadership, organization, deadlines, and pretty much any other qualities that make an individual employable.

First we have Mindy. Mindy is another one of those precious few who've been reading my blog since day one. I love her. You can read her story here:
http://smithfamilyicecreamscoop.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-love-you-or-story-for-amy.html

See how I left the whole link instead of converting it into one convenient little word? Yeah, that's because I have no attention to detail, either.

Kimi wrote this one:
http://somanykidssolittletime.blogspot.com/2009/02/ive-been-spontaneousonce.html

Christina did this one:
http://ohhthemadness.blogspot.com/2009/02/post-for-amy-because-when-i-grow-up-i.html

Jes left a link to her whole blog instead of the post. So if you'd like to know what it's like to live life with a missing "s" in your name, click on over:
www.pureunderachievement.blogspot.com

Patricia, obviously the English major (and overachiever), wrote two:
http://patricia-randomrants.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-hate-you.html

http://patricia-randomrants.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-love-you.html

And then, last but not least we have Julia Niceass. At least I think that's her last name:
http://thesmithsfunnyfarm.blogspot.com/2009/02/laying-it-on-line_27.html

Enjoy!