Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feb's Eve 2012

Here it is, my favorite holiday of the year. I can't really celebrate this year like I have in the past. I have yogilates this evening and while skipping it entered my mind, I also realized that my arm flabby-jabbies aren't going away by themselves. And nothing looks worse in a wedding dress than bingo wings! So, I'll be celebrating by going to my class and then probably sharing a pizza with my mother. Yogilates and pizza go hand-in-hand.

I hope that you all are out celebrating big time. What are all of your Feb's Eve resolutions? My resolution is to drink more sangria. It's been awhile since I've had sangria and I miss it. Anyone want to go to Brasa with me?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Expanding Days

I love it at this time of year when you can actually feel the days getting longer. A month ago, it was dark when I left work and now it's not even dark when I get home from work. It's a small milestone in a Minnesota winter, but one that's always given me a lot of comfort.

My senior year in college, I took a January Term class, or as St. Thomasians called it, J-Term. It was a 200-level American English class and was held Monday-Thursday from 8:00 A.M. to noon. It was kind of brutal. Heavy reading and writing and having it four days a week did not help at all. I would go to class until noon, then grab lunch back at my apartment and then go to my work study job from 1:00 - 5:00 P.M. When I would get home, I'd spend at least 5 hours working on my writing assignment and finishing up the reading. Good thing it was terrible outside.

I remember at the beginning of the term, when I would walk back from my work study job to my apartment, I felt so depressed. I still had mountains of work left to do and it was already dark. It felt like time was rushing by me. Close to the last day of the term, I remember leaving work and heading home in the sun. It felt so glorious that I walked around campus a little longer than necessary basking in that January sunset.

Every year in late December/early January when I'm thinking about how depressing it is that it's dark at 4:30 P.M., I'm reminded of this moment the moment in college when I walked in the January sun. I remember that every day we are gaining a little bit back. Everyday we walk in the light a little bit longer. Suddenly, the winter doesn't seem so long.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

Here's an excerpt from a recent trial:

Witness: That was the night I got so mad at my uncle. I was sleeping in the basement and when I woke up he was teabagging me.
Judge: What does that mean?
Witness: Teabagging? Oh, it's just when someone dangles their nuts in your face.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Acts of Douchebaggery

First of all, I'm not even going to comment on the dude's outfit. Except to say that he's wearing plaid on plaid. And that he's wearing pajama pants.

Okay, what I'm really here to RAD is people who go out to eat with other people and, instead of interacting with the other people, spend the entire time on their phone. I think she's texting and he's playing Angry Birds. Is that even a phone the gentleman has? That thing is huge!

Anyhow, the point is that this is really uncomfortable. When you go out to a restaurant with someone, you should make an attempt to converse with them. When two people are sitting at a table, only paying attention to their electronic devices, they look like total douches. It also makes waitstaff and other patrons freaked out. Other patrons are worried that their interactions might disrupt the people's concentration. Waitstaff is wondering if they should take their order now, or wait until they have cleared the level.

A year or so ago, Mike and I went to Brasa in St. Paul. We were sitting next to this old couple who did not speak to each other once during their entire meal. Instead the man had his Ipad propped up, reading a book and the woman had an actual paper book that she was reading. It was so uncomfortable. Why weren't they speaking to each other? Did they get into some horrible argument on the way to Brasa, but they were so hungry that they decided to come in and eat anyways? How long had it been since they had actually spoken to each other? Or was this just business as usual?

Look, if you can't muster up enough social graces to have a conversation with your partner at the dinner table, then keep that hot mess at your own home. No one else needs to be subjected to it.

Photo and idea credit to Anne H. Thanks friend!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Encountering Engaged Clowns

This past weekend, Mike and I had to attend a one-day engagement encounter. While neither of us were looking forward to spending the entire day at the encounter (9:00 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. with a half-hour drive each way), both of us were looking forward to learning a little bit more about what our marriage would be like.

When we arrived, we were greeted by the main couple moderators. They were very friendly, but right away annoyed me. It was something about the jokes that they made and how loud they were laughing at their own jokes. When the first session started, it didn't get much better. They were talking way too much and over-sharing about their lives.

Then they started discussing how they had both been divorced before and this was their second marriage. Which I'm not going to fault them for, divorce happens. My first WTF moment with them was when they said that not only were they on their second marriage, but they had only been married for 4 months. Okay, how does being 4 months into your second marriage qualify you for teaching engaged couples about successful marriages?

However, that information would pale in comparison to what they would next share with us. It started with a discussion of spiritual divorce and the act of pulling away from your spouse. The couple moderators were going to share with us a difficult time in their relationship. The woman started the story with, "When I first met Krusty (name changed to protect myself), I knew he was a clown. I wasn't worried about it, though. What I was worried about was his ability to provide for himself and our family." She started going on in the story, when her husband (Krusty) interrupted her and said, "I should note here that when she says clown, she doesn't just mean that I'm a goofy guy, she means clowning is what I do."

This was the second WTF moment. They were professional clowns. Now, if being a clown is what you love, then be a clown. However, it's really hard to take people seriously when you are imagining them in a Bozo wig and clown makeup. Isn't the whole point of clowning? That people don't take you seriously. Which is fine when you are at a circus, but this is an engagement encounter. And there's really nothing that I take quite as seriously as my upcoming marriage. So, having these clowns poison the day was really pissing me off.

The third WTF moment was when Krusty was talking about that one summer when he wasn't getting as much business in his clowning and it made him depressed, so he played World of Warcraft all day long. This made his fiancee angry. And who could blame her, no one likes a sad clown.

Needless to say, there was absolutely nothing that these two goofballs could teach me about having a successful marriage. I'm pretty sure that Mike and I were more qualified to teach the class. The joy of the day was that when they got to the topic of sexuality, the clowns stayed silent. Only the old people moderators told us about their sex life. I'm pretty sure I would have had to leave if I heard about their clown sex.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Turtle Talk with Crush

I have been to Disney multiple times, so there's very little in the parks that leaves me thinking "How do they do that?" But, Turtle Talk is one of those things that I cannot figure out how they do it to save my life.

So, here's the set up, Turtle Talk is located in an obscure corner of The Living Seas building. Search it out, because it's probably the best attraction in the Living Seas building (that building sucks balls). Once you find it, you will have to wait for the next show to begin, when it does you go into this dark theatre like room. There's a screen at the front with a scene that looks like you are deep under the ocean. The one bad thing is that they put all the little kids in the front and so when you are there without kids, you definitely feel like a creeper.

The show starts and there's a Disney employee at the front of the room, by the screen, saying that we have to call Crush (the surfer turtle from Finding Nemo) to the tank so that he can talk to us. So, you call Crush and this animated turtle comes to the screen.

What happens next is pure magic. It's tough to explain, but he takes questions from the little kids about what life is like as a turtle and then he will call on kids to ask them questions about being a human. So, it all happens LIVE. It's like watching a movie that is interacting with you. Crush will say to the Disney employee, "give the microphone to that little girl with the pigtails and the green shirt." And the girl will get the microphone and ask a question like "where do turtles poop?" And then Crush will give some kind of answer that's really funny. And his mouth is actually moving to the words.

It's so much fun. And each show is different, so you can go a couple of times and always be surprised by what is happening. Plus, the kids are always funny about the questions that they ask and there is usually one punk kid in the group who wants to show how badass he is by asking or saying something kind of inappropriate. That part is also awesome.

This ride gets a 4/5 or 9/10 for ingenuity and the WTF factor. I'm minusing a point for uncomfortable seats and the creeper thing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sick Baby

I realize that getting a cold is a necessity of life. It helps us build immunities and then we might not get as sick later on in life. Blah, blah, blah. I am such a baby about getting a cold. I literally revert to my young self and just want to mope around in jammies and order people to make me grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. But, now that I'm an adult I have realized that I can't not go to work every time I come down with the sniffles and even if I did, there would be no one staying home with me making me food. It's a lose-lose.

I came down with a cold this week. It's my first one in awhile. I'm getting over it today, but I'm at that stage where I feel and sound like I'm a chain-smoker and no amount of water or tea will change it.

When I came down with this particular cold, I had an internal debate about whether I should go to work. This is the worst part about being an adult. Sick guilt. Because, I really felt lousy and knew that laying in bed all day would do me a world of good. On the other hand, we were busy at work and was I really sick enough to call-in sick? That's a tough question. How sick do you have to be to call in sick to work? I feel like you have to at least have a fever.

So, I went in. It was miserable and I was a huge baby about it. I'm a baby about a lot of things.

As I was sitting there at work, I realized that I rarely notice when other people are sick at work. Why is that? Do they just not come in? Or do they have a secret weapon against colds that they aren't telling me about? One very worldly co-worker told me today about a British thing called Lemsip that apparently stops colds dead in their tracks. I guess you put it in hot water. But you have to order it from someplace overseas because it's not FDA approved. Anyone else ever heard of this? Why are Americans always the last to know?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kirby!

Yesterday was my Kirby's first birthday. I took some really cute pictures of him in a birthday party hat, but unfortunately they are trapped on my camera and I didn't bring the tools to free them. So, instead, you get a picture of him doing what he does best...lounging.

Last year at this time, Kirby had popped out of the womb of either a bitch redbone coonhound or a bitch bloodhound, or a bitchy combination of both. Then some asshole left him and his litter by the side of an Oklahoma road. Which is really mean, but luckily that person's error in judgment was our gain.

Kirby is a funny mutt. He is neurotic, intelligent, stubborn and independent. He likes to hide socks and underwear under the coffee table, howl at anyone who dares to walk by our house when the sun goes down and put his face up on the table while we are eating in the hopes that we will throw him a scrap (we never do). He's also all legs, as you can see from the picture, and has this lean and muscular frame that makes me jealous.

Kirby, you've brought so much joy (and frustration) to Mike and my life. Please stop growing so fast so that I can enjoy your howls, besos and drool for many moons to come. Also, please stop howling in the middle of the night when you hear strange noises. It gives me heart palpitations.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

People Are Crazy

When Mike and I went to the Grand Canyon this fall, I was expecting the canyon to be safely gated so that no one feared falling over the edge. I was wrong. While there are some fences along the edge of the canyon, the vast majority of it is totally un-gated. Meaning you could run right off the edge and plummet to your death.

It's scary because in the Grand Canyon Village there are all these kids running around. And they are maybe 4 or 5 feet from the edge. It made my anxiety level go way, way up. I don't really have a fear of heights, but I have a very rational fear of falling from great heights. So, when I was at the canyon I was part awed and part nervous wreck.

I was usually a nervous wreck when I saw people doing things like this:

I realize that you don't have a lot of perspective on this photo and you might be thinking "Oh, that's a lovely couple standing at the edge of the canyon taking a photo." But, that is not what is going on here. These people actually climbed about 40 feet into the canyon to this treacherous rock formation to take a photo. And by climb, I mean they actually had to scale rock to get there. Without ropes. Carabiners be damned!

They weren't the only idiots out there doing this. Look at these people:

I really have no idea how they got down there. It's a sheer drop off from the top of the canyon wall to this rock. And, again, I don't think my photo gives you a good perspective of how far down they were. You also can't tell from this photo that one of them was wearing flip-flops.

Worse than getting down there, I had no idea how they were going to get back up. With no trail near them, the only way back was to literally climb up rock with your bare hands. What is wrong with these morons?!

Then there's these dopes:

What a nice place for a romantic sit-down. Just sitting and chatting and dangling our legs off of a canyon wall. No matter that if someone pushes me, I will fall 2,600 feet onto a hard canyon floor. Where is their sense of paranoia?! They must not have any enemies because all I'm seeing here is danger of someone giving me a big kick from behind.

And then there's this picture:

Here, right at the edge of the canyon wall is a purse, water bottle and small bag. There was no person anywhere around these belongings. I even peered over the edge and didn't see anyone climbing down. And it was nearing nightfall. So......... I mean, not to sound morbid, but I'm pretty sure they fell over. And are probably now dead.

I'm guessing that these yahoos thought that no one can die at the Grand Canyon. But, they are wrong. In the gift shops, I found a book called Death at the Grand Canyon and it was all about people falling over the edge or not taking enough water on hikes or getting stuck by lightning. And these people are all dying. So, it can happen to you. If you go to the Grand Canyon, please consider using one of the many trails that will lead you right down to the floor. And bring lots of water.