Zombie Battery

This is a Zombie Post, originally posted January 2006.  To find out more about Zombie Posts, please visit Cate at Real Life with Kids.





Yep. I've gone all the way from geek straight past nerd and dork and all the way down to complete and utter idiot.

I'll start from the beginning. As some of you know, I've been using Chandler's truck this past week. Because I let him borrow my car for a long roadtrip he had to make. And his vehicle needed some work done and he didn't feel comfortable driving it that far. Also, he drives an SUV, I have a little bitty Hyundai Accent so, gas mileage, yay.

So I've been driving what I am now calling the GOPMobile (because of all the Bush/Cheney type bumper stickers all over the...um...bumper. Oh, and let's not forget the March for Life sign in the backseat) and I feel like I need to apologize to everyone I pass for the raging conservatism. "It's not me, really, I swear!"

And, even setting that aside, I REALLY don't like this truck, Sam I am. It's just.....it's counter-intuitive. None of the controls are where they should be or operate like they should or NUTTIN'. I drove home from his place last Monday NIGHT with my lights OFF.  Probably because it took me so long to figure out how to adjust the seat so my short little legs could reach the pedals and then I was struggling with trying to locate the parking brake release that I just got so flustered and forgot about something so NON-ESSENTIAL as lights. Shut up.

(Oh wait, he was just corrected me. I didn't drive home with my lights off after all. Apparently the lights go on automatically. Huh. Who knew?)

So yeah, every single time I get in or out of the vehicle I actually have to THINK and go through the whole mental checklist, remembering where things are and what I need to do to safely shut down the vehicle. It's a chore, yo.

So yesterday, I go into work around 3pm. And it was a bit rainy. So I had my lights on.

Sigh.

Y'all know what happened, right?

Sho'nuff, I leave the building around 7pm, go to start the GOPMobile and...nothing. Battery's dead, baby. Battery's dead.

LUCKILY!! Lola and I had planned on meeting for dinner so she was right around the corner. So first, I called her to come pick me up. Then I called Chandler and got his voice mail. I started rambling because see, I had not yet figured out that I had left the lights on, it didn't even occur to me that this might have happened because I would never do something that dumb, oh no, not I, so I wanted to ask him whether the battery was old and weak or something because I just had no idea WHY WHY WHY this could have happened but as I was rambling to his voice mail the light (HA!) dawned and I checked and sure enough I realized that I had left the lights on so my tone changed from bitching him out (no, not really, I don't bitch. Shut up, I DON'T) for leaving me with a weak battery to sheepishly admitting what I had done and since I am NOT a car person, I didn't know that the battery just needed a jump and it would be fine, I thought I had kilt it for good and I told him I would pay for a new battery and then I finally stopped rambling and hung up.

And then I realized that Hey! Just because the battery died didn't mean it was gone for good, right? It could be reanimated or something. Like, a zombie. We could have a whole army of zombie batteries. Or something.

So I called The Ferocious Beast (AKA Ex-Hub#2) because he knows all about the car stuff but he wasn't picking up so I called The Duke because he is another car person and let me tell you, car people are good to know, but he wasn't picking up either and oh woe, oh me, oh my, the uncertainty, but then Lola showed up and reassured me that most likely, once we jumped the battery, everything would be fine.

Huh. And she isn't even a car person.

But first, we had to get dinner. Baja Fresh. Burritos were consumed. Yum.

Chandler called back during the burrito consumption but I kinda blew him off because, burritos!

So we get back to the GOPMobile and Lola has one of those handy dandy  quick jump start kits that has a battery powered generator. Or something.

So we pull that junk out of her trunk and I drag it over under one of the parking lot lights and I scrutinize it to figure out how to work it and I figure it out and I'm all set.

But then I couldn't figure out how to pop the hood of Chandler's truck.

Around this time, we are approched, in the middle of this EMPTY parking lot (remember, I'm still parked at the office) by a man carrying a bag from Baja Fresh, where we had just dined. Why yes, it DID occur to me that he had followed us from there. Anyway, he starts going on about his cousin who's attending University of Maryland and we have no idea what he's going on about but finally Lola says, "Can you just get to the point?" as she gestures to our two vehicles but he continues talking and still not making any sense but eventually we THINK he's trying to get directions to his cousin's school and we don't know whether he was referring to UMBC or College Park and it DOESN'T MATTER because neither one was particularly close to where we were and even though I know EXACTLY how to get to UMBC (since I live maybe two minutes from there) I wasn't about to spend any longer with creepy stalker guy than necessary, especially not since we had IMPORTANT stuff to do, GOSH.

So we dismiss him and we go back to trying to figure out how to raise the hood on this cursed vehicle and we're not getting anywhere because where the hood release SHOULD be is instead the parking brake release and WHO THE FUCK designed this vehicle anyway and at that point I call Chandler again but he doesn't pick up (as it turns out, he was on the phone with his mom who was diagnosing him with appendicitis. Heh, she sounds like MY mom) so I babble a bit more about HOW ON EARTH DO I OPEN THIS FREAKING HOOD!?!?! and then I hang up and JUST as Debbie and I finally figure it out he calls back but I tell him again all is well and he tells me all about his about to burst appendix and then pleads with me to NOT attach the postive charger to the negative terminal (or something like that) and I have to tell him I am not COMPLETELY incompetent when it comes to car stuff, despite what it may seem, I HAVE jump started a car before and I've changed my own flat tires too.

So then we get off the phone and I turn with puzzlement back to the engine because.....oh dear, because I couldn't figure out where the battery was.

Eep.

I see what I THINK is the battery but I can't figure out where to hook up the charger. I see a little rubber thing which I surmise must cover the ummm...place where I would hook up the charger. I have no idea what those little thingys are called so from here on out they shall be referred to as nubs.

What? You have a better made up name? Well, lemme hear it then. Otherwise, shut up.

Right. So yeah, I pry off the little rubber thing but there are no nubs underneath. Just...um....places to put fluid.

Well, THIS can't be the battery, I say to Lola. Because I know I've checked my fluids and stuff and I've never ever heard of battery fluid.

Lola says, I'm pretty sure this is the battery, look, it's all boxy like a battery. And it's got the red and black, just like the charger.

Well, yeah, okay, I see that. Matter of fact, I saw that when I was talking to Chandler and reassuring him that I knew what I was doing. And then I look a little closer and I realize, yeah, it's the battery. I think the printing that said, "....blah blah blah battery blah blah blah..." was a tip off.

But still. If that's the battery, where are the nubs?

I poke around a bit more and then I call Chandler back. Poor guy. I'm sure by this point he was worried I was going to blow up his truck or something (to be honest, that fear had crossed my mind as well).

Finally, I find what I'm looking for and I let him go and I hook up the positive charger to the positive nub and then look around for a good place to attach the negative side. Which involved a bit of a balancing act because this quick start kit is nice and handy and all but the cables are really kind of short. But I figure it out and I switch it on and I tell Lola, "If I start twitching, call 911" and I get in the car and crank the engine and nothing happens so I get out of the car and Lola says something about how she thinks maybe I didn't turn the charger on all the way because isn't it supposed to make noise so I go to disconnect everything to make sure there was no juice flowing anywhere before I start messing with the charger again and as I go to disconnect the negative side there are sparks.

EEEEEEEK!!!

And then, the underhood light comes on. So Lola and I look at each other and I ask whether she has her cell phone handy to call 911 because I am SO sure I'm about to fry and she says, "Yeah. Well, it's in the car" so I hand her mine and tell her I'm going back to crank the engine and to step back.

So she does and I do and the car starts and all is well and no one fried, not even the car and that is the end of my story and I am ever so happy to have my own car back now.

Plus BONUS!  I acquired a gas can. Because Chandler? Ran out of gas.
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In which I shut up and drink my rum. Among other things.

Katie over at Sluiter Nation is doing Top Ten Vacation Memories for Top  Ten Tuesdays.

Well okay!

I like lists.  I like vacations.  I like memories.  And ten seems like a good number.  So I will play.

My original intent was to do a little riff on the theme and go with my top ten vacation photos but I realized that some of my best pictures don't really have a strong story associated with them and some of my best memories don't have a very good picture (if they have one at all)

So....you're gonna get what you're gonna get which is going to be a mish-mash of both.  There might be more than ten.  Deal with it.

Atlantic Beach.  North Carolina.  May 1986.  Senior Week
There were seven of us girls.....and one dad.  I have NO idea why we brought an adult with us to Senior Week.  I think one of the girls had parental figures that insisted on a chaperone.  But.....King Krumpet, as awesome as he was (and is) propbably isn't what they had in mind.  But that's okay because he was cool!

He bought us wine coolers!  He let us stay out all night!  And his daughter, Krumpet, grew up to be pretty darned terrific with a great head on her shoulders, a strong sense of self and the sturdiest backbone of anyone I know.

Our first or second night there, one of us decided that we needed to add some boys to our party.  So we posted a sign on the door.  King Krumpet had to add his own spin to the sign.

(7 girls.  1 guy.  NOT RIGHT!!  HELP!! More Girls!)

Despite his addition, we managed to pick up Lin.  Who was dumb as a stump.  But cute.  He and Krumpet hit it off well.


Ocean City, Maryland.  August 1991.
Five years later, five of us plus King Krumpet (no longer serving as a chaperone - we just brought him along because he's fun!) reconvened in OC.  Tea and I quickly discovered the view out of our bedroom window was pretty spectacular.

Bob the Hurricane hit OC that week.  (Yes, Bob the Spider was named after Bob the Hurricane).  We went to bed while the storm was raging and I woke up to someone saying that the world had changed while we slept and I thought, "What did Bob do?"

But it wasn't Bob.  It was the USSR.  It fell.  Or something

We went out that night. Saw a band.  I fell for the guitarist.  It was the start of my long history of being a band groupie. 

Lillibet became annoyed by the prevalence of Candy Kitchens on every corner.  So....we had to pointeach and every one out to her.  "Hey Lillibet?"  "WHAT?"  "Candy Kitchen!"

Brownwood and San Antoino, Texas.  August 1987.
Tea's grandmother lived in Brownwood.  We spent a few days bumming around town before taking a road trip to San Antonio.  To this day, the Riverwalk in San Antoino still astounds me.  Such lush and serene beauty in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the US.  And touring The Alamo, feeling the history?  Was like nothing I'd ever felt before and I've only felt it once since (in Lower Manhattan, standing on Ground Zero).  I don't have any pics of San Antonio right now but check this space, I might add some later.

I DO have some other pics though!

Me, looking all hot and stuff.  And the sad thing is, back then?  I STILL thought I was fat!

Tea, The Dip.  You know she's a dip because there is a sign saying so.  (To be fair, she has the same pic...only of me, of course)

Tea and I, taking a mirror pic, before mirror pics were cool.


Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  September 2006.
ROAD TRIP!  Lola and I, along with our friend, Little Bo Peep took a mini-vacay to Myrtle Beach. We spent most of our time (when we weren't on the beach of course) at Broadway at the Beach, a massive shopping/entertainment complex. So many nightclubs, so much free time, wheeeeee!!!!

We also spent a good chunk of time searching for Seaboard Street. I was ready for my first tattoo and all the tattoo joints were on Seaboard Street.  Which we couldn't find.  There was a mighty quest and eventually we found the place and I got my tattoo.  A little pink martini glass on my back.  Yay martinis! 

The next day, after dinner and cocktails at Margaritaville, we were at Fat Tuesdays enjoying (more!) cocktails and Lola decided she was ready for her own tattoo.  And Bo Peep wanted to get another done as well.  We brainstormed various ideas.  We finally hit upon the most genius idea ever.  ASS NIPPLES!  Nipples!  Tattooed on our asses!

So we went back to Seaboard Street but the shop that had done my tattoo the previous night was busy and the other place we went was skanky and Lola got askeered and Bo Peep got into an arguement with the tattoo guys so no ass nipples for us.

Phoenix, Arizona.  Las Vegas, Nevada. Grand Canyon, UT.  November 2006.
I went to visit Zim.  My ZimMAAAAY!!!  We met online and became bffs very quickly.  This was our first IRL meeting and we clicked as quickly in person as we had over teh interwebs.  There was mini golf.  And an errant golf ball.  That went into a suspicious looking hole. A hole that looked as if it probably harbored suspicious looking spiders.  It was a Hole of Spidery Doom.

After the Hole of Spidery Doom, there was DDR.  Neither of us had DDR'd before.  Both of us are clumsy.  There were spectators.

From this vacation was born our continued fascination with bathrooms of note.  It started with a Jack in the Box.  Two toilets, two doors....one stall.  No wall between the toilets.  Zim and I each walked in by separate doors and found ourselves in the same stall. 

Since then, we're both been on the lookout for bathrooms of distinction.  We've even created a FB fan page for them! 

From there, road trip to Vegas!  Our rental car got upgraded to a super schmexy PT Cruiser. 

Zim had one wish for our Vegas trip - to get her picture taken with Elvis.  We had a hard time finding him though.  We eventually had to make do with a janky time-share selling Elvis but I guess janky Elvis is better than no Elvis.

MY one wish for our trip was to check out the Burger Bar, a joint I had seen on Food Network.  I HAD to have one of their chocolate donuts.  Glazed donut bun, chocolate ganache burger, strawberry and other garnishes and it looked like a real burger.  YUM!

And of course, it wouldn't have been a complete road trip without the mother of all mirror shots - Zimmie and I - in the bathoom - AT THE BELLAGIO! 

From there, we road tripped to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  You can not tell from this picture that we were both terrified by the great yawning abyss to our backs, can you?

Washington, DC.  August 2007.
This was not technically MY vacation.  It was Zim's.  She had come into Baltimore for my wedding to That Man.  Following our rehearsal dinner, I got a call from my friend Chandler.  Chandler lives in Florida.  But Chandler was at BWI (in Baltimore).  He needed to get to DC.  And his ride had fallen through.

Do not ask me why he called me.  Do not ask me why he was in Baltimore and yet did not manage to attend my wedding.  Do not ask me why, on the night before I was getting married, I agreed to pick him up and drive him to the Metro station.  Do not ask me anything because it is way too long a story to go into here.
Suffice to say that Zim and I DID pick him up and we DID drive him to the Metro and when we got there I had a brilliant idea.

"Zim," I said.  "How would you like to get a quick look at DC?"

My plan was to jump on the Metro, get out at the Smithsonian, look at the Washington Monument, look at the Capitol building, get back on the Metro, get home and to bed by 1am.

Didn't quite work out that way.  I blame the trees.  There was also the unfortunate police tape incident and the theivery from a federal building incident. 

We ended up not getting home until 4am.  I don't regret it for an instant.

Las Vegas, Nevada.  September 2007.  The Crosby Death March through the Nevada desert.
Our honeymoon. We were staying at the Monte Carlo.  We took the bus all the way to the other end of the Las Vegas Strip to check out a sandwich joint I had read about.  It was good.  Turkey, cranberry, yum.
But then we tried to get the bus back.  And we waited.  And waited.  And the bus was not coming.  I finally said, "The hell with this, let's just walk back."

NOT one of my better ideas.  Did I mention it was Vegas?  In the middle of summer?  High noon.  And Vegas, in case you were not aware, is in the middle of the fracking DESERT.

Ocean City, Maryland.  August 2008.
That Man and I took the kids to the beach for a weekend.  The first beach visit they would be able to remember.

I forgot my suit though so had to stop at a beach shop and buy a new one.  This sign cracked Buttercup up.
(please do not squeeze the fudge)

Because you know, the only reason to have a sign like this is because of prior fudge squeezing incidents.

The kids quickly fell in love with the beach.  Opus and Buttercup in particular took to the surf.  Maisy preferred just playing in the sand.

There's no story behind this picture.  It's just one of the best pictures of Buttercup ever taken.

That night we took the bus down to the boardwalk. On the bus ride back, Opus lost his arm and fell asleep on his sister.  Who was none to thrilled with this turn of events.


Enchantment of the Seas.  The Atlantic Ocean.  May 2009.
Lola and I took this cruise together.  The best vacation story EVER took place on this trip.

We had planned an excursion for our stop in Key West.  We were to go out on a boat, check out some dolphins, do some snorkeling and some kayaking and get back to the boat by 3pm.

There was some concern about the timing though because the excursion wasn't due back until 2:50 and we were both a little worried the ship would leave without us.  But, we had booked through the cruise line and I figured they knew what they were doing.

So we get on the little boat which was captained by exactly the sort of guy you'd picture captaining a boat in Key West.  Jimmy Buffett all the way. 

We went to the place where the dolphins were and we saw plenty of dolphins and I tried to take pictures but those guys move way too fast so all I got were pics of open water.

We were about to head off to the place where the snorkeling was but then?  Someone saw sharks.  So we had to stop and look at the sharks.  And also?  Express gratitude that the dolphin place was NOT the same as the snorkeling place.

So we go to snorkel.  Snorkel snorkel snorkel.  Except the water was cloudy and I couldn't see anything and I was disappointed and came back to the boat.  Others were still snorkeling.  And there was still kayaking to be done.  (The kayaking and the snorkeling were being done at the same place at least.  So some snorkeled while others kayaked and then the plan was to switch the snorkelers would kayak and the kayakers would snorkel and everyone would be happy, yay)

Lola wasn't feeling the kayaking love so we decided to sit that part out and we chatted with another group of non-kayakers for a bit.  And then I checked the time.  And kinda freaked out.  Because it was 2:30 and there was still much kayak and snorkel activity occuring.

I inquired politely of the Captain.  "Excuse me?  Are we going to be able to get back in time?"  I was assured that yes, we would, not to worry about it, everything is under control, others still need to finish their turn kayaking, please leave him alone to do very important captain-y things and would I like a rum and coke?

Well, sure!

So he pours me a rum (with a little coke) and one for Lola and a few others as well.

I am enjoying my rum (with a little coke) but still....it's 2:40pm.  <fret fret fret>

So!  I am all genuis-y and stuff.  I whip out my handy dandy little iPhone (YES!  I take my phone everywhere.  Don't judge) and was relieved to see that despite being in the middle of the ocean (which I later found out was not the ocean but rather the Gulf, who knew?), that I still had a signal.

And I look up the phone number for Royal Carribbean.

And I call them.

"HELLO!  I am a passenger on Enchantment of the Seas but right now?  I am stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean!  And it's is 2:45 and the ship is leaving at 3pm and I don't think we'll get back there on time!  And I can SEE our ship from here but I don't think I can swim there that fast!  Can you please ask the ship to wait for us!"

Lola and the other passengers are cracking up and I can't help a little giggling myself.  However, I don't think the friendly Royal Carribbean lady was taking me very seriously.  She asked for my phone number and said she'd call me back.

The Captain shoots me the Death Glare.  He whips out his laptop.  He clacks some keys.

"There!," he says.  "I just sent them an email and told them to wait for us.  Now SHUT UP AND DRINK YOUR RUM!"

So I did. I drank a lot of rum.  And we got back in time.  But I blame the rum (and the captain!) for what happened next.

We go up to the pool deck for lunch.  Then we get ourselves some Mai Tais and get in the pool.
Ahhhh....nice pool!  Salt water pool!  This is the life.

I finish my Mai Tai.  Lola is about halfway through hers.  Then there is a splash and she gets a nice dollop of pool water in her drink.  She grimaces and sets it aside.

"WAIT!", I say. 

My thought process goes something like this.  "Well, yes, it's salt water but sometimes sweet and salty go together so maybe the drink is still drinkable."
My thought processes do NOT say, "Hey!  This is pool water!  People have been swimming in it!  There are bodily fluids in this water!"

So....yes.  I take the glass from Lola.....and.....I drink the pool water.  In front of witnesses.

The rest of the cruise, people were saying to me, "Hey!  Arent't you the girl who drank the pool water?"

Luckily, I had Richie Rich, my Pretend cruise Ship Boyfriend to console me.

Richie Rich (and, unlike every other name on this blog, that actually IS his real name....well, the Richie part at least) was the karaoke guy.  I think I caught his attention when I sang "You Oughtta Know".  To him.   Then I somehow got roped into singing "I Honestly Love You".  WITH him.  It was bad.

After that, he seemed to be following my every move.  He was cute so I let him.  And then, he talked me into playing BINGO.  Which I won.  And my prize?  A free cruise!  And immediately after that, I went into the casino and turned $10.00 into $160.00.

Richie Rich was my good luck charm. 


Oh and Lola gave a lap dance to a statue.


There are tons of other stories and tons of other pictures but this post is long enough already, dont'cha think? 
~~Marie
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Laser Boobies

Apparently, I have a techologically advanced chest.

I will explain.

Lola IM'd me Friday, wanted to know what I was up to this weekend, said she had plans but was looking for something different to do.  I told her I'd scope out the local bars, see if there were any good bands playing and get back to her.

Well.  Went to Looney's first, pulled up their calendar.....and almost wet my pants when I saw The Amish Outlaws were playing Saturday night.  Um?  SQUEE!! 

I'd been wanting to check them out for YEARS but the timing had never been right.  So I IM'd her back, emailed Krumpet, put it on my Facebook...."OOH OOH OOH AMISH OUTLAWS PLAYING!!!!"

(I talk in caps a lot.  Get used to it)

So plans were made.  Krumpet, her boyfriend Jesus and her daughter Kat would go to Looney's for dinner.  Since Kat is a minor, they'd only be able to stay until 11pm but that was okay with them so okay with me.  (I'm very easy to get along with dont'cha know?).  I picked up Lola when I got off work and we met up with the Krumpet Klan around 9:30.

They're finishing up dinner so Lola and I stand there for a few moments talking to them.  And I steal some of Kat's quesadilla. 

I'm feeling kinda awkward just standing there so I look around - WITH COMPLETELY INNOCENT INTENT, I swear - and there is a table for four right next to us with only TWO people sitting there.  Four minus two equals two and I needed two chairs so this seemed like a no brainer. 

It was not my fault that the two occupants of said table just happened to be Bendy Boys.

Nor is it my fault that I happen to maintain very good posture and keep my abs tucked and my chest out.

And OF COURSE I was wearing lippy lipstick and had all sexy lips and stuff. 

So I walk over to the table and I ask, in the most neutral NON FLIRTATIOUS tone possible, "Excuse me, are y'all using these chairs?"

Despite what Krumpet might say, I did NOT toss my hair.  Or bat my eyelashes.

My boobies might have swiveled a little though.

So I get the chairs and I slide one up to the table between Jesus and Kat and I sit there and it is through SHEER COINCIDENCE that I am shoulder to shoulder with Bendy Boy #1.  I am not the one who put the tables so darned close together. 

And YES my upper body (and boobies) were angled towards the Boys o' Bendyness because AGAIN, tight space and I didn't want to be all pressed up on Jesus because then Krumpet would be all "Oh HO!  First you steal my child's food, then you steal those poor innocent boys' chairs and NOW you're stealing my boyfriend!"

Oh wait.  She did say that.

So yes.  Commence mocking.  Apparently, my innate flirtatiousness can not be contained and my boobies have a built in tracking device in order to hone in on the most attractive man (or Bendy Boy) in any given room at any given time and it is COMPLETELY INVOLUNTARY, someone has taken over my boobs, they operate completely independently of their owner.

The eyelash batting is all me though.
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Mostly Gracie

This is Gracie.
Gracie is a Norwegian Forest Cat.  That means she is ideally suited for the frozen terrain of the forests of Norwegia.  I mean, she has built in snow-shoes for cryin’ out loud!  No lie – she has HUGE tufts of fur on her paws, meant to protect her feet when she walks across the snow and ice.
In Norwegia.
Except, of course…..we live in Maryland.  Which is not known for its Artic tundras and stuff.  Seems the evolutionary advancements are lost on Miz Gracie.  (Seriously, if you’re interested in such things, go Google “Norwegian Forest Cat”.   They’re kinda cool)
So yeah…..I’m one of those people who has a purebred cat.  Now I know, I know…..so many homeless cats need to be saved from shelters, BELIEVE ME, I know….and sometime soon I will be writing a post about a very special person, a good friend of mine who has started an animal rescue in Baltimore.  I am humbled by her.
So normally, yes, I would have gotten a rescue cat.
Except….
The man I married a few years back (as opposed to the man I married who fathered my children or the man I married when I was just a kid…..yeah, me + marriage = fail….but that’s another topic for another post and possibly a whole ‘nother blog altogether.)
Wait.  Where was I?  Let me start over.
I was single, living with my brother, no cats of my own but sharing housing with his two cats.  I was a relatively happy, NOT crazy, cat lady. 
Then I met….well, let’s call him….um….you know?  I don’t think I need a name for him.  I’m not going to talk smack about him but I don’t have a lot of good to say either, so I don’t think I’ll be talking about him much at all…..so for the purposes of this entry, we’ll just call him That Man.
So I was single and doing my share of dating but I was also totally head over heels for the Duke of Dork.  I wanted more from our friendship but finally had to face the fact that it was never going to happen.
And then I got a Random MySpace Message.
Y’all do remember MySpace, yeah?  Home of the crass, Land of the illiterate?  Where single (and sometimes even UNSINGLE) women were subject to the most unintentionally hysterical come-ons and if you were a single woman OVER 30, holy cow!  How many “heh heh heh….you like younger guys? heh heh heh” messages did me and my friends get?  A LOT!  Plus the ones that just said, “Nice rack!”  Or even worse, messages that just consisted of just a picture?  (Use your imagination)
Now, for every 20 Random MySpace Messages, there may have been ONE decent one.  Heck, one of my bffs is now in a LTR with a guy she met on MySpace (about four years now, I think?)  So it wasn’t all bad.  But sorting out the decent sounding guys from the tools….well, it could have been a full time job.
But when I got that first message from That Man, he managed to catch my attention.
1)      He spelled all his words correctly.  And spoke in full sentences.  With punctuation.  Be still my heart!
2)      He told me he was a chef, living in Baltimore.  Well, hello!  I am a food geek!  Nice to meet  you, Chef!
3)      He grew up in my hometown and went to the same high school as my brother, at roughly the same time
So I decided to give him a shot.  I replied to his message, we wrote back and forth for a while, finally had our first date and even though I wasn’t sold on him, I was also rebounding from the Duke and allowed Lola Granola to talk me into a second date.  And then he talked me into a third and before I knew it we were living together and then engaged.
Yeah.  We got engaged after six weeks of dating.
But we’re not going to talk about THAT.
The thing is, I have ALWAYS been a (not crazy) cat lady.  I grew up having multiple cats, as an adult I had multiple cats, it wasn’t until I married my children’s father (The Ferocious Beast) that I downgraded to just one cat.
And then when he and I split, I lived temporarily with my parents who had multiple cats and then, as mentioned, with my brother and HIS small multitude of cats.  And I always planned that once I was living on my own two feet again that I would once again amass a Feline Army.
Except?  That Man?  Was allergic to cats.
After much wailing and crying and moaning and gnashing of teeth and serious consideration of just breaking off the engagement, I started researching options.  Like getting a cat that had been genetically engineered to be non allergenic.  (A concept that seemed….ethically shaky to me.  And also, not cheap).  Also considered hairless cats but, no.  Ew.  I like to pet that cat and pet that cat and I just couldn’t see petting that cat and petting that cat if there was no hair.
So I started talking about air filters and daily vacuuming (NOOOOO!!!!!  Vacuuming = SUCK!) and then he said, “I used to have a Norwegian Forest Cat that I wasn’t allergic to.”
Hey now!  What’s that?  I was skeptical.  I’d never heard of the Norwegian Forest Cat and That Man was notorious for making things up.  Like desert dwelling penguins.  And venomous flamingos.  And stone babies (Okay, he didn’t actually make up stone babies but I was sure he had until I Wikipedia’d it.)
But….turns out….it’s a real breed.  And they (and to a lesser degree Maine Coons) seem to not affect allergies for a lot of cat allergic folks.  Those were my finding at least.  Based on extensive internet research.  Or, you know….30 minutes with Google.  Either/or.
So we started making plans to adopt a Wegie (as they’re sometimes known and this is NOT to be confused with wedgie, please and thank you).  We decided to wait until we got married and moved into a bigger apartment and then we would locate a breeder and I would have a kitty of my very own to pet and snuggle and cuddle and call George.
Or Gracie.
(Sidenote!  During the weeks leading up to the adoption of Gracie, I made much mention of the Norwegian Forest Cat on Facebook. For whatever reason, Facebook took notice of my use of the word “Norwegian” and deduced that *I* was Norwegian and that all the ads they displayed to me should be….Norwegian.  In the language of Norwegia.  Which I do not speak.)
So we finally move and find a breeder and I drive two and a half hours and the house is full top to bottom of kitty cats and Buttercup, my kitty cat loving daughter was in kitty cat heaven and I scooped up the first little kitty cat I saw and she nestled under my chin and stayed there as I looked at and petted all the other little kitty cats and she just sat there and purred and purred and purred and that is how I found my Gracie.
And this post has become much longer than I thought so the stories of Gracie and her Kleptomania and Gracie and the Dogs and Gracie and her Anger will have to wait until another day.
Say g’night Gracie!
(*Yes, yes, I know, Norway.  But Norwegia is a lot more fun to say.  Try it now!)
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Krumpet

Yesterday did not go as planned.

I MEANT to write about Miss Gracie Katt, The Kleptomaniacal Norweigan Forest Cat. But things got in the way.

I blame Krumpet.

See, I TOLD Krumpet I planned to write about Gracie Katt. I also told her I plan to write a post devoted to my friend Barbie and then I said, "I plan to eventually write a post about each of my close friends. Even you."

She was dismayed. I was forbidden - FORBIDDEN - to write a post on her.

Heh. Let the fun begin.

I met Krumpet in ninth grade. In Mr Zoulias' Biology class. Mr Zoulias was not a good person to be teaching Bio as he was a bit of a perv himself, always leering down the young girls' shirts. Plus, he wore hideous plaid pants which might even be a worse offense.

Also, we had Biology seventh period, near the end of the day so rowdiness was usually setting in by the time we got to his class.

Our desks were arranged in the shape of a big ol' U, with a few rows of desks situated in the interior of the U. Tea (my oldest bff (in terms of tenure, not age!)) and I sat at the top of one end of the U, Krumpet and HER bff, Lilibet, sat at the other end of the U.

One loooooong boring afternoon, I look over and this strange girl (that would be Krumpet) is making faces at me. More specifically, she is pretending to be hanging from a noose with her tongue sticking out. It must be noted here that her tongue? Was pointing the wrong way.

I poked Tea. "Hey! Look at that girl over there!"

But the moment Tea looked over, Krumpet ceased her shenanigans and went all nonchalant and stuff.

I should have taken this as a sign of things to come and run far far away, but instead.....I giggled.

Tea went back to pretending to pay attention to Mr Z and Krumpet resumed her noose routine.

I poked Tea again.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And that's how Tea and Krumpet and Lilibet and I eventually became The LADIEEEEZ.

(Disclaimer: As much as I love love love Allie, the drawings you are about to see are not in any way meant to imitate her style. She has real talent. I have.....none. Krumpet actually does have some artistic talent but her drawings were done very very quickly in the midst of a busy work day. So although imitation = flattery (or something like that) in this case....no)

So ANYWAY....when I was telling Krumpet yesterday about how I was going to tell this story, I asked her to illustrate the whole noose thing for me. Because y'all? I can not draw. At all.

The following conversation ensued:

Krumpet: NO! STOP IT! THERE WILL BE NO MENTION OF TONGUES GOING THE WRONG WAY AND INVISIBLE NOOSES!
Me: You totally need to draw me a picture of you with your tongue going the wrong way. And the noose. Totally. Cus if you don’t, I might have to try.
Krumpet: NO! I SAID NO!!!!!
Me: Cooperate or this is how I’m going to draw you


Krumpet: But the tongue is going the wrong way! And I’m BALD!!!!
Krumpet: Seriously, that was not cool because now I’m all snorty trying not to laugh.
Me: I am not a good draw-er. Plus? I was all snorty too. I might have to post that pic to FB because of its awesomeness. With no explanation of course.
Krumpet: Tea and Lilibet miiiiiight get it. You could at least add HAIR to my pointy head!
Krumpet: Plus the noose was INVISIBLE! Here: fixt


Me: VICTORY IS MINE! Bwahahahahhaaaaa!!!!
Krumpet: WAIT, WHAT? CURSES!!!!!
Me: <is feeling all clever and stuff>

Krumpet: I’m drawing one of you. With a perm and BIG GLASSES.


Me: New FB profile pic FTW!
Krumpet: FOILED AGAIN!!!!!!

So haHA! I win!

Krumpet's drawing is scarily accurate.  Here is a REAL picture of me, circa 1986  Cue screeching violins


It's kinda horrifying, I know.

I realize the ultimate victory might be Krumpet's since she has very cannily manipulated me into posting this picture on teh interwebs.  And I hate this picture so very much.  But....I love me some Krumpet so all is forgiven.

Besides.....I've got a mumillion more Krumpet stories in my back pocket.  Just wait.
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A long and winding road

I can't believe the work week is more than halfway over....not that I'm complaining, of course.

I noticed a few months ago that this guy I work with seems to be off on the first of each month (at least he was for two months in a row....not sure if the "pattern" extends past that)....not sure why I noticed this or why I was thinking about it this evening....but then again, do we ever really know where some of the random thoughts that enter our head came from? (Although I will admit to be endlessly fascinated with tracking them to their source, or at least, their first conscious source)

So anyway, I noticed that this guy had scheduled PTO for the first of the month two months in a row....and that got me thinking of when I was working for a payroll company and for some reason, I missed the last day of the quarter at least twice. And this was a big deal....missing Quarter End (or even worse, Year End) was a big no-no.

But I had good reason. The second time it happened (June 1996) was because I was in my best friend's wedding and had to attend to my matron of honor duties that day.

And the first time - I was driving to New York with my family for my grandmother's funeral.

And this got me thinking of the day my grandmother died. She had not been in good health mentally for years and years - senile dementia I think they called it. For a while, she lived with my parent's but her needs and demands practically drove my mother to a nervous breakdown...so she went to live in an assisted living facility.....but her needs were too great, her self-sufficiency too slight, and she ended up in a nursing home.

The last time I saw her was the morning following the engagement part my parent's threw for me and my first husband. This was sometime in 1990. We went out for brunch with my dad, his brother and his wife, and two of my cousins. Grandma didn't recognize me, and was fairly hostile.

It reminded me of a very similar visit with my great-grandmother when I was eight. She too was in a nursing home, but when she was well, before she went into the home, she used to like watching me dance....I would do a little faux tap dance for her.

Then she went into the home and I never got to see her. Kids my age weren't allowed up on the floor where she was kept. But, I begged and pleaded, and my grandmother, who was a nurse, pulled some strings and got me up to see her.

My parents warned me that she wouldn't recognize me - but it still broke my heart when I did my little tap dance for her and she yelled at my grandmother, not knowing who I was. I think she was even afraid of me.

And when I saw my grandmother that day at the Hilton, it brought back those memories of seeing my greatgrandmother in the nursing home.

And I never saw my grandmother again.

Flash forward six years: Grandma was still in the nursing home, not doing well. She was refusing to eat and the decision was made not to force her, not to put her on an IV, not to put her on life support, to let her go.

A few days after my mother told me this, I decided I needed to see her before she died. I called the nursing home at 2pm and said I was Rose S's granddaughter and I wanted to see my grandmother and when were visiting hours over (I lived in Virginia at the time and she was in Maryland....I wasn't sure if I could battle DC Beltway traffic and get to her before visiting hours ended and thought I might need to leave work early)

The nurse who I spoke with paused a moment and then put me on hold, and I knew in that moment I was too late...and sure enough, a few moments later, another nurse comes on the phone and says, "I'm sorry, your grandmother has passed."

I thanked her and hung up and collapsed into the arms of my boss....she held me and soothed me as best as she could, of course....and no one minded that I had to miss Quarter End that quarter.

I hadn't thought about that in years, but tonight, while making spaghetti, a random thought about Chris (the guy who missed the first of the month two months in a row) led to me sobbing like a baby, overcome with guilt, grief and shame....and fear.

I have three major fears, ranging from the very concrete (fear of spiders) to somewhat less solid (being buried alive) to the totally ephemeral (growing old and ending up like my grandmother and great-grandmother)....but....added to that list of fears....seeing MY parents' downward spiral like that.
::sniffle::

Note:  This is something I wrote quite a long time ago.  I felt the need to repost it now.  My apologies to those very few of you who have already read it already.
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Don't you Know I Love you 'till it Hurts me, Baby?

I love Girl's Night Out.  Except usually?  Stuff happens.  Usually involving me.  Making a fool of myself.  Usually.

In no particular order, I have:

  • Been pulled over for drunk driving when I had not had a DROP to drink.  Instead I was lost and went the wrong way down a one way street.  The officer had me doing field sobriety tests.  I kept trying to tell him to just Breathalyze me and send me on my way but no dice.  At one point he stumbled over his words and I said, "Are you sure YOU'RE not the one who needs a sobriety test?"  Somehow, I managed to not get arrested.
  • Attempted to place a 911 operator on hold after reporting a domestic disturbance.  Hey!  The report had been placed, patrol cars were on their way, my assistance was no longer needed and I had a cute Bendy Boy calling on my other line!  Admit it, you woulda done the same!
  • Engaged in a call and response with Lola Granola, one of my BFFs.  She would shout, across a crowded bar, "TITTIES!" and I would respond with "Leave my titties alone!"  I could explain why but I'll save it for another time. Suffice to say that this is the same night I met the Bendy Boy referenced above
  • Danced around Dave and Busters wearing a Chinese take out container as a hat (A CLEAN Chinese take out container).  This was AFTER spiking every Diet Coke I ordered from my water bottle full of vodka but BEFORE deciding to liberate a bottle of ketchup from the table for at-home use.

  • Committed multiple acts of Drunk Shopping (and once, Drunk ATM-ing) following consumption of the beer sampler platter at Duclaw.  I never did wear those boots…..or use the pink glitter handbag.
  • Attempted, along with my friend Barbie, to pick up twin Bendy Boy Bartenders. 
  • Allowed myself to be convinced to remove my blouse and dance around Bennigans wearing just my camisole.
  • Offered crayons to a table full of the ugliest bachelors ever.  Including "Wheelie".  Who was in a wheelchair.  Now, let me add, I did not name him that!  Barbie came up with that one.  At the end of the night, we felt kinda bad for Wheelie because all of his friends left him and he and his wheelchair were all alone in the parking lot.  Poor Wheelie.
  • Prearranged (MONTHS IN ADVANCE) a night out where the main activity involved driving around the streets of Federal Hill in search of the current object of my desire.  His name was Chad.  We had a carful of five, plus several more on the phone.  We drove around shouting "CHAAAAAAAAD!" out the windows. In the rain.  We didn't find him.  Amazingly enough, the very next week, when I wasn't even looking for him, we ran into him.  We exchanged phone numbers.  He called me, said he wanted to see me.  Then stood me up.  Then texted a week later saying "Would like sex".  So yeah….he turned out to be a tool.
  • Been involved in my own Happy Divorce! party.  Which involved puff paints, a tote bag and a persuasive argument to join the Lesbian Party.  However, as much as I did enjoy having whipped cream licked off my finger, I eventually decided to stick with Team Bendy Boy. (Yeah, see that picture there?  I had to crop off the bottom of it because the aforementioned lickee of the whipped cream put her phone number on it.....didn't think she'd appreciate it being displayed all over this small little corner of teh interwebs.

  • Managed to somehow pop the clasp of my bra during dinner.  After trying and failing to get it to reclasp, I decided the best thing to do would be to just remove it.  Which I did.  At the dinner table.  In front of the aforementioned table of Ugly Bachelors.

But.  Of all the GNO experiences I've had, the one that I will never live down, the one that gets brought up every time we go out, the one that runs through my head like a bad melody….the one that will live on in infamy is the Sex Karaoke.

Now wait!  Let me explain.

Like many of the incidents above, I can not fully blame alcohol.  Although there may have been some consumption, my best moments (and I use the term "best" loosely) usually have me more sober than not.

So I'm out with Barbie (and other girlies that I have not yet come up with names for...yet).  This is the bar with the twin Bendy Boy Bartenders.  There is karaoke at this bar.  I love me some karaoke.  Except?  Tragedy!  I can't sing. 

Doesn't stop me from singing but I won't solo.  Hey, I have SOME compassion for others, y'know?

But my girlies and I can not find a song that we all know and feel comfortable with.  They're more country western, I'm more pop/rock.  Kinda like Donny and Marie.  I resign myself to not singing.

Until!  Drunk Girl comes up to me and drunkenly asks me if I want to sing with her!

Well sure!  What could possibly go wrong when singing with Drunk Girl???

So we look over the song list and we pick a song and put in the slip and soon it's time to sing and I'm thinking, "Oooh!  This is gonna be great, how bad can I possibly sound, I've got DRUNK GIRL singing with me, no one is going to notice ME, score!'

The song starts.

Me -  There's things that you guess….
Drunk Girl -   ::silence::
Me - ::puzzled:  …and things that you know
DG -  ::mumbles::
Me – There's boys that you trust
DG - ::slurs::
Me – And girls that you---
DG - ::shouts:  SEX!  I WANT YOUR SEX!!
Me - ::has lost her place::
DG – GIVE IT TO ME!  SEX!  I WANT YOUR SEX!  SEX SEX SEX!!

Me - ::sits down::
DG - ::grabs me, hauls me to my feet::
Me - ::observes Barbie and other girlies laughing hysterically::
Me - ::attempts to tune out all distractions::
Me – I swear I won't tease you or tell you---

DG – IWANTYOURSEX IWANTYOURSEX IWANTYOURSEX SEX SEX SEX!

Karaoke Dude – ::pulls the plug::

So.....yeah.  There went any shot at Hot Bendy Boy Bartender.  But....at least I kept my clothes on this time.


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I'm a Coffee Achiever!

The word for the day is coffee.  And lots of it.

Matter of fact…..I would bathe in coffee.  Except then I'd end up in the hospital with third degree burns all over my body.  And hospital coffee is bad, yo.

It never used to be this way though.  Me + coffee, I mean.  I had disdain for coffee.  Oh, I'm not talking about all the frou frou tarted up coffee drinks that were more like dessert than beverages.  Those I was all in favor of.

But your standard "hot cuppa joe"?  Yeah, never really my thing.

MY thing was Diet Coke.  I was a hard core addict.  When I used to work from home, I would go through a 12 pack a day.  Ex-hub #3 once said that my desk was so littered with empty Diet Coke cans that it resembled a Diet Coke graveyard.

I had occasionally tried other caffeine sources.  Red Bull made me want to pull out my taste buds and stomp on them.  (Although Red Bull + Vodka = YUM!).  Little bottles of Starbucks Frappuccinos were tasty as all get out but after the time I spilled an entire bottle all over myself AND my desk I developed a bit of an aversion. (And sadly, I was NOT working from home that day so spent the rest of the day wandering around with a big ol' coffee stain on my jeans….cute!)

Now the Starbucks Doubleshots?  Mmmm…..those are a whole 'nother story.  Talk about your caffeine punch.  20 seconds after downing one of those I was bouncing off the walls.  "Okay, so you guys I just talked to this lady and she said that she wanted to do this and I told her it would be better to do that but then she said this and I said that and she said and I said and she and I and then we decided that maybe this that and the other thing and what do you all think I think maybe she might have a point but I wanted to get everyone else's thoughts just in case maybe I'm reading it wrong and OHMIGAWD guys what do you think???"  It got to the point where Barbie, a coworker and one of my bffs, told me I was no longer allowed to stop at Starbucks before coming to work.

But still.  Although I may have cast a wandering eye towards the others, my true love was always the Diet Coke.

::swoon::

Now I'd heard the stories about the supposed dangers of Nutrasweet.  I listened to ex hub #2 go on and on (and ON….that man never shut up about anything) about how I was poisoning myself and I was going to end up with brain tumors and a collapsed lung and a fourth arm growing out of my forehead but I didn't care cus it was yummy and I LURVED my Diet Coke and no one was going to take it away from me.

Yeah.  Fear of tumors didn't break us up.  You know what did?

Fear of being fat.  Forever.

I hear you thinking.  Diet Coke = Fat?  Let me explain.

One night, early this past summer, I was so down on myself I couldn't even breathe.  Although in many ways I feel myself to be an amazingly fabulous creature, the fact is, I weighed 212 pounds.  I was (and still am!) happy to be single and not looking to get involved with anyone but I also knew that one day, my feelings on the subject might change and if I didn't do something about my weight, I would be alone forever.  Which is great if it's by choice but not so great otherwise.

Not only that but I could feel the excess weight weighing me down.  I quit wearing high heels.  I didn't have the energy I used to.  I knew my cholesterol was bad.  And I have three amazing children and I want to be around for a long time still.  SOMEONE needs to keep an eye on them, you know?

And then, there is the Man I Adore who will now be known as the Duke of Dork.  We're not together, we never will be together, but that doesn't mean we haven't been and won’t be "together".   You know?  ::nudge nudge wink wink::

We had talked about getting together off and on during the spring but in the back on my mind, I knew there was no way I could let him see me like that.  I had to have been a good 40 pounds heavier than I was the last time we were together.

So that night, all of this crashed down on me.  And I wept.  And I felt hopeless.

What's that expression about hitting rock bottom?  Yeah.  I was there. 

Believe me, I'd tried dieting before.  I had managed to lose 30 pounds or so on Weight Watchers before the tedium of tracking points caught up with me.  Other than that, I had always eschewed fad diets.  I also stated that I was a big fan of the "Eat Sensibly and Exercise Diet".

(Errr….not that I'm saying Weight Watchers is a fad diet.  It's a great program, really.  I actually thought about going back on it but I didn't want to do it half-assed and I knew my schedule wouldn't allow meetings and I just didn't have the money to sign up for online so….there ya go)

So yeah…..Eat Sensibly and Exercise.  Great concept!  Except that it never seemed to work for me.  Without some kind of rigid structure, it was too easy for me to fall off track, telling myself, "It's okay, I'll try again tomorrow."

But…..my dear friend Barbie had recently started on Atkins and lost 10 pounds in two weeks.

Hey!  I heard that!  Please do not roll you eyes at me, you Atkins skeptics!  I too was skeptical but I also knew that I had to do something.  And this was something I hadn't tried before..

So I got the book and did some reading and did some internet research and did some talking and did some planning and decided that when I got back from my vacation to Myrtle Beach I would start on Atkins.  At least give it a try.

I knew I'd miss the rice and the potatoes and the bread and the pasta and all that good stuff but what worried me the most was having to give up caffeine and Nutrasweet…..and Diet Coke.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

But I was determined to do this right.  I warned my coworkers, warned my friends, warned my coworkers, warned my friends….and my children too.  I warned them that I would be going through caffeine withdrawals, that I would have nasty headaches and would probably be just nasty in general to be around.  But that it would pass.

And it did.  It was a hellacious few days but by the fourth day, I was feeling much better.

Except…..apparently…..lack of caffeine turned me stupid.

As mentioned before, I work in a field that involves decimals and commas and dollar signs.  In other words, money.  And when mistakes are made involving money, people tend to get a little concerned.

And dude.  I was making mistakes.  A lot of them.

Midway through my second week on Atkins, when it became apparent that a pattern was starting, I began to suspect that lack of caffeine was causing the problem.  Thursday, I verbalized this concern to my manager.  Told her I was aware of the errors, that I suspected that lack of caffeine was making my mental processes sluggish and that I would figure out a solution.

On Friday of that week, coworker Cruella brought in a Rock Star energy drink for Chilly Willy.  (Apparently before I joined the department, they had bonded over Rock Stars.)  Chilly Willy was out that day so she left it with me and asked me to give it to her on Monday.

So it sat on my desk.

And then, yet another error was brought to my attention.

I was done.  As much as I wanted to be thin (or at least, not fat) it was more important that I keep my job.

So I did it.  I drank Chilly Willy's Rock Star. 

And it was GOOD.  So much tastier than Red Bull.

(Thankfully, that was a sugar free, low carb drink, sweetened with sucralose, not Nutrasweet.  I might have abstained otherwise)

And it was decided.  I needed to get back on the buzz. 

I did a little more reading and found out the latest version of Atkins states that some caffeine is okay.  But they still no-no the Nutrasweet.

SWEET!

Unfortunately, did you know there are very few widely available diet soft drinks that do contain caffeine and do not contain Nutrasweet?  Yeah.

So, given that I didn't think it would be healthy to maintain a Rock Star habit, I decided I would just have to develop a taste for coffee.

And man, have I ever!  Even just plain ol' regular coffee from the office coffee pot, lightened with plain ol' regular unflavored cream.  It's become nectar to me.  So yes, I realize I've replaced one addiction with another but at least I'm back to being not-stupid and also, I've lost 25 pounds in about three months.

So, you know….SCORE.

I've found out a couple of other things.

1)      Nutrasweet is bad, mm'kay?  I went out one night with my friend Lola Granola and had a few Diet Coke and vodkas.  Had the worst headache the next day and logic would tell you it was a hangover except I don't get hungover, especially not from vodka, plus I hadn't had that much to drink, PLUS even if I had, even my worst hangovers don't last all farking day, damnit!  The conclusion I reached is that it was a Nutrasweet hangover and after talking to a friend of mine who had also recently kicked Nutrasweet, I was convinced.  That stuff is poison and I'm not even kidding. (As further evidence, I had a Diet Coke Sunday when I took the kids to Kings Dominion and sure thing, headache all day Monday)
2)      Alcohol, while not bad (on the contrary, it is very very good) does not like me.  Or maybe my body doesn't like it.  My first four weeks on Atkins, I didn't drink at all.  And I lost 12 pounds.  My next four weeks I resumed my normal drinking ways (two to three nights a week I'd have between one tothree drinks).  And during those four weeks, I lost about four pounds.  So I cut out the booze again and lost six pounds in two weeks.  That's conclusive enough for me.  I'm not saying I won't drink at all but I have cut WAY back.  Pretty much, unless I'm out dancing, I'm not drinking.

So that's where I am now.  Completely readdicted to caffeine but losing weight at a steady pace.  And bonus, I'm completely wired!  And this isn't a bad thing.

Cus you know, given the choice, I'd rather bounce off the walls than walk into them.

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It's All About ME!

So what am I about?

I'm about beng positive.  For example, I'm positive I'm a dork.

Ba dum DUM!

No but really, it may be trite, but I DO believe in the power of positive thinking.  I do believe in the harm that negative energy can do.  I'm happy more often than not and I do not attribute that to a series of fortunate occurences or to having all the right building blocks of life all stacked neatly.

I attribute that to my positive outlook.  I TRY not to harbor anger, hate, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, envy, etc etc etc. 

"Try", of course, being the operative word.  It's by no means easy to do but I've found that if I don't take myself too seriously then half the battle is won. 

So what else?

I'm about being a mom.  I have three wonderful, incredible, beautiful children.  My eldest, Buttercup, is 15.  And looking forward to getting her learner's permit in about a month.  AAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!  But she's also got a really good head on her shoulders (despite her goofy streak a mile long....hmm....wonder where she gets THAT from), a killer sense of humor and better taste in music than I do.  (She?  Likes Queen and David Bowie and Guns n' Roses and Erasure and Duran Duran.  Me?  I like Britney Spears).  She has chosen to put her schoolwork BEFORE being popular and cool and yet despite that, she's got a great circle of friends.  I am fully aware of how lucky I am with her, how so many kids her age get lured into bad things (BAD BAD BAD!).

My middle child, my boy, my Opus.  Oh, I don't know where to even start with that yellow headed kid.  He's a wild child.  He's on the wrestling team for his school and all of his female friends are cheerleaders.  I keep saying to him, "Don't be that boy".  But it's not quite as bad as it sounds.  He's not the popular/dumb jock.  He has a lot of friends but he's more the class clown type than the BMOC type, you know?  He'll be 13 this year, though, and I'm dreading having two teenagers.  Calgon, take me away!!!

And that leads me to my youngest and the one I think I have to worry about the most.  Little Miss Maisy Mouse.  She's ten.  And always has a boyfriend.  Sometimes more than one at a time.  One of her new friends has a purple streak in her hair.  I said to her, "Your hair is purple."  She said, "I know".  I said, "Does your mom know your hair is purple?"  She said, "My mom is the one who took me to get it done".

Oy.

All I know is MY Maisy is not coloring her hair.

In addition to her questionable friends (one of her boyfriends last year used to throw rocks at smaller kids.....luckily once Maisy found out about this she broke up with him so all is not yet lost) she's also a very sensitive child....sensitive bordering perhaps on manipulative.  She uses her tears to get her own way.

So let's recap:  Boy crazy.  Questionable friends.  Crocodile tears.  Yep.  Gonna have my hands full with her.

Moving on.

I'm about being a friend.

I am blessed to have the most amazing, wonderful group of girl friends to ever exist.  At some point you can be sure I'll talk about all of them.  But for now, all I can say is that I wish to be as good to them as they've been to me.  Without going into too much detail, it's been an....interesting year for me.....and my girls have been with me every step of the way.  I look at the person I was at the beginning of the year and compare her to who I am now....and the difference astounds me.  And I have these lovely ladies to that.

And more....

I'm about cooking
I'm about reading
I'm about shopping
I'm NOT about mindless TV watching but I DO love me some Glee
I'm (sometimes) about partying.
I'm NOT (currently) about boys.  More than likely, eventually I'll get on the dating train again but for now, I am enjoying my life to much to mess it up with some silly stinky boy! 
I'm about beer.  I'm a total beer nerd.
Right now, I'm about Ravens football.
I'm about being healthy. 

And now.....I'm about done.  Thank you for reading.  SMOOCHES!
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