PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: OverShare (page 2 of 3)

The Real Life of the Home Office Worker

I swear to God, if I had my own reality television show, I would have just scored my biggest ratings yet.

First of all, said show could possibly qualify as a triple threat: I home office in a guest bedroom that is currently chock full of stuff I need to go through (thus, we could get the Hoarders audience), I have some crazy work adventures (have you seen Missouri Truck Stop? I am a barrel of monkeys compared to that show), and I’m a wife working out of our house, so it’s like that real estate agent dude and all the Real Housewives rolled into one, except I don’t dress up, and I rarely see anyone else so the cattiness is low. (Makes notes to work on this.)

My desk is a snazzy Lifetime table from CostCo, and my office chair came from there as well. To protect the hardwood floors, I put down my plastic floor protector. You know, those big sheets of plastic with the little gripper teeth on the bottom, so if you had carpet, it would stay put? Let me tell you something. My fat ass in my office chair keeps that plastic sheet in place just fine. Until I stand up, which then turns the plastic sheet into a fucking skateboard. Have I put down one of those rug gripper things? NO. Why not? I’M LAZY. And FORGETFUL. And I FORGOT about the ice-rink skateboard quality just now, as my personal cell phone rang, and I endeavored to find it as I was ending a conversation on my work cell phone (sometimes all three phones are going, that’s fairly entertaining. I’ve become the Deft Jedi Knight of the Mute Button.) I realize my cell has fallen under the table, and so I stand up to get it, and WHOOSH, with one foot lifted, I am down for the count. I’ve learned not to fight falling, it only frustrates me and generally speaking, hurts more in the process. But! The phone is still ringing, and I manage to swipe my finger to answer it while supine on my frenemy, the Floor Protector From Hell. This person wants me to write down a number. Ok. I don’t keep pens and paper down on the floor, so now I’m Ninja Turtling myself back into a standing position while trying not to let on what’s just happened or where I took said call. The chair scoots back away from me so I almost miss it (fortunately, the bed in here stops it), and as I’m regaining what composure I have left, the gigantic plaster mirror that’s tilted against the bookshelf decides THIS IS IT TODAY WE MUST DIE and slides to the ground, shoving the desk into me while I’m trying to figure out what in bloody hell is happening and WHERE ARE MY PENS? and WHY DOES MY SHIN HURT? My shin hurts because that rigid plastic is not shin-friendly, and it had the same effect as a dry razor across the side of my leg when I was scrabbling to right myself.

The caller? Had no idea. That’s composure, baby.

Meanwhile, Costco needs to start selling these rug pad grippers.

Mind over Maki

I get emails from The Pitch, and a few weeks ago, one contained an invitation to a “Sushi Slam” at Edokku out in Lenexa. The food challenge was to consume 10 sushi rolls (your choice) in an hour, 80 pieces. I immediately sent it on to my husband and brother-in-law, and J-Wo replied within minutes that he’d signed up.

I thought, “Why not? After all, if you don’t finish, you get to take it home, and they charge you, sure, but $31 for massive amounts of sushi is still a great deal!”

So I signed up, too.

And Sunday afternoon, off we went. We were in the second group (joined by Fox4 movie critic Shawn Edwards, who kept saying he was going to eat 80 rolls, which would have been nigh-impossible, but nobody corrected him.)  We were early, and we watched from a distance as they counted down the time, and then as people exited with their plastic plates of sushi, covered in saran wrap. “That’s gonna be you,” egged my husband.  Stubborn as always, I told him where he could shove it.

Then we were seated. A guy across from James looked at me and said, “You gonna do this?” and I said, “Yes. It’s mental.” He completely agreed. He kept talking, and I wondered about what might be going on, as he had major bags under his eyes and kept saying the same things over and over. (turns out, we later discovered, he’d smoked a big ol’ joint to get his appetite going.) His plate of sushi arrived, and I looked at it somewhat askance, as the whole plate was full of one type of sushi, and each piece contained fried shrimp. “Dude, that’s a lot of fried food. You gonna eat the tail?” “Hell no, I ain’t eatin’ the tails,” he retorted. Ooook. Good luck there, Cheech.

We were also instructed by the referee that if we chose to dip our sushi rolls into the saucer of soy, any remaining rice in that dish would need to be eaten. I immediately opted not to use my dish.

James’ plate arrived first:

Mine arrived last, so I didn’t get a picture of it. I had errantly ordered one roll that was gigantic and tempura-battered. Fuck. It was utterly delicious, rich, and warm, filled with eel and cream cheese and hell if I can remember what else. I had wisely gotten smaller rolls of simple maki – tuna, eel, etc. The timing began and we were off.
You get two plates – and while I thought it would go quickly, it didn’t. I judiciously took tiny sips of water to keep things lubricated, and tried to enjoy the process as much as possible. About 2/3 of the way through my plate, my husband has already finished his first, and is on to the second. He proceeds to win the entire group’s challenge by finishing in just over 9 minutes. Two plates of sushi. The ref was talking to him like he was trying to make a pass at him, all sorts of praise and complements, it was cracking me up. Apparently he was downing the smaller rolls two pieces at a time. He won a gift bag and a t-shirt, and then sat there and tried to encourage me.

Plate 2 arrived. The previous fried roll was here again, and it taunted me with it’s excesses of warm gooey textures. I plowed back in, grateful I’d eaten very little all day, and then it came down to the big fried roll, and a smaller roll. About 13 pieces. I almost stopped. I thought, it’s ok. $31 is fine. I was starting to get sweaty, and I thought of all those “Man vs. Food” episodes where I’d never fully comprehended just how fucking hard this sort of thing was. A few more pieces and then it happened. One of those horrible moments where your brain is fighting with your body. A sip of water. Rest. There was still half an hour, but as my husband reminded me, rice expands in your stomach, so the longer I waited, the harder it would get. He then hit on the magic solution that saved me: eat some pickled ginger. The crunchy bite cleared my palate, restored a little clarity, and with three pieces staring at me, I told myself paying $10 for each of those pieces was just plain silly at this point. And I polished them off, each with a piece of ginger on top.

For those of you reading this in horror, I completely get it. I was/am pretty horrified myself. I won’t repeat the event, or anything like it, ever again. There were some interesting social aspects to it, too. I’m a fat chick. Big fat chick. Dare I even say, good-looking, funny-as-hell, in-your-face fat chick, sure. And once people are around me and see and know more than the fatness, they tend to enjoy my company and see me less as just a fat person and more for all my parts. But society is just not so much on the fat chicks, and strangers are rude, and kids stare and say shit, and a grandma with dementia once announced to everyone in Price Chopper that That Girl Is Really Big! No matter the bravado and teflon coating, I’m well-aware of the hatahs.  So, there was part of me that felt a little like I was somehow fulfilling society’s stereotype of the fat person, and in participating, somehow adding to the stigma and therefore signing a blank check to insults and stereotypes.  And frankly, as someone who’s had a jillion issues with food and weight over the years, let me tell you how weird it is to have people shake your hand and high-five you…. FOR EATING. That in of itself spoke volumes to me about the messages I have gotten over the years – and the ones I give myself – about food. Nobody has ever said, “Wow, great job! You cleaned your plate!” LOL!

All-in-all, it was an experience. I learned that one really can eat so much food you reach the point of physical discomfort and you think you might involuntarily puke all over some stoned-out dude who also apparently hates fake crab meat.  (Oh, you THINK you’ve been there, after Thanksgiving dinner, but friend, unless you’ve done something like this in a timed event, it just isn’t the same. I thought that, too, and this proved me wrong 10x over.)   It also was interesting to see just how much you can use your mind to overcome pain, circumstances and focus on a goal, which is rather heartening when you think about applying it in the reverse direction.

And yes, I still love sushi…. in moderation.

I’m too busy to blog…

because my job is awesome and keeps me hopping.

Oh and yeah, today? I’m fucking madder’n a hornet’s nest. Here’s a sample of my writing – you can read both my emails to my Senators as I lose my shit over the idiots in Congress trying to hold Planned Parenthood funding hostage:
Dear Ms. McCaskill,
I know we share the same beliefs and outlook on women’s rights, and their right to healthcare. I sent the following email to your colleague, Senator Blunt, and I urge you to fight and do whatever is necessary to help bring this heinous affront to Missouri women and the women of our country to a close. To de-fund Planned Parenthood is to set our rights back countless years. I am utterly astonished that presumably educated men, with wives, sisters and daughters, would even consider this restriction and the resulting impact on the low-income and poor women who NEED the medical and health care provided by Planned Parenthood. You have my support 100% and I hope your voice can help bring reason and resolution to this ridiculous battle.

Email to Senator Blunt, 4/8/2011:
It is completely unconscionable to hold up the entire budget of the United States over federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Mr. Blunt, we do not share the same views on abortion, but surely you can recognize the services provided by PP to low-income and poor women throughout our state? Needed, necessary services including family planning, cancer screenings and medical treatment? Not one penny of the budget that hangs in the balance goes to fund abortions. Not a one. I urge you to speak to your colleagues and stop this all-out assault against the women of our state and our country, because allowing this budget battle to hang on this issue? Is a travesty and will put our society back by 100 years in terms of equality, medical services and women’s rights. Thank you.

Hello, Neighbor…

No, I’m not talking about Crazy Cat Lady, though she had her own personal  festival of lights last week, courtesy of the emergency-service vehicles lined up in front of her house. I’m just feeling very…. Mr. Rogers. Won’t you come in? I should put on a cardigan. (Actually, I really should, I’m kinda cold.)

Starting off 2011 very differently than I started 2010. For one thing, I’m unemployed again, as my part-time employer unceremoniously gave me the boot the day after Christmas weekend. Of course, I could have been surprised, but when you advertise for a junior buyer on internal job boards at a local agency, I’m connected enough to find out within fifteen minutes. (That happened on Dec 1, ironically, my one-year anniversary there.) I was given a nice platter of prevarications.  I tried to accept them at face value, but, frankly, there had been enough lies before that point (nothing like having to keep from the client you’re only part-time and they’ve been told you’re full time) to know that it was time for something new, shiny and distracting to take my place. I got in touch with one of my co-workers, and let him know what was going on – and warned him some of the things I’d seen and heard might mean he was next. Sure enough, he came back from vacation and got axed today. I told him when he called to just keep feeling the relief, of not having to sustain the impossible anymore.

So what does that mean for me? Well, I have some opportunities for freelancing, and I’ll certainly be pursuing them as much as I can. I’ll have unemployment for when that’s not active, and I’ll keep my health insurance current. I think what I learned from the last go-round is that when you feel like you’re losing your integrity, just by walking through a door, you may be losing a salary, but you’re starting the process of regaining so much more. I also learned that as much as I worried and fretted and stressed, it didn’t make one bit of difference. I feel a strange sense of calm, and assuredness, that is really rather surprising. I have great friends in the community, former colleagues, vendors and clients. And as my father said in the worst of times, it will all be ok. I’m glad I don’t own a business that is hemorrhaging money and worrying about if I’ll make payroll and what happens if one client leaves, will it all go under. One of these days, I’m going to write down all the sordid stories, and they will astonish you, children, they really will. The advertising biz tends to look a lot more Gordon Gecko and not so much Melrose Place.  (I remember my father asking me, “This business? Does it have any NICE people in it? It doesn’t seem like it does.” Yes, dad, plenty of nice people. Just not the most honorable, as some are merely glorified con artists.)

I may need to take up violin lessons, though, all my appointments for fiddling when Rome burns and whatnot. Heh.

Well, that’s all for today, kids. I’m going to enjoy my zen, while others chug the Maalox. It’s a new year, and I just have a feeling, it’s going to be one of my best.

xo

jen

Faith

As I’ve noted, December isn’t the easiest of months to sail through. Between the busy-ness of work, the pressure of holidays, the sorrows and reminders of family and loss, on its own, the month is taxing. (Oh yeah – gotta pay property taxes and estimated taxes by the end of the month, too. Fun!)  Throw in a couple other unexpected experiences, and I’ve felt of late that my faith has been shaken.

Which is interesting. I don’t worship a conventional god, deity, in any sense of organized religion. So when my reflective mind tells me, “Our faith has been shaken,” and I know it’s referring to the trust and confidence in people and situations, sardonic self replies with, “What faith?” Of course, faith isn’t simply faith to God or god or whatever you want to call it. My faith is rooted in a set of behaviors and values, and when things run perpendicular to those holdings, I question not only myself, but the world around me. I think that in times of struggle, our faith rolls like the tides.  Betrayals of trust, seeing what was hidden before, whatever the provocation, you see the water recede from your feet, exposing the flotsam and the sand pulls away from under your feet. And as you stand there pondering all that is strewn before you, and wondering when your faith is ever going to return, it’s easy to think it might not come back. Or that it will take a long time to return, at the very least.

But in my solitude today, I realized something. Something that I hadn’t allowed myself to see. Because I spent the first 30 years of my life viewing every problem as something that was mine, and mine alone to solve and resolve. To some extent, that’s still true. In the end, we have to live with ourselves, the choices we make, and that sometimes there is no resolution or clear path. But. I forget to see the faith others have in me.  And while they want to take away my pain (and can’t) or want to resolve my own internal struggle (again, they can’t), that support and desire to make it better remains.  It surrounds me, like the faces of my friends last night, or the arms of my husband, or the emails from people across the expanse, checking in, valuing me, saying hello.

And when I realized the massive volume of that love and support today, I felt my own tightly-wound spool spin unfettered.  Air went deeper into my lungs. The path before me no longer strewn with pitfalls and hurdles, but just a path. One that I must walk, with my own feet, on my own – yet not alone.  Faith, restored.

Just Breathe

So, fair warning. Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and yes, I’ve written about 30 different blog posts in my head. So many things I’m thinking about, so many things I’d like to say, some of which I shouldn’t, some of which I won’t. I had been thinking, OK, let’s get back in the swing of it, put the thoughts to keyboard, and had planned on writing something today.
Just not about this.
Fair warning again. It’s so gross.
I got some things done this morning, met a rep for lunch, and went to the grocery store. Got my car washed, filled up Mimi with gas, and headed home. I’ve got a lot of work to do this weekend, but I’m also looking forward to my evening out with knitting peeps and having some laughs. I decide to leave Mimi in the drive, as that will make it easier to get the groceries in, and after all, I’m heading back out later.

None of this is interesting, or of note, or even that different. I push open the door, the alarm warning goes off, the dogs greet me, and I walk through the breezeway and into the dining room. I am carrying as much as I can, and it’s funny how your brain multi-tasks: Make sure dogs don’t go out into the garage (as they could get out of the house or, more likely, attempt to eat all the dog food out of its bin.) Have a very short amount of time to get to the alarm, which we don’t have right by the door on purpose, so don’t dilly dally. Note that answering machine is blinking. And through all of this, Olfactory Gnome wakes up and starts sending up red flags. Alert! Alert! Something smells…… and something smells …… BAD.
Then I see it. Because now I’m across the dining room and about to enter the kitchen, only it is a mine field of dog diarrhea. One main source, but there was some travelling and then some tracking to boot. The smell is overwhelming and the alarm is still going. I think, “Do I tell the alarm company when they call that I just couldn’t cross a river of dog shit to turn it off? Would they accept that?” I think, no, I have to turn this off and so I do my own version of a Highland jig through our kitchen, screaming “BACK! BACK!” because Tripper is now eagerly following behind me and I all can think is we’re both expanding the cleaning area exponentially. I get the alarm turned off, the dog has retreated, and I repeat my jig back across the tile, breathing through my mouth.

Somewhere, in the recesses of my mind, Philosophical Gnome asks the question, “Which would you rather clean up? Dog vomit, or shit?” Well, duh, the answer is neither, but I’m going with vomit. Unless it’s just hardened overnight poop, which is unpleasant but nothing compared to the chore ahead of me. I get the rest of the groceries in the house, shut the garage door, and strip down to skivvies to handle the worst of it. (After all, nobody needs their clothing dragging through it to boot.) Paper towels everywhere, and copious amounts of plastic grocery bags. Yes, they may be evil but lord help me, this is why they’re on earth. I get out two trash bags. The Swiffer Wet Jet, a huge stack of mop pads, and I tackle it.

Partway through, I realized I sounded like Darth Vader trying to say the word “Halal.” (Hey, we don’t know if Darth needs his meats butchered according to Muslim law.) For to just breathe through one’s mouth is not enough – the stench was so horrific. I was trying to block my sinus passages with my tongue, which leads to very raspy, labored-sounding breathing. hhhhhhhaaaaaaaa….lllllaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllhhhhhhhhh. The anal-retentive chef from SNL has nothing on me. Everything is multiple-bagged, and then I mopped. And then everything went into another trash bag, while I still hhhhhhhhaaaaaaalllllaallllllllhhhh’ed around and took the trash to the garage. I’m dripping with sweat, I shoo the dogs outside while holding back dry heaves, and get the rest of the groceries put away. My phone’s ringing, I’m having a Silkwood Shower in the sink, I get a candle lit to put on the stove, and finally sit down in front of the fan to cool off.
Only to hear a huge clap of thunder roll overhead.
Dogs are hurried back into the house, and I throw my top back on, because remember? Freshly washed car sitting in the driveway. At this point? I can’t be bothered with pants. Yep. I did a SWAT-team-esque run to my car (only potentially being in-sight of someone driving by for all of 3 seconds) to get it put back into the garage before the heavens opened up.

Which, fifteen minutes later, they have yet to do. I didn’t need to crouchingly shuffle to my car half-dressed, but I did. And I didn’t really care if someone happened to drive by at that exact moment.

Basically? This is my life. I have a lot of good things in my life, and I’ve reflected a lot on the past year, over these past few weeks. Losing my job, almost a year ago, was really shitty. It was also really good. I haven’t done all the things I thought I’d do in that time, but I also haven’t gotten sick, had stupid office politics/turmoil with people clawing to climb over you or tear you down. Did you notice that first one? I haven’t gotten sick. No cold. No bronchitis. No walking pneumonia, for the first time in many, many years. I miss a couple of my clients, and I miss not worrying about money as much, but there’s really very little to miss about my former job except a couple of friends. The limbo, sometimes, gets to me. But I’m not all that different from most of the people out there. I noticed there’s a Facebook group making the rounds, “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.” and it’s really true. These aren’t easy times. When stressed and/or depressed, it’s even easier to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. And alone. But we’re not. So many people are riding this same current, and so it’s those moments of connection, we need to make them and find them and enjoy them. Because when I was at the grocery store, the checker asked me to put the big sign on the end of her checkout stand, that said “THIS LANE CLOSED”. I did, making sure I put it right on the spot where the belt wouldn’t grab it. Helping someone out. So imagine my surprise, as I’m finishing up paying, I see this very old lady in my peripheral vision, standing next to me. I look down, and she’s got items on the belt. I actually did a double-take, like, WHa? I swear I put that sign there, nobody’s supposed to be behind me, and I look at the checker, who’s looking at me and has seen my whole WTF reaction. I raise one eyebrow at her. She starts giggling. My eyes shift over towards granny, then back to her. Oh yes, the sign was there. Granny just decided to say “Fuck it” to the sign and what was anyone going to do? I don’t have to say a word, my face says it all. The checker is shaking her head, she gets it too, and is shaking with laughter. I’m chuckling, still with an eyebrow hitting my hairline, and we went on from that moment. That moment, those are the moments I seek in life. When we can look at each other and just laugh because there’s no point in getting mad, there’s no issue of race, or religion, or age, or income, or anything, it’s just fucking funny.

And when the shit gets too high, just take off your pants, light a candle and breathe: Hhhhhhhaaaaaaaa….lllllaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllhhhhhhhhh.

Random Orts

1. The stoplights on the entrance ramps on I-435 make me crazy. CAH-RAY-ZHEEE. I think it’s because I had five years of dealing with those motherfucking things in Minneapolis, and they were definitely more hard-ass about them up there (only one car per green, not two), and in most instances, there is at least a little more room to accelerate than what I remember. Also, these seem to be turned on when traffic is at gridlock, vs. in Minneapolis, they just were ON during rush hour, no matter how busy the roads were, so you sometimes had the momentous excitement of going from 0 to 60 in half a city block to merge into traffic going 70 mph and your lane was disappearing rapidly. So yeah, I know, it could be worse. But with my new job (yay!) I have loooads of commuting options, because so many major streets run parallel to the highway, and my distance on the interstate is pretty short to begin with. But I still like to bitch about those lights. They are my Vietnam Flashback.

2. Boundaries are important. I think I’ve really learned that lesson this past year. My spidey sense is honed to intrusions on my boundaries and I react accordingly. Sometimes overwhelmingly. I feel very wary and watchful in a lot of different situations, I’m resentful when my time is taken for granted (or considered less-than), and I am spending less time trying to fix things and just walking away from broken detritus. It keeps my boundaries springy and happy.

3. I believe I am the last person in the metro area who is not sick of winter. Let’s face it, I’ve got plenty of my own insulation, brisk weather invigorates me, you can always put on a sweater, and as long as it isn’t icy? I’m cool. Literally and figuratively. Snow makes me happy – as long as the streets get plowed!
Snowy backyard

4. If people don’t appreciate me (and especially if they’re family), I find it triggers Instant Resentment! You don’t even have to add water, just shake the contents and presto, a fiery concoction of vitriol and cursewords. In some cases, also some sadness. I knit some really nice things this winter – one for my mom, one for my dad’s second wife, I sent them, and never heard a word. Boundaries. Silence is sometimes as loud as a land mine.

5. Other family members are fiercely protective and appreciative of me, and it makes me weep with confusion and gratitude. Sometimes my boundaries just melt.

6. There are some batshit-crazy people in the world and you just can’t understand them, because nothing starts from a logical argument. My poor brain keeps trying to scribble out equations with motivations and potential scenarios and conclusions, but it’s fruitless.

7. Even though I realize I am a Responsible Adult, it is breath-catchingly surprising when I’m actually called that. I took a friend to and from an oupatient procedure last week, and when I picked her up, they read the home care instructions to me, because I was “the Responsible Adult”. I was like, wow – really? Lady, I can hardly get my laundry done, it’s my biggest nemesis. But yeah, I guess I still qualify.

8. I picked up said friend’s prescription and was extremely disheartened to see that infant formula is behind a locked window in some drug stores. Sigh.

Sad Times

That’s it for tonight! Peace, love & hair grease…

Oof! Ice!

James and I had a hilarious conversation the other night which will probably lose oodles in the transcribing.

He was going to bed and was very tired; I was standing next to our bed, and saying goodnight. He said something about did I see that Kathy Bates was going to be on a tv show in the latest EWeekly? I said, Yes, I did see that, what show was it?

At this point, he’s got his bipap mask on so he’s really drowsy and doesn’t want to have a big conversation. I start guessing various shows we watch.

“Big Love?”

shakes his head ‘no’.

“24?” (no) “Big Bang Theory?” (no) “Nurse Jackie?”

He makes the sign for “OK” with his thumb and finger. Now we’re playing charades. OK! OK? Nurse Jackie? (no)

O? O? Zero? He’s nodding. Zero. Then he makes the sign again. O? Zero – O. Huh.

He’s moving on.

Draws letters in the air with his finger. Except the letters are right-ways from HIS perspective.

P? NO! F? Yes!

ZERO OF?! NO!

Somehow we get some more letters. an I. C. E.

He’s lifting his face mask to tell me this is easy. I am laughing so hard I can barely speak.

NCIS?

NO.

Ice. Zero O O O O F

Ice.

My sides hurt and tears are streaming down my face, as I lean against the bed in pain. I declare I cannot understand how we watch any show named Oof Ice.

Finally, exasperatedly, he tells me. The Office.

Oh, yeah. The Office! OofIce!

And then I made myself a small dish of Tin Roof Sundae Ice Cream and proceeded to collapse in laughter all over again. rrrrrrrrOofICECREAMSUNDAE!

We’re weird, but hey. Laughter is good!

Super Sekrit Guilty Pleasure

My best friend Liz came to visit last weekend, and we did what we always do when Liz comes to visit: Haaaaang, knit, eat, and watch awesomely awesomely guilty pleasures television. We are destined to live in the same retirement community, but it better have a DVR/Tivo.

So we went out with our pal Katrina, and tried the buffet at Masala’s. Back up. Before that, we helped bring Kat a little closer to digital enlightenment, by replacing her browser with Firefox, and introducing her to “Dick in a Box”, because she doesn’t watch TV, nor is she schooled in pop culture the way some of us are. She loved it so much she had me bookmark it for her, which cracked me up. Of course, looking back, we probably watched it 100 times, so she does need to catch up and memorize the catchy little ditty. And it’s the right time of year! Back to Masala’s. Delicious. We sampled all sorts of things and they had a lot of selections for the vegetarians (Katrina & Liz). I’m not sure what they put in the food there, besides Indian Awesome Deliciousness, but it’s filling. Like, crazytown filling. I am capable of packing it away, and by no stretch did I over-indulge, but neither of us ate dinner that night, we remained so full. I suspect microscopic dehydrated sponges in the naan, it’s the only explanation. (Now, Taj Palace still rules on the Chicken Tiki Masala and Butter Chicken, with Taj Mahal running a close number two on those dishes, but I enjoyed the variety and spice at Masala’s.)

As we were knitting and hanging that evening, I stumbled on to my new decadent television indulgence. I’m almost afraid to put it into writing, as it will take away from just how AWESOMELY WRONG it is to love it so. Have you started to guess in your head? I was about to head to bed, but then this show started….. and the dialogue….omg. This show is the food equivalent of eating butter creamed with brown sugar, before you add the eggs and make chocolate chip cookies. An entire stick of butter, with a cup of brown sugar. If you could figure out how to fry that mixture, maybe it would be equal to this show. Yes. I am talking about Steven Seagal LAWMAN. I know, they don’t capitalize “Lawman” at A&E, but they should. The first thing I heard him say on the show (it was the second episode, I’ve since caught up with the blessed On-Demand), “If you can’t anticipate an attack…… you can’t defend against it.” He is SO DRAMATIC! And so Master Sensei to everyone about everything. However, here’s the rub: the dude actually is really good at martial arts, and a fucking crackerjack shot – so I have to put a little salt in my sugar-butter rub, because it’s not like Sensei Seagal can’t hold his own, despite being rather florid and doughy (I am florid and doughy, I can say this.) He just doesn’t seem to be involved in the throes of the fracas, as he kind of rolls up at the end of all these crises. But he’s there to issue pithy zen quotes! OMG. from Steven Seagal himself: “Steven Seagal can save (your) life,” as he’s imparting 40 years of aikido training in an afternoon.

Maybe the proper food comparison should be somewhere in the cheeeeese category.  I’m feeling charitable & won’t go straight to Velveeta – maybe a port-wine potted cheese product? Or the bacon-flavored one, yeah. Whatever it is, it’s great for casual entertaining.

Yarn Deal & Teh Gout

I met a fellow Ravelry knitter this morning in the parking lot next to Gomer’s (which has been remodeled, btw, and I was a little sad to see the old-timey charm go). She had seen my Rowan Linen Drape listed as for sale or trade, and after a few emails conversing, we agreed on a price, place and time. It seemed kind of funny, like a wacky drug deal, and there we were, in the blustery gray morning, handing over yarn for cash. She was very nice, and said her husband had asked her if she felt safe, going off to meet a stranger in a parking lot. She told him she was going to meet a KNITTER. There is a difference, usually. And frankly, if I were ever going to have a business nearby at my beck and call for help, it would be Gomer’s. Those fellas that work in there look like they could take down an angry rhino, with their bare hands.
She also told me she reads my blog (Hi Joyce!), and it will never cease to amaze me just how much I panic for a minute, when I meet people who say that. Because I simply assume I offend at least 75% of the universe in some way, shape or form, with my beliefs, my politics, and let’s face it, my potty mouth. It’s super bad. Way fuckin’ bad, in fact. I love to swear! So I always worry for a split second, until I remember, it’s a choice. Just like my little brandishing yesterday – you choose what you do or don’t want to see, read, think, acknowledge, and no, turning away from it doesn’t mean it goes away, but that’s the beauty of all these options. You can look at fuzzy wuzzy kitties or you can read some really frightening shit and wonder how the world continues to rotate with such stupidity or evil residing inside it.

I have no idea where that was going.

Yesterday, I had a vacation day, of sorts. Poor Wo, he has Teh Gout. He’s had episodes before, but we both thought his toe was out of joint. Ya know, as you get older, things just don’t always snap right into place in the morning, there’s creaking and stiffness and a little popping noise here or there. But this time, it was excruciating. So I dropped him at work, and returned to get him at noon, so they had time to get him a sub. We then went to one of those Minute Clinic thingies, because the Urgent Care on his insurance? Is totally fucked up. Gah! I wanted to walk down there and have a chat, I got so pissed. I called before 8 am, and after a long conversation, it was determined that since he was not a PATIENT of one of the doctors at the Urgent Care, we needed to wait and call back after 8 a.m. Uh, ok. So I did that. And was told that Urgent Care did not begin until 5:30 p.m. I started to ask where they got their definition of the word URGENT but instead hung up in a fit of pique.
Have we met? Do you know me? Do you know how little patience I have for being dropped into an Escher staircase? I rip that shit up.
So off to the CVS we went. To discover they will not diagnose such things, no, no, no. Great concept, folks, not sure if we’ll ever false-start our way back there, though. Especially because this one is on Raytown Road, and I really, really hate Raytown Road. I’ve ended up on it, lost, more times than I can count, including late at night with my pal Liz, when we asked the Anthony Kiedis-look-alike how the hell to get OUT of Raytown, and he had no solid advice. I don’t like it. Negative associations stick with me.

We then headed off to the Emergent Care over in Lee’s Summit. Now, no offense to my pal Joyce, or anyone else who lives in any nice suburb, but GODDAMN I HATE THE SUBURBS. Specifically, I hate driving around in them trying to find things on newly constructed roads in subdivisions that house all sorts of odd businesses, like “Dental Studios” and businesses with names that mean absolutely nothing about what they do – “Ramaflam”. (I made that up, but you know what I’m talking about.)
By this time, we’re halfway around the metro, and that puts me right near a CostCo (one of my original destinations for the day), so James signs in, and I head off to shop.
I buy myself roses, and a space heater, among general necessities. Light my fire, babeh!
Retrieve the Wo, and drive to the closest CVS (I scoped it out on my way to CostCo). Get him major anti-inflammatories, and also major Vicodin. While scripts are being filled, we park at Sonic and get some ice cream treats, because really, it’s been a rather arduous, not-fun day, and the Wo feels bad for upturning my vacation day, and I feel bad because I’m grouchy, but then I also feel bad he’s in such crazy pain and there’s nothing I can do about it. So I do what I can, and drive him around and get him drugs and make sure they’ll treat him before I leave him to go shopping (because I LEARN). So he got that new “sticky bun dough Sonic Blast”? And I was all scoffy-scoffy, eewwww, I bet it’s gonna be bad, it sounds weird, Hello, My Name Is Negative Nelly, and then I had a bite of his and HOLY SHIT I WAS WRONG.
Y’all have to go try one of those things. Iff’n ya like cinnamon and pecans. And the dough is like cookie dough, in case you, like me, who have experience with these things and know, from previous experience as a baker, that a big ol’ bite of yeast dough, no matter how sweet, fucking sucks and sounds like a nightmare in an ice cream treat. And that is what I thought they meant by “sticky bun dough”, because I am literal and I think I know what’s what.
And sometimes, I am wrong.
But not about Palin.
Or Teh Gout. Or Gomer’s, or The CostCo, or the common thread that weaves 75% of us together, and there’s an even bigger binder thread that weaves us fiber-freaks together with our love of yarn.
Now, I have some mittens to knit, because it’s colder’n a witches titty in this house.

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