Monday, September 28, 2009

Things I Need to Learn (Part 1 of a 34,875 Part Series)

It's official. We are moving back to Salt Lake City.

Something else official: I will be a college grad with no job who moves into her parent's basement.

At least I come complete with a husband and nifty mini laptop! I'm like the new breed of underachievers.

Seriously though, I'm excited. We won't live with my folks for too long. Only until they start charging rent...or leaving the bathroom door open. I've heard old people do that. Note to mom and dad, that is how you get your child to move out.

Mike starts his job in a few weeks, but I will stay here for a few weeks after that until the office can function without us.

This got me thinking about all the things I need to learn to do on my own. Like cook. And pump gas. And get things out of the disposal (I swear I don't know how that got in there).

Here's what I'm most scared of not being able to do - kill spiders. I remember long ago when Mike and I worked different hours I was home alone and there was this huge spider the size of a small cat in the hallway. I froze. I think it hissed at me. I backed away slowly and got a Tupperware bowl from the kitchen. I've seen people on TV trap spiders under cups and I thought I could do that - it would be there when Mike got home to take care of. I got as close to the thing as I possibly could (and by "close" I mean "at least 6 feet away") and I threw the bowl at it. Guess what happened? It didn't land perfectly trapping the spider, oh no, it bounced off the wall and just pissed off the spider-cat thing. It started to move at incredible speeds and so I yelled at it. You know how when you're confronted by a bear, you're supposed to act all big and scary? I did that.

So there I was waving my arms and jumping around and yelling at the intruder and you know what? It stopped moving. Yep. The bear trick works. On spiders at least.

But now I have a problem. I can't do these calisthenics until Mike gets home. Not only because I was naked (I think I forgot to mention that I had just taken a shower and it was blocking the way to the bedroom) but because I had to go to work. And I definitely couldn't tell them a spider was holding me hostage and I couldn't come in. So I called my friend Kylie who calmly talked me through getting some hair spray to try to freeze the spider in place. But instead of hairspray, I got the industrial strength roach kill I found under the kitchen sink. And I sprayed that sucker like I was in the final scenes of a Rambo movie. I held the bottle in both hands and swept it back and forth as the spider was trying to evade me while yelling at the top of my lungs. And I may or may not have had one of Mike's ties around my head.

But finally I did it. I killed it. It crumpled up into a little ball and died.

The carpet and I were never the same.

The only problem now was that its carcass was lying in front of the bedroom door. What if it was faking its own death in an evil plot to destroy me?

So I went downstairs to the laundry room, found some semi-clean stuff, put it on, went to work and never spoke of the incident again. At least until Mike got home and found the crime scene.

So, yeah, there's a few things I need to learn before he goes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Influenza

Well, I'm at home sick today. I am sure it's the swine flu. Or the West Nile virus. Or maybe it has something to do with all the rain in the south. Southern flooding influenza!

What are my symptoms, you ask? Well, I'm a little stuffy. And Ricky Gervais is on Ellen today. So...there you go.

Guess I better make some lunch. It's starve a fever, feed a cold, right? But what do you do for the southern flooding influenza? I bet drinking Southern Comfort is in the remedy mix. That sounds right. And probably eating jambalaya. But since I don't have any jambalaya handy, I'll substitute pumpkin cookies. And poptarts.

P.S. Mike, if you are reading this, I actually had a turkey burger with salad and a side of brussel sprouts.

Psst... is Mike gone? Do you think he bought it? Good. Now, I need to finish my sundae and wait for Maury to tell me who is the baby's daddy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Honey, The Sink Doesn't Work

Who here has survived a visit to Ikea on a weekend? How about on a weekend before back-to-school? Go ahead, raise your hands.

Aha, I see. Now put your hand down before your boss notices. Aw crap, she noticed. Just say you had a high school flash-back, or that you recently discovered you have this auto-immune disease where you involuntarily raise your arm, or that the rash on your arm pit has really been bugging you lately and you needed to scratch it, or tell her you're just rubbing it in to John McCain that you have full-range of motion.

I guess you could've just said you were stretching. That woulda made more sense.

And probably kept you out of trouble.

Especially if she's a republican.

I apologize if you have now lost your job. Lesson learned; do not physically respond to blog surveys.

Unless they ask if you can lick your elbow, that's always funny. Try it right now. What have you got to lose? You no longer have to answer to your conservative boss. Go ahead. Lick your elbow.

Anyway, where was I? Let me scroll up and see...ah yes. Ikea on a back-to-school weekend. Dumbest. Idea. Ever. Do you know how many new college students get their dorm furniture from Ikea? I don't. But I bet it's a lot. In fact, I know it's a lot because I was there. I witnessed it. I survived. But barely. I broke 3 fingernails and I'm pretty sure I pissed off 2 foreign exchange students and 1 employee, but at least I'm here...blogging.

I'll spare you the nail and student story - it's probably better in your head anyway. Let me just forewarn you that if you leave your cart in the middle of the aisle and walk away on BACK-TO-SCHOOL weekend, other shoppers/sale-thirsty vipers totally have the right to move it out of the way. I'm definitely not condoning knocking it over and I am certainly not suggesting taking stuff out of their cart as punishment. I'm not.

I'm not. I'm not.

I'm just saying there are certain rules to Ikea.

Rule 1. Drop off unruly children in the padded cell with the colorful balls. They'll like it. The more they scream, the happier they are.

Rule 2. When the ride lets you off at the cafeteria, eat the meatballs. (By the way, I think Disney's engineers designed the floorplan.)

Rule 3. Stray shopping carts are fair game to be moved out of crowded aisles. And if one chooses, one may take personal liberties with deciding on a fair punishment for causing LA rush hour gridlock-style backups in the lighting department

Rule 4. Pretending you live in the model homes and that all your appliances are broken is always funny

Rule 5. Pretending to use the fake shower is not

Rule 6. Okay it is - especially if you repeatedly yell "close the door, you're letting all the steam out!"

Rule 7. At time of checkout, don't ask for a price check. Trust the Ikea computer. It is all-knowing. It is omnipotent.

Got that? Raise your hand if you have a question.

Ha! Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Well Hello Old Friend

I love this time of year. It's back-to-school, sweatshirt-wearing, leaves-changing time. But you know what the best part is? I can have my heating pad on at my desk without too much criticism. Now that it's chilly outside, it's not so strange that I need an extra heat source.

I love my heating pad.

It's on right now.

It's probably reading this post. *whispers I love you too*

I had to stop using it on my lap because my legs were permanently red. Seriously. I saw a doctor. She diagnosed me with get-a-grip-it's-90-degrees-outside-I-think-you'll-survive-without-additional-heat disease. I think she even rolled her eyes at me. Just because I asked for a second opinion...I was sure it's much more serious than that - if that's even a real disease... I'll go home and look it up, I swear. I know how to use WebMD. Heck, it's how I diagnosed myself with intractable singultus, or in layman's terms, chronic hiccups. Remember that boy who had the hiccups for like 7 years straight? I was totally on my way to being him. I mean, really, 20 minutes of straight hiccups? Had to be a sign. So I was preparing my outfit for the day I would meet Matt Lauer when Mike jumps out from behind the closet door and boom! they were gone. And there I was, no hiccups, no Matt Lauer, and a husband who thinks he's hilarious.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yah, the doctor. She said I should not put the heating pad on my lap and also that I should cut back on my hot, hot showers (thanks for telling on me Mike). So I put it on my back and prop the door open a tiny bit when I shower. But NOW I feel a lot less guilty. Major props to the earth's rotation!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Portland Part Deux

Okay, so we get to Portland safe and sound. We visited the Saturday market and wandered through downtown. Then we came to the most glorious, wonderful, we're talking shooting-rainbows-and-unicorns-out-its-windows-it's-that-freaking-great mecca of a book store.

Powell's Book Store.

Let me write that in the font and color in which it should be written:

Powell's Book Store

(I'm going for a heavenly glow here folks)

Suddenly the heavens parted and it stopped raining on us and we're standing there in our own circle of sunlight with a choir of aaaahhhhh! singing in the background. (okay, the singing may have been me and I may have embarrassed Mike a little, but the occasion called for it. It did! Where are you going? Come back, I promise not to sing again).

We enter this temple and I am instantly hooked. The smells, the sights, the sounds. It's so great. It is just how a bookstore should be. Plain bookshelves weary from the hundreds of novels they house. Shelves reaching so high even Inspector Gadget's go-go-gadget arms can't reach without a ladder (or I guess his go-go-gadget legs, which he probably never leaves home without). And the books! My God the books! Paperbacks and hardbacks crammed in next to one another with no real order except the author's last name. New and used books sharing the same breathing space. Literary giants next to small, quirky writers. I laid down on the floor right there and did snow angels.

And the best part? Digging through stacks of books to find the right one. Finding that special book whose pages are worn with reading and re-reading. The one with the simple covers of years ago. We loaded our arms with as many books as we could hold. And, after several hours and multiple reminders over the PA: "the store is now closed, please leave" and "we mean it, we're closed" and "please lady, we've got families to go home to" we made our way to the cashier and blissfully floated out of the store.

We wandered around with rainbows and unicorns shooting out our ears for a while after that. Starry-eyed and dazed at the experience we just had.

We finally emerged from our Powells coma and found VooDoo Doughnuts. We got a box - a box - of doughnuts and made our way back to the car. Side note: my favorite doughnut was called the Old Dirty Bastard; it was a regular doughnut with Oreo cookies and peanut butter on top (which brought on another coma).

We stayed the night at the Kennedy School - an elementary school built in 1915 which is now used as a hotel. We stayed in Classroom #23, or "The Fox Room." Perhaps named after me since I am so foxy. Wonder how they knew I was coming though... Anyway, it was an awesome place.

The next day we visited the Grotto, which is a Catholic sanctuary, Pittock mansion, the world's smallest park and...wait for it.... wait for it....

We visited Powells again! I am now among the league of addicts. Seriously. If I could snort the whole store, I would.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Portland: Part I

This weekend I took Mike on a surprise Portland. I had him thinking we were going to another country or somewhere exotic. You should have seen the look on his face when I said "Portland!" Only kidding, he's a good sport and was excited.

First of all, the drive down was reminiscent of our wedding. Torrential downpour! You know when the rain is coming down so hard you can't hear your music anymore? That's how bad it was. We could barely hear each other. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I love you so much, honey.

Mike: What? Your glove is full of honey?

Me: No, I said I love you.

Mike: Why did you even bring honey?

Me: I didn't bring honey. What on earth would I need honey for?

Mike: Just try not to get it on the seats - it will never come out.

Me: First of all, I am always careful and I never spill on the seats. Second, I DIDN'T BRING ANY HONEY.

Then we pull up on two large semis, one in the far left lane and one in the far right. Again, it's pouring rain and hydroplaning is a sure possibility. Mike looks at me.

Me: Are you Crazy? Don't go between them!

Mike (in a German accent): Go betveen zem are you crazy?

I look at him, and he looks at me and shrugs. He guns the engine and steers straight for the middle of the semis. I'm clutching my seatbelt and saying all the prayers I remember. And our little speedboat careens through the waters between the two large container ships. I punch out the Turkish agent that has climbed aboard. Mike grips the wheel and gives the motor some more gas. The ships are closing in on us. It is a tight squeeze but we make it through. Not so lucky for the Nazis chasing after us. They try to squeeze through as well, but don't make it in time and their boat explodes in a fiery explosion.

Me: I said go around!

Mike: You said go betveen zem!

Me: No, I said don't go between them!

There is some more machine gun fire, but we manage to outmaneuver it and continue on our quest for the Holy Grail.

(more stories from Portland to come...)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grocery Store Army Cats

The results of my personality test are in. Turns out I am a jerk.

Only the Myers-Briggs people spell "jerk" as INTJ.

Yep, I am an introvert who relies on my intuition instead of senses, thinking instead of feeling and who judges instead of perceives.

I know I am an introvert. I prefer working alone and doing things by myself or with a small group of people. This must be why most of my friends are named Chandler, Elaine and Gob (did you get that last one?).

They say intuition is remembering events by reading "between the lines" about their meaning. I certainly do my fair share of that! I once spent an entire day replaying a transaction I had with the grocery store check-stand girl. Does she judge customers who don't donate $1 to MS? Why did she assume I wanted plastic? Do I not look like someone who cares about the environment? Was she angry that I decided to not buy the giant dinner ham that I had already lugged half-way around the store and now she has to let it sit on her check stand until she can wrangle one of the teenage baggers to return it for her, meanwhile the ham is thawing leaving a condensation puddle and a slight odor which is, by the way, attracting hungry dogs who wander in to the store, what with the automatic door openers and all, and so now she is fighting off hungry dogs while calling for a bagger over the loudspeaker and guilting people to donate to MS, and oh did I mention she's in a wheelchair, when finally all of this becomes too much for her and quits the next day but can't find another job because it's a hard world out there right now so she tries to collect unemployment but she can't because, remember, she quit her job so she ends up working as a telemarketer for Yellow Pages and gets hung up on all day and so she goes home every night and trains her cats in preparation for an all-out war on jerks who don't donate to MS?

Yeah that happened. And the next time an army-trained cat drops from the ceiling of your local grocery store and attacks you when you refuse to donate, well, you can think of me.

Thinking instead of feeling - it says I notice inconsistencies and don't value the "people" part of a situation. J.E.R.K.

And finally, I judge - it says I like to make lists and prefer to get my work done before playing. I'm a blast a parties!

Some redeeming qualities; it says I'm a logical and fair jerk! And really, who wants to hang around with an illogical jerk any way?