practice makes perfect

Not working sounds like a great deal... sitting on the couch eating bon bons, getting my nails done, lunching with my girlfriends. Oh, wait, that isn't what happens when you stay at home? As for my other "homemaking" skills, they need a little work.

Took the clothes out of the dryer... along with a bottle of purell hand sanitizer. Oh, shit! Unfortunately, no blaming anyone else for this fumble - I know it was in my pocket. Does that count as sanitizing the clothes? Maybe I didn't have to go through the trouble of washing them.

Drove the vacuum a little too close to some innocent bystanders... sucked up the rubber piece of a laptop cord. Note to others: those things are not attached very well. I checked under the hood of the vacuum for remnants, but it appeared the whole thing was sucked up. So, I continued to drive around the rest of the floor, until a strange odor started emanating... burning rubber. Oh, shit! I looked again, and there it was - caught in the roller on the bottom of the attack machine. Still in working order, just required some ventilation of the house - I can't imagine burning rubber is safe to inhale.

On the plus side, I did not start a fire in the oven... or overflow the bathtub... or break anything. Um, not counting the soap dish that I broke earlier in the day. Oh, well. Practice makes perfect. I think I need more practice, so maybe I should take a month off of work to get in some good practice?



My arm is sore. From playing video games. Now that I am a responsible adult, I can do whatever I want. Which today, meant playing video games. So there! But, um, owwwwwww. Scout was icing his shoulder this morning (seriously, I could not make this stuff up if I tried) from his tough games yesterday. I was making fun of him, and now I am paying the price. Damn you, karma.


glutton for punishment

I am a glutton for punishment. Really, I am a glutton for pizza, which instigates all my irrational behavior (as follows)...

Back in college, we had a pizza chain (let's call it Crapa John's) that was the sole pizza dealer on campus. I am not sure how much they paid for exclusive rights to an entire campus of late night drunk orders, but I am fairly certain that they were able to vacation on a private island during the summer months.

Since they were the only game in town (or, campus), when 1 am hit and we deemed ourselves incapable of operating a hot pot, we HAD to order from Crapa John's. Of course, we ordered the minimum amount to warrant delivery, and expected it to arrive quickly. We were paying customers, dammit! Even if we paid as much for the delivery fee as we did for the delicious doughy sticks.

As you can imagine, their service was... well, even below the lowly standards one would expect from a pizza joint with a monopoly on obnoxious inebriated academics. As a paying customer (and a true Jersey Girl), if their service fell below my standards (which, for the record, were pretty low at the time), I felt free to call and tell them so. One night when I was inquiring (probably not very politely) about a late delivery order, the voice on the other end of the line accused me of being a Chronic Complainer. My college roommate thought this was hysterical, and the name now lives in infamy.

You would think that I would have learned my lesson about Crapa John's, but not so, my friends, not so... we happen to have our very own Crapa John's near my house, 2,777 miles from the original crime scene. I continue to give the Crapa chances to redeem himself. He fails me every time. And yet I keep coming back for more... perhaps I should report him for an abusive relationship?

Why do I continue to order, you ask? It isn't for the quality of the pizza... it is no better (nor worse) than any of the other joints in town. Which, by the way, isn't saying much. The real draw... is the cheese sauce. Delicious zesty processed cheesiness (79 cents per tiny dipping container) with which to dip the breadsticks.

I have tried picking up the order, to verify that my order would be correct, instead of waiting for some random order to show up at my house. This resulted in me: 1) fuming in my car in the parking lot waiting for the corrected order to cook after I showed up to tell them that I had not ordered 2 XL anchovy pizzas; b) ranting when they tell me that they are OUT of cheese sauce (and yes, I do ask if they have it when I call - I make them check the fridge to verify it is on the premises); or iii) wasting my three dollars and eighteen cents per gallon of gas to drive to pick it up - isn't delivery the whole point of ordering pizza?

On Friday, after a long week, I tried Crapa John's again... I had a coupon, and a craving for cheeeeeeeeeeeese sauce. Ordered at 5:30 (because I knew it was going to take forever). Expected delivery time was estimated at 45 minutes. Okay, reasonable. Delivery guy shows up at 6:30 with a friend in his car AND the wrong order. After I tell him it is wrong, he says he will go back and get it - 20 minutes. As he is running to his car, I shout after him, "Don't you want to know what my order iiiiiiiiiis?" Sigh.

After 3o minutes, I call the store and inquire (politely, this time) as to my order. The teeny bopper answering phones told me that it was out for delivery. So I explained the situation - yes, the delivery guy showed up, but wrong order. He tells me to call back in 15 minutes if it hasn't showed up yet. I am sure he didn't think that the dough, sauce and cheese (and delicious cheese dip) was going to bake itself and roll on over to my house in the next 15 minutes, but I do think his phone lines were lighting up, and he didn't want to take a call from a pissy suburbanite.

I called back again, this time asking to speak to a manager (after vehemently replying "NO" to the "Thank you for calling Crapa John's, can you please hold" intro). He listened to my situation, and said they were really busy. I held back my "I don't care - and besides, don't you WANT to be busy? Isn't that how you make money?" response. He said they would make up my anchovy pizza and send it right over for free. So I thanked him for his offer, but I did not ORDER an anchovy pizza. I WOULD appreciate it if he could send over the original order that I placed an hour and a half ago (which I had to repeat, since he had no record of its existence). And young man, could you make sure to send over the extra cheese dipping sauces, since that was the WHOLE REASON I ordered from your Crappy business in the first place!

Two hours later, the free pizza (and breadsticks) arrived at our doorstep. The cheese dip was delicious (and did I mention free, except for the pending charge on our bank account that I am REALLY hoping reverses itself in the next day or so, else I am going to have to march down there and bust out my Chronic Complaining skillz). Next time I want pizza (or cheesy dip goodness), I will have to employ all my brain power to recall this scenario (and the four thousand preceding instances). Or, maybe I should just swing by Crapa's evil lair and stock up on cheese dip (I mean, really, there is nothing natural in it, so it can't possibly go bad... ever) and order from another of the coupon sending pizza joints.

Don't even think about offering up the solution of giving up pizza...



Second music post in a row... not sure why, but maybe the right side of my brain is jamming these days (is that right? is it the right side that is the creative/artistic side? I suppose I could look it up, but I'm not feeling that thorough right now -- see? my logical left side is going numb)!

I was driving to yoga class yesterday, and Zombie by the Cranberries came on the radio (the alternative station in town that is constantly playing Nirvana and reggae music - I can't quite figure out the method to their madness). You know how music can transport you to a time and place? That song takes me back to high school, and driving around in my boyfriend's Ford Probe. First of all, what was Ford thinking when they named a car "Probe?" Second, didn't they have an advertising agency to advise against such bumbles? Back to the point, driving around in cars in high school...

My boyfriend was a year ahead of me in school, and driving around in his car was fun and exciting, because I didn't have a license. But, I did have to learn how to drive. His first car was a Jeep CJ-7. (Yes, he went through 2 cars in high school). It was an awesome high school car. My mom hated it, because he would take the doors off in the summer - which is clearly advised against on page 187 of the parenting handbook. He had to have the doors on when he picked me up at the house, but of course we would just swing by his house and take them off before we went anywhere. I can't imagine this is a surprise to the parentals (hi mom!), because I have since learned that they are quite a bit smarter than I gave them credit for in high school.

While the Jeep was fun to cruise around town, it wasn't the most practical transportation... the major flaw being that it didn't always start on demand. When it didn't start, you had to push it to get it to start. Since I didn't want to be the pusher (especially in winter), I had to learn how to drive a stick shift (back to my point way up at the top of the previous paragraph - I am not so organized in my thoughts today). I did not have my license, but I really only had to drive in parking lots to get it started, then I would switch to the passenger seat. Because that justifies the whole thing. "Well, occifer, I was just trying to get it started in the parking lot of the Burger King - I know I don't have a license, but I wasn't driving on the ROAD."

So, I learned how to drive a stick shift. I would like to note that to this day, my sister still has not mastered this skill. I have commented to my parents that this is one of the life skills in which they failed their children. But, if that is my only complaint (and it isn't - I also am not good at cooking, so I will feel free to blame that on them, too). Okay, so if those are my only complaints, I would say they did a pretty good job. Hi, mom and dad! After I thought about it some more, it actually worked out for them. I mean, I still learned how to drive a stick shift, and they didn't even have to fork over the money to buy a new clutch - or take 5 years off their life sitting in a car yelling at me while I struggled to learn. Hey, maybe they are A LOT smarter than I gave them credit for... nice move, elders!

As I was driving home after yoga class, the song came on AGAIN. Ever heard of a playlist, people? I think my [not]iPod can shuffle better than your fancy radio computer. But, you might have to listen to Jingle Bells.


stuck in my head

You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your li-ips...
And there's no tenderness like before in your fingerti-ips...

Why at the end of the (work) day did this song pop into my head? And why is it stuck there with no sign of leaving soon? To solve this mystery, I tried what all good TV detectives recommend - I traced my steps. Fade to earlier today... right before this song popped into my head, I was in a heated IM discussion with RunnerGirl. She swore that (grown up) Ralphie red rider bee bee gun was in the movie The Break Up, and like a good friend, I didn't believe her. Because, hello?, I saw the movie, and I could not have missed a frame. Impossible. So, I looked him up on IMDB (the source of all truths that cannot be found at Google or Wikipedia). Turns out she was right. I'll be damned.

Okay, so clue #1: I was on IMDB... hmmm... that song was in a movie. Was there a link to Kelly McGillis from one of the pages? No? A photo of a chick with a guy's name standing at a jukebox with a leather jacket in a very warm climate? No? After examining the evidence, I cannot find anything to support that theory.

Perhaps I have watched Top Gun so many times that my neurons are now misfiring clips at random. System overload?

Since I can't figure out how that damn song needled its way into my grey matter, I will just work on trying to get it out. Now. Before I lose my loving feeling for the Righteous Brothers!

I tried my rock solid approach that has worked in the past. Sing another song. Simple, but effective. I have a particular song that I always use... is that weird? Anyone else out there do that? It isn't even a favorite song, or by a favorite band. Just a song that pops into my head whenever I am trying to get rid of another song. And strangely, it never stays in my head. Must have a broken neuron there. But this time, it didn't work! I'm trying hard not to show it, baby...

I tried to purge it by belting out the whole song on the way to pick up dinner. Scout was not pleased. He might not ever ride in a car with me again. Perhaps it was the quality of my singing? Naaahh. Couldn't be. He asked me if I realized that the window was down as we were pulling into our neighborhood. I said I knew.. maybe I was caroling. From the car. Off season. Damn holiday season sneaking up again!

So now I am on my last idea... I am sorry I have to sacrifice all of you, but it has to be done. If I can get it stuck in someone else's head, maybe I will have some peace. Now it's gone, gone, gone... wooooah-ooooah-ooooh.


they did

I was thinking about my HOMEbody post, and reflecting on some of my adventures over the past few years. What have I done? Where have I been? For those of you who know me, I have adopted a pastime of attending weddings. If I were in high school, I would have been president of the "Going To Weddings Club". Not as lucrative as my original plan to be in the Babysitters Club, but my name isn't Claudia, so I had explore alternative options.

So many weddings that my hairdresser asks me where I have been and who got married every time I see her. She has been a bit disappointed with the decline in weddings this summer, as I only attended two, and only one required travel.

Halfway through the wedding tour, my husband asked me to count out how many more friends I had so he could prepare himself for the quantity of potential weddings in his future. I think he also requested that I not make any new friends that are single.

So, here is a summary of the weddings I have attended over the past half decade (not including my own):
  • 18 weddings
  • 9 states (California, Oregon, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada, Vermont, Maryland, Washington)
  • 4 winery nuptials
  • 6 church ceremonies
  • 5 bridesmaid dresses
  • 5 second marriages (per person, not per wedding)
  • 9 resulting children
  • longest ceremony: 1hr 15 mins
  • shortest ceremony: 5 mins
  • frequent flyer miles collected: approximately 29,586 (per distance calculator)
  • only 1 resulting divorce! Way to beat the national statistics, people! I wonder if I have to calculate for the second marriages to be an accurate statistical analysis? Hmmm...

Not too shabby, eh? I wonder how I even know that many people! And now, for some of the more memorable moments from all these festivities:

  • jumping in the pool during a reception... in a bridesmaid dress
  • playing cops and robbers in the hotel after reception
  • a sign plane fly-by congratulating the couple
  • standing on top of an air conditioner vent because bridesmaid dresses are HOT AS HELL
  • the cake that didn't show up until 9pm (was one of the best cakes I have ever had, so it was worth the wait)
  • wearing an ice pack inside the cleavage of my bridesmaid dress to stay cool during a 100+ degree ceremony (it was a tiny ice pack, and didn't help me gain any cleavage, but it was much cooler than a bunch of tissues)
  • timing all of the ceremonies to establish longest and shortest ceremony winners
  • vodka bar - for those of you considering this for your next event, it is the best worst idea ever... it seemed great at the time, but I felt quite differently the following afternoon when I was boarding the plane
  • stopped up commodes
  • running onto the dance floor every time Bon Jovi started playing
  • bride, groom & bridal party of 16 leaning out a trolley singing yelling along to the song Gold Digger, "Holla! We want pre-nups!"
  • a photo booth for the guest book... I almost beat out the 5 year olds for most trips into the booth, but they just barely edged me out on that one
  • drunk dialing my brother at midnight from my mother's cell phone (and not leaving a message). That really freaked him out... one point for you, mom... though I barely put a dent in the paybacks for all his midnight calls to you...
  • locking ourselves IN a hotel room (which I still think must have been a fire code violation)

To all my friends and family who have said "I do," thanks for all the fabulous memories of your celebrations.



Aaaahhhh... another relaxing weekend at home. A bit out of character for me. I am one of those crazies who is usually on the go. Out for dinner with the girls, out of town for a weekend trip, game night with the gang, etc. For the last month, I have been hanging out at home on the weekends, with no plans at all. Sometimes I look at my planner (yes, a book - made of paper - I can't seem to make the digital leap to electronic planners) and wonder if I forgot to write things down, the squares for Saturday and Sunday strangely stark.

I used to think staying at home was boring, but I have managed to fill my days nicely, and leisurely. Doing laundry all at once, instead of throwing a load in before I go to bed, and having to remember to put it in the dryer before rushing out the door for work, else it will smell worse than when it started after percolating in the machine for a day and a half. Actually folding my laundry right away instead of dumping the basket on the dresser, and picking clothes out as I need to wear them. Sitting on the couch watching football all day long. Lying in bed reading a book mid afternoon, drifting off to sleep without a care in the world. (I can hear your jealousy, internets - don't be a hater.)

So, I guess I have turned into a homebody. Never thought that would happen! Not sure how long this will last - if it is just a phase - my energy waiting to be recharged, like a cell phone. Except that it takes me a bit longer than 30 minutes, and I can't seem to recharge in the car. Have to work on that one.



I love my [not]iPod! It is tiny, cute, and filled with tons of songs that can keep me occupied at work, remind of days gone by, get me fired up to go running (infrequent as it may be), or calm me down when I get too fired up at inappropriate times.

Recently at work, I have been locked in a conference room with a bunch of other people all day. Yes, ALL DAY. Since my desk is in another building, I just set up in the conference room and work at a table with about 10 other people. This means I have no personal space, so I pop in my headphones to pretend I am in my own space. Or to prevent the other peeps from asking me questions.

This morning, I selected random play all, my favorite feature on my [not]iPod - you never know what you are going to get, and it is more entertaining than just listening to a single album. Granted, I am most likely to get Bon Jovi, followed by Dave Matthews Band, then Bruce Springsteen, back to Bon Jovi, etc., but today I was in for a surprise.

Blasting into my eardrums was: O, Come All Ye Faithful by Frank Sinatra... What the? First of all, how did a Christmas album even get on my [not]iPod? Oh, yeah... I recently wiped out all my songs and just randomly loaded a bunch of stuff from our computer. For variety. Resulting in... a Christmas album and about 45 Madonna albums (I might be exaggerating, but not much). I remember deleting a bunch of Madonna albums, because, really? Do I need to listen to that much Madonna? But somehow the Christmas album snuck through. Those mobsters... they are a sneaky bunch.

As I am not yet into the holiday mood, I hit next , only to hear Silent Night. This is ridiculous! I was just getting used to the Halloween items that have been out in stores since mid August, and now I have 2 Christmas songs in a row! The conspiracy theory is forming in my head... these electronics must have chips that are controlled by Big Retailer... who has clearly surpassed Big Brother with all their power and influence over the eager buying public (and, yes, I do count myself among that crazy group). So, they trigger all iPods and [not]iPods to play Christmas music starting after the autumnal equinox, which sends people running to the stores to buy presents! Ahhhhhhhhhh....

I hit next again, and got a normal song, and then the next next song was Holiday by Madonna. I swear, the tiny man inside my [not]iPod is going to get it as soon as I can open that tiny box! Do NOT mess with me! I will NOT buy Christmas presents yet. I haven't even thought of an idea for my Halloween costume!