Thursday, August 14, 2008

Damn kids!

So this is the magical time between the release of kids from their summer day camps and when their sticky asses go back to school. This means that parents have to make childcare plans and sometimes that means taking the spawn to work with them.

And that's ok in theory. I know childcare sucks in this country and there are situations where you just can't find anyone to look after the shorties.


If you take your children to work, they need to be quiet, they need to stay where you are, they need to entertain themselves for the duration, and they should not disrupt others who are working. Period.

This week i've been subjected to the same two kids running amok in the hallway near my office while i've been attempting to work. Only my fear of a touchy parent has kept me from catching these kids and telling them to go back to their parent and stay there. But my fuse is very short at this point.

So if you must bring the kids along make sure they are prepared to hang out the whole day without being brats. Yes, I said it. Brats. If not, use your sick time, vacation time, take it without pay if you have to. Your reputation at work as decent person who respects their coworkers depends on it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things I have learned the hard way.

Don't buy the Teriyaki Chicken Ramen Noodles. Don't.

I know Ramen can get a little boring. Pork, beef, chicken, pork, beef, chicken. But these things are so gross I don't know who thought them up or who approved, or basically how these things made it to the market.

If you've never had teriyaki it's a little sweet. This is good on peices of chicken that are grilled, as a marinade for meat, and of course as a flavor of beef jerky. But turn that into Ramen and you get:

Sweet soup. Sweet soup people. It was one of the grossest things i've ever put in my mouth.

So save your dime. Or use it on a known winner, like Pork, my personal favorite. Or ignore me and try it. You'll be sorry.

Dear publishers of the Animal Crossing Wild World Strategy Guide:

Would it have killed you to mention that the jellyfish I desparately need for my museum comes out in the second half of August?

I guess it would have. Well I hope you amend this problem in the guide for the Wii version. I've spent the last 13 days fishing my ass off trying to catch one little 100 bell jellyfish with nothing. I thought my game was defective! Good thing I finally Googled it and discovered that my game is fine, that it is you and your strategy guide who are defective.

So two more days and i'll catch my jellyfish. Finally. You guys suck.

Sad news

I'm always a little surprised how much I care about the people whose blogs I read. But really when you read someone long enough it's like you know them. And when they write about hard things they're going through then you really feel close since you've shared their pain.

Manda got some bad news today. I've been praying for her. Join in the prayers and good thoughts. She really needs them.

Friday, August 08, 2008

One I wished we had played at the wedding.

As always, my unlimited love to you all.

Dear Shear Genius Writers: Are you HIGH?

It's ok, you can tell me. I'm cool. Hell, i'm so cool i'm watching your crappy summer time reality show and actually caring about it! So you need to come clean now, because I think this week's episode was equal to finding a pipe and some rock in your pants while doing the laundry.
Last week I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I thought, hey, they're experimenting a little, testing boundaries, drinking schnaaps in their freind's basement. Like all kids do. And I always said I wouldn't be one of those viewers who hovers and obsesses. After all you see what that got me with Gilmore Girls. So I watched as you wrote up a crazy color challenge that was pretty lame and then as you had everyone embark on the fool's errand of "updating" the hair styles from Charlie's Angels. That was just dumb. You can't update iconic styles like that. Not so much because they are iconic, but more because they are 100% 70s and 70s things updated just look really, really dumb. I know you've been lead astray by all these fashion magazines the last few years telling you that tie-dye is back and peasant shirts are the rage, but they're wrong. They aren't. And you can't update Charlie's Angels. And using Charlie's Angels since Jaclynn Smith is the host of the show is lazy. Come up with another 70's TV show to attempt a hair update on if you must. But again, I let it slide.
But this week. Well this week was just too bad for me to overlook. What the hell were you thinking with that stupid Food Instead of Styling Products challenge? Were you trying to be "green"? Well you blew that out of the water quick! Did you stop to think how much water and regular non-green shampoo it's going to take these people to get that crap out of their hair? Of course not! And did you think that by connecting the "green" styles to some futuristic, crazy shit that maybe you were painting a bad picture of people who DO want green products? No! And I know some of those items are good for hair. We've all heard about people using mayonaise or avacados to moisturize their hair, but some of that shit was fucked up! Squid? Anchovies? Corn syrup? Caramel? If your intention was to create styles that made the models smell like a sandwich and attract horse flies mission accomplished!
And after those horrendous "styles" you bring out dogs and their owners for some Make them Look Alike crap! And rather than focusing on the humans, who the contestants are trained to work with, you have them give both the owner and the dog a cut and style. It was honestly the dumbest challenge i've seen yet.
And I hope this is as low as it goes. I can't take much more stupidity. I stumbled on this show at the beach when there was nothing on and I didn't have my DVR or DVDs to watch. Keep this up and i'll not watch next season on purpose.
So for next week I hope you put the pipe down and wrote some challenges that focus on HAIR! If not, then I may have to turn you over to the Intervention writers and they'll send you off to rehab faster than you can say Kim Vo!

So very true.

What's the deal guys?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Scenes from our bedroom.

Early Tuesday morning. About 4:30.

I wake up for no apparent reason. In the blue glow of the buttons on his CPAP machine I can see he's wearing his mask. Good. The mask is the big hurdle to get over. For me the big hurdle has been the sound of the CPAP once it ramps up to 11 (insert Spinal Tap joke here). The sound of it blowing air into him and him exhaling that air out gets pretty loud. So I bought some ear plugs.

Now to see if Josh was actually using the CPAP and not just sleeping with the mask, I removed an ear plug. Sure enough the machine (who I named Pappy) was delivering his Continuous Positive Airway Pressure to my beloved, keeping him from waking up 200 times a night and thus having problems with depression, memory, attention span, blood pressure and increased risk for stroke. Awesome. Mission acomplished. So I squished my earplug back down and put it back in my ear. I remained propped up on my elbow as it slowly expanded. Just as it did Josh woke up and this coversation took place:

Him through the mask: "~~~~~~~~~~~~"

Me with earplugs in: "What?"

Him: "~~~~~~~~~ awake?"

Me taking a stab at what he said: "I just woke up. I'm waiting for my earplug to re-expand. I took it out to see if you were using the machine."

Him: "~~~~~~~~using it."

Me: "Well that's good. And the earplugs work so we won't have to get separate bedrooms."

Him happy enough to be heard through the mask and the earplugs: "Yea! Our marriage is healthy!"

Trust me, it was hilarious at the time. If you've never worn earplugs while your partner tries to talk to you through a mask pumping air into them I recommend it.

Image of "Dragon's Quilt" by Dragon Dreams

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Things I've learned the hard way.

Don't buy cheap packing tape. I know $4 a roll for the Duck brand seems like a lot. But trust me, the cheap stuff will fill your life with misery and woe. It will twist, stick to itself, not stick to the box and peel up when you move the thing. It will get clogged in your tape gun and rip so that half of it is coming out while the other half is sticking. Cheap packing tape is one of those small things in life that either make it run smoothly or frustrate the hell out of you. Spend the extra money on the good stuff. You will thank me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Layla. The way God intended it to be. The end.

Once while watching a Pantera video Beavis and Butthead hypothesized that if Pantera was to play on Unplugged they wouldn't unplug the pyros. The reason being that the pyros were what got Pantera where they were.

I feel the same way about Layla. If I had been Eric Clapton on Unplugged I would not have unplugged Layla. It is musical perfection. Of course I can't really blame Eric Clapton, I'm sure he didn't have much of a choice, it is The Eric Clapton Song. And I guess the unplugged version is ok. Josh gets annoyed when I grumble about the unplugged version so that's been put in the Not Arguing About It Anymore file along with how the channel guide for the satallite should be set up. (With the small channels at the bottom so you can press the up button and the channels get larger. Duh. Josh disagrees.) But this is my blog and Josh doesn't read it. So here is Layla, with all the kilowatt sucking electric guitar in place. The way it was, the way it is, the way it always shall be.

Friday, August 01, 2008

One more before I go home.

Ok, my Mom will disown me if I let the discussion of love songs go by without mention of Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. It's my parent's song and certainly one of the best out there. This is the live version. Enjoy.

Since I'm feeling squishy...

I did not grow up listening to The Cure. My Mom hated The Cure. She used to say they needed a cure. That came with Prozac in 1991.

But before that little green pill changed society The Cure changed music by bringing Goth out into the light. But not for long, since the Goth kids only came out at night and were very pale and prone to sunburn.

I saw Robert Smith on some TV show a few years ago talking about how the love songs he wrote were so different from most love songs that tend to focus on beauty and sex. That always annoyed me about a lot of love songs. But not "Lovesong" by The Cure. The words are simple and sincere, the music gives you that fluttery feeling you get from being with your special person. So even though it took me many years I found my way to The Cure and one of the most beautiful love songs ever.

Wall-E - I can has love?

Wall-E is in fact the sweetest movie i've ever seen. This animated robot showed more personality than 98% of people i've met in real life, and better acting than 99% of actors that are popular now. I cried through out the whole movie because I was so touched at Wall-E's longing for a connection, for another like himself, for someone to hold hands with.
I guess I just empathized with Wall-E. Before Josh I had my life. I had school, work, my kitty Grizzabella. But like Wall-E I wanted something more. Someone to hold hands with. Of course I did find that, but that longing feeling is hard to forget.
So go see Wall-E. It's a wonderful, wonderful movie. But if you've ever been lonely, or sad, or felt like something was missing, get extra napkins with your popcorn. You will need them.

It's all been done. For real.

So today Carolyn Hax smacks down a pretty self centered groom who wants to inconvienence his whole family and his bride's whole family for a "unique" wedding.

Hax brings up the most pressing issues of money and time, two things no one ever seems to have enough of, and basically tells him to knit a ladder and get over himself. Well, not exactly. But hopefully he read her response and was at least a little ashamed of himself.

But this post isn't about that. It's about how rediculous and unattainable a unique wedding is.

This is an odious trend that's emerged over the last few years that seems to coincide with everyone on earth thinking that the sun shines out of their asses. (And yes I am aware that blogging is part of this trend as well. The difference is that i'm not forcing anyone to read my blog where weddings are usually must attend events for various reasons.)

Anyway, when I was planning the wedding I went over the various magazines Elegant Bride, Modern Bride, Obsessive Bride. And every other article was about how to really make this YOUR DAY and make sure that everyone in attendance remembered how cool YOUR DAY was and how to impress upon your guests how very unique you and your husband are. It got annoying fast. Thankfully I pretty much new what I wanted and didn't need the magazines for ideas, or help, or anything much beyond pretty pictures.

And some of the ideas were just overkill. Like having a mixed drink created for your wedding. First of all, who the hell would you go to for this? Second, hasn't every palatable combination been created by now? Third, how lame for your guests. What is a Ken and Tammy anyway? Oh, red wine, vodka and hot sauce. Sounds disgusting. Finally, how much would this cost? Probably a lot more than is really worth it. If you're going to have mixed drinks (and pay for them, no cash bars allowed) then just offer the basics that everyone knows and likes. It's not unique, but it's awesome for your guests and that matters a hell of a lot more.

Writing your own vows was a popular suggestion that i've bitched about here before. I've read about guests being subjected to Powerpoint presentations about the minutae of the couple's courtship as if we cared. And of course the destination wedding which screams "We're so cool you have to buy a plane ticket to see us get married!".

Now none of this is to say that your wedding has to be like everyone elses. If you really want to get married in the Bahamas then do it. But don't act like you're planning a vacation for everyone else you know and they should be chomping at the bit to attend your wedding. Because unless you're going to pay everyone's airfare, hotel and food expenses you have to understand that attendance would be a big deal for most people.

So how else can you make your wedding special? Well, how about making choices that matter to you? Hate white? Would you love to get married in this gorgeous pale blue evening gown you found online? Then do it. Hate roses? Love begonias? Carry them instead. Can't find a cake topper you like, but think Wall-E was the sweetest movie ever? Have Wall-E and Eve on the cake. There are thousand ways to make your wedding special to you without being rediculous about it.

Our wedding was really traditional. But we switched it up a little bit. We took communion instead of doing a unity candle. My Mom chose "This is a Day of New Beginnings" as the song for the ceremony. When the violinist flaked, my Mom sang it making it even more special. Instead of using the reception venue's punch I gave them the receipe that my family always uses. I danced with my Dad to "Brandi (you're a fine girl)" the song I was named for. Josh and I danced to Tori Amos' "Sleeps With Butterflies". To a lot of people our wedding would have looked cookie cutter. To us it was special because of these little decisions.

Which brings me to my final point. Don't be different for the sake of being different. If you like something then go for it. Who cares if everyone has a strapless dress and a tiara right now? If you feel beautiful in it, then wear it. If you always dreamed of dancing with your dad to "What a wonderful world" then do it. Don't try to come up with something different just to be unique. You'll only suceed in wearing yourself out, confusing your guests and possibly embarassing yourself. No one will care in ten years if your cake looked like everyone elses as long as it tasted good. So make your decisions based on what you like and what your guests will like. That's all that matters in the end, not being unique. Because unless you're getting married on the moon, I promise you it's been done before.