Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank God for Tivo

Survivor, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and Men in Trees, all in one night?! The stress! I cannot take it! This is why I love Tivo. The plan:

1. Survivor for half an hour until The Office comes on.
2. The Office for half an hour (because I just cannot bear to continue watching Survivor while I know it's on!).
3. Grey's Anatomy for an hour.
4. Second half of Survivor.
5. Pass out on couch and save Men in Trees for tomorrow (Friday night t.v. is famously lame, anyway.)

I remember when I used to get all hyped about getting all dressed up for a night out on the town with my friends. Now I'm all like "I can't wait to put on my pj's and sit my ass in front of the t.v. for THREE SOLID HOURS! And eat takeout food and drink wine! Life does not get any better than this!"

It's sad, really. (Yet why am I so happy?! Wheeeeee!!!!)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sew what?

I'm a 38-year-old wife and mother who can barely sew a button onto something.

Here is a good example of why I should've paid closer attention while making my lion pillow in 6th grade Home Economics. Friday night was my 20th high school reunion.

As soon as everyone is done laughing, I will continue.

Okay, then. The outfit I decided on was a little black dress with a little black jacket. The problem was, the jacket's sleeves were too long. But I really liked the way the jacket fit otherwise, and it went perfectly with the dress, so I bought it anyway. I'm too lazy to go to a tailor, but I figured I could wangle something, even if it meant just pinning the sleeves up. Instead, I discovered this handy little glue item called Fabri-Tac, which is good for permanent "hemming" of fabric, or even for minor carpentry around the house. Basically, it's for people who don't know their way around a needle and thread, or a hammer and nail.

So, I turned the first sleeve inside out, folded the fabric, and sealed the hem (permanently!) with Fabri-Tac. Voila! Perfecto! I was so proud of myself! What a waste of time, the needle and thread thing! This was SO much easier! I then turned the sleeve right side out so that I could try the jacket on to admire my hemming job, and OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THOSE WHITE SPOTS AROUND MY WRIST???

Nowhere on the bottle of this glue does it say that the glue might leak through the fabric and leave (permanent!) spots. I tried to remain calm. Well, I thought to myself, I bet my cure-all for any sticky or oily stain (see below) will get rid of these spots. No need to worry.

Brilliant Idea #2: I broke out the Goo Gone, sprayed the ring-around-the-sleeve, and waited a few minutes for it to do its thing. After a few minutes, I scratched the glue spots with my fingernail and...nothing. They didn't budge. Yet, I am still calm! Because, you see, I have MORE tricks up my sleeve (HA HA!)!

Brilliant Idea #3: I found an old toothbrush, which I save for heavy-duty jobs such as this, spray a little more Goo Gone on the spots, and rub them (frantically) with the toothbrush. Hmm. Okay, then! Time to ix-nay the oo-Gone-gay.

Brilliant Idea #4: I run water on the sleeve and slather with dish soap (because that's just as good as laundry detergent, if not better, I'm thinking!). I rinse the soap off and squeeze the sleeve with a dish towel to absorb the water. The dish towel turns an odd purplish color. Could this be why the tag says "dry clean only"?

At this point, I am still cheerful - and hopeful! - until I notice that the spots are still there even after washing. Okay, now I'm starting to freak out juuuust a little bit.

But wait - more brilliant ideas are forming in my head! I'm thinking, if only there were black...paint...or something...that would cover the glue spots. That would be fine, right? I mean, who would know? So what if the jacket cost $50 on sale and I'm slowly mutilating it in 25 different ways? I really didn't care, as long as the spots were no longer visible.

Brilliant Idea #3: I went in search of some markers.

Unfortunately, a black Sharpie wasn't the answer. I thought these things were supposed to write on EVERYTHING? Well, let me tell you, they do not write on glue. Just so you know. For the future. (Someday you will thank me for this advice.)

On a whim, I decided to try the jacket on again to see if there was anymore length that could be taken off (because at this point I was leaning toward hacking the ruined fabric off with scissors and tacking the sleeves up with mini chip clips), and thankfully it turned out that the sleeve was still too long! Thank God I'm so stupid that I didn't make it the right length the first time! I mean...yeah. That. I guess.

Anyway, I ended up folding the fabric one more time to hide the damage and pinning the sleeves up into a faux hem, and all was well with the outfit in the end. No one was the wiser. (Least of all, me.)

And, in case anyone was wondering, I was NOT late to the reunion, as I predicted I would be. But I did have a semi-bad hair day and a small zit. All in all, though, it was a great time and everything went well.

I did have black rings around my wrists the next morning, however. (I thought Sharpies were supposed to be PERMANENT??)

And finally, a completely unrelated link because I can't seem to stop: This one makes my ovaries itch.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The one where I am early for events for the first time in my life and I think I liked it better when I was perpetually late.

Every year, I ask Paul to get me one of those "month-at-a-glance" calendars (with large spaces for each day so I can list each event!). It's very important for me to have this to prevent such embarrassing and time-wasting mishaps as:

- Going to a doctor's appointment 24 hours before it's scheduled.

- Calling the doctor's office to see what time my son's checkup is and finding out that it was 45 minutes ago.

- Showing up for a meeting at my son's school an hour early and having to make strained small talk with the person who runs the meeting until the People With Accurate Calendars arrive.

- Going to a hair appointment on a Monday at noon, only to realize that the place is closed on Mondays. And it has been, oh, since it opened in 1972.

You know, stuff like that. Not that I would know anything about these things.

So, yesterday, in anticipation of my 20th high school reunion, I gave myself a manicure, showered, did my hair (which came out smokin'!), and carefully applied my makeup (also smokin'!). Just before getting dressed, I decided to call my friend to see if she and her husband would like to ride with us to the reunion so Paul and I wouldn't have to walk in alone. (Because, frankly, the fanfare that I'm usually greeted with at these reunions is a bit overwhelming. Men screaming my name, women throwing their panties at me. It's embarrassing really.)

Anyway. I got my friend's voice mail. Hmm. Why wouldn't she be at home an hour before we're supposed to be there? Shouldn't she be getting ready? On a whim, I decided to call her husband's cell phone number (because I don't have her cell number, and her pager number said it was no longer in, Sue?? Are you reading this???).

He answers the phone with a cheerful, "Hello!"

I say, "Why aren't you guys at home?"

Him: "Because we're in Maine." (Note: This is not the state in which they live, nor is it the state in which the reunion is being held.)

Me: "Yeah, right. You're in Maine."

Him: "But we are..."

Me, smirking: "So you're not going to the reunion?"

Him: "That's next Friday, Karen."

Me: "..."

Him: "Karen?"

Me: "NO. SIR."

Him: "Um, yes, it is."

Me: "NO! SIR!"

Him, somehow sensing that this conversation is taking a turn: "Let me put Sue on the line."

Sue: "Hi, Karen?"


Sue: "I don't think so..."


Sue, timidly: "I'm pretty sure it's next Friday..."


Sue: "About 99.9 percent sure."

Me: "OH. MY. GOD."

Sue: "Are you...?"

Me: "YES."

Sue: "So, you got all...?"

Me: "YES!"

Sue: "Wow."

Me, cheerfully: "Okay, then, I'll talk to you later!"


*bangs forehead with phone repeatedly* WHY...are DAMN...STUPID???!!!

I pull out my Trusty Calendar, and lo and behold, it says "Reunion" on Saturday, November 18th.

Not only did I get the date wrong, I even got the day of the week wrong. Basically? I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried.

Who wants to place bets on the fact that I will be late to the reunion next Friday? And I will also be having a bad hair day? And I'll have a zit the size of Montezuma? And cramps?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


It's my second post in, oh, 23 minutes! This is what happens when the laundry reaches the rafters.

I went grocery shopping the other day and made the most unfortunate discovery: Hood Pumpkin Egg Nog. Can I just tell you...OH. MY. GOD. Also: HOLY CRAP. This stuff is so intoxicatingly good, so I-actually-saw-Paul-licking-the-inside-of-his-cup good, your thighs will instantly blow up to twice their original size and you'll say "BRING IT ON, SISTA!" I'm thinking it would also make my recipe for pumpkin bread pudding even tastier instead of using milk. I'm also thinking it would be good to pour it on my Cheerios, and who knows? Maybe bathing in it would be fun!

So, besides the chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin egg nog, and the craving for cheese and french fries (which might be Post #3), I'm expecting the irritability, clumsiness, and crying jags to kick in by tomorrow. And somehow I don't think that carrots, water, and a walk around the block are going to help AT ALL.

Gawd, I love being a girl.

A solution for emotional eaters

I just read about a great tip for emotional eaters (not that I know anything about that) (I'm just saying), and I thought I would share. Ready? Take notes!

The article said you should keep three healthy food items around at all times - for example, yogurt, carrot sticks, and an apple - and when you crave something unhealthy, you should tell yourself that you have to eat those three healthy items first. It said that 9 out of 10 times you'll fill up on the healthy items and you won't want the unhealthy item anymore (or, at least, won't overindulge). If you still want the unhealthy item after eating the three healthy ones, you should give yourself permission to eat the unhealthy item. (Again, with the hopes that you will now not overindulge.)

I think I'm going to try this! I had always heard that drinking a big glass of water and waiting 5-10 minutes before allowing yourself to give in to the unhealthy food works. I also had heard that going for a 10-minute walk when you feel a craving coming on also works. So, I'm thinking that maybe eating the three healthy foods, drinking a big glass of water, waiting 5-10 minutes, and then going for a 10-minute walk would keep me away from the sweets. However, I cannot attest to this because, unfortunately, I began to read the article just as I was finishing my fourth chocolate chip cookie.

So, how do you all handle it when a craving comes on? Any other expert tips? Do you just give in and hate yourself later? Give in and then exercise yourself silly to make up for the overindulgence? Or do you have super-human willpower in which case I hate your guts?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My mooshy boy

Jason (putting together a puzzle, not looking at me): "Mommy, I love you."

Me: "I love you, too!"

Jason: "Especially when I'm near you. That's when I love you the most."

Me: *melts into puddle on floor*

If he keeps this up, how will I ever be able to embarrass him in front of girlfriends by pulling out the picture of him sitting on the toilet reading Pinocchio?

Monday, November 06, 2006

My son has expensive taste

Jason, that is. He seems to have developed a fondness for seafood. And not the run-of-the-mill fish like scrod or cod, mind you. LOBSTER. And SHRIMP. Okay, and tuna from a can and frozen fish sticks, but he always requests lobster and shrimp first. In fact, each time he visits one of his grandparents, he asks, "Are we having lobster?" Answer: "Uh, NO." Jason: "How 'bout shrimp?" Answer: "Uh...NO." Jason: "Can I have tuna?" Answer: "YES! You CAN!"

I find this to be so incredibly cute that I somehow can't help myself when we go to the grocery store and he asks me, "Mommy, can we get lobster?" with that wild-eyed look of anticipation on his face and his little hands clasped together in silent prayer. TWICE I gave in and bought the boy a lobster. And now my freezer is stocked with shrimp. Who do I think we are? We should be eating within our budget (read: Manager's Special 70% lean ground beef). Instead, my four-year-old is sitting at his little table in his little chair with a lobster in his Thomas the Tank Engine plate, asking me, "Mommy, where are the cracker things? And the little pointy things to poke the meat out?"

Last night, he ate so much shrimp cocktail that he appears to have a pinkish hue.

This is the boy who won't touch anything chocolate, doesn't like pizza, ice cream, or cake, and won't eat anything that resembles a sandwich ("I don't eat bread!").

Clearly, he has issues.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bombs away

Recently, I went away for the weekend to visit friends. (By myself! Without my children! I know!) Being aware of the limitations on liquids being carried onto the plane, I decided to check my bag containing my liquid essentials (shampoo, hairspray) and carry a small bag with me on the plane containing my valuables ($30 earrings, $15 necklace) and whatever else I needed for the ride on the plane (tranquilizers, Holy Bible). However, as I was finishing up with packing, I discovered these zippered pockets on my carry-on that I never noticed before. So, I decided I could put my hairspray, shampoo, and other potentially explosive devices in one of these (handy-dandy!) pockets. I mean, why stuff them into my overnight bag when I have room in my carry-on, right?

This is so typical of me, to lose track of the entire point of what I'm doing.

So, of course, as I go through security, all of the bells and whistles went off as my Very Dangerous Bag went through the x-ray machine. The security people were very nice about it, though, and let me go back to the check-in area and ask that the Very Dangerous Items be placed in the bag that I had checked. I then had to re-remove my shoes, re-walk through the metal detector, and re-run all of my items through the x-ray machine, because, of course, there was a strong chance I might've picked up a firearm or two during my brief absence. But hey, I wasn't about to complain. I'm all about letting security check and double-check everything at the airport. My main objective is to get to my destination without blowing up into a bajillion pieces en route, so whatever they need to do to protect my safety is fine by me.

On the way home, however, security pulled out the big guns. I had to step into this metal detector that blew spurts of air up and down your body. (I don't know exactly what it was for, but I was quite sweaty at the time so it was rather refreshing.) And then? My bag was once again confiscated when more Dangerous Items were discovered! This time, I was asked to step aside while a very stern-looking woman pulled on some plastic gloves and commenced her search for the hidden explosives. When the woman couldn’t find the source of danger, she began pulling things out of my makeup bag. I had a small bottle of perfume in there, but in my own defense, it was almost empty so I didn't think it would be a problem. Apparently, it was. She asked me if I was aware that liquids need to be put in a “4x4 bag,” and I said I was not. ("What's a '4x4 bag'?" I wondered. But I was too intimidated to ask.) She looked at me with disgust, put the perfume aside, and continued poking around, asking me all kinds of questions about my cosmetics.

Her: "Is this a powder or a liquid?" waving a tube of roll-on eyeshadow.
Me: "Powder."
Her: "Powder?"
Me: "Powder."
Her: "..."
Me: "It's not liquid."
Her: "Are you sure?"
Me, trying to sound reassuring: "Yes, very sure."

More poking around.

Her: "Do you have mascara in here?"
Me: "I think so..."
Her: "Because that's a liquid, you know."
Me, doing my best impression of being agreeable: ""

She continues poking around, searching for the mascara bomb. She is determined, but cannot find it.

Her, brandishing a slim tube of concealer, so old that the brand name has been completely rubbed off over the years: "What is this?"
Me: "Concealer."
Her: "Powder or liquid?"
Me: "Liquid...I guess. But it’s probably almost completely dried up."
Her, flabbergasted: "Don't you know that carry-on liquids are supposed to go into a 4x4 bag?"
Me: " I said, I had no idea. This is the same stuff I brought on the plane on the way here, so I didn't think it would be a problem."
Her, thoroughly disgusted with the security at the Other Airport: "Hmph. Come with me. I'll see if I can find one of those bags around here."

I followed her, panicking. What if she can't find the 4x4 bag? Will she confiscate the half-ounce of perfume and the dried-up concealer? The woman walked around, opening drawers, searching for this special bag that people are supposed to put their Dangerous Liquids in. I expected to see this, oh, I don't know, heavy-duty bag of some sort. Maybe something made of bullet-proof material. With chains. And a padlock. Instead she pulls out a GENERIC PLASTIC SANDWICH BAG WITH A ZIP TOP and says, "You’re in luck. I found one." Um, yeah. Because those things are tough to find. She proceeds to place my medium-beige concealer grenade and my Ralph Lauren Romance nuclear warhead into the flimsy bag, DOESN'T EVEN CLOSE IT, hands it to me, and says, "You're all set." I smile and say, "You're shitting me, right?"

Okay, I actually smiled, said thank you, and went on my merry way. But come on. Seriously? What exactly was that flimsy plastic bag going to do to protect me and my fellow passengers? ("Everyone, remain calm! The slightly moist items have been safely placed in an open plastic bag! Please step out of the fallout shelter, return to your seats, and prepare for takeoff!")

When I got home, I found my mascara at the bottom of my carry-on. Apparently it must've fallen out of my makeup bag. So, basically, I could've had an actual bomb at the bottom of my bag and security would've missed it. But one made out of one-sixteenth of an ounce of crusty concealer? They had that covered.

I recently read a story in the newspaper about how a gun made it through airport security somewhere. Shocking. Too bad that person hadn’t tried to sneak dried-up makeup and a teaspoon of perfume past the security people, because they definitely would've caught that.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The best part of Halloween is — let's face it — the candy. And I'm not talking about the Jolly Ranchers or the mysterious Tootsie Rolls that taste like they're made of wax or the damn Dots and Laffy Taffy that rip your fillings out. The only reason kids under the age of 14 like those disgusting candies is because their taste buds are clearly not yet sophisticated enough to fully enjoy CHOCOLATE. That appreciation only comes with maturity.

But this is good news for the adults! We make big to-do's about all of the Mike & Ikes and other crap in our kids' treat bags just to distract them from the yummy goodness that their brains are not quite ready to embrace yet. "Oh, look! You got Gummy Lifesavers!" *waving the package with one hand as a distraction while snagging some Hershey's Kissables with the other* I think I've also said things like, "Wow, you're a lucky boy! Look at all of these lollipops!" *doing a one-handed Vanna White impression while using the other hand to secure a mini KitKat*

Almost as much fun as stealing chocolate from my kids is the satisfaction of re-treating the Crappy Candy to the kids with the lousy costumes. I have the Re-treating System down pat: I send the kids out trick-or-treating early, bang out about 12-15 houses (they can't take much more, as their legs are short and tire easily), and rummage through the loot as soon as they get back (see above thieving tactics). As one adult greets trick-or-treaters at the door, the Crappy Candy Thief slips up behind the Greeter, nudges him/her while putting Crappy Candy into Basket of Good Candy, and whispers something like, "The one on the right with the lame mask," and the Greeter re-treats a 12-year-old Michael Myers. See? Everyone's happy. This continues until I am left with 98% chocolate in the kids' treat bags.

Two weeks later, I'm accusing the dryer for the shrinkage of my clothes. And that's when I make up big bags of Sort-of-Good Candy for people to take to work — the stuff that didn't make the cut, like the Baby Ruths, the Whoppers, and the Butterfingers. And eventually our clothes stretch out again. Voila!