Friday, November 2, 2012
I'm not a big fan of Halloween, and I never really have been (even as a child). I really wish I could figure out precisely what my hangup is, but I have no clue. I feel like crying dramatically—maybe on my knees, in the rain, like Stanley Kowalski a la A Streetcar Named Desire—"STOP PRETENDING TO BE SOMETHING YOU'RE NOT!"
Also, I'm quite passionate (read: nerdy) about some subjects, one of them being theology. I think Halloween is a pretty crappy way to celebrate the Protestant Reformation. Much like my "I want to be a philosopher when I grow up" musings, I did not see my future as a theologian as a means to sustain my physical needs...you know, like food and shelter. Good news is that a person can be a philosopher/theologian in an unofficial capacity too.
Anyway, I'm veering. In the interest of being a good sport, I went to work as one of three blind mice. I liked the costume because I'm in at least three meetings a day, and the parts were easy to remove if I wanted to be able to look like a person instead of a mouse.
My first meeting of the morning was one of those meetings wherein I wanted to look like I person. I stripped myself of the headband, bow tie, and nose to attend. Later in the day, I had another meeting with some of the same people, but by that time I had removed the stick from my [ahem] and decided to embrace my inner rodent.
"Very cute!" someone said as I took my seat. "You weren't a mouse this morning, were you?" she asked. I explained my my intent, the stick, everything. She nodded, taking it all in, before continuing her thought.
"You know, when you walked off the elevator [that we rode on together after the meeting that I went to as a person] ahead of me this morning, I thought it was kind of quirky that you had a tail. Makes more sense now."
The devil is in the details.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
So, we played Yahtzee yesterday…
I love this game…I love that it's based on chance instead of skill. If I deign to game play, I want something that will give my poor, tired brain leave from being teased.
I do not fully understand the reasons why I shy away from games, but something tells me that it has to do with that competitive nature of mine that strains against the leash. I do not like being competitive, but the natural tendency exists. I envision myself in Lennon's Imagine world, where I can happily coexist with everybody else without thought of rank. Of course, this is a dreamworld: this Utopia does not exist. I try to keep my competitiveness subdued, and I am successful most of the time.
MOST of the time.
Sometimes, something happens that is just so wonderful that I have to let the beast run around with his tongue lolling, rolling to his belly and kicking his legs in the air. Sometimes, gloating just feels too darn good to be an adult about it. You know, something like rolling four (FOUR!) Yahtzee rolls in one game. Nick, disbelieving my luck (read: absolute awesomeness), happened to catch my fourth Yahtzee, and the sad little display of arrogance that followed.
I want to be ashamed at my poor sportsmanship, I do. It's just that, well…
(Also: this series of pictures makes me laugh at myself…and I need to do that more.)
Monday, May 28, 2012
My husband has pointed out that I haven't posted in awhile. Goodness, is it that obvious? I suppose so…let's rectify that right now. Since my mind is still traveling in a thousand directions at once, I think another unordered list is, well, in order.
Monday, March 19, 2012
How many times has this happened now?—I walk into the store to buy one thing but leave with enough bags to fill the entire backseat of my car. The most absolutely sneaky trap is the grocery store. I seem to always shop when I'm either hungry or prone to the striking inspiration to create a new recipe—that one gallon of milk that I actually came for be damned!
Either of these maladies sends me on a bumblebee's journey crisscrossing through the store, and I notice so many other items that I didn't realize that I needed…and the need is so great at first glance that it really isn't even a decision point as to whether or not it ends up in the cart.
I know this about myself all too well and have major shopping cart avoidance issues (at least mono e mono…I do marginally better with supervision). When I shop alone, I completely bypass the cart corral and forge on with only my limbs and determination as my allies. I consider this a way to keep myself in check because I only have the two hands (and I am not terribly dextrous to begin with).
I find that the shortfall of hands and dexterity both fail to stem the bleeding as much as I had hoped. Instead of adhering to these limitations, I start using my armpits, hips, and elbows (and occasionally my chin and teeth) in addition to those two measly hands. I start waddling down the aisles making sure that I haven't missed anything I need, praying to make it to the checkout without dropping the bag of apples straddling my hip.
The high school students stocking the shelves stare at me and begin to ask questions. "Do you need a cart?" "Would you like me to get you a basket?" Really, they come up with the strangest questions…and even stranger are the ones they ask with their eyes: "Did you forget to take your meds?" and "What are you doing to those apples!?"
"No, I'm fine, but thank you!" I cheerily reply to the spoken questions. To the silent questions, I narrow my eyes to communicate, "Maybe." and "Leave the apples out of it!"
In the end, I save about five dollars per trip. I know, right? FIVE DOLLARS! Don't be jealous…I was born this awesome.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I tend to be a little snooty when it comes to cheese. I don't think I'm that insufferable, but I do have standards. Maybe it's the Wisconsinite in me, I don't know. Maybe it's that no self-respecting adult should be eating a food that comes wrapped in flimsy plastic1.
When I lived in North Carolina, a southern woman gave me some of her recipes for casseroles. I was appalled that so many of them called for processed cheese! What was wrong with these people? Didn't they know there was a whole world of cheese beyond "American singles" to explore? I hope I was able to hide my horrified expression before the woman noticed that I was glassy-eyed and headed toward shock.
Our refrigerator is almost always stocked with some form of legitimate cheese. Cheese makes everything better. Also, a blanket of sharply flavored cheese can really help to hide the taste of an otherwise unpalatable meal. In short, real cheese is the mythical pair of rose-colored glasses.
Sure, we had processed cheese singles at home when I was a kid. Would you like to know what we used them for? Well, I'm telling you anyway: we used them to get the dog to take her medicine. She never put it together that we folded the cheese to hide the pill. Instead, she was always giddy to be given a whole wad of cheese! There are times I miss the guileless trust of a dog—cats are often sardonic, hormonal teenagers who never mature out of it—but then I remember the non-discerning way that loveable mutt gobbled up that wad of yellow "gunk" (that, and the whole litter box conundrum). Sorry, pooch…you're just not snobbish enough for me.
So, just imagine my surprise when Nick requested fake cheese for his sandwiches. I curled my lip at it for weeks as I made lunches. Distracted one morning, I accidentally put a slice of
It's not like it actually tastes like cheese…more like a bland, thick spread of some sort. I'm still not happy about this development, and as soon as the fake cheese is gone, we are not replacing it: I'm pretty sure there isn't a way to doctor Kraft Singles into something more socially acceptable. If I had known that I would be susceptible to its charms, I never would have allowed it to flirt with me in the first place.
Given the title, I meant to work in something about Swiss cheese.
1 I have discovered that I have quite the complex about eating "childish" foods. I bought tater tots several months ago to make tater tot casserole. Well, I never got around to making the casserole, but I didn't want to be wasteful and toss the tots. But really! Tater tots!? At my age!?
I took out a portion of them when I was rolling cod in a blend of spices and rolled the tater tots in my "scampi-like" blend. I thought that maybe this would disguise them and throw out any flashbacks of the intimidating lunch lady who smote the ruins of overcooked potato pellets across our little red lunch trays. Nick's first reaction over my gourmet side dish? "What's the crap on the tater tots?"
Monday, March 12, 2012
First, there's a lot of back story to this that you should digest.
So, I was ecstatic when I discovered that most of my bras were way too big. Yay me! I'm feeling so much more comfortable in my body, even though I'm not all the way there yet.
I was sorting through my closet a few weeks ago to find the clothing I wanted to donate. I try to do this twice a year (when I switch out seasonal clothing). My guideline is fairly simple: I ask myself either , "Laura, have you worn this in the last year?" or "Laura, does this even fit?" The answer to either question, of course, is inversely related to the other question, "Laura, are you going to donate this?"
Honestly, you'd be amazed at how articulate I can be with myself when I get a truly rousing conversation going.
I wasn't so keen on donating the bras. I'd probably get that craggy-faced old man when I stopped by, and I am not sure which one of us would blush more as he itemized my donation. I carried down the clothing that didn't stand up to the inquisition and stumbled upon Nick in the living room. I had the bras in my hand, planning to throw them away, and I explained the situation and the blushing old man.
He was incredulous, knowing I was about to toss a small fortune in satin and lace. I watched him transform before my eyes, his face animating with excitement. "I'll take them in!" he cried. "AND I'LL GET A RECEIPT!"
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I have a fairly healthy diet for the most part, but I do allow myself a dalliance now and then. Particularly at this time of year, many of my friends happen to know that I'm a sucker for those Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Sources say that Reese's products in general may be an acknowledged weakness. The eggs, however, are extra satisfying in my book.
Since many of my friends have working knowledge of this information (and because I am friends with very nice people), I often find treats left at my desk this time of year. They (the eggs) greet me when I arrive in the morning. Nick brought home a package of them when he stopped at the grocery store last week. Word is out…people know. I typically stockpile the treats at work to carry me through the non-egg season, and I started restocking my stash just last week (I did not budget very well last year).
After dinner last Sunday, I allowed myself dessert. Less than 30 minutes later, I had intense stomach pains and became very ill. I thought it was either a reaction to dinner (leftovers) or that stomach bug that seems to be hitting everybody. I felt all better in the morning: neither breakfast nor lunch caused even the slightest upset. That afternoon, I shared an egg with a dear friend of mine who found out last week that her job was part of the budget cuts announced company-wide. It was bummer news that warranted an egg.
Less than 30 minutes later, my stomach started cramping. Sigh.
After work, I admitted my suspicions
Telling myself that perhaps I did have that stomach bug that everybody seems to be getting, I tried one more egg today. What was it that Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results? Yeah, well…that dude was SMART. The experiment felt pretty rotten less than 30 minutes later.
I know how the story goes from here. I've had to give up a lot of different foods (as does anyone with any sort of IBD) over the years as this happens. It's just that, well, I've never had to give up anything so dear before. It's one of the few foods left in my diet with which I have an emotional connection.
I'll give it some time and let my heart heal. Then I'll get back up on the horse…maybe put an ad in the paper:
Grouchy female tired of saltine crackers seeking chow that'll cheer.
Monday, March 5, 2012
We were lying in bed watching television one night last week, both slightly incapacitated by sore backs. We were separated by at least 18 inches on the bed. I glared at him every time he shifted because I could feel the dramatic aftershocks on the mattress—I swear he stands up, jumps twice, and does a somersault every time he rolls over. By the third or fourth time, I realized that my glare wasn't doing its job, and I inched further away.
"We're real winners," he said, making some suggestive comment on what two youngish people should be doing in bed at 8:00 in the evening. I barked a quick laugh and actively struggled to hold off the rest of my laughter (because laughing hurt).
Collected, I said, "I don't think that's going to work. I am pretty sure that at least one of us has to be able to move." Apparently he felt like he had something to prove and made to make up the distance between us when he fell back and sucked in a hissing breath before crying out.
Really? Abbott and Costello couldn't have timed that one better.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I haven't always been one to make decisions. In fact, I would say that I've spent most of my life being completely and utterly wishy-washy. It was never about having opinions…it was about the abject fear that I would make the wrong choice.
My behavior changed sometime during my late 20s. I couldn't tell you the catalyst for sure, as the second half of my last decade was like a remodeling project that just wouldn't end. I'm hardly even the same person!
But irony strikes again: I married a waffler.
I am suddenly in the position where I want to violently shake him until a decision falls out. How quickly I forget that I used to be THAT person. Instead, total frustration blinds me.I am not talking about big decisions, obviously. You should spend considerable time deciding on a new life direction, but you can probably flip a coin between Ruffles and Lays without the world ending.
Time is weighted differently in my new perception of life. I would much rather live with a decision that could have been better than waste months trying to figure out what to do. I guarantee that your guest doesn't spend time thinking of the Lays while he stuffs his face with the Ruffles, but those long moments of uncertainty in the snack food aisle are lost to you forever.
Nick has been looking for a new pair of winter boots for months. He has found several that fit the bill, but he has yet to buy any of them. It's like those brides who try on too many dresses and suddenly none of them look right: he's in winter boot overload. He has been asking my opinion on this pair or that as he conducts his extensive online research. I gave him decent feedback in the beginning.
I say decent because I really don't have any sort of opinion on what he puts on his feet. Yet, I gave him my thoughts as if I would be given the credit or blame for his foot wardrobe. Heading into month two of the research, I started giving him a simple thumbs up or thumbs down depending on which one I gave him for the last product he showed me. I threatened him a few hours ago that one day I would just come home with a pair of boots and HE WILL WEAR THEM—even if they're the wrong size…that's just the price you have to pay for not making your own decisions.
This all boiled to the surface today over a series of text messages with my cousin. She sends me a picture of a bare spot in her apartment and asks what she should buy to make that space feel complete. I tell her a bench with storage would be aesthetically pleasing and practical: two birds, one stone. She loves the idea of a bench. Where can she buy an inexpensive bench with storage she wants to know. I confer with Google, and we find the perfect seller.
Upon sending a picture from bench-people's website, she falls head over heels in love with one of their products. I mean, it's almost indecent how much passion she has for this bench. She thinks it's perfect, just perfect. Even better: it's within budget! She confesses that she wasn't thinking of a bench, but now she sees only THAT bench in her empty space. Michelle and the bench sitting in a tree…K-I-S-S-I-N-G…
"Good deal. Are you shopping today? Do you want company?" I question in reply. She does want company, but…only…is this the right choice? She reneges, backtracks. Maybe there is something better out there…maybe…maybe…maybe…
"Oh no," I thought sadly. Et tu Brute?
Reading my silence correctly, she writes, "I need help making decisions. You're THE DECIDER! We're so lucky to have you!" She's just lucky that in my Laura 2.0 revamp I haven't shaken my weakness to flattery. Watch out for 3.0 though—you're not going to want to mess with her.
Meanwhile, I may decide to use "The Decider" as my wrestling stage name: "Meek and Moody" isn't putting the fear in anyone's eyes.
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