Friday, February 27, 2009

Shock and Awe

Came home from dinner to complete shock and awe.

Shock

Awe

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Gotta Have Heart

I got an echo-cardiogram today. That means I saw my heart on TV. I could feel it AND I could see it.
And I thought...that's it. It all boils down to that. Everybody has one of those. Everybody needs one of those to live.

What does it take to get oxygen, nutrition, life to every part of your body? Heart. What do you need to give someone a ride even though it's completely out of your way? Heart. How do you know if you've met the person you're supposed to spend your life with? Heart.

And I got to see mine.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progress, or lack thereof

Interview yesterday, interviews scheduled for next week, interview with a dog on Saturday.

When I drove home last night from my interview, I felt so charged. It was a moment of feeling important, feeling smart. I felt like I owned the city for a few minutes. I looked out over the water as I crossed the bridge and thought, "I gotta find a place here, 'cuz I could kick some real ass if I find a place."

Interviews.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OctoMom

OK, I've tried avoiding it. I stopped watching the news but it was on every website. I stopped reading the websites but it's on the radio. I turn off the radio but the women in line at the supermarket are talking about it. I turn my head away from the women but it's on the front of every magazine in line. It's OctoMom, and it's not going away.
The thing that bothers me about this situation is not that a woman who has 14 children with no income, partner, or education is on food stamps and asking for handouts. What bothers me is everyone else. "Leave that poor woman alone," they say. Leave her alone? Do anything but leave her alone. Help her.
If she were married with 2 children and holding an excellent job, but could not foresee that 14 shots of vodka would get her drunk and cause her to be sick and out of control, we'd send her to rehab. If she were a single woman who slept with 14 men all at once because she needed to feel "loved," we'd get her into counseling. If she were a widow living in a house by herself with 14 cats, at the very least we'd call the Department of Animal Control. Why would we not help her now?

Nadya Suleman needs an evaluation, a diagnosis, and the tools to heal herself. In the mean time, everyone in that community should be at that door helping those poor, sweet children. They should be arriving with diapers, formula, paper towels, and dinner. They should open their arms and form connections with the children who must now inherit 8 brothers and sisters on top of a donor for a father and a sick mother.
For the past 8 years we lived with a government who seemed to say, "Every man for himself. If you're rich, get richer. If you're strong, get stronger. And leave those behind who hold you down or hold you back." Now, I'm not saying I'd like to be a socialist society; but would it hurt if we started looking at each other with compassion and love instead of judgement and fear? If we all put our egos and judgements away and took into consideration a human being needs help, then maybe the Nadya Sulemans of the world wouldn't feel the need to have 14 children "to love" in the first place. So please, don't leave her alone.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Night Summed up in Bullet Points

  • Hugh Jackman, fun and funny and sings and dances and should stop wearing shirts.
  • The presenters were all, for the most part, fun and entertaining.
  • Heath Ledger? Sobbed.
  • Penelope Cruz: No idea what she said.
  • Steve Martin and Tina Fey should reproduce even if they're not attracted to each other.
  • Excuse me, Brangelina? Wipe that smirk off your face.
  • Meryl Streep is my idol in every way and always will be.
  • Kate Winslett is gloriously British.
  • Hey Sean Penn, way to admit you're an asshole.
  • Slumdog Millionaire...we get it.
And finally...
  • Beyonce, once again, ruined EVERYTHING.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ikea

How to put together an Ikea bed

Step 1: Sort all of the hardware and put it in like categories.










Step 2: Kindly ask Charlie to find another place to
sleep so as not to ruin the piles it took you 25 minutes to make and count.











Step 3: Completely lose your mind building, taking apart, and rebuilding parts of the bed.












Step 4: Decide it is time for a beer, a martini (in a spill-resistant glass), and some fresh eyes, focused and ready for a re-read of the directions.



Step 5: Find an amazing sense of determination and craftsmanship after getting loaded and decide building an Ikea bed is way fun and even sexy at times.









Step 6: Viola. Pass out in your new bed only to wake up with no idea where you are or why there are so many screws on the ground.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Desk, New Independence

David and I got an entire new office set now that we have a place that is actually meant for an office. He got a big hutch, office desk and return. It's huge and suits him well. I, on the other hand, just got a desk with some drawers. I don't use my desk all too often and when I do, I don't need one that is very big. It's the first desk I've owned since I was in high school that wasn't bought from a garage sale or handed down from a friend who didn't need it anymore.

Over the past few years, David has worked from home. He has therefore made the office a place suited for him: files things wherever he files them, pays bills in his own special way, keeps notes on 9 different notepads all over the office. The office has been his room. And subsequently, all of my files have been mixed in with his. My bills became filed collectively with his. So when I realized that the bottom drawer of my new desk doubled as a small filing cabinet, I felt a huge sense of excitement bubble up from within me. I immediately began sifting through the files in "our" filing cabinet and pulling out things that just belonged to me. My bills, my doctors' records, my birth certificate. It occurred to me that these little things were something that I had always taken care of and slowly, over the course of 5 years, they became less mine. Now, do I mind that David takes care of paying all the bills on time? Not at all. But having these files in my desk suddenly makes me feel a little more independent, a little more important, a little stronger. And after a move across the country to a city you've never lived in with no real friends and with in-laws expecting you to feel at home and get a job, every little bit of "stronger" helps.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Babies

After getting married (or even upon getting engaged) people ask you, "So, when are you going to have babies?" As much as I want to have kids, and am excited for when we begin to try, we're SO not there. For now, my dog is my baby.
Charlie has become increasingly crazy over the past few weeks. Anyone who has had a Boxer knows that they require a huge amount of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy. They aren't couch potatoes. So, after lengthy consideration and a good deal of bribery/guilt, David and I have decided Charlie would benefit from a sister.
A local Boxer rescue in Jax has been very helpful in getting us through the "adoption process." We're now just looking for the perfect girl.We've been scanning the B.A.R.C. website for the past few weeks now and haven't found her yet. She needs to be young, active, on the small side, disease-free, and trainable. This matches quite a few girls we've seen on the site, but they've all been adopted. You can scan along and put in your votes anytime you see a Boxer you think might fit in!

Muscles

There is one good result of being jobless and completely lonely: I have no excuses for not working out.
I started the ChaLEAN program from Beachbody.com. I am a coach for them now and am trying to practice what I preach. In a week, I've lost about 3 pounds and am already starting to see arm muscles (when I flex really hard and make a face in the mirror). The whole idea behind her program is to lift heavy weights or tightly flexed workout bands very slowly. I like it so much more than trying to lift an 8 pound hand weight 45 times while bouncing and dancing and singing and shouting, "Yeah! Woo!". These exercises are not for the faint of heart or out of shape; but if you don't have more than 30 pounds to lose, you can definitely do most of the exercises with slight modifications.
I am giving myself small goals to totally turn my body around. After the move, I let a lot of my eating habits and exercise routines fly out the window. If I can stick to this program hardcore for a month, I'll treat myself to a really awesome dinner out with my hubby (like the Melting Pot, or something else equally scrumptious and dipable). I took before pictures, and depending on how good I look after a month, I might post them. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Home

I drove down to my mom's house tonight. It was three hours straight on the 95 dodging crappy drivers and Charlie's occasional full body lean onto the gear shift. I was listening to the In The Heights soundtrack. The very last song is dedicated to Usnavi's realization that home is where he's always been, even though he's fought it and hated it for so long. It got me thinking: here I am, on my way home. From my home. And I just moved away from home. Hm.
It's a very confusing thing when you have so many homes, but you don't feel like you have any place to call home at all. I don't like this feeling, and it makes my head wander and wonder. Maybe I'm pursuing the wrong career, maybe I chose the wrong country in Europe to visit, maybe I should be taking a dance class...Having no home causes the seeker of all things in me to come out and dance around maniacally until I'm exhausted and drink wine. And then when I'm drunk I cry because I miss home...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Realization

Ok, look, I am a white girl who drives a MiniCooper. I'm not your typical HipHop-aterian, but hear me out. Driving home tonight I was listening to The Heat on my Sirius Satellite Radio and a bunch of Jay-Z's songs came on. While I knew many of them, I couldn't rightly sing all the words as I had so gloriously done just hours before while kicking ass and taking names in Rock Band (namely, Eye of the Tiger). But as I bounced about the Mini singing as many of the words as I could, I realized I actually really enjoy Jay-Z more than most Hip Hop artists. He has pimp style, also spits tight rhyme, and never leaves me hanging, for sheezy. One of his rhymes in particular tonight from the song My President is Black (Remix) made me hit rewind: "My president is black, in fact he's half white. So even in a racist mind, he's half right." Cliche? Yes. Fun to sing out loud when you're zipping around 295? Yes.
The problem came later. No, not during the one of ten thousand Lil' Wayne digital remixes that followed. It was actually during a moment of silence while folding laundry after I got home. As I hummed My President is Black in my head and tapped my foot next to Charlie's ear, it hit me. This realization would be much bigger than the earlier realization of realizing that I actually enjoy Jay-Z. This realization would cause previous realizations to be questioned. It was one of the worst realizations I've had in a long time.

Jay-Z is married to Beyonce.

Need I say more?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Meeting

The things I learned during my first official family meeting:

1. There is no such thing as putting too much sour cream on the table.
2. Tony Dungy is not a good public speaker.
3. There will be a terrorist attack on America within the next few months and when it happens, we will meet at Krispy Kreme (if the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign is illuminated).
4. Not only have our stocks all been cut in half, but there is no way we're ever getting any of the money back.
5. None of us will have health insurance within 3 years, thanks to the government, and old people should just accept their fate.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beyonce will follow you to Disney World



Dave and I met our friends Jimmy and Kelly at Disney World. We had an UNBELIEVABLE dinner at Victoria and Albert's with plenty of libations. There must have been 7 courses to the meal and the serving staff gave Kelly a cashmere shawl because she looked "chilly" and gave me a purse stool so my purse wouldn't fall off my chair while I ate. We really couldn't have asked for a better time with better friends. And then, Beyonce had to ruin everything.

It seems like it's been long enough that this song should have been taken off the radio. I can't imagine people are still interested in hearing it (if they ever were). But sure enough, not only did she infiltrate our ears and minds with her infectious disease of a song in the happiest place on Earth, she sickened our dear friends as well. Pray for them.
video

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mr. Fixit

Now that we own a house, my husband is thrilled to put his Mr. Fixit skills to good use. Only problem is, the house was built in 2005. There's not much breaking down at this point. So, instead of falling into a pit of despair, Mr. Fixit decided to take something apart in the shower to ENSURE it wasn't broken in order to feed his need. In the process he dropped an integral piece of the hot/cold shower knobs down the drain. What followed was a barrage of "Damnit", "Where is the yarn?", "Hold this", and "Move, Charlie." He made a desperate attempt at a rescue effort. Needless to say I showered upstairs.
He never did save that poor little hard-working screw. It was gone forever to the Mr. Fixit cemetery in the sky.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In the Heights


Not sure if you've heard of it, but In the Heights won the Tony last year. David and I flew up to NY for a whirlwind 24 hours just to see it. It turned out to be one of those things you never, ever forget and are so glad you dropped a ton of money and a lot of sleep to do.
Anywho, when Lin-Manuel Miranda got up to accept his Tony last year, he proved why In the Heights is a fresh and amazing new twist on the musical. Enjoy. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Conversation in New York

David and I sat in a little bakery/cafe squished up against a table with two older men while eating lunch. Every time David started to talk to me about something I gave him the big eyed crinkled mouth look: Shut up, I'm trying to listen. You can't write this stuff.

Note: Read this with a solid New York accent mixed in with some liberal, but older, Jew.

Son: I tell ya, the weather. The weather's been nice.
Father: Yeah. Yeah. I tell ya.

Son: Ya knees ok?
Father: Pretty good. I keep tellin' this doc I gotta find a closer pharmacy. I gotta go all the way
to Duane...
Son: ...Oh yeah?...
Father: ... and it kills my knee.
Son: Oh yeah. That walk's a killer.
Father: Oh yeah, I tell ya. A killer.

Father: You know Sandy forgot to fill it last week.
Son: Oh yeah?
Father: She's forgetful, you know.
Son: Uh huh.
Father: Forgetful.

Son: You eat breakfast this morning?
Father: Yeah, yeah. Cereal.
Son: What kind of cereal are you eating now?
Father (leans in): I tell you what. I'm gettin' the good stuff now.
Son: Yeah? What's the good stuff?
Father: Total. Total is the cereal.
Son: Oh yeah?
Father: Yeah. Have you looked at Total?
Son: No.
Father: It has 100% of everything in it.
Son: Yeah?
Father: Down the side of the box. The whole list is all the vitamins and it's all 100%.
Son: Yeah? How about the fiber?
Father: 100%.
Son: Really.
Father: It's a lot of fiber. Trust me.
Son: Hmph.

Son: You know how many lamps I have?
Father: What?
Son: There are 6 lamps in the living room. I've got that tall silver one...
Father: ...oh yeah...
Son: ...and the other tall one that sits against the wall in there, doesn't even work.
Father: Yeah.
Son: And about 3 of those table lamps. And I'm thinkin' of selling them.
Father: Selling them? Whose gonna buy your lamps?
Son: No, you just put 'em on Craigslist. You just sell 'em that way.
Father: Oh, oh, yeah. You told me about that. Sounds fishy.
Son: Not at all...
Father ...no?...
Son: Very easy to use. Very safe.
Father: I tell ya.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jacksonville, My Home Sweet Home

Some friends went with David and I to see Lewis Black at the Florida Theater last night. The theater is very old school, very beautiful. A true "theater-going experience" kind of theater.

Now I realize, even when we lived in LA, people showed up to the theater in jeans. Jeans aren't that big of a deal anymore because everyone has a range of jeans styles to fit many occasions. We've got the light jeans with the holes in the knees, the pair that we've had forever and refuse to let go of despite the fact that the Boot Cut did not make the Spring line's short list, the tailored "work" jeans with a slight pleat and trouser fall, and even the hot and sexy dark jean for a fabulous night out on the town. No, my frustration did not lay with the jeans.

My frustration became nearly uncontrollable a little further north. Hats. Granted, hats come in as many situational styles as jeans. However, the people here in Jacksonville don't seem to know this. It used to be that the only hats you saw in the theater were on the heads of the Red Hat Society, a fabulous group of women (50 or older) who nurture the class and dignity of growing old gracefully and with style. We used to laugh at them when we were kids, but now I can't wait 'till I'm 50. This, unfortunately, is no longer the case. I saw Gator fans, John Deere fans, Miami fans, Budweiser fans, Nascar fans, and Jaguar fans. How did I know they were fans? Because they wore their ball caps into the theater.

Ok, I thought. It's cold. Perhaps they unwittingly forgot to take the ball cap off of their head when leaving the house out of pure instinct to "survive" this 30 degree weather. Once we get inside the theater and sit down on the 1920 velvet seats and begin to gaze upon the ornate stylings of a theater dipped in rich tradition and architectural beauty that has stood the test of time, surely then they will notice that they've still got their redneck hat on and take it off, embarresed that someone will have noticed this faux paus. Surely.

As the lights went down, the music faded, and Mr. Black took the stage, not only did the hats stay snuggly attached to the heads of these buffoons, but the buffoons adusted them, waved them around, and even held onto the brims during fits of laughter as if to share the funny moment with a great and trusty old friend. It was a sad display of a new generation with no undestanding of the culture, the ritual, the mores that come with the theater. This is not a movie. It's not a sporting event. It's the theater. And while Mr. Black might not care what the poor saps who paid $90 a pop to listen to him scream and swear for 2 hours are wearing, I'll gladly be the first to say it and say it proud: Attention Rednecks. There is a boat show at the convention center downtown today. Wear your ballcaps to that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Boxes

For the past 7 days, every other sentence I speak out loud contains the word "boxes."

Examples:
Which boxes have the books in them?
I can't pick up these boxes.
Charlie, stop licking the boxes.
I'm going to recycle these boxes.
I can't see it, there are boxes in the way.
Would someone like some free moving boxes?
I think it will go where those other boxes are.
Where do these boxes go?
David, please unpack your underwear boxes.
How many boxes of magazines are there?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Conversation in the South

Two girls working in an Applebee's. We'll call them Myrleen and Shelby. While reading, please impose the thickest southern accent you can for full effect.

Myrleen: Did ya'll see me outside there on the sidewalk?
Shelby: No. Why? What were you doin'?
Myrleen: I was throwin' salt there on the sidewalk.
Shelby: You fell on the sidewalk?
Myrleen: What?
Shelby: Did you say you fell on the sidewalk?
Myrleen: No, I said I threw salt on the sidewalk. With my bare hands.
Shelby: Oh. Oh I thought you said you fell on the sidewalk!
Myrleen: You fell on the sidewalk??
Shelby: No, I thought you said you fell on the sidewalk.
Myrleen: Oh, no, I didn't fall on the sidewalk.
Shelby: Oh, good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Dog Whisperer, That's Me

David and I got home this morning at about 10:45. When we pulled in the drive, a little Cocker Spaniel was standing in our yard. I jumped out and coaxed it over towards me. It was a little girl, emaciated, and obviously nursing puppies. I looked for tags or for a neighbor who might own her, but it was pretty obvious she was on her own.

David and I cleaned her up in the bath and cut a bunch of her matted hair. I named her Ophelia. We decided to drive over to the Animal Control center, a place that takes in strays. However, when we got there we learned that there was a chance she'd be put down. We didn't like the idea of leaving her there, fate unknown. So we decided to bite the bullet and take her to a vet in town.

The clinic was extremely full and I waited by myself for about 2 hours while David went home to take care of Charlie. I sat in the waiting room with some very interesting people. One man told me the pitbull puppy he had was the 5th he'd saved with his foster son and that they were going to build more kennels in the yard this summer so that they could save more. A woman told me she got her dog as a medic because she was recently diagnosed with diabetes and the dog knew how to call 911. Another man told me about the horrors he'd seen in Iraq, and after having one of his men kill himself 20 minutes after he'd left him, he decided to commit suicide as well. His dog found him and got someone's attention to save his life.

The vet told me Ophelia had ear mites, a severe flea infestation, hook worms, and was about 15 pounds underweight. He gave me three types of medicine and sent me on my way. David came and picked us up and we decided to walk around with her to see if we could find her puppies.

About 15 minutes later, a neighbor I'll call Redneck Nora came rushing out. "Lady! That's Lady!" At that moment, after having spent 5 hours and a good deal of money to save Ophelia, we find out she's "Lady." Redneck Nora went on to explain that her husband had just recently lost his car because he found out it was actually stolen and she doesn't have a car or a license or a job because of her recent DUI and she has a baby and she can't afford to buy the expensive dog food like "Kibbles and Bits" and that's why the dog was so skinny. As for the ear mites, hook worms, and flea infestation, well, that's just part of "living in Florida." In all honesty, Redneck Nora was very grateful we took Lady to the vet and she even offered to feel badly about not paying us back, but we politely declined.