Friday, November 30, 2007

Book Report of Books Barely Worth Reading

We had dinner downtown the other night with a friend who was visiting from the Western Slope. Dinner downtown is fun, but, of course, we chose the restaurant next door to the Tattered Cover. And it is pretty much impossible to be next door to the Tattered Cover without going into the Tattered Cover.

And once inside… well. I don’t possess much self-restraint. So I spent about three minutes and swiped up two books before I forced myself to the checkout counter and got out the door before further damage could be done. (Poor little libraries. I do still love you. I want to work in you. I just like owning all the pretty books, myself. I think the “sharing” idea is good in theory, though!)

So I got Learning to Drive, because I heard an interview with the author on NPR and she was a nice mix of humble and strong, so. O.K. I’ll give it a go. Also, she's a feminist who had trouble learning to drive and had her husband chauffeur her around for most of her life. And, well, I can relate. (Not to the having issues driving, so much as wanting to be chauffeured around. Which, I'm sure that was the very feminist point she was trying to make.)

Then I got The White Masai. Because the cover intrigued me. White chick from Switzerland goes on holiday to Kenya with her boyfriend, where she sees a dude in a loincloth holding a spear and dumps her boyfriend right there, gives up her successful business in Switzerland, and moves into his cow dung hut in the African bush. It’s not overly well-written. I don’t love the translation. (Originally published in German.) But god, what a fascinating story! Nothing says romance like war paint and cow dung!

It’s an amazing objective autobiography of an obsession. Her perspective is so Western, her ideology is wrapped around a very 1st world upbringing. But somehow she’s totally willing to overlook malaria, goat slaughters, and what basically amounts to rape in the name of love. (Not hygiene, though. The Swiss upbringing is just too powerful. There must be soap and toilet paper, out there in the African bush!)

Anywhos. I’m reading it in the same way that I try not to look at a gruesome accident on the highway. I don’t want to admit that I’m riveted. (But how can you not, when there are even color photographs to illustrate the ridiculousness that is her in a couture 80s white wedding dress, complete with puffy Sleeping Beauty sleeves by a goat skin hut in central Kenya, surrounded by Masai in loincloths and tribal paint?)

Thank goodness it’s Friday. I have so many better things to do than work!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Week's Worth of Cramming

As predicted, I drank my weight in both mulled wine and eggnog, over the weekend. On top of the enormous feast I continued to shovel into my mouth throughout the four days. I also have not returned to yoga, and I feel great! ... Minus some minor heart palpitations, but I’m sure it’s just working hard digesting all that oyster stuffing.

Mmmm, stuffing.

Meanwhile, the Broncos intentionally lost on Sunday, (there is no other explaination) sending The Funasaurus into a downward spiral of sadness and grieving and cursing at our oversized TV. Fortunately, he had jury duty this morning, to pick his spirits right back up.


My parents came down early on Thanksgiving day to help us install some shelves in our garage, because our little house is currently busting at the seams, what with four adults and all their crap trying to cohabitate. It’s been very cold, so we quickly realized that the shelves also served as a fabulous second fridge, seeing as how our regular fridge was at max capacity before we tried to cram a Thanksgiving feast for nine into it.

That was a great idea right up until it got warm on Sunday, and there was a fruit torte and some fish that did not survive the heat wave. (Although don’t you worry, we saved that chocolate cake with time to spare.) Our garage currently does not smell as horrid as you might think, because there was also a bottle of wine that did not survive the first shaking of the shelves, thus clarifying any spilled fish on the cement. It currently kinda smells like expensive vinegar out there, which I figure isn’t a bad trade-off.

In other news, I am officially Mrs. Funasaurus on all of my credit cards, now; I saw August Rush and it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be; (I actually liked [!] it) and I discovered my friend in California is dating Flavor Flav’s doppleganger. Which is pretty awesome, and I am sincerely hoping that, despite being skinny and pale with a darling British accent (and, like, seven feet tall) he occasionally sports a large clock on a chain around his neck.

Here’s hoping!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Toxic Life Is the Life for Me!

I went back to yoga last night, thinking I’d give it one more shot.

That was a dumb idea.

I thought I’d be o.k. when I saw a very pregnant lady waddle in and roll out her mat, right in front of mine. If she can do it with a second human stuck to her midsection, I could certainly chaturanga my way through one little hour, right?

Wrong. Wrongwrongwrongwrongwrong wrong.

I spent most of the evening lying prostrate to the vanilla scented candles in the corner, while ol’ preggers there eagled and dancer posed her way around me. I hated her, and her ridiculously limber unborn child.

I felt really ill afterwards, and my sister-in-law gaily announced, “Oh, that’s the toxins leaving your body! Yoga is great for that!”

Apparently, I am a very toxic woman, because I am still ill this morning. I spent the night alternating between shivering and having hot flashes. This morning I woke up and ache in every part of my body. I have done strenuous exercise before. (Believe me, those box wines don’t lift themselves into the refrigerator) But unlike having aching quads from skiing, or back pains from doing crunches improperly, yoga makes you feel like shit all over.

Not only do my quads and back hurt, but my eyelids feel like they are being torn off of my eyebrows, my wrists are as brittle as the leftover meringues I found in our cupboard leftover from last Christmas, and my elbows feel like I rubbed the cartilage right out of them.

Yoga is not for me!

You know what IS for me, though? Thanksgiving. Complete with home-made lumpy gravy, giblets, and extra wine. And eggnog. God, I love eggnog. Thus, I have decided to focus my energies on that, for the rest of the week.

Considering, though, that I have very little energy left after the third ring of hell yoga class I went to last night, my “energy” shall probably come from the couch. Where I shall alternate between glugging wine and eggnog, and giving drunken directions to my poor mother and sister-in-law’s boyfriend, who are probably going to be doing most of the cooking for the rest of us lazy slobs.



I would raise my glass to you, but it hurts. Note to self: invest in some wineglass-sized straws before T-day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Royally Pissed

This morning’s been a kick in the pants. I got to get up at o’butt-crack thirty to take The Funasaurus to the airport for a business trip. Despite being up before the sun, there were a ton of other people on the road, and the radio reporters gaily announced, “The highways are looking pretty good, although if you’re headed out to the airport, be prepared for delays, there was a rollover accident on THE ONLY FUCKING ROAD THAT GOES TO THE AIRPORT.”

(I paraphrase.)

So, you know. That put me in a good mood. Right along with having to say goodbye to The Funasaurus, which is basically like kryptonite to my codependent SuperPrincess self.

I got home earlier than my alarm usually goes off, though, and decided to make a good impression on the boss and send him a Very Important E-mail that I had said I would send “first thing in the morning” but figured he was expecting something closer to 9:00 AM than 6:40 AM. I remembered to include the attachment and everything, and hit “send.”

And then went about reading my e-mails and checking MySpace for about an hour, until I decided to check and see if the boss had responded yet.

And there was my damn e-mail, still sitting in the outbox. It had not left. Mother….

So then I opened it and hit “send” a couple more times, because, obviously repetitive mouse clicking and keyboard slamming is exactly what makes computer programs go faster.

Sadly, it is now 10:00 AM, and that e-mail still has not left my mailbox. So much for a bright and early start. I did call the help desk, and found out that our e-mail server is out company-wide, so even if the thing had left my box, it probably wouldn’t have made it to my boss’.

I am still frustrated, though, and decided the only logical thing to do was to consume a rather large amount of chocolate. Which I did. At 9:00 on a Thursday morning. It helped.

Now I’m debating a froofy coffee drink run. I don’t have anything else to do, and the chocolate’s gone, man. It’s gone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's November? Already? I'm Still Writing 2006 on My Checks....

Where have I been, this week? Oh, I don’t even know where to start. The past six days have included:

1 yoga class. Wherein I actually cried, it hurt so bad. Thus reaffirming I am a big, fat pansy, and also not really meant for exercising.

1 trip to the emergency room with my mother-in-law who was quite sure she had cancer in her throat but it actually turned out to be a large piece of salmon. Radiation not needed, so much as chewing.

Several late nights of work, but often there is a quick power nap with my head on my desk during the day, so… you know. It evens out.

5 excruciating days of mouse withdrawal for Tatum. He was starting to get a little obsessive about the whole thing, having trained The Funasaurus’ sister’s boyfriend (who is currently living with us, if you remember) to get up and get him a mouse STAT, first thing in the morning. Which is fine during the week, when Tatum waits for the alarm. It is not so fine when he decides, “Hey FUCKERS! It’s 6:00 AM! Time for my mouse! GET UP!” on a Saturday morning.

So he starts each day out with his soliloquy that begins with a tentative, “Mew?” and quickly escalates into a little one-sided Tatum conversation, “Rrrow? Row? Rowrowrow? Rrrrrow. Rrowrrowrrow. Rowww? Rrrow. Rrrowrowrrrowrrrow.” And then he goes for the cute, “Purr/rrrowww….” And when that does nothing he gets a little lounder and harsher, “RRRRRRRROW!GRRROW!GRROW!” And when THAT doesn’t work, there’s the not-so-subtle “Rrreow-bitches-best-get-me-my-mouse-before-I-cut-them-rrow!” And Tatum’s not playing, because he WILL cut you, just ask my collar bone.

So I decided to cut the little bastard off, and it has been Very Sad around here, what with the lack of faux mice, and the wild look in Tatum’s eye. Having successfully sucked all the joy from his life, I have turned my attention to Sugar, and her recent darts for freedom into the garage, which are getting rather annoying.

I have not found the time to go to the post office to mail my friend’s birthday present which was, oh, A WEEK AGO, and I haven’t had a spare second to clean the house, which has bypassed "pigsty" and gone straight into "trailer-park-after-a-natural-disaster" territory. (Of course, I did somehow find time to watch Oceans Thirteen with The Funasaurus last night. Because it is just that good.)

Sometimes I miss my days of navel-staring whilst unemployed.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Reading and Drinking in the Kingdom

So remember how a couple of friends and I started a classics book club? Well, I pulled my little, “I’m a princess” routine at our first meeting, and while the majority of the book selection process was democratic… I dictatored my way into Jane Austen’s Persuasion (fortunately, everyone was fairly agreeable) because I have always wanted to read that book. My enthusiasm even demanded I host that discussion, and that we read that book FIRST! We'll see if there's mutiny in the book club. Eh! What do I care, as long as I get my night of hosting the Jane Austen novel?

With visions of finger sandwiches and tea dancing through my head, I immediately bought the prettiest version of the book available from the Tattered Cover, and set into reading, what some call Jane’s best work.

The second night in, though, I had a thought. “This is all so familiar. Her books are all running together in my head. It’s the same, self-restrained-to-the-point-of-mental-straightjacket-dom, 19th century British literature that I love, but o.k., it’s nothing new. I was hoping for something a little more from her final novel.”

The third night I continued down my, “It’s like I’ve read this book before,” train-of-thought. (Though I was still engrossed enough in it to miss meeting The Funasaurus for dinner at IHOP. And that’s a Big Deal, considering how hungry I had told him I was when he called me from the road and offered to go out to dinner.) “This reminds me so much of that one story where the chick falls off the wall at the beach, and the other chick shares a clandestine look with a stranger on some stairs…” the mental images came rolling in, as I read about their walking around the moors between the manor houses with nary a beach in sight.

Then I turned the page and they got in their carriages and drove to Lyme, where the one chick falls off the wall at the beach and the other chick shares a clandestine look with a stranger on some stairs.

Apparently… I have read this book before.

So much for finally reading all of Jane Austen’s works. Turns out I did that many years ago. Derrrr.

So, ah. I don’t exactly remember how it ends (though it is Jane Austen, I’d bet money they end up together at the end, after all hope had been lost, and live happily ever after) so I shall continue on. It’s a good book. And fortunately, worth re-reading.

That’s about it for my life recently. Well, besides the fact that I passed up a massage for a glass of cheap cabernet, last night. It was worth it. Cabernet is kind of like a Swedish for the frontal lobe.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'll Alien Your America

I don’t like sports.



I said it.

And The Funasaurus can’t dump me because he committed himself to me for life. Sucker.

Sometimes, I enjoy being at a stadium, there is something to be said for the rush of being part of a large crowd all with the same agenda- hating the other guys and craving another overpriced hot dog. But really, I don’t have the patience for actually watching a game. It just doesn’t do it for me, as hard as I try to learn, sometimes.

I still prefer Sex and the City reruns, all of which I’ve seen at LEAST ten or twelve times, a piece. But with the advent of DVR (oh, holy DVR) and the fast-forwarding of commercials (and also Seasons 2 and 3 on DVD) it is pure, unadulterated, Samantha Jones & co. Sadly, with the advent of DVR, also comes the ability to watch every fucking football game EVER and then basketball. Right after we spent an otherwise perfectly good Saturday at a college football game. Where we were beaten so badly I’m thinking even The Funasaurus is going to take a little break from watching. (Perhaps it wouldn’t be all bad if we were to get spanked more often?)

DVR has also got us hooked on TV shows that are happening right now, OMG. We are more likely to start watching shows once they’ve already been in syndication for a while. Like Scrubs. We discovered that last year. And Friends and Seinfeld were our staples on the weeknights, up until recently. However now that DVR is around, it can record things that other people are watching on a regular basis, thus giving us a slighter chance at being “cool” and “in.”

Ha ha.

Actually, there is one show that I’m really enjoying, called Aliens in America. It’s kind of a silly family comedy, and I don’t normally really like those. (Gag me, Malcolm in the Middle.) But it is also jumping right in to bigotry and terrorism at a time when our culture seems so hung up on being politically correct (Carlos Mencia excluded) that we aren’t really discussing some really dark and growing stereotypes that are kind of the barnacles on our leading world power boat.

So what better way to discuss whether our constitution covers the right to privacy than a gawky 15-year old boy trying desperately trying to hide the fact that he looked at boobs on his Pakistani friend’s computer, which the police are trying to confiscate?

Take that, Malcolm. I don’t think they’ve ever let you look at girlie pictures on your set.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Haunting Stories of Cars and Projectile Vomiting

Last night sucked balls.

First, let’s start with the fact that I had to work late-ish. That is never a good way to start an evening. Then one of our temporary residents cooked dinner for us (damn him!) and it was good. (ARGH. Making me LOOK BAD.) Then he had the nerve to clean it all up!

Actually, it really did bother me, and this is how I know that I have become Totally Crazy, because I hate dishes. And this is not a secret. But when someone is in my house, and using my kitchen, and then starts cleaning while a movie is still playing it makes me feel Very Guilty. And so when I say, “please don’t,” and they say, “Oh, it’s no trouble, it will only take me a minute,” I feel obliged to stand up and stop watching the movie and help.

Right, I know, I have acknowledged that I’m Crazy. Let’s move on.

So instead of throwing the “woe is me, I can’t watch the lame movie that I really wasn’t paying attention to anyway” tantrum that I felt brewing inside me, I wiped down a couple dishes and then got in the car to go to the grocery store and call my brother and talk about things like house hunting and how he’s having trouble coming up with a half million dollars to buy four square feet of a rundown bathroom in California. Fortunately, what with the housing bubble finally popping, he’s hoping he may get an extra square foot or two, for that price. Hooray, a sink AND perhaps a place to stand, next to it!

So I got to the store, and got very wrapped up in our conversation about staying on his couch sometime in January that I just sat in my parked car, in my little parking spot in the grocery store, blathering on. Until some woman in a truck comes barreling down the row in the wrong direction, and begins this very complicated mover of turning and trying to back into the space that’s either the one in front of me, or the one next to it, I’m not sure, because she backs straight down the middle of the yellow line that’s supposed to divide the spaces. Almost crossing into a third space.

I pause, watching the circus act unfold, with a gut feeling that Something Bad is going to come of this, to the point that I make the comment to my brother, “I think she’s drunk.” And that is when she backed her truck right up into my PARKED CAR.

So with the east coast gangsta girl raging inside of me, I step out of my car in my cute, little Audrey Hepburn coat, glare at the large woman who is jumping out of her truck with two other women and is headed into the store, and scream, “The fuck you think you are doing? You just hit my PARKED car! I will cut you!”

Or, at least, that’s how it sounded in my head. What came out of my mouth sounded more like, “Erm, ‘scuse me? I think you’re over the line.”

“SO?” she snarled.

“So, you hit my car!” I finally squeaked.

“No I didn’t!” she raged, coming back to inspect.

Sure enough, our cars were touching.

She got back into her car, pulled it forward a couple of inches, and then got out, calling me a, “Fucking Bitch,” to her friends, very loudly.

Which makes sense, what with her being the fucking idiot who ran into my car that was just sitting there. No apology. No attempt to exchange information.

And if you know the kind of neighborhood that surrounds my grocery store, I doubt you would chase down someone who was significantly bigger and meaner than you at 9:00 at night in the parking lot there, either.

Not that there was any damage. A) The front of my car is already jacked, what with my feeble attempts at learning to do donuts when I lived up in the mountains (hint, make sure there are no, say, LARGE BOULDERS to run smack dab into, when you try it) and B) she really was only going about four miles an hour.

Still, my pride was mortally wounded, so I called my brother back, (somewhere in there I hung up on him) and filled the conversation with a lot of cussing and heavy sighing. He advised me to at least move my car, which I did, and then we chatted some more, and I came home to a clean kitchen and more work.

Fortunately, work is slowing down, now, some. And the past couple days have been highly successful, what with the DMV being something akin to a Disney World experience, compared to the Social Security office, (despite my signature looking like I want to become left-handed, along with becoming Mrs. Funasaurus) and we got a ridiculous amount of trick-or-treaters on Halloween, most of whom were in very clever costumes.

I don’t particularly like children, but I LOVE trick-or-treaters. I would like them to come to my house every night. And I would buy them candy every night, oh yes I would. Especially the little girl who was dressed as one of the Shrek babies in Shrek 3. (That movie was a horrible, hour + commercial for lunchboxes, with the only redeeming quality being the adorable, projectile-vomiting Shrek Baby characters.)

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Her costume was totally homemade (the best kind) but a lot of effort had been put into the skewed antennae, the green face paint, and the large diaper. I would have given her all the candy I had left, if there weren’t more kids lined up behind her that I wanted to see.

And now, it’s finally the weekend.