Thursday, January 31, 2008

There Will Be Popcorn

I sent Jon this text today:

Happy 9 yr dating anniversary and LOST day!

I think we both agree the anniversary is inferior.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Case You Thought I was Easy to Live With

This is every non-holiday decorative accessory that I own.

This is a blank slate.

I haven't got shit to decorate it with.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Never Doubt the Love of an Aztek

Do you remember back in June when the Aztek wrote me a letter professing its odd, almost obscene attachment to Firestone Auto Care? (That's more fun than admitting Firestone wrote a letter to me masquerading as the Aztek.) Anyway, I was reminded of that letter when we dropped the Aztek off at Firestone for an oil change this afternoon. I imagined the Aztek's excitement at the sight of the familiar garage bays; doors outstretched, grill grinning from headlight to headlight, and the urge to press the gas pedal all the way to the floor, stumbling in the indecision to remain calm or let the insane happiness and relief shine through.

Funny, how true it must have been.

Jon and I dropped the Aztek off and went about our business in my emotionally detached Focus. We stopped for lunch, shopped for a new shower curtain and liner, and just as we were about to embark on an always annoying trip to the grocery store Firestone gave us a call, all but begging us to have more work done than just an oil change. Apparently the front passenger side wheel bearing was shot to hell and the wheel was liable to fall off at any moment. The Firestone employees were so adamant about the repair that they offered to call a tow truck to have it dropped off at our home if we weren't willing to pay the $289.00 to have it repaired today. They didn't want the risk of our driving it home to remain on their conscience.

If you remember the Aztek's love letter then you probably remember my reply in which I chastised the Aztek for being so partial to Firestone when National Tire and Battery (NTB) had been giving the Aztek quality oil changes and had purportedly repaired the front passenger side wheel bearing in May. This new discovery has forced me to retract all hurtful accusations I've made toward the Aztek's prejudices, and admit that the SUV was right all along. The Aztek knew what it was talking about--it knew where the real love was.

Fortunately for Jon and I, there was still a guarantee on the work done at NTB but they refused to pay for the towing costs. Firestone, knowing that we would drive it the 8 miles ourselves, fearing for our lives and the Aztek's plastic front bumper, agreed to fork over the money for the tow, knowing that we would be returning to them for all future car repairs and proving that the Aztek's love was requited.

I imagine the Aztek's heartbreak at being forced to go elsewhere when it had finally been returned to its one true love. I imagine the agony it felt even when Firestone's lovely garage, smelling of oil and rubber (roses to a truck, I'm sure), made an attempt at consoling him, saying it is only for the best, and that they would be reunited again soon. Love is never easy after all.

What does all of this mean for me? Well, finding that the Aztek wasn't a lovesick loon after all means that I am, once again, the sole head case in our little family. Although Jack does make me wonder sometimes...but I think my own loony behavior is just rubbing off on him.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Seventeen again

My niece turned 17 today and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. It doesn't make me feel old. It doesn't feel like she was born yesterday. I'm not getting all nostalgic about the first time I saw her, and the years between then and the woman she's become now. No, as much as I love her and am proud of her, sentimentality isn't the source for my conflicted feelings regarding her 17th birthday. I'm having a hard time grasping her age because sometimes I still feel 17, and how can she and I be the same age when there is actually 9 years between us?

Oh well. Hopefully she'll have a smoother transition into adult life than I've had. She's not nearly the headcase that I am, so maybe I can get some pointers from her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You’ve Got a Lure I Can’t Deny

Dearest Benjamin Gibbard,

Like most of my past relationships you showed up in my living room as a friend of my brother's, and like most of my brother's friends I ignored you until you said something of interest—you mentioned the stale taste of recycled air and I saw it as a sign of true potential. That's when I stopped talking over you, pretending you didn't exist, and I began listening to what you had to say. You found your way into my daily rotation. You turned the tables and used my own mind games against me. Each time I resisted, even slightly, you threw more poetic musings at me, reeling me in faster, forcing me into submission with the promise of knowing me inside and out. You were deep, and I like deep people, but I could only offer you friendship, nothing more, and you pretended to be okay with that.

The next time I saw you I was at a Halloween Party. You waited until I was drunk, passed out on the living room floor and vulnerable before you slunk out of a dark corner dressed as a cab driver. Even intoxicated I was able to recognize your voice behind the costume and I told you so. You laughed and told me I was cute when I slurred my speech. I swooned. At that point you grabbed me, hook, line, and sinker, and I've been flapping my fins ever since, gasping for air but never getting enough.

I love you, or I guess I love your words. It's like you reached into my chest, grabbed hold of my heart and every memory I keep there and turned them into shiny compact discs with alternating names. You appear randomly, sometimes the cab driver, sometimes the mailman, but either way you're delivering something, usually poetry that makes me love you more and makes me love myself less for being so powerless against you. But I always recognize your voice. I always recognize your words. And no matter how much I resist you keep pulling me closer. You are the drug causing my emotional instability and that makes you dangerous, but even in knowing the truth I don't want to end my addiction. I'm not sure if it's my heart that makes your music beat, or if it's your music that's beating my heart. Either way, I can't take that chance.

Love always,


P.S. My husband knows all about you and this letter. He thinks you're just a phase. I'm hoping he's right.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Seven B's of Life

Overheard at dinner last night:

"Books Before Boys Because Boys Bring Babies! Those are The Seven B's of Life, man!"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pure Dumb Luck

I'm hesitant to say that I've escaped the wrath of Jon's stomach flu on the off chance that I could jinx myself, but it's been over 48 hours since I drove him to the emergency room to be pumped full of fluids and the only problem I have is a bad case of paranoia. I've been so afraid of getting sick that I'm analyzing every food before I eat it and wondering how bad it will taste if it doesn't stay down, making me sick to my stomach every time. With every gurgle in my belly I'm almost convinced that it's my turn to run to the bathroom, but nothing has happened so far. And Jon was feeling much, much better as he headed off to work for the first time this morning. We changed the bedding last night and I slept in our bed for the first time since Monday night and it was absolutely wonderful. The couch was giving me such a crick in the neck.

Like I said, I'm hesitant to say that I got off scot-free, but it is looking that way. Apparently the avoidance tactic really does work.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Please Send Healthy Thoughts

I woke to the sound of someone vomiting at 3:00 last night, and in my grogginess, I actually stopped to make sure it was my husband and not an old episode of Jackass playing on the living room television. Yep, I recognized that heaving, it was most definitely Jon, and the poor guy didn't stop there. He made four more trips to the bathroom in the early morning. By 7:00 he started getting these red splotches around his eyes and by 8:00 it looked like someone had given him two black eyes which I've been told is a sign of dehydration. That's when we decided it was time to go to urgent care.

It was surprisingly a quick trip. We walked in the doors and he was given a bed and hooked up to an I.V. almost immediately. I sat in a chair by his side and got a jump start on this year's reading for the next 45 minutes while bags of Saline and Promethazine dripped into his blood stream and he slept like a baby.

The staff told me that since it was a highly contagious stomach flu there wasn't much I could do to prevent myself from getting it other than wash my hands often and hope for the best. Apparently even the flu shot I was given back in November can't help me now, so my hands are beginning to chap they've been washed so many times and other than getting him a bottle of water or bowl of vegetable broth I've been staying in the opposite side of the house as my husband all night. And just for safe measure, I think I'll be camping out on the sofa. I can't get sick like that.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Year of Reform

It takes a rare talent to break all of your New Year's Resolutions in the first week of the year. I blame my tendency to be overly ambitious. You see, I began compiling a mental list over a month ago, and as the days went on the list grew longer and longer until the goals seemed unobtainable and the idea of writing them down was tedious. It wasn't until the new year began that I finally gave myself a deadline. I decided my goals had to be selected and written down by the same day that I declared them last year and put into action the following day. I just checked and discovered that today is it, so here goes nothing.

1. Dedicate 30 minutes to my appearance each morning.
Currently my jeans are too baggy, my corded sweater is faded, my hair is too fluffy, and I have absolutely no makeup on. I shouldn't be permitted to go out in public like this yet I do every day and to work no less. A lack of beauty skills, determination, and time in the morning is to blame. At some point last year, after too many late nights and too many early mornings I stopped caring and it shows. Fortunately my little sister bought me the queen of all hair straighteners for Christmas and I used gift cards to buy all new cosmetics. After one date with that hair iron, my makeup bag, and a trip to the salon for an eyebrow waxing I was reminded that I really do clean up well. It's time I matched that face with stylish clothes and presented my company with the non-frumpy version of Katie. This means I have to wake up at 6:00 in the morning.

2. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every weeknight.
I can't get by on the 4 or 5 hours I've been giving myself for the last 6 months. My new bed time is 11:00.

3. Write on a semi-regular basis.
I went from writing every day back in 2000 to writing absolutely nothing for 6 years. Something finally broke me in June of 2006 and I returned, but not even on a remotely regular basis. And I regret those 6 years of silence more than ever now because I'm finally realizing that my memory isn't good enough to keep all of life's little moments in my subconscious record books. I don't have my wedding or honeymoon on record, and by golly, I don't want to miss anything else.

4. Walk the dogs every day (weather permitting).
When it was just Jack we did walk every day. He and I even visited most of the dog friendly Metro Parks in our area, but then we adopted Macy last February and I experienced one too many nightmarish walks consisting of tangled leashes, tripping, and all around madness. I've decided it's time to purchase a coupling harness and teach my dogs the proper way to walk, or at least teach them not to walk me.

5. Read 40 books by December 31, 2008.
I was probably somewhere in the ballpark of 20 books read in 2007 and it didn't feel like nearly enough, so I'm doubling it.

6. Perfect the art of time management.
I'll be spending more time sleeping, reading, walking, writing, and primping. Somehow I'm also supposed to do all of the bill-paying, laundry, cleaning, and cooking, and remain sane. I truly believe that where there's a will there's a way and I think it begins with not writing to-do lists only to procrastinate longer.

7. Finish the Damn Desk already!
A block of solid oak measuring in at 5 feet wide by 3 feet deep by 3 feet tall has gotten the best of me for three months already. The old oak desk that I pillaged from my parent's house has turned its temporary placement in my enclosed but unheated back porch into a permanent home and I won't stand for it any longer. The old finish has been removed and the desk has been cleaned entirely. Now all I have to do is sand, stain, and polyurethane, but I've been saying that for a month. I'm giving myself until March 15th to have the desk finished and transported to its real permanent home in the office.

Team Building Part 2

The best comment of the night was made by the littlest guy in the group who looked more like he belonged in chess game than a Halo tournament:

"That's it, Dave! I'm gonna send you a list of all my fetish sites, because you need more porn and less video games in your life!"

I almost fell out of my chair.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Team Building

My house is currently bursting with testosterone. I've closed myself off in the office and have iTunes playing in an effort to drown out the competition of male voices. Every couch and coffee table has been moved from its original position to suit the guys purpose. Normally this would drive me crazy, but tonight I'm feeling pretty mellow. I guess I just want them to have a good time.

Every couple of months Jon invites his staff over for an off-the-clock Team Building Meeting which is usually an excuse to get his 10 employees together for a Halo tournament. We set up three different TVs in three different rooms and let them all duke it out. While some of the video game related conversations bore me and remind me of how completely out of my element this is, I think the concept is great and it's an excellent bonding experience for the staff members. Nothing can make your boss appear more human than having the opportunity to tell him that he is the absolute worst Halo player ever and we all laugh when someone picks on Jon for it because even he knows it's true.

I took the easy way out tonight and set up a taco bar in the kitchen. The only problem was I underestimated how much 11 men can eat and we ran out of taco meat within 20 minutes. I was surprised to learn that Jon's assistant manager is a chef and with a spice rack and extra ground beef from the fridge, he provided me with a rare sight tonight--a male cooking in my kitchen.

I almost asked Jon if I could keep him, but I figured that wouldn't go over too well.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Potty Humor

In all of the holiday madness I forgot to mention that the huge Christmas Eve family gathering at our house went just dandy. I had done so much planning and delegating in that final stretch that I was able to spend most of the day watching Christmas specials in my pajamas. Everything went pretty much as planned except for about half way through the evening when nearly every thing plumbing-related in the house decided to stop working properly. We had to put a Do Not Use sign on the toilet in one bathroom and on the sink in another, and in order to keep the kitchen sink draining, the garbage disposal had to be run constantly. It took all of five seconds to realize something had gone wrong with the main drain.

We were hardly home on Christmas Day so a plumber wasn't called until the day after. He arrived with a snake the size of a snow-blower and made black smudges around the corners of my walls and down into the basement. When I told him about our phantom plumbing problem he laughed at the oddness of it all. Three hours and one hundred thirty-nine dollars later, he presented me with a tree root the size of my dog and the tampons that were caught on said tree root to clog the large drain.

Normally I would have been embarrassed but seeing as I haven't had to use a tampon in quite some time thanks to PCOS, I just shook my head, smiled, and told him I'd have to do something about that.

Five days later we had our annual New Years Eve party and this sign was hung above each toilet:

Violators are subject to a fine in the amount of $139.00