Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Transferrence and Disemboweled Roughage

I've been taking a software class on Tuesday nights that's absolute torture. Three hours of sitting in a freezing cold room after walking a freezing cold mile from work to get there. Once again today, the ignoramus in me decided to let the plug out of my gene pool and walk to class in heels, which is an activity so barbaric and heinous in nature, it can only be rivaled by one, which you may witness here. The class is not only difficult because it is a 3-hour long class and I have the shortest attention span of any woman on the earth, but because the instructor is a bit of a gasbag and he loves to shower us with P.R. for O'Reilly and various other publishing houses or products he endorses.

Last night after I got home, I felt I had no choice but to transfer the abuse I felt had been thrust onto me by subjecting an innocent vegetable to an equally painful practice. Now for those of you who don't know, in spite of my chronic fear and just horrific dislike of acetic acid, I have a penchant for anything marinaded in brine or, as we say in the Midwest, pickled. I will eat just about anything that's pickled, and that includes most types of meat, veggies, and I don't hesitate to say that I would probably even enjoy pickled ice cream. But, no matter my passion for pickled foods, I will NOT, NOT, eat these, these, or these (may be a bit disturbing). Last evening, as I do most evenings, I chose a standard pickle, kosher so as to observe my belief that in my past life I was not only a master pickler, but a Jewish one.

Check this out: Yes, peeps, that's a full-sized pickle that's been hollowed. It's taken me years to perfect this. Fortunately, I've been eating pickles for as long as I've been able to throw them up. (Another story for later.) I persistently annoyed my parents by eating my pickles this way, and I think they'd be a bit dismayed to know I've continued doing this so far into my adulthood. But, I wonder what fun finger food is if you can't have fun with it? Well, if I had to choose, I'd invite my masticated pickle to my son's bris instead of my parents.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 6

My first boyfriend, Jeremy. 1981.
Our common ground was always P.B. & J.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 5

Posing for the cutest little girl of the year contest. 1980. I didn't win. The contest was rigged.

Do you remember that macrame yarn that our moms used to tie up our hair? Yeah, that's what's on my head. Believe it or not, but I think I look just as cute in pigtails nowadays as I did then.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why Saying Sorry Feels Good: An Exchange That Would Never Take Place In My Family

"Oh, and, uh...I reacted very poorly yesterday and I'm very sorry about that."

"Yeah, I did too. I understood and I'm really glad we're okay."

"For some reason I got my heart set on leaving at 3, and I don't know why I was so cranky about staying over for 15 minutes."

"Well, I felt like I was kind of badgering you anyways also."

"Maybe a bit. I still reacted immaturely. Sometimes I'm just a real pain in the ass."

"Not in mine."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Faking Talent

In an effort to call myself a better photographer than I actually am, and to just make myself a happier person in general by spending money, I've chosen to purchase a DSLR camera. However, I've never been a complete idiot when it comes to spending perfectly good dough, so I elected to spend $200 renting a DSLR first rather than just buying one. (Not an idiot, right?)

At first, I had my heart kind of set on a Nikon D50 since I had heard great things about it and knew that it was a good DSLR for a neophyte like myself. However, the rental company only had one model available, which was a Canon EOS Rebel XT. I said fine, screw me out of $200 and don't send me the camera I want. So, last weekend, I grabbed the new camera and headed up to the hills in Corvallis with a friend.

The only real problem I noticed was that we weren't working with a lot of light even though we were outside. We got up there after 2:30 and it was overcast. This one I took in reasonable light further towards the end of our hike.
I took this one at this place where it looked like part of the hill had imploded in on itself and left this frosty pond.
Despite that it's so dark, I love this one the most:
For some reason, I love this picture, which I took yesterday. My aunt bought this for me in Tijuana.
As you can see, my photo skills could use a little tweaking, so instead of learning how to take better photos, I'm taking a class on Photoshop CS2 in order to use a completely different open-source software called GIMP. I anticipate is will be so much harder to learn than Photoshop, but hey, it's free, and what's better than that, right?

I just wish the camera was.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Farewell to Piglets


I've had these two suckers since 2004. I've been in love with Lamont since I first laid eyes on him. And Marlon made us a threesome.

And now it's a bittersweet goodbye. My piddies are going to live with a sweet young family with three children. It's where they belong. They'll have so much fun. They'll get the social interaction they need to be great family pets.

I love you, boys. I'll miss your wheeking whenever I'd open the 'frigerater and get into the plastic bags with the broccoli and the carrots. You love cucumbers more than I love chocolate. I will miss seeing Monty's orange face after he's buried his nose in a carrot. I'll miss your insanity and how you drag your butts all over after your cage has been cleaned. I'll miss looking at your sweet faces as you sleep, which seemed to be never. I'll miss the way you popcorn when you get out onto the carpet. I'll even miss picking up your little poop pellets.

You've added just that little amount of sparkle into my life when I needed a little laugh. You've cheered me up when I've been depressed. You've been with me through breakups, carpet cleanings, migraines, promotions...you've even witnessed drunken sex.

How can I repay you for the joy you've brought me? Can sending you to live with a loving family possibly be enough? Can Shelby, Jamie, and Alex take good enough care of you?

Goodbye, Piddies. You've made life just a little bit more livable these past few years. But, now it's high time you get to have your fun too.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stephanie Does Dr.90210

Today at work, someone asked me if I'd had my boobs done.

Actually, what she specifically said was, "are those real?"

I told her that no, I hadn't had them done, but all the corn chips I eat in between scenes at my fluffer gig helps them to retain more water.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Something That Would Have Happened to Me Were I Not Such a Stand Up Gal

Going to Safeway has become torturous for me. I would go to a cheaper store if Safeway wasn't so close to my house and if I didn't get one United mile for every $2 in purchases. Today I ventured out into the cold to go to Safeway for 2 items: Vaseline and saline.

I needed the saline because as I was putting my left contact lens in this morning, my saline ran out. Hence, I went to the store with only one contact lens in. This didn't really bother me because I've spent a number of months with only the left one in because the right one seems to get irritated.

I don't mind spending my money at Safeway because the location is so convenient, but there is one horrible side effect as described in the scenario below, which is what would have transpired today if I weren't, as I say in the above title, such a stand-up gal.

I walk into Safeway and am immediately greeted my Mili Vanilli telling me how I know it's true...oooohhh, oooohhh, oooohhh, they love me. I go past the baby stuff, looking for a particular Vaseline product that I was unable to locate at Rite Aid last week. Damn. It's not there. Where in the hell is the fucking Vaseline? I look around for one of those people who is mandated by Safeway law to ask me if I'm finding everything okay when they get within a 5 foot radius of me. Unfortunately, because I'm such a small person, if they hug the baby food, they can walk through the same aisle without breaching the 5 foot boundary, and so are not required to inquire as to my grocery shopping contentedness. (In secret, I choose to take this as a complement in their acknowledging my lack of a percheron butt.)

Just as Rick Astley beings telling me that he's never gonna give me up, I see one of those tweens with the Safeway (Member's Only) jacket at the end of the aisle. "Hey!" I shout. She is forced to turn and face me. Suddenly, I remember her. It's Tiffany. Tiffany. As in, her name is Tiffany. Tiffany and I had an altercation a few months ago when I went to the store and couldn't find a common product known to launderers and dry cleaners alike, known as Dryel. I believe at the time Debbie Gibson was getting lost in my eyes. I found the little kewpie working at one of the checkout stands. "I can't find the Dryel. Do you know where I might find it?" She looked at me as if I was an oompa-loompa. "I've never heard of that. I don't think we have it." She brought over a kid who had used more hair gel that day than George Harrison. I realized this store harbored a whole bevy of tweens, and they became the coed conspirators. "What did you say it was called again? We don't have that stuff. Why would we have that?" I couldn't believe it. This little rodent was causing my dignity to wilt. I overcompensated. "It is a very common product that is used to remove stains from clothing that requires dry-cleaning. If you don't have it here, well, then, you should." I pontificated as Debbie continued her pathetic croon.

Today, Tiffany was much more subdued without her pubescent comrade. I took the opportunity to show her who was boss. I was standing right by the hydro cortisone and hemorrhoid ointment, but I kept my pride. "I can't find the Vaseline." I expected her to look confused, then immediately round up a pantheon of assistant managers to locate my $1.89 product. Instead, she pointed directly below my line of sight. There it sat, staring at me, mocking me, collaborating with Tiffany to cast dispersions on the measly ounce of dignity I had left. Fucking petroleum jelly. Goddammit.

Fortunately, that did not happen today. Instead, I spent nearly a half an hour wandering through the aisles with the personal stuff (K-Y, tampons, etc) and the toiletries. Finally, I located my needed item just below the foot stuff, right by the Preparation-H and Cortaid. Yup. It was wise for me to have avoided Tiffany, although I probably would have given her a tip for her seemingly infinite tolerance of her elders and to mitigate that horrible music which they are forced to labor under the endless drone of.

Hocha Coona Naw Down Wat Chappa Wot

I was brought to absolute hysterics tonight as I was listening to an older podcast of the Naked Scientists.

When I heard Dr. Chris Smith begin a dialogue about an Australian story, I knew I was in for a stream of British/Aussie lingo that would sound like he was speaking Swahili. Sure enough: "If you don't know what a cuttlefish is, its the bone that you shove in you budgerigar cage for the budgy to peck on."

(Say it three times fast.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tapping la Cosa Nostra

Today I overheard (because I was deliberately eavesdropping) one of my employees refer to me as 'the underboss.' I got up from my chair, walked out of my office, looked at him with my head cocked to the side and said, "like Tony Soprano?"

His reponse was a sheepish smile as if to say, "Stephanie, you're an archetype."

I guess I'll take that as a compliment, although I don't think my manager will take well to being called 'Junior.' Nor do I think I could ever call any of my other employees 'Big Pussy.'

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pain and the Art of Anthropomorphism

The effect that gravity has had on my body has become an albatross to me. Click here to see how I have obsessed about it. I have visited the gym on a regular basis for some time now, but I'm not happy with my progress in successfully counteracting my less active years between 2000 and 2005. In an effort to be proactive, I contacted a trainer from my gym that I know on a friendly basis, and asked her if she could help out. Debbie is due to give birth in two weeks but nonetheless was able to set me up with a new, invigorating work out routine that not only will cause my body to undergo a dramatic physical change, but will cause pain so severe I will be screaming like a banshee. Just as I was today.

Debbie's primary instrument of torture was a draconian exercise known as a walking lunge. I hold two 10 lb. weights in my hands, and do lunges across about 30 yards worth of floorspace. After two sets, or 60 yards, my legs were noticeably jittery, and it felt good to sit down which I was finally allowed to do when I arrived at work 2 hours later.

I'm not one of those people who bases my life on numbers, financially or physically. But today, my gluts hurt so much I actually started to measure my life on a pain scale. When I originally started thinking about my pain, I remembered a funny comic strip I saw a couple of years ago and started laughing so hysterically my abs started hurting too.

I felt that the other chocolate bunny in the comic was too distracting, so, a little snip snip, and...

Friday, January 05, 2007

No Dice - And I've Done the Math

Tuesday night I met up with a huge group of girls to play a little game called Bunko (also spelled 'B-U-N-C-O' in suburbia). Ali, Brittany and I had joined this group for a one-time deal...you know, try-it-on kind of a thing. We all had answered an add on Craigslist for some girls looking to throw around the rocks and I had never played so I thought it sounded like fun. The girl who responded is a pink-haired lady by the name of Cristal who designs plus-sized clothing and sells them on ebay. Quite the industrious young woman, might I say. I'd post her Myspace page here, but I don't think with as little traffic as I get it would help her out at all. I'm not going to tell Cristal about this here blog I write because I am just dying to say this: the clothes she designs are plus-sized HOOCHIE clothes for y'all BBW's out there!! My one comment to Ali about this little nugget was that I hoped the hoochie clothes weren't the required dress code at the game. I lucked out, and was admitted into the game in my jeans and a sweater. I think they secretly knew I was wearing my special hooch outfit underneath just in case.

The game was swell but sober. I think this should actually be a game for guys because it really tests your ability to multitask. Basically what happens is you roll the dice for a certain number, and you continue to roll, but only if you get that number, and then you count them all up. If you roll three of the same number, you get a butt load of points and the other team gets really pissed off because you just threw them off of their game. Winning each third round means you move up a table, and once you get to the head table you get to ring the bell and determine when each round starts and stops. In the end, there are 24 rounds.

Ali took home a prize for the most losses (17). I came in second with 16 losses and 8 wins. The winner had 15 wins and 9 losses, and I'm not sure how this is possible. Here's why: when I mathematically analyze this game, I balk at the fact that the winner had 9 losses and the loser had 17. I mean, that's not much of a spread. But, if you think that you have a 50% chance of winning each round and a 50% chance of losing, if you play 24 games, you're most likely going to come in right around 50/50, and not much farther from it. For Ali and I, I think we were safe not winning as this was our first time. For Cristal...inexcusable.

After I'd put all of this thought in to probability of winning, I think it would have been only slightly more fun if we'd all shown up in our hoochie-wear.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Chicken on Turkey Day

I wrote this post while I was working on my second Heineken in the airport in North Platte, Nebraska, back in late November:

This year, in the usual fashion, my grandparents opted to transgress from the norm and roast a chicken for Thanksgiving in lieu of a turkey. While I ordinarily prefer turkey, I was unprepared to suffer the side effects of gorging on tryptophan as we selected a box of "fine" red wine as an accompaniment.

Despite the alternate choice in game, the accoutrements were typical: giblet dressing, a decadent mashed sweet/russet potato hybrid, green beans, and bread. My grandfolks are unbelievable cooks. This, in spite of the fact that my granddad lost his sense of smell a few years ago after a freakish series of injuries preceded by a skin cancer diagnosis.

My grandfather's most recent malady aside from an October cardiac stent insertion, is the recent acquisition of a full set of upper dentures. He thinks they make him talk funny, but I remember him slewing a geyser of racial slurs and profanity since I could hear so throwing a lisp into the mix isn't likely to do much more damage. Despite the good fit of the dentures, he opts to chew tough foods for an hour or longer instead of using a denture adhesive. His argument is that Polygrip is for old people. The dude's 81 fucking years old.

Midway through the meal, my grandfather, in the usual crude fashion, looked over at me, looked at my grandma, put his hand up to his mouth, and pulled the chicken heart, fully intact, out of his craw saying slyly with a smirk smug enough to make the Pope want to make mincemeat out of him, "that would've taken me all day if I didn't choke on it first. Anybody else want it?"

I suppose, when I think about it, I probably am genetically related to this man. But I refuse to admit it in any legal capacity.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Photo Immersion Therapy...Part 4

There is a thin line between crying and laughing. 1979.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Conversations in My Sleep and Other New Year's Happenings

Saturday while having lunch with my friend Tina, she asked me what my New Year's resolutions were going to be. The whole New Year's resolution thing is a superstitious tradition that I have never followed, and I've also never wanted to commit to something I knew I couldn't follow through with, so I've never had resolutions. As we were talking, though, the perfect one occurred to me. But, exactly 24 hours later, I couldn't remember what it was. I frantically called Tina and left a message on her voice mail. "Tina I can't remember what that fucking resolution was!! The only one I've ever made and I don't remember it!! Help!" After exchanging
several calls, I remembered it. I had resolved to bury my remote control and only using the actual buttons on the TV to turn it on and change channels. In retrospect, it seems like a really dumb resolution to have used 10 minutes of airtime trying to figure it out.

A couple of years ago I decided that no matter what happened to everybody else, I would always have me. While I find the holiday times to be the most fun when spent with friends (note I did not say "and family"), lately I haven't been averse to enduring certain occasions that are most profitable when accompanied, sans entourage. So, this year I opted to stay at home alone for New Year's rather than trying to guilt one of my poor girlfriends into extending me an invitiation to go with her and her sweetheart to some event where there are most likely to be an overabundance of couples, (overtly-in-love-with-each-other couples) especially in my immediate vicinity. I don't believe this is the first New Year's Eve I've spent alone, but I don't remember the last time I did it, so I was either too drunk, or it was...well...not memorable. I doubt this year will be any different, but at least, well...I've got me. I can't say that I have no New Year's Eve memories:

~I have spent exactly 4 New Year's Eve's mid-coitus at the stroke of midnight. (Pun intended.) I am the luckiest person in the world to have experienced this 4 times, and especially so since one of them (1996-1997) was when I was absolutely crazy in love and it was our first time together.

~I have had exactly 2 New Yeard Day hangovers. And yes, both of them were the day after the coitus mentioned above.

~Two years ago in San Diego, I kissed 3 guys, two of which I really didn't know, to ring in the New Year.

Here's a few fun things to do on New Year's Eve when you're alone:

~Watch for last minute Craigslist personals postings. People tend to get extra desperate when they realize that if they don't hussle, they are going to be entering 2007 solo. I don't answer them, but they're funny because sometimes a person can get pretty clever when absolutely panicked.

~Open a little bubbly. It's okay to drink alone once in a while, and alcohol is absolutely required on a day like today. Besides, it's okay to waste part of a bottle of champagne when it only cost $7.

~Buy new lingerie. A lot of new lingerie. At your new favorite lingerie store.

~Engage in some SSB. (If you don't know what this is, you really need to watch more HBO.) I can't give any specifics because the 'S' is the 'secret' part of the acronym.

~Cook food with a TON of garlic. After all, nobody's going to smell your breath.

~Watch a really wacky corny chick movie. I didn't do this because Netflix vindictively didn't send me one, but I haven't really been into that genre lately so much as the foreign and intellectual ones, so I was happy anyway.

~Say a fond farewell to that really cool 2006 calendar that you are likely to never be able to actually throw away because it's so damn great.

Several of my past relationships have come back to haunt me in the last few weeks. First, I hear from ex #5 (see this post). He subsequently T.M.ed me on Christmas day to say "Marry [sic] christmas!" He was never one to use exclamation points, so he was either really blitzed or else he hit the '1' key too many times and then hit the 'send' button before realizing he'd used the wrong punctuation. I can't possibly convey the profound irony in the misspelling of the word 'merry.' Nevertheless, I chose to remain incommunicado for fear or making my life more complicated than it needs to be. Ever since we last parted ways, I've always wanted to think of him as having nothing to offer me but some I.V. saline to ward off a hangover and a dose of Versed in the instance that I wasn't loaded enough to forget a one night stand. But propanolol works just as well, and nowadays I neither drink excessively or have sex with random strangers, so the aforementioned remedies are unlikely to be of any use. Therefore, I remain incommunicado.

On the same day, Christmas, ex #3 T.M.ed me the same thing, but with the flagrant use of the word "honeybunny," at the end, which was a mockingly stupid nickname that my friends (ex #4 et al.) had christened me with during a drug and alcohol induced haze in 2002. Retrospectively, it would have been cute, but it's now 2007, and ex #3 is my employee. Tuesday at work I politely reminded him about certain boundaries that need to remain in place, primarily because I am his boss, but also because we aren't on those terms anymore. That and, I really don't want that nickname to get spread around.

However, ex #3 took vengeance on me by appearing in my sleep the night before last. Fortunately, nothing sexual happened. We had a long conversation about regret. Not in relation to each other, but particularly about his regrets about his current relationship. Then, we decided to trade vehicles, and I ended up driving his Jeep which was converted into a push-button convertible, in the rain on the highway. I had to raise the cover, then latch it down using these rusty handles under the front visors. Why I didn't pull off the highway to do this, don't ask. I lost my grip, slipped across the seat, and ended up flipping the jeep. I assume I totalled the Jeep and died because at that time I woke up. I hope this isn't 2007 forshadowing.

I have to say I'm really looking forward to this year. I'm turning 30, paying off my car, getting a huge REI dividend, and taking $1700 worth of tax deductions from my charitable contributions. In the last year, I've learned how to work a normal day schedule and have given my diet a complete overhaul. In the last 2 years I've been to Philadelphia, Chicago (three times), Cleveland, Orange County, Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta, Denver, and Sioux Falls. In the last 3 years, I've gotten 2 promotions, met a ton of great people, many of whom are now my friends, bought my house, and successfully pulled my head out of my ass. I would say I have a lot to look forward to.

Happy New Year to you and yours. Have a happy and healthy one.