Things I forgot to tell you

Lord. I am so tired. How long can this go on?

Well, I've been workin' in a coal mine…

If you never heard the song "Workin' in a Coal Mine," at this point you must think I have gone berserk. Basically, I am tired. My dog does not sleep at night. In fact, it is early evening and she and I were just lying on the couch, and SHE had a nice nap. I could not drift off. She had her paws around my neck and her muzzle in my hair. Who wished she had large cymbals to wake that dog up so she'd sleep tonight?

Okay, first of all, the thing I forgot to tell you is I posted today on Chic Critique. I don't mean to only talk about that blog when I write on it, and in fact dcrmom made a nice Chic Critique logo that I should have on my sidebar, except I don't know how to put things on my sidebars. Which means I have to talk Marvin Gardensald into doing it for me and he always has "important" things to do like teach children. Whatever.

But speaking of Marvin's kids, there is a test paper here on the desk. The question is "Why does the U.S. honor unknown soldiers?" and the kid wrote, "To honor the people who fart in war."

Okay, does he think that's how you spell "fight"? Or is he a wiseacre?

Am I 179, using words like "wiseacre"? Stop that horseplay, kids.

Oh, and also? I TOTALLY misspelled "Tallulah" last time. Not to mention, today I told my father that my uncle is in Mexico, visiting Guatemala.

You understand that Mexico and Guatemala are two different places, right?

Lord. I am so tired. Well, I've been workin' in a coal mine…

Advertisements

Climb Every Mountain

Last night, Marvin Gardensalad and I went to a lecture about Mt. Everest. That lecturer told a lot of tall tales. BAH!

Did you know that the people who actually live under Mt. Everest have a whole different name for it, and then when the British people decided to start rushing over there and climbing the thing, they just named it "Everest" after some British guy? Doesn't that make you mad? I think we should all start referring to it by its actual name given to it by its native people, and this argument would be a lot more powerful if I could remember what the name of it is. Something foreign-sounding.

In the meantime, Tahlula, — which is what we are now calling the dog, because Marvin hated the name Lulabelle and I did kind of just come home with a dog and all — spent her first hour in her new crate. She and I drove to MONroe together yesterday to go to PetSmart, and turns out? She is kind of afraid of automatic doors such as the kind found at PetSmart. Also? She is afraid of Cocker Spaniels, mail trucks and construction equipment. She is going to have to man up, for heaven's sake.

Anyway, we put her in that crate. You guys. You'd have thought we were KILLING her.

Then, at night? We put her in there again. Do you have any idea how many noises of sadness a puppy can make? There is the ar-ar-ar-ar-ar whine where she sounds like a dolphin. There is the mmmmmmmmmmm whine where she sounds like brakes. Then there is the oh-so-easy-to-sleep-during rrowwwwwwwww! howl.

I am looking forward to the part where you all say she will come to like that crate.

At any rate, in case you haven't noticed, I hope you know, that it is the end of the month. It is a leap day. Are ya leaping? My Aunt Kathy is flying today, and she said she keeps thinking that if she dies in a plane crash, her kids won't be able to think, "It was a year ago today mom died in the plane crash" because February 29th won't happen next year.

It's fine, really. My whole family thinks this way. Recently I played with a five-year-old member of our family? And she wanted to play funeral. We are practically the Addams Family.

My morbid roots aside, it is the end of the month, and I must adopt a new healthy thing to do for March. Remember? How I was gonna add something new each month? So, here we go. For March, I will try meditation every day. I am thinking I will try to do it in the evening, when Marvin gets home, because meditating with a puppy in the morning sounds fruitful, doesn't it?

I also thought that alternatively, I could meditate in the church before or after work. That church in the middle of the day, with no overhead lights and just the stained-glass windows? So pretty.

Anyway, that's the plan for now. Meditate, rename that mountain, muzzle that dog. Yep.

Bones, running and cuteness

Whoever told me to get the Nylabone or whatever it's called is my hero. She is obsessed with that thing. It is bigger than she is. She also enjoys chewing my stuffed bunny I have had for about 12 years, and this hideously dirty powder puff that my cat Francis used to carry around and purr-paw on. I think those days are over for Francis.

Anyway, I just want you to know, I hope you know (my cousins used to say that. "I hope you know, Maria, that that is MY Cabbage Patch." "For your information, Katie, no it isn't." Oh, I am glad to be an only child) that despite the debacle that was my day yesterday, despite the fact that I am Christopher Columbus of puppies, without the smallpox blanket part, I got on that dang treadmill and ran last night. For 31 minutes. While Lula slept on the couch.

I didn't go as fast as usual — I keep a running diary, yes I do — and it occurred to me that all I had to eat yesterday was:

1. a plain Gardenburger patty at 10 a.m.

2. two handfuls of plain popcorn at about 4:00. At 4:01, Francis began licking said popcorn so that was that.

and 3. half a bowl of minestrone soup.

I guess that explains my lack of energy.

I must go, as Francis is hissing and groaning and having big eyes, and I think I need to get him out of this room before his head explodes into angry cat parts.

Meet Lulabelle. Sort of.

Guess what's almost impossible?

Impossible_3

Filming a puppy. They move AROUND all the time.

Lulabelle is a 12-week-old Lab mix and she weighs 10.9 pounds. She is so skinny!

Chewy

She ate dinner so fast I would've thought I had hallucinated putting food in the bowl. Then she chewed the bone I got for her that is 10 times bigger than she is.

Ohno

She seems kind of upset, and also sort of Asian in this photo. Do not ask me what my hair is up to.

With_daddy

Marvin is fine thus far, and Winston is totally fasy67hu (she just typed that) fascinated with her. Ruby has been eating her puppy food. Francis is in the attic committing hari kitty.

Fairly_good

Does anyone know how we can make her feel better? Despite this copasetic shot, above, she is restless and crying a lot.

She is back on puppies again?

Oh. My. Stars.

Today I had an interview in Raleigh, and I wasn't sure I really wanted the job. I was even thinking, "Why am I driving to Raleigh for this?" as I was in fact driving to Raleigh.

I was screeching down a two-lane highway. I was annoyed because I had had to stop for gas, and then twice there was that kind of road work where they shut down one side of the street and you have to wait for the cars to pass you.

Finally, the road seemed to be clear, and I was passing a small group of trailers when I saw a TINY PUPPY ON THE SIDE OF THE FREEWAY.

I said out loud, "Oh, no" and I did a U-turn right there. Someday when I die, you can be pretty much assured it will be because I was in the midst of loving some animal. Either I will have crawled into a lion's cage at the zoo, or I will have tried to kiss a cougar in the wild, or I will do something stupid on the street to avoid and/or rescue an animal.

Anyway, I came back around and saw that it was a yellow Lab mix puppy. I opened my car and I know I am being dramatic, but the look on her face said, "Hello, mom!" and she leaped into my car. Or scrambled, seeing as she is three months old and doesn't quite have jumpy legs yet.

We sat there together on the side of the road, her tail wagging furiously and her snout on my shoulder. I looked at the three trailers nearby. I considered knocking on the doors and asking, "Is this your dog?" but you guys. There were no fences in those yards. She was really skinny.

What I am trying to tell you is I stole the dog.

I called the place where I had the interview, and they said, "Bring her! We love dogs!" which is pretty great, but to drive her 250 miles round trip seemed kind of mean. So I said I had to reschedule and we came home.

I took her to Marvin's school first. I am telling you right now. He is gonna get an oxygen tank or become addicted to Benedryl or SOMETHING. Because this is my dog. She is my ding-dang dog. That is it.

However, Marvin seemed unaffected by her, except for the part where he was reduced to the word, "oh." "Ohhhh. Oh-hoho. Ohhh," he said. He did not sniff. He did not tear up.

Finally, I took her to my vet, who is the best vet I ever had. My Lulabelle (and yes, I am pretty sure I am naming her Lulabelle. Sue me.) has ticks, worms, and is malnourished. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

And that, folks, is why there is no photo yet. She is there, getting a flea bath and a worm shot and whatever else she needs, and I can get her this evening. In the meantime I came home and took a hot shower,  as she managed to pee, poop and drool on me in one car ride.

I do not even know what to tell you. I think I was just meant to find her. Had there not been those delays in traffic. Had I not needed gas. Had I not had a stupid interview. Et cetera.

So, please stay tuned for Lulabelle Gardensalad, coming to a blog near you.

In which you learn too much about my nethers

When my underwear had no elastic, I knew it was gonna be a stupid day.

I was late, for a change. Freezing in our laundry room, which is basically a back porch with windows on it, I put on the first pair of underwear that I pulled from the Vesuvius pile on the dryer.

"Why isn't the right side, you know, hanging on?" I wondered. It was just kind of flapping at my side. In the breeze. For a brief, shining moment, I thought maybe I had lost weight. But really, the elastic had just frizzled out of that side, rendering it sort of helpless. It was kind of like my underwear had had a stroke.

I put them on anyway. It was 8:01 and I am supposed to BE at work at 8:00.

Dashing out the door, I flumped my coffee cup onto the space between the car seats. Do not ask me why I decided to pull the emergency brake once I parked at work. Do not ask me the expletives I came up with as the coffee cup shot up and spewed coffee all over the car.

Running and trying to subtly push my flippy undergarment to its rightful place, I did notice that we have a bird's nest in one of our trees at the church. Those of you who read my blog last year know how I get about bird nests. I am so pitching a tent, so to speak, under that tree. There was ONE bright spot today.

Once inside, it didn't take long before my elastic-free pants decided to revisit all the old familiar places, so crankily I headed to the bathroom to revamp myself.

The single toilet in the women's room was hissing and carrying on, so with my fine mechanical abilities, I took the lid off the tank and jiggled everything. You will be surprised to hear this did not result in, well, anything, so I called the repairman.

How long do you think it took me between realizing the one toilet was broken and feeling like I absolutely, with an intensity unbeknownst to me in this life, had to use the facilities? It took about seven seconds, that's how long.

Now, there is a men's toilet. And I do not know why I am Prissy Fusspants of Squeamytown, but I simply could not make myself go in there, no matter how miserable I had made myself at this point. I kept saying, "June, this is psychological. You do not really have to go. Soon the repairman will be here and you can piddle to your heart's content. Now, go to work."

Well. Ten minutes of alternating between pulling at my underpants and dancing around — it was less the macarena and more the Make-A-Rain-A — I left a huge sign on the church door: WENT HOME TO PEE. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE. BE RIGHT BACK.

I can assure you that everybody in town read the sign and simultaneously envisioned me on the pot.

And what a sight I was when I got home, coat flapping behind me, spike heels clacking on my stone walk. It was like I was a racing greyhound, but there was a toilet in front of me instead of a bunny.

When I got back to work, I realized that I had run so fast that I have thrown out my back. I do not know how bad it is gonna get.

It is noon, folks. Noon. My back's broke, my bladder has exploded, and my underwear is addicted to crack.

This day has become a country song. It is a stupid day.

Exciting things that’ve happened today

I am supposed to be proofreading something — what else is new?– but so MANY exciting things have happened.

Okay, first of all, I have another job interview, this one in Raleigh. The interview is Wednesday. I would be a proofreader/office manager for a graphic design firm. Their website is really cool, and they have little profiles of each person who works there, and the profiles include what their pets' names are. So you know I'd fit in.

June GonnaEatThat is proud mother to the quite hairy Ruby DeLuna, Francis Carport and Winston Tripper, ages 12, 11 and 3, respectively. June wants many, many, many more cats, but her mean spouse said the next cat who comes in the door might as well be named Divorced White Female. Click here to contact June.

I don't mind being an office manager along with being proofreader. To tell you the truth, it'd kind of be like taking the two jobs I currently have and combining them and giving me benefits. And there probably aren't church bulletins to mess up at a graphic design firm.

I should really get all my work done tonight so I can shop for something spiffy to wear to the interview. Plus also too, Sally Hershberger has come out with a new line of haircare products, and it is imperative that I try them. I can write a review of said products on Chic Critique. (My pal The Nester wrote a guest review on Chic Critique today. There is a picture of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies included in said critique. And let's talk about how I forgot that Granny made moonshine, and had those jugs with the three Xs on them. What do those three Xs mean?)

And speaking of my pets, which I was four paragraphs ago, today I had to take Ruby to the vet. A few months back, she got diagnosed with asthma, and who feels bad that she took her cat, who lived in the city with the dirtiest air on the planet, and moved her out to the country so she could get asthma?

So, we had our checkup today, and Ruby is doing really well. But the point of my story is that I met (a) the vet's two bulldogs, and I happen to think bulldogs are just the most ridiculously Lou Grant looking cute things on earth, and (4) they also let me hold a baby baby baby puppy who was recuperating in an INCUBATOR, because she is so tiny. The puppy needs a home. Let's not go there together again, shall we? There was also a 10-month-old jumpy dog who needed a home, and again, let's not do this to ourselves unless we all agree it's okay to put Starvin' Marvin Gardensalad to sleep first.

And speaking of rubies, there is a woman in town whose name is also Ruby, and I have invited her over for tea this Saturday and I am so excited I could spit. Does anyone have something-that-would-go-nicely-with-tea recipes?

I wonder if Ruby will like Ruby, and vice versa?

Finally, Marvin and I are going to be famous. The paper is writing a story on the band Marvin joined, and the media — which is really a woman I know from Garden Club but technically she IS the media — has called us twice to get our story straight. I told her the Marvin-worked-with-Michael-Jackson thing that people always like, and she put that in the story. So we will be world-renowned. Or at least known by the seven people left in the county who don't already know us.

Oh. There is another finally. Finally part deux, did you SEE that there is a SPECIAL on the ROYAL FAMILY this weekend? Or maybe next Monday. Perhaps I had better confirm this. At any rate, there will be no mystery what I will be doing. Oh! I am excited. I plan to buy eggs to throw at the screen whenever they show Camilla Parker Bowels. Diana rocks! Team Diana!

Health, schmealth. Here’s how to pronounce celebrity names.

If there is anything more annoying than having a piece of coconut stuck in your tooth, with no floss in sight, I don't know what it is. Guess who had Samoa Girl Scout cookies for breakfast? Nice. Despite that, I DID lose weight this week. Imagine how much I'd have lost had I not plowed through the cookies.

Did you watch the Oscars last night? Here's what I discovered: when you go a whole year without spending, as I did last year? Turns out you won't have seen any of the movies up for an Oscar. Somehow this did not deter me from being amused by the Oscars.

And for the record? Everyone? It is pronounced Hal-y Berry. Like Hal. Like the man's name, Hal. Like Halliburton. Like halibut. You want to get on my nerves? Pronounce it Holly Berry, like whoever that idiot was last night.

Also? I have HEARD HER SAY IT HERSELF: It is Cate BLANchett, not BlanCHETT. Why do we have to make everything so weird and pretentious? It's just BLANchett. Nothing fancy.

And while I'm on the subject? Ralph LAUren. Not not not not not Ralph LauREN.

To review: Hal-y. BLANchett. LAUren.

Maybe I do know what's more annoying than having a piece of coconut stuck in your tooth.

Oh. Can I also say one more, which is now in the past and it doesn't matter? Yet it still grates? The Soprahhhhnos. It is just The Sopranos, like the singers in the choir. You do not have to get fancy about it. Soprahhhhhhhhhhnoes. Ugh.

Okay. I am done. Today I don't run, because I ran a lot yesterday. Am wishing I could have a baked potato loaded with cheese for lunch, but that would not be healthy. I think I will have a baked potato with broccoli instead.

Wait. One more. Leif Garrett is pronounced LAYF. Like, it rhymes with "safe." It is not Leaf.

Okay. Really done now.

Worst Church Secretary EVER

Before I begin, there is this woman named Emily who has spent the whole weekend reading my last year's blog. I keep getting emails from my old blog, telling me someone has made a new comment, and I can see her progress. Yesterday she was on last July, when Marvin accidentally stood like a T-Rex in the middle of that wedding, and today she is all the way up to November. Unlike this Typepad blog, I cannot email her back when she makes a comment.

I figure at the rate she's going, she'll read this in a day or two. So, hi, Emily! Love you! Love your comments! Can't believe you spent this much time reading my silly blogs!

Maybe she will get fed up at the end of last year's and never read this one. You think?

So, I forgot to print out the bulletins for the other church today. Nice.

There is this other church that my boss, the rector, preaches at every other weekend. With the whole copy machine breakdown fiasco, I just absolutely, 100% forgot about it completely. Seriously, am I the worst church secretary ever?

Before I leave the church for the week, I have to print out 65 bulletins, insert 65 prayer lists into those bulletins, print six large bulletins and insert six large prayer lists, lay 20 of said bulletins out for the choir, put one on the organ for the organist, and put the rest in the entryway, topped by a slip of paper where someone write how many parishioners were present that week.

Plus, I have to remember to put a teller sheet and deposit slip out for the volunteers who count the money. Oh, and I have to mail eight copies of the bulletin out for the homebound, and one for whoever is doing the layreading that week.

As you can see, no details going on THERE. But I make myself a little checklist so I won't forget anything. But you know what I've never written on said checklist? PRINT OUT BULLETINS FOR THE OTHER CHURCH, YA MAROON!

I am just mortified at myself. You'd think church secretary would not be stressful. But haven't I already told you the mushroom farmer story? My brother-in-law, Bill, told me he knew someone who became a mushroom farmer and after a year he quit cause it turns out that is a TOTALLY stressful job. You have to get the soil content just right, you have to pay attention every second, whatever.

Of course, I spent the whole time Bill was telling me this story waiting to make mushroom jokes. "I guess after a year he was no longer a fun guy, right?" I said. "That was the cap on how much he could take," I also said. "That job really creamed him."

My brother-in-law Bill finds me tedious. I can tell.

ANYWAY, I ran three miles today. It was fun; I went to the high school track with this other couple. Not that I by myself am a couple. You know what I mean. Cut it out. So, the man part of the couple could really run fast, and his wife walked the track and also the stairs in the stands, which I did not do. But I ran in exactly 45 minutes, which is what I thought it would take. When you do the long runs, you are supposed to go very slowly.

In an hour, we are going over said couple's house for happy hour. After an hour we are all going to have sad hour. Then maybe indifferent hour. I don't know.

Are y'all watching the Oscars? It's the first time since 1992 I've had to watch them on East Coast time, so I am either going to be very tired tomorrow or I will miss some of it. Really the best part is when they are on the red carpet anyway. They should just show that part and call us the next day and tell us who won.

Anyway, I'd hate to be tired and make a STUPID MISTAKE at work.

Bloom County

I have just spent the morning reading other people's blogs, as I am wont to do. Everybody seems mighty down, and I think they are all sick and not to mention tired of the stupid winter. It's been so long since I've lived somewhere with real winters, I forget what that "Will it ever end?" feeling is really like.

Also? When I was single and still living in Michigan, I always seemed to acquire a new boyfriend in February, so as bleak as that month was, there was always the "Oh! A new boy!" kind of a thrill.

Anyway, I sent good thoughts to everyone who sounded sad today, and spent a minute being grateful that even though we have moved to the smallest town in the universe, at least the weather isn't so bad.

Right after I had that grateful thought, I went to the kitchen to get more coffee, as I am also wont to do, and I thought, "Who painted that pole yellow in the backyard?"

It wasn't yellow paint. It was a daffodil! The poor thing was all alone, poking out of the leaves.

Marvin is at band practice, (yes, he has found a band) so I ran outside with the camera, even tho I am wearing my sheep pajamas and slipper socks. Here's what I found in our yard:

Daffodil_2

I know I took this in the middle of the day, but it looks like I sneaked out there at midnight or something. Anyway, here is her droopy self. I guess this is a sign I should clean up those leaves out there, eh?

House_fluer_2

And this! I know it is out of focus. Have I ever mentioned that my father is a professional photographer? But what is this little white flower growing next to the house? It almost looks like lily-of-the-valley, but it's too big. And also, I see the house painters were really careful.

Yellow_2

Okay, and also, what are THESE? Again, I have no idea. They are all over the wooded back yard. Some Garden Club member.

Pink_2

I know I've shown you these before, but here are my pretty camellias from outside. Aren't they just so happy? Who knew you'd get all these flowers in February? It is not so bad here.

Gay

I don't even have to leave my house to find gay men.

In which I totally tell you the end of Six Feet Under in the first paragraph

Today was a ridiculous day. First of all, I had a dream that Marvin Gardensalad was having an affair. I know I dreamed this because stupid Nate on Six Feet Under just had an affair and then he fell over dead from a brain hemorrhage, and I am really sorry if you are just catching up on your Six Feet Under like I am. I know I just ruined the whole show for you.

The POINT is, I woke up at 5:00 when Amish Marvin's alarm goes off, and I told him about my dream, and how in the dream I kept hitting him and screaming and he TOTALLY DIDN'T CARE that he'd been caught in his tryst. Isn't that the worst, when in a dream you are really mad and the other person doesn't care?

So, Marvin asked me how I had found out about the affair. I said, "I read a bunch of emails you had printed out."

Marvin came over to the bed and said, "Honey. I would NEVER print out the emails."

Okay, that was reassuring. Again, do we all agree he needs to work at a crisis hotline?

My bad dream screwed up my sleep, and I ended up waking up with only 35 minutes till work.

I usually have Fridays off, but since I went to Winston-Salem on Wednesday, I went to work today to make up for it.

Since I had to get out of here in a hurry, I threw a Garden Burger in the microwave, and do you know it kept me full for hours?

Anyway, at work I started printing the 9,876 bulletins for Sunday's service, and the copy machine jammed. The copy machine jams 97 times in a row whenever I start to print out the bulletin, and oh, how I wish you could be there to hear the litany of swear words I come up with. It is truly a thing of beauty and especially nice to be doing in a church.

However, today the stupid machine seemed to be jamming up more than usual, and when I opened it, a giant COIL just SPROINGED out and onto the floor.

You can imagine my deep pleasure, not to mention my pretty vocabulary. So, when I tried to fix the thing, a MATCHING coil SPROINGED out on the other side of the wizzywig I was trying to fix.

So, I called the repair company, and their poor repair guy was already going to three cities that day, and I told him I'd wait for him.

He wasn't able to show up until 3:45, and normally I leave work at noon. So, to keep myself occupied, I got out a big mailing I wasn't going to get out until next week.

By the time I got home, I was FAMISHED, and I had some pasta and sun-dried tomatoes and I was happy as a lark again. But as soon as I finished that, I had to DASH back to Miss Lillie's nursing home, as I told her I'd come an extra day this week, due to her bad, cheeseless pasta week.

When I got there, were they in the middle of Hawaii hour? Everybody was in the activities room, wearing leis and straw hats, and the next thing you know, I am sporting a grass skirt, a LOVELY pink lei, and I'm hula dancing with everybody else. To be really authentic, Hawaiian Punch was served. I am proud to tell you I did not have any, even though I adore Hawaiian Punch. When I left Miss Lillie, girlfriend was on about her fifth cup. Glad she's not driving tonight.

So that is my stupid day. I have to get back on the treadmill again tonight. And yes, I have a clean brassiere. I hope when I am done I do not eat anything stupid, as today has been a relatively good food day.

Bless My Heart, and also Cross My Heart

Oh, dear. I just got an email from one of my Garden Clubbers, and she said I was the talk of Bridge Club today. You don't suppose they're gonna make me learn to build bridges now, do you? After I so clearly couldn't cook?

Do you think anyone said, "Bless her heart" about me and my lady fingers? Oh, I hope I garnered a bless her heart.

My Garden Club pal said the talk was all good. But they must have mentioned the Lady Finger Fiasco. Oh, my ears are burning.

Or do your ears burning mean you are coming into money?

Actually, we are! For the first time in years, or maybe ever, we are getting  money BACK from the government. See? Taking a $90,000 pay cut has its perks!

And speaking of money, let's talk about my sports bra. I know that made no sense.

Yesterday I wrote you about my interview and then told you I was off to run. I RIPPED off my clothes (are ya turned on?), and stood there, pawing through my lingerie drawer.

Do you know there was no sports bra in there to be found? And I'll tell you a horrid secret. When I am done running, I peel that sweaty thing off and clump it in the laundry basket. So there was no freaking way I was gonna dig through my laundry and unfurl an old, damp sports brassiere and put it back on. Ugh. I am not THAT dedicated.

So, I did laundry last night, making sure to include sporting undergarments. Then I relaxed and watched the eclipse with Marvin.

So, the plan was to run today, and WHAT do you think happened? I was sitting here today minding my own business, or really maybe I was minding Kellie's business, as I think I was reading her blog, when the phone rang. Some OTHER company wanted to do a phone interview right then and there. Thank goodness I hadn't opted for a nice afternoon shot of tequila or anything. So I did the interview, and then returned to my computer, only to find ANOTHER company sent me two questionnaires and a huge, scary proofreading exam to take!

YEESCH! So, girl, I answered those questions and started that scary test, when I realized it was time to get over to read to Miss Lillie, who had already had a bad week because the other day at the home they said they were gonna serve macaroni and cheese, except they neglected to put the cheese in so it was mac and nothing, and you have no idea how this cheesed her off, forgive the pun. So for me to be late was gonna be another black fly in THAT woman's chardonnay.

So after reading to her and hearing about the white German shepherd she once had named Chico, I screamed back home and SINCE THAT TIME I have been taking that DING and not to mention DANG proofreading test. It was hard. I had better get the job. It had better pay ninety-five million dollars a week.

So what I am trying to say to you is that it is almost 8:00 and I have yet to run. Because I am out there trying to make a living. Taking what they're giving cause I'm working for a living. Now I have that horrid Huey Lewis song in my head. Which is redundant. Am I the only person who detests Huey Lewis?

But I WILL PERSEVERE! I am going to RUN right NOW in my CLEAN undercarriage. And tomorrow I am going to Target to buy like EIGHT sports bras so I can never use this excuse again. Bless my heart.

The Wizard of Odd

I’m not gonna lie to ya. I was at a job interview in Winston-Salem. I am going to make cigarettes.

No, no. But I don’t want to say anything about it cause I don’t wanna jinx it. Because that’s a rational way to think.

Let’s just say that had I been offered a job kissing kittens all day while lying in Barry Gibb’s hot tub wearing a Hello Kitty rhinestone maillot, it could not be better. Oh, this would be a cool job.

At any rate, I got to the interview a mere one hour and 40 minutes early, and seeing as I would seem like a total PSYCHOPATH if I showed up an hour and 40 minutes early, I wandered around downtown Winston-Salem. How annoying to have to hyphenate a city that way. I wonder what people who live there call it? They can’t possibly go through all that punctuation every time they write it.

You know, it’s funny. Peoples is funny, Jim. (Someone once said that to my Uncle Jim. It is my favorite thing anyone said to anybody. Ever.) As soon as I get to a remotely big city, I forget that I no longer LIVE in a remotely big city. It’s like I glide right back into that life. Crowds? Yay. Driving around looking for parking? Okay! It’s like no time has passed since I did that before.

So, I drove around and looked for parking, which was tricky but maybe a tenth of the trouble one would have parking in downtown LA, not to mention meters were a quarter for an hour, and in Santa Monica a quarter gives you EIGHT MINUTES, I swear. And after I parked, I meandered to a Starbucks, where I had me a steamed almond low-fat milk. I cannot recommend it enough if you’ve never had one.

Then I strolled over to an art gallery, where I looked at paintings and bought some lovely dangly earrings that are rows of small silver hoops with pink and green beads on them.

Finally, I looked in windows and peered inside the art and language school. Oh, it was wonderful. The wind was blowing like a banshee. A cow flew by and then a  lady was riding her bike through the air, laughing in a screechy way.

Don’t you wish you had your own theme song, like the Wicked Witch of the West? People would say, "Where’s June?" and then they’d hear my theme song, dodododoDOdo, "Oh, she’s over there." Or as I left the room, dodododoDOdo, and there I’d go.

Also? I am seriously thinking of playing "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead" at my funeral. Don’t you think that’d be kind of funny?

I do not know how I got off on a Wicked Witch tangent. Oh, the wind. Yeah. It was blowing. So, my HAIR during the interview could have been better. But remember it’s short now, so the wind effect was way less tragic than it could have been.

I have to go run now, but I did want to tell you something health-related, since, you know, that’s supposed to be this year’s theme and all. So, I had my brown outfit planned for the interview. But when I put on the brown outfit? I looked ridiculous. I do not know why. It just HUNG wrong and I looked like a scarecrow, which does not say "Hire me" unless you are a corn farmer.

So I have one suit in the whole world, which I bought in 2002 when I interviewed for a job I did not take. The pants are size 8. Size 8 did not call. But Marlon Brando did. He wants his waistline back. I have not been able to squeeze my lower half into those pants since it started getting Hot in Herrrre. (That was the most popular song in 2002. Heaven help us.)

Anyway, I put them on today and guess what? They fit! Now, I know I have not lost any weight, but you guys must be right, that it’s getting redistributed.

You want some?

Fish camp or fat camp?

Oh, help. Help me, Rhonda. Last night we went to ANOTHER party, this time a dinner party for three couples, thrown by some people from my church whom I just adore. And man, was the food good.

I have GOT to get out of the South. Yeesch! I tried to eat small portions, in fact, what I took was so small that the hostess commented on it, but then who went back for seconds? And by the way, I was the ONLY linebacker who went back for seconds. Feminine.

THEN, there was dessert. Homemade dessert, with real whipped cream. It is a Southern dessert called chess pie, I think. I was chocolate-y and really delish. Dang.

(Speaking of the South, everyone there was Southern from birth, and they got a charge out of how Marvin and I didn't know anything. Like, there are these things here? Called fish camps? We thought maybe we'd send our Beta fish there this summer. Get to know other fishes. Turns out fish camps are just restaurants. Also, there was some kind of stew with the word "frog" in the title that we were clueless about. Everyone kept laughing, "Y'all aren't from around here, are you?")

You know what was exciting, though, at least it was for me, was that the woman throwing the party had MY CHINA PATTERN. I know, you can hardly hold yourself back from the excitement. But I own my great-grandmother's china, and nowhere do I ever, ever see the pattern, which is called Autumn Leaves. And THERE IT WAS, although I think I may have a knockoff brand and hers is the original, fancy kind.

And can we talk about how much I wish I had a grownup house, like the one we were in last night? They had an elegant entryway, with a fancy living room on one side and a family room on the other, and double doors at the end of said entry that opened into a beautiful dining room, with a real dining room table and chairs that actually matched and a coffee urn with pretty crystal sugar and creamers.

At my house, I'd be all, "Grab a paper plate, would ya? Beer's in the cooler." Why can't I be elegant and lovely and have a coffee urn?

At any rate, we had fun, but I am still seriously off track on the whole healthy eating thing. Exercise? I am there. Doing great. But eating? Since my father got to town? Not so much. Let's blame my father. He is not here, and he never reads my blog (he says it feels like he's reading my diary, and that no parent should read their kid's diary. I'm like, okay, but 300 complete strangers are reading my diary every day).

So, yeah. It's dad's fault.  Dang dad.

Food, glorious food

Happy Presidents Day! And no, officially there is no apostrophe in this day. We went through this last year, folks. It SHOULD have an apostrophe, but on official government and calendar websites, there is none. So I have to stick with the incorrectness of it. Oh, the humanity.

So, I gained 2.9 pounds. But who's counting? I am sure it had nothing to do with my father's visit and the friend chicken, the nachos, the lasagna I made (my one dish I serve guests), the Mexican food at the party Saturday and the pizza and seven thousand pistachios I ate last night.

Where did all the weight come from? Hmmm.

But I am not too discouraged. I did my 2.5-mile run yesterday, and it went fine. I watched Winston stalk a fluffy gray cat who looked a lot like my dead cat Mr. Horkheimer. Except for the part that had it been the real Mr. Horkheimer, Winston's riby arse would have ended up in a sling. He did not take to cats stalking him, nor any other indignities, really. THIS fluffy cat was perfectly benign, and there was no cat drama. At least it gave me something to do on the treadmill.

I know I said I was gonna run on the street, but I didn't get started till 5:00, as I worked all day, and I didn't want to run in the dark, in the mean streets of TinyTown.

So, I'm back on my Weight Watcher's horse, although tonight we have a dinner party to go to.  I will just try to be careful, is all.

Have a capitol day! Get it? Presidents Day? Watch The Jeffersons! Go to Washington! Visit Marilyn MONROE's grave. Do a lot of Lincoln to other sites. Don't go Nixon a lot of ideas.

Somebody stop me. Somebody stop me for four more years.

God Save the Queen (and her little dogs, too)

Last night, Marvin Gardensalad and I went to a cocktail party at the home of some people we met. They had two Corgis and a Siamese cat who was large and brown.

Really, the success or failure of a visit to someone's house, for me, depends entirely on whether they have pets or not and whether those pets let me kiss on them. Seeing as one of the Corgis stretched out over Marvin's and my laps and promptly fell asleep, I'd say the night was a rousing success.

Corgis are so cute, aren't they? Do you know what Corgis look like? They are the kind of dogs Queen Elizabeth has. Here. I'll get a picture off the Internet. Thank heavens for the Internet.Corgi

Anyway, it was kind of hard to be good at said affair, as there were many snack items to be had. There were those Tostitos that are round with curled-up edges so you can hold dip in them, and those were filled with refried beans and a dollop of sour cream and alternatively a green onion or a black olive. Then there were flautas, which are pretty much my favorite things on earth, with guacamole, which seriously IS my favorite thing on earth, as long as people don't muck it up with cilantro, which should be outlawed.

Finally, there was chicken shish kebob, which I figured was perfectly healthy, so I tried to concentrate on that.

I am sad to tell you that it was someone's birthday, so we also had chocolate cake. I am kind of not looking forward to my weigh-in tomorrow.

However, I have been keeping up with my running and today I have to run 2.5 miles. I may even try to do so outside and not on the treadmill, as it is getting warmer. Plus, running in real life is way different than running on the treadmill. Somehow not having the sidewalk move under you makes it harder to do. Hmmm.

My only issue with running outside is there aren't many sidewalks here, as we are in the country, and also people let their DOGS run LOOSE, so I worry about being chawed on by a Rottweiler or something. But I supposed that's a chance I'll have to take.

The entire time I have been writing you, my cat Winston has continuously walked in front of the keyboard and knocked his head onto my head so I'll pet him. Do you suppose he knows I wrote about making out with a Corgi last night?

Oprah, Reba, Carson

Did anybody else watch Oprah today?

As you may know, we get three stations here, because last year my husband and I did an experiment where we did not spend any extra money. So when we got here, we plugged in the TV and settled for whatever came in. Which happened to be all Reba, all the time. And a station that just plays the local weather.

However, if I am willing to watch through static and snow, I can sort of see Oprah at 4 p.m. I have managed to stand doing this approximately twice. Today was one of those days. It was either that or proofread something, so there you go.

So, today, our close friend Oprah had Carson Kressley on to tout his new show How to Look Good Naked, which of course I have not seen because we only get the weather channel and Reba and snowy Oprah.

As an aside, I love Carson Kressley. I wish I were best friends with Carson Kressley. You know every time I say I miss living around gay men? I mean gay men like Carson Kressley.

As another aside — and if he reads this he will KILL me — one of my friends happened to once have one of the other Queer Eye guys at his house for the weekend, and the Queer Eye guy accidentally broke my friend's hutch. I mean, he shattered it into a bazillion pieces. My friend was like, "Aren't you supposed to go into men's apartments and make their lives BETTER?"

And no, I will not tell you which one. But I'm sure he'd love me for referring to him as "Queer Eye guy" all the time.

So, this show, How to Look Good Naked, takes women who HATE how they look, and through some magic or another, transforms how they feel about themselves in like three days. We, the Oprah viewers, concentrated on two women in particular, who were about my age. They were both perfectly fine-looking, but when they looked in the mirror, they cried and sobbed and gnashed their teeth and carried on about how dreadful they thought they looked.

One woman wouldn't go to her son's school because she was certain all the other moms would notice the weight she put on. The other one wouldn't go to a Super Bowl party because she didn't want to be the ugliest wife there.

Do you know what I have to say to these women? GET OVER YOURSELVES! Could you be ANY MORE self-centered?!

In my 42 and a half years of living, here is an important lesson I have learned:

No one is paying nearly as much attention to you as you think.

Honest. I promise.

You know what people are thinking about? Themselves. They are worried THEY look fat, or that people will notice they're on their third drink already, or that they just know they're gonna have a panic attack and have to run out of the room in the next minute. (That's usually what I'm thinking.)

And you know what else? Even if they ARE paying attention to you? Who cares? Isn't showing up for your kid or your husband more important?

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Really. It isn't. Let 'em THINK you look a little big in the patoot, grab you a bunch of healthy snacks off the Super Bowl party table and have some fun!

Yeesch!

For some reason those women really ticked me off. I guess because I could identify. I have never had body image issues, but as I said, I have had panic attacks which resulted in me not wanting to venture out and risk having one in public. So Marvin Gardensalad had to go places and do things without me, which meant all I could think about was me me me, and my big panic attack problem.

Eventually I figured out the whole "no one is looking at you nearly as much as you think" thing. And also the whole "it's really sort of more important to get over yourself and be there for your husband even if you're uncomfortable" thing. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's what you have to do, and it always turns out okay, even when it doesn't. It is always better to go out there and be nice to someone else rather than staying home and indulging your fears and insecurities.

Which was really a relief to learn.

And I had to do it without Carson Kressley!

Perhaps you’ll all calm down now

For those of you up in arms over the fact that I haven't taken a photo of my hair, here are three photos my father took of me at work. I was totally faking the "Oh, I'm busy on the phone" part.

I hope everyone will be happy now. I just never wanteImgp0448d to take a picture of myself with the camera extended at the end of my arms. I am too old for that kind of picture to be remotely attractive.Imgp0449 Imgp0450

I'm also glad you get such a nice shot of my purse, and also those Girl Scout cookies on top of my console. What health blog?

Haunted by cabbage

Remember after lunch? When I went heavy on the salad, light on the quiche, one bite of dessert? Remember all those hours ago, when life was one ding-dang ticker tape parade, and all was well with the world?

There is a really good restaurant here in my little town. I do not mean that it is some four-star affair with escargot and pesto and that new wine called Shazbat or Hazzah or whatever the fancy people drink nowadays. I mean it has mashed potatoes (what they call "cream potatoes" here in the South), meat loaf, fried chicken, dumplings. Things of that nature.

How much do you like me that "pesto" ranks on my list of fancy food? Miami Vice called. They want their idea of cool back.

I have been raving about said restaurant since the day I got here. My father has been dying to go there, as he likes him a local diner as much as the next gal.

So, after Garden Club today, I took him on a tour of the town (I showed him the grocery store where they have the pig stomachs and chicken feet. I knew he'd love it), and I bought me a lovely pink license plate from the John Deere store, because I have clearly lived here too long and things from John Deere suddenly seem really cool to me, almost as cool as pesto.

Afterward we had dinner at that local restaurant. The "we-have-Pepsi-not-Shazbat-wine" restaurant. What is that wine really called? Shazam? Wahzir? You know what I mean, right?

I am sorry to tell you that I had fried chicken and also cabbage for dinner. They have a whole list of side dishes to choose from. Cabbage sounded good. I do not know why.

After our spectacularly delicious meal, which we ate while sitting in the window seat at the restaurant, while rain poured down outside, we came back and I did my two miles on the treadmill. Because I have NOT forgotten that I am supposed to be living healthy this year. And also that I am training for a half-marathon. Really, nothing keeps you more honest than the thought that you have to run 13 miles — in a row — in a few months.

Well. Guess what. You eat some friend chicken? And also some cabbage? And then you run as fast and as hard as you possibly can for 33 minutes? Girl. You are gonna feel sick. (And yes, I can run two miles in less than 33 minutes. Leave me alone. I did a warm up and a cool down. Thank you.)

Oh, I am unwell right now. I have quease like never before. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration. But I do not feel so fresh, I can tell you that.

So let this be a lesson to you. No fried chicken and treadmill combo. You hear?