ICUP

Seeeeee

I see you! Do you see me?

I got contacts this weekend. I used to have them, then I ran out of them in my year of not spending, and didn't get around to replacing my contacts until this weekend. Everyone at work kept saying, "Are you wearing makeup today?" Okay, yeah, I wear makeup every day. I guess you couldn't tell with the Coke-bottle spectacles.

Anyway. I'm gettin' weird about my blog. Ever since I started blogging, at the end of every month I'd have more readers, according to my sitemeter. Which is a thing that counts your readers. Do not get it if you don't have it. You will get weird like I have.

Back when my readers went up every month, it was kind of like when I used to weigh less than 125. I just always weighed less than 125, so I never thought about it.

Then last month, I ended the month with 12, 247 readers. Which, by the way, are we not supposed to talk about how many readers we all have? Is it like money, which is another thing I never understood why you aren't supposed to talk about it? Well, here I am, bein' a rebel, talking about how many readers I have.

So, you'd think 12, 247 readers is pretty good, unless you're Dooce, or, you know, The Nester, who gets like 8 million readers a minute. But the month BEFORE last, I had 12, 275 readers.

Just like the day I got on the scale and weighed 134 all of a sudden, I started actually thinking about it. I started thinking about how many people read this blog. This ridICulous blog.

Today is the last day of June (the last day of the MONTH. Not the last day of me. I hope. Unless I have a dramatic obedience school injury tonight) and as of this writing, I have 12, 024 readers for this month.

NOW I AM OBSESSED! WHY ARE MY READERS GOING DOWN?!

Even more important, why do I care? I never started this thing to get readers. I started writing last year because Marvin kept telling me to, and I sent this blog to 15 people. So why now am I so interested that everyone be reading me and noticing me and talking about me and featuring me on TMZ.com?

Maybe I should remove the sitemeter. Sure. Maybe I'll remove barrygibb.com from my favorites page too. And then I'll get silky Asian girl hair and unicorns will mate in my patoot.

Are you reading this? Are you looking at me? 

Opine

Is it okay to let your dog chew a pine cone? Cause clearly I am letting her. And photographing her while she does it. Look how proud she is of her find.

Pine_3

Is someone going to send this in to Animal Services and Tallulah will be ripped from me for abuse? Somebody needs to report me to Lawn Services. LOOK at how that lawn needs help.

If I hadn't spent eight-and-a-half hours proofreading statistics yesterday, perhaps I could have turned my attention to the yard. But no.

Oh, and SAVE THE MONEY? SAVE IT? Look, I learned a lot of things from last year's no spending experiment. I still use one lipstick at a time, and only when it is cutting my lips do I buy another. I still haven't replenished the wardrobe, and I take my lunch to work a lot. And how do you think we came up with a down payment for this house with the dry lawn? From not spending, that's how.

But this freelance project. Oh, it is terrible. I have to have a reward at the end or I will die of sadness and ennui.

Save the money. Hah!

But that is not why I gathered you all here today. I did want to tell you that a faithful reader sent me some vegetarian recipes and Marvin, who has suddenly become my wife and personal secretary, is going to make one of them. Yesterday he got me three sides from Boston Market, so I could enjoy me the Market and not eat meat.

He also went to the store the other day and got me all the food I had mentioned in the past several days: strawberries, spinach calzone, salt-and-vinegar Pringles. I know Pringles aren't healthy. But I had just gotten off the treadmill and had no idea he was going to present them to me, and it was almost as good as if he had presented me a baby lion.

Okay, but here is where I need help today. Can anyone come proofread a textbook? No, no.

The problem is Ruby. My beautiful black cat, who no picture does justice. She is 12, or she will be on Tuesday, (same day as Princess Diana). But instead of Dodi being the trouble, doodie is.

I have had Ruby since she was eight weeks old, and this cat has NEVER gone outside her litter box until now. We have moved six times, other cats have come and gone, and she has had asthma, but NEVER has she screwed up.

Well. As I have mentioned, someone has been peeing on the bathroom throw rug. I suspected her, because sometimes there would be large pieces of black fur on the rug, and her asthma has been acting up, which makes her shed.

Marvin just took her to the vet for said asthma yesterday, and the vet said she's fine. Now, my suspicion is she is doing this because Tallulah is much bigger and she was away from Tallulah for two months, and last time she lived with this dog, the dog was a bitty puppy and not scary.

OR, she is sick and it's not the asthma.

So, seven minutes ago, as I sat to write this, she came in here, meowed at me, AND POOPED! She dropped Mrs. Brown off at the pool! See how handy it was to have you all send in your poop phrases yesterday? It was like Providence.

I think she could not be more obviously trying to tell me that something is up. I mean, other than cross-stitching me a sampler: "Mom! I am miserable!" this was the best she could do.

So what do I do? Do I go back to the vet? Put a diaper on her? Have a blog giveaway after all? Sign up to win a poopy 12-year-old kitty! Squeamish people need not apply!

Ahhhh

We're going crazy, over here.

Some bloggers do giveaways. I do poop-ins.

To anyone who was worried I might be crappin', I'm fine. I had only given up meat for a week when I had my carnivorous extravaganza.

When I was in high school, I spent many a dinner at my best friend's house. My friend's brother Buddy and I spent an inordinate amount of dinnertime thinking up all the pooping euphemisms we knew. Why her mother didn't stop us is beyond me. At any rate, 25 years later they all still kill me: building a log cabin, laying some cable, got a turtle head poking out. And so on.

If you know any others, I beg you to mail them in. I need fun, over here.

I have begun my treacherous next few weeks of working full-time during busy season at my job, driving 40 minutes home, then working on a FOUR-HUNDRED-SIXTY-PAGE BOOK at night. I did not even realize it was that big until last night when I proofread the table of contents.

Does anyone have any of those big jugs with the XXXs on them? Send like 50 of those while you send your poop euphs, too.

Last night it occurred to me that this extra work is something I'm doing because I was too scared to say no. It is not work I have to do to pay the bills. That's what my regular job is for. So I asked Marvin, "Can I just buy myself something good with this money?" and he was too afraid of me to say no. I am a little testy as of late.

I'm gonna have at least a thousand dollars to blow, which will be a nice thing dangling in front of me when I spend sunny weekends and warm, firefly-filled nights bent over a statistics book. It will kind of be like the time I ran a marathon, and my mother promised me she'd have a bottle of champagne for me at the end. By mile 19, it was like that thing was on a stick dangling in front of my head, you know, like donkeys and carrots or dogs and rabbits or whatever.

When I finally crossed that finish line, I searched the crowd for mom and her bottle. Where was mom? Where was my champagne? WHERE!?!?! WHEEEERRREE!?!?! Then I saw her.

"Honey, I left the champagne in the car."

It is one of those things I will never get over, like the time my father had my cat put to sleep when I was six. Which I'd tell you about but for Father's Day this year my father said, "How about for my Father's Day gift I never have to hear about that %^*#@ dead cat again?"

So I am not allowed to tell you.

At any rate, I looked on the Internet for what I might buy with my torturesome freelance money. And now I wish I hadn't looked. Because of course I found the most beautiful ring you have ever seen. The most beauuuuutiful ring the world has ever created. And it's too expensive. 

Go look at it. It's lovely, isn't it? And I don't need it. I have actually bought myself two, not one but two, ruby and diamond rings over the years. But oh! It's so pretty!

Anyway, I'd have to work like 50 hours on this book to afford it, and it's only gonna take me 40, probably, and no I am not going to lie to the client and say, "It took me exactly $1700 to proof this book. Hmmm." Maybe instead of an invoice I could just send them that link.

So what I'll probably do is get something for the HOUSE, which, zzzzzzz. My mother suggested it.

But of course she is the one who deprived her only child of liquid after that child had run 26.2 miles.

But meat is so TASTY!

Someone once told me it is funnier to read my blog when I screw up, so today will be a laugh riot. You will be stitching your sides. Is what you'll be doing.

King Henry VII called. Wants me to stop eating all the meat.

Oh, you guys. They had a cookout at work. And the guy doing all the cooking works in my department. And I have the office with the sink. So all morning, he was cooking the five-bean baked beans with bacon, he was cutting giant red fat tomatoes for the burgers, he was setting out the brown mustard, RIGHT IN MY OFFICE. And the two enormous grills? RIGHT UNDER MY WINDOW. It was like The Last Temptation of June, there.

And I ran really hard last night, and didn't eat much for dinner because I am busy, and so I was STARVING. STARVING, I tell you. Those hikers who were gone 11 days? Not nearly as hungry as I was.

By the time noon rolled around I was like a pack of lions on one of those jackals in the nature shows. I was totally on my haunches, growling and pulling with my teeth.

Oh, that hamburger was good. It was clearly ground round or whatever expensive hamburger meat is. And those beans! I know I of all people should abstain from beans at work, but I snorted them, I rolled around in them, I tossed them about like Ann-Margaret with the chocolate in Tommy.

It was delicious. The coworker who thinks I'm weird said, "You seem awfully…happy."

You know what I said, right? Num, num, num, is what I said.

Oh.

But I am DONE now. It was a SETBACK. I had stir-fry for dinner. With nice carrots. And our good friend rice.

And by the way, it is getting to be the busy time at work, and naturally the place I freelance for sent me a 400+ page book to proof. I wrote them today and said after this, I cannot read books for you any more and for a while I can't even read flyers for you. Get over it. Go eat some meat, I told them.

They seemed relatively okay with it. They seemed like they are going to try to sneak in a book or two, but I will not fall for it. I can't work 10-hour days at my real job, then drive home and proofread, which is actually what I am going to be doing for the next 14 days, but then I am done.

I am done with meat. I am done with too much work. Done done done. Dun-dun-DUNNNN!

The delish ran away with the spoon

Spoon_4

I couldn't get a picture of me spooning with Tallulah, as per Kathy R and ceb's request, but here I am spooning Francis. BA HA HA HA HA!

Who enjoys her own self?

And who would be happy to see Francis sitting on his eleven million dollar black stuff with cords?

I have to be brief, which is what I used to say to my mother-in-law every time I left her a message at her old job, because she used to work in the men's underwear division of a store. I am not kidding you. How fun it was to hear her say, "You've reached Barbara Gardensalad in Men's Underwear." Oh! The visual!

My mother-in-law in her tighty-whities aside, I have to type this, then go get more peaches at the store, then run. I am behind schedule because I came home and went right to bed till now, when I woke up spooning the cat.

So, here is why I think I'm depressed without knowing it. First of all, I am tired all the time. And I have no ability to concentrate whatsoever. Aren't those signs of depression?

A few months ago, I got a book back that I'd proofread and I did horribly on it. I thought it was a fluke, but the little proofreading they've given me at work? I have made really dumb mistakes there, too. Like, not noticing periods at the end of sentences, which is something I would never do normally.

What is wrong with me? Am I tired of proofreading? Am I just tired? Is it a tumor? I just wanted to give someone the chance to say, "It's not a tumaaaa."

Okay, off to peach and run. Just one more thing. We are having a huge cookout at work tomorrow with hamburgers and baked beans with bacon in it. Oh, help. Doesn't that sound delish?

The dog who hates me

Last night at dog obedience, the instructor said she wanted Tallulah and me to go off in a corner and make out. She said Tallulah was way more interested in playing with Rosie the Boxer than she was in me, and that I had to teach her to tune in to me. Calling Tokyo. Come in Tokyo.

Now, naturally, this led me to believe that Lula hates my guts and wishes anyone in the world had plucked her from that trailer park other than me. And it didn't help any when we stood there for 65 hours and she looked at everything in the world but me. Perhaps I am hideous to her. Perhaps every time she sees me, the Beauty and the Beast theme plays in her head.

So tonight I made her look at me before I posted.

Force

Could she look more apprehensive? WHY DOES MY DOG HATE ME? You get dogs because they have to love you, because they are dogs. As opposed to cats, who are waiting for their paycheck for living with you.

Do you like how I added the hearts, to kind of force that loving feeling? She is like every ex-boyfriend I ever had. I am SO trying to make her jealous tonight at the dog park.

I know that I have not delved into any of the topics I said I would, and as you can see, I have retained the ding-dang job no matter WHAT rule-breaking techniques I try. I am wearing nothing but pasties and a headdress tomorrow.

Okay, so my diet. My nonkilling, slaughterhouse zero diet. First of all, my groceries were cheap. I got 47 million of those little containers of every pasta made, where you just add hot water, for lunch. And I got fruits and vegetables. And also Fig Newtons. My grocery bill was 24 bucks. For me, that's good.

Also, I ordered the veggie patty at Subway, and is it ever tasty. And also last night we had spinach pizza, which was similarly delicious. So all in all, it's been good other than when I saw the beef ad and almost died of lust. But, yeah, why must there be so many tomato items in vegetarian food? You got your spaghetti sauce, your salsa, your tomatoes on sandwiches and in salads, your V-8. I am expecting to have a hole in my esophagus by Friday.

What else did I say I wanted to mention? Oh, yeah, the neighbor! Hang on! Let me show you what she did to my cupboard.

So, I knew my neighbor was an artist, and I had told her that once we unpacked, I'd love to have her give us visual-skills advice. So she came over Saturday afternoon and we were together till 10 p.m. I am not even kidding. At one point, we were at her house, and I noticed on the wall all these plaques and awards because she is an interior designer. Me too. So we now have a whole makeover plan for this house, which will take years but it's exciting.

Here is how my cupboard/shelfy thing, because I am an interior designer and I know all the words, looked when I set it up:

Kitchen

Here's how it looked after she played with it:

Fixed

I wish I had skills. Mad skillz. I don't even know what that phrase means.

It is time for macaroni and cheese, so I must go. I have not forgotten that I have to write about how I have either been lobotomized or I am depressed, and also how annoying I was at 24.

Because apparently it wouldn’t be a day unless I blogged from work

When I get home tonight, remind me to discuss:

  • How I spent an inordinate amount of time with my next-door neighbor this weekend, and it turns out she is an award-winning decorator and I need to suck up to her more.
  • How many tomato products must one consume when one is vegetarian?
  • What a pretentious twit I was in college.
  • And, can you be depressed and not know it?

Okay, talk to you at 5:40 ET. Unless they finally fire me for this, in which case I’d assume I’ll get home earlier.

I also don’t like Pina Coladas

Today I got my roots done, because Hostess Ding-Dongs called. They wanted their creamy white center back. What gray roots? Yeesch.

I got home from my rootage and I was so proud. I got right on the webcam, because I am obsessed with myself.

Rootswin

This photo didn't exactly capture my nice new roots as much as it captured Winston and his squinty self. And also Marvin's musical equipment that I don't understand. All I know is all his stuff is black and has many cords, and I have never seen a black-with-many-cords-themed room in any decorating magazine. But I digress.

Rootsdone

Theeeerrre we go. No gray roots! I am young again! And by the way, my hairdresser said her parents were nearly 50, but they were young at heart. Tipped her 48 cents.

So, I was all proud of my roots and my blowout, and I was debating not running because I didn't want to ruin said blowout, which right there makes me stupid. Yes, her cholesterol was 796 when she died, but what smooth hair!

Meanwhile, Marvin said, "Let's go to the park with Tallulah!" "Okay," I said, wanting all of Greensboro to see I was no longer Spalding Gray drinking Earl Grey with the Legend of Greystoke.

Right when we got outside, the sky said, BOOM! "Gee, it looks a little stormy," I said, the Wicked Witch theme starting up quietly in the background. "No," said Marvin, who once mistook a crying kitten for a bird. Who once, in the middle of the night, thought the sound of a car flipping over in front of our house was really the ocean crashing into the shore, even though we lived 20 miles from the ocean. "Let's go," he insisted.

The sky was a nice shade of purple as we approached the park, the all-tall-tress-and-giant-metal-statues park. BOOM! the sky repeated. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton drove by in a pickup truck as Marvin got a concerned-looking Tallulah out of the car.

BOOM! CRACK! the sky insisted. All the other park-goers were rushing past us in droves, as well as all the woodland creatures, searching for higher ground. "Come on, Tallulah!" Marvin sang brightly. She raised her eyebrows at me.

I'd say we were five minutes into our walk when we must have somehow managed to walk directly under the Hoover Dam. Karen Silkwood had less water doused on her then we did in that moment. You couldn't even talk, because if you opened your mouth, you'd drown.

Of course, this was the moment Tallulah decided to relieve her bowels.

And guess what? The trash can at the all-lightning-rods-all-the-time park? Had some sort of raccoon-proof trap door on it that you had to read the directions to get open. Who wanted to hang her Target bag of poop right on the electricity-attracting arm of one of the statues? But no. I was a Brownie; I have learned to leave nature as I found it. I actually stood in that driving rain and read the stupid instructions.

Anyway, we are home. We look like this:

Nofun

You can't tell, but I am so winning a wet t-shirt contest, and Lula looks like a terrier, her fur is so sticky-uppy. She hates us.

Inshock

I not leave house, never.

Our house. In the middle of our street. Actually, it’s pretty close to the corner.

Am I the analiest wife from Analville, Analbama? Or are Marvin's towel-folding techniques unacceptable?

Badtowel

And let's none of us do the thing where we all just feel grateful a man has folded a towel. It's as much his job as it is mine. Except that he clearly has an emotional block about it.

I have, in the exasperated past, just told him to not fold any towels. I have told him to just come get me, and I will do it.

Towlenice

And look. Mine don't have military precision or anything, like old lady towels. Can someone tell me how old ladies get their towels so tidy-looking? And their sheets? Have you ever looked in any old lady linen closets, or is that just my hobby? And why do old ladies all like Pond's Cold Cream? Does anyone under 78 use Pond's?

Ooo, speaking of which, there's a man I know at the dog park, named Mister's dad. We all just know each other by our dog names, and then add the unfortunate "dad" or "mom." Anyway, Mister is a black, calm giant Schnauzer and so cool, and he is owned by a black, calm giant man. It sort of cracks me up. I like to think of myself as a fun blonde, so maybe everyone thinks I am like Tallulah, too. But probably not. Well, the going-straight-for-everyone's-crotches part, yeah.

Were you waiting for me to tell you this giant Schnauzer uses Pond's Cold Cream?

Anyway, Mister's dad works weekends at a retirement community that sounds really fancy, and it has independent apartments, then independent living, then assisted living, then you are old and gonna die soon living. He was telling me about all the funny old ladies and next thing you know old Jed's a millionaire and I am gonna volunteer there. I was missing my old ladies. And their tidy towels.

And in case anyone is burning with curiosity, last night I had spaghetti for dinner, which is probably a rookie new vegetarian thing to have. And for breakfast I had Barbie cereal. Marvin had it too, and when I woke up and opened the bedroom door, the whole house smelled like Barbie cereal.

I am certain Jackie Onassis had similar problems.

Oh, and I already own the book Fast Food Nation, so I guess I will read it after I finish my Anne Lamont book. Does anyone else totally worship Anne Lamont?

Anyway, we are really almost done unpacking boxes, and now we just have to make things pretty. We have nine million, seven hundred and fifty thousand knickknacks. How old are we? There's hardly anywhere to set down our Pond's.

Shelf

Here is our shelf in the hallway. We had just been cramming stuff there for yucks. Now I have to think of something real to do with it. I mean, I could use all the shelves for the all-knickknacks, all the time thing we got going. As it is, the Filofax, photo of Marvin's grandmother, Tiffany's box, reading glasses, tarot cards theme is looking nice, too.

But I am pleased with how I arranged the shelf in the kitchen:

Kitchen

That's just our everyday china, along with some pretty pieces we've gotten over the years. And do you like our eBay phone? We heart ourselves. When's the last time you DIALED a phone? It feels so retro. It's kind of hard to dial when you have Pond's Cold Cream on your fingers, though.

Okay, need to get over the Pond's.