Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No thank you.

I'm pretty green. I have a rain barrel and plant an organic heirloom garden and buy used clothes and whatnot. I have also gotten into the habit of printing on scrap paper at work. Typically, this does not cause me problems. Occasionally my boss shoots me side-eye when she notices there's a discarded Groupon on the back of an abstract I've handed her, but overall she doesn't mind. Unfortunately, I recently made the mistake of asking a coworker for a stack of her scrap paper when I ran out.

It wasn't until the committee meeting, after I had passed around a section of a manual I had been writing, that I noticed on the back of the last page was product information for lube from Pure Romance. "Product Resources: Silicone Based Lubricant," it shouts. The first line of the information saying something about vaginal health and lasting longer during love-making. Apparently, my coworker's "home-based business" is not so home-based. At least I know where to go if I need a strap-on.

Monday, December 13, 2010

walk of shame

It's the Monday after the department Christmas party. Everyone's looking a little cautious. Some people drank too much, some people talked too loud, and more importantly, some people danced. In public. In front of their coworkers.

Socializing with your coworkers can give you a rare glimpse at their true selves, particularly when you give them some free booze and play some Ke$ha. Now I think we're all wondering what other people saw and mostly what they remember. Hopefully no one took pictures.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I love you, Verizon. I hate you.

Things had been going so well between us, that I decided to renew my contract with you. I felt so optimistic about our future together, but then something went wrong. First, you played with my emotions by sending me a free phone. Then you charged me $320 for the phone. Then you grovelled and gave me my money back, but I discovered that you had reduced our contract from two years down to one. I can't figure out if you want me or not. Did I say something? Was it that time I checked out the iPhone at the mall? I swear, it was nothing serious. WE WERE JUST TALKING!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flirting Failure

I'll admit, sometimes it's nice to be hit on, even though I'm married. It's a little ego boost (as it should also be for Mitch). But typically, if someone does decide to throw some cheesy pickup lines my way, it's after I get off stage, so at least we have something to talk about (e. g. how awesome I am). Last week, though, I was caught off-guard, and realized I'm lucky to already be married.

I was standing at the bakery counter at Whole Foods, two bottles of wine in my basket and ordering pieces of cake. To paint a better picture, I hadn't showered in two days, and I had a crusty leftover herp sore on my lip (don't judge me). My situation should have screamed, "I'M GOING HOME TO SIT ON MY FAT ASS AND WATCH THE L WORD!" Nonetheless, this guy growled over my shoulder "so what are you buying me?" "Psssshhhh, NOTHing," I scoffed. He started making redemptive small talk. I pretended to dig through my purse, too embarrassed to look at him. I dropped a receipt but unfortunately I stomped my foot on top of it too late to stop him from being gentlemanly, and of course he picked it up for me. I mumbled a thanks, and then he kind of ran away Napoleon Dynamite style. The entire exchange was so awkward, even the bakery employee looked a little ashamed to be present for the whole thing.

But really, let's be honest here, it was all my fault. Sure, this guy was a goober. Who hits on scrubby looking girls at a grocery store on Friday night? But I'm so tactless that I couldn't even throw him a bone. Of course, I relayed the whole thing to Mitch, and he shoots out witty, gentle responses right away.

"So what are you buying me?"

*coy laughter* "Love handles."

*gesturing to the bottles of wine* "A hangover."

"A consolation prize."

Then it occurred to me that perhaps I was not the one casting the line when Mitch and I met.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I get it now.

I'm at Kalahari for the weekend with my mom, aunt, and two younger cousins. I absolutely love spending time with my family, but I loathe places like this; they're a caricature of everything that other nationalities ridicule us for.

This venture has also made me realize, yet again, that I am far from ready for children. I used every ounce of restraint I had to stop from strangling every tween in the hot tub. I shoved several children out of my way in the lazy river. And I required a very large amount of pinot grigio to help me tolerate the arcade after 9:00 pm on a Saturday. Therein lies my revelation. As I scanned the arcade tonight, buzzed after dinner and several rounds of DDR, I started to notice the great equalizer: comically-large margarita glasses filled with neon liquors.

Because this is an indoor waterpark, you can drink anywhere. ANYWHERE. Making this place seemingly tolerable for parents who feel stifled by open-container laws at public beaches. Parents exuded only complacence as they toted around shrieking six-year-olds with fistfuls of crumpled tickets waiting to be exchanged for shitty dollar-store, petro-chemical laden, lead-painted toys. And suddenly I get Brave New World.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Motorcycle Drive By

I rode bitch on Mitch's bike for the first time tonight, and I finally get why he likes it so much. There's something transcendental about riding a motorcycle. No GPS; no radios; no talking; no AC; no cell phones. Just a present moment. However, I had no idea Cincinnati was such an aromatic city. Words cannot do justice to KFC with undertones of sewer and the DeKuyper factory. Next time I will be riding with my visor down.

Friday, September 3, 2010

backhanded compliments

The show last night went well. Hard to screw up too much in a 20-min set. Anyway, I was the first act, and the only solo artist of the night. As I'm walking offstage, one of the musicians for the next band says to me, "good job. It takes a lot of courage to do that, to get up there." 'Scuse me? That can only mean two things. One, you think I'm 12 and this is my first time on stage. Two, you think I made an ass of myself. I'm sticking with option #2 since I don't know too many 12-year-olds with a C cup and a mortgage. Here's how I felt about your set:
  • You guys have a really consistent sound.
  • I love how you're bringing back the best looks from Clueless.
  • You almost had that last note down. Keep it up.
  • It's so generous of your bandmates to let you play keys on some of the songs.
  • It's awesome that you guys are still playing out after all these years.
  • That haircut is so bold. I wouldn't have the guts for it.
  • That was very entertaining.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm gunna barf

Tomorrow is my first show since April, and I'm opening for this band called The Civil Wars (well, not immediately, there are two bands between me and them). I hadn't the slightest notion (hear in your imagination a British accent) who they were, but apparently people know them, and like them. I'm not accustomed to playing with other popular musicians, so the thought that I may be judged by them and their fans kind of makes me sick to my stomach. However, the good news is that most people won't show up until after I'm off stage and passed out at the bar.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Last night I had this dream where Mitch was tickling me and poking me at a fancy work function in front of all my coworkers and bosses and he wouldn't stop and I got really pissed at him. Then in my dream I woke up and Mitch and I were lying in bed and I woke him up and yelled at him and he was like, "but it was a dream." It was a dream within a dream. So here's a creamy (typo, it stays) picture of Joseph Gordon-Leavitt for your enjoyment.

Also, according to the Dream Moods Dictionary, being tickled means that I need more humor in my life, and dreaming about being at parties means I need to get out more. So apparently this no-fun budget we're on (while we save up for our trip to Portugal in February) is not working out for me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

being micromanaged

Today I painted my fingernails at work. So I'm going to blog instead just in case someone walks in my office. This way I'll at least look like I'm typing something really important.

I just booked my first show back since my surgery, and I'm pretty nervous about it. It's only a 30 minute set, but it's in the ballroom of the Southgate House, which for those of you who know nothing of the music scene in northern Kentucky (for shame!), is a pretty cool gig. It's a nice way to come back, but I don't want to blow it. I told my dad about it, and this is the e-mail he sent me:

"On the Southgate House:
1.) Pick songs you perform well, not necessarily your favorite ones.
2.) Start with something strong so people will notice your voice. Don't take this personally, but almost no one will have heard of you, the crowd will be thin and probably talking a lot. You don't have to shout over them, but do something to get them to pay attention at least for a little while.
3.) Be careful about how many slow/quiet songs you do in the middle, because they'll talk over you.
4.) End the set upbeat.
5.) Do the Tom Waits tune."

Okay I get it. People talk a lot at shows, and I should play covers. Regardless, although I've played a lot of shows (over 100), my dad has been to more. Perhaps he gets some credibility for being a competent concert attendee.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

never-ending (allergy) story

So back when this vocal cord cyst bullshit started, my team of doctors (including, but not limited to, my PCP, two speech therapists, an ENT and a surgeon) decided that we needed to figure out why I got cysts in the first place. I said, "duh. I'm the loudest mother-f***er at the party." They said, "no, you're allergic to everything." Fine, whatever. At least my social life doesn't have to end.
Anyway, this led to several prescriptions, many cameras being stuck down my nose and into my throat, and two rounds of allergy testing. I was told that I should rip up all the carpeting in my house, put a bed condom on my mattress, and get rid of my curtains. Further, Nasonex was simply not enough, so I was put on a second environmental allergy medication called Xyzal.
One fateful night, I went to a party celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of those married friends we have, and I had a couple, nay...several (pitchers of) margaritas. Needless to say, I was largely unproductive the next day. Part of the unproductivity came from the fact that I was glued to the toilet for most of it. I blamed it on guacamole and tequila. Unfortunately, almost two weeks later, I had still not come unglued, and began to wonder if the tequila had ripped a permanent hole in my sigmoid colon. Enter doctor, who, based on the fact that I hadn't been to a third world country recently, I'm still relatively mobile, and I haven't eaten a dog turd in the last few weeks, decided that I was allergic to Xyzal. ALLERGIC TO MY ALLERGY MEDICINE. F this S. So now I'm taking acidophilus twice a day and yogurt at every meal. Which I'm allergic to.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm at least worth a Mallow Cup

I work in the dungeon of a research building of a hospital, which basically means we're all the rejects who aren't becoming enough to have contact with patients. We're like the Children Under the Stairs of the hospital. The building we inhabit usually leaks from several of its cracks, and recently our fresh air valve got shut off because it was next to the sewer, and whenever it rained the offices smelled like a Diaper Genie. This also means that we get the reject vending machine. Not that I eat things from the vending machine very often, but the fact that it holds Chuckles, smokey beef-flavored sticks, and off-brand salsa flavored tortilla chips kind of makes me feel second-rate. One day, I aspire to have a job fancy enough that my vending machine will have normal stuff like Snickers bars.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday-versary to me

I did not want to be a teenage bride, so I waited until 4 days after my 20th birthday to get married. As a result, my poor husband has to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary in the same week. My birthday usually comes with several demands, and by our anniversary, we're usually too tired to do anything. This year, I demanded the following:
  • delectable breakfast at a diner
  • a mother-f***ing stamp in my national parks passport thingy
  • a sand dune hike
  • wine tasting
  • a designated driver
  • delectable dinner at a classy-ass restaurant with hostesses and shit
  • f***ing birthday pie
As a result, we did crap for our anniversary, except for go to a wedding for some of our goober friends (love you Rach and Yo!) who decided to steal our anniversary. Which is to say, we got free dinner, booze, and transportation back to the hotel on our anniversary. Not that bad. Any of our other friends can feel free to throw weddings and/or parties and/or miscellaneous celebrations on our anniversary. We have passed the point of caring, and really just want free entertainment.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

things you should not do while watching Weeds

  • Drink anything that would hurt coming out your nose (i.e. red wine)
  • Do yoga
  • Eat cornbread
  • Get the hots for Kevin Nealon
  • Work
  • Paint your toenails
  • Talk to your mother-in-law on the phone (I have not personally done this, but I don't think it would be fun)
  • Plan your community garden plot for the next year
  • See how many quarters you can stick up your nose
  • Name your children
  • Feel bad about your life
  • Smoke weed...seriously, you have to pay attention to keep this show straight.

Friday, July 23, 2010


So there's a facebook movie coming out. Lame.

Anyway, today, while I was facebook stalking people after my officemate left, and I no longer felt obligated to work, I deduced (deducted?) that one of my friends/acquaintances/people-from-high-school-I-don't-really-care-about-but-give-full-access-to-my-profile-so-they-can-be-jealous-of-how-awesome-my-life-is got divorced. Why else would one un-hyphenate one's name and remove all traces of a spouse from a profile? It's tragic, really. How terrible that I find these things out when I have no emotional attachment to this person. Certainly she didn't want to have to share that part of her life with even those people whom it doesn't concern. I mean really, if I suddenly went back to my maiden name, everyone on facebook and myspace would for sure notice the addition of seven consonants and the removal of all vowels from my last name. And then there would be speculative whispers and pity and guessing and no one would ever feel bold enough to ask or offer condolences, because in reality you shouldn't have known I was married to begin with. You didn't go to the wedding, you didn't even get an announcement, you probably didn't offer congratulations because let's be honest, you probably didn't really care. But it's okay! You don't have to maintain a moderate level of interest in everyone you've ever met. So after that awkward discovery, I have decided to cleanse my friends list.

Other awkward things I have learned about people I shouldn't be friends with:
  • You got fake boobs sometime after high school
  • You quit your job to be a musician/artist/writer and you're bad at it (I hope no one says that about me)
  • You have ugly kids
  • You have illegitimate kids with other people I know
  • You're gay (seriously, were you the only person who didn't know?)
  • You just got out of rehab
  • You're a Juggalo/Juggalette
  • You're conservative

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I needed a little gospel country bluegrass hill people music in my life today, so I typed "Come to Jesus" by Mindy Smith as a song seed into Pandora. Eventually, through an unwitting series of thumbs both up and down, through Allison Kraus and The Wailin' Jennies, Pandora decided to play "Ready or Not" by the Fugees. What the hell. That is the opposite of gospel bluegrass hill people music.

On a lighter note, serious yoga students apparently don't think it's funny when you acknowledge the constant struggle to hold your farts in during class. ADMIT IT! With all the garbanzo beans and vegan cheeeeeeze you're eating, you're bound to inflate a little.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I love yoga. No, you don't understand. I loooooooove it. Doing yoga is like giving yourself a full body massage. Whenever I come out of a class, I feel relaxed, loose and fluid. And when you are doing the same parallel routine in a room full of people, it creates a peaceful, communal energy that just can't be achieved when you do it by yourself.

The problem is, it's so damn EXPENSIVE. The cheapest unlimited 3-month pass I can find is $200 (fortunately at a studio down the street...holla!), and I've seen as high as $300. You can drop in at most places for around $10-15 a class, and most studios have a pay-what-you-can class once a week, but those tend to be too crowded for the individual attention that I demand. And I feel justified slightly in paying so much for it because I could potentially hurt myself if I don't have the proper supervision, I appreciate the group dynamic, and the scheduled classes keep me committed.

However, I still don't quite get the cost. Most yoga studios are in gutted out buildings and they look like the insides of Chipotles. To my knowledge, there's not much equipment maintenance, unless the studio provides mats, blocks, straps, and balls (for which they charge rental fees). Further, the AC just doesn't seem to work well in most of the studios I've visited (and no, I didn't accidentally go to a bikram class), so it doesn't seem like there's much overhead. I would think that if the prices were lowered, more students, young moms, and frugalistas like myself would participate. Has yoga reached the point of negative returns? No really, I would like someone to explain it to me. I'm not asking this rhetorically, because I really just don't understand the economics of fitness.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I love lists

Apparently this blog has started to revolve around the things that are wrong with me. In conjunction with all my vocal cord problems, one major issue is that I'm a really bad throat-clearer. I'm plegmy like, always. It's thwarting any progress I've been making in speech therapy because I'm always inflamed, so my doc ordered food allergy testing. They injected like, 40 little pockets of crud under my skin to see if they caused a reaction. You know it's never a good sign when your nurse looks at your bubbly itchy arm and exclaims, "whoa, how are you eating anything?!"

Here's a list of things that my body only kind of hates:
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • White grapes
  • Peanuts
  • Rice
  • Rye
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Green Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Tomatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
Here are the things that coat my throat in a suffocating layer of mucous:
  • Turkey
  • Coconut
  • Almonds
  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Milk
  • Soybeans
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Cinnamon
  • Safflower
And the thing that made my arm bubble up like a Canadian tar pit: Wheat. I am, fortunately, not allergic to beef, bananas, blueberries, lemons, oats, and yeast. Yay. The nurse refused to do the environmental allergy testing because she didn't want to send me into anaphylactic shock, seeing as how I'm allergic to, well, nature. But here's my question: how does someone like me even enter the world? It seems maladaptive that a human like myself would be born into a world like this, when I am seemingly intolerant to most things in the environment (except for mold. I'm strangely not allergic to mold. I'm apparently designed to live amongst amoebas). Nonetheless, I've been living this long on a diet of coffee, toast, macaroni, and red wine, so clearly it's not a life or death situation. Anyway, when I got home I celebrated by having a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing. Yummers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Yup, I got these too...

I have bunions now too. The fun just never stops.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

If a dog screams in the forest...

Okay, so before you judge me for using shock collars on my dog, let me just explain that we have exhausted every other option. Shock collars are a second to last ditch effort (last ditch being large amounts of quaaludes and martinis), and only meant for obstinate little brats like Maybe. Also, a little refresher in case you didn't know, our dog Maybe has been attacking our other dog Buster for the last seven months. Let me also justify my actions further by saying that Buster is not the only dog Maybe has attacked, so we felt it was necessary to deal with her aggression problems in general.

Anyway, so we got these collars. Only $260 on ebay, a steal, I know. Two come in the pack, and they have a remote with two buttons, one programmed for each collar. When our militant trainer, Scott, came over to show us how to use them, we first had to determine the "threshhold" for each dog, or the level at which the dog reacts to the shock. The collars go from level 1 to 127, so it's a pretty wide range. Maybe's ear twitched a little at 26, so Scott decided that was the minimum she would need to correct her behavior. Buster, on the other hand, spun his head around and then rolled over on his back at 18, so either he's a drama queen or a big sissy, although the two are not mutually exclusive.

We gave the dogs the opportunity to roam around the living room a little bit with the collars on, something they have not done since January. Scott had control of the remote so we could watch how he handled the inevitable brawl. Sure enough, Maybe attacked Buster after about five minutes, and after that, my memory is kind of a blur. It happens so quickly, it's like a Viet Cong guerilla attack. The only problem now is that Buster is actually bigger than Maybe by about 10 pounds, so he had her pinned in a matter of seconds. There was gnashing of teeth and clumps of fur flying all over the place, and this whole time, one wouldn't have even noticed that Scott was lighting Maybe up like a Christmas tree. Ultimately, he had to turn the collar up to level 75 before she even started slowing down so he could break them up, and I'll tell you what, I have never heard a noise like that come out of a dog. It was like this hiss-gurgle-scream, and she was reeeeeeeeeaaally pissed. However, I can't deny the fact that after she was struck by lightning, she didn't so much as bat an eyelash at Buster for the rest of the night. So thanks be to God that Benjamin Franklin harnessed the power of electricity so that I could live out my yuppie dream of having tiny dogs that like to snuggle.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gut Rot

Ugh. I'm going to blame my current state of blah-ness on the vegan carnival fare I enjoyed last night at a music festival, but I have a feeling that it has more to do with beer and some shot called the "Lindsay Lohan" (a Red-Headed Slut with a little Coke...I can't make this stuff up).

Regardless, yesterday evening we were surrounded by our community at the Northside Fourth of July festival, and we were fortunate enough to have several of our own very close friends with us. My friend Madeline kept saying, "I'm just gushing with joy right now." I'm not very good at acknowledging those moments in which I don't think my heart could swell any larger, but she said it so authentically it was hard not to agree. So despite beer farts and dry mouth, I feel like I'm a pretty blessed person today.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

my husband is a goober

Mitch is getting a motorcycle. So he tells me. He has gone through the trouble of getting his temp (which took him two tries...mwahahaha), taking a 3-day long class (which he scheduled for when I would be stoned on Vicodin), and getting his official operator's license.

What he failed to consider was the fact that we don't have a driveway. Nor do we have a smooth entrance into the backyard. Nor do we live in what one might call a desirable neighborhood. So here begins the scramble to decide where he should keep the motorized bicycle. He has considered tearing up part of our front yard and pouring a cement ramp next to our stairs. No thank you. He has petitioned several friends with driveways and garages, until I told him it was inappropriate. Now his new plan is to punch a hole in our backyard fence and ask our neighbor if he can use his driveway as entrance to the parking platform he plans to build over my sunflower bed (okay, I haven't planted them yet, but I was going to plant them right where he wants to park it). All this, and he hasn't hung my bat house, put up my clothes line, or mowed the lawn in two weeks. I bet anyone $5 the parking platform gets built first.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm not a bad person, really

So, I have a couple wine-o friends who are having a baby, and I had heard that you can buy wine that peaks when the child turns 21, so you can share a great bottle of wine with your now-of-age child. I was like, that's PERFECT for these two. So what do I do? I google "wine for babies." And what results do I get? Various links to why drinking while one is pregnant is a bad idea, something about those red birthmarks, an argument stating that babies actually like red wine (in particular), and something about Michael Jackson I couldn't stomach. I feel like knowing how to search for things on google is a skill in and of itself (tell that to a 15-year-old me who unknowingly googled a lamp company named "Red Light District," blech).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Week to Go

My best friend just started dating this guy who's like, really spiritual and a massage therapist and a yogi and raw foodist and pacifist and all this other stuff that's superior to my own existence on this planet, and they crashed my party tonight. So when he saw me writing on the Magna Doodle and properly absorbed my vow of silence, his response was not, "oh that must be really tough," or "is Mitch enjoying the World Cup?" No, he said, "wow, that must be a really spiritual experience for you." Yes friend, that's it.

I realized, though, that people pay big money for this. Women's retreats and silent yoga spa mud retreats and meditation classes. I'm just paying the surgeon and the anesthesiologist instead of the Zen Master. And while I feel a little cynical about the whole experience, the neuroses has calmed a bit, and contentment has set in. I have to be selective about what I choose to write on the 'Doodle, and I don't get to talk to my dogs about whatever, and I have a mandated inner monologue (whereas before it was pretty much all outer monologue). So, as the new beau put it, "it'll change your brain chemistry and stuff." Let's hope it's for the better.

Monday, June 14, 2010

bottomless pit

I get to eat solid food again! Here's a list of things I've eaten today:
  • an egg with the shell on
  • a Double Down from KFC
  • A Q-tip
  • part of a houseplant
  • a tissue
  • a pinecone
  • a pair of chopsticks
  • an incense cone
  • Vicodin
  • A Snickers bar with the wrapper
  • a picture of your mom
  • a puka shell necklace
  • a votive candle from Pier One

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fly on the Wall

You know how in a Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge gets to see what everyone's lives are like when he's not around? That's kind of what my life is like right now. Being unable to participate fully in any social situation I enter (I can't write fast enough on the Magna Doodle to keep up), I'm just a fly on the wall. And it seems as though in most social situations, I must have been doing most of the talking. Tonight we had dinner in virtual silence at my folks' house. I don't know what that says about me, or other people.

Today's jeni's ice cream flavor is Rhubarb Rose' (like the wine). I misread the container and thought that it was like the flower, and expected it to taste like a Sweet Lassi. It does not. It's light and sweet, not winey at all, with a celery aftertaste. I would eat it as a palate cleanser, but not as dessert.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Solitary Confinement

Being stuck in my own head is truly maddening. It's only been a day, and I'm already starting to go crazy. I simply can't write fast enough on this damn Magna Doodle to get all my thoughts out. And apparently my brain is totally overrun by neuroses, and I just have never had to keep it all to myself. Sort of suffocating. Maybe that's why I've been posting so many blog entries. And it's waaaaaaaaaaay more difficult to micromanage Mitch and all the errands for which he is now responsible. And by the way, the above image really does exist on the Internet. I did not take the picture. Pretty awesome, no?

Anyway, the jeni's flavor of the day is Savannah Buttermint. Do you know those pillowy little dessert mints that you find at old-timey Amish country stores off the highway in Pennsylvania? That's it; except better, and soaked in heavy cream with chunks of white chocolate. It's rich, so you don't need that much. I've been finding that's true with most jeni's flavors. You can only eat so much before you feel like your tongue is coated in a layer of fat. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm just saying sometimes it's better to eat real food and eat less of it. Regardless, this one's a keeper.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Day in the Life

I feel the need to recap my experience in the hospital before my Vicodin kicks in. Let's just say I have a new appreciation for post-op nurses.

When they wheeled me in to the operating room, it felt like I was pulling into a pit stop at a Nascar race. People were taping things to my arms, putting stickers and attaching tubes to my chest, strapping circulation sleeves onto my legs, tying huge chunks of foam to my right arm (I still don't know why), and injecting drugs into my IV...all at the same time. It was hilariously comical, possibly because I was enjoying my IV already. I felt the need to remind them that I was only having surgery on my vocal cords, but they had already tied an oxygen mask to my face. The last thing I remember is the nurse/doctor/mechanic saying, "think of a happy dream..."

When I woke up, I was pretty lucid already. They hadn't given me any painkillers, and the anesthesia was minimal since it was only a 30-45 minute surgery. So I was doing okay, and as a result I got to listen to the entertainers that were my wardmates. The guy next to me was moaning and buzzing the nurse like, every two minutes. The nurse kept yelling at him for taking off his blood pressure cuff (which also signaled the nurse), and they finally, thankfully pumped him full of painkillers and he started snoring. But the guy across from me, oh...the guy across from me. I didn't know whether to laugh or say prayers for him.

When you come out of surgery, they ask you questions to make sure you're oriented to the proper time and place (I didn't have to answer these for obvious reasons). This poor guy had no idea he had even had surgery.

Guy: "My f***ing neck hurts!"
Nurse: "Yes sir, you just had back surgery."
Guy: unintelligible mumbling
Nurse: "No, you're not naked. See, you have a gown on. Do you know where you are?"
Guy: more mumbling
Nurse: "No, you're not in a gas station; you're in the hospital. You just had surgery."
Guy: "I'm in the gas station!"

Granted, he sounded crazy, but after my experience in the operating room, I can understand why the guy thought he was in a gas station. Or at least a car repair shop.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A jeni's (mini)Marathon

I still have my tonsils, and I had been jealous as a child that I never got to miss a week of school and eat gallons of ice cream....UNTIL NOW! So for the next few days, while I'm on a frozen-confection-only diet, I will be sampling all the jeni's ice cream I can stomach (or afford). I got an early start by accident. Meyer Lemon Blueberry Yogurt (okay, not really ice cream). Holy crap! Tastes like Sara Pearce's homemade lemon tarts...a Christmas/Hanukkah staple around our house. I'm not a seasoned food critic, so I lack an adequate vocabulary to describe the deliciousness that I just experienced (the only words coming to mind are "yummers" and "delish"), but it kicked ass. Anyway, here in Cincinnati you can get it at Picnic and Pantry here in Northside.

On another note, my favorite story about getting tonsils removed is in Roald Dahl's book Boy. Totally convinced me it was not that cool to get one's tonsils removed. Read it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The New Aliases

Because of my vocal cord surgery, I've had to cancel probably a dozen gigs that I had lined up. This pissed off many a bar/venue/booker (so compassionate, aren't they?). I'm thinking it might be best to make my comeback under a different name, like actually a band name, in the hopes that the bad parts of my reputation won't follow me. Liz (my drummer) does not like "Kate and the Smarmy Bananas," so I have to come up with something else. Thus follows this list:

  • The Polyps
  • Nacho Kitchen
  • Wire Hangers
  • Banning Jennifer
  • Too Good for Boxes
  • Drum Solo
  • The One Amp Show
  • Honey Dip
  • Sid's Magnum Opus
  • Transplants
  • Epicure
  • Bulls and Camels
  • Maybe's Nemesis
  • Blind Dogs
  • Napkin Blueprints
  • The Openers
  • Cup and Saucer
  • Mrs. Coleman
There will probably be more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm just trying to be flexible

I've been trying to think of ways to communicate when I can't talk for two weeks. Here are my thoughts:
  • Writing on a pad of paper or a white board (BORING)
  • Writing on a Magnadoodle (Somewhat boring)
  • Writing on an Etch-a-Sketch (more difficult, but still kind of boring)
  • Texting and IMing, even to people in the same room (not as boring, but possibly annoying)
  • Spelling out words using my whole body to shape the letters
  • Learning Tagalog
  • Getting a talkbox and attaching it to a keytar
  • Buying a parrot and teaching it key phrases (like "get me some ice cream")
  • Armpit farting Morse code
  • Wearing a t-shirt with the alphabet printed on it and pointing to letters to spell things
  • And of course, the fallback, charades

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


After going to my last open mic for a while last night (grammar?), I've decided that "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes is probably the worst open mic cover or karaoke song in existence, particularly when performed by a man. Particularly when performed by a man in hiking boots and cargo shorts and a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off. If there is a worse open mic cover in existence, I would like to know, so that I may learn it.
Also, I would like to know where I can find this gem of a hat.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Went to roller derby tonight, talked for a little while over the music and the crowd, and promptly lost my voice. I didn't even cheer. Not one exuberant word of encouragement left these lips, and still I find myself struggling to talk tonight.

Granted I know this is trivial. People cope with more debilitating problems than vocal cord cysts, but I can't seem to wrap my brain around it. I eschew most social obligations these days for fear of talking. I don't get to sing in church or along with the radio anymore. When we go out to eat, we have to choose restaurants that don't get too loud. I even hesitate to shout commands at my dogs across the yard. It's more frustrating than I expected, and I'm finding myself saddened by music anymore, feeling envious of those who made it.

There's also this fear that I won't sound the same after the surgery. I know my voice wasn't God's gift to everyone, but I liked to sing, and Lord knows I loved to talk. Still, my voice is mine, and it's surreal to imagine it otherwise. It's the voice I hear in my head even when I read others' publications. But when I was talking to my friend tonight about having lost my voice again, he said, "but isn't your voice always lost?" At first I felt defensive, but then I suppose it has been for the last year or so. So, without sounding too reflective and cheesy, maybe this voice I've gotten used to isn't really the same anyway. I suppose there's some consolation in that.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I don't got these

Yeah, so rather than these beauteous protruberances, I actually have vocal cord cysts. I'm slated for surgery in a couple weeks.

Apparently the surgery is a little difficult, considering it's on such a small scale, and you're dealing with layers of tissue about 100 microns thick (think the width of a dust mite). So as I'm meeting with the surgeon today, and he's explaining the difficulty of the procedure and the risks and his stellar success record, I notice that his hands are covered in permanent marker. Like literally, one of his fingers was completely colored past the first joint. My concern is this, if he is not so deft at using a Sharpie, do I really want him using virtually microscopic machetes to hack away at my vocal cords? Further he mentioned that about 1% of the patients who elect this procedure (or as he put it, 10 in 1000. Maybe that was supposed to fool me into security) get their teeth chipped during the surgery, but typically this only happens in people who weigh 300 pounds or more. And this is exactly why I have watched my weight all these years, so that should I chance to need laryngoscopy, I would have a lower chance of having my teeth knocked out. But anyway, I'm a risk-taker.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Am I famous enough?

Today at work I was trained to use a search engine for locating people who have seemingly fallen off the face of the earth. We use it to help us locate participants in longitudinal studies (with their prior consent) so that we can follow up with them. It's pretty awesome and frightening all at the same time. Longitudinal research is imperative to understanding social change and long-term effects of trauma, but it's really expensive and time-consuming. As a result, most researchers opt for cross-sectional data. But I digress.

During the training session, the coordinator felt the need to stop and explain that should I search for a celebrity, a red flag appears on my account, and they immediately contact me asking why I have tried to find Justin Bieber's house.

My question is, how famous does one have to be to turn up a red flag? Obviously, there is, as of yet, no standardized quantifiable measurement of celebrity. Yes, you can check the STARmeter on IMDB, and obviously if you've had an US Weekly cover in the last 3 years you're probably off limits, but the public is fickle, and fame is relative. If I look up Snooki, does the SWAT team show up at my office? If I just want to ask Steve Bartman what the hell he was thinking, and in person, is that off limits? What about that delicious man in the Old Spice commercials? Either way, the training coordinator had no answer for me, and I think even the fact that I asked made him nervous. On another note, if you type in the first five letters of my name ("kate h..."), my name is second on the google drop down list...second only to Kate Hudson. I think that's pretty kick ass.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the backup plan

I feel like I just set a precedent that will last for the rest of my marriage and probably spill over into my parenting skills, should that ever be a necessary skill set.

Mitch agreed to plan a picnic (scheduled for tonight) for our bible study group, and of course forgot, and now begins the scramble. The barrage of mass e-mails began yesterday, during which he instructed people to go to the wrong location, and sort of left people to their own devices which we know never helps anyone make decisions. Only one person offered to bring pie and pigs in a blanket. Anyway, being the enabler I am, I told him I was taking over, and now I find myself rushing home to cook chicken and egg salads, dig our old card games out of the basement, and reclaim the frisbees from our dogs. Sometimes I think he signs up for stuff knowing I'm the backup plan. He must know I love micromanaging.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get yo bad self out that closet.

Without disclosing too much about what I "do" right now (it's just too depressing, trust me), I was spending some time with a teenage girl who is in the middle of discovering her sexual identity. I knew she was having trouble, and that she was being persecuted at school for her sexuality. She was withdrawn and quiet during our time together today, but when I took the initiative and brought it up myself, the flood gates opened. There are so many things for which kids get teased, but it seems the most painful of them (bad skin, SES, and of course sexuality) are the things they can't control. Yes, so now I've established that. I don't think sexuality is something we choose. The world is tough enough for teenagers, but it's absolutely tragic when they feel boxed in and persecuted for something that truly belongs to them. I remember just being destroyed when I didn't get asked to prom my junior year, and I certainly never had a date to homecoming. And here's this girl, smart and witty with eyelashes Oprah would envy; she does get asked to a dance, and the school won't let her and her same-sex partner attend.

In Ohio, the age of consent (the age at which a child can legally agree to have sex with someone of an appropriate age) is 13, technically. More generally, it's 16. I would think that if someone is of the age at which they can choose with whom they have sex, they should be entitled to choose who they take to school dances. Regardless of how one feels about gay marriage, this really does seem like a basic civil right.

Being someone of a particular spiritual persuasion, I feel required...nay, challenged to love all. It's really hard. I fail miserably on a regular basis. But the least I can do is not be concerned with the things others do that have no bearing on my own health and safety. This is simply one of those things. I sat her down and referred her to GLAAD and our local chapter of GLSEN, and she became bubbly and excited. No one had ever suggested to her that there are people whose job it is to help kids through these transitions. There are people who can help her bear her burdens. I'm deeply thankful that I've always (well, at least for most of my life) had that knowledge.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I imagine that as we get older, the things for which we're willing to sacrifice get larger or of more significance. When I was a child, I sacrificed visits to the ice cream truck to save up for an American Girl Doll (does that give away how old I am?). When I was an exchange student, I sacrificed conditioner and razors for train tickets. When we first entered the working world, we sacrificed cable to save up for a house. Now...I find myself sacrificing my social life to pay for dog therapy.

Yes, dog therapy. Recently, we adopted a second puppy (Buster), and everything was hunky dorey until his balls dropped. Then Maybe, the older dog, decided that if we weren't going to remove him from her life, she would do it herself. So we hired a militant dog whisperer, and now our dogs wear leashes constantly and are verboten from getting on the furniture and live virtually separate lives. In the last six months, Maybe has gone from attacking him once every five minutes to once every 30. Astronomical.

I suppose I just started realizing that maybe I've gotten too caught up in my yuppiness. We're childless and have full time jobs and buy most of our groceries from Whole Foods. I'm definitely in a bubble most of the time. I can't imagine many other things that are more superfluous than dog therapy.

All this and we don't pay a full tithe. We used to, and when we were in a much lower tax bracket than we are now. I'll admit it because I don't think we're alone. I think lots of people get caught up in the things we think we need, and leave little room for imparting our earthly gifts upon others. Lately I've been trying to examine my spirituality and community, and I've found my progress thwarted by my "things." It's pathetic, and I'm frequently disappointed in myself. Despite my best efforts to ignore fashion and vanity, I still stand in my closet (yes, "in") and pout at my clothes. I find myself pining over pots and pans in Williams-Sonoma catalogs. I drool over expensive bottles of wine at the Cork and Bottle. When did I decide these things were important? Obviously, I've lost some of my focus. None of these things are really ours, anyway. I apply that mantra via my environmental philosophy; it should also be part of my spiritual philosophy.

I'm not saying I'm going to stop everything and pay a full 10% to my church; it would be a stretch. Further, I don't think tithing should all go to any one church. There are plenty of other noble causes that could use a little help. I'm also not saying everyone else should either. I can't speak for everyone's financial situations, and it's not my place to determine anyone else's ability. I am saying I'm going to reconsider some of our priorities (like dog therapy), and perhaps restructure those priorities so that when I meet my Maker, I'm not all like, "Oh, I totally wanted to, but helping Maybe's dog aggression and Buster's poo eating problem was more important."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yeah, I got these

I was told yesterday I have nodules on my vocal cords. My question is, why did God have to make the inside of our larynxes (spelling?) look so suggestive? Really? Anyway, I got 'em. So now I pretty much have to shut it for at least the next month.

I'm a singer in my "spare" time. I play at bars in the area. I travel a bit. It's fun, and I don't really know what to make of it. But having someone tell me to stop doing it because I've injured myself makes me re-evaluate my goals. Or at least evaluate them for the first time.

When I was a kid, I just wanted to be the Little Mermaid. I thought she was super-glam and sang like a mossy angel. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I really translated that dream to an above ground pool. But that's for another day. Regardless, I'm being forced into a hiatus. I had to cancel gigs in Chicago and Lexington; I had to let my drummer down. Buuuuuuut...I'm not really sad. I'm kind of relieved. I have a day job, and I actually have a second part-time "recreational" job, and then I squeeze music, gardening, dog therapy, home improvement projects, and a moderately healthy marriage into all of it. I was getting a little burnt out. On Wednesday, I get to have another camera stuck down my throat to determine the severity of the nodules. They'll take pictures, and I'll hang them on my fridge and let people ask questions. But, I suppose if I'm destined to sound like Tom Waits (instead of the Little Mermaid) for the rest of my life, it might not be such a bad thing. He makes a lot more money than I do. Besides sometimes I find it's easier when someone else makes my decisions for me. Sometimes I need someone else to bear that burden.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm a terrible planner

(Guess which one I'm married to)

Meaning I just don't put things in a good order. I plan things to the T, but I like to do everything all at the same time, so that my life feels like a perpetually exploding volcano (sympathies, Iceland and the rest of Europe).

Last night, I threw my husband a 30th birthday party. Over 40 people showed up. I cleaned like crazy and made everything from scratch. Mini flank steak and arugula sandwiches, honeyed goat cheese with pears and almonds, crudites, yummy yummy Paula Deen cake, homemade red onion jam on crostinis (you need to eat these). We had a fire, home brew, and a 401K bucket for loose change. And then...we got McWasty-faced. And then...we had to go to confirmation this morning at church.

So a little background. Super short. Mitch was raised Mormon. I was raised with unabashed spiritual freedom. I met Mitch. I became Mormon. We changed our minds. We started going to an Episcopalian church and loved it.

When I planned this party, I knew that today was the only day we could get received ("confirmation" for people who have already been confirmed in another church), but we had some scheduling conflicts and could only have the party the night before. Mitch and I had a deal, but of course that deal went down the crapper in the face of red wine and expensive gin.

Needless to say, this morning was difficult. I was disappointed in myself because I had wanted to be prepared spiritually for this moment. I struggle constantly with my relationship with God and my relationship with faith communities. I'm incredibly demanding of God, and incredibly insecure in that relationship. But I need it, and I need the people around me to support and affirm it. This morning, Mitch still had the spins and gut rot, and I was exhausted and a little nauseated by the wine glasses and beer bottles and leftover chip dip all over our coffee table, kitchen counters, and dining room table. We stumbled out of our house this morning to find a lost cell phone on the porch and candles still lit from the night before. Everything about this day was supposed to be affirming and holy, and it just got off to an terrible start.

I'll say first that I didn't intend for this blog to be a spiritual one, in that I just wanted to write about the things that happen to me generally. It just so happens that today those happenings were of a spiritual matter. We've been going to Church of the Redeemer for almost a year and a half. We've joined a Bible study group and tried to insert ourselves in the culture and community of this church. But we really had no idea that we were so blessed. When we went to the alter to have the Bishop welcome us into the church, we were so humbled by the people who came up to lay their hands upon us. It was a small group, but a powerful one, and the Spirit was certainly present in that moment. Despite the hangover and residual stress, my decision was confirmed when I felt the hands of our community on my shoulder and on my back. Both Mitch and I have confessed that we felt that hand on our backs for hours after. Without divulging too much right now, this choice was not easy for Mitch, and I still feel (a little) guilty for not preparing myself better for this morning. I thought it might just be a symbolic formality. But I was humbled to find that my perception is sometimes irrelevant, and that God will decide what is a formality and what is a firm step on my journey.

Either way, note to self: don't have a party the night before my kids get baptized. Another note to self: make more macaroons next time.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Impulsivity at its finest

I have this terrible habit of starting things in a moment of (perceived) clarity. For example, last weekend I just started ripping up the carpet because I felt like it. I started grad school one time because I was in the mood. I tattooed a Shel Silverstein illustration on my hip because I felt inspired.

And thus, I started this blog. Mostly because I'm currently sitting alone in my office, having just gotten off the phone with an insurance company about a denied claim for a "pre-existing" condition, and have no one to whom I can complain (husband = in a meeting, mom = in San Antonio, office mate = actually doing work).

I've started several blogs, none of which have lasted. One I started presumably under a pseudonym to allow for some anonymous rantings, but I apparently don't understand enough about technology to actually make it anonymous. Another I started as a venture in experimental green life changes, but suffered immensely at the hands of my own conscience while trying to reduce my carbon footprint to nothing. So in this one, I'm not changing, and I'm owning my feelings. This will be cathartic at the least, but we'll see how long it lasts.

So no joke, still reeling from the fact that my insurance won't cover an office visit for ocular migraines (really, I was going blind at my desk several times a week), my husband literally just called me to say he locked his keys in his car. We only have ONE car (the other one fell victim to my shrinking carbon footprint), so I am not really in the position to take a key to him. You know, I don't listen to my parents much, but one thing my dad always taught me was to keep a spare key in my wallet. Now that you all know that (all zero readers), you can steal my wallet and break into my shitty Subaru and steal my Jim Gaffigan comedy CDs, but seriously, this is exactly why I do that. I imagine that he will miss his dentist appointment while waiting for AAA, and we will be blacklisted at Gentle Smiles since this will be his second missed appointment this week. Apologies, Dr. Dentist, for my awesomeness.