I’m Difficult to Talk to at Parties Because …

I watch about two hours of television every week. I’m not telling you this to brag. Face it, nobody likes a bragger and I like to be liked. Nobody likes someone who says, “I don’t watch TV,” either, so normally I just keep my mouth shut. I’ve never seen Breaking Bad or Mad Men or The Walking Dead or Survivor or Big Brother or Orange is the New Black. I know that’s not technically a TV show, but it’s the same concept. I don’t care about the antics of the Real Housewives of New Jersey or Atlanta or Beverly Hills or Kalamazoo.

My viewing entertainment is mostly spent on You Tube. A four minute video is about all I can handle. I have the attention span of a gnat. That’s probably sizeist of me because I’m assuming that because a gnat is small it cannot pay attention. I’ve never tried to hold a gnat’s attention so I really don’t know.

My attention span disappeared sometime between June 22 and June 24 2007. I’m pretty sure it was stolen by leprechaun while I slept. Prior to that date I could watch a ten hour conspiracy movie like Zeitgiest without skipping ahead once. After June 24 of that year I seemed to only be able to watch 30 second videos featuring kittens.

Now committing to a television show that will keep happening week after week for hours and hours is way too much to ask of me. You might as well ask me to carve an image in the Virgin Mary into a grain of rice. I’ve tried to do that before and it’s just way too difficult. Rice is too powdery. As soon as you start trying to refine the facial features a bit everything begins to crumble. Carvingg the baby Jesus in a flaxseed is a different story though. No problem really. Give it a go and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, that’s why I’m so hard to hold a conversation with at parties. I don’t watch television and my crowded little brain is too busy planning my next flaxseed carving to pay attention to what you have to say.

Blackeyes, Turkeys, and Amazing Savings

So it’s Monday and you still haven’t bought your Thanksgiving turkey. That could mean only one of three things:

  1. you’re a vegetarian
  2. you’re not an American
  3. you just don’t like turkey

I guess it wouldn’t have to be one of those three things. I’m sure you could have any combination of them going on. You could be a Cambodian who tried turkey once when you were a foreign exchange student in Michigan and thought that it was so awful that you became a vegetarian right there on the spot.

I just thought of a fourth thing to add to that list. You could be me. I’ve chosen to ignore all holidays because they only mark the cruel passage of time. Instead of gorging myself on holiday delights until I can no longer button my trousers, I’ll be training for the professional shopping that is the other holiday tradition. I’ll knock your turkey-and-pie-eating behinds over to get to that ridiculously low priced HD television. Forgoing the traditional holiday turkey will leave me just hungry enough to be extra ruthless.

The good thing about this shopping tradition is that it requires no cooking and there’s no mess to clean up in the kitchen afterwards. You may get pushed, punched, trampled, tasered, or maybe even stabbed, but isn’t it all worth it for the terrific savings?

Last year, I lost my left eye in a scuffle at Best Buy, but I did get an iPhone for a hundred bucks. That’s a steal. I hardly ever used my left eye anyway.

That story isn’t completely true. I don’t have an iPhone and though I do like to wear an eye patch to formal events I still have both of my eyes. While I’m confessing, I guess I should also admit that I’ve never been shopping on Black Friday in my whole entire life. We don’t have a turkey though. That much is true. I don’t plan on getting one. I might make taco salad on Thanksgiving.

notturkey

 

Preparing for the New Neighbors

Someone bought the house next door to us. I noticed the sale pending sign on it a few weeks ago and immediately went into panic mode. Most everything sends me into panic mode, but the idea of new neighbors seems particularly terrifying.

What if they are members of a deaf metal band whose perfectionism compels them they rehearse constantly? What if they are serial killers who bury the bodies of their victims in their backyard? What if they are a family of clowns who wear their clown suits and makeup while doing yard work? Even worse, what if those clowns make balloon animals and try to give them to me?

We fixed our fence the other day in preparation for the new neighbors. Two of the posts had rotted and it was leaning against the neighbor’s fence.

My husband and I make a good team because he’s such a perfectionist and I’m so impatient. Fixing the fence involved string lines and levels and standing in the cement section of Home Depot for what seemed like ten years trying to figure out which type of cement was best.

“How about this bag of cement?” I say pointing to a random bag with red writing on it. “Quick setting, that sounds good to me.” All I’m really thinking about is the half gallon of milk in the car. I have to say something otherwise he could spend hours in Home Depot comparing post diggers and trying to decide which company makes the best cement.

When my husband told me that fixing the fence was a two or possibly three day job, he was including one full day in Home Depot in his calculations. It turned out to be a two day job just because we had to wait for the cement to dry.

My husband makes sure things get done right and I make sure decisions are made so they can actually get done.

Dog Yoga

I’ve been doing yoga every morning for a few years now. I’ve only been to a yoga class once in my entire life and instead depend on You Tube videos for my yoga instruction, which probably means I’m doing it all wrong. I’m not very good at following instructions and when I can get things wrong I usually do.

Since we’ve gotten Chompyface, he’s made yoga a bit of a challenge. I get up in the morning and let him out. He usually only wants to be out for a few minutes in the morning. Any longer than that and he starts scratching the door.

After I let him back in, I start doing my yoga in the living room because everyone else in the house is still asleep. I tried doing yoga out in the yard once and the mosquitoes acted like they were at Golden Corral. They just kept coming back for more. Convinced I would be all shriveled and bloodless before finishing my practice, I retreated indoors.

I go into downward facing dog and my dog is sniffing my head and trying to bite my hair. I transition into upward facing down and am greeted with a wet nose in my face. I sit down and prepare for table top pose and he sits down on the mat directly behind me making it difficult to get into any pose.

What is it about a yoga mat that makes Chompyface want to lay down on it? Maybe he has a future as a yoga teacher. He already has down dog and up dog down. He does them every time he gets up from a nap. I don’t know what the posture he gets into to lick his butt hole is called, but it looks pretty advanced.

I think I’ll get him some yoga pants and a mat of his own and send him off to a yoga teacher training class. Since he likes to get up early anyway, I figure he can start teaching a sunrise yoga class. He needs to earn his keep, so it’s about time he get a job. Dog food is expensive.

 

Movember

November is half over and I’ve given up on trying to grow a mustache for Movember. It just wasn’t working out. The hair follicles on my upper lip are lazy.

When I mentioned this to my husband, he was quick to say that he’d grow a mustache this month. That’s not what I wanted to start at all. He tried to grow a mustache for Movember several years ago and all he ended up with a bunch of sharp, clear, polar-bear-style hairs protruding from his face. It was like being hit with a hairbrush every time he tried to kiss me. We’re not doing that again.

I thought that instead of growing a mustache he might be interested in this:

Nothing says I care about men’s health like a red, white, and blue temporary mustache tattoo. He could wear it to his next gig. No one will notice. I mean seriously, when was the last time you noticed the bass player in a band? Never.

I think I might get him a temporary turkey tattoo to put on his back too. It is almost Thanksgiving after all.

Five Surprising Things I Learned in Korea

I taught English in Korea for about six years way back when I was in my twenties. I was so adventurous then. Somehow I managed to curb my anxiety enough to be able to fly halfway around the world alone to do a job that requires me to stand up in front of people and talk. That’s nearly unbelievable to me now.

I learned a pile of interesting things while I was in Korea. Unfortunately how to speak fluent Korean wasn’t one of them. I had to settle for speaking pretty good broken Korean.

Anyway, living in a foreign country for a few years can teach you a lot. Here are the five most surprising things I learned while living in Korea.

korea

1. Sometimes Spam tastes good. There are a couple of Korea dishes that involve Spam. They harken back to the days of the war. There were a few occasions that I found myself in a restaurant saying a phrase that I would’ve never thought of saying before, “Could you pass me more spam please?” or “That Spam sure is good.” or “They didn’t put enough Spam in my soup. I’m complaining.”

2. Canadians really do exist. I’d heard of these magical beings called Canadians before and how they pronounce words like about and refer to Kraft dinner, but I’d always thought they were the thing of fairy tales, like elves. Then I went to Korea and a majority of the English teachers were Canadian. When they like you they like to say things like, “You seem more like a Canadian than an American to me.”

3. I can sleep on the subway. In my bed, I struggle to get a good night’s sleep, but once I find a seat on a crowded subway I’m out like a light. There’s something about the gentle rocking of a subway car that lolls you to sleep. I’ve even seen people sleep while standing up on subways in Seoul.

4. Drinks named after bodily fluids are delicious. Who ever thought that I would seek out the peachy sweetness of Coolpis or reach for a can of Pocari Sweat after a workout?

5. Kimchi makes everything better. I’d used kimchi to play a particularly cruel trick on someone in college once. I won’t go into that because I have my angelic reputation to uphold, but when it came to eating the fermented cabbage I was lukewarm. It was good sure, but it certainly wasn’t a necessity. Then I went to Korea and started to expect kimchi with every meal. I got to the point where a meal wasn’t complete without it. It’s so versatile. You can have kimchi soup, kimchi fried rice, and no hamburger is complete without a little kimchi on top.

Gauge Free November

While we were living in England, I didn’t drive mostly because I enjoyed being chauffeured around by my husband so much. Also I just couldn’t get used to driving on the other side of the road. I tried a few times, and it was frightening.

Now that we’re back in the US, I’m driving again. I’m a constant gauge checker when I drive. I don’t just check to make sure I’m going exactly five miles over the speed limit. I’ve always treated the speed limit as a loose suggestion give or take five. I also check the temperature gauge constantly. I have a fear of the car overheating. It’s probably because our car in England used to overheat in traffic all the time.

Last week, I was driving home from my parents house, and I was so wrapped up in gauge checking that I drove up onto the median. Luckily, it was late and there were no other cars around to witness my insanity. I didn’t cause any accidents or anything. It would’ve been funny if a cop saw me because he probably would’ve assumed I was drunk. While I was drunk on the joy of life, no alcohol had passed these lips … unless my mother shot the pomegranate she gave me up with vodka.

I wasn’t drunk. I was just trying to be a conscientious driver. Try explaining that to someone when you just rear-ended them because you were checking your temperature gauge more than looking at the road. That hasn’t happened yet, but if I don’t get my act together it could. That’s why I’m quitting cold turkey. I will not look at another gauge again for the whole month of November, not a temperature gauge or a pressure gauge or a man named Gauge. They’re all off limits. Let’s make this a safe, happy, gauge free November.

november

Not So Happy Halloween

It’s Halloween, a holiday that some people look forward to all year. I’m not one of those people. I’ve been dreading Halloween for a good thirty days now. I’m not afraid of ghost, goblins, or witches. Jack O’Laterns are a-okay too. I don’t believe the superstitious nonsense about black cats, but I am terrified of trick-or-treaters.

What is an anxiety ridden person such as myself to do on this terrible holiday where you’re expected to open the door to strangers all night? I don’t care if they are eleven years old, they’re still strangers who could possibly have bad intentions especially when they find out I don’t have any candy because I’ve opted to celebrate American Cheese Month instead of Halloween. I can only handle one holiday at a time people.

Since I am socially awkward, I usually don’t have any place to go on Halloween, so I end up hiding out in my house instead. I’m serious about hiding out too. I turn out the lights and stay away from the windows.

A normal person would just go to the store today and buy some Halloween candy and a witch’s hat, but Halloween candy is hard. Crawling around on the floor all night hoping no one realizes your home is much easier. Maybe I should just go sit around at the mall until the coast is clear.

While I wait things out at the mall, you can watch this video my husband made a couple of years ago. It’s scary!

Twenty Years

I remember when I turned 20. It was way back in 19??. I’ll let that date remain a secret because I don’t want to ruin the mystery. Anyway, recently I’ve been thinking I should start lying about my age. If I up it by 10 years I’ll probably get a lot of compliments. “Oh, you look so good for your age.” But, what if I don’t? Then I’ll just feel bad, so maybe lying about my age isn’t such a good idea.

Anyway, 20 is a funny age. You’ve finally passed through the fire of adolescence only to find that you still feel exactly the same as you did yesterday. Isn’t every birthday like that though?

My stepson turned 20 yesterday. That’s right. He’s all grown up now. When I first met him he looked like this …

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Those where the good old days of grasshoppers and tarantulas. Okay, they weren’t really so good. I’ve never liked tarantulas.

Gone are the tarantulas, thank goodness. Now he wants an outfit like the one Gaddafi used to wear and looks like this …

SONY DSC

We haven’t gotten him the outfit yet, but I’m sure Gaddafi wore jeans and a t-shirt sometimes too. Only one of the individuals in this picture was in big trouble for digging a giant whole in the backyard. I’m sure you an guess which one it was, but I getting off topic.

Time flies, as they say. I hope he had a good 20th birthday and has many more to come. Maybe not. Turning 20 every year forever would probably get a bit boring, like Groundhog Day without Bill Murray. I hope he has many more birthdays to come of various numbers in whatever order he wants … 35, 22, 54. It’s good to mix things up a bit sometimes.

Yes, I Write Limericks

There once was a girl from St. Pete
Who thought making videos would be really neat.
But then she realized that her old camera made really crappy videos so she got really frustrated and felt unmotivated and sat around the house on Thursdays half-heartedly brainstorming video idea and then lamenting because any video she made would look like garbage anyway so what was the point really.

I think I have a future in writing limericks, don’t you? Anyway, that basically explains what happened to my Thursday videos.

In other news, it’s 72 degrees today, and I’m freezing. When I said I wanted the weather to cool down a bit, I meant I wanted it to be around 80 degrees. I’m wearing long pants and a jacket right now. That’s just not right. It’s not even winter yet.

Note: The above paragraph is just one example of how I’m trying to keep the British tradition of complaining about the weather alive in our house.