Face Value

We all have talents. Some people can play an instrument. Others are great at public speaking. Others excel at shadier things, like lying. These are all respectable talents to have, but I think I have one of the best talents out there. I excel at making faces.

The only way to get as good as I am at making faces is with practice. Let me tell you, I’ve put in many hours of practice. I’ve spent hours in front of the mirror contorting my face until the muscles cramp. That’s the kind of sacrifice I’m willing to make to develop my talent.

Here’s an example of one of my best faces.

This face required a lot strength in the forehead and mouth muscles. Luckily, I’m in shape so I can handle it. The best thing about my talent for making faces is that my face muscles are very strong. This comes in handy when you have to do something strenuous with your face.

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

When we drove by the local park about a week ago, we noticed some men playing American football. Of course, my husband was thrilled. After taking us home, he walked down to the park to watch them play. When he finally came back home he had an announcement to make.

“They asked me to join the team,” he told me.

“You’re not joining the team.” It’s full contact tackle football. I know they wear padding but still. My husband is not a large man.

“I’m thinking about it. I could play…” This is where he named some position that I didn’t really care about because all I could picture in my head were the broken bones and loss of work that might result from this adventure.

“I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” I protested.

“Come on. I could tell people I’ve played on the British American Football League. It’ll be great.”

“If you live to tell about it,” I said.

I don’t like being one of those wives who rains all over the parade, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I mean come on. Why does he think he can start a football career at 43 years old?

He hasn’t joined the team and says he won’t, but from time to time when I catch him staring off into space I ask, “What’re you thinking about?” and he says, “Joining the football team.”

Drive My Car

Okay, so here’s the truth. I’ve been here for nearly a year and still haven’t started driving. I drove when we visited Florida for the Christmas holiday, but I’ve managed to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car in England. Isn’t that pitiful?

Part of the problem is that I don’t really like to drive. I never have. In New Jersey, you can’t get your license until you’re 17, and I was in no hurry to get mine. I think I was forced to learn to drive by my parents. They were probably tired of driving me around everywhere. Even after I learned, I hardly ever drove.

My mother’d say, “Why don’t you drive around the corner and get some things I need from the store for dinner.”

“How ’bout I walk around the corner?” I’d always say.

Then my reluctance to drive was fear mainly. I was inexperienced and terrified of getting into an accident. While I’m still terrified of getting into an accident, I have to say that now my reluctance is more laziness than anything else. I’d much rather do something other than concentrate on the rode when I’m in the car.

I’m considering hiring a driver. I think that would be a good solution to this problem. I could climb into the back seat of our 13-year-old Peugeot 106 that sounds like a tractor when you start it  and say, “Driver, take to the grocery store.”

“Right away,” he’d say. He’d wear a black suit, chauffeur’s cap and white gloves.

That would be great!

My husband doesn’t like wearing a suit, but maybe I could get him to put on a chauffeur’s cap and white gloves when he drives me to the mall this afternoon.

Something in the Bathtub

It was about 2:30 in the morning and I had to use the bathroom. I slid out of the warm bed into the cold and wandered to the bathroom not expecting anything out of the ordinary. I’d used the toilet in the middle of the night many times before so why should this time be any different. These middle of the night ventures to the bathroom are never done with the lights on. I don’t want to wake myself up.

As I sat on the toilet, I noticed something unusual in the bathtub. It was a dark, terrifying object that shouldn’t have been there. “Oh no. There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I said aloud. My heart pounded in my chest and I tried to move as far over on the toilet seat as I could without peeing on the floor. I wanted to hurry up and get out of the bathroom, but I just kept peeing. I swear that was the longest pee ever. When I was done, I jumped up off the toilet and fled the bathroom without even washing my hands. I made sure the door was securely shut. Then I did what anyone who’d just found a rat in their bathtub would do, I went back to bed. My husband was working and I thought I’d let him deal with it when he got home. Rats are his department.

I lay in bed just thinking about the rat, wondering how it got in there, wondering what I can do from keeping more rats from getting in the house, wondering how my husband would catch the rat. I was only in bed for ten minutes when my husband came home. My stepson, who should’ve have been sleeping, came out of his room immediately to start talking. I could hear them in the hall. I didn’t know if I should warn them about the rat or just let them find it on their own. I decided the scare of finding a rat might be too much to handle, so I got up and opened the bedroom door. My husband was facing me and my stepson’s back was turned. “Hello,” my husband said.

“There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I silently mouthed the words and pointed to the bathroom door. I didn’t want to upset my stepson.

My husband looked at me with a confused expression as I started to point at the bathroom door more intensely.

“You’re up,” my stepson said as he turned to face me.

I stopped pointing.

As we moved into the living room, my stepson announced that he had to use the bathroom and headed back down the hall.

“There’s a rat in the bathtub,” I whispered to my husband, grabbing his arm. “I think it’s dead or tired.”

We heard the creak of the bathroom door opening and closing, then the click of the light going on.

“How did it get in the bathtub?”

“I don’t know.” I didn’t know why he was asking me such a question. Maybe it was thirsty. Maybe it was lost. I didn’t ask it. I was sure I’d hear a hysterical scream from the bathroom any minute, but there was none.

“How do you catch a rat?” My husband picked up the colander and considered using it to trap the rodent.

The toilet flushed. The water in the sink ran. The door creaked open. The light clicked off. My stepson appeared holding a wet black sock and laughing. “Look what I dropped in the toilet.”

“Where was that?” my husband asked.

“The tub. I dropped it in the toilet and I didn’t know what to do with.”

“Put it down and wash your hands,” my husband said.

My stepson scurried back to the bathroom.

So it wasn’t a rat, but it really looked like one in the dark. Really it did.

A Shocking New Development

My husband made a startling observation the other day. When I heard it, I nearly fainted. Before you read the rest of this make sure you’re comfortably seated. Are you ready?

I’m 34. When did that happen? I’d been walking around for the past seven months living the life of a 33 year old. I’d been thinking 33-year-old thoughts and saying 33-year-old things. And all the while, I was 34.

This whole turn of events happened when I mentioned being 33 to my husband the other day. “You’re not 33,” he said. I was excited by this statement because I actually thought I was rounding up and that maybe he’d say, “You’re really 32.” He didn’t say that. This is what he said, “You’re 34.”

“No, I’m not.”

“You were born in 1974. This is 2008. That makes you 34.”

“No, I’m not,” I insisted. He obviously had no idea what he was talking about.

“You’re birthday’s in May. You’re 34 and I’m 43.”

“You’re 43!” This was completely astonishing to me.

“Unfortunately,” he said.

I’m glad I’m not the one that’s 43, I secretly thought as I left the room.

Yes I Can

When I woke up this morning I felt as cynical as ever. I stumbled sleepy-eyed into my stepson’s room to put his lunch in his book bag. “Obama won the election,” he said.

After bathing and putting on his school uniform, he’d gotten back into bed to take a quick nap before going to school. “Are you sure?” I asked. I thought he might’ve been dreaming.

It turns out that he wasn’t dreaming and now I feel like anything is possible.

When I mailed in my absentee ballot last month, my husband said, “Why are you bothering? They’re just going to throw it anyway?” This is proof positive that they counted my vote. Without my vote, he might’ve never gotten elected.

Trash Pie

I like to think that I’m a good cook. I don’t know what everyone else thinks. I’m such a good cook that my other blog features weekly recipes that I enjoy cooking. I hope to inspire the world to cook delicious food, eat way too much and regret it the next day.

Part of being a good cook is creativity. You have to be willing to experiment in the kitchen. This is the only way to come up with delicious new recipes that will make your mouth water. Sometimes experiments go horribly wrong though.

That’s what happened yesterday when I decided to make a vegetable pie but discovered that I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed to make it. So I used substitutions. Sometimes substitutions can lead to a wonderful new discovery. Sometimes they can lead to shame and embarrassment.

Maybe it was the fact that I substituted yogurt for cheese or mirin for cooking sherry or coconut oil for butter. Maybe it’s because I just started randomly throwing spices in it when I released it was going horribly wrong. Whatever the reason, the pie was terrible. I couldn’t even eat a whole piece. My husband ate two large pieces and kept insisting it was fine. Either he’s nice or there’s something wrong with his taste buds.

The pie was so bad that when my stepson came home from school he said, “It smells like trash in here.” He was right and it wasn’t the trash he was smelling it was the pie. I might as well have emptied the contents from the trashcan into a pie plate and served it up. Oh well, you live and learn, apparently.

Lights Camera Action

My husband–who washed his hair two days after I put up the last post– likes to look at music stuff on You Tube. He’s always done that. I do it too. It’s a good place to see performances or old music videos. Recently, he showed me the same video on multiple occasions and told me about how great it is.

“Doesn’t it make you feel nostalgic?” he asks. His eyes fixed to the screen. “I could make a video like that.”

He must forget that he’s shown me the video before. “Yeah you could,” I say wondering if I have to stand there for the whole song.

Now he’s making his own video like that with his own music in the background. He’s also bought a cable he needed for the camera so he can make movies. “I always wanted to be a filmmaker,” he keeps saying.

Here’s the great video. Now you can all watch it and feel nostalgic.

No Poo

Today I noticed that my husband’s hair was looking a bit funny. When I touched it, I realized it felt funny too. “What’s up with your hair?” I asked.

“I’m doing an experiment. How does it look?” He lowered his head so the I could get a good look at it.

“What kind of experiment?”

“I’ve stopped washing my hair. I just wet my head and rub it really hard. I think it’s working.”

“How long has it been since you’ve washed your hair?” I asked. Why he would do this experiment is beyond me?

“It’s been a week.”

A week too long. I had been wondering why his hair had been sticking up in all directions more than usual. “You should wash it.” I told him.

He grimaced and left the room.

I somehow doubt he’ll wash it tomorrow.

Just a minute ago he told me that he tried this experiment before and his family knows all about it. I assume it didn’t work then either.

The Ebac 2650e

We have a dampness problem in our flat. It’s damp and cold. When I get clothes out of my drawer, they’re damp and they were dry when I put them in–really, they were. So we decided to get a dehumidifier to remedy the problem.

After doing some shopping around, we settled on a sleek, white Ebac 2650e. Now this is a good machine. It dehumidifies three rooms, has an auto-shut-off feature, is “noiseless,” and only costs 2 pence a day to run.

The noiseless part is completely untrue. The steady hum of the fan makes it hard for me to think. I don’t know about the auto-shut-off feature because I’m so excited to see how much moisture it’s sucked out of the air that I empty the tank every two hours. I’ve been watching the pounds tick off our pay-as-you-go electricity meter, and I’d say it costs a lot more than 2 pence a day to run. This is true though, it really does suck the moisture out of our small two bedroom flat. It also sucks the moisture right out of my eyes. It doesn’t say anything about that in the instruction manual.

Needless to say, I’m not loving the dehumidifier, but my husband is committed. He doesn’t seem to mind dry eyes.