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Friday, April 27, 2007


Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman? The paper boy? Evening TV?

It’s that last one that came up in convo this morning:

I said to Frank, “TGIF!”

As if he didn’t know. I had poured his orange juice in the bikini lady glass. Obviously it was Friday.

But then he posed a serious question: “Remember when they had TGIF on TV?” He then went on to list all the awesome shows that used to run on Friday nights:

Full House
Step by Step

I agreed that those programs were spectacular and quite high-brow and I, too, missed them greatly.

So in an effort to cheer him up and not spoil this fab Friday I said, “The Ghost Whisperer is new tonight!”

He smiled for a moment. He was probably thinking about when we say “I might be just like you…except I have much bigger boobs.”

But then he seemed disgruntled again. “I mean, why doesn’t another station do TGIF? Do people not watch TV on Fridays anymore?”

I reminded him that the WB had “Fridays with the Frog” for awhile. You know, where they showed the critics’ darling “What I like about you” with Jennie Garth and Amanda Bynes.

Sigh. Those were the days.

And to go even further back I used to watch the Dukes of Hazzard on Friday nights. Frank preferred G.L.O.W. (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). Or was that on Saturday nights?

Either way, it’s clear we’ve never had a full social life. But at least we have J. Love Hewitt…and 20/20…but they’re not the same as the Olsen Twins. Or Uncle Jesse.

(And I seriously would like to know what happened to the milkman. That would be awesome. )

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why did the P.E. Teacher Cross the Road?

It happened again. The folks at the VW dealership think I’m a P.E. teacher. And this VW dealership is about 800 miles away from the last one.

So I took my car in yesterday right after teaching a spin class. I was sweaty, stinky and red-faced. While the service peeps didn’t actually accuse me of being a P.E. teacher, I know what they were thinking: “Oh, look at her. Must have been an especially rough day of dodge ball. And now, here it is, 10am and she’s able to hang out here for three hours.”

But I didn’t hang out there. I walked down this major road to a Starbucks. And once I tired of their free latte samples I crossed the busy road again to go to Wendy’s. Even after consuming several items from their $1 menu I still had 52 minutes to kill. So I wandered back up the busy road and pretended to be interested in buying a VW just so a salesperson would show me around and I could kill time.

My point is that yesterday, I went up and down that street a lot.

Then today my door wouldn’t shut all the way. And my car kinda sounded like a helicopter. And what was that odor? Oh, that was from me, not showering until four hours after spin class.

So I took it back. And this time I had taught a longer spin class so I was even sweatier. And I was wearing my spin shorts—not okay for outside the YMCA. Again, they looked at me with P.E. teacher envy. Hey, I know it’s the coolest job but unfortunately, it’s not mine.

They told me it would be another two hours. As I wandered back down the busy road (during rush hour this time), I considered my options. I was really hungry but the only place open was the Waffle House. Sounded greasy. So I decided that I would walk home (what could it be, four miles?), eat my Kashi and then ride my bike back to the dealership. Then I could eat what I wanted AND I could kill the two hours.

But then I thought, “Do I really want to walk under one of the busiest highways in Atlanta during rush hour?” And then, more importantly, I thought, “How will I get my bike back home? It doesn’t fit in my car.”

To the Waffle House!

The greasy diner actually had an egg white option so I ordered two eggs which came with hashbrowns and two pieces of toast and jelly. This was only about $3.00. The Waffle House rocks! So just as I was getting comfortable in my booth amidst all the truckers and retirees, the VW dudes call. The part I need isn’t in. They can’t work on my car today.

But I already wandered down the busy road and more importantly, I already ordered my Waffle House meal and Portia was just about to bring it over. So I stayed, read the paper and chowed down on my egg whites. You know what’s good? Taking bread, spreading on some catsup, then putting hash browns and egg whites on top. Yum.

So as I wandered back up to the VW dealership (yes, “up.” They have hills here!), I wondered if anybody on the road recognized me from my earlier trip. Or from the day before. Or earlier the day before. That’s when I thought that they must be thinking, “Hey, why is that P.E. teacher wandering down this busy road?” And I started giggling uncontrollably. Right there on the busy road. Wearing my spin shorts. I love pretending to be a P.E. teacher. It’s my favorite game. And I love the Waffle House. But I don’t love the way my car smells.

Oh, and I guess that brings me to the answer to my original question: To get to the Waffle House, duh!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Luckily, I’m not Superstitious

The only thing I’m superstitious about is not being superstitious. So it makes sense that I’m not concerned about having seven years of bad luck after my entire master bathroom mirror came crashing down and shattered.

In fact, being the optimist-glass-half-full kinda person that I am, I’m sort of glad about it.

(Okay, I’m not usually such a bright-sider and I totally hate that whole glass analogy. I mean, what if I wasn’t thirsty? Then the glass being half empty would be a GOOD thing. It’d be like, “I’m glad it’s half empty. That way when I’m dumping it out I won’t be wasting as much water.” Now would that person be a pessimist? No, they’d be an optimistic environmentalist. Now if it was a glass of wine and I said it was half empty, that would make me a pessimist. Or a drunk.)

But this time I’m being super optimistic. Even if the whole fiasco is costing as much as a couple of round trip plane tickets. Or a few pairs of high end jeans. No, I’m happy because two good things came out of the mirror mayhem:

1. Relief. When I first saw that there was glass everywhere I thought we had a break in. In fact, I was sure of it. Yet I still kept walking into the bathroom even though the burglar could very well have been using our toilet or trying on my clothes or using my Chi.
2. A new mirror: We’re getting a cool beveled one! I wanted a framed one like on HGTV but that would have been another plane ticket.

So yesterday the whole thing got cleaned up and now we’re left with a blank wall with gross black glue.

Oh, and I just thought of a third good thing:
3. I think I’ll be less vain after this. I’m just starting to realize how often I look in the mirror. Every time I walk by the bathroom I try to check myself out and all I see is the wall. I can’t even see my reflection when I’m doing my hair. Oh, just thought of a fourth good thing:
4. This should cut down my getting ready time by at least 3-4 minutes.

But, on the other hand, I’ll have funky hair since I can’t see what I’m doing. And disastrous make-up.

Will you look at that? I’m becoming a pessimist. Well, it should only last for about seven years.

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Words of Wisdom from my Dad

“I want to rent a video but I also want some frozen yogurt. I just don’t want to make two stops. If only there was a place that had both.”
--my dad, mocking the short-lived “Video and Yogurt” store in our town.

I was reminded of this particular quote from my dad Friday morning while watching CNN. They had a story about a car that had crashed into a store (which seems to be happening a lot lately). The store sold “Appliances and Tanning.” So you could get a freezer and a burn. Or a burner and a bronze. Or a washer/dryer and a little darker. Or a grill and a glow. I could go on and on.

Sometimes I just want to smack myself for not coming up with these brilliant combinations first.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Burn Baby Burn

Frank used to have these roommates who nicknamed him “Disco.” Whenever Frank would walk into the house the guys would say, “Hey, Disco!” They would even use it in casual conversation, “Hey, Disco…whaddya eatin’?” I thought he must be some incredible dancer but it didn’t take long to figure out that couldn’t possibly be the cause. Frank explained that they thought he looked like this wrestler named Disco Inferno. I guess I wasn’t very intrigued or maybe I’m just grossed out by wrestling or maybe both but all I know is, I never bothered to look him up until yesterday.

So whaddya think? Am I married to a washed-up wrestler or what?

Now you must want to know what inspired me to “get on the Google” as W says and find Mr. Disco. Or Mr. Inferno. Whatever.

Well, the other morning on the news here in Atlanta they had a story that started, “The police made a huge bust in Roswell…” I panicked. WE live in Roswell! Did we buy a house in the ghetto and nobody told us? “…in an upscale neighborhood…” the reporter continued. Turns out it was a high-stakes poker game. Schwoo. If there’s gonna be some crime goin’ on, gimmee the white collar stuff in the “upscale” neighborhood.

Then the next morning they reveal more details. They say the name of the neighborhood. It’s not far from ours! Woo hoo! We must be upscale! I wonder if there are any high stakes poker games in our subdivision. It was $10,000 just to get into this one. Just as I’m about to go tell Frank what I’ve learned, they add, “…one of the leaders of the gambling ring was Glenn Gilberti, also known as the wrestler Disco Inferno…”

Ah! Disco Inferno?? Frank’s look-alike/nickname inspiration is our neighbor? And what’s more, he’s been throwing these elaborate parties in his basement and we haven’t been invited?
He’s probably worried that the younger Disco will usurp his wrestling throne. Or he heard that Frank is too cheap to play poker. Probably more likely. Disco, as soon as you’re free, we’ll have you over to our not-as-upscale home for a little R&R. And we’ll only charge you $5,000.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Little Things

As a young Writinggal I got excited about all the normal things kids cared about: the last day of school, going on vacation, the arrival of my Troll book order. But I remember a few occasions where I was excited about seemingly lame things:

A brown and yellow van: Our neighbors (the ones we called “the kids” even though there were just three of them) had this big, brown and yellow van. In fact, one time it got stolen and Marvin Zindler (Houstonites know what I’m talking about) helped them recover it. Anyway, you’re going to think this is really weird but I remember being at Mother’s Day Out (so I was like, less, than three years old) and my dad came to pick me up. He told me before we went outside, “I’ve got a surprise…” and when we got out there it was the kids’ brown and yellow van. Something had happened to his car so he had to borrow it to pick me up. I can’t explain to you how thrilled I was. I remember this feeling of joy, excitement, pure jubilation that we were going to get to ride in the brown and yellow van. And I kinda think I may have ridden in the front seat without a car seat. But then again, I was only less than three so I can’t be sure. I just know it was freakin’ awesome.

A screen door: Even as a “grown-up,” most of my joy comes from looking forward to things. Once the thing actually happens it’s never as much fun to me. Like vacations. I love to look forward to them and I love getting there and I love immediately being there. But then once we arrive at the hotel or wherever we’re going, I just start thinking, “It’s almost over…” I’m sort of grim like that. This is also why I like Thursday nights so much. But anyway, back to the screen door: I think this was in second grade. I was sitting in Mrs. Davis’ music class, singing something about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or the E.T. song and I was kinda bummed just because I was always bummed in Mrs. Davis’ class. I was staring at the clock, willing it to move. Then I remembered that we were getting a screen door installed on our house that afternoon. It wasn’t a total screen door; it was half glass/half screen which is even cooler. When I remembered that, I got super excited. Like I felt like I was going to bounce off the music room walls. I think I was excited because I liked the idea of having the front door open all the time. (Even as a kid I was into natural light.) So after I remembered the screen door installation, I was totally in a good mood and no one could bring me down.

I tried to think of a third weird thing that got me excited as a kid just because things are better in threes. But then I figured that being excited about a yellow and brown van as well as a screen door was enough weirdness for one day.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Oh my darling, Clementine.

I’m not really into fruity candy but I love me some orange slices. Now I’ve found a fruit that tastes like an orange slice but it’s good for you like an orange: the clementine.

Our friend Amish introduced us to them. He told of us of its easy-to-peel functionality, its juicy taste and its addictive qualities. Frank and I each tried one (I think Frank tried three) and we were hooked. “Tastes like an orange slice!” I squealed.

I was already planning on going to the store that day so I added them to my list. When I arrived at Kroger (they have that here too!) I discovered my first of two disappointments:

1. Clementine oranges are expensive! $7.99 for a basket of ‘em. And you had to buy the whole basket. Made me feel bad that we gobbled up so many of Amish’s.

Still, I bought the little suckers and Frank and I ate them with our breakfasts, for snacks and basically, every time we passed by that cute little basket (which I later repurposed as a dish towel holder. Just call me Heloise.)

Now, onto the second disappointment: I know this is dorky but I look up everything on the internet. Like if I pass a house in the neighborhood that’s for sale, I have to look it up to see how much it is. Or if I’m about to go to a restaurant, I have to look up the menu online. So when I fell in love with the clementines, I looked them up too. That’s where I found #2:

2. They’re only in season from about Dec-March. Come to think of it, ours did go dundies fast.

So we had fun with the clementines while they lasted. It’s like that song at the end of Pretty Woman, “It must have been love…but it’s over now.” Except that’s about a hooker and a businessman and this is about a writer and a fruit. Although that hooker did have orange hair.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Put your pants on and have some fries!

The other day Frank and I went to Chick-fil-A. We were planning on eating there and we easily got a parking spot even though it was during lunch hour. It’s not that this Chick-fil-A wasn’t busy. It was. It’s just that everybody was in the drive thru. In fact, if we had gotten in that line, it would have made a full circle around the building. Frank immediately said, “They must not have pants on!”

This is a theory of mine that dates back to 2000 when we used to go to CfA for Two for Tuesdays. I always wondered why anyone would get in the back of the never-ending drive thru line. Sure, it’s easier than getting out of your car but when the line is that long, it’s definitely not faster. I thought, “Certainly they’re not that lazy. They can’t be so sloth-like that they’d prefer to sit in their cars for an extra ten, maybe 15 minutes rather than walk an extra 47 steps round trip and order their food inside.”

So what could be stopping them? What could make someone so desperate to not get out of their car that they would subject themselves to that spiraling drive thru line? There was only one explanation.

They weren’t wearing pants.

They’re sitting there in their cars, some wearing button down shirts, suit jackets and a tie on top but nothing on the bottom. I suspect that they’re wearing shoes or else it would be uncomfortable to press the gas and brake. I can’t be sure if they’re wearing underwear but hopefully, for sanitary reasons, they are. But then again, these are people who don’t wear pants while driving so I guess anything’s possible.

If they would just put their pants on (or even shorts, a skirt or even a skort), they could proudly walk into any fast food establishment. (Well, maybe not if they’re wearing a skort unless it’s 1993.) Think of the time they’ll save. Sure, they’ll have to take a couple of extra minutes to put on their pants and maybe another 30 seconds for the belt but the time they’ll get back will be ten fold. Plus, they’ll take an extra 47 steps that day, multiply that over five times a week times 52 weeks a year, that’s an extra 12,220 steps a year! Just think of all the weight they’ll lose!

Although they are still eating at fast food places so that could come out even. It’s probably just as well; if they lost weight they’d have to get new pants and we all know that’s never gonna happen.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Livin’ Like the Loyds

We don’t have cable in our new house yet. That means no TV. No internet. I’m writing this blog from the local library which is okay except they kick me off after an hour. Luckily, I’m a super fast typer.

Living without these two services has proved challenging. I told Frank, “It’s like we’re camping. No, it’s like we’re the Loyds!” The Loyds don’t have cable TV or the internet although they do have rabbit ears and a karaoke machine.

Once the Loyds came to our house to watch the NBA playoffs. After the Mavs won, sending them to the championship, I said, “You guys should come over again to watch the next game.” John Loyd said, “No, that’ll be on ABC.”

So now we’re living in a new city and if we want to make some new friends, we’re gonna need cable TV, that’s for sure. So what’s the hold up? Well it’s been one calamity after another with the cable company. (aside: I like the word “calamity.” My dad used it the other day and while I usually say “catastrophe” I thought I’d try a new one.)

Calamity #1: Friday, 3/30: Cable guy is running late. Can’t come to our house during scheduled 17-hour window. Waiting at home for him all day ends up being waste of time. Reschedule for ridiculously long window the following day.

Calamity #2: Saturday, 3/31: System is down so cable guy can’t install internet. Cable company calls to reschedule. “No!!” I scream at them. “I need it today! Send him out to at least install the TV.”

Calamity #3: Still Saturday, 3/31: Russian cable guy comes out. Climbs all over the house, can’t find wiring. Finds faulty wiring. I’m not really sure what he found/didn’t find but he kept mumbling to himself, sweating and I think swearing. Says he can’t install cable that day. Tear forms in my eye. Frank’s too.

Calamity #4: In effort to find correct wiring, cable guy cuts his thumb. Definitely swears. Frank screams for a band-aid. I scream back that I have a first aid kit just for these occasions but it’s packed up. We rip into boxes. Finally find band-aids. Too late. Cable guy has bled all over the house, including new carpet. Cable guy leaves after two hours, still bleeding and mumbling something that sounds like, “Gotta get out of this house…”

Tomorrow I’m set up for two more crazy-long windows: one in the morning for someone to fix the wiring and one in the late afternoon for someone to install. Hopefully all goes well without calamities and/or blood shed.

I’m starting to see why the Loyds opt not to mess with all this technology. If I can’t make this happen by tomorrow, I’m giving up and buying a karaoke machine.