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Monday, July 30, 2007

Why Christian Rock Secretly Rocks

I was driving the other day and this awesome song came on. It was catchy so I was bee-bopping in my Bug, singing along. “I wonder who this is,” I thought to myself. And then I thought, “I wonder why I’ve never heard it before.” And soon after that, “I wonder what station this is.”

Fast forward to the chorus and I got my answer: “Jesus is the reason…”

Christian rock? Yuck. I quickly changed the station.

But then I felt guilty. Why can’t I listen to Christian rock? I, after all, am a Christian. I even go to the “teen mass” at church because they have a rockin’ band. I totally belt out “Yes, Lord, Yes, Lord, Yes, Yes, Lord” on Sunday nights. And I’m down with that song, “I can only imagine” by MercyMe. That’s sort of like Christian Rock except they play it on the easy listening station. Oh, and back in the day, I used to love me some Amy Grant.

For some reason, though, I feel weird listening to Christian rock on my own time. And even if I sneak a listen or accidentally stumble upon a Jesus tune, I don’t know if I would ever go as far as to set one of my pre-sets to J93.3, “The Station that Helps you Live the Life.”

Frank and I were driving through Alabama the other day and I was scanning the radio stations. “That sounds good,” he said, referring to a heavy-ish rockin’ song. He then started having the same revelation that I had a few days prior: “What song is this?” he asked. “I’ve never heard it before…”

“I haven’t either,” I said, “and since it’s kinda good and we’ve never heard it, I think I know what that means…”

“What?” Frank asked.
“Christian Rock!” I told him.

And sure enough, pretty soon we started hearing the cues: “HE lifts me up…Almighty…Grace…Glory…” They’re subtle, these Christan Rockers.

“But you know what?” I told him. “Christian rock is kinda good.”

“It IS good,” he agreed and we didn’t change the station. Still, when they stopped singing and started preaching, we had to switch to country (our only other choice in Alabama).

I’m not saying I’m gonna go download any MercyMe songs but I may bring my Steven Curtis Chapman CD out of hiding. And I may venture over to J93.3 every now and then.

Frank, on the other hand, might be converting pretty soon. When we got back to Alabama yesterday and got in the car, he turned on the radio and said, “Well, what’ll it be? Country or Christian Rock?”

Monday, July 23, 2007

A matter of Fudd-pinion

Yesterday we had a healthy Simciks v. Loyds debate. Here’s how it went down:
(Keep in mind that we don’t actually speak in unison but I can’t remember exactly which Simcik and which Loyd said what):

Simciks: We think it’s ridiculous for people to get cheeseburgers at Fuddruckers.

Loyds: Why? We love cheeseburgers at Fuddruckers.

Simciks: Don’t get us wrong. We love cheeseburgers. We love Fuddruckers. But we also love their cheese sauce. All you have to do it get a hamburger and then pump the cheese sauce on it.

Loyds: But the cheese sauce is gross.

Simciks: No, it’s awesome.

Loyds: I’m pretty sure it’s gross. We prefer the slice.

Simciks: And you’re willing to pay fifty-cents more for it? You do realize that they charge you fifty cents more, right?

Loyds: Yes, but it’s superior to the sauce.

Simciks: Well, we prefer the sauce.

Loyds: You actually prefer the sauce? Well, I guess if you’d rather have the sauce, that’s fine. But for us, we’ll take the slice.

Simciks: Don’t you like the sauce for dipping your fries?

Loyds: More than we like it on our hamburgers. It’s a texture issue.

Simciks: The only issue we have is that you’re wrong. Cheese out of a pump is freakin’ good.

Loyds: Well, I think that’s a matter of opinion.

We had to call a truce at that point. Our candy milkshakes were ready and we soon began discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Cool Whip.

So what’s your fudd-pinion? Free, awesome cheese sauce that comes endlessly oozing out of a pump or pricey cheese slice? WG wants to know!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The cable guy thinks my name is Cher

I don't know whether that's an insult...

...or a compliment.

But I've been answering to it all morning. It's too late to tell him my real name now. I mean, it's not like I can turn back time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Liz, you’re not the only one with droopy eyes

I accidentally ended up in a chiropractor’s office today. He told me that I had, among other things:

-Droopy eyes
-A messed up back
-A tight chest
-A crooked jaw
-A sprained ankle

I had no idea I was such a disaster. I felt fine.

I have to say, though, that the sprained ankle was the biggest surprise to me:

WG: “Why do you think I have a sprained ankle? I’m not limping. I didn’t have an accident. And most importantly, my ankle doesn’t hurt.”

CP: “Look at your left foot. What do you see?”

WG: “A bunion.”

CP: “That’s right. That’s caused by a sprained ankle.”

WG: “But I’ve had this bunion since 7th grade.”

CP: “Yep. Probably the result of wearing stilettos…”

WG, to self: Stiletto flip flops?

CP: “Or maybe a sports injury like from playing basketball.”

Basketball, really? Perhaps he didn’t notice that my feet don’t even touch the floor sitting in this chair.

Then we moved on to the tight chest. And apparently he didn’t mean that I was stacked like the Ghost Whisperer.

CP: “Does that hurt?” (as he presses deep into my pectoral muscles)

WG: “Yes.”

CP: “See? I told you they were tight.”

WG: “I think it just hurt because you were pressing on them.”

CP: “No, it hurt because they have gotten really tight from spin class. Does this position look familiar?” (He bends forward with his hands out.)

WG: “No.”

CP: “I’m riding a bike. See how I’m leaning on the handlebars?”

WG: “We don’t lean on the handle bars in spin class. We actually forbid that.”

CP: “Oh. Well, then you know why your chest muscles are so tight? Because of that.” He points at my chest.

WG, to self: My enormous boobs? Is this guy for real? I gotta get out of here.

CP: “When you cross your arms like that, it causes your chest muscles to tighten.”

WG, refusing to uncross my arms: “It’s not like I do this all day.”

Since we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with the chest area and my left ankle still seemed to be feeling fine, he went for the jaw:

CP: “I see you also have TMJ.”

Like the sprained ankle, this was news to me.

WG: “Really? Why do you say that?”

CP: “I can see it. Your jaw is crooked.”

WG: “Huh. That’s funny. Because I had jaw surgery and my oral surgeon never mentioned that. Nor has my dentist, orthodontist or periodontist.”

CP: “Yep. You’ve got it. Some signs of TMJ are headache…”

WG: “Nope.”

CP: “…grinding your teeth at night…”

WG: “Nah.”

CP: “…clenching your jaw…”

WG: “Not a problem.”

CP: “…droopy eyes.”

Just as I was about to shake my head at that one he says, “Yes. Your left eye is lower than your right.”

WG, getting steamed: “I wasn’t aware of that.”

CP: “Look at yourself in the mirror sometime. You’ll notice that your left eye droops down.”

I happen to look at myself in the mirror all the time, thank you, and my droopy eyes have never bothered me. At least not yet.

After that there was some more lecturing, insulting and an odd lesson where he had me stretch out rubber bands to symbolize leg muscles. Oh, and there were a lot of rhetorical questions that became unrhetorical when he answered them himself:

“Why do we exercise? To prevent osteoporosis.”
“What’s the first sign of a heart attack? Can’t raise the left arm.”

When I realized that he could have this Q&A session without me, I picked up my purse. “Well, that’s a lot of information,” I said. “But I’m in a hurry and I really didn’t expect this to take so long.”

“Come back sometime and I’ll give you a free adjustment,” he said.

“Sure!” I lied. I’m never going back there. I don’t know how I ended up there in the first place.

Plus, I’ve got so much to do! I have to go get some crutches for my sprained ankle; I need to practice not crossing my arms so my chest will untighten; I need to find some sort of apparatus to fix my TMJ and I need to talk to a plastic surgeon about raising up my droopy left eye.
All this and I still have to find time to shoot some hoops.

Neither I, nor my pound cake, is droopy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

No, I'm not going to rob the Kroger

I made this handy map for efficient shopping purposes only. I now plan on using it to make my grocery list. I can categorize my items by aisle and by my calculations, I'll shave off approximately eight minutes to my grocery shopping time.

If I was going to rob the Kroger, though, I would go straight for aisle 11. I call it the random aisle because it's got magazines, picnic supplies, books and lady products.

No, scratch that. I don't wanna be known as the Tampon Robber.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Prodigal Peanut Butter

I don’t mean to bash the Bible but there is one story that I just don’t get: the freakin’ prodigal son. Here's the CliffsNotes version (by the way, it really is “Cliffs” with an “s” even though everybody says “Cliff Notes.” Thanks, Mrs. Jones, 11th grade English teacher).

Back to the CliffsNotes version of that bad Bible story:

There were two sons, a dad and probably a mom.
They lived on a farm.
One son sucked. He was lazy, never did any work on the farm and mouthed off to his parents. Then, to top it all off, one day he just up and left, taking a bunch of money that I’m pretty sure belonged to his dad.

The other son was good. He had a strong work ethic, helped out a lot on the farm and was basically an all-around good guy.

One day the bad son came home. He had squandered all his dad’s money and needed a place to crash.

The dad was all, “We’re so glad you’re home, son! I totally don’t care that you never helped out, that you took our money and that you’re only back because you spent it all. In fact, we’ve been saving this fatted calf for a special occasion and I think this is it!”

The other son, as you can imagine, was pissed. He was like, “Dad, um, hello? I work hard all the time. I never get no stinkin’ steak dinner!”

That’s where the lesson comes in (which I still don’t get or agree with. Sorry, Bible.) “My son was lost but now he’s found,” the dad says. “Now go slaughter that sucker so we can eat!”

Even though I don’t like the story, it sort of happened to me. With peanut butter. I’ve always loved Peter Pan Whipped Peanut Butter. Sure, you can buy those low fat/low cal peanut butters but they actually have more of all that stuff than the whipped. And the whipped is whipped which means it’s good.

The PPWPB has always been good to me. I love it for a good PB&J, on bananas, and last summer it served me well when I had to drink shakes on my soft diet.

But the other day I found something better. In fact, it’s name even implies it: “Better N Peanut Butter.” It’s got fewer calories and fat than my PPWPB and I actually think the taste is superior. I’m totally addicted. I always get something else out like bread or crackers to spread it on but I end up just eating the BNPB right off the knife. Proof that it’s awesome: I bought it a week ago and it’s almost gone.

I guess the fact that it's called "Better N Peanut Butter" means it's not actual peanut butter. And maybe that should scare me. But this stuff tastes so good I'm not afraid.

Yesterday, when I was scraping the sides of my new BNPB I started thinking that it was really uncool of me to just dis my whipped PB like that. It never did anything wrong. It was actually more affordable.

But it’s been replaced. My Better N Peanut Butter was lost and now it’s found! I would slaughter a fatted calf to celebrate but PB&C sounds gross.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My Cousin Vinny (the mute crook)

Add this to my list of pet peeves: retail workers who don’t communicate. For instance, you’re standing at the prescription counter at Walgreens, waiting to pick up your drugs and the tech behind the counter sees you but is fumbling around with the pills. I know she’s busy. I know she can’t get to me right now. But still, SAY something. I mean, is a little “I’ll be right with you” too much to ask?

Oh, here’s another one, ordering at a fast food place: “I’d like a cheeseburger, small fries and a water.” Then after you place your order you see this sign that says, “Buy a Pepsi and get half off your burger and a free large fry!” So you just paid $3.42 for your burger and small fries when you could have paid $2.68 and gotten a real drink and more fries—if only the retail worker had said, “Um, you know if you get…”

But no, he’s gotta be Mute Marcus.

So this weekend we wander into “Cousin Vinny’s,” a pizza place on Tybee Island, GA.

The next exchange between me (WG) and Mute Marcus (MM) is what will be replayed over and over again in a court of law so pay attention:

WG: Do you have veggie pizza?
MM: Yes.
WG reads the menu, sees that a single slice is $1.75. Assumes slices must be small.
WG: Okay, I’ll just have two slices of veggie pizza.
MM: What do you want on it?
WG: What do you have?
MM points to list on menu.
WG: So I can have as many of these as I want? (Giddiness in voice)
MM: Yes.
WG: Okay, then, I want tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, onions, spinach, extra cheese, olives, green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, banana peppers, artichokes and pineapples.

I go sit down at the table and when Frank comes back with the drinks I glance at the receipt--$19.97? How did we spend $20 at a place where one slice of pizza is $1.75? I went back up to MM and say, “Did you think I wanted an entire pizza cause I just wanted two slices.”

MM: No.
WG: Then why is it $20?
MM: Well, with all the toppings you got.
WG: What? I thought I could have as many as I wanted?
MM: You can. For fifty cents each.

WG, fuming: What? They’re fifty cents each? When I said, “Oh, I can have as many as I want?” I think that showed that I was unaware that there would be an additional charge! I mean, I didn’t need all those! I don’t even really like red onions and I actually hate olives. I mean, pineapples? That’s like a total splurge! You really thought I wanted to turn a $3.50 meal into $14.00? Great. Now I guess I have no choice but to eat this $50 pizza!!

MM: Silence. Glazed over. Crickets.

I went back to my table and repeated the whole rant to Frank (as if he couldn’t hear). In between screaming I glared at MM. Frank told me to calm down or MM would spit in my food. “I thought it was some dive pizza place so they didn’t nickel and dime you for toppings,” I reasoned, in between sulks.

When another guy brought out our food he said, “Well, somebody must be hungry!” He then set down in front of me two slices of pizza that were each bigger than the size of my first tricycle:

He then added, “These are both for you? You know, I can go get you a doggy bag!” Um, why didn’t MM mention that the slices are HUGE when I ordered them? In my mind, this is how that original exchange should have gone:

WG: Do you have veggie pizza?
MM: Yes.
WG reads the menu, sees that a single slice is $1.75. Assumes slices must be small.
WG: Okay, I’ll just have two slices of veggie pizza.
MM: Just warning you, they’re pretty big. Here, I’ll show you.
WG: Oh, thanks for showing me. Just one piece, please.
MM: What do you want on it?
WG: What do you have?
MM points to list on menu.
WG: So I can have as many of these as I want? (Giddiness in voice)
MM: Yes, for fifty cents each.
WG: Then I want one piece of plain pizza.

That’s FOURTEEN extra words! That’s all he would have had to say. That is like the same amount of words as this very sentence right here.

Sure, I wouldn’t have spent at much at Cousin Vinny’s but what does MM care? I doubt he’s working on commission. Besides, we would have tipped him well for his honesty. Plus, I wouldn’t have told other patrons who walked into the restaurant: “Don’t eat here! They’ll rob you!”

I realized though that rage must really make you work up an appetite.

I didn’t even need the doggy bag.