Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A blast from the past

Once upon a time I took Tae Kwon Do. Jason had started taking classes when we were dating and he loved them. Knowing that I had no coordination/grace/competence I thought it best if I stayed away from signing up myself. I did, however, sign up for the cardio kickboxing classes that the TKD school offered. Obviously, the instructor saw something special in my technique because he'd continually goad me by saying, "Look at the kick! I'm going to get you in a uniform." Ummm, no. No thank you, with a side of hell no.

A couple of years later, it happened. I found myself signed into a 3 year contract for TKD. What the...  Damn sneaky Ninja bastards. I had originally done a 1 year contract, because I wasn't planning to be there for the long haul. I didn't care about getting my black belt. I just wanted a taste of TKD and then I was backing out. But about a month after I signed up, hubby's contract came up for renewal and we were told that if I changed my contract to a 3 year we'd save money (Jason always signs on for the longer time because he's way more committed than I am). Well hell. Fine. Sell my soul to the marital arts devil. Besides, I'm Asian and there's, like, some ancient Asian law that says we all have to learn some kind of "Kung-Fu." And give the peace sign in pictures... but that's another story for another time. 

Anyhoo - despite my declaration that I was not black belt bound, I suddenly (2 years and change into my contract) found myself preparing for my black belt test. I figured I'd come this far, I might as well ride it out. Part of preparing for the test was writing an essay about TKD. The topic was pretty broad. Since I like to think I'm a better writer than I am a martial artist (trust me, NO coordination here), I was seriously pissed when I turned my paper in... and that was that. Not one word more was ever said about that glorious work. So, even though it's gonna make this post a bit long, I wanted to share it with you all, since it probably was just tossed into the trash can. [In case you're wondering - I no longer do TKD. But hubby is still going strong. He's currently a 4th degree black belt.] 
My Tae Kwon Do Journey

I truthfully began my Tae Kwon Do journey about 11 years ago when my “at the time” boyfriend began taking classes in college… I just didn’t know that I had started this adventure yet.  The boyfriend would share things he was learning in class – explaining the art and demonstrating moves. After graduating college, the boyfriend became my husband. He was still taking Tae Kwon Do classes; I still hadn’t started, but my journey was definitely continuing.

A couple of years into our marriage I started taking the cardio kickboxing class that United Tae Kwon Do School offered. I needed something fun that would help me get in (and stay in) shape. As I grew as a cardio kickboxing student (as in, I finally stopped wheezing like an asthmatic within the first 5 minutes of class), I guess Master Partridge saw some kind of potential in me because he began taunting me with “I’m going to get you in a uniform.” My response was to laugh and wonder if he had taken one too many roundhouse kicks to the head. I had no desire to take Tae Kwon Do. Oh, sure – I wanted to do the cool moves that you see on TV and I wanted to learn how to break boards with my hands and feet. But I wasn’t coordinated enough to try. Trust me, I’m the girl who trips over my own feet… when I’m just standing still!

Finally, after 4 years into my stint as a cardio kick boxer, my encouragement had grown enough (not to mention my will power had been diminished enough) that I decided to sign up for Tae Kwon Do.  Since it was close to the end of 2007, I decided that I would start 2008 off with a bang (or a kick, in this case).

I remember when I approached Master Partridge to tell him that I wanted to schedule my first private lesson, the grin that broke out on his face was clearly that of the cat who caught the canary. We scheduled my first private lesson for a Thursday, but that lesson never happened. As I was waiting patiently at the back of the Dojang for my private lesson to begin, Master Partridge decided I’d been around the school long enough and had gained enough knowledge to just dive in headfirst. I guess he was right – while I did need extra guidance on some things, I was able to pick up most of the exercises. Over the next few weeks, I found that I was truly enjoying Tae Kwon Do!

When it was time for my first stripe test, you wouldn’t believe the heart palpitations I had! I had been out of school long enough so that the word “test” made me nervous. What if I didn’t get my stripe? I’d be the laughing stock of the school. Not to mention my husband (who at this time was a 3rd degree black belt) would probably disown me. I was scared that people would say “How is Jason so good at Tae Kwon Do but his wife… yikes.” The day of the stripe test came and I survived. I was able to save face, not be disowned by my husband, and show people that maybe I could do this after all. In fact, I think I was more excited than all the young children who were also testing that day.

After passing the second and third stripe tests, it was time for my first graduation. Again with the heart palpations! This was going to be worse than the stripe tests I’d been through. Not only would the crowd be bigger, but also now I had to do the cool board break technique I’d learned. Just as with the stripe tests, I was the most excited person there. Do you know how unnerving it is when you see a seven year old get his certificate and act like it’s no big deal, but then you see an adult (a.k.a me) get her certificate and she’s got a big, cheesy grin plastered on her face and she’s giving a thumbs up to her husband, who’s behind the camera like a proud parent?

About halfway through my first year of Tae Kwon Do, I had a minor breakdown. My self-confidence plummeted a bit for reasons I still haven’t figured out. I again began thinking “I can’t do this.  I’m clumsy; I’m butchering this art form; I have no clue what I’m doing. Tae Kwon Do is not for me.” The thing that made me stick with it was my husband. When I had told him that I was going to start taking Tae Kwon Do I told him not to get his hopes up about me becoming a black belt. I was going to try it, but there were no promises about me going far.  He said that was all that he could ask of me. Even though there was this understanding between us, I felt that I would disappoint him or somehow hurt his feelings if I gave up on Tae Kwon Do. He loves the art so much. It is such an ingrained part of his body, mind, and soul. I was honored that he wanted to share this part of his life with me and I didn’t want to let him down. So, I persevered with my classes.

Finally an internal light bulb came on and things started coming into perspective. I wasn’t the only student who sometimes felt incompetent. Everyone has those moments. I even learned that I wasn’t the only one who had had some kind of mini-breakdown. I talked to some of my classmates and learned that others had taken sabbaticals here and there just to refocus. Learning that I wasn’t alone helped me a great deal. I was able to get back on track with my training and even began really enjoying it again.  

On April 17, 2009, I learned that there was a strong possibility that I would be eligible to test for my black belt that coming October. Holy cow, I had ONLY six months to get prepared for this momentous occasion. Knowing that such a milestone would be coming up lit a fire under me. It made me really want to get focused and push myself… do whatever I had to do to prove to myself that I could do this.

Now, here I am one month away from my testing date. I’ve been through a couple of the prep classes and survived. This leads me to believe that I’ll be able to survive on the actual test day. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’ve got a million thoughtsthoughts running through my mind about this test. But as I’ve learned on my Tae Kwon Do journey, I’ll do the best I can and that’s all that anyone can expect from me.  Tae Kwon Do is not always easy – just like life. As I do in life, I’m going to have rough moments, but those moments will be outweighed by the good ones. Will my Tae Kwon Do journey come to an end once I’ve gotten my black belt? No. That day will just mark another mile that I’ve traveled on my journey through life. 

Master Partridge tying on my new belt

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My fun day of agony

So how's your Saturday going? Mine is being spent in a lot of pain. But, this pain is my own fault. Well, more so Jason's. I tend to blame everything on him. But, really, this is his fault. Because I wouldn't have done the things that caused me this pain if it weren't for him and his super-athletic self. Crappy husband. Making me workout.

First of all, we got up way earlier than normal for a Saturday because we had a race today. As I mentioned in an earlier post Jason and I do 5Ks and we've done (so far) one 1/2 marathon. But the race today was not a "running on a course" race. This was a 30 story stair climb.  We had done this race last year and knew we wanted to do it again (why???).

The way this race works is, you line up in order of bib number at the door to the stairwell. Then one by one the participants are sent into the stairwell with a 30 second increment between each person. From there, ya just hoof it up the stairs.

Me on the last flight. Just gotta cross that mat and I'm DONE.

Oh and let me back up - on the way to this hip and happening event, Jason got a speeding ticket. We were bustling along with everyone else on the highway. When the sneaky bastard tagged us. Oh well. C'est la vie. Anyway back to the stair climb and the rest of my day.

On Thursday I did the Metabolic Effect (M.E.) class at the YMCA. If you don't know what that is, this site has a brief description, just scroll down until you see the class name. M.E. made my quads scream for mercy, and when I woke up this morning, they were still quite a bit sore. The stair climb bought them back to the brink of insanity. Once I reached the 30th story, my quads were very thankful and said, "now, take us home to soak in a hot bath and don't ever abuse us like that again." I nodded my acquiescence and Jason and I proceeded to head home... or so I thought.

In January a friend of ours and 2 of his friends opened a gym - Crossfit Amplitude. Now Crossfit is not for the faint of heart (a.k.a. me the wuss). Jason, of course, signed up immediately and goes twice a week. Along with his Tae Kwon Do classes 3 times a week, and most nights he joins me at the YMCA for different classes (he does the Crossfit and TKD classes during the workday, on his lunch break). My husband is a Beast. I'm pretty sure he's part machine, like Robo-Jason. Anyhoo.

Today Crossfit Amplitude (check out their website) was having their grand opening. Since we were going to pass the gym on our way home from the stair climb, we decided we'd go ahead and stop in to check things out. Unbeknownst to me, you were encouraged to actually partake in some of the exercises. What? No! I'm already tired from the bit o'hell I've already been through. But, the 3 guys who run the gym wouldn't take no for an answer. Oh and a nice big "thanks" to the Hubster who was all like, "you've got this! Yeah, c'mon!" Ummm, you do know that you'll have to hear me whine over my body pain later, right? Ok, fine. What do I have to do to get everyone off my back?

Here's what I, along with hubby and a small group of other victims, had to do: a 500 meter row (on a rowing machine), 40 squats (and the squat only counted if your rear hit this ball that was on the floor. In other words, you had to get low with the squat), 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups. I had to do those exercises in that order. That doesn't sound too bad. But wait, we're not done, folks! I had 20 minutes to do 4  - FOUR - rounds of these glorious moves. Did I mention I had already done a 30 story stair climb this morning? I'm pretty sure I did. I wasn't able to get all 4 rounds in. I did 2 full rounds and I had gotten up to 26 sit ups in my 3rd round. Honestly, that's not too shabby.

At one point during this hot mess of a workout, I looked over at Jason (who strangely had this happy smile on his face. I swear, he loves this kind of shit) and declared that we were getting divorced if he was going to keep making me do this kind of stuff.  God, he's a sicko.

This is proof of Jason's sickness. 
As for my quads... They are bitching at me big time. Every time I sit down, stand up, shift. Look at them. Jason smirks any time I do any of those things because I whimper. Needless to say, I'm trying to move as little as possible. Oh, by the way, my quads DID eventually get that nice hot bath.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Babies R Not For Me

Meet my best friend and co-worker, Melissa.
Yes, the hat is part of her daily work "uniform."

Today our friendship was put to the test when Melissa dragged me (kicking and screaming mind you) to Babies R Us. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a not a fan of 2 legged ankle biters (check it) and I believe that pregnancy cooties are highly contagious (hubby is now cut off until I feel that the infection time frame has passed. Do you think it's safe to take a whole month's worth of birth control pills in one sitting???). In her defense, Melissa is not a fan of children either. She had to visit the aforementioned establishment to get a gift for a friend of hers who recently popped out a young'un and she asked if I'd like to join her on this field trip at lunch. Since I AM a fan of getting out of the office, I quickly jumped on the bandwagon. 

Melissa wanted to get an outfit for the new baby, so we headed straight to the clothes section and began flipping through the clothes racks. At one point Melissa picked up a cute PJ set that consisted of pants and a short-sleeved t-shirt. It was a cute set. But, Melissa had an important question to ask, "I know it's cold right now, but would he wear short sleeves to bed? I mean, I do... But, is he like a normal human???" Good question. And I was totally clueless as to how to answer that. I, myself, like to wear short sleeves when I sleep. But, would a baby be able to handle that in the winter? Who would know something like that?

After Melissa picked the winning outfit (not the PJ set - we were too stressed out over the whole "would the baby be too cold" thing, so Melissa put it back), we decided to wander the store for a bit. Anything to delay going back to work. 

Randomly, I came across a display of sunglasses for babies and toddlers. Now I had never thought of putting a baby in sunglasses. Huh. How interesting. Knowing that I have a smallish head, I decided to try on a pair that I sort of liked. And, what do ya know - they fit. 

Me and my freakishly small head.
I was tempted to get them. Hey - they were only $4 and they fit fine. But then I thought how embarrassing it would be if someone asked where I got my sunglasses and I told them Babies R Us. Although, I have seen some diaper bags that I'd like to get as a purse. Some of those bags would be perfect for all the crap I carry! 

And here's something disturbing -

Obviously, this item - whatever the hell a "pack 'n' play" is - comes with a newborn! Needless to say, I shan't be buying a pack 'n' play. Not unless I can get the newborn-less version. 

As for mine an Melissa's friendship - since she delivered me back to work safe and sound and baby free, I think our friendship will be ok... for now. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Well that makes me feel good about myself

Back in December, Jason got his first tattoo. He takes Tae Kwon Do and is currently a 4th degree  black belt. So he got his belt tattooed around his leg.

He "shopped" around, going to different tattoo studios, talking to different artists until he found one that he thought could do justice to what he wanted. The artist, Luke, was at a shop called Liberty Tattoo. When I met Luke, I thought he was an ok guy, just a bit reserved. 

When Jason got this tat, he had a vision of more work he wanted to get done. So when Jason decided he was ready to proceed, he emailed Luke so they could start discussing the next piece. It turned out that Luke had moved to a different studio, Yellow Rose. This past Saturday, Jason went in to get the next bit done.

They are Chinese symbols listing the tenements of TKD (Jason can tell you what they say, but I forget). When we went to see Luke in the new shop, he was much friendlier and more talkative this go round. When Jason and I left the studio, he told me that Luke had said how unhappy he had been at Liberty and because of that unhappiness, he couldn't be himself. But, now he was in a much better place (physically and mentally) and therefore we got to see a more cheerful side of him. 

Being unhappy at my workplace, I asked Jason if he thought I was a different person than I use to be. For the most part, I feel that I'm usually pretty happy-go-lucky. Yeah, I have my dark moments when I dream of just walking out of my current workplace (but I won't do it because, damn it, I need that paycheck). Jason's response to my question? 

"Well, it's hard to keep a Missy down. I mean, there's so much you in you..." 

Those words made my Saturday and, days later, I'm still floating on that high. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another essay from class

As you know I'm taking a writing class (if you didn't know about that, click here). Here's the latest essay that I just turned into that class...

The Biggest Regret of My Life

When I was a younger, I was a daddy’s girl. He was a goofball in the best sense of the word – always making up funny nicknames for me, quick with a smile or laugh, and always there to kiss away my tears.

One of my best memories was of him helping a complete stranger when I was about 7 years old. He had just picked me up from school and we were on the way home.  Not too far from our house, we saw a car broken down on the side of the road with a young woman sitting alone in the car, crying. This was back in the early 1980s – cell phones were a thing of the far future and we lived out in the boonies. Dad couldn’t bear the thought of this poor lady being stranded and immediately made a u-turn to go help her. Knowing a thing or two about cars, he was able to get her car running and get her back on her way.

Daddy worked at the post office and normally his schedule was a late shift. He would go into work while I was in school and come home long after I’d be in bed. To help “keep in touch” with me, he would often write me little notes saying he loved me or he would make me a little activity book by cutting out puzzles from a magazine and stapling them all together.

The summer I was 11 I lost my father to a heart attack. I was devastated. Suddenly my rock was gone. There were so many things left unsaid, so many things I never thought to ask him. My only excuse was that I was a kid. I didn’t care about my dad’s time in the Army before I was born, or about other such “mundane things”. I’d have plenty of time to discuss those things with him when I was older.  If only I’d known that I wouldn’t have that time.

Now I try my best not to take any day, any moment, with my loved ones for granted. I try to make sure my husband knows he is the most important thing in my universe.  I tell my friends I love them. I don’t want to look back on any other important relationships and think to myself, “I wish I had said…” 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Check out what we found today.

Jason and I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond today. Our meandering through the store took us to the baby section. Usually when going through there I keep my head down for fear that baby cooties will get on me. I'm highly allergic to babies/children. Highly. And I don't carry an EpiPen.

Today, as Jason and I were navigating the random displays set up in the aisles, Jason spots a rack of CDs that caused a whole lotta confusion in our world. 

Rock-a-what the hell??? I actually wrote down all the bands'/singers'  CDs I found just because some (ok, all) of them shocked me. Here's the list: Guns n Roses, Metallic, Pearl Jam, Madonna, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Journey, Cold Play, Rolling Stones, Queen, and Aerosmith.  

When we got home, I found the website (yes, I had to look this crap up) and found that AC/DC also has a CD... And, yes, "Highway to Hell" is one of the lullabies. Also, "You Shook Me All Night Long"... because we all know that's appropriate to do to babies.

Other bands I found on the website: Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys, The Cure, Dave Matthews Band, Def Leppard, Depeche Mode, The Eagles, Elvis Presley, The Flaming Lips, Green Day, Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, No Doubt, The Pixies, The Police, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, The Ramones, Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Tool, Van Halen, Weezer. All had such kid-friendly songs (snort). 

What's even better about the website is that you can listen to snippets of the different songs found on each album. Here, go check it out yourself Jason and I spent a ton of time listening to the songs and scaring the shit out of ourselves (why do we sorta like this rendition???). Seriously. I can't make this stuff up. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Little Secret

Last night Jason cleaned the kitchen while I vegged out on the couch. In my defense, I'm struggling with a sinus infection. Earlier this evening, Jason and I were hanging out in the kitchen, trying to figure out what we wanted to do for dinner. Here is the conversation that occurred during that time:

Jason: "Look what I did for you." (referring to the clean kitchen)
Me: "Thank you, 1950s Asshole."
Jason: "Hey, some of your happiest moments have been when you've been all domesticated"
Me: "Ummm.... no...?
Jason: "So, anyway - I helped you out. Happy Valentine's Day!"

Ok, let's look at the things wrong with this conversation. First of all, Valentine's Day was 2 days ago. Next, if some of my happiest moments have been when I've been all domesticated, how is cleaning the kitchen for me a help? Wouldn't that actually make me sad because I've now lost my purpose for living? And finally, the fact that Jason actually thinks that I enjoy playing Betty Homemaker... Aw hell, ok, fine. I admit it. I do sometimes - let me reiterate that - SOMETIMES get a kick out of pretending to be a little housewife. Damn, I hate (yet love) that Jason knows me so well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An essay from class...

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I'm currently taking a writing class. Recently, our assignment was to go through our junk drawer (or purse or whatever) and write an essay on something we find. Opening one of my junk drawers, I came across my first generation Nook and knew the story behind why that device was now in my junk drawer HAD to be my essay. I really liked the piece I wrote, so I wanted to share it with you all. Here it is. It's called Death of My Nook.

When e-readers first came out, I was instantly intrigued by them. Being able to have all these books at my finger tips, but not actually having the physical book take up space in my house? Amazing! But, due to the high prices, I knew it would be a long time before I could even think about getting one.

A couple of years later, the prices on e-readers to dropped. With the cost being a little more attainable, my husband declared that I was going to get one. All I had to do was choose the lucky winner. After much research, in late June 2010, I brought home my new bundle of joy – Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

It was love at first reading. The convenience of having a Nook was wonderful. I didn’t have to worry if I finished reading the current book du jour and didn’t have another book lined up. I could just jump on my Nook and quickly find another book. Having this e-reader was glorious, plain and simple. When my husband and I went on vacation, I didn’t have to worry about how many books to pack. I would just load up my Nook with e-books and I was good to go – carrying 10 “books” that weighed a total of a handful of ounces.

For over a year, my world was filled with happiness as that little piece of technology gave me a new sense of freedom... until that one faithful morning, about a week before Thanksgiving 2011. My Nook was innocently sitting on my nigh stand, getting its battery recharged, minding its own business when one of my dogs (a 125 pound, 2 year old beast) removed the Nook from the plug, took it outside... and proceeded to destroy it.

Upon finding the destruction of my beloved Nook in the backyard, I fell to my knees and cried to the Heavens “Why??!!” Ok, so I wasn’t that dramatic, but I was pretty angry at my dog. But, believe it or not, my Nook is actually still usable, despite the punctures that now cover it. At the time of the violent act, I was actually reading a physical book (versus an e-book), so I put my now injured gadget onto a shelf in my bedroom (out of my dog’s reach, mind you) to wait until I was ready to read on it again.

That time still hasn’t come because on Thanksgiving night, I replaced my first Nook with a new second generation device. I had received an email from Barnes and Noble saying they were lowering the prices of the new version on Thanksgiving. Even though I now have a new “toy,” I was unable to just get rid of my old one. So, I put my first generation Nook into the junk drawer of my dresser, which is where it’s been since I brought home its replacement. Needless to say, my new magical reading machine will be kept away from my dog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Teaching an old Missy a semi-new trick.

The summer I was 18, my brother, Rob, taught me how to drive a stick shift. He did it just because he thought it would be a helpful life lesson to have. As it turned out, those lessons became a necessity when, later that summer, he broke his right hand (meaning he couldn't shift). So, we swapped cars (since mine was an automatic) for the many weeks that he had to wear a cast.

Once I got my car back, I didn't drive Rob's car again until the following summer, when I was home from college. He had gone to a local bar and had a little too much to drink. So he called baby sis to get come get him. Jason and I were hanging at my house (we were dating at the time), so we headed to the bar in my car to get Rob. Once there I loaded Rob into his car, tossed Jason the keys to my car, and our tiny parade headed back to my brother's house. Since it had been a year since my last encounter with a manual transmission, I was a bit shaky on everything. But, my brother said "it's just like riding a bike. It'll come back to you," and it all pretty much did. I think I was able to get back to his house without stalling it. That night was the last time I drove a stick shift. That is until this weekend....

In 1999 Jason graduated from college, got a job, and started earning some money. At the time he was between cars (his cars had a bad habit of dying on him). He had his heart set on a Mustang. And not just a plain ol' Mustang, but a Cobra. He saved up his money and he got one. His pride and joy. For those who don't know - Cobra's only come in a manual transmission.

Once we got married, it was understood that he had his car and I had mine... although he could drive mine, but I couldn't drive his. At this point it was 2001 and it had been a few years since I'd driven a manual transmission. I had basically forgotten everything about driving a stick shift. In 2011, Jason got a new car - this time an automatic. He didn't get rid of his Mustang though (need I remind you that the 'Tang is his pride and joy??). He said he would still drive the Mustang, but for the most part, it's just been sitting in our garage. Being lonely and neglected. Ya can't blame Jason. He's got a new toy. The new toy is an automatic, so he doesn't have to deal with shifting and all that jazz. Plus, the new toy is a compact SUV, which means that it definitely sits higher than the Mustang. Which makes getting into and out of the vehicle easier. Jason likes to complain about "his old man hips."

My heart started breaking over the poor, forgotten Mustang. I told Jason that he needed to re-teach me how to drive stick and once I was comfortable with it, I would start to drive it to work some (at least once a week...?). My lessons started this weekend. He took me to a school parking lot and let me go. Whew, this was rough. Some knowledge did come back to me, but other bits just had to be told from scratch.

Jason took me back to the school on Sunday and we practiced some more. I'm starting to get the hang of it again. I actually took the car on the road! About 2 miles away from the school is a shopping center - both the road the school is on and the shopping center are fairly quiet on the weekends (the shopping center is a fairly new area and it doesn't have a lot of stores in it yet). Jason let me drive up to that shopping center and then drive home. I didn't stall the car! I only had one "uncomfortable" moment. I came to a stop light that is on a slight incline. When I took my foot off the brake to hit the gas, I panicked a little since the car was rolling backwards (thankfully no one was behind me), gave the car a little too much gas and barked the tires one good time. Oh yeah. I'm a bad ass.

Anyway - I'm hoping to continue my driving lessons every weekend. Hopefully by spring I'll be ready to take the Mustang out in rush hour traffic (or any kind of traffic). All I ask is that, in the time of all this training, you all pray for the Mustang's transmission.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ohhhh yeeeeaaahhhh...

Recently Jason and I bought ourselves a new "toy" to just show how lazy we are. Here it is...

We bought it over the weekend and have been using it all week in our shower. It's official - I'm in love. This thing is beyond awesome and we're asking ourselves why it took us so long to buy one. Seriously, every time I shower I get a mini foot massage. Ya can't beat that!

I told Jason we should buy another one that we'll stick to the wall of the shower and use it to scrub our hands. As usual, I got Jason's Standard Look of Disbelief... although I think underneath that "what just came out of your mouth??" attitude, there was some "hmm, I like the sound of that, but I can't let her know she just said something intelligent." (Go ahead, Jase, admit that sometimes I do have awesome ideas. Cuz, I do. I really do. Sometimes)

Oooo, and now I'm wondering if we can buy enough to cover the whole shower wall and remove the piece that goes over the top of the foot. Then we'd have a wall o'scrubbers for our whole body. Doesn't that sound glorious?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My new co-worker

Meet the the new office mascot at my workplace: Black Winnie-the-Pooh (the "h" is optional). My co-workers, Melissa and Lorrie, and I somehow got semi-addicted to things that you put in water and watch grow. I believe Lorrie started this fad by getting an alligator. Then Melissa joined in the fun by getting a nutcracker. So, now it was my turn to provide the entertainment.

One day while playing at playing at the Dollar Tree, I came across a small selection of grow thingies (what the hell are these things called? Well, until I can think of a better term, I'm sticking with the term "grow thingies"). Of the animals there, I decided to go with the bear.

I started growing him sometime last week. I should've taken a picture of him before I put him in water just to show how big he's gotten! I love how, from the front, you can't really tell what he is... he just looks like a black lump. Strangely he smells like gasoline. I'm not really sure how safe this thing is for children (or adults for that matter). I suppose as long as Timmy isn't playing with Winnie near an open flame, he'll be ok (I'm not sure which "he" I'm more concerned about with this sentence - Timmy or Winnie).

Melissa made the sign on his current habitat. I had him in a smaller container, but he outgrew that thing quickly. I think he may be maxed out on his growth spurt. I guess we'll give it a few more days just to be sure.

Once we're certain he's done growing, I'll begin training him to take over the office...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Please stop yelling at me!

Why do the self-checkout registers in stores have to scream at you? My god, Robotic Broomhilda, I'm just trying to buy some damn ice cream. I don't think my fellow customers need to know that my fat ass is determined to stay that way with my gallon of Cookies 'n' Cream. Nor do they need to know the price for said tub o'happiness ("Look, Marge, that Sushi Roll over there is paying $5.50 for that ice cream. Didn't she have a coupon?"). Seriously, can't we just keep this transaction between us?

Tonight Jason and I ran into Lowe's (the hardware store, not the grocery store - I didn't need an ice cream fix tonight... I actually still have some in my freezer, thank you very much) to get a piece for our hot water tank. As Jason was handling the purchasing of the item at the self-checkout, I was trying to cover Satanic Sally's boisterous "mouth." At the top of the machine I saw what looked like speaker holes, so I placed my hands over said holes to see if it would at least muffle the sound. Yeah, not so much. I swear, there are hidden surround sound speakers all over that machine. I think the machine even got louder, as if saying "Ha! Trying to shut me up? I don't think so, missy."

So, note to self - don't trust a self-checkout machine with you secrets. She won't keep them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I can do this. I know I can

Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote, "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

I'm still struggling with that fear because I want to live a creative life. I've been told I'm creative. That I'm a good writer. But, often the insecurities reach out and grab hold of my ankles, pulling me back down into the blackness. My dream is to make something out of this blog... maybe a book. I have recently discovered 2 artists - Jenny Lawson and Jen Lancaster. Lancaster has numerous books out - stories about her life. Lawson has her first book coming out. They both have blogs. I haven't read Lancaster's as much as I've read Lawson's, but both are funny... As funny as I hope I am.

I'm currently reading a book called The Artist's Way (which is where I got the quote that I started this post with) by Julia Cameron. It's a great book. It's telling me that I need to get rid of the self-doubt and just do it. Hell, the fact that I'm even doing this blog and staying with it shows that I'm starting to believe in myself... or at least that I don't give a damn what others thing (please like me).

I read some of the blogs out there and I think, "man, that is so interesting! Unlike my life, which isn't." But, when I step back and look at the random things that happen to me in a given day - conversations with Jason, with Melissa, me harassing my freaking zoo, there's some pretty shit there. I just need to learn to share it with the world. Because, seriously- ya'll need to know how crazy my life is.

Now if I can just learn to shut up that negative voice that keeps popping up ("your life is boring, your writing isn't good, blah, blah, blah..."), I think I'll be fine.