Friday, September 28, 2007

I Wonder How I Ended Up with All This ...

… underwear!

Our wonderful front-loading washing machine has been sporadically throwing oil out onto our laundry since July. So I finally wised up and stopped playing Kenmore roulette with my favorite jeans/shirts/workout tanks about two weeks ago.

The only clothes still being washed in our washer are The Boy’s work clothes, which nobody will be able to tell are clean anyway, covered as they are in paint and glue and other permanent-type scenery-construction items.

So until yesterday, when my awesome (and out-of-town so I have the run of the laundry room) girlfriend W let me take my laundry to her place, I hadn’t washed my own clothes in 16 days. But I hadn’t yet run out of skivvies.

Odd. I don’t remember buying VS Signature Cotton in bulk at Costco. I don’t remember the last time I got a white Tyvek package from in Ohio.

But apparently, I’ve gone through a period of addiction to buying $2.99 (well, upon further research, the price has gone up to $3.99) clearance panties sometime in the past few years. At least I now know it was for a good reason—I’ve not been stressed about what to put on before I get dressed since the washer went on the fritz. And I counted yesterday while I was waiting for the repairman … I could have gone another 10 days or so. And I’m not exaggerating. I own almost 30 pairs of regular (and colored, and striped, and flower-printed, and snowflake-printed, and cherry-printed, etc.) bikini panties.

Wow. Wherever this crazy compulsion originated, I’m glad it did. Heaven forbid I should have to wash anything by hand!

The number of pairs of jeans I own, however, is a different story. Thank goodness for W’s generosity, is all I can say. What do you own in embarrassing quantities?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Work Didn't Used to Suck

I have had some pretty fantastic jobs in my life. These are jobs that I would literally do even if I won $300 million in the Powerball next week. And then there are the jobs I’ve had that actually pay the bills.

In category #1 fall the following jobs:

1 – Naturalist

Wake up time: 7:30am. Group breakfast is at 7:45 and you can’t be late.
Uniform: Anything comfortable. It will get dirty.
Office: The outdoors. Day and night, rain and sun, winter or summer.
Duties: Teach children of various ages about the outdoors. Play games and sing songs and do skits; lead ascents up a high ropes course or climbing wall, or out on an actual mountain; act the part of a pioneer woman in full dress, making candles in a log cabin; pull out authentic pioneer tools, a snake, a compass, an herb, and teach children about them; lead horseback rides, kayak trips, mountain bike excursions, camping trips, white water rafting adventures.
Downsides: You get paid $250 a week, which is barely enough to cover student loans and car insurance and other vital bills. There are no health benefits. Because you live with the dozen or so people you work with, the rumor mill is magnified ten thousand fold, and there is no privacy.
Perks: Work follows the school year, so lots of holiday time off, and time off in general. There are lots of international staff, which makes life interesting and also gives you people to crash with if you ever go to England/ Australia/ Scotland/ New Zealand/ South Africa. Everyone you work with is your age, full of energy, and loves what they do. Every day is spent outdoors, teaching and learning and playing with horses and ropes courses and other great stuff that most people pay a ton of money to do on their fleeting weekends out of the office.

2 - Actress
Wake up time: 9:30am. Rehearsal starts at 10, and goes through the day and night. **During the run of the show – you gotta be ready to go by 6pm, but the rest of the day is yours.
Uniform: Anything that approximates your onstage costume.
Office: The theatre. With occasional forays into antique stores and Goodwill to find set and costume pieces.
Duties: Memorize your lines, learn your blocking, perform your part, with feeling.
Downsides: You get paid $175 a week, which means you use your charge card a lot. There are no health benefits. Sometimes you have to deal with divas. You have to find a new job every couple of months, when your show closes.
Perks: When the show starts running, you work about 3 hours a day. It is fun. It is creative. It is art. Theatre people are wild, fun, and sometimes melodramatic, and always interesting.

3 – Baker
Wake up time: 5:30 am. This definitely sucks, but your day is done by 3pm, which is soooo great.
Uniform: something clean. Doesn’t matter what, you’ll have an apron on top.
Office: the bakery. You are often alone, with just the radio and smell of cinnamon rolls baking to keep you company. It is wonderful, even in the early morning hours.
Duties: Bake things. Solicit business. Flirt with customers. Purchase fresh produce and baking supplies. Read recipe books and try new things. Keep your hands out of the cookies if you can.
Downsides: You get paid $7 an hour, which is just enough to pay the bills until your car has a $2000 breakdown and then you are up the creek and out comes el chargeo cardo again.
Perks: Your schedule is flexible. It’s just you and your boss, and she’s great. It’s creative. You get off at 3:00 every day, only work 3 hours on Saturdays, and have Sundays and Mondays off, which makes your weeks fly by and your weekends feel miles long.

Here is category #2.

1,2,3,4,5 . . . – Office Manager, Human Resources Professional, FITB with your own well paying corporate profession
Wake up time: 6:15 am.
Uniform: Business casual. Yes, you have to iron for this job.
Office: The office. Climate controlled, the hum of electronics, if you’re lucky (I am, right now) you get a window. (I’ve also avoided ever working from a cubicle thus far, lucky me.)
Duties: Create excuses for paperwork, fill it out, keep it filed. Come up with made up words like “strategic planning” and “total rewards management” and “performance index” to make yourself sound smarter and more essential to the success of the company. Inflate a few hours worth of work into mounds of ridiculous time consuming paperwork to please some corporate people, who prefer quantity over quality. Listen to people complain about stuff. Write budgets, policy, safety audit checklists, or whatever falls in your scope of work, and then squeeze in some creativity by fiddling with the formatting and throwing in some clip art.
Downsides: Whether it’s a mind-numbing routine task or really complicated new project, it’s rarely interesting. The corporate world owns your time, doling out a vacation day here and there with a miserly grunt. Some of the politics are just beyond comprehension.
Perks: You get paid enough to pay all your bills, eat well, contribute to a retirement fund, do necessary home improvements, travel. You can make sound investments in your future, afford to have children and support them, take trips, or classes, or any of the other wonderful experiences that money can buy you. Sometimes you get to write a blog and nobody seems to mind, as long as you get your tasks done on time.

I *miss* my old jobs. I grieve for them. I miss the day to day joy and fulfillment of my former work. Each one had its problems, biggest of which was always the non-livable wage - and I definitely like knowing that at this point in my life I am able to make good financial decisions that will secure our future happiness. But often, in this office, under the drone of these lights, with my fingers on the keys and my eyes on the screen, my mind is a million miles away, cheering a kid up the climbing wall, or paddling a kayak, or making tres leches cakes with NPR chattering in the background, or blinking under the hot lights of a white hot sparkling stage. And I sigh, and say woe is me, and then hitch up my bra strap under my business casual top, pour myself a cup of tea, and try to suck it up and pretend to like it. Because that's just, well, just what you do, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Work? It sucks.

Honestly, I don't have to wonder about why work sucks. It just does. I mean, it's work, right? One of the most annoying but true statements is that they call work work for a reason and that if it were fun, they would call it fun. But they call it work because it's work. Or something like that. I don't know, I'm at work right now and my brain is on backwards.

How could work not suck? If you're like most of us, you're at someone else's beck and call, you're working for less than you probably should be, and you probably don't enjoy what you do all that much. You get told when to arrive and when you can leave. You only get so much time for lunch and you're dealing with office politics of some sort. You probably have some co-workers that annoy you to no end and you can't tell people what you are really thinking. Ever. Basically, it's a stifling environment that keeps us all from doing things that we enjoy. Which sucks.

I think work isn't fun mostly because it isn't supposed to be. But why is that? I hate that I don't know anyone who truly LOVES their job. Meaning, I don't know anyone whose passion is their job and the one person I did know who was following her passion is now hating it because it has become work. Which sucks. It's a vicious, sucky cycle.

I guess I just always think about how many hours a day I'm wasting away behind a desk and answering to someone else who couldn't care less about me outside of the four walls of this big office building. I dream about all of the things I would rather be doing -- sleeping, talking to friends, breathing fresh air, taking pictures, reading a good book, watching television, traveling with my husband, eating Cheetos by the pool -- instead of being at work.

I think a lot of people view work as an albatross around their neck and I hate that too. I mean, we're all working to pay bills. The job is a means to an end, I suppose, which is eating and having the big, flashy box spring to life when you hit the power button. I can't help but think that all of the hours we're spending at work are such a waste in the long run. I mean, I spend more hours at work a day than I spend doing things that are fun and that would enrich my life in some way.

I appreciate having a job that allows me to pay my bills, do something to help the world, and to help pay for some of the fun things that I really do enjoy. I just hate that I feel like so many hours of work hardly translates into the few hours I get to actually enjoy myself during the rest of my life. So, work? Can suck it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Wonder Why Work Stinks

Wicked M and I have joked many times over the years about our bosses/places of employ: “Don’t they know I have socializing to do/online shopping to complete/naps to take? I keep getting things to do as if they actually expect me to earn my pay!”

Well, I can firmly blame my lack of consistent posting since August on work. And that stinks, b/c I looove you guys! And I love having the time to wonder over things and share my ideas. And I love being able to sip my coffee and catch up on every post and every comment—here and on my friends' personal blogs.

So I can say with a great deal of certainty: work stinks b/c we are not allowed to goof off. Now, there are some jobs (professional comedian, pastry chef, finger-painter) where your flights of fancy are pretty much what keeps you in your livelihood. But like super j said, unless you have one of those jobs (don’t slag on models, super j! Modeling is HARD! As we will discuss soon when we wonder about “America’s Next Top Model.”), you’re pretty much stuck answering to someone else, doing things you don’t really want to be doing, and searching for someone with whom to complain about it.

If everyone who clocks in (literally or figuratively) were allowed to do so at his/her own leisure, and were given the chance to accomplish a set amount of work for each day but were allowed to use the other time as he/she saw fit, I think we’d have a lot fewer sick days. I’m proud of super j for not lying about that—I’ve done it once and it felt very sinful. If I knew that I wouldn’t have to sneak to do my post or check on what Television Without Pity snarked about last night’s premiere of “Heroes,” I’d be much more eager about leaving the house and the TV. I’m sure that all of us are pretty productive people—our priorities just might not be 100% with work all the time.

I know that there are corporations who encourage (and sometimes even mandate) afternoon naptime—but we can’t all work there. My justification for making work stink less is that I’m not a smoker. And therefore, the four ten-minute breaks I’d take during the day to step out for a cigarette are instead used to goof off. I refuse to feel guilty about it, most of the time.

Except at the beginning of the school year. That’s an entirely different kind of work-stink. I return to you today from the beyond, confident that my goofing-off time is returning to me after four loooong weeks of no time for even thinking about goofing off. How have you been? Missed you! Love you!

Monday, September 24, 2007

i wonder why work sucks.

it's monday and i didn't sleep well last night and i'd rather be doing anything else in the world besides what i'm (supposed to be) doing - work. my colleague and i joked this morning that all weekend we sat around thinking, "boy, do i wish it were monday. i just can't wait to get back to work." it provided us some laughs, but not enough to make up for the fact that we are indeed stuck here for 8.5 hours today. i almost called into work sick this morning, but decided not to. i haven't worked a full work week since last month, so i felt a little guilty. besides, what would i say when everyone would inevitably ask me what was wrong with me? i can't stand to lie, so i dragged my tired behind (or biscuit - that still makes me laugh, wicked m!) out of bed and into my office.

does any gal out there really like her job? i mean, really, truly, can't-imagine-not-working love her job? okay, perhaps there are a few out there who can't imagine not working, but she's probably a model or sports star or something like that. what about us typical gals? why does work suck so much for us?

my job is okay and i don't loathe it, but it still sucks because, let's face it, work sucks. it requires us to get out of bed early and actually use our brains to think about something for 8 hrs. there are some days when my mind is super clear and can race through any given task with little effort or resistance. but then there are other days (like today) when it takes every ounce of energy i can muster in order to run a report.

the worst things about my job are the stress and the fact that i'm not with my family. i wouldn't say that my job is totally high stress, but there is a fair amount of it. every day i have these panic moments when i think, "ohmygosh, i think i just reallllly messed up someone's account." and my heart always beats a mile a minute when i download my reports from the state. i'm terrified i will do something wrong and end up costing the university tons of money. plus, students can get a bit testy when you're talking dollars with them. i always love it when those sweet, young students drop the f-bomb in my office. that always makes for a lovely day.

my daughters are notorious for loading on the guilt when i walk out the door each morning. leah is usually the first one up and we're able to spend a bit of time together before i head out the door. today, she sat with me while i ate my breakfast and then sat on my bathroom floor and colored me pictures of kittens while i showered. and nearly every day, she'll hug me tight around my neck, tell me she loves me, and then asks if i could please take her to school. which i can't. and that sucks.

typically, alana wakes up right as i'm heading out the door. she doesn't say much in the morning, but does love to snuggle. she'll walk out of her room and yell "MOMMMMMY!" i'll hold her for a few minutes on the couch and inevitably super jas will have to peel her off of me as she screams and yells "MOMMMMMMY" and tears roll down her cheeks. most days, i arrive at work a few minutes late, but i don't mind. there are much more important things in life like snuggling with your sleepy baby or coloring kittens drinking milk in a coloring book than being at my desk by 8am.

unfortunately, work is something that we all have to do unless we've won the powerball. we put up with the crap and the stress and the guilt of it all to pay our bills and make our way through life. it's a fact of life but, that still doesn't mean that it can't suck, right?

Friday, September 21, 2007

i wonder where the time went.

last weekend, we celebrated my oldest daughter's 5th birthday. it's hard to believe that 5 years have passed since she came into our lives. how is it possible that she is that old already?

the more i thought about her age and how quickly 5 years passed, the more i thought of other moments that made me think, "huh. really? it's been that long?" here are a few:

1) i've known my fellow ww for 11 years now.
2) i graduated from college 7 years ago.
3) i am nearly 30 years old.
4) my oldest friend jess (whom i still keep in touch with) and i have been friends for 23 years!
5) i've been driving for 13 years.
6) my grandfather passed away 17 years ago.
7) my parents have lived too, too far away from me for 10 years.
8) i've been building up my 401k for 7 years.
9) my husband had 2 brain surgeries almost 7 years ago.
10) i haven't seen a professional football game in 19 years.

there are many, many more that i could add to the list. it is truly amazing how quickly time passes by. just another reminder that we need to savor the time we have and try and not let time escape from right underneath us.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

These Kids Are Making Me Crazy

I've just cleaned up three rounds of doggie diarrhea, so I'm having a difficult time focusing on weird things I do. I think I've got it, though. **Oh my goodness, the sight of my 3 month old puppy humping his humongous stuffed warthog almost made it fly out of my head. OK, ok it's still there. I'll send the dog to another room so my husband can keep track of him, and then I can focus.**

All right. Husband is unavailable, so we'll just toss Mr. Warthog over by the door and continue. I do a few weird things, **but now that the cat and the dog are fighting over who gets to rip the insulation out of the door frame behind me, I'd better just go ahead and pick one so I can finish this up and then kill some animals, or possibly myself.**

I sleep with one arm flung above my head. Straight up there. Not straight into the air, but straight into the headboard, which means I have to scrunch far enough toward the foot of the bed to make room for it. It's my right arm. Darlin' sleeps to my right, so often we will be nose to armpit. After a few fragrant moments, Darlin' will inevitably wake up, yawn, grasp me 'round the wrist, and shove the arm back where it belongs. I'll roll over, snort grumpily, and sneak it back up. It's hard for me to sleep if I can't have this arm way out in space. **If this fecking dog doesn't stop nipping my feet I swear we will have corgi flambe for dinner tonight.**

In the mornings, when Darlin' takes the Schmup out for a morning trot, Schmitty Cat comes into our bedroom and nestles into my opened pit (while I, yes Wicked M, snooze along to my snooze button at least twice). She likes to curl up in there, unlike my husband, who prefers non-B.O.-related smells like cookies and garlic toast and freshly washed Schmuppy Dog. **Which we get to smell often since he frequently requires baths, like tonight when we pooped and then walked in it and tracked it all over the floor.**

Besides this weird behavior, I also have this crazy habit of adopting freaking animals who drive me crazier. Possibly the arm stretching sleeping thing occurred at the same time as we adopted our cat and I started losing my mind. The world may never know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Wonder Why I...

I wonder why I can't use the snooze button. I've never been able to. I mean, I realize that getting an extra seven minutes of sleep is the greatest thing since sliced bread for some people. I get it. But it just doesn't make sense to me. I mean, just set the alarm for seven minutes later and then get up!

Clearly I grew up in a home where the snooze button was not allowed. I don't even think I knew what the snooze button was for until I left for college. One of my roommates LOVED her snooze button and used it at least four times every morning. It was the most annoying thing ever.

I suppose it helps that I'm a morning person. As soon as my alarm goes off, I usually get right out of bed and jump into my day. I realize not everyone greets their day with the same enthusiasm, but I just do not understand the snooze button plan. I mean, I don't really think you are getting quality sleep once you slam that snooze button and flop back onto your pillow. I would just lay awake wondering how long seven minutes can really feel and how much longer until the buzzing buzzer (or radio) starts blaring again. It stresses me out.

I've also discovered that I have another curious behavior when it comes to the morning alarm. If Superman's alarm goes off before mine, I cannot go back to sleep until I am positive he's gotten out of bed. For whatever reason, I can't let myself relax and fall back into dreamland until I know he's gotten out of bed and has started with his day. I mean, the alarm is there for a reason and the reason is to get you up -- not to give you a warning and then let you sleep for another three hours and not to scream at you every seven minutes until you decide to drag yourself out of bed.

The sound of the alarm going off in the morning isn't a sound I relish hearing, but the snooze button and I will never be friends.

**I know people love their snooze buttons. Please do not hate me for my snooze button disdain. It's just never been a part of my routine. Love me. Please.

Monday, September 17, 2007

i wonder why i ____________(insert weird habit/behavior here).

as i was grocery shopping the other day, i made an interesting observation about myself. i buy most everything in 3s. i bought 3 cans of pringles; 3 boxes of fruit snacks, 3 cans of crescent rolls; 3 packages of beef; 3 jars of pizza sauce; etc, etc.

it struck me as odd for a couple of reasons:
1) who does that?
2) why am i just now realizing that about myself?

i'm honestly annoyed by this newly discovered shopping habit and have been thinking about it since my shopping spree. (is it bad if you annoy yourself?) i'm not infatuated with the number 3. i've never played the lottery and i don't have any lucky numbers that are multiples of 3. i'm not even a superstitious kind of a gal (for the most part anyway). i've been trying to figure out why i settled on this particular number and i think i've come up with a reason. it makes sense to me, but perhaps everyone else may think it's just a bizarre form of ocd. my explanation for it is this: if i purchase only 1 i may run out. buying 2 just doesn't seem like enough. and purchasing 4 is obviously overboard. so, that leaves me with buying 3 of any given food item.

i'm trying to come to terms with this, but i'm struggling a bit. i just hope i don't think about it each and every time i'm in the grocery store - although i somehow doubt that it will happen. maybe i'll just have to send super jas to do the shopping from now on. i may be on to something.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Somebody Tell Them

So I walk into a community meeting last year, my first in my new job. I don't yet know what exactly this rural county has in store for me, but I've been given a pretty good idea by a couple of my coworkers with the 80s bang explosion, the little sunburst mini-mullet teased into perfection on the top of their heads. My coworkers come from tobacco farming families, and many of them have never left this county in their lives (that's county, not countRy). This makes them wonderful, salt-of-the-earth type homey people who will bring ten pounds of lasagna or chili beans to a wake and clean the bereaved's bathroom while she's entertaining guests in the parlor. This also means that 80s fashion still rules, and we see a lot of color coordinated turtlenecks under quilted vests with fun animal scenes sewn on, and also lots of blouses with eye-popping shoulder pads and great big polka dots. The dangly ball earrings match the color of the polka dots. The socks match the color of the blouse background. The blouse is tucked into pants with reams and reams of front pleats and tapered legs, and occasionally, they have the stirrups on the bottom. On the outside of the socks.

So back to my meeting. This meeting is in the power plant. We're having hot dogs for lunch, and then the mayor will make lots of excuses for why our water bills are about to shoot into the stratosphere. I get in line for my hot dog, and then I see her.

Oh dear.

Not only is the wig clearly made of fake hair - it doesn't fall like normal hair, more like a Barbie's hair looks, after you've played with her for 6 months - it is also a little crooked. It, too, is teased into the pompom of 80s bangs look. It is a flat, matte black, long in back and pinned up at the side. It is also much larger than this tiny woman's head. As I later said to my friend who also attends these meetings - could this tragic wig possibly look better than what's under it?

The icing on the face - er - cake, is, well, her face. This lady is cute. She has a cute tiny body and a cute pixie face. She's one of those people who could pull off a short, choppy 'do that spikes all over the place and really emphasizes her delicate features. Instead, she wears this cumbersome wig and spackles her face with pink. Pink pink pink, pink cheeks, pink lips, pink eyeshadow. Like, magenta pink, rather than a pale delicate pink. It looks like somebody took a squeeze bag of icing left over from a little girl's pink princess birthday cake and frosted her face.

While I am definitely growing devil horns for making fun of a poor woman who is just trying to look good - I just wish somebody who knew her would tell her. Not many people have the raw material that you have, lady. I wish you'd stop hiding under all of that out-of-date stuff and be who you be. I'm here to tell you, via an anonymous blog that you'll never read because you probably don't have internet - that you are a beautiful woman. The world wants to see more of you, and less of your fashion faux pas. Take a deep breath, tell yourself three times each morning in the mirror "I am beautiful. I am beautiful. I am beautiful. This is 2007. This is 2007. This is 2007." Then step out into the world as you. Be brave. Love yourself enough to cast off the ridiculous disguise. Or, alternatively, spend a little more on higher grade materials.

Peace and devil horns to all of you. We love you, whatever fashion era you embrace - but we don't promise to take you seriously. G


We've heard about perms, mullets, purposely mussed could no one have mentioned the comb over? Or the side ponytail? Banana clips? Crimpers? Scrunchies? State Fair Hair? Stacked bangs? I could go on and on. I've seen a side ponytail in the last several months and I would take a banana clip over a comb over any day. But they're all awful. Just awful.

How about leggings? Tapered jeans? Acid wash? Raise your hand if you were alive in the 1980s and were a victim of any of these awful trends. The sad part is that some people still actually wear these things. Did you roll the bottom of your jeans? Did you wear several colors of socks at once to match your outfit? Why any of us ever thought any of these things were cute is beyond me -- why we thought that wearing any combination of these items was a good idea is a better question.

I'm not the fashion police by any stretch of the imagination. I've been a fashion victim on more than one occasion, so I can't truly pass judgment. But I will laugh at you after you walk by if you have a comb over. Or are wearing acid wash jeans. You've been warned.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Wonder What That's About?

You’ve seen them. We all have. Those metrosexual men who think that Ross Geller is their god. They have pretty thin hair (not due to future baldness, just thin all around), and they put gel in it—in all of it—and then do that sweep up at the front. And you can see the gelled sections of hair, and the scalp beneath, and every single spiky strand in front. And it doesn’t look natural, and it doesn’t look soft, and it sure as hell doesn’t look clean.

Purposely-mussed hair doesn’t bother me too much. I’m around college kids all day, so I have to get used to that. But listen, boys: it’s not 1998 anymore. L.A. Looks is still in business, but they don’t need yours. No one is going to want to touch hair that looks that crunchy. There’s no way that forehead cowlick is innate; I doubt you put a finger in a light socket just long enough for your hair to start to stand on end.

I’ve considered the reasons someone would do that to his hair. Maybe he lives in a rough part of town but is against carrying a concealed weapon, so he gets his hair nice and stiff so that just in case he’s jumped, he’ll have a knife-like weapon at his disposal. Maybe he didn’t mean to make it look like that—his hair is naturally curly but he hates it so he puts all that gel in to make it straight and then has to run out b/c he’s late from spending all that time putting gel in his hair so he has to rush and the force of walking fast pushes his hair up in the front while the gel dries. Maybe his mom likes it that she can see his face (b/c in high school, he always had those bangs that got in his lovely soulful eyes) and he’s a mama’s boy. Maybe his friends secretly hate him and won’t tell him the truth. But I will.

Guys? Just stop. David Schwimmer has moved on. You should, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

i wonder why people still wear mullets -- and other scary hairstyles/fashions

this wonder topic came into being when a man with a mullet came into our office. a mullet. why, oh why, are people still sporting these hideous hairstyles? it's 2007, people. let's move with the times, shall we? i honestly cannot figure out why men still wear these things. haven't they seen the ba-jillion comedians who poke fun at these hair-dos? ahem...i mean, hair-nots? what really gets me is that i live in a fairly large city. i might expect to see mullets way out in the country maybe, but in the city? now that is just wrong.

another do that drives me nuts is the big, 80s perm. do they even still make perm solution? the burn-your-eyes-and-singe-your-hair perm solution? i may be struck down for this, but there's gal in my church who wears one of these things on her head. she's a pretty lady, but i want to shake her and say, "sweetheart! wake up and smell the new decade!" i've known her for nearly 5 years now and each sunday she looks as though she's heading to a guns-n-roses concert after worship. i simply don't get it.

i'm just so baffled. i would hope that these horrid hair folks would look around and realize that no one else looks quite like them. it does seem like so many fashions make their way around again. maybe these folks are just holding out with the hopes that they'll be on the cutting edge if the mullet and 80s perm make a comeback. i'm just praying for the rest of our sakes that they never do.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I Wonder What He's Got That I Haven't Got?

I’ve thought about this entry all week. It’s a problem one for me – because I – well – oh dear this is embarrassing – I have a sub-par smeller. My dad does, too. We both have very thin noses with very small nasal passages, and I don’t know about him but mine is pretty generally stuffed up. It’s hard to breathe through. I think perhaps this skinniness of my nose is the reason that my sense of smell is somewhat dulled. I was told by my orthodontist that the reason my teeth and jaw were crooked was because of a childhood spent breathing through my open-hanging mouth. Oh, I can smell a tasty roasting turkey, or lemon oil rubbed into my piano, baking cookies, nice things like that. But it has to be pretty powerful for me to notice it. It takes work to breathe through my nose, and thereby to smell, and so my smell history is utterly uninteresting.

However. All is not lost. Because, you see, I am married to a bloodhound. Who is the son of a bloodhound. And they provide enough fun smell stories to fill at least a blog, if not a novel.

Darlin’ – well, he smells everything. And when I say everything, I mean the computer mouse, new socks, the tv, a fork. It’s a compulsion for Darlin’, part of the vital way he experiences his world. You and me? We can look at something, maybe touch it with our fingers, listen if it makes a noise, and we’ve got that thing down. We know what it is. It’s been registered, logged, referenced in our brains, and we’re good. For Darlin’ – it’s not officially a thing until he knows how it smells. Even if it’s not a particularly smelly thing, like a tv remote - not a thing that most people could get much scent off of, even with a good hard sniff. For Darlin’, there’s always something there, some whiff that the rest of us normal-nosed people can’t sense.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, in this case. Dad-of-Darlin’ was caught on video one Christmas, looking shifty-eyed, turning his head from side to side too casually, and when he saw that no one was looking (the camera was apparently hidden) – he picked up a new Christmas shirt, buried his face in it, and took a long hard sniff. Darlin’ was about 9 at the time, I think, and here 20 years later the family still can’t talk about it without cracking up.

Given this genetic background, chances are, our children will be like super jane was – always hooked to some strange smelly item, learning about their world through their noses. I’ll live vicariously through their smells. Because really, I’m ok with not being able to smell a remote control. Really. I’m fine with it. I’ll stick with the roasting turkey, the baking cookies, the lemon oil. Those’ll do me.

Peace and oh so smelly Love to all the noses reading this blog - G

Thursday, September 6, 2007

my secret smell lover.

sure, i too love the smells of random things - my husband's neck, campfires, paint, new cars, etc. there is one smell, however, that captivates me like none other.

i confess.
i absolutely love the smell of plastic.

my love affair with plastic began at a very young age. so young, in fact, that i can't remember when i first began to love it. most toddlers carry around a blankie, stuffed animal, or other comfort item. not me. i carried around a pair of plastic pants. (yes, plastic pants that used to be worn by babies with cloth diapers.) i would carry a pair of those around and suck my thumb as i inhaled it's wonderful plastic smell. the story goes that my parents would have to tell my babysitters that it was okay for me to put plastic over my mouth and nose because naturally, the babysitters would flip out at such a sight. i would even stuff the plastic pants into the broken a/c vent in our old, brown chrysler to get them nice and cold. once they reached the perfect temperature, i would grab them and smell them again to my heart's content. ah, i remember those days fondly.

i've since outgrown my habit for sniffing plastic pants, but i've never outgrown the love of the scent of plastic. i'm an addict, i think. i adore browsing through the shower curtain aisle at the store and taking whiffs here and there. a former coworker of mine once bought me a shower curtain to keep in my desk. she did it as a joke, but little did she know how many times i truly sniffed that sucker. i used cloth diapers and plastic pants with my own girls when they were babies and would sneak a smell from time to time. i used to joke with super jas that i wished i could just sit the baby on my face and sniff and sniff. he laughed and i laughed with him on the outside...but on the inside i was secretly planning my next plastic pant smell fest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I Wonder Why I Love The Smell of...

...random things. So, I'm with MSO Rin with the Sharpies and the gasoline. I always roll the window down when Superman is pumping gas and I've been known to take a big whiff of the huge Sharpie marker we have in our pen jar. It, uh, relaxes me. I could go on and on about how I love the smell of my husband or clean sheets, but I decided to go with a random assortment instead.

Swiffer. I know, I know. It's weird. But I love the smell of the Swiffer wet cloths. I guess it makes me think of clean houses and a clean house is a happy house.

Suntan lotion. Stay with me here. I LOVE the smell of the old-fashioned coconut suntan lotion. It makes me think of long summers spent by the pool playing pool tag, Numbers, and Marco Polo. It makes me think of freedom and no school and being outside for twelve hours a day. It makes me hear children giggling and mothers yelling for their kids to, "Stay out of the pool during Adult Swim!"

Garlic. Love the smell of garlic. It makes me think of fantastic Italian food and about having a full tummy. The smell of garlic tends to waft and it has this way of enticing you. It's magical, really.

Vanilla. I could walk around with a bottle of this stuff around my neck and never get tired of the scent. It's like being in both of my grandmothers' kitchens simultaneously and it makes me think of being a kid and having dessert. And hugs. Vanilla makes me think of hugs. It should be no secret that my entire apartment is full of vanilla candles, plug-ins, and oils. I'm an addict.

Is it odd that most of my random smells have to do with food? Or baking myself in the sun? Or cleaning my kitchen floor? Hm. I don't care. They make me happy. Tell me what makes your nose happy.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Wonder Why I Love the Smell of ...

… strange things. Things you probably shouldn’t enjoy smelling. Like gasoline, cheese, and smoke. I’ve always been this way; I can remember very clearly the time when a friend of mine at my first job found out about it. He teased me mercilessly b/c for some reason, he thought it would be funny to stick his work shoe (which was actually a dress shoe) in my face, and I didn’t instantly recoil, squealing like a girly-high-schooler. Instead, I said, “Hmm. It doesn’t stink, in a weird way.” And I took an extra sniff. I mean, it certainly didn’t smell like roses (which I don’t really care for the smell of, by the way), but it smelled kind of … sweet.

I know I’m not alone w/the gasoline thing … lots of people have that dirty little secret. There’s just something about pulling into the gas station with the windows down on a sunny weekend morning that lifts my spirits. Or gets me a little high. I’ve never huffed, but if I were to do so, there are quite a few things I’d like to sit around and smell all day: Sharpies, highlighters, and—ooh, especially—those super-heavy-duty industrial black magic markers with the metal barrel. Those are awesome.

Cheese is easy. The stinkier it is, the better it tastes—it’s a rule. I like putting Asiago on my pasta, I like goat cheese on my salads, and I would be the first person in line at a cheese-tasting class (if I had the money for one). My favorite kind of cheeseburger is one with bacon and bleu cheese.

Why do I like the smell of smoke? It often indicates that something bad is going down somewhere nearby, and living in western MT this summer has been a study in red-flag warnings. At times the smoke has been so oppressive that friends of mine who are new to the area have had trouble leaving the house. But somehow, I always think of campfires and therefore camping and am content.

Don’t get me wrong … there are lots of things that smell good that I enjoy (expensive men’s cologne, my laundry detergent, baking bread/cookies) … but sometimes, it’s the weird things I really want to wrap my nose around. How about you?