Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pedal Pickle

I want to be asleep.

It would be good for me, being asleep. Everything wears me out since this weekend's strep-fest. Like eating dinner, for example. Exhausting. Sitting on my butt at work and editing for a few hours. Yaaawn. And tonight's store night/awards ceremony combo at Awana? Nearly killed me. So at 9:30, I really should have just gone to bed like my eyelids were begging me to. But I didn't. And now I can't, because Jack is folding his laundry on our bed.

So I've decided to have a pity party instead.

Waaa. My throat hurts. Waaa. I'm tired. Waaa. I'm sick of coughing. Waaa. I'm sick of Jack coughing. Waaa. It's going to rain this weekend for BikeMS. Waaa. I haven't eaten anything but liquids all week and therefore will have no endurance to ride. Waaaa... my elbow and wrist hurt. A lot.

Why do your elbow and wrist hurt, Mandy? Why, I'm glad you asked, imaginary reader. They hurt because I am a giant moron.

I was laying on the couch at midnight when Jack said he was going to clean out his truck, and if I would come and help him, we would get done faster and go to bed. I followed him into the garage, and instead of helping him clean out his truck like I was supposed to, I was distracted by a shiny object.

This is a problem for me.

My mom had taken Lucy to the bike shop tonight while I was at Awana, where she got it inspected for BikeMS and had them put my new clip-in pedals on the bike.

And by "new," I mean "I got them elevendy billion months ago but didn't put them on the bike until now." Procrastination and I are good friends. Until Procrastination kicks me in the face like it did tonight.

So the bike is sitting there in the garage showing off its new pedals and I'm all "I know what would be a good idea! I'm going to take the bike inside, put on my bike shoes, and figure out how to clip in!"

So that's exactly what I did. I took the bike into the hall, where I could hold myself up. And then I clipped in.

If you're not familiar with the term "clipping in," let me paint you a picture here. You have special shoes that fit special pedals. When you clip in, you are essentially locking your feet onto the pedals and you can't actually remove your foot from the pedal without contorting said foot in the special magic position that releases it from the pedal. This is great for going up hills, since you get to use a pulling motion as well as a pushing motion to help you pedal, but the stopping, as you can imagine, causes problems. {Because you fall over if you don't clip out fast enough.} {I think you can see where this is going.}

I wasn't actually familiar with that special magic "clip out" position when I clipped in.

So I sat on my bike in the hall, holding myself up on the walls, my feet stuck to the pedals. Jack eventually came by, and ended up removing one of the shoes from my feet to try to figure out how to clip out. But we finally did and all was fine.

Until I decided to take the bike outside.

You can't really practice clipping in and out unless you're moving. You just have to do it. And so midnight on Thursday before the big ride was when I decided to do just that.

Jack was already all grumpy at me when I decided to do this, and this didn't help his attitude. He made it clear he didn't want me to do it. Blah blah blah, you might get hurt. I made it clear that I was going to anyway. Blah blah blah, I have to practice sometime. He rolled his eyes at me and made me put on my helmet.

"Get your phone too," he commanded in a less-than-nice tone.

"I'm not riding very far," I protested, but his cold stare convinced me that it wasn't worth the fight.

See? The Hornbuckles fight too, world.

So I went outside and rode about 100 yards. Nearing where I was going to stop, I clipped my right foot out of the pedal. I stopped flawlessly and put my foot down. Piece of cake.

I started to move forward again so I could turn around and go back to the house, but when I lifted my right foot back to the pedal I leaned too far to the left, and with my left foot still clipped in, fell helplessly onto the concrete.


Pain shot through my wrist, elbow, and hip as they simultaneously slammed against the hard ground, and the wrist I caught myself on bent back uncomfortably. I exhaled a hard breath as I came to rest in the middle of the road, bike on top of me, in the silent dark.


I untangled myself from the bike and walked it to the sidewalk. A lot of things could have been going through my mind as I painfully walked it home.

I'm just getting over being sick, and now I'm going to have a freaking broken arm instead.

This is my left arm. I write with my left hand. That's going to suck. 

I have to ride 160 miles starting the day after tomorrow. And I might have just broken my wrist.

My perfect bike is all scratched up now.

But honestly, none of those complaints occurred to me until later. What I was really thinking while I walked my bike back to my house with one hand in the middle of the night?

Dammit. I hate it when Jack's right.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The right kind of husband

The right kind of husband will get up early and book dual doctor's appointments for you and him because you've both spent the weekend sick. He'll sit with you for an extra hour in the waiting room when your doctor is an hour late (while his is right on time, thankyouverymuch).

On the way home, the right kind of husband will drop off your perscriptions then take you to Wendy's for yet another Frosty, because he knows it's the only thing that makes your throat feel a little better.

Then, of course, he'll take you to Jason's Deli for soup, because you wanted that too, diva that you are.

When you pick up your prescriptions together, the right kind of husband will make jokes with you as you wait even though he feels crummy too, making you feel that much better yourself.

And of course, you'll have the super-bright idea to open your Z-Pack in the car and take the first dose right then and there BECAUSE YOU JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, even though you're only a few blocks from your house, where it would be easier to take without making a mess.

And you'll look around for water in the car, but you won't find any, so you'll pick up your mostly-melted half-Frosty and try to take a drink, somehow overturning it and completely dumping it all over yourself, the seat, and between the seat and the console.

And as it runs up your leg, into your shorts and all up in your business, you'll look at him, expecting him to be mad, but the right kind of husband will burst out laughing, and say "Wow, Mandy, I knew that Frosty would go straight to your butt, but didn't expect it to quite so fast." 

And the rest of the way home, you'll sit in the uncomfortable goop, both laughing until you cry as he makes jokes at your expense and you make a feeble attempt to sop up the mess with the one napkin you have.

When you get home, the right kind of husband will run into the house and grab the rags, still making light of the situation as he helps you clean up the mess. And then, the right kind of husband will even do this to be sure he gets it all from under the seat:


And you'll be reminded again, just like you are in some way every single day, that you picked the right one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What are you wearing?

Today was my good friend's baby shower. It's what I made the diaper cake for. Fortunately, I wasn't hosting it, because I spent the whole night with a fever waking up at least every hour with a horrible headache, body aches, and a terribly sore throat. It seems like strep so far, but I'm waiting it out, hoping it's just a bug. Needless to say, I didn't get to go to the shower. Big bummer.

Last night, before I got the fever, I was thinking about texting my friend Sarah, who was going to the baby shower with me, and asking her what she was going to wear so I would have an idea of what to wear too. It reminded me of the last time I did that.

"What are you wearing tonight?" I texted my friend Erin a few hours before our work Christmas party back in December. A few minutes later, I got a text back.

"Um... Pants and a shirt. I don't know. I'm a guy," I read in response.

And then I realized... I hadn't texted my female friend, Erin, I had texted "what are you wearing tonight?" to my married male boss, Eric.

And so I headed to, because really, how do you recover from that text, exactly?

Just kidding. I explained what happened and I'm pretty sure he (or his wife) didn't hold it against me. Hard to say. My annual review is next week; we'll see if the subject of sexual harassing text messages comes up then.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The animals.


They're everywhere.


In the trees.


In the flowers.




We're really going to have to do something about this infestation.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In which I am two inches tall

Well, it's over.

Awana, that is.

Actually, it's not quite over until next week, after we have our awards ceremony, but last night was our last official "say verses" night for the year, and since I don't consider it Awana unless there are verses, it's over.

And I? Am kind of relieved. Because weeknights! Are open! And the children! Are with their parents! Instead of me!

But, also, awww, I shall miss you, loud girls. And I shall miss the quiet ones even more.

We have one girl, K, in our group who is particularly, um, excitable (actually, if we're going to get technical here, we have two girls in our group who are particularly excitable). I think it takes her concentrating on every single one of the smallest of blood vessels, brain cells, and bacteria in her body to get herself to sit still and be quiet for seconds at a time. So she doesn't.

Usually, my greeting from K is "Ms. Mandy! I'm really hyper today" and I'm thinking "Yes, K. What else is new?"

Sidenote: Why do children announce that they are hyper to you as if it is something you will enjoy hearing? Memo to the tiny people: This is not good news for the big people. Please make your next announcement be that you are mellow today. Thanks and gig 'em.

Anyway, so I'm listening to another little girl, J, recite her Bible verse, and it's taking everything the kid has to get through the thing because she's distracted by everything, when all of the sudden, K jumps up out of her seat and shrieks at the top of her lungs. The whole room stops what they were doing and look at her. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence with this one and we have learned we really have to nip it in the bud.

"K! No! Sit down please and do not scream like that! J is trying to say her verse!" I snap at her. Her face falls.

"But... I just finished my book!" she replied, disappointed.


"Oh," I stammer back. "Good job!"

Finishing their books is a really big deal since they only finish one a year and some don't even finish that one. I give her a high five and try to ignore her wildness as I go back to listening to J's verses.

It's probably a good thing I'm getting a break from Awana. For the kids' sake, at least.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

In which I overuse caps lock, parentheses, and bullet points, and tell a disgusting story about dog poop

My friend Jessica blogs pretty much every day. And every single post is perfectly crafted and beautifully written. She blogs so regularly that reading her blog has become a part of my morning routine. Turn alarm off. Get out of bed. Head to bathroom. Turn straightener on. Pull up Jessica on Google Reader. Sit in the middle of bathroom floor and read last night's entry on phone while straightener heats up. It's great!

But also, makes me feel kind of douchey for never blogging. But lame "here's the boring crap I've been doing" posts also make me feel douchey, as does complaining about my own lack of blogging or writing lazy, random bullet-point posts, so it looks like I'm not going to get any less douchey today. Might as well embrace it.
  • I think I like Michael Buble's new song, "Just Haven't Met You Yet." It's just so... bouncy. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It also makes me think of the SNL skit "Ham and Bubbly" that he was in, which was actually a pretty mediocre skit but it's still something good to associate the song with, so here we are. I'm not sure how I feel about liking a Buble song. Because it just seems like I should be ashamed of that. Confirm or deny, please.

  • I keep losing articles of clothing that I haven't actually worn or washed recently. Sports bras, for example. WHERE DO THEY GO? I am clearly not using them, as I play no sports, nor have I worked out in, like... let's move on.

    Possible explanations: my house is haunted, the geckos are eating them, Jack is wearing them when I'm not around, people break into my house and steal items one by one so I won't notice. I'll let you know if there are any further developments on this issue. I'm sure you will be on the edge of your seats.

  • Oh my gosh, you guys, I saw my first gecko of the season outside my parents' house tonight. Commence freak out.

  • I totally owe Metalia a hug for tweeting that the SNL of the 2000s special is on NBC right now. (LIKE I WOULDN'T HUG HER ANYWAY.) (BECAUSE I AM A STALKER.) (LIKE, THE REGULAR BLOG-READER KIND.) (NOT THE REAL KIND.) (I DO NOT KNOW WHY I AM TYPING IN ALL CAPS, EXCEPT THAT I'M REALLY, REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE SNL SPECIAL I AM WATCHING.) I would do a whole post on it except it would just look like "IloveKirstenWiggIloveTinaFeyIloveKirstenWiggIloveAmyPoehlerIloveKirstenWiggIloveWillFerrellIloveKirstenWiggIloveWillForteIloveKirstenWiggIloveSethMyers!" over and over and over. And I'm guessing I would lose a reader or two if I did that. (But at this point, whatever.)

  • I think I'm starting to be all cynical and hate love stories, and yet I am happy and in love and blaaah blah blah. Why, internet?

  • Speaking of music (which we weren't in the above bullet point, but at some point we were, so just stay with me here), HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE the Macy Gray song at the end of Ugly Betty last night? (Oh, we'll get to the "Waa, Ugly Betty is prematurely over" rant in a minute, don't you worry, so just stay with me here.) I have never been much of a Macy Gray fan, but she's right, there IS beauty in the world! So shake your booty, boys and girls! Also, teehee! She says "booty!!"

  • There are only 2 weeks until BikeMS. Oh, jeez. I'm already pre-grieving on behalf of my back end. Because, ouch.

  • My parents were out of town this week, and so I took care of their cu-razy dog, Tia. She's 15 years old, and selectively deaf (YES. Selectively. Because she cannot hear me when I come in and clap my hands in the room in which she is sleeping, but she can definitely hear me when I unwrap a slice of cheese across the house). My mom was adamant that I bring Tia over to our house every so often so she wouldn't be lonely. Which would be fine. For a NORMAL dog. But Tia is neurotic, and we think autistic. She likes her routines. She likes her own house. And being at mine totally stresses her out.

    And when she gets stressed out, well, she poops. While she is walking. Like a horse. Just walking along and plop. There it goes, onto the carpet. Fan-freaking-tastic.

    It could be worse. She used to have seizures when she got stressed out. So that was less fun. But it could be better too.

    Because the last time she was here, I STEPPED IN DOG POOP WITH MY BARE FOOT ON MY CARPET. Oh yes. Stepped. In poop. With bare feet. On my carpet. And then, of course, tracked it before I knew what had happened.


    I completely flipped out, of course, screaming "I STEPPED IN DOG POOP WITH MY BARE FOOT! I STEPPED IN DOG POOP WITH MY BARE FOOT!" Jack laughed at me. And he did not help me clean up the mess. Useless husband, that one.

    This, of course, was only slightly worse than the time that I was laying on the floor on my back, when the same dog walked by and pooped RIGHT NEXT TO MY FACE. That's the kind of situation that you see your life flash before your eyes, let me tell you.

  • What is with the drivers who don't understand right-of-way or use their turn signals? [Insert lots of grumpy words about that here.]

  • So, I wasn't necessarily going to post about this other than my "ugly baby edition" of Wordless Wednesday in the last post, but we were just watching Grey's tonight and Meredith talked about how everybody knows there are ugly babies but nobody talks about it and I was like "Ha!! I just tweeted that!" (And some people DID NOT LIKE THAT.) (And this is just one more stupid drama thing that makes me want to GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT of the blog/twitter world because, GAHHH drama and condescension and general crappiness.) (But then I remember Sara, and I'm like, well, okay, I'll stay.)

    So here's my point here: At one point or another in a baby's baby-ness, it will be ugly. They go through a weird, creepy, alien, awkward phase in which they do not look good. I don't say that to be mean. I say that because IT'S TRUE. Check out Jack, my brother Shane, and me in the last post. U-G-L-Y. (Or, at the very least, covered in cake.) (Because that is one of the only pictures of me that has been scanned from when I was a baby.) (I'm sure there are worse ones.) (But I'm the second child, so the project obviously stopped before it got to me.) (Thanks a lot, mom and dad.)

    So anyway, we were ugly for a while. But we all turned out just fine and our mothers always loved us. I'M QUITE SURE OF IT.

    When I posted that, a friend of mine (whose point of view I respect, by the way, despite disagreeing with her) said that that was a terrible thing to say, and that I was a bad Christian witness because of it. I've thought about this, and I've decided that while how I said it might have been offensive to some people, what I said is still true. And that's okay, because babies grow out of their ugly phases. But they have them, okay? They do. And even if it's an "everyone knows it, but nobody says it" thing, they do. That is all.

  • I Google words to spell-check them, and I assume everyone else does as well. Confirm or deny, please.
  • Jack has started roaring like a dinosaur as a mode of communication. Well, not really roaring, per se. It's more like a slightly high-pitched "Raaaaarrrrrrr!!!" I'm not so sure I can properly convey that sound in writing, but it's a "Rar," not a "roar." Anyway. The roaring. He does it all the time. This morning, when he woke up, that's the first noise he made.

    "Raaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr!!!" he said.

    "Why did you make that noise?" I asked, groggily.

    "Because I'm happy," he replied.

    Just another example of how big of a freak my husband is? WHO IS HAPPY IN THE MORNING?

    Or another time:

    Me: "What do you want for dinner?"/

    Him: "Raaaaaaaarrrrrr!!"

    That doesn't exactly help me, dear.
  • I have people pressuring me to add new shows to my already-long list of shows. Like Glee. And Modern Family. And Dancing with the Stars (and the train-wreck that is Kate Gosslin.) (In life and on the dance floor.) And Gossip Girl. And Parenthood (which I already kind of love).

    But I do not have this kind of time. But now that Ugly Betty is gone (GAHHH. Why, ABC? WHYYYYY?) (The finale wasn't as finale-y as I thought it would be.)

    So the point is, I may have an hour open a week. What new TV show is necessary in life? Discuss.

End scene.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday (Ugly baby edition)




    Her name is Brittany

    My friend Brittany came into town a few weeks ago. She used to live in Dallas, but after high school her parents moved to California and she got a job in Houston and since then my life has been slightly less bright, because I've been in less trouble in general without her. You may remember her from the "4-hour Braums run/get Mandy and Jack broken-up" or the "get murdered in downtown Dallas" incidents.

    When we were trying to decide where to eat, she lamented that all the new restaurants in my town weren't there when she lived there, so we decided to drive all the way there and let her see all the new stuff they had built since she moved away.

    We found ourselves at the Coach outlet in town, where I fully intended to pressure her into buying an expensive purse just to be a brat. Because that's the kind of friend I am.

    "Oh Brittany," I coaxed, "that one is just perfect for you. You have to get it. $300 is a steal for a purse like this!"

    She tried to laugh me off, but I knew I was getting to her. She wanted one of these purses. I could see it in her eyes. She was weakening.

    "Brittany! Look at this one! It's just beautiful!" I pointed out a white one with gray accents. It was really, pretty, and it was only $130.

    I could tell as soon as she saw it that she fell in love with it. It was perfect. Classy, simple, elegant. And very, very her.

     "It's going to look great with almost any outfit you put on, Brittany," I cajoled. "Work clothes. Jeans. A dress. This one is super-versatile!"

    "I don't know," she said, on the fence, clearly not having intended on dropping $130 on a purse on a random Tuesday night this week.

    "I'll tell you what," I said, fishing my cell phone out of my purse. "I'll ask the internet. The internet always knows what to do."

    If you follow me on twitter, you already know that I ask the internet's advice on pretty much everything. Ideas for recipes. Settlements for silly arguments between me and Jack. Opinions on fashion. And tonight, it would be whether Brittany should buy this way-too-expensive designer purse.

    I sent out a quick twitpic and we got a couple responses, one from Sara that said "Depends, can she still buy groceries?" and a few others that were like "heck yes!" and "Super cute!"

    The internet has spoken, Brittany. And the internet, like TV, is never wrong.

    She took the purse up to the register, all the while cursing me and my bad influence (naner naner naner). We both looked at each other, surprised, as it rang up for not $130 as it was listed, but $110.

    "Why was it so much cheaper?" Brittany asked the clerk.

    "Oh, everything in the store is another 20% off on top of all the regular sales," she responded. Brittany looked at me, stiffing a laugh and I rolled my eyes in disbelief.

    "Craaaap," I said, knowing that Brittany was thinking the same thing I was.

    She knew that a turquoise beauty had caught my eye over in the clearance corner of the room earlier. And while I had enough self-control to resist a purse that was 50% off at Coach, this one was 70% off. So now it was her turn.

    "Oh, Mandy," she cooed, "70% off? I know you can't resist seventy percent off! And gosh, it's so pretty, Mandy. You always wear this color, Mandy! And look! It's big enough for your DSLR! You must get it."

    I groaned. No. I couldn't afford random extra impulse buys at Coach. Absolutely not. I wouldn't give in. There was no way I was going to spend money that I hadn't specifically budgeted for a purse. I am far too sensible for that.

    Except for one thing.

    Photobucket  Photobucket

    I wasn't too sensible for it after all.


    I named it Brittany.

    And then, I got home and saw this tweet from my buddy in response to my earlier twitpic:



    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Dear Cathy

    Dear Cathy,

    Thanks for all the pushing.

    Photobucket Photobucket

    It really worked out well for me.

    Happy birthday, Jack!!

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    In which I growl at Ellyn

    A few weeks ago, I spent the entire evening drinking a glass of wine and webcaming with Ellyn, Sara, and Amie. We called the event "tokbox of wine," and "skwyne." (Get it? Skype + wine). The name I invented, "wype," didn't stick. I can't imagine why.

    Oh my cow, the fun. We were laughing so hard. I made dinner in the same room with friends who were in three other states than my own. Sara was all "oh, be prepared because I look baaad, so baaad" and then she's all cute as a button and you have to roll your eyes at all of her disclaimers. Amie was anywhere from 4 to 20 seconds delayed because of her internet connection, so she would laugh at our jokes late as if she didn't get them right away. Ellyn ditched us in the middle of the conversation and then came back later because she thought LOST was more important than we were.

    Technology, it is good.

    Until tonight. Tonight it went terribly, terribly wrong. We got together again online tonight and, well, I made the mistake of recording my true colors in a video message that I sent to Ellyn when she got kicked offline once. And Ellyn, she tweeted it. Because she is evil like that.

    (I'm told this will scare the crap out of you if your volume is up. Because I am loud.)

    Lest you think I am cool... This is here to prove you wrong.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Love-a-thon winner and meat meat meat

    Alternately titled: Oh yeah, was I supposed to choose a winner for this?


    I have to be honest. I wasn't expecting that you guys would raise the entire amount of money for Ellyn in that short amount of time. Oh me of little faith, I guess. It just goes to show how great you all are and how wonderful El is. Thank you for helping my friend.

    Speaking of helping others, here's a new thing I learned really recently. The food pantry at my local church has a bunch of refrigerators and freezers. I had no idea. I always just thought the only thing you could ever donate were non-perishable food items because that's what I've always been asked to donate.

    Not so.

    They have the facilities to take anything. Juice. Fresh veggies. Yogurt. Fruit. I had no idea. This opens up a whole new world for me to use my coupons for food donations, because I always thought I couldn't donate that stuff.

    They even take meat.

    Which is why my dad recently decided to set a goal to get 1,000 pounds of meat donated to food banks across the country. He explains why he chose meat here, but the bottom line is that he has less than 300 pounds left to raise and he needs your help.

    Next time you're at the store and you see that chicken for 88 cents a pound or that pork loin for 99 cents a pound, grab an extra pack or two to take to your local food pantry. And then tell him, because it makes him all happy and he gets to bring up his total meat number. And if you have a minute, blog or tweet about it, so others will donate too. It's a really easy way of helping others with something that doesn't cost you a lot.