Thursday, September 30, 2010

He also cracks eggs into a glass and drinks them like shots, Rocky-style

Last night, I was talking to my friend Ellyn on Skype when Jack got home.

"It's leftover day," I told him, knowing that we had a lot of meals in the fridge that we needed to get rid of before I cooked another meal. "Do you want me to heat something up for you?"

"No," he said, "I'm not really hungry yet."

"Are you sure?" I asked "because every time you say that and I don't make you something and bring it to you, you just don't eat and I feel like a terrible wife."

Ellyn interjected.

"He's an adult," she said. "He can heat up his own meal. It's not your fault if he doesn't eat."

For the record, Jack always says the same thing, but it still makes me feel bad when I don't cook and he doesn't eat. (Am housewife! Must feed husband and vacuum floors and scrub toilets and pro-create! It's all I know to do!)

Later, I was in our bedroom watching Glee on our other DVR when Jack opened the door.

"Hey," he said as I paused the TV. "What was that beef in the clear container next to the chicken skewers?"

I looked at him quizzically.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't make any beef," I replied.

"Well, there was something in there," he said, and explained what the container looked like again. I still couldn't place it in my mind, so he turned on the light and showed me what was on his plate.

"See?" he said, pointing. "This beef. In the container next to the chicken."

"OH MY GOSH, JACK," I gasped. "That's raw beef. I cut it up for the skewers and never cooked it so I figured I'd make stew later with it."

"Oh," he said "well, I just ate two of them. They were kind of brown."

"Yeah," I said, "that's because they're old."

I called my Dad (food safety expert and the reason I bug Ellyn so much about her raw-cookie-dough eating habit) and woke him up to ask him if I needed to take Jack to the hospital, and he said that he'd probably be fine but to take him if he gets really sick in 4-12 hours. Then I spent 30 minutes Googling ways the raw beef could kill Jack.

Turns out, there are a lot. That made me feel a lot better.

For the record, I blame Ellyn.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to make Jack sing at 4 a.m.

We had a storm the other night. It had rain and lightening and thunder and things. Maggie does not like rain and lightening and thunder and things. So she jumped up on our bed.

She's not allowed on our bed.

(Unless, apparently, as of very recently, we call her up.)

(That decision was all Jack. I was shocked.)

Anyway, she jumped up on the bed because she was afraid. And I'm not a jerk, so I didn't kick her off. I just cuddled her and rubbed her belly and tried to go back to sleep. But as soon as I stopped petting her, she started poking me with her little paw.

Poke. Wake up Mandy. Poke. I'm scared. Poke. Pet me some more. Poke. Didn't you know there's scary lightening out there? Pokepokepokepoke!!

"Maggie, go to sleep," I whispered to her. Jack stirred on his side of the bed.

"What's going on?" he asked groggily.

"Oh, Maggie's afraid of the storm," I said.

"It's raining again?" he asked. We had had a lot of rain in the last few weeks. "Ugggghhhhh."

"I thought rain was a good thing," I replied. "You know, because rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey..."

Jack giggled and then started to sing.

"Raiiiiin makes cooooorn. Corrrrn makes whiskaaayyy. Whiskey makes my baaybeee... feel a little friskeeeeee!"

He sang for a long time. I was tired the next day.

Evidently rain wasn't such a good thing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The thoughts in my head

  • I seem to write blog posts in little bursts of two or three. And then there's a long break. And then there's another two or three. I have lost the ability to spread out my thoughts. And I'd better write them down when they happen or they're not going to stay in my brain for much longer. So I'm going to have this automatically publish tomorrow afternoon, after you have all read my hilarious monkeys on the bed story.

    But every time I auto-publish in the middle of the day, I become concerned that my company (the one that couldn't care less about my blog) will look at the time stamp and say "This is heresy! You have written a blog post in the middle of the work day, when you were supposed to be working!" And I will say "Nay, company, nay! I did not write this blog post in the middle of the day, for behold! The technology allows me to publish it in the future as if by magic!" And they will say "Surely this is witchcraft, woman! We shant stand for this!"

    And then they will burn me at the stake. And is it really worth being burned at the stake for a few more comments on my previous post?

    Evidently so, because I'm still going to do it.

  • I am very excited about TV premiere week. Welcome back, my DVR friend. Once again you are useful. I'll just delete the reruns on you and we'll start from scratch, okay?

  • The other day, I was driving across the street from the sandwich shop to my office after picking up lunch. My friend Owen was in the passenger seat, and as I waited to turn left on a arrowless green light, I glanced over at him.

    "Why aren't you wearing your seatbelt?" I asked him, in my best stern-mom voice.

    "No, we're not going very far," he replied.

    "What?" I said. "No, you have to buckle up. It's the law, you know. You're going to get a ticket. Do you want a ticket?"

    Reluctantly, Owen grabbed his seatbelt and buckled it. I saw an opening in the oncoming traffic and pulled out, and in the middle of the intersection, I glanced up to see that the light had turned from green to red. Owen wasted no time.

    "Mandy!" he lectured ironically. "Running a red light is against the law, you know! You're going to get a ticket. Do you want a ticket?"

    So I killed him.

  • On Monday night, Jack kicked a kid in the elbow (while sparring... he doesn't just randomly walk around and kick kids in their elbows) and came home with a very swollen and black foot. He went to see the orthopedic doctor today and was told one of his bones was displaced. He's not allowed to run for the next few weeks. He doesn't seem to be terribly upset about that part.

  • I found a new game. Do a twitter search for "1 follower away from" to see the tweets (to the people who already follow them, mind you) about how they're one follower away from a certain number and they want that one person to follow them. (Let's go ahead and add that one to the already long list of Mandy's pet peeves.)

    But because I'm a giver, I will be that follower! And then I will unfollow them after they notice that they made it. So congratulations, @RIPSTAH_VIP! You've earned yourself a temporary follower. Congratulations on 600.

  • My digital scrapbooking stores open in less than a week. I guess I should design some more stuff for that.

  • We started decorating for Fall. It's fantastic. Warm colors suit our house so well. And the weather is becoming cooler. It's only in the 90s now. Which I am quite sure is a direct result of my decorating for Fall. Powerful decorations, I have. Yoda, I write like. And I have darker hair now. Which probably also helps in creating the cooler weather. Yeah. It's the hair and the decor that does it.
  • BikeMS registration opens in less than two weeks. I am captaining Team HP this year without Jimmy. In the past seven years, this team has raised about a half a million dollars. Last year, we had 150 riders. This is an impressive team. And we've always had an impressive captain. But our impressive captain moved to impressive Florida and now I'm going to pretend to be impressive this year in his place. Sponsorships, fundraising, jersey designs, social events, training rides... there are 7 months to do it all.

    This is concerning.

  • Today, as I was putting a lasagna into my car on the way to deliver it to somebody, I dropped it on my garage floor. I actually screamed "NOOOOOOOO!" all dramatic, like in the movies, as it was falling. But it landed right-side-up. Which is good, because it was kind of the only lasagna I had and they were expecting it and all.

    So I picked it back up. And took it back inside. And fixed it. And I still delivered it. And I kind of felt bad, since I dropped it on the floor and all. It wasn't as pretty as it could have been. But not everything I cook is pretty anyway, I guess. Here's to embracing the flaws in our dinners and ourselves, I guess.

    And don't worry - I licked all the dirt off of it before I delivered it.

  • My friend Angela is coming to see me this weekend. And I'm going to see my friend Ellyn in less than a month.

    And life is good, so good with those things to look forward to.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's called committing to the joke

Jack called me at work today.

"Hey," he said, in a business-like tone. "I talked to the banker and the banker said..."

"No more monkeys jumping on the bed?" I interrupted playfully.

"Yeah," he laughed, "the banker said 'no more monkeys jumping on the bed.'"

I burst into laughter.

"Oh my gosh, Jack," I began enthusiastically. "It would be SO FUNNY if the banker really did call and you were like, 'Hello?' and he was like 'Hello, this is the banker.' and you were like 'Yes Mr. Banker, what can I do for you?'"

"Uh..." Jack tried to interrupt.

"...And the banker was like 'I'm just calling to tell you there should be no more monkeys jumping on the bed,' and you were like 'Really, Mr. Banker?' and he was like 'Absolutely. It's dangerous for both you and the monkeys," and you're like 'Why thank you for the good advice, Mr. Banker,' and then you hung up,"

"Alright honey, but..." Jack started.

"And THEN," I continued, "you called me, and you were like 'Mandy, I talked to the banker and the banker said...' and I interrupted you and said 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!' but I was kidding about it and then you were like 'Actually, that IS what the banker said,'"


"...and I was like 'Whaaaa? The banker really said that? That's CRAZY!' And you were like 'It IS crazy, isn't it?' HAHAHAHA!! HA! HAHAHA! Wouldn't that be funny Jack? HAHA! Jack?"


"Okay, Jack, I'm ready to be serious now," I told him. "What did the banker really say?"

"Never mind," he said, defeated. "I totally forgot what I was going to tell you."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 9/11 post nobody writes

Originally published 2 years ago.


This is going to be one of those 7th grade homework assignments my kids bring home . They'll show me the assignment outline, a little annoyed, and say "I'm supposed to find out where my parents were when 9/11 happened." They'll be a little bored with the project, and they'll want to just get it over with. "Where were you?" they'll ask. Like the projects we brought home about where our parents were when JFK got shot, they won't really care about the answer, because they won't really understand what it meant.

They'll know there was an attack on America that morning. They'll know that some bad men hijacked four planes. They'll know that two of the airplanes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, and the third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. They'll know that the passengers on the fourth plane stopped the hijackers, and that plane crashed into a field.

They'll know the facts. But they won't understand the weight of it.

When I walked into history class that morning, I didn't understand the weight of it either. The TV was on and the first plane had already hit the first tower. When Daniel told me what had happened and that they thought it was a terrorist attack, gave him a half smile and a raised eyebrow.

"You're joking, right?"

Terrorist attacks? Yeah, right. This is the kind of thing that happens in movies. Not the kind of thing that happens on CNN. And definately not the kind of thing that happens in America. We lived in a bubble. A safe bubble, and nobody messed with our safe bubble.

But it seemed that they had. As we watched live as the second tower get hit and the towers eventually fall, I must admit that it still didn't seem real. While they talked about how many were trapped or dead, it still never hit me (not fully even until a few years later) what that meant for the people in New York, for the families of the people who died, and for Americans. It was all foreign and so outside my worldview.

But it changed everything.

First, there was the outburst of patriotism. On every drugstore marquee sign there was a "God Bless America," and an extra patriotic song sung at every sporting event.

Next, we did everything in our power to make ourselves feel safer. Never again would we run and hug our dad when he walked through the terminal at the gate. Never again would we walk through the metal detectors with our shoes on. Never again could we take a bottle of water from the car to the airplane.

A few years later, patriotism gave way to discontent. Discontent with our president, discontent with the gas prices that are uncomfortable but bearable because of how we've been blessed, discontent with our government in general. And crazy sprinkler ladies whine about how the government is putting rainbows in our water (oh man, you have to watch this video, it's so funny.)

And here we are. This seems to be the legacy the terrorists have left us. Discontent.

This wasn't were I had intended to go with this post, but it seems to be where I've ended up.

Stop whining. We should be unbelievably thankful with what we have here.

I do not have to ride the shoulder-to-shoulder packed bus for 3 hours every day, trying to get to work (like my friend in China does) so I can make $2,000 a year. I am blessed to be able to pay the $4 a gallon to fuel the car that I own.

I may not like paying more for milk than I used to, but don't have to go without, or buy powdered milk instead, because I have been blessed with a job. And if I couldn't afford it, somebody in my family would buy me that milk.

I may not like the war, but I have the option staying right here, in my comfortable 4-bedroom home, ranting about the decisions the government is making, because others have gone to war so I don't have to. And if I do rant about it, even publicly, I don't have to worry about my government coming and arresting me for that.

I can preoccupy myself with people who use plastic bags at the supermarket instead of "green" totes, instead of worrying about how I'm going to feed my hungry children.

I can believe anything I want to, no matter how stupid it is. I can worship whomever I want and my government will not prohibit it.

I can do anything I want to, and nobody's going to tell me "no." Because I live here.

God bless America. Now let's get back to our bitching.


  • Sitting in a house that smells like dogs.
  • Not enjoying that smell.
  • Thinking about how I don't usually smell things so the smell must be that much worse for regular people.
  • I wonder why my sense of smell isn't so good.
  • I have to be careful not to say "I don't smell very good" when I tell people that.
  • But how would I know if I don't smell very good? 
  • My sense of smell isn't very good, after all.
  • Maybe it's genetic?
  • My dad's sense of smell isn't great either.
  • He could smell the bushes outside our church though when I was growing up.
  • He always made a big deal about it.
  • I seem to have to have gotten off topic.
  • Full from eating at BJ's Brewhouse
  • Elated that BJ's has an incredible buffalo chicken pizza, which means less trips to Cici's when Jack is craving that.
  • Cici's is gross.
  • Wondering if anybody else has had the triple chocolate pizookie at BJ's Brewhouse.
  • Fantasizing about the triple chocolate Pizookie I just ate.
  • It's made with Ghirardelli chocolate, you guys.
  • Oh my cow, it was so good.
  • It was really the only reason I got up from my nap and went to dinner in the first place when Jack called me at 9 p.m.
  • Thinking I may have a Pizookie Addiction.
  • Is there a Pizookie Anonymous?
  • Hi, I'm Mandy, and it's been 40 minutes since my last Pizookie.
  • (Hi, Mandy.)
  • Do people really do the "Hi, so-and-so" part of that in AA in real life?
  • Discovered I'm famous.
  • And by "famous," I mean, I found out one person I know reads my blog (Hi, Lauren!)
  • She seemed pretty embarrassed about that.
  • Can't say as I blame her.
  • Don't worry, Lauren, I won't tell anybody.
  • Jack keeps saying things about the taekwondo magazine he's reading.
  • He says a lot of things in general.
  • How many words is a wife obligated to listen to per day when her husband talks?
  • Surely there's a maximum.
  • The man has a lot of words.
  • Then again, so do I.
  • But behold! My words are in neat little bullet points tonight! 
  • Gives the illusion of organization, yes?
  • Even though at this point it really makes no sense at all.
  • We got a rental car for free from the insurance company.
  • Well, the insurance company is paying for it. 
  • It's actually from a rental car company.
  • It's an SUV.
  • I guess that makes it a rental SUV.
  • I'm not used to driving giant vehicles such as this.
  • I will probably crash it into something.
  • It's been a good few days since one of our vehicles was smashed somehow.
  • (See also: "If a tree falls on Mandy's car in the woods and nobody is there to see it, is it still all smashed?")
  • (Yes.)
  • I fell asleep on the couch last night.
  • I awoke at 4 a.m. to something crawling on me.
  • I screamed like a girl.
  • (I'm really starting to think I am a girl.)
  • That something was a roach.
  • Jack is convinced that it was a beetle.
  • (He is wrong.)
  • Either way, though, I stand by my girl-scream.
  • Tomorrow is Saturday, which means I get to sleep in.
  • But even better than that, Jack has to work early.
  • It's sweet justice that one day a week, I finally get to stay in bed while he drags his butt out of bed for work early.
  • Also, there is no place like the middle of the bed. Using his pillow.
  • For some reason his pillow is better than mine.
  • I smell a conspiracy.
  • Actually, I smell dogs.
  • (See first bullet point.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How dumb do they have to be before you have cause to euthenize?

Yes, he is indeed barking at the DirecTV logo on our TV. And by the way, those aren't bags of garbage on my fireplace. Those are bags of clothes I took out of my closet to donate. A few weeks ago. Stop judging me. Judge the dog. For being such an idiot.

Not in my nature

I'm watching the news right now. Which I don't usually do. I actually hardly ever watch the news. On account of all the "make you kill yourself because the world sucks" stories. Like the one the other day where a group of teenagers beat the crap out of an elderly cancer patient for no reason. (!!) And if it's not that, it's like, a kitten and a squirrel holding hands. And come on, who has time for that? I have things to do! I mean, there are so many episodes of Friends on my DVR.

Anyway. There were a bunch of tornadoes in Dallas this afternoon. Thus the news on my TV. Since I wanted to be prepared this time and all. Because nature? Has not been good to me lately. I think nature knows that I'm an outsider, that I don't belong. And it wants me out of its territory. I don't run in the woods or peacefully co-exist with insects like my lovely friend Jessica.

No, I stay inside where God made me. Inside is where steam mops and scrapbooks and air conditioners and electric blankets live. Inside is my happy place. Because when I go outside? I get poison ivy. And mosquito bites. And rashes.

This weekend, as we were walking across a field to Jack's grandparents' house, Jack sidestepped a weed and started to warn me about something. "Look out for..." he started, and then realized I had just walked right through whatever the thing was that he was warning me about. "...bull nettles," he finished.

"Bull whaa?" I asked, and suddenly I felt a sharp stinging on the side of my foot. "Ooowwwwww!!!"

"Yeah," Jack nodded, knowingly. "You just stepped on a bull nettle. They hurt."

The stinging was spreading and I looked down at my flip-flop-clad foot to see some red spots populating the arch of my foot. I looked at Jack quizically as the fire in my foot traveled to my ankle.

"What is a bull nettle and why does it sting and owwww oww ow oww and what is happening and I don't understand and Jack it hurts my foot hurts owwww!!" I whined. Clearly I will not have a med-free labor and delivery someday. "Why won't it stop? Make it stop! What is happening!? Make it staahhhhhhhp!"

"Well," Jack replied, matter-of-factly, "I could pee on it."

I froze.

"Pee on it?" I responded. "As in, urinate? On my foot?"

"Yeah, it'll make the stinging stop," he said. "My cousins and I used to do it all the time when we'd get into bull nettles growing up."

Suddenly, my foot didn't hurt quite so bad.

"Um. No thanks," I said, trying not to think about how many of his family members my husband has urinated on, and how many have urinated on him. "I appreciate the offer, but I do not want you to pee on me. In fact, you can just assume that the default answer to that offer will always be NO."

"Suit yourself," he shrugged.

When we got to his grandparents' house, they found some ammonia-based cleaner and sprayed it on my foot, and like magic, it immediately stopped hurting. Which was great. Especially since nobody had to pee on me. Who knew that would ever be considered a win?

So the next day, we were getting ready to leave after Jack's golf game, so Jack was loading up the car. After he loaded his bags, he came back inside to get mine. As we were gathering my things, we heard a loud crack then crash, and Jack's dad yelled at us to get down while pushing us into the kitchen. They live in the piney woods area of East Texas, and their home is surrounded by hundreds of 40-foot pine trees. Sometimes, in a storm, one of the trees will fall, and since we were all standing by the window when we heard it start to fall, we knew we'd better get out of the way fast in case it was coming down on the house.

It didn't come down on the house.

"A tree just fell on your car!" my mother-in-law yelled from her office, where she was sitting at her desk facing the window.

We went out to inspect it, and yes, a tree did in fact break off 1/3 of the way up and fall right on top of my car.

A tree. Fell on my car.

Evidently the was falling horizontally, and just before it hit the car, it turned more vertically, so that only one side of the tree hit the back end rather than the entire trunk hitting the top all at once. It didn't break any windows, but it smashed the driver's side backseat roof and door in quite a bit, broke the spoiler, and left a pretty sizable dent in the trunk as well. It wasn't pretty.

Obviously, this was Jack's fault.

No really, I have a reason. If he had been better at golf, he would have been home earlier and we would have already been gone at that point. It's an axiomatic connection.

Kidding. Sort of.

But actually, it could have been a lot worse. Like I said, if it had hit the way it was originally falling, there was no way we could have driven it home. None of the windows broke, and though the guys at the body shop said that I shouldn't have been driving it because the back window could have blown out at any time, it didn't. Everything is covered under insurance and we probably won't even have to pay a deductible on it. My parents are on a cruise right now, so I could borrow my mom's car immediately for work, and insurance will cover a rental car after they get back for as long as it takes to fix it.

And most importantly, Jack had been out there just minutes before, and he was just about to go back out and load the rest of the stuff. He could have easily been standing right where the tree fell if the timing had been a tiny bit different, and the result would have been catastrophic. I can fix a car. There's no telling if he would have survived something like that.

So I'm thankful; I really am.

But at the same time, a tree falls on my car and my husband offers to pee on me in the same weekend? I can take a hint.

You win, nature. You win.