Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Peekaboo! I can see your vagina!

I know what you're thinking: That I just wanted to say vagina. And you'd be right, except for that I actually have a valid reason for blasting you in the face with female anatomy today, and not just because I'm a huge fan of "The Big Lebowski" (Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. Lebowski?) or because I read "The Vagina Monologues" several years ago and have, ever since, enjoyed bringing vaginas up in casual conversation.

What I am getting at is this: peekaboo bathrooms.

Have you heard of this new-ish trend? Several hotels that it would cost you a month's worth of groceries to stay at for one night are putting in these peekaboo bathrooms. I just heard about this because a friend I sit near at work has booked herself a hotel room at The Standard in New York, NY, and one of the many amenities listed happens to be a peekaboo bathroom.

We batted around a few theories on what this meant. Perhaps there's a window in the shower and you can peer out at the Hudson while you wash your nether regions. Perhaps it's even a full wall of glass that faces the outside world. But heck, if you're up high enough, it's not that big of a deal. Perhaps it's frosted glass on one side of the shower that lets other room occupants see your general shape as you shower, but not the details.

You've probably guessed what it is, if you didn't know already. It's a bathroom that is completely exposed through completely transparent windows to the rest of the room. Sometimes the entire bathroom is glass walls, exposed to both the room and the outside world. Sometimes there are optional curtains that can be drawn for privacy, and sometimes there are not. Sometimes the toilet is in its own private room, and sometimes it is not (hope ya don't get a case of Montezuma's revenge while you're on vacation).

Below is a photo showing the placement of the shower in a room at The Standard. It's right next to the bed, and has a glass wall, and no curtain.
My friend is staying in this room with her son. Pardon me sonny boy, you don't mind if Mom takes a quick shower, do ya? Sure Mom, I'd love nothing more than to be scarred for life by glimpsing your aureolas in the shower!

Good God. What think ye of these peekaboo showers? I could swing it if it were just me and Hubs, but there is pretty much not another person on the planet that I could share this room with comfortably.

And with that I bid you a happy Tuesday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Disturbing Revelation

I don't remember how it came up on Saturday, but while myself, Hubs, my parents, my sister and her husband (and Gilligan The Chihuahua) were all sitting around in my parents' deliciously air-conditioned home, the subject of height arose. The men were made to stand side by side in order to determine the tallest (Hubs) and shortest (Dad). My brother-in-law mistakenly thought he was 6'1", when he is actually just a teensy skoch under 6'.

Then us ladies decided we'd measure our own heights, and lo and behold, I am not quite as tall as I thought I was! I've been telling everyone for years that I am 5'10". My driver's license says I am 5'10". At 5'10", my BMI is simply "overweight" and not "obese." At 5'10", I could lose weight and become an elderly supermodel with bad skin.

But what it appears I am, and what I am still not sure I believe, is that I am 5'8" & 3/4. A hair away from 5'9". I've always towered over most of my girlfriends, and many men. At some point, I began to believe I was 5'10", and since I felt like a beanpole walking around my short planet, me being 5'10" was not inconceivable in the slightest. When I wear heels, especially, I am taller than almost everyone at work. People often ask me that raised eyebrow question, "How tall are you?" And when I say 5'10", they have not seemed surprised.

At 5'8" & 3/4, I feel slightly less out of the ordinary. In a bad way. I enjoyed being 5'10". It was great. I would decline to continue dating a short boy, and explain to friends, "Well I'm 5'10"! I can't date someone who's 5'6", regardless of how many mixed tapes they make for me." I'd buy the long pants instead of the regular, and purchased an extra long bed as a young adult and more recently, a sleeping bag appropriate for a 5'10" woman. Not just any old regular, mid-size thing would do. I would tower over my shorter friends and stoop down like the Jolly Green Giant to hug them hello and good-bye, and now I have come to realize it's not that I'm admirably tall, it's that they are freakishly short.

It's all coming together now. This is why I can't quite stand at a concert and see over everyone's heads. This is why my long pants are simply too long. This is why I can't reach the bowls on the top shelf and instead need to climb up on the chair.

*sigh*

Adieu to my days of tall-itude. Not to say 5'8" & 3/4 is short, just ... it's no 5'10", folks. It certainly is not.

Friday, June 26, 2009

BUSHES Pt. 2

In response to a comment from an anonymous reader regarding the OTHER Bushes, I give you ...

Courtesy of Hubs, who's home alone and very, very bored.

Gilligan finds a nice home

My sister and her husband adopted a chihuahua named Gilligan from their local humane society a few days ago. Although he's only 6 months old, he's pretty chill. He doesn't like dudes, like, at all, but will readily hop into your lap if you're female.

Gilligan balancing a cork on top of his head.


Gilligan's best impression of Gizmo. With a cork on his head.


Gilligan seemed to enjoy being wedged between two sisters' thighs. That's what she said!

Gilligan's one show of affection for his male owner

Thursday, June 25, 2009

As promised, BUSHES!


Because I forgot to take a photo of what the crazy bushes looked like before our new "landscaper," Oscar, took an axe to them, I drew in an approximation of what it looked like. Consider this the "before" photo.


Ta da!! So clean. So ... bare. Don't worry, once we paint the house, we'll be planting some nice stuff to replace all of the nasty old bushes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So groovy now

I am keeping Hubs' vicodin in the medicine cabinet JUST IN CASE. Me + particularly bad bout in the Red Tent + vicodin = la la la la la la la la, la la la la la la la la la la la la la la.....

I went back to work today, although it still pains Hubs to heave himself off the furniture, cough, poop, etc. There's little I can do about these things. I went home at lunch time to make him a sandwich and do a little doting, and my favorite classic rock station was playing some sweet music.

On the way back to work I heard 'Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'.' Yes, it's Journey, haters! What's not to love? It takes me back to my Sonora days, tossing back screwdrivers (my former drink of choice -- ah, I had much to learn) at the Victoria Saloon, and singing about NAHNAHNAHNAHNAHNAH, NAHNAHNAHNAHNAH...

The Victoria Saloon/Days Inn

Why does everyone in that town think they are some kind of '70s rock star? I think I kind of thought I was for a while. Everyone there drives old beaters, everyone's hair's a little too long, everyone's a little bit of a hippie (except for the Republicans up the hill), and the town just LOOKS fracking old-timey. They'll throw a parade for any old reason and have odd traditions that involve shooting guns on the main drag and eating free cups of beans.

You can't get cell reception, you'd be hard pressed to find an elevator within a 50 mile radius, and there ain't much to do on a Friday night, unless you feel like tying one on and croaking out your favorite Journey tunes with the locals. There was always a guy there who sang "Witchy Woman," and one of my friends from the paper always sang "Stuck in the Middle with You."

You watch fireworks at the lake (if you can find it), you constantly find yourself listening to the same live bands, and the bartender (who works as a firefighter in the off season) definitely knows your name. You run into county supervisors at the grocery store, A LOT, and you come to resent deer always jumping in the road and endangering your life, whereas before deer were always cute and innocent. The county fair is a big effing deal and every kid who's anybody's got a pig or a cow or something lounging in a stall, waiting to be judged for a cash prize. The fairs still crown queens, and the queens actually show up at events all year long.

The street I worked on for 3 years

The newspaper is only published 5 days a week and doesn't come out til 1 in the afternoon, and yet no one seems to mind this. The paper's website is too pathetic to even look at. The reporters, editors, and advertising crew have been working there for 20 years, on average, and they're never. ever. leaving. The old issues from the 1850's are collecting dust in the basement and no one thinks twice about running down there to browse through them.

No one had voice mail until 4 years ago, and no one had the Internet until 6 years ago. New reporters make $11 an hour and they say "thank you sir may I have another!"

Where was I going with this? Vicodin? Am I on vicodin right now? Not yet, my friends. Not yet.





Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Deets


Sunday

1 a.m.: We go to sleep after watching some retarded Saturday Night Live reruns.

2 a.m.: Hubs wakes me because he's shivering violently and has uncomfortable pressure in his abdomen. His temperature is slightly elevated.

2:15 a.m.: Arrive at emergency room.

3:15 a.m.: Finally get seen by nurse.

3:30-6 a.m.: IV, dilaudid, CT scan, x rays, enormous awful hospital gown, waiting.

7 a.m: It's probably appendicitis, which probably means surgery.

8:30 a.m.: Confirmation of appendicitis from condescending asshole emergency room doctor.

8:30 a.m. - noon: Hubs' dad arrives, we make a couple phone calls and wait anxiously for surgery.

12:30 p.m.: Hubs is wheeled into surgery. I wave good-bye and have good crying jag in waiting room while Hubs' dad fetches coffee.

1:30 p.m.: Doctor delivers good news of successful surgery.

1:45 p.m.: We see Hubs. He is swearing. There is oily shit in his eyes to keep them moist. He is pissed about this. He is drugged up and his pupils are pinpoints. We are sent away by bitchy nurse.

2 p.m.: My sister and brother in law arrive. I cry some more.

3 p.m.: We see Hubs in room he is sharing with polite gay gentleman waiting for some kind of transplant. He is drugged. He is tired. He wants to sleep. He wants water but is given ice chips. He feels nauseated.

3:30 p.m.: Everyone leaves since Hubs' room is literally two ceiling tiles long and three ceiling tiles wide and he will just be sleeping.

4 p.m.: I run home for a shower and crying jag, shovel some leftover macaroni salad in my mouth, throw some stuff in a backpack and run back to the hospital.

4:45 p.m.: Hubs sleeps. He is told he needs to pee or he'll be given a catheter.

5 - 7 p.m.: Hubs sleeps, pushes morphine button, attempts to pee.

7:30 p.m.: Great success! Pee in a jar.

9 p.m.: Hubs is passed out. Visiting hours ended half an hour ago. I slip out.

9:15: I eat, cry, go to bed.

Monday

6 a.m.: Awaken. Shower. Go to hospital.

7:30 a.m.: Hubs is awake and proclaims he barfed on himself at 3 a.m. He is nauseated from the morphine. Nurses take their heads out of their asses and administer anti-nausea meds.

8 - 11:30 a.m.: Sleeping, drinking water, get lectured to by another asshole doctor about high blood pressure, remove morphine drip, start to feel less nauseated, eat delicious low fat hospital lunch.

12:30 p.m. Friend who happens to be a nurse arrives for a visit. We chat. We are waiting to be discharged.

2 p.m.: Friend and I run for coffee.

2:30 p.m.: Nurse is telling Hubs he can leave. With help, he dresses and waits for stupid hospital bureaucratic BS to get worked out.

4 p.m.: We are finally leaving!

4:30 - 10 p.m.: Get on couch, try to stay comfortable and cool, eat half a sandwich, watch "The Bachelorette," (Wes, WTF, you douche) go to bed.

10:30 p.m. - 9 a.m. Tuesday: Awaken every 2 hours due to discomfort mixed with Vicodin.

So that's about it. Our exciting appendectomy story. Hubs is recovering very well from the laparoscopic (sp?) surgery and his three incisions are hurting a little less today.

Even though it was just a simple appendix removal, I wasn't prepared to see my 32-year-old husband go into surgery or come out of it. I've pretty much never been so terrified. I consider hospitals and surgery to be pretty barbaric and, as a rule, I stay away from them as much as possible.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A useless organ

I have one word for you. Emergency appendectomy.

That was a joke. Not about the appendectomy.

My poor Hubs had to have his appendix removed yesterday, all emergency-like, and MOAM got to discover a new instance in which she suddenly has no desire to eat. This is rare!

More details to follow. Hubs should be coming home from the hospital today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Born again blogger

Praise be, someone wrote the exact things I was thinking but didn't know I was thinking!

Because something is happening in the blogging world, and I can't put my finger on it, I just know that several bloggers have gone the way of the dodo. I don't know why. I'm not sure if it's a trend. I'm not sure if, very soon, I will be one of a few dinosaurs who still blogs and the kids will look upon us and smirk because what sort of strange person publishes the intimate details of their life on the Internet?

But reading this post was like playing Magna Doodle. I've had my magnetic pen, writing in my brain all of the reasons why I continue to blog, what I should blog about, where I am going with this, etc. And reading that post was like taking that demagnetizing swipey thing and brushing it back and forth across the surface. It was a clouds-parting-and-light-shining-down moment for me. Because I lost sight of why I was doing this. I used to do it for me. And after a while, I was doing it because I'd been doing it for so long that I couldn't just stop. I wanted more readers, for whatever reason, and I wrote about things I couldn't care less about to make that happen, and now half the hits I get every day are from people searching using those terms, and that's not what I want.

So I'm having a back-to-basics moment. Go back to why you started doing this. Because it's a creative outlet and you enjoy it. I don't care if I never get any new readers. I hereby swear to never write about shitty things I'm not actually that interested in just because it'll get more hits. I don't work for a newspaper anymore -- I'm not reporting the damn news.

But I will warn you, if you read this on any kind of regular basis: I do swear to be honest and be me, and write about things I care about and want to share. I may overshare. I will probably continue to swear too much. I might write about the bushes in front of my house. In fact, I promise I will write about the bushes in front of my house. It won't always be the most stimulating stuff. But that's me.

Repo Roten


Last Monday, someone graffitied our sidewalk. Or rather, the curb. For the record, the "WTF?" in the photo is my personal artwork, courtesy of Windows. What looks like "REPO ROTEN" was written by some shithead who was saying, maybe, "This house should be reposessed because it is rotten."

What we found out from our neighbors several days later (why they waited several days to tell us is beyond me) is that our neighbor happened to be awake and looking out her window around 2 a.m. when she noticed several hooligans in hooded sweatshirts spray painting the curb in front of our house. What's seen in the photo is just a section of what was actually sprayed on the curb. As graffiti "artists" are wont to do, they'd repeated this nonsensical phrase three or four times along the curb.

Anyway, the neighbor called the police, and purportedly six squad cars pulled up in front of our house. One of those little assholes ditched the spray paint in our landscaping (a term I use loosely) and since the cops couldn't prove that these little shitheels had just defaced our property, they gave them a hard time for a few minutes and then let them go.
Mind you, our bed is maybe 30 feet from where some of this took place, and we never heard anything. I recall getting up to pee around 2 a.m., which is unusual for me, but I didn't see or hear anything.

I got up the next morning and saw the neighbor whose wife had called the police mere hours before, waved and said hello, and he never said anything to me about the incident. I drove to work and we didn't notice the "art" until later that evening when we got home.

Hubs managed to scrub it all off with graffiti remover, and later in the week someone from the city actually came out to clean it up, not knowing it had already been taken care of. I was shocked that the city responded so quickly, but maybe it's because the cops had reported it, too.

Anyway, I was severely disappointed about this. We just bought this house 7 months ago and so far someone has dumped a discarded oven on the side of our house and now this graffiti incident. Believe it or not, we do not live in the fucking ghetto. We actually live in a nice neighborhood. Everyone takes care of their homes and yards and all of the neighbors know each other. Our neighborhood has been known to have block parties and we went to our next door neighbor's house, along with several other neighbors, for a Christmas gathering. Our neighbor keeps in contact with all neighbors through e-mail, too, and everyone is friendly and helpful.
We spent no small amount of money on this house. It's in a neighborhood that's known for its good schools, which is part of the reason why resale values are a little higher than in some other areas of San Jose.

When this happened, I stood on the street corner and looked at my house, looked at all of the other houses, looked down the street, looked for some clue about why something like this would happen. It's not the end of the world, but I still feel victimized. It hurt my feelings that someone would deface the property that we were only able to purchase after a lot of blood, sweat and many, many tears. Sometimes people do things with a blatant disregard for how it will affect other people. That's why a lot of the awful things in this world happen. On the "badness" scale this is pretty far left, I know, but it's not something I want happening at what I'd hoped would be my happy and safe home for many years.

At this point I've decided that once we can stomach the idea of moving again, and we can get out of the house without a loss, we're moving to a nicer area. It won't be a house on a corner, like this one. If I never hear from Hubs again about how we shouldn't have bought a house on a corner, it will be too soon. So that's a tip to everyone out there: No corner houses. I could list a number of other reasons why it's unwise to buy corner houses, but will leave it at that.

Squeezin this one in just after midnight

First things first. Regarding the memorial on Saturday, it was lovely and my friend's family generously hosted hundreds of people to an enormous Chinese lunch. Mere seconds after my friend's mother assured us that "nothing weird" would arrive at our table, this was placed on our lazy Susan.

Yes, that would be a decapitated and, I guess boiled, chicken head. One guest mentioned jokingly to my friend's mother later that her "assessment of nothing weird was not entirely accurate." It was a relief to enjoy some laughter that day, after all of the sad moments.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Creative Struggle

My well runneth dry, it seems. My inkwell, that is. Oh I am so witty, it fucking huurrrts.

I've been in a struggle this week with the blog. Fresh back from camping, posting photos was simple, la-dee-dah. I realize now my favorite part of the trip: Lying on my back in the sand, staring at the sky, watching the clouds slide slowly by. Few relaxation methods rival this activity.

With the death of my friend's father (incidentally, my friend was on the camping trip as well), I feel pulled into the doldrums, a familiar place we've visited too frequently the last few years, as special folks around us pass away. It bothers me that, again, someone so young should have to experience the loss of a parent.

And maybe that's part of the reason I've been feeling soooo tired this week, but maybe not. I can't seem to sleep through the night, no matter how crazy tired I feel. I tried to take a nap this week and felt like voices in my head were screaming at each other. Songs play on repeat, to-do lists write themselves in my mind, decorating schemes for my house go by on a slideshow.

Maybe it's the summertime blues. I'm noticing lots of my favorite bloggers are drying up on material. Several who normally post every day haven't posted in a week or two. Maybe we're too busy staring out the window and wishing we were out there instead of confined in our offices and homes. I think this must be it. I'm reaching my maximum limit on time spent at work without a true vacation. It's been a year and a half. We're taking one next month. Two weeks of scenery and overindulgence, but most importantly two weeks away from home and work, where no one and nothing can remind us of our to-do lists and we can focus on more important things.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Heartbreak

Today I'm deeply saddened to report the death of a dear friend's father. Out of respect for this well-liked gentleman, today I will not be posting anything other than what you have just read.

Monday, June 08, 2009

All Porked Out

Meet Porkfest mascot Chancho.


It ain't call Porkfest for nothin'

The spot where Hubs and I got engaged. It's on the way to Porkfest.


A lovely sunset


More loveliness







There is a gorgeous beach across from the campground
Lots of stairs to the beach


Chancho surveys the campsite.



Just a lovely photo. All the best ones were taken by Hubs.


Something unexpected happened during the camping trip, and I didn't realize it until the whole thing was over: I stepped outside of my bubble and focused on camping and didn't think once about the things that stress me out on a daily basis. There is something about camping that is distracting enough to make me forget about the stressful things in my life.

Hubs swears he and I both simply look healthier after this short trip. Maybe it's the light sunburns, or maybe it was breathing fresh air and forgetting about real life.
That said, camping is still a pain in the ass. Ha! I enjoyed the parts where we lounged on the gorgeous beach that was right across the street, and ate copious amounts of pork and roasted marshmallows and simply sat around talking and drinking beer and poking the fire. I am still trying to decide if all of these enjoyable things outweigh the fact that there were no showers, the toilets sucked, and that sleeping in a tent is akin to torture for me.

Hmm.

So at any rate, the weather was gorgeous and I'd say we really enjoyed ourselves! We took tons of photos and I've published some here for your enjoyment.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

T minus 24 hours to Porkfest

That's what this trip, which is annual, is called. Porkfest. There is purportedly lots of pork involved. Methinks the pork might get rain soaked. Or struck by lightning. Forecast currently says there's a 40% chance of thunderstorms during the day tomorrow and a 30% chance of thunderstorms at night. That's a nice change from the forecast earlier today, which was a 60% chance of thunderstorms during the day tomorrow. I'll be obsessively checking the weather forecast between now and the few minutes before we leave tomorrow.

Things I am worried about:

- Pooping in a public restroom. This concern just occurred to me. I never, and I mean NEVER, poop in public restrooms. I recall one incident in which I was forced to poop in a public restroom several years ago, and that was a poop emergency. I am, thankfully, the kind of person who can hold their pee and poo for extraordinary lengths of time. This is probably harming me in some way, but it sure comes in handy at Disneyland.
- Running out of beer. I will remedy this potential problem by bringing plenty.
- Being struck by lightning. Just yesterday a woman standing in front of her house in Fontana, near L.A., was struck by lightning and killed. Another possibility: Lightning strikes a tree and the tree falls on my tent, crushing me and Hubs to death.
- My air mattress going flat.
- Being cold.
- Everyone will immediately regret inviting me and I will be banished from future Porkfest trips.

Happy early weekend to all. I don't plan to post anything tomorrow since I will be busy drinking beer and ensuring my air mattress stays inflated.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

They're all made out of ticky tacky



I am going camping this weekend. Yes. I know. It's not advisable for a person like me, yet a-camping I go! I approach this trip with some trepidation, due to the fact that:

1) I do not own a sleeping bag.
2) I am allowing someone else to plan everything entirely and I have trust issues. I've been told to bring hot dogs and nothing else. This makes me nervous.
3) I don't like dirt or bugs.
4) I have a pain in my neck/back that may still exist when the time comes to lie on the hard ground and attempt to sleep.
5) Campground bathrooms are notoriously disgusting. One of my friends explained that last time she went camping, someone had crapped in one of the showers. (I know what you're thinking -- "camping with showers?! That's not camping!" Well that's as close as I get, bud.)

But now that I know what my challenges are, I am sure I can have a swell time. Haha! Let's face it, if there is beer present, I will be fine. I will be purchasing a sleeping bag that could keep me warm on Everest and the fluffiest sleeping cushion I can find to go under it. I will bring enough bug spray to choke a horse. I will shower in shower shoes. I will bring hot dogs, and everyone will like them, dammit.

*sigh*

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Great Blinds Caper



On Saturday we decided it was time to finally purchase some window coverings for our home, which we have now lived in for almost 8 months. For reasons that I will not exhaust you with, we were unable to find window coverings (basically it is because we are lame) for all but one window, which sort of already had a covering on it. It was the kitchen window, which was previously covered with this very grandma-esque curtain thing that actually was put up by a grandma. Who died.

Anyway, we went to Home Depot first and found some blinds, which a 17-year-old girl assured us were very easy to install, and if you had to shorten them (because these were not custom made blinds), that was very easy to do as well. In fact, she herself had installed these same blinds in her home, she claimed.

Cut to Hubs naively beginning the "simple" task of installing blinds in our kitchen window. After installing the brackets to hold the blinds up, he placed the blinds in the brackets and they fit in the window just fine, aside from the spare slats that were stacked up at the bottom and would obviously have to be removed.

Simple! Right? Right. So Hubs snipped and snapped, he tugged and shoved, he tested and retested, and these mofos still weren't quite right.

FOUR HOURS LATER the blinds were installed. It might have been five hours. I seriously lost track of time. When it was all over, Hubs was pissed off, I was pissed off, and the blinds were basically installed but are not as perfect as they would be if we'd paid the $30 extra for custom built.

The photo above shows the blinds about half way through the installation process. Note the jacked-up pull chord and the snipped off bits at the bottom of the blinds. Such a PAIN IN THE ASS. They look much better now, but it took some doing.

Lesson learned: Either pay for the appropriately sized item or pay someone else to install it.

I am being punished

It's Monday morning. I am lying in bed. We can hear the garbage trucks outside.

I lie in bed, thinking of the day ahead. I stretch. I realize mid-stretch I have injured myself. I curse silently. I wonder if I should unstretch to determine the extent of my injuries. I do. It is bad. I am immobilized. Pain shoots from the area where my left shoulder meets my neck.

"Oh fuckers," I say. "I fucked up my neck. Fuckers!"

I laid there for a while, feeling sorry for myself, knowing I have a lot of hours to put in at work and that it will be made all the worse by the literal pain in my neck.

I eventually rolled myself out of bed and made it to the shower. Washing my hair brushing my teeth proved to be surprisingly painful. Driving to work was like driving a devil with a dagger in the backseat. The un-ergonomic structure of my workspace in the office is particularly noticeable today.

It's difficult to focus. It's difficult to speak in my normal tone of voice. I've taken on more of a high-pitched, strained tone. I've popped pain pills, which have been largely ineffective.

I thought about how I am super whiny and how this is probably punishment for all of my personality flaws. Karma, she has her ways.