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12/31/2001

by @ Monday, December 31st, 2001. Filed under Life

As 2001 comes to a close, all I can think is, What if I hadn’t given up after two days? What if I’d stuck to it like Fred did? I could have lost 100 pounds or more by now…

How was I supposed to know that this time it was for real, for him? That he wouldn’t give up after a day or two like he always did – we always did?

Now he looks incredible, and I’m a fat fucking blob. I think I’ve gained weight, even, but I’m too afraid to get on the scale, because deep down, I don’t want to know the truth, not really.

Sometimes I see how he looks and feels, and I yearn to feel like that, to be able to walk upstairs and not gasp for breath for ten minutes afterward, to be able to shop at normal stores, to wear sizes that aren’t the absolute hugest sizes out there. To wear something pretty instead of oversized t-shirts and stretchy pants. But at the same time I resent and am jealous of him. It seems so easy for him, and I’ve heard his earnest "It is easy, Bessie. You just have to think differently" ten thousand times, and I don’t get it, I don’t understand, I don’t know how to make that happen. How is it that so many people online can draw so much motivation from him, and yet it all goes right the fuck over my head?

All he can talk about is exercising and eating right, and this weight-lifting program or that one, and every time he starts talking about how he thinks he’ll try lifting weights this way, or that he ran longer than he ever has before, I feel like he’s going somewhere I can’t be, and he’s leaving me behind, and I start to withdraw. I know that’s not good, I know it’s not good for our relationship – or our friendship – but I’m helpless to stop. I feel sometimes like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff, and one day he’s going to look at me and realize how much better he can do, that he deserves a woman who can keep up with him, who won’t sit, a lump of fat, on the couch and read or watch TV, who can actually walk as fast as he can, and he’s going to push me over the cliff and walk away without looking back.

I can’t bring myself to eat junk food in front of him, and so I’ve started hiding Little Debbies and candy bars from him – he never looks in the back of my desk drawer, and so that’s where I keep it all. And I eat and eat and eat while he’s off exercising or taking a bath or gone to sleep, and I feel so fucking guilty, like I’m cheating on him or something.

I’ve started and stopped at least ten diets since last June, and when I talk about starting, he gets so excited and offers to help, and then when I go off my diet after a few days, though he’d never admit it, he’s disappointed as hell, and I just can’t stand seeing that accepting, loving, disappointed look on his face. How can he keep believing that I can ever do what he’s done? And yet, every time I start talking about it, he’s completely there, totally believing that I’ll do it, that this will be the time, that in a year I’ll look like a completely different person.

We went to his parents’ house on Christmas Eve, and his sister and stepsister made a fuss over him, about how good he looks, and their eyes just slid past me like I don’t exist.

I feel like I don’t.

I’m so tired of feeling like this, both physically and emotionally, I just can’t take it anymore. This is it – I have to do this, I have to lose the weight, for myself more than anything. I’m tired of being fat and tired. I have to do it for real this time, I have no choice. There’s no turning back – my life and my marriage depend on it.

I’m going to start January 2nd.

This was written for the December collab. December’s topic was the “sliding doors” premise – inspired by SecraTerri’s September 19th entry. I chose to write this entry as though I had given up on losing weight after only a few days, instead of sticking to it. Which I didn’t, as my 120+ pound weight loss (so far) shows. To clarify: this entry was written as though I had NOT spent the last 18 months working out and eating right. Which I did. —– ]]>

12/25/2001

by @ Tuesday, December 25th, 2001. Filed under Life

I expect that there won’t be any entries this week – I’m going to take time off from the journal to relax (oh, my stressful life) and try to whip the house into shape. Of course, the notify list will be the first to know when there’s a new entry up.

See you next week.

Be safe.

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12/21/2001

by @ Friday, December 21st, 2001. Filed under Life

Lordy. Twenty-three cards in the post office box this morning! Y’all rock, bigtime.

Remember how I was concerned about the fact that I was going to be idiot enough to drive to Sam’s and attempt to do some shopping? Oddly, Sam’s wasn’t so bad, aside from the traffic I had to fight to get there. The problem came when I decided I needed to visit Wal-Mart to buy ribbon from which to hang the aforementioned 23 Christmas cards. The visit started off in a lovely manner, when I had to visit the bathroom. Every one of the fucking stalls was nastified in it’s own special way. Why, tell me please, do people have to PEE ON THE FUCKING SEAT. You know, I understand some people feel the need to hover above the seat so they don’t "catch" something, but if you’re going to pee on the fucking seat, WIPE. IT. OFF. Is that so hard? Gah.

The rest of the visit to Wal-Mart consisted of walking two feet and waiting for someone to get the fuck out of the way. I spent twice as long in Wal-Mart, and travelled half as far. I got my ribbon, though, as well as a space heater for the computer room (more on that later) and some cool stickers.

Then the spud and I went to Applebee’s for lunch – and this time I did NOT get the Oriental Chicken Salad, but rather the Fajita Wrap Thingy, and it was good. Our experience was enhanced by the fact that not two feet away sat a table of college kids, who were loud and obnoxious, but pretty amusing.

After dessert, we went to Hallmark, which was at the other end of the parking lot. For some reason, I’m just helpless to resist that store – I love and adore it beyond all reason. I bought a tart warmer and some buttercream-scented tarts, as well as some blank cards. I also bought something that embarrasses the hell out of me, but I could NOT resist. Maybe Fred needs to take my debit card away. I bought a fiber optic snowman. Yes, it’s totally goofy and corny, but I watched the way the little fiber optic lights changed color, and I had to buy one. HAD. TO.

Shut up. You know you’re jealous. Besides, it was half price.

You know, Temptation Island never fails to piss me off. These couples are put on an island with single people of the opposite sex chosen SPECIFICALLY to break them up, and the couples (especially the guys, in my opinion) act like complete assholes, and then they show the previews for the final shows, which will apparently start in 3 weeks, and all the fucking members of the couples are all teary-eyed and talking about how HARD it is, and sobsobsob. You know, what the fuck did they expect, that they were going to put their relationships on the line and come away unscathed?

It also pisses me off when they show the members of the couples on dates with the singles, and the member of the couple is talking trash about their relationship. I don’t know – I’d think having my significant other whine about how clingy or bossy I am to some slutty HO would be a bigger betrayal than having him grope her.

One of the groups – the couple men and the single women – went white-water rafting on last night’s show, and this asshole said how nice it was, to get away from the tension of the island.

I guess he defines "tension" as "getting drunk and pawing every female in sight."

And this single guy? Creeps me right the fuck out. Something about his eyes is JUST NOT RIGHT, and I shiver every time I look at his freaky face. Plus he’s possessive and bossy. So, for that matter, is this guy. And this single chick was the biggest fucking baby of the bunch, as though one date with someone else’s boyfriend makes it a relationship. Supposedly, she’s 24, but she acted more like a 10 year-old, from what I could see.

Oh, and in the previews for the final shows, Edmundo said that it’s hard for him to see some other guy groping, as he put it, "MY chick." Oh, Edmundo, such a romantic. Also such a hypocrite, since he was slobbering over every damn single chick in sight just about the first instant he got into camp.

Asshole.

And as for Survivor, well, spoilers below:

I think Teresa’s a real jerk for voting against Frank. I feel kind of sorry for him, because he had no real social skills whatsoever, but he had – or thought he had – an alliance with her, and she voted him off in some attempt to save her own ass. I don’t like Lex, but I like Teresa even less at this point.

And I already said this in ThreeWayAction, but when I’m on Survivor 45, I’m going to be all about an all-female alliance and kicking the men off, one by one.

Time for the Friday Five!:

1. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I don’t think I eat much weird stuff. I like raw oysters, but that’s not terribly strange. I used to eat peanut butter, mayonnaise, and banana sandwiches on occasion when I was a kid. They’re better than they sound.

2. Name one (material) thing you can’t live without. My computer, I guess. Unless I can choose something more abstract, and say "books."

3. Name something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have time for. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment, is driving from Florida to Maine via US Route 1. I’d also like to do the Appalachian Trail, but I don’t want to do it on my own, and Himself ain’t much for that sort of thing.

4. What outrageous thing do you wish you had the nerve to do? Apply to be on the next Survivor instead of waiting to reach my goal weight.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend. Aside from hauling a bunch of boxes to a dumpster, and doing a little (VERY little) bit of house-cleaning, I have no plans. We have to be at Fred’s mother’s house Sunday around 11:00 or so, but that’s the only definite thing we have to do. No doubt I’ll think of something I forgot to get for the spud or Fred for Christmas, and make a last-minute run to Wal-Mart or Target.

I don’t know when I’ll be updating again – maybe there’ll be entries Monday and Tuesday, but then again, maybe not – and of course the notify list will be the first to know.

If you’re travelling for the holidays, please be safe, don’t give into the road rage, and I know you know better than to drink and drive. I’d like you all to back here in the New Year, safe and sound.

Happy holidays, to each and every one of you!

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12/20/2001

by @ Thursday, December 20th, 2001. Filed under Life

Y’know, I was responding to email earlier today, and I started to notice that I have the tendency to put a freakin’ exclamation point at the end! of! every! sentence! What can I say? Emailing gets me all excited.

I must be nuts. I’m actually contemplating going out shopping tomorrow to Sam’s, which will be packed to the gills with last-minute shoppers. But Fred needs creamer for his coffee, and I need paper towels and sponges, so out to Sam’s I shall go. The spud will be happy about that, since she’s already bored and asking, every five minutes, "Are we going anywhere today? Tomorrow? Saturday?"

Fucking Amazon. I swear to y’all I am NOT shopping Amazon next fucking year. Not only do they ignore it when you say "Ship everything TOGETHER, you stupid assholes", but they also only bill you for each item as they ship it, and so instead of one nice, neat charge of, say, $75, there are 7 or 8 charges, one for each item. Which is all well and good if you’re using your credit card, but if you’re using your debit card and use Quicken to track your finances, it’s pretty fucking difficult to figure out.

Bastards.

Oh, and a word of advice, people. If you’re going to order your bitchy wife a surprise for her stocking, don’t use your debit card, because when the charge to Perfumes America shows up when she checks the checking account online, she’ll know the surprise you got her for her stocking, and therefore, it won’t be a surprise. And she really likes surprises.

Further, STOP forgetting to give her the receipts when you rent movies or get gas, ’cause it’s very annoying.

So, I zoned out last night, watching Bernie Mac (that show sure does crack me up), and forgot to start the vcr in the other room to tape Felicity. Around 8:35, I glanced at the clock and yelled "Oh SHIT!" Since Fred wasn’t interested in watching Titus, I turned to Felicity and watched the rest of it.

You know, I don’t see how Ben can forgive Felicity for cheating with Noel so easily. I mean, it’s only been a few weeks since he found out. Is it because he slept with that chick the other week, so he feels that he’s gotten his revenge and can get past it? That’s one fucked-up relationship they have, there. I mean, I’m glad to see them back together, because I want Felicity to be happy*, but I just don’t get it.

Did anyone (assuming anyone reading this watches Felicity) else notice that when Felicity was doing the crossword puzzle and the clue was “12 letters, really bad show”, that Dawson’s Creek would have fit? And oddly, that was the first show that popped into my mind.

Surviiiiiiiivor tonight, woohoo! (Who needs to get a life? Not ME!)

 

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12/19/2001

by @ Wednesday, December 19th, 2001. Filed under Life

Thanks to reader Cecelia (who’s breakin’ my heart. You’re shakin’ my cooooonfidence, daaaaily)(bet she’s never heard THAT one before…) who bought Marcia Muller’s Ask the Cards a Question from my wish list. Thank you, Cecelia – an online friend once suggested Marcia Muller’s books to me, and since she has impeccable taste, I look forward to reading it!

Okay, this is just rude and uncalled for. Why must y’all talk about me behind my back, huh? Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Don’t you know that gossip like that is the sort of thing no one can keep to themselves?

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Imagine my horror when I received the following email:

From: grishaman505570@yahoo.com
Subject: i heard you got a small penis !

Do you have a small penis like I used to have ? do you wanna learn how to enlarge it ? Do you wanna learn how to attract women ? Do you wanna learn how to convince Girls to cyebrsex with you on the net ? I wrote an article on all of those subjects, please visit the site to read it. http://www.fastadulthosting.com/Other/men-treasure/ let me know what do you think.

Not only are y’all talkin’ trash about my small penis, but you’re talkin’ trash about me to an apparent idiot who doesn’t know that I could get ANY girl to "cyebrsex" with me any damn time I want! That’s right, damnit, I’m a chick magnet!

Hmph.

The spud stumbled home from her exhausting half-day at school where they, I believe, spent the day socializing and drawing pictures, and promptly took a nap on the loveseat. I woke her up after half an hour and told her to go to her room if she was going to nap, because the loveseat’s too short for her, and her head was laying at a funny angle, and I didn’t want her to get a neckache.

Of course, the REAL reason I wanted her outta there is so she wouldn’t be in there snoring when it came time for my 2:30 nap.

Anyway, she stumbled upstairs and, I think, went right back to sleep. She’s got to rest up for that all-night TV fest she has planned for every night between now and the time she goes back to school.

It appears that our lovely 60-degree days are now behind us until the spring, damnit. And I never did get those extra daffodil bulbs planted, and I’m thinking they won’t get planted anytime soon. Who wants to stand out in the soggy back yard and dig a big-ass hole and plant bulbs? Not me, nope. The 30 bulbs I planted (and replanted after we got rid of the dog) will just have to do.

You know, there’s just nothing interesting for me to write about today, so I’m going to say goodnight.

Goodnight!

Oh, wait! I almost forgot reader Renee in Oklahoma emailed to remind me that she DID request a Christmas card, and that I’m a big fat liar for saying Oklahoma doesn’t like the Bitchypoo. I went back through my email and found that she was correct, and sent out a card as fast as I could. So Oklahoma is no longer on the list of States That Don’t Love Me.

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12/18/2001

by @ Tuesday, December 18th, 2001. Filed under Life

I was thrilled like you wouldn’t believe to wake up and look outside and see actual SUNSHINE, instead of the crappy, overcast, rainy weather we’ve had for the past two weeks. I had started to believe we were in the beginning of a Nuclear Winter, and was poised to take over the world as Queen and Supreme Ruler (it’s really only a matter of time, you know), but I guess I can put THOSE plans on the back burner.

Man, I wish they’d just show an entire season of Felicity, instead of showing a few shows in the fall and then a few in the spring. It’s getting old, people! I want my Felicity when I want it, not when you feel like providing it, damnit!

I still haven’t watched the series premiere episode of Felicity that I got off eBay months ago. I have a bad habit of ordering movies I absolutely MUST have, and then not watching them. I got both My Life’s in Turnaround and If Lucy Fell more than a year ago and haven’t watched either of ’em. I have to save something for my old age, right?

My old age is rapidly approaching. Three weeks, and I turn 34. How did that happen, may I ask?

Today was a slow, boring, nothing day. I went to the post office (all the packages are mailed. Yeehaw!), the movie store (rented Moulin Rouge), and the grocery store (although Fred gets groceries on Saturday, there’s always a mile-long list by Tuesday), skipped my 11:00 meal (because I wasn’t home), had Wendy’s for lunch (grilled chicken sandwich and their new Spring Mix salad with – ahem – blue cheese dressing), sat around after I ate lunch getting cold because the back door was open for most of the day so Themselves could go out and play in the still-wet grass, took a hot bath, read, and made dinner.

The usual excitement.

Stuff that desperately needs to be done, but I didn’t do: Update Quickbooks with all the 1,003 purchases I made whilst Christmas shopping last week, vacuum both the upstairs and downstairs, clear off my desk, work on rearranging the site, write an interesting entry. Heh.

The spud has half a day of school tomorrow – they get out at 11:30 – and then she’s on vacation until January 7th. Isn’t that just the most ridiculous thing? And they get that much time and more every year – this is nothing new. By the third day, she’ll be dying of boredom and I’ll be ready to strangle her. Oh, happy HAPPY holidays. Maybe I’ll take her out for Chinese food for lunch Friday, and to a movie. Maybe not. Depends on how nice I’m feeling.

Okay, I’ll bore y’all no more with my boring-ass yammerings. See you tomorrow for more of the same!

 

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12/17/2001

by @ Monday, December 17th, 2001. Filed under Life

Thank you very much to reader Lulu, who sent me Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel from my wish list . Thanks also to reader Lianne, who sent me the loveliest sweater – and you know how much I love the sweaters! It’s a size XL, and while I think it’s too tight (yet sexily shows off that spare tire around my midsection), Fred disagrees and thinks that it looks just fine. One of these days, there might even be a picture of me in it. Thank you, beloved readers!

So, here are the Christmas card stats:

Total cards sent out (not including family): 195 (I had guessed about 200)

Number of male readers who requested cards: 4 States receiving 10 or more cards: Illinois (11), Texas (14), Ohio (15), California (18) States who don’t love me and didn’t want a card: Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming Other countries receiving cards: Australia (1), Belgium (1), Canada (15), England (4), Germany (1), Ireland (2), Thailand (1). Number of last minute names and addresses received in the last 24 hours before the midnight Dec. 15 deadline: 13 Number of names and addresses received 12 hours after the midnight Dec. 15 deadline: 1 (but I added her to the list anyway, because I’m nice like that) Most often recurring first names: Jennifer (4), Karen (9), Kathy/ Cathy (7), Melissa (5), Susan (6)

Number of cards kicked back because someone wasn’t paying attention when he was helping me out, and didn’t put a stamp on the envelope: 1 (sorry, Teresa B. in Ohio – I stamped it and remailed it today!)

Percentage of probability that I accidentally sent out more than one card to at least one person: 99.999

Was I terribly organized about my card sending this year?: Not

Did I have a lot of fun shopping for funny cards?: You betcha

What I’ll do differently next year: Organize addresses on the label template in Word as they come in, or keep them an Excel spreadsheet

Number of cards I’ve received: 63, which is really awesome! I love seeing the mailbox filled up every time I go to the post office.

So, the cards, they are done. And except for maybe one that went out to Canada today, they should all reach their destinations by Christmas day (I mailed all the international ones first). I had been taping all the cards to the door between the kitchen and the hallway, but it was turning into a large pain, because the tape didn’t want to stick, so I was always picking up and re-taping cards to the door. Finally, when Fred went to Wal-Mart Saturday, I asked him to pick up a couple of rolls of ribbon, and I stapled the cards to the rolls of ribbon, and we hung them up like so:


This is over the doorway between the kitchen and the hallway.


And this is hanging from the trey ceiling between the dining room and living room

There were several cards left over, so I put them on the mantel, and with the 11 cards that arrived in the mail today, I about have enough to start stapling ’em to ribbon again.


The mantel. The mostly-green stocking on the left is Fred’s, the one in the middle is the spud’s, and the one on the right is mine. I’ve had my stocking since I was a kid, and Fred’s stocking belonged to either my brother Randy, or my brother Tracy. I like my Christmas decorations, but I think the mantel could either use a lighted garland, or some bigger decorations to offset the small ones.

Friday night, the spud and I went to Applebee’s for dinner (mmmm, Oriental Chicken Salad, and Apple Chimicheesecakes!), and when we left the restaurant, it was very dark out – it being December, it gets dark pretty damn early, y’know – and we were driving along, minding our own business, and I glanced to my left, and was almost blinded by something in the distance. I had to turn off the main road to go investigate, and there I found the perfect example for y’all of the one and only time it’s okay to mix Christmas lights:

This house, y’all, was just awe-inspiring; these pictures don’t even begin to do it justice. There were at least four fully decked-out Christmas trees – one in each bay window, one on the upstairs porch, and one on the downstairs porch. These people just slapped lights up everywhere, willy-nilly, and threw lighted sculptures on the lawn, and people were driving by in packs, and stopping completely to take it all in.

It was a house that defied all the rules. Not only did the spud and I gape at it for a long time, but I went home and got Fred and the camera, and went back to gape at it some more and take pictures. Then we went back Saturday night with Fred’s father and stepmother to gape yet again.

Like I said, if you’re going to mix lights, go all the way, people.


See a box? Sit on it. It’s much warmer than the cold, cold floor.

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12/14/2001

by @ Friday, December 14th, 2001. Filed under Life

Friday Five – on time! Woohoo!:

1.What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was little, I wanted to be a vet, until I realized how much schooling was required. When I was in high school, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon (this was right after I had the tumor removed from my knee), until I realized how much schooling was required for that. These days, I want to be Queen of the Universe. Or a fairy princess. One or the other.

2. Do you have any nicknames? Fred calls me Bessie, and the spud calls me "Muh-muh."

3. If you could change something about yourself what would it be? I would less of a flighty, ditzy airhead.

4. Have you ever bought anything from an infomercial? Hell yeah. Let me think – we bought that stupid rotisserie thing where you put an entire chicken inside and "set it and forget it!" (it worked okay, but was such a pain in the ass to haul out and then clean afterward that it didn’t last long in our house), I’ve bought numerous cds – most recently, an Olivia Newton-John collection (shaddup) – we bought the "Phil Up and Go" system, and never so much as took it out of the box, the Citrus Express (which worked pretty well), Epil-Stop (didn’t work worth a crap), the George Foreman Grill (which we use about once a week, but I’d prefer a real grill), the Time Life History of Country Music cd set, Oxi-Clean (which the Hag mentioned in passing as working well on pet blood stains, and the cat barf stains I’ve tried it on have come up extremely well), Banned from Television tapes (don’t get Fred started on the Train Lady), some stupid set of Magic Tricks tapes (Fred ordered those), and a set of funny tapes from England (I can’t remember the name of ’em). We are total suckers, and have to avoid the infomercials or risk bankruptcy.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend? I think I’ll be getting the rest of the Christmas packages ready to be mailed out on Monday, do some vacuuming and straightening up of the house, since I think Fred’s parents will be coming over to watch a movie with us Saturday night, and hopefully I’ll get the last of my daffodil bulbs planted, depending on the weather.

Many, MANY thanks to the Bitter One, who sent me a surprise package in the mail (well, there was something for Fred, too, but it was mostly for ME) – and I think we all know how much I love the surprise mail! – consisting of a cool little hand massager thingy, and some Healing Gardens Jasminetherapy lotion and shower gel. And great minds think alike, for I believe it was less than three days ago that I was sniffing appreciatively at that VERY SAME SCENT while Christmas shopping.

Also, many MANY thanks to reader Lisa in Ohio, who purchased for me Bridget Jones’s Guide to Life, from my veryown wish list.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, thanks to reader Robbie, who sent me the cutest little ornament, Quackers:

who is sitting atop my monitor at the moment. I may have to move him, though, because a certain portly cat’s wide ass keeps knocking him off. Looks like Quackers is waving at the camera, doesn’t it?

While I’m sharing pictures, here’s what the room we call the library (because that’s where all the books are, y’see) looked like at 11 pm last night (is "11 pm last night" redundant? I fear it may be. Perhaps it should be "11 pm yesterday"?) after I’d spent about an hour wrapping presents for the spud’s grandparents and aunt and great-grandparents on her father’s side. One of these days, I’m going to start making the child wrap her own presents. Anyway, click on the picture for the full-sized version:

  

Trust me, it was far more horrifying-looking in person. It looks a little better today because I packed up the presents going to three different places and mailed ’em, and also sorted through all those bags in the first picture, and separated them out into gifts going out and stocking stuffers for the spud, Fred, and I.

That’s right. I bought the majority of my own stocking stuffers, since I was out and about anyway, and I usually know what I like. I have to admit, it was pretty fun.

I don’t know that it’s all going to fit into the stocking, though!

We finally decided on what to get the spud for her big Christmas gift. A new TV. She has an ancient and crappy TV and VCR in her bedroom (we limit her TV viewing, so hush), and the TV has crappy volume control, probably because it’s a cheap piece of crap. The VCR is probably 8 years old, so Fred went out today and bought her a new TV/VCR combo. I think she’ll be surprised and like it.

I’m still curious as to whether the ex is going to get her the Playstation 2 she wants. I hope her heart isn’t set on it, because I really do think he thought she meant she wanted a Color Gameboy, which she got from him for her birthday. I suppose he could surprise me, though.

Speaking of the ex, I spent a long time (as mentioned above) wrapping presents for his side of the family, from the spud. She made soap for everyone this year, made little beaded ornaments, and they’re each getting one of her school pictures. After I was done wrapping, I hauled it all into the library, and separated it all out in piles according what was going to whom, and then looked at the sad little pile going to the ex’s side of the family compared to the pile going to my side of the family. Of course, my side of the family’s pile is going to be bigger because there are presents there from Fred and I as well, but I still felt a little guilty.

I always want EVERYONE to have LOTS of presents, y’know. Ah well.

I took my brother Randy off of my Christmas list this year. That’s right, just CROSSED HIM RIGHT OFF, and the world didn’t stop. It’s not that we don’t get along or anything – we get along just fine for the 2 hours I see him every year – but I’ve been sending him presents and cards for the last 10 years at least, for Christmas AND his birthday, and they’ve always and forever gone unacknowledged. I don’t require a reciprocal gift, because I really do enjoy the giving, but it’d be nice to know that whatever I give is being appreciated, even once.

So OFF he goes. I doubt he’ll even notice.

The weather outside? Frightful. The fire? SO delightful.

Hee!

Seriously, we’ve been having some crap-ass weather ’round these parts. I think it’s been overcast and rainy for at least the past 10 days, and while it’s not raining today, it’s mighty cloudy. And I have about 30 daffodil bulbs I need to get into the ground. I think perhaps I’ll wrangle Fred into digging me a hole when he gets home from work today. Maybe. Depends on how nice he’s feeling, I s’pose. The sucky thing, anyway, is that it’s been pretty warm the last few days – 55 – 60 degrees – but it’s been raining so hard that we can’t enjoy it.

I was sound asleep this morning when Fred poked me and told me to cover my head. I did, and he told me later that Tubby and Miz Poo had been facing off over some dark object on the floor, with Tubby growling in his annoying Tubby way, so Fred turned on the light, and found that the dark object was (my guess that it was the sock filled with catnip – the GOOD catnip – and tied in a knot, but I was wrong) a little frog. Fred carried it outside and put it in the grass (and closed the door so the cats couldn’t get at it), and the cats spent the next hour sniffing at the spot on the rug where the frog had been sitting.

The mailman. It’s been a while since I bitched about him, hasn’t it? If I haven’t mentioned it – and I probably have, repeatedly – my monitor is set up so that as I sit in front of the computer, if someone is driving down our cul-de-sac, their vehicle catches my eye, and I usually glance out to see who it is.

I’m practically my own little Neighborhood Watch program all by myself.

Anyway, nine times out of ten, I’m sitting in front of the computer when the mailman comes. One day last week, I was surfing or emailing or something – who knows? – and the mailman drove up to our mailbox. He put his vehicle in park, which always means we have a package. So I sat and watched him get the package out and walk toward our front door.

Obviously, he didn’t know I was sitting there watching him.

Why do I say "obviously", you ask? Why, because as he walked across our front yard, he took the package – a small one, it was a book from Amazon – and FLUNG it up in the FUCKING AIR, and then reached out to try to catch it on it’s way down. Except that it caught some air, and flew halfway across the fucking yard before it landed on the lawn.

Nice, huh? The fucking mailman tossing my fucking package in the air. Asshole.

Then yesterday, as he brought another package to the door (in the pouring rain), I opened the door to take it from him. As he handed it to me, he suggested that we get a bigger mailbox. I half-laughed in agreement, like "Yeah, no kidding", and he insisted that we really should because, as he put it, "It would make MY job a lot easier!"

Because that’s what it’s all about, really. Making it so that his job is easier.

No, actually, we probably will get a bigger mailbox, because who wants to piss off the mailman? And I’m sure it’s annoying to him that we get 45,000 small packages every day that won’t quite fit into the mailbox. Because FUCKING AMAZON looks at where I clicked "Mail all items together please, you idiots", and decides to mail each and fucking every one of them separately. I placed an order for 10 different items near the beginning of December, and every damn one of ’em arrived in separate packages – several of them on the same day. Friggin’ Amazon.

And hell, while I’m bitching? Remind me next time we want to buy a house (which should be in about a year, if past behavior gives any indication) NOT to apply for a mortgage through a fly-by-night bank that doesn’t even HAVE it’s own mortgage department and is named "The B@nk". Because what happens is that we end up with a fly-by-night mortgage provider (I’m sure there’s another name for them), who fucking SELLS our mortgage to fucking Wells Fargo after one single, solitary month. And what happens when Wells Fucking Fargo has your mortgage? Well, apparently what happens is that Wells Fucking Fargo doesn’t make what they feel is ENOUGH from the interest you pay on your mortgage, and so every time you get a statement from them? Why, they have a CONVENIENT little form that you can sign, where they’ll AUTOMATICALLY transfer half of your mortgage payment every two weeks, and MY GOODNESS! LOOK AT OUR PIE CHART SHOWING HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WILL SAVE in the long run! Aren’t we just the MOST wonderful bank EVER, to offer such a wondrous service, aren’t we, huh?!

And waaaaaay down at the very bottom on the back of this magical form, in teeny-tiny, bitty letters, there is an itty-bitty statement telling you that this is not in FACT a free service, but something you will have to pay $7.95 per month to Wells Fucking Fargo to do. And then, under THAT, in even bittier letters, it admits that yes, PERHAPS you could do this verysame thing by, uh, writing a check for half the amount of your mortgage every two weeks and sending it to the lovely, helpful people at Wells Fargo, yes, they SUPPOSE that would work, but really, if you’re going to QUIBBLE over $7.95 per month, which would line the gold pockets of those blood-suckers at the top of the Wells Fargo food chain, perhaps you’re really Not Our Kind, Darling. Honestly. $7.95. You’re going to split hairs over that? Hard to believe. Some people can be so petty. Are you sure you can afford that house? Honestly. Be that way, then. $7.95. Look at your ass. I bet you eat $7.95 more food than you should every single day, and you’re being all picky-like because we want to make a little extra pocket change, $7.95 a month?

Amsouth, who held the mortgage on the old house never ONCE sent us ANY kind of bullshit like that, and not only are we getting this sort of stuff from Wells Fucking Fargo with the mortgage, but we’re also getting it in BETWEEN mortgage statements.

Bastards.

 

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12/11/2001

by @ Tuesday, December 11th, 2001. Filed under Life

You know what I wonder? I wonder how on earth it is that people can make it through this life without the slightest scintilla of a sense of humor. And what’s more, I wonder how those without the slightest scintilla of a sense of humor make it through life taking themselves that seriously, with an inflated sense of self-importance.

And even more, I wonder how it is that those with not the tiniest sense of irony or fun, manage to unerringly make it to my web page, repeatedly. And then email me to tell me that they TRIED to read what I write, but I’m so HOSTILE that they just couldn’t force themselves to read me, despite many attempts, and so they email me to make sure that I understand this.

The thinking is, I believe, that since the world does, in fact, revolve around THEM, not around ME (silly, stupid, misguided Robyn. How could you not know that the world revolves around THEM? Did you not get the memo?), that it’s terribly important that I know their feelings.

Without the tiniest scintilla of a sense of humor, taking themselves and everyone around them serious unto death, they would probably be apoplectic to know that when I get such an email, I snicker, read it aloud to Fred with the appropriate snarky remarks, snicker some more, and delete it. I don’t, in fact, frame it and read it every night, holding it close to my heart and memorizing every word. I’ve got better things to do, after all.

Because, I mean, let’s be honest. Of course my world revolves around me and the people I care about. And yours revolves around you. Except when it revolves around me.

Like, duh.

I spent hours and hours Christmas shopping today. It was surprisingly less stressful than I had expected, even though I WENT TO THE MALL. Before that, I hit the grocery store, the post office (I mailed out 115 Christmas cards, and have about another 50 to go – I’m still taking names ’til Saturday, so follow the instructions at the bottom if you want one!), and the movie store. I ran home and put the groceries away, then left again (poor Miz Poo had no clue what was going on, with me running in and then right back out) to go to Target, where I needed boxes and bows, ’cause I’m thinking about actually wrapping Christmas presents sometime soon, here.

While I was there, I went to grab a couple of Designer Whey bars – the chocolate mint flavor – and found that all but one of them was open on the end, with chocolate dripping out. Like the machines fucked up when sealing the wrappers, though for all I knew someone had steamed open the bars, inserted a some tasty anthrax and tried to seal them shut again. I was ticked, because the only place I can find Designer Whey bars in this area is at Target, and it’s a pain in the ass to get to, so I wanted to stock up on them and not have to go back in two days. Bastards. Designer Whey bars are the only ones that are high in protein that I can stand these days.

After I picked up a pair of headphones for Fred to use with his Walkman, I left Target.

Then I went to the mall. That’s right, the mall. Two weeks before Christmas, and I was GOING TO THE MALL.

It wasn’t so bad. I knew there was no way in hell I would be parking anywhere near the mall, so I simply parked in the first parking spot I saw, wayyyy in the back. I wandered through the mall, stopping at the bathroom, eyeballing the Godiva stand, checking out the Disney store, browsing in Hallmark, buying a few things along the way. I went into Lane Bryant and bought a sweater for Christmas, and then headed to the destination I’d been heading for all along: Bath and Body Shop. God. MAN. I just love that store to death. Thank god it’s in the mall, and it has been decreed that I can only step into the mall twice a year, or I’d spend us into the poorhouse at that store.

And apparently everyone else in Huntsville felt that very same way. Damn it was crowded in there. People milling about with a basket on their arm, trying to duck the way-too-helpful salesgirlies who would chirp "Buy three, get one free!" while spraying you with the only scent in the store you don’t like. I filled up the basket (literally)(thank god for that coupon) and stood in line for twenty minutes, but it just smelled so damn good that I really couldn’t be impatient.

Besides, I had my cheesy romance-type novel to keep me occupied.

When it was my turn to be rung up, the cashier – with frighteningly perfect blond curls piled perfectly atop her perfectly made-up face (I suspect she was actually, like, a robot or something) – informed me of all the bargains I was missing. "These are 4 for $14!" she said, waving the single bottle of something-or-other around.

What I thought, but did not say, was "If I WANTED four of them, would I not have PUT four of them in the basket, ya think, huh?" Instead, I smiled and shook my head. "I don’t think so."

Oh, poor cashier lady. Her face fell, her heart broke, and I think I saw her surreptitiously wipe away a tear. It’s a rough, tough little life in Bath and Body Works-land, and there I was heartlessly turning down her offer to HELP me save money by buying stuff I neither wanted nor needed.

"Oh!" She waved a bar of soap at me. "THESE are buy three, get one free!"

I smiled frostily. "No thanks."

I don’t remember what happened next, I think she went into hysterics and had to be carted away. All I know is that I had two heavy-ass bags to haul out to the Jeep, and the trip from the mall to the Jeep seemed a lot longer than the trip from the Jeep to the mall.

Once home, I ate lunch (I missed meal #2, with all that running around. I am fading away to nothing, I tell you), and started opening the TWELVE Christmas cards that had been waiting for me at the post office earlier.

You guys just rock, you know that? I’ve gotten in the area of 35 cards so far, and the door between the foyer and the kitchen is almost covered. Thank you!

Oh, speaking of cards. The spud got a card from her aunt – the ex’s sister – who signed the card "Derek and Cindy." The aunt’s name is Cindy, but as the spud asked, "Who’s Derek?"

Fuck if I know. Her boyfriend, I guess. But my question is this – why’d she sign his name first? Obviously I DO need to write a book about the subtle rules of a civilized society, because the card-signing rules go like this:

If I’m sending a card to someone on my side of the family, I sign it "Robyn, Fred, and the spud."

If the card’s going to Fred’s side of the family, I sign it thusly: "Fred, Robyn, and the spud."

And the Christmas cards I’m sending out to y’all are signed: "Robyn, Fred, and the spud", because you requested them from me, not Fred, even though you might like him better.

Got it? Good. Mwah!

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12/10/2001

by @ Monday, December 10th, 2001. Filed under Life

Okay, as regards Friday’s entry, wherein I said that the five celebrities I’d have a fling with were David Morse, Don@l Logue, Matthew Perry, Viggo Mortensen and Tim Roth, I need to edit that list.

The official list is now as follows: Don@l Logue, Matthew Perry, Tim Roth, Zach Ward, and Alan Tudyk (but only if he retains the red hair he had in A Knight’s Tale; as an alternate, I choose Paul Bettany from that same movie). God. Could you imagine being all famous and google-ing yourself to find that some fat chick in Alabama has you on her List?

(Fred: "Happens to me all the time…")

Starr, your emails are bouncing back to me. I don’t think ls.net likes me…

Thanks to reader Anne, who bought Nickel and Dimed for me off my wish list. Anne rocks!

The cats’ food and water dishes, I don’t think I’ve mentioned, are kept in the master bathroom. We originally kept them in the laundry room with the litter box, but since our cats are some litter-flingin’ fools, they were always getting litter in the water, and while it didn’t seem to bother them, it grossed me out. So we moved the dishes to the bathroom, where they sit against the wall next to the bathtub, and near the toilet (note to self: start working on that house tour sometime soon…), on a blue plastic mat with a lip designed to catch the food pieces that fall out of the cats’ mouths.

Unfortunately, they are also some food-slinging fools, and if it’s been more than two days since I vacuumed in the bathroom, you’re apt to find a fragment or two of cat food stuck to the bottom of your foot upon leaving the shower.

Anyway, once we moved the food dishes into the bathroom, Miz Poo developed the habit – nay, compulsion – to go running to the food bowls and chow down whenever I’m in there taking care of business.

I think she doesn’t want me to be lonely.

But when you have one food and one water dish and five cats, there are times when one cat wants to eat, and another (most probably the forever-eating Tubby) is already there.

So we head into the bathroom, Miz Poo and I, and I go about sitting down and taking care of business (too much information? You do it too, don’t deny it), and Tubby sees Miz Poo coming, and he moves out of her way, because he’s learned that to get between Miz Poo and her food is to invite a smackdown of the highest order.

The fun part comes when it’s one of the other cats, especially Spot. Miz Poo comes up to the food bowl and sees to her horror that another cat is in her place, eating out of HER food bowl, and she cannot believe the utter gall and nerve of this cat.

Meanwhile, Spot continues contentedly munching.

Miz Poo leans forward and aggressively sniffs Spot’s tail. Spot, being the don’t-touch-me! sort turns to see who’s sniffing at him. He sees that it’s Miz Poo and stares at her. She stares back. The scary music begins in the background. And quicker than the nekkid eye can see, Miz Poo reaches out with one paw and SMACKS Spot in the head, so hard that you can (if you’re paying attention) hear the thump. Spot rears back, ears laid back along his head, blinking furiously and trying to figure out what just happened.

And then Miz Poo SMACKS him again.

Whereupon Spot runs out of the bathroom as fast as his legs can carry him, and then hides under the bed with his tail sticking out ("If I can’t see them, they can’t see ME!" goes his reasoning), and there he pouts for quite some time.

Rarely, Miz Poo has decided to be patient – perhaps she’s just not that hungry – and she’ll sit and watch Spot eat. This is when I encourage her evil ways. "Miz Poo! What the hell does he think he’s doing?! He’s eating your food! Smack him, Poo! Smack him!"

And she almost always does, unless my tone has frightened Spot.

Makes me laugh my ass off, every time.

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