A Day in the Life (Monday, March 28th) Warning: This entry is hugely image-intensive. If you’re on a dial-up, it’s going to take forever to download. If a lot of pictures freezes up your computer, you’ll want to give this one a miss. I’m not kidding about there being a huge number of pictures. I’m awakened every morning except Sunday by Fred coming out of the bathroom after his shower and jiggling my foot to wake me up. He goes into the closet to finish getting dressed, and if I’m awake enough we talk for a few minutes. After a goodbye kiss (this is what he looks like to me, since I’m wearing neither contacts nor glasses), he leaves. I lay in bed for a few minutes, and then roll out of bed to get ready for the day. I hit the bathroom for my morning ablutions – pee, brush my teeth, brush my hair, take my synthroid – and then go back out into the bedroom to get dressed. Because I’m not completely sure whether I’m alone in the house, I shut the bedroom door to get dressed, because no one needs to watch me do the pulling-up-the-granny-panties dance. As always, Mister Boogers freaks out at the thought of a closed door and tries to figure out how to get on the other side. Once I’m dressed I head into the laundry room to clean the litter box (I edited out the full litter box. You’re welcome). Outside the laundry room, Spanky and Mister Boogers tussle. I head downstairs where I hang out in front of the computer for ten or fifteen minutes, waiting for it to be time to leave for the pet store. I need to go to Target after the pet store, and Target doesn’t open until 8:30. I don’t want to have to hang around waiting for it to open and it takes me about an hour to clean cages and bond with the kitties, so I don’t want to leave for the pet store too early. When 7:30 rolls around, I go out to the car and leave. The traffic isn’t too bad this morning. It’s moving at a pretty steady pace, for once. Hey, look! A yellow truck! Maybe I should have bought that… nah. The idea was to get a smaller vehicle than the Jeep, after all, not a bigger one. I can see the mountains Fred loves so much to climb. One of the managers lets me into the pet store and then goes to get the key to let me into the cat room. The cats see me walk by and know I’m there to feed them. They get all excited and start meowing and rubbing on things. I get a ton of cat pictures (which I’ll put up later this week) and I have to break up a few fights. I’m done cleaning and snuggling by 8:50, and I check the cages one last time (to make sure they’re all closed, and everyone has sufficient food and water), tell the kitties I’ll see them next week, and leave. As I drive to Target, I’m itching like hell. It’s got to be a combination of the cat hair I get all over me, and the sweating I do while I’m cleaning out the cages. In any case, every single week I itch like hell for half an hour or so after I leave the pet store, and I drive along scratching everywhere I can reach – especially my face – until the itchiness stops. I go to Target, where I find that they’ve moved the aisles around some. I look at food processors for a long time before I find that they actually sell a slice-and-grate attachment that will go on the front of my Kitchenaid mixer. I think that’s pretty damn cool, so I buy it. I look at the slippers. The ones I have are ruined, because I kicked a bowl of tuna juice (left on the floor for the cats) across the room, and got tuna juice all over my slippers. I couldn’t get the smell out, so I tossed the slippers. I don’t really like any of the slippers at Target, so I decide to wear my upstairs slippers downstairs for now. (I have one pair of slippers for upstairs and one for down, so I never have to go up and down the stairs looking for slippers. Yes, I’m spoiled rotten.) I wander around Target for about ten minutes longer, but end up only buying the slice-and-grate attachment, some Jolly Ranchers, and Wintergreen gum. I leave Target and have to go back to the pet store, because I forgot to pick up a canister of catnip. We can’t run out of that, you know! I go to the grocery store to buy what we’ve run out of since Fred got groceries on Saturday. It’s quite a sizable list and I wonder for the zillionth time how people make it on one grocery store trip a week. Do these people really exist, or is it an urban myth? I find that there are no whole wheat pitas – only white – and call Fred to see whether he wants me to get the white pitas or not. Not, he says. Two minutes later I have to call because he’s put “Starkist Chunk white tuna” on the list. Starkist has chunk lite, and solid white, but no chunk white. Because I’m in the middle of the store I have an awful connection, so I have to go to the front of the store and call him again. Does he want chunk lite or does he want solid white? Chunk lite. I peruse the Easter candy, which is on sale, and end up buying several bags to stick in the freezer until Friday. Fred worries that I might be tempted by the candy, but as long as the bags are unopen, it’s not a problem. Once they’ve been opened, though, they need to be hidden from me because I am WEAK. After I leave the grocery store, I swing by McDonald’s to buy a large Diet Crack Coke. Finally, almost three hours after I left the house, I’m home again. I drag all the groceries into the house and pile them on the counter. Mister Boogers supervises the putting away of the groceries. Once the groceries are put away, I sit in front of the computer, check my email and start my journal entry. I shoot off an email to Fred (our neighbors – the ones we call the Property Line Vigilantes because they were seriously concerned about the fact that Fred mowed a few feet over onto their property last summer, yet have no problem letting their child leave his toys all over our front lawn – have gotten a puppy. I suggest that they’re trying to keep up with the neighbors on the other side of us, who got the most adorable puppy a few weeks ago. He’s maybe a foot long, and his name is Bruiser. Heh. I wonder to Fred how long it will be before we’re scooping dogshit off our lawn. Then, because I can put it off no longer, I change into my exercise clothes, head out to the garage and exercise on the elliptical for 35 minutes. I haven’t got a clue why the TV screen says “34F”, because I was watching Sex and the City, Season 2. At the end of 35 minutes, I’ve gone 3.01 miles. Woot! Fear me! I sit in front of the computer and drink the rest of my Diet Coke while surfing (that’s Chubby Girl Brigade on my screen). Miz Poo is worried that I might be visiting unsuitable sites, so she comes to check it out. She decides that Aimee can’t corrupt me too much – though she does warn me against getting any ideas about bringing a baby into the house – and moves out of the way into her bed, where she falls asleep and makes disturbing sucking noises. After half an hour, my the color of my face has faded from bright, heart-attack red to medium pink, which is a sign that I’ve cooled down enough to take my shower. I finish my Diet Coke and head upstairs to do some cleaning. I’d intended to clean the bathroom, but it’s getting late so I decide to just clean the shower and tub and leave the rest for another day. I spray cleaner in the tub and shower, and then I take a moment to praise getupgrrl. Not because she’s a talented writer, though of course she is. Not because she’s funny as hell sometimes, though of course she is. No, I am praising her today because a few days ago she mentioned, almost in passing, the idea of using toothpicks to clean those crevices that regular cleaning solvents and sponges will not reach. And ever since, I have been a cleaning-with-toothpicks motherfucker. Today, I use toothpicks to clean around the jets in the tub, around the drain, and around the faucet. And three years of crap comes out from those crevices which is just too fucking cool. When the tub is clean, I put some laundry in. I don’t separate the laundry into darks and whites or anything, because I CANNOT BE BOTHERED. I just toss it all into the machine in one heap and let god sort it all out. I get out the Dyson and empty the canister (this will be important later). I start in the guest bedroom and vacuum like a vacuuming demon. When I pass the bookcase in the hallway, I turn the Dyson off. A few months ago Fred sold the Clavinova that was taking up space in the spud’s computer room. We’d talked about moving the bookcase in there, but it just hasn’t happened yet. I don’t want to pull all the books off the bookcase, then have to put them back when the bookcase is moved, but I really want to get the bookcase moved. It occurs to me that I should see if I can move the bookcase with all the books still on it. I give it a try and it’s not easy, but it’s doable. When I see all the cobwebs along the bottom of the back of the bookcase, I stop and suck ’em off with the Dyson. My god, I love my Dyson, have I mentioned? Almost there! And there it is. Almost perfectly centered on the wall, even! There are a few marks on the wall behind the bookcase, but you can’t see ’em so I’m not going to worry about it. The hallway looks so big and barren without the bookcase there! Once the bookcase is moved, I finish vacuuming the upstairs. The cats scatter for parts unknown. I go in to vacuum the bathroom, and when I come back out, Miz Poo is huddled on the bed giving me the big dark eyes. I have to chase her off the bed, because I need to vacuum the comforter. With four cats spending a lot of time snoozing on the bed, the comforter collects a lot of cat hair. Especially on my side of the bed, because that’s where Spot likes to sleep, and he’s a shedding motherfucker. When I’m done vacuuming the bed, I’m done vacuuming the entire upstairs. I take a look at the canister – which I mentioned was empty when I started vacuuming: …and I once again vow to vacuum more often than twice a week. I put the vacuum cleaner away and head for the shower. While I’m waiting for the shower to warm up, I notice that the top of the wallflower by the tub is just nasty looking. I grab it, toss it in the sink and use a toothpick to clean the hell out of it. It only takes a moment, and I dry it, put a new refill on it, and plug it back in. I think the scent is Mango Mandarin. Usually it takes me about ten minutes to shower, but today it takes more like half an hour, because I take toothpicks into the shower and I scrape so much gunk out of the crevices around the door that it almost makes me fall to my knees and praise jesus. When I’m out of the shower, I hear the washer stop, and so go into the laundry room to toss the laundry into the dryer. The spud has left her last load of laundry – she does laundry on Saturdays – in the dryer, so I fold her towels while Miz Poo supervises: then put the towels in her room. I put my laundry from the washer to the dryer, and then put a load of towels in. I go back into the bathroom and do my morning stuff – put gel in my hair, comb my hair, put rosacea medicine on my face, put moisturizer on my face, put Cortizone on a few itchy spots (I made the mistake of using DERMATOLOGIST-RECOMMENDED Eucerin on my stomach, legs, and arms, and ended up with welts that are just now starting to dry up and go away). I’m just done with combing my hair when the phone rings. It’s Fred. He’s not having a good day, so I listen sympathetically. Miz Poo climbs up on me and makes herself at home. I hang up the phone and pick up my book to read for a few minutes before I blowdry my hair. I get dressed, pet the cats, and head downstairs. They don’t pay any attention to me. I sit in front of the computer for a few minutes, and then remember that I need to pick up a prescription for the spud. I put on my shoes and go to the grocery store. While I’m there, I pick up four 2-liters of Diet Coke, because they’re on sale for 89 cents apiece. I’ll be visiting the grocery store twice a day so that I can buy (the maximum) four 2-liters per visit. The sales on 2-liter Coke products are few and far between. When I get home, I realize I’m wearing the dorkiest sweatshirt I own. It wouldn’t be so bad except that the black stripes at the bottom make it look like I’m going for a Charlie Brown look. It’s after 2, so it’s time for lunch! I make a turkey and ham rollup out of a low-carb tortilla, deli-sliced ham and turkey, mayo, mustard, and a handful of lettuce. I also have a side salad, a dill pickle, and a container of white chocolate and raspberry yogurt. Yummy! I forgot to take a picture, though. I eat in front of the computer (bad!), catching up on my journal reading. When I’m done eating lunch I head into the kitchen to start putting dinner together. We’re having CORE Salsa Meatloaf, which means lots of shredding. Which is why I was looking for a food processor at Target earlier – we only have a small food processor. I turn the TV on and start last week’s Lost while I get out the veggies I need to shred. I get the Kitchenaid attachment up and running and begin shredding an onion. Which is when I quickly come to an inescapable conclusion: the Kitchenaid attachment sucks ASS. I take it apart and get out the small food processor. It takes the better part of 30 minutes, but I finally get the damn meatloaf put together just as the spud walks through the door. She shares a bit of the school gossip with me, and then settles in to do her homework while I clean wipe down the counters and put all the dirty dishes in the sink. Mister Boogers watches in hopes that I’ll give him something to eat. I do not. By the time I’m done cleaning the kitchen, it’s almost 4:00, and thus time to start dinner. I put the meatloaf in to cook, and sit in front of the computer for a few minutes, doing some more catching up on my journal reading. (That’s Melissa) A little while later, Fred gets home (he had an appointment with the dentist today and was his usual charming self), and we go upstairs to lay down and talk for a few minutes. Spot and Spanky are in the exact same spots as they were when I went downstairs two and a half hours previously, which is par for the course. Spot grudgingly moves when I nudge him, and then I have to use the lint roller to pick up the cat hair he’s left behind so I won’t get it all over me when I lay down. Fat lot of good vacuuming the comforter did, eh? Spot and Spanky wait for us to go the hell away so they can stretch out and have the bed to themselves. Mister Boogers just sits and looks disapproving. We talk for about ten minutes, then go back downstairs. I put corn on the stove to cook, and some veggies in the microwave. Sugar snap peas for me, and brussels sprouts for Fred and the spud. I used to love brussels sprouts, but I just can’t abide them anymore. The timer goes off, indicating that it’s time to put the salsa on the meatloaf. As I’m doing so, it pops into my head that I forgot to add the four egg whites that the recipe calls for. Uh oh. Hopefully the meatloaf will be okay even without the egg whites. I leave part of the meatloaf bare, because I don’t care for cooked salsa on ANYTHING. Twenty minutes later, dinner is ready and we eat. The meatloaf is just fine. The spud doesn’t like meatloaf, so she has a piece of thickly-cut deli turkey instead. Usually Fred and I would go upstairs to lay down and talk for a few minutes, but he’s working on an entry so we both repair to the computer room. He works on his entry and I begin editing the pictures I’ve been taking all day long. Believe it or not, I only use about a third of the pictures I’ve taken. Fred goes upstairs to take his evening bath (the man loves his baths) and I continue to edit pictures, taking the occasional break to surf. Just before 7:00, which is the time we always stop hanging out in front of our computers and go spend time together watching TV, my computer freezes. I reboot and it freezes again. We (at least Fred does) spend the next half hour trying to figure out what’s going on. It turns out that my memory card reader has gone bad, so Fred gives me his and all is well. I’m assigned the task of getting a new memory card reader for his computer, which I put off for another time. We settle in the living room around 7:30 and Fred flips channels for a while. Fear Factor is on, and we watch until they get to the food challenge. I make Fred change the channel because the food challenges always gross me out. Fred flips channels at random while I read O Magazine and eat a no-sugar-added Fudge Pop. (That’s Yoko Ono on the screen.) Finally, 24 comes on and we watch it while I work on a cross-stitch ornament. Oh, Jack Bauer. You get yourself into the most impossible situations, don’t you? When the show is over, we check our email one last time and head upstairs. Mister Boogers yowls impatiently because he wants his snack, damnit! By the time I walk into the bedroom, the cats are lined up and waiting for their nightly snack. Spot hangs out on his pillow. Tonight, he’s not interested in a snack, but he keeps an eye on the other kitties. Fred kneels on the floor and squirts some antibiotic down Miz Poo’s throat. She fusses a little bit, but lets him do it. She’s learned that the less she fights him, the faster it goes. The kitties eat their snacks. I brush my teeth, pop out my contacts, and put medicine on my face, then get into my nightgown and we read until 9:30. We turn out the light and talk for half an hour or so. We toss some toys for Mister Boogers for a few minutes, then Fred kisses me and goes off to bed. I get up and turn the laptop on. While Mister Boogers and Miz Poo run around and play fight, I sit in the recliner and answer almost every single last bit of email sitting in my Inbox. A couple of the emails are from the last part of December. How embarrassing! I’ve now caught up on my email, so if you’re expecting a response for something you wrote and haven’t received one (unless you sent it in the last day), email me again, ‘k? After an hour of answering email, I turn off the laptop, climb into bed, and read for a few minutes before turning off the light and falling asleep in no time flat.