Cluttered Nightstands

Generally I am a fairly neat-ish person.  I don’t leave a bunch of stuff lying around, and I tend to pick up after myself fairly well.  But there is one area in my home that is a complete disaster, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s to cluttered nightstands:


This clutter is special.  This clutter means something.  Each January I clean it off, but after that I let it grow freely.

It grows higher with each book I read.  The pile reminds me of every new experience a book gives me.  There is my journal pile where those random ideas that come in the night get trapped so I can find them in the clarity of daylight.  Lotions and lip balms waiting for the cold snaps of fall are scattered about at arms reach.  The pile of books closest to my grandmother’s lamp sit just waiting to be read to remind me there is always more out there to discover.  My trusty neck pillow, given to me ages ago, sits under the book being devoured now.

And  when January comes I’ll clear it off, give it a good dusting and begin again…  So what does your nightstand look like?

Oh, The Elderly

I have an elderly cat named, Lucy.  She has been with me since she was five weeks old and now she is 13.  She has never been a particularly friendly cat, but I love her anyway.  Her aloofness makes those few moments when she does decide to snuggle even more special.  Usually it is in the winter and she is honestly just sitting in my lap to use me for my body heat, but I still treasure ever second she acts like a lap cat.

In her old age she is developing some annoying little habits though.  Suddenly she had become the litter box monitor.  If there is not enough litter in the box or if she thinks it is too dirty she sends me little messages.  Her little messages appear right outside the box, and they are hard to ignore.  She has me trained pretty well.  As soon as she leaves her note I get her box spick and span for her fluffy little ass.

I can’t blame her really, I mean nobody likes a dirty toilet.  I just wish her communication skills were a little less smelly and hard to clean up.

Movie Induced Panic

I have always struggled with anxiety.  It isn’t like I had a sad childhood; I was just kind of perpetually nervous.  I remember spending Sunday evenings crying in bed because I was afraid of going to school the next day.  I didn’t want to mess up on classwork, loose my lunch box, have no one to play with, I panicked when I did something wrong, and I had a horrific fear of having to go to the bathroom at school.  You know typical kid stuff.

My worries just sort of always tagged along behind me like a beast on a leash.  Occasionally they would hold me back from doing something like watching a movie.  I have a double edged sward when it comes to movies.  I tend to really get inside them when I watch.  I loose myself if the story.  It was wonderful because it was escapism at is best.  It made me fall in love with visual storytelling so much that I majored in it in college.

But it was also a big problem.  There were some movies that build up my ever-present anxiety to monstrous levels.  You would think it would have been horror movies, but no for me it was movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or Airplane.  I realize both of these movies were intended to be comedies.  To me they were anxiety provoking, panic inducing, hellish movies.  I still struggle to watch them even as an adult.

I live in a mind that is constantly showing me pictures of the worst case scenario of things going dreadfully wrong.  When I watch movies in which things are going to hell in a hand basket my anxiety level goes up exponentially.  It is like feeding steroids to my anxiety beast.   The beast gets so big that he squishes me by sitting on my chest and farting just to show me who’s the boss.  It is decidedly unpleasant.

As an adult, I have learned to wiggle out from under the anxiety beast pretty well.  Most of the time I can switch the channel or talk myself down.  On occasion he still gets a hold of me before I realize what is happening.  That is when my family and friends have to come in and pull me out from under the bastard, and yes, I still avoid those movies.

Pocket Envy

Can we just say it?  Women get the shaft when it comes to pockets.  As if it isn’t bad enough that our clothes are twice as expensive.  But clothing companies add insult to injury when they exclude the pockets from women’s wear.  Or worse yet you try something on that looks like it has a pocket only to discover it is a faux pocket for looks only. LIES!  They get your hopes up and then dash them with decorative deceit.

For the love of god, give me pockets!!!

We already pay more, so spring for that little bit of extra material and make me a damn pocket.  My husband does not own a single pair of bottoms that are pocketless.  He always gets a pocket.  It is so handy too.  He just reaches in a can grab what ever he needs: keys, wallet, phone, movie ticket, spare change, or chapstick.  It is all there conveniently strapped to him as part of his clothing.

I have complete pocket envy.  On the rare occasion I find pants, skirt, or even more shockingly a dress with pockets I rejoice with fervor.  For it is a rare day indeed when I can keep my chapstick efficiently tucked away in a pocket.  Perhaps I should start a campaign: Ladies for Equal Pockets.  I will have justice…someday!


House Rules

My husband has a problem.  He doesn’t think it is a problem, and to tell you the truth, in the beginning neither did I.  Ryan just loves boobs, which works out great because I happen to have a pair.  When we first got married though, I had to set down some ground rules.

Ryan finds it a delightful activity to honk my boobs.  He reaches out with both hands, gives them a squeeze, and says honk in a squeaky voice.  Some women might find it offensive, but they don’t know my husband.  Ryan is just like a kid in a candy shop.  He is goofy and his honks were something endearing.  Until one day.

I was in the kitchen.  It was hot.  Water was boiling and I was chopping away trying to get dinner on the table.  Ryan had just arrived home from work and was very happy to see me.  As I moved from the counter to the stove, knife in hand, Ryan gave my boobs a big ole honk.  Something deep inside me stirred.  I was not in the mood.  I was hot and tired and grumpy, and my boobs were not interested in being honked.

That is the day I established the house rule: Don’t honk my boobs while I’m cooking.  For years I thought we were the only couple that had to have this ground rule.  Any other time of day boob honking in the home is not only permitted, but enjoyed by both parties.  Unless I’m cooking.  In which case back the fuck off; I’ve got a knife.

Then one Sunday evening we were watching cartoons for grown ups on FOX.  That was when the short lived spin off from Family Guy called The Cleveland Show was still on the air.  As Ryan and I watched, Cleveland’s wife Donna, made him repeat our rule.  Suddenly from the television we hear Cleveland utter, “I can’t honk your boobs while you’re cooking.”  OMG we weren’t the only ones!  Sure they may have been cartoon characters, but somewhere there were writers who understood us!

I’m Gonna Be So Famous

You know there are fews palates as refined in this world as mine.  This is not at all true, but sometimes I like to pretend I have good taste.  Last night though, I really believe that I made a gastronomical breakthrough.

I had had a long day on my feet working at another bridal show for the bakery.  I had handed out hundreds of cake samples and cake balls.  And I had assured and equal amount of brides that their rustic chic wedding idea was completely original and brilliant, all while standing on arthritic knees crying to be drugged.  It is still better than teaching though!  No doubt about that!

Anyway once I got home Ryan and I order our dinner of champions, pizza, and I grabbed some wine and a pre-pizza snack.  This is where the magic happened.  I had a delightful Pinot Grigio vintage of the $5.99 variety, and I poured myself a big ole glass over ice cubes, because like I say, I’m classy.

As I sipped I tore open my Haribo gummy worms.  Dear god it was amazing!  The dry fruitiness of the wine paired with the delicate gelatinized sweetness of the worms created a wonderous reaction on my tastebuds.  It was sweet, but not too sweet.  Tart, but not at all in the slutty way.  In short, it was heaven on earth.

I have created a new masterpiece: The Pinot Grigio Gummy Worm-tail (it’s like a cocktail, but better because it has less cock and more worm).  It is so much more dignified than vodka gummy bears, and it has a far superior flavor profile to the lowly jello shot.

I’ve no doubt once the public learns of this new concoction Food and Wine will write a profile on it, Oprah will fly me to Chicago to make her one, and Martha Stewart will put me in her magazine.   Ok maybe Oprah won’t call, but I bet Kathy Lee and Hoda would take me on their show.  And you know if those ladies want you, you have really made it big!


Plantar Fascists is a Jerk

My feet hurt so freaking bad!  Ugh!  Every step feels like I am walking on jagged rocks that have been laying in a fire pit all day.  Searing pain hits my heels as soon as I put any weight on them.  It has been like this for two years.  I’ve seen doctors, had injections, wear insoles, special shoes, rubbed ice on my feet, used massage, gotten frozen water bottles to roll my feet on- I have done everything.  They still hurt every damn step.

My last doctor basically looked at me, called me fat, said that this would keep happening until I lost weight, and sent me on my way telling me to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I get it.  I know he’s right.

But what doctor’s never understand, the thing they can never wrap their heads around, is that I wish I could do what they say.  I wish it more than anything in the world.  I wish it so hard it hurts.  But I can’t.  I can’t because the only way I have ever known to face this big scary world is by arming myself with food to help ease the pain.  Food is my drug of choice to get through the bad times and the good.

I am an expert at finding just the right food to medicate for each situation.  Feel anxious?  Have some licorice.  Feeling sad?  Here’s some cocoa.  Need a hug?  Have more bread and butter.  I know just the fix for each feeling.  It is my world.  Doctors don’t get it.  How could I possibly face the world without my medicine?

I would love to loose weight.  I would kill to be skinny.  It would be so much easier to make it through the day without the stares from strangers, jokes whispered from behind, pain in my feet, and lack of energy for life.  But I can’t.  I’m stuck.  This is all I know, and I am in a vicious circle that keeps me trapped.

It should be simple.  I should just stop and face the world, vulnerable, without using food as a drug.  It should be simple, but it is not.  I don’t know why but it seems impossible to me.

So I will hobble through this world with pain in my feet and heart.  I will live the best that I can and try to ignore the hate and agony the world sends my way.  I can always just have a candy bar, right?


Sports are Hard

I grew up in a non-sporting household.  We never had sports on television at home.  And we certainly never played sports.  None of us knew how, or had any interest what so ever.

It wasn’t until I met my husband that I actually saw sports game start to finish on a regular basis.  I didn’t like them.  I loved him though, so now on occasion I watch one with him.  In order to cope with the boredom I knit furiously.  I have an amazing collection of knitted socks thanks to baseball season.

The other night Ryan asked me about how the shots are framed in the television cameras during sports games.  You see I was an Electronic Media major in college.  Basically I majored in television.  Anyway, a large part of my studies included producing crappy student films and public access television shows.

I had to take a cinematography class, learning how to operate a bunch of different cameras.  This became a huge problem when after learning about portable television cameras, our class was supposed to film a live broadcast of the college basketball game for public access.  I had never once seen a basketball game.  Each of us was assigned to a camera position, and I was placed high in the bleachers on a camera crow’s nest.  Then they told me I was the hero cam.  I looked at them with confusion, “And a hero cam does what?”

The answer was not ideal.  I was told it was simple, my job was just to get a close up shot of any player that does something great in the game like making a shot, block, pass, or rebound.  WHAT-THE-FUCK.  I had no idea what any of those words mean beyond a shot.  The director scurried off before I was able to decide if I should admit my sports related impairment.  I was young and still afraid to concede my shortcomings, so I just stood in stunned silence.  Unfortunately this was also before the time of smartphones so I couldn’t even use google to help me.  I was stuck alone in a crow’s nest trying to decipher what a good play was in a game I had never seen played before.

I didn’t have too much time to panic before my headphones started to buzz, the game began, and the director started barking orders into my ears.  I am sure he must have thought I was mentally challenged.  I was chasing random players around with my view finder just praying that they were the one the crowd was clapping about.  I made wild guesses at what looked hero cam worthy.  Frequently I was completely wrong.

As the game went on and I continued to frame up incorrect heroes the director’s voice in my ear became increasingly frustrated.  Eventually he just started calling out player numbers to me.  I would quickly scan the floor and frame up the hero.  This was a bit more successful, but dear god those guys move fast.  It was like trying to frame up a Ritalin soaked squirrel.

I cannot express the sweet relief that washed over me when the game ended.  I could finally put an end to my shame.  When I got down to the truck with my equipment the director glared at me and shook his head.  I shrugged in humiliation and said, “Sorry, I could work the camera just fine, it was the sports I had trouble with.”

But fifteen years later I was more than capable of answering all my husband’s questions about how his baseball game was being shot.  I suppose my afternoon of sporting related disgrace paid off in some ways.  I still don’t know the rules of any sport, but I can tell you how many inches of a sock you can knit in nine innings.  It’s two.  Two inches of sock and you never have to learn how to play the game.

The Doctor Is In

My husband injured his knee.  We are not actually sure how it happened.  I have my suspicions of its root being in a video game related mishap.  I know that is hard to imagine.  A person can injure themselves from video games???  But yes, I believe it can be done.  Ryan played a game for about 12 hours one day without moving much.  He recalls having his ankles crossed in a weird position.  From all my years in medical school*, I deem his injury caused by strain from inactivity.  Holding his leg in a weird position for 12 hours screwed it up.

Ryan disagrees with me.  Despite his doctor’s inability to diagnose what was causing the pain, Ryan still suspects some factor other than my video game theory is at play.

It’s ok though; I love him anyway.  I especially love that his new knee brace makes it look like his knee has lips.  I desperately want to coat them in red gloss and take a photo.  Unfortunately Ryan will have none of my shenanigans and this is the best I could do.  Behold the knee lips:

knee lips

I’m making lemonade out of lemons people.

* 0 years

Why Can’t I Just Hold You

I wish I could hold my cats without them trying to murder me.  I know it is not their fault.  I have a habit of finding my animals in the wild and bringing them home.  Who knows their true parentage.  It could be the local tom-cat or perhaps a daemon spawn from hell.  You just can’t be sure.  I love both my foundling girls dearly, but neither will put up with any of my bullshit when it comes to trying to cradle them.

When Lucy was younger she would claw at me to get sweet release.  Now she has taken to a new strategy in her old age of just letting go her bladder and pissing all over me.  She gets her point across fast.  I suppose it is just a sign of her brilliance that she has learned a way to get free with so much less effort than using her claws.

Ethel on the other hand is not as bright.  She chooses to earn her freedom by crying out like you are killing her until you are convinced you might actually be hurting her and you let her go out of guilt.  This strategy takes much more time and effort on Ethel’s part, but hey, this is coming from the same cat that manages to lock herself in rooms by closing the door and then frantically wails because she is stuck.  Now all of our doors have to have doorstops to help our mentally challenged cat from becoming entrapped.  We accommodate her only because she is kind of cute and cuddly.

Maybe someday I will have one of those cats that you can pick up and pet without fear of piss or claws.  A girl can dream.