Libraries and Little Crunchies

Currently my husband and I are redecorating our library.  I have climbed a giant ladders to paint a wall the turquoise of my dreams.  Meanwhile Ryan and my dad have been building a wall of bookshelves 12 feet high.  Soon I will even get a built in ladder for it.  We are going straight up Beauty and the Beast palace library.

I have also done a bit too much premature online shopping for the room.  Chairs and desks and end tables have already arrived in their giant cardboard boxes.  Unfortunately since the library is still a construction zone my new furnishings have been relegated to the hallway and dining room until further notice.

Then yesterday I was looking longingly at my new treasures sitting there in their giant shipping boxes and it reminded me of my childhood.  No, I wasn’t shipped in a box to a new family or anything.  My dad worked in a store that sold large appliances.  He would bring home the boxes from the floor models they had on display.  Then when we had collected enough he would tape several boxes together making a sort of cardboard box maze fort that filled the living room.

Here is where it gets interesting.  My mom would give us each steak knives, which thinking about it now seems horrifying to hand over a knife to a four year old, but ehh, it was the 1980’s, a simpler time.  Anyway, my sister Julie and I, now armed, would enter out new fort and commence sawing away at the cardboard to make patio doors and windows.  We had to be careful though because over zealous sawing with our knives caused the blades to get fiery hot.  We would periodically saw like little women possessed and then touch our knives to see who could make theirs hotter.  This was not a wise pursuit, but Julie and I found it riveting entertainment.

Once our doors and windows were constructed we would bring in the furnishing.  Pillows, blankets, books, and stuffed animals were painstakingly dragged into our new abode.  We would decorate the best we could, drawing pictures on the walls with magic markers until our fort was home sweet home.  It was spectacular fun, with only a few drawbacks.

First being that we lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is about as far south as Texas goes.  Thus our temperatures were never below seventy even in the dead of winter.  To some this is paradise, but I assure you, if your are inside a fort, inside a house, you might beg to differ.  The temperatures inside our cardboard paradise quickly rose to about the 80 degree mark.  Then once we plugged up our rooms with our cozy blankets and pillows we would edge closer and closer to the 90’s. It turns out cardboard is a great insulator for holding in heat.  No matter how many windows we cut it was never quite enough to allow for air flow to drop our temperatures down to a livable range.  Thus our fort was good for only short vacations from the real world outside.

The second problem only became apparent a few days after our move in date.  You see Corpus Christi was quite tropical.  Not in the pretty sense of the word, more in the high humidity way.  Which, apparently provides the perfect conditions for large flying cockroaches to live and reproduce in abundance.  They were everywhere.  My sister and I lived in constant fear of the flying critters.  Unfortunately we learned the hard way that the roaches also thought our homemaking skills were spectacular.

After a few days the roaches would discover our fort and move in themselves.  They would make themselves quite comfortable hiding amongst the books and blankets.  This resulted in screams of terror from Julie and me as we would be in the midst of lounging in our new home only to have a giant roach scurry out of our blanket across our tummy.  Or worse we would pick up books and a roach would crawl onto our arm.  It was terrifying.  We would scream and flail inside our boxes causing roach and book to fly off to destinations unknown.  I can only imagine how much my mother must have laughed watching our boxes bounce and bend as we had conniptions from within.  The most horrendous part was when in the midst of making an emergency exit to try to evade the intruder that had been cast off in the shuffle, you would accidentally squish it with your knee or hand as you crawled to safety.  Once outside I would look at my knee wondering why it felt sticky only to discover half a roach smeared across it.

Other than the roaches and heat stroke our fort was a palace.  Julie and I spent hours upon hours in playful bliss inside.  I do think my new palace is better.  Now I will have my own palace library and there is central A/C and pest control to boot.  I’m living the dream.

I Suck at Being Patient

Waiting is hard.  Over the years I have developed a several coping mechanisms for your normal, average, everyday waiting.  For instance, I never leave home without a sock to knit shoved into my purse.  That takes care of those DMV lines or a wait at the nail salon.  You get a few strange looks as you juggle five needles while appearing to be crafting a tube out of yarn, but other than that sock knitting is a proven winner for many waits.

Sometimes larger weapons, such as books, are deployed.  Books are super because they keep my brain from thinking all the anxious thoughts for a while.  Thus when waiting for something that may be painful such as a full body wax or a doctor’s appointment they are ideal.   Books are even more handy dandy now that they fit inside my phone.  As an added bonus no one stares anymore because now they can’t see the cover of the hobbit filled, world on the back of a turtle shell, modern day wizarding, or dragon and fairy based fiction I choose to read.  Win. Win.

Not all waiting is dispensed with so easily though.   Right now I am waiting for some test results.  You know the kind.  The ole, you could be just fine, or you could be harboring a hideous and fatal disease, kind of test results.  Of course they are also the kind of results that take entirely too much time to come in.  The worst part is once the results are in you have to wait again to get an appointment to come in to have said results revealed to you by the every busy and time crunched doctor.  There is no book or sock for this kind of waiting.

Instead I peel the skin from my fingers until they are bloody, or graze on food all day long.  I binge watch television in the background, and force myself to clean the house.  But despite all that I can still feel a festering anxiety in my gut reminding me that none of my tactics are really working.  I’m still nervous.  No way around it this time.

LeTtErS aRe HaRd

I have been trying to teach myself calligraphy.  It is not going well.  Everything I write looks like a glob of paint someone tried to mush around to vaguely resemble a squiggle.  The letters look like a left handed alien wrote them while blindfolded.   

I have tried books and You Tube videos, but I seem to require more remediation than they can provide.  Lest you be concerned I might give up, fear not for I am stubborn as hell.  I am going to poke away until I can write something legible, I promise.

Throughout the process it has occurred to me that our forefathers must have been patient beyond belief!  It really slows down your train of thought when you have to re-dip your pen every few letters.  Not to mention that the first letter often turns into a blob of ink (even if your use a blotting pad) and the last letters with that dip are so faint you rely on paper indentations to read them.  I cannot imagine trying to write a play, novel, or even the freaking constitution this way.  You would get a great idea for a sentence and forget it half way through because you had already had to dip and blot your pen twelve times before completing the first five words.

People must have thought slower back then.  Half the time my fingers can’t even type as fast as my brain works and I forget the thought before I can get it onto the computer screen.  If I had to use a freaking quill to try to record my ideas I would be in deep shit.  Or perhaps that is my problem.  Maybe I should slow down a little.  Take my time and process each word before writing it down.  Ehh, who has the patience.

I live a kamikaze lifestyle as it is, no point in changing it now.  I’ll just be grateful for computers and the delete key, but I have much more respect for Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

Nargles

Lately I haven’t posted much, not because I haven’t been writing posts, but because all of the posts I have written are so horrendously depressing I felt guilty at the thought of forcing people to read them.  I’m not kidding those posts would suck the happy out of a room quicker than a turd in the punch bowl.  Anyway, I figured today perhaps I should write something that will not make even the vampires bleed tears.

So let’s talk about the X Box.  My husband has our X Box hooked up to do facial recognition and voice control for our television.  Honestly it is scary as shit to think that the folks over at Microsoft get a live feed of me streaking across the living room to get my pants from the dryer, but I try not to ruminate on it too much.  Besides all the other things the X Box does with the television are pretty cool.

It is fun to sit down and have the television pop up an avatar of you and say, “Hi Kelly.”  But honestly I feel like I missed out on a little opportunity there.  I should have given myself a more interested name so X Box would say something fun like, “Hi You Sexy Dame, You,”  or, “Hi Glitter-Bug Yum Yum,”  or maybe, “Hi Brilliant and Ravishing Goddess of All Things Good In The World,” so that every time I watch television I get a little self esteem boost.

Aside from just welcoming me X Box lets me do all sorts of other things like changing channels and inputs just by talking to it.  Which is awesome, except my mouth seems broken.  When I want to watch a DVD I have to switch the input.  So I say, “X Box go to Blue Ray Player.”  The problem is every damn time I try to say that what falls out of my mouth is something to the effect of, “X Box go to Boo Way Player.”  At which time the X Box chastises me and is like, “What the fuck lady, I don’t know what the hell you want me to do.  Learn to talk right, dammit!”  I have tried and tried to say it correctly, but it always comes out wrong.  Thank god I have no speech impediment in real life; mine seems only to emerge when speaking to electronics.  I have no idea why.  I suspect Nargles steal my ability to speak clearly to the X Box.  #Nargles #Firstworldproblems

Foot In Mouth Patient Zero

I suffer from chronic foot in mouth disease, which is basically an affliction causing me to vigorously shove my own foot into my mouth using only my words.  It afflicts me more than I would like to admit.

I find myself constantly saying shit and then realizing I have inadvertently insulted someone.  Or worse, I give an opinion only to recognize that I have horrified everyone in the room, or I instantly look foolish as said opinion is promptly ruled ridiculous by the party at large.  This leads me to believe I should never, ever say what I am thinking because somehow it is always wrong.  It is also the reason I don’t like leaving my house; when I am sent into the wild there is no telling what will spew from my lips.  Probably a foot, actually, as chances are I have already managed to shove it in there.

It seems safer just to shut up and never say anything out loud.  Once I have shoved my foot in my mouth I feel so terrible that I want to crawl in a hole and die.  This ins and outs of interpersonal communication baffle me.  Just when I think I’m doing ok I say some shit and then commence the sleepless night replaying it in my head and cringing.   Nothing I can say can make anything better.  It totally blows.

I just want to be a good person, but it is really hard to exist with my mouth taped shut.    

Oh Catalogs, I Miss You

Does anyone else miss catalogs?  Growing up I loved it when that giant Sears catalog would fill up our mailbox.  It was more than just toilet paper for my grandpa; inside one glossy tome you could peruse anything from a mail order house to toys.

Personally I spent most of my time looking at the jewelry section.  Even as a young girl I still preferred shiny bobbles to anything else.  I spent hours staring at pages littered with glorious gemstones.  One page would show off tens of different offerings.  I loved it.

I went page by page and picked out my dream piece on each one.  Time melted away as glittering daydreams kept me occupied.  Then I learned that if you cut carefully you could make paper jewelry.  I meticulously trimmed out all my favorite piece and cut slits in the backs of the rings, necklaces, and bracelets.  Then I could wear them.  A little tape on the back of the earrings and voila, you had yourself a brand new pair of stunners.  It turns out all those little jewelry pieces were printed fairly life size if you are an industrious enough eight year old and are willing to power through a few paper cuts around your neck.

Now the days of those mammoth books delivered straight to your mailbox are gone.  Instead web pages display wears, but somehow it is just not the same.  I miss the smell of the fresh ink and the crinkle of the pages as I flipped through them.  And I really miss being able to try on my favorites.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

The Grammy’s were last night.  I didn’t watch them, but it did remind me of a question that has baffled me for many years.  How come British and Australian people have accents when they talk but not when they sing?  WTF?

I don’t even want to admit how long it took me to figure out that Adele was a Brit.  She sounds like a damn red blooded American when she sings.  But listen to her talk and the vowels are stretched as far as possible.  It’s bizarre.  How come she doesn’t sing that way?

Last week I saw Keith Urban on the Today show.  That is about the time I remembered he was Australian because you would never know that when you hear him sing.  He sounds like he is straight out of Nashville, not New South Wales.

And Mumford and Sons are the worst offenders.  They sound more American than the Beach Boys when they sing.  Yet somehow they are from England!

I do not understand.  Why is it that singing erases accents?  The only accent I have found that is strong enough to remain even in song is the god-damned southern drawl.  Of course that would be the one that sticks.

The Great De-Clutter of 2017 Forges On

As part of the Great De-Clutter of 2017 I have been trying to organize and thin my recipe collection.  This is no small task as I collect recipes like normal people scrapbook.  I make special little spots for them mounted on white paper in nice clear sleeves. 

The problem is I never throw out the ones I make and do not particularly adore.  That is how I wound up with three notebooks full plus an ever growing pile of clippings waiting to be cemented into my treasured notebooks.

So this week I have begun the surprisingly painful process of ridding myself of the recipes that did not pan out.  During this process I discovered my grandmother’s pork stuffing recipe.  When I was a little kid I would freaking beg for this stuff.  Every Thanksgiving she would make a big bowl of heaping grey stuffing and I would pile my plate as high as my mom would let me.

Now looking at the recipe I am horrified that I ever ate it at all, much less bagged for it.  For the love of god all it is it ground pork with a bit of seasoning and a potato.  I was literally eating a pile of pure ground pig.

I got a little curious if anyone else eats pork stuffing so I did some digging on the inter-tubes.  I got a few hits that looked promising.  But when I clicked on the first few sites they were all, “Did you mean  dressed pork chops, or pork roast?  Who the hell would eat pork dressing, you weirdo?”  After being chastised by the internet I was starting to wonder if the recipe was just something my ever unique grandmother made up.

The third hit down game me a little clarification.  It directed me to “Yankee Bread Stuffing,” which seemed totally promising since my grandmother was from Rhode Island.  Upon closer examination it was kinda similar.  It at least had ground pork as an ingredient along with celery, onion, and bread.  It definitely had a bit more going on flavor wise than the pile of pork I used to eat.

After clicking through some more hits it seems apparent that only my carnivorous family ate their dressing sans bread or at least a bit of celery.  In the end the pork dressing recipe from my grandmother is a keeper.  I can’t imagine actually making it to feed to someone, but its part of me and so it stays.

Holy Shit

I have that sensation like the ground has been pulled out from under me and my stomach is dropping to my knees.  I have two friends going through terrifying medical ordeals, the kind you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy.  Both of them are coping amazingly well.  They are calm and collected and both are facing each new challenge with strength.  I would never have a chance of handling the situation half as well as they are if it had befallen me.

Anytime something like this happens it makes you think.  I know I should be grateful for every healthy day I have.  I should pay attention to all the little things that happen everyday.  So today I am going to rejoice as I clean up the litter box because I feel good and healthy and lucky.  Cat shit has never seemed so uplifting before.  Here’s hoping my friends will both feel well enough to happily shovel shit someday soon too!

Panties Suck

I would like to talk about an issue that is near and dear to my heart.  Technically I suppose it is more near to my nether region.  Can we talk about the perils of lady’s underwear?

I do not understand why science has not yet mastered the construction of panties.  All I want in the world are some under-roos that don’t roll down when I sit, floss my butt crack when I walk, or cut off my circulation from overly aggressive elastic.  Is that too much to ask?

We can put a freaking man on the moon, but we can’t seem to engineer comfortable knickers.  I feel like the whole industry thinks I want to either have a string up my ass or bikinis so low riding they slowly work their way to the ground.

I get downright jealous when I watch my husband slip into some cozy looking baggy shorts for his underwear.  Meanwhile I am left to squeeze into my cotton/poly blend cellulite suckers and hope for the best.