Archive | August, 2012

A terrifyingly wet playground

30 Aug

Pretty Much…

Alan and I took his kids to Splashdown Waterpark yesterday. I’m still recovering, so I don’t have time for a full post. Instead, I’ll just share a few pearls of wisdom with you:

First: the Lazy River is actually pretty fun when you’re not sharing it with turds. Seems obvious, but if your only other waterpark experience was like mine, then this actually comes as something of a revelation.

Also: the Lazy River is also a far cry from lazy. It’s more like a treadmill. We spent the better part of two hours playing tag by swimming laps around the lazy river. Not sure about the kids, but I’m wiped out.

Second: Water Slides? Kind of terrifying. I’ve never liked the closed-tube kind because it makes me claustrophobic, so I thought I was wise by choosing the open slide. I should’ve realized my instincts were failing me when I saw that the closed-tube version had a congo line forming to ride it, while the open slide essentially had a wad of tumbleweed milling about on its steps. Instead, I thought, “Suckers!” as I sprinted past.

Then halfway down, spinning wildly in circles and banking like a professional luge athlete, I found myself grabbing blindly at the sides of the slide, trying to slow myself so I wouldn’t go flying off it. And while they don’t have a mirror at the bottom, if Alan’s expression was indication, my face morphed from “Oh shit!” to “Thank the Lord!” as soon as I exited the slide. One and done.

Third: If you have a weave (by which I mean an elaborate hair piece), please don’t go to a waterpark. Or, if you’re going to go, then twist that mess up on top of your head. Otherwise, you look crazy walking around with butt-length hair, trying to keep it dry when you’re at a place called SPLASHpark.

Finally: I could spend an entire day watching people sit on the in-pool water fountains. At one point, Alan’s son was sitting on one and I caught Alan’s eye. “I’m not sure what’s happening,” I whispered, “but I’m pretty sure it’s either going to end with your son shitting in the pool or sporting a boner.”

And with that we left.

You’re welcome, Splashdown.

Score one for my sister…

21 Aug

I shared a sweet photo with my sister on Facebook because I know she likes cats:

And this was her response:

Continue reading

It’s only once a year so they can forget who I am.

20 Aug

Last week I had my annual visit with the OB/GYN. I challenge any woman to convince me that this is NOT an awkward visit. I don’t care how comfortable you are naked, or how unfazed you are by a virtual stranger massaging your breasts, there’s really no way to portray it as anything other than awkward.

Especially if you have my knack for enhancing awkward situations.

First off, there was the waiting room.  I sat, along with nearly two dozen other women, silently updating my paperwork, eyes darting around trying to guess if anyone else was there for something other than an annual physical. Anyone trying to get pregnant? Anyone trying NOT to get pregnant? Anyone worried about positive test results they’d just received?

I was noodling through the possibilities when – to my embarrassment – a robotic voice loudly announced from my pocket, “Time: 28 minutes.”

I’ve been using “MapMyFitness” to track my walks using the GPS on my phone. The latest version has a computerized voice that will NOT be silenced (or even adjusted using the volume buttons). As she started barking from my pocket, everyone looked around, trying to figure out where the mechanical gym teacher was.

Unfortunately, I knew where she was, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop her from completing the rest of her long data sequence, including my total mileage. So I did the next best thing: I fished out the phone and sat on it. It was the best I could do to muffle it, but even so, you could clearly hear her announce my pace.

Instead of hanging my head and furiously working on my paperwork, I looked challengingly around the room, deciding to own it. Anyone looking in my direction to figure out why my ass was seemingly announcing mileage was met by a nod that I hope silently conveyed, “Yeah, that’s right. I walked here.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

Even so, I was relieved when they called my name and I was guided to a room. It was cheerfully set up – nice hardwood floors, cloth gown on the table, stirrups at the ready, mirror, … WAIT. Um. Seriously? A wall-mounted mirror at the end of the table?

“How often do people point out that that is a very unfortunate place for a mirror?” I asked the nurse. She looked up, surprised, as if she’d never noticed the mirror before. Turns out? I was the first person to say anything. INTERESTING.

Part of me wanted to walk over and lift it away from the wall to make sure it wasn’t a two-way mirror, like the kind marketers hide behind when observing a focus group. I was too lazy to do it though, so instead I found myself staring at it during the exam, making subtle hand-gestures – thumbs-up, peace, hang loose – in case I had an audience.

I would’ve worried that the doctor might see me and think I was odd, but this is the same man whose running commentary while giving a breast exam is, “Great. Good. Perfect. Beautiful. Good. Beautiful.” So I don’t think I really need to defend my potentially creepy behavior to him.

Fortunately, it was all over in under ten minutes, so I didn’t have another opportunity to make it more awkward. Well, other than making an “in-and-out” quip about the speed of the visit. Which – say what you will – really isn’t assisted by gesturing at the speculum when you deliver it. Just… don’t.

Time flies when you’re…

17 Aug

Caught by the Kiss-Cam at a Wizards Game!

Three years ago today, Alan and I had had our first date.

We didn’t realize it was a date at the time. We were just two friends from college who hadn’t seen each other in almost 15 years. We’d reconnected on Facebook and realized we were in the same city and thought it’d be fun to grab a drink.

So we met for a margarita at a Lauriol Plaza – a Mexican restaurant within walking distance from my place. That was my first experience waiting for someone I hadn’t seen in so long. I stood in front of the restaurant, eyeing every guy who walked up, searching for some trace of the Alan I’d known in school, wondering if 15 years was long enough for him to become unrecognizable.

You’re probably rolling your eyes, saying, “Hey Dumbass, didn’t you just tell us you’d reconnected on Facebook? Which has photos?”

And you’re correct, but your name-calling is a bit insulting. Because, Dumbass, we all know that people tend to put publicity stills of themselves from the thinnest/prettiest/follicliest (<– new word) times of their lives. In other words: Facebook is not to be trusted.

Alas, when he finally did approach, I recognized him immediately. THERE was the same southern gentleman l’d known back in school, holding the door for me so I could enter the restaurant, carrying himself as if he had a board shoved up his back because somewhere along the line he’d been taught proper posture.

And just like that, our friendship was rekindled. And then some.

The years fell away and all that had happened between graduation and that moment seemed like collections of short stories we’d been saving up just to tell each other. And we did. And we have been. For three  years without pausing.

I know, three isn’t much. You’re probably knowingly shaking your head, thinking, “Silly kids. They haven’t even hit the thick of it yet.” And you’re right. But three’s enough to know that I’ve found someone I never run out of words with. And who always has an ear for me.

The way I figure, that has to count for something right?

Happy anniversary, Alan. Here’s to many more…

Here’s how you win Top Chef.

15 Aug

Full disclosure: this post won’t actually tell you how to win Top Chef. But it might make you feel like a better cook after comparing your culinary skills to mine. Continue at your discretion.

I love to cook and I think I’m pretty good at it, but lately I’ve been copping out. You might have noticed that I’ve been posting less frequently and that the quality of the posts is, um, lacking.

It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that my eyes have been crossed with work since May. Lest you think I’m exaggerating: my OCD self has been tracking my work time in a spreadsheet and I’m putting in 60-80 hrs/wk. And (this is for you, Alan) I’m not even a lawyer! 

Bottom-line: I’ve been compromising on things I normally pride myself on: culinary feats, housekeeping, bill-balancing… grooming.

Before you get all judgmental on my ass: When you start working at 6am and stop at 10pm, it really doesn’t matter if you shower, because the fragrance you’re wearing is Crazy. And your outfit is Porky Pig. (Which means a shirt without pants, in case you missed that lesson.)

[Deep breath.]

Looks like pizza? Tastes like ass.

So back to cooking. I feel like I could write a cookbook for lazy chefs everywhere. Here’s a list of the top three meals I can make in under 15 minutes while hosting a conference call. Consider this my gift to you:

  • Toaster Pizzas! Kind of like the crappy Triscuit Pizza your friend’s mom tried to serve you in the 80’s when microwaves required lab goggles and a lead vest. But infinitely more awesome. Recipe: one English Muffin, pizza sauce, cheese, salami. Pop it in the toaster over and 10 minutes later… amazement!
  • Mexican Fiesta! Go ahead and mock me because it’s processed, but it’s better than appetizers in half the restaurants in this town. (If by “restaurant” you think I mean “bar happy hour spread.”) Recipe: one box Trader Joe’s mini beef tacos, one package Avocado’s Number Guacamole, also from Trader Joe’s. Pop tacos in the toaster oven. Accompany with one scoop of guacamole. Demolish.
  • Bastardized Wiener-Schnitzel! So this might actually qualify as cooking, but it’s shameful because there aren’t any veggies on the plate. Recipe: bread a pork chop with panko and parmesan. Boil spaetzel in a separate pot for 13 minutes while you fry the pork chop in olive oil. Once done, in the same pan: melt butter, white wine, capers, lemon juice, mushrooms and a tablespoon of good mustard. Dump sauce over drained noodles, throw the whole thing on top of the pork chop. Eat two of them and mentally don your lederhausen. Yodle.

Yes, there are more. So many more, I can’t continue listing them without shame. But if you’re curious, I recommend adding the following staples to your grocery list: kielbasa, gruyere, tomatoes, figs, bleu cheese, pesto, toilet paper.

Because it might taste good, but it’s rarely pretty.