Thursday, December 8, 2016

Winter Hazards

PC: Boston Globe

Winter is a frigid and hazardous time fraught with worry.  What if I or someone in my family gets into a car wreck on the icy roads?  How much would my insurance go up? What if a water pipe freezes and bursts inside my house? Would waterlogged recharger cords for our electronics still work or would we get electrocuted? What if I forgot to pay the utility bill and we didn't have any heat?  That one's easy.  We'd burn Christmas cards and letters in the fireplace to stay warm.  Before we set fire to all the furniture the kids and dogs have ruined.

But, what about the other hazards?

Like having bad hair for months on end.  Because dry air equals bad, frizzy hair.  Even if you do somehow manage to get out of the house while your hair looks good, it won't last long.  First, it'll get blown by arctic air when you're pumping gas.  Then, it will start snowing.  Why is your gas tank always on empty when it's snowing anyway?  When you get back into your nice warm car, then the snow melts, soaking your hair.  Revealing its true uncoiffed texture and that cowlick it took you 10 minutes and lots of expensive product to tame.  Sure, you could wear a hat, but that only makes matters worse.  'Tis the season for staticky hat hair!

You'll stock up on all kinds of comfort foods at the grocery store to give you solace during the dark, bitter cold nights you spend curled up on your couch watching House Hunters, the vacation home episodes.  But, when you get to the store, you'll run into that acquaintance, you know, the chatty one you don't know where you know her from, in the produce section.  You'll have snot running down your nose making a beeline for your mouth, because that's what happens when it's cold outside.  In the absence of a tissue, and in a moment of panic, you wipe it on your hand while making small talk with whats-her-face.  Then, after you finally say your goodbyes, you'll proceed to see whats-her-face in every other aisle.  

Everything's wet, including the roads and your beautiful hardwood floors you just washed yesterday.  Everything except your skin.  Your skin is ashy and flaky and your lips are so chapped it looks like you're wearing dark lipstick that's completely the wrong shade for you.  But, your hands are the worst.  They're so dehydrated they ache when you bend your fingers.  And slathering moisturizer on them makes them sting even more.  Plus, now you can't open doors, a jar or pole dance because your hands are too greasy and slippery.  

Wearing gloves doesn't solve anything.  In fact, gloves or no gloves, my fingertips will not thaw out until May.  And have you tried picking up dog poop with a plastic bag over your glove?  It's nearly impossible.  Plus, with gloves acting like an oven mitt, you don't even get to feel the warmth from the dog poop on your hands.  What a cruel joke.  But, gloves are a far superior option to wipe your snot on than on your hand.  

So there's that...

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Best Things in Life

You've heard the sayings.  The best things in life are free.  And the best things in life aren't things.  When I look at my life, I'd say the best things are my family and the travels we've been on together.  Not to mention our dogs and having a place I love to call home near the mountains with lots of great hiking.  But, none of these things are free.

The best things in life are a total pain in the ass.

Let me start by saying, my husband is wonderful.  However, there are lots of life's little annoyances (that can seem to grow with 20 plus years of marriage).  Like will he ever clean his stubble out of the sink after he shaves?  Why do I have to do this?  And I'm sure he'd like me to unclog my long hair from our shower drain.  Also, why is there more hair in my shower drain than on my head in my forties?  How is this even possible?   And when your husband gets you a foot spa for your birthday, it means he thinks your feet are gross right?  Also, I don't get mani-pedis and my feet are totally gross.  

Then, let me state the obvious: kids are not free.  I know this because I pay the car insurance for two teenage boys.  TWO TEENAGE BOYS, I SAID!  I also buy shoes for them to destroy over the course of a week and jackets for them to lose.   Not to mention food.  Even though I never have anything to eat in my house, somehow this costs me roughly about $300 a week at Costco and I have burrito and Cheez-It wrappers strewn all over my house.  My two girls aren't any cheaper.  The boys can survive on a mere two pairs of shoes, sneakers and flip flops.  The girls need a rainbow of Converse to match every outfit, separate basketball shoes, flip flops, flats, plus dress shoes for special occasions.  Luckily, boys don't have special occasions, being a boy is just one long, unspecial, casual occasion, as far as I can tell.  

The only time I feel special anymore is when I come home to my dogs.  The only people in my house who appreciate me.  And they aren't even people.  But, they cost almost as much as people.  Because I have a special needs dog who needs to be on the $80 bag of dog food I have buy from the vet.  We learned this the hard way after hundreds of dollars in vet bills after our wall-to-wall carpet was destroyed by wall-to-wall dog pee, vomit and diarrhea.  Then there was the time they ate raw pizza dough and had to go to the doggie ER to get their stomachs pumped so they didn't die from alcohol poisoning.  And now my special needs dog is on medication (he doesn't like the taste of and I have to entice him to eat wrapped in luncheon meat like pigs in a blanket) for his hip.   

At least I have mostly new floors in my house because of the kids and dogs.  But, we did all of the work ourselves.  And it totally looks like we did it ourselves.  But, what does it even matter?  Our house was built over a mine on volatile soil and the foundation started sinking about 5 years ago.  Now, we could jack the foundation up for $80,000 with no guarantee it won't settle again.   Or we could just ignore the problem and get new windows (installed on a slight slant so they look straight) that actually close.  Which is what we did.  And no, oddly, insurance doesn't cover your house sinking into the earth.  But, at least we have a clear view out of our very expensive windows to witness the demise. 

Which only encourages us to ignore our problems on the home front by traveling to exotic places to get away from it all.   Places with gorgeous vistas that we can explore by hiking, snorkeling, zip lining and getting food poisoning.  You know, the good things in life.   Trips that we painstakingly plan ourselves after extensive and exhausting research on our foreign destination.  So our kids can complain, "Why aren't we going to New Zealand?"   Not to mention the enormous expense to go off to experience the best things life has to offer.  Surprisingly, going to see the biggest cave in the world is not free.  In fact, touring the biggest cave in the world is ridiculously expensive, which is why we're going to explore like the 5th or 10th biggest cave in the world next month instead.  But, my kids would probably still rather be in New Zealand.

Bottom line:  The best things in life are a total pain in the ass.  
But, they're also, completely worth it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sagittarius Secrets

I'm Sagittarius.  Not that I read my horoscope or anything, but I do have a very Sagittarius personality.  Optimistic, adventurous, free-spirited and straightforward with a love of travel.  See,  it sounds like me doesn't it?  Me and Stalin,  who's also Sagittarius.  Which just proves this astrology stuff isn't 100% accurate.  Or maybe it's that I didn't get the opportunity to get to know the real happy-go-lucky Joseph Stalin underneath the tyrannical communist dictator exterior.  Either way, I find it fun to excogitate about how we define ourselves as individuals because I'm deep and intellectual like that.  Because my sign says I am and because I used the word excogitate. That's how I know it's true.

A couple of days ago, I got on-line to rate a book on Goodreads and yada, yada, yada...I ended up clicking on an article titled 21 Secrets of the Sagittarius Personality.  Sagittarians are also really curious, so I had no choice but to read it.  Because I had to know what these secrets were and whether or not they were true.  We're also really into brutal honesty.  So without further ado, here are 21 secrets about Sagittarians per and my brutally honest thoughts about them.

1.  Sagittarius is an optimist that dreams big.

I have four kids and I've traveled around the world with them.  First when they were toddlers and now as teens.  I'm either an unrealistic optimist who dreams big or clinically insane.

2.  Sagittarius is candid and honest.

If I say it, I mean it.  Or I will say nothing at all.  This might explain why I'm so quiet.  

3.  Sagittarius is witty and has a wicked sense of humor.

I tell my husband how witty I am all the time,  just ask him!  

4.  Sagittarius is independent and hates being told how to live.

I firmly believe that rules do not apply to me, especially the stupid ones.  I am the exception, dammit!

5.  Sagittarius can be restless and impatient..

I feel like it would be a huge waste of time to even comment on this.

6.  Sagittarius can read you like a book.

And I'm a really selective reader.  I like my books interesting, witty, intelligent and real, so be those things or GTFO. 

7.  Sagittarius is allergic to bullshit.

I was sneezing.  What did you say?

8.  Sagittarius can't stand selfish people or sore losers.

True.  And I'm adding whiny winners and every other one of Donald Trump's personality traits on to this.

9.  Sagittarius is hard to fool and is always thinking 10 steps ahead.

I don't know about 10, that's kind of a lot and I'm not that organized, but definitely at least two.  

10. Sagittarius seeks out freedom and is extremely hard to pin down.

I know this because I've wrestled in jello and no one pinned me down.  And I think everyone knows freedom is best symbolized by jello wrestling.  

11. Sagittarius can become ruthless when they feel they've been wronged.

Don't put a stupid flier underneath the windshield of my car in a parking lot or I swear I'll drive all over town with that thing until it finally blows off.  FEEL MY WRATH!

12. Sagittarius isn't afraid to take risks in life.

I got food poisoning eating from a floating food boat in Thailand and then got on a plane with restricted toilet access.  DON'T TELL ME ABOUT RISKS! 

13. Sagittarius are creative and extremely curious.

I'm a writer who pole dances and doesn't even earn a living.   How's that for creative?  And I'm extremely curious how much more money I'd earn if I was a stripper.

14. Sagittarius is spontaneous and just plain fun to be around.

If you think reading books on the couch with a glass of wine or watching a documentary on a Friday night is fun and spontaneous then...I AM SO DAMN FUN AND SPONTANEOUS!  

15. Sagittarius loves to prove people wrong.

Usually this is true, but with Trump, this is the first time in my life that I really hope I'm totally and completely wrong.  But, I don't think I am.

16. Sagittarius tries to avoid petty drama and instead focuses on what's important to them.

This is why I don't go to PTO meetings, watch The Bachelor and also why I'm not on Facebook much.  

17. Sagittarius is careful about who they give their heart to and takes time to commit.

I've been married for 24 years and I'm still not sure I'm fully committed.  Maybe I'll know in 24 more.

18.  When Sagittarius is hurting they can distance themselves from others and conceal their emotions.

 I distance myself from others all the time, not just when I'm hurt, because I'm a real introvert's introvert like that.  

19.  Sagittarius doesn't hold grudges and leaves the past in the past.

I really don't hold grudges, but that's really just because you're dead to me.

20. Sagittarius is always there for their loved ones when they need them most.

I'm not "there" for people as much as I'm "here" for them.  So I'd prefer you come over to my house where we can talk about your problems and you can see first hand that mine are actually bigger than yours.   

21. Sagittarius is adventurous and loves to explore new things.

Everything except eating organ meats, chicken feet and beaks, I've tried them and they're disgusting.  

Well, there you have it, 
all 21 of my deepest, darkest Sagittarius secrets revealed.


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