Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yesterday, Bunny Boop went the whole day without any "accidents."

Not one. Not a single one!

We are really starting to make progress!


posted by Phoenix | 11:01 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Meme Time
Another lovely meme! They are so good for useless posts. This one I picked up from El Capitan.

Do you remember your first favorite song? If so, what was it? It is difficult to remember that far back. But, I would guess that it was either Rhinestone Cowboy or The Most Beautiful Girl.

What do you refuse to eat? Raw meat is the big one every since I took Microbiology 101.

Have you ever injected any kind of drug before? Um, no. I'm not the kind of girl who takes unnecessary risks.

Do amusement park rides make you sick? No, but to be honest, I haven't been on an amusement park ride since 1988.

Who is your favorite Star Wars character? As a chick, I have to say Leia. She's the only female character a female my age can identify with. But, if you want to piss off a geek, answer this question "Jar-Jar."

What kind of cheese do you put on your sandwiches? I like baby swiss, but mostly it is cheddar or slices of American.

What was the first thing you ever learned how to cook? Kraft macaroni and cheese. And hot dogs.

Did you ever collect beanie babies? No, missed that boat.

When was the last time you got a haircut? A month ago.

Have you ever been to a bachelor/bachelorette party? Threw one. Total waste of time.

Where are you most ticklish on your body? Back of my knee.

Have you ever bailed anyone out of jail? Technically, no.

What's the last board game you played? Wow. I don't recall. It was probably Public Assistance.

Do you still own any VHS tapes? Yes. I really need to have a garage sale.

Do you shop at JC Penney's ever? Yes. I don't love it, but I do it.

If there was a real Jurassic Park, would you visit it? No. Those velociraptors scare the crap out of me! I'm also unlikely to jump out of a plane or swim with sharks.

Do you ever read the newspaper? No. C'mon! Newspapers are dead, man. The news is old before the paper is folded at the press.

Do you eat your mac & cheese with a fork or a spoon? Fork.

Is there any medicine/pill you take everyday? Yes. Thyroid med and vitamin.

How many 20 dollar bills do you have on you right now? None. Broke one this morning though.

Would you do meth if it was legalized? NO! For heaven's sake, who wrote these questions?

Do you think Obama will be assassinated? Actually, yes. But I believe it will happen on foreign soil and I believe an extremist Muslim will be the one to do it. I also believe it will be the act that reinvigorates the Left's anger over Terrorism.

Have you ever made out with someone and then never saw them again? Made out, no. But I kissed a guy and never saw him again.

Do you drink egg nog? Rarely. Like, once every 5 years or so.

What are you wearing? Slate trousers, blue v-neck sweater, diamonds.


posted by Phoenix | 2:20 PM | 0 comments

Swimming in Unfamiliar Waters
My wonderful husband and I have been married almost six years. The time has really flown, but I'm still no closer to fitting in or understanding my in-laws.

I've groused here before about the differences and miscommunications that have come up, most specifically between me and my mother-in-law, most recently about the Thanksgiving pie incident.

For the record, I've moved past the pie. No sense bleating on about it since we're another family holiday farther down the road and I have all new material for my complaints. Right? Here goes...

Why is it, please someone tell me, that we must all drive out to dinner in one vehicle? Here's the deal: we were all going out to supper to celebrate father-in-law's birthday. It was the big seven-oh. My mother-in-law insisted that all 8 of us could squeeze into her minivan. Now, I didn't see how, and offered to drive a second vehicle, but there was no way that was going to happen. Instead, we all had to quite literally squeeze into the minivan. Most of us were dressed up, but it mattered not. We had to take one vehicle. This meant that one unfortunate individual had to crouch on a cooler between the two seats in the middle of the cabin. Did I mention this is Wisconsin and we're all wearing bulky winter coats? So, we're crammed in there like sardines, one of us teetering precariously on a very hard seat, and we're all baking from all the body heat and from multiple layers of winter coats. It is unbearably hot and not fun.

Why couldn't we take two vehicles if multiple parties were willing to be a secondary designated driver, hmm? Surely this was not about saving the money on gas, because if that were the case we wouldn't have driven to this particular locale for the meal. No, I have a theory, but I'm going to hold back on that for now.

So, we arrive at the first stop, a bar, for pre-dinner drinks. I am not a big drinker, never really have been. It isn't that I have some moral issue with alcohol, I simply don't enjoy it much. The fun is short-lived and not worth the price you have to pay. More importantly, however, it cuts the evening very short. If I drink, it is like starting a clock counting down to my early nap. If I have a drink at 7 PM, I'll be asleep by 8:30, 9 PM at the latest. So, I usually don't drink much and it is fine because it means my husband always has a designated driver.

Anyway, at the bar, I am strongly urged by mother-in-law to have a drink. Weird, right? So, I tell my husband he can order me a drink and he makes a quiet comment to the waitress to make sure they aren't too free with the liquor in my glass. After our drink, we all go to the next stop for supper. We again all sit down and once again, I am urged by mother-in-law to have a drink. This time, however, I refuse. I've already had one, and I know my limits. She is not pleased. We have our meal and although others are ordering additional drinks, I do not. I know it doesn't please her, but I refuse.

Prior to this, just as we were arriving at the restaurant, the waitress showed us to our table. I claimed a seat, leaving room for my husband to sit next to me. I have my coat off and my butt planted in my seat. My husband is preparing to sit next to me. I have left room for the guest of honor to sit in the middle of the table, next to his wife, all of this on purpose.

Huge hue and cry! My god, you would have thought I'd tried to perform a circumcision right there in the salad bowl! My mother-in-law protests vehemently and demands, DEMANDS!, that I come down to the other end of the table and sit with the women. Like it's the sixth grade, with boys on one side of the gym and girls on the other. I am mortified! Here I am a 35-year-old woman and she is shouting at me in a relatively nice upscale restaurant as though I'm an errant 3-year-old playing with the condiments!

Sometimes I can't control my tongue, I admit it. This was one of those times. "What, I'm not allowed to sit next to my husband? What the hell?!?" I said. "Am I not in possession of the necessary equipment to sit on this end of the table?!? What?" My protests fall on deaf ears to all but my husband. I am required to change my seat and move into the seat now vacated by my father-in-law, next to my mother-in-law. My husband, because he loves me, maneuvers himself into the seat I was previously occupying, so now father-in-law is at one end of the table and no longer the center of attention. I'm kind of peeved about the whole thing, so when mother-in-law asks why I wanted to sit down there, I simply tell her "I'm used to a more balanced table, you know, boy-girl-boy-girl, with the guest of honor accessible to all guests."

"Who sits like THAT?" She asks...

And, there you go. That right there is it in a nutshell. The problem I have adapting to the culture.

Ah, but you know that isn't where the story ends.

We needs must, of course, have the after-dinner drinks.

At this point, I now NEED a drink. And, even though it is going to put me to sleep, I order one. I slurp it down fast, hoping to put the evening to bed, so to speak.

We all get back home after once again riding crammed in the minivan and it is time for more drinks. Again, to disapproval from the mother-in-law, I refuse. I was falling asleep on the ride back, so I don't need anymore alcohol. Furthermore, somebody needs to be sober, just in case, you know? Might as well be me.

The next morning, we go over to mother-in-law's house for Christmas. It is 9 am and once again, I find myself refusing a drink. "How about a Bloody Mary? Or, I can make a mimosa. It is just orange juice and champagne..." she assures me. I refuse. I know, that if I start drinking at 9 am, I won't be awake when it is time to open gifts. Furthermore, I skipped breakfast, so I'd be doing champagne on an empty stomach, a sure way to guarantee intestinal distress. You would have thought I'd pissed in her cheerios. It doesn't please her when I don't drink. I don't get it! Why do I have to drink to give her a good time?

So, a little while later, after we've opened gifts, I am entertaining my somewhat unhappy child. She wants a nap and to go home. She's not pleased with the need to delay our departure and I'm trying to keep emotions on an even keel. Mother-in-law sees me in the living room and insists that I join the party in the kitchen. Frankly, I'm not sure why. They are playing some gambling game and drinking.

You now know how little I drink, let me assure you, I gamble even less.

I don't have a problem with it, I just don't enjoy it. I enjoy getting something for my money, it is as simple as that. I don't enjoy any part of gambling, and that's that. Combining the alcohol with a game of chance does not sweeten the pot for me, it makes me certain that I don't want to be there.

By the end of the visit, I was really frustrated. Mother-in-law tells me what to drink, where to sit, what to do...just when did I become her Polly Pocket? Did I check my free will when we entered the county? What's up with this? Why does she get all weird about my not wanting a drink? What's the deal with the need for me to not be in conversation with a man? Is she secretly Amish? I don't get it.

But, everytime we visit, this is what happens. It is almost as if I'm not supposed to have a brain, or if I do, a chemical depressant is required to put me in my place. Am I not supposed to have opinions about "men's stuff?"

Am I crazy, or is she just nutty?


My theory is that she's a control freak. She wants to control how people get to a destination, where they sit, what they drink, when they pee, etc. It is the only thing I can come up with that explains this stuff. It is the only common element that I can find in our little run-ins: everything is up to her. The rest of us are merely here to do her bidding. Now, that might go down easier if you've lived with it all your life, but I'm new to this medicine. I don't like it, it's bitter and very hard to swallow.

What do you think?
posted by Phoenix | 11:26 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Blagojevich, Rezko, Obama, Oh MY!

It so totally sucks to be Obama yesterday and today.

On the one hand, you are the President-Elect and people can't smell the shit you are shoveling. On the other hand, your neighbor and buddy in a sketchy land deal, Tony Rezko, is singing like an Italian diva and another crony has just been arrested on Federal charges. Guilty or not, he's from your home state and it speaks to a level of corruption that can't help but taint your office, even if only by association.

And this girl, for one, suspects that it goes much deeper than association.

Still, you have to feel almost sorry for The One. He's getting an early taste of the fall that cometh.

But, you know, even Jesus got nailed to the cross. I guess The One may just go the same way.*

*(For the record, I'm just riffing on the whole "The One" with the halo, the Christ's Second Coming craziness from the Obamabots).
posted by Phoenix | 3:47 PM | 0 comments

Forgive Me, Readers, for I have not blogged
It has been, what?, a week since my last post.

Things are finally, finally, slowing down for me.

Christmas shopping is done, though wrapping remains to be done.
Christmas cookies are baked, sorted, and shipped to deserving recipients.
Christmas letters are written, addressed, and in the mail.
Work is mostly caught up, though there is always more to do.

I need to give a shout out to my good friend Christina who sent me a lovely hand-knit scarf for my birthday. It is absolutely as beautiful as I would have expected, knowing her to be a type-A personality like myself. It is good to have good friends.

Speaking of good friends, we had dinner out with friends and family this weekend to celebrate my birthday. We had a wonderful time. It is nice to go out every now and again.

Speaking of lovely gifts, SpySistah gifted me with the bounty of a subscription to Cuisine at Home and Bon Appetit. We'll be stimulating the creative process on a monthly basis now! Yippee!

And now, to the depressing bits...

Fucking crap weather. It is December 10, still 10 days from "winter", and by my husband's yardstick, we've already had 20 inches of snow.

I can not even begin to express how UNfunny this is. We are well on our way to breaking last year's record 100+ inches of snow. The whole point of "Spring", "Summer", and "Fall" in Wisconsin is to make you forget about the 7 months of winter. This year, that concept was a colossal failure. The 100+ inches of snow is still vivid in my brain, like it happened yesterday.

Of course, I was stuck at home yesterday, snowed in, but even so!

Seriously, this makes me believe that sometime this winter we'll be hearing stories of "snow rage". And, it reminds me of this post from last year, which was funny at the time, but isn't so much so now. It alarms me that I'm already at Stage 4 or Stage 5.

We might discover a Stage 8 yet!
posted by Phoenix | 2:51 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 03, 2008
You've been waiting, what, an eternity for this post?

I apologize. By way of explanation, all I can offer is this: I've been really effing busy.

Monday was my birthday. I'm 35 now, so...that's all I have to say about that.

Thanksgiving was a treat. And I mean that with the maximum allowable amount of sarcasm.

Let's see, Bunny Boop was sick on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, pukey and what not, requiring me to telecommute from home that day.

She got better in time for us to travel on Thursday morning, but by the time we got back home a few hours later, the husband was sick. He was better by mid-day on Friday, but by Friday afternoon, I had the creeping crud. Yeehaw. So, it was a holiday of puke buckets for us.

Anyway, I've started my holiday baking and am nearly done with my shopping, so things are looking up.

None of that, however, is the primary reason for this post.

I have a story that needs sharing. I've been sitting on it until I could find time to post, and here it is.

As you may have gleaned from my meandering posts over the years, I am something of a baker.

I bake. I'm good at it. People exclaim over my goodies!

So, six weeks ahead of Thanksgiving, I offered to make pies for the dinner in the rented hall that is my in-laws traditional holiday bonanza. I was rebuffed. Not in a mean way, just in the, well...you'll have to call so and so and get it approved.

Look, I'm not looking for a mortgage here or a billion dollar bailout, so I let it slide. If they don't want my pies, fine.

Anyway, five weeks later, we are called and informed that we've been tasked with the veggie tray. I wanted to make pies, and now I get to buy prewashed veggies and open a jar of pickles and a can of olives. Keeping up?

Again, whatever, right?

But, we arrive first at the hall on Thanksgiving and I am afforded a very good view of the entry of everyone else arriving. Every woman who arrives brings a dessert. Every. Single. One. And that should tell you something, considering they rent a hall.

But, the icing on this figurative cake came when my sister-in-law showed up with a half-eaten, left-over cake.

Maybe they already had the dessert table covered when I called six weeks ahead (knowing these people, however I doubt it. I suspect that they hadn't thought that far ahead at that time). But, knowing they turned down my pies only to agree to her leftover half-eaten cake REALLY pissed me off.

I'm not going to be baking for these people again any time soon.

Am I over reacting? Possibly. But I also know these people. I suspect they just didn't want me showing everybody else up.

Okay, I'm done being bitchy for a moment.
posted by Phoenix | 1:23 PM | 4 comments


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