Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dead Man Walking

Some of you...okay, maybe a few...or all right, maybe none, but I'd like to think it's some, so just let me, k? Anyway, some of you may have noticed that I've been rather absent from the world of blogging recently. Emotionally withdrawn perhaps. I've been posting mostly consistently, nothing different than normal, but I haven't been...well, whoring myself out on YOUR blogs nearly as much.

Let me tell you why. And then you, of course, will forgive me.

The fact is, I've been working (you know, the work in my "real" life) a lot of late nights. Not staying at work late, but rather, leaving work at the normal hour, after an 8 hour day, picking up the Energizer Bunny, (who runs up to the door every day yelling, "I be good t' baby, Momma!" as he is no longer biting/hitting/kicking/punching the baby), making a well-rounded dinner (things like mmmmacaroni and cheese and Hamburger Helper....mmmm delicious!), taking the wondrous dog for a walk, tucking the Energizer Bunny in to bed (who will continue to play/talk/read to himself for at least another hour) and then going BACK to work. And staying for an hour or two.

Unfortunately for me, my work is not sitting down in front of a computer screen. It's on my feet, moving, thinking, calculating, blah blah blah kind of work. It's draining, people, that's what I'm telling you, it's draining.

So I get home 12/12:30 about to keel over. Not exactly my ideal time to write comments on others' blogs. Believe, you don't want the comments I could come up with on such a dead body and brain. But really, to be honest, I'm not reading your blogs at midnight anyway. Sorry, dudes, just don't love you QUITE that much.

If I read your blogs at all these days (omm...if you're reading this, OF COURSE I READ YOUR BLOG!!!) I read them as contraband at work. Much more exciting that way, I promise. But really also not a good time to comment...

So I'm not commenting on your blogs as much. But you wouldn't want me to anyway. 'Cause here's the thing. Not only am I tired and cranky? I'm also sex-deprived.

When the hell am I supposed to have sex with a 2-year old running around and the late night work requirement!? There's just no time for it. And I like me some sex. Sex puts me in a good mood.

But when I'm not getting any? I'm in a PISSY mood. BAD BAD BAD mood Penney. Just ask the Unsupportive Louse. Even he's smart enough to stay away from sex-deprived Penney. And it's been like 6 weeks or something ridiculous. (Okay, that's a huge exaggeration, but it's been 6 weeks since I could do it any day I wanted...and 2 years, 2 months, 24 days since I could do it any time I wanted...)

And to make it worse? I'm not even getting paid extra for this crap!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabulous Fitness Fridays, Tip #1

Due to both the healthcare/insurance "crisis" and the obesity epidemic, I - as a still slim, young...ish adult - feel compelled to offer my valuable lifestyle advice and (obviously) healthy habits with middle, blog-reading America.

Therefore, I will begin Fabulous Fitness Fridays with tried and tested tips on how to stay skinny or skinnyify yourself in no time.*

(I cannot promise I will manage to post a tip every Friday, but I CAN promise that if I don't, I will blame either the Energizer Bunny or the Unsupportive Louse, guaranteed.)

*no guarantees...and yes, skinnyify is a word. Where have you been?

SO, what you've ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!! TIP #1!!

Don't skip meals. It only makes you hungrier and more likely to eat unhealthily. (dude, good word.)

When I'm considering skipping lunch, I grab an easy snack, like a 660 calorie chocolate chocolate chip muffin leftover from that morning's meeting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Family Dinner

Had the Walking Guilt Trip over for dinner. It was very nice. Happy little extended family.

After dinner, The Walking Guilt Trip and I commense the necessary mother/daughter "small talk."

"How's your book coming?" she asks.

"Actually, I finished it." I hesitate to give my mother any good news without a justification, soI quickly amend, "Only the first draft, of course."

"Are you going to send it out to Publishers, then?" (Any publishers out there, please forgive my mother, she doesn't know what she speaks of. I wouldn't think so highly of myself as to send you any manuscript without an agent first accepting it as halfway decent.)

"It's just a first draft, Mom, I still have to revise it like 16 times before I can send it out."

"Not if you're good enough." Is it just me, or does anyone else now assume they're not "good enough" either??

Rather than blow a gasket as I might normally do, only to have a ridiculous guilty conscience later, I try to calmly explain why this comment may offend me. "It's not good enough Mom, and can you understand how telling me that if I was good enough it could be published right away might make me feel more like I've failed at something rather than accomplished something?"

I thought I was AVOIDING a guilt trip...hahaha The Walking Guilt Trip knows no boundaries! She began to CRY. On cue. Immediately. "Oh Penney, can't I do anything right?"

Oh glorious guilt trip! YOU MADE YOUR MOTHER CRY!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vasectomy, anyone?

I left the Unsupportive Louse alone with the Energizer Bunny for 3 hours last weekend. WHAT was I thinking?? THREE WHOLE HOURS?

They had dropped me off at a meeting because we'd all been in the general vincinity just before it began, and they were going to pick me up if the timing was convenient to naps, snacks, whatever else is involved in the life of an Energizer Bunny. Otherwise, I would just walk or bus home. A fine plan.

So, my meeting ends. I call, the Energizer Bunny is desperate to see me; they're excited to come pick me up. Wonderful.

Two minutes later, the phone rings -

"Hey, everything okay?" I ask

The Energizer Bunny is screaming in the background. "FIND YOUR OWN WAY HOME!" Click.


I begin the 3 mile walk home.

15 minutes later, I get a text message -

"I'm getting a vasectomy tomorrow"

Obviously such a procedure needs to be performed immediately, no time to delay!

I call.

The Energizer Bunny is crying in the background. "He's being unreasonable!!"

"He's 2."


"He's frustrated. He's having trouble trying to communicate with you."

"Tell him to speak English!"

"He's 2."

"EXACTLY! He's had TWO YEARS to learn! It doesn't take two years to learn a language!"

I pause. How does one respond to such a rational statment? "Give him a little more time. Try to be patient with him for now."

"Just come home before I strangle him." Click.

I speed up.

Ten minutes later I'm almost home. I call to make sure they're both still breathing.

The Energizer Bunny is wailing in the background. "Where are you!?"

"Almost home. Why don't you guys walk to meet me?"

The Unsupportive Louse suggests such an outing to the Energizer Bunny. The wailing stops.

"Yes. Go find Mommy."

"Fine." Click. Sigh.

Two mintues later, I hear the creaking, wobbling wagon the Energizer Bunny adores. No wailing. This must be a good sign. The wagon turns the corner.

The Unsupportive Louse spots me. The wagon is flung down the sidewalk toward me. "He's all yours." He turns around and walks away.

The Energizer Bunny jumps into my arms and yells over his shoulder, "I luuub you, Da-dee!"

The Unsupportive Louse later tells me that The Energizer Bunny gets his "insanity" from me. Hm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The grown-ups (very loosely used, since it does, after all, include my brother The Mooch) in the household came down with what can only be attributed to food poisoning after our rainy labor day garage barbecue (hey, the best laid plans can't be completely foiled by a little rain...) While I might be more willing to credit carbon monoxide poisoning to our illness, as the majority of charcoal produced barbecue smoke poured into our kitchen from the garage door throughout the entire affair, I would assume the small child would be most prone to said poisoning, and thus must toss out that idea altogether.

So the Energizer Bunny, having refused the delicacy commonly known as a hamburger for dinner, remained ever so energetic while any and all caregivers were stuck in the (thankfully three separate) bathrooms throughout the day. Not to be vulgar or anything, but, there is nothing like taking care of a two-year old while requiring to alternatively hurl and shit oneself. Really. You should try it.

Following a desperately long day praying to the porcelain god after doing nothing even vaguely close to deserving such a pleasure, one must make sacrifices. I am sorry to relate to you now that my sacrifice was the safe care and well-being of the Energizer Bunny.

We went to bed before him.

That's right, folks. We plopped him down in bed, gave him some books and blocks, and told him to be good. Tucked ourselves in good and tight and drifted off to dreams of happier days while our child fended for himself in the other room. I hereby nominate myself for Mother-of-the-Year.

You'll be glad to know he's still alive AND the house is still standing.

Please don't tell The Walking Guilt Trip.

Monday, September 7, 2009

They’re Baa-ack

The problem with living in a college town is that you have four months of gorgeous summer to forget that you live in a college town. (Ironically, this is also the problem with living in Michigan in general…four solid months of warm weather that allows you to forget that the other eight are below zero.)

All summer long, you can walk, drive, bike, eat, shop without a care in the world.

And then comes September. Anywhere you look there’s exposed skin and mid-afternoon underage drinking, I-pods and earbuds and excess stupidity. Kids who have had nothing better to do all summer but run to amplify the perfectness of their still teenage bodies and lay out for endless hours to improve their tans, and of course spend Mommy and Daddy’s money on new clothes, shoes, Coach bags and enough make-up to camouflage a cow.

In no time we can add to this clever group the infamous leggings/Uggs combination, since winter immediately follows the return of undergrads in this glorious town we call Ann Arbor.

And now they’re back. They’re walking in the middle of streets and throwing red Dixie cups at passers-by. They’re tossing footballs over cars and playing their ipods loud enough to get the cops called. They’re wandering around like lost little doe-eyed sheep when alone but confident as vultures in large groups. They’re obnoxious.

And what’s worse? Their parents are here too. For this first fantastic week before Labor Day, the parents drive their sweet babies to their new big city school.

And their parents are the ones who, rather than stop or just keep going at a crosswalk will slow down to the point where I have to fully stop on my bike, then continue along their way once they’ve made sure I’ll have to work extra hard to make it home today. Their parents are the ones who demand different seats in the restaurants because “this table has a little something on it” or “that table has better lighting.” Their parents are the ones who unload their luggage into the middle of the street while their precious little angel is carrying a bookshelf up the stairs in her miniskirt and heels, and then wonder what all the drivers are getting annoyed at.

To ensure me that all of Ann Arbor is excited for the return of the undergrads, I actually saw my three favorite Ann Arborites today, for the first time this year. The bikini wearing, bicycle riding homeless man. And the pinkie holding, tie-dye shirt wearing unicyclist couple. towns.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day

So I wrote this blog last week and then a ridiculous combination of my work computer hating blogger, blogger hating Word and my laptop hating the internet, I was completely unable to post. So whatever, pretend it's over a week ago and once you're done reading, you can go ahead and skip back to the present.

Thank God I got those awards last week ‘cause otherwise, I just might have had to slit my wrists. Or possibly moved to Australia. No, really. My day was THAT bad.

It was an accumulation of a week’s worth of crap ending in one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I told the Unsupportive Louse I was moving to Australia. He said they don’t have internet in Australia. I’m quite sure they do; you wouldn’t even notice the difference.

First, our basement flooded. The air conditioning was leaking. And the earliest “non-emergency” appointment we could get was five days later. (An all day appointment, of course.) We therefore had to leave it off…through the boiling, humid weekend. The ONLY boiling, humid weekend we have had all summer.

And when we went to pick up the dehumidifier someone offered to us, someone else had taken (stolen?) it from their driveway. Jackholes. Of course we then discovered mold on the couch down there because it was so freaking humid. And a light shorted out after literally DRIPPING with condensation. We had to turn the HEATER ON to dry it out. In 95 degree weather.
Granted, it was only 62 degrees in the basement (a part of the problem) but F#*@ I don’t even let us use the heater in the WINTER, much less the summer!!

And the Energizer Bunny learned to say something that sounds suspiciously like “bucket.” (perhaps better written Buck It?)

It was also his first week at a new daycare, and I’m certain that will make a good impression.

Not only that, he’s decided to show us how pissed he is about having to change daycares by biting the other kids. And then laughing. (Oh, but he knows how to get away with it; he always looks very sweet and contrite when he tells me he’s sorry he bit the baby.)

So I spent an excessive amount of time settling the sweet, contrite, biting Energizer Bunny in at daycare Thursday morning and when I got to work an HOUR AND A HALF late, I have a concise little e-mail waiting from my boss. “Let’s meet as soon as everyone gets in.” AS SOON AS EVERYONE GETS IN. SHIT.

As if this can get worse, the meeting was all about a huge mistake I made that I cannot live down for the life of me. Awesome. I’m fairly certain I could get fired over this.

Oh but no, it doesn’t end there, it gets worse. I TOLD you God hated me!

I pick the Energizer Bunny up and flop myself on the couch immediately upon arriving home. He commences to tell me “Water down dere, Momma. En ba’ement, Momma. Buck It. Water en ba’ement.” He narrates everything he sees or thinks these days. Adorable really. Except when it includes words like bucket and reminders of your quickly decaying life.

“Momma, hole up dere. Hole Momma’s seel-ing. Flour on floor. Make cake wi’ dat. Momma, make cake?” He comes running to the living room to beg me to make a cake, but my mind is still stuck on that damn hole. I wish I could just sit on the couch. I wish I could ignore it. I wish there was an explanation, but…?

Oh, yeah. There’s a hole in the ceiling. A hole the size of my fist. (The “flour” is the fine chalky white bits of paint and drywall all over the floor.) It would seem we have new friends who would like to share our home. Squirrels. They’ve clawed through the mesh over a vent on the outside of the house.


I’d love to have a shoulder to cry on.

Just my luck, the Unsupportive Louse arrives home at this very moment. He does some hairpulling, some “hemorrhaging money” and “shoulda stayed in the studio” yelling, and then lets me go garden to relax myself.

Day’s over, right? Oh no, not yet. God has more in store for you!!

I knocked a beautiful, bright green tomato right off the vine. The Energizer Bunny then pulled a second, tiny green tomato off the vine. “I he’p, Momma. I pick ‘mato! Turn red now!”

Now here’s the clincher. The beautiful pumpkin plant that had several tiny little starter pumpkins on it last week…now has 2 GOURDS. No mistaking them, they’re not pumpkins, they’re gourds. Whatever, I know a pumpkin is a gourd, that’s not what I’m talking about. These are stupid, useless, warty yellow gourds. I bought pumpkin seeds.

Really, God? What must I do??