Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brandy's Here!!!

And she arrived with the mission to save my sanity. Turns out, we're both here to ruin any diet and/or healthy eating program either of us may have started. (This is not a shock to anyone who knows us...)

GREAT NEWS is that she and her hubby Jesse have agreed to take Kernel if (God forbid) stupid Lufthansa doesn't let him on the plane. (I guess I should not call them stupid yet...that SAINTLY, forward leaning Lufthansa that will totally let my precious baby boy on the plane.) Even better news is that Brandy's hubby, Jesse is probably a bigger dog freak than I am and I KNOW that Kernel will have a great home -- frankly, a bigger, nicer home with a huge yard! SO, I may make it through this move next week without having to resort to buying Xanax or Oxycontin on the street.

Which is a good thing because, as the USG gave me a security clearance and I think they frown on that. I can't be sure though...

For your reference, Brandy is one of my best friends starting way back in high school. There were many a class where the teachers would try to separate us by assigning seats. I remember Mr. Durney, our Junior class literature teacher would get so furious at us that the vein in the top of his forehead that would visibly throb. I'm sure it was a medical condition though, and not something I did...yeah....

You have to remember that this was the days BEFORE text messaging, so unless you knew sign language -- which we did try to learn, but were both too lazy to complete -- you had to talk. And we had a LOT to say! ALL OF IT, critically important. One day, Mr. Durney had had enough. He screamed, "EVERYBODY UP!" and then made this long speech on how he was going to assign us seats and that we had to sit there PERMANENTLY - no exceptions. These were our assigned seats for the rest of the year.

Brandy's name literally would come right after mine in the dictionary. I thought Mr. Durney was going to have an aneurysm right there after he read out the new seating chart. We, of course, handled it with maturity and grace. Either that, or we acted like little bitches. We'll probably never know.

Brandy is the one person who ALWAYS got into trouble - and Laurie and I were always with Brandy. However, in her defense, Brandy usually got into trouble because of some scheme or plan that Laurie or I came up with. Her fault was that her execution of our plans were faulty. Brandy was the female version of Eddie Haskell. She would come over to my house and go, "Hello Mrs. (blah blah)! What a lovey frock you are wearing. Did you do something different with your hair?" My mother would visibly cringe. Frequently, throughout our highschool years, my parents (mostly mom) would literally ground me FROM Brandy. (I gotta give my parents credit, they were creative.)

Anyway, we're both a lot older, chubbier, and a little bit wiser. Instead of heading out to get a Martini and go dancing, we went to Blockbuster and rented a movie. All in all its been a great weekend.

I would posted a picture, but i can't find the stupid memory card for the camera!! I blame Josh!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pharmaceutical Bailout

Hey Science! What's the status on the creation of that fat pill? I am frankly sick and tired of those stupid ads on TV where they rub it in that there is no easy fix to weight loss. How they condescendingly point out that we didn't put on those extra pounds overnight, so why should we expect to lose them overnight? I'll tell you why: because this is America...and because we live in an age where microwaving crap takes too long... because when you say that, the terrorists WIN!

How insulting is that to you science? Are you going to take that?? Are you going to let the terrorists win!?

I was thinking....(and I'm sure this will be super helpful to you) in case you're in a bit of a slump with regard to new ideas: You know how there have been all these people yammering on and on about all the side effects of Ambien or those other sleeping pills I've never tried because I can never remember to look up some symptoms to pretend to have so my doctor will give me some?? How people are waking up (well rested mind you) to find out that they drove around town, baked a cake or sent all these emails to people (usually humiliating and/or bitchy -- which, clearly, are the best kind)? WELL, how cool would it be if, rather than those lame things, Ambien made you go to the gym or get on the treadmill while you were sleeping!?!?!?


It combines a natural solution to the inconvenience posed by my arch nemesis (exercise) with my most favorite hobby (sleeping)!!! Its WIN WIN science!!

Think about it: Lifetime Fitness is open 24/7, they'd probably even fund your research!! They have that "Team Weight Loss" thing...they could call it "Sleep-it-off," the lazy pill poppers solution to structured weight loss.

It's BRILLIANT!!! It would stimulate the economy, create not only sciencey jobs, but also the gym, pharmaceutical and even the drug dealer industry. Not only would America be back on its feet economically - we'd be pretty too!

So come on Science, let's get a move on. If we can turn poop and garbage into energy, we can certainly harness the side effects of sleeping pills. You just need to focus. Stop being distracted by all these calls to end disease, world hunger, and poverty. That's dumb!!

In these troubled times, we need to focus on what's important: finding a solution to our current economic crisis and a solution to the inconvenience of me having to be awake for exercise.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ode to Thin Mints....

I am a stress eater. I was not one of the fortunate ones whose tummy gets so tied up in knots that they cannot eat anything because they are so upset. No, those are OTHER people...

I hate those people!!

So, as you can imagine - this move, the incompetent idiot they assigned to assist me with my processing, the fact that I have a dog that is essentially the size of a small loveseat (and that I have become attached to said loveseat), and the fact that my husband has conveniently volunteered to serve in Iraq (I can only assume so he wouldn't have to help me with this move) has caused me to search out food! In fact, it has been so bad that I am actually eating that low-sodium organic soup that I found at Trader Joes; and then, of course, immediately regretted it as I searched frantically for the salt shaker. Once again proving that healthy = not worth it.

So I happened to visit the property management office the other day and I notice that people have Girl Scout Cookies on their desk (which unfortunately, were not left unattended, or I clearly would not be writing about this).

My beef is: Where the hell were the Girl Scouts with the order forms? Why aren't they EVER out there peddling their crack these days?!! Its UNSAT. It's selfish and Lazy, that's what it is!!!

Now I know some of you (probably the "parents," who want their kids to live to see another day) are going to start spouting facts and figures about how kids have been snatched by psychos going door to door selling cookies, etc. However, in my day my parents did their part. It's not like I was actually out knocking on doors! My mom and dad brought my order form into work with them and forced their co-workers to buy from me. LIKE GOOD PARENTS DO!!! AND THEY WERE THANKFUL!! (Mostly because I would have forced them to drive me - I was lazy even as a child.)

BUT NO! Now the stupid USG has put out rules and regs (I assume in their quest to make my life miserable) that you can't sell stuff in the workplace. However, everybody knows if you happen to leave your order form on your desk in plain sight...and I happen to see it laying there -- unattended -- and ACCIDENTALLY write my name down with a request for 23 boxes of thin mints (and one sugar free shortbread) that its all good. No harm, no foul.

So again: WHERE THE HELL ARE THE GIRL SCOUTS!? (Or their damn parents?!)

Is it suddenly not trendy? Did their parents force them to go to girl scout camp too? Did the scouts kick everyone out - telling them not to ever try to apply again, because their name was going into the permanent records in the head office???

NOT that that happened to ME, I mean...maybe there was that alleged incident back in the day before I happened to leave the Girl Scouts. However, in my defense, I stand by my contention that she had it coming!!! That was not a fun 2 weeks!! It was a WORK CAMP! They had us making wallets for heaven's sake (Obviously, this was back in the day before we knew that we could exploit foreign kids to make our knockoff Goocci wallets).

I was a role model...I stood up for downtrodden campers everywhere. I was the action arm of the kids whose parents just wanted to get rid of them for 2 blissful weeks in the middle of the summer. I made a difference to every kid who still gags at the thought of the "suicide soup" they made us eat; a soup made from random cans of Campbell's Condensed Soups. You can't mix cream of Mushroom, Veggie, Chicken Noodle and Bean and Bacon! Tis an abomination!!!

They're not even out front of the grocery stores!! (LAZY) Don't they know there are people out there who are moving to Sudan in less than two weeks?? People who are trying to make the world a safer place for Thin Mints???

Seriously! All I need is one...(sleeve). Okay, make it two. I can quit anytime I want. I think we all know that I will carry on about this (until campfire mint season) - So why don't we just cut out the crap! It's unfair to make everyone suffer like this.

On my honor, I will try (not to freak out anymore) -- if a box of thin mints shows up at my door. No questions asked.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Downside to Security

Remember how great is was when everything went online? How you didn't have to trudge out of your house because you could easily access all your accounts via the internet. Remember how fab the information age was gonna be???

There's a catch!

You have to remember (or have actually written it down and kept in a safe place as they instructed, and then you had to REMEMBER where that place was) your username and password. Then, when you fail to meet even those basic standards, you have to remember what you made up for your secret question. I always choose "what is your pet's name?" because I'm one of those crazy pet people. Simple, right?? You guys could now all access my accounts, right??

No. Not even I can access them! Problem is...I have TWO pets....combine that with that it also hinges on WHEN you set up this online account. Before the current pets, I had a kitty, and a few random strays that have either passed on or were adopted by some suckers I found along the way. (i mean kind, caring individuals) AND, I didn't want to seem like I was showing favoritism to one pet, so I would switch off. I'd remember, right??

Not so much.

Another downside: If you continue to get your question wrong, it locks out your account.

Then you have to call. And each call takes approximately 48 mintes of which 42 of those you are on hold waiting for the next available representative. Frankly, if my call were important to them, they'd just answer the damn phone. Then when the rep finally does answer your call -- I'm inevitably startled and forget who I'm calling. Once I stammer through some basics - finally ending with "I just want to change my mailing/billing address." They tell me that I cannot do this over the phone, I have to either log onto my account or come down to the office.

Newsflash snotty smarties at the utility companies....I'm not the one with the vested interest that your bill gets paid. I'm not going to be here. Go ahead and mail it to this address.

When your bills are returned as undeliverable, feel free to give me a call. Your call is important to me. My next available representative will be with you shortly.

PS: Add Dominion VA power and Washington Gas to our list of companies we hate (reminder note: KLM was the first company on the list).

Girl Scouts, you've been warned. WHERE THE HELL ARE MY THIN MINTS!?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Stress Has Not Killed Me....

But I think the vaccines just might!! Today I went to the nurses office for my required vaccinations for Sudan. The nurse (who acted like she has been trapped on an island, bereft of human companionship for the last three months) set out what looked to be 27 shots for me. And chattered non-stop about how she wrote her thesis on Africa - blathering on and on about the Congo and why Africa COM was such a great idea. Hoping to cut my shots down by half, I confirmed that I was not, in fact, planning to go to the Congo, and did not currently have any plans to visit in near future.

She didn't care.

Now you may not know this, but I am not a good patient. Needles and anything having to do with the body or "innards" (as I like to call them), grosses the hell out of me. So watching her prepare those 27 syringes made me queasy just watching. Plus, can't she just get it over with in one shot?! Seriously? Fill ONE syringe up to the top, rather than sticking me 27 different times. Must you prolong my torture??

She chattered on and on about Africa and how I MUST take the mefloquine, didn't believe me that it previously made me sick as hell the first time I took it, and threatened me that she wouldn't let me go if I didn't take it. (Excuse me's SUDAN, that's not a threat...that is a promise.) I mentioned that I had done my internet research and asked if I could instead get Malarone - the new and improved mefloquine (which the internet said has fewer side effects, but was more expensive).

Proving my theory of USG medical professionals are only required to be internet certified to practice medicine, she told me that she had no idea what I was talking about and launched into a lecture about how any side effects were in my I probably didn't take it with food as instructed. (PLEASE! It is not possible for me to ever take anything without food...Eating has never ever been my problem!)

She then wanted to know whether I was right or left handed. Then proceeded to give me shots in both arms. I believe I was given yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, tetanus, some other random fever, and whooping cough.


I was suspicious of the last because she mentioned how SHE was just getting over whooping cough.... Was she vaccinating me for something SHE was spreading around the workplace??? Isn't whooping cough what your dogs get if you kennel them while you go away??

So now I am free to step on rusty nails, am immune to any random fever I may come across, no matter the color involved, and can safely be kenneled for an extended period of time, if needed. However, I seem to have lost the use of BOTH ARMS as I can no longer lift them to even comb my hair. I just hope the Sudanese are pro-dreadlocks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why You Should Be Feeling Sorry for Me!

We are now about 2 weeks out from the movers. I have made approximately 722 trips up the damn stairs with the crap I have purchased at Costco, PetSmart, and Target - I never did get around to making an actual LIST of what we would need for the next few years in Sudan. Rather, I decided to just wing it. I'm guessing I will regret this decision, however, in my defense, I can barely decide what to buy at the store for the WEEK, so God only knows what you would buy for a YEAR.

I did manage to get Garlic Powder and salt!! (I use them in EVERYTHING and would frankly be lost without it.) Sparkling H2O, and condiments. I think I might have bought a few cases of Cream of Mushroom soup too. I figure, if all else fails, you can always make something out of that (but never really soup, as it turns out...)

However, now we are at the hideous stage of the move. The stage where I can no longer go to the grocery store because I am forced to eat all the crap we have bought and never decided to eat. Tonight for dinner: Curried Red Lentil Soup (don't ask. I was in an organic phase - its over! Rest easy.) and tonic water. I can't bring myself to re-open the bag of dried fruit. I already ate the good ones out of it, now its left with half a bag of unidentifiable "fruit" things. By next Sunday, I'll probably be desperate enough to eat it. Today? not so much.

My other question for you is: Why do we have 18 bottles of tonic water?? In an unfortunate turn of events that nobody could have possibly foreseen coming, I gave away the 3/4 full bottle of gin yesterday - now I'm left with gin-less tonic water. 'Tis an abomination.

Tonic water should be forced to put a warning label on it: WARNING! May case gag reflex if attempted to drink without gin.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Post

Titles are hard...

Today Liz came over to help me try to organize myself for this move and even agreed to go on a Costco run with me (clearly, she is a saint -- or she wants something...). She reminded me of a HILARIOUS story about my hubby that I forgot to mention on the blog -- probably because it wasn't about me. (I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but I tend to be a tad bit shallow and self-centered. However, in my defense, I like to think that is part of my overall charm.)

When Josh was back here on R&R, he and Dan went on (literally for hours at a time) about the gear they might need for their upcoming trek into Denali National Park (which I frankly would not have even noticed had it not been for the continual mentions of Denali in the Twilight series. I miss the Cullen family. We should go visit....) Anyway, after a circa 17 hour debate on whether they should have a -40 degree bag or whether a -20 would be fine, Josh started his internet research on Sleeping bags. After reading 27 pages of reviews, he settled on the bag from Feathered Friends - which pretty much sounds like a pet store specializing in flying rodents, and not a premier outfitter in Seattle. Frankly, if they hired me for their marketing, I think I could do a lotta good....first step: change the retarded name.

ANYWAY, he ordered the bag, but after talking to Dan and experiencing some buyers remorse, he called them back up while we were in the car. He's speaking to the sales agent (who sounded like he was about 17 years old and experiencing a contact high from bear poop). Josh wanted to make sure the bag he ordered would be warm enough, so he asked if he could purchase the option to add 6 extra ounces of down into the bag.

Josh: I'd like to add the extra down... how much will you do?
Kid: yah Dude! we can do 2, 4 or 6 ounces.
Josh: I'll do 6.
Kid: cool
Josh; Wait. Can you tell me how much more that will make the bag weigh?
Kid: ummm..about 6 ounces dude...

How hilarious is that!?? If you could have heard that stoner kid. He sounded all sarcastic, like Josh was the one sniffing the grizzly poo. Clearly, Josh meant how much larger would it make the bag when you tried to pack it up, but you had to hear that guy. It was priceless.

Anyway, Josh and Dan have strict orders to inform us if they see any vampires on their Broke Backpacking Trip, as Liz has named it.

And back to me and my gripes: I am frantically trying to pack up the house and even managed to get rid of all my ill-fitting, paint splattered clothing, the BBQ, and all the booze today, I received yet another package in the mail from REI. Apparently, Josh is sending packages of gear he has ordered to the house for me to drive over to Liz and Dan's house - because he doesn't want to inconvenience them by having to pick up the package on their doorstep.

What do you think my odds would be for acquittal if I had him killed right now??

Friday, February 20, 2009

Milestone Event

Today, was significant. In fact, I'm writing down today. (what is today?) ANYWAY, I had my final physical at work so that the "doctors" can declare me medically cleared to go to Sudan. Work makes you do this because they don't want to have to fly your ass back home if you get sick. (You'd think if the government were REALLY serious and wanted to save the money of a potential medevac, they'd make you go see your own doctor to get your medical tests done because I gotta tell ya, they took my word for a lotta things!!!)

Example, "How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?" Me: one (pot)

"Have you ever used tobacco products" Me: no (unless it is New Year's Eve and I'm starting a new hobby, like I do every year)

"Have you gained or lost 10 or more pounds not on purpose?" Me: No (I totally planned to gain all that weight at Christmas. Its reverse body will get it....any minute now....)

"Have you ever had an attitude related illness?" Me: ummmmm??

Seriously! That was a question on my survey! What the hell is an attitude related illness?! I mean, I have a bad attitude, but I didn't know that was technically an illness!!! Could I have been taking SICK LEAVE ALL THIS TIME?? Am I technically disabled!? Am I AttiCapped??

ANYWAY, that is not why today is significant. TODAY was significant because this was the FIRST time (since I started working for the USG) that the "doctor" did not tell me that I could (or should) lose weight!!! I suspect it was because this was the first time I have ever had a "doctor" who was under the age of 72 and was a girl. (Plus, she was a bit chubby, so it probably would have sounded hypocritical.) Literally, even when I was a LOT skinnier and 10 years younger, the "doctors" would tell me that I was perfectly healthy, but could stand to lose a few pounds. WOW! Thank you House! I never realized I was carrying extra that what that is around my ass?!! WHO KNEW!?

So, I was all excited - and then reality punched me in the face.

I also had to stop in the badge office and get some visa photos taken. Naturally, because I'm shallow like that, I stopped in the restroom to make sure my hair and makeup were still as I left them when I left the house. I swear I looked fine!!! It is literally 8 steps from the restroom to the badge office. I sit down, they take the photos and then you wait approximately 47 minutes while they "print" your pictures.

Now, I realize that they are uploading my photos onto that new website that you have to pay them to take the humiliating photos down....because I get them and .... WTF!?!?! One eye looks like it is larger than the other, and higher up on my face, once again I'm holding my head in some distorted fashion and my hair is engaged in some unauthorized activity....NOT TO MENTION my head took up the whole photo area!!

This is totally humiliating. Now I probably won't get a visa because the Sudanese Embassy here will take one look at my photos and will deny it outright because they don't want me coming to their country and frightening their children!! "NO! You keep your disfigured, plate faced, floating head! Our children will not be able to sleep at night!!!"

How can this be?? I look in the mirror and I honestly didn't realize I was physically deformed. Combine that with my attitude related illness and I just HAVE to be disabled! I should apply for social security and disability payments!!! I'd totally get it.

Its like a lemon on a toothpick! I have the pictures to prove it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jihad Has Been Declared....

You didn't think I could just post something that LIZ wrote did you? There was NOTHING about me in there!! How can that possibly be interesting to you?? I mean, I do agree with her point and all, but with no mention of me, it can't be good enough. Therefore, let's get back to me and my issues. FOCUS people!!!

I believe last night I alluded to the hateful people at NW/KLM...Well, thinking I could use my superior girley manipulation skills (they totally work on Josh!) I called them back. Trying to see if I could find SOME WAY (read how much would it cost) to get my precious baby boy on that flight.

This time the rep at NW was at least nice. AND, she did point out that NW would allow him on the plane (they don't discriminate against dogs unless they are over 165 pounds -- we're not so judgey as the stupid DUTCH). However, KLM would not budge. So my begging and pleading did not get me anywhere. JIHAD!!! KLM HONKS!

I frantically checked other flights going into Khartoum. Turns out -- and this may shock you -- there are not that many airlines that actually GO there, seems that most people don't want to go there either?? Why?? What's going on? What have you heard??

My alternate options: Lufthansa or Sudanese airways. Sorta like how I don't trust docs who work for the USG because I think they couldn't get a job in the private sector, I suspect that Sudanese airways is flying the planes that United and Delta put out on the curb. And, when you combine that with the fact that I do not wish to die in a fiery plane crash -- We are left with Lufthansa.

Good news: Germans tend to LOVE dogs;
Bad news: Germans use the metric system;
More Bad News: they are GERMAN

So I reserve a ticket on United (masquerading as a Lufthansa flight) and call them up to work my magic. I am informed that Lufthansa does not have a max weight limit (Germans love fatties too), they have a max SIZE limit, but it is listed in centimeters. WHY DIDN'T I PAY ATTENTION THAT WEEK WE HAD THE METRIC SYSTEM SCARE AT SCHOOL? (Remember that? When everyone thought we were going to switch to the metric system because the rest of the world did?? And then I think we collectively (as a country) realized that we were too dumb to figure this out and just gave it all up??)

Clearly, I wasn't going to figure it out. I had to wait to get to work to find someone smarter than me to tell me how to convert my inches to cms. Naturally, I'm in tears all night long because I am freaked that I won't be able to get Kernel on a flight with me - and then what? I hate to admit this openly, but I am just bat-shit crazy enough that I would tank my career and refuse to go to Sudan, effectively ensuring that I would work in some basement office for the rest of my days. That would not be enough punishment for work though. I think they deny you access to the Starbucks as well.

My friend Bobby helped me do the conversion by showing me that you can google that shit (who knew?) So, I called Lufthansa. My crate was THREE CENTIMETERS over the specs. The guy initially wasn't going to budge, until I started sobbing into the phone about how the Sudanese hate dogs and would probably allow him to die at the port of Sudan if I tried to ship him cargo - he relented. (I suspect it was more to just get me to stop calling him and crying in his ear. ) However, he caveatted that the approval COULD be denied at the counter if they got out their measuring tape and measured the crate.

SERIOUSLY!? THREE CENTIMETERS!? Although I have no reference for CMs, I think i recall they are smaller than inches (right?) DAMN THOSE GERMANS AND THEIR STRICT RULES AND REGS.

My plan: (a) try to fit Kernel's fat ass into a smaller kennel, its a choice of 16 hours of discomfort or potential death by cargo; (b) try to sweet talk, bribe, or otherwise cajole my way onto the flight with the agents at Dulles airport. I assume THEY are not actually German citizens. Maybe I will luck out and get a lazy, uneducated American just like me. Maybe that guy will have no idea how to convert inches to cms either!?!; and/or (c) I call Bobby to meet me at the airport with a damn belt sander and I shave off 3 cms right there at the ticket counter. F U GERMANY!

OH!, and don't think I have dropped my jihad against KLM! THEY ARE DEAD TO ME! I do feel bad because my father in law has been a loyal NW airline employee for over 30 years, and my Jihad may potentially impact him, but I am sorry, once declared, a jihad cannot be stopped. The Dutch honk. NW should probably distance themselves now, before it hits them.

In the interim, I will continue my anti-dutch/anti-KLM crusade!! I fully intend to litter at their ticket counter and will instruct Kernel to potty on their scale. HE IS NOT FAT! He is big boned.

I've always hated those guys!!! (PLUS, all my miles are on United, why the hell was I considering KLM in the first place? They're not Star Alliance?!)

PS...Kudos goes out to my boss Jason for knowing enough to walk out of my office and not force me to talk about work until I solved this problem. He is either super understanding and a great boss, OR, he realizes that I am bat shit crazy and was afraid for his life. Could go either way.

Stephenie Meyer Must Be Stopped...

Liz sent me this email today, and I agreed to post it because I am a full supporter of Laziness (I give and I give and I give):


Since I'm too lazy to make a blog to post my rantings, maybe you can put this in your blog. I'm hoping that Twilight chick reads it and feels some remorse for the grave harm she is causing to America:

What has become of me?! I am a 41 year old woman with a husband and kids I have become completely obsessed with a book series on teenage vampires!

I started the book Twilight while travelling to North Africa with my boss's boss - a big cheese, someone who could do good things for my career if I made a good impression. But instead of wowing him with my sparkling personality and carefully dropping hints as to my prefence for future assignments, I spent the whole time frantically reading this stupid book like the secrets of the universe were in it! I even ripped his head off during a layover in Frankfurt because he had the gall - the gall! - to try to strike up conversation with me while Edward was about to kiss Bella in the meadow!!! My God, man!

I finished Twilight by the time we landed in Dulles, including the teaser chapter from the sequel, New Moon, that they put at the back of the book. I raced home to slam my teenage daughter against the wall and demand that she give me the sequel immediately or die. She pointed out that she didn't have any of the sequels because when she asked me to buy them for her last year, I refused because they were only out in hardcover and I didn't want to spend the money. Huh. I don't remember that, but clearly I didn't understand the gravity of the situation at the time.

So, I dragged my jet lagged body to the bookstore and bought New Moon, paying full price (very unlike me), then ordered Eclipse and Breaking Dawn from Amazon, thinking that there was no way I would finish New Moon before the last two were delivered. I was sooo wrong. I finished New Moon in a day then moaned like a junkie in withdrawal about not having the last two books until my husband finally went to the store and bought the last two - hardcover, $22 a piece - just so I would shut up.

The box from Amazon arrived when I was reading the last 3 chapters of Breaking Dawn. So now I've spent nearly $100 on books, including two hardcover copies of the last two books; the house is a mess and I haven't fed my kids in days; my daughter will need therapy; and I may have caused irreparable damage to my career with my antisocial behavior towards my boss.

Stephanie Meyer, I hope you're happy with what you've done....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

That's It! I Give Up!

I'm cashing it all in and getting a cat. Hell, I'm getting multiple cats and probably a large flannel shirt to go with my sweatpants that I will undoubtedly be wearing as I sit in my house like a shut-in, only venturing out to get more chips and donuts.

So I thought today was going well. I conned a lady from work into taking the BBQ and some of the other crap I've got laying around...even better, they are COMING TO GET IT (meaning, I don't have to try to lug that up to the curb and pray the trash fairy (or recycling fairy, I'm not picky) takes it away for me!!! I scheduled the property mgmt company to come take pics of the house so they can rent it; and they even requested that I get a bid from their BFF painters to compete with the painters I already called (meaning - at least I think - that I will get a cheaper estimate).

Then I called NW/KLM about my flight. The people at work told me they made my reservations and put in a request for the dogs, but that I had to call the airlines and work it out with them directly (work is only so helpful, you see). So I'm talking to the lady - during work hours because I figure since the USG is forcing me to move to Sudan, that I am authorized to handle all move related issues during work time! HA

ANYWAY, the lady is not really what you would call, helpful, nice, or polite. No, I think you would probably describe her as more of a BIATCH. Seriously? In this economy, should you really piss off people?? I'm just guessing that there is a line of people waiting to take her place and answer my calls. DOES SHE KNOW WHO I THINK I AM???

Here is my bitch....She informs me that there is a cut off weight limit on Dogs flying overseas in cargo of 150 lbs (dog + kennel, total weight). Kernel weighs 116, kennel weighs 44..... so WHAT THE F*$#@ am I supposed to do now?!? Its not like I can have Kernel stick his little foot out to ease some of the weight off.

SO when I asked her, well, ma'am....what should I do, because I think he might be over that. Her response was: he NEEDS to be 150 lbs. What am I magic?! Believe me! If I had the damn power to make anything lose 10 lbs, I'd be ALL OVER THAT! but alas, I do not!

So I was like, hard and fast is this 150 lb thing?? I mean, if he is like 153 are they going to boot him!? She just kept repeating that limit is 150.

So you're telling me that no planes fly cargo that weighs over 150 lbs. WTF. What the hell do I do now!? Clearly, I can try to put kernel on a diet, but I suspect that I can't make him lose 10 lbs in less than 3 weeks. I can't even do that!!

Is there an Adkins for dogs??

Why the hell won't US companies take bribes?? What is this world coming to when you can't even pay someone to look the other way over 10 lbs!! The lady at the Virginia DMV didn't even bat an eye when I BLATANTLY lied about my weight. I gotta give her snaps for not bursting out laughing.

Clearly, I'm just going to have to go with the old standby: Blatantly LIE straight to their face and claim racism and/or sexism (whichever may apply).

In the interim, I will practice my outraged, Is it because I'm a woman/American Indian???

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Damn Vet!!

On Valentine's Day I took Poods and Kernel to the vet to get their international health certificate - which is kinda like their visa to move to Sudan with me. (Unfortunately, Little Debbie's Visa was denied. Alas, there will no tasty treats in Sudan!!! I suspect Tina had something to do with it, but I can't prove it.)

I believe I previously ranted about how there was only ONE vet in all of Ashburn who would still issue these health certificates because of legal reasons -- well, it has gotten WORSE! Not only do I have to pay $125 per dog for a piece of paper, that charge does NOT include charges for visit, blood work, vaccines, and meds! SOOO, since I was already going to write them a bad check for the visit, I threw in a toe-nail trimming!! For some reason that totally creeps me out. Their nails are sooo thick. (GAG! I think I might have just throw up a little bit.) Literally, $900 later, I was issued a health certificate - only to find out that it is STILL not valid.

I now have to FedEx this certificate to the USDA in Richmond - and for VA residents, ONLY the Richmond office will do this (apparently there is more than one?? who knew!?) -- where they will STAMP that this is valid (please! they weren't there!!) and they will return FedEx the certificate to me. THEN, I have 10 days to get out of the country before the certificate expires. I assume that they think that on the 11th day the dogs will be let outside to wallow in a puddle of rabies and Brucellosis, with a pinch of mad cow disease sprinkled on top.

I mean honestly! We're going to SUDAN. Do you really think my pampered boys - the same boys that I force Josh to pack extra blankets and dog beds when we camp so they don't get cold - are going to be the cause of Pestilence in Sudan??? Methinks that perhaps that might be the least of Sudan's worries....or so I've heard.

The most hideous part of this visit was that the vet was going over their blood work with me and told me that Poods' Kidney functions were on the verge of abnormal. Meaning - the higher range of normal levels. Naturally, I went into panic mode and started thinking about what dog owner I knew that I could con into donating a kidney for my precious baby boy...then the vet told me that they don't actually DO kidney transplants on dogs (and never would on an 11 year old dog). So I asked him what I was supposed to do.

His response: There is nothing you can do.

My response: Then WHY the hell did you bring this up!!!

He then instructed me that I should probably have Poods' blood work checked every 6 mos to monitor him in case he has renal failure. Naturally, I again asked what I was supposed to do.

His response: there is nothing you can do really.

So WHY would I check!? Frankly, I do not want to know. I will simply worry, and then force you all to read a blog about how my dog is sick and for God's Sake people, DO SOMETHING.

Vet indicated that "We could put him on a Rx diet for kidney failure." Then he casually mentioned that it costs circa $100 per 15lb bag of food (I assume this is not available at the local market in Khartoum, but I'm just guessing, so go ahead and add in shipping costs). I also assume that Josh would go into renal failure if I were to casually mention that I was going to put Poods on a diet that would pretty much cost the same as if we put him on Nutrisystem or took him out to a restaurant every night. I'm just guessing that his answer will be NO. But I can't be sure....

So in order to deal with this, I have decided to believe that the tests were wrong. That Poods didn't fast prior to the blood work (because he totally takes after me and he LOVES his food). I am going to go with my fail-safe method of dealing with ALL my problems: Ignore it and hope it goes away!!!

Poodies is going to have to suck is up and use his other kidney!!! Isn't that why we were given TWO poods?!? Stop being selfish!!! There are starving puppies in Sudan who would be THANKFUL to have me making you a low-protein meal of rice and chicken broth for dinner!!!

I should have had kids. I suspect it might have been easier.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I think I might be a victim of a cult scam!!

So remember how I have been trying to accomplish some stuff, but can't seem to do it because I'm so wrapped up in this stupid Twilight series?? I finally read the back of the book cover and Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon. Now I'm not going to get all slammey on the Mormons, but after not being able to put these books down -- books I might add that are EACH well over 700 pages -- and I read them in like TWO days???? -- I think there might be something fishy going on!!!!

I suspect cheating, but I can't prove it!!!

Why am I so suspicious, you ask?? Well, let me just list the reasons:

(a) I actually read and enjoyed a series of TEEN books about vampires and werewolves. I mean seriously! TEEN?? VAMPIRES??? come on!

(b) Embarrassed of my addiction to the teen series, I would attempt to hide the title when reading the books in public. (And believe me, I DID read these in public...I read them on the plane, during my pedicure, while waiting at the doctor's office, and even in my bunk in group housing during the action guy training...) However, whenever I did happen to look up - and believe me, every time I would look up, I was confused and disoriented because when reading, you lose all track of where you are or what you are doing - I would notice that OTHER middle-aged women were ALSO reading these books. (you can tell by the disoriented look on their faces when you finally catch their attention)

(c) Each book has over 700 pages, and yet I have read all FOUR (and math is not my strong suit) but that is basically (7x4=??) 2,800+ pages - I could have read the BIBLE in that amount of time (but yet, never can seem to make it past 2 pages in that book!!! Perhaps if they had gone into greater detail about how dreamy Jesus was, and a little less detail about who begat whom, I would be a bit more enthralled...)

NOW, combining ALL of those, coupled with the fact that I have the attention span of a three year old, and am inherently lazy -- HOW ON EARTH did I manage to stick with it to finish all four books?? I'll tell you how!? IT'S A CULT. AND I FELL VICTIM TO ITS METHODS!!

So then I started thinking: Stephenie Meyers is a Mormon, She is pretty....Do you think maybe Mormons are VAMPIRES!? I mean, think about it: ALL the vampires in the books are pretty. Have you EVER met an ugly Mormon?? NO! You haven't. They're all beautiful people. They all have that shiny, happy, people look to them. PLUS, aren't they all very patient, kind and nice people?? They don't swear, they are nice to others, they never seem to get mad at their co-workers and are always patient with me - listening patiently for me to finish my tirade and then pointing out how we can move on without resorting to violence -- how we could just do something different, instead of having them killed to prove my point.


Either way, I don't think they'd let me in. If I had the ability to squash someone like a bug, I'd have to be destroyed within five minutes of arriving at work. As I have mentioned previously, I was born without the empathy gene. In fact, I'm now starting to question if I really belong in my family!!! I do not help people and have pretty much never been nice to anyone in my life. What's up with that?? husband also appears to be some sort of freak of nature. Do you all know what he did on Valentine's Day?? (and NO! It was NOT pining away for me as I assumed) he decided to run the full marathon that the Marines hosted in Fallujah! He pretty much decided this on a whim. WHY you ask?? because someone at work insinuated that he would not be able to do it; and then bet him $40 he wouldn't finish under 4 hours. So Josh, being contrary as normal, not only finished -- he came in SECOND, finishing in 3 hours and 22 minutes (or something like that, I pretty much wasn't listening after I heard there was no cash prize involved). Josh has this uncanny ability to force himself to do stuff, pretty much just to prove people wrong.

So what I have learned today: Mormons are vampires and my hubby can perform miracles if told he cannot do something!

Therefore, I have just one thing to say:

JOSH, you will NEVER EVER be able to win over 10 million dollars in the lottery and then give me half. UNpossible!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And Then There Were Three...

So I just happened to look at the Calendar and noticed that I pretty much have three weeks left until the movers arrive. Why should you care, you ask?? You should care BECAUSE I'm going to bitch about this for the next three weeks, that's why!!! You should probably prepare yourself.

Three weeks to go through all my clothing and finally throw out the sweats and t-shirts that I got paint all over, but kept in case I needed it! (Trust me, it totally sounded plausible at the time);

Three weeks to sort through all the crap we have collected and put in the cupboard in case we needed it (but yet never did. WHO KNEW!?);

Three weeks to purchase consumables, beauty products and dog accoutrements to last three years;

Three weeks to organize the house into separate categories: Air Freight; Sea Freight; and Storage - and then figure out what to pack in the suitcases to last us until the air freight arrives in a month or so;

Three weeks to finish the work I have been putting off because it wasn't due yet - unfortunately, NOW it is....(although in my defense, NOBODY could have seen that coming.)

I'm sure I've got plenty of time. I mean, I have THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Plus, tomorrow is a government holiday - God Bless whatever day tomorrow actually is....Columbus? Martin Luther? President? Lincoln? Whatever it is, it is a holiday that I treasure and celebrate religiously EVERY year that I sleep in...

Come Tuesday, I will be back in the office, pretending to work, slaving away, juggling non-work related instant message conversations. When on earth will I ever find time to finish my to-do list??

Let's be realistic, I won't. The movers will arrive and I will be running around slapping post-its on stuff, praying that it ends up in the right shipment. If this move is anything like my previous overseas moves, it should be one exciting day when the air freight arrives and I have 2,500 pounds of Josh's tools and gardening crap! I will then have to purchase necessities such as towels, bedding, dog food, etc. on the local economy -- and it will probably cost us a year's salary.

If only there were some way that I could avoid this!?!?

Maybe this year I should try something new and be prepared?? Maybe this time I should organize everything and make sure it is securely labeled?? Maybe this time I should actually pay attention to what the movers are doing? Maybe this time I should carefully label the boxes and categorize them???


OR, maybe I will finish the last book in the Twilight Series....I still have three weeks. What could possibly go wrong??

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Today is Valentine's Day. And once again, I am sitting in my house alone, at the computer, reading emails, watching Love Actually on Lifetime. It's like I'm back in my 20s again (only it would probably be Sleepless in Seattle instead...) A time I like to call The Great Dateless Valentines Day Years. Little Known Fact: Josh is the only man other than my father to send me flowers (or frankly, take me on a date) on Valentine's day. How PATHETIC is that!?!?

Not me, mind you! I'm talking about BOYS! Boys who are not Josh or my dad. I have since realized that boys actually PLAN to be single on Valentine's Day....not that I can fully blame them (and yet, I do), because it IS kinda stupid to have to profess love on 14 Feb. And no matter how hard you try to have a romantic night, it never seems to be as romantic as you have hyped it up to be in your head. Plus, it can be waaay awkward if you are not married and thereby, forced to celebrate it. You stand in the stupid drug store for HOURs reading all those cards, trying to find the perfect one that doesn't honk and you're torn whether to send a card - or buy a gift...And I gotta get this out, because I saw them yet again this year...NOBODY wants that damn teddy bear with a heart on the tummy. WHY must I be the one to tell people this??? NOBODY! And, frankly, if they DO actually want that bear (I believe it might in fact be a Care Bear) you might just be dating a crazy nut job, and you should probably run for your life.

I'm just sayin...

However, this year is different!! This year I received a gift from TWO boys who are not Josh: Harry & David!! They sent me a box of "Moose Munch" as a thank you for being a loyal customer over the years. Yes, it is true. I am that lazy that I shop for the extended family at Harry and David for Christmas (and frankly, birthdays) so a LOTTA people with my last name and/or my maiden name receive "Towers of Treats," a flowering plant, or Fruit of the Month from us. AND, my laziness has not gone unnoticed! NAY! It was APPRECIATED. I must admit that I had never actually tried the Moose Munch because it is dark chocolate covered popcorn, caramel corn, and nuts....but it kinda looks like some sort of Moose fecal product. Turns out, Moose Poop is quite yummy. WHO KNEW!?

Anyway, my point was....I'm sitting here alone, eating sugar free ice cream (which isn't too bad, I gotta admit) with my two dogs. You'd think I would be feeling sorry for myself, but I'm not. I do not even have the tiniest urge to purchase multiple cats or a large box of donuts. (Okay, maybe the donuts... I won't see Josh until July. Where are my keys??) Anyway, I have realized that it is quite liberating to finally NOT CARE if I am alone on Valentine's Day. Frankly, after my ill-fated foray into action guy land last week, I'm just thankful to be sitting on the couch in my PJs with the boys. And even the threat of eating too much sugar free ice cream won't affect my happiness...

Until about 35 minutes later when the sugar free warning kicks in...and believe me when I tell you that the warning of "excessive consumption may cause an adverse gastronomical effect" is putting it lightly. As it turns out, "excessive" equals more than one bite. (A bitter lesson Minoy and I learned when we received a bag of sugar free Reese's peanut butter cups in Iraq....a lesson that will never be forgotten!!!)

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Okay, so I just returned from a week of overseas security-type training before the move to Khartoum. Someone claims that Sudan is not technically "safe" for Americans, so I had to take a class on personal security. Essentially, this means that I spent a week being ambushed, attacked and abused. I did learn something from this training though: In the event of a terrorist attack, you do NOT want me anywhere around you -- especially, if you might need help or assistance.

Turns out that I pretty much freak under stress. Even when I know it is a fake attack, I freak. So this is my humiliation: I know the attack is coming. Why do I know this?? I'm not magic or clairvoyant, I know this BECAUSE THEY TELL ME...they explain in excruciating detail what is going to happen, what they expect you to do and how you are supposed to react. In fact, they illustrate what you are expected to do. However, this does not reassure me...this makes it worse. Now I KNOW someone is coming to get me. I KNOW they're gonna spring...and I know what is going to happen to me.

They assure you that they will not (in reality) kill you. However, they DO use paint gun bullets so that you can experience a sharp reminder that you do not want to be hit by a bullet. They claim, this "sting" will create a memory that will ensure that you do not linger.

They might have a point. I have a left leg full of large round bruises to prove it.

However, while I patiently wait for my turn to be ambushed, I begin to panic. Immediately, I have to go to the bathroom - which, technically might not be allowed in a real ambush -- or so I hear...So I suffer.

I am waiting patiently for the explosions and gunfire to begin with my partner Kim (yet another chick you probably do not want on your team should shit hit the fan. But she's super funny! She'd be great before the attack, but not so much of a help during any such attack....write that down: Kim and Michel = no help, big hindrance.)

So we're instructed to pull the vehicle over. We begin to panic....the time drags on.... we get more and more nervous....looking around....asking, "WHAT WAS THAT??!?! " -- We start to scream... Oh, a bird.... the instructor points out that we are in the staging area and it is not yet our turn. (I can practically hear him rolling his eyes).

He instructs her to drive down this dirt road and turn into this smaller side dirt road - a road, I must point out that I would NEVER go down....EVER... looks like the opening scene of Wrong Turn and I just know that we're going to get picked off and turned into jerky! PLUS, I'm waaay chubbier than Kim! They'd totally take one look at me and know that I'd be waay more tender and marbled than she was....

So we're inching along at less than one mile an hour, swearing and screaming as we go -- At one point I make the decision to try to jump out of the car -- F this place! I've seen the movie! I'm not going in!!! -- but my stupid seat belt has me trapped and the door is locked -- damn child locks!! After what seems like approximately 17 minutes of inching down the road, the chaos ensues! Bombs go off, guns are blaring and we are both screaming and trying to get out of the car! I finally manage to get my belt off and the door opened and I jump out of the car and run like hell! I am not sure what happened to Kim, I recall passing her at one point and screaming "RUN!!!" then I took off and never saw her until she came bounding past my hiding place in the trees. We both sat there cowering, shaking, and gasping for air behind a large tree, which I am sure was suitable cover from terrorists....

We could hear the instructors yelling, "Okay....Come back..." F that! We're not stupid. Those bastards shot us with paint balls!!!

After they finally coaxed us back, promising that it was over, we returned to find many of them doubled over laughing. Apparently, the instructor in our vehicle had his mike open and they heard our screaming panic before the exercise began. Kim forgot to put the vehicle in park and it continued down the road with the instructor in the back as we ran like hell from the car. He had to crawl over the front seat to stop the car that was heading off into the trees. It did, however, apparently distract the attacker instructors and prevented them from giving us the full force of the paint balls. (Thank God because, OWE!)

The instructors claim that we ran screaming in what appeared to be a couple of figure 8s before we finally took off into the trees. They said it looked like a doubles figure skating competition. (I believe we were given all 7s, something of which I've decided to be proud....)

Allegedly, you are not supposed to run off and leave you partner behind to fend for themselves. Apparently, you're supposed to work as a team to find cover and escape to safety. I'm not sure how that is supposed to be accomplished when they are shooting at you -- and frankly, never want to have to try that again!!! However, after watching the other teams go through this same exercise I do know this: we girls really do know how to get out of the car and run like hell. The boys, not so much. In addition, it apparently, is not manly to run screaming. I feel for the boys. Because, you know they were screaming inside!!! That shit was scary!!!

Kim and I did, however, receive an award for the most creative use of swear words in any outdoor exercise.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why America is Better

In case you were starting to think that America Sucks -- and it could happen, what with the news telling us all that the economy is in the tank and that America is virtually seconds away from being sucked into a black hole. Although, someone should probably tell the stores that, because we had to wait in a long line to buy stuff today! AND, the restaurants still have at least a 60 minute wait to be seated.

Clearly, the message is not strong enough for people. We need something MORE than imminent financial ruin to get people to stay home. Clearly, we need zombies running in the streets or something because frankly, its inconvenient for ME!

ANYWAY, in case you were teetering on the verge of wanting to cash it all in and move to a foreign country, I just wanted to post the pic of what Josh found in his living quarters in Iraq. The above is what is commonly known as a "Big F'in Spider," or in scientific terms, a "foreign" spider. Spiders that myself and my colleagues ensure DO NOT get a visa to come to America. (You are welcome!!)

Now although Josh did not use scientifically accepted measuring devices like an "altimeter," or "ruler," he did comment that he was scared. Therefore, it was clearly ginormous (as all spiders bent on mass destruction usually are) and was waiting for Josh to return from R&R so he could bust a cap in his ass and take over. I can only assume that Josh is looking for new living quarters. He cannot stay there now. The first spider is always the scouter - and usually the smaller, more nimble of the bunch. God help Josh if he is still around when the others arrive with their luggage.

Our weapons are powerless against foreign spiders. This is well known. He has to move. I see no other option.

Do NOT Panic....We're Going In...

Today, I have agreed to drive Liz into Downtown DC. Liz claims she needs a visa because she has a short notice business trip coming up soon. Naturally, I assume that she is simply stalking the poor consulate officer, but I will support her stalking. Even though she claims that she didn't have enough time, it is clear to me that Liz was simply too lazy to go to the embassy during the work week! However, in this instance, her laziness makes me uber proud! Why you ask: Because it is not like we have to venture out on our own, work will provide you with a car AND DRIVER to take you to the Embassy. Personally, when I use them, I like to sit in the back and ask what my inflight movie will be, and demand a Gin and Tonic!! I think that deep down inside, they think it is funny. Seriously. It never gets old.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for that Gin and Tonic!

However, I do actually understand how this could have happened. Yes, we can request a driver to take us, but the sticking point is that you have to FILL OUT and SUBMIT a form to request this driver and, the form has to be signed by a supervisor prior to submission. You have to explain to a higher up why you need someone to drive Miss Daisy and then, once they have signed the form, you submit it to the proper "authorities," you have to make an appointment with the Embassy for your visa processing. It's frankly more work to request someone to help you than it is to just con your friends into taking you. I see her point, and will expect her to do the same when it comes time for my visa to Sudan (SUCKAH!)

Liz and I agree on this kinda stuff..therefore, I suspect that she knew that I would feel compelled to drive her downtown (she also lives outside of DC) as we both have "issues" driving in the city. WHY, you ask, would two clearly cosmopolitan ladies of the world refuse to drive into the city? I'll tell you why! It's because they let other NON-COSMOPOLITAN people drive there. In fact, they let ANYONE drive there.

Now, I realize you guys are going to think that I am going to launch into one of my slams on how foreigners do not actually understand that the lines go BETWEEN the cars, and are not actually put there to serve as a guide for your car. However, I kinda see where they get this now after having used that GPS thing in the car, where the woman lectures you and tells you where to go in her snotty voice. You car is literally a triangle that drives along a line/path thing ...God help you if you miss a turn or she is wrong (she'll never admit it, FYI) She gets all uppity impatient, screaming "RECALCULATING" and I swear she enunciates that word so that you can hear every letter so that you fully understand how annoyed she is with you...I get it! Shut up, you smelly Pirate HO!)

No! It's not the foreigners, its the AMERICAN TOURISTS!! God I hate them!!

People from other states who have driven to DC in their mini-van with approximately 52 kids shoved in there - kids who are usually watching "Finding Nemo" instead of looking at the monuments, etc. These "tourists" cannot drive, do not understand the rules of the circles in DC (although, I can't really call them on that, those things are hideous), and are constantly stopping in the middle of the road to look at buildings or things they see -- now don't get me wrong, I do remember when I first moved to the DC area from Montana and I was super excited to see things like the Treasury Building or the State Department with all the diplomatic vehicles outside of it from other Embassies, but do you see?? I have been inside those buildings!!

I've seen the water spots, the furniture from the late 50s stacked in the halls with a sign that says, "for turn in" like a sad, government Craig's List. I've met the employees (who are not as cool as you would think, fyi - with the exception of me and my friends, of course - we're waay cool) so my point is, MOVE ON PEOPLE...I've got places to go!!!

Clearly, I have acquired the stereotypical east-coast rudeness. It really is time for me to leave here and travel to a foreign country where I can be the face of America. Where I can utilize my skills and be rude in a foreign language -- the ugly American, if you will. I know, you guys are thankful for my efforts. I do appreciate that.

In return, I will try not to run over anyone and/or create an international incident. But I'm not making any promises.

Seriously, I am such a good person.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Year, Some New Gear

So as you know, Josh has been home on R&R for almost three weeks. This final week of his vacay has been the most "difficult" for him. I do believe he is over resting, and as such, has begun a campaign to suck the life out of me!! Even the dogs are tired!!! An unattended Josh - with no work, race training, or specific duties - is a disruptive and destructive Josh.

So, I'm trying to get rid of our junk we've been unknowingly collecting for the last four years here in Ashburn where apparently I felt compelled to have all this crap in order to bolster my self esteem. Josh, conversely, has been diligently researching and purchasing new gear for the trip he and Dan are going to take to Alaska to learn how to climb Denali (or Mt. McKinley for those of you who have not been lectured on the 7 summits of the world).

As such, I have had a full week of lectures on the best sleeping bags and the necessity to have a proper ice axe. In fact, this week he literally purchased an ice axe! He put it in the front seat of the car when he came to pick me up from work (for the ice axe's safety, mind you) and I was pretty much stabbed in the leg by the thing and then told to "be careful!"

Am I crazy here? (or as Josh likes to say, Am I "being a B?") In what possible situation would an ice axe come in handy other than on this one specific trip they are plannin? We will be living in AFRICA....where it is AFRICA HOT. Josh would pretty much have to purchase the ice in order to axe it. Now I'm very supportive of having the right gear, but I'm just sayin...they rent that shit.

Mark my words, he's going to use that once. The ice axe is EXACTLY like the multiple types of diet pills I tend to buy --hydroxycut, hoodia, dexatrim, crack cocaine-- take once, and then promptly forget to ever take it again...(and then usually malign the company/drug dealer for selling shoddy products).

On Wednesday, he purchased a special stove that was rated for expeditions/Mountaineering. I wouldn't actually care; however, he proceeded to TEST this stove on the kitchen table. He "tested" this stove for so long -- measuring the height of the heat and flame -- and correct me if I am wrong here, but don't you put the pan directly ON the stove?? Does the stove necessarily NEED to have the height/heat ratio?? -- he let that stove burn until literally the camp stove fuel ran out!!! And then proceeded to lecture me on the importance of testing your gear.

What I heard: BLAH BLAH BLAH Stove! Best blah blah blah rated blah blah.

I will give him credit for stopping that stupid beeping upstairs and for changing those light bulbs that burned out about 3 months ago (although, the kitchen, sans mood lighting created by burnt out bulbs, is not as pleasant. Apparently, I was really onto something there). BUT, (and with me, there always seems to be a but) he also "fixed" the toilet in the guest bedroom. Apparently, today alone, he fixed it twice. When before it was allegedly leaking in that back section thingey, it no longer does that. No, he fixed that problem. Now, it simply leaks all over the floor.

As soon as I put him back on the plane, I should probably call a plumber. Know anybody??

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Fear for Our Future

Okay, so today I had a bunch of meetings with the people who are arranging our upcoming move to Sudan. Let me caveat this post by saying they are VERY NICE people....and I think honestly want to help. However, I'm frankly scared to get on a plane and/or let anyone take anything from my house in boxes.

So here's the dealio: I met with the people to get my briefing on what to expect in my upcoming move. Although I naturally scoff at anything to do with learning or being prepared for stuff as I believe it takes away from my TV or napping time; however, I realized that I have totally forgotten how to plan to move to a foreign country. (Perhaps I should be thankful that someone is at least trying to help me?? Who are we kidding here, that's not my way).

ANYWAY, so I was working with the nice lady to arrange for the movers to come. And she starts out with, "So, we're moving with a horse?"

Naturally, not wanting to piss off the woman who processes all of my authorizations, I gave her a small courtesy chuckle, even though I'm sure there was confusion written all over my face. Who's We? Horse? I had no idea what she was talking about, but maybe this was how the processing people joke around or it is some sort of mysterious acronym. I mean, I don't work in their office, perhaps that is processing lingo for something else.

She continued to stare at me expectantly... Thinking this was truly a person in some serious need of positive reinforcement, so I laughed louder and with a bit more feeling. Then she started looking at ME like I was the looneybin in this conversation.

So then, she began to speak loudly and enunciate her words very clearly and said, "A HORSE!?" I'm like..."whaaa?" For the love of all that is holy lady! I live in Loudoun County, VA, this is not horse country for heaven's sake...and would Sudan even let you ship in a horse!? What the hell would you feed him?

Turns out she was referring to the boys. Instead of listing two separate dogs and specifying their breed, the unidentified person (which nobody will own up to) listed one "pet" at 190 pounds. (OK! just for starters, horses weigh more than 190 lbs - technically, I think even PONIES weigh more than 190 lbs..hell, I MIGHT EVEN WEIGH MORE THAN 190lbs...or I will if this move stresses me out anymore than it already has). So I clarified that I have TWO dogs that add up to that weight. I'm not sure what she plans to do with this information, as her purpose seemed to be to arrange for the movers to come. But I'm hoping they don't think I am going to put them into my sea shipment...."Box him right up here sir. Yes, he's kinda smelly, I know, I know.....Don't put his box by the towels if you would...."

SO THEN, she calls the movers to schedule the pack out dates (9-10 march is official!! Be a lamb and plan to be at the house by 0800 on the 9th to handle this move for me, would you? Toodles!). She is speaking to the woman and goes, "Yes... foreign move....Right.... Cartoon....C-A-R...." I look at the paperwork and she has literally written "Shipping Location: Cartoon, Sudan."


To compound the awkwardness, when I started to spell it for her while she was on the phone it was clear she was annoyed by my interruption. So I had to interject that if the movers send my shit to CARTOON it might not arrive at my house...which will be located in KHARTOUM. They are two different cities...and, I might of which is NOT, in reality, a city in Sudan, but rather a network for kids. All our crap (with our horse in the box) would end up in Universal Studios, Florida...

So now, the woman is all pissed off at me for being picky and I have no idea where my crap is going to end up. I probably shouldn't even go into how they butchered my name! (Usually I take that in stride because everyone gets it wrong), but let's just say that there will be a very confused Mexican man named Miguel living outside of Cartoon street in Universal Studios when the movers show up with a bunch of boxes of crap and a large smelly carton labeled "Horse" on the outside...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Seeking Volunteers

Would anyone be interested in, perhaps, handling this upcoming move to Sudan for me? Turns out there is a LOT to do, and I do not seem to be accomplishing much of anything at this point. You would think that after literally years of this, and fours of moves to foreign countries, I would have figured out some sort of system to prepare myself. Obviously, my laziness overcomes any potential forethought or planning. Next time will be different.

What I should be doing:

  • Figuring out how much dog food the boys go through per month so that I can purchase a stockpile of the Special (read high priced and inconvenient to purchase) food that Kernel's sensitive tummy requires. Obviously, this number is unknowable! I'll just get 7 and call it good. What could possibly go wrong??;

  • Making a list of consumables and other items I need for a long term move to Sudan. (Word on the street is that a small thing of butter is about $12 there. I heard something about a food shortage or something like that. Of course, if the person who told me this is anything like me, it was probably in reality about $1 more than here, but that person had to make their point!) However, what if it IS $12...Then, 'tis robbery! Clearly, Sudan is inhabited by pirates. I'm not paying that crap;

  • Cleaning out my closet of all the clothes that were on sale and I was sure that I would love because they were like 45% off, or do not now (and I can't even remember a time when they did) fit me. I like to call them my "wishful thinking" clothes;

  • Going to the post office to get the "So You're Moving" packet and start preparing to sweet talk the utility companies into setting us free; and

  • Filling out the paperwork the property management company asked me to do last month that is currently sitting in the kitchen cupboard with the tax documents that I am hoping the tax fairy comes to my house to do.

What I actually AM doing:

  • Writing this stupid blog;
  • Making "why I shouldn't have to do this," and "what the hell has Josh done lately" excuses.
  • Anxiously awaiting the second book in the Twilight series to arrive from

Seriously! Any volunteers?? There's literally Tens of dollars in it for you....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Turns Out My Boys are NOT Saints

So today Josh and I took the boys to George Washington National Park for a hike. We met some friends there who brought their two Golden Labs, Dexter and Piper. Since I started this stupid blog, I've been saying how great the boys are - with the caveat that I knew they were spoiled rotten and didn't listen to a word I say, however, they did listen to Josh -- but now, I am saddened to report, it turns out that the boys actually honk.

Jack is cranky and a loner. If he were a human, he would probably be typecast as a serial killer -- white male, keeps to himself, never seems to openly cause any trouble....has bodies buried in the yard....

Kernel is all sweetness and love unless and until he is asked to share a toy. At that point, he goes bat-shit crazy!!! Snarling, biting and flat out mean. Turns out my baby is not only inbred, but also ill bred. This is why we can never have children! Just think of the monster I would raise. They'd either be a budding serial killer, or a bratty bully!!

I'm doing you people a favor by not reproducing!! Would it kill you to write me a thank you card???

Today, Piper and Dexter ran around and played everywhere - in the frozen stream, on the ice, in the snow, and Kernel was right there with them (Jack was with me, he doesn't do "play" or "other dogs.") Until the tennis ball came out - then, apparently, it was every dog for themselves!! Kernel literally bit Dexter when he tried to take the tennis ball from him. I was humiliated. My dog is a menace! Dexter and Piper have been raised to share their toys and to play nicely. Kernel and Poods? Not so much.

Where on earth could this have come from??

Do you think it could be me? Do you think that maybe I am not the Saint I have always assumed myself to be? Could Kernel have noticed that I do not now, and probably never will share my dessert?? Was he ever present for those discussion?s I mean, it took Josh a while to learn, but he eventually did.

I do believe we were at dinner with Liz and Dan and the waiter passed around the dessert menus. Liz and I were studying the menu as if it were a treatise on how to achieve world peace and economic stability - debating whether to order the brownie sundae or the apple crisp....I mean, the brownie sundae was bigger, and more chocolatty, but the apple crisp was warm and had caramel drizzled over it...what to do....what to do....

Off to the side we hear Josh comment, "Babe, do you want to just share something?"


Followed by horrified glances from Liz and I.


Dan just shook his head and said, "You haven't been married that long, have you?"

I don't share dessert. Ever.

Wait, there was that one time I was forced to share with Liz. I believe we still refer to it as "The Day." We were at Clydes, our favorite restaurant in Ashburn. The dessert menu changes constantly there. This time, they had Strawberry Shortcake on the menu. However, Liz and I are both Northerners (technically, she grew up in Hawaii, but I will classify her as Northern insomuch as she is not Southern) and we recently found out that in the Southern States, Strawberry Shortcake is made with a breakfast biscuit, biscuit. Clearly, everybody knows that Strawberry Shortcake should be made with sponge or pound cake. It's in the name!!! It's shortCAKE, not Shortdryunsweetenedbiscuit!! For the love of all that is holy! That is an outrage!!

Armed with this knowledge, we grilled the waiter: "Is your Shortcake Cake? or Biscuit....because it if is biscuit, there is gonna be trouble." The waiter rolled his eyes and assured us that "it was not a dry breakfast had sugar in was sweet. "

I didn't fall for it. Liz did. FOOL! The dessert arrived....and it was a damn biscuit. A biscuit with no sugar.

Liz wanted to punch the waiter. I think I demanded that we not tip him. He rolled his eyes and flat out LIED to us!!!

At first, she tried to just eat around the biscuit, but that's just stupid strawberries and whipped cream - LAME! We can get that at home! Seeing her struggle, I felt so bad for her, that I offered her some of my apple crisp....(good choice, man! good choice!!) She tried not to take it, probably knowing that she would be hard pressed to share her dessert if the situations were reversed, but eventually, she caved and shared my dessert. I'm such a good person. Seriously. I give, and I give, and I give.

This is why Liz (and frankly every one of my friends) are my friends. They know and accept that I do not share...and most of them do not either. We are of like mind. Clearly, I have raised Kernel to be the same.

Friends don't ask friends to share dessert.

Maybe Kernel is just trying to teach Dexter to be a better friend.....maybe.